Red Eyed Master

A single unexplained incident changed Ash Ketchum's life forever. An incident that will shake the Pokémon world and bring forth a true Pokémon Master. Aura!Ash! Smart!Ash! Now Rated M - Just in case! Chapter 01 - Edited.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11071366/1/Red-Eyed-Master

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13. Chapter 13 Part 1

Ash, Misty, Brock and their pokémon all enjoyed their day off as they took in the sights and tourist destinations, such as the famous and romantic (if that mattered) Cerulean Cape. During this time however, Ash had been finding his attention swayed by the upcoming delivery from Professor Oak. Ever since he'd learned of the blonde haired beauty's identity as Cynthia of the Shirona family, he found that his mind often drifted to her visage, her blue-grey eyes looking into his red eyed gaze while the temple around them trembled due to the power of the unknown pokémon's power, true, they hadn't really met per say but the idea often tickled his mind 'What if?'

Ever since his errand the day prior and the call home that same night, Brock seemed to be in good spirits as he trotted about, sighing dreamily at the pretty girls whilst Misty was content to be home, at least now she didn't need to deal with her sisters. In fact since the Gym battle, Misty looked as though she'd found her place in the world, though her hugging Ash as soon as they reached the Pokémon Centre left him uncomfortable and both Brock and Misty amused. Ash allowed her the moment though as he knew it was going to happen, she'd been twitching for a hug since he'd put her sisters in their place.

Ash's thoughts were interrupted as they approached the entrance to the Pokémon Centre once more, stepping inside he and his companions were witness to an exasperated Nurse Joy, who appeared to be dealing with an equally distressed delivery Dragonite.

The Dragonite refused to move until she had properly delivered her parcel and stood firm, the problem was the Dragonite was blocking the line to the Nurse's Station.

Ash let a soft smile appear on his face, that particular Dragonite was completely loyal to a fault, and only to Professor Oak and Ash. It was due to Ash's actions that they'd discovered that what the Lab Assistants though was a simple irritation to Dragonite's wing, was in fact a parasite that would've permanently crippled Dragonite. It was Professor Oak himself that had performed the surgery to remove the parasite, and together, both Ash and the Professor saw to Dragonite's complete recovery. Since then, the Dragonite was more than happy to deliver things for the Professor in exchange for living at the Lab's Coral, despite the Professor's offer to remain there for free.

"Dragonite … can you please stop bothering Nurse Joy." Ash chuckled

Dragonite immediately perked up and made a happy grunt before lumbering over to Ash and his friends. Ash could've dodged the incoming bear hug from the affectionate Dragon Pokémon but allowed himself to be pulled into the hug. Dragonite purred in happiness, her wings twitched and her tail wagged in delight as Ash rubbed her head right between the antenna on her head.

"You look well" Ash murmured softly, nodding to himself "I see you found a mate."

Dragonite twitched once more, but her happy grunt confirmed it.

"I'm glad … you were so lonely on your own" Ash commented once more before a mischievous smile made its way onto his face "Was it the Professor's Dragonite? You know that he's had a crush on you since we found you injured by the parasite."

Dragonite whined in embarrassment but after a moment or two, she nodded shyly.

"I'm very happy for you" Ash responded sincerely "Now … have you come to deliver something to me?"

Dragonite saluted in a professional manner, earning a chuckle from those watching on in awe of the majestic dragon type, and pulled out a dossier that had been securely wrapped and handed it to him with a proud huff. Ash smiled once more and petted her head again in thanks.

"Thank you Dragonite" Ash spoke, before he succumbed to another coughing fit, Dragonite was alarmed by it and she whined again as she looked him over, like a protective mother "I'm fine Dragonite, thank you for your concern"

Dragonite nodded and looked expectedly at Ash to put the folder away, once he'd done so she hummed her name to get his attention. Ash looked up to Dragonite with a confused expression on his face, did she need something else? Dragonite stared into Ash's eyes with a scary expression, Ash felt the uncontrollable desire to pulse his Aura in response and did so, this caused Dragonite to rear back in surprise but a very pleased look crossed her face. She turned and pulled a larger, cylindrical parcel that had been secured to her side and handed it over with a serene smile on her face.

Ash took the parcel and pulled a letter that had been attached to it off. He carefully opened the letter and read it.

Dear Ash,

I'm sure by now you've received the Dossier on Cynthia Shirona. There's a surprising lack of information on her personally, besides the standard information: Name, Birthday, etc. etc.

The Dossier has more on her exploits as a researcher and a Pokémon Trainer. I'm actually amazed by this young lady, she's already defeated the first of Sinnoh's Elite Four and battles the Second Member in just under a month's time … you sure know how to pick them eh Ash?

If I'm correct and you're reading this letter, then I'm sure that Dragonite has handed you the larger package as well … if so then: Congratulations! Dragonite recently mated with my own Dragonite and they were happy when Dragonite had two eggs. It was unanimous between the two Dragonite and I that you receive one of them for your journey.

I just know that you can handle a dragon type pokémon Ash, especially now that you've proven yourself capable with a prehistoric pokémon such as Shieldon. Speaking of Shieldon, I'd very much appreciate a chance to observe him soon. Other than that, and your mother reminding you to call and to take your medicine … please continue to do your best and work hard.

Gary has just received his Boulder Badge and will be making his way to Cerulean City soon, apparently the car has been hindered by awful road conditions, but he's content to use the car instead of walking. The pokémon here at the coral have been acting up though … it seems that without you here to play peacekeeper, they like to break the rules. Your Cleffa is a tough little one, she beat up one of the rowdy Rattata that usually cause trouble.

Yours in good health,

Professor Samuel Oak.

P.S. In light of your contribution to the Pokémon Research Community, you've been granted the right to carry a further four pokémon. The rules in which your extension applies are the same with your original carry limit extension and with the stipulation that at least one more paper be submitted by the end of the PLY (Pokémon League Year).

..::..

