View Full Version : Game Dragon Tamers Battle Range version 21 (M.A. Pidgeot)

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Lady Vulpix
4th May 2004, 10:37 AM
Welcome to the 21st version of the Battle Range! Here are the rules. Please read them in order to avoid posting invalid battles and/or asking questions which are already answered here. Have fun!


Everyone will describe the battles (or whatever is required), stating the levels of their pokemon before and after the event.

Each trainer can battle 2 pokemon per scenario, and may use 1 or 2 pokemon per battle.

All pokemon must battle opponents that are in the same level range as they are. If two pokemon battle together, they must both be in the same level range.

You can use pokemon from the Dragon Tamers Adoption Center, PokeZoo Adoption Center, Pocket Monsters Breeding Center, adopted pokemon tournaments and old adoption centers.

All trainers who use pokemon from Adoption Centers other than Dragon Tamers must tell us where they got their pokemon (on the pokemon's first battle). That's to make sure you're not making them up.

Unevolved pokemon learn the same moves as in GSC. For moves the pokemon can only learn in RBY/RuSa/FR/LG, use the same levels at which they would learn them in the respective games.

Pokemon evolve just like in the games, except for trading/happiness-evolving pokemon, who can evolve with a Genetic Accelerator.

Evolved pokemon learn the same moves as their unevolved versions, plus the new ones. Example, Metapod can't learn Confusion, but Butterfree can. Moves are learnt at the same level as the pokemon would learn them in GSC (or other games for moves unavailable in GSC). For moves only unevolved pokemon can learn, evolved pokemon will learn them at the same levels as their pre-evolutions.

A pokemon can learn a free TM, HM or Move Tutor move every 10 levels (that is, every multiple of 10).

Bred-On moves are allowed (1 per pokemon), but you must choose them before your pokemon battle for the first time. Once your pokemon has battled, their bred-on move can't be changed (nor added if you hadn't chosen one).

Hidden Power is allowed just like other TMs. But at the moment your pokemon learns it, you must say what type it will be and not change it.

If you use 2 pokemon in a battle, each of them will gain half the experience (levels).

Stamps can be earned for writing interesting and descriptive battles. You can exchange them for Stones, Genetic Accelerators and other items at the Dragon Tamers Reward Center.

Remember: no killing your opponents (human or pokemon).


You can use the Random Battle Generator once a week, and it costs 7 stamps to use it. You can request a random pokemon from any of the following sections: Caledor's Nature Protection Agency, Antarctic Survivor Recovery Agency, Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency, Professional Sports Breeding System, Electric Shutdown Retirement System, Free Range Corral, Universal Adoption Center. Your opponent will be the same level as your pokemon, and each random opponent defeated gives 1 level.

You can also request a 2-on-2 random battle. In that case, it will cost 14 stamps, and you will have to wait 2 weeks before requesting another random battle.

THE CURRENT SCENARIO IS ON PAGE: 19 (http://www.pokemasters.net/forums/showthread.php?p=513624#post513624).

Lady Vulpix
4th May 2004, 10:38 AM
Thanks to Amy for writing the list of opponents at the Lava Room! :)
And to everyone for your patience. I originaly intended to post this scenario by the end of January, but the rest of my life caught up. :sweatdrop:

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<Gabi's POV>

Permission granted, but you will have to make the arrangements on your own.
Golden Growlithe.
P.S. The fort is, indeed, available, and so are the prizes. You'll be surprised.

That was the whole content of the letter. Still, it was all I needed. It had the seal of the Dragon's Guild, which meant it was official. I was glad I had met Golden Growlithe on a previous visit to the Guild's headquarters. Our encounter made me feel I was not alone in what could become a Dragon's Guild civil war. Of course, my best hopes were that things wouldn't turn out that way. The situation was tense, but it had always been so; there was no reason to believe the Guild as a whole were against the Dragon Tamers. They were just keeping secrets, as was their tradition. They were so secretive I didn't even know who was in charge anymore, and I had one of the highest ranks and was one of the oldest Guild members. Of course, many didn't like the fact that I made the Dragon Tamers my main priority, even though the Guild were financing our activities. But some still had their heads and hearts in the right place, as G.G. had proven. Others were simply choked in bureaucracy but weren't bad either once you got a chance to get a message through. There was only one group among the Dragon's Guild that I was worried about: the invisible ones; the ones whose names were as unknown to me as their intentions and their limits. They lurked in the shadows, pulled some strings making sure the rest of us couldn't even figure out which ones... They seemed omnipresent, I could see signs of their activities on every 'strong suggestion', on every obscure message I received, on every bit of information that was denied to me. And I wondered who they were, what they were doing, what they wanted, but above all... were they on our side?

The letter had taken 3 months to arrive since I'd originally asked for permission to hold the next tournament. I knew they wouldn't have a reason to deny it, since holding pokemon battling tournaments was one of the activities the Dragon's Guild was famous for and we hadn't had one for over a year. I was a bit unsure about whether they would approve the location I'd requested, but if they rejected it, they would have had to provide a reason, and would have raised suspicions about why they were willing to hold tournaments at all the gates except that particular one. To be honest, it was exactly that fact that gave me the last clue I needed, after an enlightening conversation Officer Jenny and Tracker, and that made me decide it was the right time and place for the next Games.

I hadn't shared my thoughts with Golden Growlithe (I hadn't even asked him what his real name was); the last sentence of his letter got me intrigued, but the best thing I could do at that moment was wait until I saw him or the prizes. Maybe the prizes were just so good that he thought I'd be surprised at them... But I had the feeling there was more to that last comment. Or maybe it was just my tendency to find second meanings on everything that was Guild-related.

Before I go on about how the Dragon Tamers managed to make the arrangements for the Games (which was not an easy task) I think I should say more about my visit to the police station. It happened right after I picked up Amber and Sylvan from the Pokemon Center. Fortunately, their injuries hadn't been as bad as they had looked, and now they were feeling a lot better. Amber's cheek still had marks on it and would take a while to heal, but the nurse had assured that it would be as good as new as long as nothing caused the wound to reopen. Amber's firmness when she promised she wouldn't let that happen made me think for a moment that she was capable of caring as much about her appearance as Sylvan did; but then again, who'd want to have a permanent scar on their face?

My whole Team followed me to the Police Station. I requested to talk to Officer Jenny, though it was her Ninetales I wanted to talk to the most. They both turned out to be very helpful. They seemed to have got used to working together, to seeing me talk to pokemon, and to how things around the Dragon Tamers worked (Jenny's first encounters with us weren't something she'd been prepared for at the academy, especially since they involved a well-trained and very efficient police pokemon purposely disobeying her trainer). I went to ask them how their research was going, and if they could cross-check anything with the word Singlehorn, which I'd found in one of TR's computers as the name of a project.

"We haven't found much," Officer Jenny told me "seeing as that our best clue is the word 'Gates' casually mentioned by two Dragon's Guild members, and that we're only conducting this investigation on our free time, as no one else in this station sees it as a case. I'm beginning to wonder if there's anything solid myself."
"When you say 'we' you mean...?"
"Me and Tracker, of course. I would be blind if I didn't realize she's been working on this for longer than I have."
The female Ninetales smiled and looked up at her trainer, who caressed her head and neck in return.
"So, there's nothing on the Dragon's Guild..." I deduced. "What about Team Rocket?"
"They were everywhere two days ago. The whole station is after them. But now they seem to have vanished without a trace. I thought your group was responsible for it."
"We may be," I reflected. "We found their base and got out of it. Then yesterday Pidgeot flew over it and saw it was completely burnt out. They probably fled to some other location, I really don't think we've seen the last of them."
"It looks like you have some declarations to make," Jenny considered.
"Before you get into that," Tracker addressed me. "It's not true that there's nothing on the Guild. My trainer did some research on their activities over the last 4 years and I found something quite interesting about them. Something related to you, actually. I crosschecked it with the word Gates and had my trainer follow me to Griphon Gate, almost sure that I had something."
"Griphon Gate!!," Caledor jumped as if he'd been woken up with a bucket of watter. "That's where I first met my team!"
"Exactly," Tracker continued. "There we found enough information to confirm that at least a part of the Dragon's Guild or an association related to it has been conducting secret experiments. But no proof of who they were, nor where they were conducted, nor what exactly those experiments were. We don't even know if they were legal or not, but I think it's worth investigating more."
"You didn't have to go all the way to Griphon's Gate to know that," Caledor retorted. "I'm a living proof of what they've been doing. I was one of their experiments. But the lab wasn't at Griphon's Gate; I was only taken there for the prize ceremony."
"Where was it, then?"
"I wish I knew."
"What are they talking about?," Officer Jenny asked me. Only then I remembered she couldn't understand what Tracker and Caledor were saying.
"Griphon's Gate," I replied.
"Oh, yes, we've been there. But we found nothing you didn't already know, not even behind the locked doors."
"How did you get behind the locked doors?," Hero inquired.
"Good magicians don't reveal their secrets," Tracker grinned, half-closing her eyes in an inviting way.
"Since when are you a magician?," Hero asked her.
"Don't be jealous. Just because you're not the only one who has tricks it doesn't mean the police will stop chasing you."
"The police? Chasing me?"
"Well, one police Ninetales at list," Tracker winked.
Hero half-smiled. I could feel his body temperature rise even without touching him. I wished I could help him walk that step he was so afraid of. It was clear he loved Tracker as much as she loved him.
"What's going on now?," asked Jenny.
"Nothing," I said after thinking for a while, trying to avoid any tactless remarks. "Just Hero and Tracker talking to each other."
"Oh. Well, about the Dragon's Guild, I'm sorry, but all we know so far is that there is (or was) a secret lab, but not is location. And we haven't found any connections between any Guild Members and Team Rocket. If we proceed with the investigation, the Dragon's Guild will start asking questions and since there are no charges against them we will be forced to stop. Have I mentioned I'm not so sure we're doing the right thing?"
"You can't be doing any wrong, you're not hurting anyone, just looking for information. And if it turns out some Guild member has deals with Team Rocket or has been doing anything illegal, it would be best for everyone to know, wouldn't it? The Team Rocket that has attacked us now has done more damage than ever before. They haven't only caused many more deaths, but they also seem to know a lot about the Dragon Tamers and the Dragon's Guild. If they have the slightest chance to try and destroy us from the inside, well, we shouldn't..."
"Shouldn't let them. I know. Just make sure you don't cross the line in the process."
"I never would," I assured. "You don't know me if you think I could."
"I don't know you that well, but I never meant to say you would. A simple warning shouldn't hurt."
"Ok," I accepted.
She was right, we hadn't talked more than a few times and she could be risking her job for following my hunches. I shouldn't have been hard on her. My eyes slid down to Jenny's desk as I was caught on those thoughts. When I rounded them up, I noticed I'd been looking at a map of Ulthuan for the last few seconds. I took a closer, most conscious look at it, before coming up with a revelation.
"Unicorn Gate," I spoke out. Everybody fixed their eyes on me.
"Pardon?," said Officer Jenny.
"Unicorn Gate. Unicorn means 'One Horn'. Singlehorn! If there's a connection, that's it! That could be the reason why they've held two tournaments at each of the other gates but so carefully skipped that one each time!"
"So you're saying the lab's at Unicorn Gate?," queried Jenny.
"I don't know, but it's worth looking. I can almost bet there's something in there. And I have an idea not even the most secretive Guild's authorities can reject!"
"Congratulations. What is it?"
"I'll send a letter to the Guild and then ask the others. If everything goes well, we'll be holding the Unicorn Games soon."

So, that was how it all began. I tried to reopen the last training grounds, but none of the 3 locations were available. I shouldn't have been surprised after G.G. had told me I'd have to do everything on my own. But I wouldn't resign myself to do it alone either. I counted on Amy and Karin to be willing to help set things up. Fortunately, the old training grounds were still in its place and the people who used to work in them were happy to see them back. So, after some time and a lot of work, the 5 original rooms were filled with pokemon waiting for battles.

Scenario information: you can battle up to 2 pokemon from each of the 5 rooms, which adds up to 10 pokemon in all. Each room functions as an individual scenario as far as the Battle Range rules go, and you can use them whether or not you're planning to take part in the upcoming Unicorn Games.


Pond Room

This room is ideal for water pokemon. Flying pokemon can handle well here too. Pokemon of other types may train here as long as they can swim, for the whole room is a huge, crystal clear pond with no place to stand except for a small platform made for trainers.

These are the pokemon you can battle here:

(up to level 15)
Totodile LV8 +1 level
Mudkip LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Spheal LV19 +1 level
Croconaw LV25+2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Marshtomp LV28 +1 level
Sharpedo LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Sealeo LV38 +1 level
Lapras LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Qwilfish LV49 +1 level
Gyarados LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Corsola LV62 +1 level
Walrein LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Mantine LV76 +1 level
Starmie LV85 +2 levels

(level 85.5-100)
Swampert LV90 +1 level
Feraligatr LV97 +2 levels


Jungle Room

This room is fool of beautiful and exotic plants. In one of the corners there's a rare bush which paralizes poison pokemon, but otherwise the place is safe for pokemon of all kinds. The underbrush will hamper much movement and will catch on fire. There is a very shallow and small stream running through the woods too.

In this room you can find:

(up to level 15)
Surskit LV8 +1 level
Chikorita LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Grovyle LV19 +1 level
Scyther LV25+2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Ivysaur LV28 +1 level
Pinsir LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Masquerain LV38 +1 level
Sceptile LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Tropius LV49 +1 level
Ludicolo LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Arbok LV62 +1 level
Ursaring LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Seviper LV76 +1 level
Venusaur LV85 +2 levels

(level 85.5-100)
Meganium LV90 +1 level
Scizor LV97 +2 levels


Desert Room

The cold deflecting walls take away all humidity in the air. Water pokemon would dry out immediately here. Be sure to take some water with you if you enter this room.

Here you can find:

(up to level 15)
Sandshrew LV8 +1 level
Phanpy LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Aron LV19 +1 level
Sandslash LV25 +2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Larvitar LV28 +1 level
Lairon LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Rhyhorn LV38 +1 level
Donphan LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Pupitar LV49 +1 level
Onix LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Nosepass LV62 +1 level
Steelix LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Solrock LV76 +1 level
Aggron LV85 +2 levels

(level 85.5-100)
Rhydon LV90 +1 level
Tyranitar LV97 +2 levels


Blizzard Room

The cold is almost unbearable here, and the icy wind blows at high speeds. There are small warm cabins where trainers can sit while the battles take place, but only pokemon with psychic abilities will hear your commands if you're inside one of them.

In this room you can find:

(up to level 15)
Ralts LV8 +1 level
Slowpoke LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Meditite LV19 +1 level
Metang LV25 +2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Spoink LV28 +1 level
Sneasel LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Snorunt LV38 +1 level
Dewgong LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Medicham LV49 +1 level
Glalie LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Grumpig LV62 +1 level
Metagross LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Jynx LV76 +1 level
Slowbro LV85 +2 levels

(level 85.5-100)
Alakazam LV90 +1 level
Slowking LV97 +2 levels


Lava Room

Suggestion: don't enter here immediately after or immediately before the Blizzard room. The temperature is incredibly high in the Lava Room. You can walk along paths of molten rock sorrounded by boiling lava! Avoid all contact with the lava, as it will burn through any non metallic or stone surface (with the possible exception of a Magmar's skin).

Here you can find:

(up to level 15)
Magby LV8 +1 level
Torchic LV15 +2 levels

(level 15.5-25)
Houndour LV19 +1 level
Combusken LV25 +2 levels

(level 25.5-35)
Numel LV28 +1 level
Magmar LV35 +2 levels

(level 35.5-45)
Growlithe LV38 +1 level
Blaziken LV45 +2 levels

(level 45.5-55)
Vulpix LV49 +1 level
Houndoom LV55 +2 levels

(level 55.5-70)
Torkoal LV62 +1 level
Camerupt LV70 +2 levels

(level 70.5-85)
Arcanine LV76 +1 level
Ninetales LV85 +2 levels

(level 85.5-100)
Typhlosion LV90 +1 level
Charizard LV97 +2 levels


Good luck to all of you! Train your pokemon well!

4th May 2004, 06:21 PM
Here's my random battle. Now I can work on the previous scenario's conclusion, and then on this new one. It sounds interesting. ^_^


Aglárien’s battle really shook her up. When I asked her if she wanted another, in a different section, she still refused. She enjoyed battle, but not like that. I had a feeling that she wouldn’t want to battle pokémon whose trainers she did not know for a while. So someone else could have the chance to battle…

Naturally, Ryu requested the opportunity first. He had not had much to do at the Battle Tower lately, and he still wanted to strengthen himself as much as he could, as soon as was possible. The entire time I had known him, he had been rushing for evolution, or improvement in general. The Trapinch seemed restless, although I did not know why. Sometimes I thought that he lived for his dreams, but those who have only dreams had nothing else to grasp when they were gone. Ryu had something else, something greater than his resolve: something that made him find new goals when he reached his previous ones. Ryu was fueled by the constant desire to better himself, the drive to always excel in anything that he chose to do… And even if he started without the capability of reaching his goals – especially if he began unable to accomplish what he worked for – Ryu would always train until he could. I was worried about him, though; currently he had a bandaged foreleg that he had injured during one of his training sessions. It hadn’t fully healed yet, and I feared that the wound was deeper than he had thought.

The arena this time was more pleasant than the last, and I was glad for it. Ice I dreaded as one of my most uncomfortable states of being. Here the weather was sunny; it had to be, for the abundant plant life to flourish so. Grass pokémon abode here in great numbers, thriving on the gorgeous sunlight and lush, wet greenery. Ryu and I walked over a vast expanse of soft green grass that stretched across the horizon. Some forest trees lined the sides, most laden heavily with fruit that carried their delicate aromas across the air. I breathed in delight, glad that the atmosphere was full of life, and not death, as it was in the ice arena a week ago.

To reach the site where the battle was to be held, we had to actually enter the forest and follow the ambling path for half a mile. We didn’t mind the walk, and moved at a leisurely pace, simply enjoying the delicious sights and smells of the sylvan path. We arrived at the battle scene after a pleasant stroll. It was a forest clearing, encircled by flowering trees, the grass gleaming with the golden rays of the sun that poured in generously through the opening to the sky.

We both jumped when a voice addressed us unexpectedly. “Been waiting for you.” Our attention turned to the source, a female trainer of about seventeen years of age. She wore her rich, flowing red hair in two braids, one on the left and the other on the right. She dressed casually in faded blue jeans and a white T-shirt, with a dark blue cap on her head turned backwards. She regarded us with a kind of genuine curiosity, studying us, measuring our every move, as if trying to gauge us as opponents. When she noticed that we knew she was staring at us, however, she averted her gaze and pretended not to see. Clearing her throat, she turned to us again. “So, let’s get this battle going, huh?”

“Good idea. Ryu!”

The Trapinch nodded, taking his place in front of me firmly.

“Well, yours looks strong,” commented the girl. “I’ll just have to be careful. Let’s see now… Razor will do a fine job.” A Tropius emerged from his pokéball, towering over Ryu. He looked down at the Trapinch, studying him in the same manner as his trainer had. Then, blinking, he tossed his large head, jiggling the yellow fruit under his chin. The Tropius snorted, then pawed the ground impatiently, indicating that he wanted the fight to begin.

“Watch out, Ryu,” I cautioned. “Just like the Lapras Aglárien had to battle a week ago, this Tropius is going to be tough.” I don’t even know why I said that. Ryu didn’t need me warning him. He understood the situation himself. I guess I felt the necessity to fill the silence that had somehow come upon us. As our battle had shown signs of beginning, the entire forest had gone quiet.

“Okay, Razor, we don’t know what we’re up against, so we’d better try to take them out before they can show us. Razor Wind!”

The great beast fluttered his serrated wings, and a forceful whirlwind seemed to be building up in place. Unfortunately for our opponent, this attack was slow; Ryu could see it coming. As the Tropius charged his offensive, Ryu watched and accurately predicted where the attack was headed. When Razor let loose the rampant wind, it tore up the grass in its path before dissipating, but Ryu was already well out of the way.

“Well, my suspicions are confirmed. This one is good, Razor. He won’t fall for charged attacks under normal circumstances. We’ll need faster ones.” She spotted his bandage for the first time. “Hmm? What’s this? By chance, I see an opportunity to cripple him.” She nodded. “Come on, Razor, use your favorite move.” She winked.

What move could that be? I watched Ryu worriedly, not because I was afraid that he couldn’t take care of himself – he was braced for anything that might come his way – but because I knew the Tropius was going to target his injured leg, with an attack that his trainer had not specified. She was better than any regular trainer; although she still spoke to her pokémon, she spoke in code. A code that only someone close to them would understand.

Razor swung his head aside in a single motion, flinging out sharp-edged leaves that spun at high velocities. Of course… Razor Leaf. But this attack was not something that we had ever seen; the leaves flew so fast that Ryu was not quick enough to dodge, and they struck with astounding accuracy. The bandage on his foot fell cleanly off, shredded by the attack. His injured leg displayed a cut from which blood had begun to trickle out.


“I’m fine,” he assured me stubbornly, although signs of pain showed in his face. I said nothing, however; I knew that finishing this battle now was a matter of honor. The fact that his opponent had deliberately targeted his weak spot served only to firm his resolve to win. To Ryu, there were no weak spots.

“Good, Razor. Now attack from the air. Quickly! Aerial Ace!”

Twirling his helicopter blades, the Tropius lifted off, then, locking on to Ryu, came swooping down towards him. The Trapinch attempted to avoid the assault, but as his opponent came closer he stumbled, and took a glancing blow on the side. Razor then proceeded to rise into the air, prepared to continue the assault at his trainer’s command.

“Good work, Razor. Keep going!”

At her approval, he dove once more, this time missing Ryu closely due to the Trapinch’s massive effort. Ryu had waited until the time was right, and his aggressor could no longer change course, then forced himself to spring out of the way. The strength it took put a strain on his injured leg, however, and I saw the flow of blood increase in intensity and speed. This could not continue.

“Ryu, you know that this won’t work,” I told him. “That Tropius is a speed attacker, focused mainly on offense, and he’s coming at you from the air. You’re a Trapinch. Take advantage of it. Remember what you can do. If Jolteon can swim…” I checked to see if he understood what I was hinting at. He did. “The ground is soft. You don’t need it in your moveset…”

He took Razor’s aerial attack this time, then, as the Tropius renewed his ascent, Ryu began to paw at the ground with his good leg. Within moments, he had dug a sizeable hole, and, at the opposing trainer’s cry of anguish, leapt in just as his attacker came down for him a fourth time. The Tropius, unable to pull back, crashed into the ground, his face plunging slightly into the hole. It did not take long for him to remove his head, however. With a cry, as if something ailed him, he staggered backwards, disoriented.

“Ryu”, the male Trapinch’s POV:

My Sand Attack had achieved its desired effect. The Tropius was out of my hole for now, and it gave me time to dig inward a little deeper. I made a little curve, rather than dig straight, so that he would have to actually enter the hole to see me… something he could not do. His body was too large.

From what I had seen, my opponent was a skilled aerial attacker, with strategies focusing on strong, rapid offense from the air. Because I saw his confused face, and because I was not at this moment experiencing violent tremors, I could safely assume that Earthquake was not in his specialized moveset. So, his wings were vital to his strategy. That meant…

“Razor, Sunny Day! We can still get to him. He can’t stay there forever!”

If the Tropius complied, I would have plenty of time to sneak up on him unnoticed. I didn’t hear any warning from Karin, so I felt pretty certain that this was not just a ruse to get me to surface. Closing my eyes, I relied on my senses to take me closer to my target…

I didn’t trust my senses to perfection, so I did not try to surface directly underneath Razor. Without the actual Dig attack in my moveset, I could not depend on my instincts to fully pull off the attack, especially when I had not really practiced it much. Instead, I dug myself out quietly, quite close to where I had wanted to end up, which pleased me. I surfaced at the foot of a bush, and under the cover of invisibility that my Faint Attack granted me. Unless I made too much noise, Razor’s attention would not be drawn to me.

The Tropius was still in his summoning trance. I could see the distance in his eyes as he stared skyward, mentally forcing the clouds to reveal the sun. It began to get noticeably warmer as they vanished, for it was the middle of the day, and without the clouds the light shone at its fullest intensity.

As silently as was possible, I made my way around the Tropius, maintaining my invisibility. Then, leaping, revealing myself, I sprang upon his back and clamped down viciously upon his razor blade wings.

The Tropius’s cry was horrendous. I could tell that he was in pain. My attack had left his leaf wings crooked, parts of them cleanly snapped. As a Grass type, he would be able to heal them properly, but not in this battle. I saw a trace of fear arise in his trainer’s eyes as I slid to the ground to face the injured pokémon. But it flitted for only just a second, and went away.

“We were switching strategies anyway,” she claimed. “Darling Razor, do you feel up to this?” Despite his obvious agony that manifested itself in his contorted face, Razor nodded. He did not want to give up, he knew that his trainer did not want to give up, and he loved her so that he would endure his pain for her until he could stand it no more.

“All right, then, if you’re sure. Harness the powers of the sun!”

It did not take me very long to realize that this meant Solarbeam. My opponent began to glow golden, absorbing the rays of the now blazing white ball of fire. To my astonishment, the power of his attack incremented at a startlingly quick rate, and before long he had as much sunlight as he needed. Almost before I could react, he fired the devastating pillar of light; my legs moved without my bidding, carrying me to safety somehow, I did not know. But the ground burned beneath my feet, and my sides were singed. I knew that I could not dodge another attack. But I also knew something else.

From observing the Tropius’s and his trainer’s tactics, I could tell that Razor was not accustomed to long, grueling battles. His heavy offensive strategy usually made sure that he knocked out his opponent almost right away. I would not be surprised if each of his various attack methods had only to be used once against pokémon that he would fight. His trainer seemed frustrated and increasingly confused as she had to switch strategies; each was probably planned separately, to be used in separate battles. But in this one they were being tested to the limits of their ability. And I could beat a lot of pokémon in an endurance war. Razor was already tiring.

Upon the first failure, certain that he could get me this time, determined not to miss, the Tropius began to gather solar energy with a renewed vigor. But the signs of his exhaustion were there, and he could not hide them. I needed only survive this blast.

Dodging the incoming Solarbeam was not a possibility. My leg had begun to bleed even more, and I could feel the stinging pain again that stabbed at it before that kind Hitmonlee had dressed my wound. And so, I had only one option… Sometimes, the best defense was a good offense. Not overdone like Razor and his trainer, but it could work at times, and this was one of them.

When I saw that Razor was nearly ready, I braced myself. He turned… And I let hell break loose. My leg pounded into the ground, sending powerful tremors at him that he did not see coming. His charged attack shot off course, crashing into a tree and burning the bark black with its destructive intensity. My Earthquake, because it had been rushed, did not do much physical damage; it had not even shaken either trainer much; but it spelt Razor’s ruin. The battle was over.

“Nice, Ryu,” Karin commended.

The opposing trainer, not understanding, encouraged her Tropius. “It’s all right, Razor, you’ll get him next time,” she said. “Try your Fire type Hidden Power this time. It’s faster.”

As the beast got up slowly, however, she began to fathom the meaning of Karin’s words. Razor sagged heavily, having difficulty even standing up. A dull, dispirited look lay buried in his eyes; he attempted to initiate his attack, but couldn’t. With an exaggerated sigh, he collapsed to the ground, his eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Ryu won!
Ryu grew to LV21!

4th May 2004, 10:02 PM
Alright, something new! I don't know about Jewel's battle, though.


“Alright! This has to be the best opportunity ever!” I shouted excitedly as I walked in the building. “We’ll prove everyone that we’re the best!” I felt a sudden wave of exhaustion and leaned on the wall.

“Why are you so tired?” Beacon asked me.

“I forgot which gate these games are supposed to be at,” I groaned. “At least we’re here.” I looked around the circular room, finding each of the five doors. Each one led to a different training room and opponents to fight. I looked at each of them with anticipation. “Which one?”

Beacon walked to the one in front of us. “This one. I’m sure of it!” She placed a hoof on it.

I got up and walked toward it. I felt great warmth as my hand reached toward it. I opened the door and found a stone staircase lined with torches. Beacon’s legs shook as she placed a hoof on the first step. “Something about this. Where does it lead?”

“I guess it leads to one of the training rooms,” I said softly. I followed Beacon down the staircase. “Look, you don’t have to battle if you don’t want to.”

She promptly shook her head. “I want to get stronger, end of story. I’m not afraid of what’s beyond this door.” She stopped at a heavy steel door. I reached toward it and promptly pulled it back; the heat was too much. Plus there was no handle. I turned around and saw a button attached to the wall. I pressed it out of curiosity and watched the door slowly swing open.

“Um, Beacon? Are you sure you’re not scared? ‘Cause I’m practically peeing my pants!” I said. We were looking at what looked like the inside of a volcano. The floor was molten magma and the only way to walk through it was to walk across was to walk on narrow paths of molten lava. And it was hot. Very hot. I turned around to go back through the door only to see it close behind us. “There’s nowhere else to go but forward.” But Beacon already knew that and was cautiously walking on the rocky path. I walked behind her, a shepherd following her sheep. We finally approached the center of the room where a large flat rock lay. On the side opposite mine stood a boy with blond hair done up in a French braid.

“Are you ready to battle?” the girl asked me.

I looked down at Beacon as she casually walked down to the center of the stadium, her feet only slightly shaking. I started to worry. Beacon was a determined Pokemon, but she could only do so much. “How are we going to do this?” I asked the girl.

“Two on two! Now let’s get this over with!” She threw a pokeball containing a Magby.

L7 Female Mareep vs. L8 Magby

“Magby, Ember!” the girl shouted. The Magby shot flames toward our side of the field, making things hotter.

Beacon clumsily jumped to the side as I wiped the sweat from my forehead. “Beacon, Thunderbolt!” Sparks jumped around Beacon’s wool as she shot the Thunderbolt toward the Magby. Magby jumped high in the air and coughed up some kind of gray cloud. “Dodge it, Beacon!”

She stood still on four weak legs. “It hurts…” she whimpered as the Smog attack covered her. She stumbled backwards, coughing. She wasn’t looking too hot. Okay, she was, but at the same time it looked like she had the hardest time moving.

She’s been burned! Her front right foot was singed. “Beacon, return!” I shouted.

“No! I will finish this!” she coughed out.

“Magby, finish it off with Mega Punch!” the girl cried out.

Magby rushed forward, its fist glowing. Beacon stumbled forward and barely avoided the attack. She lowered her burned leg and started running from Magby, who had another Mega Punch for her. She sidestepped from side to side and backed up. Magby kept its fist still as it watched her do her funky version of the Electric Slide. “Um, what are you doing?” Magby asked her.

“What was that last step?” Beacon muttered. “Oh, that’s it!” she whirled around and bowed. Magby and I clapped (although I had no idea why).

“That was very nice,” Magby commented.

“What was all that about?” the girl trainer said in an annoyed tone. “We’re supposed to be battling, not dancing!”

I wiped off more sweat. The heat was next to unbelievable. I was sweating so much it was raining on the hot rock. Wait, raining? I looked up at a large rain cloud. Rain fell on the rock and magma, making a hissing sound as it landed. I sighed in relief as my skin was cooled. The rain also was cooling off the rock and filling the Lava Room with mist. “Beacon, where are you?”

“Ow!” yelped a voice that definitely wasn’t Beacon. “Ow, ow, ow!” It sounded like Magby was having the crap beaten out of him.

“Beacon, if you can hear me, give him a Thunderbolt!” I shouted. I saw a bright light in front of me and heard a yelp of pain. I stood there listening to the silence that followed. Finally I heard hooves as Beacon limped to my side. “Is he out?”

“Yep!” she said happily.

Beacon won and grew to level 8!

“Okay, you can return your Magby!” I shouted. I could see the girl stomping her foot and returning her Magby. She threw another pokeball, this time showing a cute little Torchic.

I looked up at the continuing rain. I better switch to Jewel before the rain stops. “Jewel, go!” I let out Jewel.

<Another wimpy opponent?> Jewel sent dully.

L7 Genderless Staryu (Jewel) vs. L15 Torchic

“I’ll do my best, buddy!” Torchic yelled to its trainer.

Its back is turned! “Jewel, Water Gun!” I shouted quickly. Jewel shot a quick Water Gun at Torchic, who didn’t even have enough time to dodge. It wasn’t because it was too slow; it just was unprepared.

<What an idiot,> Jewel sent, and went right for another Water Gun.

“Torchic, use Ember!” its trainer cried. Torchic’s Ember canceled out Jewel’s Water Gun. Torchic quickly fired another Ember and hit Jewel right in the central gem.

“She’s still floating,” Beacon said in awe. Jewel fired another Water Gun. Torchic did the same with its Ember. The Rain Dance was wearing off and both of them were getting tired. Jewel finally overpowered and sprayed Torchic one more time, who quickly recovered and shot a Ember right back.

“Alright, Jewel! Hang in there!” Beacon shouted excitedly but wearily. Her tail wagged slowly.

“Jewel, how are you holding up?” I asked her. The rain stopped, and the temperature started back to rising.

<Not very well,> she sent quietly, swaying back and forth.

“Torchic, use Ember!” its trainer shouted all of a sudden.

“Jewel, dodge and use Psychic!” I yelled. She pointed the Water Gun in the air and pointed her central gem down at Torchic. The gem gave off a brilliant shine as it shot its multicolored beam at the bird, hitting it. Torchic wobbled back and forth, dazed from the attack. Jewel spun and dive bomb tackled her opponent, knocking it out.

Jewel won and grew to Level 9!

That was close. That Torchic did not let up. I returned Jewel and turned to the girl. “That was a good battle,” I said cheerily.

The other trainer smiled and nodded. “Yeah, it was. Your Staryu is tough, and your Mareep is…is…” Beacon’s tail wagged in anticipation. “She’s very graceful.”

“Thanks!” I turned around to leave then stopped. “Um, do I go this way or is there another way out of here?”

“You can go that way, now that you’ve battled me. Just push the button next to the door.”

I returned Beacon so that she wouldn’t have to walk on her injured leg. “I hope I see you later!” I turned around and left.

4th May 2004, 10:12 PM
Awww... cruddy is it too late to ask for an extension for the previous scenario? Because I was kinda still working on a second post for that one... :/

Ah well, if it is, I should deal with it. >.<

5th May 2004, 04:13 PM
Engi: Yeah, if you didn't ask for an extension before the new scenario was put up, I don't think you can get one now. Confirm with Amy or Gabi, though. I might not know what I'm talking about.

Finally, my conclusion's done, too. Kind of rushed, but all three of us had to repeat the same events, so it might get pretty boring.


After Kara returned her cell phone to her pocket, I recalled everyone except Switchblade and Rúthruin. They weren’t as exhausted as those who had been involved directly in battles, and they were two of the strongest I had that didn’t stick out like sore thumbs. We bade Kara goodbye, leaving her to wake her fellow Rocket. He would never know the difference; her life was not in danger.

There were many Rockets lurking about, making us increasingly nervous as several times we got closer and closer to encountering some. Some commotion seemed to be drawing them away, however; strangely enough, we saw them move away from the noise. Possibly they had been commanded to assemble some place off. The sounds of a battle had been getting louder, though, and I felt it necessary to check it out, carefully. For an instant I had thought that I had heard familiar voices, but I wasn’t sure, so we approached with caution.

What we found was more welcoming than we had expected. From the looks of it, Amy and her Umbreon had just come out of a battle. Evenstar was with them. Relieved, and quite surprised that they had arrived so fast, we ran quickly to them, trying not to make too much noise. Amy heard, though, and looked up.

We had barely managed to greet each other when some strange, mournful noise filled the air. Unsure of what it was, we followed it, until we discovered that the cries came from a little cage. Inside was the strangest thing I had ever seen. A little Vulpix lay coiled there, her forehead a glittering rainbow. Bits of eggshell still stuck to her skin; she hadn’t been hatched long. She might even have been caged before she had come out of her egg. The poor Vulpix… Another heinous Rocket crime, indeed.

Before long, with the help of our pokémon, Amy and I managed to free the Vulpix, who trembled uncontrollably. Amy picked her up gently, consoling her. She was a strange little thing, beautiful in her own way. When she begged to join Amy’s team, however, I could see that Amy was torn. The Vulpix didn’t realize the predicament she had put Amy in. Unexpectedly, Amy’s Vaporeon convinced her to keep the Vulpix, while forecasting his own departure from the team. It was a touching moment, and sad. Nobody spoke. Only through silent actions did anyone convey their feelings. Voices would not be enough.

Simba broke the silence. “We need to go,” he urged.

Kiara agreed. “Yeah,” she said, “We need to find Gabi and get out of here.”

“Yeah, but how?” asked Sugar.

“Well we could start of by heading towards the source of that earthquake. It seems like it may have come from a battle. I don’t think that the odds would say that only we would have to battle during this mission. If we do hear the sounds of a battle as we near, hopefully it will lead us to Gabi,” Sparky offered.

Amy nodded. “That sounds like a workable plan to me.”

I agreed. Evenstar headed the vanguard, while Amy drifted to the back. It turned out that Sparky’s hunch was right; ahead, Gabi looked as if she had just finished a battle herself.

“Karin, you're fine!” she cried, in relief. “Amy! I'm glad you're both here. I'm just had the weirdest couple of battles ever. I have the feeling it's not over yet, but my opponent's gone for now.”

At that point, Gabi’s Venomoth, Ninetales, Vaporeon, Espeon, and Stantler materialized before us, startling me slightly.

Hero looked around in concern. “Is everyone alright?” he asked. “A Porygon 2 just popped into the computer room and did something to the computers. They started making some irritating beeping sound, which didn't strike me as a good sign.”

The sleeping Vulpix in Amy’s hands stirred, whining softly.

Gabi was charmed. “Oh, how cute! Did you find that Vulpix inside the base?”

"Yeah,” Amy answered. “She was in a cage that was so small that she couldn't even stand or move around in ."

“Oh, that's awful!”

Hero interrupted. “Hey, there. Beeping sound. Can we hold the rest of the conversation away from here? We already have Karin, that's what matters.”

I nodded in agreement. “Maybe we should find somewhere else to catch up… I managed to fool the Rocket’s once, but they’re going to be more careful this time.”

“Yeah, we probably need to get out of here,” Amy said.

“Ok, we'll meet right outside the entrance,” Ventura told us. “Everyone who can teleport take the ones who can't. We'll see where to go from there.”

“I think I'll get into my pokeball again until we're out of here. I'm not feeling very well,” Amber admitted.

“Yeah. Same here,” Sylvan agreed.

The two returned to their pokéballs, looking more than just a little sickly. I wondered what had happened to them, and what Gabi meant by “weird battles”. Well… I would have to find out later.

“It probably wouldn't hurt to recall my team as well so its less of a job.” Amy let her pokémon back into their balls.

“Can anyone teleport aside from Ventura and Hero?” wondered Gabi.

Amy shook her head. “None of my team can.”

“None of mine, either.”

“Then I guess it's up to them.”

“I'll recall everyone, too. Switchblade, that includes you.”

Switchblade looked at me for a moment, then decided that, like it or not, this was not the time. He went into his pokéball silently, much to my relief.

“I guess the rest of us can get in for a second too. Let's not cause our friends trouble,” suggested Tsunami.

“How considerate of you,” Hero responded, sarcastically perhaps.

“I wouln't risk you teleporting me into a wall,” retorted the Vaporeon. He returned to his ball, along with Iael and Caledor.

By the time we were all done, the only pokémon out besides Hero and Ventura was Amy’s new Vulpix, who hadn’t a pokéball of her own and was perfectly content in Amy’s arms.

“Most of my team is exhausted, anyway, after what they've been through, “ I admitted. “There's no sense having them expend their energy now.”

It didn’t take us long to get out. Once we stood outside, Gabi inquired, “Shall we go to our base or somewhere else?”

Lagi answered her. “If your concern is about getting caught, I wouldn't worry. They're all taking the leave.”


“It's become too dangerous inside, from what I can gather. And some seem to feel their job here is done.”


I listened to the conversation, understanding a little here and there, but mostly with an outsider’s knowledge of the situation. The exchange continued for some time. I tried to follow, but for the most part could not. I gathered something about a possible corruption of the Dragon’s Guild, and also heard mention of a certain Singlehorn Project.

“Does that ring a bell to any of you?” asked Gabi.

“Nope,” I answered.

“No.” Amy hadn’t heard about it either.

There was more talking… I was becoming a little tired, making conscious attempts not to doze off, but not doing a very good job of it. I remembered seeing who I thought looked like Simba slip off into the distance, but I didn’t say anything. If he wanted to go that way, that’s how he would leave.

“Ok, shall we go to the DT Central and sit down, get over this commotion and then think of what to do next? And maybe have something to drink in the meantime. I could use some tea, and I'm sure so could Amber. Then we can head to the Pokemon Center.” Gabi’s words woke me up.

“Sounds like a good idea to me,” Amy approved.

I heaved a sigh of relief. “That's the best thing I've heard all day.”

Then Amy’s Delcatty noticed Simba’s absence. “Where's Simba?” she asked.

Gabi noticed that he was gone too. “Did he come out of his pokeball?”

“Yeah,” Amy replied.

“I hope TR didn't take him,” Iael said worriedly. “Shall we split up and look for him?”

Having been silent for all this time, I slowly shook my head. “No... That won't be necessary.” I took a deep breath before giving the news. “I saw him slip away. I don't think he's coming back.”

“What do you mean?” asked Iael.

Lagi answered for me. “She means he wanted to leave, and slipped away when no one was looking because he didn't want to have to say goodbye. Right, Karin?”

I nodded, glad that she understood. “Sometimes... Goodbye is the most painful thing to say.”
“Yes, it is,” agreed Amber… or at least her voice. She was still inside her pokéball when she spoke. Strange.

Unable to speak, Amy simply nodded.

“I'll miss him,” confessed Tsunami. “We used to have fun together at the Eevee House. It feels like eons ago. Hope he's fine.”

“We may meet again some day,” Lagi said.

And perhaps that would be so. My feet followed the others automatically as we headed back to Dragon Tamers central, leaving my mind lagging far behind in its thoughts.

5th May 2004, 09:58 PM
This is my RBG battle I'd been putting off for a month. I hope it's fine

<My POV>

Lee and I were sitting on the couch, watching TV when my cell phone rang. He forced me to scratch his back with the scraper but this gave me the perfect opportunity to get away. I grinned at my brand new phone and flipped it open to answer.
“Hello? Yes, this is she. She’s finally ready to have the battle? Yes, I’ll be there soon. Ok, goodbye.”
I closed the cover and pushed it back into my pants pocket. So, the battle would finally get underway. I smirked as I walked over to Blade and Drake, who were both playing with Karin’s twin Charmanders.
“Hey Blade, I finally got you that battle you were looking for. I know its sudden notice, but we have to be there in an hour and the place is thirty minutes away. You think you can spare some time for it?”
He looked at Drake, who wasn’t too happy about taking care of both of them but reluctantly nodded and sighed.
“You know, you owe me big for this.”
“I know. It’s the second time I’ve done this to you. I promise I’ll be back soon.”
Drake and Blade bumped fists and nodded before Blade walked over to me. We headed out the front door and down the walkway to the secluded street, which eventually led us to town.
“Sorry we couldn’t battle sooner. I actually set the battle up a month ago but the trainer and I had to postpone a few times, me because of school and her because of vacation. But now we’re going to get things going and hopefully win.”
“Fantastic,” he said dryly, in response to my explanation. “Have any idea who I’m battling?”
“Not exactly but I know it can fly. Not many fliers know fire attacks so I think you should be ok but that’s what Swords Dance is for anyway.”
“I think I can handle that,” he replied and knocked his claws together, making a scraping/hollow sound that made me wince.

We had been walking for almost fifteen minutes, or rather flying in Blade’s case. He became restless after our little conversation and started to fly about, stretching himself for the upcoming battle. I stared up at the sky and bathed in the warm glow of the sun. It was a perfect day to be outside, warm enough to wear shorts but with a cool breeze that permitted you to be under the sun without boiling. I was now on the sidewalk in the middle of town and continued to go straight ahead towards the edge of it. The Random Battle Center was just recently built and gave trainers a chance to battle Pokemon at the same level but no one knew what Pokemon they were up against. I had only figured out that our opponent could fly by what the trainer stupidly hinted but even still, since both our Pokemon were at the same level, she had to be good.
“The place is just down the street,” I yelled up to Blade.
He nodded and sped up his pace, a challenge to me to keep up. I reluctantly started to sprint, my arms waving back and forth and my hair whipping in every which way. I hoped that place had a water fountain nearby or else Blade would die.

I breathed in sharply as I neared the building, my chest searing from the exertion. Thankfully, there was a fountain right next to the door and I lapped up the cool water, its sweetness trickling down my throat to ease the pain. I glared at Blade, who was grinning like an idiot and went through the sliding doors. I whistled softly as I gazed around, a huge steel dome surrounding us with pictures of many different Pokemon in battle plastered on the wall, from a Whiscash battling a Quagsire to an Eevee taking on a Sandshrew. I went up to the front desk to see a Nurse Joy manning the station.
“Nurse Joy? I thought your family only worked in the Pokemon Center,” I exclaimed.
“We do, but this doubles as a Battle Tower and Pokemon Center,” she replied and pointed to a set of double doors behind her, the regular needle sign above it turned off currently.
“Name and Pokemon you’re using, please,” she began again.
“Rebecca and I’m using my Scizor, Blade.”
“He looks to be in peak health,” she replied, looking him over with interest.
“Well, I’m blessed with a team that has a hard work ethic,” I smiled.
“Then I’m sure you won’t have a problem with your battle. Your opponent is Emily and she's in Indigo Stadium.”
“Indigo Stadium?”
“Oh, not the Indigo Stadium but just a normal arena. Each room is named after a famous place and its theme, such as the Safari Zone, which is a grassland arena and Mahogany Town, an all ice arena.”
“Oh,” I said, feeling stupid. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome. Indigo Stadium is on the first floor, first door to your right,” she said and pointed over to the elevator, which I somehow missed in the scanning.
I nodded and walked over to the elevator, which was standing open at the moment. As we entered, the doors immediately closed and clips from random battles started to play on the speakers. I jabbed at the 1 button and quietly listened to the play-by-play action.
“Will you look at that, folks! Donphan has somehow gotten up after that magnificent Hyper Beam and he’s now going into a Rollout attack. I hope Feraligatr can find a way to dodge his incoming opponent or else he’ll be done for…”
“He can use Hydro Pump,” I muttered and walked out into the hallway after the doors opened.
“What did you say?” Blade asked.
“Nothing, just something about that battle we heard over the speakers,” I replied and stood in front of the door. “Ready to battle?”
“Can’t wait,” he replied and I could tell he meant it.
Turning the knob, I pushed the door open and we entered to what looked like a normal stadium without the rows of seats and only a bench at either side to provide seating for the trainer’s supporters. Emily and the referee were already there, a Vibrava fluttering above its master.
It’s not even a flying type at all, I fumed to myself. Well, then I suppose it’s not as fast as it should be.
I could see Emily staring back at Blade behind me, a mixture of doubt and irritation plastered on her face. It appeared neither of us liked what we saw.
“Trainers, take your places,” the ref said and moved back into his little side box.
I moved to the nearest rectangle and Emily to the farthest.
“Vibrava doesn’t have many powerful attacks against you but watch out for its sandstorm,” I muttered to Blade.
He nodded and moved out into the middle of the ring, Vibrava doing the same.
"You can do it, Elara!" Emily yelled. Elara turned her head back and nodded confidently.
“Let the battle begin!”

Blade the Lv.37 Male Scizor vs. Elara the Lv.37 Female Vibrava

<Blade’s POV>

“Why don’t you come over here, honey and I can show you a good time,” Elara purred.
“With you? I may be a bug but I’m not that disgusting,” I gagged.
She hissed and sped around the room, trying to up her speed.
“You can forget it,” I called out. “That’s not agility so it won’t help you. Why don’t you let me show you what speed is?”
I jumped into the air and sped upwards, my wings thrumming in rapid succession. Making my right claw glow brightly, I caught up to Elara easily and slammed my claw into her side, stopping her instantly and sending her flying towards the other wall. She caught herself in time though and responded with a greenish stream of fire. Instinctively putting my claws up in defense, I felt a burning sensation on my body and felt like my armor was literally burning off.
“I may not be able to learn fire attacks but I can battle steel types just as well,” she buzzed and began to beat her wings faster than before.
Creating a sound that I’ve never heard before, I cringed in pain from the ultrasonic waves that were surrounding me and cried out silently to make them stop. She didn’t though and moved lower to stir the ground of the arena to life. Looking down, I saw sand fly into my face and cursed myself for letting her startle me like this. I closed my eyes and flapped my wings persistently, trying to push the storm back at her. Opening them moments later, I found her gone and blushed in embarrassment. Stopping my unnecessary attack, I felt something attach to my back. I looked behind to see Elara glow a mint green and found myself radiating the same color shortly afterwards. Instead of feeling pain, I only experienced annoyance. Wasn’t she smart enough to learn that grass attacks barely affect me?
Guess she’ll have to learn the hard way, I sighed and brought my arms close to my chest.
Spinning around slowly, I started to turn faster and faster before the two of us became a blur to our trainers below.
“Get me off, get me off,” she screamed, obviously unhappy with her current predicament.
“You want off, I’ll show you off,” I screamed back at her and instantly stopped.
Familiar with the after effects of swords dance, I was able to recover quickly but she had a harder time of it, still dizzy and clinging onto my back. Flying backwards into the nearest wall, I slammed into it, Elara getting the brunt of the attack. Pushing myself off, I let her fall off and hit the floor, feeling content about the whole thing.

Coming back down to the ground, I walked over to Rebecca, who was shaking her head at me.
“You think you’ve won yet? Take a look behind you.”
I turned around to see Elara slam into my gut, sending me down. She was better than I expected.
“Nice warning,” I wheezed and got up.
“Sorry, didn’t think she would do that.”
I rolled my eyes and flew back up into the air to be met with a fierce gale pushing me backwards. I tried to dodge the wind by going in different directions but she moved just as quickly, slowing me down all the while. I decided to use one of my few ranged attacks and turned around to face her. Bracing myself, I concentrated and started flapping rapidly as well. Instead of creating a high wind, I sent out sharp pieces of air that clashed with Elara’s attack. Both clashing together, they formed into one big tornado and hurled both of his backwards, me hitting the wall and her moving extremely close to the other side.
“Oy, that’s going to leave a dent,” I breathed.
The tornado faded away leaving us looking at each other. And then, she was off, not towards me but at the ground. Expecting what she would do, I followed suit, my armor giving off a dark glow. Combined with agility, pursuit gave me the boost to catch my opponent and slammed into her before she could dig into the ground. She buzzed unhappily and disappeared from sight, leaving me bewildered once more. Looking around, I couldn’t spot her at all but she reappeared shortly afterward, ramming me aside. I could feel the darkness invading my body but I shook off the uncomfortable feeling and righted myself once more.
“You know, you’ve done well for yourself in this battle but I have one thing you don’t have,” I said.
“And what’s that?”
“An advantage.”
“How so?” she asked. “All of our attacks do little to normal damage against each other.”
“That’s where you’re wrong,” I smiled innocently. “I do have one attack that you haven’t seen yet?”
“And that is…?”
“This.” Opening my claws, two white orbs formed inside, each tinged an aquamarine blue. I could see fear in Elara’s eyes but she couldn’t get away from it. The orbs flew off into her and splashed against her, releasing water all over. She cried out in pain and this gave me the time to attack. Flying over, my claws open and glinting from the light, I slashed ferociously at her, cutting her open with every swipe until blood started to show from the effort. After that, I stopped and let her fall to the ground, out like a light.

Blade wins and grows to Level 38!

<My POV>

I greeted Blade as soon as he came down to the ground and gave him a quick hug.
“Need some rest?” I asked.
He nodded and let me recall him into his Pokeball.
“That was a nice battle,” Emily said as she came over. “I barely heard you shout out an order at all.”
“I prefer to let them battle by their instincts,” I replied. “I only help them along the way.”
I looked down at the Pokeball cupped in her hands.
“Will she be alright?”
“I think she will. She’s suffered worse than that although it’s not often she draws blood in battle.”
I secretly felt smug but held out a hand to be met by a firm shake.
“Battle again some time?” I asked.
“Sure thing,” she replied.
We walked out of the battle together towards the healing center in the building. I wondered if they would show the rest of that Donphan battle on the way down…

AntiAsh Superstar
6th May 2004, 01:15 AM
Here's my RBG battle, apologies to me getting impatient (again!) with regards to pressing on with a sub-plot I'm conjuring up. To bring you up to speed, my opponent is Lucky's long-lost daughter, and you'll learn more about her once I finally finish that joint story with Gabi. ^_^;;;

All things considered, life had been treating Sindel rather well lately. Ever since her recent evolution, things seemed to keep slotting into place. Her new-found powers gave her twice the scope to pry, which delighted the Alakazam no end. And her increased brain capacity allowed her much greater coordination. Suddenly she found it possible to create double the dishes, her hands making one thing and another being prepared by her telekinetic powers. It was fast getting to the stage where food had to be thrown out, it was being created in such large quantities. But it was in her personal life that Sindel found the most solace, in nurturing the little bundle of energy named Ryo-Ohki. She still partly blamed herself for the death of the Pichu’s original trainer, so in her own way the Alakazam tried to atone for her sins by keeping a watchful eye on his pokémon. Which was easier said than done. Now that he had a chance to accept the death of his old master, the Pichu was fast developing into a lively, mischievous creature, full of youthful enthusiasm and an almost endearingly innocent quality. So if it was possible for a pokémon to achieve a state of domestic bliss, Sindel had all but found it.
“Aren’t we the good little housewife, Thingy?” As ever, the Alakazam was to be found in the kitchen, busying herself with a black forest gateaux. And as ever, Milliardo, having ran out of things to do, was to be found deliberately getting in her way. “Almost enough to make you forget that you’re a total busybody with a really freaky line in pigheadedness, eh?”
“I’m not listening, so you can snipe all you like,” Sindel snorted. “I’m at my peak. Look.” The Alakazam concentrated hard on the metal spoon in her hand. All of a sudden it began to twist and buckle, until it had almost tied itself in a knot. “And yes, you’re a Dark type and psychic powers can’t affect you, but that’s why I can control ice as well.”
“I thought you could control ice to act as a backup in case the freezer broke.” Milliardo rolled his eyes. Ever since she evolved Sindel had become intolerable! Suddenly a movement in the corner of his eye caught the Umbreon’s attention, a quick flash of pale blue that could only mean one thing. And in this particular situation it meant an ally. “Hey, Tsuyoi, Thingy thinks she’s clever because she can tie a spoon in a knot. Any comments?” The large, wolf-like creature known as Tsuyoi stopped in his tracks, eyeing the situation up carefully. And then he marched into the kitchen, the large claws on his paws clacking on the tiled floor as he walked.
“My comments?” Tsuyoi took the spoon out of Sindel’s hand, and fixed his impenetrable gaze upon it. Within seconds it began to twist and bend as if it were made of modelling clay, seeming to become less and less solid with every new twist. Very soon after that the utensil had totally melted in his front paw. “You have a long way to go yet. If I were you I’d stick to cooking. When it comes to showing off you’re just an amateur.”
“I’m not allowed to have any fun, am I?” Sindel grumbled, fishing a new spoon out of one of the kitchen drawers. “Well fine, at least Ryo-Ohki will play with me…” Here she paused, as if suddenly realising something. “Come to think of it, where has he got to? I’ve not seen him all day.”
“Oh my God, so you don’t keep everyone under constant surveillance?” Milliardo gasped in mock astonishment.
“Ha ha, very funny. Now have you seen him or not?”
“No I haven’t! I have my paws full enough as it is keeping my own little version of the Osbournes from killing everyone without worrying about your little brat.” It seemed as if Milliardo was less than willing to help. “You’re his unofficial guardian, remember, why don’t you pay more attention? Maybe he fell off a cliff or something while you were busy showing us your spoon-flexing abilities.”
“If you must know, he’s safe.” Tsuyoi rolled his eyes. “Quite remarkable seeing as nobody around here can get their act together for long enough to look after themselves, let alone an infant. Lucky and Ade look him to visit Megan. I think they were going to pay a visit to that Gina girl along the way as well.”
“Well.” Sindel couldn’t really think of anything further to say. The most infuriating thing about Tsuyoi, apart from his unshakable belief that he was always right, was the fact that in most cases this belief had some groundings of truth. “As long as he’s okay. That’s all that matters.”

In fact, things had been going rather well that morning for my little party. Of course, we had yet to accomplish a single thing that we had set out to do, but that always seemed to be the way with my team. Things always seemed to just spring up and get in the way. It was fast approaching the stage where I was beginning to wonder if there was any point in making plans at all.
“Look at him. He’s in his element.” In this case, the obstacle to my original plan took the form of a small family of Onix. We had originally tried to avoid them, but Ryo-Ohki seemed to have other plans, and had confronted them directly. The end result being that he had managed to befriend the youngest of the group, and the two were now playing happily despite the obvious size difference, the Pichu using his new friend as an impromptu slide. Neither Lucky nor myself really had the heart to tell him to come back and let us press on. So we were resigned to waiting underneath a nearby tree, as the newest addition to my team made a point of having as much fun as he possibly could. “It’s nice to have somebody that carefree around, really. I think he’s going to be a good influence.”
“On everyone bar Becks.” I couldn’t help but agree with Lucky’s point. Well, almost. “The last thing he needs is further excuses to slack off! But yeah, I know what you mean. Seems like the team’s finally reaching its final stages, huh?”
“I don’t think there ever will be a final stage, Ade. We’ll just keep changing.” The Meowth cast his eyes up into the sky, watching the various wild Flying types go about their daily business. He frowned suddenly. Somewhere up in the skies was something that looked decidedly out of place. “Hey, Ade, can you see that up there, that one that seems much bigger than all of the others?”
“Where?” My eyes followed to the point where my Meowth was gesturing. For a second I could see quite what he was getting at. And then my eyes locked upon a creature much bigger than all of the others currently in the sky. “Whoa, yeah, I can see it.” I held a hand up to my eyes to shield them from the sun’s glare. It didn’t make it easier to make out what I was looking at, however. “That’s a pretty big pokémon. What I’d like to know is what…” Finally I was able to make out the creature in its full glory. Because it appeared to be heading directly towards us, and was growing larger and larger with every passing moment. “****, it’s a Salamence! Ryo-Ohki, get over here now!” My blood ran cold. I’d had enough of these particular pokémon to last a lifetime after my recent encounter with Armand’s favourite pet. Best to hide, best to stay hidden, rather than face yet another one. Which was why I decided to take my pokémon to the relative shelter of a nearby bush rather than wait for the dragon to arrive. “Keep quiet!” I hissed to my Meowth and Pichu, suddenly very aware of my every breath. I peered out from my hiding place, watching as the Salamence landed gracefully where we had been standing moments ago. It stared at the Onix family impassively, taking in the two parent snakes and their child. A slow, cruel smile formed upon the pokémon’s face.
You can come out, you know. I know perfectly well that you’re hiding there. You’ve nothing to fear from me today. Otherwise I would have just razed that bush to the ground already. It was if I was listening to these words on headphones that had been turned up far too loud, such was the impact of the telepathic message. It does precious little for your image, Dragon Tamer.
“You!” I stood up, all too quickly.
Yes, me. I was bored and needed a new toy to play with for a while. Armand is such a hard worker, as nice as it would be I can’t expect him to lavish attention upon me twenty four hours a day. This was not good! Here, miles away from any help and minus my strongest fighters, I was face to face with a creature I had hoped that I would never have to set eyes upon again. There was no way that we could survive this one. Unless, of course, the Salamence was telling the truth and had no intention of harming us. But in that case what did she want? Either leave now or watch, human, I don’t really care either way. The Salamence turned to face the Onix family, the parents having circled around their children protectively, fixing the dragon with menacing glares that I guessed were far more forced than they appeared to be.
“What are you doing?” I yelled over, my anger overriding my natural fear of the huge pokémon.
Having my sport, and you’d be wise not to get involved if you care to live beyond this day. There was nothing I could do apart from watch. There was no way any of us could hope to stand up to the might that was Reaper. Not if our last encounter was anything to go by. She had annihilated us without so much as breaking a sweat. So what did this mean for the poor Onix family, still trying their best to make the Salamence back down. Not that it was having much effect. Already she was taking menacing steps towards them, a cruel gleam within her reptilian gaze.
“Wait…” It was too late. With a speed almost too great to follow, Reaper drew back one of her front legs, a thin wisp of red smoke beginning to form at her claws. And then she plunged her mighty paw into the chest of the nearest Onix, her mystical Dragon powers penetrating the creature’s rock-like shielding with ease. There was a long silence, as if nobody could quite believe what was happening. It took until the Onix slid off Reaper’s limb, leaving behind a thick trail of gooey blood, for it to finally sink in.
“What’s going on?” Ryo-Ohki stared in disbelief, his young mind unable to grasp what was going on in front of his eyes. “Will he be okay?”
“I…” The loud, angered roar of the other adult Onix saved me from what would certainly be an awkward conversation. Gratefully I returned my attentions to the battle unfolding in front of me. Reaper seemed to be caught in the tangles of a particularly furious Bind attack. But judging from the expression on her face this was angering her further rather than stopping her from committing any further atrocities. The Salamence seemed about ready to explode from anger.
You… idiot! Reaper roared. Evidently She wasn’t so angry that it made her forget to use her telepathy. If, indeed, she was even capable of communicating in any other way. How dare you try and attack me! A bright glow began to form at Reaper’s forehead. It was only then that I noticed a small, emerald gem set into her head. Funny. I hadn’t noticed that before. But now it was shining with a soft emerald hue it was quite distinctive. Now you die as well! The Onix’s squeezing stopped abruptly, a look of sheer astonishment upon its face. And then it fell to the ground, its eyes glassy. What kind of technique was that? Reaper had just killed a fully grown Onix without so much a moving a muscle. Suddenly our chances of surviving seemed very, very small indeed. Suddenly I can see Abbadon’s point. This is rather addictive, isn’t it? Maybe I should develop a thirst of my own. Reaper turned her attention to the final member of the group, the tiny Onix that my Pichu had been playing with mere moments ago. The baby cowered in terror. Or maybe not. His thirst makes him weak. But anyway… my apologies, child, it just seems such a shame to leave a job half finished. The Salamence moved towards the infant, clumsily stepping over the body of its dead mother, murderous intent within her eyes.
“Reaper! That’s enough!” A sudden blur of brown shot towards the Salamence, and it was only thanks to her impressive reflexes that she managed to turn and swat it away, leaving the brown object to crash into a nearby tree with such force that it snapped the trunk in half. I strained to peer at the source of this unexpected interruption. Only to see a small Eevee picking itself up from the splinters, wiping the blood from its nose with a forepaw. “You always did seem to have a sixth sense.”
And you were always too damn stubborn to know when to quit. An indulgent smile formed upon Reaper’s face. I’m surprised you’re still going. You never seemed the type to cut it on your own.
“I do my best to carry on.” The Eevee almost smiled, but it was a smile so slight that it was hard to tell if it was there or not. “What you and your trainer are doing now is dangerous, Reaper. You could unleash all kinds of demons from the past.”
We welcome the challenge. Do I assume you happen to be one of these demons?
“No. I’m just here by coincidence. Reaper, just leave. No more innocents need to die at your talons.”
And if I won’t leave?
“Then I’ll make you.” The Eevee turned to address my little team, her eyes seeming to alight on Lucky in particular. “I can keep her busy. You have to get the child to a pokécentre. Understood?” All we could do was to nod dumbly, watching in awe as the little bundle of fur’s forehead seemed to split slightly, revealing a gemstone that shimmered and sparkled in an identical way to that of Reaper’s. I had no idea what was going on here. Evidently some old nemesis of Reaper’s had decided to intervene. And just in time, too. “Go, now!”
“But…” For some reason Lucky seemed hesitant to leave.
“Come on, Lucky!” I had to forcibly drag my Meowth over to where the baby Onix was still cowering in terror. “Come on, you, we have to get out of here.” Fortunately the Onix was still very young, and small enough to lift up. Even though I was well aware that it wouldn’t remain this size for long. And after an initial squirming where the pokémon very nearly slipped out of my grasp on several occasions, we finally managed to get on our way, leaving Reaper and her mystery challenger to fight out whatever unfinished battle they had to resolve.

“Wow, and you guys managed to drag an Onix all the way here? They’re pretty big, aren’t they? Didn’t you need a truck or something?”
“She’s only a baby, Megan.” I sighed, trying once again to patiently explain why we had been so delayed. Not that explaining anything to Megan was an easy task. She was quite easily the most absent-minded pokémon I had ever encountered. “She was small enough to carry.”
“I thought they were supposed to be big, though.”
“She’s a kid, like me!” Ryo-Ohki grinned winsomely at his Marill friend. Megan had come on in leaps and bounds since her initial admission into the Pokémon Centre. In fact, there hardly seemed anything wrong with her at all. Even the news of her trainer’s death hadn’t done anything to dampen her spirits for more than a brief moment. “Megan, when are you coming home? I miss having you to play with.”
“Oh yeah!” The Marill’s eyes brightened. “I knew I had something important to tell you guys!”
“Which is?” I tried very hard to suppress my laughter. Much like Beckham, there was the general impression that Megan liked to exaggerate her faults for comedy value. So the response I got was hardly unexpected.
“Which is what?” The Marill blinked, confused. “Oh, wait, yeah, I remember. They’re letting me out today, did you know that? So you and me and you and you and whoever else wants to come can all go home together! Hey, do you think that Onix wants to come home with us as well?”
“I don’t think even my house has enough for an Onix, Megan.”
“But I thought you said it was a small one?”
“At the minute, yeah, but it’s going to grow.” At the back of my mind, I had to admit, was a certain desire to adopt the little Onix. It had been left with nobody thanks to the heartless actions of Reaper. The only things stopping me from adding it to my growing family were the practicalities of the matter. Ah well. It seemed as if there was still going to be a pokémon in the local Pokécentre for me to keep an eye on. “And then we’re screwed. We hardly have enough room for everybody as it is, especially since Soo started building a team herself.”
“You could buy a bigger house, couldn’t you?” Ryo-Ohki, it seemed, put about as much thought into his arguments as Megan. All of a sudden I found myself wishing I had taken Marius along to put the case forward for common sense.
“Yeah, isn’t it just a case of going up to someone and offering them a load of money for their house?” Megan added. “If it isn’t then it should be. Anyway, we were supposed to be doing something, weren’t we?”
“Yeah, we were supposed to be taking you home, Megan.” Lucky rolled his eyes. He had been in an unusually edgy mood ever since events on the way over to the Pokémon Centre. And right now it seemed as if he wanted nothing more than to get out of these clean, clinical surroundings and back into the outside world. “Come on, guys, everyone will be waiting for us back home. And I bet Becks will be pleased to see Megan back in action.” The Meowth smiled slightly. “I’d quite like to see his face when you guys meet up again, actually.”
“What, he’s missed me?” The Marill sounded shocked. Anyone else would have probably taken the hint a long time ago. Beckham had been in to visit practically every day, with my permission or not. But then, this was Megan. “Wow…”
“Yeah, I’d say he’s been a little concerned,” I smiled. “Anyway, Lucky, we can’t go home just yet. We were going to pop over and have a quick training session with Gina whilst we were out, remember?”
“Oh yeah.” The Meowth didn’t seem too perturbed by this news. It seemed he was just anxious to leave our current location. “Okay. Can we get moving now, please?”
“Sure thing. We’ll get cracking right now.” I stood up from the couch I was currently sat upon, only to have a nurse scuttle over to me with a clipboard stuffed with papers. Fortunately it wasn’t one of those Nurse Joy types. It was just a short woman with glasses and a bob in her bottle-blonde hair. Which was a good thing, really. The more traditional Pokémon Centres had a tendency to freak me out with their alarming similarity to each other.
“Sir?” the nurse asked. “Before you leave there’s just a few formalities. Just sign to say you’re taken the Marill, and that you’re the one who brought the Onix in. Just to help us keep track of things.” She proffered the clipboard and a biro. I sighed deeply and sat back down again, shooting a weary glance over at my pokémon.
“Did I say ‘right now’? I’m sorry, I meant ‘in a few years’.” Sometimes it seemed that life was just one delay after another.

The little pokémon watched as the group moved onwards. She knew full well that she should have left by now. Her job was done. And her injuries needed tending to eventually. But something compelled her to stay, to follow for a distance and study this little rabble closely. Maybe it was curiosity. Or maybe it was just the fact that after a lifetime of loneliness the desire to move past mere acquaintances and into the realm of real friends was too great. Either way, the Eevee followed despite herself, despite the fact that it was clearly weakness to give into her whims like this. But then, right now it was okay to show weakness. The threat had passed. She could afford to relax a little. She could afford to act a little strangely. Because right now all she knew was that she had to talk to these creatures, had to somehow gain that vital bit of contact. Now she was here, wouldn’t it have been a waste to not at least say goodbye?

“Hey.” We had been walking down a pristine street in leafy suburbia, the sort of place where the roads were lined with sycamore trees and every white painted house had an identically trimmed front lawn. “Do any of you guys think that something’s not quite right here?” Lucky looked over at his companions, and knew the answer straight away. A less perceptive group he couldn’t have hoped to have been accompanying. “Never mind, I’m just having one of those odd moments, you know?”
“Oh, I’m always having those, Lucky, don’t worry about it.” I shook my head in bemusement. “Come on, our life is one big odd moment from beginning to end!”
“I guess…” Lucky stared into the distance, absently watching Megan and Ryo-Ohki play tag a few feet further down the road. “It’s just that something feels weird, you know? I can’t help but feel we’re being watched.”
“We probably are,” I replied, trying to reassure my Meowth. I knew what he was like. Once he started to worry it was very hard to get him to stop. “Those two are making so much noise that I bet half the neighbourhood’s peeking out from behind their lace curtains to find out what’s going on.”
“No, Ade, it’s more that just nosy neighbours, it’s… like I say, I’m not sure. I just can’t seem to place what it is.”
“It’s the fact that you’re more perceptive than you give yourself credit for.” A voice suddenly rang out from the treetops. For a moment it was difficult to place exactly where it was coming from, but eventually my eyes settled upon a small brown figure perched nimbly amongst the branches of one of the many sycamores. The cool, confident look in its eyes gave the impression that this was no ordinary pokémon. But that didn’t answer my most burning question. How on earth did an Eevee manage to climb a tree? “It’s nice to run into you all one more time. At least in more pleasant circumstances.” The Eevee jumped nimbly down from the tree with such ease that at least it seemed to answer my question. But a thousand others had risen to replace it. Especially now I realised exactly which Eevee this was. I should have guessed, really. I didn’t normally understand a pokémon straight away unless I either connected with it – as was the case with Pandora – or it sounded so similar to a pokémon I already knew that it removed the language barrier completely. In Rhiannon’s case, the sheer fact that she was directly related to two members of my team made it so much easier to follow her. If indeed a creature so distant could be followed at all. “Good morning, father.” Rhiannon nodded to Lucky. “And hello to your new companions. I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure.”
“Oh!” I suddenly realised that Megan and Ryo-Ohki hadn’t been around during our escapades at Temple Taure. They had yet to meet the rather disjointed Eevee. “This is Ryo-Ohki and Megan. They used to belong to a trainer killed recently by Team Rocket. Guys, this is Rhiannon. She’s Milliardo’s sister.”
“As much as he hates to admit it.” A trace of sadness cross the Eevee’s face. But as ever, it was only the briefest of flickers. Rhiannon was even harder to read than her brother at times. “I don’t think he’s too comfortable with the fact that I’m no longer the tag-playing bundle of fun he used to know. At least I’m not most of the time.” She shook her head sadly. “So what brings you to this place?”
“You’re very good at asking that when you’re the one who seems the more out of place, did you know that?” Lucky smiled grimly. “It’s a habit you need to break. For that matter, what are you doing here? And what happened to Reaper?” Now there was a good point! The last we had seen, Rhiannon had been confronting the Salamence directly.
“Fortunately for me she’s always suffered from a short attention span.” This begged the question as to how Rhiannon knew this, but I had the feeling that I didn’t want to know. “She grew bored and ran back to her beloved Armand. I’m just glad she hasn’t the appetite for spending time without his company. Otherwise I doubt I would have lasted much longer. But anyway, you haven’t answered my question.”
“We’re on our way for a training battle, if you must know.” I grinned winsomely. “You’re welcome to tag along if you want.”
“Nice try. But I doubt your team is quite ready for the ructions that I would bring.” Rhiannon smiled, and for the first time the show of emotion was more than a brief flicker. “We all know Milliardo is less than comfortable in my presence. And I wouldn’t want to think of the consequences should Pandora fully recall her time spent with the Dark Cloak.” It was as if Rhiannon suddenly realised that she had said too much, for she quickly changed the subject. “You needn’t go so far out of your way for a training battle, though. I’ve had plenty of experience of tutoring others in my time. If you’d rather, whoever you wanted to train can spar with me.”
“What?” Lucky spluttered. “But… you just took on Reaper!!!”
“With this.” Rhiannon let the gemstone on her forehead open up once again, the fur on her forehead splitting to reveal an almost dazzling emerald glow. “A power that can be easily regulated, since it was never really mine in the first place. Obviously I’m not going to use my full force. Does a karate master use his every technique when tutoring his disciples? No. So just put that thought out of your mind now. I’d just fight as well as I had to in order to push you enough to benefit.”
“Actually, that does sound tempting.” I thought for a moment. Gina would understand. Hell, I couldn’t seem to stop bumping into the woman lately. I would have plenty of opportunity to explain. And the chance to bond a little with Rhiannon seemed irresistible. “Here, or..?”
“No, silly!” Rhiannon shook her head, and all of a sudden her expression seemed to grow all the brighter, a beaming smile that wouldn’t have looked out of place of the likes of Beckham or Kirei. “We’re gonna fight somewhere else. Don’t wanna get ran over or anything, do we?” The Eevee practically leapt into my arms, and it was only by the most amazing of miracles that I managed to catch her without falling over myself. “Come on, we can take good care of you guys! Just trust us, okay, I know I don’t make sense half the time but she does and if she says it’s okay I guess you should probably trust her.” The Eevee pouted. “Because I know she’s a big meanie who hogs all the time down here but she knows what she’d doing more than I do.” It was very hard to follow all of this. But my prior experiences of Rhiannon had steeled me to the fact that you had to basically consider her as two totally separate creatures. For the Eevee was a great ally, and a strong friend, but she had one major flaw. Rhiannon suffered from a serious case of multiple personality disorder. The scary thing being that the personalities seemed fully aware of each other’s existence.
“Alright, alright,” I sighed. “Just lead the way.”

“This is as good a place as any.” By the time we had reached a suitable place to stage a battle it appeared that the detached side to Rhiannon’s persona had regained full control, the Eevee casting an expert eye around her surroundings. It wasn’t much, in fact it was just an old car park down a side street that nobody seemed to even realise existed, surrounded by a chain link fence and littered with random scraps of litter that broke up the endless cemented floor. “Few obstacles, no immediate danger of interference… yes, this will serve our purposes just fine. So then…” Rhiannon turned to face our little team. “Which of you was hoping to hone their skills today?”
“Er…” Lucky shuffled forward nervously. “That’d be me, but…”
“Cast our blood ties aside.” Rhiannon cut Lucky off before he had a chance to finish. “In fact, I would be honoured to help you improve your skills. You must promise me, however, not to go easy on me.”
“You won’t hurt me.” The Eevee’s tone was totally neutral, totally emotionless. “Pain is an irrelevance that I have no problems in dealing with. And believe me, I have my ways of restoring myself should you happen to do any damage. So treat this as if it were a proper battle.”
“Well… alright.” My Meowth nervously assumed battle position. Sparring against the daughter he never even realised he had! Well, if nothing else life had certainly become a lot more complicated lately. The big question was, how much further was it liable to go in its twist and turns?

FIGHT!!! L19 Meowth v L19 Eevee!

“Okay. Let’s do this.” Lucky swallowed hard. He had no idea what to expect, but there was only really one way to find out. And that was to attack. Gathering all of the power he had in his legs, he shot towards Rhiannon as rapidly as he could, claws extended and ready to swipe. But just at the last moment his opponent seemed to disappear totally from sight. “What the…?” The Meowth skidded to a halt, confused.
“Pay more attention or else your opponent will have the advantage.” Something struck Lucky in the side with enough force to knock him completely off his feet. It felt as if he had just been attacked with a sledgehammer. But it was just his daughter, who even now was landing neatly after a particularly vicious Tackle attack. There was still no trace of emotion within her dark eyes. Just cold, calculated intelligence. “You should have been able to follow where I was going.”
“Well I’ll know to keep an eye of you in future.” Lucky picked himself up from the tarmac. “I wasn’t expecting you to be so fast.”
“Consider that your second lesson, then. Especially in Ulthuan. Anything can, and probably will, happen. Now are you going to try and attack me again?”
“Certainly!” Concentrating hard, Lucky summoned a handful of coins into his paw and hurled them as hard as he could in Rhiannon’s direction. Yet despite the improbability of it all, the Eevee effortlessly dodged every one with only the minimal of movements. Still, that wasn’t the end to Lucky’s plans. Whilst his opponent was distracted he followed up the Pay Day with another attempt at a Scratch attack. But somehow this, too, Rhiannon seemed to be able to avoid, leaving Lucky clawing desperately at thin air. How on earth was this possible? “Who on earth taught you how to dodge so well?”
“My tutor is far from here, but that’s quite a long story and best saved for another day.” The Eevee sidestepped yet another attempt to strike her. And another. And another. “Come on, father, stop holding back! You’re better than this!” There was a bizarre intensity in Rhiannon’s gaze, something both disturbing and yet also strangely reassuring. Something that lent Lucky enough confidence to aim his next attack properly. And this time his claws only just missed, coming so close to actually striking that they sliced through the very tips of the hairs in Rhiannon’s fur. “Now we’re getting somewhere!” The Eevee seemed impressed. “Hit me with all you’ve got, or you won’t be able to hit me at all.”
“You want all I’ve got? You asked for it…” Lucky fired yet another Pay Day at Rhiannon, and as he predicted the Eevee dodged the coins with ease. But she wasn’t quite prepared for his follow-up attack. Without so much as pausing for breath, the Meowth began to build up a charge within his body, storing static electricity within him until it became too great to be contained within a single Meowth. Until it leapt out in the form of a huge Thunderbolt, coursing towards his opponent and striking her before she so much as realised what was happening. Yet even this didn’t quite go as planned. Rhiannon winced slightly, certainly, and even staggered forwards a step or two, but the mighty electrical attack had failed to so much as knock her over. For once the energy had discharged itself the Eevee was still standing every bit as firm as she had from the outset.
“I’m not entirely sure you need my assistance at all.” The Eevee smiled, the first time a decent expression had crossed the face of her more methodical persona in a long time. “I think you could probably stand up to most opponents, given the strength of your Thunderbolt.”
“But not to you.” Lucky frowned. “What’s going on here, Rhiannon?”
“I told you before. Pain is a total irrelevance. I don’t let it affect me.” The smile faded as quickly as it had appeared. “So shall we finish this battle?”
“Sure. As futile as it seems to me.” The two pokémon took a leap at almost the same time, and it was only by a feat of dodging that his opponent would have been proud of that Lucky managed to avoid a head on collision. The Meowth twisted in the air quickly, averting his course so that he passed directly underneath Rhiannon. Seizing the chance, he took a swift swipe at her underbelly, causing the Eevee to gasp in pain and fall clumsily to the floor. “Rhiannon, are you…”
“I’m fine.” Despite the sudden attack Rhiannon landed on all four paws sturdily. It seemed as if the only way to make this one collapse would be to sedate her! And even then Lucky had the sneaking suspicion that you would still need enough tranquilizer to knock out a whole herd of Rhydon. “I can still carry on, if that’s what you’re worried about.” The Eevee took a step forwards, but it was if her strength was rapidly fading. In the end whatever force was holding her upright simply gave way, leaving her to collapse upon her side. And reveal the true cause of her problems. Directly next to the trivial scratch Lucky had just inflicted upon her was a yawning chasm of a wound, a deep gash in her chest that had almost cut straight to the bone. How had she been able to keep that from everybody? It was still bleeding slightly, blood pumping from the wound even now and matting her fur with its thick crimson gloop.
“Rhiannon!” Lucky rushed to his daughter’s side anxiously. He couldn’t lose her, not now, not so soon after finding her! “What… this is from when you fought Reaper, isn’t it?”
“It looks worse than it really is,” the Eevee lied. “Father, promise me that should I lose consciousness you won’t have me sent to a Pokémon centre.”
“But why?”
“It would mean stumbling into the world of trainers, and I’m not quite ready for that yet. And besides…” Here Rhiannon coughed weakly. “…besides, there are those who I wouldn’t want knowing of my presence. Please?”
“Very well,” Lucky nodded. “But what are we supposed to do?”
“You’re a resourceful bunch. I’m sure you’ll think of something.” And with this, the Eevee’s eyes closed, trapped in the prison of a dreamless sleep.

Lucky wins!
Lucky grew to L20!
Lucky learns Protect as his free TM!

“Wow, it’s a good job you got her here in time.” In light of Lucky’s insistence that Rhiannon didn’t want to be taken into a Pokécentre, I had to call in on the only other creatures I could think of who were likely to own the correct equipment. So we found ourselves back in that quaint little Japanese house on the outskirts of Sector Alpha, where Tsuyoi’s sisters made their home. And for once it seemed as if everything was going as well as it could have done. Kushikoi, the eldest, dark blue sister, happened to be the only one home, and almost in the same instant she saw the state of the Eevee in my arms she had her hooked up to a life support system, banks of monitors churning out constant data about Rhiannon’s progress. “I’d say the only reason she’s held on this long is by sheer willpower. It’s amazing how much a strong mind can help you, don’t you think?” The large, wolf-like creature grinned broadly, before returning her attentions to the computer monitors.
“Maybe. But you haven’t answered my question, Kushikoi. Will she be alright?”
“Oh yes, yes, there’s no doubt about it. She heals at a remarkable rate, in fact, I’d be willing to put money on her having been tampered with to enhance her physical abilities. You know, like Team Rocket used to do before they turned all psychotic and terrorist-y on us. Speaking of which, you wouldn’t happen to know about something called Project Singlehorn, would you?” Seeing the look of blank incomprehension upon my face, Kushikoi sighed deeply. “Maybe not. It was worth a shot. I suppose I shouldn’t go prying in other people’s affairs, should I?”
“You’ve not been hacking into the Guild’s system again, have you?” I rolled my eyes. The family impulsiveness was going to get one of them in serious trouble one day. “Not even you can expect to avoid their guards every time.”
“Wanna bet?” Kushikoi cackled. “There’s not a single password I can’t bypass, not a single encryption method I can’t decode, and not a single firewall made that I don’t have the means to remotely disable.”
“So why haven’t you already snooped into the highest level Guild files and found out why they’ve been so sinister lately?”
“Because I’m bluffing, Ade. Even I know my limits.” Kushikoi sighed. “Anyways, we should be really concentrating on your little friend over there. Who is she, again?”
“The daughter I didn’t know I had until about a fortnight ago,” Lucky replied on my behalf. “So can you blame me for being a little worried?”
“Not at all. She just arouses my interest, that’s all, and not because of these readouts. It’s what she sets off in here that intrigues me.” The pseudo-Ninetales tapped her head with one of the front limbs that served as her arms. “Even when she’s unconscious I get a seriously weird aura from her. Not to mention the fact that inside her head seems to be total chaos. I wouldn’t know quite what to make of it all until I’ve run some tests… with her permission, of course! Ade, stop glaring at me like that!” Evidently Kushikoi had noticed the look of disapproval that had crossed my face upon hearing the word ‘tests’. “But listen to me, and pay attention for once. The one thing I know about this Eevee is that it seems that having anything to do with her will be just courting trouble. Are you ready for even more problems, after all that’s happened to you in the past?” I said nothing. But instead stared down at the little pokémon lay upon Kushikoi’s bed, hooked up to so many wires and tubes that it was hard to make out the original pokémon underneath them all. Deep within my heart I knew that my eccentric friend was right. To have any dealings with this creature would just cause more complications. But could I find it within my heart to just ignore her? Well, at least she seemed pretty certain about not wanting a trainer. At least that was one worry off my mind. But even so, I couldn’t just leave her.
“Problems have a way of finding me anyway,” I finally replied. “It won’t hurt to give them a bit of a push, will it? At least that way I’ll be expecting them.” And besides which, any pokémon related to my team members was a pokémon I would have liked to get to know a little better. But for now I would have to wait. Wait until the Eevee finally pulled through. And maybe then we could get some answers to our many, many questions.

Lady Vulpix
6th May 2004, 08:33 AM
So many battles! x_x I think we'll have to divide them among us in order to rate them.
Karin, I've read your conclusion. You did a great job considering you had to retell the same events Amy and I had, and I enjoyed seeing your perspective of those events. ^_^
I'll try to rate at least one or two battles today.

6th May 2004, 10:33 AM
*Skips in*
As proof of my excellent timing, I've got another battle to add to the list of ones waiting to be rated..my first one from the previous scenario^_^ Heh, looks like I needed that time extension after all.
Hopefully I'll have the second one up by the weekend, so I can start on the new scenario o_O


The bench was shattered; wood flakes littered the floor, while the metal support that had once held the back up was twisted, jagged edges revealed, waiting to tear anything that got close.
But I didn’t really care-it was something to sit on, and that was all that mattered to me now.
Gingerly, I sat down-half expecting the bench to collapse beneath my weight-but for once, my luck seemed to be holding out, as the bench creaked and sagged but held.
That done, I turned my attention to my new surroundings..and wondered why the heck I was here anyway.
From my position on the bench, I could see the wide expanse of lawns, stretching down to the flat, dark shape of a lake. To the left of the water, I could just make out the looming shape of a building-but even from this far, I could tell that it was derelict. The windows were boarded up, the paint gouged out in chunks visible even from so far away.
Beyond the lake, barely visible through the blankets of black cloud, there rose the dark, silent outlines of a cityscape.
I had a feeling that that was where I was meant to be, but for now, I lowered my eyes and tried to concentrate on my current surroundings.
The dirt path I’d followed from the rusty, battered gates cut across the dark, barren grass-scraggly, lifeless, over-grown. Small sparks flickered in them, promised treasures, but on closer inspection, were found to be nothing more than the shattered remnants of bottles, their gaudy colours reflecting the light from the harsh street lamps that lined the road behind.
They were not only hidden in the grass. Their sharp fingers littered the paths, lusting for the unsuspecting to blunder past, waiting to tear, rip; to maim.
Littered in the wood flakes from the bench, there rested the remains of one; dark green knifes, daggers, resting peacefully where they had been smashed.
Stopping, I gently picked up one; saw the light flickering over its curved surface; saw the sparkle of the last drop of the dark liquid, reflecting the light beyond.
Twisting round, I could look up the slope that rose behind, averting my eyes from the hidden secrets on the ground, to where the metal bars of the fence burst from the ground, spiked, waiting for those who would dare try to cross them. Behind these, the street lamps flared, beacons raised feet above the ground, casting their light, creating the shadows. But not everywhere. The light could not reach far from its power; the path in front lead into darkness, penetrable only by eyes keener than humans.
I shivered.
Black clouds stretched overhead, shielding any light, enclosing the sky. From their depths came the snarl of thunder-but only quiet. I would have time to leave before the storm broke.
Forcing myself back to reality, I tried to focus, but my mind kept wandering-I didn’t want to enter the city, didn’t want to have to walk down the darkened streets, be forced to breathe the polluted air.
But I had to. I’d got the unlucky draw, and didn’t have a choice.
But I did have something’s that would help make the trip more bearable.
Carefully reaching into my bag, I pulled out five objects; three small, shimmering boxes, one golden, hoop earring and a bottle of brightly coloured, glistening liquid.
There was also something else.
A jade coloured fang, embedded with gold plate, smooth to the touch, but with an aura of power round it.
I tucked it away again; I had no need of it now.


Darkness and drabness.
That’s all I could think of to describe this wasted landscape I’d appeared in.
I glanced up at Hannah, hoping that she’d fill me in on something…like why on earth we were here in the first place...but she was too busy fussing over my daughter to notice me.
I turned away again, looking back out over the grass; my senses picked up hidden rustles from the grass; swift movements overhead; pierced the shadows.
Across the lake, across the grass, came the heavy, clogging smell of pollution; the acrid smell of burning, the cloying waste from exhausts, the tangy smell of melting plastic.
An industrial estate, that’s what that was.
Youthful, high-pitched squealing behind caught my attention; something was up.


I sniffed the bottle of bright liquid, unable to keep from trembling, or whimpering excitedly.
The bottle trembled in my grasp; then in an instant, I tilted and drained it.
Trembling, flowing though my whole body; I clung to the bench, my claws sending spirals of dust and wood fluttering down.
My fur was lightening, night-black, rising to deep purple, fading away to form an incredible, delicate pink; twisting, I saw that my once pink feathers had transformed into a rich gold, trimmed with yellow.
‘It’s great! I love it!’


So she’s finally been given that Shiny Juice.
About time too.
A sudden sensation in my head-father made me look up; a golden, hoop earring now hung there; already I could feel its effect on me-feel my power growing.
‘Hey Xol, these are also for you.’
Hannah was holding out three boxes to me; TM’s.
‘That’s Powder Snow, that’s Moonlight, and that’s Shadow Ball.’
I eagerly snatched the boxes from here and began activating them to get my rewards; while I did so, I was aware of Hannah getting up, looking down towards the lake.
A flicker of something crossed her face, then was gone; she shuddered slightly and glanced over.
‘When you’re done with that, we’re going to head over that way, ok? There’s something I need to do.’


For once, Xol didn’t argue with me, which was a relief. If she had, I might have ended up having even more second thoughts about what I was about to do-I’d been having nagging thoughts ever since I’d decided, and having to fight to actually make it happen would have made it even worse.
Shaking my head to get rid of my doubts, I quickly returned Nyura to her Poké Ball and shot a look at Xolotle.
‘You ready?’
She looked up and nodded.
I turned and began to follow the rough, worn track that lead to the lake; Xolotle cautiously dropped to all fours and darted in front, keeping an eye on the path.
Neither of us spoke. She seemed to have caught my mood; she kept glancing over and frowning at me, but I couldn’t be bothered to elaborate about what was going on, until we got within throwing distance of the lake.
Up close, it looked a lot less appealing than it had when viewed from further up the hill.
Lamps from the fence beyond cast their light over the silent waters, highlighting images that had remained previously invisible.
Dark, nameless objects floated on the surface, bobbing gently along in invisible currents, cutting through the murky gleam on the waters surface; it looked as though something had been tipped into the lake, polluting every inch of it; sealing the surface, clogging at the lake-side in thick, sticky lumps.
Just past the shore-line, the shiny, metal form of a trolley could be seen, one leg protruding above the surface, glistening even beneath its layer of mud and pollution.
In the centre of the lake, there was the shattered remains of a rowing boat, testimony of what the lake must have once been used for; the slashed remains of its oars protruded though its sides, while it lolled, half in, half out, of the water, perilously tilted.
I glanced once at the building-what must have once been the old boat house- but it just looked like it had from my first impression-a derelict, wasted property, with gashed paint work and boarded up windows and doors.
At my side, Xolotle made a low murmur of displeasure; I sensed her glance at me, obviously wondering why we had stopped here.
After seeing the lakes condition, I was even less enthusiastic about subjecting her to this water, but then again…
Oh for god’s sake, quit being such a wimp.
Quickly, I reached into my jacket and pulled out her Poké Ball.
‘Ok, Pearl, come on out.’
There was a flash, and then Pearls familiar form materialised; the large blue shell, with its delicate inside structure of blue, with Pearls features in the centre.
She looked at me briefly, before shuddering and spinning round in the water, pulling a disgusted face.
‘Pearl, I’ve been thinking-if you stay in this form you’ll be, well, pretty limited in terms of moves you’ll learn naturally, and you won’t have exactly the best of stats…so, how would you feel about evolving? Because if you do, well, I got you this.’
I pulled out the jade tooth again and held it out for her to see; for a second she eyed it carefully, then her shell opened wide, and gently pulled it from my hand, closing slowly.
For a second there was nothing, then, from inside, a bright white light began to shine through the closed rim of Pearls shell; the light then spread, until her whole body was shining.
The large, bulky shell elongated, twisting and writhing; along its length, humps began to form, bursting into place. A tail began to form at the end; arrow shaped. Her head shrunk; two humps emerging either side of her open mouth, while a fan shaped crest extended from her skull.
The light dimmed, faded away, until all that was left glowing was the flickering, pulsing spots along her body, head and tail.

Pearl evolved into a Huntail!

I smiled happily at my new Pokémon; she didn’t respond, just stared back at me, mouth slightly agape, showing off her fearsome teeth.
‘The name Pearl doesn’t really suit her now, you know, Hannah.’
Xolotle edged closer to the water, eyeing the Huntail with interest.
‘Yeah, I know, so….how about changing it from Pearl to Fera? It definitely suits her.’
I glanced at her silent form.
‘Is that ok with you, girl? Fera?’
Still nothing.
‘You sure evolving didn’t damage her hearing?’
‘And why would it do that? No, she’s probably just slightly shocked due to the speed of it.’
I carefully dropped to my knees, reaching out to pat Fera’s head; the Pokémon flinched away, tail flying, jaws gaping.
For a second, her head reared above the water, her eyes flashing, hissing; then she was gone, slipping into the water with barely a ripple.
I swore under my breath, frantic.
The trolley leg out in the lake suddenly shuddered, then disintegrated, the metal twisting, snapping, as something gouged its way past. A flash of light flickered, then dimmed-enough to briefly illuminate Feras’ body as she circled, before striking out further into the centre.
‘Damn damn damn.’
I jumped to my feet and began to charge round the edge of the lake, keeping my eyes peeled for any sign of Fera; behind I heard Xolotle begin to give chase, easily overtaking me as she hurtled round the lake-side.
Ten minutes later, gasping, and with an agonising stitch in my side, I slowed to a halt, and stared desperately at the lake.
I’d kept my eyes on it all the time I’d been running, but hadn’t seen any sign of Fera.
Xolotle came traipsing back, having run on ahead to try and reach the boundary; she shook her head.
This was impossible.
I chanced another look at the lake, hoping to see anything-a ripple, a flash of light, but all I could see was the cool, dark expanse stretching out.
On the far side of my vision, I noticed something-small, but charging towards the lake; a flame.
As I watched, it hurtled forwards, the flame vanishing, but a small cascade of water marking the point where whatever it was had entered the water.
Xolotle had noticed it too; she gave me a meaningful look then darted along the grass. I followed.
Close up, I saw the flame burst into life again, ramming into the neck of the creature that was thrashing above the water.
I lengthened my stride, gasping, eyes fixed onto the battle.
Then, whatever it was versus Fera, struck from the side, nimbly evading her razor sharp teeth, knocking her half onto the land.
‘Fera, return.’
I quickly held out my Pokémons Poké Ball, praying that I was in range for it to work.
A bright red flash, then Fera’s twisting and writhing body vanished, pulled back into her Poké Ball, which shook worryingly for a second, before settling.
Relieved that I’d managed to get my Pokémon back relatively safely, I took a closer look at what had been her opponent.
A Rattata-but even in the dark I could see that although tensely posed, with wary eyes, its fur was sleek, and the small muscles in its legs held as it stared back.
This wasn’t a wild one-and the fact that it had been able to use Flame Wheel so well proved that.
It snarled, teeth bared.
This would have to happen.
Cautiously, I glanced round for its trainer-the last thing I wanted was a sneak attack while I was occupied with their Pokémon.
Xolotle tensed beside me; eyes narrowing as she looked at the region of shadows behind the person.
I couldn’t perceive anything in the shadows there, but that was obviously where who-ever it was had stationed themselves.
‘Nice Huntail.’
‘Having trouble controlling it?’
‘And I’d tell you why?’
The Rattata snarled and darted forward.
‘Not good socially is he?’
Xolotle muttered quietly beside me, as I pulled a Poké Ball free, watching the other Pokémon carefully.
‘Alright Archie, go.’
A flash, then the small shrimp appeared…….and from the shadows there came a low start of surprise. That’s when it struck me that sending out a supposedly extinct Pokémon against a Team Rocket member might not have been the best of ideas.
Damn it.

The Rattata in front of me dug its claws into the ground, teeth bared, eyes flicking over me. Its tail twitched, legs tensing.
‘Rattata, get me that Pokémon, he looks useful.’
Er, what?
It snarled and sprung forward.

Archie (Anorith M L6)
Rattata (L8)

The Rattatas body blurred, its lithe body stretching out as it sped towards me.
Before I could respond, it smashed into me, dirt clods flying as we smashed through the grass and earth, tumbling to a halt a few feet from the lake.
My head pounding slightly from where it had struck, I automatically swung my claws forward, mindlessly trying to Scratch any part of its body I could reach; it squealed in alarm, digging its claws into my side as it vainly struggled to get a firm footing-but my armour simply turned aside its struggles, standing up to its increasingly frenzied assault.
‘Rattata, quit being an idiot, Quick Attack out of there.’
The Pokémon squeaked in response, hammered into my claw, then flickered and vanished as it streaked away, before spinning in an instant and crashing back into my side. The attack barely hurt-I felt it only as a light shove, but it was enough to push me back, back towards the water.
Something wet touched my tail, sticky; it clung to it unceasingly even as I pulled away. My attention divided, I didn’t have time to react as it crashed into me again.
My legs slipped in the filth, trying to catch my balance, I sunk deeper into it; another blow to my head, and I was knocked back, falling into the murky water of the lake.
It was only shallow, but instantly, I felt my weight dragging me down, as my whole body repelled away from its touch.
The Rattata laughed; it was standing, feet away, free from the clogging filth that lined the shore.
‘Nice work, Rattata.’
Nice work?
Something flared; gathering my energy, I flung myself forward, slithering over the grime, trying to get as far away from the water as I could. It worked in a way-I couldn’t get free from the matter, but its hold prevented me from falling back into the retched waters.
Breathing hard, I forced my self forwards, watching the Rattata; it had stopped laughing now, teeth bared again.
‘Alright Archie, Swords Dance.’
I froze; along my sides I felt a ripple of energy, then a steady, pulsing beat. My legs flickered, shining and pulsating with power; the Rattata paused, eyes keening.
Another ripple, then I felt a slight jolt as the two nearest ones tugged, then flickered as copies floated free; flickering and shimmering, they covered my claws; absorbing the light, I felt the edges sharpening, knew my power with them had risen.
‘Trying to be strategic? Rattata, Tail Whip.’
Its body shook; its tail twisted and flicked, side to side, continuos, rhythmic, drawing my eyes along with it. Faster, faster, as the Pokémon weaved its way closer.
Too close.
‘Quick Attack.’
It broke free from its trance abruptly, gritted its teeth and flung itself forwards.
Pain-more pain than I’d felt before-shot through my body.
I staggered back, feeling the clogging touch, tearing my legs away.
‘Fine then. Flame Wheel.’
In front, the Rattatas body suddenly combusted, flames bursting from its fur, enclosing it in a roaring inferno. The ball of fire struck the ground, bounced up and charged towards me.
‘Archie, counter it with Ancient Power.’
Forcing myself to focus, even as I felt the searing heat as it approached, I lowered my senses, searching deep into the ground, tearing at its fibres with my mind.
A split second-heat…intense…then a roar as the ground exploded, boulders long hidden rearing in front of their target, smashing into its body; the flames flickered and vanished as the Rattata was sent smashing into the ground-a direct hit.
The remains of the boulders shattered down, digging into the ground, cascades of earth and rocks rolling around the torn battlefield.
Gasping, I looked round for my opponent, hoping that my attack would have been enough to finish it off.
No such luck.
A flash, and the flame re-ignited, materialising in front of me.
But it didn’t attack-it stayed, its flame body wavering as it forced itself to stand tall.
It thinks I’ll hit it with another attack if it moves.
I glanced down into the chasm I’d created; I’d need more time to create an attack of that force again.
‘Rattata, don’t be such a coward-attack it now.’
The circle of flame sprung forwards.
‘Archie, Hidden Power.’
The eye markings on my skull began to glow, as I forced myself to dredge out every bit of my power; the air around me wavered, as if in a heat haze, before focusing into small, white balls of light, burning with a ferocity as large as the real flames that licked the body of the Rattata charging towards me.
It jumped, lunging forwards towards me.
Instantly, all the white balls converged, throwing their pulsing light into the surroundings; white hot, glowing, bug formed formations of light burst forward; meeting the fire head on.
The fire incinerated them-tearing through their forms, causing a million flashes of light to burst, exploding in an instant, falling limply to the torn ground.
But it had worked-flinging myself to one side, I heard the Rattatas scrambling feet dig and slash at the grime as it struggled to get a hold.
I’d known that my Hidden Power was Bug, meaning that it could never hope to stand up to the ravenous flames, but instead, the touch of the flame had created a barrier of light, temporarily blinding the other Pokémon.
I could still hear it, struggling and gasping as it spun round, dazed.
‘Archie, combine Aerial Ace and Slash.’
Slithering forwards, I used my weight to slip onto the slime, aiming myself for a full-on collision with the thrashing Rattata; hearing the rush of me approaching, it looked up, eyes blank and staring.
I slithered to the left, raising my sharpened claw; on my right I felt my legs begin to throb with the familiar feel of power.
‘Quick Attack, now.’
It pushed its legs deeper into the quagmire, forcing itself up; I flicked to the left, bringing my claw smacking into its body; as it fell, I spun to the left, sending it spiralling into the lake; feeling the waters touch, it gasped, briefly animated, waving its legs frantically, before the red beam of light recaptured it.

