Pokemon Ash and the Dex Holders: Kanto @oanglalie
Chapter 14: A Troublesome Gang!

Let's get to answering the reviews, shall we.

From the first guest: I can understand that the whole grading system might seem odd and that it would have probably worked better on a school story. But I wanted to add a little depth by showing just how hard it was to become a trainer. Maybe I could have thought of a better system, but as I said before, I'm kind of an idiot. Besides, while the school fic does sound interesting, I really wanted to make this story an adventure type of story.

Ashpool: Let's just say that I understood that reference and that I have something in mind for the whole bike thing (even though it will take some time).To the other guest: I'll keep those teams you said on mind, thanks.

Dracoog101: I applied that you appreciated the response and that you seemed to enjoy the previous chapter.

Alex: I think you may have things mixed up. Blue does have a chapter in which she is the main focus. Mystery of Mount Moon! Her story is the main focus there with Green's being a side story. He's technically the one that hasn't have the spotlight just yet, with his appearances being either a side story, a quick mention or him sharing the spotlight withe everyone else. But, if you actually are referring to having more Blue centric chapters then don't worry, they'll come evento.

Blastcore 1: As stayed before, his Kanto team will be a mixture of mostly familiar faces with a few additions. Hopefully that's ok with you.We'll, that's it for now, let's get things started already.

Chapter 14: A Troublesome Gang!

"Could we take a small break?" – asked Misty to her raven-haired companion.

"I don't mind. My feet are killing me right now." – he replied.

It was two days since their adventure back at Maebashi city and the two trainers were already back on their way to Vermillion city. At first, they thought that getting to Vermillion city would have been an easy task. However, it never occurred to them that the distance between the cities was that significant.

The two decided to stop by a clearance next to the road they were on. Sitting down on the ground, the two took their shoes off and started to massage them. They decided to let out their Pokémon so that they could enjoy the air for the time being (with the exception of Goldeene). Once outside, the Pokémon all started to talk with one another while their trainers' rested.

Pika decided to take a nap beneath the shadow of a tree nearby. Saur and Poli decided to keep company to their new teammate. After register the newly caught bug type to his Pokedex, Red found out that not only was the small and timid Pinsir truly a young one, but also a female, which for some reason, was rather shocking to him. Red decided to name her Tongu, which was Kantonian for pincers. Was it the most original name out there? Probably not, but it was the best he could come up with.

Both Starmie and Staryu decided to approach the bug type to introduce themselves. At first, Tongu seemed a little intimidated by the two water types, but both Poli and Saur reassured her that they were both nice and that they just wanted to be friends with her. So, with the encouragement of her two new teammates, Tongu decided to start a small conversation with the two star-shaped Pokémon. While that was happening, Misty saw the interaction between her Pokémon and Tongu and shivered.

"Well, I guess I should start to get used to seeing her from now on." – she thought.

"I never thought that Vermillion city would be this far, you know?" – said Red, getting the attention of his friend.

"Yeah, I guess that I thought it would be a bit closer considering how relatively close Viridian, Pewter and Cerulean city are. This is actually the farthest I've been from home." – said Misty, thinking about how the farthest she has ever been from Cerulean was when she accompanied her sisters to the Gym Leaders annual meeting at Viridian city, which was somehow closer to Cerulean than Vermillion.

"Well, on the bright side, once we get to Vermillion, we can use this to get ourselves a pair of bikes." – said Red, pulling two coupons from the pocket of his jacket.

After saving the Pokémon of the Pokémon Lovers Fanclub, the pair of trainers were gifted coupons for a free bike each. Mr. Ishizuka told them that there was a very good and somewhat popular bike store back at Vermillion city where they could exchange the coupons given to them for a bike each. He told them that it was a token of their gratitude for saving their Pokémon from the claws of team Rocket.

Yeah, you're right. Besides, once we get our bikes, then the journey should become a little bit easier." – she said with Red nodding.

"It sure will." – he said before putting on his shoes again. – "Well, I guess we rested for long enough. Come on, we still have a long way to get to Vermillion."

Misty sighed before putting her shoes back on as well. – "Well, it was good while it lasted."

"Well, I think there might be a town nearby. We can always make a quick stop there and have something to eat before getting back on track." – he told his friend, trying to cheer her up.

"Guess you're right. Any chance we can stay at an inn if we do find a town?" –she asked, getting back on her feet.

"Mmm, well if it gets dark soon then I guess we could. But it has to be a cheap one. I don't think we should use our money unless necessary." – he said, getting up as well.

The two then decided to recall their Pokémon back and resume their walk. The sun was as hot as expected from a summer afternoon. The two trainers were hoping to soon find some settlement or establishment. Anything to escape the burning heat of the road.

"Lunch's ready guys!" – said Brock to his traveling companions.

Ash and the gang where currently on the outskirts of a small town. While they were sure the place had a Pokémon Center where they could stay and probably a few restaurants where they could eat, the weather was so nice that the gang decided to have a nice meal on the open field.

"Coming!" – said both rookies, rushing to the camp site alongside the rest of their Pokémon.

Arriving to where they decided to eat, Ash and Lyra started to serve themselves their meal while also serving it to their Pokémon. Lyra placed her egg on the portable table that Brock had and took her seat. She then started to eat her meal while at the same time, their Pokémon did the same. Brock's Pokémon all eat and stayed vigilant, since their trainer watched over the two rookies, they too watched over the Pokémon of both Ash and Lyra whenever they could.

Speaking of which.

