Drill glanced back at the falling rubble and smirked. "Now there's no witness to our crime."
Wire glanced at him. "Good. Now can we get out of here?"
"Not yet. I told you I have a little family matter to clear up."
Ash covered his head to protect himseld from the falling rubble, but found that none fell on him, Pikachu or his other Pokemon. Ash looked up to see a black(with a yellow-oval) shape above them, leaning on the wall. "Snorlax!"
Snorlax(He-he. Think I would let you guys get taken like that?)
Ash stared at the squinted eyes of his Snorlax and smiled in gratitude. He turned to the other Pokemon. "Is everyone alright?"
Croconaw(I've been worse.)
Donphan(Not even a scratch.)
Sorlax launched himself off his leaning position. The large stone mass that fell on him slid safely to the floor. However, Snorlax assumed a sitting position, taking deep breaths. It seems that the battle, and protecting Ash and the others, have taken its toll.
"Thanks, Snorlax," Ash said in between coughs. "You've done enough. Return!" He turned to the other Pokemon. "What say we get those thieves back for almost killing us?" Everyone cheered, and Ash said, "Then let's go!"
Ash had Donphan use Rollout to smash through the rubble blocking the thieves's exit. With the condition his party is in, Ash has to find a Terminal quick. Luckily, Luxray, acting like a guide again, spotted one a few corridors down.
But when they arrived, it seems Bomb destroyed the computer, by blowing it up. Ash shielded hid face from the sparks coming out of the Terminal, and examined it. 'Man, what I wouldn't do to have Brock around. He's the one good with computers...'
Ash fidgeted around a little more with the Terminal, but it was definitely beyond any repair.
"Why aren't you doing anything?" May said with a mixture of hysteria and concern. "He could be hurt down there."
"Calm down, miss, we're doing everything we can," the official assured her. "But the cave-in blocked the only passage to that area. It will take some time."
May glanced at the static that was Ash's camera(escort) and then to the map screen. No signal. "Ash... Please be alright..."
Drill took the tags he and his cohorts stole from the other competitors. He scanned them in a Terminal that the three of them haven't destroyed yet. The computer scanned the five tags, and the screen now began showing a map of the Underground. A red beep flashing in the middle easternmost part of the map is revealed as Bertha's location.
"Jackpot," Drill said wickedly, the red beep reflecting in his eyes.
Drill led his little gang along a corridor. When they reached a crossroad, suddenly, something rolled past in front of them, that stopped their tracks! The rolling Pokemon doubled back, and stopped in front of them, revealing itself to be Donphan!
"What the? Who-" Bomb started, readying her Magmortar's Pokeball.
"Guess who..." From the direction of Donphan's entrance, appeared none other than Ash! He walked beside his Donphan. "You shouldn't be surprised. It doesn't take a simple cave-in to take me down."
"Resilient brat," Wire said in disgust. She, too, had her Pokemon's(Electivire) Pokeball ready.
"Tell me," Ash began, with Pikachu beside him, "why ruin a good competition just to get rid of a witness?"
Drill snorted. "You think that we went to all this trouble just to get to you? Think again."
Ash shrugged. "What? You entering this competition as well? Let's see... Sabotaging precious equipment... Battling under illegal rules... That won't exactly let you win..."
Just then Drill and Wire, moving so fast that Ash didn't notice, darted past him. Ash turned around to go after the two of them, but was tackled by Pikachu because Magmortar just fired a Flamethrower at him! It seems that Bomb will stay to fight.
"I'll finish the job this time. And I'll make sure that you won't survive." with that, the other two vanished out of sight.
Ash stared at her. He placed a hand on Pikachu. "We'll see who will get creamed this time. Right, Pikachu?"
Pikachu nodded(It's payback time!)
Ash is with Donphan and Pikachu, so Bomb decided to choose another Pokemon to accompany her Magmortar. "Go, Weezing!" A large, purple, many-faced, cloud-like creature appeared right beside Magmortar.
