Well guys here we go with the next part of this segment of the Johto Arc. Without further ado let's get to it.

Disclaimer; Pokemon isn't mine nor will it ever be mine. The only thing that is mine is the story

Ages; Same until Hoenn


"When did this turn into a game of cat and mouse?" Came the exasperated response from the mysterious stranger who has, by now, been on the supposed trail of the young girl that he saved and let escape and go to safety days ago. He would have been fine to leave it at that but at the insistence, more like forcefulness, of his Gardevoir the trainer knew he had no choice but to follow along.

The Embrace Pokemon said nothing as she was more preoccupied trying to locate the young girl with the seasoned Pokemon by her side. The Psychic-Fairy type knew that there was more to the young one than meets the eye and there was an overwhelming feeling of loss and sadness that was picked up on soon after the mess with the Rockets was dealt with.

Seeing as how the Hoenn native was going to be leading them straight ahead for the next while the trainer decided to let his mind wander to the last few days and what happened during that time. For a long time now he had been on the trail of Team Rocket and even more recently on the path of heroism from the trainer known only as Red. So many things have happened to the organization due to the rising of this particular trainer and honestly it felt like one huge kick in the pants to the stranger

From the day that Team Rocket came into his life he had wanted nothing more than to see them pay for not only the crimes they committed but to also get retribution to all the people and Pokemon who have been screwed over by them since their creation. He spent years of his life trying to track them down or at the very least capture members of the syndicate so that he can get the information about the bases and then turn in the member to the proper authorities so that he can take the fight to them. Most of those plans went away the second that Red came on to the scene however

Not that he was upset about the whole thing happening, quite the opposite actually. While the stranger would have liked to have been to one to start tearing down the foundations of the organization in Kanto and keeping the progress going strong in Johto, it's nice to know that there are people who care about the damage people like Team Rocket do to the people and Pokemon who've had the unfortunate luck of encountering them. Though he knows that Red looks as though he works alone the stranger is at least hoping that a partnership can form between them if they ever meet face to face since they have a common goal. When facing an organization such as the Rockets one takes help when presented, especially since most people are worried about the group will do to them if they get involved.

(Gar, Gar, Gardevoir) The Psychic-Fairy type spoke after she rounded a tree and started to pick up the pace. The stranger broke out of his reprieve and started to speed up as well once he noted the look of worried determination on her face

We're getting close Came the thought of the trainer once their speeds started to increase bit by bit as if whatever Gardevoir is honing in on would vanish if not reached in time. Maybe the girl is more important than I thought. Perhaps she knows someone who can get to Red or the guy himself He added as an afterthought

He thought back to the rumors concerning the trainer and him traveling with someone, a fellow trainer or child(different stories depending on the person telling him), noting the young girl, who looks no older than about 7, and how she has three veteran Pokemon with her and the fact that Team Rocket was also on her tail for some reason the stranger can only assume that she is the one traveling with Red that the rumors talk about.

Only one way to find out He told himself as he and Gardevoir continued on their way

(So now we're ending this game of chase right?) Came the question from the Mouse Pokemon as he took up a battle position, with Pidgeot and Riolu on either side of him, and Veronica and Eevee taking up the rear in case they need to run. It was also a good thing they decided to stop at an area that had enough space for them to battle it out

Nodding his head the Emanation Pokemon replied (The presence form the forest has been chasing us for the last few days, even though they only halted for their own rest it did not provide even a small comfort for ourselves.) Sparing a glance at Pikachu the Fighting-type finished with (I believe now is when we make a stand of some sort)

Nodding his head the Electric Mouse turned to the direction of the source of their troubles the last few days. The 'starter' thought back to a few days ago after he came back from clearing his head and thinking of the predicament that they find themselves in. While working together was given it was also agreed that they would spend as much time as possible training Veronica with her Aura so that both she and Riolu could locate Ash and, if the Rockets took him there, put an end to the crime syndicate at the source and bring in their infamous leader.

Some of those plans went out of the window the second the presence started following them the next day. Riolu was just about to begin the Aura lessons when he sensed that someone/something was making their way to them at a decent pace. Not knowing whether it was friend or foe the three Pokemon decided not to take any risks and promptly boarded Pidgeot and made their way far from the presence. What they didn't count on was that the pursuers somehow had a way of tracking them down and they have been playing cat and mouse since then. They couldn't risk a confrontation while the three seasoned Pokemon were still in recovery and Veronica's Pokemon probably not having the necessary skills to face such opponents.

