Twisted Paths, Forgotten Pasts

Chapter 4

Jay woke everyone up the next morning, but his blatant display of cheerful awake-ness seemed almost obscene to his sleepy companions.

"Let me sleep Jay, I'm wounded, I need my rest." Jizo mumbled as he pulled his blanket over his head.

"Stop hogging the blanket Ji, I'm cold here!" Rezia scolded sleepily, tugging the blanket to cover her, then going back to sleep.

"Could everyone-"

"Please shut up?" The eevees said from the spot where they were curled up with each other.

"How can you be so cheerful?" Ash asked, sitting up and rubbing his eyes. "It's too early..."

"Kachu." Pikachu agreed. "Go back to sleep Ash..."

"I was just about to..." And Ash lay back down, asleep once again.

Jay rolled his eyes. Walking up to Jyp, who had been asleep the whole time, he gently nudged the growlithe with one foot. "Jyp... Jyp! Wake up!"

The growlithe growled in his sleep, rolling over onto his other side.

"Stubborn pokemon..." Jay looked at his sleeping companions and frowned thoughtfully, then looked down to his tray of drinks. "I got coffee, tea and hot chocolate!" He announced hopefully.

Like runners reacting to the sound of the starting gun, everyone immediately sat up, looking around.

"Well that got you up... As soon as breakfast is over, we're all going our own ways. I trust you four have your own business to get back to." He looked at Jizo, Rezia, Reika and Janyin, who nodded. "That settles that then. I'm going to go wake Akira and Arika up now."

Jay entered the cabin where he had laid Akira and her dratini down to rest. He walked up to the young woman's bed and knelt by it, shaking her gently. "Hey, Kira! Wake up."

She sighed softly, then opened her eyes slowly. "What are you doing in my room Jay?" She asked sleepily, squinting in the bright light of the morning sun.

"We're not in your room anymore."

She sat up quickly, looking at Jay with narrowed eyes. "Where are we?"

"We're back on the mainland. We're currently on a boat-"

"WHAT?" she exclaimed. 'Rika immediately woke up upon hearing her mother's cry, and looked around confused.

"Look, 'Kira, I've already told you who you are. We were planning on staying on the island until you remembered your past. Unfortunately, Ash was attacked by Chisa and Chiata, me and Jyp's rivals. Ash is okay, so don't worry." He said as she started to get up to look for Ash. "However, one of my counterparts on the other side got wounded. He's alright now though. Anyway, so we had to flee, for your safety. They wanted to kill Ash so they could get you. He's sworn to protect you, it's kinda in his blood, though he has a lot to learn."

"Ash?" 'Kira found it hard to think of Ash as her bodyguard. He was a pokemon master, and he was her friend, not her guard.

"So look, don't get mad at me 'Kira, please? I'll make it up to you someday. When we have time that is..."

"Time? Why not today?"

"We have some people to look for, you know, the other re-born people...?"

"Ohhhhh." She sighed, sitting up. Why couldn't she remember her 'past'? It would be so easier to believe this whole thing, to be able to pursue their 'quest' with enthusiasm if she just knew what was going on. And she had a feeling Jay, Jyp and 'Rika were holding information back from her until she remembered...

/I'm kinda hungry 'Kira./

"Come to think of it 'Rika, I am too." She looked at Jay. "Is there anything to eat?"

He grinned, and Akira wondered how anyone could hate Jay. Not just because he was good looking, but there was this friendly aura to him. He was oozing with friendliness and good humour. The kind of guy you could always count on to cheer you up. However, she had noticed there was a sharper side to him. Sometimes she saw it when he was thinking. His face would go grim, and his green eyes seemed to go a shade or two darker...

"There's some coffee and other hot beverages, along with some food out on the deck. Common, I'll introduce you to the twins."

Twins? Akira thought. What twins? She picked up 'Rika and followed Jay onto the deck.

