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Chronicles of Unova
“Heatran, use Magma Storm!”
The roar of the crowd could be heard from miles away. Shouts and cheers rang throughout the city as the battle fiercely raged on. The hypnotizing aroma of popcorn and other confections drifted lazily through the air from vendors scattered in the stands. Small children cheered out of their minds for the trainers, while their parents beside them subtly suppressed smiles of their own. The gigantic stadium held more than 50,000 people, drawn from all across the region to witness the Unova Region Pokémon League Championship battle. After several days of harsh fighting and elimination, victory was within the grasp of two talented trainers. Down on the field, at the epicenter of this cacophony of noise, tension and excitement stood two lone trainers, and two fearsome beasts. This was the pinnacle of the match; the next few attacks would decide it all.
“Lugia, quick, get out of the way!” shouted one of the trainers desperately. There was fear in his eyes, his voice quivered, and he knew he was losing. He hadn’t made it to the final battle of the League Championships by faltering at the end of his matches though; alongside his fear was determination and the will to survive and win. He knew he had to think fast; if Magma Storm hit, it would be all over.
The Heatran lowered its head, took in a deep breath, then unleashed a torrent of fire and slag at the enormous beast opposite it with everything it had. Molten lava dripped from its mouth as the wave of heat launched forth. It braced itself against the ground and had to dig in with every one of the four hooked claws that lined each foot to keep itself from being pushed back. The enemy’s Lugia took action and started to dodge, quickly ascending into the sky; it was a desperate, losing gambit however. Higher and higher it soared, trying to simply put as much distance between itself and the vortex of flames as it could. Half a mile into the air it went, then three-quarters, then a mile, but the fire dogged it all the way. Finally, the Lugia managed to breach the clouds; it stopped for a moment, thinking perhaps that it was safe. It held position, beating its massive wings and calmly looking around at the sea of white below it for any sign of the streams. It heard nothing, saw nothing, and felt nothing; surely the Heatran couldn’t still control and aim its attack with so much distance between them, and certainly not if the cloud cover obscured its visi-
The three swirling streams of fire burst through the clouds directly underneath the Lugia’s position. Before it could react, they sailed up past the beast’s head and ensnared it in a veritable cage of lava. The Lugia screamed deafeningly in surprise as the three streams linked and began dragging it back down to earth; it could barely even fight to try and break free against the maelstrom.
As it fell, the lava charred and burned its majestic, legendary down and wings. The Lugia continued to shriek in shock and pain as it hurdled towards the ground; it was being dragged right towards a patch of Stealth Rock that had been set up earlier in the match. As it drew within just feet of the jagged spikes, the Heatran reared its head and quickly chomped its fangs together, terminated the stream. The Lugia smashed into the patch of Stealth Rock, being impaled and taking considerable damage. The real concern however was the continuing Magma Storm; the Diving Pokémon was still immobilized and confined to the small area within the storm, all the while taking a slow creep of residual damage from the heat of its prison.
The roar of the crowd in response to these actions was deafening. It was as if a solid wall of sound flowed from the stadium and struck every point in and around it. Seeing its opponent trapped, the Heatran sneered and bent forward on its front knees to strike again. The Heatran’s trainer had his opponent on the ropes; victory was nearly assured now and the people in the stands knew it. A new challenger to the Elite Four was about to be named, and he had a very good shot of making it all the way.
“Oh no, what do I do?!” the rival trainer thought desperately; his flailing, grossly non-specific command of “get out of the way” had, not surprisingly, failed to keep his Lugia safe from the trapping attack. Scanning his mind for a solution, he ran through all the attacking moves it knew. “Let’s see… Extrasensory? No, not effective against a Steel-type. Roost? It can’t reach the ground to do that. Calm Mind? I don’t see how that would work… Aeroblast? What good would that… wait, no, that’s it!” he thought. “Lugia, use Aeroblast!”
The Lugia hesitated for a moment, trying to guess what its trainer had in mind. In a sudden moment of clarity however, the Diving Pokémon understood its trainer’s cunning plan and let loose the blast. It shot out a vortex of air from its gaping mouth, doing little damage to the Heatran but blasting a hole in the Magma Storm through which it could escape. The Lugia bolted out from its prison and flew up high, spreading its wings and roaring with defiance; the very sun itself was partially eclipsed by its imposing figure. The crowd screamed again at the brilliance and ingenuity the trainer had shown. It was a stunning comeback and proved the fight was not lost yet. The suave, daring and most handsome trainer of the Lugia grinned and prepared to–
“Wait, what?! You can’t do that, you cheater!”
* * *
“…yeah huh I can.” the boy said calmly after a pause, awakening from his vivid tirade.
“No you can’t, dude, that’s bull crap! You can’t just ‘break’ Magma Storm with a stupid Aeroblast! You just don’t want to admit I out-strategied you again!” shouted his friend.
The first boy lowered his stance. He smiled condescendingly and stared at his friend from over the rims of his glasses. “Out-strategied my ass. If we’re going to play pretend and imagine our League Championship battle, why can’t I imagine it spectacularly and make great plays?” he quipped back.
