Chapter Eleven – Negotiation

Sunlight struggled to trickle through the thick clouds that bathed Lavender Town in a dull grey which served to match the duo’s mood perfectly. Boxes had been laid atop one another in the shape of a makeshift square dais for Archer to stand upon and make his speech towards the growing number of civilians that clambered around the platform like moths attracted to an open flame and just as the insect would be set ablaze, the townspeople were about to be burnt by Kanto’s false mayor.

It was mid-morning and Blue hadn’t slept a wink during the night in a nearby inn. He looked to Wally on his right and assumed from the bulging black bags which rimmed the young trainer’s eyes that his friend had about as much luck as he did the previous night. Wally had suggested they remained towards the rear of the audience which now numbered at around thirty to forty citizens of Lavender who celebrated the coming of their region’s leader to their humble village as the Servants would if their God came to meet them.

“He’s late,” Blue mumbled having still seen no sign of Archer.

“Patience,” Wally advised, he was much calmer this morning.

“They really have no idea do they?” Blue observed. He referred to the townsfolk who apparently saw Archer as some sort of icon, a visionary leader or some such and not as the puppet ruler of Kanto he actually was.

“Everyone still thinks Rocket is a insignificant criminal organisation and not the government’s main source of income that it actually is,” Wally agreed.

“And Kanto’s army. And its leadership,” Blue said, making no effort to hide the bitterness which sharpened his tone.

“And everything,” Wally said and nodded shamefully, clearly still reeling from Leaf’s capture. “So what’s the plan?” They, like the rest of Lavender Town, had been informed of Archer’s impending arrival to the village in the early hours of the morning by a messenger who had announced the  news. Kanto’s mayor had allegedly heard the news of an attack on the abode by Team Rocket and was appearing arriving to deliver a speech that would apparently quell the fears of the common folk.

“Thought it was a bit strange that the mayor would come out for something like this,” Blue said.

“But as I said earlier,” Wally said whilst slightly shaking, his nerves gnawing at him. “Now Johto has fallen, the government will want to assure the people that everything is being done to stop Rocket.”

“Yeah you convinced me when you said it. They want to seem stable and appear to be attempting to stop Rocket’s terrorism.”

“So what’s the plan,” Wally repeated.

“Well I’m assuming Leaf will think she can escape all by herself and take Rocket down from the inside now she’s been captured,” Blue jested. “But I suppose we will have to try and save her ourselves,” he conceded.

“And Erik,” Wally added.

“Yeah him too. Hope they’re in the same place.”

“But we’ve failed with everything we’ve tried.”

“So we try something new.” Blue clenched his jaw together and felt trepidation swell inside himself. “After the speech we’ll split.” He saw Wally’s face flush white at his words. “Don’t be afraid,” he reassured his friend. “Your job is the easy one!” he said and laughed.

“I don’t want to go alone,” Wally squeaked.

“Whenever we’ve tried doing things together it’s all gone wrong,” Blue said with a sigh. “When Archer finishes telling us how brilliantly things are going and everyone around us cheers and hollers like Team Rocket don’t exist anymore, he’ll leave with an escort.”

“Okay?” Wally said. “But what do we do?!”

“I’ll release my Pidgeotto and get on its back,” Blue declared in a hushed tone. “We’ll fly up then swoop down and grab Archer.”

“What?!” Wally gasped. “Kidnap the mayor?!”

“Quiet,” Blue hissed. They were away from the audience at this point but needed the utmost discretion for his plan to work. “I don’t know where I’ll take him but I’ll try get information. His escort will be Rocket, they’ll have some flying types on hand to pursue us so I’ll have to try and escape.”

“You’ll be caught!” Wally whispered hastily.  

“Doesn’t matter,” Blue said and winked. “Because some of his escort won’t have flying Pokemon on them. Ignore the ones chasing me on foot. A couple will head back to their base to report the incident. You follow them.”

