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  1. #31
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Hey all! Hope you enjoy this Chapter as someone new enters the fold! A few questions I wouldn't mind being answered are:
    What do you think of the Character Development from Chapter 1?
    What do you think of the plot at the moment?
    Which Pokemon is the most unique?

    Thank you and remember to check out my intro I created - link of first page


    Chapter 13: Time to Fly!

    The night was still full of energy as Max slowly finished off his large chunk of Fudge Chocolate Cake, drizzled with a warm milk chocolate sauce that gave the whole dessert an extra special feeling as it slowly slipped down Max’s spoon while he held it in his mouth. The experiences he had been through only a matter of hours before seemed long behind him but the family were still hassling him for some unexplained answers that had inadvertently cropped up in his initial description of the adventure. Yes, that was what it had become and he felt proud that he was able to overcome it, and so early on. If this was the way his travels would go then he would be raring to take the path as soon as the bowl had been completely ridden of the chocolate coating it, but he knew his family and friends deserved some answers, and in hindsight it would be a way for it all to sink in for him. But what an adventure to have, travelling through time by means of a pendant that had only one way to get back, through learning something about himself and feeling confident that he could complete all the tough challenges that would come his way. A gift any new trainer would desire, the chance to feel they could go all the way, practically at the start of their first journey with Pokémon.

    It didn’t take long for the last mouthful to quickly be shoved into Max’s mouth, soothing all the aches and hurtful mind for a few seconds before they realised the temptation that he was trying to overshadow them with. Along with the joyful side of the escapade there also came a price to pay, the guilt. He was lucky that his dearest friends had no idea that he attempted to replace them and start all over again, a foolish mistake that was carried out in the spur of the moment, or so he hoped to believe. But keeping something like this from the ones he trusted and valued the most would be a hard commitment and prey hard upon his values. He thought to himself that at least he wouldn’t have to make that decision right now; it could be saved till later when he could make a more paired conclusion after a nice relaxing sleep.

    The pendant still sat comfortably inside Max’s fleece, as if to play a vital role in keeping his morals correct and the decisions firm from lies and regret, but it still had a warmth to it. The idea that he could work and make intelligent decisions on his own without parental help, a contradiction to the other meaning it held. Altogether at this point, the only thing he could tell was that it would play a more key function in his travels than first speculated.

    He lent casually back in his chair, awaiting the hype of questions to begin their decent upon him again after his dismissal earlier on, to wait until the dinner was completely finished. Roxanne (having been rather quiet throughout the entire meal) jumped in with the first inquisitive comment.

    “Max, what on Earth happened? One minute you were here and the next you weren’t.”

    “A good question to start off with, like I said when I appeared back in this chair, the pendant had somehow sent me backwards through time to a few minutes before my younger self arrived at Birch’s lab. And on from there I learnt what Dad had planned with Birch to make sure I was safe, which involved giving you a back story to do with the Protector item that evolves Rhydon. Then on from there, I followed you and learnt that I could handle situations on my own and the multicoloured light re-appeared, and the next thing I knew I was sitting in front of my bowl of Chicken noodles.”

    A silence flounced across the table, no-one knew what to say in response to Max, anything at all could displease either side of the argument and that wasn’t needed at a celebratory dinner. Max looked around the table, seeing Norman fidgeting in his seat, what had he done? He was really close to his father yet he had managed to unnerve him and Roxanne too. Why condemn them when he had done wrong too, attempting to change events was worse than attempting to look after your child. For all it was worth, he could end up in the same position if he told Charmander and Budew what he endeavoured to do, it was time to forgive and forget. Without the Pendant, he would never have known, and that way things may have been better off.

    “But...you know, I guess I have to thank you for that, both of you. You had my welfare at heart and that’s what counts.”

    “Well, I think this should be something left for discussion at home,” Caroline timely mentioned, trying to get off the matter and speak about more desirable topics, “We should get all the leftover food packed up and pay the bill.”

    Caroline raised her arm in the air to catch their waiters’ eye abruptly, before he had a chance to attend another table; in a posh stance he slowly waltzed over to them, bending down to hear their requests. By his side was a relatively small Pokémon that seemed as if it was dressed as a clown, its personality appeared jokey and he always copied what his trainer did. Putting it blankly, it was a mimic.

    “Mime Jr., would you be a dear and carry their empty plates into the kitchen please,” the waiter kindly asked before turning back to the table and picking up the food. After a couple of minutes he walked back through the double doors that led into the white glistening kitchen carrying a tray filled with small compact boxes that held the remains of the meal. His little Pokémon was sitting comfortably on his neat black suit imitating the posture the waiter had acquired.

    “Here you are Madame, is there anything else I can do for you?”

    “No, I think that’s it. Here’s the money, and thank you for a wonderful meal.”

    “My pleasure, always good to see the Gym Leader and his family, and not only that but the famous Roxanne as well, you know, I hope I’m not out of line here but I would love it if I could have an autograph from you all?”

    “Sure, why not?” Norman replied, taking a pen and paper from the waiter and signing it, then passing it on to his wife, it wasn’t often they got asked for autographs but they always loved the occasional attention, and it seemed to help them all forget about what had just occurred, except Max. It was as if it would never be able to leave his mind, escape the horrors of jail bound captivity with bars strung across it until he revealed his mistakes, but it wasn’t the time or place to begin to worry about it again.

    The group stood up and handed the piece of paper back to the waiter and his Mime Jr. before heading for the bright musky coloured doors and leaving into the brisk evening air where there was still a party vibe flowing through all the young adolescents as they continued to shop and battle, taking in what was left of the day. The permanent carnival also drew large numbers of people and Pokémon to Petalburg City, especially during the holiday seasons where the Carnival never seemed to close. The Ferris wheel and Bumper cars were the main attractions that often would become flooded with tourists who allowed their Pokémon to partake in some of the activities. It was a social place to be and always welcome to all ages and species, but for some reason, tonight none of the group wanted to attend, they were all worn out from a long day and the argument didn’t help liven things up either. The Gym Battle was such a great victory that it seemed a shame to not bother to enjoy their evening, Max had progressed so much within the past week with his special training that would become a useful regime in his battling, but they all knew there was no point putting on brave faces and trying to show masked feelings. For Max, it appeared as if the rest of the night would drag on for as long as it could possibly muster, just as some sort of pay back against Max’s deeds, but he knew he deserved it.

    Max subconsciously sauntered along the street, not realising where he was headed, just walking. A hurried squeal broke Max’s deep concentration as he turned to face his sister who was gawping at the windows of fashion boutiques, “WOW! They’re all so beautiful. I could easily see Glaceon suiting that piece of clothing perfectly, and Delcatty in that. This new shopping walkway is great, and a good place to start adding a Pokémon Stylist look to all my Pokémon, just like Dawn did with her Buneary.” May rapidly went from store to store, eying up all the goods they had to offer in a frantic panic, as if it was all suddenly going to disappear from sight. She reached into her bum bag and brought out her purse rummaging through the coins and notes that she had concealed away for a special occasion. There was just enough in there to buy the green velvet jacket for Glaceon, that also had darker green diamond shapes upon it, an interesting piece of clothing that might help them in an appeal to show off her beauty.

    “I’ll be right back,” May called, not even looking toward her family as she sped inside the shop grabbing the jacket and thrusting it onto the counter before the shop employee even had a chance to greet her. Max gave a faint chuckle; his sister could always amuse him and keep him entertained, especially whilst on their journeys with Ash and Brock, and it was always a welcoming gift to see her obsessed with shopping.

    She came wandering back out onto the street with a hurried step to her, holding the coat in one hand and a PokeBall in the other, ready to try the new piece of clothing on Glaceon. She threw the red and white ball into the air before it burst open to let the Ice type come spiralling out shrouded in a white coat, which slowly dispersed into the black sheet in the sky leaving a sliver sparkle in its wake. Max no longer had endurance to watch his ecstatic sister; the joys of the moment were just flowing over his head not able to be absorbed in, and it just seemed pitiful to attempt to show any signs encouragement while he wished to be solitary and dwell over matters. The past still had that strong hold over him that felt unbearable to alleviate, something good would just have to do the work for him. He had ventured over to the benches set out across the middle of the path that ran through the new district, holding the bags containing the food. His family were still within his sight but he had a hefty gap suited in between them, there was hopefully not going to be any disturbances for a while.

    “Murkrow,” out of nowhere the piercing cold call sounded as defiant as a trumpet of war, symbolising the brutality that would follow. Before Max knew it, a swarm of Murkrow came crowding in on him with their night blue wings encased in an iron coating. Their presence was altogether frightening as they swooped down upon the young boy with their penetrating eyes fixed on one goal, the ample of free food. They all looked as if they were heading straight for the takeaway, except one that caught Max’s attention; this one instead was bearing straight for them, not looking for a succulent helping of food but a battle.

    “Charmander, let’s take care of these rascals,” Max shouted, throwing his friends PokeBall at the convergence of Flying Pokémon heading their way. Charmander emerged in a flash that lucratively intimidated the Pokémon momentarily giving him a slight speed boost when it came to the attack.

    “Charmander, sweep your Ember across the entire flock of Murkrow and then try and scare them with your Screech!”

    The smoking embers crackled through the air as they instigated a number of the Pokémon to be sent escalating toward the ground with a trail of smoke left behind, these then didn’t hesitate to stick around for more attacks and flew off back to their habitat, others decided to pull out of their decent and perch on top of buildings surrounding the battle zone to see the outcome of the unfair battle; they had full confidence that their fellow comrades would finish off the Charmander and steal the food. These Murkrow were just happy to sit there.

    Charmander was proud that he had successfully defeated a number of the aggressors already; the new confidence that was fizzing inside of Max also ignited itself inside of his little Pokémon, and he wasn’t going to give up just because of some faulty odds. The two were armed and ready, and knew that this would be a good chance to try their new attitude out.

    The Birds had now collected themselves back into a group, and instead of heading for the food they were now charging at Charmander as one big team, angry for what they seemed as an unprovoked attack. Max nevertheless saw this as an easier target for Charmander to take down with his Screech, as if they were only fighting one Pokémon.

    Charmander inhaled a vast amount of air that could vaguely be seen as some sort of mist entering his fiery lips, because of the bitter frostiness hanging in the atmosphere. The extra air acted as a power boost which concealed an extra kick within the attack to knock a few of the oncoming Murkrow off balance and hopefully cause them to leave the battle.

    The ripples in the air hit the Flying Pokémon, as if they were targets at a fun fair being fired at; Max watched cautiously as the Murkrow were blown backwards from the sheer force produced in the attack, beating a few of them against the paving who were caught off guard, slightly injured from the falls. The numbers had sufficiently decreased with a few enduring all of the attacks thrown at them while Charmander was not scathed at all, but Max still had the aggressive bird in the corner of his eye and was wary to let it disappear out of his sight. It stopped in mid air, catching Max’s look and returning it with a glare, he wanted a real battle and felt that this was an opportunity not to miss.

    “Murkrow,” he cried, shafting his glare towards his friends to signalise that he wanted to fight alone, with no interference; these two were now formidable opponents. He opened his wings with a forceful thrust that was just in time to allow him to catch the warm updraft that rose through the buildings, able to lift him higher into the night sky. His head cocked to face Charmander while his wings were once again becoming encased in the metal, Charmander could feel that this was going to be great experience and help in their next major battles.

    “Charmander, jump high into the air and blast the Murkrow with another Ember, then follow up with your Scratch attack,” Max eagerly shouted, already having a real sense of gratitude towards his Pokémon from all the dedication he put into his attacks and battles, it was a real mistake to try and change him for a Mudkip, a Pokémon on which he wouldn’t have bonded and had the same relationship with. He knew that for them to grow even more, they would have to be honest and truthful, and that would have to start with their recent events.

    Max quickly snapped back into reality to watch the two Pokémon lunge at one another, wings and claws sparkling with a dazzling white light, glinting amongst the stars; they both seemed eager to show their friends what power they concealed and weren’t willing to forfeit as they both wanted a great pride of knowing that you could defeat the odds.

    Charmander opened his mouth as the blazing embers began to form in a swirl of fire at the back of his throat, before spitting them toward the oncoming Murkrow with great energy. It didn’t seem to even consider the possibility to dodge, but charged right into them, tensing slightly as they burnt its pristine feathers, with mouth brewing an angry cry. A pungent fear struck Charmander as he realised his attack seemed to do nothing, stabbing at Murkrow clumsily with his claws from the panic that now overwhelmed him, not wanting to show signs of weakness, however they were cleverly deflected by the Steel Wings that caused the attacks to bounce right back and jar at Charmander’s arms. He was left defenceless. Charmander struggled to stay in the air for any longer, as gravity began its affect upon him; Murkrow saw this as an opportunity to double the damage dealt and swooped close enough to slam its strengthened wings into Charmander which sped up his plummet. Max watched in horror as their edge slipped away, out of their clasp, as the acute face of Murkrow started taunting them. The fear Max had previously was creeping inside all his veins, lurking within the shadows of his body and attempting to throw their rhythm off course. Max needed to think fast otherwise things would be over.

    I just have to believe! We can win if we have confidence! I just have to believe! It was now or never, the chance to make their comeback in the battle was nearing, if the timing was off then Charmander would hit the ground with brute force, surely knocking it out, “Okay Charmander, fire a full powered Screech at the ground!”

    The high frequency sound waves struck the cobbled ground just below Charmander, which sufficiently slowed him down enough to cause minimal damage. The waves continued their course, washing over the clean finished surface of the street; the angle at which it hit produced a convection current swirling back up into the air where Murkrow was hovering over the pavement. The distortion in the air could clearly be seen by everyone who had stopped to watch the fight, as well as the Murkrow that were perched o high rise buildings down the street. Unfortunately though, the Murkrow battling had no chance to escape and was clouted under the chin with the remaining waves that had circled around. It was taken aback, feeling dizzy and meek, not able to control its movements so well anymore. The images in its poached maroon eyes started to flash back and forth in his vision, becoming blurry by the second. The experience was causing terror to course through its body; it knew that the battle was over. With a few last flaps of the wings (as if it was fighting for the last gasps of life) it slowed down and halted all movement, before flopping to the floor. Max had not only used a move in a defensive way, but had successfully turned it into an attack in the same breath. Charmander had pulled through.

    “Max, that was brilliant,” May called, running over to her brothers’ side and embracing him with her tight grip, “You really showed the beauty and power that Charmander conceals and you deserve the win.” She turned her head to see the slumped figure of Murkrow hauled on the cold slab of cobbled street, “And you also deserve a new Pokémon!”

    “What? You think I could train this Murkrow?”

    “Yes, I do. You are an exceptional young trainer, so what are you waiting for, throw your PokeBall.”

    “Oh, okay,” Max surprisingly said in response, unsure of what to really do. All he knew on the subject was what he had seen others do, and was hesitant to try it out on such a powerful Pokémon so early on in his journey. But the first capture would have to be made at some point, so he unzipped the small compartment on the side of his yellow backpack that contained a few empty PokeBalls and cautiously took one out. The whole procedure was running through his head like clockwork:

    · you press the white centre button to enlarge the ball
    · then you take aim upon the Pokémon
    · after that you lob it at the Pokémon and watch it become encased inside
    · and lastly you wait to see if its caught
    · if unsuccessful you repeat the whole process

    “Okay then, the PokeBall is armed and ready so catch that Murkrow!”
    Max launched the red and white ball at the Murkrow who still seemed lifeless as it lay in solitude, abandoned by all of his fellow friends who had decided to fly off and get food through other means. The Bird became engulfed within a red flash as the ball opened and absorbed the Pokémon inside. It lay on the floor rolling numerous times before the centre button flickered red and the capture was finished.

    “Wow, I did it. I actually caught my first Pokémon!” Max cried with an overpowering sense of happiness that was sinking into his core, his memories. This was able to cloud the recent past and pass it off for something trivial, his mind was made up; this was the joyous occasion that was to release the horrible regretful memories from their prison, letting go of the burden. He felt chuffed at this, now he could bask in his accomplishment, wherever he went he could no longer be viewed as a novice because of the achievements of owning the Balance Badge and three Pokémon, one of which he had caught by himself.

    He looked at the PokeBall sitting in his hand, allured by its majestic pull to power, designed to capture these unique monsters and hold them pray to an owner. What changed their loyalties and obedience? Was there some sort of mechanism that altered their DNA or suddenly changed their opinions? The whole concept of PokeBalls was exceedingly complicated and delving into the privy of them in just one night was not enough. Extensive research would have to be carried out, just like the work professors did, or he could just ask the makers of them what exactly happened, if they knew. This was part of the wonderful, complex world of Pokémon.

    “Max, honey that was a wonderful display of battling technique and the capture you made...I couldn’t have done a better one,” Caroline energetically cried running over to her son with arms stretched out wide, while Norman and Roxanne trailed behind her. Her heart was pounding at a rapid speed, she was able to witness her son’s first capture and she couldn’t be any more proud of him.

    “Thanks Mum, you always have the right words on anything.”

    “That’s okay sweetie, it’s the job of a mother to do exactly that.”

    “Thanks, and I think it’s time for me to be getting home and giving my Pokémon all a rest before we set off for Rustboro tomorrow, so see you in the morning.”

    His cold parched lips rested against her cheek for a slight moment, before he set off toward the Gym, a place that he’d called home for 10 years, but now it was just acted like a hotel, somewhere he could often stay before starting his next journey through the likes of Jhoto, Kanto or Sinnoh. It would still be a stable secure environment for him and a latch onto something foreseeable, whereas he would experience the unknowing through his travels that would lead him too new places and too new friends.

    *****



    The climb up the wooden stairs seemed short compared to the norm, maybe it was because Max’s thoughts had delved into new matters and wasn’t concentrating on the flow of time or gravity pulling him down. He knew what to do now, the answer to his dying question. Was there a need to tell Charmander and Budew? No. They had a new friend, a new partner who was unaware of the entire situation. Why involve them?

    The bathroom cabinet now loomed in front of him, beckoning him to gaze into its illustrious metal coating, reflecting his image. His answer was given, now he just had one problem left to solve. The complexity of these thoughts beleaguered all his actions, that one idea of PokeBalls had escalated into questioning the true reality of what he saw and did, and questioning the matter of Pokémon, no matter how much he wished to avert his feelings.

    *****



    The musky walls were filled with the stench of evil, and he knew. Who or what was still unclear, but he was sure it would soon be revealed, and the wait was brief. A man clothed in the most undesirable attire stepped through the threshold of the darkened room, his silhouette just noticeable in the light.

    “Now what are you going to do ay? Going to magically escape your imprisonment and defeat us all? We have big plans for your companions you see, big plans, and we would like to know whether you’d oblige our little scheme or not. No, oh well. Our boss would like to get the experiments and tests started right away so we’ll need your little buddies right now!

    “No, leave them alone. Don’t touch them. You can’t have them. They’re mine!”

    *****

    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  2. #32
    Registered User brickwork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Max lieks Mudkipz?

  3. #33
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by Azumarill View Post
    Max lieks Mudkipz?
    He does indeed :D but that doesn't change the fact for his love of his new partner! Although has seen in the previous Chapter it can be pushed to its' limits!
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  4. #34
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Chapter 14: Which way? - What way?

    The morning light filtered through the flaps of the frizzy red curtains that had small cuts at the bottom for an unknown reason Max dared not to ponder. The beautifully sewn fabric was draped over the pristine finished glass that slotted perfectly into thewindows, which his Father had helped create when he was a young lad, working side by side with his Father, a perfect happy family. This was always the point in a day when he could fully relax, be completely calm and free from woes. It was peaceful, and that’s how he liked it. If only he didn’t have to drag himself out of bed and face the complications that proceeded with each day, things that would attack him unknowingly and then come back and bite him later on, such as the Pendant. How would he have known at that sort of age the repercussions it would have unleashed? He just lay there, as still as a bunch of Metapod before their evolutions, gazing adrift into the sky whereas Max just saw a few pretty coloured patterns papered across his ceiling. However, he knew sooner or later he would have to clamber downstairs to the greeting smiles of his family where table talk was always the discussion, and there was nothing keeping him to his solitary white glossy walls so he decided that family would take priority.

    The time was only just after eight, and the wild Pokémon had barely been up for a few hours, but all of Max’s household were washed and clothed, ready to start their days in a civilised fashion. Max however chose the opposite and lazily wandered into the kitchen wearing his Hoenn starter pyjamas which were covered in a few tears from the amount of use they had received over the years. Noting could’ve been simpler.

    “Morning honey, you had a good night’s sleep?” Caroline immediately asked handing Max a plate with strawberry coated pancakes for him to devour within a few seconds.

    “Yea, it was nice to be back in my bed, I can assure you that...but it seemed to lack something I had never noticed before, the smell of nature and a morning breeze that always tickles my skin when I look upon the world. That’s the appeal of a journey.”

    “And rightly so, I remember the first time waking up in the wilderness, besides feeling slightly worried I could also feel relaxed and free, something I never felt here,” May replied with a budding smile zipped across her pale visage as she stood next to her brother.

    “Well aren’t you two our promising little campers. Just remember to always stay safe.”

    “We will Mum,” they replied in unison, before heading into the comfort of a warm living room where the television was flickering with the latest news headlines. Max decided not to pay too much attention to it, but instead delve his fork into the soft crevasses of his pancakes that had a noticeable fluffy texture before flopping into the velvet surfaced sofa with his feet resting upon the wooden coffee table. His eyes would not leave the platter of food that was slowly diminishing in content the more Max gobbled down, falling prey to the hunger ravished from his fateful encounter the night before where a new spark of hope and love for him was introduced, that alone would leave anyone hungry. Yet something was stopping May which totally baffled Max, there was never a time that he remembered when she wouldn’t eat food, it occasionally got to the point sometimes that she considered eating a higher priority than anything else. What was it that had caught her attention?

    “Hey Max, put your plate down and look at this,” May said as if answering Max’s prayers with the answer to his question as she grabbed his arm and pulled him round to see the wide television screen scrolling a breaking news story across the bottom of the picture. Max sighed, expecting the usual hoo-ha of a new trainer becoming a Champion or beating the Elite Four of a region, or a new Top Co-ordinator crowned, maybe Ash had successfully won the Sinnoh league? But no, today it was something more earnest, a dark and gloomy story where the reporter was standing in front of a Pokémon Centre billowing with smoke that was misting the lens of the film camera, causing all the crew to slightly cough. Max was horrified; in all his travels he had never seen something this horrendous, this dreadful. It seemed extremely likely that some people came out unscathed while others were left in bad conditions, or even worse. What about the little Pokémon, or even the tough ones, what had become of the Pokémon in care during this incident? He couldn’t bear to think about it, from just the images he saw he knew what horrors and devastation there could be, he was only thankful that he wasn’t there and that his Pokémon weren’t caught up in this shock. He took hold of the remote sitting before him on the mahogany table immediately turning the volume up so they could hear what the reporter had to say on the situation:

    “The reports from local witnesses state that a few Passenger Helicopters arrived at the PokéCentre late last night where a number of shady characters stepped out and commanded their Pokémon to attack the building with a number of powerful moves. From then on, not much is known but we can report that a young lad on his travels through Hoenn was captured and taken aboard the Helicopter that left almost immediately after the attack was instigated, and reports on his whereabouts are unknown. We’ll report any new information the minute it is unveiled so don’t take your eyes off this channel. This is Kathryn King reporting for Hoenn Regional News on Channel 17!” The slim brunette glumly stated while moving out of the picture so the viewers could have a better sight of the situation.

    The clouds of the harsh clammy haze continued to escalate higher into the sky before vanishing into the thick layer of clouds that had slowly rolled in. Nothing seemed natural anymore but instead looked like a synthetic mock up in some sort of new movie where violence could be acceptable as it always was in fantasy and the culprits were only highly paid actors. But Max knew otherwise, when the news lady described the bandits he could tell who they were, the same people that had grabbed them a few weeks before at Oldale Town, where he was left vulnerable and his Pokémon in an even worse state. If Officer Jenny hadn’t arrived when she did this may have been his fate, kidnapped and likely not seen again. He had to help in whatever way possible; this lad could be in grave danger.

    “Roxanne, come here quickly,” he shouted still not being able to avert his gaze from the horrors being shown on the television slowly sinking into the threshold of his thought capacity.

    He looked up at Roxanne as she walked in, who immediately began staring at the iridescent image being repeatedly shown across the screen using the occasional footage taken by bystanders who filmed the helicopters on their Pokétch’s and Pokénav’s, handy small devices that were able to keep people in contact with others whilst utilising the features of applications that could help a trainer and co-ordinator wherever they were. This time though, it wasn’t the case.

    Roxanne was stunned, the images of terrified people floated through her head as she looked at the devastation and destruction, trying to shift the memories from her childhood away from centre stage, where the bubbling wells of lava just kept on overflowing and lapsing at the innocent Pokémon unable to protect themselves. It was tear jerking thoughts and she felt that her suppressed feelings were overcrowding her like they once did causing numerous amounts of therapy to be bought for her, which evidently hadn’t worked. She realised that her mind had carried her off into an unwelcome land and her concentration had drifted from listening to Max.

    “Roxanne, did you hear what I just said?”

    “Ugh, sorry no, my mind seemed to wonder, it happens sometimes whenever I see heartbreaking situations such as this one. Never been able to figure out why...”

    “That’s okay, you don’t need to apologise I’ll just repeat it. Anyway the news reporter just stated than a young lad was taken by a group of crooks in passenger helicopters. Ring any bells?”

    “Oh my, it most certainly does, and judging by what happened to us this boy and his Pokémon could be in a lot of danger, I think that we need to inform the authorities about this immediately considering that they’re already on the hunt of these thugs and any more information couldn’t hurt. You go get ready now and I’ll meet you down at the PokéStation.”

    Roxanne had already made it out of the house by the time Max had begun to move, leaving the door wide open because she was in such a hurry. Max could clearly see the small spec she was becoming as she edged closer to the Shopping District of the town only seeming to narrowly make it round the bend that led towards the PokéStation. Now he had to be quick if he was going to make it in time to give his accounts, so he leapt over the sofa arm before stomping upstairs in such an urgent panic. He had never before felt so needed, someone’s fate was left in his hands and he had so much power that he knew he could use for good intentions, something like that was not a missable experience. When one adventure closes another one opens.

    He was once again dressed in his usual green t-shirt and red shorts that seemed scruffy and crinkled after a few weeks of not being ironed, but his looks were never too important to him, he would one day find someone that loved him for who he was instead of him trying to act all manly, especially at the age of 10. His clothes looked as if they had become house bound again with the dust collating on the fabrics overnight, it didn’t seem natural anymore. With his hands he was able to brush most of the dust from his garments before grabbing his yellow bag left in a heap in the corner and running out of his bedroom door. His whole pace seemed rushed and hasty now, quite unusual for his normal self, but today wasn’t normal and his life would no longer be what he considered ‘normal’ as his real journey had finally begun and he was stepping out into the world as an independent man.

    His feet had carried him all the way to the beige coloured door that lead into his families’ generational house, and he was ready to confront his enemies within and the enemies that could physically attack him. They had both manage to wheel themselves back into his life and place a wedge that would always guarantee them a passage to get back in, it was going to be a tough struggle to get rid of them but Max was confident that confiding in the Police would be their best bet of tackling the mysterious team and the baggage that staid within him from their last encounter.

    “May, I shouldn’t be too long so tell Mum and Dad we’ll be back in time for Lunch okay,” he hastily said without even turning around to hear her reply, once said all he could do was follow in Roxanne’s footsteps and charge along the street heading toward the Shopping District of the town that had the PokéStation just before it. Within no time their accounts would be used to help with the safety of the poor young boy that was being held captive and allow search teams to get a full profile on the case.



    *****



    “I’m sorry but if you don’t have a proper description then the information isn’t of much use,” the turquoise haired lady regretfully stated knowing full well that the two people stood before her were telling the truth as she had been roped in previously when the attacks at Oldale Town had occurred and even before them when a few miscellaneous cases appeared that could be linked again to the team. However in each case no substantial evidence was able to be submitted and the people just disappeared, leaving no DNA trace or no accurate sightings. They were extremely clever and devious and were willing to go to any lengths to succeed.

    The young lady looked up from the floor in which she could share emotion when her feelings were put into question, straightening her buttoned uniform before making eye contact with Roxanne and Max who seemed quite shocked yet saddened by the news they had received.

    “What do you mean it’s of no use? We came down here the minute we saw the news headlines with the idea that our information could be used in any way, not just for descriptions on the appearance. How about creating character profiles for the organisation or so on? Isn’t that what you did for Team Magma and Aqua?” Roxanne angrily shouted showing a side to Max that he had never witnessed. Her mood was flaring and her attitude was completely unusual but her words were where it was all clear and her point was correct. How could the Hoenn police force let this slip?

    “Come on Roxanne, they have the information now and can do with it what they please. Its best if we just head home grab our stuff and leave for Rustboro. It doesn’t seem like our company is needed anymore and I think we’re overstaying our welcome at my parents place.”

    They slowly turned around as if expecting a comment from the officer, but there was none; she was left questioning the morals of her work and whether or not she should relay the information to members out in the field, she knew that the information would still be vital no matter how detailed it was. She still gazed at the two trainers as they exited the station, watching the mechanised doors slowly slide shut behind them as they wandered out onto the street with their sorrow lingering. They couldn’t help but feel useless and feeble, they knew they had what it took to help this young trainer however they just weren’t able to, it was within their grasp, one step away, but still unobtainable.

    It didn’t take long for them to solemnly saunter through the front door to Max’s house, eyes focused upon the floor as voices congratulated their presence. May was the first to greet them with her perky smile grasping her brother in a choking grip as she calmly hugged him, understanding the pressure and terrifying situation he had just put himself into. She would never have dared confront an Officer of the law like that even if she held important knowledge, as her nerves would’ve gotten the better of her, but her brother could and did and her pride for him shone like a lighthouse beacon in foggy weather. These last couple of days had proven his worth, the successful Gym win, the time travel experience and the capture, three major occurrences that would define his character and persona.

    “Max, don’t worry you did your best and that’s all we ever want,” May sweetly composed with her voice, being completely cliché with her phrase to try and say what Max wanted to hear.

    “Thanks sis, but that’s not going to cut it this time. I let that boy down and now he’s going to pay the price. If only I had pushed the Police sooner into cracking this case or at least compiling evidence then this nightmare may have been averted.”

    “Yes exactly, may have been averted. You wouldn’t have known for sure and to be honest we still don’t know the real reason why this attack happened and it’s highly unlikely we’ll ever find out,” Roxanne timely intervened with her intellectual words of wisdom that always brought light and truth to a situation, although quite commonly not always at once.
    #
    “Why don’t you two go sit down on the settee and I’ll grab us some drinks and biscuits before we have lunch, it might calm you down and make you feel less exhausted.”

    “Yea, good idea May, thanks darling you’re ever so kind, I can see now why Ash wanted to have you tag along with him,” Roxanne boldly commented with both girls chuckling. The mood change with Roxanne was snappy and extensive as if she was a teenager again experiencing all the difficulties of hormones, but Max took it as a light laugh and slowly retreated into his Grandfathers armchair that was so snug it seemed to wrap its leather around you and suck you in. Engraved upon the wooden supports that Max use to be able to slither underneath was the name ‘Maxi’ written upon it, just like how his Grandfather use to refer to him when he was only a toddler. He was never sure of its significance but was too afraid to ask any adults its true meaning.

    “And here you go Max, one fizzy drink just how you like it and a few chocolate biscuits that will hopefully keep you going for another hours or two,” May briskly said whisking Max’s items from the tray and placing them in his care before handing the remaining food and drink to Roxanne, “Now shall we see if there’s any adventurous programmes on, I’m sure there’s something that will tickle the taste buds.”

    May’s control of the remote seemed helpless as she swayed the pictures from one channel to the next being clever to avoid all the coverage on the PokéCentre abduction and the damage caused. Max wasn’t even paying attention but staring out into blank space watching the clouds whistle past on a hush wind creating numerous menacing shadows that cast across the land. It seemed majestic yet beautiful as nature’s arrogance and beauty played against one another in a giant game of tug of war, trying to gain dominance and power over the other, just like what pitiful humans did encasing and trapping God like creatures with immense power. His thoughts wandered back to last night where his reflection only seemed like a meek and pointless scrap upon a disposable mirror. Is that what he was, disposable? He wasn’t able to answer his own question before his Mum called from within the kitchen where wonderful smells of baked dough were erupting; it was like a heavenly assortment of senses that were penetrating the entire house leaving its fragrance in every corner. It thusly seemed as if Lunch was now prepared and once eaten he would be on his way travelling through dangers that would always appear from every hidden bend with icicle daggers to stop him in his track.

    “Come on Max, you don’t want to miss Mum’s special pizzas now do you?” May jokingly said creeping a smile upon the young boys face. He pushed himself up from the couch and moved at a relative pace to the dining table, where, set out in every place was full sized tomato pizza that was beckoning his attention. In clay backed small pots where additional toppings to be added along with the cheese spread evenly over the red lining. He was now in a haven of delicious assortments ranging from pepperoni to olives and chicken to herbs, he couldn’t believe the smells. But then his mind had come to the conclusion of the situation, either she had some major news or was attempting to cheer Max up, or something else terrible had occurred.

