So.... When do we expect another Chapter, eh?
I apologise firstly for the 3 month hiatus I've taken, I had half of what's here written by mid way through May and then revision and exams meant I stopped and it took me a while to get back into it, so thanks for all the encouragment to get this one done and all the support I still get from you guys! You are loyal, amazing readers and your feedback and support helps me so much!
A little info about this Chapter... It was originally one chapter but as you can see by the title I've now split it up! This continues right where we left off and goes into the Contest which I hope isn't too boring as it entertaining just like the last one was, but the reason it's so long is we get to see two new Contest rivals make way so I felt they had to have their first performance detailed in the full.
So without further ado, enjoy! And also this is the last time Max's Hoenn Journey - Intro 2 applies, from the next chapter we get a new one!
Chapter 27: A Silhouette Backtrack (Part 1)
The bleakness swept through the creamy, usually pleasant PokéCentre foyer where the enjoyable mood had quickly been sapped from the peaceful room, leaving only blank expressions of fear on Max and Harriet’s faces. Nurse Joy was also in shock, airing her cautious feelings as she approached both trainers from behind her desk accompanied by her habitually boisterous and happy Chansey who was now trembling with a slight edge of fear from viewing the live images streamed through the PokeComs. Everyone, including the Pokémon, had the same trickling thoughts of confusion that persistently rattled their minds, unsure of what had just occurred in Rustboro.
The pink haired nurse, now directly behind the two youths, placed both of her hands on the pair’s shoulders in an effort to sooth their fears. Finally, after a few more moments of echoing silence, she opened her mouth and allowed her tranquil voice to calm the duo.
“Max… Harriet… I’m, well I’m afraid that all PokeComs devices seem to be down, and… and I can’t even contact any of the surrounding cities. I’m truly sorry.”
An angry flare flickered in Max’s eyes at this, as his pondering thoughts began to overtake his natural collected nature; his fists clenched and his eyes grew cold. He quickly thrust Nurse Joy’s hand from his shoulder, frantically storming to the other end of the foyer where he proceeded to rasp his fist against the wall in frustration. Everything seemed completely impossible to him, even in some essences pushing the natural order of reality; he only expected these constant chaotic events to occur on the big screen in a big budgeted movie…
“Nurse Joy… it’s not your fault at all,” Harriet whispered, wondering whether to ignore the distraught Max or attempt to cool him down from his rage, “Thank you for trying as well, I guess these events over the past day weren’t just on the spur of the moment but were in fact planned…”
She was quickly interrupted by Max who seemed to engage with what Harriet had just said, “Exactly what I was thinking… it’s all been planned and this means Team Sukai are deadly serious, and dangerous…” he screamed, allowing his fuming energy to be propelled by his voice as his fists slammed yet again against the ceramic tiles on the wall, “They seem much worse than Team Aqua or Team Magma were a couple of years ago… in fact I suppose they could be classed as terrorists with the violent acts they’ve now committed!”
“Come on Max, shouting’s not going to help…” Nurse Joy soothingly suggested, proceeding over to Max who was nearly balling his eyes out with tears, yet his anger was successfully suppressing them, “My suggestion to the both of you would be to carry on going to wherever you were headed and then call me later this evening for an update ok, there’s no point staying here and putting your journey on hold…”
Harriet, agreeing, nodded, now also standing side by side with Max who had finally stopped trembling because of his anger. She wrapped her left arm around his shoulders and delightfully smiled into his gaze, hoping to add some sense of hope to his depression that had quickly and overwhelmingly swamped his body.
“Do Nurse Joy’s words remind you of another wise person, Max? Roxanne wouldn’t want us to waste our time here either, and I’m sure the contest tomorrow will help us to stay focused.”
Max gulped away the brewing tears and embraced Harriet in a grateful hug, filled with his expressions of thanks and love at her ever brightening kindness. He knew he was lucky to have acquired such a joyful and caring friend as Harriet and he also knew it wasn’t fair on her if he robbed her of the chance to compete in the Dewnord Village contest. If anything could really help cheer him up, besides being able to know Roxanne and Brock were fine, it would be watching her passionately win her first ribbon.
A giant chasm of wind repelled off the ever nearing ground, spraying the surrounding foliage with great quantities of dust and lumps of dirt as the final Capsule, with Apollo triumphantly watching his plans unravel from the Bridge of his descending vessel, was nearing the completion of its landing decent right into the middle of a circular creation of five other Capsules. Finally, all movements ceased and noises faded as Capsule 1 was securely rooted on its stabilising gear that had retracted, along with a hatchway, when the decent had begun. Team Sukai’s Rustboro assault team were all now mobilised.
The silence continued to hold its lingering grip in the clearing from Petalburg Woods that neatly distributed a clear view of the city, brimming in its own confusion as the preliminary tactical assaults had begun. The sun’s rays were mightily beaming across the reflective tower blocks, a busy shopping centre that was now filled with the numerous citizens attempting to rebuild after their previous attack, and hoards of broken streets, but yet again terror now gripped their hearts.
As the horrors began to pour out of the initial helicopters, where the specially trained agents who were kitted from head to toe in a full camouflage outfit and armed with numerous PokeBalls and high yielding explosives savagely began their hostage campaign; calmness and purity only loitered amongst Team Sukai’s most top ranking officers watching from afar. Their own missions didn’t begin until the city was in complete lockdown, making their tasks fluently easier.
Apollo, who was now effortlessly strolling out of the hatch from the Capsules Delivery Bay, followed by his Principles and Subordinates to meet his five Heads and their teams, was ready to lead Team Sukai to their first victory! Hoenn was, in his eyes, ensured to his control and ready to face the wrath of his plans; following suit would be the world…
With a resounding sigh, Harriet lent against the smooth edges of the Contest Hall, patterned with splashes of colour here and there depicting images of Dewnord Village’s most iconic Pokémon, Sableye, who had been a wandering spirit amongst the town for numerous years. Accompanying him, however, were other Pokémon all in victorious stances, a Lileep, an Aaron and plenty of others, and so she presumed that these had just been a few dazzling winners of the sought after ribbon, but today it didn’t really tickle her interests to enquire any further.
She had been waiting on the announcement from Vivian for the Contest to begin for what seemed to her to be hours, and now her mind had successfully begun to worry for the millionth time about Roxanne and Brock, stuck in Rustboro amongst all the ongoing confusion and terror. Nurse Joy still had no success in reaching any communication devices in the vicinity of Rustboro, including the cities of Verdanturf and Petalburg, and this had worried Harriet even more. This led her to believe something dark was preparing to reveal itself in a disastrous way and she knew no-one was ready to deal with the consequences.
As her own feelings brewed, she scanned the perfect horizon, where brisk water was lapping the edges of the sandy, golden stained beaches, and she noticed some calm and tranquil Pokémon floating gently through the air, allowing themselves to travel wherever. The Hoppip seemed wondrously at liberty; peaceful and laid back allowing the wind to guide them. Their freedom and serenity was undoubtedly something she envied, yet just by watching them feel content amongst the relaxing sea front it brought some essences of peace to her own thoughts. Somehow things were going to work out; she truly had to believe that.
As she continued to stare into the clerical void, the overhead tannoys began to crackle, and Harriet knew, automatically out of instinct, what was about to follow: “Would all contestants please report to the waiting room, the Contest will begin shortly!”
Somehow the comforting words from Vivian soothed the inner most demons that had set about to rattle around inside and shake fear into her core being. The prospect of allowing her Pokémon to extravagantly shine was a calming remedy to her angst and for the time being she had to place worry aside and concentrate on securing her first Hoenn Ribbon. Chikorita and Mothim deserved that.
After a brief reflective time of thinking, she slithered away from the wall and proceeded towards the open archway that only moments ago had born witness to her berated sobs. Now, as she re-entered the stadium, a faint flicker of glee was apparent upon the tear stained cheeks and a brewing fire of passion was evidently present.
The stadium hall was packed with fans, all buzzing with excitement at the chance to witness another Contest in their home town, and finally after months of preparation from the Contest committee, the stage was set. The crowd overlooked the bustling, dirt covered battle arena, where a panel of three judges sat with awaiting eager plastered on their faces. The contestants were also brimming with emotion as they awaited backstage, comfortable sofas adorning the room to help keep all nerves down. The giant screen, placed centrally on the far wall, was beaming with multicoloured light as it portrayed the images of Vivian making her final pre-contest performance before she announced the start of the preliminaries.
One of the vibrant red sofas was fully covered by Harriet and her draping cerulean dress with emerald coated beads that exquisitely matched the heat of the red colour. She lay listening to the commentary, eyes shut, half day dreaming and half tuned in. She did, however, recall noticing a rather handsome looking boy, tailored with the most heart throbbing muscles and garnished with a wonderful head of navy blue hair. His presence commanded power, and she knew all that just from her glimpses of his dreamy look. Luckily for her, his red fleece was strewn across the back of another sofa and the black top underneath was quite a close fit and neatly introduced his six pack to her eyes. Yet, somehow it didn’t quite shape up in the same extent to Curtis, who had literally (to Harriet) run off with her heart back in Rustboro.
She slowly sat up; allowing the extravaganzas of the excitement to filter back into her head. She contemplated drifting back outside until her announcement was called, but that seemed like too much effort. Right now she felt content gazing upon the attractive boy that was still oblivious to her sparkling gawk.
Before she had any more time to dream about prince charming fairytales, he quickly sprang to his feet as the number 13 flashed up on the Coordinator monitor. Within a split second he was out of the room, fleece flung back over his head, and he seemed quite prepared for what was about to come.
“Now that we’ve seen all the Coordinators for today’s Contest, we can begin with the preliminaries,” the young lady, decorated from head to toe in vibrant pink colours, cheered, “Each contestant must use two Pokémon in their performance. So, without further ado, please welcome Jimmy Kenta, all the way from Johto, on his debut performance to the Contest stage!”
The young lad leapt through the violet velvet curtains, kitted with a PokeBall in each hand and his iconic yellow and black striped hat. It was carefully rotated on his head to allow a tuff of his navy blue hair to poke through and keep it from draping over his red fleece. He wasted no time in finesse or elegance and proceeded to fling the two PokeBalls into the air in a rather untidy fashion, which neatly fitted in with his scruffy look that he had mastered so delicately.
“Croagunk and Wingull, it’s time to show them how much we want this!”
As his command hurdled from his mouth, the two circular objects burst open with a crackling noise and a radiating white light that beheld two unique creatures; one slouched over the ground and the other one hovering elegantly above its trainers head.
“Wingull, fly to the top of the stadium, go! And Croagunk stand directly below!” The two Pokémon moved with lightning speed; the Croagunk springing from location to location and spewing dust beneath its webbed like feet, before even one cycle of his contracting orange pouches had been completed. The Wingull, on the other hand, delightfully twiddled its three part tail along the crease of the blue strip of feathers as a show of excitement. It was obvious that these two were full of energy.
“Wingull, it’s time for you to use Gunk Shot directly on Croagunk below!” Jimmy cried, alleviating a lot of his built up thrill through his commands.
His bird Pokémon responded by rapidly opening its yellow and black beak, where a hidden bulge of purple goo had been spawned into Wingull’s throat. The build up continued to increase until little droplets of this acidic attack were gently falling onto the golden coloured floor below, and this was Jimmy’s next cue.
“Now Wingull, tilt yourself upside down and spin… but retain your height and Croagunk spin on the spot while launching a Poison Jab at the oncoming Gunk Shot!”
The two acted as commanded by controlling their bodies, with precession, the way their trainer had asked. Neither flinched at the possible dangers that faced them, nor did they attempt to go leniently on each other. It was time to put all their practice efforts into this one stunt and make perfection.
The spiralling goo of spitting violet’s and mauve’s began its decent out of the now blurry white and blue mass that was spinning uncontrollably in the air; the crowd overlooked with amazement at the accuracy and positioning of Wingull. Somehow it hadn’t moved its position in the air at all!
The bubbling gunk was now nearing impact with Croagunk, who had also begun his own spiralling antics with one of his arms stretched higher above the rest of his body. The tip of his fist was now emanating with a fantastic vibrant purple light that glowed so beautifully amongst the rays of yellow sunshine quietly creeping into the room. However, the crowd didn’t have long to marvel at this spectacle as the gunk quickly made impact with Croagunk and he was shrouded with a veil of poison goo.
There was a rapid fire of hushed gasps as the onlookers leapt to their feet, anticipating the worst for Croagunk. The only visible thing in the whole routine was the torrent of Gunk Shot that seemed to keep continuously spouting from the speeding Wingull. The crowds’ eyes turned towards Jimmy, expecting to see shock horror spreading over his face. Yet, to their amazement, he still had his expanding grin growing over his complexion.
With a blinding flash of harsh lavender coloured light coming from inside the surge, the surrounding veil of gunk that had piled up around Croagunk’s last known position burst into the air in a huge coiled mass. It quickly rose, as if on hinges, away from the Poison type, who had, through all the turmoil, managed to keep to the commands of his trainer. His spinning body was creating a wind that repelled the goo upwards until it met with the downwards resistance from Wingull’s own air force, and this combined energy created a barrier across the stadium that separated the two Pokémon. The colours were exquisite too, blending nicely together and forming bubbling sparks of energy that were able to float away as if they had no care in the world. It was symmetrical beauty.
Jimmy grinned with amazement, in awe at his Pokémon’s wondrous power. He had wished on many an occasion to show the world that his Pokémon weren’t only tough, and this was finally his moment. Now it was time for him to give his Pokémon their grand ending!
“Time for our finale guys, Wingull stop spinning and begin to flap your wings and mould the remaining Gunk Shot into a ball and surround Croagunk, then I want you, old boy, to use Endure!”
The duo once again responded accurately and swiftly to their trainers’ words, no hesitation and no fumbling about. Croagunk immediately resonated to an abrupt halt, slowly letting his pulsating wrist quell and the astonishing light to fade, leaving his usual black and orange, three fingered hand in its place. Floating gently above his head was his partner Wingull, who had begun frantically flapping both its wings to create a moulding wind that would shape the remaining Gunk Shot around the Poison type below.
