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The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 37: Restoring the Balance of Power

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey What do you get when you fuse Arka Squad, Eirwyn Squad, and Feng Squad and send all of them to the Sevii Islands? The answer is quite simple; The Sevii Unit!
Chapter 37: Restoring the Balance of Power

This morning we had a meeting in one of the conference rooms to get acquainted with our new unit. Including me and the members of my squad, there were now 22 officers and with the Seateds we had a total of 25 people. After the Seated Officers introduced themselves and took roll call, we departed immediately for Vermillion City to charter a ferry for the Sevii Islands.

As for the Seated Officers, they couldn’t be more different from each other. As I already knew, Raiden was calm, rational, and laidback. That is until you did something stupid that warranted getting a spear pressed against your throat. Second Seat Skylar Eirwyn was an albino female of average height. Like most albinos she had long silver hair and icy blue eyes. She was polite and respectful towards us but also seemed like she could be pretty stern when she needed to be.

Then there was First Seat Ken Feng. He was a very tall thinly built man with narrow condescending grey eyes and long wiry black hair that flowed freely passed his shoulders down to the base of his shoulder blades. I can see why Raiden warned us about him because he was very harsh with the group and acted like he was the most superior person in the room. Technically he was by rank, but still. He even pulled the rank card to name himself commander of our unit just as Raiden anticipated. But enough about that.

Axel and I leaned on the rail of the ferry enjoying the ocean scenery. It was a bright sunny day with semi-choppy waters. The sea was getting rougher the closer we got to the Sevii Islands but the ferry remained unwavering. It was because of these rough waters that the only way to get from island to island was by boat or by flying. No matter how strong a swimmer a Water-type was, it couldn’t look after itself and its Trainer at the same time in these currents so it was considered too dangerous to Surf.

“Brian, a word?” Raiden requested coming up behind us. Before I could say anything he motioned for me to follow him inside. The interior of the ferry had two floors for people to rest in in case of bad weather. We were on the lowest floor and from what I could tell completely alone.

“So what’s up Master Raiden?” I asked. He looked around to make sure that no one was around or eavesdropping on our conversation before speaking.

“Brian, these upcoming missions are going to be treacherous and will push us to our limits. Even so, I do not want you to use your Dragon-Forme anymore.” he requested.

“Part of my probation?” I questioned irritably. Our orders from the Captains were to kill and yet he was taking away my most effective weapon.

“No. It is for your safety. Only the five members of our squad know of your… uniqueness.” said Raiden stumbling to pick the right word to describe that particular trait of mine. “I want to keep it that way. I especially do not want Feng to know. If he knew just how powerful you really were, he would attempt to use you like a tool.”

I would never allow that to happen.” Axel interjected.

“Neither would I. You know I serve no one but you.” I stated.

“I have known Feng for over six years. You have no idea the kinds of underhanded methods he will use to get what he wants. There is a reason he is a First Seat.” he said coldly.

“I see. I’ll be careful then. But how am I supposed to kill my enemies if I restrain my inner dragon?” I asked.

“The same way us normal humans do: your combat skills and your Pokémon. I would offer you a weapon, however that violates your probation.” he said matter-of-factly.

We’ll work together as we always do!” Axel agreed.

“Damn right we will! I’m already a badass human and when working with you and my other Pokémon there is nothing we can’t do!” I declared.

“Just do not be reckless. I do not want a repeat of the incident in the Safari Zone.” warned Raiden.

“No worries Master. With all of you guys backing me up I won’t have to rampage.” I assured waving my hand.

But rampaging recklessly is the best part!” whined Axel. “*sigh* But I guess you’re right. We have to behave ourselves if we ever want to get off this stupid probation.” I felt the same way as my monkey. Act like a good boy now, enjoy wanton destruction later. I just hope there would still be some to be had.

