AUTHOR'S NOTES: Oh, the woe of my writer's block! I sit there wallowing in self-pity on how bad it is, and then I sit down one night and try to get some writing in before bed and squeeze in two and a half pages – a thousand words.

God, I love writing.

Anyways, in this chapter we focus on Volkner's battle against the Eterna Gym! A new member will join the group!

[[Chapter 5: Fight!]]
Within the next few minutes, Volkner had reached the gym. It stood way above all the other buildings in the city, obviously containing multiple floors: which, from the windows dotting its blue and brown painted surface, he could tell where filled to the brim with plant life.

With a smile on his face, and two Pokemon fully healed and ready for battle, Volkner stepped in.

The inside was just as wild as he could see from the windows. Surrounding him were the bases of many different plants, some even living – a few small Ivysaur gathered around in a huddle, huge Sunflora scattered throughout the grassy terrain, and even some Victreebel lazing around.

A mechanical starly (or so Volkner assumed it was called, as he had never seen such a thing before, because of the sticker on its forehead that read “MechStarly”) approahced him, flapping its wings with a dull creaking sound.

CHALLENGER OR VISITOR?” the creature said in its firm authoritative voice.

“... Challenger,” Volkner responded, a bit creeped out.



Inside the gym, two people were conversing, looks of slight boredom on their faces. Both females, and the only ones inside the gym, the two had quickly come to be acquaintances, then eventually best friends.

Gardenia had always loved Lily for her wonderful sense of compassion and her skill in battling. An art to native Eterna City residents, battling was one of the few things doable in their quiet little place other than relax at the condos or go south to Cycling Road. But Gardenia had always had a passion for it, and she pretty much assumed she always would.

Lily Florence had told her once that she considered Gardenia to be a lot like herself. To the girl, a gym trainer in her gym, this had been more enjoyable than any other praise she had received in her life. She loved it, having basked in the glory of the statement ever since.

Lily was a bit annoyed by it, she could tell, but would put up with it. After all, she was soon to retire at the ripe old age of sixty-eight, and had told everyone – not just Gardenia – that when that happened, Gardenia was to be her replacement.

“So,” Lily said. “You lead two innocent trainers out of the path which they wanted to travel?”

“Yes'm, but they said they didn't know about the Old Chateau-” Gardenia tried to counter argue.

“I'm sure they didn't. But you should let them find out for themselves, don't you think?” she said sternly. “I understand that you wanted to be a good samaritan, but you should know by now that part of the life of a trainer is learning things through experience. Don't let your superstitious self counter your logical self again, Gardenia. It can be amazingly costly.”

“... Okay. Understood, m'lady.” Gardenia mumbled in defeat.

“Glad to h-”

CHALLENGER FOR LEADER FLORENCE, CHALLENGER FOR LEADER FLORENCE. NAME: VOLKNER DENZI.” the MechStarly suddenly swooped in screeching. As it did so, it opened its mouth to reveal a video screen, which showed an oddly familiar face to Gardenia waiting in the lobby.

“Tell him to come on in then, Mechie. Good job.” Lily responded, nodding and saluting.

The MechStarly, “Mechie”, swooped out and toward the lobby.

Gardenia couldn't help but grin a bit.

“Ya'know, Lily,” Gardenia said. “He was one of them trainers.”

“Who you 'helped' earlier?” Lily said, a bit surprised as evident by a rise in her voice.

“Yep. I told 'em I was a trainer here... he was the more eager lookin' one.” she responded.

“Well, then. I suppose we're gonna get to see some battling, then!”


Volkner tapped his foot against the dirt that served as a floor in this de-modernized gym, losing his patience at a rate that was rapidly increasing. Finally, he saw MechStarly swoop in, and caw its given commands.


“Finally,” Volkner muttered, and walked off with the mechanical unit as it creaked off into the arched entryway of the gym.

He stepped inside to an even more colossal building than he had expected. Trees were the prominent plants, though some bushes and definitely a lot of grass dotted the surface of the “main arena” – this was it, apparently, as evidenced by the fact that MechStarly stopped and turned to Volkner.