Ash snorted in amusement at the last piece of information on the letter regarding Cleffa, but it did remind him to check in on her and her mother, and he would do so later but the increase of his carry limit intrigued him … wasn't it just simply … fortunate that his carry limit had increased simply because of his thesis? No … something else had to be in motion here. The Pokémon League Research Division had to have all Capacity Extensions stamped and approved by the League President himself: Charles Goodshow.

Something was happening at the Pokémon League. Ash wasn't blind to the possibilities of Kanto's Elite Four keeping a close eye on his journey because of who his father is but the Pokémon League President? Well, that rubbed itself all over Ash's 'Danger Senses'.

Shrugging mentally, he carefully pulled back the protective wrapping surrounding the parcel. It revealed a state of the art Egg Incubator and inside sat a perfect looking blue egg. It was entirely blue, with a single spot near the top of the egg … it was beautiful and Ash could feel the life inside of it with his Aura. The pulse of life from within the egg reacted to his Aura and it brought a peaceful smile to his face.

"Well, the little one is rather happy" Ash commented to himself, though Misty and Brock, the latter of whom had entered 'Breeder Mode' and was writing down his observations, had heard him.

"I-It's so beautiful" Misty murmured and Brock grunted his own agreement as he continued to write.

"Yes, the life inside of this Pokémon Egg is a reminder that Pokémon are more than just tools for battle." Ash replied with that 'lecture' tone that he often used when explaining something.

Ash heard a brief shuffle and turned to see several young children, they appeared to be on a field trip and they were watching Ash, Misty, Brock and the Dragonite with awe visible on their faces. Ash couldn't resist the chance to impart an important piece of advice onto them and stepped over to them.

"Did you hear what I just said?" Ash inquired softly, at their nod he continued "Remember, you, like this Pokémon egg, are young. When this Pokémon hatches, he or she has the right to choose their own path. That means that if he or she doesn't want to battle, then they have the right to follow that; just like you little ones. Do all of you want to be Pokémon Trainers?"

At some of the children's shaking heads, Ash smiled and continued "See? Not all of you want to become trainers … you chose and they have feelings too. Friendship with your pokémon is what you need. Trainer or not, understanding pokémon is what will keep Pokémon and humans living in harmony."

Ash was rather happy that he managed that little speech without coughing, he got the message across too, as even the few that looked like bullies were deep in thought over it. The teacher smiled and thanked Ash for the little lesson and led the children off to speak with Nurse Joy and Chansey.

Ash turned and thanked Dragonite with an extra careful rub, thus earning another pleased whine from her, Ash bowed before he spoke, "Thank you for this honour … Dragonite."

Dragonite bowed in return before she flew up through the open roof and took off with amazing speeds. Instead of waiting for Misty and Brock to ask what the letter had said, he passed it to them and walked off towards the Video-Phones. He sat down with a sigh and dialled his Mother's number, it rang through and while it was uncommon for that to happen, it might've just meant that she was busy or out … he'd try again later, so instead he dialled the Professor's number.

..::..

Delia Ketchum was not easily angered, she was the type of person that would get along with anyone, unless you hurt those close to her, and Arceus save you if you tried to harm Ash or his Pokémon.

But … right at that moment.

Delia was enraged as she gazed upon the last person she wanted to see … her husband's best friend and otherwise, unsupportive bastard Lance Blackthorn. She heard the Video-Phone ring but remained rooted in spot, for standing there on her front porch was the very person who swore to help her and her family should anything happened to Red.

"What do you think you're doing here?" Delia hissed angrily, it alerted Ekans, who'd been sunbathing beside the house, and she hissed menacingly as well at the intruder. Lance turned and glared at the Ekans, there was something off in his glare and Ekans shrunk back a little, but she remained firm … her duty was to protect her saviour's mother and this man reeked of danger to the snake pokémon.

"Hello Delia" Lance spoke "I … um, I don't know what I can say to justify my lack of support since Red's – "

"Don't you dare" Delia hissed angrily "You don't get to talk about Red and you have no right to just show up out of the blue and expect me to welcome you with open arms."

Lance visibly flinched at the tone in Delia's voice, if there was one person that both he and Red feared most, it was Delia when she was angry.

"I saw Ash's first battle … well the recording anyway" Lance responded after a moment of silence. Delia huffed and turned her face away, but Lance caught the brief flash of curiosity in her eyes.

"It was incredible … Ash predicted Brock's movements and countered them flawlessly with very exotic pokémon. He utilized his Snivy and Froslass efficiently too" Lance spoke "It was also terrifying … your son … Ash … he's far more advanced then Red was at his age"

That shocked Delia, and it showed on her face as she whipped it around in shock. Red was a prodigy as a Trainer when he had just begun his journey, so much so that Gym Leaders were forced to use their stronger teams in order to even stand a chance, and if Ash was even better than Red was …

A shiver went down her spine, she knew that she shouldn't have been surprised at the revelation of Ash's skills but it still sent a shiver down her spine regardless … Lance continued after a moment to allow Delia to absorb the revelation.

"I also just received word that he's responsible for incapacitating and capturing two separate teams that have been confirmed as Team Rocket Units. One unit was destroyed in Viridian City, a two member team … one of them is now permanently handicapped and the other has been institutionalised due to mental trauma caused by shock." Lance appeared conflicted on the issue, on one hand the Team Rocket grunts were singing like Chatots after the incident, and because of the Intel they'd shutdown Team Rocket's Warehouse in Vermillion City … but on the other hand, the damage inflicted upon them bordered on excessive … and if Ash was this uncaring now then what would happen as he grew?

Delia was frozen in shock as Lance explained the first incident "A-And the second in-incident?"

"A forward research team also affiliated with Team Rocket was incapacitated and then retrieved by Officer Jenny and her team in Mount Moon. The Official Police Report mentions that Ash, along with Brock Slate, the former Pewter City Gym Leader and Misty Waterflower, also a registered secondary Gym Leader from Cerulean City were instrumental in releasing the captive pokémon and subduing the perpetrators." Lance promptly replied "Then there's the fact that he's responsible for a Research Team in Pewter City completing their prototype Fossil Restoration Machine … in fact after this I intend to make my way there to resurrect an Aerodactyl from DNA acquired from a piece of amber."