'Boy, does that Weezing bring back painful memories...' "Go, Donphan, knock out that Magmortar of hers with Rollout! Pikachu, use Volt Tackle on the Weezing!"
Ash made room for his two Pokemon, as Pikachu and Donphan rushed their targets with Volt Tackle and Rollout, respectively. As Donphan was spinning in Magmortar's body, the larger Pokemon grabbed Donphan by the tusks, trying to slow down the momentum.
An electrically-charged Pikachu, meanwhile, jumped, and crashed into Weezing very hard. weezing fell to the floor, feeling static, but immediately floated to the air again. Pikachu, meanwhile, still feeling the after-effects of his own attack, landed on the floor as well.
"Smokescreen, Weezing," Bomb ordered. Weezing let out a lot of smoke from his mouth(s), covering the entire area.
'I've got a bad feeling 'bout this.' "Donphan, Protect! Pikachu, take cover with Donphan!" Ash ordered through the coughing, while shielding himself from the smoke with his jacket. Donphan scooped Pikachu up with his snout, and positioned himself in front of Ash so the latter is also affected by Protect.
As Ash crouched behind his Armor Pokemon, he looked around the perimeter outside Donphan's shield. It was still full of smoke.
Suddenly, Magmortar charged himself to them, ramming into Donphan's Protect shield. The three(trainer and Pokemon) were sent reeling backwards crashing into a wall(that seems to be happening a lot).
Momentarily dazed, Donphan released his shield as Magmortar loomed on top of them, the gaping holes of his arms aimed right at them.
Bomb didn't hesitate her order. "Finish them off, now!"
Acting fast, Donphan saw a small boulder within his reach. He grabbed it with his snout, and threw it at Magmortar. Bull's-eye! The boulder jammed itself into one of Magmortar's hands! As the Smoke Breath Pokemon shook his jammed hand to take off the boulder, but it was stuck tight!
"Nice work, Donphan," Ash praised his Pokemon. "Hate to be a mimic, but finish him off, now!"
Donphan once again used Rollout, and hit the easily distracted Magmortar. This time it was the Magmortar that was sent reeling back to his trainer. The weight of her Pokemon was too much, so that when they crashed, Bomb was easily knocked out as her Pokemon.
Weezing, distraught at the fall of his trainer, faltered, and fainted right beside her. Ash scratched his head, and nervously laughed. 'Huh. Must have a Mild nature.'
Pikachu(Boy, that was lame. James's Weezing was much stronger, that's for sure.)
Ash crouched down to his Donphan, who was still kneeling on the floor. "You okay, buddy?"
Donphan(I'll be okay.)
"You're gonna need some rest. Return, Donphan!"
Ash stood up, and motioned to Pikachu, who climbed to his shoulder. "Come on, Pikachu, we still have a score to settle, and a competition to win!"
It seems that the cave-in Drill has caused earlier has caused a chain reaction in the tunnels. Not only Ash was affected but several areas in the Underground have also caved in, onto unsuspecting competitors.
Back at topside, several competitors are giving up, due to the unforeseen "accidents" happening in the competition. Several paramdeics are standing by to check on anyone who was hurt.
Among the anxious spectators was May. She looked at the various trainers being wheeled into ambulances, hoping not to see her boyfriend among the victims.
Then, a squad of police officers arrived. Several of them were different Officer Jennys. The Jenny who was marshalling the competition gathered all of them for a briefing. May closed in on them to find out what is going on. But she could only hear bits of the conversation without getting caught.
"Three thieves... Broke in... Assaulted many of the competitors..." The marshal Jenny was saying.
"We'll rat them out. Send various officers into the tunnels."
May nodded to herself as the briefing was adjourned. As the police began filing into the Underground, May sent out her Espeon, whispering some silent orders to her.
