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It is another clear and bright day in Hoenn. Out in the countryside of Petalburg, people are starting to gather around a giant Pelipper-shaped fountain on Route 104. Crouching high up on top of the metal bird statue is Sapphire, who is grinding her teeth and using all her might to pull apart the structure's pouch-like beak. Gabby, the renowned TV reporter of Hoenn, makes her way through the crowd and inquires about the situation from her camera man, Ty. Ty informs her that an old man's Pokémon got accidentally caught in the water outlet of the fountain, and the girl is trying all she could to save it.

Still unable to retrieve the little Pokémon from the metal Pelipper's mouth, Sapphire refuses to give in and digs her hand even deeper into the opening. The old man gets worried and tells her not to force herself too hard, but the girl says she is not the kind of person to sit back and watch a Pokémon suffer. The old man recalls how his Pokémon got knocked into the fountain pool by a bypasser, and wonders how was it possible for it get sucked into the Pelipper statue. He turns around and tells the people in the crowd to call the drainage technicians again, but Sapphire remarks that it will be too late by the time they arrive. The girl stops fumbling in the fountain outlet and starts sniffing all around the statue. Somewhere between the metal Pelipper and the pillar it's sitting on, her face all of a sudden lights up, and she immediately releases her Aron, Ronono.

Sapphire orders it to chew away the rim of the pillar, which leaves the people watching in shock as the little Pokémon starts feeding on the hard metal. As the base of the statue gets thinner and thinner, Sapphire begins to pull hard on the metal Pelipper, and with a loud roar, snaps it in half and sends water gushing everywhere. Soaked from head to toe, Gabby stares in amazement as Sapphire climbs down from the broken fountain triumphantly with a Castform in her hands. The crowd cheers with joy, and Sapphire tells the old man that the little Pokémon smells exactly like she detected, which further surprises Gabby and Ty. The old man gets teary-eyed and thanks the girl, but she says they need something to warm Castform up immediately. She releases her Torchic, Chaka, and has it create heat with its ember. A while later, the little Pokémon regains its consciousness and leaps happily back into its trainer's arms.

The old man then turns around and sees that Ronono is still chewing on the collpased statue. He asks if it is alright for the Pokémon to ingest so much metal, but Sapphire grins and says Aron feeds on iron cores to make its body. Ty sighs with relief and prepares to put away his camera, not realizing that the old man is in fact Mr. Stone, the president of the famous Devon Corporation, and that he is missing out on the chance to have an exclusive report. Fortunately, Gabby has recognized the old man the instant she saw him, and immediately tells Ty to interview Sapphire. The girl, however, hops away from the camera when she learns that the two work for the TV station, and says she hates artificial stuff like televisions. The gushing water from the broken fountain starts to recede, and Gabby notices that the metal bars at its pool drainage inlet have been deliberately cut off. She immediately realizes why Castform got sucked into the statue, and wonders who would have done such a thing.

Meanwhile, the three culprits of the incident are hiding behind a wall not too far away from the scene. Dressed in drainage technician outfits, they glare angrily at the girl who just sabotaged their plan, and one of them furiously reports back to their leader via his Pokégear. It turns out that the gang has schemed to kidnap the Devon Corporation president by disguising as drainage technicians coming to his help. But thanks to the intervention of Sapphire, the trapped Castform was saved before they could arrive. Sitting in a dimly lit room in front of a giant aquarium full of water Pokémons, the gang leader listens patiently to the report, and calmly reminds them that their team has always been flexible in executing missions. The moustached sturdy pirate tells his underlings that they could still accomplish their mission without the kidnapping part, and the three decide to confront the old man directly. Ripping off their disguise, these mysterious culprits reveal themselves as two men and a woman dressed in pirate attires.

Back at the broken Pelipper fountain, Sapphire and Mr. Stone are introducing themselves to each other. The girl talks about her quest to conquer all gyms in Hoenn, and the old man invites her to come over to his company's headquarters and accept a thank you gift. Just then, Sapphire detects a strange smell in the air, and immediately hops in front of the old man in a crouched position. She warns that something else is lurking inside the fountain, and as soon as she says that, three pairs of glowing eyes start to emerge from the drainage inlet. Everyone watches in shock as a Sharpedo, Carvanha and Lombre leap out from the pool with gapping jaws and fully-stretched claws...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




188: VS. Lombre!


Volume 15


Sapphire helps save Mr. Stone's Castform