This is the original version of Chapter 6, Part 2. This chapter, to paraphrase writer/director Jon Graham when speaking of his own early works, "reeks of such excessive fail that it has been omitted from this list." This form of this chapter does not meet the same level of quality as the later chapters from this story, and is left only for posterity's sake. An updated version has been published and you are strongly encouraged to read that version instead. A link is provided below.
One last thing I forgot to mention in Part 1. I wrote all three Gym Battles for Striaton because they were each just 1-on-1s, and were all technically between different opponents. Trying to write the same battle but with a different challenger three times for all seven other Gym Leaders would get very boring to read very quickly. As a general rule, we'll only be seeing David's Gym battles, and then we'll find out later if/when Bianca and Cheren win too. There will be some exceptions (Nimbasa for example), but consider that the general rule. You wouldn't want to read about David vs Lenora, and then read the same battle with Bianca's Pokemon and then again with Cheren's if Lenora's Pokemon aren't changing too. It's for the best.
Chronicles of Unova
Chapter 6: The Dragon's Skull
Part 2 of 2
“Hello, kids. Here for your Gym battle I take it?” Hawes asked them as they entered.
“You bet, Hawes! Is Lenora ready for us?” Bianca said excitedly.
“She should be. She’ll be in her private study in the back. Thank you ever so much for helping us get the Dragonite skull back yesterday by the way. Burgh explained what happened; that Plasma lot are, um… quite odd, to say the least.” he replied.
The three of them began to walk towards the back of the room, but Hawes stopped them. “Wait, wait! You can’t all go back at once. I’m sorry, I left out one detail. Lenora doesn’t like to be disturbed when she’s doing research work, so she set up a puzzle to get back to the Gym portion of the building. Only one of you may go at a time, and you may not tell the others how to solve the puzzle.” he said.
They looked at each other, surprised by this bit of news and trying to decide who would go first.
“Well, in Striaton, it was Cheren, then me, then David…” said Bianca, “…so here I guess it should be David, then me, then Cheren. Does that sound okay to you boys?” she continued.
“Fine with me.” David said, and Cheren mimicked the sentiment. David waved to his friends and began to walk to the back room. He left the museum’s large exhibition hall and walked into a darkened room with many bookshelves lining the walls. Ornate, crimson colored curtains hung from the ceilings and lined every wall. Many candles sat atop the bookshelves, giving the room an eerie, mystical feel to it. A young girl sat at a desk in the middle of the room, her feet resting upon it, reading to herself in the low light.
David cleared his throat and she looked up, surprised to see another person in her lair. She closed the book and sat up straight in the chair, taking off her glasses and looking at him. She put her hands together on the table and began to speak.
“Oh! Hello! I didn’t hear you come in. Take a seat, will you?” she said, pointing to a modest wooden chair opposite her. David sat down and she continued. “You are here to challenge Lenora, yes?” she said. David replied that he was and she smiled. “Good, good, always nice to get challengers. Mrs. Lenora is a very busy woman, and does not like to be disturbed when she is working, as I’m sure Hawes explained to you. She has instructed me to ask any challengers who come to the Gym a riddle, and only if they answer correctly may they proceed. You may have paper and a pencil if you wish, and can utilize any of the books in this room at your disposal. Are you ready?” she asked. David said that he was and she spoke.
“There is a muscle in your body that is perhaps the most important of any that you have. It is not made of flesh, and requires no proteins. It requires minimal effort to keep it in shape, but if you get lax and skip even a single day, it will wither away and die. We here at the museum cherish this muscle above all else, and strive to help people exercise it. What is the muscle?” she asked.
David sat staring at her, watching the smug look of satisfaction spread across her face. He had no idea what the answer to the riddle was, and knew the longer he took to answer, the worse he would end up looking. She stared back at him and pursed her lips, putting her feet on the table again and opening her book. She said calmly without looking up “Take all the time you need…”
David stood up and paced. He put his hand to his chin and thought, trying to figure out what she could be referring to. “A muscle that isn’t made of flesh? What does that even mean? If it isn’t made of flesh, how is it a muscle? And if you don’t exercise it every day it dies?! What the hell is she talking about?” he thought, worriedly. He decided to take her advice and look in one of the books. He took one off the shelf at random and opened it. He began to read quietly to himself, letting the words wash over him. It was a book on trains; their inner workings, how the coal was processed, their history and uses… it was all very boring to him and he knew he was just wasting time. He put the book back and continued pacing, trying to sort out the question with all his might.