Before anyone could fathom a blink of their eyes, the command had been accomplished. The harsh liquids were spiralling with grace around a pivotal point, Croagunk, as Wingull continued to flap both its wings and continue to create mirages of colours and patterns in the twirl of goo. Inside the swirling mass, a distant and faint white light began to illuminate the wondrous shapes that surrounded it in the gunk, continuously growing brighter and brighter with every second that past on the clock. The intensity grew ever stronger for the naked eye to behold; everything was undergoing radiating enlightenment, until…
“Right, Croagunk break through the barrier and enter the finishing pose with Wingull, begin!”
The veil of goo shattered to pieces as shining fists burst through the sides as if it were feeble and fragile glass, splintering the mass along the bubbling creases that had formed. The scarred remains were gently glowing in the intensity of the sparkling and heavenly light that had encompassed Croagunk’s entire body. None of his original body colours remained.
As the fragments soared through the air and flopped onto the floor below, Wingull swooped down from its height and perched on top of Croagunk’s head, which was now regaining its original blue colour. Their routine was over; finished with utter perfection. Jimmy had just set the marker extremely high for all candidates to follow, in fact, the bar seemed practically impossible to leap over.
“Wow, what a way to start of our Contest! Just… unbelievable!” Vivian cried through her microphone whilst performing a hand gesture for the spot lights to centre in upon the judges, “And now we’ll go to our judges for comments and scores!”
As the Coordinators sat backstage, they could hardly hear Vivian’s next few comments over the loud, intense roars emitting from the crowd. Everyone was stunned, bowled over by the clumsy boy everyone had witnessed enter the stage. His combination had been executed to the letter, there appeared to be no faults at all! Even Harriet had to re-think her initial thoughts about that man, maybe he wasn’t just a looker, and maybe he packed quite a punch!
“We’ll first go to Mr Sukizo for our opening comments and scores!”
“Well, absolutely remarkable if I may so, just plain and awesome remarkable! I’ll be awarding an 18.”
Plastered with a huge grin, Vivian turned back to the crowd, attempting not to let any fighting chuckles fleet through her mouth, “Well… very insightful words there, now onto Nurse Joy!”
“Wasn’t that just a show of raw imagination and talent put together?” the young lady said, while stroking one of her pink curls that ran down the side of her face, “I must say, I’ve never witnessed something quite like that before, never has anyone attempted something quite the same, so I feel originality points must be awarded as well so here’s a 19 from me… almost a perfect score!”
“And that gives Jimmy a score of 37 so far, let’s see what his final scoring will be after talking to Mr Contesta!”
“I feel there’s not much else to add comments wise, your execution was perfect and your Pokémon just delivered in every area! You’ll have a lot to live up to in your next performance young man, that’s for sure… but here and now I’ll be awarding you an 18 as well!”
“That gives Jimmy a total score of 55, everyone! That’s a fantastic way to start any Contest, and now let’s put our hands together once more for Jimmy, before we welcome our next Coordinator, Henry Bronlyn!”
A cold shiver entered the colourful backstage area, dampening the previously energetic mood. Everyone seemed to have forgotten that somebody would have to eventually follow this act, and now all eyes rested on Henry… and everybody knew that this could easily set him up for failure.
The fortified lump continued to bounce off the silver coloured arena walls, leaving deep and dark lacerations in the paint and brick work. This golden coloured body, rotating on its axis as if it was a spinning top, was also firing numerous purple spikes in all directions at the glistening sharp leaves that were being sprayed into the spaces around it, piercing them to small fragments and allowing the green waste to cover and decorate the usual dusty floor.
The small reptilian creature that was centred in the middle of this display, resembling that of a plant bulb, was standing on its two hind legs whilst it used its front two as a mode of balance. Its bulb had tilted at a rear angle, a few inches above his ivory back, and in the gap left towards the shoulders of the Pokémon, the sharpened leaves spouted out like fighter pilots launched from base, soaring as salvo into the air.
“Brilliant you two, this is just as I hoped!” the strong woman remarked, stuffing another lock of her brown hair back into the pristine white beanie resting upon her head, clearing her vision for Pokémon’s finale, “Now, Bulbasaur, grab Sandshrew with your Vine Whip in mid air, but Sandshrew, keep using your Gyro Ball but lay off the Poison Sting!”
The crowd were once again gripped to the edges of their seats, captivated by the young ladies commands and her elegant Pokémon that were swiftly enacting upon their trainer’s words. Two long, sturdy vines extended from the base of the bulb on the reptiles back and stung into the air, quickly latching on to the spinning golden glow right above his head. April stood with confidence, one hand clasped on her hip with the other packed neatly into a pocket on her also pristine white short skirt. She was basking in the greeting cheers of the crowd, overflowing with pride as she watched her Pokémon’s magnificent display of brilliance.
“Great work, now play Tennis with Sandshrew to wrap this up, Bulbasaur, and Sandshrew I want you to finish just like we practiced!”
The walking plant flicked the tip of its right vine and hurled the Sandshrew against the already scarred wall, creating a catalyst of energy to surge in the small ground type’s body as it was repelled back towards Bulbasaur. The extra energy stored from the impact with the wall allowed Sandshrew to expel it out of its dry hide as it burst from its circular shape, using all the force as an instrument to aid in gliding. It pricked its tail up on edge and began to rotate it in a clockwise motion to give it the little extra push towards Bulbasaur, until it had clasped one of the vines in both its upper and lower paw. Holding on tightly, she then spiralled down to sit nicely upon the contracting bulb of her cohort, and as instantly as that had occurred, so too did the erupting applauses breach the lips of the fans.
“That was another incredible debut here today folks with our seventeenth candidate, April!” the booming squeals resonated, blasting through the speakers that surrounded the entire Contest Hall, “Her Pokémon showed us the uniqueness of their own bodies and how it’s not all about those special attacks, what did our judges think of it though? Nurse Joy, would you like to start us off!”
Vivian’s hand gestured back over to the committee of judges, waving the spotlights back onto their beaming faces. The young nurse leant forward across the elongated table, allowing her curls to drape onto the metallic surface, and drawing in the attention of the entire crowd.
“This just goes to show you that a trainer always needs to know the capabilities of their own Pokémon, no matter what that may be…” Nurse Joy then paused, clutching the side of her face gently in her right palm whilst also regaining her posture and inhaling another take of breath, “And I do feel that the use of rare Pokémon in Hoenn was a great opportunity to grab everyone’s attention, such a superb attempt! I’ll be awarding them a 16.”
The crowd once again burst into grandiose ovation, applauding April for the great scoring she had just been awarded. Their attention then quickly flittered back over to Vivian, “And now let’s hear from Mr Contesta!”
The old man stayed seated, arms folded and a subtle smile etched into his face, “I felt that it was a definite glimmer of this young woman’s potential. Her Pokémon were synchronized and capable of coordinating their attacks in sequence yet with style… I’ll also be awarding a 16.”
“With a total so far of 32, let’s see how the scores will bear after we hear from Mr Sukizo!”
A tremendous applause flew into the stands yet again, raising the roof off the stadium with the sheer volume of noise that was being produced. Everyone was overexcited and ecstatic to be witnessing the marvellous routines that had been constant crowd pleasers, and even though they knew what words were about to befall their ears, they were still filled with utter enthusiasm.
“I’d just like to say remarkable, I shall give April an 18 for her remarkable efforts and remarkable elegance and remarkable Pokémon.”
“Well there we have it, a nice round and solid 50! A great start to her Contest career as well,” Vivian shrieked, waltzing over to April’s side and clasping her hand in a solid grip of congratulations. Still holding onto April’s hand, she turned towards the crowd, microphone pressed harshly against her lips, ready to blast them with more pep! “Let’s give it up for April as we welcome on our next Coordinator, Harriet Shelby making her second ever Contest appearance!”
The roars of ecstasy reached new pivotal levels; the men and women that had flocked into the seats in the stands were now levitated on their feet, fist punching the air and screaming adoration for April as she and her Pokémon performed one final bow before they fled out through the purple drapes pulled over the giant archway at the back of the hall. Max was also advancing his own hollers of enjoyment, rasping his hands together repeatedly as a sign of his best wishes for April, whilst also eagerly anticipating the arrival of Harriet and all she had to offer.
Meanwhile, amongst the deafening shrieks of delight blasting through the television set secured on the wall, Harriet quickly bolted from the comfy sofa that had barely seen anyone else lay rest on it at all during the first half hour of Contest Preliminaries. This time though, it was her time to allow others to marvel at what her Pokémon could accomplish and nothing was going to stand in her way.
She spent no time bursting through the double doors that cordoned off the backstage area from the main corridor. It had been designed to resemble some exquisite royal palace, or that was the excuse used for the overuse of swirls and ribbons and the vibrant attire of sky blue paint. The long passageway to the echoing applause was all that was left now; she always took it to be like an ascent to royalty, it made the most sense somehow considering the over lavished corridors with Contest memorabilia and photos of winning Coordinators in posh poses that littered the walls… and of course the double doors!
Whisking herself towards the entrance to the stadium hall, where the cameras were awaiting her entrance, another girl burst towards her, only visible to Harriet in a black silhouette because of the intense beams of light that radiated from the arena behind her. Instinctively this other girl stopped, placing a hand upon her hip and flicking another loose curl away from the corner of her eyes.
“Well, Harriet…” her soft tones entered the void of silence, “Who would’ve guessed that you’d have to follow me?” she chuckled, now resuming her movement and running towards Harriet, arms extended for an embrace, “Good luck out there, ok? Don’t mess this up! I plan on meeting you in the finals!”
Harriet only smiled in response, slightly taken aback by April’s extravert behaviour; she was slightly unsure of how best to answer her retorts.
“Well, I best not keep you… go get them girl friend!” April kindly spoke, winking with her right eye and signing a thumbs up before grabbing Harriet by the shoulders and pushing her towards the raging sounds of excitement. Surprisingly, the encouragement from April seemed to revitalise some of the lost sparks that had died away with the previous day’s news and Harriet was raring to go. This was now her moment to show Hoenn why her Pokémon were going to win!
As Vivian now introduced Harriet with a little more detail to the crowds, describing the mountainous village from which she originated, she stormed through the slight gap etched into the two velvety fabrics hanging across the archway. For some reason this time felt more nerve racking than her debut had actually been. The intensity of the cheers, the glancing eyes of the judges and the dawning light that fell upon her all added up to some subconscious poker that was jabbing her insides with forceful heat like never before. But… she wasn’t ready t give in, and she was here to prove her worth!
“Alright, Chikorita and Mothim, take to the floor!”
Her PokeBalls whizzed into the basking golden light that was illuminating the sparkling dust particles that were ascending into the heights of the stadiums top. Her PokeBalls hovered in the same light too, their purplish aura glimmering amongst the dust that were like small stars swirling around two powerful planets, ready to burst at any moment. With a noise resembling a cracking whip, the two spheres split along their joint, sending both parts as far away as feasibly possible from each other. From within the capsules erupted bouquets of roses tinted with a lingering sweet perfume that scattered across the floor staining it with the colours and fragrance of love. Soon after, they were followed by a white shimmering beam that jangled together to create the figures of Chikorita and Mothim, both whom were planted centrally upon one rather overgrown rose petal that gently unfolded to reveal the two stars of the stage ready to captivate the audience over their routine.
“What a magnificent entrance ladies and gentlemen! Already Harriet and her two Pokémon have us eagerly awaiting their spectacle, let’s see what they have to offer,” Vivian cried, her voice exploding through the enormous speakers that received the signal from her radio mic.
“You heard our cue guys, so let’s kick it up! Chikorita jump onto Mothim and then Mothim, fly into a central position and begin charging a low powered Hidden Power, whilst Chikorita, I want you to fire numerous amounts of Leach Seeds into the air surrounding you two, but be careful… we don’t want to impact him!”
Mothim began to energetically flap both of its wings, soaring into the heights of the stands in a tunnelling spiral while the edges of its body began to energize a spectacular, shimmering golden light. The small particles of this beautiful sight then merged together, forming a trail of fine and delicate light mimicking the similarities of very tender string. Whilst the crowd watched in awe at the splendour surrounding Mothim, attracted to his beauty, Chikorita stammered a barrage of small seeds from its own small necklace of green plantings to create a spherical radius around them.
“Now Chikorita, grip on tightly as we practiced, and Mothim release your Hidden Power, but only from your front!”
Instinctively, Chikorita curled the edges of its small paws around Mothim’s cylindrical, deep black spinal body. This was the moment where things could easily go wrong, and Chikorita knew that it’d most likely involve her if it were the case so the tighter she held on, the tighter their clench was around victory.
The minute Mothim felt the deeper grip on his body he utilised his wings as a utensil for spiralling that would allow the discharging Hidden Power to impact a greater area in a shorter space of time. As they both entered into the twists, their vision became blurred and heads became dizzy, incapable of really hearing anything over the intense pressure upon their bodies. These was the prompt Mothim was looking for and needed to then release the energy that had now encompassed his entire frontal body, leaving none of his original markings on display. In the blurry images that their eyes were frantically attempting to distinguish, a sudden blinding glow erupted into their surroundings, quickly engulfing every Leach Seed around them, all of which had begun to descend to the ground below.
For them, it was hard to see exactly what had occurred, although because of their practices they knew exactly what the outcome looked like… For the crowd, however, it was an entirely different story, even Max was left looking greatly shocked, captured by the magical explosion of life before them.
The small round seeds that had previously been so insignificant that they appeared harmless were now shooting stems of foliage from within their miniscule vessels. The occasional one connected with others in the sphere and intertwined and merged to create coils and twists, small works of art. On each of the elongated vines, the onset of spouting leaves and small buds began to appear in a huge variety of colour ranging across the rainbow spectrum. Some were a beautiful deep blue, others a shy and blushing violet. It was amazing!
