Title: Failed Experiments

Author(s): Riiarei

Fandom: Pokémon

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: T+

Warnings: Violence; language; unreliable updates; the works.

Synopsis: It's a dark and desperate time for the Kanto Region. Team Rocket has risen to power and the amount of control they have over the land increases drastically day by day. Anyone who is brave (or stupid) enough to make a stand against them is beaten down without mercy or forced into the syndicate's rankings under the threat of death to everyone that person holds dear. Yes… A desperate time, indeed. However, for a young Pikachu named Kite, life under the wing of Team Rocket is all she's ever known. Their goals and the methods they use to achieve these goals have been embedded into every fiber of her being; she's never had any reason to question the way they do things because she's never experienced life outside Team Rocket's influence. But when another Pokémon comes into her life, and one with every intention of bringing Team Rocket to its knees no less, questions arise as to why she's really with them and what her purpose in life truly is.

Disclaimer: I do not own any part of the Pokémon franchise. It's as simple as that. I do, however, own this story, its plot, and the characters in it that do not belong to the franchise. Any similarity to other existing stories and/or characters is purely coincidental.

Story Copyright © 2010 Riiarei

Author's Notes: This is a story I started a long, long time ago about one of the first characters I ever made. If you've been a member of DeviantArt for any decent amount of time, it's quite possible that you might even know her already. Her story's been rewritten several times, this probably being the third. I've always meant to fix it up and post it on here but I guess I never really found the inspiration or motivation to do it until my friend started working on a story about her own character who plays a major part in mine. So anyway, I hope you guys like it and tell me what you think. And by the way, you should also take a look at that story by my friend that I mentioned. It's Absent Words by CursedZodiac and I guess it could be considered somewhat of a partner story to mine seeing as how they share a lot of the same events xD But yeah. Check it out. It's awesome.

Operation I: In the Dead of Night

The wind howled a lonely song as it swept through the dark streets of Vermillion City. Each fresh gust sent torrents of fallen leaves scuttling across the ground in a busting flurry of activity – something the city lacked nowadays.

The local buildings concealed no more signs of life than the vacant streets beyond. Deserted and with more than half of them boarded up and vandalized, the buildings only succeeded in intensifying the city's mien of emptiness. Not to mention that they appeared just as feeble as the tumbling leaves outside as they creaked and groaned in the onslaught of the growing gale. Months of neglect had left them ill prepared to withstand the assault of the oncoming storm.

It was a dismal setting for the once proud city. However, had the city not been abandoned, the impending storm would have been the least of its civilians' worries.

Not far beyond the city's borders, a pair of blood-red eyes – cold and emotionless – surveyed the area from the summit of Vermillion Peak. They gazed upon the lifeless city intently yet with apparent irritation which made it quite clear that just being there was nothing more than an inconvenience. With the moonlight blotted out by the layer of ominous storm clouds on the horizon, any normal being would be near blinded by the intense darkness. Regardless of this fact, the Pikachu to whom the eyes belonged was perfectly accustomed to the obscurity of night, as she herself was a creature of darkness. The area cast out below her couldn't have been any clearer in her eyes had it been the middle of the day rather than the middle of the night.

It had been obvious to the Pokémon from the moment she laid eyes on the lifeless city that it was deserted and had probably been so for a while at that. Despite the fact that without any resistance her mission would be carried out smoothly, the Pikachu found it to be a little disappointing. After all, this was one of the most substantial missions she had ever been on and she'd been anticipating a little more of a challenge.

As if that wasn't disappointing enough on its own, she was sure that her comrades wouldn't need her now that it was apparent that they would be facing little to no resistance. Sensing danger in the abandoned human city, not even a courageous wild Pokémon would dare step foot inside its borders. However, the Pikachu followed her orders faithfully and remained stationed at her position. There was still a chance that her allies would need her assistance in which case she needed to be ready to react to the signal – if it ever came.

Kite, which was the name by which the Pikachu was identified, adjusted the collar around her neck impatiently while she waited. This collar was a simple yet classy black strip of leather with a few crimson spikes and a polished red "R" clipped onto the front. It was an accessory that just about every one of Kite's Pokémon associates wore. The collar served as a warning to those who happened to encounter the Pokémon that wore it. It was a warning to flaunt the fact that the creature belonged to Team Rocket and should be feared.

