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At the city boundary of Vermillion, Green and Blue gasp in surprise as another black hole opens up, and Mewtwo gradually descends from it with a sleeping Yellow in its arms. However, as Mewtwo's feet touch the ground, the genetic mutant suddenly topples forward onto its knees, and Blue hurriedly rushes over to catch Yellow from falling.

Green wants to know what happened to Red, and Mewtwo weakly motions to the rampaging TR battle airship high up in the air. Fear washes over the faces of Green and Blue as they realize that their companion is still on the failing aircraft, and Blue hollers that it is about to crash into one of the skyscrapers in Vermillion.

Green quickly sends out his Rhydon to create a swirl of tornado with its megahorn, while his Golduck and Blue's Turtley blast out jets of powerful hydropumps. The combined attacks strike at the front of the TR battle airship, and manage to keep it stationary with the propelling forces for the mean time.

Still deep in slumber, Yellow suddenly starts murmuring and Green and Blue notice that she is sleeptalking. The girl states that everything will be alright since Red is someone who always keeps his promises. When they first met, he has made a pact with her that he shall sit for the Viridian gymleader selection test. At the end, he did fulfill it, and even passed the test with flying colours. Therefore, she has faith that he will come back safely this time, simply because he said he will.

Green is astonished that Yellow still has her mind on Red even when she is in such a deep sleep, and although he has no idea what happened on the battle airship, he is certain that Yellow has already given her best. From Mewtwo's worn out state, he rationalizes that it has had quite a fierce and deadly battle as well, and knows that it has reached its limit and they could not possibly ask for more from it.

He states that he and Blue must count on themselves now to stop the aircraft from crashing, since their good companion Red is still inside, and it is currently their utmost and last mission as the Pokedex holders.

Green's words cause Silver to look up from where he is, and the red haired boy hesitates for a moment before straightening himself up. Calling out his Ursaring, he tells the giant bear to bring his unconscious father to his eighteenth hidden flat which is on Route 6 and guard him well. He then releases his Feraligatr, Kingdra and red Gyarados to join Rhydon, Golduck and Turtley, which makes Green and Blue bolt with surprise.

Blue wonders what Silver is doing, and Silver replies that he has decided to help stop the plane from crashing as well. He has no idea what his father intends to do with Team Rocket or how the man will treat him from that point forward, but he has made up his mind. He will no longer escape from the truth that Giovanni is his father, but will make sure that his father shall never ever sin again. He will also share the burden of all the crimes his father has committed, then together they shall look for ways of redemption.

Yet, at the mean time, he has his own mission to take care of, for he is also one of the Pokedex holders. With that, the red haired boy shucks off the long TR trench coat Storc forced him to wear, and throws it onto the ground. Addressing Green as his senior, Silver wonders if his decision is accepted, and Green grins in approval. Feraligatr, Kingdra and Gyarados then deliver their own hydropumps, and together with Rhydon, Golduck and Turtley, make use of the combined energies of water and wind to halt the TR battle airship from its fall.

On the battle airship, Red is still struggling with steering handle in the pilot's room. He suddenly feels the tension lifted slightly, and sees that Green and the others are assisting him with the combined attacks of their Pokémon. Unfortunately, even with that, it doesn't seem possible to steer the aircraft upwards again since its engines are already severely failing.

Meanwhile, Deoxys, who is still in its defense form, continues to locate the Forretresses Jagura has hidden, and gives directions to Red via words on the monitor screen. Under the hind wing of the aircraft, Lax delivers a megapunch to faint the seventh Forretress. Near the left engine rotor, Charizard faints the eighth one with a flamethrower, while Aero takes care of the ninth one at the shuttle exit port.

Soon, Deoxys locates the tenth one, which is in the armoury, right beneath the pilot's room. Red frowns in frustration as the armoury is loaded with firearms and explosives, and Forretress's explosion will certainly shatter the entire battle airship, and make it crash into the civilian areas they are hovering over right now.

After a moment of thought, Red takes off his sleeveless pullover and rips it apart to secure the steering handle against the pilot's chair, creating a constant tension as if someone is still pulling on it. He then tells Deoxys to use its telepathy to tell Pika and the others to stay where they are, since he himself shall take care of the tenth Forretress with Deoxys.

