[Credit for amazing banner goes to Red!]
You may remember that after I came back from my LOA over November and December that I said I wasn't going to write any fanfiction until I was finished with all my essays and exams. Well, guess what? I'm finished with all my essays and exams. I give you fanfiction. Let me know what you think!
EDIT: Chapter summaries for those who can't quite remember what's happened, but can't be bothered to read over the whole thing can be found here: Brotherhood Chapter Summaries
Chapter 1 - Face-off
A young man, about seventeen years old, with bright red hair shaved into a Mohican, wearing a white vest and blue jeans, sat down on a sofa in a dark, dank room, and switched on the television set opposite him. The noise and light from the television set immediately brought the small room to life. The teenager grumbled to himself under his breath as he watched what was on the screen.
‘We’re here today to watch the long awaited battle between Will Wynne and Ecruteak City’s Gym Leader, Morty. The battle is due to commence any minute now.’
‘You can really hear the excitement in the crowd, Bill. They’ve been waiting a long time for Will Wynne to come to Ecruteak.’
‘That they have, John. If he can win here, this will be Will’s fifth Badge. Will Wynne fan sites are reporting that if he’s victorious today, he plans to head to Violet City and challenge Falkner.’
‘Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Bill, he’s got to win here first! Do we have any idea of what Pokémon he’s planning to use?’
‘All we know officially is that he’s planning to use just three Pokémon, but there’s been no statement of what they are.’
‘I don’t know about you, Bill, but I’d put my money on that trio being his famous Nidorino, Golduck, and Heracross.’
‘I’d be with you on that one, John. I’ll die a happy man if I live to see the day that a trainer manages to become the Champion of the Indigo Plateau using just three Pokémon, and I think that day might be soon.’
‘One step at a time, Bill, he’s only got four Badges!’
‘I’m gonna put it out there, John. I think Will Wynne’s got what it takes to bring the Indigo Championship back to Johto!’
‘It’s funny you should mention that, Bill. A surprisingly little known fact is that Johto’s last Champion, Terrence Starr, is actually Will’s uncle!’
‘Wow! There’s really some talent in that family! I wonder if we’ll see a similar show from the younger Wynne brothers in the near future?’
‘We can only hope, Bill.’
‘Oh! The trainers have both entered the arena! It looks like the battle’s about to start! Make sure you don’t take your eyes off the screen for even a second, folks.’
Will walked up the staircase out of his dressing room, which led to the main arena of Ecruteak Gym. He was no longer entertained by the little unique flavours that each Gym gave its main arena, but did wonder for a few seconds how the technical team at Ecruteak had managed to get theirs to float, seemingly unsupported. It was a regulation size slab of concrete with eerie candles lining the sides of the arena, floating above a shadowy pit through which the staircases to the changing rooms stretched. As Will arrived on the arena, and took his place in the challenger’s stand, a large cheer erupted in the room. He looked around. It was the biggest crowd he had ever battled in front of. In fact, the number of people who came to watch his battles seemed to at least triple in size with every additional Badge he won. He recalled that when he won his first Badge, back home in Goldenrod, there had been precisely twelve spectators. Today, there were closer to twelve hundred. He scanned the room for his family, but there were too many people present for him to pick them out. He looked across the arena to the Leader that he was challenging today, Morty.
Morty had a similar physique to Will’s own: he was slim and slightly taller than average, but in place of Will’s short, black hair he had a mop of blonde hair contained by a purple sweatband. The two battlers gave each other a nod of recognition, and both of their hands went to their first Poké Ball. The referee, who was standing on the side of the arena, raised his microphone to his mouth.
Morty gave a sharp nod.
Will nodded too.
‘Gym challenge, commence!’
Both trainers hurled their Poké Ball into the middle of the arena with all their might. Morty’s Poké Ball exploded to reveal a Misdreavus, while Will’s released a Heracross. The crowd’s excitement audibly increased.
‘In the air, Misdreavus!’ shouted Morty.
‘Go with it!’ ordered Will in response.
Misdreavus floated quickly into the air, and Heracross opened its wings and flew up after it. Before they even stopped moving, the next orders were yelled.
‘Knock that bug out of the sky with a Shadow Ball barrage!’
