Essence

Ash has always wanted to be a pokemon master. When the time comes for him to pick out his first pokemon, he shocks Professor Oak with a peculiar request. One thing leads to another, and he ends up with a loyal Growlithe. How will this unique situation affect the boy's destiny?

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11113835/1/Essence

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13. Kanto 4 Part 5

Ash watched the duo canter off towards the two bodies, before following his orders. "Come on Growlithe! We've got to hurry!"

As Ash turned his body from the action, he could hear the sound of Reid's arbok shriek in agony. Judging by the tremendous upward shift in temperature, it was obvious that Swampert was burning the poison-type with some sort of high-temperature technique. On account of Swampert's typing, the Champion-level specimen was most likely using scald, or some sort of variation of the boiling technique.

Once the ten-year old boy reached the control panel, he examined the intercom system. It consisted of a protruding microphone that was planted into the control panel; in addition to a speaker and a custom dial pad. The dial pad consisted of numerous buttons — all corresponding to different parts of the ship. However, Ash was only interested in one. Situated in the top right-hand corner of the dial pad was a button that read: "PA" (Public Address)

Ash wasted no time — proceeding to hit the "on" button in the top-left corner, before pressing the "PA" button in the top-right. He cleared his throat away from the microphone, in precedence to speaking into the metallic, oval-shaped device.

"Attention passengers aboard the S.S. Anne!" bellowed Ash in the lowest intonation he could muster. "There's been a Team Rocket infiltration aboard the ship! They have armed a bomb that's set to explode in fifteen minutes! Grab only your most prized possessions and report to deck! Trainers that can escape by either flying-type, or water-type, go ahead! Bring others if possible! There are lifeboats on deck! Time is ticking! This is not a drill! Hurry! I repeat this is not a drill!"

As Ash put the microphone back down, he could hear the sound of his voice echo throughout the ship's PA system. For good measure, he proceeded to look for some type of emergency button. On the far left side of the control panel was a protruding glass box. Inside of the protective barrier was a thick, red button. Underneath the button read: "Emergency Alert Siren".

Before swinging open the glass box, the ten-year old boy hastily undid the latch on the side of the protective barrier. While Wallace barked his next command, he could feel the sudden temperature drop in the room, most likely caused by ice beam. Ash used his palm to briskly press down the emergency siren's trigger. In subsequence to pressing the thick, red button; a loud, blustering alarm was disembogued through the PA system. Ash fought off the urge to cover his ears, as he turned around to check out the scene behind him.

The initially minacious arbok was frozen in a massive block of ice. Its eyes looked vacant, as it was hoisted vertically in an icebound comatose. Its trainer, Reid, was bound by hailstone to one of the solid walls — similar to how Jack and Sid were constrained in the D Wing. A flush faced Austin stood next to an enraged Wallace, who was trying to extract information from the masochistic Rocket. Golduck and Swampert stood on both sides of Reid — ready to receive commands from their trainers. While checking the time on his xtranceiver, the ten-year old boy, accompanied by Growlithe, subsequently loped over to the intense interrogation.

"Where did you take Mr. Montgomery?" asked a fumed Wallace, as he grabbed Reid by his insidious face.

Reid laughed like a gengar, before curtly replying. "That's for you to figure out, Champion."

Wallace squeezed Reid's face even tighter, while depicting an ominous disposition of his own. "Dammit! Just tell me!"

"You couldn't get me to talk if you boiled me alive," said Reid. "Team Rockets been trained for situations like this."

Wallace's expression turned even darker, as he looked at Reid with cold, knife-like eyes. "Why don't we find out for sure, Swampert scal-!"

"Don't!" yelled Austin. "I've seen enough death today!"

Ash instantly glanced over to the far side of the room. The two captain's bodies were still and turned over. From his vantage point, the dark-haired boy could see the massive gashes in the back of their heads. They were dead — killed by two heavy blows to the head.

Ash quickly chimed back into the action. Chance Chapman's murder had already begun to take effect on his psyche, numbing his response to the morbid tragedy.

