I have read all the current chapters, this is pretty cool. I can't wait to see more.
I have read all the current chapters, this is pretty cool. I can't wait to see more.
I just finished reading everything. I'm glad I had the right idea with the numbers being eaten, the scene where Red was introduced to Tanko cuisine was a very funny and cool one. Once again, Tanko is a really awesome cool and fantastic world, and I enjoy every time the story reminds us what an odd world it is.
However, I don't enjoy the battles quite as much. The problem is that they're somewhat repetitive and static, and very common. Unfortunately, a lot of pokémon fanfics have this problem, but there are ways to improve it. In my own fic, I do as few battles as possible, restricting myself to plot-critical ones to avoid battle fatigue in readers. At one point I've had six chapters in a row without a single battle (which is not to say the characters didn't have any battles in that time, but the way I see it the story doesn't need to portray everything).
Another thing I do is to change the battle style to a more realistic one. The pokémon battle system works well in-game, but in a story one-on-one fights, with the pokémon taking turns using predefined attacks determined by their species, called out by the trainer first, never resulting in serious harm to the pokémon, doesn't make for a very interesting read. In official battles, like against Gym Leaders, it's reasonable to assume the battle is regulated, meaning it would have to be one-on-one battles in which the pokémon fight only until they're unable not to or called back by their trainers, but in a battle against an evil team all rules should be out of the window in my view. In my fanfic, I have battles against Team Plasma be matters of life and death, fought with the entire team at once in a big, chaotic, and very dangerous situation where trainers and pokémon are both free game. Another tip I can offer is to not have the pokémon fight simply as a member of their species, but as a character. Have them develop their own unique moves, and their own battle styles. I realise this point is a lot harder for a fic where the main characters are the trainers, not the pokémon, though. Another thing I would suggest is not to have the characters go around winning every battle, but create some suspence by having them lose a battle on occasion too.
One final tip I would give you is not to portray the Gym battles of all three main characters, but take one of them for each leader whose battle to portray, and do the other two offscreen. Because having three people battle the same opponent in a row is very repetitive.
That said, the glitch pokémon do make your battles a lot more interesting and unique, and I enjoy them a lot more when glitch pokémon are in them. I should also note that the ideas and solutions offered above are simply the ones I used, not ones you should neccessarily use; I just want to give you an idea of things you could use to improve the battles. There are other things, probably better things as well, you could do.
EDIT: By the way, congratulations on getting Fic of the Monthed :D You deserve it for this amazing new world of yours, really. I hope you're feeling as happy about it as I was.
Chapter 13: Attack of the 6-Foot Weepinbell
"Finish it, Skulls! Sludge attack now!" shouted Violet.
"Koff!" Skulls exclaimed as it blasted its opponent, a white-and-orange frilly fish-like Pokemon with a single, sharp horn on its head, with a stream of thick, smelly, dark goop. The Goldeen was blasted backwards by the Poison move, and it came to rest right in front of its trainer, who was clad only in swim trunks, and was, for reasons nobody in the group really wanted to know, swimming in the deeper portion of Nugget Swamp. Sighing, the Swimmer withdrew Goldeen.
"I did my best, I have no regrets," he stated simply as he swam off to the side. "Proceed."
"You do know you can just stand up in this, right?" asked Orange. "It's not that deep."
"I know that," scoffed the Swimmer. "I just don't like to take the easy way out. Most trainers will ride an aquatic Pokémon across the waves, but not me. Besides, if I ever pass up an opportunity to swim, how will I keep up this buff physique?" he added, flexing his left arm in order to show off his muscles.
"Sounds reasonable to me," Violet said, eyeing aforementioned muscles.
"Let's go," said Orange pointedly, leading the way. Violet shot him a particularly nasty glare, but followed him, albeit somewhat reluctantly. Red said nothing, and merely waited for the fight to break out once they were out of earshot of the Swimmer. To his mild surprise, however, this never happened. Violet and Orange remained silent as the trio made their way through the waist-deep swamp water, though they would occasionally shoot dirty looks at each other.
Before long, a boy around Red's age approached the group, dressed in a green jacket with matching pants and a cap.
"Let me guess, you're number five?" asked Red.
"You got that right," nodded the Jr. Trainer. "Which one of you am I battling?"
"I'll go," volunteered Red. "Violet, you got the last one, and Orange, you took the one before that."
"That one shouldn't count, I didn't know that Grimer had an owner," Orange replied stubbornly.
"It still counts, though," Violet added.
"Violet?" said Orange.
Violet looked to be at a loss for words, obviously not having expected this. Orange smirked at the dumbfounded expression on her face.
"Yeah, how do you like it?" he asked. "Not so funny when it's turned around on you, is it? How was that, Red? Er... Red?"
For Red had already started to battle the Jr. Trainer. His Paras was floating on the surface of the swamp water, glancing warily at its opponent- a Mankey.
"Mankey, go! Scratch attack!" ordered the Jr. Trainer.
"Paras, Stun Spore!" Red commanded.
"Paraaas!" exclaimed Paras as it unleashed a cloud of yellow dust from its mushrooms. Mankey, who had been swimming expertly through the pond water, approaching Paras at a fast pace, was forced to stop as the spores stunned it.
"Now Scratch it!" called Red.
Paras clumsily swam through the swamp water, and took a vicious swipe at Mankey with its right claw. Screeching in pain, Mankey swam, with great difficulty, over to the nearest tree, which appeared to be made entirely out of popsicle sticks, duct tape, and toilet seats. Slowly, the Pig Monkey Pokémon climbed its way up the arboreal anomaly, and stood on a branch hanging over the swamp, glaring down at Paras.
"Good, Mankey!" the Jr. Trainer exclaimed. "Use your Body Slam!"
"Paras, Leech Life now!" Red commanded.
Mankey screeched as it leapt out of the tree, attempting to land on Paras, who simply bared its teeth, and chomped down on Mankey as it landed, sucking away some of its energy.
"That does it, Mankey, let's get ready to finish it!" the Jr. Trainer shouted. "Use Rock Slide!"
"Paras, Bide!" Red exclaimed, causing Violet and Orange to exchange surprised looks.
"Bide?" repeated Orange. "Since when-"
"I used the TM I won in Rewept Gym while Violet was battling that Swimmer," Red explained. "I figured Paras could use another move."
Paras's entire body took on a bright yellow glow as Mankey fired a pair of red beams from its eyes. The beams flew over Paras, leaving a number of strange, glowing red circles in their wake. Then, from each circle fell a number of brown boulders, each one landing on Paras. Most of them fell into the swamp water after striking the Mushroom Pokémon, but some remained on top. Then, once the attack was done, the glow intensified, and Paras launched an intense beam of yellow energy at the surprised Mankey, knocking it off the tree limb and into its trainer's arms. Mankey made no further effort to move.
"I did my best, I have no regrets," sighed the Jr. Trainer as he withdrew Mankey and stepped aside.
"Is that all you guys can say when you lose?" asked Orange. "More importantly, that's five of you guys we've crushed now, so where's our reward?"
"You're almost out of the swamp," replied the Jr. Trainer. "The guy in charge of the challenge should be standing at the edge of the swamp, he's the guy you talk to about a reward."
"Thanks," said Red as he withdrew Paras. Red now led the way, and sure enough, not two minutes later, the group found themselves back on dry ground/aluminum siding/floor tiles. They had left Nugget Swamp. Standing nearby was a man wearing a nondescript gray hoodie sweatshirt and white pants. He approached the trio immediately.
"I must congratulate the three of you," he said. "You have defeated our five contest trainers, and have earned this great reward- a genuine gold Nugget!" At this, he reached into a bag slung over his shoulder and pulled out what appeared to be a solid gold sphere, about the size of a Poké Ball.
"OK, I'm just gonna come right out and say it," said Orange. "Which one of us holds onto it?"
"I volunteer Red," Violet replied. "I think we can both trust him."
"Thanks, Violet," grinned Red as he accepted the Nugget from the man and placed it into his backpack.
"When we go back to Ruceelna tonight, we'll stop at the Pokémart" suggested Orange. Those places will buy literally anything off of a trainer. We sell it there and split the profits three ways, that sound good?"
"Fine by me," said Red and Violet simultaneously.
"One more thing," the man added. "Would any of you be interested in joining Team Debug? We're a-"
"An extremist criminal organization who tries to wipe out entire races of Pokémon," Violet interrupted. "Thanks, but no thanks."
"Over my dead body," added Orange.
"Same here," put in Red.
The man scowled at the trio. "You can't be serious," he stated. "Sure, Team Debug gets some bad press, but we're going to save the world! Now, it looks like you three need convincing! I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse!" As he said this, he unzipped his hoodie, revealing his shirt which displayed the Team Debug insignia, and then took three Poké Balls off his belt and threw them all at once. "Diglett! Venonat! Weepinbell! Go!"
In three flashes of light, a trio of Pokémon materialized; a small, brown creature with a simple face consisting of two small, beady, black eyes, a large red nose, and no visible mouth, which appeared to be at least partly underground; a spherical insect covered in purple fur, with a pair of large, round, red eyes, a mouth with two small fangs, a pair of antennae, and two small hands; a yellow, bell-shaped creature that looked something like a larger-than-life replica of a Bellsprout's head, with a pair of leaves on its sides, not unlike what a Bellsprout had on its twig-like torso. Simultaneously, Red, Orange, and Violet held out their Pokédexes at these creatures.
"Diglett, the Mole Pokémon," said Red's Pokédex. "Diglett lives about one yard underground, where it feasts on plant roots. It sometimes appears aboveground."
"Venonat, the Insect Pokémon," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Venonat lives in the shadows of tall trees. It uses its large, radar-like eyes to move about in darkness."
"Weepinbell, the Flycatcher Pokémon, and the evolved form of Bellsprout," stated Violet's Pokédex. "Weepinbell's Acid can dissolve anything. This Acid in addition to its PoisonPowder are its main means of subduing its prey."
Once the Pokédexes had finished speaking, Red took out a Poké Ball and enlarged it, Orange and Violet following suit. They then threw the balls simultaneously.
"Charmeleon, I choose you!" Red shouted.
"Chompy, let's do it!" exclaimed Violet.
"Go! .4!" exclaimed Orange.
In another three flashes of light, Red's Charmeleon, Orange's .4, and Chompy, Violet's Bellsprout, materialized at the same time. The Debug Grunt scowled at the sight of .4.
"Attack that abomination first!" he ordered. "Diglett! Scratch!"
"Wait a second, Scratch?" asked Orange, as he cast a dubious glance at the Mole Pokémon, who seemed to sport no obvious appendages, let alone anything sharp. "With what?" he asked.
As if in response, Diglett moved forward, plowing its way through the rock, the ceramic tiles, and the aluminum siding, and its nose began to glow. As the nose glowed, it lengthened, coming to a point. Diglett then twisted around in the ground as it approached .4, the point of its nose raking the Caffeine Pokémon's side.
"Well, that was weird," Orange remarked. ".4, use TM28!"
.4 gibbered excitedly as it dove down at Diglett and promptly exploded. As the dust cleared, however, it became clear that Diglett had evaded the attack by going underground, as evidenced by the small hole in the ground, and the fact that Diglett was resurfacing some five feet away from .4, looking totally unscathed.
"Chompy, Growth!" Violet ordered.
"Charmeleon, hit Venonat with Flamethrower!" commanded Red.
".4, Agility!" called Orange.
The Grunt then proceeded to bark out orders to his Pokémon. "Diglett, Sand-Attack! Weepinbell, you use your own Growth! Venonat, Sleep Powder!"
Chompy and Weepinbell simultaneously took on light green auras and proceeded to grow until they were double their usual sizes. Weepinbell was now just as tall as its trainer, while Chompy was still shorter than its evolved form. As they glared at each other, Diglett spun in place, sending a spray of sand in Charmeleon's direction, though .4 began to fly in circles around the Ground-type with increasing rapidity. Then, on Orange's order, .4 used TM28 once more, and this time, the blast knocked Diglett out. Charmeleon, meanwhile, easily overpowered the cloud of blue dust Venonat had emitted with a powerful stream of fire, rendering the Venonat unconscious in the process.
The grunt withdrew Diglett and Venonat, but didn't look particularly concerned. "Wrap the Charmeleon!" he ordered.
"Bell," grunted the Weepinbell in a deep voice as the brown stem-like protrusion on top of its head lengthened, growing into a lengthy vine, and, before anyone could do anything about it, binding Charmeleon completely, except for its tail. Charmeleon flailed its tail about, attempting to use Ember on Weepinbell, but the attack missed miserably. Weepinbell squeezed tighter as Chompy and .4 moved in to attack. .4, in its excitement, however, used TM28 a few seconds too early. While Weepinbell was hit by the attack, it didn't seem to have taken nearly as much damage from the blast as it ought to have. It did, however, have the effect of forcing Weepinbell to release Charmeleon, though this turned out to not be such an issue; Charmeleon had already fainted.
"Now use Razor Leaf!" the grunt ordered as Red withdrew Charmeleon.
"Chompy, Vine Whip!" Violet commanded.
".4, TM09!" shouted Orange.
Weepinbell swung its leaves around wildly, and a flurry of razor-sharp leaves flew forth from them. Chompy sprouted a pair of vines from behind its leaves, managing to swat down most of them, but some struck .4, who screeched with discomfort as its body caught fire. .4 rose up high into the air, ready to dive-bomb Weepinbell.
"Jump with Vine Whip!" roared the grunt.
"Bell bell Weepinbell," replied Weepinbell as its brown stem extended once again, and this time, it slapped the ground hard, propelling itself into the air just as .4 dove. The Pokémaniac-type slammed into the ground, creating a fiery explosion, which Weepinbell had managed to evade completely. Knowing already that .4 was down, Orange withdrew it, leaving only Chompy to deal with the Weepinbell.
"We are so screwed," muttered Orange to Red.
"I heard that," snapped Violet as Weepinbell landed right where it had started from. "Chompy, Sleep Powder!"
"Weepinbell, Slam!" commanded the grunt.
The Bellsprout exhaled a cloud of glittery blue dust from its large mouth, which Weepinbell hopped out of the way of before slapping Chompy with its vine, sending it flying into a large rock. Shakily, Chompy got back onto its roots and walked back over to Weepinbell, a determined look in its eyes. Without even waiting for orders, Chompy lunged at its evolved counterpart, its body getting longer, and constricted the Weepinbell with its continually lengthening torso. Weepinbell groaned under the pressure of the Wrap attack, and attempted to pry the Bellsprout off with its leaves. This proved futile, however, and only spurred Chompy to squeeze harder. At last, the Bellsprout relinquished its grip; the Weepinbell hadn't fainted yet, but was panting heavily. Clearly the attack had taken a lot out of it, but it still looked willing to battle.
And then Chompy began to glow.
"All right!" Violet exclaimed as her starter Pokémon proceeded to evolve, its slender body shrinking away into the top of its head, the head itself getting larger, the leaves shifting their position. When the white light faded, there were now two six-foot Weepinbell present, each one glaring at the other, though the Debug Grunt's Weepinbell looked noticeably less confident now.
"Chompy, let's end this," said Violet, a confident smirk on her face. "Acid."
"Bell!" exclaimed Chompy as it blasted a stream of corrosive purple fluid from its gaping mouth. The grunt's Weepinbell groaned in agony as the attack landed, and quickly flopped over onto its back, shrinking back down to its regular size.
"All right, Chompy!" Violet cheered as her own Weepinbell shrunk back down to its original size.
"It's a shame," sighed the grunt as both Weepinbell were withdrawn to their Poké Balls by their respective trainers. "Talent like yours, you could have made it big in Team Debug. You, though, redhead, you got a lot to learn about Pokémon. Specifically, what is and isn't a Pokémon-"
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, we've heard that garbage before," interrupted Orange as he walked away.
"Hey, Orange, where are you going?" asked Red as he ran over to him. "We gotta go back through the swamp to get back to Ruceelna."
"Yeah, but we don't have to get back just yet," replied Orange as Violet caught up. "The day's only half done, and I can see some trainers over there. Didn't we come out this way for training in the first place?" When neither Red nor Violet raised any objections, Orange grinned at them and ran off towards the nearest trainer, challenging him to a battle at the top of his lungs.
"I don't know why, but I hate it when he's right," sighed Violet as she and Red walked off after Orange.
End of Chapter 13.
Chapter 14: Return of the Bug Catcher
"All right, Pidgey! Quick Attack!"
"Spearow, Take Down!"
The two bird Pokémon streaked through the air, each aiming for the other one, fully intending to collide. When they crashed into each other, they fell to the ground. Spearow shakily climbed back onto its small feet, but its opponent, a slightly smaller bird with brown plumage all over, didn't even try to get back up.
"Pidgey, return," sighed the Youngster, holding out a Poké Ball.
"Yeah, we did it, Spearow!" Orange exclaimed happily.
"That is one awesome Spearow you got there," the Youngster said.
"I know, right?" Orange replied, grinning proudly. "Your Pidgey didn't do too bad itself, either."
"Thanks," said the Youngster before walking off, saying something about getting Pidgey to the Pokémon Center.
"Orange, you've been battling every single trainer we've come across since we got out of Nugget Swamp," Violet complained.
"And I beat them all!" Orange declared proudly, missing the point completely.
"What Violet is saying, Orange, is maybe you should give one of us a shot," said Red.
"Oh, what are you guys complaining about?" chuckled Orange. "Between Chompy and Rattata evolving, not to mention Violet catching Koffing, you two did well enough for yourselves in the swamp."
Violet opened her mouth to reply, when a familiar voice greeted their ears.
"Hey! Red, Orange, Violet, that you?"
Red wheeled around, to see a familiar-looking Bug Catcher running towards them. Orange and Violet did the same, and all three of them looked surprised.
"Jimmy?!" exclaimed Orange. "What are you doing here?"
"It is you guys! I decided to start traveling, see if I could get any more Bug-types. There's only so many different kinds in Ivadirin Forest. Just the Caterpie and Weedle families, plus Z4."
"How'd that go, anyway?" asked Violet. "You were gonna try and get a more obedient Z4, weren't you?"
"Yeah.... that didn't exactly pan out that well," Jimmy chuckled weakly. "But I did get some new ones! Who's gonna battle me and see?"
Violet turned to glare at Orange, but for once, the overeager trainer was keeping quiet. Clearly, his fear of Bug-types was starting to overcome his love for battle.
"I'll go," said Violet. "How many Pokemon should we each use?"
"Two each sound good?" asked Jimmy as he took a Poké Ball off his belt.
"Fine by me," smirked Violet as she readied a Poké Ball of her own.
Jimmy threw his ball first. "OK, Venonat! Let's go!"
In a flash of light, the round, fuzzy, purple form of a Venonat materialized. After sizing it up for a second, Violet threw the Poké Ball in her hand. "Go, Flutters!" she called as her Butterfree emerged.
"Hey, Flutters evolved, pretty cool!" grinned Jimmy. "OK, Venonat! Tackle attack!"
"Veno nat!" replied Venonat as it leapt into the air, trying to slam into Flutters.
"Flutters, use your Confusion attack!" Violet ordered.
"Freeh freeeh!" chittered Flutters as it let loose a pair of blue rays of light from its eyes, slamming into the Insect Pokémon with full force, knocking it to the ground.
"Venonat, Tackle again!" ordered Jimmy.
"Flutters, Harden!" Violet called.
As Venonat leapt at the Butterfree once more, Flutters stuck its wings straight out, and its entire body seemed to gleam in the broken, pixelly sunlight for a moment. Venonat bounced off of the Butterfree's body with a resounding CLAAANG and fell backwards. Flutters proceeded to flap its wings again, rising higher into the air.
"Good, Flutters! Now use String Shot!" exclaimed Violet.
"Freeeeeheeeeheeeh!" trilled Flutters as it unleashed several strands of white string from its mouth, quickly wrapping Venonat up in it until it couldn't move anymore.
"Vmmm nmmmt," muffled Venonat.
"No, Venonat! Try a Psybeam!" Jimmy exclaimed desperately.
"Flutters! Tackle it now!" Violet exclaimed, grinning widely. Flutters dove down at the immobilized Venonat, who couldn't seem to launch Psybeam. Venonat was sent flying into Jimmy's arms once the Butterfree slammed into it.
"Venonat, return!" Jimmy exclaimed as he held out the Poké Ball and calling the Insect Pokémon back. Once Venonat had been returned, he replaced the ball with another one and threw it. "OK, that's it! Scyther, let's go!"
"S-s-s-s-scyyyy.... S-s-s-s-scyyyyy..." Orange started gasping as a rather large winged creature emerged from Jimmy's Poké Ball. It stood on two legs, and was brandishing its arms; more specifically, the sharp, shiny, metallic sword blades on the ends of the arms. In what he evidently considered to be a nonchalant manner, Orange moved off to the side until he was directly behind Red.
"Scyther!" shrieked the large bug. Violet held out her Pokédex at her newest opponent.
"Scyther, the Mantis Pokémon," droned the device. "Scyther moves incredibly quickly and shreds its enemy with its razor-sharp scythes. On rare occasions, it flies with its wings."
"Flutters, use your Confusion!" Violet ordered.
"Scyther, Quick Attack!" Jimmy called.
Butterfree prepared to launch beams of psychic energy, but before it could even begin, Scyther began to flap its wings with incredible rapidity, and zipped forward with even greater rapidity, slamming headfirst into the Butterfree and tackling it to the ground.
"Flutters, return!" Violet exclaimed, holding out the Poké Ball and recalling her feebly stirring Butterfree. She quickly took out another ball and launched it. "I choose you, Skulls!"
In a flash of light, Violet's Koffing materialized, "Koffing," it rumbled in a deep voice.
"Koffing, pretty cool," nodded Jimmy. "OK, Scyther, use Wing Attack now!"
"Skulls, Smog attack!" commanded Violet.
"Koffing," replied Skulls as it blasted a thick, dark green fog from the prominent pores all over its body. Scyther had flown right into its fog, and could soon be heard coughing.
"Now, Skulls, Mimic!" Violet called.
Skulls looked down at the Smog cloud, and its skull-and-crossbones pattern briefly glowed with a bright white light. At that moment, Scyther flew out of the cloud, now hovering behind the Koffing.
"Scyther, Slash it!" ordered Jimmy.
"Skulls, Wing Attack!" yelled Violet.
"Koffing!" exclaimed Skulls as two of its pores unleashed plumes of smog. Each cloud formed itself into the shape of a wing as the Koffing began to fly towards the oncoming Scyther. The smog-wings and swordlike blades collided in midair, to general astonishment at just how solid the Koffing's "wings" had turned out to be. After several minutes of struggling, both attacks got through to their respective targets. Skulls smacked Scyther with its "wings", while Scyther sliced at Skulls with its scythes. Both Pokemon fell to the ground after this, neither one of them able to get back up.
"A draw, who'd have guessed?" remarked Orange as both trainers were recalling their Pokémon.
"It's not a draw, though," argued Violet. "Flutters took a lot of damage from Scyther's Quick Attack, but it wasn't knocked out. I'll admit, it was a pretty close match, though!"
"Yeah," grinned Jimmy. "That was a pretty good battle-"
"Sshhh!" hissed Orange, his eyes wide, staring at something behind Jimmy. Red looked, and saw a vaguely familiar rectangular thing floating a foot or so off the ground. It was covered in black, orange, and purple markings.
"Hey, is that-" began Red.
"It's an A," whispered Orange. "I missed my chance back at Rewept City, I'm not about to let this one get away!"
At that moment, however, the A turned to face Orange, and seemed to do a double take upon noticing him, giving a surprised squeak.
"Huh," remarked Violet. "Orange, I think that's the same A from that last time!"
"You think so?" asked Orange, surprised as A began to squeak in a frightened manner, slowly backing away.
And then, suddenly, a net fell over the A from above it. Orange looked up and gasped in outrage, for a pair of Team Error grunts were standing on an aluminum tree limb, looking very pleased with themselves. A, meanwhile, was squeaking in an agitated manner, struggling to free itself from the net.
"Heh heh, nice work, Larry!" laughed one of them. "A are really rare, the boss is gonna be very pleased with this!"
"Hey!" Orange exclaimed. "Team Error! What do you think you're doing?!"
"Hey, it's the twerps again!" said Larry as he and Jeff wheeled around to face them. Then, as one, the duo leapt off the tree branch and landed on the ground expertly, each on one side of the net.
"What we're doing, little boy, I think would be easy enough to understand," sneered Jeff. "We're catching ourselves a new Pokémon!"
"With a net?" scowled Orange. "I don't think so!"
"Hey, Poké Balls are expensive!" whined Larry. "And our salary is pitiful!"
"OK, less talking, more fighting," snapped Jeff as he threw a Poké Ball. "pPkMnp, go!"
"I choose you, 7g!" added Larry, throwing a ball of his own.
The Poké Balls burst open, revealing the horizontal rectangular form of pPkMnp, and the reddish cube that was 7g. Orange took out a Poké Ball of his own, but Jeff slapped Larry upside the head. "OK, wait, why are we battling them when we can just grab A and make a break for it? pPkMnp, use TM04!"
pPkMnp roared as it let loose a plume of purple dust from the top of its body, Everyone tensed up, but the clouds of purple dust didn't even make them cough, and were gone just as soon as they came.
"TM04, a Water-type move with no discernible effect," piped up Violet's Pokédex.
"Hey, they're gone!" exclaimed Orange. "And so is A!"
Indeed, neither Team Error grunt could be seen. A was also gone, along with the net it had been trapped in. pPkMnp and 7g were gone as well.
"We gotta try and find them," stated Violet.
"Yes, we gotta save A!" Orange nodded.
"Hey, maybe I can help," offered Jimmy, holding up a Poké Ball. "Do you have anything that's ever come in contact with that A?" he asked.
"No- wait!" exclaimed Orange as he threw the ball he had been holding. "Spearow, go!"
The Poké Ball burst open, unleashing Orange's Spearow in a flash of white light.
"When I first tried to catch A, it pushed this Spearow in front of the Poké Ball," explained Orange. "But why-"
"This is why," grinned Jimmy, tossing his own Poké Ball into the air. "Weedle, come on out!"
Orange stifled a scream and hastily backed up as Jimmy's Weedle materialized, landing expertly in his trainer's hand.
"Spearow," Jimmy called up, "Can you please come down here? I need Weedle to smell you."
Spearow simply glanced down at Jimmy, the look on its face implying that it thought he was crazy. After a moment, however, Spearow descended, though still regarded Jimmy warily. "OK, Weedle, get the A's scent and lead us to it!" Jimmy said.
"Weedle," replied Weedle as it placed its nose close to Spearow's left wing and sniffed deeply. Weedle then raised its head and sniffed at the air. And then it tensed up, and blasted a String Shot at a nearby tree limb, and swung by the string. Then it broke off that String Shot and fired another one at another tree limb, further away. Weedle continued this, swinging its way off into the distance. Jimmy raced after his Weedle, motioning for the trio to follow. After exchanging highly confused looks, that's just what they did, Spearow following them in the sky.
"What... was that... about?" panted Orange as they caught up with the Bug Catcher.
"Weedle have... an amazing... sense of smell," Jimmy replied as they ran. "Those noses... aren't just... for show, you know. And they... lose this... sense of smell... when they evolve."
"I've often... wondered why... some Bug Catchers... won't evolve... Weedle," remarked Orange.
Several minutes later, they had caught up to Jeff and Larry. The two were walking at a leisurely pace, each one holding one end of A's net. They had obviously called pPkMnp and 7g back to their Poké Balls.
"Stop, thieves!" Orange called out.
"Weedle, String Shot!" exclaimed Jimmy.
"Weeeeedle!" replied Weedle as it fired off several strands of silk from its horn. These strands stuck fast to the backs of the grunts' shirts, and though the strands snapped easily, they caused the grunts to stumble and drop A's net. Undaunted, Jeff and Larry wheeled around, each one now brandishing a Poké Ball.
"How did you catch up with us?" demanded Larry.
"Like we'll tell you," Violet replied coldly.
"Now let that A go!" added Orange.
"Not on your life!" snarled Jeff, throwing the Poké Ball. "pPkMnp, go!"
"You too, 7g!" added Larry.
Once again, the villains' Pokémon materialized, looking as ready for battle as Pokémon without faces could hope to look.
"Spearow, ready?" called Orange.
"Speeearow!" cawed Spearow as it descended, hovering directly in front of Orange.
Red then threw a Poké Ball. "Go, Charmeleon!" he exclaimed.
In a flash of light, Red's Charmeleon appeared. It stood in front of red, claws bared, ready and raring for battle.
"pPkMnp, use Sludge on Charmeleon!" ordered Jeff.
"7g, Double-Edge on Spearow!" called Larry.
"Charmeleon, Flamethrower!" exclaimed Red.
"Spearow, use Take Down!" commanded Orange.
pPkMnp launched a stream of sludge at Charmeleon, who met it with a stream of fire. The attacks collided, neither one letting the other advance any. Meanwhile, 7g and Spearow flew at each other and collided with great force.
"Now use Razor Wind!" Orange called.
"Speearrrow!" cawed Spearow as it flapped its wings rapidly, the wind slicing at 7g. Unknown to anyone other than A, the attack also grazed the net, slicing through a little bit of it.
"More power, Charmeleon!" Red urged.
"Chaaaar!" roared Charmeleon as its Flamethrower intensified, becoming hotter and wider. Slowly, pPkMnp's Sludge was getting pushed back.
"OK, Spearow, Peck it now!" Orange ordered.
"Roooooowwwww!" Spearow screeched as it streaked towards 7g and struck it with its small yet sharp beak, knocking the Slow Pokémon out of the air and onto the ground. At the same time, Charmeleon's Flamethrower won out completely, scorching pPkMnp. Without waiting for orders, Charmeleon then ran at pPkMnp and executed a Scratch attack. It was clear that pPkMnp's injuries had been severe, for not even its incredible Defense helped out; as Charmeleon unleashed Scratch, the Fortress Pokémon fell to the ground."
"Return!" Jeff and Larry exclaimed simultaneously as they withdrew their fallen Pokémon. Then, something unprecedented happened; they readied two other Poké Balls.
"Wait, what?!" Orange exclaimed. "I thought you couldn't afford Poké Balls!"
"We can, we just gotta save our salaries for months in order to get any," replied Jeff as he threw his ball. "Go, 'M!"
"Let's do it, Z4!" added Larry.
Larry's Poké Ball unleashed a Z4, an all-too-familiar sight to the trio (especially Orange, who whimpered slightly at the sight of it, yet stood his ground all the same). Jeff's however, unleashed something Red had only previously seen on his Pokédex's screen. From a side view, it was vaguely L-shaped, but facing them head on, it proved to have a rather narrow body On the part that protruded forward, it sported a pair of wide, square eyes, one on each side of its body, directly above a wide, grinning mouth. The whole thing stood roughly eight feet tall. Though he already knew what it was, Red held his Pokédex out.
"'M, the Shoreline Pokémon," droned his Pokédex. "'M thrive in coastal areas, though are not particularly adept swimmers. It flies through the air with style and grace, and hits with the force of a freight train."
"OK, Charmeleon, hit Z4 with Flamethrower!" ordered Red.
"'M, Water Gun!" exclaimed Jeff.
"Z4, Body Slam!" Larry called out.
"Spearow, use Take Down on 'M now!" commanded Orange.
Charmeleon launched a stream of flame at Z4, but 'M swooped in front of Z4 and launched from its mouth a blast of water, cutting through the Flamethrower like extremely fiery butter, and soaking Charmeleon, who roared its disapproval. Spearow rammed into 'M's side, however, disrupting the attack. As 'M recovered from the attack, Charmeleon continued its Flamethrower, knocking Z4 out.
"OK, 'M, Sky Attack now!" ordered Jeff.
"M M!" trilled 'M as it rose into the air, its entire body taking on a majestic golden glow.
Red and Orange tensed up, both knowing just how powerful a Sky Attack could be. And 'M's reputation for hitting with the force of a freight train did nothing to improve their spirits.
And then a rectangular blur slammed into 'M, disrupting the Sky Attack's charging. Orange's jaw dropped; A had broken free of its net, and had attacked 'M.
"A, you're free!" Orange exclaimed.
A squeaked excitedly and flew in circles over Orange's head. Orange couldn't understand what it was saying, but he got a vague feeling that it seemed grateful for his rescue efforts.
"'M, take them all out!" Jeff exclaimed. "Use Tri Attack!"
"M!" exclaimed 'M as a large, glowing triangle formed in front of it, then flew towards A.
"No! A, dodge it!" Orange exclaimed. A flew straight up into the air, and managed to evade the triangle completely. A then flew at 'M again, landing another light blow. Now it seemed to be going even faster than usual.
"TM40, a Normal-type move," said Orange's Pokédex. "A light, quick blow which increases the user's Speed."
"OK, A!" Orange exclaimed. "Give it a Razor Wind!"
A squeaked loudly as it rotated furiously in midair like a fan, sending a gust of cutting air right at 'M, causing it to screech in discomfort. Then, A began to glow and change shape!
"Is it evolving?" asked Red.
Orange shook his head. "A don't evolve," he replied. "It's using Transform!"
"Wait, Transform?" Red asked, taken by surprise by this news. "I thought only Ditto could learn Transform!"