    “Mum, what’s happened now?” Max sighed.

    “What do you mean dear?”

    “I mean that it’s very unusual for us to have something this magnificent without something to be broken to us gently, basically there’s a purpose,” his cold tone sounded which was very unlike him. The bare roughness to his voice was harsh and impounding upon the ears and had appeared out of nowhere transforming him suddenly into a menacing psychopath, or so one would have thought.

    “Max, don’t be negative towards your Mother, now Caroline I believe he has cracked our case so there’s no point in concealing our reasons now,” Norman commented.

    “Well then honey, we most certainly should. Max and May, your father and I have recently been feeling a loss with the departure of Max from our house with things being so quiet, and it doesn’t feel the same or seem right anymore without you. That’s why I’m now expecting and in roughly 8 months time you two will have a little baby sister or brother.” There was no response; both mouths were open wide as their emotions got the better of them causing them to react so openly, it was an amazing piece of news.



    *****



    “Okay then Mum, I’ll stay safe and make sure you do too I don’t want you working yourself and causing fatigue for both you and my baby sibling,” Max lovingly spoke; only slightly gripping his Mum in a hug, “And May I hope you do well in your Sinnoh contests and remember I’m always going to root for you.”

    “Yes Max, and do well in your Gym Battles, I can’t wait to see you in the League,” May responded with her right arm high in the air as she waved her brother goodbye before he had completely progressed into the distance with Roxanne by his side. The news he had received over Lunch had been a real eye opener for him as his new sense of accomplishment sparked inside. Yes the atrocity that had occurred a good six hours earlier was till forefront in his thinking but with good things planned for his future he couldn’t dwell too much on the dampening aspects of life.



    *****



    They had reached the start of the endless trail of trees that etched further and further into the distance. There didn’t seem to be much life fluttering inside the thick foliage but he was certain that he had to enter before the evening so they didn’t fall too far behind schedule. The clear sign that had the words ‘Petalburg Forest – the heart of bugs’ was portrayed differently in his mind than the last time he had been here, now covered in what seemed like Wurmple threads glistening with a frosty touch even in the afternoon. For once in his life he had stopped to evaluate the situation and question whether entering today was the right idea seeing as there was a PokéCentre only a few hundred yards away and a few cafes surrounding that that would be sufficient for one night. However his ego would once again prevail.

    “Max, you ready then? Got all the essentials with you and haven’t left anything behind?”

    “No I have everything inside my backpack so there’s no need to worry.”

    “Okay then, we better start heading....”

    “Hey wait,” a young man called from behind them flailing his skinny pale arms about to get noticed which caused the rims of his blue top to jag around. He grabbed hold of a PokeBall as he gained upon the two shocked still by the outburst. He launched the PokeBall high into the air before it snapped open to reveal a shining Bug Pokémon hovering above the ground. Its wings had symmetrical patterns drawn over the pale coloured glossy surface that was producing the faint sparkle. It was unlike anything Max had ever seen and intrigued him, he had seen May’s Beautifly before but this Pokémon was slightly different yet wasn’t a Dustox, could he be looking upon a rare Pokémon to this region?

    “Is that a Butterfree?” Max asked.

    “Yes it certainly is, and I was wondering if you’d like to battle it and two of my other Pokémon, as I noticed the Nurse Joy handed you three PokeBalls back?” The trainer casually stated flicking the musky coloured fringe out of his eyes that had a slight curl as if he had recently been wet.

    “Okay then, certainly I’d love to test out my new Pokémon. Roxanne, you okay to judge?”

    “I would love to; now excuse me what was your name?”

    “Oh yea I’m Mathew and I’ve travelled from the Kanto region to compete in the Gyms over here, so I’m sure I’ll battle you soon and take your badge,” the young boy joked stroking his Butterfree that had perched upon his shoulder giving a faint purring sound in its comfort.

    “I wouldn’t be so sure, but let’s start the battle between you and Max. Begin!”

    “Okay Murkrow it’s time to test your skills, come out and battle Butterfree,” Max called tossing the ball towards the sky. The midnight blue wings were the first attributes to break free from the captive pallid light that had a noticeable break in feathers along the tips that were common with male Murkrow, how Max knew this already, he didn’t understand, but recognising his Pokémon immediately was a great way to start their relationship. It cocked its head backwards and rolled it around a few times trying to stretch out its muscles after a day’s rest inside a PokeBall, which it wasn’t yet use to. The ball itself it found to be rather complex but it had always been a wild Pokémon and found perching in trees to be a lot more comfortable, but he knew that with Max it could grow to become better and prove its worth against all Murkrow.

    “Butterfree, let’s start things off with a Whirlwind. That’s sure to prove a difficult move to break free from even for a Flying type.” Although the wings attached to Butterfree weren’t the largest and definitely didn’t seem the most powerful, the gust produced was intolerable for Murkrow as he lost his support and became entangled within the growing twister of wind, continuously being battered by small parts of rubble lifted into the wind. Max now understood why everyone called this the switch out attack as it seemed as if there was no way at all to escape the entrapment.

    “Murkrow we’re going to try and get you out of this so first use your Haze and then follow up with Steel Wing.” Roxanne watched on in ore as the compelling team work began, from just this she could tell how much Max had progressed in recent days and felt a real accomplishment in her teachings. The deep black fog seemed to miraculously slither from Murkrow causing a deep chocking sensation to arouse the throats of everyone. Butterfree was now no longer able to continue its attacks and float above the rising fog just to have a clean breath. Max had once again shown his talent for using a defensive move aggressively and now had the Bug Pokémon sitting right where they wanted it. Even though Murkrow had quite a bit of energy drained he still was able to start a Steel Wing and break through the barrier of miasma he had created. Butterfree’s small eyes described its emotion of horror as all it could do was watch as Murkrow gained with hardened wings ready to strike it down. With one blow they could have the first victory and be closer to a win.

    “Help me, please somebody help me. Help I can’t see,” the wailings cried with the noticeable sound of tears to accompany the panic. Max had no idea who this man was and what was bothering him as the haze still lingered in the clearing, the feelings that had shrouded him earlier on when the news report flashed upon the screen crept back in and he couldn’t help but hyperventilate from fear. He knew just what trouble they had left that boy in yet he still walked away and didn’t put up a fight. How was he supposed to be able to help anyone?

    “It’s alright, I have you, there’s no need to panic anymore,” a familiar voice calmingly soothed as Max could only imagine who it was, “There you go, just sit down here. Now Shuppet, use your Will-o-wisp to burn this haze away.”

    A silhouetted figure of a puppet Pokémon rose through the thick dark vapour that was beginning to distil due to the vast empty space that hung above them. A few flickering flames began to emanate around this particular Pokémon, immediately tackling the obstacle in front of them. Within a short space of time the entire haze created by Murkrow had vanished into thin air like a magic trick, yet in reality and left in its wake was a tall stance business woman wearing a musky green suit that seemed familiar to Max again. Floating alongside her was a Ghost type Pokémon that Max had encountered once before, where he played mischievous tricks upon his sister. The lady looked up and took one glance at Max before opening her mouth:

    “Oh my Max, is that you?”


    *****
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  5. #35
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    Also remember to check out - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 1



    Chapter 15: Sigh Puppet


    *****



    The slim, toned woman stood there with a shocked expression papered onto her pale white face, as if she had witnessed a ghost in the presence of Max, he returned her emotions with the exact same look, yet also feeling a fuzzy warmth manifest inside. He recognised this lady and her Shuppet from somewhere during his last travels through the region. It was as if fate had concealed itself the first time they met, Emily and Shuppet were now back in his life, ready to play an important part in his future and development into becoming a Pokémon trainer, one who was talented and exceptional in power but also with a soft centred heart that would love any Pokémon, and this is exactly what their role would test, they just didn’t know it.

    Her appearance hadn’t changed that much, except she seemed slightly taller, however that could’ve been from the turquoise coloured high heels she had wrapped around her feet, or the fact that she was a fair distance away and he now knew what tricks the world could play on you. It was a dream come true, one of the first Pokémon he had ever really bonded with was back in his life, even if it was only going to be for a brief experience, but the ecstatic emotions were back and his heart was pounding again, something he very rarely experienced nowadays.

    “Emily, Shuppet! It’s so good to see the both of you again. I’d like you to meet the Rustboro Gym Leader Roxanne who has been looking after me this past month on my own journey, she has been a real help and taught me so much that will become vital in my future journey.”

    “A pleasure to meet one of Max’s friends,” she replied walking forward and grasping her hand in a tight grip that showed a true sign of her business physique, “And a pleasure to meet such a talented Gym Leader. Your prowess on the battle field is something all young Hoenn Girls try to emulate and I believe it is such talent that should be recognised over pitiful cocky trainers that just haven’t experienced the true justice of being a Pokémon Trainer, sorry Max. However, I think we have a more pressing matter at the moment and we should leave the rest of the pleasantries to later,” she sighed pointing over to the cowering wreck on the floor, whimpering like an injured Poochyena needing a loving touch, yet too afraid to ask. He cowered out of the sunlight, afraid of its tickling warmth that changed his sensations. It was as if he had become just a lump of flesh newly born into the world without any senses of his whereabouts and surroundings. Max felt a deepening pity for the young lad but there wasn’t a lot it seemed he could do.

    “Excuse me? Can you tell us a name?” Max inquisitively asked slowly bending down to become face to face with the young lad staring up at them, calming his nerves a bit as he realised the peaceful and caring emotions that Max was emitting by just levelling himself out, becoming face to face with the young lad. It seemed as if conversation was a friend in some way, able to act tranquil and show him attention that he needed being so much like a baby, to be honest it was rather scary to watch a young boy lowered into such a primitive sort of being, however this was leading him to become somewhat excited for the arrival of his baby sibling.

    “I...I I’m sorry, I don’t know. I need help, can someone help me?” he stuttered, breaking into tears as he barely finished his sparse but definitive sentence. He had no idea what was going on and didn’t even know the simple complexity of his personality – it was as if his whole nature and memories had been wiped somehow from the core of his memories, but for what purpose? It was too complicated to tell.

    “So you have no clue at all what your name is?” Emily asked back at the boy who was intuitively wiping the salty tears from his soggy cheeks. He looked her directly in the face and attentively shook his head, no words needed to describe that.

    “Not even a first name?” The boy again shook his head in response. They were stumped and puzzled; no one had ever come across something like this on their travels and they were running dry of ideas, having to resort to bear minimum questions to try and achieve anything. It just didn’t seem possible that such simple questions were unable to trigger a response of any sort. How could someone end up in this state?

    “Well there is something I could try at least,” Emily spoke, waving her Shuppet over to her side. There was a very old technique she had recently studied about Shuppet’s abilities, which could indeed solve the problems at hand, however the downside was that she had only encountered it on paper and hadn’t had a chance to put it into practice, but it seemed as if now was the perfect chance.

    “Okay Shuppet, you know exactly what I mean, so let’s give it a go. Help the poor boy with your ability,” Emily commanded as her dear Pokémon drifted toward the cringing heap. Shuppet cried out as if in pain, straining his body as he created an eerie violet light to sparkle entirely around the boy, flaming the terrors inside of his brain. He had no idea what was going on around him, and to make matters worse he really had no clue about Pokémon much either, which seemed to continue vamping his horrors. Shuppet still seemed in pain and Max felt compelled to turn his back; however his curiosity continued to get the better of him, especially when the glowing indigo substance slid slowly up the boys’ clothes until they grouped around his head, spiralling for a short while as if gauging their bearings and then with ease shooting straight inside his skull, right through the darkened crisp hair. There was literally no time to react to the outcome. The boy began to tremble rapidly, shaking and shaking as if building up to something climatic, and that’s what it was. With a deafening, piercing buzz everyone’s vision became clouded with a vague purple shimmer, haunted with an essence of white as a strange sensation overcame them all, feeling as if it was loosening their will and tearing them apart from something. It wasn’t just the boy that was being affected by Shuppet’s ability but everyone in the vicinity as well. Max tried to keep his conscience awake through the entire process, nonetheless it felt as if something was tugging at his clothing from behind and he was easily carried off into the surrounding violet space with no idea of the direction he was headed.


    *****



    The area was as still as ice with the grass shoots from the ground motionless as a camera snap. Roxanne opened her eyes to see water droplets that had come detached from the strands of grass to just be floating in their last position, in the exact same state as everything else. It seemed majestic and powerful as these images seemed to be captured in desirable poses that could truly show the complete beauty that always surrounded them wherever on the Earth they were, whether old or young or rich or poor, nature was everyone’s’. She couldn’t have asked for a better view than the one she received, however there was no way possible to deter from the apparent question, where had she ended up?

    She could still see everyone else lying immobile on the ground, but she wasn’t quite sure whether they were also in this stopped time state; and her fear of loneliness just seemed to be centred in her mind. That childhood event had scarred her, not just physically but also within her emotions and personality and there was no way of escaping it. She could only hope to protect others who could potentially be arriving towards the same position she was once faced with. People that needed comfort, plus that’s exactly what she needed right now, the love from someone, the warmth and glow that people radiated whenever being around another person. It was that which she had lost when she was only 10, alone in the woods by herself with no Pokémon to protect her, all left back at home for this one exploration, just to get berries for supper. She had to eradicate the memory from her mind; she had to get back to Max.

    Her gentle shoves seemed to stir no life into Max; he just flopped back and forth enticing no reaction. She was afraid, immensely terrified. She could really emote to Max and his experiences a matter of days before being trapped in the past. That could be it, Max’s pendant. If only she could grasp it, then her way home could be shown.

    She riffled through Max’s belongings, searching every capacity in his sallow coloured backpack which she indeed thought contained the item of interest. However, it was the same old story for her, no luck; if it wasn’t stored inside his bag then where else would it be...his neck. She pulled the collar of the jade t-shirt down where a black string sat snug in his flesh, attached to the lilac pendant draping down his front. He had found time to fix it, and that meant she could possibly be saved from wherever the hell she was, she just needed to figure out how to use it.

    She clenched it tightly within her fist as if she felt it was going to be ripped from her not knowing what to do. Did she just have to hold it or was there something else that needed to be done, if only she had bothered Max enough to explain in detail how he returned.

    ‘Shup,’ something cried from behind Roxanne, spooking her into twisting around and eyeing up the Pokémon. It was none other than Shuppet, who, compared to everything else was free to move around in the halted condition everything was in. Roxanne could smile again, she wasn’t alone, and even if it was a Pokémon they still cared for people just lie any human did, sometimes even more. It shimmered over to her side with its sort of overhaul as skin flapping around the opening to its body, like the general image of ghosts people had accumulated over the years. The rainbow coloured eyes it had seemed depressed and saddened as its movements described a sense of being lost and away from everything. He slowly lowered his body against her auburn hair, perching upon the gaping ribbon that held it all together.

    “Hey little buddy, it seems you’re stuck here to,” Roxanne gently whispered patting the purple coloured pointy tip to Shuppet. He nuzzled at her hair which she could tell was his answer just by his feelings and senses, no words needed.

    Yes I am, but I’m afraid to say I think it was me that put us here,’ a ghostly voice commented from out of nowhere. Roxanne quickly raised herself from the floor, glancing around for the owner of the tone. There was no-one in visible sight, the trees were frozen and everything in them were frozen, yet she couldn’t notice any movement around the wooden barks.

    “It couldn’t have been you Shuppet, so who was it?”

    How do you know it wasn’t me, honestly I’m the psychic type here surely I would be able to communicate someway to you, such as speaking to you telepathically. It’s quite simple after a few lessons of trying. This is how Emily and I always communicate.

    “Well I’ll be damned, so nice to speak to you then. But, backtracking a little, how did you put us here?”

    Quite simple actually, the ability of mine that I was using should have only primarily worked upon the boy over there, where I would enter his mind and try and unlock something that was blocking his memories, or at least see if something was. But when I had got inside something tried so hard to get me back out again, fighting me everywhere I went and there was no way for me to contain the energy I was using. Before I knew it I was thrown out with the Telepathic energy being cast across a certain radius and hopefully getting whatever was inside that boys head, but it must have got us too, and considering I was right next to you, you probably got caught in the throwback lapse which is a stopped state of time.

    “Umm, okay. Didn’t really understand that but it’ll do. My main question I suppose is: how do we get out?”

    Now that’s the tricky part. You see we only read up about this and it says all Pokémon that use this will be sent into a state of stopped reality so they can recharge their strength before going back into normal time. However it also stated that Pokémon should be able to get back doing the same process, but I don’t feel like I can possibly do that.

    “I see...the only thing I can possibly do is support you here seeing as we need to get back, and I believe you can do it.”

    But...

    “No buts, you need to believe in yourself and have full confidence that you can succeed.” Shuppet nodded in reply. If he was going to lose faith then what purpose would that solve, there would always be bumps in the road, maybe nothing as major as this but definitely things that would seem to attempt to hold him back. He closed his eyes tight, concentrating on his surroundings and the telepathic energy, trying to become two separate beings again. All Roxanne saw was the same flash of light that engulfed her body, making it limb and weak before whisking her into a sub state of consciousness.


    *****



    Max groaned as he pushed himself out of the murky puddle he had plummeted into, his clothes had become soaked and stained with some splashing upon his neck. He wiped it off with the cuff of his shirt, noticing something different there. The pendant had gone, not hanging around his neck. How long had he been out? Was it long enough for someone to steal it? But how could they have known it was there? Before he could properly begin to dwell over the matter, the young boy who had slid underneath the Oran Tree was now coming to, shaking the clay dirt from his clothes.

    “Are you okay,” Max asked.

    “Yes, yes I am now, thanks to Emily’s Shuppet. He was able to combat what the people had put in my brain to stop me remembering, and now I’m glad I can.”

    “This is great, I’m pleased it’s all come back but I’m so sorry that you’ve been through some rough times lately. What exactly happened, umm, sorry what’s your name?”

    “Tim Cringer.”

    “What! You’re the boy that was taken by that evil team last night from the PokéCentre near Mauville City, right?”

    “Yes, that’s exactly what happened, or so to speak. It all seemed to happen so quickly, but I can remember them keeping me in a cage on one of their helicopters where they took my Pokémon away from me before taking me into the laboratory and pumping lots of liquids into my body. After that I can only really remember walking into a hazy area until you lot arrived.” He placed his hand against his belt, feeling the cold surfaces of PokeBalls rubbing against his hand, a joyous reminder that they were now back with him, safe in his company.

    “Max, hurry over here, quickly, come,” Roxanne cried as she stooped over Shuppet who was lying completely still against the floor. He wasn’t moving, but at least had a tepid pulse beating through the spike appendage on his forehead. Emily was cradling Shuppet’s head and neck in the soft crevasses of her overall that kept him snug and comfy even though he most probably wasn’t. Max couldn’t believe it. Shuppet had done something so magical, so wonderful for the welfare of someone else and now had ended up in a fragile and weak state, battered by his grace. Nurse Joy was going to be his only chance of survival and a quick recovery, but they needed to rush him there now before the fever really broke out.

    “Emily, we need to get Shuppet to Nurse Joy right away, she’s the only one that is going to be able to help.”

    “Yea, you’re definitely right, but I have no idea where the next one is and it’ll probably be too late for Shuppet if we go to one in Petalburg,” she spoke in fragile manner, resisting the urge to let the tears pour down her cheeks.

    “There’s one about ten minutes away, so if we run we can get there sooner and hopefully give Shuppet enough time to recover. Matthew send Butterfree along now to get everyone prepared for Shuppet’s arrival; that way treatment can happen quicker.”

    “Hmm, okay. Butterfree go warn Nurse Joy of our arrival, thanks buddy,” the trainer from Kanto ordered as his Bug Pokémon flew off in the direction they were all about to follow, leaving behind a misty pastel vapour that were rather like their own signal guidelines.

    “Max, I want you to take Shuppet, I trust you with his life and I know you will look after him, Roxanne and I will catch up with you afterwards, I just need to have a quick chat with her, okay? Now run along.” Max didn’t need to be told twice, his legs were already speeding towards the narrow path that was only a few hundred metres before reaching the clearing in which the PokéCentre was. Right now there was no chance to worry about what the two women were discussing, or concentrate on the amazing scenic views that surrounded him on all sides, in the forests and the sparkling waters. His concentration had to be on the safety of Shuppet.


    *****



    “Nurse Joy! Nurse Joy! This Shuppet here seems to be running a high fever and feels very weak, however we have no idea what happened to it to get it into this position, but everything relevant I will explain to you when my friends arrive, as they may knew more on the situation.”

    “You’re very lucky you got it here when you did, I’ll take care of Shuppet right away, and your Butterfree sir is in the canteen being fed some Pokémon food, I’ll come talk to you in there in around ten minutes when we have a clearer picture of the matter with Shuppet,” the pink haired lad stated, immediately tying up her nursing coat and grabbing a trolley full of medical equipment before charging straight towards the double doors where Chansey had taken the sick Pokémon. All Max could do was stand there, helpless as Shuppet was undergoing medical treatment, most likely in agony. He couldn’t really bother caring what others were doing in the Clinic, or really what Roxanne and Emily were busy discussing. All Max could focus upon was the situation in front of him, and it didn’t look good.

    “Max? Is everything okay?” Roxanne’s familiar voice said as she walked up to the boy after only just arriving. He couldn’t and wasn’t going to answer, all he wanted right now was Shuppet and unfortunately that was impossible, nothing else seemed to matter, Charmander, Budew and Murkrow had all just become lost in his thoughts while Shuppet pushed itself to the front and fore centre of everything. Both Roxanne and Emily just stood there in unison with Max, trying to offer all the support they possibly could to the young boy. Seeing a Pokémon enter that state must’ve horrendous and for someone so dear to Max... Both Matthew and Tim avoided the huddle, walking straight into the canteen where they would wait for the news, it seemed wrong to them to interrupt.


    *****



    “Max! Oh there you are; I have some great news for you all to hear. Shuppet is going to do just fine and all it needs is long therapeutic sessions which we can offer here for no cost, where Shuppet will just recharge its strength and have enough rest so that it can continue on with you all. But I do recommend it stays here for at least another four days so I can monitor its condition and help it on the way to recovery. Sorry if that causes any inconvenience,” Nurse Joy softly suggested as she flicked a curl of her innocent cherry coloured hair away from her face to make herself seem neat and tidy, a sort of hobby to her.

    “No, not at all that is definitely fine. I was planning on doing just that anyway,” Emily immediately commented, “I’ll leave Shuppet in your capable hands. I’ll come and sign the paperwork in one moment; I just need to talk to Max.”

    “Okay, I’ll be at reception where all your other Pokémon are waiting, fit and healthy.” She turned her back and wandered off, heading through the canteen kitchen straight into the main lobby of the hospital which Max use to mistake as being a hotel lobby before May corrected him. Ha, what funny thoughts, he contemplated, realising that he wasn’t the real geek he considered himself to be, but instead was just as regular as everyone else was.

    “Right Max, I know this might sound hasty but it will only be for a week so I’m not going to burden you at all, or so Roxanne says. But I spoke to her about leaving Shuppet here with you for a while, as I have to attend a catering course in Jubilife City tomorrow so I’m flying out tonight. I will be back in around a week’s time where I can meet you in Rustboro to collect Shuppet again, but I think it’s too soon to move it while it is still ill. So, what do you say, will you take it?”

    “What? Really? Of course, I’d love to, we could spend so much time together and I’m sure I can get it healthy in no time. Thank you, thank you, thank you!” he screamed grabbing Emily’s bear arms and planting a soft short kiss upon her cheek, “I’m so thankful that you trust me enough.”

    “Now hold on tiger, if you are taking him then I’d like you to do one more thing for me. You see this item here, it’s a recording of a Shuppet using Charge Beam and I’d be so grateful if you could teach my dear friend Charge Beam at all, as I know it would definitely help you in developing into a trainer.”

    “Why, most certainly; this next week is going to be so much fun I’ll have Shuppet loaded with so many stories to tell you,” he chuckled as his eagerness swiped a small smile onto Emily’s face.


    *****



    Small tears crept casually into the baggy pockets under Max’s eyes as Emily was closing in upon Petalburg where her plane to Sinnoh awaited, giving her new chances in enhancing her culinary skills and attracting more customers to her hotel business that now had a few chains slowly but surely popping up around Hoenn. She seemed so relaxed as she left her beloved Pokémon in the capable hands of Max as her majestic rosy hair gently waved a goodbye in the evening breeze. Shuppet was now going to enjoy a full week with Max and Roxanne and they weren’t going to let the opportunity of time together pass.
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  6. #36
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey Chapter 16

    Here we are - better late than never but I really have no excuse so do apologise for my lack of time keeping and for being busy with other things as this is a great chapter or so I think and I've kept you on hold way past the deadline!

    Please review and rate!

    Also remember to check out - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 1



    Chapter 16: A Week in Charge

    A week on from the departure of Emily!



    Max could tell that the journey to Rustboro would become an excessively long trip, deeming it all in his eyes as a pointless stroll along a dusty path that ran through the centre of Petalburg Woods, with elevated gloomy trees aloft in front of their view, not really beckoning their motivations to arrive in Rustboro anytime soon. At least for Roxanne, getting to Littleroot was only a helicopter call away, however getting back was just endless weeks of trekking with aching muscles that had been shafted into a closet after her days of travelling had closed and her status of Gym Leader was awarded. But at least she had some sort of company in Max, although all he seemed to possibly do at the moment was baby Shuppet and continuously let it roam free without the thought for his other friends.

    They had only recently left the hospitable comforts the PokéCentre had to offer with Shuppet’s strength and health completely restored after some good relaxing treatments offered by Nurse Joy. Since then all Max had been able to talk about was Shuppet and more Shuppet, even considering using it in his upcoming Gym Battle with Roxanne, instead of concentrating more on the Pokémon he had captured and trained for the last 5 odd weeks. It didn’t truly seem right to her, especially seeing as Shuppet would be going back to Emily in a few days time, after she returned home from Sinnoh. On the other hand though it wouldn’t really matter what she would say to Max seeing as firstly he probably wouldn’t listen being captivated only by Shuppet, and secondly he would most likely disregard any information she gave him; besides, he was no longer a novice and she had showed him the ropes to being a trainer, now it was down to him to implement them and develop. All Roxanne could do was be a friend and support his decisions, whether right or wrong; this would help define him as a true trainer and loving person towards all creatures with their own unique voices and colours, if he could learn from his own actions then he would truly be entering the contest for becoming a Pokémon Master.

    Their footsteps trailed along the beaten ground that had really been left to fend for itself over the years without proper maintained care from either council that lay on the two opposite ends of the forest, noticeably leaving the once pristine woods in a derelict condition that really deterred people from pursuing a course through. However Max was raring for his next Gym Battle already, the taster he received from the two invigorating battles with his Dad encouraged him to be the first out of everyone he knew pursuing the same journey to achieve at least the required amount of eight badges needed. Imagine the respect he would earn along with the accomplishment; for once he wouldn’t be seen as a puny annoying geek that seemed to know everything about life itself without even having travelled. ‘Sigh,’ the glory! Max’s thoughts had once again allowed him to become entangled within pristine emotions that thrived his energy and need for wins, detracting him from what was floating directly in front of him, Shuppet. The great thoughts were shafted to the back of his mind before he reverted to playing games with his new Pokémon again, chasing after him along the path.

    The whole amiable atmosphere became too much to handle for Roxanne. For the past few hours it was exactly the same treatment, she seemed to be pushed gradually out of the picture, feeling neglected. She needed to bring both back into reality and Lunch was always the great opportunity to do just that. Tempt their taste buds with numerous flavours and innovative ideas that would hopefully give them a few minutes breather back into reality before they whisked their thoughts immediately back towards each other. Now what was going to be suitable to perform such an impossible task?

    “Max, sorry to have to drag you away from your fun,” her sarcastic aloft voice noted, calling after the two who were notably ahead, “but I was thinking this would be a great place to stop for lunch and give me enough time to prepare it before we continue on towards our hotel.”

    “Good idea Roxanne, and don’t forget, it also gives me enough time to teach Shuppet Charge Beam, obviously after we’ve collected the wood for the fire,” Max chuckled, running off into the thick piles of trees that rowed down the forest for miles, without any hesitation or any thought of receiving an answer from Roxanne. Max slowly clambered over all the thick logs of trees that were beginning to deteriorate after the neglect they had received over the past few years, where the councils hadn’t bothered to maintain the growth. Each tree was fighting the next just for the simple pleasure of a little sunlight to help stimulate their growth and nutrients production. However this was a great sign for Max. This meant that there should be a collection of wood just piled on the ground waiting for him to grab them and use the pieces for his needs, and using Shuppet’s Psychic abilities they would be able to carry enormous amounts of the timber back to Roxanne in no time, allowing them to get on with other matters and pleasing her, all in the same moment.

    “Okay Shuppet, any pieces of wood you see, large or small, I want you to levitate over to Roxanne so she can light a fire for us. I’ll gather up some wood too and I’ll meet you back next to Roxanne,” the young trainer energetically stated already piling logs of wood into the snuggling rests of his arms, seeming to cradle them as if they were as fragile as a fair skinned baby that was engulfed in intensifying UV rays. The lumber rubbed against his blue t-shirt, darkening the colour with a coating of fresh moist dew that had recently fallen in the early hours of the morning that allowed the musky green bark to peel off and dye his clothes. The coarse rough edges dug slightly into Max’s weedy skin, scratching at the surface with their penetrable filings, it was a nuisance, nevertheless the quicker he collected the kindling the more time he could spend training Shuppet.

    The presence of his other Pokémon seemed to be wiped completely from his knowledge, as if slapping white paint on top of a complicated, intricate pattern delicately painted onto a large canvas that wove numerous amounts of new lines onto its flexible fabric without any hesitation in actions. It was obvious why Roxanne needed and wanted to worry about Max, why she thought it necessary to bother concerning about his decisions and necessitating to keep an eye on him; he couldn’t barley make proper or impartial choices on his own, even though he was maturing, guidance was always going to be important in a persons’ upbringing and setting Max back onto the correct course was the most important thing she would have to achieve in a while. The Gym Battles didn’t seem to actually trouble her any longer, she was the Gym Leader and that’s the way it stood, the battles were enjoyable to partake in however it was more fulfilling to watch the trainers attain another asset to their goal, or learn valuable lessons. In her eyes being a Gym Leader was exactly like her normal job, teaching kids of all ages and even adults the values that Pokémon had to offer, what they could gain by pursuing a path with these creatures. Those were the heart warming experiences that she gained, and teaching Max those morals wasn’t going to prove a difficulty.

    “Okay Roxanne, here’s a few pieces of wood that you can start to build the fire with, Shuppet will be along any minute now but I’ll just go help him out,” Max panted throwing the logs into a pile before running off into the same direction he had just leapt from. Even from outside the thick foliage he could see the majestic mauve light that encased piles of wood being lifted off the ground by the mere means of Telekinesis that all Psychic types had the ability to master. It was a wonderful display of true power and proved to Max how much he deserved to journey further into the lands that surrounded him, all the while being subject to new marvels that he could only dream of. There was one thing that he could be certain wouldn’t change throughout his travels, the chance to witness new gracious wonders that all Pokémon had to offer, the thing that compelled most people to journey with them. What he was witnessing was just the beginning of such adventures.

    “Shuppet, that’s enough wood now, bring it over to Roxanne, and then we can start the fire,” Max called out ushering Shuppet over to his side with a beckoning finger. The purple light pushed the logs higher above the canopies of the trees, sailing the logs over towards Roxanne while Shuppet followed its herd. Max couldn’t believe his eyes, was there going to be anything else to occur that could top all this off?

    *****



    “Right Shuppet, you’ve seen that recording ten times now so why don’t you give it a go yourself. First off you need to try and create the attack, and to achieve this start to swirl your under body around hopefully creating a charge, so give that a go,” Max yelled as the hype from this exciting event was building up his energy. It was going to be his first chance to teach a Pokémon without them having to learn it on their own, and he could bond a lot with Shuppet during the entirety of the process.

    The flapping skin began to coil around at a swift rate creating a buzzing electrical charge that could be transformed into the powerful attack that Emily was hoping Shuppet to get a grip around, once mastered he would no longer have to prepare the attack in the same way, just being able to blurt it out like human’s do speech; Max really wanted to impress her with his skill. The charge was emitting a tense indigo light that was barely visible to anyone looking upon Shuppet, unless they were specifically looking for that one glow. It seemed to Max as if Shuppet was ready to give the attack a go, he was unsure of how to command it but was confident that Shuppet new exactly what to do, how else would Pokémon learn moves on their own? Maybe a trainer had to do nothing at all during the development, he wasn’t entirely certain but whatever it was he just had to hold trust for Shuppet in his capacity to perform the attack.

