Chapter 5: Galactic T.V.
Much had happened since Ash, Misty, and Riley had encountered Team Galactic at the Valley Windworks. In that time they had gone through the massive Eterna Forest, where they met the leader of the Eterna City Gym, Gardenia. Gardenia was a somewhat eccentric young woman orange hair who wore a black headband, a green poncho over a long sleeved black shirt that showed her mid drift, brown shorts, and green boots. Gardinia led Ash and the others to her gym in Eterna City, where Ash had his next gym battle. The battle had been a fierce as the one in Oreburgh City, with Ash’s Turtwig defeating Gardenia’s Cherrian, only to fall to Gardenia’s own Turtwig.
Pikachu then had defeated Gardenia’s Turtwig, but was defeated by her Roserade. Roserade was a green humanoid plant-like creature with white rose petal-like hair and a green mask and cape and a yellow collar. It’s right hand was a bouquet of red roses while its left hand was a bouquet of blue. In the end Ash sent out Riolu to do battle, which had been going on for several minutes. Both Pokemon had taken heavy damage from each other’s attacks. The two combatants stood on the battlefield panting.
“Riolu, finish this with Force Palm!” Ash commanded.
Riolu charged at Roserade with its right forepaw raised. When Riolu’s paw got close enough to Roserade’s chest it fired a blast of bluish-green energy. Roserade staggered backward for a moment before falling to the ground.
“Roserade is unable to battle!” the judge on the sidelines declared. “Victory goes to Ash!”
“Wow, that was an awesome battle.” Gardenia said as she called back Roserade. “I’m not surprised at all that you won the Hoenn League.”
“Thanks. You’re not bad yourself.” Ash complimented.
“Well as promised, here’s the Forest Badge.” Gardenia said after walking up to Ash. She then handed out the badge.
“Yeah! I won the Forest Badge!” Ash said enthusiastically as he held out the badge. Pikachu and Riolu did a little cheer in response.
* * *
After the battle with Gardenia, the group went to the Pokemon Center for Ash’s Pokemon to rest and recover from the battle. Later that day they left the Pokemon Center to head for their next destination.
“Hey Ash, I was just wondering,” Misty suddenly spoke as they were walking through the city, “I know you brought Ho-Oh with you when we came to Sinnoh, so why didn’t you use it against Gardenia? I mean it would’ve been an easy battle.”
“Huh? What fun would that be?” Ash responded with a surprised expression. “Besides, I only use Ho-Oh in the really big battles.”
“Wait, you have Ho-Oh? One of the legendary birds of Johto?” Riley asked with surprise.
“Yeah, I caught it about a year ago before Misty and I went to Hoenn.” Ash explained. “It’s a long story, but Ho-Oh pretty much chose me as its partner.”
“I see…” Riley replied looking a little amazed. “Then that must mean that…”
“That what?” Ash asked.
“Oh, never mind.” Riley responded. “Anyway, you’re wise not to use Ho-Oh so recklessly. But always remember that Ho-Oh is not unbeatable.”
Just then Lucario made a soft barking noise, getting Riley’s attention. Lucario pointed in the direction of a man with brown hair wearing a trench coat. The man was standing in front of the window of a shop holding his chin as if he was in deep thought.
“Well, it seems that an old friend of mine is here in town.” Riley observed.
“You know that guy Riley?” Ash asked.
“Yes, his name’s Looker.” Riley explained. “Come, I’ll introduce you.”
In moments, Ash and the others walked up to Looker, though Looker did not seem to notice their arrival. Riley then tapped Looker on the shoulder, getting his attention.
“Oh, Riley!” Looker observed. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?” Riley greeted.
“Yes, and I see you have friends with you.” Looker noticed.
“Yes, the young man is my new apprentice, Ash.” Riley introduced. “And the girl is Ash’s friend, Misty.”
“It’s nice to meet you Mr. Looker.” Ash greeted. “So how do you know Riley?”
“Riley has helped me out with a few cases here in Sinnoh.” Looker answered. “I’m an international police officer you see. I met Riley while I was working a tough case and he ended up helping me solve it. Since then we’ve worked together on a few other cases.”
“So Looker, what brings you back to Sinnoh?” Riley asked.
“See for yourself.” Looker said as his hand indicated the others to look in the window they were standing in front of.
