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Chapter I

I bounce in the bench seat, trying to jump every time my trainer drives over a pot hole or a bump in the road. It was late at night, and I got a giggly feeling in my belly. Mark had something planned, he decided to bring me and the girls along to go tend to it. I watched as he kept a calm focus to the road, the 18 year old gripped the steering wheel as he drove down the small road. Heading east through Faraday Island by the smaller roads, he didn't wanna have anyone noticing his truck for this.

"Thanks for coming out with me, Henry," said Mark, "I would really need a hand in this."

Henry, Mark's best friend, sat beside him. His Raichu sat snugly beside me as Plusle and Minun sat in our laps, the girls too had the giggly feeling. They bounce on the bench seat, trying to "hover" mid-air every time the truck hits a pothole.

"No problem, Mark," said Henry, "I have to ask, why on a Friday around twenty-three hundred hours?"

"Cause they'll all be gathered in one place at the same time, and since I'm going to be outnumbered I really need an extra hand."

Henry raised an eyebrow, "Wait a second, is it them kids again?"

"Yup," said Mark, "Them kids."

For weeks, a group of little ones, somewhere around the ages of 10 to 14, come around to our neighborhood to battle against another group of kids. They were armed with both Airsoft and paintball guns. The Airsoft guns are these realistically looking weapons that fire plastic pellets, said to sting like crazy. The paintballs are these much broader weapons that fire these candy-like spheres stuffed with food coloring, said to hurt even more. Especially in the groin, thankfully I don't have any nuts.

Both types of guns needed small Carbon Dioxide canisters to launch the ammo, something not needed in real guns. We had a couple of boxes underneath the bench seat, along with 3 bottles filled with 6mm plastic BB pellets. The pellets were coated black, so they would be hard to find once they landed in the grass somewhere.

Mark and Henry had their guns stashed in the trunk, they had a couple of black submachine gun looking weapons of some type I can't recall, a black sniper rifle BB pellet gun, and a BB pistol – also black. Henry had brought along a heavy duffel bag stuffed with something, I wasn't sure what it is but it seemed serious. I could hear it slide around in the trunk, along with the Airsoft guns.

"You're doing fine, Emolga?" my trainer asked me.

"Emo!" I let out a small chirp. Fine!

"How about you two Cheeries?" Mark asked Plusle and Minun.

"Plus!" Plusle piped.

"Min!" Minun chirped.

"Why did you bring your Pokémon along anyway, Mark?" Henry asked.

"Same reason why you brought your Raichu," said Mark, "Nobody's home to watch them."

"With your dad working overtime, as always, and my mom on a business trip . . . I think we'll do fine."

"Just don't do anything stupid."

"Mark, we always do something stupid."

"Then don't eat all my Snicker bars."

Henry crumbled up a Snickers wrapper and stuck it in the passenger door's cubby, "You trained your Pokémon how to shoot guns, right?"

"Damn right," said Mark, "They can do a lot of trick shots with a .22 pistol and rifle, you should have seen it."

On Saturdays, Mark took me and the girls out in the middle field with the pickup full of real guns, ammo, and watermelons. We line up the watermelons and BOOM! BUSHHH! Blew them away! Those times were damn great! Them watermelons splatter everywhere like the gore on TV and the big picture screen, even better with the fake blood added inside the watermelons. Not sure how Mark gets it in the melon, maybe the melons were bad and their tummies were froth. Or they were those special breed of melons for blowing them up. Not sure which.

Mark slowed and turned to a subdivision. The neighborhood wasn't like our neighborhood in Faraday City, where we had all the sun panels and spiral turbines. These were those older homes, some a bit crap from age instead of neglect. Most of them were 1st story homes, so there shouldn't be much people here. Well, this town had a population of almost a thousand, the last time I remembered.

Unlike our neighborhood, where tall lamp-post lit up the roads to keep the creepy crawlies away, this neighborhood don't have them posts. It was pitch black, the only light came from the porch lights of some homes that were either on or not. When Mark parked the pickup and got out, I felt a tingle down my spine. I was scared, and so were the girls. Poor Cheering Pokémon, they started murmuring to themselves about the dark. Though Raichu sat calmly, sitting comfortably in the seat, undetered by the darkness. I wonder how Mark and Henry were so brave to walk out in the darkness, the creepy crawlies might get them. Unless they were the creepy crawlies . . . oh, I hadn't thought of that one.

