Chapter 15: Stealing is bad

May woke up twenty minutes later. Her eyes just suddenly opened, she looked at Mitch and asked “Who are you?”

“You’re lucky to be alive,” said Mitch. Mark had the feeling that if Mitch had anything else to say, his rule was simply not to answer any questions.

“This is Mitch, the Scorpion city gym leader,” Mark said. “His antidote saved you from the poison of the Scorplacks.”

“Really? A gym leader, are you?” May asked.

“Yes. Would you like a battle?”

“I’d love one,” May answered. She looked out of the window. Suddenly, she grabbed Mark’s shoulder, said “Taylor!” and ran outside. Mark followed without really knowing what she was up to.

Taylor was feeling happy. He just got his brother into giving him a new clone. A very powerful one, actually. He looked at the Clone ball, which looked just like the one holding Pikatwo, with satisfaction. Pikatwo had done really well so far, too. But then there was that Quilava. He hadn’t even had a single battle with it. Pikatwo had just been too strong for all the wimpy trainers he had met. And what else could it be, it was a clone made by the true cloning master Rick.

Taylor had teleported to Scorpion city. Rick lent him the first Abratwo which had just been cloned. Then Rick had wanted it back because he said it wasn’t good enough to be Taylor’s pokémon. Taylor was happy to get all that attention from Rick, but being an impatient person, he didn’t like when Rick kept saying he had to wait for some kind of a perfect pokémon. Abratwo had indeed been very impressive, but Rick still didn’t think it was good enough. But now Taylor had a new pokémon Rick said was the most powerful ever apart from “the ultimate legends” called Molzapart and Chaletwo. Rick had never even tried to catch them, although he never told Taylor exactly why. Rick had just told him they were dangerous, but after all, what powerful legendary pokémon aren’t? Taylor, however, never got the interest for legendaries his brother had. Maybe it was because Taylor didn’t find legendaries any special as Rick had always owned so many. Or maybe he just thought in a different way.

“What Taylor?” Mark shouted after May on the run.

“Taylor! The one with my Quilava! Rick’s brother! You said his name was Taylor!”

“What about him?”

“I saw him, of course! Right outside, and I’m going to get Quilava back now!”

Taylor was standing, not far ahead, looking at one of his pokéballs and looked like he was thinking. May went into some bushes along the road, sneaked towards Taylor and made no noise at all. She then came out, grabbed one of the two pokéballs at his belt (the one that wasn’t a Clone ball) somehow without him noticing and tiptoed into the bushes again. Then she quietly came back.

“That was easy,” she whispered to Mark. “I’m going to buy some antidotes for the gym battle, I’ll need them.”

“I’m coming with you,” said Mark and they went to the market.

Taylor felt a little odd suddenly. He quickly looked around. Without thinking, he seized a pokéball. Quilava’s ball was gone. And a girl with blue hair and a boy she was talking to were the only people in sight.

After buying the antidotes, Mark and May just went outside. Oficer Jenny of Scorpion city was there. She looked at them carefully from distance, then pointed at them. Suddenly, a whole lot of policemen appeared from all around and surrounded the two kids.

“What’s wrong?” May asked, although she obivously knew the answer.

“Don’t try to be funny! The boy saw you and told us the whole story. So, you’re from Team Rocket? You’re pretty young for that...” one guy said.

“What?” May asked and Mark heard on her voice that she was getting angry. “We can be thieves, but I’d never join that team stupid in my lifetime!”

“May...” Mark kicked her leg. This was just too easy to misunderstand. And then was of course the fact that he had nothing to do with it.

“Team rocket or not, you have admitted that you stole a pokémon from him, and that requires investigation,” said the policeman. “You’ll have to come with us.”

The policemen took them to the police station somewhere in the middle of town. Officer Jenny took them inside and sat down at a desk.

“Now,” she said, “who do you work for?”

“No one,” said May. “We’re on our own.”

“So, why did you steal the boy’s pokémon?”

“That Quilava is rightfully mine!” May spat at Officer Jenny. “It’s my starter pokémon, I received it from professor Elm in Johto, and he stole it from me!”

“Then why didn’t you just report him then?” Officer Jenny said in a voice that made it obivous she didn’t believe May. “And... Quilava? But the boy said it was a Charmeleon which was stolen! So you stole two pokémon? That doesn’t help you... Send out all the pokémon in your balls.”

As the pokémon cries filled the room, Officer Jenny looked over the crowd.

“One Charmeleon, one Quilava. Fits. I guess you can go with a warning when the boy has gotten them back, as you’re so young. Although it seems suspicious that you could steal his pokémon without him noticing... he said the balls were attached to his belt.”

May looked at Officer Jenny furiously.

“Now, listen. I don’t like the police. And I’ll tell you why. Something was stolen from my family two years ago. I knew who the thief was. I came to the police station and reported him. The police laughed at me and sent me back home. Everyone I told it laughed at me. And I swore to get it back sometime. So I trained myself in the art of thievery. When I was good enough, the police had forgotten about it all long ago. I went out one night, broke into the thief’s house and stole back what was ours. The next day, my parents were shocked when I told them that I had been teaching myself to steal. They made me promise I would never steal anything that wasn’t rightfully mine. And I kept that promise. I stole that Quilava from that filthy little rat, but it was mine and will always be.”

So that was why May had sounded so professional when she told Mark to break into the Mew hunter’s gym through the ventilation.
“What was stolen and who did?” asked Officer Jenny.

“I told you then, and I won’t tell you again,” said May coldly. “If you’ve finally gotten some interest in this, you can dig it up yourself.”

“Give me Charmeleon and Quilava,” Officer Jenny said. “Then you can go.”

