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The Rise of Team Neos: Chapter 41: Broken Union

by Psycho Monkey

Psycho Monkey Team Neos has gained the upper hand in their war with Team Triad. To ensure things end smoothly, the Captains of Team Neos take center stage!

Also, I'd just like to point out that this chapter, and by default the last chapter to feature the upper echelon of Team Aqua, this was written before ORAS which is why members retain their RSE appearances. Personalities were my doing.
Chapter 41: Broken Union

Team Aqua Hideout—Lilycove Harbor

The cries of Pokémon engaged in battle rang throughout the subaquatic hideout of Team Aqua. After months of searching, Team Neos had finally discovered the main base of Hoenn’s last remaining criminal organization and had gone in for the finishing blow.

“Hehehehehe.” chuckled a big burly man with short black hair dressed in the blue pants and bandana marked with Aqua’s logo worn by all members of the team. He opted out of a shirt, instead wearing a blue vest that let all of his girth hang free. “You have a lot of balls invading our hideout and expecting to get out of here alive! I, Aqua Admin Matt, will make sure you walk the plank!” he boasted towards a tall, thin man wearing the standard Team Neos uniform with silver bangles around his biceps. At his waist was a short sword.

“If you are so sure of yourself, then send out your Pokémon.” said the Neos encouragingly. There was no hostility in his voice. He genuinely wanted Matt to go all out against him. That way the Admin could at least die knowing he never stood a chance in the first place.

“*Grrr* Don’t mock me!” Matt roared throwing down a Net Ball. The sphere burst open on the floor releasing a large half-shark that was blue on top and white on bottom. The Sharpedo emerged with a roar staring hungrily at its prey with its red eyes while baring its mouthful of serrated teeth.

“Then I chose Cradily!” called the Neos sending out a tall green plant adorned with yellow markings. It had glowing yellow eyes inside the crevice on its face and pink tentacles around its head. Unlike his cockier cohorts, this man believed in going all out from the start rather than put himself at a disadvantage for the thrill of a challenge or to give his opponent a false sense of hope. It would be insulting to his Pokémon as well as his opponent otherwise.

“Confuse that uppity seadog with Water Pulse!” ordered Matt. Sharpedo opened its mouth wide launching a powerful burst of water at the giant barnacle.

“Cradily! Suck it all up with Giga Drain!” the Neos countered throwing his arm out. Cradily extended its tentacles then released three green tendrils of energy from them which began absorbing the water like a vacuum.

“No way!” the Aqua Admin shouted with a look of shock on his face. “That’s impossible!”

“Nothing is impossible with enough hard work and dedication.” said the Lieutenant speaking from experience. After all, he was widely considered the strongest Trainer in Hoenn as well as the strongest Lieutenant within Team Neos. “Now Cradily! Use Energy Ball!” The Barnacle Pokémon moved its tentacles so that the tips pointed towards the center of its face creating a green sphere between them. It then quickly unfurled its tentacles launching the ball at Sharpedo. The shark gave a loud cry as it fell to the floor unconscious.

“That can’t be! You fainted Sharpedo with one attack!?” cried Matt in shock. Sure it was a Super-effective hit, but he was an Admin of Team Aqua! There was no way his Pokémon should be knocked out in one hit.

“I told you, hard work and dedication makes anything possible. There is nothing you can do against me.” the Lieutenant reminded.

“Damn you!” Matt yelled calling back Sharpedo. “Let’s see you take on two Pokémon at once! Get ‘im!” The Aqua Admin threw down two more Pokéballs releasing a Golbat and a Mightyena. “Attack with Air Slash Golbat! Mightyena! Use Dark Pulse!” The Bat Pokémon swiped the air with its wings creating thin white arcs that traveled at the speed of wind towards Cradily. Mightyena meanwhile opened its mouth and fired off a powerful wave of darkness.

“Use Protect Cradily!” commanded the Lieutenant. The Barnacle Pokémon curled up into itself letting the attacks bounce harmlessly off of its sturdy body. “Now finish them off with Rock Slide!” he continued. Cradily slammed its heavy head to the floor breaking it apart. As it lifted its head, it sent large pieces of the floor and rocks beneath hurdling towards its foes. Golbat and Mightyena cried out as the attack battered them before collapsing.

“You’ve got to be kidding me! I can’t believe I lost to this Neophyte so easily!” roared Matt as he returned his last two Pokémon.

“Team Aqua is finished. This is Aqua’s main headquarters and you were the Admin in charge. You’ve been defeated and this base will soon fall to Team Neos. Once we get the information on where the Galactic and Rocket grunts are stationed we’ll wipe them out as well. With that, peace will come to Hoenn. Our Captains ordered that all members of Team Triad be executed, however your life may yet be spared if you tell me where Team Aqua’s Leader is hiding.”

“Hehehehehe. As if I would tell you where Archie is.” Matt laughed defiantly. The Lieutenant sighed in disappointment as he drew his sword. The blade was a brilliant silver and as sturdy as the Skarmory feather it was made from. The Aqua Admin only had a second to realize the price of his loyalty and arrogance before the Lieutenant finished positioning himself.

“Veil--” he started trying to save himself. But he was too late. The blade was thrust through his thick torso, through his heart, and out the back of his vest. “--stone…” he coughed out before his body fell limp.