Suddenly, just as hope was beginning to escape him, he heard Paula’s voice speak up in his head.
“Master, why do you not answer that girl?” she said.
“Because I don’t know what the answer is, Paula.” he replied.
“You don’t?!” she asked, shocked. “Are you trying to be funny, master? You are not very good at it like I am.”
David stopped and an angry expression spread across his face. He looked down at his waist and glared at her ball venomously.
“Master, do you really not know the answer to her riddle? What is a muscle which you use on a daily basis that is not made of flesh?” she repeated again.
“No, Paula, I don’t know. If you aren’t going to help, then just fu-” but she cut him off.
“Master, what am I using to communicate to you right now?!” she asked, sarcastically.
David looked up, a blank stare spread across his face. He smashed his outstretch palm across his face and hung his arms dejectedly.
“Paula… am I an idiot?” he asked.
“Only on Tuesdays, master. Only on Tuesdays.” she replied with a chuckle.
David walked back over to the table and sat down. The young woman set down her book and looked at him. “Do you have an answer, challenger?” she asked.
David nodded and looked her in the eye. “A muscle that is not made of flesh but is the most important in your body. The mind.” he said.
The bookshelves along the back wall began to slide away from each other as he said this, revealing a secret passageway behind the wall. They creaked as they slid, causing some of the books to fall from their shelves. David looked behind the girl and stared down the inky black passageway as candles sprung to life along the corridor, lighting the path. The girl nodded her head and went back to reading. David stood up and began down the passage, ready for his battle.
* * *
“Howdy, sugah. You solved my riddle I s’pose?” Lenora shouted as he entered the room. It was made entirely of stone, and was illuminated only by candlelight. It felt damp, almost like a dungeon. At the opposite side, Lenora stood behind her desk, hands on her hips and ready to battle.
“Took me a minute, but yeah, I got it.” David shouted back.
“Ol’e Burgh told me ‘bout what happened yesterday. Says you’re quite the trainer.” she said across the room. “I appreciate what’cha done for me and all, but I’d like to see the trainer what took down ten Plasma grunts with my ol’e Burghy. Show me.” she said determinedly.
She walked slowly down the steps to the arena and pulled out a Pokéball. She threw it into the field and a Herdier leapt out, baring its fangs and growling. David walked out to meet her and threw Paula’s Pokéball to meet the challenge. She sprung from the ball and pirouetted gracefully on the stone floor.
“Since you were such a sarcastic little brat, you get to go first.” David thought patronizingly.
“It was necessarily going to be either Munchlax or me, master. At a fifty-fifty chance, that’s not much of a threat.” she said and giggled.
“Herdier, use that ol’e Bite attack, baby!” Lenora shouted. Herdier sprang to life and caught Paula off guard, snapping at her neck and just barely missing. Paula Teleported away just in time to avoid its fangs, reappearing behind it; Herdier turned to face its adversary, growling menacingly.
“Paula, use Confusion!” David shouted. She focused her mind and launched the blast. Herdier took it head on and flew across the room, slamming into the wall and yelping. It fell to the ground, but stood up and shook off the disorientation, determined not to lose. Paula grinned, feeling confident about her ability to win. It was short lived however, as the Herdier sprang to attack.
“Herdier, use Take Down!” Lenora shouted. It leapt toward Paula, jumped on her and pinning her to the ground. Paula shrieked as it roared at her and bared its fangs, just inches away from her face. It stood over her, menacingly glaring and snarling, its Leer attack lowering her Defense stat. Just as it went to snap at her neck again, David shouted for her to use Magical Leaf. She shut her eyes tightly and focused. The storm of leaves flew down the corridor, smashing into Herdier from behind. It sent the pooch flying, freeing her from its grasp. She leapt up, breathing heavily and clearly quite shaken. The wave of leaves flung Herdier into the wall and it fell to the ground in a slump, unable to continue.
