"Why hold back?"

"Blast it!" Rico screamed as he shoved the Houndour into the cage and shut the lock.

"That thing friggin bit me!" he yelled, shaking his finger to ease the pain.

The Houndour growled from inside the small two foot tall cage, trying to bite the poles of the cage to get free.

Rico put his hands on both sides of the cage and rattled it up and down. The poor helpless Houndour was shaken back and forth, at the mercy of the poacher's rage.

There were several identical cages lined up in a row next to the poor Pokemon. The cages were stacked two on top of each other, while the row stretched 10 cages long. Inside the other cages were additional Pokemon such as Geodude, Kirlia, Trapinch, Eevee, Tyrogue, Wartortle, and Baltoy.

Rico placed down the cage containing the frightened Houndour on top of an empty cage.

"You're lucky I'm in such a good mood today you little runt, I'm going to make big money off of useless trash like you." Rico stated as Houndour and the other pokemon looked at him with fear.

The sun has started to rise behind the mountains, as another fresh new day begins.

Cut to Opening Theme Song.

"We find our heroes still traveling through the forest in search of a town to rest, little do they know that rest won't be the only thing they need." the Narrator um…narrates.

Max was walking ahead of Ash, May, and Brock as he was eager to get something to eat.

"Hey Max, what are you going to eat when we get to the next town?" May asked.

"I don't know, anything juicy!" Max turned to his sister.

"You think we're almost out of this forest Brock?" Ash stated as he started walking next to May and Max.

"We should be almost to the end of it, this forest has to end sometime soon doesn't it?" Brock stated.

Suddenly, our heroes hear a loud cry from the other side of the bushes.

"Did you guys hear that?" Ash asked.

"It sounded like something crying out in pain." May replied.

"GET INSIDE THIS INSTANT!" a loud voice screamed from the other side of the bushes.

Ash and the group look at each other cautiously and decide to bend down and peer through the bushes. They get down on their knees and begin to crawl through the dirty grass as they get to a clearing.

Ash and May brush aside the bushes as Max and Brock look through next to them. Much to their dismay, they are shocked by what they see.

They see a very frightened Clefairy in the shadow of a large muscular man. The man is wearing tan pants along with a tight green V-neck shirt. His muscular body is apparent through his clothing, as his muscles are shown through his sleeveless shirt. His green hair is parted in the middle, only revealing his large forehead and intimidating blue eyes.

The large man known as Rico towers over the small Clefairy.

"You're a Clefairy aren't you?" Rico said, glaring at the tiny Pokemon. "Pokemon like you are pretty rare, I bet you would go for a nice price with my employer."

"What does that guy think he's doing?" Ash demanded as he almost got up from his position.

"Stay down Ash!" Brock whispered as he put his hand on top of Ash's back to prevent him from rising. "Let's see what's going on first."

"Come with me." Rico stated to the Pokemon.

The frightened Clefairy shook it's head putting it's hands together.

"I TOLD YOU TO COME WITH ME!" the poacher screamed as he raised his leg and swiftly kicked the cute Pokemon right in the face.

"Agh!" the group gasped still concealed behind the bushes.

The poacher bent down and lifted the injured Pokemon with his left hand. He raised it close to his face as he saw his foot imprinted on the Pokemon.

The Clefairy was crying hysterically, at the mercy of the large towering man.

"I've seen ENOUGH!" Ash cried as he jumped out from the bushes and confronted the poacher face to face.

"Ash!" May cried as the three of them got up from behind the bushes.

"Who the hell are you kids supposed to be?" Rico asked glaring while still holding the Pokemon.

"What the heck did you kick that Clefairy for?" Ash demanded. "What the hell is wrong with you!" he cried.

"Pika PIKA!" Pikachu yelled.

"You're a monster!" May yelled standing a few feet behind Ash along with Max and Brock.

"You know that being cruel to Pokemon is against the law right?" Brock shouted.

Rico took the injured Clefairy and threw it into a small cage sitting on the back seat of his jeep. The door of the cage closed on the impact of the small Pokemon being thrown inside of it.

"I suggest you kids better clear out of here." the poacher stated stepping toward Ash.

"You're…a poacher aren't you?" Ash asked as he saw the injured Clefairy crying in it's cage.

"Wow, we have a winner here folks." Rico sneered. "I'm sure you're the brightest one in your class kid."

"You're disgusting!" May yelled as she ran up next to Ash.

Brock stood in front of Max in the background trying to protect the young boy.

"Well whaddya know? Hello cutie." Rico stated as he walked one step toward Ash and May.

Ash put his left arm in front of May as an act to protect her. He looked toward her with a serious face as she complied and stood behind his arm.

"What's a hot girl like you doing with losers like these?" the poacher asked.

"Leave my sister alone!" Max yelled from behind them.

"Max!" Brock stated as he looked down at the boy.

"So you have a brother huh?" Rico looked over Ash and May's shoulder. "Hey kid, I'm sure you won't mind when I'm slamming your sister against a wall and ramming myself into her eh?"

Ash and May looked up at him a bit shocked.

"Yes….I could sure use a girl like you to relieve my tensions. I'd love to show you what a real man is like." he sneered licking his lips.

"You bastard!" Ash yelled as he stood in front of May.

"Ash?" May looked at him cautiously.

"Maybe I should get rid of these losers first. Then you and I can spend some quality time together, little girl. Come out Machamp and Aggron!" Rico commanded as he threw two Pokeballs in front of him.

Both Machamp and Aggron appeared before Ash and May with menacing gazes.

"I'm going to take this Clefairy with me, I have an appointment to keep. But I sure wouldn't mind taking that girl with me as well. Machamp! Aggron! Get rid of those kids!"

Machamp and Aggron began to move toward them as Rico sat in the drivers seat of the Jeep. The caged Clefairy was still crying in the back seat.

A sweat mark appeared on Ash's face as he reached for his Pokeball.

"Grovyle go!" he commanded as his Grovyle appeared before them.

"Go Ludicolo!" Brock screamed as Ash and May looked behind them to see Brock let out his Pokemon.

Brock ran up to Ash and May.

"Ash this is serious. We have to get May and Max out of here and fast. We have to follow this guy and help that Clefairy. He's disgusting!"

"You're right, Ash replied, May go take your brother out of here!"

"But…" May tried to say.

Before Ash could say another word the Machamp leaped toward him and with one hand slammed Grovyle to the left of them and into a tree.

"What?" Ash looked up.

"Pika!" Pikachu yelled as it ran up to help Grovyle.

Aggron jumped toward Ludicolo and headbutted it into Brock.

"Ugh!" Brock cried as the weight from his Ludicolo fell on top of him.

"Perfect!" Rico yelled, "Beat those guys to a bloody pulp. Don't forget about the little kid standing back there too!"

"No!" May cried as she threw a Pokeball.

Much to her surprise, her Bulbasaur came out. She really wanted to choose her Combusken, but in her nervousness she selected the wrong Pokeball.

A very pissed off Grovyle got up from the tree and rushed toward the Machamp. Grovyle stretched out it's arms to use it's Leaf Blade but the Machamp jumped out of the way and dodged it's attack.

Pikachu started using it's Thunderbolt attack against the Machamp as it began shielding itself from the electric attacks behind the tree's.

The Aggron began to march toward Max. Max stood there trembling as the large Aggron towered over him.

"Max!" May cried. "Bulbasaur use Vine whip and save my brother!"

May's little Bulbasaur let out it's Vines and whipped Aggron's back. The burly Pokemon seemed to be barely phased by the attack, and turned around toward the Bulbasaur.

"That's a pretty nice Bulbasaur you have there." Rico stated still sitting in his jeep. "Machamp, go get me that Bulbasaur too. It would make a fine addition to my wares."

Machamp turned to the Bulbasaur while Grovyle was in front of it.

Ludicolo finally got up from on top of Brock allowing him to stand up as well.

"Ludicolo, use Water Gun!" Brock commanded as Ludicolo jumped in front of the Aggron.

Unfortunately, Ludicolo missed as the Aggron lowered it's head and the attack hit Pikachu full force behind it instead. The force of the water catapulted Pikachu fiercely as it smacked face first into a tree. The little electric rodent was hit with so much force that the impact of the wooden tree caused it to nearly faint.

"Pi….ka.." Pikachu uttered as it fell down in pain.

"Ugh, Pikachu!" Ash screamed.