“Thank you.” the Neos said pulling his sword out allowing Matt to fall face first and bleed out all over the floor. The Lieutenant swiped his weapon towards the floor to get the blood off, then sheathed it.

Once the remaining Aquas in the base were dealt with, the Lieutenant pulled back his hood revealing messy silver hair and steel blue eyes. He then took out his phone and pressed 1 on the speed dial.

“Captain Sinclair speaking.” the person on the other end answered after a few rings.

“Captain, it’s Lt. Stone. We’re all finished here. Team Aqua’s main headquarters is ours now.” he reported.

“Well I bet you’re happy about that. Your region will soon be the first to be free.” Captain Sinclair said in congratulations.

“Yes sir. I have my team going through all of Aqua’s information to find any remaining cells in the region along with the location of the Rocket and Galactic grunts sent to Hoenn. Also, Team Aqua’s Leader was not here. All I have is the name “Archie” and that his possible whereabouts is Veilstone City, Sinnoh.”

“Very good Lieutenant. I’ll inform the other Captains. For now, I want you and your squad to hold that base. If any more Aquas think of coming back to it, give them three options: join Team Neos in earnest and give us their full loyalty, abandon the ideals of Team Aqua and never stand in our way again, or die. The same goes for the Galactic and Rocket grunts.” the Captain ordered. Lt. Stone smirked.

“It’s been about 10 years since I heard that ultimatum. I guess you-know-who is sick of the bloodshed?” he asked.

“Actually, he doesn’t want to waste potential new recruits. Team Triad’s numbers are dwindling fast which means Phase 1 is nearly complete. The more members we have by the start of Phase 2 the better.”

“Understood sir.” Lt. Stone said before hanging up.

Team Neos Main HQ— Somewhere in the Coronet Mountains

Sitting at a desk in an empty conference room used only by the upper echelon of Team Neos was a man with spiky brown hair and bright blue eyes wearing a modified version of the Team Neos uniform. Instead of a long sleeved hoody he opted for short sleeves and instead of long pants wore knee length shorts. In front of him was a laptop which he was messing around with. He was so wrapped up in what he was doing that he didn’t even notice someone else had come in the room until she threw her arms around his shoulders and rested her head next to his. She had shoulder length dark red hair, blue eyes, and customized her uniform to have the shirt part of the hoody longer so that it acted as a dress over her pants as well as a zipper going from the neckline to the bottom.

“What are you working on Gabriel?” she asked. Gabriel turned his head to give his lover a kiss before answering.

“Just a conquest map.” he said. He pulled up a map of the Sevii Islands which had Five Island marked with the Neos emblem. “Team Rocket’s Warehouse was taken on April 18th. As expected from your old squad, Alex. Not only did they get the job done fast and efficiently, they also managed to catch Moltres.” complimented Gabriel.

“Of course they did. Raiden, Ken, and Skylar don’t mess around. That’s why I made sure Lt. Dwarf put those three together when this whole Triad business started.” Alex boasted.

“Speaking of Lt. Deter,” Gabriel said with a laugh as he scrolled to a map of Johto, “he gathered up a bunch of Officers and took out Team Rocket’s Hideout in Mahogany Town on May 27th.” Just like with the Sevii Island map, the area in question was marked off with Neos’s emblem. “I’m pretty sure that was Team Rocket’s main base in Johto because Triad activity has been scattered in the region since then with most concentrations being around Olivine City.”

“You think that’s because they’re trying to regain a foothold in Johto by coming in through the port?” inquired Alex taking the chair next to Gabriel. He in turn pushed the laptop so that it sat between them.

“Most likely.” he responded. He then switched to a map of Sinnoh which had the Team’s insignia on Eterna City. “June 19th, Team Galactic’s Headquarters gets taken by a nameless Fourth Seat and Second Seat Someone-or-another.”

“That’s so mean! You didn’t remember their names? How are they supposed to get recognition for their efforts?” Alex chided giving her lover a playful smack to the back of his head.

“Alright, alright. I’ll look up what their names were, jeez.” he snarked in defeat. “Thing is, Triad still has a very strong presence in Sinnoh meaning that was either a dummy base, or Team Galactic has another one in the region somewhere.” he said more seriously.

“Try Veilstone City.” Gabriel and Alex turned to see a man with long silver hair and dull green eyes standing in the doorway. His uniform was skin tight for better mobility in battle.

“How long have you been standing there Damian?” questioned Gabriel rubbing the back of his head nervously. The other Captain merely shook his head silently indicating he saw nothing his brother in arms should worry about.

“More importantly, why do you suggest Veilstone?” Alex asked.

“Lt. Stone just took Team Aqua’s Hideout today. The Aqua Leader was nowhere to be seen but he got Veilstone as a possible location. I’m guessing since it’s in Sinnoh, that’s where Galactic is also hiding out.” Damian informed.

“Gotta hand it to Lt. Stone! He certainly delivers!” Gabriel praised throwing both hands behind his head and leaning back. “We really need to get Big Boss to promote him to Captain.”

“I’ve made the offer but he declined. He said it was the same reason he stepped down as Hoenn Champion. He just doesn’t want that kind of responsibility.” said Damian.

“Can’t say I blame him. I miss the days of being a Lieutenant.” Alex said nostalgically. “Back when Team Neos was still a secret organization moving through the shadows unnoticed.”