“... Chef?” Volkner thought, but responded with a simple, “Sure, I suppose..”

It couldn't hurt, right?

“This is my first time in a gym,” Volkner said. “So I guess I'd like some tour-guide information.”

Right this way then, good sir!” the mechanical bird suddenly said in an accent one would expect only of an overly-hyped businessman off of a television commercial. It startled Volkner, causing him to shudder in surprise. “Here in our fine ETERNA CITY gym,” the last part it spoke being mechanical, dronelike as it had been just seconds before. It then switched back to its suave tone. “We harbor the finest of GRASS-type trainers in the world! No other gym in the region of SINNOH compares to our own! On your LEFT you will see THE ARENA. To your north, OUR GARDEN. CONTAINS STAIRS TO UPPER GARDEN FLOORS. POKEMON ARE KEPT THERE. GRASS-TYPES.

“Okay, okay, enough with the Tour-Guide information!” Volkner screamed. “Thanks... ****in' stupid machine...”

“Hey, try 'n keep yer language down some, Mister Denzi,” a familiar voice said.

Volkner looked to the arena to see a familiar face to accompany the familiar voice. He recognized it immediately to be the face of... hell, like he could remember her name. He just knew she was a total hick from the sound of her accent, and that she had told him she was a gym trainer here.

He then realized he had come to the gym for the opportunity for fighting her more than the actual leader.

And so it would be.

“Quiet, girl-” he tried to start off, but found himself cut off.

“Hey, hey, don't be rude, dude! Call her by her name if you know her,” a man said from looking over the side of the arena. “You DO know it, right?”

“'ey, Jackie, let's calm down some. Mister Denzi, name's Gardenia in case you'd done forgot. Glad 'ta see ya here,” she said, offering a quick wave.

“... Right, right, sorry, I have a crappy memory. Anyway, how do things work around here?”

Well, first of all-”

“QUIET YOU ****ING BIRDBRAINED MACHINE,” Volkner turned and yelped, causing the machine to back away almost as if on its own conscience. “... Now, I'd like to hear it from a human mouth please.”

Leader Florence leaned into Gardenia and whispered something, and Volkner could faintly make out the word “temper” before the message was finished.

“Well, first of all-”

“QUI- oh, it's you...”

“... Ah-hem, first of all, what do ya know 'bout gyms, Mister Denzi?” Gardenia asked.

“Absolutely nothing,” Volkner responded. “This is my first time in one.”

“Okey dokey, then. Let's hear it from the horse's mouth then, eh, Lily?” Gardenia said.

“... Beautiful young lady's mouth, thank you very much,” Lily sputtered. “And a Pokemon Gym is a place where trainers test their battling skills in … well, battles. You fight through at least two gym trainers, though there can be more – there are four, here – and then the leader themselves. Which is me, by the way.”

“.. Got'cha. Are there rests between battles?”

“If you'd like. No longer than ten minutes though.”

“Then let's get this started.”

“Got'cha,” Lily said with a grin.

Volkner stepped up to the arena and took a stance at the south end, contemplating his first Pokemon. He only had two options, and in all honesty this would be his first real battle. He had no idea what moves his Pokemon had, and he had no idea what their strength levels were.

Then it hit him.

“Hey, birdbrain!” Volkner suddenly yelled. “I need a pseudo-Pokedex!”

YES SIR. POKEMON INFORMATION WANTED?” MechStarly cawed as it swooped down next to him.

“Elekid. Show me all data.”

Elekid: Electric Pokemon. It is the pre-evolved form of Electabuzz. It generates electricity by spinning its arms. It gains strength in thunderstorms. Its weak spot is in between its horns, but the electric current generated there can buzz an unwary foe.

“Be quieter. Moves?”

Your Elekid currently knows how to perform the following attacks: Thunder Punch, Ice Punch, Thundershock, Swift, Quick Attack, Leer, Low Kick, Rolling Kick, Headbutt.