‘Heracross! Hurricane manoeuvre!’
In the crowd, Frankie Wynne, Will’s twelve year old brother, turned in confusion to Max Wynne, his fourteen year old brother.
‘Max, what’s a hurricane manoeuvre? I’ve never heard of that move.’
‘Oh, jeez! Have you never seen Will battle before or are you just stupid?’
‘Max, be nice to your brother,’ snapped their mother, who was sitting on the other side of Frankie.
‘Will runs drills with his Pokémon, and then gives out his orders cryptically so he doesn’t give away his tactics to his opponent,’ explained Max, ignoring his mother completely.
Frankie did not respond, but nodded slowly with his eyes glued to the battle field in front of them.
Morty’s Misdreavus began firing an enormous number of Shadow Balls at Heracross, but none of them hit. Heracross started flying around Misdreavus in a circle, constantly picking up speed, as well weaving up and down, making it impossible for the Ghost Pokémon to land an attack. Although to the average spectator, it may have appeared that he had the upper hand, Will was all too aware that the current situation was a deadlock. Misdreavus wasn’t going to hit Heracross any time soon, but there was no way Heracross could get close enough to land an attack either. Looking across the arena at Morty, Will could tell that the Gym Leader had also worked this out. The trainers stared each other in the eyes for a few seconds, each silently demanding that the other gave in first. They both knew that neither Pokémon could keep this up for much longer. Eventually, Morty conceded.
‘Get in closer to it, Misdreavus. Close the gap.’
On Morty’s orders, Misdreavus began floating towards Heracross as it circled, significantly reducing the distance between the two.
‘Hit with a Shadow Claw when it gets close, Heracross,’ retorted Will.
There were howls of excitement from the crowd. The battle was beginning to look more and more dangerous. It was obvious that one of the Pokémon was going to get hit soon, and whichever one it was would then find it difficult to defend itself against further attacks. Heracross’ left claw lit up with a spectral glow as it prepared its attack, and began swinging wildly in the hope of hitting Misdreavus. At the same time, Shadow Ball attacks whizzed past it, barely missing its wings, legs, and horn. The two trainers stared at each other ferociously, both of them all too aware of how volatile the situation was. Suddenly, the entire stadium erupted in screams and applause. Will and Morty quickly looked up to see what had happened. Misdreavus was tumbling in the air after having been hit by Heracross’ Shadow Claw. Will noticed Morty curse.
‘Oh! What a hit!’
‘Well, you can’t expect any less from the inestimable Will Wynne, Bill!’
‘His Heracross has gained the upper hand. There’s only one way this face-off is gonna go now! Morty’s Misdreavus is going down!’
The red haired teenager, watching on television, furiously threw the remote control on the floor, causing it to smash into several pieces.
‘Watching Champ’s battles always makes you so angry. Maybe you shouldn’t watch them?’ came a voice from behind him.
‘Don’t call him that.’
‘I’ll watch whatever I god damned wanna watch. Now shut up or get the fuck outta here.’
Although Will was delighted by the support the crowd and commentators were giving him, he knew that they were jumping to conclusions. Heracross hadn’t beaten Misdreavus yet. The Ghost Pokémon was still launching a constant stream of Shadow Balls, but, unable to aim competently because of the damage taken from Heracross’ Shadow Claw, it was now launching them in random directions. In some ways, this was more dangerous.
‘Get in close, and hit again! As fast as possible, Heracross!’
‘Contingency plan A, Misdreavus.’
Will was puzzled for a second, but then realised what Morty was planning seconds too late. He opened his mouth to call off Heracross’ attack, but just as he did, the Bug Pokémon tore into Misdreavus’ semi-corporeal side with its glowing claw. The crowd cheered wildly as Misdreavus plummeted to the floor of the arena. The cheering stopped abruptly as Heracross did exactly the same.
The red haired teenager let out a burst of laughter, knowing exactly what happened. He was beginning to wish he had gone to see the match live after all.
‘Woah! What just happened, Bill?’
‘I don’t know, John, I just don’t know. Will’s Heracross hit Morty’s Misdreavus with a Shadow Claw, knocked it out, and then for some reason fainted.’
‘Did it run out of energy? Flying that fast for that long must put a strain on a Pokémon.’
