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Night has fallen in Hoenn. In the open seas to the west of Route 115, the S.S. Tidal sails forth as Rustboro City slowly comes into view. Drake stands at the bow of the ship, and states that they are about to approach the shoreline. With old Mr. Briney in the wheelhouse, Drake is in fact the only person on board, since Ruby and Emerald are taking the aerial route on Latios and Latias respectively and Ultima is flying on her Dragonite.

Emerald steals a glance at the shiny pink jewel-like Pokemon next to Ruby, and wants to know what exactly it is. Ruby states that he doesn't really know, but explain that it rescued them when he and Latios fell into the sea. Latias reveals to the boys that it is actually the mythical Pokemon Diancie, and also explains that the little genie Emerald brought along is called Hoopa. Emerald frowns upon the statement, and protests that he didn't bring it along. Rather, it followed him out of mischief, just as it is doing now, pulling at his hair with its golden ring.

Ruby wishes to share with Emerald the discoveries he has made during his quest at the Sky Pillar, but Emerald reveals that he has already more or less learnt of them via Latias's Sight Sharing, including issues that pertain to Zinnia and those of the Draconids. Emerald wonders if they are going to be ambushed by Draconids like the three men once they arrive at the Meteor Falls, and Ruby decides to ask Drake if it is really where the Draconids' village is located. Drake admits that he actually doesn't know, but states that the Meteor Falls is famous for being a site where dragon type users gather and train, which is why he believes that they would at least discover some information about the Draconids there.

Soon, Mr. Briney pulls the S.S. Tidal to a halt, and anchors the ship. He tells Ultima to give him some space on Dragonite, and Ultima is surprised that the old man is planning to come along. Drake intercepts them, however, and wants everyone to spend the night on the ship and wait until morning before they set off. He understands that the kids must feel on edge with all the recent happenings, but points out that a tired mind is prone to making errors, which is why he wants them to spend time and rest up, no matter how short it will be. Ruby and Emerald ponder for a moment, and decide to accept Drake's suggestion.

Later that night, the group gets dinner on board, and Ultima keeps asking for more, much to Briney's bewilderment. Emerald lays himself on the deck with a full stomach, and gazes upon the beautiful night sky. He remarks that the stars appear as if they are about to fall down, but as soon as he says it, he realizes how inappropriate his words are. Everyone else sweatdrops at the comment, and Ruby decides to ask why Ultima and Mr. Briney have come along. Drake believes that Ultima is interested in the scroll that Ruby has taken from Zinnia, and the old lady admits with a nod. She then giggles that Briney followed her because he is secretly in love with her, and calls him a stalker. Briney immediately protests at the accusation, and points out that Ultima is the one who is secretly in love with him since she always finds excuses to contact him. Emerald sweatdrops that they should take their love bickering somewhere else, and Ultima says they should get back on topic and requests to see at the scroll.

Ruby hands over the ancient document, and Ultima begins to decipher its content, which is completely written in hieroglyphic characters. As she reads on, Ruby wants to know if she finds anything important, and the old lady believes that Ruby should know what TMs are. Ruby responds the affirmative, and Ultima states that a TM holds the essence of a move which allows a Pokemon to embody it instantly. However, before the technology to build these devices exists, there were also items in the past with similar purposes, which include the rings she uses to pass down the ultimate moves, as well as the scroll currently at hand. Emerald is astonished that the scroll holds the secrets of a move, and Ruby requests to know what it is. Ultima spells it out as 'Dragon Ascent', and postulates it to be some kind of dragon type move since the term 'dragon lord' has been mentioned repeatedly. The term strikes a chord in Ruby's mind, and he instantly realizes that it is referring to Rayquaza. Ultima then returns the scroll to Ruby, and apologizes that she could not decipher anything beyond that information. Ruby says it is alright, and begins to ponder on what it means. If Zinnia deliberately brought along this scroll from her village on her quest, perhaps it implies that this 'Dragon Ascent' move is the key to diverting the asteroid's impact.