Each of the Pokémon belonging to the kids of Pallet and New Bark town were socializing while eating yet again.

Piedgotto and Butterfree were silently laughing at the electric rodent's mood. About a day or two ago did the two flying types sneak in Ash's backpack and threw away the ketchup bottle that he had. A bit cruel perhaps, but in all honestly the two grew increasingly worry for Pikachu's health, considering the fact that he put ketchup in nearly everything that he ate. Pikachu himself looked at his food, saddened knowing that he could not add his favorite condiment to it. In contrast, Marill's mood was as uplifting as always as he ate yet another candy bar almost twice his own size. While he did that, both Houndour and Spinarak watched and thought to themselves that, if not for their trainer's own fondness of sweets, they would have followed Piedgotto and Butterfree's example long ago. Meanwhile Bulbasaur was eating his own food and enjoying it quite well since he managed to convince Ash to tell Brock to add a bit of energy root powder to it. Sure, most of his new friends looked at him as if he had more than a couple of nuts loose, but he didn't care. While eating, he himself was close by his new teammate, the innocent and cheerful Charmander.

After what happened back on the Pokémon Center and other events that happened afterwards, Ash offered him to join his team. After what happened, the fire lizard happily joined him and so, the raven-haired boy caught a new companion and made himself a promise that he did not thought of breaking anytime soon.

"Let's all get stronger together!"

Right now, they were all eager to arrive to Vermillion City, for according to Brock, they were only two days away from there.

"Excited for your gym match?" – asked Lyra to his friend.

"You bet I am, right guys?" – he replied, with all of his Pokémon giving their respective cry as to show their excitement.

"Just remember Ash, Surge is not one to hold back the same way most other Gym Leaders do. Have you thought of a plan to take on him?" – asked Brock to his young friend.

"Well, I was thinking of going with either Pikachu, Bulbasaur or Charmander." – he told them.

"Well, I would have probably done the same thing. Considering that both Piedgotto and Butterfree are weak to electric types." – mentioned Lyra.

While Brock refused to give Ash a concrete strategy to beat Surge, he at least informed him of what type did he specialized in. As the Johto native said that, the fire type Pokémon grew a bit worry. For a brief time, images of Damian and his relationship and eventual abandonment flashed before his eyes. For that moment he grew scare that he would not live up to the expectations of his new trainer and that history would end up repeating itself. However, his new teammates reassured him that he would do great in his incoming match.

As they kept on eating, they suddenly heard something coming. Looking at where the noise was coming from, they saw a cloud of dust coming their way. They found it a little odd at first, but then upon paying closer attention to it, they saw that it actually was just a bunch of Squirtle wear- wait...

"Are those Squirtle wearing sunglasses?" – asked Lyra.

"I think they do." – said Ash.

Before Brock could make a comment, he was hit in the face by a water gun from one of the Squirtle. As he fell, the rest of the water turtles all started to laugh and so, the gangs Pokémon all took a more defensive stand, prepare for what may happen now. The water types all went silent and stood tall as well, not backing up in the slightest. As the two groups glared at each other, a Squirtle placed himself in between his comrades and the trained Pokémon. Unlike the others who wore round blue sunglasses, he instead wore black triangular shaped glasses. Once he was in position, both Pikachu and Marill walked up to him and stare at the water starter.

"Squirtle. Squirtle, Squirtle Squir." – he told the two.

While the humans did not quite understand what he was trying to say, their Pokémon did. Whom they assumed was the leader of the group of water type Pokémon was trying to convince them to ditch their trainers and join his group. Surface it to say, they were more than obviously against such idea.

"Pika! Pikapi, Pi, Pika, Pikachu Pika!" – said the electric rodent.

"Marill. Marill Mari Ma!" – nodded the water/fairy rodent, backing up the statement given by his friend.

"Squirtle? Squirtle, Squirtle Squir!" – he told them.

"Pikachu! Pikapi, Chu Pikapi, Pikachu Pika!" – he replied with the rest of the Pokémon all nodding in agreement to whatever it was that he said.

Upon hearing the answer of the electric rodent, the Squirtle leader growled at him and shoot a water gun at Pikachu. Both Pikachu and Marill were successful in dodging the surprise attack and countered with their own water gun and thunderbolt. The Squirtle leader was able to barely dodge Marill's water gun, but just as he was about to get hit by the bolt of lightning, he was pushed out of the way by another one of the Squirtle. He took the attack in place of his leader and fell to the ground unconsciously.

"Squirtle!" – he shouted, rushing to the side of his companion., who was currently out cold. – "Squirtle! Squirtle Squir!" – he told to the rest of his gang.

They all nodded and in the blink of an eye, they picked their fallen comrade up and rushed away from there. Once they were far away, the trio of travelers, as well as their Pokémon all asked the same question.

"... What just happened?"

Before they could even try to think of an explanation as to what was it that occurred, they heard the rumble of a motorcycle as well as the sirens of the police. When they turned around, they saw officer Jenny rushing in on her bike at such speed, that for a moment they all thought that she was going to run them over. So, they did the logical thing and moved out of the way as the law-enforcer came to a screeching halt.

"Has any of you kids seen a gang of Squirtle on the loose?" – she asked the travelers, only for Brock to kneel before her and take her hand with hearts for eyes.

"The only thing I'm seeing right now is but a beautiful agent of the law bringing a warm joy to this humble vassal my lady!" – he told her.

"What does vassal mean?" – asked Ash to the New Bark girl.