“God, Cheren, that’s your answer to everything, isn’t it? ‘Aeroblast it away, Lugia!’” the second boy said in a mocking, flustered tone. “I cover the field in Smokescreen; you clear it with Aeroblast. I poison you with Toxic; you Aeroblast it out of your system. I bury you under a damn Rock Slide; you Aeroblast the rocks away. You just never want to admit you’ve lost, and you can’t come up with any other strategies!” he continued. Cheren laughed at his friend’s vigor and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“David, why can’t you just accept that Aeroblast is sweet and you can’t beat my Lugia? I’m just a more superior trainer than you, and you need to just accept that.” Cheren replied; from the corner of the room, someone else spoke up.
“Guys, come on! Don’t get into another one of your little pissing matches; I was really into that one!” shouted a young girl beside them, seated on the bed. “You both were so vivid, I was gripping the edge of my seat!” she continued
“Blame David, Bianca, because apparently some people haven’t learned to respect Aeroblast’s authority.” Cheren sneered, folding his arms and turning his back on David. He smiled wryly though and gazed condescendingly at the boy from the side of his vision.
“Man, forget this, Cheren, you don’t want to play fair. You want to know how it ends, Bianca? Lugia’s Aeroblast fails, it stays trapped in the Magma Storm, Heatran and I go out for smoothies while it takes residual damage, and then we come back later and sit on it to KO it. Cheren loses, I win, the end.” David spat in disgust.
The three friends were seated around Cheren’s small bedroom, loudly and excitedly discussing the battle. This was a game they played fairly often; imagining a great battle between one of them and some mythic foe, and playing it out in their minds. Sometimes it was each other, sometimes it was a legendary, sometimes it was just a random trainer they had come across on their journeys, but the battles were always spectacular and epic, certain to please and entertain them for hours at a time. Their names were David, Cheren and Bianca, and they lived in the small-town city of Nuvema Town, situated in the southeast of the Unova region. They were each thirteen years of age, and they had been best friends all their life.
Cheren was an odd boy; he was calm and calculating on the outside, but a regular, rambunctious, somewhat immature kid on the inside. He was medium height with a wiry form and jet black hair. He liked to act like he was cool and in charge, but as the previous exchanged had illustrated, he had his stubborn and immature streaks. He was perhaps not terribly well adjusted; at thirteen years old, he lived the phrase “act your age.”
Bianca was a sweet, innocent young girl; she had a somewhat plump figure, short blonde hair, big blue eyes and a giant toothy smile. When she lit up and smiled, which was a fairly frequent occurrence, her friends would often joke that she looked like a Pachirisu, which just made her laugh even more. She was very beautiful for her age and she was actually already starting to fill out in many respects; her friends were oblivious to these facts however and thought of her no differently than they thought of themselves. In their naivety and youthful understanding of the world, Bianca to them was just “one of the guys.” She thought of herself no differently than she did of them either, but she was perhaps more aware of the differences than they were, given that she was the outsider in that regard.
David was the last member of the group and its de facto leader. Despite how the previous exchange might have made him seem, most of the time he was by far the most mature; he was very adult-like for his age, his mind and his spirit far exceeding his body in years. He was stoic and tall with dark brown hair sitting upon his head in a loose mop. He struck an imposing figure, built like an Ursaring or a Beartic. At that age, he towered over his friends, which often helped make his statements and requests that much more persuasive. Despite this, Cheren knew just how to push his buttons, and knew just when to act defiant to screw with his older friend; for instance, calling out Aeroblast when things weren’t going his way.
“Aww, that’s no fun, David. I wanted a REAL ending!” Bianca pouted. “That battle was so spectacular and vivid; I want to see it in real life. Do you think that’ll ever happen?” she continued.
“Do I think I’ll ever be battling Cheren’s Lugia, a legendary Pokémon from Johto, with a Heatran, another legendary Pokémon from Sinnoh, in the Unova Region Pokémon League Championships in front of 50,000 people?” David asked sarcastically, settling back down against the side of the bed. “No, probably not.” he continued with a laugh. “But will we be real trainers some day and have real Pokémon battles? Yeah, totally. Those battles will probably be even more spectacular than these pretend ones even, because goddamn Cheren… won’t be able to cheat or use Aeroblast.” he appended, looking over at Cheren from across the room as he singled him out. Cheren grinned again and turned up his nose, folding his arms and closing his eyes smugly.
“Aeroblast is so legit, I’ll go out to Johto someday and catch a Lugia, just so I can use that move.” Cheren quipped back, now just trying to provoke his friend; David sighed
“Okay, that tears it.” David groaned. He stood up quickly, grabbed the pillow that was behind his back, and proceeded to beat Cheren with it unmercifully in one fluid motion.
“Ack! Bianca! Help me!” Cheren squealed.
“Getting a girl to save you from a pillow?” Bianca cooed mockingly. “Ooooh Cheren, I’m positively swooning!”
The three of them all laughed. That night, as sleep washed over them, they each dreamt of their future adventures as real Pokémon Trainers. It would be an epic journey, and it would bring them at times closer, and at other times farther, than they had ever dreamed possible. It would be one filled with grand battles, budding and eventually maturing love, and fulfillment of a dark and ancient prophecy that would see the reawakening of the two most destructive forces the region, if not the world, had ever seen. It was still five years off though and they were yet just children; sleep came to them, and so did they dream…