Brock grunted as he realized he hurt one of his friends Pokemon, and turned around angrily facing Aggron.

Ash tried to make a run for Pikachu to see if it was alright, but he was quickly distracted by the loud Pokemon cries to his right.

Ash saw May's Bulbasaur surrounded on both sides by Machamp and Aggron.

"Grovyle, help it out!" Ash cried as Grovyle moved into position.

May ran toward her brother and hugged him tightly.

"Oh Max, are you OK?" May cried as tears began to fall down her face.

Max hugged his sister back tightly, "May, what are we going to do?"

Bulbasaur looked a bit frightened as the huge Pokemon surrounded it. However, Grovyle managed to hit Machamp in the shoulder with it's Leaf Blade attack.

"Champ!" Machamp cried as it felt it's shoulder in pain.

"Aggron, use your Hyper Beam on those Pokemon!" Rico shouted from his Jeep.

Aggron obeyed it's trainer and fired a Hyper beam at Ludicolo.

"Ludicolo!" Brock screamed as Ludicolo was hit full force with a Hyper Beam.

"Ludi…" Ludicolo uttered before it fell to the ground and fainted.

With two of their strongest Pokemon down for the count, Ash and Brock realized they were in a desperate situation.

Machamp then leaped toward Grovyle with a High Jump Kick attack. Grovyle managed to dodge the fierce waves of flying kicks until it found itself backed up against a tree.

"Vyle?" Grovyle said as it looked behind itself at the wooden tree.

Machamp's legs came toward it as Grovyle ducked. The force of Machamp's kick was so strong that it actually knocked the tree off it's roots. Grovyle then lifted it's body up and Body Slammed the Machamp.

Meanwhile Bulbasaur continued to use it's Vine whip against the Aggron, with little success. The mighty Steel Pokemon continued to march toward the little grass type.

"May, your Bulbasaur!" Brock yelled as he recalled his fainted Ludicolo back into it's Pokeball.

May quickly removed her arms from her brother and remembered that her Pokemon was in trouble.

"Heh." Rico smiled as he turned the ignition keys to his jeep.

He then quickly stepped on the gas and drove toward May and Max.

"WATCH OUT!" Ash yelled. "That maniac is going to ram into you!"

Rico continued to step on the gas grinning heavily as he drove toward a frightened May and Max who were holding each other trembling.

"He's going to hit!" Brock shouted.

Without thinking, Ash quickly leaped into the jeep as Rico was passing him by. Ash managed to land in the passenger seat with his face pointing downward and his legs in the air. The speed that the car was driving knocked Ash off balance.

"What the hell?" Rico said, looking at Ash beside him.

Ash quickly forced himself up as he pulled on the steering wheel to the right.

Just as the car was about to hit May and Max, Ash's steering managed to make the car go in a different direction.

"You little punk!" Rico stated as he pushed Ash's hands off the wheel.

As Ash was standing on the passengers seat, Rico quickly stepped on the brakes which shook Ash out of the jeep and caused him to slam into a tree.

"Aggggggggggh!" Ash cried as he laid on his shoulder in pain.

"I've spent too much time here already. Maybe I'll just take the Bulbasaur and leave. Yeah, that's it." he said to himself as he drove toward his Aggron and the Bulbasaur.

May and Max could do nothing as they stood watching in horror. They still couldn't even move due to the fact that they were scared stiff when they were almost run over.

Rico stopped his jeep right in front of the battling Pokemon. Grovyle was still using it's Leaf Blade against Machamp, which continued to dodge it's attacks.

"Aggron, Machamp! Get that Pokemon out of the way and get me that Bulbasaur!" the poacher commanded.

Aggron and Machamp heard their trainer's words and surrounded Grovyle. Before the grass Pokemon could make a move, Machamp and Aggron body slammed it on both sides. Machamp rammed into it from the back, and Aggron rammed into it from the front. A very crushed Grovyle stood nearly flatted against the weight of Aggron and Machamp.

"Gro….?" Grovyle softly stated.

Aggron and Machamp moved their bodies away from the Pokemon, as it then plummeted quickly to the ground. Grovyle was out of stamina and out of commission.

"Aggron, use Sandstorm!" Rico commanded.

The Aggron obeyed as it whipped up a heavy sandstorm in front of the trainers.

Brock stood there covering his eyes trying to see what was going on. An injured Ash still laid on the ground in pain. May and Max continued to hold each other in fear. And May's Bulbasaur could barely keep it's eyes open from the tornado of sand.

"We…have to get out of here." Brock said out loud as he tried to move toward May and Max.

Ash screamed, "Brock, save May and Max. Try to get them to safety. Call Officer Jenny!"

"Can you get up?" Brock asked across the blazing sand.

"Yeah, just get them out first!" Ash yelled through the sandstorm.

Brock heard Ash's words as he moved slowly toward May and Max shielding his eyes from the twirling sand.

He quickly grabbed Max's arm and began to pull him with him.

"C'mon Max. We have to go. May follow us!"

"Ugh…Max?" May said as she let go of her brother's arm only to get lost in the sandstorm.

"Maaaaay!" Max cried as Brock continued to pull his shoulder and run away with him.

"I've got Max, we're going to run away. Ash go get May and Bulbasaur!" Brock screamed as his voice and figure began to fade away into the sandstorm with Max.

"Pikachu! May! Where are you?" Ash shouted as he struggled to stand back up.

"Ash! I'm over here!" the girl shouted back.

Brock and Max continued to run waving their arms trying to get through the storm.

Max looked to his right as he saw a Pokemon crying out in pain, "Brock! I think Ash's Pikachu is over there!"

"Huh?" Brock said as he stopped in his tracks trying to look through the sand.

The two walked closer and found Pikachu nearly fainted on the ground. Brock quickly bent down and picked it up.

"Is it OK?" Max asked still holding onto Brock's arm.

"I don't know, we better get it out of here right away." Brock paused before holding Pikachu up in it's arms.

"ASH! I have your Pikachu! I'm going to make a run for it!" he yelled as he pulled Max with him.

Ash could barely hear Brock in the distance but was able to make out that his Pikachu was in good hands. Ash smiled as Brock, Max and Pikachu continued to fade away in the distance.

"C'mon already!" Rico shouted from his Jeep.

Aggron growled as it looked down at Bulbasaur, which was crying due to the sand flashing in it's eye. Aggron suddenly rammed it's horn straight into Bulbasaur knocking it into the air.

"Bulbaaaaa!" it screamed as it was flying through the air in pain.

Ash held his arm struggling to find May and Bulbasaur. He then came into a clearing where he saw May's Bulbasaur plummeting to the ground.

"Bulbasaur!" May cried as she kneeled down next to it, still trying to cover her eyes due to the storm.

"Machamp!" the Pokemon taunted as it used it's lower hands to pick up the badly beaten Bulbasaur.

"No, that's my Bulbasaur!" May cried as she grabbed onto Bulbasaur's legs trying to break it free of Machamp's hold.

Machamp and May continued to pull on the Bulbasaur until Aggron walked up right next to the girl.

May looked up in fear at the fierce Pokemon, only to be greeted with a quick smack on the side of the arm by Aggron's tail, which caused her to plummet backward onto the ground.

"Damn it!" Ash yelled as he could do nothing but watch as May was slammed to the ground.

Machamp held the Bulbasaur upside down by the bulb on it's back. Bulbasaur glanced at May as it saw her face flat on the ground. The frustrated Pokemon could do nothing but watch as it's trainer laid on the ground in agony.

"Machamp, Aggron! Return to me now!" Rico commanded from the distance.

Aggron and Machamp obeyed it's trainer as they started to jump away from May.

"Bulbaaaaa!" the injured Bulbasaur cried as it was being carried away by the Machamp.

"My…my Bulbasaur…" May tried to say as she struggled to lift her face up from the ground.

The two Pokemon approached Rico in his Jeep. Rico motioned with his head to throw the Bulbasaur into another cage in the back seat. The Pokemon complied as Bulbasaur was slammed into a tiny cage and locked up. Rico then recalled his two Pokemon into their Pokeballs.

Ash saw the jeep in the blazing sand, but couldn't move fast enough due to his pounding arm.

Rico smiled as the caged Pokemon was crying in the backseat, "Thanks for the Pokemon little girl! I'll sure be able to get a good price on this one, ha ha!"

He then shifted the car into drive and started to speed away on the jeep into the distance.