"Nope. Ditto and A," Violet stated. A stopped glowing at that point, only now it looked identical to 'M.
"A, try a Mega Punch!" Orange called, after quickly consulting his Pokédex for a list of moves the Speed Demon Pokémon could now use. Despite now looking like 'M, A still squeaked like its old self as a thick arm tipped in a large fist seemed to grow out of the top of its body. A then flew at 'M and slammed the fist into the Shoreline Pokémon. 'M was thrown backwards, where it collided with Jeff and Larry, and they were all sent flying into the distance.
"Goodbye, and good riddance!" shouted Violet as A resumed its usual form.
"Wow," sighed Orange. "A, thank you so much!"
A squeaked happily in response as it flew circles around Orange, this time level with his head.
"Orange, I think A wants to go with you," Jimmy pointed out.
"A, is this true?" Orange asked, a look of mild surprise on his face. A nodded, but then put some distance between itself and Orange, and gave a loud squeak.
Orange grinned and nodded, understanding at once. "OK, I get it, you want a battle first," he said as he withdrew Spearow and took out another Poké Ball. "Let's do this, then! .4, go!"
In a flash of light, Orange's .4 appeared, gibbering excitedly and flying in tiny circles, unable to contain its limitless energy.
A made the first move, and launched a barrage of coins. .4 screeched as the metallic projectiles made contact with its diminutive body.
".4, use your TM28 attack!" ordered Orange.
"EEEEEEEEEE!" shrieked .4 as it zoomed in close to A and exploded, sending the Normal/Normal-type flying backwards.
"Good! Now use Wing Attack!" Orange ordered.
Instantly, a pair of wings seemed to appear out of nowhere on .4, one wing coming out of each side. The wings looked as though they were composed of small purple cubes, giving the wings a distinctly blocky appearance. .4 then zoomed forward and struck A with its wings, slamming the Speed Demon Pokémon to the ground.
Orange wasted no time, and launched a red-and-white sphere at the unmoving A. "Poké Ball, go!" he yelled.
The ball struck A, transformed it into a shapeless mass of transparent red energy, and sucked it inside. It then fell to the ground and began to wobble back and forth, a red light blinking on the ball's button the whole time. For a moment, there was total silence as everyone present watched the ball intently. Even .4 seemed to be holding perfectly still. And then, at long last, the ball stopped moving.
"YES!" Orange exploded, cheering loudly as he ran over and scooped up the Poké Ball containing his newest Pokémon. "I did it! A is mine!"
"Nice!" Jimmy exclaimed. "Hey, so what are you guys doing up here, anyway? Meant to ask you that a while ago, but this whole A business got me a little sidetracked.
"Can't say I blame you," shrugged Red.
"We came up this way to train," explained Violet. "We heard that Fansfor Gym's leader uses Psychic-types, and we figured we should toughen up our Pokémon before going there."
"Good thinking," Jimmy remarked as his Weedle crawled onto his shoulder. "I actually came up here to see if I could meet Meg."
"Who?" asked Red.
"...What did you say?" asked Jimmy. "You mean you don't know who Meg is? Meg Abytte, the extremely cute creator of the Pokémon PC Storage System? ...At-at least, that's what I hear," he added, blushing slightly.
"Riiiiight," Orange said with a smirk on his face as he winked knowingly at the Bug Catcher. This only served to increase the amount of red growing on his face.
"Yes, well, ahem, so, that's where I'm headed," Jimmy said.
"You know what? I think we'll come with you," Orange said. "She did, after all, invent the PC Storage System, it might be good for us to visit her."
"I thought we were supposed to be training today?" asked Violet, a rather irritated look on her face.
"We've been training all day," Orange said dismissively. "Anyway, it can't be that far, right, Jimmy?"
"Not that far, I don't think," Jimmy said as his blushing went away somewhat. "I think it's only a short walk from here."
"Great, then let's go!" Orange exclaimed. With that, the four trainers headed off in the direction indicated by Jimmy.
End of Chapter 14.
Chapter 15: A Meeting With Meg
"I am not!"
"You are too!"
"I am not!"
"You are too!"
"I am not!"
"You are too!" exclaimed Orange. "Just admit it, Jimmy, you are in love with Meg."
"I'm not!" insisted Jimmy, who had been blushing the entire time. "The PC Storage System is an absolute necessity for any trainer, and I just wanted to meet the person responsible for it!"
"Uh huh," smirked Orange. "Yeah. That's the entire reason, right?"
"Orange?" said Violet.
Orange stopped pestering Jimmy, and for the remainder of the walk, contented himself with grumbling under his breath and shooting the occasional glare at Violet.
True to Jimmy's word, the walk was indeed short. They came upon a relatively small building that seemed to be built entirely out of old computer parts and an assortment of pine cones.
"I think this might be the place," remarked Orange.
"It's the only house up this way," shrugged Red. Jimmy walked up to a cluster of keyboards held together with duct tape which seemed to function as a door, and knocked on it.
"Come in," came a female voice from inside. Jimmy opened up the door and led the way inside.
The interior was somewhat cluttered. A number of notebooks were piled in various areas all over the room. In the back, a pair of large steel cylinders were constructed. A thin metal pipe ran between the two structures, connecting them, and each one had a door on the front. As if to complete the chaotic picture, a .4 was zipping all around the room. As soon as it noticed the group, however, it flew in front of them, still moving constantly. And then, nobody could have expected what happened next.
It spoke to them.
"Oh, hey there, I'm glad someone's here," the .4 seemed to say in the same female voice they had heard earlier. "I need some help."
"I think I need some professional help," muttered Orange. "It sounded like that .4 was talking to us."
"I am," the .4 insisted. "I'm not a Pokémon. I'm Meg Abytte. I was conducting an experiment in teleportation, and I got combined with my .4 by accident. Please, can't one of you help me?"
"Sure, I'll help," Jimmy said, stepping forward. "My name's Jimmy, what do I have to do?" he asked.
"OK, I'm going to enter the chamber on the right," explained the .4. "Once I do that, you go to my computer over there and activate the teleporter. That should do the trick, OK?"
"Got it," nodded Jimmy. The .4 floated over to the door of the steel chamber on the right side of the room, and pushed at it. It didn't budge.
"Um, Miss Abytte, should I-?" began Jimmy.
"No matter," the .4 replied. "I've always wanted to try this anyway. TM28!!!"
The .4 backed up and let off a minor explosion. It was just enough to force the door open. It then floated into the chamber and pushed the door closed again. Jimmy walked over to a wooden table in front of the left chamber. On the screen, there was a large red button labeled "Activate Teleportation System". Jimmy took the computer mouse and clicked the button. Immediately, a humming noise could be heard from the steel device in the back of the room, as something seemed to be transferred from right to left. Then, the door to the left chamber opened up, and a young woman walked out, sighing in relief. She looked to be about Violet's age, if not a year or two older, and had waist-length wavy brown hair.
"Oh, thank you so much," she said as she walked over to Jimmy, who seemed incapable of forming a coherent response; he was too busy staring at Meg, mouth slightly agape. "Your name is Jimmy, you said, right?"
"Uh... Wha... Oh! Oh, yeah, yes, my name's Jimmy. Jimmy Errorcode," Jimmy replied, seeming to snap out of it, though he was blushing once again. "It's... it's a pleasure to... to meet you, Miss Abytte. Oh, yes, these are my friends, uh... um..."
"I'm Violet Scramble," Violet said, rolling her eyes at Jimmy. "This is Orange McPixel and this is Red Vershunn.
"Uh... hi..." murmured Orange. Violet turned to look at Orange, to discover that he was also staring at Meg, mouth slightly agape. Irritated by this, Violet snapped her fingers in Orange's face. When this failed to yield results, she instead opted to stomp on his foot. That snapped him out of it.
As Orange hopped around, clutching his afflicted foot and holding back what was sure to be a whole host of expletives, Red shook Meg's hand. "Nice to meet you," he said.
"Nice to meet all of you," smiled Meg. "So, I'm guessing you're all Trainers?"
"We are," replied Violet. "I'm afraid I haven't used your storage system yet, though. I only have four Pokémon."
"Nor have I," confessed Red. "Only three Pokémon."
Orange said nothing, clearly not trusting himself to not start cursing over his injured foot, but shook his head and shrugged, as if to say that he hasn't used the PC Storage System either.
"I haven't either," admitted Jimmy. "I only have three. This Weedle on my shoulder, plus a Venonat and a Scyther."
"Oh, a Venonat!" Meg exclaimed, her eyes lighting up. "Those are so cute, may I see it?"
"Sure!" Jimmy said as he took out a Poké Ball and tossed it straight up. The ball split open, unleashing Jimmy's Venonat into the room. Meg let out a little squeal of delight, and scooped the Venonat into her arms and hugged it.
"Oh, Venonat are so cuuute," she sighed.
"Veno veno nat," said Venonat, seeming to enjoy the attention.
"Wow," remarked Jimmy. "It's... it's not often I meet a girl who appreciates Bug Pokémon. Most of the ones I've met are creeped out by Bug-types. And not just girls, either, Orange here is downright afraid of them."
"OH, SHUT UP!" roared Orange.
"Oh, I love Bug-types," Meg said as she turned her attention to the Weedle on Jimmy's shoulder and started to stroke its back with her index finger. Immediately, the Weedle gave a contented sigh and relaxed. "Venonat's my favorite, but I love them all."
"You... you like... all... Bug-types..." Jimmy murmured, as if not daring to believe this.
"Oh, yes," Meg said, addressing her guests. "I want to thank you all for helping me out."
"Oh, well, it was really just Jimmy," Violet replied modestly.
"Vi, shut up, we might be getting free stuff," hissed Orange, earning himself a reproving glare from Violet.
"No, don't worry about it," smiled Meg as she produced three strips of cardboard from the pocket of her shorts. "I had won three tickets for the S.S. Nean cruise ship, but I get seasick really easily. The only thing is, I only have the three tickets, and there are four of you..."
"Actually, you can give them to Red, Orange and Violet," said Jimmy. "I, um... Miss Abytte..."
"Please, call me Meg," said Meg.
"...Meg... I was wondering if maybe... I could stay here for a while? Help you with anything you might need help with? I mean, I'm not very knowledgeable about computers, but I'd be... willing to learn..."
"You know, I've been meaning to take on an assistant," said Meg thoughtfully. "And, well, you are really nice, so sure, I'd have no problem with you staying here." She then handed the tickets to Orange, Violet, and Red.
"Thanks," said Red. "Just one question- where does the S.S. Nean dock, anyway?"
"She makes port in Miliovern once a year," replied Meg. "She stays in port for about a week before setting sail again, and during that week, the crew hosts a party for Pokémon Trainers."
"A party?" Orange repeated, his interest piqued. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's get going!" He grabbed Violet and Red's arms and practically dragged them out the door, giving them barely two seconds to hastily say good-bye to Meg and Jimmy.
Once they were out the door, Violet wrenched her arm free of Orange's grip. "OK, what the hell was that?" she demanded.
"What? What was what?" asked Orange defensively.
"You know perfectly well what was what," said Violet. "You were staring at her stupidly, mouth agape and everything."
"I was not," scoffed Orange.
"Yes you were."
"No I wasn't."
"Yes you were."
"No I wasn't!"
"Yes you were"
"Yes, I was!" Orange exclaimed defiantly. "I was staring at Meg like a horny, drooling idiot, and don't you dare tell me otherwise!"
"OK," smirked Violet as she calmly proceeded to walk down a narrow path labeled as a shortcut back to Ruceelna City. Orange and Red followed, the former somewhat confused as to what exactly happened. Then a look of dawning comprehension came over his face.
"Hey, wait a minute!" he exclaimed.
"Sorry, Orange, you already admitted to it," chuckled Violet.
"You tricked me into saying that!"
"Oh, did I?" asked Violet. "I was under the impression I just tricked you into saying you were staring at Meg. From where I stand, that part about being a 'horny, drooling idiot' was all you."
"RRRRRGH!" replied Orange through gritted teeth, which only made Violet laugh in a self-satisfied way. Even Red chuckled a little bit, which fortunately went unnoticed by Orange.
About fifteen minutes and one jump off of an eight-foot ledge later, the trio arrived back in Ruceelna City.
"It's getting late," Violet remarked. Indeed, it was starting to get dark. "I think we should go to the Pokémon Center for dinner, and then turn in for the night."
"I'm all for that," Orange nodded. "Only, I'd like us to go to the Pokémart first, cash in that Nugget we won. Red, you still got it?"
"Right here," Red responded as he pulled the solid gold sphere out of his backpack.
"Oh, come on, Red," sighed Violet. "That can wait until tomorrow."
"Oh, Tauros crap," snapped Orange. "We got plenty of time!"
Red looked back and forth between Violet and Orange, both of whom seemed to be awaiting his decision. Red gulped. He didn't like being put in this position.
"Well..." he began. "I mean... Uh... I mean, does it really matter, either way? Orange, I mean, what would be so bad about waiting until morning?"
"Hmph. Nothing, I guess," Orange grunted, though he looked distinctly disgruntled at Red's decision. "Sure, take her side," he added in an undertone as they headed towards the Pokémon Center.
"I don't want to take sides!" Red whispered indignantly. "No matter what I decided, I'd have gotten one of you pissed at me, and I don't want to do that! You're both my friends, I don't want to have to take sides against either one of you!"
"So why'd you take her side?" demanded Orange.
"I only intended it as an example," replied Red. "Violet's the one who ran with it."
Orange said nothing, though this answer seemed to satisfy him.
Once they reached the Pokémon Center, they entered the cafeteria and ordered dinner. Violet had an even number salad, triggering Orange's usual remarks about her being an evenetarian; Red had a seven burger with eight sauce; Orange had a plate of fried nines, much to Violet's exasperation.
"Fried nines again, Orange?" groaned Violet. "One of these days you're gonna wake up, and you'll have turned into a nine."
"Oh, quit nagging," said Orange. "Nothing wrong with having my favorite food."
"Orange, I swear, if we were married, I would put poison in your coffee." Violet sighed.
"Violet, I swear, if we were married, I'd drink it," Orange retorted.
The meal was pretty quiet after that. Once the center's Chansey had scanned their Pokédexes for identification purposes, the trio asked the nurse for a room, and were able to get the same room they had the previous night. Before going to sleep, Red made sure to take the earplugs Violet had given him and put them in his ears. Sure enough, even though Orange fell asleep first, even though the cacophony his mouth was producing was not unlike that of heavy machinery, Red had no problem getting to sleep, hearing only total silence.
The next morning, Red found himself being awoken, not by Orange's snores as he was starting to get used to, but by Orange yanking the sheets off of him.
"C'mon, Red, get up!" he exclaimed once Red groggily removed his earplugs. "Breakfast! Come on!"
Red got out of his bed and sluggishly got dressed. By the time the trio went for breakfast, he was much more awake and alert, and the fried nines and four juice he had for breakfast helped even more. Once they left the Pokémon Center, Orange spoke up.
"OK, after we hit the Pokémart, where to?" he asked.
"Well, we got in a good amount of training," Violet said. "Maybe we should head for Fansfor City now."
"But wait, what about the S.S. Nean?" asked Red. "Doesn't she set sail at the end of the week? If we're gonna make it to the party, shouldn't that be our first priority?"
"I'd have thought you'd want to get through the region quickly," Violet remarked. "Get to Bincanar Island faster and all that."
Red shrugged. "I do want some answers, but I'm starting to like Tanko. I wouldn't mind making a couple of detours."
"I'm all for that!" declared Orange. "Besides, a ship full of Pokémon Trainers can only mean one thing- battles! No such thing as too much training, am I right?"
"You got a point," conceded Violet. "OK, let's head for Miliovern City first."
"Second," Orange said suddenly. "First, the Pokémart."
"Fine," sighed Violet. With that, Orange led the way down a number of streets until they reached a building constructed entirely out of orange traffic cones, sheet metal, and glue sticks. A wooden sign was attached to the wall, with "Pokémart" painted on it in large red letters.
"I think we've arrived," said Orange.
"Yeah, you think?" said Violet sarcastically as she led the way in through a door made of sheet metal and duct tape.
The inside of the Pokémart was small and cluttered. Entire shelves of Poké Balls and Potions made navigation somewhat difficult. In one corner, a balding man was leaning on a wooden counter.
"Welcome to the Ruceelna City Pokémart," he said in a bored voice that implied he had said this many times before. "Are you buying or selling?"
"Selling," replied Red as he took the Nugget out of his backpack. The man took the golden sphere and eyed it from multiple angles, as if uncertain as to its authenticity. Finally, he took an odd scanning device from behind the counter and pointed i t at the Nugget. It hummed for a second, then made a dinging noise. Seemingly satisfied with this, the man paid Red 6,000 Pokédollars for the Nugget.
"Wow, 6,000!" Red whispered as they exited the Po Bkémart. They didn't have any of that 6,000 on them anymore- the three had unanimously decided to use the profits to replenish their dwindling Poké Ball supplies. "I don't think Nuggets sell for that much back in Kanto."
"Hey, it bought us more Poké Balls," shrugged Orange. "Can't complain about that. I had no idea I was down to just one! What would I have done if that one had failed? I mean, when a Poké Ball fails to catch a Pokémon-"
"We know, Orange, it explodes," sighed Violet.
"So, which way to Miliovern City?" asked Red.
"Should be south of here," Orange replied. "We'll have to pass through Fansfor to get there, though."
"And we can't just swing by the Gym and challenge the leader while we're passing through because...?" asked Red.
"...Huh," Orange muttered. "I guess we can."
Half an hour of walking later, the trio had left Ruceelna City, and very quickly found themselves facing a large mass of skyscrapers that seemed to be made up of rocks, pieces of fencing, and tree limbs, complete with leaves. Barring their way into the city was a tall fence made of sheet metal, fives, and nines, and a large building made of wooden planks and soda cans. An open doorway faced the group, and through it they could see that the building would lead them directly into Fansfor City. Orange led the way inside-
"Oh, no, no, no, you do not," came a voice. As one, the trio turned to their left, where they saw a rather pudgy security guard sitting behind a counter. "Sorry, road's closed."
"Why?" asked Orange.
"Because I'm hungry," the guard answered.
"So wait," Red frowned. "You're not letting us into Fansfor City because you're hungry?"
"That about sums it up, yeah," the guard replied.
"Come on!" whined Orange. "We gotta get through Fansfor City to get to Miliovern!"
"Take the bridge," suggested the security guard. "There's a bridge that takes you straight across Fansfor."
Orange stormed out of the gatehouse, grumbling audibly and saying rather unkind things about the security guard's mother. Reluctantly, Violet and Red followed.
Outside the gatehouse, Red now noticed a wooden staircase to his left, which seemed to lead to a metal walkway. Violet led the way up the stairs, but once they got to the top, and were faced with the prospect of crossing the relatively narrow bridge many feet above a large, bustling city, Violet hesitated. The bridge had handrails made out of plastic water bottles, so the risk of falling was minimal.
"Violet, what's wrong?" asked Red.
"N-nothing," Violet said. "It's just... a little high up, isn't it?"
"Just close your eyes," Red suggested. "You're not gonna fall, you know we wouldn't let that happen."
"Yeah.... Yeah..." Violet replied. She gulped, then squeezed her eyes shut and began to make her way slowly across the bridge. Orange was not pleased with this slow pace, and made a point of miming the action of checking a nonexistent watch every couple of seconds. Red ignored him, and since Violet kept her eyes shut, she had to ignore him as well.
Ten minutes later, they had crossed the bridge. Violet raced down the staircase, breathing heavily, and once they were all back on the ground, she held onto Red for support.
"I'm guessing you don't like heights too much, Violet?" asked Red.
"N-not really," sighed Violet.
"And you mock me for my fear of bugs," Orange smirked.
"Hey, a fear of heights is a legitimate thing!" snapped Violet. "You're scared of stuff like Caterpie and Metapod and Paras!"
"And Beedrill, and Scyther, and Z4," Orange shot back defensively.
"Oh, please, you're scared of any Bug-type and you know it," said Violet.
"Not any Bug-type!" said Orange. "You don't see me cowering in fear of your Butterfree, do you? Those are OK!"
Violet said nothing more at this. Once she stopped holding onto Red, they continued walking. A swarm of .4 flew overhead, and several Pidgey could be seen pecking at a small patch of grass. Then, they all stopped short, for a large Pokémon was crossing the concrete/water/seven-paved road, and was taking its sweet time doing so. It walked on a pair of skinny legs tipped with bird feet. Its torso was spherical and covered in brown feathers. From the top it sported not one, but two long, black necks, each one tipped with a brown, spherical head. Each head sported a pair of beady, black eyes, and a large, yellow beak.
"Wow, a Doduo!" Red exclaimed, holding out his Pokédex.
"Doduo, the Twin Bird Pokémon," said Red's Pokédex. "Doduo is more skilled at running than flying. It runs at speeds up to 60 miles per hour and leaves giant footprints."
"Pretty cool," remarked Orange. He considered going for a Poké Ball, but Red had beaten him to it.
"Go, Paras!" Red called as he launched a red-and-white sphere, unleashing the Bug/Grass-type. This caught the Doduo's attention, and made both heads turn to face it.
Doduo made the first move, Both heads lowered, and the whole thing charged forward.
"Paras, Stun Spore!" Red ordered.
"Paaaaraaaas!" exclaimed Paras as it unleashed a yellow dust from its mushrooms. Doduo dashed right into the yellow cloud and immediately toppled to the ground, the Stun Spore having successfully stopped the Skull Bash.
"OK, Paras, now use Scratch!" commanded Red.
"Paras par!" Paras replied as it scuttled towards Doduo and took a great swipe at its spherical torso, causing both heads to squawk in pain. Then the heads turned to face Paras and both began to peck at it mercilessly.
"That's Doduo's Fury Attack," stated Violet.
"Paras!" called Red, just as his Pokémon started to glow. Orange slowly backed up and hid behind Violet as the glow faded, revealing Paras to have evolved. What now stood in Paras's place sported one giant mushroom covering its entire back. It was slightly bigger than Paras had been, but other than that and the mushroom, it was relatively unchanged.
"Parasect, the Mushroom Pokémon, and the evolved form of Paras," droned Red's Pokédex. "Parasect spreads a variety of spores from the mushroom on its back. It prefers damp spaces."
"Cool," grinned Red. Then he noticed something as the Pokédex displayed the list of Parasect's attacks. "Hey, guys, what is it with Pokémon learning new moves just after evolving, anyway? It always seems to happen."
Orange and Violet shrugged. "No idea," said Violet. "So Parasect learned something new?"
"Looks like it," grinned Red. "Use Spore!"
"Sect!" hissed Parasect as it unleashed a plume of blue dust from beneath its giant mushroom. Immediately, Doduo slumped to the ground, both heads asleep. Red took the cue at once, and produced an empty Poké Ball from his backpack.
"Poké Ball, go!" Red shouted as he hurled the sphere. Parasect scuttled out of the way as the ball made contact with Doduo, turned it into red energy, and sucked it in. The ball fell to the ground and wobbled back and forth for several tense seconds, before falling still.
"Nice," grinned Orange as Red scooped up the ball.
"Yeah!" Red exclaimed. "I did it, Doduo is mine!"
"Para Parasect!" added Parasect before Red called it back into its Poké Ball.
End of Chapter 15.
Chapter 16: Family Feud Reunion
"Doduo, Skull Bash!"
"Spearow, Take Down!"
Spearow dove down and flew low to the ground as it streaked towards Doduo, who was also charging at its adversary, heads lowered. Both birds collided and were thrown backwards by the attacks they had been subjected to.
"Let's do it, Spearow! Peck attack!" ordered Orange.
"Doduo, use your own Peck!" called Red.
"Do do!"cawed Doduo's heads as it charged at Spearow once more. Spearow met it in the middle and they proceeded to peck at each other. Doduo got the upper hand fairly quickly; having two heads gave it a slight advantage.
"Don't give in, Spearow, Razor Wind!" shouted Orange.
"Whirlwind now!" Red commanded.
Spearow started flapping its wings, but Doduo cawed loudly, and large amounts of wind were expelled from their beaks, blowing Spearow back. As the Tiny Bird Pokémon struggled to stay steady in the turbulent wind, it started to glow and change shape!
"Aw, yeah!" Orange exclaimed, a wide grin on his face. "I had a feeling this was coming!" Sure enough, as the glow faded, Spearow was no more. In its place, a larger bird with a much more impressive wingspan hovered, having no problem going up against Doduo's Whirlwind. It had a longer, sharper beak to rival either one of Doduo's, and its entire body was covered in light brown plumage. Atop its head was a small, spiky red crest.
"Feeeeeaaaaaroooowwww!" it cawed loudly.
"Fearow, the Beak Pokémon, and the evolved form of Spearow," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Fearow's large and magnificent wings allow it to keep aloft without ever having to land or rest."
"Awesome!" Orange exclaimed. "Fearow, let's do it! Fury Attack!"
"Roooowwww!" Fearow screeched as it dive-bombed Doduo, giving it zero time to react before striking with its beak repeatedly.
"Come on, Doduo, use your own... Fury... Attack," Red said weakly as his Doduo fell to the ground and fainted.
"OK, Doduo is unable to battle, so Orange and Fearow win!" declared Violet from the sidelines.
"Doduo, return," Red sighed as he held out the Poké Ball, returning the Twin Bird Pokémon to it.
"Nice job, Fearow," Orange exclaimed as he withdrew his own Pokémon.
"That was pretty good," Violet said to both Orange and Red. "Both of you."
"Thanks," replied Red.
"OK, let's get going, Miliovern isn't much farther ahead!" Orange exclaimed excitedly.
"Orange, we got all day," sighed Red. "What's the rush?"
"He used to live in Miliovern before his family moved to Talpel," explained Violet. "When I first met him, he was... really unhappy about the move, to say the least."
"Oh, I handled it fine," Orange said dismissively.
"Uh huh," Violet smirked. "I seem to recall you ordering your mother's pet Pikachu to blow them all back to Miliovern with ThunderShock."
Orange's face reddened. "OK, maybe I took it a little hard."
"A little?" Violet repeated skeptically. "The first night you were there, I seem to recall you screaming throughout the entire night, about how you'd rather die than sleep in a strange house or something like that?"
"I was five!" Orange exclaimed. He then wheeled around and proceeded to march down the path, intent on reaching Miliovern City.
"Hey, Violet, I was wondering," said Red, "How did you and Orange become friends, anyway? I mean, if he was still that annoying back then... I dunno, it just got me wondering."
Violet sighed as she thought back. "Well, here's what happened..." she began.
Nine years ago...
A five-year-old girl was wandering down the streets of Talpel Town. She wore a dark purple jacket, and her long black hair was put in a ponytail. And she was bored. Violet had a tendency to be somewhat bossy, so not many other kids her age liked to play with her. In her boredom, she hadn't noticed that she was now wandering an alley between two large buildings. At least, not until a trio of adults surrounded her, each one clad in identical purple uniforms.
"Well, well, well," sneered one of them. "Little girls aren't supposed to interfere with grown-up business."
"Get out of my way," snapped five-year-old Violet. "I don't care about your grown-up business."
"Oooh, she's a fresh one," chuckled another one of the men. "You know what, little girl? I think it's time Team Error taught you some respect!" At this, each of them took out a Poké Ball. Now, Violet looked worried. The three men prepared to throw the balls, when-
"Hey! Team Error! Suck voltage!" came a shrill yell in a voice Violet had heard many times before. "Pikachu, ThunderShock!"
The Team Error grunts spun around to spot a five-year-old redheaded boy standing at the other end of the alley. More importantly, they also spotted the small, yellow Pokémon standing with him. And even more importantly, they also noticed the sparks of electricity crackling from its red cheeks.
"Hey, whoa, whoa, wait-" they began.
"Pikaaaa... CHUUUUUU!" bellowed the Pikachu as the grunts lit up with electricity, then collapsed in a heap. Wasting no time, Violet ran around them and stopped only when she was next to the boy.
"Hey, you OK?" asked Orange. "Those guys are bad news!"
Violet sniffed. "I didn't ask to be saved."
"I didn't say you had a choice in the matter," retorted Orange. "I didn't see you doing anything to stop them. I've seen you around here before, we're neighbors."
"I know," said Violet. "I heard you screaming all night last week."
"I didn't want to move here," said Orange. "We used to live in Miliovern City, but we moved here last week. I'm Orange McPixel."
"I'm Violet Scramble. So is this your Pikachu?" asked Violet as she crouched down to scratch the Electric-type behind the ears.
"Nah, Pikachu here is a family pet," replied Orange as Pikachu sighed contentedly, pleased with the attention. "I'm not old enough to own my own Pokémon yet, but when I am, I'm gonna become a Pokémon Trainer!"
"Hey, me too!" Violet exclaimed. "Only I'll be better than you!"
A somewhat lengthy silence followed this. After about a minute of watching the feebly stirring Team Error grunts, Orange spoke up again.
"So, wanna play?"
The two walked off, Pikachu following close behind, leaving the Team Error grunts as they tried to get to their feet, muttering various words that wouldn't have been appropriate for the two five-year-olds to hear.
"Huh," remarked Red. "So basically, you two were the only ones in town who could put up with each other?"
"I guess so," shrugged Violet. "Nobody else ever wanted to play with Orange because he was so annoying, and I used to be rather bossy, so that didn't help my case much either."
"So, why is Orange so scared of Bug-types, anyway?" Red asked quietly. At this, Violet smirked.
"Well, when he was six-" she began.
"VIOLET! I SWEAR TO MEW, IF YOU TELL HIM-!" Orange exclaimed suddenly, despite him being a good distance in front of Violet and Red, and thus seemingly out of earshot.
"How did he do that?" Red wondered out loud.
After another fifteen minutes of walking, Orange came to a stop, as they approached the top of a small hill. From there, they could see a sprawling city before them, and on the other side, the vast expanse of the sea.
"We made it!" Orange exclaimed. "Miliovern City! Just like I remembered it!"
"Well then," said Red, "I say we hit up the Pokémon Center first. Doduo could use a bit of a rest after that battle."
"Yeah, Fearow too," stated Orange. "Though I doubt we'll be using either one of them against the Miliovern Gym Leader."
"Why?" asked Violet. After a short pause, she sighed, "You know what type the Gym Leader uses, don't you?"
"Hey, I used to live here, what do you expect?" said Orange. "The Gym Leader's my cousin, she uses Electric-types."
Red and Violet exchanged somewhat surprised glances at this news. Neither one of them had guessed that Orange would be related to the Gym Leader.
Once they reached the Pokémon Center, the nurse was more than glad to treat everybody's Pokémon. A mere half hour later, she pronounced them all to be fighting fit.
"OK, let's go!" Orange exclaimed. "Miliovern Gym! Let's move!"
"Wait, what about the S.S. Nean?" asked Red. "When does she set sail?"
"Not until tomorrow night," Orange said dismissively. "We can get in our Gym battles today and still have all day tomorrow to party on the ship."
"It's getting a little late," Violet observed. "Do you really think we'll have time for all three of us to battle?"
"Sure, I don't see why not," said Orange. Without waiting for an answer, he led the way down the path (which seemed to be made of duct tape and pairs of sunglasses) to a large structure seemingly built entirely out of toothpicks, copper piping, and rubber bands.
"Let me guess- Miliovern Gym?" asked Red.
"Never thought I'd be back here," grinned Orange as he pushed his way through the double doors. Violet and Red followed him.
The interior of the Miliovern Gym was brightly lit. At the other end of the usual dirt battlefield stood a woman who looked slightly older than Orange, with fiery red hair that came down nearly to her waist.
"Orange!" she exclaimed. "Well, well, I didn't expect to see you here. So, you gonna introduce me to your friends?"
"Yep!" Orange stated. "Electra, this is Red Vershunn, and this is Violet Scramble. Vi, Red, this is my cousin, Electra McPixel, Gym Leader of Miliovern City."
"So, I'm guessing you're all here to battle me?" Electra asked, a confident smirk on her face.
"We are," Violet confirmed.
"Alright, but I think I want to battle my little cousin, first," said Electra. "He was always going on about how he'd be the best Pokémon Trainer in McPixel family history, so I'd like to see how he does."
"Let's do it!" Orange exclaimed excitedly as he took his position at the edge of the battlefield, having already taken a Poké Ball off his belt and enlarged it.
Electra stepped forward, taking one of her own Poké Balls. "Three Pokémon each," she stated. "How's that sound?"
"Fine by me!" Orange replied. "Let's go!"
In response, Electra smirked as she threw her Poké Ball. "Voltorb! Go!" she shouted.
In a flash of light, what appeared to be an overgrown Poké Ball with eyes instead of a button materialized on the battlefield. Orange nodded, apparently recognizing the species, but Violet was the one who took out her Pokédex.
"Voltorb, the Ball Pokémon," it droned. "Often found in power plants. It has zapped many people due to its resemblance to a Poké Ball."
Orange heaved his Poké Ball. "Nidoking! Go!" he shouted.
The ball opened up in midair, unleashing the monstrous, purple form of Orange's Nidoking. Electra looked mildly impressed, but not too worried.
"Let's get started!" she declared. "Voltorb, use Swift!"
