There was only one problem that I cared about: Max was supposed to start with Ralts. And also: Who is:
2.The girl and
in your banner?
They are all revealed ... I'll post Chapter 5 now for some more info for you! But they are all revealed! :)
Chapter 5: A whole lot-a steel trouble!
The four Pokemon appeared at their trainers beckon, immediately surrounding Max, Roxanne, Joshua and all their Pokemon. The five-cloaked people stepped forward in an oddly fashion, not seeming bothered by this inevitable hold up. They were edging slowly closer towards the heroes, intimidating with every foot.
“So are you going to give the item up willingly, or are we going to have to take it by force?” The man in the middle snarled through the gap in the clothing around his face, the other four masked people stood there, staring blankly at the trio as if conduced into a trance. Max’s fists began to clench, tightening his anger inside like tension on a rope. “Tick Tock, Tick Tock. Time is running out, I would suggest you make a decision now rather than later.” Again the man in the middle didn’t seem bothered, the words just came naturally to him suggesting an apparent joy to this form of intimidation.
Joshua glanced into the sky, discretely looking for his Swellow. When the five had first arrived (attacking Butch and Cassidy) Joshua had ordered Swellow to retrieve Officer Jenny from Littleroot Town, sensing that danger was possibly ahead. It was no use; they just wouldn’t arrive in time.
“Looks like I’m going to have to take matters into my own hands! Skarmory, grab Roxanne’s handbag and fly to somewhere safe.” Joshua threw the red and white PokeBall into the air. A Steel bird Pokemon appeared, with armour all over its body. It grabbed Roxanne’s handbag in its mouth, beginning to climb at rapid speeds away from the ruins. Max immediately pulled his Pokédex out of his pocket, forgetting the apparent danger that possessed their future. The small device clicked on and began to describe Skarmory.
“Skarmory, the Armour Bird Pokémon. Despite being clad entirely in iron-hard armour, it manages to fly at speeds of 180 mph. In battle Skarmory can be a difficult opponent to defeat.”
“Gligar, go grab that Pokédex! We can’t have them using it as a tracking device!” This was the first sign of anger any of the five had shown, the small flying scorpion reacted with quick movements heading directly for Max. The young trainer was terrified, he couldn’t move out of the way in time! Gligar’s pincer began to glow a bright purple, it was preparing for a Poison Jab attack. One simple Slash was all it took to send Max flying. In the process, the Pokédex slipped out of Max’s sweaty hand, Gligar swooped down and caught it in his small claw. Max came crashing down onto his back, the Pokemon reacted quickly sending warning growls to not approach.
‘Char, Charmander,’ the little Pokemon watched as his trainer fell, calling out in fear, Budew stood as still as ice, intimidated by the other Pokemon!
“Max! Are you all right?” Roxanne was concerned, running to the aid of Max and totally ignoring the other Steel Pokemon. He was stunned and badly injured, wincing at the pain infecting his entire body.
“Look’s like your time has run out. Tie them together and bring them to the helicopter! Nahahahaha!” The man standing in the centre swivelled around, tearing off his mask and cloak, summoning the others to follow. Roxanne was grabbed from behind, being lifted onto her feet and having her hands tied, Max was dragged to Roxanne being attached to the same rope, while Joshua was to frightened to decline.
“Let us go! Let us go! Let us go!” Roxanne’s voice was heard, echoing for a few seconds with a hint of a tremble thrown in. “You can’t do this to us...he needs a doctor! Please.” Roxanne could feel Max’s hands becoming colder; his energy was draining out of him, making him weaker. Following them were Charmander, Budew and Nosepass, all being watched by Magneton, Bronzor and Prinplup. Budew was becoming more scared by the seconds, anticipating the worst. She looked to her left at Charmander acting brave and strong. He seemed to have a feeling that they would all escape unharmed.
They reached another clearing where the helicopter became visible; the size of the machine was gigantic. A ramp began to unfold from the revealing a metal hatchway to clamber aboard, making a tremendous racket as it touched the ground before everyone.
Without turning around, the main person began to speak to an audience of willing ears, “Our main goal is to find that Skarmory no matter what. Without it our trip out here would have been for nothing.” An eerie silence arose, nothing and no one made a single movement, not wishing to tempt fate. After a lengthy pause a siren began to ring throughout the black flying machinge. The line began to move again, climbing up the ramp into darkness’s mouth.
“Sir! What should we do with the Pokemon?”
“Take them to the same holding cell as our human guests. Just separate them by a barrier, so they can both watch each other in pain and suffering!” A slight chuckle just squeezed out his lips, sounding pure and whole. “One last thing!” He directed this comment towards the only one that was truly listening and not pre-occupied, Roxanne. “If you don’t give us what we want…your Pokemon will become Rock Statues displayed for all to see!”
‘Cruughh,’ Skarmory called, descending upon Littleroot Town’s Police Station. The massive armour bird landed on the rooftop, gracefully tucking its wings against its body. The force from touching the rooftop created a ripple throughout the building.
“What was that?” The female Police officer known as Officer Jenny enquired, “Head for the rooftop!” She rounded her men together, running to the metallic steep stairs. Her black high heels echoed through the building, she unhooked two PokeBalls from her blue miniskirt. “Arcanine and Tangrowth, we need your assistance.” The Fire dog appeared first, it’s red and black coat sparkling like a star and producing a tremendous growl. Next was the Grass Pokemon Tangrowth, which looked alike in some ways to a heavily overgrown bush.
The door leading to the roof finally arrived; it was time to find out what was going on! The door creaked as Officer Jenny and her team piled through, quickly surrounding Skarmory.
“Skarmory?” Officer Jenny seemed to recognize it, “Your Josh’s Skarmory aren’t you?” She noticed the handbag hanging out of the Pokemon’s mouth. “What’s going on?”
As the Steel Bird began to speak, a cry was heard from up above, ‘Swellow, Swell,’ the Navy White Pokemon elegantly swept toward the collaboration of people and Pokemon, perching onto Skarmory’s shiny silver head. ‘Swellow!’
Arcanine became startled and started to rapidly shoot an endless flame from inside its mouth attempting to ward the Pokemon away. Bursts flew in all directions startling even the Police Officers.
“Arcanine stop that Flamethrower at once!” Jenny was furious at the outburst from Arcanine, although she knew that he was indeed attempting to protect her, it wasn’t needed. Jenny immediately became embarrassed, issuing the men to get back to work, “There is no need to panic. These Pokemon are Josh’s, resume whatever you were doing before the disturbance, that goes for you too Arcanine!” A rush of body’s descended back through the steel door in a matter of seconds, Officer Jenny watched ore struck as all these men complied to her command straight away. “Wow! That’s, that’s co…” turning around to face the four Pokemon she suddenly halted her speech, intending to forget the last few comments, “Right! Back to the point.” Her piercing voice became soft in a split second as if she had a split personality. “Skarmory, Swellow. What brought you here?” Skarmory took the instinctive lead in explaining the situation to Arcanine and Tangrowth who then relayed it onto the Green Haired Police Women.
“Grw, Grw Greuw!” Arcanine said with an apprehensive tone attached to his deep growls. Since Officer Jenny had known her Arcanine for over 10 years she instantly knew that trouble was brewing not far that far away.
“Oldale Town? Is that where we need to go?” Swellow nodded rising into the early afternoon sky and promptly heading in the direction of Joshua. Jenny held out two PokeBalls pointing them both at Tangrowth and Arcanine, “You two, I’m going to ride on the back of Skarmory. You’re going to have to stay in your PokeBalls for the meantime.” Two red beams of light flew from the white circle on the Balls. Once in contact with the Pokemon, it turned them red and sucked them inside. “Okay, Skarmory lets go!” It didn’t take that long for Jenny and Skarmory to be next to Swellow, who also swept over and landed on the shiny Pokemon.
The brig was dark, damp and cold, two watchmen sat on either side of the gloomy door that entered the imprisonment. Max had luckily fallen to sleep due to Budew using her Sleep Powder directly on him to hopefully help ease the pain he was in. His body was sprung out draped over Roxanne, who, like Joshua, had changed her attitude to scared and frightened. She lent over Max who seemed peaceful at last, snoring calm melody’s as he dreamt of far off lands full of cheerful and playful Pokemon! The door buzzed as it slid open to give way to the unmasked man, however since it was relatively dark Roxanne was not able to identify whom he was.
The man stepped forward easing closer towards the bars of their cages. “Are you going to tell me what I want to know?” He calmly stood there waiting for a positive response to what seemed like a simple question. “You know I don’t’ like waiting. So put me out of my misery.” Roxanne turned her glance at Joshua and then the ground. His presence felt extremely intimidating, presenting many problems to the need of communication. “Fine, if that’s how you want to play it that’s how we will.” He began to leave the room however stopping before he made it out. “Just to let you know, when we find Skarmory he’ll need all the help he could get. Or I suppose we could sell him off for money. That won’t be too bad!”
“Noooo! You leave him alone. If you even lay a single finger on my precious Pokemon you will pay for it.” Joshua grabbed the iron bars shaking them with all his might. What he planned to achieve was far from what the eye could see. The door again began to make the buzzing noise as it closed to leave the distressed voice of Joshua. Tears dripped down his fair skin, again producing Joshua into a distraught heap on the floor. Roxanne felt the pain that
Joshua had bundled inside, she couldn’t even imagine what it would feel like to loose two Pokemon in the same day.
A bump surprisingly trembled the bars of the cage that everyone was in, stirring Max awake. Roxanne clenched him tightly afraid he would come to more harm. “Are you all right Max?”
Groaning he sat himself upright, “I feel a lot better than before, but that isn’t hard!” Seeing how dull the situation seemed to be Max decided to enlighten the mood with a pinch of humour. The bars began to rattle again issuing Joshua with an excuse to relieve himself from a clump of sorrow on the floor. Standing up and brushing the dust off, he quickly ran to the edge of the cage to have a peak through the window to take note of the current dilemma and being very careful and cautious to not touch the side. A silver wing brushed the glass of the window piercing the ears of everyone in the room thus making the guards stop the game of cards. Joshua knew who the wing belonged to and needed a simple distraction to help Skarmory in its activities. He plucked the first idea out of his head straight to the tip of his tongue.
“That noise was me!” The guards both stared at him, intending to be rather scary. “I did it to attract your…attention.” The guards again just stared at him as if he seemed meaningless, hoping not to have to ask for an answer to be given. “…I…Well I…I…Skarmory is going to be back at the ruins. We intended to trick all of you!” Upon the last letter both guards rushed out of the holding cell, obviously both wanting to be the first to tell whoever was in charge perhaps hoping for a promotion into higher ranks. This gave Joshua the perfect opportunity; time seemed to have switched sides.
The wind howled through the strands of Officer Jenny’s hair, giving her thrill that she would never forget. Once again they attempted to break the side of the copter open, to free Max and the others but time after time it just didn’t work. Jenny took her eye of the helicopter and scanned the ground for confirmation of where they were and where they were heading. Directly beneath them was the start of Petalburg City and the buildings stretching as far as the horizon. The giant mechanic machine suddenly tilted slightly to the left, dipping lower to the ground. The noise vibrated the air around them; nearly everyone came out of their houses to see what was creating the tremendous ear ache. Both Carolyn (Max’s Mum) and Norman (Max’s Dad) were already outside having training matches between Slakoth and Snorlax. They didn’t seem bothered by this commotion unaware of who was trapped inside.
After a long and (to Skarmory) tiresome fly to the ruins of Oldale, the helicopter seated itself neatly onto the fresh grass, motivating Jenny to wake herself from her drowsy state. Skarmory dove into the near tree tops allowing Jenny to jump from its armoured back, she held tightly to the hand bag. “Arcanine and Tangrowth your assistance is needed,” she very delicately whispered, both Pokemon were able to take the hint from her voice. Arcanine crouched down, rolling its fluffy tail out straight, Tangrowth melded with the bushes to be able to hear any conversation clearly. Skarmory and Swellow took to the sky in order to keep a beady eye on their friends.
The hatch screeched as it laid softly upon the clean ground. Five cloaked men immediately stepped from inside the contraption being crudely followed by three chained people and Pokemon. “Skarmory…will be in those ruins over there…You promise not to hurt him.” Joshua felt an urge of sudden glee flowing within his body, the only people getting injured wasn’t them but the 5 masked men. Their pride would be sufficiently attacked.
This was Officer Jenny’s chance to shine, not thinking she half heartedly scurried into sight, skidding across the damp green ground. Arcanine and Tangrowth alike bolted out of hiding to support their trainer and stop the evil doings of the thugs. “Hand over the hostages now!” Angry as ever her rage boiled over, needing to escape and scold someone else. She wasn’t going to let anybody break the law, let alone get way with it. “Let’s show them what we can do guys. Arcanine use Flamethrower and Tangrowth use Power Whip” Nodding in agreement the two Pokemon released their attacks, the endless flame engulfed the five men causing a panicked reaction. The gigantic whip then slapped the men directly in the stomach, sending them soaring into the side of the chopper. Officer Jenny headed straight for the three tied together worried about their health and safety, “Are you all Okay?”
“Yeah, we’re okay,” Max bluntly replied rubbing his sore chest as Jenny untied them all. He lifted his head high, thanking the world for his well being and his chance to be the greatest Pokemon Master ever! “Don’t you want to go after those lot?”
“Not this time! I’ll let them go for once, but if they ever mess with me or my friends again...They will regret it!” The young woman raised her gaze into the reddening sky, the evening was looming ever closer preparing for the arrival of a new fresh day. Would a fresh start help erase the evil along with it?
Chapter 6: Zigzag through the mind!
Max was thrown harshly against the inside of a metal machine, not being able to see exactly what was taking place as his injury was causing him to become weaker and weaker. He heard a woman speaking to him; unfortunately again this was muffled as his mind was concentrating on the throbbing pain pounding in his chest. His instincts were informing him of friends in need, but just who they were, he couldn’t remember. More voices entered the whirl of vibrations buzzing around Max, intending to penetrate the walls of his secluded mind. He heard the cries of little, unknown voices, not speaking the language he knew, they just seemed to keep on repeating the same word over and over again but with different intonations. Maybe he was just having a bad dream. Creatures just saying one word and only one word seemed really weird and rather crazy. Once all the complaining was over a certain warmth crept over his muscles, seeping into his skin and rested like a layer of mould over his body. Max began to feel sluggish and dozy, wondering what was causing the strange effects on him. More calls were sounding again with a slight electrical buzz in the background. Had he been encased in an electrified cage? Before he had a chance to answer the question posed in his mind, darkness thrust itself into Max’s vision. All lights seemed to switch off!
