Chapter Six – Expedition

Like a deflated balloon Fang slumped to the floor in an exasperated heap. Physically he was in fine form; strong, agile and alert after being retained within his Pokeball against Brock as Leaf feared using him against sturdy rock types, but mentally he was exhausted. She noticed that every waking moment the loss of Rex replayed on his mind like a video on loop which unendingly sapped his willpower like a parasite on the soul.

“Fang,” Leaf whispered to her Rattata whilst sat cross-legged on a wooden stool, hungrily gulping down spoonfuls of fresh mushroom soup which happened to be the small rest house’s speciality. “Come up here,” she beckoned for her Pokemon so he wouldn’t have to face the trials of his mind alone. Fang half-turned his head towards her, then dipped it depressively without the slightest hint of movement. His friends Jab and Fury had attempted to support him many times but he refused their attentions and preferred to be left to his solemn thoughts.

Dino purred from his stool next to Leaf, the Bulbasaur scooping up seeds with his vines before munching on them furiously. His greed was only matched by the Weedle and Mankey sat opposite. Jab and Fury plunged their hands into wooden bowls of seeds and repeatedly came close to knocking them off the table such was their appetite. Leaf’s newest capture, a Spearow she’d named Beak, perched on a frame above them. The flying type with her long claws and sharp beak remained closed off to the rest of the group, biding her time in introducing herself to her new battle partners.

Boisterous laughter filled the room as two gentleman barked loudly to each other from a table closer to the serving counter. Leaf had chosen to remain tucked away in the corner of the hut, which was located near to the entrance of Mt. Moon and acted as a rest house for weary travellers.

Loud grumbles penetrated through the joyous atmosphere in the hut as a hefty man burst through the front door panting. He appeared both furious and upset as beads of sweat trickled down his face and into his thick black beard. The two men near the counter broke their conversation and looked to the man, who Leaf presumed was their friend.

“A outrage,” the fat man bellowed. “A bloomin’ scandal!”

“What’s up Greg?” one of the men at the counter shouted across as Greg stormed towards them.

“The government that’s what’s up!” he boomed. Leaf listened intently, believing if he’s mentioning the ruling powers of Kanto then Rocket will somehow be involved.

“What they done?” the second man asked, his voice humorously higher pitched. “They not putting them weight restrictions on trainers now is they?” He laughed at his own joke, to a ferocious glare from Greg.

“You’ll feel my weight in a minute,” Greg retorted. “They blocked off Mt. Moon ‘int they. Tried gettin’ pass the guard but ‘es a tough ol’ guy. Beat me team dead. All ‘part from me Magikarp the useless thin’.” He plucked the Pokeball from his belt and held it within his grasp.

“You still ‘ave that thin’?” the man with the high pitch voice replied. Greg paused and noticed Leaf listening in from across the room.

“You a pretty thin’ ent ya.” He licked his lips then seemed to remember he was covered in sweat and had been completely embarrassed by whoever the guard on Mt. Moon was. “Ah ne’er mind. You want a free Pokemon? This here Magikarp is useless. Rather give it a pretty young lady like you than throw it in the bin.”

“I’ll take it,” Leaf responded, feeling sorry for the unwanted water type. Magikarp were famous for being useless fish whose sole purpose on land was to flop both aimlessly and harmlessly, but she’d rather keep it herself than see it thrown away whilst trapped inside a Pokeball.

“He wants something in return though,” the higher pitched man said and giggled after his joke.

Fury growled and turned to face the group, Jab slowly following. However, Dino just lashed out a vine and wrestled control of the Pokeball from Greg’s hand, flicking the capsule across the room towards Leaf.

“Ah no fair!” the high pitched man called, but Greg just waved a hand to say he didn’t care about the Pokemon.

“We’re leaving,” Leaf told her team as the three men resumed talking. She had decided to both take on this guard herself and to enter Mt. Moon and discover for herself what Rocket were attempting to do within. An uneasy feeling claimed her as she remembered the mountain was famous for Megastones and if Rocket found one of those they’d have access to an almost unstoppable power. She gathered her team with its new member, who she named Fin, then charged towards the lone man guarding the entrance.

“Halt,” a hulking man bellowed as Leaf approached the entrance to Mt. Moon. Sand covered the rocky surface, a weak breeze feebly lifting the grains into the air to slightly distort her vision.

“Let me pass,” Leaf demanded, her hand resting on Jab’s Pokeball.