"Ugh!" Ash muttered as the sandstorm began to clear.

He continued walking until he found his Grovyle fainted on the ground. The sandstorm had almost completely disappeared by this time, giving Ash a clear view of the surrounding area.

"Grovyle! You put up a great fight buddy, I'll make sure they pay for what they did to you." he said as he recalled the grass lizard back into it's Pokeball.

As Ash put the Pokeball away in his pocket, he looked ahead to the poor girl sitting on her knees.

"May!" Ash yelled as he ran over to her.

May looked up at him while sitting on her knees.

"They….they took my Bulbasaur." May said in a teary voice.

"I know, don't worry we're going to get it back." Ash boldly stated as he began to run ahead following the tire tracks.

Ash then looked behind him as he was running and noticed that May was still sitting on the ground. He knew he had to follow the tire tracks quickly while they were fresh, or else he would lose track of Rico and the captured Pokemon. But as he turned around he knew he couldn't leave the girl sobbing on the ground. Ash grinded his teeth as he took one last look toward the path Rico went, before quickly turning around and running back toward May.

May was crying almost hysterically on the ground, quickly using her hands to wipe up her tears.

"May." Ash said in a soft voice as kneeled down right in front of her.

"My…my Bulbasaur." May said in between cries. "He…he took it."

"I told you, I'm going to get it back." Ash stated as he extended his hand out toward May in order to help her stand up.

May however didn't budge an inch, and didn't reach for his hand.

She continued sniffling, "I…I tried to pull my Bulbasaur back. I…I really tried to help it." She put both hands on her eyes as she rubbed them heavily.

Ash stared at her compassionately lowering his hand.

Tears began to flow down May's face as she couldn't control her emotions anymore. "It was in such pain Ash! I'm it's trainer….I was supposed to protect it….but I couldn't."

She lowered her face in reaction to her words and continued sniffling heavily.

Ash put his hands on the side of May's shoulders, and slowly began to lift her up in order to get her to stand. She began to rise still crying as Ash stared at her solemnly.

"Are you hurt?" Ash asked quietly as he began to brush May's arms up and down in order to calm her.

"Y-yes. The Aggron knocked me to the ground…it…hurt. It i still i hurts." she moped staring toward the ground.

Ash put his right hand in a fist underneath May's chin, and raised her face to meet his. She stared at the boy's face still filled with tears and uncertainty.

For a few seconds, Ash said nothing but gazed into her hurt-filled eyes. He lowered his hand from her chin and instead put his hands on her shoulders. May stopped crying a bit but the tears were still flowing down her face.

"Ash…it…it was so scared…I really tried to help it…" May tried to utter.

"Shhhhhhh." Ash whispered gripping firmly on her shoulders.

Ash then used his right hand to wipe the tears from underneath May's eyes. May stared as he used the side of his pointer finger to remove the tears that had formed on her face. His left hand was still holding onto her shoulder.

"I know that you did everything you could to save your Bulbasaur." Ash reassured her in a low voice. "You wanted the pain Bulbasaur was feeling to go away, you wanted to feel strong enough to save it rather than feeling weak and helpless."

May nodded but said nothing as Ash was literally a few inches from her face.

"I promise you. I will do everything I can to get your Bulbasaur back. I got hurt too when my shoulder was slammed into a tree, and he will definitely not get away with hurting my friends." Ash said as he put his right hand on May's cheek.

May began to calm down as Ash was rubbing her cheek, she began to feel more secure and stopped sniffling. She stared back at him flustered, for the moment he held her she felt like there was almost nothing terrible that just happened before.

"Ash….?" May whispered as Ash continued rubbing her face.

"I promise, we'll find him." he stated as he brought May close to his chest and hugged her tightly.

May hugged him back tightly, wrapping her arms around her back. She closed her eyes as her head rested on her shoulder, thinking about how Ash calmed her down. Their bodies were pressed against each other for twenty seconds long, as they both held something that was dear to them.

Ash then let go of her and stared back at her in front of him again.

"Are you ready to go find your Bulbasaur now?" he asked.

"Y-yes." she replied. "Ash…thank you."

Ash walked away from her and started to look around the area they battled in. "Brock helped Max escape. He also carried away Pikachu, I sure hope he makes it to the Pokemon Center and notifies Officer Jenny."

"I sure hope my brother is OK. I didn't get a chance to see him get away safely." May said quietly as she held onto her right shoulder with her hand.

"He's in good hands May. I trust Brock will take good care of Max and Pikachu, that's who he is." Ash stated looking at her.

"I know, I-I just want them to be safe." she replied.

"The tire tracks are still here, let's hurry. Maybe we can catch him." Ash stated as he motioned for May to follow him.

May smiled and ran toward Ash. The two began to walk very quickly following the tire tracks ahead of them, hoping it would lead to Rico and her stolen Pokemon.

Brock and Max were running toward a metropolis-like city as fast as they could. Pikachu had fainted in Brock's arms, while Max was exhausted from all the running. Brock looked toward his right where he spotted a Pokemon Center.

"We better get Pikachu and my Ludicolo healed before we head to the police station. They took quite a beating." Brock stated as he let go of Max's arm.

Brock started walking toward the door of the Pokemon Center before Max grabbed him by the shirt.

"But we don't even know what happened to Ash and my sister! For all we know they could still be battling out there!" Max urgently reminded him.

"I realize that Max, and I know how you feel. I made a promise to Ash to take care of his Pikachu, as soon as we get it healed we'll head back out with the police." he reassured the boy.

"Um…ok, but could we hurry?" Max asked.

Brock nodded and entered the Pokemon Center carrying Pikachu in it's arms, with Max following behind him.

Back in the forest, Team Rocket appears to be spelunking in the bushes.

"Ah, it's another beautiful morning." James stated as he stretched his arms.

"Sure is, another bright and early day to get a head start on those twerps." Jessie added.

Meowth started walking out of the bushes and into the open field, "C'mon, the twerps have to be around here somewhere. Let's start looking for them."

Suddenly a loud screech of an engine starts blasting from the left side of the field.

"What's that?" Jessie asks as she walked up next to Meowth.

James walked beside them as well, "Sounds like a car engine to me."

The engine sound grew louder, and soon a jeep became visible in the distance.

"Looks like some nutcase is driving 90mph. What's the rush?" Jessie stated.

The jeep came into view as Team Rocket was standing in the middle of the field. The car didn't seem to slow down, but in fact started to speed up.

"Um, I don't know about you guys but I don't think the guy driving sees us." Meowth said.

"He looks like he's going to run right into us!" James said quickly.

The jeep then leaped off a hill in front of them and came right upon them.

"GET OUT OF THE WAY!" Jessie yelled.

"It's going to hit!" Meowth cried.

"GAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" Team Rocket screamed as they all jumped in different directions.

The jeep smacked the ground right where Team Rocket was standing and continued to drive ahead without stopping. Team Rocket managed to avoid being hit in the last second.

Once the jeep drove away in the distance, Team Rocket jumped back into the middle of the field.

"Where did you learn how to drive you maniac!" James shouted.

"You almost hit us! Why in my good mind I'd be willing to clobber that guy if we ever see him again!" Jessie yelled.

"Yeah! Even I know how to drive better den dat!" Meowth shouted bring his paws up to his mouth.

"Hmmmmm" Jessie said scratching her chin. "Did that guy driving look familiar to any of you?"

"Huh?" James looked at her confused. "Well…I did seem to see that he had green hair, and he did seem a bit familiar. But I'm not sure from where."

"You're right…now where did we see that guy before?" Jessie pondered as she was standing.

"Uh…guys." Meowth added. "Didn't that guy look like the poacher who had all those Ekans and Koffing caged up back when we first followed the twerps to Hoenn?"

"What?" Jessie and James both asked.

"You know, the guy we saved those Ekans and Koffing from. The ones the two of you let your Arbok and Weezing protect." Meowth told them.

"You know you're right!" James said pounding his hand. "That WAS the same guy!"

"Oh great, of all the rotten people we had to see again why did it have to be him?" Jessie said crossing her arms.

"He looked like he was in a hurry too." Meowth quickly bemused.

"AGH!" Jessie screamed. "That idiot can't get away with this!"

"What do you mean?" James asked.

"He almost ran over us you moron! What else!" she scolded James.

"Oh…right. I almost forgot about that. i Now i I remember why my life just flashed across my eyes." James said.