Bolting upright and back into his world, Max rubbed his mahogany eyes free of bitterness. It seemed that the previous days experiences had affected him more than he had originally thought. Quietly he wriggled out of the bed that Joshua had kindly allowed him to stay in the night before. He grabbed his warm clothing and stumbled into the bathroom, locking it as he whisked himself in. Dumping everything in his hand to one side he clambered into the shower, not bothering to take his green t-shirt and red shorts off. Max just needed to be woken up, then maybe he could think straight and erase the nightmare from his system. The hum lurched on, chugging away in the background while a cool jet of water lashed over Max, swallowing him into an array of droplets.
The water continued to splash upon his weary body while he began to recap his nightmare, playing it over and over again in his mind as if it was a remote controlling a DVD. ‘Maybe he was just having a bad dream, creatures just saying one word and only one word seemed really weird and rather crazy.’ How could he have forgotten Pokemon and how they act? Tears swelled in his eyes, Budew and Charmander had needed him and he wasn’t able to help them. All he had done was think that these creatures were crazy!
Two loud knocks tapped on the door to the blue striped bathroom, “Max, are you all right?” Roxanne had been awoken by the noise of the shower pattering in her ear like a calm rain shower. “Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, Roxanne! I’m fine. I just wanted a shower to sooth my muscles.” The young boy stretched his tightened muscles, relaxing himself; he switched the shower off stepping onto the fury carpet. Dripping everywhere, he reached for a towel drying himself and his clothes the best he could. Slipping kindly off his damp skin, the clothes were placed in a bag, ready to be hung out to dry in the glistening morning sun. After a rapid change, Max flung himself out of the bathroom door, making sure that his glance didn’t befall that of his Pokemon. He couldn’t face them at the moment; he had to give them space.
The brisk morning air tickled his fresh skin, causing the hairs to stand on end from a slight chill. Max however was in a mind of his own not feeling the effects, depressing himself with the thoughts of the helicopter. Not realizing he was doing so, he subconsciously pulled his damp clothes from their plastic covering and clipped them to a washing line outside of the thatched hut with the wooden clips already hanging there, swaying a little in the light wind. Shortly after his approach into the clearing, Roxanne followed keeping a watchful eye on his on goings, her apprehensive look indicating her vexed thoughts. She couldn’t understand what was going on with Max, why was he acting so strange?
Seeing the beautiful shine of the morning dancing on the bright green leaves, spreading a joyous feeling from one plant to the next, Max sullenly lowered himself to the ground, banging his back against the Willow tree positioned behind him. For once he didn’t cry out in pain, as he knew either Joshua or Roxanne would be out of the cabin in no time, to rapidly aid him. Instead tears flourished to his maroon eyes, feverishly containing themselves behind the white seal. Drawing his knees toward his dismayed face, Max couldn’t help burry himself into the lavish comfort of the black trousers, radiating a warm sense of pleasure through his gloomy and murky mind. A calm sense of relaxation multiplied like bacteria in every small section of his skin, acting in a style of meditation!
“Oy! You!” A brown haired girl stood a mere metre away from Max, her pink mini skirt crinkling in the light breeze. Max vaguely lifted his head to a point of seeing her black fluffy boots, poised as if she was about to do something extreme. “Are you with us?” She appeared to have become a tad less agitated, launching into an uncontrolled babble! “Well actually using the term ‘with us’ could suggest that you weren’t originally in our reality which is possible since know one really knows what reality is but I’m sure they will some day and figure out whether we are just…”
“Okay, okay, okay, I get it! You don’t need to keep on at me!” Max broke free from his calm, relaxed mental state, arising to his feet and positioning himself into an aggravated stance! “There is no need to ramble on at me!” His persona changed to a bully, causing the girl to react with a fearful reply.
“I’m sorry,” she cried with a howling wail, “I didn’t want to come across rude.” She retracted away from Max, causing him to revert back to his normal self. “Also, the main reason I came over here was to ask for a battle. Y…you see, I’ve only just got my starter Pokemon and I wanted to test my skills.” She compelled herself back into a cheerful smile, impatient for her first ever battle.
“Okay then! I accept!” Max whisked his hand to the location of his PokeBalls, realising that his Pokemon were still at the cabin. “Er, sorry to bring your idea to a halt, but er, my Pokemon are just back through there if you still want a battle!” Max stuttered, this time retracting in order to leave unscathed. He indicated to the clearing that he had just escaped from, “There, that’s where we have to go!”
They had finally arrived at the wooden hut, proceeding inaudibly inside. To Max’s dismay Roxanne was blocking his clear path to the Pokemon, playing together like Nursery children. His fearful expression revived onto the clean skin, unaware of its presence.
“Max, what’s wrong? You’ve been acting strange all morning and I need answers!” Roxanne came across as a stern figure deciphering an ancient code.
“I…I don’t know what your talking about,” his determined ability to prove himself wrong once again overpowering the need for truth, with a sudden need to change the conversation. “Please can you let me take Budew for a battle?”
“Not until you tell me what is the matter!” The two both seemed to have forgotten the presence of Max’s new friend, witnessing what seemed (from her point of view) to be a ridiculous little feud! She could tell that Max was caving to the idea of coming clean.
“It’s just that…well erm…something that happened last night!” Twitching as the words escaped his solid grasp. Joshua sauntered into the fire lit room, swiftly stopping at the noticeable silence discharging itself from the three stragglers, who a few seconds ago where in a heated discussion.
“Am I interrupting?” He questioned with an admirable amount of courage, but just like with the girl he was totally ignored. The silence bellowed it’s noise for more minutes to come, ignoring any possible sign of interruption.
The four eyes continued to be fixated with one another like they were the mouths doing the talking. At last Roxanne finally stated her thoughts as if she had understood the problem at hand. “Max, you don’t have to worry about dreams, they are just your imaginations view on things. There is no need to worry!”
“Wow, for a second there you sounded like one of my sisters newest friends, how odd! And I suppose your right! There is no need to worry.” Swivelling around to face his newest friend, Max compellingly started to lighten up his mood, “So, you ready for that battle I promised you!”
The glare of the mid-day sun roared in the picturesque sky, providing a glimpse of happiness onto the damned Earth.
“You can have the first move, being a gentleman and all!” Max grabbed a hold of the small ball containing the petite bud Pokemon, Budew. Pressing the centre white button, it expanded in size signalling that the battle was about to begin. The youngster opposite placed her blue handbag beside her feet; reaching to a PokeBall attached to her miniskirt, she did the exact same motion, throwing her PokeBall into the middle of the battle arena. This Pokemon that appeared, looked like it was a grass type, since it was a whitey colour blended with a light green touch. It was on all fours and had a green dots around its shiny neck, the most amazing thing was the leaf on top of its’ rounded head. Max seized his Pokédex from the pocket that it was now obtained in.
The device began to recall its' nature, “Chikorita, the dinosaur Pokemon, it uses the leaf to determine the temperature in it’s environment and loves to sunbathe when it posses the chance!” After slipping it neatly back into the pocket of his trousers, he threw the PokeBall in his left hand, out of the white beam emerged Budew, dancing on the spot with the occasional chirp of contentment.
Open space surrounded the two onlookers, watching the adolescents prepare for a casual battle, with the relatively near past pushed further and further behind them. Max and Budew were rearing to go, a proper battle for them to test their skills and teamwork. “Hm, two grass types against each other, this shall prove to be fascinating, therefore let’s commence!” With a yell of support from the sidelines, the opponents lunged towards each other, waiting for their trainers to relay commandments.
“Chikorita, given that you’re up there lets use Tackle!” The tiny grass Pokemon tucked her legs into her side bending her head down. With one sharp movement, Chikorita’s slammed into Budew with its’ full body weight as the force. Budew back flipped onto her legs, posing with style.
“Budew lets use your Bullet Seed attack, followed up with Water Sport!” A yellow shine released miniature seeds in the dozen at a horrific speed, Chikorita had no chance to dodge, but the lass thought on her feet, instructing the Pokemon to counter with Razor Leaf. The leaf upon Chikorita span like a rotor on a Helicopter, creating sharp leaves that cut the oncoming seeds with no trouble at all. Budew quickly reacted by energetically vibrating its’ small body in order to fabricate water. The approaching leaves were splattered, along with Chikorita. At first it didn’t prove to be a significant problem, until the attack began to slow down, dropping dead against the soil. Everyone realised that the move was used defensively to allow Budew a chance to move earlier and let the attacks hit. “It didn’t work as I expected it to, but destroying your attack certainly helped!”
“The battle isn’t over yet so don’t jump to immediate conclusions Max,” called Roxanne from the bench at the boundary of the arena. “You need to think strategically if you’re going to win this one!”
“Well we’re not going to mess up from here onwards, Chikorita Leach Seed now!” The green dots around Chikorita’s neck glowed a vibrant red, linking them all together. As a result it released three giant buds, directly hitting Budew. After impact, vines swept from one bulb to the next, connecting together. Zaps of energy constantly hit Budew, draining power out and into Chikorita. Roxanne declared the battle over, saying Budew was unable to continue the battle. Max ran beside his injured Pokemon, tearing the damaging attack from Budew. He cradled her in his loving arms, standing straight up and gleaming at the winner.
“Well done!” He withdrew one of his arms from Budew, gesturing his appreciation. The girl took his hand into hers’, returning his gleeful smile. “Budew will be alright, and you’ve shown me my errors, thank you.”
“Really I should be thanking you for giving me and outstanding first battle, and if others are like this then we will have amazing battles in our attempt to wins ribbons!”
“So you are a Coordinator, good luck in your contests. I hope to see you again some day. One last thing before I forget, what did you say your name was?”
“Oh, I didn’t mention that, how silly of me! My name’s Harriet, nice to formally greet you!”
Chapter 7: Back with a clash!
The sunlight was still as strong as ever, piercing the windows of the hut with its intensifying glare. Three deep shadows broadened their gaze across the wooden floor. The young girl put her cherry coloured jacket back on before gently rising to her feet.
“Well I best be heading off now,” Harriet mentioned, placing her navy handbag on her left shoulder, “It was a pleasure to meet you.”
“Likewise, and when you participate in the Rustboro contest come visit me in the gym!” Shaking the hand of the young girl, “There will always be biscuits waiting for you!” Roxanne giggled.
“Bye Harriet, and good luck in the Petalburg City contest,” a comforting smile beaming toward the Coordinator, “Do you want me to get Max for you?”
“Nah, I’ll probably bump into him at some point,” chuckling at her strange thought of comment. “Tell Max I said goodbye,” she said while strolling out of the door, headed toward the direct path for Petalburg City.
Max stood in front of the green computer interface, seizing hold of the lime coloured phone that hung from the side. Remembering what his Dad told him before he left Professor Birch’s lab, Max dialled in the number of a Pokemon Centre in the Jhoto region.
“Hello. This is the New Bark Pokemon Centre. How may I be of help?” A lady with vibrant pink hair appeared on the screen. Her face seemed care worn, more appreciative than any other Nurse Joys he had seen.
“I was wondering if you had a register of the people staying?” As she gave a simple nod the curls of her hair seemed to bounce from the force of the movement. “Would it be possible if I could take a look at the list?” His anxiety becoming more apparent by the second as his hand twitched from nervousness.
“If I could ask you to step away from the console as I fax through the information,” always with the same calm tone of voice, “I’ve sent it, just wait a few minutes.” A chugging noise began to constantly repeat itself in rhythmic pulses, spurting out a piece of file paper from the top of the appliance. “There you go sir, now if there is anything else…?” She noticed his enlightened face beaming at the sheet of paper as if it was his lifeline on a desert Island.
“Umm, there is one last thing,” pointing at one particular name on the list, “Is she available?” Once again showing his nerves through a few simple words.
“Certainly, she just had her Pokemon looked at. I’ll only be a few minutes,” repositioning her white nurse hat upon smaller curls, she wandered out of view, undetectable in any part of the screen. When it seemed like fifteen minutes had passed, she reappeared with a brown haired girl who was readjusting her green bandana.
“MAY!” The words were all he needed to comfort him again, nearly drawing out fresh tears. “I’ve really missed you!” Seeing the reaction of a huge grin smiling proudly back on his pale face, Max became engulfed in an unveiling excitement. “There is so much I have to tell you!”
“Well little bro, the start is always a great place to begin,” she smiled, seeing how much it meant to Max to be talking to her again. “Oh, before anything else, I have someone here who wants to see you.” May gently bent toward the ground, grasping hold of her Pokemon, raising her to the screen. Two frost coloured eyes sparkled in the reflection of the screen, Glaceon was as still as a block of ice with her two drapes fluttering from side to side. Her icy coloured diamond shapes were dotted all around her glossy fur. She gave a quiet purr as May stroked her coat from front to back.
“Ha, Eevee evolved! Now that is a definite surprise.” His smile widening by the enjoyment of the conversation, “ I don’t remember seeing you with her at the Wallace Cup?”
“I did use her. Don’t you remember the final battle?”
“Umm, no. That may have been when I was out at the local market buying fresh fruit for Mum, but for her to evolve you obviously went to Snowpoint City, but enough about that, here is my news, ” Max paused for impact, “Here are my new friends!” Clamping hold of two newly polished PokeBalls, he opened them to reveal Charmander and Budew. “I’m a Pokemon Trainer!”
May was utterly bewildered by the facts, resulting in her nearly dropping Glaceon. “Wow, so you went and did it then! Congratulations.” Her admiration and delight was encrypted within her sea coloured eyes.
Max’s enthusiasm overwhelmed him once again; his sister had shown him respect, which was all he wanted, “May, thank you.” A relaxing quietness lingered between the siblings, as if they were communicating with each other without the use of words. Breaking the silence, Max began to continue with his achievements and upcoming goals, “Another thing, I am intending to challenge Dad soon but with only 2 Pokemon that won’t be allowed. So I was wondering if I could use Delcatty?”
“Certainly Max, just make sure she comes out unscathed,” she said with a little laugh coiled into the words. May swung her green belt pack so it faced the screen why she fished around for a little card, “Now I also have some joyous news. Look, this is a pass to compete in Sinnoh, and I intend to beat Harley and Drew!”
Max smiled, “You have the potential to win that, if you try hard enough.” The sibling rivalry was sparked to life once more, with fiery results.
“What? POTENIAL! I could easily win it with my eyes closed!”
“Hah, you’re just being cocky May, it would take a lot of work, and even then you may hardly succeed!” May boiled with anger, how dare her brother say she wouldn’t win. “Did you like what I did there, the pun?”
“Max, you little DEVIL! And no, that joke is getting tiresome now, and if you won’t appreciate me then I won’t listen to this.” Her hand rose toward the machine, with one flick of a finger, Max was alone.
“Argh, she switched the machine off on me!” The tension in his voice exceeding the normal parameters, “Hm, oh well, she evened our score. And I suppose it was nice to talk to her as she has helped me decide what to do!” He recalled both Pokemon and briskly walked back into the front room, where Joshua and Roxanne were having an avid conversation about whether Solrock were better than Lunatone.
