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  1. #46

    Default Re: Jim: Blaze of Glory

    Chapter 46
    Jim vs. Nigel: Part 2


    “Well, how do you like that, Stevens?” asked Nigel. “We’re down to the halfway point: 3 against 3. Do you think you can drum up enough reserves to keep up this dance?”

    “I know I can, Nigel. Now that we’re even, this match can go either way.”

    “I quite agree. But come, let us save the banter and move on. Beheeyem, come forth!”

    Nigel tossed his next Poke Ball, and his Beheeyem appeared, floating in midair.

    “Beheeyem, huh? All right, then,” Jim muttered, drawing his next Poke Ball. “Croco, you’re up!”

    He tossed the ball, and the Krokorok appeared on the battlefield.

    “Ah, yes, the new addition to your team,” said Nigel. “He put up quite a fight against Solomon.”

    “Croco’s no newbie, Nigel,” said Jim. “We met all the way back in the desert. The only reason he hasn’t shown up until now is because he’s in special training with Clay.”

    “Fascinating,” said Nigel, intrigued. “Well, then, this should be a treat.”

    “We’re gonna make it so. Croco, start this off with Stone Edge!”

    Croco raised one arm, a ring of jagged stones materializing to swirl around him before shooting right for Beheeyem.

    “Deflect them back with Psychic!” Nigel commanded.

    Beheeyem swept one arm forward, its green eyes glowing. The stones stopped in midair, surrounded by a blue aura. Then, they swiveled around and shot right back at Croco, who had to shield his arms to block off the onslaught.

    (Well, that’s a clever way to use a Psychic attack on a Dark type…)

    “Ok, Croco, use Crunch!”

    Croco crouched, then lunged for Beheeyem, his fangs gleaming white.

    “Beheeyem, use Energy Ball!”

    Beheeyem raised its arm, the green button on its palm shining brightly. A glimmering greenish-yellow orb of light appeared there, then fired like a cannonball, catching Croco right in the face and tossing him backward.

    (Ok, this is not going well. I’ve gotta get in a hit on Beheeyem, or this’ll be a complete sweep…)

    “Croco, go for Earthquake!”

    Croco raised his foot and slammed it hard against the ground, causing it to rock violently and for several sections of it to crack and rise up. Beheeyem was knocked high into the air, and Croco leaped after it.

    “Poor planning, Stevens,” said Nigel. “Beheeyem, Signal Beam!”

    Beheeyem’s eyes began to glow a myriad of colors, and a beam in the shape of its eye formation, made up of all colors, fired upon Croco, blasting him and sending him crashing down. Beheeyem floated back down as the Desert Croc got back to his feet.

    (Come on, Jim, think...You’ve got to catch him off his guard, make him make a mistake…)

    “Now, just to up the ante,” said Nigel, calmly, “Beheeyem, Calm Mind.”

    Beheeyem closed its eyes and held its arms slightly raised, seeming to go into a meditative trance. A soft, bluish light surrounded its body. Jim took out his Pokedex.

    “Calm Mind, a Psychic type move that raises the Special Attack and Special Defense of the user.”

    (Uh oh...If he lands another hit on Croco when powered up like that, he’s done for!)

    “So sorry, Stevens,” said Nigel, once Beheeyem had reopened its eyes, “but I’m afraid this next hit shall be the last for your Krokorok. Beheeyem, Signal Beam!”

    Beheeyem’s eyes began to glow again. It was all or nothing now!

    “Croco, Earthquake!”

    Croco slammed his foot down on the ground once again. Beheeyem shook and wobbled and was tossed into the air again, the Signal Beam firing and going way off course. Nigel blanched, but quickly regained his composure.

    “Energy Ball, Beheeyem!”

    Beheeyem righted itself and aimed down at Croco, another yellow-green ball forming in front of its hand.

    “Knock it back with Iron Tail!” said Jim.

    Beheeyem fired, and Croco leaped forward to intercept, his tail glowing with a silvery, metallic light. He swung it sharply, hitting the Energy Ball and sending it sailing back at its owner, causing it to explode against it and sending it plummeting down.

    “Beheeyem!” Nigel yelled.

    “Now we’ve got you!” said Jim. “Croco, finish this with Crunch!”

    Croco lunged, fangs bared and glowing once again. He caught Beheeyem in midair in his mouth, twisted around, and spat him out straight down into the ground, making it reverberate with the impact. The Desert Croc landed deftly back down, while Beheeyem was down for the count, eyes rolling dizzily.

    “Beheeyem is unable to battle! Krokorok wins!”

    “Good job, Croco!” Jim said.

    Croco, though looking battered and a little worn out, gave him the thumbs up, as Nigel recalled Beheeyem.

    “Not bad, Stevens,” he said. “That was quite ingenious. Still, your Krokorok has taken quite a beating. Can it stand up to...Heatmor?”

    He tossed his next Poke Ball, and a new Pokemon appeared. It looked like a large anteater, with a gray head and a red body striped with yellow, which reminded one of lava or fire. It had a pipe-like tail and long, sharp claws. As Jim looked at it and brought out his Pokedex, he saw a spout of flames escape its long snout.

    “Heatmor, the Anteater Pokemon. Heatmor breathes through its tail as a fire blazes within it. Its prey of choice is Durant, burning through their shells with its fiery tongue.”

    “Very pleasant…” Jim muttered. “Croco, let’s see if you can land a few hits on it.”

    “You got it, Jimmy,” said Croco.

    “Start things off with Stone Edge!”

    Croco raised his arm, another cloud of jagged stones appearing in the air, which shot like bullets at Heatmor.

    “Heatmor, Dig!” commanded Nigel.

    With the agility of a gopher, Heatmor burrowed into the ground, missing the stones’ assault. Jim was initially frustrated, until an idea came to him.

    “Bad move, Nigel,” he said. “Heatmor’s a prime target now.”

    Nigel raised an eyebrow, but said nothing.

    “Croco, Earthquake!”

    Once more, Croco slammed the ground, making it tremble violently. With a surge, Heatmor came flying out of a fissure, tossed about by the force of the attack. Nigel did not look concerned, however.

    “Heatmor, Inferno!”

    Heatmor’s eyes glowed an eerie yellow as it righted itself in midair. It reared its head back, and when it threw it forward again, it shot a blazing stream of blue-purple flames, surrounded by rings, from its snout, down at Croco.

    “Croco, get out of there!” Jim yelled.

    It was no good. Even though Croco leaped aside, the flame was either too massive, or Croco was too weak from his battle with Beheeyem to go any further. Either way, the fire consumed him, and Jim had to shield his face from the unbelievable heat coming from such an attack. When the fire finally did subside, there was Croco, flat against the ground, charred and out cold.

    “Krokorok is unable to battle! Heatmor wins!”

    Heatmor landed back on the ground, a puff of black smoke emanating from its pipe-like tail as Jim recalled poor Croco.

    “You did a great job, Croco,” he said. “I’m proud of you, but I think I know who needs to stick it to that Heatmor for your sake.”

    So saying, he pocketed Croco’s Poke Ball, drew his next ball, and tossed it, unveiling Torrent.

    “As I anticipated,” said Nigel, “though this is hardly against your credit, as I’ve come to know what a tough customer that Simipour of yours is. Make no mistake, however. Heatmor is not to be trifled with, either.”

    Heatmor bared the claws of one hand, then clenched them into a fist for emphasis.

    “I don’t doubt that at all,” said Jim, coolly. “Torrent, show this Heatmor why you don’t even mess with former members of our team.”

    Torrent nodded and put up his dukes.

    “Give him a taste of Hydro Pump, for starters!”

    Torrent cupped his paws at his side, a swirling mass of water forming between them. Then, he threw them forward, sending a surging gush of it at Heatmor.

    “Dig, Heatmor!”

    Once again, Heatmor dove underground, but Torrent wasn’t done. Surprising both Jim and Nigel, he moved his arms in a way that sent the Hydro Pump in a curve down into the hole Heatmor just dug. With a splashing burst, the water came surging up out of the ground like a geyser, Heatmor held aloft by it.

    “Impossible!” Nigel shouted. “How did he know to do that?!”

    “Don’t ask me,” Jim shrugged. “Must be a circus thing.”

    “Bah, no matter,” scoffed Nigel. “Heatmor, Inferno, once again!”

    Heatmor once again righted itself and sent a scorching stream of blue and purple flames down upon Torrent.

    “Another Hydro Pump, Torrent!” said Jim. “Block it off!”

    Torrent sent another blast of water from his palms, striking against the flames in an attempt to keep them back. While this did work, technically, showers of the flames, like little comets, came raining down past the water, striking Torrent where he stood. He cringed, and the water and flames dissipated. However, to Jim’s horror, Torrent’s body blinked a dark red, and flames briefly flared around his body.

    “What happened?! Torrent, are you ok?!”

    “Not too sure,” Torrent said, his voice strained. “Is it toasty out here, or is it me?”

    “What did your Heatmor do to Torrent?!” Jim snapped to Nigel, as Heatmor landed back on the ground.

    “Didn’t you know?” Nigel asked, smirking. “Inferno always leaves a burn behind when it hits. Your Krokorok was lucky to be taken down when he was, or the experience might have been much more excruciating for him.”

