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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16. Chapter 15

The rain was really coming down by the time that the trio made it to Bill's Lighthouse. Their journey was made in silence, as Ash was both unnerved and elated by the revelation of a Pokémon that had the power to subdue his own so well. The moment Ash took a single step towards the giant doors with beautifully engraved pokémon depicted on the borders, he had already sent out a wave of his Aura, not only to identify if Bill was actually home but to see if there was nothing … amiss. Ash paused briefly as received the feedback of his sensory technique – Bill was home but he was on the roof off all places, why in the name of Arceus was he on the roof?

Ash inhaled deeply and used his own copy of the key to get inside, it surprised Misty and Brock to know that he held his own copy but one look from the red eyed boy from the corner of his eye was enough to both silence their questions and to inform them that something might be wrong. Ash took out a pokéball and casually dropped it to the ground in silence – the bright light that flashed from the release of the pokéball's inhabitant illuminated the dark entrance hall just enough for the trio to see the utter chaos the room now looked to be in.

The pokémon sensed the seriousness of the situation and floated over to meet Ash's gaze, only muttering a soft call of her name, "Mismagius."

"On your guard Mismagius, something is very wrong here," Ash intoned through his Aura. "Bill is rarely this agitated and the last time he was, he almost killed himself in the pursuit of his answers."

"Understood Ash," Mismagius responded with a bobbing nod.

"There is something very wrong here," Ash reiterated in English to his travelling companions. "Bill is obsessed with cleanliness and to see his entrance hall in such a state …"

He let his sentence hang and Brock instantly picked up on the message.

"So either something has gotten him worked up," Brock realised, a brief nod signifying his understanding. "Or he's not alone here."

Misty gulped nervously and shivered as a particularly cold gust of wind reminded them that the door was still open. Ash nodded seriously to Brock's own comments, but he did shake his head negatively to the second comment.

"Correct Brock," Ash praised quietly, a slight smile on his face. "I checked earlier as we arrived and he appears to be alone, but there is also a very potent source of Aura nearby, something that wasn't there the last several visits that I personally made here."

Ash frowned as he continued, "This is most troubling indeed, despite my own inquisitiveness into what could emit such a powerful aura, I was still hoping that it would pass us by, it appears to be doing the opposite and coming here."

A sudden piercing cry interrupted anything more he was about to say. It was primal and ancient in nature and it confirmed Ash's initial conclusions that the Pokémon must have been exceptionally old. Ash flinched as he concentrated at the loud and repetitive cry.

"Damn, it's too distorted to be translated," Ash muttered to the group. "We must find the source, Mismagius I'm relying on you to act as a scout and report anything that you might think is odd – human or pokémon … understood?"

Mismagius bobbed her head, a serious expression on her face as she vanished from their sight. Ash chanced a glance at the other two – Brock had the look of a man ready to fight and defend them if necessary, but Misty was shaking and not just from the cold either. Ash flicked his gaze to Brock and tilted his head to the door, the older teen got the silent request and closed the lighthouse's front door.

Ash sent out another wave of Aura to survey the perimeter. He felt a bead of sweat roll down his forehead as he could only make out Bill and a large body of indistinguishable Aura nearby. Glancing once more to his companions he took a moment to smile as reassuringly as he could to Misty, before levelling an intense look to Brock … the difference in each look had both Brock and Misty reacting differently.

Misty felt confidence well up inside of her. She thought that it must've been rather strange, that she could suddenly feel so strong and confident, simply from a single look from one that was becoming so dear to her heart. She shook her head to rid herself of stray thoughts – this was a serious situation and it was clearly do … or die.

Brock, upon receiving Ash's intense look, instantly straightened his back – like a soldier or protector would stand at attention before their superiors. He felt the familiar protective instincts of an older brother burn inside his heart and he knew that he would rather die before letting Ash or Misty be harmed … his honour as an ex-Gym Leader only adding to his resolve.

At Ash's nod, the trio started to carefully make their way up the stairs – their destination: the roof. They never felt the narrowed eyed gaze of the man watching their every move.

..::..

Giovanni was not usually a happy man, but at that particular moment in time he was thrilled.

Giovanni was a man that tolerated very little, stern others called him, but he defined himself as complexly simple. An odd sort of way to describe himself, he knew that but his desires were simple in their complexities, and complex in their simplicities. Simply put … he was a man that knew his desires and cravings and accepted them with little complaint and with no sense of hesitancy.