“What if they see me?” Wally shook almost violently from his apprehension.

“They’ll be too focused on getting back, it’ll be easy,” Blue said confidently, although he knew that even the slightest hitch in his plan would cause the entire plot to unravel.

“And when I’m there?”

“Call me. We’ll assault it together and rescue both Leaf and Erik,” he said and smiled. “Easy as. Should’ve had me making the plans from the start.” He allowed Wally to see him strong and confident as that was what his friend needed to see. But inside a feeling of helplessness ate away at him because for the first time in his life he didn’t feel like he was capable.

A hush swept across the crowd that trailed back to Blue and Wally. Archer had arrived with an escort of five. Four black suited men who wore sunglasses to conceal their identity and were evidently there as bodyguards. But it was the fifth that caused both Blue and Wally to almost stagger backwards through exasperation. A well built man with raven coloured hair strode alongside Archer and turned his head to smile directly at the two Resistance members. It was Giovanni.

“Change of plan,” Blue said hurriedly and strode forward.

“Where are you going?” Wally spoke then trotted behind his friend. Blue reached down to his belt and ripped off his Charmeleon’s Pokeball as rage blinded him. “Blue wait!” Wally shouted to deaf ears.

“I’m ending this here and now,” Blue spat as Giovanni peeled off Archer and held a hand up to the four bodyguards to signal them not to follow. “Here and now!” Blue shouted to the Team Rocket boss and caused a few members of the crowd to turn to them.

“I’d advise against that, Mr. Oak,” Giovanni spoke coolly. Blue noted the man was unarmed as he looked at his belt bereft of Pokeballs.

“Bet you would,” Blue retorted and moved his arm backwards and launched his Pokemon’s capsule to release his Charmeleon.

“I wish to extend to you an offer,” Giovanni said as Blue’s Pokemon hissed at him. He appeared unmoved and refused to flinch even when the fire type shot a warning fireball which harmlessly fizzed past the Rocket boss. The Rocket bodyguards moved to assist their leader who simply held up a hand once more to signal them to wait.

“Surrender to us or I’ll kill you,” Blue threatened. Wally had finally caught him up and half-hid behind his friend.

“Unwise,” Giovanni said emotionlessly. “We have both Leaf and Erik held captured. Would you like to hear our terms for release?”

“No,” Blue snapped.

“Yes,” Wally squeaked.

“Ah,” Giovanni said with a smirk. “With those two held captive I now sense a lack of leadership within your ranks.”

“Charmeleon attack,” Blue roared to his Pokemon before Giovanni hoisted an empty megastone into the air. “Stop,” Blue said in response to the threat, if he were to use the stone he would then lock the Charmeleon’s soul inside and be able to unleash the power of the Mega at his will.

“Sensible,” Giovanni responded. “You’re very impulsive,” he noted as he looked Blue up and down. For a second the trainer thought he saw something within the man’s eyes as he judged Blue but the emotion had rapidly been replaced by apathy.

“Spit it out,” Blue roared. He felt anger pulsed through him like his belly had been filled with fire and was now pouring flames into his veins.

“We shall release Leaf if you two agree to relinquish your trainer’s licences and leave the region permanently alongside her.”

“What about Erik,” Wally said nervously.

“We shall kept him hostage in case you have ideas of betraying our deal.” Giovanni half-smiled at them.

“No deal,” Blue decided. “How about I send out all my Pokemon and take you down now. Even with one megastone I shall overwhelm you.”

“If you were serious, Mr.Oak,” Giovanni said calmly. “Then you’d have done so already,” Blue winced slightly. “No,” Giovanni continued. “I can foresee the need for proper negotiations. In fact, we had already planned for it. Therefore I shall offer you a chance to join us in a small house on Route 8 in one hour for a civil negotiation.”

“That’s a trap,” Blue said instantly. He sensed something off about the man but couldn’t discern exactly what it was. “You’ll have us trapped inside and surrounded by your grunts.”