    (A Fire attack that can even burn a Water type on every hit? That’s not good…)

    “Now, Heatmor, use Slash!”

    Heatmor raced toward Torrent, its claws extending and glowing white.

    “Counter it with Brick Break!”

    Torrent, in spite of his burn, charged forward, his forearm glowing white. The two struck at each other at the same time, claws and fist colliding, knocking both back. Torrent’s body flared briefly again, and he winced.

    “Hang in there, Torrent…” said Jim.

    “It’s useless,” said Nigel. “That burn is already doing a number on him. Heatmor, end this pitiful scene. Giga Drain!”

    Jim turned pale. Nigel had really gone the extra mile to round out his Pokemon’s move pools. He must have seen several tutors to fit them out with all kinds of moves. An attack like Giga Drain was sure to sap Torrent’s remaining strength.

    Heatmor’s eyes glowed green, and so did its claws, which extended and clicked malevolently. It charged straight for Torrent.

    “Torrent, stop that Heatmor! Use Hydro Pump!”

    Torrent cringed as he moved his arms. Cupping them at his side, he formed another swirling, surging ball of water, while Heatmor came closer and closer. Finally, with a cry that was both pained and war-like, Torrent unleashed another raging blast of water which overtook the surprised Heatmor, who obviously didn’t expect the Simipour to have the strength to fight back like that. It was swept backwards, rolling and flailing.

    “Heatmor, get back up!” Nigel urged.

    “Now, Torrent, use Brick Break!”

    Torrent charged, arm glowing and swinging rapidly, despite his burn.

    “Heatmor, use Slash!” Nigel yelled.
    Heatmor lunged out with its claws, just as Torrent attacked. With an air-splitting *WHAM!*, he socked Heatmor right in the face, just as Torrent was struck by Heatmor’s claws. Both were sent tumbling onto their faces. Heatmor did not get back up. Torrent, however, tried to rise, but there was another flicker of dark flames, and he flopped onto his face.

    “Torrent!” Jim yelled.

    “Simipour and Heatmor are both unable to battle! This matchup is a draw!”

    Jim swallowed hard. Both he and Nigel were down to their final Pokemon, and he already knew who it was going to be. Nigel seemed to be coming to similarly grim conclusions.

    “Well, Stevens, he we are at the end of our little tete-a-tete,” he said. “I must say, this has been thoroughly enjoyable. I’ve never felt this alive in a long time. You bring out the best in me with your battling prowess.”

    “I’ve been enjoying this as well, Nigel,” said Jim. “It’s been extremely harrowing, but I’m glad it’s this way: both of us with only one Pokemon left.”

    “So am I, old bean, so am I. Let’s get down to it, shall we?”

    “Let’s.”

    “Simisage, the time has come!”

    “Spade, it’s up to you!”

    In dual blazes of Poke Ball light, Simisage and Spade appeared on the battlefield.

    There was a tense silence. Everyone knew it was now down to this: the final showdown. One false move could mean the entire match for either of them. The atmosphere was so thick with anxiety, one could cut it with a knife. The two combatants stared each other down, neither yielding an inch.

    At last, Jim gave the first command, splitting the silent air.

    “Spade, use Metal Claw!”

    Spade darted forward, his claws gleaming with a silver sheen.

    “Dodge it and use Seed Bomb!”

    Spade swung, just as Simisage jumped out of the way. As he did so, he cupped his paws to his side, a glowing green ball forming between them, which then fired like a bullet at Spade. Spade shielded his face with his claws, resulting in an explosion that sent him skidding back.

    “All right, give him a taste of Drill Run!”

    Spade enclosed himself within his claws and launched himself like a spinning missile at Simisage.

    “Dig!” Nigel commanded.

    Just like Heatmor had done, Simisage burrowed underground, causing Spade to sail over him. However, even as he unfolded, the Thorn Monkey Pokemon came bursting out from right beneath where he landed, sending Spade flying.

    “Use X-Scissor!” shouted Jim.

    Spade righted himself and crossed his claws in front of himself, where they began to glow with a purple fire. He uncrossed them swiftly, sending a fiery purple X right down on Simisage, who found himself overwhelmed by the attack and thrown flat against the ground. Spade regained his position at his side of the field.

    “Very clever, Stevens,” said Nigel, “but we’re not licked yet. Simisage, prepare for another Seed Bomb!”

    Simisage cupped his paws at his side once again.

    “Not this time!” said Jim. “Spade, use Drill Run!”

    Spade once again shot like a whirring missile at Simisage, but Jim saw by the unpleasant smile on Nigel’s face that he had intended for this.

    “And now swap it for Focus Blast!” he said.

    The orb in Simisage’s palms, which had originally been green, turned blue and expanded, before he launched at Spade. It exploded against him, making him unfold and topple into the dirt.

    “Spade! Get up!” Jim yelled.

    Spade struggled to get to his feet. The super-effective Dig and Focus Blast attacks had done a number on him.

    “How sad,” mused Nigel. “Now, Simisage, another Focus Blast should do it. Fire when ready.”

    Simisage cupped his paws once more, another ball of blue light forming, but this one getting bigger and bigger each second. Jim had to react fast! If this one struck, it could be game over, right here and now!

    “Spade, use X-Scissor!”

    Spade’s eyes flashed with a determined light. In one sweeping motion, he crossed his claws, then swept them apart again, sending another fiery purple X at Simisage. It bowled him over and sent the Focus Blast sailing high into the air, where it exploded like a firework. Nigel stared.

    “So, there’s still some fight in you, is there?”

    “There always will be,” Jim challenged.

    “Suit yourself,” said Nigel. “Simisage, use Dig!”

    “Spade, follow him with Drill Run!”

    Simisage burrowed underground, while Spade closed himself within his claws, turned over, and tunneled down like a drill. After that, the air became deadly quiet. Not a sound stirred but the quiet murmur of the audience. Jim waited on tenterhooks, since anything could be happening down there. Nigel’s eyes never left the spot where Simisage dove down.

    Then, all of a sudden, there was an almighty rumbling from beneath the ground, and both Pokemon went flying, Spade even higher up. It seemed he had been on the receiving end of the attack. All eyes turned skywards as the two Pokemon were thrown up.

    “Simisage, end this once and for all!” Nigel yelled. “Solarbeam!”

    Jim saw Simisage bring his paws to his side, a gleaming golden ball forming between them. This was it: it was to be decided here and now!

    “Spade, use Drill Run!” Jim yelled. “Give it all you’ve got!”

    From on high, Spade folded himself up again, turned to aim at Simisage, and plummeted like a missile, whirling and spinning, the sun gleaming off his claws. Everyone gasped. Many jumped to their feet to watch. Charlie Burton and Alder stood rooted to the spot, jaws dropped.

    “FIRE!!” Nigel roared.

    Simisage flung his paws forward, and with an almighty blaze of light, a beam of pure sunlight shot forward at Spade, colliding with the spinning drill of a Pokemon as he descended. For several tense seconds, it looked as if the attack was keeping Spade suspended where he was.

    “Keep it together, Spade,” Jim muttered, fists clenched. “Come on…”

    Then, suddenly, amazingly, Spade began to move lower and lower down. He was pushing through the Solarbeam! Nigel’s jaw dropped in horror.

    “Simisage! Don’t let him through! Keep going!”

    “Come on, Spade!” yelled Jim. “You can do this!”

    Simisage’s teeth clenched tightly as he tried to pour on more power, but Spade was coming closer and closer, spinning so rapidly that a ring of fire was surrounding him, as if he were a descending comet from space.

    “No!” Nigel yelled.

    “Yes!” shouted Jim.

    Simisage could now see the danger he was in, but it was no good stopping now. Spade was pushing the energy back further and further, making the ball of light the Solarbeam was being shot from bigger and bigger. It was like a bomb that was threatening to explode.

    And that’s just what it did.

    With a roar that shook the stands, the ball of light exploded, bathing the entire sky with a bright yellow burst of sunlight. Everyone shielded their eyes, and Jim and Nigel were hard-pressed to keep from being blown off their feet. The very stadium seemed to be in the throe of a cyclone.

    The light finally disappeared, and everyone uncovered their eyes. What they saw when they did made their jaws drop.

    The Pokemon had returned to the ground. Spade, battered, buffeted, and weak, was standing over Simisage, who was in an even worse state, one of the Excadrill’s claws over his chest like a threatening sword, and both breathing hard. Jim felt his heart slamming against his ribcage, his eyes never leaving the scene.

    Then, silently, Spade removed his claw, and held it under his horn in a manner not unlike a cowboy tipping his hat. A second after, Simisage gave a very weak smile, as if glad of the respect, and flopped onto his back.

    “Simisage is unable to battle!” the referee yelled, his voice carrying loudly over the silence. “Excadrill wins, which means the winner of the semifinal match is Jim Stevens!”

    It started slow, but soon, the cheers and yells of the crowd grew into a tumultuous confusion of noise. Leanne and Bianca were bouncing up and down wildly in their seats, June and Oshawott were hopping about in jubilation, holding each other’s paws, and Mrs. Stevens was practically weeping with joy. Professor Juniper, Cheren, Cruise, and Solomon were cheering the loudest of all, but the Guy’s big, proud smile spoke volumes more than any cheers could.