Ash and Pikachu are now chasing after Wire and Drill, to who-knows-where(he hasn't checked Bertha's location yet). Ash decided to let Luxray out again, to track down the two remaining thieves.
At the next turn, the team finally found a working Terminal. Ash immediately checked in the Terminal. He scanned his five tags. Just like Drill's scan in the previous chapter, the Terminal's map screen has a red beeping flash somewher in the eastern portion.
"They must be going after Bertha. But why?" Ash wondered, as his Pokemon are being healed. Shrugging it off, he then decided to go after them before they reach Bertha first.
As Drill and Wire are fast approaching their targeted destination, the latter began wondering if their accomplice has already beaten the "brat" and will soon be joining them. Drill assured her that Bomb wouldn't go down easily in battle.
"Listen, why don't you take our package to our Boss? It won't take me long to finish my little adventure here, anyway."
Wire looked at him suspicously. "What is it that you intend to do here anyway?"
"I told you I have a little family matter to attend to. We already have caught enough attention to ourselves by upsetting this competition. I won't be surprised if cops will strt swarming in. It won't do any good if all of us get caught. It's better if you deliver the Azure Flute to the boss, in case something like that happens."
Wire agreed, and in an instant, was gone. Drill continued on his way. Finally, the thief has reached the junction closing in on Bertha.
At the spot where the map is pointing out a path to Bertha, was a wall. Drill smirked. 'So that's how she hides during the competition. Only those who scanned five tags can find out the trick. Very smart.'
Drill walked through the wall in front of him, that turnd out to be just a hologram. He finds himself in front of a larger corridor. Drill smirked as he soon saw his target the Elite trainer Bertha, standing atop a pedestal in the far end of the corridor.
Bertha was shocked to see who it was that arrived. "What the-? What are you-"
"I've come to pay my respects, Mom," Drill said suddenly.
Bertha narrowed her eyes. "You're no son of mine. I have a son, and his name is Darren. But he's long gone."
"HAH! That's what you always say. Afraid of my deeds tarnishing your precious title?"
Their conversation was interrupted by Ash and Pikachu dashing through the "wall" from behind Drill, tackling him. Drill, furious, pushed them off of him. The two rose to their feet facing the thief.
"You really have a knack of interrupting me, do you, brat?"
"I don't want you to ruin my, and others's, chances of fighting the Elite Four. Plus, I owe you a lot for that bump on my head, and endangering me and my Pokemon."
Drill brushed off the dust from his jacket. "Why don't we settle this in a Pokemon battle? That seems to be the wa you settle things. Am I right?"
Ash nodded. But he remained cautious, knowing what Pokemon Drill will use. Sure enough, Drill sent out Rhyperior.
"Go, Croconaw!" Croconaw stood in front of the menacing Rhyperior. The two exchanged menacing stares at each other. Meanhile, Bertha only stared at the battle, silently pondering if Ash knows what he is up against.
"Croconaw, use Water gun!" Ash started. Croconaw started spraying Rhyperior with water. But the latter is far from being hurt, due to Solid Rock. Ash clenched his fist, trying to find out what to do next. Croconaw, manwhile, is running around Rhyperior in circles, still using Water Gun.
Drill, meanwhile, started his offensive. He had Rhyperior use Stone Edge on Croconaw. The latter barely dodged the sharp blade-like rocks swung at him. Then, both Rhyperior an Croconaw arched their hands back, both charging or a Focus Punch.
Rhyperior's FP missed, and Croconaw jumped onto his opponent's extended arm to aim his own attack for Rhyperior's head. But before he can connect, Croconaw was hit with Rock Blast from Rhyperior's other arm. Croconaw landed on the floor.
Then the Drill Pokemon tried to flatten Croconaw with Stomp. Croconaw, sprawled on the ground, held the gigantic foot away from himself, with great trouble.
Bertha gave Ash some encouragement. "Ash, even if Solid Rock blocks out super-effective attacks, your Croconaw can still do damage with the right incentives."
