[One-Shot]MaNS: Rising Mettle!
Well, I've been on a writing streak lately, but I ended up getting arrested. Stupid indecent exposure laws.
Dumb jokes aside, my internet went out for a few days last week, giving me plenty to time to write. Though most of that time was spent on a different project, I did get the idea for this, a sort of side story to my main work: Mastering a New Start.
As those of you keeping up with that fic know, the main character recently found out about a city called Bolt City and is on his way there as of the end of Chapter 19. I intended for Bolt City to not have a Gym Leader while Mark was there, and I realized that it would be a great opportunity to come up with a story of a new Gym Leader.
Anyway, I'm pretty sure that even people who haven't read MaNS should be able to follow this story just fine. As it's set not long after the main character of MaNS leaves Bolt City, there are a few minor spoilers, and it'll introduce one of my original Elite Four members that I hadn't intended to reveal until later on in the story.
I'm pretty sure that's all that needs to be said, so let's get on with it!
EDIT: Discovered a major inconsistency I accidentally left here. In the main story, Bolt City had existed for less than a decade, while this one-shot had suggested that it had been around for over twenty years. I figured I'd point this out so readers will know why that part of the story just randomly changed.
MaNS: One Shot
An Elite Clash!
Beneath a cloudless azure sky was spread a grassy field just outside the reaches of a bustling city. However, a particular area of that field, clearly separated from the rest with lines etched into the soil, was only covered in dirt, all plant life on it being stomped flat long ago. A lone man stood in the center of that rectangle, his eyes revealing that he was lost in thought.
Bart Metlen had never been the type to worry; all of his life, he would merely choose his goals on a whim and pursue them with little consideration of what might stand in his way. His ambitions had never been particularly high-reaching though, usually doing little more than determining where he would travel to next or what the Pokemon he would catch would be like. This time was different, however, and Bart found himself nervous for what may well have been the first time in his life.
Born and raised in the Kanto region, Bart and his family had moved to Bolt City shortly before his fifteenth birthday, and he was amazed when he found an Aron waiting for him, courtesy of his parents, in no small part due to the Iron Armor Pokemon not being native to anywhere in Kanto. When the new trainer left home to embark on his journey, he had determined that he wasn’t going to go around challenging Gyms like so many other trainers. Instead, thanks to the inspiration he received from the sight of his first Pokemon, he was going to capture as many different steel-types as he could find.
Bart’s relatively unique goal sent him to many more different places than most trainers; while others would extensively travel through only one or two regions at the most, Bart traversed Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh in search of the Pokemon he sought. As would have been expected, his journey took much longer as a result, not returning to Bolt City even once until he was twenty years old. Though he had caught several of the Pokemon he had left to find, Bart felt that there was something else he wanted to do, something he couldn’t put his finger on while he was traveling.
When he walked back into his hometown, the very first thing that he saw suddenly made everything come into focus for him. As Bolt City was built around Kanto’s Power Plant as a city of business, it didn’t have much involvement with Pokemon Trainers; Bart still had no idea how his parents managed to get hold of the Aron they presented him with so long ago. However, the Power Plant drew electric type Pokemon to force their way into the city on occasion, and the sporadic nature of the attacks made it difficult for the Pokemon League to do much about it.
As Bart walked into Bolt City, his attention was first caught by an Electabuzz storming down a street. It was obvious that his only intention was to get to the Power Plant, and all of the people nearby had already made themselves scarce, but Bart decided that he wasn’t going to let these Pokemon endanger the people of his home city anymore. With a sharp call to the storming electric-type, he easily got its attention.
With a quick toss of a red and white pokeball, Bart released his Magneton, once a Magnemite that had been the first Pokemon he ever captured. The ensuing battle was an easy one for the trainer; Magneton had been battling for him a long time, and his combination of electric and steel characteristics allowed him to shrug off all of the Electabuzz’s attacks with ease. In no time, the rampaging Electric Pokemon was defeated, sent running off into a nearby forest to lick its wounds.
It was then that Bart realized his true ambition, the one had he would be willing to follow for the rest of his life. He was going to become a Gym Leader, to protect Bolt City from whatever dangers might threaten it, to personally bring its needs to the attention of the Pokemon League, and to show the youth that Pokemon training really did have a place in Bolt City.