"Austin's right!" howled Ash. "Wallace we've got to get up to the main deck. People are going to need help getting off. Let's go!"

Wallace forcefully shook himself out of his enraged trance, as Ash's words got through to him. "You're right, let's go. Besides, I have an idea of where they took Robert. Follow me. We can get up to the deck through here."

The champion left Reid frozen to the wall, antecedent to cantering over to a door adjacent to the ship's control panel. Amidst all of the chaos, Ash had failed to notice the steel passage anteriorly to the present moment. On account of the fiber-glass wall, you could tell that the heavy-looking steel door led out to the bridge-deck. Ash, Austin, and their pokemon frantically followed Wallace through the doorway. Upon exit, the dark-haired boy simultaneously saw the reflection of Reid, who was sadistically snickering in the background…

The rapid wind was frigid atop the exterior bridge-deck. Ash tightened the straps to his backpack and held on to his cap firmly, as Wallace directed them towards a short ladder. It was bolted onto a solid, steel wall — adjacent to the transparent fiber-glass. They could hear the ominous sound of frantic passengers, as they promptly climbed up the ladder to the main deck. Much to Growlithe's displeasure, Swampert carried him up the ladder with one of his giant hands, while using the other to grapple up.

The S.S. Anne's primary deck was in a state of utter confusion, as thousands of people looked for a way off of the ship. Uncorrupt sailor's were lowering lifeboats full of people, impressing Ash by their sheer quickness to report to duty. Their encompassing field of vision was full to the brim with trainers mounting large flying-types; while the sea was clustered with water-types capable of transportation.

Ash looked hard, but he didn't see any Rockets. Chances are they had already evacuated the ship…

To his left, Ash saw about a dozen people clinging onto the scales of a momentous sea-serpent. The Gyarados roared, as it treaded on top of the water. Grasping onto the blue, dragon-like scales along the base of its neck was the pretty-faced girl that placed second in the S.S. Anne's tournament. She commanded the beast with grace, proving herself to be a trainer with a formidable presence.

…It was well know that any trainer that could keep a Gyarados under their control had a considerable amount skill.

To his right, Ash watched a decent-sized pidgeot take off from the deck. Despite the evident strain, it managed to carry three people on its back. The ten-year old boy recognized the lead trainer riding the pidgeot. She was the girl that had placed fourth in the tournament — Alexia Fuller. Alexia's strong pidgeot reminded him of the state of his pidgeotto. The bird was unconscious on account of his battle against Austin's fearow. Pidgeotto wouldn't be an available escape option.

"I don't have a way off the ship," said Ash. "My pidgeotto still hasn't recovered, and I don't have a water-type capable of long-distance transportation."

"Don't worry, I've got you covered," replied Wallace. "How much time do we have left?"

Ash checked the digital clock on the face of his xtranceiver, before answering. "Approximately ten minutes."

"Austin — you have a ride, right?" asked Wallace.

"Yeah, I've got Fearow," answered the chiseled face teen.

"How many people do you think it can carry?" asked Wallace. "It seemed like a strong flyer when you battled Ash.

"Eh…Fearow can probably manage two more," answered Austin. "That is, depending on the size of the other passengers."

"Do you think Fearow can make it to Lavender Town?" asked Wallace. "It should be relatively close."

"Probably," answered Austin, while pointing to Ash's xtranceiver. "Ash, does that thing have a map?"

"Yeah, hold on," answered Ash, as he fired up the high-tech GPS on his xtranceiver. "Let's see...I just gotta plug in Lavender Town, and…Here it is!"

"Let me see it."

Austin grabbed Ash's wrist, as he looked at the small digital map on the apparatuses face. "This thing says Lavender Town's coast is about two-hundred miles from here. Fearow can easily fly that."

"Splendid," replied Wallace with a smile. "Go find a couple more people to take with you and get out of here. Ash and I will meet you at Lavender Town's Pokemon Center as soon as possible."