I scrambled out of the car and climbed up my trainer's skinny frame and shivered as I huddled on his shoulder, "Emolga." I muttered under my breath. I'm scared.

"Emolga," said Mark, "The darkness may be our worst enemy. But tonight, it's going to be our best friend. Cause tonight, we're going to be the ones lurking in the shadows."

I sheepishly nodded my head, kinda understanding what he meant. Just kinda.

Henry opened up the duffel back and pulled out several black clothing, it was hard to make them out under the moonlight, other than they were black. He handed some to Mark and got himself some, I jumped down so my trainer can put them on. I watched as they become darker with every layer of black clothing they put on, looking more like the creepy crawlies I fear so much. In no time they were fully dressed, the only skin exposed were the areas around their eyes.

Next they got their Airsoft guns, Henry reached in and pulled out these optical sights. I think they were called red-dot sights, or maybe they were reflex sights. It's these laser sights that use some sort of optical illusion to produce a red dot inside the scope, they should make the weapons more accurate. Normally the red-dot sights would be used for real guns, they're going to use these sights for the Airsoft guns. I don't know where Henry got the sights, he must be that resourceful.

"Okay," said Mark, "If I remember correctly, the older buildings in this neighborhood have the breaker boxes on the outside. I have a skeleton key where we can bypass the locks on them, the local government made no effort to install them modern locks."

"Why do you have a skeleton key?" Henry asked.

"I wanna turn off the power to this particular house, cause that's where the kids would be. If we turn the power off, then they'll be in the dark. That would disorient them."

"If we're going to be in the dark, then we should have these."

Henry reached into the duffel bag and pulled out two Mag-lite flashlights, he handed one to Mark and pocketed the other, "Police-style flashlights," Mark noted, "They sell these everywhere."

"Fresh batteries too," said Henry, "Got them this morning."

"Sweet."

Mark picked up the Airsoft sniper rifle and handed it to me, "There's some trees behind the house, climb up one of them and find a comfortable branch to lay on. Once you get the sniper rifle set up, you're going to aim for the only fat kid there. He'll squeal like a Pidgey if you nick him in the cheek, while he distracts the other kids I'll move in and turn off the power. You can then shoot indiscriminately. Once we leave the area, we meet back here."

"Emolga." I nodded. Understood.

"She's our support?" Henry asked.

"Yup," said Mark, he placed a hand on my head and rubbed my ears, "She's our support."

I cooed as he rubbed my ears, it feels so nice the way he does it. I don't know his technique, but whatever it was, it felt relaxing, "Emoooo..." I cooed. Ahhh...

"What about Raichu and the Cheering Pokémon?" Henry asked.

"They'll also be our support," said Mark, "They'll make sure the way is clear for Emolga to escape."

Plusle and Minun climbed up Mark's shoulders and licked his face, cooing like crazy, "Okay girls," said Mark, "You two go cover Emolga, you can use only Thundershock if it comes to it."

"Plusle/ Minun!" both Cheering Pokémon chirped. Yeah!

Raichu hopped up and climbed on the edge of the trunk, "Raichu Raichu?" What do I do?

"Raichu," said Henry, "Assist the Cheering Pokémon, make sure they don't get captured by the kids. Use only Thundershock, or some similar yet weak electric-move. Don't worry about me or Mark, just make sure you get Mark's Pokémon back to the pickup if things go awry."

"Rai!" said Raichu. Sure!

We head off down the sidewalk, then made a turn onto a gravel road. A huge privacy fence towers our left, on the rough were big old growth trees. It was even more darker in the back area than on the paved street. It was already feeling quite spooky. I walked on my hiney legs, carrying the plastic Airsoft sniper rifle in my tiny hands. It was remarkably light, I could even get my finger around the trigger. Luckily the safety was on, or else I would had misfire.

Mark and Henry crotched like ninjas as they crept down the gravel road, neither of them whispered to each other. Plusle and Minun started to let out soft noises, they were getting scared, I could tell by the looks in their eyes. I felt my fur stand up when I heard a twig snap. Now I was really scared, and the thought of us being the creepy crawlies didn't help at all.

The silence soon broke when we heard children playing. I thought I recognized some of the voices, but I couldn't really tell. Somehow that calmed me down a lot. I'm not sure if it was a good thing or a bad thing, maybe neither. I did my best not to think about it and focused at the task on hand.

We stopped behind a particular house, then Mark turned and faced me, "See that tree," he pointed to a rather tall tree that was thick around the base, "climb up that and find a branch to settle on. When I turn off the power, you shoot the fat kid first before firing upon the others. Got it?"