"I think it's another way of saying ship." – she replied, although she wasn't entirely sure if that was the right word.

"Look kid, I don't have time to play games right now, so either answer the question or I'll be force to take you in for obstruction of police work!" – she warned, making Brock back away for his own sake.

"Do these Squirtle wear sunglasses?" – asked Lyra, receiving a nod from the law-enforcer.

"We met them before you came here. They were about to start a fight with our Pokémon, but left when Pikachu zapped one of them. What's their deal anyway?" – asked Ash.

"Yeah, why would a bunch of wild Squirtle go around and try to start fights? Also, I thought that Squirtle would be harder to come by in the wild." – noted Lyra.

"Well, they aren't exactly wild per say. They're all abandoned." – said Jenny.

The law enforcer was a bit shocked by the expression that the three gave her. Unlike other travelers, who were surprised and shock beyond believe once she mentioned that part of the group, these kids looked somewhat angry. The look on their eyes was of one that has already dealt with something similar to this. Their Pokémon also had similar looks, with the exception of the fire starter that looked like he remembered something that was best forgotten.

"Well, the people of the town call them the Squirtle Gang and they're known for causing mischief wherever they go. Vandalizing, destruction of property, you name it. They have even tried to convince other Pokémon to join their group, so far I'm sure that they managed to convince a Bellsprout and two Machoke." – she informed them before asking them something. – "Tell me, do you kids have all of your belongings with you?"

"Why you ask?" –asked Ash.

"The Squirtle Gang are also known for stealing from travelers whenever they can." – she answered.

"Well, I don't think they-" – Lyra stopped when she looked at where the table is and noticed that a certain something was missing. Her eyes widened in horror, for the Squirtle Gang did took something from her. – "MY EGG!" – she shouted.

Frantically, she started to look everywhere for the egg she was carrying. From bushes, to the cup of the trees nearby to even beneath a few rocks, all in hopes of finding her precious egg to no avail. Her Pokémon were also in a similar state of mind, freaking out as their future companion to be was no longer among them.

"Officer Jenny, please tell me you know where they are!" – she begged the law-enforcer, kneeling before her while accompanied by her Pokémon.

"I wish I did, but they always manage to elude me. I have been trying to find their hideout for months, but either I find a fake one or they managed to leave it before I arrive there." – she informed them.

Lyra looked distraught, the egg that she tripped on, the one that she had been looking after for months across two regions, gone. It was taken from right under her nose ad she didn't even noticed it been taken away. Just as it seemed as if she was about to have a mental breakdown, Ash placed a hand on her shoulder and gave her a comforting smile.

"Don't worry Lyra. We'll find them and your egg, right team?" – he asked his Pokémon as they gave a cry of agreement.

Lyra simply looked at her friend and smile at his words. – "Thanks Ash." – she told him before standing up.

"I have an idea, why don't we let Houndour try and track the Squirtle Gang." – said Brock.

"While on paper that sounds like a good idea, we've already tried that with our best tracking Growlithe. Unfortunately, they always manage to mask their scent before we could get in close." – informed the police officer.

"But we won't be tracking their scent." – he said, confusing them all, so he decided to elaborate so that they could understand his plan better. – "Tracking the gang's scent may be tricky and quite difficult, so instead, we'll have Houndour track the egg's scent."

"The egg's scent?" – asked Ash, with Brock nodding.

"Houndour's been with Lyra for months by now, so has the egg. By now, he should be familiar with it's scent, making it easier to track for him that if he were to try and track the Squirtle Gang." – he explained.

The two rookies, as well as the law enforcer were currently in deep thoughts about the plan of the doctor-in-training. On one hand, Houndour hasn't even received even half of the training required to become a professor tracker. On the other hand though, his theory did have some reason behind, perhaps if they use this method, then maybe they'll be able to catch them before they get away yet again.

Lyra herself looked at her canine partner and asked her the question that was on everyone' mind. – "Do you think you could do it?" – she asked.

The dark type thought about the request for a moment. Then, he went to where the egg was and started sniffing it. After a minute or two, the dark/fire type lifted his head in a certain direction.

"Houndour! Houn!" – he barked, indicating that he did in fact managed to get a hold of the egg's scent.

"It worked!" – said Brock

"Well, the, let's get started!" – said Lyra, turning to her canine companion. – "Lead the way pal!"

And with that, both Ash and Lyra returned their Pokémon (safe for Pikachu, Marill and Houndour) and started to follow the fire/dark type Pokémon. Brock himself was about to follow as well, that was until he realized something.

"Hey guys, what about our stuff?" – he asked them.

"Can you take care of it for us? If we waste time, we might loose them." – asked Ash with Lyra and their rodent companions nodding.

"You know, they have a point. If it makes you feel any better, then I'll go with them." – said Jenny, hopping in her bike to follow the two trainers and their Pokémon.

"But that's not- and she's gone." – said Brock, as he saw the law-enforcer and his friends getting smaller by the second before finally being out of sight. The rock type specialist sighed as he looked at the set up that they had to eat. This was sure to be quite troublesome. – "At least you guys are still here." – he said to his Pokémon.

After finding a nice restaurant to eat, both Red and Misty decided to keep on their journey to Vermillion city. After a nice meal and some rest, the two trainers were now prepared to leave the town they were currently staying in. One thing that they saw on the map that they got, was that they were relatively close to Vermillion. So, they headed for the town.

They headed for a bridge overlooking a ravine and that would lead them almost straight to their destination. As they got closer, they saw a caravan of merchants that supposedly left the town about half an hour, coming back and looking rather sadden. It was something rather odd for the two trainers, so they decided to approach them and see what was it that was troubling them.

