Sixteen Gym Leader Conference
Season Gold Star, Chapter 55
Written by Terence Harris
Created by Terence Harris, Jeremy White
Chapter guide
The Viridian Gym Challenge
Jasmine versus Forrest
About an hour later, Machine, Kusa, Hakel, Crystal, and Yellow arrived at the Indigo Plateau. They walked up to the door and smiled, happy to see that the Indigo Plateau had been reconstructed correctly. It looked taller than ever and more majestic than it did before. In all honesty, it looked to be more amazing than anyone even expected.

Crystal walked in front of everyone else and looked around the area. She sighed and turned back towards everyone else saying, "They're not here, guys. Where do you think they could be?"

"Gold and Silver?" Machine asked as Crystal nodded. "I tracked them. They're not even in Kanto right now. In fact, my Pokenav tells me that they're still in Johto, Mahogany Town. Specifically speaking, they're at the Lake of Rage, unmoving."

"What do you mean, 'unmoving'? Did something happen to them?" Hakel asked as Machine shrugged to him.

"I have no idea. We may have to wait until they show up. Not that we actually need them right now. I'm sure the rest of the Pokedex Holders will also be here as well." Machine said as he realized something. "Hey guys... Did you just realize something?"

"No, what do you mean? Did you realize something about Gold and Silver?" Kusa asked as Machine shook his head.

"No, that's not it." Machine responded to her. "I just realized that the last time we saw everyone else was about... two years ago."

"Really?" Yellow asked. "Was it really that long ago?"

"Come to think of it... It may have been that long..." Hakel said, rubbing his chin.

"Well, no matter what, even if they nobody else but us shows up, I think we search this Masked Man out on our own." Crystal said as the senior Pokedex Holders nodded to her.

"Even so, Crystal, it would be cool to see our old friends again. Plus, I bet they would love to meet you!" Kusa said as Crystal nodded, a bit excited to see her seniors.

"Hey guys!" Shouted a familiar female voice from behind them. They all turned around to see that Green was standing nearby them by the entrance of the Indigo Plateau. Numerous people were there as well, standing in line to get into the Indigo Plateau. They were several different people from Kanto and Johto, trying to get seat for this momentous occasion.

"Green!" All but Crystal shouted to her. They all ran over to her with Crystal following behind them.

"Hey guys!" Green shouted, giving each of them a hug.

"Green, how have you been?" Yellow asked, happily. "We haven't each other in such a long time!"

"I've been great, Yellow! What about you? How has Johto been so far?" Green asked as Yellow smiled at her.

"It's been awesome!" Yellow said as Green smiled back to her.

"Speaking of Johto..." Kusa said as Crystal walked up to Green. "This is the newest addition to the Pokedex Holders and the last of the Johto Pokedex Holders!"

"Oh!" Green said as they shook hands, happy to meet one another. "I've heard of you, Crystal! Orion visited us a few hours ago and told us all about you, Gold, and Silver!"

"Well... even though I don't know who this Orion person is, I'm glad to meet you, Green!" Crystal said, smiling at her.

"Welcome to the Pokedex Holders, Crystal." Another familiar voice said from behind them. They turned around and saw Blue, Artie, and Rich standing behind them although, Blue was the one who spoke to the newest Pokedex Holders.

"Blue! Artie! Rich!" Machine and Hakel shouted to him and gave them a high five. Kusa and Yellow hugged him, happy to see them as well.

"We were just talking about you guys." Artie said.

"You were? For what reason?" Kusa asked.

"Just reminiscing about the battle against Team Rocket back then. It was fun, even though we all mostly got our asses handed to us." Rich answered as Machine, Hakel, and Kusa laughed nervously.

"Not that it matters anymore." Green said to them. "Team Rocket is back, under the control of the Masked Man."

"Oh yeah!" Blue said to them. "I heard about that from Professor Pine and about the new Pokedex Holders from Red and Green. It seems like the guy has been giving you dropouts problems, eh?"

"Blue, why you gotta break balls?" Kusa asked, even though she hasn't went up against the Masked Man yet.

"Cause that's how the Pokemon Champion of Kanto has to be!" Blue said, in complete arrogance.

"Same old Blue... So, has being Champion been after you beat me?" Hakel asked to Blue.

