Island of Flame

By: Theodore Leung

Flare slowly regained consciousness, mumbling and muttering words. She opened her eyes slowly, seeing Charles leaning over her. Flare instantly awoke, surprised like heck.

"Flare, are you okay?" Charles asked. Flare examined herself, noting how she was still in one piece.

"I’m not…dead?" she asked, remembering what happened last. She was going to help Burner and everyone escape, then she remembered falling….then nothing. Charles smiled, walking over and giving the Flareon a warm, tight hug.

"You saved us," he whispered into her ear. Flare nodded, sniffling.

"I didn’t think I’d make it…" she whispered back, afraid and scared. "I thought…"

"Don’t think about it, just rest," Charles replied, letting go. Flare sniffed again, glanced over at the Charmander, then hugged him again, weeping into his shoulder. Charles was taken aback, but patted the Flareon’s back, trying to calm her.

"I was so afraid…" she whispered, still crying. Charles remained silent, allowing the Flareon to sob into his shoulder.

* * * * * *

Ryna sighed, sitting back down on the chair outside Flare’s room at the Pokémon Center. She noticed the Flareon up, and happy for her Charmander to be reunited with her. The Charmander stayed by her side for the entire time she was unconscious.

"You need some rest," Tim said, walking over. Ryna smiled lightly.

"I still have to thank you for saving Flare that day," she told him back. Tim nodded, opening his hand to her. The Pallet Town trainer took it, the soldier lifting her from her chair.

"Just say we’re even," he replied, beginning to walk down the hallway. Ryna followed. "She did save Burner."

"And everyone else, we owe her more," Ryna continued, sighing. "I…just don’t want to see her hurt. She’s not really my Pokémon."

"Then who’s Pokémon is it?" Tim asked, the two leaving the Center. The outside was smoldering hot, but that was the life of an island with a volcano on it. The life on Cinnabar Island.

"Oh, just a friend of mine from Glacier City," Ryna replied, staring at the sky. Glacier City and Cinnabar Island have such conflicting climate, but Ryna guessed that would be expected considering the locations of each. The trainer forced a smile, a weak one at that.

"Come on, I’ll treat you for lunch," Tim offered. Ryna smiled again, accepting the invitation.

* * * * * *

Samantha sighed, leaning back against the bed. The room was like any other room in any other Pokémon Center. Still, a room was better then no room. Sam turned on the bed to stare out the window.

"Nice view…" she whispered, the sun sparkling through the glass. Spark slept on the ground beside the bed, while Lin and Hydra were playing around. Sam smiled at the sight of the two running around before sitting up on the bed. The trainer got to her feet, making her way towards the door.

"I’m going to go check on Flare and Charles," she told the Pokémon. They nodded, before continuing to play around, giggling like children.

* * * * * *

Sam entered the room, Flare still lying on the bed while Charles tended to her. Both looked up, happy to see the trainer.

"How are you feeling Flare?" the trainer asked. The Flareon nodded, holding Charles’ hand. Sam smiled, seeing how nice it was to see the two back together.

"Now that I think of it, I don’t know what happened after I fell," Flare said, a bit afraid of the experience. Charles looked up at Sam, concerned about telling her. "Please tell me," she pleaded. Sam sighed, nodding.

* * * * * *

"FLARE!!" Ryna shouted, nearly letting go of the wire that held Tim in the air. Her scream got the attention of all aboard the Phoenix, looking downwards. The four above stiffened, unable to come to terms with the events transpiring.

"Burner, descend!" Tim shouted, forcing himself farther down the wire. The firebird obeyed, forcing to go as far down as possible.

Flare kept falling and falling, almost upon the tree line. Charles looked way, helpless to do anything to save the Flareon.

"Lower!" Tim shouted, Burner descending even more. The soldier was still out of reach, by only a little bit. Ryna, in a desperate attempt told Sam to let go. The trainer gave a confused look, but did as told. Ryna also let go, Tim slipping, but not stopping his objective. He grabbed the Flareon, Ryna instantly grabbing the flailing wire before it ran out.

"Pull up Burner!" Charles shouted, getting back up. "We got to get out of here!" Burner nodded, ascending and speeding up Ryna and Sam slowly pulled the soldier back up, Ryna giving a sigh of relief for the rescue of the Flareon. Once Tim was safely back on, Burner sped up even more, blasting past the squadron of helicopters before any could react.

* * * * * *

"And here we are now," Sam concluded, now sitting on the side of the bed. Flare rubbed her forehead, still a bit sore.

