Step One
Season Red Star, Chapter 6
Written by Terence Harris
Created by Terence Harris, Jeremy White
Chapter guide
The Boulder Badge
Machine versus Kris
“Man, what the hell is going on?!” Kusa asked surprised, as she held her head in distress. Hakel and Machine didn’t answer because they were too preoccupied with trying to find a way to stop Team Rocket. Team Rocket members were pouring out of the building, trying to lock down Pewter City as fast as they could. About five Team Rocket members came in through the front door of the Pokemon Center, ready to act like they were going to take it over. Hakel and Machine heard this and put their ears to the floor to try and discover what Team Rocket was trying to do here.

There were five grunts. Two of them held Pokeball’s and the other three held a large, powerful looking gun in their hand. They didn’t look afraid to use what they had. Nurse Joy immediately put up her arms as she asked, “What do you bastards want?! Why are you attacking our city?”

“Well, we came here just to steal some fossils but the boss seems to want more than that.” One of the grunts stated, as they walked up to Nurse Joy and forcibly locked his lips with hers. She pushed him away from him and slapped him pretty hard, knocking him to the ground.

“You disgusting freak! Don’t ever do that again!” Nurse Joy ordered as the grunt that was knocked down, rubbed his cheek, looking angrier than before. He then hopped back towards her and tossed his Pokeball to the other grunt with the Pokeball.

He caught it and asked, “Leon, what the hell do you think you’re doing? We have to take all the Pokemon Trainers upstairs hostage.”

“Listen, Kerry,” Leon said, as he kept Nurse Joy from moving with just one hand. “Kris gave us strict orders from the boss to tear this town apart! We already got Forrest hostage, why not have a little fun before we leave?” Leon looked back at Nurse Joy and waved for them to leave. “Take everyone upstairs hostage and those kids are here, don’t let them beat you. Take them down at all costs. Got it, Kerry?”

“Got it, sir.” Kerry said, as they all saluted him. They then rushed up the stairs, Kerry taking the third floor and ordering the other three grunts to take the second floor.

Machine and Hakel rose up. Machine stood in place saying, “This doesn’t look good. I guess their boss wants us dead from our encounter we had with that female Team Rocket member. It’s funny cause we didn’t even win. All we did was witness the damn death of Professor Oak. That’s it.”

“That’s not all they seem to want us for. Do you think their boss would kill us all just for that?” Hakel asked, as Kusa stood their surprised.

“Did you just say that Professor Oak is dead?” Kusa asked, feeling very sad.

“Oh right...” Machine said, realizing that Kusa was still in the room with them. “Damn it, Hakel, what do we do?”

“I think we should take down Team Rocket, man. That’s the only way this shit is going to end with us having our lives intact. But we shouldn’t get anyone involved.” Hakel said, turning to Kusa.

“It’s too late now.” Machine said, sighing. “We have to inform her of everything, even if it is detrimental to her as well.”

“What do you mean?” Kusa asked, still very confused. “Why is Professor Oak dead and why is this Team Rocket attacking Pewter?”

“I guess you’re right, Machine...” Hakel said as they both turned to Kusa. “Kusa, we have to explain something to you in about ten minutes cause that’s when that Team Rocket grunt, Kerry is going to find us. But you can’t stop us to ask questions. You just have to listen to whatever we say cause it’s going to come at you fast.”

“You think you can handle that, Kusa?” Machine asked as Kusa got a serious expression across her face.

“Of course. I am a Pokemon Trainer after all. Whatever it is, tell it to me now. I might be able to help you.” Kusa nodded, as Machine and Hakel began to tell her the events of their journey. They told her of receiving their first Pokemon, meeting Team Rocket, and what they are suspected to do. They told her everything they knew of Team Rocket, which in reality wasn’t very much.

This criminal organization was more secret than they realized and telling her that Professor Oak wasn’t any easier. They had only known him for a short time but they felt like he knew him forever. His death was definitely sad indeed. After the explanation was over, they began to hear faint noises of doors smashing in nearby. Kusa understood it all and was definitely willingly to help. “I see... So, these bastards really went and killed Professor Oak.”

“Yes, but the tough part of it is that the lab was kind of destroyed as well. We were actually thrown through the side wall, not helping that any less or anymore.” Machine added, finalizing their explanation.

“So, what do you think, Kusa? Are you going to help us?” Hakel asked, hearing the door slamming’s begin to get closer to their own.

Kusa immediately nodded and said, “How the hell could I refuse? They killed a great man and we should repair them for what they did. If I was in your position, I wouldn’t take this kind of shit either. Yes, I will definitely help you guys out anyway you can.”

