(AU) Pokemon: The Chronicles of the Catalpa Trainer Dorm (Rated PG)

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    Default (AU) Pokemon: The Chronicles of the Catalpa Trainer Dorm (Rated PG)

    Yet another fic brought to you by The Big Al.

    Here's a little story that is a combination of a few storylines I was working on. I had so many ideas going around in my head and made them into one story. I've decided to put it in the main forum because I've gotten review saying it's great and no one has told me it sucks.

    This is a Michigan based Pokemon fic. This really frees me because if there's one thing I know, it's Michigan. I decided to set it in Royal Oak where some of my relatives live.

    May I first start out by saying this is fiction. The structure I write about doesn't even exist in way, shape, or form, where I say it is is a vacant lot and I forget what was there. These characters are fictional and are not meant to represent anyone living or dead.

    Oak Town is meant to be a Pokemonization of Royal Oak (I didn't was to call it Oak City because it's not as big as Detroit which I refer to as Motor City). Route MI1 is Woodward Avenue and is really M1.

    In future chapters, you may see references to an "escape hatch" in Al's basement suite. This is because according Royal Oak law, there has to be an exit to an underground residence directly to the outside. So he has a door that leads outside.

    I may edit this first post with other general information as it arises.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    Meteorologist The Big Al's Avatar
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    Emily Catalpa stood behind an oak podium in a large room. Behind her were rows of people sitting quietly aside from an occasional cough. In front of her was a row of eight people, four men and four women all wearing business attire, sitting behind a long wood topped desk. To her right was another woman standing at an identical podium.

    Emily was in her mid to late twenties with frizzy red hair that fell to slightly below her neck and green eyes. Her fair skin was lightly spotted with freckles especially on the bridge of her nose. She wore a grey business coat and skirt with a white blouse. She straightened the papers in front of her.

    The other woman was about ten years Emily’s senior. She had straight dark brown hair that fell to halfway down her back and dark eyes that seemed to squelch any light that dared to get close. Her skin was pale and glossy and seemed to have no differences in coloration. She wore a black business suit with a red blouse underneath. She turned to Emily and a smirk cracked on her red lips.

    The oldest man at the long desk cleared his throat. He was easily in his seventies with very little white hair still clinging to the sides of his head. Liver spots speckled his forehead and hands and his tired grey eyes hid behind square reading glasses. He looked at the paper before him and then looked towards the two women standing before him.

    “We remain at a deadlock on this issue.” He said in a cackled voice. “Four are in favor in forcing Miss Catalpa to surrender her property under immanent domain, namely the Catalpa Trainer Dorm, to Corona Development Corporation, four, including myself, are against, and one has abstained.”

    “Mister Chairman,” the older woman began with a tinge of annoyance in her voice, “my company is losing money everyday you don’t act. Our project promises to bring jobs and income into your community.”

    “That may be true Ms. Corona.” The man took off his glasses and placed them on the desk in front of him. “However, the trainer dorm is a cultural icon in Oak Town. It’s been in existence since the depression and is perhaps the most recognizable structure on Route MI1. There was a time I was a resident of it. I can’t in good conscience order it’s destruction for another office building.”

    “Mr. Chairman, may I ask why your ninth member refuses to make a decision in this issue?” Miss Catalpa asked.

    “They have been out of town and unavailable for the past few days.” The chairman explained. “We’ll…” He was interrupted as a younger man came up to whisper in his ear and handed an envelope to him. He opened the envelope and read the paper inside. “Speak of the devil. He has stated in this letter that he will let his decision be determined by a pokémon battle between the two parties. He said he will be back one week from today.”

    “Sir,” Ms. Corona allowed further annoyance to creep into her voice as she shook her head and held her palms up in defiance, “this is a two million dollar project. You can’t allow it to be determined by something as trivial as a pokémon battle.”
    “I can, and I will.” The chairman coughed and wheezed a little. “The battle will be held one week from today at the disputed property at noon. This board has spoken.”

    Chapter One: Property Fights

    Miss Catalpa drove her blue escort on Route MI1. It was twilight and raining heavily. The wipers sloshed water off the windshield and her headlights slashed into the murky darkness. The traffic was heavy as people headed from their places of employment to their homes.
    She was unsure. The trainers she had housed were a very talented group of men and women but Ms. Corona could easily pay the best mercenary in Michigan to fight for her. She thought back to her promise to her great grandmother to protect the dorm at all costs.

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

    Miss Catalpa lived in a world very much like ours. The geography was nearly the same. However, this world was populated by wondrous creatures referred to as pocket monster or more commonly as pokémon for short. Pokémon were very competitive creatures that could use paranormal powers and abilities to battle one another. Some people were licensed to train pokémon for battles against other trainers as they were referred to. Although some believed this was cruel, pokémon were happiest in combat or other tasks that challenged their abilities.

    Despite the common image of a trainer as a traveler who traveled the countryside in search of pokémon, collecting badges, and fighting bad guys. The real trainer was a more humble person. Few could afford to travel on extended journeys and usually settled in a town at a trainer dorm. Trainer Dorms were cheaper than apartments because the state government provided some funding and had facilities to rejuvenate and deal with minor injuries pokémon suffer in battle as well. From there, they take day trips to neighboring areas to search for pokémon and battle other trainers. The state tournaments were held during that state’s fair and were open to all licensed trainers but only the best trainers were willing battle in such an event.

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

    Miss Catalpa pulled into a blacktop driveway beside a three story, red brick box of a building. The windows were evenly spaced and glowed brightly yellow from the lights inside. The headlights faded and the engine quieted. She opened her door and popped open a black umbrella and stepped out under it. She relocked the door and slammed it shut.

    She walked around to the front door at the top of cement stairs. As she stepped under the cantilevers she closed her umbrella opened the door. She collapsed the umbrella and dropped it in a pot and looked up. The main lobby was expansive and went all the way to the huge grated skylight on the top of the building. The second and third floors were attached to balconies that ran the perimeter of the main room with stairs at the back corners that connected the floors. Doors lined all but the front wall for the dorm rooms. At the back of the room on the ground floor was a bank of pigeon holes for the mail and the door to her suite. The wall lights were the only source of illumination except the dim grayish blue light coming though the skylight.

    She grabbed a clip board hanging on the wall. Although the dorm had seventeen suites, only ten were occupied. Each name was written in the slot of their suite.

    After clearing her throat she read off the names. “Room 3A, Bert.”

    A muscular young man in his early twenties emerged from one of the rooms on the highest level. He had thick ink black hair and a short beard of the same color and texture. His typical attire of a flannel shirt and blue jeans hid is bulky figure. “Here,” he responded.

    “Room 3D, Thomas.” Miss Catalpa read off the next name on the clipboard.
    A gaunt man in his mid twenties emerged from another room on the top floor on the back wall. He had bushy brown hair and shifting blue eyes. He was wearing a blue bathrobe with black pajama bottoms. He walked timidly out onto the balcony. A Spinarak extended down to his eye level. He screamed and ran back into his room, slamming the door behind him. The Spinarak was also frightened and crawled under the balcony to hide.

    “I’ll take that as a ‘here’.” Miss Catalpa sighed and shook her head the direction of his door. “Room 3F, Marcy.”

    A dark skinned girl in her late teens came out of a room on the wall to Miss Catalpa’s right. Her long black hair shimmered weakly in the dim blue light as she stepped out to lean over the balcony. She too wore bathrobe but it was yellow with a pink night gown under it. “Here,” she yawned.

    “Room 2B,” Paul.” Miss Catalpa continued to read off names.
    A young man about the same age as Bert came out onto the second story balcony. He was thinner than Bert but not as much so as Thomas. His blond hair was very short and stood on end. He wore a white pocket T-shirt and black genes. “Here,” he responded.

    “Room 2C, Pauline.” Miss Catalpa looked at the room next to Paul’s.

    Pauline was Paul’s twin. She had the same color hair but it fell to halfway down her back and was as straight as possible. She was wearing a white jersey with red sleeves and the symbol of the Red Wings on the front and a white pleated mini skirt. “Here,” she said as she leaned on the balcony railing.

    “Room 2E, Gregory.” Miss Catalpa moved on to the next name.

    There was no response.

    “He’s here.” Bert explained. “He’s probably just in the middle of one of his crazy experiments.”

    “Greg,” Miss Catalpa bellowed, “are you here?”

    A man came out of the room. He was a scrawny man around twenty years old. His black hair was in a mess and the lab coat he was wearing was visibly worn in some areas. A pair of taped eyeglasses hid his eyes. “Uh, here ma’am,” Gregory looked down to her.

    A Magnemite came out and bumped into Gregory’s back. After shaking it off a little he spoke in a high pitch robotic voice. “Tesla here too, Tesla here too, Coil.”

    Miss Catalpa shook her head. “Room 1A, Irene.”

    A very tall yet slim, serpent like woman came out of the room nearest room to the left. Her very light colored hair was short and gave her the appearance that she was older than the early twenties she actually was. Her black T-shirt was loose fitting and didn’t quite make it to the top of her hip hugging jeans. “Here,” she answered.

    “Room 1B, Sarah.” Miss Catalpa cleared her throat again.

    Sarah was the youngest of the residents, only in her mid teens. She was small for her age and was rather frail. She slowly kept out from behind her door. She flicked her brown hair behind her shoulder as she turned to Miss Catalpa. She was wearing a sky blue dress that came down to almost her knees. “Here,” she said softly.

    “Room 1D, Franklin.” Miss Catalpa turned to her right.

    Franklin was the oldest resident of the dorm in his mid to late thirties. He was clearly of African decent as he came out of his room. He kept his curly black hair short and was clean shaving. Like Bert he was a very muscular man but slightly shorter. He wore a cream V-neck sweater with a white T-shirt underneath and black slacks. “I’m here Emily.” Here answered with a deep booming voice.

    “And room 0A, Al.” Miss Catalpa read the last name.

    Everyone looked to the stairs that led to the basement. There was no response.

    “Hey Cellar Dweller,” Bert growled with more than a little annoyance in his voice, “get you’re sorry rear up here.”

    “I’m coming.” A male voice answered from the basement. Then there was a crashing sound. “Oh that hurt.”

    Everyone sighed and shook their heads and covered their faces with their hands in exasperation. Then they heard clanging coming up the stairs.

    A tall lean young man of about twenty came out of the basement with a bucket on his left foot and a mop on his head. He was wearing black carpenter pants and a white T-shirt with “Don’t Shoot the Weather Man” printed across his chest. “I don’t see why you people can’t put this crap back in the closet.” He complained.

    Everyone shot him an annoyed looks. “Uh,” he took the mop off his head to show he had short blond hair covered by a navy blue baseball cap with a yellow “M” embroidered to the front and laughed weakly, “here ma’am.” He threw the mop on the floor and pulled the bucket off his foot.

    “Now that I have everyone’s attention,” Miss Catalpa motioned with her hands for everyone to come to the ground floor, “I have an announcement to make.”

    “Are they going to tear this place down?” Franklin asked.

    “That’s yet to be decided and why I’m calling this meeting.” Miss Catalpa explained. “The board is deadlocked and has agreed that a pokémon battle will determine the fate of the dorm.”

    “No doubt that witch will try to use her money to win.” Marcy scoffed as she stepped onto the main floor. “She’s wanted this property for nearly a year.”

    “Not mention the Supreme Court gave her the right hit us with an immanent domain claim.” Al snorted.

    “I don’t care how or why this has happened but I’m now depending on you to save this dorm.” Miss Catalpa broke in. “Can I trust you?”

    “I think I speak for everyone when I say you can count on us.” Irene spoke up and the others nodded in agreement. “This is our home and they’re not taking it without a fight.”

    “Yeah,” the others yelled.

    “Thank you.” Miss Catalpa then looked at the rain falling onto the sky light. ‘I just hope we can win.’

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

    Ms. Corona was pacing in front of a diorama of Oak Town in her office. Her office walls were stained oak paneling and the ceiling was white with large white unlit ceiling light in the center. There were various pieces of vintage furniture the same color as the walls. On some shelves were various books. Behind her desk was a large window with beige curtains parted to allow the sun in. The sunlight obscured the view of the outside.

    The Route MI1 Corridor was very built up as shown by the model. However, across from the cemetery between 12 and 13 mile was the trainer dorm and some trees to the side of it. She scowled turned away from it.

    “Vacant land is so hard to come by on Route MI1 but that dorm has been taking up space.” She thought out loud as she sat down behind her massive wood desk. “No matter, though. I just have to win one stupid pokémon battle and the property will mine to do with as I please.”

    She looked down at her phone and smirked. She picked up the receiver and dialed a number. She then waited for a reply.

    “May I help you ma’am?” A female secretary’s voice responded.

    “I need you to find the best trainer for higher in the state, no better, best in the Lakes region.” Ms. Corona explained. “Money is no object.”

    “I’ll get right on it.” The secretary hung up on the other end.

    Ms. Corona replaced the receiver onto the base. She then began a malevolent cackle.

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

    “Machoke,” Bert barked, “slam him with a Seismic Toss.”

    “Ma,” Bert’s Machoke grabbed Franklin’s Hitmonlee and held him over his head.

    “Mon,” Hitmonlee squirmed hopelessly.

    “Choke,” Machoke then jumped backwards to pile drive Hitmonlee.

    “Hitmonlee, plant your feet and counter it.” Franklin spoke up.

    “Lee,” Hitmonlee shot his feet as his segmented legs extended and curled to plant them onto the ground. He then straightened his legs, flinging Machoke violently into the ground.

    “Choke,” Machoke groaned flat on his stomach.

    “Mon-lee,” Hitmonlee flexed his arms in triumph. He then offered a hand to help Machoke back to his feet.

    “Crap,” Bert took out a poké ball. He activated the return beam and red beam shot out and enveloped Machoke, dissolving him and drawing him back into the ball. “You got me again old man.” He extended his bulky hand out and Franklin shook it.