“Lunatone are better by far, their Psychic abilities are more superior to that of Solrock’s!” Roxanne said in an elegant tone.
“WHAT! Just because it has better Psychic abilities doesn’t make it better overall. If we go by that set of rules then my…”
“Will you two be quiet!” Max roared over the noise of the others, while he calmly retracted into a leather chair next to Roxanne. “Now, I need to make an announcement.” He cleared his throat before proceeding with the words, “I have decided to leave for Petalburg this afternoon as I now have enough Pokemon to challenge my Dad with!”
“Hold on! You have 3 Pokemon? Since when?” Roxanne seemed extremely puzzled; Max had only been gone a 15 minutes.
“My sister is lending me her Delcatty to use, and there is nothing that says you can’t in Dad’s rules.”
“Well, I’m coming with you then, might as well travel in a pair,” she turned in her chair to face Joshua, “Sorry, but I guess it’s our time to leave.”
“No, it’s okay. I’ll be fine here with Swellow and Skarmory by my side, and I know Budew will do fine with a talented trainer like you Max.”
“He…he,” his laugh seeming on edge, “Talented? Well maybe in a few days!” He scratched the top of his head in embarrassment, which seemed to make him check that he had all his belongings with him; carefully placing the PokeBalls in his hand back onto his belt. “I’m ready to go.”
“So am I, and take good care Joshua,” she grasped his hand more tightly than Harriet’s, giving it a vigorous shake. “I really will miss you.”
“Same here, and see you someday Max.” A sudden flash of light illuminated the bottom of Max’s blue t-shirt. Standing before her former trainer, Budew leaped into his arms giving him one final hug before she departed on her journey around Hoenn. “It’s time for you to leave, do come back and visit me though.” There were definite tears forming in both human and Pokemon’s eyes, a silent goodbye was all that could be fashioned.
Max and Roxanne opened the door to the warm sunlight on their faces. The road beckoned to the two to begin their trek onto Petalburg City where Max was certain he would obtain his first gym badge.
“Budew are you ready to leave?” A hushed nod came from the saddened Pokemon as Max held her PokeBall in the air. The red light flew and struck the Pokemon, recalling her back inside, “Goodbye Joshua and stay well.” Max and Roxanne marched into the sunlight that was setting into the clearing. Taking a sharp turn right and back into the Oldale Town forest, they set off toward Petalburg City and Max’s first Gym Battle. The excitement and confidence couldn’t be contained any longer, he leaped into the air, punching it out of his way! “Yeah, I’m back in the game and ready to win!”
Chapter 8: A Blast From The Past
A wild wind swept through the beaten forest, raising a few Pokemon from a mid morning nap. Next to the rushing river stood Max and Roxanne, in excited postures. Roxanne tossed a red and white PokeBall into the middle of the path, seeming completely relaxed unlike Max. A white light appeared, and escaping from within it came a towering rock snake glaring at Charmander, not once lifting its intimidating gaze. Charmander was interlocked into Onix’s eyes, which seemed to defeat Charmander without attacking him! Max was also feeling the heat; he had encountered Onix’s before but he was never attempting to beat one in a battle, especially with a type disadvantage. All around the raging battle were small chirps from other Pokemon, like the green striped Caterpillar, peaking through the bushes on the other side of the ongoing sapphire river. The Caterpie seemed intensively agitated for an unknown reason.
“Okay, Charmander, we can do this…” his trail of speech faded, for some reason Max had clammed up.
“Onix, you ready?” A violent grunt came from the hard Rock Pokemon, “So lets get this party started, use Screech!” Onix rose his head to a further height; with one small movement he blasted a piercing noise toward the cowering Pokemon. The small orangey lizard flew with an immense force along the dusty terrain.
“Charmander no!” The Fire Pokemon was able to resist the urge to collapse and call defeat, “Charmander fight back with your Screech!” Max called.
Roxanne was ready, knowing that the inexperienced trainer would probably pull a trick like this, “Onix, retaliate with yours again!” With what seemed like all hell let loose, screeching noises soared like elegant waves of beauty at one another, as if to collapse into each other’s arms. The huge velocities collided with a noticeable difference in force and power, seeing Charmander’s Screech edge back toward him. “Onix, a slight bit more power!” She cried.
“Charmander you too!” The overall noise was unbearable for both trainers; Max had already resorted to clamping his hands round his ears tightly. Charmander couldn’t hold out any longer, with double the strength it struck his light orange body causing him to topple over. With an aching cry he slumped his head against the coarse ground feeling sharp stabs of small pebbles jab into him. “Charmander! You were great buddy, take a nice long rest.” The red beam of energy jagged its path over to the injured Pokemon and retracted it inside. “Thank you Roxanne, I feel more confident than ever that I will be able to beat my Dad with all this extra training,” Max said, walking over and shaking Roxanne’s hand. He reached across to Onix to feel the roughness of his body, but to his amazement it was as smooth as a marble top, allowing his hands to glide gracefully over the surface without feeling grazed.
“Anything wrong Max?” Roxanne asked with a puzzled tone.
“No, I just always though that an Onix would be rough, it came as a rather bewildering surprise you may say!” He chuckled with the faintest of smiles. “Do you think we can get going again, the more time we wait here the more I get excited,” his thrill of battling his Dad reviving in his burning spirit.
“Sure,” her gentle face soothing the fire alight within Max. “Onix return, we have a long trip ahead.” The gigantic beast flew back inside and caused Max to wonder how something so big could fit into something so small. Roxanne placed the PokeBall back into her handbag; she slung it over her shoulder and proceeded over to Max, “Lets go!”
“Jumpluff and Typhlosion let’s show them your power!” A red spiky haired teenager watched as his two beloved Pokemon appeared in front of him, his pair of confident scarlet eyes matching the same fire burning around Typhlosion’s neck. Typhlosion pounded his yellow front body attempting to scare his opponents. The blue floating sphere hovered over her trainer’s head, the three cream cotton balls releasing little threads that blew in the dampened wind. “Typhlosion and Jumpluff, finish this off with one attack each, Flamethrower on Sunflora and Bullet Seed on Geodude.”
The sun’s rays reached the top of Max’s head blossoming warmth onto him as he tugged his green and black fleece from his body. He could feel the heat as if it was tickling his sensitive skin relaxing him as he continued walking alongside Roxanne.
“Roxanne, do you mind if we take a quick lunch stop?” Max asked, wiping sweat from his brow, the sun’s rays becoming more intense.
Roxanne placed her handbag on the lush grass only a few metres away from the refreshing river. She started rummaging through the items in her bag, taking out ingredients, “Sure thing, I’ll prepare the food while you take a quick dip,” she smiled warmly.
She grabbed a hold of two PokeBalls in the side Pocket, throwing them high into the air. “Nosepass and Onix; come and take a break!” The towering Snake appeared first and signalled its hunger with a gigantic roar, Nosepass came out without any fuss. “Don’t forget to let your Pokemon out as well!” she called after Max who ran toward the sparkling river, throwing off his t-shirt, which immediately made his body cooler. He plunged straight into the frosty delight where he saw beautifully decorated Pokemon gliding up and down with their majestic fins and tails. The elegance shone as pure beauty to Max, and his amazement captivated his thoughts. For once he felt peaceful and one with nature. He broke through the surface of the water, still with an awe struck face painted on to him. He never knew that Pokemon could be so magnificent and stunning all at once, he could feel what is what like to be with Pokemon.
‘Phlo, Typhlosion,’ the human sized Pokemon roared as it released a jet of fire toward the cowering Sunflora who was immobilized from the fear. The Sunflower Pokemon was struck directly against its cream coloured face causing it to wail in agony as it fell lightly to the floor.
‘Pluff,’ cried the cotton Pokemon as hundreds of seeds were released from the cotton spores around its spherical body. The sharp seeds pierced the stony body of the frowning ball of Rock, standing his ground against the oncoming attack. The Bullet Seed started to ricochet from his solid body and strike both Jumpluff and Typhlosion.
“Argh, I didn’t predict this! Typhlosion and Jumpluff quickly dodge it!” Cried the shady character as he himself ducked out of the way of the repelled attack. Glaring back up he noticed that Geodude was still floating above the ground with only a few injuries received. “Typhlosion and Jumpluff this time we’ll combine our attacks…”
“I think I’ll get an attack in first mate, Geodude use Rollout on Typhlosion!” Jimmy called out from the opposite side, while his Rock Pokemon starting spinning at a high velocity straight for Typhlosion.
“Lets react quickly! Both use the same attacks!” The glowing Seeds were released first followed by the warm jet of fire, which started to spiral around the Bullet Seed. Geodude had no time to move out of the way, blundering directly into the intense assault. It swiftly fell against the ground, no longer able to continue the fight!
With the sounds of faint ripples crashing over his head Max once again broke the surface of the water, watching Goldeen, Feebas and Mantyke jump into the brisk air. Their movement seemed so stylish as their body’s sparkled in the rays of the sun, and his appreciation of them grew ever fonder.
He reluctantly swam for the shore, not once averting his gaze from the Pokemon, as he seemed to be learning more and more as he watched their behaviour in their natural habitats.
“Wow! Aren’t they stunning Roxanne.” Max rhetorically stated with his continuous face of wonder. “I can now understand why and old friend of mine loves to paint them in their natural habitats. You can learn so much from them,” forgetting that he was still sitting in the shallow water of the river.
Roxanne gave one of her caring smiles as she stared at the back of Max’s head, remembering her time when she felt this way. She returned her attention to the stew that was cooking away while Max began to dry himself down on the towel that Charmander had gracefully given him. Budew was sitting on the patch of grass next to Roxanne, cutting vegetables with her razor like Bullet Seed.
“Nosepass, wake up! It’s lunch time!” A cry of approval sounded from everyone around. Onix burst through the soil layer of the ground, its surface also glistening in the sun’s rays. Nosepass tottered over to its food bowl immediately slumping down in front of it. Charmander had already dug into his supply and was scoffing the food at a fast rate, while Budew was waiting for her trainer to begin to eat.
Max had rushed over faster than her had ever done before, grabbing his bowl of stew rapidly out of Roxanne’s delicate grip. Within a matter of seconds his plate was pristine, and he delved in the pan of Vegetable Stew with a super sized ladle.
“Slow down there Horsea, it ain’t going anywhere!”
“Dnt quoke me on Potamon jotes,” Max said while spiriting the food in his mouth everywhere. He took a huge gulp and relaxed his face and began to continue, “I just feel the need for more energy, and food gives you lots of it!”
“But cramming it will only give you stomach cramps or indigestion. You can eat the same amount of food in a longer period of time,” her melodic voice said. Realising that not much conversation was going to be made this mealtime she turned to face the river and its inhabitants playing (as it seemed) softly among the beautiful scenery.
“Hah! That’s my win!” The scarlet clear eyes once again piercing Jimmy’s soul as he recalled his Pokemon back to their balls. “I got a tip for you…” he paused, most likely to give an effect to his words following, “Bond with your Pokemon more. If you do that then you will be able to tell what they can do in reaction to an attack. Good Luck!”
They both clasped the others hand tightly, as if saying that they will meet again. Jimmy parted company, wandering down the track heading towards Oldale Town.
Max and Roxanne were moving rather sluggishly after their fattening meal, not really bothering to exert too much energy. Max gazed into the far off distance, hoping to see the sign welcoming them to Petalburg City, but still after six attempts, it wasn’t there. Instead was the silhouette of a young boy heading toward them with a brisk step in his movement, fidgeting around with his yellow and black baseball cap until his positioned it back to front. A quaff of his dark blue hair was sticking out underneath the rim of the hat while he was unfastening the top half of his red fleece.
“Hey! You!” The young trainer called at Max. “Do you want a Pokemon Battle?” Max was rather taken aback by the unexpected comment thus immediately changing his posture.
“Sure! I need all the practice I can get!”
“Okay then! The rules are simple; it’s a double battle, two on two. Whichever team faints first is the looser. Fair rules?”
“Sounds okay to me!” Completely reverting his dreary attitude, he grabbed Charmander’s and Budew’s PokeBall, “Budew and Charmander lets do our best!”
“Typhlosion and Beedrill! You too!” Jimmy cried throwing his PokeBalls up high. With a loud crack the four Pokemon stood in front of each other raring to begin the battle, with their eyes interlocking instantly. The Black and White striped wasp clanged its two needles together at the end of its front legs, showing Jimmy that he was ready for a fight. “Beedrill we’ll start this off with your Twineedle attack now! And Typhlosion use your Fire Spin!”
“Budew and Charmander, doge it!” Max yelled above the humming sound of the Twineedle. The small bud Pokemon swiftly laid herself against the ground, allowing the Fire Spin to wave over her, Charmander however hit back with his ember, which burnt the needles to white ashes floating down upon the surroundings as if they were gentle and elegant snowflakes.
“Arrgg! We’ll have to take a different approach then. Beedrill up we go and Typhlosion underground!” With a flurry of movement they were gone, nowhere to be seen. This caused minor panic for Max and his Pokemon as they could all be in for a bit of rough and tumble.
“Charmander, fire your Screech down the hole that Typhlosion dug, Budew sense for his movement underground to determine where he will appear.”
“You forgot about on crucial thing! Beedril!” With just those words he re-appeared out of the blue, his two razor like needles, shining a metallic silver. With a mighty force he collided with Charmander, stopping his Screech attack straight away, leaving Typhlosion open for an assault on Budew. “Typhlosion, jump out and use your Flame Wheel on Budew!” With warp speed, he darted out of the gaping hole in the ground, too fast for Budew to sense him. He spun into a ball with a flame covering his entire body, quickly lunging straight into Budew. Both Charmander and Budew had fainted from the force of the attacks; they lay there, while Max held their two PokeBalls out to allow them some rest.
“Charmander and Budew. You deserve a good long rest,” Max said. He clipped them back onto his belt, “Thanks for the practice, I’ve learnt that I can’t just worry about one Pokemon, but I’ve got to keep an eye on both of them.”
“That’s absolutely correct, but you fought hard Max, and for that you should be proud.” Jimmy replied.
“Huh? How do you know my name?” Max asked, very surprised by Jimmy’s remark.
“I’ve met your sister, not that long ago actually, she was training with her Glaceon and Beautifly, they looked magnificent with their appeals. I can see why people love being coordinators so much…” he paused, “We got to know each other a little more, and she showed me a picture of you and you parents, and I then set out looking for you since then!”
“You’ve been looking for me?” Max seemed very puzzled, wandering what all this was for.
