Well, my first fanfiction here. This is, in a way, related to Feralninja’s League of Heroes, in that the Jo here is the same Jo who pops up in that (and in DispleasedOwl’s Journeymen).
And also inspired by League of Heroes.
So, here we get to see how Jo stopped being a gym leader – League of Heroes is based upon the fifth generation Non-Competitive League Thingy, and I was a gym leader in the fourth generation one – and became a wandering trainer. And an adventurer archaeologist, because I always wanted to be one of those. It’s all Harrison Ford’s fault.
Also, there is a cliffhanger. I do not apologise.
Instead I cackle manically.
Also; links to the above stories, plus two done by other people in the league.
League of Heroes
S.E.X (Shiny Expert Xander. I don’t think he realised what acronym we could make out of that)
Jo Morgan was bored.
She’d heard of gym leaders getting like this, but hadn’t expected to find herself amongst them. Her gym was nice, she got a steady stream of challengers of varying ability, and she’d even gotten a gym trainer.
She wasn’t entirely sure when that last one had happened, but Marisa didn’t seem to hear her when she’d tried to get rid of her, so Jo had long since given up and accepted the blonde’s presence. And her regular challenges for the gym.
Speaking of which ... a glance at her email showed that another gym challenge had be registered for today. Expecting the email to contain the usual information – “It’s Marisa again, the paperwork was filed on the blah of blah, etc etc,” – she left it unopened and considered her pokemon. Her only challenge today had been some kid looking for his second badge, and all of her best pokemon were in perfect shape.
Frowning, she looked out the window as she thought that.
As she had feared, it seemed that some of her pokemon were up to no good again.
Sighing, she stood and opened the window, shouting out at the Miltank that was crowding her Tauros.
Bessie!” she shouted, exasperated at the stubborn Miltank. “He’s not interested. We’ve both told you loads of times. As has Briar, “ she added, glancing at the Stantler that was glaring at Bessie. “You know what she gets like when you do this.”
Looking between Jo and Briar, Bessie sighed and slumped off.
“Cheer up, Bess,” Jo called, gentler than before. “You’ll find someone.”
“Yo, boss!” Sighing, Jo tried not to flinch as the door crashed open. As a gym leader she really shouldn’t be startled by loud noises so much. Especially when she had a gym trainer like the manically grinning and persistently loud blonde that was standing before her.
“Yo yourself, Marisa,” she replied. “Here for your battle, then?”
“Eh?” The blonde scratched at the back of her head, messing her hair up more than it usually was. “I haven’t challenged you. I was planning to next week. But there’s this guy out front who says he has business with you. Might be him.”
“Ah.” Jo wasn’t sure why, but she was starting to have a bad feeling about this. And her feelings were usually right. Still, it wasn’t like she could turn a challenger away.
“You go fetch him in and I’ll get the pokemon ready, then.”
“’kay. Try not to lose, though.” Marisa smirked. More than she usually did. Smirking seemed to be her default expression. “I’m gonna be the one to beat ya.”
“If you say so,” Jo smiled back, already going over her pokemon in her mind. Auroch was one of her best, so he was definitely in for this …
“I do!” Naturally, Marisa couldn’t leave without having had the last word.
Chuckling, Jo rounded up six of her pokemon, running through ways to counter them and ways to counter those counters.
“Hey boss! Got him here.” And there’s the challenger. A middle-aged man. Unlike the people who challenged her for a badge, she didn’t have to guess what type of pokemon he would be using. He wanted to take over a normal type gym, after all. He had to show that he was better than her.
“I hope you don’t mind if she watches, “ Jo said, nodding at Marisa. “She’s a trainer here and it’ll help her to see how her gym leader battles, whether it’s me or you.”
“It won’t be me,” the man replied shortly with a glance back at Marisa. “I have no interest in teaching novices. But she may watch.”
Marisa scowled at him. “You’d better beat him, boss. Beat him hard.”
“I plan to,” Jo replied, smiling slightly. “If you’re ready?”
As the man nodded, Marisa stepped back out of the way. And began making gestures behind his back.
Knowing that she wouldn’t stop if she told her to, Jo just ignored her and reached for the first of her pokeballs.
“Right, then. The rules. You probably know them, but I’m supposed to go over them anyway.” Glancing at Marisa, Jo tried not to grin at the faces she had started pulling. She was probably far too soft on her student. “ Six pokemon each, no use of items of any sort during the battle, and only pokemon at least partially classed as normal type may be used,” she stated. “Also neither side may switch pokemon, except by the use of techniques such as Volt Switch. You got that?”