    Jim, feeling as if the sunlight from the Solarbeam was flooding his very body, ran to Spade, while Nigel went to get Simisage.

    “Spade, that was incredible!” he said. “I’m really proud of you!”

    “T’weren’t nothin’,” said Spade, wearily, but with a big smile on his pointed face. “Ah couldn’t let ya down, Mr. Jim. Not when we’d come so far.”

    Jim said nothing to that, but merely embraced his Excadrill tightly. Nigel, meanwhile, rose up with Simisage.

    “Good job, old friend,” he said, quietly. “You were spectacular. I’m proud of you.”

    He recalled his partner, and turned to Jim.

    “You’ve proven you’re the better man, Jim,” he said. “I congratulate you.”

    Jim stared. It was the first time he could ever remember that Nigel didn’t refer to him as ‘Stevens’.

    “Thanks, Nigel,” he said. “You put up an amazing fight. I’d never felt so energized.”

    “Nor have I, which is what I really wanted. Do your best against Cheren, Jim. Even if you don’t win, you deserve to be in the finals more than I do.”

    He held out his hand, and Jim warmly shook it, the cheers in the crowd redoubling.

    Absolutely unbelievable!” Burton roared into his mic. “The most fantastic ending to a semifinal match I’ve ever seen! There are simply not enough words to describe what I’ve just witnessed!”

    “I can think of a fair few myself,” said Alder, who had kept his control better than his co-announcer. “That took remarkable bravado and determination. I think we’re in for quite a show tomorrow, when Jim and Cheren face off for the cup.”

    “Right you are, Mr. Champion, as always!” said Burton. “Ladies and gentleman, we now have our main event: Jim Stevens vs. Cheren, both natives of Nuvema Town! Who will bring home the prize, and have the honor of facing our own Champion Alder? Find out tomorrow!”

    Y Rotation Team

  2. #47

    Default Re: Jim: Blaze of Glory

    Chapter 47
    The Breath Before the Plunge


    Jim and Nigel’s clash of the titans was still being talked about that night over dinner. Cruise was giving an ecstatic play by play, acting as if no one else had been there.

    “And Escavalier dove right through the flames and took Torch out, but him along with it! Didn’t he, Solomon?”

    “Yes, Cruise, you’re quite correct,” said Solomon, wearily.

    It finally ended when Cruise’s Serperior shut him him up by putting his tail over his master’s mouth. This made everyone laugh.

    Nigel, meanwhile, cast a glance at June, who was eating heartily.

    “I say, Jim, is your Snivy well? She seems to have put on a few pounds.”

    “Yeah, we only just noticed yesterday,” said Jim, “but she’s fine, aren’t you, girl?”

    June looked up and smiled that usual smile of hers.

    “Do you intend for her to battle tomorrow? She doesn’t appear to be in prime fighting form.”

    “She will be,” said Jim. “Nothing short of a natural disaster is going to keep June from battling, and even then, you’d have to hold her back from rushing in.”

    June seemed to appreciate this praise, as she nuzzled against Jim’s arm. Nigel couldn’t help but grin at this.

    “That last match is gonna be tough to top,” said the Guy. “You’re in the final bout now. You’ve got to give those people their money’s worth. They came to see an epic clash, and that’s what you’ve gotta give them.”

    “You’re saying I wasn’t going to even without knowing that?” Jim asked, raising an eyebrow.

    “Nah, course not,” said the Guy, chuckling. “I’m just saying, the both of you are gonna be broadcast live, coast to coast, duking it out. You’ve gotta show them why you came to this point in the first place.”

    “Duly noted,” said Cheren.

    Jim looked at his best friend. He was speaking calmly enough, but he wondered what was really going through his head. Was he, like him, feeling a whirlwind of emotions: nervousness, excitement, and a touch of nausea? It was always hard to tell with him.

    “Gosh,” said Bianca, “all this time I’ve been rooting for both Jim and Cheren to make it to the finals, and now that they have, I don’t know who to root for!”

    “Root for whoever’s kicking the other’s butt,” said Cruise, removing Serperior’s tail from his face. “That’s an easy solution.”

    “Tactful as always, Cruise,” said Solomon, sardonically.

    “Just enjoy the battle for what it is, Bianca,” said Jim. “I won’t feel bad if you’re not rooting for me the whole time.”

    “Nor will I, if you’re not rooting for me,” said Cheren. “Jim and I just want to give a good battle, show each other what we’ve come to learn after all this time.”

    “Wouldn’t have put it better myself,” said Jim, proudly.

    Bianca smiled.

    “Ok! I’ll still be behind both of you guys!”

    “And so will I,” said Leanne. “You’re both amazing Trainers, and you deserve this. Whoever wins and whoever loses won’t change a thing.”

    “I’m just proud that my boy’s made it this far altogether,” said Mrs. Stevens, giving her son’s shoulder a squeeze. “Your father would have loved to see you now, battling for the championship.”

    “Thanks, Mom,” said Jim, softly.

    This was what Jim liked best of all about all this: not merely the thought of being part of the Pokemon League competition, nor that he was about to enter the biggest battle of his life, but that he was surrounded by friends and family who were with him no matter what, and who would watch him with pride and good will in their hearts. It was moments like these that made him forget all about Team Plasma, and Ghetsis, and Zekrom, and N. Although, he still often wondered where N was right now. Wherever Zekrom was looming, he surely was with him, but they’d heard no reports of the Deep Black Pokemon soaring through the sky. Just what was he up to, and what was Team Plasma really planning?

    His thoughts were interrupted by a loud, long belch from Cruise that turned all eyes upon him, most in exasperation. His empty soda glass was evidence enough.

    “What?” he asked, innocently.

    Serperior rolled his eyes.

    ***


    That evening, while Jim decided to take a walk around the grounds with his friends, his Pokemon, plus Leanne’s, were conversing amongst each other in a grassy pavilion about what tomorrow would bring. June and Oshawott were sitting together under an oak tree.

    “It’s hard to believe we’ve come so far,” said the former.

    “I quite agree,” said Oshawott. “Why, I can still remember the day we first met, all the way back in Accumula Town.”

    “Hmm, yes,” said June, fondly. “You were quite splendid in battle.”

    “I?” asked Oshawott, amused. “You were truly the belle of the bout, my dear. Such grace, such precision, and knowing Leaf Blade so early, to boot.”

    June smiled and giggled.

    “I also remember,” Oshawott went on, wryly, “your treatment of my extensions of friendship towards you.”

    “Extensions of friendship?” June asked, raising an eyebrow and putting her fists on her hips. “If that’s what you call being a cheeky flirt-”

    “Ohh, cheeky, was I?” asked Oshawott. “You always were clever with terminology.”

    “You’re impossible,” June sighed, but she smiled nonetheless.

    Oshawott, however, lost his smile, which was quite a rare sight for the chivalrous Pokemon.

    “Darling, what is it?” June asked, concern in her voice.

    “I merely wonder what will become of us once we return from the League,” he said. “We spent all of our energies and capacities reaching this point, but what comes after? Had either of us, or even Jim or Leanne, given any thought to the return journey?”

    June paused in surprise. Oshawott was right. With all of their concentration being on reaching the Pokemon League, she never thought about, nor heard Jim discuss, what they would do once the League was over and were on their way home. She had no doubt Jim would want to go back to Nuvema Town, and that was fine with her, but what about Leanne and Oshawott? They would most likely go back to Accumula. Would they ever see each other after that? There was no doubt about that, seeing as the two humans had grown very close. Still, this did leave some very serious food for thought…

    She put a comforting paw on Oshawott’s, and he looked up at her.

    “Jim and Leanne would never want to separate,” she said, softly, “not after all that we’ve been through. I’m sure he hasn’t let it pass out of his mind. He’s just been trying to concentrate on the League, that’s all. We’ll work this out.”

    Oshawott mulled this over for a moment, then smiled again.

    “Yes,” he said, finally. “You’re quite right, love. I was silly to think otherwise. I shan’t want to lose you so easily.”

    “Nor I you,” said June, tenderly.

    “Once we can settle down to a normal life again,” Oshawott added, “I’ll be the mate you’d always want. I’ll even cook your meals for you. I have yet to introduce your taste buds to my own fashion of cuisine.”

    He patted June’s soft middle, and she giggled.

    “I can hardly wait,” she said. “It’ll be so strange to settle down and not battle for a long time, but it’ll be worth it.”

    “I concur, my dear.”

    They clasped paws and kissed each other tenderly, unaware that Echo had been observing, quite by accident. The goofy Swoobat sighed to himself.

    “Young love,” he said. “A wonderful thing.”

    “I think so, too,” said a voice to his left, making him jump.

    Tranquill was hovering beside him.

    “You startled me,” said Echo, as the two settled on a branch together.

    “Sorry,” she said. “I just caught the last of what those two were saying. I do hope Jim has thought about it, and Leanne too. I’d hate to be separated from you.”

    “I’d never feel happy again if we were,” Echo confessed. “Jim’s a wonderful Trainer, and every Pokemon on the team is my friend, but without you, I’d feel like...well, like a piece inside me was missing.”

