Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 15

/Where am I?/ Michi thought, her eyes blinking awake. /A cell?/ She sat up, curling up tightly. /This looks like... a lab?/

"Ah, so you're awake!" A male voice exclaimed, seeming to be delighted.

/Who the heck is that?/ She wondered idly, looking at the man that stood before here. He had graying hair, and wore strangely shaped glass perched on the edge of his rather large nose. His eyes were a muddy brown, the same color of his hair, at least, the same colour of the strands of hair that were yet to be replaced by grey.

"Can you speak, or are you dumb?" He demanded, walking closer to the cage.

"I can speak." She replied.

"Professor Tomas, don't you have some pokemon to work with?" Another voice, also male, asked. Turning, Michi noticed a man, in his late twenties or early thirties she supposed, with either lavender or blue hair.

The professor glared at the other man, then looked at Michi one last time, and left.

"I'm sorry about keeping you in that cage, but it's for our safety. We wouldn't want you trying to kill us, would we?" He walked closer to the cage, and stared intently at her.

"I wouldn't try that. I couldn't anyway. . If you do nothing to provoke me, I can't hurt you." Looking disdainfully at the cage she sat in, and the clothes she wore, Michi frowned. "You're not going to keep me here, are you?"

"Sorry, but it's the boss's orders. Personally, I don't approve of keeping a human being, especially a little thing like you, in a cage. A cage in a pokemon lab too. But the boss says that you must stay here, and no one goes against the boss."

"James! Hurry up! The boss is waiting." A voice called from up the stairs.

"I'm coming Jessie!" He yelled over his shoulder. "Well, I guess we must cut our conversation short. What's your name kid?"


"Well, see you later Michi." He waved, then left, running up the stairs.

/Confined to a cage like a wild pokemon. Things are not looking good. Judging from that man's outfit, I'm in a Team Rocket base./ With a sigh, she looked around carefully. /This place is so... depressing. I've never seen anything like it.../

For Michi no longer saw the world as most people did. She saw things most people did not even know existed. Usually, she would only see the world in her special way for a split second, but now, she saw it like that constantly.

People glowed with different colours depending on their personalities, and their current mood. Sometimes the glow was dull, other times, bright and blinding. Sometimes there were many colours, sometimes only one. She saw 'paths' in front of people. Sometimes it was clear which one they were walking, other times, they seemed to be at a point in their lives where they had to make a serious decision. The paths also had different auras. Some were dark, some were bright, and others were in-between.

And then, sometimes she saw certain things floating around a person. The occurrence of that was much rarer than the pervious two, and something she wasn't fond of. She would see visions floating around a person, sometimes it would be someone they loved, or someone who loved them. At times, the visions were pleasant, and she could tell happiness would be in that person's life, but other times, she could tell that they meant the future held nothing but sadness and death...

Right now, the whole lab, although there were bright lights, had a very dark aura. Blackness swirled around, along with a sorrowful, deep blue, the colour she normally saw around sad people, or depressed people. She also saw blood red here and there, signifying violence. When she looked around at most of the pokemon held there, she could tell that their futures were bleak. Most, if not all of them, wouldn't be alive by the next year. Michi was glad she could not tell her own future clearly. There was nothing worse than knowing when you were going to die.

"ZARD!" A charizard cried out as it was being dragged out of it's cage for an experiment. "CHARI-" A fist landed hard on it's soft stomach.

"Stop that!" Michi called out, her violet eyes blazing angrily. "It's not right to pick on the poor thing like that!" In normal cases, she would have healed the charizard, but for some reason she could not use her powers, so she had to watch the poor pokemon be dragged out of its cage for whatever they wanted to do with it. A tear rolled down her cheek, as Michi had never liked watching anyone get picked on, or pokemon being abused. What was the use of having the ability to heal others, if you couldn't use it?


Giovanni observed the trio that stood in front of him, then smiled. "Jessie, James, Persian, you three have come a long way since I first hired you."

"Thank you sir." They all said.

"It's been fourteen years... fourteen long years. It took you some time before you were actually good for anything, but the wait was worth it. You've become some of the highest ranking members." He withdrew a folder from his desk and handed it to Jessie. "I've decided to put you in charge of the Kiajis case."

Their eyes widened, and they stared at their boss in surprise.

"B-b...but boss! He roasted Jonathan and Mike single handedly! What makes you think we'll be safe?" James stammered.

Giovanni smirked evilly as he spoke."We have the girl. He'll want to save her, we'll be able to take care of him when he comes to rescue here. But anyway, all I want you three to do is keep an eye on him, monitor his progress. From the base."