Sitting close to each other were two people about her age. They looked a lot like Jay, and she looked at him curiously for a moment. The boy was lithe, like Jay but more cat-like, probably shorter too, and his hair was kinda spikey. He seemed to be a quiet, serious minded person. The girl however, seemed exactly his opposite. She had long black hair that hung down her back, ending just below her waist. She was beautiful, and seemed like an intelligent, and extremely kind-hearted person. Sitting with those two were a pair eevees that Akira had a hard time telling apart... She noted that the boy's shirt was bloody, especially around his left shoulder, as was one of the eevees.

Ash and his pikachu were also there, and 'Kira could not help but notice that there was something 'different' about him... He seemed like a newer, and happier person, as if a heavy burden had just been lifted off his shoulders.

Jay walked up the group of four, and introduced them to Akira. "Akira, meet Jizo, Rezia, Reika and Janyin." He pointed to each one as he mentioned their names. "These are Akira, and Arika." Looking at his watch, he frowned. "We better hurry up and eat 'Kira. We need to go soon, and I'm sure those four have places they need to be too."

'Kira nodded, and they settled down to eat. It wasn't the best of food, but it would do for now. Plus she kinda had a feeling that she wasn't going to be eating very high quality food for a long time...


As soon as breakfast was over, Ash, Akira, Arika, Jay and Jyp disappeared into town, going separate ways from the two pairs of twins.

"So, do you guys know exactly where we're supposed to go?" Akira asked, wanting to have at least a small idea about what they were doing. "And how we're going to get there?"

Jay shrugged, looking at Jyp.

"Don't look at me! How should I know?" The growlithe snorted softly. "We'll just travel. The world is only so large after all."

With that, Akira immediately stopped walking. "Did you just say 'the world'? You don't mean to tell me this is a worldwide thing? I mean, I never even left my town until now!"

"Think of it as a, hmmm... long vacation! I mean, you can't expect that everyone we're looking for was born in one place, could you? They all needed to be brought up differently to develop their personalities, and that calls for different environments." Jyp stopped and looked at 'Kira with a grin on his puppy face. "Don't worry, travelling's fun!"

Ash nodded. "Don't worry. I'll watch over you. And so will Pikachu, right buddy?"

"Chu. We'll protect you!" The pokemon gave her a little peace sign.

Akira groaned. Life was getting...strange...

"C'mon this is the store I was looking for. We need different stuff than what we have. We'll loose too much time if we carry a lot of stuff." Jay stopped outside a large store

"Who's paying?" Ash asked.

"I am. Pikachu obviously has no money, nor Jyp or 'Rika. And I don't think 'Kira has enough to pay for everything we need. And I don't think you'd be willing to pay either" Jay answered.

"Says who?" Ash challenged, digging around in his pockets for his wallet.

Three hours later, they were ready to go. They had decided to hike to the next town, where they should be able to rent a car, which would make the rest of the journey easier for a few more days.


"Miss. Hara! Are you paying attention? What's the answer to the question?"

Young Michi Hara snapped to attention. "The answer is Articuno."

Her teacher frowned slightly. She could have sworn Michi was daydreaming again, but she pushed that out of her mind and continued her lesson.

Michi had been daydreaming as a matter of fact. She kept having visions, strange visions of herself dressed in long white dress and bathed in a rainbow glow of light. She spoke three words, 'Darkness be gone', and then it ended. Other times she saw herself bending over the dead body of a human... At least, she somehow knew it was a human, yet she couldn't tell exactly who it was. But she would be bending over it, weeping as blood flowed from its mangled body.

The thing the spooked her the most about these visions, was that she somehow knew they were going to happen, as if she was slowly foretelling the future, which was a really silly idea.

"Michi Hara, there's someone here to see you. She says your parents sent her." Her teacher looked suspiciously at the note she had been given, then the young lady who stood beside her. She seemed trustworthy enough...

Michi's eyes widened when she saw the young lady, and then she grinned. She got up from her seat and looked at her teacher. "Don't worry, I know her." And the two of them disappeared out of the classroom. "Who are you?"

