"So, we're stuck with the blame for this fiasco. Not to mention a lack of people to interrogate."

"Yes sir," Surge said. "At least we managed to steal those files."

"Can we trust them?" Giovanni asked. "They may be fake. After all, they had those decoy vehicles and murdered some of their own men."

"We don't know if it was them," Surge replied. "Our scientists are busy with the files right now, we'll see what turns up."

"More importantly, one of our friends is dead," Silver interrupted. "I want to know who did it."

"How do you suggest we do that?" Giovanni asked in a tired voice. "I would love to help you, but in that chaos it could have been anyone. Association guards seems most likely, since our men were told to leave any dexholders alone."

Silver paced back and forth for a few seconds, then walked over to the door.

"Tell me right away when you figure out what the files say."

He left the room with a queasy feeling in his stomach. He wanted to trust his father, and the others, but could he? He had to, of course. At least for now.


Red and Yellow were making their way south, towards a meeting place they had decided with Gold and Crystal. They had received a message, containing cryptic hints that they should meet the other dexholders at a certain location near Viridian.

"I wish we could fly," Red sighed, batting another branch away. "This forest is too thick."

"We need to keep a low profile," Yellow answered, looking back over her shoulder. "Do you want to rest for a bit?"

"Do you?"

"Not really," Yellow replied, biting her lower lip. She wanted to see Crystal as soon as possible, and Gold as well. She wanted to get far away from those mountains. Most of all, she wanted to go home. Live a life in peace, together with Red and the others. Tears welled up in her eyes, and she felt her knees weaken.

"Yellow!" Red yelled, catching her as she fell. He held her close, trying to soothe her.

"It's not fair!" she whispered, between sobs. "They were too young. We're too young!"

"It'll be alright."

"Not for Ruby! And Sapphire, even if she's still alive..."

"I'm sure she made it out," Red told her. "We'll find her. I promise, we will."

She took a couple of deep breaths, leaning back against Red's chest. There had been little time for sleep after escaping. Her body felt heavy. She shut her eyes, just for a second...

I must have fallen asleep, Yellow thought to herself. Red was sitting behind her, and she was leaning against him. The amount of light in the sky seemed unchanged.

"What time is it?" she mumbled.

"I was just about to wake you up," Red replied. "You fell asleep, so I carried you to the nearest tree, so I'd have a backrest while waiting for you to get some rest. It's only been about an hour, but we should probably continue."

"Yes."

"You want something to eat?"

"... Yes."

"Alright, just sit against this tree," he said, edging himself out from behind her. "I'll go through our bags, find something."

She sat there, watching Red go through their bags. He found a couple of energy bars and a piece of chocolate, then started digging for something to drink. She wondered how she would feel, if she was in Sapphires situation. Assuming the younger girl was still alive, of course.

Red smiled as he handed her a bottle of water, an energy bar and little more than half the chocolate. She felt a warmth spread through her, and decided to make sure she never had to find out.