    “You’re too hasty and don’t study your enemy and you don’t think about countering your opponents possible moves.” Franklin explained calmly. “Such a flaw could prove damning in a battle.”

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

    “Noctowl, Hypnosis,” Marcy ordered.

    “Arbok, Glare,” Irene commanded.

    “Cha,” Arbok hissed as she shot purple light shot from her eyes.

    Noctowl crooned as he loosed a blue light from his eyes.

    The light beams collided and seemed to battle. In the end the blue light own out and slashed through and bathed Arbok. The massive cobra like pokémon faltered and collapsed, asleep in the grass.

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

    It was a perfect late summer day with clear blue skies. It wasn’t too hot as a gentle north wind rustled through the leaf covered branches of the trees. It was not uncommon for the trainers to use the small woods beside the dorm for training on days like these. However, this time was different. With their home’s fate in the balance, they had to be at the very top of their game.

    Al however spent most of the time asleep under a large oak tree with his pokémon. This made few of the others mad but not as much as it enraged Bert. Bert had never liked Al. He was goofy and seemed to screw off which made Bert very mad.

    Al was in his usual spot, sleeping with Grovyle, Psyduck, and Electrike, in the shade. Bert marched up to the four of them. He then Grabbed Al be the shirt and lifted him up.

    “Wake up to lazy idiot.” Bert yelled, waking Al.

    “What,” Al said groggily.

    “You know what.” Bert growled. “The battle is tomorrow and you’ve done nothing but sleep everyday. Maybe you didn’t hear but if we lose this battle we lose our home.”

    “I know.” Al yawned. “However, getting all worked up over it won’t help us now. Will it?”

    “I swear to God,” Bert slammed Al into the oak, “if we lose this battle because of you Cellar Dweller, I will personally make sure you don’t have to worry about where you’ll be living.”

    “Bert,” Franklin walked up to the two, “put him down.”

    “But he’s doing nothing while we train.” Bert huffed as he let Al fall on his rear end on the ground.

    “I think he’s got the right idea.” Franklin patted Bert on the shoulder. “Your rage is clouding your judgment and not even a month of training could help you win like that. Train yourself before you complain about how others train their pokémon.”

    Sarah and Gregory were standing a tree nearby. They had watched the whole thing as Bert threatened Al and Franklin stopped them.

    “Those two are like oil and water.” Sarah thought out loud. “They’ve never gotten along since Bert moved in.”

    “Bert is very angry person and seeing Al being laid back like that only makes him madder.” Gregory sighed. “This stress about Corona Corp. trying to tear down the dorm hasn’t helped matters.”

    “Why doesn’t Al train with the rest of us?” Sarah asked. “I mean, he’s a great trainer but I never see him training unless he’s in a battle.”

    “A couple of the others said they saw him training at night.” Gregory explained.

    “I see.” Sarah looked curious at Al who had nestled back into his spot and yawned. “What a weird guy.”

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

    Upon Ms. Corona’s request, they found a mercenary to battle for her. He was simply known as Mark and was said to be the best trainer for hire in the state. He was a messy skeleton of a man with oily black hair and a messy goatee. He wore a black leather vest and black jeans.

    He was sitting Ms. Corona’s office, across the desk from her. He had his arms crossed as he looked around.

    “You’ve got a pretty nice set up here lady.” Mark spoke up.

    “I wouldn’t normally deal with the likes of you.” Ms. Corona said coldly. “However, I’ve been forced into it. If you succeed, you will be well rewarded.”

    “I just have to beat up a couple of trainers.” Mark gave a laugh. “Sure, I’m in.”

    “Good,” Ms. Corona smirked.

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

    “Alright people,” Miss Catalpa clapped, “the battle is in less than an hour. We’ll be choosing the trainer to represent us by chance. Write your name on a sheet of paper.”

    As everyone was writing, Miss Catalpa grabbed the base ball cap off Al’s head.

    “Hey,” Al grabbed his now bare head.

    “We’ll put your names in this…” She then looked at Al’s filthy hat and stuck her tongue out in disgust. She put the hat back on Al’s head and pulled it over his face. She then took a waste basket and dumped the few crumbled pieces of paper in it out. “…waste basket.”

    The trainers folded there pieces of paper and threw them into the waste basket. Miss Catalpa then mixed them up. Everyone was hushed as she rustled the paper.

    “Alright,” Miss Catalpa pulled out a piece of paper, “lucky trainer is…Al?”

    “What?” Everyone said at once.

    Al righted his hat. “Me?”

    “Al’s the trainer for this battle?” Bert snarled. He then shot a sharp look at Al.

    Al smiled meekly in response.

    “We’re screwed.” Bert threw up his hands in futility.

    “Good luck Al.” Franklin walked up to Al and offered him a hand shake. “I think it’s best one of the first residents fight for it.”

    “Thanks old friend.” Al shook Franklin’s hand.

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

    The Chairman of the town council rolled up in a shimmering black car. It was a drab day with a canopy of clouds hanging over Oak Town. As he stepped out of his car, the others came out.

    “A great day for a battle I guess.” He shut his door and walked to the front of the building. “I’ll be serving as your referee.”

    Just then another black car, much larger than the chairman’s pulled onto the driveway. Ms. Corona came out the back door as well as Mark. “I’m here with my trainer.”

    “I knew she’d get a mercenary to do her dirty work.” Paul sneered.

    “It’s about noon so let’s step over to that clearing and get this over with.” Ms. Corona said with little emotion her voice.

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

    Al and Mark stood at opposite ends of a large clearing. The others were gathered off to the side. The chairman stood in the center and glanced at the trainers to either side of him.

    Al looked over at the people standing to the side. Bert raked his thumb across his neck like he was slitting his own throat with his thumb nail. Al knew exactly what we meant and gulped dryly.

    “Alright gentlemen,” the chairman explained, “this will be a single battle with each of you using three pokémon each. All Michigan laws and rules apply, do you agree to them?”

    “Yes,” Al and Mark said at the same time.

    “Alright, we’ll choose who goes first by coin flip.” The chairman took out a quarter. “Mark, as the visitor you may choose.”

    “Tails,” Mark chose, “not that it matters.”

    The chairman flipped the coin into the arm. It landed in the grass with heads facing up.

    “It’s heads.” The chairman picked it up. “Al, do you want to go first or second?”

    “Second,” Al took the option to release his first pokémon second. It would give him a chance to release a pokémon with a type advantage against Mark’s. Considering Mark’s reputation, he’d need every advantage he could take.

    “Then you may begin now.” The chairman took out an air can and gave off an extended blast.

    “Let’s go Magmar.” Mark threw a poké ball forward.

    The spherical device bounced along the ground and then opened to release a flash. Once it faded, a Magmar stood in the clearing.

    “Mag-mar,” Magmar said dully.

    “Fine,” Alex took out his own poké ball, “then I’ll go with Psyduck.”

    Al’s poké ball opened to allow Psyduck to burst into existence.

    “That’s you’re first pokémon?” Mark laughed. “This match is as good as won. Magmar, attack it with a thunderpunch.”

    “Mag,” Magmar smirked as he clenched his fist. It seemed to spark with electric energy. He then charged toward Psyduck. “Mar,” jabbed at Psyduck.

    “Psy,” Psyduck adjusted his body so Magmar’s electric punch came into nothing but air.

    “Counter him with Water Pulse.” Al ordered.

    “Duck,” Psyduck seemed to charge something in his bill and then fired a ball of glowing water right into Magmar’s chest at point blank range.

    “Mar,” Magmar exhaled as he flew backwards and bounced across the ground once before coming to rest several meters away.

    “One…two…three…” The chairman stopped counting when he saw Magmar slowly get back to his feet but staggered dizzily.

    “Alright,” Gregory clenched his fist eagerly, “Magmar was knocked silly by that attack and he’s now confused.”

    “Now attack Magmar with your confusion abilities Psyduck.” Al smirked.

    “Duck,” Psyduck nodded eagerly. He then closed his eyes and just stood their.

    At the same time Magmar grabbed his head as if he was in pain. He continued to stagger until he fell to his knees and then collapsed on the ground.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” the chairman cleared his throat, “Psyduck is the winner.”

    The dorm crowd cheered. Ms. Corona simply stared coldly at the battle.

    “And you were worried he would lose.” Irene elbowed Bert.

    “He still has two more pokémon to deal with.” Bert replied. ‘He’d better win.’

    “Heracross,” Mark grabbed another poké ball as he returned the fallen Magmar to his, “show this upstart why we’re considered the best in the state.”

    Heracross burst into existence and hovered in mid air over Psyduck.

    “Why did he choose a fighting pokémon to go against a pokémon that just used a psychic attack?” Sarah thought out loud.

    “A piece of cake,” Al chuckled, “Psyduck, attack with confusion again.”

    “Heracross, use Mega Horn quickly.” Mark barked his command.

    “Her-ra,” Heracross’s massive Horn glowed green has he dived for Psyduck.

    “Duck,” Psyduck closed his eyes and began assaulting Heracross’s mind with his psychic powers.

    “Cra,” Heracross grabbed his head in pain but it was too late.

    Heracross plowed into the ground and threw Psyduck into the air. The helpless duck smacked hard into a nearby tree fell and back to earth. He seemed to try to get up but he couldn’t.

    Heracross on the other hand got back to his feet, barely weakened.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” the chairman shook his head, “Psyduck is out and Heracross is the winner.”

    “It goes to show ruthless Mark is.” Franklin said sharply. “He knew Al’s attack would harm Heracross but let Heracross’s momentum do the work. Psyduck didn’t stand a chance.”

    “It’s alright Psyduck.” Al returned his fallen pokémon to his poké ball. “You did what you could.

    Al took a closer look at Heracross. He was more injured than he first appeared to be as he seemed to not be able to maintain his balance. No doubt his mind was recovering from the confusion assault from Psyduck. Al nodded as he grabbed another poké ball.

    “Grovyle,” Al threw his second poké ball out onto the field.

    “What the Hell are you doing Cellar Dweller?” Bert yelled at him. “Grovyle is at a complete disadvantage here.”

    “Like it matters,” Mark grabbed Al’s attention, “an advantaged attack is useless unless if it can’t hit its target which will be very hard, trust me. Heracross, let’s make things interesting with a double team.”

    “Hera,” Heracross smirked as he seemed to split into multiple directions.

    “Gro,” Grovyle blurted as he soon found himself surrounded.

    “Now not only do you not know which is real,” Mark said confidently, “but you won’t have the faintest of where my attacks are coming from.”

    “Grovyle, close your eyes.” Al gave Grovyle an unusual order.

    “He’s lost it.” Bert turned away.

    “Heracross, finish him with Mega Horn.” Mark said gleefully.

    “Her,” Heracross launched himself and his illusions at Grovyle.

    “I can’t watch.” Marcy covered his eyes.

    “Vyle,” Grovyle extended the leaves on his wrists to form two glowing blades and blocked Heracross’s attack.

    “Say what?” Mark blurted.

    Al just stood there with a smirk on his face. Double Team was very tricky move to deal with on both execution and interception. Many simply played sour grapes and called it a cheap move relying on luck but any informed trainer knew it was much more than simple luck. Double Team had two failings. The copies were just illusions and so created no shadows and no sounds so the real one was easy to pick out if the opposing trainer or pokémon knew what they were looking and hearing for. So it would take skill to create formations that kept the opponent from guessing the real one. Stopping a double teaming pokémon took skills of its own. Because it was overcast, Al and Grovyle had to rely on Heracross’s noise to find the real one. Al’s night training where he trained his pokémon to use their hearing as much as their sight in battle helped this. Since they came from all sides, it was easy to pick the direction and block.

    “Gro,” Grovyle strained as Heracross tried to force his way to him. Grovyle planted one knee to try to strengthen his position.

    “You might have seen through my trick but Grovyle is still toast.” Mark let a little hint of cockiness show in his voice as a smirk cracked over his face.

    “You keep telling yourself that.” Al turned back to the grappling pokémon. “Duck under him Grovyle.”

    “Gro-vyle,” Grovyle complied and fell backwards.

    “Her-ra,” Heracross who had been putting all his strength into trying to get to Grovyle found himself speeding forward out of control.

    “Now attack him with Dragonbreath.” Al ordered the finishing blow.

    “Gro-vyle,” Grovyle was still half on the ground when he turned to Heracross and expelled a stream of green flame right into Heracross’s back.

    “Her-ra-cross,” Heracross smashed right into a popular tree with enough force to cause it to quake. He fell on his back unconscious.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” the chairman counted and then coughed, “Heracross is down for the ten count and Grovyle is the winner.”

    “Vyle,” Grovyle slashed his blades through the air, very content with his victory.

    Mark grumbled as he returned Heracross, defeated, to his poké ball. How could this nobody be so good? No matter, he had something up his sleeve.

    “I must say you’ve put on a very good show.” Mark lightly clapped. “However, it’s time I ended this show. My last pokémon will be Skarmory.

    Skarmory burst onto the field. “Skar” he shrieked.

    “Skarmory, attack with drill peck.” Mark commanded.

    “Ska,” Skarmory tucked his metallic wings in and began spinning like a drill bit.
    He turned toward Grovyle. Grovyle was barely able to dodge as Skarmory spun past. Skarmory then turned around for another pass.

    “Grovyle, counter it with Dragonbreath.” Al watched as Skarmory headed for Grovyle.

    “Vyle,” Grovyle spat out another flame stream but Skarmory sliced right through it and struck Grovyle squarely.

    “Gro,” Grovyle smacked into a tree and fell to the ground.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” the chairman looked over to Grovyle who was clearly unconscious, “Skarmory wins.”

    “Care to release my last victim or will you just throw in the towel?” Mark chuckled.

    “I’ll take neither.” Al returned Grovyle to his poké ball and threw out another. “Electrike, let’s finish it.”

    Electrike took the field and stared at the metallic bird carefully.

    “Electrike, attack with spark.” Al commanded.

    “Trike,” Electrike howled as he charged Skarmory.