Ash and the others looked in and saw several active televisions on display. All of them were turned to the same channel, and the group was surprised when they saw the station identification logo.
“Galactic T.V.?” Ash said in surprise. “Does Team Galactic have something to do with this?”
“That seems to be the case.” Looker confirmed. “Apparently Team Galactic somehow acquired the old T.V. station here in Eterna City a few months ago. Their programming has been geared towards science, but they also occasionally broadcast their own propaganda.”
“So what is Team Galactic after?” Misty asked.
“It’s impossible to tell from their broadcasts.” Looker answered. “They keep saying that they intend to create a new and better world, but they don’t say just what kind of world it is they’re after. In any case though it doesn’t matter. I’m here because this Galactic T.V. station might be a front for something else.”
“I’ve been trying to find out what Team Galactic is after myself.” Riley told Looker. “If you don’t like, we’d like to go with you on your investigation.”
“I’d be glad to have all of you along.” Looker replied. “If fact I was just on my way there.”
A few minutes later the group arrived in front of the Galactic T.V. station. They went around to the back where Looker picked the lock of the door. Once inside they went down a short dark hallway until they came to an intersection that split off to the left and right.
“So what now?” Misty asked.
“Let’s split up.” Riley suggested. “Lucario and I will take the right, while the rest of you down the left and see what you can find.”
“But Riley, will you and Lucario be okay on your own?” Ash asked. Riolu also had an expression of concern.
“You needn’t worry.” Riley assured him. “We’ll meet back here in half an hour. Be careful, and may the Aura be with us.”
With that, Riley and Lucario went down the right hallway while Ash and the others went to the left. Unbeknownst to any of them, a small camera in the ceiling caught them.
* * *
A few minutes later, Riley and Lucario entered a large open T.V. set with empty stands meant for an audience. The set itself looked as though it was set up for some program that talked about space. As Riley and Lucario walked into the middle of the set a bright spotlight shined down upon them. Another spotlight soon came on to reveal another person standing a few feet away. The person was a tall woman with oddly shaped purple hair. She wore a unique Team Galactic uniform that was mostly white, save for the sleeves and shoulders, which were dark-grey. There was no left leg to the uniform, but rather a black strap like a garter belt.
“So, it looks like a few rats have gotten into the station.” The woman observed. “You didn’t think you and your friends could sneak in here without us noticing?”
“Your appearance here doesn’t surprise me either.” Riley told the woman. “Lucario and I sensed that you were waiting for us long before we came in here. So, care to tell us who you are?”
“I am Jupiter, one of the commanders of Team Galactic.” The woman answered. “Care to tell me who you are?”
“I’m called Riley.” Riley answered. “So why does Team Galactic need a T.V. station?”
“To spread the word of our great goal of course.” Jupiter answered.
“Funny, you don’t seem to be doing a very good job of saying just what this great goal of yours is.” Riley pointed out. “Just what kind of world is Team Galactic after?”
“Someone like you could never understand the world our leader is after.” Jupiter said with an arrogant smirk. “Either way it doesn’t matter. Go Skuntank!”
Emerging from Jupiter’s Pokeball was a large dark-purple creature that looked like a cross between a skunk and a cat. It had tan cheeks and legs, along with a tan underside. A white stripe ran down its back and the top of its tail. Its tail curved up to cover the creature’s back and some of its face.
“A Poison and Dark-type.” Riley observed. “Seems like this might be a one-sided battle. Let’s go Lucario!”
“Don’t be so sure this’ll be an easy battle.” Jupiter said as Lucario stepped up to face Skuntank. “Skuntank, use Flamethrower!”
Skuntank sent forth a stream of flames from its mouth at Lucario. Lucario quickly raised its arms to block the attack, but still looked as if it took a good amount of damage.
“Steel-types like your Lucario don’t do well against Fire attacks.” Jupiter pointed out. “Still think this is going to be a one-sided battle?”
* * *
Meanwhile, Ash, Misty, and Looker entered a large room that looked like some sort of warehouse. The walls were lined with wooden crates, and in different corners of the room were large T.V. cameras.
“So Ash, what did Riley mean earlier when he said you were his apprentice?” Looker asked quietly.
“Oh, he’s training me to use Aura.” Ash explained. “I didn’t really believe him when he said I had this power, but I guess it looks like I do.”
