Illustration by Shigeru1313.
Where Angels Dare to Tread
by Cori Falls
Chapter 4 -- Not Without the Help of Others
A cold sweat formed on Gary's brow as he sat up in bed. For the first time in his life, he'd had a dream about his late grandmother, Vivien Oak. He'd sometimes had dreams where he'd seen fleeting images of her, but never one where she actually spoke to him. But even though he'd been happy to finally "meet" his grandma, there had been a reason for her visit...and it hadn't been a pleasant one.
Vivien had come to tell him that his friends, Jessie, James, and Meowth were in danger and that they needed his help. She'd told him that in order to help his friends, he needed to find a pair of books in Professor Oak's library and take them to James as soon as possible.
Gary ran a hand through his spiky auburn hair and frowned as he got out of bed and looked out the window. The storm that had been brewing on the western horizon had moved east while he'd been asleep, and it was now raining in Grove. Pallet Town is such a long way from here. Even if I ride on Blaze or Smaug, it'll still take a couple of days to get there, he said to himself. And who knows how long it'll take me to find those books? Grandpa's library is huge! By the time I find them, it might be too late. What am I supposed to do?!
As if he could sense Gary's unease, Umbreon awoke and came to his side. "Bree, breon?" he asked as he pawed at Gary's leg.
Gary knealt down and scratched behind Umbreon's long, black ears. "It's okay. I've just got some stuff on my mind, that's all."
Umbreon slid his head under Gary's arm and nuzzled against his chest. "Breon. Um-breon."
Gary smiled and gave him a hug. And as he stroked Umbreon's smooth black fur and thought about what a reliable friend his pokemon was, he suddenly got an idea.
"Maybe I don't have to go to Pallet Town at all," he muttered as he stood up again and turned his laptop back on. "Maybe I can get a little help of my own." While Gary was waiting for the computer to boot up, he drummed his fingers on the table and looked over at the clock on the nightstand. It was a few minutes after midnight. His smile grew even wider than it already was. "Oh, yeah. She'll definitely be there."
Since it was so far to the west, Johto was in a different time zone from Kanto. Gary knew that if it was midnight in Grove, it would be one in the morning back in Pallet. But he also knew that his sister, May, almost always stayed up late so that she could chat with her friends online. It was a rare occasion when she logged off before two or three o'clock.
Once the computer had booted up, Gary connected to the internet again and logged on to the instant messenger. And sure enough, when his buddy list popped up, May's screen-name was in the online column. Good old May! he said to himself.
As Gary prepared to send her a message, his gaze drifted to Jessie and James's screen-name and Meowth's screen-name in the offline column. A sick feeling formed in the pit of his stomach at the thought of why "Black Arachnid 2" and "MadCat13" were offline, but he did his best to ignore it as he began to type a message to his sister....
SmaugTrainer: Hi, May!
Mystikal Oak: Hey, Gary! What's up?
SmaugTrainer: I'm okay. Just had a strange dream, though.
Mystikal Oak: Really? What happened?
SmaugTrainer: I saw grandma...grandma Oak. I got to talk to her for awhile.
Mystikal Oak: Wow! I bet that was cool! ^_^
SmaugTrainer: Yeah, it was. But....
Mystikal Oak: But what?
SmaugTrainer: It's a complicated story. You know my friends, Jessie, James, and Meowth?
Mystikal Oak: Yeah?
SmaugTrainer: Well...grandma told me that they're in danger. I've kinda had a bad feeling about them all day, and that dream confirmed it.
Mystikal Oak: That's awful! 8_8 Do you know what happened to them?
SmaugTrainer: Yeah. In the dream, grandma told me about an archaeological dig that she and grandpa went on 40 years ago.
Mystikal Oak: The one in Yew? I remember grandpa saying that he'd called off the dig because the staff and mask were only myths, but I knew that wasn't the whole story.
