What's up guys! Welcome back to another chapter. Like I said I won't be uploading too frequently due to how crazy my schedule can be. Anyways, onto the chapter!

Rome1453: Won't spoil it, but I think you will like this one.

Helplessness induces hopelessness, and history attests that loss of hope and not loss of lives is what decides the issue of war.

B. H. Liddell Hart

Chapter 4

Caleb's POV

Cherrygrove is tiny when compared to Catallia. Catallia may only be an average size when compared to other cities in Johto, but it dwarfed Cherrygrove by nearly eighty percent. Cherrygrove also lacked any kind of attraction. There were no museums, malls, or convention centers. There was a small movie theater and a couple of grocery stores that the local kids made into their haunts, but nothing that would draw in outsiders.

Cherrygrove's one saving grace was the Pokémon league. When the Johto league was founded, they had made Cherrygrove the first stop trainers had to make before going on to Violet City. The reason for this decision was simple, the founder and first champion of the Johto league was from Cherrygrove. When he had finally retired, he moved back to his hometown. He then set out to help young trainers by showing them the very basics of being a trainer.

After the founder had finally passed on, the league board certified Cherrygrove as an honorary starting point for new trainers to begin their journey. While trainers did not technically need to start at Cherrygrove, those that did often got preferential treatment from gym leaders and other league affiliates. With an influx of new trainers, one would think that the small towns economy would grow, but the town never really grew.

"So, who are we supposed to get this stamp from?" Lawrence asked as we sat in one of the few diners in town.

"We are supposed to get it from the founder's house. They have a stamp station in front of the house where he lived. I heard his family still offer beginner courses for new trainers, but I don't think we will have to worry about that." I replied as I took a bite of eggs.

"That sounds almost too easy." Lawrence replied as he too gulped down his own meal.

"I don't think we will have to stay here for too long. Once we get the stamp we can take off. Unless there is something you think we may need."

"I think we are good for the trip between here and Violet City. If we make the trip as Pokémon, we can just do some hunting. We won't go through our other supplies as fast. Plus, it will save us some money."

I frowned at that. While we had done some hunting in the past, I didn't really enjoy it. I may be able to turn into a Pokémon, but hunting didn't come naturally to me. I tried to hide my disgust by stabbing a sausage link and shoving it in my mouth.

"Do you want spend what little money we have on supplies when we don't need to? Or would you rather save that money for an emergency?" Lawrence deadpanned.

"I guess," I muttered as I pushed my plate forward and tossed a napkin on top. A waitress picked up the plate and placed the check on the table.

I took the check and sighed. "We've got to stop eating out."

"We have two options, fresh roasted Rattata or we can try to win some battles."

"Let's get the stamp first."

"I wonder if there are any Psyduck around here? We could always smoke one or two."

I rolled my eyes as I placed a couple of bills on the table and stood up. "You coming or what?"

"Only if we can poach a couple of Goldeen on our way to Violet City." Lawrence said with a smirk.

"Will you shut up with the hunting crap?" I said with a roll of my eyes.

"You are too easy."

"And you are too annoying." I shot back.

The the league founder's house was old, but not very fancy. It was a two story Victorian style house with window sill planters filled with flowers. Despite being old, the house was well kept with a fresh coat of white paint and green trim. The only thing separating this house from the others was a little bronze plaque commemorating the league founder. The scene was picturesque, like something from a magazine. There was only one thing missing, the stamp station was nowhere to be seen.

"So genius," Lawrence began. "What are we going to do now?"

"Let's go, we don't have time to waste for something that isn't here. Maybe we can forge the stamp or something." I said as I turned to walk away.

"Hey kid! If you were looking to get the stamp you'll have to go inside the house! Had a couple of vandals try to break into it a week ago. The owners moved it inside for now." a young woman shouted to us as we walked by.

I looked down at Lawrence and shrugged. We turned back to the house, determined to get our stamp. The woman smiled in relief as we walked past her again and gave us a quick wink. There was something strange about her, but I couldn't quite place it.

I knocked on the door several times and waited. As my luck would have it, there was no answer. OF course nobody would be home. Now we really were just wasting time.

"Something wrong, chief?" Lawrence asked as we walked.

"That woman from earlier. Didn't there seem to be something off with her?" I asked.

"She seemed pretty normal to me. She had a Pokémon smell mixed with her scent, but that isn't uncommon."

I was silent for several minutes, trying to place my finger on why she seemed so strange to me. Maybe I was just paranoid. The more I thought about it the more it seemed like I was just jumping at shadows.

"Hold up, I need to get a drink before we get out of here." I told Lawrence as we reached the gate.

"I knew it was you."

