The boy watched intently as the red and white Ball vibrated on the ground in front of him. Soon, it would ping shut and he would have added another Pokemon to his growing collection. It was a pretty rare one, too - a Kirlia he had stumbled across while travelling to Vermilion City. Not wanting to miss this opportunity, he had called out his Fearow and had the bird battle the quirky Psychic Pokemon, then grabbed a Poke Ball from his backpack and hurled it at the Kirlia. Now, she was his - or she would be as soon as the Ball closed . . .

Just then, however, there was a flash of light and the Ball flew open. From within its core, a small figure emerged. Just over two-and-a-half feet tall, the Kirlia resembled a ballet dancer with green hair and red eyes peering out from under her long fringe. She looked at the boy as if to say: "Sorry, I'm not interested", then dodged to one side.

"Think you can get away that easy!" the boy challenged, reaching into his backpack and pulling out another Poke Ball. He pulled back his arm and sent it spinning through the air, directly towards the Kirlia. "I'll get you this time . . ."

This time, however, the Kirlia was ready for him. Before the Ball could hit, she used Teleport to get away, vanishing in a flash of light and leaving no sign that she had ever been present. "GRR!" growled the boy as he watched his prize disappear as if into thin air. "Damn Psychic Pokemon!" He clenched his fists and stared up at the sky. "Don't think this is over, Kirlia! I'll get you if its the last thing I do - or my name's not Jack Sandford!"

Beside Jack, his Fearow squawked in agreement. Together, they would hunt that Kirlia down and add her to his collection of Pokemon, which now totalled just over twenty. Jack was one of those trainers for whom Pokemon were simply a means to an end; he had already assembled his team of six (Fearow, Machop, Donphan, Poochyena, Zangoose and Kingler) and anything else he caught was just another entry in his Pokedex. And, when Jack Sandford wanted a Pokemon, he would not rest until he caught it.

No Pokemon he decided to go after had ever got away from him and that Kirlia was not about to become the first. Whatever it took, even if he had to search for the rest of his life, he would find her. And, when he did, she would be his. First, though, he had to find her and she could have Teleported anywhere.

Jack shrugged. "I'll find that thing in time," he vowed, pointing a Poke Ball at his Fearow. "Let's go, Fearow," he added. He pressed the button which activated the Ball and his Fearow disappeared in a flash of light . . .

Meanwhile, the Kirlia Jack had been trying to capture came to earth with a bump. She quickly picked herself up and took stock of her surroundings - a brick wall covered in graffiti, combined with an open Dumpster nearby, told her she was in an alley somewhere. But where? Which city was she in? Usually a Teleporting Pokemon can control their destination, but she had been in such a hurry to get away from Jack and his Poke Balls that she hadn't paid attention to where she was transporting herself to.

But, before she had time to wonder, a menacing hiss caught her attention. She looked up with a start. There, standing right in front of her, was a big battle-scarred Persian, his left ear ripped, his hackles raised. "Persssssssian per!" he snarled, extending his claws and preparing to use Scratch on the Kirlia. Even though he was speaking Persian language, she understood what he meant: "Get off my patch!"

"Er . . ." she ventured timidly in Kirlia language. "C - could you tell me where . . .?"

"What part of "get out!" don't you understand!" The Persian opened his mouth and let rip with a deafening Screech, prompting Kirlia to clap her hands over her ears. On the whole, this was not turning out to be the best of days for her - nearly captured, Teleported to an unknown city, now cornered by a powerful-looking Persian. Could things get any worse?

Apparently, they could because the Persian suddenly disappeared from view. One moment he was there, the next he was gone, almost as if he had Teleported. Except, no Persian could use that move . . . Then, before Kirlia had time to realise what was happening, he reappeared right in front of her, his body crackling with electricity. He was, her Psychic intuition told her, about to use an Electric Attack.

Could she stop him? Maybe her Light Screen could deflect the Attack, enabling her to follow through with a Confusion. She raised her arms and began to focus her energy . . .

But the Persian moved a fraction of a second faster. His fur crackling with electricity, he leapt into the air and sent a powerful Thunderbolt in Kirlia's direction. She screamed as the powerful voltage jarred her body, wishing she could have been born a Ground Type; Electric Attacks could be extremely painful. Then, her body still crackling with residual electricity, she fell to the ground.

Persian looked down at her. "Had enough yet?"