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It is past midnight at the Sevii Islands. Along the shoreline of Five Island, Red, Green, Blue, Bill, Brinca and the Sea Gallop sailor sit around a fire burning inside a metal bin, and listen intently to the latest news on the small radio which the sailor brought with him. According to the reports, both Six and Seven Islands have more than two thirds of their infrastructure destroyed following the Beast Warrior Trio's attack, yet Five Island has apparently taken the worst toll, spotting an area 4 kilometres in diameter severely burnt immediately around the PokemonCenter.

Green turns to Bill, and wants to make sure that he didn't hear it wrong when the young inventor said their enemy, Deoxys, possesses a trait called form change, which enables it to freely switch between forms. Previously, from Blue's Silph. Scope and her Ditto's transformation, they have observed two forms of the creature. But in its battle against Red, it has showed a third bulky form, and finally a fourth streamlined appearance when it collided into Green himself up in the air before it sped off, suggesting that this mysterious Pokémon is capable of at least four different forms.

Bill explains that the term form change was mentioned by the TR secret agent Jagura, who holds a black coloured Pokedex, and points out that it was particularly disturbing when the final form of Deoxys was evoked. It all happened following Red's defeat to Deoxys, after the creature unleashed its powerful psychoboost to wipe out the boy's team of six… As Red falls to his knees in despair and disbelief, watching his six companions collapse right before his eyes, Storc of the Beast Warrior Trio all of a sudden appears on Five Island riding on her Starmie. Bill bolts with a start at her presence as she is supposed to be battling Lorelei on Seven Island, but the evil woman snickers that it was an easy fight, and Bill gasps in horror that the ice queen of the Elite 4 has failed.

Storc steals a glance at the disoriented Red, and nags Jagura for not doing his job well enough again. She remarks that the boy is essentially still standing, and says it is too early to call their observation over when their foe has not been knocked out. Pulling her lips into a creepy grin, Storc takes out two blocks of gemstones which she claimed to have retrieved from Seven Island, one red and one blue, and tosses them over towards Deoxys, who is currently in its half transparent form and recovering from the high energy demand for creating the psychoboost attack.

Upon contact, the creature's colour immediately turns solid, and Storc smirks that its normal form has finally been fully activated. She states that the two gems, named Ruby and Sapphire, carry with them the unique climate of Hoenn, and will summon a new and fourth form of Deoxys. As the two shimmering stone plates spin around each other and revolve spirally atop the orange and aqua green Pokémon, its body begins to glow and distort. In a blinding flash of light, it morphs into a new appearance with the back of its head pointed, one single tentacle on both sides, and a black streamlined body totally devoid of the normal colour of its other forms.

Snapping its eyes open, Deoxys bursts forward with a speed unmatched by any other Pokémon, and rams into Red before it takes off into the sky, sending the boy crashing onto the ground and losing consciousness. Storc and Jagura both cheer with excitement that they have succeeded, and exclaim that Deoxys's form change now includes the speed form, a form built on the maximum upper limit of the speed status… Green puts on a surprised look as he realizes that the form which the enemy took when he encountered it high up in the skies was only activated under the influence of the Ruby and Sapphire stone plates. Bill adds that Storc and Jagura have gone into pursuit of Deoxys after the creature left, and Brinca listens to all of this without a word, sitting deep in thought in front of her three fully evolved Johto starters.

The Sea Gallop sailor points out that it seems Green was the only one who gained victory in their three separate battles against the Beast Warrior Trio, and wonders how they are going to defeat an enemy capable of morping into different forms. Green grins that things aren't as pessimistic as it sounds, and says they will surely find a way to bring down this foe.

He postulates that Team Rocket must have retreated to their hidden headquarters on Seven Island as Storc mentioned about retrieving the stone plates from there, and says while he is concerned about Lorelei, who has apparently fallen to Storc, it is still better to wait until morning before they take further actions. Turning towards Red, he remarks they will always have another chance, and suggests sailing over to Seven Island first thing in the morning.

However, instead of voicing his opinion, Red remains silent and simply keeps his gaze at the burning fire in front of him. Green starts to get worried and walks over to place his hand on his companion's shoulder, asking if he's feeling alright. With a slightly sarcastic tone, Red mumbles that Green is too naive to think that things will be better than they seem, and Green wonders what he's talking about. Unable to hold it back anymore, Red swats Green's hand away, and hollers that those who have not taken part in the actual battle itself will never understand it.