"It's honestly... not as easy as you would think." Blue said, surprising Hakel. "Trainers from all regions come to battle me and they wear me. But, I've managed to send most of them home, for the time being. But enough about me... what about you guys? How has Johto been?"

"It's been... a little more difficult than you would think. The Gym Leaders over in Johto are insanely powerful." Machine said, being kind of modest. "We... actually got our fourth Badge recently."

"Wow, really?" Artie asked. "So, you guys are already halfway done in Johto? Do you know where the Conference is going to be?"

"We've heard it's on Mt. Silver. That is supposed some of the toughest terrain in between the Kanto and Johto region's. Only EXTREMELY powerful Trainers are able to access that place. But, every year, they use it as a different place for the Silver Conference." Hakel explained to them.

"Awesome..." Rich said, stunned by all this new information. "So, where are the other two Pokedex Holders of Johto? Gold and Silver?"

"We..." Crystal sighed. "Have no idea. They went on their own a couple of nights ago and we haven't been able to find them ever since they traveled to the Lake of Rage in Johto."

"So, where could they be?" Blue asked them.

"We have a slight inkling that they may still be at the Lake of Rage. However, according to my Pokenav..." Machine said, opening it up and holding it up to them. "...They're still there, unmoving at the Lake."

"So... you don't know if they're alright, at all?" Green asked, looking at the ground as she said that.

"No... Unfortunately, we don't." Kusa said, rubbing the back of her head nervously.

"Well..." Green said as she smiled back at them. "I hope they turn up soon. We may need them here."

Machine looked around and asked, "By the way, where the hell is Red? He was the person that we hoped to see first."

"Just come on, Machine." Crystal said, pushing him into the Indigo Plateau.

"Hey, Crystal, what the-"

"Enough questions, Machine! Let's just get inside, already!" Crystal said, as all the other Pokedex Holders laughed as they headed into the Indigo Plateau together. Once they were inside the Plateau, they noticed that the floor was actually opening up.

"Whoa, is the floor actually opening up?" Artie asked. "When did they add that?"

Everyone who was in the stadium cheered and screamed as loud as they could as two a large, bullet-looking train arrived on the scene and began to open up its door. The leader of the Pokemon Association, stepped up to the doors and spoke into his microphone saying, "Ladies and gentlemen!"

"That's our cue, Pokedex Holders." Machine said turning around to his friends. "We will each head to different parts of the stadium and watch it as closely as we can. We will pair up in two's because there are... 9 of us, excluding Red, who you have yet to tell me is right now, Gold and Silver, and Brandon... who I haven't seen at all right now."

"Son a bitch..." Hakel said as he looked around to the stadium. "Where the hell is Brandon? Have any of you guys seen him in awhile?"

"Nope, not since two years ago. Professor Pine doesn't even know where he is. Originally, when he traveled to Aneso, a few weeks ago, he was with him. Then, they became separated from one another and Professor Pine never found Brandon since then. I don't want to assume but... we may have to at this point." Rich explained to them.

"Well, that's a bitch..." Blue said as he focused his attention back on Machine who shrugged and brushed it off his shoulders.

"Damn it..." Machine said, putting the situation. "I guess we'll have to look for Gold, Silver, AND Brandon. Anyway... the plan is to pair up in groups of two. The teams will be... myself and Crystal, Hakel and Green, Kusa and Rich, and Blue and Artie. Yellow, you will petrol the skies with Zappy. Find your own part of the stadium and watch the conference unfold!"

"Let's welcome the Gym Leaders everybody! Let them hear some noise! They need to know that you care!" The leader of the Pokemon Association shouted, as everybody in the stadium's went insane, cheering and screaming over one another, trying to get their voice heard. The Pokedex Holders positioned themselves in the groups that they were paired in and watched the Gym Leader Conference unfold.

All of the Gym Leaders from both the Kanto and Johto regions, calling out their signature Pokemon. In the middle of the crowd, Machine saw Red, smiling at Crystal.

"Is that Red down there?" Crystal asked as Machine nodded. "So... That's what happened to him."

"Yeah... He became the new Gym Leader of the Viridian City Gym. What... what an honor to have bestowed upon him..." Machine said, happy for his friend. Red had turned out to be more powerful and persevering than he originally thought.