"Umm, excuse me sir?" – Red asked, approaching the man at the front of the caravan.

"Yeah, kid?" – he replied.

"Is there a problem sir? You look a bit troubled." – said Misty, as the man sighed.

"Is it that obvious?" – he asked before starting to explain what was happening. – "It's the bridge, its blocked and we can't cross it."

"Block? Like, by a tree or something?" – asked Red.

"I wish, a tree would be easier to deal with. It's a Snorlax, he's sleeping in front of it and not letting us pass by." –he explained.

"That does sound bad." – noted Misty, with the merchant nodding.

"Yes, it is. And the fact that it is the closest way to exit the town and get to Vermillion makes things more stressful for us." – he told them.

"What do you mean?" – asked the Cerulean girl.

"We're supposed to get these things to Vermillion in two days. We hit a detour this morning and this is the fastest way there, but with the bridge block we have to try and find another route if we hope to arrive on time." – he explained to the two kids.

"That's a bummer, I wish we could do something to help." – lamented Misty as Red started thinking.

"You know, maybe we could." – he said.

"What do you mean kid?" – asked the merchant.

"Trust me, we'll take care of things." – he said, gaining a weird look from Misty.

"And how exactly are we supposed to do that?" – asked the water type specialist.

"Just trust me, we will." – he replied, giving her a thump's up.

"That doesn't answer my question and you know it." – she thought to herself before sighing. – "Fine, but if we end up looking like idiots, I'm blaming you." – she said walking with her friend and the head of the merchant towards the bridge.

After a couple of minutes of walking, the three found themselves in front of the bridge that overlooked the ravine. In front of them, was a huge, bipedal, dark blue-green Pokémon with a cream-colored face, belly, and feet. Blocking their path. It was sleeping as peacefully that it reminded Red of Blue back in the day when Green challenged her to eat a three-story cake all by herself. She won od course, but she was so hyperactive afterwards that Daisy feared her trying to run on the walls of the lab. After the sugar rushed, she fell right on the couch and slept for almost ten hours straight. Red and Green once heard of something called a hangover, apparently it was something that happened to adults after drinking a lot of, well his parents never told him what it was that they drank, but after drinking too much of it, then they could find themselves with a head-splitting headache and nausea.

Suffice it to say, Blue learned what that felt.

Pulling out his Pokedex, Red decided to scan the normal type to get as much intel as possible.

Snorlax, the Sleeping Pokémon.

Normal Type, Pokedex number #143

Very lazy. Just eats and sleeps. As its rotund bulk builds, it becomes steadily more slothful.

"Man does it look huge." – commented Red.

"I think I once heard that Snorlax was one of the heaviest Pokémon in the world. Like, 460 kg or something like that." – said Misty.

"Well, then I guess pushing it out of the way is out of the question." – Red thought to himself before pulling a pokeball with the upper part being the color blue with red bands on each side of it. – "Well, I'm going to catch it!" – he declared.

"Huh? That was your plan? How?!" – asked Misty, baffle by the plan of his friend.

"Come on, it's sleeping. This'll be like the easiest catch in the history!" – he said with a smile.

"Red, that's not ho-" – she tried to tell him, but unfortunately for her, her warning went through one ear and exited through the other.

The great ball hit the belly of Snorlax and sucked the colossal Pokémon inside. The Pokéball then started to shake and the Pallet boy began to celebrate prematurely. – "See, what did I tell you? Now everything's been tak-" – Red got interrupted as the massive normal type broke free out of it, still sleeping as if nothing had happened. – "What?!"

"So, the easiest catch in the history, huh?" – mocked Misty as the merchant sighed.

"Kid, that was like the first thing we tried to do." – he informed them as Red still tried to think of what went wrong.

"B-but... it was asleep!" – he said, not sure of what was happening.

"Well, that's how Snorlax tend to be. It's almost impossible to catch them if they're sleeping." – commented the merchant.

"But it was a great ball! I spent fifteen hundred pokedollars on it!" – complained Red.

"Fifteen hundred? Kid, great balls are only worth six hundred pokedollars." – informed the merchant as Red realized that he got scammed.

"They do?! But the guy that sold it to me said that it was top notch!"

"I told you not to buy things from shady looking people!" – nagged Misty to her friend.

"Now what?!" – he asked out loud.

"Well, maybe the Pokedex has something that could help us." – noted Misty to Red.

The Pallet native nodded and pulled out the machine given to him by the professor. He started to look for something that could help them before he saw something that he was rather curious. It was a flute that seemed to have a normal pokeball attached to it's end.


It is an instrument that is capable of playing a pleasant melody that rouses Pokémon from their sleep.

"That's it!" – said Red, snapping his fingers.

"What's it?" – they asked.

"We just have to find a Pokeflute, play it and then we'll wake up Snorlax." – he told them.

"And where are we supposed to find a Pokeflute?" – asked the ginger-haired girl to her friend.

"That won'tbe a problem, we have a couple of them." – said the merchant.

"You do?" – they both asked.

The merchant nodded before asking the importance question. – "We do, but the question is, do you kids know how to play one?" – he asked.

"I barely know the name of each note. How about you Misty?"

"The only instrument that I know how to play is the tambourine. Although, I am pretty good if I do say so myself." – said the Cerulean girl, with a bit of pride.

"I don't see how that's gonna help." – said Red to his friend.

