(AU/Manga)BattleField Tamamushi:The Ultimate Tournament *Revised* (PG-13)

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    Default (AU/Manga)BattleField Tamamushi:The Ultimate Tournament *Revised* (PG-13)

    Okay, I'm making a thread for the narrative version and junking the first one. The script wasn't working especially when I got into some of the more intense battles. I have also gotten better feedback for the narrative version. So narrative it is.

    Before you read, please read this intro.

    This is rated PG-13. The reasons are violence, swearing, and content. (This story is not meant for younger readers.) READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

    Despite changing format, I will still be using the Japanese names. This is mainly because I'll be using cannon material never released in English. The names are from Latios' reference at SPPf. If you find spelling mistakes for Pokemon, attacks, or cannon characters, please inform him if you are memeber of SPPf.

    On that note. I will be using of the English attack names of some attacks (like Thunderbolt and Confuse Ray), because their Japanese names don't fit into English syntax that well.

    Some people helped me with some characters ideas (basic appearance, team, general personality) I'd like to thank them.

    This really falls under the Manga Cannon. (Erika's resistance being from Pocket Monsters Special and Kaede from the "How I Became a Pokemon Card" Manga). So Alternate Universe/Manga seems to fit the story best.

    Special thanks to Blackjack Gabbiani for information on Kaede.

    That should cover everything.

    So, sit back relax, and enjoy the tournament.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 8th August 2005 at 01:16 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    I'm posting all the chapters I have so far right now.

    Chapter I: And so it begins

    Cormick Alexander or “Alex” as most trainers called him sat with a bored expression on his face. He held his head up with his left fist while he flipped the plastic card again between his right index and middle fingers. There didn’t seem to be anything special about it, it was just a gray plastic rectangle. However, looks could be deceiving as his thought trailed off to the day before.

    The world in which Alex lived was much like ours. The Geography and most of the major historical events and names were exactly the same. However, there was a huge difference. Instead of the animals we know roaming the lands, seas, and skies, the world he lived in was filled with incredible creatures known as Pocket Monsters or more commonly know as Pokémon. Unlike the animals of our world, Pokémon were able harness the powers of the elements and nature to defend themselves. They also had the ability to exist in pocket dimensions created by Monster Balls hence their full name. Despite being only about the size a tangerine, a Monster Ball could hold the largest of Pokémon.

    Alex was what was called a Pokémon Trainer. Trainers were licensed handlers who trained Pokémon for battling. They traveled the world in search of Pokémon from the highest crags to the deepest abysses. Some saw this as cruelty to the Pokémon. However, Pokémon were naturally competitive and aggressive. Even the most docile of Pokémon had the need to battle. Trainers gave Pokémon a channel and an opportunity to travel and compete against Pokémon they would never face in their natural habitats. Also, most trainers understood an unwritten code of ethics that dictated a trainer’s conduct towards Pokémon, towards other trainers, and toward the world in general.

    ******************
    Earlier That Day

    Alex had traveled for six months. But had returned to his native Kanto Province and home of Masara two in the Southwest corner of the province to rest and plan his next campaign. Masara town was cradled in the rolling, forested hills on the tip of the southwestern peninsula. As the bright early August Sun rose over the hill on that brisk morning, a Dodrio’s three heads crowed to greet the new day.

    It was an unusually crisp morning for August. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and dew had settled on the grass and vehicles in the driveways and streets. The air was very clean and fresh, a perfect morning for exercise.

    Alex and Raichu, his most loyal and trusted Pokémon were stretching out in front of a small colonial house. Alex was a tall and rather lean young man in his late teens with blond hair and blue eyes. He wore a white T-shirt and gray sweat pants. He and Raichu were warming up for training in the nearby forests.

    Raichu was a kangaroo rat like Pokémon who stood a little less than half the height of an average man. His fur was gold in color with a white underbelly and dark brown stripes across his back. At the end of his long, robe like tail was a gold lightning shaped “flail”.

    A postman walked up the sidewalk cheerfully whistling a tune. As he came to the front gate of the house Alex and Raichu were training in front of he took out an envelope and read the name and address.

    “Hello,” the Postman called out to get Alex’s attention, “is this the address of a Cormick Alexander?”

    Alex stopped stretching and walked over to the gate. “Yeah, I’m him.”

    “Good,” the Postman handed Alex the envelope, “you have a letter from the Sieki League.”

    “Thanks,” Alex took the envelope and looked at it.

    “Have a nice day.” The postman continued his rounds and began whistling again.

    Alex continued to examine the envelope. It had the seal of the Sieki League alright.

    “Why would the Sieki League be mailing us?” Alex thought out loud out of curiosity.

    He tore one of the corners of the envelope and pulled his index finger through the top to open it. He looked in and pulled out the plastic card.

    “Rai rai chu?” Raichu asked curiously.

    “I don’t know.” Alex looks at one side, then the other.

    “Please place this card on a hard, flat, level surface.” A computer voice came from the card.

    Alex was a little startled.

    “Pease place this card on a hard, flat, level surface.” The card repeated.

    “Alright, alright,” Alex placed the card on the ground.

    The card then projected a primitive, blue, life sized hologram of Sakaki, the head gym leader of the Sieki League. He was slightly shorter than Alex with short slick black hair and cold eyes set in his craggy face. He was wearing an all black suit with a shield shaped crest on the right shoulder.

    “Rai,” Rai shrieked as he ducked behind Alex’s legs.

    “It’s just a hologram.” Alex explained.

    “Greetings trainer,” the hologram spoke as it distorted briefly, “you have received this holocard because you have been invited to participate in a tournament being held in Tamamushi City. To enter you must simply be in Tamamushi by sunset of the day you receive this message. More details will be given then. Make sure you bring this card with you.”

    The hologram then dissolved. Raichu slowly walked up to card and touched it. Then he picked it up and shook it.

    “Rai chu raichu?” He looked back up at Alex.

    Alex looked to the east at the rising sun. “Why not,” shrugged and smiled, “why not?”

    ********************

    Alex’s train of thought is interrupted by laughter of the other trainers. He wore a navy blue jump suit with a red, white, and silver image of a Monster Ball embroidered on the left chest pocket and a dark colored hate with an Old English “D” embroidered on the front.

    He looks at the large flat screen Television he was sitting in front of. They were watching an old Warner Brothers cartoon of a Graena, a Pokémon that looks very much like a wolf with a think black fur coat and yellow eyes, running on his hind legs after a blue and purple Dodo, Pokémon that has the similarities an Emu with two heads each with button eyes.

    Alex checks the PokéGear on his right wrist. The digital clock changed from 19:59 to 20:00.

    ‘Well, they should be giving out the information at any time.’ Alex thought to himself. He poked Raichu awake who groggily opened his button eyes and sat up.

    The cartoon was replaced with Sakaki’s face. There were some groans from the younger trainers.

    “Hey, turn it up.” One of the male trainers said to a red haired girl sitting next to the remote tethered to the table.

    The girl grabbed it and held down a button. A bar appears on the screen with a curser that moves a little to the right. The trainers gather around the Television to watch.

    “Are we on?” Sakaki asked someone in the studio with him. “We are?”

    “Yeah,” a voice off screen answers.

    “Alright, greetings trainers,” Sakaki coughs, “no doubt you wonder why you have been summoned to Tamamushi City.”

    “The man has a way with the obvious.” Alex said with a hint of sarcasm.

    Several other trainers hushed him.

    “I welcome you to the Tamamushi Invitational.” Sakaki continued. “You have been selected for this tournament because you are the best. Not necessarily because you have the most badges or have participated in the league but because of your skills as a trainer in the field.

    “You see, in my years working with the league I find their battles are way too artificial. You know when you’ll battle and whom you’ll battle. You have a chance to go to the Pokémon Center after every match. Well, in this tournament, that’s all going to change. In this tournament, the whole city is the arena. You will battle whenever, wherever, and whomever. Although the Pokémon Centers will be open, good luck getting to them with only a couple Pokémon able to fight. You will find that the medical supplies you have on you will serve you better than the Pokémon Centers this time.”

    Some of the trainers begin to converse amongst themselves.

    “The rules of this tournament are simple.” Sakaki continued.

    -You can only use six Pokémon for the full tournament.
    -All Pokémon are enterable.
    -In the individual battles you’ll each use two Pokémon that are both on the field at the same time.
    -You cannot refuse a challenge.
    -You cannot use items on Pokémon during battles.
    -You are eliminated if all your Pokémon are incapable of battling.
    -You are disqualified if you leave the limits of Tamamushi City.
    -The tournament will be held with a point system. Each win earns a trainer two points and each tie earns a trainer one point. This is to prevent trainers from hiding and getting ahead.
    -The top eight seeded trainers after the two days of the elimination rounds will earn the right to fight in the finals with full six on six battles in the double battle format at Tamamushi ice arena.

    “If you want more information on these rules, I suggest you go to the League’s website at http://bmgf.bulbagarden.net/www.siekileague.jp/tamamushiinvitational. The battles will begin at noon tomorrow; make sure you have registered your team by then. This is Sakaki signing off.”

    Sakaki’s face disappeared and was replaced with Graena trying to make a catapult work. Some hushed conversation struck up amongst the trainers. An atmosphere of eagerness formed. Trainers always loved a good challenge and this was no exception.

    **********************

    Sakaki rubbed his eyes and sat back his chair. The studio around him dissolved and reformed into a dimly lit room. A humming fluorescent lamb hanging below the ducts and pipes that created the ceiling was the only source of light in the room. The room reeked of chemicals.

    Sakaki picked up a clipboard with a pad of paper on it. After reading a few lines he threw it back down in disgust.

    “Problems Comrade Sakaki?” A voice asked with a slight Russian accent. It came from a corner in shadow. A red ember glowed near the mouth of a skeleton like silhouette as a stream of smoke escaped into the dim light.

    “That bitch Erika and her little band are became a problem.” Sakaki scowled and began to think.

    “There’s more.” The shadowy figure spoke up. “Many of us are confused over this tournament you have created. You’ve placed several of us in the tournament and you’ve brought some of the strongest trainers in the region literally on top of us. What is your plan?”

    “All in good time Sergey-san.” Sakaki answered.

    “That’s the problem.” Sergey growled. He threw his cigarette down and crushed it under his boot. He then yelled angrily. “We’re so damned tired of hiding down here like sewer Koratta. You said we would rise. Why not rise right now?”

    “Do you really want the government to catch onto us before we’re ready?” Sakaki stared coldly at the shadow in which Sergey hid. “All pieces will be in place by Thursday. Like a Transel, we are most vulnerable just before our emergence. However, by the time everyone in Japan will know the name of the Rocket Gang, it’ll be too late.” He chuckled coldly.

    **********************

    The communications room of the Pokémon Center was busy. All the video phones had a trainer in front of them. The teleporters flashed and buzzed as the trainers created their best teams.

    Those prepared lined up at the main desk where the head shift nurse sat. When many of the beginning trainers thought of the Pokémon nurses, they thought of the pretty young woman with red hair tied in looped pigtails shown in books and posters. However, the nurses were not identical by a long shot (not all of them were even female). While the head nurse wore the same pink tunic and white apron, she was at least ten years older with dark brown hair pepper with silver tied in a bun held by a pair of decorative chopsticks.

    A man in his mid twenties with messy brown hair and baggy clothes took his Monster Balls back from the nurse.

    “Thank you Nurse Hoshi.” He bowed his head as did she and he walked away from the desk.

    Alex walked up to the desk. “Hi, I’m here to register.” He looked around as handed the nurse his card.

    “Pokémon Trainer Cormick Alexander accepted to Tamamushi Tournament.” The card stated.

    “Cormick Alexander,” Hoshi thought out loud as she typed in the computer, “TIN Number 11235 right?”

    “Yeah, that’s me.” Alex answered.

    “Alright, just give me your PokéPedia and Monster Balls for registration.” Hoshi instructed.

    Alex took the three red and white Monster Balls and blue and white Super Ball on his belt and placed them on the desk. He then pulled an all white Premier Ball attached to leather lace tied around his neck out of his jumpsuit and detached it from the magnet holding it to the lace. He then patted the desk and Raichu hopped on it.

    Alex then handed Hoshi his Pokémon Encyclopedia. It was device that looked very much like a red Gameboy Advanced SP. However, it was no play thing. The Pokémon Encyclopedia or PokéPedia for short was valuable device any trainer. Not only was it a reference on most Pokémon and related subjects but it also doubled as a personal identification device. Alex had nicknamed his “Ziggy” but PokéPedia’s had no official names.

    “Are these the Pokémon you wish to enter?” Hoshi asked.

    “Yup,” Alex nodded and answered.

    Hoshi plugged a data cable to the PokéPedia and placed Alex’s Monster Balls in a tray with six depressions. Raichu put his paw in the sixth slot. Hoshi then typed some key on her computer. The large screen behind her displayed a picture of Alex and pictures of his Pokémon.

    Alex’s team consisted of Raichu, Jukain, Dugtrio, Kamex, Kyuukon, and Onidrill. They were the only six Pokémon he had ever caught and trained. While it wasn’t uncommon for trainers to have dozens of Pokémon, Alex never caught an extra Pokémon.

    “You’re all registered young man.” Hoshi handed him a wristband with a large LED on it. “This light will tell other trainers whether or not you’ve been eliminated. Green means you’re still in. Red means you’re gone.”

    “Thank you.” Alex bowed his head in respect. He slipped the wristband on his left wrist. It lit up green.

    “Good Luck young man.” Hoshi wore a smile as she waved to Alex and Raichu as they left.

    ****************

    Out in the streets, Alex and Raichu walked down the sidewalk in a current of people. Vehicles of various sizes traveled on the road beside them. The various sounds of the city melded into a background melody. The scent of car exhaust was thick in the air. Alex was staring at the thin strip of blue over their heads. It was very different from the wide-open spaces of the Masara and the surrounding countryside.

    Alex yawned and looked at the storefronts. One was a little antiques shop. It for some reason caught Alex’s interest. He poked Raichu and pointed to the shop. They turned and entered the building.

    As Alex opened the door, a bell rang. The shopkeeper was an older heavy set man with thinning gray, curly hair wearing small circular eyeglasses in front of his eyes. He was talking with another patron as Alex and Raichu looked around.

    Alex had always been fascinated with antiques. He felt like a kid in candy store. He breathed in the smell of vintage wood into his nostrils and enjoyed the nostalgia. It reminded him or rummaging through his great aunt’s attic for things that sparked his interest. In fact, it was in that attic where he found the hat he was wearing.

    Alex noticed a small, red, leather bound book. The spine had a compartment in which a half sharpened wooden pencil was stuffed. Alex swept the dust off it with his hand and opened the book and found all the pages to be blank.

    “What’s with this book?” Alex thought out loud with a confused look on his face.

    The shopkeeper heard him. His other customer began to leave as he walked up to Alex.

    “Ah, I see use found the journal.” The shopkeeper spoke up.

    “Journal,” Alex asked as he turned to the shopkeeper.

    The shopkeeper nodded. “Back before the days of the internet, people would write down things in diaries and journals like that one.”

    Alex looks at it. “I’ll take it.”

    The shopkeeper smiles and claps his hands together. “It’s a real find my boy. That’ll be seven hundred and fifty yen.”

    ****************

    Alex and Raichu remerged on the streets. Alex is examining his new journal.

    “Rai chu chu rai chu?” Alex asked, slightly annoyed.

    “Because I love antiques, especially ones I can use.” Alex placed the journal in his left thigh pocket. “I can write down what happens in the tournament.”

    Raichu sighed out of exasperation. However, his attention was grabbed by a bell melody. He flicked his ears. Alex also stopped and listened.

    The melody stopped and a female voice came over several speakers. “Attention trainers in the Tamamushi Tournament,” the voice began, “it is now noon and you may begin battling.”

    “Well, this it Raichu, here we go.” Alex looked around for other people with the green wristband.

    ******************

    Isao, the Sieki League commentator was sitting in front a bank of screens. He was in his early forties with curly dark gray hair. He was in a brown business suit with a blue dress shirt and red tie. He straightened his tie and tapped the microphone in front of him. The Orange “On the Air” light flashed on.