    Tranquill smiled softly.

    “You really do have a big heart under all that fluff,” she said, sidling up to him.

    Echo felt his face go hot, and his eyes twinkled.

    “Big enough for the both of us,” he said, softly, and he draped a wing over Tranquill, who nestled against his shoulder.

    ***


    Elsewhere, Torch, Torrent, and Lilligant were sitting beside each other, Lilligant beside Torrent, and Torch on the Simipour’s other side.

    “You both are doing wonderfully,” said Lilligant, clasping Torrent’s arm. “Leanne and Oshawott told me everything. I wish I could have seen it for myself.”

    “It’s not that big a deal,” said Torrent. “I doubt you’d have wanted to see us getting slapped around in the tougher parts.”

    “I just wish I’d had the forethought to prepare some inter-battle jokes,” said Torch. “Being out of my old talents left me a little rusty, though.”

    “Trust me,” Torrent said, “if you’d told some of your cornies to your opponents, they might have had even stronger reasons to rip you a new one.”

    “Oh yeah?” Torch challenged, grinning. “Well, I still haven’t forgotten my best jokes. I’ve been saving them for a special occasion.”

    He stood up and cleared his throat. Torrent rolled his eyes in a way that said ‘here we go’, and Lilligant giggled.

    “I know a Sandile who was so dumb,” Torch began.

    “How dumb was he?” said Torrent, as if he were wearily reading a cue card.

    “He was so dumb, he forgot Bite so he could learn Crunch. Now, whenever he eats, he takes the plate with him!”

    Torrent groaned and smacked his forehead with his palm.

    “But hey,” Torch said, shrugging, “better than the Stoutland who replaced Bite with Ice Fang. He had to learn Fire Fang just to defrost the food he just bit into!”

    Lilligant giggled, but Torrent groaned again.

    “Lilligant’s got better taste than you, bro,” said Torch, teasingly. “And that’s saying something, since she doesn’t have a mouth.”

    “Don’t you go insulting my girl!” Torrent snapped, raising a threatening fist at Torch.

    “Whoa, whoa, hey!” Torch spluttered, stepping back. “I meant no harm by it! Lilli, you know that, don’t you?”

    “Of course, Torch,” said Lilligant. “I thought it was funny.”

    Torrent hesitated, and he sighed and lowered his fist.

    “Just keep practicing,” he said, “Clowns have to be ridiculous, but they still have to be funny, too.”

    Torch sighed with relief at avoiding being punched in the nose, and sat back down.

    “I wonder how the circus is doing without us,” he mused.

    “From what it says in the papers, they’re still going strong,” said Torrent. “We’re mentioned sometimes. Don’t you ever read the papers?” he added, irritated that his brother hadn’t been keeping up.

    “Sure I do! Just the-”

    “Funnies, I know,” Torrent cut in, wearily.

    “See? You do understand my humor,” said Torch, proudly.

    “Bro, it doesn’t take a genius to understand Bad Pun-ese.”

    Lilligant laughed.

    “Aw, what do you know?” Torch muttered, waving his brother off, who settled to snuggling up beside Lilligant.

    ***


    In another corner of the pavilion, Jolt, Spade, Rok, and Croco were sitting together, while Missy, Zorua, and Larvesta were playing around. The little Tricky Fox and Torch Pokemon would often pounce on the Sky Squirrel Pokemon and tickle her belly, as it was such an easy target. Missy giggled and laughed out loud, and would tease Zorua by playing keep away with her tail when she got back up, making him miss it by inches with his playful nipping, while Larvesta let off little puffs of flame in his enthusiasm. The older Pokemon smiled at their antics.

    “Ah remember when Ah was still a little Drilbur,” said Spade. “Sometime Ah’d play with Mr. Clay’s smaller Pokemon. Pa said Ah was unbeatable at hide and seek.”

    “Your dad’s mighty proud of you, sport,” said Croco, clapping Spade on the shoulder. “He talks about you a lot back home. He and Junior are both rootin’ for ya.”

    Spade smiled warmly.

    “Thanks, Mr. Croco. There’s been somethin’ Ah’ve been meanin’ to ask.”

    “Yeah?”

    “What are ya gonna do once the tournament’s over? Are you gonna go back with Mr. Clay?”

    “Most likely,” said Croco. “Jim’s a great kid, but I’ve never felt more at home than I do with Clay. Though, I gotta be honest,” Croco added, with a rough chuckle, “if Jim hadn’t caught my keister back in the desert, I wouldn’t be where I was. I’d still be a desert rat pilfering camps and stealing wallets. I owe a lot to that kid.”

    “As do I,” said Jolt.

    “What, you?” asked Croco, disbelieving. “What problems could you have, Stripes? You’ve gotta be the most mature out of all of us.”

    Jolt smiled wryly.

    “I’m glad you think so,” said Jolt, “but before I met Jim, I was a bit of a troublemaker. I grew up in a herd of many Blitzle, and I wanted to be the best out of all of them. I wanted to learn Flame Charge before they did, and I did, but I couldn’t get it to work properly, so I became a little aggressive. Jim, however, understood me. I wasn’t enthused when he caught me, at first, but when he showed me that he knew how I was feeling, I let him bring me along, and in that way, I did learn to control my Flame Charge and utilize my Motor Drive Ability in a clever way. He’s a good man, Jim, and I wouldn’t want any other Trainer.”

    “Me owe lots to Jim-friend too,” said Rok.

    “What is this, ‘How Jim Saved My Hinder’?” Croco grunted.

    Rok looked at him in puzzlement.

    “Never mind,” Croco said, waving his hand at him. “Go ahead.”

    “Me not know much about the world when me wake up,” Rok said, “but Jim-friend always patient with me. He try to teach me how to fly. He make me new Nepi Berry mix. He let me stay with Mama Juniper so me grow into big, strong Archeops. Me would never leave Jim-friend for anything.”

    “Nor would I,” chipped in Spade. “He’s been awful patient with me, even when Ah started out slow. It’s cuz of him that Ah was able to take down a Gigalith and evolve into an Excadrill. And it’s cuz of him that Ah met Mr. Croco, who helped make it all possible.”

    “Ah, well,” grunted Croco. “It was nothin’. Both of us needed a change, and the time was right.”

    “You’re a real softy, Croco,” said Jolt.

    “I am not!” Croco snapped.

    “Croco softy!” trilled Rok.

    “Shut it, bird brain!” Croc growled.

    The others paid his insults no mind, though, and went on chatting into the night, while Croco muttered, “These guys are turning me into a mush-heart…”

    Whatever their individual thoughts or conversations were that night, all of them had the same singular thoughts on their minds: their dedication to Jim, and their hope to see him do his best in his battle with Cheren tomorrow. It was too fine an evening for gloomy thoughts…

    ***


    “Tomorrow?”

    “Yes. The final battle of the tournament will be on.”

    “Then we make our move tomorrow.”

    “Yes, but after the battle.”

    “Why?”

    “The Pokemon will be weary. We shan’t be interfered with.”

    “Ah, yes, I agree. We wouldn’t want that.”

    “No, indeed. Our time will finally come…”

    Y Rotation Team

  3. #48

    Default Re: Jim: Blaze of Glory

    Chapter 48
    Jim vs. Cheren (Part 1)


    If yesterday’s gala celebrations were extravagant, it was nothing compared to those that happened today. Fireworks filled their air like an entire galaxy of stars, and a full band played a rousing tune to get the crowd excited. A palpable tension and excitement filled the air, an excitement that could be sensed in Charlie Burton’s voice as he welcomed everyone.

    “Helloooooo, Unova!” he roared. “And welcome to the final battle of this year’s Victory Mountain Conference! We have had quite a competition this year, and have seen battling styles without peer! Today, we are about to witness the clash between the two Trainers who have made it the farthest through these grueling challenges! Isn’t that right, Mr. Champion?”

    “Quite right, Charlie,” said Alder, his weatherbeaten face beaming. “It’s rare that I see such fiery competition. This year’s Trainers are the pick of the litter, as far as I see, but of course, no Trainer is any less important than another. Everyone has given their all, and proven, beyond a doubt, why they have come to this point. We’re in for an impressive display today.”

    “That we are!” said Burton. “Let’s not waste any time and introduce our Trainers! First off, on the left side of the battlefield, the young man who has become known as Plasma’s Bane, the owner of the Pokemon who put on that inspiring opening ceremony performance, and the winner of the Nimbasa Battle Tournament, Jim Stevens!”

    The crowd roared with applause as Jim took his place. He threw a wave to the audience, especially to his friends, who were going wild. June was sitting on his shoulder, and she too waved.

    “And on the right side of the battlefield,” continued Burton, “the young man who has, to put it bluntly, absolutely curb-stomped his way to the finals with amazing strategy and powerhouse Pokemon, Cheren!”

    Cheren took his place, the cheers and screams for him no less than those for Jim. His usually pale face was alight, and the sunlight danced off his spotless glasses.

    “Whenever you’re ready, boys!” called Burton. “Let’s get this show on the road!”