"Well, at least is better than nothing." – she replied.

"For the time being, we should go back to get the Pokeflute. We'll look for someone to play it latter." – said the merchant as the two trainers nodded.

They decided to go back where they came from to get the instrument. As they were walking, Red couldn't help but to look at the sleeping Pokémon and smile. He couldn't wait to add that Snorlax to his team.

The two rookies and the police officer were already in the town. They were currently following the hound-like Pokémon, who was still tracking the scent of the egg that was found by his trainer a couple of months ago. Right now, the trace led them to the middle of downtown, where for the moment, everything seemed rather normal.

That was, until they suddenly heard shouts and the sound of a window being broken. When they turned around, they a Bellsprout and two Machoke (wearing sunglasses similar to those of the Squirtle), running away with a bunch of junk food while an elder woman angrily shouted at them to return.

"Are they the Machoke and Bellsprout that you told us?" – asked Ash.

"Yeah, they're the ones." – she said before turning to the two trainers. – "You kids keep on looking, I'm going to deal with that." –she said, pointing at the mayhem that the three Pokémon were causing.

"You sure?" – asked the New Bark girl.

"I am. I have to try and calm things down before they get out of control, but I can't do that while also going after the gang. You kids go on ahead, I'll try to catch with you later, ok?" – she told them before heading for the direction where the delinquent Pokémon went.

Once she was gone, the two kids looked at each other a d with a look of determination they nodded.

"Okay pal, let's keep going!" – she told to her canine friend.

"Dour!" – it replied as he followed the scent with the two kids and their rodents following soon enough.

The kids with their partners followed the hound Pokémon through multiple turns across many streets until they arrived at an abandon building. While they were doing that, they were been watched by a certain woman with long magenta hair.

"The twerps are on sight, soon that Pikachu will be ours!" – exclaimed Jessie, who was spying on the two from the roof of a building.

"Well, not until James gets his act together." – said Meowth, turning to the blue-haired man of the group, who was currently working on some kind of device. – "What's taking so long?!"

"You be quiet! Maybe instead of screaming at me you could get over here and put your paws to good use!"

"Quiet James, stop wasting time complaining and get back to work!" – barked Jessie to her partner.

"Me? Wasting time?! I'm the only one doing anything productive around here!" –he complained.

"What are you talking about, I'm the look out." – she told him.

"And what about Meowth?!"

"Hey I'm providing moral support." – said the talking Pokémon.

James simply sighed and mumble something before resigning himself on working on the machine by himself.

Back with the two trainers, the two entered the building and found nothing out of the ordinary. It was a simple one-story building that, for the looks of things, used to be a small toy store. They started to look around the place, hoping to find a clue as to where the water types could have gone to. Then, Houndour started to sniff the air once more.

"Found something Houndour?" – asked the raven-haired boy.

The dark type did not reply at right away, instead he walked towards where the cash register would be located. They went there and found that there was a made-shift wooden entrance that, after being lifted, revealed a hole large enough for them to go down the made-shift wooden ladder.

Once down, they looked around their surroundings and couldn'thelp but to be impressed at what they saw. It was basically a well made basement carved no doubt by a Pokémon usind dig. The corridor they were at, was very spacious as well as well lit with an array of lightbulbs and Christmas lights.

Walking in deeper, they saw a large… room I guess, that seemed to be capable of housing more than thirty people. There were a few pieces of furniture like a couch, a table, a couple of chairs and a decently sized T.V that was on top of a couple of wooden boxes (how did they managed to get those things down there as well as managing to do all the electrical stuff is anyone's guess).

Getting in closer and without making any noise, the two trainers as well as their two partners saw the Squirtle Gang on top of the table. Alongside them, were two Sandslash that were also wearing a pair of round sunglasses.

"Guess they'rethe ones that dug this place." – the two noted.

Then, from another entrance, the travelers saw the same Machoke and Bellsprout from before, arriving with a bunch of snacks. The two trainers and their Pokémon guessed that they managed to escape officer Jenny and that they probably have more entrance to their hideout hidden across town.

The newcomers then approached the rest of their gang with what they managed to obtain. The rest of the gang welcomed them and the leader congratulated for their work. It wasn't until they were there that Lyra noticed a certain something on the table.

"MY-" – she tried to say, but what was cut short when Ash covered her mouth and dragged her back so make sure that the gang couldn'tsee them.

"WHAT W-" – she tried to say, but yet again, was shut when Ash Pikachu and even Marill all signaled her to keep quiet. – "…Fine, what was that for?" – she whispered.

"Well, they have your egg. We don't want them to surprise them to do anything reckless without thinking things thourly, right?" – he explained.

"… wow, that was actually really smart. Never thought I would be hearing it for you."

"You're one to talk." – said Ash, narrowly looking at his friend.

"Nevermind that, what do we do then?"

"I don't know." – he said, before the two closed their eyes to try and think pf something. Then an idea crossed the mind of the New Bark native.

"I got it; we'll use both Butterfree and Spinarak and have them use silk shot on them to keep them at bay while we get the egg back."

"Hey, that's a great idea, didn't though you had in you." – said Ash.

"... What is that supposed to mean?" – she asked with her eyes narrowing on her friend while the two pulled a pokeball each.

Meanwhile, back with the gang. Most of the member were arguing about which pair of sunglasses should they give to the egg once it hatches (even though they only had the one model). Then, the Squirtle leader noticed something and before he could warn his gang they were covered in silk that held them in place. He himself, alongside Bellsprout, managed to evade the sneak attack, but weren't unable to do anything as a silk thread got attached to the egg and was pulled away from them, into the air and finally being caught by Lyra's arms.