“It’s too bad you weren’t around back when Big Boss was Captain and Damian and I were Lieutenants. You remember those days?” Gabriel reminisced.

“Yeah.” Damian said with a nod.

“Well of course I wasn’t around back then. You and I had only been dating a few months before the upheaval. At that point you didn’t want me anywhere near the organization.” Alex pointed out.

“It couldn’t be helped. Old Big Boss kicked the bucket. You don’t introduce your girlfriend to your family by bringing her to a funeral.” Gabriel responded with an apologetic smile.

“Enough about the past. We have a future to look forward to.” Damian reminded.

“Right! Do we have any leads as to where Galactic’s base is?” asked Alex.

“Not yet. I only just got the report from Lt. Stone before coming here.” said Damian. Meanwhile, Gabriel pulled up a map of Hoenn on his laptop and added the Neos insignia to Lilycove Harbor along with the date June 25th. He was pretty impressed. Things were starting to speed up. Elsewhere on the map was another Neos emblem on Mt. Chimney where he himself had led the assault on Team Magma’s Hideout.

“Well then let’s call up every Neos we have stationed in Veilstone and every spy we have in Team Galactic. If Aqua’s Leader is there, then there is a good chance Rocket’s and Galactic’s Leaders are too. Now is our chance to put an end to Team Triad! If the three of us go down there and mobilize all of our best players, we’ll have Phase 1 finished before the end of the month!” declared Gabriel enthusiastically.

“What about Arthias?” Damian questioned.

“What about him?” Gabriel retorted. “We don’t need Arthias. There are three of us and three enemy Leaders. We can handle them on our own. Bringing him would be overkill.”

“He is just another Captain after all. Having the codename ‘Leader’ doesn’t make him special. The only thing Arthias really has going for him is his knowledge on military matters and his amazing combat prowess.” Alex agreed.

“Very well.” conceded Damian. “Then let’s get in contact with our people so we can find that base and coordinate an attack.”

Team Galactic HQ—Veilstone Building

Archie sat alone in his quarters quivering with rage. He couldn’t believe what he had heard. Team Neos had taken Team Aqua’s Hideout? Their primary base of operations? What’s more they even killed Matt! Everything Archie, everything Team Aqua, had been working towards all these years was evaporating into nothing! A sudden knock at his door interrupted his thoughts.

“Archie? It’s Shelly.” called the Admin.

“Come in.” he yelled irritably. Shelly opened the door and walked in closing it behind her. Her eyes were red and glossy; a sign she had been crying.

“What are we going to do?” she asked desperately.

“We’re gonna call up what’s left of our people and tell them Team Aqua’s not dead yet!” he declared adamantly.

“Are you serious?” Shelly questioned in surprise. The Aqua Leader scowled at her.

“Don’t tell me you’re planning to jump ship! We’ve already lost Amber and now Matt. You are the only Admin I have left!” he growled.

“No… I wasn’t. I just…” she stammered trying to find the right words. “It’s just that we’ve lost so much, I’m not sure we have enough to keep Team Aqua afloat.”

“We’ve still got me!” Archie said pointing his thumb at his chest. “And I still have you! As long as we’re alive and kicking, so is Team Aqua! I’m not giving up my dream! Our purpose is to expand the seas for more habitats for Water Pokémon! I’m not going to sit by and let a bunch of cocky bastards take that away from us! I’ll send them all to Davy Jones’s Locker or die trying!” he proclaimed channeling his fury into passion.

“Archie…” Shelly closed her eyes and thought about what her Boss had said. Archie had always been militant like this, even against those landlubbers calling themselves Team Magma. ‘Fight to the last man!’ he would say. ‘Don’t stop until Magma drowns!’ ‘Not even Groudon will stop Team Aqua!’ It would seem nothing had changed just because their opponent was now Team Neos. They were nothing to him but another obstacle that needed to be sunk. When she opened them they had a renewed sense of purpose. “You don’t have to worry about that Archie. No matter what occurs I will always follow your orders. I am a proud Aqua until the very end!” she swore.

“Thank you.” said Archie appreciatively.

“Besides, if we quit now it would waste the lives of the people we’ve already lost.” Shelly added. Archie nodded in agreement.

“We’ve got a meeting with Cyrus and Giovanni in an hour. Afterward, we’re contacting our grunts to tell them it’s do or die resistance!” he affirmed.

At the designated time, the Triumvirate gathered in the Galactic conference room with their respective second in commands, Saturn, Shelly, and Archer.

“It’s appalling!” said Cyrus, the first to speak. “This unity was supposed to pool our resources so that we could destroy Team Neos once and for all, but instead it has only brought chaos and ruin upon us. Team Galactic has lost its Eterna Branch along with Commanders Charon and Jupiter, Team Rocket has lost its foothold in Johto and the Sevii Islands, and Team Aqua has lost everything of value to us!”

“Excuse me!” yelled Archie slamming his palms to the table and jumping out of his seat.

“You heard him.” Saturn said condescendingly. “Two of your three Admins are dead and your hideout has been taken and with it all of your secrets. Any way you look at it Team Aqua’s finished. You’re nothing to us now but deadweight.”

“How dare you!” the Aqua Leader roared. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing! He would never accept them writing off Team Aqua like that!

“Settle down Archie.” Giovanni said coolly. “I for one do not agree with Cyrus’s grievance.”

