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Thread: Proving Grounds

  1. #51
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    Let's hear more of Nobunga!
    Clever Vital Jab combo!
    But I need to see what will Derak's father say to that? NOBUNGA IS ALIVE!
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01 View Post
    Chapter 17: Celadon Gym


    The day after his training with Nando, Derak entered the greenhouse-like Celadon Gym alongside both Teresa and the bard himself. Inside was a sight that seemed rather out-of-place in a city as industrious as Celadon: a large assortment of various types of plant life, arranged in such a way that they surrounded a large battlefield.
    Hmm, interesting. I kind of think that Celadon would have more flowers than the usual city.

    “This certainly is a unique Gym,” Nando remarked. “I look forward to battling here myself.”

    “Don’t get too cozy,” Derak advised. “The Gym Leader bans people if they don’t like perfume. Seriously.”

    “Well…I suppose we all have our priorities,” Nando commented, although he did seem slightly taken aback by this revelation.
    Somehow I'd think Nando would be right at home in such a place.

    Some of the denser plants over at the opposing end of the field began to rustle, and a young woman emerged from within. Despite having passed through dense plant life without aid from any sort of tool, her yellow-and-red kimono appeared spotless, as did her neck-length dark hair.
    Ooh, lovely description of Erika.

    “Oh, hello again, Derak,” said the young woman. “Have you been doing training with your friends there?”

    “Pretty much,” Derak shrugged, remembering some of the last-minute tips Nando had given him. “It was…Erika, right? Can we just get on with this?”

    “Sure,” Erika nodded. “Let’s get started.”

    All the present humans took their respective places. Derak stood at one end of the battlefield, Erika at the other. Nando and Teresa found a bench on the sidelines, and an apron-wearing girl on the side edge of the arena held up two flags to indicate her status as the referee.

    “This will be a three-on-three Pokemon battle!” the referee declared. “Each trainer will use three Pokemon, and the battle will be over when all three—”

    “Okay, can we skip this intro stuff?” Derak interrupted. “I mean, we’ve already heard it for the last battle, and I don’t think Gym rules get changed every five minutes, so what’s the point of listening to it again?”
    Now, see, this might be one reason why I'm not totally comfortable with Gym matches taking place offscreen. Sure, Derak knows all of this already, but the reader does not.

    “Bellossom,” the Dex reported, “the Flower Pokemon. Type is Grass. Evolved form of Gloom. When the heavy rain season ends, it is drawn out by warm sunlight to dance in the open. A Gloom will only evolve into a Bellossom if it is exposed to a Sun Stone.”

    “Somehow, I can already guess what this thing’s going to hit me with,” Derak sighed, remembering his battle with Nando’s Lilligant the previous day. “Echo, let’s go!”

    “Zubat versus Bellossom!” the referee declared once Echo appeared on the field. “Begin the--!”

    “All right, now you’re just treating us all like idiots,” Derak interrupted again. “We DO have working eyes, you know.”
    Nice lampshading.

    On a serious note, I'm not sure how much faith I have in Derak's chances. He did train with Nando, but that doesn't change the fact that he's still using a Zubat.

    “He’s…er…a bit, uh…mean…isn’t he?” Teresa said slowly.

    “Perhaps,” Nando chuckled, “but that is simply who he is. There are many sorts of people in our world, just as there are many sorts of Pokemon.”

    “Oh…I see,” Teresa nodded slightly, turning her gaze back to the battle. Erika’s Bellossom gracefully danced aside to evade a sequence of Sludge Bombs from Derak’s Zubat, much to the former’s pleasure.
    I like how these two interact. Hopefully we see more of them.

    “Let’s start our counter-attack!” Erika cried. “Use Sunny Day!”

    Of course, Derak thought bitterly.

    Just as he had predicted, Bellossom’s tiny arms did indeed charge with orange energy, which coursed through the strange stone that it held. The Grass-type lifted the stone into the air, allowing its Sunny Day to pass through and burst into the sky, much like the Sunny Day that Nando’s Lilligant had used.
    I agree with Derak here, it was clear that Sunny Day would be critical again.

    “Okay, Echo, go in for Zen Headbutt!” Derak cried.

    Echo’s pointy ears shone with a blue light as they began to emit a series of blue energy waves, somehow using the waves to form a protective wall in front of its head. The Zubat then charged directly towards Bellossom, aiming to strike it literally head-first, only for the Grass-type to suddenly vanish in a blur of green.

    “Ugh, there’s Chlorophyll again,” Derak sighed bitterly. “Echo, go up in the air and send out a few more Sludge Bombs!”

    “Oh, no, you don’t!” Erika yelled. “Bellossom, stop it with Teeter Dance!”
    Erika strikes me here as a lot more excitable than she usually is depicted as.

    The Flower Pokemon reappeared in another blur of movement, this time standing in the center of the battlefield. Echo took to the skies, attempting to find an angle from which a Sludge Bomb would deal maximum damage. Before the Poison-type could fire, however, Bellossom began to rhythmically sashay from side to side in a manner truly befitting of a hula girl. Although it lacked any visible means of actually seeing Bellossom perform this dance, some mysterious quality to the attack completely fouled Echo’s innate sonar, causing it to fall to the ground in a befuddled heap.

    “Echo!” Derak cried as his Zubat lied on the ground, attempting to dance along with Bellossom using only its wings. “Uh…what are you doing?”

    “Derak, be careful,” Nando advised. “Teeter Dance can inflict confusion upon opposing Pokemon, which appears to have happened to your Zubat.”

    “How is that even possible? Echo doesn’t have any eyes!” Derak complained. “Ugh, nothing we can do about that…Echo, return.”
    I notice that the animation for Teeter Dance in the games shows musical notes, so I suspect there might be a musical element to its effect as well. In that case, Echo would only need ears to be affected.

    “Switching out already?” Erika asked as Derak recalled his Zubat. “You’re not actually giving up, are you?”
    I'm not sure how I feel about this depiction of Erika. She's really hot-blooded, a lot moreso than usual.

    “I didn’t give up after a giant vine monster destroyed my team,” Derak said. “Pretty sure a dancing plant-girl isn’t that threatening. Okay, since Sunny Day is supposed to juice up Fire-types, too…Wildfire, let’s go!”

    Upon materialization, Derak’s Chimchar eyed the Bellossom viciously. It knew that it was chosen to fight in this battle again for some reason. It knew that it absolutely had to redeem itself for its earlier failure, or else the worst could happen.
    The first line was funny, but the second made me kind of concerned. I guess Wildfire is still having some issues?

    “All right, Bellossom, use Sludge Bomb!” Erika cried.

    “Dodge and use Ember!” Derak cried.

    Bellossom mimicked Echo by spitting out a wad of slime, which Wildfire agilely leapt over. The Chimchar landed with a quick somersault, releasing a storm of small fireballs that burned more intensely once exposed to Bellossom’s Sunny Day. Consequently, Bellossom was knocked onto its back by the Ember’s increased power, whereas before it would have only cringed.

    “Bellossom, no!” Erika cried. “This is a bit of a gamble, but we’ll have to try and hit that Chimchar as hard as we can. Use Solarbeam, quick!”

    “Wildfire, block it with Protect!” Derak cried.

    Bellossom’s petals began to glow brightly as energy from the sunlight began to flood into them. Again repeating the patterns demonstrated by Nando’s Lilligant, the Flower Pokemon unleashed an enormous beam of light into the air. Just as the beam curved down, however, Wildfire put its Protect in place, allowing it to harmlessly disperse the Solarbeam.
    Good thinking to deal with the faster-firing Solarbeams.

    “Use Solarbeam one more time!” Erika cried.
    But Erika's got a way right around that.

    “Use Pro…wait, we can’t use Protect, can we?” Derak muttered. As he struggled to come up with a new command, however, Bellossom’s Solarbeam was already in the air. “Aw, crud! Wildfire, just…I don’t know, do something! Something that works!”

    The beam bore down on Wildfire, but the Chimchar barely noticed. Its steely gaze was transfixed on Bellossom, knowing that its trainer caused Wildfire’s own trainer to lose. And it was all Wildfire’s fault. It had to redeem itself…it had to!

    The Solarbeam found its mark, the fire monkey completely obscured by the blinding light. Derak and Teresa shielded their eyes, but all Nando had to do was simply lower his hat. Only Erika saw a wheel of fire burst from the light and collide with Bellossom, hitting the Grass-type with such force that it was unconscious by her feet in moments.

    “…what? What happened?” Derak blinked, finding the flaming wheel still burning but spinning in place, its target having already been recalled. The flames soon dissipated, revealing Wildfire within. “Wildfire…? You’re okay!”

    “I think it’s more than okay,” Erika corrected. “Your Chimchar has just learned how to use Flame Wheel.”
    I liked that. It didn't feel forced and it gave us a glimpse into Wildfire's mindset.

    “That’s what it’s called?” Derak remarked. “Well, it fits, I suppose.”

    “Don’t celebrate too soon,” Erika warned, another Pokeball in hand. “Now it’s time for my second Pokemon!”

    Her next choice was a rather odd-looking creature, resembling a deflated yellow balloon with a pair of large leafs at its base and a third leaf covering its circular pink mouth. Two unpleasant-looking eyes gazed out from underneath a pair of sharp fangs, and a long brown vine hung behind the Pokemon. The fact that its cry sounded like a human woman’s scream only added to its unusual nature.

    “Victreebel,” Derak’s Pokedex reported, “the Flycatcher Pokemon. Type is Grass and Poison. Evolved form of Weepinbell. It pools in its mouth a fluid with a honey-like scent, which is really an acid that can dissolve anything.”