‘That could– Hang on, I’m getting something in from our Technical Expert. Apparently what we just saw was a Destiny Bond. If a Pokémon uses that move right before it’s knocked out, then it can bring its opponent with it!’
‘Wow, that’s sneaky!’
‘More interesting is that Misdreavus can only learn Destiny Bond through breeding. That means that the father of Morty’s Misdreavus has to have been one of a limited number of species including the Gengar line!’
‘Well, then it looks like Morty might be battling with a family team. Maybe we’re about to see Daddy come out and avenge his daughter?’
‘Maybe so, John, maybe so.’
Will pulled his next Poké Ball from his belt, and threw it out into the arena as Morty did the same. Will’s Golduck emerged from its Poké Ball to find itself standing opposite a Haunter.
‘Shield Drill, Golduck!’ commanded Will.
‘Shadow Ball, Haunter,’ responded Morty.
Golduck generated a small, green shield on each of its hands, and, as Haunter’s Shadow Ball approached, used one of them to deflect it off into a random direction. The excitement from the crowd spiked as the Shadow Ball flew up, and exploded against the ceiling above one of the stalls.
‘So that’s your game,’ said Morty, ‘Well, that’s not a problem. Haunter, disappear.’
As commanded, Haunter slowly faded until it was completely invisible. Will smirked. He had seen this technique before, and he knew exactly what was coming.
‘Golduck, full circle block,’ he commanded.
As he predicted, when Golduck span on the spot, with both of its shielded hands outstretched, one of them hit Haunter, who suddenly reappeared and tumbled across the arena. Once again, the crowd erupted in excitement.
‘John, it looks like Will has gotten the upper hand again.’
‘You’re right there, Bill. Morty’s Destiny Bond trick may have been clever, but this battle is going exactly the way Will wants it to right now.’
‘Haunter! Disappearing double attack!’
‘Golduck! Spinning block again! This time hit it with a Psychic when it reappears!’
Again, Golduck span on the spot with its shielded hands extended, and, again, as it did so, it managed to block an attack. Immediately, Golduck launched a Psychic at its assailant. However, to both Will and Golduck’s surprise, the assailant was not Morty’s Haunter, but a disembodied purple hand. Less than a second later, Golduck was hit by a full body attack from behind, knocking it to the ground. Haunter floated above it, laughing triumphantly for a second, before disappearing once more.
‘Oh no!’ exclaimed Frankie Wynne, ‘Is Will gonna lose?’
‘Don’t be stupid,’ answered Max Wynne, ‘He’ll turn it around. He always does. Sometimes I think he just does things like this to maintain the suspense.’
There was a buzz of excitement in the crowd. Few of the people present had ever seen such an intense battle, including Will’s previous Gym challenges. The trainers were not only incredibly talented, but also evenly matched.
‘Golduck, be ready for multiple attacks this time! Don’t launch an offensive, just keep defending!’
For a third time, Golduck began spinning on the spot, with its shielded hands blocking the possibility of any attack. As last time, a purple hand suddenly flew off, deflected. Golduck continued to spin, and the same happened again. Will smiled. So Morty’s plan was just to go from using one hand as a decoy to using both – it wasn’t particularly inspired.
‘Keep spinning, Golduck,’ ordered Will calmly, confident that Haunter would soon barge Golduck with its body.
Golduck continued to spin, but, to Will’s surprise, was then knocked to the floor. Haunter had indeed barged Golduck with its body, but had attacked from above, where there was an opening in Golduck’s defense.
‘Psychic!’ cried Will desperately, knowing there wasn’t much more that Golduck could do at this point.
Golduck, still on the floor, turned to face Haunter, and used all its concentration to send a psychic assault flying in its direction. Unfortunately, Haunter flew back from the Water Pokémon, and successfully avoided the attack. Golduck struggled to stand, but was hit by a barrage of Shadow Balls, preventing it from doing so, and eventually knocking it out.
The red haired teen bellowed with laughter, watching the television set in front him with glee.
‘Looks like things aren’t going well for Won’t Wynne! He’s down to his last Pokémon!’
‘Ha, “Won’t Wynne”,’ came the voice from behind him, ‘That’s a good one.’