"Yeah! Let's show that guy that we mean business. We're Team Rocket after all!" Meowth said angrily.

"Well c'mon then, let's hurry up and follow him." Jessie said as she motioned for James and Meowth to follow her.

"Right." Meowth and James both nodded as they ran ahead with Jessie.

Ash and May are still walking side by side following the tire tracks. Ash is holding his right arm, squinting a bit as the pain was starting to fade.

May looked at him cautiously as they continued walking. "Your arm still hurts?" she asked.

Ash looked at her a bit startled, "Oh, uh yeah a little. It's actually starting to feel a bit better though."

"I…I just can't believe a guy would do something like that." May said crossing her arms over her chest. "How can some people be so cruel?"

"I-I don't know May. That's just how some people are. And to make matters worse, we didn't even get the brunt of it. That Clefairy really got – "

"Ugh! That poor Clefairy. I…" May tried to say as she started to wobble.

"…May?" Ash asked.

May then slowly began to tip over and lose her balance. Ash rushed to her side and caught her before she fell to the ground. He then tried to stand her back up, holding her across the chest.

"I think I got hurt more than I thought." May added.

Ash was holding May from the side of her body. His right hand held her along the waist, while his left hand was holding her chest. She kept her balance by leaning against Ash's body.

"You know, maybe I've been pushing you too hard. I think I would be better off to continue on alone." Ash said.

"Wh-what?" May said nervously.

"I think it would be better off if you headed toward the city that's nearby. I don't know why I didn't think of this earlier, if I take you with me I'll only be putting you in more danger." Ash smacked his forehead with his left hand before resting it back on May's chest. "I'm such an idiot!"

"Um, Ash?" May asked innocently.

"What is it?" he replied.

"Um." May looked down toward her chest, where Ash's hand was clutching her left breast. "Ash…you do know you're holding onto one of my boobs right?"

"What?" Ash said startled as he lowered his hand.

May and Ash both blushed nervously. Ash relaxed his right hand from her waist, as he was now quite nervous about touching her.

"I'm sorry May…..I didn't realize I was touching you like that. I-I was trying to hold you steady, uh…jeez." he said stuttering.

May stood by herself now without Ash's support. She continued to blush as she looked at him glowingly.

"It was alright Ash." she said. "I-I didn't mind."

Ash put his hand behind his head nervously as he tried to laugh, "Oh….uh…then maybe I should take you to that city now to rest…yeah that's it. I-I don't think I can bring you with me."

May walked toward him and grabbed both of his hands. They were standing face to face as May tried to calm him down.

"I'm definitely going with you." she said as she held his hands in front of him tighter.

"But you could get hurt. You've i already /i gotten hurt." Ash replied.

"I know. But…he…took my Bulbasaur Ash. It's my Pokemon, and I'm responsible for it. Even though I'm not 100, I'm willing to go with you to help rescue my Bulbasaur and the other Pokemon he might have captured. I'm not going to turn my back on it."

Ash gripped her hands back and raised them slightly in the air. Their hands were now fully clasped together as they held each other literally inches apart.

"Will you promise me that you won't get yourself hurt then? I don't think I would be able to stand seeing him or his Pokemon lay their hands on you again." Ash asked in a low voice.

May looked back into his eyes, "I promise."

With that in mind, Ash let go of her hands and began to walk ahead of her. May was a bit surprised that he let her hands go so quickly, but was a little nervous about how Ash felt at the time.

May felt herself a little warm under the collar, she was completely flustered from when they were holding each other. She felt her heart beating faster when they were pressed against once another, and was a bit surprised by her own feelings.

May looked at the young trainer as he was walking ahead of her. She thought to herself, in all the time they've traveled together, she finally realized something.

Ash was her hero.

The leaves on the tree's carried the breeze that was passing through the air.

A large green tent is set up at the edge of an area, inside filled with various electronic equipment such as radios. At the edge of the tent in the circular camp site are rows of cages that secure the helpless Pokemon.

Rico drives his jeep over a hill and brakes right outside the campsite. He snickers as he hops over the door of the jeep and lands on the ground. He walks over to the back seat where he watches the intimidated Clefairy still sniffling from it's injury. The overbearing man reaches for the cage with the Pokemon inside. He lifts it up toward his face and grins as he begins to walk toward the other cages stacked in a row.

"I'm betting I'll make a good 500 off of this batch of Pokemon." Rico states as he shakes the cage as he walks.

The other Pokemon are disheartened to see yet another one captured by the poacher. They stare at him growling, as Rico places the caged Clefairy on top of a cage containing Tyrogue.

"Hmmmm, maybe I outta contact them now. This should be a pretty good haul." the poacher states as he reaches for a radio transceiver in his pocket.

At the edge of the bushes a very exhausted Team Rocket try to catch their breath.

"Ugh, I haven't done that much running in nearly a year!" Jessie says while panting.

"Like you have the nerve to complain, your legs are twice as long as mine." Meowth states holding his chest.

"Are you insane? You're a Pokemon you moron, you're built for this sort of thing." Jessie glares.

"Hey, what did you just call me?" Meowth demands.

"Shhhhhhhhh!' James whispers with his finger over his mouth. "He might hear you."

Jessie and Meowth look ahead of them and see Rico talking into his radio transceiver.

"What is he saying?" Jessie asked as she put her hands on her hips.

"I don't know, I can barely make it out myself." James tells her.

"He's too far away, we can't hear him. By the way, how come you're not all out of breath?" Meowth said as he looked at James.

"Oh me?" James said grinning. "Ha! You both know that as a little boy I had a lot of good workouts with my family. Why, I used to run track with my father every morning at 6.a.m.!"

"Oh jeez, you were one of those early birds eh?" Jessie asked.

"Well, not really. I actually was – " James tried to say before he was cut off by Meowth.

"Shut up the two of you! I think something is happening over there!" Meowth said waving his arms.

Rico lowers his radio as he stares up at the sky.

A large helicopter hovers over the campsite. The helicopter is jet black with an "R" emblem embedded on it. The wind from the helicopters blades blow down on the area. Rico put his arm over his forehead due to the intense winds, he struggles to stand as he stares at the helicopter right in front of him.

Jessie, James and Meowth are holding onto the branches of the bushes in order to keep themselves from being blown away. The Pokemon in the cages feel the gust of winds as well, as many of them are shielding their eyes.

A rope ladder suddenly drops down from the helicopter, which is still hovering 10 feet in the sky. A silver high healed shoe steps down on the ladder first, before the person jumps the rest of the way down.

Rico looks ahead of him as the Rocket agent is kneeled down on the ground. She is wearing a tight black outfit with a skirt underneath. Her long silver gloves and white hat add to the matching patterns of black and white. Her golden curly hair extend a foot from her head, as the Rocket agent begins to rise. She gives the appearance of an innocent schoolgirl, when in fact she is a deadly assassin.

"Hey look!" Jessie shouts as she is trying to balance herself against the tree due to the wind.

"Isn't that Domino from Team Rocket?" James ponders as he holds onto Jessie's waist for support.

"It is her!" Meowth states as holds onto James legs. "I wonder what Team Rocket wants with this guy!"

"Well I'm guessing it has to do with all those captured Pokemon he has there obviously." Jessie says as she begins to lose her balance.

"Jessie stand still! You're making me wobble!" James panics.

"Gah!" Jessie shouts as the branch she is holding onto snaps.

"Grab onto something!" Jessie, James, and Meowth shout as the gust of winds blow them all straight backwards into the forest.

Domino rises and walks toward Rico. In her hand she is holding a black tulip, she begins to seductively place the stem in her mouth.

"You know you could tell your helicopter to land or something, these winds are pretty strong!" Rico shouts.

Domino removes the stem from her mouth as she waves it back and forth. "Don't tell me the big bad Rico can't stand a little wind." she says seductively.

Domino walks up closer to the poacher as she puts her hand on his chest. The winds from the helicopter are blowing their clothes as they stand, with Domino's skirt nearly being blown up in the air.

She squinted at him and said seductively, "I thought you liked receiving some i blowjobs /i every now and then."

Rico grunted and grabbed Domino on the waist with both his hands and pressed her against his body. Domino pointed the black tulip toward the ground.

"Heh, now why does Team Rocket send a pretty girl like you to give me my payment? In fact, now that you're here I'd like some i additional /i reward for my services." he says alluringly.