    “…wonderful,” Derak sighed. “Note to self: keep away from anything that smells like honey.”
    Oh neat, Victreebel. There's something that you don't see often.

    Great line from Derak, too.

    “Normally, yes,” Erika replied. “But not this time. Bellossom was holding a Heat Rock, which lengthens the amount of time Sunny Day is in effect.”
    I appreciate that you used this mechanic, but I really think it would have helped to actually show Bellossom holding an item at some point instead of simply telling us it was.

    “Brilliant,” Derak sighed. “Guess we’ll have to roll with it. Echo, use Supersonic!”

    Echo began to screech incessantly, releasing a series of sound waves that bombarded Victreebel’s hearing. The balloon-like plant began to wobble dizzily, its trainer grimacing as she realized that Echo had returned the favor from Bellossom’s earlier Teeter Dance.

    “Oh, no!” Erika gasped. “Victreebel, try and pull through with Vine Whip!”

    The Flycatcher Pokemon’s long brown vine lashed out angrily but, due to the Grass-type’s confused state, only struck the ground a few feet away from Echo. The vine soon came back to its owner with some force, slapping the space between Victreebel’s eyes. Noticing an opportunity, Echo looked over to Derak and let out a small screech as it used one of its needle-like legs to gesture to its opponent.

    “You want to attack, huh?” Derak asked, to which Echo nodded. “I guess we’ve got the upper hand, so go ahead and use Zen Headbutt!”

    Echo complied by charging once again, this time slamming its glowing head into Victreebel’s stomach. The Grass-type’s eyes bulged as the force of the impact became apparent, sending the Flycatcher Pokemon tumbling across the dirt with a large bruise on its front. Victreebel shoved its vine against the ground, struggling to push itself up. Noticing this, Echo prepared a Sludge Bomb that would finish off its balloon-shaped foe.

    “Hold on a second, Echo!” Derak called. “Let’s give Victreebel a chance to get up first.”
    That was rather unexpected, and quite pleasant too. Good to see another angle of him come out.

    Echo made an inquisitive screech, but nonetheless obeyed. As Victreebel slowly rose, Nando smiled widely.

    “Do you see, Teresa?” he said. “Even if some people may seem unpleasant, beneath that may be something more.”

    “I…I see,” Teresa nodded.

    “I must say, you are certainly an excellent learner,” Nando said with a reassuring smile. “It honors me to be the guide for your journey. Now, let us observe the rest of Derak’s battle. It is sure to be most excellent.”

    Nando’s vision returned to the battlefield, but Teresa’s mind was on other subjects. She knew someone who was utterly vicious in his temperament, and Derak’s rudeness occasionally reminded her of troubling circumstances she faced while in proximity to that person. But now, knowing that Derak was not so poor of character…what did that say about the bully she once knew?
    More great interaction, but Teresa's comments really are intriguing to me. I wonder what's up with them.

    “I have to give you credit. You’re really sporting,” Erika remarked.

    “Nah,” Derak shrugged. “I just don’t like beating my opponents senseless.”

    “Well…whatever the case, let’s continue!” Erika cried. “Victreebel, use Vine Whip!”

    Victreebel prepared to lash its vine forward once more, but its eyes suddenly squeezed shut as feminine whimpers came from its circular mouth. Echo allowed itself a small smile, realizing that the bruise its Zen Headbutt had inflicted was causing Victreebel to flinch, rendering the Grass-type unable to attack. The Zubat looked back at its trainer, gesturing to the flinching Victreebel.

    “Well, now that it’s up, I guess we can start our attack again,” Derak shrugged. “Finish this with Sludge Bomb!”

    Echo finally fired its Sludge Bomb, and—despite its lack of eyes—was able to aim for the bruise on Victreebel’s stomach. The effectiveness of the blow was greatly increased by this decision, causing the Flycatcher Pokemon to fall in defeat.
    Well, that worked out well. Good thinking and good luck on his part.

    “Victreebel, return,” Erika said. “You did very well…and so have you, Derak. You have yet to lose a single Pokemon in this rematch, yet I’ve lost two out of three.”

    “I’ve been playing it safe for now,” Derak said grimly. “I know what’s coming next.”

    “I’m sure you do,” Erika smirked. “Tangrowth, come on out!”

    There it was.

    The huge, shaggy beast that had destroyed Derak in his previous encounter with it. Covered head-to-toe in dark blue vines, the only distinguishable features of this monstrosity were two cartoonish eyes near the top of its body. Two slender, red-tipped blue arms emerged from the beast’s sides, stretching down to its stubby black legs.

    “Tang-gang!” Tangrowth chattered, whipping the ground with one arm.

    Derak snarled at the memory of this horrendous beast. It had evolved from a Tanglea—a smaller ball of blue vines—and obliterated his entire team. Now, it was time to settle the score.
    I should mention that I feel pretty fired up right here for this fight.

    “Okay…here we go,” Derak growled. “Ready to keep going, Echo?”

    The Zubat nodded eagerly. It, too, desired a chance for revenge.
    Nice touch keeping a piece of Echo's personality intact.

    “All right, let’s start off with Double Team!” Derak cried.

    “Tangrowth, use Power Whip!” Erika cried.

    Echo produced a plethora of illusory Zubats, hiding itself among them. Tangrowth, howver, appeared unconcerned as one of its arms began to glow green. The shaggy beast swung the glowing arm in a wide arc, cutting through all the Echo copies and knocking the real one to the ground.

    “Now, follow up with Ancientpower!” Erika cried.

    “Not this time!” Derak cried. “Echo, quick, fly up and use Sludge Bomb!”

    Echo pushed itself off of the ground and sailed into the air, releasing a Sludge Bomb that barreled directly towards Tangrowth. The Sludge Bomb’s target, however, became surrounded with an aura of silvery energy that swirled into a ball that Tangrowth held between the tips of its arms. It flung the ball towards the Sludge Bomb, and the two attacks collided in an explosion of smoke and slime.

    “Tangrowth, Brick Break!”

    Derak had no idea where Tangrowth was, seeing as the smoke generated by the explosion had clouded the entire battlefield. Echo was screeching desperately, trying to use its echolocation to find its monstrous foe. Unfortunately, one large vine-like arm suddenly slammed down on Echo’s back, sending the Poison-type into the dirt. The smoke soon cleared, revealing that Tangrowth had performed something of a karate chop on Echo’s body.

    “Aw, great,” Derak grimaced. “Echo, return…well, this is going to go badly.”
    Hmm. I kind of think Echo should have had a little more before going down, but really, it's your call. Tangrowth got some good action in here.

    “Derak, please, do not give up just yet,” Nando called. “Two Pokemon remain on your side. Is there a way that you can turn this around?”

    “Hmm…well, the Sunny Day looks like it’s still going,” Derak said, observing that Bellossom’s attack still had yet to fade away. “Might as well try and make it count while it can. Wildfire, let’s go!”

    Upon seeing Erika’s Tangrowth, Wildfire grimaced as well. This monster had utterly decimated the fire monkey before. Perhaps, now that it knew Flame Wheel, it could turn things around?
    I hope so. Wildfire sure could use the encouragement.

    “It’s our turn, now!” Erika cried. “Tangrowth, use Poison Jab!”

    “I know how that works, so…Wildfire, use Flame Wheel along Tangrowth’s arm!” Derak cried.

    The tips of Tangrowth’s arm began to glow purple, and with a sudden burst of speed that was likely provided by yet another instance of Chlorophyll, Tangrowth’s arm shot forward. Wildfire, however, managed to time its jump in such a way that the Poison Jab would thrust into the ground, allowing the Chimchar to execute its newly-learned Flame Wheel. As Derak had instructed, Wildfire rode its Flame Wheel along Tangrowth’s arm, quickly slamming into Tangrowth’s main body and knocking it back slightly.

    “Now, follow up with Ember!” Derak cried.

    Wildfire obeyed, but Tangrowth merely used its other arm to block the ensuing storm of tiny fireballs. Tangrowth then brought its arm downward in another Brick Break attempt, only for Wildfire to shield itself with a Protect. Rather than retract its arm, however, Tangrowth instead dug its extended arm into the ground behind Wildfire’s Protect.

    “Now, Tangrowth!” Erika cried. “Use Body Slam!”

    “Oh, crud!” Derak sputtered. “Wildfire, get out of the way!”

    Using its anchored arm as leverage, Tangrowth pulled itself towards Wildfire with alarming speed. The sight of a massive vine-covered beast hurdling towards it caused the Chimchar to panic, its feet frozen to the spot. Tangrowth collided full-force with Wildfire’s body, pressing the small Fire-type into the ground.
    Now that was some great action. Very fluid and exciting.

    The Machop appeared with its arms crossed, its eyes narrowing at the sight of Tangrowth. It knew what it had to do, and regardless of how difficult it would be, that task would be compmlete.
    Minor mistake: "complete" is misspelled.

    “Tangrowth, use Poison Jab!” Erika cried.

    “Again?” Derak blinked. “Wait, I’ve got an idea! Brute, grab the arm!”

    Brute nodded with a smirk, realizing where Derak’s plan was going. Now that the sunlight had finally faded, Tangrowth was moving with reduced speed. Despite this, the monster’s arm still lurched forward quite quickly, aiming straight for Brute’s chest. The Superpower Pokemon, however, simply side-stepped the attack and grabbed hold of Tangrowth’s arm.

    “What?!” Erika gasped. Nando merely smiled.

    “Okay, let’s take that freakish ball of death for a ride!” Derak cried. “Use Vital Throw!”