‘Shut up, Chubby,’ snapped the red haired teen.
Will grabbed his last Poké Ball from his belt. It had never been this close before. If he was finding it this difficult to get his fifth Badge, how could he expect to follow in his uncle’s footsteps, and become the next Champion? He had come here prematurely. He made a mental note to do a lot more training before challenging Falkner.
‘Wow. Can you believe it, John? Will Wynne down to his last Pokémon while Morty still has two practically at full health!’
‘That’s right, Bill, but let’s not forget that Will’s last Pokémon is his Nidorino – his strongest one of all!’
‘Of course, but we all know Morty’s Gengar is no pushover. This isn’t gonna be easy for Will.’
As Will’s Nidorino emerged from its Poké Ball, the crowd went wild. It was a fan favourite, there was no denying that, but that didn’t mean it was capable of beating both of Morty’s two remaining Pokémon by itself.
‘Haunter, another disappearing attack!’
‘Nidorino, Accuracy Drill Two!’
As Haunter disappeared again, Nidorino began charging around the arena extremely quickly, building up speed. It ran in circles with no clear aim except to be constantly running. After a few seconds of this, it began periodically raising its right claw, which shone with a spectral glow, as Heracross’ had earlier, and slashing the air beside it. This continued for some time, without Haunter reappearing.
Will once again stared across the arena at Morty. Although it escaped the audience around them, they both understood the significance of what was happening. While Nidorino was aimlessly running and hitting, its movements were so unpredictable that Haunter could not aim at it. Additionally, Nidorino’s seemingly random use of Shadow Claw, and the fact that Nidorino was moving much faster than Haunter meant that there was a very real chance that Haunter could be hit by the attack at any moment. As Haunter had sustained a small amount of damage from Golduck’s earlier deflections, and Shadow Claw was particularly effective against it, there was a very real chance that being hit even once could knock it out, or at the very least give Nidorino the opportunity to easily finish it off. However, unfortunately for Will, Nidorino did not get a lucky hit on Morty’s Haunter, and, unable to maintain sustained extreme physical exertion for an infinite amount of time, soon began slowing down. Not thirty seconds after its initial drop in speed, Nidorino was collapsed on the floor, breathing heavily, and trying to recover some energy.
Whispers of anticipation began building up throughout the crowd. It looked as if the battle was irrevocably in Morty’s favour – even if Nidorino managed to get lucky against Haunter, there was no way it would be able to keep up the momentum for a second victory. What happened next though, was a major shock to all, particularly Haunter. There was a sudden flash of light from Nidorino, and Haunter, now visible, flew backwards from its body, tumbling across the arena. Nidorino immediately leapt after it, and began slashing at it mercilessly, both of its claws now lit up with the familiar spectral glow of a Shadow Claw. The crowd went wild, though practically none of them understood what had happened.
‘Bill! Just when you think he’s out, he brings it back! What just happened?’
‘I don’t know, John, but I can tell you one thing – that Haunter is out of the battle!’
‘Nothing from the Technical Expert yet?’
‘Not yet, he’s still trying to figure it... Oh! We’ve got something! Apparently this is similar to a move that Will used against Chuck! Nidorino was actually just feigning exhaustion in an attempt to make the opponent touch it! Against Chuck, Will had had Nidorino exude a particularly venomous poison from its spines to poison Chuck’s Poliwrath, but here Nidorino has apparently readied a supercharged electric attack. Presumably it put so much energy into the attack that it didn’t actually have the strength to fire it, meaning it needed to trick Haunter into touching it at the perfect moment!’
‘So the running around was all an act?’
‘Well, maybe, maybe not. I’m sure Will would have been delighted if Nidorino had gotten lucky and hit Haunter with a Shadow Claw, but it appears that that wasn’t the main intention of the move.’
‘Fascinating, Bill, just fascinating. I feel like I’m watching history in the making.’
Will stared intently as Morty drew his final Poké Ball from his belt. Anyone who knew the first thing about the Gym Leaders of Johto knew that that Ball contained a Gengar, Morty’s signature Pokémon. Gengar erupted from its Poké Ball to rapturous applause. For a second, Will tried to work out whether the applause had been louder for Nidorino or not, but quickly returned his focus to the battle. He knew exactly what to do. He had studied video tapes of battles against Morty’s Gengar religiously, and had been able to devise an excellent strategy for defeating it. Of course, it was completely theoretical, so there was plenty of room for failure.
