The Masked Man
Season Gold Star, Chapter 46
Written by Terence Harris
Created by Terence Harris, Jeremy White
Chapter guide
Silver versus Machine
Memory Loss

As Machine turned around and saw the Masked Man in the distance, his image disappeared in an instance. Machine sighed as Hakel's Espeon jumped on the ground next to Machine and his Charizard. But then, as he started to get comfortable again, he sensed something strange arise from the area. It was a dark aura, possibly more evil than Giovanni was. As Machine turned around, he realized he wasn't alone after all.

"Damn it... Looks like we're really not alone after all..." Machine said, as the three of them stepped into the middle of that section of Ilex Forest. A light disappeared from around him that had been created from the battle between him and Silver but had since been dissipating. Now, as Machine looked around him, he realized he may have been in trouble. "Shit... They're more enemies!"

Around him had appeared three Pokemon. On his left side, sat a Delibird, a Pokemon that he had never seen before. As such, he pulled out his Pokedex and examined it quickly to learn about its abilities.

Delibird, the Delivery Pokemon. It nests at the edge of sharp cliffs. It spends all day carrying food to its awaiting chicks.

Machine turned to his right side and saw that a Houndour was standing there. Intrigued by its look and pure fire essence brimming from its body, Machine had to know what it really was. He examined Houndour as well, instantly surprised that they hadn't attacked yet.

Houndour, the Dark Pokemon. To corner prey, they check each other's locations using barks that only they can understand.

Finally, the last Pokemon directly in front of him, was an Ariados, which he was interested to know about it as well, still on his guard if they would attack or not.

Ariados, the Long Leg Pokemon. A single strand of a special string is endlessly spun out of its rear. The string leads back to its nest.

After hearing that strange Pokedex Entry for Ariados, Machine sighed and put away his Pokedex saying, "That sounds... disgusting. I have to say. I'm not too pleased with disgusting ass Pokemon like that. Anyway..." Machine took out his other two Poke Ball's and called out his other two Pokemon. "Crononaw, Larvitar, come out! It's time to help take these creeps down!" His other two Pokemon in his party burst from their Poke Ball's. They landed all around Machine, staring down the opponents in front of them. He decided to keep Scizor in its Poke Ball for the time being until he knew he really need him.

Machine looked back to see that Kusa and Yellow were still safe, however, they were still unconscious from being knocked down before. Machine shook his head and thought, Damn... Three different types for me to go up against... I know I can do it! Just as Machine decided that he could go up against all three of these Pokemon, the Hondour lunged at him and opened its mouth widely, baring its teeth at Machine.

As Hondour got closer to him, Hakel's Espeon jumped in front of him and covered Machine and his Pokemon in a Safeguard, protecting them from all and any of these other Pokemon's moves. "Hakel's Espeon! Are you willingly to help us as well?" Machine asked as Hakel's Espeon nodded and gave out its signature cry, giving him the signal. "Well, alright then! Then, on my mark, Espeon, drop the Safeguard!" Espeon nodded as Machine watched the Delibird, Hondour, and Ariados wait for him to make a move.

Machine saw a gleam in one of their eyes and took that as a chance for him to go on the offensive. "Alright, Espeon, let down the Safeguard!" Machine ordered as Hakel's Espeon nodded, dropping its protective shield instantly. As soon as Espeon did, the three Pokemon were on him. "Charizard! Larvitar! Croconaw! Espeon! Attack!" His four Pokemon jumped at the incoming Pokemon ready to battle them with all of their might.

"Charizard, Flamethrower on Delibird! Larvitar, use Slash on Ariados! Croconaw use Water Gun on Houndour! And Espeon, try to distract them with all with your Confusion!" Machine ordered as all of his Pokemon nodded to their Trainer, and responded firing their moves on each of the three Pokemon. However, it was no use. The three Pokemon were much too fast and ended up making the four Pokemon hit one another as they moved out of the way.

Each of Machine's Pokemon were slammed onto the ground, annoyed at the quickness of each of these Pokemon. "Damn it!" Machine shouted, as he looked up into the sky to see that the three Pokemon had jumped into the air. "Charizard, knock those smug bastards out of the sky! Blast Burn now!" Machine's Charizard got back up and fired his strongest move, Blast Burn, up into the sky like a stream of dazzling red light that lit up the entire forest in a blaze of glory.

In the distance, Hakel had just gotten up and brushed himself off. He saw a bright red light almost blind him from where he was and instantly knew that it had to be Machine's Charizard. Despite knowing that Machine could handle himself, Hakel took out his PokeNav and called Gold's number. Gold instantly picked up and Hakel said, "Gold, we're in trouble! It seems that a new villain has started a fight with us! Machine's fighting this Trainer by himself right now!"

"What the hell?" Gold asked, fearing for the worse. "He's fighting by himself? What happened to you, Kusa, and Yellow?"