"From the base," Jessie asked.

"The dart that hit his ninetails last night also implanted a tracking device in the pokemon. He goes with it everywhere. There will also be some Team Rocket members who will be working for you, so you can have them go out and actually watch him. I want you three to remain here. I have something I'll be needing you for later."

"And what's that?" The persian asked.

"You'll find out. Now, go!"

They hurriedly retreated from his office.

"So Jessie, what do you think it is that he wants us to do, other than keep an eye on that Kiajis kid?"

She shrugged. "I have no idea, but I have a feeling we'll be paid a lot for it."

"Better be a lot, we're nearly broke." The persian added.

"We're not 'nearly broke' Persian, we're just... in a tight financial situation..." James corrected the pokemon.

"Yeah right... Hey! Where are you going James?" The persian ran up to him. "I thought we were all going for lunch in the cafeteria?"

"Are you too good for us now James?" Jessie taunted playfully.

"I'll be right down, I just wanted to stop by the lab."

"Ditching me for a girl less than half your age? James! I never knew!"

"Cut it out Jessie," James rolled his eyes, then left the lobby and headed for the lab.

"Don't worry Jessie. He loves you. You know he does." The persian sighed. "Though if you don't calm down and control your temper, he'll never ask you to marry him. You frighten him."

"Why you little..."


Some things never changed.


James walked down the stairs and entered the lab cautiously, making sure none of those weird scientists were around. As soon as he was sure the coast was clear, he approached the girl. "Hello again."

Michi lifted her eyes from the cage floor to regard her visitor. It was the blue haired man again. What was his name? James. "Hi James."

"Look, like I said before, I'm really sorry that we have to keep you in here, but your friend Kiajis has been causing a lot of trouble for us, and we kinda need to kill him."

"You won't though." Scooting closer to the edge of the cage, she peered closer at him, examining his aura. Unusually bright and...well, good, for a Team Rocket member...


"You won't end up killing him. You can't kill him. The world would be doomed then." She sighed, tucking a curl of white hair behind one ear.

"The world would be doomed?"

"I'll explain some other time. Don't you have some friends who are waiting for you?"

He blinked several times. "Yeah. How'd you know?"

Michi allowed herself to smile. "I know things."

James still seemed puzzled, but nodded anyway. "Well, I'll stop by later." And he left, wondering what on earth she meant...


"Persian, do you really think I'm too hard on him sometimes?" Jessie asked worriedly as they walked into the cafeteria.

"Ah, don't worry! He's used to it."

"But still... I don't want to do anything to jeopardize our relationship..."

The persian chuckled. "Jessie, he hasn't left yet and you guys have been working together for over thirteen years. Why should he leave now?"

"People who have been married for longer than we've been working together have gotten divorced." She pointed out.

"Jessie, don't worry. You won't scare him off. Though you could try being a little more 'affectionate'. You're a bit too uptight sometimes. You need to loosen up." The persian stood on his hind legs, trying to see what food they were offering. "Mind lifting me up Jessie?"

She picked him up. "So basically, you want me to relax."

"Yup." He sniffed the air. "Ahhh, they're serving magikarp casserole again!"

"Again?" James popped up behind them, looking at the casserole. "They served it yesterday..."


"You know I hate anything that has to do with magikarps Jessie..."

Persian snickered. "But magikarp tastes good!"

"It still brings back bad memories..." James eyed the food one last time. "I think I'll just have salad today." He left the two to go to the salad bar.

"He seemed different, don't you think so Persian?" Jessie got two trays and started to pick out some food for her and Persian.

"Different? Nah, he just seemed to be thinking for once."

Jessie whacked the persian on the head.

"Alright, alright! I was just kidding!" He sniffed slightly. "No need to get violent..."


"My head...hurts..." Jizo opened his eyes, squinting in the bright light. His head hurt like that time he and Rezia had gone celebrating at the bar. He'd stayed away from alcohol ever since; hangovers just weren't worth it. Not only did it give you a heck of a headache the next morning, but it muddled your senses. A sudden sound nearby caused him to turn his head sharply, and then wince at the pain that he felt.

"Jizo, you awake?" A pair of concerned green eyes hovered about a foot away from his face.

"Rezia?" He tried to sit up, but his head didn't seem to want to allow him to.

"Don't try to get up yet. You'll regret it." Jizo's eyes finally came into focus and he could see Rezia's face clearly.

"Where's everyone else?" He asked, closing his eyes because the light hurt them.

"I believe they're nearby. I haven't been up for long though, and I was waiting for you..." She sounded worried, and Jizo opened one eye to check on her. Outwardly, she seemed fine, and was smiling. But what about inside?