After our little chat, we went back outside to await landing in One Island Port. It never made sense to me why the islands all had their own name like Knot Island, but the towns were ‘Number’ Island. There must have been a lot of lazy settlers back in the day. Our first stop was Knot Island for two reasons; first, it was the island closest to Kanto, and second, tomorrow there was a convention in the Pokémon Net Center where all the big names in the Pokémon Storage System industry would be attending. All Team Rocket needed to do was crash the convention, take hostages, steal passwords, and everyone around the world who uses the Storage System, including me, would have their Pokémon at the mercy of those criminals.

As soon as we arrived at One Island, the Seateds gathered everyone in the apartment complex we were renting to go over the battle plan. The place was bigger than expected given the island’s small population. Apparently because Mt. Ember was a popular destination for Trainers to train their Pokémon, Treasure Beach was a popular tourist attraction, and of course the Net Center being what it is, the island’s main business was temporary housing.

“The plan for tomorrow is to send two people into the Net Center as guests. They will be A-Squad. When Team Triad shows up A-Squad will radio the rest of us and we send in a small squad of three to five people. They will be B-Squad.” Feng started off.

“The reason we’re sending in such a small group is to lure our enemies outside away from the civilians. That way no innocent people get hurt and we have more room to fight.” Skylar said.

“And also so we do not lay ruin to the Net Center with all the chaos a massive Pokémon battle like that can cause.” added Raiden shooting me a sideways glance. Axel and I quietly giggled to ourselves remembering the destruction we caused in Ecruteak.

“The two that were there as guests will make sure that every Aqua, Rocket, and Galactic leaves the building before joining us outside to help wipe them out. Any questions?” Skylar finished.

“I have one!” Zack called raising his hand. “Are you single?” he asked the Second Seat.

“Zack!” scolded Raiden.

“Yes I am. What of it?” she responded.

“You’re a very beautiful woman. Would you like to go on a date with me?” he flirted shamelessly. I started snickering about how open he was about this.

“Really Kaguya?” Eve said unamusedly.

“You dog! What right do you think you have to say such a stupid thing to your superiors?” yelled Feng. Zack got grumbles from people I’m assuming were in Skylar’s squad. The Second Seat however seemed amused.

“I like your initiative. But I only go out with strong Trainers. Prove yourself in battle and I might say yes.” she promised. Raiden face-palmed and shook his head.

“You won’t be disappointed.” agreed Zack.

And here I thought things would get boring with all of these people added.” Axel laughed.

The following day all the players were set. I would be part of the squad that would stumble in and try to lure Team Triad into our trap. Along with me were three other people that I didn’t know. We waited in the mountains behind the Net Center out of view waiting for the signal to attack from the two inside who were also people I didn’t know. Everyone else were scattered either in the mountains or in the trees to swoop in when we brought out Triad.

“So how is everyone today?” I asked out of boredom and to make small talk with my new accomplices.

“Can’t complain.” replied a male.

“I’m just mad I’m missing the Ponyta Race today.” said another.

“I’ve got you covered. I was recording it myself.” a female responded.

“Awesome! Mind if I come to your room later and watch it with you?” he asked.

“Sure. You’re all welcome to come over if you want.” she offered.

“Yeah I’m in.” said the first guy.

“Why not? I had nothing better to do.” I accepted.

“B-Squad!” the walkie-talkie we had shouted in Feng’s voice. “A-Squad has reported that Team Triad has appeared! Get down there at once!” he ordered.

“Aye aye Captain.” I said back to the walkie-talkie even though I wasn’t the one holding it. Axel and I jumped down the cliff, though the monkey was much more agile about it than I was, followed by my accomplices. I grinned with excitement on how I would take my revenge for what happened in the Safari Zone.

The Pokémon Net Center looked similar to a regular Pokémon Center only it was twice the size of a normal one and had an orange roof instead of the standard Red Roof. It didn’t occur to me until now that the fact that this place also doubled as a Pokémon Center that there would be sick and injured Pokémon there that would also be vulnerable to those thieves, not to mention other Trainers. In the case of the latter, they were screwed whether they took on Triad or not. I could feel my Dragon blood welling up at the thought of combat but had to use every ounce of willpower I had to keep it suppressed.