“Look at that power… the nature… it’s… it’s just jaw dropping! Pokémon truly withhold immense natural beauty in them and this shows just how one with nature they are!” Vivian quivered, her face enriching a red as a few speckles of small rainbow petals dropped onto her brow.
Harriet’s eyes dazzled with joy and love that was enhance by a swirling pool of liquid skating across the white surface, shimmering the intricate emotions into the public’s own vision. She was overwhelmed by her Pokémon, amazed at what they could accomplish. She wished she could raise them higher on her pedestal of praise than they already were.
“Brilliant guys, absolutely superb work! And now it’s time to lavish the crowd in our floral creation! Chikorita, use Razor Leaf to split the Leach Seeds up, and Mothim create a gust of wind with your wings to blow it into the stands!”
The sharp edges of the leaves, that seemed set on a continuous mode as they were launched from the gigantic leaf planted on the tip of Chikorita’s head, sliced through the tangled vines with such ease, as if a knife was being driven through soft, fresh doughy bread. The falling, intact flower heads soon became caught in an updraft circulating the lower half of the stadium that pushed the luscious commodity into the seats, where the crowd greeted the delight with exuberant smiles. This was when Chikorita immediately stopped its Razor Leaf and leant over the edge of her partner to grab a pink flower within its teeth, ready for their final stunt. Mothim, on the other hand, continued to beat its wings against the air until every last petal had been sent, colour and all, into someone’s gracious lap as a sort of token of thanks for the ongoing applause and cheers. The two Pokémon then gently hovered to the ground where they perched on either side of their trainer, beaming with a huge and thankful smile. Chikorita then gently placed the flower that was still secured in her teeth upon Harriet’s head, delighting her even more. It was over.
“There we have it folks, and what a brilliant way to end that show of nature! I think we can all say we were showered with elegance today, and let’s see how Harriet’s points reflect that. Mr Contesta, if you will do the honours of starting us off…”
“That routine was obviously thought out in such depth and detail that I doubt any flaw could’ve occurred. Congratulations on behalf of the planning and also congratulations to Mothim and Chikorita as well, who elegantly and professionally delivered, what I think has to be called a stunning and flowery show of perfection. I look forward to your future appeals… now onto your scoring. I’m going to give you an 18!”
“A great way to start things off; now let’s see what Nurse Joy has to say!”
The fresh skinned lady sat for a moment, a big smile etched onto her face and an air of content surrounding her, “I feel that any comment I have to say won’t do your Pokémon justice…” she softly spoke, “All I will say is do come and share with me the way your brain comes up with these!”
The crowds, previously silenced in anticipation, burst into wondrous laughter that was oddly pleasing and soothing to Harriet’s nerves. Somehow, if a judge was capable of joking around it had to mean that she had done something right, and by the looks of relief on her Pokémon’s faces it seemed they felt exactly the same way.
As the volume of laughter decreased, all eyes fluttered back across to Nurse Joy who seemed to have words sealed in her lips, ready for the best moment to speak, “So for your ingenious ideas, I’ll also be awarding you an 18!”
“A solid 36 so far Harriet, well done, and by the sounds of those cries up there it seems like the crowd thoroughly agree with your high score… now lastly we’ll turn to Mr Sukizo for the final comments.”
“Remarkable, I think it was a brilliant display of remarkable attitude and perseverance… 17 from me!”
“There we have it, another high scorer with 53 points ladies and gentlemen… this could mean that selecting our final eight for the battle rounds won’t solely be on scores this time round, but only time will tell! Now give it up one last time for Harriet, Mothim and Chikorita, and welcome to the stage Ruth Taylor!”
Harriet enlarged the two PokeBalls, rid of the capsules now, in the palm of her right hand. She turned to her two Pokémon, a graceful smile speaking justice to the both of them who were also reflecting joyous smiles. Without any words, the red beams shot from the balls striking the Pokémon’s bodies and sucking them back into the warmth and comfy energy streams. They had accomplished their double performance without a hitch, and for that they deserved a peaceful rest before the results.
Silence. Pure, lonely silence. It lingered in the room, struck the depths of hearts and quivered the strongest lips. Everything was tense and nerve racking, out of place and uneven… and the silence only adhered to that. The faces of all Coordinators were solemn, inconstant – scared even. Everyone’s scores had been so close, many even matching others entirely, and this meant that the judges then had to sift through the many names and faces of those with equal scores to try and evaluate… gage who was the best, who had the best ability.
The lights of the main arena suddenly vanished, leaving only four spotlights open, shining upon the judges and Vivian. It was time. Now everyone would be put out of their misery, sweat ducts would dry up and colour would return to everyone’s faces. The final eight had been decided.
Vivian grasped a sheet of paper from the judge’s desk and slowly paced into the centre of the dusty stage. Her presence seemed commanding and justified and attracted the other three spotlights to whisk away from the metallic table and home in on her.
“Thank you for waiting so patiently, I have to apologise that this process took slightly longer than usual but it’s only because of the amazing performances each and every Coordinator has displayed here today. The final eight have been entered into the computer system and their faces will now appear behind me on the big screen… good luck everybody!”
Eight blank photo frames magically materialized in the pixels on the screen, illuminating the arena a little more from its own light. As this occurred the yellow streams originating from the four spotlights then dimmed and fizzled out and the main stadium lights began to faintly glow again. Suddenly, eight images flashed on screen and slotted neatly into the ruby and sapphire coloured frames, decorated with studded jewels. This was the moment… Who had made it?
Brilliant chapter! It was well worth the wait! As always, your contest appeals' description trump mine! XD Really enjoyed this chapter, and really glad to see an appearence by the HG/SS male protag (whose name in the games was Ethan)! He's going to appear in one of my far future fanfics, so I was happy to get to see him as a coordinator here! Remarkable job and I can't wait for the next chapter!
Very good choice to introduce Ethan as a main character--he needs a little bit of love.
Does (did, or will) Lyra make an appearance too?
And she hasn't and there aren't any plans at the moment, mostly because I felt that what they did in Sinnoh with Lyra was very good and I wouldn't know how to create a diverse enough character to differentiate at the moment. So... we'll have to wait and see what time does with that one.
Hello harryheart! It's been forever since I've logged in and posted at seriebiiforums. I've had a busy summer and a lot going on with starting school. I read Chapters 26 and 27 and enjoyed both of them!
It was nice seeing Butch and Cassidy return in Chapter 26. The way you are able to write descriptions is absolutely great. You've come a very long way from when you wrote the first few chapters of this. I know from writing contest rounds for Dawn in my fic that creating and describing contest moves is incredibly tedious but you pulled it off very well in Chapter 27.
Nothing really to critique here. You're writing gets better with each chapter. There are a couple of spelling mistakes but they are few and far between and everyone makes those mistakes now and then.
A sentence shoudn't begin with a conjunction and the "o" is missing from the word "to". Just thought I'd point that out but that's all I really found. Wonderful writing!But… she wasn’t ready t give in, and she was here to prove her worth!
New Chapter: Chapter 4- Unova
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Creature of Storms
Also check out my completed crossover of Pokemon and Pirates by clicking the title!
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
Happy to do it. I'm sure your next chapter will please as always.Anyway thanks for your review again! I hope the next chapter can please just as much!
New Chapter: Chapter 4- Unova
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Creature of Storms
Also check out my completed crossover of Pokemon and Pirates by clicking the title!
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
This sounds cool
http://www.mindistortion.tv/iwantyou...m=MukAndGrimer Click this if you dare
Well.... what can I say.... ? It really wasn't a couple of weeks but at least it's here I guess. The first thing though is I want to apologise! Firstly because the chapter has again been split because the additional info was taking a hoard of time to get perfect, and editing has been a nightmare! AHHHHHHHH! and secondly for my delay in this chpater! Luckily though the next couple of chapters aren't as intesnive and so haven't taken me as long and so they should be up by the end of the year. Also I want to apologise if this chapter seems to drag out for people, I hope it doesn't.Chapter 28: A Silhouette Backtrack (Part 2)
Just a titbit, we are basically 1/4 of the way through with this chapter which is.... pretty amazing.... or at least that's how I see it :P Here's to many more chapteres lol!
With this chapter comes a new intro... so that might be exciting to some:
Max's Hoenn Journey Intro 3
And without further ado, here's the long awaited chapter!
Blank expressions of horror and sadness gripped most of the Coordinators that had been hesitantly sitting on the coloured sofas that littered the backstage room. Some of them, with trembling hands and legs, dared not stand amongst the blue colour scheme of the area, while others turned to a member of the lucky eight and congratulated them with a tight and respectful handshake. One small girl, who seemed as if she was even too young to know her own alphabet, very graciously peered round the corner of her lunar glasses and extended a hand of adoration to give thanks to a startled Jimmy. Another girl at the opposite end of the room had also begun congratulating Henry Bronlyn on his performance before turning to a gleaming April, decorated from head to toe with an ecstatic glow, and congratulating her.
While all this occurred, Harriet, sat in a posture of unique stillness, still seemed to glare at the electric notice board in front of her. It was rather hard to tell exactly what emotions were drifting through her body and mind and what thoughts had begun to stir in the depths of her head, but one thing was certain, she appeared paralyzed by shock.
Being beaten with numerous remarks of praise, Henry looked up from the other Coordinators that had uniquely surrounded themselves around him and gazed through the room to search for the other lucky seven amongst a crowd of smiles and sobs. As his eyes continued to scan the room he noticed a rather astonished stricken Harriet, fixated upon the images on the screen. Pushing his way out of those that surrounded him, now moving on to congratulate the other ones, he quickly wandered over to her and proceeded to sit, with quite a force, on a patch of sofa next to her.
“Hey there Harriet,” he remarked, glancing another look at the board while a simple image of confusion seemed to creep onto his expression, “Everything ok?”
As he looked at her, awaiting a response, he noticed the faint twinkling of delight and hope burst into her eyes and now his own perplexed smile seemed to fade into one of glee. She seemed quite overwhelmed with a coursing flow of happiness ebbing throughout her. What he had mistakenly thought was shock horror was actually just the response to so much joy and she had no other way to show it.
With a sudden flash of movement, she leapt from the couch, eagerly anticipating who her first opponent would be. She smiled warmly at Henry reaching down to his now lowered position to grasp his hand in a tight feeling of mutual respect. They had both accomplished it, somehow.
The talent that had most defiantly shone here was overwhelming to all the Coordinators, as well as the hyped up crowd now eager to watch the certain feisty battles from the first stage battling. It was sheer shock to Harriet, as shown by her previous look, and she felt privileged to have somehow, in some way been a noticeable figure amongst all the others backstage. In some respects, it felt, to her, as if she had been a prized needle found amongst the plentiful numbers of hay stacks. Now it was time to beat all those that stood on her path to her first ribbon!
“Well Henry,” she now spoke, attuned with an air of excitement, “You best hope that you’re not my first opponent because I’m not going to let anyone get near to beating me… No way!”
“Hah,” he chuckled, standing up to look her eye to eye, friend to friend, “Now you’re back!”
“Indeed I am, and I’m…”
A metallic clunking descended from the speakers that were picking up sound from the main stage arena. Everyone immediately stopped what they were doing, ready to look and listen as they awaited and expected an announcement.
In the dimly lit corner by the judge’s stand, a figure proceeded forward into the greater light to make her presence better known. With a microphone in her hand, this time without its stand which seemed to be stuck in a pile of cabling, probably the source of the hard sound, Vivian stepped forward with a gleaming smile, addressing the crowd with her noticeable aura.
“And now ladies and gentlemen, fans at home, it’s time to shuffle our eight candidates on the board and match them up for their first stage battling! Begin!”
Her hand shot upwards with her index figure stoutly pointed to make a greater impact with the swish movement, to alert all eyes to the busy whirring screen. And they followed. Each and every person was instantly in anticipation, on the edges of their seats as they watched the backs of the photo frames begin to initially appear, a way to add to the hyped suspense. Now that each section of the screen was filled they rotated to display the faces of the Coordinators, and that’s when Max reeled with shock. Not only was Harriet up first but she was also up against Jimmy, someone he knew to be truly experienced and tough when it came to battles from his own attempts at battling him.
“Well there we have it folks! Our first battle to start things off will be between Harriet and Jimmy, let’s put our hands together as we welcome them out to the stage!”
Backstage, Harriet, seemingly unbeknown to the reasons surrounding the horrors that rested with Max, was prepared, ready and up for her first challenge. She causally pushed her way out of the room, brushing past the two gigantic marbled pots peppered with an array of bluish colours that contrasted with the deep green of the small palm trees sprouting over the tops. She didn’t take long to camber down the corridor and out into the open, where Jimmy was already handsomely waiting to face her, one hand tacked onto his left hip and a gigantic yet charming smile spawned on his face. Although he was her opponent, she still felt the radiating charisma and allure he seemed to produce, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her, and this young man, of whom she knew nothing about, was about to understand the full complexity of her battling prowess.
“Now each Coordinator must still show the elegance of their Pokémon’s moves but in a battle setting, you have five minutes on the clock as your timer… and begin!”
“Okay then,” Harriet quickly responded with a swell of force behind her voice, “Well you already know what my two are, Jimmy. Mothim and Chikorita, rest is over, now time to get our battle on!”
Harriet lunged her two PokeBalls into the middle of the arena before her, thrusting as much excitement as she could into her throw to elegantly allow the balls to twirl in movement. They continued forwards, Jimmy still lingering a pleasant smile, and burst wide open allowing petals of magnificent colours to erupt in a continuous flow around them. With two sharp, lively and determined looks, Chikorita and Mothim were present and equipped to show the crowd their battling techniques.
“Hmm,” Jimmy seemed to ponder for a few seconds, “Well in that case…” He unhinged two PokeBalls from the waist belt strung across his middle, enlarging them with delicacy in the palm of his right hand, “I’ll use Wingull and Geodude; let’s teach them a whole new lesson about typing matters in the process!”
