The morning after, James finds that Silver is nowhere to be seen. After asking Whitney for his whereabouts, he figures that it’s likely that Silver discretely disappeared as soon as the ordeal was over, not wanting to deal with the authorities. He also guessed that the reason probably had something to do with whatever Silver had been secretive about. Whitney also tells him that the police reports were unusual, as a significant number of the estimated number of grunts were nowhere to be found, but all the admins were still taken in. When James asks about Petrel specifically, she continues to say that his case was the most unusual of them all, as he was found roughed up, disoriented and confused and, if the rumours she heard while waiting around in the police station were true, it seemed very likely he had been struck with amnesia.
After thinking for a while, James came to the conclusion that the grunts that had mysteriously disappeared were the ones that he saw looked like him, since Whitney didn’t mention anything about their appearance, and he hadn’t been taken in for interrogation because of it.
James brings up the issue of the look-a-likes with his team, but even after sleeping on it, none of them have a clue what happened. Banksy offhandedly implies that the whole mess could mean that James had some ties with Team Rocket, knowingly or not. The idea is treated as accusation by some, and an argument breaks out. After everyone quiets down a bit, some tension still in the air, James requests to talk to Jazz alone, something he had seen coming and wasn’t looking forward to.
When the rest of the team it gone, James confronts Jazz with a question he already knew the answer to:
“A light screen can’t mitigate an explosion at all, can it?”
He then asks him when he learned protect, since he doesn’t remember teaching it to him, and as far as he knows, Slowbro can’t learn it naturally. Jazz tells him that the ability to use protect was a ‘gift’. It was given to him by his people while they were in Mahogany town with the specific purpose of saving them. James then goes on to ask another question:
“If your people can give you power when they want, then they can take it away when they want, right?”
Knowing exactly what he was referring to, Jazz reveals that yes, during the Petrel incident, his attacks were blocked for a while, most likely to prevent him from interfering with what happened. When James asks him why his people would do that, Jazz tells him that it isn’t his place to know why they make him do what they do as he’s only meant to follow orders. The fact that they intervened directly meant the possibility of his defiance was enough for them to force the situation themselves. When James starts accusing Jazz and his people of being the reason Ampsen died, Jazz retorts, saying that Ampsen’s death was unavoidable. Back then, Jazz and the rest of James’ pokemon could tell that Ampsen was getting weaker the more power he used, which probably meant that because of how long he’d been hooked up to a machine that fed him power, he became reliant on it, and was unable to sustain himself for long without it, and he knew that. It was also why he didn’t tell Ampsen that his last ditch light screens were ineffective, and allowed him to have some joy in saving people before he died, despite it being a lie. When James asks Jazz why he allows his people to do such morally deficient things, Jazz responds by saying:
“The will of the Pawn is irrelevant to the order of the King.”
After passing by Mahogany once again to quickly talk to Pryce jr (who gives James the Glacier badge, telling him that his father insisted when he heard about their battle), James reaches Blackthorn and beelines for the gym. Upon entering, he finds that the stadium isn’t surrounded by lava, like he’d previously heard, but instead had a huge pool in the centre. Upon meeting the Gym Leader, Clair, he finds out that the pool was recently installed to give her an edge over her challengers, as all of her pokemon are aquatic. Calling bullshit, James argues with Clair about the setup being unfair, and she tells him that if he has a problem with it, it would take weeks for the complaint to go through the league and have someone do something about the Gym’s layout, so he proceeds to battle her anyway.
Side note: Jazz defeated Clair’s Gyarados, Banksy defeated Clair’s Dragonair and Hamma defeated her Kingdra.
After having to deal with Clair being a sore ass loser, James eventually gets her badge, and as he’s about to head back to New Bark town, he’s met by two Kimono girls who invite him to their dance hall in Mahogany. They say that they have an important request one that can only be carried out by a trainer, and they chose him to be that trainer as they’d heard of his ascension through Johto’s gyms. James eventually agrees to at least hear them out but only after he explores Mt. Mortar, as it’s on the way back, and he’d grown curious now that he had access to waterfall. They consider it a good idea, as any last minute training would be beneficial to their request and agree to wait for him in their Dance hall.
Sorry this took so long to upload, I actually finished drawing it days ago, but I got distracted by breeding and training pokemon in X and Y for a couple of days and completely forgot to write up the summary until now. orz