When we finally reached the base of the mountain, we ran around the side of the Center to the front. Luckily our enemies were either too stupid or too full of themselves to bother leaving guards to protect the entrance allowing use to walk right in.

“And I was like: ‘Oatmeal? Are you crazy!?’” I said randomly and loudly when we entered to draw attention to us. I also got strange looks from my comrades who weren’t quite used to my ways yet.

As expected, our enemies consisted of a large group made predominantly of Rockets but there were still a fair amount of Aquas and Galactics in the mix as well. In the corner of the room were the hostages: the nurses that were on duty, some geeky looking people who must be with Pokémon Storage, and several civilians including the two members of Neos. They were being guarded by a Rocket and a Galactic.

“Uh-oh guys! I heard Team Triad would be here, but I didn’t think there would be so many!” said the female in our group.

“I don’t like this! We should get out of here! I don’t want to die!” shouted Ponyta-race-guy in a panicked voice.

“I agree! Besides, I don’t want them to steal my ultra-rare, ultra-unique, ultra-powerful Infernape!” I threw in to feed their greed.

“You Neophytes aren’t going anywhere!” a female Rocket said readying a Dusk Ball. “Trap them with Spider Web Ariados!” she called throwing the sphere. A large red and yellow arachnid emerged and started spewing a sticky white substance at us. Perhaps I should have worded that better.

“Shit! Run!” yelled the other member of our group. I wasn’t sure if he was genuinely worried about our safety or if he was acting as well.

“Axel! Burn that web and let’s get out of here!” I commanded. The Flame Pokémon shot a quick Flamethrower turning the web into smoldering ash before it could reach us.

Bye bye boo!” he taunted putting his thumb to his nose and waving at our enemies on his way out. Where did he learn that one? It’s great!

“After them!” shouted one of the criminals. I wasn’t looking behind me to see which Team they were from, but I’m assuming Rocket since this is their territory. As planned, a good many flooded out of the Net Center after us.

“Whenever you’re ready C-Squad!” my teammate said to the walkie-talkie. Jumping out of the trees and coming down the mountain were our reinforcements. Two people dressed in casual clothes exited the Net Center meaning all of our enemies were out here. Trap sprung! Now to clean up the trash.

“What is this? Where did all of these Neos come from?” an Aqua questioned sounding rightfully panicked.

“They saw us using a lot of people so they decided to do it too! Nothing but a bunch of copying monkeys!” spat a Galactic.

Hey!” Axel yelled indignantly.

“Let’s see… One, two, three, four…” Skylar trailed as she counted our prey. “Oh good! There are 25 of you and 25 of us. Kenny and Raiden, what do you think? One-on-one?” Feng growled at her obviously not liking getting referred to by his first name so casually.

“Yes. We have not yet had a chance to solidify proper teamwork strategies yet so that would be best.” Raiden agreed.

“You better watch me Skylar because my battle skills will turn you on!” Zack proclaimed.

“Now while they’re distracted talking! Attack!” commanded the Rocket in charge. Not waiting for them to strike, I went on the assault towards the nearest Rocket only to get cut off by a Galactic.

“Where do you think you’re going Neophyte?” he asked pompously.

“My fight isn’t with Team Galactic, however I do have a reputation to protect!” I said pulling a Pokéball from my belt. “Let’s go Beldum!” I called summoning the Iron Ball Pokémon to battle.

“Go Croagunk!” the Galactic responded sending out a blue frog with red cheeks, yellow eyes, black feet, and black hands with red middle fingers. The amphibian shuttered nervously at the sight of Beldum. “Attack them first with Poison Jab!” he commanded. The Toxic Mouth Pokémon’s fist glowed purple as it rushed to my Pokémon.