He gently flung his two PokeBalls onto the stage floor as well, seemingly frozen in his posture while he carried out the act. They too burst open with a wondrous energy, yet without any addition of a capsule to aid in their entrance. Just like the PokeBalls, Jimmy was also not wearing any extravagant attire for the event, just his usual casual clothes which he neatly topped off with a yellow and black cap plonked in any old fashion over his night blue coloured hair. Although he didn’t outwardly look the part, he was certainly ready to detail his Contest debut in a heroic fashion.
Now, presently facing each other with sheer excitement ebbing through their bodies, the Pokémon attentively listened for their trainer’s commands, wishing to execute them precisely and with the utmost speed they could muster. They wanted to deliver the first blow and take a quick lead in the battle.
“I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to be taking the first move!” Jimmy cried, now engaging his body with the energy of the motion by hunching into a tough posture, “Geodude, Rollout on Chikorita, and Wingull, use Water Pulse to drive Mothim into the air, let’s separate her Pokémon up!”
The two energetically engaged their commands, joyously charging into an instant and active tactical assault. Geodude had quickly tucked both its sprouting arms, which were rigidly attached to its rocky yet circular body, around his exterior shape while his partner was busy plaguing Mothim with repeated shots of Water Pulse to lure him away from Chikorita. Although both wished to stay and fight side by side, they knew their battles were materializing into different agendas and they had to stay focused on their own opponents before they could offer any assistance to each other.
While Mothim darted away in the air, constantly twisting and turning to avoid the fateful Water Pulse’s that zoomed on by, occasionally coming in close proximities to the extremities of his wings, Chikorita faced her own problems. The floating mass of rock that now sped delightfully towards Chikorita with great force was overwhelmingly accompanied by sheer elegance that uniquely appealed his uneven, jagged edges to the audience because of the odd light reflections that now bounced off his body. Chikorita timidly watched him keep approaching with the trailing winds rapidly following him behind, yet she stood her ground awaiting her own trainer’s commands knowing that letting fear get the best of her in this situation would prove untimely wise and also be unhelpful to Mothim.
Harriet’s own attention to the battle became rather strained as her eyes swiftly shifted between Chikorita, plastered to the ground, and Mothim who was steadily increasing in height. She could tell that Wingull was launching attacks that weren’t intended to strike, although it wouldn’t have been a problem to Jimmy if they did. The longer her Pokémon were on the run or facing a difficulty the more her points would decrease, and she could clearly notice, behind Mothim, the slowly depleting circular bar underneath her name.
“Ok, we have to do something! So Chikorita, launch your Razor Leaf in an attempt to stop Geodude for as long as possible, and Mothim, let’s show them our counter to spam attacks, Protect!”
The two Pokémon were extraordinarily eager to resist the onslaught of attacks they were facing in an effort to regroup and launch their own offensive strike. Mothim contracted its body in a tight focus before a spherical force engulfed it, glistening with a blue tint in the skin of the shield. The Water Pulse’s were now officially beat, at least for the time being, as any greatly aimed spherical ball of water would bounce right off the tight protection and cascade to the ground below, which inevitably Jimmy didn’t want. Chikorita on the other hand leapt into action by showering the oncoming Geodude with a plethora of razor sharp leaves that began to strike the coarse body of the Rock Pokémon. Now they just had to wait and see which attacks would win over the other and which Pokémon would suffer and tire causing the trainers points to dwindle.
Mothim was managing to keep the barrier brimming with life, now flapping its wings to drive Wingull back down towards the fight between Geodude and Chikorita, which Wingull was so obligingly complying with. Meanwhile though, the look of fear gripped its tight grasp around Chikorita, causing a few drops of sweat to run down her brow. Her rapid fire of Razor Leaf seemed to do nothing to prevent Geodude as he just blasted his way through the barrage. His spinning mass was now inches away and he could almost smell the fear and unwilling anticipation expelled from her. With one mighty impact, Chikorita was sent soaring across the hall until a wall kindly met her path and she slammed into the solid side.
“No! Chikorita! Are you ok?” Harriet cried, horrified by her failing tactics. She was so sure that they’d work; she had seen it emulated somewhere else and it had been performed without a hitch. Now she was going to have to switch things up and draw Mothim in to help, but first she’d have to deal with Wingull!
“Chikorita, get back up and use Leech Seed on Wingull, we need to incapacitate him if we’re to get an edge in this battle, and Mothim handle Geodude for the moment by firing bursts of your Hidden Power at him!”
Out of the corner of her eye, she noticed her dwindling point’s that were now down to half of the total in comparison to Jimmy’s which had only budged by a few inches. She really had to pull something out the bag if she was to win and succeed into the second stage battling and hopefully her sudden idea would be all she needed.
Around the pale soft neck of Chikorita, lined with spouting buds, erupted a few pellet like seeds pulsing with some mystic crimson energy. The tips of these brandished a distinct leafy hook that seemed sharp enough to stick to anything. Chikorita tilted its head back, glaring at its opponent before it launched the Leech Seed with a forceful thrust of her head. The erupting seeds seemed like bullets fired from a powerful and devastating gun because of the speed they were gathering and they quickly impacted Wingull with utter ease. The seeds then rapidly began to sprout vines that wrapped themselves tightly around Wingull by linking between the pulsing capsules that were already sapping energy from him, increasingly making it harder for him to stay afloat in the air.
On the ground Geodude was also being edged into a corner, trying not to be struck by any streams of Golden Light that was pouring from Mothim’s elegantly decorated wings. Now Harriet had successfully, if only briefly, turned the tide of the battle and had also managed to impact Jimmy’s points in a bigger more profound manner than before. Her face began to glow with a hint of joy as his bar of points was on a steady decline.
Jimmy was gripped with a nervous air, his face now brimming with a few drops of sweat as he fumbled over a few quick thoughts. He was, however, finding it increasingly harder to establish what action to take, and oddly the Contest Battle seemed like a far off world compared to his regular Gym Battles. So much more precision and elegance was needed from his Pokémon, now he just had to deliver.
“Okay Geodude, we’re going to need to do something fast so use Rollout to get away from Mothim’s attack and charge Chikorita again, let’s get this thing back on our turf! And Wingull, use Wing Attack to try and cut the binds around you, we need you back on your fighting feet as soon as possible!”
Wingull’s complexion had already drooped and it was notably beginning to tire under the strain of the constant zaps. The deceiving little seeds were draining Wingull slowly of its energy which left it more vulnerable and open to attack and also meant that its own talents were starting to weaken. However, it knew that its trainer was right to call the next course of attacks and so proceeded with all its might to engage a powerful Wing Attack. It now slowly beat its wings against the tensed vines that encompassed it inside and he hoped that with repeated hits the vines would begin to become delicate and tear.
Beneath him, his partner had already entered into the rapid spinning motions as his body was rotating with tremendous weight and force. With elegance he was cleverly evading the showering beams of Hidden Power that narrowly missed his rocky armour, impacting the ground and creating small yet noticeable cracks to weave in the dirt battle field. His movements edged him closer to Chikorita who was showering away in fright, but ready to quickly act if her trainer required her too.
Harriet looked rather worried, her mind creating numerous scenarios that could occur and different possibilities, but she knew she had to try something risky if Chikorita was going to survive the battle and if her points were also going to stay intact!
“Alright, Chikorita, grab hold of Geodude with your Vines and lift him off the ground. Try and resist him breaking free! Mothim, then target your attack on Geodude! We need to be quick if we’re going to take Wingull before he breaks free as well!”
Two elongated vines spouted from Chikorita’s pale neck as soon as Harriet commanded the words, not stretching too far before each vine impacted the spinning body. Chikorita began to push into her vines with all her body mass as well, trying to slow down the speed and release Geodude’s arms from his coil so that she could hold him still, and it seemed to be working. His rotations were becoming increasingly unstable and offsetting his balance causing his arms to flail in the air. As soon as the slight glimmer of his fists appeared, Chikorita quickly moved her vines to wrap around his fists and firmly lock him in place; ready to face Mothim’s powered up Hidden Power.
Mothim was again glowing in vibrant golden light that had engulfed the usual patterns adorned on its body. As soon as it noticed Geodude tangled within Chikorita’s vines it released the energy in a spiralling and explosive beam that flowed through the air. Geodude, horrified, stared at the tip of the awesome sparkling power that was inches away; delivering what he knew would be his final blow.
Dust quickly distilled the arena and nobody could tell the outcome from the Hidden Power. Harriet attempted to open her eyes but rapidly blinked a number of times to clear the sandy particles from her vision. Amongst the greyish coloured cloud that had sucked in most light, she could still see the ebbing colour emanating from the Leech Seed which Wingull was obviously still wrestling with. If she was quick she could end the battle now, but only if the Hidden Power had gone to plan.
“I’m just going to have to trust,” she muttered as a comment to help lift her up and instil confidence in her, “I have to trust in them…” her voice echoed, trailing off to add in one last moment of thinking, as a sort of risk assessment, although she knew it was all going for broke. “Ok, Chikorita, fling Geodude at the red pulsing light in the air, I trust and believe in you! I know you can do it Chikorita, just aim and you’ll be fine!”
Amongst the dust cloud, a rustling of movement could be heard. Chikorita was ready to act upon her final commands, knowing that Harriet had full confidence in her and knowing that Harriet believed in all she could achieve. Using her vines like a lasso, she swung Geodude around a bit causing a disturbance in the dust cloud that was beginning to clear. Chikorita kept her full attention on the red pulsating light in the right hand area of the stadium. Now, with enough momentum, she released Geodude hurtling at its friend who was unable to move out of the way due to its present restrictions. The light then quickly began to fall, producing a big thump as it impacted with the floor.
Jimmy’s face tightened and his eyes squinted as he feared the worse. Deep down he knew it was all over, but he desperately wanted to believe otherwise. Peering through what seemed like fogged out glasses, only making out a small section of the scene unfolding before his eyes, he noticed two heaps on the ground. One a grey colour, with jagged edges to it, and the other an elegant white with streaks of a bluish haze zipped across its body. His heart sank.
“Geodude, Wingull… thank you so much my friends,” he softly spoke, running over to their sides as they began to stir, “You both performed amazingly and I have to say that it was a brilliant first attempt, wouldn’t you say?” he joked, picking them up in his arms and giving them an affectionate squeeze before recalling them both into their PokeBalls. “Take a good rest now…”
The stadium lights began to glare through the remaining tint of greyness and the screen board began to flash. The two pictures and points bars faded, leaving a grand sign next to the picture of Harriet and her two partners; ‘Winner’ was the label branded next to them.
“Well what an amazing first battle folks, Vivian quickly and enthusiastically spoke, “I am pleased to announce Harriet as our first Coordinator proceeding into the Second Stage Battling, who will she face, well we’ll find out in a short moment as we welcome Henry and Christie to the stage!”
Harriet’s face shone with excitement as the crowd’s applause sent her emotions on a grand high. She looked up from her jolly Pokémon who were dancing around at her feet in happiness… and relief; and her eyes met those of Jimmy who was warmly smiling at her in a sign of congratulations. Although it was obvious he was filled with despair at his loss, he kindly accepted his defeat and retreated from the stadium floor. Now she turned her gaze to scan the awarding audience and then scooped up her Pokémon before trotting off stage with an edge of glee.
As she half skipped half marched down the long blue hallway, a figure began approaching her from the opposite end, walking towards the tunnel of light. As they stepped closer she could tell from the clothes and hair that it was Henry about to step out for his first battle of the day. He paused next to her, not saying anything but instead shuddering. His face was fixated on the ground below where his feet were treading.
Harriet looked at her Pokémon giving them a reassuring smile, before placing them on the ground and proceeding to put her hand gently on Henry’s arm. She didn’t know the words to say, and her face expressed that quite well, but instead she quickly embraced him.
“Whatever is to happen out there… just go out and enjoy yourself…”
As she made her comments, she cut the hug and just gave him an understanding smile. It was now his time to show the crowd’s what he could do.
Harriet calmly lounged on one of the big sofas in the backstage room, slightly relieved that she wasn’t presently in the spotlight. The numbers backstage had already decreased a great deal as most Coordinators had proceeded on with their journeys, not wanting to wait or hesitate for one second. Her own road was soon to be travelled again, but first just lounging seemed fine to her. The pairings for the second battling stage were soon to be posted as soon as the present battle ended and then it’d soon kick off again. Soaking the remaining essences of peace for the meantime seemed like a luxury.
A loud eruption echoed over the speaker system, causing Harriet to bolt upright the minute she heard the ghastly noise. She stared at the screen eagerly, hoping that the smoke would clear and she could see what had occurred. Obligingly it began to do so, and just as in her battle, one opponent’s Pokémon were completely knocked out.
Vivian rushed into the middle of the floor, stepping inside the spherical shape used as an indicator to the battle surface. Her face shone with brilliance, an expressed amount of excitement coursing through her.
“Well ladies and gentlemen, here we have it, the first stage battling is over and the results are in! April has joined the other three Coordinators in the pot for the Dewnord Town Ribbon! Now it’s time to shuffle the remaining Contestants and see what the pairings will be! Computer, begin!”
As on cue, her hand leapt to introduce the screen as the main focus again and all eyes enthusiastically waited to see what all the flashing colours and spiralling shapes would produce. As the splodges culminated, the faces of the remaining Coordinators began to assemble and it became clear who Harriet was facing next.
“So there we have it guys, our first second stage battling match will be between April and Tuk, and then we’ll be welcoming Henry and Harriet to the stage!” At her remarks the crowd almost instantaneously leapt to their feet to cheer the final four, repeatedly clapping and cheering at the top of their voices. “So if our first two Coordinators could get in place we’ll begin…” Vivian painfully squealed, attempting to be heard over the radical noise of the audience.
April skidded across the floor, narrowly dodging the high flying Hyper Beam that had swept on by. Both her Pokémon were also near to receiving the brunt of the attack but just as their trainer had commanded they had swung out of the way. Things weren’t going terribly well for her in the battle, yet her points were remarkable high due to the amount of dodging that Snorunt and Bulbasaur had been doing.