“Then what do you think?” he demanded indignantly. He was still fuming over losing most of what he had to Team Neos, but he’d be damned if he was going to let his supposed allies treat him this way.

“When it gets down to it, Commander Saturn is right. Team Aqua is finished, but so are Team Galactic and Team Rocket. We’re all teetering on the edge of destruction. Our less faithful members have all dropped out afraid for their lives while our most loyal are either dead or among the few remaining we have left. All of our finances have been used up, the respect we had in the underworld has been completely tarnished, and no one has our backs anymore. Our operations are all but shut down.” Giovanni said bitterly, clenching his fist in anger. Then he got a conceited smirk as if he was planning something. “That is why every resource we have now is important! Team Aqua still has plenty of able bodied grunts, several vehicles, and of course you, Archie. Team Galactic and Team Rocket also have those things as well as our still functioning bases. Now, more than ever, we need to put everything we have into destroying Team Neos! That should be our first priority over slandering each other.”

“Besides, with all due respect Cyrus, Team Aqua only had one Hideout to lose and it was pretty well hidden I hear.” Archer interjected. “But you had two and you lost one. I’m curious if this building hasn’t already been compromised.” the Rocket Executive said smugly.

“And what about Team Rocket, Executive Archer? You’ve lost two bases!” retorted Saturn.

“Team Rocket works in a cell based structure where every cell is compartmentalized. No one has all of the information and that includes our hideouts. They only oversee their regional duties and keep no records of our other facilities.” the Rocket Executive replied haughtily.

“Team Galactic is the same way.” Cyrus said calmly. That was an understatement. Most of Galactic’s members didn’t even know what the true purpose of their organization was.

Team Galactic’s Veilstone branch was located atop a tall mountain to the north of the city. It was out of the way enough that the public rarely bothered them yet accessible enough so that the grunts and new recruits could come and go as they pleased. And yet, outside there was a persistent knock at the door.

“Yeah, yeah. I hear you. Stop that banging ya prep!” called the Grunt on guard duty casually walking over to the door. She opened it to reveal a man wearing a green postal uniform consisting of shorts and a short-sleeved shirt holding a clipboard. His hat was pulled low obscuring his face but spiky brown hair stuck out from under the hat. Standing next to him was a tall wooden box with the word FRAGILE written on it sitting on a wheeled cart.

“Hello there! Is this Team Galactic HQ Veilstone Branch?” asked the deliveryman cheerfully.

“Rofl Yeah? Who are you?” asked the Grunt.

“I have a package to deliver here. It only specifies the recipient as Team Galactic.” he said.

“Who sent it?”

“No idea. I’m just doing my job.” He handed the Galactic the clipboard. “Sign here.” When the Grunt took it, the deliveryman got a big grin. “Nice spacesuit.” He then spread the fingers on his right hand into a ‘V’ similar to the Sci-Fi shows he watched as a kid. “Take me to your leader!” he said in an alien voice, again like the old Sci-Fi shows.

“Stfu n00b! Master Cyrus is in an important meeting right now.” the Galactic said in annoyance shoving the clipboard into the postal worker’s hands.

“Oh? So he is here? Well anyway, have a good day…” he took a quick glance at the signature. “Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way? Is that your real name?” he asked with a smirk. Ebony rolled her eyes as she wheeled the package into the base and closed the door behind her. “I need my cart back!” called the deliveryman. After getting no response for a few seconds, he quickly looked around to survey his surroundings, then ran half way down the mountain where Captains Sinclair and Ross were waiting.

“You are such a clown.” Damian chastised taking off his earpiece. Gabriel threw off his hat, still grinning from his shenanigans, and started changing out of his disguise.

“We’re about to blow them to hell. After that who knows when I’ll get to have this much fun!” he justified as Alex handed him his uniform.

“I love you just the way you are. Don’t ever change.” she said.

“Don’t plan to! Now let’s go make Big Boss proud!” he said pulling a detonator out of his pocket. With the press of a button the package exploded, rocking the entire Galactic headquarters, wrecking the front lobby, and turning Ebony into giblets.

The conference room violently shook. The ones inside gripped the table to brace themselves until the tremors stopped.

“Was that an earthquake?” asked Shelly in dismay.

“No, I definitely heard an explosion with that!” Archie said. As if to answer the question at hand, a Galactic Grunt burst into the room panting heavily and covered in sweat.

“Master Cyrus! I’m sorry for disturbing you, but we’re being attacked by Team Neos! They’re invading through the front lobby as we speak!” relayed the Grunt in a panic.

“What!?” shouted Cyrus.

“Oh dear. What was that about this building being secure?” Archer questioned sarcastically. Cyrus glared at the Rocket Executive furiously. Didn’t the fool realize what was at stake here? Their very lives were in danger!

“Mobilize every Galactic in the building!” Cyrus ordered urgently.

“Yes sir!” agreed the Grunt running off.

“Archie! Prove Team Aqua is still a worthy investment by getting your people here as well! You do the same Giovanni! You said every resource was precious so let’s get everyone here we can!” commanded Galactic’s Leader.

“I’ll contact Mars!” offered Saturn pulling out his phone. Archer and Shelly followed suit to contact their subordinates as well.

“Cyrus. Team Triad will fall here if Team Neos captures us. I propose the six of us plan an escape route in case the situation goes badly.” Giovanni proposed.

“Are you suggesting we’ll lose?” demanded Archie.

