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At Violet City, the gymleader inauguration ceremony is about to begin, and the whole board of the Pokémon Association has arrived for the big event. Bill announces Falkner as the official new gymleader of Violet Gym, and Falkner proudly walks up with his Pidgeotto, Noctowl and Skarmony to accept the title. The chairman of the Pokémon Association starts asking Bill about the malfunctioned Pokémon Transfer System again, and Bill, who's very bothered by the other's constant nagging, barks that he is already working on it but hasn't been able to find out the cause yet. Falkner quickly steps in the pacify the fight, and tells them that he feels most honoured to be given the gymleader title.

Bill feels embarrassed to have lost his temper in front of Falkner, and reveals that a close friend of his is actually sitting for the gymleader selection test as well back in Kanto. The chairman then hands over the Zephyr Badge to Falkner, and explains that one vital role of gymleaders is to give out the officially recognized badges to skilled and qualified trainers who make challenges at gyms. Falkner instantly thinks of Gold, and wonders how the boy is now. Looking back, if it had not been the Skarmony that Gold helped him capture, he might not have passed the gymleader test as easily.

That night, as Gold navigates through the winding roads of the mountains, the prosperous city of Goldenrod finally comes into view. Gold marvels at the numerous city lights that brighten up the evening sky, and recalls its many luxurious department stores and tourist sites he's heard about. But then, he realizes that he has run out of money to spend on hotels, and decides to spend the night in his sleeping bag out in the open.

In the middle of the night, a Smeargle walks by the grassland where Gold and his Pokémon are resting, and curiously tiptoes over to take a look. It then gets a mischievous idea, and starts drawing marks and symbols on the boy's face with the paint on its tail. Feeling the tickle on his cheeks, Gold wakes up groggily, and hollers with shock and anger when he notices the paint dribbling from his face. He quickly chases after the Smeargle and soon finds himself in the streets of Goldenrod. Smeargle flees into a narrow alley, but Aitro catches up and extends its tail out to trip it over. Smeargle angrily charges towards Gold, but Typhlo jumps in between and burns Smeargle's tail with an ember. Gold then commands Sunflo and Politro to attack, but Smeargle swings its tail forward and covers Gold's eyes with paint.

Gold quickly wipes his eyes clean with a cloth, but by the time he regains vision, Smeargle has fled. Citizens start to gather, and a man wearing headphones comes up to introduce himself as the director of the Goldenrod Radio Station. He marvels at the team work Gold's Pokémon demonstrated, and invites Gold to take part in a radio show about remarkable Pokémon the following day, which Gold gladly accepts.

The next morning, at the Goldenrod Radio Tower, the station director introduces the different facilities to Gold, but the boy has not heard a word and is secretly dreaming of meeting his idol, the famous DJ singer Mary. The station director tells Gold to wait outside the recording studio and goes off to handle other matters. Out of boredom and curiosity, Gold peeks through the glass window and is totally in shock when he spots the Smeargle that played tricks on him earlier. Without a thought, he quickly barges into the studio where a live show is actually being broadcasted, and causes the host, who happens to be Mary, and the guest of the day, the Goldenrod Gymleader Whitney, to both jump with surprise. Seeing the way Smeargle cuddles up to Mary, Gold is stunned speechless when he realizes that the mischievous Pokémon belongs to his biggest idol.

Meanwhile, at Prof. Elm's science lab in New Bark, a new day of work is about to begin. Joey switches on the radio to Mary's morning show, and is surprised to hear a heated argument being broadcasted. The voice of the boy bickering with Whitney seems familiar, and Joey sweatdrops as he recognizes it as Gold's.

Back in Goldenrod, the broadcast goes off, and the enraged station director charges into the recording studio to demand to know what was going on. Gold and Whitney both blame each another, and continue to argue. A studio staff hurriedly comes in to inform everyone that they have received a huge amount of feedback from listeners right after the broadcast, and to the director's surprise, many found the show interesting and demanded more of Gold. Whitney likes the idea, and suggests that she and Gold settle their fight in a real competition that will be broadcasted live. She remarks that since Gold has a grudge towards Smeargle, and she was the one who gave the Pokémon to Mary, they could set that deal straight in the match as well. Mary tries to get the director to pacify the two, but to her surprise, the director finds it an interesting proposition and decides to make it a 2 hour special.

Later, Gold and Whitney prepare themselves at the northern gates of Goldenrod as Mary and her co-host begin the broadcast of the competition, which has been decided to be a Pokémon race battle. The course begins at Goldenrod, crosses the National Park and goes all the way towards the giant billboard on route 37. Mary's co-host mentions that both contestants will try to slow each other down by having their Pokémon attack one another during the race, and special vans will be following them throughout the course for real time broadcast. With the event specially sponsored by Miracle Cycle, the bicycle company that has moved from Kanto to Johto not long ago, both contestants will be using its bikes.

Whitney smirks that it will be an interesting competition, and Smeargle decides to tag along as it wishes to see Gold defeated as well. Gold complains that he is much more efficient in using skateboards, but the station director says they will need to use transportation provided by Miracle Cycle as it sponsors all their expenditure for the race. Gold thinks for a moment, and suddenly starts dismantling the bike. He remodels his skateboard into a scooter by fastening the bike handle on, and says it is technically still a Miracle Cycle product as it bears their brand name in front.

Unable to think of a reason to object, the station director lets him have his way and commences the race. As the starting gun gets fired off, Whitney orders a rollout from her Miltank right away and knocks Gold off his scooter. She grins that it is important to get a head start, and speeds off on her bike when Gold is still struggling to get back on his feet. He grunts at the Goldenrod Gymleader's craftful demeanor, and hurriedly tries to catch up.

After a while, the director suddenly gets an urgent call from one of the vans stationed along the race course, and is surprised to learn that a giant odd-looking tree is blocking the road junction to route 37…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




105: VS. Smeargle!


Volume 09