“I’m afraid Mt. Moon is inaccessible at the moment,” the man declared. He bore a black suit and tie which granted his appearance a very official look. His charcoal black hair was slicked back revealing a thin widow’s peak. “Closed on government business.”

“Closed on Rocket business you mean,” Leaf retorted, locking her gaze on the man’s dark eyes which could easily have been made of stone.

“You don’t know what you’re talking about,” he growled. “One last chance to leave or I’ll make you leave.”

“Defeat me in battle,” Leaf responded, hoisting Jab’s Pokeball from her belt before summoning him from within. “Then I’ll leave. But If i win, you let me in.”

“You don’t know what or who you’re dealing with here,” he replied, launching a Pokeball into the air with a flick of his wrist. A Pidgey emerged with a ear-piercing squawk.

“Yes I do. Team Rocket,” Leaf thought to say, but left the words unspoken.

The Pidgey squawked again as it hovered above the scene before arching its body and swooping towards the surface, its beady eyes focused on the Weedle below. Jab braced himself for impact but to his surprise his foe took an expected direction, grazing the ground and gripping handfuls of sand within its talons. The Pidgey rocketed towards Jab and hurled the sand towards the Weedle, half-blinding Leaf’s Pokemon as sand blanketed his face.

“He’s a strong trainer,” thought Leaf. “But if that’s so then why would he have such weak Pokemon, especially if he’s a government official.” She considered the possibilities, deciding that the most likely of which would be that a trap awaited her inside Mt. Moon.

Pidgey descended once more, sunlight glinting off the Pokemon’s razor sharp talons as they neared their prey. Jab nervously creeped forward to meet the attack whilst violently shaking his head in a failed effort to remove the sand from his eyes. Leaf’s Weedle lowered its head, showing his poisonous point but the Pidgey had already planned for that action. The official’s Pokemon darted to the side and scythed Jab with its honed claws resulting in the Weedle sprawling back towards his trainer in seething agony.

“It’s okay Jab,” Leaf whispered to her Pokemon, recalling him to his Pokeball and giving Fang the order to battle. Her Rattata screeched furiously as he emerged onto the battlefield, barring his fangs and kicking up sand in a struggle to contain his previously pent-up rage.  

The Pidgey plummeted towards her foe then checked her fall, stopping halfway through the motion and once more rising upwards. The flying Pokemon had performed a fake dive and in his fury, Fang had fallen for the ploy. He leapt upwards in an attempt to grapple onto his foe but with the Pidgey retreating back to the sky, he had missed. Fang tumbled back to the ground, losing his footing as he landed.

“Finish him,” the official ordered tonelessly. His Pidgey complied, launching itself as the vulnerable Rattata and attacking its foe with a barrage of pecks. Fang howled in pain with each hit as Leaf turned her gaze from the scene, unable to watch her friend be put under the torture. The Pidgey squawked and Leaf turned back to the melee. Feathers trickled to the ground as the official’s Pokemon took to the skies once more, Leaf’s Rattata in tow. Her Pokemon had plunged its fangs into his opponent’s wing and had bought a momentary stop to the onslaught.

“Come on Fang!” Leaf cried, watching her Rattata cling on tightly as his opponent soared perilously high, ever rising. “Oh no,” she gasped. She had remarked during the battle just how wise this Pidgey was, it had both an ability to plan ahead and rapidly adapt its strategy to changing circumstances and now it proved both those traits again. The flying type ignored the agony, instead aiming for Fang’s face with a further ferocious storm of pecks. Leaf’s Rattata held for as long as it could before the pain became too much. Fang released his grip then plummeted towards the treacherous stone ground, landing with a thump beside Leaf.

“Leave,” the official ordered once more.

“Fang…” Leaf whispered, her voice no more than a pained croak.

“Don’t make me have to defeat more of your Pokemon.”

Leaf’s sorrow switched to anger. Team Rocket had claimed yet another life and this time it was one of her closest friends. She clasped Fury’s Pokeball and sent him into battle, knowing he would be just as eager to avenge Fang as she was.

“At least you’re with Rex now,” Leaf whispered solemnly. “You can both look down on us together.”

A primal roar filled the skies, echoing around the thick rock walls that surrounded them as Fury beckoned the Pidgey to meet him.

“Use your type advantage,” the official barked, knowing flying types were strong against fighting Pokemon like Fury. But the Pidgey was slowed by its damaged wing, and this made it easy for the Mankey.