“Iron Defense Beldum!” I called. Beldum’s body sheened with a fresh coat of metal causing Croagunk’s attack to bounce right off.

“It didn’t work!?” my opponent cried in shock.

“Didn’t you know? Steel-types are immune to Poison-type attacks.” I informed. “Now for your Pokémon to feel a world of pain! Beldum! Use Zen Headbutt!” The Iron Ball Pokémon’s head glowed blue with Psychic energy as it rocketed at Croagunk.

“Attack first with Sucker Punch!” called the Galactic. The frog threw a punch at Beldum before it could hit. Beldum was temporarily stunned from the cheap shot but quickly resumed his assault dealing heavy damage to Croagunk. The amphibian staggered back with its hands over its stomach and its eyes wide with pain.

“Keep it up Beldum! Take Down!” I encouraged. My Pokémon reared back again before throwing its entire body into the frog.

“Pwn this n00b! Attack with Revenge Croagunk!” the Galactic ordered. And just who the hell does he think he’s calling a n00b? The Toxic Mouth Pokémon channeled all of its pain into a powerful punch that sent Beldum flying back a few feet.

“Now use Nasty Plot and Mud Bomb!” the Galactic followed up taking advantage of the situation. The amphibian rubbed its hands together with a malevolent smirk on its face. It then gathered up as much dirt and mud as it could off the ground into a giant brown ball which it then threw at Beldum.

“Power through that with Zen Headbutt!” I commanded. Beldum rocketed at the giant mud sphere that was hurdling towards it. The two collided with each other causing the Mud Bomb to explode sending its contents raining down on the field. Beldum, while staggering midair from the heavy damage it took, continued its attack. Croagunk attempted to dodge by jumping out of the way, but the Iron Ball Pokémon slammed into the frog’s side knocking it to the ground unconscious.

“No way!” cried the Galactic. “Hey guys! How about some help?” he called to his partners. Unfortunately for him, they were as occupied with my accomplices as he was with me.

“Now Beldum! Iron Head the Galactic!” I commanded mercilessly.

“No way! Chatot! Help!” he yelled throwing down an Ultra Ball. Appearing in a white light to take Beldum’s attack was a bird with a black feathered head shaped like a music note, blue wings, a green body, a yellow chest, white feathers around its neck, and more black feathers on its tail. The Music Note Pokémon squawked as Beldum smashed into it.

“Put that thing to sleep with Sing!” ordered my opponent. Axel and I covered our ears as we knew what was about to happen. Chatot chirped a relaxing melody that made Beldum drowsy until it finally succumbed and fell to the ground asleep.

“You did well Beldum.” I said calling back my Pokémon. “Have at it Aerodactyl!” I threw another Pokéball releasing my winged terror to battle. “Use Steel Wing!” The Fossil Pokémon screeched, flying at his opponent at high speed with his wings covered in metallic silver, then smacked the parrot.

“I like that move. Copy it with Mimic Chatot and use Steel Wing!” called the Galactic. Chatot flew at Aerodactyl with its own wing now metallic. My Pokémon shrieked in annoyance at having his attack used against him.

“Didn’t like that Aero? Then use something they won’t like! Rock Slide!” I suggested. The prehistoric predator seemed to enjoy that idea. He allowed himself to plummet to the ground landing on his feet and sending shock waves through the ground. Large stones erupted from the ground striking the Music Note Pokémon hard. Chatot fluttered weakly trying to stay airborne.

“Oh yeah? Copy them again with Mirror Move Chatot!” commanded my opponent. Chatot did the same movements as Aerodactyl yielding similar results. The parrot however lacked the experience, training, and natural talent Aerodactyl possessed meaning less rocks were produced for its Rock Slide.

Hey Aerodactyl! Quit screwing around and finish this!” Axel taunted. The predator screeched angrily at the monkey for that.

“Well prove him wrong with Ice Fang!” I told my beast.