The pyramid like Pokémon was an extremely nimble creature; able to zip about at the greatest of speeds, but even it was beginning to tire from the numerous bursts of power that were leaping from the opponents Rock Type Pokémon, airing a hard and hench quality to them. The large dinosaur like Pokémon, tipped with a shiny and spiky horn, didn’t seem to be all that tired and was quite happy with releasing numerous bursts of Flamethrower and Hyper Beam, all of which were narrowly being evaded. The other, a small Pokémon equipped with two brown little feet attached to its body that seemed like a jigsaw puzzle ball stuck together awkwardly, was happy to bounce between the two walls while pelting its opponents with a barrage of Rocks. April, looking a tad concerned, was now ready to try something new to counter the onslaught.
She hesitantly weighed up her options but decided it was indeed the best course of action to take, “Bulbasaur, hide behind Snorunt now, and Snorunt use Double Team as a sort of shield while Bulbasaur sends up a continuation of Razor Leaf into the air, let’s get them on the move in the final 30 seconds so we can win this down to points!”
Both Pokémon were already in position before their trainer had finished talking, their eyes noticing the decreasing numbers listed on the digital clock, 27… 26… 25. It was up to them to hold out for the remaining seconds.
Snorunt’s body quickly duplicated and began to spiral around Bulbasaur creating a cloak to offer protection. Roggenrola and Rhydon bewilderedly took a few steps back, confusion etching its way onto their face. Their gaze then darted from Snorunt to see a wave of leaves come soaring down towards them from the ceiling, and all they could do was brace the attacks while they streamed down; 13… 12… 11.
Tuk watched his Pokémon suffer, but was speechless and startled by April’s sudden grip of the battle. He looked up at his points and could see how low they were, worryingly low, somehow he had to pull it back. Just as he was about to open his mouth, however, the clock began to beep and enlarge on the screen, flashing in a grizzly mauve colour. Tuk’s picture now faded away to be replaced with a congratulatory message for April, the first of the Dewnord Contest finalists.
Vivian once again ran out onto the field, her energy and thrill apparent in her body language. Swinging the microphone stand around so that the pickup was pressed against her lips, she began to speak into the system, clasping both hands around the metallic stand tightly due to the sheer excitement running through her. Although it was a regular occurrence for her, considering it was her job, she always felt the same delight every time as if it was all a brand new experience and adventure. Each time someone else’s life was changed for the better, whether it was by learning ways in which to improve or by obtaining another symbol of their progression, it all added to their character and personality – their being.
“It is with great pleasure that I can announce our first finalist here this afternoon! Everyone put your hands together for April!”
The roars weren’t silent, as expected, and the crowd were dancing and ecstatically applauding both Coordinators for the show they had graced the audience with. The crowds that walked through the doors to the stadium always loved and enjoyed the experience of Contests; the camaraderie between contestants no matter what an outcome was. That, to them, was what made a Contest, a Contest.
“Wasn’t it just an amazing display of talent from both our young and aspiring Coordinators! Now… while April returns backstage to watch the next match which will determine her opponent, let’s put our hands together once more for Tuk!”
The small rodent like Pokémon sped on towards Chikorita, twirling in between a spread of Razor Leaf that had been targeted upon him. His purple exterior and droopy ears gave him a soft and cutesy edge, even teddy like in some respects, but he certainly wasn’t a pushover and when it came to battle he put his all into every command Henry gave him.
“Okay Whismur, you’re doing brilliantly! Now use Pound on Chikorita,” Henry confidently commanded, watching with eagerness as his Pokémon gained proximity to its opponent. On the other side of the pitch, a yellow skinned Pokémon with a large jaw and mouth attached to its head was battling with Mothim, attempting to pin it against one half of the arena floor so that Harriet’s Pokémon couldn’t combine in a joint attack like he had previously seen in her battle against Jimmy.
“Mawile, this is brilliant work, keep up your Slam attack!”
The Pokémon continued to swing its large appendage around, leaping off the ground to stop Mothim from fluttering away. Although not a naturally air born Pokémon it was successfully gaining significant height with every attempt which introduced a slight fear to run through Mothim as he realised he was in dire need to respond and free himself from the situation. He knew that evasion wasn’t solely enough this time round and if he didn’t retaliate soon it could all be over. He glanced over at Harriet who met his gaze, trying to show courage to inspire her Pokémon; it was now her time to try and take control.
“Mothim, don’t worry, you’re doing fine,” she yelled as the inspiration took hold of her as well, “Let Mawile get close, and then use Bug Bite! And Chikorita switch up tactics and fire Leech Seed!”
Mothim gave a recognised nod and snapped his gaze back onto Mawile who was still progressing towards him, keeping her eyes heavily fixated on him. He then began to contort his body in a rippling effect so that he could evade the swinging jaw yet still draw her closer so that he could deliver his blow. Meanwhile, the pale four legged grass type began to fire a salvo of Leech Seed’s at Whismur who now faced a harder challenge. The Razor Leaf was easier to see because each leaf was relatively large to spot, but the pellets that were now being aimed at him were a lot smaller and more discreet than Chikorita’s previous attack. If he made any wrong move whatsoever, their dream of reaching the finals could soon be over.
A determined look overcame his face and he soon regained his mental composure. Henry hadn’t seemed worried by the sudden change up, especially considering he had yet called any new commands for them to follow so Whismur trusted in his trainer’s decisions. He had to keep pressing forward and deliver the Pound.
Chikorita was leaping from foot to foot, trying to cause a distraction for Whismur by making him lose his concentration and also make her more capable of evading if he did succeed in getting closer. She tucked her head down, as if preparing to charge, and seemed to strain all her muscles. The small seeds were now racing from her bud necklace at a greater speed and with more force, littering the dirt arena with dangerous traps. Whismur unfortunately stepped on a pre laid Leech Seed, causing him to lose his balance and fall into more small innocent looking buds. Within seconds his body was covered in atrocious vines that were sucking energy from his body. Each morsel of energy corresponded with a flash of red light that flowed through the green veins, replenishing the main hive that was situated in Chikorita’s bud collar. Every single time Whismur was zapped, Chikorita replenished some strength and energy.
Henry’s face suddenly dropped, realising the detriment caused by Leech Seed, and this was what he had been aiming to avoid the whole way through the battle. He was riddled with panic, unsure and hurting inside. His brain was whirring too fast for him to comprehend anything and he couldn’t restrain the numerous thoughts whizzing around his head, but he had to at least rescue Whismur’s chances.
He looked up from glaring at the ground, his eyes conveying his bafflement, “Mawile… Mawile… You… you have to… Mawile… help Whismur!”
Adding decision and precision to his last two words, he flung his fist into the air in front of him, punching it to release his frustration and clear his mind. He looked over at Mawile, who instantaneously stopped her incessant attacking and quickly darted across the floor to her team mate by hopping from one foot to the other. Chikorita had already stopped her attack by the time Mawile arrived, instinctively grabbing hold of the vines with her large jaw to rip them from Whismur’s body. Unfortunately, Harriet noticed Henry’s grave mistake by leaving himself clearly vulnerable and open to a joint attack; something she knew he had been trying to prevent by instantly splitting her Pokémon up the minute Vivian shouter begin. Now was the time to secure her place in the final battle.
Without any words, solely pointing at the duo offset from the centre of the battle pitch, she glanced at her Pokémon, making herself known in the corner of their eyes. They immediately knew what she was informing them, and they just had to wait for her final commands to say so.
Before Harriet opened her mouth, she gave one last look at Henry who wasn’t paying the slightest of attention towards her or her Pokémon, but who was instead extraordinarily occupied by his Pokémon’s troubles.
“Chikorita, Razor Lead and Mothim, Hidden Power!”
The moment Harriet cried her commands; Henry quickly became alert, tilting his head to look over in her direction. In the corner of his eyes he could see a golden light that was beginning to encompass Mothim, formulating into a spherical ball centred at the tip of his skin. It burst away from his body and spiralled down towards the Mawile and Whismur, who only now looked up from their present tasks. From the ground, a sheaf of Razor Leaf charged through the air to collide with the duo as well, reducing their possibility of escape. No matter which way they flung themselves now, they were bound to get hit by one of the attacks. With gracious acceptance, both Pokémon bowed their heads as the attacks gathered upon them colliding with their bodies in a great ferocity.
The initial dust spurt cleared from the air, settling neatly back down on the unearthed floor. Henry didn’t bother to hesitate as soon he saw the two bodies of his Pokémon unveiled on the ground, lying side by side. He whipped their PokeBalls from his left side trouser pocket and quickly withdrew them back into the soothing comfort of the objects.
“You guys were so amazing my friends… You truly have shown me the reasons why I love you both with all my heart. Hanging in the fight for each other was noble… You deserve a good rest!” He softly spoke, collapsing the two balls and placing them neatly into a hold on the inside of his trouser pocket. Four small, metal pincers clasped the outside of the two objects as they retreated into a locked mechanism. Henry then zipped up his pocket and, taking a few seconds to pause, looked up at Harriet.
Vivian had wandered over to her, ushering her off the stage floor by flailing her two arms wrapped in a white silk cloth. Presumably it was to allow Harriet to get the final needed checks for her Pokémon before she could return in a few minutes to begin the final stage of battling, but Henry wasn’t concentrating on the words that both people were exchanging, instead his own future began to flash in his mind’s eye. His heart was tugging inside his chest, beating heavily. His deep breaths were becoming more and more noticeable to his hearing that seemed to only presently pick up his own noises. Thoughts were racing around his head. Everything had suddenly become puzzling, and he felt that he wasn’t even using the right puzzle pieces to fit every detail into place. He knew that some serious rethinking was soon to follow.
Harriet now vanished through an archway leading off the arena to wondrous crowd applause. She quickly tucked herself away behind a corner of a wall to take a few seconds to catch her breath and enjoy the sensation of winning. Her mind filtered back to thoughts from Rustboro, but she knew she couldn’t ponder over her loos there and she had to rectify it here today. She was more than ready!
Back in the stadium hall, Vivian had approached Henry, offering him an admiring smile and wrapping her arm around his shoulder. She twisted him around to face the crowd, who once again drummed themselves into another round of applause.
“Let’s give it up for Henry everyone!” she joyously yelled, turning to once again smile at him, “Henry, you have shown us today how much you have improved since the last time we saw you back in Rustboro and we look forward to your next challenge. The judges have a few words to say to you before you disappear, however.”
From the wings, April looked onto the proceedings on the battle floor, sneakily sn-iggering as her mind raced back to the day when she had accidently stumbled upon Harriet and Max. As predicted and agreed on that same day, Harriet and her were about to have their first battle, a battle to determine a victory for their futures, but for April there was a great deal more at stake. A very particular set of eyes would be on her, and her performance and act would mark a great deal more than just a ribbon.
April quickly snapped out of her wandering mind and noticed Harriet appear in the archway on the other side of the arena stadium, her dress’s jewels sparkling in the soft light. In her hair was a pink bow tie that pushed the draping strands out of her eyes to reveal a very determined look. She was standing firm and strong, her hip slightly offset with a hand placed forcefully on her side. April could easily tell that Harriet was ready for this next challenge and wasn’t going to lay down in simplistic defeat. The battle was most definitely going to be stripped right down to raw and bare skill that was about to push both contestants out of their comfort zone and test them to a new level. If April was able to survive its challenges with determination, some hidden prying eyes were going to be very happy.
“And now… the moment we’ve all been waiting for today… the grand finale of the Dewnord Town Pokémon Contest!” Vivian ecstatically shrieked, “Please warmly welcome our two fantastic finalists, Harriet and April who are ready to prove to us just why they’re here and why they want to win the ribbon! But first, we’re going to turn to the judges for a few insightful words.”
As had become a particular habit for the audience to watch, Vivian outstretched her hand to wave attention over to the judges, beckoning the spotlight to drift on over. Max, surrounded by excitedly happy Contest fans, was gripping the edge of his seat tightly, unsure what to expect from the soon to be battle. He knew Harriet would give it her all, undoubtedly, but what she was up against was hard to tell. Even April’s battles hadn’t been enough to inform him about what character she was while battling.
While his concerns rattled through his head, the big screen lit up with the charismatic face of Nurse Joy, the first judge to be interviewed about the upcoming battle. With all ears, everyone attentively listened to her gentle voice while the silent nervous heartbeats of the two contestants beat harshly in their chests drowning out any encouragement she had to say. Everything was set for the perfect battle, and now the details were about to unravel!
Last edited by harryheart; 6th November 2011 at 1:01 AM.
Well here's a chapter that I managed to actually stick to a new dedline with! Hope it makes up for the long waits! There's lots of character development, so I hope it's not too long! Enjoy!
The chapter's had to be split into 2 posts.
Chapter 29: A Silhouette Backtrack (Part 3)
The sheer noise of the crowd’s wondrous applause was still elevating on high levels in the stadium, raising every audience member to their feet with cries of encouragement and excitement. Max too was on his feet, civilly clasping his hands together in recognition of the two finalist’s achievements. Held on huge black pillars outside the stadium, large screens depicted the proceedings within the Contest Hall with the present picture being a close up of Mr Contesta, voicing his final opinions on the battle about to unfold.
Everyone was captivated by this event, something that drummed up the entire town’s excitement and thrill drawing many a citizen into the depth of the action. The market stalls situated on the long stretch of dirt track that ran from the doors of the Contest Hall all the way through the winding streets of the town, were still packed with numerous Contest fans as they searched and scanned for epic bargains and cheap memorabilia to remember this particular contest. Other passer bys were quickly zipping through the automatic doors to reclaim a front row viewing and really feel the heat and excitement emanate from the battle, engaging with the raw heart of the event. All in all, emotions were very high and pounding their way through every fibre of all those involved.
Harriet in particular could feel her nerves shooting about her body; from her skin to her bones and muscles. It was an indication, of some sorts, to the thrill soon to follow and the immersing of energy pumped by adrenaline. In many ways the nerves brought a calming to Harriet, as at least, somehow, she knew that she was filled with excitement and encouraging anticipation for the battle.
