Chapter 6:

Location: Blackthorn City's Gym

"Well…this is it," Dylan murmured as he hopped off his Pidgeot's back, his green eyes never leaving the Gym.

It loomed over him, ominously. He had never ventured far to the Johto region before. It was his primary stopover though he had made his mind up about journeying to the Kanto region after the Hoenn's Pokemon League.

The recent email that was remitted to him contained all the data about Clair, the eighth and final Gym Leader of the Johto region who's a specialist in Dragon-type pokemon. It was a no brainer why Lance was related to her. In his familiarity of raising his own Kingdra, it was evident that Dragon-types were one of the demanding pokemon to raise but they were excellent to have in battles. Their weaknesses to other types were almost trivial, making them pretty much formidable antagonists. Clair and Lance were two of the trainers that had gained Dylan's admiration.

"Excuse me. I'm Dylan, sent here by the League Association," the Champion introduced himself as he entered the Gym.

However, there was no answer. Dylan's eyes narrowed and he took a few more steps forward.

"Excuse me. Hello, is anyone there?" he called out in a much louder voice. "I'm Dylan, from the Pokemon League Association."

Again, no one answered him. It was clear that the Gym was empty of people.

"Where could Clair have gone?" he muttered as he backed out of the Gym and surveyed his surroundings.

He dug through his bag and pulled out the Pokemon Navigator that was given to him by the President and called up Mr. Goodshow. The old man picked up on the second ring.

"Mr. Goodshow, it's me, Dylan. I've arrived at Blackthorn City but Clair is absent from the Gym. Do you have any idea where she is?"

"Oh, did you check the Dragon's Den?" Charles suggested. "Clair loves to train there so there might be a possibility. Just head to the back of Clair's Gym and there is a lake there, leading towards the Den."

Dylan nodded. "Thanks for instructions, President."

"Son, do you have any business at the Blackthorn Gym?"

The twenty-year-old spun around. An elderly man stood there with a frown on his face.

"Yes, in fact I do. I'm here to have a word with the Blackthorn Gym Leader, Clair."

The stranger studied his face suspiciously before he smiled at the young Champion, toothily after a moment.

"Ah yes, you must be that officer that Charles was blathering about."

Dylan blinked and stared at him, mutely.

The old man laughed. "Ah forgive me; I'm the Clan Elder, protector of the Dragon's Den. Clair is presently unavailable, she has gone to the Dragon's Den to investigate something. She told me to wait here for your arrival."

"Investigate what?" Dylan echoed, sharply.

The Clan Elder looked at him and shook his head. "I'm afraid you have to discuss this with her when she comes back. Only recognized trainers would be able to enter the Den of the Dragons. I suggest you wait for Mistress Clair."

Dylan felt disappointed but he did not argue. Suddenly, there was a shriek and an explosion. Both of them gasped. The noise came directly from the Den. Something was wrong, plus the scream sounded female, he knew it.

"This is bad, something must have happened to her!" the old man cried out.

"Pidgeot, let's go!" Dylan enjoined as he leapt onto its back.

Holding his hand out, the other man reached out and took it. Then turning to Pidgeot, Dylan quickly instructed the flying pokemon to make for the Dragon's Den.

Location: Mossdeep's City Gym

Daniel stared up at the Mossdeep City's Gym. A group of onlookers had started to gather outside of the Gym. His eyes widened in surprise. Wondering what was happening, he mingled himself into the crowd to avoid drawing attention to himself.

There should not be anything left behind after Seth's appearance to only Gym Leaders and Gym Leaders alone, at least that was what he was in no doubt about. It was then he caught sight of something, or rather…someone. Lance, one of the elite four members and specialist of Dragon-type pokemon.

This would make his job harder, than what he had expected. Although, he knew that professional trainers were involved, he did not know that it meant the Elite Four members as well. Lance's popularity must have attracted these busybodies, was his guess. However, he could not help but feel a wave of anxiety. Lance was not stupid; his purpose must have coincided Daniel's. The twenty-year-old gritted his teeth but decided not to interfere given that the other trainer was a master in the art of pokemon battle and furthermore Daniel knew he was no match for the Elite Four member. Daniel was no fool. He knew that rash acts would definitely get himself into hot soup, and worse still, caught by the authority for being part of the organisation.

This was definitely dire, a situation. He had to come back here again, whether Seth liked it or not. He knew that that genius hated to be put off. Daniel stared at Lance, once again and this time, he caught the Elite Four member's eye. Steel and unforgiving grey eyes met flaming red orbs. Daniel knew a staring match when he was in one. The two of them were unwilling to back down from one another.

Finally, Lance looked away. Daniel sighed inwardly as he slowly left the throng of people, putting on a nonchalant and ignorant act as much as possible. As he left the area, he knew that Lance knew that one of the twin siblings had managed to escape. The trainer had no choice but to leave and search for that darned child elsewhere.

Location: Lavaridge Town's Gym

The nineteen-year-old was just putting the finishing touches on Flareon when the doors of the Gym, slammed open.

Flannery stood up and put her hands on her hips. "Well, that was rude."

Mr. Moore nodded in agreement. "Indeed."

Jane glanced at the intruder for a moment before she focused back on the matter, at hand. She knew that Flannery could handle this one herself. The girl would step in if necessary.

