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Flannery hugs Tabitha in joy as the volcano of Mt. Chimney becomes alive again. However, the lava slowly stops bubbling after a while, and the two realize with a start that their plan has apparently not worked. Flannery sighs that their flames have probably be insufficient to counteract the energy from the meteor, and Tabitha lets out a grunt, saying that he can't think of any other feasible methods to resurrect the volcano if not even the fireball attack works. The red-caped man curses Team Aqua once again, and tells Flannery that his team, Team Magma, will do anything to increase the amount of land which is highly essential to Hoenn. He then compliments on Flannery's good looks, and turns around to leave on his Swellow.

Flannery suddenly remembers that Sapphire is still fighting the pirate people underground, and looks down through a crack created by the giant machine's destruction earlier while calling out to the girl. Down below in the smoke-filled tunnel, Sapphire orders another solarbeam from Tororo, but just like before, an identical attack shoots right back towards them. Sapphire angrily yells out for the Team Aqua members to show themselves, but notices that something is wrong when her voice echoes back from the hollowness ahead. She tells Tororo to cease its attacks, and catiously walks into the smoke in front of her. She comes into contact with an invisible barrier, and realizes with a start that a ring of mirror coats has been set up to fool them while the pirate people have actually fled long ago.

Knowing that she has fallen into a trick of the enemy, Sapphire gets mad at herself and thumps her hands angrily on the floor. She hears Flannery's yell from above, and looks up to see a small crack on the ceiling of the tunnel. She is about to climb out from the narrow opening when she spots a little piece of shimmering rock on the ground. She decides to pick it up, then proceeds to leave the tunnel and join Flannery above ground.

As the sun begins to set, Sapphire and Flannery slowly walk down the Jagged Pass towards Lavaridge Town. Sapphire sighs that she was too careless to be fooled by the enemy, and Flannery sadly takes a glance at the cooled down volcano, saying that luck didn't seem to be with the two of them that day. They stand on a cliff to look over at Lavaridge, and Flannery remarks that the little town attracts hundreds of visitors every day by its famous hotsprings. A tear slowly runs down her cheek, and she sobs that she has failed her people by not being able to protect the volcano of Mt. Chimney that the town greatly depends on. Sapphire can't find the words to comfort the Lavaridge Gymleader, and silently offers support by standing next to her.

The two resume their descend, and Sapphire suddenly spots a small rocky pool filled with hotspring water. Flannery reasons that her attempt to resurrect the volcano earlier must have heated up isolated patches of underground water on Mt. Chimeny and created the small hotsprings. Sapphire grins that the water is still hot, and says someone should benefit until it turns cold. She begins to take off her clothes, and Flannery wonders what she's doing. Sapphire says both of them need a relaxing moment in the hotsprings after their intense battles that day, and ushers Flannery to join her.

A moment later, both girls are enjoying themselves in the hot water of the small rocky pool with their Pokémon. Sapphire pulls off some fruits from Tororo's neck and offers them to Flannery. The Lavaridge Gymleader accepts with a bitter smile, and wonders if she deserves all that after what she's failed to do. She tells Sapphire that she needs to regain her confidence, and requests a battle with the girl there. Sapphire gladly agrees, and orders Chaka to get ready while Flannery prepares her Magcargo.

The two Pokémon begin to stirke at each other as their trainers give their commands from the hotsprings pool. Chaka delivers a double kick on Magcargo's back, but the lava Pokémon quickly thrashes around and throws its opponent off the ground. Sapphire and Flannery both order a flamethrower and the two fire attacks collide with a bang. Chaka attempts another double kick, but Magcargo unleashes a blast of fire from the shell on its back to propel the Combusken off. Both Pokémon stare down at each other as their trainers pant heavily. The two girls suddenly break into laughter as they realize they both share the same passion for Pokémon battles.

As the last bit of sunlight slowly disappears into the night sky, Sapphire and Flannery climb out from the pool as the water has already turned cold. Flannery remarks that her grandfather used to be a member of what people refer to as the Elite 4, and says he was in fact her inspiration for choosing to become a gymleader. She vows not to disappoint her grandfather, and tells Sapphire that she will alert the other gymleaders about the situation of Mt. Chimney and try to figure out a way to protect Hoenn from the evil forces. Sapphire says with a determined look that she will work to improve her skills as well, and hopefully take revenge on Team Aqua for what they've done.

Sapphire climbs onto Tororo and prepares to lift off as Flannery gives her the directions to Fortree, the city of tree houses. Flannery thanks Sapphire for all she did, and hands her the Heat Badge. Sapphire waves goodbye to the Lavaridge Gymleader, and lifts off on Tororo to head towards her next destination...

Countdown to our heroes' rival showdown: 49 days!

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




216: VS. Magcargo!


Volume 18


The Volcano stays doremant
Sapphire & Flannery have a battle