SmaugTrainer: You're right. Grandma said it's because the city is haunted. She told me that while they were there, she and her friend, Rose Morgan, had nightmares about the queen of Yew. She and Rose knew that if the queen's temple or treasures were ever found, then something terrible would happen. Grandpa called off the dig and told everybody that the treasures were only a myth to try and keep people away from Yew.
Mystikal Oak: *shudder*
SmaugTrainer: Yeah, it is kinda creepy. And that's where my friends come in. Grandma said some archaeologist has been exploring the ruins for the past month. Jessie, James, and Meowth were in the area, and they'd heard rumors about the city, so they decided to check it out. The archaeologist led them straight to the temple, and Jessie found the staff and mask of Queen Ayesha.
Mystikal Oak: Uh, oh....
SmaugTrainer: Grandma said that this queen wants to return to life. And when my friends found the staff and mask, her spirit took possession of Jessie. I know this sounds like the plot of some horror movie, and you probably think I'm crazy, but I swear it's the truth!
Mystikal Oak: I don't think you're crazy, Gary.
Mystikal Oak: If you had a dream about grandma, there must be something to it. I've been reading some of her books about "the old ways," and I've seen a lot of stuff about how the spirits of people who've passed on can guide and protect the living in times of need.
SmaugTrainer: Really? That's cool!
Mystikal Oak: ^_^
SmaugTrainer: That's actually what I wanted to talk to you about.
Mystikal Oak: Oh?
SmaugTrainer: Grandma told me that Rose Morgan gave her a couple of books for safekeeping. She said that I need to find those books and take them to Rose's grandson, so that he can stop Ayesha and save Jessie. But I don't have enough time to get to Pallet, find the books, come back to Johto, and deliver the books to James.
Mystikal Oak: Hmmm...if Rose gave the books to grandma, then I bet they're still in grandpa's library somewhere. You want me to find them for you?
SmaugTrainer: Yeah! Grandma said they are in grandpa's library. It's a diary and a Book of Shadows. If you can find them and transfer them to the pokemon center in Grove, I'd really appreciate it.
Mystikal Oak: No prob! I'll go right now if you want. ^_^
SmaugTrainer: Right now? O_o
Mystikal Oak: Don't worry -- grandpa's been busy getting some research data together for Prof. Ivy and Prof. Elm. I was helping him with that all day, and it looked like he still had a long way to go when I left this evening. Wouldn't surprise me if he's still awake and working on his project...especially since that lame excuse for an assistant doesn't do anything to help.
SmaugTrainer: You mean Tracey?
Mystikal Oak: Yeah. -__-
SmaugTrainer: Ugh. I don't like that guy. I've only seen him a few times since he showed up, but...I dunno. He just bugs me.
Mystikal Oak: Tell me about it! All he does is sit around on his fat butt, eating all of grandpa's food and watching TV. And whenever he does "help out," he just messes things up. A couple weeks ago, he crashed one of the computers in the lab. Grandpa and I had to spend two whole days fixing it. X_x
SmaugTrainer: Jeezus! >_<
Mystikal Oak: And earlier today, he knocked over a big stack of notes that I'd just finished organizing. It took me over an hour to get them back in order! >P
SmaugTrainer: Blargh! Why doesn't grandpa fire him? >/
Mystikal Oak: You know grandpa -- he's too nice. I know he doesn't like Tracey either, but he just doesn't have the heart to tell him to hit the road.
SmaugTrainer: Yeah. Well, Sketchit had better enjoy the free ride while he can -- if he's still around and pulling this kinda shit when I come home for good after Johto finals, the first thing I'm doing is kicking his fat ass outta there! >D
Mystikal Oak: LMAO!!! Yeah!!! XD
SmaugTrainer: Anyway, if you could get those books for me now, that'd be great.
Mystikal Oak: I'd be glad to. If this is as serious as grandma says, then you don't have any time to waste.
SmaugTrainer: Thanks, May. This really means a lot to me. ^_^
Mystikal Oak: Don't mention it! ^__^
Mystikal Oak: Guess I'd better get going now. I don't know how long it'll take me to find those books, but I'll try not to be more than a couple of hours.