“I can assure you upon my word that no grunts shall be in attendance, nor should they be anywhere near Route 8 for the duration of our talks.”

“Your word,” Blue snarled to make it clear he didn’t believe the man. Giovanni was famed for having an aura about him that made even the most stubborn man submit to his authority but Blue was failing to feel the renowned effects.

“I can see why he values you,” the Team Rocket leader said both suddenly and ambiguously whilst clearly pondering something. “Nevertheless,” he continued. “Myself and Archer shall be present in that house in just one hour. Whether you choose to appear or not is down to you.”

The man began to skulk off when Blue moved to chase him but Wally placed a hand upon his shoulder which stopped his friend.

“We go,” Wally decided.

“A certain trap,” Blue countered. “Would rather not.”

“We should agree to his offer,” Wally continued. “Can always hand in our licences and side with the Servants. They’ll give us Pokemon and help us, but on the condition we get both Leaf and Erik back.” Wally looked to where Archer had finished giving his speech, they had missed the entirety of it. Not that Blue minded.

“Or not,” he said stubbornly. “Got a better idea,” he went on whilst watching Giovanni disappear from sight and into the narrow pass that led to Route 8 where the negotiation house awaited.

“What?” Wally said eagerly and seemed almost glad that the responsibility of making the final plan hadn’t fallen to him.

“We go,” Blue decided. “But we won’t agree to any of their ‘deals’. Instead we will get Leaf’s location out of them, threaten them if we have to. Or maybe falsely agree to a deal. Then save both her and Erik.”

“Okay,” Wally said nervously. “I hope it works.”

“Me too,” Blue agreed as the fury inside him had once more turned to uneasiness, just like he had felt aboard the lowest levels of the SS. Anne and when looking upon Pokemon Tower.

“And I hope Leaf’s okay,” Wally squeaked.

“Me too,” Blue conceded without thinking. His thoughts were fixed on how he would manage to both save Leaf and Erik whilst capturing Giovanni and Archer at the same time.

She tried the door once more by pulling the handle with such force that she nearly ripped it off. The door however, didn’t budge even slightly.

“It’s no use,” Leaf said and sighed. She looked around the room once more but apart from an air vent which was far too small for her to fit through, the area remained empty. Devoid of any object or device she could use to force open the door. “I hope my Pokemon are okay,” she spoke aloud to noone. Her team had been seized and stored somewhere unknown to herself. She was alone, the only sign of life all night had been a grunt delivering her a small breakfast of porridge in the early hours of the morning.

“Hello,” she called out to the two grunts which stood outside and guarded her room. She received no reply so Leaf slouched in the corner of the room and collected her thoughts. The silence deafened her and seemingly evoked random noises in the night which she knew didn’t exist. “I’m losing my mind,” she said and sighed when she heard some rustling emanating from the air vent, knowing her boredom and solitude created the noise.

Leaf’s thoughts drifted back to her failings in Mt. Moon which still haunted her. She blamed herself for the fall of Johto and felt the weight of an entire region on her shoulder due to her erroneous decisions. Then came the SS. Anne. Which again she decided was her own fault. If she had seen through the false phone calls then her friends and Pokemon would never have fallen aboard that ill-fated ship. “My fault,” she spoke as a lone tear turned into a stream and she began to cry. “All my fault,” she wept and felt utterly helpless at the perilous situation she now found herself in.

Thoughts of her childhood swam back into her memories alongside the dreams she had strived to achieve. Her mother was rarely home, always working until she walked out. But her father had helped her grow into the woman she now was and she missed him tremendously. She realised that most of what she had achieved so far was only supposed to impress her mother and to prove herself to everyone around her. But she also believed she was doing some good for the world, and maybe her mother was as well.

