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At the Viridian Gym, Red wonders how is it that the black-suited man in front of him knows his name. The man smirks and says he has learnt everything about the boy, from his setting out in Pallet on a mission from Prof. Oak's, to his victorious challenges over the many gymleaders in Kanto. He then remarks that they have met twice before, once in front of the Diglett's Cave and another right before the Silph Co. Building collapses. Red gets a flashback of the time he helped a middle-aged man find his way to the Science Museum in Pewter and instantly recognizes the man standing before him as the same one who gave him the old amber before. The man smirks again and introduces himself as the gymleader of Viridian, as well as the boss of Team Rocket, Giovanni.

Knowing that the man standing in front of him is the leader of the evil organization he has been fighting all along on his journey, Red immediately tenses up and reaches for the pokeballs on his belt just in case TR members start pouring into the room. Giovanni senses the boy's uneasiness and remarks that nobody else is present in the gym except the two of them. He states that it is time for them to determine each other's strength in a proper battle and drops his pokeballs onto the ground, saying that he doesn't need fancy tricks to win. Red gets ticked off and releases Poli to charge towards the man, but before the big blue frog makes contact, an ice beam shoots out of nowhere to freeze it and throws it across the room. Red gasps in shock when he sees a Cloyster behind him and rushes to check on Poli. Giovanni remarks that it takes 1 second for Red to reach for his pokeballs, 2 for picking a pokemon, and another 3 for the pokemon to come out of the ball and make a move, giving himself more time than enough to release his Cloyster from a pokeball on the ground. The man grins that pokemons battle based on their trainers' commands and thus it is just as important for trainers to possess strength and agility.

Giovanni then lets out a sigh and Red gets furious at the pitiful tone. The TR boss says he isn't grimacing over their battle but the fact that such a fine trainer like Red does not belong to Team Rocket. The man states that the boy possesses all the qualities their organization yearns for and says the two of them could rule the world if they join forces. Red grunts in disgust and brushes off the offer, but Giovanni grins that being unyielding to power is also what he admires in the boy. The TR boss then says all his pokeballs lie on the floor while those of Red's are on his belt, making it impossible for Red to lose in their battle. He remarks that even with the disadvantage, he would let Red have anything if he wins, but just in case he loses, he will have to join TR. Red hisses and says he doesn't need the advantage, then places his own pokeballs on the ground like the man. Giovanni grins that the boy truly deserves to be in Team Rocket.

With their pokeballs lying on the ground before them, Red and Giovanni spring to their feet once the match starts. Red grabs a pokeball an instant earlier than the man and releases his Snorlax, Lax, to deliver a megapunch. However, Giovanni's Nidoqueen makes use of the lag and retaliates with a counter, knocking down its opponent square-faced. The TR boss grins that agility can be of disadvantage as well sometimes. Nidoqueen grabs Lax and sends it crashing through the wall and out of the gym. Giovanni then retreats the poison driller and sends out Golem, which rolls itself into a ball and starts ramming about in the room. Red struggles to dodge the attacks and thinks hard on a plan. He notices that Lax hasn't been totally knocked out yet and orders it to attack when Golem nears the opening in the wall. Lax slams its head hard onto the rock pokemon with a headbutt, causing it to crack and crumble. Red starts to cheer but Giovanni smirks and says the show isn't over yet. Golem suddenly turns his crumbled boulders into a rockthrow attack, then unleashes an explosion, fainting Lax on the spot. Red gasps in shock but doesn't have time to react when Giovanni's Beedrill points its drill to his throat and threatens to decapitate him.

Giovanni remarks that he has planned to finish off Red's Snorlax with explosion in the first place, and thus worked to get it out of the gym since the attack cannot be used in indoor areas. He smirks that it is important to plan ahead as well and asks if the boy would succumb now that he's at his Beedrill's mercy. Red backs himself against a wall and secretly positions a pokeball under the heel of his shoe. He glares at the man and states that he will never yield to TR when a pair of grey and purple wings spread out behind him...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us and doing the pictures




037: VS. Golem!


Volume 03


Red starts a battle with Giovanni