    “Konichewa Pokémon fans; this is Isao, your favorite league commentator.” Isao spoke into the microphone with cheerful air about him. “However today I’m coming to you live from the Tamamushi Invitational Tournament. A hundred trainers from across Japan have converged on the largest city in the Kanto Province to fight in what has been advertised as a once in a life time event. Even now our hovercams are searching the city for battles.”

    Isao stops as a silver haired man in sixties, wearing a white lab coat and dress suit sits down next to him. “Oh, and I’ll be co-anchored by three time Sieki Champion and leading mind in Pokémon exobiology Ookido-Hasake. Good afternoon Professor.”

    “Good…” Ookido-Hasake is interrupted by Isao.

    “Talk into the microphone.” Isao pointed to the Microphone next to Ookido-Hasake.

    “Oh,” Ookido-Hasake turned to the microphone, “good afternoon and thank you for inviting me.”

    “Now Professor,” Isao continued, “obviously this kind of tournament has never been attempted before. There’s no judges, no pre determined times or fields for battle. It’s as if the entire city has been turned into the world’s largest Pokémon arena for the next six hours. What do you expect to see?”

    Ookido-Hasake pondered. He lowered his face and rubbed his temple. He then picked his head back up. “The city is very different environment from where most trainers battle. There’s foot and wheel traffic. There are buildings that shadow much of the city. The terrain varies from the open parks to the cramped back alleys. Also, this tournament will be fought with the double battle format, which is relatively new. This tournament by nature is designed to force the trainers and their Pokémon out of their comfort zones. The trainers able to adapt to this environment will likely pull ahead today.”

    “Well you heard it from the Pokémon Prof himself.” Isao responded to Ookido-Hasake’s comments. “We’ll be here all afternoon and watch to see if his predictions come true.”

    ************

    Sakaki was also watching the battle from his office. The wall in front of him was lined with screens showing various parts of the city. His Persian lay beside him, twitching his tail from right to left to right again. His eyes seemed transfixed on the screens, not blinking, as if his prey was on those screens. He sat their in silence.

    “It’s all going according plan my pet.” Sakaki chuckled coldly.

    “Nyaa Nyaa,” Persian meowed as he looked up at his master.

    “Assuming Kaede’s plan succeeds, we will have Erika in our grasp by sunrise tomorrow.” Sakaki concentrated on a screen where a Pixie and Dugtrio were battling.

    Pixie charged up a Megaton Punch and ran for Dugtrio, however, Dugtrio dived into the pavement, causing Pixie to swing into thin air. Pixie looked around confused for the Dugtrio.

    “Poor, naïve fools.” Sakaki thought out loud. “Little do they know that they’re nothing but pawns in my little game.” Sakaki laughed malevolently with Persian snickering along with him.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 26th August 2005 at 07:33 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    And here's chapter two, it's really long.

    Chapter II: Rage of the Fierce Melee

    Tamamushi City was huge in area (being the largest city in area and population of the province). It was divided into scores of districts fitting basically into six groups, industrial, commercial/business, merchant, parks, lower residential, higher residential, and the government district. The further southwest the districts, the richer they tended to be.

    Like most cities, Tammushi had its abandoned areas as well. They were mostly factories that had gone under due to competition from other countries. Because they were habitats for Pokémon such as Coil and Betbeter, they were allowed to remain abandoned and standing.

    It was in one these abandoned factory districts where two trainers met. One was the messy brown haired man from earlier. The other was a pale skinned young woman of about twenty with blond hair in a boyish cut, wearing a purple, long sleeved silk blouse and black ankle length skirt. The two saw each other and the wrist bands they were wearing. The woman sneezed.

    “Alright my first catch of the day.” The man smiled. “I am Tsume and I challenge you to a battle.”

    “I am Kaede and I’m forced to accept.” Kaede responded and sneezed.

    “Great,” Tsume took out a Monster Ball and a Net Ball, “let’s go Starmie and Charem.”

    The two balls opened and released two blue masses of energy. The energy masses exploded away to reveal the Pokémon inside of them. Starmie was a purplish gray double sea star was a huge red gem set in the core by a gold frame. The Charem was an odd Pokémon that had the appearance of a frail human like life form with gray skin but it had thicker pink legs and some kind of pink head decoration. The two Pokémon stretched and assumed defensive stances in preparation of the Pokémon Kaede would use against them.

    Kaede took out two objects that looked like Monster Balls but the red hemisphere was on the bottom and the top hemisphere was black with a red Latin “R” above the activator button.

    “Utsubot, Watokko, let’s go.” Kaede threw her Monster Balls out.

    The balls opened but released black energy that revealed her Pokémon. Utsubot was a huge pitcher plant with a leaf attached to a vine resting over its maw. Watokko was a round blue creature with three balls of cotton like fibers that appear to keep her airborne.

    “Watokko use Cotton Spore. Utsubot, attack them with Leaf Cutter.” Kaede ordered.

    “Charem, use your Psychokinesis on Ustubot. Starmie, attack Watokko with Freezing Beam.” Tsume commanded.

    “Wato,” Watokko shot out a cloud of cotton fluff. Charem and Starmie stopped their attacks to look up. As gravity grabbed the cloud and descended on Charem and Starmie and began to stick to their bodies.

    “What the hell is that?” Tsume was in disbelief as the cotton collected on his Pokémon.

    “Botto,” Utsubot screamed as it prepared to attack.

    However Watokko and Utsubot looked back as Kaede began sneezing almost uncontrollably. Giant sweat drops appear over their heads as well as those of Charem, Starmie, and Tusme’s.

    Tsume stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds then shook his head back and forth rapidly when he realized he had an opportunity. “Charem, Starmie, we’ve got an opportunity, go.”

    The cotton over Starmie’s core became coated with ice crystals and then shattered away to reveal the now ice blue core. Starmie then shot a white beam towards Watokko that seemed to freeze the water droplets in the air around it.

    Watokko turned around just in time for the beam to hit. Ice crystals began to form over her body than soon grew into a block incasing her. The ice block fell to the ground, shattering on the pavement and leaving Watokko sprawled out on the pavement.

    At the same time, Charem was calmy summoning his mental strength. He hummed as his eyes began to glow blue. Waves of mental energy spread forward from his brain, distorting the air within them.

    Ustubot was also caught off guard. “Botto,” it screamed as it’s thrown into a light post. Utsubot lay beside the post unconscious with “X”’s in its eyes.

    Kaede’s sneezing fit subsided. She then gasped to see both of her Pokémon are knocked out. “No,” she mumbled, “I lost already?”

    “Here’s a word of advice lady.” Tsume pressed the buttons on his Monsters Balls. The balls shot out gold lasers that dissolved Charem and Starmie from under the cotton and draw them back into the balls. The cotton shells they left collapsed into piles on the concrete with some fluffs blown away by the wind. “Try to actually fight next time.” Tsume walked away from Kaede laughing.

    Kaede stood there, red in the face, half in anger and half in embarrassment and then she sneezed. She took out her Monster Balls and pushed the return buttons. Black lasers shot out of them. They hit and dissolved Ustubot and Watokko and draw them back in. The indicator lights on the Monster Balls on the left side of the activator button turned from Green (meaning the Pokemon inside is okay) to amber (meaning they had fainted).

    She sneezed again. Some mucus ran from her nostril. A Rafressia appeared next to her in a flash of black energy. However, unlike most Rafressia with a red flower and dark blue body, this one had an orange flower with a forest green body. Still, she had the same beaker shaped body with simple limbs, beady eyes and a giant refflesia flower that sat on top of her head like all other Rafrassia.

    She held out a box of tissues. “Rafu?” She asked.

    “Thank you Rafressia.” Kaede pulled out a tissue and blew her nose.

    Hanging on a nearby light pole, a small robot with the appearance of an insect with a camera lens in place of its head and the same “R” on Kaede’s Monster Balls is watching Kaede. Sakaki had been watching the battle from his office. A scowl had formed on his face, betraying his displeasure in Kaede’s performance. He picked up the telephone on his desk and dialed.

    A payphone several meters from Kaede began to ring. She and Rafressia looked back at it. It rang again.

    ‘Oh crap,’ Kaede thought as she choked and a beat of sweat ran down her face, ‘that must be Sakaki-sama. He must have seen the whole thing.’ She sneezed then slowly walked over to the phone as it rang again.

    Kaede picked up the receiver and placed it to her ear. A look of anxiety was clear on her face. “He…hello se…sir,” she answered sheepishly and sneezed.

    “What the hell do you call that?” Sakaki growled. “I certainly wouldn’t call it a Pokémon battle.”

    “I’m sorry sir.” Kaede apologized timidly. “I’ll do better next time.”

    “There won’t be a next time.” Sakaki boomed. “I’m recalling you to base until the battles end this evening.”

    Kaede sneezed. “But sir…”

    “I need you in this tournament until at least tonight.” Sakaki cut off Kaede sharply. “You’re already down two Pokémon and this tournament is only in its first half hour. This is an order grunt. Return to base five minutes ago. Do you understand?!”

    “Understood sir,” Kaede replied in a submissive tone and dropped her head so her eyes were in shadow. She replaced the phone on the hook.

    Kaede reached in her purse and pulled out a small spray bottle about the size and design of an Antidote dispenser. In side it was a deep pink liquid. She clenched her fist around it.

    “I’ll get my revenge Erika-chan.” Kaede yelled angrily throwing her fists up at the mostly blue sky above her. “You hear me? I will have my revenge.” She then got into another sneezing fit.

    *************

    The business district was a more active area. The tall skyscrapers kept the streets below in shadow. Two more trainers met each other on the side walk.

    One was a young woman slightly younger than Alex. Like Alex she was rather tall and thin with long brown hair cascading down her back and soft green eyes that seemed to hide something. Her attire was a pink light jacket with a white T-shirt underneath and beige caprices pants.

    The other was a gangly teenaged boy with spiky black hair and brown eyes. He wore a black T-shirt and blue jeans.

    “I am Alexander and I challenge you.” Alexander said coldly as she took out two Monster Balls.

    “You can call me Van and I really don’t any choice but to except.” Van snickered and smirked as he also took out two Monster Balls. “However, this sidewalk is too crowded.”

    Indeed, the sidewalk was filled with people walking along, trying to go about their business. Van motioned to a revolving door that led into one of the buildings. Alexander nodded. They walked through the revolving door into the lobby. It was quite spacious and relatively empty. The two trainers nodded as they looked around. The lobby would do nicely. The few people in it turned to watch the battle. Van and Alexander walked to opposite sides of the lobby.

    “Jukain, Windie, let’s go.” Alexander threw out her Monster Balls. Like Tsumes, they opened and released blue flashes of energy. Her Pokémon appeared.

    Jukain was a green skinned, yellow eyed reptilian Pokémon with many characteristics in common with the Iguanodon that lived on our world millions of years ago except standing at the height of an average man. The two big differences between the two were Jukain’s tail looked like huge twig from a juniper bush and on each of Jukain’s forearms were two boney blades.

    Besides Jukain was Windie. Windie was a canine like Pokémon in shape and build. However, he seemed to have a white mane and his pelt was orange with black stripes like a tiger’s.

    “Onidrill, Denryuu, I choose you.” Van threw out his Monster Balls. They released their Pokémon in the same fashion.

    Onidrill was a raptor, a predatory bird with massive wings. His feathers were mud brown except for the beige primary feathers on his wings and tail and the red crest on top of a small head connected to his body with a long neck. His head ended in a long, sword like beak that came to a very sharp point. A gleam of light traveled down his beak and ended in a twinkle in the end.

    Denryuu was a very odd Pokémon, lacking any real counterpart in our world. She had a long neck connecting her body with her tear drop shaped head. She had two red translucent gems, one embedded into her forehead and other at the end of her tail. She was all yellow except for her white underbelly and black stripes on her cone shaped ears as well as her tail and neck.

    “Onidrill attack Jukain with Drill Peck. Denryuu, use Thunderbolt on Windie.” Van ordered.

    “Jukain, wait for my signal. Windie, attack Denryuu with you Swiftness attack.” Alexander smirked as she commanded her Pokémon.

    Windie seemed to disappear before any of the other Pokémon could think of moving. Denryuu then seemed to be thrown back several meters but no one could see what hit.

    “De,” Denryuu landed on her side and slowly got back to her feet, wincing in pain.

    “What happened?” Van said worriedly looked back at his Denryuu with a startled expressed.

    “Uin,” Windie reappeared. However, he nearly collapsed as sparks of electricity arced across his body.

    “What’s wrong Windie?” Alexander was caught off guard by Windie’s Paralysis.

    In the mean time, Onidrill was spinning like a drill bit towards Jukain. With his wings against his body, he could spin at tremendous speed. Jukain was standing there, waiting for the signal.

    “Jukain, jump and then use Thunder Punch on Onidrill.” Alexander remembered Jukain just in time.

    “Say what?” Van blurted in disbelief.

    Jukain silently jumped over Onidrill just as the bird jabbed through where he was standing.

    “Juuu…” Jukain raised his right claw curled into a fist over his head. It seemed to gain an electrical charge, with sparks shooting from it. “…kain!” He then jabbed his fist downward right into Onidrill’s back, sending a charge of electricity through Onidrill. This caused him loose control and crash into the floor. Onidrill lay on the floor, twitching as electricity arcs over his body.

    “Onidrill, return for a bit.” Van activated the return laser on Onidrill’s ball with a sad expression on his face.

    *************

    The lower residential district was a very cramped area. Houses made of wood frames covered in rice paper lined the cramped streets. Garments were flapping in the breeze on clothes lines. A few people (mostly women and children) were watching a battle.

    The battle had just ended here. A Samayooru, a gray, rain drop shaped specter of a Pokémon with detached hands and a single red eye lay on the pavement. His eye was dark except for a red “X” in it. Standing on top of him was a snarling Hellger. The fearsome Pokémon looked very much like a black Doberman with an orange muzzle and underbelly. Two ram horns protruded his forehead and curled black over his head and boney ridges were saddled over his back. He snarled and glared at his victim.

    Hellger’s trainer was a short, frail, young teenaged girl with flame red hair, wearing a red sleeveless shirt and black knee length skirt. She smirked at the display.

    Opposite of her was a stocky old woman in her early sixties dressed in the robes of a shrine priestess. Her old, beady eyes stared coldly at the girl.

    “What was that you were saying about nuance old hag?” The girl said in a cocky tone. “It didn’t do you a hell of good here.”

    The Priestess didn’t even bother to answer. She just pointed Samayooru’s Monster Ball at him and pressed the button to shoot out the return laser. The gold beam dissolved Samayooru right out from under Hellger. Hellger fell to the ground with a shocked look on his face.

    “You will understand what I mean Tara-chan when you are defeated.” The Priestess said emotionlessly as she turned to walk away.

    “Fat chance of that happening hag,” Tara laughed as she pulled her lower eye lid down and stuck her tongue out.

    “It’s a damned shame what’s become of today’s youth.” The Priestess thought out loud as she hobbled away, slowly shaking her head.

    ************

    Alex, Raichu, and Alex’s Jukain were sitting on a bench by a canal in a higher residential district. The canal was lined by apartment buildings with rows of balconies on each floor. Each looked very much like the next. There was a street on each side of the canal between it and the buildings with a bridge every few hundred meters connecting them.

    A school of Kioking was swimming by. One of them jumped out of the water and landed with a splash.


    Kioking were giant carp like Pokémon with a red body, gold fins and whiskers and ping-pong ball like eyes with small pupils. Despite their size, they were pathetically weak and prey to many a carnivorous Pokémon.

    On the side walk next them, people were walking a conversing. Several open shops were selling various food items. Alex was writing in his journal. It translated like this.

    “Journal Entry: Day 1, 14:27. Of the six hours allotted for battling today, two and half have passed. We’ve been in seven battles, resulting in four wins, two losses and a tie. The city certainly provides a unique environment. After a rather rocky start, My Pokémon and I have adapted to the various terrain the city throws at us. I’ve wondered if we could even use of elements of the terrain to our advantage in combat.

    “Unfortunately for some, many other trainers have been having a harder time. Several have already been eliminated. I remember a poor guy got challenged just meters from a Pokémon Center and was defeated and eliminated. Sakaki-sama was not kidding when he said we’d be relying more on our medical kits than the Centers.