Green immediately gets ticked off, and grabs Red by the collar, demanding a clarification of what he means. Bill and Blue bolt to their feet as hostility rages between the two boys, but Brinca remains silent. Red shifts his gaze onto the ground with a sulk, and sighs that Green should know it well by seeing how his team of six fell to Dexoys like moths to a fire, that the deadliness of their current enemy's power is far beyond their imagination. Seeing the pain in Red's eyes, Green admits that he fully comprehends how tough a battle it has been and will be, but argues that Red has been on his own when fighting Deoxys, and things will be different when they all work together.

But Red is less than convinced, and swats Green's arm away again, stating as a matter of fact that the outcome will just be the same. He yells that they won't be able to defeat Deoxys even with the three of them together, and says it's better that they call it quits now to avoid more people from getting hurt. Green starts to get annoyed by Red's attitude, and snickers that he has no idea when his best companion has become a coward.

Yet instead of retaliating, Red simply admits that he is a coward, and that it is possibly why his Pokedex got confiscated. Bill is apparently taken aback by this statement, and wonders what Red means. With a solemn look, the boy remarks that he has been thinking over everything that has happened so far, and finally realized why Prof. Oak demanded their Pokedexes back at the very beginning of all this.

Ever since they have received the devices, they have become more and more dependent on them during battles, so much that they won't even think on their own to come up with strategies anymore. Everyone else around them regard them with respect since they are the Pokedex holders, trainers recognized by Prof. Oak, the top authority in the Pokémon world. Now that they no longer possess the dexes, they've become bad omens and imposters. This clearly shows that their existence don't mean a thing without the Pokedexes, that they themselves have even lost the basic virtues of being a trainer. Prof. Oak has most probably realized this himself, and thus took back the devices. In other words, they are no longer qualified as Pokedex holders.

Raising his voice with fury and frustration in his last remark, Red turns around and runs off. Bill immediately yells for him to stop, but Green tells him to let it be, and hollers that they don't need weaklings as such. Brinca points out that Blue has gone after Red, but Green says she is free to do anything she wants, and the rest of them will discuss on their plans, because the one thing he knows for sure is that, the person who demanded their Pokedexes back, Prof. Oak, his very own grandfather, is currently in the hands of Team Rocket.

Meanwhile, deep in the forest at the island's central region, Jagura and Storc arrive in front of a warehouse overgrown by ferns and bushes on the outside. Storc smirks that the Pallet trainers would never have guessed that they are still on Five Island, much less imagine that their headquarters is actually located there.

Jagura reaches for the buzz on the front door, and is asked for the password. He giggles the phrase 'Goldeen need log' while Storc speaks the second line 'yes, nah, Chansey', and the heavy stone door with a red 'R' painted over it gradually slides open. TR grunts guarding the entrance greet them, and the two secret agents retreat to their common room where Jagura throws himself onto the sofa, and Storc begins tracking the whereabouts of Deoxys with the giant computer.

High above a lone island to the south of Six Island, two Unowns in the ? and ! shapes patrol around the area, and keep sending real time images back to Storc's computer at the Team Rocket Warehouse through the mini eye-cameras attached to them. Deoxys in its speed form soon dashes in from the north, and plunges into the dense woods of the island. The ! shaped Unown manages to catch the scene just in time, and Storc orders it to trail after the creature.

Once Deoxys lands, it reverts back into its normal form, and builds a pyramid shaped barrier around itself. Storc quickly reports to Giovanni through her handfreee speakerphone, and says Deoxys has returned to Birth Island and shut itself inside the black delta shield. Jagura adds that the Pokémon is probably recovering from its injuries, as the thunder fired directly by Red's Pikachu to the crystalline organ on its chest hurt it pretty badly.

Standing on the top floor of the Trainer Tower on Seven Island, Giovanni thanks Storc and Jagura for their hard work, and wants them to keep monitoring. Back at the Team Rocket Warehouse, Jagura suddenly sees a photo wedged between two cushion seats on the sofa. He wonders who could have left it there, and crawls over to pick it up. To his surprise, he sees a man who is clearly Giovanni at a much younger age, with a Sneasel over his shoulder, and holding a red haired kid whom he has never seen before.

At Seven Island's Trainer Tower, Giovanni takes a look at the recent images of Deoxys on his computer screen just sent over by Storc, and murmurs to himself that it won't be too long before he meets his son again…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




281: The Secret Of Form Change!


Volume 24