    Jim and Cheren stood looking at each other for some moments, neither sure of what to say to the other. This was all so much to take: the two of them about to battle each other for the winner’s cup and the chance to battle Alder! The two best friends, briefly enemies, were here at the end of it all at last.

    At last, Cheren spoke, his voice rather thick.

    “Good luck, Jim.”

    “You too, Cheren,” Jim answered.

    Cheren drew his first Poke Ball.

    “Stoutland, you’re first!” he called, throwing it.

    The sturdy Stoutland appeared on the battlefield, where it gave a competitive growl.

    “Think you can handle this, June?” Jim asked his Snivy.

    “Watch me,” said June, and she leaped down onto the ground.

    Jim was pleased, but also a little surprised. June was only a little thinner since she binged after the battle with Solomon, yet she still seemed as nimble as ever. Then again, he wondered why he should question it, when Missy could move with ease with an even bigger belly.

    “Are you sure June should be battling?” Cheren asked. “She doesn’t look in proper condition.”

    “If she wants to battle, I’m going to let her,” said Jim. “If she wasn’t in a condition to battle, she’d have let me know.”

    Cheren smiled at this. Jim did understand his Pokemon really well.

    “Very well, then,” he said. “You have the first turn.”

    “How gracious,” said Jim.

    He was becoming more and more at his ease with this playful banter, and now, he gave the first command of this battle.

    “June, kick this off with Energy Ball!”

    June leaped into the air, holding one paw upwards. A glowing green and yellow ball of light formed in it, and she tossed it at Stoutland. It exploded against his face, but he seemed to just shrug it off.

    “Stoutland, Thunder Fang!” said Cheren.

    Stoutland bounded at June, fangs bared and glowing with yellow electricity. June had just landed from giving her attack, and so had no time to react. She was picked up in Stoutland’s jaws and cried out in pain as the electricity coursed into her body. He then gave her a toss straight into the air.

    “Now go for a Crunch!” said Cheren.

    Stoutland crouched and leaped upwards, fangs bared again, but this time glowing white.

    “June, use Aerial Ace!”

    June twisted herself about, so that she was nose-first toward the ground, and zoomed down like a missile, arms spread out like wings. She swerved to the side to avoid Stoutland’s fangs and slammed into him from that angle. Both Pokemon came tumbling down, but both landed deftly on their feet.

    “Not bad,” said Cheren. “I see she’s still as dexterous as ever, but we still have plenty of gas left. Stoutland, Thunder Fang, once again!”

    Stoutland lunged for June, fangs sparking once more.

    “June, use Toxic, then get out of the way!” said Jim,

    June raised her paw, a swirling, bubbling mass of purple gunk forming in her palm. She lobbed it at Stoutland, covering its face in the stuff, then leaped aside as his electrified bite missed. Stoutland shuddered, and its body turned a sickly purple. Cheren’s brow furrowed slightly.

    “I knew you would pull that old trick out,” said Cheren, “but I didn’t think so soon.”

    “Hey, you gave me the perfect opportunity,” said Jim. “June, Energy Ball!”

    June formed and tossed another ball of green energy at Stoutland, the explosion knocking the canine Pokemon back and making him flinch, added to the bite of the poison in his system.

    “Stoutland, Giga Impact!” said Cheren.

    Stoutland crouched, an intense golden light surrounding his body. Then, he charged forward, the light streaking behind him like flames.

    “Hold him back, June! Leaf Storm!”

    June twisted herself into the air, a cloud of leaves surrounding her. These leaves then shot forward in a concentrated mass right at Stoutland. The barrage stopped him short, but he still kept on coming, albeit slower and slower. June strained, her teeth set, as she kept the barrage of leaves going. At last, Stoutland, with a grimace of concentration, broke through, slamming into June and sending her flying. She landed on all fours, one eye closed from the impact. Stoutland shuddered again, his coat flickering purple. He needed to recharge from using Giga Impact.

    “Now’s our chance, June,” said Jim. “Give Stoutland another Energy Ball!”

    June held up both paws this time, and an Energy Ball slightly larger than previous ones appeared above them, like a miniature green sun. She tossed it, and it slammed against the sturdy Pokemon. He was looking in pretty bad shape.

    “Stoutland, we can still salvage this,” said Cheren. “Reversal!”

    Stoutland got to his feet and crouched, a coil of white light surging around his body. Jim felt a shudder go through him. He remembered what Reversal had done the last time it was used, and knew this spelled trouble for June.

    “June, try to hold him off again with another Leaf Storm!”

    Once more, June summoned a cloud of leaves that swirled around her. Just as Stoutland charged, she fired. The leaves swarmed around him once again, but he still charged through. June tried to pour on more power into the attack, just as she did against Golurk. Her face turned red with the exertion, and her breath came in sharp pants. Stoutland was beginning to lose steam, the purple glow of the poison becoming stronger, and still the struggle went on.

    Finally, with a noise like a weak growl, Stoutland stopped its charge, and June’s Leaf Storm subsided, the Big-Hearted Pokemon mere inches from the Snivy. With another glimmer of sickly purple, Stoutland collapsed onto its face.

    “Stoutland is unable to battle! Snivy wins!”

    The first blow had gone to Jim. He’d taken out Stoutland, who had thus far proven to be a prime battler in Cheren’s team. However, as Cheren recalled him, Jim wondered if he wouldn’t go straight to Emboar and finish June off with one Flamethrower. June herself was looking worn out from having to exert two Leaf Storm attacks, and from taking a Giga Impact head-on, but there was still a competitive flame in her red eyes.

    “Unfezant, go!” called Cheren.

    In a blaze of light, a male Unfezant appeared in the air. Jim felt another shudder go through his frame, the same kind as when Skyla used Unfezant against him in their Gym Battle. June’s pupils shrunk, and she could not suppress the urge to take a step back. The memories of a dark, stormy day long ago were still haunting her. However, she seemed to steel her nerves, and stepped forward once again.

    “Let’s just put that thing into a bad state for whoever fights next,” Jim said. “June, Toxic!”

    June raised her paw and formed another glob of purple, poisonous goop in it. A smile appeared on Cheren’s face.

    “Unfezant, use U-Turn!”

    As June lobbed the Toxic attack, Unfezant flew straight at the Snivy, glowing a grassy green color. The poison splashed against him, but he didn’t seem to take notice. He struck her hard, sending her for a tumble and making her land on her soft belly. Then, all of a sudden, he disappeared in a flash of the same green glow into his Poke Ball. Before Jim could question it, June attempted to rise, but ultimately failed and flopped down, too weak to continue.

    “Snivy is unable to battle! Unfezant wins!”

    Jim stepped forward and scooped his dear partner up, returning to his side of the field and setting her gently down.

    “You did a fine job, girl,” he said, softly. “Get a good rest.”

    A small smile flitted across her face before she appeared to fall asleep.

    "And now," said Cheren, "Unfezant shall kick back while I send in my next fighter: Sawsbuck!”

    He tossed his next Poke Ball, and a Spring Form Sawsbuck, its antlers decorated with pink flower buds, appeared and pawed the earth.

    “Going for a Grass type, huh?” Jim said. “Ok, then I know what to go to now. Torch, it’s all you!”

    The Simisear appeared on the battlefield, where he cracked his knuckles and got into a battle stance.

    “A shame you’re the only one who can understand him, Jim,” said Cheren. “Leanne told me he’s a comedian, and I’d have loved to hear what kind of jokes he tells.”

    Torch looked delighted.

    “Corny classics, Cheren,” said Jim. “The best kind.”

    Torch beamed proudly. He looked like he was aching for Torrent to hear his humor being complemented by other people.

    “Well, let’s get down to business, then,” said Cheren. “Sawsbuck, Swords Dance!”

    Sawsbuck raised its head, and its antlers glowed purple and extended, with a faint sound like the unsheathing of a sword.

    “That doesn’t sound good,” Jim muttered. “Torch, use Flamethrower!”

    Torch spewed a big stream of flames straight at Sawsbuck.

    “Dodge and use Double-Edge!”

    Sawsbuck sprang away from the fire and galloped right at Torch, glowing white. He rammed right into him, sending him skidding back, while Sawsbuck flinched. Jim reasoned that Double-Edge was a recoil-damage attack, that hurt the user as well as the opponent.

    “Ok, Torch, go for Acrobatics!”

    Torch leaped into the air, somersaulting rapidly as he did so.

    “Sawsbuck, catch him in midair with Jump Kick!”

    Sawsbuck whipped around, pulled in its back legs, then struck out at the air with them, catching Torch mid-somersault right in the stomach. Torch let out a groan of pain as he was thrown backwards.

    “Now, go at him with Horn Leech!”

    Sawsbuck charged for Torch, its antlers glowing green. He caught him in the torso once again, and green bubbles of light ran down Sawsbuck’s antlers into the point where they attached to its skull. A soft glow surrounded its entire body as it backed off, and Torch got back up, wincing.

    “What was that?” Jim asked.

    “Horn Leech,” explained Cheren. “It allows Sawsbuck to regain a little health. It should make up for the recoil it experience in Double-Edge.”

    “Smart move,” Jim muttered, before shouting, “Torch, Flamethrower!”

    Torch spewed another stream of flames at Sawsbuck.