    “We will continue our battles. However, we haven’t seen a trainer in the last half hour. We probably need to move into another section of the city.

    “End Entry.”

    Alex stuffed the pencil back into its compartment and slipped the journal into left thigh pocket. Along with the Monster Balls on his belt, a grey metal box with a red cross on it was attached to it. There was a similarly shaped bulge in his right thigh pocket. These were Alex’s medical kits for his Pokémon. He had Super Potions, Full Heals, Elixirs, and Revives to deal with any problems his Pokémon might have incase he was too far from a Pokémon Center.

    “Hey, are you a trainer?” A female voice asked.

    Alex and his Pokémon looked behind him. A woman slightly older than Alex was standing behind their bench. She had neck length, fluffy brown hair partially covered by a round blue hat with straps hanging from either side of it and equally brown eyes. Her body was slender but well sculpted. She wore a sea green tube top and bell bottom blue jeans.

    Alex and Raichu ducked under the bench’s back.

    “Hey, Raichu, the 70’s have arrived.” Alex snickered with Raichu.

    Jukain struck both of them on the head. Huge pink bumps formed on their heads (Alex’s came through his hat). They grabbed their heads and moaned in pain.

    “Ju ju ka ju in ka in kain.” Jukain scolded them.

    “Killjoy,” Alex looked at Jukain with a dirty look.

    “Well, are you a trainer or not?” The woman asked.

    “Yeah,” Alex answered, sitting up with the bump gone, “who wants to know?”

    “I’m Morgan, the top gym attaché of Fusube City and I want to challenge you.” Morgan pointed at Alex.

    Alex hopped over the bench in sheer excitement. “You really mean it?” He’s eyes widened in anticipation.

    Morgan is startled by Alex’s reaction. “Eh…yes.”

    “Well I'm Alex and we've been itching for a battle, let’s go.” Alex turned to Raichu and Jukain with a huge smile of eagerness on his face. “We got a battle guys.”

    “Gyaradosu, Tyltalis, let’s go.” Morgan threw out two Monster balls.

    One of the blue energy masses flew into the water. Gyaradosu erupted from the water, sending spray and Koiking flying into the air. Unlike its unevolved Koiking brethren, Gyaradosu was a terror. It had the appearance of a ferocious serpentine sea monster with a long blue and gold body covered in silver fins and wihsikers on either side of his maw and it came with an attitude and destructive power to match. Gyaradosu gave a massive roar that sent a chill down Alex and Pokémon’s backs as they looked up at him.

    In stark contrast to her violent partner, Tyltalis seemed to be a very peaceful and unthreatening Pokémon. Her feathers were sky blue and her wings were actually a cumulous cloud. Her body was smooth in shape with a long neck leading to her head with a small beak. It was hard to believe that she was a Dragon-Type Pokémon.

    Some of the passers by stopped to watch the battle.

    “Raichu, Jukain, let’s go.” Alex decided he’d go with the Pokémon already out of their Balls. “Raichu, use Thunderbolt on Gyaradosu. Jukain attack Tyltalis with Dragon Claw.”

    “An electric type against my Gyaradosu, how predictable,” Morgan didn’t seem impressed with Alex’s strategy, “Gyaradosu, attack Raichu with Destruction Beam.”

    Gyaradosu reared his head back. A ball of orange energy gathered in his massive fanged maw.

    “Raichu, watch it.” Alex ordered in a rather cool tone.

    ‘What’s he planning?’ Morgan was confused with Alex’s calm demeanor.

    Gyaradosu released the orange energy beam right at Raichu. The beam struck the ground with incredible destructive force. It appeared that Raichu was vaporized. A black scorch mark remained where the beam had hit. The onlookers shield their eyes and then looked on in awe at the scorch mark.

    “Hey mom,” a kid with brown hair pointed, “there’s another Raichu.”

    “What?” Morgan shouted in shock.

    “Raichu, attack Gyaradosu with the Thunderbolt.” Alex shouted.

    Raichu hadn’t been where the beam had hit. He was several meters away and charged up to attack. His yellow cheek dots were glowing white with electricity escaping from them.

    “Rai-chu,” Raichu released the electricity in a lance heading right for Gyaradosu.

    Gyaradosu was temperately exhausted by the Destruction Beam and couldn’t even dodge. The discharge hit him squarely. The electricity ran across his body. Gyaradosu roared in pain. The attack subsided, leaving Gyarados slightly singed with arcs of electricity running across his body. Smoke sprayed from Gyaradosu’s nostrils as he collapsed into the canal kicking up a massive wave.

    “Return Gyaradosu.” Morgan returned Gyaradosu to his ball, still floored by the events of the last minute. ‘How did he did he do that?’

    Morgan’s thoughts then went back. Raichu had split just before the beam was fired. One ran away from the beam while the other stayed there. ‘That’s it, he used a substitute. He was waiting for the Destruction Beam. I played right into his trap.’

    “Alright Raichu,” Alex was pleased that his plan had worked, “now for Tyltalis.”

    “Ju,” Jukain leaped into the air. His claws began to glow green.

    “Ta-al-is,” Tyltalis crooned as she flew away from Jukain causing him to swipe at nothing but air.

    “Kain,” Jukain groaned as he fell back to earth, landing gracefully. He glared at his airborne opponent with a sneer of contempt on his face.

    “No matter what can of attacks a Grass Pokémon knows, it still can’t defeat a flying type as long as it’s in the air.” Morgan smirked at Alex.

    “Fine then,” Alex growled angrily, “we’ll just have to clip her wings. Raichu, use another Thunderbolt on Tyltalis.”

    “Rai-chuwuwu,” Raichu quickly released another discharge of electricity.

    The electricity shot right for Tyltalis. However, upon reaching her, it seemed to be absorbed by her wings. Her wings then turned dark gray like a storm cloud.

    “What just happened?” Alex asked as he looked up at Tyltalis with a confused look on his face.

    “Rai rai chu.” Raichu was just as clueless as he looked up as well.

    Morgan laughed. “Tyltalis’ wings are actually clouds for your information.”

    “That means they’re water vapor and water vapor can hold a charge.” Alex finished the thought as he turned to Morgan with a distressed look on his face.

    “The best part is that she can discharge it right back.” Morgan smirked.

    Alex gulped. “We’re in trouble.” He said in an unenthusiastic tone.

    “Give them back their Thunderbolt Tyltalis.” Morgan ordered.

    “Ty,” Tyltalis smirked as she spread her wings out, “alis.” The Thunderbolt then shot back down to earth.

    “Hit the deck.” Alex yelled as he and Raichu jumped away from where the thunderbolt was to strike as it hit the ground.

    The Thunderbolt struck the ground, scorching everything near it. Alex and Raichu looked up at Tyltalis. Her wings had returned to their normal white color.

    ‘Crap,’ Alex thought, ‘Jukain can’t reach her and she can turn our own Thunderbolts against us. If only Jukain could get a boost of speed in midair to catch her off guard. Then he could get over her and attack from above.’

    Alex surveyed the area. There wasn’t much. There was the canal that wouldn’t have helped. Then there was the bridge next to them with a light post. His face lit up as an idea popped into his head. It would take both Raichu and Jukain but he could pull it off.

    “Jukain,” Alex set his plan into action, “jump for Tyltalis as high as you can when I tell you.”

    “Ju,” Jukain looked back at Alex. Alex gave a subtle wink to let him know he had a plan. “Kain,” he nodded.

    “Raichu,” Alex turned to Raichu, “go climb to the top of that light pole over there.”

    “Rai,” Raichu nodded, knowing what Alex had up his sleeve. He leapt onto the bridge and then shimmied up to the top of the light pull.

    “Now what is this guy planning?” Morgan thought out loud as she looked at Raichu with a confused look on her face.

    “Jukain, go for it.” Alex was ready.

    “Ju-kain,” Jukain jumped up towards Tyltalis.

    Morgan remembered Jukain. “Tyltalis, dodge him again.”

    “Ty,” Tyltalis spread her wings and soared higher.

    Jukain was recaptured by gravity. He began to fell back with the same sneer as before.

    “Now Raichu, give Jukain a lift with Iron Tail.” Alex was ready to put his plan into action. “Jukain, grab the end of Raichu’s tail.”

    “Raichu,” Raichu leapt from the light post. His flail flashed white and seemed to transform into some kind of metal.

    “Jukain,” Jukain grabbed Raichu’s tail as they met.

    “Now throw Jukain Raichu.” Alex ordered.

    “Raichu,” Raichu nodded. His spun around, using his tail like a trebuchet to launch Jukain in mid air. He began to fall back to earth. “Rai chu Raichu.” He shouted to Jukain.

    “Ju,” Jukain tucked in his limbs to cut down wind resistance as he shot several meters over Tyltalis.

    “Ty,” Tyltalis was in absolute shock.

    “Now Jukain, attack her with Dragon Claw.” Alex laughed.

    “No, Tyltalis.” Morgan looked up in horror.

    “Ju-kain,” Jukain adjusted his body as gravity again took over. He put out his right claw as it again glowed green. A smile cracked on his face. Before Tyltalis could even think of a way to evade, Jukain jabbed right into her back.

    “Ty…” Tyltalis screamed as Jukain’s claws dug into her. His momentum caused them to fall back to earth.

    They hit the ground hard. Jukain pushed himself off Tyltalis with his arm and somersaulted back to his feet facing Morgan. The crowd clapped and cheered at the show of agility. The sneer was replaced with a smile of accomplishment.

    Tyltalis lay flat on the ground with black swirls in place of her eyes. He body twitched but she was out cold.

    “Tyltalis, return.” Morgan returned Tyltalis. She was speechless after that battle.

    “Alright, Jukain and Raichu,” Alex cheered, “that was perfect.”

    ‘What’s with this guy?’ Morgan thought. ‘He’s seems like such a goof yet he’s really skilled. Is the goofiness just an act to throw off other trainers?”

    Alex, Raichu, and Jukain gave each high fives. The on lookers above went about their business.

    “I guess I underestimated you Alex-san. That was the best battle I’ve had today.” Morgan walked over to Alex and placed her hand out. “I promise that I won’t make that same mistake again.”

    “Thanks,” Alex shook her hand, “maybe we’ll meet in the finals.”

    Determined smiles appeared on their faces. The two then turned from each other and walked away from the canal in search of more battles. Could a rivalry be in the works? With still much of the afternoon and all of the next day to go, a lot could happen.

    ******************

    In a higher class part of town, several storefronts sat next to each other. One had a sign over the door that roughly translated to “The Little Flower Perfume Shop”. Inside three female employees, all wearing the same style of tight pink dress and yellow vest were conversing with each other. The apparent manager was a beautiful young woman dressed in an ornate dark blue kimono with a violet wig.

    She looked out the window. She saw Kaede standing across the street. She was staring right at the manager.

    “Kaede-chan,” the manager though out loud in shock.

    A truck passed between them and Kaede was gone when it passed.

    One of the employees with green hair tied in pig tails saw the manager staring out the window. “Erika-sama, what is it?” She asked. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

    “I may have.” Erika answered uneasily, still staring at the spot where Kaede had stood. “I may have.”
    Last edited by The Big Al; 26th August 2005 at 07:33 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    And finally chapter three. I like how this one turned out better than the script. It's too long to send for betaing. If you find any spelling or grammar mistakes, please let me know.

    Chapter III: The Mysterious Gym Leader Erika

    Kaede and Rafressia walked into a room filled plants under sun lamps. Kaede’s street clothes were replaced with a white lab coat with the same “R” insignia as her Monster Balls and she wore a cloth mask over her face.

    “Okay everyone,” she grabbed a large spray bottle with a blue liquid in it, “it’s time for your 5:30 feeding.”

    She sprayed the liquid on the plants. However, when she came to a plant with dozens of orange flowers all over it, she stopped. Her thoughts drifted back to her childhood.

    **********************
    Many Years Ago

    It was her seventh birthday. She and her friends were sitting around a beautifully decorated cake with strawberries on the top.

    “Happy birthday Kaede-chan,” the other girls smiled gleefully. They were all giggles.

    “Thanks everyone.” Kaede kind of smiled and laughed, rubbing the back of her head.

    As a little girl, Kaede’s hair was much longer. She kept it in pig tails with berets decorated with large red plastic beads. Her favorite outfit was an orange jumper with a yellow shirt.

    A large bouquet of flowers suddenly appeared in front of her.

    “What the,” Kaede was a little startled by the sudden appearance of the bouquet.

    On the other end of the bouquet was a young girl about her age. She had dark colored shoulder length hair decorated with a bright red hair band. She wore a beige kimono with a red skirt and the biggest smile her face could hold.

    “Oh, Erika-chan,” Kaede tried to put some enthusiasm in her voice, “you shouldn’t have.”

    “Happy birthday Kaede-chan.” Erika held the flowers closer to Kaede.

    “Um…eh…uh,” Kaede took the bouquet but seemed a little sick.

    Her eyes seemed to glaze over and she started breathing out of her mouth. She then sneezed. Some mucus escaped her nostril and sat on her upper lip.

    “Eww Kaede-chan,” one of the girls said with a disgusted look on her face, “wipe your nose.”

    The other girls giggled at the sight. Kaede stood there, holding the bouquet with beady eyes and a huge sweat drop over her head.

    “Do you want me to get you tissue Kaede-chan?” Erika asked worriedly.

    *****************

    “Rafureshia?” Rafrassia snapped Kaede out of her daydream.

    “Huh,” Kaede shook her head a little. Her voice was muffled by the mask. “I was just daydreaming.”

    Rafressia walked over to some other plants with another spray bottle filled with the blue liquid. She sprayed some in her mouth and then began spraying the other plants.

    “God that was embarrassing.” Kaede plopped in a chair next to a computer, letting the spray bottle with the blue liquid rest on one finger. She looked up at the ducts and pipes the made up the ceiling with an unenthusiastic expression. “I must be allergic to nearly every damned plant on the face of this earth and leave to Erika-chan to ALWAYS get me flowers.”

    “Ra,” Rafressia sprayed the last plant and placed the spray bottle on a kart.

    Kaede looked over at the small spray bottle with the pink liquid. “Well, now I’ll get some poetic justice. This time I will be the one bearing gifts and Erika-chan will be the one who suffers.”

    ************

    Meanwhile at The Little Flower Perfume Shop

    Erika took off the wig she was wearing to reveal her shoulder length hair midnight blue hair with the bright red hair band. She had removed the blue coat over her simpler red kimono with a green bow. She looked in the mirror of the small dressing room in the back of the shop.

    Her thoughts drifted back to the woman she thought was Kaede. It had been thirteen years since she last heard from her. Despite being older and with a different hair style, she knew it was Kaede.

    “Kaede-chan,” Erika began to shiver slightly, “have you actually returned?”

    Several minutes later Erika emerged from the back room in her street clothes that was a green and white short sleeved dress that fell to about half way down her thighs.

    “Leaving us Erika-sama?” The employee with the green hair asked.

    “We have a meeting.” Erika waved them good bye. She placed a smile on her face, hiding the uneasiness within. “I’m late as it is, take care of the shop.”

    “Bye Erika-sama.” The employees waved as she left.

    “She’s been acting weird since staring out the window.” Another employee with blond hair with huge bangs seemed worried. I hope she’s okay.”

    Erika walked out onto the street. The sunny skies were now gray and low. The smell of impending rain mixed with the smell of smog in the air. A gray city bus pulled up along side the curb. Erika and couple of other people boarded it. As Erika dropped in her fare, she then saw a blond haired person from behind at about the middle of the bus. Her mind again jumped back to Kaede. Could she possibly be on the bus?

    Erika walked up to the seat. However, her mind was put a little at rest when the person spoke with a male voice. It was Alex and Raichu was asleep beside him with Alex’s hat over his face.

    “I should have seen it coming.” Alex was talking with the person behind him. “They all went to the park. Apparently only the braver trainers dared to stay in the streets.”

    The person he was talking seemed uninterested in what he was saying.

    Alex shrugged and then turned forward. He saw Erika looking at him.

    “Is there a problem Big Sister?” Alex asked.