"Is that so?" Domino replies stroking his chin.

Suddenly Domino throws the tulip toward the ground as the stem sticks into the earth. She then lifts up Rico's shoulder and throws him over her back. The poacher slams hard into the ground ahead of her.

"You should watch the way you talk to an Elite Member of Team Rocket." she says as she bends over and lifts her tulip out of the ground.

"Ugh." Rico groans as he starts to stand himself up from the ground.

Jessie, James and Meowth then struggle to walk their way back behind the bushes before the clearing. They watch intently as they see an annoyed Rico begin to walk back toward Domino.

"Get up you worthless piece of trash." Domino glares as she picks up the tulip from the ground.

"What the hell did you do that for?" Rico demanded as he got up still being blown by the wind.

"You're talking to your employer you know, you don't want to lose out on selling us these Pokemon now do you?" she states.

"I'm not Team Rocket's door mat!" Rico says as he stands in front of her. "I capture these worthless Pokemon expecting my fee in return. I couldn't care less about what Team Rocket does otherwise, I just want my money. Is that too hard a concept for you to grasp?"

"Can you hear them now?" Jessie asks as her feet are digging into the earth for balance.

"He's trying to strike a deal with Team Rocket I think!" James says quickly.

Domino turns around and looks at the several caged Pokemon stacked in rows. She stares at them from a distance, with a disheartened look on her face.

"What is it?" Rico asks. "And can you tell that god damn helicopter to get out of here already? I can't stand this wind!"

She turns around toward the well built man and grins.

"Sorry, the offer has expired." she snapped.

"What the hell are you talking about?" the poacher demanded.

Domino turned back toward the cages, "I'm looking at these Pokemon….and they're how do I put this? They're pathetic."

Rico stared at her blankly.

"You expect Team Rocket to pay for this hunk of junk? A Geodude, a Tyrogue, Baltoy, Eevee, and the rest? Why would common Pokemon like these be worth any of Team Rocket's assets?" she sneered.

"You guys didn't give me any specific orders! You just said to capture some rare Pokemon!" He clenched his fist.

"You're not very smart are you?" Domino stated as she walked in a circle around Rico.

"What….what about the Clefairy there? That's a rare Pokemon isn't it? You'll buy that right?" he nervously asked.

"Clefairy's can be hard to come by, and for a second there I actually i was i thinking about accepting it. But….you know what?"


"I don't like the way you talked to me." Domino said slyly as she stood in front of the poacher.

"You're telling me I caught all these Pokemon for nothing?" he yelled.

"Yep." Domino sharply replied.

She then lifted her leg up quickly and severely kicked him in the crotch.

"GAH!" Rico screamed as he held his crotch with his hands.

He fell to the floor and continued to hold himself as Domino walked back toward the helicopter. She put one foot back on the rope ladder and looked toward the man crying in agony.

"I hope you enjoyed your payment! I'll be glad to give you my services anytime!" she snickered as she threw her tulip to the ground which landed right in front of his face.

"…Y-….You." he tried to say in between groans rolling on the floor.

"Gotta go!" Domino states as she blows a kiss with her mouth.

The helicopter then proceeds to fly away with Domino still standing on the ladder. It flies over the trees until it disappears in the background. The wind begins to slow down as Jessie, James, and Meowth let go of the branches they were holding and stand still again. Rico is still rolling over on the ground crying in pain.

Back in the wooden path, Ash and May continue to walk steadily side by side. They stare ahead with uneventful looks.

"Hmm, looks like we're coming toward a clearing." Ash states as he looks back toward May.

May let go of her right arm and begins to cautiously walk behind Ash resting her palm on his back as they go.

"Don't you think we should be a bit more careful now? I mean, if that guy sees us coming, he might…." May warned her friend.

"You're right. Stand behind me May, I think I see the jeep parked up ahead." Ash instructed her.

May complies as the two walk slowly by a row of bushes that are behind the cages that conceal the Pokemon. They slowly crouch together as they look over at the field to see an unusual site.

"GAH! My balls!" Rico screams as he continues to grab his crotch.

"Wha-what's he doing?" May whispered to Ash.

"Uh…I think he's hurt or something?"

"Why is he grabbing his pants? He looks like he's smiling and screaming at the same time."

Ash continued to stare blankly at the poacher who was rolling on the ground a few feet ahead of them.



May began to blush as she pointed toward the poacher, "Is – is that how….men masturbate?"

"WHAT?" Ash screamed before May quickly put her hand over his mouth.

"We have to be quiet, remember? Shhhhhh!" May whispered cheerfully as she removed her hand from Ash's mouth.

"Why did you just ask me THAT?" Ash asked her.

May continued to blush as she hugged her chest with her arms on both sides, "I don't know, it's just that's what it looked like he was doing. I mean, guys touch themselves there don't they?"

Ash fell down off of May's remark. He got up quickly as he began to blush.

"Don't you think this is the wrong time to be asking stuff like this?" Ash scolded as he looked at her.

May looked back absentminded, "Yeah you're probably right. Maybe now that he's down on the floor shouldn't we use this as an opportunity to free these Pokemon?"

"Hmm, good idea! But if we come out of the bushes he'll spot us for sure. We need a plan. His Machamp and Aggron beat us before, we need a way with dealing with them first." Ash pondered.


May looks up startled as she hears an all too familiar voice.

"Bulbasaur?" she asks.

May's Bulbasaur turns around in a cage to greet the young trainers in a bush a few feet behind it.

"It is you Bulbasaur!" May says elated as she starts to jump up from the bushes.

"What are you doing? Stay down!" Ash instantly replies as he grabs May around the torso and brings her back down by the bushes.

"Bulba?" Bulbasaur tilts it's head.

"You could have gotten us spotted May!" he admonished.

May put her hands on her cheeks, "Oh, I wasn't thinking. It's just that….it's my Bulbasaur!" she exclaims as she waves her arms at the Pokemon.

"Bulbasaur! Bulb!" Bulbasaur grins as it nods it's head.

"Looks like it's glad to see you too, but we better be careful about this." Ash stated.

"Okay, so what do we do Ash?" May asked him carefully.

"Uh, I haven't figured that part out yet." Ash said scratching his head.

Off of May's reaction we see Team Rocket glancing at the duo.

"Isn't that the twerps?" Meowth asked.

"Not all of the twerps, I just see Mr. Twerp and Ms. Twerpette." Jessie stated.

"What could they be doing here?" James pondered.

"I don't know, but if they stay around here much longer they're looking for trouble." Meowth declared.

"Agh." Rico muttered as he started to stand on his two feet again. He started to slowly let go of his crotch and stared up in the sky. "I can't believe this!"

He started walking furiously back toward his tent. Ash, May and Team Rocket all stared watching Rico's every move.

Rico slammed his fist down on a small fold up table next to the tent. The table cracked under the pressure of the man's strength and fell to the ground.

"NOBODY makes a fool out of me!" he screamed. "That bitch didn't want these Pokemon did she? Cost me all my time and energy spent capturing them did she? Well, looks like you guys are out of luck."

Rico rattled his fingers against the cages that held the Pokemon. Ash and May continued to wait for their moment, not wanting to make a sudden move until the time was right.

Rico continued glancing at the caged Pokemon as he pressed his hands against the cages one by one in a furious gaze. Sweat began to drop down his face, he was completely enraged.

"Ah, you're that Bulbasaur that I took from the little girl aren't you?" he stated as he stared at the Bulbasaur cracking an ominous smile.

The frightened Bulbasaur tried to step back a few feet as it was frightened in the cage. May tried to stand up a bit as Rico was in front of her Bulbasaur, but Ash pulled her back down behind the bushes so she doesn't draw them attention.

"You know what?" he pondered as he stomped on the ground laughing. "Now that Team Rocket refused my offer I guess I have no use for common worthless Pokemon such as you. Maybe I'll just skin you all or mount your heads as trophies back home in Celadon City. Heh heh."

Rico reached into his pocket and pulled out a pocket knife. Ash and May looked aghast as they saw Rico snap open the thick knife in front of her Bulbasaur. The Bulbasaur closed it's eyes quickly in fear.

"Don't worry, this won't hurt a bit." he stated laughing as he raised the knife.

"Corphish use your crabhammer quickly!" Ash called as he threw his Pokeball quickly in front of Rico.

"What the hell?" Rico said as he looked confused at the shining light.