"Voltorb," droned Voltorb in a monotonous mechanical voice as a barrage of glowing stars flew forth from its body. Nidoking tried to dodge them, but the stars changed course easily and slammed into the Poison/Ground-type.
"That's nothing!" scoffed Orange. "Nidoking! Quick Attack!"
Nidoking roared as it speedily dashed at Voltorb, slamming the Ball Pokémon backwards before Electra had any time to react.
"Voltorb, Rage attack!" she shouted.
"Voltorb, Voltorb," Voltorb droned menacingly, its eyes seeming to show more and more anger as its entire body started shaking. Within seconds, Voltorb sped forwards, and rolled into Nidoking.
"Rolling Kick now!" Orange ordered.
Nidoking roared again as it expertly delivered a roundhouse kick, sending Voltorb flying. As it crashed to the ground, though, Voltorb only seemed to be even more angry than before, and without waiting for orders, it slammed into Nidoking again, this time with more force.
"Smart move on Orange's part, using Nidoking," Red remarked. "Electric moves won't work on it."
"Yeah, but the way this is going, it doesn't seem to matter to Voltorb," Violet frowned as Nidoking blasted Voltorb with Water Gun, only to be met with another blow from the enraged sphere. "When a Pokémon uses Rage, it won't stop the attack until the fight is done, and it gets more powerful with each hit it takes."
"Nidoking! Aurora Beam!" Orange bellowed.
"Rage once more, Voltorb!" Electra ordered.
Voltorb lunged at Nidoking once again, but instead met with a rainbow-colored ray of light fired from Nidoking's horn.
"Vol... torb..." groaned Voltorb as it fought to get through the Ice-type move. Ultimately, Nidoking won out; Voltorb collapsed to the floor and ceased movement.
"All right!" Orange exclaimed as Electra withdrew Voltorb. Violet, however, noticed that Nidoking was breathing rather heavily.
"Orange, you might want to call Nidoking back for now," she advised him. "It's looking pretty tired."
"Huh... good point," conceded Orange as Electra prepared a second Poké Ball.
"Go, Magnemite!" she exclaimed as she threw the ball, unleashing what appeared to be a shiny, silver orb into the air. A single eye was visible on this orb as it hovered in midair. Three screws were inserted into the orb- two below its eye, and one on the very top of the orb. From either side of the orb there was attached a large Ponytashoe magnet.
"Magnemite, the Magnet Pokémon," said Violet's Pokédex. "Uses antigravity to stay suspended. Appears without warning and uses Thunder Wave and similar moves."
"OK, Nidoking, take a rest!" Orange declared as he held out Nidoking's Poké Ball, allowing the red beam to recall the ball's occupant. Once Nidoking had been withdrawn, Orange threw another ball. "I choose you, A!"
In a flash of light, Orange's A materialized. It floated in midair, roughly level with Magnemite.
"An A, pretty impressive, those don't appear very often," Electra observed.
"Not too shabby, huh?" Orange grinned proudly. "Now let's get going so we can beat you already."
"Magnemite, ThunderShock!" ordered Electra.
"A, Transform!" called Orange.
As Magnemite crackled with electricity, A glowed and changed shape, shrinking down slightly. Once the glowing ceased, there now floated two Magnemite on the field. Electra's Magnemite launched a sizzling blast of lightning at A, but in its Transformed state, the Speed Demon Pokémon took the attack with little effect.
"A, use your own ThunderShock!" Orange shouted.
A squeaked loudly as it let off an identical electrical blast. Magnemite, as could be expected, endured the move easily.
"Magnemite, use your Double-Edge!" ordered Electra.
"A, Supersonic!" said Orange.
Magnemite charged forward, but was stopped short as A let off a barrage of visible soundwaves, stopping the Magnet Pokémon where it hovered. After a moment, Magnemite began to float about erratically, its eye not focusing on anything.
"It's confused!" Orange exclaimed. "A, Thunder Wave now!"
A gave a loud squeal as it fired off a jolt of electricity at Magnemite. This time, the electricity continued to crackle all around Magnemite after the attack had ended, and Magnemite found itself floating closer to the floor.
"All right, A, Double-Edge now!" Orange ordered.
"Magnemite, Reflect!" called Electra.
In spite of the confusion and paralysis, Magnemite managed to create a shimmering wall of light in front of it, off which A bounced harmlessly. Around that point, the confusion seemed to wear off, though Magnemite was clearly still paralyzed.
"A, Double-Edge again!" Orange exclaimed.
"Magnemite, Thunderbolt!" ordered Electra.
A charged forward once again, but the real Magnemite let loose a massive bolt of electricity, stopping A in its tracks. Once the attack was finished, A collapsed to the floor, unmoving.
"WHAT?!" Orange exclaimed as A's Transform wore off, the Normal/Normal-type reverting to its usual form. "Rrrgh... A, return now!" he snapped, holding out the Poké Ball. Once A was back in its ball, Orange threw a third Poké Ball. "Let's go, .4!"
The ball split open, unleashing the impossibly hyperactive .4 into the air, where it made two or three laps around the entire battlefield in about two seconds, then floated in front of Orange, practically quivering with excitement.
"Magnemite, Thunderbolt it!" Electra exclaimed.
".4, TM05 now!" Orange ordered.
"Magnemiiiiiite," droned Magnemite as it fired off another Thunderbolt. .4, however, ducked beneath it, then charged towards Magnemite, only to pull off at the last second and vanish into thin air.
"Now use TM28!" Orange shouted.
"EEEEEEEEEEE!" shrieked .4 as the air behind Magnemite exploded, sending the Electric-type crashing to the floor. Seizing its chance, .4, who had reappeared, began flying in circles around Magnemite, letting off multiple minor explosions in rapid succession. Once it was done, it was clear that Magnemite wasn't going to make any more effort to get back up.
"Impressive. Very impressive," nodded Electra as she withdrew Magnemite. "But the fun's just beginning."
"Ohhhh, crap," Orange muttered as a smirk made its way onto Electra's face. "If she's using what I think she's using..."
"Electabuzz, let's go!" shouted Electra as she threw a Poké Ball. Immediately, a human-shaped creature appeared, black stripes covering a large portion of its bright yellow body. Sparks of electricity crackled between the horns on its head, its hands were clenched into fists, and its tail whipped back and forth.
"Ohhhh, crap," repeated Orange as Violet held her Pokédex out.
"Electabuzz, the Electric Pokémon," the machine stated. "Found near power plants, where they feed on electricity. Notorious for causing major power outages."
"Not good, I'm guessing?" said Red.
"Electabuzz is her strongest Pokémon," Orange whispered. "It's nearly unstoppable."
"You can do it, Orange," Violet said encouragingly. "You have more Pokémon still able to battle, and one of them has the type advantage."
"Yeah... yeah, you're right!" Orange exclaimed, his usual grin returning at full force. "OK! .4, use your TM28 attack!"
"Electabuzz, Teleport!" Electra exclaimed.
As .4 gibbered incoherently and blew up, Electabuzz vanished into thin air, only to reappear several yards off to the left, well out of the way of the attack.
".4, again!" Orange ordered.
"Electabuzz, Mega Punch!" yelled Electra.
Electabuzz growled loudly as it slammed its fist into the oncoming .4, sending it flying backwards. The attack seemed to have little effect, however, for .4 came right back and exploded in Electabuzz's face.
"Yes!" Orange exclaimed. However, as the dust settled, Electabuzz could be seen, more or less unscathed, hiding behind a shimmering wall of light.
"Light Screen?!" Orange whined. "OH, COME ON! .4, let's end this! TM09!"
.4 trilled loudly as it rose high into the air and caught fire. Then it dove down towards Electabuzz, and a violent explosion ensued. Electabuzz had dove out of the attack's path, but wound up caught up in the blast anyway. Unfortunately, while Electabuzz was able to get back up, .4 was not so fortunate.
".4, return!" he shouted as he held .4's ball in one hand and threw another one with his other hand. "Nidoking, go!"
In a flash of light, Nidoking was back out onto the battlefield. It roared loudly, stomped the battlefield, and glared across the battlefield at its foe, who glared right back.
"Let's end this here and now!" Orange exclaimed. "Nidoking, Quick Attack!"
"Electabuzz, use your own Quick Attack!" Electra shouted.
Both Nidoking and Electabuzz tore across the battlefield, colliding at high speeds, bouncing off each other. As they slowly got back up, Electra grinned evilly.
"Let's end this here and now," she said, mockingly repeating Orange's earlier words. "Electabuzz... Psychic."
Electabuzz's body took on a blue aura, and a blast of blue light came off of it, striking Nidoking, seeming to hurt it a lot. When the light faded, Nidoking collapsed to the floor and did not move.
"Wha... wha..." Orange stammered as the reality of what just happened started to sink in. Though Nidoking was now feebly stirring, it was clearly in no fit shape to battle any further.
"Not a bad match, cousin," said Electra as she withdrew Electabuzz. "But what say you toughen your Pokemon up a little more, hmm? I'd love to take on your friends, only this is around the time I close up the Gym for the night."
"I told you we wouldn't have time for all three of us," said Violet. Orange didn't answer, still seemingly stunned at the battle's outcome as he withdrew Nidoking.
"Orange, you should listen to your girlfriend there," said Electra.
"My WHAT?!" Orange exclaimed, seeming to snap out of it. "What- you think she- and I- WHAT?!?!"
Electra giggled, pleased at this reaction. "Well, I think you better get going to the Pokémon Center. Great seeing you again, Orange."
"Yeah, yeah," Orange grumbled as he led the way out of the Gym. Though he had clearly snapped out of his funk, the look in his eyes betrayed the fact that he was still unable to believe that he had actually lost.
End of Chapter 16.
Chapter 17: Battle Aboard The S.S. Nean
"Orange, will you-"
"ORANGE!" Violet shouted. This snapped Orange out of it.
The trio was back in the Miliovern Pokémon Center, in the room they had been given for the night. Orange hadn't touched much of his food back at dinner (in spite of Violet having ordered fried nines for him), and now he would only sit on his bed and stare off into space, seemingly incapable of processing the fact that he lost a Pokémon battle.
"OK. We get it, Orange. You lost," Violet said impatiently. "Every trainer loses a battle at some time. Heck, you lost to me back in Ivadirin City, remember?"
"That was different," Orange sighed. "That was just a practice battle to toughen up .4 and Chompy. They were both brand new, .4 was freshly caught, and you had just gotten Chompy, so the trainers' skills didn't come into play as much as in a real Gym battle. Not only that, Electra never really thought I'd be any good as a trainer. I just... I wanted to prove her wrong."
"Well, look," said Red, "Tomorrow we'll be on the S.S. Nean, at a party with tons of other trainers, we can toughen up our Pokémon there, and then you can battle her again, OK?"
"Yeah... I guess so," Orange sighed. Violet glanced at him, a hint of concern showing on her face in place of her usual glare.
Not long after this, the trio went off to sleep. Or at least, it seemed that way; had Red not put in his earplugs (which was starting to become a habit now with him), he might have noticed a distinct lack of earsplitting snoring.
Next morning, Red woke up and removed his earplugs to find Orange's snoring in full force. He was about to hit Orange over the head with his pillow, but Violet woke up at that moment and beat him to it.
"Zzzzz-mmph! Gah! Wha?!" Orange spluttered as he leapt out of his bed, awoken by Violet's pillow. "Oh, come on, Vi, what was that for?"
"Good morning to you, too," Violet yawned as she removed her earplugs. "C'mon, get dressed, you two, we want to get in as much time on the S.S. Nean as we can before tonight, right?"
"Right!" Red declared.
"Yeah, right, sure," Orange nodded, though without his heart in it.
Once they were all dressed and had eaten their breakfast (Orange had his usual fried nines, and this time ate quite a bit more than he had the night before; Violet had a glass of eight juice; Red had several slices of zero toast with a small side of fried nines), the trio left the Pokémon Center and set off towards the docks, following the nurse's directions. Orange had adamantly refused to ask for directions, insisting that he knew Miliovern City like the back of his own hand; Violet asked the nurse for directions anyway, which turned out to be a wise move, for she had to correct Orange on three different occasions. Orange, however, didn't seem to be in too much of an argumentative mood today, and even neglected to step around a freeze arch; Red and Violet had to pull him free.
"Thanks," he mumbled.
"Oh, for Mew's sake, snap out of it already!" Violet exclaimed suddenly. Red wheeled around to watch this, taken completely aback by this. "Will you stop moping around, Orange? You're driving us crazy! OK, you lost against your cousin- big deal! If anything, that should motivate you to train harder! You think moping around feeling sorry for yourself is gonna help you beat her? Now you get on that ship and you wipe out every last trainer on board, and then you march right back into that Gym and you take out every single Pokémon that cousin of yours throws at you!!"
Orange was visibly startled by Violet's sudden outburst, and for a moment, didn't speak. Once he found his voice, he said, "OK, you know what, Vi? For once in your life, you're right. What am I doing, moping around like this, anyway? Yeah! You know something? I'll do it. I'll go and take out every single Pokémon belonging to every single trainer on board that ship, and then I'll go back into Miliovern Gym and I'll beat Electra's team so badly they won't know what hit them! Come on, guys, let's do this!" With that, Orange ran off in the direction of the docks, with Violet and Red following behind.
"You sure that was wise?" Red asked Violet. "He's even more worked up than usual, and that's saying something."
"I still prefer it to when he was all mopey," replied Violet.
"Good point," Red conceded. "C'mon, Violet, we should probably try and catch up, otherwise there won't be any trainers left for us to fight by the time we get there."
"Right," grinned Violet as they started to jog after Orange.
For the next five minutes, the trio raced along the streets of Miliovern (Red and Violet caught up to Orange fairly quickly), until they reached a street which stretched along the coastline. Numerous docks seemingly crafted out of Styrofoam, threes, empty soup cans, and a large assortment of Nintendo Game Boy Colors lined this street, with various forms of aquatic transportation moored at these docks. Red spotted what appeared to be a submarine made entirely out of duct tape, and a small motorboat made out of TV remote controls and leaves. What they were looking for, however, they spotted within seconds- a massive structure, floating on the water, with a hull made primarily out of pine cones and white toilet seats, the words "S.S. Nean" painted near the bow in large, black letters. A man in a sailor's uniform stood next to a gangplank which seemed to consist entirely of aluminum siding, pieces of fence, and chunks of rock.
"Tickets, please," he said in a bored voice. Orange dug his ticket out of his pocket and showed it to the man. Red pulled his ticket out of his backpack, and Violet produced her ticket from her fanny pack. "Alright, welcome aboard," said the man, stepping aside to let them pass.
The trio walked up the gangplank and found themselves on the ship's deck, the floor of which looked like it was made up of chunks of concrete and rocks. The muffled sound of commotion could be heard from behind a door right in front of them, which seemed to lead to an indoor portion of the ship. Orange walked up to the plastic door and yanked it open, and was greeted with a loud rush of cheering. Leading the way inside, Orange pushed through a sizable crowd, and found himself looking at what the crowd had gathered to see- a Pokémon battle was well underway. Red and Violet caught up to Orange and watched the fight unfold along with him- on one side, there stood a short, vaguely human-like Pokémon with a yellow body (the bottom half a darker shade than the top), and on the other side, a furry, brown rodent that everyone present recognized as a Raticate. Violet took out her Pokédex and pointed it at the Raticate's opponent.
"Drowzee, the Hypnosis Pokémon," droned the device. "Employs hypnotic powers to put its enemies to sleep before eating their dreams. Drowzee can get sick from eating bad dreams."
"Let's go, Drowzee!" exclaimed its trainer. "Seismic Toss!"
"Raticate, a Jump Kick!" commanded the opposing, and extravagantly overdressed trainer (he was wearing, in addition to his suit and bow tie, a pair of fancy glasses and a top hat).
"Jump Kick?" repeated Orange in a confused whisper. "I didn't think Raticate could learn that..."
"Rrrrraticate!" snarled Raticate as it lunged forward, slamming its foot into the oncoming Drowzee, causing it to stumble backwards.
"Drow!" gasped Drowzee in an eerie tone which somehow seemed to echo. Drowzee fell to the floor, but got up almost immediately.
"Don't give in, Drowzee! Use Mega Punch!" yelled the Drowzee's trainer.
"Raticate, Super Fang attack!" said the Raticate's trainer.
"Drow... zee!" Drowzee exclaimed as it slammed its right fist into Raticate's side. Though the attack clearly hit hard, Raticate recovered quickly and sank its prominent front teeth into Drowzee's right arm, causing the Psychic-type to howl in pain.
"All right, Quick Attack now!" the trainer exclaimed.
"Rrrrraticate!" screeched Raticate as it released its dental grip on the Drowzee's arm, backed up a bit, and slammed into it with incredible speed. Neither Drowzee nor its trainer had any time to react to this as the former fell to the floor, unconscious.
"And that's win number ten for my Raticate," the overdressed man declared proudly as the Normal-type walked over and stood near his feet, glancing at various members of the crowd, as if daring any of them to try and take it on. "Do we got any other challengers, or should we just call it a day?"
"Oh, you got yourself another challenger, all right!" Orange exclaimed as he pushed his way out of the crowd, finding himself within the wide circle everyone was forming around the two trainers.
"Mm-hmm!" nodded the man, grinning at the young trainer. "And you think you got what it takes to beat my Raticate here?"
"You better believe I do," said Orange as he took a Poké Ball off his belt and enlarged it. "Ready to go?"
"Always," the man stated. "We accept your challenge! Raticate, go!"
"Raticate!" exclaimed Raticate as it stepped forward.
Orange threw the ball into the air. ".4, I choose you! Go!" he shouted as the ball split open, unleashing the small, purple Pokémaniac-type in a flash of bright light. Upon being let out, .4 zipped around in small circles, gibbering unintelligibly out of sheer excitement.
"Raticate, Hyper Fang attack!" the man ordered.
".4, TM28 attack!" called Orange.
As Raticate lunged forward, front teeth bared and ready, .4 flew down to meet it, and promptly let loose a minor explosion, sending Raticate flying backwards and crashing to the floor. Raticate, however, got up almost immediately afterwards, still ready to go.
"Not bad!" the man declared. "Now, Raticate, a Jump Kick!"
"Rrrrrraticaaate!" screeched Raticate as it leapt up again, this time aiming a kick at .4.
"Use TM05 now!" said Orange.
.4 zipped forward once more, streaking right at Raticate, but pulled out of it at the last second and vanished into thin air. A surprised and confused Raticate fell to the floor and slowly climbed back to its feet, wincing in pain.
"Cool," grinned Violet. "Raticate kept going and crashed!"
"Finish it with Wing Attack!" Orange yelled.
"Stop!" the other trainer exclaimed suddenly as he walked up and scooped his Raticate into his arms. "Your .4's proven how tough it is. What say we call it a draw?"
"Hey, come on, I was winning!" Orange argued, but the man didn't seem to hear him. Shrugging this off, Orange glanced around at the numerous trainers still gathered around. "Well, come on, who's next?" he called. Numerous trainers spoke up at once, all of them wanting to challenge Orange, who selected one of them at random. The battle quickly commenced, Orange's .4 against the trainer's 7g. As the two traded blows, Red heard a voice nearby.
"Aw, come on, I wanted to battle!" a nearby trainer was complaining. He looked to be around Red's age, with short, spiky black hair.
"Hey, if you want to battle, I'm up for a fight," Red offered. The other trainer turned to face Red and grinned.
"You're on!" he declared. "Name's Terrence, who're you?"
"I'm Red," stated Red. "And this is Violet, and the guy with the .4, that's Orange, our friend.
"Nice to meet you, Red," nodded Terrence. "Now let's get going, huh?"
"Fine by me," said Red as they walked over to a less crowded part of the room. Violet followed behind and stood next to Red.
"Two Pokémon each?" asked Red as he took out a Poké Ball.
"Fine by me," replied Terrence as he mimicked this action.
"Doduo, go!" Red called as he launched his ball.
"I choose Sandshrew!" shouted Terrence as he threw his Poké Ball
In identical flashes of light, Red's Doduo appeared, as did a bipedal, yellow-brown Pokémon, its hands tipped with small yet sharp claws.
"Sandshrew, the Mouse Pokémon," said Red's Pokédex. "Sandshrew burrow underground in arid locations and emerge only to hunt for food."
"Doduo, let's win this!" Red exclaimed. "Peck attack now!"
"Do do Doduo!" exclaimed both of Doduo's heads simultaneously as it dashed forward.
"Sandshrew! Scratch attack!" commanded Terrence.
"Shrewwww!" screeched Sandshrew as it curled its body into a spherical shape and rolled forward at a rapid pace. As it approached Doduo, Sandshrew unfurled its body, leapt up, and raked its claws across Doduo's torso, sending the Twin Bird Pokémon tumbling backwards.
"Come on, Doduo!" Red encouraged his Normal/Flying-type. "Fight back with Skull Bash!"
Doduo regained its footing and charged at Sandshrew once more, this time with heads lowered.
"Sandshrew, use your Body Slam!" ordered Terrence.
"Sa-shrew!" Sandshrew replied as it leapt into the air, then landed deliberately and forcefully on Doduo's back, the weight of its whole body forcing Doduo down to the floor. Sandshrew expertly leapt off as Doduo struggled to climb back to its feet.
"Fury Attack!" Red called.
"Sandshrew! Fury Swipes now!" shouted Terrence.
Doduo charged at Sandshrew once more as the Ground-type jumped up, claws bared. An all-out melee ensued as Doduo's heads jabbed at Sandshrew with their beaks, while Sandshrew scratched at the heads repeatedly. The two broke apart, with both of them breathing heavily.
"What now?" Violet muttered to Red.
"I don't know," Red admitted. "That Sandshrew's pretty good against anything I try. Attack power isn't much use when the moves aren't even hitting- Doduo?" Red said, for while he was speaking, Doduo proceeded to charge up what appeared to be a large, glowing triangle between its two heads.
"Wait a second," Violet said, snapping her fingers. "You said 'try' and then 'attack'. Doduo must've thought you meant Tri Attack! It knows Tri Attack!"
"Whoa!" Red exclaimed at this revelation as Doduo fired off the Tri Attack, the large, glowing triangle striking Sandshrew, sending it tumbling backwards. "Way to go, Doduo! Let's finish this right now, use Skull Bash!"
"Get up, Sandshrew! Poison Sting!" exclaimed Terrence. However, it was no good. As Sandshrew struggled to get back onto its feet, Doduo plowed both heads into the Ground-type. Sandshrew flew backwards and slammed into a wall, where it slowly slid down and slumped to the floor, where it lay without any further movement. Scowling, Terrence withdrew his Sandshrew, then took out another Poké Ball.
"Good job, Doduo!" Red exclaimed, grinning widely as Doduo cawed triumphantly.
"Don't get too excited, this battle's just getting started!" declared Terrence as he threw his next Poké Ball. "I choose you!"
In a flash of light, a blue Pokémon of moderate size appeared. It stood on four legs, and small barbs were visible on various points all over its body, including its sizable ears.
"Nidorina, the Poison Pin Pokémon, and the evolved form of the female Nidoran," droned Violet's Pokédex. "Though usually docile, Nidorina will attack with bites and scratches when provoked. Its horns develop slower than Nidorino's, so it prefers attacks involving its claws and teeth."
"Doduo, you still good to go?" asked Red. Doduo gave a pair of affirmative caws, and stared down at Nidorina, who stared right back at the two heads. "OK! Doduo, Tri Attack now!" Red ordered.
"Do do!" cawed Doduo as it charged up and launched a great, glowing triangle from between its two heads.
"Nidorina, Tackle attack!" ordered Terrence.
Nidorina deftly evaded the Tri Attack, then charged forward, slamming into Doduo's spherical torso, sending it stumbling backwards.
"Now finish it with Thunderbolt!" yelled Terrence.
"Riii...naaaaa!" screeched Nidorina as she unleashed a sizzling blast of electricity. Doduo screeched and cawed in pain as the electricity lit up its entire body, then crumpled in a heap as the attack ended.
"Doduo, return now!" Red said as he held out Doduo's Poké Ball in his left hand. Once Doduo was back in its ball, Red threw another Poké Ball with his right hand. "Charmeleon, come on out!" he added.
In a flash of light, Red's Charmeleon materialized. It stomped the floor, snorted, and glared at Nidorina menacingly. Nidorina met Charmeleon's gaze unflinchingly. Both of them were ready for battle.
"Charmeleon, Flamethrower!" Red ordered.
"Nidorina, Water Gun!" called Terrence.
Simultaneously, Charmeleon unleashed a powerful stream of flames from its mouth, and Nidorina let fly a stream of water from her mouth. The two attacks collided in midair, and a great deal of steam was produced, as fire was extinguished and water evaporated at identical rates. The two were evenly matched, and neither side was giving an inch. This went on for some time, until Nidorina's attack started to weaken. More steam ensued as Charmeleon's Flamethrower started to overpower the Water Gun, and Nidorina was finally hit by the move.
"All right, Charmeleon!" cheered Red. "Now use Scratch and finish it!"
"Char!" replied Charmeleon as it lunged forward and took a swipe at Nidorina with its glowing right claws, sending it flying. Nidorina landed on the floor at Terrence's feet, unconscious.
"Rrrrgh!" Terrence exclaimed as he withdrew Nidorina. "I lost! But this is not the end, Red! We will meet again, we will battle again, and next time, I will win!" With that, he wheeled around and stormed off.
"Wow," Red remarked. "Almost makes Orange seem sane."
"Yeah," agreed Violet. "Oh, by the way, that wasn't Scratch Charmeleon used back there. Did you notice its claws glowing like that? That was Slash."
"Was it really?" Red asked with an air of surprise. "Nice one, Charmeleon!" he exclaimed.
"Charmeleon," replied the Flame Pokémon with a satisfied smirk. As Red withdrew Charmeleon, Orange came walking over to them, a satisfied smirk of his own on his face.
"How'd the battle go?" asked Violet.
"Battles, not battle!" Orange grinned. "It was awesome! I must have battled 10 or 12 trainers back there and I beat them all! .4 and Fearow are totally wiped, but they were so great!"
"How did you manage that many battles?" asked Red. "I only got in one just now, and it wasn't that long."
"I'm that good, I guess," shrugged Orange. "Did you win?"
"Yep," replied Red. "The guy was a bit of a sore loser, though."
"Man, I hate that," said Orange, shaking his head. Red and Violet exchanged exasperated looks at this.
Hours passed. Red, Orange, and Violet took to challenging any trainer who happened to pass them by. Red and Parasect came out on top against a young girl and her 44Hy; Violet made great use of Skulls's Mimic attack against a middle-aged man's Poliwag, turning its own Hypnosis against it; Orange and A narrowly came out on top after a fierce bout with a teenage boy and his Magmar. After dozens of battles, all their Pokémon were completely exhausted, so they decided to go out onto the deck and get some fresh air.
Out on the deck, the sky was getting dark; the pixellated, blocky, scrambled sun was descending in the sky.
"The ship's gonna set sail soon," Orange remarked. "You think we should head back to the Pokémon Cen- whoa!"
For at that moment, the entire ship lurched, as something collided with the hull with great force. Red looked over the side, but pulled his head back swiftly.
"Red, what is it?" asked Violet. Red opened his mouth, when a massive creature emerged from the water, towering over the ship. A very large serpent with blue scales, as well as jagged white scales poking out in place. A pair of beige whiskers were on either side of its gaping mouth, in which four massive, sharp fangs could be seen. Its eyes, perpetually narrowed in an expression of anger, scanned the area before settling on the trio of trainers below it.
"That," Red remarked, pointing up at the Gyarados before them.
"Gyarados, the Atrocious Pokémon, and the evolved form of Magikarp," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Rarely seen in the wild. Huge and vicious, Gyarados can destroy entire cities in a towering rage."
"Not good," said Red, Orange, and Violet simultaneously.
Gyarados backed up slightly. Any hopes that it was about to go back into the water were quickly dashed as it rammed the ship again, rocking it violently, As it rocked from side to side, Violet lost her balance and fell over the side, into the water, in extremely close proximity to the Gyarados.
"Violet!!" Orange exclaimed as he ran over to the railing and looked into the water to see her thrashing about.
"Orange, get away from there!" Red shouted.
"Like hell I will," retorted Orange. Just then, Gyarados seemed to notice Violet trying to stay afloat near it. It lowered its head towards Violet, mouth wide open.
"Oh, crap," Red muttered as he prepared a Poké Ball. Orange, however, was quicker.
"No you don't!" he shouted as he threw an empty Poké Ball at the Gyarados. The Atrocious Pokémon was sucked inside almost immediately, and the ball fell down to the deck. While it was still shaking, Orange scooped up the sphere and heaved it towards the ocean as hard as he could, achieving an impressive distance. Just before the ball hit the water, it exploded into thousands of pieces, and Gyarados re-emerged, only now at a much more favorable distance from the ship.
Wasting no time, Orange threw another Poké Ball into the air, calling out Q. Though the Deep Sea Pokémon was wiped out from its prior battles, it still had sufficient strength to telekinetically haul Violet back on board. Sopping wet, Violet was shivering, not only from the cold, but presumably also due to almost having become a Gyarados's dinner.
"Vi, you OK?" asked Orange as he knelt down to look at Violet. Violet looked at Orange and shakily wrapped him in a hug, not saying anything at the moment. Orange seemed rather startled by this, but made no objection to it. Red, meanwhile, looked out into the distance, where the Gyarados was glaring at the ship. After several tense moments of this, the Gyarados silently turned around and descended back beneath the surface of the water. Red sighed in relief as Orange helped a shaking Violet to her feet.
"Orange... Thanks..." Violet said quietly.
Half an hour later, the trio found themselves back at the Miliovern City Pokémon Center. Violet had dried off and changed into a fresh set of clothes (how she had managed to fit a change of clothes in her fanny pack, much less keep the contents of said fanny pack completely dry, was beyond Orange and Red's understanding), and they were in the middle of eating dinner.
"Well, I think we all got in some good training today," Red remarked. "Orange, by the way, you were something else back there. I didn't even think of doing what you did, with that Poké Ball."
"Yeah... I guess it was... kinda cool," Violet added reluctantly. Orange stared at her, half grinning.
"It would actually hurt you to give me a compliment with your whole heart!" he stated. "I saved your life back there, Vi, that Gyarados would've eaten you!"
"I would've been fine," Violet said. "I didn't ask to be saved."
"I didn't say you had a choice in the matter," Orange retorted.
Red silently observed this conversation, though his mind was on something else entirely. "Hey... hey, guys," he said.
"Yeah?" said Orange as he and Violet turned to look at Red.
"What, Red?" asked Violet.
"I just thought of something," said Red. "I was thinking back to when Electra was using Electabuzz. I couldn't help but notice something about the way it was battling, and if my hunch is right, I think you just might be able to find a way around it after all, Orange."
End of Chapter 17.
Chapter 18: Showdown in Miliovern Gym
The double doors of the Miliovern City Pokémon Gym flew open with a BANG, much to Electra's surprise. Her brief look of surprise turned to a smirk, for standing in the doorway was none other than her little cousin, Orange.
"Well, well," she remarked as Orange marched into the building, Red and Violet following behind him. "Back for another thrashing, eh, Orange?"
"Oh, I'm here for a thrashing- yours!" replied Orange. "You're going down this time, Electra."
"We'll see about that," Electra smirked as she readied a Poké Ball. "Ready to lose?"
"I was about to ask you the same thing," retorted Orange as he too readied a ball.
"Same rules as last time- three Pokémon each," stated Electra. "Let's do it!" And she launched the ball in her hand. "Voltorb, go!"
In a flash of light, Electra's Voltorb materialized. The oversized Poké Ball lookalike sat in place, glaring up at Orange, who threw the ball he was holding. "Go, Nidoking!" he shouted, as Nidoking emerged from the Poké Ball, roaring loudly.
"Voltorb, use Rage!" Electra ordered.
"Voltorb, Voltorb," droned Voltorb as its eyes narrowed in anger. The Ball Pokémon then launched itself forward and rammed into Nidoking.
"Nidoking, PoisonPowder!" commanded Orange.
Nidoking roared loudly, blasting clouds of purple dust from its mouth. Voltorb attempted to evade the move, but without success. A purple tint made itself visible on Voltorb's forehead, and its eyes betrayed a weary look.
"Smart," remarked Violet. "Voltorb's poisoned. And a move like PoisonPowder isn't going to power up its Rage, but Voltorb's gonna take more and more damage.
Voltorb, not waiting for more orders, slammed into Nidoking a second time. The Drill Pokémon roared loudly as the Rage attack connected. Voltorb then moved in for another hit.
"Dodge it, Nidoking!" called Orange. "Use TM05!"
Nidoking roared as it ran towards Voltorb, but leapt off to the side at the last second and vanished into thin air. Voltorb glanced around wildly, searching for Nidoking and not spotting it. It then winced as the poison continued to take its toll on the Electric-type.
"OK, let's wrap this up!" Orange exclaimed. "Rolling Kick!"
Another loud roar was heard, and Voltorb was suddenly propelled forcefully into the gym's wall. Nidoking then reappeared, a satisfied grin on its face as Voltorb fell to the floor and ceased all movement.
"Nice!" Red exclaimed.