I won!
I grew to L7!
I learnt Harden!

From the shadows I heard the Rattatas trainer swear, then the sudden thud of his feet as he spun and fled; behind me, I heard Xolotle snarl briefly, obviously wanting to follow, but she didn’t.
My legs trembled; the smell coming from the lake and the filth, avoidable in the intensity of the battle, now rolled over me; unbearable, the stench pushing itself onto me.
I closed my eyes, choking, raising my head above the black grime.
‘Archie…that was great…now return.’

For a second, I stared at Archie’s Poké Ball, before gently tucking it away; quickly, I checked that Fera’s Poké Ball was still intact, before glancing at Xol.
‘Ready to go?’
She nodded, and pointed slightly to the left of where the Team Rocket member had stood.
‘The path leads up there, if we follow it, we should reach the boundary of this park, from there it shouldn’t be too hard to find our way.’
I shrugged.
Now that I’d faced off against one Rocket member, I wasn’t as worried as I had been, but I couldn’t help glancing at the destruction that Archie’s battle had created; I shivered and turned away. If I got into another battle in the city, then I could easily cause as much damage as this-I wasn’t stupid, I knew that the guy would alert any other members in the district.
‘You coming?’
‘What? Oh, yeah..lets go.’
Shivering in the increasing cold, I turned and followed Xolotle as she began to trot away from the lake, eyes focused on the hidden path in front of her.

6th May 2004, 06:06 PM
I had decided I needed to train my Pokemon to be ready for some future battles ahead of me. I had heard other people speak of some Training Grounds where we could train our Pokemon ready for future battles. So instead of being stood around all day doing nothing I walked to the entrance of the Training Grounds. All the rooms looked full of mysterious shadows of Pokemon that roamed about everywhere in their own environments.

I found it hard to make my choice of which room to go to first. My mind was lost in the confusion of where to train. Charmander jumped out of his Pokeball. He pointed straight at the Lava Room. I thought to myself that Charmander should be able to handle that Training Ground. Charmander had disappeared from my side. He had already entered the Lava Room ready to be trained. I wasted no time and ran after Charmander in order to help him.

I entered the Lava Room slowly scared what might happen. Before I had realised it, my whole body felt like it was burning from the all heat. Charmander came back to me. He gave me a disappointed look because he hadn’t found anything here yet. I told him we should explore more. He was filled with content and ran off further to the centre of this large room. Puzzled as I was I just ran after him in the flaming heat of the room.

Something seemed not quite right here because even with all the lava in a room this large it wouldn’t be as hot as it was. Charmander came rushing back to me. He looked frightened. I investigated the area that he ran from and found a little Pokemon that had hidden in a corner. The little Pokemon was scared to death. I sent Charmander over to it so he could go and apologise to the poor little Pokemon he had scared so much it was frozen.

“Hello. Who might you be?” Charmander greeted the little Pokemon politely.
“Magby.” The little Pokemon answered back trembling.
“Have you hidden in this corner because I scared you? I’m very sorry.”
“No, something bad has happened deep in this room.”
“Are we in any danger from this something?”
“We could be if we don’t do anything about it very soon.”
“Where is it? We must do something right away.”
“I can take you and your Trainer to it if you can help.”
“Sure, take us there right away.”

The Magby stood up and hopped about on the lava safely. It seemed he had triggered some sort of switch that opened a path forward. Charmander came back to me. He gave my trousers a hard tug as if he wanted me to follow him. Magby ran off ahead followed by Charmander and then me trailed behind the two Pokemon. Something I noticed that the Fire Pokemon neglected was the room got more warmer has we moved on ahead. This made me a little dizzy.

“How much further do we have to travel?” Charmander asked Magby nicely.
“Not far now I think.” The Magby replied delightfully.
“Is it me or is it really hot in here?”
“I can feel the heat too.” Magby started to faith.
“We must keep going.” Charmander answered back.
“Fire Pokemon shouldn’t be feeling this.”
“I think there’s something seriously wrong in here.”
“I feel so tired and sleepy.”
“Come on, we have to do this.”

Charmander and Magby’s friendly chat had turned into an argument under the pressure of the great heat wave. I had fallen over a few times from the dizziness of this room now. The heat was too much. Even Fire Pokemon hadn’t gone as deep as us to the core. All I could see was red blurry images in the distance of Charmander and Magby. Charmander rushed to my aid in the heat. He also kept Magby going, as we need to get to the bottom of this.

I finally saw a huge metal machine. Charmander’s eyes burnt with rage. Someone had put a machine here to use the core’s lava, which had created a heat wave. This heat wave had been powerful enough to even knock out Fire Pokemon if they weren’t strong enough. I could barely keep stood up in these conditions. Charmander scratched the machine as much as he could but it just ended in failure. Charmander had fallen too tired to move.

Magby walked around aimlessly in circles and had no control of his movement now. He slipped into the core’s lava uncontrollably. It was too late even Charmander couldn’t save him now. The whole Lava Room shock vigorously as the machine went into overload mode. I think Charmander and I could leave now our mission had been completed. We had thought too soon when an evil looking Magby jumped out of the lava and starred at us. Charmander got up and breathed deeply ready to fight the evil Magby.

Charmander (Level 6) vs. Magby (Level 8)

The Magby stood on the spot daze by the blurriness of not being able to see much in these hot conditions. Charmander took this time for an advantage. He used Swords Dance. This made Charmander a lot physically stronger and he also felt better in the intense heat wave that they had been caught in.

The Magby spat random Embers around the area that failed to hit Charmander. Charmander was worried he was hurting his friend but he needed to do it. Charmander used Scratch on the Magby, which knocked it down to the ground. Magby smirked as he lay on the ground.

Charmander needed to end this soon as he was still tired. Magby bounced up with excitement and unleashed a Fire Blast attack. Charmander was shocked and stood still as the attack just hit him straight down. Charmander leaped straight back up from the warm ground and gave Magby one final Scratch.

Charmander won the battle (Level 6+1).

The Magby had been finally knocked out from the battle against my Charmander. The place fell apart too quickly and there was no time to escape. I returned Charmander to his Pokeball so he could be safer from the heat or even an explosion. As everything just whirled around me I fell to the ground like a rock. I thought this would be the end for Charmander and myself but we needed to think positive at times like these. I had fainted near the core of the Lava Room where the machine had overloaded.

That's my first Pokemon Battle for the Lava Room Scenario. The next part will be my second Pokemon Battle for the Lava Room Scenario and the conclusion to my story in the Lava Room.

AntiAsh Superstar
6th May 2004, 06:19 PM
Quick question, whereabouts in Ulthuan are the training grounds? Yes, I know I've been in them before during the Pegasus Games if they're the same as the ones used for that, but that was ages ago and I've a worse memory than my Marill. :oh:

Lady Vulpix
7th May 2004, 09:25 AM
Yes, they're the same. They're in Sector Alpha, you won't have to travel this time. Though training in Yvresse was nice. :D

Now, on to the stamps.

Becca gets 9 stamps! Nice battle... I didn't expect a pokemon to use Sandstorm against a Scizor, but I reckon that attack can be used more than just cause damage. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Ade gets 10 stamps. This is because I thought many parts of the story were great, but you could have got even more if you'd made the story clearer for those who haven't read the story we're writing (which is everyone bar you and me) and Rhiannon's side story. I don't think many would understand what you wrote.¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Karin gets 11 stamps! Great work! That was an interesting and original battle. I don't know how 'Ryu' manage to burry himself like that, but a lot about him is still a mystery, right? ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Everyone else, your battles will be rated soon... I hope.

7th May 2004, 01:56 PM
Thanks, Gabi. As for Ryu, you've said before that Jolteon and Espeon are capable of swimming. They don't learn any Water attack that has anything to do with swimming, yet you still believe that they can do it. Ryu's a ground type, and Trapinch are renowned for creating sand pits. Is it really any wonder that they can dig underground without actually knowing the move? ^_^;;

classy_cat18: Hmm... Take 10 Stamps. I couldn't buy the logic of Rain Dance being used inside a volcano, and the Staryu battle was a little confusing. You said your Staryu fired a Water Gun into the air, and then shot a Psybeam-esque attack downwards at its opponent. (If Water Gun was fired upwards, how, then, did Staryu get into the air?) Your story was also kinda sudden. I got the feeling that it was rushed somehow. Also random. Beacon dancing. O_o;; But your story was good enough to get Stamps, though, don't think that it was really bad. Really bad stories don't earn all the Stamps you got. ^_^;

7th May 2004, 02:13 PM
Sneasel(h)Obsessive take 15 stamps I loved how you described your surroundings and the description that you put into the battles. Keep up the nice work ^^

andyizcool, Karin said she'd get your battle ^^

7th May 2004, 02:39 PM
andyizcool: O_o Where did the machine come from? How'd Magby suddenly turn evil? Anyway... The story was sort of choppy because you kept using the same sentence structure over and over and over again (see how repetitive it gets?). Try to vary it a little. Anyway, take 5 Stamps.

7th May 2004, 02:58 PM
andyizcool: O_o Where did the machine come from? How'd Magby suddenly turn evil? Anyway... The story was sort of choppy because you kept using the same sentence structure over and over and over again (see how repetitive it gets?). Try to vary it a little. Anyway, take 5 Stamps.
Silly me again. By sentence structure do you mean I always use simple sentences? I find it hard to use different sentences when I write. Maybe in my next piece for this Scenario I can find out where the machine came from and how the Magby turned evil. It would make a nice conclusion to my Lava Room Scenario.

7th May 2004, 03:06 PM
Karin (it is Karin, right?): Rain Dance powered up Beacon's Thunderbolt and Jewel's Water Gun! Who cares if it was used inside a volcano? But you're saying that Beacon can't even get that level up? Okay, I don't think Jewel deserves a level up, but...*takes out Beacon* You want to tell this face that her battle was not good enough? Real shot through the heart, Karin.

Lady Vulpix
7th May 2004, 03:28 PM
classy_cat18, you misunderstood Karin's post. Your battles were valid; you even got 10 stamps for them! So, naturally, your pokemon did level up.

7th May 2004, 03:35 PM
*laughs nervously* Oh! Then no harm, no foul.

*Beacon sweatdrops*

Hey, I'm still a newbie at this, okay? Back to Microsoft Word we go! *stops* Um, what's the difference between Psybeam and Psychic appearance-wise?

7th May 2004, 03:46 PM
Um, what's the difference between Psybeam and Psychic appearance-wise?
Look on Pokemon in 3D on N64 or GC. You'll see Psybeam shoots hoops of Psychic energy. Whereas Psychic the background just turns purple and then flashes on the opponent.

Aipom Of Doom
7th May 2004, 04:28 PM
Um, what's the difference between Psybeam and Psychic appearance-wise?

Anything you want it to be :d. That's one of the reasons that I love the battle range ^_^.

Angel Blossom
7th May 2004, 08:44 PM
Here is P.1 of the few I will be writing this scenario. Despite the grammar errors, I hope you like it!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“I want to be a Bellossom!” pouted the small, dark blue Oddish as she desperately frowned at us. Her reddish eyes gleamed with misery & impatience. The few bright green leaves on her head wriggled, as she grew frustrated. Lightnin’ crouched down to Petals, constantly reassuring her, “Trust me – a brave Oddish like ya will evolve in no time!” She said this as she gave her an encouraging pat.

She was always looking for ways to boost Petals’ esteem, that Pikachu. She smiled sweetly as she turned her head, staring at me with anticipation. Kindly, I smiled back, then turned my head back to the pond.

We were in a large, aquatic training zone for trainers and their Pokémon. I stood on a small yet sturdy platform as I observed the glimmering pond extended over the large area. Water Pokémon who swum happily in the water created noisy splashes & tittered with their pleasant laughter. Their trainers were discussing on the platform. I overheard their conversation; all were unpleasantly bragging about their Pokémon. Oh well, a lot of us trainers did that one time or another.

I was with Lightnin’, the young, energetic, caring Pikachu; and Petals, the timid yet sweet Oddish. Ever since they had first met, they were best of companions. Despite their distinct differences, these two made a great duo. Petals had been having a few frustrations with herself, however.

She really wanted to evolve into a stronger Pokémon – and fast. Seeing as she had some time to go, it wouldn’t be as soon as she thought. This Oddish had always been carried away with improving herself, even though most thought she was good anyway. She had been let down by her few lost battles, but she still wanted to aim towards her goal. I always knew that Petals was determined. She wouldn’t give up on her goals. I knew this. An encouraged Pokémon like her wouldn’t have ever dared to. What Petals wanted was to evolve into a Bellossom. In her opinion, they were probably the most attractive Pokémon of all – and that’s what she wanted.

“Listen, Petals – if you want to evolve soon, you should start training,” I said, crouching down to speak to her, “Maybe Lightnin’ & I could help you.”

Shrugging, Petals agreed to begin training. I smiled, happy to know that Petals was still determined to get there. Lightnin’, with a large smirk on her face, shouted out with her feedback.

”Well, if you want to evolve, let me help ya out,” said Lightnin’, cheerfully, “and this is a great place for ya to train, Petals! If ya battle here today, ya’ll have the advantage against the water Pokémon. It’ll be easy!

Before Petals could even sputter a word from her mouth, Lightnin’ yanked her into the pond along with her. Splashing noisily, they plunged into the greenish blue pond where more Pokémon swam.

”You can swim, right?” asked the Pikachu, who swam in the pond with Petals on her back. Aloof, Petals nodded her head. She poked at the water with her small foot, not seeming too eager to jump in. Lightnin’ was quite aware of her mind-set, but didn’t take offense to it nevertheless.

A Mudkip had been watching from afar, scoffing at their efforts. Petals saw how the Mudkip was acting, and it made her irate. “Don’t worry about him”, said Lightnin’, who was too annoyed by the attitude of the Pokémon.
Swimming quite rapidly, the Pikachu suddenly jumped into the air without Petals’ notice. This sent the Oddish flying, too, straight back to the pond. Splattering water around, the uneasy Oddish squirmed.

The Mudkip & a few others caught sight of her & began to giggle.
Staring awkwardly at her, Lightnin’ wondered if she had lied about knowing how to bathe. ”Petals,” she began, uneasily, “are ya okay? Just relax. Try moving your legs around in motion!”

Pouting, the Oddish replied. “Easy for you to say! All I’ve got are these tiny stubs for legs.” She began to relax, and was actually floating above the water. Confused, Lightnin’ rolled her eyes and continued helping her out.
Oddly enough, the Oddish got the hang of swimming very quickly. Grinning, Petals surfed around in the water. She wasn’t fast in the pond, but she could swim. Lightnin’ climbed back onto the platform where I stood. Smiling proudly, she told me more about Petals’ small accomplishment.

“That’s great! Good job to the both of you”, I said, proud of their efforts.

As I picked up Lightnin’, I felt someone poke my shoulder impatiently. Turning to see who it was, I realized that one of the trainers who I noticed before wanted to talk to me.

“Hi there,” said the trainer, motioning to give me a handshake, “I’m Jack, a Pokémon trainer like yourself. Who might you be?” I shook his hand, which had some ink marks on it. Hmm. “My name’s Kris,” I replied, observing the odd smirk on his large, broad face, “What’s up?” He chuckled, with his gawkily deep voice. Pointing at his Mudkip in the pond, he continued to converse with me.

“My Mudkip seems more than eager to battle that little Oddish of yours”, he explained, as the tough-looking Mudkip climbed onto the platform. Standing next to Jack, he observed me curiously.

“So how about it?” asked Jack, who seemed very confident with his Mudkip. I knew I had to talk to Petals about this first, because she’d be upset if I agreed without her knowing. I told him to wait for me as I called Petals to come over. She was swimming confidently in the pond as Lightnin’ watched behind me. She had a pleasant grin on her face, seeming happy that she was able to swim now.

“Petals,” I shouted, calling for her attention, “Would you like to battle?” I caught her attention quickly. Her round, dark red eyes stared straight at me. She paused for a moment, half of her small blue body floating above the pond. She noticed the Mudkip who grinned despicably at her from the platform. Obviously, they must have had an unknown rivalry, since immediately, Petals concurred. She accepted to battle the Mudkip with the naughty smirk on his face.

“Well then.. Mudkip, it’s time to battle”, exclaimed Jack, hurrying his Mudkip to the pond, where the battle would be held. “Show that puny Oddish what you’re made of!”


Now, if only if Jack & his rude Mudkip knew what they were in for! Determined, Petals knew she would show them what she was made of.

¤ ~ Pokémon Battle! Petals the Lv. 11 Oddish (F) vs. Lv. 15 Mudkip (?) ~ ¤

The Mudkip dove head first into the water at Jack’s command. It was a swift swimmer, being able to swim through the waters at ease. The pond’s waters were a greenish blue color, not too clear to see through. Petals was on guard, making sure that Mudkip wouldn’t make an unexpected attack.

“Petals! Use your Sunny Day!” I yelled, helping my Oddish in her battle. Shutting her eyes, Petals had begun to concentrate very hard. It was quiet throughout the room, except for the few splashes that the Mudkip made. Strong rays of sunlight suddenly beamed through the clear glass windows of the ceiling, reflecting on Petals. The rays of light were blinding, making it complicated to see what was going on.

Wincing at the powerful light above him, the Mudkip plunged deep into the pond. He was nowhere to be seen. Frantically, Petals looked around her to see where the enemy was. “Mudkip, quick!” shouted Jack, commanding his Pokémon, ”Use a physical attack on that Oddish!”

Rocketing below Petals, the Mudkip strike her with a very powerful tackle, sending Petals high into the air. Plummeting back down, Petals gasped for her breath. She didn’t seem hurt, just startled. Mudkip was very agile, so it wasn’t easy to get him. Now was her chance to hit him back, I thought. Mudkip was weak to certain moves of Petals’, so if she got him, this would be a lot easier. “Now, Petals,” I said loudly, catching her attention, “Hit him with your best Razor Leaf!”

Alert, the Oddish sent hundreds of small, prickly, dark green leaves hurling towards the Mudkip. Quickly, the Mudkip used his senses & avoided the leaves as much as possible. He leaped above the dozens of leaves hurled in his direction. Dodging the swift attack, he rammed into Petals with yet another Tackle. It was a simple attack in general, but very gruesome when used by this mischievous Mudkip.

“Mudkip, use your Water Gun!” hollered Jack, who was happy at the thought of victory approaching him & Mudkip. He obeyed his master, of course, & used his energy to form a flare of water.

The small water Pokémon spat out a large blue, rapid blast towards my Oddish rather hastily. Petals, still determined to fight, eluded the attack by jumping above the whirl of water. Surprised, the Mudkip stared perplexedly at the gritty Oddish. With much energy, Petals flinged at Mudkip twice as many razor-sharp leaves as before. Striking the Pokémon speedily, the sharp leaves dealt a lot of damage.

“Petals – Stun Spore!” I directed, happy to see that we had a good chance now.

From the leaves on top of her head, greenish gold dust poured into the air. The dusty powder had spread into the air, which was dangerous for the foe. Not realizing that she had used the attack, Mudkip breathed it in. Jack, watching from the platform, moaned in despair.

“No, no, Mudkip!” yelled he, disappointed in the aloofness of the Mudkip. The unlucky Pokémon frantically gasped for clean air. Stun Spore had temporarily paralyzed his body, not letting him run away from Petals’ attacks.

“Ugh! Come on, Mudkip, get up! he bawled, frustrated with the status of his nearly victorious battler.

”Haha!” giggled Lightnin’, who had been watching with me. The silly Pikachu blew raspberry at the stressed out Mudkip. ‘Shh,’ I whispered, embarrassed of her odd personality.

Jack’s Mudkip tried to regain his posture, but wasn’t able to. He floated above the waving waters of the radiant pond as I thought of the perfect attack to use. After my Oddish’s Sunny Day attack, there was a perfect amount of sunlight in the room, wasn’t there?

“Petals! Use your Solar Beam, now,” I said with anticipation, “believe me, it will work!”

Petals beamed at me, knowing how good the plan was. The Oddish looked back up to the rays of light that cast from the ceiling. They were strong enough to give her a fully powered attack. Full of confidence, Petals gave it her best shot. Her body began to twinkle magically; green & yellow sparkles formed all around her. She began to glow a bright green color, preparing her hard-hitting attack. Mudkip was startled. Not knowing what to do, he attempted to use his Agility attack. He overpowered paralyze, being able to become a bit more agile than before.

Petals began to shine brighter & brighter, glowing with solar radiance. Suddenly, she let out a beam of solar energy hurling in the direction of Mudkip. The room turned into a bright orange-yellow; the light given off of the Solar Beam attack filled in the room. It was a white beam, shining brightly; green & yellow streaks of energy waved around it. Striking the Mudkip harshly, he flew backwards due to the ruthless attack. He flip-flopped onto his belly, not capable of moving on.

The attack triumphed over the Mudkip, making her the winner.

Petals the Lv. 11 Oddish wins!
Petals grew to Lv. 13!

“Hurrah!” shouted Lightnin’, who jumped with glee. I grinned proudly – we beat Jack & his powerful Mudkip!

Petals practically smiled her head off; she was happier than ever. I complimented my victorious Oddish, & said, “We knew you could do it!” Giggling, Petals jumped up to the platform where Lightnin’ & I stood. I picked her & Lightnin’ up, giving them a tight hug. We three all knew that she was closer to accomplishing her goal.

Jack growled in frustration. Obviously, he did not know how to take a loss well. Returning Mudkip to his Pokéball, he turned to me with a smile. The smile did show that he wish he had won, but I knew I’d feel the same way if I had lost anyway.

Giving him a handshake, I complimented, “Good job! Your Mudkip was a tough opponent.” Truly, that Pokémon was a rough competitor. He nodded quietly. Maybe Jack was ashamed that he had lost the battle.

“Great battle to you & your Oddish,” he said, “maybe we’ll battle again when my Mudkip is even stronger!”

I laughed with him, glad to see that his mood improved. Imagining if Petals & Mudkip battled in their evolved forms was pretty interesting, actually.
“Yeah, we’ll see.”

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

8th May 2004, 06:51 PM
I gave Blazer a slash TM and an aerial ace TM at the EH that I got from the reward center. I also bought the collar and slash TM for the vulpix who will be getting them as well as her name in this story, as well as her RBG ^^;. I did have a little bit of writers block at the start. I did the personality with the battle part a little differently this time but it was for a reason ^^;; Edit: I also bought and gave Blazer a recover tm from the reward center ^^;

(Amy's POV)

I didn't stay long at DT central, because I needed to see about Kovu. After things had calmed down, I left to take him to the Pokecenter. I also wanted to get the vulpix checked out to make sure that she was healthy, because there was no telling what all she had been exposed to where Rockets were concerned. It didn't take us long to get there, and when Nurse Joy saw Kovu, she immediately whisked him away. Almost an hour later, he was stabilized enough that he could have visitors for a short period of time, though he would have to stay the night.

Kovu was glad to see us, though right away he noticed that Simba wasn't with us. He also noticed the vulpix. She was still trying to get used to the fact that she could move now and that she wasn't confined. Though soon, she jumped back onto my lap. "Where's Simba?" I explained to him what all had happened after he had been recalled into his pokeball. "That's a shame. I remember him welcoming me to the team." As soon as he had finished speaking, he closed his eyes and was soon fast asleep. I took that as our cue that visitation was over. Silently, we all filed out of the room.

Once outside, Sweetie persuaded me to let her stay the night with her dad. Once I had agreed to that, the others asked if they could go home. "Why don"t you all go on without me? I want to get this little girl looked over first." They nodded and left as silently as they could, while Sweetie went back into her father's room. "Do you have a name?" I asked her as I carried her up to the front desk. She shook her head sadly. "They took me before Mom could give me one." was all that she said before going silent again. I gave her a gentle hug. "Will you give me one?" she asked. "If that's what you want." I told her. "I would like that."

We had reached the desk, and Nurse Joy began looking her over. The vulpix was still the entire time. "I can't find anything wrong other than she is a little underweight." Nurse Joy explained. "Thank you." "You're welcome." she replied giving the vulpix a poketreat. "Though it's a shame that Team Rocket had her, but now at least she will be taken care of." I nodded in agreement, before offering the vulpix a pokeball. She furiously shook her head no, and I decided not to push the issue. I'd ask her again tomorrow.

"Ready to go home?" I asked her, and she nodded her head yes. I picked her up, and left for home. It was late by the time that we had made it in and the only one still up was Yana. "Welcome back." she whispered. "Thanks." I said as I gently placed the vulpix on the floor. She ran over to Yana and was soon fast asleep lying next to the houndoom"s side. "I have some things that I need to take care of. Then I'm going to try and find a name for her." I said nodding at the vulpix. "Then I'm going to bed." Yana nodded, giving the unusual looking vulpix a nuzzle before she too went to sleep.

I smiled as I headed into the computer room. It didn't me as long as I thought it would to make the needed arrangements, so I began looking at various name sites in hopes of finding a name that would fit. On that front, I wasn't having much success and was thinking about calling it a night when I found it. I smiled as I wrote it down. It was a perfect name if the little vulpix liked it. I then shut the computer down and slowly made my way upstairs and went to bed.

The next morning, I awoke to a cold nose pressing into my neck. I opened my eyes to find that it was the vulpix. Yana was watching on nervously. "She wanted to see you but didn't know how to get to your room." Yana explained. "It's all right." I reassured Yana before picking the vulpix up. "I think I found you a name. That is if you like it." "What is it?" "Sinopa." "I like that." she whispered softly. "It does sound nice." Yana agreed.

Sinopa looked as if she wanted to ask something else. "Is there something else you wanted?" I asked and she nodded. "I heard some off the others, I don"t know their names yet, talking about battles. I've never battled before but it sounds interesting and I'd like to try it sometime." I nodded. "I'll see what I can do, but first I need to get ready. Kovu should be ready to come home today and I can't exactly go out looking like this, right?" At that point Sinopa burst out laughing in a fit of giggles. Yana shrugged, though she looked as if she might crack up as well. I knew it was probably because my hair was sticking out in every direction imaginable. I excused myself and left them to go straighten up.

Ten minutes later, I was done and I heard giggles of joy as I returned to my room. I also heard Yana. "Come on Sinopa, please don't jump on the bed." "How come? It's fun!" "It's all right Yana. At least for now," I added and at which point Sinopa stopped jumping on the bed and looked over at us. I decided to try and see if Sinopa would go into a pokeball today. When I offered it to her, it was as if someone had flipped a switch. She was no longer the young, happy vulpix she had been just minutes earlier, but the scared one that we had found yesterday. She jumped off the bed and ran underneath it.

It took me and Yana an hour to convince her to come out from under the bed. I also promised not to mention her going into a pokeball again. "Sorry, I don't like small spaces." she explained. Her reaction at being confined reignited the anger I felt towards the Rockets, but Sinopa was safe now.

The phone rang, and I left them to go and answer it. For once, it was good news coming from the other end. Kovu was ready to come home. Yana seemed content to watch over Sinopa while I was gone. The others were scattered around the house doing their own thing. I left, making a quick stop at the Reward Center. Once I had made my purchases, I headed straight for the Pokecenter. I arrived to find Kovu and Sweetie already waiting for me. "Can we go home?" Sweetie asked. "Soon, I need to arrange a battle for Sinopa. She asked me if she could have one since she heard the others talking about it." They nodded, looking a bit confused. "Sinopa's the new vulpix's name." I explained. They nodded. "Is she ready for it?" "She said she was." I told them silently thinking to myself, I hope so.

Arriving home, we found Ebony racing around the outside of the house as fast as she could go with Arwen clinging to her back. I chuckled at the site, before going inside. "Yana? Sinopa?" I called. ""We're in here." Yana's voice rang from the living room. I entered to find the two of them watching cartoons on the television.

"Sinopa, I got something for you. Since you don"t want to be confined into a pokeball I thought that you might like this collar. It also has a tag with my name and address on it just to be on the safe side." She winced at the mention of a pokeball, but smiled when she realized that she didn't have to worry about having one. I fastened the collar around her neck. She smiled and her rainbow topknot shone brightly against her fur. "I also bought you a slash TM." She smiled, accepting the TM. "Did you get me a battle?" she asked curiously. "As a matter of fact I did, and its today." "Cool. Can we go now?" she asked. "I don't see why not. Yana, do you want to come as well?" "Yeah." she answered before picking up Sinopa by the scruff of her neck.

By the time we had arrived, our opponent was there waiting for us. She was a girl in her late teens. "What took you so long?" she asked, before noticing Yana and Sinopa. "I was told that I was going to be battling a fire type, but I sure hope that it isn't going to be that houndoom." she said nervously. "Its not." I assured her. "My vulpix is the one that wanted to battle." "Good." She looked at Sinopa again. Kinda unusual looking isn't she? Pretty, but unusual." "Shall we get started?" I asked. "Yeah," she agreed, adding "it's my cleffa's first battle." I nodded, relieved that Sinopa wouldn't be battling an experienced pokemon. I looked around, and saw that we were in a general area. There was nothing but grass as far as the eyes could see. There wasn't even a single tree that littered the area that we were in. Yana gently placed Sinopa on the ground. "You ready?" I asked her. She nodded her head yes. Then, she quickly added "I want to try this on my own." "You sure?" I asked. She nodded her head firmly. "All right, though I'll be here if you need me."

Sinopa L.5 Vulpix Vs. L.5 Cleffa

I watched nervously as the two pokemon approached each other. For a while, it looked as if neither of them was going to move. Sinopa finally darted forward, unsheathing her claws, and slashed at the cleffa with them. The cleffa retaliated by pounding Sinopa's head as hard as she could. Sinopa winced as she darted out of the cleffa's range. The cleffa chased after her trying to get close enough to pound her again, but Sinopa wasn"t going to have that. "That's enough of that Cleffa. Try using metronome." That made me realize that I didn't know what Sinopa's bred on move was. I probably should have asked her but I bet that she didn't know either. "Sinopa LOOK OUT!" Yana's warning brought me back to the present, and I looked just in time to see Sinopa get hit by a huge bubble. "Are you okay?" I called out worriedly. Sinopa shook herself dry, but nodded indicating that she was. Sinopa turned once more to face her opponent and fired out several tiny fireballs at the cleffa. The cleffa, who wasn't expecting it, began crying right away. She soon stopped because her trainer reassured her. "That was good. Try another metronome." The cleffa nodded, saying her name over and over and waving her finger back in forth in unison. At which point, she took a deep breath before spraying out a sticky white substance that surrounded Sinopa leaving only her eyes visible. In an instant, I saw panic which faded to reveal the flicker of a flame.

(Sinopa's POV)

Things were going good till I got hit by that gigantic bubble. I was still stinging from it. My new trainer, Amy (I think), asked me if I was okay and I nodded that I was. Immediately after, I released several tiny fireballs at the cleffa who was surprised. After a few minutes of crying, she obeyed her trainer and used the same move that had created the bubble. The cleffa did as her trainer asked, and soon I was trapped in a sticky something that had it where I couldn't move. Immediately, I began to panic. I didn't even feel the cleffa's next attack because I was so upset. I had to get to where I could move again. I could feel the fire surging through my body wanting out, and I let it. As I did so the flames melted the substance surrounding me, but it didn't stop there. They raced towards the cleffa, and upon contact she fell to the ground knocked out. Once it was over, I ran over to Amy crying.

(Amy's POV)

I picked up Sinopa and did my best to comfort her. I was surprised to find that she knew hidden power and that it was the fire type, but then again I shouldn't have been surprised. "Is she all right?" the other trainer asked. "I think so. She hates being confined as to where she can't move." I explained. "Sorry about that. Though I didn't plan on that happening." "I know." I said shaking her hand before she left to go get her cleffa seen about. Eventually, Sinopa did settle down, though I did make a mental note not to let her have another battle till I felt that she was ready for another one.

Sinopa grew to L.6.

9th May 2004, 01:22 AM
Angel Blossom, Amy said she was going to get your battle.

Amy - Kinda short, especially the battle part, but I liked it. ^^; Would be interesting to see how Sinopa copes with her fear in the future. Take 8 Stamps. :)

9th May 2004, 01:45 AM
My intro. The rest of the stuff will come later.


Ever since our return from the Team Rocket Headquarters, Gabi had been preoccupied with many things: the significance of the Singlehorn Project was one of them. Not long ago, Gabi had a revelation: Singlehorn… One horn… Unicorn… Unicorn Gate!

Being a newcomer, I was not familiar with any Dragon Tamer history, but Gabi and Amy were pretty good about explaining. Apparently, in the past, tournaments had been held at various gates, but for some reason unexplained, Unicorn’s Gate was skipped each time. This raised a few odd feelings, but not enough targeted suspicion… until now.

Rumor was that a secret laboratory lay hidden near one of the gates. And now… We knew which one. At least, that’s how it seemed. So, Gabi managed, through subtlety, to gain us an opportunity to investigate the area, under the cover of a battleground revival. Even the Dragon’s Guild couldn’t say no to that.

Our team was one pokémon less now, and the house felt a little empty without him. I could remember how unhappy Elendil always seemed, though, and how listless he had become. I noticed that he had developed a friendship with Nimrodel, and was hoping that the whole thing would work out, but the truth… I was at fault. I didn’t try hard enough to understand him… But that was over now… Elendil was gone, and the trainer to whom he was entrusted didn’t seem to be around anymore.

“Well? Is everyone ready to go?” I asked, getting up from my spot in the grass. Evenstar and Switchblade showed up first, as they usually did. The Sneasel went into her pokéball, but Switchblade remained out. The Porygon didn’t enjoy tight spaces. When he was younger, it was because, like the Charmander twins, he had a boundless energy that could not be rivaled. Now, however, he had just become accustomed to staying in open air all the time, and his pokéball just seemed foreign and cramped to him.

At my second calling Aglárien ran towards me, playing with Naurmir a new type of tag that she had invented herself. It allowed shooting off gentle Embers to tag the target as well as just regular contact. This heightened both Charmanders’ senses, and, believe it or not, improved their dodging skills. I could see that Aglárien had gotten quite clever already. She cared deeply about her brother, and knew that he was slightly smaller than he should be. Disguised as a game, this was one of her methods of teaching him how to fend for himself. I allowed the twins to run around for a while longer, then recalled them. There would be plenty of time for them to expend their energy elsewhere.

I looked around for any signs of the others. Elwing and Kalazeth I knew were somewhere in the pond, most probably racing each other to prepare for the coming competition. Sure enough, they showed up soon after I called them, laughing, completely wet, and refreshed. They went in their balls, too. Ryu came later, limping slightly due to his reopened wound. I had half a mind to pursue a medical expert’s help on the matter; I knew that Rebecca’s Hitmonlee had treated the Trapinch’s injured leg, but it hadn’t healed by the time Ryu battled again… And the battle made the wound worse. I didn’t trust my own abilities as a healer, but for now, Ryu’s leg was cleanly bandaged.

Rúthruin and Gwaihir’s entrance startled me. One moment, I was gazing up at puffy white clouds in the sky. The next, a black shadow hung directly overhead, and before I knew it, both the Scyther and the Aerodactyl had landed right in front of me. I had to admit I shouldn’t have overreacted, but I got the feeling that they liked to do things like that just to scare me. I startled easily. It must have been funny to see me jump, scared out of my wits, because those two pulled off stunts like that a lot.

I patted the new pokéball on my belt. The newest addition to the team, a Lileep, resided there, but he had not yet chosen to come out to face everyone. Given a little time, I was sure that he would be fine. For now, however, I would allow him some room to overcome his initial timidity. We were almost all here… But there were still some pokémon missing.

“Let’s all go,” I urged. “I don’t think anyone should be left behind this time. It’ll be a long journey, and we’ll be there for quite some time.”

Nimrodel surfaced from the pond. “Does that include me?” she asked, surprised. She rarely ever came along on our excursions, mainly because she thought that she would only get in the way. After all, it was difficult for a Lapras to get around in places without water.

I nodded. “There’s a lake this time. Maybe you can battle. At least you’ll be able to stretch out some, swim around freely. Our house pond is too small, and although the Eevee House pool is nice, it’s just a pool. There’ll be a real lake, Nimrodel! A vast expanse of crystal clear water reflecting the blue cloudless skies, with space where you can swim wherever your heart desires… Where you can dive to the very depths and explore a new underwater world. Imagine that!” I could see her eyes sparkle as she smiled sweetly. It was a blessing to me; I had not seen her that happy ever since Elendil left. This would be a vacation for her, a chance to let loose and be free.

“Yes, I would like that very much,” she said happily, already trying to imagine what the lake might be like. I brought her into her pokéball where she could dream some more.

“Anyone else? Rúthruin? Switch? Have you seen Lune or Élan?”

The Scyther pointed her blade at an old tree beside a fence, where bushes crawled over and threatened to invade the yard. It was a strong tree, with a thick trunk and heavily laden branches. It never bore fruit nor flowers, but its branches were always weighed down with deep green foliage that provided generous shade from sunshine. I nearly slapped myself for missing something so obvious. There, beneath the leaves, resting in the cool darkness, lay Lune. He would come when he was ready.

“There he is… Thanks, Ruth. But what about Élan?”

Switchblade beeped. “I have a hunch…” Without saying another word, he sped off, a little magenta streak through the grass.

“Hey! Where…?” I ran after the dashing Porygon, with Rúthruin following closely behind.

Switchblade had gone to the back of the house, to the gate in our yard that led into the forest. There was no path there, and we seldom took that route; for it was a dangerous one, and the forest dark. At night, strange sounds would come from the black wilderness – sometimes wails and moans, other times more torturous cries that echoed through the night too terrifying to be described. We had the feeling that woods were haunted. I had no idea why Switchblade was heading right for them now. At least, that was before I spotted Élan. Switchblade stood barring his way.

“Oh, no you don’t,” said the Porygon. “I’ve been looking for you forever! Where do you think you’re going? We were all just about to leave for the Unicorn Gate battlegrounds! Don’t you want to come…?”

The voice that came from the Unown G was not like the regular Élan’s. Whereas he usually teased Switchblade with a playful tone, here he sounded subdued… I could hear a tinge of pain in his voice, hesitation, as if he was not sure how he was supposed to speak. I knew then what was on his mind, and wanted to kick myself for not understanding earlier. Would this happen to any more of my pokémon…?

“I… won’t be coming with you.”

Switchblade looked as if he suspected what was going on, but did not want to accept it. His voice became quiet. “What do you mean…? Why aren’t you coming, Élan?”

As if to confirm all our fears, the Unown G sighed and began to explain. “I will be going away for a while… On my own.”

I watched Élan steadily for a long time, looking deeply into his single eye. Eventually he cast his gaze downward. “You’re sure about this, Élan?” I asked, whispering, trying not to let my voice tremble.

The Unown tried to avoid glancing at Switchblade’s pain-stricken face. “This team… I honestly love all of you, but I can’t stay. Here I cannot grow, cannot be what I was meant to be. I know you are a capable trainer… And I will miss you dearly… and my friends…” He cast a pleading look at Switchblade, trying to make him understand, but the Porygon would only regard him with anger and confusion. Élan continued, even more painfully than before. “I… I was born to do something else, something I cannot accomplish here. Lately I’ve been getting this feeling… As if I’ve been called to someplace else, somewhere beyond the world that I have known before, to fulfill something that as of yet has not revealed itself to me. I don’t think being part of a team or a trained pokémon is it. Though I may grow powerful with you all, and I will certainly be happier with your company, I think that I must do something more. Something… that I must achieve… alone. I feel that I must go into the world, journey to its very depths, explore its hidden mysteries… until I meet my fate. This feeling I have… is strong, and although I know not what it means, I cannot ignore it anymore. I tried to stay for as long as I could, but I have felt it grow urgent, so much so that I am compelled to follow its pull. I am sorry that I must go; but destiny calls. Goodbye… And may our paths cross again someday.”

With that, the Unown G vanished into the forest, a forlorn shadow under the weary shade of trees. I stood there for a long time speechless, watching as every trace of Élan’s existence faded away into the all-consuming blackness, afraid that this parting would be the last time we ever saw him again.

9th May 2004, 06:37 PM
Matt’s POV

Rain. Of course it had to rain while I was out of the house. But it wasn’t like I didn’t like the rain, yet it was the fact that I had no umbrella to shield myself from the sky’s tears. It was a good thing, though, that I was so close to my destination. I went into the supermarket to get a few things for dinner and maybe for the rest of the week. When I entered, there was barely anyone there - not even that many cashiers around, either. I noticed a worker nearby and stopped him.

“Yo, dude, what’s up around here? Why is there barely anyone in here?” I asked with concern in my voice. “Oh, you haven’t heard? Some say it’s team rocket, but I think they aren’t telling the truth,” He said. “Huh? What’s happening around here?” I asked. “Oops, sorry, someone keeps jumping people, but it’s only in the evening that this is happening,” He said. “Well, it’s only around 5 P.M. now, so there should be a lot of people out since it isn’t that dark outside,” I said looking around. He shrugged. “Then I don’t know where everyone is, sorry,” He said; he walked off.

“Well, I can’t let this bother me; I have things to do,” I thought. I got what I needed, paid for it, and left. It had stopped raining, but there were puddles the size of station wagons on the ground. “Wow, it must have really rained while I was in there...” I said to myself. I looked up at the sky and saw that it was clouding up again. “Shit, I need to hurry up and get home before it starts raining again,” I thought as I picked up speed.

Just as I got to the front porch it stated to rain again. “Just in time,” I said, gasping for air. “Everyone, I’m back,” I said, looking around. There was no one around. But when I entered the kitchen, it wasn’t long until the whole gang was there. “Yay, Matt’s home!” Tabitha said, jumping up and down. I bent down and started to rub her and her twin brother until the rest of my pokemon came into the room. “What’s up, everyone?” I asked. “What’s for dinner, Matt? I’m starved,” Yuna said, looking up at me. “You’re always hungry, Yuna,” I said giggling. “Well, dinner will be ready as soon as I get it started” “Come on; let’s leave, so he can finish quicker!” Cerberus said cheering. With that, all the pokemon left the kitchen and went into different parts of the house.

Valefor’s POV

I love the sound of rain. It’s so... peaceful. The moon is quite beautiful tonight, as well. “...Hello, Rinoa,” I said without turned from my view of the beautiful scenery. “How did you know I was here?” “Well, when you’re like me, you might be able to sense people around you, as well.” “Whatcha looking at?” She said approaching me. “Just focus on your surroundings and you’ll be able to see what I’m looking at.” I said. Rinoa sat down on the ground and began to look out into the open.

“This is so peaceful, Valefor, but I can’t seem to get the real feel of this like you can...” She said with her head down. “I can’t really help you with...”

I stopped. Was someone besides Rinoa and me here? I heard someone talking, but it could be in here with us. But this thing isn’t inside the house with us... it’s outside somewhere! I left my perch and flew as fast as I could downstairs. “Matt. I think there’s someone outside... Please go check for me.” I said. “Hm? Valefor, are you sure there’s someone outside? I mean, it could just be your imagination...” He said. “Just come with me,” I said, hopping out of the kitchen.

He followed me and opened the door. We both went outside in the cold rain; but, I couldn’t sense anyone around. I couldn’t hear anyone talking either... Maybe it was my imagination. “See, there’s no one here, just like I thought,” Matt said. “Now, come on, Valefor. Dinner’s almost ready.” He said going inside. “I could’ve sworn...”

Matt’s POV

How strange of Valefor. He’s usually a little quieter...

“Dinner’s ready everyone!” I yelled from the kitchen. A few minutes later it was like someone let some Tauros out or something. I poked my head out from the kitchen and saw a herd of pokemon running from everywhere. “FOOOOD!!!!!!!!!!” They yelled. I laughed and went back into the kitchen to get put the finishing touches into everything. “That smells exquisite, Matt.” Ark said. “Indeed it does, Matt. You really are a pretty good cook.” Atomos said. “Thanks, guys.” I said. “Well, everyone’s here, so... dig in!” I said smiling.

After everything was eaten and cleaned up, I decided to sit down and watch some TV. From flipping through the channels over and over, I could plainly see that there was nothing on to watch. I laid back in the recliner; Tabitha and Nightmare jumped up in my lap. “Whatcha watching?” Nightmare asked. “We’re not watching anything right now...” I said. Tabitha got up and walked on the remote a few times. “There - now maybe we can watch something good,” Tabitha said looking at me.

The news channel was turned on, to my surprise. “Fine, we’ll watch this then,” I said.

“In recent news, another of the mysterious attacks happened a few hours ago. A rich old woman was walking home from a friend’s house when someone jumped out and attacked her. All of her jewelry and money was stolen, sadly.

The person that did this is still on the loose, so everyone watch your backs at night. The Dragons guild is trying its best to catch the culprit for these horrid crimes, but they haven’t had much success. They had some kind of press-conference earlier in the week on this matter, but the only result in the meeting was a demand for the Dragon Tamer’s and their subordinates to not take part in this.

Now, time for the weather with Pat...”

“I guess that dude at the supermarket was right...” I thought. And what was that about the Dragon Tamer’s? When they say subordinate I guess that means me since I have helped in a lot of their missions. But, the Dragon’s guild is practically doing nothing about this and something needs to be done before something really bad happens!

“Tabitha, Nightmare, go get the others in here, please.” I said turning off the TV. They ran off and rounded up the other pokemon. “Ok, everyone, there’s a mission that we’re going to try and do, despite the fact that the dragons guild doesn’t want us to,” I said looking at them. “It may be kinda late, but that’s when they come out, so let’s get going!”

I went into the kitchen and grabbed a bag that was on the table. “Tabitha, Nightmare, can you come here for a minute?” I said. They ran in there and looked at me a little confused. “Here, these are TM’s. We might need your help later or something.” I said.

For Tabitha, it was a Crunch TM that I had gotten through the EMT at the Goldenrod Tower not too long ago. I opened the black box and got out a satchel of powder. After sprinkling it on Tabitha, she began to have a faint black aura around her. It disappeared, and I did the same for Nightmare; his TM was slash. They ran out of the kitchen and I looked in my bag again. There was a blue box that I had gotten recently at the same place I got Tabitha and Nightmare’s TMs.

“Eiko, can you come here too? I have something for you.” I said. She slithered into the kitchen and stared at me. “I want you to have this Surf TM, Eiko. Use the move well” I said. The powder was sprinkled atop her head and she learned the water move.

“Ok, let’s get ready to leave everyone! Ark, I want you to stay out of your pokeball with me to help me navigate through the darkness,” I said. “Understood,” Ark said. With that last statement, I grabbed a flashlight and walked out the door.

Ark’s POV

Darkness - the best place to be... all the time. Why do I like the darkness, you ask? I wonder that myself sometimes; but, despite all the lies and despair that live in this void, it’s very quiet. Everyone should like the dark... don’t be afraid.

“Ark, snap out of it and come on!” Matt said from ahead. “Sorry, I was just taking in the vibes from the darkness around us,” I said. “Who exactly is doing these attacks on people?” I asked. “This dude I talked to in the supermarket said he heard it was Team Rocket, I think, but I thought they left a long time ago...” Matt said.

We walked for what seemed like hours - finding nothing. I couldn’t really tell if we were going around in circles because there was barely any light. Even I couldn’t see. But, I thought there were street lights around in here? I could’ve sworn there were some during the day... something weird is happening around here. But.... what was that noise behind us? It sounded like... footsteps... but maybe it was just the echo of Matt’s shoes?

“Matt. Stop walking for a minute.” I said, looking back. He listened and halted his steps. I was right. There was someone behind us... but who? Louder... louder... closer.... closer.... what is coming towards us?!

“Shine your flashlight this way Matt, quick!” I yelled. The warm light of the flashlight shined onto the pavement and a little farther back behind me. I could focus a little better with what little light the flashlight provided for me. “What’s that shining over there?” I thought. I slowly approached the bush towards the side. The flashlight was shining my way so it wasn’t so scary... but something kept telling me to not look in that bush. Maybe I should’ve listened.

As soon as I got near the bush, two, strong hands reached out and grabbed me. It was so sudden - I couldn’t think straight. “What’s happening? Who is this? Matt? Matt!” I thought. “Matt!” I yelled. I looked over to where Matt was supposed to be and saw someone on him, holding him to the ground. I did the first thing that came to mind and bit down into the dammed hand that had captured me. The owner of the hand shrieked in pain and released me.

I ran over to Matt as quick as I could, and bit into the man on top of him. He backed off as well, and ran off. “Matt, are you ok?” I asked, looking down on him. “Yeah, thanks, Ark…” Matt said. “Who exactly were those people anyway, Matt?” I asked. “I don’t know… maybe they were the “Team Rocket” everyone has been talking about…” “Let’s try and follow them?” “Good idea; I’ll get Cerberus and Madeen to help,” Matt said, getting out two pokeballs. Before I knew it, both pokemon were before us.

Cerberus’ POV

“Something wrong, Matt?” I asked. “I need you and Madeen to do something for me… think you can do it?” He said. “Of course,” I responded. “What is it?” “Ok, I need you both to follow the scent of the two men that attacked Ark and I and track them down,” “I’m on it,” I said, “come on, Madeen!” “Right!”

Madeen’s POV

Wow, following a scent with Cerberus – how fun. She’s a really nice pokemon… a really good person to look up to, sometimes. I wish I was her…

“Cerberus, how much longer until we actually find what we’re looking for?” I asked. “Who knows? We may never find them, but we have to try!” I laughed a little. “Right!” I agreed.

After many blocks, Matt finally said something from behind us. “Wait, you guys,” He said, “I think you might have found them…”

Matt’s POV

“Great work, you guys!” I thought. They traced the scent back to a giant warehouse. “Now, let’s hope this is it…” I said to the others. I slowly walked around the warehouse to see if there were any entrances or windows besides the one in the front. But, not to my surprise, there was nothing. “Great. There’s no way to see if this is it or not,” I said. “Don’t give up yet, Matt. There’s bound to be another way,” Ark said.

Wait, there was another way? I had seen a barrel around on the other side when I was over there. And there were little windows along the top of the building, as well. But, when I got over there, the stupid barrel was too heavy for me to even think about picking up. “Anima, help me out a little!”

Anima appeared and I told her what the situation was. She understood quickly and used her psychic powers to move the barrel close enough for me to look in a little. I thanked her and climbed atop it; I had to stand on my tiptoes, but it was good enough.

Everyone in the whole warehouse was in black… kind of like some cult… or organization?! A slight glimpse of one of their shirts convinced me that this was, indeed, one of the hideouts for team rocket. I could hardly tell what they were saying, though.

“…too many people know about us… must go back to the headquarters before… we’ll be leaving right away…” One of them said.

I jumped down and told my pokemon; plus, I recalled them all for easier movement around for now. It was almost morning, so I didn’t really need Ark’s guidance. There were voices coming from the front of the building, though.

I slowly made my way around and saw a giant truck in the front; they seemed to be loading all their stuff in there to bring to the ‘headquarters’. Two of them brought out a trunk that was opened and laid it on the ground. Luckily, they went back inside, which gave me the perfect opportunity to get in there! I sprinted over there, jumped in the trunk and slammed it shut.

They came back to see what had happened, from what I could hear, but they didn’t open the trunk, thank god. The two rockets through the trunk into the back of the trunk and went off again; before I knew it, it sounded like there were 50 rocket members at the same place I was. But, it wasn’t so bad; sleepiness was taking me…

When I awoke… it was quiet. I pushed open the lid to the trunk and pulled myself out. “Where am…I?” I thought. I walked out of the room and found myself in a corridor that seemed to go on forever. “Guess I’ll explore around in here for a while…”

But, there was nothing down here. No door, no picture, not even a nick in the paint on the wall. The end was near, though; when I got there, it was just a giant ledge and stairs descending to somewhere. “What the hell, I’m going down these steps!” I thought. When I got to the bottom, I noticed that there was nothing there but a few potted trees and some lights. I went over to one of the potted trees, but an alarm started ringing. "What? They've found me out? How?! There's nothing down here but..." I thought.

Suddenly, a shady man in the black clothing came out of no where and started to approach me. "Who are you, intruder?! You'll be sorry that you messed with Team Rocket!" He said. I drew out one of my pokeballs and got ready for the worst. "Go, Yuna!"

Yuna's POV

Huh? A battle? Well it's about time! The man across from me grabbed a pokeball from his pocket and threw it down on the ground. "Go, Rattata!" He said. A little, blue turtle thing materialized in front of me. "Do you really think you can beat me with that weak thing?" The man in black said. "Oh, don't worry, Yuna will win," Matt said.

Yuna the Zigzagoon (Lv. 8, F) VS Rattata (Lv. 8, F)

This battle didn’t seem very hard – I mean what is this thing? A rat? Surely, this wouldn’t take too long! “Yuna, try a tail whip!” Matt said. I trotted over to where the rat was and swished my tail in her face. She didn’t seem happy because she retaliated with a tackle. But I had done what I needed to do.

Before I had turned around good, Rattata was right on top of me. I managed to get her off of me; while she was still above the ground, I ran and tackled her hard. She landed on the ground not long after that, and gasped for breath. We were both pretty worn out, but this battle wasn’t going to end here.

Next, the rat ran past me and hit me in the face with that damn tail of its. I felt like biting the stupid thing, but I restrained myself. I started to get really, really mad at this thing. No one, and I mean, NO ONE hits me in the face and gets away with it! Forget Matt; this was my battle. I began to gather moisture from around me, so I could make it freeze. The stuff froze into powdered snow, and I shot it towards that Rattata. It hit her, but it didn’t do much damage; but I was just getting started on that thing.

This time, I was really going to mess her up. She came running towards me, but I had a plan for her. I got into a position and started to really get a charm going on. Rattata stopped and stared at me walking back and forth looking pretty and what not. I smirked and stopped there; she finally came back to earth from staring at me and continued her attack. She collided with me, but it wasn’t more than a little pinch to me.

Finally, it was time to end this pointless battle. I stepped back a little bit and threw myself at the Rattata to tackle her. I hammered her to the ground, which was just enough to knock her out. After the moving of Rattata stopped, I pulled myself off of her and claimed my well deserved victory.

I won!
I grew to level 9 and learned Headbutt!

Matt’s POV

“Great job, Yuna!” I said running over there. “Your battle was superb,” I continued. I glanced over to where the Rocket was standing; he was recalling his fainted pokemon with his head down. He picked his head back up and glared at me.

“Don’t think this is over, intruder! Team Rocket will stop you!” He said running off. I shrugged and went back to Yuna. “Come on, Yuna, let’s get out of here before something bad happens…” I said, recalling her. I ran back up the stairs and headed for the corridor.

But, I was stopped by some smoke right at the entrance. When the smoke subsided, I saw another rocket before me. “Ha, do you think you’re getting away so easy? You have to go through me first!” He said. He reached behind himself and grabbed a pokeball. “Go, Squirtle!” He said.

“Fine, if you’re using a Squirtle… go, Lulu!”

Lulu’s POV

“Excellent,” I said.

Lulu the Cleffa (Lv. 9, F) VS Squirtle (Lv. 15, M)

This battle was going to be tough, that’s for sure. But, it was a good thing I had those clean nappies on, otherwise it would be hopeless. He started by running up to me and slapping me with his blue tail. I didn’t feel the actual shock of the attack until later, though. I opened my mouth and started to let out a sweet tune. It wasn’t long until everyone around me was asleep – even the trainers. I shrugged it off, since; at least, Squirtle fell asleep. Now the real battle was going to begin.

I pulled out a little present for Squirtle and threw it at him. I put my fingers in my ears and hopped for the best; when I released them, I could hear an explosion subsiding – that gave me the hint that a pretty nice explosion happened from the present.

Another present for the sleeping enemy; this one wasn’t as strong as the last one though. Squirtle just snoozed away as I picked away his very life. After a few turns of the present giving, Squirtle finally woke up. After all this trouble, it didn’t even look like he was tired. He was starting to give me some evil glares, though.

Next, Squirtle started to gather fluids from inside his body; and as soon as he got enough, he spit them at me into one big ball. The actual strength of the move was outrageous, and I couldn’t take many more of those blows… I got out another present and tossed it Squirtle’s way. This one was extremely powerful and made a huge explosion on the water pokemon. When all the smoke had disappeared, Squirtle could be seen with many scars across his body. He also seemed a little weak, finally.

The next present wasn’t as good, though. It seemed that it healed Squirtle instead of actually damaging him; this was not so good. Squirtle blew bubbles at me, this time. It wasn’t as strong as the water gun, but the move was still pretty good.

Yet another Present for the Squirtle; from the look on his face, he was quite tired of receiving gifts from little, old me. This one was also pretty powerful, though. When it touched Squirtle on his skin, it blew up and knocked him into the corridor wall. He pealed off of it, and fell to the ground. I was quite cautious of going over there, but I slowly tip-toed over there to see if he was still kicking or not. But, to my luck, he had fainted. I had barely won, though.

I won…barely?
I grew to level 11 and learned Psychic as my free TM!

Matt’s POV

“No, I can’t lose here!” The Rocket said. He grabbed his pokemon and ran off down the corridor away from Cleffa and me. I glanced over at Lulu and congratulated her on her victory. The battles here were tough, but we got through them.

I finally reached the exit for the hideout, and noticed that I wasn’t that far away from where I lived. But, it was still going to be at least a half an hour before I reach the house on foot. I looked back at the hideout that I had been in for what seemed like days. Ark came out of his pokeball not long after that. “Nice job, Matt,” He said. “It wasn’t me; it was you all,” I responded. “Well, anyway, do you think we stopped them?” “No, I don’t; well, maybe in this town, but I’m sure that there are other hideouts in other places. But those places are up to the other Dragon Tamers…” I said. “Then, it won’t be long until Team Rocket is gone for good, right?” “Right! Now let’s get home – I’m sure all of us are hungry!” I said running off, with ark behind me.

Sorry if this seemed a little.. uhh.. bad. :sweat2: I had an extension, by the way.

9th May 2004, 09:28 PM
Nice my first br stamps frin a long time ^^

I'm tired so please forgive any typos in this post.

Umm one question. How could Petals move around in the water? The most i can picture an oddish doing is floating. ^^;; Anyway the story was well written, so take 12 Stamps. ^^

Karin I enjoy reading your stoires ^^ Its was sad about Elan. Take five stamps for the intro.

Matt maybe one of the others can get your story. I won't me on much tomorrow. ^^;

Lady Vulpix
10th May 2004, 08:03 AM
I read yours too, Karin, and I think it was great. I wonder where Élan's going to, though. And he still had so many issues to resolve... Will we get the chance to see more of him in the future?

Matt, those were good battles, even if you mixed tenses and put thoughts as regular speech a couple of times. And I didn't get the "blue turtle thing" part when the Rocket released the Rattata (were you thinking of a Squirtle originally)? But as I said, it was overall a good story and 2 good battles, so take 15 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

10th May 2004, 04:08 PM
Thanks, Amy, I'm using the 5 Stamps you just gave me to pay for Élan's departure. As for your question, Gabi, I'm not sure, but I really hope so.

10th May 2004, 04:09 PM
Linc's POV

I walked up to the huge building, hoping for good battles. My team of Pokemon scuttered around my feet, but Shadowfax (lv. 9 male Aerodactyl) was kept safely in his Pokeball. He'd be too wild for these rooms, and as soon as a battle ended he would want more. "So, who wants to battle first?" I asked my Pokemon. They instantly froze. There was a long period of silence, and at first I thought no one would answer. Finally one small voice spoke up. "I'll go." said DarkHound (lv.6 male Growlithe). He had never battled before, but he knew a pretty powerful move. We walked inside. People moved about walking into different rooms with determined faces on all of them. I decided which room we would go in first the old-fashion way. "Eenie, meenie, miney... moe!" My finger landed on a door marked blizzard room. Me and my Team walked in the room. It wasn't less than two feet inside the room when a powerful blast of energy flew across the snow on the ground and hit us. I was thrown into the air and my Pokemon were to. When we landed, Shadowfax's Pokeball rolled out of my pocket and burst open. He roared and his cry echoed through the whirlwind of ice and snow. The small Ralts that had launched the attack was laughing as it looked at the bodies of me and my Pokemon that were scattered across the ground. I knew Shadowfax was too wild for this room, but I wanted to teach this small Phychic a lesson.

Shadowfax, Level 9 Aerodactyl VS Lv. 8 Ralts

Shadowfax's POV

"Shadowfax, Wing Attack!" I heard my trainer, Linc, yell from behind me. I launched my body towards the Ralts, and then smashing it with my wing. It flew backa few feet, and launched a Psychic attack. "Shadowfax, dodge it and do another Wing Attack!" Linc shouted again. I flew over the wave of energy, and dove down to smash the Ralts with my wing again. This time when I hit, it did a couple backflips and hit a rock. It jumped back up as blood trickled out of its mouth. The horns on its head started to glow and it fired a multi-colored beam at me. It hit my and I was sent spiraling to the ground. I staggered as I got up. Suddenly, rage took over my body and I started thrashing wildly with my wings, beating the Ralts violently. It fainted and fell to the ground.

I won!

I grew to level 10!

I got Flamethrower as my free TM!

My trainer rushed over and stroked my long neck. "Maybe now I can control you..." he said as I felt the rage leave me. I decided never to go into that wild frenzy again.

10th May 2004, 04:23 PM
Dragon Rider, I've read your story. The battle is valid*, but it was a little bit short to earn any Stamps.

*What was the move that Ralts used? I'm assuming it was Hidden Power Ice, because Ralts can't get anything else. If it wasn't, you'd have to fix that part.

12th May 2004, 04:29 PM
This is the first part of my Rocket's Return story. Gabi has said she will rate my scenario - this is the introduction and I will post the rest soon! :196:

I was really cold that night; I sometimes felt cold for no reason, and extra-tired too, and it made me paranoid something bad would be around the corner, although I didn’t know what. Sometimes even when I’m cuddled right up to Ade I still feel the cold. I rolled over and cuddled him again, and my chill died down. I loved cuddling him; soft, and warm, and … furry? I ran my hand along the sleeping body beside me. Hehe, Kirei had got into our bed again, and I knew I’d overslept; she always gets in when Ade gets up early and leaves me sleeping. I got up and went into our main living-quarters, still in my night-clothes.

“Sorry, gorgeous – you looked so cute sleeping that I didn’t have the heart to wake you,” said Ade with a kiss on my forehead and a roll of the eyes from Milly that I didn’t even need to look at the Umbreon to know about.
“I thought Kirei was you!” I gave Ade a kiss in return, and ignored Milly.
This was followed by the usual rants, whines and jibes centering around the discussion concerning what we would do that day. “We ought to wait for Kirei before we decide anything,” I reminded everyone.
“I’m not waiting for that sleeping loon again. She’s worse than you, Scarygirl,” piped up Milly.
I went over to sit by Ade, who was discussing lunch with a hungry Pearl. Lately, the Ninetales had been almost my equal in the consumption of sweets, and my special jam, cheese and banana sandwiches. Even so, when she announced to us all that she was pregnant, I was still shocked.
“That’s so great, Pearl!” I told her, and gave her fluffy white body a squeeze. I wondered how Katnip would feel about having a baby. Being the child of those two, it would definitely be a strong Pokémon. Ade still looked shocked about the news, so I decided to remind him about the battered mars bars he’d promised us all, as I felt Kirei’s smooth fur brush against my leg reminding me that she would like some too, and I didn’t doubt Kassandra would be wanting some, she had an appetite like mine as well.

I was just starting to think about what a lovely day I was having when the telephone rang. Ade was gone an awfully long time, and I could tell from the tone of his voice that something bad was happening. Still, for a moment my worries were put to the back of my mind when Sindel brought out some freshly baked cookies she had made for Pearl.

When Ade returned, a sombre expression having usurped his previously cheerful countenance, my suspicions were confirmed. He had indeed been talking to Gabi, and as he explained the situation in Sector Alpha, my heart began to sink.
“Soo, I know you get lonely but there are lives at stake, I have to go.” Ade’s eyes were tearful, and I could tell this was tearing him apart inside. Ade explained that there had been a Rocket uprising in the city, and two hostages had been taken.
“I understand, but please… be careful,” I lied. I didn’t understand at all, but I had to pretend or Ade wouldn’t have gone to help those people and I would have felt even worse. I didn’t understand why Team Rocket seemed to be back, and I didn’t understand why it had to be my boyfriend, who I loved most in the world, who had to go and risk his life out there. Just when I was beginning to feel happy. I think Ade knew how I felt as well, but he had to do what he could to save them, and I knew deep down that he would return to me. Ade held me for the longest time, and kissed me. It was all I could do to stop myself from breaking down in tears.

All too soon Ade was gone. I felt that I had been sitting with my head in my hands for hours, when really it had only been a few minutes. Kirei was curled up by my feet and Pearl approached me, nuzzling my head.
“Thanks, Pearl,” I said, giving the Ninetales a friendly hug.
“You guys are not going to help by just moping you know,” came a voice from the centre of the living room. It was Kassandra, the Charmander we had recently brought into our home. “Anyway, why didn’t Ade take me if he wanted a strong fighter – I’m the best there is!”
“Kass,” I said, “you haven’t even had a battle.”
“Yeah,” piped up Bolovayr, who had just returned from watching a movie upstairs, “you, girl, need to train before you’ll be strong enough for Ade to want to take with him.”
“But…” Kassandra said, downtrodden, “how can I train if Ade doesn’t think I’m worth taking to battle bad guys?”
I looked into Kassandra’s big, sad eyes. “I’ll train you!” I said. “I may not be Ade, but I’ve been around him and his team long enough to know how Pokémon battles work. I’ll train you so well that Katnip will be jealous!”
“A likely story…” replied Bolovayr. “You, Soo, are full of ideas that never come to fruition. You’ll probably sit on that chair until mutant zombies eat your insides before you actually do something constructive.”
I stood up. “Right, Mr Ball of Air, you’ll be Kassandra’s first victim. Come outside and we’ll have a practice battle…”
“… unless you’re too scared,” shouted Kassandra.

Kassandra, Bolovayr, Kirei, Beckham with a bowl of popcorn and myself entered the vast expanse of green that was our garden. The remainder of the family stayed inside with Pearl. Beckham had declared himself referee of the match, much to Kassandra’s seeming delight. I had noticed she seemed to try harder to act grown up and tough when the Wartortle was around for some reason.
“Kassandra,” I shouted to my Charmander, not really knowing what I was supposed to say, “use, er, Ember!”
Kassandra wasn’t listening to me. With a strange look which I think was supposed to be a cheeky wink but which looked more like a confused expression in the direction of the referee, she began trying to scratch at Bolovayr’s face. Obviously this had no effect, since her claws went straight through his ghostly form.
Bolovayr laughed, “is that the best you can do? I really do feel sorry for you, girl,” as he glared unblinkingly at the little Charmander.
“Kassandra!!” I shouted, “he’s using Hypnosis, will you try not to look into his eyes?” It was no use. Kassandra began to stagger on her feet for a minute, until Beckham’s voice could be heard saying something about Kassandra having no idea how to battle as Kirei and I looked on.
Suddenly, something clicked within Kassandra, and she shook her head, got to her feet and ran straight through Bolovayr, head first.
“Still don’t realise that trying to pummel me isn’t going to do anything?” said the Gastly, somewhat mockingly.
“Kass-an-dra!,” I shouted to her, “would you JUST use Ember for once?”
“I can do this though, I’m strong! I don’t even need to use it!” shouted Kassandra as she ran straight through Bolovayr again. This time Bolovayr’s mouth formed a circle and a great beam of ice shot straight at Kassandra at a rate of knots.
Amazingly, the Charmander was fast enough to dodge it and jumped high into the air, this time trying to use some kind of kicking attack on the Gastly below her. As Bolovayr turned to look at her, Kassandra jumped up again, this time landing to the right of him. He seemed to be trying to hypnotise her again, but Kassandra’s legs were too fast for Bolovayr’s gaze as she moved to his left, then above him, avoiding all the attacks the Gastly attempted.
For the first time, I saw Bolovayr looking frustrated. It was clear that he knew there was no way he would be able to touch Kassandra with his attacks. He looked dizzy and unsteady; as unsteady as a floating ball of gas could look, at any rate.
“That’s it!” he cried, “if you carry on like this I’ll be sick. I’ve had enough.”
Beckham stood to attention at this point, his empty popcorn bowl having now become some sort of odd judge’s hat by the looks of things. “I declare Kassandra,” the Wartortle announced, “the winner!”

Bolovayr was decidedly quiet after that battle, and Kassandra’s spirits had not been higher the entire time I had known her.
“I don’t understand,” I said to the Charmander, “why you didn’t use Ember. I know you can use it.”
Kassandra smiled. “That would have been way too easy! Where’s Becks gone, anyway?” she said, walking off in the general direction of the kitchen.

It was later that day that I had asked Kirei if there was any way she could find out if Ade was still ok. The battle had kept my mind occupied for a short while, but I was worried about my boyfriend. Kirei’s face concentrated intensely. As I watched, I could see her twitch nervously.
“I’m sure he’s fine, I can feel it,” the Espeon said, but I still wanted proof.
“Kirei,” I asked, “will you come with me to find him?”
“I don’t need my psychic powers to tell me that you won’t take no for an answer, Soo” was the Espeon’s reply.

When I went to announce to the household that I would be going in search of Ade, Kassandra insisted on accompanying Kirei and I, and who was I to argue with her? In any case I didn’t want to be without my new friend so I agreed.
“You really should wait,” Pearl tried to convince me, “you know what Ade said.”
“I can’t,” I told her. “You guys will be fine, right? I need to do this.”

And so it was that I set out, with Kassandra and Kirei at my side, to find and help Ade.

Lady Vulpix
12th May 2004, 07:01 PM
That was a great intro, Soo! And an excellent firt Battle Range story too! I really enjoyed reading it. Take 5 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢

Dragon Rider, your sig is too big. I suggest you edit it before it's owned.

AntiAsh Superstar
13th May 2004, 07:35 PM
Hehe, here's the general intro and my Lava Room battles. I just hope excessive sleaze isn't against any rules, but what can I say, Sumi's fighting and we all know what she's like. ^_^;;;

“Hey!” My slumber had been something of a restless one lately. Too many things on my mind, too many worries to deal with. It seemed as if I hadn’t been able to sleep for many nights, as if something momentous was just upon the horizon, and I would miss it if I let myself be seduced by the delights of my subconsciousness. “Let me in!” This morning it was a constant hammering on the front door that was responsible for cutting into my sleeping hours.
“Uhh… somebody get that for me, please?” I moaned, still too sleepy to realise that in fact Soo was the only other creature in the room at time. And she would be no help. She was wearing the earplugs that she always wore to bed to combat the problems of being a naturally light sleeper. “Come on…” There seemed to be no respite from the perpetual knocking! “Alright already!” My eyes still half closed, I swung my legs around and sleepily pulled myself out of bed. I hadn’t had to wake up this early since the days of having to work long hours in an office just to pay the rent. And now I had Tsuyoi funding my activities, I had hoped that there would be no need to do this again. Well, apparently I was wrong. “I’m coming!” I staggered over to the wooden door, and grasped the handle tightly. At that point the knocking stopped. Only to be replaced by the sound of splintering wood and a high-pitched, feminine scream that was enough to penetrate even Soo’s earplugs. “What the..?” Well, this was enough to bring me to my senses in an instant! Quickly I threw the door open and raced down the stairs, only to be confronted with a sight that made my heart sink. The front door had been all but knocked off its hinges, a single blow having punched straight through the wood. But that wasn’t the end of the scene before me. There, too, stood Tsuyoi, looking in a thoroughly irritable mood. In fact, if I was any judge of these matters, the half-Ninetales seemed to be more than a little hung over. And there, too, was Gina. A look of horror fixed firmly upon the face of the mercenary trainer. Not that it was capable of showing any other expression. It was hard to when you had been turned totally to stone.
“Why?” I was about to turn on Tsuyoi, but something in his demeanor stopped me. “What had she done to deserve that?”
“Woke me up,” came the gruff reply. “Given me a headache. Got seriously on my nerves. The list is endless, Ade. I have quite literally killed for less than that, you should be grateful to me for showing a little restraint. And I only did that as a favour to you since she’s a friend of yours.”
“Well, I hope you can reverse this, is all I have to say.” I finally made my way to the ground floor, walking carefully so as not to step on any splinters of wood. Gina certainly seemed to be in quite the state, alright! The eyes behind the huge circular glasses seemed totally petrified, her arms raised in an attempt to defend herself. “What did you do, punch through the door and grab her by the throat or something?”
“More or less,” came the calm reply. “I do hope we have some paracetamol in this house, otherwise you might be joining her in a minute.”
“What you need is a black coffee, Tsuyoi,” I snapped irritably, still trying to determine the best way to revive my petrified friend. “Now are you going to at least give me a hand in moving her to the lounge?”
“I owe you no favours,” came the calm reply, before Tsuyoi headed off to the kitchen area, leaving me to move the statue that had once been Gina myself. This, it had to be said, wasn’t the ideal start to the day! I could only hope that things would get better as time progressed.

“Thanks.” Gina accepted a warm mug of sweet tea from Sindel. The poor girl was still somewhat in shock. As anybody would be, under the circumstances. Her blue eyes wandered around the lounge warily, both appreciative of our high standard of living and also wary lest Tsuyoi barge his way through the wall. “I just… how can you live with a creature like that?”
“With great difficulty, I have to admit.” I sighed deeply. “But none of us are great early in the morning, which does lead us to the big question of the day. What on earth is so important that you have to come running in at, what, half seven in the morning?” My eyes took a glance over at the large black clock fixed into the far wall. “Couldn’t this news of yours have waited?”
“Probably.” Gina looked troubled even now. The tea was helping to calm her nerves, however, as was having Ryo-Ohki on her lap to pet absently. “I’ll make sure not to get carried away in future. But as to why I’m here… well, you should take a look at this.” The blue-haired trainer fished into her jeans pocket and produced a crumpled flyer decorated in eye-catching colours. “Here we go… ‘Do you have what it takes to be the best? Prove your talents as a trainer. Come compete in the Unicorn Games. Great prizes on offer for skilled trainers.’ Or words to that effect, anyway, this is just a draft poster, but as my company’s involved in the running of the training grounds we get to know about these things before anybody else.”
“Well, well…” I frowned thoughtfully, pacing the room as was my wont when I was thinking, and nearly tripping over Kasumi in the process. Not that I really noticed. My mind was too busy taking on this new information. “So there’s going to be another Games, is there?”
“Exactly. Seeing as you did so well in the last Dragon Games I figured you might like to know about this a little early, get your forms filled in before the big rush.”
“Yes, because we’d all like to see Katnip get pummeled again,” Milliardo sniggered.
“Who says I’d enter Katnip?” I asked with a raised eyebrow. My Umbreon simply shrugged by way of reply.
“Well, it’s him and Pearl who are your strongest, right, and seeing as the world’s most irritatingly agreeable Ninetales is a little incapacitated at the moment…” Milliardo grinned suddenly. “Personally I don’t know why you bother with them, though, you know very well that I’m miles better at wowing a crowd.”
“Is that a request, Milliardo?”
“Might be.” The Umbreon sniffed haughtily. “Face it, you stand as good a chance with me as with anyone else.” I stared at the Umbreon for a moment. The fact of the matter was that he was right. For despite the sarcastic exterior few were as dependable as Milliardo. Sometimes the false egotism raised the occasional good point, after all.
“Okay then.” A slow smile crossed my face. “You’re on. I hope you’re as good at impressing people as you make out you are, though.”
“What?” The Umbreon visible faltered for a second, clearly thrown. “Seriously?”
“Sure, why not? It’s your chance to shine now.” Leaving Milliardo to muse this over, I returned my attentions to Gina, who rather obviously hadn’t followed the conversation one little bit. “Thanks for telling us about this, Gina.”
“No problems!” Evidently my sparring partner had gotten over her earlier shock, for she was now back to her usual chirpy self. Then again, in her line of business you probably had to be good at recovering from shocks. Training scenarios would have been the least dangerous jobs a mercenary could take on. “Oh, and the training grounds will be opening next week, it’s the old training grounds in Sector Alpha so I don’t think you’ll have any problems in getting there. I’ll be there, I got the Jungle Room to maintain, so I hope I’ll see you there!”
“See him where?” Finally Soo had decided to rise, poking her head through the door. Well, it was pretty hard to stay asleep when there was so much commotion! And with her came Kirei, who had probably been awake for hours already. “Why are you guys being so loud? I’m tired.”
“Uhh… sorry, Soo, just go back to sleep if you’re tired. I’ll be back up in a minute.”
“I can’t now. Come on, Ade, what’s going on?”
“Well Gina here came running in to tell us about a new tournament, only she caught Tsuyoi with a hangover instead. So although we need a new front door and I’m totally out of absinthe, at least Milliardo gets his chance to back up all of his big words.” I chuckled to myself. There wasn’t really any harm done that couldn’t be easily fixed. Besides, I always enjoyed a good tournament, and the recent news had put me in a remarkably good mood under the circumstances.
“A tournament?” Soo frowned, seeming to wake up in an instant. “When’s this?”
“We’re not sure of the exact date yet, we’ve only just had word of the opening of the training grounds, but I’m pretty sure registration’s already open,” Gina replied, finishing her tea and setting Ryo-Ohki down. The Pichu scurried off to goad Kirei into a game of tag. Not that the Espeon ever really needed much encouragement to race around like a loon. “Anyway, I’d better be off now, I have to be at work in an hour. It’s gonna be a long day today, I can just feel it. Take care, guys. I’ll let myself out.”
“Sure, Gina. See you later.” As Gina made her good-byes, I turned to face Soo, whose blue eyes seemed to have a twinkle within them that almost always spelt trouble. “And what’s with you all of a sudden? I thought you were tired.”
“Well, I was just thinking…” came the innocent reply, my fiancée trying her best to look coy. Although it only seemed to enhance the mischievous aspect of her current demeanor. “Wouldn’t it be fun if I entered as well? I’m a trainer too, you know.”
“Yes, that’s true,” I sighed. “As long as you know what you’re letting yourself in for. You’ve only just started out, after all, and a Dragon’s Guild tournament is a big thing.” Big thing? The last tournament involved mass destruction of the fighting arena, a battle upon a ship, and a Machamp that beat Katnip to a pulp in the course of its duties. If anything the intensity of these tournaments was even greater than that of the battles we encountered in our day to day lives. “I mean, go ahead and join as well if you really want, I just think you should think this through first.”
“What’s wrong, pup, afraid I might beat you?”
“Yeah, we’re petrified that your complete lack of training will pay off,” Milliardo snorted, finally deciding to join in the conversation. Evidently Soo’s involvement had fired up something within him. “Honestly, you guys are the laziest bunch of slackers the world’s ever seen.”
“Hey! No fair!” Kirei whined, pausing in her game of tag for a second. “We do loads, don’t we, Soo? And we can beat you any day at anything you care to name!”
“Yeah, I’d like to see that,” my Umbreon scoffed. Apparently my involvement in this particular conversation was over now that the loudmouthed pokémon was now over his initial shock. “Go and join then. I’d love to be there when you get thrashed on the first round.”
“Not going to happen, Milly.” Soo grinned evilly. “Just you wait and see.” I simply rolled my eyes. Why could nothing ever go smoothly around here?

And so a week passed, a week where the hustle and bustle of everyday life was replaced by a much more focused chaos. Pearl, as was her wont, tried her best to keep things in order, but that was increasingly hard given her pregnancy was drawing to its close. And her appointed right-hand pokémon, Sindel, wasn’t really much help, given her tendency towards getting dragged into arguments over the smallest of matters. In fact it was a miracle any of the team managed to survive the week at all. Milliardo certainly wasn’t making things any easier, in fact his already impressive ego seemed to have swelled to twice its original size. It was his goal, apparently, to win this tournament purely to get one over on Katnip. So it was with some relief that we finally reached the end of the week.
“Okay, guys, are we ready to head out?” Finally it was time to head to the training grounds once more. And I was glad. After all the paperwork I had to deal with to register Milliardo as my entry, it was a good feeling to at last leave for some actual practical battling. I viewed my assembled team with pride. Katnip, the seasoned veteran, doing nothing to work to the stereotype of fighters and stuffing his face with a large cream cake. Beckham, the goof of the team, trying his best to conduct a mad waltz with his best friend within the team, Megan. Pandora, the temperamental Houndour, trying her best to mother her adopted son Marius in spite of the fact that the intellectual Dratini had long since outgrown appreciating such efforts. Kasumi, a Growlithe with more libido than tact, doing her best to wind her teammates up in her own special way. Bolovayr, ever the over-active imagination, seemingly confused with life as a whole. Sindel, the nosiest Alakazam on the planet, trying very hard to lecture Milliardo on what he was likely to encounter despite the Umbreon’s attempts to explain using the foulest language he knew that he didn’t care for her interference. Scratchy, the antisocial one, lurking at the back of the group as was his wont. Ryo-Ohki, the child of the team, running excited rings around his friends. Lucky, ever stable and ever reliable, distracted somewhat by a conversation with Soo’s Kirei that ended with the Espeon pouncing upon him excitedly. And last, but definitely not least, was Pearl. So long the linchpin of the team, so long the sympathetic shoulder upon which we could all depend. Here the pretty Ninetales stood… gasping for air? What was going on here? “Pearl, are you okay?” I asked with more than a note of concern in my voice.
“I…” The Ninetales tried her best to find the words, but they simply wouldn’t come. “Ade, I’m sorry, I’m going to have to make you put your plans on hold for a moment. I wish I could have picked a better time for this and everything, but…” Here she gritted her teeth, wincing hard as another tight jerk of pain jabbed hard in her belly.
“Oh my God. Soo, quickly, get over here and help me move her.” There was no doubt as to what was wrong with Pearl. For the past few months her pregnancy had been exceedingly visible. It was quite obvious that she was practically at the end of her term. And now, of all times, it was time to put an end to months of caution and worry. Just a little longer and it would all be over.

“Come on, Pearl.” The reassuring hand brushing through her mane was doing its part to comfort the Ninetales somewhat, but despite the excessive attempts to ensure her comfort – the admittedly snug pile of soft cushions that she was lay upon, the cooling fan that was pointed at her brow – nothing on the planet could have helped to totally take away from the agony that Pearl was experiencing at the moment. The only time she could honestly say she had felt more pain was when she had been beaten as a Vulpix at the hands of Team Rocket. And at least that had been an external pummeling. With this… well, it felt as if her insides were being crushed in an iron grip, squeezed and squeezed until there was nothing left. So no amount of reassurance was going to make this any more bearable. “You can do this.”
“I know I can do this but it doesn’t make it any less painful does it? Ah!” The Ninetales gasped in pain, a fresh and particularly nasty twinge breaking her tirade. It was no good. She just wanted this over with as soon as she could. Steeling every ounce of willpower and resolve that she could possibly find within her, Pearl put all of her energies into expelling the source of all of this pain, pushing hard with her muscles until the very strain of doing so almost matched the pains she had been experiencing originally. “If anyone dares say ‘that’s it, push’, I’ll…” My Ninetales quickly put a stop to most of the conversation through gritted teeth, trying to steel herself against the burning pain, a pain that seemed to reach a sudden crescendo that made her cry out loudly.
“Pearl!” I gasped in delight. “You’ve done it!”
“Wha..?” It seemed as if a great weight had been lifted from Pearl’s shoulders. And now that the pressure had abated, all she really wanted to do was sleep. But there were things to do first, a much greater need that lent her the energy to groggily crane her neck in my direction.
“Congratulations, Pearl,” I beamed, passing over a small, almost hairless thing that no doubt would one day become a fine specimen of a Vulpix, but for now seemed like a rather confused rag doll. “It’s a girl.” The eyes of my Ninetales welled up with tears, an almost profound shock washing over her. For so long now it had just seemed like she was carrying a burden around with her. But now here it was, and suddenly the whole situation felt so much more real.
“Th… thanks.” Pearl’s attentions were focused too much upon her newborn daughter to really pay much attention to anything else, so I only received the briefest of acknowledgments. Instead my Ninetales diverted her attentions wholly towards her offspring. “Come on, you. Come to mummy. Yes, that’s a good girl.” Pearl nudged her daughter carefully with her snout, eventually getting some movement out of the tiny creature, which sought out nourishment as only an infant knew how. A contented smile crossed the face of my Ninetales. So this was what is was like to be a mother. “She’s so sweet. I can’t believe this is real.”
“Yeah, that she is.” Katnip beamed with pride. “Can’t believe I’m a dad, either. Never thought I’d ever end up like this!”
“Yeah, rat boy, what are you going to do now that you have responsibilities to cut into your rigorous regime of doing nothing but fight and eat all day, hm?” The temptation to poke fun at Katnip was too great for Milliardo to quite resist. Old habits die hard, after all, even in such tender situations. Fortunately everyone was far too used to him by now to care, his main rival especially.
“Well if ya must know I plan on fightin’ an’ eatin’ twice as hard to make room ta help look after this little bundle. Speakin’ of which…” The Raticate hopped over to Pearl’s side and planted a kiss on Pearl’s nose. “You had any ideas as to what ta call her, Pearl? Ya know I’m not that bright, I couldn’t think of anythin’ decent if my life depended on it.”
“Hmm…” Now that was a good point! The little Vulpix would need a name at some point. Fortunately Pearl did have something in mind, a name conjured up in conversation with Soo during one of the times the rest of the team had been out on one of their weekly excursions to train with Gina. A name that the Ninetales considered pretty enough for any daughter of hers. “Well I had given it some thought. What does everybody think about Celeste?” A murmur of assent rippled throughout the room. Well, Celeste it was, then. And to look at the tiny creature hungrily suckling upon its mother’s milk I couldn’t help but feel a swell of emotion. I had known Pearl for longer than practically every other creature. She had been there practically from the outset, back then a rather reserved, dainty specimen of a Vulpix. And to have watched her blossom into the optimistic, caring Ninetales before me was an experience I wouldn’t have traded.
“Celeste is a lovely name,” I smiled approvingly. “And I’m sure you’ll make a brilliant mother, Pearl. Now if you’ll excuse me for a moment I have to start cleaning up.” Swiftly I excused myself, taking advantage of everyone’s preoccupation with Pearl’s cub. Before the true extent of the emotion within my eyes revealed itself. Well, even I was allowed my moments of soppiness, wasn’t I?

To my eternal credit as a trainer our team somehow managed to get on the move even after the momentous events of Celeste’s birth. Pearl had to stay behind, of course, but that was no problem. Soo was still home, and her pokémon as well, which was even better news – how could I possibly worry something would happen when Kirei was under the same roof? And Katnip had decided to stay with her for a while, although he had left us with explicit instructions to save at least one chance for him to train.
“One of them trained pokémon’s got my name on it,” the Raticate had grinned with a twinkle in his eyes. “So don’t ya dare use up all yer chances ta train until I’ve caught ya up, ya hear me?” And so it was that we had left for the training grounds in Sector Alpha. Although there was one more port of call that we had to make along the way. A Pokémon Centre near the outskirts, the same place that had taken care of Megan so expertly. The same place where I had taken an orphaned baby Onix just a mere week ago, its parents having been cruelly slain in front of my eyes by the vicious Salamence called Reaper, Team Rocket’s mascot of choice these days. And despite the complaints from the more restless member of my team I felt I had a duty to call in and check up on the creature. I couldn’t have lived with myself if I had just ignored it after all that had happened.
“Well, she’s doing quite well, all things considered.” Rather unfortunately a Nurse Joy greeted me at the front desk when I took my first step into the hospital-like conditions of the Pokécentre. I had a deep distrust of a group of nurses who were all engineered to look exactly the same. It was taking conformity to ridiculous extremes. Or maybe it was simply one too may late nights playing conspiracy theories with Marius that made me so wary of them. “I’m not quite sure what we’re going to do with her, though. She’ll grow too large for us to hold soon enough. I’d send her over to an adoption centre but they would probably have the same problem. Besides, few people are really willing to look after an Onix. Something that large can cause serious problems. If you ask me only Gyarados are more awkward to keep, and even that’s mainly due to their temperament.”
“Really.” I sighed. It looked like there was really only one option available. And, to be fair, I had always thought the species had its own unique charm, anyway. “Suppose I wanted to look after her for you. What would I need?”
“Somewhere big enough for her to live, obviously,” the Nurse Joy replied. “I’m not saying your house, obviously, but somewhere within easy access that you could get to regularly enough to keep her from getting lonely. Pokéballs, you’d need them, especially if you were planning on training her, because whilst most battle arenas are even large enough to house a Wailord v Wailord battle the corridors that lead to them generally aren’t. It’s the only way you’re going to get an Onix or Steelix anywhere. Oh, and plenty of food, fortunately Onix metabolisms are so slow that they only need to eat about once a week anyway.” The nurse eyed me curiously. “Why? You’re not going to say you’ll house her, are you?”
“Maybe,” I replied.
“Whoa, Ade, time out here.” Sindel stepped in smartly, having grown used to being the one to talk sense in Pearl’s absence. “Just think about what you’re suggesting for a moment. You’re saying you’d be willing to take an Onix into the team? You do realise how big they can grow, don’t you?”
“Yeah. Roughly twenty-eight feet long, and up to about thirty feet if they evolve,” I replied without so much as a hesitation. “I did buy those books on pokémon species for a reason other than for Marius to know exactly what to do against any given opponent, you know.”
“Good. Then let’s think about the size of your house for a second, Ade. I mean, it’s a really sweet idea and all in theory, but…”
“But I have that covered.” I grinned broadly. “Trust me, would you? I know she’ll probably be a bit awkward to look after, but she’s really nobody else left in the world now. I can’t stand back and watch her be passed around from place to place just because her size is a problem. We’ll find a way. We always do, right?”

And so the Onix – whom I later discovered was called Brandy – joined our little team. It had taken very little persuasion. She seemed to be rather timid, and naturally shy of strangers, but even she could see that accompanying us was preferable to a life spend unsure as to where she was liable to be packaged off to next. So it was with a team that was one spot short of filling up the space on my licence that I entered the training grounds. It had to be said, it was a rather welcoming sight. The main foyer had undergone something of a transformation since I was last here, of course. It now resembled the hustle and bustle of the Dragon Games training grounds, a bizarre cross between shopping centre and hotel. From here one could buy all the equipment you needed from various side-stalls, spend a little time winding down in the arcades, or simply check into one of the dormitories reserved for those trainers using the grounds and relax in minimalistic comfort. Or, alternatively, you could just head straight for the training rooms and get on with your job. Like we were currently attempting to do.
“Okay, we can have two battles in each of five rooms… that’s ten battles, right?”
“Congratulations, Ade, I see that Further Maths A-level wasn’t a complete waste of time after all!” Milliardo cackled, unable to resist a cheap shot when he saw the opening for one.
“Well my point was that four of you won’t get a chance this time.” I tried my best to ignore the Umbreon. Although that was easier said than done. You would have had an easier time sleeping in the middle of a Slipknot concert. “Pearl’s in no state to battle, so that’s easy enough, but as to the other three who don’t battle… I’d rather get that sorted now, if you guys don’t mind.”
“You can count me out this time,” Lucky smiled wistfully. “Rhiannon tired me out for a while.”
“Which reminds me that I’d better call Kushikoi at some point and find out how she’d doing.” I rolled my eyes. More things to keep tabs on. That was the last thing I needed. “Anyone else?”
“I don’t really want Ryo-Ohki fighting just yet, if that’s okay,” Sindel suggested. “I don’t think he’s quite ready.”
“And me…” Brandy looked around her, as if worried that she may have been doing something wrong by speaking up. “I… I don’t think it’s such a good idea for me… I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it, I wasn’t expecting you to want to fight.” I tried my best to be reassuring but wasn’t sure how good a job I was doing. Brandy struck me as the type who could have probably done with a conversation partner who had the skills in empathy possessed by Pearl. Or even Gabi’s Dragonite, Lagi, if we were to take these things to their extreme. “So now I guess we decide where to fight first. Is it…”
“Oh for ****’s sake, Ade, stick a pin in the brochure and say we’ll train in the room you land on, like you used to, or we’ll never get anywhere.” Milliardo rolled his eyes. “If we waste any more time dithering then we’ll get so bored and frustrated that we’ll all spontaneously combust. And even worse, Sumi will get so bored she’ll probably start humping someone’s leg just because she knows Growlithes can get away with that sort of thing.”
“Nah. Waste of time.” Kasumi smirked. “Only so much that can be done by rubbing, anyway.”
“Yeah, like we really needed to know that. See what I mean, Ade?”
“Yeah, yeah, I get you. So let’s see then… how does the Lava Room sound?” I randomly pointed at one of the rooms listed upon the flyer in my hand. “The temperature is incredibly high in the Lava Room. You can walk along paths of molten rock surrounded by boiling lava! Avoid all contact with the lava, as it will burn through any non metallic or stone surface.”
“Yeah, that’ll do, but I always thought that molten rock was boiling lava.” Milliardo cackled. “And you can feel free to tell Gabi I said that the next time you meet her, I know she was the one who wrote that. Just to let her know that not even she’s allowed to escape my pedanticness. But man, they don’t care much for our paws, do they? One lava-based training room was scary enough, twice is just stupid.”
“Could be worse,” I reminded the Umbreon. “We could have that room back that was just a giant gym. Remember, we lost Katnip for most of the day when we used that one!”
“Umm… that’s true. So, where’s this Lava Room, anyway?”
“Over there.” I gestured to a large oaken door that seemed rather out of place in the otherwise high-tech surroundings. “The original Lava Room, as used in the Pegasus Games training. I just hope we have more luck this time around.” Yes, the Pegasus Games had been fraught with difficulty. Not least of all because we had to simultaneously deal with Tsuyoi’s attempts to stir things up at the time. But this time it would be different. This time we would succeed. That I was sure of.

“Woohoo! I remember this!” Kasumi hopped gleefully from stepping stone to stepping stone, racing ahead of the rest of the team easily. It had to be said that maybe the Lava Room hadn’t been the greatest choice for our initial foray into the training rooms. As soon as you so much as opened the door you were hit with a wall of heat. And that was hardly surprising, given that the room consisted of several large pathways, occasionally broken down into stepping stones, that all eventually led to a central point, a battle arena sized slab of stone rising a few inches above the ground. And just as well that is was. For apart from the actual battle area and the pathways, the floor of the entire room was covered in a thick layer of molten lava, bubbling lazily and just waiting for the first person or pokémon foolish enough to fall from the path. It was way too hot for me. I could feel the sweat literally dripping from my head. “This was where we trained last time there was one of these, wasn’t it? Heh, I remember the Charmander we fought back then, he was cute. I could’ve just taken him home, tied him up and…”
“Yeah, yeah, Sumi, we get the idea.” Very few of my pokémon seemed to fancy the idea of accompanying me into the Lava Room. In fact most of them were quite content to stay just outside the door and yell words of encouragement over in my direction. At least Sumi had opted to keep me company, her prior experience combating any nerves she may have had about falling into the lava. And Milliardo was also with me, his impatience to start training having lent him the courage to venture into a situation potentially this dangerous. At least I didn’t have to worry about which pokémon I was going to use this time! “This is a different training grounds anyway, even if the rooms do seem pretty similar.”
“Too similar if you ask me,” Milliardo grumbled, taking up the rear of our little procession. “You should just be glad that we Umbreons only sweat poison when we choose to, otherwise you’d all be dead by now.”
“I hear you, buddy. I’m a little overheated myself.” I watched as Kasumi hopped nimbly up onto the fighter’s arena, apparently not at all bothered by the intense heat. Well, she was a Fire type, after all! “I take it you want to go first, then, Sumi?” I called over with a note of bemusement in my voice.
“Uh?” The Growlithe looked confused for a moment. Evidently she had forgotten where she was standing. “Oh. Oh yeah. I’ll take ‘em on, whoever they are. I’m not just a pretty face, you know.”
“You have a face?” Milliardo gasped, finally catching up. “I’m sorry, you seem so driven by your rear that it’s easy to forget there’s more to you than just your ****.”
“Hey, the other parts can do stuff too, you know.” Fortunately we were spared an explanation of exactly what the other parts could do – for knowing my Growlithe she would have been all too happy to expand upon this – by a large mechanical grinding up at one end of the room. I turned to face the source of the noise, only to find a well-hidden gate slowly creaking open. I hadn’t even noticed it before, it blended in so well with the surrounding walls. But there it was now, revealing Kasumi’s opponent. Standing there in the darkness with a rather puzzled expression on its face was a small, bright red bird-like pokémon. A Torchic. Well, this was likely to be interesting! This was a pokémon that none of us could claim to have any prior experience of.
“Greetings.” Kasumi watched as her opponent hopped nimbly over to the main arena, navigating the surrounding lava with ease. “My name is Lena.”
“Hi, I’m Sumi.” My Growlithe grinned broadly. “Fancy going out after the fight?”
“I don’t swing that way, sorry.”
“Give it time, girl. I can turn anyone eventually.”
“That I’d have to see to believe.” The Torchic rolled her eyes. This was a new one! “Anyway, we’re here to fight, yes? Not discuss this supposed ability of yours to change a creature’s sexual preference.”
“Yeah, whatever,” Sumi conceded grumpily. “Things with beaks aren’t much fun to kiss anyway, last time I tried it on with a Doduo I cut my tongue.” The Growlithe struck up a fighting pose. After all, her opponent was quite right. This was a time to fight. Anything else could come later. “Okay, I’m ready when you are!”
“Then let’s begin,” came the calm reply.

FIGHT!!! L12 Growlithe v L15 Torchic!