Delia had a mixture of pride and fear coursing through her veins at the accomplishments that Ash had completed. Pride for Ash's skills and strength, not to mention his intelligence, and fear at the danger that he was willingly putting himself through. Delia wasn't a fool, she knew all too well about Ash's Aura Training and the consequences of said training … an Aura Guardian had to be ready at any chance and show no fear in defending pokémon and human alike. It was Ash's complex mind and his training that allowed him to act without emotion and while it unnerved Delia to no end, her precious boy had never lied to her and always … always showed her his true emotions.

It was a hidden desire of hers to see Ash find someone special, whether that was a boy or a girl to share the same relationship with them. A special someone that would help her precious son blossom into the remarkable man that he was already becoming. One that could bear the unspoken pain that Ash so carefully hid away from the world, his pokémon – no, his makeshift family could only help get so far before it became too much … his father had been the same; always bottling everything up and hiding his pain.

Delia's thoughts were interrupted by Lance, who coughed awkwardly and spoke quietly "I guess it was a mistake to just show up without warning … just please remember that I'm here Delia. I'm but a phone call away."

Despite her feelings to the current situation, Delia nodded resignedly in acceptance to the offer. Lance nodded wordlessly before re-mounting his Dragonite and flying away.

"Are you alright Miss Delia?" Meowth asked softly

Delia smiled at the concern clearly evident in the Scratch Cat Pokémon's tone "Yes Meowth, I'm fine … thank you for your concern"

Meowth blushed, he still wasn't used to being praised so genuinely before "Mr. Mime has finished lunch …"

Meowth trailed off but Delia just giggled as it was clearly an 'inconspicuous' nudge to get to the food quicker. Her giggling only got louder when she heard the combined growling of Meowth's and Ekans' stomachs.

"Let's get to lunch then" Delia chirped happily, she needed to be strong for her son, he was embarking on the path of both an Aura Guardian and a Pokémon Trainer, and she supported him 110% … but that didn't quell her inner fears 'What if he disappears, just like his father.'

"Oh Red … where are you?" she whispered miserably "I need you"

..::..

In an unknown location completely covered with a thick blanket of snow and ice, a young looking man with glowing red eyes suddenly looked to the sky … directly in the direction of Pallet Town. He stood there silently before a mental nudging prompted him to turn to face a Charizard that stood proudly, completely unaffected by the wild, snowy winds. The Charizard grunted to the young man and he nodded … he was needed in Sinnoh … something was beginning to move in the shadows, and who or whatever it/they were reeked of danger … far more so than the original Team Rocket.

"Yes Charizard … I was lost in memories" the man responded to the grunting "It was exactly three years ago that I forced my son's power to awaken. I wasn't prepared for it to be so strong though"

Charizard grunted, then roared in response and the man's face adopted a pensive look "I'm aware that he still looks for me, my friend. He'll become what I could not though … a champion of Arceus … I just hope that his Aura remains pure and untainted … unlike like my own."

The Charizard whined softly in response "Yes, I know Charizard … it'll be Ash's responsibility to remove the impure Aura in the world"

The Charizard whined once more but turned towards a large cave network, and proceeded to walk back inside whilst the newly identified father of Ash whispered sadly "That includes my own impure Aura … I just pray that both Delia and my son can forgive my foolishness."

..::..

Professor Oak was enjoying a rare moment of spare time with a hot cup of tea when the Video-phone rang. He sighed sadly but stood and answered the call, he was immediately happy again, when the face of one Ash Ketchum appeared in all of his emotionless glory.

"Ah … Ash my boy, I take it that you received your package?" The Professor enquired cheerfully

:Yes Professor … I'm calling to thank you for the opportunity to raise a Dragon Type Pokémon and to enquire as to Cleffa and her mother, Clefairy:

"They're both in good health my boy" Oak replied "Cleffa is a tough battler already as she's taken on many of the tougher normal types her size"

Ash chuckled, it was made so freely that Oak was genuinely shocked by the simple action.

:Yes, your letter gave me that impression … and Clefairy? Has she shown aptitude for battling?:

"No, she's the mothering type … many of the younger pokémon follow her around and see her as a surrogate mother" Oak chuckled in response

:I see … if it's not too inconvenient, could you please retrieve them?:

"Well … it was my – "

Oak was interrupted seconds later by Ash's further response :If inconvenient … please retrieve them anyway:

This time the Professor openly laughed "Same old Ash … very well, give me a moment"

Professor Oak left the room and called to the two pokémon in question. Mere seconds later, Cleffa and her mother both appeared excitedly at the Video-phone, each of them greeting their trainer happily.

"Hello there, Cleffa … Clefairy" Ash greeted, each with a nod to them "The Professor was just telling me of your exploits"

Cleffa immediately perked up and waved her arms around in an attempt to appear tough, whilst her mother shook her head exasperatedly … Ash just chuckled at their actions.

"I realise that you don't want to battle Clefairy" Ash began, Clefairy appeared ashamed at the statement but Ash continued "Hey, it's alright Clefairy … I won't force you to battle if you don't want to and I certainly don't think less of you for that"

Clefairy cheered happily but Cleffa grew impatient and called her name while pouting like a petulant child.

"Don't worry Cleffa … I was just about to ask the Professor to transfer you over for training." Ash responded but then scolded her lightly with a follow up "And you need to be patient young one, I'm not going to forget you okay?"

Cleffa had the decency to look properly chided, but the spark in her eyes belated her countenance … she was clearly addicted to battling and it wasn't a common trait in her species. The Professor had already predicted the outcome of the conversation and had retrieved Cleffa's pokéball for the transfer.

"I have her pokéball ready for you Ash" Oak chipped in helpfully before returning the eager Star Shape Pokémon and placing the pokéball on the attached transfer pad. Ash nodded and pressed the standby and incoming pokéball pad, activating it on his end. Less than a minute later, Ash had in his possession a very happy baby pokémon that was happily rubbing against his leg.