"I'm Lexie and I've come to challenge Flannery, this Gym's owner," an attractive long red-haired girl in a white lacy dress announced haughtily as she stepped onto the battle platform.

Jane cast a sidelong glimpse again at the girl called Lexie as she accessed the circumstances.

"Your challenge is accepted, Lexie," Flannery answered quickly. "We'll have a one-on-one battle."

Lexie's matching red eyes were fixed on Jane's blue ones and then she smirked. "I thought that girl was supposed to be the Leader?"

Jane was starting to dislike the girl already but instead she maintained her silence.

Flannery stepped in front of Jane and pointed to herself. "I'm the Gym Leader here, Lexie. So do you want a battle or not?"

"Of course, this battle, I predict would be done in ten minutes or so," Lexie sneered.

"Conceit will get you nowhere, young girl," Mr. Moore interrupted, looking stern.

The girl made a rude noise and shrugged her shoulders. It was of utter insolence. Jane felt her anger mount but she managed to keep it in check.

Before anyone could even manage a comeback, Lexie released her pokemon, two of them to be exact. A Gardevoir and a Mawile. There was no sign of Mew. She was not that person.

Within that instant, Jane knew something was wrong and she stood up and walked over to the battlefield before the Gym Leader could even react.

"You don't play by the rules, do you?" Jane asked quietly.

Lexie raised her eyebrow. "And who are you?"

"Jane Cruise," she answered simply. "State your real purpose of coming here or else…"

The nineteen-year-old allowed her sentence to trail off, giving additional significance to the warning behind it.

Lexie's leer grew wider. "Or what?"

Her voice held a note of challenge in it.

"I'll make you, that's what," Jane answered, a pokéball in hand.

Flannery took a step forward but Jane stopped her with one hand. "Just stay behind me, Flannery. Don't do anything impulsive."

Charles's granddaughter could feel Flannery's eyes on her but she complied with the officer's order and stayed behind her.

"Are you, by any chance, facing me to a pokemon battle?" Lexie demanded sharply.

Now, it was Jane's turn to shrug her shoulders. "That's up to you to decide though."

Jane was trying Lexie's temper but she had to take that risk. Battling a foe that was in fury was an advantage for her. It was an old trick in the book.

Both her pokemon were glaring at her, waiting impatiently to do her in. Jane smirked and called on two of her pokemon. Her Furret and her Dragonair. She knew that Charizard needed its rest after the last battle. Dragonair also needed to rest after the extensive flight from Silver Town to Lavaridge Town but she knew and trusted in Dragonair well enough. The two of them can do it, she knew that they could. All she had to do is believe in her pokemon, like what Lugia had always told her to do.

"Mawile, ice beam on Dragonair and Gardevoir, use future sight."

"Dragonair, protect, go!" Jane commanded.

The dragon pokemon managed to elude the highly effective ice attack, denying itself damage.

"Hah! Using protect, huh?" Lexie scoffed. "That's so not going to get you very far. Mawile, hyper beam on Dragonair! Gardevoir, hypnosis."

Jane needed to take into consideration of that last future sight attack that Lexie's used. It would strike them anytime shortly. Jane hated to admit it but that girl knew what she was doing.

"Dragonair, use your hyper beam and Furret, quick use shadow ball on Gardevoir!"

However, before Jane's pokemon could even attack, the future sight took effect and both Dragonair and Furret were send flying, both knocked out with hypnosis.

Jane gasped as she could only stare at her sleeping pokemon, helplessly. Lexie giggled.

"So, what are you going to do now, Jane-y, huh?" she mocked.

The pink-haired girl gritted her teeth and glared at her adversary.

Location: Silver Town at the foot of Mount Silver

Finally all of the Hoenn Elite Four members were in attendance as well as Wallace and Steven Stone, both exceedingly esteemed trainers. The President of the Pokemon League Association regarded them with a severe look in his eyes.

"Trainers and other Elite Four members of both Kanto and Johto regions have already been positioned in various parts of all of the three regions. I appreciate you coming all the way down here."

Just then, his assistant came in and politely served everyone, tea. Once Joshua was done, Charles went on with his discussion.

"Well then, let me get straight to the point before we delve any deeper into this. We need officers to protect the Gym Leaders from getting abducted by this unknown masked person. Currently, six Gym Leaders have already gone missing and right now, we are shorthanded."

Wallace raised a hand. "So you are implying that we have to safeguard the respective Gyms 24/7?"

Clasping his hands together, Charles leaned forward in his seat and nodded. "Yes, that's my meaning."

Again, another hand rose, this time from Steven Stone.

"Mossdeep's Gym Leaders have been taken, haven't they?"

"Yes, they were the first followed by the Kanto Leaders. Right now, we have only two remaining in our custody. Elite Four members Lorelei and Agatha are placed in charge."

"I see. Then what about us? How will we be located?"

The old man nodded. "I have already taken it upon myself to assign you to your designated charges. Anyone wish to broach objections?"

There were none from anyone.

"Then, the arrangement will get underway."

The discussion session was wrapped up in less than an hour as all of them left to their relevant charges.

Charles sighed heavily as he pushed back his chair and wandered over to the window. The sun-kissed weather did not reflect the disturbing emotions he felt. Something big was going to happen.

There was a sudden knock on the door and Joshua came in.

"What is it, Joshua?" he asked.

"It's Winona, sir. She's gone," the brown-haired man answered. "The witness, this time made a different statement."