‘Nidorino, you know what to do!’
Nidorino began tunnelling into the ground, as Gengar faded into invisibility.
‘Hiding?’ asked Morty, surprised, ‘Gengar, blow that rat out of its hole. Your strongest Shadow Ball from high above. Don’t let it go until it’s fully charged or Nidorino emerges.’
Gengar faded back into view, floating high above the arena. It raised its arms above its head, and slowly began creating a dark ball of energy. The ball slowly became bigger and bigger, shaking as if it could explode at any moment. The tension in the arena was incredible. The entire audience waited with bated breath to see what would happen next. As Gengar continued to charge its attack, Morty eyed the hole that Nidorino had disappeared into suspiciously. He knew there was more to it than merely hiding, but he couldn’t figure out what. He suspected Nidorino would emerge from the hole just as the attack was launched, dodge the attack, and attempt to hit Gengar while its guard was down. That was why he had had Gengar attack from so high – as well as Gengar being too high for Nidorino too easily hit it with an attack, gravity meant that the Shadow Ball would move so fast that it would be extremely difficult to dodge from out of such a small hole.
‘Nidorino’s not gonna be able to survive that Shadow Ball, Max,’ said Frankie Wynne, ‘I’m scared.’
‘Oh shut up, stop being such an idiot. It’s not gonna hit him. Will has a plan... He always has a plan.’
‘Max!’ snapped their mother, not taking her eyes off the match.
Meanwhile, the red haired teen was becoming extremely agitated.
‘Come on, Morty, if you’re that fucking stupid, why are you a Gym Leader? Come on, this is transparent!’
‘You’ve seen Morty’s Gengar in action before. After it’s charged its attack to full power, ain’t nothing gonna come out of it conscious.’
‘Are you really that fucking stupid too, Chubby? God damn it, I don’t know why I keep you around at all.’
It was almost a full minute that Gengar charged its Shadow Ball for. Sweat dripped freely down both Will and Morty’s foreheads. Both of them knew that what happened now would decide the match, and they were both uncomfortably aware that their plans were far from infallible. Finally, the moment came when Gengar could pass no further energy into its Shadow Ball without risking being unable to fire it, and knocking itself out. It flung the enormous attack down the tunnel that Nidorino had dug at full force. The excited screams from the audience made it difficult to pay attention to the battle. To Morty’s surprise, Nidorino did not emerge as the attack reached the ground, and the Shadow Ball actually successfully went all the way into the hole. Silence fell in the arena. Every man, woman, and child stared intently at the hole, trying to figure out what was happening. After about a second, the enormous Shadow Ball came flying back out of the hole, moving at such a speed that it was impossible for Gengar to dodge it. The Ghost Pokémon was immediately knocked out. The referee tried to announce Will’s victory, but went completely unheard over the incredible noise that the crowd made, even with his microphone. Seconds later, Nidorino burst out of the same hole, surrounded by what looked like broken glass, glittering gloriously in the arena’s lights.
‘Woah! What the hell just happened, Bill?’
‘I- I can’t believe what I just saw. Nidorino somehow fired the attack back at Gengar! Oh, hang on, I’ve got the Technical Expert. He thinks Nidorino used some sort of Ice technique to create a defensive, reflective layer above its hiding place in the hole. That would have caused the attack to be fired back, and accounts for the small diamonds that surrounded Nidorino as it finally emerged. It also explains why the Shadow Ball was moving so quickly when it came back out – rather than simply blocking the attack and firing it back, which would have slowed it down, the ice caused the attack to slip and spin, speeding it up even more.’
‘Wow, Bill, that’s really something. What a match!’
‘That’s right, and, don’t forget, you saw it here first, folks. That was Will Wynne’s fifth Gym victory, and his next step towards bringing the Championship back to Johto.’
‘Don’t go anywhere, because in just five minutes, Rod Cotton has got an exclusive interview with the man himself. That’s certainly not-’
The red haired teen stood up, and put his foot through the television set.
‘It’s about time that cock sucker got what’s coming to him.’