:Thank you Professor: Ash typed, returning to typing to relieve the pain in his throat :Please inform Clefairy that I will protect Cleffa with my life:

Professor Oak nodded and relayed the message and Clefairy nodded with relief painted on her face. She called her name in goodbye to her daughter and then left to watch over the other pokémon. Professor Oak bid his goodbye and he too, left to enjoy his remaining free time.

..::..

Ash looked down to the affectionate little pokémon and gently petted her head, right in the perfect spot. Cleffa immediately calmed down and all but melted into her trainer's hand. Ash smiled softly before returning the Star Shape Pokémon to her pokéball. He turned to spot Brock and Misty patiently waiting for him to finish, and he approached the duo.

"I think it'd be best to leave now and make up some of the distance to Vermillion City" Ash informed his companions.

Brock and Misty nodded and responded affirmatively to the suggestion, it seemed that they were about to suggest the same thing. They packed their items, had Nurse Joy heal their pokémon and then leave. They were stopped by Officer Jenny as they approached the exit, but she was only there to wish them a merry goodbye.

"Please take care of yourself Jenny" Ash coughed "I do worry about you"

Officer Jenny squealed in delight and hugged Ash extra tightly "You too Ash, take care and stay safe."

The group all bid farewell to Cerulean City and proceeded to leave down the pathed route.

..::..

"Shieldon, wait for the Rattata to close the distance and then use Iron Defence." Ash commanded

Shieldon followed Ash's order to the letter an waited, the Rattata sped towards him with acceptable speed from their species but just as he was about to strike the 'unprepared' Shieldon, he acted. With a cry of his name Shieldon projected his Iron Defence at the last possible moment, this caused the Rattata to be thrown back by the powerful wave of power. Mere seconds later, Rattata was out cold and his trainer worriedly ran to the downed pokémon.

"Rattata, are you okay?" the unnamed trainer asked with concern. Once the Rattata stirred and reassured his trainer that he was okay, the boy continued "Wow, you're really strong … I bet you could even beat AJ."

"AJ, whose that?" asked Misty who was becoming even more impressed at Ash's strategic mind

"Oh, AJ is an unbeatable trainer around here" the boy responded, he then leaned forward and whispered "He built his own Gym and he's declared that once he reaches 100 wins, he's going to take the Gym Circuit to compete in the Pokémon League Finals … but be careful … his pokémon are monsters on the battlefield."

The boy then bid goodbye and left, heading towards Cerulean City to heal his defeated Rattata. Brock hummed in thought and then posed a question to Ash that he clearly knew the answer to "You're going to challenge him … aren't you?"

Ash looked at him with an affirmative look, and Brock sighed, "Of course you are … well let's try to finish this before we set up camp okay?"

Ash smirked confidently and nodded to the ex-Gym Leader. They travelled further down the road an soon came across the makeshift Gym, if Ash had to be honest, he was rather impressed by the miniature fortress before them. Ash approached the intercom installed by the front gate and pressed it firmly.

"Yeah … whose there?" an arrogant voice called through the speaker. Ash let out a disappointed sigh, did all trainers believe themselves to be superior to others?

"I am here to challenge the one they call AJ" Ash simply responded

He heard a snort of derision from the voice but the gate opened to reveal a heavy set boy whose hair resembled that of a Pidgey or a Pidgeotto. He strutted up to the trio and looked them up and down.

"You don't look like much" AJ snorted arrogantly "But you can have the privilege of being my 100th win."

AJ would have been fine if he'd only insulted Ash personally, but the look he sent Misty caused Ash to twitch in irritation.

'This AJ is releasing a disgusting amount of pheromones and he's looking at Misty as if she were a mere piece of meat … oh this imbecile is going down … hard'

Misty shivered, she saw how AJ looked at her and didn't like it one bit, but one glance at Ash told her that he too, didn't appreciate them either. She felt really touched that Ash would defend her like that, but after he tore her sisters to shreds both on and off the battlefield, she'd come to realise just how Ash defended those that were 'his'. She didn't mean that he saw them as possessions, but in more of a familial manner. Misty had come to terms with the fact that her feelings were misplaced in regards to the red eyed trainer, and knew now that he could never be more than a protective brother like figure … and she was perfectly fine with that, in fact … it filled her with a warm feeling that told her that she'd found were she belonged.

"This'll be a 2 vs 2 Pokémon battle" AJ spoke haughtily "You do have two pokémon don't you kid?"

Ash twitched and Brock mentally groaned … the stupid, arrogant brat just had to insult them as a whole group … Ash defended his 'family' and dispatched those who would seek to harm or insult his 'family' with extreme prejudice.

"Acceptable terms" Ash ground out through clenched teeth "I am Ash Ketchum of Pallet Town, and you are?"

"I don't have time for official introductions kid … I'll beat you and your sissy pokémon so quickly that I won't even have to remember your name!" AJ declared

"…" Ash was shaking with rage; it was a symbol of mutual respect and honour to formally declare your name and place of birth in an official pokémon battle "Fine … be it on your own head"

"What was that?" AJ taunted "Never mind … GO Eevee!"

Eevee was a mammalian, quadruped creature with primarily brown fur. The tip of its bushy tail and its large furry collar were cream-colored. It had short, slender legs with three small toes and a pink paw pad on each foot. Eevee had brown eyes, long pointed ears, and a small black nose.

Ash was actually surprised by the state of health that Eevee portrayed. The Eevee had remarkably well groomed fur, and the strength in the tail along with the shine in her eyes it was clearly well raised. He said her because Eevee was clearly a female pokémon for the creamy fur around her neck was slightly puffier than a male of her species would be.

He pulled out his pokédex and scanned the little, brown pokémon, the female voice chiming as it spoke.

[Eevee: The Evolution Pokémon: Because of its genetic makeup is irregular, it quickly changes its form due to a variety of causes.]

Brock, who'd never heard the soft voice of Ash's pokédex before, actually blushed as he imagined the angel whose voice they'd recorded for the device. His dreamy expression was interrupted by an irate looking Misty, who elbowed him in the stomach.