She now deliberately, yet delicately, began shuffling her feet to try and distract her thoughts and stay focused on beginning the battle properly, as her eyes drifted towards the golden ground before her, layered with numerous natural resources to fill in the terrain. She had momentarily caught the watchful eyes of her opponent who had been glimpsing about the stadium from the opposite end of the spherical building as if searching… looking for something in particular. Harriet, however, hadn’t let this distract or concern her and continued to concentrate on the pure and blissful emotions of her two battle wins to bring her to this stage; they would be her driving force.
Centre stage was the MC for the event, partially leaning over the judges table to hear the last few words out of Mr Sukizo’s mouth, although it was successfully following his usual generic statement. As he finished up with one or two more hints towards something being remarkable, she turned to face the cameras that were all fixed on her, and her pampered complexion once again appeared on the large screens.
“And now,” boomed Vivian’s voice over the loud speaker system echoing about the spacious arena, “We’ve heard from all the judges, so that means our wait is over!” she cried, twirling unexpectedly which caused her light pink dress to easily flutter through the air. “Let’s welcome Harriet and April to the stage!”
The two Coordinators shared one last look before they sprinted out onto the stage floor, under the constant cheers and applause from the crowd. Their eyes never failed to avert each other’s gaze, keeping the other in solid view the entire time as if watching keen prey. It was going to be a head to head battle, neither giving an inch; and it was sure to be an explosive finale to such a catalysing contest.
Vivian, meanwhile, had sauntered out onto the giant circle that marked the exact centre of the battle field, passionately waving her left arm about as she began to explain the rules yet again.
“Just to make things clear once more,” she frantically said, winking and holding up her index finger to the camera, “You both have a points bar with equal limits, and the clock is set to five minutes! Whoever has the most points or successfully knocks the opponent’s Pokémon out first…”
She hesitated, quickly glancing at the faces of both Coordinators whose complexions were bleached with a slight trembling of fear. She hoped that her following words were somehow going to act as a build up and encourage the excitement and passion to be drawn out of both girls as she was also impatiently waiting for an unpredictable battle to begin.
Placing the microphone in front of her lips she continued, “Will… Win!” At those words, ecstatic cries leapt from the stands where the crowd had yet to retreat to their seats, all eagerly waiting on the battle as well. Vivian acknowledged this and persisted through the formalities, “Five minutes is on the clock,” she cried as a ticking noise began in the background; the final countdown, “So begin!”
Neither contestant hesitated as they both rapidly reached for their PokeBalls. April grabbed two purple tinted balls that sat neatly on her belt, which seemed to be the only thing holding up her thin blue satin dress that really showed the curves of her body. Harriet on the other hand had tucked her hand underneath the rim of her silky dress, flowing with elegance, and retrieved two small round objects as well. In sync, they both launched their Pokémon into the centre arena without saying a single command. Their Pokémon proceeded to appear in complete unison.
Both Coordinators’ knew the Pokémon that were culminating in the material light and knew exactly what their first commands would be. On Harriet’s end of the field, a small, creamy coloured Pokémon emerged out of streams of crisp red ribbon, waving its large green leaf in a spiral around its head. Next to Chikorita appeared its four winged companion, bursting through the strands of ribbon at quick speeds. Facing them was a frisky little ice type, Snorunt, who was happily jumping in the air and waggling its two little black feet. Next to him was Bulbasaur, puffing air out of the green bulb on its back causing the edges of his green exterior to expand and contract.
“Right!” cried both girls at the same time, slightly startling each other at the astonishing timing! Harriet however, was unable to reel in her thoughts in time and April snatched up the opportunity to the take the first lead.
“Guys, we’re going for a medley long range attack to start things up, Bulbasaur, Razor Leaf and Snorunt, Icy Wind! Combine the two attacks together!”
Bulbasaur bucked its back legs in the air, firing an array of spinning sharp leaves towards the opposition. Snorunt watched as the leaves stormed towards Chikorita and Mothim and proceeded to launch a burst of cold wind to follow from its mouth, tinged with a frosty blue colour. The icicle particles that were floating in the air current began to group around the leaves, adding a sharp gloss to them. Their beauty was radiated in the shimmering tones of its new texture, exaggerated by the sun light peering in through the dome windows.
Harriet wasn’t quick enough to command a counter attack or evasion, and Chikorita and Mothim were struck with the powerful combination that broke against their bodies. The sharp coldness singed through their skin as the barrage continued to hit. Chikorita was eventually knocked off her feet by the repeated blows, tumbling a few metres across the floor covered in specks of sparkling ice dust. Up above, Mothim was attempting to avoid the last remaining lumps of ice but also succumbed to the salvo and was sent hurtling to the ground as one large lump clipped his top left wing.
“Well, what a great way to start this battle off!” Vivian cried into the microphone, quickly glancing at the point’s board to get a quick update on the initial scores. “An interesting combination from April has resulted in her immediate lead as Harriet’s points have nearly dwindled by a quarter already… yet April’s are still untouched,” she spoke with an eeriness to her voice, “Harriet seems to be rather bewildered folks. Can she pull this one back?”
Harriet’s mind was pounding, still unable to pull her thoughts back together. Her face displayed a horrified expression, and her body language represented this. Her fists were clenched and all her muscles in her torso were tense as a result of the nerves flooding her system. Why the unified comment had thrown her, she didn’t know, but somehow she had to get a grip and defeat whatever was causing this… for her Pokémon’s sake!
Suddenly her pupils snapped and colour quickly engulfed her skin again, “Alright, that was just a little mishap April, you’re not going to get that chance again! Chikorita, let’s show them a real Razor Leaf and Mothim try combining your Hidden Power with that!”
As Max heard Harriet cry her commands, a trickle of fear ran down his spine. He knew she could handle battles, but he had never once seen her attempt a combination move this intricate or risky. For starters, neither of them knew the type matching for Hidden Power, and that was key and central to the attack working. If it didn’t mix then she would inevitably lose more points. Instinctively, he closed his eyes and just waited, not wanting to see the possible damage caused by her recklessness.
Obliged to follow Harriet’s set commands, Chikorita had released her own flurry of sharpened foliage absconding from her head’s leaf, and Mothim watched it attentively with what could have been noted as a look of concern set in his deep orange eyes. Rather hesitantly, he tensed his wings and began to feel a surge of brimming energy springing about the fibres of his body. To the audience, a golden glow was beginning to flow in a crisscross pattern and slowly formed into one spherical object slightly elevated away from his body. Immediately as this formed, he shot smaller balls from within the main hub of energy towards the leaves, intending to enclose Chikorita’s attack within. However, as the balls of energy mixed with the leaves, small sizzling reactions began to occur, which only left the charred remains of singed ash.
The smell of smoke wafted into the stands, tickling the nose’s of those watching. Max’s heart dropped as he realised what must have happened, and he proceeded to remove his hands away from his eyes. As expected, Harriet’s face was taken with another expression of angst and surprise; the last thing she needed.
“Come on Harriet!” he yelled, trying to feel like he was at least able to offer a hand in some shape or form, “You can do it! Just think; you now know the typing of Hidden Power! Use it to your advantage!”
April had obviously noted this too, knowing that her Pokémon were both weak to fire attacks. Without wasting a single minute, she jumped into action again, realising that her best bet was to target everything on Mothim.
“I’m not letting you get a foot hold Harriet, Bulbasaur use Vine Whip and hold Mothim in place, then Snorunt use your Headbutt on him as well!”
“Not so fast! Chikorita, use your own Vine Whip to stop Bulbasaur’s in its track,” Harriet quickly stated, immediately snapping back into the battle herself, “And Mothim dodge Headbutt and use Hidden Power again on Bulbasaur!”
“No!” April cried in shock.
Bulbasaur had already launched its two vines that sprouted from the sides of his bulb into the air, sending them straight towards the unguarded Mothim. Within one split second though, they were tangled in the locks of Chikorita’s own vines; struggling to withstand the force. April’s points quickly retracted on the board as a result, but not nearly enough to compensate for Harriet’s failed combination.
Snorunt had also launched its attack, springing off the ground with one giant leap. His spinning mass hurtled towards Mothim, who, with ease, drifted to one side and allowed Snorunt to continue directly into the wall. It recoiled immediately off the hard surface and plunged towards the ground, hitting that too with the same force. As it struggled to regain its balance and stand upright it looked up at Mothim who had already produced the central ball of energy. Before Snorunt or April could react, the coiling stream of fire power soared straight towards Bulbasaur, hitting him dead on. More points immediately dwindled away on April’s circle, now leaving both girls’ points almost even, and Harriet hoped that April’s Pokémon had taken more damage than hers.
As the smoke began to clear, April was horrified to see that Bulbasaur was also struggling to stand up. Its hind legs were sprawled across the floor and it seemed to be using all its might to even attempt to lift its own weight. By now, Snorunt was standing upright again, yet barely able to hold its own weight, concentrating heavily on keeping his balance aligned and April was overwhelmed with a sense of urgency.
“Bulbasaur! No!” she shrilled with the feeling of concern etched into her voice, “Snorunt, you’re doing well bud, but I need you to protect Bulbasaur with your Double Team while it tries to regain its balance!”
“Sorry April, but we’re not going to allow that! Chikorita, Vine Whip Snorunt away and then Mothim use Bug Bite on Bulbasaur!”
Snorunt had begun his skate across the floor, yet it was obvious that he was still struggling to keep his balance. Chikorita watched as Snorunt drew closer to Bulbasaur who was trying to still push himself up from the ground. Quickly though, she launched her vines from two buds that were pierced on her neck. They soared towards Snorunt and whipped him away, impacting his cone shaped shell with force. He bobbed along the ground before slowly rolling to a halt; his energy completely drained. Bulbasaur was now left open.
Vivian jumped up, thrusting her microphone in front of her mouth, “Snorunt is unable to battle, leaving Bulbasaur on his own…” she cried, intensifying the crowd’s emotions while they watched a red beam of energy strike Snorunt’s body and suck him back into his PokeBall, “There is just over one minute left on the clock, can April pull this thing around?”
A terrified squeal left April’s mouth as she saw the tide of battle quickly flowing away from her. Her horrified look said it all. Bulbasaur was still struggling to push himself up, his entire body shaking from the strain of his muscles and April could see the end drawing near. Her eyes drifted up to Mothim who had again produced the flowing golden energy to surge through his wings, but she knew there was no way for her to claw the battle back. As the spherical ball left Mothim’s body, instantly shooting a tunnel of glistening power towards Bulbasaur, she quickly withdrew a PokeBall from the back of her dress and pointed it directly at her friend.
“Bulbasaur, return!” she cried, watching a red jagged line sprout from the circular button on the centre of the ball. Within an instant her grass type had moulded into energy and he’d retracted back inside the object, safe and sound.
The white tinted stream of Hidden Power continued towards the ground, impacting the overlay and spurting dust around the stage floor. April instantly shut her eyes, lifting her arm to cover her face from the forceful particles as they kicked towards her. She was slightly thankful for the sudden shield from the crowd’s watchful eyes as a small tear trickled down her cheek; she had lost. As the dust cleared, her face turned towards the judges table while she clipped Bulbasaur’s PokeBall back onto her deep black belt. She noticed the electrical board behind them push her image out of view and the backdrop changed to the beaming face of Harriet and her two Pokémon with the bolded word Winner captioning their images.
“Well folks,” Vivian gently spoke, a complete contrast to her ecstatic statements during the contest, “That is it! April has withdrawn Bulbasaur,” Vivian turned towards the devastated teenager, “Her kind spirit entered into play there, and so we now have our Dewnord Town winner, Harriet, Chikorita and Mothim, who will be awarded this beauty!”
She ran into centre stage, holding up a light green ribbon with small faint mauve circles dotted about on the fabric while panning it from left to right for all the audience to see. Huge rounds of applause rose from the stands as everyone stood to their feet to congratulate the winning three. Harriet had done it!
The young coordinator ran towards her Pokémon with open arms, scooping them both up with a loving embrace. She squeezed them with joy, giggling softly into their ears. After slightly over two months, they had finally climbed the first stair in her goal to becoming a top coordinator. Her Pokémon had worked so hard perfecting moves, riskily living on the edge with her commands, but it had paid off.
“Thank you guys, thank you so much!” she softly whispered.
As the cameras briefly captured the image of the joyous three, twirling around on the spot in one giant hug, they soon returned back to Vivian who was now surrounded by crewmen placing the awarding ceremony objects in place. The judges had joined Vivian as well; Mr Contesta taking the small ribbon from Vivian’s palm ready to award Harriet and her Pokémon with it.
“Before we award our winners with the Dewnord Town ribbon, we just want to thank everyone for today’s gripping Contest…” Vivian now spoke, once again flowing with her brisk energy, “Firstly, April, you put so much effort into that last battle and you showed the crowd’s your soft nature and love towards your Pokémon! Well done for giving us an amazing spectacle! And also, if any Coordinator who participated in today’s contest is still around we’d love to have you back out on stage for a final applause to congratulate both Harriet and April!”
As Vivian continued to drum up the crowd’s and offer encouragement to April who was now adorned with a flicker of a smile, Nurse Joy wandered over to Harriet, tapping her shoulder to get the young girl’s attention. She slid her arm under Harriet’s, drawing her over to the awarding proceedings centre stage whilst a few fellow contestants began to flood through the archways again. In the corner of Harriet’s eye, she noticed the familiar complexions of Jimmy and Henry as they both waved at the crowd. Harriet was slightly bewildered to see them again, but paid little heed to the notion, easily moving her attention back to the ribbon.
“Well Harriet,” Mr Contesta spoke while Nurse Joy led Harriet onto a slightly elevated block, “I’m pleased to award you your first Hoenn ribbon!”
He moved forward, gently placing the object in her outstretched palm. As he handed the ribbon over, he looked up at her energetic face, ablaze with confidence and excitement. She was brimming with clear energy, even shaking with delight. This was the start of her path to the Grand Festival, and something was telling him that Harriet wasn’t going to let anyone win ribbons away from her with ease. Her fight had only just begun!