    Erika seemed to snap back to reality. “Oh, no, I’m alright.”

    “Do you want my seat?” Alex got up. “You can have it.”

    “Oh thank you.” Erika sat down. She looked over to Raichu snoring on the seat next to her.

    “Don’t worry, he’s harmless.” Alex said in a calming tone. He grabbed a near by handhold that suddenly dropped several centimeters.

    “That handhold failed last weak. It’s bad welding according to the transportation department.” A businessman with dark gray hair with a mustache and glasses, wearing a similar shade of gray business suit on the other side of the isle turned the page in his newspaper. “They’ve yet to get around to fixing it.”

    Alex turned to the businessman. He then shrugged and looked forward.

    The bus driver was a young man in his early twenties, wearing a black uniform with a matching hat. He closed the door and released the break. The bus began to slowly move and then picked up speed as he applied the accelerator. The route went smoothly.

    As they were picking up passengers, Alex looked at his PokéGear. The Watch displayed the time of 17:54 and switched to 17:55. He puffed out his cheeks with air and slowly exhaled. He then looked down and saw Erika staring at him again.

    “Seriously, what’s up?” Alex asked a little freaked out.

    Erika again seemed to be in a daydream and snapped back. “I’m sorry, you just remind of an old friend. I haven’t seen her in a long time.”

    A huge sweat drop appeared over the back of Alex’s head.

    “Oh,” Erika closed her eyes with a screwed up smile on her face, “I’m sorry. I don’t mean you look feminine or anything like that, it just that she had blond hair and blue eyes like yours.”

    Alex shook his head. He then snapped his fingers as his face lit up. “I finally remembered.”

    “You finally remembered what?” Erika asked.

    “I thought I had seen your face before.” Alex explained. “You’re Erika-sama, the gym leader here in Tamamushi, right?”

    “I guess being a gym leader makes you quite recognizable.” Erika nodded and smiled at Alex. “Can I ask your name please?”

    “Sure,” Alex agreed, “I’m Alex and this is my friend Raichu.”

    Raichu snored in reply.

    “We’re here for the tournament.” Alex explained. “Right now we’re headed for the park. However, at this pace, the battles will be over by the time we get there.”

    The light ahead of the bus turned green so the driver didn’t bother to slow down. However a red car sped through the red light on the other street.

    “Yikes,” the driver was spooked and slammed on the breaks.

    Alex struck his head on the handhold. A gash was cut into his forehead by the impact. He seemed dazed as several imaginary Poppo began circling his head.

    Erika pushed her head from the seat in front her. Raichu was on the ground in front of the seat. He slowly got up still half asleep with Alex’s hat sitting lopsided on his head.

    “I hope everyone is alright.” Erika thought out loud.

    Alex suddenly fell on the floor with a thud. Erika winced at the impact. She looked back and gasped.

    The driver looked up. He then grimaced. “Damned hot rods,” he growled as he set the bus into park and cut the engine, “they think they own the whole goddamned road.” He looked back. “Is everyone okay?”

    “A young man struck his head on the defective handhold.” The businessman yelled up to the driver. “He might have a concussion.”

    “Crap, and on my first day too,” the driver unbuckled his seatbelt and walked back to Alex.

    “May I help?” Erika asked worriedly as the driver past her.

    “Stay back.” The driver held his hand in front of her to let her know to stay in her seat.

    A couple of passengers pushed Alex into a sitting position. The Poppo were gone but Alex didn’t seem all there either. The driver took out a small flashlight and flashed it into each of Alex’s eyes. He pupils remained dilated.

    Honks came for the vehicles behind the bus. A line had formed behind them.

    “Would you shut the hell up?” The businessman yelled back at them.

    “A hey kid, how many fingers am I holding up?” The driver asked Alex as he held up two fingers.

    Alex tried to concentrate. “Uh, three and a half,” he slurred, holding up his right hand with all five digits extended.

    “He’s got a pretty bad concussion.” The driver placed his flashlight back in his pocket. “And that gash will need stitches. Can someone call an ambulance?”

    “There’s no need for that.” Erika stood up and kneeled next to Alex.

    “What the hell,” the driver looked at Erika, “thought I told you to stay in your seat?”

    Erika shushed him as she placed her hand near the gash on Alex’s forehead. Her hand then began to glow blue as did Alex’s gash. It then began to close up. The same gash began to appear at the same place on Erika’s forehead. It then began closing up. Alex began to come to. His eyes came back into focus and he seemed more alert. Erika collapsed into a sitting position. She placed her hand to her forehead as she seemed to be in pain. The gash on her forehead began closing up as well. It was soon gone. She then slowly stood up as the glowing stopped. Alex did as well.

    Alex felt his forehead. There was no blood, no bruise, no sign of the gash at all. Erika didn’t have any sign of the gash either.

    “How did you do that Erika-sama?” Alex asked.

    “Alright, shows over, let’s get moving.” The driver walked back to his chair.

    Alex and Erika sat down in the seat. Raichu yawned and went back to sleep on the floor. The bus started up again and began moving.

    “Seriously, how do you do that?” Alex rubbed the area on his forehead where the gash was.

    “You see, I’m an Empath.” Erika explained.

    “Empath,” Alex said curiously.

    “Yes, ever since I was a little girl I’ve been able to heal people of moderate injuries like that.” Erika suddenly seemed to a little dizzy.

    “Are you alright?” Alex asked her as he was about to brace her back up.

    “It’s okay, my power drains me for a few minutes.” Erika held her hand out to let Alex know she didn’t need his help.

    “Thank you Erika-sama.” Alex dropped his head slightly as he looked forward, feeling a little guilty. “Listen, if you ever get into any trouble, I’ll help you out. It’s the least I can do. I don’t have any special powers but I’d do anything I could to help.”

    “That’s very kind.” Erika turned to Alex. She spoke warmly. “But I don’t want you to feel like you’re in my debt.”

    The bus entered the park. Alex looked out the window as he saw several battles occurring. He tapped Raichu with his foot to wake him up. He then grabbed his hat and placed on his head.

    “This is our stop.” Alex got up as the bus came to a stop. “Come on Raichu.”

    “Rai…,” Raichu yawned as he groggily followed Alex, scratching his rear.

    Erika got up from her seat as well. The three walked off the bus. They were the only passengers to get off at the stop. It was just a bench backed by a wooden wall covered in posters and pamphlets and topped by a small roof.

    The doors on the bus closed and it slowly moved away. Alex and Raichu ran off to the park. Well, Raichu was a little slower to get to a running pace but caught up to Alex as he woke up.

    “He seems like a kind young man.” Erika thought out loud as she turned to walk the other way.

    Alex and Raichu ran out into the clearing where the trainers were battling. They wore big smiles as they surveyed the scene.

    “Alright, now to chal…” Alex was interrupted by the same bell melody that sounded at noon.

    “Attention all trainers,” the female voice on the speakers spoke up, “it is now six o’clock and battles have ended for today. Please report to the nearest Pokémon Center.”

    Gold beams flashed, grabbing Pokémon and withdrawing them into their Monster Balls. The trainers then ran off.

    Alex and Raichu were just floored. After all that, they come away empty handed. They stood there, not blinking, with there arms hanging limp, their eyes wide open, and their mouths hanging wide open. A white word bubble with two columns of black dots appeared over them and pointed to them.

    “Raichu,” Alex said in a shocked voice, “what just happened?”

    “Rai rai chu rai raichu chu chu rai rai raichu raichu.” Raichu said in a similar tone.

    “That’s what I thought.” Alex’s face twitched in annoyance. “What will we do for an encore?” He threw his fists up and yelled exasperatedly at the sky.

    The sky answered with a flash of lightning and a crash of thunder. Rain began to fall quickly intensified into a downpour. Alex and Raichu stood there, with their eyes half closed, looking forward and scowls on their faces.

    “Rai rai RAI chu rai?” Raichu talked out of the corner of his mouth in a sarcastic tone, not even bothering to change his expression or look at Alex.

    ***************

    “Well Pokémon fans, today’s battling has just ended here in Tamamushi.” Isao was still in his studio with Ookido-Hasake. “We saw over a thousand battles and 32 trainers have already been eliminated.” He then turned to Ookido-Hasake. “Ookido-Hasake, you said that the more adaptable trainers would pull ahead at this point in the game. Were you correct?”

    “Yes,” Ookido-Hasake answered, “the current trainers in the top eight were able to adapt to the terrain and demands of the city. Some were even able to use the elements of the city environment to their advantage. However we still have a long twelve hour day ahead of us tomorrow. Not mention the weather may play a role for at least half of the day.”

    “We’ll get into tomorrow later.” Isao turned back to his microphone. “We’ll return after this message from your local radio station.”

    ****************

    Erika was walking up the steps of her gym. It was a massive building designed to look like a giant Rafressia. The rain was falling hard but Erika had a green umbrella with a Nazonokusa painted on one section over her head to keep the rain off.

    As she approached the top of the stairs, the sliding glass doors opened to let her in. Once she stepped inside they closed again. The brightness of the gym’s lobby made the dreary outside look almost black.

    “Oh Erika-sama,” A gym attaché came up. She had blue hair tied into a thin pony tail in the back. She wore a uniform that consisted of a khaki short sleeved field shirt and hiking shorts. “The others are waiting for you in the basement.”

    “Thank you.” Erika shook out her Umbrella.

    In the basement of the gym was a small room with white walls and ceiling. About a dozen men and women were discussing something as Erika opened the door and entered.

    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen,” Erika bowed her head to the group, “I’m sorry I’m late.”

    “Good evening Erika-sama,” one of the older men with long white hair, wearing a navy blue business suit greeted Erika, “we were just discussing the latest developments.”

    “Okay,” Erika stood at a podium with a map of the city behind it, “let’s begin with the neighborhood watch reports.”

    “All Rocket Gang activity has stopped since the day before yesterday.” One of the men answered.

    “Even the contribution runs?” Erika asked a little taken a back.

    “Not so much as a black shirt.” The man answered and let his hands slap his sides. “It’s like they never even existed.”

    “Maybe they’ve started wearing plain clothes to throw us off?” One of the women thought out loud.

    “No,” the white haired man shook his head, “those black uniforms they wear are the key to their greatest weapon, fear. They wish to terrorize the people more than commit crimes. Also, general crime has dropped the past few days as well.”

    “Maybe we scared them off.” A younger man offered a theory with confidance in his voice.

    “We’re not that lucky.” One of the woman disagreed with a disappointed tone. “I don’t like this.”

    “Indeed,” the white haired man pondered, “the Arbok is the most quiet when it is about to strike.”

    “You don’t think they’re planning something old man?” The younger man scoffed.

    While arguments began among the others, Erika was deep in thought. This wasn’t the news she was expecting. Usually they were discussing how best to deal with problems caused by the Rockets. Now she didn’t know what to do. Are they gone? Are the waiting?

    “Perhaps all these trainers have scared them away.” The younger man expanded on his theory. “Rockets tend to turn tail and run when met with force. All these trainers may have sent them into hiding.”

    “In that case we have tomorrow and the next day before the tournament ends.” One of the women expanded further on the idea. “We should then take this opportunity to take the fight to the Rockets.”

    “Agreed,” one of the men nodded eagerly, “we’ve been on the defense for nearly a year. I say it’s high time we take the Rocket Gang down and expel them from our city.”

    The crowd cheered at this idea.

    “Alright then” Erika nodded in thought, “we’ll operate under the belief that the Rocket Gang is temporarily neutralized. Return to your sectors and begin to formulate this possible offensive. However, watch your backs. I for one do not wish to be caught off guard.”

    ****************

    Alex and Raichu had joined several other trainers in front of a huge screen. Sixty-eight boxes appeared with people’s faces in them. Alex’s appeared near the top. He was the seventh seed with 22 points. There were some cheers and groans from the trainers.

    “Well, we’re in the top eight, if barely.” Alex seemed relieved.

    **************

    Kaede checked her analog watch on her left wrist which showed five after six. She grabbed the spray bottle with the pink liquid and placed it in her purse. She then walked for the door with Rafressia next to her.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 26th August 2005 at 07:30 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    You should watch your tenses, you change them frequently. Also check for left out words ("This Sakaki signing out") and some words I'm not sure are used correctly ("an annex to his theory"?). And some of the formatting is still a bit choppy. Look at the last bit, for instance:

    "Kaede checked her analog watch on her left wrist. It read five after six. She grabbed the spray bottle with the pink liquid and placed it in her purse. She then walked for the door with Rafressia next to her."

    Short sentences have their uses, but this just looks and sounds choppy.

    But all in all, it's a marked improvement from your original draft.

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    I've finally made it to were I ended the script. Yes, the eating contest is back and I think it's even funnier than before. And Erika's fateful encounter with Kaede and the trap she has set for her old friend.

    Chapter IV: Kaede Springs Her Trap

    Erika was in a lighter mood after the meeting. She was going to reunite with Isis, a friend from her childhood. Isis had become an idol trainer, trainers who performed with Pokémon with “artistic flare”. Isis was had been in Houen for the past few years but she was beginning a national tour, starting in her hometown of Tamamushi City. At least for the evening, Erika could be a normal young woman, not a gym leader and not the leader of the citizens against the Rocket Gang.

    Erika was straightening a burgundy colored scarf in front of a mirror. She was wearing a cream colored sweater and faded pink full length skirt. Her Kireihana, a small Pokemon with a petal “skirt” and a red and orange flower on either side of her head, was standing on a table next to her.

    “It’ll be nice to Isis-chan again.” Erika had a pleasant smile on her face. “You were still a Kusaihana when we last saw her and her Pokémon.”

    “Ki,” Kireihana nodded. She had been good friends with Isis’ Roselia before they left.

    Erika then seemed a little saddened or unsettled at least. The smile was replaced by an expression of uncertainty.

    “Ki?” Kireihana asked, little worried about Erika.

    “It’s Kaede-chan.” Erika replied in an uneasy voice. “She seemed to drop from the face of the earth when we were young. Then I thought for sure I saw her today. I hope I’m not seeing things.”

    “Re hana,” Kireihana scoffed, waving off the idea.

    “You’re right.” Erika smiled again. “Besides, I shouldn’t worry Isis-chan with these silly things.”

    “Re,” Kireihana nodded.

    “Speaking of silly things,” Erika thought out loud, “I wonder how that young man on the bus and his Raichu are doing.”

    ****************************
    Somewhere in Tamamushi City
    About an hour earlier

    Alex wrote in his journal

    “Journal Entry: Day 1, 18:54. The battles have ended for the night. We achieved the seventh seed spot with 22 points. The leader is a girl named Tara with 33 points. However, tomorrow is another day with twelve full hours of battling. Who knows how it will end.

    “In the mean time, we have a more pressing issue. Despite leaving everyone else for an LNI, Raichu and I failed to eat ourselves at the Pokémon Center and we’re nearly broke. We’re currently roaming the merchant districts for a place to eat for the few yen we have.

    “End Entry.”

    The rain was still pouring down in the cramped merchant district. Night had fallen and the evening was especially dreary. The roadway could barely fit two cars side by side and the foot traffic was quite heavy. A man closed his open sake bar, placing a white sign with black text that stated in both Japanese and English “Closed due to the weather” next to the metal gate he closed.

    Alex and Raichu were sulking around. Despite the heavy rain, it seemed to bead off Alex’s jumpsuit. Raichu wore a straw umbrella hat to keep dry. Alex’s stomach growled and so did Raichu’s.

    “I’m so hungry I could eat a Ponyta,” Alex complained, “hooves and all.”

    “Rai chu,” Raichu agreed.

    Alex’s face then lit up when he saw a dining car like diner. Taped in the window next to the door was big poster with brightly colored, artistically drawn Japanese and English characters. It read in both Languages, “Pokémon Eating Contest @7:00 tonight. May have one Pokémon partner. Fee is 1000 yen or something of equal or greater value.”

    Alex and Raichu ran over to the sign and shoved their right feet forward to stop in front of it. The smiled at each other as if they had found an oasis in the desert.

    They walked into the diner. Alex’s eyes adjusted to the relatively bright light compared to the dreariness outside. Raichu took off his umbrella hat and threw it onto a wooden hat rack near the door.

