Banner by @canisaries How to Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps Alaska Acevedo never wanted to be a hero. Or a warrior. Or an icon. Or anything as ridiculous as that (well, maybe an icon). When she left to go on her journey, she simply wanted to prove you don’t need a starter to become a Champion. Unlike her childhood rival entering Kanto's biggest new reality show. Unlike the famous trainers who brought war to her doorstep. It was just meant to be Alaska and her Pidgey against the world. Yet the gods have other ideas. As Alaska blogs her way across Kanto, she is drawn into a web of revenge, manipulation and violence. For a new war is brewing, with old enemies emerging from the shadows, up against a wounded region unwilling to fight another battle. It falls on Alaska to save the world - whether she wants the job or not. Warning: Contains frequent uses of coarse language and descriptions of violence that some may find unappealing. Index: Spoiler Prologue: Chrono Island (Here) Blog One: Introduction Arc One: The Beginning Chapter One: One Step Forwards Chapter Two: Love Thy Neighbour Chapter Three: The Bird and the Seed Chapter Four: Leaving on a Grand Adventure Blog Two: Route This Interlude One: Darkness Rising Arc Two: A Forest and a Friend Chapter Five: Falling Through Autumn Chapter Six: Sandy in the Forest Chapter Seven: A Battle of Wits and Wings Chapter Eight: Revenge is Best Served in a Double Course Chapter Nine: That Buzzing Feeling Chapter Ten: If You Can't Stand the Heat, Get Out of the Hole Blog Three: Toil and Trouble Interlude Two: Evil Brewing Arc Three: First Challenges Chapter Eleven: Sorta Ready to Rock and Roll Chapter Twelve: Follow the Shadows, He Said! Chapter Thirteen: Trust This to be Unlucky Chapter Fourteen: More Bang for your Buck Chapter Fifteen: Down and Dirty in the Dirt Blog Four: Celebrate the Good Times Interlude Three: Thoughts of a Champion Arc Four: Allies and Enemies Chapter Sixteen: This Places Needs a Sweep Chapter Seventeen: Climbing the Ladder of Success, and Kicking Your Competition in the Face as You Do So Chapter Eighteen: In Mid-Plight with Paras Chapter Nineteen: Let's Go Digging - for Answers! Blog Five: A Right Pickle Interlude Four: Two Sides of the Same Coin Arc Five: Beneath the Surface Chapter Twenty: Playing the Training Game Chapter Twenty One: A Bitch on a Bridge Chapter Twenty Two: This is Why I Failed Science Chapter Twenty Three: Life Swap, Pokemon Edition Chapter Twenty Four: My Monkey, My Enemy, My God... Chapter Twenty Five: The Water's Fiery Mistress Blog Six: So That City Went Well Interlude Five: Six Degrees of Villainous Separation Arc Six: Sparks of War Chapter Twenty Six: Breeding... Sexy Chapter Twenty Seven: Why Can't the Lights Be On Chapter Twenty Eight: Getting Stoned Chapter Twenty Nine: The Bronzed and the Bothersome Chapter Thirty: Oh Zap! Chapter Thirty One: Electric=MassCarnage2 Chapter Thirty Two: A Taste of Things to Come Blog Seven: The Bright Side of Life Interlude Six: Remnants of a War Zone Arc Seven: The Power Game Chapter Thirty Three: Oh the Analogies! Chapter Thirty Four: A Shiny New Puzzle Piece Chapter Thirty Five: Tart, Slapper, Cow, ETC Chapter Thirty Six: Alaska Acevedo and the Electric Factory Chapter Thirty Seven: How to Piss off Kanto in One Very Easy Step Chapter Thirty Eight: I'll Drink to Your Death Blog Eight: Yesterday Made Me Feel Old Interlude Seven: Anger and Anticipation Arc Eight: A Brush with Death Chapter Thirty Nine: The Hungover Games Chapter Forty: An Arrow of Hot and Shock Chapter Forty One: Smells like Lavender... and Death Interlude Eight: Meanwhile Chapter Forty Two: A Surprise Around Every Corner Chapter Forty Three: Dealing a New Hand Chapter Forty Four: The Discovery Room Blog Nine: Ghost of my Former Self Interlude Nine: The Murderers and Their Victims Arc Nine: A Time for Change Chapter Forty Five: A Tunnel Too Far Chapter Forty Six: Breakfast at Jericho's Chapter Forty Seven: Fifty Shades of Green Chapter Forty Eight: The Grass is Always Meaner Chapter Forty Nine: It's a Freaks Game Chapter Fifty: Change Chapter Fifty One: The Mind That Never Sleeps Chapter Fifty Two: How Alaska Got Her Groove Back Blog Ten: Victory Thy Name is Alaska Interlude Ten: Batted, Broken, Beating Arc Ten: Sandy Chapter Fifty Three: Take a Gamble Chapter Fifty Four: Leaving the Earth Behind Chapter Fifty Five: Life's a Beach Chapter Fifty Six: Something Fishy This Way Comes Chapter Fifty Seven: Washed Up Chapter Fifty Eight: A Dose of Reality Chapter Fifty Nine: The Tale of Sandy Samson Blog Eleven: The Paths Untaken Interlude Eleven: Six Degrees of Madness Arc Eleven: In the Lion's Den Chapter Sixty: Waking Up to a Brand New Death Chapter Sixty One: Shock in the City Chapter Sixty Two: Science Behind the Madness Chapter Sixty Three: Parental Consideration Advised Chapter Sixty Four: Fun Times at the End of the Tunnel Chapter Sixty Five: Saving Private Acevedo Chapter Sixty Six: Teenage Bitch Blog Twelve: #YODO Interlude Twelve: Motivational Speaking Arc Twelve: Looking to the Future Chapter Sixty Seven: A Game of Strategy Chapter Sixty Eight: That Psychic Feeling Chapter Sixty Nine: The Least Sexy Chapter Chapter Seventy: A Neighbourly Chat Chapter Seventy One: Keep Your Friends Close Chapter Seventy Two: The Short Walk Chapter Seventy Three: A Test Too Far Blog Thirteen: I Should Be So Lucky Interlude Thirteen: Doing it For Themselves (100th Total Chapter) Arc Thirteen: Survivors Chapter Seventy Four: No Escape Chapter Seventy Five: Need A Hit Chapter Seventy Six: Feel Me Now Chapter Seventy Seven: Falling Chapter Seventy Eight: Addicted to You Chapter Seventy Nine: Poison Paradise Chapter Eighty: Intoxicate Blog Fourteen: Taking Over Me Interlude Fourteen: Champions in their Field Arc Fourteen: Fire and Ice Chapter Eighty One: A Dream of Wars Gone By Chapter Eighty Two: The Rules of Someone Else's Game Chapter Eighty Three: Look at Me Chapter Eighty Four: The World Keeps Spinning Chapter Eighty Five: A Million Things I Haven't Done Chapter Eighty Six: One With the Wind and Sky Chapter Eighty Seven: She Had it Coming Chapter Eighty Eight: Walk to the Fire Chapter Eighty Nine: Nobody Will Oppose Blog Fifteen: Staying Alive Interlude Fifteen: Face to the Dawn Arc Fifteen: War Games Chapter Ninety: How Far We'll Go Chapter Ninety One: Another Day Chapter Ninety Two: Feel the Burn Chapter Ninety Three: Sandy's Choice Interlude Sixteen: Classless Chapter Ninety Four: No Education Chapter Ninety Five: No Dark Sarcasm Chapter Ninety Six: No Thought Control Chapter Ninety Seven: No Arms Around Me COMING SOON: Blog Sixteen: Family Values Interlude Seventeen: Bricked Up Arc Sixteen: The Final Pieces Chapter Ninety Eight Chapter Ninety Nine Chapter One Hundred Chapter One Hundred and One Chapter One Hundred and Two Chapter One Hundred and Three Chapter One Hundred and Four Blog Seventeen Interlude Eighteen Arc Seventeen: Homecoming Arc Eighteen: Everybody Dies OR The Irreversible Conclusion Awards: Spoiler Fic of the Month: April 2011 Fic of the Month: November 2013 Prologue: Chrono Island September 7th, 2008 There is nothing like a building spontaneously combusting to confirm your suspicions about its occupants. For two years, the residents of Chrono Island had wondered what went on behind the blue-grey doors of the mysterious factory. The two-storey building was tucked away at the bottom of the island, hidden by trees and far from the main town, but it was still a sore point for the locals. No one knew who worked there or what its purpose was, but every week someone would show up at the supermarket or a town meeting with a new story of figures skulking around at night and large boats arriving at the private dock. So when the factory suddenly and without warning exploded, no one was particularly shocked. Of course, they were taken aback by the explosion – on a quiet Saturday afternoon where the only thing people were waiting for was the high tide, to have the earth quiver and a giant plume of orange-tinged smoke rise up from the trees was a little surprising – but once the initial shock passed, most people agreed that it had only been a matter of time. It took a few hours for firefighters and their team of Blastoise to put out the flaming building, and by the time investigators were allowed in, most of the town had gathered on the forest's edge to watch. They were all stunned by the sight that awaited them: most of the walls had collapsed, the roof had completely caved in, and half the floor had been blown apart. There were no signs as to what had caused it, and everything that remained had been burnt black with ash, but that didn't stop the crowd standing around the melted barbed wire fence from speculating. "I always heard they were making supplies for the Celadon Game Corner." "Wasn't that run by