The atmosphere outside had changed since the morning, with a slightly orange tint in the air caused by the sun, which had begun its slow decline through the clear sky. The Contest Hall itself sat on the edge of the coast, next to the golden coated beach with rows of palm trees running along the cobbled street that connected it to the main town. Scattered across the beach were a few Wingull, sauntering to and fro.
Along the street, the market stalls had almost nearly been packed down, with only a few people left to unhinge the remaining metal polls from one another. It looked like a completely different place to the morning; now filled with peace and quiet. The other people lounging around were mostly contest fans, still resting in the calm before they too headed on their way.
Max was also part of this crowd, although he sat on his own away from the rest. The bench was close to the entrance of the Contest Hall, and he was waiting for Harriet to emerge after her final debrief and updates were given to her Contest Pass. Suddenly, a faint click engaged in the electrical system and the blue shaded doors began to slide open.
“Max, Max,” Harriet cried as she burst out of the Contest Hall, almost too quickly for the automatic doors to open in time, “Look, look, look,” she continued to yell holding her ribbon outstretched for him to see.
Startled, Max rotated his head to see the charging mess that she was approaching him, waving her hand frantically around almost as if to distract him.
“Hold it, slow down a little,” he squeamishly stated, cowering a little from the thought that she may just run right into him, “I can’t see it if you don’t slow down!”
Almost instantly, Harriet came to a halt, taking a quick breath before opening her mouth again, “And, and, and, and, and, and, and… oh… Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!” she energetically shouted, jumping up and down as if she had just seen all the presents on Christmas morning, “I’m so excited Max, this is it, this is the start of my Contest journey,” she said, this time with more calmness in her tone, while she indicated to the fabric in her hand, “I actually won! I actually won!”
Max stood up, wrapping his arm around her shoulder to congratulate her, “You were awesome Harriet, you and your Pokémon, despite everything, pulled through in the end there and really proved to the other Coordinators why you deserve to be here!”
She continued to bounce around, obviously fuelled by the intense emotions from winning. Suddenly, as if a switch had been pressed in her brain, she plunged her hand into her handbag and withdrew a metallic box. With one click of the metal, it slithered open and five ribbon slots were unveiled.
“I had totally forgotten about this,” she remarked, eyeing up the different slots. Max then leaned in over her shoulder to get a better look at the object himself, reminding him of the box containing the present from his sister, handing him the other half of the mysterious pendant that was now secretly hidden under his shirt.
“So, where do you think I should place this ribbon Max? Centre? Top right?”
“Well, it’s up to you really, it is yours after all!”
Again, she bounced from one foot to the other, happily thrilled by her achievement, “I guess you’re right, but the significance will be different depending on where I place it. If it goes in the centre then it shows the beginning of the journey, but I could always place my last ribbon there as a sign of my final win… So many possibilities!”
As they both stayed in silence for a while, deeply engaged with different thoughts, Max’s mind slowly returned to the situation that had brewed in Rustboro, reminding him of what he and Harriet had left behind. At least Harriet’s ribbon was a show of how they were progressing; not letting anything stand in the way of their goals, but it was still tough to do.
“Harriet, I just want to say well done again. Despite everything you may have been feeling about the past few weeks, you were still able to go out there and come out on top of all the other contestants, and that is saying something!”
She looked up at him and simply smiled, gracefully nodding her head in thanks. She knew that they both owed Roxanne a lot, but no one was going to stop them from achieving what they wanted, especially because Roxanne had always insisted they keep perusing their dreams no matter the obstacles.
Looking back down at the box she realised a new significance that this particular ribbon held; a special sign for Roxanne, and with that in mind she placed it firmly in the middle to act as a constant reminder. This was what her journey was made of, special friends and special times. A chance to keep growing and exploring and encountering what Hoenn had to offer!
“You’re right Max, you’re right…” she quietly whispered, “There’s so much to keep motivating us to follow our dreams… which reminds me, I was surprised to see that Henry stuck around for a bit… and Jimmy… I was so sure that they’d both have continued on their journeys because nothing ever seems to stop them. It’s like they have an inner Roxanne who never lets them give up!”
“Well, something kept them around, and who knows, we may well see them back at the PokéCentre if they happen to be staying there as well… talking of which, I really want to get back and contact the Nurse Joy from the airfield to see if she’s been able to connect to Rustboro yet. I’m really worried about Roxanne and Brock still; I just want to know.”
The two proceeded to walk along the cobbled path, back into the main hub of buildings to return to the PokéCentre for their last night in Dewnord Town before heading off to Dewford Town for Max’s gym battle; another dream that was waiting to be chased. As they passed the remnants of the stalls, they heard a distant shouting coming from behind them. They immediately swivelled around to the delighted looks of both Jimmy and Henry running towards them. As they came closer, their speed began to slow and they entered a deep and loud breathing; puffing their chests larger with every breath.
“Hey you two,” Henry panted, bending over and placing both of his hands on his knees.
“Nice to see you both,” Harriet responded, “Oddly, we were literally just talking about you two… in a good way of course,” she chuckled, rubbing the back of her head as an instinctive response to her awkwardness.
“Ah no worries,” Jimmy mentioned, now breathing normally again, “We know you couldn’t hurt a fly,” he smiled, trying to show a good sign of response to quell Harriet’s awkwardness.
“So what were you saying exactly?” Henry interjected; now standing upright.
“Oh, just about how we were surprised to see the two of you still here in the final applause bit! I just expected that you two would’ve left already considering you’re both the type to keep yourself on the go!”
A small smile crept onto Henry’s face and he quickly glanced over at Jimmy who was doing exactly the same to him, “Funny you should say that, we were also just talking about it back in the foyer, because Jimmy said exactly the same thing to me!”
“How funny,” Max responded, “So is there a reason to it?” he asked the both of them.
“Well, in actual fact – yea there is!” Henry stated, looking up at Jimmy again to gage a response as to whether he could comment for the both of them. Jimmy gave him a little smile and Henry continued, “Well I’ve decided that contests may not be the best thing for me, and I’m going to train myself up on Dewford Island and try and catch a few new Pokémon to add to my Whismur and Mawile, and then I’m going to take on Brawly and win my first league badge!
He now centred his attention on Max and his posture became eager and ready, illuminating an air of confidence about him, “So you best watch out Max, cos I’m going to be entering the league for sure, and then nothing’s stopping me from winning it! Not even you!”
Max was slightly taken aback by Henry’s new found assurance, edging a smile on his lips as he realised that he had just obtained a new rival. It was very clear that Henry had a new passion driving him forward, and that was something that had been notably lacking in his contest entries. It was going to be a brand new start, a way of change; although Max knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“Well mate, I look forward to seeing you again soon! Next time we meet we’re going to battle and I’m going to show you why I’m not someone to be looked over for that title!”
“I look forward to it! Till next time!” Henry didn’t wait for any responses. Within a minute he was buzzing off into the forests that spanned the outskirts of the town, heading into new territory and a new beginning. They all knew that the next time Henry showed his face he would indeed be a different boy, and Max was silently anticipating the arrival of his first rival battle with him.
“Well he certainly has energy, I’ll give the boy that,” said Jimmy, still watching the small silhouette of Henry disappear into the momentously large expanse of trees, “And knowing him I’m pretty sure he’ll be making many a new friend in no time!”
Harriet looked up at this comment, her heart beginning to thump as her thoughts centred in on the possibilities of a new Pokémon; the varying types and species all made way for such an intricate relationship.
“You know what; I don’t think he’ll be the only one having something new the next time we meet! Since I saw a water type back at the Rustboro contest I was amazed by its power and technique, and then facing your Wingull here, Jimmy… well… it was just amazing! And so I think I want to capture a water type of my own, before we leave Dewford I say!”
Jimmy laughed; rather amazed at the amount of excitement Harriet could hold onto herself, “That’s a goal and a half! You best keep it then! Next time I face you I want to go up against it!”
“You’ve got a deal!” Harriet responded, clasping Jimmy’s hand with force as a sign of agreement.
“Hold on, hold on… What?” Max remarked, his attention solely on Harriet, “Since when did you want a water type? This is the first time I’ve heard about this?” he cheekily chuckled, his face also showing signs of bemusement papered in his skin.
“Well since when do I have to tell you everything,” she rather angrily spoke, folding her arms and giving him a cold shoulder, “It’s not like you tell me everything either!”
“Hold up you guys, no need to bicker, we’re all friends here…” Jimmy reluctantly expressed, opening his arms up to suggest reconciliation, “We’re not in a battle you know!” he tried to joke, keeping the tones light hearted.
“Talking about battles, how many badges do you have Jimmy?” Max asked, quickly diving his hand into his own pocket to withdraw his badge case. Flipping the top open he revealed his own set of two that were brilliantly shinning in the light, “It took me a lot of effort but I’ve managed to get two already!”
“Nice one, I’m afraid though that I can outdo that with four myself, but no worries, I was travelling through the northern areas of Hoenn before I met up with you in Petalburg and so challenged a couple of Gym’s up there too!”
“Oh… fairs… well I, well… soon I’ll have three and then I’ll only be one behind! You watch out ‘cos I’m coming for you!”
“You’re on… But anyway, I best be heading back to the PokéCentre now, nice chatting and all but I have an early morning tomorrow… so I’ll see you guys around, yea?” Jimmy motioned, reaching in to shake Max’s and Harriet’s hands as a formal goodbye.
“In actual fact, we’re heading that way as well,” Harriet quickly spoke, clutching Jimmy’s hand and dragging him along the path before them, leaving Max standing in the same place, rather startled and bewildered.
“Alright then, we’ll all head back together, and if you guys want you can head out to the local Noodle restaurant with me tonight, I fancy giving it a taste over!” he laughed, managing to regain his composure before turning back to beckon Max to catch up.
As Max caught up, hearing the remainder of questions surrounding the intricate details of a water type, his mind was only focused on one thing. Even though the day’s events had been awesome, inspiring and uplifting, and the talks with old friends had been a pleasant relief, there was still the present feeling of danger that gripped his heart. The three of them together, continued to walk back into town, away from the quiet beach that had been crowded with contest fans for most of the day, lavishing the sun’s rays whilst also eagerly watching the unfolding events on the large screens. The now tranquil setting was a fading reminder of what was to come and the many more exciting contests that were ahead for Harriet; the waves, a pleasant symbol of the ebbs and flows of battles; the excitement that brews and the lulls of evasion. Now Max and Harriet were eager not for battle but for answers that were hopefully to soon come.
Lingering in the thick of the darkened forest, two shadowy figures ascended into the tree tops, hoisting themselves up along dangling rope like vines. The thicket of foliage brushed past their skin as they heaved their way up through tangling braches adorned with leaves and mossy bark that gripped their hands with loose ivy. They neared the top of their select tree, entering into what seemed to be a man made construction in the heart of the gigantic trunk and dense shrubbery. As they narrowly slipped through a crack, a number of small lamps instantly flickered on around the room, hidden in the hollow carved out bark.
“You know what?” the young blonde woman spoke, adjusting a few objects on a shelving like contraption, “I think I’m starting to get use to this place!”
Her companion looked up from his task, uploading the computer system that had begun switching on numerous other displays around the circular room, giving a small little deceptive smile. He proceeded to key in a few commands into the system which instigated a faint beeping noise from the main hub of connections.
“Well Cassidy,” he harshly croaked, “Looks like we have a connection! I’ll begin sending a contact call to First Leader right away…”
“Yes, and while you’re at it,” she interrupted, crawling over to Butch and placing her hand firmly on his shoulder, “Contact headquarters and ask them to send us another one of our Pokémon each, I feel we may need a little more help out here than we had first imagined!”
“Sure thing, and who exactly do you want?”
“Get Houndour, a fire type could come in real handy against these steal freaks out here! Trust me when I say they’re not going to get far with him back on our team!”
“Sure thing… and I’ll withdraw Cloyster then – I’ve seen a number of their grunts with bird type Pokémon and having Cloyster’s ice type moves back on our team will freeze them in their tracks!”
“Team Sukai won’t know what hit them!” Cassidy cackled causing her face to light up with a pleasant joy as Butch also joined in with his subtle laugh.
As the continued to revel in their pleasantries, the screen before them suddenly culminated the pixels together and a hazy figure popped up shrouded in darkness. The only thing Butch and Cassidy could ascertain was the silhouette line that traced the image of a female.
“Yes?” a voice questioned with tones of a solemn attitude.
“Ah,” Cassidy responded, “First Leader, we have a mission for you and your operatives from Section 1.”
“Go ahead,” she sighed.
“We’ve received intelligence reports from Section 3 saying Team Sukai have captured Rustboro and are holding it on lock down, we’re unsure of their reasons for it but we are sending you and your operatives in to smoke them out. We can’t have them causing a commotion like this while we’re trying to bring small cogs into play ourselves. Your task is to destroy whatever strong hold they’ve set up and cause them to retreat.”
“Ok! Section one over…”
“Not so fast!” Butch sternly spoke, “We’ve also received reports from Giovanni about the status of each and every operative concerning their given task, and we understand that you have encountered a slight… hiccup, shall we say?” he rhetorically asked, seeing her body droop a little at those words, likely because she was afraid of the repercussions, “We just want you to know how pleased we are of your work so far and the achievements you made today. It may not have gone according to how you planned but it’s still working perfectly fine!”
“Thank you, sir!” she nervously responded.
“No problem, we’re here whenever you need our support…” He hesitated a little, pondering how to phrase his next statement, “But remember,” he firmly proceeded, “Everyone is watching you, in particular, attentively. Try not to lose any heart about this!”
With those words, Butch quickly cut the connection leaving the young woman to her thoughts. He turned again to face his partner, nodding in gratitude. They had continued as planned and the dice had been rolled again. Now they were to wait as their plans slowly amped up. They were both aware how easily and swiftly things could turn for worse, but their faith rested in the grunts they’d assigned this mission too. Now they were to sit back and watch, yet they knew that eyes were on them too!