Suddenly Ash's Corphish appeared, and in mid-air lifted it's arm back and smacked Rico in the face with it's Crabhammer attack.

"Gah!" he cried as he dropped the knife to the floor.

Ash and May stood up from behind the bushes as they ran and stood behind Corphish. Team Rocket continued to gaze from the bushes across from the cages.

Rico looked upward at the kids and rubbed his chin where Corphish had hit him. His eyes had widened, his gaze was menacing.

"You kids picked the wrong time to piss me off." Rico threatened as he stood tall over the young boy and girl.

"May! Go get these Pokemon out of their cages, I'll deal with him." Ash instructed.

May nodded and quickly picked up the lock that caged her Bulbasaur.

"What the hell are you expecting to do you morons?" Rico laughed crossing his arms. "Those cages are all locked up tight. You don't expect me to believe that I'll hand you over the key to open all those locks now do you?"

"Maybe we'll just have to beat it out of you then huh?" Ash said grinning.

May smiled at her Bulbasaur, "Don't be scared. I'm here." She then turned around to face Ash.

"Heh, it isn't a very healthy choice to become a hero kiddo. In fact, I wouldn't advise even standing right here in front of me." Rico declared.

Suddenly, Ash commanded, "Corphish hit him with another Crabhammer!"

Rico looked startled that Ash decided to attack again so soon, but this time he wouldn't be made a fool of twice.

"Cor-----pheeeessh!" Corphish cried as it leaped toward Rico.

Rico grinned and dodged Corphish's attack as the crab landed face first in the dirt. Rico then quickly walked up to the crab as it was spitting out the dirt from it's mouth.

"I believe this is yours!" Rico laughed as he raised his foot and kicked the crab Pokemon hard in it's face.

The poor Pokemon went flying through the air back toward the cages. Ash quickly ran up and slid on the dirt to catch Corphish before it hit the ground.

"Corphish, I'm so sorry!" Ash said in a low vice as Corphish was completely unconscious.

Before Ash could even look up Rico threw his two Pokeballs.

"Machamp! Aggron! Get rid of these kids NOW!" he demanded as the two growling Pokemon appeared in front of him.

May gasped as the two Pokemon were already upon her. Ash was barley able to recall his Corphish into it's Pokeball before the Aggron towered over him.

"Kill the boy, but bring the girl to me. I wouldn't mind plowing my load into her. Heh." the poacher declared.

May looked up in fear as the Machamp stood in front of her.

Suddenly, from out of their eyesight a Seviper appears and body slams the Machamp to the side.

"What?" May looks around in a daze.

"Use Needle Arm!" we hear a voice command as Cacnea races toward the Aggron.

Before the Pokemon could even look to the right, the small cactus Pokemon's right arm began to glow. It pulled it's arm back quickly and slammed into the steel Pokemon's face. Aggron was knocked aside quickly not realizing what had just happened.

"Where did those Pokemon come from?" Rico yelled.

May helped raise Ash back to his feet by lifting him up by the shoulder.

"Aren't those Team Rocket's Pokemon?" May asked Ash.

"Glad you noticed!" Jessie stated as she leaped in front of them followed by James and Meowth.

"Yep, they have a keen eye don't you think?" James said crossing his arms.

"Team Rocket?" Ash and May both exclaimed.

Rico glared at them angrily as Aggron and Machamp quickly stood in front of him.

"Yep, but we'll spare you the motto this time." Meowth said.

"Seviper use Haze attack!" Jessie shouted.

"Seviper!" the Pokemon declared as it spewed forth a pitch black for from it's mouth toward Rico and his Pokemon.

"Why…why are you helping us?" May asked.

"Let's just say that this guy doesn't have any ethics." Jessie mentioned. "Plus the fact that this is payback for making us say goodbye to our Arbok and Weezing!"

"What are you two just standing there for?" James shouted at the young trainers. "Hurry up and get those cages open while we distract them!"

"Right." Ash nodded as he grabbed May by the hand and ran for the tent.

"WILL YOU GET THEM!" the poacher shouted as Machamp and Aggron leaped out of the fog.

"I don't think so." Jessie said. "Seviper use your Bite attack on Machamp!"

"Cacnea go hit the Aggron again!" James commanded.

Both of Team Rocket's Pokemon started charging for Machamp and Aggron, but unfortunately this time they weren't so lucky. Both Machamp and Aggron grinned as they jumped out of the way of the charging Pokemon. Rico ran to the side observing the battle as Machamp and Aggron started attacking.

Machamp quickly grabbed Seviper by the tail and began to swing it in the air. Aggron towered over Cacnea before it turned around and whipped the small Pokemon with it's heavy tail.

"Things – are not looking good!" Meowth said raising his arms.

"The keys gotta be in this tent." Ash said as he pulled May toward the tent.

Rico saw the two out of the corner of his eyes and quickly ran over to intercept them. Ash and May stopped in their tracks as the poacher stood ahead of them.

"Don't think for a second that you two would go unnoticed." Rico chortled.

Ash put his arm over May once again to back her behind him.

"Either way, you're still little kids!" he shouted as he quickly gripped Ash's shirt.

Ash tried to release himself by trying to pull away from his grip.

"Ash!" May cried.

"Dustox!" Dustox hummed as it sped toward the poacher.

It quickly tackled the poacher in his stomach causing him to drop Ash back down to the ground.

"Agh, guess I owe Team Rocket one." Ash smiled as he stood up from the ground and pulled May with him inside the tent.

Dustox hovered in the air over the poacher as Jessie, James and Meowth ran toward it.

"You idiots! Get over here!" Rico commanded his Pokemon.

Machamp and Aggron threw their opponents harshly into the ground as they obeyed their trainers command. They quickly charged back toward Rico.

Inside the tent, Ash and May started to frantically search for any sort of keys that might open the locks. The tent was filled with electronic equipment, making the search for small keys a hard task.

"Check inside all the drawers Ash." May said quickly as she started to pull out a drawer searching for the keys inside.

"I might as well get rid of these pests first. Aggron use your Hyper Beam on them!" Rico shouted.

Aggron began opening it's mouth as an orange ball of light began to form.

"Uh-oh." Jessie said cowering behind James.

Just as Aggron began to fire the beam, a flash of light appeared out of Jessie's Pokeball. A short blue oval looking Pokemon popped out quickly and began to glow a red light.

"Wooooooobbbufett!" it stated as it put it's hand to it's forehead.

The orange beam of light hit the blue Pokemon as it was glowing red. The beam didn't penetrate the Pokemon as it instead was bounced off and headed back toward it's owner.

"Aggron!" the Steel Pokemon shouted as the Hyper Beam came blazing back at a speed so fast that it couldn't dodge.

The Hyper Beam hit full force in the Pokemon's stomach as it cried out in pain.

"Rooooon!" it roared as it began to plummet to the ground.

"Nice work Wobbufett." Jessie laughed as she put her hands on her hips.

With Aggron out for the count, Machamp leaped toward Team Rocket and Karate chopped the blue Pokemon to the ground.

"Wobba!" Wobbufett shouted in pain.

"HA!" Rico said triumphantly.

"Go Chimecho!"

"Go Dustox!"

"USE PSYCHIC ATTACK!" Jessie and James commanded at the same time.

The small wind chime Pokemon appeared out of it's Pokeball as the moth flew next to it and fired a beam at the four armed fighting Pokemon.

"CHAMP!" Machamp screamed as it broke free of their psychic hold.

It then began to furiously attack the two Pokemon as they hovered around it and dodged it in the air. Seviper and Cacnea quickly ran back to their trainers even though they were in pain.

"I think this is it!" May said inside the tent.

Ash looked at her as she pulled a ring of keys out of a drawer. There were 10 keys on a circular handle that looked to be the right size for the locks.

"Let's try them out on the cages, hurry!" Ash said as they began to run out of the tent.

Ash and May ran past Rico as his back was turned watching the battle. Machamp was still busy trying to swat Chimecho and Dustox in the air, who were dodging it's every attack by hovering.

May quickly put a key into the lock of her Bulbasaur, she tried to frantically turn it but it didn't budge.

"Oh no, we don't know which key is for which lock!" May said nervously as she looked toward Ash for support.

"You'll have to put them all in by trial and error, hurry up and try the next one!" Ash told her.

"Those kids!" Rico bellowed as he looked at Ash and May in front of the cages.

