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As the ancient creature, Groudon, continues its ascend in the earth crust, all vegatation that grows on the land surface above its underground path quickly evaporates and chars. In Fortree, Sapphire is taking her morning stretch in the city after a long night's rest. All of a sudden, an intense heat overwhelms her, and she gasps in horror as she watches the leaves on trees and bushes around lose their moisture and start vapourizing into thin air. Lakes and ponds instantly dry up, and in a matter of seconds, the once magnificant tree house city is transformed into an unbearable inferno. Terrified by the sight in front of her eyes, Sapphire struggles to withstand the hot ground burning on her bare feet, and hurries towards the Tree Tower to find Winona.

Meanwhile, in the Tree Tower data room, the gymleaders are still trying to digest the news that an ancient pokemon has awakened. Fearing that Dewford will soon be completely drowned by the gigantic tidal waves Kyogre creates, Brawly bolts for the door and plans to head back and protect his town immediately, but the Chairman quickly stops him and says Kyogre isn't the only legendary titan that has risen from its slumber. He shows them another data screen of the monitoring system, and explains that their radars have picked up the energy field of another creature roaming free in Hoenn. Just then, a surge of hot air seeps through the windows of the data room, and Flannery hurriedly yells for everyone to look outside. What they see stuns them to their core. Every single leaf in the city has been reduced to ash, and the tree houses are stripped bare of everything but the severely charred tree trunks.

Roxanne exclaims that Fortree is suffering from a heat wave attack, and says the rise in heat energy is so great that all vegatation has lost their moisture and even started to disintegrate into thin air. Winona pulls out the data Wallace gave her the previous night, and can't understand how the atmosphere's humidity status could have changed so drastically and rapidly. The Chairman of the Pokemon Association remarks that the powerful heat-generating Groudon must be moving quickly in the earth crust, and it appears that its current location is right under Fortree, affecting the whole north-eastern region of Hoenn with drought. With Kyogre terrorizing the south-western region with heavy downpours and tidal waves, the whole of Hoenn is now caught up in two opposing natural disasters at its two extreme ends, splitting the land into two conflicting zones and creating a powerful tension at the separating midline.

While the gymleaders continue to take in all the sudden happenings with disbelief, the Chairman states that they have no time to lose. Assigning Roxanne and Brawly to the drought-hit zone, and Wattson and Flannery to the flooded areas, he wants them to evacuate all citizens to a safe place and try to stop the two creatures from rampaging to other areas. Brawly and Roxanne are shocked to hear that there still exists somewhere safe in Hoenn, and Wattson explains that underneath Mauville lies a hidden city known as New Mauville, a multi-levelled gigantic playground that could hold a considerable amount of people. The Chairman remarks that the advance electronic shelter of the underground city should offer sufficient protection against the external disasters, and tells Brawly that while Dewford is an important place to him, the situation they're dealing with affects the whole land and requires all gymleaders to work together. Brawly hesitates for a moment, but knows that the mission bestowed upon him is crucial to everyone in Hoenn, and agrees to stay.

The Chairman then appoints Winona as the central commander, and tells her to stand by at the border line where the two natural disasters clash. She will be required to monitor the energy struggle between the two opposing energy fields, and give directions to the other four gymleaders positioned on both sides accordingly. He adds that they should try to get in touch with Wallace as soon as possible, and keep each other informed of the latest developments by the visual communication feature of their Pokegears. He grants them the use of greatballs, which is the designated type of pokeballs used in official missions assigned by the Pokemon Association, and wishes them good luck in their combat to safeguard Hoenn.

Sapphire arrives at the Tree Tower, and is just in time to catch the gymleaders setting off on their missions. Flannery gives her an encouraging grin before departing with Wattson, and she turns around to see Winona coming out of the front door in her full flying suit. The Fortree gymleader informs Sapphire that they should get going as well, and Sapphire quickly climbs on Tororo to head after her teacher's Altaria. In no time, the announcement about the urgent evacuation is heard in every corner of Hoenn. Residents in every city and town hurry towards New Mauville on trucks and fastboats, and one by one descend underground to gain shelter through the high-tech city's advanced elevators and escalators.

Flying through burning forests and dried up grounds, Winona gasps that the disasters are consuming the land at a much quicker rate than they expected. Just then, a sweep of cold air hits the two, and Sapphire starts to shiver from the abrupt change in temperature. A chilly wind without warning replaces the intense heat that overwhelmed them just a few seconds ago, and heavy rain begins to pour from the sky. Sapphire is baffled by the rapidly fluctuating weather, and Winona states that they have arrived at route 123, the border line where the two natural disasters clash.

As Sapphire takes a look at her chaotic surroundings, she has to convince herself that she isn't dreaming. While the sea beneath them rages with gigantic waves on the side under Kyogre's drizzle ability, water on the other side of the border line has dried up completely and the barren ground is scorched with fierce fires under the influence of Groudon's drought effect. A huge tidal wave suddenly comes crashing from the stormy side, and Winona and Sapphire narrowly escape the powerful splash by flying high.

Sapphire watches as the wave gets instanty vapourized into steam once it crosses the border line, and cries in horror when several water pokemons are washed onto the drought-hit side. Hopping off Tororo, she hurriedly runs up to the suffocating marine creatures, and returns them back into the sea. She then notices a Relicanth that's knocked far off into the dried up land showing particularly weak signs from the dehydration it's suffering from, and dashes over to pick it up in her arms. She reaches for a few recovery berries from her bagpack on Tororo's neck to feed it, and encourages it to stay strong.

Winona remarks that she has never seen such a pokemon before, and says it must have been washed up from its natural deep sea habitat. Just then, another gigantic tidal wave soars high above them, and the two bolts in horror as it threatens to crash down on them…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us




235: VS. Kyogre & Groudon III!


Volume 19