Kasumi didn’t really have much of a chance to think of a decent battle strategy. For at the precise moment her opponent declared it was ready, the Torchic was already speeding towards her, its talons poised ready to strike with a rapid Scratch attack. It was as much as the Growlithe could do to dodge the blow, ducking at the last minute so that her opponent passed rapidly over her, its slipstream ruffling her fur as it sped by. Clearly there was going to be very little time to think during this match!
“Dammit!” Reacting as quickly as she could, Sumi jumped after her opponent before it had a chance to realign itself to attack again. Finding an exposed area, the Growlithe quickly buried her sharp fangs into the Torchic’s side, causing it to cry out in pain and pull away, leaving bloody streaks where it had been bitten. It fixed Kasumi with a petulant look.
“That does it. You’ve made me mad now!” The tone was almost comical coming from such an inoffensive looking creature, but Kasumi knew better than to judge solely upon appearances. She tensed up, ready to take whatever attack her opponent was about to launch into. But nothing could have prepared her for what happened next. The ground beneath her paws began to shudder violently, sending jarring vibrations up her limbs that made her feel as if her legs were about to break. With a sharp cry of surprise the Growlithe buckled under the force that even now was trying its best to tear her apart. “I normally only reserve my Hidden Power for the strongest of opponents. You should consider yourself honoured.”
“Yeah… well… I don’t feel honoured.” Just what she needed! An opponent who possessed a Ground Hidden Power! And to use it so masterfully as well… even now the quaking was enough to keep Kasumi rooted to the spot, so distracted by the strange sensation that she forgot all about her opponent. Until a loud cry from the sidelines reminded her of why she was here to begin with.
“Sumi! Watch out!” I yelled out, trying to help my Growlithe regain her focus. It was too little, too late. Already the Torchic was upon her, swiping with its talons in another attempt at a Scratch that this time drew three thin scarlet lines across Kasumi’s chest. The Growlithe took a step backwards, too dazed and confused to fully follow what was going on. At this rate it seemed as if she might have even lost the match! “Sumi, you have to focus!” My mind raced frantically, trying to think of a way to get her to pay attention to her opponent. “Quick, look, you should be able to see underneath its tail feathers if you hurry!”
“What, really?” That did the trick alright! Suddenly the Growlithe’s full attentions were back where they should have been. And although the disappointment of not being able to get a look at the more intimate areas of her opponent disappointed greatly, Kasumi couldn’t help but be glad that she was back in action. There was no way she would let herself lose now! “That’s quite a trick you have there with the vibrating ground thing. Does it have a gentler mode or anything? Because I reckon it could be quite pleasant under the right circumstances.”
“Do you ever think of anything that isn’t perverted?” The Torchic seemed totally disgusted. Which was good, in a way, because it also meant that it was off guard.
“Rarely,” Kasumi admitted. “Perversion is fun, though!”
“That I refuse to believe.”
“Well stick around after the match and I’ll prove it to you.” The Torchic seemed about ready to snap, glaring at Kasumi with all the frustration that its psyche could handle. The little pokémon seemed to be visibly quivering with barely suppressed rage. And that was the cue that Kasumi had been waiting for. “In the meantime, let me introduce you to a little Hidden Power trick of my own. I think you’ll enjoy it.” Reaching deep within herself, the Growlithe tapped into the latent psychic abilities that had been bestowed upon her during her last visit to a training ground. And once that reservoir of power had been breached, she then used it to give her opponent a hefty push backwards. The Torchic cried out in surprise, staggering backwards so far that it almost topped over the edge of the stone arena. “Whoops, too hard! Sorry!” Quickly Kasumi altered her telekinesis, so that it picked the Torchic up from its position teetering on the brink of the bubbling lava and slowly dragged it over to hover just above the direct centre of the arena.
“Put me down this instant!” the Torchic shrieked indignantly.
“Well, if you insist!” Grinning cruelly, Kasumi forced her psychic Hidden Power downwards, pushing down hard on her opponent so that it fell to the floor twice as hard as it would have done normally and then lay there, pinned underneath a huge and unstoppable force that would only let up when Kasumi said so. Which was never a good situation to be in when you hadn’t particularly asked for it. “Well, well, well, how the mighty have fallen.” The Growlithe paced over to her opponent, standing over the Torchic with a particularly wicked look upon her face. It had to be said that battle had always appealed to Kasumi’s more dominating side, especially after learning what fun tricks her Hidden Power could be used to perform. “You’ve been a very, very naughty girl. Look at this. You got blood on my nice clean fur. And I think you need to be punished. Punished real slow… and really, really, hard.” The last few words were emphasised for added effect. By now Kasumi’s muzzle was just a fraction of an inch away from her opponent’s face, so close that she could almost smell the fear upon the Torchic. “I can do anything I want to you now, and you can’t do a thing about it, can you? All you can do is lay back and take it, and…”
“Enough! Enough!” By now the Torchic was practically in tears. “You win, you win, just please let me go! Please!”
“What, I win?” The old, cheery tone crept back into Kasumi’s voice, her mood switching from the sinister to the upbeat in an instant. “Excellent! Awesome dominatrix one, wussy Torchic nil. Result!” The Growlithe hopped in the air excitedly, her earlier mood apparently just an act after all. I had to hand it to my Growlithe. When it came to pulling out an unconventional victory she was one of the best. And despite her rather twisted game plan, you had to admit that this was one pokémon who was a lot smarter than most would give her credit for. Now if only she would have put that brain power to better use…

Kasumi wins!
Kasumi grew to L13!
Kasumi learned Leer!
Kasumi grew to L14!

AntiAsh Superstar
13th May 2004, 07:37 PM
“That does it. Remind me never to go within a mile of you again.” Milliardo eyed Kasumi with caution as she hopped nimbly back off the fighting podium, apparently none the worse for wear. “I’m just glad I’m a Dark type and hence immune to your stupidity. Just one question, would you actually USE your Hidden Power in that way?”
“Nah, probably not,” the Growlithe confessed. “Not unless I found myself a willing victim, at any rate. Still, it’s fun to bluff a little sometimes, eh?”
“Can we just put a stop to this conversation, please?” I rolled my eyes in despair. “Although I have to admit that was the most novel use for telekinesis I’ve ever seen… would be quite handy to have powers like that, thinking about it…”
“This is good stopping of the conversation, Ade. At least try to mean what you say for once!”
“Sorry. I guess it’s your turn now, eh, Milliardo?”
“But of course!” The Umbreon made his way onto the raised battling arena with a single easy bound. “I need the chance to try out a few things before the tournament anyway. Figure out exactly how I’m going to make everyone’s chins drop to the floor.”
“Being humble about it for once ought to do it,” I retorted, unable to resist. “I’m beginning to worry as to whether entering you in the Games was such a good idea. You’ll become intolerable if you actually win the thing!”
“I know.” My Umbreon smirked as only he knew how. “Isn’t it wonderful?” Yet again the loud grinding of cogs interrupted the conversation. I had no idea how they timed that at all. Maybe the battle arena was fitted with motion sensors or something. “Okay. Time to get down to business.” Milliardo turned to face the hidden panel, managing to spot it with ease even before it began to open. His heart sank once his opponent stepped out of the dark recesses of its temporary prison, however. Evidently he wasn’t going to have as easy a time of it as Kasumi. For glaring out at him was a very strange creature, similar to the Torchic in several ways but ultimately seeming far too bottom-heavy, it muscular legs perfectly designed for giving lethal kicks. Combusken. Torchic’s evolution, and just the sort of pokémon that my Umbreon didn’t need to be facing. Milliardo watched carefully as his opponent gave a cruel sneer and bonded over to the fighter’s platform in several well-placed jumps. Sure, it was a Fighting type and probably knew several of the few moves that could penetrate an Umbreon’s remarkable defences. But that wasn’t going to make any difference in the grand scheme of things. It was still just a pokémon. And hence it was possible to beat it.
“Well it seems like tonight’s main course is chicken.” The Umbreon narrowed his eyes, planing his four paws in the sturdiest position he could manage, braced for battle. “Yummy. So let’s get on with preparing it, shall we?” And without any further ado, Milliardo pounced, ready for the battle of his life.

FIGHT!!! L18 Umbreon v L25 Combusken!

All things considered, it was a good job that Milliardo had taken the initiative and struck first. For he managed to catch his opponent completely off guard with this sudden assault. Clearly it was used to its opponents at least waiting for it to land on the platform properly! But my Umbreon, like most of his species, had never really cared for the niceties of battle. Anything to get the job done was okay by him, even if this was an attitude that usually landed him in arguments with pokémon possessed of more scruples. So it was without remorse that he struck hard with a fierce Tackle at the exact instant that the Combusken had landed upon the stone platform where the battle was to take place. It was enough to make the pokémon lose its footing completely, and it fell upon its considerable rear with a loud thump. If it had landed any closer to the edge it would have probably fallen straight into the lava!
“Face it,” Milliardo smirked, noting with satisfaction the look on his opponent’s face as it picked itself painfully up from the floor. It looked almost ready to kill him. An expression the Umbreon preferred for his adversaries to be wearing, for it meant that were likely to be careless. And hence his chances of winning were much greater. “Your goose is cooked.”
“Ha ha.” The Fire-type seemed less than impressed by this attempt at humour. “You’re so unfunny it’s actually quite amusing.”
“Glad you think so. Because I know a far better joke than that. Why did the Combusken cross the lava pit? To get its ass kicked.”
“You’re right. That is a joke.” Finally bored with this exchange, the Combusken took up a fighting pose, before spitting a huge ball of flame out at Milliardo. The Umbreon couldn’t have dodged if he tried. All he could do was to brace himself for the impact, to bear out the sharp stinging sensation that came like a slap to his face. Because he knew that he could do it. He knew that it would take far more than that to put him out of action. He was an Umbreon, after all. Surviving against the odds was what he did best.
“No, what’s a joke are your attacks!” Milliardo scoffed. “If that’s the best you’ve got then you might as well just go home now and hand the battle over to me. I mean, I hardly even felt that.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I’ve got much better moves up my sleeve than that!” Almost predictably the Combusken made as if to charge at Milliardo with everything it had. Only it didn’t get very far. For a cloud of irritating chunks of gravel had just been fired directly into its face. Apparently even Sand Attack on a rocky battleground was possible when you were Milliardo. “Why you dirty…”
“Hey, all’s fair in love, war and pokémon battles, as the old saying goes. Man, that never gets old no matter how many times I say it.” Deciding that now was as good a time as any to attack, the Umbreon tore at his opponent as quickly as he could, attempting another Tackle before the Combusken could recover for long enough to counter. Sadly this time it didn’t seem to work. His tackle was met with a huge and powerful kick that had been launched so fast that it would have made most martial arts masters green with envy. And it was a kick that served its purpose admirably, knocking Milliardo away to be sent skidding painfully along the uneven ground, picking up a fair few scratches for his troubles. It was only when he reached the edge of the arena that the Umbreon decided to do something about putting the brakes on. “****!” Quickly he pawed his way to a standstill, his hindquarters just inches away from being sent over the edge completely. “Just what I needed. Hospitalization days before my big match. Well, I suppose I could have blinded my opponent by squirting burn cream into their eyes, but even so…” The irritated pokémon fixed his amber eyes upon his opponent. “Well, that hurt. A lot. So don’t blame me if I’m so pissed off that I forget my manners and do… this!” Once again a torrent of dirt was sent flying up into the Combusken’s face, causing it to howl in pain. By now its eyes were looking ridiculously inflamed. It was a wonder it could see at all.
“Why you nasty little…” the pokémon shrieked. But that was as far as it managed to get, before another ferocious Tackle sent it sprawling. With the Combusken’s sight so impaired it was obvious that Milliardo now had the upper hand. And both pokémon knew it. “Why not just finish me off now, huh? You might as well. How am I supposed to beat you if I can’t see you properly?”
“With great difficulty, I’d say,” Milliardo cackled, the more spiteful side of him beginning to fire up. He had forgotten just how therapeutic a good fight could be! All of the stress, all of the worries that life threw at him, they always seemed to just melt away during battle. “Still, that shouldn’t stop you. Zubats have no eyes and they manage somehow.” The Umbreon dodged a random swing by the Combusken with ease. “Come on, you can do better than that, can’t you?” Again came another attack, and again Milliardo dodged, this time by sinking into his opponent’s shadow and reappearing again on the other side. He tapped the bulky pokémon on the shoulder. “I’m over here.”
“Stay still, you bastard!” By now the Combusken was so furious that it would have probably missed anyway even if its vision was perfect. As it was the pokémon was just a flailing mess by now. “Fight me properly!”
“Well, you asked for it… shame I don’t have anything better to finish you off with, but fighting you has just uncovered a serious weakness on my part, and if somebody would kindly buy me a TM to take care of that I might not make his life hell for the foreseeable future.” Milliardo cast a meaningful glance over in my direction. “Still. Brought to you by the amazing Milliardo, here’s the single most boring attack in any pokémon’s arsenal… I give you the sheer power of Tackle!” Before his opponent could so much as comprehend what he was on about, the Umbreon struck it hard in the side, throwing all of his body weight into another vicious blow that this time knocked his opponent completely to the floor. And after a few moments it became clear that the Combusken wasn’t likely to get up again. Well, he had done it. Against all the odds, he had taken on a Fighting type and come out on top. Maybe there was hope for Milliardo yet.

Milliardo wins!
Milliardo grew to L20!
Milliardo learns Swagger as his free TM!

“Man!” The Umbreon hopped nimbly down from the training platform, clearly too tired to even try and mask his exhaustion. “Okay, there’s all the training you could possibly need done, Ade, can we kindly get the **** out of this training room before I actually do start sweating poison and kill you both?”
“No rush, I like it here,” Kasumi smirked. “Besides, I like you all hot and breathless, Milly, all of a sudden I can see what Pandora sees in you.”
“Gee, the girl who’d probably sleep with a Slaking given half a chance thinks I look sexy. I’m so flattered.” Milliardo rolled his eyes. “Let’s leave. Now. The heat’s bothering me, my tiredness is bothering me, the company’s bothering me and to top it all off that bloody chicken gave me a giant headache when it kicked me.”
“Alright, Milliardo,” I replied, trying hard to keep my composure in the face of this tirade. “I’d say you earned the right to get out of here. Actually, I’m none too impressed with the heat myself, and we’ve used up all our time in here anyway.” Smiling, I added, “But for what it’s worth you did a brilliant job there, buddy. I knew I made the right choice when I entered you for the Games.”
“Damn right you did!” Of course he wasn’t going to admit it, but my words seemed to have some kind of impact on the Umbreon. He seemed to become slightly less irritable as we walked back to the exit, at any rate. “See, Ade, you stick with me and you can’t go wrong. I know I’m an cocky *******, but even cocky assholes have to be right sometimes, you know?” Well, there was no arguing with that one! And as we finally threw open the reinforced door that led back into the main foyer and finally sucked some comparatively cool air into our lungs, I found myself thinking back. Back to the time when my Umbreon had just been a mouthy little Eevee who hid his insecurities behind a wall of sheer vitriol. How he had grown in the past year or so! Yes, he was still cynical, but the bitterness that initially came with this had deserted him. And yes, he was still less than forthcoming with his emotions, but at least I no longer got the impression that this was doing him any harm. The Umbreon beside me was a creature I was proud to have on my team, and a creature that I was sure would give it his all. For no other reason than to finally prove to the world that he had come of age.

Angel Blossom
13th May 2004, 11:02 PM
Woah, I'm on a roll here! :P
I don't believe this'll be my very best piece yet, but it's not too dull. It's short, but I hope you truly enjoy it!

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“Hmmm” , whispered Petals, who observed the sandy room from within my sweater. She frowned, concerned with the conditions of the area. I patted her head, trying to relieve her uncertainties. I held Jabari on his blue Pokémon leash that I had made myself; however, he hid in my backpack. He winced, peering his very dark blue eyes out of the bag. Petals sighed, trying to hide her fear of the setting in the Desert room.

It wasn’t the most pleasant sight for a small, Grass-type Pokémon like herself – dusty sand swiveled throughout the zone. Nearly all the possible humidity in the air was sucked away through the walls. Piles of dusty sand covered the entire floor – my shoes practically sank in the thick dust. I held Petals close inside my warm, delicate pullover. This way, she wouldn’t face injury from the hasty, harsh sand blowing all through the Desert Room. Jabari was safely tucked in my backpack; however, he didn’t have to be as careful as Petals.

I rubbed my cheeks, red from the sand that thrashed my delicate skin. “Ouch” , I said, moving my hand away from my nearly damaged skin. Petals looked up at me with her dark red eyes, which showed much concern. Any trainer could see true meaning beyond the emotion in her expressions. “I’m alright, Petals!” I assured her, not wanting her to be troubled about me. It wasn’t too painful, but the blustery wind became frustrating. I hoped that Petals wasn’t injured by the wind.

The unwavering Oddish wanted to show her impressive potential in a battle today -in this very room. Whether the weather activated in here was gruesome or kind, she wanted to keep aiming towards her goal.

My once soft hair was wiped out by the sandy gusts. For the moment, I looked like a jumble. There were only a few trainers in the zone, and they weren’t looking their best either, so I had nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, I pulled my hood over my head to keep my hair from the harsh conditions. I could hear a stifled whimper coming from Jabari.

“So, Kris,” began Petals, with a muffled voice, “do ya really believe I can win a battle here?” She slightly moved around in my sweater, protected from the gusts of air. In reply, I nodded. “You’re probably going to do great,” I secured, smiling, “just hold on in there!” That’s all there’s been to it – holding on. Just some courage could take her a very long way. However, there was huffing & puffing in the heart of what she tried to say that had already showed a bit of fatigue. “I might get a lil’ dry. There’s barely any humidity in this room!” She smiled nervously, obviously trying to hint me.

Suddenly, the gusts came to an awkward halt. I looked around, studying the atmosphere. The trainers across the room were confused also. Since the winds were so aggravating to all of us & seemed never-ending, it was like an impossible wish for them to stop. But in this case, the wish was mysteriously granted. Petals & I smiled with relief. Jabari poked his head out of my bag, leaping out & down to the platform. He shook his stubby paws, which were annoyingly covered with the dark orange sand. I heard a cough that had come from Petals. I nearly forgot.

What she had said before rang a bell. There were three water bottles that I carried in my backpack. Crouching down, I pulled my backpack from my arms & opened the zipper slowly with my fingers. I carefully unzipped the red bag which was heavy due to the water. Quickly, I pulled out a full, heavy, water jug. I tugged at the tightly closed opening of the bottle, and then, at last, opened it.

Safely pulling out Petals from my sweater, I placed her in front of me. “Yay, you remembered!” she exclaimed, relieved to see her aid for the harsh environment. Now, maybe it was oblivious to her, but I knew I wouldn’t forget about my Pokémon! Standing up, I poured a few drops of water on her head, making sure that the water aided her instead of flying off along with the wind. Trickling down from the healthy, green leaves on her head, the water drops eased her. “Could I drink some?” asked Jabari, placing his sandy front paws on my knees. I pulled out his dish & poured enough water for him. “Ah!” he said, satisfied.

The happy Oddish jumped onto the ramp of the platform. She sat there, smiling as she looked around the arena. “Dry, isn’t it?” she said, purposely pointing out the obvious. Jabari tittered, attempting to jump up to the railing too. I picked up the tiny, black Eevee & placed him next to Petals.

“Me & Jabari – err, Jabari and I – get along well,” she said, smiling at him. The black Eevee smiled back. “But it’s hard for Jabari to become friends with Bronx”, The smile on Jabari’s sweet face suddenly turned to a concerned frown.

I remembered about their distinct personalities. Bronx can be a very kind Aerodactyl. But like most, he can have his bad days. Ever since he had difficulties with Jabari’s siblings back at the valley, he didn’t want to take on to Jabari well. However, this little Eevee had been following him around for ages, wanting his attention. Jabari looked up to Bronx – he was a sort of idol for him.

A few days ago, however, the Aerodactyl had given him a bad attitude. Jabari had been following him around yet again, trying to converse with him. Bronx wasn’t in a good mood that day because of another small confrontation with Akai. Surprisingly, Bronx snapped at him, aggravated with his constant attention. Jabari was heartbroken.

But he still wanted his attention & friendship, but he didn’t know how to seek it.

“I’m sure he was having a bad day,” I said to Jabari, trying to cheer him up, “believe me, I’ll find a way to get him to like you.” The little Eevee looked up with me as his sad frown turned back to a pleasant smile. Jabari walked along the steel railing, watching his footsteps carefully. “Besides, it’s not the time to talk about it now,” he said, turning his head to face Petals, “weren’t you going to train today?”
Petals nodded as she jumped down the railing, landing on the dusty platform. Jabari jumped down too, but accidentally fell on Petals. I quickly motioned to them, thinking they were hurt. They giggled; showing me there was nothing to worry about.

Petals regained posture & skipped down the platform to the sandy arena.

“Now, let’s start training!” she called to me, eager to begin. She left traces in the sand. Her tiny feet dragged across the sand. I began to walk down the platform with her, enthusiastic to help her out. Jabari hurried to keep up with me. My eyes were closed as I grinned, happy about the change of the conditions of our surroundings & happy for Petals. As I paced, I collided with something – in this case, someone. Surprisingly, I walked into a trainer. Opening my eyes, I realized that I had walked into a strong, young man. His eyes shined with belligerence. A robust Phanpy stood in front of Petals, gleaming down at her. Laughing quietly, I realized how much the trainer & Pokémon had in common.

“What’s so funny?” queried the trainer, showing more hostility towards me. He lunged in my direction. Whoops. I flinched, taking a step back from the trainer. “No, nothing!” I reacted uneasily, worried of what the awkward boy may possibly do to me. His large, thick, right eyebrow lifted as he stared at me with his dark green eyes. The Phanpy lifted its eyes at me, observing my every detail. I stared back as I pulled down my hood & ran my fingers through my hair.

Shrugging his broad shoulders, he simmered down, and then began to talk again.
“Sorry, I have a weird way of approaching trainers.”
No, really? I thought to myself, examining the trainer.
“That’s alright!” I responded quickly with a pleasant smile. He slightly smirked, not honestly, then continued to speak.

“I was training my Phanpy” – he pointed at the stout Pokémon – “I want him – well, he wants to become a Donphan.” The Phanpy smiled, raising his head in conceit. Jabari stood behind my feet, studying the trainer & Phanpy. Petals glanced at Phanpy for a moment, and then focused her eyes on me. “Really?” I began, smiling at Petals, “this Oddish of mine wants to become a Bell -”

Interrupting me in mid-sentence, “Ah, the Oddish! It seems to have it’s potential for such a tiny Pokémon,” he said arrogantly, “that’s what caught my attention, ya see.” Now, obviously, he was far too caught up with himself & Phanpy to listen to me or to not be stubborn. Holding back from his discourteousness, I asked, “And what’s your name?”

“Eric”, he replied. So, Eric was a stubborn boy.
“Mine’s Kris” — I added, putting my hand out to shake — “and that Oddish may be small, but she’s strong alright.” He chuckled, rolling his eyes at the idea of a strong Oddish. I was fed up by the attitude of the boy, but I didn’t want to stoop down to Eric’s level.
“So, Eric, how about a battle?” I shook his large, bony hand as he nodded in agreement. He laughed tenaciously.
“That’ll be a good way to prove yourself, Kris.”

He called his Phanpy to the battle range of the arena. “C’mon, Phanpy! Show ‘em what you’re made of!” Lifting his small, gray trunk, the Pokémon trotted down, lifting clouds of sand in the air. He looked back as he ran & smugly scoffed at Petals, leaving her in a tense mood. She began to hurry down after Phanpy, but I stopped her for a brief moment.

“Petals,” I began, “Don’t worry – you can do this – without a doubt!”

She quickly smiled at me as she trotted down to the arena.
Jabari watched fretfully, hopping in front of my feet. He yelled a good luck to Petals as he watched, full of excitement.

“May the battle commence, Kris!”

¤ ~ Pokémon battle! Petals the Lv. 13 Oddish vs. the Lv. 15 Phanpy (M) ~ ¤

Brown clouds of dirt rose as the Phanpy slowly walked around Petals, studying her. His small, black eyes examined her every aspect. Petals glared at him, waiting for Phanpy to make the first move. They circled each other slowly, both ready for any surprise attack. My Oddish was very agile & could skirt from a rapid attack, so I wasn’t too worried. Watching from the platform, I quietly waited to give her a command.

Suddenly, the Phanpy lunged his body in the direction of Petals. His heavy body shifted incredibly swiftly through the air. Petals barely evaded the attack, rolling across the sand away from Phanpy. Her body lay on the floor; she wasn’t standing on her feet. Once again, Phanpy charged towards Petals at a quick speed. Grayish brown clouds rose in the air, trapping the keen sight of the Phanpy. Just as he was positive that he hit her, he realized that, on the left, there stood the Oddish – untouched. “Hmph!” snorted Phanpy, infuriated with Petals.

He had a trick up on his sleeve, however. He rose up to his short legs, shaking off the dirt from his belly. Unexpectedly, he struck Petals harshly with his trunk. This sent the hurt Pokémon sliding across the sand, not only lifting clouds of dirt, but piles of dust too. She flinched, surprised & hurt from the startling physical attack from Phanpy. Struggling, she brought herself back to her feet, still feeling strong-minded to win.

“Phanpy,” cried out Eric, grinning from the sidelines, ”Body Slam!” I stared at Eric, knowing I had to give my advice to Petals now.

“Watch out for it, Petals!” yelled I, feeling anxious for her.

Nodding, Petals ran around Phanpy, becoming quicker & far more agile. “You won’t catch me in surprise again”, said she, dodging the Phanpy. He glared at her, trying to keep up with her speedily sidesteps. The large Pokémon crouched down, preparing for a brutal Body Slam attack.

Petals decided to stop running, standing directly in front of Phanpy. I knew she had a trick up her sleeve this time. Jumping high into the sandy air, the Phanpy began his Body Slam attack. He was high above Petals as he began to crash down back to her. Ready for her attack, Petals prepared one of her own. From the leaves atop her head, she sprung several razor-sharp leaves at Phanpy. They hurled quickly in his direction, splitting onto the skin of his belly. Her strong Razor Leaf attack sent Phanpy flying backwards, smashing back to the sand.

Thick smoke rose in the air as the heavy Phanpy lay on her back. Petals began to cough; the thick clouds of dust were irritating during a battle. Shaking her body, the Oddish blinked her eyes to keep the dust out. Shocked, Phanpy slowly lifted itself up. It shook its head, the stared at Petals.

“Surprising, coming from an insignificant thing like yourself.”

Petals chuckled at the arrogance of the Phanpy. “I’ll show you”, she said, walking a few steps backwards from Phanpy.

The leaves on her head began to shake. A breeze of wind passed through her, picking up seeds from the green, rustling leaves. The seeds whirled through the light breeze & landed on Phanpy. He shook, trying to rid of the seeds that implanted themselves in his skin. Thin, sharp vines shot out from the seeds, attaching themselves to Petals. Trying to fight back, the seeds drained energy from Phanpy to Petals, replenishing her health back to normal. The seeds disappeared in an instant as Phanpy fell down. He breathed hard, gasping for air. He stared angrily at Petals, wanting revenge severely.

“Ugh!” said Eric, disgustedly. “C’mon Phanpy! Stop being a wimp and show that thing what you’re made of!” He hollered at the poor Pokémon who became discouraged. Shrugging it off, the Phanpy prepared his most powerful attack. “Phanpy – Earthquake!”

I blinked. Earthquake? It was a strong move; however, Oddish wasn’t weak to ground-type moves. I knew she could take care of this one, somehow. I directed her to be careful of the attack, and just waited for the outcome.

Phanpy stood boldly on his four legs. He didn’t shake; he didn’t flinch. He wanted to prove to himself, to Petals, & to Eric that he wasn’t a wimp. Beginning his attack, Phanpy jumped incredibly high into the air. Petals watched him, not knowing what to do. She couldn’t fly or jump for too long, so she couldn’t possibly evade it unless if Phanpy failed. Determined to win, Petals still didn’t give up. Pausing for a second in midair, Phanpy looked down to the arena. At first, he slowly began to crash back down to the ground. He moved faster & faster every second until he became excruciatingly fast. He planned to land on the ground with his front feet, which he did.

Powerfully, his feet spliced into the sand. Cracks formed were he had hit, then expanding throughout the battle area. Petals looked at her feet. She was surrounded by crackled concrete & earth. Suddenly, the dirt that had gashed extremely quickly surfaced in different bits. Crackling noises filled the room. Rocks formed, bursting up from the ground, harshly hitting Petals. My Oddish had been hit by the attack.

She flew up into the air due to the brutal attack. She landed on her face, hurt from the attack. “Aha! Have you given up, Kris?” asked Eric, proud of his Phanpy. His Phanpy looked at Petals, showing a bit of sarcastic sympathy. I stared at my poor Oddish, wondering if she was still okay. Why didn’t I try to help her? I should’ve been more careful..

I looked down to Jabari, who was anxiously worried about Petals. Ready to forfeit for my hurt Oddish, I was stopped –

“No, she doesn’t”, said Petals, slowly regaining her stance. She wearily stood on her two feet, showing her determination. She smiled courageously at us, turning back to continue battling her opponent. Eric was speechless. I was filled with pride, cheering for her, along with Jabari.

“Petals, give him another Razor Leaf – pronto!”

Grinning confidently, she shot out hundreds of sharp, dark green leaves chucking in the direction of Phanpy. He ran from them, dodging them the best he could. As he slid from left to right, the rustling, swift leaves shot straight at him, piercing his body. Phanpy flew backwards onto his back, lifting yet more clouds of dust in the air. My Oddish stood in front of Phanpy; however, she faced the other way. Not willing to miss a chance, she used Sunny Day. Sunlight peered in from the small slits in the ceiling caused by Phanpy’s powerful earthquake. The rays hit directly on Petals, preparing her first step to a powered-up Solar Beam attack.

Phanpy, however, wasn’t willing to lose either. He charged directly from behind Petals, hitting her back. She flopped down on her belly as the tackle surprised her. Running past her, Phanphy prepared another tackle. He beat his front legs in the sand, trying to get ready. Petals stood up, still unaware. As he ran down in her direction, she did her best to avoid it. The Oddish jumped above the Phanpy, and he missed. Instead, he had tripped over a crack & tumbled over & over in the sand.

I couldn’t help but giggle at the sight. Remembering about Eric’s temper, I shut myself up.

Petals began to take in solar energy from the sunlight coming from the ceiling. She began to glow radiantly, standing out in the tanned orange sand. At first, she turned to a bright green color. The color then faded to a blindingly bright yellow, to a flinching white. She was gaining a lot of energy from the bits of sun coming in the room. I watched, admiring her potential.

Eric glared at Oddish, wondering what she was doing. “What’s that?”
I chuckled. “Guess you’ve never heard of solar beam, Eric!” Turning his head, he glared at me angrily. Pretending not to have seen him, I quickly focused my eyes back on Petals.

Phanpy finally boosted himself up after his odd fall. He shook his body, which had been covered, in orange-red sand. Blinking, he stared at Petals with a confused expression. Obviously, neither had experienced this attack before. He looked up to Eric, waiting for a command.

“You dumb Pokémon! Don’t look over here, attack her!” he growled furiously. Freaked out by his temperament, Jabari & I took a few steps away from him. I fretfully waited for her to let loose her dominant attack. My green eyes gazed at her with so many emotions.

Petals finally unleashed her attack. A large, white beam leashed out on Phanpy. He didn’t have the chance to avoid the attack; the beam was as quick as the speed of light. It had streaks of green & yellow waving all around it, just like last time. The solar energy was super strong, and especially because it was super-effective against Phanpy, the ground-type Pokémon. It sent the opponent flying all the way back to our platform. Not only did the attack hit him harshly, but also when he had landed, he collided with the railing.

“C’mon, Phanpy?”
I comprehended shaken concern in Eric’s voice for once.

Phanpy struggled, trying to stand up. He lifted up his right leg, but couldn’t keep himself upright. He fell down, cringing. He had given up.

Petals the Lv. 13 Oddish wins!
Petals the Oddish grew to Lv. 15! Petals learned Poisonpowder!

Jabari & I congratulated Petals from the platform. I ran up to where she stood, eager to pick up & hug my courageous little Oddish. Picking her up, Petals giggled happily. Her smile shined brighter than the sunlight. “See, Petals!” I said, smiling, “We knew you could do it! Congrats!” Jabari congratulated her also, very happy to see his best bud overcome the two.

Eric watched us from a few feet away, clutching his fainted Phanpy in his arms. Putting down my Oddish, I turned to him. I didn’t have any positive – and honest – feedback about our battle. He pushed his poor Pokémon too far. I couldn’t blame the Phanpy; he’s arrogant because that’s the way his trainer is.

“I have a lot to learn,” he said, admitting he wasn’t right, “and you proved it today.” He held his poor Phanpy tightly, covering him with his sweater. I shrugged my shoulders. I had felt it would be better to hear what he had to say. “Well, I better get going.” Eric began to walk away, out of the room.

“Eric,” said I, stopping him, “that Phanpy – he is really strong. Just try to encourage him instead of – well – pushing him.” I was afraid for a second that what I had said would anger him & cause a commotion. But I was wrong. Eric took my feedback well, nodding in agreement. He waved his hand before he turned, walking away. ”Good luck to ‘em two”, said Jabari, smiling up at me. I bent down, patting the little black Eevee’s head. He giggled, softly hitting my hand with his chubby paws. I smiled at the adorable little Pokémon.

“Yeah, who knows,” said Petals, walking towards us. “We might even meet them again – and maybe they’ll be… nice?! The three of us stared at each other silently for a few seconds, and then broke into laughter. It was possible, maybe even true – but the idea seemed funny for the while. Like my smart little Petals said - who knows?

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14th May 2004, 12:55 AM
I wanted to start the Jungle Room scenario right quick; the battles will be up after. Just so you’ll know, I got Lily a Sunny Day TM.

Edit: I did this because I wanted to avoid double posting.

Beacon’s POV

“She’s sleeping,” Lily whispered. She puffed up with frustration. “Come on, wake up!”

“Hush, Lily!” I told her. “So, what’s the news?”

“Tay-tay entered me in the Unicorn Games! I’m gonna win me some stuff!” she said in confidence.

Trinity looked at me with an amused look on her face. “Tay-tay?”

“She must mean Shonta. So she could only enter you, huh? What about the rest of us?” I asked.

<She better train me,> Jewel sent in a dark voice. Swoop and Trinity stepped away from her.

“Well, you’re at Level 9 and I’m at Level 8. She got you at a very good level.” I approached her. “How do you do Psychic so well? Most non-Psychic type Pokemon have to practice their psychic skills for a long time.”

<I’m a fast learner,> she sent simply.

“Someone needs to taste some humble pie,” Swoop grumbled.

“Soon I’m gonna be a Vileplume!” Lily shouted happily.

Swoop winced. “Why a Vileplume? They’re so…awkward.”

“Everyone wants to be a Bellossom! I want to be something else!”

Shonta groaned and opened her eyes, ending her nap. “Okay girls, calm down. You’ll all have your chance to train.” She set down her backpack. “I have something for the future champ.” I knew who she was talking about, but that didn’t stop me from taking a peek. “Not you, Beacon.” She pulled out a box with a picture of a sun on it. “Lily, this is Sunny Day. It will give your Grass-type moves a boost when in effect.” She opened the box and emptied it over Lily’s head. Lily glowed for a second and went back to normal. “So, how do you feel?”

She looked up and swayed from side to side. “Um, not very much different. How am I supposed to do Sunny Day?”

Shonta shrugged. “You’ll know what to do. That’s that, I guess.” She stood up and walked to the middle of the circular room. “These doors are labeled.” She pointed at the door we first went through. “That’s what I get for just going through a door without knowing what’s behind it.”

I lowered my head; it was my decision to go to the “Lava Room” first. “Maybe you should choose the next door,” I suggested softly.

<I would rather rest up in my pokeball until you need me again. Which, I bet, won’t be long at all,> Jewel sent in a bored tone.

Lily ran and checked the doors, finally jumping in front of one. “I wanna go through this one! Can we, Tay-Tay?”

“Let’s see. ‘Jungle Room’. Sounds nice and non-extreme.” She chuckled. “Okay, let’s go.” She opened the door and let us walk through. We went through a corridor lit with electric lights before coming across an unlocked wooden door. On the other side was another mind-blowing room. All we could see were tropical plants. The walls were painted to look like the tropical plants and the ceiling was painted to look like the sky.

“So cool!” we all exclaimed.

Lily took a while to tell us her thoughts. “It looks like home!” she said in awe. She immediately bolted down a narrow path that cut through the dense vegetation. The rest of us followed, Trinity in the front, Shonta in the back, and Swoop following us from above.

I heard all sorts of unknown sounds and they slowly got to me. Tales of vicious creatures snatching up poor, helpless sheep Pokemon raced through my mind. I didn’t even pay attention to what was up ahead. “Aah!” I yelled as I fell face first in water.

Shonta crouched in front of me, on the other side of the stream. “I tried to tell you. We lost Lily. She must’ve taken off through the trees.”

I dragged myself out of the water. “I’m staying here!” I said. “I don’t want to get eaten!”

Shonta cocked an eyebrow. “Beacon, this isn’t Jurassic Park. No one in their right mind would let loose any sheep-eating Pokemon in here.”

“Whee!” a voice from upstream cried. Lily came drifting down the stream on a large leaf. “Yes, just like home! Except the streams were a lot more fun to play in.” She jumped off and looked up at Shonta.

“Lily, next time you decide to go whitewater rafting, tell me,” I told her. “Did you leave the others behind?”

“I thought they were with you. Oh well, I guess they’ll find their way back.”

We turned and started back down the path, finally coming across a clearing. The ground was chalked like the large flat stone in the Lava Room. Sitting in the middle of the clearing was boy about half Shonta’s age. He wore a very simple outfit of a white T-shirt and blue jeans. His neat red hair was tucked in a baseball cap. Sitting with him was a blue spider-like creature that wore something yellow on its head. It glanced at us and squeaked happily. The boy smiled at us. “Hey there. I guess you finally found this place.” He extended a hand to Shonta. “The name’s Tony.”

Shonta shook it. “My name’s Shonta. This is Beacon and Lily. My other Pokemon are kinda lost. There’s no threat out there, is there?”

“I can’t say. But the room isn’t that big; they’ll eventually find a path and come here.”

“We came for a battle!” Lily shouted happily.

Tony chuckled. “Well, my Surskit Blue and I can battle you.” Blue smiled in agreement.

Shonta’s POV

“So, what are the rules?” I asked Tony as we walked to opposite ends of the clearing.

“One-on-one. My Surskit versus your Oddish. You are using your Oddish, right?” he asked me.

I looked down as Oddish was humming a tune as she swayed from side to side. Why does she do that? Is she dancing or thinking when she does that? “Hey Lily! Are you ready?” I asked her.

She giggled. “Of course I am! I’ve been ready!”

“What about you, girl?” Tony asked his Surskit, who also nodded. She and Lily ran to the middle of the clearing. They bowed to each other and took an attack stance (I think).

“Let the battle begin!” Tony shouted.

L9 Female Oddish vs. L8 Surskit

Lily’s POV

Blue took a deep breath and shot out a stream of bubbles at me. What kind of attack is this? I stood still.

“Lily, dodge ‘em!” Shonta commanded.

The bubbles hit me, and they actually hurt! What are these bubbles made out of?

“Blue, Quick Attack while that Oddish is stunned!” Tony said to the Surskit.

I wobbled in place, my vision a little blurry. Something blue was rushing toward it. “Whoa!” I yelled as I jumped up, and Blue went right under me.

“Lily, see if you can do Sunny Day!” Shonta told me.

Why? There’s no sun in here and we’re in a room! I was too busy trying to dodge all of the bubbles, occasionally shooting a Razor Leaf.

“Oh boy, it’s a real ballet,” Shonta muttered.

I was running all over the place, and those bubbles were making the grass slippery. I took a sharp turn and ended up on my back. That’s when I noticed the windows; they were lighting up the place! Now if I could just get up…

“Hey Shonta, it looks like your Oddish fell down and can’t get up!” Tony joked. “Now I can give your Oddish a huge taste of its own power type! Blue, Giga Drain!”

“Giga Drain!?!” Beacon and I said together.

“It can’t be! Your Surskit is a Water/Bug type! It can’t do Giga Drain!” Shonta shouted in disbelief.

I felt myself get sleepy as specks of my energy left me. I rocked using what strength I had left and finally got back on my feet. That’s what I get for not having hands. I still had to stop my energy. I worked my mouth and got a mouthful of poison, which I turned and spit in Blue’s face. Blue’s face was actually purple and gooey until the Toxic absorbed in her skin.

“Alright, Lily! Now time to get some of that energy back!” Shonta told me.

I absorbed some of Blue’s energy, but it wasn’t much. She was losing some of her energy due to her poisoning. She was shaking from the energy she was losing. “I don’t feel so good,” she muttered.

I stopped the Absorb attack; there was no need to keep on battling. All I had to do was to wait for the Toxic to zap up the rest of her strength.

“Blue, try another Giga Drain!” Tony shouted.

“Stop her with Razor Leaf,” Shonta said calmly. I spun around and let out a Razor Leaf, slightly cutting Blue’s cheek. She winced and collapsed, no longer able to battle.

I won and grew to level 10! I guess that means I get a free TM!

Tony picked up Blue and frowned. “It’s still getting worse. I should get her to a Center.” He started to leave, but Shonta stopped him.

“Wait! What about your Chikorita?” she asked him.

He gasped. “Oh no! She’ll come here looking for me, but I’ll be gone! Could you look for him and tell him that I’ll be taking care of Blue?”

She nodded. “Besides, I have to look for Trinity and Swoop.” She went down a path with Beacon and I following. Tony carried Blue down another path. At first we heard a lot of Pokemon, but soon all we heard was the sound of the stream. “That’s funny.”

“I don’t like the sound of that,” Beacon whimpered. Her nose wrinkled up. “I think I caught Trinity’s scent!” She ran in front of us and stopped at a bundle of whitish-gold fur: Trinity. She was still and breathing steadily. “I think she’s sleeping. And so is Swoop!” She pushed forward a still bird body.

“Why are they sleeping at a time like this?” Shonta asked. We sat still for a while I listened to a nice little sound, like whistling. “Does anyone else hear that? It sounds so nice…” She sat down and got still. Soon she was lying down, and so was Beacon. Now that I think of it, I think I was doing that along with them…

Lady Vulpix
15th May 2004, 05:55 AM
I'm printing Ade's and classy_cat18's posts, so will someone else rate Kris's, please?

Ade, I haven't read yours yet, but whyle I was copy/pasting it I caught a part of it and I have a message for Milly: it was Scott who wrote that, not me. Though thanks for pointing it out, I'll fix it the next time this scenario comes up, if it does come up again.


Ok, I've read the battles now. Ade gets... 23 stamps! Though I think Milliardo's jokes get worse when he's trying to impress the audience. But the story was great! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Shonta gets 7 stamps! Some parts were a bit hard to understand, but the overall story was nice, and the ending was surprising. :D ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
And yes, Lily gets a free TM. Just one note: Sunny Day doesn't boost grass-type moves. It only makes Solarbeam faster. And if Lily's planning to evolve into a Vileplume, she'll need to learn Solarbeam as a TM in order to make use of it.

16th May 2004, 11:52 AM
Angel Blossom: Not too bad. Using "&" in place of "and" got slightly annoying. There were several grammatical errors and awkward usages of vocabulary, but nothing too major. You did the tense shift thing again in a few places. There was a slight problem with repetition in some parts of the story (you'd say the same thing in the next sentence or use the same word over and over) but overall the story was interesting. Take 10 Stamps.

Angel Blossom
17th May 2004, 04:26 PM
Here is a piece I have written. Both battles are rather short compared to my last ones, but I don't think they've lost their quality either way. Truthfully, it was such a challenge to write Petals’ battle.

Please excuse me from the grammatical errors and the tense shifting, Karin. Somedays I can’t seem to help it, honest. X_x

Ta-da! The pampered Petals and my lovely Aerodactyl will both be battling today in the Blizzard room. The gray hyphens end the Aero’s POV, while the purple ones end the Oddish’s POV. Enough rambling. Hope you like it!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

“Oh, it’s cold out there!” I said, rubbing my cold arms. I sipped a cup of warm cocoa that Nicole, a trainer, gave to me. Petals nodded, watching me, as she sat on the table. “I wonder if Bronx minds the chilly weather”, stated Oddish, looking outside the window.

We were sitting inside of a small cabin in the Blizzard room. Chatter filled the room that was full of trainers and their Pokémon. Some of them had just finished their battle, while the others actually had a battle going on. Looking out the window with Petals, we saw Bronx standing outside. He was enduring the cold weather, although I think it didn’t affect him much. Snow covered his large, scaled feet and his large tail. Some fallen snow sat upon his big head. He had a happy smile on his face, staring at the snow and the ice around him. It seemed funny; a big, bad Aerodactyl having fun in the snow – like a tiny Jigglypuff.

“I guess he doesn’t mind!” whispered Petals, giggling at the sight. Finishing my cocoa, I smiled with her. I started to feel warmer in the cabin. It was so comfortable! I didn’t want to set foot outside, but I soon had to. Nicole and I had met before, and she said she wanted to battle both Petals and Bronx. I didn’t meet her Pokémon yet, but I knew this would be a bigger challenge than my previous battles.

I began to wonder how Jack and his Mudkip were doing. They wanted a rematch against Petals, but since Petals has grown much since then, I wasn’t too sure of that rematch occurring. Then, Eric and his Phanpy. How were they? Has Eric learned to treat Phanpy with respect? I hoped to find out about them soon.

Now, back to reality – I looked at the trainers around me who were sitting on the tables with their Pokémon. A loud boy played games with an adorable, young Charmander, which was probably his. It was funny how they both had similar features, like their big blue eyes. One very young girl had a Seel who clapped its fins. How cute! Another trainer, who seemed to be in his late 20’s, was communicating with someone. He seemed to be commanding an attack – Psybeam. As I watched him, the girl sitting next to him stated, “He’s battling his Kadabra – its psychic powers let it communicate through the walls!” I nodded and smiled, interested with the facts.

It was nice to see all of these trainers with their Pokémon. Turning back to see Petals, I realized that she was sitting on the windowsill. She was jumping, most likely eager to run outside with Bronx. They were good friends, those two. An odd pair of friends, but they understood each other. “What are you doing?” I asked, walking up from my seat. The tiny, dark blue Oddish turned it’s head around to the opposite side of where I stood, looking for me. I poked her, giggling. Her small, reddish eyes set upon me, and then she smiled keenly.

“Let’s go outside! I bet Bronx is waiting for us”, I said, picking her up from the windowsill. Since she suggested it when we were last outside, I put her in my backpack. The leaves on her head popped out of the pocket, not fitting inside. Putting the mug away, I walked down the hall, and then to the wooden door. Unlocking it, I pushed the door open slowly. I expected there to be a blizzard or something, like before.

As I got outside of the cabin, I looked around, confused. To my surprise, there wasn’t a breeze around. All there was in the Blizzard room was piles of snow and chilly temperatures. The snow that was falling before I went inside the cabin had stopped. Relieved, I pulled Petals out of my backpack and held her instead. As I walked, my feet fell deeper and deeper into the cold, virgin snow. If my feet sank in the snow, I knew that the poor little Oddish would completely disappear in there.

A few steps away were Nicole and Bronx. Nicole was sitting besides Bronx, waiting for me. Bronx had caught sight of me and smiled as he shook off the snow on his head. “Hey!” yelled Nicole, rising to her feet. She was sort of tomboyish in the way she acted and dressed, but I didn’t mind at all. I waved at her, yelling back. “Are we going to battle or what?” she said, laughing, “What took you so long?”

I shrugged, walking closer towards her and Bronx. “Just wanted some cocoa!” I said, giggling. She smiled, walking towards the battle arena. I walked with her. “So this’ll be a 2 on 2! Interesting, no?” she stated, pulling out a Pokéball. I nodded. Thinking, I decided to use Bronx as my first battler. I whistled to him loudly, catching his attention. I pointed at an icy area, which seemed to once be a small body of water. Lifting his massive wings, he quickly flew to where I pointed. “I’ll use Bronx first, Nicole.” I confirmed, watching Bronx. His large feet clawed into the icy surface. He flapped his strong wings, warming up for the battle.

“Hmmm”, whispered Nicole, tossing her Pokéball around like a juggler.

“Well, in that case, I know who I’ll use! Go, Slowpoke!”

Turning his head around, Bronx stared at Nicole oddly.

¤ Bronx the Aerodactyl’s POV ¤

Is this trainer serious? I shook my head in disbelief. Slowpoke? Hmmm, shouldn’t be hard. After all, what could a big Aero like me not be able to handle? Nicole’s Pokéball opened with a red flash, revealing the Slowpoke. Its large, puzzled eyes stared at me. Slowly, it made a noise.

“Slooow.. Poke.”

Huh? Whatever, it’s a Slowpoke. I stretched out my wings widely. I was ready to intimidate the little fellow.

¤ ~ Pokémon Battle! Bronx the Lv. 15 Aerodactyl (M) vs. the Lv. 15 Slowpoke (M) ~ ¤

“Kris, this is my battle,” I said, turning my head to her, “I can handle it.” She nodded in agreement. I was glad to know that she could trust my instinct. I lifted myself up to the air, beating my wings slowly. Her Slowpoke watched me as I circled him above in the air.

This should be easy , I thought to myself. There wasn’t anything to study about this species – they’re slow but can sometimes be powerful. I knew to be careful of its psychic abilities, which could be harmful. Quickly, I lunged at the Slowpoke, headfirst. I used an aerial tackle to start off the battle. I swooped down, flying just inches above the ice. Startled, all the Slowpoke did was look around. He was far too slow to evade my first attack, obviously. Striking the Slowpoke, he fell backwards. I flew back up into the air, looking at my opponent in the corner of my eye.

Nicole gasped, also startled with my first attack. “Slowpoke!” she yelled, worried. “Don’t be afraid to use an attack too!”

Lifting himself back to his four feet, Slowpoke stared at me, showing a somewhat angry expression in his eyes. Slowly, he began to take in the water in his body for an attack – Water Gun, probably. He held it all inside of his large mouth. He then spat out not one, but three blasts of water in my direction. I tried to evade them by using my wings as shields, which worked for the first shot. As for the other two, it was useless. He hit me with an effective water gun twice in a row. I fell a few feet, but I didn’t let myself crash down to the ice. I growled loudly, shaking my head in frustration.

We were both exhausted, but I knew the battle wasn’t anywhere near to being over. Regaining my strength, I flew up, higher into the air. My enormous wings beat into the frosty air. I knew that a Wing Attack would be great to use against this tiny fellow, so I prepared myself.

Slowpoke was obviously feeling high and mighty after his attacks. He wasn’t aware of my upcoming aerial attack. Wait ‘til he sees me , I thought, grinning with my large teeth. Beating my wings harder, I lunged down straight to Slowpoke. I held my wings back until I got close enough to him.

Opening his eyes, the now wide-eyed Slowpoke caught sight of me. Pulling my right wing back, I first hit him harshly with my left wing. Startled, the tiny Slowpoke flew up into the air. Now, when he came back down, I knew just what to do. I slammed my tremendous right wing into his body, sending him into a big pile of snow.

His big, pink head was stuck in the small hill of snow momentarily. I sniggered, finding much hilarity in his situation.

Pulling out his head from the snow, Slowpoke gasped for air. He shook his body, annoyed with what I had done to him. “Haha!” I said, placing my feet on the ice. No more aerial attacks for him.

“Gah!” whined Nicole, frustrated. “Slowpoke – Ice Beam!”

Ack – that’s a powerful attack. I had to use quick reflexes now. But since this move consisted of Slowpoke preparing his energy, there was a way to evade the attack and win. I chomped my teeth for no reason, wondering what to do..

Aha! I knew what to do.

As the Slowpoke drained in his energy for the icy attack, I sneaked around him. He watched me closely, so I had to wait until he unleashed the Ice Beam. Opening his mouth wide, a shiny blue light glared inside. It grew larger and larger, bearing off a cold feeling.

Ready to launch his attack, Slowpoke sent out the large, icy beam in my direction. Quicker than light, I evaded the attack, and then jumped behind him. Before he had the chance to turn, I grabbed onto his tail with my jaws, using a Bite attack. Pulling the alarmed Slowpoke from his tail and off of the ice, I pulled him back. Vigorously, I smashed his body back to the ice. Letting go, I flew backwards, away from him.

I observed the Slowpoke. Not one movement came from him. He laid there, still.

Nicole gasped. “Return!” she commanded, pulling out her Pokéball. Seconds after, the red glare from her Pokéball returned the fainted Slowpoke. I was the victorious battler in this match. As I grinned, Nicole called our first match to an end.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bronx the Lv. 15 Aerodactyl wins!
Bronx the Aerodactyl grew to Lv. 17!

“Wow, that’s an incredibly strong Aerodactyl you have there!” exclaimed Nicole, clapping. “Very nice.”

I cheered for Bronx, happy for his victory. Maybe he had an easy opponent, but it was still a great battle. He flew up to where I stood. He was worn out from the battle, but he still had the strength to smile. I gave the large Pokémon a hug, joyful for his might and determination.

Petals congratulated him. Knowing that it was her turn, she skipped down to the icy area. She held on tight to the Four Leaf Clover she had, which was amusingly sitting among the leaves on her head. Her tiny body stood on the cool ice. She shivered a little bit, but tried to stay fine.

“But now I’m going to have to give you a bit more of a challenge!” said Nicole, pulling out another Pokéball.

She tossed it, revealing.. a Metang? Bronx and I gasped.

It’s large, built body moved onto the ice.

¤ Petals the Oddish’s POV ¤

Metang?! Oh, gosh. That Pokémon could barely be effected by my attacks. I looked back at Kris, feeling quite anxious. I thought I’d have an easy opponent, like Bronx, but I guess it was the complete opposite of my assumptions.

“Don’t worry about it, Kris!” yelled Nicole, who realized that the match-up wasn’t an easy one for us. “I won’t use any super-effective moves.”

¤ ~ Pokémon Battle! Petals the Lv. 16 Oddish vs. the Lv. 25 Metang ~ ¤

Banging his massive arms onto the ice, the Metang showed he was sure of a victory. Maybe it’ll be hard, but I’m not going to let this guy beat me too easily.

I knew that the only way to have a chance in this battle was to be optimistic. Sure, he was a tremendously sized Pokémon with.. with barely any weakness to me.. but what was there to worry about? I had an idea to start off the battle – well, after his first attack. Maybe it wouldn’t be very effective, but it would train his energy to replace mine.

Banging his colossal arms on the ice, he made cracks along the surface. He swung his claw to my body, using a Metal Claw attack. He hit me swiftly, sending my body farther away from him. I slid across the ice, farther and farther from my opponent, then came to a stop.

I shook it off, continuing the battle. Luckily, my item brought my defense up. Standing up on my two feet, I showed the Metang that I wasn’t going to let him lose. Frustrated to see that I was still fine, he charged towards me.

Coming closer, he used his large arms to move him around. Once again, he tried his Metal Claw attack. His scary claws lunged down at me. I watched them move fiercely, ready to pierce into me. I wouldn’t let him get me so effortlessly. Quickly, I dodged the attack. Instead of hitting me, he slammed his right claw into the ice. Jammed in the solid ice, the Metang showed much frustration. He growled at me; his red eyes shone with anger.

“Metang!” called out Nicole, trying to instruct him during the battle. Maybe her battlers had decided on listening to her throughout the battle. However, the stubborn Metang decided to ignore his trainer and take the battle into his own hands. He did turn to face Nicole, though. His back was facing me. He did seem unaware of my potential, so I decided to show him how strong a little Oddish like I could be. Here was my chance.

I launched a few seeds from the top of my head in his direction. They lifted up into the air as the wind began to blow. They drifted with the cool breeze, carrying themselves onto his body. Then, the seeds placed themselves on his robust arms.

The Metang caught sight of my attack and tried to shake them off. He shook his arms around, but nothing happened to the seeds. They implanted themselves in him, draining some of his energy. Suddenly, the energy the seeds drained replenished my health. Feeling stronger, I smirked, ready to fight.

Growling, the Metang lunged at me. His large body crashed down in my direction. It was most likely big enough to wipe me out, so I slid across from where he would land, evading his body slam. Brutally, the Metang collided with the ice. A crackling noise filled the room. Where he had landed, large cracks began to form. It wasn’t enough to completely crack the ice, but the thought of how I could’ve been hit by that piercing attack frightened me.

Seeming VERY aggravated now, the Metang roared angrily. He beat his fists on the ice. I took a few steps away from him, very scared of his psychotic attitude. I knew I was probably wide-eyed, heh. As Nicole tried to speak to him, he snapped at her. Growling at his very own trainer, the Metang charged at me.

“METANG!” yelled Nicole, who was extremely angry with her Pokémon. Stopping in his steps, the large Pokémon turned around to face his trainer. What a wimp , I thought to myself.

“You are going to use Explosion and you are going to like it.”
Huh? Explosion?

The Metang stared at her as if she were crazy. Erm, I think he’s a little bit confused on that subject.

“DO IT”, commanded Nicole. Kris and Bronx watched from afar. I could see them – they were holding in their laughter.

Was he really going to obey her? Explosion could not only make him faint, but it could make me faint first, making me the loser. Either I could do my best to miraculously evade the attack, or I could try to hang in there.

I watched the Metang, waiting for his response.

Obviously, he had no choice. He obeyed Nicole, preparing a massive Explosion. Cautiously, I took a few steps away, observing the speed of his preparation of the attack.

Metang began to glow red, storing the energy inside before he could attack. I knew that I should run far from him, so I wouldn’t be affected as badly. As I was running away from Metang, I tripped over my own foot. Sliding down the ice, I heard the massive explosion rumble. It expanded, moving quickly in my direction. Red flames and black clouds of smoke filled the air, melting the ice behind me. Having no choice, I jumped into a pile of snow straight ahead of me.

But the attack had hit where I hid too.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Nicole and I gasped. We leaped from our feet, realizing that the explosion made Metang faint. But did Petals faint, too? Anxiously, we were looking for Petals. As the smoke cleared up, Bronx saw a small object that stood out in the snow.

“Look, there! It’s a patch of grass!” He yelled.

I looked at it, realizing what it was. “No – that’s Petals!” I said, rolling my eyes at the silly misjudgment. Nervously, I ran up to her. Nicole quickly returned Metang to his Pokéball, and then followed after me. Digging her out, I picked up Petals. She had a horrified expression on her face – but she didn’t faint!

Petals the Lv. 16 Oddish wins!
Petals the Oddish grew to Lv. 18! Petals learns Sleep Powder!

“Someone up there must like me a whole awful lot”, said Petals, awed at the fact that she had won. I was terribly surprised too, but I was proud. I wouldn’t forget about this great battle. She was weary since the Explosion did affect her. She barely had any energy left. I clutched the fatigued Oddish tight in my arms.

“Wow, great battle!” said Nicole, who was very humble with the fact that she had lost. She put her Pokéballs away. “That Oddish of yours had a lot of determination, and your Aerodactyl is way strong!”

She smiled, giving me a thumbs-up. I smiled back, very proud of our achievements. “I don’t know what I’d do without these guys, Nicole”, I said as I hugged both Petals and Bronx. They both smiled back at me, giggling happily.

“Hey, I better go heal these guys. I’ll catch up with you at the cabin later!” I nodded, waving to her. It was nice to battle with someone who took a loss lightly for a change.

“I’ll be a Bellossom in no time!” cheered Petals, talking to Bronx and I. The large Aerodactyl smiled proudly for her. He and I both knew how much she wanted this – she talked about it everyday. I was blissful to know that Petals was closer to her goal. She had been waiting to evolve ever since I had adopted her.

Now she’s very close to fulfilling her lifelong ambition, and I’m going to get her there – without a doubt.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

17th May 2004, 08:11 PM
<Kyle’s POV>

I was immediately blinded by a flash of white as I timidly opened my eyes to look upon my new surroundings. In a few seconds, the bright haze went away, and I was able to look around the room. A curtain separated me from most of it, hanging down from a circular metal rail surrounding my bed about halfway up the whitewashed, spotless wall. That’s another thing – I found myself laying in some sort of bed. The mattress wasn’t at all comfortable, feeling instead like a stone tablet beneath my weight.

A sharp pain radiated its way up my arm as I tried to roll over, but it didn’t seem to matter. Groggily, I sat up and noticed for the first time that my whole body ached all over. My mind wandered back to the previous night… I thought I had dreamt something about Team Rocket, getting beat up by a Squirtle, then taking a ride in a helicopter. Judging by the way I felt, at least the beating at the hands of an aquatic turtle appeared to have actually happened. I was too out of it to think anymore about that right now. Whatever drugs they had given me throughout the night seemed to be doing their job. Closing my eyes once more, I collapsed back upon the bed, shutting my eyes and letting sleep take me once more.

<Pippin’s POV>

The doctor led me into a strange room of the hospital filled with several pokemon, many of them playing together on the floor in the center, as a few of their trainers watched from sofas around the edges. I didn’t know any of them, though I had only been a part of the Dragon Tamers for a month now, so what could I expect?

I was feeling much better than I had last night, and I recalled the events that took place at the airport all too well. The last thing I remembered was the body of my trainer sprawled out in the back of a helicopter, wrapped in a space blanket, his face crusted with blood. I frantically glanced over the crowd of trainers once more, but no luck. “What happened to Kyle?” I wondered aloud.

“Who?” an older-looking Bellossom approached me, her arm bandaged in a sling and her expression that of a reassuring smile.

“You know, my trainer. The one – with the Squirtle – at the airport. Kyle.” It was obvious that I wasn’t making any sense to her, but what else could I say? I was too worried to think straight.

“Calm down,” she told me in that same reassuring tone, “Did you come here with him?”

“I don’t know. I mean, I think so. They took us both on the helicopter, he was hurt pretty bad.”

“It’s gonna be alright. I think they took him downstairs for the night.”

“Is he–?” I didn’t want to say the word, but it was all I could think about.

“No, no,” the Bellossom said with a laugh, “That means he’s recovering quite nicely. They’ll probably let him go this afternoon.”

“Can I see him?”

“Well, they don’t normally let pokemon down there, but I’m sure he’ll come up here and visit you when he’s feeling better.”


“I suppose it’s worth a shot,” she conceded, “I’ll come with you.” The two of us, Bellossom leading the way, headed out the door, left through the deserted hallway, and down two flights of stairs to the ground floor.

“What are you two doing down here?” I froze, turning around slowly only after Bellossom had already done so.

“He wants to check on his trainer,” she explained to the old man whose voice had terrified me only moments before.

“Well, why didn’t you just say so?” he asked, and I didn’t have an answer. I felt myself being picked up by his large hands, worn soft as leather by years of use. I waved goodbye to the Bellossom as the man carried me into another large room, lined along the walls with curtained-off beds, with large paneled windows facing the road on one side.

Almost all the beds were empty, though. Everyone who could stand seemed to be huddling together in the center like some large congregation, staring with rapt attention at a small television mounted high in the corner. Among them was one whose face I would know anywhere.

<Kyle’s POV>

A loud commotion outside broke my drugged trance once more. I tried to sit up again, and this time, to my own surprise, I didn’t feel nearly as dizzy. People stared upwards beyond the curtain, focused upwards on the room’s only television hung from the ceiling; their words were lost in the sea of a hundred voices all speaking at once. What was happening out there?

The nausea still did not return as I took a few timid steps forward, pushing the green shroud aside and staring upward. On the screen was a middle-aged reporter, standing in front of the rocky debris of a collapsed structure. Planes stood grounded behind him, and I immediately recognized the place as the airport I could have easily died in the night before.

“As you all know,” the man continued in a matter-of-fact tone, “the attacks of Team Rocket over the last few days have brought with them a wave of mass hysteria. It would appear, however,” he paused, “that they have vanished from Ulthuan almost overnight. Police are, of course, working day and night on the case trying to track them down, but so far have had no success. In the meantime, I suggest you all return to business as usual. At least the weather will be nice, when we return after a few messages from our sponsors.”

I never got the chance to hear those few commercials. A sharp force knocked me to the ground on my side, hard. I didn’t even see it coming, and a soft, wet tongue now licked my face affectionately. A quick glance upwards told me it belonged to my Bulbasaur, Pippin. “You’ve got to find a better way to get my attention,” I reprimanded him sarcastically with a laugh.

My cell phone rang barely before I could get back to my feet. Pulling it out of my pocket I answered, “Hello?”

“Hey,” the familiar voice of my friend Tom (EngiMatikul) answered, “what’s up?”

“Not much. Did you hear Team Rocket’s gone?”

“Yeah, they just showed it on the news. So what’re we gonna do now that the fun’s over?”

“Well, I heard the Unicorn Games were coming up,” I explained, “and I thought I’d enter them. What about you?”

“Nah, I’ll pass. That stuff’s just not for me.”

“Wanna come and train with me anyways?”

“Hmm, I guess so. I’ve got a couple of new pokemon that could use some work.”

“Cool. See you at the stadium in a couple of minutes.” I hung up the phone and headed out through the double glass doors, Pippin following close behind. I released Strider upon the freshly cut lawn in front of the building, and the Aerodactyl emerged from his pokeball with a shrill cry and a fierce flap of his wings.

“Don’t worry, I trained him. He’s not gonna hurt you,” I comfort Pippin, who froze behind my feet in terror. I climbed up the scaly tail onto Strider’s broad back, but my Bulbasaur wouldn’t take another step in his direction. “If you insist,” I told him, taking hold of his empty pokeball, “you probably wouldn’t like flying either.” He disappeared up into the device in a beam of red, Strider beat his mighty wings hard against the serene morning air, and the two of us began to rise above the ground.

Wind whipped against my face as the city’s familiar landscape fell away and white fluffy clouds drew ever closer above. This was nothing like my ride in that police helicopter. I felt completely free as the air grew suddenly chilly. For a split-second my world turned completely upside-down; I was left clutching tightly around the slick neck of my pokemon to keep myself from falling to my death. A second later we were right-side-up again, and my Aerodactyl seemed to be rather enjoying himself.

“Hey, what was that for?” I asked sarcastically, not expecting an answer.

“Just keeping you on your toes.”

“You’ve certainly had your fun,” I respond in the same tone, pointing at a large open-air colosseum, “there’s the stadium.” My grip tightened as he began to circle slowly down, landing gracefully for a bird his size in the half-empty parking lot. I recalled him with a blaze of red as I approached the front steps where Tom was already waiting.

“What took you so long?” he asked with a smirk, “you new to flying?”

“I would have driven, except one of those damn Rockets jacked my car. If Strider hadn’t played around so much, I might’ve gotten here quicker.”


“Aerodactyl,” I answered him plainly.

“You’ll get used to it. All pokemon enjoy flying, and they just like to have a little fun here and there. Strider’s not gonna let you get hurt.”

“It sure didn’t seem that way to me,” I muttered under my breath.

“You’ll learn that soon enough.”

“Maybe,” I respond skeptically, “come on. Let’s go.”

As we entered through the set of open doors, I took a look around. Never in my life had I seen this many trainers all in one place before. Several battle-hardened pokemon walked in their midst, traveling here and there while country (ugh) music played across a loud speaker amid various messages from the stadium staff.

The training arenas were built along the outer wall as I walked around the full length of the concourse surrounding the stadium itself, in which, I gathered from the frequent announcements and video feed to large screens along virtually every wall, a battle was going on presently between a Gengar and Steelix. As I watched one of the displays, the iron snake appeared to levitate against its will – hah, the ghost had it exactly where he wanted it. His flaming fist scorched across the titan’s steel jaws, and it landed with a crash back onto the hard dirt. I decided I might watch some more of that battle later, but for now I wanted to get some training in.

A sign above me read “Jungle” and pointed to the left. Posted above a single, stone-gray metal door was a sign that read “You may battle up to two pokemon in this area. Please be courteous; leave some for other trainers. Good luck, and have fun.”

“This one looks interesting,” I thought aloud to Tom, who still had his gaze fixed on the monitor displaying what was going on in the main stadium, “I think I’ll try my luck here.”

Just as I turned to walk through the doorway, I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Wait,” he called, “take this. I’ve been meaning to give it to you ever since you beat Dian at the Battle Tower. Use it well.” He deposited a small leather pouch into my hand, which revealed its shiny green contents through a small hole in its loose binding**.

“Thanks,” I said to the air in front of me; he was already gone.

“I’m gonna go check out the rest of this place,” he called back through the crowd, “good luck in there!”

Swinging the door wide out of my way, I stepped into what seemed like a completely new world. Lush green ivy covered the brick walls of a few feet of a narrow corridor before opening into a dense rainforest. My feet crunched and sank into the layer of wet leaves covering the ground while a thick mist, like steam, began to saturate my clothes with moisture. The ceiling’s glass panels created a greenhouse effect, locking the sun’s warmth below and causing me to break out in a light sweat.

I had decided exactly who I wanted to train first. My two Grass pokemon, Pippin and Chrysanthemum, greeted me out of a blinding double flash as I released them. I had a nice little surprise in store for the latter, and what better time to give it to her than now? Withdrawing the Leaf Stone from its pouch, I pressed it against her forehead ever so slightly. The magic powers it contained did the rest, and as I jumped back, the many eggs which had previously formed her body had fused into a single trunk, sprouting three coconut heads among a bouquet of frawns and palms. “Have at it, you two,” I instructed the both of them, and they quickly disappeared into the dense undergrowth.

<Pippin’s POV>

Low-lying branches and leaves stung my face as I ran, towards what I did not know. No path led through the twisting and winding maze of trees; small critters crawled and slithered over my feet if I stopped and tried to find my way. The room wasn’t all that big, but all these other things made it seem like I had ventured deep into the Amazon itself.

Water gurgled as it flowed quickly over stream-polished rocks in a grassy clearing, barely visible through the ferns in front of me. I dashed towards it, spying a flash of blue movement skittering across the surface. As I closed in, it resolved itself into the shape of a Surskit, suspended over the water’s surface on its long, spindly legs.

I issued my challenge in the form of a low roar. His response knocked me off my feet – literally. A stream of water, powerful as a firehose, bruised my chest and sent my flying a couple of feet back into a rather soft bush. This already didn’t look too good.

Shards of ice bit into the bush around me before I could react, but thankfully they were poorly aimed. The brunt of the attack was absorbed by the leaves in front of me, which cracked and broke into a frozen white powder as I leapt through them. My counterattack caught my foe off-guard as a flurry of seeds scattered around him, their creeping tendrils wrapping themselves tightly around his body, constricting his movement and using his own energy to grow even tighter.

His movement consisted solely of desperate, jerky struggles to free himself as I shelled him with exploding balls of black sticky goo. A thick froth lined the surface of the creek, swept away in its current as droplets of the sludge burned their way through the vines surrounding their target. The bug began to shriek as they reached his skin, then to hiss in pain and anguish.

What happened then, no one could have predicted. Purple lightning sparked from the still-steaming mass before exploding outward. A wave of darkness washed over everything as a black wind bit into my soul. My eyes watered; it was as if my whole body was both on fire and encased in a block of solid ice at the same time.

Slowly, the nightmare before me faded. My beautiful parasitic plants were completely gone, obliterated instantly by that spectacle of darkness. Yet somehow, miraculously, my opponent remained, just as full of fight and vigor as before, with only a couple of scars to show for that whole ordeal.

Still wondering exactly what had just happened, I noticed everything suddenly grow faint; a cool mist separated me from reality. I became dimly aware of a faint rustling behind me, but not until something struck me hard in the back did I know what I had heard.

Without thinking, I fired off another poisonous blob from the bulb on my back, striking my opponent point-blank in the eyes. Before he could do so much as move, leeching tendrils had him wrapped up once more in a cocoon of foliage. A powerful head-butt sent him flying over the forest’s canopy – where he finally landed I can only guess.

Pippin has won!
Pippin grew to level 9!

<Chrysanthemum’s POV>

I took off in a much different direction than my counterpart in this little exercise. My newly-evolved legs crushed the dense undergrowth under every step as I lumbered along. I had not long to wait before my own opponent showed itself – a small green Chikorita, though not to be underestimated, that’s for sure. I wasn’t about to let it have the first move.

The tree in which it made its home was reduced to a splintered stick poking out of the ground by wave after wave of exploding black eggs, but when the flurry of fluttering leaves subsided, my opponent was completely unharmed, shielding itself with some sort of pink barrier. Two can play at that game. I erected my own forcefield just in time to watch a blob of toxic goo splatter off of it and land with a steaming hiss on the ground.

Standing my ground as he advanced on me, head lowered in an charging position, I grabbed him at the last possible moment with my mind and sent him, struggling against the invisible bonds that held him, crashing through what remained of his tree. His resolve, however, did not cease to amaze me.

His whipping vines caught me off guard, wrapping themselves around my legs and wrestling me to the ground as I tried to hypnotize him into a deep slumber, but my eye contact was broken as I hit the ground with a loud thud. Without warning, the ground began to spit forth rocks all around me, some glancing off my thick bark and others leaving rather painful bruises on my extremities. That wouldn’t do at all.

All I could do was grit my teeth and erect another weak shield to protect me from most of it until the barrage ended. I couldn’t quite get back to my feet, as I was in a rather awkward position and still getting used to my new legs, but alas I managed to levitate back to an upright position using my mind. A pretty neat trick, I might add.

My foe squealed as he involuntarily lifted off the ground and slammed hard into another tree. I wasted no time wrapping him up in a thick and rapidly growing layer of vines and blasting him with another round of explosive eggs. He got up weakly, then collapsed back into a defeated heap.

Chrysanthemum has won!
Chrysanthemum grew to level 14!
Chrysanthemum learned Leech Seed!

<Kyle’s POV>

I contemplated the utter quietness of the jungle. Nothing but the rock I had chose to sit on and the cool mist splashing against my face kept me company. I waited… surely they’d be back soon.

No sooner had I said that than a rustling in the bushes caught my eye. Moments later Pippin stuck his small blue head into the clearing, and a second later he was sitting beside me.

“How’d it go?” I asked him, but even before he could answer I knew that he had done well.

Chrysanthemum came lumbering along not far behind, her new body served her quite well. Aside from a few bruises and scrapes here and there, she appeared to be all in once piece. “Two down,” I thought to myself as I recalled the two and stepped back into the rushing crowd of people, leaving the jungle room behind for now.

** I did not just make up an item. EngiMatikul gave me the Leaf Stone at the Battle Tower for defeating his Volbeat a week ago.

17th May 2004, 11:00 PM
This is the first part of my Pond Room Scenario. Also, I made a little mistake with Swoop's moves. I thought she knew Tackle when it was actually Peck. *cringes* Please don't hurt me!

Shonta’s POV

“Sorry about that. Green likes to play tricks on people,” Tony told me as I walked out of the Jungle Room. The Chikorita next to him snickered.

“Wait a sec…you named your Chikorita Green?” I asked. “You couldn’t come up with a better name?”

“He was the one that chose the name! He also named Blue.” He picked up Green. “Anyway, I won’t be doing anything until Blue fully recovers from the poison, so I’ll just stay here for a while. Which room are you going to next?”

I looked back at the doors; the ones we hadn’t gone through were the Pond Room, the Desert Room, and the Blizzard Room. The last thing I wanted to do was freeze my butt off. “I guess the Pond Room.”

“You should have a Water Pokemon for that,” he advised. “Flying Pokemon would also do well there.”

“Thanks. I have one of each.” I went through the Pond Room door and immediately entered the room. It wasn’t called the Pond Room for nothing; it was basically just a large pond and a small platform for the trainers. The other trainer was already on the platform, sitting down. “Excuse me! I’m here for a match!” I yelled to the other trainer.

The other trainer, a girl with a long blonde ponytail and a jean skirt with a white blouse, stood up and smirked. “So you’re here for a match with little ol’ me?” she asked with mock innocence and a Southern belle accent.

“Yeah! Two-on-two!” I started to throw Swoop’s pokeball and then stopped. She got put to sleep by that Grasswhistle. What if she’s still asleep? I decided to just open it so she would be on the platform with me. She was awake…barely. “You feel like battling?” I asked her.

She yawned. “I guess so. Just give me a few minutes.” She flapped her wings while standing on the platform.

“I don’t have all day! Totodile, go!” the trainer yelled. She threw a Lure Ball, and light exploded on the surface of the water. The Totodile bobbed in the water and growled.

“Just give us a few seconds,” I told it.

“I don’t have a few seconds!” Totodile screamed.

“Swoop?” I whispered. She was fast asleep.

I watched him dive underwater. This water is so clear! I can see all the way to the bottom! Hey, what’s he doing? He opened his mouth, probably to scream his head off. The next thing I knew, my platform shook violently and I was on my butt. The other trainer was hanging onto the bars.

Swoop awoke suddenly and puffed her feathers. “What in the world was that?” she shrieked.

“My precious Totodile has a powerful voice,” the other trainer explained with a smug voice. “His Water Pulse can tear your platform apart! Now feel the wrath of Dixie and company!” She tilted her head back and cackled wickedly. “Do not mess with the South!”

Oh brother. I bet she’s not even from the South. More like the West. The Wicked Witch of the West. I pulled myself up on shaking legs.

Swoop hopped on the railing. “Bring it on!” she shouted.

L8 Female Taillow (Swoop) vs. L8 Totodile

“Wait for it, Swoop. You can’t do anything while he’s underwater,” I told her. She hovered above the water while Totodile just floated in the water. I started to get bored and leaned on the railing. Little fish swam among the aquatic plants. A Goldeen actually swam right beneath my platform. I leaned forward to get a closer look.

Dixie lifted her right arm to the side and smirked. I looked down to see Totodile screaming again. The platform shook again, and this time I nearly flipped over the railing. “Um, quit stalling, darlin’,” Dixie growled.

I crossed my arms. “Why don’t you have Totodile attack my Taillow instead?” I asked with anger rising in my voice.

“Good idea.” She lifted a pointer finger to the sky. Totodile looked at her from underwater and dove even further. Swoop hovered high over the surface of the water and watched Totodile pick up speed and shoot out of the water.

“It’s airborne!” Swoop said in awe, looking up at him.

“Totodile, Iron Tail!” Dixie commanded.

I was frozen as Totodile’s tail glowed and he started to do a forward flip. “Swoop, um, um…Counter!” Swoop’s body was surrounded by an aura, and Totodile was thrown back in the water. That was close. This Totodile is stacked with technically learned moves, making it very unpredictable.

“What should I do now, Shonta?” Swoop asked me. She was hovering in place again.

“We’ll have to wait until he comes out of the water to attack,” I told her.

“Totodile, HYDRO PUMP!!!” Dixie shrieked. A blast of water bursted out of the pond and grazed Swoop’s wing. A little bird fact: songbirds’ feathers aren’t waterproof.

“Swoop! Can you still fly?” I asked her frantically, practically lying on the railing.

She was struggling just to stay airborne. “I just need to air-dry it. Ow!” She sunk a lot lower, to the point that she almost hit the water. The force of the Hydro Pump probably broke it. She started to fly over to the railing. “Just give me a second.”

“No. I’m throwing in the towel!” I told her.

“I’m fine!” Swoop yelled. She flapped her injured wing, wincing from the pain.

“It seems that your little Taillow is ready to become croc chow,” Dixie sneered. “Totodile, put the little birdie out of its misery with another Iron Tail.”

Oh man. I can’t help her! I can’t even swim! I plopped down on the platform.

Totodile was already up and above the struggling Swoop, its tail glowing. This is it! I turned my head away.

“Ha!” Swoop crowed. I opened my eyes in time to see Totodile missing her and crashing back into the water.

“What?” Dixie and I said together.

“You all were SO fooled! I tucked in my wing right before the Hydro Pump hit!” Swoop said. She did a Dixie-style laugh as she hovered.

“You dare trick us?” Dixie growled.

Swoop turned her back to Dixie. “Bite my feathery butt.”

Dixie let out a scream loud enough to make my ears ring. “Hydro Pump, Totodile! Shoot that winged rat out of the sky!”

Winged rat!?! “Swoop, in front of you!” I told her as a column of water shot at Swoop, who backed up.

“Behind you!” Another Hydro Pump was aimed at her tail feathers.

“Right under you!” I yelled. Swoop did a barrel roll.

Dixie was going crazy at this point, pulling at her ponytail and screaming in anger. Totodile’s head was out of the water, and he looked the same as Dixie. “I’ll get you!” Totodile yelled, shaking a fist at Swoop. The Taillow swooped in and pecked Totodile on the head. “Stop it!” He swung his claws at her but missed, giving her an opportunity to peck him again. “Stop doing that!” He went underwater again and jumped at her. Taillow Quick Attacked him head on.

“Would you tell your Taillow to stop harassing my Totodile?” Dixie asked me.

“Let me think…no.”

“Then she’s going to get it! Totodile, one more Iron Tail!”

I rolled my eyes. “You don’t want to do that,” I warned as I watched Totodile jump out of the water again.

“Time for a Counter attack,” Taillow groaned. Another red aura surrounded her body, and Totodile was repelled from her. He belly flopped in the water…hard, and sunk in the water with a groan. “You…are…out of here.”

Swoop won and grew to level 9!

I smirked at Dixie as she glared at me and returned her Totodile. “Did you see that? Now that is the wrath of the South,” I mused.

“What do you mean?” she asked me.

“You messed with a real Southern belle. Now you’re going to get it. Now choose your second Pokemon so I can get out of the way of that big ego of yours.”

Lady Vulpix
20th May 2004, 07:54 AM
Shonta gets 9 stamps. Well done! That Swoop is an interesting character. :D ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
I've printed the other 2 battles, so I'm reading them later today and I'll post the ratings either today or tomorrow.

20th May 2004, 09:12 AM
Btw, Shonta, almost about anything with a spine is capable of performing a decent tackle, whether or not it knows the move. It's not a big error. Not like you made your Taillow breathe fire or something.

Anyway, here's another part of my story. The battles will come later. Btw, Gabi, would you like me to rate any of the others?


Somehow our bodies managed to move onwards to our destination, although our thoughts remained back at that dark forest, still trying to find Élan in the blackness, hoping that he would come back again and that his departure was only a figment of our imaginations.

Lune and Evenstar walked in the lead, guiding us forward in the ice storm. Switchblade, unlike his usual self, had retreated into his pokéball, not in the mood to walk. He and Élan had shared a close relationship, and the Unown G’s sudden departure had come as a painful shock to him. Now he was in a weary mood, unsure of himself or anything else.

Switchblade, the *male* Porygon’s POV:

My heart felt empty. I had no desire to come out of my pokéball ever again. Why should I, if my friends were just going to leave anyway? I didn’t need to eat. Heck, I didn’t need to breathe. What kind of pokémon was I? I served no purpose. There was no point to my existence. I might as well have expired right then and there.


Cold winds howled all about us. It was difficult to see, or even breathe. I had to shield my eyes from the sharp bits of ice that the storm was flinging at me. Within seconds, my ears were numb from the cold.

This was the worst possible environment that I could ever find myself in. I hated the cold. No matter how warmly I dressed, it could always get right through my clothing to me, to place a chill on my heart. I shuddered. I should have worn a balaclava. I had thought about it, but then I’d look like a thug. It was a difficult choice. Look like you’re going to rob a bank, or let the skin freeze off your face. In the end, I tossed a coin. It was painful suffering under cold’s vicious fangs for me.

When the storm abated a bit, I gazed in despair at the empty white expanse. It was void of all life, a land of snowy mountains and nothing else. In despair I trudged on, finding it harder and harder to move as time passed. The storm picked up again, as if the temporary moment of eerie silence had simply been its eye. It howled in laughter, and I thought I could hear it jeering at us, thinking it funny that it could deny us even a moment of rest.

Then, I heard voices. I became convinced that I was losing my mind. But this voice was not evil, like the winds; it sounded heavenly. In fact, I thought I heard a sweet melody echoing through the ice, a beautiful song that relaxed me and began to thaw out my soul. I likened it to the voice of a seraph, whose high voice lifted spirits up above the clouds. I began to wonder if I had died and gone beyond. But then another voice joined the song, bringing back a taste of reality. It was a strong voice, male, and although the singing was wonderful, I knew that it was human. The element of fantasy had vanished, and I began to reprimand myself for letting my imagination run wild. Of course I hadn’t died! What made me think such a silly thought?

Eventually the singing stopped, although I wished that it would go on. Lune and Evenstar, ahead, were picking up their pace, and without the music I wasn’t very sure where I was going. I found it difficult to see even a few inches in front of my face. I was about to fall to my knees in despair, hopelessly lost, freezing, and miserable. But then the talking began. At least I could hear where it came from… “You like that song, Cloudburst? Yeah, I like it too. We’d better stop before we lose our voices, though. Especially since we’ve sung that six times in a row. Hehe.” That voice sounded vaguely familiar. Had I heard it before…? Or was I imagining things?

He was answered by an enthusiastic “Azu!” And, despite her trainer’s advice, the Azumarill began to sing again. She simply wouldn’t stop. I didn’t mind – I enjoyed her singing, too – but I was too bothered by my question to really pay much attention to the melody.

…Where had I heard it before? By this time, I had started to run towards the voices, and I only now noticed it. I had to find out who that was… I had to know who had that voice… I pushed myself forward, disregarding the sharp sleet that pounded on my face. My heart beat frantically, but I did not care. All I knew was that I wanted to reach that sound and that I was going to do it. But the fog was thick… When the silhouettes of Lune and Evenstar vanished into the distance, I began to slow down, afraid.

“Whoa there! Settle down. Wow, you’re heavy. Hey, Cloudburst, wait up for a minute. Your singing woke her up again. It’s a good thing she’s only a baby… She’s a lot to carry.” The pokémon’s singing abruptly stopped, and I heard a hurt whining. I couldn’t really blame her. She had such a lovely voice, but what do you do when your singing’s supposed to put opponents to sleep and actually keeps them awake instead?

“Aww, it’s okay, Cloudburst,” said her trainer. “Who wants to hear a song that’ll put them to sleep anyway?” There was a slight pause, during which I could hear happier responses from the Azumarill. Then I heard a little gasp. “Where did you guys come from? You can’t be wild pokémon randomly wandering around in this storm. Hello?” he called out. “Anyone out there?”

“Y-y-yes,” I answered almost inaudibly, teeth chattering. As I approached the voices slowly, I saw two distinct shades in front of me. I drew closer. An outline of an Azumarill and her trainer emerged. Close by I also saw Lune and Evenstar.

“Hey, it’s you! Hi, by the way.”

“Huh?” I walked closer, and then stopped dead in my tracks. Michael. “I knew it… I knew I recognized your voice from somewhere. It just took me a while.”

“So, how have you been?”

“Busy. It’s been hectic. A lot of things have happened. I’ve been trying to train my pokémon and all that…” At that point, I noticed the bundle in his arms. “What is that?”

“Oh, her?” He handed the squirming pokémon to me. I felt as if he had placed a leaden weight in my arms. “We found her in the snow. There are still bits of eggshell on her fur. We’re not sure where she came from, but you can have her.” The little pile of white fur squirmed some more. I could not imagine how such innocent looking fur could be so heavy. “See? She likes you.”

I smiled hesitantly, then began to pick the eggshell bits out of the baby Absol’s fur coat. Absol were born to handle inclement weather, but she was a newborn, and it was surprising that she had a layer of fur at all. I had to remove the wet pieces of shell and dry her up before she froze to death. “What brings you here?” I asked Mike, trying to keep up the conversation. I shuddered, hugging the Absol closer. She had gone back to sleeping now.

“Boredom. We’ve been wandering around, battling mostly, but seeing other stuff too. Cloudburst and I have been working on our singing.” He grinned. “I heard that you were coming, so I thought that I would pay a visit.” He paused, then walked up to me. “By the way, take my coat.”

“Oh, no, but I-”

“No buts,” he said, taking off his coat and placing it on my shoulders. Instantly I felt much warmer. It was thick, but soft on the inside, with non-staticy furry stuff around the neck area, the most comfortable thing I had worn in my life. I needed to get one of those. Mike laughed. “I don’t mind the cold,” he told me, “But you look as if you’re about to die.”

“Heh heh… Yeah, I hate cold weather. I feel like an icicle.”

“Nah. You just look like someone who’s used to a warmer climate and definitely not in her element.”

“That’s not supposed to be a good thing, is it?”

“No, but it’s not bad, either. Here.” He placed his arm around my waist. “Cloudburst, take the lead.” He turned to me, somewhat amused. “You still look like you’re going to die. There are a couple of cabins back where I came from. We’ll bring you there. It’s warm and you’ll feel better. Come on.”

The coat was nice, but it didn’t cover my poor ice-abused face. Feeling half frozen, my brain numb, I let him lead me, the Absol still in my hands, with Lune and Evenstar following behind.

Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

Surprisingly, the cabin was a lot warmer than the outside surroundings. From my position in the snow, it looked like a rundown shack incapable of providing comfort to anyone, but the inside was quite spacious and extremely well insulated. It just went to show that you couldn’t judge things from their outside appearances.

There were a lot of things in the cabin. A large refrigerator containing food stood in a corner, next to a sink, which lay under a stove. There was a drawer in that counter where you could find a good amount of cutlery. Above, in a cabinet, were neatly arranged plates and bowls of many sizes.

Karin sat on a leather couch at the opposite end of the room with the other trainer’s coat wrapped around her and the baby Absol in her lap. I looked at the sleeping pokémon, who lay curled up comfortably, her chest heaving gently as she breathed. She slept so peacefully, like an angel… I wished that I could have that kind of sleep. Nowadays I felt better, but from time to time ancient nightmares troubled my mind, and I was always a light sleeper. The slightest sound could wake me. When I was not asleep, I usually felt tired.

I remembered the trainer she called Mike from a long time ago… Except the last time, he had a friend with him – Jason – who was just as capable. Mike was a bounty hunter who scarcely lost track of his quarry. But he and his partner never chased after anyone if they didn’t feel like it, and basically did anything they wanted. They did not work for pay, nor for any other living being on the earth. Whatever they did, they did for themselves. Such independence gave them great power; with their pokémon, they were pretty much invincible.

“How do you feel now?” Mike asked Karin.

“A lot better, now that I’m not freezing to death out there. Thanks.”

“I know something that’ll make you feel even better,” he said. “A cup of my hot chocolate. Ask Cloudburst. It’s to die for.” The Azumarill chirped brightly in approval.

“Oh, don’t trouble yourself…”

“It’s no trouble. I want some anyway, and if I don’t make a lot, my pokémon will eat me.”

Karin smiled. At that moment, there was an explosion. Literally. The door burst open, and some sort of smoke cloud rushed in. A second wave of smoke, jet black this time, filled the room. Not wanting to take any chances, I threw myself to the floor, covering my mouth and nose with my paws, and closing my eyes. I heard a lot of commotion, and then felt the air get less thick, colder. Then the door shut.

I opened my eyes to find Mike just taking his arm away from his face. The Absol in Karin’s lap was gone, and she was in a deep sleep. Evenstar lay beside her, out cold. The Azumarill was missing.

“Sleeping gas,” Mike coughed. He tapped a pokéball, and Cloudburst emerged again, unharmed because she had been quickly recalled. “That bastard took off with the Absol. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the one that brought her here in the first place. I don’t know what he’s planning to do with her, but I heard him mutter something about ‘testing’ under his breath.”

Unicorn Gate. The laboratory.

“I’m going after him. There’s no way I’ll let him do whatever sick things he wants to do with that poor Absol.”

“I’ll come with you,” I told him.

“Fine. We have to move fast.” He tapped another pokéball, and out from it emerged a powerful Electabuzz that I might have seen before. “Blitz, make sure no harm comes to her.” He pointed at Karin, who lay unconscious on the couch. “That kind of sleeping gas is bad. We should be back before she wakes up.”

Cloudburst and I scurried out of the cabin, followed by Mike, who closed the open door.

20th May 2004, 02:46 PM
I finally got my last battle from the previous scenario done o_O I managed to incorprate that Xols loss at the BT into this in her reactions, which made it easier to write. The ending is rather, um, bad/sudden, but I just ran out of steam and can't write endings anyway.
Now at last, I can get started on the new one.
*Staggers off*



Come and get me.
Come on.
I snarled and dug my claws deep into the concrete; across from me, the Pokémon swayed, its gaze intent, waiting silently for its trainers command.
Tensing, I crouched low.
Then came the muffled whisper.
The Pokémon snarled and plunged forward.

The lights above flickered, light and dark, shadows shifting over the rough ground.
We’d followed the track from the park, trekking over the damp earth, feeling it change from the clammy, soft dirt to cold, firm concrete as we left the boundaries, and prepared to enter the industrial estate that loomed beyond.
The buildings that had lurked in the mist and darkness had rose above us, lights now blazing into the night. Shadows flicked across, workers hurrying, earning their keep.
Below these, the lesser buildings had crouched, silent and watchful, surrounded on all sides by silver threads, chain-links, glistening in the night.
Defaced signs hung limply, warning those who passed to stay away, the usual; CCTV, guard dogs, night patrols.
Empty threats-nothing stirred in any of the yards, no silent footsteps, no lurking shadows.
One camera was mounted directly on a fence; shattered, its cables swaying in the light breeze, the remnants of its glass face littering the ground beneath it.
It wasn’t a place that you’d want to linger in.
Weeds clogged the narrow pavements, dank, clingy vegetation, forcing you to move onto the road, where the dark tyre marks shifted under the light, illusions of movement.
The roads criss-crossed, dead-ends, twisting surfaces leading to cold, closed doors, shuttered against the night.
In front of one, a guardroom, locked, dark, quiet.
Following the curving surfaces, we’d pressed on further, away from the silent buildings, towards the scorching, stinging smell of industry.
Great flashes lit up the night as doors were dragged open, and over everything, hung a low, slashing, grinding murmur that echoed around the dark corners, slid over the open surfaces.
But the roads continued on, streetlights now lining the way, casting their blanketing light over all.
Leading into the expanse of a housing estate.
Tussocks of grass rippled in the patches of gardens, writhing around glinting metal dustbins, shaking slightly in the breeze.
Behind the gardens, the houses loomed, pale, cracked bricks holding together, around dimly lit windows, the light flickering gently from behind the drawn curtains.
Some windows were boarded up, eerie reminders of the abandoned boathouse in the park, beside the shifting lake.
Then we had stopped.
The roads met, forming another dead-end against our passage.
Between two houses there was an opening, the path to the backyard, the gate fallen away, rotted from its hinges.
There was no other way, so we ran.
Up the path, across the concrete lined yard, over the ragged, tattered fence, into the adjacent yard, tearing with all our might across, against locked, barrier gate.
Slashing it open.
Behind, the fence snapped.
Out into the road, putting as much space between us, finally skidding to a halt.
He’d decided to have another stab at it, obviously. One defeat wasn’t enough, so he wanted two, but using a different Pokémon this time.
And when I saw what it was, I hadn’t hesitated.
‘Keep out of this’
I hissed softly to Hannah, eyeing my prey.
Getting my revenge would be fun.

Xolotle (Sneasel L7 F)
Squirtle (L15)

The turtle squealed angrily as it hurtled towards me, head lowered, feet pounding the hard ground, the exertion flashing across its face.
Feet away, I closed my eyes, smiling.
Around my body, an aura shone, which rippled, sweeping outwards, enclosing me in a shield of orange light. The Squirtle smashed into it, legs frantically scissoring the air as its attack slowed, the power behind it slipping away.
The shield broke, it fell forwards.
Straight into my claws.
From the left, from the right.
Smacking it as fast and as hard as I could.
It grunted and pulled its head in, tucking its legs away, until all that remained was its lightly glistening shell.
Snarling, I dug my claw into the rough outer-shell, tearing down as fast as I could.
From across the road he laughed.
‘Keep that up, please. It’s working perfectly.’
Oh shut up.
I hesitated, then head butted the shell as hard as I could, sending it crashing away.
The impact tore into my mind, but I gritted my teeth and ignored it.
I had to concentrate for this; I closed my eyes, seeking out the attack.
I forced open my eyes, focused on the lifeless shell, and sent the stream of ice particles drifting towards it, sparkling gently, even in the darkness.
‘That Sneasel of yours needs to learn some battle strategies….Squirtle, Mirror Coat that Powder Snow back at it.’
Oh no.
In an instant, the Squirtle was back on its feet, as the approaching cloud of ice loomed in front. A red glow formed round its body, gathering the ice around it, pulsing, then the ice exploded, doubling in size, hurtling back, smothering me.
I shivered as the ice cuts into my fur, forcing myself to ignore the pain, instead focusing my eyes back on the Pokémon that even now was leering at me from across the road; not an attack, but proof of what it thought of me.
Angrily, I extended my claws and hurtled towards it.
‘Double Team.’
Its body blurred, then suddenly multiplied, surrounding me.
Ha. Got you now.
I spun round, my head-feather beginning to shine. Not hesitating, I accelerated, smashing into one of the blurred images.
The Squirtle rocked backwards, shrieking, as the rest of the clones vanished.
Jumping forwards, following its fall, I unleashed the cloud of ice, which floated over, enveloping it completely; its gasps, choked, as the cold seeped into it.
‘WHAT? A Special Attack from something like her should have done barely any damage, even without Squirtles resistance.’
I turned and smirked at him.
‘See this?’-I indicated the earring on my head-feather-‘it raises my Special Attack so I still damaged the Squirtle.’
He swore quietly under his breath, then looked past me and screamed.
I glanced back at the Squirtle and jolted in surprise-it’s form was frozen, encased in a block of ice.
I shifted my weight carefully, wondering what to do now-there was no hint that our opponent was going to forfeit, but if I attacked then I’d end up knocking the Squirtle free.
I chanced a glance at Hannah; she shrugged, and mouthed ‘whatever you want’.
All right then, I’d try and combo my attacks to prevent it from getting a hit in.
Extending my claws again, I darted forward and began slashing at the ice, tearing great chunks out, splintering it over the road.
Its leg twitched, then tensed, causing the ice still attached to it to explode, falling away.
I dropped down, spun to the right and smacked it with my feather, sending it spiralling back.
One last thing; I charged straight on and heat butted it again; it went hurtling away, mouth open in a silent scream.
Except it wasn’t screaming.
A stream of small, blue bubble poured from its mouth, hurtling towards me; I ducked, dodging to the left, but it twisted its head, following me.
One of my claws snagged into the ground, I stumbled, then crashed side ways as the bubbles rocketed into my side, exploding on impact, sending a spray of water over my side.
I could feel the water seeping into my sides, feel it sinking into my fur, my skin, my muscles.
I dug my claws back into the ground and struggled up, forcing my muscle to respond.
But something was wrong-I was trembling with fatigue, unable to properly stand, my response sluggish.
The Squirtle lowered its head again and charged.
Before I could react, it made contact and hurled me back, before leaping up, and sending another stream of bubbles towards me.
I gasped closed my eyes, trying to ignore the driving pain.
Above, the darkness shifted, as something stirred.
White light streamed down as the darkness swirled round the glowing orb that was pulsing in the sky.
The pain was seeping away, the weakness in my limbs, the fatigue of my whole body, all vanishing.
The sluggishness was still there, but I could feel my old self-returning, as I leaped to my feet, replenished.
The Squirtle hissed at me, lips bared.
Its tail twitched into view, swaying, twisting in a pattern that drew the eye to it.
But I’d seen Archies earlier battle.
Instead of following the pattern, I instead focused directly on the Squirtle, feeling my eyes pulsing with the power of my gaze.
‘Don’t let it lower your defences, Squirtle, use Withdraw again.’
And it disappeared inside its shell yet again.
I looked up at the shifting darkness, now devoid of the pulsing light that the moon had brought.
Then I looked at the silent figure in front.
My claws began to throb, as pulsing light gathered there, black, purple, blue, spinning round, merging at the tips of my claws, forming orbs of blackness.
I smirked, and in an instant, brought my claws forward-the orbs flashed and combined, before hurtling forwards, sparking with dark energy, the pulsing light writhing across its surface.
My aim was spot on.
The ball struck, sizzling, directly at the gap revealed when the Squirtle drew its head in.
Briefly, from the shell came a muffled whine, but the wind caught it, tearing the sound away, as the shell was sent shooting back, crashing to the ground, metres away.