A tapping sound began vibrating irritatingly from the air vent once the rustling had subsided. Suddenly, the cover tumbled and hit the uncomfortable tiled floor with a clang which caused the two grunts who guarded the room to rush inside.

“What you doing in here?” one of the grunts chided her.

“Think your fat figure can fit through there,” the other heckled and pointed towards the small hole in the wall.

“You’re defenceless and pathetic,” the first grunt said with a chuckle then walked over to Leaf with unclear intentions.

“I didn’t touch it I swear!” Leaf sobbed.

“Dodgy framework,” the approaching grunt decided and held back a hand as if to strike her. “But I’ve wanted an excuse to hit your smug face ever since you came in here.”

“Nice one,” his partner said and giggled. “My turn next and it will be more than just a slap,” he said with a wink towards Leaf.

A vine shot out from the hole in the wall and wrapped around the first grunts raised arm to gasps of horror. A Magikarp leapt into the room and began bobbing around in a state of panic which confused the grunt to the back of the room who was then chased from the room by an Ekans.

“My team!” Leaf almost squealed with joy. “You’ve come to save me!”

Dino rolled out Sap, Feather and Giggles’ Pokeballs to released the trio into the room then hopped from the vent with the grunt’s arm still within his vice-like grip.

“Let me go,” the grunt yapped. “Please.”

“Where are we,” Leaf said with more fury than she had intended.   

“Celadon City,” he spoke with haste and panic. “Underneath game corner, basement level.”

“How do we escape?” she growled.

“How did they escape?” he panted whilst looking to her Pokemon. “They’re just tools used for battle. How are they clever enough to travel through the vents and save you.”

She struck him, not hard, but with enough force to snap his attention to her question.

“Ow!” he cried out as Dino tightened his grip. “Okay, okay. Follow the corridor all the way. Go round the corner and there’s a big open room. At end of room there’s stairs that go all the way up.”

“Can’t have him running off and telling his little friends we’re coming now can we,” Leaf nodded to Dino, who released sleeping spores towards the man.

“Don’t kill me!” he pleaded. “Please. There’s loads of us grunts in here. You’ll never escape and if you kill-” he began before the spores sent him into a slumber.

“His mate will have already told them we’re coming,” Leaf spoke to her team. “Time to break out of prison.”

Grime lathered up the cracked wooden walls of the hut and a shrill wind whistled through gaps in the framework and caused a unsettling chill to fill the room where Blue and Wally sat. Sunlight pierced through the windowless hut through holes in both the roof and walls whilst the aging abode creaked around them.

Blue tapped at the splintered wooden table incessantly as his impatience grew. He constantly checked his PokeNav for the current time which now read exactly midday. Whilst he slouched slightly in his chair, his partner, Wally, sat bolt upright on a stool that had been provided during the time that they awaited their hosts who had disappeared into the kitchen to converse and fetch drinks.

“They’ve been gone a while,” Wally said and fidgeted nervously.

“Calm mate,” Blue said purposefully and tried in vain to discern what the two whispering voices were saying in the hut’s only other room.  

“Why are they taking so long?” Wally placed his hands on the table that would separate the negotiating parties as if he were trying to hold on during the hurricane of words which was to come.

“Giovanni is probably instructing Archer in exactly what to say,” Blue decided and smiled to his friend. Footsteps approached and signalled the entrance of Kanto’s Prime Minister and its Foreign Minister into the room as Archer followed Giovanni into the room.

“Take a seat,” Giovanni offered Kanto’s governor and opened a hand towards a small stool opposite Blue.

“Thank you,” Archer replied obediently and placed two glasses of water on the table, one for himself and another for Giovanni. The Rocket boss offered both Blue and Wally their own glasses which Wally shook his head to.

“It’s customary to accept a drink on behalf of your host in our region,” he said sternly to Wally. “A sign of peace towards the two bargaining parties. To show no harm is intended from host to guest.”