“Okay, thanks. Now stay close but be quiet. Go, Elekid!”

Volkner turned his head to the side and tossed his arm forward like throwing a baseball, a flash of white light bolting forward from the ball in his hand, materializing onto the floor into the shape of his Pokemon Elekid. The two-prong headed electrical creature clashed its fists together excitedly, though it was probable he didn't know where he was. But he supposed it was just a violent little Pokemon. And that was good. It was a Pokemon's purpose.

To fight.

“Now who'm I fighting first?” Volkner asked.

“That'd be me,” the man from earlier said. “Name's Jack.”


Two fights later and Volkner was about ready to quit. He had fought through Jack's one-man team with relative ease, as all he had was some weak Pokemon called Budew. The next person, however, had a tougher team of an Ivysaur and an Eevee, two very tough battlers compared to his Elekid.

His next opponent, he suddenly realized, would probably be even tougher.

“Gardenia is up next!” Lily cried out and pointed forward.

Gardenia stepped forward, a smirk on her face.

Volkner smirked too.

“Still keeping your Elekid out, eh?” she asked.

“Yep. Let's hurry and get this over with so I can get to the leader...” Volkner responded.

“Eager, ain't we?” she teased. “Fine, fine. Let's go, Roselia!”

Another flash of light later, a small, fat little grass-type Pokemon materialized on the floor. Where its arms would normally be it donned two roses. A sensual, sly look rested on its light green face.

“Elekid, Ice Punch!” Volkner yelled, running forward with the battle as quickly as he could. He wanted to get it done and get it done fast, and Gardenia seemed more than willing to comply with it.

Elekid dashed forward, raising one of his black-striped arms and focusing an energy from his claws over his hand to encase it in ice. He swiped it in front of Roselia and hit it, but only brushing it before it jumped back, a bit of ice freezing onto its chest but falling off seconds later.

Roselia shuddered, but recovered quick enough for it to dash forward in its retaliation.

“Shake it off, girl!” Gardenia yelled. “Magical Leaf!”

Roselia nodded and leaped into the air, spreading her rose arms apart and spewing forth several leaves from them, each one glowing in its own unique color. A truly beautiful sight to some, but to Volkner it meant possible defeat, and he cried out for Elekid to dodge.

But to no avail. The leaves were apparently homing, each one slapping onto Elekid and releasing its slight energy. Alone they were nothing, but the continued pulsations of magic forced inside him caused Elekid to take some serious damage already. A few lacerations dotted Elekid's skin, leaving him bleeding a bit.

“Retaliate quickly! Swift!” Volkner demanded.

Elekid opened his mouth and let loose a barrage of star-shaped rays. They fired forward with such speed that Roselia had no time to avoid them – like the leaves, but star-shaped, they lacerated the grass-like skin of Roselia in multiple places, these spots dribbling a purple oozing blood.

“Roselia, Leech Seed!” Gardenia cried out, pointing at Elekid. Roselia nodded quickly, a signature Volkner now realized to show her obedience to commands, and spit out a variety of seeds to surround Elekid. In that instant, Elekid jumped up and to the side, avoiding the second after that the seeds sprouted leaves, now laying limp and useless on the ground.

“... Good, you avoided it,” Volkner muttered in relief. “Thunder Punch!”

Elekid quickly ran toward Roselia, leaping over the leaves of the Leech Seed and into the air, cocking back its fist. It whirled its arm around and formed a bit of electricity which surrounded its fist in a ball, which then collided with Roselia. Roselia shrieked... and Gardenia was smiling.

Elekid then jumped back and held its fist with the other. Volkner realized it was bleeding, and Elekid was shuddering with pain.

“Roselia's ability,” Gardenia said. “It's called Poison Point. When yer Pokemon attacks physically, it has a chance'a bein' poisoned if some of Roselia's thorns. Yer Pokemon's gonna be losin' health 'n quick.”

Volkner grimaced. “Birdbrain, over here! Start a display of Elekid's health!”