Ash observed the Eevee before him and analysed her form, 'Her legs are stronger than even healthy specimens of her kind, so AJ has relied on speed and muscle strength for training as opposed to Special Attack and Defence, for a normal type pokémon with a smaller body, this training is perfect but an Eevee's genetic makeup doesn't strengthen the muscles as much as other normal types, he's clearly used resistance weights to train her. A possible weakness other than a type advantage … her tail is the best place to attack …'

Ash trailed off, but it was then that he spotted the shift in Eevee's stance 'No … her legs while strong would be the better point of attack. Disrupt her footing and maximizing on the effects would prove far more efficient a method.'

"Come forth Vespiquen" Ash spoke, summoning the Beehive Pokémon to the battlefield "Vespiquen, I want you to concentrate your power to disrupt her footing and unsettle her pace"

"Understood Ash" Vespiquen replied, though it sounded like mere buzzing to the others.

Meanwhile AJ was in shock, 'A bloody Vespiquen … where did the brat get one of those?'

"Eevee … use Quick Attack and then Bite" AJ barked loudly

Eevee responded quickly and shot off towards Vespiquen in a rather good show of speed and power but Ash was prepared.

"Vespiquen, use Poison Sting, anticipate her movements by the air's vibrations and then aim towards the ground to interrupt her Quick Attack." Ash intoned

Vespiquen did just as Ash had ordered; she felt where Eevee's path of attack was taking her and struck with an extremely powerful Poison Sting attack. The attack disrupted Eevee's Quick Attack and caused her to stop prematurely.

"Now use Pursuit, point of attack is the soft tissue above the tail" Ash commanded, wasting no time at all.

Vespiquen disappeared in a show of speed that belayed her large frame and struck with precision, the Pursuit attack hitting exactly where Ash wanted. He internally winced as Eevee cried out in pain as she fell to the hard ground of the battlefield … she didn't get back up.

AJ snarled angrily, he didn't expect the trainer in front of him to be so good. Instead of returning Eevee to her pokéball, AJ cracked a whip and a group of battered Rattata appeared and dragged her away.

"You're lack of care towards your Pokémon is disgusting" Ash hissed, his voice enhanced by the angry Aura pulsing through him, a quick glance showed that Brock and Misty felt the same.

"Who cares? Eevee deserves what it gets … it failed to defeat your pokémon … so it gets no dinner and a tougher weight regime." AJ replied with a shrug.

Ash tightened his fists at AJ's declaration "Then I'm going to enjoy crushing your next pokémon. I will personally see to it that you are relieved of your Trainer's License."

AJ snorted "Like you have that authority kid"

It was Misty's turn to snap and growled at the youth "He's actually a Junior Pokémon Professor; he does have the authority to do so, as long as he has permission from his senior mentor, Professor Oak!"

"Shit" AJ swore under his breath

"Misty, Brock … as my witness as registered Gym Leaders … please contact Professor Oak through my Pokénav."

Brock was quick to act and happily contacted the Pokémon Professor. A short few minutes later, Brock threw the Pokénav to Ash, who then proceeded to discuss the actions of the vile child that stood in front of him … a child that attempted to stop Ash by charging at him. Ash was prepared to defend himself but found that there was no need as Misty had somehow obtained a Mallet, and used said mallet to smash AJ in the back of the head so hard that Ash just knew that the boy would have a particularly nasty bump for a very long time. Misty then wasted no time at all in using AJ's own whip to tie the knocked out boy up.

The Professor was more than happy to agree to remove AJ's Trainer status, after Ash had shown him the tent that was full of battered and bruised pokémon. Most of them hadn't been treated properly and so some of their bones hadn't healed correctly … they'd need corrective surgery and lots of physical therapy to survive. Ash was granted permission by Professor Oak to capture and then transfer them to his Lab to begin their treatment and Ash wasted no time in communicating to them via Aura, and informing them of their choice.

The various pokémon readily agreed and Ash began the process of capture and transfer. Apart from Eevee and another pokémon, Sandshrew … the other pokémon were common Pidgey and Rattata but that didn't matter, as they were all injured.

Sandshrew was a bipedal mammalian Pokémon, its yellow hide was dry, tough, blended in with desert sand, and had a brick pattern, but its underbelly and muzzle was white. Sandshrew had blue, almond-shaped eyes, a pointed snout, and triangular ears with white insides. Its tail was thick and conical. It had two long claws on each foot and three sharp claws on its forepaws, which were used to burrow.

Brock rushed forward to the Sandshrew and instantly began treating the Mouse Pokémon, Ash informed Brock that the Sandshrew was male and was luckily just exhausted, with a minor case of malnutrition and dehydration. The Sandshrew stirred and instantly jumped back away from the humans. That AJ said that the training would make him strong, but all he felt day and night was hunger and pain. AJ constantly whipped the pokémon that he acquired, not captured. The only pokémon that he had officially caught was an Eevee and himself … wait … EEVEE!

Sandshrew suddenly looked around in an attempt to find the little Eevee that had been his only friend, a sibling even. He spotted the Evolution Pokémon being treated by a youth that possessed startling red eyes, and he pushed himself forward to protect his friend. The boy however, anticipated the action and lightly pulsed his Aura; it caused Sandshrew to come to a stop in front of him.

"It's okay Sandshrew … I'm merely treating her wounds" the boy spoke calmly, a soothing sound to the previously hysterical Sandshrew "The one you know as AJ is currently tied up and waiting for a Police Officer to … collect him. He's no longer a trainer and that means that you and Eevee are free."

Sandshrew could scarcely believe it, AJ, his and Eevee's tormentor was being arrested for his abuse, and someone was finally paying attention. His gaze turned to the Aura User's form as he continued to heal Eevee; his unusual red Aura was doing a better job than he thought in healing his comrade.

"You can trust Brock, the one that was healing you" Ash spoke after a minute of silence "On my honour as an Aura Guardian, I swear that he'll only treat you … he won't do anything that will harm you."

Sandshrew turned to the other male human, he was wearing a kind smile and Sandshrew felt at ease when looking at his face. Steeling himself, he approached Brock and sat down in front of him with a childish huff. Brock chuckled at the action, it was like dealing with his youngest brother and sister, they didn't like being treated by Brock either, but they always thanked him when he made them feel better.