“No you don’t! Use Chatter!” the Galactic commanded. Chatot started making annoying cries but they didn’t last long. The Fossil Pokémon shut the bird up very quickly by sinking his serrated fangs into the bird causing it to squawk in pain, even more so from the frost coming out of the ancient predator’s mouth. Aerodactyl thrashed his head a bit then spit out the severely bloodied Music Note Pokémon. Its chest was still moving up and down so it was still alive, but it would need serious medical attention if it was to stay alive. My eye twitched at what my Pokémon had just done, but I can’t say I blame him. After all, soon I’ll be doing the same to the Galactic.

“What have you done?” sobbed the Galactic at the grievous harm caused to his Pokémon. He quickly returned it before any more harm could be dealt to it.

“Send out your next Pokémon if you have one.” I told the Galactic emotionlessly. Yes, Aerodactyl went further than he should have but this was war. Severe injurious should be expected. Besides, in the event Chatot dies from those injuries it will be spared the pain of losing its Trainer. “Axel, go fight.” I told my Pokémon.

My turn finally!” the Infernape said excitedly while I recalled Aerodactyl.

“You’ll pay for what you did to Chatot! Avenge your partner Venomoth!” he called throwing a Pokéball. Emerging from it was a purple moth with big blue eyes and small fangs in its mouth. “Make that Infernape feel agony! Blast it with Toxic!” Venomoth spewed a purple liquid from its mouth that splashed all over Axel.

Son of a bitch!” he yelled angrily.

“Hang in there Axel! Use Flame Wheel while I look for something to cure your Poisoning.” I told him getting out the Item Ball that held my backpack. The monkey’s head flame raged as he curled into a ball and rolled into his opponent. Venomoth let out a painful cry as it was left with a burn.

“Don’t let them win! Show them how l33t you are with Psychic!” called the Galactic.

Fuck me.” the Flame Pokémon said in a deadpan tone. His sarcasm was quickly replaced by screams of agony as both he and Venomoth were surrounded by a purple glow. Along with this mental assault, the monkey was also being worn down physically by the effects of poison. The Poison Moth Pokémon however couldn’t keep its attack up long as it too was suffering from its burn.

“Axel! I found a Pecha Berry! Keep Venomoth busy with Fire Spin!” I commanded.

’Bout time!” he said happily before blowing a fiery tornado at the insect trapping it in the spiraling vortex. I threw the Berry at Axel which he caught and quickly ate. In a few seconds he looked good as new.

“Break free with Gust!” my foe called. From inside the flaming cyclone came a powerful gust of wind sending sparks and embers flying, but it did nothing to free the hapless moth. It did do enough damage to Axel to annoy him a bit though.

“Finish it with Flare Blitz!” I commanded.

With pleasure!” responded the Flame Pokémon igniting his entire body in a large inferno. He lunged into the fire and tackled Venomoth to the ground leaving the Pokémon unconscious. The Infernape got up and cracked his neck and arms a few time. “Too easy.” he chided.

“I can’t believe I lost to some Neoph--” I didn’t bother letting the Galactic finish his sentence before grabbing his face.

“You didn’t just lose the battle. You lost your life.” I said darkly. Since I couldn’t use my draconic abilities to kill this guy, I simply pinched his nose with my thumb and index finger while keeping my palm over him mouth.

“Grab his arms Axel.” I instructed to keep him from fighting back. The Galactic made muffled pleas for mercy, but they only served to waste what little oxygen he had. Eventually his eyes began to droop and his struggling ceased. I checked his pulse to make sure he was truly dead. I could still feel faint blood flow under my fingers meaning he had only passed out.

“Time to do this the old fashion way.” I said uncaringly. Axel and I laid the criminal on the ground where I placed my foot over his neck and pressed down until blood ran from his mouth from his smashed trachea. Now he was truly dead.

You don’t seem as satisfied with this as you usually are.” pointed out my monkey noticing my melancholy.