“Yes, that’s what I just said!” Jimmy laughed, “I went to your house, but your parents said that you were in Oldale Town, so I then trekked down here. Anyway, May gave me this for you, saying you would know what to do with it.” His hand slipped into the pocket of his fleece, drawing out a box, similar to that of a ribbon case. It had red markings all over the black leather, and straightaway Max knew what it was. He reluctantly took a hold of it, fearing what would be inside.
Before he had a chance to open it and face his fears, a male voice sounded from the opposite side of the river, startling all three “Hey Jimmy, good to see you again!”
Right well I've decided to bring forward release dates so that you can all catch up! The next chapter is the first Gym Battle and contains character development! I've written 21 Chapters of this and am into my 22nd so things should be posted smoothly from here on out because the writing doesn't need serious edits compared to some of my earlier chapters.
Chapter 9: Typhlosion, Typhlosion, Typhlosion! I love that Pokémon!
“Huh…Jimmy who is this guy?” Max questioned, completely forgetting about the decorated box in his trembling hands, which knew themselves what was concealed inside. He gazed at the new guy’s wild spiked hair that stayed solid and strong even in the gentle wind that fluttered his clothes. Max wondered whether it was a normal feature for the boy, or just bed hair from the morning.
“It’s M…” Jimmy started to say, but was rudely interrupted.
“Now let’s not spoil the surprise Jimmy! Where would the fun be?” he chuckled, causing the two silver chains dangling on the right hand side of his black jeans to jangle a small melodic tune. “All will be revealed when it is needed to be known my M brother!”
“Who do you think you are?” Max shouted, inadvertently placing the present from his sister inside a zipped pocket to his Pokémon fleece, “Besides being an arrogant and pompous buffoon!” Max blurted out, with the immediate thought of regret knowing fair well that the Mysterious teenager now had a motive for crossing the river.
“Hah! Is that the best you can do?” He replied.
Roxanne had almost had enough of this infantile bickering, “Alright! Stop this bickering at once!” cried Roxanne, “Max, the remark was definitely not needed for the exact reason of making this…whatever you would call it get further out of hand!” She now turned her focus over to the new teenager, who seemed to be fidgeting with his navy blue belt. “Your attitude needs to be changed this instant! It may be all fun and games for you, but for us…it is seriously annoying,” Roxanne said while calming herself down with a slight sigh, “Now, could it be at all possible to start from the beginning again?”
“Certainly Roxanne,” mentioned the teenager who was now wading through the slow rushing water to reach his new friends.
Reaching the other side he wandered up to Max and stared blankly into his face, “I’m sorry for calling you a pompous buffoon, it was unnecessary.” Max apologetically said, realizing that in situations like these; he needs to think before acting.
“That’s okay, I shouldn’t have acted all child like…Friends?”
“Friends!” They clenched each other’s hands in a tight grip as if still fighting out a war but with simpler means. “Now we’ve got that out of the way, want a battle?”
“Would I!” the red haired teenager replied with his energetic spark revived back into his voice. “The rules will be a Double battle, if that’s okay with you Max?”
“That’s absolutely fine, I can try and work on my skills and improve on my abilities and techniques in a Double battle!”
Roxanne had to interrupt the deranged Max once again, as she knew that he would push his Pokémon to the utter limit, “Max, don’t you think you should let your Pokémon rest for a little bit?” Roxanne quickly intervened, “They’ve just had a long and tiresome battle, and rest would do them some good.”
“Yeah, think about the battle they’ve just had with my Typhlosion and Beedrill, which would’ve taken a lot out of them!” Jimmy pointed out.
“They’ll be fine. Trust me, I’m their trainer and I should know!” His voice trailing off and leaving a feeling of guilt in his vigorous personality, as he realised that Roxanne and Jimmy were correct in their judgements. Charmander and Budew shouldn’t have to be put through another tiresome match which could leave them needing attention from a Nurse Joy.
Max scratched the top of his head as if he was trying to pluck an excuse out of a hat full of ideas, “Actually...umm, my friends are correct, my Pokémon need a rest and I can’t force them into something that could end up seriously injuring them.”
“Oh...I understand. You don’t want to injure them...or your ego!” A wild smirk proudly sprouted onto the cocky teenagers face feeling the need to fold his arms as if to rejoice in a quiet victory.
“WHAT!” the anger blossoming back into full grown outburst from the seed still planted in Max’s brain, “I can’t let my Pokémon become badly wounded, you may be able to but most human people can’t!”
“Are you saying I don’t care about my Pokémon? I love them to bits and I would do anything for them, but battling is what they are good at, and that’s what they’ll do!”
Max couldn’t bear to watch himself get intimidated any longer. He knew that there was only one answer to the proposing problem, “Roxanne...I can’t battle him right now, but you can,” his face scrunched in anger as he looked into the scarlet clear eyes of the boy, “And I know you’ll win!”
Roxanne sighed as she realised that Max would work himself up over the simple argument, so she agreed to challenge the teenager to his rules. “So, are you ready?” The reply she received was a simple shrug, as her opponent grasped two PokeBalls from the chains dangling that were hanging from the right pocket of his damp black jeans.
“Shieldon and Jumpluff, I know you can win it!” He bellowed as he swung his bare arm forward to release the Pokémon inside. In front of him appeared the cotton bud Pokémon floating only slightly above the ground while her companion Shieldon blended into the scenery due to his dusty coloured body that had shield plates dotted around on it.
“My two are Onix and Sudowoodo!” First emerged the Rock Snake Pokémon that immediately frightened the young Shieldon as it began to dig a small hole to hide within before Onix had a chance to attack, whereas Sudowoodo lazily outstretched its tree like branches and gave the berries at the end of its extended arms a quiet shake. “We’ll make the first move together! Now let’s get this battle started.”
“Shieldon use Dig to get under ground while Jumpluff you use Poisonpowder,” within a flash Shieldon was nowhere to be seen with only a pile of dirt left in its wake, so all the focus shifted to the vibrating Jumpluff who was producing a violet, magical powder which sparkled in the afternoon light that was shining upon it.
“Onix counterattack the Poisonpowder with a Screech and try and separate the powder to make a path for you to attack and Sudowoodo you Mimic Shieldon’s attack!”
Onix drew its head backwards as the sound waves began to blast its way towards the powder, struggling even to stop it spreading toward him and his partner.
Just as Sudowoodo’s tree like antenna began to glow with an awestruck light that allowed it to copy Shieldon’s last move, a net grouped around Jumpluff and himself, tugging them up to a mystifying Raticate balloon where two shady character’s stood cackling away as if it was a normal thing to do. Their outfits were a deep black with an outstanding Red R written on both of their tops.
“Do you remember us?” The blonde woman asked feeling the need to cackle some more prior to speaking to her partner, “Butch are you all set to go?”
“You got my name right again, I feel so proud,” The green haired man at the back of the balloon ecstatically said, weeping a little before realising all eyes were centred on him, “Oh, yeah. Begin!” He said swiftly returning to his usual self.
“Righty ho Butch! Prepare for Trouble!”
“And Make It double!”
“Now here’s our mission so you’d better listen!” They shouted together.
“To infect the world with devastation!”
“To blight all people in every nation!”
“To denounce the goodness of truth and love!”
“To extend our wrath to the stars above!”
“And Butch of course.”
“We’re Team Rocket circling Earth all day and night!”
“Surrender to us now or you will surely loose the fight!”
Butch was now standing next to Cassidy with a PokeBall tightly clenched in his rose coloured fist. He uncurled his arm, prepping himself for an easy battle, “Mightyena out you come,” with a burst of light; a Pokémon resembling a dog emerged, looking very sinister. It was about one metre in height with his underbelly being a lighter shade of grey than its back. He had his fore legs perched on the rim of the balloon scouring at Max and his companions while growling menacingly to establish itself.
“I’ve never seen them use that Pokémon before,” Jimmy quietly spoke feeling intimidated by Mightyena, and making sure that his Pokémon were safely secured away from the crooks.
Cassidy had moved to the back of the basket where she was tugging and attempting to move a sleeping Pokémon, “Raticate get up here now and assist Mightyena,” she shouted into its ears at the same time as pushing the large brown rat with colossus white teeth to the front of the green basket.
After a little bit of tedious work, she was now standing next to Butch with Raticate in her arms, "Both of you use your Hyper Beam, directly on all for of them; we'll see how they like to blast off!" In the mouths of the two Pokemon formed a giant Orange Ball that grew in size the longer it was there until they were ready to be launched. Containing an awesome amount of power they were converted into endless beams that hit the floor in the middle of the group. The power was too strong to resist sending them all flying into opposite directions. Max and Roxanne were lifted off towards Petalburg City being caught in a stream of wind that took them further away from their friends. Max seemed hypnotized by the ground as it became more and more visible through the thick forest of trees. The panic started rising in Max’s body because the dusty terrain below started to enlarge as they began their decent. This wasn’t the only thing that worried him, as he saw the trees acting as Cricket bats ready to send him further away from Roxanne. Within a few seconds of this he came crashing down against the floor causing a dust cloud to rise around him. The sandy colour was all he remembered before everything went black.
“Cugh cugh cugh,” Max spluttered wiping the sweaty dust from his face while his eyes tried to focus on the surroundings around him. He realised that his glasses had been cracked in the fall which meant the lenses were no longer able to work correctly; the only other option was to wear the backup contact lenses which were in his yellow backpack, which had conveniently fallen off as he plummeted to the ground.
“Max! Are you okay?” The faint familiar voice being heard in his delicate ears as he began to attempt to sit up, “Here, let me help you,” Roxanne said. After a little struggle he was finally sat up but with a pounding headache interfering even more with his struggle to focus on everything around him.
He once again wiped more dust from his body, “Roxanne, I need my backpack. Can you see it at all?”
“I’m afraid not...I take it you’re looking for your spare contact lenses?”
“Yeah, my glasses got damaged in the explosion and now I’m finding it hard to focus...so would you be able to help me up?” The whimpering tone that could be subtly heard becoming so ever more aware in his hoarse voice.
“Sure!” Her hands reached out and grabbed his arms, allowing him all the support he needed to make the final approach to standing straight up. With one mighty push he was able to stand through the help of Roxanne as he swayed a little bit from the dizziness that overwhelmed him.
“My headache’s getting worse,” he moaned as best he could with the continuing problem of a gruff throat, “Do you happen to have your handbag with you? If so do you still have the aspirin?”
“Lucky enough for you my handbag stayed on me like a Kid to a Parent,” the humour enlightening the solemn mood that was lingering over both people. Roxanne took a hold of the bottle of aspirin handing it promptly over to Max, making sure he consumed the right amount.
“Roxanne, do you have Sudowoodo and Onix with you?” Max asked trying to phase the awkward topics out of the conversation.
“Onix! Luckily yes, I recalled him just before the attacks hit. But as far as I know Sudowoodo and Jumpluff are still in the hands of Team Rocket.”
“Jimmy, wake up mate! Can you hear me?” Jimmy’s friend asked kneeling over his body trying vigorously to arouse him. Deciding that Jimmy was a no hope area right now he clambered to his feet marching over to Butch and Cassidy who lay tangled in the Raticate Balloon that had popped on landing.
“Now you see why you are so much trouble and should have left things to me!” He blatantly said while ripping the net that caged his beloved Jumpluff, “And I don’t remember the part about stealing my Pokémon in our agreement?”
“We’re sorry,” the young lass quickly responded being sure to tread delicately around such matters while the teenager hugged the cotton Pokémon and put it back into its ball for a rest, “We only intended on capturing the Gym Leaders Pokémon!”
“Well think yourselves lucky that it wasn’t Typhlosion as he would have struggled with all his might, and that would have been ugly for you two, very ugly! And remember I love that Pokémon, he is my pride and joy and I can’t see any of them hurt...So, where do we stand on...” Before there was a chance to finish that statement Jimmy began to groan, coughing loudly as he rolled onto his back.
“Mar cugh cugh cugh Mark! Where are you?” Jimmy wearily said trying to go one more step into sitting up.
“I’m right here mate...Just relax. Everything is going to be okay.”
“What about Team Rocket? Do they still have Jumpluff?”
“Team Rocket have been taken care of. Now hold still while we prop you up. We’ve got to make sure you didn’t break anything in the fall.”
“Hey! Why don’t we get that sort of attention?” Cassidy rudely commented while still trying to detach herself from the ropes of the hot air balloon.
“You two shut up! It was your arrogance and stupid scheme that got us into this mess, so you will wait your turn.”
“I didn’t say anything,” Butch quickly added.
“Mark. We have to get Sudowoodo back to Roxanne before Team Rocket do find a way to escape and take off with him.”
“Don’t worry...Everything is going to be okay now.”
“Roxanne, can you see it yet?” Max endlessly asked whilst walking slowly along the path and making sure he didn’t crash into anything.
Roxanne was on her hands and knees scouring through bushes and looking high into the tree tops for Max’s yellow bag, “I’m afraid not, it doesn’t seem...Wait! There it is!” She scuttled over to a fork bend where one path branched off to Petalburg City and the other to a small town off the outskirts of the city. She reached into a gaping hole at the centre of the bend, pulling out Max’s backpack, “I have it Max! I have it!” Quickly riffling through the contents she successfully found the contact lenses ushering Max over immediately.
“Thank you for finding it...Nearly got them in...There we go. I can see again!” He seized his bag instantly, not wasting time as he knew they had to find Roxanne’s Pokémon, “Now we’ve got that sorted we can search for Sudowoodo.”
“Thank you Max, you are a real help, and talking of such things, I may know something that could be of help to us. Just after the explosion I can remember Team Rocket being propelled away with Jimmy and his ‘friend’ which means, if we can find them, then Sudowoodo won’t be far!”
“That is useful. The only problem now is trying to find them before Team Rocket gets away with both Pokémon!”
“Mark I mean it!” Jimmy’s outrage becoming less controllable and more violent by the minute, “If we don’t take Sudowoodo now then we could be the ones being shipped to the headquarters of Team Rocket!”
“And why would they do that?” Mark replied, “All I’m doing is making sure that they haven’t badly injured themselves...And don’t tell me they’re used to it as I know that, but I can’t just leave without being absolutely sure that they’ll be fine.”
“Alright, just hurry up then.” Both teenagers seemed overly adamant about what they should do, causing some stir between them.
“There, done...Now we can go,” Mark hesitantly said as he began packing everything away and helping the Rock Tree Pokémon out of the net, “Hold still Sudowoodo...I’m just making sure you’re okay...Hold Still!”
“Don’t shout at it, he’s most likely scared and traumatized from the experience,” Jimmy mentioned helping Mark to his feet, expecting a harsh reaction to come from the young hearty boy.
“I do know that...Sorry, I shouldn’t have shouted like that,” his voice luckily calming down with his mood, “I just feel agitated about the explosion caused by those worthless wreaks over there.”