    Brute dug its heel into the ground and pulled on the arm, yanking Tangrowth towards it. Although the latter Pokemon was almost three times the Machop’s size, it was nonetheless thrown into the air by Brute’s immense strength.

    “Oh, no!” Erika cried. “Tangrowth, quick, try and counter with Body Slam!”

    “Now we’ve got it,” Derak smirked. “Brute, use Poison Jab!”

    Tangrowth plummeted down towards Brute, who dropped the shaggy beast’s arm and allowed it to be retracted. The Machop, however, prepared its own Poison Jab, drawing back one fist. Just as Tangrowth came down upon it, Brute thrust its fist into Tangrowth’s stomach, the damage furthered by the momentum that the Grass-type had gathered from its fall.

    “Tangrowth, no!” Erika cried.

    “Marvelous,” Nando smiled. “What a brilliantly-played move.”
    I certainly have to agree, that move was impressive.

    “Tang…gaaaanng,” Tangrowth groaned as it fell off of Brute’s fist, landing just beside the Superpower Pokemon. The Machop smirked, giving its trainer the thumbs-up sign. Derak heaved a sigh of relief as he slumped into a sitting position, but nonetheless managed to return Brute’s gesture.

    “Tangrowth, return,” Erika sighed. “Well, Derak…I’m impressed. You really turned your situation around.”

    She approached Derak and handed him a colorful flower-shaped badge.

    “This is the Rainbow Badge,” Erika said. “You’ve earned it.”

    “Finally,” Derak sighed, placing his fourth badge in his badge case. “C’mon, Brute, let’s go get you and others healed.”
    Two minor complaints here. One, I feel like Tangrowth went down a little fast, and two, I think you could have described him receiving the badge in more detail.

    Back in the Pokemon Center, Garth sat lazily at a table, drinking a strange glittering water out of his canteen. The sound of metal slamming upon the table caught his attention, and the cloaked man found Derak forcefully presenting his open badge case. Nando and Teresa stood behind the boy, the former smiling as always.

    “Finally got that freaking fourth badge,” Derak sighed. “Now we can get out of here.”

    “It is about time,” Garth grunted as he stowed his canteen back inside his cloak.

    “Before you go,” Nando interjected, “let me say that it has been an immense pleasure to train with you. I am honored to be a part of your victory at the Celadon Gym.”
    Always so pleasant, Nando.

    “Excuse me, but did you say that one of you won at the Gym?” the local Nurse Joy asked.

    “Yeah, that’d be me,” Derak said. “What about it?”

    “Please, we need you to help us,” Nurse Joy begged.

    “Ugh, what do you want?” Garth groaned. “We have places to be.”

    “I’m sorry, but I don’t know where else to turn,” Nurse Joy said. “I can’t call the police because this isn’t really a crime, but…”

    “Huh?” Derak blinked. “What are you talking about?”

    “Well…there’s this old mansion in Celadon that’s been around since the city was first founded,” Nurse Joy explained. “Lately, there have been strange noises coming out of there. We need a strong trainer to investigate.”
    This is... random. I'm not really sure where this is going to go.

    “Why are you asking ME?” Derak asked. “Don’t they have TV shows about this kind of thing? Or maybe actual authorities?”

    “There may be Pokemon that need help in there!” Nurse Joy pleaded. “You have to do this, I’m begging you!”

    “Ugh,” Derak sighed. “Fine, I’ll do it, but it’s for the Pokemon’s sake. Can we get some rest, first, though? It’s been a long couple of days.”
    I can't blame him for reacting in such a way.

    “Indeed it has,” Nando nodded. “Tomorrow would be the ideal time for you to investigate this Celadon Mansion, as well as for me to challenge the Gym Leader myself. I can only hope that my efforts will be as successful as yours.”

    A distance outside the Pokemon Center was a decrepit old manor, complete with rotting wood and broken windows. Although quite large, the mansion’s size only added to its repulsive nature. Just one look could tell that no one had lived in this mansion for years.

    Despite this fact, lights flashed from within the mansion. The front door slowly creaked open, allowing an eerie sound to escape.

    “Eeeeeee…eeeeeeeeee…”

    ****
    Oh boy, here we go.

    This chapter was pretty good. The battle mainly carried it, as it contained a decent amount of action and was written well. I do think that Erika's characterization had a couple of problems, though.

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  3. #53
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    A week late... I HATE the Internet not working on my laptop! >.<

    Sit tight, I'll be done with this in a jiffy!

    You know, until now, I never knew Zubat can learn Zen Headbutt without seeing a move tutor. Must of had a Noctowl for a daddy (weirdest family tree ever. :P )

    The battle, however, was pretty well done, and I'm pleasantly surprised Derak pulled off a victory. Guess Luck is an important attribute of a trainer. And now the Celadon Mansion... wonder what could be inside... Good use of "being in the right place and time" with solid enough reasons to get Derak to go in after it. Very nicely explained and I enjoyed the lad's counterarguments failing one by one.

    Well, it's almost midnight here (good grief!) Atleast this won't need to be done tomorrow! Nice chapter!

    L@er!
    Last edited by Air Dragon; 13th October 2012 at 1:55 AM.
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  4. #54
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    Rotomknight: You will find out next chapter. That's all I can say.


    The Great Butler:
    Now, see, this might be one reason why I'm not totally comfortable with Gym matches taking place offscreen. Sure, Derak knows all of this already, but the reader does not.
    True. I probably did drop the ball there.

    Erika strikes me here as a lot more excitable than she usually is depicted as.
    Ehhh...honestly, I took a few liberties with Erika. I could tell that she definitely has a more aggressive side, as seen in the anime when she bans challengers from her Gym if they insult her perfume. I probably did focus too much on that aspect, however.

    The first line was funny, but the second made me kind of concerned. I guess Wildfire is still having some issues?
    Yep. He's going to be having those issues for a loooooonnnnnnnng time.

    I appreciate that you used this mechanic, but I really think it would have helped to actually show Bellossom holding an item at some point instead of simply telling us it was.
    I'm pretty sure I described the Heat Rock in Bellossom's hands when it first appeared, although I may be misinterpreting your meaning.

    Minor mistake: "complete" is misspelled.
    ........and I somehow completely missed that mistake. XD

    Two minor complaints here. One, I feel like Tangrowth went down a little fast, and two, I think you could have described him receiving the badge in more detail.
    You're probably right on both counts.

    This is... random. I'm not really sure where this is going to go.
    I can tell you this: remember my comment regarding how Olivia was attacked by the Bisharp and Pawniard in Angel of Reckoning? That's going to come into play soon. XD I think you'll find what happens to be...most interesting.


    Air Dragon:
    You know, until now, I never knew Zubat can learn Zen Headbutt without seeing a move tutor. Must of had a Noctowl for a daddy (weirdest family tree ever. :P )
    Move-wise, I tend to follow the anime's rules of how even move tutor/breeding moves can be used by wild Pokemon (Dawn's Buneary knowing Ice Beam, Pikachu learning Volt Tackle, etc.). But, yeah...that would be an interesting family tree. XD

    The battle, however, was pretty well done, and I'm pleasantly surprised Derak pulled off a victory. Guess Luck is an important attribute of a trainer. And now the Celadon Mansion... wonder what could be inside... Good use of "being in the right place and time" with solid enough reasons to get Derak to go in after it. Very nicely explained and I enjoyed the lad's counterarguments failing one by one.
    Glad you enjoyed it. I was a bit worried that the reasons to enter Celadon Mansion would require too much suspension of disbelief.


    Chapter 18 will be up soon. I've been adding a couple of things here and there, and I think it's going to be quite interesting to read. XD Heh heh...
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    Proving Grounds

    How far will one boy go to prove something?

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    Okay, the next chapter is here.



    Chapter 18: Celadon Mansion






    The day after Derak’s victory at the Celadon Gym, he stood outside the decaying Celadon Mansion. He still had no idea why the local Nurse Joy would trust the investigation of this building to a random trainer rather than the proper authorities, but he was nonetheless aware that a Pokemon could be injured inside. The police, he believed, would only worsen the situation.

    As he prepared to approach the front door, a light gust passed across one of the higher windows. One of the shudders dropped off, its hinges having all but disintegrated by this point. The fallen shudder landed with a loud crack in front of Derak’s feet, splitting in two.

    “Wow, can’t see why this place would be abandoned,” Derak sighed. “I’m starting to see why Garth didn’t want to tag along.”

    He stepped over the broken shudder and carefully ascended the stairs, his every step producing a loud groan from the wood beneath him. He took the knob in hand, but upon attempting to turn it found that the door was already ajar. Derak gently pushed the door open and was greeted with nothing but darkness.

    “I swear, if some guy jumps out of the bushes with a camera and tells me I’m on one of those pranking shows…ugh,” Derak muttered as he poked his head inside. “Hello? Anyone home?”

    Silence.

    “Okay…I’m going to walk inside, now,” Derak said. “If that’s not okay with you, then just let me know.”

    He took one step forward, but before he could take another, the floor suddenly gave way. Derak’s weight on the brittle floor caused him to drop into the basement, landing directly on his rear end.

    “…ouch,” Derak groaned as he got up. “Yeah, Garth was definitely the smart one this time.”

    “Eeeeeeee…eeeeeeeee,” moaned a faint, high-pitched voice.

    “Uh…hello?” Derak blinked. “Is someone there?”

    “EEEEE!” the voice cried, and a blast of chilled—yet somehow purple—air suddenly threw Derak onto his back.

    “I’ll…take that as a yes,” Derak grunted as he got up, rubbing his backside. “Okay, look, you’re clearly a Pokemon. But, here’s the thing, you didn’t really have to do that. I’m not gonna hurt you.”