Leaf’s Pokemon summoned all its rage and leapt at the Pidgey as it swooped downwards, grappling it out the air and hurling it towards a wall. Fury then followed with a furious swing of his fist which landed on the Pokemon’s cheek with a horrifying crack.

“You leave,” Leaf growled, as the Pidgey slumped to the ground defeated. She nearly imitiated the flying type’s movements as she struggled in her efforts to comprehend the losses of both Rex and Fang. Two of her closest friends had now fallen to Rocket in quick succession and the painful memories of the past now overshadowed the events of the present, causing the rest of the battle to appear as barely more than a blur to Leaf. She snapped in and out of thought as her friends did both the thinking and fighting for her. She recalled using Fin against the official’s Ekans before quickly realising how useless the water-type was. The Magikarp flopped about aimlessly as the Ekans snapped at it with poisonous jaws until Leaf recalled her. Fury narrowly avoided the poisonous strikes with both teeth and tail before pounding the snake-like creature into submission with a flurry of punches. Dino then fought a Nidoran, the horned pink beast attacking with its spike against the Bulbasaur’s vines. Her Pokemon cleverly navigated potentially painful assaults, whipping rocks and hurling smaller stones at the creature in retaliation. Dino forced a tiring victory to leave the guard down to his final Pokemon. Dino and Fury were exhausted now after drawn out battles which forced Leaf’s hand to send Jab into the fray.

The Official’s last Pokemon was a Jigglypuff. The creature was shaped like a large pink balloon with bulging blue eyes. Jab appeared nervous, shaking slightly almost as if he feared battle. Leaf attempted to comfort him but it was to no avail, the Weedle was even more frightened to fight than ever after the losses of both Rex and Fang on top of his own failings against the Pidgey, almost as if he blamed himself.

“Be strong Jab,” Leaf called to her Pokemon and clenched her fists. “I know you don’t believe in yourself, but I know you’re more than capable.”

She winced as the Jigglypuff knocked her Pokemon back by slamming into him, then followed with a half-dozen wild slaps which ricocheted off the Weedle’s face with a smacking sound which echoed around her. “You’ve been in many fights but not fallen yet, because you’re strong. You don’t have to believe it, but at least know that I will always support you and be there for you.” Jab was forced to the ground by another slap which caused Leaf to grimace. The Jigglypuff clambered on top of him and began suffocating the Weedle.

“If you give up now I’ll lose you Jab, like I did with Rex and Fang and I can’t go through that again. So please, try your best, for me.” A bright white light engulfed Jab, swallowing the Weedle within its blinding embrace.

“No,” the official gasped, realising what was happening. Jab had begun the process of evolution.

The bright light morphed from the long, stringy shape of a Weedle into a more condensed rectangular silhouette before slowly fading to reveal Jab’s new form. Emerging from the blinding light came a creature of gold with black eyes. A Kakuna.
“Jab!” Leaf exclaimed joyously. The Jigglypuff took no heed of the evolution and attempted to continue its assault. The pink creature leapt towards the Kakuna but this time was met by the poisonous point which served as Jab’s new tail. Venom seeped through the creature’s skin, pouring into its system and rendering the Jigglypuff immobile as death swarmed within its veins.

“Leave,” Leaf said once more as the official’s final Pokemon collapsed.

“You don’t know what you’re doing,” he replied, looking almost frightened now. “You’ll doom us.”

“What do you mean?” Leaf said quizzically, not fully understanding the man.

“Just go, please. But if you insist on coming through then a deal is a deal.”

She smiled, then trotted past the stricken-looking gentleman and entered Mt.Moon.

The Clefairy moved its chubby frame with grace, dancing around spits of acid as her pink body lit up the dimly illuminated cave. She came to a stop instantly, standing up straight when the Zubat approached and awaited the bloodsucking bat’s arrival. She burst into life, batting her opponent away with her thick, curled tail then turned to stare at her trainer with black beady eyes.

“You don’t need my approval, Moon,” Leaf said, smiling to her newly captured Pokemon. “Keep fighting.” Moon jumped for joy at the words, then span on her heel to fight a fellow Clefairy. When she had entered Mt.Moon there were no Rocket operatives waiting to stop her, instead she had encountered a dancing Clefairy who had impressed Leaf with her boldness and elegance. So much so that she had decided to capture the pink Pokemon.