As he nodded – Jo really should have asked for his name, but that would mean admitting that she hadn’t actually read his challenge – they both sent out their first pokemon and Marisa stopped being silly in favour of watching properly.
One of the reasons that Jo was so relaxed about Marisa’s constant challenges was that she had quickly become aware of just what the other girl’s pokemon could actually do. This time she didn’t have that advantage and she realised that she found it quite exciting. Maybe being a gym leader wasn’t all that bad, after all.
Still, she had to win this in order to keep being a leader, and as her challenger’s Miltank emerged she began guessing and planning.
Whitney has one of these, too. She thought as the referee, a pleasant young man called Stuart, asked if they were ready to begin.
She really likes using Rollout and Stomp. Scout can’t do much about Stomp, but I can stop him from building up a powerful Rollout.
As Jo nodded her readiness Scout, her Pidgeot, launched herself into the air, barely needing a spoken command to fly.
As expected, the Miltank came rolling forwards, clipping Scout before she could fly out of reach. Unfortunate, and Scout would certainly have felt that hit, but the battle could still be won.
As the Miltank came around for another pass, Scout darted up, far out of its reach.
Skidding to a stop, the Miltank looked up just in time to see Scout swooping down upon it. Unfortunately, Jo’s smile at the hit was quickly removed by the man’s next command.
Reacting instinctively, Jo called for Scout to Protect herself, giving her a few more seconds to come up with a way to deal with this unexpected attack.
Unfortunately, she came up empty. Scout didn’t have anything reliable and powerful enough to win this.
“Unreliable it is, then,” Jo muttered. She hated this sort of attack, but it was the only chance Scout had. “Scout, Hurricane.”
Wincing as Scout took an Ice Beam head on, Jo sighed in relief as the Pidgeot weathered the attack, then smiled as Scout formed a miniature tornado that picked the Miltank up and slammed it into the ground.
“Miltank is unable to battle,” Stuart announced after a few moments.
Not that Scout is much better off, Jo thought to herself. She had been surprised when Scout survived the Ice Beam, and she knew that the Pidgeot was at the end of her strength.
“You did good, Scout,” she told her quietly, the Pidgeot giving her a tired but happy trill in return.
Wordlessly, the challenger returned his defeated Miltank to her pokeball and called out his second pokemon. A Raticate.
Fast, Jo’s mind supplied. Scout’s done for. We might be able to get a hit in first, though.
The battle was over in seconds, both pokemon blurring into a Quick Attack, but only the Raticate remained standing afterwards.
Jo frowned. This battle was already not going well and she needed to gain the advantage quickly. And that meant doing something else that she didn’t particularly like.
Recalling Scout and sending out Mihawk, a large Staraptor that immediately puffed himself up and screeched loudly at his opponent, she waited for the battle to resume before issuing the command for Mihawk to attack, the challenger ordering his pokemon at the same time.
“Hyper Beam, Raticate.”
She winced. Mihawk got to his target first, hammering the Raticate with heavy blows from his wings and beak, but the oversized rat didn’t go down.
Instead, it blasted Mihawk into the roof.
As he fell to the ground, Jo recalled him. He might have been able to get up after being hit by a powerful attack when his defences down and falling from the gym’s high roof, but Jo didn’t care. She wasn’t going to let him take that sort of fall.
The challenger said nothing as she picked her third pokemon, having remained silent other than his brief and calm commands to his pokemon. He’d managed to pull out some tricks and a lot of power, but so did Jo.
She’d never mention it in front of Scout or Mihawk, but the were probably the weakest of the six pokemon she had on hand for this battle.
As Lowry, her Smeargle, took up a ready position, she nodded to Stuart, signalling that she was ready to begin. She was also pleased to notice that her stoic challenger was starting to look worried.
With good reason – after all, there was no real way of knowing what a Smeargle would be attacking with until after it hit you.
She was less pleased when his response to her ordering an Aura Sphere was a faint smile, though.
She wasn’t happy when the Raticate used Dig, either, burrowing underground and out of Lowry’s reach.
Of course, it would be back in her grasp very soon. Unaware of any preparations Jo might have made while it was underground.
“Get ready to Counter,” she told Lowry as the Raticate made its unseen approach.
Standing firm, Lowry took the hit noiselessly when the Raticate burst out of the ground and into his face.
He did look rather pleased with himself when he caught the Raticate in mid-air and threw it into the ground.
Jo was relieved when the Raticate was recalled. Things had started off badly, but now they were both down to four pokemon, and Lowry was doing pretty well, even after taking that attack.