Brock spent five minutes wrapping Sandshrew's open wounds, making sure to disinfect and clean them first. Thankfully Ash had an insane amount of medicine that helped ease the pain. By the time Brock was finished, Ash too had finished with Eevee, and she glanced at the trainer that had healed her with Aura.

"Why did you save me?" she asked with a quiet tone "I am weak and I failed to defeat your Pokémon in battle."

Ash snorted with mirth swimming in his eyes "I would have been surprised if you could even land a hit on Vespiquen, but don't worry. You are most certainly not weak, just ill-trained. The one that is no longer a trainer, you know him as AJ, he used a training method that suited a pokémon with longer legs and a muscle tone that is set permanently … you are known as the Evolution Pokémon for a reason little one."

"What do you mean?" Eevee asked curiously "You mean I'm a freak or something?"

Ash's eyes hardened as a memory of Gary flashed before his mind's eye "You are not a freak Eevee. What I meant is that your muscles and cells are constantly changing, preparing your current body for the possibility of evolution at any time. If anything I find that your body's cell structure actually helped the healing process."

Eevee nodded happily, a warm feeling entering her heart, she wasn't a freak and the nice Aura Guardian complimented her. She heard a shuffling and she turned her head to spot a heavily bandaged Sandshrew carefully making his way over. Eevee leapt from her spot on Ash's lap (where he'd healed her) and bounded over to Sandshrew, where she then rubbed her head against the uninjured side of his head.

"I thought AJ got rid of you" Eevee wailed, thick tears rolling down her furry cheeks.

"Shhh, it's okay Eevee, AJ can't hurt either of us now" Sandshrew replied, trying to console the Evolution Pokémon "But I'm worried about what we'll do now … even though he didn't do it often, AJ did feed us and I don't think that we can survive in the wild for very long."

Eevee sniffed and spared a glance to the Aura Guardian and his companions, she watched as the Aura Guardian summoned a snake pokémon that she'd never seen before and asked him, not ordered but asked him to help search for any other pokémon that may be too scared to come out from hiding, not that she that he knew that there were a few Rattata hiding in some bushes to the left of their position.

Eevee turned her gaze back to her friend and saw him staring intently at the taller male that was talking to the female human. She gently prodded Sandshrew to get his attention and tilted her head in question to the Mouse Pokémon. Sandshrew blushed slightly at being caught staring and when Eevee tilted her head he answered the unspoken question.

"I like the tall human, he smells kind and he treated me nicely" Sandshrew answered "I think I might ask to go with this group of humans … I really think that going with them will not only make me strong and evolve, but I just know that with them I'll be well cared for."

Eevee pondered Sandshrew's answer before glancing back at Ash. Finally she nodded and spoke "I agree and I think I like the Aura User, he's kind and he's been completely honest with me so far … he even asked his snake pokémon to look for the pokémon that might be hiding because they're scared."

Minds made up, Sandshrew approached Brock and squeaked to get his attention. Brock looked down in concern "Are you still in pain Sandshrew? Hold on, I'll get you something to help ease the pain …"

Brock began rummaging through Ash's supplies in order to find something to help and Sandshrew realised that he made the right choice; the human asked if he, a pokémon was alright first, instead of speaking down to him. Brock only had a second to respond before he felt one of his pokéballs dropping to the ground; he dropped the bag in shock and turned to see said pokéball rolling around on the ground before it pinged a successful capture. He shakily picked up the pokéball and pressed the release button to summon the Mouse Pokémon back outside. Sandshrew nervously shuffled his feet, was the human angry with him for doing that?

Brock knelt down to Sandshrew's level and simply pet his head gently "Are you really sure about this Sandshrew?"

Sandshrew squeaked while nodding and pressed his head into Brock's palm, it was nice to be rubbed like that. Brock nodded and welcomed him to the team … Sandshrew had already felt more at home then he'd ever remembered being before, except with Eevee.

Meanwhile Eevee had approached the Aura User, Ash, she heard the female call him. She cooed her name to get his attention and once he looked to her she took it as a sign to continue towards him to speak.

"I want to get strong," she simply stated "You can help me … yes?"

Ash frowned at the question "I won't force you to come with me Eevee … I understand your desire to get strong, but I'll only accept you into the family if you're happy to do so"

That was all Eevee needed to know that she, like Sandshrew, had made the right choice. He said family not team and to her, all she wanted was a place to belong. She nodded to herself before looking into Ash's red eyes "I want to be a part of your family … besides, Sandshrew has decided to join the tall human male, I don't want to say goodbye to him … please say that you'll take me with you … please"

Ash's eyes softened and he knelt to pet her head, she found herself being filled with a warmth that made her feel completely safe "I understand Eevee, if you truly want to go with me, I'll gladly accept you into my makeshift family … I just need you to answer one question … are you prepared for tough training, tougher than you can even imagine? I only ask because, judging by the excitement you felt in battle, you enjoy battling correct?"

Eevee eagerly nodded her head "I love battling! I want to battle and get stronger."

Ash nodded "Very well, Eevee … welcome to the family."

Ash pressed his hand to Eevee's head and pulsed his Aura, seconds later she was bonded to Ash and the team, she could feel their emotions and their cries of welcome and she smiled softly … she was home!

Ash took a pokéball from his belt and tapped it to her head, it pinged instantly, proving her acceptance, and Ash just smiled "Do you want to come out or sleep little one?"

"Sleep please" Eevee responded with a tired voice, she was exhausted after all … Ash mentally nodded to her and wished her a good evening.

Misty watched the event pass and couldn't help but feel a little jealous, both Brock and Ash had new pokémon, true they weren't water types but they were little cuties. Misty shook her head, she should be happy not petty … both Eevee and Sandshrew had suffered at AJ's hands (and whip) and they deserved a little happiness, besides, Brock and Ash were the best for the job … she could admit that with her temper she wouldn't have been the best person to care for them … that didn't mean that she couldn't pet the little cuties.

Ash watched as Seviper rounded up the young and scared Rattata, though they were noticeably more comfortable while Seviper was with them at their side. Ash observed the Fang Snake Pokémon as it interacted with the scared and abused pokémon … if he was right then he'd need to talk with Seviper and soon.