“Aren’t we all,” Jimmy promptly replied while re-attaching his bag belt onto his vibrant yellow shorts, “I think it’s time we left those two to their misery and went to find Roxanne!”
Both Max and Roxanne were puzzled about their predicament, realising they needed to decide which way Team Rocket went in the blast in order to save Sudowoodo, “I think they were sent that way,” Max said pointing down the path to Petalburg City.
“Well...I thought they were sent to the small town down this path,” Roxanne meekly said, “What if we both go down the path we think, that way it evens up our chances of finding Sudowoodo?”
“Don’t worry about that! There’s no need...Here he comes now,” the joyous tone in Max’s voice lighting up the dull mood yet again. Roxanne’s eyes started to fill with tears as she saw her beloved Pokémon running toward her for an embrace, letting them trickle down her scorched cheeks in pride.
“You’re back Sudowoodo...You’re back,” their embrace lasted for what seemed like an eternity as they held each other close to themselves, not daring to let go in fear of being separated.
‘Sudo, Sudowoodo!” His tearful voice wailed as he rested his hard head on her shoulder.
Roxanne looked down the path which Sudowoodo had come from, and saw Jimmy and Mark rushing towards them at top speed, safe from Team Rocket.
“Thanks you two for rescuing my Sudowoodo, I am really grateful for what you’ve done,” Roxanne said while her voice trembled from the happiness that now overwhelmed her.
“That’s our pleasure,” Mark reassuringly answered as he tweaked his hair with a little more gel while brandishing a faint proud smile.
“Well...I suppose this is our goodbyes then?” Max said scratching the top of his head for a second time that day, “But just before we head our separate ways, what’s your name?”
“Ahh, I believe it’s been concealed for long enough, my names Mark, so that’s why I called you my M brother.” They both burst out into hysterical laughing that only they understood the meaning for, while Jimmy and Roxanne took the opportunity to politely say their goodbyes before any fighting between the new rivals broke out.
Max turned his attention to the path that would lead him to his first Gym Battle as he gazed upon the towering buildings, barely noticeable on the horizon, anticipating an unspeakably grand battle between Father and Son!
Here's the first chapter roughly on schedule! For people who may be reading it and are closet readers I've updated the first few chapters and there are a few changes to the storyline. Also please comment and review and tell me how to review!
Chapter 10: The Right Way to Win!
The decoration was more magnificent than he remembered; as his focus was mainly on gazing upon the hand weight shaped Balance Badge projecting boldly from the front of his Dad’s Gym. It’s positioning was well thought of too, smack bang in the middle of the white spirally adornments that reached to the edge of the old wooden building that Max’s family had lived in since his Grandfathers day. Everything was perfectly in place.
“We’re here...I can’t quite believe it!” Max hastily spoke, feeling the utter exasperation from just witnessing the outside of the gym as he realized the first badge would be placed in his palm in a matter of hours, “The past two weeks weren’t all for nothing, as at last I’m here to challenge my Dad.”
“No journey is for nothing Max, cause without it you would have missed out on so much like the capture of Budew...and now you and your team can face their first official challenge, together,” Roxanne informatively suggested, “so you ready?”
The young kid was raring to burst through the mahogany doors engraved with the most detailed carvings of his Dad’s favourite Pokémon using their signature moves. Without knowing it, Max was hopping on the spot from the amount of excitement that had built up inside him over the last few days. Roxanne could already tell what the words would be flying out of Max’s lips.
“Am I! I’ve been waiting for this moment since I started travelling with my sister, even before then.”
Everything was now in place. The time was right and the day couldn’t be any better, as the blossoming trees inspired Max to give an even greater effort than was mortally possible.
He began his accent up the marbled stairs till he could touch the doors with his fingertips, feeling the cold essence of the wood run all the way into his spine. The nerves were building and causing him to become uneasy, but he knew he had to step through the thresh hold and relinquish himself from the burden of the challenge.
The creaking hinges on the doors echoed throughout the building as Max pushed them open with great difficulty, but the welcoming sight made him forget about the struggle.
“Dad!” the young lad spoke, already grasping the PokeBalls on his belt, “I’m ready for our match.” His smile broadening as he gazed into the love of his Father.
“I’ve been waiting for you to arrive, ever since you walked out of Birch’s lab,” his Dad said with an eager smile lifting Max’s spirit, “All the challenges between then and now have been working up for this one moment, and I can tell you I’m ready. Are you?”
The spotlight shifted, and was now centred upon Max who was scraping the back of his mind for a seemingly adult response. Was he prepared to face his Father?
“Let’s get this battle on the road, and it’s a match I intend to win!” Max invitingly proposed, knowing that if he showed any sign of weakness his Dad could just push his way through till he crumbled in defeat.
“If that’s what you want,” his Dad prudently responded, “It will be a 3 on 3 battle with only the challenger being allowed to make substitutions, our referee for today is none other than your mother, who has recently earned the qualification as an official Gym ref.”
“Well, if you are both ready then I wouldn’t mind you taking your positions,” Caroline said, while standing on her designated podium on which she viewed the battles at hand.
“Wow Mum, well don’t be bias for either of us!” he jokingly said, “Now, Dad. If you don’t mind I’d like to choose my Pokémon first.”
He reached into a pocket in his red shorts, pulling out a purple topped PokeBall, with a star shaped pattern placed where the usual white circle was.
“Delcatty, you’re up first,” he called, tossing the ball into the centre of the plain field, where, in a blistering shine of golden lights, appeared the friendly beige cat with an astonishing array of stars pouring out of the ball with it. Once they dispersed into the shadows, Delcatty was left, purring with its soft melodic voice.
“Max, this is a Gym Battle, not a contest,” his father mentioned, “You don’t need to use seals.”
“I know, I just thought it would be a spectacle for all to see.”
“Well I hope you’re ready for this! Buneary, show them your power!”
Out of Normans’ PokeBall appeared a lolloping brown rabbit with extendable ears, able to dish out severe blows that could leave opponents unable to continue fighting.
“If both contenders are ready, begin!”
“Delcatty quickly use Assist,” Max yelled as Delcatty’s ears became alerted, and its tail began to glow white. From out of its ears two vines leapt across the field, impounding Buneary and binding its small feet together.
“Wow. That was Venusaur’s Vine Whip attack. We might as-well use it to inflict more damage, toss it into the air!” With one lunge of her head, Delcatty began to swing the vines in a circular motion, allowing the grip to become loose and send Buneary into a wooden wall.
“Buneary, no,” the concerned Norman said, reaching for her PokeBall, “You were able to hold out...”
Buneary couldn’t stand the strain of hearing his trainer worry; he knew he could have a reasonable chance against Delcatty if the right moves were used. Using the spring from his ears he flung himself into the air, performing an elegant roll to give him greater height.
“Okay then, use your Dizzy Punch and strike Delcatty’s legs, it may give us a slight advantage.”
The energetic Pokémon curled his ears in a scrunch, before they shone a majestic yellow. Leaping across the floor he suddenly outstretched them, slamming them into Delcatty’s front legs. The poor Cat Pokémon was forced into the air, vulnerable and unable to retaliate from the shock.
“Now hit it with Jump Kick.”
Buneary once again flung itself into the air, twisting so that its legs were going to make contact with Delcatty; unfortunately though Buneary’s aiming had been slightly altered with the spin and it narrowly missed impact with the underbelly of Delcatty causing it to crash into the roof of the building. He fell with mighty force against the Gym’s floor and was now unable to continue the battle.
“Buneary is unable to battle, Delcatty is the winner,” called Caroline from the sidelines, “If you could choose your next Pokémon Norman.”
“Okay Slakoth, you handle things.”
A small lazy brown Pokémon appeared out of the ball, standing on its legs with his arms draping over the front of his body. Its movements seemed to indicate that it was hypnotized, as it swayed from side to side while standing in one position.
“Let’s get our winning streak started with a Blizzard attack.”
“Delcatty, counter it with yours.”
The two Pokémon cocked their heads backwards as a spirally blue mist began to form in both their mouths, with little sparkling particles of ice also being produced. With quick reactions they bestowed their attacks upon each other, with the Blizzards colliding in mid air. With equally balanced power from both teams it looked as if neither were going to give in, until Delcatty began to slide backwards along the floor, beginning to lose her power in the attack. Within seconds she was overthrown and hit directly with the chilling attack, freezing her legs to the ground, making her a vulnerable sitting duck.
“Slakoth, finish it with Scratch.”
The lazy Pokémon lunged toward Delcatty, scratching her face with his sharpened claws. Delcatty wasn’t able to withstand any more blows, subsequently fainting.
“Delcatty is unable to battle, Slakoth is the winner,” Max’s mum abruptly said, glancing over at Roxanne who was sitting comfortable on a bench provided for spectators, she found it rather interesting to see a more detailed analysis of the way Max battled, especially within a Gym battle as she was going to be challenged next.
“Charmander, you’re up!” The playful Fire type appeared in glorious light, hoping to perform to an exceptional standard and impress his trainer.
“Use your Ember, and make sure you don’t miss,” Max called to the eager Charmander who was ready to win the important battle that would earn him more respect with Max. Producing an initial flame in its mouth, it released subsequent smaller embers that hurled themselves toward Slakoth.
“Counter it,” Norman calmly suggested, not letting any nerves reach his brain and send him off course.
An illuminating red light began to glow around the brown patched Pokémon, encasing inside what seemed to be some sort of magic bubble. The Ember struck the outer hull of the light, being instantaneously reflected back towards Charmander, who was now fully taken aback by the sudden course of action. Max had never witnessed a Slakoth use Counter before, nor in any Gym matches that he use to watch when he lived at home, this was uncharted territory and he didn’t know how to respond.
Max’s command came a little too late and the Pokémon was struck with its own powerful attack that still inflicted a lot of pain although it was a same type move. Charmander collapsed on the floor, feeling the burning sensation travelling energetically up his arm, causing him to shiver although he was overwhelmed with heat. The burns on his shoulder felt like they were punching a hole inside of him, trying to allow the pain to reach him inside, but he couldn’t let his friend down, he had to continue. He wrestled himself onto his feet, but portrayed the image of a beaten old man, that couldn’t continue walking, for some reason his back wouldn’t straighten out, all he could do was stand in one place and be struck with multiple attacks, this seemed like a hopeless journey.
“Charmander, let’s go strong and hit him with a Screech, that way it would be hard for him to counter with a piercing noise in his ear.”
“Don’t let them do that, strike out with Blizzard once more!”
The frosty chill blew down the pitch, and caught Charmander in the centre, with nowhere to run. The burns began to feel even more uncomfortable as the cold icicles stung like a bees hive. He knew he couldn’t battle anymore and had to retire. The small Fire Type loosened his tense muscles, allowing him to feel free of a burden; the Blizzard entangled him within its frosty cloud lifting Charmander off his feet and allowing him to fall in grace before it was over.
“Charmander is unable to battle, Slakoth is victorious again,” called Caroline who held a green flag in the air to symbolise Slakoth’s victory.
“You’re last up Budew,” cried Max, who was now anxious at his ever nearing defeat; the thought of his few days training for this moment seemed lost now, worthless even, how could he have let the battle come to this? “I know you can do it Budew, from all the work you have shown to me and others, let’s show them what you can do!” He tossed the PokeBall forward with the small bud bursting out with glorious energy flowing through its inner roots, sparking a certain passion that had never been seen before in Budew, it was as if she had become ecstatic, happier, all over night. “Okay little buddy, hit Slakoth with Bullet Seed, that should give us the edge.”
Cuddly as Budew seemed, she could pack a lot of power, and if it struck Slakoth it may give Max and his team a slight advantage, depending on Norman’s next choice. Budew sprung into the air, floating like a shimmering leaf in the autumn that couldn’t quite land safely on the ground, although this leaf came packed with the ability to send high speed seeds into its enemy, as a sort of defensive mechanism that most leaves lacked. It released these seeds in an endless stream, hopping with everything it had that it could knock Slakoth out and earn more love from her trainer, like Joshua use to when they were travelling through Sinnoh together, during difficult moments like the one presenting itself to her in the Gym Battle, or through times of relaxation. To her, bonding was necessary for growth!
Slakoth was pummelled by the intensely strong attack unleashed against it, feeling the stinging pain strike up his chest as they scorned him. Norman needed to respond quickly, as Budew didn’t seem to be letting up any time soon, and Slakoth couldn’t withstand much more.
“Slakoth, I’m going to have to ask you to brave the Bullet Seed I’m afraid and get up close,” Norman called over the whir emitting itself from the air that was being forced to move by a fast moving object.
Slakoth slowly turned his head, constantly keeping it facing the floor to be on the safe side of the attack as much as he could otherwise it could be all over. He began to hunch himself over, before lazily relaxing to the floor and surprisingly zipping across it as if it was ice. It wasn’t long until he was right underneath Budew and ready to deliver a serious blow that would win them the match, although there was slight sympathy for his friend.
“Finish it Slakoth with Scratch, and that’s another badge securely kept in our possession!”
Within a split second Slakoth had slammed his claws into Budew, twisting it as it made contact causing the loving creature to be sent hurtling for the ground, giving an almighty wail before finally hitting the deck. Max ran to the side of his injured Pokémon, collecting her into his arms and stroking her coiled vines at the tip of her head, before returning inside a safe comfort zone, where no-one would be able to harm her anymore. He casually rose to the ground glaring at the ground beneath him, feeling total anger boiling up into a ball inside him, how could he lose to his Father of all people?
“The Gym Leader Norman is the overrule winner, the challenger loses,” Max’s mum compassionately said, walking over to him and holding him in her arm, trying to comfort her growing baby, “You were great honey, a little bit more training and you could come back and beat your father, then we’ll see who is the better out of you two.”
“Thanks Mum...but I think I might take a little break from training, and allow my Pokémon to relax before starting another training programme...maybe it will benefit all of us!”
“Good idea son and then maybe you can realise why you lost.” His father was now lost for words, comforting people in a loss wasn’t always his forte. The only thing he could do was give advice, and then maybe Max would feel better about himself, transparent (though he was) to people’s counsel.
“Thanks Dad, and be certain that I’ll be back...when we are ready together. First, could I use your telephone?”
“Of course Max, it’s still yours,” his Mum replied, being slightly taken aback by the remark, her son was leaving the nest for good and now he classified the possessions as belonging to someone else. It was almost too much to accept. Her other child May had left home more than three years ago, and now it was Max’s turn, things were going to be much quieter from this moment on.
Max headed in the direction of the kitchen, where the green phone was kept hanging on the pale wall, always slightly too high for Max to reach as a young child.
“Darling, are you okay?” Norman asked, holding his wife close to his chest.
