The mob finally reached the main entrance of Silph Tower. They paused in front of the doors, seething with anger, but unsure of what exactly to do. Then a lone man in a red jacket stepped forward. In his hand he held a glass bottle filled with a clear liquid. Some sort of cloth was shoved down the bottle’s neck. The man made to light the homemade explosive with a lighter from his pocket, but suddenly a screeching, metallic squawk rent through the air, causing the heads of everyone in the crowd, the man included, to turn towards its source. The camera’s microphone crackled at the noise.
“Wait,” I said, “what the hell was that?”
My brother shushed me and we continued watching the video. Spencer, Criss, Tim, and I were gathered around the computer in Criss’ room, taking a look at the footage that had leaked out from Saffron City. So far, it looked like the citizens were no longer taking the Rocket occupation lying down.
The camera suddenly jostled and the already grainy picture blurred for a moment in which we heard only screams and a strange clattering noise. Finally the camera focused, rather shakily, on a large, metallic bird Pokémon that had landed directly on top of the man with the red jacket, who now lay prone. The silver creature flared its red wings and let out another screech. I noticed strange leather straps around its chest, apparently holding a saddle in place on its back. The camera jostled and then focused again as whoever was holding it took a step backwards. In the second that we were blinded, a man had dismounted the Pokémon, which I assumed was a Skarmory, native to the Johto region. For some reason, Criss let out a strange sort of guttural growl.
The man calmly stepped forward and removed a pair of tinted black flight goggles from his eyes, placing them on top of his head, where they blended in with his dark mop of hair. He was obviously unperturbed by the mob of people whose anger he had singlehandedly diffused into fear. He wore a black and red scarf that covered the lower half of his face, and a dark grey trench coat that fluttered about his legs as he paced in front of the crowd. The frightened mob stepped back whenever he approached. I was unsure why until the camera glanced down at his gloved hand, which held a strange black object that I had only ever seen in movies. Tim gasped.
When the crowd had retreated a satisfactory distance, the darkly-clothed man pulled his scarf down so that he could speak properly and returned to the rebellious citizen that the Skarmory had now released from its clawed grip. The red jacketed man painfully pushed himself to one knee. He obviously said something, for the dark-clothed man replied, but I couldn’t hear what it was.
“Hope?” said the Skarmory rider in a loud, boisterous voice so that the whole crowd could hear. “I’m glad that you think you still have some. Though I do wonder where it lies.”
The rebel glared up at him and said something else.
“The people, hmm?” The Skarmory rider laughed and turned to the crowd. “Perhaps one of ‘the people’ would like to step forward and take your place as an example as to what you are truly up against.”
The crowd was silent. No one moved.
“No?” The darkly-clothed man sounded genuinely disappointed. “Oh well then.” Without any further preamble, he pointed the black object in his hand at the rebel’s head, there was a flash and a loud bang, and the rebel lurched forward onto the pavement. The crowd erupted into screams and scattered, the cameraman included. After a few seconds of jumbled colors and sounds, the screen went black.
The four of us were completely silent. Without prompting, the computer screen displayed a loading animation and then began the next video in the news website’s playlist.
The sound was off on this one, but it looked like the camera was mounted underneath a helicopter. The sky was beginning to grow dark, but the setting sun illuminated what was obviously Saffron City below. Far off in the distance you could just barely see the outline of Pokémon Tower. The helicopter banked and the horizon spun around to face what I guessed was north. A trio of indistinct brown shapes was flying towards the helicopter at an impressive speed.
“Are those Fearow?” my brother asked.
“Definitely,” said Criss.
But before the Fearow could reach the craft, the camera gave a tremendous lurch and the helicopter appeared to lose altitude. The image began shuddering violently before the camera eventually broke completely free of its mountings. As the picture spun wildly, we could only catch brief glimpses of what was happening to the helicopter. First it appeared okay, but then, attached to its belly was none other than the Skarmory from the previous video. The last we saw of the helicopter was a bright ball of flames. The video showed a second or two more of the camera falling then went to static before the video ended.
