In his Collected Journals, Septimus Reus had this to say about Mount Silver:

"First of all, the respective governments of Johto and Kanto need to stop bickering about whose jurisdiction this place actually falls under. It doesn't help that every map shows this mountain range in a different place – from just north of New Bark Town to just west of the Indigo Plateau. There really isn't enough here to warrant the enmity. I feel sorry for the Pokemon Center attendant assigned to work here; I can't imagine they see more than one person a day.

"With that said, Mount Silver is an incredible tourist attraction, if your idea of a vacation is endless forest, nigh-unclimbable mountainside, pitch-black caves, and the occasional hailstorm. Sometimes, you might get to see a display of diamond dust; I made it to the peak of Mount Silver on my birthday and was treated to that rare sight. It almost made it worth the five straight days of hail immediately prior.

"As a side note, if you're here trying to catch a glimpse of the legendary Moltres, don't bother. It shows up at Mount Ember just as frequently, and at least Mount Ember has a spa."

It was not hailing as Mel ran through the trees and tall grass, nor was Moltres anywhere nearby, but nevertheless it was still unmistakably Mount Silver – the eponymous peak rose into the sky in the distance. "Incoming, boss!" Repeat yelled, and Mel ducked to the left just as a blast of fire passed to her right, fizzling out harmlessly over a lake.

The fact that the lake was, thus, in front of Mel was not something she noticed until her relationship with said lake became markedly more intimate. Luckily, falling into the water was enough to deter the Rapidash from chasing her anymore, and it wandered away.

The more buoyant Repeat surfaced first and clambered back onto the shore, followed shortly by Mel. Accidental soakings were by no means new to them, and they had a procedure. First, Mel wrung the water out of Repeat – a sensation he described as being like "a really good full-body stretch" – then she started drying her own clothes.

A presence rustled in the bushes nearby, and Mel whipped around, holding her fists at the ready before realizing who it was. "Oh. Hey, Hyacinth. What brings you up around these parts?"

"Greetings, Miss Rylan! And to you as well, Mr. Repeat." Hyacinth bowed low and made a motion like doffing their cap without actually doffing their cap. "I find myself here on the search for leads in a new case!"

"A new case? Do tell." Mel collapsed onto a felled log, pulled a boot off, and dumped more water out of it than she thought could have reasonably fit in it in the first place.

"Indeed!" There was Hyacinth's notebook again, suddenly in their hand as they likewise sat next to Mel. "Understand I can't go into too much detail—"

"Of course."

"—but I've been hired by a certain former Viridian gym leader to find a missing former Pokemon League champion."

"Oh no," Mel said with no outward trace of sarcasm. "However will I determine who you're talking about?"

Hyacinth looked briefly sheepish. "Well, I suppose I could give you a hint. Their names may or may not be primary colors—"

"No, no, I follow. Don't worry. Keep going."

"Ah! Well then. Mount Silver is known to be one of this person's favorite haunts, so I rather thought I might find some clues here. I was just able to teach my dear Dozer Rock Climb, so I intend to scope out the mountain's summit."

Mel stretched her arms back and yawned. It was getting to be evening, and she was already worn out. "Good luck with all that. How's life treating you otherwise?"

"Thank you for asking!" Hyacinth beamed, and their glasses glinted in the setting sun. "I'm well. I've been consumed mostly by work, as you might imagine! Though I did run into Miss Izzy the other day."

"Oh yeah?"

"Yes! She initially tried to avoid me. I can't imagine why. I was able to chase her down though."

Mel cracked a brief smile at the thought of Izzy being cornered by someone half her size.

"Once she talked to me," Hyacinth said, "I found that she's returned to working with Professor Silktree. They'll be traveling to Sinnoh soon, to the Solaceon Ruins."

"Huh!" said Mel. "I guess they're heading into unknown territory. Why is that so funny?" she added when Hyacinth started laughing.