    An envelope of electrons seemed to form over Electrike’s body as he ran for Skarmory. Skarmory in response took to the sky.

    “Electrike, use the trees to get it.” Al ordered, apparently frustrated.

    ‘Brilliant,’ Mark thought, ‘that puppy has to be in close to attack, meaning I can remain just out of reach and attack from there.’

    “Elec,” Electrike jumped off one of the trees and launched himself at Skarmory.

    “Ska,” Skarmory dodged.

    “Now, attack him with Secret Power and finish the job.” Mark laughed loudly.

    “Ska,” Skarmory loosed a white beam with his beak that hit the helpless Electrike in the back.

    “Trike,” Electrike yelped as he landed on the ground hard.

    “No,” Miss Catalpa couldn’t believe it.

    “One…two…” the chairman stopped as Electrike slowly rose to his feet.

    It was then a white light seemed to engulf the field. Electrike’s body seemed to temporarily dissolve and then reform. The new form was larger and taller.

    “Don’t tell me.” Ms. Corona looked on in disbelief.

    “Mane,” Electrike, now a Manectric howled.

    “Wow,” Al said in amazement.

    “Don’t just stand there,” Pauline shouted, “you have a battle to finish.”

    “Right” Al shook his head out, “Manectric, take that bird out of my sky with a Thunderbolt.”

    “Thunderbolt,” Mark exclaimed.

    “Mane,” Manectric’s yellow fur seemed to glow brightly as a massive discharge of electrons was loosed and arced right into Skarmory.

    “Ska,” Skarmory shrieked in pain.

    After taking the full brunt of the attack, Skarmory plummeted back to earth. He slammed into the ground and plowed through it. Electricity arced across his body as nerves misfiring caused random body parts to twitch.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” the chairman gleefully said “ten”, “Skarmory is down and the winner of this match is Manectric and Al.”

    The dorm trainers erupted into wild cheers. Ms. Corona turned to Miss Catalpa.

    “You may have won this battle,” she said with more than a hint of frustration in her voice, “however, the war is far from over.”

    Manectric jumped on Al, throwing him to the ground. He licked his master’s face happily.

    “Stop it Manectric, you’re tickling me.” Al laughed as he tried to get up.

    “I don’t get it,” Mark returned Skarmory, “why didn’t you use thunderbolt from the very beginning.”

    “I wanted you to assume then Electrike only knew spark.” Al explained as Manectric got off him. “I don’t know about me, but you a big ass out of you and your employer.”

    “Why you little punk,” Mark snarled, “how dare you toy with me?”

    Mark was about to charge Al when Bert grabbed Mark by the arm and pulled it behind them. Mark exhaled in pain.

    “He can do what he damn well pleases.” Bert explained. “You however, will get off of our property or I will rip this arm from its socket.”

    “He’ll do it too.” Al chimed in.

    “Shut up.” Bert snapped.

    “Fine,” Mark wrenched his arm free, “I’m going.”

    “Miss Catalpa,” the chairman walked up to the group, “I’m pleased to announce that your property will not be taken by the rules of immanent domain. Good day to you all.” He then walked back to the front of his building and his car.

    “Great going Al,” Bert shook Al’s hand so violently all of Al shook, “I never doubted you for a second.”

    “Of course you didn’t.” Irene gave a laugh. “So, what should we do to celebrate?”

    “I feel like pizza.” Al’s stomach growled as he answered. “It’s lunchtime and battling makes me hungry.”

    “Enjoy your little victory.” Ms. Corona said from her car where she could see the group. “As my mother said, there’s more than one way to skin a meowth.”

    To be continued…

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

  3. #3
    Meteorologist The Big Al's Avatar
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    Franklin banged on Thomas’s door loudly and then listened for a response. None came. He knocked again.

    “I’m coming, I’m coming.” Thomas shouted from the other side. He opened the door. “Franklin, what brings you up here?”

    Franklin handed Thomas a tool belt with several different tools on it. “The hot water heater is acting up.”

    “You expect me to fix it?” Thomas tried to hand Franklin the tool belt back. “Get Al to do it.”

    “Al’s out for the day with Bert, Irene, Gregory, and Sarah.” Franklin pushed the belt back.

    “Someone else can do it.” Thomas again tried to give Franklin back the belt.

    “Paul and Pauline don’t know how, Marcy is asleep, and I can’t reach it.” Franklin pushed it back again. “That leaves you.”

    “But,” Thomas replied timidly, “the water heater is in the basement.” He pointed down.

    “Yes,” Franklin nodded in annoyance, “most buildings keep their water heaters in the basement.”

    “You see, there’s bug pokémon down there.” Thomas gulped. “I hear them at night, wanting to do horrible things to me.”

    “Come off it.” Franklin scoffed. “Al’s lived down there for five years and he said he’s yet to see a bug pokémon. Now get down there and fix the heater.” He patted Thomas hard the back and walked back to the stairs.

    Thomas looked down at the tool belt he had been handed. He then noticed Tesla floating by.

    “Hey Tesla,” Thomas got Tesla’s attention, “we you go into the basement with me?”

    “Coil,” Tesla nodded.

    Chapter Two: Tailow, You Lose

    Pontiac Lake Road was a rather old path. Leading from the depths of White Lake Township all the way to the county court house, it was everything from a three lane road to a dirt path. In northern White Lake it was a dirt path.

    An old white Pontiac 6000 traveled the road, kicking up dust as it traveled into the woods. It then turned into the grass of a clearing by a duck pond. The engine stopped and all the doors opened.

    It was a beautiful day. The sky was deep blue with the bright sun shining down. The leaves had begun to turn on some of the early trees as hints of yellow mixed with the green.

    “Could have been a little gentler?” Gregory asked as he got out of the rear left door. “I thought the car was going to shake apart for a moment.”

    “You don’t have to worry about this car.” Al came out of the driver’s door and patted the hood. “She may have a little rust around the edges but she’s a tough old bird.”

    Irene, Bert, and Sarah came out of the car looked around. Woods surrounded them and the only artificial structures were a house on the other side of a pond, some large sheds, and power lines in the distance.

    “This is quaint.” Bert snorted. “Why did you drag us all the way out here again?”

    “This township is one of the best places to catch pokémon in the county.” Al replied. “You wouldn’t believe all the kinds you’ll find here.”

    “Well,” Bert pulled a bag of trail mix out of his pocket, “I’ll wait in the car.”

    As he opened the bag, something grabbed it right out of his hand. He saw it fly off. It was a kind of bird pokémon that flew into a large tree on the edge of the clearing.

    “Hey,” Bert ran after it, “that’s mine you little klepto.”

    The bird landed on a lower branch and could be more clearly seen. It had dark blue feathers on top and white feathers on its underbelly with red on its craw.

    Al got out a small rectangular device and pushed a small button on the bottom left corner. A few holographic displays appeared with one being a picture of the pokémon.

    “I thought so.” Al looked back at the pokémon in the tree. “That’s a tailow. It says here tailow refuse to back down in a fight no matter how outmatched they are. It also says these pokémon are highly territorial and irritable, especially when they are preparing to migrate and gather in large flocks.”

    “Give it back.” Bert picked up a marble sized rock and flung it at the bird.

    “Tail,” tailow flew to a higher branch to dodge. It then looked up in the tree and called, “tailow.”

    “Uh, how big are these flocks?” Bert asked.

    The three turned from green to dark blue as scores of tailow poked their heads out.

    “I see, that big.” Bert slowly back up a couple steps. He then turned around and then ran back towards the car. “Run for it.”

    The tree erupted with tailow. The others ran behind Bert. The Tailow flew over them. At first the five people were confused about why they didn’t attack. However, they saw that the tailow weren’t after them. They all landed on Al’s car, covering it and the ground around it.

    “My car,” Al snarled, “get off my car you little feather dusters.”

    “Tailow,” one of the tailow screeched as it flew at Al and started pecking at him. Al batted it away and it flew back to the rest of the flock.

    “I don’t get it.” Gregory scratched his head. “What would they want with your car?”

    “It could be they smell the picnic lunch I put in the trunk.” Sarah explained. “Since they’re preparing to migrate, they must be eating as much food as they can to store energy for the flight.”

    “I don’t care what their after.” Al grabbed one of the poké balls on his belt. “I just want them off my car. Manectric, scare them off with Thunderbolt.”

    Al threw the ball towards the tailow. It opened to allow Manectric to come into existence.

    “Mane,” Manectric charged up and loosed a snaking electrical discharge at a cluster of tailow on the ground.

    “Tailow,” they shrieked as the electricity slashed through their bodies.

    “Low,” the other tailow glared at Al and Manectric.

    “Uh oh,” Al smiled weakly.

    About a dozen tailow on the roof of the car took flight and flew straight at Al and Manectric. They chased them as they ran the clearing. At every opportunity they pecked at them. They chased them until they got tired of it and went back to the car.

    “That could have gone better.” Al panted as he collapsed to his knees.

    “Mane,” Manectric’s tongue was hanging out the side of his mouth.

    “If you only attack of part of the flock, the others attack.” Irene observed. “We need to attack them all at once.”

    “I have just the pokémon.” Bert took out a poké ball. “Graveler, let’s go.”

    His ball released the rock like pokémon onto the field.

    “Ler,” Graveler flexed its larger arms.

    “Graveler, attack with Rock…” Bert was interrupted by Al.

    “Don’t even think about using Rock Slide on my car.” Al grabbed Bert’s arm.

    “Then what do you want me to do Cellar Dweller?” Bert pulled his arm from Al’s grasp.

    “Get them off my car and then you can nuke them for all I care.” Al pointed at the tailow sharply.

    “I have to attack to get them off your car and I have to get them off your car to attack.” Bert shrugged and let his arms hit against his sides. “That’s TS.”

    All the while, Graveler was standing there with its larger arms clasped together above its head, ready to strike. An exasperated look came over its face as Al and Bert argued.

    “I have an idea of how to get them off Al’s car.” Gregory smirked as he looked over at Irene.

    “I don’t like that look Greg.” Irene gulped.

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

    The tailow were trying to get into the trunk. They bit at the edges but it wouldn’t open. The longer they tried, the more frustrated they got.

    “Hey tailow,” Irene called to the tailow who all looked towards her, “you can’t touch this.” She turned her butt to them and smacked it.

    The tailow appeared insulted as they glared at her. They then took to the air after her.

    “They’re off the car, get ‘em, get ‘em.” She screamed as she ran past a ditch.

    Al came out and ran for his car. A couple tailow noticed him and chased after him. Al got to his car and opened the driver’s door. He closed it shut in time to keep out the two tailow.

    The tailow landed on Al’s hood. He blasted the horn to scare them off.

    “Graveler,” Bert shouted, “now.”

    Graveler burst from the ground and slammed it with his clasped fists. An eruption of rocks slashed into the flock. Just about every tailow was struck. Graveler smiled at the sight of his handy work as the flock fell to the ground.

    The apparent leader of the flock stood back up and screeched “tailow”. The others hopped back to their feet and took off towards Graveler. Before Graveler could escape, they descended on it and began peck at it violently.

    “Return Graveler,” Bert used its poké ball to draw it out from under the flock.

    “At least Al got his car back.” Greg looked over to Al in his car.

    “Tail-low,” the flock’s leader cawed.

    The flock flew off, back to the car. They again covered it and the ground around it.

    “Get off my car.” Al yelled at them and smacked the roof.

    He turned on the windshield wipers and sprayed washer fluid to try to scare them away. He then honked the horn to try to scare them. However the tailow, while momentarily startled settled back on his car.

    Sarah walked towards the flock. She was about halfway between the car and the others when the leader of the flock noticed her.

    “Which one of you is the leader?” Sarah asked.

    “Low,” one of the tailow left the flock and landed in front of Sarah.

    “What’s she planning?” Greg whispered uneasily to Bert. “Those tailow have made jokes out of you and Al. What does she think she can do?”

    “Jigglypuff,” Sarah took out a poké ball, “let’s go.”

    The pink, round, huge blue eyed pokémon came into existence. Some face smacks and complaining came from the group behind Sarah in response.

    “I’m doomed.” Al smacked his head against the steering wheel, causing the horn to blast.

    “Jigglypuff, put him to sleep with your singing.” Sarah commanded.

    “Jig,” Jiggly complied. She began singing a hypnotic melody.

    A multicolored bar with notes scattered across it snaked its way around the leader. The leader grew drowse and soon fell asleep. Jigglypuff stopped her song upon seeing this.

    “Great work Jigglypuff,” Sarah grabbed another poké ball, “now, to catch it.”

    Sarah threw the ball at Tailow. Upon striking it, the ball opened and shot a red beam onto it. Tailow was drawn into the ball. The ball landed on the ground. A quarter of the ring around the activator switch lit up white. The ball wriggled and another quarter lit up. The ball wriggled again and another quarter lit up. The ball wriggled a third time and the last quarter lit up. The ring then flashed a couple times and went out. The indicator light next to the activator switch began to glow solid green.

    “I did it.” Sarah jumped for joy and then picked up ball. “I caught Tailow.”

    Everyone’s jaws dropped and hanged opened.

    The other tailow were shocked. They stared with their beaks hanging open.

    “Tail, tailow,” one of the tailow said the others.

    The others nodded in agreement.

    “Tail, tail,” they waved good bye and took off to the west.

    Al leaned back in his seat and gave a sigh of relief. He then opened his door and stepped out of his car. “Thanks,” he said sheepishly.

    “We underestimated you.” Irene patted Sarah on the back.

    “Well, violence isn’t always the answer.” Sarah explained.

    “We still have a lunch and a whole afternoon ahead of us.” Al walked to his trunk and opened it. “Let’s make the most of it.”

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

    It took a good three hours for Thomas to work up the courage to traverse into the basement. The Entrance to the basement was a rectangular hole in the middle of the floor and off to the left a bit. It was surrounded on three sides by a pine banister. On the banister directly over the stairs was a piece of stained plywood with the words etched in olde English script and painted in red “Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here”.