“Alright, before we do anything else, we have to know something Kusa.” Machine said.

“And that is?” Kusa asked.

“What Pokemon do you have?”

Kusa smiled and pulled out her Pokeball’s. A few minutes later, Kerry and grunts, after of course, checking out the second floor, headed towards their door. Luckily, there room was one of the last at the end of the hallway so it was obvious they still had a lot of time to escape. Kerry and the other Team Rocket grunts kicked opened the last of the doors, revealing not a soul was there. Kerry scratched his head as he walked into the room that Kusa, Machine, and Hakel were in previously.

No one was there, not at all. He was going to leave the room entirely and never look back when he noticed something out of the corner of his eye. The window was open and something was hanging out of it. Kerry pulled it up slowly and saw that it was rope that had just been made considering its terrible handy work. Then, like a bullet at his head, he realized something.

“Damn it! Those kids were here!” Kerry shouted at the top of his lungs, alerting Machine, Hakel, and Kusa that they had been found out. Kerry and his grunts quickly ran down to the last floor where Leon had been “finishing” up. He hopped over the table and sighed, seeing Nurse Joy covered in his own bodily fluids. “Leon, sir!”

“Yes,” Leon said as he zippered up his pants. “Kerry, what do you have to report?”

“You know those kids we were supposed to take hostage?” Kerry asked, instantly making Leon angry.

“Don’t tell me you idiots let them go?!” Leon asked, taking his Pokeball back from Kerry.

“Well, uh... not exactly...” Kerry responded as Leon knocked all of his own men onto the ground, hearing enough from them.

“I really thought I could trust you morons with this shit. I was so easy! All you had to do was search the rooms! Can’t you dumb asses do ANYTHING right?!” Leon said, as Kerry got back to his feet, saluting him.

“Well, that’s the thing, sir. They... may have escaped before we even got to their room.” Kerry said, as Leon exploded in anger, knocking his men onto the ground again.

“WHAT?!?” Leon roared, surprising Machine, Hakel, and Kusa once again. Luckily, they were already inside the Museum, just entering the museum as they heard the thunderous voice enter their eardrums.

“Looks like they aren’t too happy with us.” Machine chuckled as Kusa and Hakel smiled at one another. They all looked back at what had happened to the Museum and they were surprised that this place was still even standing. The building was large, with two floors which seemed to be collapsing as they stood there. There was no place left unscathed by the explosion. It smelled like rotting garbage as they began to figure out a plan. “Alright, so how are we going to do this?”

“I think only one of us should go through this mess.” Kusa suggested. “If we all go in here and the building happens to collapse, Team Rocket will take over the world and there will be no one time to stop them.” At that moment, Machine and Hakel thought of Red, Blue, Yellow, and Green but that was irrelevant right now. Kusa had made a significant point in what she had said. They all needed to be somewhere else right now, not cramped together in group for the building to collapse on top of them or for that matter, so Team Rocket can catch them all at once. “Because I suggested it, I will take full responsibility for checking this place out. My Bulbasaur and Nidoran should take care of that.” Kusa released from their Pokeball’s, with each of them growling lightly.

“That’s a good idea, Kusa. You take care of this. I’ll take watch in front of the Museum and contact you on my Pokemon if I feel the building collapse or they overpower me.” Hakel said to them both.

“The only other sensible thing to do would be to go tell the police. I’ll go and do with that and leave you two with the deal of taking care of Team Rocket. When I return, I’ll help you guys out all I can.” Machine said, as they nodded to one another. “Good luck guys.” Machine ran out of the Pokemon Museum first, careful to hide himself as Team Rocket grunts were all around the city, patrolling it. The sun was also beginning to go down. They had to alert the authorities as quickly as possible so they could get here and help out the cause.

“Alright, Machine’s gone so I’ll leave you to your work, Kusa.” Hakel said, nodding to her as they both ran in opposite directions. This plan had to work, for all three of them, no matter what. Hakel closed the door silently behind him, hiding behind a house as he called out his Squirtle and Pidgeotto. “Alright guys, this is it. This is our chance to hit Team Rocket hard. Do you think you’re up for the challenge?” Hakel silently whispered as they both nodded, ready to fight for him. Squirtle jumped on top of Pidgeotto’s back and flew off into the distance, surveying the skies for Hakel. Hakel stood at the same position as he turned around, only to find that Team Rocket’s were behind him listening to his entire plan.

“What do you think you’re doing back here?” One of the grunts asked, tossing around their Pokeball’s. They all laughed maniacally as one of them began to walk toward Hakel menacingly. He made his grow as Hakel’s Pidgeotto swept down and smashed into all grunts knocking them away.

