November 6, 2019
Willow Report: Looming in the Shadows
Professor Willow has kept a detailed log of his research concerning Team GO Rocket. He’s shared this log with us in hopes we can support him and the team leaders when it comes to this threat. We’ve prepared his report for you below and will continue to update as he shares more of his findings.
Stay safe and stay alert, Trainers!
—The Pokémon GO team
Subject: [Willow Report] Mysterious Components
During my investigations of these take-overs, I came across these strange objects that Team GO Rocket Grunts would drop upon being defeated in battle. For the sake of this report, I will refer to them as Mysterious Components. The exteriors of these objects seem to be made of some metal alloy, and they’re cold to the touch. The glass screens radiate a light-purple color. I touched the screen of one of the objects to see if it would react, but nothing happened.
I had a hunch that the Team GO Rocket Grunts were using some sort of device to take over PokéStops and collect resources. Based on what I know so far, these Mysterious Components I’ve found seem to be able to serve that purpose. But considering how advanced this technology is, there must be another use for it. I’ve been working on something in my lab with the help of the team leaders, and I think we might be able to use these components to track down where Team GO Rocket is hiding. I need to continue my research. We must get to the bottom of this.
Subject: [Willow Report] Early Rocket Radar Prototype
We’re getting closer to finding another use for these Mysterious Components. I’ve been developing a prototype for something I call the Rocket Radar by combining several of the components together, but it’s still not functioning as intended.
I believe that if I can create a functioning prototype of this Rocket Radar, we might be able to use Team GO Rocket’s own technology to find out where their hideouts are. While it’s relatively easy to find Team GO Rocket Grunts (the PokéStops they hack become noticeably discolored and have a glitch-like appearance), we’ve had a difficult time finding where the Team GO Rocket Leaders—or even Giovanni—are hiding.
These Mysterious Components hold the key to making this Rocket Radar work. I know we can uncover where the Team GO Rocket higher-ups are hiding. I need to rally our team leaders to dig further into this.
Subject: [Willow Report] The first of many cliffhangers
We had our first encounter with a Team GO Rocket Team Leader today. Testing needed to be done on the Rocket Radar prototype. Blanche has been an integral part of its development so naturally I included the Team Mystic leader to assist. We set out in hopes of testing its tracking abilities, but the prototype kept malfunctioning, causing us to be led aimlessly to random PokéStops. Blanche became visibly upset, which tends to happen when things don’t go to their carefully curated plans. This was when something unexpected happened. Instead of us finding a Team GO Rocket Leader, one of them found us.
A muscular man with a distinct Poké Ball beard design, approached us. Cliff, just as he appeared in the corrupted files on my computer. His first words were a warning that we were “encroaching on Team GO Rocket territory.” His demeanor was just as stern and intimidating as his photo.
He was reluctant to battle us, and told us to retreat in a surprisingly gentle tone. It was clear that this would be the only kindness he’d show us and would not stand down if challenged to a battle. Blanche stood frozen. I made the decision for both of us to head back, we were not prepared for a face-off.
Back safely in the lab, Blanche confirmed my assumptions: it was difficult to determine the best course of action during our encounter with Cliff. Compounded with the frustration of the prototype malfunctioning, it was apparent Blanche needed some time to reassess the situation at hand.
We need to be cautious. It seems like we aren’t the only ones scouting out the situation.
Subject: [Willow Report] A shadowy sierra
Work continues to move forward on tracking Team GO Rocket. I’ve observed Blanche having a renewed sense of motivation as we improved upon the Rocket Radar prototype. Unfortunately, we had some...unexpected testing by our rambunctious Team Instinct Leader, Spark.
After his unauthorized testing, and a bit of reprimanding, Spark shared with me yet another unexpected encounter. He had ventured out on his own with the malfunctioning Rocket Radar that Blanche had been working on. He was concerned that since Team GO Rocket was stealing from PokéStops, that also meant they were taking the Eggs as well. Worried that they might hatch the Eggs and turn those Pokémon into Shadow Pokémon too, so he was determined to save as many Eggs as he could before Team GO Rocket got to them.
Even more concerning, he confirmed that he had a face-to-face with the woman in the decrypted images: Sierra. He told me that after he saved a few Eggs, Sierra appeared and mocked his rescue mission, which only riled Spark up further. He challenged her to a battle, however, his impulsiveness had gotten the best of him. His natural instinct to go out and protect these Eggs also left him completely unprepared to battle. Sierra noticed he had no Poké Balls and dismissed Spark’s challenge, saying not to waste her time as she disappeared into the shadows.
Spark told me that Sierra’s presence seemed different from the Grunts he’d encountered. He wasn’t intimidated by Team GO Rocket Grunts, but he felt small in Sierra’s presence. The way she spoke and moved gave off a sense that she had years of experience and training that outmatched his own. It appears as if Team GO Rocket has some formidable leaders after all.
Spark returned the Rocket Radar, which was still malfunctioning after Blanche’s adjustments. Blanche was obviously not amused by the adventures of a fellow team leader, but realized his use of the prototype provided additional insights into what could be causing the malfunction. The two began working together to find the source of the issue.
Since our team leaders have unique strengths (and weaknesses), I believe collaboration will be the key to our success.