The two chatted for a while longer, with Repeat dozing off into an early night's sleep, before Hyacinth rose. "It has been lovely catching up with you, Miss Rylan," Hyacinth said, "but I expect I should be continuing my investigation." They approached Mel and helped her back up to her feet. "When can we expect to see you back in civilization?"

"Who knows?" Mel said, waving her hand dismissively. "There's a Poliwag out here somewhere that's hurting, but I haven't pinpointed it yet. I'm going to take a quick nap and start on the lookout again. But once I find it, I've got some medicine for it."

"Medicine? I thought you usually brought them back to the shelter."

Mel shifted uneasily. "Well… ever since all of that… stuff with Genesis, I feel guiltier about taking a Pokemon out of the wild unless they really, really need it."

"Ah. You don't want to take it away from its family." Hyacinth tapped the side of what Mel assumed was their nose.

"Right. So I'll find the Poliwag, see how it's doing, talk to it a bit, and make the choice from there."

Hyacinth nodded. "A sound plan, I think. Best of luck to you." And with that, they were gone.

"What a coincidence, running into them," Mel said, smiling. "Small world, I guess. Ready to hit the hay, Repeat?"

The only answer she got was Repeat's snoring, which sounded like someone running a fan through gelatin.

"You've got the right idea."

Mel's dreams were usually pretty tame. Occasionally, she found herself late for school, or swimming in a lake with a mysterious figure underneath it.

This time, Mel stood in the sky. Nothing was above her, nor was anything below – only an endless expanse of blue and white. Her feet seemed to be on solid ground, though she had no idea how. Repeat was on her shoulder, but he, much like she wanted to be, was sleeping soundly.

Before Mel could dwell on it very long, a human appeared in front of her – at least, it looked like a human. The figure was smaller than her, with an elfin face and tattered clothing. "Ah. Nia," Mel said with more than a little ice in her voice.

"Kid," Nia responded.

Mel spread her arms out into the emptiness. "I figure this is your doing?"

"Yeah. Just wanted to talk. Izzat a problem?"

"Guess not." Mel sat on an otherwise-inconspicuous patch of air. "What's going on? How's life as Pete?"

Nia didn't answer right away. Her eyes, normally sparkling with mischief, were downcast. "It's… rough. Moon isn't doin' so hot. She didn't get everything back right away, you know. It came in stages. And every time she remembered something new, it was like another knife in her heart. The Moon I know, the kid, it's like she's fightin' for control with the person she became."

"Oh." Mel listened quietly. She had no sympathy for Degree Absolute – no matter what was in the past, the woman had still led a campaign to kill her. But… she couldn't stop herself from aching on Moon's behalf.

"Moon didn't turn into Degree Absolute overnight, you know," Nia said, sitting across from Mel and staring upwards. "The trauma ate into her. She left the only humans who really cared about her and wandered on her own, with no place for her to go. That does something to people. Then she surrounded herself with people who were more than happy to act on every bad idea she had…" Nia spun a finger around in a circle. "Feedback loop, y'know? And all'a that… it doesn't go away overnight either. I figured it'd help to get a change of scenery, so we left Kanto. Convinced her to talk to someone in Johto Social Services. Hopefully they can get her some help. Maybe someday she'll even wanna go back home."

"Look, Nia," said Mel. "I don't like that she's got it rough, but… she did try to murder me. Did you come here just to try and tug on my heartstrings?"

Nia shook her head. "Nah, nothin' like that. Just worried about you, kid. After you chose not to erase your memory or hide yourself away, I keep wakin' up at night, thinkin' I'm gonna find out that some fool team got it in their head to take you down. You sure I can't convince you otherwise?"

"I already made my choice," Mel said. "I don't want to forget who I am. And I'm not about to abandon my family."

"I guess." Nia let out a pained sigh. "I just… I'm scared. I don't know how many more times I can take it, learnin' you got killed. And you, all on your own like this…"

"Don't worry, Nia." Mel looked at the Ditto resting on her shoulder. Repeat let out a soft snort and rippled in his sleep, and Mel smiled. "I'm never alone."