    As his eyes became accustomed to the light Alex looked around. Along the far wall was a counter spanning almost the entire length of the car with a few dozen metallic stools in front of it with blue cushions in them. On the wall with the door were several sets of booths with tables. The ceiling was curved and painted white with a signal line of fluorescent lights running the length of the car. The floor was white and black checker board. It was a dining facility that would fit in almost anywhere in the industrialized world.

    However what defined it was the smell from the kitchen behind the counter. The Aroma of Soy Sauce, Garlic Butter, and Kauri, along with other seasonings wafted through the air. Alex and Raichu began to drool a little from the wonderful smell.

    “Excuse me,” a small man sitting at table with a white band tied around his black hair asked Alex, “are you here for the eating contest?”

    “Yeah,” Alex reached into his med kit and placed two red and gold super potion spray bottles on the counter, “I believe this is enough.”

    “Thank you.” The man took the spray bottles and placed them in the box next to him. “You can wait to be weighed over there.”

    Alex and Raichu got in line. At the opposite end of the diner was scale. The other hopeful contestants were huge. Many heavy Pokémon and burly men were waiting for their chance to be weighed in. A very heavyset bald man and his Ringuma, a large Pokémon that looked very much like the Grizzly Bears of our world with a large gold ring pattern on his belly, stepped onto the scale. The readout came to 252 kilograms.

    “Oh I’m sorry sir,” the restaurant owner, a gaunt man in his late thirties with greasy black hair and glasses, wearing in a loose blue jacket over his street clothes, acted disappointed for the man, “but you’re just over our combined 250 kilogram limit.”

    The man muttered something under his breath. He then stormed back. As he lumbered past Alex, Alex gulped. The weighing continued. Everyone else made it.

    Alex and Raichu stepped onto the scale, it came to 95 kilograms. The restaurant owner did a double take and his eyes bugged out for a second. “What the hell? You two don’t even come to a hundred kilograms.”

    “Does that mean we can’t enter?” Alex asked a little concerned.

    “You can enter alright,” the restaurant owner was still a little surprised, “however, do you really want to?”

    Alex’s stomach growled. “Oh yeah,” Alex answered eagerly grabbing his belly.

    “Alright then,” the restaurant owner pointed to the counter, “take a seat.”

    Alex took the seat furthest to the left. He took a packet with chopsticks and torn it open. It placed the two wooden sticks in his left hand and tested his balance. Raichu sat next to him and put his chopsticks in his right paw.

    Next to them was a heavy, gray bearded man in hiking gear and his Kairiki, a large, muscular, gray skinned human like Pokémon with four arms, wearing a black Speedo. “You’ve got to be kidding me.” The hiker boomed with laughter at Alex. “I’ve used walking sticks thicker than this *******.”

    The others laughed too. Alex and Raichu ignored them. Several spectators sat at the booths to watch the contest.

    “Alright, let’s get started.” The restaurant owner grabbed a microphone. He tapped it to make sure it was on and then cleared his throat. “Hello Pokémon and food fans. Welcome to our Pokémon eating contest. The rules are simple. The fourteen teams of trainers and their Pokémon will be served bowl after bowl of our famous Wakasyumo fried rice. Whichever team eats the most wins all of the entrance fees. Upon being full we ask that the contestant please place their chopsticks together on the table and place their hands together as a signal of surrender. However, we will take passing out and vomiting as signs of surrender as well. Is everybody ready?”

    “Ready,” the contestants answered, raising their chopsticks in the air.

    Behind the counter were three young waitresses, one with blond hair, another with brown, and the third had black hair. All three were wearing a dark pink short sleeved dress that came about half way down their thighs with a pink apron that was heart shaped over their torsos. They stood there waiting with their hands to together in front of them. “We’re ready over here.” They all said at once.

    “We will start at the sound of the klaxon.” The owner shouted eagerly. He took out an air horn and blew it. It made a high pitched wale.

    The cook in the kitchen lined up several bowls of rice on the sill between the kitchen and dining area. The waitresses took the bowls and placed them in front of the contestants. The bowls were heaped with browned rice with chunks of Wakasyumo breast, pieces of scrambled egg, and sesame seeds mixed in.

    Alex and Raichu grabbed their bowls and began eating. It was delicious. It was cooked to the right point of tenderness with a hint of soy sauce and garlic butter. Raichu and Alex inhaled their bowls, chewed with their cheeks bulging with the amount of food in them and then swallowed.

    “More please.” Alex raised his chopsticks and waved them in the air.

    “Rai chu.” Raichu did the same.

    The other contestants looked over at them in shock. Giant sweats appeared over everyone’s heads. The brown haired waitress placed two more bowls in front of them. They started inhaling more rice.

    “It seems the lefty brought quite an appetite with him.” The owner commented into the microphone in disbelief.

    The others began shoveling their food. The eating contest picked up the pace. However, it wouldn’t last forever. With 19 bowls between them, a man dressed in a leather jacket and his Nuoo placed their chopsticks together and placed their hands together.


    “We have our first surrender.” The owner announced.

    A few more teams dropped out. However, Alex and Raichu were stilling going strong. After finishing a bowl, one of the human contestants placed a yen piece in the apron pocket of the waitress and whispered something to her.

    “More please.” Alex added his fifteenth bowl to the second pile of bowls in front of him.

    “Rai chu.” Raichu called out happily.

    “Despite being the lightest team, the lefty and his Raichu are in the lead and show no signs of slowing down.” The owner made some comments. “You’ve got to wonder where the hell they’re packing it all.”

    The waitress brought two more bowls for them. However, she took a packet of kauri powder and dumped into one of the bowls. She placed that bowl in front of Raichu. The two shoveled the rice into their mouths. However, when Raichu was finished he had an uncomfortable look on his face. His white underbelly turned a glowing red and steam shot out of his ears with the sound of a whistle.

    Alex finished his. “More…yah.” Alex then ducked as Raichu shot out a steam of flame right over him.

    Raichu’s lips were the same color as his underbelly and his eyes were watering as he spouted flames in random directions. One forced Alex to lean back and he fell on the floor with a thud. Raichu then hit Kairiki in the head with a flame stream. He then grabbed a tall glass of water and poured it into his mouth with it splashing out of both sides. His underbelly and mouth returned to normal and he breathed a sigh of relief with steam coming out of his mouth.

    Kairiki’s face was charred brown. His eyes were little slits and he wore neutral expression. He placed his chopsticks down and placed both sets of his hands together. Alex got back on his stool, rubbing his backside.

    “I guess that bowl was a little too spicy for both Raichu and Kairiki.” The owner laughed pathetically as he wiped some sweat from the side of his head with a napkin.

    “Uh…more please.” Alex turned back to the waitresses.

    “Rai chu,” Raichu held his chopsticks up, then he got a sour expression on his face, “rai chu chu chu raichu.”

    The contest continued. It came down to Alex and Raichu verses a heavy set man in a black business suit with a bush of red hair on the top his head and big round glasses in front of his beady eyes and his Yadoran, a pink skinned, remotely human like Pokémon with an apparently dull witted expression and a conch-shaped Shellder attached to his tail.

    “More please.” Alex was surrounded by piles of bowls.

    “Rai chu.” Raichu was as well.

    ‘Damn,’ the owner thought in awe, ‘I could sell T-shirts that say that.”

    The businessman placed his chopsticks down and put his hands together. Yadoran tried to get one last bite in put fell over, gorged.

    “We have a winner.” The owner yelled. “Everyone give a big hand for the lefty and his Raichu.”

    “But,” Alex looked down a little disappointed, “I’m still hungry. Can I have another?” He asked eagerly.

    “Rai rai chu.” Raichu waved to the waitress.

    “Raichu wants two more bowls.” Alex translated.

    The business man’s jaw dropped as he looked over to them and his glasses fell to the tip of his nose. Yadoran’s face began to turn a series of unnatural colors as he collapsed again, holding his mouth.

    ******************

    Alex and Raichu appeared back out into the rain. Alex was figuring their winnings in his head. “Let’s see, we won two full stomachs, eight thousand yen, four Full Restores, our two Super Potions, and a ticket to something.”

    Alex pulled the ticket out of his pocket. Its text translated to “Idol Trainer Isis concert at Tamamushi Ice Arena. TUE 8/30/05 9:00. Admit One.”

    “Hoi,” Alex dropped his head in disappointment, “I hate Idol Trainers. They’re as bad as coordinators.”

    “Rai chu.” Raichu shook his head in disappointment.

    “What should we do with it?” Alex examined it.

    “Rai chu,” Raichu said eagerly.

    “We can’t sell it. The concert is in an hour.” Alex checked his PokéGear.

    “Rai rai chu,” Raichu grinned evilly and rubbed his paws together.

    “Maybe,” Alex read a small line on the bottom out loud, “’ticket holder guaranteed a battle with Idol Trainer Isis’. Well, that’s a different matter entirely.”

    “Raichu rai chu raichi chu.” Raichu grinned even more evilly, rubbing his paws again with a bit of satisfaction in his voice.

    “You bet,” Alex stuffed the ticket back into his pocket, “let’s get everyone else out of the freezer and go.”

    *************************

    High School athletics in Kanto covered various sports from around the world. One of which was the Canadian sport of ice hockey. The many high schools in Tamamushi held hockey games at the ice arena. However, it was the off season so it was used for special events like Isis’s concert.

    The building itself was a large structure with a domed roof in the center. A couple of spotlights flashed beams of bright white light into the murky sky. Kaede and Rafressia were standing in front of the main doors under a black umbrella.

    “Do you know I love about the rain?” Kaede seemed happy as she watched the rain fall.

    “Fu?” Rafressia asked.

    “It cleans out the air.” Kaede took a deep breath and exhaled. “My sinuses never feel clearer than during a rain storm.”

    Kaede then noticed Erika in the parking lot. She gulped, it finally all coming to a head. On the wall behind Kaede was the same robot watching. Sakaki was watching in his office. He rippled his fingers with a cold expression on his face.

    Erika looked over and saw Kaede. “Kaede-chan,” she asked in disbelief. She then ran over to Kaede. “It’s really you.”

    “Oh, hi Erika-chan…uh long time, no see.” Kaede placed her hand on the back of her neck and tried to laugh with huge grin.

    “I thought I saw you earlier today.” Erika was overjoyed to see her old friend. “I didn’t believe it at first.”

    “Well, I became a Pokémon trainer.” Kaede explained. “I was invited to this tournament they’re holding the city.”

    Erika then noticed Rafressia. “Oh, and what a cute Rafressia, and her flower smells so sweat. You must take really good care of her.” Erika knelt to look at Rafressia. “She seems to be a different color though.”

    “Yeah, she’s the first Pokémon I ever caught.” Kaede patted Rafressia. “We’re great friends.”

    “Fu,” Rafressia nodded and replied.

    “Oh, I actually wanted to see you while I was in the city.” Kaede rummaged through her purse and pulled out the small spray bottle with pink liquid. “I saw your perfume and shop and I was wondering if you could give me an opinion on a scent I created.” Kaede lightly sprayed the liquid on her wrist and wafted some of the aroma into her nostrils. “It’s a very good scent that I created using my Grass Pokémon and some plants I work with.”

    “Let me have a whiff?” Erika asked as Kaede handed her the spray bottle. She lightly sprayed her wrist and inhaled it.

    ‘I’ve got you.’ Kaede thought as her eyes narrowed and a smirk cracked onto her face.

    “Good is an understatement Kaede-chan.” Erika braced head on her hand as a smile of delight formed on her face. “It smells absolutely divine. Can I please have this sample?”

    “Sure,” Kaede made an exaggerated grin on her face, “anything for an old friend.”

    Erika placed the spray bottle in her skirt pocket. Her face then lit up as she remembered Isis. “Oh, do remember Isis-chan?”

    “Yeah,” Kaede answered, “why?”

    “Well,” Erika explained with a little excitement on her face and in her voice, “she’s performing tonight here at the ice arena and we’re going to have a little reunion before the show. I’d love it if you came as well.”

    “It’d be good to see her again.” Kaede acted happy for the invitation. “I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.”

    “Nice seeing you again Kaede-chan.” Erika waved as she entered the arena.

    Kaede heaved a huge sigh of relief. She then took out another spray bottle like the last one but this one had a clear liquid. She sprayed it in front of her nose and breathed deeply. She then exhaled and relaxed.

    “It worked.” She laughed. “It actually worked.” She turned to Rafressia. “One of our plans actually worked.”

    The two locked arms and began dancing in a circle. They were gleefully singing. Kaede was singing “We did it, we did it,” over and over. Rafressia was singing “Ra fu re, ra fu re,” over and over.

    Alex and Raichu walked by. They stopped and watch for a couple seconds. Giant sweat drops form over their heads.

    “I don’t even want to know.” Alex lowered his head and scowled as if embarrassed to have seen the spectacle and shuffled away.

    “Raichu,” Raichu yelled and pointed at them as he walked behind Alex.

    Kaede and Rafressia stopped dancing and singing.

    “Enough of that,” Kaede regained a more serious demeanor, “the potion will take its full effect in about ten minutes. We should probably go.”

    *****************
    10 Minutes Later

    Erika was walking through the hallways under the arena where the offices and locker rooms were located. The walls and floor were unpainted cement and the metal ceiling was almost completely hidden by the pipes and ducts over head. Every three meters or so was a fluorescent light fixture hanging down by wires from the ceiling with a glass cover.

    Erika suddenly stopped as a strange sensation came over her body. A pink aura covered her. She looked at her hands, not knowing what was going on.

    “What,” Erika blinked as the aura grew brighter, “what’s happening to me?”

    The aura then turned into a bright flash of pink. Erika screamed. The scream seemed to get higher in pitch and diminished in volume. The flash then faded.

    Alex and Raichu were around the corner apparently lost. Alex stopped, took off his hat, and scratched his head, deep in thought as he looked around. Raichu heard the scream and flicked his ears.

    “Rai?” Raichu turned to the source of the sound.

    “What?” Alex looked at Raichu.

    “Raichu chu rai raichu?” Raichu asked as he turned back to Alex.

    “No.” Alex looked at the halls again. “Which way should we go?”

    Raichu looked back at the source of the sound he heard. He narrowed his eyes and had an untrusting expression on his face. He knew something was up.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 27th August 2005 at 02:09 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    A lot better in flow, but there were two points where it jarred me out of the world.

    very much like the Grizzly Bears of our world
    That makes it sound like someone's telling the story to us rather than we're reading it for ourselves.

    Canadian sport of ice hockey
    Now I don't know much about the sport, but I'm pretty sure that it didn't originate in Canada.

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    Thanks for letting me know. I wish I got more feedback.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    The story looks much better. The eating contest scene still makes me chuckle.

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    What's funnier, Alex and Raichu can out eat people twice their size or Raichus "heart burn"? I cracked up writing that part. It was a plot device to get Alex to the ice arena but that doesn't mean I can't make it funny.

    I seem to get more views on Bulbagarden. I guess this kind of story appeals to the audiance here better. Thanks for your patronage.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    So here we are with Chapter V which is again really long. We finally get to find out what Kaede's potion does and how Erika can (or can't really) deal with the effects. We also learn that that pointless bus ride chapter wasn't so pointless. One good deed deserves a another and that crap. Just enjoy the chapter.

    Chapter V: Big Trouble for Erika

    Kaede zigzagged down the hall from one wall to the other and back again. Rafressia was walking down the center of the hall. Her eyes were closed and her arms were crossed. Her eyebrow twitched and a red stress cross formed on her forehead.

    “Ra fu rafu fure re?” She asked in an annoyed voice.

    *********************

    Erika slowly opened her eyes. She was lying on the ground. Her eyes then popped open and she sat up.

    “Where am I?” She asked herself out loud.

    She stood up looked around. The hall seemed more expansive. Erika stepped back and hit something with her foot. She turned with a start. It was the spray bottle Kaede had given her but it was almost the size of an oil drum.

    “What,” Erika turned around and stared at the giant spray bottle, “how did this get bigger?” A mortified look came over her face and she screamed at the top of her lungs. “It’s not bigger I’m the one who’s shrunk!”

    ***************

    Raichu looked up and flicked his ears. “Raichu,” he blurted.