"Deal!" exclaimed the messy haired teen, as he cantered off into the skirmish. "Don't mess around too much! I'd like to see you guys again!"

"We'll be right behind you!" yelled Wallace, as he appeared to be mulling something over in his head.

Ash watched Austin curtly grab a couple of confused bystanders, before releasing his feral flying-type. In the blink of an eye, the chiseled faced teen had the two befuddled passengers hanging onto Fearow for dear life, while they hastily took off into the night sky.

"How much time now, Ash?" asked Wallace once again, as the amount of crazed passengers rapidly diminished.

Ash checked his xtranceiver once again, while his heart began to pound and his palms started to sweat. "Seven minutes."

"Alright," said Wallace. "I should be able to get everyone else off of here; I just need get everybody's attention."

"There's at least a thousand people left up here!" howled Ash. "How are you going to manage that?"

"Watch," answered Wallace, as he unclipped two pokeballs from his trainer belt.

The champion proceeded to stand at the edge of the ship's railing, as he pressed both release buttons. He aimed the far-reaching, bulky streams of light at the black body of water, before turning his head back to Ash. "Meet our rides…"

The entire ship swayed back and fourth, as the two gargantuan water-types emerged from the depths of the sea. The duo was of the same species — but varied in color. The sheer immensity between both colossal beings was otherworldly. Ash recognized them from his pre-requisite studies: Wailord…the float whale pokemon.

"Use surf to raise your water level!" howled Wallace. "Bring your backs up to deck level! There are quite a lot of people that we need to get off of this ship!"

Ash watched, while the two fifty-foot whales emanated a loud, deep, horn-like sound — before steadily rising up about forty-feet to evenly reach the deck. From a point blank vantage point, Ash was able to descry each wailord's features. Both were identical in thickness and length. The only difference lied in their color schemes. One had a blue posterior, while the other had a phlox-purple posterior.

Ash was unable to see their underbellies. But based off of his pre-knowledge of the foreign species, he was positive that the non-mutated wailord had a tan bottom half. Outside of the dragonite he met at Bill's lighthouse, Ash had zero knowledge of the distinct color-schemes of shiny pokemon. However, based off of the purple wailord's visible, off-white colored mouth it most likely had a tan underbelly, just like the blue specimen.

Wallace subsequently hopped onto the head of the non-mutated wailord, before gesturing Ash over. The dark-haired boy wasted no time. He quickly climbed up and over the deck's railing, before leaping onto the same wailord that Wallace embarked on. Once Ash was safely atop the bouncy, blue wailord; Wallace began to gesture over the rest of the curious, terror-stricken passengers.

"Jump on!" yelled Wallace, as the frenzied passengers flooded atop both wailords. "We're running out of time, hurry!"

"Ash, how much time do we have left?" asked Wallace one last time, as the ten-year old boy watched the conflux of panicked people embark on the giant water-types.

Ash compliantly looked down at his xtranceiver. "Four minutes…"

"Let's go people!" bellowed Wallace, in response to the update. "Faster! Come on!"

Ash continued to sweat nervously, while he heard all sorts of anxious outcries disembogued by the panicked crowd:

"Godsend!"

"There's no more time!"

"We've got to get out of here!"

"Leave the rest, otherwise we'll all die!"

"I don't want to die!"

"Don't let me die here!"

"Please. Please. Please. Please. God!"

The dark-haired boy carefully watched his xtranceiver — which read that they had two minutes— as the last of the passengers climbed over the deck. Ash picked up Growlithe, who was way too preoccupied by their current circumstances to react anxiously to the mass of people.

"Wallace, we have to go!" screamed Ash at the top of his lungs. "There's no more time! It's going to blow!"

"…Pido! Dreca!" bellowed Wallace, amidst the sea of people. "Get us out of here!"

Both Wailords emitted a low, alto-toned, horn-like sound, before slowly starting to drift away from the ship. The multitude of people began to get antsy, as the wailords gradually put distance between themselves and the S.S. Anne.

"We need to go faster!" yelled Ash, as his xtranceiver read that they had a minute left.