Bart began pursuit of his new dream immediately, preparing both himself and his Pokemon for a new period of intense training. Though he had his share of battles over the course of his journey, Bart simply hadn’t been training to defeat high-level trainers, and he had no illusions that he would be able to as he was right then. The trainer left town again, but this time staying only in Kanto as he tested himself and his Pokemon against trainer after trainer, Pokemon after Pokemon. When he returned, he felt shamed somewhat as he discovered that a rampaging Onix had appeared recently and had been attacking people who tried to come near Rock Tunnel, but that the situation had already been resolved by a passing trainer.
His training complete, Bart realized that he didn’t really know much about the actual day to day life of a Gym Leader, nor the process involved in appointing one. After conducting some research, he found that there were a number of things that would be considered by the Pokemon League; the trainer would have to preferably have a type preference, the support of his home city, a design for the badge that would be his trademark, a Gym building, and the approval of one of the Elite Four.
The first requirement Bart already had, and the second was easy enough to obtain after so recently subduing the Electabuzz. Though the trainer wasn’t the most creative person out there, he managed to draw up a badge design that he was comfortable with. There were complications in his request to the mayor to have a Gym built, but they had mostly been cleared up.
That brought Bart back to the present day, when it was arranged for one of the Elite Four to personally come and test his qualifications as a Gym Leader. The trainer had no idea which one of the immensely powerful trainers would be the one to make the judgment, but the situation would be nerve-wracking enough no matter which one it was. Not only that, but Bart was given no clues as to what to expect, or what the Elite Four member would be looking for.
Bart paced back and forth in the rectangular patch of dirt that had become his impromptu training ground since his recent return to Bolt City. He looked down at the worn watch strapped to his wrist, confirming that it was already several minutes past the time the Elite Four member was due to arrive. The trainer gave out a sigh, half out of nervousness and half out of impatience, when he suddenly caught a movement out of the corner of his eye.
A young woman was walking from the direction of Bolt City, her confident stride clearly leading her in Bart’s direction. She was wearing a black martial arts gi with the top left fluttering open to reveal a sleeveless white shirt underneath, and her brown hair was styled in a short look clearly intended to look feminine while still keeping from getting in her way. There was no doubt about it; she was Norra Chuckan, fighting-type master of the Elite Four.
As the woman approached, she suddenly tripped, though Bart couldn’t see anything on the ground that might have been responsible. However, as Norra’s body reached the ground, she went into a roll and sprang back to her feet, the move combining clumsiness and grace in a way that made it impossible to tell whether the move was deliberate or not. As the fighting-type trainer stood upright once more, she continued walking towards Bart again as though nothing had happened.
Bart’s mind raced as he struggled to remember what he knew about Norra Chuckan. Trained by the legendary Bruno and having taken his place on the Elite Four after he left, Norra was well-known as a trainer of some of the most powerful fighting-type Pokemon anywhere. It was being said that as the youngest current member of the Elite Four, she was also the weakest; however, her battle record since becoming part of the Elite Four made it clear that she was still miles above everyone else. Suddenly, Bart was shaken from his recollections as Norra reached him, calling out in greeting.
“So you’re Bartholomew Metlen, I assume?” With a sharp nod, Bart confirmed to Norra that her guess was correct, and he looked down to take a look at his watch. Realizing the current time, nearly twenty minutes past when the meeting had been scheduled, seemed to bring back the portion of his confidence that had fled upon seeing the Elite Four member, allowing him to respond with an annoyed reply.
“You’re late.” Norra apparently didn’t care much about her tardiness, rolling her eyes slightly at the trainer’s irritated expression. The woman then turned from side to side to inspect the improvised training ground, giving her dismissive response as she did.
“You’re just lucky Kian didn’t get this assignment, or you’d have been waiting for at least another hour before he would’ve bothered to show up. You should know this isn’t exactly the easiest place to find.” That shut the Gym Leader hopeful up, both from the truth of the statement, and from the fact that even Norra’s dismissive voice was commanding. After a moment, the Elite Four member turned back towards Bart, fixing him with a serious look.
“Alright, I already have confirmation from the mayor of Bolt City that you have the city’s support, and I already know that you specialize in steel-type Pokemon. Now, I assume that you have the design for your intended badge with you?” Bart gave a quick nod as he pulled the design from his pocket, handing it over to Norra wordlessly; the woman was apparently satisfied with what she saw, moving along to her next inquiry.
“Now considering the fact that you’re meeting me all the way out here, I’m assuming you don’t have a Gym at this time?” Bart managed to keep his face from looking too sheepish as he confirmed that, no, he did not, and Norra continued. “Well, care to explain?”