I won!
I grew to L9!
I learnt Quick Attack!

A flash of red, and the defeated Squirtle vanished, returning to its Poké Ball.
Before I’d even turned round, the trainer had gone, vanishing into the dark.
I smirked again and trotted over to Hannah, flicking my head-feather proudly; she glanced at me, raised an eyebrow and gave me a half-smile.
Fine. Be like that

20th May 2004, 03:42 PM
I guess I'll try to make my battles longer.

Linc's POV

After Shadowfax's (Aerodactyl's) battle with the Ralts, we decided to continue through the Blizzard Room. Climbing over walls of ice, hiding under something through the hailstorms, it was getting pretty cold. I sent out DarkHound (Growlithe) to use his Flamethrower and keep a steady flame to keep my Pokemon and me warm, then Shadowfax joined in with another stream of flames to keep us warm. Then, finally BurninMouse (Cyndaquil) joined in with his flames that are on his back keeping us surrounded by warmth. All of a sudden, a strong pain took our minds at first it seemed like nothing, but it became stronger and stronger and we fainted from the pain. We woke up in a dull cave, with a pair of glaring eyes looking right at us. “Get out of my region!” it said in a dopey voice. BurninMouse (Cyndaquil) shined his flames on the eyes. The flames showed a Slowpoke high up on a ledge of ice. “If you wanted us out of your region, then why did you bring us here?” I shouted up to it. It pondered for a moment, then it shouted back “Uh… that doesn’t matter! I’ll make sure you get out!”
“Alright BurninMouse, it may be stronger than you by a lot, but you’re on!” I signaled my Cyndaquil to attack and it flared up its flames ready to battle.

Battle! Lv.5 male Cyndaquil vs. Level 15 Slowpoke

BurninMouse’s POV
All right, my first battle. The flames on my back roared, and my teammates were cheering for me. I couldn’t let them down. “BurninMouse! Use Ember!” I aimed at the Slowpoke and blasted. My stream of fireballs missed, but they melted the ice ledge it was on top of. It stumbled and fell to the ground and landed with a thud. The ice on the floor beneath it cracked, but did not break. “Now use Tackle!” I dashed forward and slammed into its side, but it barely moved. Instead, it Tackled me back, and spit a big drop of water at me. I dodged it, I tripped and fell on the ice the Slowpoke had broken. It Tackled me again, but this time from the top, making me break the ice. I screamed as shards of ice stabbed into my body. My hearing was muffled, but I heard my trainer shout “BurninMouse, return!” I closed my eyes as a red beam of energy sucked me up…

New Pokemon! Go! Lv.6 Male Growlithe vs. Lv.15 Slowpoke

DarkHound’s POV
BurninMouse… he’s dying all because of that Slowpoke. I will win. “DarkHound, Flamethrower!” I launched a stream of flames that hit the Slowpoke and melted the ice around it, surrounding it with water. “Now use Bite!” I dashed at the Slowpoke and bit down as hard as I could. The Slowpoke let out a sharp cry as I tasted blood in my mouth. I threw it in the water and it lay there motionless. Without warning, it jumped out of the water and tried to attack me, but I dodged it and jumped over the water. “Too slow,” I said as I launched another stream of flames that sent the Slowpoke flying into the wall. I walked over to it to make sure it was knocked out. I sniffed it, and decided it was.

I won! I grew to level 8! I learned Ember!

DarkHound leaped over to me and said “Thank you for letting me get revenge for BurninMouse, Linc.”
“Don’t thank me,” I said, “You’re the one who beat the Slowpoke!”
We left the Blizzard Room, and went to the healing center to help BurninMouse.

20th May 2004, 04:14 PM
Hannah - Beautiful, as usual. Like I said before, I love your writing style. Your descriptions come alive. By the way, I'd better correct your in-game knowledge before you go off making a mistake in an important battle or something. Flying and Ghost type attacks are Physical attacks, powered by Attack strength, not Special Attack. To be a Special attack does not mean that it is simply any attack other than your pokémon's type. Specific Types are designated as Special attacks, and others as physical. If you want the full list of physical and special attacks broken down simply, PM me. Also... Take 10 Stamps. The story was short but good.

Dragon Rider - That was a little bit better. Take 2 Stamps. By the way, your Growlithe should grow by two levels. Because your Cyndaquil fainted, your Growlithe gets all the experience.

21st May 2004, 07:56 AM
By the way, I'd better correct your in-game knowledge before you go off making a mistake in an important battle or something. Flying and Ghost type attacks are Physical attacks, powered by Attack strength, not Special Attack. To be a Special attack does not mean that it is simply any attack other than your pokémon's type. Specific Types are designated as Special attacks, and others as physical.

Um, actually, I do know that, when I was talking about the special attack boost, I was refering to Powder Snow^_^ Perhaps I should have made it clearer by stating the attacks used, instead of just doing the descriptions.

And I knew I forgot something-could I please have a random battle with my L5 Taillow, Fizz, with a Pokémon from the Universal Adoption Center, please?
*Hands over 7 Stamps*

21st May 2004, 08:07 AM
>_< Fizz will be battling a LV5 Mawile.

Lady Vulpix
21st May 2004, 08:58 AM
Here I am again, sorry for the delay.

Kris, you can have 7 stamps for your first battle. I'm afraid the 2nd battle is invalid, since Metang is a Steel type pokemon and can't be affected by Poisonpowder, which is a Poison type attack. You can edit it or repost your 2nd battle. By the way, you switched POVs without saying who was speaking. In the future, could you please state whose POV you're writing in, to make it clearer? Thanks. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Kyle gets 15 stamps for his 2 battles. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Karin, thanks for rating the others. By the way, we need to talk about our arrangement from the Blizzard and Lava rooms. Your post was intriguing... Take 5 stamps for it and please let us know how it concludes. ^_^ ¢¢¢¢¢

21st May 2004, 01:35 PM
I’m going to attempt a different technique here for the battle scenes. It will be interesting. Can you keep up? ^_-


I awoke to a splitting headache. “Oh… What happened? Mike?” As my blurry eyesight cleared, I noticed that the room was empty. The Absol that was resting in my lap was no longer there. Evenstar, on the ground, stirred, groaning.

“My god,” I sounded in alarm. “They’re gone! Lune’s disappeared, too!” At that moment, for the first time, I noticed an Electabuzz silently watching me as he sat in a corner. I was positive that I had seen him before, the day Mike and Jason caught that ugly thief. “Blitz?” The Electabuzz nodded. “Where did they go? What happened to…”

He looked at me grimly. Suddenly, I understood. My memory came rushing back. I recalled the smoke, the dizzying feeling of terror, falling, spiraling into a void, calling out for no one to hear… “Whoever did this took her. Mike and the others went to get her back?” Blitz nodded.

“Karin… We’ve got to find them,” Evenstar urged. “They could be putting themselves in serious danger.”

I agreed. As I got up from the couch, however, Blitz caught my arm firmly and shook his head. “What? Why not? Why won’t you let me go, Blitz?”

As he was an Electabuzz of few words, imagine my surprise when his thoughts rang suddenly through my head. Mike left me here to protect you. He said not to let any harm come to you. The best way to do that is to keep you here, where it’s safe.

“No! Blitz, I have to find them. I can help!”

You are staying right here. Please. I’m just doing what Mike wanted me to. Trust me. He can take care of himself. The Eevee that went off with him didn’t look weak, either.

Evenstar pulled on my sleeve gently. “Let me go,” she requested. “Let me have your belt. I can bring the others to help, too. At the slightest sign of trouble, I’ll make sure we run back here as soon as we can, if we don’t see the others,” she said. “I promise.”

I fingered my belt hesitantly. Evenstar looked at me with determination, her face brimming with confidence. “I can do this,” she assured me.

Sighing, I removed the belt and handed it to her. “I trust you,” I said. “Just be careful. Oh, and hold on.” I plucked the newest pokéball from the belt and stuck it in my pocket. Mandragora was going nowhere. He would not dare to venture somewhere else without me, and the cold, combined with his fear, would kill him. “All right, Evenstar… Good luck.”

As the Sneasel made her way out of the door, Blitz nodded slightly. I have a feeling that they will do just fine.

Evenstar, the female Sneasel’s POV:

I took off in the direction that Blitz had indicated, moving as quickly as I could through the ice storm. It wasn’t that difficult for me, and I had no trouble seeing through the pounding snow. I ran swiftly, quietly through the silent white expanse, following the footprint trail. Up ahead, I saw a figure looming, and at first I thought it to be Lune, because the creature had four legs. As I drew closer, however, I found that it was a Slowpoke. It leapt at me, knocking me over. Throwing it off, I unsheathed my claws and prepared to fight, but not just yet. “Why are you attacking me? I’m not trying to hurt you.”

“Stay away, intruder,” he hissed. “Enough have passed who should not have. You will not go through here.”

“I need to help my friends. Just let us go and we’ll all be fine.”

“You’re not getting past me if we can help it.”

We? I noticed a flickering shadow pass by me, but by that time, it was too late. Something from behind took a crack at my head, and I fell into a cool blackness. The belt in my hand slipped into the snow.

Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

“Do you see them?” I whispered, as we neared the snow-capped mountains. The wind had died down here, and we were surrounded by an eerie silence. It felt as if things were watching us, studying our every move, listening to every breath we took.

“He might have gone into that cave,” Mike said, pointing at a small crevice in the rock.

“Damn it!” I cried. “We were catching up to him. There’s no telling what kind of hiding place he has in there.”

Mike did not look worried. He recalled Cloudburst, who was panting, and took out a Great Ball. “Sweeney Todd!” An Absol shot out of his pokéball, cackling. He flashed me a menacing look of mischief, offering a warning of I did not know what. I shuddered although I did not feel cold.

“Um… Sweeney Todd?”

“Yes, the demonic barber. You’d better behave, or you might just find that you’ve been turned into meat pie in your sleep.”

“You are a strange human. I’m not sure what my trainer sees in you.” The Absol snickered, casting me an evil glance. I blinked. “Just… Keep your crazy Absol way over there. Thanks.”

Mike chuckled. “Don’t worry, he doesn’t eat Eevees. At least, he hasn’t yet.” He winked. I really did not like this guy. He disturbed me.

“Uh huh. Just ask him to stay away from me. …Shouldn’t we be going after that kidnapped Absol?”

“Sure. We’ve been doing that all along.” He turned to his Absol, who had been staring oddly into space, his nose in the air. “So, what do you think? Where did he take her?”

Without a word, the Absol shot off away from the cave, along the mountains. Silently, we followed. “He didn’t take her in there,” Mike told me.

“Oh, thank goodness. But then he’s not hiding…” I did not like the way things were turning out. If that maniac was not afraid of us, he knew something. And that really did not seem good for the baby Absol.

The ice storm began again, swirling frozen shards into our faces. Although I had worked on my endurance, I found it difficult to keep up. The Absol set a fast pace. I was surprised that Mike hadn’t even begun to breathe heavily yet, after all this running we had done through the snow, but then again, I should have expected that of a good bounty hunter. As we pushed ourselves through the storm, picking up speed, I realized for the first time today that I had not eaten breakfast.

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

When I felt my pokéball crash hard into the ground, I knew that something was wrong. I came out immediately to find myself surrounded by a mean looking Metang and Slowpoke. Evenstar was on the ground unconscious. It looked as if they had teamed up on her and knocked her out.

A light emanated from the freezing belt, revealing two of my teammates, Elwing and Ryu. I wondered how both of them could stand the cold. Dragon and Ground types were weak to Ice. I was a Fire type, and I was still shivering a bit.

“Let me do this myself,” said the Dratini.

Ryu shook his head. “I’ll help you. That Metang looks dangerous, and you have to admit, this isn’t the best of situations to be in.”

“No!” Elwing looked a bit angry. “Ryu, you’ve always been taking care of me. I don’t need you to protect me all the time. I’m growing up! Can’t you see? I can take care of myself. Please. Just let me prove it to you.”

The Trapinch looked hurt, but he didn’t say anything. He just looked at Elwing for a while, then hung his head. “All right… Whatever you want,” he whispered. I could tell that he was trying not to cry.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

I felt a little bad about snapping at Ryu like that, but it was true. I could take care of myself and I didn’t need him to be there like a big brother all the time. I had practiced a lot of my techniques, especially moving faster with Kalazeth, because we were practicing for the race. There was no reason that I couldn’t finish this battle alone.

Slithering forward, I looked up to face the Metang, who glowered at me. It didn’t particularly scare me; it was just a chunk of metal with crab claws. After all that training I had done in the pool, I could outrun it any day. I had to be careful about its attacks, however. If they connected, they would hurt. Metang were no weaklings.

“Ryu,” the male Trapinch’s POV:

Why Elwing chose now of all times to prove herself I did not know. Even more confusing was why she refused my help. That Metang had a significant level advantage, from the looks of it, and it wasn’t really bothered by a snowstorm. I winced as the ice shards continued to cut me. My hide was tougher than Elwing’s; her skin was soft and delicate, and the cuts would be even more painful. Even if she could do this alone, why would she want to suffer…? I watched as she glared at the Metang, showing it that she was not afraid. Silently my heart screamed. This was not a game. This was dangerous! Suicide! If Elwing showed any signs of weakness… I didn’t care what she wanted, I would step in. This was no battle for honor. It was one of survival.

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

I wasn’t sure why these pokémon were doing this, but they weren’t very nice, and were willing to hurt us. The Slowpoke had already tried to pounce on me three times, and each, I had avoided him. Now it was time to strike. Unsheathing my claws, I snarled at him fiercely, baring my fangs. There would be no mercy now.

Aglárien the LV7 female Charmander vs. LV15 male Slowpoke

I knew immediately that I was at a severe disadvantage. Not only had I learned from the type charts Karin showed me that Slowpoke, a Water and Psychic type, had good type offense against Fire types, and good defense against my Fire and Fighting attacks; I knew that this environment was a horrible one to fight in. There were no good solid rocks to begin with, so my Ancientpower would not be very useful here. It was also an arena of low visibility, where I would have to rely on my senses other than sight. The Slowpoke would have an easier time attacking me with his Psychic moves here. If I could not expect them, I could not hope to avoid them.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

I wished that Ryu would stop being worried. Didn’t he believe in me? Didn’t he understand that I would be fine all by myself? He underestimated my ability too much. At least Kalazeth knew better.

Turning my back to him, I concentrated on the Metang. Its eyes were cold, just like the ice around us. I could feel my skin burning up in the frost, but I did not care. I would not shiver. I would not show Ryu that I felt pain. Because then he would interfere again, and he would never leave me alone. The Metang took a swipe, and I dodged. It was time.

Elwing Starspray the LV16 female Dratini vs. LV25 Metang

I had an advantage here, in spite of the constant ice storm and my opponent’s level advantage. I knew attacks that would terribly damage the Metang, I was faster, and I was probably smarter. I also had some decent experience in battle. My only worry was if the Metang was equipped with an array of powerful TMs. Karin had spent a lot of money on me, but she wasn’t that rich.

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

The only viable damaging attacks I had were Scratch and Mega Kick. There were no long-range moves that I could depend on, something that really bothered me. Against a pokémon with telekinetic capabilities, I really did not like having to go all melee. Karin had taught me that this would not be a good idea.

In order to reach the Slowpoke, I needed a distraction. Before I could make a move, he fired a forceful jet of water at me, compelling me to get out of the way. To tell the truth, now I was afraid. Although I was young, Karin had not denied me an education in battle and a little bit of physics. It did not take a lot of brains to realize that if I was drenched now, with no ability to dry myself, I would freeze to death.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

The clouds above were choking out the sun, making the cold snowstorm even worse, darker and drearier. I needed to buy myself some time, and I knew exactly how to do it. The Metang looked suspiciously at me, but before he could react, I conjured up a twirling whirlwind of dragon energy that captured ice shards in its vortex. It flew towards my target and trapped it inside, hurling it about and flinging snow in its face. Perfect.

I looked up into the sky, focusing on the clouds, bidding them leave so that the sun might shine down upon me. They were stubborn, heavy gray clouds, but eventually they moved grudgingly away at my will. The pallid sun, thankful, smiled weakly onto the frozen wasteland, extending its hesitant rays. It was not much, but now I could see a golden tinge in the crystal clear particles around me as they fell.

By now the Metang had escaped, and it was very angry. It lunged at me, steel claw extended, thinking to grab me by the throat and crush me until all life had seeped out of my body. I dodged easily, of course, and retaliated with a fiery torch. This was my father’s gift to me, the first move I had ever known since I was born, and it had pulled me out of many tough situations. Here it was a definite blessing, for the Metang squealed in pain as the flames licked its metallic frame, blackening the silver material. The ice nearby melted a bit before more snow fell to replace it.

Still it tried again, and again, and again to lunge at me, faster this time, so that I didn’t shoot back at it, but still it never got close to me. After a while it changed its strategy. Sort of. This is said with a particular sarcasm because the Metang didn’t really have much of a strategy at all, seemingly. Instead of going at me with its claw, it started throwing its body at me, as if Take Down would be more effective than Metal Claw. What a joke.

I was surprised when it suddenly switched tactics, pounding me with mild telekinesis that made me a little dizzy. I managed to erect a shining barrier, however, that distracted the Metang slightly, causing a less effective barrage of Confusion. My opponent was stumped. By that time I realized that it only knew three attacks.

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

The Slowpoke would not let me near him. Each time I tried to get closer, he shot another stream of water at me. Some of it crystallized as soon as it touched the air; it was that cold. As time went on, however, I noticed that the air had gotten a little bit warmer. At least there was sunlight shining through the falling ice.

Not long after, I got an idea. I wanted to kick myself for not remembering earlier. What was it that Karin had always told me over and over? Type effectiveness is not a valid reason not to use an attack. Grinning at my own stupidity, I waved my tail, chucking off bits of fire from my tail flame. They struck the unsuspecting Slowpoke directly in the eyes, giving me the time to leap at him to do more permanent ocular damage… At least, that’s what I thought.

But my opponent was a lot stronger than I had estimated, and he threw me backwards with astounding telekinetic force before I could reach his eyes with my claws. I lay sprawled in the snow, out of breath. This was more difficult than even I had expected. I knew that I should have practiced in more battles, and I wished that Karin had pushed me more after the incident with that Lapras. I remembered with a shudder that it had been an ice arena sort of like this one. Right now, however, I did not care. I didn’t want to be afraid anymore. Evenstar had been hurt, and this Slowpoke was going to pay. I would fight to the best of my ability.

Saying that I would do it was one thing, but doing it was another. After the initial shock I found myself repeatedly tossed in the air, then released to fall abruptly onto the ground. I was glad that the Slowpoke didn’t have Earthquake to get me after I fell, but this was extremely painful nonetheless, and I did not enjoy it.

Lying immobile in the snow, aching badly, I knew then that I couldn’t beat that Slowpoke… At least, not alone. As if she had heard my thoughts, Nimrodel came out of her ball suddenly, placing her large body between me and the Slowpoke.

Personally, I was surprised. The shy Lapras was not one to charge into battle, as she usually avoided conflict. “Thanks, but why…?” I asked her dizzily, as red spots danced in front of my eyes.

“I couldn’t stand seeing that mean Slowpoke beat you around like that, and I’m much better matched against him than you are,” she answered honestly. I couldn’t help but admire her courage. She hadn’t battled but twice before, and yet, in this dangerous situation, she was willing to fight to save me.

Being much heavier than the both of us combined, Nimrodel was pretty much immune to the Slowpoke’s telekinetic assaults. If he tried to lift her, she would have time to counter him with an attack before he could succeed. A Beach Ball lay under her flipper, a powerful thing for her to have.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

This battle was as good as over. I unleashed an array of constricting sparks, which achieved their intended effect immediately. The Metang began to jerk involuntarily, its muscles locked up from the Thunder Wave. Excellent.

I looked at Ryu to make sure he saw that I had the battle under control. To my annoyance, he still appeared concerned. Even worse, his face displayed a look of fear, and he opened his mouth in warning. He gestured at me and was trying to say something, but I didn’t listen. Who was he to worry like that? Ooh… I would show him.

Suddenly I felt a great pressure from behind. My body was pinned to the ground by a cold, metallic weight. No matter how much I struggled, the Metang would not budge. I hurt all over, and I felt my breath fleeting away. I tried to scream, but I couldn’t. I felt its telekinetic force choking me…

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

I saw the Slowpoke open his large mouth lazily, giving way to a leisurely yawn. Something unnatural glinted in his eye, a hint of mischief, perhaps, that disturbed me. But I did not know what he had done.

Immediately, Nimrodel began sparking viciously, and I could tell that she wanted to end this quickly. The electrical surge struck home, drawing from the Slowpoke a horrendous scream of agony that chilled me more than the surrounding ice ever could.

Then I noticed Nimrodel’s eyelids drooping, shooting open again, and then falling for longer periods of time as she fought her drowsiness, until finally she could fight no more and fell into an uneasy sleep. Understanding struck me. This was the Slowpoke’s doing!

Suddenly Nimrodel’s Beach Ball rolled out from under her flipper and rose into the air. I jumped for it and caught it, but barely, and I was shaken off soon enough. My face was planted into the ground. He had surely stolen the Beach Ball by now.

As I looked over to see what the Slowpoke was up to, I saw a glazed expression on his face as he swayed left and right slowly, with a white light surrounding his body, especially concentrated around his head. When it subsided, he began, to my horror, to spark! I tried to remember what Karin had told me about a certain attack that could achieve that effect, but I couldn’t recall the details. How did that attack work…? I only knew that pokémon could learn attacks that weren’t in their movesets. Not that it mattered now; Nimrodel awoke with a shock, the vicious electrical jolt blazing through her body.

Elwing Starspray, the female Dratini’s POV:

A change took over my body as I felt power surging through my veins that I had never felt before. I did not understand what I was doing, only knew that it would set me free. My eyes closed, and eerie light surrounded me…

When I awoke from my trance, I realized that I was some ways away from the Metang. It looked at me oddly, with fear in its eyes. I did not remember much, but I recalled feeling lightheaded, as if I floated in space… I got the impression that my body had faded, did not exist, was thin as the air around me, then somehow whole again. I recalled an expanding energy sphere…

Until that moment in time, I had never experienced firsthand my Ghost type Hidden Power. Now that I had, I felt… comfort, assurance that I was blessed with such a unique strength.

Without wasting any time, I mustered all of my power into a single Flamethrower attack that would scorch through the coldest of souls. The fire engulfed the twitching Metang as it suffered from an attack of paralysis, swallowing it whole in its burning red heart. It was as if a flash fire had ignited there, burning brightly in the ice as a signal of warning to others. When the brutal flames subsided, the Metang lay unconscious in the puddle of slush, an empty dark shell in the snow.

Elwing won!
Elwing grew to LV18!

Aglárien, the female Charmander’s POV:

I saw her shake, and at first I thought it was just the initial pain of the Thunderbolt attack, but after a while she still did not stop. I realized with fear that she had been paralyzed. When the Slowpoke started sparking again, I knew that Nimrodel had no chance of avoiding the attack. By the look of agony in her face, I also knew that she could not take another without passing out.

There could be no delay. Running as fast as I could, I tried to stop the Slowpoke. He did not notice me; he remained focused on Nimrodel. A final surge of crackling electricity pulsed from his body, rushing through Nimrodel with a bang. She sank into the snow with a sigh, spent.

For Nimrodel! I thought, directing all my strength into a glowing kick into the back of the Slowpoke’s head. He fell immediately into the realm of unconsciousness.

Aglárien won!
Aglárien grew to LV9!

21st May 2004, 03:26 PM
Okay, here's the second part of the Pond Room scenario. Please note something: this was a chance to justify the appearance of Jewel's Psychic attack. Also, I was confused about Jewel learning her next move. In GSC she learns Rapid Spin at level 13, but in RS she learns it at level 10.

EDIT: Thanks for clearing that up for me, Karin.

Swoop’s POV

I smiled sweetly at Shonta as I hung out on the railing. The girl was a sucker, but she was a caring sucker. “It’s too bad the other girls couldn’t see this,” I told her.

She put on an innocent grin. “Well, you can describe in excruciating detail how I kick Dixie’s butt with Jewel.” She pulled out another pokeball and turned to Dixie. “Now are we going to battle again or what?”

Dixie’s eyes burned with hatred, an expression I relished. “You little brat! And you say that my ego is too big!”

“Well, I could’ve been nice to you if it wasn’t for your poisonous attitude and your ear-splitting laugh,” Shonta said.

Dixie looked down at the platform and started to laugh. That irritating laugh. “Now you’re gonna get it, missy. I have a Pokemon that will squash you flat!” Her hand shot in her pocket and quickly threw out a pokeball. “Go, Mudkip!” Another little blue Water Pokemon materialized in the water.

Oh brother. If Shonta’s picking what I think she’s picking, then that little Mudkip won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.

Shonta looked strangely serious as she threw the pokeball she was holding. “Go, Jewel. Time to fight again.” The Staryu appeared in front of Mudkip. “Oh, Dixie? I have a message from the nineteenth century. They said they want their accent back,” she said while imitating Dixie’s voice.

Dixie’s face turned a brilliant red. “Oh, I am going to enjoy beating you!”

L9 Genderless Staryu (Jewel) vs. L15 Mudkip

Jewel and Mudkip immediately dove to the bottom of the pond. “Dang! She won’t be able to hear my commands!” Shonta groaned in frustration.

“Knowing her, that may be what she’s hoping,” I told her.

I flew out to the middle of the pond for a bird’s eye view. Jewel and Mudkip seemed to be chasing each other around the pool, each one trying to tackle the other. It was an aerial dogfight underwater. After a couple of minutes of evasion from both sides, Jewel finally getting a hit in! Mudkip seemed to be momentarily dazed. “Shonta! Did you see that?” I said. She shook her head. I turned back to the battle and gasped. Jewel was still underwater, floating in the middle of the pond. But where was Mudkip?

Jewel’s POV

<Where are you, little frog?> I growled as I scanned the bottom of the pool. At first he was in plain sight. But he had confused me with his erratic movements and I lost him. Now he was hiding somewhere. I dove deeper and checked the plants for a sign of him.

“Peekaboo!” I heard. I felt pain from below as Mudkip sprung up from the pond floor and slammed into me. I escaped the pond and found myself in Swoop’s eyesight.

“How’s it going?” she asked me.

<The little squirt knows Dig!> I answered. <It’s his strategy. He’ll hide in the dirt and disappear from my view, waiting for the time to attack.>

“You could try to wait here for him to attack you. When I tried it, I got hit by a Hydro Pump, but it could work for you.”

<I can’t wait for that.> I dove back underwater and raced straight for Mudkip, who just raced for the muddy bottom and dug in. A piece of mud hit my central jewel. I shook it off and watched the ground. Nothing, nothing, nothing…movement below me! I shot a Psychic attack downwards, the force pushing me back out of the water. The pond floor was clouded with the scattered mud.

“Did you get him?” Shonta asked me. Swoop was back on the railing. Dixie was grinning as though she already won.

Time for a lucky shot. So far the little squirt’s been attacking from below after he disappears in the mud. My Psychic attack hits a medium sized area, so… I shot another Psychic attack downwards, forcing myself further upwards.

Swoop’s POV

My eyes widened as I looked up. “What…is…that?” I asked Shonta. Jewel’s central gem glowed brilliantly as she shot a gust of wind downwards in the pond, scattering the pond water and the muddy bottom.

She shrugged. “I don’t know. It’s not the Psychic attack that I’ve seen before.”

How could she not know what a Psychic attack looks like? “Maybe…the attack that you saw before wasn’t Psychic. It could’ve been an attack that she hasn’t fully learned. Or maybe it was Psychic in a different form.”

She scratched her head. “Must be. The previous Psychic attacks looked more like Psybeam, but I’ve seen Psychic looks like all sorts of things. Plus Jewel’s not supposed to learn Psybeam in any way.”

“Hush!” Bubbles began to appear on the surface of the pond. Mudkip appeared with a exhausted look on his face. He definitely didn’t come up to attack.

“Jewel! One more Tackle attack!” Shonta yelled.

Jewel sped forward and slammed into Mudkip, the both of them going in the water. After a few seconds of anxious waiting, Jewel emerged carrying a knocked out Mudkip. The battle was over.

Jewel won and grew to level 11! She learned Rapid Spin and earned a free TM!

The two trainers recalled their Pokemon and faced each other, Shonta smirking and Dixie scowling. “See you later, Dixie. Hope you don’t become some guy’s joke,” Shonta said.

“What do you mean?” Dixie said in a low voice.

“Don’t make me sing the song. You know, the song with your name in it. I wish…” she started to sing.

“Just get out of my sight!” Dixie screamed.

“Alright, we’re going,” I said. I flew to Shonta’s shoulder and the two of us walked out of there.

21st May 2004, 04:03 PM
They generally learn the move at the RS level, but if it's lower in GSC, they learn it at the lower GSC level. I don't think the move levels in RBY count though.

Shonta - Uh... Psychic attacks don't randomly turn into gusts of wind... But whatever. Take 8 Stamps. I liked this one.

Angel Blossom
21st May 2004, 06:19 PM
Here I am again, sorry for the delay.

Kris, you can have 7 stamps for your first battle. I'm afraid the 2nd battle is invalid, since Metang is a Steel type pokemon and can't be affected by Poisonpowder, which is a Poison type attack. You can edit it or repost your 2nd battle. By the way, you switched POVs without saying who was speaking. In the future, could you please state whose POV you're writing in, to make it clearer? Thanks. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

Oh, my bad. X_x"

I should have realized that before. I edited that part out, like you suggested. However, I thought I made it clear -before- the piece that the hyphens ended each of the Pokémon's point of views. Anyway, I'm sorry about that. I wish I could've made the piece better, but oh well. Either way, I did make it past the 50 BR Stamp mark! ^^"

21st May 2004, 09:35 PM
They generally learn the move at the RS level, but if it's lower in GSC, they learn it at the lower GSC level. I don't think the move levels in RBY count though.

Shonta - Uh... Psychic attacks don't randomly turn into gusts of wind... But whatever. Take 8 Stamps. I liked this one.

Ooh...sorry. I kinda wanted to change the description of Psychic so it wouldn't be so much like Psybeam. And "gust of wind" was the best I could come up with. A shockwave, a sort of pulse, something. I was trying to think of the Psychic attack that was done on the episode "Power Play".

All the more, I'll take the 8 stamps! Right now I have a fanfic to work on.

Aipom Of Doom
21st May 2004, 10:07 PM
Yay, here's my battle for the previous scenerio. It got sort of long, but oh well =/. Now onto the Training Grounds ^_^

Blaze's Perspective

I lay on the couch, tiredly watching some sort of strange talk show on the television set in the corner of the Pokemon center. On our most recent Dragon Tamers missions, Dan and assorted other Dragon Tamers had first gone to Yvresse and fought a small Team Rocket group hiding on an island. Almost immediately afterward, we'd found we needed to turn around and go to west Caledor because of some Dark Dragon that had taken over the Templa Taure forest there, and was controlling all of the Pokemon. It sounded like an interesting enough mission at first, but then we found ourselves relegated to watching the outside of the forest to make sure that none of the controlled Pokemon escaped. Very few tried from the area we were patrolling, and of those that did, Thunderblast simply used her Psychic powers to remove the pendants that gave the Dark Dragon control over them. We spent two days there, with people and Pokemon sleeping in shifts during the night. Near the end of the second day, the Dark Dragon finally flew away, angry that we had taken away all of his minions. By then, we were exhausted, so with many other Dragon Tamers, we found the nearest Pokemon center and fell asleep in the upper lobby.

It was about ten in the morning now, and some of us had awakened, but many of the Dragon Tamers were still asleep. Out of my team, Thunderblast had already gone off to wherever she went off to, Eesha was up and flying around, and May, my girlfriend as of two days ago, was sitting on the floor and reading something. The other team members were still asleep.

The quiet, sleepy state was interrupted by a loud ringing; apparently someone had called Dan's cell phone. May immediately jumped up, locating the phone in Dan's bag and then chatting briefly with the caller.

"Hey, Blaze, it's Aipom. He wants to talk to you," May slid the phone across the floor over to the bottom of the couch, so that I could easily reach down and retrieve it.

"Hey, Aipom?" I lay back down on the couch and suppressed a yawn. "What have you guys been up to?" Aipom had been back at our normal Pokemon Center in Caledor, with other Pokemon that hadn't gone with Dan on our mission to Dark Island three days ago. I hadn't heard anything much about what was going on with the portion of our team that hadn't gone with us.

"Hey, Blaze!" Aipom's voice was a bit distorted by the phone, but it was clearly him "We really haven't been doing much, actually. Err... Flare and Gaea have been taking care of Tulie and doing some other stuff. Mopia and Zippy are hiding somewhere, and I've been hanging out with Flatten most of the time. It's pretty boring here now."

"Hmm, sounds cool. At least, more fun than walking around or standing around... that's pretty much all we've done for the Dragon Tamers in the past few days."

"Yeah, seems sort of boring. Well, you guys are planning to come back today, right? Flatten and I have been practicing some new attacks lately. We both taught ourselves to Solarbeam, and do other stuff. It's really fun," Aipom paused a second, then said, "Err... Gaea just came over and told me that I better go over and look at the TV. I'm not sure what she means..."

I turned and looked at the television that was on behind me. The volume was off, but the screen showed some low-quality home video of an Arcanine using Flamethrower on a building. I stared at the screen for a moment, not knowing what I was looking at, until I realized that the building was one I recognized. It was in a city in southern Caledor. Curious, I reached for the remote and turned the sound on.

The television switched to two newscasters that I vaguely recognized. "So far, there have been eleven attacks reported around Ulthuan. While authorities refuse to comment yet, witnesses of all attacks agree that the perpetrators are members of the Pokemon-wielding terrorist group Team Rocket."

"Huh?" May looked up at the television in surprise. The Dragon Tamers had fought Team Rocket out of Ulthuan almost a year ago. Three days ago, we had located a small gathering of Rocket members on Dark Island and flushed most of them out, but that group hardly seemed capable of pulling off any sort of attack like this. A map on the television showed that the attacks were spread around Ulthuan; it must have taken quite a bit of planning and organization to pull this attack off.

"This can't be good," I responded idly, then I told May, "go wake up Dan and Sai and the others. They might want to see this." She scampered off toward Sai, using a small Thundershock to jolt him out of his sleep.

I picked up the cell phone again. "Hey, Blaze," Aipom must have heard me breathing into the phone. "Are you watching this? Team Rocket?"

"Yeah, I don't know what to make of it either. Well, it sounds like we'll be busy again soon," I replied.

"Yeah, I know... huh? What the ****?"

"Aipom? Something wrong?" Aipom didn't curse very often, and he sounded quite startled.

"Err... crap... They're attacking down the street from the Pokemon Center," Aipom said, seeming rather calm for the situation.


"Team Rocket has some Vileplume attacking down the street. Err... it used Sludge Bomb or something on a bunch of cars there, and now it's... uh... solarbeaming? Holy crap..." Aipom trailed off, too dazed to know what else to say.

"Eh? What?" Behind me, Dan had just woken up to another small Thundershock. May pointed him toward the television. Sai had already left to find Thunderblast, apparently for discussing the possible Dragon Tamers response to this.

"Aipom? You there?" I went back to the cell phone, wondering what had happened down at our usual Pokemon center.

"Yeah. Uh... it's over by now I think... the Vileplume Solarbeamed a whole side of the street. Remember that Chinese restaurant you liked? And the video game store a block down? Err.. those and the places between them all got hit, at least on the first floor... I dunno, part of the building already collapsed, and part of it looks like it will. And the Team Rocket guy is gone, there's a bunch of police and fire trucks and things around. Jeez... is this real?"

"Wow... uh... I guess. This really sucks, doesn't it?"

"Yeah. Err... have you guys heard from the Dragon Tamers yet? They'd probably want us to do something about this quickly."

"No, nothing yet. They must be planning something by now, though."

"Yeah. Err... I think I'm going to go and see what else is going on, and if anyone needs help or anything. Gaea looks sort of freaked out, so I better go and calm her down. Call back if you need to talk to us," Aipom said, still sounding a little dazed, and hung up. I shook my head, not sure if any of this was believable.

About that time, one of the newscasters on the television announced that "another incident has been reported, with Team Rocket attacking downtown Sector Alpha." Then she went on to describe exactly what Aipom had told me about the Vileplume, as well as add in the street.

"Wait... what?" it took Dan a moment to comprehend where the attack had taken place. "Err, isn't that right by our Pokemon Center?"

"Yeah," I spoke up. "Err, Aipom was just talking to me when it happened. Really sucks, huh?"

"Err yeah," Dan sighed, sitting down and shaking his head. "Well, I guess we're going to have some work to do soon."

"So we aren't going home today, huh," Hydro sulked. I felt the same; after all of this fighting it would be nice to go back and relax some. The collective murmur showed that everyone else agreed.

After a few moments of silently watching the news coverage, Sai and Thunderblast both walked quickly toward us. "Okay, we've had an emergency Dragon Tamers meeting scheduled in half an hour about this," Thunderblast announced as she climbed onto the sofa next to Dan. This was no surprise; as a premier police force in Ulthuan, the Dragon Tamers were expected to handle situations like this. "However, we did receive this from the Dragon's Guild," Thunderblast continued, handing what appeared to be a photocopied letter to Dan.

"Huh," Dan said, after reading for a moment. "Uh, did they give any reason for this, Thunderblast?" The Raichu shook her head no.

"Reasons for what? Would you mind informing us? Or are these high-level Dragon Tamers secrets that we can't know or something?" Hydro asked, annoyed. Dan handed him the paper.

"Err okay," Hydro started reading. "'Official Dragon's Guild Memo'... blah blah blah... 'The Dragon's Guild is ordering that the Dragon Tamers do NOT attempt to investigate or retaliate for the recent Team Rocket attacks. All Dragon Tamers are not to interfere with the Dragon's Guild as we investigate these incidents.'"

That caused a stunned moment of quiet from our team, before Sai spoke up. "Yeah, the Dragon's Guild doesn't want us to do anything for some reason... But we're still having the meeting anyway. Most likely we're going to try to fight Team Rocket, though."

"Why on earth does the Dragon's Guild want to do that, though?" May asked. "What's their problem with us helping out?"

"As of a few minutes ago, no one in this building knows," Thunderblast replied.


About two hours later, Dan, Sai, and Thunderblast had long since left for the Dragon Tamers emergency meeting. That left the rest of us to stand around and watch the television coverage of the Team Rocket attacks. Surprisingly, no one had been killed or even seriously hurt; the Rockets apparently were attacking with the intent of doing as much property damage as possible. However, as police and the Dragon's Guild attempted to investigate, they found a few hostile, Rocket trained Pokemon at each site, and these hindered investigations seriously. The overall number of incidents rose continually, and was up to 46 when Dan, Thunderblast, and Sai finally returned to our corner of the Pokemon Center.

"So, what are we going to be doing?" I asked, impatiently. After two hours of watching news coverage of all of the damage that Team Rocket had caused, I wanted to go and help fight against it.

"We are going to go and fight," Sai said, "despite the Dragon's Guild's wishes... which no one has been able to understand anyway. They're having us go by helicopter to the site of an attack near the Nagarythe-Tiranoc border."

"And, another thing," Thunderblast cut in, "this could be on the dangerous side, with damaged stuff and potentially powerful Pokemon around. We're going to be needing to do a lot of investigating and things, and not fooling around. So, if you can't do that sort of stuff, I suggest you just stay here."I noticed that she looked directly at Hydro as she said this.

Hydro noticed this too. "Well, if you're going to single me out, fine. But anyway, I don't really feel like going, I've had enough of this boring stuff. And you say it will be dangerous, and pardon my cowardice, but walking into some area with buildings that are about to collapse, and a bunch of Pokemon that are trying to attack me, doesn't sound like what I had in mind for today."

"I think I'll stay here also," Tyrant added. Aqua said that she would rather be able to relax for the day. Eesha, who up until three days before had been in the possession of Team Rocket, was quite fearful of the organization, and didn't see how she could help.

"Well, unlike everyone else around, I think I want to go and help," May said, a bit annoyed at the lack of participation of the rest of our team. "Are ALL of you going to just sit around after this?"

"Hey, I was planning to go too," I interrupted, not having a chance to reveal my plans yet. May smiled and made a sarcastic comment to Hydro about his lack of dedication to the Dragon Tamers.

"Anyway," Dan interjected firmly, before Hydro could make some sort of response. "I'm going to call Aipom and have him arrange for the Dragon Tamers base by our Pokemon Center to send us a helicopter. A lot of the Dragon Tamers are around here, so they're running a bit thin on transportation. We hopefully will be able to leave in two hours."

"Sounds good." I wanted to get going and maybe even battle against some Team Rocket Pokemon; it had been a while since I had last done that. I also hoped that without Hydro or Tyrant around to make obscene comments about us, May wouldn't need to conceal that she was my girlfriend.


So, two hours later, we were on the roof of the Pokemon Center, waiting for our helicopter. Four hours between learning of the attacks and getting out to help seemed like a decent response time. Hydro, Aqua, Eesha, and Tyrant waited by the helicopter pad with us, for the lack of anything better to do.

Finally, a dark green helicopter with "DT" written on the side appeared in the sky, and circled overhead, lowering toward the landing pad. We all backed away somewhat, deterred by the noise and the wind, until the helicopter landed and stopped.

The door to the helicopter opened, and the pilot climbed out. "...Aipom?"

"Yeah, it's me," Aipom walked over to us, "Err, I got a pilot's license for these things a few weeks ago. I do some interesting stuff with my time, you know."

"Well, that's pretty damn cool," I replied. Being able to fly a helicopter seemed like an interesting hobby. Everyone else agreed with that.

After a bit of a chat, we filed into the helicopter. Aipom went back into the pilot's seat, and Thunderblast predictably claimed the title of co-pilot and climbed into the front of the helicopter. The rest of us took some seats in the passenger area. The helicopter started up again, and a moment later we were flying up and away, toward one of the Team Rocket attack sites.


We flew for a little over an hour before the helicopter started to descend toward the attack site. Aipom apparently was able to talk to the local police over their radios, and he was directed to land by a field two blocks from the site of the attack.

The helicopter was fairly low as we flew over the site of the attack. There appeared to be a crater in the road, and the buildings around it had received various levels of damage. The scene appeared consistent with what we had been told; an Electrode had used Explosion in the middle of the road. We passed the scene too quickly to see much else.

Aipom set the helicopter down in the field he had been told to, and we all climbed out. After a few minutes for stretching and preparing, we walked briskly to the attack scene. The entire section of the street was blocked off by yellow "Police Line - Do Not Cross" tape, and that the area inside was deserted. Police officers were waiting impatiently outside of the line.

Dan chatted for a few moments with the officer in charge of the investigation, who explained that they police there were unable to investigate because Team Rocket had left some Pokemon that viciously defended the attack site. In particular, there was an Ampharos that had already beaten a group of the strongest Pokemon that the police had. They had no other way to remove it, because it was hiding well and they were prohibited from using lethal force on it.

The police weren't too confident that we could beat the Ampharos. After hearing the police's description of it, however, Sai and Thunderblast felt confident enough that together they would be easily capable of beating the Ampharos. So, the police let us step across their yellow tape and into the scene of the attack.

The crater was about twenty feet in circumference and six or seven feet deep; it was relatively small compared to the large area that was blocked off by the police. One small building, the closest to the crater, had completely collapsed. The front of a five-floor building was mostly destroyed, but it was apparently structurally sound. Other buildings looked~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ in better shape, but still had broken windows and damage to their external surfaces.

All around there was debris, from the crater and small building next to it. We were careful to not disturb anything that would be evidence. As a result of this, and of looking for any possible enemies, we walked very slowly.

"So where are these Pokemon that we're supposed to be getting rid of?" May asked, as we walked past a car thats windows were completely smashed.

"I don't know," I replied, turning toward her. At that very moment, a shadow appeared over my face for a moment, then disappeared. I started looking upwards when something landed on my back with a sharp jolt.

"What the hell?" I leapt up and turned around, to face my attacker; there was a Squirtle that standing a few feet away. I guessed that he had used a Mega Kick, from the concentration of the impact on my upper back. "Who the **** do you think you are?" I yelled, quite angry at the sneaky tactic. But, I reasoned, that I couldn't expect anything else from a Team Rocket Pokemon.

Hearing my exclamation, the rest of the team turned to face me and the Squirtle. "Need help, Blaze?" Aipom offered quietly.

"Well... we'll need to see," I replied. I then ran forward, and leapt into the Squirtle with a quick Tackle attack. However, by the time I hit him, he had Withdrawn his head into his shell and started to duck; I only hit the top of his shell.

Squirtle was knocked down, but my velocity sent me past him. I scrambled back to my feet, but apparently the Squirtle was faster in getting up; the Squirtle reciprocated the Tackle and landed on my back. I was knocked back to the ground, with the Squirtle atop me.

I cringed for the impact to the ground, but it wasn't that bad. About then I realized that that the flame jets on my back were still off. While they were downright dangerous most of the time, in a battle they increased my fire energy a lot, and also would be of annoyance to this Squirtle that was lying on my back.

After a moment of gathering fire energy in myself, my back burst out in flames. As I suspected, the Squirtle jumped off; when I looked at him he appeared slightly singed. I went for a Smokescreen next, letting the flame on my back expel a thick cloud of black smoke that drifted over the Squirtle.

I took a deep breath, then leapt into the smoke cloud at the Squirtle. I put as much force into my Submission as I could, slamming into the Squirtle to do as much damage as possible. The impact certainly jarred me, but I wasn't sure how much damage I had actually done to the Squirtle.

As the smoke cloud thinned, the Squirtle struggled out from under me. Before I could get up, he inhaled deeply and breathed out a stream of water at me. Though it was only a Water Gun, it hit me right on the flame on my back; it really hurt. I instinctively rolled onto my back and tried to get rid of the painful water, but with only limited success. In pain, I scrambled away from the Squirtle while trying to dry off, and yelling out for help from my teammates.

Aipom's Perspective

"Ow, ****! Damn it, can someone come and ****ing help?" Blaze yelled as he hobbled away from the Squirtle. I wasted no time in assisting my friend; I ran forward, to the Squirtle that had his back facing away from me. I caught up to him quickly, and Slashed hard on the back of his head. The Squirtle let out a surprised yelp as he stumbled.

Blaze, looking thankful for the distraction I had made, was able to stop and try to dry himself off more quickly. The Squirtle, meanwhile, got up and turned toward me. He growled something at me, then spit a high-velocity Water Gun in my direction. The attack hit me slightly, but I got out of the way before it caused much damage.

When the Squirtle finally stopped attacking to catch his breath, I dashed toward him. I ducked down a bit as I hit him at full speed, for the full effects of my Slam. He collapsed under me, and I stumbled past him a few steps before I was able to get up and turn around.

The Squirtle, shaken a bit, started getting back to his feet. I Scratched at his chest before dashing out of his way as he lunged toward me. He fell down again, and I prepared to continue fighting.

Meanwhile, Blaze appeared to have finally gotten himself dry, and ran back over. As the Squirtle picked himself up off the ground once again, Blaze leapt onto his back. The Tackle smashed the Squirtle into the ground rather violently.

The Squirtle, however, quickly retracted his arms, legs, and head into his shell. Blaze started to get up, but the Squirtle used a Rapid Spin; Blaze was thrown off of the Squirtle; he backed up toward me cautiously. Squirtle emerged from his Rapid Spin facing toward us.

Next, the Squirtle went into a trance; obviously preparing for some sort of attack. After a few moments, a small pool of water seemed to seep up from the concrete below him. It grew bigger and began to take the shape of a wave, building up in place with the Squirtle floating on top. It was obvious that this was a Surf.

I glanced at Blaze, who looked terrified by this building wall of water in front of him. I didn't blame him, and I motioned for him to get out of the way. He scampered off to the right, arcing around to be directly to the side of the large, motionless block of water.

Finally, when the wave looked about five feet tall, the Squirtle looked up with a smile at me, only about twenty feet away. I stood my ground, preparing for my counterattack.

With a defiant war cry by the Squirtle, the wave came crashing down in my direction. The water flooded toward me, with the Squirtle remaining at the back. At that moment, I unleashed a Thunderbolt from the palm of my hand-tail. I had been practicing this new attack with Flatten, over the last few weeks, but hadn't used it in a battle until now. However, the crackling bolt of electricity hit the Squirtle with perfect accuracy, buy I wasn't able to see the result because the rush of water hit me and I stumbled backwards before being carried away by it

Blaze's Perspective

The Surf attack rather quickly spread out into a large puddle that began to flow downhill into the crater in the middle of the road. Aipom was carried backwards, up until a few feet from the police line we had entered the attack scene from. His Thunderbolt, however, had shocked the Squirtle quite severely; though the Squirtle's shell looked fine, when he poked his head and arms out, they were blackened by the electricity.

Aipom was sitting up, but was shaken and would probably take him a minute to be ready to continue battling. However, the Squirtle was also still lying on the ground and only starting to get back up. This looked like as good of a chance as I'd ever have to attack the Squirtle.

I jogged through the water, which was now flowing steadily into the crater. I leapt onto the Squirtle yet again, pounding him into the ground with another Tackle; though I doubted that my attack was effective.

The Squirtle started to squirm and struggle, and I cautiously backed away from him. He got up a few moments later, staring angrily at me. Finally, he opened his mouth and shot a glowing blue beam of energy at me.

The beam had hit me before I could even move; the cold air that swept with it proved that it was an Ice Beam. It obviously wasn't painful like the Water Gun had been, but the ice crystals forming on my leg were quite uncomfortable. I simply breathed deeply and exhaled my own attack; this one being a fairly weak Flamethrower. I hadn't used the attack much, since I hadn't ignited my back flame for a battle for quite a while. Nevertheless, it tore through the Ice Beam and charred the front of Squirtle's shell.

About then, I noticed that Aipom had gotten up and was approaching the Squirtle from behind. Once again, his hand-tail Slashed the back of the Squirtle's head; the Squirtle yelped out in pain and immediately Withdrew into his shell. I walked tentatively toward the Squirtle and Aipom.

By the time I had gotten in front of the Squirtle, he was still in his shell. I looked at Aipom; he shrugged, not sure what the Squirtle was trying to do. Finally, Aipom reached his hand-tail over and smacked the back of the Squirtle's shell lightly.

The Squirtle then went into a Rapid Spin; apparently he had planned on using it to defend himself when one of us attacked. However, it hit neither of us, and we just looked on incredulously as the Squirtle spun.

Finally, the Squirtle's spinning slowed, and he emerged from his shell on his feet and facing me. Aipom stepped forward a bit and Scratched lightly at the back of his head, not expecting this, the Squirtle was caught off-balance. I ran forward and rammed him from the front, with a Tackle; he fell backwards. I scrambled past, as Aipom prepared his next attack.

I turned around in time to see Aipom shoot a Thunderbolt from his hand-tail at the Squirtle. The bolt of electricity crackled through the air for a second, and then hit the Squirtle's slightly reflective skin - and bounced back at Aipom.

Aipom's Perspective

"Oh, crap," I mumbled just before being hit by my own reflected Thunderbolt. I had seen the Mirror Coat that the Squirtle was using, but it was too late to stop my attack. I was almost instantly jolted with the electricity and knocked backwards.

The electricity stung quite a bit, but thankfully I hadn't been able to release much energy with the Thunderbolt, so it didn't do much damage to me. I rubbed my side, where I had been hit, but stood up so I could battle if I needed to.

Luckily for me, I had a few moments I could spend recovering from the attack; not only did I have a partner, but the Squirtle seemed incapable of combining attacks to take advantage of either of us being hurt. He appeared to be on the stupider side, which seemed common for low-level Team Rocket Pokemon. So, the Squirtle remained Mirror Coating for a few moments; Blaze leapt at him with a Submission. The impact jarred both of them quite a bit.

Blaze backed away as the Squirtle got up, muttering more insults at us. He focused entirely on Blaze, however; I decided to bide a little more time to help relieve the pain from the deflected Thunderbolt, and to regain my electric-type energy.

The Squirtle made a dashing Tackle at Blaze, which really wasn't the smartest thing to do. Being a Quilava with flames shooting from his back, Blaze simply turned away from the Squirtle. The Squirtle carried on with his Tackle, but was repulsed by the heat and the flames. He bumped Blaze a bit, and was rewarded by being coated in soot on the left side of his body.

Amused by the Squirtle's attempted Tackle, Blaze attempted to reciprocate the attack. Blaze's Tackle knocked the Squirtle over, and not much more; but by now he had been damaged quite a bit and appeared to be running out of strength. Blaze backed away to a safe distance, and nodded to me. I released a fairly low-voltage Thunderbolt, which actually shocked the Squirtle this time.

I increased the energy in the Thunderbolt; Squirtle screamed something out, but the electricity soon got the better of him. He lay on the ground for a second, shuddering only due to the electricity flowing through him; I quickly stopped the attack. He was clearly fainted.

"Well, I guess that's over," Blaze breathed a sigh of relief. "Good job with the Thunderbolts. When did you even learn to do that?"

"I've been practicing stuff like that with Flatten for the last few weeks. We're working on a lot of new attacks, actually," I replied.

"Wow," Blaze was about to say something else, but then a sharp yell interrupted him, "WATCH OUT!"

Before I could even place the voice as Sai's, I felt myself being Psychically lifted into the air and whipped away from where I was standing. The exact same thing happened to Blaze. I at first assumed that I was being attacked by a hostile Pokemon. I barely had time to panic about that, though. Almost instantly after I was moved out of its range, a crackling burst of electricity descended on where Blaze and I had just been standing.

Thunderblast's Perspective

"That was way too close," I muttered, relieved nonetheless, as the Zap Cannon hit the ground. The ball of electricity had enough explosive power to turn a four-foot wide circle of asphalt into gravel. I shuddered to think what it would have done to Blaze and Aipom had they still been standing there. I pulled them towards us Psychically and set them down next to Danny.

"Uhh... Thanks," Blaze said, stunned from what had just happened.

"No problem," I replied, not really paying attention; instead, I was focusing on the scene around me. Using my Psychic power to make up for my low-quality Raichu vision, I made a quick map of the area for myself. Much of the debris in the area had been pushed by the Squirtle's Surf; though the police wouldn't have liked this, it made the area in front of quite a bit cleaner. The ground was still damp, but most of the water had washed back into the large crater in the center of the road. The crater was now a pool lined with more debris and other "evidence"; we were certainly making a mess of the crime scene. However, I was more concerned about the attacker that had almost hit Aipom and Blaze; the problematic Ampharos that the police had told us about was standing on the other side of the large crater.

"I'll handle this," I said, walking toward the water-filled crater. The Ampharos remained in place, not moving. I stopped a few feet away from the crater, opposite of my motionless opponent.

"Well, you intend to fight me?" the Ampharos spoke menacingly. "That's your problem then. Team Rocket will prevail always. And I will take special revenge on you, for whatever tricks your friends had up their sleeves that stopped my Zap Cannon. And then I will make the Aipom and the Quilava suffer their due punishment for attacking my apprentice."

For the most part, I ignored the Ampharos's threats, but the coldness did worry me a bit. I wasn't quite sure whether he was just trying to scare me, or if he really meant what he said. However, I had learned in the past that if a Rocket had been able to get a strong Pokemon to obey him, the Pokemon was usually genuinely cruel and heartless.

"'Tricks that my friends had up their sleeves'?" I decided I might as well start the battle; mocking and humiliating the Ampharos was one way to do it. "Really? You mean a 'trick' like this?" Before he could reply, I quickly used my Psychic to grab the Ampharos and fling him towards the nearest stationary object; it happened to be a mailbox.

The Ampharos smashed into the metal mailbox with an accompanying crunch. He lay there a moment, dazed from the impact, before muttering something to himself and standing up slowly. The mailbox itself was mangled out of shape and bent, with the bolts on the front completely pulled out of the ground.

"You little..." Ampharos dashed toward me in rage. He drew back his right arm; I noticed that flames seemed to emerge from his hand. I assumed that he was using a Fire Punch.

I ran to the left; Ampharos apparently had planned for this and continued dashing toward me. Finally, with not too many options, I concentrated my Psychic energy on my speed. After one slow step, I bolted forward about twenty feet. My Agility put me far out of the range of the Ampharos; he flailed around and missed.

In addition to the initial burst of speed, the Agility also boosted my speed overall, at least temporarily. I turned around and ran toward the Ampharos.

Approaching him from behind, I used a Cross Chop. My right arm smashed down on his lower back with as much force as I could muster for it. The Ampharos stumbled forward a few steps more, before stopping and standing upright.

The Ampharos then raised his tail into the air; a moment later, electricity emanated from the red ball at the end. It was a Shock Wave; the attack wasn't particularly powerful, but it hit everything nearby.

Unfortunately, I was nearby. The electricity was mostly negated because I was an electric Pokemon; however, it still zapped my muscles lightly, and prevented me from moving very far. The damage was negligible. However, the tactical advantage gained by the state of semi-paralysis he had put me in was probably significant.

The muscle spasms were enough to keep me from running a few seconds more; by the time I was able to start moving it was too late. The Ampharos slammed into me with a Double Edge. I cringed first from the Ampharos's impact, and then from both of us slamming into the ground. The whole attack was quite violent and painful; I suspected that the Ampharos had damaged himself somewhat, also.

I landed on my side, with the Ampharos lying over me; I kicked at him until he stood up. I rolled over, leaning on my arms so I was halfway between sitting and standing. My Psychic powers could easily tell that the Ampharos was building up electric-type energy for another attack; I had plenty of time to prepare.

After a few more moments, a large Zap Cannon shot from the Ampharos's hands and descended upon me fairly slowly. I immediately used Protect; it was quite a handy skill to have. An invisible, intangible shield formed around my body; the Zap Cannon hit it and dissipated.

It took the Ampharos a moment to realize that I hadn't been hit by his point-blank Zap Cannon; in that time, I charged up a Thunderbolt.

I released my Thunderbolt quickly, but not quickly enough. The Ampharos had used a Light Screen a few moments before I started the Thunderbolt; my attack simply reflected off and into the ground. I reasoned that the Ampharos had enough tactical sense to know that I was going to attack, or had made it a habit to defend himself whenever an attack of his failed. Either way proved that he was smart, at least more so than most Team Rocket Pokemon I'd seen.

Meanwhile, I needed to make my next move. Before the Ampharos had even stopped his Light Screen, I stood up and leapt at him. Being a barrier to intangible attacks only, the Light Screen wasn't able to interfere with me. I hit the Ampharos, and channeled as much electrical energy as I could into him. This was the first time I'd used a Volt Tackle, but the concept was simple enough; it was a combination a Tackle-like and a Thundershock-like attack.

The Ampharos fell backwards as I rammed into his upper body. My momentum kept me pushing against him, and I continued releasing electricity for the entirety of our contact. Finally, he smashed into the ground, and I fell on top of him and rolled off.

The attack seemed to be quite effective; the Ampharos groaned for a moment, without bothering to try to get up or protect himself. I turned toward him, and used a quick Cross Chop on his forehead; I saw no reason to waste a perfectly good opportunity like this.

The Ampharos grunted again, but then a bunch of small particles started to drift off of his body. I recognized this as a Cotton Spore, so I turned to run, but not quickly enough; the spores attached to my body and they itched terribly. I had to stop to Psychically cleanse myself of the offending cotton.

I had almost finished when the Ampharos came stomping toward me, and hit me on the back with a Thunderpunch. I let out a short yelp before I tumbled to the ground.

Quickly turning around, I faced the Ampharos yet again. Before he could move again, I used my own Shock Wave; I simply emitted a quick burst of electricity in all directions. The Ampharos was momentarily paralyzed, and wasn't able to complete whatever move he was preparing.

I leapt up onto my feet again, and then I launched a quick Thunderbolt at the Ampharos. He grimaced as I continued the attack; I could tell that I was damaging him, but he seemed to be concentrating quite hard on not being stunned by the electricity. I was fairly sure that he was going to attack as soon as my Thunderbolt ended.

This was indeed correct; as I made my Thunderbolt weaken and stopped, the Ampharos dashed at me. A small Psychic probe into his mind revealed that he was using a Double Edge, which was quite a threat to me.

However, as the Ampharos had been preparing his attack during my Thunderbolt, I had also readied myself for a defensive move. I focused for a moment, and a Protect shield quickly formed in around me. The Ampharos jumped on me with his attack; however, the immobile Protect that surrounded my body absorbed all of the impact, leaving me unscratched.

The Ampharos was surprised for a second, not knowing what to think, as he lay on an impenetrable shield only inches above my body. I quickly formed all of the electrical energy I could muster at that time into a Zap Cannon that was ready to be fired.

I dropped my Protect shield right as I fired the Zap Cannon. The ball of electricity shot directly into the Ampharos. He screamed out as the explosive force of the attack blasted him backwards, quite a distance away from me. My Psychic powers told me that my Zap Cannon had hurt the Ampharos a lot. He was trying to act tough, but I knew that he was getting near the end of the amount of damage he could stand.

The Ampharos's next attack proved this; all he managed was a measly Thundershock. The electricity did a minimal amount of damage to me, but was so ineffective that I was able to stand up with ease during the attack, and waited the duration of the attack.

"Damn you..." the Ampharos trailed off as he mumbled through his gritted teeth. I relied on my psychic powers to inform me of his next intentions; I could tell that he was planning on a Thunder Wave. It appeared that the attack would be focused in a narrow area, trading range for power.

I wasn't going to sit through a focused Thunder Wave; paralysis was a very dangerous problem. As the Ampharos started Thunder Waving, I dashed to the left with an Agility. Just to be safe, I put all of my Psychic energy into the initial dash; I traveled in an arc around the Ampharos's left in a few seconds' time.

The Ampharos turned to face me. "Alright, *****... what do you think of this?" Almost immediately, he launched a Zap Cannon in my direction.

Apparently the Zap Cannon was quite powerful; obviously the first two electrical attacks had only used a minimal amount of energy but had gotten him ready for something stronger. However, his Zap Cannon lacked the appropriate speed to make it useful at all at the range we were at; I was twenty feet away from him. Dashing with the added speed from my recent Agility, I was well out of the way by the time the Zap Cannon exploded where I had stood before.

"Hey, Amphy," I taunted, "I guess you need a lesson in how to use Zap Cannons, huh?" I was closer to him now. I charged myself slightly, then sent a small Zap Cannon at the Ampharos. The attack was much faster than his; it exploded at the Ampharos's feet before he could move, knocking him down.

By now, I had grown tired of this battle. My body was sore and all of his electrical attacks hadn't been too helpful for my muscles. I grabbed the helpless Ampharos with my Psychic power. He tried to resist, but was too weak.

"Anyway," I continued, "Zap Cannons like yours are better used in situations like this." I charged my own Zap Cannon again, but more slowly this time because I needed to maintain a firm telekinetic grip on the Ampharos, who I raised a bit higher into the air.

I released the final Zap Cannon so that it flew just above the ground. Meanwhile, I slammed the Ampharos downward. He collided with the Zap Cannon and the ground at about the same time. The explosion of the Zap Cannon covered him up for a few moments, in which time I turned and walked back towards Dan. I didn't even need my Psychic powers to tell me that the Ampharos had fainted.

"Good job, Thunderblast," May was the first to congratulate me as I walked back to the rest of my team. "Are you okay after that?"

"Yeah, I'm fine," I replied. It was true for the most part; I had some minor muscle spasms from the electrical attacks used against me, and the Cotton Spores left a small rash, but I didn't have any major injuries.

"Alright, good," Sai replied. "So do you mind if we check out the crime scene a little while? It was our original purpose for being here."

"Sounds good," I replied. Many of the police officers had come inside the crime scene now that the Ampharos was fainted. They immediately went over to the two fainted Pokemon, and put them in restraints on stretchers, then loaded them into some ambulances. We then continued on with our original plan to collect evidence about Team Rocket.


"Err okay, did we learn ANYTHING in the last few hours?" Blaze asked. It was getting close to sunset, and we were walking back to the helicopter.

"Well, some stuff," I replied. "I am holding a bag marked 'Evidence', after all."

Blaze rolled his eyes. "Yeah, sure, a blood sample from the Ampharos and some things that could have belonged to the Team Rocket guy will really help. Well, maybe the pictures would be useful... if we hadn't had to screw up their crime scene to defeat the Pokemon there."

"We'll see," Sai replied, "once the Dragon Tamers investigative guys look over it."

"Geez, can you guys stop arguing?" Aipom asked, "I'd thought you'd be happy that we're going to go home now."

So the conversation continued as we made our way into the helicopter; we took the same seats as before, with Aipom and I flying, and the others in the back. Soon, the helicopter ascended off into the darkening sky, and we flew towards home.


We landed on the roof of the Pokemon Center at about ten o'clock that night. May had already fallen asleep in her seat. Dan, Sai, and Blaze were at various levels of sleepiness, but all perked up when we landed. Aipom and I, as the pilots, were both wide awake, thanks mostly to our supply of caffeine in the form of coffee and sodas.

Dan yawned and stretched, then asked, "Well, what should we do next? We could stay here for the night, or we could get our stuff inside and fly back to home. What do you guys think?"

"Sounds good to me," Sai replied, "I wouldn't mind getting back home."

"I'd be fine with going back," after all of the caffeine, Aipom was quite alert and eager.

"Err, wasn't there a Team Rocket attack just by the Pokemon Center?" I asked; it appeared everyone else had forgotten.

"Uh, yeah, but they said they wouldn't block off the Center," Aipom replied. "Anyway, we are Dragon Tamers, so they'd probably let us by anyway."

"Makes sense." I thought for a moment more. "Okay, then let's go back."

"Alright," Dan replied. "Blaze, what do you think?"

"Huh?" Blaze yawned, "Either way I can sleep, so I don't care."

"I guess that settles it," Dan leaned over and opened up the helicopter door. "We head down, get the rest of our team and all of our stuff, and we should be back here in less than half an hour."

"Sounds good," Sai was the first one out the door, followed by Dan, Aipom, and me. After Blaze woke up May and they both climbed out, we locked our helicopter and descended the stairs into the Pokemon Center.

Inside, we found Hydro and Tyrant playing some video game. Going by the pixelated blood displayed on the television, as well as Tyrant's muttering, it appeared that Hydro had just won at whatever they were playing.

"Huh?" Hydro turned around to see us approaching. "Hey, welcome back. Where were you guys all of that time?"

"Out fighting Rockets," I replied, yawning. "What did you expect that we'd have been doing?"

"I don't know, really. Anyway, so are we going to go back home tomorrow morning or something?"

"Actually, no," Dan answered, "We're planning to go tonight."

"Oh?" Tyrant turned towards us, "So I guess we better get ready now, huh?"

"Yeah, that would be a good idea. We should get going as soon as we can."

"Works for me," Hydro replied, standing up. "Then let's get out of here!"

It took us about fifteen minutes after that point to get back up onto the roof. We had packed all of our things, and most of us had gotten some sort of food. Aqua and Eesha had been awakened near the end, and had tiredly followed us into the helicopter.

As Aipom started up the helicopter and prepared to leave for our "home" Pokemon Center in Sector Alpha, I checked on everyone behind me. All of our belongings had been strapped to some part of the helicopter; now everyone was strapping themselves into their seats.

"Eh?" Hydro was looking towards Blaze and May, who were sitting next together in the same seat. "Are you two in love or something now?"

"Maybe we are," May replied, sounding somewhat defiant. "Is there anything wrong with that?"

"No," Hydro looked at her curiously. "That's cool. You two make a cute couple."

"Uhh, thanks," May apparently had been expecting Hydro to start taunting her and Blaze. Hydro had been known for being immature in the past, but I had doubted that he would give May any problems. Even if she didn't know it, Hydro respected both her and Blaze.

After Hydro yawned and closed his eyes, May appeared satisfied that he wasn't going to bother her. She kissed Blaze once, then both of them snuggled together in their seat, trying to find the most comfortable position for them to sleep in on the ride home.

"Alright," Aipom sat down in the pilot's seat again, and I took my place as the copilot; the helicopter lifted off into the night, finally taking us towards our home.


"Ugh, we have to walk half a mile now?!" Hydro complained. I didn't quite blame him; it was almost midnight. However, we had just landed the helicopter at the local Dragon Tamers' headquarters, and our Pokemon Center was half a mile down the road.

"Yeah, unless you want to sleep here all night," Blaze yawned, having just been awakened like the majority of our team. "Whatever, let's just go now and get there so we can sleep again."

"Well then what are we waiting for?" I asked. Even Psychic Raichus get irritable sometimes. I was quite tired by then, and it hadn't helped to be sitting in a helicopter for much of the last twelve hours. "Can you guys get going?"

My semi-exasperated command was followed by everyone. Aipom, Blaze, May, Sai, Dan, Aqua, Hydro, Tyrant, Eesha, and I all slowly headed back to the Pokemon Center, many of us weighed down by things that we had brought with on the initial trek do Dark Island four days before.

So, we slowly walked for about twenty minutes. Everyone was exhausted from how busy we had been in the previous few days; however, as we were going home right now, the entire team seemed happy and we didn't even hear a single complaint from Hydro.

As we had expected, there were many police around the area because of the Team Rocket attack earlier in the day. They gave us no trouble, however, since Dan's Dragon Tamers badge made him effectively outrank the police officers that approached us.

Finally, the ten of us stumbled through the main doors of the Pokemon Center and into our usual home. After going up a short flight of stairs and through a long hallway, Dan fumbled through his pocket for a moment to get his keys to let himself into his room at the Pokemon Center; it was only big enough for sleeping and storing belongings, but it was essentially our permanent home.

Inside, everyone was asleep already. Tulie was curled around a lamp, and Flare was in a sleeping bag on the floor next to her. Gaea had fallen asleep in the middle of one of the beds. Mopia was asleep under one of the beds, and Zippy was on the top shelf in the closet; Flatten, of course, was much too large to fit in this room.

It took about two minutes for everyone to find an appropriate area for sleeping and to make themselves comfortable, whether it be on one of the beds or on the couch. I used my Psychic powers to move Gaea over to one side of the bed so Dan could claim most of the rest for himself. I curled up in one corner at the foot of the bed, before using my Psychic to turn off the light at May's request. It was good to be home again.

Blaze (Lv. 9 Quilava) and Aipom (Lv. 14 Aipom) defeated Squirtle (Lv. 15)
Thunderblast (Lv. 41 Raichu) defeated Ampharos (Lv. 45)
Blaze grew to Lv. 10!
Aipom grew to Lv. 15!
Thunderblast grew to Lv. 43!
Blaze learned Detect as his free TM!

Lady Vulpix
22nd May 2004, 06:53 PM
Alright, Kris. You can have 6 more stamps now. ¢¢¢¢¢¢
Nicely done, Karin! Take 21 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Though I wonder how those vicious pokemon got into the Blizzard Room, and what will happen to Evenstar and Nimrodel now. And what's with Mike and the Absol. And... did Aglárien really try to blind the Slowpoke permanently?

I'll try to read Danny's battle soon, but it would be great if someone else could rate it. I'm afraid Karin made a mistake when answering Shonta's question. Pokemon learn moves as the same level they would learn them in GSC. Only when the move is not available in GSC we use levels from other games. Check the FAQ (http://forboards.tripod.com/FAQ.html) for more information, and sorry for the confusion.

23rd May 2004, 05:22 AM
Gabi, here is the next part of my story, can you rate it when you have time please? I hope you like it. I wanted to post Kassandra's battle so she can be Level 9 in the Unicorn games, I hope this is OK.

I didn’t know the way to Sector Alpha. Sure, I had been there before but my sense of direction was terrible. It was a good thing we had Kirei to lead us to the centre. The city looked empty, and there were many broken and smashed buildings. I could tell we were close to where all the disruption had occurred, but where were Team Rocket? And where was Ade?
“We’re lost, aren’t we?” yawned Kassandra, frustratedly.
“Uh, Kirei,” I asked the Espeon, “weren’t we here a minute ago?”
Kirei didn’t answer at first. I kept forgetting she was probably trying to trace Ade psychically and I was probably putting her off with my impatience. Everywhere we passed looked the same, desolate wasteland, not like a busy city at all.
Suddenly Kirei turned to me. “I don’t know,” she said, looking somewhat disappointed. “Oh! What’s that?” Kirei had tripped on a sign that had evidently been knocked down by unscrupulous trouble makers. It was a “one way” road sign, and looking in the direction the arrow pointed as it lay I saw what looked like movement far in the distance.
“Kirei,” I said, hugging the Espeon, “I am glad I brought you!”
“Hmph…” was the noise which came from Kassandra as she turned her back on me.
“You too, Kass, of course you too,” I said as I picked up my little Charmander and gave her a hug. “Now let’s get going, ok?”

The movement was coming from a building in the distance, but I felt sure that’s where we should head. I wanted to avoid being seen and taken hostage myself, so when I noticed a shadowed figure ahead, I was frightened. I clung tightly to Kassandra, and placed a cautionary hand on Kirei, in case she had not noticed.
“Yay!!” shouted Kirei, turning to beam at me and causing my heart to stop for a brief moment. Kirei ran towards the figure and it was then that I realised it was an Umbreon, and not just any Umbreon – this was Milly!
“Milly!” I shouted, running towards him, “what are you doing here on your own?” A terrible thought crossed my mind. “Where’s Ade?”
“He’s trying to get into… wait a minute, what are you doing here?”
I explained to Milly how we’d set out after Ade and was promptly informed by the Umbreon that we were heading in the wrong direction. No amount of arguing would convince Milly that we actually had just started off in the right direction as he began to lead us to the building I had spotted.

As we neared what looked like a large department store, I saw that there was much activity between various trainers and Team Rocket members, which seemed innumerable. So intense were the battles that it took me a full minute before I had even registered the giant Salamence perched on the store’s roof. We had to find a way inside while avoiding the Rockets. I was sure Ade would be up there and I had to get to him. I picked up Kassandra to keep her out of trouble.

We followed Milly to the building and he took us through a secluded back entrance, my Pokémon running along ahead of me and leading the way. The entrance led to the base of a darkened stairway corridor, where standing was a shadowy figure I recognised. I ran to hug Ade and my hug was returned.
“Why did you come here, Soo? I wanted you to stay at home,” said Ade, looking upset.
“I couldn’t face the thought of you going out into danger and not having me at your side, OK?” I replied.
“Guys,” Milly said quietly, “we ought to move on.” That was the first non-sarcastic thing I’d heard from the Umbreon in ages. We went quietly up the stairs towards the roof of the building and were surprisingly alone – there were no Rocket guards along the way or even a sound. When we neared the top, Ade turned to me.
“You stay here, Soo, Kirei and Kassandra will protect you if anything happens. I need to go on and deal with the guy behind all this.”
“I want to be with you,” I whined.
“No. Let me go. You’ll hear me shout if I need you up there, ok?” Ade looked stern; I knew it was no good arguing with him so I sat down on the floor.

Kirei, Kassandra and I waited patiently. There had been no sound from above for what seemed like an eternity, but in fact was probably about half an hour. I was starting to worry, and announced to my team we were going up.
“Yay!” said Kassandra, probably too loudly, “At last a real battle!”
“Kassandra,” replied Kirei, being spookily serious for a change, “this is serious. And Soo, Ade told you to wait.”
I ignored this and started walking up the way Ade had gone, my Pokémon following me as I knew full well they would. There was a door ahead which led to the rooftop and Ade. However the door was now guarded. A solitary, gruff looking Rocket was standing in front. We walked straight up to him, the only thing I could think of to do.
“Let us pass and we won’t hurt you,” I said, trying my best to make it look and sound like we actually could hurt him if we wanted to.
The Rocket gave a little laugh. “Mr DiAnnio is in conference,” he said with a smug, somewhat sleazy tone. “And you, little girl, are about to be taken hostage.”
“Not if I can help it!” I shouted, “I, uh, challenge you!” I didn’t know what else I was supposed to say but I knew as soon as I said I challenge you that it was the lamest thing ever. The Rocket laughed again and pulled a single Pokéball from his pocket.
I backed away slightly, suddenly realising what I’d gotten myself into and my two brave Pokémon companions stood braced for battle in front of me.
The Pokémon used by the Rocket was an angry looking Squirtle and immediately Kirei stepped up to face it.
“No fair!” said Kassandra, pushing the Espeon out of the way, “I’m fighting this one and no arguments.” I could see the Rocket laughing to himself again.

Kirei returned to stand by me, ready to jump in if Kassandra looked like she was in trouble.
“Can’t you just fight with her?” I asked Kirei.
“I have a feeling from that one, she doesn’t need my help, but if I’m wrong, I’m ready to get in there.”
I trusted Kirei’s judgement.

FIGHT!!! L7 Charmander v L15 Squirtle!

At this point I was unsure whether I should shout out attacks or just try to advise Kassandra. I wasn’t a trainer, I was just a trainer’s girlfriend. Kassandra was a lot faster than the Squirtle and was doing an outstanding job of dodging the Squirtle’s water attacks. Why my Charmander had thought it was a good idea to fight a type she was naturally weak to I would never know. Maybe she enjoyed challenges. I thought back to earlier, when she had insisted on trying to kick, headbutt and punch Bolovayr, who was resistant to physical damage, and in the end came out on top. But that was only a practice battle in our garden; this was the real thing.
“Kassandra!” I shouted to her, “use some attacks will you?” I wasn’t sure what attacks she knew, although I was pretty sure any fire attacks wouldn’t help her. Which was why I was particularly frustrated when she started breathing fire in the face of the Squirtle. Luckily she was still fast enough to get away when he retaliated with water moves.
“Try something else, Kass!” I called to her.
“I’m fine, Soo, I’m winning!” Kassandra said, looking at me just in time to be narrowly missed by a strong body attack from the Squirtle. “Whoops!!!”
I decided I was best off not interfering and watched as Kass continued to breathe fire, having absolutely no effect except amusing the Squirtle. I could see that the Squirtle was taunting Kassandra, although I couldn’t understand his words. All I could understand was Kassandra’s reply: “Oh yeah? Eat fire!!” before she breathed a strong jet of flames right into the Squirtle’s face, this time seeming to hurt him as he began to look even angrier and spouted streams of water back at the Charmander. Somehow Kassandra managed to jump high and avoid the attack, frustrating her opponent still further.
I was really impressed by Kassandra. I had really thought she’d need Kirei’s assistance by now, but she really was as brave as she professed to be. Still, if she kept breathing fire like that, it didn’t seem like there would be any way she could win. But still I hoped she would think of something.
The battle had been going on in this way for quite some time with neither Pokémon looking like they were getting tired. Kassandra breathed yet more fire in the face of the Squirtle, only to have him respond with water that cut right through the fire and hit Kassandra full in the face. Luckily for Kass most of the water’s strength had been diminished by eating through her fire but still I could see it hurt her. “Is that the best you’ve got, little boy?” shouted Kassandra, who by now seemed to be enjoying infuriating her opponent. He responded by running straight towards her, head lowered ready to bash into Kass, but she somehow managed to jump clear over him, causing him to have to skid to a halt before whirling round to face Kass. But he was too slow, as he turned he was caught in the face by flames causing him to rub his eyes in pain. Unfortunately that seemed to be the extent of the effect suffered by the Squirtle and he quickly retaliated with water, which Kassandra somehow dodged.
“Soo! Look at me! I’m winning!!!” she shouted to me as she jumped away from the Squirtle again. Just then he jumped as well, trying to hit the Charmander with his shell when she wasn’t looking, and succeeding. “Oh, that didn’t hurt!” Kass said, getting to her feet. It looked like the Squirtle was shouting angry words to my Charmander. “Take a chill pill, moron,” she replied. At least now I wasn’t the lamest one in the team anymore. Take a chill pill just HAD to beat I challenge you!
Next I watched Kassandra avoid yet another jet of water by jumping in a silly, dancy way, before landing awkwardly some distance away from the Squirtle. He didn’t miss his chance and while Kass was floored fired the strongest jet of water he could muster. Kassandra saw it coming towards her. She opened her mouth instinctively to breathe fire back at her opponent and try to cut off the jet of water, but this time the fire looked different. The flames were strong, electric light blue sparking jets that cut straight through the water giving her opponent quite literally the shock of his life. Kassandra had received a great deal of water to the face by this point but somehow managed to keep going, if anything her electrical fire growing stronger and eventually the Squirtle, unable to attack any more and completely electrified, fell to the ground.

Kassandra wins!
Kassandra grew to L9!

“I told you I’d win! Soo, Kirei, I won!! Look at me!!!” Kassandra began to cheer, jumping higher and higher into the air as the Rocket recalled his Pokémon and ran down the stairs.
“He’ll be going to get reinforcements,” said Kirei. “We can’t stay here.”
I looked at the now unguarded door, and as I began to open it, it creaked spookily. My team followed me onto the rooftop. :196:

Lady Vulpix
23rd May 2004, 05:35 AM
Well done, Soo! Take 11 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
I'm sure the tournament will be really interesting. There are plenty of great writers in it!

Amy said she would rate Danny's battle, so please be patient. Now I'm off to start the Games. :D

23rd May 2004, 07:26 AM
[color=hotpink]Nicely done, Karin! Take 21 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
Though I wonder how those vicious pokemon got into the Blizzard Room, and what will happen to Evenstar and Nimrodel now. And what's with Mike and the Absol. And... did Aglárien really try to blind the Slowpoke permanently?

All this will be answered in the conclusion. ^_^; I was planning to write it soon, but I'm going to focus on the tournament story now. As I type this, I currently suffer a horrible I-don't-know-what, and I feel as if I'm about to drop dead. I'll work on getting the story done by the deadline. If I make it to the second round, I'll probably have less than a week to work on it, because we'll be back a really short time before the second deadline. As a consequence, my stories will be rushed, but that's all right. I'll do the best that I can.

Oh, and Aglárien never got to blind the Slowpoke. He was too quick for her and threw her back with Psychic before she got to have a go at his eyes.

Crystalmaster Mike
23rd May 2004, 07:48 AM
If Extrasensory looks completely different in-game wise, I plead ignorance (or a malfunctioning memory).

~ ~ ~ ~

"Rock 'n Roll!"
"No, Heavy Metal!"

~ Bruce’s POV ~

Sigh… How did we get mixed up in this situation again? Ah yes…

Mike had heard about a special tournament organized by the Dragon Tamers, called the Union Games. Unfortunately, when we went to see what it was about, they told us each and every place in the Games had already been taken. However, the training grounds where trainers could prepare for the event were open to all. So, Mike asked about them. But the clerk had no clue where they were, and said he'd have to call his boss.

"I smell a Happy Bureaucracy Hour coming." Mike had said with a smirk. "Why don't you guys run off and go exploring? I'll come searching for you in an hour or so, probably. Just don't leave the Plaza."

As it was, the DT Office we were at was located on Swellow Plaza, somewhere in the north of Sector Alpha. It was a curvaceous Plaza, surrounded with shops, apartments and official looking buildings. It was very large and was the home to a giant flock of Taillow and Swellow (hence its name). They had their nests high up in the flats surrounding the plaza (where tall trees used to stand), and swooped down to ground level every hour or so, to take a dive in the huge fountain which was located in the center of the plaza. A huge statue of a merman and his Gyarados dominated the large body of water (it was out of the lower body of the merman and the mouth of the Gyarados that the fountain water poured and spouted, respectively).
It was to this oasis in the desert of the big city that most of the group dashed, at the exact same moment Mike had said "Plaza". It should be no surprise that those of us that visited the fountain were all Water Types, as the cool rehydration for them, came at just the right time (and for Hanna, it meant more space to swim in).
What was left of the team went their separate ways: 'Cada, Tony, Skyler and Aron went searching for a place to sun (and to snooze, in Aron's case), and to build up some energy once more.

"Don't you need any solar energy?", I asked Verne.
“Nah. I take vitamins." the Larvitar grinned, swallowing a large rock as proof.
“I think you mean minerals, Verne."
“Whatever you say, Shane."

So, seeing no fun in diving nor sunning, Shane, Verne and I decided to go exploring, maybe find a record shop or something. Liam and Nemo stayed with Mike (those furred pets!). Nemo's look was distracted; his thoughts were elsewhere.

“Did Mike go to the Breeding Center yet, to get that Eevee?"
"Nope." I said. "He said he hadn't found 'the right match' yet, for the parents."
“Why anyone would want to raise anyone else is beyond me. We 'Tars have got it made with our system."
"What system? The parents just dump their kids in the ground and let them eat their way to the surface."
“That's exactly my point." said Larvitar, patting his belly, satisfied after consuming another 2 rocks.

Suddenly, we heard someone behind us, hurriedly running in our direction.
“*sigh* *gasp* Wait for me!" It was Skyler! Tony was nowhere in the vicinity, yet the winged Bagon really was fluttering there in front of us. But if he had been fluttering, whose footsteps…?
"*gasp* *sigh* Wow, you guys step fast! My aching paws, ouch!" Another surprise! Aron was running for once! Except during battle, she never seemed to eager to do anything.
“Skyler? Aron! What are you…?"
“I wanted to go explore the big city like you guys, but Tony is being so boring to today." Skyler whined. He doesn't want to do anything! Can I come with you guys?" he pleaded, with a puppy face (as far as that's possible for a Bagon).
“Sure, I guess." Verne stammered. “Though I still can't figure out what you are doing here, Aron."
"I couldn't just leave da fella' alone, could I? she winked. "Besides, I can come up with more fun things to do than to listen to that loudmouth" (she was referring to Tony) "boasting around."
“'Bout what?" Shane asked.
"Practically everything he's done, doing and will do." she laughed.
We had to laugh too (even Skyler). That's the Tony we all know and love!
"No, than take you guys. Your music's cool: it lights my inner fire! I've been feeling itchy since I heard you play."
"When was that? We never saw ya 'round in the kitchen."
"I didn't dear disturb your little repetition, so I just listened behind the door." Aron blushingly admit. She looked both cute and fragile, blushing.
“Oh, can you barge in whenever you like, Aron. Nothing can stop us while we're rehearsing!"[/i] Shane boasted.
“Except hunger, of course."
“Not even that, Verne. Haven't you noticed us how we time it in such a way that we take a break just a millisec before we grow hungry?"
The five of us broke out in laughter. Hold on… There were six Pokémon laughing!
"Gordon! You too?"
“Of course, Bruce! You still haven't told me everything about boxing, have you?"
"Uh… No." I could feel Verne and Shane exchanging meaningful glances behind my back. They had mentioned earlier how they couldn't really understand why anyone want would want to raise anyone else, and now they saw me doing just that with a Mudkip. Okay, so I was just tutoring him, but still, they didn't see the point in it.
"Okay I'll tell you what we'll do, Gordon. As soon as the gang's reassembled, I'll be tutoring you again; for now, we're having a day off!"
“Cool! What'll we do?"
“I don't know about you three," Verne said, nodding at Skyler, Aron and Gordon in one fluent movement of the head, “but we're trying to find a record shop of some sort."
“Then why aren't you going into this one we're standing in front of?" Skyler asked innocently.
“Say what?"
Unbelievably yet true, we had stopped walking right in front of a mega-modern Music Mecca! Walkmans, Discmans, mp3's,… They were all lined up behind the show window, together with electric guitars, fancy drums, and the newest mikes.
After a minute or so of silent drooling at all the accessories, the six of us entered; 'Muscled, Loudmouthed and Sneering' (the nickname our band had been given; it didn't really described the package entirely) lead the way.
Had we not entered, our day had probably been a lot more like a real day off the job…

“It's humongous!"
“It's gigantic!"
"It's stupendous!"
“It's awesome!"
"It's overwhelming!"
“But why isn't anyone around?" Skyler brought up.
He had a point there; this place was filled to the top with shelves-full of the most up-to-date music-related items, yet there wasn't a soul around to buy them. Even all the employees this place must have had seemed vanished.
"There's someone: at the end of this isle!" Aron had caught sight of what must have been the only customer in the whole store: a small, curly-haired, middle-aged man that was checking out the articles on the lowest shelf to his right. We watched him browsing through various items, never once showing any sign of our presence there. After a while, the man seemed to have found what he'd been looking for, and disappeared behind the corner on the other end of the isle, going towards the end of the store where the cashier's stands must have been, along with the exit of the store. I opened my mouth to ask the others what we'd do now, when…
A flash of electricity could be seen from behind the furthest isle. A moment later, the lone customer dashed outside, his clothes and hair cindering. Malicious laughter could be heard, its origin the same as the electric blast.
"What in…?"
“Now thêt couldn't have been the regular customer service around here.
“But what is it?"
"I think the question is: who is it?"
“A Pokémon, that's for sure."
“I'll go see who it is!" Skyler began to flutter almost instantly.
"No, Skyler!" I said frantically. "They'll zap you too! We're gonna have to sneak up on it by foot!"

So, adding the deed to the word, I lead the way. Pretty soon, we got to the final isle. We peeked around the corner (in that classic style where a bunch of people look around a corner with their heads above each other), and… almost lost our balance.
This part of the store we were now contained all of the cd-players, along with the music-mixing tables dj's use, and the big-screen TV's. In front of one of the cd-players, a group of Pokémon were… headbanging? They all wore headphones, which were connected to the cd-player. They seemed to be a Pokémon gang of some sort: practically all of them were Steel-types. We could see an Aron, three Magnemite (the zappers, most certainly), a Mawile, a petite Skarmory… and two Voltorb, who looked rather out of place, rather shaky too (maybe they were new recruits), and who kept close to where the Magnemite were levitating.
Having spotted a fellow Rock-type (which happened to be the same species as one of his teammates), Verne felt at ease with the group and stepped forward, paying no attention to our frantically whispered warnings.
“Hello there!" But the group paid no attention to him, being still caught up in the music they were listening to.
“I said: HELLO THERE!" Verne had lifted the ear of the headphone of one of the Magnemite, and had yelled, for the music coming from the headphone made his voice practically inaudible.
"Magne…? MIIIIIIIIITE!!!" Surprised by Verne, the Magnemite Screeched. In pain, all of us yelped and covered our ears, including the rest of the Pokémon group, for the Screech held much more decibels than any sort of music.
"Shut down, Magnemite!!" the Aron yelled, in a rough, deep voice. He clearly was a male, and he'd clearly yelled this command many times beforehand. Because, as soon as the Magnemite picked it up with his sensors, it stopped the Screech. It looked at the Aron, embarrassed. It looked at Verne, still suspicious. Then it floated in between its two fellows, and they began circling around each other, so that in the end, you couldn't make out which Magnemite had Screeched.
"Dumb piece of machinery…" the Aron muttered, before noticing us.
"Hello there! Nice to see new faces around here, instead of them usual shoplifters!" For some reason, 'them usual shoplifters' were quite amusing for his mates. Even though they themselves didn't seem to be buying anything either (though they weren't 'lifting the shop, either).
“Uh, yeah. Uh…" Verne had completely forgot what he'd been doing before the Screech, and now was mumbling around helplessly. “Oh yeah, hi! I'm Verne, and these are my teammates. We're…"
"… trained Pokémon, ey?" The Aron's eyes narrowed, and it grew a bit chillier, all of a sudden. Trained Pokémon weren't appreciated that much by these streetPokémon, it seemed.
“Uh, Adopted, rather." That didn't seem to make a difference; trained or Adopted, we were still following a human's commands. “Uh… Agh… Oh yeah! What I'd wanted to ask: what were you guys listening to earlier?"
The look on the Aron's face relaxed; he even smiled! "Ah! Music lovers, are we? Well, come here, mate, listen and enjoy!"
The Aron signaled Verne to come over and put his headphone on. After a couple of moments of listening, the Larvitar put the headphone back off, scratching.
“Nice, but… what kind of music is it?"
The Aron seemed flabbergasted. "You're… You're kidding me right? You mean to say you don't recognize a Heavy Metal song if you hear one?"
“Heavy Metal? No… Doesn't really do anything to me. I'm more of a Rock fan myself, you know."
"Well I'll be a rotten-picking Dunsparce! A Rock fan? You're from the Stone Age or something? Rock is out, dude; Metal is in!"
“Tch, like I care! Rock 'n Roll is an all-timer!"
"No, Heavy Metal is the music of the future!"
"Rock 'n Roll!"
"No, Heavy Metal!"
This was where I began wondering how we ended up in this mess in the first place…

After another minute or so of useless yaying and naying, Larvitar decided to water his wine a bit, for the sake of a truce.
"Look, as a fellow Rock Type, can't you at least… understand why I like Rock music?"
"Never!!" the Aron shouted passionately. "And I'd rather not have been half Rock! Steel/Ground is way cooler a Type Combo!"
"Are you serious? The Aron I know is completely at peace with her nature, aren't you Aron?"
"Yeah, I am." Aron seemed embarrassed to have become a part of the argument.
"Huh? … Why hello dear, missy. Nice to meet someone of my own kind for once." The Aron seemed to have completely forgotten about his annoyance with Larvitar, and instead curiously inspected our Aron. From his gang came an annoyed growl, the source: the Mawile. "The name's Rocko. Though I'm thinking of changing it to something more… metallic. And what's your name, pretty thing?"
"It's…" Aron hesitated, glanced at us, and locked eyes with the ground. "My name is… Nora." Surprise! In a cold, drafty, abandoned shop, in front of a bunch of unknown Pokémon, Aron (or better yet, Nora) had revealed a secret we didn't even know she'd kept from us (we'd assumed she hadn't had a nick), and that to a bratty member of her specie.
"Nora, huh? Well, Nora… How about you and me go a-scavenging for a quick snack, huh?"
Aro-, uh, Nora blushed, opened her mouth to reply, but:
"You always take me on a scavenging hunt, Rocko! Why waist your time with such a wallflower?"
"Because I don't want to be kept in the grasp of a piranha plant for the rest of my live, Daisy." Daisy? Rocko's nickname for her, "piranha plant", came closer to the truth. For this Mawile, as every other Mawile on the surface of the planet, had a really fanged pony tail. From behind her small head rose the giant iron crocodile mouth, bearing its teeth. With this chick you didn't really want to mess around. On the other hand, all she needed was a bit of polishing, and you had a regular Beauty Contest winner. In other words: Daisy was a 'femme fatale'.
"OOW! What has she got that I haven't?"
"Listen, babe: it's more like the other way around, get it?"
She didn't. "Rocko, if you're going through with this, don't come knocking on my door tonight!"
"I couldn't if I wanted to: you sold your door to that Snorlax to have for supper!" Rocko turned his attention back to Nora. "So what'd ya think?"
"Well, I'm sorry Rocko, but I won't be here around much longer. Our trainer's taking us to a training ground!"
"Tch, tch… Then you just ditch your trainer and move on! Simple!"
"But I…"
"Listen, Nora, I'll let you in on something: training's for a while, the street's there forever. You won't miss anything special if you end your trained history now instead of within the next decade, believe me."
"I… I don't."
"D'you here her, buster?" Verne stepped back in the line of fire voluntarily. "She likes her life as it is, and there's nothing you can do about that!"
"Now I wouldn't say that, cavedude: there's always the option of… terminating her life with you while starting her new life with us."
"And how…"
Words were unnecessary: the determined look on the faces of the gang members spoke for itself. Brute force would end this argument. Even Daisy was behind her leader: the ways of love are impossible to understand.
"If that's the way you want to play it…"
"It is." Rocko said coldly.
"Then how about we settle this matter with a Double Battle?"
"How about we settle it with a Gang Battle, huh?"
"Won't do you no good, buster. We have reinforcements: you don't seem to have any. We have various species of Pokémon represented in our team, you don't."
"I still don't…"
"We have a Bagon that knows Flamethrower, a Mudkip with a Fighter's spirit, and a Machop with a Fighter's muscles on our team. You…"
"Okay, okay! We'll have it your way." Rocko said hastily. "One Double Battle coming up!"
“Because the Larvitar says so." Shane walked forward, next to Verne. He'd been awfully quiet during the argument. “And because outside, the humiliation will be bigger, whilst the damage to the music instruments and what not in here will be minimalized."
"And your partner will be…?"
"Me." Daisy stepped forward as well. "Let Rocko do as Rocko wants, and don't you tell him what to do! That's my job, and I like it."
"Uh… Yeah. Let's get to it, then!"

~ Skyler's POV ~

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! This would be the first time I'd see some of my friends battle! My heart felt so light, I felt like flying… So I did. Well, I fluttered. My wings aren't that strong yet. I fluttered out of the shop, to a window on its second floor. From there, I could see the whole Plaza, and I had an excellent view on the coming battle. From afar, I could see Tony and 'Cada looking my way. I grew a bit nervous; I hadn't been going anywhere without Tony ever since I got out of my Egg, and now I would be watching a Pokémon Battle for the 1st time, without him being there to comment upon it. But I didn't feel all bad: I liked doing things I wanted to do, and what was wrong with that? Tony had said it himself: “One day you'll be able to fly with your own wings!"
Okay, so technically I wasn't flying yet, but still… And atleast Dylan wasn't around. Tony seemed rather anxious to have him around me. I wondered why… He was a member of the time, wasn't he? The team! I'd forgotten about what I was planning to watch!
The 4 Pokémon that would be battling had taken their places already, 2 on each side of the battle area (which was a large piece of the huge, car-free Plaza) with their respective teams behind them.

“When you are!"
"Okay then…"

Verne (Larvitar) (lvl.5) (m) & Shane (Whismur) (lvl.5) (m)
Rocko (Aron) (lvl.5) (m) & Daisy (Mawile) (lvl.5) (f)

Verne started to attack first. He ran at his two opponents with top speed. But I wondered… Would Tackling a Steel Type not be a rather… wasted move?
Rocko began to shimmer and shine - he was tensing his muscles to Harden his skin. Seeing this, Verne shifted the whole of his attack to the Mawile. But he didn't make contact with her - he jumped over her!
"Are you playing a Trick on me?" said Daisy with her back still turned towards Verne and her second mouth snapping viciously at him.
"Nope." he said grinning.
Daisy turned her head to look Verne in the face when she noticed something from the corner of her eye. Starting from where Verne had stood and moving along the path he'd run, bumps and cracks were growing at an alarming rate. The closer to Daisy, the bigger they became, until about two meters in front of her, a medium-sized rock burst out of the ground and flew right at her. She hardly had enough time to pulverize it between her metal crocodile teeth, when another, bigger rock struck her in the face. It had burst out of the ground, much closer to her then the previous one. The following minute, another 3 stones hit her everywhere on her tiny body, until Verne's Ancientpower attack finally ceased.
"Heh. Gotcha!"
"Grrr… Why you little…!" Furious because she hadn't seen his attack coming, Daisy circled around and lunged for Verne's throat. Verne was able to jump away in time… or so he thought. For as he came down again, Daisy's metal teeth carved into his side, each fang dripping with purple venom. And the attack didn't miss its effect: seeing Verne's expression change from mocking to sulking in pain, one could easily see he was seriously poisoned.
"Heh. Got you!"
"You… think… so…?" Verne said, having trouble with each word. "Well,… then… think… again!" Surprisingly agile for his condition, Verne jumped at his two-mouthed adversary. Stunned by his bold move, Daisy watched how the Larvitar was falling down upon her, his mouth wide open. The Bite he performed on her neck might as well have been a Take Down attack, for Verne took Daisy down with him as a cause of the power behind his jump, the dared, almost-lethal attack causing serious damage on both sides, even with their respective Steel and Rock nature. Perhaps Daisy'd tensed her body enough for Verne to get hurt by merely Biting skin. Perhaps she'd managed to pull of a Double-Edge attack without even moving (if so, congrats to her!). Or perhaps Verne just didn't know his true strength yet. Whatever the case, it didn't matter any more.
Only one Pokémon was left standing after the collision of metal and rock: our very own Verne the Larvitar. His eyes shone with an entrancing glare; I could now see why Daisy hadn't moved out of his way: a Leer like his was hypnotizing. Despite the poison that was starting to eat away at his health fast, he stood there, as a general after a battle well fought and won.

