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In the snowy countryside of Mahogany, the Goldenrod Radio Team has finally arrived at the steep cliff where the Mahogany Gym lies deep under. Hoping to do a special program about the elusive gymleader Pryce, the team has invited the Chairman of the Pokémon Association along for liaison reasons. The director orders the camera-man to start the recording session, and DJ Mary, who is once again the hostess of the show, begins her introduction. Just then, the Chairman accidentally slips and lands hard on the frozen ground. The director immediately stops the camera, and says they will have to edit out that part to avoid embarrassment. He walks over to the cliff to check on Whitney’s progress with the descending means, and the Goldenrod gymleader grunts that she doesn’t understand why she should be given that job when there are so many men on the team.

Securing the tough ropes along the side of the cliff with the help of her Miltank, Whitney slowly makes her way down, and soon reaches the bottom of the deep and hidden valley. To her amazement, a dome-shaped building constructed entirely in ice stands in front of her, and she sees that it is no other than the Mahogany Gym they are searching for. As the rest of the radio team descend along the ropes, Whitney starts to shiver from the chilly atmosphere in the valley, and feels grateful that her gym is located in the middle of a modern city. She tells Mary that it is no wonder the Mahogany Gym is often referred as the Hall of Absolute Zero, and finds it odd how someone could live in a place like that. Mary remarks that few people have met Pryce in person, and that not even telephone lines were installed to the place.

Whitney then pushes open the giant front door and leads the team into the gym, and discovers that the room temperature inside is thankfully warmer. After taking off their thick fur coats, the director hands over the microphone to Mary, and the DJ singer resumes her introduction about the Mahogany Gym. She thanks Whitney for once again being their guest star, and turns to the Chairman to have him explain to the audience the real reason behind their visit. It turns out that the Pokémon Association has been closely watching Suicune’s challenges to the numerous skilled trainers across Johto, and they are suspecting the legendary Pokémon to show up next at the Mahogany Gym. Whitney snickers a little when she hears the term ‘skilled trainers’, and murmurs that with her charm and power, she is equally eligible as Suicune’s next target.

The director hushes her, and Whitney turns around with an indifferent look on her face. She then accidentally walks onto the ice field in the middle of the gym, and begins to slip together with Miltank. The rest of the team hurriedly try to grab them, but immediately lose balance on the slippery ice as well, and start gliding uncontrollably towards the other end of the room. Just before they hit the wall, Whitney orders a stomp from Miltank, and the pink dairy cow manages to plant itself solid on the ground by cracking part of the ice bed. Everyone else quickly clutches tight onto Miltank, and lets out a sigh of relief.

The door on the other side of the room slowly opens with a crackling sound, and an old man sitting on a wheelchair appears with his two Seels. Pushing himself forward with a wooden crutch, he apologizes for the perilous ice bed in the gym, and says it was to ward off invaders and he wasn’t expecting guests. The Chairman exclaims that it must be the infamous ice expert Pryce, and Whitney hollers in disbelief that the gymleader of Mahogany is actually an old man. The Chairman quickly glides over to introduce himself, and hopes that Pryce doesn’t mind their uninvited visit. Pryce remarks that it has been a long time since anyone has set foot in the Mahogany Gym, and he himself has lost part of the enthusiasm in battling due to aging, but he is sure glad to have company and tells them to come into his sculpture room while he goes to make some tea.

Inside the sculpture room, everyone exclaims in awe when they see the numerous lively Pokémon ice crafts. Mary figures that it must what Pryce does for a living, and Whitney wonders how the ice sculptures are sold since it doesn’t seem convenient for Pryce to move about. The Chairman explains that the Pokémon in the gym are probably in charge of such chores, and that Pryce most likely never goes out. Mary then spots a sculpture of Suicune, and everyone gathers around to admire it. Whitney grins and says Pryce must have realized that Suicune won’t be making challenges to old and weak trainers like him, and thus made its sculpture to comfort himself. The director lets out a snicker at her words, and the two quickly get into a fight.

Suddenly, the ice sculpture of Suicune begins to move, and Mary cries out in shock. Whitney and the director feel a chill down their spines when they see the ribbon tail of the sculpted creature wiggling in front of them, and spin around in horror to see the inanimated Pokémon coming to life. The legendary Pokémon then darts across and out of the sculpture room, and everyone quickly gives chase. The Chairman hollers that Suicune must have indeed paid a visit to Pryce, and was probably frozen solid by the gymleader’s powerful ice moves. Seeing that it is her chance to show off her skills, Whitney yells for Suicune to stop and demands a challenge.

Suicune stops in the middle of the slippery ice bed next to the gym’s front door, and Whitney immediately sends out Cleffa and Igglybuff to fight. The two pink blobs glide across the ice to reach Suicune from opposite directions, and deliver a combined sweet kiss on its cheeks. With Suicune confused, Whitney follows up with a rollout from Miltank, who makes use of the slippery ice surface to aid its speed, and rams hard into legendary beast to knock it over, causing cold air to shroud over the room like thin smoke. Mary exclaims in joy and praises Whitney’s skills, while Whitney laughs and smirks that Suicune probably didn’t come to Goldenrod because it was afraid of her.

Just then, Pryce reappears in his wheelchair with a tray of hot tea in his hands, and wonders what is going on. Whitney proudly motions him to look at the fallen Suicune, but lets out a yelp of surprise when she sees that the legendary beast has regained its stance and knocked down Miltank. While cold air continues to fill the room, Pryce grips his crutch tight as he and Suicune stare down at each other. The Chairman quickly tells Whitney to fight following Pryce’s commands, and Whitney starts to protest, but when the Chairman explains that Pryce is the most experienced among all gymleaders with the nickname ‘The Eternal Ice Wall’, Whitney shivers a little and for the first time realizes that the old man in front of her might be stronger than she imagined.

As Whitney stands next to Pryce and prepares for their showdown with Suicune, the director gets sparkles in his eyes and decides to extend their special program to two hours for higher ratings. Embarrassed by the man’s pragmatic attitude, Mary sweatdrops that it isn’t time for such thoughts…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

143: VS. Cleffa & Igglybuff!

Volume 12