    “Shuppet, now collate the energy together to pull off the attack, once you have it stored in one place you should be able to release it as Charge Beam, don’t worry, I believe in your abilities!”

    A quivering chill passed through the nerves of Max’s loaned Pokémon who had excessive amounts of fear arising within its core feelings. It had no idea what the end result of its constellation of energy would achieve, however he had a dreadful gut instinct that something would go wrong, most endearingly from the lack of trust he placed Max under. Although they were such good friends this one important element was lacking, deprived from the Pokémon. It wasn’t that it couldn’t be possible but more to being he hadn’t been shown reason to place full trust in Max, the kind that he shared with Emily and the kind most Gym Leaders Pokémon expressed. This was the lesson all along that Emily was trying to leave in Max’s head; without giving reason to any Pokémon or anyone he encountered that they could trust him entirely, the relationship would break down and crumble. Trust was the key factor for anything and everything.

    “Shuppet, come on, I know you can do it,” Max cried yet again with avid amounts of fiery passion emoting in his voice, being able to terrify anyone who hadn’t the foggiest about what was undertaking. In all respect it came real close to being classed as bullying however no one would dare to inform Max with fear of him taking an outburst of anger out upon them. Right now Roxanne’s plan was best, let Max figure out the remaining facts about training by himself.

    Shuppet felt overwhelmed with pressure to succeed with the attack on its first ever attempt to create it, but any more hesitating and Max would most likely continue with his so called pep; it just wanted trust, that’s all it needed. Without anymore thought the Ghost Pokémon strained all its muscles in an effort to gather the stored energy into Charge Beam, a powerful but tricky move to learn. The sooner it was done the quicker he could resort to some good old fun, no hassle or hell involved in that. Keep Concentrating, Keep Concentrating. The same words echoed over and over again in the back of his mind like a stalker haunting a person, the words would help determine whether anything would go wrong, for as long as he stayed alert the more accurate and precise he could make the attack without it blurting out wildly into the surrounding area, electrifying all the Pokémon and humans in the vicinity.

    ‘Shuuuuuuuuupeeeeeeeeeeet,” the agonising screams cried as the energy stored inside became staggeringly too much to bear, without time to think the concealed energy strolled through the air with whisking currents that could blow a fuse in any electrical appliance. To be blatant, there was nothing possible to be done about the situation presently unfolding; the electrical jolts were whistling around bound to collide into one another eventually causing a massive surge of electrical power, ending in a probable explosion. Roxanne cottoned on immediately to the presentable problem while Max was once again blown away into wondrous amazement as he watched the beautiful electric rays flash amongst the blue background of the sky. The yellow streaks that ran though the bolts were more defined in colour than anything he had ever imagined, drawing ones attention within a short space of time. He was well and truly in the place he belonged, a majestic world.

    “Max, get over here now!” Roxanne shouted as to pluck Max from his dreary state, hopefully snapping him back into reality once more in time to save his life. She couldn’t stand any longer to watch flashes of intense electricity whistle past his body nearly colliding with his skin and electrifying all the cells in his body within a blink of the eye, if he wasn’t careful it could be the last thing that he ever witnessed, it was time to save both him and Shuppet from an unforgiving fate of pain. Her hand rapidly sunk into her pocket taking out the spherical device that concealed her beloved Nosepass.

    “Okay my friend, it’s time to come on out,” Roxanne called launching the encompassing ball straight towards Max where the Blue Rock appeared within a flash of ominous light. Its bright orange nose twitched slightly, sensing the oncoming bolts of lightning that were flinging around the grassy space just off the road, Nosepass immediately knew it was time to use her magnet abilities. A loud prominent click sounded before her nose sent waves of sparkling azure light from top to bottom with a slow steady tempo that seemed to tap into the rhythm of the streaks of voltage. They halted, mid air, now under the control of Nosepass, Max and Shuppet were safe.

    “Max, get over here now,” Roxanne yelled a second time this time being heard by the cocky trainer. He didn’t bother to hesitate, just jumped up and ran, grabbing Shuppet on the way to keep out of harm’s way. It was obvious he still had a lot to learn about and taking advice from the experienced wasn’t going to hinder his progress; once again another important lesson had been learnt.

    “Nosepass, you’re going to have to absorb the electrical currents now, to make sure they’re disposed of correctly, but remember...I’m here for you, if you need any help I’m here to give it, and assistance; so don’t worry my old friend, you’ll do just fine.” Roxanne’s point finally hit a nerve in Max, the realisation that in the end everything is fine if they can count on you, not vice versa. Without trust both ways things fail, in the past, present and future this will always take place, but Max had to follow the opposite trend to that, he had to be different to people who are just out there to win and to own power. He had to make a stand.

    “Hmm, Roxanne’s right Nosepass, you can count on us, we won’t let you down,” Max enunciated with a brooding smile crossing upon his face, taking the block that obstructed his ability to discover lessons through experiences and discarding it where he stood. Each journey was a new step into maturity and the most important skill out of all the ones he would accumulate would be the gift to acquire knowledge, with that in place anything would be possible. Roxanne’s work was done.

    “Max, I’m so proud of you, you’ve now just got what most people lack throughout all their years with Pokémon and with that Shuppet may just be able to learn Charge Beam, but first...”

    “...We need to concentrate on getting rid of this electrical mess; Nosepass over to you,” a calm sweet tone stated with an uncanny resemblance to someone they had met in the thick of Oldale Forest. Now though was not the time to dwell over it, Nosepass had work to do and they all had to have full confidence in it, no distractions, if they would succeed as a team.

    The pulsing light continuing through the orange beak gradually started to quicken in pace increasing the magnetism within Nosepass, hopefully able to attract the wild electricity out of the sky and into its’ body, disposing of it safely into the soil laden ground. In theory this could work, but just like Shuppet the week before Nosepass had never performed this particular ability so was unsure of any complications that could arise, however having confidence and trust from the two people it was most closely bonded with combated any fears bubbling away and wouldn’t hamper their chances of success.

    All around them the sparkling charges of electricity descended upon Nosepass with a crackling hum vibrating through the soft molecules in the air, this was headed for a goliath collision yet no-one was worried, everything was expected to go swimmingly due to the trust they all had in one another, soon it would all be put to the test. The electricity was only inches away from the Rock type who had braced her body ready for the impact, no matter what happened there would still be a tingling sensation sent hurtling through her fine tuned nerves that could be left with a dent in her energy which could be devastating for anyone close enough, everything was now all down to her.

    It was obvious that contact had been made as bulging clouds of filth and smoulder emerged from the last position Nosepass was in, trailing elegantly skyward with a hint of yellow shards blossoming inside the assortment of gasses. Roxanne looked on anxiously trying to spot a sign of any movement from her dear friend, attempting to get a clear glimpse of any shadow or movement. She had to feel relieved that the hazard was dealt with, but at what cost?

    “Nosepass, Nosepass? Hey buddy, are you there, Nosepass?” her quivering voice just about pronounced as she boldly held back all the tears spearing against the back of her swelling eyes. She had to believe in her Pokémon’s strength, the potency she contained in surviving intense situations which had, on many occasions, been proven before: Why would this be any different? There was simply just one thing left to do, wait for the fluttering spoils of smoke to dissolve into the infinite space around and see what state Nosepass was left in, and obviously hope for the best.

    A bluish physique gradually materialized into view as the fumes whistled away on a petite wind bringing sudden warmth of relief to Roxanne who could rest assured that her friend was safe. Nothing could be better. She stooped down next to her Pokémon’s side, stroking its solid head in an effort to alleviate some grief from within. It had attempted something highly risky and come out barely scathed, a joyous stroke of luck. The only thing really dampening it was the overwhelming astonishment from experiencing the high voltage shimmering through its body, with a bit more practice everything would go smoothly and her resistance to the electricity would steadily build.

    The Gym Leader looked up to get a sight of the stranger who had entered the fold at a relatively late stage while the high currents were whizzing around the local environment. She was surprised to see the figure of Harriet staring blankly back at her face with a small smile creeping upon her expression. It had been around one month since they last met and a warming sense of relief stroked across their feelings. Last time they met Harriet was able to teach Max something new about Pokémon just like Roxanne, even though she was a beginner; that seemed to be a recurring trend for Max, the women of his life helping him along his journey, how ironic.

    “Roxanne, Max, it’s great to see you two again,” Harriet ecstatically spoke whisking her hand from within her pocket to kindly greet theirs, “So I take it you two and on your way to Rustboro, nice place I hear and with a great Gym Leader,” Harriet joked tapping Roxanne lightly upon the Shoulder as they both giggled away.

    “Harriet, why don’t you join us for some lunch so we can catch up on things, and it’ll give Nosepass a chance to rest as well,” Roxanne responded.

    “Sure, I’d love to.”

    *****



    The frothing stew was boiling from the brims of the aluminium pan that was crackling under the strain from the heat, eradiating exotic smells into the senses of the beings sitting around the food. Their anticipation of the taste overwhelmed any judgement and Max in particular couldn’t wait to scoff any food down his throat, no matter what it was; the food was just sitting there waiting to be eaten by the hungry Humans and Pokémon.

    Roxanne gathered three medium sized bowls into her outstretched arms shifting them into the grip of her left hand while grasping a ladle in the other. She seemed to dip the deep cut metal slowly into the mixture as if afraid of disturbing a delicate balance of ingredients or presentation she had acquired in her cooking, reflected by the concentrated look she possessed as she carefully dug a ladleful out. The smells were invigorating and delighting; appetising the youngster’s stomach as they watched with careful awe at the precision and accuracy Roxanne was taking. They weren’t bothered about asking why but more focused on digesting the wonderful culinary preparation being handed to them; after the exciting experience they had just gone through it was great to change to their thought process.

    As Max and Harriet began to thrust great spoonfuls into their gaping mouths, Roxanne slowly laid out a few food bowls for the Pokémon that were awake and ready to consume food, a blend that Brock had once taught her specifically for nutrients and stored energy. She turned back around and saw the polished surfaces of the glistening silver bowls that had been emptied of all the stew she had only moments before hand rationed out.

    “Well, aren’t you two hungry. Would either of you like anymore?” Roxanne asked foreseeing the obvious answer of yes. What adolescent didn’t enjoy the comforting relaxations food had to offer?

    “Actually no, I would much rather challenge Harriet to a one on one with her Chikorita again, against Shuppet this time to see if we can actually share that trusting bond,” he swivelled in his position to look at Harriet with pleading eyes, “What do you say?”

    “Umm, okay then, don’t see no harm in that.”

    “Yes, yes, I know, you would like me to judge, the usual,” Roxanne bleakly commented with dreary eyes gazing at the ground. When the last time she had partaken in a battle? All she did now were menial jobs like cooking and looking after the Pokémon on a daily routine. She could see exactly what Brock meant when he said he felt like a slave sometimes, constantly running around after the people that beckoned. Was it a fate for all Rock Gym Leaders?

    Time had again lapsed as her thoughts had traversed her concentration and delved her into the complexity of her consciousness. Unlike others’ experiences, time seemed to continue on at a regular pace for her leaving her out of the loop quite often and in the need to hurry her pace and catch up to the here and now, where Max and Roxanne were poised in their statuary positions ready to ignite the battle.

    “Are the two challengers ready?” Roxanne asked having eager smiles and nods as the only response, “Well then, let this battle begin!”

    “Chikorita shine brightly my star,” Harriet pleasingly called, waving the PokeBall into motion across the damp short cut grass. From within her captive contraption appeared the sleek tender plant Pokémon that embraced its necklace of plant buds. She purred a little before buckling her muscles in a tight constriction eyeing up her opponent who had floated so elegantly onto the battlefield. She was determined to win as triumphantly as she ha against Budew the first time they encountered each other, but Max begged to differ and was going to show force through his new earned skill.

    “Shuppet, let’s start things off with your Shadow Ball,” Max cried as he ordered the Pokémon under his command to begin powering up dark matter into one parallel relationship of energy that would give a strong impact if the move was flourishing. The mauve woven colour was entwined with a black scent that was obviously representing the combination of energy brought together and this seemed harder to create to Max than a simple Charge Beam, but residing upon that matter would cause chaos and whilst attempting to prove your worth that was never a recommended plan.

    “Chikorita, try anything at all to deflect that Shadow Ball away from you and if possible back towards your target,” Harriet shouted in anticipation of the imminent attack.

    It quickly sprung across the air as if it was rolling along a waxed wooden floor in a bowling alley showing its uniqueness as a Ghost Type Move, one blow of that and Chikorita would be dealt a numerous amount of damage and two strikes could easily win the fight for them. Max could now see why working as one team instead of two individuals gave you an advantage as both the beings thoughts and ideas could be scraped into one big tactic ploy.

    The Grass type lunged at the oncoming ball of dark energy with its elongated jade vines that stretched from within the buds hanging around the Pokémon’s neck, which seemed disquieting and intimidating to encounter. With one sharp swift slice, the untouchable Shadow Ball was cut in two and just dropped into sparkling particles of energy that looked harmless and beautiful. Shuppet and Max had a tough fight on their hands’; Harriet wasn’t just any ordinary rookie!

    “Humph, well aren’t you full of surprises, but we also have one spectacular one up our sleeves; Shuppet I know you can do it so try out your Charge Beam,” Max yelled as his Pokémon instantly turned around to see what madness his loaned trainer had dabbled in. To be daring enough to attempt to pull the same devastating attack off twice was not humane but insane, if anything went wrong this time Nosepass would be too weak to come to their assistance.

    “We better put this nonsense out Chikorita, Razor Leaf now!”

    “Shuppet come on, I know you have the ability in you, you just need to access it and that’s where practice comes in, Use Charge Beam Now!”

    *****

    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  7. #37
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey - Chapter 17

    Check Out The New Intro starting from this Chapter - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2


    Chapter 17:Rise and Shine



    *****



    Intense voltages of electricity flung themselves from within Shuppet’s crinkled body in long chains, grouping together to form the ‘beams’, as the Pokémon withered itself together to keep control over the new attack. Everything was working fine; no mishaps and the electrical charges were accurately heading toward the bulk of Chikorita ready to cause a winning blow, whilst also taking out the oncoming Razor Leaves that were singed to ashes immediately upon impact. Whatever was compiled into the onslaught of the electricity must have been extremely high to get the leaves to crumble instantly. Max may just have done it, a little lesson could work wonders in someone’s battling skills and tactics and in the end bring trainer and Pokémon together, united in the battle! For once Max could feel proud in the knowledge that he still had much more to learn about the wondrous and mysterious creatures he was going to associate with more and more.

    Max watched delightedly at the battle, as his Pokémon continued to release numerous volts of electricity to scurry through the air, as if they were small afraid creatures hurrying away from a disaster; Harriet was most definitely in for a challenge to evade the Charge Beam, and she knew that if she failed Chikorita would be knocked out almost instantly!

    “Chikorita, try knocking the electricity off course with your Razor Leaf again,” Harriet cried out, watching as the inevitable was closing in with noises that sounded like evil cackles. Chikorita however hesitated, she was afraid of the worst like almost anyone would be in that situation, it thought that trying to dodge all the beams would work better than throwing more attacks into the fray, “Chikorita, you don’t have time to try and avoid them all, you’re going to have fire your Razor Leaves now!” The pale coloured Dinosaur knew that her trainer was correct, if Harriet could understand what she felt and still have the same answer then she would have to try it.

    ‘Chika,’ it roared as it released the sharp leaves towards its oncoming peril, hoping with everything it had that the attacks would be diverted and she would be safe, for now. Max on the other hand, was filled with a warm sense of accomplishment knowing that he had the win firmly in his grasp; he could tell that the leaves would be scorched upon touching the long streams of electricity passing through the air, and rightly so. The Razor Leaves dropped to the ground one by one in piles of crisp ash that layered the dusty earth below, as the continuous Charge Beams became only inches away from Chikorita, gaining upon her with a numinous sun tanned glow that had a sprinkle of black glistening along with it. It was beautiful, and for a few seconds ended Chikorita’s fear of the impending assault that was certainly going to inflict some intense damage.

    The attack struck with a vast explosion that knocked Harriet backwards and over onto her back. She immediately scraped at the earth trying to claw her way back to her feet, wanting to rush over to her Pokémon right away. The cloud of haunting smoke quickly lifted from the battlefield leaving a clear sight of the lifeless Chikorita just lying amongst the dirt.

    “Ah, Chikorita,” Harriet bewilderedly spoke, running towards her completely still Pokémon whose cream coloured fur was now a sickly colour of grey.

    “Chikorita is unable to battle, Max you are the winner,” Roxanne said, congratulating him with a quiet nod. She knew he was now thinking like a true trainer from his performance in battle, what an amazing maturity in such a short space of time, and being able to control a Ghost Pokémon was also a particularly tough challenge for any trainer at whatever skill level. In her eyes he had improved!

    “Well Harriet, that was a great battle, thanks for accepting my challenge and I can really see why I lost last time we met,” Max cheerfully commented.

    “Heh, that’s okay, it was an awesome battle against Shuppet, who I must say is a formidable opponent,” Harriet mentioned, chuckling a little as she pulled herself up off the floor and faced Max, looking deeply into his emerald glossy eyes, “I can see why Emily would’ve left it in your care, you have obviously trained it very well and made it accustomed to you in what...a week?” Her congratulatory words left Max with a bubbly sense of pride, if she could see improvement after nearly a month apart he knew he must be doing something right, “I look forward to our next battle Max, but right now I need to head off to Rustboro, see you guys later,” Harriet hurriedly said, recalling Chikorita into its PokeBall and charging off into the distance without time for anyone to answer her.

    “It’s a shame she left so quickly,” Max said to Roxanne, “We could’ve all travelled there together or at least as far as either of us were going to go...oh well,” he sighed, “I guess we’d better get back on the road then and find the Hotel Rise and Shine.”

    “Hmm, we should, especially before it gets too late, you still need to contact Emily,” Roxanne answered before hoisting her rucksack over her shoulders and following the path of Harriet, “Come on Max, like I said we better go soon.”



    *****



    The yearning smells of fresh morning dew were a welcoming fragrance for Max to wake to as he slowly rolled his body up the intricate wooden head attached to the single sized bed. He gazed out through the unlocked windows that had been thrown open to its greatest capacity, allowing for all the intriguing and greeting aromas to waft on in and take control of the entire room. It was as he expected a Royal to be treated, lush this, lush that; and everything was beyond extravagant. There were amazingly intricate and detailed masterpieces hooked upon the stone walls, painted by people with names that seemed to originate from a few centuries beforehand. All the furniture within the entire place was so divine and beyond things he had seen before that it made him feel snuggled inside a castle. It was comfort wherever you looked, and he particularly enjoyed the red linen cloths draped over him that had a soothing cool touch that he could frolic in all day to keep the same pleasure, if there wasn’t an urgent need to get up of course.

    “Max,” Roxanne calmly shouted from somewhere else in the Hotel suite rented out for her and Max’s stop the night before, “Max, Max, come on now, you need to get up if we’re going to meet with Emily and get to Rustboro with time sparing for what you want to do.”

    “Hnnn,” he groaned as a partial response to Roxanne, yet it could have just been the tiredness kicking in because of his body not being use to such early rising. The battle he undertook with Harriet the day before had also really drained him of nearly all his energy resources, so finding some of the best beds in the region were a delight for him and his almost limp body. Just thinking about those gorgeous comfy mattresses were enough to send him back into a dazed state where his eyes were gradually closing and losing sight while his mind began to play numerous triumphant dreams.

    “Max!” Roxanne shouted yet again, marching into the bedroom whilst fiddling with the loose strands of her hair that had come unattached from the plats and were resisting being pinned back into her two bunches. She looked over to the bed and her heart sank; Max was slumped in a rather awkward position against the rim of the bed as he slowly drifted back into a dreamy sleep looking particularly helpless and pathetic as he just lay there, “Ooh that’s had it young man, you’ve tipped me over the edge,” she grabbed the linen cloths that Max had snuggled into, tugging them from underneath him.

    “Just get up now!” Those were her final words before she swivelled around and stormed out of the room back into the lounge area that came with the suite, tuning the T.V. to Channel 17 which was broadcasting an interview with the recent kidnap victim that Max and Roxanne had met a week before, releasing the hidden memories from their seclusion. It had been a pleasure to help someone else in need, that was what Roxanne thrived on and what her nature was comprised of, also what she felt being a Gym Leader provided. If a challenger won, you helped them on their goal to reach the Pokémon league yet you could also provide training tips and suggestions to build their battling techniques. If a trainer lost you would help them see what it was that let their team down and give them tips to overcome those aspects, or simply just give praise to a gallant effort, it all helped. The job was a marvel and a huge opportunity to have, and Max was just another person who needed her help, but now only for a little while longer. They were so close to Rustboro and her time of travelling was so close to ending, Max was shortly about to face her for his second badge.

    A pronouncing yawn brought Roxanne back to her deviating senses, momentarily, as she remembered the young trainer she left in a heap on the middle of an indulgent mattress, what a silly mistake. But it seemed as if he had come to some sort of conclusion that it was beneficial to start his day and was slowly, yet surely making steady progression towards the bathroom; Roxanne need not worry any longer.

    “Roxanne, where’s my tooth brush?” Max inquisitively yawned, fumbling through the toiletries assorted on the basin.

    “I’m not entirely sure, you checked your bag?”

    “Oh...no...I’ll do that now.”

    His head pounded with a slow dull tune, not too much to become an aggravation, primarily because his sleep was erratic as his hyper emotions took over control of his body. But he didn’t mind, the headache was sure to go and it was just an inconvenient side affect of fun.



    *****



    “Hmm, these pancakes are delicious,” Max spat as he shovelled in the savoury mouthfuls that quenched his appetite, “You know what Emily said last night?” quickly diverting Roxanne’s thoughts to that of disgust.

    “Yea,” Roxanne replied placing her fork down to be polite in conversation, “You given any more thought over it?”

    “I have actually, and I’d very much like to take it up but there is that nagging thought that annoys me. Basically I have that bond but it just wouldn’t be right, I feel like I really want to make another friend as well but to let go of the friendship I have now would be reckless, so I was hoping you could tell me what to do.”

    “Do we have to go through this again? How many times have I told you that your decisions are your decisions, not mine, not your parents, but like I said yours!”

    “Fine, then I know what I must do ...”



    *****



    “Max, over here,” Emily cried waving from the Rock Brock cafe that had surfaced a couple of years back after Gym Leader Brock had travelled through here with his companions.

    “Hey Emily, how was your trip?” Max asked.

    “Not that bad actually, learnt quite a bit and I’m raring to implement it over here, and some people have given me some ideas of creating a new branch in other regions such as Jhoto and Sinnoh, which I must say would bring in quite a bit more publicity and revenue.”

    “You’ve put a lot of thought into it then, just like I have with your proposition, and it seems that with your new goals you’ll need Shuppet back like I promised, he could help you so much!”

    “Max it’s absolutely okay, I can have Shuppet meet me from time to time so we’ll never be out of contact. I mean you two have such a close bond and now you’re a trainer... well you could really help each other grow. Keep him, I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t ready.”

    “I’ve made my decision; it has to be this way. And like you said about having him meet you, I can have him teleport over from time to time, but at the moment taking him away from you just doesn’t feel right!”

    Roxanne’s face created a slight smile as she realized that Max had grown into his own person, probably a person who would often need help but not from her any longer. She had accomplished miracles in Max that were beyond her wildest dreams and a battle with him was going to be one of the toughest she would probably ever have to face. As she stated on many occasions, it’s never about the strength of your Pokémon but their mind set, and Max’s Pokémon had definitely got their strategies sorted.

    “So anyway, it has been the most remarkable few weeks, and I met the goal you set me! I suppose I should show you in a battle! What do you say?”

    “Well I don’t really have the time at the moment, but be sure that someday we’ll face off in a battle.”

    “That’s a deal,” Max replied as he unclipped Shuppet’s PokeBall from his belt and placed it in Emily’s palm. This was another farewell, he was leaving Shuppet again, but like last time he knew that they would cross paths in the future, he would make sure of it.

    “Well, it’s been brilliant catching up but I have a plane to catch so I can get back home for this evening. Be sure to look me up when you’re in that area, I know someone who’d want you too,” she chuckled.

    “I will, don’t you worry,” Max said as he grasped her hand in a passionate hand shake, “Be sure to give my regards to your cook so that when I turn up he’ll be more inclined to fill me up!”

    “You and your jokes Max,” Roxanne giggled, “And Emily, it’s been a pleasure to meet you.”

    “Likewise, see you around.”

    Max watched as his two growing friendships were once again put on hold as Emily drifted off into the distance. His recent experiences had really pushed him to the limit and some things he experienced he had found impassable but others he had achieved. These were going to develop him further and help create new tactics for him to use in his travels. Now all he had to do was get past the next hurdle and he’d be one step closer to his dream!

    “Max, are you okay?” Roxanne’s soft tone gently asked as she wrapped her arm around the young trainer.

    “I will be...but...not yet.”

    “That’s okay; you just take your time. Hard decisions come at high prices and you made a pretty difficult one today, and this isn’t much comfort but I’m extremely proud of you, keep doing what you’re doing and I see the title of Pokémon Master becoming yours sooner that you think.”

    “You always know how to cheer me up,” Max smiled, “But you know what’d be great, if we could go watch the Contest later on today, some appeals ought to lighten my mood.”

    “Very well, and you might happen to see a familiar face if my guess is correct.”

    “Oo, a puzzle, this should help past time.”



    *****



    The two were standing only metres away from the awe inspiring Contest Hall that’s colours sparked a hoard of emotions to roar through his mind. After having entered so many of these across Hoenn and Kanto he didn’t expect to feel any different, but being without his sister, becoming his own person enthused him and erupted valiant thoughts of inspiration inside.

    “Roxanne? Is it too late to...”

    “Hello there, fancy seeing you two here,” the pink enthused girl said with her Chikorita curled up in her arms, “Actually I suppose that it was expected seeing as you two did mention you were on your way but even so...”

    “Okay we get it, you babble, it’s a natural habit,” Max casually said making his attempt at humour to try and overcome the awkward feelings that for some reason had occurred.

    “Aren’t you the feisty one today!” she giggled, “So, I take it you’re entering then?”

    “Actually, that’s what I was just about to say to Roxanne before your interrupted me; anyway, if it’s not too late then I think I’d really benefit from the experience. What do you think Roxanne?”

    “I must say, I have participated in numerous contests myself, there’s always something you can learn in them that can be used in battle techniques to get an advantage and try and surprise your opponent so, with a bit of persuasion on my part count yourself in! And while we’re at it, make sure you’re both ready to take on me as I plan on entering as well!”

    Max seemed to have forgotten his heartache that had been looming over him hours ago and was now struck with an irremovable smirk. He was ready to experience what a contest had to offer and was secretly hoping that Roxanne would be paired against him so that he could try out some techniques before his day arrived. But his emotions didn’t quite compare to Harriet’s, whowas primed and ready for her first Contest debut.
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  8. #38
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Enjoy the first contest of the series and I hope I did it justice! Please note any mistakes as I'm not always the best judge! Thank You!





    Please review and rate!


    Also remember to check out - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2




    Chapter 18: A First Time for Everything (Part 1)

    The setting was set, place met and emotions trickling on a high as they entered through the fragile revolving doors that led into a gateway of Contest heaven, where everything that seemed to form around them was dedicated towards Contests. The walls were decorated with all the stupendous Pokémon that had won ribbons for their trainers, with avid colours used to enhance their stately attributes. It was splendour to the eye, something that brought rare beauty to your soul and spilled out warmth and calmness onto everyone within its walls. Harriet seemed to revel in the exquisiteness of the furniture and ornaments that littered the space. Everything was colour coordinated and placed in a fixed position that really implemented the idea of order and sequence, things that were at the heart of a Co-ordinator. The styles used created and supported this incredible world of Contests, grabbing and enticing some of the unexpected categories of people, which would generally have associations with other areas of Pokémon. Contests were contraptions that fused the bond between Humans and Pokémon alike in the most awe inspiring displays, and the best part was that they were for everyone!

    “Isn’t it amazing,” Harriet energetically spoke as she gawped at the beautiful decorations that lined the Contest Hall, not even worrying about where she was walking, just admiring, “My dreams are being fulfilled and I will nearly be in reach of my first ribbon! Oooo I’m just so excited!”

    “Good for you,” Max jokingly responded, seeing if he could provoke any sort of reaction from his friend, as she casually weaved in and out of ornaments spread across the entrance hall, “And if I may say so, I think...”

    “Max! Stop it,” Roxanne interrupted, using her keen eye to see where Max was going with his inevitable tease. The fact she had used judgment showed how interacted she had become with Pokémon throughout the years, considering judgement was the key to the most hefty decisions.

    “Fine, but she won’t realize!”

    “Err, yup, most certainly,” Harriet said spilling out confused ramblings in her speech, not entirely sure what she was agreeing to.

    “See!” Max chuckled, taking delight in being right.

    “Max, we can’t always have our own way, that’s been proven on many occasions beforehand, anyway, less chit chat and instead let’s prepare for the Contest, especially being that we haven’t had time to prepare a combination for the preliminaries.”

    “You could always think on your feet,” mentioned a rather stocky young boy, leaning over the counter to Nurse Joy’s kiosk as he waited for his Pokémon’s checkups to be completed, “I mean, isn’t that what Contests are for? Things don’t always go right and then you have to compensate for it. If you know your Pokémon then this should come quite naturally to you.”

    “Aren’t you the budding Professor,” Roxanne delightfully spoke seeing a version of her younger self through this boy’s persona, “I take it you’ve been travelling for quite a while then?”

    “Actually I have, going on four years now,” he responded without a noticeable hint of cockiness present in his words.

    “So you must have quite a built up team then that can combat most things I presume?” Roxanne rather intriguingly asked.

    “You are correct in some respects, but I only have my starter and my two Hoenn captures with me here, I felt giving myself a little fresh start might be beneficial to my tactics and help build up more of a collective amongst my Pokémon; and so far it hasn’t hurt,” said the red haired boy as he removed a Ribbon case from the outer most pocket of his matching coloured bag, immediately showing off his one Ribbon that was placed directly in the middle as a celebration of his first win.

    “Wow, that’s amazing!” Harriet quickly stepped back into the conversation at the first sign that glamorous winnings were on show, “The vibrant colours, and the shine...wow! I plan on receiving my first Ribbon today with the help of my friends.”

    “Talking of which, I guess we should get our registration completed then Max!” Roxanne hastily spoke as an immediate connection sprung from the depths of understanding content between Harriet and the spiky red head boy.

    “Definitely, seeing this has made me more energized than ever!” Both Roxanne and Max made a quick dash towards the registration desk, where they were hoping to receive their Participant Cards after their planned persuasion of the marshal had been accomplished to hopefully let them compete.

    “Friends ay,” Harriet giggled, returning her attention back to the masterpiece that lay in the comfy silk lining of the red Ribbon Case, “Anyway, I never quite caught your name.”

    “Probably because I never said,” the boy replied in a courteous gesture, “But on a new note, my name’s Curtis, and who might you be?”
    “I’m Harriet; it’s a pleasure to meet you Curtis.”

    “Likewise, it’s always good to...” Curtis was interrupted with an announcement through the speaker system, “Oh, guess I can’t talk now then, can’t keep Nurse Joy waiting...oh and remember this, I plan on seeing you in the Finals!”

    “Wha....What! Me?” Harriet said as her confused expression sprung into play and a contented nod fell upon her from Curtis, “Okay then, it’s a deal!”

    “Good, then I’ll see you later!” Spoke Curtis, as Harriet bit her lip as the husky boy casually strolled towards the desk where his PokeBalls were waiting to be collected, making an unconscious flick of his gelled red hair, allowing the sheen of the black highlights to appear that dragged Harriet’s drooling face further into attraction.

    Out of the corner of Roxanne’s eye she noticed the infatuated look spread like a thick gloop of goo over Harriet’s delinquent face, and she remembered herself, of that boy, back from her days in Pokémon School, the boy that later prospered into a mature and unbeatable man with a high position amongst the Elite Four, wasn’t he something. But just as it was a meaningless crush for her that somewhat 15 years ago, the same was the case for Harriet following some normal reactions that every young female went through. Roxanne only hoped that this crush didn’t cause Harriet to stumble in the Contest and lose the dream that she had been building upon.

    “Miss Roxanne, here is your registration card which allows you access to all contests in Hoenn but only Hoenn, and young Sir this is your registration card that is again only usable in Hoenn. Along with that you both receive a Seal Box with one Ball Capsule and a few Seals, we hope you enjoy the Contest and we look forward to seeing your demonstration,” the young maroon haired lady said sitting behind the desk plastered with numerous fliers about upcoming Contests, information on appeals and numerous other related materials. She mastered a vibrant smile as Roxanne and Max packed away the contest goods that they just received, wondering how they would manage to pull out a dazzling appeal within a couple of hours before the Contest began.

    “Well Max, I’ll see you shortly; I’m going to head back to the Gym now and practice a combination there, I would recommend you practice as well.”

