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Ash and Pikachu are on the boat to Littleroot Town to go onto the Houen League. But for now, the two relax and try to have a great time. They spent the day swimming in a pool and catching some evening rays. A sailor with a Machoke passes by and Ash stops him to ask about Littleroot Town. The sailor says not too many trainers go there, seeing that Ash is a trainer himself. And sure enough it's full of new Pokemon that people from Johto or Kanto never see. Jesse James, and Meowth spy on them from a life boat. They come up with the plan to snatch Pikachu while everyone's asleep, there shouldn't be any problems and they'll be out before anyone knows.
Ash decides to turn in later that night. However, Ash can't sleep since he's too excited to be in Houen and participate in the league. He talks to Pikachu, even though the Pokemon is asleep and finally gets some sleep himself. After a while, the door opens and a robotic hand comes in. The hand grabs Pikachu who cries out and escapes. Ash mumbles about before he wakes up noticing that Pikachu is missing! He runs out of the room and looks around before going on into another hall. As he rounds a corner, he almost bumps into the sailor from before. The sailor asks whats wrong and Ash explains and the sailor gets to work right away. He goes onto one of the ship's computers and checks out the map. If there was any disturbances, it'll show, and sure enough a room was blinking.
In that room, Team Rocket chows down on a pile of stolen food. They bask in their victory and plan to get off at the next dock as soon as they get there. Just on the side is Pikachu in a container who tries to give the prison a jolt. The Rockets laugh, but not for long when Ash arrives on the scene. The Rockets send out their Pokemon to fend them off, the sailor sends his Machoke. Ash would've sent Bayleef, but he forgot he left it with Oak. Weezing sprays out a Smoke Screen which makes the Machoke stop in its tracks. Arbok fires Poison Pin and Weezing combos up with a Tackle. Finally Arbok spits Acid, but the Machoke manages to dodge the attack. The acid, however, hit the hull of the ship! The area floods with water immediately and sweeps everyone away.
As the sailor and Machoke drift off, the Machoke catches a guardrail and the sailor. They both find a phone nearby and the sailor calls up the bridge. The ship makes course for a dock that happens to be nearby. As for Ash and the Rockets, they pop up from some stairs to the mid-deck. The Rockets still have Pikachu with them, and try to make their escape. James pulls out an over-sized grapling hook launcher, fires it, and sucessfully latches onto a crane arm. The Rockets escape and Ash narrow grabs onto Wobuffet, who was hanging at the bottom. Ash tries to go for Pikachu, but it looks like it's cut short when everyone slams smack into the arm. They all fall, the Rockets and Pikachu on top of two trucks, Ash into a pile of crates. Ash tries to get to get out, but he's stuck. The Rockets taunt him while the trucks drive off, but they split at an intersection, leaving Pikachu stuck with Meowth.
Ash sucessfully breaks out of the crates, but from here, it's impossible to know where Pikachu went. Fortunately officer Jenny comes by. She asks Ash what's going on, and Ash explains the whole story.
Meanwhile, Meowth and Pikachu both get knocked off the truck when it did a sharp turn. Both of them landing somewhere else in the port. They walk around, wondering how any of them are going to get back. A Haunter ends up near them and harrasses them, but Meowth tells it to shove off. The Haunter shot out a Night Shade in response but Meowth dodges and counters with Fury Swipes. The Haunter does another Night Shade, not hitting any of them. Pikachu manages a succesful Thunder Bolt and scares the Haunter away. Just as everything seems fine, a group of Pidgey, Rattata, and Oddish surround them.
Jenny gives Ash a ride in her bike, but first she releases a Pidgeotto to scout the port for them. They soon drive off to look for Pikachu. Ash starts to say that he can't go on into Houen without Pikachu. Jenny says she'll do whatever she can to help him find Pikachu.
The gang of Pokémon fortunately are friendly. However, fending off that Haunter was bad news, instead it'll come back, with it's gang, a large one! Pikachu and Meowth get scared, but the Pokémon gang laugh saying it was a joke. They did have some problems recently, because there really is a Haunter gang (though small) and the two don't get along very well. Maybe Pikachu and Meowth can help them fend the Haunter off? They agree on it, at least until each one finds their group.
High above in a balloon is Jesse and James. They too are scouting around, looking for Meowth and Pikachu. With the crowded buildings and narrow roads, their search doesn't look too good.
The Pokémon gang has Pikachu and Meowth ready, and soon enough four Haunters come by. The Pokémon gang says that they got some new people to fight them. The Haunters accept their challenge and quickly surround them. Just as they're about to do Night Shade, Pikachu jumps on Meowth, causing the Night Shade assult to backfire and hit them! While in the air, Pikachu shocks all four of them with an electric attack. But before anything else could happen, Team Rocket finds everyone. They grab Meowth with their hand gizmo and hold down Pikachu with a large metal clamp. They reveal their new secret weapon, a large electromagnet. The magnet turns on and it starts to draw Pikachu towards the Rockets. Fortunately Jenny's Pidgeotto manages to catch the Rocket's in time to put a hole in their balloon.
Ash and Jenny reach the scene on time. But the Rockets aren't going to give up just yet. They turn on their magnet and they draw Pikachu towards them once more. Ash grabs on and slows down Pikachu, but the Rockets turn up the power, so high it moves barrels and heavy objects. Ash finally can't hold onto Pikachu and lets go, Pikachu flying to the magnet. As soon as Pikachu is on, electricity starts going into him. The Pokémon gang and the Haunters start to attack at the electromagnet and eventually knocks it down. The Rattata help Pikachu break free from the clamp and soon releases a Thunder to take care of the Rockets and their contraptions.
Everyone celebrates and Pikachu mentions the groups worked together and should be friends. A Rattata and Haunter shake hands and agree. With everything well, Jenny takes Ash back to the boat. Soon the boat heads off again
Later that night, Team Rocket, stuck on their magnet, sulk as they ride on the boat. Ash relaxes a little in his bed as Pikachu sleeps, this time making sure Pikachu is safe. The next morning, the boat calls that the next stop is Littleroot Town. People gather up on the upper decks to see the town closing in. Ash steps up seeing the town in the distance, ready for the new adventures that lie ahead...
As the boat is edging to the town, Ash sees a flock of Wingull and Pelipper flying ahead. In the water Wailmer swims and a Sharpedo jumps. Ash thinks he should show Pikachu this and heads to the cabin. When Ash tries to wake Pikachu up, Pikachu sparks in response. Ash wonders what's going on but when Pikachu sparks again, he notices it's hot. Pikachu is sick...
Thanks to Xeno Lugia for writing This for us
276: Hoenn Alone
276: The Parting with Pikachu!
Ash heads for Houen
Pikachu becomes Ill