“Our fight isn’t with Team Galactic. Our enemy is Team Rocket. The Galactics were just brought into it. And I know they’re criminals who deserve to be brought to justice like the Rockets, but still. This guy wasn’t malicious at all.” I reflected. “Heh. Maybe I’m just getting soft.”

I looked around the battlefield noticing that the rest of my unit was finishing up their fights as well and performing the proper executions of their enemies. I only saw three members actually using weapons. Raiden was obvious as I will never forget that spear he uses. Unlike when he threatened me with it, this time I saw sparks of electricity surging through it.

Since most everyone looks the same in their uniforms with a few customizations here and there, I can only assume the other weapon users were Feng and Skylar. The one who looked most masculine was carrying a large scythe with a flame pattern on its black shaft. The top of the shaft had what looked like a clawed hand on it with the pristine silver blade coming off from one of the fingers like a bat wing. The way the top looked was like a mutilated hand reaching out of the pit of Hell. The blood of his latest victim still on the blade only added to the look.

The more feminine figure carried two arm length wave swords that looked like the tusks of a Mamoswine. The blades were clean and white like fresh fallen snow. At least they used to be as they were now also stained with blood. I almost felt jealous that I didn’t have a weapon too. I’ll have to ask Raiden for a sword when I get off probation.

“I can’t believe you still haven’t evolved your Electabuzz yet! What the hell are you waiting for Arka?” chastised the man with the scythe confirming that it was Feng.

“I simply have not found an Electirizor yet. Besides, I am in no rush to evolve my Pokémon.” responded Raiden indifferently.

“Weakling! I evolved my Magmar first chance I got so it would be stronger.” Feng shot back.

“Now, now Kenny. Evolutionary stage isn’t everything.” said the woman with the wave swords confirming that she was Skylar. “After all, you’re still using a Metang.” she teased.

“That’s a different matter entirely.” he growled.

“Hey! Could someone please help us?” requested a woman running out of the Net Center. She had long red hair tied into braided twin-tails and wore glasses, a long black dress, a black bandana, and a green apron.

“We defeated Team Triad. What else is wrong?” Raiden questioned.

“While you were battling, Bill and Celio were kidnapped!” she said fearfully.

“*Grr* You said they had all left the building!” snarled Feng staring angrily at A-Squad.

“All of our enemies were out! There must have been some not in uniform like us!” one of them defended.

“Then we don’t have any time to lose!” Skylar said urgently. She then turned to the woman from the Net Center. “First, what is your name? We can’t have you leading us into a trap now.”

“Right. I’m Lanette Asher. I’m one of the collaborators for the Storage System. My sister Brigette is taking care of the other hostages now so please hurry!” begged Lanette.

“How many were there, how long ago did they leave, and in what direction?” asked Raiden already sending out Magnezone for aerial transport.

“Only two. They left only a few minutes ago, but I don’t know where because they used a Xatu to Teleport away!” she explained frantically. Well shit. That sucks. How are we supposed to find them now!?

“This could be a problem.” said Skylar. “If the Bill and Celio Lanette is referring to are Bill Sonezaki, the mastermind who invented the Storage System, and Celio Bush, the guy who networked the System between regions, then we’re in trouble.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Let’s get this hunt underway!” declared one of our members.

“Don’t you realize how involved Teleportation is?” criticized Feng. “If they had escaped on a Flying Pokémon then they wouldn’t have gotten far and we could head them off on one of the other islands. By Teleporting they could have easily warped as far away as Hoenn!” he yelled.

“U-umm… M-Miss Lanette? D-do either Bill o-or C-Celio have their cellphones with them?” inquired Chane.

“Stupid girl! You think we can just call them and ask where they are?” ridiculed the First Seat.

“Quiet Feng! What’s your plan Chane?” Raiden asked.

“I-if we have a hacker in our group a-and one of them has th-their cellphone we c-can track them th-that way.” she suggested.