And feared they should be. Pokémon trained by Team Rocket in this day and age were well known for giving even the strongest Pokémon trainers a run for their money. Kite, even though she was relatively smaller than your average Pikachu, was no exception. She was strong and cleaver and she took her job very seriously. When it came down to making sure that the head of Team Rocket got his hands on whatever it was he desired, Kite had been known to commit the most atrocious of crimes to ensure that the Boss's wishes went fulfilled. But her loyalty to Team Rocket was just one of the reasons why she was so valuable to them. The reason she was an irreplaceable treasure among Team Rocket, however, was because of something much, much more valuable to them than loyalty...

The sound of a collected group of footsteps coming from below set off a trained reaction in the Team Rocket affiliated Pikachu. Her muscles tensed in preparation for a possible fight as she flattened her ears against her head and peered carefully over the side of the cliff. Her tense muscles instantly relaxed once she could see who the footsteps belonged to. It was only Vherik with his two subordinates Desmo and Taj. The three of them, all wearing collars identical to Kite's, made up a small party of Houndoom. There were originally four of them altogether, but the fourth had been sent out to Celadon on a solitary mission several months ago. No one had heard from him sense.

Kite watched them until they disappeared into the city. She then shifted her attention elsewhere, scanning the area at the base of the cliff for any sign of one Pokémon in particular. He should have arrived with Vherik's division, but the Pokémon Kite was looking for was nowhere to be seen.

The Pikachu couldn't help but let out an exasperated sigh. Late as usual. That figured. This wasn't the first time Kite's partner had been late for a mission and she was sure it wouldn't be the last.

Rapier, as he was called, was one of the very few Pokémon within the whole of Team Rocket that Kite was actually able to get along with. The two of them had grown up together and made an excellent team right from the start. In fact, despite the fact that Rapier was ranked higher than Kite and was even the captain of his own group of subordinates, he often neglected his duties so that he and Kite could work together. Neither of them worked quite as well with anyone else as they did with each other.

Kite sighed again. "Where are you, you idiot?"

Lightning suddenly flashed across the sky and as if on cue, a torrent of rain soon followed. Kite had to press herself against the trunk of a nearby tree to avoid getting drenched. This worked for a few moments, but with the rain coming down as hard as it was, it wasn't long before the canopy of leaves no longer provided adequate shelter. The Pikachu was drenched within minutes.

She scowled irritably, wiping the wet fur away from her eyes. Rain wasn't something she particularly minded. In fact, she might even go as far as to say that she liked it, granted she was warm and dry inside some form of shelter. Standing in the midst of a storm, however, was a completely different story. If there was one thing that Kite hated above all else, it was getting wet.

"Kite!" Kite's ears perked at the sound of a familiar voice calling out to her. "Hey, Kite! You over here?"

Kite leaned around the side of the tree whole staying as close to the trunk as possible. Through the torrential downfall, it was hard to see much further than a few feet in front of her, but she managed to discern the shape of a Raichu as it meandered its way towards her. Kite waved the Pokémon over.

"I'm right here," she said.

The Raichu had to follow his ears for a moment before he spotted Kite beneath the shelter of a nearby tree. "Finally," he said as he bounded towards her. Having been out directly under the rain with no shelter whatsoever, he was considerably more drenched than Kite and much to the Pikachu's dismay, he decided to shake himself dry while standing only a few inches away. Kite had to shield her face with her arm as droplets of water flew in all directions and once he was done, he stood up to full height with a rather amused look on his face. Kite shook out her arm and gave the Raichu the darkest look she could muster.

"It took me long enough to find you," he continued after adjusting the Team Rocket collar around his neck. "…Where's Rapier?"

Kite shrugged indifferently. "I don't know. He hasn't showed up yet."

The Raichu, Raid, ran his paw down his face in exasperation. "That idiot… He's always messing things up." Raid shook his head. "But we can't wait for him. Vherik is securing the city right now. Obviously, no one has been here in months, but he wants to make sure no one set a trap for us. Once he's finished, they'll let you know if they need you to take the gym…"

Kite eyed the Raichu suspiciously when he let his sentence trail off. "Is that all?"

"Er… be careful, alright? This mission is going too much according to the plan. Something we didn't expect is sure to show up sooner or later and you and Rapier were supposed to be on this mission together."

"You think I can't handle some stupid mission like this on my own?" Kite growled defensively. "I've been out here on the field longer than Rapier has. I can handle this with or without his help."

"Come on, Kite. You know that's not what I meant."

Kite merely grunted and turned away from him.

"Well, I just came over here to check on you, so-"

"I don't need you to check on me."

"Fine, fine. Sheesh. Are you in a bad mood or what?"

"I'm not in a bad mood."