His strict policies and training regime meant that he took everything seriously – and that, added to his keen intellect and even sharper mind, meant that pleasantries were generally wasted on him. Oh for the sake of business, he was as polite as a priest – but under that guise, there was truly the devil … a devil in a stylish orange suit.

He was a ruthless man by nature. When he set his sights upon a target, it became his … no matter the length of time or effort that went into obtaining what he desired – it became his. So after reading the incident reports of what happened in Viridian City, his interest was piqued. A boy, Ash Ketchum, had effortlessly picked apart his operative's attack and subdued them accordingly. The child was powerful, the ways of Aura guided the child's path, and even Giovanni could sense the destiny that was tied to the boy.

At first, Giovanni was livid at the sheer stupidity of his operatives. Jessie, James and Meowth, along with their assigned pokémon Ekans and Koffing, weren't in his good graces to begin with, but their particular talents were useful. Their ability to disguise themselves, Jessie's knowledge of Pokémon Health (as little as it was) was inherently useful if he needed a pokémon poisoned or otherwise dealt with. James, admittedly had little going for him, other than his family's vast fortune … a fortune that he could no longer rely on. Meowth however was a thorn in his side … the Scratch Cat Pokémon could actually speak the human language and it was an invaluable tool. It was now a tool that was sitting quite comfortably in Pallet Town according to his Intelligence Report. It mattered little, when, not if but when he wanted Meowth back … the pokémon would dutifully return, or face the consequences.

Shuffling the Intelligence Report to the next page he felt his eyebrow twitch in annoyance, Jessie was useless to him now, her mental state plus her stubbed arm made sure of that.

'Tsk, I'll have someone take care of her soon,' Giovanni thought without a moment's hesitation. 'I can't touch James without the recoil damaging my operations but according to this report, his mental state is even worse than Jessie's is … unresponsive, prone to mumbling incoherently and constant detachment of reality are only a few of his listed problems. Solution? I'll send a fruit basket and a bouquet of flowers to console his poor family.'

Shifting through the DATA, much like a computer, his eyes suddenly widened as he gazed upon the face of the child responsible. "There's no doubt in my mind, he's related to him."

There clear as day, was the child's name … Ketchum … as in RED Ketchum – the currently MIA Kanto League Champion and the executioner of his brother Antonio. Giovanni ground his teeth together as he discovered the relation, but a thought suddenly halted his plans. His utter hatred of the boy's father shouldn't pass onto the child, after all … what sweet justice would it be to turn the son, a powerful son at that, over to his side to stand against his father's ideals?

Chuckling darkly to himself he closed the report and picked up a nearby tablet. On it was the most recent reports that he couldn't receive in person. Lazily flicking through the screen, he idly noted that the Ketchum child had solved the resurrection problem that his scientists had yet to overcome … most interesting indeed. This child just kept increasing his value to the Viridian City Gym Leader. Forwarding the genetic sequencing on to his labs on Cinnabar Island, the reminder struck him.

'Whatever happened to that pathetic scientist I sent to Mount Moon?' he pondered. Flicking through the DATA on his screen, he arrived at the report relating to his problem: the Pokémon League Report on the Mount Moon Incident.

It was a terrible inconvenience to the Viridian City Gym Leader, that one of his research teams would be so easily captured and interrogated, but nothing to be overly alarmed with. A bribe here and a slipped capsule of poison there and the only witnesses that held any real knowledge would be permanently silenced.

Those that refused to recognise their place on the food chain that was Team Rocket annoyed the Gym Leader. Most knew to take their own lives with poison, but the ones that refused often became problematic to deal with, but a little pre-emptive strategy worked wonders. Seymour would be rather simple to make disappear, but the risk of exposure made him one the most difficult to eliminate. A smug grin twitched at the corners of his lips, oh how sad it would be. Officer Jenny would leave him to take a well-planned personal call – a diversionary tactic of course, but upon her return, she'd find the man hanging from the roof of his cell, his bedsheet used as a makeshift noose.

Officially, it'd be ruled as a suicide. Unofficially, he'd made the message clear: nothing was out of his reach.

His current interest however, was Bill and his lighthouse. Giovanni had funded the crazy man's attempts to communicate with an ancient pokémon simply for one purpose: to capture that pokémon and harness its power – force was a means to an end, but he'd take great pleasure in breaking such a pokémon.

It was on the Helicopter flight over that he felt the pulse of Aura. Giovanni actually smiled a happy smile and his small attack team tensed – Giovanni did not smile, yet he was smiling. A blonde haired teenager shivered in fright, the black tulip that sat in her hair fell onto the helicopter's metal floor in her shock.