..::..

24 hours later we find Ash and his pokémon lightly training, Ash felt that they needed a variety of training types and alternated tough training with light training to help ease the newer team members adjust. He took out his pokédex and scanned his latest two pokémon.

[Cleffa: The Star Shape Pokémon: It is often seen when shooting stars fill the night skies. It's said to arrive riding on a shooting star.]

[This Pokémon is female. It has the ability Magic Guard and the hidden ability Friend Guard. It knows the moves: Charm, Pound, Sing, Sweet Kiss, Copycat, Magical Leaf and Metronome. It possesses the Egg Move: Stored Power. Note that this egg move is currently unusable.]

Ash turned to Cleffa and rubbed her head "A good move set to build on, the fact that you can already use the egg move Metronome is excellent. Most Cleffa have to be Clefairy to use Metronome, and then Stored Power, while a weaker Psychic type move is still useable in terms of strategy … well done Cleffa."

Cleffa bounced happily and Ash spared a chuckle before scanning Eevee, as he'd scanned her before, he just scanned for her move set.

[This Pokémon is female. It has the ability Run Away and the hidden ability Anticipation. It knows the moves: Helping Hand, Tackle, Tail Whip, Sand Attack, Growl, Quick Attack and Bite.]

Ash nodded thoughtfully as he pet Eevee's head, she purred at the touch as he then spoke to her "You have a lot of moves Eevee. Although the moves that you currently know are common to your species, I am impressed that you are capable of using Bite at your age."

"Thank you Ash" Eevee responded happily

"Now that I know where you all stand in the way of skills, I can properly plan your training to give you the best results."

Ash trailed off in thought before he was forced back to reality by Brock who called to let him know that breakfast was almost ready. Ash instructed his little family to make their way to the table, telling them that he'd join them soon. Once they'd left the little clearing Ash calmed his breathing and meditated, it must've been longer than normal as the next thing Ash knew, he was pinning Brock to the ground.

"Sorry Brock" Ash apologized "Interrupting my Meditation isn't conducive to your good health … I cannot differentiate between friend and foe the deeper I get."

Brock just rubbed his sore arm and shoulder, but he waved Ash's concern off, telling him that it was his fault for not thinking about the consequences of interrupting an Aura Guardian's Meditation.

They all enjoyed the breakfast and Eevee more so as she dived into it like a pokémon possessed, Sandshrew was the same … it painted a very unpleasant picture of their previous feeding habits with AJ. Ash sighed deeply before turning his attention to his tea; he popped in the antibiotics and took a long sip, enjoying the calming effect that it had.

Ash spent at least 45 minutes polishing his Pokémon Egg, along with bathing the egg with his Aura, he knew the pokémon would hatch without the added Aura, but the effects were going in his newest Thesis on Pokémon Birthing and Evolution. Ash finished with a last tender rub, earning him a pleased nudging from within the egg, and set about helping to clean the campsite.

"Hey Ash ... can I ask a favour?" Brock spoke as they cleaned the campsite.

"Of course Brock" Ash responded "What can I help you with?"

"I wanted to ask if you could please scan Sandshrew for me. I'm already aware of Geodude's and Onix's move sets but I wanted to properly check Sandshrew's moves." Brock asked

"It's no trouble at all Brock" Ash responded calmly "I'm more than happy to help, we are friends after all."

Brock smiled, Ash had recently become more comfortable with the concept of friendship, and as such, he stopped questioning their status all the time. Misty suddenly perked up and asked if he'd also scan Wooper for her, Ash responded positively and they called their respective pokémon over.

Ash replied with ladies first before scanning Wooper.

[Wooper: The Water Fish Pokémon: When walking on land it covers its body with a poisonous film that keeps its skin from dehydrating.]

[This Pokémon is female. It has the ability Water Absorb and the hidden ability Unaware. It knows the moves: Tail Whip, Water Gun, Mud Sport, Mud Shot and Double Kick.]

Misty was astounded, her little Wooper had amazing potential. Especially since she possessed the egg move Double Kick. Misty started devising plans on how to use this to her advantage as Ash scanned Sandshrew … the pokédex chimed to life once more and spoke with that voice that had Brock drooling.

[Sandshrew: The Mouse Pokémon: To protect itself from attackers, it curls up into a ball. It lives in arid regions with minimal rainfall.]

[This Pokémon is male. It has the ability Sand Veil and the hidden ability Sand Rush. It knows the moves: Scratch, Defence Curl, Sand Attack, Poison Sting, Rapid Spin and Swift. It possesses the Egg Move: Crush Claw. Note that this egg move is unusable until evolution.]

Brock glanced to the Mouse Pokémon in shock "Wow, I didn't know you were so awesome Sandshrew."

Sandshrew blushed under his trainer's praise; he still wasn't used to it after all. Brock knelt down and petted Sandshrew with a cheerful smile on his face. They left to discuss their own training soon after. Ash glanced at the tasks that still needed to be finished before they left.

"I guess it's my job to finish cleaning up." Ash coughed 'Damn … still coughing'

Ash took very little time at all to finish cleaning, and once completed he sniffed the air momentarily. He shifted his gaze skyward and frowned 'Looks like a fog is about to cover this forest, but that's impossible, the natural signs indicate sunny weather, therefore the fog is man-made, and produced by state of the art equipment'

Ash frowned again and closed his eyes. Concentrating on the various maps and routes that he'd memorised before the journey he found the one for the area that they were located in. Running through the various obstacles on the 'inner' map's terrain and following their approximate position, in conjunction with the road and the off road clearing, he readily deduced that the cause was most likely the Pokémon Technical Institute, a wealthy preparatory school, where those that graduated from their 'elite' classes, had a one way ticket to the Pokémon League.

Ash snorted 'Elite? Please … I could finish their curriculum by my eighth birthday.'

Ash then blinked 'Arceus, I'm starting to sound like Gary.'

