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At the Indigo Plateau, the exhibition match between Kanto and Johto gymleaders is about to begin. Representing Pewter, Brock steps onto the stage and prepares to battle his assigned opponent, Jasmine of Olivine. As gymleaders from the two regions stayed into different cabins on the magnet train, and were given separate resting rooms in the building, it is the very first time he lays eyes on the eight gymleaders of Johto. He takes a quick glimpse at each of them, and notices on their faces the determination to safeguard the reputation of their respective gyms.

Brock introduces himself outloud once again, and proceeds to send out Kabutops as his first Pokémon. He explains that he received a Kabuto by a twist of fate when he protected the Pewter Science Museum durring a raid one year ago, and the fossil Pokémon has since then grown and evolved into its powerful final stage which is equipped with sharp sickles. He then demands Jasmine to pick her Pokémon, yet to his surprise, Jasmine giggles that she has to re-evaluate the condition of all her team members before making a choice, and says it’s something she always does before battles. Brock sweatdrops as the Olivine gymleader releases two Magnetons, two Togetics and an Ampharos from her greatballs. She pats each of them gently, and after a while decides to call forward Ampharos.

The light Pokémon charges forward with a headbutt, and Kabutops quickly brings its sickles together to defend itself. On the benches next to the stage, Misty watches as the two Pokémon struggle to overpower each other, and worries if Brock could win. Erika assures her that she has faith in Brock’s strength, but gets curious as she takes another look at Jasmine’s team lineup. Normally, each gymleader specializes in one specific type, just like how the ones in Kanto are experts on fire, rock, grass, electric, poison, water and psychic. But while the Magnetons and Ampharos of Jasmine are of electric types, her Togetics are part flying and part normal. Without a distinctive hint of her expertise, Erika wonders if she is doing it deliberately to confuse her opponents.

Getting impatient about the match, Brock orders an ancient power from Kabutops, and the brown shellfish Pokémon immediately sends out a swirl of energy to knock Ampharos back. Up in the audience stand, supernerd William and boyscout Bozz exclaim in awe alongside with the other trainers as Ampharos hits the ground hard. Bozz remarks that the rules of the exhibition match are the same as those in the league tournament itself, that when either one of a trainer’s six Pokémon faints, victory will be granted to the other side.

Jasmine hurriedly checks on Ampharos, who’s struggling to get up, and Brock grins that it is close to fainting. Jasmine calmly turns around and says she knows Brock was trying to figure out whether her expert type is normal, flying or electric, and reveals that like him, she has trained also rock type Pokémon. Calling back her Ampharos, she tosses out her sixth greatball and releases a giant rock serpent. Brock quickly retreives Kabutops, and hollers that he shall battle with Onix as well. Brock and Jasmine both stand on the head of their Pokémon, and Brock remarks that he knew Jasmine was hiding something was she kept her sixth greatball unopened earlier. He comments that Jasmine’s Onix seems to be a rare kind from its looks, and wonders if it’s a mutated one.

Then, without warning, he orders his Onix to trap Jasmine’s with a bind, and nearly shakes Jasmine off her feet. However, to his surprise, the rocks of his Onix’s body begins to crack as it tightens its grip. In the announcer’s room, DJ Mary continues her narration of the battle, and gasps that Brock’s Onix seems to be taking damage itself while attempting an attack. She marvels at Jasmine’s powerful defense, and tells the audience that it is probably how the Olivine gymleader got her nickname ‘the girl of iron defenses’.

Just then, some rocky blocks fall off from the face of Jasmine’s Onix, and reveals a glimmering surface underneath. Brock wonders what other tricks Jasmine is holding up her sleeves, and demands to know the real identity of her Onix. The rocky coat on Jasmine’s Onix begins to crack, and in an instant crumbles to show a metallic serpent inside, causing the audience to roar in bewilderment. Brock, Misty and Erika exclaim in shock and confusion at the appearance of the Pokémon, while Jasmine grabs the opportunity and orders a crunch. The metallic serpent digs its fangs into the body of Brock’s Onix, and knocks it out cold in one hit.

Brock struggles to get up after going down together with Onix, and can’t believe that his most dependable Pokémon has fainted. Mary declares Jasmine the winner, and comments that the battle has certainly taken an unexpected twist. Brock takes another look at Jasmine’s metallic serpent which he has never seen before, and notices its striking resemblance to Onix. Jasmine reveals that it used to be an Onix, and Brock is shocked to hear that there exists an evolutionary stage of the rock serpent.

As the audience exclaim and stir over the revelation of a new Pokémon specie, Mary announces that they have contacted their top authority in the Pokémon world, Prof. Oak, who will brief them on what is known of the Pokémon so far. Oak’s face then appears on the giant overhead screen in the stadium, and the professor begins by saying that it is a specie not even officially released to the scientists and researchers yet due to the lack of information. However, its existence is recently confirmed after a young female trainer whom he sent off to Johto to collect data for his Pokédex successfully caught one. He explains that the specie will be named Steelix, and since its body contains materials similar to Skarmonies, Magnemites and Magnetons, these Pokémon might be regrouped under a new steel type category after a consensus is made among the authorities.

Prof. Oak goes on to say that when an Onix lives for more than 100 years, its body composition will change to become diamond like, and Brock realizes that Jasmine’s expertise is the new steel type. As Jasmine retreives her Steelix, he walks up to her and wants to know why she disguised it as an Onix earlier. Jasmine puts on an embarrassed smile, and says she was afraid that Steelix’s frightening appearance will scare the audience, and thus decided to coat it like an Onix and make it look cuter. Up on the score display screen, a cross appears next to Brock’s name while a circle lightens up next to Jasmine’s, indicating the first round victory for the Johto region…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

155: VS. Kabutops!

Volume 13