“That’s pretty good, sugah. That little lady of yours is quite the fighter. You’re up, 1-0.” Lenora shouted.
“Are you alright, Paula? That got pretty hairy.” David asked, concerned.
“We Kirlia are a dainty species!” she said angrily in a shrill voice. “Being manhandled so violently… I am still unharmed, just a little shaken is all, master.” she continued with contempt for her opponent dripping from her voice. She had a point though, David thought; technically, Lenora had yet to land a hit. Maybe he wouldn’t even need to use Munchlax…
Lenora released her last Pokémon, sending out a tall, proud Watchog. It stood high on its legs, sizing up the room and sniffing frantically. Paula Teleported to the middle of the field, ready to oppose it.
“Watchog, use Retaliate!” Lenora shouted. The Pokémon leapt toward Paula, launching a mighty blow. With her defenses lowered from the Leer attack, she never stood a chance. She was launched from her feet, flying through the air and knocking into David. He caught her, but the pair was knocked to the ground. Paula lay in his arms, dazed and confused. She could not continue the fight.
“Yeah-hah!” Lenora shouted. “That’s what I’m talkin’ about, baby! Retaliate’s power doubles the turn after a teammate faints, sugah; it’s all tied up now!”
“Are you okay, Paula?” David asked.
“I am very tired, master. My body aches and my consciousness is fading quickly. I will be fine this evening, but I can’t continue the fight. I’m… sorry...” she said, and dozed off. He squeezed her tighter, shutting his eyes, then returned her to her Pokéball. He stood up and walked back to his spot, ready to finish the battle.
“I have no choice; I’m going to have to use Munchlax. Good thing I caught him when I did…” David thought. He drew its Pokéball and threw it into the field. The little green Pokémon leapt out and shouted excitedly “Munch Munchlax!”
“Let’s finish this safely, sugah. Use Hypnosis, Watchog!” Lenora shouted. Her Pokémon’s eyes began to swirl and it waved its paws in front of it, staring menacingly at Munchlax. It moved rhythmically, lulling the Pokémon to sleep.
“Don’t look at it, Munchlax!” David shouted, but it was too late. Munchlax had fallen over on its back and was sound asleep, a content smile spread across its face.
“That’s good, sugah. Now hit it with your Low Kick!” Lenora shouted. Watchog sprang into action, rushing toward the little Pokémon and beating it unmercifully. Munchlax did not stir from its slumber, taking the hits like a champ but unable to defend itself.
“Munchlax, you’ve got to wake up! Wake up!” David shouted in desperation, but it was to no avail. “Wake up, you fat bastard!”
Munchlax had sustained quite a bit of damage, but was still fast asleep. Lenora prepared to use her final move. “Watchog, use your Tackle attack!” Watchog backed away from the sleeping form of Munchlax and backed up to its trainer. It braced itself against the wall and then began to charge towards Munchlax, ready to pounce.
“Munchlax! NO!” David shouted, desperately trying to wake his sleeping Pokémon. Watchog reached its target, took a flying leap, and prepared to slam down on its opponent, finishing it off. In a flash, Munchlax opened its eyes and grinned a Cheshire smile. It shouted an authoritative “Munch!” and opened its mouth wide. Watchog realized what it was doing and flailed in terror, trying to evade it, but it was useless; it had gained too much momentum in an attempt to make the blow more powerful, and couldn’t stop. Munchlax swallowed the enemy Pokémon whole and took a mighty bite down. The Watchog yelped in pain, taking the mighty Crunch attack full force. Munchlax continued to bite down, standing up and swinging it around. Munchlax spat it out, shooting it against the far wall. It slid to the ground, covered in drool and with a tired and disgusted look on its face.