The quiet subtlety of the PokéCentre was a welcoming embrace for any trainer that happened to walk into its comforting walls, normally a place of relaxation and rest. Yet, this normal atmosphere was quickly broken by a loud trampling sound of feet on the floor racing closer to the building. Suddenly, the doors burst open and the trio of friends sprinted through the doors of the PokéCentre, headed up by Max who was charging through the main reception area towards Nurse Joy. This was his moment to find out a little more, and he had to know!
He raced up to the main desk, instantly slamming his hands down on the top as he quickly gaped for a couple of breaths. Jimmy and Harriet shortly followed him, each going to a different side of Max and resting against the counter, puffing away in exhaustion. Their energy had kept them going, constantly driven by their worry for Roxanne and Brock. Now it was time for them all to find out.
“Nurse Joy,” Max panted, “Have you heard anything from your cousin at Dewford Airfield?” he frantically asked.
She looked up from a pile of papers stacked in front of her, her face expressing solemn and unfortunate tones, “You’ve not heard?” she asked.
Max’s faced dropped, he could tell something was wrong just by the simplicity of her look. His mind whirled away, analyzing everything that had occurred within the past seconds; her voice, her words, her tones; everything. All his analytical processing triggered a well of emotions to break forth and his only reasoning in this state determined that something was terribly wrong, even dangerously horrific.
“What, Nurse Joy? What?” he snapped, fighting back the tears through sheer desperation, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to. Just tell me… please.”
His voice withered away in a small trail of muffled noises. He slunk his head against his chest and braced himself, awaiting the news to slip through in some calm and caring manner. Harriet, also overwhelmed with a gripping fear of what was about to befall their ears, gently placed her hand on Max’s shoulder to signify their unity in the matter. Whatever happened, whatever may have transpired, they, in all realms of possibility, had to stay strong.
Nurse Joy reached her hand across the granite top surface, clutching Max’s hand within hers. She apologetically looked into his eyes before opening her mouth, “I’m afraid to inform you that Rustboro is under siege from a group calling themselves Team Sukai…”
There was a silent pause in the room, sending chilling reactions shuddering about the youngster’s bodies. Max was frantically shaking his head out of desperation. He longingly wished that he’d stayed behind after the initial attack even though it risked halting his league career. But that didn’t seem to matter to him right now.
“No… No, it can’t be! This… It’s… it’s… Roxanne!” he almost wailed, clutching at the sides of his clothes.
“Max…” Harriet softly spoke, “It’ll be ok, I’m sure the Police are handling the matter, and… and they’re not going to let anything happen to Rustboro or their citizens,” she slightly questioned, directing her final statement towards Nurse Joy.
“Yes, oh yes, Officer Jenny and her teams are already on sight coordinating operations,” Nurse Joy hurriedly said, really trying to reassure Max, “My sister from Rustboro told me that the police plans are coming along smoothly and the latest report from Team Sukai proposed plans to release hostages.”
“They’re releasing hostages? Do you know anything more?” Jimmy asked.
“The only reports I’ve heard were something to do with some Rhydon and then these reports that were broadcast today… but I never thought… I never thought that they’d go to any extremes…”
Her words echoed away into the currently silent lobby, now void of any usual bustle. A still quiet proceeded to creep into the group’s hearts as they heard the words repeat in their minds as if stuck on a cruel loop. It really was the case no matter how much their heads tried to twist the letters around or make clever comprehensions that didn’t actually exist. Team Sukai hadn’t gone; they were back and with crippling tactics.
“Max,” Harriet once again spoke, pulling him around until he was face to face with her, “Think about what we said before we left Rustboro, there’s nothing we can do, and you have a third badge to get here on Dewford Island.”
She paused for a few moments, seeing a brief flicker of excitement arise and instantly die within him, “Look,” she rigidly commented, “Why don’t we all go out and grab a bite to eat down at that restaurant Jimmy was telling us about earlier, there’s nothing we can do here and in all honesty food’s probably going to do us a world of good at the moment.”
Max silently nodded in a distracted fashion, slipping his hand into his pocket and immediately turning away from the front desk without any words. He shuffled away from the other three, heading straight for the automatic doors. Harriet and Jimmy both watched him continue out of the doors where he abruptly stopped, just soaking in the scenery around him. Harriet looked over her shoulder at Nurse Joy who was bound with grave worry for the young trainer. She smiled at the caring nurse before pursuing Max out of the building, shortly followed by Jimmy. It was going to be tough, that was plainly obvious to Harriet, but she was going to have to be there for him no matter what.
Max’s fork slowly picked away at the neatly presented food before him, mangling and fiddling with the plates of pasta and vegetables. He was resting his head in his hand, trying to avert his thoughts from the unfortunate news that Nurse Joy had broken to them. The sofas that they had been seated in just seemed uncomfortable to him, and he continued to fidget and slide his body backwards and forwards on the red leather. It was very clear that his mind was in no pleasant state, ridiculed with the horrendous information they had been notified with. He had already been a witness to some atrocities caused by Team Sukai and knew about others, such as their experiments on Humans and Pokémon alike, and now Roxanne and Brock were in the middle of it all again.
“Max…” Harriet softly spoke, placing her fork neatly on her plate before stretching her hand over to his, “You’ve got to eat something.”
He slowly looked up from the disjointed mess before him, making eye contact with the two youngsters that sat opposite him, but no one said a word, no one needed too in his opinion. He was happy just sitting in the other’s company, picking away at his food as the time ticked on.
He returned his gaze back to his food, now swirling it around on the fork. He felt that one mouthful may just help settle things down a little, and in fairness he knew Harriet was correct, not eating was no good to him.
As the silence continued, Harriet finished up her food and neatly pushed her plate away from her place, wiping her mouth with a napkin. Her emotions were different to Max’s, obviously concerned but also filled with excitement and joy at the same time from her win; even a thrill at witnessing all the different species of Pokémon. Her mind kept on wandering back to their conversation with Henry; his passion and excitement about starting fresh and catching new Pokémon. For her it was exactly the same and that exuberating feeling had also returned thanks to the day’s actions. Unfortunately though, things were now being overshadowed by Team Sukai.
Last edited by harryheart; 22nd November 2011 at 2:45 AM.
The shrouded figure wandered through the usually busy high streets that were now littered with vast amounts of rubble and debris caused by his commands. His looming presence caused a sharp and sudden response from all his followers that happened to be there too, carrying out their set tasks. A few subordinates were daintily leading a procession of hostages across the central area towards the PokéCentre located a few blocks away from Apollo’s position, but the instance they spotted their leader they saluted and stood firm and stout as if worshiping or idolising what they viewed as a deity.
Apollo continued on past his devout employees, giving them small recognitions by the slight twitch of his head to at least adorn them in a sense of worth. His main goal, however, was locating the amulet he so desired, and if he had to show respect to those that were already in due awe of him then so be it. His main priority was to meet with his five Heads, all centred around the amulet’s last known location, for recon reports; then things could truly enter play.
He raised his hand to tap a small device that looped around his ear and a crackling noise erupted in his hearing. He momentarily stopped, wincing a little at the scratchy noises coming from the ear piece, before he became accustomed to its wave length and preceded onwards. The next few buildings were oddly still standing, and so too did it happen that nothing in this area had even been remotely scratched. Apollo callously smiled as he noted the observation.
“Open communications with Tech one from my capsule,” he suddenly spoke.
The crackling noises now died down and were replaced with a low frequency humming; a voice then responded through the small device wrapped around the commander’s right lobe.
“This is Tech one, how may I help you Sir?” he politely asked.
“Good… I like someone who seems to try and please me!” he offhandedly commented, again chuckling to himself, “Anyway, have you reached any more conclusions about where my cherished prize is?”
“In fact, we have. But I’m afraid to say it’s not good news.”
“Just spit it out,” Apollo rudely ordered with an extremely aggressive tone to his voice, “I’m not here to waste resources on my Heads and Principals looking for something that may or may not be here!”
“Yes, Sir, of course, Sir… well then, I regret to inform you that by our calculations and triangulations…” his voice shakily stated, “The pendant isn’t here, and our only logical conclusion is that whoever had it must’ve been aboard one of those planes we hijacked.”
Only silence remained over the communications channel, engulfing the tech in a flurry of nerves. His fears rose and his adrenaline pumped harder, beating away in the inside of his ear drums. This was not a predicament he wished to find himself in, especially not with Apollo who was known to not only be ruthless in executing plans but also in keeping discipline.
Suddenly, the tech’s nerves broke as the silent murmur of Apollo’s voice began distributing over the channel again, “Very well, I’m on route to meet with the Heads but recall all other teams to their base capsules, it’s time for us to retreat!”
Apollo reached to the device on his ear again, pressing it gently and causing one last faint crackle before the noises went dead. He looked up ahead where the terminal entrance of the airport was, seeing the numerous hostages hoarded into set corners by his own Principles and Subordinates from his capsule. He sighed. All their efforts and time had been for nothing, the amulet had snuck out of his nearing grasp and it was time for him to regroup with his Heads and formulate their next course of action.
He turned to look at the edge of the decorative square, adorned with a beautiful, stone water feature to mark the centre. It was finely carved and showed a true splendour of humanity. Apollo, however, looked at it in disgust, yet acting calmly and cool he reached for a small spherical ball that was dangling from the edges of his dark green uniform. He tapped the white button lightly with his thump and the ball instantly enlarged in his hand.
“Metang, go!” he coldly cried, sending the PokeBall out of his hand with a gentle fling of his wrist.
The PokeBall flew above the fountain where it quickly burst open in a flash of light, causing the five people also standing in the square to look up from an assortment of computer screens to see what was going on. Each of them instinctively reached for a PokeBall attached on their clothes as well. The blue tinted creature moulded together in the shimmering white light until it hovered above the stone carving. It rotated it s body around so that it could look at its trainer.
Apollo chuckled a little to himself, excited about his destructive thoughts racing through his mind, “Good! Use Hyper Beam on that fountain below you, Metang!”
The steel type hovered higher into the air while his front horn began to be overwhelmed with a vibrantly bright golden light. The light continued to grow in intensity until it was flowing with clear particles of energy. The Pokémon then locked its body in a diagonal stance so that his horn was directly pointed towards the stone feature. As soon as he had primed himself, the Hyper Beam expelled out of the metal appendage and soared in a straight and narrow line towards the clear cut object. The moment the two collided, fragments of the statue were distributed into the surroundings until they came crashing to the ground, scattering about the vicinity. Apollo’s only response was to stand there and laugh in utter joy.
“Ahh,” he sighed, “Very good Metang, wonderful job,” he heartlessly remarked, obviously revelling in the destruction that lay barren in front of him, “I needed a good little stress relief workout and you certainly provided my friend.”
He continued to chuckle to himself while he walked over the crumbling remains of the stone, indicating to Metang to begin following him. They both proceeded over to the table of computer screens, manned by the five people who had been privy to the demolition. All of them had, by now, removed their hands from their PokeBall’s the instant they recognised what was occurring, and as their leader approached they all welcomed him with a sly smile and a salute.
“Orion,” Apollo grimly said, “I want you to coordinate removal operations of all our gear instantly, there’s no point wasting our energy on searching for something when it’s not here.”
The stout man responded with a vigorous nod of his head before he began to depower all the monitors that surrounded them. Apollo seemed pleased at Orion’s work.
“Thank you,” he gracefully said, “Now, the rest of you I want to head straight to my capsule and order the retreat of all your teams from my Bridge… oh and take all my Principles and Subordinates with you as well! They no longer need to be holding hostages. I’ll be with you guys shortly, and as soon as I arrive we’ll begin tracking the amulet again.”
The other four Heads saluted their boss once more before they departed like darts away from the square, zipping away with speed. Apollo now turned his attention back to Orion, walking over to the Head’s side and placing his hand firmly on Orion’s shoulder. He then leaned in close to Head 1, allowing his mouth to nearly touch Orion’s ear.
“I have a special mission for you,” whispered Apollo, “One which means you won’t be returning with us in the Capsule, but it is key and central to our overall goal.”
“Ok Sir, whatever you ask,” Orion responded, stopping his present tasks to lean in closer and listen attentively.
“Good! I need you to…”
His statement was quickly interrupted by the roaring noises of chopper blades circling the sky above them. Both men looked up to find the source of the commotion. To their utmost disgust, they noticed a few blacked out helicopters with a distinct red R painted on their sides. They knew exactly who was sitting inside and they weren’t about to wait around to be greeted by a full on battle.
“Hmm, so they really are here as well… Looks like we’re going to have to step things up then,” Apollo sneered, quickly slipping an envelope into Orion’s waistcoat pocket as he continued to fix his eyes on the helicopters, “Read that and report back to me as soon as possible. You know the communication signal. I’ll be expecting to hear from you soon!” Apollo finished, now turning to his Pokémon and pointing its PokeBall directly at it to recall it home.
With those actions, Apollo then also slipped away into the shadows of Rustboro’s buildings, leaving Orion to make his own departure with the remaining gear. Their shadowy motives were attuning to the men’s visible features and soon they were both completely masked by a veil of deception. Even though things hadn’t gone as hoped for Apollo, he knew that everything was beginning to fall into place and enter the playing field. Dark times were beginning to brew.
Now I'm really worried for Max and the party--I also liked how you incorporated the four HG/SS Rocket Admins
Also, if you were referring to the people with Apollo in the square then I'm afraid to say they weren't the four HG/SS rocket admins. I must admit I didn't describe them at all, which may be a fault but I felt I wanted to keep them shrouded in mystery at this time and so knowing their clothes was about the only detail given.
Well, even though you didn't outright say it, my guess is that they are the Rocket admins
Yay Harriet! Glad to see her win a contest in such a great way! The battle scenes were well-described as always.
From Chapter 28:
This was the only mistake I found. Typos will happen here and there. Other than that the spelling and writing I saw was very good.“Chikorita, Razor Lead and Mothim, Hidden Power!”
I agree with FlamingRuby, I'm worried for Max and Co. as well. I hated seeing Max worry so much over Roxanne!
Very nice writing overall. Keep it up!
New Chapter: Chapter 4- Unova
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Creature of Storms
Also check out my completed crossover of Pokemon and Pirates by clicking the title!
"Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."