    “What is it Raichu?” Alex turned back to Raichu.

    “Rai chu,” Raichu ran back the way they came.

    “Where are you going?” Alex ran after him.

    *************

    Erika was pacing worriedly. This was justifiable considering she had suddenly found herself about as tall as a Digda.

    “Okay,” Erika thought out loud with a touch of anxiety in her voice, “there has to be a logical explanation for this.”

    She stopped pacing and looked over at the spray bottle. It hadn’t shrunk despite everything else Erika was wearing and carrying shrinking with her.

    “You wouldn’t have old friend,” Erika thought out loud, “why would you do it?”

    Erika then felt hot hair move across the back of her neck. She froze, afraid to turn around. She did slowly turn around to see what was behind her. It was a Nyarth, a cat like Pokémon with an off white coat except for the brown curled tip of his tail. A shiny large koban seemed to be embedded in his forehead. Nyarth was actually a small Pokémon but compared to Erika he was huge.

    “Uh…hello,” Erika said timidly.

    “Nyaa, nyaa,” Nyarth meowed but it was more like a roar to Erika. He extended his razor like claws.

    Erika backed away from Nyarth. She knew very well what was on Nyarth’s mind. She then hit the wall behind her. She looked at Nyarth as he slowly slinked towards her. She tried her best to hide the fear in her.

    “You, you don’t want to eat me.” Erika tried to reason with Nyarth.

    “Ny-aa,” Nyarth jumped into the air to pounce on Erika.

    Erika screamed and ran along the wall. Nyarth grabbed nothing but air as he landed.

    “This is not how I wanted to spend my evening.” Erika ran as fast as she could.

    She and Nyarth disappeared around a corner. At the same time, Raichu came from around another corner and Alex came up behind him. Raichu began sniffing around, sure something was up.

    “What’s gotten into you Raichu?” Alex panted.

    Raichu sniffed the spray bottle on the floor. “Raichu,” he pointed to it.

    “Erika-sama dropped this?” Alex picked it up. “I wonder why.”

    Raichu sniffed some more. He arched his back and grimaced. “Rai rai chu raichu.” He growled.

    “In weather like this it isn’t uncommon for strays to sneak into buildings.” Alex explained. “Maybe Erika-sama is giving a stray Nyarth some food.”

    ************

    Erika saw an open vent along the bottom of the wall and ducked into it. She hid in the blind spot as Nyarth ran by. She heaved a sigh of relief.

    ‘I’ve got to find help.’ Erika thought to herself. ‘I might to get eaten or crushed like this. Humans were never meant to be this small.’

    Erika slipped out of the vent. Nyarth was searching for her. She scooted as quietly as she could along the wall. Hopefully she could get around the corner before he turned back. Those hopes were in vain as he turned around and saw her.

    “Nyaa, nyaa,” Nyarth walked towards her.

    Erika instinctively took out and threw a Luxury Ball, an all black Monster Ball with gold trim. It opened, and the blue mass of energy escaped. Kierihana materialized, standing tall…at 5 centimeters.

    “I don’t believe it, even my Pokémon were shrunk inside their Monster Balls.” Erika stared at her Pokémon in disbelief. “Now what do I do?”

    “Ny-aa,” Nyarth lunged forward.

    Erika tried to run for it again. However, Nyarth was quick and threw his paw over her. She fell to the ground, pinned under Nyarth’s paw.

    “Ki,” Kireihana thought fast. She began to gather light from around her into an orb in front of her.

    Erika tried futilely to get out from under Nyarth but he was too heavy. “What a way to go.” Erika gave up and sighed.

    “Nyaa,” Nyarth licked his chops as he opened his mouth to show his dagger like incisors.

    Erika shut her heads and placed her hands over her head. It seemed like the end.

    “Ki,” Kireihana yelled at Nyarth.

    Nyarth looked up to see Kireihana holding an orb of white light.

    “Ki-re,” Kireihana released the orb that transformed into a beam that hit Nyarth squarely in the face.

    “Ny-ah,” Nyarth yelped in shock.

    He let go of Erika in order to grab his face with his front paws. Erika got up and ran to Kireihana and then turned back to see what happened. Nyarth appeared to be temporarily blinded as his pupils were pin points.

    “Ny…” He turned to the nearby wall and pounced into it. He seemed to flatten against it. “…nahahahah.” Then he pealed off the wall and fell to the floor, flat on his back with swirls in place of his eyes.

    “Is it over?” Erika thought out loud.

    “Ki,” Kireihana nodded looking at Nyarth with serious expression on her face and her arms on her hips.

    Just then, Alex and Raichu came around the far corner. Erika and Kireihana turned to them.

    “Raichu,” Raichu hopped over to Erika, “rai chu raihu?”

    “I see now,” Alex smacked his forehead a laughed, “you were worried because Erika-sama had been inexplicably shrunken to the size of Digda and thought that Nyarth was going to eat her.”

    After about two seconds it sank into Alex’s head. His eyes popped open with very small pupils. He got on his hands and knees in front of Erika. “You’ve been shrunk!?”

    “Yes,” Erika was still a little surprised herself.

    “But who…how…why?” Alex was confused.

    Above him, Kaede and Rafressia were laying on one of the larger ducts. Kaede seemed to be disturbed by Alex’s arrival.

    “Who’s this guy?” Kaede whispered. She then noticed the spray bottle in his hand. “He’s got my shrinking potion too.”

    “Ra fu re fu.” Rafressia whispered, unconcerned of Alex’s possession of the spray bottle and its contents.

    “That’s not the point. If it wasn’t for him,” Kaede whispered as she took out a transparent line with one end tied in a loop, “we could just grab Erika-chan and teleport away. However, that guy and the Raichu will be a problem.” She started slowly lowering the rope to towards Alex’s hand. “If I can grab the spray bottle, I can use it on them and we’ll be able to get out of here unchallenged.”

    “What’s that spray bottle in your hand?” Erika asked.

    “This…” Alex moved the hand with the spray bottle in front of him.

    Kaede was about to hook his hand with the loop but missed when he moved it. She uttered something under her breath.

    “…Raichu found it in the hall.” Alex scratched his head with his free hand. “He said it smells like you.”

    “I believe that is what caused me to shrink.” Erika explained. “It’s the only thing on me that didn’t shrink.”

    “What?” Alex threw the hand with the spray bottle out.

    Kaede again attempted to grab his hand. This time the loop slipped over his hand.

    “I got it.” Kaede could barely hold in her delight as she slowly and gently pulled Alex’s hand up with one hand and reached for the spray bottle with the other. A bead of sweat ran down her face. Her nose then began to tickle. ‘Dammit, not now.’ Kaede thought as she sneezed.

    Erika looked up upon hearing the sneeze and saw Kaede on the duct. “Alex-san, above you.” She blurted.

    Alex looked up to see Kaede pulling his hand up. He scowled at her grabbed the line and yanked it down. Then he remembered the universal law of the universe (which is really redundant but funny in that way) that life is a hell of a lot less painful when you think before you act.

    “Yah,” Kaede yelled as she fell off the duct, kicking Rafressia off in the process.

    They fell onto Alex and Raichu and all four of them fell onto the floor. The shock wave they created knocked Erika clean off her feet. The spray bottle was knocked out of Alex’s hand and bounced down the hall several meters. The four of them stared at it as it spun place and then came to a rest.

    Everyone tried to get up at the same time. They wound up getting into a fight, stirring up a dust cloud that covered them with multicolored stars coming out of it. Occasionally a head or a limb would appear for a split second.

    Erika got to her feet and stared at the scene dumbfounded, Kireihana had a similar look on her face. Erika then shook her head with her eyes closed, rubbing her temple. “This is ridiculous.”

    A shadow then loomed over her and Kireihana. As they turned around to see what it was Erika instinctively placed her hands over her mouth to stifle a scream. Nyarth was awake and pissed. He got up on his hind legs and clenched his front paws into fists at his sides. His eyes were bloodshot with red irises around the pupils. His entire body was engulfed in hellfire as he tensed and relaxed as he breathed through clenched teeth.

    Erika began to falter. She stepped back and fainted from the anxiety.

    “Ki re,” Kireihana nudged her master’s shoulder. She then took out a fan and began fanning her. “Ki re hana.”

    Nyarth looked down at them and raised his front paws up and shot out the claws in them. An evil grin appeared on his face. “Nyhahaha,” he chuckled through his clenched teeth.

    “Rai,” Raichu was thrown out of the dust cloud.

    “Ny-ah,” Nyarth lunged for them.

    “Re,” Kireihana jumped in front of Erika, ready to defend her with what strength she had.

    “Chu,” Raichu exhaled as he came down right on top of Nyarth.

    Nyarth smashed into the ground under Raichu’s weight. Raichu layed on top of Nyarth with swirls in his eyes.

    Alex and Kaede leapt from the cloud towards the spray bottle, leaving Rafressia in the dissipating dust, fighting a nonexistent opponent. She stopped and a white word bubble with a black question mark formed over her head.

    Alex and Kaede stretched forward as gravity took hold of them and sent them towards the ground. Alex’s arm was slightly longer as he grabbed it. The two landed on the ground.

    “Give me that.” Kaede tried to grab it.

    Alex pulled his hand away. He then shoved the spray bottle in a pocket on his right sleeve and fastened the button.

    It was at this point that an attractive young woman about Erika and Kaede’s age with long shiny red hair decorated with a large pink bow and green eyes walked into the hallway. She was wearing a light blue frilly dress that appeared to be a costume. Erika opened her eyes and slowly sat up as she noticed her approach.

    “Isis-chan,” Erika turned to greet her.

    “Erika-chan,” Isis blinked in astonishment, “what…what’s happened to you?”

    “I don’t know exactly.” Erika stood up. “Kaede-chan let me smell some perfume she had made and now I’m like this.”

    “Kaede-chan,” Isis turned to Kaede, “after all these years?”

    “Isis-chan,” Kaede seemed to lighten a little in mood, “I’m glad to see you too.”

    “I bet you are.” Alex said sarcastically as he folded his arms. “As happy as you were when you met Erika in the parking lot and convinced her to smell that shrinking potion? I should know. I was there.”

    “What,” Isis grabbed her head in astonishment, “but why Kaede-chan, Erika-chan was your best friend. She was devastated when you went missing.”

    “Uh…I have my reasons.” Kaede shifted her eyes around, realizing she had been caught.

    Alex gave a combination of a cough and a laugh.

    “And who is this young man?” Isis looked over at Alex.

    “This is Alex-san.” Erika explained. “We met on the bus.”

    “Yeah,” Alex laughed pathetically, “we got lost down here and Raichu thought he heard something and here we are.”

    Isis thought for a short time and then snapped her fingers. “It’d be much more comfortable if we talked about all this in my dressing room. I still have twenty minutes before show time and I can always be fashionably late. Come on.”

    Isis motioned with her hand for the others to follow her as she walked back the way she came. The others shrugged and followed her. Alex stopped and turned around to look back at Raichu who was still lying on top of Nyarth. “Hey, Raichu, get up. You can’t lie there all night.”

    Rafeessia offered her arm to help Raichu stand up. He accepted. He shook out his head upon getting to his feet. He then pushed his back in and they followed the others. Nyarth looked up. He tried to reach forward but fell on his face. He pounded the floor with his paw as streams of tears came gushing out of his eyes.

    “Nywo, nywo, nywohowhow” he cried.

    *****************

    Isis’s dressing room was nothing special. It was relatively small with a simple vanity on the wall opposite the door and a couch and table next to it on an adjacent wall. Isis was sitting at the vanity while Alex and Raichu sat on the couch, Erika was sitting on a paper cup on the table and Kaede and Rafressia were leaning against the wall near the door. Kaede sneezed to break the awkward silence.

    “Alright,” Alex slapped his knees, “I know it’s rude to pester a magician to tell you her tricks but I’ve got to know. How did you do it?”

    Kaede gave a satisfied laugh as she placed her hands behind her head and shifted her eyes towards Alex. “It’s a trade secret. So is the antidote.”

    “You have an antidote?” Erika asked.

    “Of course,” Kaede took out the spray bottle with the clear liquid, “I don’t handle my potions without the antidote with me.”

    “Sounds reasonable,” Alex leaned back and placed his arms on the back of couch, “however, you claimed you have reasons for shrinking Erika. Are those ‘trade secrets’ as well?”

    “You really want to know?” Kaede turned to him.

    Alex nodded with a serious expression on his face. Raichu did as well.

    “Fine,” Kaede shrugged, “I was ordered to.”

    “I feel SO enlightened.” Alex responded with sarcasm so thick you could cut it with a knife.

    “Who ordered you Kaede-chan?” Erika stood up and walked to the edge of the table. “Who could possibly want this to happen?”

    Kaede cackled evilly. “You really have to ask? What’s the one group who couldn’t possibly hate you more and wants you out of the way?”

    Erika thought for a second. “No,” she gasped in disbelief, “not…”

    “Yes,” Kaede smirked, “I am in fact a member of the mighty Rocket Gang.”

    Erika gasped. Isis gasped. Alex and Raichu looked forward with confused expressions. A word bubble with blue question mark appeared over their heads.

    “I can’t believe it.” Erika collapsed to her knees and lowered her head so her eyes were in shadow. “Why would you join the Rocket Gang?”

    “What IS the Rocket Gang?” Alex threw his arms out in exasperation. “Am I the only one completely in the dark about this?”

    “Rai,” Raichu chimed in.

    “We don’t know much about the Rocket Gang.” Erika explained. “They wear all black uniforms with a red “R” as their insignia. They’ve terrorized Tamamushi City for nearly a year. They usually use Poison and Devil type Pokémon because of their ferocity to assist them.”

    Alex leaned back and pondered.

    “Why would you be with those kinds of thugs Kaede-chan?” Isis turned to Kaede.

    “You should ask Erika-chan,” Kaede pointed to Erika, “she’s the one who drove me to them.”

    *********************

    13 Years Ago

    It was spring time and the cherry trees were blossoming. Kaede and Erika were little girls of about seven and on a picnic. Kaede’s nose was irritated by something and she sneezed.

    “Are you okay Kaede-chan?” Erika asked Kaede.

    “Yeah,” Kaede snuffled, “it’s just a spring cold.”

    Erika smiled as she looked around her. “I love spring. It’s a time of rebirth and renewal.”

    On a branch in a near by cherry tree a mother Poppo landed next to her nest with an earthworm squirming in her beak. Five Poppo chicks popped their heads out of the nest and started chirping eagerly.

    “I guess.” Kaede sniffed.

    “To celebrate, I made this flower necklace for you.” Erika held up a daisy chain.

    “What,” Kaede blurted as she backed up slightly, “you really shouldn’t have. I mean it’d look much better on you.”

    “Don’t be silly.” Erika giggled as she slipped the daisy chain around Kaede’s neck. “It looks so pretty on you.”

    Kaede got on her hands and needs. Her eyes were beady and her mouth was a horizontal line. “No,” she squeaked. Her eyes began to water and her nose started to run. “No, no, no.”

    “Those are some of my favorite flowers.” Erika clasped her hands to together under her chin. Her eyes were closed as she smiled. “I hope you like it.”

    Kaede tried to breathe out of her mouth. “No, no, no, no, no, no, no.”

    “Are you okay?” Erika opened her eyes to look at Kaede.

    “I can’t take it anymore.” Kaede yelled as she ran away.

    “What’s wrong Kaede-chan?” Erika chased after her until she disappeared into the woods. “We’re not supposed to go into the woods because of the Pokémon in there.”

    *****************

    Back in the present

    “I was allergic to those damned flowers.” Kaede yelled. “I’m allergic to most plants. Yet you kept on giving me plants you heartless...”

    “So this is revenge?” Alex interrupted. “I think shrinking Erika-sama and letting her nearly become Nyarth chow is a little harsh for some sneezing and a runny nose.”

    “Shut up.” Kaede clenched her fist, glaring at Alex. “It’s called poetic justice. I suffered because of her ‘gifts’. Now one of my gifts is causing her trouble.”

    “I…I didn’t know.” Erika muttered. Several tears ran down her face and hit the table. “You never said anything about allergies. You should have told me and I wouldn’t have given them to you.”