Leaf directed her gaze now towards Beak, her other new capture. The Spearow soared whilst slashing at Pokemon in aerial assaults which terrorised the opposing force. First a Caterpie fell to her sweeping strikes, then another in quick succession before a Weedle joined her casualty list.

She glanced across the grey stone floor to where her opponents stood dressed in dusty, old garments. There were five of them, three men and two women and all grimaced in glum union as their warriors were decimated one at a time by Leaf’s Pokemon.

“Who are you?” one of the women bellowed across the cave, her voice bouncing off the gloomy dark walls. “Why are you trying to stop us?”

“You don’t need to know why, just know that you’ll be stopped.,” Leaf snapped back, she wasn’t about to tell a Rocket operative her motives.

Dino lashed out a vine towards a Sandshrew but the small rodent-like creature stopped the attack mid-air by grappling onto the whip. His battle partner, a Geodude, took the cue and performed the same feat with the Bulbasaur’s other vine. The duo combined to use the vines as leverage to begin hoisting Dino towards them, where an Onix eagerly awaited.

“We need these megastones,” one of the men shouted. “We can’t let you stop us.”

“To wreak havoc?” Leaf growled as Dino was drawn in closer to the Onix.

“To save our region!” he replied, a fiery passion in his voice. That last comment made no sense to Leaf, how were Rocket saving the region by using megastones? And although these were Rocket operatives, they must be low level grunts to have such weak Pokemon. But why send such members on such a crucial mission? She decided that she would make sure to ask these questions once they had been stopped.

Fury raised a Rattata into the air and screeched with rage, he was in a full battle frenzy. Leaf’s Mankey launched his foe towards a rock then grabbed a Zubat which had attempted to sneak up behind him then pummelled the creature into the ground. He turned to face his next opponent, a Grimer, which was a Pokemon that consisted entirely of an oozing purple sludge.

Leaf looked to Jab next, who fought off a Magnemite, Metapod and Rattata from both himself and Fin. The Magikarp remained useless once more, flopping around aimlessly as enemies flocked around her hoping to land a finishing blow. Jab used his stinger to prick the Rattata, leaving him slouching on the ground as the poison took hold. The Magnemite’s steel shell had so far proved impenetrable causing Leaf’s Kakuna to slowly crawl backwards in order to guard Fin.

A screech filled the cave, echoing off the walls and causing rocks to tumble as the ground shook violently. It was the Onix. Leaf had missed what happened, but Dino had managed to elude his aggressors and climb up the stone snake’s back and had begun assaulting him with vines.

Leaf scanned the room. Beak had taken down an Oddish, the leafs that stemmed from the blue bulb-like Pokemon resting atop a Kakuna, which Leaf guessed her Spearow had also slain. She spotted Moon trip a Clefairy then slam down an elbow on it before swinging an Ekans by its tail and hurling the snake towards the wall.

A flash of light caught her eye. Jab squealed as electricity jolted through his body, rendering him immobile as both the Metapod and Magnemite closed in on Fin with both looking to confirm two victims. Dino channelled Leaf’s apprehension and paused his own assault, to his peril. Onix shook violently and flicked the Bulbasaur off his frame before slamming into Leaf’s Pokemon with his tail, leaving the Sandshrew and Geodude to close in to finish their weakened foe.

Magnemite charged another electrical attack aimed at both Jab and Fin, then unleashed the waves of energy. Leaf closed her eyes and felt the pain that came with a bond between one of her Pokemon being severed forever, a heart wrenching, soul tearing pain. The bonds between her and her friends were still relatively new and therefore weak, but the pain that resonated within her still seethed. She dared open her eyes as she heard another electrical attack charging to claim a second life, then gasped at the scene. Beak lay electrocuted on the floor as smoke poured from her body, she had dived in front of Jab and Fin to save their lives. Magnemite unleashed another attack but this time it was swallowed whole by a blinding bright light. Beak’s sacrifice had caused Jab to evolve again.

Light morphed to a long, thin silhouette that featured wings and two sharp arms like poisonous lances. A Beedrill emerged from the brightness buzzing furiously. Another light bloomed from the far corner of the cave and confused Leaf, causing her to look across the room to Dino, who also had become engulfed by bright light. Leaf’s pain was making her Pokemon stronger, so much so that they were evolving. An Ivysaur emerged from Dino’s light, the new Pokemon larger than his predecessor with the bulb on his back beginning to sprout into a red flower.

