Gold awakens on one of the Whirl Islands and expresses his relief at being alive to Aibo. Still, he wonders where he could be, recalling that he was last at the Lake of Rage fighting the Masked Man with Silver, for whom he then frantically searches. Gold finds Silver alive and awake, resting, as he says, until Gold got up. Silver states that they should not move about too much as they are wounded. Silver recalls the two of them having been rescued from drowning by something big and shadowy whose extraordinary flames warmed them; Gold only vaguely recalls feeling as though something were watching over him. But the two boys' musings are interrupted when they see that they have stumbled upon a herd of crouched Sandslash, whose species they cannot identify at first. The spiky beasts roll menacingly toward the two; Gold is slowed by his missing shoe and, as he has lost his bag, he cannot retrieve his Pokédex. Gold and Silver then send out their entire teams (except for the red Gyarados that Silver caught at the Lake of Rage). Silver's Croconaw knocks out one of the pursuers and reveals its identity.
Meanwhile, Lt. Surge, who is aboard a ship headed for the same island, is looking through a pair of binoculars when he spots the boys, who have managed to escape the Sandslash. "Ahoy, below!" calls Lt. Surge, his arms full of the boys' missing possessions as he floats in the air above. As he comes down, he announces, to the bewilderment of Gold and Silver, that he has a red Gyarados in a Poké Ball. After he drops the items Gold pores over them excitedly as Lt. Surge jokingly demands gratitude. As Gold begins clumsily to oblige, Lt. Surge, in all seriousness, asks them for any information they may offer about the Masked Man. Silver, though he would happily answer, first asks Lt. Surge whether he came in on the ship docked nearby. As Lt. Surge affirms it, the ship is suddenly lifted into the air as Lugia emerges.