While Ruby is lost in thought, Mr. Briney stretches himself up and decides to get some rest, although he doubts that he could really fall asleep. Drake remains silent as takes another puff out of his cigar pipe, and Briney wonders what is wrong. Drake sighs that it is nothing, but admits to feel a tug at his heart when he thinks of what must currently be going through the minds of Joseph and Steven, whom they have left behind at Sea Mauville.

Indeed, things have been rough for Joseph Stone. Back at Sea Mauville, the Devon Corporation President gazes upon the now powered-off Absorber, and wears a somnolent look on his face. Steven soon returns to inform him that not much bioenergy remains as they have feared, and Joseph sighs that their endeavor has really been a rocky one. Not only have they lost the charged Dimensional Shifter and the young trainers' assistance, but it feels as if his childhood friends have also abandoned him. All this time, he has placed every ounce of his hope and effort into this one scheme to save their planet. Alas, it has fallen apart.

Steven feels bad for what his father is going through, and after a moment of thought, suddenly puts on a cheeky grin and gives the old man a friendly slap on the back. He calls him 'Pops', and thinks there is still hope if the little genie Emerald befriended indeed possesses the powers Joseph mentioned. Joseph says Steven is referring to Hoopa, and the young man postulates that if it is true that Hoopa's rings have the ability to link up different dimensions, Sapphire and the Dimensional Shifter were simply transported elsewhere and didn't vanish into thin air. This means they still have a chance at thwarting the crisis with the collected Infinity Energy, provided that they manage to locate its whereabouts in time.

Steven's words manage to put a smile on Joseph's face, but not because of his brilliant idea. Rather, it is because of his cheeky attitude and the fact that it has been years since he called him 'Pops'. Steven blushes that he must have returned to be the fearless boy he once was before he became the Champion, and Joseph agrees that not all hope is lost. Steven is curious as to why Joseph didn't mention about Hoopa before, and Joseph says he probably would have if they weren't in their current situation. The truth is, it is human nature to desire and relive the mysterious powers of Pokemon, but more than often, it results in doing more harm than good.

At that moment, Steven receives an incoming call, and sees that it is from Prof. Cozmo. He believes that the professor must be inquiring about the Dimensional Shifter, and quickly answers to apologize for the delay. Yet, to his astonishment, he learns that the device has already been delivered, and Cozmo is simply calling to confirm its authenticity. Cozmo explains that it was brought to him by a girl who played a role in the Groudon and Kyogre incident 4 years ago, and Steven knows he must be talking about Sapphire. He assures Cozmo that she is on their side, and that the Dimensional Shifter is the real one. However, Cozmo then informs him that Sapphire has not been able to say a word since she arrived, and the revelation causes Steven to bolt in shock. The young man wants to know what has happened, but Cozmo thinks not even the girl herself knows. So far, she has been communicating with him by writing on a marker board, and also expressed her worry that someone with ill intentions may come and target the rocket. For that reason, she has offered to stay behind and guard the place.

Cozmo thinks he should get the Dimensional Shifter on board the rocket as soon as possible now that its authenticity is confirmed, but raises another issue at hand. Currently, a mob of reporters have swarmed in front of the Space Center asking for answers, and he honestly has no idea how to handle them. Steven is shocked to hear that they have drawn the attention of the press, and Cozmo is surprised that the young man still isn't aware of it. He reveals that news about the impending asteroid is already all over the place thanks to a TV broadcast, and the entire Hoenn has been sent into panic. Joseph Stone cringes upon overhearing the last bit of information, and wonders how it has come to that. Steven, on the other hand, thinks the reason is not important anymore, and suggests they find a way to do some damage control before things go really out of hand. With that, he climbs onto Metagross with his father, and starts speeding off to the Mossdeep Space Center.