Lawrence and I spun around in an instant. It was the woman from earlier. She was young, college age at the latest. She was tall, blonde, and had blue eyes that shone like sapphires. Her creamy skin didn't have the slightest blemish, and she was definitely well endowed. The woman was very attractive, deadly attractive.

Her looks were a facade. A ruse to hide the truly dangerous person that she was. She wore a pair of overalls and a slightly baggy t-shirt, but there was no hiding that this woman had very well toned muscles. Nor did her glasses hide the slightly haunted look of someone who had killed before and was willing to do it again.

"Who are you?" I asked.

"Didn't your sister tell you about me?" the woman asked feigning disappointment. "My name is Kelly Lear."

"Not ringing any bells, sister. Now, if you will excuse us, we needed to be leaving."

"My she really didn't tell you anything, did she? To be honest, I am a little hurt. We have quite the history, she and I."

"If you have something to say then say it. I am already wasting time talking to you." I growled my eyes narrowing.

"Your sister stole my body so she could save you." Kelly said with a fox-like smile.

"You? My sister spent a year pretending to be you? No wonder she couldn't wait to switch back. Katlyn isn't much of a barbie girl like you."

"That is just hurtful…" the woman pouted.

"Cut to the chase. You know my sister, but how do you know me?" I asked cutting her off before she could say another word.

"That time traveling imp put me in a dream. In that dream I lived out Katlyn's life. Well, I lived out her life as it would have unfolded if you hadn't been duped by Mew."

"I don't believe you." I said coldly.

"Of course you don't. I didn't expect you would. Tell me, how's Maggie been? I see she is still against letting Lawrence evolve. It took her another ten years before she let him evolve. In fact, that little detail made you famous as the first trainer to become a champion with a base evolution. Is Dad still working on that boat?"

"Ok stalker, you know a few things about my family that doesn't mean anything." I shot back.

"How about this then. Remember when you were little? I do, I remember a little boy with a Pokéball trying to catch a certain Vulpix. The end result was a small curse from a mama Ninetales." Kelly waited to see my wide eyed expression. "I was there for that. I was also there for the day you got your trainer's license. I still remember what I told you. 'You better not get into trouble out there. If you do…"

"'Don't come crying to me about it.' I get it Celebi did a real number on you. What does your grudge with Celebi have to do with me?"

Kelly smiled. It wasn't the same predatory smile it was earlier. This time it had real warmth to it. "I wanted to thank you and your sister for getting me out of that life. Because of her, I had a goal to reach. There was no way I could be Katlyn Parks, but at least I could be Kelly Lear. She is the reason I left Team Rocket. After I had woken up and switched back to my original body, I tried going back to being who I was. I guess after living eighty years then getting snapped back to the present really messes with your perspective. I made my escape from the facility when your sister came to rescue you. That whole facility was practically destroyed. From what I've read, they are still pulling out bodies from the rubble."

"When you said you lived out Katlyn's life, you meant all the way till the end?" I asked.

"I did. I died at age eighty-three. I was married for forty years and I had three kids." Kelly said wistfully. "The imp's punishment wasn't that I was trapped in another's body. It was that my family, friends, and life was nothing but a dream. It was unbelievably cruel."

"You don't seem pissed at her for it." I pointed out.

"Oh I was pissed when I woke. After awhile though? I mostly got over it. I still dream about them, my kids that is. Seeing you again like this makes their memories that much more painful." Kelly explained as a tear threatened to leave her eye. She quickly wiped it away and looked at me again. "So tell me. What have you and your sister been up to?"

I thought about lying to her. It would be easy to tell her that Katlyn had gone back to school or some such nonsense. After all, its not like she knew that Katlyn had been caught in the same predicament I was in. However, I felt like she deserved to know as well. This woman had already lived one lifetime. It could be the closure she needs to close that chapter of her life.

"We left for Kanto about a month after everything that happened at the base. Me and Katlyn were helping a couple of friends get home and we figured we could challenge the gyms while we traveled. Unfortunately, Katlyn has been suffering from PTSD. If you ever see her, you should thank her. She did some very bad things for you so she could help me. Anyways, our first night here, she disappeared. I trying to find her now."

"I'm sorry. It looked like you were in a hurry but I didn't know." Kelly apologized.

"Thanks, but we really have to be going. I wasted too much time here as it is." I replied as I reshouldered my backpack.

"Do you think I can join you?" Kelly asked quickly.

"What?" I shouted, completely caught off guard.

"Your sister saved me in more ways than either of you could ever know. If there is anyway I can help I need to do it." Kelly explained.

"Don't you have a job? Family?" I asked quickly hoping to find a reason to make her stay.