Verne (Larvitar) grew to level 6!

~ Aron (or Nora) her POV ~

While Verne concentrated on Daisy, Shane went for Rocko, and vice-versa. They ran at each other, Rocko on all four, Shane with a paw held high. When they met halfway, Rocko tackled Shane in the stomach, while Shane's paw hit Rocko in the back in almost pathetic attempt of a Pound. Shane was thrown on his back, while Rocko started to Stomp him endlessly.
"You should choose your friends more carefully from now on," Rocko told Shane in-between two Stomps, "then you won't be losing so often to Pokémon above your League."
“Who said you're anywhere above me? GrrrrAAAH!!" Shane threw Rocko off of him, and caused an Uproar.
"Easy there, ma-" Rocko tried to calm him, but Shane cut him short; nothing would calm him down but sheer exhaustion.
"I said: easy there, mate!!" Annoyed with Shane, Rocko let out his Frustration with a roar and a Tackle, which was enough to shut Shane up, for now.
“Hey, I was on a roll there! You burst my bubble!"
"Don't tell me you know that." Rocko said.
“Know what?"
I saw Shane 'sweatdropping', and couldn't blame him… Lame joke there, Rocko!
“If I ever need a comedian, I'll stay away from you, Rocko!" Shane lunged forward, attempting once more to Pound Rocko. Even though he used both his paws this time, again the attack dealt little damage. Shane struck him again and again, but Rocko hardly felt a thing. He'd even Hardened his armor so that the attack looked even more pathetic.
"Come on, mate, I'm waiting!" said Rocko, mocking Shane. "Where is your final attack, huh?"
And to humiliate Shane even more, Rocko pushed him away, the egocentric brat! Shane, exhausted from his combat with the Steel type's Armor, stumbled, tripped, and landed on his behind, on which he remained seated while catching his breath, glaring at Rocko with a dark light in his eyes.
"Oh, this too much! Hahah! What a show!" Rocko now openly laughed at Shane, tears rolling down over his cheeks. His outrageous laughter was contrasted deeply by the look of sheer hatred on Shane's face. He was now taking this fight personal.
"Tell me… Whis-… Whismur," Rocko had trouble speaking, as his uncontrolled laughter had him rolling on the floor, laughing out loud. "What… What do you do for an encore?"
“I'll… show you." Shane said slowly through his teeth.
In a flash, the look on his face changed from deep hatred, to deep concentration. He now looked some what like a monk, meditating in lotus position.
Slowly but steadily, Rocko calmed down, not finding the situation so funny anymore - he was more worried now.
"What… what are you up to, Whismur?"
No reaction, only a faint… humming sound.
"I said: what are you up to??" Rocko screamed. He wasn't one to feel comfortable with his opponent meditating instead of attacking.
Still, Shane remained silent, yet the humming sound grew deeper, louder. The vibrations flowed through the air, and tickled the ear that heard them. It was hard to tell where they were coming from…
I turned my head sideways, upwards and downwards, but could not find the source of the sound. When I looked back at the two combatants (the other battle had completely escaped my attention), I jumped in fright.
Rocko was staring at Shane, his eyes filled with disbelieve and horror, his mouth opening and closing, finding no words to comment on what he saw before him. The air around, above, before and behind Shane was trembling and shaking, loaded with vibrations and power coming from an unknown source deep within Shane himself. Yes, he too looked to be trembling, his veins pulsing with a power which he had not used before in combat, nor any other time.
Suddenly, his eyes opened. They were a confusing blue, seemingly made of an out-of-this-world material that was sparkling and whirling around. These eyes, these new eyes Shane had used for the first time today, were most certainly able to see different things, to sense extra forces in this universe… and to use them in an extraordinary move… Extrasensory.
"S… S… Steh…" Rocko had found his voice again. "Stop looking at me like that!!"
It was as if Shane'd waited for the sound of Rocko's voice… The vibrations and pulses around him moved towards a single, strategic point: just in front of his chest, right in front of where his heart was. The blue light left his eyes; instead, there remained a deep, black emptiness. He moved his arms up, his left and right index finger touched the pulsing orb that had formed in front of his chest…
Everything went fast after that. The orb head for Rocko with an amazing speed, with a faint 'zoof!'-sound, so fast that Rocko had just opened his mouth to scream… when the orb hit him right between the eyes. Purple blue energy surged through the veins on his head, and Rocko's eyes turned inwards. His whole, tiny body twitched and squirmed for about five seconds… and then he fell on his side, fainted.

Shane (Whismur) grew to level 6!

~ Gordon’s POV ~

I'd been watching Shane's battle together with Aron… uh, Nora, while silently cheering for Shane to win. When he finally did, I jumped and let out my relief and joy. That was, until Shane collapsed, utterly drained from his energy.
"Yikes! Shane!"
"He's not the only one that's badly hurt," Nora said, "Look!"
Indeed, Verne too was in a bad condition; he'd collapsed and now was gasping for air while lying on the ground on his back. Even though he as well had been victorious, there were tooth marks on his belly dripping with venom… He'd been badly poisoned, and the poison was conquering his health fast!
Rocko's group of Pokémon made fast work of leaving the stage: in a matter of seconds after Rocko'd been defeated as the last of the duo, they had dragged their leader and his girl off the Plaza, fleeing to whatever they called there home.
I quickly realized Shane and Verne as well needed caring for, ASAP.
"Come on, Nora! Let's carry them to Mike, quickly! They'll be better off recalled in their PokéBalls, until we get to a PokéCenter."
"I'm with you!" We ran at Shane… and realized we wouldn't be able to carry Verne as well; two Pokémon were needed to carry them both.
Luckily, both of us had forgotten about Bruce and Skyler, who'd been rooting for Verne from the shadows. They were taking care of the Larvitar; Skyler was even fluttering slightly to remain on the same shoulder level as Bruce, so that Verne could be held horizontally.
"Okay Shane, don't you worry! We'll get you to Mike in no time!"
I lied down beside him while Nora pushed his head 'n shoulders on my back. Then she took care of Shane's lower body by lifting it with her head.
It was a weird sight, such a diversity of Pokémon helping each other. A lot of bystanders uttered 'oh no''s and 'those poor little things''s, but didn't do a thing to assist us. I couldn't see Tony, 'Cada or any of the other Water Pokémon that had been playing in the fountain - we could only hope they had seen us and told Mike.

We would have some explaining to do… But, in a few weeks, this whole event would hopefully make for a good laugh during meals. Hopefully…

Lady Vulpix
23rd May 2004, 09:14 AM
<Sylvan's POV>

It had been a long week for everyone. Gabi was barely at home with all the preparations for the Games added to her regular activities. Some of us would often follow her while the others would stay at home or just walk or fly around. I was one of those who stayed most of the time; I'd spend my time tending to the garden and thinking... Thinking mainly of where I stood in life. Most pokemon would have that kind of thoughts before taking a decision that would produce major changes in them and in the way they lived; not me, I just liked to put things in perspective and I just couldn't picture myself surviving without dedicating a considerable amount of time to such thoughts. Especially after going through yet another tough situation, or after waking up with my cheeks wet.
They hadn't been nightmares at all. They were sweet dreams, mostly. I'd been having them ever since I'd come back from Templa Taure. Dreams of my childhood, of the valley, my family and my old friends, with an anachronism here and there, like the presence of a pokemon who used to live in that valley but hadn't entered my life until a long time later. I thought that was just a minor detail, the way dreams worked... but for some reason I would often wake up with a piercing feeling of loneliness, and a sense of fatality to it. As if, no matter what I did, nothing could save me ffrom being alone for the rest of my life. Of course I knew that was wrong. I wasn't lonely at all; I was surrounded with the greatest friends I could ever hope for. And as soon as I got into the kitchen and shared breakfast with the others, the odd feelings would quickly fade away. But they would return the following night, and each time they were more persistant.

The morning before we headed for the training grounds I found Lagi looking at me when I woke up. I got scared for a moment, and she turned away with an apology. But before she left, she told me she'd be there in case I needed to talk. She left me wondering how much she had found out. Not that I didn't trust her; I did, but thinking that someone could have probed into feelings that were too deep for even myself to figure them out made me uncomfortable to say the least. So I spent most of that day reflecting, trying to understand what exactly was there for Lagi or others to find out, what was going on with me. Thankfully, I was left alone for as long as I needed to; most probably Lagi's doing.
During that time, I found more questions than answers, but I remembered something that, now I realized, had made the situation a lot worse: Gia. The piercing look in her eyes when she was facing me. She felt almost like a twisted version of Lagi, one that wouldn't stop drilling into your heart regardless of the consequences or, even worse, would do it until the worst happened, until she could cause a soul to break. Of course, that was just a feeling I'd had, just my own perception of the look in her eyes. There was nothing that could prove that she was doing anything else than try to look, sound and feel irritating. But it was hard to believe how well she succeeded at that. I'd barely managed to contain myself while I was battling, and even when Amber was fighting Gia would often direct her looks at me. I didn't know why she did it, but I knew those looks filled me with a rage I'd never known.
But I hadn't realized that back then. At that moment, while Amber was fighting, all I could think of was her. I'd think of Amber and pray that she'd be alright, that she would endure the assaults of her vicious opponent, and the more subtle but just as harmful remarks on behalf of his trainer.

"Is everything alright?," a deep yet sweet voice spoke softly behind me. "I thought I'd find you here."
I turned round and saw my Charizard friend, as sparkling as ever.
"Amber to the rescue, as usual," I smiled.
"Really? And exactly what did I rescue you from?"
"Shady thoughts, that's all," I said, now turning around completely to face her.
"You know you can talk to me if anything's bugging you."
"How curious. Lagi said the same earlier today."
"That's because we care for you."
I looked at her for a moment and smiled again.
"I know," I said.
"Then, what is it? Is anything wrong?"
"I'm not quite sure, that's the thing. The best I can say is that our encounter with Gia has left me thinking."
"But that was months ago!"
"Yes. I'm slow, I know. Or some things are just too subtle to notice them easily. The thing is I think there's more to her than she's let us see."
"Well, from what we could gather it seems she's an executive of some sort. An executive of one of the most merciless criminal organizations. It figures she wouldn't let us know everything about her. She'll just tell us enough to leave us worrying about how much she really knows about us."
"And how do you figure she knows so much about us? I mean, I know the theories about her having access to the Guild's files, and I know how long we've been on the spotlight, but she said some things not even the Dragon's Guild could know."
"Like what?"
"She said I liked watching plants better than fighting. Gabi never told the other Guild members that I'm the local gardener. And he went into such detail about how messed up my leaves and petals were after the battle... As if she knew how much I cared about them."
"Now that you mention it, she did say something about me having a killing instinct. I don't have it, of course, but I've often been afraid of failing to measure my own strength and hurting others permanently. Though it could still be a coincidence. I mean, how could she possibly know?"
"It might be. But I'd rather be on the watch. We've seen enough to know that just about anything can happen."
"True. We'll be ready next time she shows up. Just don't let her get to you. Don't let anyone get the best of you."
"You neither."

I felt better now. I'd taken some weight away from my shoulders, and knowing that Amber agreed with me made things even better. It wasn't all, of course. Gia's attitude towards me had done nothing but bring out what was already there. But I didn't have to talk about it. It wasn't big enough to worry about, after all. Just one of those things about life. The future was ours to make, but not to tell, so there was no telling whether that little gap of loneliness that still lay within me would get filled some day. I wanted to trust that it would. And it wouldn't have been fair to bother Amber with that. Not when she was so sweet, so caring, and knew so well how it felt for love not to be returned.

The following night I had just about the same dream, only I didn't wake up covered in tears. I was happy. I'd been playing with my Oddish and Ditto friends for hours, and also with the Charmander who'd left the Valley before I could meet her, but who had eventually come to me when I was already leading a new life. They called her Cherry back then, and they didn't even have a name for me. But even in the dream she'd call me Sylvan and I'd call her Amber. I told her something I had actually said to her in the past: "when you grow wings and fly, please tell me what it feels like". And she replied: "I'll take you to fly with me". In the morning, for the first time, I told Amber about my dream. She smiled sweetly and told me that she could actually take me to the sky if I wanted, even if we wouldn't be able to get too far. But I kindly rejected the offer: I was too heavy, and I didn't want her to get hurt. I still appreciated it a lot.

Shortly after breakfast, the whole team headed for the Training Grounds. It was a day we'd all been waiting for. Everyone was excited as we wonder who would get to battle in each room. Before we got to talk about that, Gabi informed us that she'd made a deal with Karin and she'd watch over two of Karin's pokemon at the Blizzard room, while her friend would substitute her at the Lava Room.
"I'm afraid I've given up getting into that room, all my attempts have failed miserably," she explained. "Just as I won't ask any of you to battle in an adverse environment unless there's no other way, I've decided to allow myself the same treatment. I know all of you can do well on your own, and Karin will be there in case you need anything. And I'll be waiting outside the room. That's for the Lava Room, I mean. For the rest, I'll be with you."
"Sounds fair," Hero accepted. "I'll get to show Karin a few of my tricks. Because I get to battle there, right?"
"Of course, Hero. I wouldn't deny you the pleasure of battling another fire pokemon."
"I guess that means I get the Pond Room," deduced Tsunami.
"Err... Actually..." Gabi began.
"Actually what?," Tsunami said, nervous.
"Well... You and the rest of group B have had a lot more training than the others lately, so I think..."
"What?! We don't get to train?"
"Wait, please, Tsunami, don't look at me like that. I've been giving this a lot of thought, and I think the others could use a chance to level up more than you three. You four, actually; I'm not counting Amber in either."
"It's ok," said Amber when Gabi directed her look at her. "I still don't get the concept of friendly battles; I'd mess up and regret it. Besides, I've battled more than anyone else in the team lately."
"Yes, more than us," Tsunami insisted. "How long has it been since I last battled?"
"Not too long; you've been at the Battle Tower recently. The others need the training more than you do. Especially Iael. Don't worry, you'll get to battle on the next chance we get. Besides, I thought you would enjoy a weekend at Glacier Peak instead."
"Glacier Peak?," Tsunami's expression changed, his eyes shininh with excitement. "Why didn't you say that before?"
"Because you wouldn't let me speak," Gabi retorted. "I have bookings for the new pokemon resort at Glacier Peak for you, Pidgeot and Water Angel, and I've made sure there'd be room if anyone else wanted to go. Caledor may want to join you after his battle, I'm sure he'll have a lot to talk about and show off. And everyone else is invited."
"Show off?..." Caledor thought for a moment, before he lit up like a living lamp. "Whoa, that's right! I almost forgot about it!"
"What is it, kid?," asked Tsunami.
"I'll show you when I've won my next battle. Wow! Thanks, Gabi! I'll make sure to join the group at Glacier Peak after my battle and find new ways to have fun. Do I get to battle first?"
"I knew you'd get excited," Gabi laughed. "You may battle first if you don't mind doing it in the water. We're heading for the Pond Room first. I can't take anyone to the Lava or Blizzard rooms before I meet Karin, and I'm not too sure about who should battle in the Desert and Jungle rooms."
"I can battle in the Jungle Room," I said. "If I'm going to battle, I think that's the best place. And I already know how to stay away from that paralyzing bush if it's still around."
"Yes, I was counting on you for that. The question is, will Ventura battle there with you, or will she go into the Desert room? Depending on that, you may battle in the Desert room too or have two battles on your own at the Jungle room. That's something for you and Ventura to decide."
"Good, you've put so much thought into this I was beginning to fear there'd be nothing left for us to decide," Ventura remarked.
"You know that could never be the case, don't you, Ventura?"
"I guess. I'd end up making my own choices anyway. But this time I think it's up to Sylvan. Clearly the Desert room would be easier for her, but maybe she's up for a challenge this time."
"I'll think about it," I concluded, ignoring the tone of Ventura's words. I knew words had never been her forte, it wasn't worth getting irritated by them.
"So, where will I battle?," asked Iael.
"I was thinking you culd battle in a variety of environments," Gabi said. "That way you can test and improve a wide range of skills. If you want, that is."
"And that means...?"
"That means I've left room for you to battle in the Desert, Blizzard and Lava rooms. Of course you wouldn't go to all of them in a row, and the Desert Room would go between the other two."
"Wow, that's a lot!"
"Yes. Feel free to reject the offer if you want. I just thought that, since you put so much of you into battling, you'd like a chance to develop some tactics and battle creatively. And since tehy will be friendly battles, there's a good chance you won't have reasons to lose focus."
Gabi worded her thoughts carefully, but Iael could still read between lines.
"It's ok," he told her. "I won't get mad and forget the lives of those I care for are not at stake."
"That's not what I meant..."
"It is, but I don't blame you. Thanks for the chance."
"You've spoken like my brother, did you know that?"
"Really?," then Iael paused for a moment, thinking. "I guess we're not that different."
I couldn't tell whether he was referring to Gabi's brother or Gabi herself.

We walked in silence for a minute, and then Lagi spoke out.
"From what I can gather, I'm battling in the Pond Room with Caledor, right?"
"That's what I was thinking," Gabi confirmed. "But how did you know?"
"Well, all the spots for the Jungle, Desert and Lava rooms are taken, and you wouldn't have me battle in the Blizzard Room. And you never said I wouldn't battle."
"Nice deduction," Ventura told her. "Which leaves one spot open for the Blizzard Room. Do you have a pokemon in mind for that one, or can I take it?"
"You can take it. You may be up against a psychic pokemon, though. But knowing you, you may see that as an incentive."
"Well, I will if I end up proving I'm better than my opponent at harnessing my psychic abilities."
"They say the sky is the limit, but I have the feeling it's only the starting point for your ambition," Gabi laughed.
"You make it sound as if it were a bad thing," Ventura responded. "I only struggle to make the best of myself. Just because I have a type, or two in fact, it doesn't mean I have to let my type become a weakness."
"Are you trying to revolutionize the type weakness concept?," Tsunami asked her.
"I'm not after any revolutions, and I'm not the first one who wants to show no weak points and turn away from no challenges."
"Type weakness doesn't affect everyone in the same way," said Pidgeot, who was hovering close to us. "Just like physical pain in general. But we all have points where we can get hurt the most. And the deepest wounds aren't physical."
His words showed me I hadn't been the only one affected by our encounter with Team Rocket. I almost felt guilty for bursting into tears while Pidgeot had gone through so much worse and was still standing strong. But it wasn't something to feel guilty about. We all react to the same things in different ways.

We split up about halfway to the Training Grounds. Pidgeot took Water Angel's pokeball with him and let Tsunami sit on his back. He waved to us and took off, heading for Glacier Peak. We had arranged to gather there after the battles, and we all had permission to go as soon as we wanted, but I reckoned only Caledor would make use of that permission, and maybe Hero if the Lava Room was not the last one. The rest of us went straight to the Training Grounds complex and, after filling in a lot of forms and consciously ignoring all the stores, Gabi told us we were ready to begin. Since the Pond Room would be the first stop and I wouldn't have enough room to stand and watch the battle, I decided to stay outside. Amber stayed with me. She wasn't going to battle, but she'd wanted to stick with us instead of going to Glacier Peak.
"Are you sure you don't mind standing out here with me?," I asked her.
"Yours is great company," she replied. "Besides, I don't have a better choice either, do I? It's the way things are. I'm the Gyarados's daughter who can'ta have fun in the water."
I smiled. In the past, Amber had only mentioned her father a few times, and none with the grin she was now displaying. I figured it had hurt her to have had so few chances to be with him as a child, but having seen him in Templa Taure and realizing how much he loved her and how proud he was of her had changed her feelings about him for the better.

<Caledor's POV>

I was so excited I wouldn't have minded it if the water had been as cold as it had been at the Course, back at the winter Games. Well, maybe I would have minded a little, but it would have been worth the extra effort to stay focused. The way things were, with the water at a perfect temperature and the perspective of a whole new range of powers just a step away from me, I couldn't feel any better. I jumped into the water and swam around, looking for an opponent to battle. Lagi did the same, only she seemed more interested in diving than in battling. I couldn't blame her, first because she had been born in the water, and second because that meant I'd get the chance to battle first. Or so I thought.

Luck had it that a Dragonite would catch other pokemon's attention more than an Espeon did, and by the time I started contemplating the possibility of glowing to attract curious looks, someone was already challenging Lagi. It was a big blue sea lion with a large nose and huge tusks. It wasn't as big as Lagi, but for the little I knew about its kind, it would pose a big threat for her. Unless, it held back, of course. After all, it was an Ice type.

"You look strong. Can I battle you?," the Walrein asked Lagi in a deep, yet female voice. "I promise I won't use Ice attacks on you. I'd never seen a Dragonite before, I want to know what battling one is like."
"Then we're even," Lagi told her. "I'd never seen a Walrein before, except in brochures. Did you come from far away?"
"From the other side of the world. My trainer likes travelling a lot. He's built quite an unusual team with pokemon of all regions."
"That must be interesting. I've traveled too, though not that much. I've been to South America twice and to Kanto twice too. The rest of the time I've stayed in Ulthuan, though I've been to most of the Kingdoms."
"I haven't seen much of Ulthuan. We've only just arrived to Caledor, and before that we were in Tor Syle, in Eataine. We may go to Ellyrion for the Unicorn Games."
"Then we may meet again there. My trainer will be judging the tournament."
"Really?! Then I'm talking to a celebrity!"
That comment caused Lagi to chuckle.
"I haven't done more to become a celebrity than any other Dragon Tamer has. I've battled in the first Eagle Games, but I was ages ago. Lots of things have changed since then."
"Well, my opinion hasn't. We barely missed the chance to enter this tournament, but here at the Training Grounds I can meet some of the contestants. And if I do well here, maybe I can enter the next tournament whenever there is one."
"I'll make sure to see you, in that case. By the way, what's your name?"
"Baui. And yours?"
"Lagi. Nice to meet you, Baui."
"You too."
"Ahem..." I interrupted before they could go on with the conversation.
"Oh, Baui, this is my friend Caledor," Lagi introduced me.
"Like this place?," Baui asked.
"Yes, that's right. Is anything wrong, Caledor?"
"Wrong? What could be wrong? Other than the fact that you're taking forever to start your battle and no one's going to battle me until you two get done."
"Oh, sorry," Lagi apologized. "I guess I got carried away by Baui's excitement."
"By my excitement?," Baui asked, not fully understanding.
"That's Lagi for you," I told her, hoping the battle would start soon while trying not to take Lagi's only possible advantage away for her. Not that she was doing much to help herself.
"Ok, I got it, Caledor. We'll battle first and talk later. You don't have to be so impatient."
"Sorry. It's just that I don't get a chance like this one everyday."
"I know and I understand. So, Baui... Shall we battle?"
"Sounds good to me."

Level 68 Dragonite vs. Level 70 Walrein

It was Lagi who got to strike first. She shook her wings until her feet were barely touching the water, and then she dashed forward to where Baui was floating, hitting her with her wings.

"Ouch! Not bad, but you got too close," Baui told her as she launched herself towards Lagi, falling on the Dragonite's stomach. Lagi was pushed into the water, but quickly emerged from it. Moreover, she used the impulse to soar even higher. Not that Baui wasn't prepared for this: she used the chance to curl up and increase her defenses. When Lagi came down, the impact was not as great as she had expected. And if I could read the look in her eyes correctly, she realized she'd fallen into a trap the second before Baui's plan was put into motion.

I saw Baui clap her fins excitedly. I wasn't too sure about what was going on until I saw Lagi take off again, as if pushed up by an invisible force. Then Baui curled up again, and the next impact was even smaller. The scene was repeated once more, and the 4th time Lagi rose into the air Baui claimed that she was tired and, yawning, went to sleep. I felt sorry for Lagi. She didn't deserve to be made fun of like that.

"It's ok," Lagi said, plunging into Baui once more. "She's playing fair, I'll get out of this."
"Lagi, you're despicable!," I laughed. Of course, I knew she'd know I was joking. But I was the psychic one and yet she was the one who acted as if she could read my thoughts. I guess reading my feelings was close enough.

One more virtually useless blow of Fly and she was free. Baui was still sleeping, but she snored loudly.
"Flying moves won't help me anymore," said Lagi, not afraid to speak out while her opponent slept. I'll try something different.

It turns out 'something different' was Dragon Claw. After the first strike, Baui snored once more and Lagi got another chance to use her best Dragon type attack. Then Baui woke up.
"Hmm... You're still there..." she mumbled. "Go on."

With that, she clapped again. But that was a mistake; she hadn't realized Lagi wasn't using Fly anymore, and now she had to face another Dragon Claw, whether Lagi wanted it or not.
"Whoa!," the Walrein exclaimed, shocked by what had just hit her. That had woken her up completely, and I reckoned it would be hard for her to fall asleep right away. "Slow down!," she told Lagi, using a form of Secret Power you don't see at the Battle Tower.
But I guess her attack didn't get the desired effect, since Lagi stroke again right after her. Upon receiving the blow, Baui fell underwater. Instantly released from the Encore, Lagi dove to bring her back to the surface.

Lagi won and grew to level 70! She got Earthquake as her free TM!

Gabi and I both congratulated Lagi without bothering to ask her how she knew Baui wasn't coming out on her own. They say good things come to those who wait, and I had to wait until Baui was fine before I could get on with my battle, so I really hoped it was good. I had to hear Gabi's and Lagi's conversation about how Lagi could have avoided falling into the Encore trap but didn't become aware of it until it was too late, and how switching to Dragon Claw had been such a good idea considering Lagi and Baui had both tacitly agreed not to use any super-effective moves. When Baui was fit to speak again, she was still really excited. They kept on chatting for a while, but I didn't take part in their conversation. I was eager to win a battle. Not for the battle itself, but for the opportunities and challenges it would bring. Over the years I'd managed to get a decent control over my powers (though I really wished I was better at using my psychic abilities) so I was no longer worried about the next set being too much for me to handle. In any case, I could always ask Kovu for assistance, or even Pidgeot if that wasn't pushing things too hard. There was also Milliardo, but I wasn't sure if asking him would be a good idea; I might be better off asking Tsunami to help me improve my Surf attack.

I was just swimming around when I noticed something coming out from the bottom of the pool. I pushed back as fast as I could, and barely avoided getting hit as a Gyarados emerged from the water. The Gyarados fixed its eyes on me. I didn't know how to react, so I just said 'hi'. Bad idea: the Gyarados's stare became firmer and angrier.

"Sorry, I didn't want to disturb you or anything, I was just looking for an opponent to battle," I apologized.
"Then let's battle," the Gyarados roared in a voice that could have been either male or female.
Evidently, there would be no room for social talk. But what did I have to complain about? Hadn't I been hoping my battle would start as soon as possible? By the look of things, I'd only have enough time to push back a little more and brace myself for the first attack.

Level 49 Espeon vs. Level 55 Gyarados

Things aren't always the way they look, however, and I noticed an opening when the Gyarados turned away to gain distance. Not expecting to get many chances like that one, I decided to take advantage of what I did have, and sent a Psychic blast at my opponent. For the little use I could give my psychic powers in my everyday life, they'd never failed me in a battle, and this time wasn't the exception.

The Gyarados didn't complain. Instead, it came back to me spinning at a high speed. The attack sent me flying and I hit the water hard. It hurt so much I didn't think I could resist another blow like that one. And from what I knew about Trash, another was certainly coming. I stayed underwater for a moment, trying to think of a good way to defend myself and hoping the spinning Gyarados would take enough time before finding me. Then I remembered I had an item with me, which I hadn't given much use to yet. I swam as fast as I could, trying to make for the trainer's platform in time before I got hit. I was lucky the Gyarados was spinning wild and I had a good speed, even in the water. When I reached the platform, I did two things almost at the same time, with the Gyarados still chasing after me. First, I let my die fall on the little piece of solid floor available. Second, I used Reflect to put a psychic barrier between me and the Gyarados. My opponent was closing in when the die stopped rolling. I didn't have time to look at it and see what it had landed on, so I decided to look at my opponent and try to guess. I got hit all the same, so the serpent was neither asleep nor frozen. However, I barely felt the blow this time. I trusted my Reflect to be effective, but the difference between this blow and the previous one was so huge I had to have received some other kind of help. The answer became clear when my opponent winced after attacking me, if only for a brief moment. So burn it was. The thought of a pokemon being burnt in the water was funny, but I soon remembered fire was not the only thing that could cause burns, and went back to focusing on my battle.

It was time for me to attack again. I could have put an end to the battle quickly with a Thunderbolt, but I wasn't so cruel as to exploit a 4× weakness like that. Besides, I was intrigued as to whether I'd be able to win this battle using only moves that an Espeon could learn normally. It was some sort of challenge I'd imposed to myself, to prove myself I had enough self control to handle what would come to me if I won. After being hit by the first Thrash, I'd lost some confidence. But now that my opponent was burnt I felt I still had a chance. I used Psychic again. The Gyarados's reaction was confusing, but I felt my attack had been fairly good. Then my opponent stopped spinning and turned to face me. I said to myself it was the time of the truth, and instantly laughed at how ridiculously solemn that sounded.

I didn't expect another Thrash, nor any other physical attack for that matter. The Gyarados was already impaired enough. It would try to use some special attack, probably Bite if it was as mad as it looked. Unless...

No time to think of the other option, all I could do was hope for it to happen. The Gyarados came over, showing its sharp teeth. I sank underwater, diving as far towards the bottom as I could. I didn't stop to look back until I heard a sudden move in the water followed by a wincing sound. Then I couldn't help but look back and see what was going on. I was surprised by what I saw: the Gyarados curled up like a giant wheel, biting its own tail. The sea serpent opened its eyes widely for an instant, before sinking into the depths. That's when my lungs started craving for some air and I had to rush back to the surface. I took a deep breath as soon as I felt the air on my face. Never had a mixture of gases felt so delicious before. As I took in the air, I felt my new power surge through me.

I grew to level 51! I learned Bite, Pursuit, Faint Attack, Taunt, Torment and Snatch!

I swam back to Gabi's side, proud of my achievement. She hugged me and congratulated me. I asked her for how long she'd been looking at me, and she said she'd been watching since the Gyarados had first popped out of the water. She gave me my die back: I'd left it on the platform. Then she asked me how I felt.

"Great!," I told her, grinning.
"That's so good to hear!" she replied, hugging me again. "After seeing how worried you were before getting your fire and Psychic moves, I thought maybe..."
"I'd be afraid of the dark ones? No way, I'm past that. Many of my friends have been using those moves for ages and done nothing wrong with them. I just have a new set of moves to train with, and maybe I can return Tsunami a few favors..."
I rolled my eyes and Lagi sighed loudly. I ignored her.
"Besides, I've always been wondering if it was possible to do a certain thing," I added before trying an experiment.

I thought back to the instant after the battle was over, trying to remember the feeling of the energy that had raced through my body at that moment, grasping it, trying to send it out to the world in what seemed like a visual oxymoron.
"Black light?," Gabi laughed. "If someone was able to pull that one out, it had to be you!"
I laughed with her, still glowing. "What do you know? Black light does exist after all!"
"What are you going to do now?," Gabi queried.
"Do you even have to ask? I'm going straight to Glacier Peak to find Tsunami and show off!"
"Alright, just try not to break anything this time. I had to pay enough for the pillows at Yvresse, not to mention how embarassing the whole situation was."
I felt like saying "oh, but it was so worth it," but I reckoned that would get me in trouble, so I held myself.
"How are you feeling?," Gabi asked Lagi.
"Fine. Just a bit hungry," she replied. "If we have lunch now, I can take Caledor to Glacier Peak right away."
"Oh, that would be great, thanks," Gabi told her. "So, I guess we're off to the dining room. It was a pleasure to meet you, Baui."
"The pleasure was mine. Just one question before you go. How is it that you can understand me? It took my trainer years, and I've only just met you."
"Oh... Well... Caledor is good at translating."
That was true, but that was not the reason. Still, I had resigned myself to be her permanent excuse. Not that it would hurt me to take some credit when Gabi didn't want to draw attention to herself and her little white stone.

We said goodbye to Baui and left the Pond Room without waiting for the Gyarados to come out. I didn't feel like talking to it anyway, and I hadn't even found out its gender, let alone its name. We started heading for the dining room, joined by the rest of the team (those who were present, anyway). While we were walking, Lagi asked Gabi what was on her mind.
"I wonder were Karin is," she answered. "I expected to find her today."
At that moment, out of nowhere, a young guy with straight light brown hair and blueish eyes shouted out: "hey! The princess... is in... another castle!"
We were all startled; Gabi looked at him, speechless.
"Hehe, I'd always wanted to say that," the guy laughed. "Sorry, I heard you were asking for Karin. She's at the Blizzard Room. She's been there for hours."
"Really? And you are...?"

Through a weird conversation we found out the guy's name was Andy and he was only there to watch. In the end he turned out not to be as odd as he seemed at first, though I never got to understand why he'd shouted the way he had. He did explain it was a phrase from a game, though. It turned out that Karin had apparently forgotten the deal and gone into the Blizzard Room with her pokemon, so Hero and Iael decided they'd go into the Lava Room on their own. Or, rather, with Amber, who wanted to see if she could find an old friend of hers inside. After that, lunch felt excessively normal, but the food was good - and there was even a burger bar! I would have liked to find Beckham there, or at least tell him about it, but I didn't say no when Lagi told me she was ready for the trip. After all, there would always be time for old jokes later, and I couldn't wait to see the look on Tsunami's face when I popped out of the shadows just like he did in the water. Though I'd practice a little before looking for him. I had to make sure everything would be perfect.

Lady Vulpix
23rd May 2004, 10:21 AM
Nice battles, Mike! The story was so full of typos it became hard to understand at some points, but the story was original and interesting, and the battle parts well done. Take 18 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

AntiAsh Superstar
23rd May 2004, 11:22 AM
“So you’ve been doing well, then?” It had taken a while for Soo and her team to catch up with us – between being as generally disorganised as my little group and in the main possessing a less than adequate sense of direction it was a miracle they managed to reach us at all. So was it any wonder that we had already cleared one room completely and were winding down for the day when they finally caught up with us? Apparently there was only so much that could be done by Kirei’s abilities as a compass and Soo’s Ponyta’s remarkable speed.
“Yeah, I managed to get Sumi and Milliardo to have some battles.” I took a sip of my coffee. We were currently all assembled in a small coffee house in Sector Alpha, having forsaken the comforts of the training grounds for now in favour of spending a little quality time as a group. “By the way, Katnip, thanks for getting everyone here in one piece.”
“Dunno how I managed it,” the Raticate signed with forced despair, reaching for his tenth slice of carrot cake that evening. “I know the way ta every place in the city where battles are held, but even so they still managed ta get us lost on the way. Somebody thought it might be fun ta run off down a side alley tellin’ us it was a shortcut an’ they knew exactly where they were goin’.” Here the Raticate glared rather obviously at Kassandra, who seemed totally oblivious to the admonishment.
“We got here, didn’t we?” she replied. “What more do you want?”
“A shortcut that didn’t add time ta the journey’d be nice.” Katnip sighed, shaking his head in despair. “Feh, ya never listen ta anythin’ anyone tells ya. Even Soo. So why am I botherin’?”
“Because you’ve taken one too many blows to the head?” Milliardo chipped in unhelpfully.
“It’s an example of the eternal struggle between hope and experience, that’s all,” Marius offered, equally unhelpfully.
“No, I vote for he thought he should be doing something with his mouth in between bites of cake and so is practicing being a despairing parent for when his daughter’s older.” Pandora added her opinion, thus completing the votes of the rather bizarre panel that was Milliardo’s family. “Honestly, though can anyone actually say they either know or care?”
“Nah,” Katnip shrugged, finishing his cake and helping himself to an eleventh slice. Maybe it would have just been easier to buy him an entire cake or two to himself. “Least of all me. So what’s the plan now, guys?”
“Dunno,” I admitted from my position flopped on a comfortable sofa, my arm holding Soo closely to me. It had been a long day, and all I really wanted to do was get to bed. “Either we head home, which seems a bit of a waste seeing as you’ve only just got here, or we trust Tsuyoi to look after Pearl and Celeste for us tonight and book ourselves a couple of the rooms they have available for trainers who want to stay and train overnight.”
“Ooh, do they have room service?” Beckham asked excitedly. Evidently the coffee wasn’t helping the Wartortle much. He was naturally excitable enough as it was. “And, even more importantly, do they have a mini bar? That’d be great, you could hold a little party in your room and everything.”
“Would I be invited?” Kassandra asked pointedly.
“Course you would, everyone could come. We’d have room service bring up some party food, and there’d be games and drinks and… hey, there’s a random thought.” Everyone at the table groaned collectively. Apart from Kassandra, who was trying to pretend to be interested, and Megan, who genuinely was. When a thought was so random that even Beckham realised it, you knew you had problems. “Do you think mini bars should come with mini bartenders as well? Genetically engineer a little two foot tall man to mix cocktails for you and everything.”
“Given the current restrictions on genetic research I doubt that anybody would be too willing to fund a project that superficial,” Marius rolled his eyes. “I suggest you delay that one for the day when every household comes complete with a DNA analyzer in every room.”
“Ahem.” I coughed loudly, trying to regain some control of the conversation. “As I was saying. We can always stay here overnight, the only problem being what to do with Brandy in the meantime. I’m loath to keep her in a pokéball for much longer than I have to.”
“Relax, Ade, I can just teleport home and let her out in the garden,” Sindel sighed, her best ‘I told you so’ expression firmly in place. “I did warn you that an Onix would be awkward to look after, didn’t I?”
“Awkward, but not impossible. I know what I’m doing. But thanks for this, Sindel. You’re a gem.” The Alakazam didn’t reply. She just gave a pointed shrug, taking the pokéball that contained my new Onix and blinking rapidly out of existence with a sigh. Why would nobody pay any attention to her until it was too late?

It had to be said that Pearl was quite enjoying having the run of the household. Tsuyoi, in the main, kept to himself now that those he ended up talking to the most were gone. So the Ninetales was able to just snuggle up with her baby, curled up in more comfort than she had ever experienced before. Of course, it was a shame that Katnip had to leave. The inclusion of the father, the one she loved above all others, would have made this family scene perfect. But Pearl knew full well that her partner of choice valued his training. She simply couldn’t have stood in his way, for that would have been to obstruct a factor that made him the creature that he was. So Pearl was quite happy to let Katnip go off for the training opportunity of a lifetime. Leaving her to look after the tiny little bundle that had been within her for so long now that it seemed like a part of her even now. Alone, together. At least for a while.
“Hey.” Most pokémon would have been surprised when Sindel suddenly materialised beside them. But Pearl had seen far too many sights that could be considered out of the ordinary to be startled by a teleporting Alakazam. “Sorry, just have to return that Onix that Ade insisted on adopting.”
“That sounds like Ade, all right.” Pearl chuckled, being careful not to awaken the sleeping baby nestled within her fur. “If it’s in trouble, or if nobody else is daft enough to train one, it’ll usually end up on our team.”
“I’ll just let her out into the garden. I’m sure you’ll be okay with her, she’s only young, and almost painfully shy if you ask me.” The Alakazam paused in mid-stride, as if remembering something. “How are you feeling, by the way?”
“A lot better than I have been feeling, I have to say.” The Ninetales stared at her baby for a while. “I don’t know… I guess I just feel contented all of a sudden. You know what I’m like, Sindel. I’m not happy unless I have somebody to fret over. I think this was really what I was built for. You must know how it feels to some extent, the way you’re always mothering Ryo-Ohki.”
“Yeah,” Sindel admitted, stopping short of the patio door that led out onto the large garden that Tsuyoi had been kind enough to provide for us. “I don’t know what I’d do without him to look after now, and he’s not even related to me by blood. He’s not even my own species. I can’t begin to imagine what the bonds must be like for you own child.”
“Not so much different,” Pearl smiled. “I’m sure Marius would be the first to explain how genes have nothing to do with emotional bonds, and he’d be right. It just happens a lot faster if you have the advantage of having carried your child about for ages.” The Ninetales curled up with Celeste again, and for a second Sindel couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. “Go on, let that Onix loose and get back to Ade. You’ll feel a lot less uncertain in the middle of the rabble.”
“Yeah, You’re right. I’ll see you later, okay?” And with this Sindel ran off into the garden, leaving Pearl to her own devices. For a moment, at any rate. For it seemed like today the Ninetales was never going to get more than a moment’s peace. The instant Sindel seemed to leave, a sight that the Ninetales hadn’t seen for a while decided to push its timid way into the lounge. Adreena. Kirei’s Vaporeon sister, a pokémon who had been spending less and less time in the household in favour of living the life of a wild pokémon with her lover, a gallant Umbreon named Tamotsu.
“I hope I’m not disturbing you.” The Vaporeon bowed politely. She had always been obsessed over manners to a disturbing degree. To Adreena, acting ladylike was everything. A far cry from the hyperactive, almost tomboyish antics of her younger sister. “I just thought it might be nice to see how you were doing.”
“I’m actually pretty good, all things considered.” Pearl gestured for Adreena to sit by her. “It’s so nice to have her out here now, so I can touch her and play with her and everything. Before it was just as if she was this strange thing that was making me heavier and heavier, you know? But now… wow, I don’t know if I can even find the words to describe it.”
“It must be very fulfilling to be a mother,” Adreena commented, a rather odd tone to her voice that Pearl couldn’t help but notice. “But a trial of sorts also.”
“Adreena.” The Ninetales fixed her friend with the most authoritative look she could manage. “Something’s going on here, isn’t there? I know you’re dying to ogle Celeste and all, but there’s something else that’s more important, right? Just tell me what’s going on, because I know I’ve just had a cub and everything but I’m still Pearl and I’ll still find everything out sooner or later, so you might as well solicit my advice rather than have to take it because there’s no other option.”
“Alright.” The Vaporeon sighed deeply. “Pearl, I was curious as to how you managed to cope throughout all of this. Because… well, because I’m scared.”
“Scared that I may well be in the same situation soon and not know what to do. Tamotsu and I, we…”
“Ah.” The Ninetales didn’t need to hear any more to know what was going on. It would certainly explain why the Vaporeon had been so quiet lately! “Well if its any consolation it’s nowhere as bad as it probably appears. I’m just a wuss, Adreena, and I wasn’t expecting any of it at all, so I probably got the aches and pains as badly as they’re ever going to be for anyone. And besides which…” Here Pearl gazed fondly at the sleeping Celeste. “It’s worth every moment of it, Adreena. I’d go through it all over again without so much as a hesitation just to feel as happy as I do now.” There was no need to say anything else. Pearl had said everything that needed to be said. If indeed she had needed to say anything at all. Just to see how contented she looked with her cub cuddled up to her was enough.
“Thank you, Pearl,” Adreena smiled gratefully. “I hope you and your cub are very happy. You both deserve to be.”
“I’m sure we’ll be fine, Adreena. Anyway, know you have our support when your time comes.”
“Again, much thanks.” The Vaporeon nodded politely before turning to leave, Pearl watching her with a bemused smile upon her face as she slinked gracefully back to the outside world. Well, today was a day for revelations, alright! The Ninetales just hoped that the remainder of the day would provide as many pleasant surprises as this.

Darkness. Silence. An unearthly gloom, choking the very life from all it touched. Something was wrong today. She could just tell. Maybe it was the way that the lightning would occasionally illuminate the darkened room, revealing the bodies of her slumbering companions, lined up like corpses. Maybe it was the howl of the wind outside the window. Or maybe it was simply the part of her mind that was attuned to such things. Telling her that misfortune was on its way.
“This is ridiculous,” The Houndour simply couldn’t even pretend to sleep any longer. Her mind was playing too many tricks on her tonight to allow her to relax enough. So she got up from her position lay upon a comfortable couch and, being careful not to trip over the slumbering form of Marius along the way, headed for the hallway. She didn’t know what compelled her to do this. She knew that the door would most likely be locked anyway, her passage to the outside world barred. Which was a shame, because tonight she really felt like she could have used some fresh air. Well, trying to escape the almost suffocating humidity in the hotel room was worth a shot! Gingerly she pushed the door with her snout. To her eternal surprise it swung open without so much as a creak. Clearly Ade had forgotten to lock the door that night. “Well, looks like we get to have our little walk in the raging storm after all.” The Houndour shook her head, clearly bemused, as she padded silently down the strange corridors of the sleeping quarters. Only were they really that strange? There was an almost eerily familiar quality to their stone walls. As if she had somehow been here before. Quickly she increased her pace, this strange feeling spurring her on to leave. “Pandora, you’re an idiot, you know that?”

“Hey! Milliardo!” The outside world did have its share of treasures, it seemed. For although the wind was terrible that night, although the clouds that obscured the sky seemed blacker and more terrible than she had ever seen them, at least she was not alone in the grassy fields that stood just moments away from the training grounds. Already in the distance she could just about make out the form of her Umbreon companion, sat staring at something just over the horizon. Battling the intense winds that whipped at her face, Pandora struggled over to where Milliardo was stood. “What are you doing out here?” The Umbreon didn’t reply. He just stared straight ahead, never moving, never giving any indication that he had even heard her. It was if he were in some sort of trance. “Come on, you *******, talk to me, would you?” Still nothing. All of a sudden the Houndour felt very, very scared, her eyes beginning to well up with tears. “Milliardo, stop it!” she sobbed quietly. “You’re scaring me. I mean, I’ve come all this way from…” At this point Pandora fell silent. For a look back over her shoulder revealed that the training grounds no longer stood behind her. Instead there was a huge, looming jet-black fortress, its many twisted spires threatening to pierce the very skies with their pointed roofs. A huge, overwhelming aura of evil surrounded the place. The most disturbing thing about it being that Pandora was certain that she had seen this tower before, back in the dark recesses of her past. Trying to avoid this unwelcome sight, the Houndour turned back to face Milliardo. But now even looking in this direction revealed further horrors. Milliardo was no longer there. Instead there stood a gigantic, ferocious specimen of a dragon, staring down upon Pandora with malice in its cold, reptilian eyes. And in its blood-stained talons…

“Ah!” Pandora woke up with a scream of terror that should have by all right woken everybody else in the room. Yet somehow or other those around her seemed to be slumbering peacefully, the collected teams of myself and Soo flopped in various positions around what would have been a reasonably tidy double guest room. Shaking, the Houndour surveyed the scene carefully. The still open window showed no signs of a storm. The air was no longer the clammy, suffocating fog of her nightmares. And, most fortunately of all, Milliardo was still there and in one piece, slumbering peacefully on top of the pattered sofa. Silently Pandora got up and made her way to the bathroom, too worried about waking her companions to risk staying in the main room in her current condition. “Damn it…” Here, in the secluded area of the bathroom, there was no risk of disturbing anyone, and finally Pandora could release that which had been building steadily up within her since the start of her terrible nightmare. Finally all the bottled up emotion could come flooding out in wave after wave of near hysterical tears. “Why? Why now? And why that? Why do I have to know these things?” The Houndour stomped hard on the tiled floor in frustration, so hard that it hurt her paw to do so. For she knew what this was. It was a particular power of hers that had lain dormant for a long time now, so long that she had almost forgotten about it. The power to see the potential paths of the future within her dreams. And although most would have thought prophecy was a useful gift, it was anything but. The dreams just left the Houndour feeling confused and filled with an uncertainty that almost always led to deep depression. It wasn’t a useful skill at all, for her prophecies were always too vague, conveying mood more than actual events. All they ever did, therefore, was leave her with a surplus of emotion that her frail psyche simply couldn’t handle. “Why can’t they just tell me something I want to hear for once? Is that too much to ask????”
“Pandora?” Suddenly the Houndour became aware that she was no longer alone in the darkened bathroom. Turning slowly, the tears still refusing to abate, she was able to make out a face that broke her heart to gaze upon. Milliardo, stood there with a concern in his amber eyes that was reserved for Pandora alone. And to see him there just brought it all back with even greater clarity. The suffocating evil. The cruel talons, drenched in thick, syrupy blood. The decapitated head of her lover clutched in the dragon’s talons, his face wearing an expression so sorrowful that it hurt just to recall it. “Hey!” The Umbreon rushed over to her, having noticed that she was visibly shaking from the emotion. It had been a long time since he had last seen her like this, in this state that he hoped he would have never had reason to see again. “Come on, hush, would you? Whatever’s the matter, Pandora?”
“I… I’m sorry…” the Houndour whimpered, finally seeking refuge in her partner in spite of the feeling that drawing too near to him would somehow invoke the terrible scenes of her dreams. “I don’t… Milliardo, I’m dreaming again.”
“Dreaming?” The Umbreon seemed confused.
“You know how it works, I dream something and then it happens and then I feel awful about it because it feels like it’s my fault and… I’m scared, Milliardo, I’m really scared. Something terrible is on the horizon, I can feel it. And I think it has something to do with me.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa!” Milliardo sighed. This was the last thing he needed right about now! “Before we go any further, haven’t we been over the fact that you only dream possibilities rather than certainties about a million times now? What exactly was this dream, anyway? And how can you be so sure that it’s not just a regular, run of the mill nightmare?”
“I think I’ve had enough experience to tell the difference, thanks you!” Pandora snapped, her sudden anger still not enough to fully quash the feelings of sorrow. “It was just… well, I was sleeping here, and then I woke up and went outside, but it was a terrible night, the wind was awful and I hadn’t seen clouds so dark in a long time… and you were outside and I tried to talk to you but you seemed paralysed or something. And when I looked back to the training grounds they had vanished, and instead there was…” The Houndour swallowed. This was one of the more unpalatable truths of her dream. “Instead I saw the fortress.”
“The fortress?”
“The fortress of the Dark Cloak.” It had been true that during the terrible struggles against the last major threat to Ulthuan’s safety, the terrible Dark Cloak cultists and their unnatural master Resomegnis, a terrible hybrid of all the evil the realm could muster, Pandora had been enlisted in their services. But that was a long time ago. And she had already atoned for her sins. Or had she? Recently it seemed as if her past was returning to haunt her, the last piece of the Dark Cloak’s unfinished business finally rising out of hiding. “And then I turn back to you, but you’re gone, and instead I see…” This particular memory was too painful to bear, and it set Pandora off into a fresh bout of uncontrollable sobbing.
“Whoa!” Milliardo tried his best to comfort the Houndour, but it seemed as if even his affectionate nuzzles were having little effect. “Come on, it can’t be that bad. You see what?”
“I see Reaper. I see that awful Salamence of Team Rocket’s. And she’s looking down at me as if she wants to kill me, but that isn’t the worst part. The worst part is that she has you… no, she has your head, she’s killed you in the split second that I looked away and taken away everything!” Pandora sobbed bitterly. “I’m scared. I’m scared that I might lose you. I’m scared that this is what my dream means. Everyone I get close to seems to get hurt somehow. No matter how hard I try to avoid it.”
“Oh that’s nonsense!” It was hard to phrase things so that they couldn’t be taken the wrong way. If he had told her to stop being silly she would have probably agreed that she was stupid and sunk even further into her depression. But fortunately Milliardo’s sharp mind could occasionally be put to better use than simply thinking up snappy insults and painfully bad one-liners. “Listen to me, you haven’t hurt anyone… well, not in the way you mean, at any rate, I can’t speak for the black eyes some of your opponents in battle are probably still sporting. And you’re not going to lose me, you think I’m going to let some pervert of a Rocket and his sharp-fanged lover get the better of me? I can run rings around any adversary you care to mention.” The Umbreon paused for a second, considering whether to impart his last great secret. In the end he decided it was best to get it off his chest. “Especially one I’ve already had some experience of. You’re not the only one with a dodgy past, you know.”
“Wait…” Pandora didn’t seem comforted by this at all. “You don’t understand. Armand… before he took over as Rocket boss in Ulthuan, he dealt with most of the dealings between Team Rocket and the Dark Cloak. They got a lot of their equipment from the Rockets. Reaper… she’s dangerous. At least as dangerous as Abbadon, that monster of a Charizard that calls himself Kassandra’s father. She went through the same training programme.”
“Wouldn’t surprise me. But that’s nothing to do with you, Pandora, you’re not responsible for anything those monsters do, so for goodness’ sake stop trying to pin the blame on yourself!” The Umbreon sighed. “Come on. The worst this dream of your means is that we may have a little trouble with Reaper in the future, but after the past few weeks even Megan would probably be able to tell you that.” The Umbreon paused. “Oh, wait, she’d probably go ‘Who’s Reaper again?’ before running off to try and find Becks but instead managing to knock herself out on the coffee table.” This, at least, managed to gain a slight chuckle by way of response. “Come on, Pandora. We’re stronger than ever. The Dark Cloak didn’t kill us. The Black Dragon didn’t kill us. I’d say we’re going to be fine.”
“I suppose.” Pandora mused this over for a while. It all made sense, it was true, but she still couldn’t shake the overwhelming feeling of anxiety. Maybe it would take a while before it would truly disappear. In the meantime she would just have to do her best to ignore it. “Sorry for getting in such a state. I’ll try and forget about it, okay?”
“Sure, you do that.” Milliardo didn’t much like the word ‘try’, but what could he do other than keep a closer eye on the Houndour? “Now come on, let’s grab a little more sleep before the rabble awaken.” With this the Umbreon led his partner back to where the rest of the team were happily slumbering, totally oblivious to the events having occurred mere moments ago. Well, maybe that was for the best. The fewer who knew about this incident, the better. No point in having everybody worried. Yet.

“And so the great randomiser will pick today’s training room.” The morning had been the usual rounds of squabbles, jokes and random nonsense that characterised life with my team. From Ryo-Ohki managing to trip up nearly everybody in the team whilst running round the room excitedly, to Katnip giving me the fright of my life by suddenly popping up in front of me as I passed through the doorway, it was one weird little incident after another today. Which seemed to be culminating in Beckham demonstrating his methods for choosing where the team would be training today. “As we can see, I have the list of rooms we still have to use over there on the far wall. Now, I will randomly fire my Water Gun at the list…”
“Uh… Becks?” I began to speak, only to be drowned out by the Wartortle’s constant jabbering.
“… and whichever one on the list it hits we’ll go to. Of course, we do run the risk of me not hitting it at all and in fact choosing the lampshade for us to train in…”
“Becks, there’s a small problem here…”
“…but in that case we’ll just have to make do. I mean, even a lampshade can be used to train, you can use it for jousting or something. I guess we could always keep doing it until I hit, in which case we run the risk of me flooding the room…”
“Actually, that was what I was going to…”
“…but even that in itself is an excellent training opportunity. Imagine the effort we’ll have to put into drying the place off, it’ll get us all really muscular in no time, even Sindel. Which would be a sight to see, don’t you think? Most Alakazams are really thin things. Anyway…”
“Becks! Just listen to me before you…”
“…here we go, the moment of truth! On your marks, get ready… go!” Before anyone with more sense could do anything to stop him, the Wartortle fired a blast of water at the list that was pinned up on the far wall. Admittedly his aim was perfect, but Beckham had forgotten one rather crucial factor. His Water Gun always had been far stronger than that of the average pokémon. So instead of striking one item on the list the sudden torrent of water soaked the entire sheet. And the surrounding wall. And the furniture nearby. And Kirei, who was unfortunate enough to be standing nearest to the list.
“Hey!” the Espeon complained, shaking herself off and hence getting everybody else wet into the bargain. “Well, I guess I needed a bath anyway, so that saves us the bother of doing that! Your list’s a little… unreadable now, Becks.”
“Yeah.” Milliardo wandered over to the dripping paper. “Unless we plan on training in the Jorzel Rum this afternoon.”
“Jorzel Rum, can’t say I’ve tried that brand before.” Beckham suddenly noticed that everybody else was glaring at him rather obviously and grinned sheepishly. “Uhh… well, we can at least try that ‘drying the room’ training now, guys.”
“Well it looks as if I’m going to have to pick up a new room listing now.” I rolled my eyes. Even though he had just managed to flood the room, it was very hard to feel anything more than a slight annoyance with Beckham. He was just too goofy to be mad with. “Well, seeing as you’ve so much energy – and the list now seems to say that wet is the theme for the day – I think we might as well head over to the Pond Room today. I figured I might as well give you Water types a chance to train up a little. And yes,” I added in reply to a quizzical look from Megan, “that means you as well. When was the last time you had any training, anyway?”
“Uhh… I’m not sure, actually! I remember rolling around and bashing my head into a tree, that usually happens when I train, but I’m not sure if it was last month or last year or last night…” The Marill beamed brightly. “Oh yeah! It couldn’t have been last night, could it? We were all in here asleep!”
“Gee, that narrows it down…” Milliardo voiced what was running through my own head but I was too nice to actually say.
“Hey, it might have been last night, Megan, you could have been training in your sleep!” Beckham grinned.
“You think?” Megan looked over at the Wartortle with a confused look in her eyes. “Funny, I never realised I could do that.”
“Well, you’re special, what can I say?”
“Whoa, Becks, before you start can we at least get down to the training room?” I smiled brightly, feeling in a much better mood than I had done for a long time. It was nice to get the chance to just hang out with my pokémon for some light-hearted training. Lately it seemed as if we had been under one stress after another. “You two have the rest of your lives to flirt in that odd little manner of yours.”
“Whatever you say.” The Wartortle seemed to take this all in his stride, although Megan seemed to turn rather noticeably red at my words. “You’re the boss, after all.”
“Thank you. I’m glad at least one of you hasn’t fallen for Tsuyoi’s brainwashing yet.” I quickly slipped on the nearest pair of shoes to hand and went over to give Soo a big hug before I left for today’s training. No doubt she would occupy herself somehow, even if it ended up in her following after about half an hour to cheer my pokémon on. “See you at lunch, gorgeous. Hopefully they’re not going to drown me in the meantime.”
“I should hope not!” Soo chuckled. “Never mind, Kassandra can always dry you out if they do.”
“Yeah!” the Charmander chipped in. “I’m the best dryer the world’s ever seen!”
“Oh, are you volunteering to help sort the room out now?”
“Hah! You gotta be kidding me!” Kassandra stuck her tongue out. “I may be the best dryer the world’s ever seen but I’m not stupid!” And that, it seemed, was the end of it. Leaving us to finally make our way down to the training area to deal with the day’s mission. To try and get in some more practice before the pressure of the forthcoming Games became too great.

It had to be said that the Pond Room wasn’t really much to look at. The instant we stepped into the room it became quite clear why it was named as it was. Apart from a small wooden pier of sorts that the door led out onto, the entire room was just one gigantic lake, and although it had to be said that the crystal-clear waters did indeed look inviting there wasn’t that much room for those who didn’t fancy getting wet.
“Last one in’s a rotten egg!” Megan laughed playfully, jumping into the water before I had a chance to so much as say a single word. Swiftly followed by Beckham, of course, who was never one to pass up on the chance to fool around for a while. “Bet you can’t catch me!”
“Oh, I bet I can,” the Wartortle grinned, proving his point rather admirably by grabbing the Marill by the paw just seconds after giving her something approaching a head start. He swiftly pulled her into a dancing position. “So then, is it waltz or fox-trot this time, darling? Bear in mind that neither of us know either dance.”
“Dunno, it’s your call, Becks!” The two pokémon pranced about in the water for a few moments, performing some mad underwater dance that made up in enthusiasm what it was lacking in finesse. The two Water types seemed to be having such a good time together I was rather loath to break up their little games. But in the end I had no choice. We were here to train, after all.
“Okay, guys, enough’s enough, we have some battles to get on with here, remember?” I glanced over at a small button set into the side of the wall, engraved with the simple legend ‘press here when ready’. “Becks, do you want to start us off and show Megan how it’s done?” No doubt Kasumi would have had something to say about potential double meanings in that sentence, but rather fortunately the Growlithe had decided not to accompany us. Apparently she had better things to do. Quite what ‘better things’ entailed I dreaded to think, but the chances were that they probably involved Thunderblast, the psychic Raichu belonging to Danny. Lately the two pokémon had been spending an unhealthy amount of time together.
“Sure thing.” Beckham smirked to himself. He had learned a few new tricks since the last time he had battled, and couldn’t wait to show them off. “Hey, Megan, aren’t you going to wish me luck?”
“Like you need it. You kept thrashing me every time we met before.” The Marill smiled coyly as she clambered out of the water, before bending over and giving Beckham a quick peck on the cheek. “Good luck, though, whatever it is that you’re fighting’s gonna wish it hadn’t gotten out of bed this morning!”
“Let’s not get carried away, huh? We don’t even know what he’s fighting yet.” I wandered over and pressed the button finally, which resulted in a mechanical whirring and the opening of a trap door set into the floor of the pond, its cover sliding open in the same manner as the hidden panels in the Lava Room. For a moment nothing else happened. But then, silently and stealthily, Beckham’s opponent made its way out of the gloom. My heart sank. A Sharpedo, one of the Dark-type sharks that had been imported from the Hoenn region. A species that was steadily growing in number, apparently. This seemed a little too much! “Man! Becks, are you sure about this?”
“Relax, Ade, fangs can’t hope to pierce the super rock-hard shell of a Wartortle! I’ll be fine!” Still grinning in his goofy manner, Beckham made a dive underwater to meet his adversary. And not for the first time I found myself wondering if he had actually given any thought at all to what he was getting himself into. Forward thinking was definitely not high on my Wartortle’s list of attributes.
“He’ll be okay, right?” Apparently even Megan was a little concerned after looking at the vicious fangs of the Sharpedo. “I mean, Becks can do anything, he’s so strong, but it’d be a shame if he got hurt or something. Who would I dance with then?”
“Relax, Megan. I’m sure he’ll be fine.” Wouldn’t he? There was only one way to find out, and that was to watch and wait.

FIGHT!!! L30 Wartortle v L35 Sharpedo!

“Greetings.” Coming face to face with a creature like a Sharpedo for the first time was never an easy prospect, even for a creature normally as carefree as Beckham. However, this particular creature seemed to be reasonable enough, the polite tone totally contrasting with the vicious appearance. “My name is Kelligro, and I am to be your opponent for today.”
“Uhh… nice to meet you!” Beckham laughed uncertainly. “My name’s Beckham, as in the soccer player who hits the headlines every time he has a haircut. Whoa, ‘h’ overkill there, we might have ourselves a new tongue twister in the making!”
“I’d suggest you worked on it a little more, actually.” The Sharpedo almost seemed to smile. “In the meantime, shall we have our battle? At the very worst you’ll get your training. In the best case scenario you may find your inspiration for the tongue twister while fighting.”
“Good point!” The Wartortle struck a fighting pose in the water. “Bring it on then, I say, if it takes a blow to the head to make it better then so be it!”
“Whatever you say.” The Sharpedo frowned, concentrating hard. All of a sudden the water in the pond began to ripple, the pressure growing more and more intense until finally Beckham was struck with a bolt of water that felt more like a punch to the face. The Wartortle staggered. He hadn’t actually meant what he had said about a blow to the head! “You’ll have to pull out something special in order to beat me, though.” Before Beckham could so much as recover from the attack, his opponent was back, attacking viciously with its fins in an attempt at a Slash attack. It was as much as he could do to quickly hide within his shell. And even this didn’t seem to dull the pain completely, the Sharpedo’s attacks digging in so hard that he could still feel them even through his armour plating. This wasn’t good!
“Damn! Can’t a guy get a little peace around here?” There was only really one attack that the Wartortle could use from this position. So he threw all of his weight into the side of his shell, making it spin faster and faster, until it was little more than a rapid, whirring blur to all outsiders. It seemed to do the trick, however, catching the Sharpedo a glancing blow on the snout as it tried to attack once more. Finally now he had a little space to breathe and plan his next attack! “Okay, I…” As he slowly pulled his body out of his shell Beckham couldn’t help but notice something was amiss with the world. Or with his shell, at any rate. “Hey! You’ve scratched my shell! You’ve no idea how much it’s going to cost to get this rebuffed now! Well, actually, I have no idea how much it costs either, but that’s beside the point!”
“You do like to talk, don’t you? A shame, then, that the best fighter rather than the best conversationalist wins.” By now the Wartortle’s opponent had managed to recover from the earlier surprise attack and even now was zooming towards him, its fangs bared. Beckham didn’t much like to think about what that could mean. Instead he did the only thing that he could do under the circumstances. He turned tail and swam away from the Sharpedo, trying to put as much ground between them as he could before those sharp fangs made a meal out of him. “You can run all you like. I’ll still catch you sooner or later. It’s what we’re built for, after all.” Certainly the Dark-type had a point. It was easily keeping up with Beckham despite not seeming to be putting much effort into the chase. He couldn’t hope to keep this up forever.
“Alright then, time to stop running. See how you like a blow to the head! If you can really say a shark has a head. Which it’s quite hard to tell if it does or not, really.” Suddenly the Wartortle remember what he was supposed to be doing. “Oh yeah. Anyway…” Beckham took in a deep breath, taking in as much water from his surroundings as he could to add to his considerable supplies. Before expelling it all in a huge torrent, creating such a strong underwater current that it acted like a punch to the face of his opponent. All of a sudden there seemed to be decided advantages to having the world’s most ferocious Water Gun attack! Unfortunately for Beckham his tactic only seemed to enrage the Sharpedo, the Dark-type swimming towards his at twice the speed, its velocity far too great to stand any chance of avoiding its next attack. So there was very little that Beckham could do. Except to feel the sharp teeth close around his arm, and cry out in agony as they pieced right through his skin.

“Ade, he’s getting hurt! Do something!” Back up on the podium Megan seemed to be getting into quite the state, rushing up and down in a panic as her friend was pummeled beneath the waters of the training room. “Call the police! The fire department! Superman!”
“Megan, please try and calm down,” I responded through clenched teeth. Yes, this was hard to watch, but what could I do? It would have been unfair on Beckham to forfeit the match because of a blow that was comparatively weak compared to some of the injuries he had sustained in the past. “You’ll have to learn that sometimes we have no choice but to just let them get on with it, no matter how hard that may be. Becks is a lot more shrewd than he pretends to be. I’ll bet you any money that he somehow manages to come out on top.”
“Yeah, but…” The Marill peered cautiously into the water. “Look, he’s bleeding! Ew, I hate blood! Look, Ade, look, he’s going to bleed to death down there, I just know it!!!” Apparently Megan was having none of my words of wisdom today. At least not until Beckham had managed to staunch his latest wound, that was. I had totally forgotten about the Marill’s phobia about blood. Apparently taking her to watch a battle against a Sharpedo had been a rather stupid idea. But at least she wasn’t alone. At least I was there to reassure her. As little good as that seemed to be doing.

Meanwhile, back under the water’s surface, Beckham was beginning to wonder if being a fighter was such a great career choice. All it seemed to him that this battle had done was to give him one injury after another. And now, with blood slowly easing its way out of the gash on his arm, the Wartortle was starting to feel decidedly close to collapse, too drained to put up much more of a fight. All he wanted to do was go to sleep.
“I’m tired…” Beckham’s eyes began to close, consciousness slowly beginning to slip away from him as he finally succumbed to the dark promises of sleep. “I… I’m sorry, guys, I just can’t keep… this up…” Finally the Wartortle fell silent, his body totally still. Was this really the end?
“Hmph. Well, that was easier than I expected. You need to train harder, friend.” The Sharpedo turned away to return to its little bolthole, ready for the next challenger. When all of a sudden it was stopped in its tracks by a strange noise that sounded like a cross between a car engine and a Roar attack. “What the…” The pokémon couldn’t believe the sight that greeted its eyes upon tracing the source of this decidedly odd sound. Apparently Beckham really had gone to sleep! For the noise was coming from him, a snore so loud that only the world’s most talkative Wartortle could have managed to make it. “I can’t believe this! You take a nap in the middle of a battle?” the Sharpedo asked incredulously.
“Mmm… don’t worry mom, the bicycle’s in the middle of the cheese…” Beckham mumbled, talking almost as much nonsense in his sleep as he did when he was awake. But as he did so something rather strange happened. He began to pull himself into his shell. Which wasn’t really that surprising, since this was a natural sleeping position for a Wartortle. What was surprising was when the shell began to rotate rapidly, and abruptly flew at his opponent, catching it on the snout with a Rapid Spin attack that, in all honesty, was executed with far more precision than Beckham could ever have managed whilst awake.
“Ah! What are you doing?” The Sharpedo seemed too surprised to even consider attacking now. The strange sleep-battling of Beckham had totally thrown it off guard. “Wake up this instant!” Enraged, it flew towards its opponent with a view to biting him out of his sleep. But this, too, was foiled in the most bizarre way imaginable.
“I’ll be off in a minute, the cat’s just stolen the mail…” Apparently this was the key phrase that triggered Water Gun, for as he mumbled this latest surreal look into his dreams Beckham took in a deep breath that could only mean one thing. Once more the Sharpedo found itself buffeted by a gigantic underwater current, once more it found itself thrown to one side by the sheer force of my Wartortle’s Water Gun. And this time the force was simply too great for it to withstand any longer. This time it simply lacked the energy to carry on fighting. This time, the Sharpedo fell into a complete faint. And the best part was that Beckham didn’t even realise it.

Beckham wins!
Beckham grew to L31!
Beckham learned Protect!
Beckham grew to L32!

AntiAsh Superstar
23rd May 2004, 11:24 AM
“Uh… Beckham?” I stared out at my Wartortle, hoping that he would now make his way back to the trainer’s platform. How wrong I was. My Wartortle seemed totally out of it, trapped in a deep sleep that would have been more appropriate late at night. “Becks!” I rolled my eyes in despair. “Megan, will you go out there and drag him back for me, please?”
“Sure thing, Ade!” The Marill beamed brightly, hopping nimbly into the water and swimming over to Beckham’s slumbering form. “Hey, watch this, I bet you any money that I can wake him up as well. Even though I don’t have any money, but you know what I mean, right?” Megan turned to look at the Wartortle, her eyes for a second reflecting thoughts far deeper than the Marill was normally used to. She leaned in closely and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. “Hey, wakey wakey, sleepy boy,” she whispered into his large, feathery ear. “We’re going down to the bar in a minute, you wanna miss that?”
“What? What?” Beckham’s eyes snapped open in an instant. “Whoa, wait for me guys, I was just having a quick nap and… and…” Suddenly the Wartortle seemed to realise where he was. “Wait a minute! We’re not going to the bar at all are we? We were training! Megan, you little tease!” Beckham splashed the Marill playfully, a cheeky grin fixed firmly upon his face. “So what happened to that Sharpedo that was trying to tear me limb from limb, anyway?”
“You beat it, Becks. I knew I taught you that Sleep Talk TM for a reason,” I chuckled as my two Water types made their way back to the trainer’s platform. “Good job, anyway, I’ll have to buy you a drink for that one. Anyway, onto the next battle. Megan, do you mind staying in the water and having a go now?”
“Uhh… I wouldn’t be fighting another Sharpedo, would I?” the Marill asked, turning suddenly pale. “Only you know what I’m like, I hate blood, especially my own, so I don’t think I’m ready to face anything with fangs or claws or pointy bits. All I can do is Rollout anyway and you know I’m really lousy at that.”
“Well you won’t get any better without practice, will you?” I smiled, trying my very best to be reassuring. “You’ve tricks other than that anyway. Come on, Megan, just give it a go. Please?” Megan was silent for a moment, contemplating my words. Eventually something seemed to click within her mind, however, for all of a sudden the usual bright, cheery expression returned to her face.
“Alright, Ade, I’ll give it a shot!” Without so much as waiting for a ‘thank you’, the Marill made a dive into the water, preparing herself for whatever challenge she was going to have to face. Well, seeing as she seemed so eager, who was I to delay her battle for any longer than I had to? Without a word I paced over to the button that unleashed my next opponent and pushed it with a single finger. Again came the grinding of cogs, and again the little trap door slip open. Only this time a small, eager-looking Totodile shot out of the resulting hole with surprising speed, not even waiting for the door to fully open before it made its entrance. So much for not fighting things with claws or fangs or pointy bits! I just hoped that my Marill would be able to overcome her fears and be able to benefit from this battle. Hoping was all that I could do for now, however. Otherwise it was just a case of watching, and waiting, and seeing if Megan could come out on top.

FIGHT!!! L7 Marill v L8 Totodile!

“Hi, my name’s Cody and I’ll be beating you tonight.” Megan hadn’t even so much as laid eyes upon her opponent when he decided to attack, evidently deciding to make full use of the element of surprise. The Totodile struck hard from behind with a vicious Ice Punch attack that was designed purely to startle Megan rather than do any real damage. It worked admirably, the Marill yelling out in surprise at the sudden cold sensation that had been applied to her back and darting forward in shock. “Awesome! Not seen anyone move so fast since that time my pops was surprised by a Gyarados!”
“Hey, you could let me know you were coming, you know!” Megan grumbled, looking genuinely hurt by the rude introduction. Then again, that was her way. The daftness was tempered with a rather frail psyche. “That was like a free hit and it’s not fair!”
“Relax, I could’ve hit you with something that would have hurt instead of startled, so don’t be so grouchy! You got off lightly.” The Totodile smirked, placing his hind paws firmly upon the floor of the lake and striking up a pose that wouldn’t have looked out of place on a Hitmonlee. “Come on then, let’s see what you’ve got.” Evidently this pokémon wasn’t one for talk once the battle actually started.
“Okay! You asked for it!” Summoning up her courage, Megan darted forward and attempted to land a Tackle. However the Totodile dodged easily, Megan’s natural sloth working against her. But the Marill wasn’t to be discouraged. She hadn’t been previously owned by one of the best mercenaries the world had to offer for nothing! Even if she was decidedly out of practice. “Think you can get away?” Abruptly Megan turned, allowing her tail to whip into her opponent’s face and land a vicious, stinging blow to the cheek. It was at that point that she attempted another Tackle, whilst her opponent was distracted, and this time the attack struck home, sending the Totodile tumbling through the water. “Ha! Nothing to it! Hey, guys, what do you think?” For a second the Marill took her eyes off her opponent to cast a glance over at her audience. A mistake that was to cost her dearly.
“Not bad, babes, but not good, either!” Before Megan knew what had hit her she was being sent tumbling head over heels, a burning sensation at her back that had knocked her over. It was rather fortunate for the Marill that the blow had been to her rear. If she had seen the large gashes that the Scratch attack had opened up she would have passed out on the spot. “Face it, you’re outclassed.”
“I am not!” This seemed so unfair that it brought tears to Megan’s eyes. “I’ll show you, you big meanie!” Abruptly the Marill curled up tightly into a ball and began to spin in the water. It looked as if she was trying to teach herself Rapid Spin in an instant.
“Oh, man! What’s this, you think you can beat me with an acrobatics display?” The Totodile guffawed. “Man, I knew you Marills were a pretty dense bunch but this really takes the biscuit!” Unfortunately he had very little idea of what Megan was attempting here. I, however, knew exactly what she was about to do. And it would probably work, as well. With a little steering on my part, at any rate.
“Megan!” I shouted as loudly as I could, hoping that those huge Marill ears could make out my voice from under the water. It had been a while since I had to lend my assistance in this way. I just hoped that my judgement hadn’t been impaired by my team on the whole not requiring it in order to win. “Forward, now!” The Marill did exactly as she was told, much to my delight. “Wait, he’s dodged, left a bit and up!” I could see the Totodile trying its best to swim out of the way of the Rollout attack. Well, this time it wasn’t going to fail. Megan had a whole lifetime of believing she would never be able to use the move, and this time I was going to help her to pull it off for once. “Now right… yeah! We nailed him!” Back underneath the pond’s rippling surface I could see that my Marill’s tumbling form had succeeded in striking her opponent, knocking him back down to ground level with its impact.
“My turn, Ade!” Beckham grinned excitedly.
“Wait, this isn’t a video game, Becks!”
“Hey, I’ll have you know that it is quite like one, and who happens to be reigning champion in our house?” The Wartortle stuck his tongue out. “Besides, do you really think I’m going to let anything happen to Megan? If she gets hurt I lose a g… good… uhh… good girl?” The clumsy attempt to change what he was about to say wasn’t fooling anyone. Beckham had deep feelings for the Marill, and everyone bar Megan – and possibly Kassandra - seemed to know it. “Oh, bollocks to that, Ade, just let me steer, would you?”
“Well, alright…” I had to admit, there was very little chance that he would do anything that would place Megan in danger. And Beckham was an excellent battler, anyway. He would probably be much better at this than I could ever hope to be thanks to his practical experience. “Just be careful, okay?”
“Relax, Ade. You’re about to witness something special.”

Megan felt as if she had been rolling about forever, stuck in a rather bizarre loop that her opponent seemed to be able to avoid with ease. She had been so happy when she had felt that first impact, that sudden feeling that her attack had struck home. But since then, despite the fact that she had built up an impressive run of speed, she hadn’t once felt another connection like that first one. It was beginning to feel as if she would never master Rollout.
“Oi!” A new, yet familiar, voice managed to intrude upon her senses, a voice that managed to somehow lift her spirits just by being there. “Megan, your opponent’s coordinates are 45, 62, 15, pi squared. Or just turn right a little before doing your next loop and you’ll bowl him over.”
“Gotcha!” All of a sudden the Marill’s heart was filled with a new determination. If Beckham was helping her, there was no way that she could mess up! Taking his instructions, she altered her course a little. And in this case her earlier confusion had worked to her advantage. Her opponent had grown so used to her just making the same circles that he had grown complacent. And when her path finally did alter he simply wasn’t prepared for it, and the Rollout struck with even more force than before, ramming straight into him and pushing him along with its ever-increasing momentum. “Now what?” Megan could feel her opponent somehow snagged upon her, but had no idea what to do now.
“Well, this is gonna sound barmy, I know, but crash!”
“Crash into the side, Megan, you’ll squish him between you and the wall and if that doesn’t do it I recommend coming back later armed with weapons of mass destruction. Now quick, head left for a second then straight as fast as you possibly can!” The Marill did exactly as she was told. She trusted Beckham completely. “Go Megan! Faster! Faster! Faster than a speeding bullet, or even faster than that, faster than a Jolteon after twenty cups of coffee!” All of a sudden there was a loud yell of fear, followed almost instantly by a gigantic crash that sent vibrations up the supports of the trainer’s platform. And then silence.

“Becks…” I groaned, picking myself up from where I had stumbled after the sudden impact, “…next time you instruct her to crash, can we not have her colliding with the construction we’re stood upon, please? Especially when it’s potentially this flimsy.” I scanned the water’s surface carefully. “So where’s Megan gone? Don’t tell me she knocked herself out as well…”
“I hope not, who’ll play ball with me when Caledor’s not around?” Beckham seemed to be genuinely worried. “Alright, Ade, I’ll go take a look, be back in a second.” Without so much as waiting for me to give my assent to this, the Wartortle jumped nimbly into the water. And all I could do was wait, wait until the ripples from his dive dies down and the pool’s surface was calm again. What kind of terrible scenes lay down there? My mind filled with visions of a Marill unconscious and surrounded by splinters, blood trickling from a wound upon her head inflicted by the terrible impact of her Rollout. What had I been thinking? Megan needed more private training before she was ready for this! “I can’t believe that!” All of a sudden the water’s surface broke once again. And there was Beckham, supporting my Marill with ease with one arm whilst using the other to make strokes to the platform. “After all that you get stumped by him falling on your tail?”
“Hey, I was tired, okay?” Megan grumbled, accepting my help in getting out of the water. “I tried to move him, but he wouldn’t budge. Big stupid heavy lump of a Totodile…” All of a sudden the Marill’s mood seemed to lift. “Hey, I did it, though, didn’t I?”
“That you did, Megan,” I grinned, hugging her tightly. “I’m proud of you.”
“Yeah, me too.” Beckham gave his own affectionate squeeze. And as Megan turned to accept this, I couldn’t help but notice something that maybe the Marill would rather have not known about.
“Uhh… Megan, I hate to break this to you, but we should probably get going over to the Pokécentre soon.” I wasn’t really sure how to best word this to cause minimum alarm. In the end I just decided to come out with it. She would have to get over her phobias sooner or later, anyway. “You took a bit of a blow down there that should probably be patched up.”
“Huh?” The Marill looked confused.
“Um… your back...?” Gingerly I leant over and ran a finger along the Marill’s wound, bringing away a small patch of red blood. “Looks like somebody got a little rough with you down there, doesn’t it?”
“Oh no!!!” Megan shrieked so loudly that it was a wonder that the occupants of the other training rooms couldn’t hear her. “Look! Look! I’m bleeding! Oh no, quick, I’m bleeding to death, somebody help me!!!” The Marill seemed hysterical. Although fortunately she was too tired to keep it up for long. “Look at all that blood, I’m… oh, I feel funny…” At this point Megan simply collapsed into Beckham’s arms, passed out in a dead faint. My Wartortle looked over at me with a look in his eyes that could be best translated as ‘are you sure she’s okay?’.
“Relax, Becks, she just overreacted. What you’ve just seen is called passing out from over-excitement, not dying from blood loss.”
“Oh. Okay.” The Wartortle grinned sheepishly. “You can never tell sometimes, dying from blood loss is such a subtle way to die. I mean, imagine if you had a little tiny pin prick that wouldn’t heal over, you wouldn’t even notice as all your blood started slowly leaking out of you and in the end you’d have no blood and have to use some kind of random substitute like vodka.”
“Becks,” I said flatly. “Just grab her and let’s go home, please. I’ve had enough of this place for one day.” All things considered, it had been quite a draining session. But we had all learned something from the experience. And at the end of the day, wasn’t that what truly mattered?

Megan wins!
Megan grew to L8!

Crystalmaster Mike
23rd May 2004, 12:46 PM
Nice battles, Mike! The story was so full of typos it became hard to understand at some points, but the story was original and interesting, and the battle parts well done. Take 18 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

LOL, yeah, I can imagine. I hadn't used a dictionary this time over, and when I'd finished it, I just wanted to post it, edit the font mistakes, and leave it be.
So I did. .^.

BTW, if you were wondering about my in-story appearance, look below.

Lady Vulpix
23rd May 2004, 04:07 PM
It took me some time to read those 2 battles, but they were great! I like the attitude Marius is developing, as scary as you may find it. And Becks's jokes are getting better too... except for the last one, which was rather gross. But I understand he wasn't at his best at that moment. Take 21 stamps! ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

24th May 2004, 03:23 PM
Sorry it took me a while, but every time i started to read the story my parents woudl come in and aske me to do something. Anyway, I ended up reading it around midnight last night. It was interesting. Danny, take 20 stamps. I still find it weird that Aipom was flying a helicopter, but interesting as well. ^^ Once i started reading it, without interruptions, I enjoyed it. ^^

24th May 2004, 04:46 PM
Lol! I loved your story, Gabi! Take 22 Stamps. Not bad for your first rated battle, huh? :) I wonder what's going to happen with that scary Rocket executive... I've read about her twice and she already freaks me out. O_o; I was a little shocked when I saw Caledor learning all those moves, but then I figured out that like a lot of your pokémon, he has abnormal genes, too. And btw, I know that game! That stupid cursed Mario game where they get your hopes up when you think you've finally won such a hard game, and then they tell you that Peach is in another castle... Yeah... >_<

AntiAsh Superstar
24th May 2004, 08:53 PM
Allo, just popping in to let the world know I've got another sidetracking in progress akin to my infamous (well, infamous for being so incredibly long, at any rate...) Lucky Saga, since its star is about to make a permenant mark on my team I figured I might as well show what I've got so far. Here (http://www.btinternet.com/~sooade/fics/innercircle/) it is, I should prolly throw in a cursory warning about potentially strong language tho. :oh: Expect more once I've got the Unicorn Games out of the way. ^_^;;

25th May 2004, 03:41 PM

“I’m worried, Blitz,” I admitted. “They’ve been gone for a long time. What if something happened to them?”

It’ll be all right, angel.

Did he just call me angel? O… kay… I decided not to ask where that came from. I turned to the Electabuzz. “If you think I’m an angel, you really don’t know me yet,” I told him. “I’m going out there.”

What? No. My trainer told me not to let you go.

“Did he? You said earlier that he told you to make sure nothing bad happened to me. It was your idea to keep me here.” By the look on his face, I knew I had Blitz now. I smirked. “If you want to protect me, you’re going to have to follow me while I go outside to look for my lost pokémon.”

I don’t know about this…

“Hehe. Don’t worry, Blitz,” I assured him while buttoning up Mike’s jacket. “This coat is really good.” I opened the door, winked, and walked out, chuckling softly at the look of helplessness on Blitz’s face. He had judged me too soon.

Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

I sat on our attacker, holding his arms while Mike tied them together. Sweeney Todd had returned to his ball, much to my relief. That Absol really freaked me out. At least the one we were trying to save was just a baby.

“You’ve got some questions to answer now,” said Mike to the shuddering lump that had its face in the snow. “Where did you get that baby Absol?”

No answer.

“What were you doing with her?”

Still nothing.

“All right, then… It’s Sweeney Todd treatment for you, kid.” He turned to me. “You might want to go away for a bit. You probably don’t want to see this.”

He was right. I didn’t. I averted my eyes and ran around the corner, where I found an indent in the rocky mountain wall. Good. At least I was safe from the storm.

For the next few what I honestly felt was hours, my hairs stood on end perpetually as if the ice had frozen them there. But it was not my body that was frozen; it was my heart. And fear was the cause. Horrible screams, the likes of which I had never heard before, pierced the air, shooting like poisonous arrows deep into my soul. I did not know what that insane Absol was doing to that unfortunate child, and I did not want to know. I scarcely showed fear, but that thing was just… wrong.

Finally, after forever had passed, the wailing stopped, and I heard Mike call for me to come back again. I walked hesitantly, checking around the corner to see if Sweeney Todd was still there. He was not. The innocent baby Absol lay peacefully in the snow, still asleep.

“Well, that was quick,” said Mike, grinning.

“Quick? I heard that horrible screaming for hours!”

“Nah. The screaming lasted only three minutes. The kid cracked fast. It was the talking that took longer.”

“Where is he now?”


I shuddered. “Not in some meat pie, I hope…”

Mike looked at me as if I were crazy. “No, no, we don’t really kill anyone,” he told me. “Did you think we were insane?”

No comment.

“Sure we’re insane,” he said, grinning proudly. O… kay, getting freaky again… “But we’re not murderers.”

“That’s… good to know.”

“Ryu,” the male Trapinch’s POV:

“Congratulations, Elwing,” I said, albeit a little bitterly. I surprised myself. How did that happen? Well, I had started it now. It would have to end somewhere.

“Now do you think I’m a weakling? Huh?” she snapped.

I turned away from her. “I never thought you were a weakling.”

“Then why do you always want to help me?” she demanded. “I’m sick and tired of it. I hate it!”

Her words struck me hard. “I don’t know,” I said quietly. “Maybe it’s because I care.”

“You care too much.”

At this, I swung around suddenly. I felt my face burning up with anger. “Oh, do I?” I asked violently. She shrank back, afraid. Immediately I regretted raising my voice. “Oh, forget I ever said anything.” I hung my head and ran off into the snow. The storm covered my path.

“Wait, where are you going? Ryu!”


“Blitz, I can’t see. Can you?” I asked, as the snowstorm raged around us.

A little bit. Stick close to me so you don’t get lost.

After some time of trudging through the snow, we came across an unusual sight. A Dratini was dragging something across the snow in the middle of a blizzard. When we got closer, I recognized her as Elwing. She was dragging my belt.

“Elwing!” I cried worriedly, running to her. “What are you doing out in this storm? Where’s Evenstar? What happened?”

Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

“So he stole her egg… from the Dragon Tamers?” I asked in disbelief. How bold.



“He said he wanted an Absol.”

“What was the thing about the testing?”

“Oh, that. He wasn’t talking about the Absol. He said he was testing out how his team would do without him around to give commands. He left a Slowpoke and a Metang out somewhere to stop anyone from following him. I guess we missed them.”

“Hah. Hmm… He looked like a little kid. Where did he get that sleeping gas?”

“He was a freaky little kid. He made it himself. I was wrong. I don’t think Karin will be asleep that long, after all. We should get back to the cabin before she thinks we abandoned her. …Wow, this Absol is heavy.”

“Want me to carry her?”

“Nah. I’ve got a lot of stronger pokémon who can do the job better, but I’m not going to bother any of them. It wouldn’t feel right to make an Eevee carry something several times his weight.”


“You’re saying those two just suddenly attacked?” I asked, pointing at the limp bodies of a Slowpoke and Metang nearby.

Elwing nodded. “They took out Evenstar and Nimrodel. They’re in their balls now. Nimrodel came out to help Aglárien against the Slowpoke when she was in trouble. Even so, Aglárien barely won. She’s in her ball now, too.”

“That’s weird… The training grounds are a place for friendly battles. How did these two nasties get in here? Are they wild?”

As if to answer my question, some little kid came into sight, and he was in a hurry. Fear filled his eyes. He looked at us breathlessly, recalled the Slowpoke and the Metang, and ran off, muttering something about how he needed to make better sleeping powder next time. I blinked, putting things together quickly. A kid put me to sleep? Oh, what next?

Putting Mandragora’s pokéball back on my belt, I began to fasten it around my waist when I noticed that something was wrong. “Wait a minute,” I said, tapping Ryu’s ball. “This one’s empty. Where’s Ryu?”

Elwing turned white. “Well… He ran off.”


“He yelled at me and ran off,” she said irritably. “I’m not sure what’s up with him.”

I decided not to ask until I could hear both sides of the story. For now, we had an emergency. A Trapinch was running around somewhere in the midst of a vicious snowstorm. “Your face is starting to frost over,” I said to Elwing. “You shouldn’t be out, especially after a battle like that. Here, take a rest. Don’t worry, we’ll find Ryu.” I was glad when she returned without a fuss. The Dratini looked – I could not find another way to say it – pissed off.

“Is she gone yet?” I heard a voice ask from behind me. Ryu emerged from the snow. I guessed that he hadn’t gone very far.

“Ryu! What happened?”

“Elwing basically told me to go away and stop trying to help her. I was a jerk. I overreacted. Just… leave me alone…” He retreated to his pokéball, downhearted.

Lune, the male Eevee’s POV:

“Hey, I see them!” I yelled. Mike was walking right next to me, but the snowstorm was quite loud.

“Good, Blitz is there too. We don’t have to go back to the cabin, then. Everyone’s here.”

“Mike? Lune?” Karin cast a glance towards the Absol. “She’s all right? Are you guys okay?”

“We’re fine,” Mike answered. “And the Absol’s just sleepy.”


“Here.” Mike handed the baby Absol over to me. “That kid stole her from the Dragon Tamers. You might want to find out who she belongs to.”

I received the sleeping bundle and was abruptly reminded that she was heavy as a lead weight. “Thanks, Mike.”

“Well, I’d better get going. Come on, Blitz.”

“Oh? You’re leaving? So soon?” Part of me wished that he would stay. “I guess you’ll be needing this, then.” I began to take off his coat. Bye bye, nice, warm jacket…

“Nah. You can keep that.”

“Oh… Thanks. Well… Goodbye, then.”

“See ya.” He vanished into the snow, with Blitz following close behind. I stared after them until their shadows vanished, too.

“So…” started Lune, in an attempt to break my silence. “Where to next?”

“Out of here. Out of any place that even whispers a hint of cold. We’re going to the Jungle Room. Sunshine, flowers, and oh, sweet warmth!”


“Please don’t say that word or any word related to it ever again. I want to think warm thoughts.”

Lune snickered, but said nothing.

Lady Vulpix
26th May 2004, 06:45 AM
Great conclusion, Karin! Take 7 stamps! I loved the way you put everything together. :D ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢
And thanks a lot for rating my battles! I didn't know what it would feel like to have a battle rated, but it was cool. ^_^ I have 100 stamps now!! http://www.geocities.com/gsteren/Faces/cheesy.txt As for Gia, yes, she'll end up showing up again. Not right away, but someone like her can't stay away from us forever, can she?

Ade, I'll read chapters 3 and 4 of Rhiannon's story as soon as I can. I've already printed them. :)

[Edit: I guess some things require an explanation. Only 1 of my pokemon is known to have abnormal genes, and that is Lagi (and maybe Hero, if speed is in the genes). Caledor may or may not have them; how he started out is a mystery, but he was treated in the lab we're now searching for. He was given to me by Scott as a prize for winning the first Griphon Games. The rest of my pokemon have no anomalies, except for Hero who has 7 tails and high speed. Hero's tails are a result of an abnormal evolution, which had already taken place before I adopted him at the Dragon's Guild Adoption Center.]

[Edit 2: thanks for informing me about that game. I didn't know it. I'm sure you know not only that game, but that Andrew too. Hint: he hates Eevees and dislikes everything that resembles a cat.]

26th May 2004, 08:59 AM
Oh! Thanks, Gabi! I hadn't expected that many stamps. ^_^ I made 33 Stamps total for the ice room. O_o

[Edit 2: thanks for informing me about that game. I didn't know it. I'm sure you know not only that game, but that Andrew too. Hint: he hates Eevees and dislikes everything that resembles a cat.]

O_o;; So that's who he is. Lol. He's so random and hates Eevees so much that I avoid him. ^_^ He accuses me of being a little green gnome thingy (what was it? gremlin? kremlin? uh...) and he says I sit on my throne stroking a bald Eevee waiting to take over the world. :\

Silver Ledian
26th May 2004, 05:47 PM
This is my first proper story here at the Battle Range, so I hope it has been done properly. If you want to have a look at my pokémon's info, to see that I'm not cheating or anything, feel free to copy and paste this link to my AC/CC webpage: www.geocities.com/mimo2k4/accc/cherry.html

Well, here goes :) Hope you like it :)


[My P.O.V.]

“Excuse me. Could you tell me where to find the pokémon training rooms, please?” I said.

There I stood in front of the reception desk, located on the ground floor of the ‘Pokémon Training Experience Centre’, waiting anxiously to get an answer from the receptionist .

From what I had heard, the place had a very good reputation for successfully teaching beginning and even experienced pokémon trainers the ins-and-outs of pokémon training and battling and that’s exactly the reason why I was there. A month or two prior to this day, you see, I had visited the ‘Dragon Tamers Adoption Center’ and adopted a pokémon to have as my own. The thing is, despite having voluntarily read and learnt about all the different species of pokémon and the basics of pokémon training and battling - along with the other things -I’d never participated in an actual battle. So I thought that to give this a go would be great experience for both my pokémon and myself on the battlefield. Cherry was the only pokémon I owned - I’d none prior to him - and so taking care of and training a pokémon was all pretty new to me. I loved learning first-hand though and so far, we made great friends. Today, however, I wanted to start our battling experience and rather than go and battle wild pokémon at the park, we decided together to visit the Experience Centre.

“Well, you see, it depends which one you have booked to battle in,” replied the sweet receptionist. She was quite young for her age, around twenty six or twenty seven I’d say, but she talked in an experienced manner, without being forceful or dominating.

“You have to book a battle?” I asked, feeling that already all my excitement for the day had been wasted. I hadn’t booked.

“Yes. I’m sorry for the inconvenience but we’ve become very popular recently and so the best way to give everyone an efficient service is to make people book, enabling everyone to have a chance.”

“Oh, uhhh...ok, thanks very much,” and I began to walk away from the desk as quick as I could. The embarrassment was too much.

“Excuse me!” the receptionist shouted back, “Wouldn’t you like to book a battle while you’re here then?” she asked, smiling sweetly. “If you book today then we could set you up in as short as 3 days from today. It doesn’t cost anything at all.”

“Well I’d hoped to battle today but I didn’t know you had to...”

“You’re new to the battling, aren’t you?” she interrupted. “Don’t worry, everyone gets flustered every now and again. I know how you feel. When I first started battling I hadn’t a clue and there weren’t any centres like this one around to help me either. I sort of taught myself but my brother helped me out a lot.”

“Really? That’s cool,” I replied. The receptionist looked around. The floor didn’t seem to be as busy with trainers hustling and bustling today. There were only a handful of people, around ten trainers max, using the computers on the opposite side of the reception room or eating lunch at the little cafe next to the computer suite.

“Then could I book a battle for Saturday?” I enquired, a bit more relaxed. The receptionist, who had somehow made her way from behind her desk to standing opposite me in front of the desk, walked swiftly back behind it and sat down on her chair. I actually laughed at her as she whizzed across the floor on it - since it had wheels. She typed a few things into the computer and then raised her head again,

“I’m not really supposed to do this but...seeing as it’s pretty quiet in here today, I could book you in for a battle at noon, as long as you don‘t tell anyone.” She winked in a friendly way.

“Noon?” I asked puzzled, “Noon as in fifteen-minutes-from-now Noon?”

“Yep,” she smiled, recognising that I was really grateful for the offer.

“Yeah! That would be great thanks!” I didn’t shout at her or anything but I was really overjoyed and the excitement, that had left me just a few moments ago, returned.

“Okay then, I’ll just type it in and...” She hit the ‘Enter’ button. She also took my basic details - my name and address - and typed them in. “There, all done. Just one last thing,” she smiled again, “what room would you like to battle in? There are five available today: The Pond Room, The Jungle Room, The Lava Room, The Blizzard Room and the Desert Room.”

“Ummm...well I only have one pokémon and it’s a water type, so I guess the Pond Room sounds best for that!” I said, feeling quite clever.

“Oops...my mistake. I’m really sorry, I made a mistake. The Pond Room is closed today for repairs...something to do with a Gyarados biting a Golbat, resulting in a major Screech attack...yadda yadda yadda, broken windows or something. I’m really sorry though, I hope I haven‘t disappointed you” she apologised. She seemed to be retracting a bit from her friendly receptionist job and was now coming across as more of a friendly friend..if that makes sense. She was a very nice girl and very pretty. A bit too old for me though, hehe.

“Hey, don’t worry about it, it’s alright. What do you think would be the best place for Cherry to battle then?”

“Cherry?” she asked curiously.

“Oh, I’m sorry, Cherry is the name of my pokémon.” I took Cherry’s pokéball out of my jeans pocket and held it facing the ground. In an short moment it opened, with a bursting white light and Cherry appeared.

“Hya!” it shouted.

“Oh, a Staryu! We don’t get many of those around these parts. I’ve always wanted to battle one!” she said, her eyes paying close attention to Cherry. “Well we have a small stream in the Jungle Room, which is at least a source of water for your little friend there,” she assurred me.

“Hya!” Staryu replied. He was receiving very friendly vibes from the young woman, weren’t we all. I smiled at them both.

“Okay then, I’ll have my battle there,” I confirmed.

“Okay, all you have to do is go to the third floor. There’ll be two training rooms there. You go to the one with the tree symbol over the top of it. The other is the desert room, it’s of a cactus so don’t get them mixed up. When it lights up green, that’s when you can go inside and from there, your battle will begin.”

“Brilliant! I’m really grateful for all of this,” I said, making the receptionist aware of it again. “Thanks for all your help and if things go well today then I’ll be back to make regular use of this place.”

“No problem at all! You caught me on a good day, since we’re not as busy. You were also very lucky, as I was about to go off duty. I’ve to work in another part of the centre soon, so I had better get going also. Good luck with your battle!”

“Thanks,” I said, returning Cherry to his pokéball and as quick as he had come out, he disappeared into his ball again, with one red flicker of light. Cherry’s not really a male, he’s genderless but ever since I’d got him, I’ve referred to ‘it’ as ‘him’, just because of the ‘Hya!’ sound he makes.