"It's not your fault they got Michi. It's not any of our faults." He said sternly. "We were all confused. I don't want to hear one word from you about it."

"But I was just standing there! I should have done something! I should have been with her... If I had just been with her..."

"Then what?" Jizo opened his eyes, then slowly sat up despite protests from his head, and looked directly at Rezia. "You still would have gotten hit by a dart. It wouldn't have changed anything."

"You never know! Sometimes just a little change can make a big difference!" She tried to hold back tears.

"Rezia, Michi knew it was going to happen. Remember what she told us?"

"She... She said we shouldn't worry..." Rezia mumbled.

"Exactly. And that she can take care of herself. Which she can, if she is who we think she is. And I'm sure she is."

Her mood swinging rapidly, Rezia giggled. "You just didn't really make much sense, you know."

Jizo grinned, then moved closer to his sister, taking one of her hands in one of his. "Rezia, promise me you won't blame yourself? I can't stand to see you crying..." He wiped away some of her tears with his free hand.


"Good. Now, we need to find the others." And he started to stand up, but Rezia yanked his hand,causing him to fall. "What was that for?"

"You need to rest. Look at your arms! I did what I could for them, but you're going to need some time to heal." She pushed him down onto his back gently. "You stay here, I'm going for the others." She got up and left him.

Jizo took this time to observe his surroundings. Wherever they were, it probably wasn't anywhere in the real world. The light was blinding, and was a very familiar pale blue. The ground was very flat, and covered with incredibly soft, green grass. There were a few trees here and there, and some bushes, but no sky...


Although Rezia had promised to Jizo that she wouldn't blame herself, she still couldn't help feeling guilty. She was supposed to protect the girl, to watch over her. Now they had no idea where she was!


"Janyin!" She ran over to where she had heard the voice and found Janyin lying down. He was bruised, and his fur was singed, but he was otherwise alright. "Where's Reika?"

"Nearby. I can feel her."

She looked around and spotted the smaller eevee, still asleep. She picked the two up and returned to where Jizo now slept and put them down by his side. Her next task would be to find Kiajis, Gilisia, and their pokemon. If she was lucky, they'd all be around the same area.

And she was lucky.

Rezia found them all lying down in the same area. Kiajis with the two ninetales, and Gilisia with her vileplume. But she realized that they needed to sleep, as they had all been fighting yesterday, so she decided not to wake them. Instead, she began to wander around aimlessly, thinking about yesterday. They had been too relaxed, they hadn't kept their guard up... If only they had...

"If only you had what?"

"Father!" Rezia immediately knelt before the young, brown haired man.

"It's been a while, hasn't it?" He remarked, a gentle smile on his young face. "How have you been?"

"I've been...okay." She stood up.

"What about now? How are you?" With a concerned look on his face, he closed the distance between them slightly.

"I don't know... Lost, confused, angry at myself!" She looked up defiantly at her 'father'. "I know I promised Jizo I wouldn't blame myself, but I can't help it! I should have been with her!"

"No, you shouldn't have. It had to happen. There are some people she needs to meet where she is. Don't worry about her; she'll be fine. You need to worry about yourselves though." He sighed. "Right now, you need to concentrate on gathering the rest of your group, and rescuing Kaijis's wife. She's also supposed to be on your team."

Rezia nodded.

"I can't give you any hints though, but I'm sure you'll be fine on your own."

"We will, Father."

"Good." He was about to leave, but he noticed that Rezia was still feeling a bit ashamed, so he hugged her. The hug took Rezia by complete surprise, for it had been a long time since he had done that, but it wasn't long before she relaxed in his hold, and hugged him back, crying softly on his shoulder.


Kiajis woke up with a sore body, a very annoying and painful headache, and what felt like a ton of bricks on his chest.

"Sijia... Siari, get off me..." He muttered, feebly trying to push the ninetales off of him.

/We were worried./ Sijia replied, moving her furry face closer to his and then licking him on the cheek.

"I'm fine. Now get off!"

They complied, and watched as he stood up somewhat shakily.

"Where are the others?"

/We don't know./ Siari answered, looking around. /I think they're near though./

/Where are we?/ Sijia asked.

"I don't know... I have a feeling we're not in Ralaos anymore though."

"Finally awake?" Gilisia asked, walking into his line of vision. She seemed fine, if a little tired, and so did her pokemon. "You look like a machamp used you as a punching bag..." She commented wryly, folding her arms across her chest. "What made you think you could beat Calisin in *any* kind of fight? He's older, stronger, more experienced, and more powerful than you."