Now that they were now mostly healed, they spent whatever free time they did have healing themselves over the last few days, the three Pokemon wanted to see whether or not if their mysterious pursuers were friend or foe. At this point it could go both ways

From her place behind Red's Pokemon are the young 'trainer' spoke "These people just don't know when to quit do they? Get ready Eevee, who knows what might happen next" The aforementioned Pokemon nodded once in conformation and took up a battle stance while the only human in the group reached for one of her own Pokeballs so that she and her Pokemon could help as much as possible

A rustling in the bushes and their separation was all that was heard before everyone both stopped talking and prepare for the worst

A moment or so before they emerged from the forest the stranger turned to his Gardevoir and asked "So now this whole chase game ends today right?" Once he got a nod of conformation the trainer took in a breath and finished with "Let's see who exactly we've been tracking the last few days" And with that he and his Pokemon walked and went through the bushes.

The first thing that the stranger noticed was that their arrival was expected if the sight before him was any indication. A Pikachu crouching defensively with strong surges of electricity flowing through its little cheeks, a Riolu with an Aura Sphere at the ready to throw to them standing at the right of the Mouse Pokemon, and to the left of the Electric type was a Pidgeot with its wings reared back and glowing brightly as an indication of Steel Wing being prepared to be used to send him blasting off. The stranger also saw the same little girl he helped save days ago behind them with an Eevee next to her battle ready while she was reaching for her own Pokeballs. He knew he had to play his cards right to diffuse this tension

Lucky for him his Gardevoir decided to take the first step (Gar Gar Gardevoir, Gardevoir Gardevoir) She made gestures to both herself and him in what he automatically connected with the Hoenn native explaining that they weren't there to do any harm.

The three Pokemon looked to each other and it was the Pikachu who answered with (...Pi Pika Pi, Pi Pikachu, Chu Pika Pikachu) For a second the stranger could have sworn that the young girl looked to be actually understanding the rather tense conversation that was starting to take place between the three Pokemon but he quickly pushed that thought away

Deciding that some more assurance was needed the stranger raised both of his hands in an unthreatening manor and spoke "No need for things to escalate everyone, we're just here to help and ask a few questions. We don't want any trouble, right Gardevoir?" He hoped that even though his own face was covered that the tone of his voice would show that he was not telling lies

Nodding her head the Embrace Pokemon turned to the girl, which confused the trainer immensely, and spoke (Gardevoir Gar Gardevoir) He was also very confused when the girl in question turned to the Pokemon in front of her as if asking for permission for something

Trying to gather as much authority in her voice as possible the girl spoke up with "How can we be sure that we can trust you? That you're not planning something once we drop our guards?" He had to give the girl credit for that one, if the same happened to him it wouldn't go any better than what's happening here

Staying calm in an effort to keep tensions low the stranger replied with "If we were really here to do you harm then not only would we not be having this discussion, we wouldn't have helped save you days ago." He decided to try helping by slowly reaching up, and making sure that his ability isn't in effect, and removed his hood to reveal both his dark brown hair and, in their perspective, unnerving pale blue eyes

Seeing that neither side is going to attack each other any time soon he followed up with "I just want some questions answered. Once that's done I promise to leave all of you alone" He saw that Gardevoir was also trying her best to talk with the other Pokemon in the area and that whatever she told them it managed to get them to drop their guards, if only slightly

Turning to each other in silent communication the Pikachu turned to the girl and told her (Pi Pika Pika. Chu Chu Pikachu, Pikapi Pikachu Pichu Pika) He saw the girl start making her way in front of the three seasoned Pokemon along with her Eevee but didn't go much further than two steps

Taking a breath while still keeping his non threatening position the stranger asked "Ready for the questions?" He was a little confused when the girl shook her head and looked to him with uneasy certainty

"If you really want us to trust you then tell us your name" The girl noticed that Gardevoir looked as if she was going to answer but the girl held up a hand and continued "Sorry but I want to hear it from him." He decided to ignore that nagging feeling that the girl was more than what she seems when she turned her attention back to himself

If I really want my questions answered then I guess trust is the name of this game. Fine I'll play He thought to himself and spoke "My name is 'Kyle' but my foes know me by my alias 'Cobra', you can see why I don't use my real name against them. Keeps them off my tail. And next to me is Gardevoir" He saw the girl nodded once in understanding and noticed that she relaxed a tiny amount. He decided then to drop his gesture now that things were starting to go smoothly

Looking to the three Pokemon and seeing them all nod with slight hesitancy and cancel their attacks in the same way the girl turned to him again and spoke "My name is Veronica. This is Eevee, and the three Pokemon behind me are Riolu, Pikachu, and Pidgeot." The young girl pointed to each of the Pokemon in question as she introduced them and she finished with "What are your questions?"