The receptionist gave me a little wave and made her way down the corridor that started from behind her desk. She turned a corner and from there, was no where to be seen. I just then realised that it would have been nice if I’d have asked for her name. I hope I didn’t seem too impolite. I reassurred myself, though, that I’d probably be back the following week again, providing I enjoyed the training, and so came to the conclusion that I’d probably see her again. I walked towards the flight of stairs that rose up between the computer suite and the café and assumed that this was the way towards the third floor. I read the sign,


I began to make my way up the first flight of stairs and for someone that walked every day, I quickly began to pant. The building must have been quite tall, taller than what it had looked like from the outside. When I reached the first floor, I pokéd my nose through the double doors and then back out again. Joy must have caught a glimpse of me, since she waved. It was pretty quiet in there too, so I’m sure she made the most of seeing another human’s face for a split second. She seemed to be putting some pokéballs into some kind of machine - different from those used at the other centres. I had no time to think though, I had a battle to attend.

I decided to allow Cherry out of his pokéball so that he could stretch his arms and legs for a while. Out he came with the flash of white light.

“So, all ready for this battle?” I said, “It’ll be our very first!”

“Well, all we can do is try our best, and as long as you know your stuff, we’ll be fine,” he replied. “You know I’ll try my hardest for you,” and he made his core blink brightly.

“Yep, I’ve got all your attacks in my head. I don’t really have a strategy or anything but I guess that we can make up some of them when we get used to battling first. For now, all we can do is get used to the general idea of battles. I‘m also hoping to try out the TM I gave you the other day.”

“Hya!” he shouted sharply, “Race ya to the top!” and in a split second, he was hopping up the stairs as fast as I’d ever seen him hop. I quickly chased after him but his little legs were beating me all the way. When he reached the third floor he waited for me and when I got up, his core was blinking rapidly. He wasn’t tired out or anything, it must have just been the excitement and adrenalin rush...or water rush, I wasn’t sure what was inside of him after all.

We spotted the two doors, they were quite a distance away from each other so I imaged each room to be fairly large. There was a drinks machine and two rows of chairs - one for each room - situated along one side of the wall and the doors were on the opposite side. Light streamed through the windows. We sat there patiently for another 10 minutes and I laughed to myself at how Cherry sat on his chair just like a human!

The tree sign lit up. It was time.

“Ready?” I said, the Butterfrees flying around inside my stomach.

“Hya! I’m ready,” replied Cherry, in a stern sort of manner. I think he was trying to hide his nerves.

“Okay then, let’s go,” and I turned the doorknob and opened the door.

My mouth fell wide open and Cherry’s opening, where his water usually came out, tightened up. We looked around the room in awe. In the centre of the room lay the main battlefield, with the same traditional markings of any pokémon battlefield - as I’d seen in one of my books and on T.V. in the past - but many of the chalked lines were covered up partially by the undergrowth of the field. In reality, we couldn’t see where in fact the boundary to it was. Huge rainforest-like trees shot out of the ground at random places and resting silently along the middle of the ground, lay a small stream, trickling only every now and again. The source seemed to be coming from an elevated pile of rocks in one corner of the room. In another corner lay a large bush, with peculiar patterns on it’s leaves...they looked purplish-blue. I decided to keep clear of those and stick to the green vegetation, hehe. I was interrupted by a poke from my pokémon.

“Wow! This looks really tough already.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure we’ll do great.” I walked over to the stream in the centre of the field, dodging the trees and bent down to dip my finger in the water. I called Cherry over, “Why don’t you jump in and have a splash about before we start the battle,” and in a few moments, my pokémon jumped into the shallow stream. I noticed that another corner of the battlefield had a flight of stairs leading downwards, I guessed that’s where the trainer and his pokémon came out and soon enough, I could hear footsteps. Step by step upwards, more of the body was unveiled, until the trainer reached the top. Cherry jumped back out of the water quickly and turned to me. I was now back at the edge of the field, having brushed some leaves and plants out of my path on the way.

“It’s you!!!” I exclaimed and there she was, the receptionist, all kitted out in a new set of clothes with a pokéball in her hand.

“Hiya!” she shouted excitedly, “Surprise!” I stepped back and tripped over a vine, falling anime style. How embaressing was that. Quickly, I got back up and brushed away some rotting organic thingys, to make space for me to stand.

“Wow! It’s you! Did you know all along that you’d be battling me?” I asked, still surprised.

“Well, sort of,” she said, flicking her shoulder-length brown hair back. It was really curly and bouncy. “I knew that I was working in this training room after my shift at reception was over but my first battle wasn’t until later on today, so I sort of set you up to pick this room so that I myself could get in some training for later on.” I felt tricked but it wasn’t bad, it was in a good way and it was nice to see that she was enthusiastic towards our battle.

“You’re not angry, are you?” she asked in concern this time. I laughed.

“No, not at all,” I replied, “It’s just a big shock to see you here. It didn’t occur to me that you were a trainer here as well.

“Well, originally I wasn’t supposed to be but after a few weeks working in reception, I was hearing that the training room battles were really an experience not to be missed, so I asked the administrators of the building if I could try out to become a leader of the rooms and they said yeah, after seeing me in a trial battle.”

“That’s really cool!” I said, “And now you’re here!”

“Yep, I am indeed. Well, are you ready to start?” she asked energetically.

“Sure am, how about you, Cherry?” Cherry jumped straight back into the water, inhaled a couple of litres of water and shot them back out into the stream right away.

“Hya! All ready!” he said, feeling confident.

“Okay, we’re ready!” and I nodded my head. Cherry flexed his arms and bent his legs.

“Right,” she said, becoming a bit more serious now, “this will be a one-on-one pokémon battle between Eamon’s Staryu and Debbie’s pokémon, with no time limit.” She announced it as if there was a tape recorder taking everything in but I guessed it was just her being professional...and now I’d learnt her name!

“So you name’s Debbie then?” I asked.

“Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot to tell you. I must have been wrapped up in the adrenalin rush of everything!” She was a bit embaressed but quickly recovered from that, “Anyway, let’s go! Pokéball, go!!!” and she threw her pokéball into the very middle of the field. The ball opened and out splashed the white light, immediately taking the form of a pokémon. It condensed into a small white shadow and then disappeared, revealing the pokémon!

“It’s a Surskit!” I shouted at my Staryu.

“A Surskit?” he asked a bit confused, not having seen one before.

“Yes, they’re water/bug pokémon and they’re pretty fast!” I shouted.

“Okay, let’s go!” shouted Debbie abruptly.

Eamon’s Male Staryu [Lv. 6]
Debbie’s Female Surskit ([Lv. 8]

[Cherry’s P.O.V.]

“Okay Kitty, let’s begin with a Quick Attack!” shouted Debbie from her side of the field, and in an instant, I could see the female Surskit whizzing right at me, skating unbelieveably fast across the shallow stream. I stood there waiting for the counter attack command but just as Eamon shouted for me to counter it with a Tackle, I was hit by the little water-skater. I was certainly thrown back due to the speed of the stick-thin pokémon but I wasn’t hit hard.

“Are you alright?” Eamon shouted at me in concern.

“Hya!” I retorted.

“Good going!” shouted Debbie from afar, “Now, use your Bubble attack Kitty!”

A Bubble attack? I thought to myself. I just waited for Eamon’s command, “Alright Cherry, counter it with a Bubblebeam!” and as quickly as I could, I began to charge up the attack, hoping the TM I‘d been taught would work. The Surskit was approaching me fast again and I’d expect it to only release the bubbles when she picked up speed, so I too began to run at Kitty as fast as I could. Both trainers looked on in anxiousness as the Surskit danced its way quickly towards me over the water top but this time I was the first to react and from a short distance released a huge beam of bubbles straight from my top. I stopped running as the Surskit flew backwards, losing its balance and falling below the water‘s surface.

“Yes!” shouted Eamon but I didn’t look to see what his action was. I tried to keep focused on the match as best I could, “Now slam into it with your Tackle!”

This time I jumped into mid-air and began hovering over the water, accelerating towards the recovering Surskit. Debbie only had a few seconds to think and so commanded her pokémon rapidly, “Kitty get out of the way! Jump out of the water and under those leaves!” and with that, my opponent quickly jumped out and veered straight for the undergrowth. I lost track of her. Eamon didn’t know where she was either. I ceased the attack.

“Do you know where she’s gone Cherr?” Eamon asked anxiously but I didn’t reply. I just tried to keep my focus on looking.

“That’s it Kitty, keep it up. You know the usual drill. Whenever you’re ready,” spoke Debbie, having already planned what to do if at a disadvantage.

“It’s no good hiding,” shouted Eamon, “My Staryu will find you,” and with that I exited the water and began making my way through the undergrowth quickly. Then...I heard a rustle between leaves. I picked up the trace of the noise and saw a little yellow head sticking out of the ground.

“There it is!” screamed Eamon, “Tackle it!” and with that I began charging again at the little yellow-hatted pokémon. It skittered quickly through the leaves, leaving a clear trail behind it and I was quick to follow.

“Faster. Faster!” shouted Debbie, and always meeting it’s trainer’s commands, the little spider continued running around the field. I quickly hovered more and more, zig-zagging all over the field and suddenly, I lost track of her. Then, it started again. The Surskit raced through the undergrowth with me quickly in her tracks, until all of a sudden, she abruptly stopped and jumped fiercely upwards, slamming into me and knocking me against a tree trunk. I tried to shake it off as best I could but before I knew it, another Quick Attack came my way and the little skater tossed me sidewards to the edge of the stream.

“No!” shouted Eamon, “Come on Cherry, keep up the fighting!” but I was hurt from the speed attack.

“I know, try using Harden! That’ll stop it from harming you for a while!” Why didn’t I think of it myself.

“Now, Kitty, use another Quick Attack before it hardens”. The little blue pokémon ran swiftly towards me but not swiftly enough, as I immediately built a silverish shield around myself, deflecting the attacking opponent backwards and into the undergrowth. Despite that, the attack was enough to knock me backwards into the water and so I decided to lie there. It was just deep enough for my whole body to fit in and so I rested there, recharging my batteries by intaking some of the water.

“Okay, Harden doesn’t affect special attacks, so use another Bubble Kitty!” shouted Debbie, now having gotten into the full swing of battle. The little fighter attacked on, with the Bubble attack hitting me straight on but being a water pokémon myself and being in the water also, it had little effect.

“Keep using Harden!” Eamon shouted,” and so I re-glazed my outer shield several times, with an extra layer of hardened material to protect myself each time.

“Stick in there with Bubbles!” repeated Debbie. Bubble attacks continued to come from all directions, the solid formations bursting as they hit the shell of my shield but it was no good, Surskit was only recharging me faster. I know that I hadn’t learnt Recover but I knew that prevention was better than cure and so I protected myself instead of healing myself.

Surskit was now tiring out but the effort it was making to attack was increasing. It jumped onto the water again and started skating quickly, following the orders for another Quick Attack. I perservered but this time, when the attack hit, the shield lost a layer. Eamon thought readily, “Okay Cherry, this is asking a lot but seeing as it’s small enough, I want you to suck up all the water in the stream!!”

From below the water I tried to think of what Eamon’s plan was as fast as possible, still withstanding the attacks from the skittery spider and then it hit me: if I absorbed all the water from the stream then there’d be nothing for Surskit to run across, making it harder for it to attack me! And so, retaining the hardened shield but allowing a small gap for my top opening, I began to intake the water.

I could feel my body filling up more and more until relatively soon, I couldn’t intake anymore. My only option was to get rid of it but if I spat it back out into the water, I would never be able to complete our strategy. “Into the grass! Spit it into the grass!” Eamon shouted and within a few seconds, I had shot all the water onto the grassy area next to me. At this point, Debbie was looking on in confusion as she didn’t know what exactly I was doing. Meanwhile, Kitty was falling and falling lower down towards the water bed as my process of water intake and water release continued. This went on for only another minute or so until I took my last mouthful of water.

I was about to spit it out when Eamon commanded, “No! Not this time! This time, blow that Surskit away with it!” I looked at Eamon, my shield now down, and turned back to Skitty, now trying to balance itself on the uneven and rocky river bed. I aimed myself at the little body and within the blink of an eye, the imprisoned water pumped out of me and towered over and onto the tiny Surskit, slamming it into the water bed forcefully.

“One more Tackle!” Eamon shouted and with that, I smacked into her and knocked her out. We waited a few seconds to see if the red-cheeked bug pokémon attempted to get back up...but it didn’t.

“Yay!” cheered Eamon, “Well done Cherry! We won our first battle!!!” I looked back, my core blinking and bleeping with excitement and I hopped over to Eamon. He took me in his arms and began throwing me up into the air, dancing. I began to feel queezy.

“Please stop,” I said, “You’re making me faint here,” I joked and with that, he put me down again.

Debbie returned her Surskit to her pokéball and made her way across the field to congratulate us. I felt so proud of myself and of Eamon at that moment.

[My P.O.V.]

“Congratulations!” said Debbie, genuinely happy for us, “Looks like you beat me fair and square, and with your speedy water pal too,” she smiled.

“Yeah! Thanks very much. I feel really great now, we both do! Is your Surskit going to be okay though?” I asked.

“Of course, it’s rare that she gets beaten but a defeat every now and again will just make her more determined”. Kitty’s pokéball shook from side to side in Debbie’s hand, in agreement with her master’s comment. We both laughed and opened the door leading out of the room.

“Nice battle, Eamon, I hope you WILL be back next week now.” I nodded my head and returned Cherry to his pokéball, “Of course I will!” and out we walked.

Cherry won the battle!
Cherry grew to Level 7!
Cherry learnt Water Gun!


Well, that's it :)

PS: Possibly the longest story I've ever written out of my own free will - 8 pages :sweat3: That's a lot for me! :lookout:

Lady Vulpix
27th May 2004, 05:55 AM
Good battle, Eamon! It was very original, though I find it hard to believe that a Staryu can dry out a stream of water, especially in the middle of a battle; and that releasing it on the grass wouldn't cause it to return to its original course. I'll give you 9 stamps. ¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢¢

By the way, how can anyone be quite young for their age?

Silver Ledian
27th May 2004, 08:43 AM
Thanks for the stamps Gabi :)

I just meant that she looked younger than what she actually was :heh:

Lady Vulpix
27th May 2004, 03:53 PM
<Iael's POV>

The post-lunch talk went on for quite a long time, even after Lagi had left with Caledor. We kept bumping into trainers, and all of them had something to talk about. I was wondering when the next battles would begin? I wasn't sure whether I was excited or worried at the prospect of battling 3 times within 2 days. In any case, I wanted it in my past rather than in my future. I hoped I wouldn't fail Gabi, she seemed to have great expectations of me and I really wanted to live up to them. I also hoped the next room we were going to would be either the Blizzard or the Lava Room, as I didn't think I could handle having my 3 battles one after the other. But I didn't tell anyone about my worries. They'd think I wasn't up to the task.

Luckily for me, when the encounters finally ceased and Karin hadn't shown up yet, the Lava Room became available and Hero jumped at the chance. Gabi asked me if I was ready too, and I nodded firmly. Maybe too firmly, I don't know.
"Alright, I'll wait for you right here. Take care and do your best, but don't push yourselves too hard, remember it's just a friendly battle. Good luck to you both!"
She spat out the whole stream of words, as if it were a speech she'd been preparing. Maybe she had. I had the feeling I could have answered something, but I just nodded and walked into the room as soon as Amber pushed the door open. She came in with us; Amber, I mean. Hero and I were looking for opponents to battle, but she was looking for something else. Or, rather, someone else. There didn't seem to be any pokemon around, though.

"Where's everyone?," Amber finally asked.
"You know how this works. Sometimes a group of pokemon come in and wait for opponents, and sometimes a trainer does," Hero reminded her. "I guess we arrived in the middle of a switch. Someone's bound to come in soon."
"I wonder if Eliot has come this time around. I was almost sure I'd see him here."
"Eliot?," I asked.
"Old friend of hers," Hero told me. "She's met him a few times right here in this room. She even battled him once, and that's when she decided friendly battles were not her thing. You didn't miss much by not watching that battle. It was shameful. Both pokemon were holding back."
"We have different feelings about battling friends," Amber addressed Hero with a fierce look on her face. "I'd appreciate it if you respected mine."
"Sorry, I didn't think you'd be offended by my telling Iael what happened."
"You called our battle shameful, so yes, I do find it offensive. Caledor and Tsunami may enjoy having word fights with you, but I'm different, as you have pretty much noticed."
"Okay, miss, calm down! I didn't mean to hurt you. Honest."
"I'll take that as an apology," Amber said in the same serious tone.
Hero remained silent, and so did I. It wasn't common to see Amber mad at her friends, so I could only assume Hero had hit a nerve.

Before the tension could wear off, or get worse, a trainer came in. He had black, semi-spiky hair with red streaks on the front, and was wearing torn blue jeans with a matching jacket. His skin was light-brownish, like a cup of coffee with milk, and he wore a collar of what looked like fangs, but I was sure they were fake. He was an unusual sight, but I'd already learnt each trainer had pretty much their own style, so I didn't get caught in thoughts about the looks of this one. He looked around for a while, then looked down to Hero and me.

"Have you come to battle here?," he asked.
Hero and I nodded, unsure of whether he would understand anything we said.
"Where's your trainer?"
"Out there," Hero pointed to the door with his head. "She couldn't stand the heat."
That vague reply didn't let us know whether he could understand us or not.
"Well, I guess I can let my pokemon out," the human decided. "They'll know what to do. Let me check which ones are best for you two..."
He took one of those electronic devices trainers normally use. I wasn't sure if it was a pokedex, pokegear or one of the more modern variants, but it seemed to give him enough information to make his choice.
"Alright, that's it," he said to himself, putting his gizmo back in his pocket and walking several steps back. He then took a pokeball in each of his hands. Two red beams of light came out of the spheres, and soon two pokemon took shape in front of us: a Blaziken and a Camerupt.
"Guys, could you please find out what's going on?," the trainer asked the two. "Then you can battle or wait, or tell these two where to go. I'll help you if it's time to battle."
The two strange pokemon nodded in agreement, and then directed their looks at us. Up to then my mind had been busy trying to find a way to explain the situation, but now that I was facing these two pokemon, I wasn't too sure about wanting to battle either of them. They belonged to two of the kinds of pokemon that had arrived to Ulthuan barely a year ago, and I'd never had a proper encounter with them before; all that was clear was that they looked very strong. I'd heard Camerupt was Fire/Ground type, and Blaziken was Fire/Fighting type, and they were both fully evolved pokemon. That was about as much as I knew about them. Which meant I'd have to improvise a lot. I looked at Hero; he seemed quite excited.

"Hello, we're here to battle," my friend spoke. "Our trainer has signed us up to battle at the Training Grounds, but this room makes her really sick, so we've come on our own. Only me and my Stantler friend are battling, the Charizard will just watch."
"That's right," Amber nodded.
The Blaziken and Camerupt directed puzzled looks at each other. Then the Blaziken shrugged.
"I haven't seen anything like this before," he said, "but I guess it's ok. If you want to battle without your trainer, it's your choice. But we won't hold back and wait until you think of what move to use next."
"Good for you, because I'm not going to wait for you either," Hero retorted. I could see how funny he found the idea of having someone wait for him.
"I see you're brave," said the Camerupt in a voice as deep as a cavern. "I'll be your opponent. What's your name?"
"Hero. I've been using that name ever since I battled at the Domain of the Sleeping Dragon?"
"The what?"
"A training room, like this one but even hotter."
"Oh. My name is Vesuvius. For... obvious reasons. My friend is Bruce."
"Nice to meet you," Hero and Bruce said to each other.
"Who's your silent friend?," asked Bruce.
"Oh... me?," I reacted. "Sorry, I'm Iael. I just didn't want to interrupt."
"It's ok," Bruce said. "I must warn you I'm a tough opponent, Iael. And I have a type advantage against you. So does my friend against yours. If you have any doubts regarding this battle, you're still in time to quite."
My voice was firm now, all my doubts finally washed away. I'd given Bruce a wrong impression of me. He thought I was weak. No matter how our battle turned out, I'd make sure he didn't think that way once we were done.
"Ok, then. Let's go first before that fire wears off," the Blaziken suggested. Then he turned to his trainer to tell him we were going to battle, and barely a second later he was facing me once more. I hadn't expected him to act so fast. I'd have to be really good at improvising this time.

Level 37 Stantler vs. Level 45 Blaziken

I felt a slash on my side before I could even begin to move. This was getting ridiculous. The battle had just started and, if it went on like that, I'd be lost in no time. I stopped thinking and used my mindpower to push my opponent away instead. It was not bad for my standard as far as Psychic attacks go. Living with Caledor, Ventura, and even Gabi and Lagi, my psychic powers weren't normally worth mentioning. They were too raw. But they were good enough to send a Blaziken crashing against a rock. I heard Bruce's trainer shout out a command: Blazing Kick, though I'd never heard of that move before. I could imagine what it was like by its name, and it didn't sound like something I'd like to get a taste of. I had to do something, but what? I knew Bruce would recover quickly, so I tried to run away in order to gain some time. I didn't have much room to run, so I had to jump from one rock platform to another while trying to think of what to do next. I couldn't send another Psychic blow now, Bruce would be ready for it. I still had two other moves that were good against fighting types, but...

He caught up with me before I could think of how to pull out my next move. His legs were definitely better than mine for running and jumping, even if I had four and he had only two. I felt one of them burning on my back. I rolled over the rock floor in time for my skin not to catch fire, but the damage I'd receive was beyond anything I could have expected - and in just one blow! There wasn't much more I could do; one more hit and I wouldn't tell the tale. So I tried the trick my kind would resort to when everything else failed. I began to shake, as if in fear... Only that the shaking of most of my body was just a farse, only the movement of my antlers actually mattered.

"Bruce, finnish it off with a Rock Smash!," the trainer commanded. His pokemon took a look at me before attacking.
"Are you scared, little friend?," Bruce said to me. "Don't worry, this will be over soon. I promise I won't hurt you more than I have to in order to win this battle."
At first I didn't know if my plan would work, but I was lucky. Bruce was directing all of his attention to me, and thus took a full dose of my hypnotic powder. He froze in his place before he could deal the next blow, so I took the chance instead. I gave him another blast of Psychic and, as soon as he hit the ground, I lifted him up with my Flying type Hidden Power. I was ready to continue, but it turned out that had been just enough.

"Iael wins!," announced Vesuvius in his cavernous voice.

I grew to level 39!

"Congratulations! You're quite a surprise," the Camerupt commended me. "I thought he had you there before you put him to sleep. That will teach Bruce not to take an opponent for granted just because his type is weak against his own. I can see you have that issue covered."
"Thanks," I replied.
"Oh, that's nothing. He didn't even use Earthquake," Hero added. "Of course that would have been too dangerous in a place like this. Could have caused an eruption or something."
"Oh, this isn't a real volcano," Vesuvius informed us. "The lava's artificial. They have some tremendous heat generators around here, but the ground below us is solid. It's a controlled environment."
"Oh, that's good to know. I should have figured it, though. Whoever made this place wouldn't want us to risk our lives. So... is it time for our battle now, or shall we wait until your friend comes back from Dreamland?"
"Can we wait, if you don't mind? Bruce and I like watching each other's battles."
"Is it ok if I go out?," I asked everyone. "I may have to battle again today, and I will need a potion or something. And a break."
"Go ahead," Hero accepted. "One more pokemon to describe my epic battle to."
"Epic?," Vesuvius raised an eyebrow.
"My battle, whatever. I like to boast, ok? But don't make the mistake of thinking that makes me overconfident."
"And why are you warning me?"
"Because I want you to do your best, just as I will. That's what makes battles interesting."
"You're strange."
"You took longer to tell me that than most of the opponents I've faced. And most of the pokemon I've met, actually. I'm surprised you haven't asked any questions about my appearance yet."
"Would you want me to?"
"Nah. It's better this way."

I let the two keep on talking as I walked out of the room and back to most of my friends, still thinking of my battle. It had been close, but things had turned out quite well! When I told the others, they all congratulated me. Gabi hugged me until I had to tell her I was still too hot from the Lava Room to hold physical contact for so long. Ventura then took me to the pokemon center inside the complex, explaining the situation to the local nurse in psychic flashes and telling me everyone would be back for me after Hero's battle. I'd have rather have someone to talk to, but it was ok. I'd see them all soon, and I needed some rest before my next battle anyway.

<Hero's POV>

It took a while before Bruce was back on his feet. He started asking where Iael was, and his friend had to tell him he'd won the battle and left to recover.
"But how...? Didn't I hit him with my Rock Smash?"
Vesuvius shook his head.
"He used Hypnosis. Stantlers can be quite tricky, you should have taken that into account."
I thought Bruce's face looked redder than before, if that was even possible.
"He could have stayed," was all he managed to say.
"He has another battle scheduled for today," I told him. "But if it helps, he looked quite impressed by your power and your speed."
"Oh... Yes, I was the fastest one in my family," Bruce said, taking his hand to his head before standing up.
"You too?," I smiled. Then I turned back to Vesuvius. "I guess we can battle now, right?"
"Right," he accepted. "Let's see how many of your words you can back up."

Level 68 Ninetales vs. Level 70 Camerupt

From what I had seen so far, Vesuvius was a nice pokemon. Centered, not quick to judge others... He seemed like someone who would have been nice to have around, even if I couldn't picture him taking part in a comeback fight any time soon, let alone a pillow fight. He was just too serious for that. Now it was time to see how he performed in battle. By asking me why I was warning him, he'd made it clear he didn't want me to give him an advantage. I respected that, since I would have done the same. So, no more warnings, and no keeping any of my best tricks to myself.

I started the battle with a Double Team. That can always help if you can think of good ways to pull it out. Running around your opponent and creating holograms of you is a good way to start, but you have to do something else if you want the move to be effective. Like, for example, I had my copies move in different ways in order to distract my opponent's attention. With years of practiced I'd managed to get up to 3 sets of copies to perform different actions at the same time. Moreover, if the action was Quick Attack, they could launch themselves in 8 up to different directions. If I had 8 or more holograms, that is. Sometimes an attack came by before I could create them all, but I was considerably faster than Vesuvius, plus he had to wait for his trainer's command, so I had the time to create 11 copies of myself before he could attack me. But, as soon as the human commanded Vesuvius to start off with "the trap for elusive fire types", the attack did come, and not exactly from the Camerupt's direction. It came from all directions: small rocks and blocks of earth pulling away from the ground and walls and hitting me and all my images at the same time. From the sides and from above. It was a move I didn't see everyday, but I knew about it. I knew enough to determine that a) it was bad for me, b) it could be even worse and c) using Dig was now out of the question.

"Keep it up," the trainer instructed the Camerupt. I continued running, trying to keep as many images coherent as possible. Now that I knew what my opponent could do, any chance of getting him to miss was precious. But Vesuvius was a fire type too, and his moves could do about as much damage to him as they could do to me. I came up with a plan.

"Are you just going to keep running?," Vesuvius asked. "Or are you up to something? If it's the latter, let's not give you the chance to pull it out."
More rubble came in my direction. Or, rather, in the direction I'd been a moment earlier. I was now standing safely behind my opponent. I had teleported, leaving a hologram running in my place. When Vesuvius saw his projectiles phase through his target, he turned around. I was waiting for him, with a Confuse Ray charged up. I fired as soon as he fixed his eyes on me. "It's not Hypnosis, but it might be even better," I said to myself.
No sooner said than done, the next wave of earthly projectiles landed right on the Camerupt's head. I took my chance to create even more copies. It was the best thing I could do, since I had no moves that were good against a Camerupt yet. Luck was on my side and Vesuvius hit himself once more, but after the last impact his look changed and I knew he wasn't under the influence of my Confuse Ray anymore. And I doubted I'd be able to teleport again without his noticing. But I wasn't lost, not yet. I still had a few tricks left.

I gathered all of my clones around Vesuvius to obscure his vision, having them jump from side to side, away from him or towards me. I moved as if I were one of them and, when I noticed he wasn't looking at me, I Quick-Attacked out of his reach, landing right behind the rock where Iael's first Psychic attack had sent Bruce crashing. I hid behind it and watched as Vesuvius tried to figure out which of the Ninetales around him was me. In the end, he got tired and shot another Magnitude at them, even if some blocks fell too close to him. I watched everything carefully, not missing a detail.

Vesuvius turned around upon noticing all of his targets were fake, but this time he didn't find me behind him either.
"Where are you?!," he roared, almost making the floor shake with his deep and loud voice.
He turned to his trainer, who shrugged as a reply. They both kept looking around.
"He must be hiding behind one of the large rocks," the human finally deduced.
The camel stomped on the ground, more blocks coming out and shooting themselves towards the nearest rock, but that wasn't the right one. Now I could have teleported behind that one, as he was unlikely to hit it twice in a row, but then the battle could have lasted forever. And it would have felt dirty, anyway. So I decided to come out and give the Camerupt a taste of his own medicine.
"Look, this is how it's done," I told him, repeating the same sequence of moves Vesuvius had been using again and again.
The rubble hit my opponent just like it had hit me the first time. The impact wasn't that great, but thanks to my collar it was good enough. With a bit of luck, one more hit would be all I needed.
"You know Magnitude?," Vesuvius asked, stunned. "I didn't think a Ninetales could learn that move."
"We can... In indirect ways," I replied mysteriously.
"This is taking too long," the trainer said. "How about taking a big chance?"

A big chance... I didn't like the sound of it. Was he going to use a move I'd never seen, just like his friend Bruce had? Was he about to use some Ground type version of Hyper Beam?... No, when the human had said 'chance', he'd meant exactly that. They were taking a chance, as I confirmed when the Camerupt showed me his heaviest stomp ever... opening a crack on the ground. The crack expanded itself, evading the few remaining clones and coming my way... But it was too slow for me. I didn't even have to use Quick Attack to jump over to the next platform, protected by the same lava that was now making its way through the openings.
"I thought you said the ground was stable," I claimed.
"Stable enough for an Earthquake, anyway. Fissure's another thing," Vesuvius replied, not looking surprised at his failure.
"Yeah, speaking of that... Don't you know better than to use that here? And against me, on top of it? You should have known I'd have no trouble dodging and you'd just give the maintenance guys a lot of work to do."
"I know, but he thought it would be a good idea," he replied, gesturing to his trainer with his head.
"You can have ideas of your own, you know," I told him. "Trainers can help you, but they don't have the view of battles you can only get from the inside. And you strike me as being experienced enough not to need that much advice."
"I haven't tried battling any other way," he admitted. "I guess my moves have always been good enough to make up for a miss or two during a battle. But I'll think about it."
"Good. Shall we continue our battle now?"
"Go ahead."

And ahead I went. A part of me wanted to know what attack Vesuvius could come up with when choosing on his own, but another part reminded me that whatever that move was, I wasn't bound to endure it. So I decided to let him try a new battling style some other time, and hitting him with another Magnitude this time. The trainer's seemingly random comment as he checked his poke-whatever and said "that got a 7 in the Magnitude scale" didn't tell me much, but the sound of Vesuvius's heavy bulk hitting the remnants of the platform he's been standing on definitely did.

I grew to level 70! I earned a free TM and, after this long battle, I made up my mind to ask Gabi to get me Toxic!

"Now this is weird," the trainer said, calling Vesuvius back into his pokeball and looking at the sphere with puzzled eyes. How funny, because I was having the same thought about him.
"Is he really the one who trained you?," I asked Bruce.
"Yes, but I guess he got nervous. It's the first time he's had to battle two pokemon without a trainer. He didn't know what to expect."
"And I did. You really should consider a change in your strategy, Vesuvius isn't too fast, but he's strong enough to defeat two of me."
"Maybe. But twelve of you?," the Blaziken joked.
I laughed when I realized what he was referring to.
"By the way, how did you learn to use Magnitude?," he asked me.
"I didn't. I just copied your friends move by using Mimic."
"Mimic? Interesting, I'd never heard of that move."
"We're even. I'd never heard of Blazing Kick either. You should go to the pokemon center in Selenia, they always have some Mimic TMs in stock. It's quite a good move if you can buy yourself the time to use it."
"Since you're giving so much advice today, I'll give you some too. Stop talking as if you knew everything and everyone else knew nothing. It's irritating and it can earn you some enemies."
"I wasn't talking like that."
"You should hear yourself when you talk. Of course I can tell you don't mean it. After all you didn't make fun of us for losing. But you do brag a little too much."
"Really? I thought I was holding myself. I didn't say a word about how I won the first Griffon Games and the first Eevee House race... Err... Sorry."
Bruce laughed.
"What's going on?," asked his trainer.
"Nothing, the battle is over," Bruce replied. "I guess we'll meet some other time, or maybe not, in any case it was nice to meet you."
"Same here," I told him, understanding it was time to go back to my group.
Amber waved goodbye to Bruce. Only then I noticed her again. She had been silent throughout the two battles.
"I'm sorry you didn't find your friend," I told her as we both made for the door.
"It's ok," she replied. "That's the way with everyone around here. We never know when we're going to bump into each other, nor when we're not. I may end up finding him when I least expect it. I'm not even sure if he remembers me, anyway. We've only met a couple of times and he's probably faced hundreds of pokemon, being trained by a mercenary."
"Believe me, you're hard to forget. Wait a minute... Have you tried looking for him at Caledor's Nature Protection Agency? He might be there. That's where mercenary trainers usually take their fire pokemon to battle."
"You're right, I hadn't thought about it. I may go there someday. Not to battle, though. Just to talk."
"I'm glad I could help."

The conversation didn't last any longer, as we'd got to the spot where everyone was waiting for us.
"Another victory for our team," I announced, and everyone cheered.
"That's great! Would you like to go to Glacier Peak now?," Gabi offered. I considered it for a moment.
"No, thanks," I finally decided. "I'd rather wait until Caledor's excitement has worn of. I wouldn't like to become another target for his random attacks. Besides, I'd like to watch Iael's next two battles. He's done quite well and I'm intrigued about how much he's really capable of. Oh, and you owe me a Toxic TM."
"Dragon Tamers rules. I've earned a free TM, and I've chosen that one."
"Oh, sure. I'll get you one at the pokemon center as we check out Iael. Let's go there now, I think there's still time for one more room today."

27th May 2004, 08:57 PM
Eer... I'm busy... with Ragnarok right now ^-^;;;;;;;;;;;; So I would like an extension for all those scenarios. :D

Lady Vulpix
28th May 2004, 09:38 AM
Alright, you can have it. Though the scenario won't be changing yet.

One thing about my battles: the story was not so elaborate this time, nor will it be next time because I have too little time to write, but I have some ideas for the future. I even have some for my 4th room, which will be the Blizzard Room (so far I've covered the Pond and Lava rooms), I just hope I don't mess it up making it impossible to understand.

Ade, if you're reading this... It would be nice to continue our old story one of these days. while picking up old loose ends I've remembered something that may fit into it quite well.

28th May 2004, 10:11 AM
Woo! Take 23 Stamps, Gabi. I liked that one even better than the Pond Room. And who's Eliot? I mean, what kind of pokémon is he? Just curious. ^_^; I find it intriguing that he'd have a mercenary as a trainer.

Lady Vulpix
28th May 2004, 10:26 AM
Wow, thanks! I really didn't expect that. O_O
Eliot was a Charmeleon last time Amber saw him, which was years ago. He's bound to have evolved by now. They met twice at the Lava Room, so she thought she might find him this time too.

<fic comments>By the way, nice Lune chapter. I read it yesterday before leaving, but didn't have time to think of a reply.
Along the same line, chapters 3 and 4 of Rhiannon's story were very interesting. ^_^</fic comments>

30th May 2004, 11:31 AM
I felt like doing a scenario battle today, so I did^_^


Five rooms, two Pokmon each.
I ran my finger slowly down the listings, trying to figure out which of my Pokmon would be best suited to each room, doing my best to ignore the raging argument behind me.
Im telling you, Ill be the one wholl be fighting every Pokmon here.
Every one? Yeah right, like shell let you be the only one to get all the glory.
And why wouldnt she? Im the strongest, and I deserve it more.
Strongest? Youre only just stronger than Latino.
And that matters why? You just think youre some sort of hot-shot because you beat a Rattata-which, I may add, I could have done easily myself.
And why didnt you? Hang onbecause Hannah chose me to battle!
You were almost beaten in the process! I didnt have to be recalled as soon as I finished battling.
So? You run a mile in anybody approaches you with a Pok Ball, at least I do as Im told.
And so do I, give or take a bit of freedom.
No, you only take, Ive never seen you give anything to anybody ever.
Thats probably because youre stuck in your Pok Ball most of the time, while et moi am always out and about.
Hmm, out and about and thinking all about yourself?
And Id tell you why? And another thing-why are you so eager to battle anyway?
Why are you?
Dont answer back to me. Why?
What do you mean, me answer back to you? Look whos talking!
Precisely my point.its not what I think it is, is it?
Depends what youre thinking.
Oh please, Fera will be crowned Nicest Pokmon in the World before you ever evolve, pal.
Shell have to work on her act then, because I will. And Ill have the added bonus of being able to show you up now, so ha.
Lovely and mature arent you? Besides, Ive already told you, you wont evolve, youre too, well-how can I put this nicely-weak.
Thats why Ill be battling, you know, to make myself not weak. Though Im not. And I bet youre just jealous because you cant evolve, can you? Sneasels just stay that way forever.
Thats a problem? Rapid mutation into another form isnt my idea of fun, buddy.
Pal, buddy, will you quit calling me those? And I will evolve.
Yeah right.
I will.
Will you two shut the hell up? If youre going to argue, then please, do it somewhere away from me, so nobody will realise that youre mine.
Im nobodys. Im here because of convenience for myself.
You sound just like Tropi
Shut up Archie.
No, you shut up as well. Xol, youll be battling in the rooms I tell you to, which wont be all of them, as will Archie.
Ill be up against better Pokmon, wont I, though?
Depends how you act.
Oh please, dont give me that.
I will. Yes youre strong, but dont think Ill neglect the others because of you.and Archie, dont encourage her.
What? Hang on a second, I
I shook my head and turned away.
Im going to just take a look round these rooms, you two can go where you want until you get some sense knocked into you. And thats both of you.


I glared after her as she marched away.
She has a go at me, yet lets him get off by telling him not to encourage me.
And he seemed very pleased with himself-he couldnt smile, but I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was seeing this as all a big joke.
Well, Id teach him a thing or two.
Before he could react, I reached out, grabbed one of his claws and began dragging him across to where one of the entrances to a room was located.
You think youre better than me, then? Well, you can go prove it.
Better than you? Did I say that?
Dont act innocent, I now you were thinking it.
Since when are you psychic?
Im more psychic than you are, and thats a fact.here.
I stopped and shoved him in front of me.
You think youre all big, able to battle for yourself? Then please, prove it to me. Go in there, battle and win, and come out on your own. No getting zapped into your Pok Ball because your legs, er, feathery things go a bit weak.
I thought you wanted to battle in all of the rooms?
Oh, I will, believe me. Ill be battling in this room in about, um, five minutes, when I have to come in and rescue you from the weakest Pokmon in there.
Rescue me? I thought you just told me to go in and win a battle? How can I win if you plan on beating the Pokmon Im fighting?
Are you normally this slow or are you just trying to be annoying? Here, let me explain it to you slowly, so you can understand. You go in. You start to battle. You realise you cant win and start screaming for help. I come in and beat the Pokmon. I win. You lose. And I prove that Im right.
What if I dont scream for help?
You admitting that youll lose? Well, youll be beaten and left to rot. Now get a move on.
I gave him a shove that sent him tumbling a few feet past the entrance, into the corridor.


I struggled to me feet, glanced further into the corridor, then back at Xolotle.
Do you even know what room this is? What if its the Pond Room? I cant swim. Id sink.
She smirked.
Should have thought of that before, shouldnt you?
Before what? Before you chucked me in here? And how can I battle if I dont have a trainer to tell me what to do?
She just laughed and sneered at me.
Get real. If you want to evolve, youll need to be able to battle by yourself, and that means not having some person around shouting orders.
You sound as though youd prefer to be without a trainer.
Do I really? But, lovely as this chat is, I think youd hurry up and get down there, so I can get my battles started.
For a second, I was tempted to just barge past her, and get out of there, but the smirk on her face stopped me.
I wasnt going to let have the last laugh, was I?
And besides. I glanced at the rough, earth walls around me. If this lead to the Pond Room, Id have expected to see at least some moisture on the walls or floor, but there was nothing. If anything, it was the opposite.
That was a relief, and it made my mind up.
Id show her.
I stuck my head in the air, spun round and strutted off down the corridor.
As I walked, I amused myself with ideas of how Id put her in her place when I evolved. She wouldnt be able to contend with my strength then.
I laughed out loud, and suddenly stopped. I wasnt totally certain, but I swore that the temperature was changing slightly. It definitely seemed slightly hotter than it had when I entered. But maybe back nearer the entrance, it was cooler because of the openness of the area and the constant air supply. Maybe down here, in the more compact tunnel, it would naturally be warmer.
Yes, that must be it.
Feeling quite pleased with myself, I resumed the pace, trying to turn my mind back to teaching Xolotle a lesson.
But it was still getting warmer.
I paused again, when it occurred to me that I hadnt figured out which room I heading towards anyway. I hadnt memorised all of the different rooms except the Pond Room-for the simple fact that Id sworn that if I found myself in there, Id get out of there as fast as I could.
But that left four more.
I forced my mind to try and remember. There was.some sort of ice room. Xolotle had been pleased about that. Thena desert room? Perhaps this was leading to that. But that sounded alright. Id definitely be able to show Xolotle up if I entered there.
And deserts were hot, so that must mean that it was the room I was walking towards.
Feeling decidedly more cheerful, I sped up, pushing all thoughts of the other rooms out of my head.
Then there was a door. Simple, red, with a fire emblem blazed across the centre. Well, deserts were warm, fire Pokmon liked warmth, it fit.
I hesitated, for a second wondering how to open the door.
Oh what the heck.
I pulled back, then flung myself as hard as I could against the door.
It opened easily, sending me flying forwards.
The first thing that struck me was the heat. It engulfed me, pulsing layers; my legs trembled, collapsed, my eyes closed, my breaths coming in gasps.
Dimly, I heard the door shut behind me, but I couldnt find the strength to even look at it.
But I was ok. Even though the heat was bearing me down, I sensed that this was the worst that itd get. Ok, so it was pretty bad, but I could survive it at least.
My legs were aching, and the shell over my back burnt, but I dug my claws into the rock and managed to lever myself up. My Rock characteristics meant that I was well adapted to coping with heator at least, I would be if it wasnt for my other type, which was the total opposite. I gulped and tried to turn my mind away from that.
On opening my eyes, the first thing I felt was panic-I thought that the fall had done something to my eyes. Then it struck me that what I was really seeing as a heat haze.
It covered everything, streaming around the charred, blackened rocks, hovering over the cracked pathways, and seemed to almost drift over the strange, gaping holes and paths that criss-crossed along the surface.
There was one a couple of metres away; dragging myself forward, I edged closer to try and see what it contained.
The heat made me reel-even worse than what I had been experiencing. I closed my eyes and, trembling, stepped forward again. It was like a solid barrier around and in-front of me. I forced my eyes open and shrieked as I felt them begin to burn, felt the moisture evaporating as the heat tore at them.
That was it.
My vision blurring even more, I screamed and fled to the door, flinging myself against it.
I give up! Let me out, let me out.
I paused.
If Im to evolve, Ill have to face up to more challenges like this. And if I beat this room, Ill prove myself to her as well.
But I still hesitated.
I remembered what she said; Youll be beaten and left to rot.
She didnt mean that.
I wouldnt rot anyway. Id burn. Burn alive.
Shut up, shut up, shut up.
I forced myself to break out of my chain of thoughts and imagined myself evolving. Being strong. Being able to prove myself to anybody who thought otherwise.
Id do that.
I pushed myself away from the door, turning slowly.
In the flickering haze, I searched for any signs of life, any signs of a Pokmon I could challenge.
They wouldnt wait by the door anyway. Theyd want any challengers to brave the pathways, they wouldnt stand and let themselves be challenged without any effort at all.
Ok. Then Id go and find them.
I was about to move when I heard it.
A low rumble. So low I wasnt sure it Id heard it or felt it.
It came again.
From the hidden path Id approached earlier, something flared.
Hang on.
My mind suddenly began working again.
I remembered the different rooms.
The rumble came again.
I couldnt help myself.
I screamed and fled.
Away from the noise.
Away from the door.
Further into the room.
Behind, I heard the rumble explode; spinning round, I saw a jet of pure orange, yellow, red lava burst from the ground. It separated, falling apart, plummeting back towards the ground. Some of the glowing substance landed on one of the rocks Id initially seen. Instantly, the rocks began to smoke, as the white-hot molten substance began to eat away at them.
The heat haze around them grew; their steaming shapes being contorted into even more grotesque positions.
The rumble came again. Panicking, I fled.
Along the path; across tiny rivulets, spy-holes into the mass of churning substance that lurked underneath.
And then I stopped.
In the haze, I saw something..two things moving. Some of my panic faded, to be replaced with the same determination Id felt earlier.
Squinting against the haze and my own running eyes, I strained to discern their shapes.
They were the same Pokmon, I could tell immediately. The same small, squat, orange bodies. A mass of yellow down underneath a head that resembled their bodies. Dark eyes. Three feathers, reflecting the light, sprouting from their heads. Tottering on their spindly, fragile looking legs.
More of the blind panic left me now.
I would be alright in a battle against these two.
I just hoped that they wouldnt realise that and refuse to battle.
But it looked as though they might; as I watched, I noticed that one-slightly larger-was ever moving; first it would be running across the path, leaping onto the nearby boulders, then jumping off, and circling the other one. And all the while continually cheeping..which for a second made a nice change to the other sounds in the room, but almost instantly became annoying.
The other Pokmon wasnt moving; it just stood and watched the other, occasionally glancing down at its feet when the other ran to close.
It was kind of cute, and if it had been another time I might have had the sense to try and avoid them, or at least see if one was willing to fight by asking.
But the heat was getting to me; my head was pounding; for a second I saw Xolotle smirking at me, and felt a rush of anger.
Id show her.
I let out a shriek and flung myself into their sight, claws poised, showing that I was ready.
The result was instantaneous.
The larger one let out a scream of alarm and charged.

Archie (Anorith L7 M)
Torchic (L15 M)

He was fast, Id admit that. In seconds he had crossed the distance between us, eyes glaring, claws glinting.
I didnt react fast enough.
His claw seared across my eye; as the pain flared, and I howled in alarm, he darted up, scrambling onto my head.
A burst of burning pain told me what he was doing..oh, he must have thought he was so clever, attacking me from behind.
From somewhere ahead, I heard the other ones faint voice cheering him on. He heard it to. The bombardment increased; out of the corners of my eyes I could see stray embers falling, tumbling onto the floor.
I couldnt do this. Id never battled without my trainer before. Panicking, I spun round, throwing him off, willing to flee.
No no no.
Was I going to let a Torchic beat me? Id never live it down.
I had an advantage. I could win.
It has an advantage too. And its not scared like I am.
I can win.
I can.
Struggling against my emotions, I hesitated, then noticed something.
The Torchic was crouching, poised to attack again, panting.
He attacked so frenziedly that he wore himself out extra fast.
I could outlast him.
I spun round into an attacking position again, my mind running; remembering my other battle, flicking through my attacks.
He didnt waste any time-head on, like last time.
I was ready.
Dropping to the floor, I pulled in my legs, slipping them easily back into my shell; lifting my claws, I twisted them so that they covered my eyes, creating a solid barrier that his claws wouldnt be able to penetrate.
And it worked; I felt his claws snick as he vainly lashed out, again and again, going back into the same frenzy as before. Then he shrieked and leapt back.
He was going to use Ember again-knowing that Harden didnt help against special attacks.
Something flared in front of my claws-briefly, I saw the flash of orange as one of the fireballs hit me, felt the burning sensation ripple across my claws, leaving a stinging pain. More and more now struck, fresh pain covering old, tingling, darkness across my eyes flaring briefly, orange, red, yellow.
Then it moved; as I had known he would. The pain and the smash of the burning embers began to move back, as he centred his attack over my head and across my back. Thats what Id been counting on; he was so eager to fight, he wouldnt be able to focus on a single point of attack for too long.
In an instant, I twisted my claws away, flicked my legs out, saw, through the haze and cascading embers, his small body. Lunging, I Slashed forward with both claws, first one, then the other. My first claw caught him straight in the chest, knocking him back; the other caught at his feet, sending him spiralling onto the ground.
Edging back slightly, I focused, mind clear now. My eye still throbbed slightly, but I could ignore it. I took a deep breath, planning my attacks, mentally telling myself what to do.
Swords Dance.
My legs rippled, twisted; wasting no time, I swung my claws forward, back, forward again, as the energy poured into them, as my front legs shone, copies forming and merging into my claws.
Hed seen what I was doing.
His body trembling, his claws digging into the cracked ground, from his throat came a low rumble, a steady, rushing Growl, as he strove to destroy the increased attack Id given myself.
And it was working-I could feel the effects dropping off, drifting away.
Sweating, I screamed out, a wordless shriek.
The ground shook, cracked. Then it exploded, molten lava flying everywhere as three massive, twisted boulders burst through the surface. Steaming, as the lava dripped down, melting away at it, they spun, slowly glistening, before hurtling down, raining towards the terrified Pokmon.
Howling, he dashed from side to side, claws ripping at the ground, desperately trying to avoid the plummeting rocks.
In a way, he got lucky-his speed allowed him to avoid the full boulders, but as they struck, they shattered, streams of rock and lava flying in all directions. Nothing could have avoided all of them.
And that included me; I had no control over the rocks once they were free of the earth, so I had tucked my legs in again, covered my eyes, trying to wait patiently until it was safe to move, despite the adrenaline that was pouring through my veins.
Gradually, the sounds of rocks clattering noisily onto the floor, smashing and rolling died, faded away, and I cautiously raised a claw.
My Ancient Power had totally destroyed the battlefield-now three gaping holes lurked in the centre, where the boulders had emerged, with lava frothing and lurching against the sides. More holes would appear soon; the lava that had been on the boulders had fallen, and even now was eating away at the rock floor. The remains of the boulders littered the floor, dull against the pulsing light.
The heat haze was even worse now, as was the heat. It poured from the new holes, lacing the air, wave upon wave forcing itself across the room.
My head was beginning to pound, and my eyes began to sting again as the heat tore at them, as I looked round for my opponent.
For a second, I couldnt see him, and I felt a burst of hope that the battle was finished.
No such luck.
A sudden screamthen he came hurtling through the haze.
I stared.
Flames licked his body, and his eyes seemed to spark, as he hurtled towards me.
For a second, I felt a rush of fear-had I done that? Then it struck mehis Blaze trait was kicking in. And that meant he was nearly down.
I didnt waste any time; tearing forwards, I extended my claws, aiming to knock him down again.
Feet away, his beak flew open, and a stream of pulsing, white fireballs streamed out. I ducked, forcing myself to endure the strength of his powered up Ember, before I lashed out at his legs.
He snarled and jumped.
Not missing a pace, I ducked to the left, then swung up, smacking him with Aerial Ace.
He screamed and fell to the floor, struggling to his feet.
I charged forwards and Slashed him again.
He swayed and fell.

I won!
I grew to L9!

I felt a rush of pride.
Id done it.
Suddenly, from behind, I heard the sound of the door swinging open.
It must only open again once a Pokmon has been battled.
Feeling a rush of relief, I turned and stepped forward, then froze.
Behind me, I heard a scream of rage.
Oh no. Not that.
I looked behind me.
The other Torchic was crouched behind me, snarling, uttering little shrieks of anger.
Please no.
She snarled one more timethen flung her beak open, sending a stream of embers flying my way.
I dashed to the right, wondering what Id done to deserve this.

Archie (Anorith L9 M)
Torchic (L15 F)

I didnt have time for this, so I decided to make the battle quick.
As the Torchic drew breath for another stream of embers, I flung myself forward, Slashing down with my claws.
And then it happened.
A metre away from the Torchic, her eyes suddenly flickered, and the heat haze seemed to increase, except this time, it centred around the little Pokmon.
Staring at her, she suddenly winked.
Then she darted forwards, and began flinging embers at me again.
And I couldnt do anything. The idea of attacking her was repulsive. All I could do was stand and stare, as she barraged me, one eye constantly locked on mine.
Dimly, I remembered that I was meant to be fighting her, but even that seemed hazy.
Suddenly, she staggered and slipped; some of the remains of my previous Ancient Power seemed to have dug into her claws.
And as she fell, she broke eye contact.
Instantly, my mind burst back, and without hesitating, I tore forwards, knowing that I had to attack before she caught my eye or Id be Attracted again.
It worked.
My claws caught her off guard, and I was able to knock her back, back towards her partner, who was just struggling to his feet.
Then I spun, hitting her with the most powerful Aerial Ace I could muster. She squealed as she was sent flying back, smashing into her partner, before they both collapsed on the floor.
Backing away, I saw the flames ignite around her body. She was almost down as well.
Without waiting, I spun round and tore towards the door; behind I heard her scream of rage, before I shouted back the same, wordless cry I had before.
The ground exploded, knocking me off my feet. With no time to use Harden, I dug my front claws into the ground and hung on grimly as my Ancient Power tore through the air, and plummeted down.
Lava and rocks whipped round my head and body; a searing pain flared on my back and along my left legs; something smashed into my head.
But I held on.
Gradually, the frenzied movements slowed and stopped; the clatter of rocks falling and shattering ceased.
I looked up.
Through the haze and the dust that still lingered in the air; over the massive lava filled chasm that I had created, I could see my opponent.

I won!
I grew to L11!
I learnt Brick Break as my free TM!

My mind spinning, and my legs and body aching, I stumbled for the door, delighted by my wins, but feeling exhaustion flooding my body.
Through the door, back up the corridor; by now, I was staggering, barely able to lift my legs properly.
Then I was back, back in the light of the main area.
Dimly, I wondered why nobody seemed to have noticed or even heard the explosion Id created..but then guessed that the rooms were soundproofed.
But it didnt matter.
Xolotle was leaning against the wall, staring at me.
I waved a claw languidly at her in greeting.
It was probably good that you didnt go down there. I dont think youd have been able to handle it.too, weak, you know.
She just stared at me, mouth open.
It felt great.

1st June 2004, 12:58 PM

I awoke to find myself still at the Lava Rooms core with some bits of rock around me crumbling down. I decided now was the time to examine the weird machine that had heated this place up. Looking around the bits of debris I saw a shiny piece of steel with Team Rocket written on faintly. I quickly concluded Team Rocket had put this machine here to heat up the Lava Room beyond control. I thought to myself that Team Rocket could be meddling with the Training Grounds for something even bigger to happen. A pipe had been from the machine to the lava and must have been doing something at the time.

What had happened before now? Magby fell in the lava near the machine and went out of control. That machine must have heated up the Lava Room by doing something to the lava. The other affect was the lava made Magby evil so this could be some Team Rocket plan. We need to get out of here before this whole place comes down on us. I walked over to Magby lying on the floor under a bit of debris and shuck him so he could wake up and get out.

You alright Magby? I said as I shuck Magby gently.
Uh What am I doing here? Magby replied very confused.
You took us to the Lava Room core.
I remember. Did we destroy the machine?
No, it overloaded. It must have blown up as we slept.
We were sleeping when this happened?
You were knocked out by Charmander and the heat was too much for me.
That explains why Im so puzzled about being here.
We have to get out of here before this whole place gets way.

Magby had decided to follow us because it would be the safest way of escaping the dangerous area. The Lava Room core seemed the only hazard area now she we just needed to get to a safe distance. This was going to be harder than it looked. The ground started shacking and some lava was spitting up onto the ground in front of us. This had made our planned escape route even harder to use now. I sent out my Beldum because its made of metal that can take quite a bit of damage from the lava and be heatproof.

Beldums POV

As I arose from my Pokeball I knew I had to lead Andrew and Magby out of here with my safety. This was going to be a dangerous job with a lot of lava spitting in a freestyle manner about but I thought I could handle it. The rocky path up ahead looked unstable and only safe enough to run across. I made Andrew and Magby run across it by sending psychic waves to Andrews mind giving him my thoughts. As I hovered a little across the rocky unstable path because my psychic powers werent as stronger as other Psychic Pokemon the rocks started to dissolve in the lava and I feel into the lava with them.

Andrew, Im falling deeper into the lava. I sent to Andrew telepathically.
Beldum Beldum Beldum Andrew could only shout back at me.
Where do I go? I cant survive too long in this lava.
Come up to where you can hear my voice.
I think I can feel your life energy well this way.
Keep heading that way. You must get out of that lava.
All I can see is red and Im starting to get hot.
Come on Beldum. You can do it.
At last Im there. I can see the surface.


Beldum finally resurfaced from the lava and dived at me so I held him tight. Once he was in my hands I realized he was flaming hot. So hot I threw him out of my hands onto the rocky ground. I didnt mean to hurt Beldum but he was just too hot to hold. Beldums body had become bright red from being in the lava for a few minutes and if he cooled down too fast it would crack his steel coat. We needed to hang around here a bit longer but we were safe.

We were resting safely away from the Lava Rooms core when a Torchic hopped over to us. It was jumping up and down in front of us weirdly like it was in some sort of uncontrollable rage. I paid a closer look at Torchic and it had a fiery red aura around it, the same sort of aura Magby had when he fell into the lava before. Looking into Torchics eyes I could see they had just turned glowing red, like the aura around him. Before I knew it, Torchic had swept across the ground and kicked Beldum over, wanting to start a battle.

Beldum (Level 10) vs. Torchic (Level 15)

Torchic may have been glowing a fire red aura but he wasnt going to use any of its fire attacks on Beldum. We could tell this because he was just jumping up and down kicking his legs. This was going to be a fair fight for Beldum considering fire was one of his weaknesses. Torchic would one day become a Combusken and maybe a Blaziken, so Torchic wanted to practice its fighting skills on Beldum. I thought this would be a great idea to help Beldum battle and to hopefully return Torchic back to a normal independent Pokemon.

Beldums POV

Andrew, how can I get this over quick and easy? I asked Andrew for advice.
Your only attack is Take Down. Andrew gave back to me in a dull voice.
I need to grow stronger by battling.
Now is the time to test your physical skills.
Im going to use my Take Down in the best way I can.
Go Beldum, if you cant do it, no one can.
Thanks for the confidence boost.
Your welcome. Now show Torchic what youre made of.
Alright, heres goes my full battle power.
Just remember your body can take a few blows.
I know. My body is made of steel after all.

Having taken Andrews advice I charged straight at Torchic and used Take Down but before I knew it Torchic was gone. Behind me I felt some sort of foot flip me up into the air and straight back to the ground. Torchic was jumping up and down as usual laughing. I couldnt take a beaten from a little Fire Bird Pokemon, so I was getting angrier. My emotions felt like that had reached a hyper rage point and I had to unleash them all at once.

Sneakily I launched a full body Take Down on top of Torchic knocking him down to the ground weaken. Torchic tried to get up from my beating but I used another quick Take Down on him. I felt more pain as I used Take Down because it was somehow damaging me too but I kept going. As I felt more pain I could feel my rage emotions growing stronger. The stronger my rage emotions had grown the more powerful my Take Down became. Torchic had finally had enough beating from Beldum and fell to the magma-heated ground.

Beldum won the battle (Level 10+2).

Are you alright? I question Torchic, as I was worried.
What was that power? Torchic replied, looking very frightened.
That was my Take Down attack.
That Take Down was more powerful than a Blazikens Double Kick.
My rage emotions just went out of control.
We better be getting out of here now.
Ill rest in my Pokeball. Im so sorry I hurt you.
Thats alright, we just have to leave this area quickly.


After witnessing an awesome battle of my Beldum against the evil Torchic I thought Beldum needed a rest. He was giving me that tired look that Pokemon normally have after a battle. I pulled out Beldums Pokeball and returned him back inside it within a second. Torchic had lost its evil aura and the glowing bright red eyes, so maybe he was back to normally. Magby successfully made friends with Torchic that showed Torchic couldnt be evil anymore. Torchic must have been exposed to the lava from the heat machine to turn evil before.

Once I had reached the exit of the Lava Room, Magby and Torchic wished me luck from the next room. They also reminded me to keep notes on my little computer device of what Team Rocket had done in this area. I thought to myself that maybe Team Rocket was plotting something much bigger in the other Training Rooms. I left the Lava Room and when I looked back I could see the clear glass door entrance where Magby and Torchic were waving.

That concludes my Scenario in the Lava Room. I just need to pay a visit to all the other Training Rooms now. I was thinking maybe I should do my next Scenario and the others after that with 2 battles in one instead of writing 2 parts for it as usual.

1st June 2004, 01:52 PM
Hi.. I was wondering if I could get an extension for all those scenarios.. ^^' My final exams aren't quite over yet. x.x

2nd June 2004, 11:20 AM
Those who asked for the extensions can have them, though i doubt the scenario will be changing anytime soon, or else id' need one myself

Hannah: Wow. I enjoy reading your stories. The description is great, and I especially liked how you described the blaze characteristic. It was interesting to read the bickeriign between Xolotle and Archie. I'm eager to see what happens next and all. Take 20 stamps.

I won't be on much today and i'm not sure about tomorrow. I'd appreciate it if one of the others could get andy's battle. Thanks in advance ^^;

4th June 2004, 11:58 AM
I read the beginning page to get the info on these scenarios, but there's a part I don't understand. It says that the trainer can battle two pokemon in EACH room, making for a total of ten battles. Does that mean we can go beyond the original two battle per scenario limit?

4th June 2004, 12:08 PM
I read the beginning page to get the info on these scenarios, but there's a part I don't understand. It says that the trainer can battle two pokemon in EACH room, making for a total of ten battles. Does that mean we can go beyond the original two battle per scenario limit?
Each Training Room counts as a different Scenario. So we can battle 2 Pokemon in each Training Room like a normal Scenario. There's 5 Training Rooms, 2 battles in each, making that 10 battles in total.

4th June 2004, 12:23 PM
Hey, thanks Andyizcool! (BTW, Sephiroth kicks major bootay! :yes: )

4th June 2004, 10:37 PM
Meh, I managed to do this in an hour but the rest has to wait. I have SATs tomorrow and I've got to sleep. Sorry if it seems rushed:

Ryu, the male Trapinchs POV:

I knew that I was supposed to battle, but after all that I had done to Elwing I didnt feel like it. To me, battle was a reward, a chance to test out my abilities after I had done the hard work of training. And today, I deserved no reward.

The forest in which we walked was beautiful. I accompanied Karin alone as we walked; Switchblade had as of yet not shown himself. I guess he needed time alone. After the nightmare of the horrible Blizzard Room, we had all been relieved to rest at the Pokmon Center facility set up near the Unicorn Gate area. The people there seemed very capable; although many of us were injured, they made us feel better quite quickly. The food was good, too. As for my leg, on which my old wound had not healed in ages, the cut was finally sealing, and I had been told that it would not leave a scar. But some wounds cut deeper than swords.

Fragrant smells filled the air and permeated our souls, giving us the illusion that the world around us had a certain dreamlike quality of a surreal land. Sunlight poured through the cottony white clouds, singing a silent accompaniment to the chirping birds in the trees. The grass was soft at my feet, gentle, young, and fresh. Still, I could not enjoy the simple beauty of it all. How could I, when I did not deserve it? I sighed heavily.

Karin studied me, as if debating whether or not to ask what was the matter. I made the decision for her. I would be a fool if I denied that I needed someone to talk to.

Have you ever felt like you know, you had one shot at something I started. Something that you would do anything for And then you went and did something stupid to ruin your chance before it even began?

We stopped walking. Karin kneeled down to face me. You cant ruin a chance forever, she said. I know you. Whatever you want, you work yourself nearly to death to get. And whatever your goal, you always achieve it in the end. Its because you have the heart, Ryu, and the courage. You have the strength never to give up, even if things seem impossible. Because to you, nothing is. And I believe in you. Nothing is out of your reach So reach for the stars.

Reach for the stars. I wondered if she knew that we were talking about Elwing Starspray. She probably did She knew a lot more things than she let on, but she never said anything because she didnt want to intrude on anyone elses privacy. I knew that she watched in pain as I forced myself to train under conditions that would push myself to the limits and beyond. Sometimes when she saw me hurting the look on her face was so full of agony that I felt guilty for making her look that way. But she still let me train anyway, because she trusted me to know just when to stop. I could tell that she feared one day I would go too far. Thats why she kept watching me with concern, waiting to stop me if I would do something foolish enough to kill myself or cause myself permanent harm.

But Elwing was no battle for which I could train myself to win. The pain I felt for her was not physical. It hurt me to the very soul. And, personally, I knew not how to deal with this. For a battle I could torment myself, approach systematically, strike down my weaknesses one by one, but for this? I could only hope that I wouldnt do something that would make her hate me.


I had hoped to avoid intrusion into Ryus thoughts, but this was too much. Already he had nearly crashed into a tree thrice, and each time I redirected him, he had failed to notice. If youre dwelling on what happened in the Blizzard Room, Ryu, dont, I advised him. And your first Unicorn Games battle It was not your fault, either.

Oh, but it was.

They caught you by surprise. Allura would have gotten anyone else who wasnt expecting it. And you did break out of the trance on your own, Ryu, after the initial shock of the Hydro Pump blast. You cant blame yourself for falling under her trap. Its my fault for not being there to warn you.

The Trapinch sighed. It doesnt matter Nothing matters anymore. She hates me, dont you see? If I were her, I would hate me too.

I blinked. Up to this point I hadnt acknowledged the fact that I was aware of Ryus secret feelings, but I could see no other way around it. Elwing doesnt hate you, Ryu. She doesnt hate anybody. I think shes just come to a time in her life where shes beginning to see things differently, and shes been trying to sort it all. Judging you by your character, you werent the one to snap at her first. You probably waited patiently until you couldnt stand it anymore, and then you exploded, much to your surprise, and hers.

Thats an interesting way to put it. Youre giving me too much credit. She said things not to my taste, and I responded violently. It scared her. I deserve to be shot for doing such a thing.

No, no, you dont, Ryu. You cant blame yourself for every bad thing that ever happens. It isnt you. Sometimes, it isnt anyone. Things happen. You cant always avoid it.

I guess.

Ryu, the male Trapinchs POV:

I knew that Karin was just trying to help, but I found no satisfaction in our conversation. My heart still burned up with guilt and simple dread. I could not do this anymore. I would leave this to those who were better at it than me. Oh, no, I did not pretend that I hadnt seen the happy times she and Kalazeth had together. Perhaps this was just as well. They were around the same age. I was just old. Grimly I wondered why I had even entertained such thoughts in the first place. Certainly, she was beautiful. Surely she was sweet. But she was much too young. Or, at least, I was much too old.

Sighing, I followed Karin aimlessly down the forest path, seeing the flowers but not smelling them, hearing the birds but not listening to their song. Quietly I informed her that I did not feel like battling at the moment, and requested that she give someone else the opportunity instead. I knew that this probably meant Elwing, but that did not matter to me. In fact, I thought it better that she would take the battle from me. That way I could ease a debt that I could never really pay for completely.


Ryus decline to battle meant that Elwing would take his place. The Trapinch retired solemnly to his ball, probably to meditate more on his recent actions. I could not help but worry about him, especially after I saw the change in his composure. It was not the same Ryu I had always known, but one different somehow, resigned. That was what scared me the most. The Ryu I knew had never given up on anything.

But it was not my business to inquire or push further. He was sensible enough to decide what he wanted for himself. Whatever he chose was not my decision to make.

Not long after I continued walking along the path alone, following a stream that had started to trickle by my feet, I came to a small grove surrounded by trees. These plants were of species the likes of which I had never seen before, and I wondered at their very existence. I had not long to gape in awe, however, as no sooner had I arrived there than a trainer came up to challenge me.

He was young, short, curly-haired, and eager. It did not take too long to figure out that he either loved battling, had not done something like this before, or both. Send something out! Send something out! he cheered.

I blinked. All right I picked up Mandragoras ball and wondered if I dared to hope but before I could even consider the thought a second time, Aglrien zoomed out of her container and bared her fangs, ready to fight. This was not a good thing because, first of all, she was a Fire type in a grass arena, and second of all, she was a Fire type in a grass arena. Wait, did I think that already? Now, Aglrien, its not fair to the others. Youve just battled before

I am hurt that you would suggest that I would take an opportunity away from anyone who has had less luck than me. She was indignant. No one else wants to battle as of this moment. Ive already taken the time to ask.

Still, I hesitated. Not only did I feel sickened at the thought of the advantage she must get in a room like this; I feared that if she wielded flame at all in here, it would be dangerous. The boy did not give me time to withdraw the excited Charmander, however.

Oh, thats all right. Im sure Iris will have loads of fun in this battle. Right, Iris? he said lovingly, releasing a confident Chikorita onto the battlefield. She looked significantly more trained than Aglrien. Her eyes sparkled with the brilliancy of a blooming rainbow, and I could see that her name was well deserved. The boy had chosen to pit a level advantage against one in type Perhaps he had chosen wisely. I had a feeling that he noticed my concern and knew that I was unwilling to allow Aglrien to unleash fire attacks in this arena. If I didnt want to cause a flash fire, she would have to avoid flame altogether. This took care of a principal weakness of Iriss. If this had at all been any part of his plan, I would have to advise Aglrien to exercise extreme caution. These two were none to trifle with.

Aglrien, the LV9 female Charmander vs. Iris, the LV15 female Chikorita

Aglriens POV:

I could tell by the look in Karins eye two things: First, that I was to be extremely careful in everything that I did, and second, that I was not to use Fire attacks at all in this battle if I could help it. I felt sufficiently annoyed that I should be restrained in such a manner, for my fondness of my Ember attack was great; but if I was not allowed, it could not be helped.

The Chikorita started off with a cloud of purple spores that I really had no intention of breathing, as they looked poisonous and overall unpleasant to smell. I moved out of the way immediately, returning the unfriendly gesture with snarls of my own. The Chikorita, although trying to maintain her composure, looked perturbed; it was just as well. If my Growling affected her in such a way, I should not have such painful attacks directed at me. After all, a Chikoritas best attacks where those to which I had much resistance.

Karin was deep in thought. That the Chikorita had acted of her own accord, instead of waiting for commands from her trainer, was a hint already that this battle was ill fated. Nothing good could come of it; I looked forward to a difficult match. Although I felt excited at the prospect of battling an experienced opponent, I wished silently that I had had the time and the will beforehand to gain valuable battle experience of my own.

A nod and a glance from my opponents trainer, followed by a few whispered words and gestures at me, assured the Chikorita. I noticed a twinkle of mischief arise in Iriss countenance. I knew not what to expect, but although I was not as experienced in battle as some of my other teammates, I had learned enough to understand that I would have to be prepared for anything. What I saw next as I prepared to attack was a shining energy shield. It was not so very bright as to be a Light Screen attack besides, Iris looked smugly at my tail flame, as if to jeer at my inability to use it so I could deduce that what she had used was the physical guarding version of it, Reflect. For why would she try to protect herself from something that she knew I would not use?

I made no sign that I understood what she had just done. Though I had but one other attack that might not be thwarted by her Reflect barrier, and it would do but meager harm to those of her type, I thought it would be better used than any physical blows, for she was expecting those. I sought therefore to take her by surprise, and acted to play into her trap until the latest possible moment. Charging, I flashed my outstretched claws, looking as if I was perfectly unaware of her Reflect shield and about to attempt a Scratch attack. As I neared, however, one could barely notice an imperceptible spark, which soon grew large into a crackling ball of electricity. I unleashed my Hidden Power attack upon her. The sparks flew through her shield to explode onto her face, causing her to stagger backwards in shock. This was all the time I needed.

At once I swung out at her at full force, my leg rotating a hundred and eighty degrees rapidly to connect with her body and send her flying into a tree. The Reflect shield that she had erected had fallen when my electricity had erupted upon her, and now she looked flushed that she should have fallen for such a trick when it was she who thought that she had the upper hand.

Iris got to her feet, annoyed. And, though she looked ready to attack, she just stood there At first, I could not understand why she would do such a thing, until she began to smile coldly and fill the air with her light laughter. I noticed then that she had rooted herself to the ground, and color was returning to her pale face. The Chikoritas Ingrain was bringing her nutrients from the ground to give her health back!

I was not sure what to do. I needed to finish her off quick, but she was bound to protect herself with Reflect again, and this time my electrical Hidden Power would not surprise her. I looked to Karin for help. She whispered to me that Ingrain bound its user to the ground firmly, but would say no more. I guessed that she would help guide me, but thought that I could finish the battle for myself. Very well, I would have to try winning with her meager advice.

Iris gave me another opening when she began to sing cheerfully for the sun to come out from behind the clouds. Another Mega Kick came her way, and she could not move to avoid it. Even the force of my kick did not break the roots that tied her to the ground. They were firm roots indeed. Karins hints made more sense now.

Sensing her weakness in this area, Iris aimed sharp, spinning leaves at her own roots, to no avail. Even her Razor Leaf could not slice through the sturdy roots. She Growled loudly to express her annoyance, and the action took me by surprise. I stepped back a bit, disturbed. I soon regained my poise, but my reaction had given Iris time to charge up a Solarbeam attack.

This did not alarm me, however; Ingrain had been Iriss undoing. I easily avoided the devastating pillar of light, for Iris could not turn to aim it. Still, her roots did continue to contribute to her healthier and healthier appearance. Then, against my trainers wishes, I took a gamble. This I interpreted as my only chance to stop Iris before she could gain too much from her roots. I knew that I could be tired out before her if I did not finish her quickly. Waving my tail, careful not to catch any nearby brush, I expertly aimed the flying flames at Iriss body alone. The Ember caught on her back and began to burn into her flesh, causing Iris to utter the most horrible squeals possible. To my horror, the fire seemed to slide down below; at least, Iriss roots began to die and wither at an astounding rate, and I began to think that I had performed a most abominable act in starting what was soon to be a forest fire. But the weakening of the roots was not due to my Ember attack, for soon after I saw that Iris herself was recalled. The last assault had been too much for her. Still, although I had won the battle, I began to regret my disobedience of Karins orders. There was much sense in her advice.

Aglrien won!
Aglrien grew to LV11!
Aglrien learned Dragon Claw as her free TM!

Lady Vulpix
5th June 2004, 09:11 PM
I'm not fully back yet, but I don't have the energy to study right now, so I came here instead. I saw Karin's battle in my e-mail and thought I'd be able to concentrate better tomorrow if I read it today, and I guess I will. :)

Cool battle, Karin! Take 11 stamps!
Each time I'm more convinced that Aglrien will be really tough to handle. As for "Ryu"... He seems to have been on a path for self destruction for a while. I hope he can find a way to change that; I guess he'll probably need help for that.

Oh, and Andy gets a stamp for helpng The_Pianist.

6th June 2004, 04:25 AM
I just wanted to point out that you've forgotten to rate my battle on the previous page. I know you're all busy and all so I don't mind when you rate it, just as long as you remember it's there and you haven't rated it yet. Thanks for checking for me.

6th June 2004, 08:43 AM
Yeah, I told them I'd get to yours when I could. I didn't feel like reading it last night and thought it better to look at it in the morning. Since I work 8 hours a day every weekday this week and the next, Battle Range scenarios are not my first priority. I have to catch up with everything else first. Which, by the way, I haven't been very successful with. I'm still behind. I apologize for having too much to do. Believe me, it's cutting into my summer time, and I don't quite like it either. Parents... Sheesh.

Well, I've read your battle now. Still choppy with the short sentences and unvaried structure... But this was a little better than the last one. Take 6 Stamps.

Gothic Anim
7th June 2004, 08:10 PM
hi. first time. ^^; i hope i do this right. my pokemon: cacnea lv.7 and shroomish lv.6. my character is hideaki. hopefully, i shall get a sprite soon so you can see what he looks like. ^^;

pov: hideaki
i woke up slowly, and turned over to look at the clock. 6:00 am, it read. wow. i felt really groggy. but as i slowly sat up, i remembered something from the day before. the letter. i had received a letter from a new training centre, over west of the town i was in. they had invited me to come and test it out, as well as have an appointment with it's manager. supposedly, it was divided into a series of elemental rooms, each with something that would help a certain pokemon while hindering another. it sounded quite interesting to me. 'well, i might as well check it out,' i thought to myself.

i got up and went to the closet. i dug through the pile of clothes to look for something clean. i wasn't exactly what you'd call a neat freak. ^^; i finally got something, put it on, and got my pokeballs form my bedstand. putting them in a pouch in my pants, i headed out the door to go visit this centre.

when i arrived at the address, i saw a huge building looming above me, casting shadow on almost the whole street. it was huge! o.O i stepped up to the huge mahogany door and pressed the intercom button. immediately, a cheery woman's voice rang out through the speaker. "may i help you?" she asked. "yes, my name is hideaki, and i'm here to have an appointment with the manager." "oh yes. let me see....here you are. the door is open. please come to the third room on the right please." she said. i stepped through the door and into a cool air-conditioned hallway. counting the rooms, i reached the manager's office. before i could knock, a portly man in a dark grey suit greeted me and showed me inside. i sat down in front of his desk, in a comfortable, almost recliner-like chair. "nice to see you, hideaki." he said.

"nice to see you to, sir." i said. as i leaned back in my chair, he began to tell me about what i would be doing. "there are a number of rooms here. you can do them in any order you like. they are the pond room, the jungle room, the desert room, the blizzard room, and the lava room. now obviously, each one is unique, and certain conditions will be beneficial to certain types." "now, exactly how each room is, you will have to find out for yourself when you get there." he said slyly. "all i ask is that you have fun, and report back here immediately after each room so we can check your progress and heal your pokemon." "thank you." i said, as i left the room.

each of the other doors in the hallway was labeled with a name, and was a different color. i decided i'd start in the pond room. i went down the hall to the fifth door on the left side of the corridor. it was light blue-stained oak, and had pond room on it in flourished cursive manuscript engraved in silver, hanging from the door. i pushed open the door, and walked in. the door closed immediately behind me and locked.

i ventured forth into the room. there was a light mist coming off of the pristine lake that made up basically the whole room. there were stepping stones in various places for the trainers to stand as their pokemon battled. i let out my pokemon, shroomish and cacnea. they looked around, bewildered.

pov: shroomish
i looked around bewildered. where was i? this place was somewhere i had never seen before. but it was gorgeous. i walked a little ways to look into the water. i could see the bottom, and my reflection. cacnea came up beside me. he looked at his reflection as well. as we stood there, hideaki came up to us and explained where we were. we were at the pond room of a new training centre. he admitted that not even he knew too much about it.

but as we sat and enjoyed a peaceful little lie-down, we heard a far-off cannon. we looked up with a start.

pov: hideaki, once again
as i tried to see through the mist, i noticed what looked like a pirate ship. impossible. a pirate ship, here? what could this be? i gathered shroomish and cacnea in my arm and jumped across the stones to get a better look.

my eyes didn't deceive me, they were pirates! and it looked as if they spotted me! oh geez. the crew seemed to all be wolves. but not just regular wolves. these wolves were huge, and had glaring red eyes. i gulped. oh damn, i said to myself. i hopped a bit farther away. 'are you ready?' i asked my pokemon. as i said it, a totodile and a mudkip came up out of the water and pounced!

battle: hideaki's shroomish and cacnea vs. wolf pirate's totodile and mudkip

pov: cacnea
uh oh, these guys had the upper hand. much more room to move. but i looked at shroomish, and nodded. hideaki issued the commands.

"cacnea, grasswhistle. shroomish, helping hand!"

i heard him. okay, i'd try. grasswhistle was something i had never done before. so i began to whistle. it was a little faint. and mudkip was incoming! he came charging at me. but shroomish glowed green, and jumped in front of me, taking the blow. i began to whistle louder. totodile was coming, but he slowed down, and then his eyes closed. he had stopped completely. the grasswhistle had worked!

but shroomish was kind of hurt. i could hear hideaki's vioce again. "cacnea, leer. shroomish, absorb. aim for totodile, shroomish, worry about mudkip later!" i looked around for mudkip. no sight of him. i could see shroomish out of the corner of my eye, absorbing energy from the sleeping totodile. his drooping leaves started to perk up again, and he looked ready for combat. just as i was turning around, mudkip came out of nowhere and plowed me over! he and i went under, and i suddenly felt odd.

pov: hideaki
cacnea went under. oh geez. i couldn't swim! and neither could shroomish! i hadn't thought about that...oh no. but shroomish started panicking. i told her to wait. i had to think. what should i do. but as i sat down, another shadow loomed overhead. i looked up. a dragon had appeared! it was swooping down towards me.

i hopped across the rocks as fast as i could. i hated to abandon cacnea, but i knew i couldn't do any good 60 feet in the air! so i ran. but as i looked back, i tripped and fell under. i felt the rush of the cool water envelope my body. but as i looked out, i saw andrew! i had known andrew from a while back, when we had met once in a competition. he had gone underwater and saved my cacnea. he spotted me, too, and was swimming over. but my breath was going out fast. i tried to swim to the top, and managed to stay up for a few seconds before plunging under again.

finally, as i felt myself losing grip, i felt him grab my arm and pull me up. i breathed rapidly, and my chest felt like it was splitting open. but i was alive. and cacnea was okay, too.

pov: cacnea
some trainer had come! and i was back above water! but immediately, i noticed that mudkip was still there. the totodile had fainted a while back. hideaki, noticing at the same time as me, ordered shroomish to use helping hand, while i used poison sting. i jumped and lunged with my spike out to catch mudkip, and i got him right on the head. he was knocked out cold!

pov: hideaki
i thanked andrew for his help. the dragon had gone when mudkip fainted. 'that was wierd,' i thought to myself. i thanked andrew for his help. 'i couldn't have done it without you,' i said. 'you saved my cacnea!' "it was nothing." he said. i sent cacnea and shroomish back to their pokeballs, and walked towards the door. but when i got there, andrew came running up to me. "i wanted to give you this." he said. he handed me a pokeball. when i let the pokemon, it was a beautiful black-furred eevee with a rainbow mane. 'thanks!' i said enthusiastically. "no problem." he replied, and walked back into the mist.

i went out the door, and walked back to the manager's office. when i stepped inside, he wasn't there. 'business meeting' i thought to myself. oh well. i decided to just rest my pokemon and wait a little, and if he wasn't back, i'd go on to the next room.

battle results
hideaki's shroomish(lv.7) and cacnea(lv.6) defeat wolf pirate's mudkip(lv.15) and totodile(lv.8 )!
shroomish grew to level 8! (defeated totodile)
cacnea grew to level 8! (defeated mudkip)

hideaki obtained a rare eevee from andrew! (andyizcool)

8th June 2004, 03:54 PM
Does the Battle Range do Random Battle Generators like the CC Battle Arena? If so, I would like one for Matthias, my Growlithe. *pays amount of stamps needed*. If not, just ignore this post.

8th June 2004, 03:56 PM
Does the Battle Range do Random Battle Generators like the CC Battle Arena? If so, I would like one for Matthias, my Growlithe. *pays amount of stamps needed*. If not, just ignore this post.
Yes, sort of the same. You pay 7 Stamps and you need to chose where you want a battle at. Look at the main page for some better instructions that will help you more. :)

8th June 2004, 04:28 PM
Alright. I would like a Random Battle Generator for Matthias, my Growlithe at the Caledor Pokemon Adoption Agency (I think that's what it's called...) *pays 7 stamps*

8th June 2004, 07:26 PM
I tried to read your battle, Hideaki, and honestly, I could not physically read it. The words all melt into each other as if they were a white blob of some sticky substance that refused to remain distinct.

Here's the second half of my Jungle Room scenario... I had to throw something together fast before I left this Saturday, or I'd feel as if I left something undone.


I shook my head in disapproval at Aglrien, who looked down at her little feet when she realized that she had done wrong. She knew now how close a call that Ember had been, and, had it been worse timed, that she could have been the cause of a horrible flash fire. What with all the dry underbrush lying around Had I not specified that Fire attacks were forbidden? And had she not understood?

Still, however, I felt proud that she recognized that the situation required more than simply physical attacks. At that point, Ember seemed like her best chance of winning, and she took it. I had to discipline her on that aspect, though. A time might come when winning would not be the highest priority. When that time came, she would have to know not to ignore advice at all costs.

My face remained solemn as she approached me with averted eyes. From time to time I could catch her looking imploringly at me when she thought that my gaze was fixed elsewhere. She begged forgiveness, but I waited to give it. I could not so easily justify her wrong; otherwise she might learn to take future occasions lightly. Instead, I opted to give her the silent treatment, just for a little bit. I myself hated the silent treatment, knew it to be horrible, and felt sorry for Aglrien who was about to receive it. Still, it was one of the only ways I could think of to train her, and dislike it though I might, I would administer it. Without saying a word, I held out her pokball, and she returned silently, morosely, afraid that she had touched a hidden nerve. I got no more trouble from her for a while. She simply stayed in her ball.

The little boy walked up to congratulate me on defeating his Chikorita. I shook his outstretched hand, glad that he wasnt another one of those whiny I-didnt-win-because-my-pokmon-was-bad children.

By the way, I started, You dont have to congratulate me. Believe me, I had specifically cautioned Aglrien against the use of any Fire attacks.

Oh, you did? Then I was right. I thought you did. Thats why I was surprised when she suddenly started that Ember. I guess that goes to show that I cant assume anything. He laughed good-naturedly. Well, that was my mistake. Ive been training for two years, but you can never stop learning, you know? I havent had the chance to go against many capable trainers such as yourself. Most of the time I practice with my friends, who, although nice, hardly get past their Weedle or Magikarp, if you know what I mean. If I could trouble you for another battle?

Surprisingly, after he had overcome that initial fit of excitement when we had met, the boy was quite easy to talk to. In spite of his age, he wasnt a silly little child, after all. Well, Im in luck. I was hoping that I wouldnt have to find another trainer, anyway. Youve got yourself a battle.

And Ill choose first this time, he said. Since you did last. Going through his assortment of pokmon in his backpack, he finally settled on a worn Ultra Ball. It appeared older than the rest, and more used. This was my first pokmon, he said, And now hes my strongest. Id like to see how he does against yours.

I hesitated. My strongest isnt in the condition to battle right now, I said slowly, immediately sensing his disappointment. Will you settle for second?

His face lit up a bit. That should do. I think itll be an interesting match. Sickle! At his trainers call, the magnificent beast shot out in a flurry of light. The Scyther stood a good five and a half feet tall, an impressive height for his species; Scyther were on average less than five feet.

Well, here goes. Do your best, Elwing. The Dratini popped out, still indignant from her previous encounter with Ryu, extremely self-confident, slightly haughty. I really wished that she didnt act like that, but she was growing and changing, and I knew what hormones could do to someone. At this point Elwing was a very confused Dratini.

Thats a very pretty Dratini, the opposing trainer commented. She seems to glow, somehow.

That would be the result of her Mystical Aura Juice, I told him. I got a bottle for my birthday, and Elwing drank the potion. So now she looks like She came from heaven. Ryu thought so very much.

Yes, thats a good way to put it, the boy replied. Anyway, the battle now. He stepped back a considerable amount, distancing himself from me so the two combatants could have room in which to fight. Giving one look of encouragement at his Scyther, the boy nodded. Be careful on this one, he said.

Elwing Starspray, LV18 female Dratini vs. Sickle, LV25 male Scyther

Sickle burst into action. Immediately after his trainers signal to start, his wings buzzed to life, and he took to the air. Elwing at first did not know what to do had no time to know merely watched as the flying mantis flew up and swerved to dive down at her and slice into her skin with cold metallic wings.

Squealing, Elwing aimed a quick pulse of constricting sparks at her attacker, to no avail. The Scyther in the air was too swift. His supernatural Agility propelled him in the sky, giving him the necessary speed to avoid Elwings direct assaults. She aimed a torch of flame skywards; he pulled away easily with little effort. This would not do.

Elwing, you cant hit him by blindly firing off shots, I told her. She seemed to see the sense in my words, and yet looked resentful at the mention of the word cant. Her time spent with Kalazeth had convinced her that the only word that should be associated with her abilities was can. Yet it wasnt Kalazeths fault. That innocent Horsea only gave her sincere compliments, things that he really felt from the furthest depths of his kind heart. Somehow Elwing took these to mean more than reality; and although I liked the fact that she possessed such optimism, I hoped that she could become more sensible with time.

Elwing attempted another direct assault. This time she conjured a great whirlwind of draconic energy, hoping perhaps to pull Sickle into its vortex. Up to this point, she had never created a Twister of this magnitude. I was surprised at its size and intensity. Although the high-velocity winds seemed to disturb the zooming Scythers flight slightly, he was by no means desperately in danger. A green streak that Elwing did not see, he crashed downwards at extreme speeds, his scythes outstretched. I mouthed a word of warning but the Dratini refused to hear. Because she wanted to fight the battle her own way, Elwing continued to maintain her raging tornado. Suddenly she realized that Sickle was directly above her, but by that time, it was too late. Having multiplied himself by three, the Scyther reached out from the left, the right, and behind with his blades. The three images converged into a green blur, outstretched claws flashing under the little light that escaped through the tornado. Elwing found herself removed from the ground and tossed into her own Twister.

Her response was not immediate, for she had frozen with shock. For her own attack to be used against her was a blow to her pride. Soon after she had been tossed and torn at by her Twister, she quickly made it subside, but the effects of the draconic energy on her body were apparent. Little slices and cuts, the most aggravating kind, littered her delicate skin. Elwings aura had diminished just slightly from the experience.

Sickle was alone now, having dismissed his mirror images. His eyes remained closed as he fell into a meditative trance, his blades held across his chest, his breaths evening every moment that he told his body to concentrate. In truth I had yet to see him lose his concentration in this battle, but I guessed that his Focus Energy helped to calm him and sharpen his mind further. Elwing at her best would have found this opponent a challenge alone. In her current condition, she needed all the help she could get.

Elwing now panted angrily. Seeing her opponent in a meditative state, she took the opportunity to shoot towards him and wind her snakelike body around his neck. Tightening. This instantly brought the Scyther out of his trance. When he realized what was happening to him, a momentary light of fear flashed through his eyes; but then an answer came to him.

Blue smoke was the only way I could describe what surrounded the two; crystal blue smoke. A sphere of this substance formed a cloud around Sickle. Then, sailing inwards, all united in one point: Elwing. The temperature in the air around us dropped several degrees; I could almost feel Elwings pain as the ice tore at her already ravaged body. Her grip on the Scythers neck loosened, and she fell to the ground, twitching. It looked as if the battle was over.

My attention turned to Sickle. He had, also, taken damage from his Hidden Power attack. Because Elwing had been bound tightly to him, the Scyther could not avoid being in the center of the ice barrage. Still, he had received fewer blows from Elwing than he had given her; so he did, in effect, look much better off. My Dratini was just about ready to collapse.

Now, more than ever, though, Elwing would not accept defeat. Not after she had begun to believe that she could do anything. Lifting her head up high, her face flushed a bit, and then I saw her surrounded by an aura of rainbow lights. It reminded me of the aurora borealis, with colors cascading upon her body in their celestial magnificence. Her own special aura seemed renewed, fed by the lights around her body. Wounds instantly healed, cuts disappeared, and her body stood erect once more. Elwing had performed an impressive Recover.

Sickle blinked. Something in his sense told him that a Dratini with Recover was not something you saw every day. But then again, he had received previous warning right from the moment he met her that Elwing was no ordinary Dratini. Shrugging, he sought to continue the battle without much fuss.

Flying into the air again, Sickle was more than prepared to repeat his hit-and-run tactics, this time with more success, for Elwing was visibly tiring. I could withhold my commands no more.

Rain Dance, Elwing. Rain Dance!

She looked at me for a moment, decided that there was nothing offensive in my commands, and yet resented the fact that I did not just leave her to sort out her own battle. The Dratini hesitated, but then realized that in her current situation she was not one to argue. Sighing irritably, she beckoned for storm clouds to whoosh over the grove, then, with a signal and a flash of lightning, began a heavy downpour.

Rain was something Sickle had not been counting on. His movement significantly slowed, and he could feel his wings weighing down under the burden of the water that soaked into his body. Panickedly, but still trying not to completely lose his composure, the Scyther waved his blades at the sky, telling the clouds to go away. Elwing stubbornly fought back, and her superiority at weather control became obvious. Still, Sunny Day being Sickles only hope at an advantage, he continued the weather battle.

Forget the weather, Elwing. Get his wings! I was glad that Sickle, high up in the air, did not hear my command over the clamor of the thundering storm. It would have given him sufficient warning, and might have prepared him for what was coming next.

Elwing, finally understanding the importance of this turn of events, lost no time. Her body lit up with a million crackling sparks, which exploded from her into an expanding bluish hemisphere of electricity that quickly shot up at the airborne Scyther. Most of the force of the attack had been directed at his wet and exposed wings; and managed, successfully, to damage them.

By this time Sickle had cleared the skies of the menacing storm clouds, but now he realized that this success was not due to his triumph in force but Elwings complete slackening in the effort. Too late, he understood, as he struggled against plummeting towards the ground. He attempted to erect a protective barrier between him and the grass as he fell, bracing himself for the hard impact that was coming. As he crashed into the floor it shattered; and he took some of the impact without a shield of any kind. Now he didnt look much better off than Elwing did earlier. His wings, damaged, would no longer permit him to fly; and his body ached from the painful fall.

Elwing took advantage of the Scythers weakness. Her golden earring sparkled. More electricity shot out from her body, the vicious blue current enveloping Sickle, tearing past him, through him, leaving him shuddering miserably in its wake.

Suddenly a wildness arose in the Scythers eyes, a note of desperation, making itself apparent as he rushed towards Elwing screaming an agonized war cry at the top of his lungs. In less than a second he was upon her, tearing away at every bit of her body he could reach with his scythes. The Dratini, helpless against this Reversal onslaught, could only stare up in pain at her attacker as he struck her relentlessly, again and again and again with no signs of stopping. She must have heard only my voice in a whisper as I told her, Harness the rain For it seemed as though my words were lost in that swirling storm, somewhere within the falling rain and cold blows from cruel blades and the symphony of the thunder that accompanied the lightnings flash in the sky. Her eyes dilated as she seemed to put forward one last effort into a battle that by now must have become almost completely surreal. From the nearby stream, put in flight by the rain, rose an almost imperceptible shadow of a wave that glided over the wet floor like a ghost in the stormy darkness. As it washed over the two battlers the water covered them both, seeming to brush over like a blanket to close their eyelids and put those that it touched to gentle sleep. Eventually the rain slackened and sunlight dared to peep through the clouds, revealing the bodies of the two opponents piled upon one another. Sickle had already fallen into the black realm of unconsciousness, while Elwing, lifting her head slightly before she fell too, followed ever so closely behind.

Elwing won!
Elwing grew to LV20!
Elwing learned Icy Wind as her free TM!

Well, that was a close one, said the trainer as he recalled his Scyther. I could tell he was a little disappointed that his strongest fighter hadnt pulled the battle off, but he only blamed it on himself. Hes never lost a battle, you know, until now, he admitted quietly.

Really? Thats impressive. None of my pokmon could have boasted that record. At least, not the ones who have battled several times. Not even my Trapinch, Ryu.

Oh well, he said, shrugging it off. No sense dwelling upon it. These things happen eventually. And Sickle did his best, so I have no regrets.

Thats the best attitude Ive encountered in a while, I complimented him. I extended my hand. A real pleasure meeting you. And what did you say your name was?

Me? he asked shyly. Its Charles.

Karin. We shook.

I like your name better than mine. I would have preferred a different one, but it was my parents choice, so I cant really complain, now, can I? He looked far away, suddenly sad about something. Its all I have left of them both, he whispered in a soft murmur. His expression changed again to conceal his pain. Poor child Well, I enjoyed our battles, he said sunnily, yet I could tell that his tone was achieved through strained effort. Ill see you another time. Right now Ive got to get my pokmon healed. With that, he left for the entrance. I waited a respectable amount of time before I headed back to the pokmon center too.


I have a question. In RBY, Dratini learns Agility at LV20. Do I still follow the GSC moveset where Dratini gets the move at LV36?

[EDIT]: I thought I'd tag a conclusion onto here instead of writing one later.

Gothic Anim
8th June 2004, 07:34 PM
oh geez, sorry about that! the font is now enlarged! ^^;

well, if the battle's not legal, i'll change it so that he didn't interfere. ^^; sorry, i wasn't aware.

8th June 2004, 07:48 PM
Hideaki, I'm sorry, but I don't think that battle is legal. You can ask Gabi or Amy to confirm, but I don't think that another trainer can interfere in a battle like that and make it a 3 vs. 2 battle. At least, it wouldn't be one that your pokmon would gain experience from.

[EDIT]: By the way, thank you so much for enlarging your text. I really appreciate your making it legible.

8th June 2004, 09:51 PM
<Js POV>

I walked into the Jungle Room to find numerous plants and flowers. The trees reached to the heavens, blocking out what would be the sun. Faint rays of sunlight penetrated through the trees, dimly lighting the forest floor. The flowers were amazing; there were so many different shapes, sizes and colours. Bright reds, oranges, yellows, and greens, and some were even unusual, such as black, purple, and blue.

I walked deeper and deeper into the jungle, looking for Pokemon to battle. I moved leaves that came down near my head, so that I could see deeper into the forest. I watched myself, cautious so as to avoid tripping over a massive tree trunk and arousing Pokemon. Suddenly, distant from my view, I saw what looked like a Mankey. I was hanging from a tree, busying itself with a banana. It was an amusing sight, but I decided not to disturb it.

I moved onward, going still deeper into the forest. I looked up into the canopy, trying to spot a Pokemon to battle, but none were to be found. Either that, or they were in another location. I stopped, and looked down. I saw a trail of ants leading somewhere. They were all following in a line. These ants werent like normal ants... these must have been 10 or 15 times the size of regular ants.

I followed their trail, trying to discover where it would lead. The ants took me down a hill, through more trees, up a hill, and through a water fall before reaching their final destination. It was a giant... anthill. Not something I found really fascinating, judging from the size of the ants. Now I was lost. I retraced my steps. Suddenly, I heard something that sounded like lossom to my left.

I moved through leaves and other plants, and came upon a clearing. In that clearing the sun was brighter than in the whole forest. It made my eyes squint. After I got used to the light, I noticed that there were a lot of Bellossom surrounding each other. They got really close together, and starting dancing. Suddenly, I heard beautiful music, which oddly sounded like the Bellossom were producing it. How I wanted one of those Pokemon. Unlucky for me, I was out of Pokeballs. I sighed. Another day, I thought.

I left the Bellossom to themselves to perform their sacred dance, and marched back into the depths of the forest. I heard Mankey making monkey noises, and swinging from limbs nearby. I wasnt going to bother myself with them. They were more than likely in a pack. That wouldnt be a fun thing to mess with. Getting lonely, I released Brandi and Matthias, my Vulpix and Growlithe. They walked in front of me.

<Matthiass POV>

Getting a little in front of Brandi, I made my way through the foliage. I had to protect Brand and J, thats all there was to it. With every step I took caution, looking around to see if any Pokemon were present that could potentially harm either of them. None could be found, so I continued onward, leading the way. I looked back and saw Brandi walking behind me, and behind her Jay, looking ahead.

I eyed Brandi curiously. I personally thought she was quite attractive. Prissy, but, attractive nonetheless. I kept walking while still watching her. She looked up into the trees; not realizing that I was gaping at her. Suddenly, I felt myself run into something. I looked forward, and realized that I had just hit a tree. I looked back, and saw Brandi looking at me quizzically. I blushed, and then turned around quickly.
Perfect... I had just humiliated myself in front of her. What she thought after that sudden incident I could only guess. I decided to shift my gaze downward. What else could I do? I didnt want to turn around again, for fear of her noticing me looking at her. I also didnt want to turn around, because I was also afraid Id do something stupid like trip or run into something else.