“I can understand. I was also skeptical about Riley’s abilities when I first met him.” Looker admitted. “But when we worked together he did things that I just couldn’t explain. If Riley says you have this power too, then he’s the perfect person to teach you how to use it.”
“Um, guys? I think we have company.” Misty said to the other two. Ash and Looker turned to see several Team Galactic grunts entering through the door on the other side of the room.
“Looks like we’ve been found out.” Looker observed.
“Pikachu, Riolu, let’s do it!” Ash said to his two Pokemon companions.
* * *
Back on the set, Riley and Lucario were still having a hard time. Skuntank sent another Flamethrower attack at Lucario, which Lucario managed to dodge by doing a quick roll.
“Lucario, Aura Sphere!” Riley commanded.
Lucario quickly brought its paws together, and between them formed a large blue ball of light. With a thrust of its arms Lucario sent the ball at Skuntank. The attack hit the skunk Pokemon in the face, stunning it.
“Now, attack with Bullet Punch!” Riley commanded.
Lucario’s right paw began to glow white, and in an instant it charged at Skuntank and punched it in the face, sending it into the air. When Skuntank hit the ground it was out cold.
“You fought well.” Riley commented to Jupiter. “Care to try again?”
A look of frustration was on Jupiter’s face. Suddenly there was a buzzing noise as if from a phone. Jupiter took out a cell phone from behind her back and answered it.
“Report!” Jupiter ordered into the phone. “…Good. Looks like we’re done here. Inform the rest of the team and move out.”
“Care to tell me what you were talking about on the phone?” Riley asked.
“I don’t see why not. You’ll find out about it anyway.” Jupiter said smugly. “This little T.V. station of ours was meant as a distraction while we carried out our real mission. We hoped that our little broadcasts would cause rats like you to take your eyes off our real target. And it seems that plan seems to have worked like a charm. So we’ll be leaving now. If you knew what was good for you, you’ll stay out of our way in the future.”
With that, Jupiter threw a small bomb that created a large cloud of white smoke. Riley and Lucario could tell where Jupiter was, but they decided it would be better to meet up with Ash and the others. They took off down the hallway and ran until they came back to the same intersection they were at before. The rest of the group arrived at about the same time.
“Is everyone okay?” Riley asked.
“We’re fine.” Ash answered. “We ran into some goons from Team Galactic, but they took off just when the fight was getting started.”
“Strange that they would leave so quickly.” Looker commented.
“I’m afraid we’ve been tricked.” Riley revealed. “Lucario and I ran into another one of Team Galactic’s commanders. After we fought her she told us that this place was meant to distract us from what they were really doing in this city.”
“What was Team Galactic really up to then?” Ash asked.
“This commander said that we would find out soon.” Riley answered.
* * *
Several minutes later the group went back to the Pokemon Center to tend to Lucario’s injuries. As soon as they got there, the Pokemon Center’s Nurse Joy informed Looker that he had gotten an urgent call from the Eterna City Police Station. It was several minutes before Looker got through with the call.
“That call was about a major break in at the Eterna City Museum.” Looker reported as he joined the others at the table they were sitting around. “While we were busy investigating the television station, some thieves snuck in and managed to take a very old and mysterious artifact.”
“What did the thieves take?” Ash asked.
“An object known as the Adamant Orb.” Looker answered. “No one knows was the orb is for or where it came from. Scientists who’ve studied the orb aren’t even sure what it’s made out of.”
“Whatever the Adamant Orb is, it seems that Team Galactic has it now.” Riley surmised.
“I’m going to go and check out another lead.” Looker told the group. “Do you want to come with Riley?”
“Normally I would, but it’s important that I stay with Ash and continue his training.” Riley replied. “Besides, I have a lead of my own to follow.”
“I see. Until we meet again then.” Looker said before leaving.
“Riley, my training can wait if you want to go help Looker.” Ash spoke up.
“It’s quite alright.” Riley assured him. “In fact finishing your training might be just as important as what’s going on with Team Galactic.”
“What do you mean?” Ash asked.
“I’ll explain one day.” Riley answered. “Right now we should get going as soon as possible.”
“Does it have something to do with this lead you told Looker about?” Misty asked.
“It does, and hopefully we’ll get to it before Team Galactic does.” Riley answered.