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Evening has fallen in Hoenn. At the headquarters of the Hoenn TV in Lilycove City, Archie winds up his daily duties as the chief of the broadcast team, and prepares to head off. Greeted warmly by the guard at the front door as he leaves the building, the Team Aqua leader nonchalently makes his way to the carpark and takes out the keys to his car. Suddenly, he hears his name being called, and a voice comes on to comment that Team Aqua members must be having a busy life disguising themselves as both drainage technicians and TV station staff. A Team Magma memory fire lighter then spins out of nowhere to crack Archie's car window, and the bearded man quickly releases his Walrein, demanding whoever's stalking him to come out.

The fire lighter ignites itself to give off a small ember, and the face of Maxie slowly materializes in the blaze. Sensing a presence behind him, Archie quickly turns around, and finds the Team Magma leader glaring at him from the top of a nearby car next to his Camerupt. Archie calmly addresses Maxie, but the other man has no patience for courtesy, and quickly lashes out at him for being cunning. Hopping off the car, Maxie barks that the only reason why Archie made himself the chief of the television broadcast team is to conceal all of Team Aqua's evil doings, and give exaggerated media coverage on the incidents started by Team Magma. He grunts that their team, as a result, received too much attention from the public and have been impeded in much of their actions, yet all the while Aqua gets to do whatever they wish undeterred and unnoticed.

Archie smirks that it is important to plan ahead and think wisely for big schemes, and says he simply has the wit that Maxie doesn't to heighten the efficiency of his team's work. Maxie grinds his teeth in rage, and hollers that Archie's tactics disgust him. He orders a flamethrower from his Camerupt, and Archie quickly retaliates with Walrein's hydropump. The two attacks collide into a bang, and the two pokemons stare down at each other with hateful eyes. Maxie grunts that they shall have a fair one on one battle, and Archie grins that he is concerned about the style of combat as he will certainly prevail in any kind of competition.

And so the mighty battle between the leaders of Team Magma and Team Aqua begins. Camerupt and Walrein charge into each other, and the ice walrus without warning digs its tusks into the back of its foe. Archie laughs that the two massively developed tusks of Walrein can totally shatter blocks of ice weighing ten tons with one blow, and says the cold air exuding from them freezes any opponent immediately. But Maxie is less than worried. He remarks that Camerupt's magma armour ability prevents it from getting frozen, and smirks that it was a mistake to go near the fire camel's back. He points out Walrein's inability to move with its tusks embedded deep in Camerupt's body, and Archie's gasps in shock when Camerupt unleashes an eruption and throws his Walrein off in flames.

Meanwhile, Gabby and Ty are heading back towards the Hoenn TV headquarters in their car. Outraged by the fact that the cessation of Mt. Chimney's volcanic activity was kept a secret from the public, Gabby is determined to confront the chief and reason with him. Seeing the furious expression on Gabby's face, Ty is a little taken aback by her serious journalism and fears that her impulsiveness will get them into trouble sooner or later. As the car approaches the TV station's carpark, flames and flickers come into sight, and Ty knows that a fierce battle must be in the process. He quickly has Gabby stop the car before they get spotted, and they both climb off to hide themselves behind a bush while spying on the happenings. What they see stuns them. A man from the red-attired evil team has just delivered a deadly eruption from his Camerupt on his opponent's Walrein. But the opponent, the trainer of the charred Walrein, is no other than the chief of their broadcast team.

Maxie puts on a victorious grin as Walrein falls hard on the ground, but to his surprise, the ice walrus quickly regains its stance, and appears to be barely hurt from the powerful blast. Archie laughs that Walrein's thick fat ability insulates it even from melting lava, and that ordinary fire attacks wouldn't harm it a single bit. Knowing that his opponent is just as strong as he is, Maxie ponders to himself for a moment, and decides to reveal the true intentions behind his late night visit. He tells Archie that althought Team Magma has successfully taken over the Submarine Explorer 1 vessel, the special engine starter that could unlock its greatest potential is in the hands of Team Aqua. Neither team could achieve much with what they have now, but it is clear that the ultimate goal of both is to head towards the Seafloor Cavern.

Archie coldly states that he isn't sure what Maxie is implying, and Maxie grins that they should perhaps put their rivalry on hold for the moment, and join efforts to reach their destination. He adds that they could always resume their unfinished battle after setting foot on the Seafloor Cavern, and says it's the only way either of the teams could go any further in their schemes. Archie hesitates for a moment as he thinks over Maxie's proposal, and decides that there's no reason to object to it.

After the deal gets struck, both men retrieve their pokemons and go their separate ways. Archie gets into his car and promptly departs, while Maxie calls out his Swellow and goes airborne. Having overheard everything from behind a nearby bush, Gabby trembles in horror as she realizes that their chief is actually the leader of the blue-attired evil team. She prepares to jump out and confront the man directly, but Ty quickly stops her and says it's not the time to let her impulsiveness take over. Watching Archie drive away, Gabby feels totally lost, and wonders what they should do now…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




230: VS. Walrein!


Volume 19