    Thomas gulped as he slowed walked down the creaky particle board stairs. The stairs lead to a long, narrow hallway that extended from the stairs in both directions. To Thomas’s left was the door Al’s room with a lonely fluorescent light fixture glowing and humming over it. The ceiling was covered up by various ducts, pipes, and wires that ran the equally various utilities through the dorm. The side opposite of Al’s door was dark and where the furnace and hot water heater were.

    Thomas slowly stepped onto the bare concrete floor and gingerly walked towards the door that they to the heating room. Tesla slowly hovered behind him. Neither made sound. Thomas was startled by a hissing sound ripped a large wrench out of the belt. He held it like a sword at the source of the noise. However, it was merely a pipe leading from under the floor into the rest of the building. Thomas heaved a sigh of relief as he opened the door.

    The heater room was incredibly dark, despite the sunlight coming in through the small windows near the ceiling. Thomas grabbed a pull switch to turn on an incandescent light bulb screwed a bare fixture hanging from the ceiling. The room illuminated a little but it was still very dim.

    Thomas slid the door to the tiny chamber that held the cylindrical hot water heater. He searched around him to make sure nothing was near him. When he was satisfied, he slipped into the room.

    It was a tight squeeze but Thomas was able to get in. He checked it from top to bottom to see what was wrong with it. He then saw that the pilot light was out. He shook his head and seemed relieve. He grabbed the fireplace lighter on a nearby shelf and lit it. He then held the flame near the pilot light until a blue flame came pouring from it.

    “That was easy.” Thomas heaved another sigh of relief.

    As he closed the door to the water heater behind him, he heard a noise. Something had been dropped on the floor. Sure enough a box of nails and screwed had fallen on the floor. Thomas again took out the large wrench.

    “Come out; come out, wherever you are.” He said nervously scanned the room. “I know you’re in here.”

    He heard another sound. He turned around to see a massive cardboard box. He slowly walked up to it. It rustled, causing him to stop. He readied his weapons as he took another couple of steps closer.

    It was then a white form rose from the box. A cold sweat formed on Thomas’ face as he stared at it. He then gave a blood curdling scream. He screamed right out of the room, up the basement stairs, up the stairs to he own room and slammed the door shut.

    Franklin came out after hearing the noise. The white form slowly rose out of the basement. Franklin grabbed it and Tesla pulled himself out from under a bed sheet.

    “Tesla thanks. Coil.” Tesla bowed and hovered away.

    “He just have better have fixed that hot water heater.” Franklin walked back towards his room.

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


    After lunch they began hunting for more pokémon. Al went deep into the woods. It was there he found a skarmory. After his battle with Mark, Al had taken an interest in the metallic bird.

    “This one looks like a good find.” Al hid behind a shag bark hickory.

    He quietly released Manectric and they crept toward the skarmory. Skarmory was eating black raspberries off a bush near a clearing. Al and Manectric got into position, apparently not getting the attention of the pokémon.

    “Now thunderbolt,” Al yelled.

    “Mane,” Manectric leapt into the clearing and charged up.

    The skarmory was startled by the noise and froze. Manectric loosed his attack that struck skarmory hard. He had toned the attack down because he wanted to only weaken the skarmory and not force it away.

    “Ska,” skamory shrieked.

    “Now disable it with thunder wave.” Al ordered a disabling move.

    “Mane,” Manectric released a web of electricity that covered the skarmory.

    “Okay,” Al threw an empty ball at the skarmory, “let’s try and catch this thing.”

    Al threw his ball at the skarmory. He was drawn inside. The ball went through the same process as Sarah’s did. When it led silent, Al picked it up.

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

    Irene caught a Dunsparce, a very rare find by the time the sun began to set. Bert and Greg came back empty handed but it didn’t bother them. They had plenty of excitement for the day.

    As Al drove them home in the gold twilight, they discussed their exploits. Al then saw a form appear in his headlights. He instantly slammed on his breaks and the car came to a violent stop.

    “What was that for?” Bert growled.

    “I saw something.” Al put the car in park and unbelted.

    As he exited his car, he looked in front of it. A small vulpix was lying just in front of left wheel. It was trembling and hid itself under its partially formed six tails.

    The others got out of the car to see what it was.

    “The poor thing,” Sarah said as Al carefully picked it up, “is it alright.”

    “Vul,” it whimpered weakly.

    “It’s a she,” Al said as he held her in his arms, “and she seems more frightened then hurt.”

    Al then noticed gashes on her back. “Hello,” he looked at them closely, “she’s been attacked and these gashes look like they’re infected.”

    “There’s a pokémon clinic next to the fire station.” Irene pointed southwest of them. “We should take her there.”

    “Porter Road will take us right there.” Al took the vulpix back into the car.

    After everyone was back in, Al back up to a triangle shaped intersection and turned right onto the other road.

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

    It was dark when Al pulled up to the clinic. Pokémon clinics were there to treat more serious wounds to pokémon. They also accepted wild pokémon found injured to be rehabilitated.

    Al carried Vulpix into the clinic. The white room was relatively empty. Only the brown haired receptionist was in view.

    “Ma’am,” Al placed Vulpix on the counter, “we found this vulpix out on Pontiac Lake Road between Teggerdine and Hitchcock. It’s got some deep gashes and they look infected.”

    “We’ll take care of her.” The receptionist pressed a button. “We have an injured vulpix with infected slash wounds.”

    Two people in white coats came out into the main area. A red haired woman picked up Vulpix. “We treat her wounds right away.”

    “Thank you.” Al was pleased to see Vulpix was going to be taken care of.

    At that point two male White Lake Police officers came in; wrestling with a persian they had with stick collars. The persian thrashed and flailed, trying desperately to get free.

    “What’s with that persian?” The Receptionist asked.

    “We found it near the preserve.” One of the officers explained. “It was going nuts. It had killed a ninetales vixen and two vulpix kits.”

    The receptionist looked back down to the wounded vulpix Al had brought in. The gashed seemed to fit the persian’s claws. Her concentration was broken when a female officer with blond hair walked in and placed a device on the desk.

    Al peered at the device. It was a small gadget with a red sphere in the middle with metallic sides that stretched out to a point.

    “Is that what I think it is?” The receptionist picked it up.

    “Yes,” the officer nodded, “it’s a berserker and we found it on that persian.”

    Al then remembered. A few years ago, there was a paramilitary organization in Japan called Rocket Dan or Rocket Gang to English speaking people who were led by a neo-imperialist simply known as Sakaki. It was struck down but some of the scientists who had come under its influence had escaped to North Korea and Hong Kong. They took many of the technology developed for the Rocket Gang and sold them to the black market.

    The “berserker” was one of the most dangerous. It was used to make a pokémon stronger and more aggressive by tricking the brain into releasing more adrenaline. Extended use however, caused dementia and brain damage. It was outlawed in almost every country and while not illegal in the U.S., Michigan did have laws against it.

    “What are you doing with my pokémon?” A gray haired man in his fifties, wearing a red shirt and blue overalls stormed into the clinic. “Persian is mine.”

    “You just made my job a lot easier Mr. Firkus.” The female officer took out a pair of handcuffs.

    “What’re you talking about?” The man growled. “Those triple damned pests were killing my torchic. I needed to protect my property. You can’t arrest me for wanting to stop them.”

    “They were killed in the reserve.” The officer picked up the berserker. “We also found this on it.”

    “Mr. Firkus,” one of the male officers let go of Persian and cuffed him, “you’re under arrest for violating the Michigan Pokémon Protection Act, Pokémon Abuse, and Possession of Forbidden Technology. You have the right to remain silent.”

    “Don’t think this will stand.” Mr. Firsk yelled at the female officer as he was led out. “My brother is on the Township Board. He’ll have your badge.”

    “What about the persian?” The officer looked back at the struggling pokémon.

    “It’s too far gone.” The receptionist came around the desk. “We’ll have to point him down.”

    The others came into the clinic. Al sat down in a chair. They sat around him.

    “What’s going on?” Bert asked. “We just saw the police pulled some old fart out of the clinic and stuff him into a squad car.”

    “Vulpix was attacked by his persian.” Al explained coldly. “He was using some piece of Rocket Gang tech to make it into a killer. Apparently he killed her mother and siblings.”

    “That’s just awful.” Irene leaned back.

    “You did all you can.” Bert patted Al on the back. “Let’s go home.”

    “No,” Al said without looking away from the back rooms.

    “It’s not our business.” Bert grabbed Al by the shoulder.

    “Don’t touch me.” Al smacked Bert’s hand back. “This is personal.”

    The female doctor brought Vulpix back out. Her middle was wrapped in bandages and she was asleep.

    “Who was the one who brought her in?” She asked.

    “Me,” Al got up and walked to the desk.

    “We’ve treated the infection and she’ll make a full recovery. However,” she got close to Al’s ear and whispered, “she’s just been weaned but she still needs her mother to teach her to hunt. I doubt she’d survive in the wild. Could you take her with you?”

    “Sure,” Al picked up the sleeping pokémon, “I can take care of her. I’m a pokémon trainer from Oak Town.”

    “This antibiotic will help her fight the infection should it return.” She handed Al an orange pill bottle. “Give her one in the morning until they’re all gone. I’d give her at least a month and preferably six weeks to heal before you train her.”

    “We’ll take good care of her.” Al turned to the others. “We should get going.”

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

    Al pulled the car back up to the dorm’s driveway. As the five of them entered the dorm, they saw that all the others and some of their pokémon had been waiting. Al let Vulpix down.

    “Where have you guys been?” Miss Catalpa asked. “It’s past ten. We thought something happened to you.”

    “Something did.” Al motioned to the small fox like pokémon at his feet. “She was injured and orphaned because of someone’s mistake and I agreed to raise her.”

    “Well,” Miss Catalpa petted her head, “we want you feel at home here and we’ll be glad to except you into our family.”

    Everyone greeted Vulpix and welcomed her. She then looked around. Everyone seemed to be a friendly face.

    “Vulpix,” she seemed to be more cheerful, knowing she was among people and pokémon who would care for her.

    To be continued…
    Last edited by The Big Al; 5th January 2006 at 03:17 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

  4. #4
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    Chapter Three: The Tesla Story

    Tesla was charging in the sun above the dorm. It had been unusually quiet at the dorm. Almost everyone was out. The only ones still there was Thomas who rarely left his room, let alone the dorm, Marcy who tended to sleep all day, Al who had been caring for Vulpix, and Gregory who was working on one of his experiments. Not that Tesla minded. It was nice to have a quiet day.

    Tesla stretched as the sun began to sink below the trees on the far side of the cemetery on the other side of Route MI1. It pulled one of the square panels on the skylight open with his magnet and floated through the opening. It looked around the room. It was completely dark and empty. The only source of light was the dim light filtering through the skylight.

    “Where is everyone, coil?” It scanned the room.

    Suddenly all the lights turned on. Everyone jumped out of the doors and yelled “SURPRISE!” at once.

    “Coil,” Tesla was startled for a second.

    “Happy Anniversary Tesla,” Gregory put a small, bright orange, pointed paper hat on Tesla, “it was one year ago today you came here.”

    “Thank you, coil.” Tesla looked at the cake. “Tesla is very happy, coil.”

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

    One Year Ago

    It was a dark and dreary night in early October. The rain was coming down in sheets and a biting northwest wind howled over Oak Town. A magnemite rolled and tumbled helplessly in the harsh wind.

    “Magnemite, magnemite,” it cried as the wind carried through the night.

    The wind then died down. Freed from the wind, the magnemite floated down to a building to shelter itself from the wind. It hid under the fire escape, hopefully safe from the wind.

    The building was the Catalpa dorm. At this time, Franklin, Marcy, Al, and Gregory along with trainers named Chris, Nancy, and Donald called it home. It was just before Corona Development started to try to take the property.

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

    Gregory was sitting at his desk. His room was dark except for the lamp on his desk. He was rocking his computer chair, deep in thought. However, his thought was broken by a faint cry. He pushed his chair to his to the window.

    He opened the window and looked around. He saw the lost magnemite floating next to him. “Hey there little guy.” He reached for it.

    “Magnemite,” Magnemite darted out of Gregory’s reach.

    “Don’t worry, I won’t bite.” Gregory let out a laugh. “I just want to be your friend. Come on in.”

    “Mag,” Magnemite slowly floated into Gregory’s room.

    “You’re soaked.” Gregory closed the window after Magnemite floated through. “You should dry off before you start to rust.”

    Gregory sat back down in his chair and pushed it to the closet. He grabbed a towel and pushed off back to Magnemite. He threw the towel over it and rubbed it a little bit. He then pulled it off.

    “That should be better.” Gregory smiled. “You can stay with us for the night.” Gregory motioned with his head to a grimer, voltorb, and koffing asleep in the corner.

    “Magnemite,” Magnemite nodded cheerfully.

    The Next Morning

    The storm cleared by dawn and the golden autumn morning sun began to shine through Gregory’s window and rest on the off white wall. Gregory was sprawled over his Murphy bed in blue vertical striped boxers and a white A-shirt. He began to stir as he slowly got up. Magnemite was asleep on his desk on the far side of the room.

    “Good morning.” Gregory yawned.

    “Good morning, coil.” Magnemite replied.

    “What?” Gregory leapt out of his bed. He grabbed Magnemite and examined his back. A gray compact disk like device was stuck on its back. “My latest invention,” Gregory pulled it out, “the Pokémon Interlac Hidden Machine, it works.”

    “It works, it works, coil.” Magnemite cheered.

    “Where are my manners?” Gregory gave a laugh. “My name’s Gregory. What’s yours?”

    “Tesla, coil.” Tesla answered.

    “Tesla eh,” Gregory thought out loud, “can you say anything without ending it on ‘coil’?”

    “Tesla don’t know, coil.” Tesla replied.

    Gregory grabbed a notebook and pencil. He then wrote down some notes. “The Pokémon Interlac Hidden Machine was a success. Aside from referring to itself in the third person and ending all its sentences with the word ‘coil’, Tesla speaks understandable English after one night of the download.”