Moon and Fury took heart from seeing their friends mature and began fighting ever harder. Fury pounded the Grimer into submission as Moon defeated a Sandshrew with graceful elegance. Jab smashed into the Magnemite with his dual lances and defeated the Metapod using his larger poison point. Dino shot leaves as sharp as razors out of his blossoming flower which carved into his opponents.

“Let’s go guys,” one of the men spoke.

“Back to Miguel!” a woman followed.

“She defeated our best trainer Jovan at the entrance, why did we think we could take her!” the final man cried as all of them fled deeper into the cave. Leaf and her Pokemon followed cautiously.

Blue’s Pidgey skimmed the water’s surface causing it to ripple outwards towards the edges of the enlarged swimming pool. He impatiently tapped the tiled floors of the old Gym with his shoe, anxiously awaiting Misty’s Goldeen to spring up from the depths.

“Getting impatient?” Misty teased, her long auburn hair flowing down to the shoulders of her white swimsuit.

“Just waiting for your Pokemon to stop hiding underwater like a coward,” Blue replied. “But it’s fine we can wait all day. I know that if your Goldeen was strong enough it would come out and fight.”

“Not falling for that one,” Misty said with a wink. Calls of battle began chiming outside the building, the shouts gradually growing louder until they morphed into a chaotic symphony of panic and confusion.

“What’s going on?” Blue spoke, noticing his opponent glancing uneasily from side to side.

Misty opened her mouth to speak but a shrill squeal from outside answered for them, the screams of two ominous words, “Team Rocket”.

“I have to do something!” Misty announced.

“You can’t!” Blue quickly replied. “If you leave the Gym you forfeit our battle.”

“I’m mayor of this city!” she squeaked, noticeably on edge. “Cerulean is under attack and-” her words were cut short by a powerful, loud noise.

Blue was thrown off his feet as the building began to shake violently which he assumed was because of an explosion of some sort.

“They’re targeting the Gym?!” Misty exclaimed. “But why?”

Blue climbed back to his feet and glanced back at the swimming pool. It was draining as water rapidly flowed out of the newly created hole in the wall. He closed his eyes and waited, almost expecting another explosion, one that may even take his life, but nothing happened. The ruckus outside resumed unhindered.

“I surrender,” Misty declared, realising her efforts were futile as a water type trainer without the aid of water itself. She summoned her Goldeen back into its Pokeball and sprinted from the Gym, forfeiting the tournament to save her city. Blue blinked, struggling to come to terms with current events. After a few moments, he recalled his Pidgey and galloped after Misty, prepared to do what was necessary to save innocent lives against Team Rocket’s assault.

“Her!” one of the men announced as Leaf walked through a narrow pathway which carved itself deep into the cave. She entered an open room and immediately spotted a giant boulder in the centre flecked with bright stones. A great hole lay directly above the giant alien rock which Leaf assumed must’ve been where it fell many years ago. She walked forward slowly, noting that the walls of the room were encrusted with parts of fossil and other remnants of ancient Pokemon.  

“Stop,” a man asked calmly. “Please.” She assumed this to be Miguel. He bore a lab coat laden with dirt and grime which reached up and smothered his face, narrowly avoiding his thick rimmed glasses. His shoulder length dark hair was beset by grease as he continually flicked it out of his young face. “I’m just a scientist,” he said, his tone sounding as if he was almost begging.

“A Rocket scientist,” Leaf corrected him sharply.

“Rocket?” Miguel spoke with a slight stammer, as if he was constantly struggling to pick which words to use next. “No, that’s not us. We’re not Rocket.” Leaf stopped in her tracks at the words, stunned.

“Then…” she paused. “I was told you were government? Scrounging Mt. Moon for megastones?” Miguel laughed nervously at this accusation.

“Yes, government, but not that government,” he said cryptically. “Wait, allow me to explain, please.”

“I’m waiting,” Leaf snapped impatiently. She was fearful to what she had just done.

“Me and Jovan are government. The rest are just volunteers for an expedition into Kanto.”

“Into Kanto? Where from?” Leaf asked as she felt her irritation rise at the man for not giving a straight answer.

“Johto. We work for Lord Raven and his Johto government.”

“What,” Leaf managed to squeak.

“Yes, we were Johto’s last hope you see.” He nodded, seemingly happy Leaf finally understood what he was trying to say. “To search for megastones in order to halt Rocket’s advances. But now you’ve stopped us, or more specifically, we can’t really find megastones without the help of the specialist Pokemon you defeated.”