"They were unconscious when I arrived on the scene. He was also fighting a possessed Silver when I got there but it seems, right before I got blown away, Silver fainted. He might still be there but he seemed pretty out of it when I was blown away so he still might need your help, Gold." Hakel responded, feeling a bit nervous.

"Shit, this is bad news. Where are you guys right now? Ilex Forest?" Gold asked.

"Yeah. Where are you right now?" Hakel asked.

"I'm in Goldenrod City just outside of Ilex Forest... Hakel, make your way back to Machine and the others. The Masked Man might have been the won that attacked you! Get to him as soon as possible if I can't make it there in time!" Gold shouted, as he left the hospital and walked back into the city.

"Roger, I'll try to get there!" Hakel shouted as he broke communications with Gold and headed back through the forest towards Machine. Gold, who was just about to leave Goldenrod City, jumped on his skateboard and dashed out of town as fast as he could to get to Machine in time.

Meanwhile, back in the battlefield, Machine wasn't doing well at all with his enemies. The three Pokemon, despite being hit by Charizard's Blast Burn, were still very much intact and fought back against Machine faster and better than they had before. His Pokemon tried to launch another assault against their enemies, however, it was no use. The enemy Pokemon were simply too fast for Machine to see and they were able to knock back each of Machine's Pokemon with ease.

"Da-damn it! Why are they so fast?" Machine asked himself as his Pokemon panted and slowly back up to him, trying to regain their strength from the beating they had taken. "I have one more Pokemon than this enigmatic person! How are my Pokemon so much slower in their reactions and attacks?" Machine watched as his Pokemon waited for his next command, to see if he could do something against this mysterious and apparently, invisible person.

Then, although Machine could see around him, he noticed that there was fog beginning to settle on top of him once again. As the fog deepened once more, he noticed an image, other than a Pokemon, in the fog to the left of him. "Alright, I got! Croconaw, let's go! We've got to strike first! Water Gun now!" As Croconaw's Water Gun headed for the person in the fog, the Houndour jumped in front of him and deflected the Water Gun, despite it having an opposition to the type. "What the hell?!"

Then, as Hondour landed on the ground and turned to Machine and his Croconaw, a voice called out to it shouting, "Flamethrower now!" Hondour opened its mouth and sent out a glorious red-orange blaze of flames that sent Croconaw rolling onto the ground.

Machine and his other Pokemon ran over to Croconaw to see if it was alright when, he sensed a person's image begin to emerge from the fog. He turned around quick and looked at the place in the fog where he was trying to attack as someone ordered, "… Stay away from this place..."

"What?" Machine asked, as he began to see who it was really was coming from the fog.

"Leave this forest, Crimson! And no harm shall come to you!" The person said, finally showing himself from the fog.

Machine sighed, realizing that he was in more trouble than he needed right now. "Sorry but I'm not going anywhere... Not with you in my sights, Masked Man!"

"You know you are way over your head over here, Crimson. Why must you torture yourself?" The Masked Man asked, revealed to be the man who put Gold in the hospital.

"What makes you think that you can just shove me aside from this forest?! I'm stronger than you realize!" Machine shouted, clenching his fists.

"Is that so?" The Masked Man asked. "Your Pokemon don't look convincing right now considering mine have been doing a number on them. Have you got something else to take me down or are you simply bluffing?"

Machine scoffed and looked at his Pokemon. Even though he didn't want to admit, he knew this Masked Man was right about what he was saying. Machine's Pokemon were tuckered out and they didn't have much strength to fight at the moment. Not even Hakel's Espeon could do much right now. Luckily, Machine did have another Pokemon waiting in the wings.

"Everybody, return!" Machine shouted, calling back all of his Pokemon except Espeon, of course. Hakel wasn't here to call him back to his Poke Ball so he only had to wait with him there until this battle had ended. "Actually, you bastard, I do have something else to take you on with! Come out, Scizor!" Machine's Scizor burst out of his Poke Ball, floating slightly in the air with its small wings. "Hey, Espeon, do you think you could sit this one out? Just let Scizor and I handle this. Do you think you could protect Yellow and Kusa from anymore harm?" Espeon smiled at Machine and ran over to Yellow and Kusa, instantly putting up a Safeguard around them to keep them safe.

The Masked Man laughed and said, "Is that your defense for those two? Having a weakened Espeon protect them with a tiny Safeguard?"

"It's good enough for now! All I have to do is defeat you and avenge my friend Gold for what you did to him! Don't even think that you'll do the same to me! Ready, Scizor?" Machine shouted, as Scizor nodded, ready for battle against the Masked Man.

"It's no use, Crimson! You can't defeat me because you're too weak to even protect your little friends! You're lucky Pulse only wanted me to kill you and not them!" The Masked Man shouted as Machine glared at him.

