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| One Tough Togepi/VS Togepi
One Tough Togepi/VS Togepi (Japanese: VSトゲピー VS Togepy or 極秘指令！ Top-Secret Orders!) is the 444th round of the Pokémon Adventures manga.
Upon being questioned by Bruno, Gold admits that he had come to the Pokéathlon to meet with Lance over news about Arceus. Bruno turns solemn as he recognizes the man's name, but Whitney angrily attacks Gold, as he had asked her to escort him to the Pokéathlon to compete in it. A pained Gold apologizes, explaining that he was ordered on a secret mission by none other than Professor Oak, so he couldn't tell her.
In a flashback, Gold explains that Professor Oak had suddenly called for him and showed him photographs of Team Rocket members lurking in various places: the Bell Tower, the Lake of Rage and Goldenrod Radio Tower. Professor Elm confirms that Oak was concerned that Team Rocket was working towards yet another revival, and cooperated with the Violet City police in an investigation - where they received a message from Lance, in the form of a 3-D holographic projector. In his message, Lance revealed that Team Rocket's objective was none other than the legendary Alpha Pokémon, Arceus, and therefore requested that Oak send a Pokédex holder to him for more information. Gold, however, remained disinterested, and asked if Crystal or Silver couldn't go instead. Oak reveals that Crystal is away doing research and Silver remains uncontactable, prompting Gold to fly into a rage as he realizes that he was asked because there was no other option.
Gold rounds off his explanation by bragging that Oak practically had to beg him to take the mission, but Whitney and the others none-too-impressedly note that he's merely a substitute. Will and Karen note that Gold should be meeting with Lance soon, but Koga catches wind of something huge approaching - a massive Dragonite from the sea which embarks on a rampage, destroying everything in sight. The Radio Director quickly declare a state of emergency and has everyone evacuate the stadium, while Bruno and Koga send out a Hitmonlee and Ekans to fight, but both Pokémon are defeated by a lightning-quick Hyper Beam. The Dragonite charges at the Director's podium, destroying it and leaving the director hanging onto the raging dragon for dear life. Spontaneously, Gold changes back to his normal clothes and sends out his entire team to attack, save for Togebo.
Calling to Koga and Bruno, Gold reveals that he's asked Aibo to get Dragonite to attack him, and asks the men to signal him when Dragonite's Hyper Beam is about to fire. At the signal, Gold launches Togebo's Poké Ball with his billiard cue, which meets the devastating laser attack. Gold is knocked flying and the Poké Ball is left smoking after being struck at close range. The Elite Four note that Gold must have aimed for releasing Togebo before Hyper Beam hit, but the tactic was too risky and clearly failed. Pushing himself up, Gold annoyedly states that his tactics never fail, and sure enough Togebo attacks Dragonite from behind, slamming a Double-Edge at the back of its head and fainting the dragon.
Everyone else is surprised that Togebo actually succeeded, and Whitney wonders if Togebo had escaped the Hyper Beam earlier. Karen disagrees, realizing that Togebo must have taken the Hyper Beam head-on, pushing through the attack with sheer determination. Koga and Bruno note that both Pokémon and Trainer are incredibly reckless, to which Gold insists that he thinks everything through, noting a torn piece of cloak from Dragonite's claws. Based on research, Gold knew that Lance had the ability to redirect his Pokémon's Hyper Beam attacks, as he demonstrated years ago - but this Dragonite's Hyper Beams were all fired straight, suggesting that Lance wasn't around to command it. Whitney notes that Dragonite is badly wounded, and Bruno guesses that Lance must have lost a battle somewhere, leaving the anguished Dragonite to escape and go on its enraged rampage.
Annoyed that he made a wasted trip, Gold declares his decision to go home. Nudging the director, he asks for a lift back halfway and thanks the Elite Four for a good time. Bruno thanks Gold back, and hands him Dragonite's Poké Ball, having managed to return it since the Pokémon recognized him. Gold offloads a bunch of specialty snacks on Bruno, and as the Elite Four wave goodbye to Gold and Whitney, Bruno is amazed at how tasty the RageCandyBar is.
Riding alongside Gold, Whitney is perturbed that Gold isn't the least bit concerned about Lance or Team Rocket. Gold casually dismisses her, saying that he feels that those issues should be left to the police - but he's mostly interested in seeing Arceus, as everyone seems to be discussing it. On a whim, he asks the Director to head for Ecruteak City so he can see the Kimono Girls. A bemused Whitney remarks to herself that Gold is quite the big moron as the director's van heads north.
|| Spoilers end here.