"OK. Are you familiar with the Cult of the Random Number God?"
"I've vaguely heard of it. You follow them?"
"Not exactly. I like most still believe in Arceus. But I plunged into the arcana and lore of the RNG. It seemed bizarre, to say the least."
"Well, that I should - and COULD - manipulate time, to shift space into the past or future. That I should cycle around a Pokemon for several miles before actually approaching it. That I should read my Journal - not even write in it, mind, just read it - the right number of times, not one too many or one too few. And if I did all this, the lore claimed, I was promised perfection."
"I thought so too. But then I thought, if there was even a hope, the slightest chance, that it could work, it was worth going for."
"And did it work?"
"What? Come on. You did at least meet the Lake Trio, right?"
"Yes. Whether they are what they should be - well, when or if I call upon them to battle, you can be the judge."
"Speaking of battles, tell me how things went at the Elite Four."
"Obviously all I had to go on was rumours. I spent a long time making sure my team was going to be ready. Finally I felt ready. Victor, Lily, Naomi, Tawna, and Olivia were at the top of their game. And that's when that sandbagger Barry showed up!"
"Yeah. I had him down to his last Pokemon, his Empoleon, which seemed to have no moves to really threaten Olivia. I figured Barry would pop a Full Restore and hope for luck, so I commanded Olivia to use Hypnosis. She missed and then Barry calls for a fricking Shadow Claw! Any normal Trainer would have used it from the off but no, Barry wants to lull people into thinking they've won before he strikes. Git."
"You still won though."
"Just. ONE HP, that's what Olivia held on by."
"So after that guy had been finished off, you went for the Elite Four?"
"That's right. Aaron and Bertha didn't give me too much trouble. Flint's Infernape gave me the runaround, that guy's prediction skills are insane, I kept switching and he kept calling for the perfect move for my switch in. Lucian, though..."
"He was the strongest?"
"Easily. I thought I'd have him licked, Lily's Crunches were so powerful. But I didn't count on his Bronzong. Lily gave it her all trying to break its defences, but it just fired off one Earthquake too many and it must have hit a weak point. The third Pokemon I ever caught she was, oldest still in my team after Victor, and that's where her story ended. And she wasn't the only one."
"Naomi. I was really in trouble, Lucian's Girafarig was putting dents in my team left-right-centre and I couldn't switch. I had to hope Naomi was faster - and she wasn't. The consummate survivor of the team, defeated at last. Two deaths in one match."
"And then, of course, you thought Cynthia."
"That's right. I wasn't even sure I had a hope. Three against six, and I'd heard all the stories. The reality, though - Cynthia made a BIG error."
"Leading with an unthreatening Pokemon. I opened with a very threatening one, Victor. One X Speed, three Swords Dances with impunity, and then he just ripped through the now ex-Champion's team."
"Even her Garchomp?"
"Down to a single Close Combat, it didn't stand a chance. Likewise her Milotic. I felt sorry for her. Still do, in fact."
"So. You're the Champion of the Pokemon League, you've seen every Pokemon known or suspected to live in Sinnoh, now what?"
"Whereever the road takes me."
"Before we finish. A Trainer by the name of Cascade is proving a promising prospect over in Johto. Word is he's running a Choice Specs Typhlosion. What's your take on that?"
"I've never used it myself obviously, but I've heard of others doing so and by all accounts it's an extremely good item for that Pokemon.