    “Hey Greg,” a male voice and knocking came at his door, “Franklin and Al are going to breakfast, do you want to come with?”

    “I’ll be right out Donald.” Gregory yawned.

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

    Al was outside, watching his Treecko jump from tree to tree. The green-skinned, gecko like pokémon bounced around like an acrobat. Al stood there with his arms crossed, following his agile pokémon through the trees.

    It was cold and damp that morning. Al liked mornings like this to train Treecko because reptilian pokémon usually were weakened by the cold. However, in their four years together, Treecko had gained a resistance anything except subfreezing temperatures.

    “Treecko,” Treecko exhaled as he repelled off an oak.

    “That’s great Treecko.” Al smiled at his pokémon’s performance.

    “Tree,” Treecko grabbed a branch spun his body to land on it.

    “I see you’re hard at work.” Donald came into view.

    Donald was a stocky man in his forties. He had thick brown hair and sat on his head. He always seemed to have a grin on face. He usually wore a blue jogging suit like he was that morning. Al never trusted him and therefore tried to keep him in his sight as much as possible.

    “Treecko had a case of cabin fever and wanted some exercise.” Al looked back up at his pokémon.

    “Tree-cko,” Treecko leapt from the branch and continued jumping higher.

    “Greg should be out shortly.” Donald pointed his sausage like thumb back towards the dorm.

    As if on cue, Gregory ran into the yard. Tesla was following him. Treecko repelled back down to the ground.

    “It worked.” Gregory gave a laugh. “My Pokémon Interlac HM worked.”

    “It worked, it worked, coil.” Tesla chimed in.

    “That’s great Greg.” Al patted Gregory on the back. “Isn’t it Donald?”

    “Yeah, congratulations,” Donald smiled.

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

    Al stared at Room 2F from the stairs to the basement. Donald lived there. Al scowled as he sat there. Franklin came out of his room and saw Al.

    “What are you doing?” Franklin walked out from under the balcony and looked up. “I see.”

    “I don’t trust him.” Al said coldly. “I haven’t trust him since he moved in two weeks ago.”

    “You have to be a little more trusting Al.” Franklin stretched. “Not everyone is out to cause us harm.”

    “I know.” Al stood up and turned to return to the basement but turned his head back to the door. “However, there’s something about him that just sits wrong with me.”

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

    Donald punched a phone number into his phone. He placed the receiver to his mouth and ear and waited for a couple seconds.

    “Who is it?” A mysterious male voice answered from the other side.

    “This is Donald.” Donald responded. “The target completed that HM you were after.”

    “So, that boy genius actually did it.” The voice pondered.

    “Yes, now, about my fee,” Donald smirked.

    “Bring me that HM and all the information on it and I’ll double your fee.” The voice snickered. “This could be the most important invention to assist pokémon training since the poké ball. The patent holder will be rich, and if I hold it, you’ll be rewarded.”

    “Thank you sir,” Donald replaced the phone.

    Pokémon trainers were more than just battlers. They were contracted by private companies and individuals as guards, mercenaries, searchers, and many other tasks that were assisted by pokémon. Most were legal, but some less than ethical trainers accepted illegal contracts because they tended to pay more and in cash.

    Trainers took part in battles as advertising. The stronger the trainer, the more likely they were to get contracts. Law abiding trainers in the community also tended to lower the crime rates. This is why the state government subsidized housing and veterinary care for trainers.

    Donald had been contracted by a person interested in stealing Gregory’s invention in order to get its patent. Obviously technology that allowed pokémon to speak human languages would be highly sought after. The patent holder would have stood to make a fortune.

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

    Al’s basement dorm room was a lot like the rest of the basement. The floor was bare concrete with a grey area rug over much of it. The walls were blue colored cinder blocks. The ceiling was covered with white rectangular tiles held up by a grid of thin metal beams. The room was divided into a den and a small bedroom by a bookshelf. The den had two beige couches on adjacent walls with an end table filling the corner between them. A medium sized television sat on a table in the middle of the room.

    Al was laying on one of the couches with Electrike sleeping on his stomach. He was watching the Suicune, Motor City’s professional football team playing against the Cascade City Wingull. Al yawned and sat up. Electrike woke up and hopped off his stomach.

    “And the first half is over.” An unseen anchorman on the TV announced. “The Suicune have yet to find the end zone but lead the Wingull nine to seven.”

    “Well, let’s go get a snack.” Al stretched and stood up.

    “Despite a less than stellar performance by the offense,” another unseen anchorman on the TV chimed in, “they kept Cascade City off the field with the run and put together three scoring drives. That kept their defense fresh and they stifled the run and got two interceptions that led to field goals. If the Suicune can keep this play up, they might win this football game and never need a touchdown.”

    “Go Suicune,” Al yelled as he punched his fist into the air before closing the door behind him.

    As Al bounded up the basement stairs he noticed Donald at Gregory’s door. He seemed to be working at his lock. Al squinted at the sight.

    “Hey,” Al yelled, making Donald turned around, “your room’s over there.” Al pointed sternly at the other door on that wall.

    “So it is.” Donald laughed weakly. “No wonder my key didn’t work.” He walked gingerly with a sheepish grin to his room, keeping Al insight, unlocked the door disappeared inside.

    Al glared at is door until it closed. ‘I really don’t just that guy.’ He thought.

    Donald heaved a sigh of relief. “That was close.” He peered out of his peep hole. ‘Damn, that Al character is as vigilant as a fearow.’ He thought to himself. ‘I’ll never get that stupid HM as long as he’s around.’

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

    Al went back into the basement to catch the second half of the game. Donald was watching through his peep hole. An evil grin crept onto his face.

    ‘That little troll will be in his little basement for the rest of the game.’ He chuckled coldly. ‘Greg’s out and about too. I can grab that HM and no one will be the wiser.’

    He slowly stepped out of his room and crept towards Gregory’s. He took out a poké ball. “Meowth, help me out.”

    The cat like pokémon materialized before him. “Meow,” he meowed.

    Donald shushed him. “I need you to pick that lock.”

    Meowth silently jumped onto a small table by Gregory’s door. He extended a claw and shoved it into the lock. After some fiddling, there was a clicking sound. Donald slowly opened the door.

    Gregory’s room was cluttered with tables covered with gadgets and beakers and other equipment. Gregory was an amateur inventor and chemist. He knew what he was doing but for the most part he did just to give him something to do.

    The HM was sitting on a drafting desk. Donald gently picked it up and eyed it carefully. It amazed him that such a small device would bring such fortune. However, big things came in small packages as they say.

    Donald turned around to see Al glaring at him in the doorway. Treecko and Electrike were standing there with him. Meowth stood in front of them, visibly downtrodden. Al tapped his foot.

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

    The rules of the trainer dorm were clear on theft. Any resident who tried to steal from another was expelled from the dorm. Although Gregory did not want to press charges, Donald was still cast out. Al watched emotionlessly as Donald drove away from the dorm from the balcony on the third floor.

    Gregory walked up to him. “You were right.” He sighed. “He just wanted my invention.”

    “Why didn’t you press charges?” Al turned to him.

    “It’s not him who actually wants it.” Gregory explained. “Few people know I was working on it and some trainer on the street would have no way of knowing I was. He’ll tell his employer he failed and we’ll find out who’s really behind this.”

    “I’ll keep my eyes peeled.” Al walked away, patting Gregory on the shoulder.

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

    Donald pulled his blue Beetle into a warehouse. It was dark except for the orange light from the setting sun shining through the open door. He opened the door of his car and looked cautiously out at the void.

    “Uh,” he gulped, “I wasn’t able to get it. They found out and expelled me from the dorm. I also think they’re on to you because that inventor refused to press charges.”

    “You idiotic slob,” a skeleton like man in a grey pinstriped business suit walked into the light so only his head was veiled in darkness, “you said you had their trust.”

    “I did, except for one of them.” Donald whined. “The one who lives in the basement was always watching.”

    “I’m not interested in your excuses.” The skeleton man sneered. “You’ve failed and your contract is terminated. I’ll have to do this myself.”

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

    “Gregory alright, coil?” Tesla hovered over Gregory who was laying the top half of his body on the drafting table. He eyes were looking forward but seemed to be focused on nothing.

    It was night and only the lamp on the desk provided light.

    “I can’t believe it.” Gregory said in an unenthusiastic tone. “Donald seemed to be someone we could trust.”

    “Al didn’t trust him, coil.” Tesla tried to comfort him.

    “I know.” Gregory sat up. “But I should be able to know these things.” He looked around his room. “Perhaps I’m in here too long.”

    “Let’s go out then, coil.” Tesla floated in a circle around him.

    “We’ll do it tomorrow.” Gregory seemed a little more enthusiastic. “Until then,” he yawned, “let’s get some sleep.”

    “Coil,” Tesla nodded.

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

    Miss Catalpa was sleeping soundly in her suite. She was awakened by a faint noise. She blinked as her eyes adjusted to the dim light. She swung her legs around and stood up. Her long-sleeved night gown fell almost to the floor.

    She cautiously walked to the light switch. However, a hand in a dark glove grabbed her mouth and stifled a scream.

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

    A stone covered in paper crashed through Gregory’s window. He bolted awake and grabbed his glasses of the desk next to him.

    “Lights,” he called out as he got out of his bed. The lights obeyed and turned on.

    Gregory picked up the rock and pulled the paper off it. He placed his glasses on his face. After reading a few lines, he looked past it into space.

    “Oh crap.” He gulped dryly.

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

    Al was asleep in the small alcove that was his bedroom. He snored loudly. The snoring was interrupted by a knock on the door.

    “Just five more minutes,” Al groaned.

    The knocking continued.

    “Alright…” Al grumbled as he slowly got out of his bed. He flipped a light switch and winced as the lights popped on showing he was wearing a white T-shirt and gray boxer briefs. The knocking came again. “…I’m coming. I’m coming.”

    He opened the door to find Gregory fully clothed at his door. Gregory was pacing worriedly and mumbling. Al turned around to glance at the atomic clock by his escape hatch. It showed 1:57.

    Al turned back to Gregory. “Is there any particular reason you’re banging on my door at two o’clock in the morning?” Al said in a fatigued voice.

    “They have her.” Gregory answered timidly.

    Al stared at him blankly before beginning to close the door.

    “They got Miss Catalpa.” Gregory explained further.

    Al threw his door open.

    “They left this note.” Gregory showed Al the note. “They want my HM and said they’ll kill Miss Catalpa if I don’t give it to them.”

    “I didn’t you said so in the first place.” Al seemed more awake. He grabbed a pair of pants on the couch and put them on. “We’ll take my car.”

    The two ran up the basement stairs to meet Franklin in blue vertical striped pajamas at the top. He had his arms crossed and glared down at them.

    “Where do you two think you’re going?” He said sternly.

    “The people after my HM have kidnapped Miss Catalpa.” Gregory explained. “We have to save her.”

    “I’m coming too.” Franklin walked back to his room.

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

    The 6000 cruised down Route MI1. Al watched the road worriedly. It was last call on a Sunday meaning the idiots were out.

    “What exactly is it that they want?” Franklin asked from the back seat.

    “You know how hidden machines and technical machines work, right?” Gregory replied with a question from shotgun.

    “They implant the basic knowledge needed to execute an attack directly into a pokémon’s brain.” Al answered. “Then they hone that attack through training.”

    “Right,” Gregory nodded, “well, I’ve developed an HM that implants the basic language skills to speak English into a pokémon’s brain. I originally meant for it to be used on human-shape and fairy class pokémon since their brains and vocal chords are the most like ours. It apparently also works on inorganic pokémon as well as Tesla can speak at least decent English.”

    “Coil,” Tesla nodded proudly.

    “These people want it and have told us to meet them.” Al finished the thought. “They took Miss Catalpa because aside from Franklin she was the only one of the first floor.”

    “I doubt they would have taken me as easily or quietly.” Franklin thought out loud. “Where are we going?”

    “The note said Nine Mile and the tracks.” Gregory read the note.

    Al slammed the brakes, causing the 6000 to come to a screeching halt. The car behind them swerved into the next lane, blasting its horn as it passed by. Al stared ahead of him with an annoyed look on his face. He body rose and fell slightly as he breathed.

    “Did my ears deceive me?” He asked, not bothering to look beside him. “Or did you just say Nine Mile and the tracks?”

    “I did, why?” Gregory was breathing heavily from the sudden stop.

    “Do you remember in the nineties when Governor Engler had this brilliant idea that he could save money by closing all the mental hospitals and put the crazies out on the streets?” Al glared at him. “Do you know where all the crazies went?”

    “Uh…” Gregory thought.

    “They went to Nine Mile and the tracks.” Al snapped.

    “We’ll be fine.” Franklin patted the visibly disturbed Al on the shoulder. “We have our pokémon with us.”

    “I’m good.” Al released the brake and the car began moving again. “However, when I get my hands on that creep, I’m going to kill him.”

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

    Nine Mile and the railroad tracks was a warehouse district. Freight trains would load or unload materials to or from various areas in the Great Lakes. The security was lax, making it a favorite place for homeless people and other criminals. As Al pulled up, he saw an opened gate in his headlights. He sat there for a little.

    “We’re expected.” Al eyed the opening.

    “Let’s not disappoint them.” Franklin sat forward to see.

    Al slowly pulled the 6000 into the compound. The note had told them to enter warehouse E. Al turned into the open warehouse and topped the car inside. Al killed the engine and a deafing silence enveloped them.

    “We’re here.” Al scanned the darkness. He then turned on the dome light in the ceiling so they could see.

    Franklin took out a hand gun from his sweater. The others eyed him gravely.

    “Do you think they’ll kill her with rubber mallets?” Franklin replaced the weapon in his sweater.

    “I prefer to use pokémon.” Al grabbed two poké balls. “Treecko, Electrike, let’s go.”

    The flashes of the poké balls temporarily illuminated the warehouse. The two pokémon appeared on the floor. More flashes allowed Koffing, Grimer, Voltorb, Hitmonlee, and Dugtrio to appear.