SmaugTrainer: That's okay. I should sign off, too. We're having some nasty storms here tonight, and the lightning is getting really bad.
Mystikal Oak: Yikes! I'll let ya go, then. I hate having my computer on during thunderstorms, too.
SmaugTrainer: Yeah. Good luck finding those books. And thanks again!
Mystikal Oak: Bye, Gary! Talk to ya soon! ^_^
SmaugTrainer: Bye, May! ^__^
Mystikal Oak signed off at 12:35:16 AM.
Once May had signed off, Gary disconnected from the internet and switched off his computer again. "I was right, Umbreon!" he said as he reached down and patted his pokemon on the head. "I knew May would come through for me. Thanks for reminding me of that."
Umbreon wagged his tail and licked Gary's hand. "Bree!"
Gary smiled at him. But when he looked out the window and saw the rain pouring down and the lightning flashing in the sky, his expression became grim again. I just hope I can come through for Jessie and James....
After saying good-bye to Gary and the two friends she'd been chatting with, May disconnected from the internet and changed out of her pajamas. When she went downstairs, she saw her parents sitting at the dining room table, studying a map of the mountains north of Kanto and Johto.
"Hi, mom. Hi, dad," she said.
David and Clarice Oak smiled at their daughter.
"Hello, mon cheri," Clarice replied.
"Where are you going at such a late hour?" David asked when he saw May heading for the door.
"I was just chatting with Gary, and he said he needs a couple of books from grandpa's library. It sounded pretty important, and I'm sure grandpa is still busy with his project, so I volunteered to go and get them now," May explained.
A look of concern crossed Clarice's face. "Is Gary okay?"
"He's fine, mom," May assured her. "He and his friends just need the books for some research."
David nodded approvingly. "Alright. Just try not to take too long over there, sweetheart -- I'm sure your grandpa will be wanting to go to bed soon. We'll leave the light on for you."
"Thanks, dad," said May.
The two of them smiled again and waved as May took her leave. She felt bad about not telling her parents the whole story, but she didn't want them to worry about Gary and his friends. She knew that her little brother could take care of himself, and she knew that he wouldn't want their mom and dad to worry about him either.
Sure enough, when May arrived at Professor Oak's house, the lights were still on. Since he never locked the front door until he went to bed, she was able to let herself in.
The first thing she saw when she walked into the living room was Tracey sitting on the couch and watching an episode of The Man Show. Empty soda cans and pork rind bags littered the floor, and Tracey was giggling like a madman as he made sketches of the Juggy Dancers.
May rolled her eyes. "What a pig," she muttered under her breath.
Sensing that somebody else was in the room with him, Tracey quickly flipped his sketchbook to a blank page and switched the TV to the Discovery Channel. "Uh...I wasn't goofing off, Professor Oak! Honest! I was just...uh...watching this documentary about legendary pokemon! Yeah!" he babbled.
"Spare me," May grumbled.
Tracey breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that it wasn't Professor Oak. Then, he grinned. "Hey, baby. Wanna watch TV with me?" he asked as he swept some empty Oreo containers from the couch and put The Man Show back on.
May wrinkled her nose in disgust and turned away from him. "No thank you," she replied coldly.
Tracey frowned and resumed his sketching. "It's your loss, babe," he called after her.
When she reached the office, May found her grandpa sitting at his computer. True to her prediction, he was still busy typing his report.
"Tracey, haven't you found that book on pokemon migratory patterns yet?" Professor Oak asked when he heard May enter the office. "I need it in order to finish my report."
"It's me, grandpa," came May's reply. "And I don't think Tracey found your book yet -- he's watching TV and pigging out...again."
Professor Oak buried his face in his hands and exhaled in a frustrated sigh. Then, he turned to face his granddaughter and smiled. "May? What are you doing here, sweetheart? I thought you went home for the night."
May nodded. "I did. But I got an IM from Gary, and...."
"How's Gary doing?" Professor Oak interjected. "I haven't heard from him since he won his Glacier Badge and exchanged his Pidgeot and Rhydon for Nidoking and Nidoqueen."