“I’m a hacker.” volunteered the quiet guy from B-Squad.

“I think they still have their phones.” Lanette said with uncertainty.

“Then what the hell are you waiting for? Hurry up!” ordered Feng. With that we went into the Net Center to use their computers. While the Storage people and our hacker got to work on tracing Bill and Celio, Axel and I made our way over to Chane.

“Chane! You’re a genius!” I congratulated.

“Huh? No no. It’s nothing.” she said modestly.

“On the contrary, you may have just saved this mission. How did you know that anyway? The cell phone thingy.”

“U-um… well… uh…” stammered Chane.

“Got ‘em!” yelled the hacker. “They’re on Kin Island. It looks like they’re in the Berry Forest.” he reported.

“Why there?” questioned someone. I think it was Ponyta-Race-Guy.

“Maybe they Teleported to the wrong location and got lost. With those idiots it wouldn’t surprise me.” Eve said.

“Regardless, we know where they are now. Let’s go Team!” Skylar commanded. We all made our way back outside and sent out our flyers.

“Mind if we steal a ride Brian?” requested Zack coming up with Lloyd.

“But of course. You always do.” I allowed. Aerodactyl was less than thrilled about the extra weight as usual, voicing his complaints in an irritable hiss. In moments our unit took to the sky with several people sharing mounts like Zack and I were.

“I’m surprised you didn’t ask one of the ladies if you could ride them.” I said sarcastically.

“Well you know. There were just too many to choose from and since we were so short on time I didn’t want to be a bother.” he replied. Aerodactyl screeched something at him.

He said you’re still a bother to him.” Axel translated which I then translated for Zack.

“Well my apologies to you Noble Steed. But I wouldn’t ask if you weren’t such a robust and sturdy Pokémon that I knew could handle my burden.” he complemented trying to appeal to the Fossil Pokémon’s pride. All of us got his response in the form of a midair corkscrew and upside down loop. We each had to tighten our grips to stay on him.

Bastard!” spat my monkey.

When we finally reached Kin Island the sky in front of us was turning a dark shade of purple as the sun set behind us. Feng, Skylar, and Raiden pulled in front of our pack riding a metallic silver bird with red feathers inside its wings, a blue bird with cloud like wings, and Magnezone respectively.

“Fan out when we enter Berry Forest so that we cover more area. There are only two of them so there is no need for all of us to confront them at once. You all will travel in pairs while we Seateds go separately. Now land!” ordered Feng before his Skarmory dropped out of the sky.

“Good luck everyone!” Skylar encouraged as her Altaria dipped down as well.

“If you find them contact everyone else so that we do not waste time looking for what is no longer there.” Raiden told us before dropping as well.

“Looks like it’s you and me.” I told Zack.

“Sounds good!” he agreed. Everyone swooped down to the ground and ran into the forest after calling their Pokémon back.

Berry Forest was a lot bigger on the inside than it had looked from the air. It was spring and, as to be expected, the trees were a lush green and full of life. The air around the forest was rich with the delicious smell of Berries. The sunset gave the forest a calm and relaxing glow. But now wasn’t the time to take in the scenery. We had Rockets to hunt!

I’ll search from the trees. I can see further from higher up.” offered Axel.

“Go for it. Just don’t get distracted eating Berries.” I told my partner knowing him too well to think he wasn’t going to stuff his face. The monkey gave me an indignant grunt knowing that I hadn’t fallen for his scheme. He jumped into the trees and started swinging from branch to branch grabbing the occasional Berry along the way.

“Hey Brian. We’re traveling in pairs right?” Zack said. It wasn’t like him to state the obvious so I waited for him to continue. “And we have two enemies who have two hostages right? A group of four.”

“You want me to send out Riolu and see if he can’t pinpoint a cluster of four auras, is that it?” I surmised.