"Emolga." I nodded. Yeah.

"Henry," said Mark, he held up his Airsoft gun and cocked it, "You're with me."

"Got it." said Henry.

Mark approached the privacy fence and checked the knots on the wood. He managed to find one knot rather loose, Mark took his finger and pushed it in. The knot broke through and fell out, leaving a round hole no bigger than a half-pokédollar coin.

"Damn," he spoke as he placed a hand on the wood, "This fence is so rotted, I'm surprised it's still standing. I could punch my fist through these pickets here."

He spied through the hole for a few seconds, observing what was on the other side, "How many kids?" Henry asked.

"At least 7," said Mark, "There's the fat kid, sitting on the hot tub cover fiddling with something. I don't see any Pokémon, nor any Poké balls, though they all seem old enough to have a Pokémon training license."

"Age estimate?"

"Between 8 to 14, the fat kid's 12."

"What's so significant about the fat kid?"

"He's the leader."

"Oh . . ."

"Alright, they're all distracted in their little activities. I don't see any of their parents inside the house, but I bet there's more kids than we're seeing. We have to work fast, or else they'll corner us. I don't wanna come home covered in paint."

"I got a decontamination shower at my place." said Henry.

Mark pulled away from the hole and gave Henry a look, "Those plastic government-standard kinds?"

"Yeah."

"Well then, I hope we don't have to use it," Mark then turned to me, "Emolga, go up the tree. The rest of you, cover Emolga. Remember the plan guys."

Mark and Henry crept back down the road, we all looked on and watched as they get smaller and smaller. My heart ached from watching them leave us, I just wanna scream out for them to call back. I took a deep breath and held it, remembering that they're not going to leave without us. It didn't help, I felt my eyes started filling with tears when I watched my beloved trainer turn the corner, and vanished.

"Raichu," Raichu said, putting one of his stubby paws on my shoulder, "Rai Rai,Raichu." Emolga, they'll come back. They will.

Hearing that felt more reassuring than my inner voice, the ache in my heart faded and my anxiety dropped. Plusle and Minun also noticeably relaxed, they stopped shivering and stood up on their hind legs. Their little smiles came back, beaming with pride.

"Emo, Emolga." I nodded. Thanks, Raichu.

I felt the urge to kiss one of his yellow cheeks, but I resisted. Sometimes I had feelings for him, I didn't know why but he was so handsome. Maybe it was because he was a big chubby goofball that always trying to be adorable. I couldn't tell, all I know was that his white furry belly was nice to hug. Though I didn't actually told him that his gut felt nice, in fear of embarrassing him. I did sometimes turn up the charm on some days, and he made his giggles. I thought about using Attract on him, but I decided against it, it would had been mean and he was sure to remember the experience.

But for now, at least he gets to be my protector. Being a fully-evolved Mouse Pokémon, he can dish out a hundred-thousand volts. Though he doesn't have the heart to harm anyone, I knew him for quite a long time and I hadn't recalled him frying any Pokémon's tails off outside of battle. Maybe he did, or I didn't think he did, but he was too nice.

"Raichu Rai Rai, Raichu." he then say. You best get up that tree, Emolga.

I nodded, "Emo Emo Em." Can't let them down now.

I strapped the sniper rifle on my back and climbed up the tree, the bark was thick and my paws felt right between the grooves. Maybe it was because I was a Sky Squirrel Pokémon and we Sky Squirrel Pokémon live up in trees, I think this was the first time I climbed up a tree in years. Once I felt like I got high enough, I checked the branches closest to the house. I found a big sturdy one where I can sit on with the sniper rifle. When I tried to lay on my belly, the notches on the branch try to stab into me. I tried moving around on the branch, that didn't work. Suddenly an idea came to mind, I pulled my tail between my legs and folded it over my torso, then laid down on it. Incredible, I couldn't feel the bumps! I was all set!

I got out the sniper rifle and aimed out over the house, my eyes were stunned. The backyard was big, it was way bigger for a tiny Pokémon like me to use. There was a large trampoline near the back fence, 4 kids rushed up to it and climbed onto the elastic tarp. Then began jumping away. They giggled and laugh and it was so fun! I just wished I was down there to enjoy it with them, then again, they might use me for target practice for their paintballs and Airsoft. I noticed their weapons, sitting on top of a picnic table. And boy were there a lot of paintballs and plastic BB rounds, that was a lot more than Mark, Henry, and me have.

