Right, for those older members of the workshop, you will recognise this fic and myself. Indeed, i am rebooting Seasons! You will see similarities, changes, new directions and differing roles of characters, but at the heart it is the same, a Seasons 2.0 if you will.
Although i stated that i wouldn't post until friday, work is going well, and i have the barebones plot for the first book more or less closed down, with it just needing fleshing out a bit.
Note: This prologue is more or less the same as what it was before, as not much needed to be changed. I filled out the writing a bit and fixed some mistakes.
Note Note: If you did happen to read the original Seasons then i request you don't post spoilers or the like of what happened in the chapters after this and subsequently of chapters as they were posted. This includes characters and plot points, as there may be new users who haven't read it.
Thank you, and enjoy!
Some Colour No Doubt
Chapter 1: The Champion
Chapter 2: How did we get here?
Chapter 3: The Challenger Arrives
Chapter 4: Long Live the Champion
A concussive impact shook the stadium, every row, down to the spectators very teeth. Yet this just urged them on more, making them cheer louder, coming on in waves as the excitement spread throughout the crowd. In the arena, the two pokémon battled on, dealing heavy blows.
A frown crossed the young trainer's face, distorting his features. All of his training, the years of travelling from region to region, it had all led to this moment, this match, this final. A sense of exhilaration filled him. The stakes had never been higher.
“Sandslash!” the Trainer called out, somehow audible over the monstrous crowd. “Use Dig!”
Instantly, the diminutive Ground-type leapt into the air, showing its muscled, mousey physique and lethal, gleaming claws. It plummeted to the earth, claws first, and disappeared in a pillar of dust as it impacted, disappearing from the view of the spectators and trainers. A hushed tone filled the arena, eyes darting around, searching for the missing pokémon.
A column of flame ripped through the dust cloud, forcing the trainer to shield his eyes. The dust was simply blasted out of the way by the intensity of the heat. Following up its attack, a raging Houndoom appeared, snarling angrily. Its barbed black tail whipped back and forth in frustration, its eyes darting around manically, looking for its prey. Growling ferociously, the pokémon's horned head swung wildly from side to side, searching for traces of its opponent. Unable to see where its foe had gone, the Houndoom let out a blood curdling roar of frustration. Across it's dark body, blood lined gouges criss-crossed around, all aftermaths of Sandslash's attacks, each one fatiguing and weakening the pokémon.
The Trainer simply smiled. Typical Houndoom, all bark, no bite. Sandslash had suffered little damage from the last attacks, whereas Houndoom was beginning to show signs of weariness. This wouldn't take much longer, not with what he had in mind.
Still, the Trainer needed to know more, and he knew what he had to do. He softly closed his eyes, and slowed his breathing down to a crawl, entering a trance-like state. Though his eyes were closed, he could still “see”, more clearly than he could with his eyes open. Two swirls of energy were presented to him, one just below the other. One was a mixture of reds and oranges, two hues locked in an eternal, violent dance, flying around rapidly and randomly it pulsated wildly like a forest fire, striking out randomly and dangerously. The deep red swirled ferociously, showing the rage that had overtaken the Pokémon to which it belonged. The other, just below the red one, was a light tan, spinning calmly, pulsating slightly, showing the training which kept the pokémon in check, away from their more brutal, animalistic tendencies.
He locked onto the calmer aura and felt his Sandslash in the centre of it, waiting for the order from its trainer. In this state, not only could he feel Sandslash, its emotions, its wounds, its location. For that moment, he was Sandslash. This gift was unique to his family, or so his grandfather had told him. Through years of training and honing his gift, the trainer could link with his pokémon, making them stronger, faster and more lethal than any other pokémon on the planet. In this state his pokémon could hit far above their evolutionary level, leaving the pokémon of other trainers, even the Champion's against whom he faced, with little chance.
Slowly, through the mental link, he pushed his thought into Sandslash, relaying silent orders. He opened his eyes, steadying himself. Whilst entering this state was undeniably useful, it was exhausting. In his younger days, he had passed out many a time from exposing himself to the energies for too long. He was forced to take deep breaths as he tried to steady himself, battling a sudden wave of fatigue. Looking back to the battlefield, Houndoom was now beginning to lose control, unsettled by the lack of appearance of its opponent. Fire blasts ripped indiscriminately around the arena, glassing over the sandy surface, raising the temperature in the stadium through the sheer power of its attacks. The Houndoom was clearly powerful, but the trainer knew that after this attack, it wouldn't matter.