Now we're getting somewhere Kyle thought to himself and so he decided to ask the first of his questions "Are the three Pokemon behind you actually your Pokemon?" He hoped that the question wasn't too invasive and that it would get the ball rolling

Seeing how Veronica turned to the three Pokemon and her Eevee the older trainer figured this would be expected every time a question was asked. He turned and saw that Gardevoir relaxed a bit more and decided to keep to herself, trusting that her trainer prove that they can be trusted. Kyle smiled to himself since he knew that his back would be covered if things went south and turned his attention back to the group

Turning her head to the older trainer the young Adept responded with "...No they're not. They are the Pokemon of the trainer who is watching over me. Besides Eevee and the Pokemon on my belt none of these Pokemon are mine" She then waited for another question to come

Nodding in acceptance Kyle decided to continue with "Is the trainer watching over you involved in with anything?"

"...Like what exactly?" She asked with narrowed eyes

Keeping his tone of indifference he asked "Is he good or bad" He finished with a slight shrug

"...He's the best. He helps people and Pokemon where he can while keeping me and the others safe. He never asked for anything in return"

"Is he connected with the attack a few days ago?" He tried to ask something that got more to the point and wasn't all too surprised when they tensed up again

Taking a deep breath Veronica told him "...In a way, yes"

That was all he needed to know if his next question was any indication "Does he go by the name Red?" When he saw that the Pokemon were about to attack and that Gardevoir was about to jump in to protect him Kyle quickly added with his arms stretched out in a non threatening manner "I'm not here to cause any harm, really. If he is really Red then I just want to help" That seemed to be the right thing to say since everyone calmed down somewhat

Deciding to ask her own questions Veronica spoke "Why do want to know if my caretaker is this 'Red' person? And what do you mean by help?" It was a good thing that Red practiced with her how to respond if people started asking questions about him

Breathing out a bit and dropping his arms he answered "I've heard about him and his deeds for a while now. Organizations like Team Rocket needs to pay for what they do to both people and Pokemon but no one seems to do anything about it for fear of retaliation. My own efforts don't, sadly, bring much results but once I heard that Red came into the scene I knew I wanted to be a part of that. I want to help take the fight to them. If they are the same person then all the better" He hoped that his conviction would get through to them

Veronica turned fully to the Pokemon behind her and asked "What do you think guys? Can we trust him?" The Pokemon in question turned to each other and after a moment Pikachu was the one to respond

(We trust you Veronica. Any decision you make we'll have your back) The other two as well as Eevee nodded in determination and agreement to what the Electric type just spoke

Nodding her own head in greatful understanding the young girl turned back to the older trainer and spoke "My caretaker is the trainer that is known as Red. And the attack a few days back was a result of him going to a Rocket base that was in the town. Anything else" She hoped that this decision wouldn't come back to bite her in the end

Releasing a breath he didn't even know he was holding Kyle responded with "Thank goodness. If that's the case then where is he? I want to talk with him as soon as possible" He started to look for the aforementioned trainer and missed the look of pain that passed between the group of five. But Gardevoir didn't

Deciding to speak up now that they were on the same side the Embrace Pokemon asked (Is something the matter? You seem uneasy) Even though her trainer couldn't understand her he turned to her direction when she started speaking

Looking to the group and now noticing their troubled expressions the older trainer spoke up with "Is everything okay? Where is Red?" He had a sinking feeling in his stomach when their expressions turned even more troubled, if that was possible

Deciding to let the Meowth out of the bag Veronica stepped forward and responded with "The day of the attack, when you and Gardevoir help saved me." She took a breath to calm her nerves and finished "It was because Team Rocket managed to capture Red and, under his instruction, we were more concerned with getting away so that his sacrifice would not be in vain. It didn't fully sink in that he was captured until he didn't come back the next day." She wiped her eyes to prevent her emotions from going out of control

Eyes widening slightly at the revelation Kyle told himself while looking down "So we were too late to help, huh? We could've helped prevent that from happening had we found you guys sooner." He felt something on his shoulder and he didn't even need to look to know that Gardevoir was trying to comfort him and prevent him from beating himself up for it

Taking a deep breath to finish calming himself the trainer turned to the group and told them "So what's the plan then? How do we get him back?" He was being serious about being an asset to them and if their reactions were anything to go by it seems that he helped his case

Getting over her initial reaction Veronica turned to the Pokemon in her group and appeared to be conversing with them about something. Once finished she responded slowly "Well the plan is to track him down using a special method and rescue him from wherever the Rockets took him" Once she saw the older trainer nodded his head in understanding she continued with "But there are some problems with that plan."