We were again speechless for several seconds. Finally Spencer straightened up from where he had been leaning on the desk watching the video and rubbed his eyes in exasperation. “What a nightmare. I think I should be able to stay until the end of the tournament, but I bet my boss will want me in Celadon City if their police force is going to take action.” He gave a deep sigh before repeating, “What a nightmare…”
Criss, who was sitting in the desk’s chair, looked up at him. “Celadon’s mayor is a stubborn piece of work. He’s going to take at least another week before making a decision, and the other surrounding cities have tiny forces compared to Celadon.”
“I know, I know…”
“You’re probably the only Silph representative in Kanto that’s not being held hostage, you have to do something,” Criss said.
“You have to get him to act sooner than that! People are dying,” she continued.
“I KNOW!” It had been a long time since I had heard my brother snap like that. It seemed to even shock Criss. He gave yet another long sigh. “Sorry.” He turned to the door, pulling his cell phone out of his pocket. “I’ll see what I can do.” Without another word, he left the room.
Criss spun her chair around to look at Tim and I, who were seated on her bed.
Tim and I glanced at each other, he was tight lipped and looking nervous. I turned back to Criss.
“That looks quite a bit more dangerous than anything we’ve ever handled,” I said.
Criss bit her lip, a sure sign that she was nervous. At least, as nervous as Criss could get. “I will admit that I’ve never tried dealing with anything so big before. At least, not by myself.”
“You mean you want to go in there?” Tim asked, finally breaking his silence.
“Of course! What other option do we have?” she said.
“To wait for the neighboring police forces to sort it out, obviously,” I argued. “There’s no way we could deal with something like that.”
Criss glared at me. “You can’t honestly be backing out now. We probably have more experience fighting Team Rocket than anyone in the region, spare a few police officers. Who better to do something?”
“You mean besides those same police officers…” Tim pointed out.
She directed her next glare at him. “Never mind the police! They’ll show up when they show up. We definitely can’t do this alone, but someone has to start something.”
I looked at her curiously. “What do you mean?”
“Did you not see those people in the first video? They’re ready to rise up and fight! They just need someone to show them that they can do it.”
“So we do what? Sneak in and start an underground resistance movement?”
She smiled slightly. “No, we sneak in and encourage the revolution that’s already happening. If we can get our timing right, we could get all of the trainers to rise up at the same time that the Celadon police kick down the west entrance and the rest of the surrounding cities barge in as well.”
Tim and I looked at each other again. His face mirrored my doubt. “Are we really ready for this?” he asked.
“Of course! Look at where we are! We’re the best in the region,” Criss pointed out. “Tomorrow are the semi-finals, then we have a day off, then the championship battle. If nothing’s happened by then, we’ll go in the next morning.”
“Our Pokémon will be exhausted,” Tim said.
“And so will we,” I added.
“Then we go on anyway. Guys, to give up now would be… unforgivable.”
We really had no reply to that. I guessed that Tim was hoping for the same thing that I was: that the whole ordeal would be over before the tournament. But I secretly doubted that was going to happen.
“Four days…” Tim said quietly. Suddenly, he stood up. “I have some things to do, I’ll see you two in the morning. He left the room.
Criss moved to sit next to me on the bed. “You realize why we have to do this, right?”
I just stared at my toes.
“That guy that Reese shot was right, there is hope in the people; they just need to learn to see it for themselves.”
I looked at her quizzically. “How do you know his name?”
She bit her lip again, but didn’t respond.
“Never mind,” I said, standing up. “I’m going to bed, good night.”
“Good… good night, Keith.”
My brother. In a few short minutes, I would be facing my own brother in a full on six versus six battle. I paced nervously in the small waiting room. Spencer had always been somewhat of an idol to me. He had had a very successful journey, was a great battler, and always stayed calm and collected.