"Go ahead, rub it in..." His tone was bitter, and he flicked back a few wild strands of hair angrily.

"Sorry, but still, we don't need that kind of reckless attitude Kiajis. I know you love Firais, but you don't need to get yourself killed trying to rescue her." She shook her head slightly, then spoke again. "I found Jizo and Rezia, follow me." She turned and started to walk off, and Kiajis reluctantly followed her.


"Looking at Kiajis, I have a feeling we won't be in the shape to do any fighting for a few weeks." Janyin remarked to his sister as the mother of all grass types and the father of all fire types showed up.

"I agree." Reika noted the way Kiajis walked, obviously in pain. "Thankfully, there shouldn't be any need for fighting for a long time. Our group is supposed to just stand back and observe, only interfering if things don't go right..."

"Well, we only have...six more to go..." Janyin sighed, flicking one of his ears in irritation.

"Well, technically, only five more. Remember the mother of all fire types?"

"Oh yeah... But still she's not with us."

"At least we know where she is..."

"But where are we?" Kiajis interrupted.

Jizo replied in a slightly uncertain tone. "We're in a place that exists, yet does not exist. It's where our father comes for quiet time. He brought us here to rest, and will return us to the real world soon. He said he'll drop us off back at our house in the sea-port town of Kaon."

"Why the hell are we going back all the way to Visea? We need to rescue Firais!"

"Kiajis, you can't do anything in your condition, and neither can I. We need to rest for at least a week or two, and plan where we'll go next."

Kiajis glared at Jizo, but kept quiet, for he knew that the older man was right.

The pale blue light that filled wherever it was that they were started to glow brighter, and they found themselves in Jizo and Rezia's living room after a few seconds.

"Home sweet home..." Rezia found that everything was as they had left it, and then smiled. Oddly enough, she felt good to be back where it had all started.


"Remind me again why we're here Jay?" Sarina asked the green-eyed man. "It's hot, and humid. I'm practically wilting!"

"Same here." Taie piped up. She had a miserable expression on her face, and seemed like she was going to faint any moment.

"Like I said the first few times, and the many times after that, Jyp told me he has a feeling we'll find one of you guys here." Sighing, Jay wiped some sweat off his brow, wishing the girls would stop complaining.

"But why couldn't we stay at the hotel?" Akira 'whined'. It wasn't her usual nature to whine, but this was a special case. She wasn't used to such high temperatures...

"Because I may need you guys to help get him to remember!" Jay looked at the other men, but received no help from them in subduing the women. They had wisely kept quiet during the whole trip from Tevas to the town they were currently in, Floreis, the capital of Ralaos. They had spoken in the train, but as soon as they stepped into the smoldering heat of the town, and noticed the moods of the women, they decided to keep quiet. Unfortunately for Jay, that left him as the one for them to complain too.

Sajoya wiped her forehead dry with a handkerchief that she had in her skirt pocket. "After we find whoever it may be that we're looking for, we can stop by a cafe for something cool, okay?"

The other girls brightened up considerably.

/Jay, go to the gym. I have a feeling he's there./


/Yes he. I definitely sense a male./

"Jyp says he's in the gym. Which is over..." Jay looked at the buildings that lined the street, and spotted a large one across the street that according to the sign on it, was the gym. "there!"

"Finally!" Akira exclaimed, petting her poor dratini, who seemed to have literally wilted. Rika was draped loosely on her mother's shoulders, and her eyes were half open as she panted.

They entered the gym to find it relatively empty, except for a young man with forest green hair sitting on a bench with a vileplume at his side. He noticed them enter, and stood up immediately.

"We're closed!" He yelled across the gym floor.

"We're not here to battle you." Jay yelled back, leading the group over to him. As they neared the young man, Jay saw something, recognition?, flicker across his lime eyes.

"Akira? Sarina? Taie? Kevin? Rosc?" He rattled the names quickly, then seemed confused, as if wondering where they had come from. "What's...going on?"

"You're remembering, now sit down, and let me handle this." Kevin sat down on the bench next to the younger man, then regarded the others. "You guys go rest elsewhere. When he's finished, I'll call you."

"Fine with me. I just want to let Rika recover from the heat." Akira headed off for a bench, with her twin sister right behind her, and Taie not far off.


Garis sat on the bench, clutching his head in his hands. So many memories...too fast... He was having trouble handling the sudden rush of information into his head. His eyes were shut tight, and his jaw was clenched firmly in...pain? It wasn't supposed to hurt... Why was his mind resisting his past?