"I have been staying with my parents since the base, just until I can get on my feet again. I really don't have anything keeping me here."

I sighed then stared at Lawrence. He gave me a 'this is all you' look before laying on the ground. He knew we wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. "Fine, but on one condition. I am in charge got it?"

"You are so cute when you're bossy!" Kelly gushed before she ran back to her house.

"I'm already regretting this." I said sourly.

"Are you going to tell her about the medallions?"

"Not right now. I still don't trust her."

"You realize that she is going to slow us down, right?"

"I know, but what else is there to do? Dammit! I should have told her no." I shouted.

"I have an idea, but it's kinda risky. We could tell her about the medallions, then use yours transform. The medallions don't disappear when being used they just change to fit your size. That means more than one person might be able to use the medallion at the same time."

"No, that's too risky." I said. "Let's see if we can trust her first. If we can then I might be willing to try it." I replied firmly. "Besides, people might be less suspicious if we have an adult hanging around."

"You don't think she is still working for Team Rocket do you?"

"I doubt it. If she was, why would she be in Johto? Team Rocket has always been a Kanto organization. I don't know much about Johto but I'm sure that they have their own shady organizations. I'm sure we would see some kind of turf war if Team Rocket was moving in here." I replied.

I had heard of other groups out there in the world. Sinnoh had Team Galactic, Unova had Team Plasma, and Hoenn had two major players Teams Magma and Aqua that's just naming a few. The dangers these groups presented waxed and waned throughout the years. Sometimes they were just a nuisance that barely made the news. Other times they were dangerous enough for the military to get involved.

The difference between Team Rocket and the other groups out there was that Team Rocket was more like the mafia while the other groups acted like run-of-the-mill terrorist. Team Rocket was one of the richest groups on the planet. Not only that, but they also could make the money seem like it never existed. It seemed like everyday there was a news article about some business being found with ties to Team Rocket. However, when investigators tried to follow-up, the trail would grow cold.

"I hope I didn't make a mistake." I mumbled as I spotted Kelly running toward us.

Emily's POV

My body ached all over as if I had been sat on by a Rydon. No matter how much I tried to struggle my aching muscles refused to move. I began to breathe heavily as fear set in. I don't care how tough someone is, being paralyzed is the most terrifying thing I had ever been through. I tried to scream but even that was impossible.

The only part of my body I could move were my eyes. Once I was able to focus, terror set in once again. I was a Pokémon, that much was obvious. Everything was enormous. The various types of equipment, flanges, and test tubes littered around made it obvious that I was in some sort of laboratory. There was a humming noise that also seemed to fill the air. It sounded like a fan assembly of some sort. Probably to cool off the larger pieces of equipment in the room.

"The subject is awake. Should we inject more sedatives?" I voiced boomed. Either my hearing was now hypersensitive, or the owner had literally been screaming in my ear.

"No, if we do that we risk overdosing the patient. It will just have to bear it." an older, gruffer voice replied.

My eyes darted around the lab searching for the voices, but I couldn't find the source. I was locked inside my own body with voices I couldn't see. Panic began to overtake reason. I had to get out!

"Its heart rate is increasing rapidly! If we don't do something it could send itself into cardiac arrest!" the younger voice warned

"Don't you think I realize that? Get another dose ready. We will see if it steadies out. If it doesn't, have the drone administer a second does."

A squat, spider-like robot suddenly entered my field of view. Its eight, needlelike legs propelled the spherical body with a grace that only a machine could produce. The spider drone positioned itself directly above me and waited for the command to proceed. Unfortunately for me, that command would come soon enough.

The drone stabbed a needle into my body before I could even blink. It then retracted the needle just as fast. The speed and precision with which the machine could move was terrifying. Once its task was complete, the drone skittered away. I tried to track it with my eyes, but it was too quick. The drugs in my system made me drowsy and soon I was back in a dreamless sleep.

Moments later, or maybe hours, I was awake again. I wasn't in the lab anymore. Instead, I was inside a large spherical room. The walls were made up of octagonal panels that seemed to shimmer in the white light. The walls, floor, and ceiling all gave off a little light giving the room an almost ethereal atmosphere.

I had never seen a cell like this one, but I was was going to find a way to escape. I hopped around the room for several minutes tapping the floor and the walls with my beak. If there was a hollow point in this room, escape was possible. I covered every square inch of the room, but couldn't find a single hollow point.

"Come on Katlyn, think! There has to be a way out of here!" I shouted to myself.