"We have to buy them some time!" Meowth said.

"Right." James and Jessie both nodded.

"Seviper, use your bite attack on him!" Jessie commanded.

"Wuh?" Rico looked confused as he turned back toward Team Rocket only to see a large snake opening it's mouth and heading right for him.

Seviper sunk it's teeth into his shirt and tore off the bottom of it as it passed him by. Rico screamed in a shock as he felt the snake Pokemon dig into his skin with it's fangs.

"Use your Needle Arm Cacnea!" James shouted.

"Cacnea!" the Pokemon stated as it walloped Rico right in the fact with it's pointy arm.

Rico covered his face with his hands in pain as the spikes stuck into his skin.

"UGH!" he cried out in pain.

"Now it's my turn, time for Fury Swipes!" Meowth shouted as it leaped into the air.

The claws on Meowth's paws opened up as he slashed Rico's face when the poacher lowered his hands.

"YOU BASTARDS!" Rico cried as he held his face in pain due to the claw marks.

"It opened!" May stated happily as the lock turned for the cage.

The door opened up and Bulbasaur leaped into May's arms.

"Bulbasaur!" it stated happily.

"Oh Bulbasaur, I love you so much!" a teary eyed May said as she hugged the Bulbasaur tightly in her arms.

Ash took the keys from her hand in order to find the right ones to open the other cages.

"Machamp, use Earthquake!" Rico commanded as he held his face.

Machamp looked back at it's trainer and somersaulted in the air. Chimecho and Dustox stared at the fighting type as it twirled itself away from them. Mahcamp then stood upright and began to fall down to the earth as it extended it's legs to land on. The fighting type smashed into the ground with it's feet, as the earth began to shake around it. The ground collapsed where Machamp had landed on, as the ground was indented where the Pokemon landed. The shake began to make everyone around it quiver and lose balance.

May knelt down holding her Bulbasaur in her arms to protect it from the quake. Ash wobbled and dropped they keys to the ground. Meanwhile Team Rocket quickly recalled all of their Pokemon into their Pokeballs before they were blown away by the quake.

With their Pokemon safely back in their Pokeballs, Jessie and James held each other around for support. Meowth also grabbed onto James' leg during the shaking.

"Good work Machamp!" Rico complimented.

"Ma-champ!" the Pokemon replied.

"S-s-s-t-t-o-o-p sh-ak-ing m-e- J-a-mes." Jessie tried to say as she was trembling.

"I-m not!" James replied as his voice shook during the splitting ground.

"Machamp, use Cross Chop on those three!" Rico yelled furiously.

Team Rocket looked up startled as Machamp quickly ran up to them. It crossed it's upper arms together until they glowed in a white light, and then extended them out as it made contact with Jessie and James.

"Ahhhhhh!" Team Rocket cried in pain as the force from the mighty Pokemon blew them backward into the forest.

"So much for doing some good!" Jessie screamed.

"Hold on tiiiiiiiiiight!" Meowth cried as they were blown deep into the forest.

The quake had finally settled, as Machamp turned around to face Ash and May.

Ash picked up the keys from the ground and looked nervously at the fighting Pokemon. May let go of her Bulbasaur and let it on the ground, she looked over to Ash for reassurance.

"Looks like your luck ran out. I'm done being a nice guy, Machamp tear both of them limb from limb." Rico snarled.

Ash and May backed against the cages as the Machamp started to slowly walk toward them, wiggling it's fingers as it prepared to attack.

May took a deep breath as her eyes widened. She raised her eyebrows as she grew angry at the situation.

"Bulbasaur, use your Vine whip!" May quickly commanded.

Ash looked at her startled as he didn't know what May was up to.

"Bulba!" the Pokemon screamed as it stretched out it's vines.

The vines quickly wrapped across Machamp's legs. The Machamp looked down at it's feet as it tried to stretch it's legs apart with no success.

"Flip it!" the girl cried.

Bulbasaur screamed as with all it's strength it pulled forward with it's body. The Machamp began to lose it's balance and fell face first into the ground. Bulbasaur retracted it's vines as it stared at the fallen Pokemon ahead of it.

"Swellow use double edge!" Ash commanded as it threw Swellow's Pokeball.

"What?" Rico said as he was still rubbing his face from Meowth's attack.

Swellow came out of the Pokeball swiftly and dive bombed right for Machamp. Machamp could barely raise it's arms to stand up again before the mighty bird juggernaut fiercely plummeted the fighting Pokemon on it's back.

"CHHHHHHHHHAMP!" the Pokemon cried out in pain as it then fully collapsed on the ground.

May recalled her Bulbasaur in it's Pokeball once she saw the fighting Pokemon had been beaten. Ash smiled at his flying type's victory.

Rico began to laugh manically in the background as Ash and May rushed to the other cages.

"Haha! You think because you've taken out my Pokemon that you're home free? I don't think so. You're still just a pair of lousy kids!" he threatened as he lifted up a large boulder from the ground that was a result of the Earthquake attack.

He then pulled back his arm and swiftly threw the heavy rock at Ash's Pokemon in the air. Swellow could barely see what was happening before it was too late. The bird Pokemon couldn't avoid the attack, and the boulder smashed right into the flying type as it then started to fall to the ground.

Ash stared furiously as he saw his bird Pokemon slam into the ground, fully beaten and unable to move. Ash's eyebrows began to twitch more and more as he clenched his right hand into a fist.

"Ash…!" May tried to warn as Rico started walking over to them.

"That's it!" Ash screamed in a rage as he ran toward Rico raising his fist.

Rico snickered as Ash tried to throw his fist into Rico's chest, only for Rico to grab his fist before it made contact. Rico's hand was now closing in on Ash's fist, crushing it as Ash stood there trying to break free.

"Ash…no!" May cried as she saw her friend in a dire situation.

"You see?" Rico said as he held down on Ash's fist even tighter. "This is what happens when you try to be Mr. Hero."

Ash grunted as he still couldn't pull away from Rico's hold on him. Rico then moved his body toward Ash and gripped his shirt by the neck. Ash tried to get free but he couldn't, as Rico grabbed him by the chest and threw him over his shoulder.

"Ahhh!" Ash screamed as he went flying through the air.

Ash then crashed into a pile of wooden boxes that were standing to the side of the cages. Ash cried out in pain as he tried to sit himself up on the boxes. His right leg was dangling over the edge of the broken box, as he tried to look up knowing that Rico wasn't finished.

Rico started walking toward him as he was cracking his knuckles, he made two fists as if he was ready to beat the living daylights out of Ash.

May stared at Rico's back as he started walking toward Ash. She quickly looked around for a way to help her friend, and then saw an empty cage to the side that she could put to good use.

Ash was able to sit himself up on top of the smashed boxes, but could barely move as he saw the man towering over him.

"Heh heh." Rico laughed as he approached the trainer.

Suddenly, a small cage was smashed across the back of the poacher's head.

"GAH!" he screamed as his eyes widened due to the intense pain.

Ash tried to look behind him to see what happened. May stood there behind the poacher as she held the small cage with her right hand.

"Get away from him!" she taunted.

Rico could barely turn his head around before May quickly wielded the empty cage a second time and snapped it across the back of his head.

"I told you to get away from him!" she repeated.

"…." Rico stared blankly behind him as he knew the girl had plummeted him twice with the metal cage.

Before he could even take one step, the large man fell to the ground due to the intense pain. His collapse to the ground sounded like a clap of thunder that shook the land around him. He was knocked unconscious.

May, somewhat relived, dropped the cage to the ground and ran over to Ash. Ash smiled at her as May reached for his hand and pulled him quickly out of the stack of broken boxes.

"Are you alright?" May asked as she helped him stand on his feet.

"I think so, at least nothing too bad." Ash pushed May's arms away as he just remembered his poorly beaten Swellow. "Jeez, Swellow!"

Ash ran over to his bird Pokemon as he picked it up from the ground.

"Swellow, I can't believe I was so stupid to let you get hurt like that." Ash said as he hugged his Pokemon tightly.

"Sw---ell?" Swellow uttered.

Ash quickly recalled Swellow back into it's ball, "I'll try to get you to a Pokemon Center as fast as I can, thank you my friend."

May picked up the keys from the ground and smiled, "Time to let all you guys out!" she shouted.

The Pokemon cheered inside the cages, as May slowly used a trial by error basis to let them all out of their cages.