She was about to enquire as to his mood when he interrupted her.

"There's been a change in plan," he simply commanded.

The teenager gulped and shakily responded, "A-Are you certain Master Giovanni – you were quite set on your current plan, and to change it so suddenly …"

"Do not assume that you have the authority to question me girl," he interrupted icily, causing her to flinch back in fear. "Something far more entertaining has garnered my attention."

Giovanni laughed quietly, his deep voice echoing through the dead silent helicopter, before his sharp, piercing glare snapped to the blonde teen.

"You will continue with our current objectives," he ordered curtly. "See to it that the Experiment 'M2' has progressed to the next stage. I will personally deal with the object of my attention; drop me at Bill's Lighthouse and rendezvous with me in precisely … 47 minutes."

"A-As you command, Master Giovanni," the girl stuttered. "A-And you sir? What has caught your attention?"

Giovanni just chuckled once more, but he remained silent … oh yes, Giovanni was thrilled.

..::..

Giovanni watched impassively as the boy: Ash Ketchum and his companions moved upstairs. He paused briefly as he tugged on a well-crafted chain, and on the end of said chain was an elegantly crafted pocket watch. Snapping the watch cover open in a single, smooth movement, he checked the time – right on schedule. As silent as an assassin, he followed the trio sedately – disappointment flashed in his eyes, but outwardly he seemed not even bothered by the fact that the child should've been able to sense him.

'Tsk, I clearly overestimated his abilities if he's not skilled enough to sense me,' Giovanni thought with a frown. 'Still, at his age and under the right instruction, he could be greater than even his father!'

..::..

Ash, Brock and Misty finally made it to the roof of Bill's Lighthouse. The sight that befell them was of an insane looking man that appeared to be half wild, as his once pristine suit was torn, and matted with his blood and the oil from the machine he was fussing over. He was muttering incoherently and even Ash frowned as he couldn't make sense of his friend's ramblings.

"Bill, what do you think you're doing?" Ash shouted. "You swore to me that you'd stop if you drifted too close to the rabbit's hole!"[AN1]

The reference to Alice in Wonderland confused his companions, whilst the seemingly invisible presence of Giovanni chucked silently. Ash didn't bother explaining as less than thirty seconds later, an almost feral growl left his throat.

"Damnit Bill!" he hissed, coughing rather violently shortly afterwards. "Listen to me right now! A tremendous source of Aura is almost upon us, you have to stop right now!"

Now that piece of information was interesting!

The tremendous source of Aura must've been the pokémon that Bill and he had been tracking … and Bill hadn't informed him of its location for almost six months … a pity, he so hated to be left in the dark. Now he'd have to kill the researcher for the mistake, how sad … they always did play great games of chess against each other … oh well.

Shifting his stance, Ash moved slightly, fully ready to take his delusional friend down before he hurt himself and others. He never had the chance, for Giovanni moved first.

BANG!

The sound echoed through the dead silent night.

Ash's eyes widened in shock and over the constant thumping of his heart, he was aware of Misty's voice screaming in horror but it was Brock who moved first out of the three of them. Brock dashed forward and caught Bill before he stumbled over the edge of the lighthouse, all the while applying pressure to the wound that now decorated Bill's chest. Ash moved second, he managed to grasp Misty's shoulders and gently nudge her towards Brock's location, in order for her to be better protected.

'Protected from what exactly?' Ash thought furiously, his mind trying to comprehend what had just happened. 'Sneak attack … obviously. From the bullet's trajectory I can conclude the bullet was fired from.'

"Right behind me/you?" Ash concluded at the same time as a deep, baritone voice.

Ash spun and jumped backwards away from the voice, both shielding his friends and giving him a closer look at his foe. Ash gritted his teeth in frustration … he couldn't even see the man … only what looked like a tailor made suit in an orange colour. 'Terrific! Despite the odd colour, it is still the second most popular colour choice in Kanto for men's wear … therefore there's no real possible chance of identifying him off of clothing preference. Furthermore, his build isn't able to be properly deduced between the incoming fog and the shadowed roof … who is this …'

"Man?" the baritone voice echoed across the roof towards the trio. The same voice chuckled before continuing. "But dearest me, where are my manners? For anonymity's sake I can't give you my name you understand, but I can't very well be impolite and ignore decorum now, can I? Very well, under the circumstances and certainly until you can figure out who I am, you may simply call me Mr. Rocket, current head of Team Rocket! A pleasure to make your acquaintances … Mr. Ketchum, Miss Waterflower and Mr. Slate."