His inner turmoil was interrupted by shouting that could have only come from Misty. Using his Aura to augment his speed and reflexes, Ash returned his pokémon, picked up the trio's belongings and rushed towards the location that the shouting originated from. He arrived to see a boy being forced by his classmates, judging by their matching uniforms, to answer questions on a treadmill while Misty shouted at them to stop. The classmates sneered at Misty and continued to quiz the poor boy; Ash stepped forward and scared the classmates by somehow materializing right behind them.

"I believe the young lady asked you to stop" Ash managed before coughing, though it had the effect as the boys looked creeped out by the tone.

"F-Fine … class is starting anyway" the lead boy stuttered, before he and the other two fled.

"What did he mean class is starting?" Misty asked curiously.

"He's referring to the fact that we're standing on the premises of one Pokémon Technical Institute or Pokétech for short." Ash replied smoothly. Ash glanced to the boy who was now gasping for breath and held his hand out for the boy to grasp in order to help him stand.

"T-Thanks … I'm Joe by the way" the now named Joe spoke.

The man-made fog suddenly lifted and revealed the Pokétech main building, and Ash snorted with distain at the golden logo that was there for just show. Joe noticed and glared briefly "Why are you glaring? Upset you didn't get in or something?"

Ash turned his emotionless gaze to Joe and took a moment to enjoy the flinch that passed his face.

"Actually I completed the curriculum here when I was eight years old." Ash revealed impassively.

Misty's eyes popped open "A-Are you serious Ash? That's incredible."

"Yeah … incredibly unbelievable, I don't believe you" Joe shouted.

This drew the attention of an instructor that growled at them "Hey … no visitors allowed here … I thought you knew better Joe."

Joe was about to reply when the instructor's eyes fell on Ash, who had removed his hood so that they could see his face.

"M-Mr K-Ketchum sir … I didn't realise it was you" the instructor stuttered nervously.

"Yes, I found myself here by circumstance; now that I'm here though, perhaps I should wander a bit … see what's changed." Ash replied with a cough or two.

"A-Absolutely sir … should I inform the remaining faculty that you're here?" he stuttered once more.

"No, that won't be necessary … Joe here has made me feel completely … welcome" Ash added the final word with a slight smile towards the youth in question, a youth that was now sweating nervously.

Every student knew the legend of Ash Ketchum.

It was two years ago, when an eight year old by the name of Ash Ketchum arrived with the one and only Professor Oak, who had been asked to lecture the older students in Pokémon Evolution. The eight year old had devoured every piece of information in their libraries by the time the Professor was done two hours later. When the eight year old Ash then described their lack of diversity with their information, the now previous Headmaster took it as an insult and offered the eight year old the chance to sit one of their exams to see if it would change his mind.

Ash readily agreed, despite the Professor's not-so-subtle attempt to dissuade the Headmaster, and less than five minutes later, Ash had completed the exam. The Headmaster was dumbfounded when Ash completed a test that took the students at least an hour to complete, so he prepared one from the next year's curriculum … Ash completed it in ten minutes. This process continued until Ash had completed every test both past and present from the Institute … the process took Ash less than two hours.

If that wasn't a slap in the face to the Headmaster, the fact that Ash received 100% in ALL of the tests was. As with most schools, the fact that an eight year old had just graduated their entire curriculum within four hours of being at the school, spread quickly … Ash became a legend at the school but that begged the question why the instructor was so nervous around the boy … the reason? The instructor was the previous Headmaster. The man had resigned, stating that he felt like a failure but Ash informed him that he just needed to interact more with actual pokémon and with less data.

The new Headmaster certainly agreed; that was why they now used 'Battle Simulators' as well as practical battling by using mock battles. The previous Headmaster was re-hired as an instructor and Ash was granted free reign to return at any time … but the previous Headmaster, now instructor remained nervous around the child.

The man bustled off and Ash pulled his hood back on "It would be best for me to remain inconspicuous whilst here."

Misty nodded, even more impressed by her brother figure. Joe on the other hand looked like he was going to faint, there was an unspoken law at Pokétech … knowledge was power and Ash was revered by all students past and present for his knowledge. He'd unintentionally insulted the one person that held more power than his beloved crush: Giselle.

"I guess that I can spare a chance to wander around a little bit" Ash murmured "Though we should wait for – never mind."

Ash paused as Brock appeared seconds later with Sandshrew still at his side, it appeared that Sandshrew wanted to spend as much time as possible with his new trainer. "S-Sorry I'm late … I was training with my team but I tripped when I heard Misty's scream … I uh … kind of knocked myself out."

Brock rubbed his head at the revelation, but was shocked when Ash actually laughed, not a chuckle … but a laugh!

"It's alright Brock, we were just waiting for you to catch up before exploring Pokétech for a bit" Ash responded "Is your head alright?"

Brock nodded, still in shock at Ash's unusual outburst of emotion, but they started to walk towards the main building any way. On the way many students stared at the old group as they walked past the pool area, it was at this point that Misty mentioned that she wanted to let her pokémon out to play in the water somewhere soon, that led to Misty revealing herself as the substitute Cerulean City Gym Leader, and that led Joe to making the mistake of challenging her under the pretence of him being stronger, due to the simulator's results.

Misty annihilated Joe, her Starmie using a single Water Gun to blast Joe's Weepinbell out of the window.

Weepinbell had a yellow, bell-shaped body with a single green leaf on either side. It had a wide, gaping mouth with pink lips. Above Weepinbell's circular eyes was a pattern of three small green spots and small hook-shaped stem.

Joe's Weepinbell fainted before he even hit the window. Joe was shocked by the result … Ash and Brock, not so much, and apparently the school's most 'powerful' student wasn't impressed either. She introduced herself as Giselle, and Ash scrutinized her appearance 'Facial markers … eye shape and hair color is a perfect match … this is the daughter of that business man in Cerulean City.'

Giselle berated Joe for his lack of skill and then attacked Misty's Starmie with her Graveler, Ash was not impressed "You are aware that you've just broken an important Pokémon League Law? Law 17 subsection 8, paragraph 'B' if I'm not mistaken."

Giselle turned to face Ash "I'm exempt from that rule … filthy commoner"

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