Ash watched as May started unlocking the cages one by one, but something caught his eye from the corner. He looked over as he saw Team Rocket coming back from out of the bushes.

Jessie, James, and Meowth all looked exhausted and depressed as they slowly walked over to where Ash and May were.

"Team Rocket!" Ash called out.

"Huh?" they replied as they all looked up.

"I have to say…..thanks." Ash said sincerely.

"You're…thanking us?" James asked.

"Of course. I mean, without you guys I don't think I would be able to take out his Machamp and Aggron. You really helped us out." Ash said.

"Yeah." May stated as she unlocked another cage, "You helped distract him long enough for Ash and me to get the keys!"

"Oh." Jessie said quietly.

Ash then extended his hand over to Team Rocket, as an attempt to shake hands with them.

"What…what are you doing?" Meowth asked as he looked up at them.

"I want to thank you guys, didn't I already say that?" Ash smiled as he continued holding out his hand.

Jessie and James looked at each other before speaking.

"We…..we can't be seen complying with the enemy!" Jessie said nervously crossing her arms.

"You're right! What would da boss think?" Meowth added.

"That's right, we just had a score to settle with that poacher." James added.

Ash and May stared at them blankly. Ash then took one more step toward them.

"Ahhh!" Team Rocket screamed.

"Let's get out of here!" Meowth yelled.

Team Rocket suddenly about faced and ran in the opposite direction away from Ash.

"We may have helped you this time but next time we'll be after your Pikachu!" Jessie yelled as she ran.

"Yeah! Hey…did he even have Pikachu with him today?" James asked.

"How should I know, just shut up and keep running. This is bad for our super villain image!" Jessie told him.

"We'll see again Mr. Twerp and Ms. Twerpette!" Meowth screamed in the distance.

As Team Rocket disappeared into the distance, Ash slowly lowered his arm, still with a complete baffled look on his face.

Ash continued staring blankly until May snapped him out of his gaze.

"Hey Ash!" she exclaimed.

Ash turned around to see what she was saying. Ash saw all the Pokemon out of their cages and standing on the ground next to May. The Geodude, Kirlia, Baltoy and the others were finally free of their confinement and were cheering on the ground.

"Did I do a good job or what?" May said as she winked at him.

"Heh." Ash chuckled as he watched with a wide open grin.

Ash and May's gaze at each other was interrupted by a police siren coming from the background.

"Who's that?" May asked.

"HEY….ASH!" a familiar voice called out.

May ran up next to Ash as she put her hand above her eyes to make out the figure in the distance. They watched as the figures slowly began to come into view.

"That's Brock!" Ash exclaimed.

Brock, Max, and Pikachu were sitting in the sidecar of Officer Jenny's motorcycle. Jenny was quickly driving the cycle over to where Ash and May were and braked right in front of them.

Brock and Max jumped out of the car as Jenny got off her bike.

"I'm so glad to see that you guys are OK! We didn't know if you got away from the poacher or not!" Brock said happily.

"PIKA!" Pikachu exclaimed as it jumped into it's trainers arms.

"Pikachu!" Ash said joyously. "I'm so glad you're fully healed. You don't know how bad I felt when I couldn't help you buddy."

"Pika pika." it replied rubbing it's head against Ash.

Max was groveling next to Brock as he stared at his older sister.

"Max...I knew you'd be alright." May said sniveling.

"….May!" Max cried as he ran toward her while he burst into tears.

Max ran right into his sisters arms as she knelt down to hug him. Tears were running down both siblings faces as they hugged each other tightly.

"We didn't get a chance to see if you guys got away…I was so worried about you May!" Max cried as he buried his face in his sisters bosom.

"It's…OK Max." May said as she petted her brothers hair.

May slowly wiped the tears off her face due to the love for her brother.

"These two told me everything." Officer Jenny said. "I'm glad you're alright, but what happened to the poacher?"

"Oh the poacher?" Ash said cheerfully. "He's back there."

Ash pointed behind him where Rico laid unconscious face flat in the dirt.

"He was tired, so I guess he decided to take a little nap." Ash joked.

Jenny quickly ran over to Rico as she placed the handcuffs over his arms.

Ash and Brock watched as May and Max were still holding each other.

"So, how did you know where to find us Brock?" Ash asked.

"Oh we didn't, after we ran to the police station we told Jenny the area we got separated in. We just happened to be lucky enough and ran into you." Brock replied.

The wild Pokemon began to go over to the trainers as they continued saying their thanks. Ash and Brock bent down and petted the Pokemon that were freed. Ash walked over to the Clefairy and patted it on the head as it rejoiced at Ash's kindness.

Jenny walked back up to the trainers. "There should be enough evidence here to put this guy away for a long time. I assume those are his fainted Pokemon on the ground, we'll have to set those two free after we arrest him."

"Thanks guys." Ash said as May and Max finally let go of each other.

20 minutes had passed, as the sun started to set behind the mountains. Most of the wild Pokemon had returned to their homes in the forest. The Clefairy took one last look at Ash and his friends, before it smiled and jumped into the woods.

A large police wagon was parked outside the area with the back doors open. Several other officers were now here to assist Jenny. Ash and his friends watched as Rico became conscious again and was being put in the back of the large vehicle.

Ash stared at the cruel poacher as he looked badly beaten and worn, his face scarred from the attacks and the back of his head was cushioned to stop the bleeding. The entire time that the officers were strapping him onto a wheel barrel to put him in the police wagon, he was staring silently at Ash.

Ash stared back a little uneasy, as Rico's menacing gaze was focused solely on him. His eyes were bulging, his mouth silent, but the look on his face gave Ash an ominous feeling. Ash knew that Rico would be willing to tear his lungs out right where he was standing. His face gave him the impression of a ruthless killer, and Ash wondered if he had just made a powerful enemy this day.

Just as the officers stacked the handcuffed Rico into the back of the wagon, Rico uttered a sound.

"I-ll find you out boy." he said in a gruff voice. "I swear, n-ext t-i-me- you will NOT like the result."

"Close the doors." Jenny told the other officers.

The doors to the wagon were shut as Rico took one last stare at Ash. The police wagon then began to drive away, as Ash felt a feeling of dread wash over him.

"Don't worry." Jenny said as she looked down at Ash. "He'll be going away for a long time."

"Yeah….sure…of course." Ash muttered.

Jenny started walking with the remaining officers as they then began to round up the evidence in the campsite. Brock and Max watched them carefully as they started to take apart the tent and the equipment inside.

May noticed that Ash was still staring down the path Rico was driven away on. She decided to walk over and comfort him.

"Ash." May motioned.

"…May?" Ash said as his voice cracked while he looked back at her.

"Jenny told you not to worry about him, remember?" she said as she put her hand on Ash's shoulder.

"I…know. But…" Ash tried to say as he held May's other hand. "We…could have gotten ourselves killed here today."

May didn't answer but continued to listen to what Ash had to say.

"I have to say thanks though, you know, for whacking him across the head with the cage and knocking him out…that was…incredible…" Ash said.

May giggled, "It was a spontaneous thing, I'm just glad I was able to help you. I didn't want to see you get hurt."

Ash nodded as he closed his arms around May and brought her close to his chest. May was a bit shocked that he decided to hug her at that moment, but she proceeded to hug back tightly. She felt her body pressed up hard against Ash's chest, as they held onto each other for half a minute.

Ash let her go and took her hand, "We have to make sure we don't have anymore close calls like this."

"And if we do, maybe I'll just have to keep you out of danger again, huh Ash?" she said cracking a smile.

Ash and May started to walk back toward where Brock and Max were standing. May suddenly let go of Ash's hand and turned his body to hers.

"One more thing, my Bulbasaur wants to thank you." she smiled.

"Oh?" Ash replied.

May then leaned her body forward as she held onto his shoulders and gave him brief kiss on the cheek. Ash was a bit nervous as he then used his hand to rub himself where May had kissed him.

"Guess my Bulbasaur has good taste huh?" she replied jovially.

"Yeah." Ash replied chortling. "C'mon, let's get out of this place."

"Sure thing, I need a good long nap after today too." May said as she started to run over where Max and Brock were.

Ash stared at his friends as they began chatting together. He scratched his cheek one more time, and smiled as he walked over to them.

He wasn't quite sure what May's kiss just meant, but he knew that one thing was certain. As the best of friends, he would continue to care deeply for her and keep her out of harms way.

The end.