That relief faded slightly when his next pokemon was revealed to be a Snorlax. She knew just how strong and resilient they were.
It faded completely when his first order was for a Belly Drum. She knew what would follow that and she doubted that Aura Sphere would be enough to finish this. Not tin the one attack she had time for before-
She grinned. It was supposed to have been used in combination with Counter, but …
“Give him an Encore, Lowry. And then Aura Sphere, until it stops moving.”
As much as she would have loved it to, the Snorlax wouldn’t knock itself out. But, only being able to use Belly Drum for a while, it wouldn’t be able to knock Lowry out, either.
Unable to do anything more than beat at its chest, the Snorlax just had to stand there as Lowry launched an Aura Sphere into its massive belly. Unsurprisingly, the first one wasn’t enough the bring the big pokemon. Neither was the second, to Jo’s surprise. Belly Drum had put it halfway to being knocked out, and two of Lowry’s Aura Sphere’s weren’t enough to get it the rest of the way.
As the Snorlax began to Rest, Jo growled and changed her approach. Aura Sphere’s type advantage was clearly not enough here. She’d have to go with sheer power.
Lowry’s Hyper Beam hit the sleeping Snorlax with enough force to flip the massive pokemon over. Twice.
But not, it seemed, with quite enough to take it out of the battle.
As Lowry recovered from launching that attack, the Snorlax woke, yawning loudly as it climbed to its feet before waddling over to Lowry and falling down upon the Smeargle.
Wincing, Jo was surprised to see that Lowry was still able to move as the Snorlax lifted itself off of him.
She sighed as she realised that she’d have to do something else that she disliked in order to have a chance at winning this. She hated using this attack, but it was also the single strongest attack any of her pokemon used.
As the Snorlax seemed to have a little bit of trouble lifting its own bulk off of Lowry, Jo closed her eyes. “I’m sorry, Lowry,” she said quietly. “But … Explosion, please.”
This wasn’t an order. She’d made it clear to Lowry that no matter when she said to use that attack, he could say no. In fact, she hoped that he would.
But he didn’t. The explosion was enough to throw the Snorlax into the air with enough force that Jo was worried about the survival of the gym. Buildings, even those built to take the side effects of pokemon battles, could only survive so much.
Then she swore loudly.
The Snorlax got back up.
Closing her eyes and calming herself down, Jo reached for the first of her three ‘emergency’ pokemon. They hadn’t seen battle for quite a while, as they would have simply been overkill.
But now, as Marisa would say, there was no overkill. Just power and more power.
None of these three could manage the satisfying techniques and combinations that she preferred, but they never had to. They just hit the enemy and hit them again until they stopped getting up. They’d even faced off against Elite trainers – and won.
Auroch was her next pokemon, the Tauros pleased to finally see another battle.
“No half measures this time,” Jo muttered to herself, raising her voice as the battle resumed. “Giga Impact, Auroch.”
The charging Tauros didn’t impact with quite the same amount of force as Lowry’s failed Explosion had, but it was enough to shake some plaster from the walls and, more importantly, ensure that the Snorlax didn’t get back up again.
Next was an Exploud. Unlike the Snorlax, it didn’t go down with Auroch’s first Giga Impact.
The second attack, Jo thought, would definitely bring it down, though.
Unfortunately Auroch’s endurance failed after being hit with both a Hyper Voice and Hyper Beam and there wasn’t a second attack
Still, Jo had two pokemon left and her next had gone up against Lance.
As her Kangaskhan finished her Exploud off, Jo smiled grimly. Retaliate was a particularly satisfying attack. While she didn’t like that any of her pokemon needed avenging, she was happy when that vengeance was swift and powerful.
She was less than happy to see that the challenger’s Kecleon also knew that attack, but Kangaskhan – they hadn’t been able to agree on a name yet – endured it. And she had the perfect attack for this opponent.
“Outrage time!” she called, grinning as Kangaskhan began to use one of her most powerful attacks and turn Kecleon’s own nature against it.
The Sucker Punch that hit Kangaskhan before she could launch her attack wasn’t quite according to plan, but Jo doubted that it would be enough to finish this battle before the Kecleon’s induced dragon-type weakness could be properly exploited.
The Protect that prevented the second burst of Outrage from connecting, on the other hand, certainly did have that potential.
Kangaskhan getting confused and punching herself in the face instead of attacking for a third time completely ruined the plan, and another Sucker Punch did what Lance hadn’t been able to do and downed Kangaskhan.
“Just you and me now, then.” Jo muttered to her last pokeball. “Just like old times, Kagami.”