“Bingo.” he verified. I sent out the Emanation Pokémon and filled him in on the plan. Riolu closed his eyes sensing every movement in the forest. The only sound that we could hear was the gentle rustling of the leaves in the breeze and the more intense rustle of Axel moving about in the treetops. At once the puppy’s eyes shot open and with a bark he motioned for us to follow him.

“I’m starting to get a little jealous. Both you and Chane have had genius ideas today.” I said as we ran after Riolu.

“It’s no big deal. You have your moments too sometimes.” Zack said unconcerned. It wasn't long before Riolu came to a stop with a nervous look on his face.

“Rio?” I asked. The young Pokémon looked up to me and started barking. Axel jumped down from a tree with his arms full of Berries.

He says he senses a terrible aura up ahead. A fifth human has joined the others along with three Pokémon. He says one of the Pokémon is frighteningly strong.” Axel translated. I clenched my fists in anticipation. Three Pokémon could only mean a battle and if there is one new human it must be one of the Seateds. Riolu knows Raiden so the new one must be either Feng or Skylar.

“Let’s go Zack.” I said moving forward again. “I think something interesting is going on behind these bushes.” I took another step only for Riolu to grab my ankle. I looked down at the Emanation Pokémon who looked absolutely terrified.

“I don’t think you want to go any further.” said Zack noticing my Pokémon’s panic.

“Then I’ll look from above. Come on Axel!” I said climbing up the nearest tree.

Right behind ya!” said the Flame Pokémon coming up under me. Luckily the trees in this part of the forest were densely packed because I had to cross two more with the help of Axel before I saw anything.

Standing in a clearing was a lone female Neos with a tall transparent purple specter wearing a witch hat. It had to have been Skylar and her Mismagius. Standing across from her were the two criminals standing with a lean green feathered bird Pokémon with large white wings and a bipedal dog with short white fur, a tuft of fur on its head shaped like a beret, and a long tail with a blue tip. Behind those four were two men on their knees and tied up. By the looks of things, the battle had already started.

“Bring that ghost to its knees with Psychic Xatu!” called one of the Rockets.

“Smeargle! Bite it with Crunch!” ordered the other. Smeargle took its tail and wiped its mouth with the tip giving it a blue grin. When the Painter Pokémon opened its mouth globs of paint dripped from the upper lip and rose from the lower lip giving it a mouth full of large teeth. The canine then ran over and chomped down on Mismagius’s flowing body causing it to shriek an otherworldly cry. At the same time of this physical assault, the Magical Pokémon was being attacked mentally by a pink glow from Xatu.

“Mismagius! I’d like to settle this before nightfall. Use Psybeam on Smeargle and hit Xatu with Shadow Ball!” commanded Skylar. The Ghost-type turned its head down to Smeargle who was still gnawing on it and blasted the canine with a rainbow colored beam of energy. The Painter Pokémon yelped as it was flung into a tree before falling to the ground unconscious.

The Magical Pokémon then gathered the shadows cast by the setting sun on the forest into a huge sphere, the size of which I’ve never seen before. Usually the Shadow Balls I see are about basketball sized, but this one had to be at least twice that! Mismagius launched its massive attack at Xatu KOing the Mystic Pokémon with one blow. I sat in that tree completely awed by what I had just witnessed.

“No way! How did she beat us so easily!?” cried one of the Rockets in disbelief.

“Fine! We’ll return the hostages.” the other one submit bitterly.

“I’m afraid it’s too late for that.” Skylar said pulling out two Item Balls which burst open revealing her wave swords. She ran at her foes and with two swift strokes from both blades the Rockets fell dead. “Skylar used Ice Fang! It’s Super-effective!” she cheered.

“Looks like we still have a ways to go.” I whispered to Axel.

To be that badass? Definitely.” he responded. As I watched Skylar untie Bill and Celio, I thought about all we had accomplished today. From my reflection only one thing was undeniably certain: Team Neos was not only back in the game, but we would win it!
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