'Incentives? Of course, Torrent!' "Croconaw, use Hydro Pump!"
Rhyperior was sent backwards as the powerful stream of water hit his foot from below. Trying to regain his balance, Rhyperior looked up to see Croconaw going for an Aqua Tail! Rhyperior tried to block the attack with his stone arms. The impact sent the latter flying into a wall, which caused the room to shake violently.
Both Pokemon struggled out of the ruin they have caused. Rhyperior is still standing tall, as if the attacks still had no effect on him! Croconaw, meanwhile, was glowing blue, what Ash was waiting for, but breathing heavily.
"Enough of this! Rhyperior, finish him off with Horn Drill!"
Rhyperior positioned himself on all fours, and his horn began spinning again. Croconaw was rushed headfirst into a wall. Luckily, the latter managed to grab Rhyperior's jaw, so the Horn Drill didn't hit, though was a few inches away.
"CROCONAW!" Just then, aside from the blue glow, another light began emanating from Croconaw!
Rhyperior was now being pushed back, as a glowing-white Croconaw was growing in size. Ash stood in mild surprise as his Croconaw has evolved into Feraligatr!
The large, blue bipedal crocodile glanced at his trainer with a smile. Ash took a look at his new Pokemon in the Pokedex:
Feraligatr, the Big Jaw Pokemon
The evolved form of Croconaw. It usually moves slowly, but it goes at blinding speed when it attacks and bites prey.
Ash, feeling more determined, made his next order. "Give it your best Focus Punch!"
Feraligatr dashed towards his opponent, fist cocked. The latter was hit with tremendous force, but held his ground. Feraligatr prepared another Focus Punch, but flinched when Rhyperior countered with Rock Blast.
Feraligatr covered himself with his hands from the Rock Blast barrages. Rhyperior began charging in for another Horn Drill, which Feraligatr easily parried.
The two Pokemon were evenly matched. Just then, a squad of police officers arrived, coming in from an opening somewhere near Bertha's post. The officers made to arrest Drill, but Bertha halted them.
"B-but, Miss Bertha," one officer said.
"Let ash handle this. I'm not one to stop a battle."
Back to the battle. Feraligatr locked hands with Rhyperior. The two stood toe to toe, trying to push the other back. Rhyperior's horn is spinning again, and it's closing in on Feraligatr, fast.
"Feraligatr, use Water Gun!" Feraligatr sprayed Rhyperior in the face, pushing the latter backwards. Then, Feraligatr shot a third Focus Punch, as an uppercut, towards Rhyperior's jaw. Thyperior mimiced his opponent's moves, and also aimed a FP on Feraligatr's jaw.
Both hits connected, sending both Pokemon backwards. Feraligatr managed to stop himself in front of Ash, and Rhyperior was no different. Though, the latter still seemed like nothing has hurt him at all.
Feraligatr was on all fours, breathing heavily. "Come on, Feraligatr. You can still stand to that guy."
Fueled by his trainer's words, Feraligatr still managed to stand up, though barely. "Come on, buddy, we still have one shot at this." Feraligatr planted his feet and claws on the ground. "Hydro Pump!"
Feraligatr released his most powerful jet of water, which hit Rhyperior. The latter stood his ground, immobile even though the attack was pushing him back.
The Hydro Pump stopped, as Feraligatr is now trying to catch his breath. Rhyperior began charging in again with Stone Edge. Ash was getting desperate. He clenched his fist, thinking his Pokemon has had it.
But suddenly a flash appeared in Feraligatr's eyes. Pikachu sensed some sort of power coming from the Big Jaw Pokemon.
Pikachu(Ash! It has to be- It has to!)
Ash sensed his Pokemon's surprise, and turned back to Feraligatr. Still breathing heavily, Torrent is now taking effect, but that's not all.