“It’s alright,” Blue said and smiled to his friend and took one of the glasses and began sipping the water within. A metallic taste. “This water is awful,” he spluttered but continued drinking regardless. Wally placed his glass on the table to drink later.

“Apologies,” Giovanni replied and took a seat on a creaky old chair. “This home is ancient. In fact, it is my old house from when I was but a boy. Quiet and discreet for our little chat.” Blue noticed Archer sip his water and watched his face contort at the taste.

“Don’t care,” Blue shrugged at Giovanni’s story. “What’s your offer? We won’t surrender as easy as you think.”

“Will be said when your friend acknowledges our civil customs,” he said and nodded to Wally’s glass of water and began to sip his own.

“Go on mate,” Blue said softly and watched Wally nervously move his hand towards the liquid. He had already gulped down half his drink, thirsty from the pressures of the day. Wally tilted the glass back and took a few sips in time for Blue to see Giovanni’s eyes open up in horror.

“You,” he said dangerously to Archer. “What have you…”

“Composure,” Kanto’s Prime Minister warned his associate. “Orders,” he finished to Blue’s confusion at the turn of events.

“Blue,” Giovanni began speaking. “I’m going to tell you something.”

“No!” Archer snapped to his boss.

“What is going on?” Blue said and looked to Wally who matched his puzzled expression. His partner then suddenly began to cough vehemently.

Leaf frantically followed the grunt’s instructions and now found herself towards the end of the hallway where the corridor rounded a corner and transformed into a large open room full of desks and chairs each finely furnished with desktop computers which were flanked by drawers full of reports and notes. The office-like room bustled with activity as more than a dozen grunts either sat at their workstation or paced the room performing a variety of tasks for their bosses.

“Yeah that’s right,” she overheard one grunt speak to another at the room’s entrance, the two appearing to be in command from what she could conclude whilst peering round the corner.

“The Resistance? All of them?” the other said confidently.

“Just two. Two leaders, one named Wally but not sure of the other.” Leaf’s ears pricked up at the mention of her friend’s name. She glanced at a clock at the far side of the room which read twenty minutes until midday.

“To be poisoned?” the confident grunt queried.

“A fake negotiation on Route 8,” the informant replied. “Which will lead into the poisoning of two key Resistance members.” Leaf shuddered at the news but continued listening in whilst firm in the belief that her friends wouldn’t fall for the ruse.

“And they’re there already? The Resistance?”

“Yeah. But keep this between us. Only telling you because we’ll have some reports to write afterwards.” Leaf gasped loudly as the information sunk in. Blue and Wally were at some house on Route 8 and about to be poisoned. Her sudden noise caused the two Rocket members to turn and sound the alarm at her escape before her Pokemon whirled into action.   

Rocket grunts rapidly leapt from seats and halted their work to release their own Pokemon who formed a barrier between Leaf and her escape route up the stairway. Scores of Zubat and its evolved form Golbat hovered in the sky alongside Koffing whilst on the ground Raticate, Rattata, Ekans and Grimer barred the path.

Feather led an unorganised but desperate charge as Leaf’s team were urged by their trainer to win their dangerous assault quickly so she could save her friends Wally and Blue. The Pidgeotto soared towards gathered Zubat and Golbat then darted upwards, beckoning for the Rocket Pokemon to follow her. She zipped between light fixtures which hung loosely from the roof with agility and guile whilst several of the larger Golbat were caught amongst the hanging lights. Kobra was next in, the Ekans spraying poison towards the ensemble of Rattata and Raticate who awaited her attacks. Many dodged her bile then set upon her from all sides only to be thwarted by Giggles who used psychic attacks from above. Dino and Sap chose to hang back and launch sleeping spores towards both grunts and Rocket Pokemon in order for Leaf and her team to sidestep the slumbering villains and hastily make for the exit but her opponents were wise to their moves and avoided the pollen where possible. However, some stragglers were still caught in the trap.