The fat kid in question was indeed sitting on top of the hot tub, on the edge of its cover. He was fiddling with a small device, maybe it was a Pokédex, or it looked like a Pokédex. That means he must be a Pokémon trainer, and he had Pokémon stored away somewhere. Oh bloody crap, that was going to throw a monkey wrench into the plans it if was true. The hot tub itself sat near the house on a wooden porch, it hummed away, heating up the water for the next user.

I saw the rest of the other kids inside the one-story house, they were inside, under a full cascade of lights. They were playing video games, I peered through the scope and saw an Xbox 720 controller. Lookie that, Mark and I had a 720 as well! The looks on their faces suggested that they were playing Poké Ops 3, people tend to get frustrated when playing that game. But it also warm them up for a real-world experience, so this would probably get interesting.

Mark and Henry came through the gate by the side of the house, I glanced over at the kids on the trampoline, they were having so much fun on their trampoline that they didn't notice. A motion-sensor light came on over the duo and shined on top of them. They didn't freeze, they kept right on going. The duo were so brave, I wonder how they pulled it off. The kids were right there, all they have to do was glance over at their direction and they would loose the element of surprise. But they didn't, the kids had a false sense of security with all the lights on.

The duo made their approach, Mark pulled out his skeleton key and crept up to the breaker box. I quickly hovered the scope over the fat kid, he was still focused on his Pokédex. With one eye trained of the fat kid, I watched Mark with my other eye pick the lock on the breaker box. He managed to get it open, Mark scanned through the multiple breakers for a brief second and reached for the main switch. I quickly center my full attention on the fat kid, I hover my finger over the trigger and held in my breath. Instantly the lights through the windows went dark.

Not only the lights inside the house went dark, but the porch lights as well. The entire backyard darkened, including the motion-sensor lights. The power to the house had been cut, it was time to make my move. I squeezed off a round from the Airsoft gun, I watched the black BB soar through the air and ping the fat kid on the cheek. He let out a squawk as he dropped back, grabbing his face with a hand. His Pokédex fell from his hand and clattered to the ground as his flabby body went to the center of the hot-tub. It gave way under his weight, I watched as the fat kid sank through the covers and vanished from sight, leaving behind a massive crater in the hot-tub.

Mark and Henry move in before the kids on the trampoline had time to react, they fired controlled burst at the 4 kids. They aimed for the center mass, striking them in the chests and belly. The kids holler and swore as they jumped off the trampoline, they yelped "Ow!" every time they were struck by a BB. Humorously they were trying to use each other as a human shield, but that didn't work. Mark and Henry simply pop-marked them until they dropped to the ground crying.

The other kids inside the house noticed their comrade's plight, they scrambled off the couch and pulled out their paintball and Airsoft guns. I hover the reticle over the sliding-glass door as it opened up, I tapped the trigger repeatedly as they came on through, striking every human kid that came through. They scrambled behind the deck rails and got into firing position, hollering swear words and screaming battle cries from their favorite TV shows. Mark and Henry got down to the prone position. They pulled out their Mag-Lite flashlights and shined two columns of light at the kids, they winced and covered their eyes as the duo concentrated their fire.

The four kids who were pinned down leaped up and made a grab for their Airsoft and paintball guns, I began firing the plastic pellets at them. They all yelped every time I pelt them in the back, it didn't slow them down as they reached their weapons and began firing at Mark and Henry.

All of the kids just held down their triggers, the sounds of soft tapping noises from the Airsoft guns and the pelting noises from the Paintball guns rang out into the night. Most of the rounds just went wild, nowhere even close to my trainer and his friend. The kids couldn't get a bead on them, the duo's flashlights through a monkey wrench into their accuracy.

Two kids scrambled around the side of the house to try to get the power back on, but they didn't have the key. They try to pull the panel open, but it wouldn't budge. So much for the comfort of light. They noticed the gate was wide open, so they shut and locked it. I gasped, that was Mark and Henry's only escape. They're trapped! My heart began to beat its way out of my chest as I fired a few more pellets at the two kids, they held their hands over their face to protect their eyes. I hovered the reticle over one of their crouches and fired, the pellet hit where I was aiming and the kid dropped. Oblivious to his fallen comrade, his buddy tripped over him and fell as well.