"How long was I unconscious for?" she asked, holding Charles’ hand tightly.

"About three days," the Charmander replied, a stare of bewilderment overcoming the Flareon.

"T-three days?" she stammered, unable to comprehend then length of time. "Oh…I’m sorry to worry all of you…" she whimpered, hugging Charles. The Charmander stroked her fur.

"It’s okay…you’re back now," he whispered. Sam sighed, getting up. She decided to give the two some time alone, until a doctor came in. It wasn’t Nurse Joy, it was someone else. The man looked around, looking like he knew nothing.

"May I help you?" Sam asked the doctor. He quickly fixed his gaze on the female.

"Are you Samantha?" he asked, still looking around nervously. The question sounded more like a statement.

"Yes…" the trainer replied, trailing off. She glanced nervously back at the other two Pokémon, who got awfully quite.

"I have something for you," he replied. Sam fixed her gaze on the doctor once again, who was now taking out a syringe. The trainer took a step back, suddenly afraid.

"What do you want?" she asked, gripping onto the side of the bed. He slowly advanced onto the trainer.

"If you don’t resist, this won’t hurt a bit…" he whispered. He backed Sam into a corner.

"Get away from me!" Sam cried out. Charles didn’t wait anymore, he jumped up and leaped onto the ‘doctor’, knocking both over. The doctor quickly pulled Charles away, then shot the fire type with a dart gun he had concealed.

"Charles!" Flare shouted, jumping from the bed, but was also so shot before she could do anything.

"What did you do?!" Sam yelled out.

"Only a sleeping formula my dear," he replied, shooting Sam as well. He staggered backwards, unable to believe what happened. She never had time to think, only to collapse onto the ground.

* * * * * *

The knock on the door startled all three Pokémon in the room. Spark opened one of his eyes, his ears picking up the intrusion, while the other two wondered who it was.

"Wouldn’t they have the keys to the room?" Lin asked Hydra. The turtle shrugged.

"Maybe it’s someone looking for Ryna or Sam," he replied. The two looked up at the door, hearing the lock being picked.

"Maybe they knocked for the heck of it," Lin suggested, hoping it was true. If a burglar was coming, then they were in trouble.

"I doubt it," Hydra replied, ready to spray who ever was breaking in. The creaking and clicking of the lock stopped, the door creaking open a little bit, then nothing. Spark stood up, walking over to join the others. Silence ensnared the room.

"What’s going on?" the Growlithe whispered. The others shook their head, unable to figure it out.

As if on cue, a can was tossed into the room, similar to the one Des used back in Celestial City. All three panicked, the door closing as well.

"We got to get out of here!" Lin shouted, running towards the other end of the room. Still, none of the Pokémon had the ability to open the window or the door, and soon the grasp of the gas captured them, sending each into a deep slumber.

* * * * * *

Tim sighed, checking the time for possibly the tenth time. Ryna looked up at the soldier, though her head leaned against his shoulder. Tim forced a smile.

"What’s the matter?" Ryna asked, worried for her friend.

"Nothing," he replied quickly, looking around. The two sat on a bench near the main street, waiting for something, though Ryna didn’t know what.

"You can tell me," she insisted, yawning before hand. "I must not be getting enough sleep…" she whispered, leaning back against his shoulder.

"Just get some rest now, I’ll take you back to the Center," Tim told Ryna, but she shook her head, yawning again.

"It’s…okay, I’ll…stay awake," she whispered, yawning again. "Or…maybe not…" she muttered, lying down on his shoulder, falling asleep. Tim sighed again. He didn’t want to slip the sleeping powder into Ryna’s drink, but orders were orders.

"I’m sorry…" he said to the sleeping girl, picking her up, a van pulling up on the street. In a few seconds, he was inside his escort and heading down the road towards HQ.

* * * * * *

"Good job with the mission Tim," he told his officer. Tim sighed, looking away from the tall, muscular man. He wore a pair of brown jeans and a white vest over his yellow T-shirt. The amber eyes were unusual for those who ever saw him for the first time, but people got used to it. "Are you displeased with something?"

"With all due respect, Commander Finn, I don’t think I deserve anything," Tim replied, standing tall and at attention. The room the two stood in was small, metallic surfaces all around with no decorations. There was only one exit to the room: an automatic sliding door.

"With the success at Celestial City, you should be proud," Finn answered, patting the soldier on the shoulder.

"I did it with help, sir," Tim said, not moving a muscle. Finn grinned.