    “Eeeee?” the mysterious voice moaned again, this time making a clear vocal response.

    “I’m telling you the truth, honest,” Derak said, taking a few steps forward. “Look, I’m not sending out a Pokemon or anything…actually, now that I think about it, you might not be able to really ‘see’ me since it's kinda dark in here, but…you get the point, right?”

    “Eeeeee,” the voice moaned again.

    “Okay, I’ve got an idea,” Derak said. “I can’t really see too well in here, but if you keep making that noise, I might be able to find you. Okay?”

    “Eeeee…eeeee…eeeeee,” the voice replied with an affirmative tone.

    Derak followed the voice, occasionally stopping to try and position himself in such a way that he would continue to accurately approach the voice’s owner. He eventually came upon an area in which a decent amount of light poured in from a small basement window, as well as numerous holes in the ceiling. In the center of the light was a small quadruped Pokemon with dominantly brown fur, aside from its fluffy tan-colored collar. Its long, pointed ears and brush-like tail were drooped with depression, and its dark chocolate eyes were filled with pain and sadness.

    “Hey…hey, was that you making all that noise?” Derak said as he kneeled down to the Pokemon’s level. “You’ve got some strong lungs for such a little guy.”

    “Eeee,” the Pokemon groaned, favoring an injured leg.

    “Hang on,” Derak said as he removed his Pokedex. “Let me see what you are, first. Might actually help for once.”

    “Eevee,” the Dex reported, “the Evolution Pokemon. Type is Normal. Eevee has an unstable genetic makeup that allows it to evolve into a multitude of forms. Thus far, seven evolutions of Eevee have been discovered.”

    “…once again, the Pokedex doesn’t really help that much,” Derak sighed. “Well, at least I know that you’re an Eevee.”

    “Veee?” the Eevee moaned, looking up at Derak.

    “Okay, so, how did that leg injury get there?” the boy asked.

    Eevee gestured to the window, which appeared to have been opened at one point.

    “Did you…fall in through there?” Derak asked. “Wait, you weren’t abandoned by a trainer, were you?”

    Shockingly, Eevee nodded. Derak let out a long, irritated sigh.

    “Why are people so unbelievably stupid?” he groaned. “I don’t see anything wrong with you, myself.”

    “Vee?” Eevee squeaked inquisitively.

    “Yeah, you’re just fine aside from that leg problem,” Derak said. “Hang on, I’ve got someone I’d like you to meet.”

    He opened a single Pokeball, and Brute appeared in a flash of light. Eevee cringed, but once Brute simply sat down in a non-threatening posture, the Normal-type relaxed.

    “Okay, so here’s the deal,” Derak said. “This is Brute. I found him outside Pewter City…where his last trainer abandoned him.”

    “Eeev?” Eevee looked at Brute.

    “Chop,” the Superpower Pokemon nodded sadly.

    “He wasn’t feeling so emotionally great, either,” Derak said. “He kinda started taking it out on the local wild Pokemon…which is kinda how he got his name, actually. But, listen, Brute’s gotten a whole new chance at life since I took him in. You can have the same thing, if you want.”

    Before Eevee could respond, a Pokeball sailed in from out of nowhere and rammed into the Evolution Pokemon’s head, absorbing the small furry creature inside. The ball shook three times and clicked, signaling a successful capture.

    “What?!” Derak sputtered. “Are you kidding?!”

    “Ah, I’m afraid I must apologize,” said a familiar voice that made Derak’s skin crawl in anger. Sure enough, Elliot Trey stepped into the light and picked up the Pokeball that now contained Eevee. “I realize that you were bonding with that Eevee, but you see, it is quite a rare Pokemon, and Jason simply couldn’t wait.”

    “Maaaaach,” Brute growled.

    “Pleasure to see you again, Machop,” Elliot smirked. “So, Derak, I assume you are here to investigate the mysterious happenings at this less-than-pleasurable establishment?”

    “I don’t see how it’s any of YOUR business,” Derak spat as he got up. “I’m betting you’re just going to abandon Eevee once you get ‘bored’ with it, like you did Brute.”

    “I may have multiple personalities, but I’m no fool,” Elliot said, observing his new Eevee’s Pokeball. “It is virtually impossible to find another Eevee so readily, so why waste such a chance?”

    “Didn’t stop you from abandoning him,” Derak growled, gesturing to Brute.

    “To be honest, that Machop was simply a temporary means to an end,” Elliot sighed. “It failed to fit in with my long-term plans, so I released it once it was no longer useful to me.”

    “And that’s how you justify abandoning Brute?!” Derak snarled. “What are your precious ‘plans’, anyway?”

    “If I simply told you, that would spoil all the fun,” Elliot replied, a sinister grin spreading across his face. “Just remember that, once I gain a sufficient level of strength, the world will be in for quite a rude awakening.”

    “You want strength?” Derak growled. “How about we take this outside, and settle—”

    Another blast of chilled air whipped through the room, causing all present to fall to the ground. Elliot quickly clipped Eevee’s Pokeball onto his belt as he got up, Derak and Brute following suit.

    “Aw, again…?” Derak groaned. “Hang on, if you captured Eevee…then why is that wind still coming?”

    “That wasn’t a normal wind, you idiot!” snarled Elliot’s Jason persona, his entrance cued by another twitch of Elliot’s brown eye. “That was Ominous Wind, a Pokemon attack. Eevee can’t even learn that move, let alone use it.”

    “So, if Eevee wasn’t making that wind…then what was?” Derak asked.

    As if to answer Derak’s question, a flash of light burst from some of the ceiling holes, accompanied by several sparks showering down from above. A bolt of lightning suddenly smashed through the ceiling, ricocheting off the floor and then several walls in succession. When the lightning finally stopped, the source was revealed: a small red ball-shaped Pokemon with a long spike emerging from the top of its head and a stubby ball protruding from the bottom. Two frozen bolts of lightning seemed to function as the Pokemon’s arms, and a miscievious grin paired with two large blue-and-white eyes served as the Pokemon’s face.

    “Ah, so there is our answer,” remarked Elliot, having reverted back from Jason. “A Rotom.”

    “A what?” Derak said, looking to his Pokedex.

    “Rotom,” the Dex answered, “the Plasma Pokemon. Type is Electric and Ghost. Its electric-like body can enter certain kinds of machines and take control of them in order to make mischief.”

    “Rotom!” chirped the Plasma Pokemon in question, bouncing around wildly. “Ro-tom-ro-tom-ro-tom!”

    “How intriguing,” Elliot commented, putting a hand to his chin. “Rotom is a rather rare Pokemon, almost as difficult to find as a Legendary Pokemon. And yet this one simply fell into both of our laps.”

    “Ro?” Rotom blinked, as if trying to figure out what Elliot meant. Its trickster grin widened, however, upon realization. “Ro-tom-tom!”

    The Electric-type suddenly began spinning madly, releasing what was unmistakably another Ominous Wind. As Derak and Elliot now saw the attack coming, however, they were able to remain standing and shield each of their bodies with one arm. Brute was knocked off its feet, but Derak managed to grab hold of the Fighting-type’s arm to keep it from being seriously harmed.

    “So you WERE the source of all the trouble,” Elliot grinned, preparing another Pokeball. “Let’s see how well you can battle. Ekans, fight!”

    “No way I’m letting someone like you get another Pokemon!” Derak growled. “Brute, looks like it’s time to get in there!”

    Elliot’s purple rattlesnake materialized on the scene, coiling up and shaking its rattle-like tail in as intimidating a gesture as possible. Rotom only let out a deranged cackle, seemingly finding Ekans’ snarls amusing. Brute narrowed its eyes, realizing that this match could be quite difficult.

    “Try if you like,” Elliot shrugged. “The competition makes it all the more fun. Ekans, use Dark Pulse!”

    Ekans reared back its head and spat an erratic stream of shadowy rings, which somehow stayed in a line as they barreled towards Rotom. The Plasma Pokemon easily sprang off a wall, however, allowing the Dark Pulse to slam into the opposite side of the basement.

    “Brute, use Vacuum Wave!” Derak cried.

    Brute swung its arm forward and did release the windy attack, but Rotom made no effort to dodge. The reason for this soon became apparent: Brute’s Vacuum Wave simply sailed through Rotom, causing the Electric-type no visible harm whatsoever. The Plasma Pokemon countered by putting its two bolt-like appendages together and shooting a blast of blue lightning from them, electrocuting Brute with what appeared to be a Thunderbolt.

    “I must say, I do wonder how you even got to the fourth Gym with your lack of knowledge,” Elliot smirked. “Fighting-type attacks have no effect on a Ghost-type like Rotom. Ekans, Dark Pulse once more!”

    Ekans again fired a Dark Pulse, but this time Rotom dodged by spontaneously rocketing through the ceiling. A series of loud thumps could soon be heard, each one closer than the last.

    Oh, great, Derak thought. What’s that hyperactive psycho up to now?

    Rotom soon returned the same way it exited: crashing through the ceiling. This time, however, its form was much larger, and the Plasma Pokemon landed on the floor with a loud bang. Its body now somewhat resembled a refrigerator, and the irises of its eyes—along with its now-blunted bolt-like arms—had turned purple.

    “What in the…?” Derak stared. “What happened to Rotom?”

    “It appears to have possessed an electrical appliance, using it as a body and changing its abilities significantly,” Elliot observed. “Ekans, we will need to change tactics to suit our foe’s new form. Use Iron Tail!”