“Quilava is mine!” May snapped. “Just do an ID number check!”

ID number... this rang a bell in Mark’s head.

“Then I’ll check Charmeleon too,” Officer Jenny said.

Charmeleon! Of course! Charmeleon was originally Taylor’s. Charmeleon had Taylor’s ID number! That explained why Taylor had told the police it was a Charmeleon that was stolen. He knew they might do an ID number check, and he thought May had Charmeleon, so he was going to get it instead.

“No, you don’t need to,” Mark said quickly, “it’s not neccessary...”

“So,” Officer Jenny said, looking at Mark with a gleam of victory in her eyes, “you don’t want me to check the ID number? You obivously have something to hide... give me your trainer license and your pokédexes. Both of you.”

May handed a card to Jenny and her pokédex.

“Here is my pokédex... but license? I... um... sort of... don’t have one,” Mark stammered.

“No license, eh?” Officer Jenny said. “Oh dear, you are in trouble. Stealing... training without a license... you’re in deep trouble...”

“I – I didn’t know I needed a license...” Mark said, sounding very stupid.

“That’s what they all say!” Officer Jenny shouted at him. “I’ll bet you’ve been caught before and your license has been removed. You’ll be put to jail for this, you can be sure of that...”

“No!” Mark yelled. “I found a Charmander on the road, and that’s it!”

“We’ll see about that,” Officer Jenny said. “The boy’s ID number was 02974, and if that is Charmeleon’s number...”

Mark prayed that Officer Jenny remembered Tayor’s ID number wrong as she took Quilava and Charmeleon and pointed something to check ID numbers at them.

“Quilava... 53891. I guess it is yours after all, you can go,” Officer Jenny said to May and handed her Quilava’s pokéball again. “But Charmeleon... look at this... 02974... you are in trouble...”

May looked at Mark in an odd way. Now she knew what Charmeleon really was. And Taylor was about to get him back.

“You can’t do this...” Mark muttered and stared at Charmeleon. Charmeleon stared back.

“Officer Jenny,” May suddenly said, “you’re making a mistake. I met Taylor, the boy who reported us, in Cleanwater city when I had Quilava as Cyndaquil, he challenged me to a one on one battle. He used a – a Pikachu and I used Cyndaquil. Cyndaquil evolved and beat the Pikachu. Then he asked to trade a Charmander for Quilava. He said it was level 15. I accepted and after we traded, he went out. When I was on my way north (Metal city is south of Cleanwater city), I checked Charmander, and it was level five. I got angry, tossed the pokéball to the ground and ran back south. Then, Charmander must’ve gotten out of the ball, and walked farther north, but it rained that evening... I guess Mark here found it then. And he went on a journey without a license... I met him later and had no idea he had that Charmander. So Taylor is lying!”

“Well, maybe I should go and ask him a few questions,” Officer Jenny said.

Taylor was outside the window, listening to the conversation, with his new clone beside him.

“This isn’t going the way I’d have wanted it to go... but I have a secret weapon, don’t I,” Taylor looked at his pokémon, “Mewtwotwo?” He smiled and Mewtwotwo smiled back.

Suddenly, Officer Jenny stopped. “No. Why shouldn’t I trust him? He came here first. I think you are lying. But since there seems to be some confusion with who stole what, I’ll let you go with a warning. Give me Charmeleon’s pokéball.”

Mark had no choice but to recall his friend and hand the ball over to Officer Jenny. She put the ball on the desk.

“I’m going out to find the boy and give him back his Charmeleon. You stay here, okay?” she said and looked at Mark and May. They nodded and Officer Jenny went out. She sort of met Taylor in the door, but didn’t find it suspicious.

“Well, you can take your Charmeleon,” Officer Jenny said to Taylor, “it’s right there on the desk.”

Taylor walked to the desk, picked up the ball and looked at May in a nasty way. “Thanks for catching the thieves for me, officer,” he said and shook her hand.

“Go, then, the police has other stuff to do here,” said Jenny and pointed at the door. May looked coldly at her and looked like she wanted to say “see ya – not”. She went out and Mark followed.

“Let’s go to the gym again, shall we?” May asked. Mark didn’t answer.

“Now Taylor has Charmeleon,” he finally said.

“No, he doesn’t. I switched the balls while no one was looking. Now it’s he who is being tricked,” May said. “This one here is Charmeleon.” She handed a pokéball to Mark.

“What does Taylor have, then?” Mark asked, taking the ball.

“Quilava again,” May answered.

“But I thought you wanted to get Quilava back more than anything else?”

“It was my crime, you shouldn’t suffer for it. Now we’re at the start again, and I will most likely have to steal Quilava later. By the way... why didn’t you tell me that Charmeleon was the Charmander I got for Quilava? Then he really is mine.”

Mark knew it would come. May would now want Charmeleon back. He was sure of it.

“You can take him back then...” he muttered.

“Take him? No. You two are a really good team, and I’ll get Quilava back anyway. You can keep Charmeleon. Even though he’s nasty towards Scyther.”

“How do you...?”

“Do you think I haven’t noticed? Charmeleon hates Scyther a lot. Scyther seemed to hate Charmeleon back first, but now I think Scyther is more “enough is enough” but Charmeleon still really hates Scyther.”

“Well, Scyther has enough hate against Scizors, I guess Charmeleon has nothing else to hate,” Mark said.

“I’m sure they will stop it,” May said. “Sometime...”

“Hey, May, did you notice how Officer Jenny suddenly changed her mind and said Taylor must be telling the truth because he came first and that nonsense?”

“Yes, of course I did! Her eyes went so strange! I wonder what happened?”

“No idea,” said Mark.