In the announcer's box, sat DJ Mary and one of her assistants right next to her. Over a loudspeaker, her voice came sweetly out a microphone. She sighed and said, in an overjoyed voice, "Wow, look at this crowd! It's so large! Welcome people from Kanto and Johto to the Indigo Plateau where the first Sixteen Gym Leader Conference will commence! As you know, Gym Leaders refer to skilled Trainers of each city, carefully appointed by the Pokemon association. Each of them has the mission to battle and improve Pokemon training.

"And Trainers will usually challenge the Gym Leaders... with the sole aim of gaining recognition from the skilled persons. But this is no simple feat. Or rather, most of us have never seen a Leader battle before and have no idea of their prowess. And thus, this event was born! Today, we will witness some of the best battles between the best! Let us introduce the Gym Leaders! First, from Johto!

"Falkner, the Violet City Gym Leader who controls Flying-type Pokemon! Bugsy, from Azalea Town is a powerful Bug type Gym Leader who also doubles as an archeologist! And our dynamite beauty from Goldenrod City; Whitney, who controls the Normal-type! Ecruteak Leader, Morty, has eyes for a thousand miles. Jasmine, from Olivine City, one of the more mysterious Gym Leader's of Johto! Chuck, from Cianwood, who is the expert on Fighting-type Pokemon in Johto! From Blackthrone City, we have the newest Gym Leader who took over for Clair, John Dragos who... seems to be extremely handsome and a favorite among the ladies!" DJ Mary stopped when he said his name as she gazed down on him and joined a group of fan girls in the stands.

They all held up a sign of a heart with John Dragos in the middle and they all shouted, "WE LOVE YOU, JOHN!"

"Please, ladies, please. I will meet with each of you later in person and give you autographs then." John said as Hakel glared down at him from the stands where he was standing nearby Green.

DJ Mary then quickly returned to the announcer's box and regained her composure saying, "Alright then... the final Gym Leader of Mahogany Town is the captain of the Johto Gym Leaders and recent replacement for a disappearance of the previous Gym Leader; Lienad! Now, for Kanto's side!

"First we have, Sakura, from Cerulean City who uses Water types! Next up is Forrest, from Pewter City who uses Rock types and also one of the younger siblings to Brock! From Cinnabar Island, even though, apparently, he has recently moved to the Seafoam Islands for safety after a volcano near the island erupted, Blaine! Lt. Surge, from Vermillion City, controlling of the electrifying, electric types! Next up is a beautiful leader, Natsume, who hails from Saffron City! And our most mysterious ninja, Janine, son of the Koga who hails from Fuchsia City! The next is a new leader of Viridian, who was just appointed earlier today; Red, one of the Pokedex Holders! And the captain of Kanto is the demure Erika!

"Now, be prepared for eight non-stop battles! The team with the most winners will win! The two captains will battle last! The remaining 14 Leaders will draw a lot each to decide their own opponents! In each box, there are red, blue, yellow, green, pink, black, and white balls... Leaders with the same color will battle each other! Please, take your pick!" DJ Mary said, as the Leaders stepped toward the box and picked out their colors.

It turned out that, the Leaders chose pretty quickly. The matches were to go as follows: for the first match, since Jasmine and Forrest both chose blue balls, their match would go first. The next was chosen by pink balls and since Whitney and Sakura obtained the same color, there match would be next. The third match would be Falkner against Janine, the fourth would be Lt. Surge and Morty, the fifth would be Bugsy against Natsume, the sixth was Red against Chuck, the seventh would be Blaine versus John Dragos, and the final match, by way of their ranking above the other members, would be Lienad versus Erika.

When the lots were chosen and the matches were decided, each Gym Leader were sent to sit on a bench that was long enough for eight Gym Leaders from their respective region to sit onto. The Kanto Gym Leaders were seated on the left side and the Johto Gym Leaders were seated on the right side.

"This is it guys..." Machine said, speaking through his Pokenav to everyone else there. "One of those Gym Leaders down there may be... the person behind the mask of the Masked Man. That means when I discover it, that one Gym Leader will be our target! Understand?"

All the Pokedex Holders spoke through respective Pokegear, shouting, "Understood, Machine!"

"Very well! Keep your eyes open for anything suspicious! This bastard could be disguising himself as anyone of them!" Machine said as they all grunted in response and broke communications. But my money's on that John Dragos guy... He may definitely be who we're looking for!