    “Dodge it, then go for another Double-Edge!”

    Sawsbuck leaped aside as the flames soared past, then charged at Torch once again.

    “Oh yeah? Torch, use Dig!”

    Torch, despite his pain, burrowed his way underground, avoiding Sawsbuck’s charge. A few moments later, the Ember Pokemon sprang out of the ground to Sawsbuck’s right.

    “Flamethrower!” Jim commanded.

    Torch unleashed another blast of flames, this time catching the Season Pokemon. Sawsbuck’s buds smoked, and it looked in considerable pain.

    “Now let’s give it another Acrobatics!” said Jim.

    Torch touched down, then used his momentum to spring back into the air, somersaulting as he did so.

    “Jump Kick!” ordered Cheren.

    Sawsbuck struck out again, but this time missed as Torch sailed over. Sawsbuck cringed, as if in considerable pain, and the agile monkey Pokemon slammed down hard on its back with both feet, flattening it to the ground. He bounced off, and Sawsbuck, making one last attempt to rise, finally gave in.

    “Sawsbuck is unable to battle! Simisear wins!”

    “That looked like it really hurt,” Jim said, sympathetically, as Cheren recalled Sawsbuck.

    “It did. Jump Kick racks up recoil damage if it misses. It must have been that failed kick that sealed its defeat. Still, your Simisear is quite clever.”

    Torch crossed his arms with a proud grin.

    “But that doesn’t mean he’s out of the woods yet,” warned Cheren. “Beartic, you’re up!”

    He tossed his next Poke Ball, and his Beartic appeared. It flexed its claws and snorted aggressively. Jim was puzzled.

    (Why is he sending out an Ice type against a Fire type? Just what is he up to?...)

    “Ok, Torch. Start us off with an old standard! Flamethrower!”

    Torch sent another blast of flames from his mouth.

    “Beartic, counter with Brine!”

    Jim’s eyes widened. So that was the reason!

    Beartic opened its mouth wide, and a stream of water spewed from it, dousing the Flamethrower and tossing Torch for a loop. He struggled slowly to his feet, having taken quite a beating already.

    “Torch, hang in there!” said Jim. “Go for Solarbeam!”

    Torch raised his hands toward the sun, catching its warmth on his palms, then cupped them at his side.

    “Oh, no you don’t!” said Cheren. “Beartic, stop him with Brick Break!”

    Beartic charged straight at Torch, arm raised and glowing red.

    “Torch!!” Jim yelled.

    Torch threw his arms forward, just as Beartic struck. He socked Torch hard in the face, but was blown back a second later by the Solarbeam. He skidded across the dirt, trying to keep balance, and finally, with a roar, shook the blast off, though it left a sizzling mark in its fur. Torch, meanwhile, had been knocked out cold by the Brick Break attack.

    “Simisear is unable to battle! Beartic wins!”

    Jim recalled Torch to his Poke Ball.

    “Great job, buddy,” he said. “You earned a rest. Now let’s see if your brother can finish the job. Torrent, let’s do this!”

    He tossed his next Poke Ball, and Torrent appeared on the battlefield, looking calmly up at the brutish Beartic.

    “Show him what you’re made of, Torrent! Use Hydro Pump!”

    “Fight back with Brine!”

    As Torrent threw his hands forward and unleashed a surging wave of water from them, Beartic spewed another wild Brine attack. The two Water attacks met in the middle and fought for control. However, Torrent’s Hydro Pump was stronger, and soon pushed the Brine back, buffeting and soaking Beartic.

    “Not bad,” admitted Cheren, “but we’ll do better. Beartic, Ice Beam!”

    “Give him a taste of your own Ice Beam!” said Jim.

    Beartic fired a bolt of icy lightning from his maw, while Torrent, holding one arm up in shotgun fashion, launched a similar bolt from his finger. The beams clashed and cancelled each other out, leaving a frosty mist in the air.

    “All right, Torrent, go in for a Brick Break!”

    Torrent charged forward, his forearm glowing red. Jim was expecting Cheren to counter with his own Brick Break attack, but he didn’t.

    “Beartic, Thrash!”

    With a roar of rage, and a red gleam briefly appearing around its shaggy body, Beartic charged, shoulder-first at Torrent, who struck, but didn’t seem to have been noticed, as he was merely bowled over by the oncoming wall of white fur and fury. He didn’t stop there, either. He charged, bashed, and slammed against the poor Geyser Pokemon repeatedly, not giving him a chance to get up. Torrent was bruised and battered when Beartic finally backed off, but now the giant bear was stomping about, as if having a tantrum.

    “Of course,” Jim muttered. “Thrash leaves the Pokemon in confusion afterwards. If I’m lucky, I might be able to end this.”

    “Beartic, Brick Break!” Cheren commanded.

    “You do the same, Torrent!” Jim said.

    Though weary and beaten, Torrent stood proud and tall and charged at Beartic, arm glowing once more, as Beartic did the same. Unfortunately, it seemed like the confusion didn’t leave its impact, as the Freezing Pokemon hit Torrent a stinging blow across the face, just as Torrent landed a sharp hit to its midsection. Both Pokemon flew back and collapsed onto their backs, though Torrent was knocked out before he even hit the ground. Beartic, meanwhile, struggled to get back to its feet, but ultimately fell back in exhaustion.

    “Simipour and Beartic are both unable to battle! This match-up is a draw!”
    Last edited by TPrower; 4th April 2014 at 02:23 PM.

    Y Rotation Team

  4. #49

    Default Re: Jim: Blaze of Glory

    Chapter 49
    Jim vs. Cheren: Part 2


    Jim was getting a strong sense of deja vu as both he and Cheren recalled their Pokemon. In his last couple matches, when things were going down to the wire, both Pokemon ended up knocking themselves out, right at about the middle of the match. He thought he could chalk it up to coincidence, but he also remarked that this was also a sign that the battle was getting very intense. Both he and Cheren were back on even ground, and he had to tread carefully. At least his bruiser of a Beartic was out of the way.

    “We’ve made it over the hump, Jim,” said Cheren. “It’s just down to the last halves of our team.”

    ‘Right, Cheren,” said Jim. “This is where the real show begins.”

    “I concur. Unfezant, it’s time to take your place again!”

    Cheren tossed his Poke Ball, and Unfezant appeared once more. A sickly purple hue colored him for a moment before vanishing; he was still poisoned.

    “Let’s make this a sky battle, then,” Jim challenged. “Rok, you’re up!”

    In a blaze of light and sharp trill, the Archeops appeared in the sky.

    “An aerial combat, is it?” Cheren asked. “Fine with me. Unfezant, Air Slash!”

    Unfezant raised his wings, which glowed a bright blue, and flapped them hard, sending a shower of wind saws at Rok.

    “Use Rock Slide!”

    Rok raised his wings, glowing white briefly, then threw them downwards. A shower of stones rained down from the air. Several made most of the Air Slashes dissipate, but some still reached Rok, buffeting against him.

    “All right, Rok, use Dragon Pulse!”

    Rok reared his head back, then breathed a stream of bluish-purple flames at Unfezant.

    “Dodge, Unfezant, then use Facade!”

    Unfezant swerved out of the way, then charged right at Rok, glowing with a fierce golden light, which seemed to intensify when the purple hue of poison briefly lit up. He struck Rok hard against the chest, and Rok fell back, looking much more battered than a Rock-type should have when hit by a Normal attack.

    Then Jim remembered: Facade was stronger when the user was afflicted with a burn, paralysis, or poisoning. Cheren had let June poison Unfezant on purpose, just to give him an edge.

    “Very sneaky,” he muttered. “He’s definitely had that planned for a long time. Well, we’ll give him a run for his money.” He called up, “Rok, use Aerial Ace!”

    “Unfezant, Air Slash!”

    Unfezant unleashed another wave of air-saws, while Rok swooped toward him, gliding this way and that to avoid the onslaught. He rammed right against Unfezant, who flew back, glimmering with the hue of poison once again.

    “All right, it’s all or nothing now,” said Cheren. “Unfezant, Sky Attack!”

    Unfezant raised his wings and let out a long, shrill cry. Blue flames surrounded his body and intensified every second.

    “Rok, try to throw him off with Rock Slide!” Jim commanded.

    As Unfezant finished charging up and launched himself at Rok, Rok threw his wings down and sent another shower of stones raining down. However, whether Unfezant dodged them or not, it didn’t matter, as they broke to pieces against him anyway. Both Jim and Rok were alarmed.

    “Rok, use Dragon Pulse!”

    Rok sent forth another stream of draconic flames, but Unfezant seemed to blaze right through them, surrounding him in even more fire. He struck home against Rok’s chest, and the mighty Archeops tumbled from the sky, flopping down onto his back.

    “Rok!” Jim yelled.

    Rok tried to rise, but could not find the strength, and fell back.

    “Archeops is unable to battle! Unfezant wins!”

    Jim sighed and recalled Rok.

    “You did a great job, buddy,” he muttered, kindly. “Get some rest.”

    He readied his next Poke Ball, but before he could do anything, Unfezant let out a choked cry. The purple glow of poison intensified, and he suddenly fell out of the air and fell down. Cheren looked dumbfounded, and so did the referee.

