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Crouching on a lamp post next to the ocean, Sapphire places her fingers in her mouth and lets out a whistle. A sprout of water shoots up into the sky from afar, and something begins to move towards the shore. Just then, a panting Roxanne runs up to Sapphire with two of her assistants, and says she has forgotten to explain the Hoenn badge system. Sapphire tells the Rustboro gymleader to simply give her a quick brief as she has to head towards the next town soon, and Roxanne seems surprised. She remarks that both Verdanturf and Mauville can only be accessed via mountain routes, and wonders where Sapphire is planning to go. Sapphire explains that her next destination is Dewford, and Roxanne says she might have a lot of waiting to do since the circulating ships have very irregular schedules in that area.

Sapphire grins, and says she won't be taking ships but will sail on a Pokémon that her father lent her as a means to travel on water instead. A Wailord all of a sudden emerges from the water and Sapphire happily hops onto the giant whale. She remarks that Pokémon with such size shouldn't be kept in tiny pokeballs, and tells the Wailord, which she calls Wailulu, to take her to Dewford. Roxanne is still a little stunned by the giant water Pokémon, and watches it sail away. Her assistant reminds her that she still hasn't explained the badge system, and she quickly yells out to Sapphire. She states that gym badges are symbols of strength recognized by the Pokémon Association, and that trainers who have earned all eight badges of Hoenn are entitled to an unconditional offer to take part in the Pokémon League Tournament. The giant Wailord slowly disappears into the horizon, and Roxanne wonders if Sapphire has heard her words afterall.

At the headquarters of Team Aqua, Archie is complimenting on the good work of Shelly, Matts and Sean. He happily holds the Devon-developed Submarine Explorer 1 engine starter in his hands, and decides to promote the three as subleaders of the team. He grants them new uniforms to signify their new rank, and the whole team begins to cheer. Archie adds, however, that he isn't pleased about the fact that the three let the young girl and two TV staff who have seen their faces get away. He reminds them the importance of keeping their identities a secret, and the three promise to take care of the getaways.

Meanwhile, Ruby slowly regains consciousness and find himself in a small room. He looks around at the old maps and water Pokémon pictures on the wall, and wonders where he is. He then notices the clothes in his bagpack have all gotten wet and wrinkled, and quickly hangs them up to dry. He checks on his Pokémon and is a little surprised that Ruru is missing, but then quickly remembers that he left Ruru behind to protect Wally during the earthquake, and wishes that they are both safe. He takes out a hair-dryer and starts tending his clothes when Mr. Briney comes in to check on him. The old man is a little surprised at what he sees, and asks what the boy is doing on his boat. Ruby is shocked to learn that he is sailing on the water route 106, and climbs out onto the deck to find himself in the middle of a vast ocean. A Wingull flies down to Briney and the big man happily greets it. He introduces himself and says he is a retired sailor. Ruby reveals his name, but all of a sudden gets nauseous and rushes to the edge of the boat to throw up.

Briney remarks that Ruby must be unfit to feel seasick that soon, and tells him to get back into the small room to rest until they arrive. Ruby wonders why Briney is sailing if he's retired, and the old man explains that there are new reports on sightings of an ancient Pokémon he has been looking for his whole life. He then pulls out an old drawing of a Relicanth and shows it to Ruby. He explains that Relicanths have lived for a hundred million years at the bottom of the ocean without ever changing its form, and that every once in a while they will swim near the sea surface. In the olden days, men treat Relicanths as good companions because they possess the special ability to travel to a depth of the ocean that no other means could get to. Ruby stares at the drawing and says it has no beauty in it at all. Briney sweatdrops at the boy's comment and tells him to go down and rest before he throws up again.

Later, down in the small room, Ruby and Coco are still sick from all the turbulent shaking of the boat. Ruby notices a small water tank with a Huntail, Barboach, Whiscash and Magikarp in it, and remarks that Briney certainly has a weird taste in Pokémon. Deep in the ocean, a dark shadow slowly swims across and a strong vibration suddenly thunders across the bottom of the sea. The Whiscash in Briney's tank start givng off a beeping sound, and Ruby wonders what is going on. He climbs back out on the deck to ask Briney, and the old man explains that the whiskers of Whiscash can detect earthquakes. He adds that there seem to be a heightened frequency of earthquakes lately, and Ruby remembers the same comment made by Wally.

Ruby informs Briney about the earthquake that threw him off in the ocean near the Petalburg Woods, and the the old man quickly takes out a map to draw a cross on it. He explains that he has been recording the locations of the recent earthquakes and the source seems to originate from Pacifidlog and Sootopolis. Just then, something tags at Briney's fishing line, and he quickly yanks on it to pull up three Wailmers biting on the multiple hooks. Briney gathers three nestballs from a bucket and captures them in no time.

Briney remarks that wild Pokémon are very in tune with nature, and points to a flock of Wingulls flying afar. He says where the Wingulls gather are usually places where a lot of fish are present, and adds that humans have much to learn from nature and Pokémon. Briney throws his fishing line back into the sea, and something soon grips on it again. Briney tries to pull but the creature underwater thrashes around to get free. Briney states that it must be something big, and Ruby wonders if it is the Relicanth that the old man seeks. Briney hopes it is and gives it a hard tug. To his surprise, a Crawdaunt emerges instead and glares at him after climbing on board. The red lobster swats Briney into the ocean with its giant claw, and Ruby quickly grabs hold of the old man's hand.

Briney remarks that it is abnormal to find Crawdaunts in the sea since they usually live in streams and ponds. Crawdaunt snaps the fishing line lose, and Ruby turns back in shock as the unfriendly sea creature starts unleashing a hyperbeam...

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




192: VS. Crawdaunt (Part 1)!


Volume 16


Sapphire Heads to Dewford Town
Ruby wakes up to find himself on a boat on Route 106