Squirtle then jumped off of Pidgeotto’s back as Hakel shouted, “Thanks guys! Squirtle, wash them away! Water Gun!” Squirtle opened its mouth and blasted out a straight shot of water down at the grunts, blowing them away into some of the trees around Pewter City. Hakel allowed Pidgeotto to rest on his shoulder as they walked back into the darkness to await more grunts. No one could stop Kusa from investigating.

Meanwhile, Kusa found more than she bargained for inside of the museum. The place may have been slowly falling apart but there were grunts with Raticate and Zubat guarding different parts of the museum. Seeing it not very fortunate for her to come into their eyesight, she had Bulbasaur take them out for her. She silently whispered into Bulbasaur’s ear, “Bulbasaur, knock these guys unconscious with your Sleep Powder.” Bulbasaur nodded to her as it latched onto a pipe hanging above their heads. It quickly sprinkled millions of particles from above of Sleep Powder knocking them out instantly. They all fell to the ground, asleep, for the time being. It woudn’t be permanent so Kusa needed to find out some information as soon as possible. Bulbasaur landed next to Kusa and Nidoran, ready to move onto the next room.

In the next room, there was the same problem, but this job was for her Nidoran this time. She pointed down at all of the ten men in the next room whispering, “Nidoran, use Poison Sting and hit each of their vital spots. That way we can knock them out without coming into any problems.” Nidoran nodded to her and shot ten scattered, barely visible to the naked eye, poison darts into each of their necks, as well as the Pokemon they had out. Kusa and her team ran forward, towards a set of destroyed stairs. They laid their backs against the wall that lay beside the next room, as she listened to a conversation taking place.

“Yes, sir this is Kris...” She said, speaking nervously into a communicator.

“Ah, Kris, you have called me back. Is there any news on the capture of the Pewter City Fossils?” The boss asked, speaking softly through the communicator.

“Yes, we have managed to obtain the Fossil, Aerodacytl here. However, we have yet to discover where those kids are hiding sir.” Kris responded.

“WHAT?! I thought you were sure they were there for their first Gym Battle?!” The boss shouted, kind of screaming into the communication this time.

“I’m sure they were, boss but according to the Gym Leader here, Forrest, he mentioned that they were a few hours before and probably had left by this time. Besides, according to what the grunts are saying, they can’t find a trace of them anywhere here as far as I’ve heard.” Kris answered.

“Then you musn’t have heard the new news.” The boss responded, squeezing a walnut until it burst, all of his desk. He brushed away the excess shell and picked up the nuts that were inside continuing with, “According to what Leon and Kerry have found, they are still in that city, trying to stop what we are doing.”

Damn it! They already know what we’re trying to do?! Kusa thought surprised. I guess that’s to be expected though... According to what Machine and Hakel told me, they’re tougher than they seem. They’d have to be to kill Professor Oak and knock them both through solid, brick wall. The boss continued to degrade Kris more and more, saying words that Kusa didn’t even think existed. Kris stayed silent, hearing her try and stop her boss as much as she could. But it was just too much. He just had too much control over her and didn’t let her get a word in.

“Now, get your ass in gear and do your damn job! Find those bastards as fast as you can, or you’ll be taken down again when you get over here, bitch!” The boss ordered.

“Sir, please, no! Not again!” Kris pleaded.

“Then, do what you are told and catch those two and anyone who is associated with them! Leave no hair unscathed with those bitches! DO I MAKE MYSELF CLEAR, KRIS?!” The boss shouted.

“Yes, I understand you, boss.” Kris said, holding her tears in. Kusa could hear it in her voice.

“Good. Then you have your mission now. Do it and DO NOT fail me.” The boss said as his final words, shutting off communication after that. Kris then dropped the communicator and cried out to herself, feeling a blast of pain cover her entire body, tears running like blood down each side of her face.

She was still very sore from what the boss did to her to the other day. It haunted her like a ghost Pokemon, every day, the pain would come back and immobilize her for a few minutes. She slowly regained her composure, picking herself back up from her escapade. Kusa slid her foot across the ground, making the slightest noise with her body. “Who’s there?” Kris asked, noticing the slightest difference in the sound shoes would make. Kusa realized her mistake as Kris bolted out into the room. She surveyed the room carefully seeing the grunts knocked out all around her. She saw no one there besides two rooms of unconscious grunts. She shrugged as she went back into that same room hearing her communicator vibrate on the floor. She picked it up and clicked the button speaking into it saying, “Yes? This is Elite Officer Kris here.” Someone spoke into it quickly, pleasing her. “Ah, is that so? You have cornered one of the Trainers?” They gave a positive response as she said, “Very good. I will be there in about two minutes. Do not let them out of your sight.” She shut off her communicator and shoved into her pocket and headed out of the Pokemon Museum, taking a Pokeball out as she left.

