Sometimes I wish I could have just stayed in Snowpoint forever, Dack thought, bemused. But there comes a day when we are called to the outside world. And by entering that world, we enter this war. And by entering the war, we must chose a side.
Three Years Ago...
“Focus Energy now,” Dack whispered, pushing his lengthy black hair out of his eyes. “And get ready.” Beside him, Tailow closed its eyes in concentration.
Their unsuspecting quarry stood a little ways down the mountain.
“Ready?” Dack asked. Tailow opened its eyes and nodded. “Wing Attack!”
Tailow swiftly flew down the mountain, striking the wild Abomasnow with its wings. The wild Pokemon fainted on the spot, toppling over with a resounding crash.
“One-hit KO,” Dack said smugly from his perch on top of the mountain. “Excellent.”
“You do know that Adam’s Abomasnow is a lot tougher than that,” Luke said.
Dack turned around to face his friend, who was practicing martial arts with his Machoke.
“Yes, and I doubt I’ll get the chance to sneak up on Adam, either,” Dack said irritably. “But it’s a start.”
Since he had lost his first battle to Adam six years ago, Dack had tirelessly trained with his Tailow, first battling the small Pokemon in Acutiy Lakefront, then progressing to the stronger ones in Routes 216 and 217. However, despite this rigorous training, he had yet to defeat Adam, who continued to be a menace.
Luke and Dack started down the mountain and began the long journey back to Snowpoint. They kept mostly quiet until, at the base of the mountain, Dack saw a small lump in the snow. Grinning, he motioned to Tailow, who immediately swooped down and plucked a squirming Skorupi from the snow.
“Hey!” Matthew popped out of his hiding place in the snow to chase after his Skorupi. “You can't do that!”
“You’ll have to hide better than that,” Dack laughed.
“So how’d your training go?” Matthew asked as he grabbed Skorupi back from Tailow.
“Pretty well,” Dack replied smugly. “I managed to one-hit KO an Abomasnow.”
“Awesome! It’s only a matter of time now before you show Adam who’s boss!”
Dack started to respond, but stopped as he saw a skier drifting toward them. Before long, Madison had slid gracefully to a stop in front of them.
“Great news,” she said.
“What, your Snorunt finally evolved?” Luke asked. Madison ignored him.
“What?” Dack cried. “Gone? Where?”
“He’s joined Team Liberty and is moving to their headquarters. Somewhere near Kanto, I think.”
“Of course he’d join those rebels,” Dack spat. Although his parents had always remained neutral on the war, Dack had mildly supported Team Rocket. In his opinion, Team Liberty just wanted to overthrow Team Rocket so they could rule themselves. He imagined their leader, Goldhawk, was just as big a bully as Adam.
“Who cares what he’s done?” Matthew asked. “At least he’s gone from here.”
“And he’s just cheated me of my revenge,” Dack growled, kicking a snowdrift. He had been so close... he was sure in a couple of months he would have been able to defeat Adam once and for all. But now Adam had fled, and the Team Liberty training would make him much stronger...
Suddenly, Dack knew what he had to do. “I’m joining Team Rocket,” he said.
“What?” Madison said. “Dack, you can’t just go running off like that. Adam’s gone, isn’t that what you always wanted?”
“You don’t understand,” Dack looked away. “I made a vow that I would beat him; that I would make him pay for everything he’s done. If Adam’s getting special training from Team Liberty, then I’ll just have to get better training from Team Rocket. And if I happen to run into him on one of my assignments... so much the better.”
As expected, Dack’s parents took the news even worse than his friends had. After an uncomfortable silence, Dack’s father spoke.
“You know, when your mother and I made the choice to move here, we hoped to avoid the war. And now you want to fight in it?”
“Why?” Dack’s mother whispered.
Dack hesitated; he had never told them about his attempts to defeat Adam, so he would have to come up with another reason. “I... I want to help end this war. I don’t want the next generation to have to live in fear.”
Dack’s father fought to keep his voice calm. “And you think that with your help, Team Rocket can win this war that they’ve been fighting for nearly a decade?”
“I’m strong,” Dack retorted. “If everyone thought like you did, we’d have been overrun by Team Liberty long ago!”
“And maybe that would have been better!” Dack’s father muttered. “At least then the war would be over. We should have moved further away. What was that region, Isshu? If we had moved to Isshu, I doubt you’d have even heard of this war.”
“War is like a plague,” Dack said. “If you sit back and do nothing, it will keep spreading. Trust me, if this war doesn’t end, it will spread to that Isshu Region, and the rest of the world as well.”
“Did you hear about the Winstons’ son?” Dack’s mother asked in a voice as soft as the snow falling outside. “He joined Team Liberty a few months back and he died on his first mission.”
“Well, it looks like he picked the wrong side, then,” Dack said grimly.
By the end of the week, Dack was ready to move out.
“I guess this is goodbye,” Luke said, shaking Dack’s hand.
“Don’t worry,” Dack smiled. “I’ll come back once I’ve beaten Adam.”
“You’ll blow him out of the water, I know you will!” Matthew cried.
Madison slowly approached, keeping her eyes on the ground. “If you... if you ever have an assignment in this area... you’ll visit, won’t you?”
“Of course,” Dack said gently. “I’ll never forget any of you. Until next time, farewell!”
And with that, Dack began the long journey south, toward his new life as a member of Team Rocket.