“I am merely stating the possibility that we don’t know the whole situation. There is no doubt that the three of us are the most powerful Trainers in the world, but three against thirty are not favorable odds no matter how you look at it.” he clarified.

“Live to fight another day while using our subordinates as shields. I like it.” agreed Cyrus. “Saturn. Tell Mars to have a chopper waiting for us on the roof. If we need to make our escape, we’ll head there.”

“But that’s cowardly!” objected Archie.

“Then you can go down with the ship!” Saturn berated uncaringly. Archie responded by growling in displeasure. Cyrus meanwhile kept an expressionless face, but inside he was sneering. Giovanni had unintentionally given him the idea to sacrifice his fellow Leaders to save himself and Saturn. Team Aqua had already outlived their usefulness and with Giovanni out of the way, Team Galactic could absorb Team Rocket. Their goal was only world domination so they would be easy to convert if Cyrus let them continue working towards that goal under a new banner. All he would have to do then is lay low under Team Neos’s radar while quietly working towards creating his world without spirit.

Pokémon of all types and species clashed on every floor of the building. An Aggron slammed a Croagunk with Iron Tail. A Swallot sprayed Poison Gas at a Clefable. A Girafarig swung its tail at a Staraptor and chewed it up with Crunch. A Starmie used Harden to block an Ursaring’s Slash. A Ninetales used Flamethrower but its enemy Kadabra Teleported out of the way leaving a singe on the thankfully fireproof floor. Attacks continued to rage back and forth in a display of power versus power!

“Just give up Team Galactic! We won’t have to kill you if you surrender quietly!” negotiated a First Seat.

“Yeah right! I heard stories of others who surrendered only for you people to turn around and kill them anyway!” countered a Galactic distrustfully.

“How could you have heard that if there were no survivors?” retorted a different Neos. The Galactic went to speak but fell silent. That was a valid point.

“YAAARRRR!” cried an Aqua rushing into the fray followed by many others. They had gotten their Boss’s message about Team Neos’s assault and were hungry for revenge. The battlefield soon found itself flooded with Water-types like Cloyster, Qwilfish, Sealeo, Crawdaunt, Carvanha, Golduck, and Lombre.

“That goes for you too Team Aqua! Our Captains have ordered your immediate surrender in exchange for your lives. Anyone who refuses is to be killed on the spot!” the First Seat repeated for the newcomers.

“Save it Neos scum!” refused an Aqua. “Tear them apart with Bite Carvanha!” The small piranha swam through the air with its mouth open, ready to take a bite of flesh.

“Cacturn! Needle Arm!” commanded the First Seat. A tall human-shaped cactus smacked the fish to the floor with its arms then stomped on it for good measure. “If that is how you’re going to repay my offer then so be it! I gave you your chance, let no one forget that! Pin Missile!” The Scarecrow Pokémon lifted up its arms and fired a barrage of needles into the group of Aquas. The wannabe pirates screamed as they gripped their wounds. A few were bleeding from their eyes, others had less serious wounds, and some were dead from the needles puncturing vital blood vessels and organs. The rest looked on in horror, worry, sympathy, or a combination of.

“If we surrender, will you really let us go?” asked an Aqua on the verge of puking.

“As long as you don’t try to get revenge on us later. What you do with your life is up to you. Hell, you could join Team Neos for all I care as long as you give us full loyalty.” the First Seat offered.

“And if we don’t join you guys?” a Galactic questioned.

“Then stay out of our way. You leave us alone, we’ll leave you alone.” said an Officer. After a deep breath, the Aqua took off his bandana and threw it to the floor.

“Tomas why?” yelled another Aqua. Tomas returned his Pokémon and stared at his cohort with dead eyes.

“You heard them. This is a get out of jail free card for us! I like the sea as much as the next guy, but I’m not throwing my life away over it! I’ve got a wife and kids at home dammit! I’m outa here.” Tomas said throwing his arms out in frustration.

“No you don’t traitor! Get him with Poison Jab Tentacruel!” called a third Aqua. Before the Jellyfish Pokémon could attack, the crackling sound of electricity could be heard as lightning surged through the air striking Tentacruel for heavy damage and leaving it paralyzed. A second Thunder struck Tentacruel’s Trainer leaving him seizing on the floor with smoke coming off of him. Tomas looked over to see an Aqua return her Lanturn before taking off her headband as well. Both nodded to each other in understanding before running for the exit.

“Lol screw this. I’m done too. This haircut is lame anyway.” said a Galactic following suit.

“Anyone else?” asked the First Seat with a grin.

Cyrus scowled furiously at the monitors in the surveillance room relaying footage of the battles taking place throughout his headquarters. He was enraged that his own Galactics were recalling their Pokémon, throwing their hands up in defeat, and then just strolling out the door. Those ingrates! And where was Team Rocket in all of this? The Aqua Grunts had shown up as requested, even if several of them were also jumping ship, but the Rockets were still nowhere to be seen!

“Saturn. We’re leaving.” he said to his Commander, the only other person in the room with him. Archie, Shelly, Giovanni, and Archer were waiting outside serving as guards in case Neos found them. The last thing the Triumvirate wanted was to get trapped in a small room.

“Where too Cyrus? To the battle or escape?” inquired Saturn.

“We’re going to the roof to wait for Mars. I no longer care what happens to the others. Our own Galactics are betraying us, Aqua is useless, and I no longer trust the Rockets. They can all die for all I care.” Cyrus said coldly.