"My name's Rezia. I'm very pleased to meet you Michi Hara." Rezia smiled warmly as she shook Michi's hands.

"How'd you know my name?"

Eyes twinkling, Rezia shrugged. "I know things."

Michi giggled in reply. "We've met before."

"Yup, a couple of years ago. How old are you?"

The young girl shrugged. "Not sure. Why?"

"No reason. Just curious. If I knew then I could tell you how old you were when we met." Rexia shrugged. "No matter though. Age is just a number."

"Why do I have a feeling I'm going to get out of school early?"

"Because you are!" Rezia grinned, winking at the girl. "Your foster-parents aren't there, so you pack some stuff and we can leave. You can leave a note if you want, but you need to hurry. We have work to do."

"Work?" The girl wrinkled her button-nose in distaste.

"Don't worry, I think you'll enjoy it." Rezia said, gently touching the girl's long white hair. "Beautiful hair..." She commented.

"Really? Everyone else calls me a freak. I like your hair. It's nice and black. And your eyes, they're gorgeous! Like emeralds."

Rezia laughed. "My brother's eyes are like that too, and his hair too. But you are beautiful. Don't mind what other people say. I used to be called a freak too."

"You? Why?"

Rezia smiled slightly, leaning on the wall. "Everyone needs someone to pick on, and I was the one they chose. There will always be victims Michi, nothing we can do..."

"Why not?"

Rezia grinned. "You haven't changed one bit Michi, not one bit. Always wanted to help everyone. Now come on, we have to hurry before your teacher suspects something!" And Rezia grabbed Michi's hand, running through the hallways.

They reached the school grounds without any trouble, and Michi started giggling. "I've never done anything like that before."

"There's a first time for everything Michi. Look, there's my brother, his name's Jizo. And there are Reika, and Janyin."

Michi paused a little when she saw Rezia's brother. There was... this air to him. He was not like any other boy she had met before, but he was *way* older than her. Rezia was now several feet ahead of her, and she quickly ran to catch up with her. "How old are you?"


"Oh, ok." Her throat suddenly clamped up as she now stood before Jizo, Reika and Janyin. "H-hi..."

Jizo grinned, and glanced quickly over at his sister. "Pleased to meet you young lady." He bowed gallantly, then handed her a red rose. "A beautiful flower, for a beautiful girl."

Michi blushed ash she accepted the flower, and would have turned even redder than the rose just then if the eevees had not rescued her.

"Pleased to meet you Michi."

"We are very happy to have you with us."

"The pleasure's all mine, Janyin, Reika." Surprisingly to the human twins, she addressed the two correctly, telling which was which immediately. "You're very unusual eevees, but we are an unusual group, right?"

The eevees looked at each other and nodded. She definitely was the one, though there had been no question the last time they met. "Right!" Janyin replied, walking to her and gently rubbing his furry head on her leg. "We're all unusual, but wonderful at the same time. Now lets go! First you need to pack, then we need to find something to eat. This has been a long journey, and we haven't eaten since this morning."

"And its 3pm." Reika added, sniffing delicately. "Lets go!"

Fortunately for the starving eevees, Michi's house was not a long walk from the school, only about three blocks away. Strangely, the girl already had a backpack ready, and she took an already written note from her bedside table's drawer, placing it on her bed.

"There's some food in the fridge." Michi said as they were about to leave the house through the kitchen door.

"I'm not so sure if that's a good idea..." Jizo started.

"Don't worry, there's plenty of food!" And she proceeded to open the fridge and take out a couple of ready-made sandwiches. "I make some every week." She explained as she shoved them into her bag. "We can eat them later, now let's go, they get back soon." She said, in reference to her foster parents.

Rezia sighed, but followed the girl with Janyin in her arms. The poor eevee had walked enough that day. Michi seemed to have planned this whole thing, as if she was ready to leave and start, but had been waiting for them. The guide shook heard head slightly, trying to clear her thoughts. Right now, they needed to find some mode of transportation...