Raid shrugged. "Okay, you're not. Anyway, I need to go search the city with my division. Like I said, there's obviously no one here, but I have orders from Vasilla to bring any stragglers back to headquarters so we have to check anyway." When Kite didn't respond, Raid sighed. "See you later, Kite." He placed his paw on her head and ruffled her fur before sprinting back towards the direction of the city. Kite growled under her breath once Raid was gone as she tried to smooth her soaked fur back into place, grumbling irritably as she did so.

A few moments later as she was gazing out at the city looking for any sign of trouble, another bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and struck somewhere in the midst of the city. It was followed by a high pitched yelp and several growls that Kite recognized instantly as those belonging to Vherik's group. It only took Kite an instant to realize that the lightning strike hadn't been a natural phenomenon—it had been an attack directed at the Houndoom trio. She bolted towards the city, ignoring her orders to stay at her position until she was signaled. It was her part of the mission, after all, to take the gym and unless her sense of direction was failing her, that attack had without a doubt come from the direction of the local gym.

A blur of trees and buildings rushed past her as she sprinted at inhuman speeds to where the lightning had struck. It wasn't long before Kite skidded to a stop in a parking lot just in time to see a figure retreat into a building that she immediately recognized as the Vermillion City gym. Taj was on the ground covered in burns, so Kite could only assume that he was the one who had the misfortune of being struck by the attack. Despite his injuries, he struggled to his feet and followed Desmo as he bolted towards the gym after the retreating figure. Kite's eyes narrowed as she watched Vherik betray his instructions by allowing his subordinates to enter the gym.

Kite stepped into their midst with an air of authority. Though she was of a lower rank than Vherik and had no right to direct orders at him, the carelessness with which he was addressing his part of the mission infuriated the Pikachu. He and his weak inferiors could ruin everything that had brought Team Rocket to this day. And Kite wasn't about to let that happen.

"Control your division, Vherik!" she instructed angrily. "You are under strict orders not to let anyone inside the gym until I have cleared the area for infiltration. Call them back now."

Vherik looked at her sharply. "Are you giving me orders, Kite?"

"You may be of higher rank than I am, Vherik, but you are not stronger than I am. I could kill you so fast you'd be dead before you even knew what hit you. I'll say it one more time and you had better comply. Call them back."

The Houndoom hesitated. "…I refuse to take orders from a Pokémon of lower status."

Kite's eyes narrowed. In a swift motion, she had grabbed the Houndoom by his collar and jerked his head down so that his face was level with her own.

"Listen to me, Vherik," she murmured dangerously. "The only reason I'm not ranked higher than your sorry ass, or the rest of Team Rocket's pathetic Pokémon for that matter, is because Vasilla is too scared for her precious position as top dog. She thinks that if my rank gets any higher, Giovanni will recognize my potential and set my rank to a level equal to her own, which will give me the ability to take over the whole Pokémon division. If I kill you right now, no one will care. I'm worth too much to them for anyone to get angry with me. But you…. You're… expendable. If you die, the only one who loses is you. So I suggest you get those idiots out of there before you lose your life."

Vherik snarled and jerked his head sharply to get his collar out of Kite's grasp. The Pikachu's eyes remained locked on his own as he continued to snarl at her. Eventually, however, he snorted and reluctantly turned his attention back to the building.

"Desmo, Taj, fall back," he growled.

After a few moments, Desmo and Taj emerged from inside the gym and returned to Vherik's side. With a better view of Taj, Kite was able to see that his injuries were a lot worse than just a few burns; his entire body was almost one enormous burn. His fur was singed off in several places and many of his wounds were oozing blood. Only a powerful Pokémon would have been able to do so much damage with only a single attack.

"Taj," Kite said. The youngest of the Houndoom trio turned his head in her direction. "Did happen to notice what species of Pokémon it was that attacked you?"

"No," he replied. "It was too fast and it attacked me before I had the chance to get a good look at it. But I'm sure it belonged to the gym leader because it attacked once we got too close to the gym. And of course, because it was an electric type. Or at least, that's what I think considering it used an electric attack. But I may be wrong."

"Do you know if Surge is still here?"

It was Desmo who spoke this time. "He's not. The scent of humans in this place is far too old. No human has set foot in this gym for months. The only fresh scent is that of the Pokémon who attacked Taj."

Kite nodded absently as she assessed the situation. The strength of the attack lead Kite to believe that it had in fact come from one of the gym leader's Pokémon, but why would Surge leave behind any of his Pokémon? Was it to protect the gym? It didn't make sense considering the fact that he would have been chancing his Pokémon getting captured by Team Rocket.

"Alright, I'm going in," Kite finally said. "Stand guard at the entrance, Vherik. Don't let the Pokémon escape."