“Then what about the ones outside?” the Galactic Commander asked.

“At the earliest opportunity we abandon them, even if that means preventing them from getting in the chopper.” clarified Cyrus. Saturn nodded in understanding as the duo left the surveillance room.

“So how is everything?” Archie questioned anxiously.

“Giovanni was right. Team Neos came fully prepared to destroy us. Even with all of our underlings working together, they are being wiped out one by one. It’s over. Our only hope is to escape to the roof.” the Galactic Leader lied.

“We should be down their fighting! I won’t stand for this humiliation! Those scalawags need to pay for everything they’ve done to Team Aqua!” roared Archie.

“Yes, go ahead. Fight them. You might be able to beat two, three, maybe even four of them. But how many do you think there are? They’ll overwhelm you and kill you without you even making an impact. And then just like that, Team Aqua is no more.” Saturn berated.

“Don’t look down on me! If this really is Team Aqua’s last stand, then as its Leader I’m going down with the ship!” Archie countered.

“Don’t act rashly! You said it yourself; as long as the two of us are still around, we can rebuild Team Aqua! We can’t accomplish our dream without you!” Shelly pleaded.

“Admin Shelly has a point. Besides, you’re still valuable to Team Triad as well. It would be a shame to lose one-third of our power because you were too stubborn to honor your end of the bargain.” Archer pointed out curtly. The Aqua Leader gave him an irritated growl. Before he could reprimand Archer for daring to speak to him that way, a group of four Aquas strolled up the hallway towards them.

“Well, well. If it isn’t the Boss.” one of them said contemptuously.

“And look. Not only is Admin Shelly with him, so are the Leaders of Teams Galactic and Rocket!” said another one pompously. Archie bared his teeth at them as his anger continued to build.

“I don’t appreciate that tone you lot are giving me! And why aren’t you in battle with Team Neos?” he demanded furiously.

“Because Neos gave us an offer we couldn’t refuse.” said a third one pointing to the Aqua insignia on her bandana. It had been crossed out with silver paint making a crude ‘X’. “They said our lives would be spared if we joined them. If we agreed, we’d have to prove our loyalty by deep sixing our former comrades. The four of us figured who better than our old Boss who was more than happy to let us die!”

“Don’t think we didn’t overhear you just now! You were planning to escape!” yelled the first one.

“You damn turncoats! I’ll fucking kill you!” roared Archie taking out an Ultra Ball.

“No Archie! Let me deal with them! I’m an Admin of Team Aqua, so I should be able to handle these lowlifes!” Shelly offered with her own Ultra Ball in hand. She walked forward to get between her Boss and former underlings to face them head on. “I’ll be right behind you once these four are Sharpedo bait!” she called sending out her shark.

“For the honor of Team Aqua, don’t lose!” Archie ordered. Shelly turned her head and nodded with a smile. There was no way they were going to get past.

“I think it best we retreat for now. If our own subordinates are going to turn on us, we won’t be able to tell friend from foe.” Giovanni said urgently.

“We have no choice then!” Cyrus affirmed. When he saw them fleeing on the monitors he thought they were merely being told to surrender and leave, not join the enemy! Sentiments like this were exactly why Cyrus wanted to get rid of emotion completely!

“Don’t think you’re getting away that easily!” taunted the fourth Aqua. “Ariados! Trap them with Spider Web!” he called throwing a Pokéball.

“Sharpedo! Taunt!” commanded Shelly quickly. Sharpedo snarled at Ariados to antagonize it. The spider responded by shooting web at Sharpedo instead tying her up with Constrict.

“Screw this! There are four of us!” the second Aqua yelled trying to run passed the battle. Without batting an eye, Shelly threw down another Pokéball releasing Mightyena.

“The only place you’re going is hell!” she promised with a cold look in her eyes.

The escaping crime lords made it to the roof without further hassle. Already there waiting was a silver helicopter marked with Team Galactic’s ‘G’. Standing outside of it waiting was a red haired woman wearing a custom Galactic uniform with black shoulders and arms and a big round skirt.

“You made it!” she called.

“Yes Mars. Now let’s get out of here.” Cyrus said unemotionally. He was done with this.

“Is there really room in there for all of us?” asked Archie looking the transport over. Unless there was some sort of storage area, the cockpit looked only large enough to hold three people at most. Cyrus responded with a condescending smirk.

“Sorry gentlemen, but this is where we part ways. I do hereby disband Team Triad.” he told them mockingly.

“Scoundrel! You were planning on selling us out from the start!” Archie accused angrily.

“It was my goal from the very beginning. Team Neos was too powerful for Galactic alone, and after the tragic fate of Team Magma I knew my organization was in trouble. I formed this unity hoping to gain an edge over Neos and then once you were used up, I’d be done with you. Unfortunately, my plan went awry and so you see, none of you are of any use to me any longer.” Cyrus explained.

“I do have one question though. For Commander Mars that is.” said Archer. He calmly walked passed Cyrus and Saturn towards the female Galactic. “Tell me honestly and loudly for all to hear. What is your Boss’s name?”

“Lord Giovanni!” Mars shouted proudly. The two Galactics’ eyes grew large at the traitor’s reply.

