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Hovering high up in the skies above Seven Island, Red looks down at the bottom segment of the destroyed Trainer Tower, and sees Green and Saur panting with exhaustion on the floor below the top one they were originally on. Green lifts his eyes to meet the gaze of Red, and wonders why the boy still hasn't headed off yet.

In that instant, Red suddenly understands the real reason why Green traded Charizard to him. Ever since Green has learnt that Deoxys is no longer at the Trainer Tower, he knew that with the massive amount of Deoxys-Divides around, it wouldn't be possible for all of them to chase after Giovanni, and has thus worked to make sure that at least Red could leave the building safely.

However, Red's only means of flying is Aero, and the fossil flyer's wings were severely injured in the battle against Deoxys, rendering the Pokémon unable to fly for a while. Knowing this, Green has deliberately traded him Charizard, so as to let him take the quicker air route for continuing his pursuit of Team Rocket.

Mewtwo reveals to Red that it was actually Green who came up with the idea of slicing the Trainer Tower into two, and recalls how the boy discussed the plan with it in secret while Red was busy fighting the Deoxys-Divides on the other side of the room.

Since the majority of the DNA Pokémon's clones were located near the top of the tower, Green believed that by hacking off the top floor of the building, they could trap most of the creatures in the fallen segment against the ground. To ascertain that his plan will work smoothly, before trading Red his Charizard, Green has even given commands to the fire dragon to carry Red out of the building once Mewtwo made its move. Judging by the way Saur cooperated, it was apparent that the grass reptile was aware of the plan as well.

Red lets out a gasp of disbelief when he realizes just how much Green has worked to ensure a clear path for him to leave. Stuffing the new Pokédex into his pocket, he vows not to let his best companions down, and begins to head off on Charizard alongside with Mewtwo.

Down at the lower segment of the Trainer Tower, Prof. Oak wants to know if Red has departed yet, and Green nods with a weak grin. Blue remarks that she has also propelled the boy's new Pokédex out from the building by Turtley's water jets, and believes that he has already received it. Green recalls how close it was when he and Saur hopped into the hole created by Blastoise's hydrocannon when Mewtwo hacked off the building's top floor, and says he would have been trapped together with the Deoxys-Divides now if he moved a step slower.

On the other end of their current floor, Blue's Pokémon have managed to close in on the remaining Deoxys-Divides and keep them in place, and Green is glad that their strategy has pulled through. Blue grins that she never doubted it because she gave her best, and giggles that she should therefore be entitled to all the glory of their success. She then hands Green his new Pokédex, and the boy shoots her his usual comment of pesky girl before reaching out to grab the device.

However, his hand trembles with exhaustion, and he suddenly topples over. Blue hurriedly catches him, and wonders if he is alright. Green eases himself onto the ground, and says he would be lying if he claims to be alright, but points out that they all know well that every single one of them remaining at the Sevii Islands has already reached their limit. Looking up to the skies, Green, Blue and Prof. Oak put all their hope on Red, and are certain that the boy will not let them down.

Meanwhile, back at the Viridian Gym, Yellow still has trouble understanding why the image that appeared in Sneasel's mind is the statue of the former Viridian gymleader. The girl shakes Sneasel desperately, and asks if it has been there and met the man before, but the black weasel doesn't seem to know how to respond either, and stares back at her nervously.

Yellow then turns back to Silver, and the boy states that he isn't actually too surprised about it. Although he himself has no recollection of ever seeing the gym or the statue before, he is certain that he has been to Viridian in the past because the city's scenery is strikingly familiar to him, and it has stirred up a strong sense of nostalgia in his memory.

Silver reveals that back when they were still trying to crack down the Mask of Ice's evil scheme, he met Blue at the Indigo Plateau during the Pokémon League Tournament, who disguised herself as a balding little man at that time. To safeguard him from danger, Blue has ordered her Abra to send him away with its teleport, and in that very instant, the image of a city flashed across Silver's mind, a city which was surrounded by a lush and evergreen forest.

Afterwards, Silver has learnt from Blue that she and Abra were actually intending to teleport him back to his hometown. Clearly, they failed to do that and sent him off to somewhere else, but Abra's psychic powers have apparently triggered a lost memory in Silver's mind, which he believed to be of his birth place. Following that, Silver has made extensive investigations across the land, and finally discovered that the image he saw was probably Viridian, which is why he has come to see the city personally.

Silver states that what Sneasel just saw in its mind proved that his thinking was correct, that Viridian might be related or actually be his hometown. He rationalizes that there must be a connection between his roots and the former Viridian gymleader as well, and says it is the new clue he should work to find out.

After pausing for a moment to gather his thoughts, Silver shifts his gaze onto Yellow, and wonders if she has any knowledge about the man. Yellow hesitates with her response, and Silver is convinced that the girl clearly knows something. He urges her to reveal it, and Yellow, with her legs shaking, stammers that the man is known as Giovanni, and he is not only the former Viridian gymleader but also the true boss of Team Rocket.