    Ekans launched itself like a spring, uncoiling itself as it leapt into the air. Its rattle took on a silver sheen, indicating that the Poison-type intended to strike Rotom with its tail. The Electric-type grinned again, however, and opened its two refrigerator doors. A shower of ice and snow somehow erupted from Rotom’s open doors, and due to its positioning, Ekans was completely caught in the frigid assault. The snake soon fell to the ground, eyes wide but body completely encased in ice.

    “Raagh, stupid little gremlin!” the Jason persona snarled. “How dare you use Blizzard on my Ekans!”

    Well, Ekans is obviously out of the running, Derak thought. Okay…Elliot said that Rotom’s abilities change when it possesses stuff, and he had Ekans use Iron Tail instead of Dark Pulse. Maybe…

    He looked down at Brute.

    “Ready for another try?” Derak asked. “I know this sounds like a stupid idea, given what happened last time, but…”

    “Ma-chop,” Brute nodded.

    “Okay, use Vacuum Wave!” Derak ordered.

    Brute again wound back one fist and threw forth a small wind tunnel, but this time Rotom’s eyes went wide in horror. With the bulk of its new refrigerator body limiting its movement, Rotom was helpless as the Vacuum Wave threw it to the floor. The refrigerator-bodied Plasma Pokemon began to glow, however, and the true form of Rotom soon emerged.

    “Roooh?” Rotom groaned, using one of its bolt-arms to rub its apparently aching head. The Plasma Pokemon looked up and saw Derak and Elliot towering over its own small body.

    “Aren’t you done yet?” Derak sighed. “There’s only so much that people can take of your crazy antics, you know.”

    “Tom!” Rotom narrowed its eyes and crossed its bolt-arms. “Rooooh-TOM!”

    A small ball of electricity formed around Rotom’s arms, and when the Plasma Pokemon quickly uncrossed its arms, the ball was launched forth. Rather than simply strike Derak or Elliot, however, the ball instead split into a large net-like shape. The electric net caught both of the young humans inside it, trapping them on the floor as a cackling Rotom levitated into the air.

    With a psychotic grin in place, Rotom put its bolt-arms together and began firing Thunderbolts randomly around the basement. Walls began to fall apart, fragments being blasted out by Rotom’s attacks, and the already-fragile ceiling began to drop pieces. Despite this, Rotom appeared to be even more thrilled, launching Thunderbolts with a renewed vigor every time something fell and made a loud noise.

    “Oh, no,” Derak mouthed, eyes going wide. “That crazy Rotom’s going to bring the whole mansion down on our heads!”

    “WHAT?!” Jason roared. “Are you kidding?! That’s it, get me the hell out of this Electroweb!”

    As the boy with multiple personalities scrambled about in his attempts to break the net, Brute hurried to Derak’s side and quickly tore the Electroweb open. Derak fell out, Jason following suit. Rotom noticed their escape, and in response, redoubled its efforts. The ceiling was now minutes from collapsing thanks to the Plasma Pokemon’s wild Thunderbolts, leaving the trapped trainers with few options.

    “We’ve got to get out of here!” Derak cried, jumping as a piece of the ceiling fell beside him. “That Rotom’s going to kill us all!”

    “This way!” Elliot cried. “We’ll escape through the window!”

    Despite the window’s small size, Elliot was able to push it open, clamber up, and squeeze through. Derak needed a boost from Brute, but was able to make it as well. Once outside, Derak recalled Brute and fled the scene. Rotom stopped firing Thunderbolts for a moment, long enough to realize that its prey had escaped.

    And it simply let out another cackle as the Celadon Mansion crumbled around it.

    *****

    “What…in…the…world?” Derak panted, his body flat on the ground. “That Rotom…just tried…to KILL us!”

    “Yes, ‘mischievous’ did seem to be an understatement,” Elliot agreed, his own body in a similar position. He soon got up and dusted himself off. “Well, I’d best be off. If you’ve already won at the Celadon Gym, I suggest you do the same.”

    “Why would I want to take YOUR advice?” Derak snarled.

    “Because I actually know what I’m talking about?” Elliot smirked. “I have a new Pokemon to train, so I’m afraid I must be going. Until we meet again.”

    With that, Elliot left. Derak took a moment to seethe, his hatred for the split-personality boy growing, before he got up.

    “Ah, forget this, I’m going back,” Derak said, looking to the fallen wreckage of the Celadon Mansion. “Just need to try and figure out how to explain that.”

    ****

    That night, after Derak had gone back to the Pokemon Center, some of the mansion’s rubble began to shift. A rigid lightning bolt protruded the wreckage, and an entire body followed soon after. Rotom looked around at the night sky, and let out an excited cackle.

    This was going to be fun.

    ****
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  6. #56
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    This was going to be fun.
    Oh, for goodness sake... Hasn't that thing had ENOUGH?!

    Well, Elliot getting the Eevee was quite the startling switcheroo from the norm. (Gah, I HATE that little turd!) Ahem, sorry. Bravo. Nice to see Derak catch on to opponent weaknesses quickly... who said you can't teach him new tricks quickly?

    So his rival swipes a potential capture and a homicidal Pokemon has him marked. Not the best of days. But he travels around with Garth. So I could be wrong. XD

    Nicely done, good sir! Nicely done.

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    Maybe Eevee won't obey, and he abandons it and helps it.
    Derak better get that rotom!
    IT's MY favorite!
    And maybe he just wants company, and ghosts hang with oter ghosts.
    If ther's an evil rotom, i'd put on a rubber suit and hug it till its good.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
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    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
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    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01 View Post
    Chapter 18: Celadon Mansion






    The day after Derak’s victory at the Celadon Gym, he stood outside the decaying Celadon Mansion. He still had no idea why the local Nurse Joy would trust the investigation of this building to a random trainer rather than the proper authorities, but he was nonetheless aware that a Pokemon could be injured inside. The police, he believed, would only worsen the situation.
    Oh, how true this observation of the Pokemon world's dysfunctional public services actually is.

    As he prepared to approach the front door, a light gust passed across one of the higher windows. One of the shudders dropped off, its hinges having all but disintegrated by this point. The fallen shudder landed with a loud crack in front of Derak’s feet, splitting in two.
    I think that should be "shutter," not "shudder." I won't point out any further instances of it, so just consider this point for every time "shudder" gets used in that context.

    “Wow, can’t see why this place would be abandoned,” Derak sighed. “I’m starting to see why Garth didn’t want to tag along.”

    He stepped over the broken shudder and carefully ascended the stairs, his every step producing a loud groan from the wood beneath him. He took the knob in hand, but upon attempting to turn it found that the door was already ajar. Derak gently pushed the door open and was greeted with nothing but darkness.

    “I swear, if some guy jumps out of the bushes with a camera and tells me I’m on one of those pranking shows…ugh,” Derak muttered as he poked his head inside. “Hello? Anyone home?”
    You know what? It would have been hysterical if something like that actually ended up happening.

    Silence.

    “Okay…I’m going to walk inside, now,” Derak said. “If that’s not okay with you, then just let me know.”

    He took one step forward, but before he could take another, the floor suddenly gave way. Derak’s weight on the brittle floor caused him to drop into the basement, landing directly on his rear end.

    “…ouch,” Derak groaned as he got up. “Yeah, Garth was definitely the smart one this time.”
    I think this part could have used just a little more description. It feels like it happened a little bit too fast. Just describe the environment in a bit more detail.

    “Eeeeeeee…eeeeeeeee,” moaned a faint, high-pitched voice.

    “Uh…hello?” Derak blinked. “Is someone there?”

    “EEEEE!” the voice cried, and a blast of chilled—yet somehow purple—air suddenly threw Derak onto his back.
    Oh boy, it's here. Time for fun.

    “I’ll…take that as a yes,” Derak grunted as he got up, rubbing his backside. “Okay, look, you’re clearly a Pokemon. But, here’s the thing, you didn’t really have to do that. I’m not gonna hurt you.”

    “Eeeee?” the mysterious voice moaned again, this time making a clear vocal response.

    “I’m telling you the truth, honest,” Derak said, taking a few steps forward. “Look, I’m not sending out a Pokemon or anything…actually, now that I think about it, you might not be able to really ‘see’ me since it's kinda dark in here, but…you get the point, right?”
    If it lives in the Mansion, and it's always dark in the Mansion, wouldn't it stand to reason that the Pokemon could see in the dark?

    Also, it just hit me that Derak found the Pokemon rather fast, if it was indeed what he was to be looking for. That isn't really that big a deal though.

    “Eeeeee,” the voice moaned again.

    “Okay, I’ve got an idea,” Derak said. “I can’t really see too well in here, but if you keep making that noise, I might be able to find you. Okay?”

    “Eeeee…eeeee…eeeeee,” the voice replied with an affirmative tone.

    Derak followed the voice, occasionally stopping to try and position himself in such a way that he would continue to accurately approach the voice’s owner. He eventually came upon an area in which a decent amount of light poured in from a small basement window, as well as numerous holes in the ceiling. In the center of the light was a small quadruped Pokemon with dominantly brown fur, aside from its fluffy tan-colored collar. Its long, pointed ears and brush-like tail were drooped with depression, and its dark chocolate eyes were filled with pain and sadness.
    Oh ****, that wasn't what I thought it was going to be. Maybe something else is going on here that made me think incorrectly?

    It's fitting that Eevee would appear at Celadon Mansion, though, now that I think about it. Celadon Mansion is where you get it in the Generation 1 and 3 games, so yeah, it works. I'm liking your adaptation of it so far, with the Mansion being run-down.

    “Hey…hey, was that you making all that noise?” Derak said as he kneeled down to the Pokemon’s level. “You’ve got some strong lungs for such a little guy.”

    “Eeee,” the Pokemon groaned, favoring an injured leg.

