Prologue

A girl in white was walking through the town of Pyrite nonchalantly, as if nothing could bother her. And truth be told, there wasn't much that could; Pyrite might be a little dangerous to walk alone, especially with Team Snagem wandering around, but she wasn't alone, not with her precious shiny Espeon. The Espeon in question padded confidently by her side, head held high, watching other Pokemon haughtily. It was powerful, it knew it, and it liked to show it.

The girl glanced at her watch and decided it was time for some lunch. It was their weekly habit to go to the Pyrite Pokemon Cafe, which served both humans and their Pokemon, but a friend had recently told her about a little stand on the outskirts of town that served some very delicious food. It supposedly made Pokemon that much stronger, and helped them bond with their trainers. She didn't believe any meer food could do that much, but she supposed it was worth checking out.

Now, where had Kelly said it was? She turned down an alleyway that looked right. The north side of town, right...?

She knew something was wrong the moment she stepped into that alleyway. It was a cliche, really; the bad guy attacks the "defenseless" little girl in the dark alley. She smiled thinly as a man clearly from Team Snagem, judging by the weird instrument he carried and the strange Pokeball he held, stepped behind her. He sent out a Murkrow.

She gasped as she saw it; the poor Pokemon looked absolutely rabid, and was surrounded by a black aura. She knew it was uncommon for a human to be able to see these things, and she had learned to hide it, but she just couldn't, not this time. A Pokemon shouldn't have such an evil aura...What had happened to it?

"Murkrow, Shadow Rush."

Espeon flew back as he was hit, crying out. This Murkrow was powerful...But so were they. "Espeon, Psychic!"

The bird was enveloped in a blue light, lifted up, and then slammed back down. "Beat that," she crowed victoriously.

The man smiled. "If you insist. Murkrow, give them another Shadow Rush!"

This one seemed more powerful than before. Once the bird slammed into the Espeon, the other didn't seem able to get back up.

"No!" the girl screamed.

The man only laughed. "Snag Ball, go!" He threw the Pokeball.

"Snag...?" she repeated softly, as the Pokeball hit her Espeon. She snorted; clearly he didn't know how things worked. You couldn't capture a Pokemon that belonged to someone else; it was stealing, and it wouldn't even work.

And then her jaw dropped, as the Pokeball not only swallowed her Pokemon with an unholy black light, but as it rocked once...twice...three times, and stopped moving. Her Espeon was captured.

"My Espeon! But how?"

"Don't sweat the small stuff, kid," the man laughed. "You should be happy. Team Snagem is going to make your Pokemon a whole lot stronger than you ever could."

"I don't care about power! Give him back!"

"As if!" He threw a handkerchief at the crying girl. "Pull yourself together. Emotions like that are why trainers and their Pokemon are so weak. I'm glad we got to Espeon in time; now you can't open its heart and weaken it anymore than you have!"

"Weaken him?" she cried, outraged. "I've only ever worked to make him stronger." She struggled to her feet. "And I am NOT going to let you take him away." She glared at him and launched herself at the Snag Ball.

"Murkrow, Shadow Rush!"

She cried out in pain as she struck the brick wall, slamming her skull into it. She was conscious only just long enough to see him walk over and pick up the Snag Ball. Then the world went black.