    Kaede was taken a back by Erika’s response.

    Erika clasped her hands together and looked up at Kaede with tears of guilt welling in her eyes. “I’m sorry if I hurt you Kaede-chan. Please forgive me.”

    Kaede looked down at Erika. Her eyes seemed to water. She bit her lower lip. “Doesn’t matter now, I still have my orders.” She shouted more to herself than to the others.

    “I still don’t understand how this led you to the Rocket Gang.” Alex interrupted.

    “Then I’ll continue.” Kaede answered with a tinge of annoyance in her voice.

    ****************

    13 years ago again

    Young Kaede was running through the woods. She stopped to catch her breath. She then looked around. There was nothing but trees all around her. Even the path she took seemed to be obscured.

    “Oh no,” she whimpered, “I’m lost.”

    A stubby leg with a sausage shaped foot stepped on a twig, snapping it.

    “What was that?” Kaede jumped upon hearing the snap.

    The daisy chain around her neck then lifted off her neck and head and seemed to hover in the shadows.

    “Huh-who’s there?” Kaede trembled.

    The daisy chain then moved towards a pool of light. A Nazonokusa appeared. She was a little radish like Pokémon with a round body toped with large grass like leaves. However her body was green, not blue like most of her species.

    “Nazo,” Nazonokusa said cheerfully to Kaede smiling.

    “Uh-hello,” Kaede waved uneasily to Nazonokusa.

    Nazonokusa turned around and began to walk away. She motioned with her leaf for Kaede to follow her.

    “You want me to follow you?” Kaede asked.

    Nazonokusa nodded.

    “Okay,” Kaede walked up to Nazonokusa who offered her a leaf to hold.

    Kaede lightly grabbed the leaf. They walked through the woods. Kaede suddenly felt happier. Nazonokusa seemed to be friendly and wanted to help her. Soon they were walking happily through the woods.

    “Nazonokusa and I became good friends. The Rafressia you see before you is that same Pokémon.” Present Kaede’s voice could be heard. “It was at that moment I decided to run away and become a Pokémon trainer. However, after a couple days I found out being a trainer is easier said than done.”

    ****************

    Three Days Later

    Nazonokusa landed on the ground with swirls in place of her eyes.

    “Oh no, Nazonokusa,” Kaede cried. Her clothing was tattered and she had lost both berets, leaving her hair in a blond tangled mess.

    Opposite of Kaede was a young boy and a Casey sitting near Nazonokusa. Casey was a yellow and brown human like Pokémon with a long tail but his muscles seemed to suffer from severe atrophied. Although his eyes were closed he was very alert.

    “That was lame.” The boy complained. “I thought I would have a challenge. Come one Casey.”

    Casey used his mental powers to rise to his feet and walk away with the boy. They walked off over a hill.

    Rain started falling as Kaede ran to Nazonokusa. Nazonokusa rose to her feet slowly.

    “Are you okay?” Kaede asked, relieved.

    Nazonokusa shook it off. “Nazo,” she nodded.

    “That’s good.” Kaede smiled weakly.

    *************

    Kaede and Nazonokusa were walking on the side walk. The rain was still pounding. Kaede’s stomach growled.

    “I’m so hungry.” She grabbed her stomach area. She sighed and then looked up.

    A thin middle aged man in a white T-shirt and blue jeans was behind a cart filled with juicy red apples. He was talking with a young couple. Kaede drooled at the sight of them. She wiped her mouth with her sleeve.

    Kaede snuck up to the cart and grabbed one of the apples and ran away. The cart owner saw her out of the corner of his eye.

    “Hey,” the guy pulled out an aluminum baseball bat from under his cart, “stop you little thief.”

    Kaede ran as fast as she could but tripped. The apple went bouncing down the sidewalk. She turned around to see the cart owner behind her.

    “You’ll pay you little urchin.” He lifted the bat over his head as lightning flashed behind him.

    Kaede closed her eyes, waiting for the end. However, the end never came. She opened her eyes upon hearing the bat strike the sidewalk. She then gasped.

    A huge man in a gray trench coat with his obscured with a Saidon beside him had embedded his fist in the cart owner’s gut. The owner was jack knifed by the blow as he tried to scream in pain. The man in the trench coat let the cart owner land on the ground. The owner got on his hand and knees with his other hand holding his gut. He coughed up blood onto the side walk.

    “Why…you…bas…” the cart owner collapsed.

    The man then turned to Kaede who was very frightened by what just happened. Lightning flashed behind him and thunder rumbled through the air.

    “Are you alright little girl?” The man asked.

    A smile formed on his mouth which was the only part of his face that could be seen.

    *****************

    Back in the present again

    “He tutored me in training Pokémon.” Kaede finished telling her story. “I owed him my life. So when he created the Rocket Gang, I joined.”

    “That’s quite a story.” Isis said in awe.

    “However that’s all in the past.” Kaede reached for Erika. “My orders are now.”

    Alex got between her and Erika.

    “Get out of my way Alex-san.” Kaede looked at him angrily. “This doesn’t concern you.”

    “But it does.” Alex said coldly. “Earlier this evening Erika-sama used her abilities to help me. I am in her debt and it is my obligation to make good on that debt. You of all people should know about that.”

    “But Alex-san,” Erika was little surprised, “I said you weren’t in my debt.”

    “Fine,” Kaede grabbed a Monster Ball, “I’ll take her by force then.”

    “I’ll take your antidote by force, however, not here.” Alex smirked and held out his hand. “We will fight in the arena.”

    Kaede relaxed a bit to hear Alex out.

    “The finals for the tournament will be held in that arena.” Alex explained. “I would like to get the feel of it. You’ll have to go through me to get to her and I’ll have to go through you to take the antidote anyway. Why not make some real good come out of it?”

    “Alright,” Kaede put the Monster Ball back, “I accept your challenge.” She put her hand out and the two shook hands.

    “I’ll give you the first slot of my concert to fight.” Isis seemed a little unsettled.

    “Attention Isis,” a male voice came over the intercom, “you have five minutes.”

    “I guess we should go.” Kaede looked at Alex with a little contempt on her face.

    “Ladies first,” Alex opened the door to let Kaede out and then followed her out. Raichu and Rafressia followed them.

    Isis appeared at the door with Erika sitting on her shoulder. They watched as the four walked to the arena.

    “I don’t like this.” Isis shook her head. “I don’t like this one bit.”
    Last edited by The Big Al; 27th August 2005 at 04:17 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

  12. #12
    I'm a Mathemagician! Sabonea's Avatar
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    So far this is pretty good. Aside from some minor errors - and who doesn't make those - there isn't much I can comment on.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Al
    The hellfire disappeared and Nyarth’s eyes turned into big circles with huge blue pupils and smaller white circles attached to the larger ones at the outer lower corners
    I found this line especially awkward, but it could easily be fixed by rewording it or eliminating it entirely.

    Aside from that, great job so far. I look forward to reading the next chapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blackjack Gabbiani
    Now I don't know much about the sport, but I'm pretty sure that it didn't originate in Canada.
    Not entirely Incorrect. Hockey as it is played in North America today was first played in Montreal in 1875, according to rules devised by Canadian J G A Creighton. I just had to point that out :)

  13. #13
    A black and white world Blackjack Gabbiani's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Big Al
    “You wouldn’t have old friend.” Erika thought out loud. “Why would you do it?”

    Erika then felt hot hair move across the back of her neck. She froze, afraid to turn around. She did slowly turn around to see what was behind her. It was a Nyarth, a cat like Pokémon with an off white coat except for the brown curled tip of his tail. A shiny large yen piece seemed to be embedded in his forehead.

    Here's two things in a short time. Look at the first sentence up there, Erika's dialogue. Does that feel like a line that would be said after being betrayed by a dear friend?

    And also, I know Meowth's coin is legal tender, but that sure doesn't look like a yen to me.


    Her eyes became horizontal lack lines with white streams of tears running down her face from them. “Now what do I do?”
    No. Comic book descriptions don't work like this.


    And if I hadn't read the story in question, I wouldn't have known that most of Kaede's scenes were flashbacks.

  14. #14
    Meteorologist The Big Al's Avatar
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    It's one of the larger pieces. I'll look that one up. Thanks for your advice.

    EDIT: Taken your suggestions and editted it accordingly. Btw. The coin in Nyarth's head is a Koban.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 13th August 2005 at 06:55 AM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    Well, it's come to this. If diplomacy fails, have your Pokemon do the talking. Enjoy.

    Chapter VI: Alex vs. Kaede. A Battle of Debtors

    Alex and Kaede were walking silently through the hall, not looking at each other. Their thoughts were elsewhere. Behind them, Isis with Erika perched on her shoulder was following far behind.

    “I was so stupid.” Erika scolded herself. “Some gym leader I turned out to be. I fell right into her trap.” She rested her chin in her hands and sighed.

    “Don’t beat yourself up Erika-chan.” Isis tried to comfort her. “How were you supposed to know she would turn out evil?”

    “That’s just it,” Erika looked forward to Kaede, “Kaede-chan isn’t like the other Rockets. She loves her Pokémon and cares deeply for them. Most Rockets see their Pokémon as weapons to terrorize other people. I don’t think she’s evil, she’s just mad at me for aggravating her allergies all the time. Now she believes she’s honor bound to whoever saved her all those years ago.”

    “I guess you’re right.” Isis looked over to Alex. “What about him?”

    “I met him on a city bus earlier this evening.” Erika explained. “He hit his head and got a concussion. I used my empathy powers to heal him. Despite telling him he’s not in my debt, he still believes that he is.”

    “So, this will be a battle of debtors.” Isis thought out loud.

    “You don’t want to do this.” Alex said out of nowhere.

    “Oh really,” Kaede scoffed.

    “I can see it in your eyes.” Alex braced the back of his head with his hands. “You thought this was what you wanted but now you feel guilty for tricking Erika-sama and feel you’re being forced to capture her.”

    “And you don’t feel like you’re being forced to defend her?” Kaede thought she had Alex caught.

    Alex pulled out the Premier Ball attached to the lather strap. He held it between his thumb and pointer finger.

    “What’s that?” Kaede asked.

    Alex exhaled a laugh. “My Grandmother gave me this Premier Ball to hold the first Pokémon I received. She said it would bring me good luck.” Alex smiled as he let go of the ball to rest against his chest.

    “Fascinating,” Kaede wasn’t interested.

    “When I received my first Pokémon,” Alex continued, “I felt three meters tall. I felt like I was something more than I was before.”

    “I guess some people should enjoy starting a trainer journey.” Kaede crossed her arms.

    “However, I also thought I had been given great responsibility.” Alex turned to Kaede. “I was given the power to help people in ways I couldn’t as just a person. As a trainer, I’ve felt that it is my duty to use that power to help those in need.”

    “So even if Erika-chan hadn’t helped you,” Kaede looked at Alex, “you would still do this.”

    “I would do it for anyone.” Alex turned forward to the entrance of the arena.

    “They seem to be growing on each other.” Isis thought out loud. She then caught herself and placed her hand to her mouth. “Sorry, wrong choice of words Erika-chan.”

    Alex and Kaede walked out onto into the arena. The stands were packed with screaming Isis fans. Alex gulped as he scanned the arena.

    “Attention Isis fans,” a male voice boomed over the loud speaker, “Isis has given the first slot of battle tonight to Kaede and Alex. Apparently these two trainers want to warm up our battlefield.”

    Alex then turned his attention to the field. A regulation Pokémon battlefield was painted out in white on the gray cement floor.

    Isis and Erika hid behind the entrance. Obviously there would be too many questions for Erika if she was seen in her current state. She also would not give the Rocket Gang the pleasure of seeing her like she was.

    “I’ll take the right side.” Kaede pointed to the trainer box painted on the end of the field to their right. She stopped in mid-step. “By the way, how many Pokémon will we be using?”

    “I’m leaving that one up to chance.” Alex took out a white, cube shaped die from one of his many pockets. “Whatever number I role is the number of Pokémon we’ll each be using. It’ll also determine what kind of battle we have. If it’s odd we’ll have a single battle, if even a double battle.”

    “That works for me.” Kaede shrugged in agreement.

    Alex cast the die onto the battlefield. It struck the ground a couple times and then rolled along it. It came to a rest with the side with four black dots facing up.

    “Ref,” Alex called to a brown haired man in an orange shirt and black shorts, “this will be a four on four battle in a double battle format.”

    “Raichu,” Raichu powered up. Sparks began jumping from his glowing cheeks.

    “You’re sitting this one out Raichu.” Alex walked away. “I want you to look after Erika-sama and Isis-san.”

    “Rai,” Raichu kicked the ground in disappointment. He however did what Alex said. Two Pokémon would have to sit it out. He might as well have a good seat.

    The referee nodded. As Kaede and Alex took their positions, he picked up two flags. One was red and other was green.

    “Alright,” the referee explained the rules, “this match will be four on four in a double battle format. The battle will continue until all four of a trainer’s Pokémon are either unable or unwilling to battle. All Sieki League rules apply. Please release your first Pokémon.”

    “Kinograssa, Watokko, let’s go.” Kaede threw out her Monster Balls.

    Black explosions allowed the two Pokémon to burst into existence.

    “Gassa,” Kinograssa was an odd Pokémon with a slender body. His arms ended with what looked like split hooves as did his legs. A green mushroom cap topped his beige head. The end of his tail ended with a ring of green balls around it.

    “Wata,” floated in the air above the field.

    “Onidrill, Dugtrio, I choose you.” Alex threw two monster balls.

    The two Pokémon appeared on the field with a flash of blue.

    “Trio,” Dugtrio was a group of three sausage shaped creatures with brown fir. Each had a wide pink nose under their eyes. They quickly clawed into the cement as if it was freshly tilled soil.

    Beside them, Onidrill spread his huge wings. “Karaa,” he yawned as he stretched out.

    “I can’t take this.” Erika sighed. “I feel so powerless like this.”

    “I think that was the idea.” Isis nodded. “The Rocket Gang wanted you to feel that way.”

    “I know.” Erika scanned the battlefield. “I’m just used to being out there, battling. Now I have to take a back seat.”

    “He’ll be alright.” Isis tried to comfort Erika.

    “Begin,” the referee held both flags above his head.

    “Alright, Dugtrio, I want you to create a Rock Avalanche.” Alex instructed his Pokémon. “Onidrill, attack Kingrassa with Drill Peck.”

    “Kinograssa, attack Onidrill with Sky Upper.” Kaede sneezed as she tried to concentrate. “Watokko, use Solar Beam on Dugtrio.”

    Dugtrio was the fastest of the four. “Trio,” he shot his body down. For a split second nothing happened but then rocks exploded from the ground under Kaede’s Pokémon.

    “What,” Kaede blurted in shock.

    “And this match begins with a devastating Rock Avalanche from Dugtrio.” The Announcer began commenting on the battle.

    “Kino, kino, kino,” Kinograssa hopped from rock to rock easily as his right claw began to glow.

    “Kinograssa doesn’t seem deterred by the rocks.” The announcer continued.

    “Wato, wato,” Watokko tried her best avoid the rocks but was struck hard by one. She lost her concentration and the light collecting in her cotton puffs self-destructed.

    “Too bad I can’t say the same for Watokko.” The announcer commented. “She looks to be out of this one.”

    “Ok-ko,” she screamed as the blast sent her crashing to the ground. She tried to get up but collapsed as cotton puffs fell off of the larger cotton balls on her head.

    “Gassa,” In the meantime Kinograssa had launched himself for Onidrill. His body began to glow like a comet.

    “Drill,” the now airborne Onidrill crowed as he tucked in his wings and began spinning like a drill bit. He then shot towards Kinograssa.

    It looked like it would have been horrible collision of devastating attacks. However, Onidrill’s long slender beak allowed him to jab right into Kinograssa before Kinograssa’s claw got close to his body.

    “Ki,” Kinograssa’s aura was broken as he was thrown back by the Drill Peck. “Gassa,” he exhaled as he landed hard on the ground. Bruising appeared on Kinograssa’s belly where Drill Peck had hit him.

    “Watokko and Kinograssa are unable to battle.” The referee held out his red flag.