“I went to the mayor to request that a Gym be built here in Bolt City; he agreed, but he said that Bolt City had to have a Gym Leader to run it before he would begin construction. If I become a Gym Leader today, the Gym itself will be ready within the month.” Norra cocked her head slightly as she processed the information, taking a few moments before she replied.
“Hmmm… that’s a bit of a strange decision. On the other hand, I’ve met Mayor Bomeyer before, and he doesn’t seem to think much about Pokemon training; I suppose that arrangement would be expected coming from him.” Bart, having already come to the same conclusion, nodded in agreement. That cleared up, he quickly came back to attention as Norra began speaking once more.
“Well, I guess the only question left is… are you fit to be a Gym Leader?” The woman’s hand went into her gi top, and withdrew a minimized pokeball. “Choose your Pokemon; we’re gonna battle.”
With that revelation, Bart reeled back as if physically struck. Him matching up against a member of the Elite Four; how could he possibly have a chance at winning a battle like that? The trainer shook his head roughly in an effort to cast those thoughts aside; this was his ambition, and there was no way he was going to give up on it now. Bart pulled the most familiar of his pokeballs from his belt, and tossed it to his side, allowing its contents to be released next to him; Norra did the same.
With a burst of red light, a massive, iron-gray Pokemon stood confidently next to Bart. The Aggron stood on his hind legs with a long, powerful tail reaching out behind him; the steel-type’s immense metallic skull came to a point that jutted out in front of his face, and two sharp horns sprouted from his forehead. The behemoth gave a brief glance at his trainer before calmly looking around to inspect his surroundings.
Next to Norra stood a humanoid Pokemon that stood about as high as she did. The fighter had gray skin and rippling muscles bulging from every limb on her body; three yellow crests sprouted from the top of her head, and the shiny glimmer of some sort of belt was around her waist. The Machoke did a few brief stretches with her massive limbs before turning toward Bart and his Aggron with an aggressive grin. With both competitors’ Pokemon out, Bart walked toward one end of the field as Norra moved to the opposite one; as the Gym Leader hopeful walked, he turned toward his Pokemon.
“Chrome, our chance to run a Gym is riding on this match; we’re going to both have to be at our best for this one.” The steel-type’s face drew into as serious a face as he could manage with his blunt, stony features as he gave a slow nod. With that said, Bart continued to where he was going to be positioned.
Norra and Bart stood on opposite edges of the clearing, where the trampled dirt met the grass. Several feet in front of them stood their respective Pokemon, who faced each other as they eagerly awaited the start of the battle. Norra also seemed anxious to begin the battle, quickly giving a call to signal the start of it.
“Let’s do this!” The moment those words were spoken, the Machoke leapt forward as if burned, swiftly making a beeline toward her opponent. Chrome stood his ground, shifting slightly into a more stable position as he waited for the fighting-type to close in.
“Chrome, Iron Defense!” The Machoke was mere feet away from the steel-type by that point, right arm already coming out and around in a Karate Chop attack. As the hand closed in, Chrome’s body began to glow grey as his already thick hide grew even harder and denser. As the Machoke’s attack struck, a dull ring of metal echoed through the field; the Aggron slid backwards slightly from the force of the attack, but it quickly recovered in time for Bart to chime in again.
“Metal Claw, now!” A heavy metallic arm swung out, but the Machoke was already moving, leaning backwards away from the strike before falling into a handspring and launching herself away from the steel-type. The fighting type landed neatly on her feet, and immediately crouched towards the ground, placing one of her hands on the tightly-packed earth. Bart’s eyes widened as he realized what was happening, and he hurriedly turned toward Chrome.
“It’s an Earthquake; get ready for it!” At that moment, the Machoke lifted the hand that wasn’t pressed against the soil, curled it into a fist, and sent it crashing into the ground with a force that made the entire field begin to shake. A crack appeared in the earth where the fighting-type struck it, widening as it began to extend in Chrome’s direction, and thick plumes of dirt and dust burst out along its length as it widened into a fissure in the earth.
The Aggron dropped onto all fours as soon as he heard his trainer’s order, leaning his head down as he tensed his entire body. On the ground between the steel-type and the Machoke, a small circle of green light began to form. Just as the disk was fully formed, the split ran beneath Chrome, and the clouds of dust that burst from it quickly obscured the Pokemon.