Jizo, however, solved the problem as they passed by a motorcycle rental. "Lets rent two of those." he said to his sister. "We both know how to ride them."

She nodded and grinned. It'd been quite a while since they'd had time to ride together... As they entered, she looked around for two durable bikes that they could rent, and spotted two perfect ones. They each had a sidecar, just big enough for the eevees and some supplies. "Jizo, lets get those two!"

"Hmm, perfect choice sis..." He walked up to the counter. "We want to rent those two."

The man looked at them and sighed. "They're not for rent. They're for sale, and I doubt you could affo-"

"How much?" Jizo asked impatiently.

"20,000 Jitas, each." The man said.

The young man reached into his pocket and pulled out a wallet from his jeans. He counted some bills and placed them on the counter. "We'll take them."

The man looked at the money and counted it, then re-counted, and then checked to make sure they weren't counterfeits. Finally, he threw two keys on the counter. "They're yours."

Jizo grinned and picked up the keys. They were colored to match the bikes, blue for the navy blue one, and black for the black one. "Which one?"

"Did you have to ask?" Rezia said, immediately choosing the blue key. She glanced over at Michi, then looked back at Jizo. "Michi can ride with you Jizo, I'll take the eevees." Then she turned to Michi. "Unless you prefer to ride with me?"

Michi blushed, but shook her head. "N-no. That's okay, I'll ride with Jizo."

"That's settled then! I'll take the eevees." Rezia picked up both pokemon,and placed them in her sidecar. "Oh, mind handing me some of those sandwiches, Meech?"

Michi grinned upon hearing the nickname. No one'd ever called her that before. "Sure." She handed over four of them.

They wheeled the motorcycles out of the store, then settled down in their groups.

"Comfy?" Jizo asked Michi as she put on her helmet.

"Yeah, I've never ridden in a motorcycle side-car before though..."

"Don't worry. You'll like it!" And he started up his bike, zooming off with his twin sister right behind him.


Chiata and Chisa were obviously extremely disappointed at their failure, they snapped at each other whenever possible, or at anyone else that was in the right place and right time for being snapped at. They had stayed in the hotel at Reva for the rest of the night to catch some sleep, then had departed for mainland immediately the next day. They met up with 'The Father of All Dragons' at a cafe the next morning.

"Good morning." He said. "I can see you didn't achieve your goal."

They glared at him, settling down in the two empty chairs at his table.

"Don't give me that look Chiata. We have to work together you know."

"Shut up." Chiata replied, smoothing back her hair. "Why'd you have to pick this place? It's too..."

"Too what?"

"Too open!"

"That wasn't what you were about to say..."

"Shut up Calisin. And tell Silac to stop grinning."

The dratini promptly stuck his tongue out at her.

"If it weren't for who you were, Calis, I'd kill you here and now."

"If you weren't my mother's own creation, and someone I needed to get Akira back, I'd kill you."

She rolled her eyes, but a look from Chisa told her to shut up. They ordered when a waitress came, and then sat in silence.

"What's our next move?" Calisin finally asked, the lack of conversation irritating him.

"We need to find the others for our group. They could be anywhere on this planet, so we have a lot of travelling to do. We can rent Rapidashes for this next trip. They're fast, and can cover terrain that cars or other mechanical gadgets can't." The vulpix answered.

"Not to mention that you hate cars, right Chisa?" Calis grinned, flipping back his navy blue hair. It was dark enough that most people thought it was black, but it really wasn't.

"That too." The Vulpix added, glaring a bit at Calis. He didn't seem like he belonged with their group. He was too light-hearted... Chisa knew they desperately needed him, but she had a feeling that he would betray them one day. Not any time soon though, but she was going to keep her eye on him.

After that, everything was quiet again, and when their food arrived, they ate silently, which unnerved Calisin. He wasn't very fond of those two females, and he was very thankful that they were afraid of him. Those two were dangerous, he knew that, and he was careful not to step far over the thin line between member of their team and dead member of their team...