"Alright, Feraligatr, let's try it again! HYDRO P-"
Before Ash could even finish his command, Feraligatr released a super-charged blast of water! The blast not only stopped Rhyperior in his tracks, but now was being pushed as easily as a piece of paper!
Everyone was speechless, except for Bertha. 'He did it. He has finally made his Pokemon learn it.'
Rhyperior was slammed to the wall next to the police squad and Bertha, who shielded themselves. Feraligatr's attack stopped, and his opponent is seen in-between the fallen rocks, unconscious.
After his awesome attack, Feraligatr dropped on his belly. Ash, still dumbfounded, looked at the mess that was Rhyperior, then back to his Pokemon. "Was that-"
Pikachu jumped off Ash's shoulder, and ran to the front of Feraligatr's eyes(You did it! You did it!)
Feraligatr showed them a huge grin(That was... My best shot...)
Ash smiled weakly at his Pokemon. "Good job, Feraligatr. When we go back to the surface, I'll have May bake you the biggest chocolate cake." Feraligatr's smile widened, then he fainted. "Return."
However, Drill was not finished. He tried to make a grab for Ash, but the police immediately took action, restraining him. As he was being handcuffed, Ash approached.
"Where's the flute you stole from Professor Rowan's lab?"
Drill spat at the floor close to Ash's feet. "My cohort, Wire, has already delivered the Azure Flute to our Boss. There's nothing you can do about it now."
"You have the right to remain silent," Officer Jenny said, as Drill was being hauled away. "Anything you say may be used..."
Ash stopped another officer. "One of his cohorts is still in the main tunnel. I'm pretty sure she's still there."
The officer tipped his hat in gratitude. "We'll check on it. Thank you."
The police left with their captive. But not before sending a few officers to pick up Bomb. Just then, Ash fell to the ground, coincidentally in the same position his Feraligatr was in earlier. Pikachu looked at his trainer amusedly.
"Man, these challenges are getting harder and harder," he said, sighing.
Bertha approached him, and extended a hand to help Ash stand up. "Congratulations. You win this competition... Defeated a powerful opponent... And learned one of the most powerful attacks in existence..."
Ash stared at her with goofy looks. "All in one day. Sheeesh..."
Just then May appeared. Seeing Ash sprawled on the floor, she ran over to them. "What happened?"
"Don't worry, May, I'm just exhausted..." May gave a sigh of relief. Ash added, "Wake me for dinner." And Ash drifted to sleep, on the cold ground.
Ash woke up back at his room in Bertha's mansion. From the balcony outside, Ash saw all his Pokemon getting a little R and R.
Espeon is meditating peacefully near one of the outdoor tables. Blaziken is sitting down next to her in a Lotus position, meditating as well. Pikachu is right between them, gulping down a plate full of suspiciously-red substance.
Sceptile seemed threatened that his pal "Dope" has now fully evolved and became stronger. The latter was oblivious to this, greeting his kin: Donphan and Squirtle(the former because they are from the same generation, the latter because they're both water-type starter Pokemon).
Snorlax, meanwhile, after a large deserving meal by May, is now snoozing contentedly on the edge of the forest. Luxray, also sleeping, was on Snorlax's tummy, rising high and low to the bigger Pokemon's snores. And Munchlax is leaning on Snorlax, trying to keep awake, though hardly.
May was helping some maids clean up some large chow bowls(one so large it could very well meant for Snorlax).
As Ash joined the group outside, he was greeted by his(awake) Pokemon, tackling him. The weight of Feraligatr was one thing, but add the weight of Donphan, and... Uh-oh... Only Sceptile didn't join in the tackle.
"Okay, you guys, OKAY!" Ash shouted through the tangle of Pokemon. "Don't get my headache worse..."
After disentangling, Ash sat at the table next to May, who handed him some well-deserved lunch. "How long have I been out?"
"Almost half a day. You were knocked out last night after the competition. It is now 11:30 A.M.," May answered.