    “I’ll be fine, don’t worry about me!”

    “Now you know that’s not very easy,” she responded sarcastically, before picking up her bag and heading back to the revolving doors that led her out of the majestic wonder of the Contest World. She could see why Harriet was so attracted to these events; the sparkling pizzazz of the Pokémon combined with the ferocity of the battling makes this something extraordinarily unique, but her heart still belonged to Gym Battling.



    *****





    The afternoon was truly underway and it was only a matter of minutes until Harriet made her debut amongst the roars of the energetic crowd. Still uneasy due to the nerves and building anxiety she strolled out into the fresh air wearing her fluttering cerulean dress that was dotted with glistening small emerald beads that made her appear to be the Queen of the Sea. Her pink eyes shimmered with a hint of fear, yet in all honesty to herself she knew that the fear drove her to conquer, which flourished the sign of fiery ambition. She was primed to walk out onto the stage and shine brighter than any star, her Pokémon being the energy to produce spectacular light.

    The blasting speakers suddenly hissed as a monotone voice began speaking, “We’re asking all Coordinators into the waiting area where we shall begin momentarily! Audience please take your seats. We’re asking all Coordinators into the waiting area where we shall begin momentarily! Audience please take your seats.” The same message continued repeating as Harriet took in one last deep breath and returned backstage where she awaited her first presentation to the crowd.



    *****





    “And now we welcome you all to the Rustboro Contest with our three judges, Mr Contesta, Mr Sukizo and Rustboro’s own Nurse Joy. It seems as if we are sure to see some unexpected twists and turns as our Coordinators battle it out for this beauty,” Vivian held up the glorious Ribbon that was the prize every Coordinator wanted, “And gaining this means they’re one Ribbon closer to entering the competitive Grand Festival that will take place at Sootopolis every Summer if they receive the five Ribbons needed. Now, less chit chat and let’s begin the Preliminaries with a debuting Coordinator all the way from Johto, give it up for Harriet!”

    A loud holler from the crowd echoed off the walls of the stadium while the gold lined curtains that concealed the anticipating Harriet drew open with moderate speed and the purple linen creased at either end as the movement came to a holt. Harriet was now in the public eye, television cameras were tuned onto her position and the budding crowd had her fixed in their sight. She couldn’t afford to slip up while everyone was watching, especially as she knew her Parents and Grandparents were watching from their Pokémon Care Centre in Johto.

    She grabbed the Ball Capsule that concealed the PokeBall where her unexpected Pokémon, which she hoped would cause a stir, lay in wait ready for its first appearance

    “Okay then, let’s start things off with a bang,” Harriet cried as she flung the PokeBall past the blue coated walls decorated with furnishings of previous winners and the most stunning moments of their performances, until it burst high up in the open toped dome where numerous hearts sprayed over the audience away from the gigantic sponging heart that was close to bursting. The crowds’ faces were griped with awe as they continued to mask out others while their attention spanned across the intriguing display, waiting for the immense burst that would quell the entire antagonising wait.

    “I think it’s time to reveal you to everyone,” Harriet vibrantly yelled as the incredible heart shattered and the sparkles trickled to the ground, leaving a fluffy ball like creature with an appendage that stuck out poignantly from the top of its body in the position of the heart.

    “Okay then Burmy, time to kick things off with your Hidden Power!”

    Burmy swiftly sprang into action while the motions of gravity began to take effect, beginning to slowly compel it to the ground after the delayed force from the exploding heart had worn off. The Bug Pokémon coiled the attachment that seemed to snugly fit on top of the pink fur that surrounded the peaking face of delight. Suddenly an eerie gold light began to be absorbed into the coiled like branch and the intensity of the light glowed brighter and brighter with the increasing amount of energy that sank its way into the Pokémon.

    “Now, fire the attack towards the ground just like we practiced!”

    The golden energy rippled out of the coiled appendage until it encased the cherry coloured fleece, beating like the drum of a heart. On the count of a beat the energy pushed itself with a vibrant force out of Burmys’ body and shrouded the view of the entire audience. When the mask evaporated into the air, Burmy was surrounded by floating shards of light that slithered casually across the staging the area, controlled by the appendage that was positioned on top of Burmy.

    “Okay Burmy, now collapse each shard in on itself!” Harriet cried with enthusiasm feeling a notable sense of pride in her Pokémon. As she looked on at the spectacle the shards of light began popping throughout the stadium and releasing sparkling droplets to rain down amongst the crowd. Burmy landed in the grasp of Harriet’s loving embrace, they had pulled it off; she had been building up for this moment for over two months and it had paid off. The audience were thrilled, and it seemed she would be travelling through to the next round, but only if the judges appreciated her demonstration.

    “Wow, what wonderful control Burmy has,” Vivian smiled, “The shining amazement on all your faces really shows how this debuting Coordinator is set to make her mark on the Contest World, now over to the judges and their opinions, first let’s here from Mr Contesta.”

    “What an interesting combination from an interesting young lady, I can already see that you are going to make quite an impression in future Contests.”

    “What high praise from an honouree member of Contests, time to here from Mr Sukizo.”

    “It was rather remarkable, an honestly remarkable attempt!”

    “Well as always, a rather expected response, and finally let’s here from Nurse Joy.”

    “An intriguing turn of events I must say, Burmy shone with marvellous attributes and I could clearly see that it’s well looked after.”

    “And now let’s find out the scores,” Vivian dramatically spoke as the panels in front of the judges began to flash multiple colours, everyone was nervous for Harriet, everything was left down to these scores. Three numbers then pinged onto the screen, “Wow! Nines all around, an almost perfect score and it’s only her first ever attempt. This Contest has already had the bar pushed to the top; our remaining twenty eight Coordinators are in for a tough challenge. Anyway without further ado let’s congratulate Harriet and Burmy for such a wonderful performance and we shall let you get back to the comforts of the waiting room,” Vivian jokingly said watching a path of relief pave its way over Harriet.

    She raced back through the open curtains and darted behind the comfort of the concealing cloth. She had been able to fight against her fears and nerves and overcame them successfully with the help of her wonderful Burmy. Her first ever capture rested comfortably against her chest, no words were being spoken but Burmy understood the love that was flowing throughout Harriet and their connection had been fulfilled in an overly beautiful display.

    She pulled her sapphire coloured dress partially up her leg and broke out into a scurry back to the Contestant room, where she felt the need to relax before anymore worries about the contest could productively secure a foot hold in her thoughts. The speakers hissed on again and Vivian’s voice sparked through the booming black boxes, “And now our second contestant, this person has travelled all the way from Sinnoh where we all loved him there and has already earned his first Ribbon! Will he be able to secure his second win today? Well, we’re about to find out, give it up for Curtis!”

    Harriet immediately stopped dead in her tracks, whisking her head around on all axes searching for a TV screen. She spotted one, flashing the image of the red headed boy into her eyes. Her eyes gazed upon the screen deliriously and Harriet was captured by his well decoyed attire. He really did look the part.

    Curtis reached into his pocket and drew out the PokeBall encased by the Capsule; he was ready to pull off a splendid combination that would overpower the performance of Harriet before him. He knew what must be done, like he stated before, Contests are always about adapting to the situation, and the present situation required Curtis to take the next step and try something that if performed correctly would ensure his victory.

    “Slugma, take to the floor!”

    The fiery slug burst out amongst wisps of flames that spanned across the staging area. Curtis looked up amongst the crowd and noticed the same shocked look mastering their faces as it did when Harriet was performing; it was time for him to take it to the next stage of presentation.

    “Okay Slugma, brilliant entrance, now it’s time for your Ancient Power!” Blue rings of emanating light slowly formed around Slugma, beading and bending at occasional intervals. The light then shadowed itself into gapped forms that shifted in colour to a shining white beacon, shaping itself into jagged sections that appeared to be large shards of rock.

    “Now, distribute them evenly amongst the floor and cause them to spiral on a uniformed axis,” Curtis shouted amongst the roaring sound of the intense flames, which were now drifting in heat spirals around the stones. It wasn’t long until the fiery shards were all that remained, burning in syndicate around the scorched ground.

    “It’s time to draw this to a close, bring all the pieces together with great force!” The resounding echo rippled from wall to wall as the flames gradually dispersed from their circle and left the triumphant image of Curtis and Slugma, both of who had kept their calm amongst the raging heat.

    “This is amazing! Two gigantic demonstrations one after another and both with explosive results, going by what we’ve seen this Contest is going to be really action packed. Anyway, now onto the results,” Vivian said as she whisked herself from the view of the cameras and let the spotlight fall upon the judges.

    “In light of what we’ve just seen I can honestly say that this is the best performance we’ve seen from you. In your previous contest Slugma really performed amazingly well in the battle rounds and it’s a privilege to have seen it use these powerful attacks in a unique combination,” Mr Contesta spoke with a smile of admiration sealed firmly on his face.

    “That performance was even better than remarkable,” Mr Sukizo responded, “And I hope you act remarkably in the battle rounds.”

    “Your Pokémon really sparkled with a gallant sheen; you will go far my young friend,” Nurse Joy happily said, already keying in her score for Curtis’s performance, “I believe we’ve all decided on the scores, so let’s reveal them.”

    The screens flickered through their variety of colours again, sifting through the rainbow as if it was putty, but even though everything was dependant on these scores Curtis wasn’t flinching. The numbers revealed themselves in consecutive order of the judges, and it was now obvious why Curtis had no need to worry, three tens were left expressively noticeable.

    “And there we have it Ladies and Gentlemen; full marks have been awarded to Curtis and his Slugma. Let’s give them one last round of applause as he returns backstage.”



    *****



    “We’re now onto our sixteenth Coordinator, again a newcomer to the stage but someone who is very knowledgeable in the art of battling. It’s our very own Gym Leader, Roxanne!”

    The curtains drew back once again, and the bellow of applause leapt like partying sounds through the vast stadium, that had already witnessed fifteen outstanding performances, all of which receiving high marked scores. And now Roxanne was out there, ready to try her aptitude at Contests. She unhooked a regular PokeBall from the inner lining of her navy skirt, enlarging it in the palm of her hand. She felt no need to make the entrance fancy; a good old simple routine would justify a spectacular awarding where the Pokémon was the one shining in the glory and nothing else.

    “Anorith, I choose you!” A lobster like creature flew out of the white sheen, using its crimson wing like appendages to glide neatly to the ground, “We’ll start this off with your Rock Blast!”

    Tremendous chunks of rocks began forming between the two greyish claws that stretched out the front of Anorith’s body. The rocks flung themselves high into the air, which would allow Anorith enough chance to position himself for Roxanne’s next command.

    “Anorith, launch yourself at these rocks and slice each one with X-Scissor!”

    Just as instructed to, Anorith charged up its X-Scissor causing the two front claws to glow a poisonous violet colour, and the judges could clearly see a bubbling liquid flowing through the pincers. Although the Pokémon was distinctively small, the power Anorith could muster to produce its attacks was enormously high, and the crowd were about to witness this incredible strength!

    With just a few simple swipes of his claws, Anorith split the numerous rocks as they pelted back towards the ground; his speed allowed for quick movement in-between each target. As the shards of the shattered boulders scattered across the staging floor, the acidic poison produced from the X-Scissor left a residual trace upon the sediment and slowly eroded away at the coarse edges.

    “And that’s it! What an amazing show of strength, the intense rocks that started this appeal of to the boiling poison that eradicated them just as easily as they were produced. I’m sure the judges will like this one!”

    “And you are absolutely right Vivian, an outstanding appeal of real force and power left me rather bemused, why you’ve never considered Contests before I don’t know. This was an utterly brilliant performance on your behalf, and Anorith’s appeal was beyond my expectations. Well done.”

    “Hmm, a rather intriguing show of Anorith’s moves, it was unexpected and surprising to say the least.”

    “As Mr Contesta said, it was remarkable! Now it’s time to reveal our scoring of your appeal.” The boards displayed their usual multicoloured panels before flipping over and revealing a set of high scores.

    “Very nice numbers there, a ten from Mr Contesta, a seven from Mr Sukizo and a nine from Nurse Joy, giving Anorith and Roxanne a high total of 26; and now moving on to our next performer who has travelled all the way from Kanto to originally compete in the Gyms, but let’s see what he can accomplish here today, please welcome, Mathew Olson.”



    *****



    “And now, we move onto our final performance. The preliminaries are drawing to a close and the previous thirty minutes have been rather eventful. We’ve had many intriguing newcomers come to light today with what must be called rather unique displays. So, without further ado let’s welcome Max!”

    Max stumbled out from behind the purple drapes, seeming on the most part considerably okay in front of the roaring crowds. It was time for him to draw the appeal stage of the Contest to a close, and for this task he knew something extraordinary had to be accomplished.

    “Budew, it’s your turn to appeal! Start things rolling with your Water Sport!”

    The little bud shot out from a camouflage of multicoloured leaves, and it immediately put Max’s commands into action. But instead of the common vibration of the body to produce a shower of water droplets, the green coloured Pokémon started glowing a distinct blue as the water was slowly building up inside. Following the rules of general physics, something was going to have to give way.

    Budew was now gleaming the blue colour repeatedly; there was no noticeable change in colourings or markings. A concentrated burst succeeded and a jet of water spiralled upwards, shooting rapidly farther into the sky. Gravity started to compel its weight upon the stream of water and a hazy shower of droplets instigated a fall.

    “Move quickly into your Bullet Seed!”

    The green pellets exploded into the air, soaring towards the raining droplets from the earlier Water Sport. They cut through so easily like a knife cutting through a soft creamy sponge cake which dispersed the water across the diameter of the stadium. The audience were then treated with a rather refreshing sprinkling of water and blasted into a roaring applause.

    “That’s it folks, the preliminaries have come to an end with what must be said, a unique way of involving the audience. Now once we have the results of this performance we’ll go straight into announcing the eight competitors moving onto the next round, but first let’s return to the judges for the final time and hear their evaluation on Max’s appeal.

    “The overall performance was mildly remarkable; however the conversion of a defensive attack into an offensive attack really startled me and showed the potential of this trainer standing before us,” answered Mr Sukizo.

    “As Mr Sukizo said, the conversion of the move was something I’ve never witnessed in the entirety of judging contests and Max must be applauded for this effort.”

    “I’ve travelled to many different Contests across many different regions and never have I seen something as demonstrative as this, Budew is a real special Pokémon and as you’re quite aware young man, Budew now houses an incredible move to combat even the most diverse of opponents,” Mr Contesta responded, “And now for the results, I’ve awarded you a very worthwhile ten, while Mr Sukizo has awarded you a worthy six along with Nurse Joy awarding you a seven, giving you a total of 23.”



    *****



    “We now have the results of the preliminaries, and without further ado let’s reveal the eight trainers who have earned a spot in the battling rounds,” Vivian commanded with the utmost ease as she swivelled her arms around to indicate the significance of the board. Eight wildly decorated flash cards appeared in synchronised order against the turquoise background. The nerves within the Coordinator waiting room were reaching high tensions as many people realized that their scores wouldn’t secure them a spot in the battle rounds, the only person who was struck with relief was Curtis, mostly because he had been given what represented a free pass into the next round.

    “And now we reveal to you these eight Coordinators.”

    The cards swivelled on an axis and as expected, Curtis maintained the first spot, with what was an exceptional appeal. Now however though, the seven other cards were all Harriet had left to hope in, and as she scanned across the pictures she noticed her ecstatic face in the fourth position. She had made it, and on her first go none the less; managing to place in the top section of the battle rounds left her in a formidable position. She rotated her head around and caught a glimpse of Max’s relieving sigh, although he had placed in eighth position he had still shown his worth, and because of it retained a newly developed move.

    “Well Harriet, looks as if I may be seeing you in the finals after all,” Curtis joked, cracking a soft acknowledging smile, “And Max, pulling that Water Sport off was enough in itself to award you a position, I just think that the judges were marking you a bit too harshly considering...”

    “Well we all made it then,” Roxanne sighed with utter release, “It was a little nerve racking but we all made it, including Mathew.”

    “You know him?” Harriet asked.

    “Oh yea, Max and I met him a couple of weeks before we last saw you, quite a tough young fellow then, although he did say he was going to challenge Gyms, something must have changed that. Anyway, as you saw his Butterfree is extremely powerful and managed to hold its own against Max’s Murkrow, so, considering the Pokémon you and Curtis and Max are going to use, you might be in for some problems.”

    “We can all overcome type disadvantage, trust me, I’ve seen it many times! Contests are one of the most unpredictable things out there!” Curtis responded.

    “Oh don’t get me wrong, I know, many trainers have overcome type disadvantages against my Rock types but that Butterfree is going to be a rather tricky match.”

    The speakers crackled again and Vivian’s voice rang through the boxes, “And now we reveal who will be facing who and in what order they will battle!” The cards flipped again, this time becoming blurry pixels on an electronic board. A loud beep sounded and halted the movement of the pixels, rearranging them back into rectangular shapes. Once again the cards rotated and the four gazed upon their rivals. Seated on the far left was Max’s card, paired with Mathew, the wildcard trainer, next appeared Curtis’s card which was matched with Henry, another newcomer to Contests; yet the shock was to follow. Harriet and Roxanne had been coupled together, the third match of the afternoon.

    “Roxanne...I...I have Roxanne,” Harriet’s face slumped as a solemn feeling overwhelmed her. She felt as if her Contest desires were already crushed. How could she possibly overpower a Gym Leader?

    “It’s okay Harriet, trust me, Max has more to worry than you. Remember what I keep telling you, I’m going to see you in the finals!”



    *****



    “There are thirty seconds left on the clock, and Max and Budew have a marginal lead while Mathew and Butterfree seem to be taking a turn for the worst. Max’s new version of Water Sport has the Bug Type cornered in what seems to be a real concern.”

    “Okay Butterfree, it’s time to pull out a super powered Silver Wind, we need to pull back these last few points while we still can!” A silvery gust radiated from the inner most sections of the waxen wings, spiralling towards Budew with glittery essences captured inside the drift.

    “Right then, try and advert it with your Bullet Seed. Hopefully a continuous burst of the seeds might help to redirect the Silver Wind if we can cause a stream of wind. If not then use Synthesis!”

    The shots burnt their way through the endless drift, only diffusing the wind momentarily before the holes sealed and the attack loomed ever closer. Budew clenched its body, preparing to be struck by the almighty energy, its tight body already beginning to shimmer with the light from the Synthesis. The two forces collided, a catastrophe induced. The explosion slithered away along with the ashy clouds of despair. Despair for Max, and despair for Mathew as they anticipated the worse scenarios the blast could have caused. One of them would be walking out of here a loser.

    “The time is up!” Our first battle has come to a close with a rather explosive ending, and both Pokémon seem to be rather worn out from the ordeal, but according to our score boards and because no Pokémon have fainted, Max shall be the first participant going through to the next round! Both trainers may now proceed backstage while we hear our judges’ opinions on the previous battle.”



    *****



    “Turtwig use your Leaf Storm yet again and knock out Whismur’s Supersonic!” The red headed male yelled as he shielded his face from the possibility of a rather jolting hit.

    Turtwig cocked his head with a stiff nature and rigid leaves sprung from its turtle backed shell. The leaves abruptly stopped in their course, and with a flick of Turtwig’s head, hurled themselves at the oncoming attack.

    Vivian interjected into the battle with her own opinions, “It seems as if this is turning into a clash of small titans here, with neither sides attacks landing their mark. Someone will have to draw something out of the bag in the remaining few seconds otherwise we’ll result in a tie and turn to the preliminary results as the decider.”

    “Come on Whismur, we can’t lose this! Not now! Use your Screech attack, this is the last push!” The purple bodied teddy like creature tensed its body as the charging torrent of sound waves were preparing to destroy the resisting leaves.

    Ding! Ding!

    “And time is up competitors, and our second battle has resulted in a draw, which means Curtis travels through via default of the Preliminary results. Henry you performed magically and we’re expecting to see a lot out of your future challenges.”



    *****



    “And now onto our third match; please welcome Harriet from the Johto region and our very own Roxanne! Are both Coordinators ready?” Vivian asked with immediate determined nods, “Okay then, you have five minutes on the clock. Begin!”

    “Chikorita, it’s your turn!” Harriet cried, throwing Chikorita’s PokeBall straight out into the dusty field, where the Pokémon burst out amongst a flourish of flowers.

    “Anorith, we don’t need fancy seals, let’s show them what you’re made of in battles!” Roxanne cried, watching the white flow of light spark the creature into action, directly affronting Chikorita, “We’ll start this off! Go straight into an X-Scissor!” The bubbling claws glowed violet with a flickering current of poison, the intenseness being seen by everyone yet again.

    This battle was already raging with a passionate flame and unfortunately for Harriet she was close to burning horribly in the fiery licks. Something was now entirely different to before; although she had performed wonderfully in the preliminaries a change had occurred.

    “Anorith is now gaining upon the horrified Chikorita who seems helpless to combat at the moment. It too appears to be frozen by fear just like its trainer. Unless either does anything shortly this could be over sooner than we think!”

    “Harriet, come on! Respond!” Roxanne cried out to Harriet with a paining shriek of anguish as she saw how she was stripping Harriet’s chances of victory away without any resistance, “Harriet! Respond!”

    Life simmered back into her pink pupils as the realization of the situation was dragging its importance into her prominent thoughts. The daunting task she faced was nearing!



    *****
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  9. #39
    Back to KM Kantomasta's Avatar
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    your back! Great chapter, i can't wait to see how this battle ends up.
    My 3ds FC: 0018 2172 7225 Safari: Rock Feel free to add me! I can only get on wifi maybe once a week at most though!
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    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Quote Originally Posted by KantoMasta View Post
    your back! Great chapter, i can't wait to see how this battle ends up.
    My first review in a long while! Thank you very much for the comment, I didn't realise that anyone was reading this story on this forum! It's nice to hear! I am indeed back, although I never really stopped writing it's just posting on this forum became lax, sorry about that! This battle was a thrill to write, I absolouetly enjoyed it and I hope that the conclusion to it will also be satisfying! It's the start of a nice long arc in Rustboro to which I've had some good feedback so I hope that you will be able to enjoy it too!
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
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  11. #41
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    This Chapter is the end of the Rustboro Contest and I hope that it's not too dull, I'd appreciate any comments to help me improve my contests as well.

    And with that here's the next chapter - check out the intro (link in first post)

    Chapter 19: A First Time for Everything (Part 2)

    *****


    Life simmered back into her pink pupils as the realization of the situation was dragging its importance into her prominent thoughts. The daunting task she faced was nearing!



    *****


    "Chikorita, Vine Whip now!"

    With a flash of confidence, two long vines extended quickly into the air, heading directly for contact with the oncoming fossil Pokémon, who, seemed relatively taken aback by the rapid choice of action. Anorith was struck off guard and unfortunately was unable to reclaim its direction, losing its balance and unfortunately the controllability of X-Scissor while Chikorita landed her super effective move.

    "Well Harriet, haven't you got some hidden surprises. Anorith we'll stay back this time, so use your Rock Blast!"

    Harriet giggled a little, "Well if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been able to snap out of my fear that was controlling both me and Chikorita, but don't think I'm going to go easy on you, such as this next move, use Razor Leaf to slash the oncoming rocks!"

    The sharp leaves sprouted from the tense leaf on top of Chikorita's pale head, with a continuous burst spraying towards the damaging material flying from Anorith. Both moves collided in mid air, with the strength from either side eradicating one another's attacks and damaging their points equally. On the other hand though, Harriet still led in points from the earlier succeeding attack.

    "Change things up Chikorita and use your Leech Seed!"

    Small buds sprouted from the green capsules attached to Chikorita's neck. They glowed aggressively with a red passion, pumping energy repeatedly through the small seeds.

    "Anorith dodge it!" The rock type sprang into the air, narrowly avoiding the low flying buds as it soared higher into the stadium. Chikorita compensated and changed her targeting towards Anorith's new position, never once letting up.

    "Okay Anorith, use the speed from your steep decline to land a powerful Crush Claw!"

    It seemed rather entertaining to watch the intrepid Pokémon glide in and out of the illustrious Leech Seeds; that if met their mark would create even more problems for Roxanne. The remaining few seeds skimmed the delicate wings as Anorith's descent had nearly been accomplished. His jagged claws ebbed with a white shade as he swooped ever closer to Chikorita. The claws opened like a gaping mouth clenching the chest of the grass Pokémon. Chikorita wriggled with fright, unable to release itself from the tightening grip. It saw the walls enlarge tenfold and realized that Anorith still had enough force behind it to continue pushing forward, and inevitably strike Chikorita against the concrete walls. This would inflict more damage to both Chikorita and the points and a scarred wall would only be able to show a minute ferocity of the Crush Claw. In one last attempt of averting the inevitable, Chikorita thrashed about rocking her body from side to side. Although it didn't seem like much it managed to alter her course, now dragging Anorith into the impact. Mutually they would be colliding with the wall side on and Anorith had no time to even think about changing this.

    The two thumped against the solid wall, collapsing in a heap against the edge of the stadium floor. Neither seemed to budge or show any signs of movement. Harriet and Roxanne could only watch with a drained strain.

    "This battle has one minute left on the clock and neither Pokémon seems to be conscious. Unless someone manages to clamber onto their feet then this will have to be called...wait! It seems Chikorita has come back from the brink. Will Anorith follow?"

    Roxanne pained in expression saw the battling capacity drain from Anorith, although a relatively young Pokémon it had come out on the battle field with a determined desire to win, and that was enough for her.

    "I forfeit!" Roxanne declared, darting to the side of Anorith and placing it gently in her arms, "Anorith fought well but we weren't good enough to beat the ingenuity of Harriet and Chikorita and I can't let Anorith continue in this state!" She turned to face the audience as their applause roared through the air, and the atmospheric mood was filled with gratitude, "I thank you all for accepting my challenge of the Contests."

    "Well people this is a first for Rustboro but only a true trainer can announce a forfeit before a stadium full of watchers like Roxanne. So that's a wrap! Harriet shall be ensuing into the next round while we have to congratulate Roxanne and Anorith in their valiant attempt. Anorith put up one of the best fights to date, and if it was marked on battle skills then you would most definitely have won, but that's not what Contests are about. We would all love to see you here in future Contests, but in the mean time will both competitors please step back stage while we move into our final battle of the First Stage Battling."


    *****


    "Roxanne wait," Harriet called out racing down the corridor after her, "You treated me to an impressive battle, and like I said out there if it wasn't for you then I'd have lost within the first few seconds. Thank You."

    "You don't have to thank me, firstly I couldn't let you lose so easily so I had to draw you back into the battle somehow and once you were there I couldn't let you win easily, and it seems like I didn't. Chikorita fought a tough challenge, and resisted well, so my recommendations would be that you get Chikorita looked at quickly by Nurse Joy while the last battle takes place so that it's fit and healthy for the start of the Semi Finals."

    "Will do," she beamed, "Will you be heading out into the stadium?"

    "Oh trust me, I wouldn't miss your battle for anything, and I think I might go join Mathew and have a catch up with him, and see if I can sway him back to Gym Battles again," Roxanne joked, "Well, I'll see you later, and make sure you don't lose."



    *****


    A dimming light fell about the Contest waiting room as Harriet waited patiently for the interval events to pass. Her Chikorita had been scanned by Nurse Joy and was fit and healthy going into the next stages of the Contest, and she was sure that she could tough it out against the strongest of opponents.

    She sat alone, curled up against the tender touch of the silky red couch as she was watching a number of Pokémon Performers dance around the stadium, accompanied by their loyal companions. Her complexion seemed fatigued; the day was taking its toll on her and after an hour already spent in the Contest hall she wondered how she would be able to tolerate another hour. But even so she was determined to grasp the Rustboro Ribbon and proceed on a lengthy yet fulfilled Contest career.

    Max shuffled over towards Harriet, gently placing his hand upon her frilly clothed shoulder. She didn't react, just continued to sit there staring at the flashing screens of luminous light.

    "Harriet, is everything all right?" Max questioned with a perplexed state smeared across his face. She seemed far away, no longer living in reality and her head appeared to be in the clouds dreaming about other inspirations or so Max believed.

    "Err, yea I'm good," she smiled delectably back at Max, pulling her clothing back into form to act less inconspicuous, "Anyway, you ready for the next round?"

    "Most definitely, and don't think I'm going to go easy on you, I want to be able to make the most of the new style of Water Sport against Curtis in the Finals, that'll give me a sure win."

    "Don't get cocky," she gazed at Max with a disbelieving smile, "Chikorita isn't going to let you beat us, not after our close call with Roxanne that is! We pulled ourselves back from the brink in that battle, so no, we're not going to lose."

    "Okay then, we'll just have to wait and see!"


    *****


    "We're back on the stage at last after some extremely amusing and perfected performances. Let's see whether our first set of Semi Finalists can out match what we just witnessed here! Please welcome Max and Harriet!"

    The crowds' cheers rose into the air again; their excitement rekindled and on an increased set of energetic levels. As both contestants waited in the wings, in clear view of one another, they felt a nervous overpowering panic as roaring screams were piercing through the padded curtains that kept them hidden from view until the crowd couldn't withstand the suspense any longer.

    The curtains opened and the light thrust itself upon the two trainers, soaking their nervous complexions and bringing an exhilarating hype about them. They ran out onto the stage floor, both taking their postures and clutching a PokeBall. Harriet's was again plastered with a leaf seal while Max had opted for no seal this time, all that was left was the introduction statements by Vivian and then the Semi Finals would begin.

    "It's the moment we've been waiting for as our final four outstanding contestants will battle it out for our Ribbon. Considering both these contestants before us have grass types, I think we'll be having a battle going down to the wire. So without further ado, begin!"

    On the call both trainers flung their balls forward into the arena, watching as the beam of white energy burst from within the ball and flew through the air before materializing into the two creatures. As Chikorita formed a spiralling rosary of multicoloured leaves accompanied her and the audience commenced into roaring cries. It was another energetic atmosphere and this mood would also play a major role in the two competitor's performances on the battle field, as well as their Pokémon.

    "Chikorita, let's start with the upper hand, use your Leech Seed!" Within an instant, small buds of pure sapping energy fired out of the few shoots sprouting from the pale neck of the Pokémon. Budew had no chance to evade; Max could see that. The clean speed that the attack had meant that this battle was about to begin with a clear disadvantage for Budew, not only because of the infectious Leech Seed that was about to cling to the Pokémon but also because of the increased speed Chikorita seemed to be displaying.

    Within a blink of the eye Budew had been impacted by the round sprouts that slowly began to erupt small veins of foliage that rolled over the body, entangling their cords within each other. Although the small Pokémon squirmed under the force, trying urgently to free itself from the grip, nothing was working. The more energy Budew used up, the more energy was squeezed out into the vines.

    Harriet looked up at the score board in sheer amazement, the time was spelling one minute into action and Max had already depleted half of his points whilst she still gained control of her full points with the use of only one move. Her attention averted back to the battle and she expected to meet a vigorous Max ready to respond, yet he hadn't retaliated. She shone her gaze into his eyes and met a reflecting sense of panic and fear; this was critically entering dangerous stages for her friend, but he was in a deadlock, unsure of what to do. There was no way out, nothing to do it seemed, Max couldn't muster the thoughts to counteract Harriet's move and this worried her. She remembered her last two battles with him and how he had really used unusual and rather magical tactics to come out on top, but this time he was frozen. She knew that if he commanded his Pokémon to perform any attack then that energy would just be doubled in the hand out and it would most likely end the battle at that instance. But there must've been something he surely could do besides waiting, there must be something...

    With a sighing depression amongst her, Harriet lifted her gaze from Max and decided to secure the win for herself. It was unfair on Max dragging out what she perceived as an embarrassment and heartache, "Chikorita, this seems to be our clenching win. Keep it safe though with your Tackle attack!"

    As if preparing to charge at some incessantly huge object, Chikorita rammed its feet against the ground with vast amounts of force. A few small fissures formed in the position she was standing in, indicating the will power of the Pokémon. Chikorita wasn't going to stop at anything to secure victory. Harriet's face blossomed into a chuffed smile and her thoughts donned rather pleasurable fantasies of her podium standing as she pushed her saddened thoughts out of her head. Things were looking very bright for the newcomer and her team.

    Max could see the delighted faces of both the opposition and couldn't feel anything but anger and discouragement. He felt ridiculed and mocked, he had lost control of the match from the word go, and it was his Pokémon who was going to pay. He could only hope that taking on Harriet's idea from the last match was going to achieve the lifeline he needed in this battle; hope was his last weapon.

    "Budew, I know this is hard but try and stand your ground until the last minute when I want you to turn around on your side!"

    The sudden realisation collided with Harriet making sickening contact with the young lass. "No, Chikorita, stop!" Harriet screeched in despair, noticing the foolish command she had just ordered. Her Pokémon was now charging head on into a sticky trap that would not only weaken Chikorita severely but also affect her score to the point of limitations, "Well at least you're back Max..." she murmured with a brightening smile.

