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In the crater of a dead volanic on one of the four Whirl Islands, Gold slowly wakes and finds himself in a ring of fire. His Aipom, Aitro, trots over to comb his tossled hair, and Gold suddenly remembers he was with Silver when he faced off the masked man. Quickly looking around, Gold spots Silver lying on the ground behind him and gets worried that the boy might be dead. To his surprise, Silver starts talking and says he has actually waken quite a while ago, but was simply laying still to help his recovery. The red-haired boy mentions that they have suffered a great deal of damage from the battle against the enemy, and says they would not have stayed alive if not for the mysterious creature who saved them at the Lake of Rage.

Gold doesn’t understand what he means, and Silver explains that in the split second when they were knocked to the bottom of the lake by Mask of Ice, a firey shadow carried them off, and took them all the way to the volcanic crater of the island they’re on right now. The creature kept them warm by a special flame it creates, and it is safe to assume that the flame has the power to generate life energy. Taking a look at the ring of fire around them, Silver discovers that it is beginning to recede, and wonders if this flame of life has the ability to go off on its own once the people it protects regain consciousness.

Gold starts to ponder on what might have happened during the time they were knocked out, and suddenly finds themselves surrounded by a roomful of spike balls who begin attacking them without warning. Not knowing what creatures they are, Gold hurriedly reaches for his Pokédex as he and Silver dash off to evade their assaults. But then he discovers that he has lost the device as well as his cap, his bagpack and one of his shoe. Fortunately, his billiard cue is still with him, and he grins that it is all he needs. Swinging his Pokéballs out with the cue, he calls forward Typhlo, Politro, Sunflo and Togero to team up with Aitro, while Silver releases Crocronaw, Murkrow, Ursaring and Sneasel.

The nine Pokémon then begin fighting back against the spike balls, but are having trouble cracking through their tough defences. Silver realizes that the red Gyarados he captured at the Lake of Rage is not with him, and grunts that it would have been helpful in such situations. Frustrated by the seemingly impregnable spike balls, Crocronaw delivers a mighty punch on a tumbling one to pin it down onto the ground, and to Gold and Silver’s surprise, the ball opens up to reveal itself as a curled up Sandslash.

Meanwhile, the luxurious S.S. Aqua is slowly approaching this same Whirl Island that Gold and Silver are on. After dropping off all passengers at the Olivine seaport, the liner has encountered quite a few perilous whirlpools and witnessed some abnormal wild Pokémon migrations before finally reaching its destination. Taking a look at the drawing made accordeing to Morty’s descriptions, Lt. Surge takes out his binoculars and quickly spots two young boys standing on a cliff of the volcano. He instantly knows that they must be the owners of the items he retrieved from the bottom of the Lake of Rage, and calls out his Magnetons to carry him over by creating an electric pod.

Back on the island, Gold and Silver are panting from exhaustion on the cliff edge as they finally managed to escape from the Sandslashes. Silver remarks that it is rare that wild Pokémon move about in such a big group, and is wondering what might have caused it when a voice calls out to them. The two boys turn around, and see Lt. Surge floating in midair supported by four Magnetons. Gold quickly comments on his weird appearance, and the Vermillion gymleader tosses their belongings back to them with a grunt, calling them ungrateful brats who don’t appreciate his effort to being them back their stuff.

Gold exclaims in joy when he sees his bagpack and cap, but Lt. Surge stops him and says he is expecting a favour for return. Gold sheepishly gives a buttered-up thank you speech while Silver sweatdrops, but Lt. Surge remarks that it is not what he needs, and reveals that he is looking for information about the masked man. Both boys bolt in surprise upon hearing the name, and Lt. Surge proceeds to explain that he wants to know the details of all their previous confrontations with the masked man, his team, type, attacks, techniques as well as tactics.

Just then, Silver notices something, and points to the ocean while asking if Lt .Surge travelled there by a giant liner. Lt. Surge grins that it is the luxurious S.S. Aqua from Kanto and turns around, but then hollers in shock when he sees the whole ship being lifted off the sea and suspended in the air by an invisible force. Behind the liner, a giant white flying creature shrieks in fury while lifting off yet another sail boat from the sea…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us

145: VS. Sandslash!

Volume 12