"Oh, man, that long?" May nodded. "Never mind. I qualified to fight Bertha, right? When is the battle taking place?"
"1:00 P.M. You still have less than 2 hours. You need the rest. By the way," May added, changing the subject, "the thief Bomb wasn't found where you directed them to her. The police didn't question your information, speculating that she may have escaped."
"What about Drill?"
"He's still in custody. He will be charged with robbery, multiple charges of assault, attempted murder, and sabotage. He's going away for a long time..."
"That's good to hear. But the Prof isn't going to be happy to find out his flute hasn't been recovered."
Just then May remembered something. "While you were sleeping, the Professor called. He asked to see if you were alright. So did Brock and the others."
"I guess I'll have to call them back today."
First, Ash placed a call to Sandgem Laboratories. It was Rowan who immediately answered.
"Boy, you must be like a Glameow, with nine lives and stuff. I'm glad to see you're okay."
"Thanks, Prof. And... I'm sorry I wasn't able to retrieve the Flute for you."
"Think nothing of it. The thief is behind bars, and you're not hurt. That's all that matters."
Professor Rowan then used ten minutes telling Ash all he knows about Bertha's strategies. It seems that the Professor was once a colleuge of the Elite. After wishing Ash good luck, Rowan said his farewell.
Ash placed his 2nd call to the Pewter City Gym. Forrest answered the call, but immediately handed the receiver to Brock, who just appeared.
"You sure get into lots of trouble when I'm not around, Ash," the breeder said, shaking his head. "Maybe I should have gone with you guys, after all."
"I don't find trouble. Trouble usually finds me."
Brock stared from left to right, then started speaking in whisper. Ash put his ear closer in the receiver. "Uh, so... You find good use to those articles I sent you? Those are grade-A material, you know."
Ash frowned at his friend. "Grade-A, alright. A grade-A ticket into trouble. My mom found them when Mimey was cleaning my room." Brock swallowed. "When I get back to Kanto, I'm planning on giving them back to you."
Brock shrugged. "Well, you can't blame a guy for trying to mature his best friend." Brock changed the subject. "Hikari and Max are travelling together. Hikari has already won two contest ribbons, and Max is already halfway in completing his Kanto badges. He says he's looking forward to that battle you promised him. He's now training for a Marshbadge."
"Well, I wish him luck with that. Hold on... Brock, could you forward a message to Max? If he's in Saffron City for his Marshbadge, then..."
The rest of the conversation went smoothly. At a quarter to 1:00, Ash walked into Jubilife City, ready for his match with Bertha. He seems confident about something, but neither Pikachu nor May was able to tell why.
Even after the disastrous events around the competition yesterday, many have still shown up to watch a new challenger fight the Elite trainer Bertha. The same rules as the match with Prima are applied, Ash was told.
"Are you ready, Ash?" Bertha called from the other side of the arena.
"You bet I am," Ash said.
The referee gave a signal. "Trainers, call your Pokemon."
Bertha took out her Golem. Ash called Pikachu to the battlefield.
"Ash vs. Bertha. First match: Pikachu vs. Golem. BEGIN!"
-Sorry for putting one big event in a single chapter. Believe me, i posted this as 3 separate chapters in FF.net. -HEADS UP:
Spoiler:- your spoiler here:
Ash, meanwhile, knew what he has to do(which we don't know ourselves). 'I've been saving this guy for this one,' he thought to himself, as he picked up what is unmistakably a Dusk Ball.
EDIT: It worked! FINALLY! Thanks, Flamingoozaru!
EDIT#2: I have worked out some sort of OP animation. Plus, the final battle is already in script, so I won't forget about the details that I worked so hard for. PM me if you want to see both or either(I promise that the latter's draft won't spoil, just for anyone who 'reads the book only at the finish'.
Last edited by Master_in_Training; 17th June 2007 at 7:15 AM.