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In a vast room of endless darkness, Giovanni opens his eyes and lets out a soft moan. As the man gradually comes back to his senses, he bolts with a start when he finds himself suspended in a pitch black space, but then quickly remembers how a black hole created by Deoxys Individual 2 unexpectedly appeared in his room inside the TR battle airship to warp Silver and himself away.

On the thought of Silver, Giovanni suddenly realizes that the boy isn't with him, and begins to look around frantically. Fortunately, he soon spots his unconscious son with Sneasel on his shoulder floating not far away, and carefully waddles his away over in the darkness. He assures the boy that they are safe and are currently inside the black hole created by Deoxys, which shall no doubt lead them to a safe exit sooner or later.

Just as he says that, an opening appears beneath them and light starts to pour in. Giovanni grins that their exit has arrived, but his smile quickly turns into a look of fear when he catches a glimpse of blazing flames through the aperture. However, it is too late. The opening creates a powerful suction force to pull Giovanni and Silver out from the black hole, and the next thing Giovanni knows, he is crashing down into chunks of broken metal which are burning fiercely on the ground.

Planting his feet firm on one of the metal plates, the Team Rocket leader keeps himself steady by gripping his left hand on the hot metal, while struggling to hold Silver up and away from the flames with his right hand. The man has spotted the 'R' symbol among the metal chunks, and knows that they are parts of the TR battle airship which have fallen off and caught fire after they landed. He curses his bad luck for exiting Deoxys's black hole at such a place, but vows that he will use all his might to keep Silver away from harm.

Giovanni looks up towards his son with a gentle gaze despite the agony he is feeling, and sees that the boy's face is smudged with dirt. He chuckles that Silver is really a messy kid, and recalls the time when Silver was little, when the boy would always run around and get himself dirty, and Giovanni would wipe his smudged face with a clean hankerchief and call him messy everytime.

Giovanni steals a glance at the hankerchief in his own pocket which has Silver's name sewn on it, and wishes he could have the chance to wipe his son's face with his own hands again. Just then, Sneasel reaches into Silver's blazer to pull out an identical hankerchief, much to Giovanni's surprise, and starts cleaning its trainer's face.

Giovanni finds it hard to believe that Silver has kept this childhood hankerchief intact all these years, and remembers how Silver used to be a child who loses his things all the time, which was why his name was sewn on every garment he owned. But even then, Silver kept losing his belongings, and Giovanni had no choice but to get multiple copies of everything Silver used. Giovanni rationalized that, as long as Silver had one of these named-tagged items with him, people around would instantly know his name, the name which his father, Giovanni, specifically picked for him.

Putting on a bitter smile, Giovanni remarks that his body has been struck by a bad illness since several years ago, and he knows well that he doesn't have much time left, which is why he endeavored so hard to find Silver. Now that they are reunited, words alone cannot describe how grateful he is, to finally see his dreams come true, to finally see his son all grown up. With that, Giovanni fights to hold back a tear from his eye.

Meanwhile, Green and Blue are rushing towards the city boundaries of Vermillion where parts of the TR battle airship have fallen off and crashed into a blazing fire on the meadow. Green wants to know what the extent of damage of the crash site is, and Blue quickly looks out through her Silph Scope which she repaired during their ride on the Sea Gallop back from the Sevii Islands. To her shock, she spots Silver and Sneasel amid the burning flames, and cannot understand why the boy is there.

Green hurriedly sends out his Rhydon, and the drill Pokémon adeptly digs its way underground towards the crash site, before surfacing to rescue the trapped victims in the flames. Rhydon's vigorous motions cause Silver to wake up, and the boy looks around dumbfounded, wondering where he is. He then hears his name called, and turns around to see Blue, whom he has always deemed as a big sister, running towards him with a worried look.

As Rhydon places Silver down to reunite with Green and Blue, Silver is astonished at how Rhydon managed to walk with ease among the blazing flames. Green explains that his Rhydon's entire body is protected by an armour-like hide, which allows it to move even in molten lava of 2000 degrees Celsius.

Blue soon spots the man Rhydon holds in its other hand, and gasps with shock that it is the leader of Team Rocket, Giovanni. She wants to know why Silver is with him, and Silver, after putting on a forced smile, utters that the man is his very own father.

Green and Blue are immediately stunned speechless at the revelation, but Silver says it is all right to be astonished, or even laugh at him, because the sad fact is that he is indeed the son of Team Rocket's leader. However, he will never accept this man as his father, this man who committed so many shameful crimes through his evil organization. He offers his gratitude to Green for rescuing them, but to be truthful, he finds it a waste of effort to save a man like Giovanni.