“OH MY GOD, GO MUNCHLAX!!!” David shouted excitedly. “That was AWESOME!” he screamed. Munchlax turned to look at its trainer and winked, smiling a big grin and knowing it was about to win. David shouted for it to use Body Slam, and the little Pokémon began to charge. It scuttled as fast as its little legs would carry it toward the enemy Watchog, still laying in a slump on the ground, and leapt into the air. As Watchog stood itself up, a look of terror spread across its face. It tried to run, but couldn’t get away in time. Munchlax landed with a “plop!” on top of it, crushing it beneath its tremendous weight. Munchlax stood up a moment later, and inspected its impromptu cushion. Watchog was soundly defeated, giving victory to David and Munchlax.
“Yeah-hah, Munchlax, we did it!” David shouted. Munchlax ran back to its trainer and leapt into his arms. David struggled to lift the heavy tike, but managed it for a few seconds. He gently put Munchlax down beside him and the pair walked over to Lenora. She returned her Pokémon to its ball and began to slowly clap. A grin spread across her face and she congratulated the young victor, shaking his hand and patting him on the back.
“Well done, sugah, that was a great match. You’ve earned yourself this Basic Badge.” She said, walking back to her desk. She opened a drawer and took out a long, thin, purple badge. She handed it to David and smiled. David had won at the Nacrene City Gym!
* * *
David and his Pokémon were resting comfortably in the lobby of the Pokémon Center. Kirlia and Munchlax were playing keep-away with a little red ball, laughing and having fun. Whenever Munchlax would get near, Paula would Teleport away, giggling to herself as she went. Munchlax would then chase after her, grinning a big grin. David sat in one of the lounge chases, watching his Pokémon play and polishing his new badge. It gleamed in the light, reflecting his smile. Bianca came running into the lobby, holding a shiny new badge of her own above her head. Cheren strode in calmly behind her a moment later.
“David! Hey David! We did it, we both won too! We got our Basic Badges!” Bianca shouted. “Oh, Pachirisu did wonderful! Zuzu too!” she continued, spinning on her heels and plopping down into the chair beside him. She sat very low, almost on her back, and laughed. She held up her new badge and grinned a big grin. Cheren sat down next to her and put his feet up, showing David his badge too before putting it away in his bag. Cheren was much calmer about his win, but still wore a big smile.
“So how did Munchlax do? Did you have to use him?” Cheren asked, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“Munchlax kicked ass! He’s super strong. I’m really glad I decided to catch him; we would have been toast if I didn’t have him.” David replied.
“Cheren, are you ever going to catch a second Pokémon of your own?” Bianca asked. “I’ve got Pachirisu and Zubat and David’s got Paula and Munchlax; Eevee is strong and all, but shouldn’t you start looking to expand too?”
“I don’t want to just catch any old thing, Bianca. I’ll catch a Pokémon when it interests me and if it seems like it would be a benefit to my team. Until then, Eevee and I have run into no major snags.” Cheren replied. “That said, I’m looking forward to reaching the Desert Resort on Route 4 in a couple of weeks. There are a lot of rare and interesting Pokémon there.” he continued.
“That reminds me, Cheren, where is our next destination?” Bianca asked.
“Castelia City on the other side of Skyarrow Bridge. We’ll be battling that Burgh guy and his Bug types. We could actually see the city from where we were standing yesterday.” he replied.
“Hey yeah, that reminds me, what were you guys doing all that time?” David asked. “Burgh and I fought off like ten freakin’ Plasma grunts all on our own. When I walked up, you two were just standing there contemplating your navels.”
“We talked about some stuff… I dunno…” Cheren said. Bianca blushed, remembering her awkward little speech.
“So we’ll be heading out for Castelia City tomorrow then, eh?” David asked.
“I know I will be. You two Slowpokes are welcome to join me if you don’t slow me down.” Cheren said, rising to get a drink from the vending machine.
David looked back down at his happy Pokémon. Munchlax had just caught up to Paula and had taken the ball. He opened his mouth wide and swallowed it, eating the entire rubber orb in one gulp. Paula put a hand to her mouth in shock; Munchlax let out a little burp and laid down, falling asleep instantly. Paula giggled to herself and lay down next to him, cuddling up and resting too. David smiled to himself as his thoughts drifted to Castelia City and his Gym battle with Burgh. “Two down, six to go…” he thought.
Last edited by ChaosBlizzard; 7th January 2012 at 6:01 AM.