Fin, seeing chaos and battle erupt before him, panicked and began to bob back towards the room in which Leaf had been imprisoned. But the din of battle had caused grunts to flood the scene from all angles. Men in black bolted from doors dotted all down the long hallway as legions of Rocket members began to swarm Leaf from behind. Fin swiftly spun around and headed back towards his trainer.

“Sap, Dino,” Leaf roared to her grass types. “Guard our rear.” Her Ivysaur and Gloom nodded in response and engaged in battle with the Rocket reinforcements. Dino lashed vines against Koffing and Zubat who had launched an aerial assault on Leaf whilst Sap poured spores towards the Rattata who charged towards her. “Fin,” she whispered to her Magikarp. “It’s okay. I still believe in you. But for once you can’t run. You need to stay and help. Otherwise all is lost,” she spoke as tears began to cloud her vision because hope had begun to slowly ebb away. Her Magikarp met her gaze with bulging eyes, but remained terrified and helpless.

Giggles remained locked in combat with two Golbat who swiped down at him with fangs bared and for once the Butterfree found no humour in the situation. He was struggling, clinging on for his life which was now as fragile as the Ekans’ below him. Kobra swiped away an approaching Rattata whilst a Raticate plunged fangs into her tail and a grimer launched acid towards Leaf’s Pokemon which then gnawed away at her skin.

Feather sighted the danger and after taking down yet another Zubat with beak and claw she shot through the air towards both Giggles and Kobra but struggled to decide which of her friends to save. Leaf’s Butterfree plummeted towards the ground having been struck by a Golbat’s frighteningly powerful wing when it’s identical Pokemon twin swooped down to finish the job with knifelike fangs. Feather dived, then stopped as she saw Kobra struck by another ball of acid and collapse hopelessly onto the ground where she lay prone with Rattata surrounding her.

Leaf closed her eyes and felt a searing pain which tore through her. It was too much to bear. She heard the howls of pain from her fallen Pokemon and the cries of joy from Rocket grunts as both Kobra and Giggles were torn apart by their opponents. Dino and Sap retreated to her side as they were pushed back by Rocket Pokemon who closed in for the kill. Feather also flew back to protect her trainer.

“You’ve lost Fuguri,” one of the bosses chided her. “Surrender, or the rest of your Pokemon will fall alongside your Ekans and Butterfree.”

Leaf collapsed to the floor and clutched at her heart or maybe it was her soul. To lose one Pokemon she had an attachment to was agonising enough, but two at the same time threatened to strangle the life from her and expel all breathe from her lungs. She felt tears roll down her face as she stared yet another failure right in the eyes. Now she was to be captured, her Pokemon to be killed and both Wally and Blue be poisoned. She had truly lost. It had been failure after failure since Mt. Moon and her friends were falling around her like ashes. Standing up to Rocket had been for naught. They couldn’t have done it without Erik after all.

“I’ll say it one last time,” the boss spoke. Rocket grunts and their Pokemon closed in from all sides as Dino, Sap and Feather back stepped even closer to protect their trainer. “Surrender,” he finished.

Fin took one look at the situation and began to bob towards the exit to howls of laughter from the Rocket grunts. They even parted to let the Magikarp escape as Fin slowly approached the centre of the room then stopped.

“What’s it doing?” one of the grunts struggled to speak such were his hysterics.

“Even her Pokemon run from her,” another added whilst Leaf lifted her head to look at her Magikarp who again caught her eye.

“Run,” she tried to speak but struggled to find her voice. “All I’ll bring you is death and failure,” she managed. “Run!” she shouted to all her team who refused her order. They’d fight until the end for her. “Please,” she sobbed and begged. “I can’t lose you all.”

A bright white light engulfed Fin.

The light morphed from a small shape to an ever growing enormous length which was shaped like a serpentine figure. As the light faded and a Gyarados emerged it roared so powerfully the entire basement shook violently. The creature was an aquatic blue with cream-yellow underbelly with fins sprouting from its back. His large head featured a blue trident crest and humongous jaws with sat below intimidating red eyes.