I looked at my watch: sixty seconds until I would walk down the hallway that led out to the main stadium’s battle field. I had never done a six on six battle before. They tended to last a very long time and were often as stressful to the trainers as the Pokémon. I was not looking forward to spending the next two or three hours standing in the hot sun. There was a knock at the door, then it opened.
“Keith Anders? You may enter the field.” The League official pointed down the hallway, then walked off in the opposite direction. As I strode towards the light at the end of the tunnel, the roar of the crowd grew louder and I reminded myself what I had been saying over and over again all morning. My journey had been twice as successful as my brother’s, and it wasn’t even over yet! I was a great battler too, and my strategies had never yet failed to pull me through. I picked up my pace in nervousness.
“Ladies and gentlemen!” I heard the announcer’s voice boom over the crowd. “From the south entrance, I give you a boy of only sixteen years. He left his home in Pallet Town not even a year ago and has since earned seven Indigo League badges… KEITH ANDERS!”
My legs had kept moving faster and faster until I was practically running when I burst out into the bright sunlight that flooded the dirt field. The screaming of the spectators barely reached my nervous ears as I slowed to a walk and approached the red-shirted referee in the middle of the field. The announcer then introduced Spencer, with great emphasis on the fact that we were brothers, and then we were face to face.
I shook my brother’s hand. It felt weird to think of him as an opponent rather than a teammate, an adversary rather than an ally.
“Good luck, Keith.” My brother grinned his trademark grin. “You’re going to need it.”
I smiled back. “We’ll see about that.”
The next thing I knew, we were in our respective boxes, hands on the Poké Balls holding our first Pokémon. Mounted above the stands to my right was a massive scoreboard divided into two halves. On one side was a picture of my brother, on the other was a picture of me. Beneath these were six Poké Balls. I knew from watching battling on TV that these would change to represent the Pokémon that we were using.
“Keith will have the first move. Let the match begin!” the referee blew his whistle and the crowd went crazy.
Spencer had not been able to do much training or preparation before coming to the tournament. That I knew for sure. Actually, he probably hadn’t had any proper training time since he quit journeying. I could easily assume that he would use the exact same six Pokémon team he had left home with all those years ago. I also knew his battling style: aggressive early.
We both sent our first Poké Balls arcing through the air at the same time. Sure enough, the winged orange bulk of his first ever Pokémon took form. The Charizard let out a thunderous roar at the skeletal rock-type across from it. Gideon responded with a screeching wail. With a loud ping, the first Poké Ball under each of our pictures on the scoreboard turned into a stock image of a Charizard and a Kabutops. Then, the battle was on.
Gideon’s typing was the perfect counter to Charizard’s. Thanks to my brother’s confidence, he also refused to recall the first Pokémon that he sent out. It took almost ten minutes of hard fighting, but the fire-type finally fell to a well timed ancient power. My Pokémon was injured however, and lost to Spencer’s Tangela before I got a chance to withdraw it. When I sent out Flareth though, he switched to his Jolteon.
Our two Pokémon stood still for a moment, staring and sizing each other up. Then…
“Thunder!” Spencer cried.
Jolteon let out an eerily human shout and flattened its spiky fur, launching a deadly flash of electricity across the field. Had it been cloudy, the alternate technique for thunder-sparking the sky to create a bolt that nearly always hit-would have been a powerful attack. With the bright sun overhead though, the more direct bolt missed its mark, for Flareth had immediately responded with an extremespeed.
Extremespeed knocked Jolteon backwards, but it landed on its feet and charged forward with a thunder fang. With a fancy bit of footwork, Flareth sidestepped it and grabbed it around the neck with a fire fang. With a shake of its mighty head, the fire-type threw Jolteon back in the direction that it had come from.
“Pin missile,” Spencer commanded, but the attack was useless against my Arcanine’s flamethrower. Spencer finally seemed to decide to end the aggression that so often dominated the beginning of his battles. From there on out he was much more conservative. Flareth and Jolteon were matched, however, in terms of speed, so the battle wore on until noon, when the sun shone down directly overhead.