(Two to be exact) Riolu spoke up even though he knew that only the young girl and the other Pokemon could understand him

Seeing that this was an open discussion the Psychic-Fairy type asked (And those problems are?) She gently urged them to go on after seeing them hesitate

Knowing that the older trainer didn't catch any of that the young adept continued while holding up two fingers "There are two problems with the plan in the works" Seeing him nod she held up one finger "The first is that to track him down the method required requires Riolu to have more experience with the Aura to get his exact location and directions" She decided to omit the part where she also knows how to manipulate Aura until the trainer really proves to be trustworthy

Crossing his arms and taking up a thinking position Kyle had to think about that bit of information. While he has heard of Pokemon such as Riolu and Lucario being able to tap into something called Aura he didn't think that it could be used to track someone down, he only knew about it being used in battle. But seeing that this particular Emanation had an Aura Sphere at the ready earlier when it could only learn such an attack once it evolves the older trainer figured that preparation shouldn't take much longer than focus training to narrow down the wayward trainer

Keeping the position the more experienced of the two humans spoke "And the other problem?" He saw that the young girl help up her second finger once he finished his question

Turning once more to the three seasoned Pokemon and seeing them nod in silent agreement Veronica spoke "And the other problem is that even if we find where they're keeping Red we don't have nearly enough Poke-power to storm whatever base they took him to" She gestured to the Pokemon around her and finished with "This and the Pokemon I have on me is all the forces we managed to gather. And we still have no idea how Red rotated his Pokemon so that we can bring them to help." She crossed her arms in contemplation once finished with her explanations

The other human in the group had to admit that the problems presented are things that took serious consideration and furthermore planning if anything was to be done with it. He can't help at all when it comes to training up the Riolu in the Aura to track someone down but there is something that he may be able to do with the whole Poke-power scenario. Even though he only has six Pokemon with him, Kyle has heard rumors about trainers that switched around their Pokemon without the need of going to a Pokemon Center and calling up their regional Professor to make the switch. He can't test it out for obvious reasons, but if Red has more Pokemon than what he's seeing then what better way to put those rumors to rest in his opinion. He only hopes that they have the item necessary to make it all possible otherwise they would just have to continue with the plans with the forces that they have. He's confident with his own Pokemon and Red's look like they can handle themselves but their forces would be spread too thin if Veronica, if he remembered her name correctly, came along with them as they would also have to keep an eye on her

Nodding to himself at the rough idea that came to him the blue eyed trainer spoke "Well I can't help much when I comes to your training. Even if I can I looks like the Pokemon won't even attempt to try listening to me unless I fully earn the right, and I understand that clearly" He took their confused expressions as a sign to continue and he obliged "But something that I might be able to help with is the Poke-power situation."

Sharing confused glances with the four Pokemon around her the young adept decided to humor the older trainer by asking "And how do you plan on doing that? Do you have more Pokemon to help us out?" She grew more confused when he shook his head

Deciding to get things moving the trainer replied with "No, sorry. Gardevoir and the other 5 Pokemon I have with me are the only ones I have. But I have heard rumors about a way for trainers who have Pokemon in storage to transfer them without the need to go to a Center or even contact a Professor" He noticed the look of hope that flashed across all of their faces as he continued "But there is one thing that is absolutely needed for that to happen though" He didn't want to do that but they would have found out eventually

Trying to keep the anticipation out of her voice but failing slightly the young girl dared to ask "Well, what do we need exactly?" She was confused when the older trainer pulled out his own Pokedex and presented it to her

"Do you have his Pokedex?" Kyle decided to bring out his device, which was dark blue in color, as an example when he asked

He didn't know it at the time but once that question was asked it gave Veronica's group the first true surge of hope in the days since the abduction of Red

Credit goes to 'thekingcobra4' for donating his OC(Kyle/Cobra) to this story and the Pokemon of the character

Well everyone there it is the latest(in both recent chapter release and EXTREME lateness in posting) chapter for all your reading pleasures. What do you think of me giving them a small ray of hope after the(I hope I did it right) drama that was the last few chapters chapter and few day time skip. Tune in for the next chapter where we find out just where they took Ash and what the Rockets plan to do with him. And now to answer your questions;

To 'MasterofInfinity'; Thank you, and I'm sorry that I was VERY late in responding to this.

To 'MrPeaches88'; Don't worry that will be addressed in a later chapter. I had that fight play out the way it did for a reason

This seems to be all that I could find regarding questions, blessings of some sorts, slight problems people had with how the fight played out, and other things so there's that. Now let's see what's in store for the others and this new group in the future. Rate & Review. Peace