An explosion erupted underneath Houndoom, throwing it and a large amount of gravel across the arena. Sandslash appeared, leaping into the air with a grace reserved for trained dancers, not ground-types. Houndoom jumped back to its feet, and bellowed out a challenge to the still airborne Sandslash. Hitting the ground rolling, Sandslash headed straight for Houndoom, skating across the arena, gathering momentum to power its own attacks.
Fire attacks bounced uselessly off the rolling pokémon, its thick hide impervious to the incoming flames, forcing Houndoom to back up. Again, Sandslash disappeared underground. This time however, it did not linger. Seconds later, it burrowed up from underneath Houndoom, landing two quick, heavy blows to the fire type's hind legs.
Houndoom roared out in pain, its back legs collapsing as the torn tendons refused to hold up its weight, the gouges left by Sandslash's claws cutting through flesh and muscle, crippling the powerful pokémon. Sandslash remained motionless, it's large, once gleaming sliver claws now stained crimson from the effectiveness of its attack. Droplets of blood fell like raindrops, leaving spots near each pokémon's feet, dyeing the sandy arena floor.
The crowd roared at the strategy. In one beautifully executed move, the young challenger had taken out one of the Champions most renowned battlers. Sandslash retook a ready stance, its large claws raised up threateningly, prepared to pounce onto the damaged Houndoom if necessary. The Houndoom released cries of pain as its own body became its enemy, the damage inflicted leaving its limbs unresponsive. Desperately, the pokémon tried to drag itself using only its forelegs, though they eventually gave out as well, leaving the once proud pokémon little more than a bloodstained heap, twitching on the arena floor.
Regret filled the challenger, perhaps he had been a bit too aggressive? Whilst the healing machines of the league could bring the Houndoom back to fighting fitness within a few days, it was still regrettable that it would have to suffer through the pain. The anguish suffered by the pokémon ascended through normal sense's and began to overwhelm the challenger's mental defences. The other downside of his “gift”. In these moments of powerful emotion or trauma, he picked up traces, punching into his mind like needles into jelly. Clenching his teeth, he raised mental barriers as he had learnt to long ago, waiting for the Houndoom to be declared unable to battle, which did thankfully not take too long.
The crowd roared even louder, Five pokémon down, one to go. This annoyed the challenging trainer, did these people like seeing pokémon injured in this way? It gave him no joy to have caused such damage, even though he knew Houndoom would be fine. Still, what could he expect? Pokémon battles at this level often ended in quite serious injuries due to the sheer power of the pokémon involved and the years of training they had received. In truth, it was why these battles were so popular, as the danger of serious injury, occasionally even death, raised the stakes to levels which drove people crazy with passion for the sport. Still, if the crowd had wanted violence they had got what they had come for. Surveying the once pristine arena, it barely resembled the clean cut image that was presented on the posters for the tournament. Craters pockmarked the battlefield, splintering cracks tracing around impact points of powerful attacks. The walls were charred and blacked from missed strikes. This was high level pokémon battling at its best, and the challenger, despite his misgivings about injured pokémon, loved it.
The Trainer calmed himself, attempting to detach himself from his emotions. They would only get in the way and right now he needed to focus. Sandslash rolled over to him and he hugged his small pokémon, proud that his companion was victorious and relatively unharmed.
“Good job buddy”
Sandslash nuzzled close to his chest, its rough skin being felt through his shirt, scraping his skin, but he did not mind. At that moment, there was no arena, no battle, no crowd, no final. There was simply the trainer and his pokémon in the purest of partnerships. At that moment, the challenger knew. He could win, his bond with his pokémon was unbreakable, undefeatable and unfathomable to other trainers. It was time to end this battle.
His eyes darted up, looking at the Champion. As he has been the whole match, he wore a thick black cape, shrouding himself in darkness and mystery. If the course of the battle had affected him, he showed no sign of it. He stood as he always had, wooden and upright, unmoving and unflinching, even when his pokémon had been brutally removed from the combat by the challenger's attacks. Wordlessly, the Champion recalled the now incapacitated Houndoom and without a pause, summoned his final pokémon.