Although Jolteon are fast, they are more like sprinters. They don’t have the endurance for long battles. Arcanine, on the other hand, are built to travel huge distances at impressive speeds. Flareth didn’t even appear winded, but Jolteon looked about ready to fall over. Finally, the electric-type flat out ignored Spencer’s command to use agility and took the hit of a powerful flamethrower that knocked it unconscious.
The third symbol under my brother’s picture faded to black. “Spencer’s Jolteon is unable to battle. Keith’s Arcanine wins!”
Spencer returned the electric-type to its Poké Ball. His fingers danced idly above his belt, like he was unsure of which Pokémon to use next. Then I saw him look upwards at the sky, come to a conclusion, and toss forward another red and white sphere.
The immediate attack was as unexpected as the Pokémon that he chose. With the assistance of the bright sunlight, Tangela let loose an incredible blast of bright light that seared Flareth the second it appeared on the field. The attack wasn’t very effective, but it was powerful enough that it did serious damage. It looked like Spencer was being aggressive again, for now.
Flare blitz, I ordered.
“Solar beam!” Spencer cried again.
Coating itself in flames, Flareth charged forward, directly into the beam of energy. It did even more damage this time, but Flareth pushed through and made contact with the little ball of vines. Tangela flew through the air, smoke and sparks spiraling off of its body. It bounced twice, then lay still.
“Spencer’s Tangela is unable to battle. Keith’s Arcanine wins!”
I was now comfortably ahead with five Pokémon while Spencer only had three. I glanced across the field at my brother, he was chewing on his cheek in concentration, desperately trying to come up with a strategy. My guess is that he needed a way to get rid of Flareth, whose powerful combination of strength and speed made it nigh upon invincible. I could tell that my Pokémon was getting tired though, so I pulled its Poké Ball from my belt and prepared to make a speedy switch that would catch Spencer off guard. I had a hunch at which Pokémon he would send out next.
Spencer finally picked a ball from his belt and threw it out onto the field. At the same moment, I withdrew Flareth and sent out Tesla. When our two Pokémon had fully materialized, however, I realized my mistake. Rather than sending out his Poliwrath, which was the obvious choice, he had elected to use his Nidoking. Now I was in trouble.
“Flash cannon!” I blurted out, flustered. Spencer had actually caught me off guard. I had no way to counter a big ground-type like Nidoking. Tesla was a tank. It had incredible strength and a nearly impenetrable defense… nearly. Sheer strength and power like the giant purple beast that stood opposite it would flatten the poor electric-type. Tesla simply didn’t have the agility necessary to avoid damage.
Nidoking let out a massive roar and slammed its huge fists into the ground, causing a tremendous shaking of the entire stadium. A small fissure opened up between Nidoking’s hands and spread web-like cracks across the field. As the destruction spread, great clods of dirt and rock jutted up out of the ground at impressive speeds, completely changing the terrain of the field and knocking Tesla and its flash cannon off kilter. I really needed to work with Tesla on how to do a proper magnet rise.
“Horn drill!” my brother shouted, causing a gasp to spread through the stands. Even I was surprised. Horn drill was an incredibly powerful move. It belonged to a class of techniques referred to as the one-shot moves, so called for their ability to incapacitate an opponent in a single hit. Pokémon rights groups have long fought to make them illegal in competitive battling due to the fact that if they are super effective, and sometimes if they aren’t, they are known to kill the victim. Tesla being part steel-type, I didn’t have to worry about that, but the move was an impressive display of power anyway. Spencer seemed to be going for the shock and awe strategy.
I stood helpless as Nidoking’s muscled bulk charged across the misshapen field at Tesla, the purple horn on its head spinning at a dizzying speed. Tesla floated backward slowly but a hit was inevitable. The attack was so powerful that it slipped between the electric-type’s top and bottom right orb. The magnetic pull holding them together was strong enough to pin Nidoking’s horn between them, which resulted in Tesla spinning wildly for a moment before flying off, bouncing off an outcropping of rock, and slamming into the wall behind me, cracking the concrete.
