This is an amateur, non-commercial story, which is not produced, approved of, or in any way sponsored by the holders of the trademarks/copyrights from which this work is derived, nor is it intended to infringe on the rights of these holders. And so it goes.
"WHERE IS HE?" Ash Ketchum looked around the rocky terrain, trying in vain to spot the wild Sandshrew he'd spent the better part of the last hour trying to catch. Nearby, Ash's Bulbasaur pawed the ground impatiently, eager to continue the battle.
"WHERE'D HE GO?" Ash cried again, stomping his foot on the ground in frustration. "I can't lose him, guys! I was winning!"
"He dug into the ground, Ash!" Brock called. Slightly older and more experienced, the rock Pokemon specialist had suggested that morning that the young trainer try to catch Pokemon outside of his usual preferences. At the same time, he kept the poke ball, holding his mighty Onix close at hand, ready to jump in if Ash ended up over his head...as he so often did.
"Where?" Ash grit his teeth and searched for the telltale signs of burrowing.
"Look about four feet to your left," Misty suggested. A slim, pretty redhead, she had been traveling with the two boys for some time now--just why, she wasn't quite sure. Water Pokemon were her specialty, but for the moment she was willing to let Ash sink or swim on his own.
"Oh, man..." Ash found the hole and pondered his next option. "I can't let him get away, not after all this..." Inspiration struck; he reached down to his belt and retrieved a particular poke ball. "Squirtle...I choose you!" The turtle-like creature exploded from the ball, ready for action. "Squirtle," Ash ordered, "use your bubblebeam to fill that hole with water! That'll make him come back up for sure!"
"Not bad," Brock muttered to Misty. "Good strategy."
"Especially since earth Pokemon are vulnerable to water attacks," she agreed. "Ash is really starting to think about his strategies."
"Scary, isn't it?" Just then the Sandshrew exploded from the ground, hissing and clawing the air wildly. Ash instantly ordered his Bulbasaur to attack with its vine whip; two tendrils shot from the creature and slapped the wild Pokemon so hard that it began to spin on its tail."
"Ash!" Brock called. "It'll use that attack to escape again!"
"I'm on it! Squirtle--water gun!" A powerful deluge smashed into the Sandshrew and sent it flying into a nearby grove of trees. Ash raced after it, followed closely by his friends and Pokemon. The Sandshrew was sitting on the ground, dazed and confused; the young trainer quickly whipped out an empty poke ball and threw it. The ball snapped open, drew the exhausted creature into it, then shut once more as it fell to the ground.
"Great going, Ash!" Brock said, congratulating Ash with a slap on the back.
"You did a great job," Misty agreed.
"Thanks, guys, I...wow!" Ash suddenly noticed a flash of something metallic above them. From the look of things, it had become exposed when the Sandshrew had hit it. "Hey, something's under all these vines, guys!"
"Yeah, you're right!" Brock carefully pulled a few vines back, grunting with effort. The foliage was unwilling to betray the secret beneath it, it seemed. But a few more gleams of metal peeked out from where he'd been tugging. "I wonder what it is?"
"It's big, whatever it is," Misty noted. "And it's going to take forever to uncover it!"
Ash retrieved yet another poke ball from his belt. "Not if we do...this!" He tossed the ball into the air, freeing a small, red-and-yellow creature with a small flame spurting from its tail. "Charmander, I choose you! See if you can't burn these vines and things off!"
"Great idea, Ash! Let me add a little help," Brock said. He grabbed a poke ball from his own belt and released his Vulpix, which immediately joined forces with Charmander. In minutes the foliage had burned away to reveal a huge metallic ring with odd symbols lining the inner circle.
"Wow," Ash breathed. "I wonder what it is?"
Brock tentatively lifted a hand by it. "Hey guys--it's not hot, even after all the fire our Pokemon shot at it!"
"I've never seen any writing like this," Misty said, drawing closer to peer at the strange symbols.
"Maybe we should call Professor Oak," Ash suggested. "He might know what it is."
"That's a great idea, Ash," Misty began. "Even if he doesn't, he'd...huh?"
The inner circle of symbols had suddenly begun to move. Around and around it spun, almost hypnotic in its whirling. The three companions and their Pokemon retreated, unsure of what to do. Suddenly the wheel stopped, and one of the nine triangles lining the outer ring seemed to lock down on a particular symbol and light up. Again and again this occurred until seven of the triangles had been lit.
A huge burst of light and water exploded from the ring. It just as suddenly flowed back into the ring, where it shimmered in a white nimbus, looking all the while like a swimming pool on its side.
"Wow," Brock breathed.
"What's happening?" Ash demanded.
"Look!" Misty cried, pointing at the ring.
People were emerging from the pool of light and water. They were dressed in metallic armor and helmets shaped like serpents, and each of them carried a metallic staff. In the center of the group walked a figure dressed much the same as the others, but his armor was a shining gold. His helmet suddenly snapped apart and back, revealing the features of a handsome, dark-skinned man with glowing eyes.
"Pika-pika," growled Pikachu softly. Ash shushed him and kept watching.