"Voltorb, return!" said Electra as she withdrew the Electric-type, then produced a second Poké Ball. "Not bad at all, Orange," she said. "Not bad at all. But let's see if you can keep things going, shall we?" She then heaved the Poké Ball and shouted, "I choose you, Magnemite!"
In a flash of light, Electra's Magnemite materialized, floating in midair, its single eye glancing in different directions before settling on Nidoking.
"Nidoking, PoisonPowder now!" ordered Orange.
"Magnemite, Supersonic!" commanded Electra.
"Magnemite," droned Magnemite as it released a volley of circular sound waves from its body. Nidoking roared and let off clouds of purple dust at the same time. As Nidoking was subjected to the Supersonic attack, Magnemite was covered in the PoisonPowder. Its eyelid and magnets drooped slightly as the poison started to take its effect. Nidoking, meanwhile, began to stumble about, its eyes unfocused.
"Magnemite's poisoned," grinned Red.
"Yeah, and Nidoking's confused," added Violet, frowning.
"Snap out of it, Nidoking!" called Orange. "Use Aurora Beam!"
Nidoking roared loudly and... punched itself in the face.
"Heh," chuckled Electra. "Magnemite, Double-Edge now!"
"Magnemiiiiiite," droned Magnemite as it charged forward, slamming into Nidoking with great force. In spite of the obvious size difference, the Poison/Ground-type was sent flying, It crashed to the floor in front of Orange and ceased all movement. At the same time, however, Magnemite started to wobble violently in midair as the poison's insidious effects continued.
"Nidoking, return now!" called Orange as he withdrew the Drill Pokémon. He then launched another Poké Ball and called out, "OK, .4, I choose you!"
In a flash of light, Orange's .4 materialized, the Pokémaniac-type looking even more excited and energetic than usual, if that was even possible.
"Well, so much for your type advantage," sneered Electra. "I think this is gonna go the same way as our first battle."
"We'll see," smirked Orange. ".4, Agility!"
.4 squealed and gibbered as it flew in every direction over the battlefield, picking up speed at an incredible pace.
"Magnemite! ThunderShock!" ordered Electra.
"Miiiiite," responded Magnemite as it issued a blast of lightning from its body. .4, however, was able to evade it with ease. Magnemite repeated the attack, each attempt as unsuccessful as the last. As Magnemite turned this way and that in midair, trying to get a better shot, the poison ravaged its mechanical body once more, causing it to violently shudder.
"Finish it! TM28 attack now!" Orange yelled.
.4 screeched wildly as it dove down towards Magnemite and let off an explosion. Magnemite fell to the floor with a THUD and made no effort to get back up.
"Hmm," remarked Electra as she withdrew Magnemite. "This is getting pretty good, I have to say. But do you have what it takes to beat my best Pokémon?" she added as she held up a Poké Ball, the contents of which Orange knew only too well by now. Orange, however, didn't look nervous in the slightest.
"Bring it. I'm ready," Orange said, his voice full of determination.
"Your funeral," grinned Electra as she threw the ball. "Electabuzz, destroy!"
The Poké Ball split open, and in a blast of light, the human-shaped, black-striped Electric-type emerged.
".4, go! TM28 now!" shouted Orange.
"Electabuzz, Teleport!" commanded Electra.
Electabuzz vanished into thin air as .4 exploded, reappearing several feet away, well out of range of the blast.
"Now use Psychic!" Electra said.
"Dodge it! Use TM05!" yelled Orange.
.4 dove towards Electabuzz, but as it tried to pull out, the blast of blue light had already erupted forth from Electabuzz's body. The Caffeine Pokémon screeched in discomfort as the Psychic attack scored a direct hit. Electabuzz then followed up with a Mega Punch, sending .4 crashing to the floor. Down but not out, .4 rose unsteadily back into the air.
"Yeah, we got this," Orange reassured his Pokémon. "C'mon, we'll show Electabuzz a thing or two! Agility!"
"Electabuzz, Quick Attack now!" ordered Electra.
.4 attempted to fly around the battlefield to increase its Speed, but Electabuzz cut it off with even greater speed, tackling the Pokémaniac-type to the floor. .4 let out one more feeble squeak before abandoning its attempt to get up.
"That's OK, .4, you did fine," Orange reassured .4 as he returned it to its Poké Ball.
"If by 'doing fine' you mean not landing a single attack, then yeah, I'd say you did," grinned Electra.
"Oh, this isn't over," replied Orange as he took out another Poké Ball. "Let's win this one, Q! Go!" he shouted as he threw the ball. Electra blinked in surprise as Orange's starter emerged, for Q was most definitely weak to Electric attacks.
"Slipping a little, aren't we, Orange?" she asked. "Or did we forget what type Q is already?"
"Oh, I know what type Q is," grinned Orange. "The question here is, what can you do about it? Q, Water Gun now!"
"Kyuuuuuu," sang Q as it unleashed a blast of water. On Electra's command, Electabuzz Teleported out of the attack's path, reappearing behind Q.
"OK, Mega Punch now!" she commanded.
"Q, Headbutt!" Orange yelled.
As Electabuzz drew back its fist, Q wheeled around in midair and rammed into the Electric-type, sending it crashing to the floor. Though Electabuzz got back up with ease, Orange's satisfied smirk grew more and more pronounced.
"What are you grinning at?" demanded Electra. "You're still the one at the disadvantage."
"Am I?" replied Orange. "Because Red brought a very interesting point to my attention last night. And it got me thinking. See, I've been watching your Gym battles before the move, and now that I think of it... I have never seen your Electabuzz actually use any Electric-type moves. Ever."
"You're crazy," scoffed Electra.
"All right," shrugged Orange. "Have Electabuzz demonstrate one right now and we'll call it our mistake."
Electra did not look happy. She scowled at Orange, but gave no orders to Electabuzz.
"I had a feeling," nodded Red. "I mean, I knew we wouldn't see any against Nidoking, but it struck me as odd that she didn't order it to use any Electric moves against .4."
"Why haven't you taught your Electabuzz any Electric moves?" asked Violet.
Electra sighed and gritted her teeth before responding. "The electricity-generating organs an Electabuzz has, they never developed in this one. The most it can do is make a few sparks crackle between its horns every so often. Not nearly enough for an attack. But this Electabuzz was my very first Pokemon, I wasn't going to give him up over a minor setback like that. That's why we trained so hard, why I taught it so many other kinds of moves, to make up for its lack of electricity. And we are not about to lose here and now!" she concluded. "Electabuzz! Hyper Beam!"
Electabuzz growled loudly as it fired off a massive yellow beam of pure destructive force from its mouth.
"Q, Confusion!" Orange yelled.
"Kyuuuuuu," replied Q in its melodious voice as it fired off a ray of blue light from one of its corners, which collided with the Hyper Beam, holding it at bay, then managing to cut through the Hyper Beam like a knife through extremely violent butter. Electabuzz then stopped the attack, panting in exhaustion from the effort necessary to maintain such a high-powered attack, and then the Confusion attack struck.
"Don't give in, Electabuzz!" Electra called. "Try a Metronome!"
Orange tensed up as Electabuzz raised its arms into the air and began to wag its index fingers back and forth.
"Geez, a Metronome attack," remarked Red. "Anything can happen now, there's no telling."
"Q, be ready for anything," warned Orange.
"Kyu kyu," nodded Q.
Electabuzz continued to wag its fingers back and forth, and the fingers had now taken on a brilliant white glow. Then, its topped wagging them, growled loudly, and its tail whipped around furiously. For a second, Red thought that Metronome had called up Tail Whip, but then a number of green leaves materialized out of thin air all around Electabuzz, then fired themselves off towards Q, who shrieked in discomfort as the Razor Leaf attack hit.
"C'mon, Q, let's end this now!" Orange ordered. "BubbleBeam!"
"BubbleBeam?" asked Red and Violet simultaneously.
"Yeah, I used the Technical Machine from Ruceelna Gym," explained Orange as Q let fly a forceful stream of bubbles. Electabuzz yelled out loud as the attack landed, then slumped to the floor. After several spirited attempts to get back up, the Electric-type passed out at long last.
"Wha... we... we DID IT!" Orange exclaimed loudly as he ran out onto the battlefield and wrapped Q in a hug. "We did it! We won! We actually won, I can't believe it, we did it!"
Electra, meanwhile, continued to stare out onto the battlefield, mouth agape. After a few moments, she seemed to regain her composure. She withdrew Electabuzz, then approached her cousin.
"Well, well, I gotta say, I didn't expect the battle to end like this," she admitted. "You're a pretty good trainer after all, Orange. And it gives me great pleasure to present you with the Watt Badge," she added as she presented Orange with a badge that looked like two lightning bolts crossed in an X-shape. Then, to general surprise, she approached Red and Violet and offered them Watt Badges as well.
"For us?" Red asked in surprise. "But we haven't even battled you yet."
"No, but you two are part of the reason Orange was able to beat me," Electra replied. "You're the one who helped him figure out my Electabuzz didn't know any Electric moves. And you," she added to Violet, "Well, I happened to be passing by yesterday morning, and I heard everything you said to him. I didn't think he had taken the loss that hard, but you really snapped him out of it. My cousin is lucky to have friends like you two. Besides, Pokémon League regulations state that Gym badges can be given out without a battle at the leader's discretion, if the leader believes that the recipients deserve them."
Red and Violet exchanged glances, then took the badges out of Electra's hand. She then produced a trio of yellow discs and handed those out as well.
"Technical Machine 24," she explained as Orange examined his. "Those teach Thunderbolt. Good luck on your journey, all three of you. Oh, yes, by the way, while the closest Gym is in Fansfor City, good luck getting into there. The gatekeepers are all kinds of unreasonable. I suggest going around to Vandeler Town, then taking the east-west bridge across Fansfor to get to Nodacel City. There's a Gym there."
Orange nodded at this news, while Red seemed lost in thought about something. The three thanked Electra and exited the Gym.
"Hey, guys," Red said once they left the Gym, "Do me a favor. Spell 'Vandeler' and 'Nodacel' for me, would you?"
"V-A-N-D-E-L-E-R," replied Orange.
"N-O-D-A-C-E-L," added Violet.
Red nodded and thought for a few more moments before nodding again. "Thought so," he said. "Vandeler Town corresponds to Lavender Town in Kanto, while Nodacel has to be Tanko's version of Celadon City.
Violet, meanwhile, pulled up a map of Tanko on her Pokédex and examined it. "Looks like the quickest way to get to Vandeler Town from here is to go east and take Route -11."
"Then let's go," nodded Red.
"Not so fast," Orange said suddenly. "I think we ought to hit the Pokémon Center first, don't you? There's bound to be trainers along Route -11, and I want my Pokémon to be more than ready to take them on."
"Yeah, because you're the one who needs the extra training," scoffed Violet. "You know, Red and I, we're trainers, too, you gotta leave some for us to battle."
"Oh, please, you two got in so much battling on the S.S. Nean yesterday, it's ridiculous," said Orange. Red sighed as Orange and Violet proceeded to argue.
At the Pokémon Center, Orange approached the nurse and handed her his Poké Balls. Once the Pokémon were healed up, the nurse spoke to the three of them.
"Ah, yes, I almost forgot," she added, producing a brown cardboard box from behind the counter. "I have a package here from the captain of the S.S. Nean. He said something about forgetting to properly thank you for taking care of that Gyarados that was attacking the ship? What exactly happened?"
"Long story," said Red. "It was mostly Orange here, though. Go ahead, Orange, take it," he added. Grinning, Orange accepted the package and tore it open. Inside, there were three silver discs, not unlike Technical Machines, but with additional labels which read "Hidden Machine #01: Cut"
"Hidden Machines?" Violet asked, her eyes wide with surprise. "Those are really rare!"
"One for each of us, it looks like," Orange stated as he handed one to Red and one to Violet while placing his own in his backpack.
"Feels a little weird, though," Red remarked as they left the Pokémon Center. "Receiving badges without battling for them, I mean."
"Hey, you heard Electra back there, you two earned them all the same," Orange stated. "Red, if it weren't for you, I might not have realized that her Electabuzz doesn't know Electric moves. And Vi... you're the reason I snapped out of that funk I was in and got motivated to win. So do me a favor, guys, and try not to look this gift Ponyta in the mouth, OK?"
"Fine," sighed Violet as the entrance to Route -11 came into sight and Orange dashed off, shouting a battle challenge to the first person he spotted at the top of his lungs. Red shook his head, though chuckled a little bit. It was then that he noticed a large, rocky hill next to the path (which appeared to be paved with aluminum foil, sevens, threes, and perfectly square puddles of water), with an entrance carved into it.
"That's Dugtrio's Cave," explained Violet. "That takes us back to Route -2, it's way out of our way. The only Pokémon we'd be able to find in there is a lot of Dugtrio and the occasional Diglett." Red nodded and continued walking on.
"We got something like that in Kanto," Red explained. "Except it's called Diglett's cave. It's home to lots of Diglett and a few Dugtrio." It was then that they caught up to Orange and the Youngster he was facing. Both of them appeared to be commanding a four-legged Pokémon, with a brown lower half and a red upper half. The arms were tipped with red pincers.
"Krabby, the River Crab Pokémon," droned Violet's Pokédex as she pointed it at the Youngster's Pokémon. "Found near the shore. If its pincers break off in battle, they grow back quickly."
"Come on, Krabby, Bubble attack!" ordered the Youngster.
"A, Stomp!" Orange commanded.
The "Krabby" that Orange was commanding gave out a squeal as it leapt into the air, evading the real Krabby's Bubble, and slamming one foot into the River Crab Pokémon.
"Krabby, fight back with Water Gun!" said the Youngster.
"A, use your Crabhammer attack now!" ordered Orange.
The real Krabby fired off a stream of water from its mouth, which A managed to evade before slamming its right pincer into Krabby's head. The real Krabby was sent tumbling backwards. It landed at its trainer's feet and flailed about for a few seconds before fainting.
"Nice job, A," grinned Orange as the Speed Demon Pokémon resumed its usual rectangular shape.
"Krabby, return," sighed the Youngster. "You're a pretty good trainer," he added to Orange.
"Yeah, you too," replied Orange. "Oh, hey guys," he added as he noticed Red and Violet. "What took you guys so long?"
"We walk at a normal pace, Orange," replied Violet.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," said Orange, rolling his eyes. "OK, c'mon, if we get up a good pace, we can get to Vandeler Town by nightfall."
"You're going to Vandeler Town?" asked the Youngster in a tone of great surprise.
"Yeah, why?" asked Red.
"You haven't heard the stories? There's supposed to be all sorts of ghosts haunting the underground mausoleum there- Pokémon Tunnel," the Youngster replied in a small voice.
"Yeah, right," scoffed Violet. "Ghost-type Pokémon, you mean. There's no such things as actual ghosts."
"I dunno, Vi," murmured Orange. "I mean, you just said yourself there's Ghost-type Pokémon, so..."
"Oh, come on, Orange," groaned Violet. "You don't honestly believe that garbage, do you? What do you think, Red?" she demanded, wheeling around to face him. Orange did this too, and Red suddenly found himself yet again in a position he didn't want to be in.
"I think I want to stay out of this discussion," said Red. "Come on, do we want to get to Vandeler Town today or what?"
"Oh, sure, side with her," Orange said. Red and Violet facepalmed simultaneously.
End of Chapter 18.
Enjoy the Halloween chapter!
Chapter 19: A Grave Situation
"All right, Graveler! Tackle attack!"
"Chompy, use your Razor Leaf attack!"
As the large Rock/Ground-type known as Graveler lunged forward, Violet's Weepinbell swiped at the air with the leaves on the sides of its body, sending a flurry of sharp-edged leaves flying towards the living boulder. Violet's opponent, a large Hiker, looked less than confident as Graveler cried out in pain from the Grass-type move.
"Let's end it, Chompy!" ordered Violet. "Acid!"
"Bell," grunted the Weepinbell as it fired off a blast of corrosive purple fluid from its mouth.
"Graaaaveler," groaned Graveler as it slumped to the ground.
"Not too shabby," the Hiker remarked as he withdrew Graveler. "That's one fine Weepinbell there, little lady. You about ready to evolve it?"
"Not sure," replied Violet. "To evolve Chompy, I'd have to use a Leaf Stone. Pokémon that evolve with the help of stones have a tendency to stop learning moves on their own. I'm not sure if Chompy's learned all the moves that it won't be able to learn as a Victreebel."
"Well, you know something? Here," the Hiker said as he produced a chunk of green rock from his backpack and handed it to Violet. The rock had an indentation in one side shaped remarkably like a leaf. "This here's a Leaf Stone. Whenever you're ready to evolve your Weepinbell, just put this stone right next to it."
"Thanks," said Violet as she accepted the Leaf Stone and placed it in her backpack. The Hiker nodded and walked away as Violet withdrew Chompy.
"Lucky," grumbled Orange. "You can evolve Chompy any time you want to now."
"Will you relax?" groaned Violet. "I'm not going to evolve Chompy right away. I'm gonna wait until it learns Slam, OK? It can't learn Slam in the Victreebel stage."
"OK, yeah, now let's get moving," said Orange impatiently as he looked around. "There looks to be plenty of trainers around here, and we're not gonna defeat them by just standing here and- what is that?!"
Red and Violet turned to face the direction in which Orange was looking, and saw what he was undoubtedly seeing; a large, dark blue mound, the top of which appeared to be light beige, just beyond a cluster of trees that, while looking relatively like normal trees to Red, were undoubtedly sporting electric pencil sharpeners in place of leaves. Together, the trio walked over to where this huge thing was located, and found themselves near the ocean. A series of concrete and wooden docks were positioned over the water, acting as walkways over the water. At the T-shaped intersection they had just approached, however, no progress was possible, due to the aforementioned large mound. The mound was slowly moving up and down, and light rumbling could be heard from behind it. In front of it, at the bottom, there were attached two large, round feet, each one tipped with three claws.
"It's alive?" Orange murmured.
"It's asleep?" wondered Violet.
"It's a Snorlax," said Red as he held out his Pokédex.
"Snorlax, the Sleeping Pokémon," droned the device. "Very lazy. Just eats and sleeps. As its rotund bulk builds, it becomes steadily more slothful."
There was silence, aside from the Snorlax's snoring, as the group stared at the slumbering behemoth blocking their path.
"So how do we wake it up?" asked Orange.
"Professor Oak told me about Snorlax," said Red. "They only wake up when they're hungry, and they can sleep for weeks at a time."
"Just great," sighed Orange. "So what do we do? We don't have much in the way of food on us."
"I have an idea," remarked Violet as she produced a Poké Ball from her fanny pack. "Flutters, come on out!"
"Flutters? What's that gonna do?" asked Orange as aforementioned Butterfree emerged from the ball.
"Use Sleep Powder on Orange," Violet ordered.
"Hey, wait, whoa, whoa, wh... whoa... night, night," mumbled Orange as the blue dust the Butterfree scattered from its wings sent him drifting off to sleep. Violet then dug a pair of earplugs out of her pants pocket and placed them in her ears, motioning for Red to do the same. Sure enough, moments later, Orange's infamous snoring started up. Red hastily dug out his earplugs and put them in. He had a shrewd idea as to what Violet was up to, and he anxiously looked over at Snorlax, but the Sleeping Pokémon seemed remarkably unaffected by the grating cacophony. Violet noticed this too and swore very loudly in surprise, which Red was unable to hear due to the earplugs. Even if he hadn't been wearing them, however, Orange's snores would have drowned out the profanity.
Violet then seemed to get an idea. She waved her arms to catch Flutters's attention, then said something to it. Given the loudness of Orange's snores, however, the Butterfree merely tilted its head in confusion, not having heard a word of what its trainer had said. Violet sighed. She pointed at Orange, then mimed the action of lifting him into the air, then pointed as best she could over the top of the Snorlax's stomach, at its head. Flutters seemed to comprehend what was being asked of it now, and flew over to Orange, trying very hard to endure the noise he was producing. The Butterfree then grabbed Orange's shirt and lifted the slumbering trainer into the air. Red watched as Flutters struggled to carry Orange over to Snorlax's head, and stopped once Orange's mouth, from which the snores were still flowing freely, was right next to Snorlax's ear. After a few seconds, the ear started to twitch, and Snorlax gave a few uncomfortable grunts. Satisfied, Flutters brought Orange back to the other side of the Sleeping Pokémon, and they all watched as Snorlax began to stir.
"Is it waking up?" Red asked as he removed his earplugs- only to be subjected to Orange's earsplitting snores. Violet noticed this and lightly slapped Orange's face, causing him to wake up.
"Zzzz-hmm? Wha?!" he exclaimed as he leapt to his feet. "Hey, Vi, what was the big idea anywa-"
"Orange?" said Violet as she removed her earplugs.
Orange glared at Violet, but stopped speaking as Snorlax, with a tremendous effort, rolled over to its left. The dock heading south was still blocked by the Snorlax, now laying on its stomach, but the other path was now clear.
"Perfect," smirked Violet. "I had a feeling that if anything would get through to that thing, your snores would," she said to Orange. "I was hoping to wake it up, but this'll do just fine. That's the path we gotta take to get to Vandeler Town."
Orange opened his mouth to reply to this, when a pair of all-too-familiar voices rang out from behind the trio.
"Stop right there, twerps!" the two voices called simultaneously. Groaning, Red turned to face a pair of people he would much rather never see again; the Team Debug grunts known as Will and Lou.
"Not you guys again," said Orange disdainfully. "It's bad enough we got two goons from Team Error always crossing paths with us. Two sets of morons is a little much."
"What do you two want this time?" asked Violet, frowning.
"What do you think we want?" replied Will. "We want your Pokémon!"
"The real ones, that is to say," added Lou. "We only want your natural Pokémon. You can keep those glitches."
"Our Pokémon are our Pokémon. Go and catch your own!" said Red.
"Yeah, that ain't gonna happen. Not until the boss gives us a raise," chuckled Will. "Now hand them over or we do this the hard way."
"Bring it," said Orange in a deadly voice as he took a Poké Ball off his belt. Red did the same as Violet produced a Poké Ball from her fanny pack.
In response, Will had already thrown a ball of his own. "Go! Poliwag!" he shouted.
"Vulpix, you too!" added Lou, throwing in another Poké Ball. In twin flashes of light, a pair of Pokémon appeared. One was blue and spherical, standing on a pair of small feet. The white circle on its stomach was adorned with a large, black spiral pattern, and a wide, flat, white tail was visible behind it. The other one was a reddish-orange quadrupedal creature with no fewer than six tails.
"Poliwag, the Tadpole Pokémon," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Prefers swimming over walking. Its newly grown legs make walking challenging for it."
"Vulpix, the Fox Pokémon," said Violet's Pokédex. "When first born, it only has one tail. This tail splits into six gradually as it gets older."
"So you managed to get some new Pokémon after all," remarked Orange. "Well, we'll see just how far they'll get you! Fearow! Go!" he shouted as he threw the ball in his hand.
"Migraine, you too!" added Violet, throwing her own ball.
"I choose Parasect!" Red called as he tossed his Poké Ball.
"Three against two? Hardly a fair fight," said Lou as Parasect, Psyduck, and Fearow materialized before them.
"Oh, yeah, this from the crooks who are trying to steal our Pokémon," scoffed Violet. "You guys are more hypocritical than Orange's stance on sore losers."
"Hey!" Orange snapped.
"Forget it, Lou, we can take 'em," said Will. "Poliwag! Psywave!"
"Yeah, Vulpix, use your Quick Attack!" added Lou.
Poliwag's spiral glowed and shot off a volley of glowing blue rings at Fearow, while Vulpix lunged forward, charging towards Migraine.
"Migraine, Water Gun attack!" ordered Violet.
"Psy aye aye aye aye aye aye!" quacked Migraine as it opened its bill wide and let fly a stream of water. Vulpix squealed in discomfort as the water soaked it, impeding its progress.
"Fearow, dodge it!" Orange commanded. "And use your Razor Wind!"
"Parasect, nail them both with Spore!" Red ordered.
Fearow expertly evaded the oncoming Psywave and then flapped its wings hard, sending a slicing gust of wind flying at Poliwag. "Poli poliiii!" it shrieked. At that point, Parasect scuttled forward and let fly a cloud of blue dust. Poliwag and Vulpix both slumped to the ground and were asleep in seconds.
"Poliwag, return now!" called Will as he withdrew his unconscious Water-type before throwing another Poké Ball. "Tangela, go!"
"Get back, Vulpix!" added Lou as he mirrored Will's actions. "Mankey, go get them!"
In twin flashes of light, the slightly more familiar duo of Tangela and Mankey appeared, both of them narrowing their eyes at the sight of their recurring adversaries.
"Tangela, Vine Whip that Psyduck!" ordered Will.
"Mankey, strike down that Fearow with your Rock Slide!" shouted Lou.
"Peck attack now, Fearow!" commanded Orange
"Migraine, just stand there!" said Violet. Orange turned and gave her a funny look, then something seemed to occur to him.
Tangela extended a pair of vines and slammed them right on top of the Psyduck's head as Mankey made frenzied slashing motions with its hands, somehow causing a barrage of rocks to fly forth from its hands. Fearow deftly evaded most of the rocks and swooped down, striking Mankey with its beak. Meanwhile, Migraine didn't seem to be reacting much to the Vine Whip... except for the light blue glow in its eyes, that is.
"Uh-oh," muttered Lou.
"That ain't good," remarked Will.
"Oh, you have no idea," Violet replied, a satisfied smirk on her face. "Migraine? A Confusion attack, if you please."
"Psyyyyyy," droned Migraine as its eyes unleashed twin beams of blue light. One beam struck Tangela, while the other hit Mankey. The two Pokémon were flung backwards, into their trainers' arms. Then, to the Team Debug grunts' horror, Migraine continued the attack, slamming the bad guys with blasts of telekinetic power and sending them flying backwards.
"You may win this time, twerps, but we'll be baaaaaaaack!" Will shouted as they soared clear across Route -11.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," replied Red, Orange, and Violet simultaneously as they withdrew their Pokémon.
"Bunch of losers," Orange chuckled as they made their way along the series of docks that spanned across the water.
"Agreed," nodded Violet. "Their salaries must really suck if they can barely afford Poké Balls, they don't even cost all that much."
The rest of the walk went much like this, with the three of them putting down Team Debug. Team Error was eventually brought up as well, with Orange having several choice words to say about them.
"It's shocking, really," he said. "I mean, how the hell can either one of those groups possibly justify trying to wipe out entire species of Pokémon? I'm just glad they seem to suck at what they do."
"Definitely," nodded Red. "I mean, I've never seen Pokémon like 44Hy, or .4, or Q, or any of those back in Kanto, and I'm not gonna lie, they still weird me out a little bit, but you know what? I'm starting to warm up to them. I don't want to see Team Debug wipe them out."
"I know what you mean," nodded Orange. "Just because I'm afraid of Bug-types doesn't mean I want Team Debug to burn down Ivadirin Forest."
"Say, Orange, why are you-" began Red.
"I don't want to talk about it," interrupted Orange.
"I do," piped up Violet.
"Of course," sighed Orange, rolling his eyes. "But you're not gonna talk about it."
"You say that like you have an actual say in the matter," chuckled Violet.
"Just... don't, OK?" said Orange.
"OK, fine," Violet replied. Orange sighed in relief, but then Violet continued. "I won't tell Red how when you were six, you found a Kakuna in your mother's garden, took it in the house, and held it in your arms when you took a nap. And I certainly won't tell him how it evolved into a Beedrill while you were asleep, or how its angry buzzing woke you up and made you start freaking out, or how its Twineedle attack ensured you couldn't sit down for a week."
"Well, as long as you don't tell him," sighed Orange. Then he blinked. "Hey, wait a minute!" he exclaimed, which caused Violet to start laughing. "Violet! Come on, you know that story embarrasses me!"
"You fell asleep with a Kakuna in your arms?" Red asked, successfully suppressing the urge to laugh, but failing to conceal a grin.
"I WAS SIX!" roared Orange.
"Heh... Heh... Oh, look, we're here," Violet said as she stopped laughing.
"Oh, don't try and change the subject!" said Orange. "You- oh, look, we're here," he said suddenly, for they had indeed stepped off the docks onto firm, dry (plastic) land, and approached what appeared to be a small town.
They had arrived at Vandeler Town.
The trio wandered down the streets of Vandeler Town, in search of the Pokémon Center. As Red looked around, he suppressed a shiver. Random though the towns and cities of Tanko seemed to him, he had the distinct feeling that this one was more... run-down. The buildings seemed to be constructed out of pieces of wooden fence, hedges, chunks of rock, and various odd numbers. But the fence pieces were rotting, the hedges were dead, their leaves brown, and the rocks looked worn and crumbling. The trees seemed to be made of rusted sheet metal, with absolutely no semblance of leaves whatsoever. The streets and walkways seemed to be mostly made of concrete, albeit with a number of square puddles scattered all over. The concrete portions were occasionally adorned with what appeared to be chalk outlines of human bodies. To top it all off, navigation was complicated by the sheer number of freeze arches in the town- dozens of them. More than Red had ever seen before.
"Yeesh," muttered Orange as they wove in and out between a large quantity of freeze arches. "I've never seen so many in one place bef- Mew damn it! Guys, little help here?" Red and Violet turned around to see that Orange had inadvertently wandered right into a freeze arch. They each took a hand and yanked him out.
"Glad it's not just me," Red remarked. "Hey- is this it?" he added, pointing to the run-down building they had approached. Unlike most buildings in Tanko, this one seemed to be composed of just one element- stone. In fact, Red couldn't help but notice that the gray structure resembled a large tombstone. It was only a one-story building, but it still seemed to tower over the trio.
"I don't think so," Violet shook her head. "From what I've heard, I think this is the entrance to Pokémon Tunnel. It's an underground burial site where deceased Pokémon are buried."
"Wow," Red murmured. "Sounds a little like Pokémon Tower, back in Kanto. Hey, what say we go in for a minute, pay our respects to some of them?"
"You know what? That's actually a decent idea," nodded Orange as he led the way in.
The inside of the building was no less depressing than the outside. It was made of the same stone material the outside was made of. Bare light bulbs on the ceiling gave off the only light in the building, with which Red could spot two or three people, kneeling down before graves, one of them crying silently over what appeared to be her Grimer's grave. It was then that Red noticed a staircase leading to a lower level. He led the way to this staircase, but found his way barred by a young woman with black hair, dressed in an odd white robe.
"I am a Channeler," she greeted them. "Please be careful if you intend to go very far down. On some of the lower levels, there are angry spirits who will not take very kindly to your presence. You should be fine if you keep to the two floors below this one, however," she stated before walking away.
"...OK, that was weird," remarked Orange. "So, let's move."
They made their way down the stone stairs and found themselves in a slightly darker room. A number of bare bulbs provided semi-adequate illumination, as was the case on the floor above. This floor appeared to be much larger, however, and housed many more tombstones. Then, Orange jumped slightly as a wisp of purple smoke floated over some of the tombstones. The wisp billowed, becoming larger and larger, until a dark purple orb became visible within the smoke. A face could be seen on the orb- large, white eyes, and a wide grin. It took Red a second to realize what he was seeing, at which point he held out his Pokédex.
"Gastly, the Gas Pokémon," the machine droned. "Almost invisible, it cloaks its target in its gaseous form and puts it to sleep without notice."
"A Gastly," remarked Violet. "I think I might want to catch it."
"Yeah... Go ahead, Vi..." panted Orange. Red turned to look at Orange, who was breathing a little heavier than usual, and looked a little paler.
"Orange?" Red asked. "What's up?"
"No... nothing," Orange replied with a grin. "I'm... I'm fine..."
And then he fainted.
"Orange? Orange!" Violet exclaimed as she realized what happened. She knelt down and examined his now feebly stirring form. Orange was very pale now, and while he had regained consciousness, he couldn't seem to sit up. Red looked around, frantically looking for someone who might be able to help, and leapt about a foot in the air as he came face to face with a large cube with black and lavender square-shaped markings all over.
"Wah!" Red exclaimed as he leapt backwards, holding his Pokédex out in front of him like a shield. "What is that?!"
"h Poké, the Spirit Pokémon," droned Red's Pokédex. "A common sight near graveyards. Employs a powerful technique to drain energy from others."
"So that's it!" Red exclaimed as he backed up a little bit. "This thing's draining Orange's energy!"
"An h Poké, I should've guessed!" Violet exclaimed as she prepared a Poké Ball and threw it. "Go! Flutters!"
In a flash of light, Violet's Butterfree materialized. The Ghost/Poison-type shifted its attention to Flutters now, and Orange started to breathe a little easier.
"Poké..." h Poké uttered in a low, eerie, echoing voice. Suddenly, Flutters's wings flapped a little slower, and it started to get a listless look in its eyes.
"HM02- h Poké's special attack," stated Red's Pokédex. "A powerful move in which the user stealthily steals its opponent's energy and uses it for itself. There is no way to visually confirm usage of this attack."
"Come on, Flutters, hit it with Confusion!" Violet exclaimed.
"Freeeh... Freeeh..." panted Flutters as it fired off a pair of blue beams from its eyes.
"Po! Poké!" groaned h Poké as the super-effective Psychic-type attack connected. Flutters then seemed to regain a bit of strength, and was flapping its wings with renewed vigor. Once h Poké regained its balance, it then fired off a bolt of black energy from one of its corners, striking Flutters directly.