    Budew store directly into the determined look of Chikorita as she continued to head for direct contact. Budew was waiting patiently to act upon its orders from Max and was undoubtedly ready to relinquish the pain seeping in from the Leech Seed. She was prepared for the undertaking, though found it a little tricky to make a judgment on the correct timing, but hoped that her previous travels through Sinnoh would accomplish the necessary task.

    The small bud whipped its body in a flash from its previous position, and as planned attached one of the sticky seeds onto the neck of the passing Pokémon. Although the force still lingered and both Pokémon were lunged forward by the opposite tensions, Max had secured a grip on a loosening rock and pulled himself back into view of the finals.

    "Budew, now use Synthesis!" Max yelled as a tug of war began between the two Pokémon, with Chikorita expressing her reactions through power. She was violently thrashing about with a terrified spasm as her attempts of detaching herself from the ever growing seed were failing.

    "Chikorita, use Vine Whip continuously as a distraction!"

    Budew began its pulsing of energy to restore and Chikorita engaged the use of her seemingly endless chunky vines to bash her opponent about, dampening the overall effectiveness of Synthesis. Neither trainer was aware, but the points were depleting severely for both sides as this spectacle unfolded yet Harriet was just in the lead due to her early use of Leech Seed.

    The two Pokémon were still actively compensating for the others move and Budew was surprisingly attempting to dodge by dragging Chikorita along with its directional impulses. The audience burst into a coarse applause as they witnessed the Pokémon quickly dashing about from one side to the next and the trainers' outburst of panic through randomly compiled phrases. This was most definitely an interesting contest round.

    "And the points are nearing relatively low levels and I expect a winner to be seen shortly. There is only a matter of..." Her trail of speech was interrupted as the timers began to bleep out their ending signals. Everyone now rested their sight upon the board, and from the audience's seats it was unclear as to who had succeeded in victory, but from Max's and Harriet's faces another story was to be told.

    "Well there we have it, our first Finalist who fought profoundly well and did manage to pull out a splendid display of initiative and some innovative ideas will be Harriet. The points were really down to the wire but Harriet pulled out top with 14% while Max unfortunately walks away with 12%, a very close call and it was obvious why."

    The two PokeBalls were raised into the air and as per norm the ray or crimson energy sprung towards the two struggling Pokémon and absorbed them back into comfort.

    "Max, it was a pleasure to see you and Budew develop your skills here in Rustboro and we wish you the best of luck in whichever course you take, there is clearly so much potential for you young man and I'll be personally keeping a close eye upon your achievements," Mr Contesta proudly spoke as he walked onto the platform for wonders and amiably clasping Max's hand.

    "Now if both contestants will head backstage as we prepare for our second Semi Final battle between Curtis and Nathan..."


    *****


    "Turtwig, use a bit of discretion, I don't want you taking the full brunt of that Ice Shard," the energetic coordinator yelled amongst the fiery sounds of the fast moving ice attacks that had Turtwig narrowing itself into a corner, "Retaliate with your Leaf Storm and aim it at the oncoming Ice Shards!"

    The cornered grass type clicked back into a confident mood and cried at the top of its lungs as the surface of its back started to show an emerald colour. The cue for the interrogating leaves had begun and like swarming bees they hovered around the Pokémon, acting partially as a barrier to the offense.

    "Fire them now!"

    It was such a beautiful sight of pure magic and energy as the two forces collided, both acting with differences upon the other. The large ice balls were sliced cleanly and neatly into wholesome smooth spheres while the bladed foliage was rendered harmless.

    "Intriguing tactic Curtis but you haven't accounted for the speed of my Spheal, you better watch out!" the smug boy laughed as he flicked a lock of his black raven hair from the sight of his eyes.

    "I'm afraid you haven't the time to do so Nathan as time is up! Time to find out our winner..." Vivian once again waved her hand towards the electronic board and as on queue the audience arose in a huge gasp.


    *****


    "Wonderful, wonderful, and a bit more wonderful, that's all I can say. We've seen some amiable attempts today in the appeal rounds as we welcomed newcomers to the Contest realms and welcomed back some old faces from previous victories. Our battle rounds also witnessed remarkable entries and Roxanne and her Anorith deserve our prestigious Battler Award today, we must say that her battles are what entice people to her Gym and we were blessed with her entertaining techniques for us today," Vivian rapidly said with her blooming assurance, "But now we are to witness the Finals where either Harriet or Curtis will win this ribbon, so give it up for our two marvellous coordinators!"

    Unimaginable yells of applause reached high levels in the open toped Contest Hall and Harriet had the same sense of rushing adrenalin that compelled her willingly forward. The finesse of the situation was exuberating and orgasmic and reached high levels of pleasure among her gushing veins of blood. This is what she was striving for; her decision back at her home in Jhoto was all for this one moment.

    "Harriet, I was indeed correct in my predictions about you, look where we stand, moments away from the Finals..." She blushed at his handsome remarks, feeling only cheerful and a touch embarrassed by his words, "However, now we're here I'm not going to be handing you the ribbon on a platter, you're going to have to earn it." He drew his hand back in an extravagant fashion as his first ever Pokémon was prepared and waiting for its command to fly from its comfort. He whisked his body about in fathomable poses, "Turtwig, you're up!"

    The bursting light fathomed the image of the shelled back turtle with the erecting stem leaf protruding from its smoothed head. It resembled an energetic mood and sought to cry out loudly as the raining petals settled neatly around it. Everyone stared down at the field, fixated by the clean motions of the grass type as it presented its speed initially by zooming about the field.

    Harriet was bubbling from the starting enthusiasm by the crowd, and at a difference this time to the fleeting emotions. It was her time to shine and she wasn't about to let steaming hot sensations get the better of her.

    "Ha ha, Chikorita display your talents!" she cried as her PokeBall soared through the air and towards the opposing side. It burst and leapt a shining bright light into the havoc of the air amidst a beauty of dancing leaves. The light gained control and structured a familiar picture, the beige body snapped from within the light first dispensing the aura around it and then followed the head.

    "The two Pokémon have appeared and the judges are eager to see this finale. It's time to begin!"

    "Chikorita, Tackle attack now!" cried the young female forging a distinctive power in her tone.

    "Turtwig, do the same!"

    There was the noticeable patter of feet scraping against the hardened dirt as the two Pokémon raged forward with their target directly in their sight. Neither trainer seemed ready or willing to call off their attack, so presumably were relying upon brute strength. The impact occurred head on, viciously and impressively. The recoil bounded its superiority by forcing and flexing the Pokémon backwards with a deafening thud.

    "Ooh, now that seemed powerful and destructive," Vivian commented, "They certainly seem evenly matched and surprisingly neither one seems too shaken up after that... that bashing of skulls," she interjected, now moving out of the audience's focus so that they would again be enticed by the battle.

    "Harriet, you don't give up do you! Just the thing I needed to know!" he chuckled beating his hand against the air, "Turtwig, now use your Leaf Storm!"

    The raging beating of the jade colour once again flowed through the two piece shell that had a smooth and soft sheen to it. This time however, a brushing wind whisked under feat and Turtwig raised its head screaming a piercing howl at the loudest possible pitch. The leaves stuck out of the back and hovered vibrantly above the Pokémon before they became an animated green.

    "Chikorita, counter attack with your Vine Whip and attempt to protect yourself against that storm!"

    Turtwig flung the onslaught of blazing leaves towards Chikorita who only narrowly managed to extend the vines from its body and knock a few opposing attacks out of the way. This same process continued for another few seconds before Harriet noticed the dire situation occurring on the score board. Both sides were inflicting the same amount of damage upon each other and it seemed neck to neck in terms of points. Harriet had to do something fast to get the dominant position.

    "Chikorita, switch things up and fire your Leech Seed!" she commanded, ducking underneath an oncoming glistening sharpened leaf.

    The sapping seeds erupted from the seedling buds attached to the palely coloured neck of the creature, and they were working. They wheeled their way through the brisk space and tangled their grips around some of the assault charging forward, disabling them on the spot.

    "Prepare yourself Turtwig, use Synthesis!"

    The saps struck their mark, but unfortunately produced hardly any amount of damage. The moment they hit the force was quelled and they simply rebounded and gently lay upon the floor. The only injuries being inflicted were the impacts, and that itself wasn't useful or productive because the Synthesis just counter balanced it.

    "Wow people, Turtwig really was able to gain an advantage there and this means Curtis and Turtwig go into the last two minutes with more points, but will Harriet be talented enough to turn things around again?"

    She angrily sighed at Vivian's mark and was overwhelmed by an instant surge of determination, "Curtis, don't think you're getting away with a win. Watch this!" she yelled directly towards Curtis as her eagerness swept her up in its estranged web, "Chikorita, Tackle attack yet again!"

    "Huh? Harriet, what are you doing?" Curtis responded, "Well that's your mistake, Turtwig continue your Leaf Storm!"

    The vibrant coloured leaves began their travel towards Harriet's side once more but with an added obstacle that was closing upon them, Chikorita. She hammered the floor with her soft paws, and was ready to gear up for some difficult manoeuvring. She pounced, leaping above a couple of razor sharp leaves and easily avoiding their jagged edges, her next move left her swerving to doge a few more.

    "Yea, you're doing brilliant Chikorita, keep it up!"

    "I'm going to have to disagree with you there, you didn't factor in one important ingredient, Turtwig," he cockily spoke as his Pokémon glanced over towards him and nodded in acknowledgment, realising that his trainer was hinting at his next action.

    It cocked its head backwards, tilting its eyes to stare at the majestic wonders of the shimmering sunlight. The waft rose up again but this time Turtwig held control over it and began to use it to shift his attack into a spiralling tornado of harsh serrated leaves. He threw the chain of the spiralling foliage with ferocious courage. Although Chikorita was so close to landing her attack the twister swallowed her in its wake and heaved her into the air, slicing her with passing leaves. She seemed fatigued and unable to resist the temptation of rest, and now the limpness consumed her. Her legs flailed and body twisted before crashing face on into the metallic wall. She slid slowly down onto the floor slumping on her back, with a smearing image silhouetted against the spot of impact.

    Ding! Everyone filtered their attention to the judges table, where three red crosses bore its distinctive mark amongst the navy coloured table.

    "This final has now concluded with Chikorita and Harriet ending in defeat but after some incredible show of effort. That means we have received our Rustboro contest winner, give it up for Curtis and his team!"

    On his cue he reached into a tucked away pocket of his crimson bag and withdrew a closed up PokeBall, enlarging it almost the minute he cupped it in his palm.

    "Slugma, you deserve praise as well!"


    *****


    The young brunette sat scrunched in a pile against the corner of a couch with a few streaming salty droplets splashing against the intricately designed marble. She was surrounded by towering ferns placed in delicious decor that streamed a soft soaking blue around its base. The cherry coloured sofas also sat elegantly beside her but she had decided that comfort wasn't her luxury. Standing a few yards away, Roxanne and Max worryingly stood by, unsure of whether to approach Harriet or not.

    "Hey guys," a familiar face remarked, immediately laying eyes upon the curled up complexion of his rival, "She still not talking?"

    "No, I think it's best if we just leave her for a bit..."

    "Are you sure Roxanne?" Max interrupted looking pained at the sorrow his friend was in, "Losing is terrible, I know that – too well I might add – but I found comfort from my Pokémon and May when I lost to Dad, so if we get her to bring out Chikorita and we go sit with her then maybe she can calm down sooner."

    Curtis spliced in his thoughts, "Firstly don't forget Burmy... my, wasn't that a surprise," he know looked directly towards Roxanne, "And I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Max on this one." He saw a troubled face enquire back at him, "I'm not saying you're wrong or anything like that, but friendship always helps."

    "I'm going to have to hand it to the both of you, you certainly do place a supportive argument on the table, but I would recommend only one person going." A dismissive view formed upon the boys' faces, pretending to be distant from the world around them, momentarily of course so that they didn't have to take the burden of the difficult challenge at hand.

    "Fine, I'll go then," Roxanne said with a cheerful attitude, "And rest assured, she'll come back here within no time feeling a new demeanour about her."

    The two fellows chuckled as if to agree on an unspoken bet, little did they know...


    *****


    "Well, doesn't an Ice Cream just make you feel better?" Roxanne joked, wrapping her arm tightly around the reformed young lass that sat bravely next to her.

    "It sure does!" she responded with a new cheery fashion.

    She froze her eating motion and pondered over something for a couple of seconds, before opening her mouth again to reveal her thoughts, "I'm sorry guys, I didn't mean to act like such a child, but I... I was just a tad distraught!"

    "A tad," Max laughed, "Most certainly, but it's good to have your old self back. I must admit though that today has pushed some tricky emotions upon us all, like with me in my match against Harriet, I felt helpless and angered by being powerless to do anything... Contests sure are a learning ground."

    "Agreed," was the united response.

    The group of four carried on their laughs and games in a retracted sense of emergency, as the days antics had drawn to an end leaving them all better off in some degree of clarity. For Curtis he was blessed with the addition of his second Ribbon that gave him a clear run towards the Grand Festival, and on top of that a renewed feeling of skill and control. His wondrous moves had been a flicker of his mastery and all he could do was improve. Max and Harriet both walked away with a difference in their battling techniques and competent ways of overcoming dire problems, whereas Roxanne had been given the chance to develop one of the new additions to her team. Things for the moment seemed bliss, but like always, something was bound to crash around them...
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  12. #42
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey Chapter 20

    Firstly sorry it's late! I completelt forgot about posting it!!!! And secondly here's a little extra - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2 - made by DanChimchar and is just a bit of fun : )

    And as promised here are a few more Bios:

    Max: - A young quirky trainer from the Hoenn region who is unknowingly tangled within soom loop holes of the region - at the moment he has been travelling for 1 month and 3 weeks - its funny how 5 Chapters have progressed and along with it 1 week which took about half a year to post! Silly me

    Harriet: - One of Max's newest friends she comes all the way from Eggseter Town in Jhoto and has been travelling for almost double the length of time of Max 3 months and 1 week

    Roxanne: - A good old trusty friend who is there to help whenever they need although now they are back in town will she reveal who has been at the Gym and why she has been away for the length of time as she has.

    And another quick note I would like to dedicate this Chapter to Blue Snover (my reasons are known by him) because he exceptionally kind and genirous! Thanks Blue

    Chapter 20: An Iron Skill

    The beautiful dancing moonlight painted its mysterious aura across the midnight sky that spread wondrous glory across the Earth. A young fellow, amongst the brisk gushes of an easterly wind that scattered across the moonlit sea, slowly heaving to and fro with their white milky froth crashing ashore, was leaving rushed tracks amongst the sand. He was fidgety and nervous, edgy about something, and the three accompanying Pokémon could clearly tell that their trainer was on the rim of collapsing.

    The small flying type that hovered gently on the airstream swooped down towards the ground, using solely the guidance of the breeze to help its relatively short dark navy coloured wings to navigate this path. The feathers bristled in the wind and finally the bird touched down, right in the path of his agitated trainer who reeled back rather startled.

    “Hey Murkrow, you gorgeous little bird,” Max said ruffling the feathers on top of the circular cap that rested upon the Pokémon’s head, possibly appearing to resemble the shape of a Top Hat. It squawked back at him raising its wings rapidly as it let out the screech, noticeably worried about his trainers’ condition.

    “I know Murkrow, I know...” he looked up from the comforts of his own sanctuary, “I honestly don’t mean to upset you all like this, but I just can’t see what we’re going to do!”

    Small fiery tears swelled like pockets of air around his emerald eyes and a sudden rush of temptation to bellow out his own sorrows overpowered him. His lips quivered and the uncontrollable force was bending the boy into a twisted a figure.

    Fighting against the will to cry, he settled himself comfortably upon the sand, attracting his Pokémon towards him with open arms, “The Contest is over, and Budew now has such a useful move,” he said patting the green bud firmly, “but besides this I can’t see how we’re going to be able to get an upper hand when Charmander, you’re at a disadvantage and Murkrow you are too.”

    None of the Pokémon responded they just nestled their heads safely into the relaxing warmth that Max was radiating. All four Pokémon coiled into secure positions in their trainer’s tender grip, while he sank his body further into the sand allowing the emitting heat of a summer’s night to blanket them into sleep.

    *****



    A young girl warily awoke surrounded by an assortment of luscious linen that moulded itself to the outline of her body, acting as a nice sandwich of beautiful comfort. Pushing aside the violet coloured cloth, she raised her hands high into the air as her face pulled at all corners while she allowed her muscles a morning stretch. She then resorted to fumbling her hands through her matted auburn hair, just to make sure she seemed more professional than the general early dawn look portrayed. Today felt like a good day, and starting things off right was only going to make things better, and also make an improved impression upon yesterday’s defeat.

    A hard rasp suddenly sounded on her door and brought her out of her own proceedings. A little shocked she leapt out of her bed and headed immediately to the chair where her bright silky pink dressing gown lay. Before she could even muster the effort to chuck it on, the computer screen that sat only a few inches away (standing elegantly aloft on the mahogany desk that decorated the Hotel Room) flashed on with its initial flicker of colours, noting a message. She quickly scanned it, but didn’t seem to memorise anything that it said, instead she whisked herself to the entrance of her room and hastily threw open the door.

    “Oh, Roxanne, hello there, is there anything I can help you with?” she spoke as she was trying to resist letting forth a gaping yawn whilst using the door as a prop to keep herself from collapsing in front of a well renowned friend.

    Roxanne was so frantic that she didn’t even give herself time to blurt out an answer but instead rushed right into the room, not even revelling in the moment. She poised herself on the bed, before uncomfortably having to jump up again and dash towards the balcony, perching on the edge of a wooden antiquity. Harriet only gradually made it onto the balcony after Roxanne and slumped heavily against the other fitted chair that looked out over the marvellous images of a relaxing beach, with calm rolling waves and the odd dune positioned here and there.

    “It’s... eh umm... it’s Max! He’s disappeared!” Roxanne almost tearfully cried, unconsciously rubbing her face and flicking her hair backwards and forwards due to her frenzied behaviour, “I couldn’t – couldn’t find him, he’s not in his room... Curtis!”

    “What! Curtis and Max have gone?” the young girl nervously shrieked.

    “No, no, no! Max, it’s just him only – Curtis he’s... I... I think – that’s it he’s out looking for Max, everything’s gone!” her babbling speech represented her hatred and annoyance towards herself, she had managed to lose Max, and that was heartbreakingly destructive to her.

    Harriet felt hysterical and distraught as well and was unsure where they would start to look for Max, maybe he had just gone down to breakfast early or gone to practice and prepare for his upcoming Gym Battle, somewhere like the training fields or even the beach... that had to be it!

    “Roxanne, where did Curtis go to?” Harriet immediately asked, thrusting her body from the chair and standing positively in front of Roxanne, managing to block out the gaze of the Sun that partially caused some irritation to the flustered Gym Leader.

    She became gradually more aggravated as her mind concocted different situations of the present condition, “No, no, it’s not Curtis, its Max who’s disappeared...” she answered with a mistaken message.

    Harriet chuckled a little at the realisation of her friends muffled confusion, “No you silly that’s not what I was asking,” she spoke as she continued to laugh, a tad puzzled at why she found this ideal funny, “I mean, where did he go to look for Max?”

    “Oh... oh, umm I think he’s gone round town... yes that’s where he’s gone!” It finally clicked, at last being able to understand what her conversation with her young friend had detailed. She turned around to look at Harriet, seeing the vibrant and joyful vision that spread out across all cells of her feminine complexion.

    “Well we’re going somewhere else, run to your room and get ready; I think I know where Max is!”

    *****



    The hefty sounds of enthusiastic tourists lifted over the rolling dunes as the greenery was slowly departing behind Harriet and Roxanne, along with the towering infrastructure of Rustboro. With a quick step acquired in their walk they hurried onto the sandy ground mixed with a few sparkles due to the early morning sun. They scanned their eyes across the rather sparse beach that lay in front of them for any sign of the black haired boy or his trusting Pokémon lurking amongst the murky shadows of the hidden sea, progressing gradually forwards and backwards to the rhythm of its control. The sweet swash and the bright backwash was a comforting sound of settling nature and Harriet immediately realised the attraction of seafaring or even living and working amongst a seaside town or resort. It was… delectable.

    “Harriet, over here!” called Roxanne hurriedly jumping upon the spot to gain the attention of the young girl intertwined within her own thoughts, “Come quickly!”

    Harriet leapt away from the careering white combs of the waves, narrowly avoiding a full soaking of her body. She rushed towards the opposite end of the beach, passing a few younger children messing about playfully with plastic shaped models to form interesting designs out of the soft mushy material that sat neatly underneath their feet. A few last imprinting footsteps upon the sand and Harriet was aligned with Roxanne, bending over and panting shortly to catch her breath from an intrepid sprint.

    “I saw…” Roxanne hesitated before she immediately corrected herself, “I think I saw the fiery flame on Charmander’s tail just sneaking behind those rocks over there.” Harriet followed the pointing finger sending her sight across the trail set out before her until she noticed a few hidden boulders snuck behind a very green dune sticking out from its surrounding partners.

    “Well then… let’s go!”

    The two fellow ladies stormed their way across the warming sand, being ever so careful not to interfere with secluded burrows near the dunes, home to an array of different species of Pokémon. They hurtled their way around the bending shoreline, and within almost a split second they came crashing down to the ground, flailing horribly as their path had been interrupted by a large mass.

    “Are you okay?” the lump asked, scratching the side of his head whilst caressing the skin to alert his touch to any sign of bruising or damage.

    “Umm… no we’re…” Harriet’s speech yet again trailed off into an unknown depth of hearing as she stared rather blankly at the baffled image of Max who was still struggling to gage his whereabouts, “Just woken up have we Max?”

    “Yes… yes that’s it,” he yawned collapsing once more into a heap against the nestled pile of sand, “I must’ve fallen asleep out here!” Out of the blue, his body, now seemingly unaware of his tiredness, jolted upright as his mind slowly revealed the remembrance of his own Pokémon. He harshly peered around his bright rimmed glasses, hoping to catch a glimpse of his band of three, yet the factors of fatigue and poor eyesight left a rather blurred image in any case.

    “Where are my Pokémon?” he whimpered fumbling around the ground with his hands to reach for his rucksack, “where are they?”

    “We thought they’d be with you – in actual fact we thought we saw Charmander running around here so he can’t be too far!” Roxanne responded, she turned her attention towards the female sitting snugly next to her, “Harriet come, we’ll go find them for Max.”

    “Hang on, I can come too…” Max interrupted with a general whine, kicking about upon the sandy floor to push himself onto his feet. He reached an equilibrium between his body and the ground and successfully managed to keep himself tuned correctly, not wavering about on the spot, “See… I can do it!”

    “We never doubted that you could Max,” Harriet giggled, “We were only considering the fact that tiredness does seem to control your actions,” she teased, knowing full well that in his present state Max would be totally unaware of any mockery or even have a chance to retaliate.

    “You two are like mindless creatures, I don’t know what I’m going to do with you – that’s for sure, as long as you’re Pokémon are with you I suppose you’ll be protected from each other… possibly,” Roxanne sighed as she headed the trio towards the line of tracks that could resemble washed away remains of footprints.

    They came to what could resemble a sandy ally way in between an accumulation of large sized boulders covered from right to left in an icky green moss and on the other side a gathering of sand piles resting neatly.

    Before any noticeable or visible sign of Pokémon were apparent they could hear a muffled sound of blazing ember cutting remarkably easy through another substance, while a coarse squawk sounded over the raging noises.

    “That must be them,” Max cheerfully shouted, hastening his walk into a fast paced run and narrowing his direction around the hidden corner. Harriet and Roxanne, rather puzzled by his sudden enthusiasm and unaware of the true meanings behind his attitudes, followed him with their enlightened speed. They edged around the bending dune to a mirage of mystic displays sought from Max’s three accompanying Pokémon.

    “Charmander, Budew, Murkrow,” Max cried with intense love, “I’ve found you… I’m so sorry for everything, I mean I was being pathetic yesterday and I know how that must’ve made you feel down yourselves. Sorry about that.” His apologetic smile beamed upon the innocent faces of his friends and comforted their souls with reassurance.

    “Max? What’s this?” Roxanne interjected with her direct questioning tone, “What’s going on?”

    He supported himself in a crouch besides his Pokémon and raised his glance to match Roxanne’s, “Well, you see, last night I really couldn’t sleep at all and I placed it down to having such an energetic day really, like handing Shuppet back to Emily and participating in the Contest but even with that things seemed really unsettled. So I came down to the beach and my Pokémon must’ve followed me here and then the knowledge hit me as they comforted me. I was afraid of my upcoming Gym Battle.”

    “What, why are you afraid of it? You did fine against your father and really managed to use some spectacular techniques against him, so you’ll do fine against me, and you know you might even manage to take a badge off of me!”

    Max reacted flabbergasted to Roxanne’s comments; he was extremely surprised about her compliments but didn’t completely absorb them into his notion, “How can you say that? You’re so strong, I’ve seen you battle before and I really don’t compare to that. And think about it, you are a rock trainer and I have two Pokémon that are weak to your types. How can I combat that?”

    “Max, it’s not all about type. Even I’ve understood that. Think back to the Contest, using Grass types against one another shouldn’t be very effective but it’s a matter of using skill and tactics on top of moves that will give you a victory” Harriet suggested running to the side of Max and lifting him back to her height, “I remember when I watched the Hoenn Ever Grande League a few years back and one of the trainers’ phrases that he used a lot was, ‘the matchups not as important as the will to win’.”

    “Morrison,” he responded, “Yea I remember that, I was sitting in the stadium with him watching Ash’s match against Katie; wow now that was an amazing adventure!”

    “You see, everything will work out and you just need to believe in yourself and your Pokémon, and training doesn’t hurt!” Harriet joked, “Now, why don’t we head back to the hotel and call Curtis and tell him that he no longer needs to frantically search the city for you.”

    *****



    The morning sun had begun its journey across the blue shining sky, hovering almost directly above the bustling city below. A group of four sat on reclining deck chairs in their swimming costumes that revealed a wide patch of skin that was browning under the light of the sun. They were positioned only a few metres away from the washing edge of the sea, occasionally being greeted with a refreshing splash of salty coolness. Their Pokémon also resided along with them, some splashing about amongst the small waves creeping towards the shore and others sun bathing in the rays of light along with their trainers.

    “You know what Max… thinking about what you said earlier back at the hotel, I could give you a practice battle right here right now!” Curtis thought allowed removing the sunglasses that covered the emerald colour of his eyes, “You could use either Charmander or Murkrow and just get a grip with using them against a Pokémon type they’re weak too, if you would like?”

    Max burst his eyelids wide open and stared gratefully at Curtis, “I’d be honoured if you’d do that Curtis and I’d love to use Murkrow for a battle, he’s yet to get a full on battle with me so it’d be good practice… but you don’t have a rock or an electric type with you.”

    “No, true, however I do have some back in Sinnoh and I’ve been thinking about bringing a certain Pokémon over to compete in my next Contest anyway, considering it was my very first capture, so I’d be happy to battle Murkrow.”

    “I guess I’ll referee again,” Roxanne sighed whilst still leaving a relaxed facial mask on and really not showing much reaction to anything.

    Max smiled in acceptance of this, “Thanks Roxanne but I think we’d be fine to just battle normally, besides it’s not like it’s a Gym Battle this time!”

    “Right okay then, I’ll be right back, I’ll just pop to the nearest PokéCentre and get it transferred over. I’ll see you in ten!”

    *****



    Max had moved to the edge of his creamy coloured chair, fidgeting about with his hands as he waited impatiently for the return of Curtis. Over the horizon came continuous roles of tranquil water that peaked up and down as their journey across the sea bed maintained, yet Max’s impatience grew with the long ripples.

    “Ooo I just can’t wait any longer, I’m so psyched!” Max cried as his clenched fists began shaking as they filled full of the adrenaline coursing throughout his body, the unbearable wait was more than enough to send him to a limited boiling point!

    “Hold onto your hair!” Roxanne comically spoke, “Because your wait is over, look over there!”

    Max slithered his eyesight from a shadowing light of his own trunks and caught a glimpse of the spiky hair that was pelting towards him. Within a blink of an instance he was also in a composed stance and ready for the face off, accompanied by his shaggy feathered Pokémon that’s broom like tail was fluffing in the gentle breeze.

    Curtis took a couple of last strides and halted, momentarily, as he tried to catch a few gasping breaths, “Okay Max, I have the Pokémon here.” He held his hand out clutching onto an enlarged PokeBall that seemed packed tight with a vast array of multiple enjoyments; a present longing for this creature glinted in the boys’ eyes, “Looks like you and Murkrow are ready for this, so I’ll start things off!”

    Without the need to call upon his trusted companion, he launched the red and white sphere above the flowing sand that melted under foot and acted as the entrance carpet for this particular surprise. The gleaming vibrant light distilled and a Pokémon that was plastered with a hint of yellow amongst the bright blue and deep black stood proud. It let forth a gruff growl that vibrated the black mane surrounding its oval shaped head.

    “Whoa, isn’t that a nice surprise. Let’s get the Pokédex out for this one!” Max ecstatically stated, deeply thrusting his hand into the pale yellowness of his bag to obtain the small device that allowed for numerous interactions with the Pokémon world. Once he had grasped it and brought it out into the open air, flicking the lid open and activating the machine’s scanner, he sent it stumbling through the database to acquire the knowledge.

    “Luxio is the Spark Pokémon. By touching friends with its front paws, Luxio is able to communicate through the sparks it emits and inform the correspondent of whatever it desires. The electric type moves that it can learn pack a punch when hit so it’s best advised that using quick speed or type advantage is the way.”

    “Hmm, so a tough opponent then, well Murkrow there’s no need to worry! Start things off with your Shadow Ball!” The midnight blue bird opened its fair coloured beak that sucked out an eerie black energy, marked with a jolting white substance that jumped through the darkness, and grouped together in a hoard forming the globe shape.

    “Luxio, once they release it, charge head on with your Spark and crush it the attack to pieces, then continue on and slam directly into Murkrow!” On command, exactly like Turtwig had done the day before, it acted upon orders, bubbling the surging energy to produce the electrical current through its veins. The energy reached the outer layer of hair and hummed a beautiful tune as it enveloped the Pokémon… and then he leaped, along the track of the oncoming attack. With the collision came unstable power, but not in favour of the black haired boy. Luxio instead came out top and the ravishing display that occurred with the explosive meet would’ve depleted anyone’s point’s count in a Contest. This was becoming remarkable by the minute.

    “Murkrow, use Haze quickly to distract Luxio and fly away!” The seeping darkness spurted out of the pallid beak and beat into the atmosphere like thick gloop. Luxio, now unable to perform its attack calmly and swiftly flittered to the ground. It cocked its head a little to the right glancing solemnly towards its trainer apologising for the mess up in its execution and receiving a smile of aptitude back.

    “Luxio use your Iron Tail now, if anything this should part the hazy substance!” Its tail began to shimmer a silver glint whilst the star like tip began extending in all directions. It once again whisked its body into the air and began slicing the Haze attack effortlessly, until it made contact with a heavier being. Followed by a shadow of smoke, Murkrow spiralled down from the bellowing cloud that had begun its separation and crashed with force against the sand, which only just acted as a partial dampener.

    “Murkrow, no,” Max cried, startled by the impressive impact of that Steel attack, “Hmm this is tough, though that’s absolutely awesome Curtis, an amazing move, but don’t think you’ve won just yet! Now use your Pe…” His commands weren’t needed this time because the Pokémon had instinctively dodged from its position before Luxio could land another attack, however this time its wings were glowing with the same burning colour as Luxio’s Iron Tail.

    “Wow Max, I suppose this was useful after all, Murkrow is using Steel Wing!”

    Roxanne lifted her head from the seclusion of daytime snoozing and peaked through the corners of her eyes at the impressive sight before her. In this one attack lay a tactic that could compare against anything she threw at him and even double his chances of a simpler win. Maybe she should’ve paid more attention to this battle, but instead as normal her aggravating annoyance of being used as a robotic referee stood in the way.

    “Well Murkrow, I guess we’ll use this one to our advantage, land multiple Steel Wings!”

    The Pokémon soared elegantly through the air, even leaving its own trails in its wake. It rapidly circled around the electric type caught in the centre of its current and eyed it up for the perfect chance to strike. Once found it hesitated no more and flew in for the punch making contact with the curly black fur and flinging it across the beach and into the lapping waves of the sea.

    “And again Murkrow, now,” shouted the energetic boy.

    “Stay where you are! Don’t move and then when you can try and use your Thunder Fang!” If Curtis had his calculations correct and had chosen the accurate choice of action then Max would be instructing Murkrow to fly straight into an unwinnable trap, “Now Luxio, now!”

    The charge seeped through the polished teeth and crackled with intensity which began fusing the water surrounding the Pokémon with an electrical charge. With Murkrow now unfortunately powerless to turn back in enough time and hovering right above this induced area, the jolts dived in lapsing jags into the air above Luxio, striking Murkrow in the due process. Filled with a crackling residue of the attack it plummeted against the wet licking sand again, this occasion however for the final time of the match.