MechStarly came closer and opened its mouth, displaying a red bar of health with about half of if white. A purple box rested next to it with the abbreviation “PSN”, which Volkner assumed to be a contraction of poison.

“... Gah! Swift again!” Volkner yelled.

Elekid opened its mouth and shot another ray of stars, each hitting Roselia with lacerating force. The two were close in health levels already; he had no way of knowing for sure, but the heaving chest of Roselia gave him a good clue. It was also obvious this would be the last part of the gym battle that Elekid could participate in, it was just a question of whether or not an attack or poison would knock him out first.

“Roselia, Mega Drain!” Gardenia commanded, and once more Roselia nodded, swiping her left red rose against Elekid.

A fist was raised up in retaliation. Weakly, Elekid leaped to his feet and threw Roselia up into the air and then jumped up further, turned on his side and began to turn his body as he fell. A Rolling Kick attack, Volkner deduced, as the repeated beating of feet against Roselia finally knocked her out. But in the process, Elekid fell to the ground with a thud, unconscious and shuddering.

Both participants returned their Pokemon, and sent out their next.

“Tangela, go!” Gardenia yelled.

“Chuseph, let's fight!” Volkner said.

Suddenly, Gardenia burst into raucous laughter.

“CHUSEPH?!” Gardenia howled, her hands over her stomach, doubling over. “Oh... oh god... oh god I'm sorry...”

“... It's my mother's Pokemon. She named it,” Volkner muttered in response, his cheeks flushed red.

“No, no, it's okay... let's fight... haha.. oh god... priceless...”

“Quiet again, Birdbrain,” Volkner said. “But tell me Chuseph's info.”

Pichu: The Tiny Mouse Pokemon. The pre-evolved form of Pichu. Despite their size, Pichu can release surprisingly powerful bursts of electricity, enough to even mentally shock themselves as they did not know they had the power. Pichu, like all electric Pokemon, can charge themselves easier in the presence of Thunderclouds. Can be very babylike.

“Moves?” Volkner asked.

Pichu knows the moves: Thundershock, Charm, Tail Whip, Thunderwave, Sweet Kiss, Nasty Plot, Volt Tackle.

Volkner suddenly blinked.

“Volt Tackle?” he asked.

Volt Tackle is a move exclusive to the Pikachu family. The user surrounds-"

“I've heard of it before, Birdbrain! But... why would Chuseph have something bred solely for battle?”


“... Bleh,” Volkner muttered. “May as well take advantage of it. Thunderwave, Chuseph!”

Chuseph scurried toward the mass of blue vines, and slapped it quickly with an electrified paw. A jolt of electricity from the paw suddenly caused Tangela to shudder, and soon it tried to move, only to prove extremely slow around its feet. It lashed out vines at normal speeds though, apparently not effected around there.

“Tangela, Vine Whip!” Gardenia ordered, and Tangela obeyed as best it could. The Pokemon lashed out a single vine as long as it could manage and wrapped it around Chuseph's arm, lifting him up and slamming him into the ground.

Chuseph cried out in pain, but struggled up.

“Volt Tackle, Chuseph!” Volkner yelled, and suddenly Chuseph scuttled forward, a massive aura of electricity in proportion to his tiny little body, and slammed into Tangela.

Both Pokemon lay there in silence for a couple of moments. Suddenly, Tangela struggled up to its feet, and Chuseph followed shortly after. His face was obviously strained.

His arm was displaced in a strange, unnatural way, and Volkner tried to offer another command – but he was interrupted.

“Yer Pokemon's arm is broke. Surrender and go heal it,” Gardenia said.

“No! He can still fight-”

“Still fight?! Yeh, sure, but he'd be in pain!” Gardenia retorted, a fierceness in her voice.

“Who cares?!” Volkner found himself screaming at that point. “It's just a Pokemon-”

“Just a Pokemon?!” Gardenia roared. “Pokemon are living, breathing creatures like you 'n' me!”


“QUIET DOWN, BOTH OF YOU!” Lily cried out, and the room went silent.

Gardenia stood there seething.