"Yeesh," Orange remarked weakly (he seemed to have regained a moderate amount of energy now, for he was now watching the battle). "That Night Shade looked like it hurt."
"Let's do it, Flutters!" said Violet. "Slow it down with String Shot!"
"Freeeheeeeheeh!" chattered Flutters as it let fly several strands of sticky, white string from its mouth, which wrapped around h Poké's cube-shaped form. h Poké groaned a little bit, then suddenly charged forward, tackling Flutters. The Take Down had taken both Butterfree and trainer by surprise, yet it didn't seem to do too much damage.
"Shake it off, Flutters, Sleep Powder now!" commanded Violet.
"Freeeh, freeeh!" Flutters replied as it soared above h Poké, scattering a blue dust with every flap of its wings. Slowly, the wild h Poké slumped to the floor, and echoing, eerie snores could be heard from it.
"Nice job, Vi," grinned Orange as he climbed to his feet. "Just as long as you don't-"
"Poké Ball, go!" Violet exclaimed as she heaved an empty Poké Ball with her right hand.
"...do exactly that," Orange finished lamely as the Spirit Pokémon was sucked into the ball. The sphere then fell to the floor where it wobbled back and forth, a red light blinking on and off on the button. It did this for several tense moments, and then finally fell still, giving off that telltale ping, which echoed around the room.
"OK, what the hell?" demanded Orange as Violet picked up the Poké Ball containing her new h Poké. "That thing just tried to kill me and you caught it?!"
"Well, now that Flutters happened to evolve into the one Bug-type you don't seem to be afraid of, I had to catch something else to keep you in line, now, didn't I?" smirked Violet.
"RRRRRGH!" was Orange's response.
"Orange, relax," chuckled Violet. "I'm not actually gonna let Tombstone harm you. Unless you got it coming, anyway."
"That's kinda scary, though, that HM02 move," said Red. "It can suck someone's energy away while appearing to not be doing anything."
"Agreed," Orange nodded with a shudder. "OK, perhaps we should get out of he-aaaaaaaaaaaaaah-OOF!"
"Orange??" Violet said as she and Red raced over to where Orange had been moments before; as it transpired, Orange had been aimlessly wandering around without looking where he was going, and had stumbled upon the stairs leading to the floor below, subsequently falling down them.
"You OK, Orange?" called Red.
"I'm OK... I'm OK..." Orange responded as he got up. "I'm- AAAAAAAAAAAGH!"
"What? What?" asked Red as he and Violet raced down the stairs- only to see exactly what.
Orange was shakily standing before a ghost. It was a dark purple form suspended in midair, with several wisps of lavender gas around it. Its wide eyes and diabolical grin were pure white, and it sported a pair of dark purple, disembodied hands with eerily long fingers, floating in front of its body. Red knew about a Pokémon called Haunter, but this certainly wasn't one. It didn't look like anything Red had ever seen before.
"Wh-wh-what is that?" Red whispered as he held out his Pokédex.
"Cannot identify," stated the machine. "Pokémon species unknown."
"Species unknown?" repeated Orange. "Wait... it couldn't actually be a ghost, could it?"
"The Pokédex said it was a Pokémon," said Violet. "It might not be able to identify it, but it's still a Pokémon." She took a Poké Ball out of her fanny pack and threw it. "Skulls, I choose you!"
In a flash of light, Violet's Koffing materialized, though its usual grin seemed slightly subdued at the sight of its opponent.
The ghost made the first move, if it could even be called that. Its white eyes flashed dangerously, and an eerie voice echoed around the entire floor, not seeming to come from any source in particular.
"GET OUT... GET OUT..." the voice rumbled.
"Skulls, Sludge attack now!" Violet ordered.
"Koff... Koff..." Skulls squeaked in response, backing slowly away from the menacing specter.
"Koffing's too scared to move," said Red. "OK, my turn," he added, as he threw a Poké Ball. "Charmeleon, you're up!"
Red's Charmeleon materialized in the dimly lit room, but upon spotting the ghost, all of its usual confidence seemed to drain out of it. Its tail drooped slightly, its eyes went wide with fear, and Red could've sworn that it looked paler.
"GET OUT... GET OUT..." the voice resounded once again.
"I'm inclined to do as the creepy, disembodied voice is telling us," Orange said in a slightly higher voice than normal.
Red and Violet nodded wordlessly and withdrew their Pokémon. Just then, another ghost appeared behind the first one. This new ghost looked like the first one exactly, except it was slightly larger. The trio exchanged uneasy glances, unsure what would happen to them. What did happen, however, was completely unexpected; the new ghost tapped the first one approximately where a human would have a shoulder. The ghost wheeled around, and seemed to be rather intimidated itself by the new presence. It floated off into the dark room rather quickly. The new ghost then approached the trio, but something about its grin seemed less malevolent than the one on the first ghost.
"Wait..." Orange said as he held out his Pokédex. "If this is what I think it is..."
"Missingno., the Data Pokémon," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Available in four different forms. In its ghostly and skeletal forms, Missingno. can learn most attacks and changes type constantly."
"I had a feeling," said Orange, now grinning feebly and chuckling weakly. "Missingno. can appear in four different forms. This ghostly form, obviously, two different forms that look like the skeletons of prehistoric Pokémon, and one that looks like 'M, only larger.
The Missingno. nodded, then pointed at the stairs with one long finger on its right disembodied hand.
"You want us to leave?" asked Violet.
Missingno. pointed at itself and shook its head. It then pointed into the dark depths of the room and nodded.
"So it's the other ghosts that want us to leave?" asked Red. Missingno. nodded at this.
"Missingno., why do the ghosts not want us here?" asked Violet. At this, Missingno.'s benevolent grin turned to a frown of concern. After a moment of apparent thought, it brought its hands together and formed a bright, glowing orb between them, then brought the orb close to the trio, so they could look inside it; indeed, a scene was unfolding within the orb, as if there was a tiny television inside it.
A group of light brown Pokémon wearing skulls as headgear and brandishing bones as weapons were running for their lives from a group of Team Error grunts. Another two were high-fiving each other as they admired the h Poké they had trapped in a cage. Violet could only assume the cage was somehow reinforced to prevent the Ghost/Poison-type from escaping. Finally, a group of Team Error grunts could be seen, with one of them holding a bloodstained skull in his hands.
The scene ended there, and the trio exchanged looks of shock and horror.
"Team Error!" they exclaimed simultaneously.
"Missingno., is this happening right now?" demanded Orange. "And if so, where?"
Missingno. nodded slowly and pointed to the floor.
"The bottommost level of Pokémon Tunnel, is that where it's happening?" asked Violet. Again, Missingno. nodded.
"That... that skull," Red muttered, his face having gone white. "W... what... did they..."
Missingno.'s right hand glowed pink as it pointed at Red's Pokédex, which suddenly came to life.
"Marowak, the Bone Keeper Pokémon, and the evolved form of Cubone," droned the machine. "Originally small and weak, it became more powerful when it started using bones as weapons."
Missingno. then drew the index finger of its right hand across its throat in a significant gesture. Everybody present understood what this meant.
"So they killed a Marowak?" Orange asked quietly.
Missingno. nodded once more. Missingno. then pointed to the floor again, where Red noticed that the shadows the group was casting were changing. All three of them payed close attention. First, one shadow took the shape of a Cubone's skull, another one took the shape of a Pokédollar sign, and the one in between them took the shape of an equal sign. Then the shadows changed to show a shadowy figure pursuing a fleeing Cubone. Then a shadowy Marowak appeared between the Cubone and the figure, giving the Cubone time to escape. The angered shadow figure then kicked the Marowak in the stomach, hard, causing it to fall over and not move.
"So it's all about the money," Orange growled. "I get it now. Team Error wants to make up for their pitiful salary, so they're stealing Cubone skulls to sell. Then that one Marowak got in their way, so they killed it."
"What can we do?" asked Red.
As an answer, Missingno. manipulated the shadows once more. Now it showed an angry, spectral Marowak waving its bone around and going on a rampage. Then it showed a shadowy figure call out a cube-shaped Pokémon, who blasted the Marowak shadow with what appeared to be BubbleBeam. The Marowak shadow fainted, but rose into the air again, now seeming to have calmed down, and then vanished.
"So... the Marowak's ghost?" asked Violet skeptically. Missingno. nodded.
"We have to calm the ghost down," said Orange. "If we beat the Marowak's ghost in battle, it'll calm down and move on, right?" This was answered by more nodding from Missingno.
"We'll do it," said Red. "We can't just leave the Marowak ghost like this."
"What about the other ghosts, Red?" asked Orange. "I don't think they'll be especially keen on us going down there." At that moment, another eerily disembodied voice sounded, though this one seemed decidedly less spooky than the one belonging to the ghost.
"I will accompany you," the voice echoed. "I will see to it that the ghosts in these tunnels bring no harm to you as you go to soothe the mother Marowak's restless spirit."
Decidedly in better spirits, Orange looked at Violet and Red, who were looking back at him. "Well, that works for me," he said. "Let's go!"
"Hold on," came Missingno.'s voice again. "I shall first heal your Pokémon. You will likely be facing Team Error down there as well, so it is best to be prepared." As it said this, Missingno.'s hands glowed pink, and the trio felt a slight tremble coming from their Poké Balls. Then, all was still once more, the glow fading from Missingno.'s hands.
"Thanks," said Red. Satisfied with this, Orange led the way across the room, towards a staircase which led to the floor below.
The trek through the tunnels was decidedly less frightening, now that the trio had Missingno. by their side. While numerous ghosts would approach them, their malevolent grins and eerie eyes startling the trainers every time, they would always flee once they spotted Missingno.
"It is through no fault of their own," explained Missingno. after the fourth or fifth time of this. "Marowak's rage is affecting the wild Pokémon in such a way that they take up these frightening facades and try to scare humans away. However, they know better than to mess with me."
At that moment, a figure approached them from out of the shadows. Red tensed up for a second before realizing that this one was a human- a Channeler, not unlike the one from the first floor. This one, however, had a blank look in her eyes.
"Leave... Now..." she demanded in an eerie, inhuman voice.
"She's possessed," Missingno. stated. "I was afraid of this. Channelers train their Ghost Pokémon in here while they attempt to channel the spirits of the deceased. Now they seem to be getting possessed by some of the more malevolent spirits in here."
As Missingno. was speaking, the Channeler produced a Poké Ball from her robes and threw it awkwardly. "Gastly... attack them..." she said.
In a flash of light, a Gastly materialized, facing the group.
"One of you should battle," suggested Missingno. "I cannot say for sure, but perhaps defeating her Pokémon would shock the spirit into leaving. It has worked like that in the past, it could work again."
"I'll do this," Violet said as she prepared a Poké Ball and threw it. "Tombstone, I choose you!"
The ball split open, and Violet's h Poké materialized. "Poké," it said in an echoing voice.
"Lick attack..." the Channeler said.
"Gaaaaastly!" replied the Gastly as a long tongue protruded from its mouth.
"Tombstone, use your Night Shade!" Violet ordered.
"h Poké!" shouted Tombstone as it fired off a bolt of black energy from one of its corners, striking the tongue. Gastly muffled in pain and withdrew the tongue into its mouth.
"Good job, Tombstone! Now use your Confuse Ray attack!" Violet commanded."
"h! Poké!" Tombstone exclaimed as the markings on its front seemed to melt, and a strange lavender light was cast onto Gastly, whose eyes immediately became unfocused.
"It's confused, very good," nodded Missingno.
"Finish it, Tombstone! Lick!" Violet exclaimed. One of the black block-like markings on Tombstone's front side slid open like a mouth, and a long, pink tongue emerged, slurping the dazed Gastly's face. The super effective Ghost-type move was too much for Gastly, who slumped to the floor, and, to general surprise, didn't phase through it.
The Channeler withdrew Gastly, shaking her head. Her eyes didn't look blank anymore. "Wh.. what just happened?" she asked. "I... I think I was possessed, but losing the battle caused the spirit to flee. Thank you," she said to Violet. Remarkably, she didn't appear too surprised at Missingno.'s presence.
"Not a problem," Violet replied as she withdrew her h Poké. "Happy to help."
"Please, you must help the Marowak's restless spirit," the Channeler pleaded. "She-"
"We already know," interrupted Orange. "We're going to do just that."
"Oh, thank you," said the Channeler. "Once the Marowak's spirit departs to the afterlife, the chaotic happenings in these tunnels should cease." She then stepped off to the side to allow the group to pass.
The next couple of floors went rather smoothly. Tombstone was given another opportunity to battle, and performed marvelously against another Channeler and her Gastly and Haunter; Red was able to make great use of Doduo's Peck and Charmeleon's Flamethrower to take out a Channeler's h Poké; and the team of Orange and Q proved to be sufficient to take out another Channeler's pair of Haunter.
As they approached a staircase, Missingno. stopped. "Here," he said. "This staircase leads to the lowest level. But there is a presence barring our path. If it's what I think it is..."
At that moment, however, the air before them shimmered, and then something seemed to materialize out of nowhere. It was a brown, bipedal Pokémon hovering in midair- it was a Marowak, but there were no eyes visible through the holes in its skull. The skull itself looked cracked in places, and was stained with blood.
"Yes," Missingno. confirmed. "This is it- the Marowak ghost."
End of Chapter 19.
Chapter 20: Fatal Error
"GET OUT... GET OUT..." came a low, echoing voice, seeming to resonate from the spectral Marowak's skull.
"Send out a Pokémon, one of you," Missingno. advised them. "As long as I'm blocking its frightening illusions, they won't be too scared to attack."
"Got it," nodded Orange as he tossed a Poké Ball. "I choose you, Q!"
In a flash of light, Orange's Q materialized. "Kyuuuu," it sang softly as it hovered in midair, right between Orange and the Marowak ghost.
The dead Marowak made the first move, zooming furiously through the air. She then swung the bloodstained bone gripped in her right hand and smacked Q with it. The Deep Sea Pokémon reeled from the Bone Club, but seemed relatively unhurt.
"Come on, Q," urged Orange. "Fight back with Double Kick!"
"Kyu kyu kyu kyuuuuu," replied Q as a pair of blocky feet sprouted out of its sides, one foot protruding from each side. Q then spun around in midair and charged at Marowak, kicking at it repeatedly. Marowak grunted as it was slammed by the Fighting-type move, and seemed to involuntarily let go of its bone. As the bone soared through the air and made an abrupt u-turn, however, Red began to suspect that this was an attack.
"Q, look out for the Bonemerang!" Orange shouted in alarm, but it was too late- the bone slammed into Q, and the Deep Sea Pokémon fell to the floor. Though it was able to get back into the air, it did so very unsteadily. Marowak wasn't finished, however; Orange only got as far as "Use BubbleBe-" before the deceased Marowak slammed its cracked, bloodstained skull into Q's body. The Headbutt attack was too much for the Water/Psychic-type to handle, and Q fainted on the spot.
"My turn," Violet stated as Orange withdrew Q. She threw a Poké Ball of her own and called out, "Migraine, go!"
The ball opened up, and Violet's Psyduck made its appearance, clutching its head as usual. "Psyduck psy," it said as it looked up at the ghostly Marowak, and then proceeded to slowly back up.
"Come on, Migraine," said Violet. "Hit it with your Water Gun attack!"
"Psy! Psy aye aye aye aye aye aye!" Migraine replied as it unleashed a stream of water from its mouth. Marowak deflected the attack by holding the bone in front of it and spinning it around rapidly, diffusing the stream and sending the water flying in every direction.
"Don't give up, Migraine!" Violet encouraged her Psyduck. "Try Submission!"
"Psy! Duck!" grunted Migraine as it lunged at the Marowak and wrestled the surprisingly solid specter to the floor. Marowak was caught off-guard and for a moment could do nothing as the headache-prone Water-type wrestled with it. When the Psyduck let go, Marowak floated back into the air, looking rather worn, but still able to fight. Migraine wasn't looking so hot either, the recoil damage from the Submission attack clearly presenting itself. Marowak then threw its bone forcefully towards Migraine.
"Migraine, deflect it with your head!" Violet ordered.
"Smart move," Orange remarked approvingly.
Migraine ducked down, putting its head in the path of the bone. However, a purple light appeared to flash in Marowak's eye sockets for a second, and the bone swerved almost comically in midair, missing Migraine's head completely. Before anyone could react to this, the bone returned, striking the Psyduck right in the back, knocking it to the floor.
"Oh, come on, that was cheating!" Violet protested.
Marowak then dove down and swiftly delivered a Headbutt attack, sending Migraine skidding backwards, where it stopped at Violet's feet, unconscious.
"Migraine!" Violet exclaimed in concern.
"Let me try," Red offered, as he threw a Poké Ball. "Go, Raticate!"
In a flash of light, Red's Raticate materialized, front teeth bared as usual as it glared at its deceased opponent.
Marowak made the first move as she dove in for a Headbutt attack, streaking down towards Raticate.
"Raticate! Water Gun!" Red ordered.
"Raaaati... caaaaaaaaaaaaate!" Raticate screeched as it unleashed a forceful stream of water from its mouth, striking the Ground-type directly. This slowed the Ground-type considerably until she pulled out of the Headbutt attack, just to evade the Water Gun.
"OK, Raticate, use your Quick Attack now!" Red commanded.
"Raaaaaticate!" replied the Normal-type as it darted forward at blinding speeds, and leapt into the air- at which point Marowak swung its bone like a baseball bat, sending Raticate flying in the opposite direction, crashing to the floor. Before Red could react, Marowak swooped down and delivered another Headbutt, this one decidedly more successful than the last, as it sent Raticate skidding across the floor, coming to rest at Red's feet, knocked out.
"Now what?" Orange asked nervously as Red recalled Raticate.
"GET OUT... GET OUT... BEGONE... INTRUDERS..." came the low, echoing voice once again. Though clearly unnerved by this, Red, Orange, and Violet simultaneously each readied a Poké Ball... and then Missingno. floated forwards, hovering between Marowak and the trio.
"I believe it's my turn, now," Missingno. said. "Red, you command me."
"Why Red?" Orange asked.
"I feel this would be a good learning experience for him," replied Missingno. "His first opportunity to battle using a Pokémon native to Tanko, such as myself. Red, your Pokédex should provide you a list of my moves."
Red consulted his Pokédex, and his eyes widened as he scrolled through the screen. "This... This is a lot of attacks," he remarked weakly.
"I've been around," Missingno. replied modestly. "Longer than most of my kind. I pick things up along the way. Attacks, attacks, more attacks... the power of human speech... That sort of thing."
"Well, OK, then," Red said with a trace of uncertainty in his voice as he continued to scroll through the sizable list of Missingno.'s moves. "Um... OK, Missingno., use your Water Gun attack."
"Let's get this party started," Missingno. replied as it blasted a stream of water from its mouth, which Marowak had to swoop down to evade before throwing its bone at Missingno.
"Missingno., try your Double Team attack!" Red called out as the Bonemerang flew ever closer. In response, illusory copies of Missingno.'s ghostly form materialized out of thin air, the clones surrounding the Marowak ghost. The Bonemerang passed through what was obviously a Double Team copy, right where Missingno. had been seconds before, as the clone vanished as the attack hit. Marowak caught its bone, and glanced around in all directions, trying to identify the real Missingno.
"Now's your chance, Red," hissed Orange.
"Missingno.! Petal Dance now!" Red ordered.
"I'm on it," came the reply as Missingno., and all of its copies, proceeded to spin around in place. Then, a large quantity of pink flower petals materialized seemingly out of nowhere, surrounding all the Missingno., and then suddenly flew at Marowak, the floral assault coming from all directions. Marowak gave a creepy, echoing groan as the Grass-type attack met its mark. Once the Missingno. all stopped spinning, they looked rather dizzy.
"...Whoa..." Missingno. said in a dazed voice. "That... wild move... Whooo... Yeesh... I... I aim for the one in... in the middle, right?"
"Missingno. is confused," Violet remarked. "Petal Dance will do that to you."
"I figured it'd be enough to take Marowak out," Red sighed. Just then, Marowak charged one of the Missingno. with a Headbutt attack, but merely passed through another copy.
"Missingno., use your Ice Punch!" Red commanded.
"Punch... Ice... Got it, boss..." mumbled Missingno. as a sizable chunk of frost formed over its right fist. Missingno. raised the fist high... and brought it down on its own head, as its copies all mimicked this action. Orange facepalmed.
"It hurt itself in its confusion," Red said.
"Yeah, you think?" snapped Orange.
"Wha... Whoa!" Missingno. exclaimed suddenly, its voice no longer sounding dazed. "OK, I'm good now. We're good."
"Looks like that Ice Punch did one good thing," Violet remarked. "Snapped Missingno. right out of it."
"Sorry about that," Missingno. said as Marowak took a swipe with her bone, wiping out another Double Team clone. "Petal Dance always leaves me reeling for a while."
"It's fine, as long as you're OK," said Red. "Now use Ice Punch, OK?"
"Will do," agreed Missingno. as its fist charged up with ice once again. This time, Missingno. plowed the icy fist right into the Marowak's stomach, and the ghostly Ground-type fell to the floor, where she seemed to be struggling to rise into the air.
"Should we finish it?" Red asked, noting the specter's pitiful condition.
"She'll only get angrier if we leave her like this," responded Missingno.
Red nodded. "Then use your Hyper Beam."
Missingno. nodded back, then turned around and opened its mouth wide, creating an orb of brilliant golden energy within. Then, a beam of the same kind of energy exploded forth from the orb, slamming into the Marowak ghost, and plowing it into the floor. When the beam vanished, however, so did the ghost!
"What the-" began Orange, but he was cut short as the Marowak ghost rematerialized before them, floating in midair- though now her eyes were visible, and her bone hung limply from her hand at her side. She gazed at the trio plus Missingno. for a few seconds, then bowed her head and floated upwards, her form looking more and more transparent, until it vanished completely before it reached the ceiling. A silence followed this occurrence.
"...So," Orange said at length, "does that mean that she-"
"She has passed on," nodded Missingno. "The Marowak's spirit has departed to the afterlife."
A brief silence followed this statement. Indeed, even the atmosphere in the tunnel was starting to feel a little lighter.
"So what now?" asked Red.
Just then, they could hear a commotion coming from the floor below them- minor arguments breaking out, in which the words "...no, we are Team Error, damn it, we have no use for the rest of the Cubone!" could be clearly heard.
"That answer your question?" said Orange as he started down the stairs.
"Best of luck to you all," Missingno. stated. "I will not follow- should those fools learn that my kind can be found in this place, it will only strengthen their resolve. Besides, I have complete confidence in the three of you." After saying this, Missingno. disappeared into thin air while Red and Violet followed Orange down the stairs.
"OK, you Team Error slimeballs!" Orange exclaimed as he reached the bottom of the stairs. "Surrender now or prepare to fight!"
In response, half a dozen men in purple and orange outfits slowly turned to face Orange, who was swiftly accompanied by Red and Violet.
"Hey!" exclaimed one of the grunts suddenly. "Aren't they those meddling kids that screwed with our plans at Moon Canyon?!"
"They are!" another grunt confirmed. "Hey, I owe you three a good thrashing! The boss took that failure out of our salaries!"
"Yeah, yeah, whine about it to someone who cares," said Orange. "Now stop going after those Cubone, and let go all the Pokémon you're stealing!"
"It ain't stealing, they're wild Pokémon!" one of the grunts objected.
"It is if you don't use Poké Balls to catch them," retorted Violet.
"Which brings us back to the whole salary problem-"
"OK, OK, we get it," Red interrupted. "Just back off before we force you to!"
"Heh," sneered a grunt as he took a Poké Ball off his belt and enlarged it to its full size. "He says that like he actually expects us to listen to him."
"Oh, I didn't expect you to listen," Red replied as he too readied a Poké Ball. "I just didn't want to waste my Pokémon's time against you clowns if I didn't have to. Doduo!" he shouted as he threw the ball.
"Tombstone!" yelled Violet as she also threw a ball.
"Go, Nidoking!" exclaimed Orange as he launched another Poké Ball.
The balls opened up, and in triple flashes of light, there appeared Red's Doduo, Violet's h Poké, and Orange's Nidoking. Several of the grunts let out low hisses at the sight of Doduo and Nidoking, but all six of them readied Poké Balls of their own, one for each grunt, and they threw them all at once. Bright light filled the chamber, momentarily blinding everyone present, and once it faded, there were three .4, an LM4, a pPkMnp, and an 'M, all hovering between the trio's Pokémon and the Team Error grunts (except for LM4, who sat on the concrete floor).
"OK, so that's how we're doing it, then?" Violet asked as she took another Poké Ball and held it up, with Red and Orange mirroring this action (except they took theirs off their belts, whereas Violet extracted hers from her fanny pack). "OK, then. Chompy, go get them!"
"Charmeleon, go!" Red shouted.
"I choose you, Q!" exclaimed Orange.
Three more flashes of light, and another trio of Pokémon appeared- their starter Pokémon; Orange's Q, Red's Charmeleon, and Chompy, Violet's Weepinbell.
"Attack!" the grunts shouted as one.
"Use TM28!" three of the grunts yelled simultaneously.
"LM4, Rolling Kick!"
"pPkMnp, use Sludge!"
"'M, Water Gun now!"
"Chompy! Razor Leaf attack now!" Violet called. "And Tombstone, use HM02- take your pick of any of your opponents!"
"Charmeleon, hit pPkMnp with your Flamethrower!" shouted Red. "Doduo, go in there with a Skull Bash!"
"Nidoking, a Rolling Kick!" ordered Orange. "Q, use your Confusion attack!"
The melee ensued. The trio of .4 zipped forward and promptly exploded, though this did not deter Doduo, who leapt forward, smashing its heads into two of the .4, sending them flying right into a wall. Though they were both still conscious, they flew forward rather shakily now. The third .4, meanwhile, was looking slightly paler as it slowly descended to the ground, cluing Violet in on who Tombstone chose as the target of its HM02 attack. Chompy, Violet's Weepinbell, moved next, swinging its leaves wildly and sending razor-edged foliage flying at its adversaries- the LM4 that sprouted a foot and was currently spinning its way towards Charmeleon took the brunt of the Grass-type move, and crashed to the floor. Charmeleon grinned its appreciation of this, then blasted a stream of fire from its mouth, colliding with pPkMnp's Sludge attack. In the air, 'M was moving around, trying to strike down Nidoking with Water Gun, but the Poison/Ground-type was moving too quickly, trying to take out its adversary with a Rolling Kick. 'M was evading these kicks with ease, and the two appeared to be at a stalemate. Then, a ray of blue light struck 'M in the back, causing the Shoreline Pokémon to shriek in pain. This also had the added effect of distracting it as Nidoking plowed its foot into the Bird/Normal-type, sending it crashing down to the floor.
While the fight was unquestionably going well for the good guys, Team Error was by no means ready to give in yet. Two of the .4 were still able to fight, though clearly lacking most of their usual energy, and Charmeleon and pPkMnp were still matching Flamethrower with Sludge.
"OK, Charmeleon!" Red exclaimed. "Slash attack now!"
"Char!" growled Charmeleon as it stopped its Flamethrower, leapt out of the way of the Sludge attack, and took a vicious swipe at the Fortress Pokémon with the now-glowing claws on its right hand. In spite of the Poison-type's formidable Defense, it fell to the floor as the attack landed, and moved no more. Then, Chompy leapt into the air, grabbed one of the .4 with its leaves, and forcefully threw it down to the floor before expertly landing next to it.
"Cool," Orange remarked as the Weepinbell looked rather pleased with itself. "What was that move?"
"That was a Slam attack," Violet replied, a grin creeping up her face. "Chompy's learned Slam!"
"Bell bell Weepinbell," Chompy added proudly.
"Gah!" one of the grunts exclaimed. "Enough of this! .4, take them all out! TM09 now!"
"No you don't!" Violet exclaimed. "Chompy! Razor Leaf!"
"Charmeleon! Flamethrower!" Red called out.
"Q! BubbleBeam!" shouted Orange.
Their orders, alas, came far too late, as the grunt's .4 let off a catastrophic explosion, blasting everyone backwards. As Violet hit the floor with a thud, she felt something fall out of her still-open fanny pack, but in the dust cloud the explosion caused, she couldn't see what it was. For a moment, all was still and quiet. Red, Orange, and Violet slowly climbed to their feet, each of them checking for injuries and thankfully finding none. The dust was far from settling, though, and they were all concerned for their Pokémon. And then, suddenly, rays of bright yellow light started shining through the dust cloud.
"Wait... What- I think one of our Pokémon is evolving," Red stated as he squinted, trying to see the evolving Pokémon through the dust. This squinting was made unnecessary, however, as the dust finally started to settle, revealing not one, but two glowing figures, changing shape and size. Before Violet could conduct a quick headcount of the present Pokemon to determine which ones were evolving, the glowing stopped, revealing the pair of newly evolved Pokémon. One was an upside-down yellow bell with a pair of leaves that seemed to function as arms. A large leaf sat atop the mouthlike opening, though did not hide the four vicious fangs it now sported. From the stem of the leaf sprouted a thick, brown vine. The other one was a majestic orange dragon with large wings, and a roaring fire on the tip of its tail. The former screeched menacingly while the latter roared triumphantly.
"Chompy?!" Violet exclaimed. "So it was the Leaf Stone that fell out of my fanny pack!"
"Ch-Charizard..." Red murmured, awestruck by the sight.
"Chompy and Charmeleon evolved!" Orange exclaimed as Red and Violet dug out their Pokédexes and pointed them at their newly evolved starters.
"Victreebel, the Flycatcher Pokémon, and the evolved form of Weepinbell," droned Violet's Pokédex. "Though rumored to live in colonies deep in the jungle, nobody who has gone to investigate has returned to confirm this. Anything it swallows is digested within a day."
"Charizard, the Flame Pokémon, and the evolved form of Charmeleon," said Red's Pokédex. "Spits fire hot enough to melt boulders. Has been known to accidentally start forest fires."
The Team Error grunts exchanged slightly panicked glances as every single one of them withdrew their unconscious Pokémon. Orange withdrew Nidoking, as he had not been lucky enough to escape the blast unscathed, but Charizard and Chompy both looked ready and raring to fight, along with Q.
"...We should go," one of the grunts said meekly.
"Not so fast," Violet grinned. "You guys aren't going anywhere until you let every single Pokémon you got in cages go free. And those Cubone skulls? Don't even think about taking those with you."
"And what if we don't want to?" one of the grunts asked defiantly before being slapped upside the head by one of his colleagues.
"Don't want to? OK," shrugged Red. "Charizard, use your Flamethro-"
"OK, OK, we'll do it, yeesh!" the grunt snapped.
Red, Violet, and Orange oversaw the grunts as they grudgingly unlocked each and every cage lining the walls, letting all the h Poké trapped within go free. The Victreebel frisked them, checking their pockets with its vine and retrieving countless Cubone skulls. There were no Cubone anywhere around, skull-less or otherwise, however, so the skulls merely piled up on the floor next to Chompy. Once the grunts had all grudgingly filed up the stairs, Red noticed the figure of an old man, kneeling before a tombstone at the far end of the room.
"Hey," Red called out to the man. "Excuse me, who are you?"
Slowly, the man lifted his head, stood up, and turned to face the trio. "Ah," he said. "Forgive me, I haven't introduced myself. You can call me Mr. Ijif. I must commend the three of you for forcing those Team Error folks to leave this place. I came here to pray for Marowak's spirit... it seems that she is finally at peace."
"And the Cubone-" began Orange, but Mr. Ijif bowed his head somberly.
"The ones whose skulls were stolen, they did not survive," he said quietly. "I buried them myself- Team Error had no objections to this, all they cared for were the skulls. I have not yet filled in the graves, so I can add the skulls now... I think you three should head out. Go to the Pokémon Center and get some rest, it has likely been a trying day for you."
"I'll say," Orange replied. "All this has been a lot to handle... Ghosts, and everything..."
"Tell you what, stop by my house tomorrow morning," Mr. Ijif offered. "I will be able to thank you all properly then."
"Sure," Violet responded. "OK, c'mon, let's go, you two."
The ascent back up Pokémon Tunnel was far easier than the descent. No possessed Channelers barred their path, no unruly ghosts tried to tangle with them, and the atmosphere, while still noticeably somber, was definitely lighter than it had been before. Once they were back outside, it took the group all of seven minutes to locate the Pokémon Center- as it transpired, it was right down the street, and they had in fact walked right past it, which Violet and Orange were quick to blame on each other. After they had all eaten a good dinner and healed their Pokémon, night had fallen. The trio were just getting ready to go to sleep on the bunk beds provided by the room they had taken for the night.
"OK, so what's the plan for tomorrow?" Red asked.
"After we visit Mr. Ijif, I'm thinking we head right for Nodacel City," said Orange. "If we start early, the Gym Leader should be able to get in a battle with at least one of us tomorrow."
"That's a pretty long walk," Violet remarked. "You sure we'll have enough time tomorrow?"
"Sure I'm sure," Orange said confidently. "With me leading the way, what could go wrong? Don't answer that," he added sternly as Violet opened her mouth. Chuckling at this exchange, Red popped his earplugs into his ears and dozed off to sleep, though he was so tired out by the day's events that he doubted that even Orange's cacophonous snoring would be sufficient to wake him.