On Five Island, Bill and Celio have set up a temporary refuge at the PokemonCenter for the homeless residents. Everyone listens intently as the radio broadcasts the news about the giant aircraft which was first identified over the skies of Viridian, but then had an explosion right above Vermillion, and is currently still out of control in midair.

Bill thanks Green after the boy informs him of the latest situation via the Pokegear, and Celio gasps that it is really the TR battle airship. Bill puts on a worried look, and adds that Red is currently still on the aircraft, risking his life to steer it away from the civilian areas. There is no telling how long can Red hold on, or whether he can even bring it to land safely.

The Five Island residents overhear Bill and Celio's conversation, and recall how the boy fought for them against Team Rocket earlier. Yet, all they did was to humiliate him, scorn him as a hypocrite, an imposter, a bad omen who brought havoc to their peaceful community. Guilt washes over everyone's face and mind as they think of all the despicable things they have said, and fear that the residents of Vermillion will do just the same, with no words of gratitude offered but just accusations and disdain.

Tears start to well up in some of their eyes, and some hands begin to tremble. Isolated words of encouragement soon emerge here and there, and the whole room gradually calls out in a united voice, verbalizing their support to Red, telling him not to give up. Bill and Celio are both deeply moved by everyone's sentiments, and feel thankful that Red's efforts are finally recognized. Joining in to vocalize their support, they wish Red could really hear their words.

Back on the TR battle airship, Red and Deoxys finally reach the armoury. Sitting at the far corner of the room, Forretress spots its intruders and quickly gets into a combative stance, but Red notices that it is actually trembling with fear. It is of no surprise really. Forretress has been ordered by Jagura to use explosion within a set time or whenever necessary, but explosion is a move that will cause the Pokémon itself to faint as well, which is no doubt a scary thing for the Pokémon.

Softening his own gaze, Red tells Forretress that its trainer is no longer on the aircraft, and it will be all right even if it disobeys the order. The boy reaches out his hand and tells Forretress to come to him, which causes the steel bagworm to stare at him with surprised eyes. Forretress struggles heavily with itself between duty and conscience, but eventually fails to give up its responsibility and hurls itself against Deoxys as it delivers an explosion.

However, to its shock, the move didn't get pulled off successfully, and it finds itself intact in the arms of the space Pokémon. Red grins that he knew it would be hard to ask a Pokémon to disregard its trainers command, and explains that Deoxys has actually used skillswap on Poli earlier to gain the damp ability, which disables both selfdestruct and explosion from being used. The boy pats Forretress who begins to cry, and says it is great that Forretress managed to obey its trainer and escape the fate of fainting itself at the same time.

Deoxys watches all this with bewilderment, and starts channeling its thoughts into words again on one of the monitor screens in the room. It wants to know what exactly Red is, and the boy wonders what it is trying to say. Deoxys states that Red is already battered with numerous injuries, and yet he still refuses to give up and keeps going on. This strong will of his truly baffles and amazes it at the same time, making it curious as to what exactly Red is.

With a grin, Red reaches into his pocket to pull out his new Pokedex, and declares that he is Red, a Pokedex holder from Pallet, also known as the Battler.

Suddenly, in the pilot room, Red's sleeveless pullover which is holding the steering handle against the chair rips apart as it fails to stand the tension further. The handle bounces back in place, and the whole aircraft begins to tip and sway vigorously, causing Red, Deoxys and Forretress to get thrown around inside the armoury.

On the ground outside, Green, Blue and Silver holler that the battle airship is losing balance, and gasp in horror when it plummets towards one of the skyscrapers. Miraculously, just when the aircraft is about to crash, it seems to regain control again, and slowly makes its descent. It finally comes to a halt when its tip and the left rotor engine flatten against the cement ground, and the whole battle airship remains stationary in a vertical position.

One of the side doors swings open, and Red soon collapses out from the opening, panting to catch his breath. Green quickly rushes over to check on his companion, and Red thanks him for helping him land safely at the last moment. But Green is completely dumbfounded, and denies being responsible for it, saying that he thought Red managed to steer the aircraft into safety by himself. Red becomes confused as well, and says he cannot understand what really happened.

Up in the air, the mirage Pokémon Mew glimmers in a soft light as it watches Red walks with support from Green, and makes his way back to reunite with Blue, Silver, and Yellow who is still sleeping in Blue's arms…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




301: Red The Battler


Volume 26