"He sent an e-mail to all of us earlier this evening," May told him. "He's been doing some intensive training for the past few days, and he just arrived in the town of Grove tonight. He's at the pokemon center there."
Professor Oak smiled again. "That's wonderful. I'm glad he's doing so well with his training."
"Anyway," May continued, "I was chatting with him online just now, and he says he needs a couple of books from your library."
"He must need them right away if he sent you to get them in the middle of the night," Professor Oak remarked.
"Yeah," she replied. "It's a pair of books that grandma's old friend, Rose Morgan, gave to her for safekeeping. Do you have any idea where they might be?"
Professor Oak closed his eyes and thought for a moment. "Yes...I remember those books," he said softly. "Vivien told me that Rose's grandson was going to need them someday...."
"Gary became friends with Rose's grandson recently. He needs to take those books to him," she explained.
"It's amazing how things like that work out. I never really shared Vivien's belief in magic, but every day it seems like there's more and more to it," Professor Oak chuckled.
"It is really cool, isn't it?" May agreed.
"I think I know exactly where those books are," he told her. "Let's take a little trip to the library."
"Are you sure it's not a bother?" May asked. "I can find them myself if you're still busy."
"It's not a bother at all!" Professor Oak assured her as he got to his feet and stretched himself out. "I needed to take a break anyway...and find that book on pokemon migration since Tracey hasn't done it yet." He ran a hand through his gray hair and sighed again. "I tell you, his goofing off is getting really old. If he doesn't shape up soon, he's going to find himself out of a job...."
May couldn't help but smile.
When the two of them got to the library, Professor Oak searched one of the bookcases until he found the book on pokemon migration. Then, he led May to another bookcase in the far corner.
"This is the shelf where I keep all of the stuff that's been given to me and Vivien over the years," he explained. "It's mostly old papers written by my students at Celadon University, but I distinctly remember seeing Vivien put Rose's books here, too."
"Thanks, grandpa," said May.
As she started to go through the books and papers on the bottom shelf, Professor Oak began to search the top shelf. After a few minutes, May discovered an old sketchbook tucked among the papers. Its pages were yellow with age and the pencil marks had faded, but from what she could see, the book was filled with drawings of pokemon. On one page was a Sneasel and a Tyranitar, on another, an exquisite drawing of Suicune, and on several other pages were drawings of the legendary pokemon known as Celebi. Each drawing had Sammy '61 written in the bottom right corner.
"Grandpa? Did you do these drawings?" May asked, holding up the sketchbook.
Professor Oak took the book from May and examined it for a moment. "No, I didn't draw these," he chuckled. "This sketchbook belonged to Sam Brown -- an old student of mine. Sam drew all of these pictures when he was eleven. And when he was in my class at Celadon University a few years later, he wrote his thesis on Celebi's ability to travel through time. Since his thesis was largely based on firsthand experience, he gave me that sketchbook as part of his notes."
May smiled. "I bet that was really amazing, to actually witness Celebi travel through time," she said as she watched Professor Oak place the sketchbook back on the shelf.
"I'm sure it was," he agreed.
Once she'd finished searching the bottom shelf, May moved on to the shelf above it. Before long, a small book with a purple silk cover caught her eye. As she pulled the book out, she saw an elegant Japanese landscape and the name Rose Morgan embroidered on the silken cover. Looking back to the shelf and moving a folder full of papers aside, she found a large book with a green leather cover. Taking that book from the shelf as well, she opened it and saw Rose Morgan's name written in a neat, curving script on the inside cover.
"Grandpa...I think I found them," she said.
Professor Oak looked down at the tomes his granddaughter was holding. "Yes, those are definitely the books that Rose gave to Vivien. I'm glad to see that they're still in good condition after all these years."
I'm sure James will be glad they are, too, May thought as she fingered the ornate covers of the two books.
"I haven't seen Jim and Rose Morgan's grandson since he was a baby," Professor Oak continued. "He was such a sweet little boy -- I'm so happy to know that he and Gary are friends...."