"I got- wow!" – she tried to say, but got interrupted as she ducked to dodge a water gun that was aimed at her.

Soon, the two trainers started to dodge the attacks shoted at them, courtesy of a shades-wearing Squirtle. Not wanting to be used as target practice, Ash and Lyra told their Pokémon to counter attack with poison sting, gust, thunderbolt and water gun respectively. The two gang members managed to dodge most of the attacks, with the only exception being Pikachu's thunderbolt which managed to successfully land on the water type.

For a moment the trainers thought that the gang leader would be out of commission, for not only was he naturally weak to electric attacks, but that very same attack knocked down another one of its members not that long ago. However, much to their surprise, not only was he still capable of fighting with no problems whatsoever, but he retaliated by using a powerful skull bash on Pikachu that was strong enough to sent him crashing into both Butterfree and Ash himself.

"Man is he strong." – Ash noted as he tried to pick himself up from the attack.

"Squirtle! Squirtle Squirtle!" – the leader started to shout at the two humans.

"If you're trying to blame us then don't! This is your fault, none of this would have happened if you hadn't stolen my egg!" – Lyra yelled back.

"Squirtle! Squirtle, Squir!"

"What were you even trying to do anyway?! Save the little guy from the big bad humans?!" – asked Lyra and surprising Squirtle. – "That's right, we know that you were abandon."

"Look Squirtle, we understand that you probably don't like us and that you probably don't trust us either, we really do. But we're nothing like the trainers that abandoned you. Heck, we probably dislike them almost as much as you do." – said Ash.

"Squirtle, Squirtle Squirtle, Squir Squirtle!"

"Pika! Pikapi, Pi Pikachu Chu!" – said Pikachu at the stubborn Squirtle that didn't seem to listen to Ash.

"Squirtle?" – asked the water type in disbelief.

Pikachu nodded and then turned to Ash to try and tell him something. – "Pikapi! Pika, Pika. Cha Pikachu!" – said Pikachu as he suddenly imitated both Bulbasaur and Charmander with such fines that he was basically almost morphing his body to resemble them both as close as possible.

"You, want me to call Charmander and Bulbasaur?" – asked Ash as Pikachu nodded.

"Wow, Pikachu is really good at charades." – noted Lyra as Marill wonder if he could also pull that off.

… Probably not.

At the request of his friend, Ash pulled out the pokeballs belonging to his two starters. Once out, he told the two of them that apparently Pikachu wanted for them to be out. Bulbasaur specifically soon realized the plan that the electric rodent may have. Since the two of them have had experience with unpleasant trainers in the past (at least Charmander as far as anyone else was aware off), he probably wanted them to talk with the gang leader. So, after he explain to the fire lizard what he thought the plan was, he started to approach the water type.

"Bulbasaur. Bulba Bulbasaur."

"Squirtle? Squirtle Squirtle? Squir?" – asked the water type, still not believing a word.

"Bulbasaur. Bulbasaur, Bulba Bulba. Saur." – he replied as he signaled at Charmander with his head.

"Squirtle Squir? Squirtle Squirtle Squir, Tle Squir?!"

"M-mader... Char, Charmander Char." – he said, at first a little nervous. But then, after looking at his other friends and his new trainer he got a bust of confidence. – "Charmander, Char Char!" – he explained with a smile.

"Squirtle?" – he said in shock.

The conversation between the Pokémon kept on going for a few minutes. Every once in a while, the Pokémon, even the ones that were currently trapped in silk, looked at the two trainers, specially at the raven-haired boy in surprise. What were they talking about was something neither understood, but it seemed to be working... probably.

While that was happening, on the roof of a building close by, James was currently working very carefully and meticulously on the wiring of the machine that he was working on. Even though he said something along the lines that it was a procedure that would take all of his full attention, his companions were already starting to get rather impatient.

"Hurry up James, if we take too long then the twerps are going to get away!" – yelled Jessie.

"I would have already been done of you had helped me." – he muttered.

"What was that?!" – shouted both the talking Pokémon as well as the magenta-haired woman.

"I said that I'll be done in a couple of minutes!"

"Ya said that almost thirty minutes ago!"

"What can I say, this is a really delicate procedure."

"No, you're just too slow! Here let me do it!" – said Jessie as she walked towards the male criminal.

"What are you doing?!" – he asked as she started to go through his equipment.

"What does it look like? I'm speeding things up!"


"Calm down would ya"

"YOU STAY OUT OF THIS! AND YOU, TURN THAT OFF!" – he shouted as he tried to retrieve the flammable tool out of the hands of his partner.

Only Arceus knows how it happened, but despite James best efforts, Jessie ended up shoving the blow torch into a part of the machine that probably should have stayed untouched. For some reason, Jessie smiled as if she was proud of her work while James instantly started to worry beyond believe.

Before anyone could utter a word, the machine started to make a weird sound. Then it started to heat and shake as if it were a wild Tauros trying to throw a rider out of its back.

Back with Ash and Lyra, the conversation between the Pokémon seemed to have finally ended. The water Pokémon started to close the distance between him and the two trainers. Their Pokémon tensed up a bit and Pikachu, Butterfree and Marill all started to get into a defensive position. This didn't faze the water type in the slightest. Once he was up close, he stare at the two kids for a minute or two.