    “Hang on,” Derak said as he removed his Pokedex. “Let me see what you are, first. Might actually help for once.”

    “Eevee,” the Dex reported, “the Evolution Pokemon. Type is Normal. Eevee has an unstable genetic makeup that allows it to evolve into a multitude of forms. Thus far, seven evolutions of Eevee have been discovered.”

    “…once again, the Pokedex doesn’t really help that much,” Derak sighed. “Well, at least I know that you’re an Eevee.”
    Two things:

    One, nice lampshading of how useless the Pokedex entries usually are. Derak's putting into words what a lot of us are thinking.

    Two, I'm kind of surprised that Derak doesn't know what an Eevee is, given how common they seem to be among trainers in Orre. Did Enoch shelter him that much?

    “Veee?” the Eevee moaned, looking up at Derak.

    “Okay, so, how did that leg injury get there?” the boy asked.

    Eevee gestured to the window, which appeared to have been opened at one point.

    “Did you…fall in through there?” Derak asked. “Wait, you weren’t abandoned by a trainer, were you?”

    Shockingly, Eevee nodded. Derak let out a long, irritated sigh.

    “Why are people so unbelievably stupid?” he groaned. “I don’t see anything wrong with you, myself.”
    I get the feeling that Eevee being abandoned by its trainer is not going to just be a throwaway plot point. It's going to be more important than that.

    “Vee?” Eevee squeaked inquisitively.

    “Yeah, you’re just fine aside from that leg problem,” Derak said. “Hang on, I’ve got someone I’d like you to meet.”

    He opened a single Pokeball, and Brute appeared in a flash of light. Eevee cringed, but once Brute simply sat down in a non-threatening posture, the Normal-type relaxed.

    “Okay, so here’s the deal,” Derak said. “This is Brute. I found him outside Pewter City…where his last trainer abandoned him.”
    I'm glad that you're taking this approach to dealing with Eevee. It's what came right into my head as soon as you mentioned Eevee being abandoned, that Brute would connect with it.

    “Eeev?” Eevee looked at Brute.

    “Chop,” the Superpower Pokemon nodded sadly.

    “He wasn’t feeling so emotionally great, either,” Derak said. “He kinda started taking it out on the local wild Pokemon…which is kinda how he got his name, actually. But, listen, Brute’s gotten a whole new chance at life since I took him in. You can have the same thing, if you want.”

    Before Eevee could respond, a Pokeball sailed in from out of nowhere and rammed into the Evolution Pokemon’s head, absorbing the small furry creature inside. The ball shook three times and clicked, signaling a successful capture.

    “What?!” Derak sputtered. “Are you kidding?!”

    “Ah, I’m afraid I must apologize,” said a familiar voice that made Derak’s skin crawl in anger. Sure enough, Elliot Trey stepped into the light and picked up the Pokeball that now contained Eevee. “I realize that you were bonding with that Eevee, but you see, it is quite a rare Pokemon, and Jason simply couldn’t wait.”
    Oh come ON. Of all the times for this creep to come back, it had to be here and now and in this way?

    Of course, I'm sure "creep" is the kind of word you want a reader to be thinking when they look at him, so what you're doing is working.

    “Maaaaach,” Brute growled.

    “Pleasure to see you again, Machop,” Elliot smirked. “So, Derak, I assume you are here to investigate the mysterious happenings at this less-than-pleasurable establishment?”

    “I don’t see how it’s any of YOUR business,” Derak spat as he got up. “I’m betting you’re just going to abandon Eevee once you get ‘bored’ with it, like you did Brute.”

    “I may have multiple personalities, but I’m no fool,” Elliot said, observing his new Eevee’s Pokeball. “It is virtually impossible to find another Eevee so readily, so why waste such a chance?”

    “Didn’t stop you from abandoning him,” Derak growled, gesturing to Brute.

    “To be honest, that Machop was simply a temporary means to an end,” Elliot sighed. “It failed to fit in with my long-term plans, so I released it once it was no longer useful to me.”

    “And that’s how you justify abandoning Brute?!” Derak snarled. “What are your precious ‘plans’, anyway?”

    “If I simply told you, that would spoil all the fun,” Elliot replied, a sinister grin spreading across his face. “Just remember that, once I gain a sufficient level of strength, the world will be in for quite a rude awakening.”
    Oh, of course he's not going to just spill his plans immediately.

    I'm really intrigued by what he's saying about the world being in for a "rude awakening," though. My mind naturally wanders into wondering if it is somehow connected to Nobunaga.

    “You want strength?” Derak growled. “How about we take this outside, and settle—”

    Another blast of chilled air whipped through the room, causing all present to fall to the ground. Elliot quickly clipped Eevee’s Pokeball onto his belt as he got up, Derak and Brute following suit.

    “Aw, again…?” Derak groaned. “Hang on, if you captured Eevee…then why is that wind still coming?”

    “That wasn’t a normal wind, you idiot!” snarled Elliot’s Jason persona, his entrance cued by another twitch of Elliot’s brown eye. “That was Ominous Wind, a Pokemon attack. Eevee can’t even learn that move, let alone use it.”

    “So, if Eevee wasn’t making that wind…then what was?” Derak asked.

    As if to answer Derak’s question, a flash of light burst from some of the ceiling holes, accompanied by several sparks showering down from above. A bolt of lightning suddenly smashed through the ceiling, ricocheting off the floor and then several walls in succession. When the lightning finally stopped, the source was revealed: a small red ball-shaped Pokemon with a long spike emerging from the top of its head and a stubby ball protruding from the bottom. Two frozen bolts of lightning seemed to function as the Pokemon’s arms, and a miscievious grin paired with two large blue-and-white eyes served as the Pokemon’s face.
    Now that's what I thought was the source of all this in the first place. Eevee was quite the surprise, when I was expecting Rotom all along.

    “Ah, so there is our answer,” remarked Elliot, having reverted back from Jason. “A Rotom.”

    “A what?” Derak said, looking to his Pokedex.

    “Rotom,” the Dex answered, “the Plasma Pokemon. Type is Electric and Ghost. Its electric-like body can enter certain kinds of machines and take control of them in order to make mischief.”

    “Rotom!” chirped the Plasma Pokemon in question, bouncing around wildly. “Ro-tom-ro-tom-ro-tom!”

    “How intriguing,” Elliot commented, putting a hand to his chin. “Rotom is a rather rare Pokemon, almost as difficult to find as a Legendary Pokemon. And yet this one simply fell into both of our laps.”

    “Ro?” Rotom blinked, as if trying to figure out what Elliot meant. Its trickster grin widened, however, upon realization. “Ro-tom-tom!”

    The Electric-type suddenly began spinning madly, releasing what was unmistakably another Ominous Wind. As Derak and Elliot now saw the attack coming, however, they were able to remain standing and shield each of their bodies with one arm. Brute was knocked off its feet, but Derak managed to grab hold of the Fighting-type’s arm to keep it from being seriously harmed.

    “So you WERE the source of all the trouble,” Elliot grinned, preparing another Pokeball. “Let’s see how well you can battle. Ekans, fight!”

    “No way I’m letting someone like you get another Pokemon!” Derak growled. “Brute, looks like it’s time to get in there!”
    This is going to become a posturing contest, isn't it?

    After Eevee, I hope Derak wins. It would be irritating if Elliot ended up getting both Pokemon in this chapter, not to mention disappointing since they both seem like poor matches for him personality-wise.

    Elliot’s purple rattlesnake materialized on the scene, coiling up and shaking its rattle-like tail in as intimidating a gesture as possible. Rotom only let out a deranged cackle, seemingly finding Ekans’ snarls amusing. Brute narrowed its eyes, realizing that this match could be quite difficult.

    “Try if you like,” Elliot shrugged. “The competition makes it all the more fun. Ekans, use Dark Pulse!”

    Ekans reared back its head and spat an erratic stream of shadowy rings, which somehow stayed in a line as they barreled towards Rotom. The Plasma Pokemon easily sprang off a wall, however, allowing the Dark Pulse to slam into the opposite side of the basement.

    “Brute, use Vacuum Wave!” Derak cried.

    Brute swung its arm forward and did release the windy attack, but Rotom made no effort to dodge. The reason for this soon became apparent: Brute’s Vacuum Wave simply sailed through Rotom, causing the Electric-type no visible harm whatsoever. The Plasma Pokemon countered by putting its two bolt-like appendages together and shooting a blast of blue lightning from them, electrocuting Brute with what appeared to be a Thunderbolt.
    This is a Regular Forme Rotom, right? I don't think Vacuum Wave will even work on it...

    “I must say, I do wonder how you even got to the fourth Gym with your lack of knowledge,” Elliot smirked. “Fighting-type attacks have no effect on a Ghost-type like Rotom. Ekans, Dark Pulse once more!”
    Oh, I spoke too soon.

    Ekans again fired a Dark Pulse, but this time Rotom dodged by spontaneously rocketing through the ceiling. A series of loud thumps could soon be heard, each one closer than the last.

    Oh, great, Derak thought. What’s that hyperactive psycho up to now?

    Rotom soon returned the same way it exited: crashing through the ceiling. This time, however, its form was much larger, and the Plasma Pokemon landed on the floor with a loud bang. Its body now somewhat resembled a refrigerator, and the irises of its eyes—along with its now-blunted bolt-like arms—had turned purple.
    Okay, now things are getting interesting. This fight is actually turning out to be pretty dynamic and exciting, and Rotom changing Forme part of the way through ought to provide another good turn of events.

    “What in the…?” Derak stared. “What happened to Rotom?”

