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In light of the Mt. Chimney incident in which Team Aqua ceased the activity of the volcano, Flannery has decided to alert all other gymleaders about the situation. Gym telephones across Hoenn ring together as Flannery accesses the special hotline which is set up solely for communication among the leaders. Roxanne of Rustboro, Brawly of Dewford, Wattson of Mauville, Norman of Petalburg, and Winona of Fortree pick up the phones, and Flannery quickly requests a meeting at Fortree, saying that they have an urgent situation at hand which is classified under the emergency level 7. She quotes the legislation rule 118 laid down by the Pokemon Association, and says all gymleaders in Hoenn are expected to show themselves when a level 7 emergent call is issued.

A few hours later, gymleaders across the land are all heading towards the Tree Tower in Fortree City, which is also their common headquarters. While Flannery has arrived early with her Magcargo, and Brawly and his Machoke are slowly climbing up the giant trees that make up the city, Winona stands on top of building with her Altaria to wait patiently as Roxanne and Wattson take the land routes on their Graveller and Manectric, and Norman and his Vigoroth take the sea route on his water motorbike.

The six gymleaders gather at the meeting room, and Wattson makes a silly joke while Roxanne counts that three out of nine people are absent. Flannery explains that she has not been able to reach Tate and Liza of Mossdeep, and Wallace of Sootopolis will be joining their discussion via the visual phone system. Winona connects to Wallace on the computer, and proceeds to commence the meeting. She motions Flannery to tell her story, and the Lavaridge Gymleader shows a screen capture of Mt. Chimeny to everyone, stating that the volcano has completely stopped its activity. The other gymleaders listen in shock as she continues to say that there exists an evil gang of pirate people who are scheming to stir up trouble in Hoenn, and remarks that as the designated protectors of Hoenn, they have to work together and put a stop to them.

Winona wonders if the same gang of people were responsible for the Slateport shipyard incident, and Flannery quickly says they are two different teams. She explains that the blue pirate gang who aims to increase the amount of sea calls themselves Team Aqua, while the red-caped gang who works to increase the amount of land are known as Team Magma. She recalls being assisted by a Team Magma member during the Mt. Chimeny incident, and proposes that they join forces with the red team to fight the blue team. Brawly quickly intercepts, and says he finds Team Aqua's motives much more logical as there exists limited places for surfing. He thinks that Wallace, who is an expert of water, would agree with him, and turns at the screen to see the Sootopolis gymleader nodding.

Wattson angrily slams his hands on the table to protest and says Mauville is already running short of land, and that Team Aqua's plan to make more seas would simply worsen the problem. Roxanne hushes the three men from their quarrel, and wants to know if Flannery saw Prof. Cozmo working with Team Aqua on Mt. Chimney. Flannery admits she did, and Roxanne says she has studied with the professor before, and believes that he wouldn't work for an evil team. She announces that they should support Team Aqua, but Winona thinks for a moment, and says she takes Flannery's stand because the girl has personally witnessed the evil work they do.

Wattson frowns in frustration as the six of them can't seem to work out a consensus. While he himself, Flannery and Winona support Team Magma, Roxanne, Brawly and Wallace favour Team Aqua. He turns to Norman and asks for his opinion, but to everyone's surprise, the Petalburg Gymleader coldly says he supports neither side, and gets up to leave. Winona immediately stops him, and says they are having an official gymleader meeting that represents the decisions of the Pokemon Association. She angrily asks if he's giving up his vote on the matter, and Norman brushes her hand off, saying that his choice is to support neither side. Winona hollers that gymleaders have the responsibility to protect their land since they are the chosen ones of the Pokemon Association, but Norman ignores her and simply mutters something to himself after hearing the mentioning of the association.