After breakfast, they rented two Rapidash and the they decided to go to 'Datil', a tiny town to the east of the one they were currently in. The logical direction would be north, to go inland, but Chisa had a feeling that Datil was where they had to be, so they went there.


Jay, Jyp, Ash, Pikachu, Akira and Arika made it to Taer at 4pm. It had been a very long hike, and Akira was exhausted. The group trudged into the town and immediately found a hotel. Everyone was too tired, so that was the end of their travelling for that day.

Akira made a beeline for her room and collapsed on the bed, sighing gratefully. "Comfort... sweet comfort!"

'Rika, on the other had, was checking out the bathroom. /Not bad.../ She commented. /How does a nice warm bath sound?/ She asked her mother.

Akira giggled. "You really like baths, don't you?"

/Of course! 'Specially bubble baths.../

Kira laughed and lid off the bed reluctantly, dragging herself to the bathroom where she picked Arika up and placed her in the large sink. "This really is some hotel isn't it? Even the sink is luxurious! It's huge!"

/Fill it! I'm dying from anticipation here. I'm all sweaty. It was hot out there. /

"No need to be bratty 'Rika dear." Kira filled the sink, then found a small container of free bubble bath and dumped it into the sink.

/Bubbles! / 'Rika exclaimed happily, thrashing around a little in the sink, causing the water to foam. She disappeared under the surface, then popped out with a large grin on her baby dragon face. /FUN!/

This was too much for Akira, who'd never had her very own pokemon before, let alone a playful dratini who just happened to be her daughter. She collapsed laughing on the floor, while Arika peeked over the side of the sink, looking at her mother curiously.

/Mother? What's so funny? /

"You! You have no idea how funny you looked just then!"

/Me?"/ 'Rika squeaked. "Tini! Dratini ti!"

Akira got up, still gigling, and patted the dratini on her head. "There's nothing wrong with being funny, and I think a little fun is what I need in my life." She looked at the tub. "Bathtime!"

And so mother and daughter soaked away the afternoon, enjoying a past time that had existed for thousands of years. One of life's real luxuries:

Bubble Baths...


Jay, Ash, Jyp and Pikachu found a different way to pass away the afternoon. Sure they took showers, but they only spent just enough time in there to wash away the dirt and sweat that had accumulated over their long hike.

They quickly changed and disappeared into town. This seemed to be a very rich city, and Jay was glad he had brought a lot of money with him. They walked around, relatively un-bothered except for the occasional pokemon trainer who would rush up to Ash and show him his poor pokemon, demanding to know whether he had what it took to become a pokemon master.

There was one exception however. A young lady was walking by them when suddenly she stopped, and turned around to watch them. She jogged to catch up with them, then started walking by Jay's side. "You two are pokemon trainers?" She asked.

"Yes, and no." Jay answered, hoping to shake her off.

"Well, you're two cute trainers yet non-trainers." She paused, watching them as they walked together. "This is my pokemon, Tilae. He's only a pidgey right now, but very uninque." She took out a pokeball and opened it, a pidgey appearing in the air in front of them, and Ash's eyes nearly bulged out at the sight of it.

The bird was a pidgey all right, but a very unusual one. He wasn't plain brown for one, but white, with blue, green and red feather tips. His eyes were light purple and he looked at them with a playful glint in his strange eyes. "Pidgey!"

"My goddess!" Jay exclaimed. "You're..."

She struck a pose. "The Mother of All Flying Types, at your service!" She grinned. "Nice to meet you..." She paused, waiting for their names.

"I'm Ash, this is Pikachu. And those two are Jay and Jyp."

"My name's Taie, and as you know, this guy's Tilae, the only existing pure flying type in this day and age." She scratched its neck, and it crooned softly.

"Taie, we need to get back to the hotel. You should meet Akira." Jyp said.

"Akira? She's here?" The woman grinned, her eyes sparkling. "It's been so long!"

"Unfortunately, she hasn't regained her memory..." Jay added.