End of Chapter 20.
Chapter 21: The Rematch With Red
The next morning went by with little event. Orange woke the other two up at around 5:00 AM, insisting that they needed to get going if they were to reach Nodacel Gym today. Groggily, Red woke up and looked over as Violet was glaring over at Orange, clearly wanting nothing more at the moment than to smack him upside the head for waking them up at such an unMewly hour.
Once they had eaten their breakfast (with Orange and Violet having their usual argument over whether or not the latter was an evenetarian), the trio headed out.
"OK, which way was it to Mr. Ujif's house?" asked Red.
"This way," Orange said confidently as he turned right and started walking. Red made to follow him, but Violet put her hand on his shoulder to stop him. Red turned to look at Violet questioningly, and in response, she pointed to the sign on the house next to the Pokémon Center (the exact opposite of where Orange was going), which seemed to be made of rusty sheet metal, with the words "Mr. Ujif's house" carved into it. Minutes later, Orange returned, fuming mad. "You know, one of you could have told me I was going the wrong way!" he snapped.
"Yeah, but the way you tend to not listen to anyone, I figured it'd be a waste of breath," chuckled Violet as she led the way up to the dying hedge that seemed to serve as a door. Red hesitated, then gingerly knocked on the suffering shrubbery. Within moments, it swung open, and Mr. Ujif was standing there in the doorway.
"Ah, hello," he said. "Please, please, come in." Violet followed him inside, with Red and Orange following.
The inside of Mr. Ujif's house was at odds with the general feel of Vandeler Town, in that it was brightly lit and almost cheerful. Red noticed a number of Pokémon roaming around the single room- a Psyduck was waddling around, an LM4 swam in a large tank of water over in a corner, and there was also a Venonat wandering around, looking up curiously at the newcomers.
"These were abandoned by their trainers," explained Mr. Ujif. "I take in any abandoned Pokémon I find and help nurse them back to health. I have volunteers who come in and help me with this, but it's rather early, none of them are here just yet. Anyway, once the Pokémon are back to full health, I give them the option to leave if they should choose... some of them do leave, but some of them prefer to stay with me. This Venonat here in particular doesn't want to leave at all. And then, sometimes you get those trainers who didn't abandon their Pokémon, but instead were accidentally separated from them. I get some of those stopping by on rare occasions, and their Pokémon are always so happy to be reunited with them. Ah, yes, but I don't think I got your names?"
"I'm Violet," said Violet. "This is Red, and Mr. Early Bird over here is Orange."
"A pleasure," Mr. Ujif replied courteously. "Now then, I wanted to thank you three for your actions in the Tunnel last night. Come over here." He led them over to a small wooden desk, where he opened a drawer and withdrew three items from within. "These items should be rather helpful to you three on your journey." He handed a gray disc to Violet, a Poké Ball with a yellow and black top to Red, and what appeared to be an odd cross between a Poké Ball and a flute to Orange.
"That is Hidden Machine number two," Mr. Ujif explained. "It will teach Fly to any Pokémon able to learn it. Unlike Technical Machines, Hidden Machines, or HMs, are reusable. A Pokémon with Fly will be able to safely and comfortably transport passengers across the skies, and it is also a useful technique in battles. Red, I gave you an Ultra Ball. It's a rather rare item, an improvement on the regular Poké Ball, even surpassing the Great Ball. It has a much better chance of catching a wild Pokémon. And Orange, that is a Poké Flute. Any sleeping Pokémon that hears it will wake up instantly."
"Thanks," Red grinned as he placed the Ultra Ball in his backpack.
"Er... yes, thanks," Violet said as she looked at her newly acquired HM, though the idea of a Flying-type propelling her through the air did not excite her, to say the least.
"Awesome!" exclaimed Orange as he accepted the Poké Flute. "I've heard of these! Lemme try-" and he took the flute and tried to play a tune on it. Immediately, Red was subjected to the most horribly, off-key, out of tune screeching it has ever been his displeasure to have slither its way into his ears, and that was counting Orange's snoring. Red and Violet clapped their hands over their ears immediately, while Mr. Ujif didn't seem to react to it.
"Oh my Mew, stop it!!" Violet bellowed, though Orange didn't seem to hear her. As she realized that her shouts were falling on deaf ears, this seemed to annoy her, for she then kicked him in the shin. This got him to stop.
"Ow!" Orange exclaimed, clearly annoyed. "What the hell was that for, Vi?!"
"'What was that for'?" Violet repeated incredulously. "Could you not hear yourself? You're a musical menace! I've heard Screech attacks that were easier on the ears!"
In response, Orange held the Poké Flute back up to his mouth again and resumed playing, this time gleefully taking in Violet's reaction. This lasted several seconds before Violet suddenly reached out and swiped the Poké Flute from Orange's hands. "Hey!" Orange exclaimed. "Give that back!"
"Sure," smirked Violet. "As long as you never play it again. Ever."
"Well, what's the point of that?!" Orange spluttered. "What the hell, Vi?! I'm not that bad!"
"No, you're not- you're worse," retorted Violet. "Now promise me you won't play it or I'll feed it to Chompy."
"Fine!" Orange snapped. "I won't never play it again, happy?"
"Try again," said Violet. "Think you can slip a double negative past me like that?"
Orange grumbled under his breath, and finally, with gritted teeth, hissed, "Fine. I will never play it again. I promise."
"There, now, was that so hard?" said Violet, smugly grinning at Orange's furious expression.
"Of course it was!" Orange roared as he took his Poké Flute back and stuffed it deep into the depths of his bag. "C'mon, let's get moving, we want to get to Nodacel City today, don't we?"
"Ah, is that dreadful noise over?" Mr. Ujif asked suddenly, adjusting an unseen something in his left ear. "I turned my hearing aid off once you started playing, Orange."
Orange scowled as Violet flashed an "I told you so" kind of look to him, and grumbled his goodbyes to Mr. Ujif. Red and Violet also bid him farewell and followed him out of the house.
They walked down the drab and dismal streets of Vandeler Town, and after some time, found themselves on a noticeably brighter and less depressing road, albeit one that appeared to be made of an odd combination of rocky patches of land, tufts of tall grass, square puddles of water, and a bunch of 3s and 8s, with two or three freeze arches strewn around the area. It seemed to lead right out of town.
"Alright," grinned Orange, already in noticeably better spirits. "We should be on Route -8 right now. This'll lead us to Fansfor City, and we should be able to take the bridge over that unless we can reason with the gatekeeper... " Orange snorted in laughter at the idea. "Like that'll happen," he added.
"We gotta try, at least," Violet stated, a faint note of desperation in her voice.
"Oh, yeah, right, you don't like heights, do you, Vi?" smirked Orange.
"We'll try the guardhouse first, though, anyway, right?" asked Red. "I mean, if there's a Gym in Fansfor City, we'll need to get in there at some point anyway."
"Good point," conceded Orange as he turned around to continue going forwards. "I guess- WHOA!" For standing right in front of Orange was a boy who looked to be roughly Red's age, maybe a little older. He was clad in a brown t-shirt and matching pants, and his black hair was spiked up.
"We meet again, Red," smirked the boy.
"Who are you?" demanded Orange.
"Oh, yeah... Terrence, right?" asked Violet. "From the S.S. Nean?"
"Yeah, that's him," nodded Red. "What's up, Terrence?"
"What's up is that I want a rematch," Terrence stated. "Three Pokémon each sound good to you?"
Red shrugged. "Sure thing," he replied.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," Orange interrupted. "We don't have time for that sort of thing! Red, have you already forgotten what we're hoping to get done today? Nodacel Gym?"
"It's still morning," Red replied. "We got time for a battle."
"That's what I like to hear!" Terrence exclaimed, grinning widely. "And you're going down this time, Red- you're going down hard!"
"We'll see about that," Red retorted. "Violet, could you please referee this?"
"Sure," Violet replied. "Oh, lighten up," she added as Orange scowled at her. "If it makes you feel any better, I wasn't gonna side with you in this one in any case."
"That doesn't make me feel better at all," snapped Orange.
"Yeah, didn't really think it would," Violet smirked.
Red and Terrence set a good distance between them as Violet stood at the sidelines, glancing between the two trainers as each of them prepared a Poké Ball.
"Three-on-three Pokémon battle between Red and Terrence is about to get underway," she announced. "Begin!"
"Sandslash! Go!" shouted Terrence as he heaved his Poké Ball.
"I choose you, Raticate!" bellowed Red.
In twin flashes of light, Red's Raticate appeared, along with a sand-colored creature with sharp white claws on its hands, and a mass of brown spikes all along its back. Red took out his Pokédex and pointed it at Terrence's Pokémon.
"Sandslash, the Mouse Pokémon, and the evolved form of Sandshrew," droned the device. "Curls into a ball when threatened. It is skilled at slashing with its sharp claws."
"Sandslash! Fury Swipes!" ordered Terrence.
"Raticate! Water Gun!" Red commanded.
As Sandslash brandished its long and viciously curved claws and ran towards Raticate, the Normal-type responded with a forceful jet of water from its mouth.
"Slaaaaash!" exclaimed Sandslash as it held its claws up to its face in an effort to block the super effective attack.
"Come on, Sandslash!" yelled Terrence. "Fight back with Poison Sting!"
"Quick Attack now!" said Red.
Sandslash leapt into the air, curled into a ball, and started rolling in place, causing multiple glowing purple needles to fly off its body. Raticate began dashing around, zigzagging back and forth, and changing directions constantly to evade the shower of spikes. Finally, it sprung up into the air and tackled Sandslash at great speeds, knocking it to the ground.
"Sandslash, Dig!" Terrence commanded.
"Raticate, quick, use Hyper Fang!" Red ordered.
Sandslash started to tear at the ground with its claws, but Raticate got to it in time and sank its prominent front teeth into one of its arms. Though Sandslash managed to shake Raticate off, it still slumped to the ground, unconscious.
"OK, Sandslash is unable to battle, so Raticate wins," declared Violet.
"Damn it!" exclaimed Terrence, holding out the Poké Ball. "Sandslash, return now!" Once Sandslash had been withdrawn, Terrence produced and threw another ball. "Let's go, Graveler!"
In a flash of light, what appeared to be a large, living boulder materialized. It stood on two stumpy feet, and possessed four arms, though two of them were drastically smaller than the other two.
"Water Gun now!" Red shouted.
"Graveler, Tackle it!" commanded Terrence.
"Graveler," growled Graveler as it folded in its arms and rolled forward, forcing its way through the stream of water Raticate was blasting it with.
"Dodge it!" Red shouted.
Immediately, Raticate stopped its Water Gun attack and darted out of the way, successfully evading Graveler's Tackle. Then, on Red's command, Raticate opened its mouth and let loose with another Water Gun. Graveler, however, was able to roll right out of the way of this one.
"Do it! Double-Edge now!" Terrence roared.
"Graveler!!" exclaimed the Rock/Ground-type as it increased the speed of its rolling and slammed into Raticate from the side, sending the Rat Pokémon skidding across the rocks, grass, and numbers. Raticate came to rest at Red's feet, clearly unconscious.
"Raticate can't continue," ruled Violet. "Graveler is the winner!"
"That's what I'm talking about!" grinned Terrence as Red withdrew his unconscious Raticate. "Next victim, Red!"
"Next? Sure," Red replied as he readied a Poké Ball. "But victim? I don't think so," he added as he launched the ball forward. "Parasect! Go!" he shouted, and in a flash of light, the Mushroom Pokémon materialized, scuttling forward, ready for action.
"Hah!" Terrence laughed. "Too easy! Rock Throw, Graveler! Now!"
"Grav Graveler grav!" rumbled Graveler as four glowing brown stones materialized, one in each of its hands. It then threw the rocks towards Parasect with great force.
"Parasect, Bide!" Red commanded.
"Sect!" hissed Parasect as it folded in its claws and focused hard, a faint white glow taking over its entire body. Even the rocks slamming into its large mushroom didn't break its focus.
"Crap..." muttered Terrence. "Don't attack anymore, not just yet," he added. "Use Harden!"
"Graveler," replied Graveler as its entire body took on a silver metallic shine for a brief second. At that moment, Parasect hissed loudly and fired off a massive white beam of energy from its entire body, which plowed into Graveler, sending it rolling backwards. Terrence jumped out of the way as Graveler rolled right over where he had been standing moments before, and then the Rock/Ground-type crashed into what appeared to be a large tree shoddily constructed out of sheet metal and roof shingles. Violet glanced over at the Graveler, now as unmoving as actual rock, and called out her ruling.
"OK, looks like Graveler's out of the match," she declared. "Parasect wins this round."
"Mew damn it!" Terrence spat as he returned Graveler to its Poké Ball. "OK, that does it! I! Will! Not! Lose!" he exclaimed as he took a third Poké Ball off his belt and enlarged it. "Nidorina, I choose you!!" he bellowed as he threw the ball.
In a flash of light, the pale blue form of Terrence's Nidorina appeared. Parasect and Nidorina glared across the battlefield at each other, ready for action.
"Parasect, use your Leech Life attack!" Red commanded.
"Para para Parasect!" Parasect hissed as it scuttled forward as fast as its small legs would carry it, its tiny fangs glowing green.
"Nidorina! Ice Beam!" roared Terrence.
"Rinaaaaaa!" screeched Nidorina as she opened her mouth wide and formed a light blue orb within. Then, from the orb exploded forth a dazzling beam of light blue, which struck Parasect's mushroom, causing thick patches of ice to form all over, spreading rapidly to cover its entire body. Parasect tried to muscle through the Ice Beam, but the super effective Ice-type move was far too much for the Bug/Grass-type to handle, and Parasect slumped to the ground in defeat.
"Parasect's unable to battle!" Violet declared. "Nidorina wins!"
"You did good, Parasect," sighed Red as he withdrew the Mushroom Pokémon. "Take a good rest." As he stowed Parasect's Poké Ball back on his belt, he took another ball and enlarged it. Pausing only to flash a confident grin across the battlefield, Red turned his hat backwards before throwing the sphere. "I choose you, Charizard!" Red exclaimed as the ball split open, unleashing the majestic Fire/Flying-type. Red's Charizard, upon fully forming from the burst of light, gave a loud roar, landed on the ground, and glanced down at the Nidorina it had fought some time ago.
"Not bad," Terrence remarked, nodding. "So your Charmeleon evolved. Cool. But not enough! Nidorina! Water Gun!"
"Charizard, use your Flamethrower!" Red commanded.
"Ri-naaaaaaaaa!" Nidorina bellowed as she unleashed a blast of water from its mouth. Charizard responded with a roar as a stream of flames exploded forth from its mouth. Unlike the evenly matched attacks from their initial battle, however, Charizard's Flamethrower overpowered the Water Gun completely- so hot were the flames that the Water Gun evaporated on contact, resulting in a lot of steam obscuring Red's view of Nidorina. He therefore didn't see as Terrence dug into his pocket and gently tossed something at Nidorina. He did, however, see the sudden bright light cutting through the steam. As the steam vanished, Red could see that the bright light was coming off of Nidorina as she changed shape and size- Nidorina was evolving.
"Hey, you can't make your Pokémon evolve in the middle of battle like that!" Orange exclaimed.
"Wrong as usual, Orange," said Violet. "It's usually frowned upon, but it is in fact not against Pokémon League regulations to use evolution stones on one's Pokémon during a battle."
As Violet said this, the glowing ceased, and a dark blue beast stood in Nidorina's place, built similarly to a Nidoking. The new Pokémon opened her mouth and gave a deep roar. Red took out his Pokédex, opened it up, and pointed it at this newest adversary.
"Nidoqueen, the Drill Pokémon, and the evolved form of Nidorina," droned the device. "Its hard scales provide strong protection. It uses its hefty bulk to execute powerful moves."
"Charizard, Flamethrower now!" Red commanded.
"Nidoqueen, Thunderbolt now!" shouted Terrence.
Both Pokémon roared loudly as they launched their respective attacks. A stream of fire was unleashed from Charizard's mouth as Nidoqueen launched a sizzling bolt of lightning from her body. The attacks connected at the same time. Charizard struggled as electricity coursed through its body, but stubbornly continued its fiery onslaught. Nidoqueen roared in pain as the flames ravaged her body, but continued to give off electricity. Once both Pokémon finished, they stood in place, eyeing each other warily, both of them charred and smoking. Then, after a long and tense silence, Nidoqueen slumped to the ground.
"Nidoqueen cannot continue! Red and Charizard are the winners!" Violet declared.
"GAAAAAAH!" roared Terrence as he held out the Poké Ball and withdrew Nidoqueen. "That's twice you've beaten me now, Red, but mark my words, THIS IS NOT OVER!" Without waiting for a response, he wheeled around and stormed off in the opposite direction, only to trip on a rock and stumble to the ground. Though Red stepped forward to offer to help him up, Terrence got to his feet by himself and turned back to face the group. "I may have tripped, but that does not diminish the impact of this exit!" he snapped before storming off once more, this time actually looking where he was walking.
Orange shook his head and made a disapproving noise as Red withdrew Charizard. "What a sore loser!" he said. Red and Violet exchanged exasperated glances at this, but nobody pushed the subject as they continued their walk.
"That was a pretty good battle, though, Red," Violet said.
"Yeah, gotta hand it to you, Red," Orange added. "Charizard's pretty powerful."
"Thanks, guys," Red smiled. "I just hope I do this well against the Nodacel Gym Leader."
"Well, might not be much longer before you find out," Orange stated as they came to a large building which seemed to be constructed out of concrete slabs, roofing shingles, chunks of rock, and pine cones. On either side of the building, a solid, if strange, fence constructed out of wooden planks, sixes, twos, and entire tree limbs, leaves and all. There was no way around the building, except for a staircase that seemed to be made entirely out of aluminum siding. The staircase seemed to lead to a bridge which stretched for a considerable distance. Violet barely suppressed a shudder at the sight, and instead led the way into the building.
Inside the building, there were merely two counters on either side of a single path leading to the opposite end. Behind one of the counters was a slightly overweight security guard. As soon as he noticed the trio, he shook his head. "Sorry, kids," he said. "Road's closed."
"Why?" asked Red.
"Because I'm hungry," he replied simply.
"And you're closing the road to Fansfor City because you're hungry?" demanded Orange.
"Yes, I believe I am," the guard replied, a distinctly smug look on his face. "See, they put me in charge of this gatehouse, and I can do what I like here. So whenever I'm hungry, road's closed."
"So go and get something to eat," suggested Violet.
"Hmmm... nah, don't think so," replied the guard, shaking his head. "If you're looking to get to Nodacel City, just take the bridge."
"I'd rather not," Violet said, her voice shaking ever so slightly at the thought of crossing the bridge. "I'd prefer it if you let us through."
"Ain't happening, missy," insisted the guard. "Now get out of here before I force you to," he added threateningly, brandishing a Poké Ball in his right hand.
"Fine," sighed Red. "C'mon, guys, let's not cause any trouble here."
Violet followed Red, though rather reluctantly. Orange made to follow them, but turned back to the guard and hissed, "This isn't over, tubby," before storming out of the small building. Red was already making his way up the spiral staircase, with Violet nervously following him. Orange took up the rear, and before long, the three of them were at one end of a long, narrow bridge, which stretched the entire way across Fansfor City, above the one they had crossed previously, which had stretched from North to South. This bridge seemed to be made completely out of wooden planks, and in place of handrails, there were simply chains made of countless eights linked together. Red started across, with Violet slowly following.
"Um... Red?" Violet said quietly. "Could you... possibly... go a little slower?"
"Sure," nodded Red. He stopped to allow Violet to catch up, then started walking again, albeit at a much slower pace. As with the previous time, this slow pace irritated Orange greatly. Every few seconds, he mimed the action of looking at his nonexistent watch, but as he was behind the others, this would go unnoticed every time. Then, one of the boards broke as Violet stepped on it. Though Violet was in no danger of falling through, she stifled a scream and wrapped her arms around Red almost instinctively. Red blushed at this sudden action, and Orange, noticing the whole thing, scowled.
After a good fifteen minutes, the trio finally made it across the bridge and down the stairs on the opposite end. Once they made it back down onto the ground (here, the ground was more rocks and grass than anything else, though there were several square puddles and at least one freeze arch), Violet sighed in relief.
"Oh, come on," grumbled Orange.
"You know, you could be a little more sensitive about my fear," snapped Violet.
"Oh, this from the person who caught a Caterpie just because I'm afraid of bugs," Orange shot back. Violet opened her mouth to argue, but no sound came out as she realized that Orange had actually brought forth a valid point.
From there, it was but a mere half hour's walk until they reached a mass of concrete/metal/plastic skyscrapers- Nodacel City. It took them even less time to locate the Pokémon Center, as it was conveniently located in very close proximity to the entrance of the city. As they entered and handed their Pokémon to the nurse, Violet turned to Orange.
"Hey, Orange," she muttered. "I... maybe I didn't have to, you know, catch Flutters. I mean, I guess you were right back there... Even if you weren't all that sensitive about my fear of heights, I suppose I was no better..." Violet trailed off there, looking slightly awkward.
"Well... thanks," Orange said, somewhat surprised by what Violet had said. "Heh, it'd still kill you to give me a sincere apology, wouldn't it?"
At that moment, the nurse returned, handing all the Poké Balls back to their respective owners. "All healed," she declared. "Though, Red," she added.
"Yeah?" said Red.
"That Charizard of yours was pretty worn out. Looks like it's been in a tough battle recently," the nurse informed him. "It's perfectly fine now, but just to play it safe, I wouldn't let it battle for another day or so, OK?"
"Fine," shrugged Red. "You're right, it was in a pretty tough battle, though," he added, grinning with pride in his starter.
"This is not good timing, though," Orange shook his head as they exited the Pokémon Center. "Nodacel's Gym Leader uses Grass-types. Charizard would have been your best bet."
"Well, I still got Doduo, Parasect, and Raticate," Red replied. "That's two with the type advantage, and one that's just all-around good. I'm feeling pretty good about this."
"I hear that, I guess," grinned Orange. "Fearow can probably take the Gym Leader's whole team by itself, though Nidoking couldn't hurt, either. And then there's .4, too."
"I think Flutters and Skulls can take this," added Violet. "Chompy, too- oh, look, looks like we're here."
Indeed, they had just arrived in front of a massive building that seemed to be constructed entirely out of various leafy plants, with a number of numbers thrown in as well. Carved into a giant piece of wood across the giant threes that made up the Gym's doors were the words "Nodacel City Pokémon Gym".
"Well, OK, then," Red said, determination on his face. "Let's do this."
End of Chapter 21.
Chapter 22: Time To Kick Some Grass
Taking a deep breath, Red pushed the threes that functioned as the Gym's doors open, and marched inside, Orange and Violet following behind him. The inside of the building didn't exactly look like the inside of a building, however- the floor was topped with well maintained grass, and the walls couldn't even be seen for all the ivy covering them. On the opposite end of the room stood a man who appeared to be in his late teens, if not his early twenties, unkempt black hair atop his head. He was dressed in a pair of blue overalls, the dirtiness of them suggesting that he spent a lot of his time working in the dirt. Several gardening tools could be seen on the ground behind him. Most importantly, attached to his overalls were three Poké Balls.
"Welcome to the Nodacel Gym," the man said. "Allow me to introduce myself- I am Phil, the Nodacel Gym Leader. Now, who might you three be?"
"I'm Red Vershunn from Talpel Town," Red stated.
"Violet Scramble, also from Talpel Town," added Violet.
"Orange McPixel, Talpel Town," continued Orange.
"We're all here to challenge you to a battle," declared Red.
Phil nodded approvingly. "Well, all right, then! Let's get started. Which of you wants to go first?"
"I will," volunteered Red as he stepped forward. Upon closer inspection, a number of small rocks were arranged all over the grassy floor, forming the outline of the battlefield. Red stepped into the small box outside the battlefield in which the challenger was obviously intended to stand, as Phil did the same on his end of the battlefield.
"All right," said Phil as he removed a Poké Ball from his overalls and enlarged it. "Three Pokémon each, that fine with you?"
"Works for me," Red answered.
"Then let's get started!" Phil declared as he threw the Poké Ball. "Exeggutor! Go!"
The ball opened up, and as the light faded away, what appeared to be a palm tree with legs materialized. A trio of yellow coconuts hung close to the leaves, a face visible on each one. "Exeggutor," the heads chanted. Red dug out his Pokédex and aimed it at his arboreal adversary.
"Exeggutor, the Coconut Pokémon, and the evolved form of Exeggcute," said Red's Pokédex. "Legend has it that on rare occasions, one of its heads will drop off and continue on as an Exeggcute. Exeggutor's types are Grass and Psychic."
"Grass and Psychic, huh?" repeated Red as he took a Poké Ball off his belt. "I know what would be best against that... but better to save it for later, I think. OK, Raticate!" he exclaimed as he threw the ball. "Go!"
In a flash of light, Red's Raticate materialized. It glared across the battlefield at the three-headed tree, baring its prominent front teeth.
"He's using Raticate?" muttered Orange. "Wouldn't Parasect have a huge advantage here?"
"Yeah, but I highly doubt Exeggutor is Phil's strongest Pokémon," replied Violet. "Red's doing the smart thing here, saving the type advantage for when he'll really need it."
"Exeggutor! Barrage!" ordered Phil.
"Raticate, Hyper Fang!" Red shouted.
"Rrrrrraticate!" screeched Raticate as it charged across the battlefield.
"Tor!" Exeggutor's heads exclaimed simultaneously as a flurry of small glowing white orbs flew forth from its leaves. Weaving back and forth, Raticate deftly evaded every last one of them before sinking its fangs into Exeggutor's trunk. The Coconut Pokémon cried out in discomfort and stumbled about, trying in vain to shake Raticate off.
"Don't give in, Exeggutor!" Phil called out. "Use Psychic!"
"Exeggutor," replied Exeggutor as its eyes glowed blue. Suddenly, Raticate found itself being forcibly removed from the Grass/Psychic-type and thrown across the battlefield.
"Raticate, try a Quick Attack!" Red called out.
"Teleport to him, then Stomp!" Phil shouted.
As Raticate charged forward, Exeggutor vanished into thin air, reappearing directly in front of the Normal-type, startling it into stopping short. Exeggutor then wasted no time in raising its right foot and bringing it down hard on Raticate, causing it to screech in pain.
"Raticate, come on!" Red called, but as Exeggutor got off of Raticate, it was clear that the Rat Pokémon was down.
"This does not bode well," observed Violet as Red withdrew Raticate.
"Yeah, you think?" Orange replied sarcastically.
"OK, Parasect, let's go!" Red shouted as he threw another Poké Ball, this one unleashing the Bug/Grass-type onto the battlefield. Parasect scuttled forward, raising its claws in a menacing fashion, ready to do battle against Exeggutor.
"Hmm, that could get tricky," murmured Phil. "Exeggutor, Sleep Powder!"
"Parasect, Spore now!" Red shouted.
Simultaneously, both Grass-types unleashed plumes of blue dust at each other. The powdery attacks collided in midair, whereupon the dust settled to the floor, each attack falling far short of its intended target.
"Slash it now!" Red exclaimed.
"Sect para para!" hissed Parasect as it lunged forward with surprising speed, swiping at Exeggutor with brightly glowing claws.
"No! Exeggutor!" Phil shouted. "Stomp attack now!"
"End it!" Red called out. "Leech Life now!"
Giving Exeggutor no time to even raise a leg into the air, Parasect's small teeth glowed green as it chomped onto the side of one of Exeggutor's legs, and the three-headed tree howled with pain as Parasect sucked health from its enemy. At last, Parasect dug its teeth out of Exeggutor's side, and the latter toppled backwards, hitting the ground like the fallen tree that it was.
"Exeggu... tor..." gasped Exeggutor before all three heads simultaneously slipped into unconsciousness.
"Don't sweat it, Exeggutor," sighed Phil as he returned it to its Poké Ball. "You were great out there. Take a good rest." He then produced and threw another Poké Ball. "OK, Tangela, it's your turn now!" he shouted.
As the flash of light faded away, what looked to be a large tangle of teal seaweed with red feet stood in Exeggutor's place. A pair of large eyes were visible through a sizable gap in the tangled vines.
"Piece of cake," scoffed Red. "Parasect, go! Leech Life now!"
"Parasect!" hissed Parasect as it scuttled forward, the tiny teeth in its mouth glowing a bright neon green.
"Tangela! Swords Dance!" yelled Phil.
"Taaaang!" replied Tangela in a high voice as it proceeded to spin around in place, its body gradually taking on a silvery metallic glow. Parasect lunged forward, but due to the sheer speed of the spinning Tangela, ricocheted off the pure Grass-type and fell off to the side. Tangela stopped spinning at that moment, a fiery intensity now visible in its eyes.
"Hmm, this could be trouble," Violet remarked. "Swords Dance sharply increases Attack power.
"But Grass-type moves are special attacks," Orange argued. "Swords Dance isn't gonna affect how they work."
"I doubt Phil's gonna have Tangela use Grass moves on a Parasect anyway," snorted Violet. "Probably has some Normal moves, like-"
"Body Slam now!" Phil ordered.
"Taaaangela!" screeched Tangela as it leapt into the air, preparing to land on Parasect.
"Use Bide!" Red ordered.
Parasect focused hard, its body glowing brightly as Tangela slammed into it. The Vine Pokémon jumped back, eyeing the glowing Parasect warily.
"PoisonPowder attack!" said Phil.
Tangela responded to this by shaking its vines wildly, scattering a dark purple dust from within, all over Parasect. At that moment, Parasect exclaimed loudly, letting off a powerful beam of energy from its whole body, plowing Tangela backwards. Though Tangela was blown back by this powerful technique, Parasect was looking a little shaky, clearly suffering from the powerful blow, not to mention the poison. However, though Parasect was still standing, Tangela had slumped to the ground and was not getting up.
"With one attack?!" Orange exclaimed incredulously. "How does that even happen?"
"Well, Tangela had gotten in that Swords Dance, so the initial Body Slam was pretty powerful," Violet replied as Phil withdrew Tangela. "Then consider that Bide sent double that power right back at it... It's not surprising, really."
"Of course, just as I thought," nodded Orange. Violet rolled her eyes, then lightly slapped Orange's head. "Hey, what's that for?" Orange demanded.
"For being an idiot," Violet replied smoothly.
"Now, Victreebel!" shouted Phil as he threw another ball onto the battlefield. "Go!"
As he yelled this, the ball opened up, and poured a large amount of light onto the battlefield, the glowing energy forming itself into a decidedly familiar shape. As the glowing faded, Phil's Victreebel stood before Red and Parasect, shrieking menacingly.
"Let's win this, Parasect!" Red exclaimed. "Leech Life now!"
"Victreebel! Wrap attack!" commanded Phil.
As Parasect scuttled forward, it was met very quickly by a thick brown vine; Victreebel was extending the vine which started from its large leaf, and was tightly binding the Bug/Grass-type with it.
"Parasect!" Red called.
"It's no good," smirked Phil. "Parasect can't move."
"Aw, come on, Parasect," Red said quietly, hoping that the struggling bug would fight its way out of the entangling vine. Alas, this did not happen, and Red could only look on helplessly for the next couple of tense minutes. Once Parasect's struggling ceased, Victreebel let go, letting Red's Parasect fall to the ground, unconscious.
"Parasect, return," Red sighed as he held out Parasect's Poké Ball, allowing it to fire off a red beam of energy which sucked Parasect into the ball's spherical depths. Once Parasect was back in its ball, Red placed it back on his belt and took off another one. "Okay," he sighed. "It's up to you now," he declared as he threw the ball. "Doduo! Go!"
Despite the type disadvantage, neither Phil nor Victreebel looked especially phased at the sight of the two-headed Normal/Flying-type which materialized on the battlefield. "Type advantage isn't everything," grinned Phil. "But then, your Parasect knows that already, doesn't it? Victreebel, let's hit it with a Stun Spore!"
"Doduo, use Whirlwind!" Red ordered.
"Do do!" cawed both of Doduo's heads simultaneously as what appeared to be miniature tornadoes erupted forth from its beaks. Though Victreebel was blasting a plume of yellow dust from its mouth, the Whirlwind forced the powder back onto Victreebel, causing it to wince in discomfort.
"Nice," nodded Violet in approval. "It's paralyzed."
"Yeah, nice strategy, Red," added Orange.
"Good job, Doduo!" grinned Red. "Now use Peck!"
"Wrap attack now!" Phil ordered.
Doduo charged forward, both heads focused on the target, both beaks aimed right at their bell-shaped adversary... And then came the thick brown vine, swiftly coiling itself around Doduo's legs, torso, and necks. Struggle and cry out though it might, Doduo could not break free of the vine, its grip holding strong in spite of Victreebel's paralysis.
"No..." Red murmured as Doduo continued its apparently futile struggle against Victreebel's Wrap. No trainer said a word, the four of them focused only on the struggling Doduo and the Victreebel who was fighting valiantly in spite of its paralysis.
And then, suddenly, all four of them were very nearly blinded, as a bright glow exploded forth from that which they were watching so intensely.
"Oh, come on, don't tell me," grumbled Phil.