Several ideas passed through my head with varying degrees of viability. I thought about trying to burn a hole through the wall, but I doubted I could produce enough heat to break through. These people weren't stupid. They would take into account my fire typing when holding me prisoner. After a few more moments of brainstorming, I decided to wait to be let out. I was a test subject after all. They would need to get me eventually. Not to mention they would need to feed and water me as well. Once they came for me, I would be able to learn more about my prison and hopefully formulate an escape. With that in mind, I decided the next best thing would be to get a little sleep.

"Capsule activated. Prepare for eminent ejection." a drone-like voice stated.

I tried to rub my eyes, but found it difficult with wings. Once I had banished the sleep from my eyes, I realized the that room had given up its ethereal white luminesce for a much more menacing red glow. The red light began to glow deeper until it consumed my sight. I could feel a light breeze that wasn't there before. The breeze turned into a roar that made hearing impossible. Blinded and deafened, I could only imagine what was happening. It felt like the wind had picked me up and carried me into another compartment. The light and wind eventually died away, allowing me to get my bearings.

"Welcome back to the land of the living. I trust you are feeling much better now." It was Giovanni. "You seem to be a bit disoriented. I hear that is a common side effect when being released from a Pokéball for the first time."

My blood turned to ice as the man talked. It explained everything, the lack of exits, the glowing panels, the red lights, everything! I was now bound to a Pokéball, one owned by the leader of Team Rocket!

"Here it is if you would like to see it. It is a medical model, a heal ball. It is such a bland moniker really. Maybe I should contact the president of Silph Co. I'm sure he would appreciate customer feed back." the boss chuckled. "I wonder what happened to that kid. That was so long ago. It really is impossible to say."

"I will destroy you! I will make sure you pay for everyone you have hurt or killed!" I shouted, though it sounded more like angry chirps.

"I do wish I could understand what you are saying in that form. You must be wondering what I have in store for you." Giovanni mocked. "As a test subject, you have no more use. Therefore you must be disposed of. Standard procedures for disposal can be somewhat gruesome. Due to our history together, I approved an alternate disposal method. You will be transferred to a standard Pokéball. You will then join other Pokémon that have been marked for distribution to different breeders and labs around the world. No one will know where you will end up. Not even I will be able to track you once you leave this facility. You will live the rest of your life as an animal with no chance of ever becoming human again."

Little sparks of fire began to well up in my throat. If I could get off a single attack, it may be enough to escape. I forced the Ember out with a chuff of air. The hot embers flew into the Rocket Boss' face. Unfortunately a tan blur got between him and the attack. My chance to escape came and went once the blur became a form I recognized.

"Thank you, Xerxes." Giovanni said to the Persian. He then scowled deeply in my direction. "That was an admirable attempt, but it will take much more to injure me. You should be thankful that I do not plan to kill you. Otherwise, you would be getting to know Xerxes personally."

Giovanni picked up the heal ball and aimed it at me. I hopped out of the way causing the red beam to land just in front of me. Giovanni frowned then looked at Xerxes. The large cat meowed, then, like lightning, pounced on me. It pinned me underneath its paws then stared up at its master expectantly. I struggled and squirmed, but the cat was too strong.

Giovanni took the heal ball and slowly walked toward me. There was nothing I could do as the Rocket boss tapped me with the heal ball. I felt the wind rushing as my vision turned red once more. I had lost, and now I would spend the rest of my life as a Pokémon. I could hope, pray, or even beg for another outcome, but I wouldn't. Caleb and the others didn't know where I went. Mew wouldn't be of use either since Team Rocket wasn't actively hunting her. This was my punishment for the crimes I committed during my time as a Rocket.

Third person POV

"Take this to one of the distribution centers. I don't care which one it goes to. Just be sure it is transferred to a separate Pokéball. Once you are done, take the heal ball back to the medical wing. They will take care of the rest." Giovanni ordered one of the grunts that had been guarding the door of his office.

The grunt took the ball and rushed out the door. He was a veteran of the Rocket organization and knew when to get something done quickly. The grunt had seen his fair share of gruesome deaths and disappearances. He had seen people shot or turned into science experiments for much less than what this girl had done.

The grunt did what he was told and transferred the girl to a standard Pokéball. He then placed her into a random bin in Distribution 3, noticing that it was destined for a breeding center in the Sinnoh region. He shrugged, figuring it was better than being sent to one of the nature preserves that the organization regularly 'donated' to. With his task complete, the grunt returned to his station. His duty was to guard the boss with his life. He would do anything to carry this out.

I hope y'all liked the chapter. Like I said, my schedule is really crazy so it will probably be a while before I upload the next chapter. Plus, I am also working on a manuscript of a book I want to publish. Anyways, if you have anything you want to say be sure to leave a comment or PM me. If you like what you have been reading be sure to smash that favorite/follow button! This is Shieldliger001 signing off!