She didn't wait for the Houndoom to respond before bounding towards the building; he probably wouldn't have answered anyway. Inside, the building was pitch black, illuminated only briefly by an occasional flash of lightning. However, Kite did not require any light source in order to find her way around.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary as she investigated the building, though she could smell the Pokémon's presence. It was close, but for some reason, Kite was unable to trace the scent in any certain direction, which was probably because the scent was all over the place. And despite the fact that Kite could see clearly into all corners of the gym, the Pokémon she was looking for was nowhere to be seen.

Kite was examining a door in the back corner of the gym when her ears suddenly pricked. She turned just in time to see the doors to the gym slam shut behind her. Outside, Kite could hear Desmo let out a sharp howl and her eyes darted towards the back of the gym a fraction of a second before a bolt of electricity struck her. She sprang backwards, barely avoiding the attack and retaliated by loosing a bolt of her own electricity towards her attacker. The bolt stuck its intended target dead center, but didn't do any apparent damage. The Pokémon instead shook it off like it was nothing.

"Impressive," the Pokémon said with a smug smile. Kite eyed her assailant warily. Its body shape was one that she was familiar with; a shape relatively similar to her own, the only real differences being the fact that this Pokémon was at least twice her size with large, crescent-shaped ears and a whip-like tail, the end of which was shaped like a lightning bolt. It was the gym leader's Raichu. "Impressive for a Pikachu, I mean. That was almost painful. Though you'll have to use something other than electric attacks if you have any intention of defeating me."

"Are you Surge's Pokémon?" Kite asked.

"Yes. I am Vex," the Raichu replied. "And you, I presume, are a member of Team Rocket, correct? I can see it in you, even without the collar; it's in your eyes. So why have you come to this place? Is it true that Team Rocket is trying to take over Kanto?"

"Maybe we are. But then again, maybe we're not. All you need to know is that when you lose this battle, you will be taken into Team Rocket custody."

"What happens if I win?"

Kite almost laughed. "You won't win."

Without warning, Kite charged towards Vex intending to catch the Raichu by surprise by starting off with a Quick Attack. Vex, however, was already prepared for Kite to strike at any given moment. He easily avoided her attack with a swift sidestep and promptly struck back by lashing his tail at her from behind. With her quick reflexes, Kite was able to avoid his attack as well. She nimbly leapt over his tail as it came at her. While in midair, the Pikachu's tail began to glow. Kite did a summersault as she neared the ground in an attempt to strike Vex from above, but the Raichu was able to block her strike with an Iron Tail attack of his own.

Kite scowled at him and her scowl was returned by yet another smug smile. She pushed herself away from him with her tail and tried another quick attack, aiming for his vulnerable chest. The attack made contact and the force of it sent both Pokémon skidding across the concrete. Kite was about to jump back when Vex took another strike at her with his tail. She drew backwards quickly, but Kite could not avoid it entirely. The sharp tip of Vex's tail cut across her check, drawing a small amount of blood.

"Dammit," Kite growled, wiping the blood away with the back of her hand.

"You're fast, I'll give you that much," Vex said, "But your attacks are extremely predictable. You should use some variation."

Kite glowered at her opponent, a dark mass of energy forming between her paws. "How's this for variation? Dark Pulse!"

Vex's eyes widened in surprise as Kite threw the ball of energy towards the ground. From the point of collision, a dark pulse of energy radiated outwards across the floor in all directions, obliterating everything in its path. Despite his surprise, Vex was able to avoid the attack by jumping, but Kite was ready for this. She shot another Dark Pulse at him in midair, this one taking on the form of a beam of dark energy. The attack knocked Vex out of the air and he was sent tumbling across the floor.

Kite didn't wait for him to get up. She cloaked her entire body in crimson electricity and charged with dangerous speed in the Raichu's direction.

Movement from Vex's tail caught Kite's attention and she quickly diverted the direction of her attack, thinking he was going to strike with his tail. It was until it was too late that she realized his paw was glowing. Kite made an attempt to avoid the attack, but it was futile. Vex's fist struck its target on the mark and the combination of his strength and the electricity surging from his fist hurled Kite all the way across the room and into the wall.

Kite struggled to snap out of her daze and get to her feet before Vex got another chance to attack. But before she could recompose herself, Vex had her pinned to the wall with his tail. Kite loosed another bolt of electricity at him, but Vex didn't even flinch. She grit her teeth, glaring up at the Raichu as he looked down on her with his smug look of superiority. The look only succeeded in fueling her rage.

"Augh! Dammit!" she growled furiously, struggling to get free even though she knew that it was no use.