May smiled up at her grandfather and got back to her feet. "Speaking of Gary, I need to get these books to him as soon as possible. Can I borrow your transporter, please?"
"Of course!" he replied.
May reached up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, grandpa!"
"Don't mention it."
Once May had gone to the lab so that she could transfer the books to Gary, Professor Oak returned to his office and set his own book on the computer desk. Then, he went to the living room. And just as May had told him, he found Tracey watching Battlebots and stuffing his face with Oreos.
After a couple of minutes, Professor Oak cleared his throat to announce his presence.
Quickly, Tracey hid his sketches of Carmen Electra under the couch cushion and turned the TV back to the Discovery Channel. "Oh...uh...hi there, Professor Oak!" he said nervously.
"Hello, Tracey. What happened to that book you were supposed to get for me three hours ago?"
"Well...uh...you see," Tracey stammered, "I went to look for it...but...uh, I couldn't find it, so I decided to come out here and...uh, watch some entertaining and informative documentaries while I thought about where the book might be, and...you're not buying this, are you?"
"Not a word," Professor Oak replied cooly.
"Damn," Tracey muttered.
"My patience is wearing very thin with you, Tracey. I thought you wanted to be a serious pokemon researcher when I took you on as my assistant, but I haven't seen an ounce of serious work out of you in the year that you've been here. All you ever seem to do is goof off, bother my granddaughter, and mess things up in the lab, and I'm not going to tolerate much more of it," Professor Oak warned him.
Tracey hung his head and looked away. "Sorry, dude. Jeez...."
"I mean it, Tracey," he continued. "If you want to continue as my assistant, then you need to start pulling your weight around here. And you can start by mucking out all of the pokemon stables first thing tomorrow morning."
"But there's hundreds of those things...and there's a Baywatch marathon tomorrow!" Tracey protested. "It'll be over by the time I get done!"
"Perhaps you should have thought about that before you fell down on the job tonight," Professor Oak told him as he returned to his office. "This is a very demanding line of work -- if I can't even trust you to find one book for me, then you don't belong here. Think about it."
Once Professor Oak was gone, Tracey frowned and turned off the TV. "Bogus," he grumbled.
Gary looked up at the clock on the wall as he paced about the lobby of the pokemon center. It was one fifty. His chat with May had ended a little over an hour ago, and now he was waiting for her to call the pokemon center and transfer Rose Morgan's books to him. He knew that May would find the books as soon as she could, but not knowing how long that would take or when she'd call was making him antsy.
The storm raging outside and the knowledge that Jessie, James, and Meowth needed his help as soon as possible were only making it worse.
Suddenly, the phone on the far wall began to ring. The sound startled Gary, but he quickly regained his composure and ran to answer it.
"Hello?" he said as he picked up the receiver. When he turned on the vid-screen, an image of his sister came into focus.
"Hey, Gary! I've got the books," May replied. With that, she placed a small book with a purple silk cover and a large book with a green leather cover into the transport device at her side and pressed a few buttons. After a moment, the transporter on Gary's end switched on, and the two books appeared on the tray.
Gary picked up the books and grinned. "Thanks, May! You're the best!"
She smiled back. "Don't mention it!"
"I said it before, and I'll say it again -- this really means a lot to me," he told her.
"Well, I'm glad I could help," May said. Then, in a more serious tone, "Just be careful, Gary. If your friends are in danger, then you probably will be, too."
"I know," he said. His brow furrowed for a moment, but he smiled again as he looked down at his green and gold pendant and touched it with his free hand. "But I'm not afraid."
May nodded. "Good luck, Gary. I hope those books can help James save Jessie."
"I hope so, too...." he echoed.
Once May had said good-bye and disconnected, Gary got out his map of Johto and studied it for a moment. Rowandale was about eighty miles to the south and west of Grove, but if he rode on Blaze or Smaug, he knew that he could make it there by morning. Gary didn't relish the idea of bringing one of his fire-types out during such a torrential downpour, but they were the only ones he had that would be able to cover such a great distance in a short time.
