[7] Rocketing to the Rescue

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All five of them turned to face the member of Snagem.

Jessie was the first to speak, though fumbled her words. "We were... were looking for- Around. We were just looking around. At this... holiday resort you seem to be setting up."

The Snagem member still had a look of suspicion on his face.

"This ain't no holiday resort," he said. "We're just camped here. And three of you look familiar."

He's one of those who were at New Bark Town, Misty found herself thinking.

"No, we don't," James quickly spoke up, voice a bit shaky. "We just have a distinctive look about us that can be mixed up with famous people."

"I wasn't on about you two. The other three. Step forward."

Silently dreading what would happen next, Misty took a step forward, Brock and Ash doing the same.

"I thought so," the Snagem member said in a triumphant voice. "You match the descriptions, alright. Don't do anything while I call- uuuugnn."

An attack had struck him from the side, though neither of the people around her had released a 'mon to the field. She then realised that the attack had come from the room the Snagem member had come from.

"I really wish you hadn't done that," another voice said. This one was familiar. "Now my undercover operation is blown. You shoulda waited for me to return."

From out of the room came Meowth, third member of the Three Rockets. Despite carrying the same purple aura as other Shadows, it seemed no other alterations had taken place.

"Meowth!" Jessie said, voice strangled as it tried to sound both happy and angry at the same time. "Why didn't you tell us what you were planning?"

"Spur of the moment thing," Meowth simply said. "I knew those guys were up to no good, but knew they'd never trust ya. Only me. But I never revealed I could talk. That'd make me a much more valuable asset than what I have been."

"What do you mean?" James asked.

"I was found by this guy," he explained, indicated the one he had just attacked, "who kept me around just as a friendly something. New guy, by the look of him. Wanting to join the meanest gang around. Bit of a wimp, honestly."

"But he sounded like he meant business," Misty mused.

"Course he did. Wanting to make a name for himself, isn't he? Feels like he made a mistake in joining and wants some validation for doing so. But while he was sleeping, I found out a few things about this place."

"Like what?" Jessie asked.

"Like the fact the rain machine has been moved to Olivine City."

"They moved it?" Ash moaned. "We're stuck here, then."

"How many are around here?" Brock asked.

"Very few of them. Most of them have been pulling out of this place for a day or so." Meowth then added, "Seems like they have somewhere better to be."

"Why would they pull out, though?" Misty wondered. "It's not like we've been here more than a few hours, and last time they must have thought we weren't much of a threat."

"Whatever it is, it doesn't seem like we need to be around here any longer," James said. "That machine you need to destroy having been moved, and the fact we could be found out at any time, we really should be getting out of here."

"Yes, you're right, James," Jessie agreed. "And since we have Meowth, it doesn't seem like we need to stick around with you three."

"You want Snagem to destroy the ecosystem of the world?" Brock asked. "Because that's what these Shadows will do. Both the natural lives of Pokémon and the more industrious side of humans. Besides, do you really want Meowth to remain as he is?"

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