Subject: [Willow Report] A Valor recruit no more
After all the commotion, we regrouped as a team. Blanche and Spark focused their talents on the prototype, while Candela was unfocused and frenetic. She was pacing, spinning in chairs, and sighing constantly. In hopes to get her working together with the team, I stopped her and requested she join me in scoping out a nearby field frequented by Ponyta. My purpose was to get her out of the lab and find a way to channel her fiery energy into the task at hand.
We spoke frankly on our way over to the field. I told her that I had noticed a distinct change in her behavior and mood ever since I had decrypted the images of the Team GO Rocket Leaders. She spoke in her typical passionate and animated way by quickly jumping from one topic to another, but I was able to catch the following facts.
Candela used to be close friends with one of the Team GO Rocket Leaders—Arlo. They had been a part of Team Valor together. He left suddenly after she became the Team Valor Leader, but there seems to be more to this story. She hadn’t seen him or heard from him until she saw the unencrypted photo. She has no idea how someone she had known so well could go and join an organization like Team GO Rocket. Her emotions and passion usually helped her in tough situations, but this time, she said it felt like they weighed her down. She wanted to run out the door because she wanted to do something—she wanted to help.
I told her about what happened with Blanche and Spark earlier this week. Blanche, whose logic and careful planning was usually a strength, ended up overthinking the situation and not being able to make an executive decision when facing off against Cliff. Spark, whose boldness and gut feelings usually help him out in a pinch, ended up entirely unprepared against Sierra when he acted instinctively to go and protect Pokémon. I told her that making mistakes was OK—and in fact is what’s motivating Spark and Blanche now to work even harder toward finding these Team GO Rocket Leaders and defeating them. What ultimately matters is learning to overcome weaknesses. When in doubt, you can lean on others for support.
As we arrived at our destination, we took a moment to take in our surroundings. Suddenly, Candela fell silent. I looked to see where her eyes had landed. Across the field was a large group of Shadow Pokémon and, in the center, Arlo. I was impressed by the Team Valor Leader, taking a calm approach to something that would normally cause her to rush into battle. This wasn’t the time to take on Arlo and his Shadow Pokémon, and we were fiercely outnumbered. We needed to regroup with the team, check on the progress of the Rocket Radar, and truly prep for whatever they were planning next. With a quick glance and a nod, we returned to the lab seemingly unseen.
Candela responded to my feedback quickly. I tasked her with helping me review the amazing research our Trainers around the world have been submitting in hopes of finding any leads to a solution. Almost immediately Candela realized that our Trainers were the key—their work collecting Mysterious Components combined with our research is what will perfect the prototype! She joined the others to work on the prototype, and within minutes, her suggestions caused a frenzy of activity as the three made unbelievable progress on the Rocket Radar, now seeming to function without error.
Their collaboration and combination of unique skills created the perfect balance. I love it when I’m right.
Subject: [Willow Report] Super Rocket Radar
Armed with the research findings that Trainers are sending in and the contributions from each of the team leaders, I’ve built the next phase of the Rocket Radar prototype. For record’s sake, let’s refer to it as the Super Rocket Radar.
Reports from Trainers trying out the Super Rocket Radar are concerning. Our initial Rocket Radar prototype focused on detecting signals to track Team GO Rocket’s hideouts, but with the advancements in the Super Rocket Radar, the new device can intercept signals allowing us to track not only Team GO Rocket’s hideouts but their headquarters as well.
Since the Super Rocket Radar devices are much more complex to build, I’m going to have to lean on our Trainers across the globe to complete Special Research. Together, we can stop Team GO Rocket.
Date: 11/3/19 Subject: [Willow Report] Encrypted file
I’ve intercepted this message but cannot seem to open the file. It’s encrypted, and I know it must hold some critical information about to Team GO Rocket. I knew we should prepare for trouble, but this is far from double.
Subject: [Willow Report] Direct contact from Team GO Rocket
We’ve received unsettling messages from Team GO Rocket directly. Each team leader shared with me the messages they received. It is clear that a take-over is going to be happening soon, and Team GO Rocket’s boldness means they must be scoping out locations. I have concerns that this could be similar—or bigger—than their last attempt, since leadership is now involved. Below are the messages for documentation purposes.
Blanche. You overthink. You overcalculate. You overcomplicate. But can’t you see? It’s pretty simple. Your time as a leader is OVER!!!
Spark. Your naïve positivity is laughable and will be your undoing. The world is so very cruel. I’ll make sure to remind you soon.
Candela. After all this time, you still haven’t changed. Tsk. Remember, fire is a fickle thing. When controlled, it provides warmth, but in the wrong hands, it burns. You will regret the day you took what was rightfully mine.
I believe something big is coming, and we need to quickly find out what it is.
Subject: [Willow Report] Update: Encrypted file contains a message
The file that I received on November 3 appears to be a message sent from the leader of Team GO Rocket to the entire organization. I was able to decode only part of it. These sections are replicated below. It seems to be a memo.
███████████████████████████ █████████████████████████████████ ██████████████████████████████ ███████████████████████████ █████the time is now███████11/7████ █████G██V███I████████
I will advise all Trainers to stay vigilant.
This appears to be Professor Willow’s final log on the topic of Team GO Rocket. Stay tuned to our official channels for updates.
—The Pokémon GO team