"Don't worry," said Wallace. "They've got to feel it out first. They're carrying a lot of people. Pido and Dreca are figuring out how much speed they can afford to accumulate, without losing passengers. Besides, unless the bombs nuclear, we should almost be out of its range."

Just as Wallace promised, they promptly started to speed up by installments. Every few seconds, Ash felt like he could externally feel the increase in velocity, as it pressed up against his face by means of wind. At this point, Ash figured they were probably outside of the bombs scope. The dark-haired boy looked around at his surroundings; different people coped in different ways. Some curled up into a ball; others stood tall. Some closed their eyes; others didn't even blink. Some people shook; while others remained still. Some cowered in fear; while others depicted courage…

At the moment of the explosion, Ash had to cover his ears and close his eyes. The roar of the detonation was louder than anything he'd ever heard. His ear drums nearly ruptured from the sheer volume put forth. The atmosphere itself seemed to catch fire, as the bomb lit up the sky like the sun illuminates the galaxy. He could feel the heat emanating from the catastrophe, but it wasn't overbearing — signifying that they had cleared the eruptions range. When the heat settled, and the detonation silenced, Ash uncovered his sensory receptors.

The calamity was evident. The S.S. Anne was no more. The ship that had endured fifty years of safe travel had finally failed — defeated by an external source of evil. All that was left was an unrecognizable mass of flaming steel. Ash's psyche was instantly intruded by the faces of the dead rockets. The three agents of destruction took their last breath amidst the wreckage.

He coped with his disturbed mind by looking down at Growlithe, whose eyes were disoriented. Ash figured it was hard for the fire-type to watch his natural element used for such a calamitous purpose.

Ash glanced over at Wallace with perturbed eyes — the champion looked back at the dark-haired boy and Growlithe with a thankful expression.

"If it weren't for you two," confessed Wallace. "Everyone here would have died, including myself."

"No," said Ash. "We saved everyone together."

"I wouldn't have even known there was a bomb, if it weren't for you and Growlithe," answered Wallace. "I owe you my life."

"You don't owe me anything," answered Ash. "I was just in the right place at the right time."

"Fate wanted you there," answered Wallace, while emitting a massive sigh of relief. "Damn…I feel like I can breathe again."

Ash thought Wallace's statement over for a brief moment, before answering. "Fate is a strange thing..."

Their conversation was cut short by the eruption of the cheerful passengers. Ash turned around to watch, as the people celebrated the survival of their near-death experience.

"So many lives preserved…" drawled Wallace, as he rubbed the back of Swampert's fin.

"So many lives almost lost," answered Ash with clenched fists. "Because of Team Rocket…"

"Focus on the good for now," replied Wallace. "We'll worry about the return of Team Rocket tomorrow."

There was a brief moment of silence, before Ash severed it.

"So...we're headed for Lavender Town," answered Ash. "Why?"

"Well, its close," said Wallace.

"Fuchsia City can't be that much farther?" questioned Ash, skeptically. "Doesn't it make more sense to drop all of these people off at a major city?"

"I have my reasons," said Wallace with a smirk.

"And your reasons are…? Ash asked curiously.

"Lavender Town's closer to Saffron than Fuchsia," answered Wallace.

"Why does that matter?" asked Ash with a raised eyebrow.

"It matters... because Saffron is where Team Rocket is taking Mr. Montgomery."

Ash scoffed. "But that would mean-"

"Exactly," interrupted Wallace stoically. "Their target is Silph Co."

"But…why?"

"Because there's something at Silph Co. headquarters that they want," answered Wallace. "And they need Robert to get to it."

"What are they looking for?" asked Ash conspicuously.

"If I tell you…you have to promise not to tell a soul," answered Wallace sternly. "It's top secret information."

"I promise," answered Ash, as the wind of travel smacked against his face. "My lips are sealed."

"Very well," said Wallace, before continuing.

"Mr. Montgomery developed a new capture device," enlightened Wallace with a frown. "It's called the master ball."

"...The master ball?"

XXX

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