    “It appears to have possessed an electrical appliance, using it as a body and changing its abilities significantly,” Elliot observed. “Ekans, we will need to change tactics to suit our foe’s new form. Use Iron Tail!”

    Ekans launched itself like a spring, uncoiling itself as it leapt into the air. Its rattle took on a silver sheen, indicating that the Poison-type intended to strike Rotom with its tail. The Electric-type grinned again, however, and opened its two refrigerator doors. A shower of ice and snow somehow erupted from Rotom’s open doors, and due to its positioning, Ekans was completely caught in the frigid assault. The snake soon fell to the ground, eyes wide but body completely encased in ice.

    “Raagh, stupid little gremlin!” the Jason persona snarled. “How dare you use Blizzard on my Ekans!”
    Can "STUPID LITTLE GREMLIN!" become a meme now, like Hugh unleashing his rage? :P

    I'm surprised he didn't know enough to expect Blizzard from Frost Forme Rotom, though, especially when he actually did recognize what it was and what type it became.

    Well, Ekans is obviously out of the running, Derak thought. Okay…Elliot said that Rotom’s abilities change when it possesses stuff, and he had Ekans use Iron Tail instead of Dark Pulse. Maybe…

    He looked down at Brute.

    “Ready for another try?” Derak asked. “I know this sounds like a stupid idea, given what happened last time, but…”

    “Ma-chop,” Brute nodded.

    “Okay, use Vacuum Wave!” Derak ordered.

    Brute again wound back one fist and threw forth a small wind tunnel, but this time Rotom’s eyes went wide in horror. With the bulk of its new refrigerator body limiting its movement, Rotom was helpless as the Vacuum Wave threw it to the floor. The refrigerator-bodied Plasma Pokemon began to glow, however, and the true form of Rotom soon emerged.
    I like that you showed Derak getting this hit in. Sure, part of it was luck, but you also showed him using his head and deducing potential situations based on what Elliot did.

    “Roooh?” Rotom groaned, using one of its bolt-arms to rub its apparently aching head. The Plasma Pokemon looked up and saw Derak and Elliot towering over its own small body.
    Oh God, that's adorable.

    “Aren’t you done yet?” Derak sighed. “There’s only so much that people can take of your crazy antics, you know.”

    “Tom!” Rotom narrowed its eyes and crossed its bolt-arms. “Rooooh-TOM!”

    A small ball of electricity formed around Rotom’s arms, and when the Plasma Pokemon quickly uncrossed its arms, the ball was launched forth. Rather than simply strike Derak or Elliot, however, the ball instead split into a large net-like shape. The electric net caught both of the young humans inside it, trapping them on the floor as a cackling Rotom levitated into the air.
    Electroweb?

    Okay, major points here if that's what this actually is. The B2W2 Move Tutors brought in some really awesome potential moves and I like seeing that possibility taken advantage of.

    With a psychotic grin in place, Rotom put its bolt-arms together and began firing Thunderbolts randomly around the basement. Walls began to fall apart, fragments being blasted out by Rotom’s attacks, and the already-fragile ceiling began to drop pieces. Despite this, Rotom appeared to be even more thrilled, launching Thunderbolts with a renewed vigor every time something fell and made a loud noise.

    “Oh, no,” Derak mouthed, eyes going wide. “That crazy Rotom’s going to bring the whole mansion down on our heads!”

    “WHAT?!” Jason roared. “Are you kidding?! That’s it, get me the hell out of this Electroweb!”

    As the boy with multiple personalities scrambled about in his attempts to break the net, Brute hurried to Derak’s side and quickly tore the Electroweb open. Derak fell out, Jason following suit. Rotom noticed their escape, and in response, redoubled its efforts. The ceiling was now minutes from collapsing thanks to the Plasma Pokemon’s wild Thunderbolts, leaving the trapped trainers with few options.

    “We’ve got to get out of here!” Derak cried, jumping as a piece of the ceiling fell beside him. “That Rotom’s going to kill us all!”

    “This way!” Elliot cried. “We’ll escape through the window!”

    Despite the window’s small size, Elliot was able to push it open, clamber up, and squeeze through. Derak needed a boost from Brute, but was able to make it as well. Once outside, Derak recalled Brute and fled the scene. Rotom stopped firing Thunderbolts for a moment, long enough to realize that its prey had escaped.

    And it simply let out another cackle as the Celadon Mansion crumbled around it.
    What a devious little thing. I hope we see it again somehow.

    “What…in…the…world?” Derak panted, his body flat on the ground. “That Rotom…just tried…to KILL us!”

    “Yes, ‘mischievous’ did seem to be an understatement,” Elliot agreed, his own body in a similar position. He soon got up and dusted himself off. “Well, I’d best be off. If you’ve already won at the Celadon Gym, I suggest you do the same.”

    “Why would I want to take YOUR advice?” Derak snarled.

    “Because I actually know what I’m talking about?” Elliot smirked. “I have a new Pokemon to train, so I’m afraid I must be going. Until we meet again.”

    With that, Elliot left. Derak took a moment to seethe, his hatred for the split-personality boy growing, before he got up.

    “Ah, forget this, I’m going back,” Derak said, looking to the fallen wreckage of the Celadon Mansion. “Just need to try and figure out how to explain that.”
    Are you sure that's a good idea, Derak? Going back seems a bit hasty...

    Oh wait, he means going back to the Pokemon Center. Nevermind, I misunderstood.

    That night, after Derak had gone back to the Pokemon Center, some of the mansion’s rubble began to shift. A rigid lightning bolt protruded the wreckage, and an entire body followed soon after. Rotom looked around at the night sky, and let out an excited cackle.

    This was going to be fun.

    ****
    Dare I think that he will live on?! Rotom's next appearance will surely be something to wait for, no doubt about it.

    Well, all in all that was a very entertaining chapter. The beginning was a little shaky and had a couple of faults that I pointed out, but once you hit your stride, it really was good. The battle was the best part - while it was relatively short, it captured the competitiveness being traded between Derak and Elliot quite well.

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  9. #59
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    Air Dragon:
    Oh, for goodness sake... Hasn't that thing had ENOUGH?!
    Nope. Not for a long time. XD

    So his rival swipes a potential capture and a homicidal Pokemon has him marked. Not the best of days. But he travels around with Garth. So I could be wrong. XD
    Oh, this is just the tip of the iceberg...


    Rotomknight: Good luck with your "turn-Rotom-good" method. Although, for this Rotom...you may not even get close enough to hug it. XD

    As for Derak getting Rotom...ah, you'll see. You'd be surprised by how things will turn out.


    The Great Butler:
    I think that should be "shutter," not "shudder." I won't point out any further instances of it, so just consider this point for every time "shudder" gets used in that context.
    Now that you mention it, you're probably right.

    Two things:

    One, nice lampshading of how useless the Pokedex entries usually are. Derak's putting into words what a lot of us are thinking.

    Two, I'm kind of surprised that Derak doesn't know what an Eevee is, given how common they seem to be among trainers in Orre. Did Enoch shelter him that much?
    Actually, yes. Anoch didn't want Derak to be exposed to ANY Pokemon, let alone to Eevee and all related evolutions.

    Oh come ON. Of all the times for this creep to come back, it had to be here and now and in this way?

    Of course, I'm sure "creep" is the kind of word you want a reader to be thinking when they look at him, so what you're doing is working.
    "Creep" is one of the possible words you may have in mind, yes. XD

    Oh, of course he's not going to just spill his plans immediately.

    I'm really intrigued by what he's saying about the world being in for a "rude awakening," though. My mind naturally wanders into wondering if it is somehow connected to Nobunaga.
    Can't say too much on Elliot, but I can say that he isn't connected with Nobunaga. He's got his own agenda to worry about.

    Dare I think that he will live on?! Rotom's next appearance will surely be something to wait for, no doubt about it.
    Oh, you have no idea what you're in for...heh heh heh...
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  10. #60
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    Well, it's slightly late, but here's the next chapter. I got Black 2 recently, so...yeah.



    Chapter 19: Safari Zone



    The dusty winds of Orre drifted across Phenac City, speckling the once-spotless city with bits of sand and dirt. Derak’s hometown was now an absolute mess. People and their Pokemon, the latter bearing agonizing battle scars, barely clung to consciousness as their bodies laid flat on the ground. Some buildings were afflicted with scars of their own, large holes having been blasted into them and rubble decorating the streets.

    The most devastated building, however, was Anoch Kadir’s home. It was larger than most due to his wealth, but that only added to the miserable state the house was in. The front wall, along with sections of the roof, had been completely obliterated, and the house had all but collapsed upon itself. Anoch’s body—battered, beaten, and burnt as it was—somehow managed to escape death by crawling out of the wreckage. One shaky hand reached out, as if to grab something.

    “Dray…kus…you—” Anoch grunted, only for unconsciousness to finally take hold of him.

    The man he knew as “Draykus”, however, was currently occupied with other affairs. His Conkeldurr and Hydreigon faced down a man with long purple hair and a white jacket, whose chosen two Pokemon had fallen before his eyes. The purple-haired man gritted his teeth, realizing that his fall would most likely mean the end of Phenac. His opponent, however, merely heaved a disappointed sigh.

    “Really?” Nobunaga sighed. “This is the best that Phenac City has to offer? You are supposed to be Justy, the head of the Prestige Precept Gym, where trainers from all over Orre flock to learn about the intricacies of battling. And yet, here we are, with your six Pokemon handily defeated…by my two.”

    “I’m still going to stop you, Governor!” Justy declared angrily. “I don’t know why you’re doing this, but I won’t let you destroy the very region you swore to protect!”