<Brandis POV>

What was he up to? First he runs into a tree, and now he just keeps walking ahead. Hes probably embarrassed with himself. I would be to, if I ran into a tree that was right in front of my face. I wanted to talk to him, but the words just wouldnt come out right. What would I say? Hed probably doesnt think much of me. Afterall, Im just Brandi, a clean-freak Vulpix.

I sighed and looked skyward. What to do... Sure, he was cute, but did I really have feelings for him? I wasnt sure yet. I mean, I had only just met him a few days ago, when J adopted him. I dont want to get into anything yet. Its too early. Besides, where would it lead, we are both very youngit wouldnt go anywhere but downhill. Right now I wanted to concentrate on myself and make myself stronger. When I am more mature, then I will decide. But for now, it will be a fun thing to dwell on.

I looked back down from the sky and looked at Matthias. I was immediately taken aback. Was he just looking at me? I was very curious. What was he up to? I continued to follow his tracks, keeping my eye on him. I could hear J right behind me, so I need not worry where he would be. Every now and again I would glance back to Matthias to see if he decided to take any more quick glances.

I wasnt really paying any attention to where I was being leadconcentrating mainly on the leader. It seemed that he was like that. Matthias was always wanted to be the leader, be first at everything, and he always seemed to take charge of everything whenever he came out of his Pokeball. I didnt mind it, usually, but sometimes it got on my nerves.

Just then, I heard a rustle among the leaves. Matthias, to the right I told him. He looked at me, then looked in the direction that I had told him. He too, heard the rustling the leaves. J must have been aware of it, as his attention was drawn to the same spot.Follow it, J said. We did so. This time, Matthias stayed back with him, and we both marched toward the bush expectantly. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a male and female Chikorita appeared. They looked at Matthias and me loathingly.Fire types, the male said.

Brandi, Lv. 8 female Vulpix & Matthias, Lv. 7 male Growlithe


Lv. 15 Male Chikorita & Lv. 15 Female Chikorita

I was ready to fight, and almost started in. Matthias stopped me. Wait... let me go first. This will protect you. Suddenly, bluish crystals appeared in a circle near his head. They swirled rapidly, and came near me. They wrapped around my body, and disappeared. Safegaurd, I thought. Thank you, I said. Suddenly, leaves came shooting toward us. These two didnt look like they were going to wait. I fired an Ember at both of them, to hold them off.
Use it on yourself, too, I advised. He nodded, and cast Safeguard on himself. Now we were both protected from anything they could dish out. He turned to face the two opponents, and I followed suit. It turned out to be a stare-down. The Chikorita didnt move, neither did we. Finally they made the attack. Once cast Poisonpowder on me, but it had no affect. The other decided to use Razor Leaf.

The leaves hit Matthias, doing decent damage for a grass attack. We both ran at the Chikorita. I exhaled a blast of Ember; Matthias had no other alternative, so he did the same. Both blasts hit the respective target with nice precision. This was a great way to start a battle. Brandi, go to the left, Ill go to the right and distract them. From behind, attack both of them using your Ember attack, There he goes again with the taking charge thing, I thought.

Id do it, just because it sounded like a decent plan. I ran to the left, while Matthias did so on the opposite side. Judging by the confused looks on their faces, we obviously took the two by surprise. Matthias barked, and threw hot Embers at both opponents. They turned to him. The male dodged his, but the female wasnt as lucky. They ran after Matthias. One of the opponents used Tackle, and the one behind followed up with a Razor Leaf, dealing much damage to Matthias.

I had do to something fast. I shot two Embers at both opponents. Each Ember was a successful hit, coming from behind. The two opponents must have forgotten about me. They drew their attention to me. They both sprinted toward me, and attempted to Tackle me, but I jumped to the side, and ducked to avoid both assaults. Matthias caught up to me, and we both coughed up Embers. Both were again successful.

This battle was really looking up for us. Both opponents reared to attack, but stopped. One of them used Sunny Day, and the other tried a Growl. Did they realize what they were doing? By using the Sunny Day, they strengthened our attacks. Did they realize what they had done?

We didnt think much of it, and spat up more fireballs. Each hitting the target successfully. What came next surprised both Matthias and I. Just above both of the Chikorita were little yellow balls of light. They got bigger, then suddenly, giant beams of energy radiated from them. A Double Solarbeam! Matthias and I took the attacks. I skidded backward a few inches, and Matthias was nearly done for.

He was panted like mad. Ill be ok. Dont worry about me. Im fine. Lets just finish them off. I was worried about him. Hed make it through this, wouldnt he? He had to. Im not going to let him go. Hes sticking this battle out whether he wants to or not.

I drew within me another hot Ember blast. I shot it at the opponent, knocking her back. She stumbled a few steps and got back into the battle. Matthias, still extremely exhausted, mustered up another Ember, hitting his target. Next, they tried another Double Solarbeam. I was ready for it, but I knew Matthias couldnt take it. Once I saw the little bright balls, and the energy pouring from them, I dodged over to Matthias, shielding him from the Solarbeam blast.

I was knocked backwards, and was nearly knocked out but I was ok. Matthias came to my aid. Brandi! What are you doing? You could have just been nearly killed! Come on, hurry, weve almost got them! I got up weakly, and looked at my opponents. I was ready.

We ran at the Chikorita, and fired Ember nonstop, fireball after blazing fireball we threw at the enemies, going all out. After the smoke cleared, and we could see, all that was left of the two opponents were what seemed like lifeless corpses. They were alive, just knocked unconscious. We had done it! Smoke rose from the bodies and they lied their, unmoving.

Matthias and I stumbled over to J, victory in our eyes.

<Matthiass POV>

She had just saved me. I was done for after that one attack. Brandi took a hit to save me. I felt indebted to her. How could I ever repay her? We stopped and sat down, and waited for J to walk over to us. You two did great! That was a great battle! I couldnt really hear what J was saying. I wasnt really paying attention. I was focusing on Brandi.

Thank you... ... ... for what you did back there, I told her. She looked up at me, and replied, What do you expect? Youre my friend, and I wouldnt let you down like that. I would never let you fall in the heat of a battle when the stakes are so high. I will always be willing to sacrifice myself for you, and I hope you feel the same way... I do, I said, and licked her on the cheek. She looked at me with utter shock. I didnt know what to expect nexta painful hit on the face, or something a little more affectionate.

She didnt do anything. She just stood there, and looked into my eyes. I was shy for what I had done, and looked down... what else could I do?

Brandi grew to level 10! Brandi learned Roar at level 9! Brandis free TM is Toxic.

Matthias grew to level 9!

Lady Vulpix
9th June 2004, 08:38 AM
That's right, Karin. We go by GSC levels for all moves that can be learnt in GSC. And it's true that no one can battle 3 pokemon in 1 scenario and gain levels from all of them.

I haven't read your battle yet, nor J's; reading them could take a while since, even after I'm done with today's class, I still have to read Matt's and Becca's Unicorn Games battles. If they're not rated yet by the time I'm done, I'll rate them myself but, as I said, it could take a while.

9th June 2004, 02:59 PM
Im finally doing the RBG I requested a while ago ^_^; sorry it took so long.

Eikos POV

When will I ever win a battle? I whined to Matt. I dont know, Eiko; you just need to face the right opponent, so you can really win! Matt said. Well, who could I possibly battle that will be easy enough for me? I mean Im so weak right now I said with my head down. Hmm I can go sign you up for a battle at the Dragon Tamers. They have this new thing where you can battle one of their pokemon in the adoption center, Matt assured me. Come on then! Im ready for a battle any day now!! I yelled. Matt just smiled and nodded.

Matts POV

Eiko and I went out the door and started to walk towards the Adoption Center of the Dragon Tamers. It wasnt that far away, but it was a good long walk. As soon as we got there, Eikos eyes were glowing from seeing all the pokemon around. I walked into the building and up to the front desk. Hello, I would like to sign up for a battle for my little Dratini here, I said to receptionist. I think we can do that She said, laughing a little. Here, your Dratini will be battling in the Jungle Deforestation Recovery Agency. The corridor to the area is to your left, She said. Thank you, I said, come on Eiko; its time for you to battle!

When I said that she slithered in as fast as she could and started to follow me; it wasnt long until we got there, though! I couldnt see any good pokemon for Eiko to battle right at the entrance, so we went in a little bit more. There were a few Volbeats and Seedots, but nothing that Eiko could handle. As soon as I was about to go to a different part of the area, I was stopped by someone talking.

Hello, can I help you? A lady said. As soon as I saw her face, I was in a trance from her obvious beauty. She saw me staring and looked at me like I was weird. Umm is there something on my face? She said panicking. It was like I couldnt even hear what she was saying; Eiko wasnt pleased with my behavior, though. She wrapped her body around my leg and started to move, and I was pulled to the ground.

When I hit the hard ground I was knocked out of my trance. W-what happened? I said, confused. dont even try it, Matt; you know what you were doing, Eiko said with anger in her voice. I laughed and slowly backed away from my Dratini.

Hello? Why are you here, sir? The girl behind me said. Oh, I signed up my Dratini for a battle in here, thats all, I said. A battle?! Id love one! Do you mind if I battle you? I havent battled in ages, She said jumping up and down. WellI dont know I said looking up to the sky. I really dont want to battle such a beautiful girl, I thought. I mean, what if I beat her terribly and she starts crying? Eiko could see what I was thinking about and spoke up for me. Id love to battle you, miss, She said. Huh? You sure about this Eiko? I said in a fuss. Of course I am; I could really care less if I win against her, She responded. Well, if you say so I said keeping my opinions to myself.

So youve decided to battle me? Now, dont go easy on me just because Im a girl, She said giggling. Since youre using your Dratini, Ill use this! She threw down a pokeball revealing a Bulbasaur. Before it even started, I could see that this battle was going to be trouble for Eiko.

Eiko the Winged Dratini (Lv. 6, F) vs. Borris the Bulbasaur (Lv. 6, M)

Eikos POV

I sighed. Finally, I can battle a pokemon at the same level as I, I said. Matt didnt say anything towards my comment; he seemed to be in a deep train of thought, but I wondered if it was about this battle or about the girl. Eiko, use Body Slam first, Matt said. I slithered as fast as I could and threw myself at Bulbasaur. I seemed to knock him pretty bad because he looked like he was paralyzed from the move

Dont worry about the paralysis, Borris; just use Petal Dance! The girl said. Borris started to jump around like he had a problem and petals started to shoot from around his bulb. They flew over to me and sliced past me, but they barely hurt me. Borris didnt cease the dancing either.

More petals shot out of Borris and headed for me. This time, they somehow hit my weak spot and hurt a little bit more than they did before, but not by much. After the petals had disappeared, Borris stopped dancing and started to look like he was confused or something. He was swaying back and forth like he was in a daze. I tried to ignore it and awaited my order from Matt. Use Flamethrower on it, Eiko, Matt said. My blood started to boil as I tried to raise my body temperature enough to get flames to come out of my mouth. But when it had raised enough, a stream of red and orange flames came spraying out of my mouth and caught fire on Bulbasaur. He wailed and ran around to try and get the flames to subside; when they finally did, he had burn marks around on his body and he looked like he was going to faint at any minute.

Borris, please dont loseat least use a tackle, The girl said begging. Borris struggled as best as he could to move, but his paralysis had kicked in at the most unluckiest times. His head lowered in shame as he knew he was going to be put out this turn. Eiko, finish Borris off with a Dragonbreath, Matt said sighing. I opened my mouth and blew out as much breath as I could to reach Borris. When my breath had reached Borris, he acted like he couldnt breathe; this little show really got me mad, though. Before I could say anything, he had passed out from exhaustion and didnt get up. I guess I had won?

I won?
I grew to level 7!

Matts POV

I ran over and congratulated my Dratini and heard the girl recalling her pokemon. I left Eiko and walked to the girls side. Imumsorry for winning so badly, but Eiko really needed to level up. I hope you understand, I said with my head down. Its ok; Borris wasnt ready for a battleI shouldnt have used him. Maybe we can have a rematch again sometime with some of my other pokemon, She said.

Great! I said. My names Jessica, whats yours? She asked. My names Matt, I said with a huge smile on my face. Ok then, Matt, Ill see you again sometime, She said walking off. I wanted to say bye, but before I could, she was gone. I was left there standing by myself until Eiko slithered over. Great, genius; you made her run away, Eiko said smartly. Hah, very funny; I wasnt the one who did itshe just had to go, I said. Eiko started laughing. Whatever you say, Matt, whatever you say She said. Wait until we get home, Eiko!! I said yelling with anger. She teased me some more and started to slither towards the exit. I hastily followed after her, still angry by her smart remarks.

EDIT: I didn't want to post the request so could I have a RBG for my Meowth, Tabitha, in the Universal Adoption Center, please? :sweat2:

Lady Vulpix
9th June 2004, 03:02 PM
J, since I don't see a reply to your RBG request, I'll post it. Matthias is going to battle a Numel!
If someone else has posted and I've missed it, ignore this post.

9th June 2004, 03:06 PM
No, no one's gotten to it yet. Thank you for letting me know! I'll get to writing the battle soon.

Thanks. :)

9th June 2004, 06:42 PM
O_o; Tabitha will be battling a Magneton.

12th June 2004, 12:50 AM
It's late, and i'm tired and don't feel well, so if i make typos or something bear with me please.

Gothic Anime: Interesting concept, wolves as pirates. O.o Unusual, but interesting. I never would have thought of that myself and I like wolves. Take 11 stamps.

Karin: Wow. I wish i could write as fast as you can. I hope Elwing feels better after her battle. Take 16 stamps.

Sheik: Interesting how you wrote abot Brandi and Matthias. Description was nice. Take 12 stamps.

I'm so tired i can barely think now. Maybe one of the others can get your battle Matt. Sorry but i need to get some sleep.

13th June 2004, 01:09 AM
A little while ago, I bought a Sunny Day TM that I have decided to give Sinopa. I had also bought a Shock Wave TM for Jas. Arwens old earring is going to Ebony. She (Arwen) has gone to live with Syberia. Ill miss her, but shell probably be happier there. I have an eevee that came from the PMBC, but Ill be introducing him later, since I had written this before he hatched. ^^; I have given him the collar that Jas won in the swimming race as well as the hidden power TM (ghost) that andyizcool was nice enough to purchase for me to give to Darin. I did have a little trouble getting started, but things seemed to go okay once I got going. I know that metagross are genderless, but Tank strikes me as a he anyway. ^^;

(Amys POV)

After the battle, I left to get Blazer looked over. The others wanted to stay and watch the rest of the battles, so we made arrangements to meet back at the hotel. Once at the Pokecenter Nurse Joy proceeded to give Blazer a thorough exam, even though he was asleep. She found that he was okay, just in need of rest, which evidently he was getting. I thanked her, recalling Blazer, and made my way back to the hotel.

We found Yana there waiting for us. Sinopa was sound asleep at her paws, a smile spread across her muzzle. Once inside, Yana explained that Sinopa had fallen asleep shortly after Blazers battle was over. Flame had taken her to Yana, who brought her here back to the hotel room. Especially since she was sleeping so peacefully, I decided to bring her back here. I didnt want the crowd to wake her up. I smiled. That was a wise decision. Any ideas when the others will get in? I asked. Nope. There were still a few more battles left for tonight before I left. Wheres Blazer? she asked. Hes asleep, inside of his pokeball. Probably best. Yana replied as she watched me ramble through my bag. It does seem strange not to have Arwen around. I know. She wanted to go live with another trainer, and I wasnt going to stop her if thats what she wanted. Yeah, Yana agreed.

Her curiosity finally getting the better of her, Yana turned and looked up at me. What are you doing? she asked. Im trying to find the TMs that I bought a little while ago. I have one for Sinopa and one for Jasmine. I also have a few other things that I wanted to hand out to a few of the others. Yana nodded her head, satisfied with the answer, as she herself yawned.

Afterwards, she tilted her head as if she had heard something. Sure enough, the rest of the team arrived back at the room five minutes later. They were all whispering loudly, but Ebony was so excited that she was talking much louder than the others. Yana tried to hush Ebony, who was talking a bit too loudly, in hopes that she hadnt woken Sinopa up. Unfortunately, Sinopa had heard the commotion, and she arrived in the room where we were gathered. Whats going on? she asked. Not much. I answered. However, since youre already up, I have a TM for you. For me? she asked. Yes, for you. I said, chuckling. Its a Sunny Day TM. I thought that you might enjoy it, in addition to the fact that it might come in handy sometime. Thank you. she whispered, as I sprinkled the powder over her. Youre welcome. Ebony? Yes, she whispered softly. Before Arwen left, she asked that I give you this. I said as I placed the earring in Ebonys ear. Ebony nodded her head, but didnt say anything. I picked up one of the gold berries from the small pile that I had set aside as well as a TM box. Jas? Im here! I heard her say excitedly. I have a Shock Wave TM for you, as well as a gold berry. She looked at me puzzled when I mentioned the berry. If you eat it in a battle when youre low on health, it will help restore your energy. Thanks. she said as I sprinkled the powder over her. I also pulled two more gold berries form the pile, and gave one to Sugar and Sweetie. All right, thats everything I have for now. Yawning, I glanced at the clock. Well, Im off to bed. It would be best if everyone gets their rest tonight. Why? Sugar asked. Youll see tomorrow. was all that I said before I headed off to bed to get some much needed sleep.

The next morning, I awoke to the feeling that I was being stared at. I slowly opened my left eye, and saw that Blazer was sitting beside the bed watching me. Smiling, I opened my other eye and sat up. How are you doing this morning? I asked. Good, he answered, after resting. Between you and me, the earth needs to remain still. I dont care much for earthquakes. I laughed, giving him a hug. Im glad that youre feeling better. Oh, before I forget, the team wanted me to ask you something. What? I asked. What do you have planned for today? Ill tell everyone at the same time. I said, grinning. Thats what I told them that you would say. he said with the trace of an amused smile as I walked towards the door.

Shes coming! I heard Sugar whisper loudly, before a loud crash. Nice going, Mom. I heard Ayla say, stifling a laugh. I opened the door, and walked through. I burst out laughing at the image that greeted me. The phone table had been overturned, with Sugar tangled up in the phone cord. Half of the team was doing their best trying not to laugh, the other half (myself included) were laughing ourselves hoarse. Hi. she said, waving the best that she could giving the circumstances. I meant to do this. Yeah, right. snorted Ebony. Im inclined to agree with Ebony this time. I said, as I set about trying to untangle Sugar. So, she asked causally, despite the fact that she could barely move, what are we going to do? I sighed. right now, were trying to get you free. The others groaned. Afterwards, providing that there arent anymore mishaps, were going to try and go to the training grounds. I braced myself, and sure enough, Sugar released a thunderbolt in her excitement. Not only did it shock me, but also it completely fried the phone. Great. I muttered under my breath. First, last night Blazer runs off with a ham, and now Sugar electrocutes the phone. Sugar grinned, giving me her trademark Who me? expression. I just shook my head. What next? I asked. Yana was about to say something when I stopped her. Dont. I said.

Thirty minutes later, I had finally managed to extricate Sugar from the phone cord, and get ready for the day ahead as well. How long will it be before we find out the results? Ebony asked curiously. Itll be a while, since not all of the battles are over yet. I did leave my cell phone number just in case things got done sooner than expected. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to report a fried phone. When I get back, be ready to leave. They nodded their heads, as I left. It was an embarrassing ten minutes, and by the time I got back, I was ready to leave. Luckily the team had gotten busy and they were all waiting for us in their pokeballs, with the exception of Dodger, Jasmine, and Sinopa. By now, I had learned to expect that whenever we were flying, Jasmine was bound and determined to not be stuck inside her pokeball. You ready? I asked him when we were outside on the balcony. Absitively Posolutely. Dodger said as he put his sunglasses into place. I chuckled. Ever since he heard Dodger say that on Oliver & Company, he took that as his own phrase for yes. Thanks for the collar. he whispered barely audible. No problem. I told him. I knew that he wore his collar underneath the red scarf around his neck. I didnt blame him either. Dodger just was not himself if he didnt have his scarf or sunglasses. I climbed up onto his back, Sinopa held tight in my arms. Jasmine had wrapped herself around my neck.

"It feels so free up here. Sinopa remarked, her two tails swishing back and forth. Nothing up here to box you in. Having said that, she curled herself up in my arms, and soon fell fast asleep in my arms. Is she okay? the tiny dratini asked. Physically, she is. Im not sure about emotionally though. You were told the conditions we found her in. Jasmine nodded her head, watching her new friend sleep with a worried look on her face. But shes safe now, right? Yes, she is. Dodger said nothing as we swiftly covered the distance.

Will I get to battle? he finally asked, as he caught a thermal and we were lifted higher into the air. At that, I smiled. I was planning on letting you have a battle or tag up with Kiara in the lava room if she wants to battle that is. He nodded his head. Dont worry, I told him, were not going to the Lava Room immediately. Though he hadnt said anything, I could tell that he wanted to get some rest before he battled. You seem to have this pretty thought out. I have a general idea mapped out, but plans can and often do change. Were going to try and go to the blizzard room first, and Im pretty sure that neither you nor Jas wants to battle in there. You got that right. Jas said, a shiver running through her body. Dodger nodded in agreement.

By now Sinopa had woken up again. She looked up at me. So, whos going to battle where? Well, Ive thought about it, and Im thinking about letting some of the team that hasnt battled in a while get a chance at battling. Also Blazer needs to get some training in as well. Plans can change, seeing as nothing is set in stone. Right now, Im thinking about letting Blazer have both battles in the Blizzard room. In the Pond Room, I thought Jasmine, I said as I looked at the grinning dratini around my neck, and Sweetie might like the opportunity to battle. For the Lava room, Im thinking about letting whoever wants the battle to have one, and then either let Dodger and Kiara team up, if Kiara wants to battle, otherwise he can have a battle all by himself. Sounds interesting. Sinopa commented. Yana and Jasmine can battle in the Desert room. Sugar and Kovu will wrap things up in the Jungle Room. Were here. Dodger announced as we descended. Thanks for the lift. I told him as we slowly descended to earth. He nodded his head. Im going to try and get started in the rooms as soon as I can. Please dont go flying off.

I climbed off of Dodgers back, and instead of flying off, he went inside his pokeball. We had landed a little ways off from the training grounds themselves. We had long ago learned that it was wise not to land an aerodactyl in a large gathering of people with the exception of the Eevee House. Sinopa jumped out of my arms, as Jasmine also followed Dodgers example. It was best that they stay inside their pokeballs, since I was hoping to get to the blizzard room first. I quickly signed in on the trainer log. I grinned, not that many people were here today. With the exception of Talut, Dodger, and Jasmine, everyone emerged from their pokeballs as we were led down the corridor to the training rooms. Once we had reached them, our guide handed me a coat, before returning to his post. I Pulled the coat on that I had been given and pulled it as tight as it would go. Taking a deep breath, we walked in side the blizzard room. Almost immediately, we were thrust into the middle of a howling blizzard as the door slammed shut behind us. This blizzard was so much worse than anything Jasmine could create. I pulled my coat even tighter, practically gagging myself, as Kovu and Yana took the lead of our little group. <We can barely see it, but there is a cabin ahead.> Yana told me using her psychic powers. Times like this I was grateful that the houndooms hidden power was the psychic type. The winds were blowing so hard that I couldnt hear anything except for their chilling howls. I held Sinopa close, as our team ever so slowly advanced towards the cabin. I could not see it, but I trusted Kovu and Yana. Sure enough, we eventually made it. We swarmed the cabin, and raced inside. There were several television screens inside the cabin. My guess was that they showed the trainers their pokemons battles as they happened. When we had gotten inside, I released Talut, Dodger, and Jasmine into the cabin. Once everyone had rested, and had some hot chocolate, Blazer announced that he was going to try and find his opponent. We wished him good luck as he headed back out into the storm. None of us noticed that Sinopa had followed him outside.

(Sinopas POV)

I wanted to see Blazer battle again, but have a closer view this time. He was amazing to watch. I had been worried when that altaria had used earthquake. Blazer had remained calm, and even pulled off an impressive win. I knew that I would have fainted instantly. So, when the others were distracted, I took off after Blazer. Even he didnt know that I was following him.

At the time, I didnt realize how dangerous what I did was until I lost sight of Blazer in the swirling sea of snow and ice. I looked behind me, hoping to see the cabin, but that too had disappeared. Somehow, I was able to remain calm and not panic as I looked around. I saw a couple of dead branches nearby. I smiled. Perfect, I thought to myself. Now if only there wasnt a swirling blizzard around. Wait a minute I whispered to myself. I grinned. Amy had given me a TM recently that might be of some help. I closed my eyes, focusing on the image of a nice, sunny day with not a cloud in sight. At first, nothing seemed to happen. However, gradually, the swirling ice lessened, and eventually came to a stop. I smiled, opening my eyes to view my accomplishment. The skies werent exactly clear, but at least it had stopped snowing and the sun was shining though not by much. Next, I began rounding up all of the dead sticks and placing them in a pile, before using my ember to ignite them. As I did so, the flickering flame caught my eye. There was a small wind blowing and it was blowing the flame away from me. I wondered if I could make it wave at me. I concentrated, and sure enough the tiny fire looked like it was bending down. As I watched it, I remembered that Amy and Yana had told me that my hidden power was that of the fire element. Until now I wasnt sure what that meant, but now I realized that I could control it somewhat. I wondered if I could make the fire hover in the air. I concentrated again, and this time the flames rose up off of its food source. I quickly set it back. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I had seen something move, before it disappeared.

(Yanas POV)

Not long after Blazer had left, I noticed that Sinopa was missing. I told Amy, and we tried not to panic. Maybe she went with Blazer. Maybe, I said, even though I couldnt shake the feeling that she was out there by herself. Look. Jasmine whispered. The televisions had sprung to life, and my heart skipped a beat. There was Sinopa, and she was facing a Ralts. I held my breath as we watched the television screen. I hoped that Sinopa would be okay.

(Sinopas POV)

I quickly scanned the area around me. I saw nothing, and then suddenly a ralts appeared right in front of my face. Until now, I had only seen pictures of them in books. Yet, here I was face to snout with one. <Hi. You must be my opponent.> she said without moving her mouth. That caught me by surprise. Well, that and the fact that I wasnt supposed to be battling. Before I could say anything, the ralts had released a bolt of electrical energy that I narrowly dodged. Sorry, I thought you were ready to begin. Well, obviously, I wasnt. I retorted. My names Grace, whats yours? Sinopa. Thats pretty. Are you ready to battle now? I guess. was my answer. It looked like I was going to be battling whether I wanted to or not. I took a deep breath, as I faced Grace.

Sinopa L.6 F Vulpix VS. Grace L.8 F Ralts

Grace immediately took a deep breath before exhaling a jet of flames. Though surprised, I quickly jumped out of the way, and focused on redirecting the fire back to Grace. Luckily, I succeeded. I see that I surprised you, but you surprised me as well. Not only do we both have the same type hidden power, but I dont see many fire types with the hidden power over the same element. Boy, she was a talker, I thought to myself. Then it hit me, I didnt see her anywhere around. I blinked, then realized that she must have teleported, about that time, I was hit from every direction imaginable by a wave of electrical energy. I cried out in pain, before whirling around. I saw Grace behind me, and before she could teleport off, I hit her with my two tails as I ran past. Huh? she muttered as I whirled around. I was in luck! Though she was at a higher level than me, she seemed to be lacking in battle experience. I grinned, as I whirled around and slashed her with my claws. <Ouch that hurt!> Grace cried out, obviously shocked. I was quickly enveloped in a violet glow, before I was tossed across the snow-covered landscape like a plushie. I quickly picked myself up, shaking the snow from my coat. I was getting tired, and I could bet that Grace was too. I ran towards her, and she immediately teleported out of the way. I had counted her on doing something like that, so I turned around so that my head was where my tails had been and vice versa. Then, I waited. Sure enough, she reappeared in front of my face. The look on her face was priceless. Hi, I said, before reaching out and slashing at her once more with my claws. This time, she fell down, and didnt get up. I walked over to her, and nudged her with my nose. She remained limp.

I won!
I grew to L.7!
I learned Quick Attack!

I drug Grace over to where I had my fire going. Not long after she had come around, Blazer showed up. Grace quickly teleported off. Blazer, it turned out, had already had his battle, and was on his way back to the cabin when he stumbled upon us.

(Blazers POV)

Not long after I left, the swirling blizzard around me began to lessen, and eventually it came to a stop. In the distance, I could barely make out a floating shape. It must have spotted me, because it floated over to where I was. <Thanks for stopping that blizzard. If it wasnt for that Sunny Day, it would have been harder for me to spot you.> I looked up to see an enormous metagross hovering above me. I was puzzled, because I hadnt used my sunny day attack. If I hadnt used sunny day, and the metagross didnt, then who did? I looked up at the huge metallic pokemon. Do you have a name? I asked it. It began chuckling. <Of course I do. Tank is my name.> My names Blazer. <Nice to meet you, Blazer. Shall we battle?> Yes, thats what I came here to do after all. I said as I braced myself, because I had a feeling that I knew why this metagross had the name Tank. Though metagross were genderless, Tanks voice and mannerisms made me think of it as a he.

Blazer L.69 M Arcanine Vs. Tank L.70 Metagross

At least the blizzard around us had stopped, albeit, it was still very cold. Luckily, though, I was a fire type and therefore could create my own warmth. I looked over at my opponent, trying to figure out the best course of action. I knew that toxic was out of the question. It would just slide off of its metallic hide. Before I knew it, vines were emerging from the snow-covered earth and entwining themselves around my legs. They didnt stop there, and I realized why. Tank was trying to close my mouth and effectively eliminating the chance of me using my best attacks. I wasnt going to let it happen. My mouth wasnt shut yet, so I used the opportunity to spit out two tiny fireballs, before the vines reached my mouth. As I concentrated on making the fireballs circle me, the vines wrapped themselves tightly around my muzzle. I didnt let it bother me, as I had a place to get out of this predicament thanks to the flame wheel that I had managed to start. By now, those two fireballs appeared as a solid ring encircling me. As it encircled, me, I could feel the vines hold on my legs lessening, until finally they were gone. The wheel of flame, then hurled itself at Tank who was staring at it in disbelief. I used that opportunity to slash the vines off my muzzle with my claws. They snapped rather easily, and I turned my attention back to Tank. There was a bright red spot on his metallic hide above his left eye. Tank quickly rose up into the air, as soon as he realized that I had spotted him. He hovered a few minutes before he flung himself at me. I was unable to dodge it, and a yelp escaped as I was sent sailing through the air, and landed headfirst into a snow bank. I extricated myself from the snow. That take down attack of his sure packed a punch. When I looked up at Tank, he had used the opportunity, to create five clones, and all six of them were surrounding me. I closed my eyes, focusing mainly on my sense of smell. Soon, I picked up the faintest trace of metal. I inhaled deeply, before exhaling a jet of flames in the direction that I had smelled Tank. Whenever I stopped the flamethrower attack, and opened my eyes, I noticed that there was only one Tank left, and his eyes were glowing violet. I felt myself being lifted into the air and squeezed form all sides. I gritted my teeth, before I was sent hurtling through the air once more. When I landed, I quickly scrambled to my paws, and was met by a shadow ball exploding right in my face. I glared at Tank, and he glared back. It was hard to tell which of us was taking the worst hits, as we both looked equally bad. The wind was starting to pick up, almost as if the blizzard was threatening to unleash its fury again. I quickly took in another deep breath, before once more exhaling another stream of flames at Tank. As soon, as they connected, Tank fell to the earth with a loud CLANK unconscious.

I won!
I grew to L.71!
I learned Body Slam as my free TM

I looked around, shaking the snow out of my coat. I proceeded to gather my bearing, as I slowly made my way back to the cabin. I crossed a hill, and came across a surprising sight. There was Sinopa lying beside a fire with a ralts beside her. I grinned. She must have been the little bugger that had used Sunny Day. AS I drew near, I noticed that she now had three tails. Though, the ralts teleported off before I could ask her any questions. Sinopa on the other hand, rattled off her excuse. I wanted to see you battle up close. I was following you, but then I got separated. I didnt want to battle, but she appeared wanting to. I ended up winning, but I missed getting to see your battle. At this point, she started crying. Shush. I whispered to her, as I wiped the frozen tears off of her face as gently as I could. Youre okay now. She nodded, and I picked her up, and took her back to the cabin.

(Yanas POV)

Luckily, Sinopa had won her battle though I had no idea why that Ralts had tried attacking her with a fire type hidden power. It would have had no effect. I was glad that she was okay, but before I could find out where she was, the televisions all blinked off. Maybe Blazer will pick her up on the way back. Amy said, trying to reassure me. Maybe. I said as the televisions came back to life. This time, as expected, we saw Blazer, and his opponent was a rather tough looking Metagross. I winced when I saw Blazer get hit by that take down attack. I think hell be feeling that one in the morning. I said. I think hes feeling it now. Dodger replied. I shook my head, turning my attention back to the battle. Eventually, Blazer came out on top, just like I knew that he would. Once more the televisions blinked off yet again. We all groaned in annoyance. However, fifteen minutes later, the door to the cabin swung open as Blazer appeared carrying Sinopa. I ran over to Blazer and kissed him before I even had a chance to realize what I was doing. Thanks for bringing her back safe. I said, hoping that he would think that that was a kiss of gratitude. In all reality, I wasnt sure exactly what had happened, and I wasnt sure who was the most surprised me, Blazer, or the team. I gently took Sinopa from him, and walked over to a corner of the cabin blushing.

15th June 2004, 02:35 PM
Ok, another battle, I'll try as hard as I can to make this one interesting. Ok, Pond Room battles.

Linc's POV

Cyndaquil is dying by a horrible accident from a Slowpoke, and all my Pokemon are worried about him. He was smashed into an icy floor and shards of ice stabbed into his body, the wounds are deep, and he's lost a lot of blood. "Hey guys, how about some battling to get this off our minds. Cyndaquil's in good hands now." I say to my Pokemon, who look up with worried faces. All of them slowly nod and we move off towards the Pond room.

As soon as we enter, we all gasp. The room is beautiful, every inch of it covered with crystal-clear water. I walk over to the platform to get a better view. I put all my Pokemon in their Pokeballs as we all wouldn't fit on the platform and look in. It's almost like there's an entire world under the surface of the lake, with water Pokemon swarming about and dashing along, creating ripples across the surface. "Hey, you!" Shouts a voice. I look up and see a young boy about my age, pointing at my face. "Want to battle?" Ripping a Pokeball from his belt and holding it out.
"Sure! I'm Linc, who are you?"
"My name's Konta. You ready? Pokemon battle, start!" He presses the button on his Pokeball and flings it into the air. It explodes in a shower of light, and a Totodile jumps out and dives into the water. I throw a Pokeball to, and out hops Psycho, my Poliwag, and he dives into the water, also.

Battle! Psycho (Lv. 7 Male Poliwag) vs. Lv. 8 Totodile!

"Ferein, use Rage!" Konta shouts. His little blue gator dashes forwards so fast that waves shoot up besides him and sending beads of water everywhere. He heads right towards Psycho, who leaps above him. Ferein had gained so much momentum by then, he runs right into the wall. "Psycho! Whirlpool!" Psycho jumps into the water and starts swimming in circles. He picks up speed and the center of the pond turns into a funnel and Ferein is getting sucked in. Before Ferein gets pulled under, he jumps out of the water. Ferein, use Scratch! Ferein jumps back down, and claws Psycho in the face, sending him flying back into the water. Psycho! Bubble! Psycho shoots a stream of bubbles at Ferein, which explode, and they both jump back in he water.
The whirlpool ends with a stream of water shooting out of the center. Ferein and Psycho rush towards each other, bashing into each other every second. Every time they collide, they create large waves, flinging water Pokemon into the air. The battle rages on. Hit after hit after hit. Ferein! Finish it off! Use Scratch with all your strength! Ferein rushes in, sending up more waves. Psycho tries to dodge, but hes too slow and Ferein claws him in the back. No, Psycho! Try to keep fighting!
By now, Psycho had been trying to fight back as hard as he could against the stronger Pokemon. As hard as he tried, Ferein had beaten him in agility, strength, and sheer power.
Psycho! Last try! Use Bubble! I shout. Psycho gets up slowly, but seems to get all his strength back rapidly. He leaps into the air, much higher than he could before and shoots one last stream of bubbles. The bubbles fly towards Ferein, who tries to evade, but every single bubble hits, exploding with great force. Ferein starts to sink under the water, his eyes closed and he coughs and sputters a bit. Ferein, return! shouts Konta who holds out his Pokeball and sucks up the little alligator and puts it on his belt.

Psycho wins! He grows to level 8!

Pretty good. Konta says. How about another round?
Okay, you better do good this time!
Oh, I will!
Konta rips off another Pokeball and flings it into the air. Go, Herein! A small blue Mudkip hops out, and leaps into the water, and floats on its back while spitting water into the air. I pull out the Pokeball of Spirit, my Treecko, and throw it into the air, and she jumps out, puts a twig in her mouth, and dives into the water. Okay, second round! Pokemon battle, go!

Battle! Spirit (Lv. 6 Female Treecko) vs. Lv. 15 Mudkip!

Spirit! Mega Punch! Spirit rushes in, her fist glowing, creating waves just like Ferein, and punches Herein in the side. Herein barely even notices and just whirls around and smashes Spirit in the face with his tail. Herein, Water Gun! Herein dove underwater and came up behind Spirit and fired a blob of water at her back. Spirit! Pound! Spirit does a front flip and whacks Herein in the face with her tail and then does another Mega Punch on Hereins face, sending Herein flying into the wall. Herein! Tackle! Konta shouts. Spirit! Do another Mega Punch! The two rush at each other, going at such a speed, that when they collide, all the water goes up around them while theyre standing on hard ground. Their fighting patterns are so alike I whisper, Spirit, Absorb! Spirit swims up to Herein and latches on to him. She starts to glow green and Hereins body starts to go limp. Before Spirit finishes the Absorption, Herein jumps off and shoots another Water Gun at Spirit. Spirit comes back with another Mega Punch and sends Herein flying into Kontas platform.
Herein, Tackle it again!
Spirit, evade and use Mega Punch!
Spirit leaps over Herein, and dives back down, hitting the Mudkip in the back of the head. It seems like Spirit is winning until Herein suddenly pulls her under the water. Spirit! I shout. No answer. There are many waves shooting up in different parts of the Pond Room, marks that the two are fighting. After a while theres silence. Theres no more waves or anything, just the calm waters of the lake. All of the sudden, Spirit jumps out of the water, Herein under her arms. Herein Konta says quietly. He pulls out his Pokeball and sucks up the little blue fish, and Spirit jumps on to my platform.

Spirit wins! She grows to level 8!

I scoop up Spirit and hold her in my arms. Good battle! I shout to Konta.
Thanks. Konta answers. I walk out of the room to go check on Cyndaquil...

AntiAsh Superstar
15th June 2004, 06:55 PM
*wanders in with a few more battles to share* Hehe, I'm very prolific all of a sudden. :oh: Actually I just really needed to get this one out of the way in order to set up an idea I have for the background story of my next tournament battle. ;) Some of this may be a little less confusing if you've read either my Lucky Saga or Inner Circle fics. ^_^;;

Life was hard when you were an Onix. Although she was only young, Brandy had already grown to realise that her incredible mass was posing more problems than it was worth. She couldn't stay in the house with the others, for a start, she was forced into living in the garden with only the plants for company. Whenever we had to go anywhere she was always the one who was carried around in a pokball, only the most open of terrain allowing her the chance to see the outside world. And then there were relations with the others. She was paranoid about accidentally crushing her new friends - if indeed you could call them friends, for other than Ryo-Ohki the Onix had hardly managed to say a word to her new teammates. Socialising always seemed to be a problem for her. If anyone tried to talk to her she would just blush and stammer and fall silent, and god forbid the concept of actually opening up a conversation! Just the thought of the million ways she could ruin things was enough to send shivers down Brandy's spine. So it was probably for the best that she stayed out of the way, keeping contact with the others to a minimum.

Much like another member of the team, in fact.

"I envy you." It was a bright summer morning, the sun already filling the sky with an almost overwhelming brightness. And Brandy was resigning herself to watching the bees busy flying between the brightly coloured flowers of our large garden. In between rounds of the Unicorn Games, it had been voted unanimously that home was a much better place to locate ourselves, the combined powers of Sindel, Kirei and Rhiannon's supernatural powers being more than enough to teleport our entire group. Well, that was fine by Brandy. At least she could be outside as much as she liked here, instead of being confined to a room specially designed to house her bulk. The one thing she hadn't expected upon her arrival was being accosted by a small, orange creature with mushrooms growing out of its back, sporting the most exasperated expression a Bug type could muster. Brandy instinctively drew back. "Relax, I couldn't hurt you even if I wanted to, we're always so busy that I still haven't had a chance to try out those TMs I was bought years ago. I just thought I'd come out here with you, since you don't run your mouth off all the time unlike some creatures, and it makes a refreshing change."
"P... pardon?" Brandy stammered.
"You needn't be nervous, you know. Nobody around here cares what anybody else says, in fact you'd be encouraged to act like a fool." Scratchy waved a pincer in disgust. "Bunch of idiots, the whole lot of them, if they actually do seem to have a brain then there's some other mental condition ruining them. I mean, look at that Rhiannon, she'd be quite pleasant company if she didn't keep turning into a child every other hour. That's why I envy you. You at least have a very good excuse to stay out of it, and if I were you I'd stay that way. Between lesbian Growlithes and zombie-obsessed Gastlys and Dratinis whose political stance amounts to 'power corrupts therefore everyone in power is useless' it's all more hassle than it's worth."
"I... I don't r... really want to st... stay out of it though." Forcing herself to talk like this was one of the hardest things Brandy had ever had to do, and it almost brought tears to her eyes. Especially when the Paras eyed her oddly. In her mind that was pretty much an admission of hatred. "Sorry... I shouldn't open my mouth, should I?"
"You earn my respect for actually thinking about whether you should open your mouth before doing so. If only more were like you, the world would be a lot more peaceful." Scratchy sighed deeply. "Listen. I'm not too good at this' giving advice' thing, I always believed in just letting everyone get on with it, but I will say this. You and I, we both stay out of the way. But I at least like it that way. If you really want to get involved, just do so. It's better to try and know for sure than to spend years worrying about 'what if' situations, right?" With this the Paras scuttled off on his way to whatever dark nook he had originally intended to shut himself off in, leaving Brandy alone to mull over his words. It all made a great deal of sense in theory. The problem was whether or not she had the strength within her to act upon Scratchy's advice.
"Hey. Are you okay?" As fate would have it, the Onix was almost immediately presented with the opportunity to find out. Rhiannon had been very busy at the far end of the garden chasing butterflies until even her genetically enhanced frame could take no more exercise. And now she was on her way back indoors to cool off. But not before stopping to eye Brandy with a curious look upon her face. "It can't be much fun just being stuck here all day."
"N... no, it's not." Brandy turned a deep crimson colour upon being addressed, somehow managing to blush despite being a Rock-type that normally found such things impossible. "I hate being so large, sometimes I wish I had been born a Diglett." Suddenly the Onix caught herself. "Uhh... sorry. I don't know where that came from. Sorry."
"No need to apologise!" Rhiannon laughed brightly. "I know I'd go mad if I had to be cooped up all the time... and let's just ignore the people who say I'm already mad, what do they know? Still..." Here the Eevee looked all around her, taking in the neat lawns, the bright flower beds, the perimeter fence enclosing the entire garden. "No way to get you out yet, we'll just have to teach you to Dig at some point."
"I couldn't!" Brandy seemed horrified. "I couldn't mess up this beautiful garden!"
"In that case there's nothing for it." Rhiannon grinned broadly, the childlike aspect of her persona being in full control for once. "We're just gonna have to play here then, aren't we?"
"Really? Well..." A smile crept across Brandy's rocky face. "I'd like that a lot. So what do you want to play?"

"Breakfast for... what is it now, fifteen of us on Ade's team, five on Soo's, two humans, one bloody great psychic wolf... so that's twenty three. Great. All I ever use my powers for lately is coordinating mealtimes, just for once I'd like to see everyone try and cook for themselves instead of relying on me to do it all!" Sindel, it had to be said, had been in better moods. Trying to cater for everyone who wanted food, look after Ryo-Ohki and fit in time to keep in shape was beginning to take its toll, the Alakazam having hardly slept for the past few days in a desperate attempt to fit everything in. It wasn't doing much for her temperament, which had never been perfect to begin with.
"Just a thought, Sindel, maybe they would if you gave them the chance, you always have it all ready and prepared before anyone who could cook is even awake!" Pandora poked her head through the serving hatch, trying to offer an explanation. But as ever, it was a case of the wrong words at the wrong moment. Tact was something the Houndour was never likely to possess.
"Well we'd never leave the house until evening if I didn't!" Sindel snapped. "Look, Pandora, can't you just go and bug Milliardo or something? I'm kind of busy here."
"Fine, I just get in the way, don't I? I might as well just throw myself off the nearest cliff and be done with it."
"Wait, it's not that..."
"Hey, it's called 'taking the piss out of myself', you dolt, do you really think I'm that much of a spoilt little attention whore?" The Houndour glared at Sindel. "Now I really am pissed off that you thought I might have been serious! All I wanted to ask you was if you'd seen Pearl around, I'm in need of advice."
"Haven't a clue." Sindel sighed deeply before putting down the baking tray she was currently clasping and wandering over to her friend. "Look, I'm sorry if I was a little ratty, okay? Alakazams may be able to do loads of things at once but even they have their limits. Is it anything I can help with at all? I know I'm no Pearl but I can try and be a rather poor substitute."
"Well..." The Houndour seemed rather dubious, but the need to get things off her chest won out in the end. Sindel was only going to find out in the end anyway. "It's about Milliardo's sister, Rhiannon. I used to know her, before I joined the team."
"Wait, is this before the Dark Cloak or after?"
"Anyway, the trouble is that I know something that she ought to know but doesn't," the Houndour continued, rather neatly avoiding a potentially awkward question. "And if and when she does find out I'm worried it's going to break her further." Pandora laughed hollowly. "All of a sudden I understand how frustrating I must be to deal with, that's the sort of really annoying attitude that always gets me down even further."
"Well then there's no problem, is there?" Sindel replied bluntly. "You know what it's like to have things kept from you to avoid causing you worry, the question is whether you're willing to inflict that on someone else."
"You know something? For a Pearl substitute you're really not all that terrible." A slight smile formed upon Pandora's muzzle. "Thanks. I'm just less than happy about having to be the bearer of bad news, that's all, but I guess I've no choice. Oh, and Sindel?"
"You should probably check the oven at some point. I think I can see smoke." Cackling in a manner that wouldn't have been out of place coming from Milliardo, the Houndour swiftly left Sindel to her own devices. For maybe sometimes life did deal you a bad hand. But eventually that hand could be replaced. All you needed to do was take a few chances.

"Okay, guys." That evening we found ourselves back in a more than familiar place, once again ably assisted by the combined forced of all of those pokmon capable of using some sort of magical power. The large, pristine lobby of the training grounds set up specifically to provide assistance to trainer before the Unicorn Games. And now that the Games were underway this seemed to be an almost deserted place, the hustle and bustle now replaced with an almost eerie stillness. "We still have three more rooms that we can train in, the Blizzard, Desert and Jungle rooms. And seeing as I'm useless at making decisions I figured that maybe one of you had a preference."
"What're ya talkin' about, man?" Katnip rolled his eyes. "I don't care where I fight as long as I actually get ta fight!"
"The Blizzard room sounds interesting, actually," Rhiannon commented, peering over at the flyer held within my clutches that described the settings for each room. This was probably my fiftieth copy, I managed to get them lost or destroyed so frequently! "To battle in sub-zero conditions would be quite a challenge."
"No it wouldn't, Rhi, it?d just be 'Rhiannon's opponent comes out, Rhiannon blows it to the other side of the room'. Either that or you'd suddenly have one of your turns upon entry, and I refuse to believe that even you could be merciless enough to let that happen."
"Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, Milliardo. And in response to your other comment..." The Eevee turned to face her brother directly, her fur beginning to prickle up with an unseen force. For the briefest of moments her forehead split slightly, revealing an almost blinding emerald light that dazzled the Umbreon. And then, as quickly as it had arrived, the light vanished without trace, leaving Rhiannon looking as if nothing had even happened. "...this I only use when there?s no other choice. There's no benefit in using it in battle against anyone of lower strength than Reaper."
"Okay, Rhi, you're amazing, now will you kindly not do that again without warning me first? I'm not going to be able to see for weeks now!"
"Sorry. I forgot how bright it could get."
"Forgot? The %*^ing thing's embedded into your skull, for ^$%'s sake, how could you possibly..." Suddenly Milliardo noticed the other members of the team staring at him oddly. "Yes?"
"Have you two quite finished?" I asked pointedly.
"Forgive us." Rhiannon bowed politely, but it seemed the best I was going to get out of Milliardo was a derisive snort.
"Anyway, does anyone else have any preferences?" Silence. "Okay then. Blizzard room it is, then. Shall we go?"
"I think you may want to go home and get that goth coat of yours first, Ade," Pearl remarked. "I don't think it'll be called the Blizzard room for nothing, you know."
"What, there's going to be real blizzards in there?" Megan asked.
"No, but I'd bet Tsuyoi's entire fortune on it being very, very cold."
"And we'll probably have to fight lots of Ice type pokmon in there too. I know what these training grounds are like by now." I sighed with forced despair. "Alright, alright, we take a short detour, then. I should probably make sure Soo hasn't let Kassandra wreck the house before we start, anyway. Sindel, would you mind helping me back home?"
"Sure thing, Ade." Grabbing hold of my arm, the Alakazam concentrated hard, and before we knew it we were back in the familiar surroundings of our own lounge. There was the large leather sofa, the coffee table that was amassing a horrendously large collection of unwashed glasses. The TV cabinet that housed not only television, but also DVD, video recorder and almost every games console in existence. And of course, the resident monster, curled up on one of the lounge chairs and looking almost cute in his sleep, his many tails wrapped around him protectively. One eye lazily opened, revealing blood red set in pure darkness.
"What is it this time, Ade? Wallet? Keys? The pokmon you were supposed to be training today?"
"Coat," I replied. "We're tackling the Blizzard Room."
"It's hung up over there, now piss off and leave me to sleep. Contrary to popular belief I do stop to rest occasionally," Tsuyoi grumbled, gesturing with a silky black paw. Apparently he wasn't in the best of moods today. Come to think of it, he had been sulking ever since our last visit to the Eevee House. Well, for now it was probably best just to leave him be. The best time to concern myself with Tsuyoi's problems was when he wanted me to. In the meantime I had training to go back to.

"Uh..." Back at the training grounds, Pandora had decided to seize the opportunity to have a word with Rhiannon. Yet it was hard. The Eevee had been her superior at one point, back in those dark, dark days of Resomegnis and the Dark Cloak. Held in higher esteem than even Amon, the misplaced, honourable Umbreon that the Houndour had once considered a big brother. In fact, Amon was the root of the entire problem. "Lady Rhiannon...?"
"We were wondering how long it would take you to approach us again, Pandora." A slight smile formed on Rhiannon's lips. "Please, though, there's no need to refer to us as 'Lady' these days. Rhiannon will do nicely now we're free of rank, or even Rhi if you'd prefer. After all, we are practically sisters-in-law now."
"Sorry. Old habits die hard."
"So I can see." Pandora could help but notice that the Eevee's eyes were fixated upon a relatively new scar on one of her front legs, and felt the heat rush to her cheeks. "So what is it that you wanted, Pandora?"
"Well... I... for $&%^'s sake will you stop staring at my leg like that!" The Houndour scowled. "I'm uncomfortable enough as it is without having my every blemish scrutinised! Look, there's one or two on my hind legs that you probably haven't seen before as well, you want to go stare madly at those, too? Or no, even better, why don't you just come out with it and admonish me for being such a stupid, stupid creature for acting like this?"
"I mean, sure, it is stupid. Every time it happens I just feel worse about myself, because I know I'm hurting those who care about me as well, and then I punish myself more and more and if we're being honest there may even come a day when I just won't be able to stop until every last drop of blood has drained out of me. Have you any idea what that's like? To feel that full of disgust with yourself?"
"No, I..."
"Of course you don't, because you're the amazing Lady Rhiannon and you can do no wrong. Well let me tell you something, before you start giving me unspoken admonishments for this kindly cast your mind back and remember all those that you yourself made suffer. At least my only victim is myself!" With this, the Houndour stormed off angrily, apparently having completely forgotten what it was that she was originally going to say.
"Pandora..." Rhiannon sighed, her front paw reaching up and brushing against her own forehead, absently feeling for the area that hid the markings that revealed her true nature. "You haven't changed. Still as untainted as ever, and still suffering because of that. Please don't turn against us for our past, though. We'd like to think of you as a friend, and those are too rare to risk losing."

Half an hour later, and most of the team were beginning to wonder if their fur really offered much protection from the cold at all. The Blizzard room wasn't really much of a room at all, more like a snowy wasteland, arctic conditions maintained by some kind of high-tech machinery that somehow provided both snow and a harsh, icy wind that sucked every last drop of warmth from your body. Only the occasional log cabin seemed to provide any respite from the never-ending white that stretched for what appeared to be miles in all directions. In short, this was a desolate place.
"Damn it!" Milliardo complained, huddling close to the sulky Pandora for warmth. "All of a sudden I'm wishing I hadn't evolved, at least Eevees get nice, thick, bushy coats to protect them!"
"Quite griping, Milly!" Rhiannon stuck her tongue out at her brother. The past half hour had seen yet another personality shift. Apparently the adult part of her mind was merciless enough to sit back and watch this time. "If you must know I'm freezing to death here as well!"
"I don't see what the big problem is," Beckham giggled, staggering along drinking from a small hipflask and occasionally treading on Kasumi's tail in front of him. Fortunately the tail in question was mostly fur anyway. "I'm as warm as a piece of toast in front of a fire on a hot summer's day in Bermuda."
"Where the hell did you get that flask from?" Sindel rolled her eyes, the biting cold doing nothing for her already cantankerous temperament.
"A friendly mountain dog gave it to me," the Wartortle chuckled, offering his drink round and being pleasantly surprised that the only takers were Milliardo and myself. "I'd fallen in an icy pond and had to be rescued by a St. Bernard, only I was so cold he had to give me the entire flask of brandy to revive me."
"And when did this happen, then?" I asked. "I only left you alone for two minutes."
"Ah, well, in two minutes anything can happen," he grinned by way of response.
"Look," Pearl cut in, "can we just hurry over to one of those huts and warm up a bit before continuing this conversation? I'm starting to lose the feeling in my paws here."
"Really?" Katnip's eyes twinkled mischievously. "I reckon I should test whether yer tellin' the truth or not."
"Bugger off, Katnip!" Pearl giggled. "If you're suggesting doing what I think you are, you're going to have to catch me first!" With this the Ninetales darted off into the distance, daring Katnip to chase after her like a little cub. My Raticate took the bait admirably, using his Quick Attack to propel himself after her. Well, if you couldn't relax a little in a controlled environment such as the training grounds what could you do?

"AHHAHAHAAA!!! No fair, no fair!!!!" By the time the rest of us had reached the nearest shelter Katnip and Pearl had already been there for several minutes. And from the sounds of things the Raticate hadn't had any problems in catching his partner. So it was no surprise, then, to find Katnip busying himself proving how less than numb Pearl's paws really were by tickling them with his whiskers the instant we threw the cabin door open.
"Oh my God, you're still at that?" Milliardo rolled his eyes. "Hasn't the novelty of making Pearl squeal worn off yet? You've only been doing it since the Dragon Games... still, it does look like fun..."
"Go &%$ yourself, Milliardo!" Pandora exclaimed, scuttling quickly to the opposite side of the cabin the instant she recognised the evil look in her boyfriend's eyes. "I'd only kick you unless I really wanted it, anyway. So get back to me when the need for me to laugh becomes a matter of life or death, okay?"
"Oh, you're no fun," the Umbreon grumbled.
"Hey, you can tickle me if you like!" Kasumi offered, even going so far as to roll onto her back to expose her belly. "I'd welcome it!"
"Don't you have a girlfriend to not cheat on now, Sumi?" I asked idly, watching the few trainers battling within this harsh room through a pair of binoculars that had been kindly left by the person before me. "Okay, now aside from Rhiannon who else would like to battle?"
"Uhh... Ade, we've kind of changed our mind, honest." Rhiannon whined. "It's too cold out there!"
"Rhi, you're such a wuss," Milliardo chuckled. "You've had ages to back out, you should probably just accept the fact that you're in need of training and hence should make the most of today."
"Look, I'll accompany her if that's okay." Sindel sighed. "Being not exactly built for staying still in these temperatures I might as well go out and warm myself up with a battle." The Alakazam turned to Rhiannon. "Come on, it won't be as bad as it looks, the cold isn't unbearable and if it's battling you're worried about it's not as if we'll be up against anything that'll really want to hurt us. Come on, Rhiannon, you've survived a lot worse than this."
"I haven't," the Eevee grumbled. "She has."
"Quit using your weirdness as an excuse, Rhi, and get on with it before we all really do freeze to death." By now Milliardo was getting tired of waiting. And when the Umbreon got tired, he got irritable. "Move it!" He was now all but pushing his sister towards the door with his nose. "And Thingy, you so much as dare let anything bad happen to her..."
"Milliardo, this is a training room. She'll be fine." Sindel rolled her eyes, heading for the exit herself and opening it, only to be practically blown backwards by a particularly vicious gale. "Annoying winds notwithstanding, of course. Come on, Rhiannon, we're not going to let some stupid breeze beat us!" Annoyed, the Alakazam made for the door again, this time using her considerable psychic power to fix herself firmly to the spot. It did the trick admirably. "Let's go."
"Don't you just hate her when she gets all authoritative?" Milliardo tipped his sister a wink. "Good luck, Rhi, I'll see you soon if the cold or fighting your opponent or having to deal with Thingy doesn't result in your death."
"Gee, you really make me feel good about my chances out there," the Eevee complained, heading for the open door herself. "Alright. I'm ready. We're gonna do this."

All of three minutes later Rhiannon was seriously beginning to regret not chickening out of the battle ahead of her. The cold was simply unbearable, not even her thick, fluffy ruff providing much in the way of protection from its terrible numbing bite. On top of that the winds that whipped around the arena kept blowing her over, her small Eevee frame lacking some of the sturdiness that her companion for today possessed. It was just a case of walk a few steps, get blown backwards, walk a few more steps, get blown even further, until Rhiannon could swear she was actually losing ground. It was enough to bring tears of sheer frustration to her eyes. Why was fate so cruel, to give her this little choice over her own destiny? Lately all of the decisions seemed to have been made by the cold, ruthless being that always seemed to force its way into her mind. It simply wasn't fair, any of it.
"Hey, come on." All of a sudden the Eevee found herself being lifted up by a pair of sand-coloured arms that possessed a remarkable strength for their apparent frailty. "We're getting nowhere like this. I'll just have to carry you until we find an opponent, won't I?" Rhiannon couldn't find it within herself to argue. In fact, it was nice to be carried about. All of a sudden she could see why Kassandra, Soo's errant Charmander, never seemed to put up any objections when her trainer seemed intent on holding her all the time. It was quite a pleasant sensation. Just being able to close her eyes and try and put reality on hold for a moment, the weight from both mind and paws lifted, albeit for a mere moment. If it weren't for the blizzard-like conditions the Eevee could have probably drifted off to sleep like this. "Hey!" Before Rhiannon really did doze off, Sindel's voice jolted her back to reality. "I think we might have found you an opponent. Take a look."
"Wha..?" The Eevee unwillingly opened her eyes to take a look at what her friend was talking about. There in the distance stood a solitary figure, a short, squat, pink pokmon with a totally blank expression upon its slack-jawed face. "Is that what I'm fighting?" Rhiannon didn't like the look of this. The statue-like stillness of the creature made her feel less than comfortable.
"Yeah, why not?" Sindel shrugged by way of reply, putting her load back down into the snow once more. "It's a Slowpoke. They're usually good for practice, even Becks could outsmart them. Although having said that, Katnip once fought a Slowbro who just stood there just like that but was really intelligent behind it all, so who knows what to think?" Rhiannon wasn't listening. She was too busy creeping closer and closer to her opponent, not really sure what to make of the odd creature.
"Hello?" she said nervously. "D... do you mind if we battle?" A ten second pause. "Would that be okay?"
"Sure." The Slowpoke finally exhaled. "Let's... fight... now." Each time the pokmon breathed out it would say a word. Which made for a decidedly odd conversationalist.
"Okay! I'm ready when you are!" Rhiannon tensed herself, ready for battle. True, she had no idea how to utilise half of the terrible powers that her body could potentially harness, and maybe that was for the best. But she still knew a trick or two. Not all of the training her merciless alter-ego had undergone had gone completely over her head, after all! "Well, what are you waiting for?" Evidently the Slowpoke had forgotten how to start a battle, for it was just standing there with the same vacant expression on its face. "Hello?" The Eevee edged closer, extending a paw to touch the pokmon on the nose. "Are... are you okay?"
"Sure..." the Slowpoke said suddenly, causing Rhiannon to jump from shock. "And... by... the... way... good... luck... little... one." The pokmon yawned, its considerable mouth opened wide to reveal teeth perfectly designed for the marine diet the Slowpoke species thrived upon. "Now... let's... start."
"Bring it on, buster!" Rhiannon smiled, standing in a poor imitation of Milliardo's pre-battle stance. "You're going down!"

FIGHT!!! L7 Eevee v L15 Slowpoke!

Even to an inexperienced fighter like Rhiannon's childlike side, the correct way to start a battle against a Slowpoke was obvious. Take advantage of its natural sluggishness before it had a chance to utilise an attack of its own.
"Okay, let's show you what we can do!" Quickly the Eevee darted at her opponent, throwing her full body into a fearsome Tackle attack. With most pokmon this would have been enough in its own to send them crashing to the floor, especially given Rhiannon's magically altered physique. But a Slowpoke was built for sturdiness, and all that the little Eevee managed to do was to bounce harmlessly off its side, crashing into a large mound of snow for her troubles, "Hey!" Rhiannon's head poked almost comically out of the snowdrift, a pile of cold white fluff sat atop her head like some sort of bizarre hat. She shook herself vigorously, both to rid herself of snow and also to warm her cold body up somewhat. "That wasn't supposed to happen! So what else can we do... ah, I know!" Rhiannon cast a ferocious glare over in her opponent's direction, hoping to weaken its defences by intimidation. But either the Slowpoke was too dense to register the Leer attack, or Rhiannon simply lacked a single ounce of menace, for there seemed to be little effect on her opponent. Not for the first time she wished there could have been a little cooperation between the different sides to her personality. No doubt the creature that shared her body would have been able to pull that off. And probably turn it into a Glare to boot.
"My... turn..." the Slowpoke breathed. The grand opportunity Rhiannon had hoped to take advantage of had been wasted, and now it was her opponent's turn to show her a few tricks of its own. "Sorry... little... one..." All of a sudden the dopey-looking pokmon's eyes flashed red, and Rhiannon found herself being thrown backwards, smashed hard in the chest with a terrible unseen force that brought tears to her eyes from the impact. From this perspective, skidding through the snow with the blank-faced Slowpoke waddling after her in a fashion that now seemed incredibly threatening, the battle didn't seem nearly as easy as it might have first appeared. Especially when the Slowpoke finally caught up to Rhiannon, its speed quite remarkable for its species, and rammed its thick skull hard into her, sending her rolling further.
"Ouch..." Rhiannon picked herself up unsteadily, wincing as she did so. She had to stop this rather cruel game of soccer, with herself in the role of the ball, somehow! But evidently this wasn't going to be today, for a second psychic blow knocked her back to the ground again. The Eevee was close to collapse. She couldn't withstand much more of this. "Leave me alone!" Willing all of the energy she had remaining into her mind, she threw all of her power into summoning up some last-ditch attack, even though she had no idea what that attack was going to be. As it happened, this desperate attempt as trying something different seemed to work. All of a sudden a huge spear-like tentacle of ice-cold grass shot out from underneath the Slowpoke, knocking it to one side before standing tall and erect, frozen instantly in place by the terrible conditions of the training room. "I... I..." It had taken every last drop of energy Rhiannon had to give to conjure up the Hidden Power attack, and she felt just about ready to pass out from sheer exhaustion. But no. There was still a battle to be finished. It wouldn't do to collapse. Not just yet. Shaking her head, Rhiannon eyed her opponent carefully. The attack had damaged it, certainly, but this battle was far from over. Already the pink creature was waddling towards her, the same vacant expression within its eyes as had been in place for the entire fight.
"That... hurt..." the Slowpoke complained.
"Agree to battle, and you have to accept the consequences," the Eevee responded calmly. "Now if you'll pardon us we have to finish what we started." Abruptly Rhiannon pounced, a well-timed leap that caused her to land hard on top of her opponent knocking it to the floor from above. Without so much as pausing for breath she bounced off its fleshy body, using its girth to propel herself upwards. And at this point she called upon her Hidden Power once again. Vine after vine came erupting from the surrounding ground, bumping and jostling the Slowpoke until it was practically being juggled by the grassy tentacles. "Three... two... one..." The vines withdrew back into the ground at almost the exact same instant that Rhiannon's paws were once again touching snow, leaving her opponent to come crashing down to the floor in a lifeless heap. "Done." A subtle smile crossed the Eevee's face. "I'm sure next time I won't have to interfere, either. Just a little longer, and we'll be able to take care of ourselves at any point."

Rhiannon wins!
Rhiannon grew to L9!
Rhiannon learned Sand Attack!

"Remarkable improvement in your skills, there, Rhiannon," Sindel noted dryly as her Eevee companion returned from her battle. "If I didn't know better I'd say you suddenly remembered everything you said you were going to try to forget."
"It was either that or lose, Sindel, and that option would benefit nobody bar our opponent." Evidently the stress of the battle had forced the Eevee into yet another of her shifts. "Anyway, you will be okay finding an opponent on your own, won't you? I'm afraid I may have upset Pandora slightly earlier and I'd like to get back to apologise."
"Sure, go ahead, anything that gets her out of a bad mood is more than welcome," the Alakazam shrugged, secretly glad that Rhiannon was leaving. For as adorably sweet as the infant Rhiannon was, the mature version was more than a little creepy, and she didn't much fancy having to keep her company alone. "Can you find your way back okay?" The look that Rhiannon gave her was answer enough, a look that made her look almost identical to Milliardo when he was younger. It was almost as if Sindel could hear him in her head going of course I can, you moron, what kind of $^%&wit do you take me for? "I'll take that as a 'yes', then. Okay, I'll see you back at the cabin." Sindel watched the Eevee leave with a mixture of bemusement and concern. There was something about her... something that she couldn't quite place...
"Hey!" A sudden yell from behind her shook Sindel out of her contemplation, instead giving her cause to jump in the air with a yell of surprise. "Hahahaha, that's gotta be a world record!"
"Why you little..." It was as much as the Alakazam could do to prevent herself from throwing her spoons at this latest distraction out of sheer fury. But in the end common sense prevailed over her increasingly irritable mood. And so she turned slowly, to find herself staring at... well, nothing, in actual fact. Her opponent was quite noticeably shorter than she was and she could stare over its head with ease. And a cursory look down revealed a strange little creature with distinctly monkey-like features, a Meditite if she remembered correctly. A Fighting/ Psychic type. And no doubt the species of her latest adversary. Apparently it had found her rather than it being the other way around. "Do you find that funny or something?"
"Gee, someone got out of bed on the wrong side this morning! Chill out, would you?" Meditites were supposed to be quite focused, mystical creatures, but clearly nobody had bothered to tell this particular one. It seemed to act more like a cross between Beckham and one of Milliardo's better moods. "Anyway, my name's Johan." The pokmon offered a hand and Sindel took it dubiously. "I'm supposed to kick the asses of anyone I find wandering about here, you know, give them a good fight and all that stuff. You probably know how these places work."
"Only too well," Sindel replied.
"Oh good, that means we can get on with it then, there's a soccer match on in an hour and my trainer promised we could watch it." The little pokmon grinned broadly, evidently not really caring much as to how it came across to others. Which was an admirable trait in some ways, it had to be said. Far too much time was wasted putting on pretenses for others. "You up for a good fight before that, though?"
"I'm ready whenever you are." Sindel grasped the spoons she carried around tightly, ready to unleash the full extent of her psychic arsenal. She knew better than to take any opponent lightly. Even short little goofy Fighting types.
"Good," the Meditite smirked, striking a fighting pose. "Because I'm ready."

FIGHT!!! L21 Alakazam v L19 Meditite!

"Ready or not, here I come!" Sindel hardly had a chance to size her opponent up properly before the Meditite sprang at her, flying through the air foot first in a jumping kick that would have been impossible to dodge using physical reactions alone. Fortunately Sindel didn't have a problem there. The instant she saw the pokmon coming towards her she swiftly relocated herself two feet to the left, blinking in and out of existence in no time at all. "Hey! No fair!"
"Take on an Alakazam and that's what you get," Sindel commented. "We're notorious Teleporters." This was her chance to strike, while her opponent was still too busy orienting itself with her new position to properly attack. Concentrating hard, she summoned up all of her psychic energies and cast them in the form of a single white beam of energy that rammed hard into the Meditite and knocked it off its feet easily. Well, that had gone better than expected! Sindel had never had the chance to use her newly-discovered Psybeam attack before. Come to think of it, this was her first battle at all since her recent evolution.
"Uhh... man, you sure do pack a punch! Well, not to worry! They put me in here for a reason!" The little pokmon concentrated hard, a real frown of concentration upon its face. All of a sudden the snow around Sindel seemed to rear up, threatening to envelop her it its icy coldness. "I control the snow, you see. There's no way to win," Sindel's opponent chuckled.
"Really? Well, that's funny..." Sindel furrowed her brow, deep in concentration. There was only one way out of this one! "So do I." By now her Hidden Power had been with her for so long that it hardly required any effort to tap into. Although finding the best way to utilise it was a different matter entirely. Especially given the constant cold that was a permanent distraction for any pokmon not fortunate enough to be an Ice type already or having either sufficient blubber or fur to stay warm. But in this particular case the best use for her control over ice was quite obvious. Staring her in the face, even. Clutching her spoons tightly to aid in her efforts, the Alakazam forced all of her energy into overcoming her opponent's Hidden Power with that of her own. For what seemed like an eternity nothing happened, the two pokmon locked in a silent struggle for control. And then, slowly but surely, the huge walls of snow began to break into chunks, eventually transformed into whole fleets of levitating snowballs awaiting their next instructions.
"Oh no..." The Meditite began to back off slowly, the worry evident in its tones.
"Oh yes." There was almost a sadistic pleasure in watching her opponent panic like this, but Sindel wasn't the sort to revel in having the upper hand. She had seen one too many of Milliardo's less successful sparring attempts with Katnip to make that mistake! "Hope you're good at dodging, that's all I can say!" Suddenly the Alakazam's eyes flashed, and the snowballs fired themselves at her opponent in rapid-fire succession. The first few the Meditite managed to avoid, but the barrage simply became too much for it after that, and it quickly found itself buried deep within a huge mound of snow that simply grew and grew until there was no more snow left for Sindel to throw. Cautiously she approached, her senses telling her that her opponent was anything but finished. But it couldn't stay in contact with the freezing snow for that long. Not unless it was somehow using its Hidden Power to give itself a little immunity to the cold. Which was most definitely possible. "Come out of there and let's get on with it!"
"Well, if you insist!" Abruptly the Meditite jumped out of the snow, planting a harsh kick on Sindel's chin as it did so. Well, that was about enough for the Alakazam! Furiously she fired a huge blast of power at her opponent, a blast that seemed to pass straight through it, causing the pokmon to shudder and twitch. And eventually fall to one knee in the snow, its body no longer responding to any commands it may have been trying to give it. "What... wha' wuzzat?" the Meditite finally managed to force out of its numbed mouth.
"Oh, that? My take on Thunder Wave," Sindel replied. "Well, I'm not known for my command of electricity, so I figured psychic powers would work just as well! And if you don't mind, I'd like to finish this now, because I'm sure I left the oven on and I could do with getting back home as soon as possible, okay?" Once again Sindel brought her incredible powers to the fore, firing yet another bean of energy that seemed to come directly from her forehead and strike the immobilized Meditite, once again sending it skidding through the snow leaving a large furrow behind it. And this time the little pokmon didn't get up again. Sindel's job was done. "Thank goodness for that!" the Alakazam complained. "I think I'm getting frostbite." Suddenly she seemed to realise that there was nobody else about to complain to, so simply Teleported back to the log cabin, having no reason to stay now that her battle was over. Well, if nothing else, today had been quite productive for training, at least!

Sindel wins!
Sindel grew to L23!

AntiAsh Superstar
15th June 2004, 06:58 PM
"Well, time we got home," I sighed, glancing round at my assembled team. It had been a good day in the main. The training had gone exceptionally well, and although Pandora seemed to be in one of her bad moods the rest of the team seemed fine. Albeit rather bruised in Rhiannon's case. I would have hated to be her the following morning when the inevitable stiffness had finally set in! But there was something missing. Training was all very well and good, but sometimes I just pined for the days when I could have spent an entire afternoon being silly. And when I got like that I ended up striving too hard to make the most of every available moment, even if those were moments that seemed best spent on messing around with Soo, which was what I was really yearning for right about now. Ah well. At least I was out of the habit of depriving myself of sleep just because I was too stubborn to accept a dip in my spare time. For now, at any rate. Otherwise I would have probably been feeling rather low at this point. "I can't speak for you guys, but I just fancy going back and lounging about for the rest of the day."
"Sounds good to me, Ade ol' buddy!" Beckham grinned. "After all, I could do with laying back with a couple of beers myself. I need to relax a bit, I've been tense ever since I led the England squad to a disastrous last minute defeat the other day."
"When will you learn that Beckham the soccer player and Beckham the Wartortle aren't the same?" Milliardo rolled his eyes. "One of you couldn't land a penalty to save his life. The other has a really powerful Water Gun."
"Umm... harsh, but I wouldn't expect anything less off you." I rolled my eyes. "Anyway, you'd be married to a Spice Girl if you were the other Becks, is that what you want?"
"Crikey!" This news seemed to shock my Wartortle somewhat. "I clean forgot about that. Okay, I'm not that Beckham after all. Don't suppose I fooled any of you, did I?"
"This may surprise you, but no, you didn't." Rhiannon replied, speaking for the entire team as she did so. "Anyway, we'll catch you all up in a moment, go on ahead without us. We have a few things we need to put right first." The Eevee looked over at the sulky Pandora. "Pandora, do you mind accompanying us for a while?"
"Yes, L..." The Houndour caught herself just in time, stifling what had over time become an almost automatic reaction to any request of Rhiannon's. "I mean, sure, whatever." Pandora strolled over to where the Eevee was stood. "You guys can go on ahead. Trust me, if anyone can get me back home, it'll be this scary girl."
"Whatever you say, Pandora. Don't be long though, okay?" And with this the rest of my team left the training grounds, heading back home after a job well done. What else was there that we could possibly do?

"Pandora." Rhiannon had eventually led Pandora over to a viewing platform that allowed spectators to watch the goings on of the Jungle Room, casting a sad eye over the flora and fauna that populated this particular training room. It was deserted at the moment - hell, most of the rooms were - but that suited Rhiannon perfectly. "We just want to ask you to forgive us for earlier. I may have been a highly ranked tactician in my time but that doesn't make me a good conversationalist. We're in agreement that my main failing is a total lack of consideration."
"True." Pandora nodded. "I'd go even farther than that, I'd say you just don't think how you're actions are going to affect others, Rhiannon, you never have. But... if it's any consolation, I'm sorry, too. I overreacted. It just makes me really uncomfortable when people start staring at my scars, I don't exactly like being reminded that they're there, you know, and I don't have the luxury of being able to wear long sleeves to cover them up like humans do." The Houndour released a long, despairing sigh, finally expelling all of her negative feelings in a single breath. "Rhiannon, I... well, I had something really important you should have been made aware of years ago. Do you remember back in the days of the Dark Cloak?"
"We spent most of our life in their employ, Pandora, it's hard to forget some of the atrocities no matter how much we sweeten them with memories of the good times we had with our peers. But I suspect you're referring to a specific time here. Go on."
"Remember the last mission I was sent on?"
"Yes. We had been planning that for weeks. All the malcontents, every one who wanted an escape from the Dark Cloak, they were placed on the same team, to mutiny the first chance they got. We do remember. Abbadon even joined your group, in case none of the others were willful enough to instigate the uprising. Seeing as you're here now we presume it worked."
"Well... that's just it, Rhiannon, it..." Pandora choked back the tears. The memories were just too painful to bear. Blood. Screaming. And a pair of gentle eyes brimming with tears of sorrow, looking up at her for the final time. "Rhiannon it all went wrong! Abbadon... he... he turned, Rhiannon, and it wasn't just enough that he had the heads of the cultists at the head of the group, was it? He wanted more, didn't he?" And Pandora went on to explain it all. First, Khism's bloody demise, the proud Sandslash killed sticking up for the dark gods that he believed in. Then Abbadon's thirst turning towards a colony of wild Ninetales. And the slaughter of yet another teammate, the good-hearted Umbreon known as Amon. Amon, who had finally redeemed himself for his dark and troubled past by making the ultimate sacrifice to save the loss of further innocent life. Amon, the closest thing to a brother Pandora had even known.
"We see." Rhiannon closed her eyes, trying very hard to digest all of this information. But it was hard. All of a sudden her head was beginning to throb with pain. "At least they died they way they would have wanted. Khism always said he would gladly give his life for the ideals of the Dark Cloak. And Amon... oh, Amon..." Just trying to remember the Umbreon made the headache worsen, until it felt as if her entire skull was about to split in two. "Always trying to find the perfect way to atone for his involvement in such dark schemes. I always thought it was a fruitless task, but apparently he managed it in the end anyway." The Eevee stared vacantly out into space. "Poor Amon. Poor, poor Amon. We'll miss him terribly."
"Lady Rhiannon?" Pandora was worried. If her own bonds with the Umbreon had been strong, then Rhiannon's had been all the more powerful. The Eevee had been deeply, madly and passionately in love with him. In fact, the only time Pandora had ever known the mature side of her to show genuine emotion was when she had been around Amon. It was the only time she ever smiled with any warmth. "Are you okay?" The Houndour could tell something was amiss. A chink of light was starting to form at the Eevee's forehead, and the railing she was stood by was beginning to buckle without any kind of provocation.
"We're fine, Pandora. We just have a headache. Maybe a walk will do us good." As she turned to leave, Rhiannon turned to favour Pandora with the most terribly sad smile the Houndour had ever seen. "We appreciate you telling us. It's best we know now rather than spend eternity in delusion."
"Rhiannon!" Pandora called out after the Eevee, wanting to talk to her, reassure her, anything other than let her go through this on her own. But it was already too late. Already she was out of view, evidently not wishing to share her moment of weakness for longer than she had to. Pandora felt terrible for having told her the news that had shaken her so. But then, as Rhiannon herself said, was it not better to find these things out as soon as possible rather than go on in ignorance for eternity?

How far Rhiannon walked she neither knew nor cared. She just walked and walked, and walked and walked, until she was far away from the training grounds, or indeed the boundaries of Sector Alpha, for that matter. Until her legs felt as numb as her heart. Once upon a time she had considered that she was incapable of feeling any emotion. Or at least that had been the case until Amon had arrived. Slowly but surely his unassailable, calm confidence had worn away at the barriers surrounding her heart. And for that, for teaching her what it was to feel once more, she had loved him - no, she did love him. Whether he was there or not to appreciate it, there would always be a space in her heart reserved solely for the Umbreon. For his gentle but firm guidance, for the way he always seemed to know the best time to crack a joke, for the way he had been there to look out for her right from the very start. For the way he would always sneak into her dormitory in the middle of the night and snuggle up around her, blissfully unaware that there was always one Rhiannon or another watching him with a tear in her eye. For all of the little things, and the big, that made him the most special creature in the world. A life without all that would have been torture beyond anything the Dark Cloak could have ever dreamed up.
"Walk, Rhiannon. Just keep on walking." The headache was back again, with reinforcements. All around her glass cracked, steel posts began to bend, electrical fuses exploded in their sockets, but none of this Rhiannon even noticed. Her mind was still fixed firmly upon Amon, and how she had never even had the chance to say goodbye, to tell him exactly how much he had meant to her. How unfair was that? That day she never even had a chance to tell him that she loved him. Silently the tears began to trickle from her eyes, rolling down her furry cheeks to splash silently upon the pavement beneath her tired paws, corroding small pits in the concrete with the energy contained within them. By now the headache was reaching its climax. It really did feel as if her head was splitting open. And indeed it had, the emerald that served as the focal point of her demonic powers now fully exposed. Not that Rhiannon even noticed. Her mind was too consumed by thoughts of the one she had lost. Thoughts that not even she could contain for much longer. And eventually, whilst walking down a small, deserted side alley, it all became too much for the Eevee. Her head was whirling with thoughts of Amon, and of Khism, and Abbadon, and all of those she had considered friends in her dubious past. And the headache was growing worse with every passing second. It was enough to make any normal pokmon scream. Enough, even, to finally break even the glacial walls of Rhiannon's turbulent mind. "AMON!!!!!!!!!" she screamed, finally releasing all of her pent-up sorrow and frustration and regret in a single call that was born in the very depths of despair, the magical aura surrounding her now serving to cause each and every window facing her alleyway to explode outwardly as she screamed, showering the Eevee in a harsh, cleansing rain of glass shards. Was this to be her fate? Was this her punishment for all of the mistakes made in the past? She would have rather been taken to the very bowels of Hell than suffer this. The only one who had ever given her hope had been taken away. And she could never, ever move on now.

19th June 2004, 11:53 PM
It's a few days overdue because no one could confirm my Day and Night stones in the Goldenrod Tower, but now that it's been updated, here goes.

Starting from where I left off before

<Kyles POV>

The serenity of the lush artificial jungle did not last long. No sooner had I set foot in the crowded stadiums hallway than I was met with the hustle and bustle of civilization. The rays of afternoon sunlight filtering lazily through the green tinted glass were gone replaced instead by dull-gray metal scaffolds hanging from the ceiling high above. Where only a minute ago hummingbirds flitted through the mist without a care in the world, people now hurriedly rushed here and there, struggling against the shackles of time to reach whatever destination they had in mind.

Pippin, wait! I grabbed him by the bulb on his back just as he was about to be run over by a giggling group of teenage girls, running haphazardly down the hallway and not paying attention at all to where they were going. Apparently belonging to one of them, a Raichu raced along the walls about a hundred feet in front of them, darting so quickly between them that it seemed almost to teleport from place to place.

Leaning forward tensely as I picked him up, Pippin growled as the yellow rat disappeared from sight when the tunnel curved. This is no place for a pokemon, I told him as I patted his head comfortingly, recalling him into his pokeball.

I hadnt made up my mind where I would train next the map I had picked up at the door informed me that there were a total of five arenas or who I would use. Hoping for some inspiration, or at least some entertainment, I joined the rush of people heading for any empty seat they could find to watch the battle that was still going on in the stadiums huge central colosseum.

I took an open seat next to a family of four; their two children occupied the seats between their parents. Neither of them looked older than about five, and from time to time one of them slipped a bite of his food to an Aipom that had taken up residence for the moment under their seats.

The same Gengar and Steelix as before still faced off inside the ring of dirt below. These pokemon belonged to the best of the best, and each of them was determined not to back down. The commands of the trainers were inaudible above the noise of the crowd, making it seem as if humans were not even a factor in this clash of titans. Of course, as I had come to know, it was never the skill of a trainer that ultimately determined the outcome of a battle. You could have the most intelligent pokemon scientist in the world up there giving out commands, but without a skilled counterpart to carry them out, they would end up dead in the water. The determining factor of any battle was not which pokemon had a type advantage, or which one was bigger no, it most certainly came down to which warrior had been raised and trained the best. In a battle like this, between two professionals in a tournament that they would remember for the rest of their lives, the pokemon often knew more about fighting each other than even their trainers did.

The Steelix opened its massive iron maw, revealing a swirling red inferno beginning to swell deep within its throat. Gengar laughed evilly to itself as his eyes began to light up with a strange, seep azure glow. The same strange aura now gripped his foes mouth as he struggled to open it. Smoke and small red embers escaped through the cracks as the beasts eyes went wide with pain. After a few seconds the pressure had become too much and he had to swallow it, but that couldnt have been healthy. A moment later, Gengar drove his glowing fist hard into his skull with a metallic clang. The iron behemoth shuddered sideways and collapsed into a heap of dust as the crowd roared with applause.

As quickly as the snake had fallen, a prickly yellow Jolteon had taken its place. The purple ghost was visibly tired from its last opponent, taking a swirling ball of spirits right in the chest as he stopped to catch his breath. As his trainer shouted something, his entire form began to glow a bright, radiant white.

Jolteon had disappeared inside a cloud of brown dust, his small legs working as quickly as possible to dig him a hiding spot underground. Just then, a sound like thunder cracked in my ears. A flash bright as the sun scorched my eyes, and the shock wave rumbled dully through the wooden stands in which I sat. The crowd fell silent until it was all over, and all that remained of either combatant was a small hole in the ground. Cheers burst out immediately when Jolteon emerged back above ground, virtually unscathed. I knew that a stunt like that might just turn the battle around.

* * *

Twenty minutes later, I sat on a wooden bench in the small locker room outside the next area I planned to enter. Eli and Akaisha sniffed around the cold cement floor; I had made up my mind that I wanted to train them next. I stuffed everything I didnt think I would need into one of the lockers on the far wall, and when I turned around, both of my Eevees had vanished.

<Akaishas POV>

Youve done it now, Eli, was all I could think to say as it dawned on me for the first time that neither of us had any clue where we were.

Lighten up, sis, he replied, dont you ever like to have a little fun? Besides, if I remember right, it was you who decided to follow me.

Thats because I thought you had some idea of where you were going.

Chill out, Aisha, itll be fine. This way, I think I smell cotton candy. Typical Eli, always thinking with his stomach. I bet the only reason he went on this little wild goose chase of his was to see what kind of goodies he could liberate from the establishment.

You sure we should be I stopped my protest mid-sentence as the scent caught my nose for the first time. Hey Eli, wait up! I ran after him as fast as my little legs could carry me; it truly was good cotton candy. I knew Id hate myself later for this, but I couldnt let that bother me right now.

<Kyles POV>



It was no use. I must have walked the entire length of the concourse by now, and still I found no sign of my two Eevees. My search had finally brought me to guest services, where I was now trying to describe the lost pokemon to the woman behind the counter.

Well, theyre brown. And furry. I was at a loss for words. After all, how else do you describe an Eevee to someone? She stared at me for a couple seconds through her thick, oversized black-rimmed glasses before turning to pick up a microphone on her desk.

Excuse me, she began over the loudspeaker, if anyone has come across a stray pair of brown, furry Eevees, could they please notify guest services?

Sorry kid, she tried to comfort me, all we can do is look for them. I took a seat on one of the benches up against the wall; all I could do now is wait. Five minutes went by, and still no sign of either of them.

<Elis POV>

Aisha, hurry up! I called behind me, were almost there.

Slow down, Eli, she retorted between pants, Im a girl you know!

If you cant even run, then youre sure not my sister, I teased. No sooner had I said that than something hard struck me in the head from behind. Alright, Im sorry, Im sorry. Why do you girls have to take everything so personally all the time?

Its our job, she shot back with a condescending laugh.

<Akaishas POV>

* * *

Well, were here! Eli stopped abruptly. Following close behind, I attempted the same maneuver but wound up sliding a good four feet across the waxed tile floor on my hindquarters into a pile of empty boxes instead. Why did I always have to be so clumsy?

Over here, My bro called, standing just inside an open doorway. I followed, narrowly avoiding getting stepped on on two occasions. I found myself inside a small closet, its floor covered with half-opened boxes. My nose immediately told me what was inside, and more of it lay on the shelves around the perimeter. A freezer stood in one corner, and through the door I saw that it was filled with ice cream.

See, Im good for something after all, Eli joked, shutting the door until just enough light to see snuck in through crack, dig in!

<Janitors POV>

Dry cleanup requested on the concourse behind section 103, my walkie-talkie said suddenly.

Yeah, Im on it, I replied, sticking it back in my pocket and grabbing a broom out of the nearest closet. Turns out I didnt need it; someone had just knocked over a pile of boxes that had been stored in a corner.

Why cant they ever just stick these in that storage closet across the hall, I thought to myself as I began stacking them one inside the other.

<Elis POV>

Something squeaked open behind me. I turned around slowly as light flooded in from the concourse, and watched as my sister did the same. We both found ourselves face-to-face with a middle-aged man in a checkered shirt, his face rough and in need of a shave.

Umm, what do we do now, Akaisha asked me in a hurried, hushed whisper.

We could always try running!

Oh no you dont, the man objected, picking the two of us up by the skin on the backs of our necks, gotcha, suckers.

Akaisha swore. I dont think I had ever heard her do that before. Last time Im ever trusting one of your little adventures, she added as an afterthought.

Thats really too bad, I joked, youll be missing out on so much fun.

You call this fun?

<Kyles POV>

At first I didnt even recognize them as my own. Did you lose these? a short, stocky man in his mid-forties asked me, holding out the two sticky Eevees, covered from head to toe in chocolate, ice cream, caramel, and just about every other type of candy you could think of. I was hesitant to answer, so they answered for me by jumping straight into my lap while still trying to lick the sweet-tasting substances from each others fur. Just the sight of them was too much; after a few seconds I burst out laughing. There was no way I could stay mad at those two for very long.

Lets get you cleaned up, I said, trying to separate them while at the same time not ruining my clothes as I carried both Eevees to the nearest restroom. In no time at all they were each bathing in the sinks, which from their continuous protesting I could tell that they didnt enjoy at all. I figured that was punishment enough for them.

As I headed back towards the locker room for a second and hopefully last time, something in one of the souvenir stands caught my eye. I know exactly how Im going to keep track of you two from now on, I told Eli and Akaisha, still carrying one of them in each arm as I walked over and got in line.

Id like two pokemon collars, please.

For those two? the man behind the cart asked, taking my money, what are their names?

That ones Eli, I explained, scratching the fur under his neck, and that ones Akaisha. The man typed something into his computer, and a little machine went to work engraving their names, along with my address and phone number, onto each of the collars. He handed them to me once it had finished, and I quickly fastened the leather straps around each of my pokemons necks.

Wait a minute, youre the one the mans voice trailed after me as I walked away. It seemed like the news of my pokemons little adventure had already spread to everyone in attendance.

* * *

You still want to battle? I asked Eli and Akaisha, back in the locker room.

Of course we do! the former shouted with enthusiasm before his sister even had a chance to utter a word of protest.

<Elis POV>

Rays from artificial heat lamps high above beat harshly down upon my back like the noontime sun of a midsummers day. Waves of heat rose off the white sand beneath my feet, and everything seemed to shimmer in front of me. I pushed on, Akaisha following close behind, in the hope that we would not have to be here too long. I couldnt disappoint my trainer either, though; the two of us would have to tough it out.

It wasnt long at all before we found what we were looking for; a solitary Phanpy rooting around in a lone clump of weeds with his snout, probably looking for food. You up for this, Aisha? I asked.

Even if I wasnt, I wouldnt have a choice.

Youre right. Lets go!

Eli (Eevee M L7) and Akaisha (Eevee F L7)
Phanpy M L15

The two of us rushed in, kicking up a tremendous cloud of sand in the Phanpys face and blinding it from what we did next. Coughing and squinting through the dust, I climbed atop his back and dug my little claws furiously into his hide while my sister slammed her skull into the side of his with a resounding thud.

The roar of pain and surprise that resulted left the both of us rubbing our ears, wondering if either of us would ever hear correctly again. The body I stood on thrashed wildly in agony; I was thrown off in a matter of a few seconds and fell on my side into the soft, yet burning hot, sand.

Lookout! Akaisha called, and I noticed my foe, curled up into a ball and barreling towards me through the sand, just in time. I jumped aside at the last second as he crashed through what appeared to be my body, but flashed out of existence as soon as his body made contact. The Phanpy roared with confusion as Akaisha had pulled the same trick, and seven Eevees now surrounded him. A light tremor shot through the earth, its full effects muffled by the thick layer of sand, but enough to destroy all but our real selves.

Go, go! I heard my sister shouting, and felt her own energy and confidence bubble up inside my own spirit. It was as if she had made me stronger; I would not let her down. I leapt up, digging my claws hard into my enemys flank as he roared loudly in disgust.

All I had done was make him mad. Stomping the ground hard and kicking up a tremendous cloud of dust in his wake, he charged full-force into me. I didnt even have time to react before the blow hit, knocking me a few feet backwards into the air. I landed hard on my back, struggling to move as his feet pounded against my entire body. I saw it in his eyes and immediately I realized he was going to kill me right then and there.

Nooooooooo! I heard a shout, a loud crash, and I was free. My fur was damp with blood and I found it hard to breathe without pain, but I was alive. I took one last look up to see Akaisha standing over me, licking my wounds gently as Phanpy got wearily to his feet, then all went black.

<Akaishas POV>

I will avenge you, I swore under my breath. Anger swelled up inside of me, and I knew what I must do. Surging with fury, I knocked that Phanpy back to the ground before he could fully recover. I sliced into his side violently with my claws as he struggled meekly to throw me off, but I held fast. His movements became more and more erratic, and finally they ceased altogether. I had done it I had won!

Eli and Akaisha are victorious!
Eli grew to level 8!
Akaisha grew to level 8!

It was a very slow process, carrying my injured brother back to where Kyle was waiting for us both. The hot sun didnt make it any easier, and I had to stop and rest many a time before I finally reached him.

<Kyles POV>

I dropped everything I had and ran towards her the moment I saw Akaisha appear over the last sandy dune in the distance. I got down on my knees and looked at Elis unmoving form. His fur was matted with blood and sand; his breathing was faint and erratic. I clutched his small form against my chest; even in the desert, the heat was already starting to leave his body. My own pokemon was dying in my arms, and I was helpless to save him. Unless

I ran as fast as I could back to the locker room and pulled the Night Stone out of my pack. I had been meaning to save it until Eli had grown a few more levels, but it looked like that time would never come unless I used it now. I sat his tiny form down on one of the long benches and pressed the translucent, shiny black rock right against his forehead.

At first nothing happened, but then his whole body started to glow a radiant white. I watched as his tattered underbelly magically fused itself back together. Short, shiny jet-black fur replaced his shaggy, bloody-brown coat, and his body suddenly appeared much leaner; sleeker and more muscular. When the transformation ceased, the new Umbreon leapt straight into my arms, licking my face with gratitude and happiness.

Akaisha looked on from the side, tears beginning to well up in her eyes. Dont think I forgot about you, I told her, producing another small leather pouch from my pack. Contained within was a crystal-clear rock, shimmering with captured light from the sun. Setting Eli back on the floor, I picked her up, and in a few seconds I was holding a purring new Espeon.

Lady Vulpix
20th June 2004, 08:00 AM
I've rated Amy's and Ade's battles. If I can I'll rate some more, but I won't be home much today, so it will take time, sorry.

Amy gets 16 stamps!
Ade gets 23 stamps!
I hope Rhiannon does manage to move on in spite of what she felt at that time.

24th June 2004, 08:38 AM
I felt inspired to write Fizz's RBG today...and it went on a lot longer than I'd expected o_O I also scanned through some of the other RBG battles, and I noticed that they all seem to have the opponent as a trainer controlled Pokmon, but there's nothing on the information on the front page about it having to be that.
But if it is, then I'm screwed :-_-:


Closing my eyes, I focused. My wings twitched, catching the slight breeze, which rustled through my feathers, buffeting me gently from side to side.
Tilting my wings forward, I stalled, hanging in mid-air, then dropped, pulling in my wings, pinning them to my sides as I hurtled down.
Forcing my eyes open, despite the rushing, stinging wind, I saw the ground looming, stretching out below me.
Metres away, I spun, flung my wings out, catching the thermals, banking, then swooped down again, breezing over the earthy floor, tapping it gently with my claws as I passed, before climbing up.
As the ground disappeared beneath me, I flipped over, caught the air again, and looped; my mind reeled as the vertigo kicked in, but my speed carried me forward, and in a flash of blue feathers, I retained my balance, before pausing, gasping softly.
This was all going perfect. I was getting in some much needed flying practice-something Id be able to use to my advantage when back with the others- and was also proving just how, well, perfect I was at flying. How many other Pokmon would be able to do high-altitude stunts after just half an hours practice?
Smiling to myself, I stretched out my wings, caught the breeze, then stalled and dropped again- slower this time- so the ground gradually lurched towards me; surveying it, I caught sight of an appropriate spot and twisted my wings to reach it.
This area Id chosen for my training wasnt the usual location Id expect many Pokmon to travel to; the arid lands were barren, the sandy ground stretching as far as the eye could see, merging with the cerulean backdrop of the sky.
Tangles of grass stems protruded from the ground, matted, spiky plants, straining towards the beating sun. Their faded, lifeless colour was the only contrast in this drab area; the greens fading to yellow as they died, spots of mottled colour against the rich, brown colour of the sand.
From my vantage point where I had been practising, I had seen, in the distance, the clumped, ragged shape of trees, no doubt growing near some dank, overgrown water-hole.
Beyond them- and visible only as shimmers in the light and heat haze that filled the sky, the imposing shapes of mountains loomed.
But none of that was here; catching the air in my wings, I twisted them forwards, slowing my descent, before dropping and catching onto my chosen perch.
It was only one of the half-dead bushes, but at least it provided some shelter from the sun, and- as I had noticed from the air- it was one of the greenest bushes, and that meant one thing; nourishment.
Grabbing one of the spiky, coarse stems in my beak, I forced myself to swallow, while trying to figure out what to do next. My attention had been focused on my training, and I had managed to avoid noticing just how hungry I had become.
And how thirsty.
Briefly, I considered flying over to investigate the area with the trees; if there was water there, then I could quench my thirst, and the trees would no doubt provide some sort of food.
They would also provide my with some shelter from the heat-by now, sweat was trickling down by back, oozing through my feathers, causing me to shift irritably to ease the feeling. When I was flying, I was ok; the flow of the air helped to keep my temperature down, but perched on the grass stem, I had no real protection, and the heat was bearing down.
Yet that wasnt really a problem- if I wanted to cool down, I should take to the air. Simple as that. It wasnt the same as my food and drink problem.
Yet I didnt want to go over there- chances are, thered be other Pokmon, and if they saw me, then there could go all my hopes of a nice, quiet training session, all to my self.
Grabbing another stem of grass, I snapped it irritably in my beak, before spitting it out and lunging for another one; instantly, the stem I was on lurched, snapped, and with a muffled thud I crashed into the base of the stems.
Oh, for the love of.
Getting to my feet, I flapped my wings once to check they were ok, before glaring annoyed, up at the stem I had been sitting on. It wasnt a long fall, but it didnt do anything to help my mood.
Scowling, I decided that I might as well get back to practising- that way Id be able to hopefully keep my pangs at bay for a little while longer.
Hopping away from the bush and onto one of the open, sandy areas, I stretched my wings wide, feeling the warm air, then leapt up, circling gently as I rose.
From below, something sparked, glinted, reflecting the sun.
Hesitating, I frowned at the spot it had come from, before curiously gliding over and leisurely circling it. I could definitely see something through the grass; my curiosity getting the better of me, I swooped lower, and latched onto one of the over-hanging grass stems, before carefully hopping back onto the ground.
The Pokmon was asleep, curled up into a tight ball, and, gaining in confidence, I edged closer.
It was small, mustard coloured, with long black ears drooping either side of its face, while from the back of its head, a thick, black crest rose, before dropping down its back.
A single mustard coloured spot was positioned directly in the centre, and reaching up from the bottom, a slit revealed the crests sharp, glistening white teeth; one of those must have been what had caught my eye.
Like Id thought, a Mawile.
Stepping back slightly, I glanced again at the little creatures face; partially hidden by its ears, which had flopped down when it had curled up, shielding its face from the sun. There didnt seem to be anything threatening about it, so perhaps I could just ignore it? Pretend I hadnt noticed it?
And it wasnt as if it could really threaten me, if I was in the air.
Making up my mind, I jumped back, flapping my wings gently to get my airborne, when something red caught my attention; dropping back down, I cautiously edged closer to the Mawiles head, and saw, cradled in its fore-arms, what was unmistakably a Pok Ball. albeit a very battered one.
What the? Had it been abandoned or something?
Feeling a sudden rush of pity for it, I decided to get out of there- if it had been abandoned, instinct told me it would want to be alone, to understand its own feelings without having some stranger butting in. Or at least, I knew that was how Id feel.
Tearing my eyes form it, I trotted away from the grass and hopped up into the air, tilting my wings so the breeze could take me away from the little scattering of bushes, so I could head further west.
For a second, everything was still, exactly how it had been ever since I had arrived.
Then, in a sudden rush and roar, the sand that had previously been lying peacefully on the ground, tore into the air, forming an impassable sandstorm, hurtling round my body, buffeting m from side to side as I frantically struggled to maintain both my balance and my altitude. But I couldnt- I had no idea what direction I was facing, how high I was. even if I was still airborne- for all I knew, I could have crash-landed and was now being sent spiralling across the land, my senses all reeling.
But I wasnt.
A wave of sand and grit came hurtling into my face, stinging into me eyes; howling, I frantically tried to shake it out, but another wave struck me form the back, knocking me forwards; with a resounding crash, I slammed into the ground, digging my claws in to stabilise myself.
Pain tore through my body; but suddenly, I heard the distinctive sound of something moving; forcing my eyes open, I managed to discern the small, hulking shape of the Mawile, crouching, snarling, a few feet away.