As the Machoke lunged forward again, Bart chanced a quick look at Norra. The woman’s form slowly swayed from side to side, as though her body naturally resisted staying still. Bart was surprised at the scrutinizing face Norra wore as she watched her own Pokemon battle though; it was almost as though the Elite Four member was evaluating the fighting-type Chrome was set against just as she was assessing him.
The Machoke plunged headlong into the cloud of dust that surrounded Chrome, her fist already drawn back in preparation of another attack. Immediately, the fighting-type’s bulky form slid backwards out of the haze, bent slightly at the waist from the impact that flung her back. Slowly, Chrome stalked out of the dispersing dust cloud, a fading gray glow around his skull the last remnants of the Iron Head attack he had just used.
The Machoke lowered herself into a crouch as she faced down the Aggron opposite her, her breathing not having grown shallow in the slightest and her face barely acknowledging the blow she had just been dealt. Chrome was beginning to breathe a little heavier, and there were chipped places along his stony hide where the widespread Earthquake attack had managed to hit him, but Bart knew there was still a lot of fight left in the steel-type. Norra continued to sway from side to side almost subconsciously, and her face was still scrutinizing to both her Pokemon and the trainer opposite her, but it was otherwise unreadable.
The Machoke leapt forward once more, moving faster than she had before; the fighting-type reached Chrome before he could react, reaching her arms around his bulky body and grasping it in a bear hug. The Machoke then leapt straight up into the air, carrying the steel-type’s massive weight like it was nothing. Bart could only crane his neck up to watch the development, his eyes widened in shock as he watched his near half-ton Pokemon be slung around like a rag doll.
As the combating Pokemon rose higher into the air, a jerk from the fighting-type’s body sent the pair spinning rapidly in midair, both quickly fading into a gray blur. As the two Pokemon reached the peak of the Machoke’s jump, a massive metallic grey blur was launched downward. Bart could only continue to helplessly stare as his Pokemon plunged toward the earth.
The force from the Machoke’s Seismic Toss attack sent Chrome crashing into the soil forcefully, the impact causing a massive explosion of dirt billowing out from where he landed. Bart quickly lifted his arms to his face to protect himself from the debris, and was forced into staggering backwards as he was continuously pelted by large gouts of dirt. The billowing of rushing wind was all he could hear, and his arms ineffectively blocking off a massive approaching cloud of dust was all he could see.
After what seemed like several minutes, the dust finally began to disperse, revealing a massive crater that very nearly filled the space between Norra and himself. The Elite Four member opposite him was still in the same spot she had been in the entire match, and she seemed completely unfazed by the aftermath of her Pokemon’s attack, aside from being covered head to toe in dust. Norra’s Machoke was standing near the center of the crater, the exertion from her last attack finally causing her to breathe slightly heavier than before she started fighting.
The deepest point in the impression was where the last of the dust finally settled. As the debris cleared, an unconscious Aggron was revealed, his eyes rolled back into his head and his body riddled with chips and dents. The shock from his failure seemed to give everything surreal, dreamlike quality as Bart quietly recalled Chrome into his pokeball. He turned towards Norra to apologize for wasting her time, but the Elite Four member began speaking first.
“Hey, that was a good match! I hope you don’t mind that I used that match as a sorta test for Callie here; she’s kinda new to my team, and I wanted to be sure she was ready for real training. I’d say that battle was impressive enough that she is.” Though Bart couldn’t help but be confused, the Machoke seemed overjoyed, lifting her muscled arms over her head in a celebratory flex. Norra flashed her Pokemon a proud grin before she turned back to Bart.
“Alright, now as for you; you have some good defensive strategies, and you seem to have some skill at reading your opponent. If that Aggron is anything to go by, your Pokemon are tough enough, and you seem to have the integrity to even take losing pretty well.” Bart’s face grew even more confused, and Norra’s mouth shifted into a sly smirk as she continued.
“Not to mention that, judging from your face right now, you were confident enough that you actually expected to win that match; I kinda like to have that quality in our Gym Leaders.” Bart’s eyes widened as the realization of what was happening finally hit him. Shock faded into joy as the Elite Four member stuck out her hand in a congratulatory gesture; Bart reached forward to shake the offered hand, and Norra took the opportunity to formally drive the accomplishment home one more time.
“Good to have you with us, Gym Leader Bartholomew Metlen.”
Last edited by BladedScizor; 5th August 2008 at 10:07 AM.
Reason: Fixed an Inconsistency
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