The referee’s ruling was undisputable. “Keith’s Magneton is unable to battle. Spencer’s Nidoking wins!”
I returned the unconscious Pokémon and took a deep breath. I still had the lead; I just needed to be careful. Spencer did, after all, still have his strongest Pokémon in store. Poliwrath was part fighting-type though, so I had two Pokémon with a type advantage. For now, however, I was going to use one of those to knock Nidoking out of the equation.
Not ten minutes later, Psyke stood victorious over the fallen body of Nidoking. Spencer recalled the ground-type and readied his next Poké Ball. I knew for sure what was coming, and it wasn’t good news for Psyke, but I decided to take a risk and leave the psychic-type on the field.
“Let’s go Venomoth,” Spencer cried, throwing another Poké Ball onto the rocky and distorted field. “Signal beam!”
Light screen, teleport behind it, then use psycho cut. It has weak physical defense.
A purple-hued, slightly furry bug-type with big blue eyes and thin, flaky wings appeared on the field and immediately let loose a bright green-yellow light from its fanged mouth. It collided with Psyke’s light screen, but still did considerable damage. In the flash that followed however, the Kadabra disappeared and reappeared right behind the fluttering Venomoth. With a slash of its spoon, Psyke sliced Venomoth with a blade of psychic energy. The poison-type pitched forward, but recovered quickly and retaliated with another signal beam.
It’s difficult to describe what it’s like when two Pokémon with psychic abilities battle each other (for although Venomoth are not psychic-types, they have psychic powers), for the fight takes place as much in the Pokémons’ minds as on the battlefield. I sent Psyke mental encouragement as best as I could, for I knew little about psychic dueling. Sabrina had only briefly mentioned it during our training. In short, it involved the two Pokémon attempting to override the psychic powers of the other so that their attacks wouldn’t just cancel out. The early psycho cut was the first and only psychic attack that Psyke managed to pull off the entire battle, and that was just from luck and surprise. Unfortunately, this situation meant that even though Psyke was clearly going to be the mental victor, Venomoth was much better suited to non-psychic strategies.
Whenever Psyke came close to psychically strong-arming its opponent, Venomoth would hit it with a signal beam or leech life. These constant small blows slowly began to add up. After a while, Psyke’s light screens finally gave way and a powerful signal beam knocked it out. I was impressed with my brother’s Pokémon, I hadn’t expected Psyke to fall so soon. I recalled its body as the referee announced my defeat. I now had three Pokémon left, one tired, while my brother had two.
The epic beast that was Flareth once again took the field and dispatched Venomoth in a single flamethrower. It was now three to one. The crowd was going nuts; it appeared that I would win easily. Although confident, I knew that it wasn’t going to be simple. Spencer threw out a blue and beige ball akin to the one that Tim caught his Gyarados with. Onto the field exploded a squat, yet muscular round, blue Pokémon. The Poliwrath glared at Flareth as it punched a white gloved fist into its opposite hand. The tadpole Pokémon was clearly strong, and I doubted Flareth would be able to stand up long against it. I was quite right, unfortunately. I sent Flareth on a flare blitz directly into a hydro pump that proved to be too much. The powerful blast of stinging water knocked Flareth out without letting it get close enough to do any damage.
“Kieth’s Arcanine is unable to battle. Spencer’s Poliwrath wins!”
On the far side of the field, my brother smirked. Flareth had taken out three of his Pokémon, but was finally down. This had been his plan all along. Tesla had been my only counter to Poliwrath, which was in turn Spencer’s best bet at defeating Flareth. My brother hadn’t won as much of a victory as he seemed to think, though, for Flareth was not even my strongest Pokémon. I decided to stop playing around and end it right away.