“Yeah, but I guess it never really struck me that Max was finally leaving, for good. I suppose I secretly hoped that the journey would seem more tedious than a first glance, and he’d decide to stay with us...” her voice trailed off as the break of tears slowly rolled out of her eye; her cheek was trembling from the fear of losing Max for good.
“Don’t worry, someday he’ll be the one struggling with all this...and I can promise you that he’ll keep on visiting, just like May. And who knows, we may have another little chipper running around our legs.”
Max was holding the phone against his ear, dazed, not sure of how his battling techniques went so wrong, they had worked in the past. He pushed the button to access the call directory, typing in the number to the Cherry Grove Pokémon Centre again, knowing that May would have sympathy for him.
“Hello, this is the Cher...hello again Max, would you like to speak to your sister again?” the nurse asked him politely, still with her robotic charms and passionate voice that he would listen to for hours, he could understand why Brock fell head over heels for them.
“Yes please Nurse Joy, that would be nice.”
“Well, lucky for you she’s been sitting here all day, waiting to hear from you. You seem like close siblings.”
“On the contrary,” the familiar voice said, barging herself onto the screen to gaze onto the face of her disappointed brother, “I take it everything didn’t go too well?”
“No, I lost marginally, and Delcatty was really helpful, that was the main reason for me calling. I wanted to ask whether I could hold onto her for another few weeks before you want her back out there.”
“Okay, if you promise me one thing...you won’t lose next time round,” she jokingly said, winking at her younger brother as she use to when he needed cheering up.
“I can promise you that if you wish, the team and I will be training these next few days, so that we can combat the difficulties Dad throws at us.”
“Good idea little bro, Drew and Harley are here if you want a word?”
“God no...no offense to either one of them, but Drew would just gloat and Harley would act immature.”
“If you wish, well best let you get back to Mum and Dad. Good luck!”
She switched off the phone at her end and shut down the monitor, Max would now have to face the onslaught that lay ahead of him with himself, he couldn’t let Roxanne interfere, it would just seem like cheating. The only way to win was by training constantly, with hard thought problems to face, but first a few days relaxing didn’t seem like a bad miss.
He arrived back into the stadium area where all official battles were held, interrupting an important conversation between the three adults left in the room but still not realising as his sole occupation was concentrating on improving.
“Roxanne, I’ll be heading out to the lake in the centre of town for a little relaxing, you can stay here if you want as I’ll return later for supper and I’m sure Dad can find you a room,” with a whisk of his body he fled out of the front doors, with no possibility of anyone replying to his comments, he needed to escape from reality for a little bit before returning to it for an intense battle that would ensue.
“Okay then, see you Max,” Roxanne muttered under her breath before returning back to the preliminary conversation they were having just as Max entered the room, all they could do was hope he enjoyed it.
Max ran down the path from the gym at high speeds, chasing the same flock of Murkrow he had seen when leaving for Birch’s lab, when his entire journey began. He slammed on the breaks as he reached the outskirts of the lake, walking briskly into the hub of activity then constantly progressed throughout the different days, with hustlers on the right of him selling Magikarp and a number of other Pokémon, but now was not the time to dwell on the thieving scams that took place. As he reached to clasp each individual ball, he felt a lump against his leg, his curiosity had forgotten about the box given to him by Jimmy so he leisurely took it out. The presence of the box made the mood become worse, now was not the time to worry about what was contained within it, he just needed to relax. Once obtaining his first Gym Badge he could explore the depths of the intriguing box, right now it was time to pass his fears to one side, so he threw all three PokeBalls into the shimmering light, watching the Pokémon appear before him, this was his cue to chuck his clothes and items on the floor before diving head first into the refreshing water that bestowed him. The Pokémon were left to enjoy themselves in whatever activities they could concoct, it was time for a week of fun!
Chapter 11: More Force behind the Punch
The sun broke free from the cloud cage that was thrust in front of its glare, throwing Petalburg City into a shadow, dampening the sounds emanating from around the town. The cool touch of the lake tickled Max’s skin as he swam further toward the bottom, looking around for particularly interesting items that may be of certain value. He stopped his momentum to gaze upon the life that lived under the water, feeling a certain pleasure from watching the tame Luvdsic perform their mating dance, settling it with a passionate kiss. If only life was that simple he thought to himself, turning his attention to scouring for objects again.
He could have stayed in the water for ever, carefree and not bound to any strict deadlines or schedules, but that would take the fun out of adventure. The water rippled from his body as he broke through what felt like a solid surface, being dazzled by the sun as it cropped its head around a grey cloud momentarily. He grabbed a hold of the edge that surrounded the lake, feeling the warmth from the sand migrate into his hand, all the sights and sounds were so tempting, but, he couldn’t let his Pokémon down. Max clambered to his feet, reaching for his towel that was filled with family pictures and Pokémon throughout their history, he was following in all their footsteps and was ready to prove himself once again to his father, after one last training session.
“Hey guys, having fun?” Max casually asked, briskly rubbing the towel over his body, trying urgently to dry himself so he could stick to his planned schedule. The Pokémon all looked at him, not responding to his question, as recently any answer they seemed to give was a disheartening blow to Max, he had changed since the lose.
“It’s our last day of training, and I know that come tomorrow we’ll be ready to win...” the trail of speech halted, for some reason he couldn’t find the correct words to finish his sentence. The whole experience was becoming overwhelming, overpowering his thoughts and actions, if he couldn’t win the first time, what difference did a week’s worth training do?
‘Char’ his starter Pokémon cried, sensing the nerves that were flowing though Max’s body, it seemed that he was finally feeling the repercussions from losing and after a week of having it build up inside; the effects were rather heartbreaking. Charmander had to raise his trainer spirits, and one way was through a practice battle between him and Budew, they were both ready to do so, and they could use more practice. ‘Char!’
The small fire Pokémon initiated the battle by sending numerous embers toward Budew, who nimbly dodged it by flipping her body to the side; this was a result from the intense training they had been through; his Dad relied on heavy speed attacks that left a Pokémon vulnerable and made it hard for them to escape, so Max worked on techniques that would help them dodge attacks easily.
Once Budew had regained stability on its little feet, she began to shake her body vigorously, producing a sweat like substance that cloaked Charmander and dampened his fire ability, the only attacks that would produce sufficient damage would be his close range ones.
Max looked on, realising that his Pokémon understood what was going on in his mind, they were showing him that he could rely on them, and take chances for the possibility to win.
“Okay you two, if this is how you want to play it...you choose your attacks and teach me a thing or two!”
The battle resumed with Budew’s quick Sleep Powder that was hopefully going to give her an edge, one that if Max used correctly against Norman would ensure victory. The green powder sprouted from the coiled bud tip, spiralling into the air and beginning to distil into the atmosphere that surrounded her partner. There was nothing Charmander could do to dodge this particular attack, so it rapidly succumbed to the sensations that filled its body, yawning once or twice before collapsing into a long sleep. It seemed nearly over. Budew then launched a tremendous Bullet Seed toward the unprotected Charmander striking and leaving noticeable injuries over its body, Budew had won!
“Well done Budew, I’m really proud of you and your tactics were spot on, we’ll incorporate that into our battling style,” Max knelt down and picked the Pokémon up, planting a kiss on top of its head, “And Charmander, you were great too,” Max diligently said, shaking the Fire type until it began to stir, “Because of your battle I now have my confidence back, and I know that if we go by the new battle strategy...we’ll win!”
The young trainer had finally dressed himself and lay back into the lush grass that tickled his skin, with Delcatty purring in his ear soothing his tense muscles; but their schedule had only just begun, and Max was ready to face his Dad again, right this second.
After a minute or two of relaxing, he perched himself upright and sprang back into his fighting spirit; all he needed was the targets he had recently purchased, so he unpacked them and began to build. It didn’t take long as he was thoroughly use to their procedure now, if the Pokémon could aim, dodge and inflict power upon the targets, then their next stop would be closer than first thought.
“Okay you three, line up!” Max called, with the Pokémon responding immediately as if intimidated by Max’s second persona, “If you can show me that you’ve perfected the target training then we’ll be in and out of the Gym in no time.” They all hollered back at him, it was time to test them.
“The first challenge is a precision task, if you can hit the bulls eye on your target then that’s the first steps complete...Budew you use Bullet Seed, Charmander you use Ember and Delcatty you use Blizzard!”
With spilt second timing they all released their powerful attacks toward their assigned targets, hitting their marks in the direct centre; but the moves weren’t done yet as they rebounded back from the metal plates, heading back toward each Pokémon.
“Now let’s see you dodge these attacks,” Max called out from the sidelines where he was protected from all the fierce moves, it was time to see whether they were capable of escaping difficult situations that were unexpectedly thrown at them like certain circumstances that occur in Gyms.
The flames lunged toward Charmander, it seemed like a hopeless move to try and evade, although the little Fire Pokémon was ready for it; flipping backwards and raising itself above the attack letting it dissipate as it flew further away. The same applied to Budew and Delcatty; both also being able to dodge their own attacks. Max was pleased, only a few more practices and they would be on their way to EverGrande City where the Hoenn League would take place with the first of their eight badges.
“This time round, I want you to knock the targets backward, but combining all the other techniques! You’ll have to hit the bulls eye again but with enough force behind it to knock it over, then when the attack is hurled back at you, you’ll have to dodge.”
The Pokémon were ready, ready to prove themselves worthy of a challenge with Norman. Each again unleashed their power upon the helpless targets, striking the centres of the boards once more; the only difference was the power contained within the moves this time, capable of flinging the objects backwards, now they had to respond quickly and avoid the onslaught. The bud Pokémon opened the tip of its coiled rim head to allow for extra movement, it sprung itself to the side of the attack, immediately spinning on evasion which lifted it high into the sky and in a prime position for a follow up assault.
“I like it Budew, we will definitely use that to evade the Blizzard from Slakoth, and it will give us an advantage over Buneary!” Max was now filled with excitement once more; his Pokémon had successfully brought life back into the slumbering boy and revitalised his confidence. “Okay guys, you’ve proven yourselves capable of winning a Balance Badge, and from watching your training I’ve made a final strategy plan. Charmander you’re up first, Delcatty you’ll follow and then Budew you’ll be our ‘secret weapon’.” The creatures cheered in approval, a Gym win was well within their grasp, and if they all worked as a proper team and incorporated the training techniques into their battle style then it shouldn’t take them too long.
Max began to pack all his belongings together, folding all the different components of the targets into a neat compact structure that slipped inside its own portable carrier bag. He firmed out the creases in his clothes and started the short trek down the main high street of the City, increasingly nearing his soon to be win.
The Pokémon were trailing behind Max who was striding along the path with such dignity that caught the odd stare or two from passersby; Budew had decided that a trip to the Gym would be too tiresome for her little legs and hopped onto the back of the beige coloured cat, that had thoroughly matured from the evolution process that took place after it was given the Moon Stone; an evaluated decision that was necessary for the Jhoto Grand Festival.
He could now see the Petalburg Gym again; after a week from avoiding its appearance, the uniqueness of it became an attraction that captivated his thoughts. The doors hinges no longer creaked as they did before, but his Dad was still standing in the exact spot that he was in last time. His attention was lured towards the stands, where a surprise face was gleaming at him.
“May!” he screamed, feeling an overwhelming urge to burst into tears, “You’re here?”
“Hey Max...it’s a long story and can wait until you finish your Gym match; Roxanne’s been telling me how much effort you’ve been putting into your training, and I know that you can easily wipe the floor with Dad.”
“Yeah,” Max called back to her, swiftly arranging his focus back onto Norman who was very calm and collected, “Now Dad...I challenge you to a rematch!”
“Ha...I was wondering how long it would take for you to come barging back through that door. If you’re all set and ready then I accept!”
“The Gym Battle between the challenger Max Maple and the Gym Leader Norman will now undergo...the rules are three against three with only the challenger being able to make substitutes. Now begin!” Caroline enthusiastically stated with her adrenalin beginning to inspire Max to prove his merit in front of his entire family; with a win here he can then be acknowledged and deemed as a possible contender to entering the Hoenn League, an attribute only esteemed trainers may be receive.
“I think I’ll start things off, Charmander go!”
“Hmm...predictable. Buneary let’s get this over with fast!” Norman cried flinging the PokeBall up into the rooftops of the Gym, his posture explained all his thoughts, ready and willing, it was time to prove to his son that battling is a distinctive art that takes some time to master. “Buneary go straight into a Quick Attack and leave Charmander helpless.”
“A lot has changed Dad, Charmander bend backwards.” Within a split second of the command, Charmander had flexed his back enough creating what seemed like a Charmander bridge, luckily it gave it enough clearance to avoid the attack, having the rabbit pass right over him and crash into the entrance of the Gym. It sunk to the ground, flooded with a sense of shock and bewilderment, his Quick Attack had never missed, it had always been too quick to evade, yet Charmander had proven otherwise. “Woa...now what did I say? Told you this battle would be different and that just confirms it; hope you can handle a challenge.”
“Certainly not what I expected I must say, but that doesn’t show me that you can beat me, just that you can run,” Norman seemed sincere, not what either May or Max expected; there was a proud sense of growth from him, whatever he tried to deny.
“Come on Max, I know you can do it,” May called from the stands where she and Roxanne watched with Awe at a battle that had captured an audience within the first move, a rare sight.
“You ready to fight back? Use Ember in the style of our target training and aim for its stomach, full power,” Max shouted, becoming caught up within temptation of an early win. The strong flames struck Buneary, causing a streak of pain to inflame the area of contact, not only that but the flames also engulfed Buneary, pulling it into what seemed to be eternal fire everywhere you looked, everything seemed lost for the courageous Normal type. Though, in an unexpected twist, a white aura swallowed Buneary whole, causing the flames to evaporate instantaneously and releasing the Pokémon from their grip. All eyes became locked once more on Buneary as its outlined appearance began to change in an instant, extending the ears even further causing them to drape down the side of its body. Once the light cleared it revealed a new Pokémon, Lopunny that looked slightly similar to its predecessor who was only smaller by a few inches and had some slight changes in features.
“Nice, my Lopunny just evolved. You ready to pack a punch with your Dizzy Punch?” Lopunny gave a quiet purr in response as its ear started to illuminate a yellowish colour, being able to stretch the whole way across the Battle Field.
“Charmander dodge with your flips, and then strike back with Screech.”
The Fire Pokémon as it seemed was able to avoid most attacks that were now thrust upon it, benefitting from the sudden hype in confidence, although it would eventually turn into its downfall. The acrobatics were an astonishing sight to witness, as Charmander somersaulted from side to side, not once coming close to being hit at all. When it was able to secure its footing he released piercing sound waves toward the opponent, which would reduce its defensive capabilities and allow for more damage to be taken, but Lopunny wouldn’t be cast down that easily and struggled to escape the effects of Screech, launching its Dizzy Punch at Charmander again, productively causing its concentration to lapse. This was Norman’s time to strike and receive an upper hand.