"OK, I won't tell you that Red's Doduo is evolving," smirked Orange.
Indeed, as Red determinedly peered through the blinding light, he could just barely make out the sight of a third head and neck growing between the other two as the bright light forced Victreebel to let go. The glowing then faded, and it was clear that Doduo had indeed evolved. It now possessed three heads, each one topped with several black feathers. From its rear end, it now sported brilliantly pink tail feathers.
"Do," "dri," "o", cried the newly evolved Pokémon, each syllable cawed by a different head. Red, now grinning widely, held out his Pokédex.
"Dodrio, the Triple Bird Pokémon, and the evolved form of Doduo," said the device. "An odd species which is rarely found. At night, only two of its heads will sleep at a time while the third stays awake and keeps watch."
"Ready to win this, Dodrio?" Red asked.
"Driiiiiiio," Dodrio's three heads simultaneously cawed loudly.
"Victreebel, trap it with Wrap once more!" Phil ordered.
"Let's try this new move of yours out, Dodrio," Red stated as he was apparently reading something off his Pokedex's screen. "Use Drill Peck!"
"Drio Dodrio," cawed Dodrio as streaks of rapidly swirling white energy formed around its beaks, making them appear to be spinning like drills as it dashed forward with astounding swiftness on its two legs. Though Victreebel's vine started snaking forward, Dodrio expertly jumped over it at every chance, and plowed all three of its beaks into Victreebel at once, sending it flying backwards, crashing to the ground at Phil's feet. However, Victreebel was not out just yet, as it unsteadily attempted to right itself.
"Finish it off!" Red called. "Dodrio! Skull Bash now!"
"Victreebel, try an Acid attack-" Phil began, but far too late, as all three of Dodrio's heads were already colliding with Victreebel in what was evidently a very painful manner. Once the cranial onslaught had ceased, Victreebel ceased its efforts to get back up.
"YES!" Red cheered as Dodrio dashed over to its trainer. Red responded by hugging Dodrio, who cawed happily with all three heads. "Dodrio, you were great!"
"That was some battle," Phil admitted as he walked across the battlefield, having returned Victreebel to its ball. "Type advantage might not be everything, but it's definitely something. Doduo evolving like that was pretty well timed, though- had it not evolved, I'm certain you would have lost."
"It sure looked that way," Red admitted as he returned Dodrio to its Poké Ball.
"So, without further ado, here it is," Phil stated as he produced a green and brown badge made to look like a little tree and handed it to Red. "The official Pokémon League Arbor Badge. You've earned it."
"Thanks!" Red grinned, accepting the badge.
"And take this too," Phil added as he handed a greenish disc to Red. "That TM teaches Mega Drain. Useful attack for a Grass-type to know. It does damage to the opponent and heals the user at the same time. OK, so who's next?"
"I am!" Orange declared, sounding pumped up. "I'm ready to go, so let's do this!"
Violet rolled her eyes as Phil walked back over to his end of the battlefield and placed his Poké Balls on a healing machine built into a tree stump. "Orange, did you ever think that maybe I might have wanted to go next?" she asked.
After a brief pause, Orange replied, "...no." Violet facepalmed.
"OK, Exeggutor!" Phil shouted as he heaved one of his Poké Balls back out onto the battlefield. "It's go time!"
As Exeggutor reappeared on the battlefield, looking to be back at 100% health, Orange's right hand hovered over the Poké Balls at his belt before finally deciding on one. He took the ball off the belt, pressed the button to bring it to its full size, and then threw it out onto the battlefield.
End of Chapter 22.
Chapter 23: Orange And Violet Go Green
".4, use Agility!" Orange exclaimed as the Caffeine Pokémon was released from its Poké Ball. Before the glow had even faded, .4 started zipping energetically around the battlefield, gibbering excitedly and incoherently as Exeggutor tried to keep an eye on it- a harder feat than one would think for something with a total of six eyes.
"Exeggutor, use your Psychic attack now!" commanded Phil.
"Tor," replied all three of Exeggutor's heads as all six eyes glowed a light blue, sending a ray of blue light across the whole battlefield. .4 screeched in discomfort as the Psychic attack struck it.
"Hang in there, .4!" Orange called out. "Try your Wing Attack!"
"Eeeeee hee hee hee!" cackled .4 as a pair of purple, blocky wings erupted forth from its back. The Pokémaniac-type then darted forward, colliding with Exeggutor's trunk, the sheer speed with which it flew sending Exeggutor stumbling backwards.
"Barrage attack!" Phil ordered.
"Dodge it with TM05!" shouted Orange.
As Exeggutor fired off a wave of glowing white orbs from its leaves, .4 zipped forward, flying towards Exeggutor once more, though this time, as its blocky wings retracted into its body, it suddenly veered off to one side, and suddenly became invisible.
"Exeggu?!" exclaimed Exeggutor as all three heads glanced around, trying to catch sight of their diminutive adversary.
"Take it out, .4!" Orange called. "TM28 attack!"
Three consecutive small explosions rent the air from behind Exeggutor, sending it tumbling to the ground as .4 became visible once more.
"Exeggu... tor," gasped Exeggutor as it tried and failed to get back up.
"Nice job, .4!" Orange grinned as Phil called Exeggutor back to its Poké Ball.
"That .4 of yours is well trained," said Phil as he prepared his next Poké Ball. "Exeggutor's usually good for taking out at least one Pokémon."
"Heh, thanks," grinned Orange as .4 did three or four dozen very rapid loop-de-loops in response to the compliment. ".4's the first Pokémon I ever caught."
"Very touching," nodded Phil. "But let's see how your .4 stacks up against Tangela! Go!" he shouted as he threw the new Poké Ball, releasing the Grass-type out onto the battlefield.
"Wing Attack!" Orange called out.
"Tangela, Bind it!" shouted Phil.
"Taaaang!" exclaimed Tangela as a pair of teal vines unraveled themselves from the tangled mass of his body and flew forward. .4, however, deftly swooped and dove in midair, evading the vines with remarkable skill before sprouting its blocky wings once more and slamming them into Tangela, sending it skidding backwards.
"Good job, .4!" said Orange. "Now let's try out that new move we've been practicing!" Red and Violet exchanged surprised glances at this.
"Did you know anything about Orange working on a new attack with .4?" Violet asked.
"I barely know anything about .4, period," responded Red, shrugging his shoulders.
".4! Dragon Rage now!" Orange called. In response, .4 twirled around in midair with dizzying rapidity before unleashing a stream of mystical blue fire from its diminutive body. Tangela screeched in discomfort as the Dragon-type move tormented its tangles of tentacles.
"Mega Drain!" Phil roared.
"Tang taaaang!" Tangela replied before its eyes took on a light green glow. Almost immediately, a similar glow came over .4's body. Now it was the Caffeine Pokémon's turn to screech in discomfort as Tangela slowly started to drain its energy.
"Come on, .4!" Orange encouraged his Pokémon.
"Now use your Sleep Powder attack!" Phil shouted.
"Tang Tangela!" screeched Tangela as it shook its vines, sending a plume of blue dust flying. Though .4 made to evade it, this did not work; the Caffeine Pokémon fell to the ground, and started emitting rapid, high-pitched snores.
"Rrrrgh!" Orange grunted.
"SolarBeam! Now!" commanded Phil.
As the topmost vines on Tangela's body began to glow brightly, Orange furiously dug through his backpack, and produced his Poké Flute from within.
"No, don't you dare," Violet said warningly. "You promised."
"Screw the promise-"
"Taaaaang!" bellowed Tangela as the Vine Pokémon unleashed its SolarBeam attack- a powerful and brightly glowing blast of concentrated sunlight, nearly plowing .4 into the ground. As the attack ceased, .4 was lying at Orange's feet, smoking slightly, and not moving at all.
".4, return," sighed Orange as he aimed the Poké Ball so as to allow the beam to suck .4 back into the sphere. As he prepared another Poké Ball, he shot Violet a nasty glare. He then threw the ball, calling out "Fearow! I choose you now!"
In a flash of light, the ball unleashed Orange's Fearow, who immediately rose high into the air, floating effortlessly in midair, barely needing to flap its wings.
"Tangela, use Swords Dance!" Phil shouted.
"Fearow, Take Down!" Orange called.
"Feeeeeaaaaaarooooooowww!" screeched Fearow as it dove down at the now spinning and glowing Tangela. As Tangela ceased spinning, it was immediately sent flying backwards as Fearow tackled it hard.
"Follow up with Fury Attack!" Orange commanded.
"Tangela, Body Slam!" said Phil.
Fearow flew at Tangela once more as the latter jumped into the air, ready to slam its entire body weight down on the Beak Pokémon. As this happened, however, Fearow abruptly shifted direction, and started furiously pecking at Tangela in midair.
"Come on, Tangela! Bind now!" Phil called desperately.
"End it! Peck attack!" Orange yelled.
As Tangela extended a pair of teal vines, Fearow delivered one final blow with its cruelly pointed beak, sending Tangela tumbling to the ground, completely unmoving, its tangled vines sagging in defeat.
"Return, Tangela," said Phil as he held out its Poké Ball.
"Nice job, Fearow," Orange grinned happily. Fearow cawed loudly and proudly in response as it rose higher into the air, now circling over the battlefield.
"Nice job indeed," nodded Phil as he prepared his third and final Poké Ball. "But let's see how Fearow can deal with Victreebel!" he added, shouting that last word as he heaved the ball, unleashing aforementioned Grass/Poison-type into the open.
"Be careful, Fearow," Orange advised his Normal/Flying-type. "That thing's got a vicious Wrap attack. We'll stick to long range attacks for now. Use Razor Wind!"
"Use Acid!" called Phil.
As Fearow flapped its great wings, sending gusts of sharp, cutting wind at its opponent, Victreebel lifted the large leaf up off its mouth and unleashed a massive stream of dark, corrosive fluid from within, causing Fearow to screech in pain as the Poison move hit.
"Fearow!" Orange called in concern.
"Victreebel, use your Razor Leaf attack now!" Phil commanded.
Victreebel screeched in response as it swung the smaller leaves on the sides of its body around, sending multiple sharp leaves whizzing through the air. Fearow, still reeling from the acidic assault from earlier, made no effort to dodge this, and the leaves struck it hard. Screeching again, Fearow fell to the ground.
"Fearow, quick, use your Take Down!" Orange called desperately.
"Wrap!" Phil shouted, almost before Fearow hit the ground.
Victreebel was almost as quick to respond as his trainer was, its brown vine already snaking around Fearow's body and squeezing hard.
"No! Fearow, you can get out of there!" Orange exclaimed.
However, after several minutes of futile struggling, it seemed as though Orange's words had no truth to them. Fearow did emerge from the vine's grip, but only after Victreebel loosened it, allowing Fearow to tumble to the ground, where it lay unmoving.
"I am really starting to hate Wrap," grumbled Orange as he withdrew Fearow. "Really starting to hate it." He then took another Poké Ball and threw it. "Let's go, Q!" he shouted.
The ball split open, and Q was unleashed into the air. "Kyuuuu," it called softly.
"Hah!" Phil roared with laughter. "You really think that's wise, boy? Sending a Water-type to battle a Grass-type?"
"Watch yourself," grinned Orange. "You think that's wise, getting so cocky when you're using a Poison-type against a Psychic-type?"
"Touché," admitted Phil. "Well, let's see how this works out. Victreebel, Stun Spore!"
"Q, Water Gun!" Orange called out.
As Victreebel expelled clouds of yellow dust from its mouth, Q unleashed a stream of water from one of the corners on the front of its cube-shaped body. The dampened spores fell to the ground, falling far short of their intended target.
"Now use Headbutt!" Orange commanded.
"Victreebel, use your Wrap attack now!" shouted Phil.
Q charged forward, ramming Victreebel hard. In retaliation, Victreebel's vine snaked forward, preparing to coil itself around Q.
"Dodge it... and use Disable!" Orange grinned.
Q shot up into the air like a rocket, evading the approaching vine completely, and then a pink glow came over its whole body. A similar glow appeared in Victreebel's eyes as it retracted most of its vine.
"Fine," growled Phil. "We don't need to use Wrap! Victreebel, Mega Drain attack-"
"Confusion!" shouted Orange.
"Kyuuuuu," sang Q as it unleashed a ray of blue light from one of its corners. Victreebel shrieked and screeched in agony as the super-effective move hit. Once the attack ceased, the Flycatcher Pokémon promptly toppled over.
"Nicely done," nodded Phil as he withdrew Victreebel and made his way across the battlefield. "Your Pokémon are all well trained, and you've more than earned this." With that, he handed Orange his own Arbor Badge, in addition to another TM for Mega Drain.
"Sweet," Orange grinned as he accepted the items.
"OK, my turn now," said Violet as she walked over to the battlefield, stepping on Orange's foot as she did so. Though it looked like an accident, Red could've sworn he saw a sly smirk momentarily cross Violet's face as Orange hopped up and down, clutching the foot tightly and roaring various obscenities. At the sound of this, Q appeared to blush (the majority of its front became tinted red for a brief moment, anyway), and then it quickly tapped the Poké Ball on Orange's belt, withdrawing itself.
Across the battlefield, Phil had already returned to his position and healed his Pokémon. "Ready?" he asked.
"You bet," said Violet as the two each prepared a Poké Ball. Then, they threw them simultaneously.
"Exeggutor!" shouted Phil.
"Skulls!" yelled Violet.
In twin flashes of light, Phil's Exeggutor and Violet's Koffing materialized.
"You got kind of a disadvantage there," Orange pointed out in what Red perceived as a deliberately obnoxious manner.
"Type advantage isn't everything," replied Violet. "Skulls! Sludge attack now!"
"Koffing!" replied Skulls as it unleashed a forceful stream of black gunk from its wide, grinning mouth.
"Exeggutor, Reflect!" shouted Phil.
"Exeggutor," chanted the three heads of the Grass/Psychic-type as a shimmering wall of light materialized before it. Most of the Sludge attack splattered against the wall, but some of it managed to get through, causing Exeggutor to groan in discomfort as it became poisoned.
"Fight back with Psychic!" ordered Phil.
"Skulls, Mimic!" Violet commanded.
The skull-and-crossbones design on Skulls's body flashed briefly, and then both the Koffing and the Exeggutor fired off waves of blue energy, each one cancelling the other out. Though they were able to maintain this for several minutes, Exeggutor was groaning under the combined strain of continual Psychic usage and the poisoning from Sludge. Both Pokémon stopped their Psychic attacks, and stared across the battlefield at each other.
"Tor... Tor..." panted Exeggutor.
"Skulls, Tackle it now!" Violet commanded.
"Exeggutor, Barrage!" said Phil.
Koffing zipped across the battlefield, and before Exeggutor could even begin to react, plowed the arboreal adversary down to the ground, slamming into it with great force.
"Exeggu... tor," gasped Exeggutor as it briefly struggled to get up, ultimately failing.
"Nice job, Skulls," grinned Violet.
"Koffing, Koffing!" replied Skulls, grinning wider than ever before, just as its body became bathed in a bright white light.
"Oh, COME ON!" Phil exclaimed as the Koffing started changing shape. "How many times am I gonna have to put up with enemy Pokémon evolving mid-battle?!"
"Ha haaaa!" Violet laughed triumphantly as the glow faded, revealing a pale lavender Pokémon hovering in Skulls's place. It greatly resembled a Koffing, but without the perpetual grin. In addition, a smaller second head protruded from its left. This smaller head had a yellow circle where the larger head had a skull and crossbones.
"Weezing, the Poison Gas Pokémon, and the evolved form of Koffing," said Violet's Pokédex. "Weezing eats the dust, germs, and poisonous gases given off by toxic waste and garbage. On rare occasions, it forms by two Koffing fusing together where two kinds of poison gases meet."
"Weezing weez," groaned both of Skulls's heads simultaneously.
"Exeggutor, return!" scowled Phil as he held out the ball which withdrew the fallen tree. Once Exeggutor had re-entered its ball, Phil heaved another one out onto the battlefield. "Go, Tangela!"
"Heh," Violet sneered as Tangela materialized. "With a Weezing by my side, there's no way we're gonna lose! Skulls, Sludge attack!"
"Weeeez," bellowed Skulls as each head unleashed a stream of sludge.
"Quick, Tangela! Swords Dance!" shouted Phil.
"Taaaaangela!" exclaimed Tangela as it proceeded to spin furiously in place, its entire body emitting that silvery glow. So rapid was this spinning that the streams of sludge ricocheted off. Once Skulls stopped its attack, so did Tangela.
"Skulls, use Psychic now!" ordered Violet.
"Body Slam it!" Phil commanded.
It was clear that Skulls's earlier use of Mimic was still in effect, for it unleashed a wave of blue light from the skull-and-crossbones design on its larger head. Tangela, however, expertly jumped over the attack and slammed into the Weezing from above, sending Skulls down to the ground.
"Weez... Weez," Skulls groaned as it unsteadily rose back into the air. Every few seconds, what appeared to be electricity sparked across its body. Each spark was accompanied by a pained wince.
"Skulls is paralyzed," Red muttered. "This isn't looking good."
"Skulls, you can do it!" Violet pleaded. "Use your Sludge attack!"
"Tangela, it's time for the big finish!" declared Phil. "Hyper Beam!"
"Tangelaaaaaaaaaaaa!" screeched Tangela as it unleashed a blast of pure destructive force in the form of a beam of yellow light from within the tangled mass of vines that was its body. Though Skulls opened its mouths to unleash Sludge, it never got the chance as the Hyper Beam connected. The Weezing was thrown forcefully backwards by the force of the move, and came to rest at the ground at Violet's feet, unconscious.
"No!" Violet groaned as she withdrew her Weezing. "What the hell? I had the type advantage!"
"Type advantage isn't everything," Orange piped up.
"Orange?" hissed Violet.
"Next Pokémon, please," smirked Phil.
Violet groaned in exasperation before throwing another Poké Ball. "Tombstone, go get it!"
Tangela started to look somewhat wary as Violet's h Poké materialized, floating motionlessly in midair. "Poké..." it said in an eerie, echoing voice.
"Where's your Hyper Beam now?" Violet smirked as Phil and Tangela exchanged uneasy glances. "Oh, wait. Doesn't work on a Ghost-type, now, does it? Aww, did I mess up your big strategy?"
"Tangela! Stun Spore it!" snapped Phil.
"Tombstone, use HM02!" shouted Violet.
While Tombstone seemed to not respond, Tangela shook its vines, preparing to fire off a cloud of yellow dust... and then Tangela's eyes began to droop. The Vine Pokémon started to stumble about, as if having trouble keeping its balance.
"No! Tangela, come on!" Phil exclaimed.
"Let's wrap this up," grinned Violet. "Lick attack!"
One of the small black squares which made up the strange, blocky pattern on Tombstone's body slid open like a mouth, and a long pink tongue shot out, giving Tangela one long slurp. At this, Tangela fell over backwards and moved no more, just as the h Poké withdrew its tongue back into its body.
"Gah!" Phil exclaimed as he withdrew his Tangela. "This... just... GAH!" he roared as he threw his third Poké Ball, sending out his Victreebel.
"Heh," Violet chuckled. "I'd like to see what you plan to do here. Wrap's a Normal move. h Poké is Ghost and Poison. Wrap won't work. PoisonPowder won't work, if it knows it. OK, Tombstone, Night Shade attack!"
"Victreebel, try using Bide!" Phil exclaimed.
Victreebel crossed its leaves across the front of its body, and as the black energy bolt from Tombstone struck it, took on a bright glow.
"Tombstone! Confuse Ray now!" Violet ordered.
"h Poké!" replied Tombstone in that same eerie, echoing voice as before, as the entire front of its body seemed to melt, the pattern twisting and distorting oddly as a pale lavender light was cast onto the glowing Victreebel. Through the glowing, it now seemed to be moving erratically.
In spite of this, however, Victreebel shrieked loudly as it fired off the powerful beam of energy from its body, hitting the h Poké with twice the force of its own Night Shade. Thrown back by the sheer force of the attack, Tombstone reeled somewhat in midair for a moment.
"Steal that energy right back, Tombstone!" Violet called. "HM02 now!"
"Sleep Pow... der..." groaned Phil, for Victreebel had already slumped over on its side before the name of the attack had a chance to fully exit the Gym Leader's mouth.
"Wow," Red remarked, visibly impressed. "You didn't even need all three Pokémon, Violet!" Orange, however, merely grunted as Violet withdrew Tombstone, and Phil subsequently awarded her an Arbor Badge and a Mega Drain TM.
As the trio exited the Gym, Violet turned to Orange. "OK, you wanna tell me what that grunting of yours was about in there?" she asked.
"Oh, you want to know? OK," Orange said as he rounded on her. "I could've taken out that guy's team with just two Pokémon, too, you know? Hell, I might have only needed one! Maybe if somebody hadn't stopped me from waking .4 up-"
"You made a promise that you weren't gonna play that Poké Flute," Violet replied. "No matter what."
"You know perfectly well that you forced me into that promise!" Orange shot back. "It was stupid and unreasonable-"
"Excuse me?!" demanded Violet. "I- can you even hear yourself when you play? It sounds like an angry mob of screeching Mankey! Or worse- like your snoring!"
"Oh, don't even start that one again," said Orange. Groaning and facepalming, Red led the way back to the Pokémon Center, not even bothering to try and break this one up. Thankfully, they had stopped bickering by the time they reached the center, and the sun had started to set. However, neither Orange nor Violet seemed to want to talk to each other now, and remained silent throughout their dinner.
"Guys, c'mon," sighed Red as the they handed their Pokémon over to the nurse. "You two are friends, and I don't like to see you two fighting like this."
"Fine, just as soon as Orange apologizes," shrugged Violet.
"Hmph," grunted Orange. "Well, don't worry, Red, this'll all be over as soon as Violet comes to her senses and apologizes to me for being unreasonable."
"This will all be over once Orange comes to his senses and apologizes to me," Violet said, determinedly not looking at Orange.
"And were I to apologize to Violet," Orange continued, looking anywhere but at Violet, "I don't even know what it would be that she could possibly expect me to apologize for. Trainers are well within their rights to use items in the middle of battles, after all."
Violet opened her mouth, but no sound came out. Though Red didn't dare voice this opinion, it seemed to him as though Violet was starting to realize that Orange actually had a valid point, and that she was in the wrong on this one. After a moment, she closed her mouth, then turned to glare at Orange.
"Well?" grinned Orange. "I'm waiting."
"Hm," Violet smirked. "Orange?"
In response, Violet grabbed the collar of Orange's shirt with both hands and pulled him in close to her. Red's eyes went wide and his jaw dropped as their lips met. Judging by what little of Orange's face Red could see, he was equally surprised, but he seemed to have no objection to this turn of events. About half a minute later, they separated.
"Shut up," Violet said at last, though with a grin on her face.
End of Chapter 23.
Chapter 24: Operation: Eevee Rescue
The rest of that night went with relatively little incident. Not that Red noticed- so astonished by Orange and Violet's unexpected and sudden kiss was he that he barely registered anything else that happened that evening. Orange seemed to be in a similar state of shock, though also in a considerably happier mood.
"Whoa," Red stated as Orange sat down next to him on one of the beds in their room in the Nodacel Pokémon Center the following morning. "Just... Whoa."
"I know, right?" Orange replied, grinning widely. "I mean, I think I kinda always knew that I... But I never dreamed that she... You know?"
Despite him having not finished either of those sentences, Red nodded. He didn't need Orange to finish what he was saying. He of course never even had the slightest notion that Violet and Orange would actually be in love with each other.
At that moment, Violet strolled into the room. "Come on," she said to Orange and Red. "Breakfast time." She looked more cheerful than Red could remember seeing her, and as Orange walked out the door into the hallway, he and Violet exchanged a quick kiss.
At the table, Red looked on in amazement as Orange and Violet pushed their seats closer to each other. They even ordered the same breakfast- whole wheat zero toast with six jelly. It was the first time Red ever saw Orange eat anything other than fried nines.
"Mmm," Orange said as he bit into his toast. "This is good stuff right here. It's no plate of fried nines, but still, this is some good stuff!"
"I know, right?" smiled Violet. "Kept telling you, you should try stuff other than fried nines."
"Well, you were right," declared Orange.
Red stared at this in amazement, barely touching his fried nines. It was as though Violet and Orange had transformed into different people.
"So," said Red, "I'm guessing the fight last night-"
"Water under the bridge," said Violet dismissively.
"Forgiven, forgotten," added Orange.
"Good, good," nodded Red. "I always hate to see you two fight."
"Well, I got a feeling you won't have to worry about that anymore," Orange grinned as he and Violet kissed once more.
"This isn't weirding you out, though, is it, Red?" Violet asked. "I mean, me and Orange-"
"It was, a little, at first," Red admitted. "But I'm getting used to it. Honestly, I'm happy for you two." In honesty, Red was still trying to fully wrap his head around the whole idea, but it wasn't bothering him too much.
Just then, they heard a commotion from the main lobby. Quickly, Red grabbed a bag from a passing Chansey and packed up his unfinished fried nines before following Orange and Violet into the lobby. There, a large, muscular man in a karate outfit was storming around, ranting something about rotten thieves.
"What's going on?" Red asked.
"This man's Pokemon got stolen from him," replied Orange. "He says Team Debug was behind it."
"Of course," groaned Red. "It's always gotta be something to do with one of those insane groups."
"Sir, please, calm down," the nurse was saying to the distraught man.
"Calm down?!" he roared. "Calm down?!?! How do you expect me to calm down?! Those rotten Team Debug crooks made off with my Eevee! Those are extremely rare!"
"An Eevee?" said Violet, sounding mildly intrigued. "He's right, those aren't all that common." Meanwhile, Red opened up his Pokédex as an image of a small, brown, furry creature appeared on the screen.
"Eevee, the Evolution Pokémon," droned the device. "Eevee's genetic code is irregular. It can evolve in different ways depending on the evolution stone used on it."
"We gotta do something about this," Red said at once. "Even if they call the police, how successful have they been in the past with these jerks?"
"He's got an excellent point," Orange said to Violet. "Let's go."
Orange and Violet exited the Pokémon Center as Red approached the man. "Excuse me, sir," said Red. "Where exactly did this happen, anyway? And which way did you see those Team Debug grunts go?"
"It was just outside Nodacel Mansion," replied the man. "They took off in the direction of the Game Corner. It's the bright and flashy building, you can't miss it. Please, get my Eevee back," he added. "It's just a baby, who knows what those crooks will do to it?"
Red nodded and dashed out of the Pokémon Center. He looked around for Orange and Violet, and then sighed as he saw the two of them kissing again.
"Ahem," said Red. At this, Orange and Violet broke apart and looked at Red, both of them grinning. "Sorry to break that up, guys, but the guy says he saw the Team Debug crooks run towards the Game Corner."
"Oh, I think I know where that is," nodded Orange. "Saw that map of the city back in the Pokémon Center a little while ago. C'mon."
With Orange leading the way, they ran off, and after several minutes of dashing over concrete, rock, grass, threes, sevens, and pine cones, they arrived at a one-story building constructed out of small trees, fives, eights, roofing tiles, and walls of rock. The fives and eights were flashing red, blue, and green, giving the structure a flashy appearance.
"This must be the place," Red remarked as he pushed open the giant pair of sevens that appeared to function as doors. Immediately, a cacophony of various sounds met their ears as they were greeted with the sight of many people sitting at slot machines, inserting coins and pulling handles. On occasion, alarm bells and the sound of a machine expelling large quantities of coins could be heard, accompanied by much cheering.
"Man, this place is huge," Red whispered. "We might have to split up to- are you freaking kidding me?" For as he was speaking, he turned to face Orange and Violet, only to find the two of them kissing yet again.
"Sorry, Red," Orange said sheepishly as he and Violet broke apart. "I- hey, isn't that a Team Debug grunt right there?" Red looked in the direction Orange was pointing, and sure enough, he saw the all-too-familiar white uniform. The man in the uniform was standing right in front of a poster hanging on the wall, and scowling at anyone who got too close.
"Is he... is he guarding a poster?" chuckled Violet.
"Yeah," replied Orange, also chuckling. "Completely inconspicuous. Nothing suspicious about that at all right?" This elicited laughter from Red and Violet, and at the same time, all three of them started walking towards the Debug Grunt.
"Excuse me," Red said as they approached him. "I-"
"I'm guarding this poster!" interrupted the grunt. "Go away, or else!"
"You're guarding... a poster," Red stated. "Seriously?"
"Uh..." the grunt sweatdropped, apparently only just starting to realize the ridiculous and suspicious nature of what he had just said. "Uh... No?"
"Yeah, too late for that," smirked Violet. "Why are you guarding a poster?"
"...it could fall off?" said the grunt. Red, Orange, and Violet all exchanged highly amused looks.
"OK, how about you just step aside for a moment-" began Red.
"Zubat!!" interrupted the grunt, who had produced and thrown a Poké Ball so fast that Violet missed it because she blinked at exactly the wrong moment. "Go!"
The trio hastily stepped back as the ball burst open, unleashing the small blue Poison/Flying-type into the air. The Zubat flapped its leathery wings constantly, staying airborne, and baring its sharp fangs.
"Looks like this joker wants to make a fight of it," stated Orange as he clutched a Poké Ball of his own. "Nidoking, go!" he shouted as he threw the ball.
In front of Orange, the large, imposing, spike-covered Nidoking materialized, roaring loudly as he faced his fellow Poison-type.
"Zubat! Supersonic!" commanded the Debug grunt.
"Nidoking, Water Gun!" Orange ordered.
As Zubat began to unleash a volley of soundwaves from its mouth, Nidoking blasted a stream of water from his own mouth. The water struck Zubat, forcing it to stop its attack. "Baaaaat!" it screeched.
"Take Down now!" the grunt shouted.
"Nidoking! Aurora Beam attack!" yelled Orange.
Flapping its wings furiously, Zubat lunged forward... flying right into the rainbow-colored ray of light now pouring out of Nidoking's mouth. The Bat Pokémon shrieked and screeched in discomfort at the Ice-type move, and then fell to the floor, twitching pathetically.
"Zubat, return!" the grunt shouted, holding out the ball, the button aimed at Zubat. Once Zubat had been sucked back into the sphere, the grunt muttered, "The hideout could be discovered-"
"Hideout?" asked Orange.
"What secret switch?!" the grunt exclaimed, nearly jumping a foot in the air. Then, he realized his mistake and added, "Uh... I mean... Um... Bye!" With that, he dashed off and ran around a corner. Red ran after him, but as he rounded the corner, he saw that the grunt was nowhere to be seen.
"Alright," said Orange as Red walked back over to the poster. "Let's see what that Team Debug moron was really guarding/" He lifted the poster away from the wall, revealing a large red button set into the wall.
"Well, there's your secret switch," commented Red. "What do you guys say? Should we push it?"
Orange shrugged. "Sounds good to me. Vi?"
"I'd like to see what it does," nodded Violet. With that, Orange pressed the button. Immediately, a whooshing noise sounded from just around the corner. The trio walked over to the source of the noise, only now, Red could see a large doorway built into the wall that certainly hadn't been there twenty seconds ago.
"Whoa," Red said, pointing at the large square hole in the wall. "That's definitely new."
"You sure?" asked Orange.
"Positive," nodded Red.
With that, Violet led the way through, and down a flight of stairs. They found themselves in a dimly lit corridor with steel walls.
"I'll say it again; whoa," Red whispered.
The dimly lit corridor was long, with many twists and turns. Violet led the way down the hall, and they eventually came to a larger, more open room, in which another Team Debug grunt was standing. The trio made to hide, but the grunt spotted them.
"Stop! Intruders!" he bellowed as he threw a Poké Ball. "Go get them, Grimer!"
In a flash of light, a large, living pile of purple sludge materialized. "Griiimer," it exclaimed. Violet shuddered at the sight of the Poison-type, and this spurred Orange into action.
"Q, let's go!" Orange exclaimed as he threw a Poké Ball of his own, unleashing the Deep Sea Pokémon into the air.
"Ugh!" the grunt said in disgust. "Grimer, use your Sludge attack!"
"Q, Water Gun!" Orange ordered.
Simultaneously, both Pokémon fired off streams of liquid at each other- Grimer launched a steady stream of smelly black gunk, and Q blasted a stream of water. The attacks collided in midair, each one cancelling the other out.
"Now use your Headbutt attack, Q!" said Orange.
"Grimer, Harden attack!" commanded the Team Debug grunt.
Grimer seemed to freeze in place, but was thrown back nevertheless as Q rammed into it. The Poison-type hit the floor with a loud clanging noise, but quickly regained its more oozy state as it righted itself.
"Let's wrap this up," smirked Orange. "Confusion!"
"Kyuuuuu," sang Q as it unleashed a pale blue ray from one of the top corners of its cube-shaped body, and as the Psychic-type move hit Grimer, the super effective blow proved to be more than the Sludge Pokémon could handle.
"Grimer, return," grumbled the grunt as he held out the Poké Ball. "You know, I could still punch you all out," he snapped at the group. "There's no reason my loss in a Pokémon battle means I gotta back down."
"Well," said Red as he took a Poké Ball off his belt, "there's the fact that there is nothing to protect you from Charizard's Flamethrower. How's that for a reason?"
"That's a damn good reason," the grunt replied as he slowly backed away from the group, though still eyeing them resentfully.