Just then, the trees outside begin to sway and rustle, and Yellow rushes out from the gym to check on her surroundings. She realizes that the entire forest is getting unsettled, and knows that something ominous is about to arrive. She plucks a leave off a nearby shrub to whistle on it, and her Dodrio, which she names Dodosk, instantly pops out from the bushes not far away. The three-headed bird trots over to hand Yellow her straw hat, and the girl quickly puts it on before strapping tight the pouch of Pokéballs around her waist.

Silver exits the gym to join her, and after noticing the anxious trees himself, wants to know why the forest is acting weird. Yellow asks what Silver plans to do now that he has learnt of Giovanni's existence, and the boy states that he will seek the man out no matter what, and clarify the connection they share. Yellow reminds him that it isn't as easy as he thinks because they are dealing with the boss of Team Rocket, but Silver grins that he is prepared for anything, and says he is even ready to fight the man if necessary.

Suddenly, the sounds of engine rotors fill the area, and the two look up to see a giant olive green battle airship hovering above them. Silver straps on a pair of scopes to get a clearer view, and spots a big red R painted on the bottom of the aircraft. He grins that it seems he wouldn't have to bother about seraching, as the person he wishes to see has come himself.

Yellow gasps in disbelief that Team Rocket is on the giant airship, and Silver remarks that after fighting all the weak remnants of the team in Johto, he finally has to chance to meet its true boss and its top rank agents.

Up in the TR battle airship, Giovanni wonders if the person he seeks is somewhere near the gym since he sees no trace of him in the forest nor in the city center. Deoxys responds with a silent nod, and Giovanni grins that he has full confidence in the DNA Pokémon's psychic vision ability, which is why he shall go down to see for himself.

However, the TR leader suddenly feels a gripping pain in his chest, and clutches tight to the front of his jacket as he falls to his knees in agony. Storc and Oca hurry over to check on their boss, and inquire if he is alright. With the pain slightly subsided, Giovanni states that Storc and Oca should perhaps get his son for him afterall, and Storc promises that they will bring the boy back as soon as they find him.

Down on the ground, Yellow and Silver notice a gate gradually opening beneath the giant aircraft, and a small shuttle soon speeds out from it. Yellow warns that the enemy is coming, but Silver says keeping calm will gain them the upperhand. Without another word, the boy sends out his red Gyarados from its Pokéball, and quickly commands a fireblast. The water dragon spits out a breath of flames, and instantly knocks the shuttle off its course.

However, the shuttle easily regains flight, and shoots out a Banette from one of its openings in front. The marionette Pokémon charges up a black globe of energy, and hurls it hard towards the red Gyarados, hitting it square-faced. Yellow hollers that it is a shadowball, and Silver tells Gyarados to restore its health by rest. But just as the water dragon shuts its eyes, it feels its focus drained away, and Yellow gasps that Banette has stolen the move with snatch.

Silver gets frustrated, and yells out for his foe to come down and fight him face to face instead of evading in the air. Inside the shuttle, Storc uses a small device to simulate the growth of Giovanni's lost son from his childhood data, and finds that it matches 99% with the red haired boy shouting on the ground right now. She marvels at the powers of Deoxys, and begins to descend while she muses how glad their boss is going to be.

Silver and Yellow watch the small shuttle land in front of them, and see a tall woman and a big man climbing out from it. The woman bows to him and says they are there to pick him up, but Silver doesn't seem too pleased that it isn't Giovanni himself. The woman humbly introduces themselves as the direct secret agents of Giovanni, Storc and Oca, and hopes that they will get along with each other soon.

However, Silver hollers that he only wishes to see Giovanni, and his red Gyarados lets out an angry roar which shakes the entire forest. Oca holds up his hands to cover his ears, and Storc smirks that the boy seems incredibly stubborn. She grins that he must from now on learn to control his temper in order to be a good leader in the future, and says rash behaviour will earn no respect from his followers.

Silver grunts that he has no idea what she is talking about, and demands them bring Giovanni to him immediately. With that, he orders his Murkrow forward, but Storc's Banette easily fends it off, and slams it against a tree. Storc sighs that playing nice doesn't appear to be working too well for them, and fears that they will have to take him by force in that case.

Oca wonders if it is alright since the boy is an important person to their boss, but Storc assures him that the kid will not get hurt. She remarks that there seems no better way to demonstrate what kind of organization Team Rocket is, and Oca understands what she means. He proceeds to call out his Jumpluff to join Banette, and Storc wants to know what Silver thinks of a 2 on 2 tag battle.

Silver states that he is more than happy to fulfill their wish, and Yellow stammers in shock when she realizes that she will be fighting as well. Shooting the two TR secret agents a hostile look, Silver gets himself ready and is determined to win the fight…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




289: Viridian At The Bottom Of The Heart


Volume 25