Team Rocket?" "Barry was fishing when the explosion happened. Told me he saw three people come running out of the building just before it happened." "Well, Steve says he saw the Champion flying away on his Charizard, and those friends of his were there as well." "Oh my lord, that would explain it – I told Mary she was being silly when she said she saw that Leaf girl and her Blastoise swimming away. Do you think they did it?" "I've said it before and I'll say it again, Team Rocket is just the beginning. We are getting closer and closer to the apocalypse with every passing day!" "Shut up, Carol, no one asked you." As the locals gossiped and squabbled over rumour and heresy, Detective Inspector Arthur Reynolds focused on the facts at hand, even if he imagined what the townspeople were saying was true. This was no gas explosion, whatever had happened here had come from a device or machine, the cracked crater proved that. Though as Reynolds cast his eyes over the charred rubble, he knew the decimated machines that were scattered around him like soldiers on a battlefield would be far above the intellect and expertise of their forensics department. We might as well pack up now, there's no way in hell we're going to find out who's responsible. Reynolds felt a tang of guilt even thinking that, but he had seen enough over his career to know it was a fact. As the only arson expert in the Sevii Islands, he had been called to the scene barely minutes after the explosion had shaken the island. He'd been here for nigh on six hours, but he had known as soon as he arrived that everything there was to see was already laid out before them. Reynolds tore his eyes away from the ash-filled hole and turned his gaze to a nearby office. "John!" He barked, and was pleased that, even after all these years, his hoarse voice was able to command attention from everyone around him. A young, blond man rushed over eagerly, like a Growlithe returning to its trainer. "Yes, sir?" He asked with unnecessary vigour. Arthur gazed down at the junior officer and internally sighed. He had been like that; bright-eyed, cheery, hopeful. But now Arthur was nearing retirement, his hair and sagging eyelids giving away his age, and his joy for the job had long faded. He had seen too many horrors, most of it over the last few months, and had been thinking about the next stage of his life when the call through that afternoon, a reminder that his work was not done with him yet. "We should wrap things up for the night. We are losing light, and we are never going to find anything turning over ash in the dark." "Shall we keep people on site to guard?" John asked. "Err, you and Wilson can, and I'll see whose on duty to take over later," Arthur said, and John nodded and rushed off. The detective watched him go with exasperation before following after, giving the ruins one last look as he walked stiffly back to his car. Whoever had done this, whether it was Rocket or the Champion, was long gone and out of his reach, literally and figuratively. With no bodies to make it a murder inquiry, the case would sit on his desk unsolved for years, long after the site had been cleared and everyone had forgotten about the mysterious factory that one day vanished. If the inspector had taken a moment to look back before heading down to the police boat docked at the pier, he might have seen the ground where he had just been standing move. As it was, no one noticed as one of the floor tiles slowly rose upwards, shifting aside ash and rubble. The townspeople distracted by scandal and the investigators dulled with boredom paid no attention as the tile was shoved onto a pile of ash, leaving a hole in the middle of the floor. The two hands that shortly followed were utterly ignored, as was the man they belonged to as he pulled himself up into the factory. If anyone had paid him any attention, they would have assumed immediately he was a scientist. The man's profession had seeped permanently into his appearance, his lab coat, dark glasses, pale complexion, and slicked back hair turning him into a walking stereotype. The only thing that broke his costume was the fresh, shining wound over his left eyebrow and the many scorch marks muddying his coat. The scientist hovered beside the hole for a moment to ensure he had not been spotted before scuttling towards what had once been his private office. Though it was more open air now that all