"She hasn't? Damn, I had some things I needed to ask her. She and Calisin were practically royalty back in the days. Then again, all of us were, but they were highly respected."

"Pidgey? Pidge?" The Pidgey asked its mother.

"Of course dear!" she turned to the rest. "He's hungry, and as a matter of fact, so am I."

"We all are, we always are..." Jay replied, patting his empty stomach.

And they returned to the hotel, to get Akira and 'Rika, then find food.


Jizo's group made it to the next town by 6pm. The area of the world they were in had great distances between towns due to the large number of wild pokemon, and the roads were dusty and bumpy, not to mention filled with holes the size of a snorlax...

However, the town they now entered was nothing like the one Jay's group was in. It was the kind of town where everyone pretended nothing was happening, yet there obviously was something going on. The kind of town where although it was crime filled, the police were controlled by whatever crime lord was the most powerful, as was the rest of the city, and therefore crime was allowed to run wild.

In other words, it was not the kind of place you took your kids for a vacation...

Jizo rode in first, Rezia not far behind. He decided that despite the fact that they were tired and hungry, it was not gonna be a good idea to stay there for more than an hour or two. "Rezia, stay close, you too Michi. Reika, Janyin, I trust you can take care of yourselves, right?"

The eevees nodded grimly.

"Good." He stopped his bike in front of a decent looking restaurant. "This place should do. Let's eat here, find a store, buy some supplies, and get the h*ll out of here."

"That sounds good to me." Rezia replied, shuddering as she looked around. 'This town is so... cold." And Rezia did not mean that a sweater would have been handy at that moment, she was talking more about the aura the people let out, definitely not friendly.

Michi stayed quiet. This town... she just didn't like it. She wanted to help all the miserable people there, but what could she do? She was only one little girl. One little weird looking girl. After stepping out of the sidecar, she stuck close to Jizo, and latched onto his arm. He looked down at her, puzzled at first, then held her close, knowing she was scared for some reason.

They walked into the restaurant and sat down, taking note of the strange looks they were getting. It seemed strangers were a novelty. Most people probably took one look at the town and left. They were waited on by a very bored sounding waitress, and the food was nothing special, but it's been said that hunger is the best spice, and therefore, they really didn't care what they were eating, so long as it was edible.

After that, they headed straight for a store and bought some non-perishable food items, as well as a few blankets, and three flashlights. As they were about to head out, the storekeeper suddenly shouted out to them.

"If you're planning on leaving town now, I advise you not to. It's dangerous out there at night."

"We'd rather leave and risk it than spend any more time here." Jizo said.

"Suit yourself, but it's not a good idea for three good-looking people to be travelling around in the dark in these areas, especially when two are ladies and one of them's so young."

Jizo frowned. He knew Rezia could take care of herself, but Michi? No, she was not one to fight back, it wasn't her nature. "So what do you want us to do?"

"Find a hotel stay for the night. Just don't travel now. He rules this area for miles. You'd never get out of his territory before nightfall."

"Who's he?" Michi asked, yet again latched onto Jizo's arm.

The shopkeeper suddenly looked frightened. "Don't ask that!" But then he suddenly calmed down and whispered quietly. "They say he's some high up official of Team Rocket..."

Jizo's eye's widened slightly in surprise. "Team Rocket? All the way in this corner of the world? They sure have expanded...."

Rezia looked at her brother and sighed. "You haven't been watching much news, have you?"


She punched him in the shoulder. "There have been a couple of thefts recently! Remember? I didn't want Reika and Janyin wandering around too much anymore."

"Ohhhh! That."

"Men..." She said, looking at Michi and winking. "So, I guess that means we're staying here. Where do we put our bikes?"

"I'd be happy to keep your things for you." The shopkeeper interrupted.

"How do we know we can trust you?"

"Hey, believe me, I'm trustworthy!"

"If anything happens to them, we'll track you down." Jizo said, locking eyes with the shopkeeper.

"Don't worry! Keep the keys if you want! Just drive them into that shack by the store, I'll be locking up soon."