“Come on, Baron!”
The crowd cheered uproariously as my flying-type took the field. It had become the object of quite a bit of media attention after it had miraculously pulled a win out of thin air against Neil and his Electabuzz. Baron was undoubtedly the very reason that I stood where I stood.
Spencer wasn’t about to let type disadvantages stop him.”Ice beam!”
Dodge, then use wing attack.
With a single flap of its mighty wings, Baron took flight, just missing the foggy blue-white beam that shot by me and hit the wall of the stadium. A blast of frigid air accompanied its passing and crystals of ice formed where it had struck the concrete. When my attention returned to the battle at hand, I saw Baron slamming its wing into Poliwrath’s swirly stomach, sending the fighting type rolling backwards and landing on all fours. Baron followed through by swinging around and landing in front of me again. I immediately noticed that something was wrong.
Normally, Baron went pretty much the entire battle in the air, never letting its talons touch the ground except where it was part of the strategy. But now it was resting before me. Resting? Indeed, the flying-type’s feathered chest was rising and falling as its beak hung open slightly. Was it really out of breath already? I decided that I was just imagining things. Quick attack.
Without hesitation, Baron darted forward at its opponent, which stood in a ready stance with its gloved hands open and spread. “Counter,” I heard my brother command.
Yeah right, I thought. Baron’s much too fast.
But for whatever reason, Baron was actually much too slow. Poliwrath was plenty ready to grab its beak as the flying-type attempted to slam into it, and hurl the bird into the ground.
“What?!” I exclaimed. Usually Baron’s quick attacks were a thing of beauty. The pure speed of its flight made it an indistinguishable blur. This time, however, it was very much distinguishable. I watched my Pokémon barely dodge another ice beam before returning to me. What’s wrong? I probed its mind and detected nothing but sheer exhaustion and pain. Then I realized what was happening.
Baron had indeed performed a miracle two days before against Neil. It took longer a single day of rest to recover from something as strenuous as that. Even under the professional care of the award winning Viridian City Pokémon Center, Baron was not really fit to battle today. Its muscles had been over stressed and even its fighting spirit needed some time off. Baron was done, I was going to have to do this with my last Pokémon.
Just hold in there a little longer, Baron. I need you to help out Dragonair as much as possible.
My Pokémon didn’t complain or appeal to my pity. It just stood tall and spread its wings: ready, even eager to fight. Air slash!
“Ice beam again, Poliwrath!”
The blade of air that Baron sent whizzing towards Poliwrath was not nearly as formidable as the ones that I had seen it pull off against Neil’s Honchkrow, but it still managed to not only hit Poliwrath, but split the ice beam down the middle, weakening it considerably. A hit was unavoidable in my Pokémon’s current state, though. The super effective beam struck Baron in the chest and sent the flying-type plummeting downward. It hit the ground hard, but pushed itself back to its feet. I grimaced in sympathy. I couldn’t watch this anymore, it was torture.
“I concede!” I waved to the referee.
“Huh? But your Pokémon is still fit to battle...”
“No, it’s not,” I replied. “It’s done.”
I raised Baron’s Poké Ball and recalled it. It… it? Why did I think about Baron as an it? It was more courageous than any human I had met, more devoted than any friend. He deserved my respect. My utmost respect and nothing less. The Pidgeot was a true fighter. For me, he would battle until he died, but that didn’t mean that he was fit to fight. It struck me then that all of my Pokémon deserved the same respect. Were they not my friends? Criss treated her Pokémon like servants, but I liked to think of myself as better than that.
The crowd’s cheering died down a little bit as they wondered what I was doing, then a strange sigh of recognition spread throughout them as the small picture of a Pidgeot on the scoreboard underneath my image faded to black. Across the field, Spencer looked at me quizzically.
“Keith’s Pidgot has been declared unable to battle. Spencer’s Poliwrath wins!”