Kevin was confused. None of them had reacted negatively to regaining their memories, so what was wrong with Garis? Usually they just blanked out for around fifteen to thirty minutes. "Uh, guys? I need your help!" He shouted across the gym. Jay and Sajoya were the first to reach his side.

Sajoya put her right hand under Gariss chin, lifting his head up. She placed her other hand on his forehead, then closed her own eyes in concentration, melding her own mind with his. There was a flash of bright white, followed by red. Pain... pure pain... The memories were flowing back, but each one hurt. Someone was attacking him, trying to kill him before he regained his memory. Dwelling deeper, Sajoya tried to discover who the attacker was.

"What's going on?" Kevin asked Jay, who shrugged.

"I have no idea, other than Sajoya's merged minds with him."

"Do you think it's Ivan and Ivena?" Taie suggested.

"No. They wouldn't do something like that. I think it's something else... Possibly the same entity that had infested Sarina's mind." Jay had an uncharacteristic serious look on his face. "I have a feeling that things are not as we thought they are..." He smiled slightly. "At least, that's what Jyp says."

Still in Garith's mind, Sajoya had a difficult time ignoring the pain and searching for the enemy. Her current mortal body was a big drawback... Humans had such limited mental power in her opinion. Concentrating hard, she subdued the pain, then continued on her search.

Finally, after a few agonizing minutes, she discovered a darkness in Garith's otherwise bright mind. It was doing its best to hide itself, but its best was not good enough.

/Who are you?/ She demanded.

/Don't you remember me? I'm hurt./ The darkness replied in a sarcastic tone that dripped with contempt. /You and your brother... For such powerful beings, you're very naive. Your sister, however, is a different story. She's very intelligent, and knows what's good for her./

/Who are you?! I command you to tell me!/

/What right have you to order me around?/ It retorted with a mental snort. /Find out for yourself./ It seemed to sigh. /You may have won this battle, but I shall win the war./ It laughed evilly. /I've always wanted to say that.../ Was it's parting comment before leaving Garis's mind.

The young gym leader gasped, and fell forward. Sajoya caught him, then propped him back up. He had fallen into a deep sleep.

"He needs to rest. His mind will complete the remembering process as he sleeps." She looked at the others. "We need to leave the gym now though."

"We can't just carry the gym leader out. People will be suspicious." Rosc pointed out.

"True..." Sajoya looked at them all, then shrugged. With a snap of her fingers, they found themselves in the hotel room Sajoya shared with Taie.

"How'd we get here?" Kevin asked.

"We teleported." She said simply. "Rosc, could you put Garis on my bed. Thank you." She turned to the others again. "Go back to your rooms, or go look around town. If I need you, I'll contact you." Then she walked to where she had put her things and started looking for some herbs. The others hesitated at first, but a 'no-nonsense' look from Sajoya sent all of them, except Jay, out of the room.

"How'd you teleport all of us? That takes a lot of power." He folded his arms across his chest. "Just who are you, Sajoya? If that's even your real name. Why did my creator send you here?"

She stood up, and looked at Jay, carefully schooling the expression on her face. "I don't have a real name, so Sajoya will have to do for now. Your creator sent me here because she needed to keep an eye on your group so nothing like the 'Jyp incident' happened again." Well, it was true in a way... "You don't need to know what I am, for there is no real way to describe me."

Jay nodded, though he was still suspicious. "What happened to Garis?"

"Again, you don't need to know." She replied calmly.

"Of course I need to know!" He pounded his fist on a table. "I'm supposed to lead this group! How can I lead it when I don't know what the hell is going on?!?" Jay rarely lost his temper, but Sajoya had a way of making him do so...

"Fine, I'll tell you." She hated to see him so angered, especially at her. Wait, what was she thinking? Since when did she have to worry about Jay being angry? She'd caused him to be mad at her many times before. "There's some new being in this whole thing. I suspect it's been here all along and we just didn't know it. It attacked Garis's mind, trying to prevent him from remembering, seriously damage his brain, or kill him. Fortunately, I stopped it. It was the same thing that was in Sarina's mind. From now on, we're going to have to monitor everyone's minds. That seems to be how it attacks."

Jay clamed down, unclenching his fist and nodding. "Fine. I'm going now then."

"No, wait!" She called out. "Stay..." She blinked upon hearing what she'd said. Stay? Now why had she say that? "I... I might as well teach you a few new things. Your creator said your training was not completed."

He looked at her strangely. She was being nice to him? Will wonders never cease?

/I agree! Since when did pretty blondes ever show any interest in you?/

/Shut up Jyp./ He replied dryly. "Thank you." He said to Sajoya. "So, what are you going to teach me?"

"Mind healing. It may be useful someday..."


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