    “Murkrow, sorry champ I let you down, you were awesome though so come and take a nice rest.” He whipped the PokeBall out of its pocket and pointed it towards the flat out bird, absorbing it in a stream of red light, “Well Curtis, as always you’ve proved why you managed to reach the Top eight in Sinnoh so I can’t feel too bad about losing to someone as prestigious as you.”

    “You and Murkrow deserve the credit; you must’ve done something right for it to learn such a powerful move only a few weeks into your friendship.” He reached out and shook Max’s hand with a sense of self accomplishment, “And I suppose if you would like I could try and teach Iron Tail to Charmander, who is eligible for learning such a move with the help of Luxio.”

    “Really, you would? This day is getting better and better,” he responded profoundly happier than he had been for a while, “With that then all my Pokémon would now have a defence against Roxanne’s rock types. Well I best get practicing Steel Wing with Murkrow so I ought to take it to a PokéCentre quickly to get it checked out and all, and then time to start Charmander’s training!”

    Leaving no time for a reply he dashed past Curtis and headed straight for the nearest centre that sat next to the washing water of the ocean. Now (to Max) it seemed decorated with cosmic beauty brought on by the warming touch of the Sun and the whistling delights of Nature. With his Pokémon tagging along behind him, Max felt unstoppable.

    “Well Curtis, you sure did him a favour today,” Roxanne said sitting herself at right angles on her reclining chair and unpinning the coils placed in her hair, “But do you think that all this may just get to his head?” Harriet nodded in agreement to this exact comment, feeling herself a slight unevenness about Max’s found confidence.#

    Curtis humbly sighed, seeing the truth behind the Gym Leaders statements, “We can only wait and see…”
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  13. #43
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Here are a few treat bits for you - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2 - made by DanChimchar and is just a bit of fun : )

    It has to be split into two posts so sorry about that as well...


    Chapter 21: Rock, Paper, Scissors!

    A time scale of roughly a week had passed since Harriet’s premier in the realms of Contests, and the bounding triumph of placing in the top two was still resonating around her body. She had also been so thrilled by watching Max’s hard efforts to train for his second badge that she had too become entangled within the same excitement and had already begun training both Burmy and Chikorita for their next Contest appearance, even managing to sneak a quick battle off Curtis during the anticipated wait for the upcoming day.

    She strolled out of the grand hotel, decorated on the outside with wondrous and luxurious colours that would suit any person or Pokémon who happened to stay there. These blended quite well with the succulent blossoms of spring, flittering sparkles of pollen into the upper air. Her trek led her through the gardens centred towards the back of the huge building and these were accustomed to other ranges of blossoming flowers sparkling about the green earthly colour of the grass. Their vivacious colours masked a world that some may have labelled destructive and the flowers only allowed for beauty and love to spill into nature around them, and Harriet really could dwell in this sanctuary of knowledge. Once she had made it out of the complex she ambled her way past bubbling children, once again moulding sand to the sounds of the calming breeze and the tranquil murmurs of the sea.

    “Ah, this is so relaxing,” she smiled, immediately clutching two PokeBalls in both of her soothing palms, “Chikorita, Burmy come on out and enjoy this too!”

    She tossed the spherical balls of life across the luscious open sand that carried on along the shoreline for miles, side by side with the quelling splashes of the waves. The white magical energy escaped from the protective shells and jaggedly descended onto the beach in wavy formations. The sparkling light merged together to form the outlines of two very unique Pokémon before dispersing and revealing their cute little bodies.

    “Hello you two,” Harriet smiled, opening her arms wide as they both soared into her joyous hug, “I take it you had a nice rest then?”

    ‘Chik, Chikori!’ the docile Pokémon responded, nudging her head in affection against Harriet’s arm.

    “Well then, what do you say to a morning of pure relaxation then? I mean, this afternoon we’re going to be busy cheering Max on to win his second badge and then after that we’re out of here,” she happily smiled, “I’m thinking that Verdanturf Town is our next destination, I hear they hold brilliant Contests there, so we might as well soak up the beautiful atmosphere here one last time!”

    Chikorita immediately leapt out of Harriet’s arms and curled up on its smooth back against the cushioning sand below. Her plant stems were all left open to the formidable Sun rays that gloriously immersed the warming heat that bathed the Pokémon.

    “Well then Burmy, I guess we should just do the same,” the young lass giggled while placing her pink fluff ball upon the sandy shores, “This day is going to be so great!”


    *****



    “Right, Murkrow try that once more and Charmander dodge it by using Iron Tail on the ground,” the ecstatic boy shouted while flicking a dangling lock of hair out of his eye sight so that he could absorb a clearer picture of the fascinating moves.

    His Murkrow had already started its decent as its wings changed from their usual dull colour to the vibrant gloss colour of steel, gleaming brightly against the clear blue sky of the day. Charmander had relocated its waiting stance, moving all its weight solely onto its burning hot tail; hopefully the previous weeks practice had strengthened the tail enough to successfully allow Charmander to spring above Murkrow.

    Charmander’s tail now began to shimmer with the same distinct light as Murkrow’s wings, leaving only the tips’ flame the smoky red colour. It clenched its muscles and tightened its focus, scrunching up the silky smooth skin on its face. With ease, Charmander pushed against the sandy floor, breaking past its normal height barriers as Murkrow only narrowly brushed past the extended fiery flame before immediately halting its course.

    “Wahey, we’ve done it, we’ve actually done it guys!” Max gleefully shouted as he too jumped with delighted pleasure, “Roxanne’s Stone Badge is ours!”


    *****



    A rather desert like area surrounded the domed building structured together by multiple rocks to resemble the image of a mysterious cave. The seemingly infertile land had been respected with the odd palm tree here and there that helped make it feel less derelict and desolate; each plant also spouting a few succulent pieces of fruit that amongst the rugged terrain appeared very out of place. These washed over land had been the site of Max’s first witnessed Gym Battle outside of his own and rested with a warm nostalgia in his heart, yet this time it was finally his turn!

    “Ah man, I’m so psyched for this,” Max whispered intentionally, making sure that Harriet wasn’t able to hear his quiet comments, “I better not lose like I did against my Dad, I just can’t…”

    Neither two companions said anything after these silent remarks, but instead planted their feet in a continuous motion up to the gigantic steel doors that marked the entrance of Roxanne’s Gym. He slowly crept in through a small crack that he had made while tugging against the bulky material, with Harriet edging her way in after.

    The lights of the stadium were blasting their powerful beams about the room; Max gaped in awe at the wondrous decor that had been fitted throughout the monstrosity matching a difference since his last visit. He peered through the circular rims of his glasses up towards the podium spot where the Gym Leader took their position and noticed not Roxanne but instead another familiar face.

    “No way, Brock?” he callously cried, “What on earth are you doing here? Last I heard you were travelling through Sinnoh with Ash and Dawn!”

    The rather buff man stood with a smug stance facing the emerging Max, briskly undoing his black and orange jacket that kept his vague green t-shirt locked behind it, “Well yes, I was, but when an old friend asks for a favour I always deliver, and besides Dawn has competed in the Grand Festival now and likewise with Ash and the Sinnoh league so I didn’t mind taking time out from travelling to look after a Gym, and to be honest, I kind of like being on my own again,” he smiled, “And on another note I hear from Roxanne that these past two months have been spent looking after you… ironic I think,” he partially chuckled, moving away from the podium and heading over to Max.

    Max rubbed his head with a rather embarrassed touch, “Well, I can’t really blame you to be honest, and ironic, I guess I see how.” He faded into a marvelled state, “And running a place like this… wow!”

    Max turned around as he realised that not a single person was busy paying attention to his gawping comment, his face instantly drooped and sank into a bold red colour.

    “And you young lady, you hold dear beauty that can only be told through my undying love; that shine in your glamorous hair is amazing and…” he collapsed in a pile against the rocky field as a protruding jabbing mud hand stuck rather sorely into the centre of his back. A small blue looking Pokémon that resembled a hunched and pained creature sat casually behind its trainer with its lilac coloured Poison Jab neatly placed in its trainers’ flesh.

    “Ha, looks like Croagunk has taken over my job then!” Max belted out, laughing his socks off at the vast humour from this one action.

    “Ugh, why do I bother?” Brock rhetorically implied, “Don’t worry Max, ugh; I’ll be back in time, ugh, to see your Gym Battle with Roxanne, ugh…” Brock stated as his poison Pokémon began dragging him over the rough and uneven Gym field that bore a few cracks in its floor from what must’ve have been intense battles.

    The two young trainers watched on relatively perplexed at this odd occurrence; a definitive smile stole a partial spotlight on both of their faces before they too decided to just forget what they had witnessed and return to their task of finding Roxanne. A door at the opposite end of the pitch beckoned to them, and they flung themselves with all their might and as quickly as possible over to that area. Max was raring to undergo his second Gym Battle whilst Harriet was quite excited to witness the tremendous power.

    The door suddenly pitched open on its axis and belted into the side of Max’s flesh, sending him off balance and onto the ground with a shocked expression. He quickly resumed his natural air and kicked back onto his feet.

    “Oh, Max, sorry about that,” Roxanne stated, dusting a few particles of dust from the young boys clothes, “I heard… commotion with Brock and so expected you to be here for your Gym Battle and I didn’t want him handing an easy win to you now…” she giggled, hoping to retain an essence of dignity about her. She then looked up from her obsession and squinted about the hall, unable to see the figure of the brooding Brock, “Where is he exactly?”

    Max managed to acquire his posture again, a tad bewildered by his little knock, “Ugh, well we’re not really sure, the last we saw of him, his Croagunk had grabbed hold of his leg and began dragging him out of the front door weird eh?”

    “Most definitely,” Harriet entered her remarks with a casual tone, “But what I don’t get is how does he know you Max?”

    “Oh he was someone I use to travel with back when my sister and I were in a group, and this Gym was a pit stop for our journey,” he chuckled, “However that’s a long story and I really want to get this battle started.”

    He turned back to face his other renowned friend, asking the challenging question just with the use of the muscles in his face. Roxanne cottoned on to his questioning grandeur and held her hand out that had placed in the centre three PokeBalls, diminished in size because they had yet to be activated.

    Their attention spiked away from the three balls as the giant doors to the gym jutted open with force, and Brock, featured with a dazed look, wobbled inside. He reached energetically for a few pieces of equipment, tucked neatly away behind the stands while Roxanne now returned back to her answer.

    “Okay then Max, considering my judge for this battle has just returned,” she tutted, taking a quick glance towards Brock’s location, “I can now tell you the rules, it will be a three on three with only you, the challenger, eligible for making substitutions. When one opponent’s Pokémon all are unable to battle the other person wins, the general set of rules.” She looked at the vigorously excited young boy, who himself had pulled the homes of his three friends out of their slots along his belt. She had spent almost two months travelling alongside Max, training him up as a person to combat against tough and unique situations where he would have to present his strengths as a trainer, and now it was her turn to test his skills.

    “I’m ready!” Brock hastily interjected, clambering onto his embossed platform that was directed at the edge of the outlined battle field. He most eagerly clasped the two coloured flags that indicated the rivalry per se of two trainers in the heat of a battle, “So, now will both trainers please take their rightful places!”

    As if time had begun to almost inevitably run out, Roxanne and Max rapidly took their places at opposite ends of the rocky nature set out before them. They themselves were fervent for the chance to have the real battle of will and strength that had unavoidably been creeping closer the further their travels took them.

    “So then, with the rules explained both trainers must now call upon the first Pokémon they wish to use,” Brock generically shouted with the sense repetition in his voice.

    “Okay Max, I’m sure you’ve guessed who’ll be up first,” Roxanne called across the floor, holding in her hand the shiny outline of a sphere, “Nosepass, it’s time for you to show them what we’re made of!” As her lunge tossed the ball into the centre of the field, the exploding chasm of beaming light spiralled onto the material surface, clenching together to make the outline of a relatively large head. The sapphire toned Pokémon emerged from the confines of the glow.

    “I had a feeling that you’d start with Nosepass, so Budew you’re my choice!” Max too flung his sphere out into the rocky space before them, with another beaming flash of light dissipating to reveal another creature. Max and Budew were ready for this now, ready to begin and ready to win! This was setting up to be such a brilliant and partially easy victory for them due to the type advantage resting on their side.

    “Max you have the first move, and I’m delighted to see what you’ll throw at me!” Roxanne hastily spoke positioning her delight into tremendous happiness as her wait for the raging battle had drifted down to a count of zero.

    “Well then, Budew begin with your Bullet Seed!” Max intensely cried with a coursing bulge of power, “Don’t let up either and just continue to fire it… this has to work.” Budew kicked its body backwards and thrust its head forwards to give a little bit more force behind her attack, something which she had learnt from her first Gym Battle in Hoenn.

    “Sorry Max, but you really didn’t think this through now did you? Remember I was there when you won!” Roxanne quite cleverly spoke, “Nosepass release a barrage of Zap Cannons at the oncoming seeds!” The rock type levitated a little above the Gym floor probably from the high surging electricity flowing through its body and it actually put itself in a direct line for the emerging grass attack, yet that didn’t bother the Pokémon too much for it was use to this sort of tactic. The spherical charge of the powerful crackling electricity began forming before the gigantic orange nose that stuck out poignantly on the Pokémon. With one simple flick of its body, the destruction raged through the air making immediate contact with the feeble opposing attack before carrying its rampage onwards. Budew was in trouble!

    The attack was practical in its destruction and quite capably flung Budew across the entire stadium. The incredible force dealt more damage with the sudden collision against a protruding rock in the field, and Budew unfortunately crippled into a jagged corner sending immense pain to chill throughout the body. Max could see that it was impossible for her to continue.

    He unwillingly raised her PokeBall, fighting back some destructive tears at such an indescribable loss, “Budew, take a good rest,” Max reluctantly mumbled before turning towards Brock, “I’m withdrawing Budew from the battle, she took too much of a battering and she needs to stay out of a fight for the moment!”

    Both Roxanne and Brock had a momentary lapse of judgement and were struck with an impeccable look of shock, “Umm, okay then… Budew is unable to battle, Nosepass is the winner!”

    From the stands an eager Harriet quickly noticed the sadness embark itself upon Max, “Don’t give up Max, you can still easily win this. Just remember that luck is never on one side but it can be utilised to your advantage, keep fighting!”

    “Hmm you’re right!” the boy ecstatically stated, “And I know the perfect attitude to face this devious challenge, Murkrow I need you!” Max flung another sphere into the centre of the pitch and the sparkling burst of white energy flopped out onto the ground facing Nosepass. Within a matter of seconds the energy formed together the respectable shape of the midnight blue bird that immediately outstretched its wings before lifting its weight high up into the air.

    “Now let’s spice things up a little by taking this battle to the sky,” Max obediently said, noting the growing smirk on his Pokémon’s face, “We’ll play this battle from afar, use Shadow Ball!” Murkrow raised itself higher into the rooftops of the stadium, making sure to get a little bit of distance so that its speed could quickly be utilised if needed. It tilted its beak backwards, as if praising a high creature that resided in the sky and channelled the shadow energy into the tip of the beak forming a gigantic spherical orb of darkness.

    “Nosepass don’t let their distance affect your strategy,” Roxanne called out with a slight hint of panic as her Pokémon withdrew warily towards its trainer at the ghostly sight of the opposing attack, “Fire a Zap Cannon to counter act the Shadow Ball.” The enormous magnetic rock once again rose above the ground, undergoing what seemed to be a mystic revelation. The magnetic charges began to swirl around to form another ball of electricity just in the nick of time, as the eerie ball of shadowy pain was burrowing its way through the simple air.

    “Nosepass, release it quickly!” Roxanne shouted as she saw the raging attack almost creeping into contact, “Come on Nosepass, now…”

    Roxanne’s words unfortunately ended with no avail. The spherical object of doom had collided head on with the crackling expanse of energy, fusing together to create a more vivid reign of terror. This new creation, somewhat bubbling with the oozing darkness and coursing with the notable flickers of electricity, had overpowered Nosepass and left a residual trickling black goo over its body that seemed to burn with intense power as the Pokémon smacked into the side of the rocky wall. As she slid down to the ground, trying to regain any sense of balance and footing, the disgusting goo also began to drip off the Pokémon and fall to the floor with horrific consequences. Roxanne and Brock were shocked at the sheer force of this creation, watching as its acidic nature even burned through the built up floor.

    “What on Earth?” Brock questioned, “How… I mean – I’ve never seen anything like that before.” He turned out of the utmost curiosity towards Max and Murkrow, seeing the hint of power sparkling in the birds eyes, “My my Murkrow, you really do pack a punch, the electricity somehow managed to create a completely different substance from your Shadow Ball, meaning either this is a common occurrence or… - the more likely of the two – you are able to manipulate the energy you can produce to contain more power.”

    The entire room fell silent, stunned at the sudden revelation that Brock’s insight so wonderfully had noticed.

    “And if Brock’s judgement is correct, which I am assured from numerous stories I’ve heard, then this is generally only achieved when a Pokémon bonds extremely well with another creature, in most cases being a human. You haven’t had Murkrow for long Max, but somehow you’ve created a real link between you two which I think is great accomplishment and a sign of great things to come,” Roxanne only smiled after her comments, still standing above Nosepass who was busy pruning itself of the black goo.

    Roxanne’s mind was fluttering with numerous compliments and praises, and also ideas of how to combat Max, she had to clamber back into the match somehow, “You are full of surprises young man, but don’t let that get to your head, Nosepass still has a lot in her and we won’t give up that easily.”

    “I wouldn’t expect anything different Roxanne, and so I graciously give you the first move,” Max responded, “Give me all you’ve got!”

    “Hmm, don’t you worry about that my friend, Nosepass it’s time to pull out another type advantage, use Rock Tomb!” This time, Nosepass remained grounded and seemed to be locked directly to the grainy field, closing its beady eyes and meditating quietly. An orb of whiteness began to shroud the Pokémon, eclipsing its whole body in the wondrous extremities.

    “We can’t let this move hit us Murkrow, make this battle a little more complicated with your Haze!” The misty black vapour spurred from Murkrow’s pale yellow beak as the Pokémon slowly moved its wings to an unknown beat keeping it adrift in the air. It continued its distribution of the hazy cloud until it could no longer make out a silhouette of his trainer, who had too become lost within the murky depths of a secretive attack.

    The only thing noticeable from the stands, which had yet to become occupied by the intolerable Haze, was the blinding shine radiating from Nosepass. Harriet found it quite irresistible and intoxicating, feeling compelled towards it as she expected Bug Pokémon were to flames.

    Amongst the foggy darkness, Roxanne continued to stare towards the only source of light emanating through the Haze and was clearly able to judge how much stored energy Nosepass had acquired, “Okay Nosepass, it’s time to release the power now!”

    Harriet wasn’t able to get a clear view of exactly what unfolded, and neither did anyone else who was entangled within the clutches of the gloomy mist. It had blocked and clouded all vision, mental and physical, adding in a new dimension to the unfolding fight. Except, she could see the flashes of vibrant light soaring from one pivotal point, dissipating violently into the expanse before it and creating flashing sparkles of fireworks in its wake. If Harriet didn’t know that two Pokémon and three Humans were caught up in the blazing shower of rocks, otherwise represented by the light, then it’d have been quite a spectacle to see.

    “Murkrow, I’m afraid we’re going to have to do this next bit solely relying on our trust,” Max cried over the roaring surge of the rocks that crowded down around him, adding to the confusion and distraction, “Use your Steel Wing and fly towards the origin of the light!”

    Another passion burned high within Max as the cloudy substance surrounding him became filled yet again with another mystic light, this time radiating with a silvery glow. His Pokémon was soaring at vast velocities towards the opposition, and although Murkrow had an ability to partially be able to see through the fog, trying to aim for a blinding target added an ever greater difficulty.

    Harriet was again the only one who could witness most of the impact, seeing the cascading lights bouncing to and fro across the stadium. The others were only blinded further by the rapid movements.

    Max lifted his eyes up to a slight gap in the disappearing Haze and managed to capture a glimpse of his precious bird zipping about through the open space, “Okay Murkrow, it’s time to give this battle a clear view now. Use your wings to blow the Haze away.”

    Roxanne impatiently anticipated, her anxiety building as the smoky darkness began to disappear out of the propped open windows. She could vaguely make out the collapsed and hunched over image of a large creature, sprawled across the floor directly in front of her – and she knew what had unfolded…

    Inside her pocket she managed to clasp onto two PokeBalls, dragging them out into the now sunlit room, “Nosepass, my-oh-my you were amazing, thank you dear old friend. Take a nice long rest… return!”

    As the beam struck hold of Nosepass’s mass, she quickly enlarged the other ball that sat comfortable in her left palm. With a rapid movement of her wrist it flew though the air and erupted a meteoric pouring of light that merged together instantaneously, creating a looming and rather intimidating long tailed Pokémon.

    “You’ve done splendidly up to this point Max, and I must congratulate you on your skilful knowledge, but Onix is a completely different task altogether and requires different tactics from you.” Her heart seemed emotionally unstable with the quivering tone of her voice and it was apparent that she was filled with a mixed set of opposite emotions – Max could clearly see that playing upon these would be beneficial.

    “If you say so Roxanne,” Max chuckled with an obvious attempt at humour, “However you have to beat Murkrow and I… let’s start things off quickly and charge with a Steel Wing!” Following the trend of the previous move and with utter elegance, a shimmering shine erupted over Murkrow’s glossy pruned wings. It tucked its head into a breast of feathers and embarked on a speedy descent.

    “We’re not going to fall for this again, dive underground Onix!”

    The bulky brute unexpectedly moved with precise determination, darting its head directly towards the ground as if it wasn’t even there. No fear ensued upon the Pokémon; the carefree nature just bubbled as Onix’s excitement flowed into its energy. Within the time of a blinking motion, Onix had vanished from sight leaving only a trail of dust cloud to show an obvious strength of force.

    “Murkrow, halt now and then climb back up, we need the distance!”

    “Onix, we’ve got them on the run, it’s time for you to show them the destruction of your Dragon Breath!! Resurface!”

    A quaky rumble unnerved both contestants as the floor they were standing upon began cracking and spewing little chunks of rubble throughout the stadium. Max had no time to react when one small crack enlarged and the ferocious body of the elongated rock type tumbled through, holding some form of spiralling green and yellow energy at the forefront of its gaping mouth. Murkrow too was taken aback and before it could calmly collect itself it was struck with an uttermost power of devastation that continued to rage its way until another object became the barrier for the movement. What was Max now facing?

    “Murkrow, return… quickly, take a long rest because I’ll need you later on!” Max reattached the PokeBall to his belt, before composing himself and retrieving another ball, “Charmander, it’s time for you to shine!” Another flash dispersed from the red and white ball, releasing the bouncy and cheerful fire type onto the pitch where it was greeted with a sinister looking smile.

    “Clever choice my young friend, but you still haven’t got the type advantage even if you can pack a punch… don’t forget that. Now Onix fire another Dragon Breath and this time charge it up for longer, this is the make or break!” The hulky rock type split open the jaws of his mouth letting the pure energy pour into a collective spiral. Charmander (who had yet to witness this amazement) could only stare blankly at the sheer strength being pummelled into a tight and compact space. He knew that destruction would inevitably follow if timings were only slightly off.

    “Charmander, don’t worry,” Max cheerfully responded, attached with gleaming sentiment painted onto his face, “We have something that can counter this… I think,” he scratched his head with puzzlement, “– all we need to do is try it out and then execute it, you understand?”

    Charmander warily nodded at Max’s scheme, his trust ran deep but he was struck with a fear of resentment at placing himself in the risky situation, still he acknowledged why. His eyes continued to glue themselves to the towering sight of bulging jade aura that held quite an impression over him.

    “Charmander, you need to concentrate buddy, don’t worry I’m here to guide you my friend. What I need you to do is blast it initially with an Ember the moment Onix releases it okay…” Max calmly spoke, keeping his attention locked upon the bubble of vigour so he could manipulate their timing.

    “Onix, we’ve given them enough time to accumulate a plan, time to show them how futile it is!” With the simple command given, Onix crinkled its body into a neatly tight curl using the whip of his tail to partially protect the area around his head. Now with a defensive measure put into play he retracted his head and thrust the immaculate ball of dragon power towards the measly image of Charmander.

    “You know what to do too Charmander, Ember now!” Charmander rapidly shot the numerous twists of burning fire directly at the oncoming monstrosity; hauling in a great deal of air to keep its’ onslaught going for as long as it could muster, and also to help bulk up his body a little to look a tad more aggressive. The streams of fire continued on towards their target, whistling as they projected themselves through the air. A few ricocheted around the spherical mass, sucked up because of the slipstream effect, and making impact but causing little damage to Onix. The majority of embers however degenerated the minute they struck the flaming lump falling through the stadium air with little to no affect at all. The Dragon Breath continued to rage onwards.

    “Charmander, don’t give up! I know you’ve got the strength in you to…” Max’s face despatched the entire emotional epidemic that had unravelled inside. The catastrophic entity had crashed directly into Charmander fusing the excreting lemon coloured fluid into an explosive bomb. The sooty substance stuck liberally to Charmander’s orange fluffy coat changing his pristine looking fur repulsively dirty; Max became partially covered in the dusty particles as Charmander whisked over his head, flicking a hand impulsively through his hair to remove some of the powder before aiding his friend.

    “Like I said Max, things aren’t as easy as you can perceive, and I’d recommend you move out of the way, now Onix finish this up with your Iron Tail!”

    Charmander began shaking with tremendous fear that coursed throughout its body from the paralytic shock it had just received. Through the corner of its eye it noticed the glimmering glow of a silvery long armament edging closer. It couldn’t hear any commands being yelled at it for a defence; in fact everything seemed very distant – too distant. Charmander decided to turn towards Max for comfort as panic ran through the deeper cores of its mind. Things didn’t quite add up though. Charmander saw the scared movements that Max’s mouth was making as if shouting and yelling something that it couldn’t perceive. The sight of his trainer as well was different, clouded with a fuzzy blur and blinding to the eye. Charmander was paralyzed… Max was unfortunately out of the picture unable to communicate to his friend and the only things it could possibly concentrate on were from within his heart and soul. Charmander now held the reins.

    He raised his body off the ground with simple ease, a sign that the overpowering essence may be wearing off? – only to notice a sandy powder brush past his face as a few faint silver colours emerged into the fuzz. Charmander instinctively leapt off the rocky floor entering into his own steel type attack. He used the uneven wall behind him as a spring and the hazy light shining through the window as a gage for his target noting the spectrum of colours that he could make out. The greyish distinctive ones were the only colours he deemed notable to detect.

    Amid all the confusion, Charmander cleanly swiped with his tail that made a clinking resonating sound upon impact and pushed the dreary colours away from him, Charmander at least knew that something movable had born the brute force of the attack.

    “Huh, how is that even possible?” Roxanne astoundingly stated, “That’s just… unbelievable. Max you really have created such a magic bond between all your Pokémon that they have the courage and determination to go for things even when the odds are clearly against them, or like in Charmander’s case when another element has control over it.” She shook her head at the disbelief, about to open her mouth again to utter another command when she captured the slight movement of the giant ominous Gym doors. They creaked open with a piercing squealing sound that ran shivers down the backs of everyone in the room; the old wooden frames hadn’t been loosened in years, and then a figure emerged. Roxanne recognised the spiky crimson hair against the backdrop of an afternoon sun with the occasional streak of black shining through, but the female standing next to him – she didn’t have a clue.

    “Hey Roxanne, hey Max,” Curtis paused as he captured the endearing smile and reflecting splendour emitting from Harriet’s pink eyes. His heart began to pump faster and his nerves began to bounce back and forth inside his fluttering stomach, “Hey there Harriet, I err,” he suddenly halted mid sentence, blossoming out into a rosy colour that matched perfectly with his attire, “Umm sorry about that, don’t mind us, we just wanted to come and catch the end of the battle… good luck Max!” His eyes were still fixed upon the immaculate beauty that sat in front of him, her smile widening at the sight of him.

    Max’s eyes were gripped to the lushes mauve hair flowing gently in a breeze creeping through the remaining crack, that was swiftly dealt with by the closing of the giant doors. He too was filled with an ecstatic feeling from gazing at shimmering love, “Hey there Curtis and… co, don’t worry about the interruption, in fact I think it just gave me a little boast,” Max s******ed, “Charmander Screech now!”

    Charmander, now free from the paralysis that had enslaved it earlier, flipped into action by bending its body slightly backwards to open the airways before drawing in a gulp of air. The torrents of pulsing sound waves ripped sadistically through the gap that sat between the two Pokémon, blasting the air from its sockets and moving them to their own will. Onix stood no chance and this was defined by the utter might that swept Onix off the solid earth it resided on and momentarily turned the rock type into a crashing meteor. The wall was left with a residual imprint of the lengthened body, stretching an enormous pan of over twenty metres, quite small for that species.

    “Onix, no – we let our guard down there my friend so this time we’ll also utilise distance, retaliate with your own Screech!”

    “Charmander, repeat your attack!” The same pattern as the attack moments earlier followed, ripping the stubborn rocks from their roots in the field, except this time from both directions. The two attacks rammed into each other with enough force to push both the Pokémon a few inches across the battle floor, scraping their bodies across the coarse floor. The strain on their faces portrayed the effort they were exerting, but neither seemed close to giving up.

    “Onix, add in more oomph!”

    “And Charmander, you do the same!”

    The gushes of brutally powerful air waves began interlocking together under the stress of more force, combing both jets through the resistance that was blocking both surges from proceeding. The determination on all their faces was the most narrative representation anyone could gage for the intensity and struggle unfolding. Neither side seemed ready to give up or even vaguely flinch from fear of a loss, things were irreparably underway.

    A sudden idea blazed into Max’s jade coloured eyes that glinted with utter excitement; he noticed a chance to get an edge in this battle even if it wasn’t by a conventional method.

    “Charmander, we’re going to switch things up, Ember now!” The whizzing stockades of fire immediately replaced the shrieking coil and pummelled against the opposing Screech. Roxanne lurched backwards as her surprise took a turn for the worse, seeping terror into the holes where the thrill had been. The rolling ripples were bouncing directly off the storming embers, being sent in multiple directions around the stadium, as surprisingly, the Ember continued forwards. The catalyst of events continued to spiral into the favour of Max, because even though the type wasn’t devastatingly effective it still managed to become an intolerable irritant and buy Max some extra time to consolidate all the plausible tactics.

    “Charge in with another Iron Tail while you keep bombarding them with your Ember right up until you unleash it, we’ve got them locked into our corner and it’s time to take the lead!”

    Charmander struck its feet vigorously into the unsteady gravel, not letting up with the salvo of scorching twists as he raced on forwards. A sneaky grin revelled itself upon his warming face as he sensed his notable lead, his slyness unravelling in this one moment as he noted the terror strike Onix. And that wasn’t all that would strike Onix.

    The rock type struggled to see visibly through the flashes of burning hot red scolders and wasn’t ready to face the brute attack, wasn’t ready to face a powerful blow, and with his guard down there was no way to soften the blow. The nippy flick of the strengthened tail, now coated with the steel armour, met its match with a direct and precise hit to the brooding head protruding from the blocked rock body. Onix keeled over, flailing in the fall, chiselling out a section of the wall as its body collapsed upon it.

    Brock’s attention became hawk eyed, prying his staring look on the motionless Pokémon propped up by a few pieces of rubble scoured from the wall. He noticed the occasional flinch that sparked through the body, but there was no real sign that it was able to enter into the battle again and withstand another slashing of Iron Tail.

    “I’m sorry Roxanne but… Onix is unable to battle, Charmander is the winner!”

    A cheerful round of applause echoed from the stands as the three youngsters commended Max and Charmander with a standing ovation; Harriet bobbing up and down from the pounding joy and pride of witnessing Max’s success.

    “You’re so close now Max, and I must admit you deserve all the praise you get because that win came out of nowhere. You and your Pokémon have trust that runs deep… I don’t know how many more times I’m going to be saying that today,” she chuckled, amusing herself while the comment seem to glaze over the others, “Umm, sorry, anyway – you need to be careful now and utilise the trust you have very carefully, especially against this next beast! Rhyperior, it’s now the occasion for your first Gym Battle!”

    A collage of red and white zipped across the stony ground until it burst its brims and ejected the purified energy. The light walloped onto a rocky ledge, unevenly merging into the form of some gargantuan Pokémon. Rhyperior ruptured through the glow that surrounded it, scattering it into numerous flashing particles that twinkled quite brightly. The Pokémon had breached the confines of its PokeBall screaming out a gregarious roar, the same that had nerved and terrorized Max at their first encounter. He never knew that Rhyperior was travelling with him all this time through their encounter with the human monsters that had invaded Oldale through their travels of Petalburg Forest. How could he have not known?

    “Roxanne… how could you not tell me? I, I, I don’t understand – why would you hide this from me?” Max emotionally uttered, holding back the droplets of tears that had entered the corners of his eyes.