“Kill it,” the Rocket boss roared to his subordinates who hesitated whilst their Pokemon charged the beast.

With newfound enthusiasm Dino and Sap shot spores towards the Rocket Pokemon to the rear of Leaf, who was still mesmerized by the newly evolved creature, leaving them as easy prey for the sleeping powder. Feather eliminated any stragglers who survived the pollen but the true carnage was occurring in the open room.  

Fin swept his tail across to annihilate another foe below him and snapped jaws at the Golbat and Zubat who circled overhead. He shot water from deep inside his gullet that smashed into a Koffing who dared approach and exploded the Rocket Pokemon such was the force of the attack.

“Run!” a grunt called and fled past Leaf.

“Go go go!” another panicked to his boss’s fury as the Rocket members began a mass exodus from the Gyarados who terrorised their Pokemon.

“Fin,” Leaf said then smiled. “You saved us,” she approached her Pokemon who bowed his head to be stroked. “Now let’s get Wally and Blue.”

Leaf panted and heaved as she approached the small hut in which the negotiation was taking place. She had sprinted from Celadon City and feared she was too late as the clock passed midday.

“Feather,” she spoke to her Pokemon. She had recalled Fin into his Pokeball as he was too large to exit the building but the other three remainders of her team had followed her. “Circle round the back and make sure there’s no grunts loitering about. Sap and Dino cover the door whilst I go inside,” she ordered them once they had reached the house and had met nothing but silence echoing from within. “I’m going in,” she declared and burst through the door.

Inside was death.

Archer had fled as seen by his chair tipped on its side and Kanto’s governor nowhere to be seen. Blue huddled in a corner of the room with tears streaming down his face. He was so despondent he hadn’t even noticed Leaf enter the hut. She turned to see Giovanni sprawled lifelessly on the floor then turned as she heard gasps from the remaining person in the room.

Wally was dying.

“Wally!” she screamed and ran over to her friend.

“Leaf,” he squeaked. “I-I.”

“Don’t speak,” she panicked and searched her bag for an antidote.

“Won’t…work,” he managed as he struggled for air. “Blue…tried…that.”

“What can I do.” She shook violently as she racked her mind for ideas.

“Nothing…now,” Wally spoke calmly as if he had come to peace with the fact that death approached to welcome him in its silent embrace.

“No there’s gotta be something! Anything! Blue!” she screamed to the man in the corner but he remained still as if he still hadn’t noticed her because he was gripped by shock.

“Take…my…Eevee…look…after…” Wally began and handed Leaf his one Pokeball. “Leaf…” he continued trying to muster what energy he could to speak his final words. “Thank you…for being… my friend.”

“Wally!” Leaf sobbed. “Please Wally, we can’t lose you.” She cast her thoughts back to when she had first met her friend. A frail and sad boy who just wanted to be accepted and prove to be useful. He saw the best in everyone, wanted to make friends and be a part of something. After yearning for these insignificant things all his life, he had finally achieved his wishes with the Resistance. And now Rocket had poisoned him.

“Giovanni…told…Blue…” he began to convey the words which the Rocket boss had spoke before he too had succumbed to the poison.

“Don’t say anything Wally. You’ll tell me when you’re better. We’ll all go back to Hoenn and escape this cursed region. Together. Please. Me, you and Erik. Live a happy life. Please. Don’t leave me. I can’t do this without you.”

“Sorry…” Wally tried to smile but found the effort too arduous. “Listen…” he closed his eyes and mustered the last of his willpower to say his final words. “Giovanni…is…Sakaki…Blue…Razzo,” he cryptically managed as his life left him.

“No!” Leaf screamed and shook her friend. “You can’t! You can’t!” she shrieked. But her pleas were in vain. Wally was gone.