I suppose I could've asked grandpa or May to send Pidgeot, but I can't fly anywhere with all this lightning. I guess that rules Smaug out, too, he said to himself. Looks like Blaze is my best bet....
After putting the books in his backpack and calling Umbreon into his poke ball, Gary donned his gray cloak. Then, he called Blaze out.
Blaze wagged his fluffy tail and licked Gary's face. "Arrrc!" he barked.
Gary stroked the Arcanine's soft mane. "I hate to ask this of you, boy, but I don't really have a choice," he said. "I need you to give me a ride to Rowandale...tonight. I know it's a long way and that it won't be easy to get there in this storm, but I'd never ask you to do something that I know you can't do. Will you please help me?"
Blaze licked Gary's face again and nuzzled against him. "Arrc!"
"Thanks, Blaze," Gary whispered, giving his pokemon a hug. "I knew I could count on you."
When the two of them stepped onto the porch of the pokemon center and prepared to take their leave, Gary could feel the icy rain blowing under the overhang and pricking his face. Instinctively, he tucked his backpack under the folds of his cloak and pulled the hood over his head. It was going to be a long, difficult night, but as he fingered his pendant again, Gary knew that his grandma was watching over him and that he'd be okay.
I just hope that Jessie and James will be okay, too, he said to himself as he climbed onto Blaze's back and raced away into the night.
To be Continued....
The title of this chapter is a reference to Revelation Lugia, where the prophecy in the original Japanese version said, "One shall save the world, but not without the help of others." (I'm still peeved at 4Kids about all that "Power of One" crap, in case ya haven't noticed. X_x) In my story, I wanted to emphasize that even though James is the main hero, saving Jessie is a group effort. Our heroes ain't glory-hogs like Ash -- they're humble and know how to cooperate!
The scene where May finds Sam Brown's sketchbook is in this story for a reason. I'm fully aware that the writers were trying to hint that the boy Ash meets in Celebi: The Voice of the Forest is a young Professor Oak (and the dubbers were practically ramming it down our throats +P), but I don't buy it. First off, the math is all wrong -- if Sammy is from 40 years in the past, and he was only 11 or 12 in the movie, then that would mean Prof. Oak is in his early 50s now. Do ya really think a man that age would have a 14 year-old grandson and a 19 year-old granddaughter...or that Prof. Oak was a young boy in 1961? I know I sure don't. I just don't see a history of teen pregnancy in the Oak family. (Methinks the scriptwriters got "40 years ago" confused with "the 1940s" when they came up with that plot idea. +P) Second, the boy in the movie has blue eyes, but Prof. Oak has BROWN eyes! Prof. Oak doesn't strike me as the colored contact lens kinda guy, either. (The whole deal with the writers trying to make it look like Prof. Oak has this really powerful bond of friendship with stupid Ash while acting like Gary, the prof's own GRANDSON, doesn't even exist really gets on my nerves, too! >_<) In my opinion, there ain't no way in hell the boy from the 4th movie is Prof. Oak! For the purposes of my story, Sammy is one of Prof. Oak's former students, which accounts for why his sketchbook ends up in the Oak library. (The scenes where Prof. Oak looks at the sketchbook and basically comes right out and says he was Sammy weren't present in the Japanese version of the movie, so that part never even happened as far as I'm concerned.) In my timeline, Prof. Oak was a grown man with a wife and son, and he was on an archaeological dig in the ruins of Yew 40 years ago. So, anybody who complains that my story isn't "accurate" because it doesn't jive with what happened in the 4th movie is gonna be ignored. If the writers insist on giving us such half-assed, poorly thought-out plots, then I'm under no obligation to acknowledge them as valid -- I'm simply coming up with a more logical explanation for what's going on. And since my stories are no longer following the canon of the anime anyway, this topic is most certainly NOT open for discussion or debate. ~_~
And last but certainly not least, special thanks to Shigeru1313 for letting me use her characters, David and Clarice Oak, in this chapter, and for the cool illustration of Gary and his parents and May! ^_^
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