    Roxanne looked blankly back, unsure of the correct way to phrase her response, but she had to say something, “Max, the Pokémon World is full of mysteries and there are people out there who want to find the answers, I for one am one of these people – and one of these mysteries is Rhyperior, he didn’t act intentionally but instead something was controlling him as I discovered after I captured him.”

    “Yea, but you could’ve told me Roxanne… I’m not angry just more, shocked I suppose,” he dimly chuckled, managing to muster a faint smile, “I kind of… never expected to see him again.”

    “And that’s completely understandable Max, and to be honest with you I’ve been training him for a while whenever I had the opportunity to do so and I was just waiting for the right minute to tell you, which never arrived.” She paused, deciding that changing the subject and starting the battle again was for the best, “He is a tough one to beat but as long as your emotions don’t take control then you have a good shot!”

    The muted mood had come like a gust of wind, taking Max over by surprise and depleting his rational thoughts. Now however, he needed to get the stimulation back, ignite the happiness again and take Rhyperior down as some sort of revenge. Then maybe he could get over it…

    He perked his attitude up, calmly sighed and offered a response, “Okay then Roxanne, I’m not going to disagree with there because Charmander and I are ready to win that badge, that’s something that’ll never waver! Now, Charmander go straight into your Screech!”

    The Pokémon released the ripples of power through the ever growing dusty air, due to the lumpy movement from Rhyperior creating clouds under foot. He didn’t seem too agitated by his opponent or too unnerved by the slight tiff, although it also wasn’t his ideal matchup and he hated hearing his trainer raise his voice in ager; but things were still just a game for the little rascal, the world had yet to reveal itself to him.

    The vibrations soared with great elegance and ease as if nothing viscous or resistant was hindering the progression. The two challengers had perfected their Screech offense and it seemed as if things were going exceptionally faultless, but masquerades were often Roxanne’s best tactic.

    “Rhyperior, hold your ground, this is only going to tickle you, then combat it with your Hidden Power!”

    He stopped lugging about his ferocious sized muscles and steadily balanced himself to brace for the incoming attack. His arms seemed to lock in place with the pointed edge hovering motionless, both horizontally stretched at a right angle with his main torso that was coated with the spectacular orange minerals, gleaming with their purified value. His bulky stature left him firm and secure, resistant to the overpowering waves that resiliently struck him, but nothing happened, zilch. The sound ambience only traced around his body before crashing against the wall in the renewed shape of Rhyperior, and indenting this vivid impression amongst the other battle scars.

    The expressive rock type uprooted itself from its withdrawn position, bringing substance and solution back into its limbs and retrieving the momentary loss of motion. Rhyperior shrieked a howling roar from the pits of his fierce soul while crossing his rudimentary arms and charging them with secretive supremacy displayed by a white pulsing force. It took effortless simplicity to channel the compressed power into something worth throbbing through the barriers of his body and directing towards what he classed as a feeble adversary, but even though it was what he deemed a task unworthy of being augmented he felt an obligation towards his trainer.

    Max recognised the extent of harm conjured into this one basic yet evil move, capable of knocking his pal down with only a few seconds of exposure, “Charmander, jump into an Iron Tail and use it to bounce off the Hidden Power if it comes close to hitting you, and then come down with all your might upon him, we won’t get a second chance!”

    Once again Charmander’s tail was chemically changed with the alteration of the additional steel element, secreting its injection of a hardened material throughout the fiery hot flesh with a gushing distilled liquid. As the propelling offense weaned its way closer, he utilised the spring like quality now available and shot upwards, narrowly avoiding a date with destruction, however now came the tricky bit.

    His thrashing antics as he descended in an uncontrollable spin made it harder to gage an appropriate timing or course trajectory, but as Roxanne had put into words earlier, allowing emotions to run your systems would be detrimental in itself. The only thing he could do was hope for the best, and so, trying to cut off any distracting thoughts, he brandished his courage and swept at the streaming energy beam with his tail.

    Roxanne felt that she should be accustomed to these outlandish victories over common sense, but this just about tipped the fumigating pressure building. She was outright bemused at the triumph Charmander had accomplished, although only a small step in reaching a win, but… successful nonetheless. His thrust with his tail upon an already unstable energy field below him had somehow, without leaving even a mark, boosted the Pokémon across the stadium battle field with the reflecting exquisiteness still bellowing underneath him, until his tail made a harsh sounding noise against the bulging head of Rhyperior. The Hidden Power came to an abrupt stop.

    “Huh? No way – seriously Max you have brought an entire army of luck with you today, except I think it may have just run out… try and get out of this one. Rhyperior use your Rock Wrecker now!”

    Those words even sent a chilling blow down Brock’s back as he came to the conceding conclusion of how powerful Rhyperior must’ve been in order to learn it and how much stronger his potential would’ve expanded. In all his years as a travelling breeder, he was yet to meet someone with the capable handling abilities to control, let alone teach a Pokémon this move. In blatant terms, this attack was some sort of celebrity, even considered a legend amongst a few citizens and he was about to witness the capabilities and awesomeness that the move was about.

    Rhyperior cupped its two hand like appendages as if holding a fragile antique that was of most importance to a relative. Spiralling swirls of a range of browns began orbiting a central point of origin, assembling together in the centre as a hulk of an object; rough edges and smooth faces on show for everyone to see. The uneven sphere kept on growing, expanding the cupped hands even further to hold such a humungous item unknown to most. The superiority of it was indeed obvious as both Max and Charmander had seemed to bow down to its sovereignty, not even willing to stage a fight, and with one dynamic push it was on its way to victory.

    There was no time for Charmander to escape the clutches of this shattering boulder, for within moments of its release it had dawned straight upon him. Brock expected the ball to whip Charmander up and attach it like some sort of limb to an outer extremity, instead though the instant it touched the Pokémon it shattered and distributed shards and shrapnel of the beasty attack. Charmander had been blown a full course of the field and his momentary rest was the comfort of a solid wall.

    “Charmander is down for the count; Roxanne and Rhyperior are the winners,” Brock politely muttered, “Both sides are now down to their last Pokémon, the winner of this next battle is the overall victor of the match, begin!”

    Max was left with a dumbfound look smacked into his expression, he had no time to react to such a monster of an attack, even the charging time had been outstandingly fast. His chances had diminished pretty rapidly with the introduction of Rhyperior and Rock Wrecker, and he thought he had the win in the bag. Charmander had dealt two direct hits of fairly dominant attacks to Rhyperior and all it took was one of his to send Charmander out of the battle completely. Max had no idea of what he was sending Murkrow in to.

    “Roxanne… that was just awesome – I must admit, and I congratulate you for all the training you’ve given Rhyperior to become trusted by him, and I’m glad you brought him into this match, it’s a chance to see what I can become, so, Murkrow I need you again!” With more confidence than before, he tossed the circular capsule for the last time this match into the centre of the now obsolete field. With an essence of vitality, the Pokémon emerged free from the screen of paleness, immediately streaming its look into the returned intimidating glare of Rhyperior’s. Murkrow was ready, even if Max wasn’t he had to be!

    “Rhyperior we can’t give them any momentum to think at all, we need them on the run, so let’s go into your Megahorn!” Roxanne screamed with a pumping need for urgency, originating from her stupid idea of insecurity battling Max, feeling as if she needed to show him that she too had the ultimate drive to achieve ideal techniques and was more than proficient at wiping the floor with anyone. Although Max didn’t require convincing of this, her head dabbled at the thought.

    “Murkrow, we have speed on our side, so toy with Rhyperior and then double back and attack it with your Steel Wing!”

    The sluggish movements from Rhyperior that outstandingly looked as if they derived from the bright rhythmic horn that was supposedly the cause for Rhyperior to unbalance itself considerably, alerted the Pokémon while it casually drifted along invisible currents, ruffling the glossy feathers a smidgen from the gradual vector of descent it had begun. His opposition was almost beneath him, so he started to swerve to the right and to the left in some sort of confusion tactic. His hopes of challenging the capacities of Rhyperior’s brain and undermining any pre conceptions the Pokémon may have come to for defence ploys were working. Before long he had surpassed Rhyperior’s point and entered into a graceful u-turn, using one silvery tipped wing as a pivot.

    “Rhyperior, look out from behind you, try and…” Roxanne experienced the blundering curse of sure fire sentence stops, by her plans and next steps being smashed by what was commonly, an opposing attack, “Ugh, Rhyperior – sorry about that, I should have factored that in, looks like we’re going to have to draw them in to get a close attack, so how about another Rock Wrecker?”

    A sediment of horror sliced Max’s usual joyous look for the infinite moment this match, as the looming scare of yet another serious blow had been entered into the fray… again. His mouth began to move to let rip a set of commands, but as the dripping surge of sweat accumulating on his uppermost lip suggested, his tongue was fumbling around with the words. Luckily for him, Murkrow had encountered quite a few occasions when instinct and quick reactions were inevitable and therefore Max yet again lost the pedals of control and his Pokémon was running the show.

    Murkrow opened a small crack in its beak, seeping the shadow energy into a compact structure for another barrage of Shadow Balls, this time consecutive and aimed at one precise place, the jewel like plating growing from the rocky torso. As Max had stated earlier, uttering indeed needed and accurate words, their speed was going to play the advantage and aide them willingly. This had become evident with the fully formed Shadow Ball waging against the half created span of the boulder, easily dodged with a manoeuvrable roll. With a bright chance that was clearly irresistible and the fact that the rock element was still being transferred through the holes in Rhyperior’s palms, the raining shower of shadow matter began.

    Because of the vast weight that fastened Rhyperior in one position, added of course by the enormous creation being born in the centre of its hands, the rock type had no chance to utilise the mallet shaped tail that’s speciality was as a protection device. No matter how fun it would’ve been to watch the tail play baseball with the obtrusive daemon substances raring to spill their ghastly hibernated pain, Rhyperior just wasn’t prepared.

    The impact of the splitting eerie balls repeatedly colliding with the gem like tablets was so strong that it toppled the giant of a Pokémon and prematurely released the minefield of hardened earth at an unknown angle and direction, luckily one that avoided any chance of having contact with a living creature in the Gym Hall. The onslaught of hailing hurt concluded after that brief scare, but Murkrow had successfully sent a round of roughly fifteen Shadow Balls to force their might against the unwieldy stature and bring the being to the ground, stopping its control of the situation momentarily.

    “No,” was the simplistic remark exploding from Roxanne’s shaky lips, “This battle has been one shock after another… Max, you’ve managed to combat just about anything I’ve thrown at you, and I know that this one tactic didn’t happen to be your idea, but still - friends normally follow trends set by other members of that friendship circles, meaning just about everything derives from you.” Her posture seemed to stiffen and tremble from the odd mixture of emotions bubbling about her body: that of anger yet admiration blending to form a misshaped cake. Max thought it best to provide some sort of console.

    “To be absolutely fair to my Pokémon… and you, we’ve spent much of our time around you, learning from you, being taught by you so I presume that all our ideas somehow come from you then. And to be honest, they basically set all this up, think back to earlier with Charmander’s seemingly ineffective Screech.

    “I’m just guessing from sources of information I’ve read, but if I remember correctly Screech can have two properties, one being the noticeable attack, known as primary but also a secondary occurrence, such as the Dragon Breath having a residual impact on Charmander causing the paralysation that previously hindered it. So, putting all that together, Rhyperior’s defences were probably lowered mentally by slowing down his aptitude to react and thus having a physical affect on the Pokémon.”

    Brock, who had up to now decided to watch a rather entertaining battle unfold, thought it best that he add in some guidance of his own; although what Max had said had been pretty accurate; Brock liked to thing that it had something to do with the amount of time they had spent travelling.

    “The boy is right Roxanne, I did actually question whether Charmander had somehow done this by the damage caused by his Iron Tail, and it seems I was correct, you really do have a struggle on your hands,” Brock interjected with a serious fixed state; quite like a robotic computer birthed only to provide information, “But with that knowledge you now know the extent of Max’s prowess.”

    “I’m not going to ever dispute that again Brock, I truly have underestimated Max’s ability to perform, and the fact he noted the residual Screech effect when I didn’t is all the proof I need.”

    “Kind regards are taken in Roxanne, but I’m not here to chat – Murkrow it’s now time for one last sweep of your Steel Wing while Rhyperior is still weak from your Shadow Ball… go!”

    By the appearance of solemn acceptance slowly becoming visible in Roxanne, Harriet assumed that the Gym Leader had already acknowledged defeat and was preparing for the end of a heated and exuberant encounter. Roxanne still showed the mature signs of a smile though, presumably because Max had been accompanying her for so long. It was time to experience what parents did and let go of the fun burden of caring and shielding.

    Her hand delicately twizzled a rigid curl that had unfolded from the neatly tied bun, leaving her fixated eyes on the oncoming fairytale like Pokémon, readying itself to deliver the final blow to her newest capture. It too seemed okay to face defeat.

    The fortified glistening wings only grazed past Rhyperior, but contained enough power to effortlessly fling the bulk callously into the wall; the same one that had been on the receiving end of numerous meetings already today. Once the Pokémon peeled off, keeling over onto the floor as if it were some comfy bed, the scorch marks of the day’s pains were notably visible as small crumbs of rock were still plunging out.

    “Rhyperior is unable to battle, Max and Murkrow are the victors and the Gym Win goes to the challenger!”

    The three bodies that were closely perched on the edges of their seats leapt up with pure excitement, slamming their hands together in robustious applause. The amount of emotions stored inside gurgled out in an impressive way, while their clunky shoes echoed thumping beats on the polished wood. Harriet seemed the most boisterous among them, beaming her fulfilled amazement onto Max, “You did it Max! You did it!”

    “Ha,” he snorted, “I really did! I’ve just won!”

    Max clasped the tight spherical orbs upon his belt instantaneously, giving no thought to anything but the creatures that had cemented his win. The flashes then emerged one by one with the worn out Pokémon only moments behind, them too basking in an instant of happiness, “We’ve won guys, we’ve won! Thank you so much for all your hard work and I promise I won’t make it this difficult again… Thank You!

    A faint red glow shimmered into the corner of Max’s eyes accompanied with the monotone appearance of soft glistening particles; the light then retracted back the way it came. He looked up and thankfully grinned at the fairly young, suited up lady approaching while slipping a PokeBall into a cut out pocket on the frilly cloth of the navy skirt.

    “Max, now where do I begin? I truly have seen remarkable accomplishment in your progression from the young naïve trainer to what you are today, and it didn’t take you long to accept the truth of what it meant to be a Pokémon trainer…” her tanned blush caused her to halt in her praises, “I think that’s all I’m going to muster to say besides this: you are awarded a certified league badge from the City of Rustboro, the Stone Badge to anyone else.”

    She thrust the shiny arrow shaped emblem into the secure warmth of Max’s palm, adequately planting her assistance forever into him with the declaration of the badge. He could only look at her with honour and gratitude, as any slight noise would spill the happiest of tears down his flushed cheeks, and anymore face movement would probably result in the same action. It was simpler and more peaceful to take consolidation in the tough win, setting him up for future glory across Hoenn.

    *****



    As the reddish rays of voluptuous sweetness kissed the lonely shores of Rustboro’s beach, the residing waves longingly hugged the beach and the sandy earth halted with the distillation of the wind that no longer seeped a breath of coldness. In the centre of this usual mirage, a huddle of delight was noticeable over the hazy murk of the dispersing spring warmth. This memorable scene was something normally digitally mastered by travel companies as tokens to sell brochures but something was indeed blessing the group with goodwill and they were having the most tremendous time.

    A few small creatures bounded past the heating stack that poured out tender smells of the manufactured product known as meat, dripping with the oily juices that only made temptation lust further. But the partying, enjoyment and dancing would continue for hours to come as celebration to an achievement and victory. Max was no longer bound by thoughts of ranking as inferior in knowledge and was free to be handed a few pieces of the wheel to his future, expanding his horizons and dreams through exploration. This however came at a price for Roxanne, being given the old dutiful restrictions a Gym Leader takes on, but now she always had a helper and dear friend to rely on whenever she needed it, that of the old Rock Leader Brock. He had been deeply touched by the day’s encounter of overcoming bridges and rectifying friendships that had truly flourished from the unlikeliest of places, and was sure that the four youngsters singing their hearts out in front of him had delightful destinies ahead in whatever branch of Pokémon they entrusted themselves to follow. Life was ever bright and ever beautiful!
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  14. #44
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey: Chapter 22

    Hey everyone. Enjoy!
    As per usual, for you - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2 - made by DanChimchar and is just a bit of fun : )


    Chapter 22: Like a Burmy to a Flame

    A flustering breeze entered through the wide opened window, pushing its way past the plain coloured curtains that trapped most of the streaming light filtering in. The view that was now visible was not the same as the previous mornings, for the four young companions had moved into the luscious, spacious and indulgent quarters that Roxanne hosted in her luxuriously wooden home; an atmosphere of history running deeply throughout the beams of the building. In a contrary to the historic feel, the new beginnings that had been revealed over their stay in Rustboro had led them on new paths or slightly altered their original routes and methods. Training techniques, opportunities of winning, unique styles; all these had to be changed or adapted due to these occurrences, but even though hard work lay afoot the fresh and distinct feeling was a welcome and pleasurable high.

    Max had stirred the minute the bursting light emitted through the transparent glass that acted as a barrier of protection for any inhabitant inside the building. He was flowing with exuberant happiness over his very tight victory against Roxanne the day before, which saw him pull momentous strategies and some instinctive signature moves against the resistant rock types. And he had succeeded, barely… But now the road of Hoenn was left afloat for him and he had been pushed into the glaring fore front of it all by his part time fellow traveller. Alone, now slipping into his own comfortable shoes, he was about to embark on what was a completely new journey – or so he thought. This idea had kept him up all night, pondering over the delicate enquiries of this new prospect until the burden of tiredness overwhelmed him, but the sun had other plans and brought him too again with its initial blinking light. Max could only dream for sleep.

    The cosy blankets that neatly rested against Max’s body were quickly discarded to one end of the bed. His wooden sanctuary was tucked neatly into far corner of the large wooden room that was resembled in the image of a deluxe 18th century master bedroom. On the opposite side of the room to him lay a separate door that led into an en suite bathroom, fitted with the most stupendous and ravishing bath decor he could possibly imagine. The walls were coated in swish shades of blue, dotted here and there with mirrors to reflect the elegant image of the onlooker. The shower, as he thought, could’ve room to fit everyone staying in the house at this moment and even then everyone would have ample and equal space. Gym Leaders lives seemed… magnificent.

    He passed by the other three beds that had their own adolescent lumps piled into the snug sheets quite cautiously, for he feared waking the two beauties from their sleep and invoking a form of female anger, and if he were to wake Curtis then all he’d hear would be ‘Harriet this, Harriet that’ and he certainly wasn’t ready for that torment so early in the morning. Peace and tranquillity was what he sort at this precise time.

    The bathroom’s aroma was buzzing with flowery scents whose atoms mingled in the tepid air forming new and exquisite perfumes that were a mere reminder of the world’s majesty. Roxanne was very clever with her orientation of house objects and items, and the same went with her bathroom furnishings and popery. At some point during her free time she had obviously toiled with the different smells produced by the different arrangements and come to a conclusive decision on which fragrance was going to accompany her fabulously royal sea bathrooms and be a delighting gift for any lodger.

    He was eager to hop straight into the longing shower with its widespread head poised to send a gushing flow of soothing water all over his body and serenely remove any hostile emotions and thoughts, sending Max into a dazed and high state.

    He slowly sauntered over to the cubicle in which he would be engulfed with relaxation and hastily jumped into the movements of removing his night garments, which then quickly piled up rather untidily in a small heap against one corner of the expansive bathroom. He didn’t seem to mind the messy nature he was in and followed one act with another, leaving what was a folded towel hunched by the shower exit and rather haphazardly laying out a water mat for which he would emerge onto. Max was most dedicated on receiving his well deserved shower…

    Once inside the roomy shower he hurriedly twisted the water knob and sent a torrential flow of tepid water over his body, immediately cocking his head backwards and basking in its soothing skills. The warm raining water was his home of residence for the now, and he would make that last for as long as he could.

    *****



    A faint whistling of numerous hoots entered the soft void of Harriet’s dreams, merging her conscious mind into her subconscious, only briefly, with the addition of rabid creatures that were bleating a somewhat generic alarm noise at her as she stood on the number one podium at the Hoenn Grand Festival. It wasn’t then long before she was propelled out into the real world to realise that those odd noises emanating from the beings were in fact Pokémonsounds.

    Her eyes swelled up with a surge of early morning tears, only produced from sheer tiredness coursing through her body and the additional tint of blinding sunlight. Harriet brushed them out of her eyesight before following the trend of Max and making an initial act of checking the other beds to see what young lumps still lay peacefully tucked under their bedding and which faces were content with budding dreams. To her dismay she noticed that she wasn’t the first of the four youngsters to awaken, and that Max, the ever budding trainer, had successfully beaten her to it. Although for some reason this pained her, a slight smirk materialized on her lips as she remembered her victory over Max in the Pokémon Contest, and she deemed that more of a triumph.

    She firmly sat upright in her bed as she grabbed a copy of a local teenage magazine, fully expecting that the bathroom were to be occupied by a certain early riser, but as usual she was meticulous about matters and so gave a slight glance over in the direction of the door. The instantaneous look of puzzlement and horror was slapped predominantly on her untouched face, causing her to switch her gaze to that of her PokéGear and blink with the same complexion of confusion. Harriet, a child normally filled with serene calmness felt that something was utterly wrong.

    *****



    Roxanne, herself an early riser on regular occasions, ambled down her varnished mahogany stairs with the furry fabric of her unworn white fluffy dressing gown trailing behind her. She was most ecstatic to be back in the safe comforts of her Gym and home, ready to face the predictable challenges of being a Gym Leader and amidst all those trainers that she would inevitably face could be another shining character just like Max who was eager to tackle any opposing force that stood in his way. Yes, she was filled with a solemn remorse about leaving Max to travel singlehandedly, however, as had been proven to her on countless occasions he was capable of facing adversity and now had three other young Pokémon handlers there to chivvy him along if he derailed from his given track. She was though slightly sickened by the thought of abandoning him, and giving up the compelling and invigorating passions of travelling.

    Set back into autopilot mode, she cornered the door frame and briskly entered into the spacious kitchen that seemed cleaner than when she left, obviously the talented work of Brock’s hand. In the centre, surrounded by hoards of delicately handcrafted oak chairs that also glistened with a coating of dark brown varnish was an antique chunky table ornate with pristine silverware and a bouquet of summer flowers poised in the middle. The only thing that was mildly odd about the scene in front of her was the additional figure of Max crumpled in a contemplating pose and slumped over the shining surface. The deep thinking features etched into his face were a worrying sight for anyone because he wasn’t known for his analytical moods, in fact having him sitting there immaculately cleaned and dressed at seven am was in itself a remarkable fact.

    Her rampant bewildered thoughts were quickly shattered by the hard and concrete foot patterns that were creaking through the upstairs floor, yet these didn’t seem to stir any response in Max, he was too far gone into the deep realms of his thoughts. With her fast tuned in eyes she followed the clunking sounds as they made their way across the refurbished landing that had recently been decorated with priceless ancestral art and exotic potted plants that were dotted amongst the many twists and turns of the first floor; it could’ve easily been classed as a maze with the odd door here and there just to misguide the intrepid explorers. Soon though, after what sounded like a few wrong turns and backtracks, the noises began to make their way down the stairs, itself now accustomed to fame with the new grand and posh red carpet that was strewn down the endless flight of steps.

    “Max? Max, where the hell are you? Max…” Even before a recognisable face emerged around the doorway Roxanne could tell who owned the bubbly and frantic voice that seemed to drown out any peaceful cries from Pokémon or the whistling rustle of the wind that managed to creep in through the windows.

    “Oh, Roxanne, funny to meet you here, I’m looking for…” Harriet’s quire fire stutters almost immediately faded away when she noticed the image of Max papered with an intellectual expression, a side she had never been privy to witness, “Sorry Roxanne, but it looks like I’ve found what I was searching for… We’ll be right back.” With that, she sped over to Max, hoisting her hand around his collar and practically lifting him from his seat that he seemed at peace and comfort in. Within a matter of seconds he and Harriet had vanished through a traditional patterned door that swiftly closed behind them, as if set on automatic, giving it some time to resettle after the brisk encounter with young buoyancy. Roxanne however hadn’t been given a chance to change her facial composure and looked more stunned than she had initially been, resorting to a slow acknowledging shake of the head and a slight chuckle to quench a few nerves that had been aroused.

    “I’ll have you know, I don’t see how it’s funny to meet me here, and after all I believe I do own this kitchen…” she delicately muttered being casual about her tone and stating it merely for the pure pleasure of stealing another silent chuckle. In the midst of a hefty giggle she briefly turned to face the closed doors through which the intrepid duo had fled, pondering for a moment over the circumstances that led them there… But she knew that her role of a constant supporter was now huddled over to the sidelines and that these other youngsters would begin to take over her job, and it was best to let them begin straight away.

    *****


    The contemporary coloured room was dimly lit by the sunlight reflecting the elegance of the white flowery pattern papered onto the fabrics in the window. The normally tranquil backroom, home to formal and relaxed discussions, was rudely invaded with hostility and anxious babble, emanating from both Harriet and Max’s mouths as they uneasily argued away.

    “You’ve got to tell me Max, come on! What harm can come of it?” Harriet pleaded inviting her solemn and innocent face to mask her fears, hoping it would drive something out of him, “Max… we’ve known each other for a few months now and have become good friends, or so I think, so surely you understand that you can trust me – I’m here for you.”

    “Harriet, it’s not that simple… look…”

    “No you look mister, can’t you see that I know you Max, I know your routine and so on after only a few months, doesn’t that show you anything?” Her same pleading look engaged an emotional gulp from Max, grudgingly invoking a painful twist of the stomach, “And that’s how I know that something’s really bugging you - now don’t tell me that it’s not simple!”

    “Harriet – I don’t really know what to say; besides you’d find it wimpish anyway!”

    “Max, nothing is going to change my opinion of you, seriously - gosh darn it, can’t you see I’m just being your friend here, no ulterior motive, no nothing! I just want to help…” she ferociously stated whilst slamming her fist down on the black marble coffee table that was the centre ornament of the room, and quite proudly blended into the colour scheme of the walls and furniture.

    Max felt a building rage inside of him for Harriet knew exactly which buttons to press, and this… this just irritated him for it meant her statements were then obviously just and truthful leaving him with no reasons to back down. Somehow he had to extinguish the angst and fruitfully expel the anger without leaving scorch marks on his friendship, for this was what he truly needed and was partially woven into his mind boggling problem.

    His eyes fixed upon a creamy patch of the furry carpet that tickled the feet underfoot; he felt that glaring at an inanimate object would cause no harm and allow his rage to travel through the fierce look and then fade away.

    “Okay, well…” he sighed, puffing out his cheeks a little as if in a theatrical act, “I suppose Rustboro is the problem really, looking at it all in a big picture. Since basically the start of my travels after meeting Roxanne, I’ve known that this day was going to happen - where I will continue onwards and Roxanne would stay behind manning her Gym once again, but… I suppose I never expected it to be such a life changing decision.”

    Harriet’s face dropped a little as she reflected upon the amiable bond between Roxanne and Max, and how although practically a short period of time had passed they had experienced more than most people would dare to in a year. Through that, a reliability and trust would have been created, and in some sense a dependency on each other. No matter what they always had each other’s back and that meant a great deal to the both of them, she knew this was indeed the case with Roxanne just by watching her mood and behaviour over the recent days and her willingness to overcome Max in the battle to obviously keep him around for a longer stay, and now it also seemed to be the same deal for Max. The two trainers had grown accustomed to the other and a built up connection now seemed as if it was going to be broken by one act.

    “Max, I… I don’t know what to say – I guess the only thing I can say is… is that I’ll always be here no matter what, maybe not constantly but I know we’ll always keep meeting along the road…” Her voice trailed off into the shadows of her mouth, the speech being eaten up as her will to comfort seemed to dissipate and a lack of words began to conquer. Ideas solely concocted in the head always appeared to be better before being implemented!

    “It’s okay Harriet, as I said I knew this was coming up but its hit me harder than I expected,” his depression was very evident in his tone and shone like a beacon through his choice of words, but there was still some sort of flicker of hope in his eyes that hadn’t yet succumbed to the pressure of sadness, “Actually though, I suppose travelling on my own for a little while will be quite a something and will also give me chances to become more independent than before, but yea – I’m going to miss my early travelling days!”

    “That’s perfectly acceptable Max…” Harriet remarked slumping into the cosy sofa right next to Max, yielding to her own thoughts and ideas that began to whiz around her brain, hanging onto some thought that left her slightly blushed and flustered, but luckily for her Max was engrossed in his own thinking. She turned her head towards the incoming light, mulling over the cross fire words that were exchanged as they both awaited the morning rush that was about to ensue… in the form of a mass stampede for breakfast.

    *****



    The delicate kitchen table now had spewed out cutlery and dishes laden with crumbs and coloured runny residue symbolic of the feasting that had occurred. Grubby paws were wearily finishing off any last piece of morsel that they could reach or that had somehow slipped through the ritual eating, slowly and decisively wearing down the fast paced action.

    “Well I best get back to the Gym today to prepare myself for the journey home later this week,” the squinting Kanto Gym leader mentioned as his hovering friend, often confused with a gigantic lump of rock, whisked Brock’s utensils and used dishes over to the foaming sink, “And maybe to get surprised by a number of budding challengers, although I doubt any can compare to how well you performed yesterday Max!”

    “Thanks Brock, I forgot how much your compliments were motivational, seems like a lot has changed since last time then! But remember to give your love to your family if I don’t see you before you leave!”

    “Certainly will young man.”

    A red headed teenage boy, dressed in the most remarkable electric blue attire that somehow elegantly suited the style and colourings of his hair, leaned back in his chair gaping one huge sigh of content, “Ah, this just goes to show the positivity this city has to offer! Bonds really grow here, whether through the Contests or Gym Battles, it’s still one in the same… now hasn’t Rustboro just been the most inviting City yet! And the food, where do I begin… Wow, I definitely want to come back here!”

    “And you’d be most welcome back here at any point,” Roxanne eagerly smiled, suiting the shining look that was all over her face, “And that goes for all of you, you’re all brilliant young trainers with bright futures ahead of you and I’d love to keep in contact with your progress.”

    Max looked up from his grainy plate, plastered with red stains and toasted crumbs signifying the indulgent meal he had recently scoffed. His eyes made contact with the opposing but gentle stare of Roxanne, who through the meek yet humble camouflage of her complexion portrayed sorrow and angst at him leaving, begging for their travelling union to stay stable even though it was hopeless.

    An approving and empathetic silence whisked into action, sitting harmlessly on all their shoulders as they embraced the prospect of future, even if they felt they were clutching the last few specks of hope. Max was wholeheartedly angst with a terrible throw of solemn sadness but couldn’t find any form of energy to express it. Everything for him seemed on the verge of collapsing in on itself, especially now he knew what would soon follow in the conversation at hand.

    “So, I suppose looking on at the future seems like quite a remarkable and exciting thing, building on your anticipation of future careers and paths, future goals and achievements, am I right?” Roxanne offhandedly remarked.

    “Indeed that is so,” Curtis quickly responded, suddenly enthused with the accessible energy from his hefty breakfast that no longer held him captive like a beasty lump in his chair, “I mean, Rose and I have the same conflicting goal to top one another in the realms of Contests, however through our rivalry we’ve been able to form a partnership and have now decided that we’re going to travel with each other to each new destination no matter what is ahead… and that’s a future full of unknown PPokémonsecrets, whatever they may be!” Curtis quick fired, and at such a pace that clearly showed the excitement that had begun to brew inside his courageous heart. Their new purple haired companion nodded with a breaking joy, not wishing to say much because she was content enough with the delicacies she had just consumed.

    “Wow, now I like the sound of that, especially considering that you yourself mentioned that the both of you have conflicting interests in a way, even though again as you have stated you follow the same paths! The whole topic of far off plans plunges us in deep and theoretical realms and possibilities, and taking whatever is readily available is a great start to deliverance from set structures and set ways,” Roxanne ecstatically stated, with the subtle undertone of ongoing hints directed at a certain sluggish creature slumped over a chair, or so it seemed.

    Harriet, as per usual thanks to her bubbly and energetic nature, felt the rush and surge of an electric new vision after the mature members’ comments, a future full of brisk yet secure uncertainty. This was indeed a thrill that for her was going to be unmistakably hard to not try and emulate or collaborate with in whatever way she could.

    “Harriet?” Curtis questioned while his mouth had the attached grin of achievement papered all over it, as the not so restrained actions of Harriet caught everyone’s attentions, “Something on your mind?”

    “Do you really need me to state that Curtis?” She laughingly joked, filled with her usual romantic blush whenever the remarkable tones of Curtis’ voice echoed in her ear.

