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The three Fire Heads throw an unconscious Ruby and the President of the Pokemon Fan Club into a small room full of boxes, and quickly slams the door shut. The bang instantly wakes Ruby, and the boy sits up to discover that both he and the President have had their hands tied up from behind with ropes. Zuzu pops out from its pokeball and Ruby orders it to wake the President by splashing water on his face. The odd little man gets up and wonders how they ended up there. He suddenly remembers the two men he forcefully dragged in to help with the Pokeblock blending, and notices that they are not in the room.

Ruby and the President peep through a narrow slit on the door, and gasp in surprise when they see one of the man being gripped at the neck by a red-caped man. Ruby recognizes the symbol on the red cape, and remembers the two attackers on the abandoned ship wore the same outfit. He thinks hard to recall the faces of the three shadows he saw before he lost consciousness at the contest house, and believes that the attackers on the abandoned ship were among them. He wonders why the two didn't recognized him during the capture, then remembers that he had his glasses on and his face was covered with berry juice while fighting against them on the abandoned ship. The President suddenly lets out a cry as he recognizes the man being tortured is actually Captain Stern, a famous scientist of Slateport's Ocean Museum. He immediately walks towards the other end of the room to look out the window, and tells Ruby that they are currently at the shipyard of the city.

Ruby doesn't understand what the President is trying to say, and the little man wiggles hard to drop a newspaper from his suit pocket. He explains that Captain Stern is the leader of Hoenn's underwater exploration team, and that he is developing a vessel known as the Submarine Explorer 1 which is built for underwater investigations. He adds that the other man with him is probably Dock, the supervisor of the shipyard, and Ruby realizes that he and the President have been dragged into the whole business because the red-caped people wanted the captain and the supervisor. He asks how the President could have not recognized such famous people when he pulled them in for Pokeblock blending, and the President sheepishly says he was too occupied with the idea of making Pokeblocks.

Outside the door, Hank tightens his grip around Captain Stern's neck, and demands to know what is keeping the Submarine Explorer 1 from being completed. He throws the captain hard onto the ground and warns him not to play with his patience, but Dock, who is being held by Swellow next to Submarine Explorer 1, tells Stern not to reveal anything and glares at Hank. Hank gets angry, and immediately orders his Slugma to attack Dock. The lava pokemon lunges towards the shipyard supervisor, and instantly burns off his left shoe and chars his foot. Captain Stern yells for Hank to stop, and says he will tell everything he knows. He explains that Submarine Explorer 1 is already able to undergo normal underwater expeditions with its current status, but in order to visit the deepest region of Hoenn, the Seafloor Cavern, a special engine starter developed by the Devon Corporation is needed.

Hank contacts Courtney and Tabitha on his Pokegear and repeats the words of Stern, then tells them to head back to the headquarters and leave the rest to him. Captain Stern asks Hank to release Dock, but Hank smirks and says he is the one in charge there. He begins to pull the Stern away, but the captain grips tight onto the door which Ruby and the President are eavesdropping from behind. Stern accidentally releases the lock on the knob, and Ruby and the President come falling out from the door. Hank realizes the two have overheard everything and orders Slugma to attack.

Ruby quickly hops away and secretly drops Pokeblocks behind him. Slugma begins to chase after Ruby, and the boy suddenly jumps into the entrance of Submarine Explorer 1. Slugma follows, and Hank notices that his pokemon seems to be acting on its own will. He spots some indigo Pokeblocks on the floor and quickly picks them up before hopping into the submarine vessel as well. The safety lock of the vessel suddenly gets deactivated after Hank jumps in, and Submarine Explorer 1 starts descending into the sea as Stern, Dock and the President of the Pokemon Fan Club holler in shock.

Inside the submarine vessel, Hank confronts Ruby and says he knew the boy was deliberately luring Slugma away with indigo Pokeblocks, which has the dry flavour that his Slugma, which has the relaxed nature, likes. He demands to know how Ruby knew of Slugma's nature, and the boy takes an uncertain look at Zuzu. The Marshtomp gives him a confident nod, and Ruby all of a sudden glares at Hank with a frightening expression. Hank gets slightly taken aback, and wonders who Ruby really is... Countdown to our heroes' rival showdown: 60 days!

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




201: VS. Slugma (Part 1)!


Volume 16


Ruby escapes from Team Magma's grasp in a Submarine
Ruby gets confronted by a Team Magma member who followed