    “Hello,” Gregory called out timidly, “is anyone here?”

    “Yeah,” Al allowed an annoyed tinge enter his voice, “you kidnapped our landlady and made us come down here in the middle of the night.”

    “Good of you to come.” A voice spoke from the darkness as the lights in the warehouse came on.

    There were half a dozen men in the warehouse. The skeleton like man in the warehouse walked towards them. His face was just as gaunt with brushy black hair. His gray eyes glared at them.

    “Bernard,” Gregory thought out loud.

    “You know him?” Al turned back to Gregory.

    “He was a classmate at the researcher academy.” Gregory explained. “He was expelled for plagiarism. I guess old habits die hard.”

    “So you were too lazy to do the work on your own.” Al chuckled. “So you drag us here to steal his invention.”

    “The people don’t care who makes what.” Bernard hissed a cruel chuckle. “They only care who holds the patent”

    “Where’s Emily?” Franklin broke in.

    “She’s safe.” Bernard swept his hand toward Miss Catalpa tied to a metal chair. “Now, the HM if you please.”

    Gregory took the device out of his pocket. “Like Hell.” He dropped it on the cement floor so it stood on edge and smashed it under his foot.

    “You just made a terminal error Greg.” Bernard snorted. “Kill them.”

    The men and a dozen pokémon jumped onto the warehouse floor. They were surrounded.

    “Brilliant,” Al said sarcastically, “any idea of how to get out of this?”

    “Uh,” Gregory thought for a second, “no, I didn’t.”

    “Swell,” Al laughed weakly, “Treecko, Electrike, attack.”

    The two pokémon leapt into action.

    “Trike,” Electrike loosed a web of thunder wave. The webbing caught a beedrill and a raticate.

    “Slash,” a sandslash broke through and threw his claw forward.

    “Ko,” Treecko slammed his tails into the sandslash’s head. He then seemed to inhale. However, a white beam seemed to be come from sandslash to his mouth. Some kind of energy poured from sandslash and Treecko consumed it.

    “Tree,” Treecko then seemed to explode with an incredible energy. He reformed as a taller, thinner, more raptor like creature. “Vyle,” he roared.

    “No wonder Treecko has been so stir crazy lately.” Al thought out loud. “He was ready to evolve.”

    “Vyle,” the leaves on his wrists extended into glowing green blades. He then leapt forward into the group of pokémon. He slashed them with his blades.

    “Scythe,” a scyther caught Grovyle’s attention.

    “Gro,” Grovyle turned around in time to stop the scyther’s blade like forelimbs from hitting him.

    “Scy,” the scyther grinned as he swept his leg under Grovyle to trip him.

    “Gro,” Grovyle groaned as his saw the scyther raise his blade above his head. “Vyle,” Grovyle spat a green flame breath at the scyther.

    “Scy-ther,” the scyther cried out as he was thrown into a pile of tires.

    “Koffing, attack with sludge bomb.” Gregory commanded.

    “Koff,” Koffing complied. It spat out a dark blue ball of slime at a group of people and pokémon.

    The ball struck the ground and exploded. A cloud of brown, vile smelling gas spread out, causing those caught it to cough and wheeze. Those caught scrambled from the cloud.

    Franklin slammed his massive fist into the face of one of the thugs. The man fell to the ground and spat out a glob of phlegm and blood. Before he could get to his feet, Franklin kicked him hard in the gut.

    Al was eying his pokémon when a massive hand grabbed him by neck and lifted him off the ground. A huge man grinned at him.

    “I’ll snap your neck like a twig.” The man growled.

    “Just one question,” Al choked, “do you have any kids?”

    “No.” The man replied. “Why?”

    Al kicked the man in the crotch with all his might. The man released Al in order to double over and grab his crotch. He groaned in pain with a voice a full octave higher than before.

    “Too bad for you,” Al kicked him in the face, sending him to the ground.

    “Stop this.” Bernard yelled out.

    Everyone stopped and looked his way. Bernard was holding a pistol to Miss Catalpa’s head. Franklin slowly pulled his hand towards the gun his sweater.

    “I wouldn’t.” Bernard yelled.

    Bernard’s gun began to float toward the air. He grasped it and tried to pull it back. Tesla was using his magnets to pull at the metal gun.

    “Let go you little metal freak.” Bernard accidentally shot off the weapon.

    The bullet broke a chain holding several large metal tubes up. The tubes came cascading down the rack right for Bernard and Miss Catalpa. Tesla flew in and grabbed Miss Catalpa’s chair and pulled her out of the way. Bernard stood there like a deer in headlights. The tubes rolled over him, crushing him instantly.

    “Let’s get out of here.” The thugs who could still stand ran out the open door.

    “I suggest we do the same.” Al ran back to his car. “I won’t be the one to explain this to the cops.”

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

    The 6000 cruised back north on Route MI1. It was still pitch black and the roads were for the most part abandoned.

    “Let’s not do that again.” Al grumbled, rubbing his neck with one hand and steering with the other. “It’s too early in the morning to nearly get my neck broken.”

    Gregory yawned. “If another of my personal enemies is after us, I’ll let you know.”

    “Thank you Tesla.” Miss Catalpa patted the heroic Magnemite. “I don’t know what would have happened without you. Feel free to stay with us as long as you like.”

    “Tesla got a home, coil.” Tesla cheered and flew through the cabin.

    “A talking magnemite would find itself right at home.” Franklin laugh as he grabbed Tesla.

    “On that note,” Al thought out loud, “will you make another HM?”

    “Nah,” Gregory shook his head, “perhaps there are some things that are too much trouble. I’ll wipe my laptop when we get back.”

    “Well,” Al yawned as they drove towards home, “I’m ready to just get back to bed.”

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

    Back in the Present

    “…for he’s a jolly good fellow” everyone sang, hanging on “fellow”, “that nobody can deny.”

    Everyone was sitting around three card tables placed side to side in the middle of the main room. They were covered with bowls full of chips, cookies, and other snacks. There were also a couple of bottles of pop with stacks of cups and plates.

    “Thanks, coil.” Tesla hovered over everyone’s head.

    “I feel kind of guilty that the pokémon of honor can’t eat this.” Al sighed, eying the spread before him.

    “I know you can’t eat the food we have.” Miss Catalpa motioned to an electrical socket with her eyes and head. “However, you can charge on the dorm’s electricity.”

    “Coil,” Tesla dashed over to the socket and touched his magnet to it. The lights flickered for a second.

    “I hope that was a good idea.” Bert said as the humans and other pokémon began to eat.

    “Who cares?” Al laughed.

    “It could run up the electric bill.” Bert argued.

    “How much could that little guy take?” Sarah chimed in.

    “Gregory could always pay the electric bill.” Franklin joked.

    “What?” Gregory blurted.
    Last edited by The Big Al; 17th January 2006 at 08:36 PM.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

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    Chapter Four: Pawn

    Al sighed as he drove his 6000 down a road with a thick forest on the right side. The golden sunset reflected off his aviator sun glasses as he came to a red light. He took the time to think.

    Bloomfield Hills was one of richest communities in the area. Many corporate leaders called it home. It was the first time Al had been in the community aside from traveling on Rout MI1 since is grandmother died when he was six.

    Al’s grandfather had been a relatively rich supplier for the auto companies. However, his smoking habit caught up to him and other problems arose. So his family was scattered across the country with little inheritance.

    The light turned Green and Al made a left turn to the south. It wasn’t family business that had brought him back. He had been contracted as a security guard at a mansion for the night. The employer had agreed to pay a hansom sum of ten thousand dollars. As Al found the street he was looking for, he turned onto it.

    The estate was walled off by a red brick wall about 2 meters high. Al detested the “English” measuring system and made all his measurements in metric. He even got a chip to convert his Pokédex to metric. The asphalt driveway was protected by a black iron barred gate. Al pulled up to a speaker. He rolled down his window and pushed a blue button on the console.

    “Hello?” A male voice cracked over the speaker.

    “This is Mr. Gardener.” Al replied. “I was hired as a security guard.”

    A camera focused on him. The person at the controls was examining him to make sure he was the person hired.

    “Come in.” The voice was followed by a buzzing sound and the gate creaked open.

    All rolled his window back up and pulled onto the long winding driveway. Maples and oaks covered most of the twilight red sky. At the end of the driveway was the massive brick mansion. It could easily enclose all of the dorm’s property within it. Al couldn’t help but whistle in astonishment at the sight. He thought his grandparents’ large one story house on a postage stamp of a property was high living.

    He pulled into an alcove on the driveway and parked his car. He stopped the engine unbelted. He took off his sunglasses and placed them into the already opened glove box and closed it. He stepped out his car and scanned the massive building. The setting sun reflected brightly off the many windows.

    Al straightened the football jersey he was wearing as a shirt as he walked towards the door. It was black with a large Honolulu blue “4” on his front with a silver outline and similar “4” on his back and smaller ‘4”’s on his shoulders. Above the “4” on his back was the name “HANSON”, also in Honolulu blue with the silver out line.

    Al stepped up the cement steps to the door. The doorway was carved wood with stain glass on both sides. Al pressed the door bell and a ringing came from the inside. He stepped back.

    After about a minute the door opened. A man of medium build and height was standing in the doorway. He had messy dark grey hair which looked out of place on a man no older than his late twenties. His beady eyes sat half closed but seemed as sharp as daggers. He wore a gray, button down, long sleeved shirt tucked into pair of black slacks.

    “Welcome.” The man swept his hands towards the inside. “I am Tabitha Igneous, the current resident of this house.”

    “Alfred Gardener,” Al stated his full name as he offered his hand for a handshake, “I was hired as a security guard.”

    “Yes.” Mr. Igneous smiled as he shook Al’s hand.

    “I’m surprised you answered the door yourself.” Al scanned the massive entrance hall. “I’d think you’d have an entire house staff.”

    “Most of the staff have quit because of the threats.” Mr. Igneous strolled into one of the hallways. “That’s why I hired you and the others.”

    “Tell me about these threats.” Al followed him, glancing at the art and artifacts around him. There foot steps and words echoed off the hard wood floor and plaster walls and ceiling. “If I’m going to protect you, I need to know what I’m up against.”

    “Of course,” Mr. Igneous coughed, “I’m not the owner of this estate but just a steward. The real owner is usually abroad and only comes here on occasion.”

    “And he would be?” Al asked.

    “You don’t need to know his name.” Mr. Igneous stopped walking and turned back to Al. “All you need to know is that he is doing work in the field of living fossils.”

    “What?” Al took off his cap to scratch his head.

    “Pokémon that were long thought to be extinct but live specimens have been found.” Mr. Igneous explained as he began walking again. “He’s been looking for pokémon that are literally the stuff of legends, pokémon whose existence are only mentioned in the Old Testament and other ancient religious texts.”

    “Why would people be threatening you then?” Al crossed his arms and stared coldly at his host.

    “There are unenlightened individuals out there who believe our work is dangerous.” Mr. Igneous pushed a large stained wood door open. “They believe we are delving too deeply into something humans should never understand.”

    “So I need to protect you from some religious fundies?” Al asked an answer.

    “You could say that.” Mr. Igneous stepped into the study on the other side of the door.

    The study was the size of the central room of the dorm. The walls were covered by dark wood paneling and book shelves filled with old books. A massive crystal chandelier was suspended from the white ceiling in the center. The vintage furniture littered the throw rug covered floor. Five people, three women and two men ranging in age from their late teens to nearly thirty were sitting in a circle of huge plush chairs.

    “Attention everyone,” Mr. Igneous cleared his throat to get the other’s attention, “this is Alfred Gardener.”

    “Most people call me Al.” Al coughed. He didn’t like his full first name because he thought it was kind of dated dated.

    “This is Jerome Matthews,” Mr. Igneous stretched his hand to the oldest of the trainer.

    Jerome was small, tanned, slender man with messy black hair. He wore a plain white pocket T-shirt and pair of blue jeans. He stood up to shake Al’s hand, coming only to Al’s shoulder.

    “Glad you’re here.” He said as he shook Al’s hand.

    “Thanks.” Al replied.

    “Then we have Nancy Smith.” Mr. Igneous motioned to a dark skinned teenaged girl with short black hair in cornrows and wearing a light blue sleeveless shirt and mini skirt. “Denis Sharper,” he referred to a light skinned, rather stout man about Al’s age with a mass of red messy hair, wearing a green jacket and a pair of navy blue slacks. “Kimberly Blake,” he then motioned to a pale woman a littler older than Al with straight blond hair wearing a white blouse and beige caprice pants. “And one of my employers personal assistants, Moraine,” Mr. Igneous turned to the last of the group.

    Moraine was a slimly built woman in her mid twenties with flowing black hair that was accented by her pale skin. She was wearing a pale blue jacket over a pink shirt and a white skirt that came to her knees.

    “Ditto,” a ditto sat on her lap.

    “Pleased to make you’re acquaintance Mr. Gardener.” She greeted Al in a welcoming voice.

    “These are your posts.” Mr. Igneous took out some pieces of paper about the size of a palm. “I suggest you use your grass, electric and fighting type pokémon for your patrol.”

    “Why should we use those types?” Kimberly asked.

    “My enemies tend to use water-dark and water-ice type pokémon.” Mr. Igneous explained. “Since those types have an advantage against them…”

    “…they’d be our best defense against them.” Denis finished. “Well, we might as well get to work.”

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

    In the darkening twilight, a blue van drove down the road. A white “A” made of an oval over the bubble window in back with what looked like the ends of bones to make the head and legs.

    Inside, there were several men and woman dressed in sky blue windbreakers with same “A” on the chest and blue pants with blue bandannas over their heads. There was also a computer with one of the men sitting at it.

    In the navigator chair, a woman with fluffy bright red hair that came to the small of her back sat with a serious expression on her face. She watched the headlights slice into the intensifying darkness.

    “Turn on the jammer.” She said coldly. “I don’t want any unwanted visitors.”