Back on the deck of the S.S. Tidal, Emerald takes a big sneeze and wakes himself up. Ruby immediately shushes him, and Emerald wonders what is going on when he sees that Ruby has set up his video camera. Ruby explains that he is recording the playtime between Diancie and Hoopa, and Emerald observes with pleasant surprise that the two Pokemon have indeed become acquainted. Ruby grins that they are extraordinarily pretty and cute, and watches as Diancie starts to generate a pink glow between its palms. In the next instant, it materializes into a shimmering diamond, which causes the boys and even Hoopa to gasp in astonishment. Before long, Hoopa's competitive nature kicks in, and it proceeds to pull off the golden ring from its waist. It then sticks a hand into the void, and after searching for a while, draws out a handful of jewels, shocking Ruby and Emerald and making Diancie impressed.

Emerald exclaims that things are not only drawn in but also pulled out from Hoopa's golden rings, and wonders if it can summon materials other than items. Ruby doesn't really understand what Emerald is trying to say, and Emerald explains that when he first encountered Hoopa, he seemed to have sense the presence of other Pokemon within the ring's void. Ruby ponders on Emerald's words, but the thought about the void's nature quickly reminds him of Sapphire, which instantly puts a worried look on his face.

On a nearby shoreline, Amber and Blaise spy on the S.S. Tidal via a pair of binoculars, and soon spot Hoopa hovering over the deck. Amber still feels hesitant of what they are about to do, but Blaise states that they have no time to waste and must take action immediately. He admits to be doubtful, however, if Amber can really pull off the stunt at such a distance, but Amber seems more than confident. The former Team Aqua Admin remarks that as long as it is a body of water, be it a river or the ocean, there is no barrier to his water drop attack. With that, he gets Gorebyss to create a water droplet, which quickly generates a big ripple as it lands into the sea. Then, as if having a mind on its own, the ripple turns into a water jet, and dashes straight out towards the S.S. Tidal. Before it makes contact, it angles out of the water surface and hits Hoopa straight from behind.

Amber states that the target has been hit, and through the binoculars, sees that Hoopa is angrily searching for its attacker. Blaise signals to Slugma to light up a flame, and the sparkle in the dark succeeds in catching the attention of the little genie. Hoopa start scanning the area through its ring, and soon spots Amber and Blaise. Fuming with rage, it uses its powers to bridge the dimensions, and creates a wormhole which opens up as another golden ring right above the two men. Before it can warp through to attack, however, Amber orders a series of Hydro Pump from Gorebyss and keeps it at bay.

On the S.S. Tidal, Ruby and Emerald watch as Hoopa struggles with something within its golden ring, and wonder what is going on. They see a constant blast of water coming out from the void, which is making it extremely difficult for Hoopa to go through. At that moment, Blaise decides that it is time for the most important step, and commands Slugma to confuse Hoopa with its fire illusion. Almost immediately, the silhouettes of two gigantic creatures materialize in front of Hoopa's eyes, but instead of being frightened, the little genie sees it as a taunt and refuses to back down. Amber grins that Hoopa is a highly competitive Pokemon, and its nature will force it to try and overcome the foes in its illusion. Indeed, Hoopa soon loses its cool and throws out the two other rings around its horns, from which it begins to summon the ancient titans Groudon and Kyogre.

Inside the wheelhouse of S.S. Tidal, Mr. Briney has finally managed to dose off some time ago. On the radio which he has left on, news on the Kanto region comes on, and broadcasts about a recent robbery which occurred at Cerulean City's Lab Cape. The reporter states that the lab manager Bill, who is also a Pokemon scholar, sustained minor injuries, but a pair of red and blue stones has been snatched away. According to local witness, the culprits appear to be a duo of men who are similarly dressed in red and blue.

Out in the open seas, a speedboat gradually approaches the vicinity of Hoenn, and the two men on board notice that the markings on the Orbs are getting increasingly clearer. They find it unsurprising, however, since the jewels are finally being returned to where they are meant to be. The man in blue, who sports a beard and has pirate-like attire, believes that it is a task that they alone could fulfill, and the man in red, who wears glasses and a long trench coat, agrees with his companion.

And so, with the Blue and Red Orbs in hand, the former leaders of Team Aqua and Team Magma, Archie and Maxie, make their return to the region of Hoenn…

Thanks To Coronis For Writing this for us



010: VS Hoopa!

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