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Starting to feel his senses coming back to him, Bugsy slowly opens his eyes, and feels himself moving fast on something. He is greeted by the voice of a teenage boy who is currently right in front of him, and the boy, who addresses him by the nickname 'bug net guy', is glad that the Azalea Gymleader has come around.

Bugsy recognizes with a start that it is Gold from New Bark Town, and realizes that the boy has saved him. He wonders what has happened exactly, and Gold points up towards a four-legged creature with a golden ring around its abdomen, which is hovering high up in the sky ahead of them. Gold explains that the being is a mirage Pokemon named Arceus, and it was responsible for blasting the Ecruteak Gym into rubbles. In fact, Arceus launched its attack right at the moment he was in the middle of obtaining the information he sought from Morty.

Bugsy is curious as to what Gold wanted to learn from Morty, and Gold explains that he wishes to know the whereabouts of a man by the name of Lance. Unfortunately, the Ecruteak Gymleader only handed him a drawing he sketched out of what he saw with his distant vision ability, and did not get the chance to interpret it before Arceus interrupted their session. Gold shows Bugsy the rough sketch, which depicts a number of symbol-like creatures surrounding several statues, and the Azalea Gymleader bolts with recognition that it is no other than the Ruins of Alph.

Gold is shocked that the drawing means something to Bugsy, and Bugsy explains that it is the place where he has spent years of research on, and he will not be mistaken about this ancient village where the Unowns flitter. Gold requests to know where the Ruins of Alph is in relation to their current location, and Bugsy spots the road sign of Route 36 in front of them. He takes another glance at Arceus who is advancing south from above, and states that the ruins are exactly in the direction where the mirage Pokemon is heading. Voicing out his encouragement to Explotaro, Gold tells the Typhlosion to speed up, and continues their chase after Arceus.

A few moments later, Gold and Bugsy have arrived at the Ruins of Alph. Standing amid the stone-made huts which are lined next to a small river, Gold looks around and wonders where Lance could be. Bugsy reads Morty's drawing again, and tries to figure out which chamber it is depicting. Just then, Dragonite's Pokeball stirs in Gold's pocket, and Gold realizes that it is gesturing towards one of the stone huts. Clearly, the dragon Pokemon has detected the presence of its trainer, and Gold quickly dashes into the stone hut which it points.

Yet, as soon as he steps into the chamber, something ambushes him, and Togetaro pops out from its Pokeball to push him out of the way. Gold sees that his attacker is a Tyranitar, and spots a red-haired man sitting against the wall, his body battered and his cape torn. The man orders Tyranitar to stop attacking, and Gold soon recognizes him as the guy he saw from the hologram at Prof Oak's Science Lab. He steps forward to greet Lance, and jokingly accuses him of being a no-show at their agreed meeting place at the Pokeathlon, which took him quite a hassle to reach. Lance rationalizes that Gold must be the trainer sent by Prof. Oak, and says his apologies for standing the boy up, but explains that he was unfortunately ambushed on his way to the Pokeathlon Dome, and some skillful disguise tricks from his attacker got the best of him.

Gold grins that it was exactly what Bruno postulated, and says he has brought along his injured Dragonite which they have calmed and healed. He reaches into pocket to dig out the dragon Pokemon's Pokeball, but accidentally drops the bundle of medals which he earned at the Pokeathlon. Lance is surprised to see all five medals in Gold's possession, and the boy brags with an arrogant tone that conquering the Pokeathlon wasn't such a dire task.

Lance pauses for a moment of thought, and states that Pokedex Holders recognized by Prof. Oak are truly remarkable trainers. However, even with such skills, it is still impossible for Gold to succeed, for it takes far more than that to open up the heart of Arceus, who has already lost all hope on mankind. With that, the man turns his head to one side with a sigh, and Gold gets infuriated by the discouraging remark. He tries to protest, but Lance points towards Togetaro, and says this Togepi which Gold failed to fully bond with is the best proof of his claim. The comment causes Togetaro to widen its eyes in shock, and Gold, who is unable to find a rebuttal to the accusation, simply grunts in frustration as he tries to think of an appropriate response.

At that moment, Bugsy rushes into the chamber, and warns that Arceus is about to land outside. Gold is annoyed that a new problem presents itself before he could solve the existing one, and tells Bugsy to look after Lance while he heads out to face the deity-like Pokemon with Togetaro. Right before Togetaro leaves the room, Lance stops it in its tracks, and gives it a Shiny Stone to hold. He relents that it probably may not find the chance to use it, but wants it to have the item anyway.

Outside, golden rings of energy radiate in circles around Arceus as it hovers high above the ruins. It soon descends to the ground with a loud thump, and towers over Gold as the boy looks up to it with Explotaro and Togetaro.