    “Well I suppose not – so pre-empting that question of yours, if Rose agrees, as I’m sure she will,” he calmly said, giving his own subtle look towards Max, and then the required plead towards Rose, “We’d be happy to have you around!”

    The unnerving, yet oddly peaceful silence ensued Curtis’ last remark, with a very clear agreement to differ apparent on a certain someone’s face. Harriet, although over the moon with the chance at such a personal and career enhancing offer, had the nagging and unquestionable factor of Max left with sickening tendencies in her thoughts. Though, before she could deliver the harsh blow of reality to Curtis and his offer, the ticking time bomb on her right finally blew. A normally celebrated and relaxed morning was slowly slipping into the routine soap drama, and their unpredictability was also merging into this present situation.

    “No, No, No, No, No, No, No!” Max’s noticeable anger droned, knocking everyone aback with his sheer cold hearted reaction that had inevitably caused the absence of the usual cheerful flowing nature that often occupied him, “You can’t force her to do anything Curtis!”

    Flabbergasted piercing eyes glared in Max’s direction as he uttered the ridiculous yet kind hearted and motivational words at Curtis, truly showing his support for his Coordinator aspiring friend with deep and caring utterances. He wasn’t ready to stand there and watch more friendships be ripped away, or so it seemed to Max.

    “Don’t worry buddy, if Harriet does decline then that’s her decision, but on another note, don’t think we’d forget you. I was just about to propose the same thing to you, again if you wish to of course!”

    Max, unfortunately rather taken aback to by what seemed to him unexpected opportunities, just slumped back into his chair with a fastening embarrassment becoming terribly obvious.

    “Woh, Max come on now, we both know that times are going to be relatively odd after we all leave here but you can be reassured that whatever happens we will all stay in contact,” Harriet heatedly remarked, being swift in her own movements to quickly interject her own thoughts.

    “Indeed young Harriet is correct,” Roxanne commented, still postured as normal, not noticeably fazed by the present vocal session commencing in her kitchen, “It is as we’ve just discussed everyone’s future, so as a due courtesy, Harriet should have the choice.”

    With a female signalling of thanks masked by the grin referencing her ingenious ploy, Harriet altered her attention back towards the conflicting agendas, ready to deliver the boys a compulsory challenge.

    “You guys know what? I think the best way to sort this out is with a Pokémon Battle, well wouldn’t you agree?” Harriet projected, “So now you’ve got one! The only difference will be that both Rose and I shall participate too, if that’s of course what she wants, considering we don’t jump to conclusions Max! Now, hopefully this shall allow you to release all that anger some other way!”

    “I’d never decline an opportunity like that,” Rose, the seemingly quiet girl muttered softly, “And it’d certainly be good practice for my next Contest so you boys better not think it’s all about power!”

    “Too right there, and never a moment too soon, so you boys ready?”

    The group of raring teens seemed to have already placed their differences behind them at the sudden prospect of a Pokémon Battle, fleeing from the short and sweet scene of the entanglement to the majestic universal light of a mid morning sun, fleshing its’ rays upon a dusty and fashioned entrance conveniently placed to Roxanne’s Gym. Today however, it was acting as a Red Carpet to the delights of Rustoboro’s beach where the adolescents were about to commence in their final Rustboro showdown.

    Letting go of a sharp and precise sigh, Roxanne clambered out of her elegantly designed chair, ready to face what had become an unspoken expectation. Before closing the door to what was usually a commonly undisturbed home, she uttered a few murmurs that resonated as, “Fine, I’ll referee again then…”

    *****



    The brisk light danced like specks of glistening magic upon the fiery hot beach, already baking with intense heat from such a short time period of a penetrating sun. A calm sea retired behind them, rhythmically flowing to and fro like bursts of a roaring crowd. Everyone was psyched and pumped to prove to one another their real and true potential through the bond they all individually had with their trusted friendly partners.

    Every member of the budding four raced into active positions against one another, with Max and Curtis immediately staring each other down, except now with the added touch of friendliness apparent. Rose and Harriet however, with yet no clear idea of which side to face off on, withdrew PokeBalls from their belt having already decided upon their choice.

    “Okay then,” Roxanne said, after finally having caught up with the group on a tremendously fast paced run, “Harriet and Rose you’re partner will be decided on by the boys choosing… I know a tad unfair but it’s an easier way of going about things. So boys,” she decisively remarked, “Whoever calls upon their Pokémon first will be the first to decide upon their partner… Go!”

    In an effortless race the two young adolescents produced a PokeBall within their hand in no time at all; the glimmering majesty of the capsules truly shining in the incredible beacon of light that had succulently fluttered upon them. Emerging from the twinned coloured balls, the great lights swivelled until the formation began and dispersed leaving the enticing body of the two Pokémon. Except however, the wings tinted an extremely dark navy blue were the first noticeable attributes to be seen over the light, and thus Max and Murkrow were the first ones, leaving them victorious.

    “So Max, who would you like to be paired up with?”

    The safe and comforting glint of passion returned quite rapidly to Max’s jade dyed eyes as his gaze connected with Rose before giving her an affirmed nod of agreement. “I’d like to be partnered with Rose please Roxanne!”

    “Okay then, looks like our teams are sorted and without further ado… begin!”

    The clambering of popping noises emanated in their ears for a brief session, as the two girls released their friends out into the field. The form of Harriet’s newly seen trusted Burmy appeared, extending its foremost appendage on the tip of its head into the brainstorming light; the coils unravelling as the flesh vigorously protruded the air, absorbing in the potential warming energy that the light seemed to radiate. On Rose’s side appeared a Pokémon that Max knew quite intimately from his travels with Ash. He knew the ins and outs of its routine rituals, the specifics of its potential moves and its blatant prospective power. The red bellied green monster arrogantly grinned, fashioning a trademark leafy twig in-between its chops whilst scanning its local environment with its bulgy distinct yellow eyes. Treecko was ready!

    “Treecko, I think we’ll deliver the first blow! Quick Attack on Burmy, go!”

    Rose’s command didn’t have to linger long in the airwaves before Treecko entered off the bat and raced at immense speeds towards the horrified looking Burmy; its green coloured fur blurring and blending into the images around it.

    “Burmy, quickly use Protect!”

    Burmy squeezed its body tight with force, before an envelope of shimmering and flexing blue light formed around Turtwig and itself, looking remarkably like a seasonal snow globe. Treecko had no time or reasoning left to engage in any sort of manoeuvrability away and plummeted straight into the statue of clear blue protection, almost immediately reflecting straight off with a fair amount of force.

    A sense of smugness but also relaxation appeared over Harriet and Curtis, along with their Pokémon too; evident by the retracting gleaming barrier. Max and Rose on the other hand weren’t ready to take this setback as a sign of weakness, instead preferring to transfer it into a form of defence and attack through a variety of techniques used to cover a retreat.

    “Murkrow, go in and catch Treecko whilst letting off a haze to cover your tracks!”

    “Treecko, fire an array of Bullet Seeds towards the target,” Rose commanded with a resonating cry the minute Max’s Pokémon soared into action with an elegant breeze.

    As Murkrow gained in on Treecko, preparing to neatly and sufficiently retrieve its ally, it shot out a blast of Haze that began to creepily extend across the beach, plummeting them all into complete darkness. The only distinct light noticeable was a faint flicker of green blurs that had begun to erupt through the thick dark mist that surrounded them.

    Harriet cautiously scanned the surrounding area, tuning her ears into a device, which could note a quick and sudden movement in the air, “Curtis, we’re going to have to go on a defensive stance here so stay close to Burmy because at any minute we may need to activate another Protect!”

    Murkrow and Treecko, aware of the direction in which the sound had emerged, took an immediate u-turn in their directional heading, now facing directly towards the carrier of the sounds. Treecko now knew a precise area to aim towards, already beginning another rain of its green bullets. Two painful cries then sounded in the substantially deep fog; that of Burmy and Turtwig, most probably being impacted with a string of violent seeds. The team of Max and Rose had notably turned their luck around.

    “Turtwig no, are you okay bud?” Curtis sympathetically urged, before hearing the reassuring sounds of his Pokémon calling out to him, “Okay then, well I think it’s time to get rid of this Haze… so blow it away with your Leaf Storm!”

    As Turtwig’s back produced the radiant shine of the range of greens, whilst also spouting out numerous leaves into the surrounding area and forming the spiral that had begun to form a Tornado of blackened smoke, a sudden flash of illuminating white light throbbed in close proximity to the Pokémon

    Turtwig, resisting the temptation of the distraction, continued to unleash the onslaught that now had captured Murkrow and Treecko in the upward bound spiralling mass. Once he had stopped the production of more leaves, the tornado shaped object dispersed and let the Haze distil into the clear sky, while the leaves faintly glided back down. The two bodies of Pokémonhowever tumbled towards the ground; colliding with the sand at such force that a clear dent was visible under their bodies. However all eyes had turned to Burmy’s now encased body, filled with the elucidated brightness that seemed to wish to expand and break the moulds of its body. With what was like a gigantic push, Burmy’s shape slowly began to change, first levitating off the ground as its two previously rounded sides extended four new appendages whilst the predominant attachment on its head resided and two long elongated ears stretched out in its place. The light then quickly snapped off the body and smashed into tiny speckles of glistening material. Burmy was no longer there, instead in its place was an elegant and majestic flying creature which habited a new set of floral and jazzy colours.

    Harriet’s face depicted a sure and defiant sense of astonishment but a very noticeable joyous look also shone through the gleaming smile that had become an accustomed look for her. “Wow, Bur… I mean, Mothim, you always manage to seek and amaze me at all moment eh!”

    ‘Moth, Mothim,” it chirped back with a jovial and enticing happiness.
    “Well I feel that it’s time we show the others your prowess wouldn’t you say? Deliver a finishing blow from your Hidden Power!”

    Max and Rose knew that a fierce struggle was before them. Neither of their Pokémon was filled with a lot of energy, in fact the blast of Leaf Storm had severely knocked a great deal out of them and it was obvious they could barely stand. Now though that the looming golden energy that had erupted from Mothim’s body was on course, things weren’t looking terribly great.

    “Murkrow and Treecko are unable to battle; the victory goes to Mothim and Turtwig!” Roxanne uttered.

    The pair quickly clasped hands with a victorious relief, immediately embracing their partners who had successfully secured the win in little to no time.

    “Mothim, thank you so much; I truly do know that many amazing things lye ahead of us mate, and your new enhancement, shall we say, will definitely come in handy… but remember this… no matter what you look like or what circumstances you’re in, I still love you!” She continued to embrace her Pokémon in the warmest fashion, whilst the loosing pair scooped their friends up and rapidly returned them into their PokeBalls, making sure though to add praise for the hard work they produced.

    “Now wasn’t that just amazing everyone? I don’t think I’ve witnessed such power from a grass move on a flying type before and Burmy’s type deficiency didn’t hinder it at all,” Rose complimented, congratulating the winning two with a competitive handshake. “So… Harriet, you never did answer the question earlier on.”

    Those words once again pierced the heart of Max as the dawning concession of travelling alone was nearly upon him, but although his heart was down something inside wished to cling onto the past. It was now or never!

    “Harriet, before you make your decision, I just want to say that… well… if you wanted to, I’d be willing to travel with you… if that’s what you want of course.”

    “Max, Rose, Curtis…I must say there is a true show of friendship here, I know of no other people who are this willing to offer support, but I’m afraid that I’m going to have to decline your proposal… Curtis,” as she mentioned the name her gaze fell upon his disappointment, although it was clear he understood why, “I’m not ready to travel with others who share my same goal, I first and foremost feel that if I want to become an independent and top Coordinator that I need to work on my own skills without absorbing others’ yet. You two both know what you’re doing, whereas I am still finding my right footing, so with great disappointment I do have to decline your offer.”

    An unnerving silence emerged amongst the whistling of the sea breeze, and no-one knew what words were necessary to say, yet time was still ongoing and wasn’t waiting on them, Curtis knew this more than anyone.

    “You most certainly have made your decision, and even though we’re not going to be spending a lot of time together, I can honestly say this… it’s not goodbye Harriet, in actual fact our adventures are just beginning.”

    He turned back to his companion, taking her hand carefully before both Rose and he walked away from the beach, heading towards the bulky collection of buildings that led towards Rusturf Tunnel. Their footprints were being etched into the sand only for a temporary time as the world would eventually mould its perfection back onto the land, but the memories of all their encounters were permanently marked in the remaining three people’s minds. They were never going to forget Rustboro…
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

  15. #45
    Moderator harryheart's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Max's Hoenn Journey

    Due to the story recieving the fic of the month award, I shall post a new chapter up early:

    Hey all, here's the next installment. We're going to staseeing more character centred chapters from now on, well at least for the next few anyway as developments are really needed all round I believe, and the Pokemon are feeling a tad underloved as well, so luckily in the grand scheme of things I have these next few plot tiwsts to enchance them.


    Like usual, the opening - Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 2 - made by DanChimchar and is just a bit of fun : )


    And without further ado:


    Chapter 23: A Devious Agenda of Sides

    Roxanne watched a few particles of sand blow over the trail that was still fresh on the ground, and in their hearts. Although she herself felt that her part in the four young people’s growth had relatively little impact over the past couple of days, their development and motivational emphasis on life struck her hard and right in the core of her emotions. She was as sad as any to watch Curtis and Rose finally fade into the distance, one last moving wave to signal their departure. It was as if a lifetime had come to an end…

    “Are you two okay?” Roxanne’s sensitive and emotional words floated in the breeze as they passed her lips, calmly satisfying the two young adolescents left with her on the beach, as the softness crept into their ears, “I’d just like to say that you two knew what was best and right for yourselves, and no matter how you feel right now, Curtis was right when he said this was just the beginning.”

    Neither Max nor Harriet decided to respond to the words of deceitful comfort, but instead dwelled on the messages that had just been delivered to them. The words somewhat portrayed optimism, however they also knew that their own optimism was a long grasp away, still choosing to be just out of reach. The departure of true friendship was a hard burden to carry, more so when a flickering spark of trust began to ignite in the heart. Letting go of a firm and strong bond was, as Max thought, the most difficult decision one could face throughout the course of a lifetime on Earth.

    “Well, that was a battle I won’t forget,” Harriet noted trying to cut the lengthy silence that hovered over them, “And thanks to those two and their friends…” She looked over at the fluttering beauty that seemed to be content to rest in the whips of the wind, “… I now have Mothim!”

    Roxanne turned her expressions towards Harriet, with a joyous beaming smile adherent on her face, “I suppose you could see it as a parting gift, Harriet. Just think what new extravagancies will face the two of you in upcoming contests.”

    Harriet seemingly calm and peaceful reflected the mildly humorous compliment with one last smile of thanks and contentment. Now however, she knew that another torturous goodbye would face both Max and her, as they prepared to finally leave Rustboro behind them and engage once again on their old paths with new meanings and new accomplishments. And, she knew that the hardest burden would rest upon Max.

    “Well then, why don’t we head back for a spot of lunch, I’m pretty sure Brock will have whipped up something quite delectable,” Roxanne said.

    As if the utterance of nothing had become normality, the two adolescents began a slow trek along the beach, heading along the same path that Rose and Curtis had just travelled along. Roxanne could only feel the heartbreaking essence of sorrow that accompanied the two young trainers on their journey, and so she too began to follow in silence, trudging with the beat of sadness.

    The Gym Leader wasn’t able to bring herself a glance at Max and Harriet, as their parting grief would only burrow deeper inside her. She remembered back to her travelling days, the days when she had met and befriended many along her path to become a renowned Pokémon Trainer. That goal, that dream had been acquired and was present every day, but the friendships no longer were. That fact was the hardest matter to deal with. There was, though, one small glimmer of hope left, and she knew that the two would indeed be fired up for their journey within a matter of hours, raring to hit the road once more. At that age everything comes and goes, but no matter how hard it is to depart from the encounters… the look towards the future only brings joy and comfort. That was how she coped and dealt with all the unfathomable occurrences on her journey. Just look towards the future and everything would fall in place, and that was indeed what everyone had to handle at this very instance.

    She was suddenly interrupted with her thinking as she collided into the back of Harriet, who had just come to a sudden stand still. Roxanne looked up into the bright daylight, and with that movement all the happiness and eagerness entered her heart once more. Coming full circle though, she gazed into the distance noticing a remarkably similar image of a relentlessly charismatic person. No sooner than having just said goodbye to one set of friends had another reappeared. Before them was the cocky but caring feature of Mark.

    “Well hey there my fellow trainers,” he uttered with the same entertaining tone as before, “And it looks as if we now have a new companion within the two bandits… I suppose this makes you the mysterious three – yup I like that name.”

    A surprised look of delight sprung upon Max, energizing him with a renewal of everything that he felt had departed with his other two friends, “Mark… ha-ha,” Max stated in complete and utter astonishment, “It has been a while hasn’t it, but I’m glad to meet you again mate.”

    Max extended his hand towards Mark, clutching it tightly with true friendship entwined within each other’s palms. He had truly put the petty and childish fiasco behind him thanks to his rapid growth in maturity in the following weeks after his first encounter with Mark.

    “It’s likewise to you my m brother,” he smirked, still retaining his same essence of cockiness but with less of a bold brunt, “And it’s certainly a pleasant surprise; I must admit, I still thought you’d be in the vicinity of Petalburg, cos I did happen to hear about the onslaught brought onto you by your Father.”

    “Actually, if it wasn’t for that loss then I’d probably be that same annoying brat that you first met, my Dad really managed to push home the meaning of battling and it was there that I think I really did mature… anyway I might as well introduce you fully to our new friend Harriet,” Max said, waving over the attention to his rather bewildered new companion, who so far hadn’t quite understood anything that was previously said.

    “Well it’s indeed a pleasure to meet you Harriet, Max always seems to have the best acquaintances out of anyone I seem to know,” he said while staring at the beautiful image of Roxanne with his scarlet clear eyes that only captured the beauty of which he desired.

    “Ah, well I guess that’s a compliment then,” she chuckled, “Anyway, excuse me for asking but what on earth is an m brother?” she purposefully stated, acting as if it was indeed a matter of dire importance, but her only response was deep bellows of laughter erupting from even the likes of Roxanne, “I’m being serious, come on guys!”

    “I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you Harriet, it’s simply just something that Mark refers to me by,” he said, whilst brushing off the remainder of the comedic statement that Harriet had so obliviously stated. She was still a little perplexed, but she now acknowledged the hopelessness of preying upon the subject.

    “Well then Mark, now you know everyone, how about a battle to test our updated skills, because if I recall correctly, last time you had to fight against Roxanne, but now I’m ready for you!”

    “Sure thing Max, there’s no better time than the present and I quite like my odds considering I happen to have 4 badges,” he smirked, though still retaining the composed posture that had drifted him through the recent conversation.

    Max was rather taken aback by this comment, seemingly nerved to the bone by the realisation that one of his first rivals was doubly closer to entering the league than he was, whilst he could only grasp at the mere thought of battling at the Ever Grande Stadium.

    “So Mark, do you happen to have my badge then,” Roxanne inquisitively asked.

    “Actually I do, I beat the old Kanto leader that was minding your Gym for a while, as a matter of fact I earned the badge not long after bumping into you two as you were nearing Petalburg.”

    “So what other badges do you have?”

    “Well my first badge came from Flannery in Lavaridge Town, giving me the heat badge; my second badge came from Dewford when I beat Brawly to earn the Knuckle badge, and then I beat Brock and earned the Stone Badge and then finally I beat your Father Max and won the Balance Badge; all tough battles though I must point out, and going from my battle with you Roxanne, if you had been in the Gym I may only have 3 at the moment.”

    Rather out of the blue, Max then decided to delve his hand into the side pocket of his yellow back pack, withdrawing the badge case that he had received after his first Hoenn Gym Battle against his Father. He gradually, with utter delicateness, opened the lid of the box as sparkling rays of light radiated off the surface of the badges.

    “Well, I only happen to have 2, however I know I could easily take you on and give you one of your best fights to date,” Max feistily retaliated trying to boost his own inner confidence by sounding lively and energetic, he wasn’t going to let a matter of numbers overcome all he had worked upon.

    “Certainly, well how…”

    “Hang on a second,” Mark had been cut off mid sentence by the still confused and puzzled Harriet, whose face now showed complete bewilderment at what Max thought was still something only minor, “How come then you’re back in Rustboro if you already have the badge?”

    “I’m only passing through, I have somewhere to be you see, and that’s why I’m a little pressed for time so our battle’s going to have to be a one on one Max so I can still keep to my schedule.”

    “That’s absolutely fine, I already know who I’m going to use so pick your Pokémon and let’s get started!”

    Max wasn’t wasting any time, he had longed for this opportunity ever since he first encountered Mark over a month ago. Roxanne had pretty much put Mark in his place, utilising the skills that her two rock Pokémon had to offer, combining the two’s defences as a way to maximise their performance in battle. It was finally time for Max to show Mark exactly what he could do, to show Mark exactly why he deserved his 2 badges.

    Max quickly turned tail and headed a few paces down the cobbled road, halting in his tracks once he felt sufficiently far enough away, “Well this street’s as good as any,” he called to Mark, who had also used the wide spaces to gain a little distance, “So without further ado, Budew I choose you!”

    Max tossed his sphere that quickly edged through the air, blurring the two colours of red and white together as it span efficiently down the make shift arena. The culminating energy forced the two halves of the ball to hinge open and expel the white power inside that mystically began to combine and gain a tint of green as Budew was forming. Once the glowing sparkles of pure white light had dispersed, the green bud like creature stood proud and strong, feeling her trainer’s courage and determination. Budew was ready to shine once again. Her fall at Rustboro was behind her, her errors resolved; she was about to prove just why she clenched the win back at Petalburg.

    “You most certainly have a brave fighter there Max, I wonder though if she’ll be a match for Togepi… Ready my friend, it’s your turn!”

    Mark too emulated the actions of Max, thrusting his ball down the street with great strength. It quickly burst through the air, soaring with the same blurred elegance as Max’s happened to. With a great sheer flash of light the ball split open in an instance, again like Max’s retaining a hinge between the two parts. The disfigured rays of energy partially danced their way to the ground, combining and entwining to form an half egg shaped Pokémon with a few spikes on the tip of its body acting, as it seemed to Max, as strands of hair. A rather weak looking creature stood before Max, pampering its little feet upon the cobbles below where it stood, but Max wasn’t going to be tricked into a false security about its strength. If he hadn’t known how deceiving and clever the trainer was then he may well have fallen for the masquerade of a weak and helpless baby, but underneath that shell he feared what nerving aggression had the potential to break free.

    “Max, your move…”

    “Right then, best start things off right this time, eh Budew? Go straight into a Sleep Powder, let’s knock’em out early!”

    Budew relaxed the muscles that kept the two sprouting appendages upon its head to stay constricted, releasing the two concealed pads that were attached at both ends of the two thick attributes. Both of the pads started to throb vigorously, transforming the colours into a vibrant green that seemed to convulse in a sickly fashion, forming tight crystalline jewels that distilled almost immediately upon creation. The fading crystals left residual powdery traces in the air, which wafted like light little emerald glitter down the street straight towards Togepi – there was nowhere for it to run!

    “Hmm, a clever tactic, luckily we have something that will scorch this little trick of yours; Togepi hit them with a blast of your Flamethrower!”

    “What – no way…but…!”

    Max’s face drooped, signalling the shock that pulsed through his emotions, as if quickly injected by an appalling needle of pure horror that was rapidly conquering all his stable senses of reason. His face said it all: the lack of confidence, the dawning peril that could easily overcome anything he threw at them; this all reminded him of his Contest battles where his elegance and style were thwarted left, right and centre, where he utilised… That was it, Water Sport was the answer. Turn defence into an offence.

    “Actually, Budew we’re going to be alright mate, concentrate your water energy just like you did in the Contest and let’s give them a blast of your Water Sport. Quickly, it’s time to put out their chances of winning!”

    Whilst the frothing particles of sleep dust began to burn and form a clear path of evasion for Togepi, Budew had already stored enough water inside her bud shaped body to alter her appearance, noticeable by the continuous rhythmic pounds of the sparkling sapphire tint that coursed through her every cell.

    The stream of fire was only a few metres away now and Max realised he had to retaliate now, no matter whether there was enough energy to produce a jet with damage; water was still water and fire was still fire.

    “Budew, you’ve got to do it now!”

    The red and blue pads were put to use yet again as a torrent overflowed from the captivity of the cells. The water culminated together as it breached the lining of the padding and grew in a gushing eruption that began to propel with extreme speeds away from the grass type. The Flamethrower stood no chance against such a beast of power and disintegrated, similarly like the Sleep Powder, into water vapour due to the merging combination of fire and water. Now with nothing left to defend the poor egg Pokémon it was helpless.

    It had no time to brace and ready itself against the surge of spherical perfection, there wasn’t even enough time for it to twiddle its fingers, all it could do was go with the flow, and in a matter of seconds Togepi was dynamically propelled away from its trainer, past the twinkling buildings bustling with life as its energy was sapped away.

    Somehow, luck was clearly on Max’s side and Budew was fortunate for this, narrowly escaping a fiery onslaught, but by the determination brewing in Mark’s eyes he knew full well that Togepi would be ready and recharged in the same amount of time it took to knock that thing down.

    “You never cease to amaze me Max, and now it’s time for me to do the same to you, be prepared for a surprise!” Mark energetically assured, waiting upon the return of his Pokémon before he continued his revelation, “Togepi, use your Metronome!”

    Togepi started to sway its fingers from side to side to a simple beat; tick, tock, tick, tock. Backwards and forwards, from left to right, again and again the fingers moved. The recurring beat was now controlling the movement, left and right, back and forth, no stopping, no nothing; another sequence over and over.

    “Okay Budew, it seems we’ve escaped again, so use your Bullet Seed!”

    As Budew propelled the blurred seeds encased within their own aura of jade colour, Togepi’s finger tips began to radiate their own light, deepening in vividness as the blinding light grew stronger. Soon it had overtaken the whole egg shape, including the spiked tips; no one could bear to look. The light however quickly left the confides of Togepi’s body and began melding into one giant ball that glistened and rippled ceremoniously in front of the creature, and more importantly for Max, directly in front of his attack.

    “Ha-ha, if that’s what I think it is then… wonderful,” Mark’s ecstatic voice cried, “Okay Togepi let the Flash Cannon rip!”

    The gleaming orb, still hovering above the ground with clean precision, began shifting its gravitational force forward at the same rate as Togepi bended its fingers in the same direction. The pellets that stood as opposition were ritually knocked of course, crashing to the ground with their light bleating out, fading into nothingness as the sphere zoomed past. And with one last tremendous flick from Togepi, the ball crashed into its target, driving Budew off its delicate little feet and straight into the rays of the other blinding object that hovered in the sky. Budew temporarily vanished out of sight before crashing down in a heap against the cobbles.

    “Great one Togepi, now it’s time to wrap this up and use your Flamethrower once more!”

    “Budew, dodge it and use Synthesis!”

    As Budew poised itself, ready to leap frog out of the way, its body was filled with dots of what seemed like sparkling sunlight, and it was exactly that. The warmth caressed all the pain that bit on like savage little creatures, expelling all the injuries by infiltrating the body with soothing liquid. Budew felt refreshed and improved, free to spring back into the battle anew… literally. With great confidence it soared in the breeze – drifting with tranquillity – and avoiding the fiery inferno below.

    “Yes, take that Mark; now Budew hit Togepi with another offensive Water Sport, and then dampen the street, we best protect ourselves against future Flamethrowers!”

    The delicate shade of blue burst throughout her body yet again, and the two tangled vines uncurled as the flood of water discharged. The circular spiral flew with elegance and grace, and hurled its mass towards Togepi at great velocity, and for the second time, Togepi had no chance of evasion. Wherever the little creature moved, the water only swerved and bent to its motions, following Togepi with specific care, such as it would a target. Finally, the water struck!

    Togepi lay drenched from its head to its little feet, lying on cold and soaked cobbles. It looked a right mess, continuously dripping droplets into the few small pools that had formed in the cracks of the road. It dreaded to think how reduced the power of its Flamethrower had become, and it sensed that its trainer to was filled with the depressing dismay. There was not much left for them to use tactically, and Mark figured that their best hopes rested upon the unpredictability of Togepi’s other attack.

    “Buddy, don’t worry about that, I guess we’ll just have to rely upon your Metronome, so go once more!”

    The same monotone actions repeated on the same specific timer, back and forth, tick, tock. Max hesitated about throwing another attack at the Pokémon; he had to stay alert and prepared and free up Budew for any quick needed retaliations.

    “Here we go Budew,” Max commented as the illuminating light appeared upon the tips of Togepi’s fingers, “Get ready…”

    Before Max knew it, Togepi was charging straight for Budew with the gentle draping whisk of the winds trailing behind. The surroundings that enclosed the Pokémon had also become mere blurs to it… and to everyone else. There was something remarkable about the powers of Quick Attack, but Max had not time to bask in wonder, he had to adapt hastily, noticing how Budew’s time for a defence was swiftly dwindling.

    “Bullet Seed!”

    No hesitation peeked from Budew; it wholeheartedly placed its trust within its trainers command and unleashed the barrage of storming seeds. It didn’t care whether much damage was inflicted, as long as Togepi lost its own bearings and trailed away – that was all that mattered. So the little pellets cascaded through the air and Togepi continued on forward.

    After a few seconds of waiting, Budew was still standing there, untouched and only slightly drained of energy. There plan had worked, succeeded, even operated efficiently it thought, and with a joyous grin it leapt into Max’s arms feeling the flourishing relief of comfort. Max looked up at Mark, just about to send Budew back into battle when he noticed his opponent hunched over Togepi, gently raising it from the ground whilst soothing whispers touched its ears. And then it was gone… absorbed back inside its comforting ball.

    “Who would’ve guessed eh? I got beat by you… yet… I’m not overly surprised. You showed determination and clear strategy once the battle had begun and I doubt any Gym Leader would’ve found that challenge a walk in the park.”

    “Thanks, and that Togepi is a real beast – man he gave me a fright with that Flamethrower, he’s certainly not one to underestimate… as I did.”

    “Well, Max, your honesty is appreciated, and I look forward to our next encounters,” he speedily stated, collecting all his belongings and returning Togepi’s PokeBall back into its allocated etched socket that rested close to Mark upon his belt, “But I’m afraid I’m going to have to depart,” he began to merge into a run as he headed along the cobbled paving, sweeping his feet off into the distance, “Can’t stay for chit chat and all,” he shouted.

    Amongst the three companions fell yet another dreary silence, basking each and every one of them in mild tones of confusion. With a brief smirk, Harriet sank into the reassuring bells of questions that rattled through her brain; at least this time it wasn’t only her.


    *****



    The dusty clearing fell into perfect view as the overhanging trees sprang out of hiding whilst the bustling shopping streets slowly faded into the background, along with the towering buildings that sank into the skyline. Piles of sooty ground shifted underfoot, stirring a few clouds of the murky particles with the haste of movement that camouflaged the luscious grass with such a dirty complex. There was no time to stop and soak in the stunningly attractive nature, or dwell amongst the spirited Pokémon that tottered amongst the concealed bushes. The noises were splendid, crinkling leaves, the brittle snapping of twigs, and the pleasant tones of the creatures, but there was a place to be.

    Mark continued his trek, keeping a close eye out for the garbage of creatures he had come to acquaint with. Why he had sunk so low again was the burning question on his mind. Yes the money was good, wholesome and useful, but the deceit was only crippling. No good ever came out of the wicked schemes, and luckily last time his plans were foiled by a persistent Jimmy, and Roxanne was reunited with her beloved Sudowoodo. This time however, his family bore the brunt of his actions.

    “There you are,” some cackling and seductive rich tones said as a stout lady stepped out from the security of thick tree, “And it seems this time failure was never an option, am I right Butch?”

    From behind a different set of trees emerged the lean and muscular young man, his green hair symbolising the evil that coursed through his veins, “I agree!”

    “So do you have our package then, Mark?” Cassidy inquisitively questioned, instinctively raising her outstretched hand with the anticipation of her request.

    “Yes… yes I do… but…” Mark hesitantly paused as he pondered his brain for the correct words to use, “… I don’t want to do this anymore. This time I’ve sunk too low, and I now know this isn’t me… this isn’t right. So I’ll let this one slide, as I’m pretty sure this creature wouldn’t have preferred it at my parents’ ranch anyway and you probably are more capable of turning it into a fighter… but if I ever see you again I’m not going to go lightly on you!”

    With his words he thrust the PokeBall into Cassidy’s hand and recoiled with a sharp pain of terror. The deed was done, no more to it. All that he could do was leave this life behind, and so he slithered away, but his emotions flowed with insanely irreparable feelings that were unfixable and permanent. That was his payment for such a dastardly act. The money had already been paid in advanced, but he couldn’t touch it and probably never would be able to. At least now though he was rid of those monsters, worse than any he had ever known… and at least he had trustworthy friends, but for how long?
    Credits to Sweet May and DanChimchar from Serebii
    For the Banner

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