"Thank you." Jizo replied, grabbing the supplies they had bought and heading out, Michi still on his arm.

They rolled their bikes into the shack, then headed for the nearest nice looking hotel, where they got rooms for the night. Jizo and the eevees in one room, and Michi and Rezia in another. However, late at night, long after Michi had fallen asleep, Rezia got restless, and got up to read. Suddenly, a very pale blue light filled the room...

"Warm night, isn't it?"

She looked up startled, but then grinned. "Hello father!" She whispered happily. "Why are you here so late at night?"

"You need to go out. There's someone you need in your group."


"This is the only time you'll be able to get him on your side. Now, good night!" And her mysterious brown-haired, blue eyed midnight visitor disappeared with another flash of bright light.

Sighing, Rezia got up and got dressed. Why her? Why not Jizo? She shrugged, getting dressed, and slipping out of her hotel room, then out of the hotel, and wandering through the streets. He hadn't even told her where to go!

She walked down the streets, painfully aware of the fact that it was awfully quiet for a town that one would expect to be most active at night. Yet as she neared towards the inner areas of the town, she started to hear some shouts, and what sounded distinctly like guns being shot. Instinctively, she wanted to run, for despite her magical abilities, there was little one could do to stop a bullet from piercing their skull. However, although she was repulsed by what she would most likely find as she drew nearer, she somehow felt drawn by it, as if something was pulling her...

/That's the same way I felt when I first met Michi.../ She realized, then realizing that she had not stopped walking while she had been debating continuing, and had drawn nearer to the commotion. Slipping into the shadows, she did her best to mold into the darkness so as not to attract attention to herself. Finally, she reached ehr destination, and watched with wide eyes what was going on.

A group of men and women, most likely in their late teens and early twenties, a couple in their mid twenties, had ganged up on someone whom she couldn't see for they were blocking her view. All of them, were wearing Team Rocket outfits of various ranks, though most of them were of the upper levels. Off to the side were some metal cages, containing what Rezia was pretty sure were stolen pokemon... /Of course! Team Rocket's been the ones committing all those pokemon thefts! But why? None of those look extremely rare or valuable./

The group of men broke apart, and she could see grins on their faces as some of them laughed, handing out beers. Unfortunately, she still couldn't see whom it was that they'd encircled, for they had all gathered into one big group. Thankfully though, they eventually began to trickle out, and she gasped when she saw their victim.

A young man, who was just a little younger than her, lay on the floor in a mangled, bloody heap. Feebly, he was attempting to stand, but only succeeded in causing more pain to himself. After checking to make sure no one else was around, she rushed to him.

"You okay?"

Using what little strength he had left, he laughed. "Do I look like I'm frickin' okay?"

She rolled her eyes, but then laid a hand on one of his wounds. She whispered a spell, and a green light engulfed the wound, healing it completely.

Amazed, he blinked and looked up at her. "Who the hell are you?" He asked suspiciously. "You're not one of the Firsts..."

"My name is Rezia, and I'm one of the guides." She replied as she tended to his other wounds.

"Guides? Who the fuck are the guides?"

Sighing, she purposely put a little too much pressure on his arm so that he winced in pain. "We can't expect you Firsts to get into your respective groups alone. That's why people like me and Jizo, my twin brother, were created."

"Makes sense..." He was inspecting the arm she'd just finished with, and decideing that it was fine, reached into his pocket and drew out a pack of cigarettes. Placing one at his lips, he lit it with his finger, but no sooner had he inhaled, than the cigarette had flown out of his hand and landed ten feet away. "What the fuck did you do that for?"

"It's a bad habit. And we're travelling with a young girl, so I'd appreciate it if you quit smoking and watched your mouth." She scolded, purposely hurting him again in the process of healing.

He snorted, but put the cigarettes away. "Done yet?" He asked.

She ignored him, and just continued.

"Sijia!" He called, out, looking around. "C'mere girl!"

Rezia looked up just in time to see a beautiful ninetales bound out of an alleyway and run out to the man.