Kusa, Nidoran, and Squirtle emerged from their hiding spot as she said, “Alright, you two, come on. Let’s see what was so important about that room she was in. It may have information that we need.” Squirtle and Nidoran gave Kusa their signature cry to and nodded as the three of them headed into the room. Immediately, Kusa saw some information they needed. She picked up and read it, smiling as she finished it. She took out her Pokenav and called Hakel. He picked up as she said, “Hakel? Yeah, it’s me. I think we found the information that we need.”

On the edge of town, Machine and Charmeleon had been trapped in a wide of circle of Team Rocket Grunts. A few of them lay on the ground next to him but it seemed like they just kept coming. Machine pointed at the grunts and shouted, “Charmeleon! Take out some of them with your Ember!” Charmeleon jumped forward, ripping through several of the grunts with a large slash of flame, knocking them out of the ranks.

Charmeleon jumped next to Machine again as the young Pokemon Trainer said, “This shit isn’t working against these bastards... I’ll guess we’ll just have to try... two at once! Go Vulpix!” The Vulpix that Forrest had given Machine emerged from its Pokeball, already ready to go into battle with Charmeleon. This was the first time he was about to use Vulpix in battle, but it was not the first time he spoken with it along with Charmeleon. Vulpix had eagerly accepted Machine as its trainer but that wasn’t going to be enough to take down a bunch of Team Rocket members.

Sure, these were weak but in numbers they seemed to be everlasting. Machine had to have Charmeleon and Vulpix attack as one entity to defeat all of them as soon as possible so his part of the mission could take place. Machine knew they could do it as he pointed towards the left and right of him. “Charmeleon, take out the left side with your Ember! Vulpix, take out the right side with your Quick Attack! GO!” Vulpix and Charmeleon both dashed at their enemies as fast as they could, to take them down as quickly as possible. Vulpix and Charmeleon were able to defeat every Team Rocket grunt in their way, coming back to Machine when they were finished. “Great work guys, now we can go get the police!” Machine started to call them back to their Pokeball’s but stopped as he heard footsteps approaching him. “Wait a second, we another weakling trying to stop us. Who the hell-” Machine and his Pokemon turned around but stopped as he saw who was before them once more. It was the same female Team Rocket member that defeated them just two days beforehand, Kris.

“So, you’re the bastard who beens taking care of my men?” Kris asked coming into his view. “That’s a shame. I didn’t want to have to kill you today.”

“Heh, whatever lady. I’ve gotten stronger since then, don’t you see?” Machine boasted as Kris looked down at his newly acquired Charmeleon and Vulpix. Kris raised an eyebrow at him and looked back at him, very interested.

“I’ll admit, you have gotten stronger but is it enough to compare to my VAPOREON?!” Kris shouted calling her Pokemon out, unleashing it from the Pokeball. It stood as proud as it did before, ready to fight against Machine again. This time, it wasn’t be so easy, though. Machine stood at the ready as Kris and her Vaporeon stepped forward. “You interest me kid. What is your name?”

“My name is Machine but isn’t it more polite to say your name before asking for others?!” Machine asked, with a bit of a angry tone in his voice.

“That is true, Machine but no matter, you’ve got to realize that I’m part of Team Rocket. The bad guys, considering we killed your precious Professor Oak. You wouldn’t want the same to happen to you, right?” Kris asked, making Machine annoyed.

“Sure, you may say that now but in your eyes, I can see it... You’re not like everyone else here. You’re different. I don’t know why or how I notice but I can see it. You hate Team Rocket!” Machine shouted, as Kris brushed off his comment even though, deep down, she knew it was true.

“Please, don’t try to humor with your foolish hero talk. After it all, it won’t matter in your death!” Kris said, as she knelt down to him. “But, however, since you did introduce yourself, I do find that rude you don’t know the person who is about to kill you. My name is Kris. Kris Darchart, for your demise.”

“We don’t know what will happen until the fat bitch croaks! I’ll still beat you, considering it is two to one! So, get ready! It’s time to battle, Kris!” Machine spouted out heroically even though Kris still stood tall, confident that she was going to win. Vaporeon eyed Vulpix and Charmeleon confidently, but it didn’t intimidate them. They stood there at Machine’s feet, with his will to win fueling them as well. “LET’S GO!