Ash found it very difficult to swallow the cold, hard lump that had formed at the back of his throat. This was the elusive leader of Team Rocket? No, a man that had successfully hidden himself wouldn't be this …

"I believe the word you're looking for is careless?" Mr. Rocket's voice once again echoed and at Ash's look, another chuckle escaped the man. "I've not enjoyed myself this much since … well since someone rather dear to me died. That was a little clue for you Mr. Ketchum, we both have an understanding of how much we enjoy games don't we?"

Ash hissed and sent out a wave of Aura.

"Tsk, Tsk, Tsk." Mr. Rocket's voice chided playfully. "That was rather rude … but then again Aura Users can be rather intrusive like that can't they Mr. Ketchum? But I do admit to being rather curious about what you can deduce about me from there … go ahead Mr. Ketchum … deduce."

Ash was feeling very nervous now, this man was reading him like a book and he didn't like it one bit, was this what it was like … looking in a distorted mirror and being picked apart so effortlessly? No! He'd not let this enigma get in his mind … he wanted a deduction … then fine!

Narrowing his red eyed gaze, Ash sent out another wave of Aura, this one far more concentrated and powerful. True to his word, Mr. Rocket didn't budge and allowed the feeling to wash over him.

Ash gasped as his readings brought him … absolutely nothing. Well, to be precise … his readings weren't giving him nothing, but everything all at once.

'S-So much conflicting DATA,' Ash gasped. 'He's a man, but the readings say woman as well. From appearance alone I can't read him but now my Aura won't work on him either. Smoker, non-smoker physically fit, not fit at all, he's right – no left handed – wait that's not right … argh! There's too much DATA … too much, too much, too much … TOO MUCH!'

Ash slapped his own face to settle his rattled self.

"Oh? You brought yourself back from your own rabbit's hole! Most impressive indeed Mr. Ketchum," Mr. Rocket's voice sounded out once more, before an unmistakeable tone of disappointment coloured it. "Though I am rather disappointed in your inability to filter your own readings … well to be fair – you haven't bonded with a partner yet … how's that working out if you don't mind me asking? No, no that was rude of me, though make no mistake … your performance was less than satisfactory … I guess it was wrong of me to expect so much from the son of Red Ketchum. Then again, when the bar has been set by a true master … how is a mere boy expected to compare?"

Ash heard the familiar cry of his Mismagius and he swallowed, this man was definitely too strong for him. He'd been defeated even before the battle had begun, and oh how it stung painfully.

"No Mismagius," Ash hesitantly commanded. "Just return, not one of us is ready to fight this man."

"Understood Ash," Mismagius' soothing tone cut through before a brief flash of red light indicated that the Ghost Type had returned to her pokéball.

A noticeably darker laugh echoed across the room, and Ash struggled terribly to control the emotional outburst that threatened to escape at the mention of his father.

"Oh, the boy has a temper has he?" questioned Mr. Rocket's voice but before anything else was heard a terrifying roar shattered the tense Lighthouse Rooftop. The unmistakeable clicking of a pocket watch was heard before Mr. Rocket's voice was heard again.

"Tsk, it's early," he tutted. "Oh well, I guess I'm rather bored now anyway."

The click from the pocket watch was heard again, before the sound of a Helicopter was heard approaching. "They on the other hand … are right on schedule."

A beep from a communicator was heard and Mr. Rocket's voice drifted through the fog once more. "Yes, it's a Dragon Type, hit it with the laser before using the Team Rocket Slave Ball."

It was over before they knew it, Ash couldn't even try to warn the Dragon Type. A flash of an incredibly powerful laser and a bone chilling shriek of pain, followed by the dull thud of it hitting the Cliffside. Then silence. There was nothing, except the sounds of the ocean lapping at the Cliffside and the hum of the Helicopter was heard.

"It has been educational, hasn't it Mr. Ketchum?" Mr. Rocket's voice boomed over the helicopter. "I'll be watching your progress with anticipation."

Tense minutes filled the air before a miniature explosion went off, signifying the destruction of the device that Bill had created, before the sounds of the helicopter went silent. It was Brock's saddened voice that cut through the foggy weather.

"Ash, you may want to call Officer Jenny," the broken tone sounded, whilst a sniffling Misty could be heard next to him. "I'm sorry Ash, but your friend Bill is gone!"

Ash snarled in fury and despite the loose control he had on his Aura, managed to keep it at snarling. That man had outclassed him in every one of his notable areas of expertise. Just who the hell was that Mr. Rocket?

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