Tenderly, the man petted her on the head and then kissed her on the nose. "Don't worry, the girl's trustworthy."

The ninetales glanced at Rezia and sniffed gently.

"Beautiful daughter." Rezia commented, standing up. "I wonder where she got her good looks from? Certainly not you."

"Oh bite me." He retorted, carefully following her example and rising to his feet. "So, now that you've found me, what do we do?"

"Return to the hotel and tell my brother."

"So long as he's not an annoying little bitch like his sister, fine with me." He replied with a smirk, dodging out of the way from Rezia's kick. "Oh, and by the way, my name's Kiajis."


Jay, Jyp, Ash and Pikachu made it back to the hotel safely with Taie and her 'kid'. The pidgey, though very young looking, obviously had a large 'pigey' vocabulary for it would not shut up the entire trip.

Jyp looked up at Jay. "And you thought I talked to much."

"You do." Jay replied. "But that pidgey's your new rival."

The growlithe snorted. "Well, I think that, like, you're totally wrong. Ya know?"

"Shut up Jyp."

"Like, why should I? Might as well live up to my, like, reputation."

Jay groaned, rolling his eyes.

"Why are you, like, looking at me like that Jay? Am I, like, annoying you? I thought you liked the Waterflower girls? We used to, like, watch their show all the time!"

"That was before you started imitating them Jyp."

They walked into the hotel lobby, and were surprised to find Akira and her dratini waiting in a chair. She got up when she saw them and frowned. "I decide to take a bath and you run off without me?"

"Pleased to meet you again, Akira. And 'Rika too." Taie said, grinning warmly.

"Again?" She glanced at Jay, blinking in confusion. "You do look familiar though-" She started to say before suddenly blanking out. She had a sudden image in her mind of the woman standing before her clothed in a white dress with gold thread embroidery waving at her and smiling pleasantly, with a young child of about four clinging onto her other hand. "Taie?" She didn't know where the name came from, but she had somehow remembered it.... Was her memory finally returning?

"Hey, you remembered my name!" She hugged the other woman heartily. "It's been so long... You haven't changed much though."

"I'm assuming that's a compliment?"

Taie laughed, breaking the embrace. "It is. Trust me, it is." She looked at Ash and Jay, then back at Akira. "Must be nice to have another woman around. Those two must be hard to handle."

"Trust me, they are. I'm only thankful we got to stop in this wonderful place." She looked around at the hotel lobby. She'd never been in a place as posh as that hotel, or the whole town, before. "The baths are nice..."

'Rika grinned from her place on Akira's shoulders. "Tini-dra!" She agreed.

"You two definitely haven't changed." She looked at the bird pokemon standing shyly at her feet. "Meet Tilae. I chose not to go with the turning my name around tradition and just decided to use the same first letter. I mean, the name 'Eiat' sounds a little strange..."

'Kira nodded, realizing that that tradition must have been why 'Rika was named 'Arika', the backword version of 'Akira'. "Is anyone else as starved as I am?"

The two men suddenly grinned. Finally the conversation had turned where they had hoped it would.

Pikachu's ears perked up, and he smiled a little pikachu smile. "Now that you mention it., I am kinda hungry..."

"Pidgey, gey? Pidge!" Tilae exclaimed happily. /So, we're going to eat now? I hope so... I'm hungry!/

Taie rolled her eyes. "I can only hope that Arika is much more mature than Tilae... The little pidgey's such a handful!"

Kira grinned, winking at the other woman. "Trust me, 'Rika's more than enough for me to handle, but it sounds like you need a bubble bath after lunch... They're really relaxing!"

"Its gonna be dinner if you two ladies don't get moving." Jyp interrupted.

Taie stuck her tongue out at him. "We were just about to." And she grabbed Akira's hand and led her out of the hotel, Tilae flying after her.

Ash sighed as he watched the two ladies walk off, one blue-haired, and the other blonde with brown streaks... Two ladies from his long forgotten, but now remembered past...


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