Back at Ecruteak City, Silver gradually regains consciousness. He looks around to find himself sitting in the rubbles behind the destroyed Ecruteak Gym, and remembers the powerful impact which shook the entire gym and knocked him out. A voice next to him states that the blast managed to blow off the top half of the Ecruteak Gym in an instant, and Silver turns to see that Morty, the Ecruteak Gymleader, has also come around. The red-haired boy wonders where Gold is, and Morty recalls seeing him confront the giant four-legged silhouette which was responsible for the attack. However, both Gold and the creature no longer seem present in the area, and it is very likely that the boy has followed suit when the creature departed.

Silver sighs that Gold always acts on impulse and challenges an opponent without a thorough plan, and proceeds to send out Honchkrow. Morty wonders what he intends to do, and Silver states that he shall give chase as well. The Ecruteak Gymleader grins that he has no reason to stop him from doing so, but believes that Silver should at least achieve what he originally came for first.

Morty's words remind Silver of his quest on the Plates, and he pulls out the three rectangular blocks in his possession. He explains that the items are known as Plates, and there are 13 other identically-shaped copies scattered across the land. He wishes to know their location, and Morty nods in understanding as he takes the Plates and lays them on the ground in front of him. He gets Misdreavus and Gastly to encircle him with their psychic powers, and places two fingers on his forehead to concentrate through closed eyes.

All seems well as Morty kneels in silence under the protection of his two ghost Pokemon. However, after a few moments, the man suddenly snaps his eyes wide open, and collapses onto the ground, causing Silver to jump in alarm. Morty struggles to climb back onto his elbows, and assures Silver that he is alright. He states that he was just given an extremely powerful image, which even outshone his vision of the location of the 13 other Plates. After he managed to see the last Plate, a giant silhouette cropped up in his mind without warning to overlap itself with all 16 Plates, a silhouette of no other than the four-legged creature that attacked the Gym just now.

Silver gasps in astonishment at Morty's description of his vision, and wonders what could be the relationship between the giant creature and the 16 Plates, items which seems to link to Lance's disappearance and possible ambush by Team Rocket. As the keywords flash across his mind, he suddenly sees a tie between everything. Spinning around to take another glance at the demolished gym, Silver could tell that the four-legged Pokemon's massive destructive powers would be highly coveted. If one combines it with the mysterious force of the Plates which could draw out an extraordinary amount of energy within a Pokemon holding it, the outcome could be beyond imagination. This, if he isn't mistaken, is what Team Rocket is currently after.

Morty reveals that the forced requests he received in the past consecutive days were actually all for the same purpose, and just as Silver guessed, there are indeed 13 objects of similar energy pattern as the 3 Plates he holds scattered across the land of Johto. The Ecruteak Gymleader takes out a map of the region to mark crosses on the locations where he sensed their presence, and hands it over to Silver, right before he slumps to the ground with a moan, exhausted from too much concentration.

Silver feels sorry for pushing Morty so hard, but knows that it is the only way for him to beat Team Rocket to obtaining all the Plates first. He sends out Weavile from its Pokeball, who grabs the marked map and starts clawing signs on a tree bark nearby. Morty wonders what it is doing, and Silver explains that Weaviles carve patterns on trees to send messages to its companions. In fact, on their way to Ecruteak from the Safari Zone, Weavile has left marks on every route and town, notifying Sneasels and Weaviles in those areas that they are currently in search of the Plates, so that they may scout their own territory, and pass on the message to adjacent areas efficiently and extensively.

Morty sees that wild Sneasles and Weaviles have indeed started to appear, and after what Silver's Weavile clawed, begin making their own markings on other trees to spread the message. Silver states that it is a way of survival in nature, and believes that it is time for him to get going. He thanks Morty for his assistance again, and digs out four Gym Badges from his pocket. He expresses his regret for stealing the Fog Badge from the Ecruteak Gym before, and hopes that Morty would also help him extend his apologies to Chuck, Falkner and Bugsy, whose Storm, Zephyr and Hive Badges he also took without permission in the past.

With that, Silver goes airborne on Honchkrow, and Morty watches the boy depart as he wishes him good luck. The truth is, what Silver is dealing with is far beyond the powers of the Gymleaders, and he sincerely hopes that Silver and his companions could help them safeguard Johto from the impending crisis.

Soaring across the skies on Honchkrow, Silver takes out the Pokegear which Crys forced him to take. He relents that the girl is truly stubborn and serious sometimes, and sees that the numbers of Prof. Oak, Prof. Elm and other Pokedex Holders have been registered in the contact list, just as he expected. He remembers what Crys said about report, contact and discuss, abbreviated as re-con-dis by the girl, and decides to make a call to Gold.

Soon, Gold answers the phone with his usual humorous tone, and is glad to know that Silver is alive. Yet, when asked about his current situation, a hint of seriousness seeps into his voice, and he explains that he is in the middle of a battle with the powerful Pokemon known as Arceus. Silver pauses for a moment in his response, and tells Gold to try his best to hang on and wait, for he shall come to join him once he has collected all 16 Plates…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



011: VS Arceus II!

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