“Hit it with Dizzy Punch and follow up with Jump Kick, this can’t possibly go wrong.”
The grown rabbit launched the Dizzy Punch directly at Charmander, who was incapable of stopping the Screech and evading at the same time; it struck the lighter colour orange belly, throwing it with incredible force into the air and leaving it vulnerable to the Jump Kick, which Lopunny was charging. It sprang above Charmander, ready to strike it as it came tumbling back to the ground, making contact just above the floor of the Gym, which caused Charmander to hurtle against the wooden floor, kicking up a cloud of dust that sprayed across the entire field. No-one could see what had happened to either Pokémon, all they could do was wait.
The air started to clear, allowing everyone to see two Silhouettes within the remainder of the dust, one heaped on the ground and the other standing proud and tall. The poor Fire Lizard had been beaten, Norman now had the advantage over Max.
“We’re not giving up that easily, Charmander take a long rest, you did great buddy.” Charmander was recalled back inside his PokeBall and attached back onto the Max’s belt, now safe from any more harm. The young trainer then clasped a hold of the borrowed PokeBall that contained Delcatty who was already a strong force to reckon with, and since Lopunny had been slightly tired out from his battle with Charmander, Delcatty should find it a quick win that wouldn’t drain too much of its energy, “Okay, Delcatty, you’re up now!”
The purring cat spiralled into action, calmly settling upon its brisk paws that could manoeuvre its body at extreme speeds. She glared at her opponent, who was acting clavicle and not the least bit worried at the battle it was about to face; both Buneary and Skitty had been playful buddies in the past, never once having to face each other in a battle, but now they were both evolved and packed more power than they ever had, these two weren’t going to give up easily.
“Okay Delcatty, use a charged up Blizzard and aim for Lopunny’s legs,” Max called, quickly glancing towards his sister who was now more anxious than ever at having to watch one of her own Pokémon battle without her commanding it; although she had her Father train it in Gym Battles, she had never seen one of them before and now she had the opportunity too, she wished she didn’t.
“Lopunny, attempt to...” Norman started to say, but cut off as his words were too late, the speed and power that was packed inside Delcatty’s attack was unlike no other that he had seen throughout his career as a Gym Leader, even when he was training Delcatty they weren’t producing anything like that, Max had done something special, “Now that was...magnificent son. If you fight like that through the rest of this battle then I can honestly say that you’ll have done better than Ash, which I understand is a target of yours!”
“Thanks Dad, but what’s with all this chit chat...get in close and use Iron Tail.”
“If you want to play it that way...Lopunny dive straight in with your Quick Attack, make sure you’re the first to make contact.”
What looked like a scene stolen from a Cowboy film, the two Pokémon launched themselves with incredible speed toward their opponent, neither one giving way or flinching from the possibility of direct damage. As Delcatty got further his tail began to glow a steel white, it swung its body 360 degrees around and made firm contact with the bunny’s face careering him off to the side of the Gym, where Lopunny slowly slid down the wall and landed heavily on its back.
“Lopunny is unable to battle, Delcatty is the winner.”
Norman was bewildered, no-one before had ever been able to brandish that amount of power inside a Pokémon in a week’s worth of training, even if they were already substantially powerful. “My next choice is Slakoth.”
The lazy sloth Pokémon emerged from within the white cloak that surrounded the Pokémon, lying flat out on the floor, seeming more interested in sleeping than battling. The coarse fur was spiked on end, as if the Pokémon had been spooked by a ghost; so it portrayed its attention upon Delcatty.
“Slakoth, start things off with your Blizzard attack.”
“Counter it Delcatty, with the exact same move, and pack some more force behind the punch.”
As the cold pressure blew towards their opponent, creating an interlock of the two Ice attacks that held each others at bay, Max became very aware that they could breach his Dad’s defence, obviously if their timing held no flaws. Max kept his eyes attuned to Slakoth, if anything gave way, then that would be his opportunity to get close to the sloth and defeat it with a powered Iron Tail, only leaving Norman’s final choice.
Roxanne looked on with eager eyes, taking mental notes on Max’s performance and certain areas that could be improved, so that when it was her chance to have a Gym Battle with him it wouldn’t just be the turf that she had the upper hand over, but tactics as well. Alongside her was one of her trusted Pokémon, Sudowoodo, who was cheering Max and his team to victory; he had never really been the battling sort of Pokémon, instead he preferred to make elegant appeals and showcase his moves, yet he loved his trainer and couldn’t bear to leave her to participate in these Contests. Roxanne had raised it since it was a beloved Bonsly, a little baby that was terrified of parting ways with his ‘Mum’, and their bond was something impossible to attempt to recreate with a new trainer.
“Slakoth, this isn’t going anywhere, so quickly dodge out of the way of Delcatty’s Blizzard, and use a Faint Attack.”
“Huh...this isn’t good! Delcatty, jump into a forward role and use the momentum of the Blizzard to pick up speed while charging your Iron Tail.”
It was a spectacle to watch; with the elegant movements produced being the centre of everyone’s attention, and no-one could tell who would succeed with their attacks as both executed them perfectly.
Delcatty roared through the air, crashing into the remains of her own Blizzard which allowed her to pick up momentum and speed toward Slakoth, who was starting to flex his body enough to allow for quick movement across the Gym Floor and a sneak Faint Attack. He caught a glimpse of Delcatty in the corner of his eye, tail sparkling in the light that shone through the windows of the roof. Slakoth moved directly behind Delcatty who was completely unaware of the impending attack looming behind her. His glowing purple claws struck her back; interrupting her front roll which made her unstable within the air and unable to change course, it was all over as she came tearing toward the wooden wall implanting a thin dent into it. Max looked over in horror, his Dad had wrenched what seemed an easy victory from his grasp and left a horrible feeling inside his gut. Now there was only one course of action left, use his secret weapon!
“Budew, it’s your turn,” he called, sending his young Pokémon out onto the field indulged in an array of light; her bud head opening up to allow in more sunlight which would help give her a boost in speed, making her more unbeatable than ever.
“Well...looks like you’re down to your final Pokémon son. Hope that’s all you need to overcome me.”
Roxanne and May watched from the stands, carefully keeping their eyes focused upon the two boys glaring at each other from across the room; if someone who didn’t know the family waltzed right through the door, they would think these two were heated in rivalry.
“Right Budew, start things off with Sleep Powder and follow it up with Bullet Seed.”
There was no chance for Norman to react; Slakoth was hit instantly with the residue releasing from the small Bud Pokémon’s’ body and almost instantaneously collapsed to the floor with each cell filled with a sense of tiredness. His eye lids began to become heavier and slowly folded shut as he slipped away into a dreamland. The minute Slakoth slumped in a heap against the floor (curled up like a small toddler) Budew bounced high into the air launching a ferocious Bullet Seed that Max had never seen from his Grass Pokémon straight toward the sleeping Pokémon, knocking him out immediately upon contact. Now it was evened out...either person could win and Norman knew it, Budew was able to defeat one of his strongest Pokémon but his next choice would hopefully pull through.
“Now that was impressive Max, but can you beat one of your old friends?” his Dad smirked as he readied the PokeBall to release the Pokémon inside, having a smug feeling wash through his body. How could a tiny Pokémon defeat what was up next?
From within the PokeBall emerged a giant towering beast, rather in the way of a Panda Bear fused with a cat that mostly ate and slept, except the times that it battled for Norman or even May, compared to Budew, Snorlax was huge in both ways and seemed the likely winner in the upcoming battle.
“Snorlax, finish this with just one attack...use Hyper Beam,” Norman ordered as Snorlax stood up from his crouched position, mouth wide open collecting energy to form an orange ball of power. The stream of energy discharged itself from the Pokémon, colliding with Budew almost instantly as it attempted to leap out of its trajectory without having to be told, regrettably with no success. The impact flung a smokescreen around Max’s friend, he was helpless to offer aid if his Pokémon was badly injured as it was impossible to see anything. But as they stood amongst the dusty cloud they heard a high pitched noise that could have been classed as a battle cry which then initiated a green glowing light that evaporated the dust within seconds.
Budew had no scratches upon its body; it seemed unscathed although it had just been pelted with one of the strongest moves known. Max was astonished.
“Woh...Great use of Synthesis, without it we probably wouldn’t be able to continue, but that’s now a different matter. Retaliate with your Bullet Seed, and instead of aiming for the belly, hit his head.”
Once more Budew initiated her attack, striking Snorlax; yet it didn’t seem to make much of an effect or even slightly bother him, he just pulled his head forward and prepared to continue on, looking toward Norman who gave a simple gesture of the hand. This was signalising to Snorlax that he had control with his next movements and didn’t have to rely upon his trainer. He then opened his body wide and looked towards the windows in the roof, with a yellow energy form spiralling around his head, taking a while to charge. Both Max and Budew realised what was about to happen, but if they judged it correctly then there would be no need to worry.
“Quickly, hit Snorlax with a Sleep Powder to stop the Solarbeam.”
As the team began to hurry to pull off their Sleep Powder before Snorlax had a chance to unleash his Solarbeam, the onlookers fell engrossed within the activity of the battle and all the hype that both team members were stirring. This became oblivious to Max as his nerves caught up with his actions and were steadily being passed onto his Pokémon, possibly doing harm against her judgments and abilities to perform, although at the moment in hand she was presently fine.
The powder substance one again was produced from her body, drifting in lowliness toward its target, inducing him into a boundless sleep. The Solarbeam was stopped and Max and Budew now had a chance to lay in powerful attacks and finally win their first badge, a small step towards a big goal.
“Okay, now hit him with an endless amount of Bullet Seeds and let’s finish this up now!” Max eagerly stated, feeling the win within his grasp, only a matter of seconds away. Max couldn’t allow anything to go wrong.
Striking the side of her foe with a great amount of vigour ladled into her moves, all May and co could do was watch Snorlax sleep off the pain with not much luck for him to prevail.
“Come on Snorlax, wake up. I know you have it in you. Come on buddy!” Norman’s efforts seemed greatly lost; Snorlax was only interested in snoring and now Norman was regretting not teaching him Snore. His eyes were watching the Pokémon, looking for any possibility of him stirring from the sleep, and he was in luck. Snorlax began to raise his head, blinking once or twice to separate his eye lids, still being pounded by the Bullet Seed. He raised himself from the floor, lifting up a glowing fist that was enveloped within an orange and white crystal light, beautiful in its gape. With one slick movement of the wrist he struck Budew, his fist beating the grass Pokémon’s entire body and causing some serious damage that could have put her out of the match instantly...but she was able to withstand it and proudly pulled herself back up, once more using Synthesis although it didn’t have the same effect to her health.
“Forget about Sleep Powder then, a continuous stream of Bullet Seed should do the trick...let’s do this for the team.”
“And Snorlax, Solarbeam once more!”
The Pokémon charged their attacks with Budew releasing hers first pushing the oaf backwards but not halting his attack. It was a do or die situation, neither team had a clear edge, and it was all down to these last attacks: Who would become victorious? With light like a sun (blinding all in the Gym) the Solarbeam flung toward the onslaught of seeds that were harrying forward causing a clash of grass attacks with a mighty repercussion. An explosion filled the entire stadium, pushing the two trainers against the wall and flinging Caroline into the stands. Budew and Snorlax were in the centre of the blast and either one could be critically injured. With enough energy to steady themselves upward, Norman and Max rushed into the cloud of dust that followed in the wake, searching on hands and knees for their beloved Pokémon.
“Beautifly, use your Gust to blow away the cloud of dust, and hurry,” May called, launching her first catch into the air. A majestic Butterfly like Pokémon sparkled as it appeared, wearing delectable wings that were shining in the light that portrayed upon it. The pattern that covered them were all most people could stare at, but in this situation Beautifly was needed for battling, and not being flashy.
Although it was a tiny Pokémon in comparison to most, it packed a large amount of power within itself that was able to fling open the doors and wash the remnants of the explosion out with the wind that was being produced from Beautifly. It was all gone with matter of seconds, where the picture of two human beings scrounging around on the floor was left. They both immediately saw their Pokémon...Budew was standing, just, and Snorlax was slumped against the ground, knocked out from the explosion, whatever had happened within the few seconds left Max victorious, and able to walk away with his first major victory.
Standing up, slightly dazed still, Caroline lifted the green flag, “I’m proud to say that Max is the winner of this match against the Gym Leader Norman!”
The young trainer wrapped his arms around Budew, squeezing as tightly as he could. It was down to Budew that he had won, she had come through on her own for the team and made Max the proudest he had ever been, with one win down there were only seven more to go.
“Son...I am proud, no, honoured to present you with the Balance Badge showing your win here at my Gym...and I hope someday soon we can have a re-match, this time I’ll have done all that special training!”
“Yea...Max I am so...annoyed at you, joking, joking...but you could have given Snorlax more of a chance don’t you think,” May chuckled, “And now I think it’s time to go get ready for dinner, I’m taking us all out to the new Noodle shop that opened in town last month.”
They all chuckled; May was back with her fixation of Noodles once more, and this gave Max some time to discuss with her what progress she had made, and how some of her old friends were doing. Again putting the mystery of the Leather Case box to the back of his mind, not daring to touch it!
Chapter 12: Once More Round the Bend
A smell of diligent food wafted up Max’s nostrils tempting his taste buds, as their order was being prepared in the kitchen behind where he sat in the red luxurious chair, accompanied with a modern Japanese style that contrasted the red well. His view allowed him to gaze into the black night life of Petalburg City where young trainers were allowing their Pokémon to walk beside them and enjoy the cool breeze whistling through the streets. All of them he considered rivals that one day he would compete against and hopefully win with his ‘talent’.
His family and Roxanne were hot in conversation around the white marbled table where May was telling her stories from Jhoto, the travels from towns to cities and the numerous adventures she experienced with old and new friends, “Wartortle has become such a strong asset to my team, and its personality has really grown along with its size and power. The baby it once was, is now a feisty adolescent who never takes no for an answer, which can sometimes get a little annoying, but that’s what I love about him.”
“Well my dear, I remember when you were like that only a few years ago, always insisting on doing this and that and travelling to Birch on your own, and now Max has taken over that role. The two of you growing up, I never thought I would let this day come but it has and it’s great to have you back home where we can have a family meal together, like the old times,” Caroline softly said with a wave of calming emotions seeping into her children’s’ hearts; nearly bringing tears to Max’s eyes. He reached into his pocket to find a tissue to quickly dab at them while no-one was looking, but he found the leather case box that held his sisters present inside which immediately changed his mood. Grabbing it tightly, he brought it out and onto the table where May instantly took it from him.
“Max? You haven’t opened it yet...why?”