"Screw you, you bastard! Just because you make a couple ideal threats against me doesn't me you'll stop my Scizor!" Machine shouted, as Scizor dashed forward, kicking up dust behind him. "Scizor, it's time to expose this bastard! Tear him apart with your Metal Claw!"

Scizor's claws glowed a bright red light, making his hands as strong as metal. He slashed at the Masked Man, a few times, making direct hits onto his body. The Masked Man fell backwards, as his Hondour jumped forward, blasting Scizor with its flame.

"Scizor, Swords Dance! Knock the flame away with it!" Machine ordered as Scizor began to spin violently creating a wind around its body. Hondour's flame smashed against, deflecting it backwards into one of the trees.

"I see you're more a fighting than your friend Gold was. He tried to run away from our battle, however, it was no use... Just like you and your precious Pokemon that you fight very well with. You will end just like him and your other friends there." The Masked Man smirked, laughing at Machine's love for his Pokemon.

"That'll never happen. My Pokemon are winners and have always been winners! I will succeed here! You can believe that, bitch!" Machine shouted, making a fist with his left hand.

"Are you so sure of yourself? Are you sure you won't end up like Silver and become one of my slaves?" The Masked Man asked as Machine growled at him, angrier than before. "Why don't you join Silver and his Pokemon? Why don't you become one of my slaves?"

"Hell no!" Machine exclaimed. "You can't stop us with the little powers you have with your Pokemon! I don't give a damn if you are part of the Reddosuta Shikaku! There's no way I'd take any orders from any of you bastards! I'm going to make you pay for what you did to Gold, Silver, and all of my other friends!"

"You're definitely friends with that Gold child. You have such spirit and charisma for a Pokemon Trainer so young. For the courage you've shown... how about a little present? From me, to you?" The Masked Man asked as his Delibird walked over to Machine and tossed a present box into Machine's hands. As Delibird walked away, the present exploded, leaving a blast of mist all over the battlefield.

"Damn it! We've been had!" Machine shouted as Scizor stayed ready as two of his Pokemon came at him through the smoke. Scizor jumped forward, and slashed at two of his Pokemon, however, they disappeared and knocked Scizor onto the ground, giving him devastating damage. However, as the mist began to dissipate around them, Machine got an idea as to what they could.

"Hah! You moron! You feel for the same trick Gold did!" The Masked Man asked as the mist began to lift from the field. "How did you like my-" Suddenly, when the mist completely disappeared, Machine and his Scizor had disappeared as well. "They're gone! Where the hell could they have gone... Wait a second, they must have disappeared in the fray of my attacks. So, they honestly want us to chase after them, like dogs? Ariados!" The Masked Man shouted, as he snapped his fingers.

His Ariados sent out strings from all sides, hooking them onto four trees around them that were still signed from when Scizor deflected Hondour's fire. Up in the trees, Machine and his Scizor were hiding there, waiting for the right moment to strike.

Damn it! What now? There's no way we can beat him in a fair fight... He's Pokemon are too strong and too fast, even for me... Damn, what the hell is he doing hanging around here in Ilex Forest if he's so strong? Machine thought as his Pokemon began to shake the trees around them. Machine almost feel out but Scizor caught him and pulled him back up. Hmm... At this rate, they'll find us soon. What can I do to stop him? As Machine thought about his plan, a bright light shone from a small shrine behind them. The Masked Man turned and smirked, knowing that his time with Machine had ended.

"Forget the brat! We've more important things to attend to!" The Masked Man ordered as his Pokemon stopped attacking the trees to knock Machine out of them and instead headed for the shrine.

Meanwhile, in the section of the forest that Hakel was running through, a bright light shone in front of him as well. The light was so bright that he actually froze for a minute. The light reminded him of a warm feeling that he felt as a young boy. As he sped past the light, he suddenly remembered something that he hadn't in awhile. Then, when the light disappeared, Hakel accidentally tripped over a root in the ground and went sailing forward, descending on a downwards slope.

He grabbed onto a tree branch and swung himself back around while dodging an attack from a blast of flame from the sky. He took out a Poke Ball and tossed it into the air shouting, "Chikorita, let's go!" Hakel's Chikorita emerged from its Poke Ball, setting itself in front of Hakel to protect him. Hakel glared as he searched through the trees for the people that had attacked. He instantly found them with his eyes, hiding high in the trees. "Chikorita, attack them! Shoot your Razor Leaf high into the trees and slice the branches off! That should bring out our attackers." Chikorita nodded and jumped into the air, throwing razor sharp leaves up at the trees. Chikorita's leaves sliced down the branches, dropping several people down from them.