“All I needed to hear.” Archer said conceitedly as he pulled a pistol from his jacket pocket. He pointed it at Saturn and, before the Galactic Commander could even reach a Pokéball, shot him dead.

“Mars, how could you?” Cyrus demanded in a mix of shock and rage.

“Because I’m not Mars.” she said in a man’s voice. ‘Mars’ put his hand to his face causing his body to squirm until the false identity gave way to a man with purple hair and goatee wearing a Rocket uniform. He gave a wry grin as he returned his Ditto to its Pokéball. Archer put his gun away with a mocking smirk.

“May I introduce Rocket Executive Petrel Lambda, our master of disguise!” he boasted putting his hand on his cohort’s shoulder.

“Good to see you Petrel.” Giovanni greeted cordially as he approached his Executives.

“You as well Lord Giovanni.” the Executive said humbly.

“What is this? We specifically contacted Mars! That’s even a Galactic chopper! What is all of this?” questioned Cyrus heatedly.

“Allow me to explain.” Petrel offered. “You sent her to Kanto did you not? Well, you see, she got in a disagreement with another Executive of ours. She didn’t win. I won’t point any fingers, but he is known as ‘the cruelest and scariest of the Rocket Executives’ and he gleefully showed her why he has that moniker. Since that incident, I have been masquerading as Commander Mars to keep the Galactics under our care in line.”

“You said before, Cyrus, that Team Aqua had lost everything. The truth is, it is Team Galactic that has lost everything. You people are nothing more than a memory now.” mocked Giovanni. Archie spat at the former Galactic Leader’s feet.

“Well said Giovanni. That traitor will get what he deserves when Team Neos finds him! But how do you propose we get out of here. It’s still a tight squeeze in that ‘copter.” Archie questioned.

“We?” laughed the Rocket Leader. “You are also obsolete. I have no further use for you either Archie.”

“What!? But in the conference room you said I was still a valued ally!”

“I said we needed every resource at our disposal. You have done an excellent job of supplying Team Triad, but as of now Team Triad has served its purpose. Everything you have contributed will now be used exclusively by Team Rocket!” bragged Giovanni condescendingly.

“You bastard! I’ll kill all of you!” screamed Archie in blind rage. He couldn’t believe how treacherous both his allies had turned out to be. No, not just Galactic and Rocket, even his own Aquas turned on him! The only one who wasn’t disloyal to him was Shelly and she still wasn’t here! Had she fallen to those double-crossers downstairs? Archie could not bear this shame, this humiliation any longer! “Sharpedo! Rip them into chum!” he ordered sending out his Pokémon.

“Cut them to ribbons Weavile!” ordered Cyrus sending out his own Pokémon. He knew either of his foes could attack him at any moment.

Giovanni stood across from both of his ex-partners looking high and mighty. They were both alone, and against each other besides, while he had two of his Executives to back him up. However, he had no intention of getting into it with them. Team Neos was still running unchecked through the building and could get to the roof at any moment. It was better to just leave them to their fate.

“Archer, Petrel. We’re finished here.” he said strolling into the pilfered chopper.

“Yes sir.” Archer said coolly taking out a Pokéball with Petrel following suit. The two threw the spheres releasing Houndoom and Weezing respectively.

“Stay here and fight like a man Giovanni!” bellowed Archie. “Use Crunch Sharpedo!”

“Kill them with Night Slash!” commanded Cyrus.

“Houndoom! Cover us with Smokescreen!” Archer countered.

“You too Weezing!” Petrel advocated. The two Pokémon exhaled black smoke from their mouth and pours respectively obscuring the rooftop in a thick cloud.

Archie and Cyrus coughed as they choked on the poisonous haze. A moment later they were deafened by the sound of the chopper’s engine starting. The spinning blades blew away the smoke, but at this point it was too late for the disgruntled crime lords to attack their treasonous foe. Giovanni looked down on them haughtily as he and his Executives made their escape back to Kanto. In sheer frustration, Archie screamed as loudly as he could towards the sky.

“With all the noise, I thought we might have been too late.” Archie and Cyrus turned to see three people wearing customized versions of the Team Neos uniform standing at the entrance to the roof. “But look, two of them are still here. By your outfits, am I safe to assume you are Archie and Cyrus, the former leaders of Teams Aqua and Galactic?” asked the man in the shorts and short-sleeves.

“That’s right. And who are you supposed to be?” questioned Cyrus.

“Not that you’ll live long enough to care, but we’re the three Captains of Team Neos.” answered the female.

“Aw man! So does this mean Boss Rocket just flew the coop?” sighed the first Captain.

“Looks that way.” said the Captain wearing a tighter version of the uniform.

“Well since I killed Maxie, I’ll be nice and let you guys decide who you’re fighting.” the first one said dejectedly.

“Dibs on Cyrus!” the female Captain chimed in.

“Fine, then I guess Aqua’s Boss is mine.” The second male agreed.

By now Archie was grinding his teeth in fury. Not only were they treating this like a game, but the one freely admit to killing Maxie, his sworn rival! It should have been him that beat Maxie! But there was one other thing bothering him.

“In order to get up here you would have needed to get passed my Admin! What happened to her?” he demanded.

“Admin? Oh you mean the redhead? When we got to her she had battled four of your former members into a stalemate. Since no one had any Pokémon left, Captain Sinclair here told the ex-Aquas to stand aside and he finished her off himself. Such is the price of loyalty.” the first male informed. At those words Archie all but snapped.