I tried firing at the other kids from above, usually at the ones who were being the most trigger-happy. They continue to swear out all sorts of nasty human words, then they went back to kids stuff, warning they're going to tell their parents and such. Somehow the giggly feeling came back in my belly, stronger than before. I simply went crazy, popping rounds at at the kids, laughing as I watch them wonder what was going on. None of them still couldn't find me, or at least tried to. Though I did heard one kid yell out, "Sniper!" but I didn't hear him again.

After 10 minutes of battle, the whole yard was coated with paintball splatters. It didn't take long for the kids to start running out of ammunition, somehow Mark and Henry still had plenty more and still fired away, keeping at them with their flashlights. Sooner or later they're going to retreat back inside, I was surprised that they were holding their ground. I just wonder when it would end.

Suddenly the covers over the hot-tub bulged up, it split in half and slid to the ground as the fat kid erupted through. He was soaked to the bone and totally pissed, "Charge!" he roared with a loud booming voice.

"Split up!" cried Mark.

Mark bolted from Henry, he charged across the backyard and hopped over the privacy fence. Henry panicked, he spun around and cannon balled into the fence as the kids were halfway to him. The fence disintegrated as he crashed through like a Deino and took off down the gravel road, leaving behind a maw through the privacy fence. I just sat there with my jaw dropped, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The kids stopped from their charge and stared at the hole in the wall, the fat kid saw Henry's bulldozing handiwork and growled, "Fetch the scooters," he spat, "search the neighborhood for them!"

It was time to go, I began to climb down from the branch. Somehow my foot slipped and I fell, I dropped my gun and tumbled mid-air as I fell to earth. I did my best not to scream, somehow I held it all in. I thought I was going to splatter on the ground and that would be the end of me. After a dizzying second, I flopped on another branch . . . landing on my groin. I let out yelp as the branch broke, Raichu just so happened to be right there and caught me before I landed on the ground.

"Emolga!" I whispered. Thanks.

"Raichu Raichu!" he spoke. Let's get outta here, Emolga!

Plusle and Minun took off down the gravel road as Raichu jogged on his two big feet, he carried the sniper rifle in his stubby arms as he hurried along. I hobbled behind him on all fours, yelping from every step I took. My groin throbbed in excruciating pain, I did my best not to cry. I tried to relieve the pain by urinating as I ran, it did nothing, other than making a urine trail behind me.

As we got back onto the street, we turned towards where the technical was. Henry was already there in the driver's seat, he had the car running with the headlights on as we came up, "Get in!" he yelled through the window.

Me, Raichu, and the Cheering Pokémon leaped up and flopped into the back of the technical. Somehow I landed on the sniper rifle with my groin, I let out a cry from my dumb luck as I curled up on the floor of the trunk.

"Plus Plus!?" Plusle cried. Are you alright?

"Em Em Emo, Em Em Emolga!" I squealed as I clutched my groin. I'm not alright, I landed on my damn crotch!

I felt a tear streaked down my cheek, somehow the pain went to my lower tummy. How was that possible!? I had no nuts, was it just an exaggeration or I'm just that unlucky? Raichu sat me up and gave me a big hug, "Rai Rai," he whispered into my ear, "Raichu." There there, I got you.

I felt his white tubby belly pressed against my face, I forgotten the pain momentarily and gave Raichu a hug. I squeezed him hard, I couldn't believe how soft he was. I let out a coo and laughed, "Em Em Emolga!" You're so cuddly!

"Uh, Raichu?" he said, not sure what I meant. Uh, thanks.

"Henry!" I heard my trainer's voice.

I pushed Raichu aside and stuck my head over the trunk, my beloved trainer came running down the road with his Airsoft gun in his hand. Plusle and Minun jumped clear in time as he leaped into the trunk and landed inside, I looked back where he came and saw a convoy of kids on scooters, still hollering heated swear words from the top of their lungs.

"Drive, Henry!" Mark blurted.

The pickup truck lunged forward and sped down the road. As we made our getaway I flopped on my back and sighed in relief, that was tense. So tense that I thought I was going to be covered in paintballs and such. I felt the loving hand of my trainer reach out for me and I snuggled into his side, once again Mark and I were reunited from what felt like we were an eternity apart. "Nice shot in taking down that fat kid," said Mark, "Did you made it out alright?"

Right after he said that, a stab of pain centered around my groin and lower tummy. It didn't hurt as bad as before, but it hurt enough for me to gesture I was hurt, "Don't wory, Emolga," said Mark, "I got something that might help once we get back to Henry's house."

"Emolga." I chirped. Okay.

TO BE CONTINUED . . .