Volkner stood there shaking, holding back tears.

Lily stepped in between the two. She held her hands out.

“Volkner Denzi! You are to go heal your Pokemon, or I will call the Eterna Police Department in charges for cruelty! The battle is OFF!”


“Who's there?!” Cyrus cried out into the darkness of the room. “I know I heard something!”

He heard no response, but a mist covered the room. Cyrus stepped back and put a hand onto a Pokeball, tossing it forward, as a pink creature stepped forward. A flash of white light did not come forth, as if light denied an existence in this room.

“Golbat, let's fight this thing!”

... I … am … so … lonely ...


Exactly an hour later, Volkner Denzi was convinced to go into the Pokecenter, stubbornly arguing against healing a Pokemon that could fight anyway. It took Lily walking to a phone and speaking to the officers about a situation in their gym – when Volkner agreed, she said a Gym Trainer had solved it, thanked the police and hung up.

Gardenia of Eterna Gym followed him, a hand firmly placed on his shoulder, looming over him like an angry Salamence. Which she pretty much was, without the blue skin and wings.

She turned to him and in front of the cute nurse, who scowled at him because of the time she realized it had taken, she slapped him across the cheek. “Don't you EVER think thoughts like that again! I thought you done made yerself seem like a decent person! A lil' foulmouthed, sure, but like this... I just... ugh!”

She dragged him off toward the gym again, and Volkner couldn't break free of her grasp.

The two stared Lily Florence in the face now, and Volkner was about ready to leave.

“Volkner Denzi,” Lily said. “Do you want to be a great Pokemon trainer?”

It was, admittedly, part of his reason for traveling. Of course he wanted to find out about Mana, to find out why he was placed here, but he also wanted to go on his journey – the last time he had seen his mother had been because of an argument against her about doing it.

“Yes,” Volkner said. “And for that, I'll get some strong Pokemon – not weak little things like Chuseph.”

“What the hell? Your Pokemon nearly beat Gardenia's Tangela-”

“Nearly isn't enough!” Volkner said defiantly.

“QUIET!” Lily roared. “You'll learn to do things right! Pokemon are living creatures that need to be treated with love and compassion! You'll be a teaching tool for this gym. You will travel with Gardenia and help her learn, as it IS obvious you have some skill. But you'll never get better than her, and definitely no better than me, if you don't learn the basics of friendship!”

“And what makes you think I have to do this?” Volkner questioned.

“I'll call the police on you again, and this time I WON'T lie.”

“... Gah, fine,” Volkner muttered.

“Good. Now, Gardenia, have Volkner here escort you to your condominium. Pack quickly and you two will leave to the south tonight. I'll give you money for bikes on cycling road-”

“I have another partner,” Volkner said. “He should be at the Pokecenter. We have money. A lot of it.”

“Oh? And where'd you get that from?” Lily questioned, obviously a bit curious to see if he wasn't trying to get away.

“Ked Abel, Director of the Valley Windworks.”

“You mean...”

“We tried to save it.”

“So, jackass does have some morals,” Lily muttered. A bit of a mouth for an old lady, Volkner thought.

“Alright, fine. Get your stuff packed Gardenia, and you'll travel with him and his partner. Help him learn.”

Gardenia nodded dutifully, and turned around, tugging Volkner behind her. “Goodbye, Lily! I'll see ya!”

“Good luck and godspeed, Gardenia. Reform Mister Denzi swiftly.”


The two, Gardenia now fully packed, searched around the Pokemon Center for Cyrus. It was then Volkner came to the realization he had been left behind while Cyrus searched their original destination.

“... He's in the Old Chateau,” Volkner muttered.

“WHATTTT?!” Gardenia screeched in terror, but Volkner ignored her. This time he would be the one to lead this duo, and go explore with Cyrus and inform him of the situation.

“... That *******, leaving without me!”


Well, another chapter comes along swifter than I thought! Enjoy! Next chapter..

Ghost Trainer! Cyrus sparks a fire in his eyes!


Off through Cycling Road! Volkner takes a tumble!