    “By your command Field Commander Shelly,” the man at the computer pressed a series of buttons.

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

    Al was to patrol the front of the mansion. However, he was in the bathroom after doing his business. He finished rinsing his hands in the sink. He looked up and saw Moraine standing next to him in the mirror.

    “Hey,” she said softly.

    “Da,” Al squeaked as he plastered himself against the wall.

    “Don’t worry, I just came in.” Moraine walked up to Al seductively. “I like you. You’re much better than that midget and wall on legs.”

    “Uh,” Al tried to press his body through the wall against his back but failed, “I’m a little young for you, don’t you think?” He voice cracked as sweat began form on his brow.

    “I see you’re a Suicune fan.” Moraine ran her finger across Al’s jersey clad chest.

    “Yeah,” Al gulped dryly.

    “Perhaps you could take me to a game.” Moraine batted her thick eyelashes towards Al.

    “Uh…uh,” Al was at a loss for words.

    A sound caught both their attention. Moraine ran out of the bathroom. Al relaxed and heaved a huge sigh of relief. He took off his hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. He looked up and mouthed “thank you God”.

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

    The van and its occupants as well as seven crawdaunt and five walrein were standing in the driveway. Grovyle and Manectric were joined by a raichu, an ampharos, a vileplime, a jumpuff, a primape, and a hariyama in front of the main door. The four other trainers were standing behind them. Al ran out of the house to see the showdown.

    “What’s going on down here?” He asked.

    “I see we were expected.” Shelly said calmly. “No matter, crawdaunt, walrein, entertain our hosts.”

    “Craw,” the crawdaunt charged the group.

    “Rein,” the walrein followed.

    “Attack,” the trainers commanded their pokémon.

    The two groups clashed. The darkness was shattered as electric attacks began to streak through the air. A snaking thunderbolt from Raichu struck one of the crawdaunt, throwing it onto the ground convulsing.

    “Rein,” a walrein shot an ice beam from his mouth that hit Jumpluff and froze it solid in ice. The small pokémon fell to earth as a harmless block.

    “Let’s go.” Shelly and two of the male intruders and a crawdaunt ran off into the darkness.

    “Can you guys handle this on your own?” Al asked Grovyle and Manectric.

    They nodded. “Mane, mane,” Manectric asked.

    “No skin off my back.” Al ran off.

    Manectric snickered and Grovyle crackled his knuckles as they walked slowly toward the raging battle.

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

    The intruders split up. One of the men and the crawdaunt searched the grounds. He passed a bush when he suddenly stiffened in pain and fell forward. Moraine stood behind him, holding a pistol with a silencer attached to the barrel. She then shot the crawdaunt twice in the side.

    She pushed a button on the wrist watch on her left wrist. She seemed to dissolve in a mess of yellow energy. In her place was a wiry man of the same age. His spiky black and red streaked hair exploded out, free of whatever was holding it. He wore a black, skin tight body suit with gold cylindrical devices wired together across it. He eyed the dead intruder with his cold blue eyes with some kind of greed tattoo sitting under his right eye.

    The man put out his watch wearing hand and turned on a ray that scanned over the intruder. When it was finished, he pushed another button. The same yellow energy as before engulfed him and formed the image of the intruder, minus the gunshot wound in his back onto him.

    “Ditto,” Ditto came out with a smirk. It reformed its body to the exact image of the crawdaunt. “Craw,” it copied the crawdaunt’s voice perfectly.

    The man grabbed the body and dragged it behind the bush. Ditto did the same with the crawdaunt.

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

    Shelly had entered into the house. She was inside a large hall like the one Al entered the study from. She took out a black box like device with two antennae attached to the top and waved it in all directions. She seemed disappointed at the scanner remained silent and blank.

    “Damn,” she muttered under breath, “where’s that red orb.”

    Al was hiding behind a suit of armor as he watched her. However, he accidentally tipped it over. Shelly heard this and turned around with a start. She saw Al righting the massive piece.

    “Who are you?” She said emotionlessly.

    “Me,” Al turned to her, “just a curious young man.” H examined shelly.

    “You’re one of the thugs the Magma Gang hired to protect the red orb.” Shelly growled.

    “The Magma Gang,” Al blurted, “never heard of them. I was hired by Mr. Igneous.”

    “I see.” Shelly laughed under her breath. “You’re nothing but a simple pawn expected to fight for something you know nothing about.”

    “Somehow I’m not impressed by a bunch of home wreckers who are celebrating Halloween early.” Al crossed his arms. “I’m under the impression you’re bunch of lunatics.”

    “You truly are oblivious to what you’ve been dragged into.” Shelly laughed loudly.

    “What am I being dragged into then?” Al said coldly.

    Shelly was about to answer when the communication device in her ear chirped. “This is shelly.” She answered. There was a pause as she listened to the person on the other end. She then turned to Al. “I guess you’ll have to remain in the dark.”

    She jumped out of the window she came in and ran into the darkness. Al followed her out. He ran after her but lost in the night.

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

    “Vyle,” Grovyle slashed his leaf blade across the front of a crawdaunt.

    “Craw-daunt,” the crawdaunt exhaled as it hit the ground.

    “Ect,” Manectric arced a thunderbolt through a walrein.

    The intruders’ pokémon were laid out in an unconscious heap in front of the van. The intruders still there returned the fallen creatures to their poké balls. Shelly ran out of the woods.

    “It’s not here.” She panted. “Let’s get out of here.”

    “Wait for me.” The man disguised as the slain intruder came out of the darkness with Ditto in the form of a crawdaunt.

    The intruders piled into the van. They then took off into the night. At the same time, Al came out of the woods. He placed his hands on his knees and tried to catch his breath.

    Mr. Igneous walked out of the house. “Well done.” He smiled.

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

    Shelly sat in the van as it sped out on to the main road. She sat there, silent. She scowled at the waste of time they had just been through.

    ‘I don’t get it.’ She thought. ‘All of our intelligence said the red orb was there. How could we be that off?’

    Behind her, the man impersonating the man he killed sat silently. He turned towards the front and smirked slightly.

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

    “As promised,” Mr. Igneous handed each of the trainers a check, “ten thousand dollars.”

    “I have a question.” Al spoke up in a stern voice. “What was it that we were supposed to protect?”

    Mr. Igneous turned back to Al. A scowl came on his face. “You don’t need to know. Now that you have your fee, I suggest you leave.”

    Al turned his body away but allowed his head to lag slightly as he walked stiffly out of the front door with a scowl of uncertainty planted on his face. As he stepped onto the driveway, one of the poké balls on his belt opened and Grovyle materialized beside him.

    “Grovyle, grove, grove.” Grovyle said sharply.

    “I know.” Al sighed. “I feel like I made a big mistake in taking this job too. Something just doesn’t feel right.”

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

    Somewhere in Iceland

    Attached to one of Iceland’s many volcanic features was a rust red structure. It looked like a factory that rose above the magma veined landscape. Its stacks reached into the ash choked sky. On the front of the structure, there was a crude picture of a volcano with the middle of the bottom removed.

    Inside, a man dressed in a black and red knee length coat eyed the activity of the volcano outside with gray seemingly lifeless eyes. His slicked red hair seemed to glow in the orange light coming off the magma field. The room was a bare metal box aside from the massive bay windows and a door on the far side of the room.

    A woman dressed in a tight gray dress that came a little less than halfway down her thighs and a red cloak and hood with a serrated bottom and the same insignia as the building. Her head was hidden by the hood.

    “It’s beautiful,” the man said in a sharp voice, “the land reclaiming territory from the sea, our dream given form.”

    “Lord Matsubusa,” the woman spoke up, “our forces in Michigan report Bannai has infiltrated the Aqua Gang’s forces in the Great Lakes area. They’re tracking him and hope to have the location of their fortress in that area sometime tomorrow.”

    “Excellent,” Matsubusa turned to the woman, “I’m tired of being on the defensive. The Aqua Gang will think twice once we’ve destroyed one of their greatest strongholds.” He turned back to the window. He gave a cruel chuckle that erupted into a malevolent laugh.

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

    Al drove his car in the dim morning twilight, almost completely unaware of the terror he supported.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

  6. #6
    Meteorologist The Big Al's Avatar
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    Chapter Five: The Battling Gemini Twins

    It was a clear morning in Oak Town. The sun had not to rise behind the square silhouette of the Catalpa Trainer Dorm. Half of the lights in the main room were on but most of the dorm windows were darkened.

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

    Inside Bert’s pitch black dorm, a digital clock sat on the nightstand by the bed. As the glowing red numbers changed from “6:59” to “7:00”, it began making an awful pulsing, high pitched buzz.
    “Argh,” Bert growled, “forgot to turn off the alarm.” He waved his hand blindly in the dark until he slapped the clock and it stopped making noise.

    Five minutes later

    The clock began making the noise again.

    “God,” Bert yelled as he slammed the clock to make it stop.

    Another five minutes later

    The clock began making the noise yet again.

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

    Outside in the main room, Tesla was hovering around. He was enjoying the quiet of the morning. However, his attention was grabbed by Bert’s door opening.

    “Shut up you piece of junk.” Bert yelled from the darkness as the clock came flying out the door.

    “Coi-il,” Tesla screamed as the clock smacked into him and both of them came crashing to the ground.

    Marcy came in the main doors as Tesla and the clock crashed into the floor. Marcy was a night owl and worked as a cab driver for a bar and grill owned by one of her friend’s family. She drove people who had one too many to their homes. When she wasn’t ferrying drunkards, she participated in night battles with her nocturnal pokémon. The first sight that caught her eyes was Tesla and the smashed clock on the floor.

    “What the Hell happened here?” She walked slowly towards the mess.

    “Bert not morning person, coil.” Tesla answered.

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

    After the sun was up and so was Al. He was out with his recently caught Skarmory. The metallic bird was sailing above the trees in a circle. Psyduck was also out of his ball, watching his latest comrade.

    “Alright,” Al called up to Skarmory, “let’s try a drill peck.” Al turned to a piece of wood about a meter square with a white and red target painted on it. “Fly into the target and spin rapidly.”

    “Ska,” Skarmory cawed.

    “Tuck in your wings and spin.” Al instructed.

    Skarmory complied. He tucked his sword like wings against his body and began to spin. He aimed for the target. Al’s face lit up at the sight. However, it was short lived as Skarmory began to wobble.

    “Oh crap,” Al covered his eyes and turned away.

    Skarmory plowed into the ground and tore through it. Al winced as crash sounds echoed through the otherwise calm of the morning, ending with a meowth screaming in pain.

    Al slowly uncovered his eyes and turned to Skarmory. The pokémon was sprawled out on the ground with a six meter gash in the ground.

    Al knocked himself in the head. “Nice going Al. Putting the cart a little before the ponyta, aren’t we?” He sighed as he looked back to his pokémon. “When you can tell which way is up, we’ll start with some basic barrel rolls.”

    “Ska,” Skarmory raised a sword like feather at an attempt for a “thumbs up”.

    “This could be tougher than I thought.” Al scratched his head.

    “Psy-hi-hi,” Psyduck began laughing so hard he fell on his back.

    “You’re one to laugh.” Al moved his pupils to glare at Psyduck. “Should I remind you of the time you had learning water pulse?”

    Psyduck stopped laughing and got back to his feet. “Duck,” he said blankly.

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

    Irene was checking her e-mails. Her room was dark with the heavy curtains drawn over the window. The only light was the whitish blue glow of the computer screen. Trainers usually got APB’s on jobs available through the e-mails. She was reading intently one of the job offers.

    “Help wanted on a construction sight.” She read the e-mail. “Tunneling pokémon are highly recommended.” Her voice began to well with excitement and her face lit up with delight. Arbok was an excellent at tunneling. However, her face fell into a scowl when she saw the location. “What?” She yelled. “Fifteen Mile and Route MI5? Dammit.” She smacked the desk.

    Route MI5 was on the other side of the county. She couldn’t get there without a car. A car was an important tool for trainers. Cars let trainers take contracts from more locations and could travel farther to battle and capture pokémon. A trainer without a vehicle was either forced to work close to home or was dependant on trainers with cars. Although Irene had an operator’s license but never bought a car.

    “That does it.” She growled. She then saw a sheet of news paper leaning against the desk. “I need a car.”

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

    Skarmory soared over the dorm. Route MI1 stretched into the distance. Route MI1 was a divided road with islands covered in grass and small trees planted in a line separating the north bound and south bound lanes. The islands themselves were interrupted by connectors for U-turns. The clear morning allowed Skarmory to see for kilometers.

    “Okay Skarmory,” Al’s voice came from the woods, “let’s try a barrel roll.”

    “Ska,” Skarmory replied and spun three revolutions.

    “That was a good ten eighty.” Al yelled up. He then saw Irene in the corner of his eye. “Hey Irene, what’s up?”

    “I’m heading out.” Irene pulled open the white door on the small garage next to the dorm. She entered the garage and then came out with a bicycle and black cyclist helmet. “I’ll be back later.”

    “Have fun.” All waved her good by as she put on her helmet and rode away on the bike.

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

    Irene had found an ad in the classifieds section for a ’97 Plymouth Neon for $1900. Fortunately for her, it was in a neighborhood in Oak Town off 12 Mile. She didn’t want to bother Al. He had been a little edgy since that job he had the other night.

    She slowly pedaled through the neighborhood she was looking for. It was like many neighborhoods in the area. Older houses on postage stamp properties with oak trees covering the street with their boughs. The trees were covered in brilliant yellow, orange, and red leaves. The lawns were littered with the leaves that had already fallen.

    The air was crisp but mid October could be much worse in Michigan. Irene breathed in the fresh air. She stopped her bike at an intersection. She took the paper out of her armpit and examined it for the address. She rounded a corner and saw a mailbox with the number she wanted. She turned onto the driveway and came to a stop next to the midnight blue car with a “For Sale” sign in the back window.