"Jaffa! Kree!" he called out. The others snapped to attention. The leader nodded curtly, and his troops fanned out in an ever-expanding circle. Ash, Misty and Brock were captured almost instantly and brought back to the golden figure. Pikachu and the other Pokemon, however, had managed to creep into the foliage unseen. They watched from their hiding places and waited to see what would happen.
The guard who'd found them forced the three young trainers to kneel before his master. The golden stranger stared imperiously at them for some time; Ash, usually impulsive and hot-tempered, was still. The Butterfrees in his stomach were growing by the second.
"I am Apophis," the leader finally said. His voice boomed all around the forest. "Your world is now mine."
"Oh yeah?" Ash suddenly declared. Misty and Brock watched horrified as their friend rose to his feet and confronted Apophis. "Well, my name is Ash Ketchum, and I'm going to be the greatest Pokemon trainer there ever was, and this is my world, and YOU CAN'T HAVE IT!"
"Oh boy," Misty whispered to Brock, trembling. "Now he's done it."
Apophis regarded the boy for a moment or two, then turned to stare at the others. "And you?" he asked haughtily.
"Uhh...my name's Misty, and I'm a gym leader..."
"And I'm Brock, and I want to be the greatest breeder..."
“Don’t you mean the greatest Pokemon breeder?” asked Misty.
“That too,” Brock muttered.
The commander nodded in acknowledgement. He then turned and slapped Ash hard against the face; the boy went flying through the air. "Hear me! I am Apophis! I am your GOD! I...eh?" A small, yellow rodent with an oddly shaped tail was racing toward him, murder in its eyes. He started to lift a hand up in defense...
"pi-ka-CHUUUUU!" Lightning flew across the distance, striking Apophis hard and knocking him to the ground. He lay there for a minute or two, twitching uncontrollably.
"Let's get out of here!" Misty cried, racing to Ash's side.
"There's no time!" Brock said. "His guards are coming back! There's only one thing to do..." He reached down to his belt and let his poke balls fly. "ONIX! GEODUDE! ZUBAT! GO!!!"
Misty bit her lip, then did the same. "STARMIE! HORSEA!" She paused with the last ball, then sighed and shook her head. "Psyduck! GO!"
Ash slowly rose to his feet. "PIDGEOTTO! I CHOOSE YOU!" At the sound of his voice, Vulpix, Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle came racing to their trainers' sides. By the time the Jaffa warriors had returned to their lord's aid, three angry trainers and a dozen glowering Pokemon confronted them.
"GET 'EM!" Ash screamed.
It was a brief, terrible mismatch. The flying Pokemon kept the warriors off balance and unable to fire their staff weapons. Onix sent three of them flying into the trees with one mighty flick of his stone body. Vulpix and Charmander's fiery breath overheated their plated armor. Lying low to the ground, Bulbasaur's vine whip attacks knocked the Jaffas' legs out from under them. Geodude floated through the air, sneaking up behind pairs of Jaffa and smacking their heads against each other.
And all the while, the water Pokemon sent wave after wave crashing into their dazed, beaten opponents, soaking them thoroughly. Slowly but surely, a huge pool of liquid formed at their feet. Ash and Misty traded a look and a wink; the boy looked down at Pikachu and smiled.
Apophis, only now in marginal control of his limbs and faculties, slowly raised himself up from the ground. His waterlogged armor and clothing seemed to weigh a dozen tons.
He watched the attacking Pokemon retreat.
He saw the yellow rodent approach, stopping at the puddle's edge.
He knew what was about to happen.
He closed his eyes.
"I could have sworn I saw them around here." James, one third of the infamous Team Rocket, scratched his head and looked around in a slow circle. Nearby, his teammates Jessie and Meowth were peering around trees and shrubs in search of their prey.
"I told you that it was taking too long to land that balloon!" Jessie growled at her Pokemon partner. "Now that twerp and his Pikachu are long gone, and we have no idea which way they went!"
"Oh, I wouldn't say dat," Meowth replied slowly. He was standing nearby in a clearing; mystified, the two human members of Team Rocket hurried over to join him.
At one side of the clearing was a huge metal ring. A figure garbed in golden armor lay close to it, moaning softly and twitching every so often. About eight other bodies were crumpled on the ground, slightly charred and bruised. The odd thing about them, though, was that each one had a worm-like thing sticking rigidly out of his chest; the worms were writhing every so often as well.
"You know, that's the most disgusting thing I've ever seen," Jessie commented.
"It certainly tops that hairball Meowth coughed up last month," James agreed.
"One thing about that kid and his Pikachu," the catlike Pokemon said. "It's easy to tell where they've been." The golden stranger moaned again, and Team Rocket went over to his side. They peered down at his grimacing features.
"I don't suppose you could tell us which way they went, could you?" Jessie asked. The stranger pointed feebly to a nearby path. "Well, thank you for your help!" she said brightly. "Come on James, Meowth--if we hurry we might be able to set a trap!"
James tarried for a moment, staring at the fallen Apophis. "Don't feel bad," he said sympathetically. "He does it to us all the time."
Apophis, Most Powerful Goa'uld among the System Lords, watched the boy go, and silently swore to stick to battling the Shovah and his Tau'ri allies from now on--as soon as he could stand up again, that was.