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It is evening in Johto. Under the moon-lit sky, Janine stands on the roof top of a skycraper in Goldenrod, and reaches into her pocket for a three-legged hook. Her Ariados shoots out a silk thread from its mouth to secure the device onto the fences of a nearby building, and extends another thread from its rear to gain anchorage in the other direction. Clinging onto the spider Pokémon, Janine glides across the night sky and lands on the external walls of the Goldenrod Art Museum. She cuts the silk thread from Ariados's rear with a greatball that's modified like a ninja star, and proceeds to pull off the metal bars guarding the opening of the museum's extensive ventilation ducts. Slowly making her way through the winding and narrow passages, she arrives at the ventilation window right above an exhibit of a big pearl, and skillfully removes the window's wire net without making a sound.

The ninja girl releases a Weezing to fill the dark and silent room with smoke, and the infrared laser beams guarding the museum become visible. Suspending herself by Ariados's silk thread, she carefully descends in between the numerous laser beams. Upon reaching the glass container of the big pearl, she makes a hole on the side with her ninja-star like greatball, and reaches in to grab the item. Just then, the siren goes off, and the lights on the ceiling come on all at once. Security guards start barging in through the front door, and charge towards Janine. The ninja girl quickly calls out a Forretress, and order it to scatter spikes on the floor, thwarting the guards and causing some of them to cry out in pain as they step on the sharp objects. Janine takes the chance to escape through the route she came in, and quickly disappears before the guards could catch up with her.

The owner of the museum enters the room to announce that the simulation practice is over, and scolds the guards for being too slow in their actions. He calls out for Janine and thanks her for her help, and the big pearl slowly gets suspended down in front of him on a silk thread. The bewildered guards are interested to know who Janine is, and the owner explains that she is a free lance ninja that people hire to execute a variety of missions, from theft simulation like theirs to dangerous expeditions. However, only that much is known about her, and she seems to keep a mysterious side from the public eye.

Meanwhile, Janine has returned to the roof top of the building, and is having doubts about what she does in life. She silently voices to her father, the former Fuchsia gymleader Koga whom has gone missing for a long time, that she has completed yet another meaningless mission, and wonders what her destiny truly holds for her. Ever since she started her training as a ninja, she has always aspired to work for the same master as her father, and has worked hard towards that goal. But then one day, both her father and the master simply vanished from the world, and it came so sudden that she lost all directions in her life. In hopes of finding her fate, she has taken up the title as the new Fuchsia gymleader and has performed numerous missions in Johto, but without a master to work for, she feels as if she's living in a hollow body.

A flash of light suddenly appears on the roof top of a nearby building, and Janine gasps in shock when a four-legged Pokémon comes charging towards her with an amazing speed. She quickly releases her Crobat to grab hold of the creature, and exclaims with surprise when she gets a better look and recognizes it as the legendary Suicune. Having heard about the challenges Suicune made to the many gymleaders across the land, she realizes it must be there to test her skills, and knows that if she manages to capture it, she will be able live up to her father's name and prove to the world that she's a worth trainer.

The ninja girl proceeds to order a leech life from Crobat, and the four-winged flyer immediately gaps its mouth wide open to dig its fangs into Suicune, but Suicune unleashes an aurorabeam from the ornament on its head, and blasts Crobat off from it. Janine then clings onto Crobat and has it confuse the mythical beast with a double team. Suicune crouches into a combative stance as Crobat creates fake projections by circling around it, and Janine quickly follows up with a wing attack. To her surprise, Suicune manages to locate the real body of Crobat and instantly freezes it with an ice beam. Janine falls to the ground and wonders what gave their position away. Just then, her own shadow flickers under the moonlight, and she realizes that Suicune must have traced her real position by observing the shadow movements.

Knowing that she has failed Suicune's challenge just like the other gymleaders, Janine watches Suicune turn and leave, and suddenly calls out for it to wait for a moment. She remarks that she has a feeling Suicune isn't simply testing the skilled trainers across the land, but is actually in search of a master. Suicune halts in its way upon hearing the words, and Janine knows that she has guessed the right thing. She forces on a bitter smile, and says she is finding a master as well, but like Suicune, hasn't had much luck and is still blindly searching. She sighs that just like many other ninjas, she is someone belonging to the darker side, but is certainly not someone ashamed of who she is. She suddenly gets into an aggressive tone, and announces to Suicune that she is the daughter of Koga, the new Fuchsia gymleader.

Thinking that the ninja girl wants a rebattle, Suicune crouches down and prepares to fight, but to its surprise, Janine retrieves her frozen Crobat instead and puts on a content grin. She remarks that she still has much room to improve herself, and hopes that Suicune will revisit her for another challenge again some day. With a mutual understanding, Janine and Suicune turn around and go their separate ways…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




136: VS. Crobat!


Volume 11