A bright light appeared, forming into a smooth, sinuous shape. A large sea serpent appeared, coloured light cream. The crowd collectively gasped at the beauty of the new appearance, yet the challenger remained silent.
A Milotic. This pokémon needed little introductions, as through his preparations the challenger had seen the clips and replays of this pokémon's strength. Many a challenger had reached this point, with victory seemingly in grasp, only to have it smashed from their reach as the seemingly graceful water-type removed all opponents with a brute force which seemed unfitting to its beautiful frame.
Reaching to his waist, he swiftly recalled Sandslash to its pokéball with a solitary red beam of light, and then began to think of his options. All six of the trainers pokémon were ready, but there was one he had been saving, one who would end this match in a heartbeat. Looking up at the beautiful Milotic, he almost felt sorry for it. This was his most powerful pokémon, and few in the world could hope to stand up to it. Expanding the pokéball, he closed his eyes, knowing he was but seconds away from becoming grand champion.
With a flash of light, and whoosh of sound, the pokémon appeared.
The crowd looked on, waiting to see what pokémon the so-far flawless challenger had brought out to face the champion's mighty Milotic. If they were expecting a giant of a pokémon, they were going to be disappointed.
The pokémon appeared, it's fur pure white, with a large black scythe on its head. The crowd remained silent, for once. Evidently, they had expected something a bit more... dramatic, not an Absol. This did not concern the Trainer though, he knew what could be done with this, his most lethal pokémon. Absol had been with him since the beginning, it was only fitting that he would be here now, at the end.
The two pokémon stood, motionless, eyeing each other up, like they were in some old Western movie, waiting to see who would strike first. Over the speakers, the announcer told the crowd the names and types of both pokémon on the field.
Milotic broke first, screaming out a high pitched roar; it began snaking toward Absol, moving quickly as to avoid possible counter-attacks. Absol remained still, calmly waiting for a command.
The Trainer barked out his order: “Absol, now! Use Night Slash!”
At the last second, Absol leapt out of the way of the flailing Milotic, leaving the water type to smash its tail into the ground, further cracking the ruined arena floor. Absol came pounding in, its claws glowing with a deep purple. Quickly, it landed three quick gouges in Milotic's smooth frame, causing the pokémon to cry out in pain. Luckily, Milotic's thick skin had protected it from the main severity of the attack, but the damage still landed, deep welts left by Absol's sharp claws. As rapidly as the attacks had landed, Absol had leapt back out of range, once again motionless.
Milotic raised itself up to its full height and drew it's head back in clear preparation for a water attack. The trainer remained calm, not at all worried, knowing exactly how to handle it. Victory was near, he could feel it. The Champion was not on his game, his moves were predictable and obvious, easily exploited and counter-able.
Milotic released its attack, sending a torrent of sapphire water racing towards the much smaller Absol, and the Trainer gave out his order.
“Absol, Psycho Cut! Right through that Hydro Pump!”
Pulling its head back, Absol's black scythe released a light purple blast with a flick of its neck. The attack was so powerful that it split the oncoming Hydro Pump in two, dividing it like the seas as the clearly much more powerful attack hurtled toward the shocked Milotic. The Psycho cut raced down the field, gouged out sand, dirt and rock as it blasted towards its target. The intensity of the purple light grew as it approached it closer to Milotic, growing so bright it was painful to look at, bathing the arena in a sheen reserved typically only for sunlight.
The water flew harmlessly past either side of Absol, yet Milotic was not so lucky. The challenger's pokémon's attack had caused devastating damage to it, as it had landed head on. A sickening crunch echoed through the arena and Milotics cry was at a pitch which could have curdled milk. The effects were devastating, as the once powerful pokémon lay in a heap, its body unable to deal with the damage it had just suffered. It convulsed, trying to bring its serpentine frame under control, but to no avail. After little more than ten seconds, it lay motionless.
The crowd gasped. Was that it? How had some unknown kid manage to defeat the Grand Champion with apparent ease? On the field, the ref began a count out, but everyone knew what had happened. That pokémon wasn't getting up. Absol walked back to its trainer and sat by his side, and received a warming ruffle on its head.
The count finished, and the so-called “Grand Champion” again recalled his pokémon without a word and left the arena, never showing anyone his face.
That day, the unknown challenger became Grand Champion. And that was the day everything began to change.