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In the severely damaged stadium of the Indigo Plateau, Mask of Ice chokes Kurt as he lifts the old ball maker up into the air, and demands from him the special Pokéball which is capable of capturing time. Gold and Crys gasp in surprise upon hearing that, and wonder what kind of item it is. Mask of Ice lets out a giggle, and tells Crys to recall her Natu’s use of future sight against Lugia earlier. He states that the delayed attack projects its power a few seconds into the future, and is a skill that basically involves the control of time.

Gold doesn’t understand what he is trying to imply, and the masked man wonders if the boy knew of the havoc in Kanto caused by the original Team Rocket in Kanto three years ago, whose main aims were money and materialistic possessions. He then speaks of the Elite 4 actions in destroying towns and cities everywhere they went one year ago, and says their aim was to create an ideal utopian world for Pokémon, a yearn to dominate land and space. He himself, however, has no interest in either of these wants, and aspires only to control something far more valuable: time.

While Gold and Crys remain stunned at what they’re hearing, Mask of Ice tightens his grip around Kurt’s neck, and warns him to hand over the Pokéball for capturing time before he loses his patience, but Kurt forces a snicker, and says he knows of nothing like that. Mask of Ice starts choking Kurt’s granddaughter, Mazie, instead, and the girl lets out a helpless cry. Kurt begs the masked man to stop, but still has reserves about giving in. Seeing the hesitation on Kurt’s face, Mask of Ice says he shall snatch it away in that case, and forcefully rips apart the front of Kurt’s robe to pull out a rolled up sheet of paper, letting go of Kurt and Mazie right after.

Mazie sobs hard and clutches tight onto her grandfather, and Kurt shoots a look of disgust at the masked man, who’s spreading the paper to read the manual for making the special apricorn-derived Pokéballs. At the very end of the list, there is a never seen before ball that’s labelled the time-travelling ball, and Mask of Ice giggles evilly as he studies its design. Kurt states that knowing the construction method of the ball is of no use, since the capture net inside requires special substances to make, but Mask of Ice laughs that he has already catered for that and points to Ho-Oh and Lugia.

Without a word, Delibird hovers up to the two giant flyers and plucks a feather from each of them. It then hands the items back to Mask of Ice, who grins that the Rainbow and Silver wings will be the perfect materials for weaving the capture net, as the pair of feathers alone, possess the ability to enter the voids of time. Knowing that the masked man has already figured out the full secret of the time-travelling ball, Kurt could nothing but to grit his teeth in frustration.

As Mask of Ice laughs maniacally, Crys notices that Gold has fallen silent and wonders if he is alright. A look of rage gradually appears on the boy’s face, and he all of a sudden snaps out that he cannot believe everyone and everything involved in the masked man’s scheme so far are nothing but tools to him. The capturing of Ho-Oh and Lugia, the resurrection of Team Rocket, the training he gave to Silver and the other kidnapped children, Kurt, and even the Pokémon League Tournament, have all been of no value but simply tools. Mask of Ice remains quiet to Gold’s accusations, and Gold begs the masked man to tell him that these things actually meant more than tools to him. He remarks that Pokémon share a delicate bond with their trainers, and should never be treated as tools. He then suddenly hollers in anger again, and swears that he will not forgive anyone who mistreats Pokémon.

After another moment of silence, Mask of Ice states clear and loud that everything so far has indeed been nothing but tools. This sends Gold over the edge, and the boy roars in fury. Pushing Crys out of the rings of fire surrounding them, Gold throws himself against the flames, in hopes of freeing himself. He manages to put out the fire, but also burns himself badly in the process and falls weakly onto the ground. Crys cries out in horror as she stumbles over to check on Gold, and breaks out in tears while begging the masked man to stop hurting anyone. Naturally, Mask of Ice ignores her and climbs onto Delibird, remarking that he has got everything he requires now. Struggling to get up, Gold swears that he will put an end to the masked man’s evil acts, but the pain he suffers overwhelms him, and he soon slips into unconsciousness.

Loosening the thin fibres on the Rainbow and Silver Wings, Mask of Ice begins weaving the capture net, and takes out a gold and silver coloured Pokéball with the letters G and S carved on it. He grins that he shall travel back in time to retrieve what he has lost very soon, and knows that with all the gymleaders cast away on the magnet train, there won’t be anyone else interfering with his work...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

167: The Last Battle I!

Volume 14