Ash and Lyra remained in silent as the blue shades-wearing turtle looked at them. There was a rather tensed feeling inside of the gang'sbase as no one knew what would happen afterwards. Then, he simply turned around and headed toward his trapped comrades.

"Squirtle Squir." – the said as he jumped into the table and signaled to Bellsprout to help him free the rest.

"Is he… letting us go?" – asked Lyra.

"I think he does." – he replied before looking at the water Pokémon. – "You know, I understand that you probably felt hurt and betrayed when your original trainer left you. But that doesn't means you should lash out on everyone the way you do. Trust me, it won't help. Maybe… I don't know, you could try something different to get your mind off of those thoughts."

Squirtle listened to what the boy had to say. Perhaps there was a certain truth to his words, but what else could he do? They have been troublemakers for so long that he didn't knew if there was something else that they could do.

Ash was about to speak up again, but suddenly stopped himself as something ended up catching his attention. – "Why does it smell like that time that I wanted to make a sandwich?"

Lyra and the Pokémon looked at him weirdly before she too smell something odd. It smelled as if something was… burning?

Squirtle also smelled the same thing, so once he freed the rest of his gang, he indicated for everyone to leave the base and to go up. Ash and Lyra returned their Pokémon and alongside everyone else went to the wooden ladder where they came from.

Once they were on the surface, they noticed something rather odd. It was a sunny day and it was still summer but… was it really that hot before? They decided to go outside, but when they looked through the glass of the abandoned store they all saw something quite shocking.

The building next door was entirely covered in flames.

Their eyes widen in shock as they saw people coughing and existing through the entrance and putting distance between them and the flaming building. For a moment, everyone felt a bit relief, believing that everyone managed to .make it out safely. However, that relief didn'tlast long as they saw that there were a few people still on the upper part of the building.

Ash and Lyra were about to rush there, but then someone crashed into them.

"Hey, watch were you… Team Rocket!" – he said after picking himself up.

In front of the two trainers and Pokémon gang, were Jessie, James and Meowth covered in black and with parts of their clothes burned. Before they could even ask what happened to them, James spoke up.

"YOU DIDN'T SAW US! AND IF YOU DID YOU ONLY SAW JESSIE!" – screamed James before he and his comrades ran far away from their sight.

The kids and Pokémon were understandably very confused to their reaction. However, they ended up having to put that thought on the side for the time being as their attention was once more pulled towards the raging fire before them.

"We have to do something!" – exclaimed Lyra.

"Like what?!"

"Ummm... Marill quick, use water gun!" – said Lyra at her first Pokémon, unfortunately for them, the water/fairy type used it on Lyra herself. – "On the fire!" – she yelled.

That made more sense.

As quick as possible, Marill placed himself between them and the flaming building and shot a torrent of water at it. While his efforts were admirable, he was but a single Pokémon fighting against an infernal fire which flames burned hotter than the summer sun. Ash tried to help in any way possible so he pulled out Piedgotto, Bulbasaur and Butterfree to try and aid her friend. Piedgotto tried to use sand attack to try and dissipate the flames while also trying to get the people she and Butterfree were able to reach out of the building. Bulbasaur did the same as he extended his vines in hopes of helping his two teammates. Even Pikachu tried his best by getting a hold of a few water bottles and throwing them at the flames.

It was the thought that counted, or at least that's what he thought.

While Ash and Lyra did their best to put the fire out, Squirtle and his gang watched from the distance. Soon after, a pair of shade-wearing Beedrill came to the gang's side. One of them asked what was it that happened so, after they explained to the bug types what they knew, one of the Beedrill asked if they were going to get to safety until things got under control.

The Squirtle leader was about to answer his question, but he then heard the cries of help from the people and the two trainers doing what they could to calm them down. Looking at their selfless acts, he couldn't help but to remember his previous conversation with them. His previous trainer, a purple-haired girl which name he couldn't nor care to remember would have never tried to do what those two were currently doing.

Could it be... could it be that they were truly different from the kind of trainers that he was familiar? The Pokémon of the cap-wearing boy definitely believed that, even if the words of one of them were still somewhat skeptic and the other one being too optimistic. Then again, right now they were going out of their way to help a bunch of strangers that they have probably never encountered and will probably never meet again.

Officer Jenny, as well as Brock soon arrived at the scene and also tried to do their part in putting out the fire. On any other day, Squirtle would have told his gang to escape like they always did, but today, well. Perhaps what that boy said had some sort of truth, maybe lashing out on everyone wasn't helpful. Perhaps... perhaps he and his gang should try to do something else.

After a few minutes, Marill stopped shooting water as his breath became heavier. He tried to put the flames out by himself for what it felt like an eternity and so far, his efforts seemed futile. Still, he was the only one that chad a chance in stopping this. He wouldn't fail neither his trainer/friend nor the people whose lives depend on him doing his absolute best.

Just as he was about to resume with his efforts multiple pillars of water were shot towards the fire. Everyone turned to where the water was coming from and to their surprise, it was none other than the Squirtle Gang themselves. The leader of the group was ordering his kin to continue to blast water from as many angles as possible while also telling the two Sandshrew to use sand attack to do their part as well. Bellsprout helped Bulbasaur with what the grass starter was doing while the Beedrill helped both Piedgotto and Butterfree in their efforts. While on the air, the four Pokémon capable of flying noticed that there was someone that was injured and unable to escape.