Roxanne and Brawly fume in rage at Norman's attitude as he leaves the room, and says the man should have been demoted for neglecting his gym duties a while ago. They continue to bad-mouth him, and Wattson tries to cheer them up with a joke, but ends up getting the two even angrier. Wattson then decides to run after Norman, and rushes out of the room as Winona and Flannery choose to stay behind.

Outside, Norman is about to take off on his water motorbike, which can also be used on land, when a wild Shiftry suddenly darts out from the trees to attack him. The Shiftry creates a swirl of wind from it fan-like hands, and instantly throws Norman into the air. The Petalburg Gymleader clings onto a tree branch and quickly releases his Slaking. Shiftry attempts another razor wind but the giant gorilla walks right through the strong currents, and stomps its foot hard on the wild Pokémon's head. Norman hops down and remarks that while the gusts of wind created by Shiftry's large fans can go up to a speed of 100 feet per second, they still aren't strong enough to blow away his Slaking which weighs more than 130 kilos.

Norman hears an applause from behind and turns around to see Wattson. The jolly old man remarks that Norman is no doubt the strongest fighter among them, and Norman tells him to stop buttering him up. Wattson laughs that he isn't, and says while the other gymleaders say bad things about Norman, they all secretly acknowledge his strength. He states that they truly need strong trainers like Norman during times of crisis, and tells him to forgive the others' harsh words because none of them really knows about his past. Wattson then recalls the past and wants to knnw what exactly happened between Norman and the Pokemon Association five years ago, but the Petalburg Gymleader puts up a hand to stop him, and shakes his head with a bitter smile.

Back at the meeting room, Winona raises her concerns about an insufficient amount of battling forces among themselves. Flannery quickly suggests inviting outside help, and says she knows of a skilled young trainer who happened to have helped her out on Mt Chimney. Roxanne snickers that she is against the idea, and says Flannery is too inexperienced to judge other people's strength, which immediately ticks off the Lavaridge Gymleader. Winona remarks that they should wait to hear the opinions of Tate and Liza as well, and decides to report what they've discussed so far to the Pokemon Association.

At the Pokemon Association Headquarters in Lilycove City, the Chairman picks up the phone to hear Winona calling. The Hoenn gymleader supervisor alerts to him to the fact that the gymleaders still haven't come up with a compromise in their discussion on Team Aqua and Team Magma. She mentions about Norman's decision to give up his vote, and the chairman lets out a little sigh after hearing the man's name. Meanwhile, Norman is heading back to Petalburg on his water motorbike. What Wattson just said crosses his mind again, and he puts on a bitter frown as he recalls what happened seven years ago.

Back at Fortree, Winona is still talking with the Pokemon Association Chairman via her Pokegear. Wallace speaks through the visual phone system screen, and says his city, Sootopolis, is the centre of Hoenn's energy balance, and that it has in fact started showing signs of the delicate balance being disrupted. Winona wonders how he came up with his conclusion, and Wallace explains that the sea level in Sootopolis has increased drastically over the past few days due to unknown reasons. He adds that he is currently on his way to Fallarbor Town to seek advice from Prof. Cozmo in his lab, and Winona tells him to let her know above his findings as soon as possible.

Winona repeats what Wallace has said to the Chairman, and the Chairman sighs that the awakening of the ancient Pokémon is perhaps inevitable already. Winona gasps in shock and asks if the popular legend about Groudon and Kyogre is true, and the Chairman firmly assures her that it's more than a myth. He remarks that judging from the increase in sea level, the first of the two to arise will be the Pokémon of the sea, Kyogre...

It has become clear that the two legendary ancient Pokémon do exist afterall. However, the gymleaders are still unaware of the fact that Team Aqua and Team Magma are not simply causing trouble in Hoenn, but are actually scheming to awaken the two creatures. Despite having different opinions on their own, the gymleaders find themselves already meddled in the gigantic battle that's about to take place in Hoenn...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




222: VS. Shiftry!


Volume 18


The Gym Leaders have a meeting to discuss what to do about Team Magma & Team Aqua