four walls had collapsed, leaving only a cracked desk and half melted filing cabinet behind. The sight made the scientist groan into his clenched teeth. He frantically pushed rubble off the desktop, keeping a watchful eye on the disinterested officers, until he found his laptop buried beneath. The discovery momentarily filled his heart with joy, but he only had to hold it up to the fading light to see the hard drive had melted. "No, no, NO!" The man hissed, and he threw the useless device aside. He had seen this coming; the attack had happened quickly and without warning, and his enemies had made sure to target his computers. He knew that every digital copy of his work was gone, and it took all his willpower not to scream to the heavens. Angry, helpless, he turned towards the melted cabinet. Similarly, much of the contents had been destroyed in the fire, but in the bottom drawer, there were several folders and a mobile phone that had escaped the flames. Relieved, the scientist turned the device on, the ruins of his office briefly illuminated by blue light before 'GIDEON'S PHONE' appeared on the screen. Footsteps in the distance told him he could not celebrate here; he grabbed what he could and ran back to the hole as stealthily as possible. Only once the tile was back in place did Gideon turn the lights on. The dim bulbs illuminated the metal bomb shelter that was now home. He had built the room years ago in case of situations like this, but he had never thought he would actually have a need to use it. The room was tiny, made smaller by the number of belongings packed into it: a table, scientific equipment behind clear cabinet doors, an overflowing bookcase, two beds, a fridge, microwave and oven, and an outdated computer and small TV. It would be enough, but Gideon had little interest in comfort when, for the second time in his cursed existence, he had potentially lost his life's work. "Let's see what the scum have left me with." He began sifting through the folders, trying to contain his rage. He could not afford to start over again. The lab had not been perfect, but it would have served the purpose of rebuilding the Rocket empire, carrying on Giovanni's legacy – his legacy. Now the few meagre resources he had managed to save from their former strongholds were gone, all his plans, formulas and strategies turned to ash. Gideon hoped there was something meaningful in the folders, but as the minutes went by he found only instructions for machines he could not possibly rebuild and plans for defunct projects he had no hope of resurrecting alone. "USELESS!" Gideon roared and threw the folders across the tiny room. Papers became loose and scattered in the air, landing in a mess on the floor. Gideon sat on his rigid bed watching them fall. Starting over was not impossible, but with no plans, no resources, with nothing to build on, the statistics were not in his favour. Gideon looked at the ceiling, wondering what might happen if he went back up there and handed himself in. He began calculating how many of the locals he could kill before they got to him when he noticed a strange light; it was purple and moving as though alive, and had not been there when he had gone up before. He stared at the floor and spotted the source instantly: it was a computer disc, but to the untrained eye it could be a portal to another world. It shone unnaturally, the glowing pattern swirling and moving in a way no normal computer disc should. Yet, as Gideon sank to the floor, grasping the circle as though it was some holy item, he remembered just how abnormal it truly was. "Operation Lavender…" Excitedly, Gideon flung papers aside until he found the ones he needed. He remembered now; how he had buried the project, hidden it away so no one could find it. Gideon told everyone he would destroy it, but he had kept every bit of data, all of which was here: all the instructions, all the resources he needed, all the places to go and people to find, it was all here. This was all Gideon needed to complete Giovanni's master plan, the reason for everything they had done. Grasping the disc in one hand and the papers in another, Gideon fell to the floor, laughing. The children had tried to end him again, they thought they had succeeded. They may have won, for now, but they had handed Gideon exactly what he needed to destroy them all, and ensure that, once and for all, Team Rocket would reign supreme.