    She began to examine the vehicle. It was in good condition, despite it being about eleven years old. There was no sign of rust on the body and the interior appeared to have little wear and tear. However, she had no way to tell how the engine would perform.

    “Excuse me miss.” A raspy male voice caught Irene’s attention. An older man with a Growlithe were standing on the porch. “Are you interested in my car?”

    He was a small bony man with little hair left on his head and his beady eyes hidden by round glasses. He was wearing a brown robe and a pair of shoe like black slippers. He seemed to tremble as he slowly stepped down the cement steps.

    “Uh, yes sir.” Irene nodded.

    “She’s a good car.” The man hobbled up towards her. “I’m David Cooper, pleased to meet you.” He put out his frail right hand.

    “My name is Irene Adams.” Irene gently shook his hand.

    “I don’t want to sell her.” David placed his hand on the car. “She’s a good car but my Parkinson’s has made is almost impossible for me to drive.”

    “I’m sorry to hear that.” Irene said in a remorseful tone.

    “Don’t feel sorry for me.” Mr. Cooper turned back her. “A young thing like you has your life ahead of you. Don’t worry about a washed up old man like me. Besides, you’re a buyer, not my nurse.” He hobbled around the car to the passenger’s side door and placed the keys on the hood. “Let’s take her out for a little test drive.”

    “Growl,” Growl barked happily as he bounded to his master.

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

    After a few hours of training with mainly Skarmory, Al returned to his room. Vulpix was sleeping on the couch against the wall adjacent to his escape hatch. Her tails had fully split in the last few weeks she had been with them to form the famous red fan like shape. The fur the vets had to shave off her back in order treat her wounds was growing in nicely since she had begun to shed her summer coat for her thicker, paler winter coat. The bandages were gone as well. She now looked like a smaller version of a mature vulpix.

    Al grabbed a plain white bag of pokékibble and poured the brown pellets into a red plastic bowl to line the bottom. He also put a vitamin pill in with it. He then silently walked to the couch and placed the bowl next to Vulpix.

    “Hey,” he said softly.

    Vulpix slowly woke up. She poked her head up and blinked her eyes groggily. She then stood up and stretched and yawned. “Vul,” she yipped when she noticed the bowl of food. She dipped her head into it and began eating eagerly.

    “You know what?” Al thought out loud. “I know the vets said wait a month but I think you’re ready for some minor battling.”

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

    Manectric appeared in a flash on white in the grass. Manectric had kind of become Vulpix’s godparent. He was the only other canine pokémon in the dorm. So she had grown attached to him.

    Al had lined several pop and beer cans on a segment of split plain fence the trainers used as a rack for target practice. Vulpix sat with Manectric next to her a few meters away.

    “Alright,” Al walked towards them, “let’s see what you can do.” He looked back towards the line of cans. “Try knocking down those cans with an ember attack.”

    Al knew vulpix were born with the ability to use ember and tail whip. Before Vulpix faced a live opponent, Al was to her aptitude with her attacks.

    “Vul,” Vulpix nodded. “Pix,” she let loose a storm of small fiery orbs and shot them towards the cans. The orbs swept the top row, throwing the cans off the fence. She then attacked the lower row. After all the cans were shot off the fence, she quit her attack.

    Well,” Al applauded, “we have a little markswoman on our hands.”

    “Mane,” Manectric replied confidently. He beamed with pride at the performance of his student.

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

    Irene pulled the Neon back into Mr. Cooper’s driveway. She parked it and turned off the engine.

    Mr. Copper turned to her and smiled. “So, had did you like it?”

    “I haven’t driven since I got my license.” Irene answered. “It fought me a little.”

    “You’ll get use to it.” Mr. Cooper pushed his door open and carefully stood up out of the car. Growlithe leapt out of the back seat and onto the concrete driveway. “Do you want her?”

    “Yes Mr. Cooper.” Irene came out of the driver’s side. “It’s a great car.”

    “You take care of her and she’ll take care of you.” Mr. Cooper sighed as he patted the hood gently. “Come inside and we’ll discuss a price.”

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

    Al was thinking carefully. “Do you know any other moves Vulpix?” He asked.

    Vulpix replied by widening her eyes. A bright flash came from them and the colors inverted for a split second. Al covered his eyes from the flash and collapsed on the ground. He was temporarily blinded and even when his sight returned it was blurry.

    “Nice confuse ray Vulpix.” Al rubbed his eyes.

    Along with basic moves that all of a species of pokémon known from birth, they sometimes knew a move they usually learned at an older age from birth. However, because these moves were more complicated and powerful, they required more training to use them properly. Fortunately, confuse ray was by nature a chaotic move that once learned was easy to use.

    As Al’s sight came back into focus he noticed two new forms. They were two people. His sight finally returned to normal, allowing him to examine them more closely.

    The smaller of the two was a young tiny frail woman about Al’s age about Sarah’s stature with flowing bluish silver hair that fell to her thighs and piercing ice blue eyes that betrayed no emotion. Her attire was a navy blue button down jacket and a pleated skirt that fell to below her knees.

    The larger was a huge man of the same age, taller and bulkier than Bert. His flame red hair was kept in a crew cut and his emerald eyes glistened in the late morning sun. He wore a similar jacket as his companion’s and a pair navy blue slacks.

    “Can I help you?” Al stood up and dusted off the seat of his pants.

    “We’re looking for Paul and Pauline Gemini.” The woman said is an icy, emotionless voice that sent a chill up Al’s spine. “We were told they live here.”

    “You were told correctly.” Al said in an uncharacteristically sharp tone. “Would you like come inside?” He eyed them critically. A strange sensation intruded his stomach. There was something about them he didn’t like. However, he couldn’t put his finger on it.

    “Thank you…” The woman paused.

    “Al,” Al finished her sentence.

    “I am Denise and this is my associate Gerald.” Denise introduced them.

    The three people were joined by Vulpix and Manectric as they walked towards the dorm. Al purposefully walked slower to put Denise and Gerald in front of him. He still couldn’t figure it out but something about them just didn’t sit right.

    As they entered the dorm Al turned to the adjacent rooms the twins called home. “Paul, Pauline, you have guests.” He called up to them.

    Both doors opened at almost the same time. The two came out to see who it was. They leaned over the railing.

    “Are you Paul and Pauline Gemini?” Denise asked.

    “Yes.” Pauline answered. “Why do you want to know?”

    A smirk cracked onto Denise’s face. “We’re here to challenge you to a double battle.”

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

    “This will be a double battle with each team using four pokémon.” Al stood between the two groups of trainers in the clearing. Vulpix stood beside him to watch the battle. “A team loses when all of their pokémon are out of the battle by a ten count. All Michigan rules and laws apply.”

    “Let’s go,” Denise took out a poké ball, “Castform.”

    The small pokémon came into existence in front of her. “Castform cast,” she happily exclaimed.

    “Ludicolo, go.” Gerald threw at a poké ball out.

    The large lily pad topped pokémon came out in front of his master. “Lu-di-colo,” he danced for a little bit.

    “Ampharos go.” Paul threw out his poké ball.

    “Stanley, let’s go.” Pauline threw out hers.

    The two pokémon sprang into existence with a flash of white.

    “Amphy,” Ampharos called out.

    “Octan,” Stanley the Octillery sighed.

    “Begin,” Al yelled.

    “Ludicolo, attack with a razor leaf barrage.” Gerald growled.

    “Colo,” Ludicolo jumped into the air and spun to let loose a spray of razor sharp leaves.

    “Stanley, stop that attack with wide field ice beam.” Pauline commanded.

    “Ampharos, attack Ludicolo with thunderpunch.” Paul glanced back to his sister.

    “Tan,” Stanley sprayed an ice beam from his cannon like snout that spread out over a wide area. The leaves were coated with ice and fell to the ground when they became too heavy to remain airborne.

    Ampharos in the meantime ran for Ludicolo. Electricity seemed to coat his flipper like forelimb. Before Ludicolo could do anything, Ampharos was face to face with him.

    “Ros,” Ampharos smashed his flipped between Ludicolo’s eyes and mouth, throwing him onto his back.

    “Co-lo,” Ludicolo strained to get back up.

    Denise and Gerald smirked towards one another. Al though gave them an icy stare. He knew what they were up to.

    “Castform, Rain Dance.” Denise yelled.

    “Cast,” Castform loosed a blue orb that shot into the sky.

    The orb flew several hundred meters into the sky and exploded, throwing a blue ring out. Along the ring clouds exploded into existence and a light rain began to fell. It then intensified into a heavy downpour. The rain storm only covered everything in about a hundred meter radius. However, where it rained, it was raining hard.

    “Cast,” Castform’s body then began to change shape. His round head transformed into a rain drop shape with a sphere of his head remaining inside the transparent drop. The cloud like part under the head became larger and grew darker in color.

    “Colo,” Ludicolo jumped to his feet. He seemed to be getting stronger. He began dancing, revitalized.

    “Paul,” Pauline turned to her brother, “Ludicolo can use the rain to regenerate himself.”

    “They’re not the only one’s who can use the weather.” Paul turned back to Ampharos. “Ampharos, attack Ludicolo with thunder.”

    “Pha-ros,” Ampharos through a massive amount of electricity into the clouds above.

    The clouds rumbled as arcs of electricity danced through them. Everyone watched as the angry sky boiled and rumbled. A lightning bolt then cascaded down at blinding speed.

    “Co-lo,” Ludicolo screamed as the lightning bolt arced through his body. He felled to the ground hard.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” Al counted, “Ludicolo is down for the ten count.”

    “Return Ludicolo.” Gerald used the return beam to retreat his pokémon back into his poké ball. He then turned to Denise and both nodded in mutual understanding. “Let’s go Houndoom.”

    “Castform, make it a sunny day.” Denise commanded.

    Houndoom erupted onto the field, snarling at his opponents. It was a much different pokémon from Ludicolo.

    In the meantime, Castform had launched another orb, this time orange in color into the atmosphere. The clouds dispersed and the sun seemed to shine with increased intensity.

    “Now attack Octillery with solarbeam.” Gerald roared.

    “Doom,” Houndoom howled as he spouted a beam of blinding white energy from his fang framed maw.

    “Octa,” Octillery exclaimed as the beam collided with him, sending him into a near by tree. He collapsed onto the ground.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” Al gulped, “Stanley is unable to battle.” He then turned back to Denise and Gerald. ‘These two are good.’ He thought. ‘Denise just sits back with Castform and controls the weather on the field. Then Gerald uses a pokémon that is best suited to those conditions. In the meantime, the other side is forced to deal with Gerald’s pokémon because they are the more immediate threat. However, if Paul and Pauline want to win this fight, they have to take down Castform. I just hope they know what I know.’

    “It’s alright Stanley.” Pauline’s eyes water slightly returned her defeated star pokémon to his poké ball. She looked back at her opponents and narrowed her eyes as a smirk crept on her face. “Dugtrio, let’s go.”

    ‘Good girl Pauline.’ Al smiled slightly. ‘You figured it out.’

    “Houndoom, attack Dugtrio with another solarbeam.” Gerald chuckled.

    “Doom,” Houndoom loosed another light beam. The attack slammed into Dugtrio. However, when the light cleared, Dugtrio was nowhere to be found.

    “Ampharos,” Paul commanded, “paralyze them with thunder wave.”

    “Pha,” Ampharos released a web of electricity that covered Castform and Houndoom.

    He turned to Pauline and nodded.

    “Now attack them both with rock slide.” Pauline called out.

    “Trio,” Dugtrio burst from the ground between Castform and Houndoom. With him, rocks burst from the soil, striking both Castform and Houndoom.

    The two pokémon fell onto the ground hard. They barely stirred and groaned in pain.

    “One…two…three…four…five…six…seven…eight…nine…ten,” Al heaved a sigh of relief; “both Houndoom and Castform are unable to battle.”

    Denise and Gerald returned their defeated pokémon. “We concede.” Denise said sharply. “Only a fool would send a pokémon out to fight two.” She smiled. “You certainly deserve your reputation as double battle trainers.”

    “Uh, thank you?” Paul betrayed some uncertainty in his voice.

    Denise and Gerald walked back towards the sidewalk along Route MI1. Al watched them. ‘Good reddens to bad rubbish.’ He thought.

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

    Irene got insurance, registry and paid the sales tax for her “new” Neon. By the time she pulled into the drive way, the sun was beginning to set over the horizon. She strolled into the door to see Al and Bert putting together a pool table in the corner next to her door.

    “When did we get a pool table?” Irene asked them.

    “Tesla found it in one of the storage rooms.” Al strained as he and Bert stood the table onto its legs. “It’s old but we have all the pieces and it’s still in good shape.”

    “Did anything happen while I was gone?” Irene picked up some of the billiard balls sitting in the wooden triangle on the floor.

    “Well, I trained Vulpix a little and Bert slept through a visit by the creepiest trainers I ever met.” Al swept his brow with his hand.

    “Hey,” Bert grumbled, “I pulled an all-nighter at the loading docks last night. We had to unload parts for the GM tech plant.”

    “I know.” Al nodded. “They battled with Paul and Pauline.”

    “Who won?” Irene started to place the balls on the table.

    “P and P,” Al answered, “it was a very interesting battle to say the least.”

    “What was so creepy about them?” Bert picked up the triangle and started to deposit the balls in it.

    “I don’t know.” Al thought. “Something about them just scared me.”

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

    Denise was talking on a payphone in a local bar. Gerald stood watch near her.

    “We found him Bannai.” She spoke into the phone. “The one named Gardener.”

    “Did he catch on to you two?” A male voice came over the line.

    “No,” Denise gained an evil grin, “he thought we were there to battle with two other trainers.”

    “Excellent,” the voice seemed pleased, “you have done well and will be rewarded for your efforts.”

    “Thank you.” Denise replaced the receiver.

    I feel like Poomo tonight.

  7. #7
    PokePwn Webmaster Kater's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    This is great. I'd give it a 9/10 usually, but theres something about it that doesnt catch me. In response it gets a 7/10. I will put it in my contest right now. I hope to see more from this soon.

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