Rhydon gently places Giovanni on the ground, and Sneasel crouches next to him with a worried look. Blue finds herself lacking the words to comfort Silver, and it is Green who speaks up first. With a calm tone, Green remarks that refusing to feel pride for his own family is something he himself used to do. Silver chuckles sarcastically that it doesn't sound convincing coming from someone who is born under such a prestige family, but Green wants Silver to listen carefully to what he has to say.

Since a very young age, Green has always been revered as the grandson of Prof. Oak, and is believed to be an able trainer because of that. Unfortunately, due to the same reason, no matter what Green achieved or accomplished with his own strength, people's confidence in him would always base solely on the fact that he is the grandson of Prof. Oak, nothing more. For that, Green hated the legacy of his family, and refused to be proud of it.

Later, he set out from home and travelled all the way to Johto to train under his teacher Chuck in Cianwood. There, for the very first time, he was treated as an individual trainer and no longer Oak's grandson. For the very first time, he was able to feel himself as an able person, a trainer who has his own worth. Eventually, he learnt to be proud of his own strength, his own self, and resolved his bias towards his family legacy. Now, he has no hesitation to proudly announce himself as the grandson of Sammuel Oak, the great scholar, the top authority in the Pokemon world.

Green states that Silver has no reason to doubt his own worth either. He has, with his own hands, challenged and broke off from the shadowed past he spent under the Mask of Ice, and even shattered this big threat which almost wrecked Johto. He may be the son of the man who runs an evil organization like Team Rocket, but the undeniable truth is he has already established himself as a worthy human being, someone he himself could be proud of.

Green then tells Silver to take a good look at Giovanni, and judge for himself the difference in damage that they have suffered. While Silver remains nearly unharmed, Giovanni has taken a heavy toll from the flames. Not only are more than half of his clothes burnt off, but his skin has been severely scorched and his legs are heavily charred. It is obvious that Giovanni used his own body to protect Silver amid the blazing fire, and Silver wouldn't have survived otherwise.

The truth is, Silver and Sneasel wouldn't have been rescued in time if not for Rhydon, and Rhydon wouldn't have possessed the skills it has today if not for the book he found at the Viridian Gym. With that, Green pulls out a book titled 'The Mysteries Of The Earth', and explains that it was written by no other than Giovanni, the ground type expert.

Team Rocket is an evil organization, and there is no dispute that all the evil deeds Giovanni did were unforgivable, but from the book he left behind, it is clear that he has undergone an unmatched training journey to gain the strength and skills he possesses. What is more is that he has absolutely no reserves in sharing the fruits of his journey, in passing on all he knows to his successors. Perhaps this willingness to share, this profound desire to enlighten his predecessors, is ironically the man's true nature underneath his evil mask.

But this isn't the most important. The fact that Giovanni spent more than 10 years searching for Silver day and night, the fact that he risked his own life to protect Silver amid the burning flames, are more than enough to make him a father to be proud of.

Staring at the battered man lying in front of him, Silver notices that he is gripping tight on a hankerchief identical to the one he has kept with himself since childhood, almost as if the man is trying to protect it from the burning flames earlier. Knowing the implication behind, Silver feels the tears welling up in his eyes. His hands begin to tremble, and his knees soon buckle and give way.

Finally accepting Giovanni as his father, the red haired boy repeats the term over and over again as he sobs over the man's motionless body, the term which Giovanni has longed to hear Silver address him as. Tears flow freely down the boy's face as he takes out his own hankerchief and clutches tight onto it, just as his father is doing the same to the other one even in his unconscious state.

Next to them, Blue covers her face with her hands as she silently weeps while Sneasel breaks into a brawl. Green looks away into the distance, and Rhydon stares at the ground with a sad look. Green remarks that thinking back on it all, he himself has been too rash and impatient since the beginning of this whole incident as well. In the past, he used to be the one holding Red back from his impulses, but this time, Red was clearly the calm and rational one keeping him in line.

Yet, his change in behaviour isn't difficult to explain at all. All this time, his mind has been fully occupied by thoughts of finding and rescuing his grandfather, Oak, and it has now made him realize just how powerful the desire and determination to save one's family can be, so powerful that it can turn a person crazy and forsake everyone and everything else.

Turning to Blue, Green believes that she should understand it well, and Blue gives him a knowing nod as she thinks back on the overwhelming emotion surges she went through when her parents were kidnapped by Deoxys.

Just then, another black hole opening gradually appears over their heads, and Green and Blue gasp with surprise as they see Mewtwo descend from it with a sleeping Yellow in its arms…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

300: A Father's Soul

Volume 26