"I have to admit, that little stunt of yours really caught me off guard," Vex mused. "So tell me, just what is Team Rocket planning to do once they take over Kanto."

"Heh, like I'd tell you anything. Even if I did the information wouldn't be of any use to you once Team Rocket has you under their control."

"Do they really believe I'll follow their orders? I'd rather die."

Kite shrugged to the best of her ability with her arms pinned at her side. "Whatever. It's your life. They'll probably kill you if you don't follow their orders anyway."

The storm outside was growing in ferocity with each passing minute. Lightning flashed across the sky at regular intervals. One of the bolts struck angrily against the glass ceiling of the gym, shattering a large section of it and allowing the storm indoors. It was after another particularly dangerous lightning strike that Kite heard one of the Houndoom yelp before their running footsteps receded into nothingness. Kite growled under her breath and Vex smirked.

"It sounds like your companions have abandoned you," he said, amused. "That's the problem with Team Rocket and it's the same reason they'll never succeed in anything they try to accomplish. There's no loyalty between the bunch of you."

"That's how the world works. There was nothing the three of them could have done to help me and not that I care, but if they stayed out there they probably would have been killed by the lightning storm anyway. Three Pokémon were able to survive by sacrificing one. That's better than the three of them sacrificing themselves on my behalf. You can't justify your way of living against ours. People like you sacrifice many to save one. We sacrifice one to save many."

"So, you're saying that you wouldn't make any sacrifices to protect someone that you love?"

"Someone that I love? Don't make me laugh. Love is just a weakness; it makes you vulnerable."

"Wow. Who tore your heart out and stepped all over it?"

Kite let out a cold, hollow laugh. "Enough with the talking." She paused momentarily, her eyes following a shadow as it slunk around behind Vex. "You have two choices: Release me and come with Team Rocket quietly, or we'll take you by force. Choose now or I will make the decision for you."

Vex seemed somewhat amused by the threat. "In case you've forgotten," he said, "I have you pinned down. That makes me the one in control. I'm the one who gets to make threats now."

Kite watched as the shadow rose up from behind Vex, its crimson eyes glowing and ominous claws glinting as the lightning flashed in the background. Kite sneered darkly at Vex. "I'm sorry you chose to let me decide."

Vex followed her gaze, but by the time he realized that there was someone behind him, it was too late. He released Kite in an attempt to get out of the way and that was probably what saved him from a direct hit, but there was no way for him to avoid the attack entirely. A pair of claws were brought down swiftly upon the Raichu's back, gouging a cut deep into his flesh. The force of the attack flung him a good distance across the room where he landed flat on his side and was sent sliding across the concrete and into a wall.

"Hm. Nice hit," Kite said, eyeing the Raichu for any sign of movement. When she saw none, she turned her attention back to the other Pokémon. It was Rapier, her Zangoose partner. "You should have held back a little though. That wound might be enough to kill him."

"Oh well," Rapier replied, shrugging. "What's done is done. If he dies, he dies, right? IT's no skin off our backs. After all, it's not our problem if he dies because he's weak."

"Try telling that to Vasilla. She wanted any Pokémon we encountered brought back alive. If he dies before we get him back to headquarters, she'll bite our heads off."

"We'd better get moving, then."

Kite followed Rapier as he made his way over to Vex. However, when Kite caught sight of the puddle of blood around the Raichu's body, she froze. A chill ran down her spine and the fur on the back of her neck rose. It was a familiar sensation, but she couldn't quite remember where she'd felt it before. She could feel her heart pounding double time in her chest and her breath was caught somewhere in her throat.

"All right, let's go."

Kite was vaguely aware of Rapier's voice, though it seemed to echo somewhere deep within the recesses of her mind. Almost as if he was far away.


His voice again. Only it was farther away this time; Kite could hardly hear it. She found that she couldn't avert her gaze from the puddle of blood. Something inside wouldn't let her and it suddenly felt as though something was clawing at her insides. Then, the oddest sensation washed over her. It was familiar somehow; like a distant memory. It was an urge, almost a lust, for the feeling of someone's death on her hands…

"Kite!" Rapier finally snapped.

This time his voice snapped her out of it. Kite jerked her head away from the bloody mess and turned to look at Rapier, feeling as though she were in some sort of stupor. Rapier was at the door to the gym with Vex's limp body slung carelessly over his shoulder.

"What are you doing? Let's go."


Kite avoided the urge to look at the puddle once again as she bounded after Rapier. The blood lust still lingered, though it faded quickly as Kite and Rapier made their way back to the Team Rocket headquarters.