They ended up relying the message to the rest of the Pokémon and Squirtle told the two fighting types to get inside and try to get said person out safely. Thye nodded and with the help of Piedgotto, they entered the building. They quickly got to the man's side and pulled him to safety as the rest kept on doing what they could to stop the fire from spreading. It took a bit longer, but eventually, they were successful in stopping the fire. Outside of a few minor injuries and the man who hurt his leg, everyone managed to made it out ok.

For a few minutes, everything was complete silence. The only thing that could be heard was the wind passing through and the sound of wood cracking. That was probably a few pieces of furniture that couldn't survive the fire. Then, to the surprise of the gang, everyone started cheering, not just for the trainers, but to the delinquents as well.

"Way to go!"

"You save us all!"

"I would have died if not for you!"

"Hurray for the Squirtle Gang!"

"Should we still refer to them as a gang after this?"

"How about the Squirtle Squad?"

"I like the sound of that!"

"Me too!"

"Squirtle Squad! Squirtle Squad!"

Soon, the entire town started to chant the newly dubbed Squirtle Squad, seemingly forgetting the fact that once upon a time they used to dislike them. While the town celebrated their heroes, an idea crossed Jenny's mind.

After everything was settle and things got under control, officer Jenny asked for everyone to reunite in front of the town's hall. Once there, she asked her officers to fetch her a microphone and a speaker to address the populous. Oddly enough, it was Brock the one that ended up doing it.

"Before anything else, I would like to thank both the trainers and Pokémon from aiding us in a time of need. Without them, no doubt would tragedy stricken our town." – she said as everyone gave a round of applause, making Ash and Lyra blush as Brock gave a small laugh. – "Also, I would like to extend an offer to the now dubbed Squirtle Squad."

Her words shocked the former gang members quite a bit. Jenny saw their confusion, so she decided to continue.

"We were quite lucky to have received the help from these two trainers, their Pokémon and the Squirtle Squad, but we may not be that lucky next time. So, in order to make sure we are fully prepared next time this happens, I would like to appoint the Squirtle Squad as the town's official firefighters. That is of course if they accept." –she said, looking at the Squirtle leader. Everyone looked at the ex-gang leader, expecting an answer to come from him. He himself turned to the two trainers and then his gang, who all nodded. Squirtle smiled and nodded to Jenny as well. Perhaps the raven-haired boy was right, maybe they should try something different.

Upon seeing this, everyone cheered for their heroes. Who would have thought that the five Squirtle, two Machamp, two Sandslash, two Beedrill and one Bellsprout that used to cause mayhem on the town, would have ended up becoming the town's new firefighters?

"Well, that was something." – said Brock to his friends.

After Jenny officially made the Squad the town's firefighters the trio and their Pokémon left to continue their journey to Vermillion city.

It was a very nice ceremony and rather wholesome moment all things consider. Although, it was kind of fun that they insisted on keeping the sunglasses. According to Brock, at their current pace, they should be arriving to Vermillion city very soon. At twilight at most.

As they kept on walking, they suddenly heard the sound of someone walking not that far behind. Turning back, they saw the leader Squirtle with his characteristic shades, smiling at the travelers.

"Hey Squirtle, what are you doing all the way here?" – asked Ash.

To his surprise, the ex-gang leader pointed directly at him. – "You want to come with us?" – asked Lyra, as the water type took off his shades for the first time since they met and nodded. His eyes still focused on the raven-haired boy.

"Well then, welcome aboard!" – said Ash, as he extended his arms.

Squirtle ran towards him and jumped into him receiving a hug from the Pallet town native. Perhaps having a second chance of having a trainer won't be as bad as he initially thought.

It took some time, but at last, they finally found someone to play the Pokeflute to wake up the Snorlax blocking the entrance of the bridge. An old hippie that lived somewhere around. After playing the flute, the colossal normal type finally woke up. Everyone felt relieved and Red himself felt quite excited. Pulling yet another great ball and perplexing everyone, he threw the pokeball at the recently waked up Pokémon. The massive normal type was quickly sucked into the sphere once again as Red smiled.

"Why did you do that for?!" – asked Misty.

"To catch it, duh."

"Wait a minute, you bought more than one great ball?!"

"I... did. I bought three actually."

"What?! You spent over four thousand pokedollars on three great balls?!"

"What does it matter, the important thing is that I finally-" – Red was stopped from finishing his sentence as Snorlax popped out of the pokeball. – "What?! But it was awake!"

"Kid, what were you expecting?" – asked the head merchant.

"But you said that it had to be awake for me to catch it!"

"I did, but that didn't mean that it would be easy." – he replied.

Red was about to say something, but yet again was stopped once he heard the normal Pokémon. Turning around, he saw the massive normal type was rather annoyed. As one, everyone took one step away from Red and pointed at him. Snorlax gave a battle cry as he started to chase Red around, with the Pallet town native running for dear life.

Ash and Red have encountered yet another companion and are on their way to Vermillion city to challenge the Gym Leader. Just how tough of a battle expects the two of them? Only time will tell.

As the journey continues...

Remember when I said that it was likely that I would bring chapters faster now that school was finally over?

Yeah, sorry about that. I kind of got distracted with me finally being done with classes for the moment that I forgot to writ for a bit. On the bright side, I didn't fail any classes and that I'll definitely try to writ more often when I have time.

Also, happy delayed Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas that is, if not ignore this part of the message)! Hopefully you guys all had a good time with your families and love ones. I certainly did.

For the time being, I don't have that much to say, only that I'm sorry for the delay, me wishing you all had a great time on Christmas and that I'll try to write more often.

That's it for me, have a good one and don't forget to wash your hands.

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