    “Er, Unfezant is also unable to battle!” he said. “This match-up is a draw!”

    “I’ve never seen that happen before,” Jim said. “A Pokemon fainting after the other one’s already been recalled.”

    “Neither have I,” said Cheren. “But Unfezant gave it his best, and I’m proud.”

    He recalled the avian Pokemon, and both Trainers readied their next Poke Balls.

    “Gigalith, go!”

    “Spade, go!”

    The hardy Excadrill and Cheren’s Gigalith appeared on the battlefield. Spade’s eyes narrowed as he eyed the rocky Pokemon, and he flexed his claws dangerously. Gigalith growled in a low, rumbling way.

    “Spade, go for Metal Claw!”

    Spade dashed toward Gigalith, claws bared and gleaming silver.

    “Gigalith, Earthquake!”

    Gigalith raised one foot and stamped it hard on the ground. Spade lost his footing from the violent tremors and was tossed into the air.

    “Now, use Flash Cannon!”

    Gigalith opened its mouth, the crystals on its body flaring up with red-orange light. Soon after, a beam of silver light shot from its mouth right up at Spade.

    “Spade, Drill Run, now!” Jim yelled.

    Spade quickly inverted himself, closed himself up within his claws, and dove downward, spinning rapidly. The Flash Cannon missed him by inches, and he plunged straight down into the dirt. A few moments later, he sprang back up right beneath Gigalith, sending the enormous Pokemon stumbling backward. Spade was still up in the air, so Cheren yelled,

    “Solarbeam!”

    Gigalith’s crystal’s flared brighter than ever, and, after a few seconds charging, a beam of golden light shot from its mouth. It hit Spade just as he unfolded and sent him plummeting earthward again.

    “Couldn’t blaze through that one, could you?” Cheren joked, as Spade got back to his feet.

    “Very funny,” said Jim.

    “Gigalith, use Stone Edge!”

    Gigalith summoned a swirling cloud of jagged stones around itself.

    “Go through them with Drill Run!” Jim said.

    Spade folded himself up once again and shot forward, as Gigalith launched its stones. They broke against Spade’s drill, and the Subterenne Pokemon struck against the Ore Pokemon squarely in the chest. It wobbled backwards.

    “Give it a Metal Claw, Spade!” said Jim.

    Spade drew one arm back, claws gleaming.

    “Earthquake!” yelled Cheren.

    Gigalith stomped the ground, shaking it violently and sending Spade flying once again.

    “Use that to your advantage, Spade!” Jim yelled. “Drill Run, straight for Gigalith!”

    Spade righted himself, closed himself up, and dove straight for Gigalith.

    “Flash Cannon!” Cheren commanded.

    Gigalith fired another silver beam upwards, but Spade evaded it and barreled straight down.

    *WHAM!!*

    He landed, point-first, right on Gigalith’s stony skull. The rocky Pokemon’s eyes bugged out, and it teetered even more dizzily than before. As Spade landed back on the ground, Gigalith fell, with a groan, onto its side.

    “Gigalith is unable to battle! Excadrill wins!”

    A rush of excitement flooded through Jim’s veins as Cheren recalled Gigalith. He had made it! He had brought Cheren down to his final Pokemon! The crowd seemed to sense it, too, as they had worked themselves into a frenzy of excitement. However, Jim also knew that this final Pokemon was going to be the showstopper: Cheren’s Emboar.

    “I’m very much impressed, Jim,” Cheren said. “You’ve brought me to my final team member while you still have 2 left. Make no mistake, though. This final Pokemon of mine is last, but nowhere near least. Emboar, the time has come!”

    He hurled his last Poke Ball, and Emboar appeared, his fiery beard crackling in the warm air. He snorted embers from his nostrils.

    “Don’t be intimidated, Spade,” Jim consoled. “Just give it your best, and if the worst comes to it, Jolt will take care of the rest.”

    “Right, Jim,” said Spade, not taking his eyes from Emboar’s.

    “Use Drill Run!” Jim commanded.

    Spade once more barreled forward in drill shape, right at Emboar.

    “Hammer Arm!” Cheren ordered.

    Emboar raised one burly arm, which glowed white, and brought it down hard as Spade got close. There was a nasty *crack!*, and Spade’s drill form came undone. Emboar had struck him right in the middle of the back.

    The crowd groaned, and Jim winced. That must have hurt terribly…

    Spade, however, struggled to get back to his feet. He wasn’t going down that easily.

    “Atta boy!” Jim encouraged. “Use Slash!”

    Spade struck at Emboar with his claws, which had elongated and glowed white. They hit Emboar across the chest, but it just seemed to shrug off the attack. The Mega Fire Pig Pokemon grinned unpleasantly.

    “Uh oh…” muttered Spade and Jim together.

    “Say good night, Spade,” said Cheren. “Flamethrower!”

    Emboar breathed in deeply, then snorted a massive stream of flames from its nostrils, overcoming Spade and bathing him in a glowing, fiery veil.

    “SPADE!!” Jim yelled.

    The flames cleared, and there stood Spade, blackened and bruised. Emboar raised two fingers to its forehead in a kind of salute, and Spade fell back, the fight drained out of him.

    “Excadrill is unable to battle! Emboar wins!”

    A numbness fell over Jim. Both were now down to one Pokemon each, and Emboar was still relatively fresh. It had taken a Slash attack like it had been nothing. That Pokemon had come a long way from the Tepig he had first seen at Professor Juniper’s so long ago…

    “You did a great job, Spade,” he said, recalling his faithful Pokemon. “Get some rest.”

    Clouds had begun to form overhead, forming a gloomy, but otherwise appropriate, backdrop to such a tense moment. Then, with trembling fingers, Jim grabbed his last Poke Ball. The time had finally come.

    “Jolt!” he shouted, in a voice that was oddly high in his nervousness. “It’s time! You’re my last hope!”

    He threw the ball, and in a blaze of light, compounded by a streak of lightning, Jolt appeared on the field. He stared Emboar down, pawing at the ground in an aggressive manner. Emboar snorted flames, clenching his fists.

    Neither Trainer made a move or said a single word. The entire stadium was silent, save for a distant rumble of thunder. This was it: the very last combat of the Pokemon League, the final showdown between the final Pokemon, a true clash of the titans between Cheren’s strongest Pokemon, and one of Jim’s strongest.

    Then, it happened all at once.

    “Jolt, Thunderbolt!”

    “Emboar, Flamethrower!”

    A massive bolt of lightning surged from Jolt’s body, his white stripes aglow, while Emboar breathed an enormous flame. The two attacks struck in mid-air and exploded, sending a cloud of smoke billowing between the two combatants. It had begun.

    “Jolt, use Wild Charge!”

    “Emboar, you do the same!”

    Jolt blazed forward into the smoke, trailing an aura of crackling lightning in his wake. To Jim’s surprise, Emboar did the very same, charging forward with the terrifying speed of a bull, glowing with an aura of lightning of his own. The two struck against each other, and the arena was alight with golden electric light. Even in his agitation over the heat of the moment, Jim came to realize that Jolt would only receive recoil damage from such an attack. His Motor Drive Ability sucked up the electricity used against him by Emboar, and added to his speed. He wondered if Cheren had forgotten.

    The two Pokemon sprang apart, Jolt’s stripes flickering yellow, Emboar panting slightly.

    “That Motor Drive Ability,” Cheren muttered. “I’d nearly forgotten about it. I shan’t make that mistake again. Emboar, Flamethrower!”

    “Jolt, Overheat!”

    Emboar breathed another stream of flames, but the one Jolt shot forth was even more massive. It swallowed up Emboar’s flames and swept over the mighty Pokemon, who shielded his face with his arms. Even if it wasn’t very effective, it was still a massive bit of damage. Now it was Jolt’s turn to start panting.

    “All right, Jolt, now that you’re nice and juiced up,” said Jim, with a wry smile, “show off your new Thrash attack!”

    Jolt let out a fierce neigh and, just like Beartic before him, barreled straight at Emboar, slamming his body right into him. But he didn’t stop there. He zipped to another side and slammed from that angle, over and over again, buffeting and battering the huge Pokemon with a barrage of blows.

    “Emboar, end that at once! Hammer Arm!”

    Emboar, though knocked about and bruised from the onslaught, drew one arm back and slammed it against Jolt, hitting him right in the face and sending him skidding back. He was breathing heavily now, and a fire was alight in his eyes. Emboar was snorting embers, and looked ready to kill. Both Trainers seemed to realize that one more blow would be what was needed to end it all.

    “Jolt,” said Jim, in a quivering but fierce voice, “it’s only fitting that we end this with a bang! Show Emboar your true power! Wild Charge, full throttle!”

    Jolt let out a neigh that rent the air, and was accompanied by a crash of thunder. He tensed, and an aura of fierce electricity blazed around him as he glared fixedly at Emboar.

    “Emboar, let’s match their bang with one of our own!” roared Cheren. “Head Smash!”

    Emboar crouched, body tensed, as a fiery blue aura surrounded him. It seemed to come to a focal point at his skull, which was glowing white.