“YOUUUU!” he screamed. “Sharpedo! Attack them!”

Team Neos Main HQ— Somewhere in the Coronet Mountains

That night the Captains returned victorious. Archie and Cyrus didn’t stand a chance. They had fallen to Damian and Alex as easily as Maxie did to Gabriel. Team Triad was officially no more but the war wasn’t over yet. Team Rocket’s Boss had escaped meaning there was still one more criminal organization to deal with. At least by going through all of the Veilstone Building’s security footage, the Captains were able to learn that the Rocket’s leader was none other than Giovanni Terremoto, the Gym Leader of Viridian City, Kanto. Not to mention they got twenty new recruits out of the deal which was nice.

While strolling through the halls, they were approached by a Lieutenant who was looking rather fidgety. “Excuse me, Captains? It’s… it’s Leader. He’s in your private conference room and wants to see you.” the Lieutenant reported nervously.

“Got it. Thank you.” Damian answered. This obviously meant he had gotten wind of their invasion and was looking for a progress report.

The trio entered their chamber where they were greeted by a tall figure wearing a black version of Neos’s uniform pants and boots, black gauntlets that covered his entire arms, a black breastplate lined with gold, black shoulder pads which curved upwards also lined with gold, and a black cape with a hood attached to it that obscured his face.

“Well, well. If it isn’t the exalted Leader! What brings you here?” Gabriel asked snarkily as he threw his hands behind his head. Leader looked around to make sure the four of them were alone.

“Neo would like to speak with you.” he said speaking with a low pitched voice. Without a word, Gabriel walked over to the table where his laptop was still sitting. Since no one used this room without an invitation from one of the Captains, Leader, or Neo, he figured it was safe here. After a few key strokes a black screen came up with Team Neos’s emblem on it.

“Good evening my Captains.” said a digitally distorted voice on the other end of the call.

“Hey Big Boss! I guess you heard about our raid on Team Triad’s compound today?” asked Gabriel in high spirits.

“Indeed. Can we move on with Phase 2 now?” Neo inquired.

“Unfortunately not sir. While we were able to defeat Team Galactic and Team Aqua, Team Rocket’s Leader escaped.” Damian reported.

“You fools! Three Captains and you let one get away? I knew I should have handled this!” berated Leader.

“We didn’t let anyone escape! There were no Rockets in the building at all meaning Giovanni was already planning to betray the others before we even showed up. Even if you had come, it wouldn’t have made a difference Arthias!” Alex countered showing no respect for Leader’s code name.

“It matters not anyway.” Neo said calmly to defuse the situation. “Team Rocket’s betrayal is well within our parameters. From the very beginning we planned Phase 1 to start off as interventions against all four major criminal organizations. Teams Aqua and Magma were both the smallest and were rivals of each other so the possibility that one of them would be the first to fall was very high. After that, we planned for either Team Rocket or Team Galactic to contact the others to form a pact hoping in vain to counter us. In the event Galactic was beaten first, we would not have needed to worry about this unity because Aqua and Magma would have never worked together. In that scenario we would have just kept up our interventions without change until the rest were eliminated. In the event the formation of Team Triad did occur, it would be an uneasy agreement. The three Teams would be too busy trying to fulfill their own personal goals to work together as a cohesive entity. In the end, through weakness of trust and weakness of will, they would inevitably betray each other leaving us to mop up the mess. In the event that they were able to put aside their differences and compromise, they would simply become a single target for us to overwhelm with our superior forces. Also, Team Rocket controlled the most territory and resources and had the most members so they were always planned as the last to fall if they were not in Triad. So you see Arthias, everything is still on track and going according to plan. What has me curious is that name you dropped Captain Ross. Giovanni was it?”

“Yes sir. We discovered that Giovanni Terremoto is the leader of Team Rocket.” she informed.

“He must have escaped to Kanto then. I’ll go there myself to find him.” Arthias asserted.

“What? No way! We can handle this!” objected Gabriel.

“I do not care who does it, just get it done. The second annual White City Tournament begins in a few days. I would like Phase 2 to begin immediately after so that gives you a little over a week.” Neo commanded authoritatively.

“Yes sir!” all four answered at once.

“Excellent. To make your objective easier, I want you to leak Giovanni’s identity to the media. It will limit his movements with how famous he is and we may get tips on his whereabouts that way. Contact me again when Team Rocket has fallen.” ordered Neo. Seconds later, the screen went blank.

“You three had your fun with Magma, Aqua, and Galactic. I haven’t been on the frontline in ages! I’m going!” said Arthias impatiently for his nature was that of a warrior. Every instinct in his body was commanding him to fight.

“Fine. But you can’t do it alone. You’ll want the best members we have for this all important task.” Alex teased.

“Do you have a particular unit in mind?” Arthias inquired.

“The one sent to the Sevii Islands. They have experience in dealing with Team Rocket. They captured the Rocket’s hideout on Chrono Island and one of them even succeeded in catching Moltres. You’ll want that unit for sure!” she endorsed.

“Very well. I will take them, the ones who captured the hideout in Johto, and any others with exceptional track records.” he agreed.

Meanwhile Gabriel was typing vigorously at his laptop. He had already marked off Veilstone City on his conquest map and was now spreading Giovanni’s name all over the internet. Soon there would be nowhere for him to hide.
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