"Nice job, Chikorita." Hakel said, as Chikorita jumped on his shoulder and nudged his face. Chikorita laid for a second and then suddenly, Hakel felt Chikorita began to shake silently. He set Chikorita down in front of him and waited for his miraculous change to happen. Chikorita's body image grew larger and began to slightly morph in many ways. Then, when the light had disappeared, Chikorita had evolved into its second stage, Bayleef. "Holy crap! Let me check this out!"

Hakel pulled out his Pokedex and examined his new Pokemon. Bayleef, the Leaf Pokemon. A spicy aroma emanates from around its neck. The aroma acts as a stimulant to restore health.

Intrigued by this, Hakel put his Pokedex away and rubbed his chin. "Hey, Bayleef, how about using Sweet Scent on these guys?" Hakel asked as Bayleef nodded to him. Bayleef jumped into the air and spun around a little, blowing its scent at the fallen Pokemon Trainers. There were three of them there and Hakel instantly realized who they were when they stood up. Hakel's eyes opened wide and he grew extremely angry, seeing that the people who he had thought had been defeated two years or so ago were still in existence. Unable to control himself, he called Bayleef back to his Poke Ball and knocked two of the Pokemon Trainers on the ground, unconscious. He slammed the last one against a tree, making him bite his tongue so badly, he began to drink his own blood. "Team Rocket! What the hell are you guys doing back here? I thought we destroyed the foundation of your organization back then?"

"Well, see, it's like... it's like this-"

"Don't give me your bull shit excuses! Just tell me the damn truth, already!" Hakel said, throwing him from the tree onto the ground, breaking his arm in the process.

"Aw, shit!" The Team Rocket Grunt shouted, in serious pain from the enraged Hakel that couldn't control himself. Then, as Hakel heard his screams of pain, he realized that he really couldn't and didn't make much progress in his absence from the group. Once realizing this, he let the grunt go, whom was about to die. Once he was let go, he asked Hakel to come close to him. Before he died, choking on his own blood, he whispered into Hakel's ear saying, "Find the... Masked Man..." Hakel's eyes opened wide, realizing one thing only. He raced out of that section of Ilex Forest and rushed back towards Machine and his battle against the Masked Man.

The Masked Man had resurrected Team Rocket.

Back at the fight against the Masked Man, Machine and Scizor were beginning to discover a way to catch the Masked Man off guard. "Scizor, you ready?" Machine asked his Pokemon quietly as he began to take off his jacket. Scizor nodded to him and Machine smiled back at him. Machine jumped on Scizor's back as they jumped up to the highest point in the tree. Machine then put a stick into his jacket and tossed it out above the Masked Man. "Take this, you bastard!"

"Not this trick again! Your friend tried this exact same tactic! Ariados!" The Masked Man shouted, as Ariados turned around and shot its web out of its rear. Machine and Scizor were caught, as if they had not distracted him at all.

"Damn it! There's no way I can lose here!" Machine shouted, as his Scizor tried to break free but it was useless.

"Hurry, let us make haste towards the shrine!" The Masked Man shouted as he turned back to where the shrine that was shining. Unfortunately, it had dimmed and the shrine was once more concealed in the darkness of the trees around it. "Damn! The light has disappeared! We lost our chance!" The Masked Man turned around towards the exit that led out of the Ilex Forest. "We're running out of time! Let's go!"

"Wait a damn minute! We're not done here! How can you not fight me without your mask on? That's not manly at all!" Machine shouted as Scizor finally broke free of its prison.

"I'm afraid you can't take me... You're just not strong enough to defeat me now. Accept that and challenge me again, when you're stronger than you are now." The Masked Man said, as he instantly disappeared into the darkness of the forest along with his Pokemon.

"Damn..." Machine said as Scizor cut him loose. "Thanks, Scizor..." Espeon ran over to him and jumped into his arms, happy that he was alright.

"Machine!" Gold and Hakel called out just as slid into his area, hoping that they made it in time. "Are you alright?"

"Not really..." Machine answered as Scizor helped him up to his feet. "What about you guys? Are you both doing alright?"

"Yeah, we're fine. We just got here, Machine." Gold said, as Machine sighed.

"Looks like we missed all the action, huh?" Hakel asked as Machine nodded at him.

"Yeah but I think... the girls got the worst of this. Are they alright?" Machine asked, still hurting in several different places. "And what about Silver?"

"They're all unconscious, Machine." Gold said, walking over to the still unconscious Kusa and Yellow. Hakel went over to Silver and confirmed the same thing about him too.

"Well, that sucks... What do we do now?" Machine asked.

"We have to get you all to the Goldenrod City Hospital. It looks like you all need some healing right now." Gold said, throwing Silver's body over his shoulder. Hakel took care of Kusa and Yellow, throwing both of their bodies over his back and Scizor took care of Machine. They all then headed out, with Hakel's Espeon tailing behind them all. They all needed to be in the hospital right now, or they might die from their injuries.

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