“Well, I guess I just wanted to open it once I overcame my first hurdle in a way...and now I have, I suppose there’s nothing stopping me anymore.” He took it in his hand, unclipping the golden coloured latch which released a majestic violet light as the lid slowly opened to reveal half of a pendant that had a jagged edge down its right side. “May...” Max was stunned; it was truly time for him to accept his journey and fulfil people’s expectations of him, however hard, and the first step lay in the palm of his hand.
Inside a zipped compartment of his bag the same eerie light began to be produced, perplexing Norman and Caroline: what was going on? Max reached in and drew out an identical half of a pendant, something magical was held in the story behind it, and after 5 years of it being hidden it was time to finally tell.
“Max, May! What is all this?” Caroline inquisitively asked looking into the two pieces of jewellery as it captured her gaze with its grand presence, seemingly untouchable in its power.
“Well Mum, the short story, some years back Max and I were fishing down in the river that flows through the woods not far from here, and Max got a tug on his rod, being pulled into the water. It wasn’t that deep so he was fine but I still went in to help him out. When we had got out, attached to his shoes was this pendant you see. I grabbed it and so did Max but due to all our yanking it snapped in half and we’ve both kept our own pieces, until now. I believe that it’s a true sign of Max’s independence having both halves and how I no longer need to protect him as he travels with new friends.”
She looked back around at her little brother who was fiddling with both pieces in his hand, in deep thought about what his sister had said and how he would proceed in his journey and life. Catching Pokémon was all he thought about the day he walked out of Birch’s lab, but now that wasn’t the only thing that mattered. Becoming friends with new creatures and having different experiences with them, like May had, that was what would make his travelling fun and adventurous. But being independent would leave him on his own, no-one backing him up if he encountered trouble in the form of Team Rocket where it would be him on his own. Would any accomplishments make up for the loss of companions?
“Max, honey, what May has done for you is a gift any sibling would want, their independence from the rest of the family as they grow into a young adult and piece together themselves, and a way for you to start is by putting that pendant back together when we get home, and I’ll give you some help if you want to symbolise our last feat united,” Norman said, ruffling Max’s hair like he use to.
“And a word from me...with your challenge against your Father and the battles you’ve overcome against that strange bunch of criminals, and even Mark, you should be able to prove to yourself that you are worthy of reaching the goal of a Pokémon Master already when there are numbers of trainers out there who still haven’t earned enough badges to compete in Pokémon leagues, for you that must prove something.” The kind words of Roxanne were causing a few more tears in Max as he began to realise what was needed of him and how to move on.
“Well, I don’t know. It’s all fair and well saying I just need to believe but in practice it’s a whole lot harder...” Uttering these words he clasped his hands in frustration, evidently pushing the two parts together deduced because of the sheer blinding light that shone from his hands. He couldn’t move, it was like he was frozen in time as he gazed upon everyone around him who had jerked their heads to see the commotion, but things started to get stranger, they all began to slow down until they were halted and Max was thrown backwards into what seemed an endless spiral of multicoloured light!
The sunlight began to break through Max’s closed eyelids as his senses all started to function again, allowing in the sounds of Murkrow to softly vibrate his ears. At first the light blinded him, taking a couple of seconds to focus and allow him to stare into the trees of a wood, surrounding him on all sides. It seemed the perfect bliss place to be, if it was in a movie, but for him this was just terrifying. There was no way he could have got here so quickly after being in a restaurant in the heart of Petalburg City. What a strange experience.
After a few minutes of becoming use to everything once again, he attempted to get a secure hold in the bushes to prop himself up and crawl out of the foliage, except it was harder than he had first imagined. He reached up to hold onto one of the branches dangling from the Oak tree above him, holding on as tight as possible while lifting his body upright. After a few attempts it worked, and he stumbled from within its thresholds only to find he was lying by the road that led towards Professor Birch’s laboratory. How weird? What had successfully launched him a number of km in distance? Then he remembered. The pendant, some mystical force had caused him to teleport across the country, and at first glances it could prove to be handy in reaching his next goals without having to travel far to get there, now he just had to work it again and get back to Petalburg.
While his thoughts continued to process all the relevant data, the noise of a whirring car crept over the horizon along with a churning cloud of dust that was visible even from where Max stood. As it neared, the car became more visible until it was clear whose it was, now he had to hide, no reason why, he just had to. He flung himself quickly back into the bushes as his Dad’s Porche roared past at great speed, gaining its approach towards Birch’s lab, but Max was still able to glimpse inside to where he saw his father and himself in heated conversation, an experience he had lived only a few weeks ago. What had that Pendant done?
His expressions explained everything, a shock, bewilderment, one that was unexplainable. He wandered out onto the road and watched the car tail off toward the building that was faintly visible where Professor Oak and Professor Birch would greet him and offer him a choice of 6 Pokémon, a puzzling fact. There must be a reasonable answer to the situation, maybe he was dreaming or knocked unconscious and was reliving a past event, but things just seemed too real. He went into deep thought, trying to find an explainable answer; however he couldn’t. Maybe following the trail would help him figure out what to do.
He sped off towards the laboratory, arriving not long after the car. His younger self was wondering into the room where the starter PokeBalls were lying on a table along with his Pokédex, about to receive Charmander. Suddenly a thought strayed across his mind, what if he changed his own fate? What if instead of Charmander he bonded with Mudkip, that way his journey might change, and Charmander could go back to Kanto and find another loving trainer. It could work. But he wasn’t thinking of the dire consequences that could follow in this fatal choice. He came first!
Max carefully made his way to the far side of the building where he could see clearly through the window he had crouched by, watching himself look amazed as the first three Pokémon appeared with a gifted magical appearance, each Pokémon with their unique quality. Mudkip was adorable, why else would he have fallen in love with it. He gazed once again in awe at the water Pokémon’s majestic attributes; the orange external gills were what had attracted him to begin with, and something odd that made this Pokémon a beauty. What wonder! He attempted to move to the opposite window where he could distract Charmander and draw him away from the younger Max instead of having Mudkip distracted first, that way his younger self might follow the water type and not get drawn to the fire type. In the process of movement he clipped the windowsill with his bear elbow causing a faint noise which attracted Mudkip’s sensitive hearing. The blue Pokémon leapt from the table to investigate what had occurred outside being the only one to notice it while the others just played around with Max. Now there was no chance to get his favourite Pokémon, the upcoming trainer now had Charmander cradled in his arms, Max was the reason Mudkip wasn’t his; it was his own actions that made it this way, now what to do?
He skulked down with his back against the white washed wall, crowded with unwanted feelings of regret and disappointment knowing that what he just attempted was wrong, although he realised that if he had succeeded nothing would matter anymore as he would return to a different world, without Charmander and possibly without Mudkip. Fate can’t be changed, he knew it, but the excitement of getting what he wanted or turning a situation into his own way was not a chance to give up at a snap of a finger, if anything it should be tried out in some sort of simulation chamber that only existed on the T.V. At least then...things could become easier, tough decisions made simpler by a pre-empted enactment and maybe his past few weeks would have become somewhat different, not meeting up with Roxanne or having to face the mysterious ‘Steel Team’ who put them all through torture. He sighed, there were all these ‘what ifs’ which became incredibly strenuous upon his mind as he juggled with the thought of changing some other occurrences, say causing his younger self to take a different route to Petalburg City and not becoming mixed up in everything he did, a year’s journey packed into a few small weeks. His face started to sag from the stress and burdens he had thrown over himself by trying selfish acts to enhance his life, the only thing he should worry about was finding a way back to his time, his reality. If only that was a simple answer.
After a few minutes pondering over the same thought in his head, he decided that the best course of action was to leave after Max, loitering in the bushes as to hide from detection. Maybe the reason he was sent back was to confront something along the path, finding a certain secret out; anything seemed possible at the moment but Max had to find the answer and it would certainly lye on the path of his travels.
He supported himself by clinging onto the ledge to give some leverage in his pull, as a precaution in being undetected and able to slip away without any fuss, or so he thought. Just as he was about to turn the corner the front metallic doors burst open with little effort and the group of professors wandered back into the grounds along with Norman, busy in conversation. Max slipped to the ground edging himself closer to listen intently to the words they were all saying, as he guessed it would most likely concern him.
“Birch, you promise me you’ll watch over him until he reaches Petalburg?” Norman asked with an obvious agitation to his voice as he looked over to the horizon as his son trekked along the path to Oldale Town.
“I’ve already said I have someone on it, Roxanne to be precise! She has a full back story for the trip at hand and someone in Oldale to go along with the story so if Max does question anything there will be no hesitations...don’t worry Norman; he’ll make it home in one piece.”
“Thanks Birch, sorry to bother you...”
“It’s okay Norman, being a worried father is part of your job,” Birch jokingly said tapping Norman’s shoulder as they all chuckled, except for Max. His Dad had presumed that he wouldn’t cope on his own, that being independent would prove too tough. Why though? He had been able to let May go on her travels without setting her up with someone to travel with, but when it came to him it did; anyway he was more mature than she ever was always making the right decisions; except...what he had just attempted to change a little thing that could easily alter time and space upsetting both Dialga and Palkia, two God like Pokémon. But at least he could say he would manage on his own and not have to cling onto home like a small toddler always holding onto Mummy’s leg as they walked leisurely down a supermarket isle.
He looked back over to the men as they clambered into cars and drove off down the road, back into the direction of Petalburg City with Birch waving them goodbye as they hit the distance. Now would be his chance to catch up with novice Max, but like always, something interrupted him. All of Birch’s assistances had made it back indoors as the bushes and grass begun to whir and bend as a harsh noise protracted from the sky where a helicopter descended onto the road and a young woman gingerly climbed out with lush long brown hair. Max soon realised that it was none other than Roxanne starting her given task to tail after him and keep him safe from ‘danger’ that would arrive, like he really needed her in all the situations they became tangled in, but the more he thought about the more he disagreed with himself. Who was he kidding when thinking that Roxanne didn’t help or Charmander got in his way, life happened for a reason his Granddad always use to remind him, and in this case that was certainly true. If these events didn’t occur then instead of being released by the ‘Steel Team’ he could have been held hostage and taken back to their head base, but because his friends were there they were able to pull together and escape showing the criminals a thing or two about friendship.
By this time, Birch had entered the laboratory and Roxanne had departed down the path into the Oldale Forest where the first few major experiences for the young trainer occurred like random fire works on a trajectory course for damage. Max cautiously rose from his current position and trailed after the Rock Gym Leader as she sank into the distance. His mind was still pondering over the case of how to get back to his time without disrupting anything else in the process, but he still hadn’t found a solid answer. There was the possibility of breaking the pendant now hanging round his neck to see if that undid the process of time travel but it was too risky, if anything went wrong he could be sent further back than he already was, if only he could consult someone else who could help. Then he realised the two closet friends he had were hanging from his belt inside their PokeBalls. He released his two Pokémon one by one, each landing straight onto the ground in the trail of white light that always appeared, both of them were still worn out from the Gym Battle earlier on in the day which left them feeling tired and aching. They had each fought a tough battle, especially the little Bud Pokémon who managed to defy the odds and defeat a Pokémon that towered over her, using some hidden power stored somewhere inside the tiny coiled body of herself. They looked toward their trainer gazing at him with slight bewilderment noticing their whereabouts had become different in a matter of hours.
“Don’t really know how to put this, but we’ve travelled to the past, a few weeks to be exact right at the start of my journey and I have no idea how to get back without jeopardising our safety or that of others.” He paused while drifting into deep thought yet again, his confusion being felt by both his Pokémon, making them agitated and slightly worried. “I have one suggestion that I thought over earlier however; we could follow this road back to Petalburg City and see if that helps determine what our next move should be.” They nodded to show their agreement, and they even knew that the only possible solution to their undeniable problem was to continue on until their path home was shown instead of standing around waiting for something to happen. If nothing could be done then at least when he arrived at the restaurant he would be back to his present time and able to continue on the journey. Budew leapt into the arms of her trainer while Charmander sat on Max’s shoulders as he hastily ran to catch up with the first predicament, Ryperior.
The sunlight had begun to disperse as the huge yellow ball of energy began to rise on the other side of the Earth, bringing warmth to different trainers and Pokémon as they continued on their current travels, or past encounters as Max looked at it. His legs were finally numb from the excursion he was putting them through as their sore and achy period had past, or were to come, very confusing, but his efforts had paid off as he was nearly there. The path had now begun to join the river which he and May had once found the pendant now sitting in his pocket, the cause for their bewilderment, but he couldn’t worry about that now as he was about to come across the camp site where his younger self was busy eating supper. Now he had to hide! The long perturbing branches of the bushes were piercing his skin as he slowly edged closer to Max, finally able to see him through the gaps in the undergrowth. He planted his behind in a soil patch that was warm and cosy while he had Charmander and Budew sitting on his lap, waiting for something, anything. The youthful Max was now busy looking for his Charmander who had disappeared only moments before into the hedge growth just a few metres away, following a trail of Gulpin slime that had intrigued him. Now it was time for the big cliché to arrive, with thunderous roars, Ryperior stomped around the corner ready to cause havoc, although he was still puzzled as to how it came ambling into the forest. It gave another huge roar as it charged a Hidden Power while Max was looking up all its details within the Pokédex. What a stupid mistake he realised as he eagerly watched from the safety of the vibrant green bushes. The attack was all it took to lunge the past Max into the river, sinking straight to the bottom, an experience he absolutely hated, but all he had to do was watch and wait for Roxanne to save him, although Ryperior had other plans. It suddenly turned its mass toward where Max and co were sitting comfortably as if they were on a sofa eating popcorn and watching a horror movie, except they were able to be injured by the creature. It once again began to charge a Hidden Power, just long enough for Max to get out before things reached critical; until Roxanne arrived he would have to face the giant Pokémon.
“Budew and Charmander, use Bullet Seed and Ember now!” His commands were very decisive, direct and quick enough to allow time to collide with the oncoming Hidden Power and try and force it back with as much power from the two Pokémon as they could muster. The buzz and energy brought Max back to reality showing him how much he enjoyed battling and how well he could cope on his own. Yes it’s always great to have friends with you but if he was put on his own he could handle situations as long as he had the confidence. After these experiences it had clouded his beliefs, as all he saw was other people there coming to his rescue, but reliving it all put a spark back to the flame and he could let go of the burden. The answer had been given to him, independence; he was capable of doing that.
His face showed it all, the confident smirk was a breath of fresh air to his friends battling with him with a new belief in themselves, “I’ve finally come to my senses! I can be independent if I believe!”
The multicoloured light started to fade back into view surrounding all three as they were launched straight into the heart of the light. His journey had a new spark and the realisation made him safe, he was back on his travels!
If only they would of gotten a spin off with Max starting his Pokemon journey