"Now you're getting it," smirked Orange. "Now, why don't you tell us what you know about an Eevee that was brought in here?"
The grunt shook his head. "I don't know anything about nothing like that."
Red held Charizard's Poké Ball higher still. "You sure about that?" he asked.
"Yes, I am!" the grunt insisted. "It's a big hideout. A one-Pokémon heist isn't exactly news that reaches the entire organization right away."
"Fine," sighed Red. "Let's keep going, guys."
The group continued on. Along hallways, through rooms, down flights of stairs. All the while, they encountered numerous Team Debug grunts, but the battles were usually almost pitifully short. Red's Raticate made short work of one grunt's Machop, in spite of the type disadvantage; Violet expertly commanded Flutters to victory against another grunt's Venonat and Wigglytuff; Orange's A made excellent use of Transform to take out not only another grunt's Gloom, but also the Shellder which followed it. And after each fight, either Red, Orange, or Violet would demand to know where the Eevee was, and each and every time, the grunt would deny knowing anything, even while under threat of being roasted by a Charizard, blown up by a .4, or poisoned by a Weezing.
"This is getting us nowhere," sighed Red as they rounded a corner, only to come face to face with yet another grunt- this one, however, leapt about a foot in the air.
"You!" he exclaimed before turning around and running off. Almost instantly, the group broke into a run, giving chase.
"Flutters!" Violet shouted, holding up a Poké Ball as she ran. "Stun Spore!"
Immediately, the Butterfree that emerged from the sphere flew at great speeds until it was right above the Team Debug grunt. "Freeh, freeh!" it chattered as it flapped its wings, scattering a yellow powder from them. The grunt collapsed to the floor, struggling to move. With this development, Red, Orange, and Violet caught up to him extremely easily.
"Gah!" the grunt exclaimed as he shakily tried and failed to climb to his feet. "What do you punks want from me?!"
"The Eevee you stole will do just fine," said Orange.
"Heh," chuckled the grunt. "You think I still have that thing? You wasted your time, I already gave it to the boss."
"You're lying," smirked Violet.
"And what makes you say that?" the grunt demanded.
"Maybe the second Poké Ball on your belt," Orange stated. "If that contained anything that was truly yours, you wouldn't have only come at us with a Zubat, but if there's, oh, say, a stolen Eevee, you wouldn't risk it, would you?"
The grunt remained silent for a few moments before muttering a selection of swearwords under his breath.
"I'll take that as a yes," Orange smirked as he swiped the ball off the grunt's belt. The trio then started walking back the way they came, leaving the grunt on the floor.
"Hold on," Red said. "We should make sure that's really the Eevee before we get out of here. I mean, you two... that was awesome back there, but still, we gotta be sure."
"No, you're right," nodded Orange as he enlarged the Poké Ball and tossed it into the air. The flash of light that emerged from within formed itself into the same brown furry quadruped Red had seen on his Pokédex screen earlier, except this one looked a lot more frightened.
"Vee..." squeaked the Eevee timidly, trying to shrink away from the trio.
"It's OK, Eevee," whispered Orange as he knelt down. "We're here to save you, take you back to your owner, OK?"
Eevee's ears perked up somewhat at this, though it still looked nervous. Cautiously, it walked towards Orange, peering curiously up at him. After a moment, Orange gently scooped Eevee into his arms, and the Normal-type raised no objections to this. Then, the group continued walking back the way they came. Along the way, various Team Debug grunts scowled at them, but as they had previously been defeated in battle, they could do nothing to impede the trio's progress. At last, they came to the staircase which would lead them right back up into the Game Corner...
"Stop right there!"
Red groaned as he, Orange, and Violet simultaneously turned around at the sound of two men shouting at them simultaneously. Sure enough, a pair of Team Debug grunts were storming up to them, and they were very familiar with this duo.
"Not you guys again," Orange snapped.
"Yeah, we really don't have time for this nonsense," added Violet.
"Well, too bad," growled Will as he and Lou each produced and threw a Poké Ball. "Tangela! Go!"
"Primeape, I choose you!" Lou called out.
The Poké Balls opened up simultaneously. Will's Tangela materialized, but Lou's Pokémon was one he hadn't had before. It was built like the Mankey they had seen him use before, only with no tail, thicker arms and legs, odd metal rings around the wrists and ankles, and it looked considerably more angry. Orange held out his Pokédex.
"Primeape, the Pig Monkey Pokémon, and the evolved form of Mankey," droned the device. "Primeape is constantly furious. It gives chase to anything which angers it, and will not stop until its target is caught."
Red readied a Poké Ball, but before he could do anything, Orange and Violet had each thrown one of their own Poké Balls simultaneously.
"Go, A!" Orange shouted.
"Go, Skulls!" Violet exclaimed.
Materializing opposite Tangela and Primeape were Skulls, Violet's Weezing, and Orange's A. The Poison-type glared at the Grass-type with both heads, and the Normal/Normal-type floated motionlessly across from the furious Fighting-type.
"Tangela, use your Vine Whip on that abomination!" Will yelled.
"Primeape! Mega Punch!" Lou commanded.
"OK, Skulls, Sludge attack now!" Violet ordered.
"A, let's speed up with TM40!" said ORange.
Tangela sprouted a pair of vines from the tangled mass that was its body, and as they snaked towards A, the Speed Demon Pokémon zoomed forward, delivering a light blow to Tangela which, while not very damaging, seemed to result in a boost to A's speed. Meanwhile, Primeape lunged at Skulls, fist at the ready, only to be shot down by twin streams of sludge from the Weezing's mouths.
"Tangela, Skull Bash now!" called Will.
"Sludge attack again, Skulls!" Violet ordered.
"Primeape, Thrash!" yelled Lou.
"A, use your Razor Wind!" Orange ordered.
Skulls blasted another pair of sludge streams, but Tangela jumped out of the way, then rammed into A just as Primeape approached and started punching and kicking.
"A! No!" Orange exclaimed as the Speed Demon Pokémon collapsed to the floor. Just then, they heard a growling noise. Orange looked around in confusion for a moment before realizing that it was coming from his arms- more specifically, the Eevee he was holding in them. Eevee was snarling at the Team Debug grunts, and was now trying frantically to get out of Orange's arms.
"Eevee, no," Orange said warningly. "We can't take the chance, we gotta get you back to your trainer." Eevee shook its head vehemently, however, and jumped out of Orange's grip, assuming an aggressive pose and growling at Primeape and Tangela. Will and Lou glanced at each other, and burst out laughing.
"Orange, I'm not sure this is a good idea," Violet muttered.
"Neither am I," sighed Orange. "But Eevee seems to be be about as stubborn as I am, and you know what? This might just be crazy enough to work. Vi, don't get Skulls involved unless it's absolutely necessary, OK?" He then took out his Pokédex, and pulled up a list of the Eevee's attacks. "OK, Eevee, you ready to do this?" he called.
"Vee!" replied the Eevee with a nod.
"OK, playtime's over," grinned Lou. "Primeape, Submission attack!"
"Tangela, Skull Bash!" added Will.
"Eevee! Reflect!" ordered Orange.
"Vee Eevee!" squealed Eevee as a translucent dome of energy formed all around it. Primeape and Tangela both bounced off almost comically.
"Wow," Red remarked, surprise evident in his expression. "That wasn't bad at all."
"Now use your Quick Attack, Eevee!" Orange exclaimed.
Will and Lou's spluttered and stammered commands for Slam and Mega Punch respectively went unheeded as Eevee charged at a high speed, ramming into Primeape and Tangela, both of whom were still trying to pick themselves up, and sent them flying backwards.
"Follow up with Swift!" Orange shouted, clearly on a roll.
"Veeeeee hee hee hee!" exclaimed Eevee as a barrage of glowing stars erupted from its open mouth, pelting both Primeape and Tangela. Much as they tried to evade the move, the stars always changed direction to close in on their targets.
"Come on, Primeape!" exclaimed Lou.
"Tangela, get that Eevee!" Will shouted.
"Eevee, use Substitute!" said Orange.
Eevee closed its eyes and focused, and an exact duplicate of it materialized directly in front of it. As Primeape closed in on Eevee, ready to deliver a Mega Punch, the Substitute jumped in the path of the attack at the last second, taking the attack itself.
"Gah!" Lou exclaimed. "Stupid substitute!"
"It can't be in two places at once!" Will replied. "Tangela, Vine Whip!"
"Primeape, Mega Punch again!" ordered Lou, catching on.
However, Will was very quickly proven wrong. Though Primeape and Tangela approached from opposite sides, and simultaneously as well, the Substitute started glowing, and split into two. When the glowing faded, it was now two smaller Substitutes, and each one took one of the attacks before both halves vanished in puffs of smoke.
"Eevee, now!" Orange ordered. "Hit Tangela with your Quick Attack!"
Eevee growled as it charged forward, and ran in a circle to approach Tangela from behind, sending the Grass-type flying right into Primeape. Both Pokémon collapsed to the floor, neither one of them moving any more.
"Damn it!" Will and Lou grunted simultaneously as they withdrew their Pokemon. They then produced two more Poké Balls, but Eevee shot off another Swift attack, the stars knocking the Poké Balls out of the grunts' hands before they even got to enlarge them.
"I suggest you get out now," Orange stated. "You don't want another Swift attack, do you? I don't think Eevee is gonna even let you open those Poké Balls.
"Vee Eevee," nodded Eevee in agreement.
Will and Lou exchanged glances, then scooped up their dropped Poké Balls and fled past the trio and down the hall.
"This isn't the last you've seen of us, twerps!" shouted Lou. "We will meet again!"
"Yeah, I'm sorry to say we probably will," sighed Red. "C'mon, guys, let's keep moving," he added as he climbed the stairs.
Once they were out of the Game Corner and back in the Nodacel Pokémon Center, the trio found themselves immediately greeted by the Eevee's trainer, who was nothing short of thrilled to see Orange hand him his brown, furry Normal-type, as well as the Poké Ball for it.
"Oh, thank you! Thank you!!" the man exclaimed. "Eevee, say thank you to the nice people, OK?"
"Vee," squealed Eevee as it gave Orange a long look. The trainer took notice of this, and then looked at Orange.
"Hey-" began the trainer.
"It was nothing," Orange said modestly. "Just glad to have gotten Eevee back to you safe and sound."
"No, not that, it's... I think Eevee's taken a liking to you," the man stated. Sure enough, Eevee nodded vigorously in agreement with this statement.
"Well, I kinda did use it in battle down there," admitted Orange. "I mean, I didn't want to, but Eevee sort of insisted."
"Yeah, that sounds like Eevee, all right," chuckled the man. "But... How would you like to take care of Eevee?"
"Me?" Orange asked in surprise. Eevee reacted to this by jumping out of its trainer's arms and into Orange's arms. "But didn't you just get through worrying about Eevee?"
"Well, yeah, because it was in the hands of criminals," the trainer replied. "But you, you're a capable trainer, and Eevee clearly likes you. I know I'll have nothing to worry about. Come on. I insist."
Orange sighed. "Well, if you say so, then... welcome to the team, Eevee."
"Vee!" Eevee squealed happily as it placed its front paws up on Orange's chest in order to reach up and lick his face. Orange laughed as this was happening, as did Violet, Red, the nurse, Eevee's now former trainer, and anyone else who happened to be looking at the time.
"Alright, so where to now?" asked Red.
"Well, we might as well try the west entrance to Fansfor City," Violet suggested. "Maybe we'll get lucky with this one."
"I'm with Violet," nodded Orange. He and Violet smiled at each other and shared a brief kiss. Red gave a small sigh, and the two broke apart.
"What's up, Red?" asked Violet.
"Nothing, it's nothing," Red sighed. "It's just... I dunno, with you two going out now, I'm afraid I might start seeming like... kinda like a third wheel, you know?"
"Oh, Red," said Orange. "You'll never be just a third wheel, you're our friend- hell, you're the reason me and Vi started traveling together in the first place! And if we weren't traveling together, then we might never have gotten together."
"Orange is right," Violet nodded. "We got you to thank for this, Red. Besides, you're a good friend to have around."
Red smiled. "Thanks, guys," he said. "And I gotta say, I'm liking this, traveling through Tanko with you guys. All right, let's get to Fansfor City!"
With that, the trio set off down the aluminum siding path which led to the west gatehouse which separated them from Fansfor City.
End of Chapter 24.
Chapter 25: Mind Over Battle
As the trio continued onward, the aluminum siding path gradually giving way to one made mostly of rocks, grass, and square puddles of water, they arrived at a large building that would have been slightly more imposing were it not constructed entirely out of plastic. A fence consisting of all sorts of numbers stretched far on either side of the building. The staircase which led to the east-west bridge was right nearby.
"Fourth time's the charm?" Red said hopefully.
"It better be," Orange stated, leading the way inside. As they fully expected, a pudgy security guard sat behind a counter inside, and shook his head as they tried to pass.
"No, no no no," he said to them. "Road's closed."
"Alright, listen here," Orange stated as he stepped up to the guard. "I don't give a Raticate's rear end if you're hungry or not, it is no excuse to keep all roads leading into a major city closed! Now, you will let myself, my friend, and my girlfriend through right now, or you and I are gonna have problems."
"You watch your tone, boy," growled the guard. "I-" he broke off at that moment, sniffing at the air. "Mmm," he remarked. "Fried nines."
"Oh, yeah!" Red said suddenly as he reached into his backpack and pulled out the paper bag containing what remained of his breakfast. "I almost forgot about these. We were in such a hurry, remember, guys? Didn't want these to go to waste."
"Hey, here's a deal for you," the guard said, hungrily eyeing the bag. "You give me the fried nines, I'll let you through. In fact, I'll share them with the other guards. Gotta love those fried nines."
"I can't argue with that logic," shrugged Red as he handed the bag to the guard.
"All right!" exclaimed the guard as he took a fried nine out of the bag and bit into it, clearly savoring the flavor. "Mmmm," he sighed contentedly as he chewed. "Oh, that's good," he said after swallowing. "Yeah, if you guys want to get to Fansfor City, go right ahead. Sorry for the trouble."
"Thanks," grinned Red. "C'mon, guys, let's- OK, really?" For as he was speaking, he turned to look at Orange and Violet, only to see them kissing once more.
"Sorry, Red," Orange grinned sheepishly as he and Violet broke apart. "Sometimes we just look at each other, and the rest just kinda happens on its own."
"Right," sighed Red. "Why don't we just get moving?"
Fansfor City was a very large place. Many houses lined the wooden streets, built out of all manner of random materials, such as concrete, sheet metal, rocks, and bowling trophies. One house appeared to have been knit entirely out of wool, a sight which greatly surprised Red, even given how used to this world he was getting. There also appeared to be no freeze arches anywhere in the city. They wandered around the city for about twenty minutes before locating the Pokémon Center.
"Alright, so, let's get moving after this, get to the Fansfor Gym," Violet stated as the nurse walked to the healing machine with their Poké Balls. "You guys with me on this?"
"You know it, Vi," grinned Orange.
"Same here," nodded Red. "What type does the Gym Leader use again?"
"Psychic," answered Orange. "So, what are we thinking in terms of strategy?"
"Not sure," sighed Violet. "Psychic Pokémon are some of the toughest out there. They tend to be amazing when dishing out and taking special attacks, a lot of them are fast, and it's only weak to Bug. Not a lot of Bug-type attacks out there.
"Well, I know one Pokémon I'm using," said Red. "Parasect's Leech Life is bound to be useful here.
"I'm thinking of fighting Psychic with Psychic," said Orange. "Q will be great in there, I'm sure of it, and I'm thinking A's Transform will come in handy, too."
Violet sighed. "Migraine and Flutters are the only members of my team not weak to Psychic moves," she said. "This will be tough if the Gym Leader uses more than two Pokémon."
"Type advantage isn't everything," Orange responded. "Tombstone, Chompy, and Skulls are strong Pokémon, Vi, and we've all overcome type disadvantages before."
"Yeah," grinned Violet as the nurse returned with their Pokémon. "Then let's do this."
Seventeen minutes later, the group found themselves looking up at a large and imposing building. The exterior appeared to be constructed entirely out of shiny metal spoons. One gigantic wooden spoon was hung across the front of the building, just above the double doors (which were made out of spoons as well), and in large blue letters, the words "FANSFOR CITY POKéMON GYM" were painted on the handle of the wooden spoon.
"Wow," Orange remarked as he looked up at the building. "Suddenly, I find myself in the mood for soup." Red and Violet chuckled at this as they walked in through the doors.
The interior was very large and spacious, with the usual dirt battlefield built into the floor. On the other end of the battlefield, there stood with his arms crossed, a man clearly in his mid-twenties, his black hair slicked back. He was wearing a dark blue jumpsuit, to which was attached four Poké Balls.
"Welcome," the man smirked. "Welcome, challengers, to the Fansfor Gym. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Harry, the Fansfor Gym Leader. Now then, why not introduce yourselves?"
"Orange McPixel from Talpel Town," stated Orange.
"Violet Scramble, also from Talpel Town," added Violet.
"Red Vershunn, Talpel Town," chimed in Red.
Harry nodded. "A pleasure," he stated. "Now then, here are the rules around here. When I battle, each trainer is allowed four Pokémon. I cannot switch unless the Pokémon I have out has fainted, but the challenger can switch at their leisure. Now then, which of you three is to be my first challenger?"
"I will," Violet volunteered.
"All right," grinned Orange as Violet stepped into the challenger's box. "You can do it, Vi!"
"Then let us begin," Harry grinned as he plucked one of the Poké Balls off his belt and threw it. "I choose Jynx!"
The ball opened up, and out came a rush of bright light, which eventually formed itself into a vaguely human-like Pokémon with extremely light hair, large, noticeable lips, and what appeared to be a red dress. Violet whipped out her Pokédex and aimed it forward.
"Jynx, the Human Shape Pokémon," droned the device. "Jynx wiggles its hips while it walks. It can cause people to dance in unison with it."
"All right," said Violet as she threw a Poké Ball of her own. "Go! Migraine!"
In a flash of light, Violet's Psyduck materialized, clutching its head as always.
"Heh," chuckled Harry. "Do you really think a little Psyduck is the best choice?"
"Psy?" said Migraine as it tilted its head to one side, seemingly in response to Harry's question. Before Violet could say anything, however, a dazzlingly bright light distracted her. It took her a second or two before she realized where the light was coming from- Migraine!
As the Psyduck changed shape, Orange cheered loudly, and Phil's smirk faded away slowly. Then the glow faded, and standing in Migraine's place was a significantly taller creature. Its hands and feet were webbed, and instead of a bright yellow, it was an aquatic shade of blue. Its beak was pointed, unlike a Psyduck's bill, it had long, actually visible legs, and its hands and feet were tipped with actual claws. Its tail was also longer, and there was a ruby-red gemstone in the center of its forehead.
"It evolved into a Golduck," Red grinned as Violet held her Pokédex back out, aiming it at her newly-evolved Water-type.
"Golduck, the Duck Pokémon, and the evolved form of Psyduck," droned the Pokédex. "Golduck's webbed hands and feet make it an excellent swimmer. Often seen swimming elegantly by lakeshores."
"Ready to go, Migraine?" said Violet.
"Golduck!" exclaimed Migraine as it turned around and gave her a thumbs-up.
"Jynx! Psywave now!" ordered Harry.
"Jyyynx," responded Jynx loudly as a volley of glowing blue rings erupted forth from her mouth, expanding in midair. Violet made up her mind on the spot, decided to see if evolution may have changed something.
"Migraine, Confusion attack!" she ordered. Red and Orange exchanged highly surprised looks at this. However, Migraine immediately placed both hands on its head, closed its eyes, and focused. Almost instantly, a ray of blue light shot out of the gem on its forehead, and the Psywave rings disintegrated.
"Jynx, go for a Body Slam!" called Harry.
"Migraine! Scratch attack!" shouted Violet.
Both combatants lunged at each other. Jynx jumped up, attempting to drop her full body weight on top of the Golduck, but Migraine had other plans, and took a vicious swipe at Jynx, throwing her off course. The Ice/Psychic-type gave a startled gasp as the Scratch attack hit.
"Follow up with Fury Swipes!" grinned Violet, clearly on a roll.
"Golduck duck duck duck duck!" grunted Migraine as it lunged at Jynx again, and scratched at her repeatedly.
"Time to get serious!" Harry declared. "Now then, Jynx, use Lovely Kiss!"
"Quick, Migraine, Water Gun now!" said Violet.
"Duuuuuuuuuuuck!" bellowed Migraine as it opened its beak wide and unleashed a forceful stream of water at Jynx. The Water move disrupted Jynx's attempt at attacking, and Violet knew it.
"Jynx, Blizzard!" ordered Harry.
"Migraine, Submission!" commanded Violet.
Migraine lunged yet again, this time dashing right through the blinding snowstorm currently being released from Jynx's mouth, grabbed the Human Shape Pokémon, and proceeded to wrestle with it.
"Do it, Migraine!" cheered Orange, earning him a smile from Violet.
"Jynx!" exclaimed Harry, but too late; once the Golduck was finished, Jynx had collapsed to the floor, and had ceased to move.
"Good job, Migraine," Violet said, grinning happily at her Golduck while Harry withdrew Jynx.
"Not a bad start," he conceded as he prepared another Poké Ball. "Now then, Hypno, go!" he added as he threw the ball. This ball unleashed a tall yellow Pokémon, decidedly much more humanlike in appearance than Jynx. It had an odd, crooked, pointed nose, a collar of white fluff around its neck, and a small pendulum on a string clutched in its right hand.
"Hyyypnooooo," it murmured as Violet aimed her Pokédex at it.
"Hypno, the Hypnosis Pokémon, and the evolved form of Drowzee," it said. "Avoid eye contact. It uses its pendulum to hypnotize others into falling into a deep sleep."
"Don't make eye contact, Migraine," warned Violet. "Use Water Gun!"
"Hypno, Thunder Wave!" ordered Harry.
Hypno raised its right hand, and began to swing its pendulum around and around in small circles. Within seconds, it looked like a silver circular blur going around the hand. Then, sparks flew off the spinning pendulum, followed by a small bolt of electricity. As it zapped Migraine, the Golduck grunted and struggled to move. It opened its beak, but winced in pain instead of firing off the ordered move.
"No! Migraine's paralyzed," groaned Violet.
"Hypno! Mega Punch now!" Harry shouted.
"Hyp! No!" Hypno exclaimed as it dashed forward, drew back its fist, then slugged Migraine right in the gut, sending the paralyzed Golduck tumbling to the ground. Migraine made no effort whatsoever to get back up.
"Migraine, return," Violet sighed as she called her Water-type back to its Poké Ball. Then, she produced another Poké Ball, pressed the button to bring it to its full size, and threw it. "Skulls, I choose you!"
"She's using her Weezing?" Red muttered, a skeptical look on his face. "But Hypno's a Psychic-type."
"Hypno, Psychic attack!" Harry commanded.
"Skulls, use SmokeScreen!" said Violet.
"Weezing weez," groaned Skulls as it drifted across the battlefield, a thick black smoke erupting from its pores and quickly blanketing the entire battlefield. A blue ray of light shot out of the smoke, missing the Weezing completely.
"Don't give in, Hypno!" said Harry. "Double Team!"
"Skulls, Tackle it now!" Violet ordered. However, as her Weezing dove into the smoke, the sound of her Poison-type colliding with the floor could be heard. As the smoke cleared out, they could all see Skulls unsteadily rising back up into the air, surrounded by no fewer than ten Hypno.
"Uh oh," Orange muttered.
"Now use Psychic once more," sneered Harry.
"Skulls, go up!" Violet shouted.
As every single Hypno copy fired off a blue ray of light from the eyes, the Weezing simply floated up into the air. The illusory copies of the Psychic attack harmlessly passed through the illusory copies of the Hypno- except for one. One Hypno copy vanished upon contact with the Psychic attack which hit it. Violet pointed to the Hypno across from the one which had just vanished. "That's the real one, Skulls!" she yelled. "Sludge!"
"Weezing," replied Skulls as both heads unleashed a thick stream of smelly black liquid, blasting the real Hypno with it.
"No!" Hypno grunted as it tried to fend off the foul goop with its hands. Nevertheless, once the Weezing had stopped its onslaught, Hypno was looking noticeably fatigued, and its forehead now had a purple tint to it.
"Hypno's poisoned!" Orange exclaimed.
"Let's wrap this up, Skulls," grinned Violet. "Use Thunderbolt!"
"WeeeeZIIIIING!" bellowed Skulls as the Poison-type unleashed a powerful bolt of lightning from its body, zapping its Psychic-type adversary.
"Wait, has Skulls always known Thunderbolt?" asked Red.
Violet shook her head. "Just used the TM on it last night," she replied.
Meanwhile, Hypno slumped to the floor, and as it slipped into unconsciousness, the pendulum fell from its hand.
"Hypno, return!" snapped Harry as he held out the Poké Ball, allowing the red energy beam to retrieve the Hypnosis Pokémon to its spherical innards. Then, he took another ball and launched it onto the battlefield. "Now then, Q, let's go!" he shouted as a yellow and black cube materialized in midair, identical to Orange's starter Pokémon.
"Kyuuuuuuuu," it droned, albeit in a deeper tone of voice than Orange's Q would use.
"Hah!" smirked Violet. "Skulls just fried your Hypno with an Electric attack, so you bring in a Water-type? Skulls, use Thunderbolt!"
"Q, Psychic!" ordered Harry.
As Skulls let fly another bolt of electricity, Q unleashed a ray of blue psychic force from the front of its body. The two attacks met, but Q's Psychic quickly overpowered the Electric move, and both of Skulls's heads were groaning in pain as the super effective move hit.
"Skulls!" Violet exclaimed as her Weezing slumped to the floor.
"Now then, you were saying something?" Harry smirked. Violet scowled as she wordlessly withdrew the Weezing.
"I wonder what Violet's gonna use next," Orange murmured.
Orange was not left to wonder this for long, for Violet was already throwing a new Poké Ball. "Go! Chompy!" she yelled as the Victreebel erupted forth from the sphere, shrieking loudly.
"Hmm," Harry remarked as he eyed Chompy. "Interesting. Interesting. Victreebel, as a Poison-type, is weak to Q, as a Psychic-type... However, Q, as a Water-type, is weak to Victreebel, as a Grass-type... Now then, I'm interested to see how this one plays out. Q, go! Ice Beam!"
"Kyuuuuu," bellowed Q as a light blue orb formed above it, then fired off a blast of freezing energy right at the Grass/Poison-type.
"Chompy! Acid attack!" Violet yelled.
Chompy screeched loudly as it unleashed a steaming stream of highly corrosive purple fluid from its sizable mouth. The Acid struck the Ice Beam in midair, each attack cancelling each other out- at least, until Acid started winning out. As Q stopped the Ice Beam out of tiredness, it groaned in pain as the Poison-type move hit.
"Go, Chompy, now use Razor Leaf!" commanded Violet.
"Q, TM50!" ordered Harry.
As Chompy swung its leaves around, sending numerous razor-sharp leaves flying at the Deep Sea Pokémon, Q began to rapidly spin around, and two of its sides sprouted a glowing rectangular appendage each. These glowing appendages slapped the leaves out of the way as Q charged forward and proceeded to slap the Victreebel around.
"Chompy!" Violet shouted. "Use your Wrap attack!"
Chompy screeched as it swung its long brown vine around and, in the blink of an eye, coiled it all around Harry's Q, who was struggling futilely.
"Q!" Harry shouted. "Get out of there! Use your Ice Beam!"
"Kyuuuu.... Kyuuuu..." groaned Q as it struggled fruitlessly against the grip its Grass/Poison adversary had on it. Several minutes later, Violet's Victreebel relinquished its grip, allowing Q to fall to the floor, where it made no effort to move whatsoever.
"Q, get back," sighed Harry as he held out the Poké Ball, recalling his fallen Pokémon to its spherical confines. Then, he produced his fourth and final Poké Ball and pressed the button to enlarge it. "Now, then, Alakazam, I choose you!" shouted Harry as he threw the ball, releasing from it a tall, dark yellow creature very humanlike in appearance, albeit with pointed ears, and claws on its hands and feet. It sported an impressive mustache, and held a silver spoon in each hand.
"Alakazam!" bellowed the newly sent out Pokémon in a deep voice. Violet responded by holding out her Pokédex.
"Alakazam, the Psi Pokémon, and the evolved form of Kadabra," droned the device. "Highly intelligent, its brain can outperform a supercomputer. It freely employs psychic power to defeat its foes."
"Geez," Orange muttered. "Alakazam is supposed to be one of the most powerful Psychic-types out there. I hope Vi is gonna do OK."
"Yeah," nodded Red.
"Now then, Alakazam! Use your Psychic attack!" bellowed Harry.
"Chompy, Stun Spore!" commanded Violet.
Before a single speck of Stun Spore could vacate the Victreebel, Alakazam held out its spoons in front of it, holding them in an X-shape. The spoons glowed blue, and a blast of blue light was unleashed from them. There was no time for Chompy to dodge, let alone for Violet to order it to do so; the attack hit hard and fast, and the Victreebel was out cold on the floor in roughly the time it took Orange to blink.
"Now then, your Victreebel is, I must admit, quite impressive," Harry stated as Violet withdrew Chompy. "But don't feel too bad. It's not often something comes along that can withstand Alakazam's Psychic attack.
Violet sighed. She only had two choices left, and call her crazy, but she was rather inclined to pick the one that wasn't weak to Psychic. "It's up to you, now," she said quietly to the new Poké Ball in her hand. Then, she threw the ball. "I choose you, Flutters!" she called as her Butterfree materialized.
"Freeeh, freeeh!" chattered Flutters, the Butterfree flapping its wings to stay airborne as it faced its enemy.
"Let's do this, then," smirked Harry. "Now then, Alakazam, Psychic!"
"Dodge it!" Violet called in desperation.
Alakazam fired off another blast of psychic power, but Flutters was able to fly out of the way, though only just barely.
"Flutters, String Shot now!" Violet yelled, calling the first attack which came to her mind.
"Freeeheeeheeeheeeh!" exclaimed Flutters as it sprayed several strands of sticky, silky string from its mouth. As Alakazam geared up for another Psychic, the String Shot wrapped around it, pinning its arms to its sides, causing it to drop one of its spoons.
"Kazam?!" exclaimed the Psi Pokémon in horror.
"That's it!" Violet gasped. "The spoons! Flutters, use your Confusion attack! Get those spoons!"
A blue glow came over Flutters's eyes as the spoon on the ground rose into the air and flew towards the Bug/Flying-type. The spoon in Alakazam's hand was also tugged in that direction, but the Psychic-type desperately kept a firm grip on it.
"Alakazam, use your Psywave!" shouted Harry.
"Flutters, Psybeam!" Violet yelled.
"Freeeeeeh!" screamed Flutters as a multicolored beam of light exploded forth from its eyes at the same time a volley of blue energy rings emitted from Alakazam's eyes. At first, it looked as though Alakazam's Psywave would win out, but then, the spoon now clutched in Butterfree's tiny hand took on a blue glow, and the Psybeam intensified, starting to gain control over the Psywave. Alakazam's spoon also glowed blue, however, and the Psywave intensified as well.
"Do it now!" Violet yelled. "Pull up and go in for Tackle attack!"
"Freeeh, freeeeeeh!" Flutters responded as it suddenly flapped its wings rapidly, cutting off the Psybeam and deftly flying above the Psywave. Before Alakazam could do anything to stop it, Flutters dove down and rammed into Alakazam. The Psi Pokémon lost balance and toppled over. It rose into the air, however, and landed deftly on its feet as it finally managed to free its arms from the String Shot. Using Psychic, it attempted to reclaim the stolen spoon, but the Psychic-type was breathing heavily, clearly tired out, and failed to so much as pry the kitchen utensil from the Butterfree's grip.
"Now then, this does not bode well," frowned Harry. "Alakazam, use Psychic!"
"Tackle one more time, Flutters!" Violet ordered.
"Zam..." whined Alakazam as it raised the one spoon it still had, which flickered with blue light. However, at that moment, Flutters rammed into Alakazam once again. This time, the spoon fell out of the Butterfly Pokémon's grip. But this time, Alakazam made no effort to get back up.
"YES!" Orange exclaimed as Flutters dove into Violet's arms to be hugged by its happy trainer.
"We did it, Flutters!" Violet exclaimed happily as Harry withdrew Alakazam. Then, the Gym Leader walked across the battlefield and approached Violet.
"An impressive battle indeed," Harry stated as he held out his hand. "Now then, take this- it's the official Pokémon League Mental Badge. Also, please accept Technical Machine #46, which will teach Psywave to one of your Pokémon."
"Thanks," grinned Violet as she accepted the items. The Mental Badge was a golden, circular object with two thin, black circles, one inside the other. Harry strode back across the battlefield, and placed his Poké Balls in the healing machine located on his end.
"Now then, who is to be my next opponent?" asked Harry once his team had been healed up.
Red and Orange exchanged looks, and the former stepped forward. "I'll go next," Red stated.
"Very good," Harry nodded approvingly as he took one of his Poké Balls and enlarged it as Red did the same with one of his. "Now then, we begin!"
End of Chapter 25.