“What do you mean, specialist Pokemon?”

“Well Team Rocket are stopping all Pokemon being smuggled over the border, so we had to capture ones in Kanto ourselves when we got here. We got an Onix to tunnel deeper, Geodudes to help with heavy lifting, Magnemite to electrically charge some rocks to make them easier to take apart. A Grimer too, his ooze is acidic and helps us melt down rocks. The rest of the Pokemon were for our own defence however, although they didn’t really work.”

“So what are you saying? That I’ve doomed Johto?”

“No not you,” Miguel thought for a second. “Actually, maybe a little. But it’s okay. Well it’s not.”

“I’m…Sorry,” Leaf whispered. Cursing herself for her own foolishness.
“Don’t be,” Miguel said and smiled. “Oh I’m too polite. Oh nevermind. We did recover some useless fossils though. I’ll take them to the museum they’ll appreciate that. Oh did you want them?”

Leaf stared blankly as he walked over to her holding fossils in his outstretched hands. One fossil was shaped like a dome, the other a helix and the third was just a round ball of amber, with what appeared to be bone fragments nestled inside.

“Oh you don’t want them.” Miguel said with a sigh. “Ah. At least have this pretty yellow amber? A present from me?”

“Why are you giving her a present?” Jovan spoke as he entered the room. Leaf noticed for the first time that the five volunteers hadn’t spoken. They shuffled around the rock despondently realising their venture had been a failure.

“Then at least something came out of our trip,” Miguel replied. “I made someone smile!”

“She’s not smiling, and nor should she be,” Jovan barked. “You’ve doomed Johto.”

“I’m sorry,” Leaf replied, wanting nothing more than to bolt from the cave and not look back.

“Oh don’t be so upset,” Miguel stammered. “Here, please take this old amber, and smile.”

Leaf reluctantly took the gift and offered the scientist a half smile.

“Let’s go,” Jovan ordered the group. “There’s nothing left for us.”

“Sorry,” Leaf croaked once more, as the expedition force walked out the entry she’d come from.

Leaf breathed in the fresh air whilst shielding her eyes from the bright sunlight. It had felt like an eternity down in Mt. Moon’s depths and she was hugely relieved to exit the cave after her failure within. Her PokeNav buzzed into life informing her she’d received three missed calls since being inside, all from an unknown number.

“Silver,” she instantly thought but still decided to ring him back. The phone dialed for what seemed a lifetime, before a familiar metallic voice answered.

“Hello,” spoke a robotic sound.

“Silver,” Leaf answered.

“No,” the voice responded. “Just using a similar voice modifier to help conceal my identity.”

“Who is this?”

“Don’t be alarmed, Leaf. But I’m trying to help both you and the resistance.”

“So you’re Rocket?”

“Yes, and I know where Erik is.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“I thought you might say that. So instead I’ll give you another tip on Rocket’s plans. If what I say proves true then you may ring me again and I shall tell you where to find Erik.”

“And if your tip is false and it’s a trap?”

“You don’t have to follow it, just know that I’m trying to help.”

“Why? Who are you anyway, I want a name?”

“That is something I cannot say for my own safety. But when the time is right you shall know my identity. To answer your first question, I wish to help because I have seen the tyranny of Team Rocket first hand and it must be stopped.”

“Assuming I decide to believe you, what’s your tip?”

“A Pokemon trainer may only carry six Pokemon on their person at one time, correct? Well what happens if a seventh is captured. That Pokemon is then sent to ‘Storage’, yes?”

“I’m following,” Leaf replied, wondering where he was going with this.

“To the north of Cerulean City lies Route 25. And on Route 25 lies Storage and its creator, Bill. Team Rocket’s next move is to assault storage and take control of the facility for themselves, gaining mastery of all Pokemon within. In one sweep they will weaken all opposition to themselves whilst enhancing their own firepower tenfold.”

“You refer to Rocket as ‘they’,” Leaf responded. “But you must be in a high position to know all this.”

“That I am. As I say, it’s entirely down to you whether you accept my tip or not. The attack is happening as we speak, but there is one weakness in their assault. Route 25 and Cerulean are separated by a thick body of water and I have ensured the Rocket inventory consists of not a single water type Pokemon, nor an electric. That is your advantage. If you wish to know where Erik is, I’ll be awaiting you call. Goodbye, Leaf.”

The PokeNav clicked as he hung up the phone, leaving Leaf with even more questions and still no answers.