Fizz (Taillow L5 F)
Mawile (L5)

Forcing myself to my feet, I dug my claws in further and faced it directly.
The sandstorm suddenly seemed to abate, and for an instant, I was able to view the vicious, snarling jaws, as its crest lashed behind its back, the teeth still glistening, even in this. Its eyes glared across at me, with an aggression that was unlike anything Id ever seen; and no sooner had I though that, then a sudden, terrible feeling began to sink into my mind.
I cant face that.
Dimly, I could see it approaching, slowly, the aggression still streaming from it.
Terrified, I desperately tried to launch myself into the air, but the beating sand tore at my feathers, driving me back, knocking me down.
Pain erupted along one shoulder; staggering, I looked up, in time to see the solid figure of the Mawile come tearing towards me, head down, screaming, its eyes wide and staring.
Frantically, I dodged to the side, using the storm to my advantage, relaxing so that the winds easily carried me away, out of the path of its attack.
It worked; even as my vision blurred and it vanished into the thrashing mass of sand and grit, I heard its bellow of rage, and the sound of its jaws clashing together as it scanned for me.
Suddenly, something sharp shot into my back; managing to force myself to not cry out, I felt anotherand another shoot into me, digging in, loosening my feathers. As the storm abated again, I used the time I had and scrambled into the bush, scrambling through the thrashing stems to gain some refuge.
The Mawile screamed out, a cry of pain, rage, anger; listening to it, I felt the same rush of pity I had when I had first seen it. But then it changed. No matter how upset it was, did that really give it the right to attack me like this? Ok, Id admit, I shouldnt have pried into it, but how was I too know? And did me glimpsing it make it ok for it to trap me like this? No. It didnt. It couldnt.
It snarled; forcing myself to look out, out into the raging storm, I saw it, crouching, breathing heavily as it stared back at me.
The sand that was managing to stream through the compacted branches tore at my throat as I opened my beak, but I shouted anyway.
Let me go, leave me alone.
Then I stopped.
The look in its eye flickered; it didnt care about what Id seen, didnt care about what had happened to it. Even if I hadnt seen it, it would have attacked me. This wasnt about getting its own back, or releasing its own feelings, this was about pain.
It let out a scream of hate and lunged forwards; I hadnt anywhere to move, bunched up in the thicket of stems.
It slammed into my chest, a direct hit, with such force that we both plunged back, tearing through the stems as if they were paper; I slammed into the floor, back first; briefly, it crashed onto me, before tearing off, and skidding round for another attack.
Trying to ignore the continual sandstorm, I instead focused up, thinking of the way the sky had been when I had been practising, how it normally was, how less than ten minutes ago I was thinking of the heat.
Sweating, I shouted out, one word, bringing my mind to rest directly on the memory of the sun; a flash, and a beam of light shot up, through the sand, before erupting into the air.
Somewhere behind me, the Mawile cried out.
Beams of light pulsated, tearing through the storm, disintegrating the sand even as it parted before it; above, the brilliant, cerulean blue of the sky became visible again, the sun beating down, blasting the flying sand to nothing.
Knowing I had to get back into the air, I closed my eyes and forced myself to roll over before flapping my desperately aching wings, catching the rising thermals in the usual way; finally, soaring back up into the air.
The Mawile vanished, became a pin-prick of colour, in-between the rustling grasses, and the now calm, brown sand, as I swooped higher, expertly stretching my wings to catch the breezes.
I could go home. I could leave this little creature here, to stay, encased by its rage. But to do that, Id have to admit defeat. Why should I? Was I too scared to take this thing on? An image flickered in front of my eyes, unasked for.
There was my answer.
Pulling my wings in, I plummeted, crying out, as a ring of pulsing, white orbs began to materialise around my body.
The Mawile was watching me, watching as I dove nearer, watching as the orbs began to glow a dark, steady brown.
Suddenly flicking my wings out, I snapped to a stop; the orbs spun round in front of me, converged, then exploded out, raining down onto the ground. The Mawile howled and tore round, dodging them, but that didnt matter. It wasnt my target.
Instead, the orbs shattered into the ground, tearing gaping wholes into the dry, sand covered surfaces.
Then the tremors began.
The ground lurched, taking the Mawile with it; its body thrashed desperately as it struggled to keep its balance, even as the ground split, sending it crashing down, then back, as a jagged piece exploded up, rendering the landscape unrecognisable.
Gliding above, I watched as the dust began to settle, wondering what would happen now. Had my Hidden Power been enough to finish the match? It had been weaker than Id expected, due to the Mawiles Intimidate affecting my Attack, but still, had it been enough?
No such luck.
The dust suddenly whipped up, forming that enveloping Sandstorm again; but I could counter that easily.
Taking a glance at the sun that was still beaming down, I smiled, then looked back at the approaching storm and cried out.
The light instantly dimmed, as with an ominous rumble, a massive black cloud materialised, blotting out the sun, before sheets of rain began to cascade from the sky, drenching me in seconds, before thundering down onto the sand, clogging it, forcing it back.
Beating my wings frantically to stay airborne, it suddenly occurred to me that I had been worrying about dehydration, when I had this power at my command.
Still, I had other things on my mind now, so, closing my wings, I dropped down, trying to pierce the darkness with my eyes, straining to discover where the Mawile was.
Thrashing about in one of the holes my Hidden Power had created, now rapidly filling with water- trying to climb out, but being beaten back by its own weight.
Well, while it was helpless, I may as well use the time to my own advantage.
Snapping my wings back to send myself hurtling forwards, I swooped down, until I was feet away, before let out the loudest Growl I could, remembering the power of its initial Frustration. It worked; it let go of the soggy, clogging earth sides it had been frantically trying to climb and instead cowered, over waist deep in water, pressing its ears to its head, trying desperately to block out the noise.
Now we were on even footing.
Banking away, I now focused on me, feeling my energy converging to form one, flicker of power. The driving rain seemed to recede for a second as my mind went blank, then returned with a vigour; my Focus Energy done, I soared round and headed back to my target.
It had stopped cowering by now, and had managed to hook a paw over the lip of the hole; as I came closer, it dug its back legs into the side and heaved itself over, before collapsing, gasping.
What a perfect opportunity.
Diving down, I hurtled closer, stretching out my right wing, feeling the power throb into it; aiming, I snapped round, smashing my wing into its face. The pain tore through my wing, as hitting something steel directly on would, but my Focus Energy seemed to have come into play as it howled and staggered back.
Then it spun round; the gaping mouth with its glistening teeth snapped shut somewhere near my head, before a sickening, orange glow began to form.
Hyper Beam.
If that hit me, then would I be able to survive it? Even with the Mawiles lowered attack?
Gasping, I forced myself to take another look at the pulsing orange light in the Mawiles jaws, then began to focus on my power, the one that could almost equal the strength of that Mawiles.
A bright aura of light suddenly burst around me, streaming out as my body began to glow, a pure, brilliant white. My vision sharpened; through the light, I could see everything in front, clearly, even through the rain that still hammered down.
I saw the Mawile, saw the Hyper Beam form, then burst out from its jaws, tearing towards me.
Dimly, I sensed the rain begin to lessen, the incessant drumming on my body begin to die down. Then I spun up, seeing the approaching beam, and looping away from it, spinning on my back, before plunging down again.
My mind whirled, but as I completed the loop, I saw the beam flash harmlessly past, before crying out again; the rain cloud flashed as the sun beat through and down below, the Mawile desperately turned away, blinking against the sudden, harsh light.
I closed my wings and dropped like a stone, my streamlined body perfect, aiming for the thrashing Pokmon. The bright white of my vision increased, blotting out everything, until all I could see was white.
Dimly, I sense myself striking something, then felt myself soaring up, as gradually, the white began to fade, my vision returning to normal.
Heart pounding, I looked back.
The Mawile was lying, motionless on the ground.

I won!
I grew to L6!

My head spinning, I tilted my wing to glide slowly in a circle, letting the speed my Sky Attack had created gradually melt away, until I felt enough in control to attempt to fly back.
It was already moving slightly, muttering and whimpering, but it looked ok, so I decided to leave it; there was no way it would have wanted me around after that, and I wasnt willing to subject myself to the possibility of another attack.
One more look, then I turned, caught a rising thermal and swooped back up, powering away.

Crystalmaster Mike
25th June 2004, 12:54 PM
My *First* Battle on the Training Grounds. (Maybe I'd better ask for an extension... That is, if the scenario is soon to change...) Exams are finally over... now I can go for the driving lessons. -_-'' Well, I hope to catch up on Dragon Tamer stuff sometime. In any case, here's the introduction (at last) of the Egg of my 15th APee, and my first battle at the TG's, as I said.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

~ Mikes POV ~

Ooh boy.
What a day it had been so far. First, no-one could tell me where the Training Grounds were exactly (well, none of the spotted, greasy-haired clerks I asked could). Then, I let the team run loose on the Square, thinking there wasn't anything that could happen to them what with all the people and suddenly, I found myself with a quartet of Water Pokmon (and a Ground-type Duo) pulling me away from the counter, just as I was finally getting some useful instructions. They were yelling incoherent sentences about a Toxic Double Battle, and when I got outside, I almost bumped into another six of my Pokmon. Of these six, two were in such a state that they were being carried by the other four. I recalled them both after a quick healing by means of an Antidote and two Super Potions, and turned to have ecstatic little critters trying to inform me of what had happened. With the rate the tale is told, I almost missed the news about Aron's real name (when was she going to tell us, anyhow?). When I finally got it, I had to hear the explanation twice more while the two Pokmon that had stayed with me were being informed (individually, that is). When I wanted to find a place to sit down to let the headache I had developed wear off, 12 hyper Pocket Monsters started nagging "When are we finally going to the Training Grounds, Mike?" And it was only 10:30 AM then

So I ordered my legs to carry me to the Training Grounds (how resentful they and I might have been about it), when I suddenly realized I still had a secret thing to get somewhere! I stopped in the middle of a step, got bumped into by 5 or so mini-monsters of mine, and changed the way I was going, trying to at least keep where I was headed for secret for Nemo. But by the time the Breeding Center came into view, the secret message had become common knowledge, so I found myself having to answer a few questions before I could enter the building.

"But I thought you said"
"Sure I said that, but that doesn't always mean I'm telling the truth, you know."
"So you've already found two compatible Pokmon and all that?" Large eyes were staring at me, full of surprise and disbelieve.
"Sure I have; what's more" I let my voice trail of, trying to make it sound suggestive.
"You mean?"
"Yup: one baby Eevee, coming up! You'll have your pupil in no time, Nemo!"

So then I could enter the building, but not without having been licked around 100 times by a blue Espeon overwhelmed by joy and gratitude.
This process repeated itself some time later, when I left the building, holding in my hands an Egg of which the very appearance already showed that the baby Eevee inside won't be the normal brown type.
Apparently sensing the excitement outside, out of their PokBalls popped Shane and Verne, who both claimed to have sufficiently rested, and who both had to share their respective opinion about caring for hatchlings with the group. (Nemo decided to pretend being deaf to all comments, and I was relieved he did.)
I quickly disposed of all the "Is that really an Eevee Egg?"-questions by revealing who the parents were: an Eevee and Umbreon who're not only remarkably well-known amongst my Pokmon, but who're also remarkably unlike the stereotype Eevee and Eevolutions.
Extremely happy with the Egg, Nemo non the less had me wrap it up in an old cloth I had left, after which I safely zipped it into my backpack. While carrying it on my back, I could feel the Egg and its baby trembling slightly - it would be hatching in some time. When we continued our hike (for the road was bumpy and ran over hills), I could feel several pairs of eyes staring intensely at my rucksack. I turned around and saw a lot of looks diverted to elsewhere. Nemo's of course not; he wasn't going to take his eyes off of me until I stopped having the Egg with me. I wasn't really surprised noticing that Skyler, too, had been observing my backpack with such interest; after all, this baby would also be classified as 'mutated'. But surprisingly Liam had been looking in the Egg's direction as well; maybe the thought of having another furred Pokmon on the team excited him. After all, this furry ball o' fur that was going to hatch could, if it wanted to, evolve into a Fire Type as Liam was himself. Or it could take after its caretaker and become an Espeon. Then there was still the nocturnal Umbreon (Hanna might have welcomed another Dark Type on the team), the shockingly agile Jolteon (beside Chinchou, I don't think any of my Pokmon would really be welcoming that kind of Eevolution - too much of a competition for Liam, and too much of a threat or a nuisance to my other Pokmon) And, of course Vaporeon. Growing up in a group consisting largely of Water Pokmon, and being raised by a former wannabe-Vaporeon, my new Eevee might very well want to become one himself. Though it wouldn't add to the variety in my team, I couldn't go against its wish to become a Vaporeon if it ever wanted to.
Having meditated on the future of my new, not-even-hatched-yet Adoptee, I hadn't noticed the last hill we'd been climbing was of a noticeably higher kind than the previous ones. Feeling that the end of our trip was on the other side of, not yonder, but this here hill, I quickened my pace. Nearing the top, I even commenced a small jog, careful nonetheless to not disturb the youngster in his dormant, pre-hatching state.
Then, the Training Grounds came into view

~ Nemo's POV ~

The ooh's and aah's suddenly disturbing my thoughts, I changed from keeping both my eyes on the backpack with its precious cargo, to observing the scenery below. The sight is such, that I make a big effort to mentally record the view, so that one day, I might project it into the mind of my pupil, my co-Eeveeling, in its fully glory and with all the little details intact. For the sight below is a sight to remember
The hill we're standing on is part of a seemingly infinite number occupying the land. In the valley at the feet of the hill, a valley of considerably much larger proportions than the other ones around, the Training Grounds lie.
This name's a bit misleading, for none of us could have imagined the Grounds were a place accessed indoors. Though the name 'Room' of the diverse areas might have suggested it, 'Grounds' suggested more of a resurvey of some sorts.
Yet the place before us was more impressive than any resurvey open to the public to come and train in could ever be

Placed in the center of the valley, a gigantic dome of monstrous proportions dominated the scene. At least, it might have once been a dome Now, large openings in the ceiling showed up where the respective Rooms were. The Blizzard Room was hidden under a giant igloo-resembling dome-upon-dome. The Sandstorm inside the Desert Room was kept there by a grayish white, impossible-to-see-through glass dome, while the Jungle Room was covered by a very-easy- to-see-through glass dome. The tops of the jungle trees were only just viewable (the big Dome was so colossal that even the biggest of the trees weren't taller than it). The dome of the Pond Room was incomplete, the largest part being open; I could imagine than anyone standing in its vicinity would be smelling the typical swimming-pool odor.
And then there was the Lava Room. It being located the farthest away from us, we still had no trouble recognizing it. Because for once, no dome-upon-dome covered the Room; a real-size volcano, on the other hand did. Small puffs of smoke escaping the mouth from time to time, I thought I saw flashes of red jumping out too; though it might just have been an optical illusion created by the sun (I sincerely hoped so). It appeared as if a flock of Aerodactyl had made its nest on the side of volcano, for I saw a large number of these winged rock predators fly about in the air (I thought I saw one wearing sunglasses, but I could have been wrong).
On the other side of the dome, the closest to us, I could see that the ceiling of the big Dome consisted of glass windows. It was there that the main entrance to the Training Grounds, and thus to all the Rooms, was. There we would be heading in a short while. But for now, there were still others things to feast our eyes on in this wonderful valley.

For on all sides of the Dome, people were walking, talking and gawking around, enjoying themselves as if was the festival season. And here, at least, it was: for this side-event of the Unicorn Games had been commercialized to the max: stand aside stand had been set, squished between the solid, curvaceous walls of the Training Grounds Dome, and the high, oval curved, Celtic-appearing walls standing guard around the Dome at about 10 meters. These long stone walls were interrupted by a mere 4 metal gates, as opposed to the six parts of the Dome (5 Battle Rooms, one giant Check-in). Coincidentally, the gate closed to us was also located directly in front of the main entrance to the Dome (the entrance to the Check-in), so we could march into a straight line to our final goal of 10 Training Battles.

Of course we didn't. It took Mike a considerable amount of time stopping everyone from 'exploring' this wondrous place. This 'exploring' had led to the going-almost-bankrupt of a hot dog stand by the musical trio of Verne, Bruce and Shane, the traumatizing of a baby Azurill by Tony and Liam's doing, and a total amount of 11 injured innocent passers-by (this due to the general smallness of our team, which meant that a lot of people didn't saw them, and thus tripped over them). All in all, only Hanna hadn't caused a riot; but that was only due to her inability to walk on ground, much to her annoyance. Oh, and I hadn't done a thing either - but that was because Mike had trusted me with guarding the Eevee Egg. (And one can't go hotdog-stand- trashing then, can one?)

~ Bruces POV ~

"*burp* Ooh, those hotdogs lie heavy on the stomach!"
Don't mention those thi-hings again ever!"
"Euh I should've stuck to stones!"
It was with great difficulty that Mike had got us on the move again, but the sight inside the Dome was worth all the troubles! It even let us forget our slight tummy-aches momentarily.
Since it was a beautiful day outside, the sunlight was present everywhere here too, being even intensified, it seemed, by the glass roof of the Check-In Hall.
And what a hall it was!
On the ground level, beautifully designed doors led to the various Training Rooms. A few meters on our direct left, a pure white marble door bore the images of a snow-covered landscape, with various Ice-Types showing of their fighting poses (the Delibird just waved); there was no doubt about it: there lay the Blizzard Room On our other side, a crystal blue embedded with such ocean dwellers as Wailord and Whiscash, along with their natural habitats, blocked the way to the Pond Room. Further down the hall, to the left, we could see the entrance doors to, respectively, the Jungle Room (an emerald door overgrown with vegetation) and a Pokmon Center annex Flower Shop; in front of this last establishment, beautiful garden plants were eagerly practicing their photosynthesis. To our right, we could see the entrance to a Pokmon Mart / Herb Shop (the stands brimming with Pokmon merchandise inside gave it away), and the door leading to the Desert Room. (It was a plain, clay door with an Egyptian look to it. Not many inscriptions nor images were on it. Our view on the Lava Room entrance was a blocked by a giant statue, somewhat resembling an Orange League trophy (only this was made of actually colored materials instead of 'plain', massive gold), which stood in the center of the Hall. Around the statue was the Check-In counter (it was shaped as a Pok-Ball, in such a way that the statue made for the button in the center). A couple of Joyful persons (not wearing the usual nurse clothes, but clothes resembling them still) stood ready to take care of all queries.
The rest of the Hall was occupied by a diverse and large group of Trainers and Pokmon. They lay, sat or were walking on, beside or in between all the benches placed throughout the Hall for their convenience. The diversity was mind-boggling, not only of the Trainers and Pokmon in general, but of the Trainers with their respective Pokmon as well. Never before had I seen a Hiker petting a Skitty, an Athlete giving a pep talk to a Slaking, or a Lady happily hugging her Grimer. But, then again This, is Ulthuan!

Just as we thought we'd observed the activity in the Hall enough, and were halfway across the Hall, heading for the central counter, Skyler noticed something behind and above us, his fluttering high above ground level allowing him to see more than we could.
"What are all those people doing up there?!"
We turned around, and looked up, up, up This Dome was humongous! Just under the windowed ceiling, at an estimated height of - heck, I couldn't tell, it was too high! -, we noticed there was a busyness going on unlike the one we'd experienced so far. Important looking people, clearly having a job to do, were walking around on a straight, balconied platform stretching sideways until it met the curved wall of the Dome on both sides. It looked as if up there, hidden away from the eyes of all but the attentive observer, the offices were located where the Dragon Tamers kept track of all that was going on the terrain of the Training Grounds, inside as well as outside. Probably they didn't want any trainers to freeze to death in the Blizzard Room, or losing themselves in the Sandstorm in the Desert Room. Though I expected they didn't want to deny us our adventure here, to a certain extent, at least.
Big Brother is watching us" Liam remarked, with a certain content (or was it actually contemptuous?) sound to his voice.
"Nah, just the most important people in the business." Mike said uneasily. "Come on, let's show'em what we're made of." He continued to the counter, pulling the mobile aquarium Hanna was in; Nemo followed close behind.
I don't think they want to see what I am made of!" Shane said, winking.
What, rubber?" Liam mocked Shane, before following Mike's example.
Humph! Hotdog!"
"Ain't he a fox, Shane?"
Can you think of an insult with 'fox', huh?"
"You've got me there!" Verne said, before rubbing his stomach one last time. "Ooh, the agony!"

~ Hannas POV ~

Specks of dirt, condensation and snow The glass of my m.a.u. (mobile aquarium unit) was becoming harder to look through every minute, as the snowstorm outside continued.
Though I didn't mind swimming in water on polar temperature, I was thankful that Mike had put a lid on the aquarium (one with holes in it to let air through mind you - I didn't want to suffocate !); this way, no annoying drops of snow or hail would be disturbing me + there was a smaller chance the water would freeze as it wasn't so openly exposed to the ice-cold air.

You probably already guessed it: I was in the Blizzard Room. At the Check-In counter, it had become apparent Pokmon and Trainers were left rather free to wonder through the (surprisingly large) Training Rooms. Challenges could be made against specific opponents: Trained or Adopted Pokmon (with or without their trainer being around), Pokmon brought in by the Dragon Tamers to serve as opponents for those that didn't want to go exploring so much, And then there was always the chance of running into a Wild Pokmon that had found its way into one of the Rooms. Though the surveillance cameras helped in keeping things from getting too out-of-control, the chance remained that a cam was destroyed, or that someone was lured into a place security wasn't supervising (a cave that had been overlooked, a forgotten open place in the forest). Yes, though the Dragon Tamers were organizing the event, it seemed that even they couldn't predict what was waiting inside the Battle Rooms. In a way, that could've been expected: the Lava Room was sure to be an instable Room, the Blizzard and Desert Room couldn't provide much sight on the surroundings (what with the respective snow- and sandstorm going on in there), and you couldn't put a camera on every tree in the Jungle Room It seemed the Pond Room was the only Room you could feel honestly secured in, though even there, there could be lurking unknown dangers, hidden underwater

Not letting the unknown frighten us, the team had split up in various groups. The other Water Types (meaning Rays, Arthus, Dylan and Gordon) had gone to the Pool Room; Tony and 'Cada headed for the Desert Room, and Nemo had chosen the Jungle Room to wait for the Egg's hatching. I saw Skyler follow Nemo into the Jungle Room after he'd been in there for a few minutes, with Nora following Skyler on her turn, and Liam sneaking in soon after them - he'd claimed he was going to be in the Lava Room. Mike saw it too and couldn't help but grin - this new baby was getting quite a fan club following him!
With the biggest lot gone, only me, Mike, and the Three End-E's (I believed that's one of the nicknames they had been given) were left. I'd asked Mike to help me train at the Blizzard Room, and the trio, having heard that, wanted to join us. However, Mike convinced Verne of giving up the idea of entering a room with temperature below the freezing point - he'd surely killed himself if he'd done it. This resulted in Shane's canceling out as well (he didn't want to leave his biggest buddy, closest friend and lifelong pal alone), and it would have resulted in Bruce not coming with us too, had it not been he didn't think any of the other rooms would please him. In the Blizzard Room, he had the chance of finding an Ice Type to beat up - he hadn't done that before, and he could bump into Rock Types anywhere (according to him, at least). So it was yet another duo that entered the Desert Room (how Shane would withstand the Sandstorm, I don't know), while Mike, Bruce and me entered the Blizzard Room.

Before entering the actual room, we entered a sort of lobby, I suppose, where trainers probably waited until the Blizzard ceased a little before, or until their clothes had dried sufficiently before leaving.
At that moment, the lobby was empty. Mike changed to 'slightly warmer' clothes (meaning a pullover, a sharp, a winter jacket, gloves, a warm pair of trousers, long socks and boots), and he borrowed a spare sharp and ear warmers to Bruce. It was there too that Mike put the lid on the aquarium, as it would also help keep some water inside if it would be bending over to one side or the other.

Then we went through the door. Immediately I felt a ice cold sensation go through the water, and Mike involuntarily shouted at the sudden cold. Bruce acted strong, but I could see he too was suffering, if ever so slightly, from the harsh conditions.
"We in, battle, get out!!" Mike shouted over the sound of the raging snowstorm.
"Oay!!" Bruce shouted back. I didn't bother shouting a thing; what was there to say anyway?
The snow filled Room stretched out in front of us and to our sides. If you didn't know better, you'd think that we were somewhere in Alaska. Then the thought struck me it was very possible we were: if the Dragon Tamers had put Transportation Squares in the room we just left But the thought was too horrifying to consider any longer; instead, I tried to see the ceiling of the Room. But a steel grey covered the artificial sky; it could've just as easily been a sea of clouds as a metal ceiling, no telling which one.
So instead of trying to figure out if we were still in Caledor, I started looking for Pokmon. But the tormenting snow storm raged on, blinding me from time to time as it lashed out with sparkling white hail. In-between these eye-blinding flashes, I could see no thing moving through the pure white landscape except for Mike and Bruce. Then I noticed that not all of the flashes I saw came from the storm
"Mike! Is that a Pokmon Teleporting!" I yelled. But it was no use; my voice was lost in the bubbling water and the howling winds. Mike was covering his ears in his jacket, to keep them from freezing off. And Bruce had those ear-warmers on There was no way I could alert them of what I saw, except for

"WoOow!" Mike yelped, as the cord attached to my aquarium was yanked out of his gloves. I continued to move violently forward in the water, until I was right in-between Mike and Bruce, and the abnormal flashing that kept occurring behind the shield of hail the storm had erected. Then I turned to face Mike, who was moving his eyebrows in a inquisitive way. I voicelessly said "Po-k-mon! Up a-head!" and signaled for them to look beyond. They did, and froze in their place. I turned to look behind me, and stopped dead in my tracks as well.
The storm hadn't ceased, but in front of us, there a small clearing in the blistering snowy winds. There, on the white, snow-covered ground, surrounded by the white, spinning winds, a tiny white character was Flashing and Teleporting about. It never was that long in one place that we could identify it, but it was small - not even one foot tall. Tiny, white and able to survive in this Room - that were our clues. Together with the Teleporting, I came to the conclusion it must've been a Psychic Pokmon. Tiny, white, Psychic
"A Ralts!" Mike shouted. And as if its name was a magic spell, the creature stopped. Now we could see it really was a Ralts - the green and red cap it wore was almost completely covered in snow, making it blend in almost perfectly with its surroundings. Yet, something was wrong with this little bugger. Ralts are normally shy and quick to flee - this one didn't leave, instead it almost seemed to be waiting for us to leave. Its eyes invisible, the defiant smirk it wore was our only clue it was aware we were looking at it.
After a minute or so of silently observing each other, Bruce sneezed loudly. "Atchoo! *snort* If I stay out here much longer I'll catch a pneumonia. Okay 'big' guy, wanna hustle?"
"Come on! I'm freezing here! D'you wanna battle or don't you?"
Its grin widening, a freaky laughter escaping its mouth began to defeat the noise of the howls of the storm, growing, growing louder
"Ooo-kay then, I suppose you do?"
Still not saying a word, the Ralts vanished into thin air.

Bruce (Machop) (lvl.7) (m)
??? (Ralts) (lvl.8) (?)

"What the?" Flash! The Ralts appeared in front of Bruce, in an eye-blinding, accuracy-lowering shower of light.
"Gah!" Bruce covered his ears to have them recover from the flash. In the mean time, the Ralts had retreated back into the invisible. His ear-piercing laughter still ringed in our ears.
"Focus, Bruce! Don't have him scare you like that again!"
"Right." Bruce said, tensing his muscles. "If only I could Foresee his moves"
I caught sight of a moving shadow in the storm. "Bruce! Incoming attack, at 2 o'clock!"
"Huh? Gah!" Bruce ducked, just in time to not get hit by the weirdest attack I had ever seen. Bruce had almost been taken down by an exact duplicate of the Ralts - exact except for the fact it was a mere shadow, less substantial than the snow in the air. What ever the attack had been, Bruce had avoided it; but in doing so, he had landed right into a big pile of snow. And again the Ralts laughed
"Atchoo! Ooh" Bruce wasn't looking too well. His face was pale, and his nose dripping with snot. "If only - *snort* - I could get warmer A-Ah!-HATCHOO!!!" An enormous sneeze escaped Bruce's mouth, and in the process, it seemed to catch fire! In the direction Bruce had been looking at, all the snow had melted away, along a distance of two, three meters. The evaporated water hung above the ground for a moment, before it was swiped away in the storm.
"G-huh?" His eyes half-closed, Bruce was staring in disbelieve at the patch of bare ground he had just uncovered, and which was starting to be covered again in snow. "How did I ?"
"Flamethrower, remember?" Mike shouted over the storm. "I gave you the TM last Christmas!"
"Oh yeah! Hey, and you were right: no raw throat!" Bruce suddenly felt A-OK again. "Alright, Pennywise, lets see you hiding from this!" Bruce started engulfing the icy winds in front of him in Fire, eagerly using this new ability of his to warm the air around him. In the process, the snow flakes carried by the storm evaporated as they were hit by the not-so-gentle touch of a Flamethrower. A haze of hissing steam soon formed, daring the subzero winds to destroy it. Bruce's attempts weren't futile: an ever so small piece of the air of the Room was being warmed up. As if it had been waiting for him, from behind the curtain of steam the Ralts became visible. It didn't move, it didn't laugh; it was waiting for Bruce
"Ready or not, here I come!" Bruce dashed for the Ralts, but when he was still a meter away, he started sliding? Oh, a Low Kick!
But the Ralts had been ready; during the last second before impact, it jumped into the air, its muscles tensing. A strange-colored glow was coming from its middle, and when Bruce was directly below it, it released the power hidden deep within itself. Bruce was hit in the stomach by a Power that stopped his slide, and which made him gasp for air. As he was recovering, the Ralts landed back onto the ground, softly snickering. Bruce was secretly watching it from the corner of his eye, and when the Ralts stopped paying attention to him and started its evil laugh once more, Bruce leapt up, and ran at it at full speed. This time, he didn't start sliding; he started rolling! When the Ralts noticed something was up and stopped laughing, it was already to late. It was hit in the face at point-blank range by a precisely aimed Rolling Kick, which knocked it on its back.
As it was crawling back on its feet, Bruce ran it again, keeping his eyes focused on the place where the Ralts' eyes must've been. Seemingly answering the Leer, the Ralts wasn't paying attention to Bruce's feet; when he started his Low Kick, it had no time to avoid it a second time. It was knocked on its feet and landed in the same pile o' snow Bruce had landed in earlier.
"Ha! What goes around, comes around, freak!" The Ralts didn't answer; instead, it started to glow. Bruce, in turn, also was glowing, and he didn't seem to like it.
"Bruce, watch out! That looks like"
"Confusion, I know!" Bruce struggled to keep his head together, focusing, focusing Careful not to cough, hiccup or sneeze, Bruce took a really deep breath. Seeing that we were on a straight line with him and the Ralts, Mike pulled me out of the danger area. And it was a good thing he did, for seconds later, Bruce blew out, spit out a very decent sized Flamethrower, to say the least. It not only engulfed the Ralts, but also all the snow in a range of a meter or so. What was left was a (now half-)frozen patch of earth that had been scarred by the heat of the attack, and one (still slightly sizzling) fainted Ralts.

Bruce (Machop) grew to level 8!
He caught a cold!

25th June 2004, 08:54 PM
Sorry to tell you this Gabi, but I'll be gone for a while from TPM. I won't have much access to a computer with internet connection until August 9. As a result, I would like an extension on the current scenario, if you have no objection. Thanks, and see you when I get back!

Lady Vulpix
29th June 2004, 10:09 AM
Don't worry, J, you can have the extension.
Linc gets 4 stamps for his battles.

Kyle, I've read yours, but I'll have to ask you a few things before I rate it: how did your pokemon use Sand-Attack at level 7, when they learn it at level 8? And how did Eli gain a level when he fainted before his opponent did?

Amy said she'd rate the other stories. Sorry for the delay.

29th June 2004, 10:32 AM
I'm having a hard time putting thoughts into words today ^^;

Hannah: Don't worry, its just a suggestion. I did one rbg when the rocket scenario was up where Kovu fought a sableeye inside the rocket base. Fizz certainly doesn't lack in self confidence about her flying skills does she? ^^ I enjoyed reading your story. Take 10 stamps.

Mike: You can get the extension. I also enjoyed reading your story. Was that Dodger that Nemo spotted? Take 11 stamps.

Crystalmaster Mike
29th June 2004, 01:57 PM
Was that Dodger that Nemo spotted?
Could be. How many other Aerodactyl wear sunglasses? ;) Though it could've been an optical illusion, who knows?

29th June 2004, 08:20 PM
Gabi, they used Sand Attack because Kris told me they both had it as their moves when she gave them to me. They were son and daughter of Matt's Espeon and Umbreon, so that's probably why. And Eli gained a level because I'm dumb.

Lady Vulpix
30th June 2004, 06:38 PM
Pokemon don't get moves through breeding that they can learn by level. I'll have to talk to Kris and ask her how they got those moves. Anyway, congratulations on their evolutions!

1st July 2004, 03:21 AM
Pokemon don't get moves through breeding that they can learn by level.
Gabi it's possible in the Pokemon games to gain a Level up through breeding. If the Male and Female Pokemon have a move that the Baby Pokemon learns by Level up, the Baby Pokemon will gain it through breeding. Like Shroomish doesn't learn Spore until Level 54 but if a Male and Female Shroomish/Breloom with Spore breed, the hatched Shroomish will have Spore. Just thought I would point that out to you if you didn't know that already. ;)

Lady Vulpix
1st July 2004, 07:02 AM
I don't know how it works in RS. In GSC it doesn't work that way, nor does it here.

Aside from this, I'd like to see the source of your information, since you've posted some really weird things about how RS works so far.

1st July 2004, 07:45 AM
Aside from this, I'd like to see the source of your information, since you've posted some really weird things about how RS works so far.
I just hatched a Level 5 Torchic on my Pokemon Sapphire with Scratch, Growl, Ember. How does it have Ember at Level 5 when it learns it at Level 11? Well, I bred a Female Blaziken (Ember) with a Male Houndoom (Ember) and the Level up move was passed on because both parents had it. My source of information is my brain and my game in more cases when I answer questions. If you didn't know I've played my Pokemon Sapphire for 240 Hours and that didn't come from just going from start to finish. What weird things are you thinking about anyway in Pokemon RS? A lot of things have changed since Pokemon GSC went to Pokemon RS and most of them have been for the better.

Lady Vulpix
1st July 2004, 11:48 AM
I was referring to the replies at the Synchronize topic.

Eli and Akaisha were both born knowing Tackle, Tail Whip, Helping Hand and Double Team. I've just confirmed it by checking the PMBC (pages 17 and 18, by the middle of April). Kris has never had either of them battle at the Battle Range, and she's not online, so I don't know how they learnt Sand-Attack, but everything seems to hint that they never did.

1st July 2004, 10:10 PM
Oh well, they're both level 8 now, so it really doesn't matter anymore does it?

And Gabi, if both parents know a move that the offspring's lowest form can learn, it does get the move. I don't know about R/S, but at least in GSC it does work that way. Breeding that way is pretty much how I managed to defeat the Level 5 tournament in Stadium 2 back in the day.


Taken from the Pokemon Breeding FAQ (http://db.gamefaqs.com/portable/gbcolor/file/pokemon_gsc_breeding.txt) at GameFAQS.

2. Next, if both of the parents know a move the baby will learn naturally by leveling up, the baby will have that attack. This can be done with multiple attacks.

Lord of Ravens, King of Rain
1st July 2004, 11:51 PM
I don't know how it works in RS. In GSC it doesn't work that way, nor does it here.

Aside from this, I'd like to see the source of your information, since you've posted some really weird things about how RS works so far.

Milady, in Crystal I had a Fushigidane with Solar beam from both its parents. And in Ruby I just got a Habuneeku with Crunch. It has to be a move they learn by level up, both parents must have it, and its still a bit rare...but it does happen.

Lady Vulpix
2nd July 2004, 10:49 AM
It does matter, Kyle, because they only reached level 8 by using a move they shouldn't have known.

Maybe the info I had from the games was inaccurate (thanks for the details, everyone), but here on TPM pokemon get the moves they would know up to their level plus one bred-on move. In Eli's and Akaisha's case, their bred-on move was Double-Team. It's not supposed to work the way it does in the games, just like it differs from the games when pokemon have movesets that include 20 or more moves.

Lord of Ravens, King of Rain
2nd July 2004, 01:49 PM
Lv7 Yukiwarashi (Female) named: Tri
Trait: Inner Focus ~ cannot be confused
Moves: Leer, Double Team, Powder Snow, Mimic.


The girl sighed, pushing back a long strand of silver-blue hair that had blown in front of her dazzling green eyes. She stared into the depth of the jungle in front of her, so dark and dank. The only sound made was the soft hiss of the deep wind, and the occasional drip of water from a leaf to the far below forest floor.

Master always told me, that the final challenge would take place some place fantastic. But here? Her voice is swallowed into the jungle foliage, a whisper so fluent and musical that it seems like a spell itself. Tugging on the sleeve of her black tunic, she takes a step forward, her senses open for the slightest living organism.

Beside her, stumbling and hopping along, was a Yukiwarashi. A small Mon kept in perma-frost, it was a creature borne from the gods of ice. This particular one however was the young witchs familiar. . Its soft blue eyes glittered as it tried to keep up with its mistress, leaving behind a small trail of chilled water as the warm summer light slid across it. It gave a soft grunt as it tripped over a root, falling on its top and digging a bit into the ground.

Unable to help herself, the girl smiled, her pale features glowing warmly with love and kindness for her familiar. Reaching down she picked it up, shivering a bit, as its icy body touched against her. The only problem with having a female ice Mon for a familiar was that they where always so cold. Running a hand down its side gently, she cooed to it, her voice still retaining that soft musical undertone.

Hey girl, let me carry you for a little while, I dont think Ill need to cast any spells around here, so we should be safe. The girl kept her voice calm, but her eyes darted around. She was on her way to the temple of Paths, the meeting place for all sorts of Majikal creatures. If she passed the tests today, she would be a full-blown witch. If she failed, she would lose her best friend and familiar, and be sent back to her family in disgrace, with her memories erased and her skills drained from her.

Shivering at the thought, she began to walk a little faster, the sense of uneasiness never completely leaving her. At sixteen, she had a lot to learn about majik, but she did know that the jungle around the temple was home too many strange creatures, both natural and metaphysical.

They wandered along, in relative silence, the young witch just listening to the sound of the wild, letting the jungles aura of raw power soak into her, filling her with a bit of courage, and a bit more fear. She could hear something moving in the far distance, and her brain was instinctively aware that somewhere close by, a Scizor was cutting down wood. She also could touch against the brain and felt the cold feel of a reptile, slithering though the grass somewhere near.

The day wore on, light fading into a soft green haze as the jungle became denser and denser, the plants seeming to wrap around and push against her. Her hair, kept in its long elegant braid, was soon tangled by branches that seemed to grab and pick at her, trying to rip her hair off of her skull.

Goddess preserve us Tri, if the temple isnt around here somewhere, we should just go back and run off. This is way to much trouble. Her voice was getting rougher as fear and weariness edged into her voice. Her brain was running out of energy, and she was worried that maybe she had no reason to be here.

She wandered a little bit further, when suddenly Tri gave off a yell turning colder in her hands then she could possibly stand. The young witch was forced to drop her friend as it began to shimmer and glow blue, the wind around it blowing with pieces of snow as it stared into the jungle ahead.

The leaves of the plants began to wither. Even the slightest powder snow was too much for these tropical plants, and so they withered and melted, leaving before her a path leading to an impressive looking temple. It was then, that the girl noticed that she had been wandering in circles. There was no massive jungle, just this garden before her. She had all this time been inside a garden just outside the gates to the temple.

She cursed, kicking the dirt in front of her. Somewhere far off she heard the soft chuckle of her master. She had been bewitched into thinking a whole jungle existed. So vexed she was, that she didnt pay any attention to the massive structure looming in front of her.

The building was huge. Stone buttresses held strange gargoyles on them, Doorways where everywhere and the whole building seemed to twist and turn, occupying more then the average three dimensions. At the very front by the main entrance, a large statue made out of several different colored materials stood.

It was a young man, or at least, the face facing you was. To the left it was a child of such youth and innocence. To the right it was a man, hardened and cool. Behind though she could not see it, stood the face of an ancient elder, his face weary of the world, facing away from it.

Finally, the girl looked up, staring at it she blinkedand uttered a phrase which was totally appropriate seeing the circumstances.

Oh Pathfinder, preserve Me. she had never seen anything like this before, and was sure she would never see anything like this again. It was awe-inspiring, the whole temple seemed to glow with unearthly light, and even an acolyte like her could feel the overwhelming aura of majik that it exuded.

However, her awe was slowly forgotten as she remembered how she found the place. Looking down she saw her Familiar, glowing blue still, blasting snow out in cold breaths as it stared a little ways further into the garden, the snow falling gently around a peculiar looking plant, with a strange blue fruit next to it.

Whats wrong? She asked, blinking as her Mon hopped forward, making low growling noise. She sighed, reaching forward to pick her up when she suddenly saw why Tri had been doing such.

The fruit had dropped off the tree, and was staring at them. Its long spindly legs outstretched a holding up its bulbous body. It stared and blinked at them then blew a bubble out of its mouth shyly. The girl giggled as she watched the creature, scuttling side to side to avoid the cold chills of Powder Snow.

Its just an Ametama silly girl. Nothing that can really harm usthe poor thing is probably more scared of you then you are of it. She gave another soft giggle, and began to walk forward; completely oblivious to the fact that the small bug creature was now following her.

Its legs scuttled though the grass, eyes never leaving her as it crab-walked along side her. It was waiting, hoping for the time when the blasted familiar would stop looking at it and trying to freeze it, and allow it to attack. It saw its chance coming up soon.

The Witch stepped onto the walkway, seeing the statue she bowed to it, her voice changing into a tone of great respect, a voice filled with power and prayer. It echoed softly though there was no place for it to echo, and it seemed to fill the whole world as she spoke.

Hail Pathfinder, god of fate, the eternal. He who rules death, grants birth and is life. Protect me and grant me entrance into your most holy of temples. I, acolyte Mia, student of Master Liam of the art of shadow beg of thee thy grace. So I chant, so mote it be.

As she finished, the air calmed, she smiled, standing upand was granted with a swack across the back of her knees. Toppling to the ground she gasped out in surprise, her long hair cascading like a silver and blue rain, spreading like water across the pathway and curling around the statue. Her green eyes flashed with anger and pain as she stared, seeing the bug from earlier scuttling quickly towards her again, preparing another attack.

Stop! Mia yelled out, extending her handbright blue light crackled from her finger tips, and the Ametama did so, staring at her as the blue light fluxed and shaped, swirling between the two of them like a wall of pure will. She stood up, dusting off her silver tunic as she stared at the creature, which now seemed to glow with mana.

A guardianshould have known. Maybe Im not cut out to be a witch. She looked down to where her familiar was giving her a cold I-told-you-so look at her. Its cold blue eyes didnt even blink as she sighed. Turning to face the creature, she noticed her spell was already wearing off. Thinking quickly she turned to Tri.

Looks like its either run or youll have to fight it. Which one? She looked worriedly at her Mon, who simply kept staring then gave a slight shake of its triangular head.

Yu..YuukiWara Wara Yu! Its voice was the cold hardness of pure courage. It looked at her one more time, and then stood right next to the flickering barrier of majik. Bug looked at Ice-cube, and the power began to grow. A crackling aura seemed to flow and echo from both of them, and Mia could only sigh in wonder.

Battle it is I guess.We better get this over with fast. She winced at the thought of fighting. She really hated it, and she had come here hoping that there would be no challenges that would involve physical harm. But what must be done mustshe guessed.

Tri the Yukiwarashi (F. LV7 with Inner Focus) vs. Ke the Ametama (M. LV7 w/ Rain Disc)
Tri: Leer, Double Team, Powder Snow, Mimic
Ke: Bubble, Quick Attack, Psy Beam

The two Mon stared at each other, the blue energy that had shielded them from each other fading quickly and softly as the Witch Acolyte let it go. Tri, her icy body slightly melted from all the heat, began to leer at the small Bug Guardian, who simply clicked in return, taunting it to do more.

Mia bit her lip. She remembered what her master had told her, that there where four rooms within the temple that where filled with guardians and spells. He never had mentioned a gate guardian on the outside, or a massive illusion spell. She wondered lightly why she hadnt expected this in the first placeFor what kind of god would just leave his temple unguarded for anyone to just wander into.

Her reverie was broken however, by the scuttling of feet. She watched the Ametama come rushing forward, almost faster then she could see. Throwing caution into the wind she yelled out to Tri.

Tri! Dodge it! Double Team and gain yourself some time! She watched as her partner couldnt move fast enough. The bug leapt forward, smashing into Tri Hard, spinning around the snow hat Mon. But it worked out to its advantage. For as it spun it created copiesperfect clones that spun off from it, circling around Ke like crazed tornadoes.

For a second Mia breathed, her skin breaking out into a pale sheen of sweat. She bit her lip and stared at Ke. The small bug seemed no stronger then her Yukiwarashi, but it had speed on its side. It was scuttling back and forth, watching the still slowly twirling yellow cones, waiting for one to show that it was the real deal.

Apparently though, waiting was not its strong suit. It spun, making a sound like a hiss of steam, and closed its glittering black eyes to the world around it. Instantly, there was a bright flashing light, starting out wide and quickly pinpointing, becoming a laser of psychic energyStarting out white and quickly becoming tinted with purple, until the laser was the dark shade of violet that came just before the sun went down.

The beam of mental energy struck one of the Yukiwarashi, evaporating with an audible pop, it turned out to be no more then a harmless clone. Angered, the Ametama spun, its eyes still closed as it shot the same beam at another one of the several remaining cones, dissipating this one in the same manner as the first.

I think our gracious opponent needs to cool down. You know what to do Tri. Mia smirked, her eyes now glittering with amusement. She felt the power of the battle float though her, a heady invisible drug that caused her mind to race and her heart to pound. She had lost her braid somewhere, so her hair was a wild layer of smooth silkiness across her back wrapping and weaving its way down her body to the back of her legs.

Her hair moved, as did her silver tunic made of the smoothest cotton. A cold wind had picked up, not harsh and unsettling, but the soft cast of a winter holiday. Small plants rustled and shivered from the chill as bits of snow flung out, appearing to come from the Mon directly behind Ke.

Ke tried to turn and dodge the attack, but was too slow. The soft snow pushed against him, causing his legs to shiver and his body to feel weak. He didnt like the snow, and especially didnt like majik snow. Looking he saw that the attack had proven fruitful though. It had shown him which one was the real enemy.

With a chortle of bubbly pride, Ke let loose his stream of bubbles, free floating things that seemed to float all over the place, swirling pieces of water filled with chilling liquid. They began to float towards the Ice Mon and his chilling wind, but most never made it. Chilled by the cold wind, they floated towards the ground, popping harmlessly on the stone pathway, or they floated back towards Ke, hitting him lightly and causing his body to shiver as more and more cold splashed on him.

Mia knew the battle wasnt over yet, but she felt confident. She had at least stopped it from doing anything to aggressive, as long as it didnt try to Psybeam her right now. She didnt think that Tri could handle such a blast, but time was running outShe needed to end this battle before the Ametama could strike again, and she knew that Tri couldnt power snow forever.

The young witchling muttered underneath her breath, her eyes-only half on the battlefield, trying to think of something she could do to help. No spell would work on the guardian, and to do so would get her memories erased anyway.

Suddenly, she had an idea, grinning to herself she looked up, letting her young melodic voice carry above the soft popping and rustling of the battle. Trying to augment her voice so only Tri could hear her, or at least understand.

Leer and taunt it into striking with Psybeam, then mimic the attack after you dodge it, s you can send it skittering She smiled at the idea. If she planned it right, her pokemon would dodge while the other creature would be hit with its own attack, hopefully stunning it enough that she could get past it and into the temple.

Tri bobbed her body, Letting her eyes widen and glow bright blue, she stared at the still shivering Ke, who blinked at her and began to chitter in his own special way. Looking up and down at the Yukiwarashi, he decided that enough was enough. He began to scuttle forward, quick as could be, leaping into the air before there was any possible way for his opponent to dodge.

Mia cursed, she had been hoping for a Psybeam, now she didnt know what to do. She winced in empathy as Tri took the blow well, but was obviously weakened as she staggered and blinked. Her icy shell slick with perspiration.

She would soon get her wish, for as soon as the scuttling bug turned around, it blinkedsmirking to itself with great satisfaction at the way it was ruling this fight. Closing its eyes it prepared for the grand finale, the psychic power soon oozing into the field.

Sensing the beam coming Mia bit her lip and nodded barely to Tri. the signal to dodge was set, and both waited as the beam of intense psychic thought pulsed towards them. Tri moved slightly with as much speed as she could, just barely dodging the beam of energy. Her eyes studied it and her mind analyzed it. She saw exactly how you had to concentrate, where and when to create the beam of pure psychic energy.

Turning to face her opponent, She closed her eyes, letting the blue light within her cool and clam, mixing with the red of anger until a harsh bright lavender color appeared into her mind. The pastel like dot began to grow and sizzle

Mia watched, at first it seemed nothing was going to happen. Ke was preparing another quick attack, stretching his legs as Tri just sat there with her eyes closed. Then suddenly the bright light appeared, and Mia felt the power grow and rise. All Witches share a empathic bond with their Familiars and now Mia felt that strong psychic bolt grow within her, sharp and focused as any laser.

The bolt of energy, much brighter and more glittery then Kes blasted from the forehead of Tri. It shimmered across the air, arching slightly as it flung itself straight at the defenseless Ametama. The attack hit it full on, the energy spiraling out into rainbow strands of power as they fled into Kes mind, giving him a massive headache.

Both Mia and Tri watched Ke staggered back, dizzied by the force of the attack. Its legs gave out from under it, and it could barely pull itself back up. Apparently the guardian had not been prepared for a mental attack, and its defenses had been low.

But it was not out yet, for even as it staggered it shaped its mouth into a perfect circle, small pieces of spittle creating floating bubbles that floated towards Tri and her master. This time, Tri was not quick enough with the powder snow. Even as the cold wind picked up, the bubbles bashed into her, causing her not to much damage, but definitely to close her eyes, unable to get closer to him.

Ke, seeing its chance, kept up the bubbles, free-floating things that now hit Mia also, causing her to yelp from the sharp stinging sensation as each one popped against her. The witch closed her eyes, and began to concentrate. She wasnt good at empathic sight, but even now she could make out the image of Ametama.

Cold wind to your right Tri! She cried out, pointing blindly at where her mind told her the bubbles where coming. She felt another cold wet circle snap sharply on her fingertip, causing the skin to split, and bit her lip to stop from crying.

She felt, rather then saw of course the cold wind pick up one last timeThe shivering icy cold seeming deep and dark now, even stronger then before. Her hair wrapped around her, closing her off from the bubbles, and she opened her eyes softly, watching with wonder.

The powder snow was still just snow. No blizzard or shards of ice joined it. But it was snow that frosted bubbles, and caused the pathway to become as wet and slick as possible. The heat caused most of the snow to melt upon touching something, but that simply meant that chilled water lay in huge puddles everywhere. Soaked into the ground, dripping down rare and sensitive plants, and chilling the Ametama to the bone.

Wanting to finish this battle quickly, Tri closed her eyesAnd concentrated. She still had the imagery of that Psybeam ingrained in her memory. It floated up to her, and she concentrated all her annoyance and pain into that solid beam of lavender glitter.

Ke saw it coming, but knew it was to late, still chilled he barely scuttled out of the way as the bright white light hit him, followed closely by the beam of psychic and rainbow energy. He shuddered, oncetwicea third. And fell to the ground.

Seeing this, Mia rushed forward, going to hold the small bughoping it was still alive. She smiled slightly when the creature squirmed in her hands, glowing faintly green, it looked up to her and she felt its presence enter her mind.

<Hello my friendI am KeGuardian of the Garden Jungle> Its voice was rich and deep, filled with all the life in the jungle. It roared and scuttled, pitched and echoed. Mia bowed her head, and knelt still holding the guardian.

<You have passed the first testand for that, I grant you the key to the temple> With that, the creature smiled softly, and shimmered, teleporting from her hands, leaving behind a simple key of copper, with no strange designs. Just an ordinary key.

Mia looked up and around, staring and trying to find where the Bug had gone, but saw nothingexcept the jungle illusion, slowly creating itself again, and a soft floating bubble above her head. She smiled, standing up and going over to Tri.

Good job girlhere, let me heal you. Pulling a potion out of her bag, she slowly fed it to her familiar, who cuddled up against her, blinking in weariness and joy. It had made its master happy, and they had proven themselves worthy of entrance to the temple.

-Battle Completed!
Ke the Ametama lost gain 0 levels, Loses Key of the Temple
Tri the Yukiwarashi won! gain 1 level = LV8
Mia the Witch Acolyte- gain Key of the Temple.

Okay, my first new battle, and I made it in third person...I think I will revert to first POV from nwo on, because I don't like how I have kinks in the writing that cause things to move to fast...oh well. *shrugs*

Lady Vulpix
6th July 2004, 10:56 AM
I wish I didn't have to go immidiately, so I'd have more time to write my comments. Welcome back, Patrick! You've pulled off yet another storyline change, I hope you continue this one. It looks interesting. Though the punishment for failing the test sounds too awful! O_O You didn't quite follow the scenario, but you did battle the right pokemon and the story was very good, so it's valid. It's not as if it were the first time this has happened. The idea of Tri being Mia's familiar was quite original. I liked it. And the descriptions were great! Though it would have been a lot better (and easier to read) if you hadn't replaced all the appearances of the word 'than' for 'then'. Could you be more careful with that next time, please? Take 9 stamps!

9th July 2004, 09:54 AM
Could I please have an extension to the scenario? My computer won't allow me to post files longer than a couple of paragaphs. Until that's fixed...

Btw, I'm attempting to attach a long file. It's a bunch of gibberish, and if it works, Gabi, I'm pretty sure you can delete it if I can't.

[EDIT]: Darnit, it won't upload anything either.

Lady Vulpix
9th July 2004, 10:40 AM
Ouch. Sorry to hear that. Of course you can have the extension, Karin. And I hope your problem gets fixed soon, whatever it is.

Crystalmaster Mike
10th July 2004, 06:16 AM
~ Hannas POV ~

"Gah-, Ah-, ATCHOO!!! *sniff*" Bruce's nose was dripping, and his eyes were filling up with water. He had it bad.
"Uh Bruce, maybe you'd better get into your PokBall"
"No Mige, I'b bine!" He didn't look to be fine at all; here he was using his sharp for a handkerchief, and with the blizzard still whirling around us. "Juzd a liddle bid Ah-Ah-ATCHOO!!"
"I can see that."
"*sniff* Gow'z dad Raldz?"
"Huh? The Ralts!" Where it had been lying just a moment ago, a pile of snow now was growing fast. "It might freeze to death if it stays under there!"
"Zervez id righd, *sniff*; whad a vreag!"
"I know, but even freaks deserve to live sort of." Mike rushed over to the pile o' snow, got down on all fours, and brushed away the snow with his gloved hands, only to find nothing underneath!
"Huh? Where did it"
But then, we heard a familiar sound behind the howls of the winds; maniacal laughter, that slowly but surely died out, until nothing of the crazy Ralts was left with us, except for the memory of it we'd keep in our minds (plus the cold Bruce had caught).
"Az I zaid, *sniff*: whad a vreag!"
"Amen to that." Mike said as he stood up again, while brushing the snow off of the knees of his trousers. "Come on, let's move on."
We continued exploring the Blizzard Room; from time to time, we spotted a cabin in the distance, but Bruce refused to get inside one; he kept saying he wasn't going to be held of the adventure because of a simple cold.
"Bezidez, none of de odher Roomz are dhis cold, are dhey?"
"Well no, but" Mike stopped. "Hold on, what's that?"

~ Nemo's POV ~

Aaaah It had sure been a good idea of mine to enter the Jungle Room. No cold tiles beneath your feet, like in the Check-In Hall. Neither a small platform to balance on, like in the Pond Room. No subzero or past-the-boiling-point temperatures, like in the Blizzard and Lava Room, respectively. And also no raging Sandstorm, like in the Desert Room. Instead: solid ground, tropical temperature, lots 'n lots of shadow, and lots of green. Prrrrfect
I was just getting up to stretch my legs, going for a leisurely walk around the clearing we were in, when the Egg began shaking hard. Instantly, every bit of tiredness had vanished from my body. Instead, Anxious and Thrilled were battling to be my emotional status. Here it came !!!

~ Skyler's POV ~

I had just found a good branch to sit on, from where I could watch Nemo and the Egg without needing to fear about getting caught, when the Egg, that had been vibrating slightly before, began shaking like wild. Instantly, my eye-vision shrunk till all I was seeing clearly was Nemo and the Egg. Here it came, my little brother- or sister-in-mutation!!!

~ Noras POV ~

I had just found a good bush to hide under, from where I could safely watch Nemo and the Eevee Egg, whilst being able to keep an eye on Skyler. I smiled unconsciously. That little winged bugger would be flying right into the mouth of an Exploud to see what was inside. He was clever, no doubt about that, but he wasn't that smart yet. Even though Tony thought him to be able to take care of himself very well, I shadowed Skyler, because he was fun to watch, in his exploring of the world. That, and it meant a (not that much needed) change from lying in the sun all day, doing nothing but sleeping, dreaming happy dreams, thinking happy thoughts, and so , I disdainfully had to admit, hiding from the truth. I shuddered.
Luckily for me, just then, the Egg began to hatch. I watched in awe, forgetting for a moment the still haunting shadows from the past.

~ Rays POV ~

We had just No, actually, me and Arthus had been in the jungle for quite a while!
When we had just entered the Pond Room, Dylan and Gordon had started this silly discussion. Something 'bout how Gordon was really Dylan's horsey, and that Dylan was really a manipu-, a manila-, a bossy character. Or something like that Anyways, they were talking so loudly me and Arthus couldn't understand ourselves. So, we went to this jungley place. Here, there was a nice, not-too-deep stream, where we could play "Catch the Beach Ball" in all peace 'n quiet.
Bt: we grew bored.
I'm bored."
"*sigh* Me too, Arthus." To show it, I let my antennas hang low into the stream. "But there isn't nothing to do here"
And neither no-one to talk to!"
"Yeah Hey, wait a minute!!" I jolted (literally, but I'd taken my antennas out of the water just before I did) and smiled. "There is!"
Arthus was still waiting a minute, when he saw that wasn't what I'd meant. "Oh? Who?"
"Nemo! And the new Eggy!" I said happily.
"Oh yeah! Shall we go find them?"
" 'f Course! Why not?"
"I dunno" Arthus started looking for a reason why we shouldn't go find them, but couldn't find any. He shook his head. (Or his belly, I don't know; a Spheal too small to tell!) "Meh. So shall we go?"
So we got out of the stream, and went into the jungle, while I held the Beach Ball in my paws. Because the Ball was as big as me, I couldn't see where I was going, so when Arthus said "We're there!", I almost let go of it. But I didn't, and put it behind a tree, while we were looking from under a bush to the scene in front.
The Eggy was already hatching! Well, I think it was. It was moving so much now, so much even that it would have started spinning around if Nemo hadn't tucked it in in-between some leaves and branches. (Oh, Nemo had made a nest! How cute!)
Just when we had settled in under our bush and had made ourselves ready for the show, the first teensy-weensy chip of Eggshell jumped off

~ Mikes POV ~

My attention had been caught by (again) abnormal flashes behind the white streaks of the blizzard, which was still going strong. This time, though, they came from behind a filthy white rock, which lay near a pond, of which the surface was frozen. And this time, we could hear someone yelling from where the flashes were coming from.
"What are you doing now?!! No, I thought we'd agreed not to do that anymore, bro! Come on!" A muffled, inaudible reply came, and the yelling turned to screaming. "No, No-No!! What are you- ?? No, please! No-GYAAH!!"
The moment this last scream was uttered, the flashes grew more intense. And as we got closer to the rock, they turned from white to a sick light grey. The screaming died out And so, eventually, did the screaming.
We were now but a meter away from the rock, but no sounds came from behind. Again, nature seemed to pull a trick on us, as the storm in the immediate surroundings of the rock and the pond grew less intense, enabling us to hear ourselves walk through the snow And to hear someone walk from behind the rock into our view.
First, a pink paw appeared, the end white. Then, a dopey looking head peaked at us; finally, the entire Slowpoke appeared.
But something was amiss. It seemed to not be okay in a way: it was out of breath, underfed, and at a loss of words (though that was typical for its kind). Strangely, it was wearing a strange kind of circular collar, made of coral? Lines that sprung on the edge of the collar continued until they touched its neck (the part in-between two lines was either colored red or yellow). But even as first I noticed the collar, it started falling apart, some parts of it being ripped off by the wind, while others fell off by themselves. As it caught us staring at the collar, the Slowpoke became scared, looking for an escape route. Seeing no other than the pond, it jumped into it, easily braking the ice on top. The hole it thus created was quickly frozen again. All this had happened without a sound.
I stepped into the direction of the pond, when I heard a weak cry, coming from behind the rock. Deciding that the Slowpoke wouldn't be able to get away that quickly, I signaled for Bruce to follow me, while I pulled Hanna's aquarium with me. An unfamiliar, green, spiral shell awaited me on the other side. Though it looked awfully familiar Its tongue stuck out of its oval teethed mouth (which was located at the very bottom of its body, and it didn't look too good (the tongue as well as the creature). The tongue was a pale red, and its skin seemed to have a sick touch to it (it was light green with dark green spots). The look in its eyes confirmed my fears: it was dying! It spoke at us with a small voice.
"Slow- poke *cough* Find the Slowpoke." This voice To anyone not understanding the Pokmon language, it would've sound like: "Shell-der Shell-Shellder." Ultimately bizarre And then, it all clicked into place. A Slowpoke, wearing a red-yellow collar. This dying, strangely deformed Shellder. Its need for us to find the Slowpoke. Shellder only gets so dependant of a Slowpoke if they become united in evolution. And Slowpoke evolves into Slowbro, as well as Slowking I carefully took the Shellder in my hands, picked it up and slowly turned it around. And my suspicions were confirmed: a blood-red jewel, in the middle of its back. Somehow, the evolution had been turned around, had changed
I shook my head, unable to comprehend. "How?"
"Find it." After uttering these last words, the Shellder closed its eyes; it had fallen unconscious.
"What?" Hanna started, frowning. I cut her short.
"We have to find that Slowpoke." I stood up again, careful not to let go of the rather heavy Pokmon, while covering it from the wind. Bruce offered to take it from me, but I didn't react. "Or else"
"Let me in." Hanna said decidedly.
She nudged the side of her aquarium closest to the rock and the pond lying behind it.
"I'll go get that 'Poke for you."
I nodded. Time was a-wasting, so there was no time for words. I pushed the Shellder into Bruce's arms, startling him, and pulled the lid off the aquarium. Hanna jumped out, I grabbed her, and started running around the rock. When the Pond came into view again, I stretched my arms, and Hanna jumped out of my hands. As easily as the Slowpoke had, she jumped through the ice covering.

~ Hannas POV ~

Okay This is cold. I won't say I can't cope with swimming in icy water, but this It felt to be coming straight from under the South Pole (and I mean that literally, this water was cold!). Though it probably was that I was swimming very close to the cooling machine that was producing this polar water. However, that fact didn't do anything to lessen the cold.
Now that I've settled that the water I was swimming was anything but warm It was remarkably clear and calm as well. Though a storm was raging above, the ice on the pond didn't let anything through except light. The light beams were less brighter where the ice was thicker, but that didn't stop the whole pond from being lit. To my left, I saw the solid blue (well, that's how it seemed under water) of the massive rock structure of the earth touching the water. The pond had the form of a bowl: gently, the curve stretched out underneath, remarkably featureless. On the bottom lay an uncountable amount of rocks, pebbles and other small stones. To my right, in the distance, I could see the other end of the pond.
But I couldn't see the Slowpoke anywhere. Remembering how urgently I needed to find it, I decided to swim closer to the left side of the pond. And what a surprise I got! What had seemed to be completely solid and featureless from afar, from up-close turned out to be full of tiny caves (some caved-in), in which a fat, pink Poke could've easily been hiding. Noticing the amount of caves I'd have to search, and knowing how slim the chance was I'd be able to pick the right one instantly, I approached the matter differently
And wouldn't you know it? I immediately got a response.
"No No." [color=#00008b]Because of the deep rumbling of his voice, and the echo, I had a bit of trouble locating him.
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN-EAN-ean-ean?!! YOUR SHELLDER IS DYING-YING-ing-ing!!!" Stupid echo
"No No." Well that was helpful Luckily, I was facing in just the right direction, otherwise I could've spend a lifetime looking for him. He wasn't hiding in one of the caves, but behind a particularly large rock on the bottom. I swam at it, and around. I snuck up on the Slowpoke, who happened to be facing the other direction.
" Boo."
Unlike what I had expected, he didn't jump, but instead turned his head in my direction. The only evidence that I had startled him was his eyes widening momentarily. "I'm not coming."
"Oh yes, you are!!"

Hanna (Carvanha) (lvl.7) (f)
Slowpoke (Slowpoke) (lvl.15) (m)

I swam at him, at full speed He gave me the cold shoulder, and I bounced off it, doing no damage what so ever. Enraged, I tried to bash him in the head. Again, no reaction, and no effect. The battle went on like this for a while, before I calmed down and started thinking. Performing my Rage on this character wasn't working, so a change of tactic was in need. I gave him a Leer or two, but again, no reaction. Feeling my anger growing once more, I turned to my second-to-last move. Feeling my Earring boosting my attack, I Bit the Slowpoke in the tail hard. This finally got his reaction: he started wailing incoherently and waving his tail around. But I didn't let go; his tail was too tasty, and I knew too well how much he was suffering from my attack.
Finally, he was able to Stomp me in the face, so that I had to let go. In a spark of intelligence, he swiftly turned around, and Growled. I flinched, closed my eyes And when I opened them again, he was gone! I looked around, but couldn't see him. Then I heard a faint rumbling coming from underneath. I looked down, and saw the earth beneath me explode! Surrounded by a cloud of mud, dirt and dust, the Slowpoke appeared and rammed into me. I was sent flying (well, not really) through the water, and collided with the ice cover in a particularly thick spot. In-between the stars I was seeing, I saw how the Slowpoke had swum up to me, and was spinning around his centre, slowly building up speed. Wondering what he was doing, I let my guard down. Thus, I wasn't prepared for the following. His tail glowed a steel grey, and hit me like a truck. Now I was sent downwards, barely noticing how the Slowpoke was following me. He was sucking in some of the water around him, preparing for what seemed to be Water Gun. He hadn't lost his dumb nature, that's for sure. Who would use Water Gun on a Water Pokmon? Nevertheless, I knew I had to do something. This 'Poke was a fighter, and I wouldn't last much longer against him. So, I used the only move I had left.
Just as the Slowpoke opened his mouth and started his attack, he was hit in the face by an icy beam of polar temperature. As the water in the Pond was already stone-cold, my Ice Beam did little to freeze it. But the water the Slowpoke had had in his mouth (and so had warmed up with his body temperature) was frozen solid. As it hadn't fully left his mouth, the result was that the Slowpokes lower face (meaning his nose, chin, mouth and cheeks) was covered by a thick layer of ice. Because this meant his prime air supply was shut off, he had instantly lost interest in battling me. Instead, he was trying desperately to break through his ice mask. Failing to use much strength under water, he headed towards the surface, all the while building up speed. He broke through the ice at what could've been the exact same place he had entered the pond; I followed shortly after.
I jumped out of the water, yelping at the sudden contact with the raging winds, and landed on the snow. Nearby, I saw Mike kneeling beside the Slowpoke; Bruce was standing close by, still holding the evolved(?) Shellder in his arms. As Mike ripped the deadly mask off the Slowpoke's mouth, I noticed he'd fainted (from what I couldn't tell - the cold, exhaustion, or suffocation).

Hanna (Carvanha) won!
She grew to level 9!

~ Mikes POV ~

"Not now, Bruce!" I grumbled, while checking if the Slowpoke was okay, "Hand me the Shellder, will you!"
"But Mike, Hanna is out of the water!"
I turned around. "Sh*t!!" I jumped up, ran to Hanna, picked her up from the snow, ran to her aquarium, ripped the lid off, and let her jump in. Then I closed the lid (but not before whispering "Good job, girl"), and ran back to the Slowpoke, dragging the aquarium back with me.
Time was running out. Both the Shellder and the Slowpoke were unconscious, and wouldn't survive unless we reunited them. The Shellder had been able to tell us she'd bitten the Slowpoke in the head years ago, while he was wearing a King's Rock. The result had been her changing to her spiral form, and his evolving in Slowking. But it hadnt been a total successful evolution. The Slowpoke was ungrateful for the evolution (even despised her on a certain level for making him evolve), and hadn't Yawned once ever since. The Yawning was essential for the evolution to be a success, because it meant that the muscles in his upper head tensioned, making the Shellder bite harder in his skull. This led to the secretion of a certain venom by the Shellder into the Slow's head, making him smarter, and making the evolution final.
Because he hadn't Yawned, and had opposed the evolution so much, the Slowpoke had been able to detach the Shellder of his head, and undoing his evolution. But the Shellder's transformation couldn't be undone - she needed to be attached to a Slowking to live (like a Parasect's mushroom needed its host), and would die otherwise.
So that's why I was now trying to wake them both up. The Shellder soon awoke (though she was still half unconscious), but the Slowpoke gave no sign of consciousness.
"It's no use *cough* I'll die, here and now." She said this calmly, as if she'd already accepted the fact.
"No! Please!" I began speaking rapidly. "Don't give up!"
"I" She cut off her sentence when she heard a tinkling sound. "Look there.", she said, looking at something on the ground.
I looked, and cried in agony. It was her ruby! It had fallen off her back! Looking back at the Shellder, I could see that she was losing pieces of her shell, that were being ripped off by the wind.
"No-no-NO!!" I began shaking at the Slowpoke violently, slapping him in the face with my bare hands. "Wake up, for Christ's sake!!"
"Mike" Bruce started, but was cut off by a deep growl coming from the Slowpoke.
"Where?" he said, looking around. "Oh no he complained when he noticed the Shellder.
"Oh yes!!" I almost screamed, turning the Slowpoke on his belly, and sitting on his back, carefully not to squish him. "Now, here's what'll happen."
I took the Shellder from Bruce, and put her on his head gently, there where I could see open scars from where he'd pulled the Shellder off of his head. "You'll Yawn, evolve, and save this Shellder from dying."
"Or else.", Bruce added.
"No!!" the Slowpoke protested, shaking violently under me. "I won't!!"
"You will." I told him calmly. "Or"
"Or I'll forever be biting you in the tail, buster!" Hanna yelled from inside her glass box. "And that won't evolve you into a Slowbro, but it will certainly hurt!"
Faced with the consequences of denying, the Slowpoke's attitude turned around dramatically. "I'll do it!"
"Good." I said, letting go of the Shellder while tapping her on the side. "Your turn, girl!"
She didn't have me say that twice: she bit the Slowpoke in the head, and so hard that I flinched by merely looking at her do it.
"Yawawaw-OWW!!" the Slowpoke howled in pain.
"Don't Howl, Yawn!!" the Shellder yelled, ferociously biting harder.
"Okay, OKAY!!" the Slowpoke screamed frantically, gasping for air. "Geh-eh SLOOOOOO-"
The Slowpoke's Yawn was ear-deafening! It seemed to dampen the storm's thundering roar, even cause the sides of the pond to collapse, creating a small avalanche that covered it in snow. I had to press my hands against my ears, and so did Bruce. Hanna was flinching in her aquarium; the only one that wasn't affected was the Shellder. She continued to bite, even when she and the Slowpoke started to glow.
Remembering the fallen ruby, I started looking everywhere on the ground for it, jumping off the Slowpoke's back. But I needn't have done that: the Shellder had already seen it, and through a strange bond with the Slowpoke, she'd lifted it off the ground with psychic powers she shouldn't possess normally. It flew through the air and attached itself to the Shellder's back, above the Slowpoke's eyes. This seemed to cause the evolution to fully take place: Slowpoke and Shellder were engulfed in the typical white light of evolution. I could see the Slowpoke's silhouette pushing himself up from the ground, standing on his hind legs. His collar reappeared, and I could see the Shellder's shell repairing itself: broken spine repaired themselves, and broken-off pieces reattached themselves. When the evolution stopped, it was clear that it had been a full success: the eyes of the Slowking contained an intelligence they hadn't possessed before. And his voice had changed too, I noticed that while he stopped Yawning:
"-OOOOW!! Slowking."
"All right!! Awesome!" I started to dance a wild victory dance with Bruce, before the Slowking started talking.
"Thank you. I was foolish to despise evolving so much. It has given me both mental and physical power."
"No hard feelings then?"
"No. In any case, it should be you to have hard feelings for me for being so stubbornly stupid."
"What can we say?" I said smiling.
" You were a Slowpoke!", Hanna continued.
" So it was only natural of you to be stupid!", Bruce added grinning.
"Indeed." Slowking agreed. "But is there anything I can do to show my gratitude?"
"Well" Hanna started, looking at the Slowpoke's tail hungrily.
"I think showing us the way out will be enough." I hastily said. "Because I don't think getting out will be that simple if we were to try it on our own.
"Well" The Shellder on his head suddenly said something to the Slowking. To us, it sounded as a muffled moan or something, but the Slowking seemed to understand. "Hmm. You are in luck. The outer exit of the Room is near here. In fact, just behind yonder snow hill."
I looked ahead to the hill the Slowking had pointed at. Had he not given us directions, we could've been lost in here forever, because in this snow-white landscape, every snow hill resembled the next.
"Thanks a lot, Slowking! You're a big help!"
"You're welcome. Goodbye then; I'll be meditating on the pond's bottom for some time." And with that, the Slowking jumped back into the pond.
"Okay then," I said to my two Pokmon. "What do you say we go to the Pond Room, to check on Dylan and company?"
"That's okay with me!"
"Could we grab a hotdog on our way to there? That tail's made me hungry!"
I snickered. "Sure thing, Hanna. Say!" I said, turning to Bruce. "Your cold seems to be gone?"
"I guess so-oh-oooh!! Atchoo!!"
"Never mind"

Lady Vulpix
10th July 2004, 03:13 PM
<Iael's POV>

I knew we were going to the Desert Room next, and I knew I was going to battle in it. What I didn't know was who was coming with me. Sylvan and Ventura had been arguing for a while. It was strange to see Sylvan take part in an argument, but Ventura had been especially edgy over the last few months, and that was a lot to say about her. She could drive anyone mad without putting much effort into it. From what I could make out, Sylvan didn't see the point of having two battles in a row and straining her body to the limit when we were only here for some training. Ventura seemed to interpret that as a refusal to face a real challenge and told her she'd get nowhere if she always had things the easy way. Then their words turned into a loud noise. All I could tell was that Sylvan felt really offended, and at one point I heard her tell Ventura that she had nothing to prove to her. Then the noises became unclear again, both pokemon talking on top of each other until Gabi stepped between them and stared at them. She had her back against me, so I couldn't see if her stare was one of anger or concern. But it was enough for my teammates to stop in their tracks.

"I'm afraid to ask what's going on here," Gabi said. "It may cause you to start arguing again, or me to get a headache."
"Forget it," Ventura shrugged in the best way a Venomoth can.
"I was given a choice, I took it," Sylvan stated. "You may have chosen differently in my place, but you must respect me."
"What choice was this?," Gabi asked, but the girls ignored her.
"How can you demand respect if you back off from any chances of proving yourself?"
"Everyone deserves respect, Ventura. And this is not a test, it's not a trial... It's just training! Straining one's body beyond its limits isn't good for anyone."
"How would you know? You've never done it."
"You'd be surprised at the amounts of strain I've been through."
"If we were to compare each other, I think you would be shocked."
"Well, maybe that's the way you like it, but I'm not you, Ventura. Please understand that."
"It's not the way I like it. It's just the way it's had to be. Some are lucky enough to have all problems worked out for them and a guardian angel watching over. Some of us need to find the strength within ourselves. And at the end of the day, I'm not so sure which ones are more blessed."
"We've lived together for years, but somehow you don't seem to know me yet."
"That goes both ways."
"That's enough," Gabi sighed. "What's gotten into you two? Everything seemed to be fine a moment ago."
"It's still fine, Gabi, you don't need to get worked up about this. I was just givig Sylvan some friendly advice."
"Friendly advice? Since when is questioning my decisions, my values and even my own essence friendly advice?"
"What?! You're taking this too far! I only said..."
"I know what you said!"
"You don't seem to."
"Let... me... be. Let me make my own choices and handle my life the way I want to. I know you've always seen me as a weak and defenseless creature, and back when we first met I was, but I've grown up even if you can't seem to understand it."
"Then why won't you try and have 2 battles in a row?"
"Because I consider that having 2 separate battles will help me more. Because my style is different from yours and what's good for you is not necessarily good for me, and because if the time ever comes for me to prove myself to you, it won't be in a controlled environment."
"I think we all know each other enough to know no one has to prove themselves to the others," Gabi asserted.
"Is that so...?," now it was Ventura who sighed, her eyes lost in the distance. "I've always felt that life itself was some sort of test. And those who fail pay the most terrible prizes."
"It's not like that!," Sylvan seemed horrified at the thought. "Sure, we've all been through awful times, some worse than others, but there's a lot more to life than that. If you can't grasp the good things about life, and realize how lucky you are to be here, then I don't see how it's worth living."
"I guess I'm not making myself clear," Ventura said. "Facing challenges is something I enjoy. Struggling to achieve what seems impossible and then coming on top or trying harder next time. Not letting anything or anyone bring me down. That's what life is about for me."
"We live under the same roof and have totally different concepts of what life is," Sylvan finally smiled. "I guess we should just stick to what works for each of us."
"I guess so," Ventura accepted. "I take it you won't be wanting my coaching any time soon."
"I don't know. Maybe if another football or hockey game comes up. Or if something important is at stake. But I'd rather handle training battles on my own. Even if I lose some, I'll learn more than I would if I got the answers sent to me whenever things get tough."
"That definitely proves you have grown," Gabi stroked Sylvan's neck.
"I have. Earlier than you all think. You two have always been protecting me, and so has Amber. Don't think I didn't catch the 'guardian angel' reference. But it's been a while since I learned I could protect myself and others as well. And I haven't had a dark past, but I've made some tough choices and things haven't always been bright for me. So I would appreciate it if you'd stop saying I've had all my problems sorted out for me."
"We won't compete to see whose life's been harder. I know the answer, but I'm sure your problems are important for you too," Ventura said.
"I've never talked about my problems with you, so I can't see how you'd know the answer."
"I've heard you each and every time a crisis landed upon us. You don't have to talk to me personally to make it obvious."
"There are some things you don't know about me."
"And how much do you think you know about me?"
"Why is that so?," Gabi interrupted them. "Wouldn't it be better if we all shared our feelings and concerns with the others? Maybe that way no one would hurt others unintentionally."
"Then our lives would turn into a soap opera, and that's not my kind of life," Ventura rejected the offer. "As I've always said, I accept you as my trainer and thank you for giving me a place to live and any help I may need, but don't try to pull me over to your corny side of the world. I'm not made for it."
"You're always so nice..." ironized Gabi.
"I leave that job to you. I'm direct," Ventura replied.
"Is everyone going to start fighting now?," I interrupted the trio. It was getting late and that was as much as I could take of their argument.
"I seriously hope not," Gabi answered.
"We shouldn't even be having this argument," Sylvan sighed. "We all know Ventura's edgy by nature. And that trait seems to be developing even more as time goes by."
"Has it ever even occured to you that there might be a reason for my edginess?"
"Really? And what is that reason?"

There was silence for a few seconds. Not only me, Sylvan and Gabi stared at Ventura, but everyone in the team did. We all waited, wondering what she was going to say. What we finally got was hardly what any of us was hoping for.
"I have the right to have feelings too, don't I? Everyone else here does and no one makes a fuss about it. Now why don't we all go to the Desert Room and watch Sylvan and Iael battle? It's getting late."
With those words, Ventura clearly marked the end of the conversation. I sighed. I was convinced that we'd all be able to get on with her better if only she'd open up and share her feelings and her worries with us. But I also knew how hard that could be when something too painful was plaguing your heart. For Ventura's sake, I hope that wasn't the case with her.

"Not a good way to start," my more strategic side told the emotional part of me. "It will be harder to focus on the battle with so much on our minds, both for me and Sylvan. But all in all, what was it? It was just a pointless argument, nothing really happened and nothing that mattered was said. There's nothing new about Ventura getting easily irritated and trying to direct everyone's actions; it was strange to see Sylvan getting back at her, but it was bound to happen eventually. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to really worry about. Nothing the rush of the battle can't quickly wash away."
With those thoughts, I lead the way into the Desert Room. I didn't know how Sylvan's emotions would affect her battle, but I did know I was going to be at my peak as soon as I was face to face with my opponent.

I waited at the door until Gabi came to open it. When she did, a sudden gust of wind blew sand right on my face.
"Nice greeting," Gabi said, coughing. Apparently I hadn't been the only one hit by the sand.
"Didn't you arrange this whole thing?," Hero questioned her.
"I just had some people restore the rooms to what they originally looked like," Gabi answered. "I might make some changes next time, if there is a next time and I happen to be in charge of it again. Anyway, the wind's stopped blowing now, I think it was just a nasty coincidence that it would come our way right when I opened the door."
"Yeah, bad thing your psychic powers didn't predict it," Hero joked.
"You know as well as I do that I don't have the faintest idea of how my psychic abilities work. Except for the psychic signals, I think I can control them quite well even if there's not much I can do with them."
"Good, keep training and you'll soon have the psychic prowess of Caledor."
"You're aware of the fact that Caledor is a psychic pokemon, right?," Gabi reminded the Ninetales.
"Yes, but I doubt he'd take offense if he were here. He knows his psychic powers are as good outside of battles as a toaster without bread. For now, at least. Besides, I kinda miss my little buddies; I need to tease them so that I don't feel their absence so much."
"I gave you the choice of going with them," Gabi told him.
"I know, and I stick to my decision. There's a couple of battles I don't wanna miss."
"And you also want to wait until Caledor's not so hyper before you start teasing him in his presence," I added.
"Why you little... You're overstepping your bounds, Iael. Keep at it and you'll soon be one of us."
"Are you saying I could join the terrible trio?... No, it doesn't feel like me. And I can't imagine your little group changed in any way. But thanks."

Shaking the sand away from my face, I walked across the dunes of what, according to Gabi, looked more like a waterless beach than a real desert. I overheard Hero's comment about me being weird, but I didn't care. Who wasn't weird in our party, or in any of the teams we were in close contact with? I knew some aspects of me contrasted with each other; I knew I sometimes didn't make sense to most of my friends. But I was ok with it. I'd finally learnt that it was not a problem, it was just the way I was.

I faced front and kept walking until a rambling sound reached my ears. It was quite strong, even on the sand. Whatever was causing it sounded heavy. I wondered if that would be my opponent. I moved cautiously towards the source of the sound, until I reached the top of one of the highest dunes and an image became visible. I'll be honest, it looked like a gigantic wheel with a handle on each side. It was rolling across the sand without an apparent pattern. For a moment, I felt it would be nice to do the same... Just to move around with no reason, no purpose, leaving the world behind. But it was just a moment. I was there to have a battle, everything else could wait. I trotted down the dune and went after the rolling pokemon. I ran by his side for a few seconds until he finally noticed me and stopped. The base of the wheel opened to leave room for 4 thick pillars to step on the ground, while the front side unfolded, taking the shape of a trunk and revealing a pair of sharp-looking tusks below it. The transformation was impressive. The Donphan's eye turned to look at me.
"Are you my opponent?," he asked me.
"I guess so," I replied.
"I wasn't expecting a Stantler," he said twisting his mouth a little. "Ok, I'll assume you're as good an opponent as any."
"What were you expecting?," I asked.
"I don't know... It's just... You don't see many Stantlers coming to this place. Let alone one experienced enough to challenge me. I thought I'd see a Scizor, and Alakazam or the odd cocky Charizard. Maybe even a Venusaur... that would have been a real challenge."
There was an oddly sad tone in his voice.
"How do you know I'm not?," I questioned him. He sighed.
"Sorry, I didn't want to hurt your feelings or anything. It's just that Donphans are naturally stronger than Stantlers. But if you still want to battle me, I'll have to assume that you're not completely defenseless. I'll give you a chance. Please make it worth my time."
I didn't like this Donphan's attitude at all, but this situation wouldn't be resolved by talking. Though in a very bad way, he was asking me to prove myself in battle. I could do that. I'd leave no openings and give him no reasons to think I was weak. I'd make him change his view on Stantlers from that day.

Level 40 Stantler vs. Level 45 Donphan

I'd seen and heard the Donphan rolling across the Desert Room; I knew he hadn't bluffed when he said his kind was stronger than mine. Brute force wouldn't win against him, but there were still other things I could do to help myself. Leer was a start. I stood right there, facing my opponent, and pierced him with my eyes. He seemed to flinch for a moment, but it was just a moment.
"Yes, I know you can do that," he spoke vaguely, as if he were talking to the air or to himself more than to me. "You can weaken me a little, but not enough. I'll still come out on top."
He came charging in my direction. I tried to dodge, but it was hard to run on the sand. The Donphan's head hit my left side and sent me rolling on the ground. I was glad that at least his tusks hadn't touched me. I used the same impulse of the fall to get back up, and gave the Donphan a taste of his own medicine. My Headbutt blew the air out of him for a second. He turned towards me, and looked at me as if he was seeing me for the first time.
"Alright," he spoke out. "It won't be the same this time, that much is clear."
With that, he kneeled down and turned back into a wheel. It was obvious what attack he was going to use. I let him hit me the first time: I was close and he wouldn't have had the chance to build up his speed. As I expected, the impact was not too strong and it left me close enough to my opponent to kick some sand into his face. Well, a lot of sand. He'd have some troube getting rid of that, especially if he didn't stop rolling. I quickly jumped away and watched him miss on his next attempt at rolling over me.

The Donphan resumed his normal shape and shook his head. While he was distracted, I took the chance to plant another Headbutt on his side.
"This isn't working," he muttered.
He took a deep breath and blew away the sand from his face with his trunk. He opened and closed his eyes until no grains of sand were obstructing them.
"Are you ready to continue?," I asked, though I wasn't sure if asking that was a good idea.
The battle was coming out quite differently from what I had expected. I'd prepared myself for battling a cocky brute and showing him what I was capable of, but the Donphan's reactions had taken me by surprise. I couldn't quite measure him yet.
"Give me your best, Stantler," he told me. "Make it so that I can do the same and feel no remorse."
"Why would you feel remorse? This is just a friendly battle. Neither of us is going for the kill or anything."
"I know. But that doesn't erase the memories."
"What memories?"
"Bad times. I'd rather not talk about that. Let's get on with the battle, I bet we can both use a discharge."

The last thing I had expected was for my opponent to go reflective on me. He was making it really hard to stay in battle mode. Now I was struggling between a surging need to understand what was going on with the Donphan and help him, and my desire to get the battle done.
"Oh, no, don't you start having doubts now," he told me. "Believe me, you do want to finish me off. I just don't want to make things worse by telling you why."
"How can you say I want to finish you off?"
"Because of the color of your fur. Now come on, less talking and more battling."

The Donphan was making less sense with every phrase he spoke. I reckoned it would be best to just keep on battling. Battle was the only aspect of life in which everything was clear. There was a goal, a set of options that opened different sets of possibilities, better and worse paths to reach the goal... And the rush that made all worries and all thoughts that weren't directly related to the battle go away. Yes, battling would be best.

I used another Headbutt, and he countered with something different this time. Now his tusks did hit me. And his trunk. I don't know exactly how he pulled it out, but it felt as if he were hitting me on many places at about the same time. I stopped the attack with my antlers and pushed forward with another Headbutt. That was enough. The Donphan stopped fighting and let himself fall with a sigh that almost sounded like a "thank you". I'd won the battle, but I was left with a disturbing sensation I just couldn't shake off... or explain.

Oh, and I grew to level 42.

Everyone in my team walked over to me to congratulate me. Only then did I notice their presence.
"Are you alright?," Gabi asked me. I wasn't physically battered, so I thought she'd seen something in my eyes.
"Yes, it's just... I'm not used to not knowing where I stand in a battle. I won, but I still don't know what was at stake. Was the Donphan battling me, or was he fighting himself?"
"I would say both," answered Amber. "But I think only Lagi would be able to clarify things, and I don't think she'll be back until tomorrow. If she knows what's best for her, she'll take a dip in the thermal waters of Glacier Peak before heading back to the Grounds."
"If we wait until he wakes up, maybe we can ask him," suggested Hero.
"That could take some time," I stated.
"Come on, you didn't beat him that hard," Hero told me.
"No, I didn't. But with everything he has inside, I doubt he'll want to wake up and face the world in less than a few hours. If I can predict anything about him at all. I really can't figure him out."
"Maybe you'll meet again some day and you'll be able to talk," Gabi said absently.
"I don't even know his name..." I went on. "And what was with my fur color? Was that a joke or what? It's chocolate-colored with lighter spots on my back just like most Stantlers born in the Caledorian forest."
"Maybe he just said something random to put an end to the conversation, or maybe most Stantlers from the Caledorian forest would have something against him," analyzed Amber.
"No way. He's not Mewtwo," I shook my head. I'd known I'd end up taking the conversation to the worst of all topics, but I couldn't help myself. "There's only one pokemon I resent, and I seriously doubt anything can change that. The worst anyone else can achieve is to make me mad for a while."

"Well, I hope he can get over whatever it is that happened to him," Gabi sighed. "This has been quite an eventful day, hasn't it?"
"It's not over yet," Sylvan pointed out. "I still want to have my battle."
"Alright. And tomorrow we'll request a two-on-two at the Jungle Room," decided Ventura, who seemed to have accepted Sylvan's choice and also come up with a new plan.
"I guess I can cope with that," Sylvan chuckled. "We've worked fine together in the past. But today please let me battle my way."
"Fine. I don't see any bushes around, you should be alright."
"Ventura, you're impossible! That happened about 3 years ago!, can't you just forget about it?"
"What are they talking about?," I asked Gabi.
"An embarrassing moment within a battle," she told me. "Nothing that wouldn't normally happen to an inexperienced pokemon, but Ventura doesn't seem to see it that way. Either that or she really doesn't realize how much Sylvan has grown over the last 3 years."
"I've heard you," Ventura said in a loud, vibrating voice. "I was joking, you know. An ancient practice based on something named humor which you probably wouldn't recognize since you laugh at just about anything you hear, see or think."
"You're wrong there," Gabi responded. "I laugh easily, but I can tell good jokes from bad ones. And making fun of someone's bad experiences isn't good."
"Sylvan didn't mind, did she?"
"I wasn't sure of whether you were joking or not," Sylvan answered. "If it was a joke, I guess it's alright."
"So no one can tell when I'm joking?," Ventura wondered.
"You're not exactly expressive," Gabi pointed out. "It takes years of careful observation to notice a variation in the expression of your face and the tone of your voice."
"Come on, I'm complex but not that complex."
"I didn't say you were complex. I said you were inexpressive. It's not the same."
"Well, you should try to get to know me better. You all should."
"Really?," Gabi's expression changed as she made a pause. "I thought you didn't want others to get through to you. If I was wrong, I'll try to change that from now on."
"Please," Ventura nodded.
Quite an eventful day, really. I'd thought exactly the same as Gabi, that Ventura didn't want to be known and understood. This came to me as a huge surprise. It wasn't that she didn't want to open up... She just didn't know how to! But something had changed in her over the last few months. What could it have been?

As we spoke, another rambling sound invaded the area.
"I hope it's not another weird Donphan," I said.
But no, it didn't sound like a huge and heavy rolling wheel. This sounded more as if it were slithering. A slithering train of boulders. When the pokemon finally came into sight, I laughed at my own description of it. It hadn't been far from the truth. "Maybe I should start training my hearing," I said to myself. "It can be quite useful."

A massive stone snake was now in front of us, examining the group. It soon spoke, with a voice that, although deep, had a female ring to it.
"I've been sent to battle a pokemon in the 5th level range. Which one of you is my opponent?"
"That would be me," Sylvan stepped forward. "You work here, right?"
"Right now, yes. My team and I do training events. This is my second time in the Desert Room, the first one was for the last Griphon Games."
"Two tournaments ago," Sylvan remembered. "I came here to train back then, but I don't think I've seen you."
"There were many pokemon around. The chance of meeting the same one twice is really low."
"A friend of mine met the same pokemon three times at the Lava Room," Sylvan told the Onix.
"Really? That's amazing."
"So amazing that I expected him to be there again this time," Amber added. "But I guess that would have been too much of a coincidence. You wouldn't happen to know him, right? His name is Eliot, he was a Charmeleon two years ago, he's bound to be a Charizard now. He lives with a mercenary trainer."
"As a matter of fact, I have met him," the Onix said. "I guess coincidences keep popping up. His trainer's name is Randall. We've been in several events together."
"Great! Do you happen to know where he is now?"
"Not right now, but I wouldn't be surprised to find him at the new training facility. Randall and his pokemon don't miss a chance to train. Unless they think the battle is unfair. They have an interesting policy; they'd rather lose a battle than obtain a hollow victory."
"I see. He hasn't changed," Amber smiled. "Well, neither have I."
"Oh, yes, you have," Ventura contradicted her. "You have evolved and you've started rejecting any friendly battles whatsoever. Back then you would accept them as long as they were fair."
"That's because I gained a lot of strength in little time," Amber explained. "I'm not 100% sure I can always control it, and I wouldn't like to hurt my friends."
"Then you could battle someone who's resistant to your attacks," Ventura suggested. "Like a Rock type."
"I have a Steel type Hidden Power," Amber pointed out. "I could always not use it, but I really don't see the point of battling just to gain experience and learn how to battle better. With all the things we normally have to face, I know I'll end up battling many times. But when I'm with friends there are plenty of other things I'd rather do."
"I see. And back in the time I would have thought that if anyone was going to give up friendly battles it'd be Sylvan."
"Me? No, battling's not my favorite activity but the life I lead requires me to be strong and battling helps me achieve that."
"Why don't you lead a different kind of life?," the Onix asked, intrigued.
"I wouldn't change my friends for anything," Sylvan answered with an unusual determination. "And I wouldn't step back when things get ugly. It's not like me to turn my back on those I care for."
"I see. That's a perfectly good reason. I also battle for the ones I care for: my trainer and my team."
"Good. What's your name?," Sylvan asked.
"Amethyst. And yours?"
"Sylvan. You seem to be a reasonable pokemon. Can I please ask you not to use any Grass type attacks in our battle?"
"Of course. It wouldn't be fair if I used them. But that doesn't leave me with many moves left and Normal type attacks won't do much to you. Is it ok if I use my clover?"
Amethyst lower her head to the level of Sylvan's neck to inspect the 4-leaf clover.
"Ok. Any other restrictions?," the Onix asked.
"None on my side. You?"
"Anything else is fine."
"Ok, then. Let's battle."
"This is going to be a long battle," I heard Ventura comment. "Unless Sylvan does something which I doubt she will do."
"Don't start it now," Gabi told her. "Let her battle her way this time. That's all she's asked for."

Level 48 Venusaur vs. Level 55 Onix

No sooner did Sylvan take her battling stance than a strong wind began to blow around the Onix, lifting up huge amounts of sand with it. The radius of the Sandstorm became wider until I could no longer see what was going on at the battle field.
"Ok, I get to do something useful," Ventura said to herself. "Who wants to subscribe to Ventura-vision?"
"Do we have much of a choice?," Gabi asked.
"Yes. The choice is yes or no. Which one will you take?"
"Ok, I'll take the 'yes' option, but without the extra headache, please."
"If you get a headache it will be solely on your account. And you'll have earned it for treating me like that when I'm offering a service. Anyone else?"
We all ended up accepting. We didn't want to miss the action. And I new for a fact that Gabi tended to exaggerate the effects of Ventura's telepathy on her.

Sylvan hit Amethyst with a Body Slam, but if the attack had any effect at all, it didn't show. Amethyst's attack was slightly more effective: she managed to lift some rocks from below the sand (and, if I interpreted Ventura's transmission right, she also created some thick sand balls) and sent them crashing against Sylvan. But the effect wasn't spectacular at all. The sandstorm seemed to be hurting Sylvan more than the rocks were. Sylvan tried another Body Slam with the same disastrous results as before.
"I knew she'd do that," groaned Ventura. "She's going for paralysis, but at this rate she won't get the chance. Amethyst can summon a new Sandstorm as soon as this one receeds."
"There's also the chance that she might have a plan," Hero commented. "Don't underestimate her."
Whether I was underestimating her or not, I didn't know where this battle was heading. I got an image of Amethyst burying herself in the sand as fast as if she were a worm and not an Onix. The sand kept hitting Sylvan, but the flower on