    Everyone was on the edge of their seats. Jim’s family and friends were straining forward to see what would happen, while at the same time dreading it. Charlie Burton and Alder had pushed their microphones aside and were gazing down at the battlefield, eyes wide. Jim stooped down to shield a still-indisposed June against his chest, as he expected something titanic from this.

    It was if someone had pushed fast forward on time. Both Pokemon charged at each other, Jolt in a blaze of electric yellow, Emboar in fiery blue, and seemed to cover the entire length of the battlefield in one second.

    *BOOM!!*

    The impact of the two Pokemon was like a bomb going off. Jim felt himself blown off his feet, and Cheren stumbled backwards, his glasses slipping. People screamed and shielded their eyes as the stadium erupted with a blaze of yellow and blue light. The very foundations seemed to rock, and the thunderhead-choked skies roared in tandem.

    It was some time before either Trainer could come to their senses. Jim regained his footing and readjusted his glasses. June was still clasped to his chest, but the shock had woken her up. She blinked and gazed at the battlefield, before letting out a sharp gasp that Jim himself released as well.

    The battlefield was a wreck, the ground gouged, scarred, and burnt, and there, in a clean patch like a crater, where Jolt and Emboar, their heads butted against each other, staring fixedly into each other’s eyes, neither yielding.

    The air was silent. All eyes were on the two Pokemon. Any second now, one of them would fall, and the winner of this destructive bout would be decided. Jim felt a lump in his throat, and his insides churned like he was about to vomit. He was anxious to see who would come out on top, but also dreaded it.

    And then, it happened.

    Slowly, very slowly, even slower from Jim’s point of view, Jolt faltered, collapsed onto his knees, and fell to his side.

    The battle, and the tournament, were over.

    Jim had lost.

    Y Rotation Team

  5. #50

    Default Re: Jim: Blaze of Glory

    Chapter 50
    The End?


    “Zebstrika is unable to battle!” roared the referee. “Emboar wins! The winner of the match, and of the Pokemon League Tournament, is Cheren!”

    The stadium absolutely exploded with thunderous cheers and yells. Bianca and Leanne were screaming and shedding tears at the same time, while the boys clapped and whooped until their palms ached. Fireworks went off in the sky once more, and Cheren stood in the midst of it all, stunned, amazed, but happy.

    Burton, meanwhile, was screaming himself hoarse.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, I cannot believe what I’ve just seen!! An unprecedented, unparalleled clash of explosive proportions! It felt like the whole stadium was going to give way! These two boys have given their all, and it’s Cheren who has come out on top! It was a very narrow thing, too! Jim Stevens showed remarkable determination in the face of such a powerful opponent, matching him blow for blow! In all my years, I have never…”

    As he blustered on, Alder merely smiled down at the two Trainers. It had been a long time since he had seen such raw talent and ability, and never had he felt such pride in the younger generation.

    Jim had sunk to his knees. It felt as if all of the fight had drained out of his limbs. After all of their efforts, after coming so far, after everything he and his team had been through, to lose at such a pivotal point was devastating. Part of him wanted to be angry, but that merely gave way to a feeling of disappointment.

    He felt a tug at his shirt, and looked down to see June gazing up at him. Her red eyes were full of sympathy.

    “You did your best, Jim,” she said, “and you gave everyone a fight worthy of remembrance. You should be proud.”

    Jim finally managed a smile.

    “I am proud, June,” he said. “Even if I’m disappointed at losing, Cheren’s shown he’s the better Trainer. I can’t fault him for that. He put up a spectacular fight. He’ll make a fine Champion.”

    June smiled and licked Jim’s cheek. He then got heavily to his feet and walked straight up to Jolt, who had raised his head. He kneeled down and put an arm around the Zebstrika’s neck.

    “Jolt, you were spectacular,” he said. “I’ve never seen you like that before. I’m really proud of you.”

    “Thanks, Jim,” said Jolt, weakly. “I only wish I could have done better.”

    “You did what you could, old friend, and that’s all I need.”

    Jolt smiled and laid his head against Jim’s shoulder.

    “You deserve a good, long rest,” said Jim, holding up Jolt’s Poke Ball. “Return.”

    Jolt disappeared inside his ball, the content smile still on his face. Just then, a shadow fell over Jim and June. The pair looked up to see Cheren standing over them. Emboar had been restored to his Poke Ball as well.

    “Congrats, Cheren,” said Jim, standing back up. “You got me.”

    “I did, but not so easily,” said Cheren. “You really gave me a run for my money, and that’s what I really wanted. Being the best isn’t as enjoyable when there’s no one to match your strength with, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my equal. I wouldn’t have even come this far without you. This is your victory as much as mine, old friend.”

    Jim felt tears in his eyes, and felt the feeling flood back into his limbs. Cheren held out his hand, and the two performed their handshake: high-five, fist bump, thumbs up.

    All of a sudden, Jim felt himself pulled into a tight, one-armed embrace that nearly made him choke. Professor Juniper had run out and was hugging both of them to her sides, causing the two of them to go red in the face.

    “Professor!” Cheren gasped. “Can’t...breathe!”

    “You two were unbelievable!” the professor cried, letting go of them. “You’ve both come such a long way since you first set out with June and Tepig. June may not have evolved, but she’s proven she doesn’t have to to be strong, and Emboar...well, what else can I say about Emboar? Cheren, you’ve raised him to be a fantastic Pokemon! I’m so proud of you two.”

    “Thanks, Professor,” said Jim, modestly.

    “As am I,” said a gruff voice.

    Jim turned around to see the Guy standing behind him, a smile on his rough face, and his eyes were twinkling.

    “You boys are just what I wanna see in today’s generation of Trainers,” he said. “Dedicated, compassionate, and clever. You two showed exactly why you earned your spots as winner and runner-up. Perhaps now Trainers will see what it means to raise and understand Pokemon.”

    Jim felt his heart expanding like a balloon. The disappointment at losing was becoming less and less noticeable with the praise of his friends.

    And there, stepping from behind the Guy, was his mother, beaming at him, and followed by Leanne, Bianca, Cruise, Solomon, and Nigel. All of them were smiling proudly upon the pair of them, though Mrs. Stevens and Leanne had their eyes on Jim. He allowed himself to collapse into his mother’s arms, and she kissed his forehead.

    “I’m so proud of you, sweetie,” she said. “You were wonderful. I know your father would have given anything to see you battle like that…”

    Jim couldn’t reply. He just rested against his mother, comforted by her words and her warmth. Cheren was being mobbed by Cruise, Solomon, Nigel, and Bianca, who were all talking excitedly about the match and how impressed they were with his performance. Bianca had been crying for both his win and Jim’s loss, but was proud of both of them. Cheren’s replies to their congratulations were short and modest, but his face was alight with joy.

    Leanne came to Jim’s side as his mother released him. She enveloped him in her arms and kissed his cheek.

    “You’re not disappointed, are you?” she asked.

    “A little, but I’m more happy than that,” Jim said. “Cheren deserves this. How egotistical would it have been to be the White Hero, Plasma’s Bane, and Unova Champion all at once?”

    Leanne smiled and giggled at this. Oshawott, meanwhile, went to June, who had been set back on the ground.

    “Darling, you were spectacular! Such grace! Such dexterity! Such ferocity! I felt my heart banging behind my scalchop! Have you any idea what-?”

    June didn’t answer by her words, but her lips pressed passionately against Oshawott’s. The gallant Sea Otter Pokemon, taken aback for a mere instant, returned the gesture with equal passion, their arms wrapped around each other. It was a jubilation for all. The tournament was over, the best of the best had been determined, and now Jim could look forward to a quiet life back home with his team.



    And then, it happened.

    There was a crash of thunder, and the ground began to shake violently. People screamed, shouted, and stumbled. That couldn’t have been caused by a mere thunderclap or bolt of lightning. Something huge was on the move…

    That’s when Jim saw a sight that made his blood turn to ice.

    There, rising up from behind the highest point of the stadium, an ancient-looking altar up a long flight of steps, was a massive, stone structure, rising higher and higher into the air. The ground shook as if in a great earthquake. The foundations of the stadium rattled, and pieces of it began to fall away in great chunks as the behemoth continued to rise.

    That’s when Jim realized just what it was that was looming against the cloud-choked sky.

    It was a castle.

    Just like in his dreams.

    It stood, looming above the frightened people, more like a city than a castle. It seemed to encapsulate the entire mountain, surrounding it like a great wall.

    Then, with a great rattling roar, sections of the castle opened up, and long, black-stone walkways emerged, snaking their way down. With a great *BOOM!*, they made contact, converging on the plateau where the altar stood.

    Jim couldn’t believe his eyes. What was going on? What was that monstrous castle, and where did it come from?! What did this all mean?!

    His answer was soon to come, as an unearthly roar filled the thunderous sky, and a black shape soared out of a rent in the clouds, making for the castle, bearing a figure with vivid green hair.



    END OF BOOK 2


    ***


    And here ends Book 2. Book 3, the final book, is shorter, I'm afraid, but hopefully you'll still like it. I'll start posting those tomorrow.

    I hope you guys haven't been cheesed off with the constant chapter posts. I had these done way ahead of time, and am just posting them here en masse for your enjoyment. =)

    Y Rotation Team

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