To prevent myself from getting confused, I had clipped Poké Balls with fainted Pokémon on my left side and kept full and ready Poké Balls on my right side. Now on my left there were five. First was a basic red and white Poké Ball with “Cinnabar Island Research Laboratory” in small print on the bottom. Then was a specially modified Poké Ball that could plug into my stun rod, allowing the weapon to charge from the Pokémon inside. Third came a yellow and black Ultra Ball, originally a gift from none other than the very trainer that I was now facing. Then was another basic ball, this one emblazoned with the insignia of the Celadon City police department. Fifth and last was an unmarked red and white ball that contained the first Pokémon I had ever caught. All five of them had fought hard for me, and I was not going to let them down.
I pulled the last ball from my right side: camouflaged, a pattern unique to Poké Balls used to catch Pokémon in the Safari Zone.
“Dragonair! Let’s finish this!”
The crowd’s volume doubled. It was exciting to watch a Pokémon as rare as mine battle. The sound invigorated Dragonair. I took a deep breath to calm my furiously beating heart and made the connection that was the reason I was such a successful trainer. When Dragonair had been a Dratini, her dominant emotions were fear and apprehension. Now she radiated confidence and a lust for battle that was clearly fueled by the crowd’s support. I let those feelings fill me as if they were my own, but before the battle began, I realized something. Dragonair was female. I had never really thought about that before. I shook my head to clear my mind and concentrated on the battle at hand.
Safeguard. I knew what my brother’s strategy would be. He was intimidated by a dragon-type.
“Hypnosis!” he ordered, but it was rendered ineffective by my precaution.
I decided to give him another shot. “Dynamic punch, then!” Spencer shouted, and his Pokémon sprang into action. Leaping between the rocks that still covered the field from Nidoking’s earthquake, it was an impressive display of agility.
Impressive, but useless. Stop it with thunder wave.
A thin bolt of electricity lanced out of Dragonair’s horn and sparked around the next rock that Poliwrath was going to jump to. The water-type flailed wildly as it tried to halt its momentum, but the attempt was useless. It flew straight into a net of electricity that danced about its limbs, paralyzing it.
Want to try to finish this in one shot? I asked Dragonair. She responded with a resounding affirmative. Good, let’s show them dragon rush.
Since she had evolved, I had been working with Dragonair to perfect dragon rush between battles. Now it was time to see if all of that training had paid off.
While Poliwrath still struggled against the electricity that held it in place, Dragonair let out a cry and spread the wing-like feathers on either side of her head. The blue orbs on her tail and throat glowed bright white as she slowly levitated off of the ground. Dragonair’s cry grew to a crescendo as she flew forward, her horn piercing the air in front of it. A purple and yellow field, similar to the color of dragon rage, spread out around the tip of her horn while the dragon-type continued to pick up speed. Poliwrath finally managed to push itself to its knees just in time to see the dragon Pokémon bearing down upon it.
A terrific smash, a cloud of dirt and dust, then silence. The crowd quieted as a thousand heads strained to see what was going on. Then…
“Spencer’s Poliwrath is unable to battle. Keith’s Dragonair wins. Spencer is out of useable Pokémon, so the victory goes to Keith Anders!”
On the scoreboard high above us, the sixth and final symbol under Spencer’s picture turned to black and my image filled the screen.
I managed to maintain my composure long enough to recall Dragonair, but then exhaustion took over and I sank to my knees. I blinked slowly and looked at my watch. Three hours. I had been standing in place for three hours straight. I gave a sigh of relief at being able to wrangle a victory, and pushed myself to my feet.
I strode to the middle of the field, where I met my brother. He smiled at me as he shook my hand. “Not bad, I guess.”
“Not bad? That’s all you can say?” I laughed.
“I can’t believe I let my baby brother beat me.” He winked at me.
There was a pause, then he pulled me into a big bear hug.
“You’ve grown up, Keith. A lot.”
Hope you enjoyed.
NEXT: Criss vs Tim, and MORE FORESHADOWING