    “There you have it.” The announcer roared as the crowd exploded in cheers and applause. “Alex takes an early advantage as he’s now half way to winning this match.”

    “You see.” Isis held her hands out as if showing Erika the battle. “You’ll be back to your normal size in no time.”

    “I hope so.” Erika watched.

    “Ki hi hi,” Kinograssa snickered then back laughing loudly, “hi he he he ha ha.”

    “I don’t see what’s so funny.” Alex crossed his arms with an scowl on his face.

    Above Kinograssa, Onidrill smirked with satisfaction. However he then fell out of the sky and slammed into the cement.

    “Onidrill just collapsed for no reason.” The announcer said in disbelief.

    “Onidrill,” Alex yelled worriedly, “what’s wrong?”

    Kaede cackled. “What a rookie mistake. Don’t you know you never attack a Kinograssa at close range?”

    Alex didn’t say anything. He just stood there was a shocked expression on his face.

    “Let me explain. Kinograssa’s mushroom cap is filled with spores that spread every time Kinograssa is violently moved.” Kaede explained. “Onidrill inhaled them and now he’s completely paralyzed.”

    The judge looked over Onidrill who was sprawled out on the ground with his eyes glazed over. “Onidrill is unable to battle.” He lifted his green flag.

    “And now Onidrill is out of the match.” The announcer was still in disbelief of what just happened.

    “Onidrill return,” Alex sighed as the gold return beam drew Onidrill back into his Monster Ball, “I’m sorry old friend. I should have remembered that.”

    “Kinograssa, Watokko return,” Kaede returned her Pokémon. Her expression changed. She was saddened by her Pokémon’s pain. ‘Is it worth this?’ She thought to herself. She then sneezed. ‘Crap, all those spores and cotton puffs in the air are making my allergies act up. I need to finish this up now.’

    “Please release your next Pokémon.” The referee instructed them.

    “Alright Rafressia, your up,” Kaede motioned to Rafressia to take the field, “I also choose Ustubot.”

    The pitcher plant like Pokémon materialized next to Rafressia from the black energy.

    ‘I bet these are her best Pokémon.’ Alex thought. ‘However I’ll save my best for last.’ He took out the Super Ball. “Kyuukon, I choose you.”

    Alex threw the Super Ball. The blue energy mass dissolved to reveal a fox like Pokemon with a cream colored coat and nine beautiful tails. “Ky,” she yipped softly.

    ‘Damn,’ Kaede thought as she sneezed, ‘that Kyuukon is an even bigger problem than Onidrill. She can drag this match out until I can’t see straight from sneezing. I need to take her out now.’

    “You may resume.” The referee announced.

    “Dugtrio, take a break.” Alex knew Dugtrio couldn’t do much in this one. “Kyuukon, attack Utsobot with Flame Thrower.”

    Kaede snapped her fingers. “Utsubot, Rafressia, flood his half of the field with Numbness Powder.”

    The two grass types shot out little orange bits of something into the air. Utsubot’s came from within its massive maw. Rafressia’s shot from the opening in her rafleshia.

    “Ky,” Kyuukon spit out a stream of flame.

    “Botto?” Utsubot then remembered Kyuukon was attacking it. It was too late however as the flames engulfed it. “Ba-ah-ot,” it shrilled in pain.

    Kyuukon let up on the flames. Utsubot fell to the ground, thoroughly singed. It didn’t move.

    “Utsubot is unable to battle.” The referee raised his red flag.

    “Utsubot, return,” Kaede returned Utsubot to the safety of its monster ball. ‘You did great Utsubot.’

    At that point the objects Rafressia and Utsubot shot out exploded, spreading orange powder allover Alex’s half of the field. It coated Dugtrio and Kyuukon. They seemed to be unable to move as well.

    “Kyuukon might have taken out Utsubot but it like both of Alex’s Pokémon have been paralyzed by the Numbness Powder.” The announcer continued his commentary.

    “Excellent,” Kaede sneezed, “now Rafressia, let’s put these fools out of their misery. Attack them with Petal Dance.”

    “Ra,” Rafressia began spinning violently, “ia, ia, ia…” A storm of pink petals exploded from Rafressia and tore across the battlefield.

    “Dugtrio, Kyuukon, watch out.” Alex yelled in vain.

    The petals tore through the two Pokémon. Dugtrio collapsed into their hole. Kyuukon was knocked down. However she slowly tried to get back to her feet. Rafressia stopped spinning. She seemed dizzy but she shook it off.

    “Come on Kyuukon, you can do it.” Alex tried to encourage Kyuukon.

    She made it to her feet. However her body appeared to be made of stone. She could barely move.

    “Kyuukon, can you use you’re Flame Thrower?” Alex asked.

    “Ky,” Kyuukon nodded as she stared angrily at Rafressia.

    ‘If she attacks this could be the end.’ Kaede thought. “Rafressia, take her out with Slime Bomb.”

    “Ra-fu,” Rafressia’s cheeks puffed out. She then spit out a gray mass of slime.

    Fire was forming in Kyuukon’s muzzle. She was about to attack when the Slime Bomb struck her dead on. It exploded, sending Kyuukon several meters through the air to land on the pavement. She appeared to be seriously injured.

    “Oh no,” Alex ran to Kyuukon, “are you okay?”

    “Ky,” Kyuukon yipped weakly.

    “It’s okay, you did a great job.” Alex stroked her crest and returned her to her Super Ball. He then returned Dugtrio to their Monster Ball as well.

    “Kyuukon and Dugtrio are unable to battle.” The referee raised his green flag.

    “Both Alex and Kaede are down to their last Pokémon.” The announcer seemed excited. “You’ve got to wonder what Alex’s last Pokémon will be.”

    “So, it’s come down to this Kaede-san.” Alex returned to the trainer box. He seemed angered with the extent of Kyuukon’s injuries. “Since you’re last Pokémon is the first one you have had, it’s only fair I use the first Pokémon I ever received. I offer you this last chance to surrender.”

    “Let’s just battle.” Kaede said with a bit of annoyance in her voice.

    “Fine,” Alex disconnected the Premier Ball from the strap. “I choose Dreadnought.”

    “What’s a Dreadnought?” Isis thought out loud.

    The Premier Ball unleashed the blue energy. A Kamex materialized in front of Alex.

    “Kamekusu,” Dreadnought roared as he his hydrocannons deployed.

    “Apparently Dreadnought is the nickname he gave his Kamex.” Erika answered Isis.

    Kaede cackled. “This is your ultimate weapon?” She stopped cackling and smirked.

    “Don’t underestimate Dreadnought.” Alex said calmly. “You’ll find he is full of surprises.”

    “Whatever,” Kaede flicked her hair. “Rafressia,” she sneezed, “use Petal Dance to get this over with.” She sneezed again.

    “Ra,” Rafressia began spinning again. Another storm was petals erupted.

    “Dreadnought, defend yourself with Rapid Spin.” Alex smirked.

    “Kusu,” Dreadnought withdrew his hydrocannons, head, and limbs into his shell. He then began to spin at a very high speed.

    The petal storm tried to strike Dreadnought. However it was deflected away before it could reach him.

    “This has turned into the battle of the dervishes folks.” The announcer commented.

    “I don’t get it.” Isis stared at the battle. “Why isn’t Rafressia’s Petal Dance working on Dreadnought?”

    “It’s because of the Rapid Spin.” Erika explained. “This isn’t the first time I’ve seen this strategy. You see, Rapid Spin, especially when used by a heavier Pokémon like Kamex creates wind sheer around it. This sheer can deflect most projectile attacks.”

    “Wow,” Isis said in astonishment.

    “Rai rai chu raichu.” Raichu smirked.

    Rafressia and Dreadnought stopped spinning. The petals from the attack were everywhere on the field except for circle around Kamex. Rafressia took a few seconds to shake off the dizziness. The two Pokémon stared each other down.

    “Nice little trick Alex-san.” Kaede couldn’t help but be impressed. “However, let’s see your little spin move deflect this. Rafressia, use Solar Beam.”

    “Rahaha,” Rafressia chuckled and smirked as her rafleshia flower began drawing in light. It began to glow brightly as an orb of light formed above the opening in the center.

    “Now attack!” Kaede yelled.

    “Dreadnought, Mirror Coat now.” Alex ordered.

    “Kame,” Dreadnought groaned as his body turned perfectly reflective.

    “Ra-fu,” Rafressia fired the built up light. The beam headed straight for Dreadnought, blasting petals and dust away, indicating the destructive power it carried.

    “I can’t watch.” Erika blurted as she covered her eyes.

    The beam struck Dreadnought squarely in the gut. However it was reflected back towards Rafressia. Rafressia ducked just in time to have the beam pass above her and strike the wall behind her. It left a singe mark on it.

    “Is it over?” Erika asked worriedly with her hands still over her eyes.

    “It hasn’t even begun yet.” Isis stared at the spectacle before her.

    “Wow, Kamex’s defense is nearly perfect.” The announcer yelled. “It just batted away two of the most powerful attacks a grass type has like they were nothing.”

    Kaede was red in the face with rage. How dare Alex humiliate her with his overgrown terrapin? ‘I am a member of the mighty Rocket Gang.’ She thought angrily. ‘People tremble at the mere mention of our name. Now this son of a bitch is making sport out of me and my best Pokémon. What would Sakaki-sama think if I lost Erika-chan because of this low class nobody?’

    “Do you surrender?” Alex yelled.

    “Never,” Kaede screamed, “Rafressia, more Numbness Powder.”

    “Dreadnought, use Freezing Beam on her flower.” Alex commanded calmly.

    “Ka,” Kamex fired the beam of cryo energy straight at Rafressia’s flower. A mass of ice plugged the opening.

    “Oh crap,” Kaede sneezed.

    “Now Rafressia can’t use Solar Beam or Numbness Powder,” Erika seemed reassured.

    “I…I can’t lose.” Kaede growled in frustration and then sneezed. “Rafressia, attack with Slime Bomb.”

    “Ra-fu,” Rafressia fired another Slime Bomb.

    “Dreadnought, use Rapid Spin again.” Alex sighed and shook his head.

    Dreadnought again withdrew into his shell and used Rapid Spin to deflect away the Slim Bomb. The Slime Bomb landed on another part of the field and exploded. Dreadnought then stopped spinning and put his head and limbs back out.

    “It seems like Kaede has hit a brick wall against Kamex.” The announcer commented. “Nothing she tries seems to work.”

    “Rafressia, do something.” Kaede sneezed.

    “Rafu,” Rafrssia took out her tissue box, “Rafu fure fu shia.”

    She threw the tissue box at Dreadnought. It bounced off his shell and landed on the ground.

    Kaede fell over with her feet sticking up the air. Her left foot twitched.

    Dreadnought looked at Rafressia with a very annoyed expression with a red stress cross on his forehead. Rafressia smiled sheepishly at Dreadnought as a giant sweat drop formed over her head. She then got on the ground and played dead.

    “Ah…uh…” the referee didn’t know what to make of it, “Rafressia is unwilling to battle. The winner of this match is Alex and Kamex.”

    “There you have it folks.” The announcer yelled. “Alex has won.”

    “We did it?” Alex asked.

    “They won.” Erika and Isis cheered at the same time.

    “Rai chu chu rai chu.” Raichu said confidently and nodded.

    The arena was deafening with cheers. However, they would have cheered if Kaede had won.

    Dreadnought picked up the tissue box and handed it back to Rafressia.

    “Ra fu,” Rafressia thanked him.

    Alex walked over to Kaede as she got back to her feet.

    “I believe we had an agreement Kaede-san.” Alex held out his hand.

    “Yes,” Kaede placed the antidote spray bottle in Alex’s hand, “I’m a woman of my word.”

    Alex nodded. “I couldn’t have asked for a better job old friend.” Alex took out Dreadnought’s Premier Ball as he turned to him. “Return for a good long rest.”

    “Kame,” Dreadnought gave a thumb’s up as he dissolved into gold mass and withdrew into the Premier Ball.

    Alex then walked back towards Erika and Isis. He then stopped ad turned around to face Kaede again. “By the way Kaede-san, that was great battle. Thank you.” He bowed in respect to her. “If the situation had been different, we might have been friends.”

    Kaede was shocked. “Ya-you’re…eh…welcome I guess.”

    Alex then turned away and walked towards the arena entrance.

    “Rafu ra fu re.” Rafressia said as she walked over to Kaede.

    “You know, you’re right, he is.” Some mucus ran from Kaede’s nose.

    “Rafu?” Rafressia asked as she took out a tissue.

    “Thank you.” Kaede took the tissue and blew her nose. “I feel so silly now. I was so mad at Erika but she didn’t even mean me any harm. It wasn’t really worth you and the others getting hurt.” She sighed. “Come on Rafressia, we might as well go home.”

    “Ra,” Rafressia nodded.

    Kaede took out a deivce that looked like a television remote control. She pressed a couple of buttons and she and Rafressia disappeared in a flash of light.

    “It appears that Kaede has left the building.” The announcer joked.

    Alex returned to the hall. He held out his hand so Erika could jump on it and he could set her down on the ground.

    “Wait,” Isis stopped Alex from using the antidote spray bottle, “how do we know it’s the antidote?”

    Alex placed the hand with the spray bottle under his chin and pondered.

    “It’s alright,” Erika looked at both of them, “just use it.”

    “Okay,” Alex gulped, “here goes everything.” He placed his free hand over his eyes as he sprayed it on Erika.

    Erika inhaled the odorless spray deeply. She then began to glow white and slowly increased in size. Alex stood up and stepped back. After about five seconds Erika was a meter tall. After another three she was half again as tall. She then reached her original height and stopped growing. The aura faded. She felt around her body. Everything was the way it should have been.

    Alex took the spray bottle with the shrinking potion out his pocket and handed the two bottles to Erika. “I suggest you find a safe place for these.”

    “I will.” Erika took them and placed them each in a skirt pocket.

    “Will Idol Trainer Isis please report to the arena?” The announcer shouted.

    “Well, I got to go.” Isis waved them good bye as she walked out into the arena. “However, I don’t know how I’ll top that battle.”

    “You’ll manage Isis-chan.” Erika called out to her as she, Alex, and Raichu waved back to her.

    “Thank you Alex-san.” Erika turned to Alex. “Who knows what would have happened if you weren’t there?”

    “I have a knack for being in the wrong place at the right time.” Alex smiled as he braced his head with his hands. “By the way, why would the Rocket Gang go to such great lengths to capture you?”

    “As I told you the Rocket Gang has been terrorizing the city for nearly a year.” Erika explained. “I joined with many of the citizens of Tamamushi city to form a resistance against them. Apparently we have struck a nerve somewhere.”

    “Either that or they’re planning something.” Alex thought out loud.

    “That thought has crossed my mind.” Erika nodded.

    “Erika-sama, you’ll need all the allies you can get to take them down.” Alex looked to Raichu who nodded and then back to Erika. “Just know that we’re one of them.” Alex held out his hand to offer her a hand shake.

    “Thank you Alex-san.” Erika shook his hand.

    ******************

    Later that night at the Pokémon Center, Alex was writing in his journal.

    “Journal Entry: Day 1, 22:17. Hoi, what an evening? First we had that eating contest. Then we had a battle with Kaede. However, I’m a little disturbed about the events that took place in that arena.

    “After getting some information I’ve come to the conclusion that Kaede must be a member of the Rocket Gang in name only. The real Rockets have no compassion for their Pokémon or their victims. When Erika told Kaede that she didn’t know about her allergies, I thought Kaede was going to cry. Perhaps Kaede will realize that she isn’t and shouldn’t feel like she’s tied to them.

    “However, I know for a fact I saw her name and picture in the tournament registry now that I think about it. No doubt other, more dangerous and evil Rockets are out there. We will have to be extra cautious tomorrow. Who knows what they are capable of? However, I’m tired. I’ll likely continue my thoughts tomorrow morning after I’ve slept on them.

    “End Entry.”

    EDIT: An author's note. One of the things I don't like in the anime is how Slime Bomb (Sludge Bomb to Americans) is drawn. It looks like Slime Attack (Sludge). For one thing, considering it's a bomb, it should explode. I've always pictured Slime Bomb exploding on contact.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 28th August 2005 at 06:58 AM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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