"Ah yes, the people and their Pokémon we captured today," he said, circling around the soldier slowly. "They have some meaning to us," he answered. "Nothing you should know about though." Tim remained silent, but his heart thought otherwise. "Dismissed."

"Yes sir," he replied, giving a salute, then walking out of the door. He marched back to his room of this massive base, underground of Cinnabar, where the Pokémon Research Center expanded. It was a secret society, a place where the most advanced Pokémon studies are conducted.

Tim walked by a hallway, starting in some windows where they were testing the abilities of the Pokémon. During the last three days, there has been a lot of talk about genetic engineering, specifically inserting Pokémon DNA into Human DNA.

Again, Tim was displeased with himself, relaxing his muscles in the confines of his own room.

"Why did I do it!?" he yelled to himself, punching the solid wall beside the door. "Why did I betray my friends?" he whispered, shedding tears. "Why…" he muttered. He looked over onto the night table, three Pokéballs sitting on top. "Oh Carter…what would you do?"

* * * * * *

Des leaned back against the chair, watching his two friends duke it out. Actually, Tim was arm wrestling another soldier, both held in one position. The other soldier was tall, wore a pair of blue jeans and a black T-shirt. His glasses were steaming up with sweat, and he never went anywhere without that sun hat on him.

"You’re mine Tim!" he shouted, slamming his hand onto the table. The grips were instantly released, the muscles relaxed. Tim rubbed his aching arm, smiling.

"Next time, Carter," he answered. Carter smiled back.

"Like you always say," he replied, wiping the steam of his glasses. "One of these days, you’ll get me, don’t worry," Carter continued, putting his glasses back on. Des shot back up from his chair, his elbows on the table.

"Ready for the mission today?" he asked his two companions. Both nodded enthusiastically. "That’s good, no mess ups, this is the big one," he continued. Tim sighed, but Carter remained calm.

"It’s going to be easy, don’t worry," Carter replied, rolling a Pokéball on the table.

"I hope so," Tim muttered, his eyes down on the table.

"Hey, you don’t have faith in me?" he asked in his big, macho tone. Tim and Des smiled.

"Yeah, you’re right. This is easy," Tim replied, straightening up. "It’ll be easy…"

* * * * * *

"CARTER!" Des shouted, his eyes fixed on the flaming mass they just annihilated. Tim was on the ground, barely able to escape the explosion. Carter wasn’t as lucky. "CARTER!" Des shouted again, the crackling of the flame only heard through the night sky.

"Des…" Tim whispered, slowly getting up. Des faced him, his face tear stricken.

"How could you leave him in there?!" Des demanded, picking Tim up roughly by the collar. "HOW?!"

"He…ordered me…" Tim whispered, weak.

"Don’t give me that crap!" Des yelled out, pushing Tim back onto the ground. "You left him there!"

"Des…listen…" Tim muttered, too weak to talk any louder.

"No, YOU listen!" Des shouted. "You left him in that flaming wreck!" Des screamed out, pointing in anguish to what was left of a Rocket base in a city. "You left him there! You betrayed him to save yourself! You selfish little bastard!"

"Des…please…" Tim whispered, clutching his wound.

"You betrayed him! How could you?" Des whimpered, falling to his knees. "How…" he muttered, slamming his fist onto the ground.

"Des…" Tim said softly, placing his hand onto the back of his friend.

"Get away from me!" he shouted, pushing Tim away. "You betrayed him! You betrayed our friendship…I’ll never forgive you!" Des stood up, kicking Tim in the ribs. "I’d rather be with Team Rocket then be on the side of someone who would betray his own friends."

"Des…don’t say that…" Tim whispered, losing all his energy and falling unconscious.

"Goodbye Tim," Des whispered, tossing his insignia away. "Next time we meet, we will be enemies…"

* * * * * *

"I’ve betrayed my friends once…" Tim whispered, crying. "I’ve betrayed them again…"

Tim fell onto his bed, crying into the pillow. "It’s always orders over friends…"

"Carter, why did you tell me to leave?" Tim asked, facing the ceiling. "I didn’t want to…but you told me anyway…you ordered me…why?"

"I would rather die with you then live like this…" Tim told the sky. "I’m better off dead, where I can do no harm to anyone else."

Tim removed his pendant from his neck, holding it in his hand tightly. "Why?" he asked, letting the pendant slip through his fingers, the chain being caught. The cross swung back and forth like a pendulum, twisting clockwise, then counter clockwise. With all those twist, Tim could see a image.

A image of Ryna smiling at him.

"I…betrayed you…" he whispered, gripping the pendant.