    At this, to Justy’s shock, Nobunaga merely chuckled.

    “I’m afraid my reasons would be beyond your comprehension, boy,” he laughed. “Now, stand aside. I wish to see just what you’ve been teaching in your ‘Pre Gym’.”

    He made to advance, but Justy did not move. The Pre Gym Leader steeled his gaze, scowling fiercely at his foe.

    “Very well,” Nobunaga sighed. “Conkeldurr?”

    The colossal Fighting-type simply swung one of its pillars and knocked Justy aside, sending his body careening into Phenac’s outer wall. With the Pre Gym Leader’s now-broken body out of his way, Nobunaga advanced into the semicircular building known as the Pre Gym. Inside, he was met with a less-than-warm reception: young children huddled in a corner with a teacher wrapping her arms around them as best as she could, the teacher herself glaring viciously at Nobunaga, and a group of angry trainers staring down the supposed governor of Orre.

    “Heh,” Nobunaga smirked. “Are you going to battle me, now?”

    “We’ll do better!” one of the trainers declared. “We’re going to defeat you!”

    The trainers sent out a multitude of variegated Pokemon, each one distinguished by its unique shape, size, and typing. Although team balance was clearly part of their studies, Nobunaga was undaunted in the slightest. In fact, he actually seemed to be bored.

    “Hydreigon, use Draco Meteor,” he sighed.

    The three-headed beast reared up, a swirling light gathering upon its stomach. The center of the heads pointed skyward and opened its mouth, releasing a single sphere into the air. The sphere split into a plethora of smaller spheres, which rained down upon the Pre Gym Pokemon like a torrent of meteors. The meteors viciously battered the opposing Pokemon, their types being of no help to them. All the Pre Gym trainers gasped upon seeing their Pokemon beaten so easily with but a single attack, and fell themselves shortly after due to a shockwave caused by Conkeldurr’s fist striking the ground.

    “No wonder Derak sought to flee this city,” Nobunaga muttered, ignoring the ruptured floor and broken bodies that lay before him. “Had he remained here, his potential would be squandered into nothing.”

    “Wh…what do you want?” one of the trainers groaned weakly.

    Nobunaga smirked and approached the trainer, Conkeldurr in tow. The Muscular Pokemon pinned the bottom of one pillar onto the trainer’s stomach, and Nobunaga’s sinister smirk grew upon seeing the fear in the trainer’s eyes.

    “Heh heh,” Nobunaga snickered. “You want to know what I want? Very well, then. What I want is information.”

    His smirk suddenly vanished, replaced by a frown. His eyes narrowed, and the entire expression of his face went from sadistic mirth to deadly serious.

    “There is someone I must visit if my future plans are to succeed,” Nobunaga said, his voice calm and his tone authoritative. “What do you know about Team Plasma?”

    ****

    A week passed before Derak and Garth arrived at their next destination. It was a city, but it appeared to be rather rural. The houses were generally small and spaced apart, with nature itself set between them. There were a small number of larger buildings, but otherwise the town was fairly unremarkable.

    “This is where the fifth Gym is, right?” Derak asked. “Fuchsia City?”

    “If I remember correctly, yes,” Garth nodded. “The Gym here focuses on Poison-type Pokemon, so to get done with this quickly, you should focus on Psychic-type and Ground-type attacks.”

    “You said that Echo’s Zen Headbutt was Psychic-type, right?” Derak asked, holding his Zubat’s Pokeball. “Well, that’s one guy I’m definitely going to be using.”

    “As if you have any choice in the matter,” Garth snorted. “You have only those three Pokemon, remember?”

    “Eh, if I find another one that’s all right with this whole trainer thing, I’ll let him tag along,” Derak shrugged as the two entered the Pokemon Center.

    “That would require an inordinate amount of luck, boy,” Garth grunted. “From what you told me of what occurred in the Celadon Mansion, you appear to be relying too much on what is determined to kill you.”

    “Yeah, just figures that I’d get stuck up against a psycho Rotom that wants me dead,” Derak sighed bitterly.

    “At least try and get a Ground-type Pokemon,” Garth suggested as the two trainers sat down at a table. “There should be one or two available in the Safari Zone.”

    “…the what?” Derak blinked.

    “Ugh, that sheltered upbringing of yours,” Garth muttered. “Very well. Here in Fuchsia City, there is a reserve where the native Pokemon are rare, even outside of Kanto. Trainers are free to enter this reserve, dubbed the ‘Safari Zone’, and capture up to thirty Pokemon using special Pokeballs provided by the management.”

    “So…it’s a nature reserve…where people catch Pokemon?” Derak said slowly. “What’s the bad news? I mean, it's got to be in there somewhere.”

    “As far as I know, the ‘bad news’ is that you cannot battle the Pokemon you wish to catch,” Garth answered. “Assuming that you find a worthwhile Pokemon, all you can do to capture it is throw a ball and hope that it works.”

    “…that’s kinda stupid,” Derak blurted.

    “Agreed,” Garth sighed, “but it is also your only option at the moment. The Safari Zone is open right now. Go there and capture a fourth Pokemon. You may well need it against the Fuchsia Gym Leader.”

    “All right,” Derak said as he made to leave. “I’d say ‘wish me luck’, but we both know how that’ll turn out.”

    ****

    Shortly afterward, Derak pushed his way into the Safari Zone with a large bag in hand. Within the bag were, as Garth had earlier described, thirty Pokeballs with a dark green upper half. Despite having sufficient ammunition, Derak only grimaced as he made his way into a forested area.

    “Whose bright idea was it to give the cranky old receptionist a gun?” Derak muttered. “Ugh, anyway, let’s get down to business…”

    As his first endeavor for finding a suitable fourth Pokemon, he pushed aside part of a bush and peered behind it. A Pokemon was indeed there: a small purple dinosaur-like creature with small ears, a stubby tail, and what appeared to be a black plate atop its head. The Pokemon looked at him with its beady black eyes, studying him inquisitively.

    “Kang?” the Pokemon squeaked.

    “Hey, little guy,” Derak said, pulling out his Pokedex. “What are you supposed to be?”

    “Khan!” a deeper voice cried, and out of the forest stomped a larger, brown-colored version of the small purple dinosaur with a pouch on its stomach. “Kangas-khan!”

    “Uh-oh,” Derak gulped, backing away from what was apparently the brown dinosaur’s baby. “Okay, look, I’m backing away, I have nothing to do with your baby!”

    Derak had managed to back several feet away, and the brown Pokemon ignored him as it approached its baby. A tender smile overtook the parent’s aggression as it lifted the baby into its pouch, much to the infant’s pleasure.

    “Kangaskhan,” Derak’s Pokedex reported. “The Parent Pokemon. Type is Normal. It raises its offspring in its belly pouch, and only lets the baby out to play when it feels safe.”

    “The kid must have wandered off, then,” Derak muttered as he replaced his Pokedex in his pocket.

    “Um…excuse me? Kangaskhan?” a timid female voice ventured. A familiar purple-haired girl came into view, a Safari Ball in hand.

    “Khan?” Kangaskhan blinked, ignoring Derak as it turned to face Teresa. It immediately began sizing her up, attempting to determine if she would be a threat.

    “I…I’m a trainer, and…I’ve, uh…always admired how you…protect your baby…with your life,” Teresa said slowly. “Could you…if it’s not too much trouble…could you come with me? I…I need help…my Pokemon need help…from someone like you.”

    The Parent Pokemon seemed to consider this for a moment. It looked Teresa over once more, eventually judging her to be of decent character. With a friendly smile, Kangaskhan nodded.

    “Really? You’ll…you’ll do it?” Teresa gasped, and Kangaskhan nodded again. “Th-thank you…Kangaskhan.”

    Teresa nervously reached out with her Safari Ball, and gently tapped the mother Kangaskhan’s forehead. The saurian parent was promptly absorbed into the Safari Ball, its child going with it.

    “Whew,” Derak sighed in relief. “Hey…it was Teresa, right?”

    “Huh?” Teresa blinked. “Uh, oh…yes, it…it was.”

    “Thanks,” Derak said. “I probably wouldn’t have made it out alive if you hadn’t caught that Kangaskhan.”

    “Oh…well…you’re welcome,” Teresa said nervously, fiddling with her fingers.

    “Okay, seriously, what’s your deal?” Derak asked. “How come you’re so nervous all the time?”

    “I…it’s, uh…it’s kind of a long story,” Teresa said. “Erm…if it isn’t too much trouble, could you…uh, maybe…help me get out of here? W-when you’re done here, that is, I…wouldn’t want to…inconvenience you.”

    “Uh…okay?” Derak blinked. “Anyway, I still need a Pokemon, so I guess we’re moving on.”

    ****

    Back at the Pokemon Center, Garth sat alone at his table, taking another swig from his canteen. Once the canteen left his lips, he heaved a ragged sigh.

    “Knowing the boy, I may need to enter the Safari Zone myself,” Garth muttered bitterly. “Doubtless he will have somehow gotten lost…and still be without a fourth Pokemon.”

    “This just in!” a newscaster cried on a television mounted in the upper corner of the lobby. “A mysterious black Pokemon has been spotted in the skies of Kanto! Eyewitnesses claim that this is no ordinary Pokemon, but in fact a Legendary Pokemon!”

    Garth’s eyes widened. A black Legendary Pokemon? He spun around until he located the television, which initially displayed a woman in her twenties sitting at a desk. The picture soon changed to a somewhat blurry image of what was presumably the Pokemon in question.

    “This is an image taken on an eyewitness’ cell phone,” the newscaster explained. “It appears that someone is riding atop this Pokemon across the Kanto region.”

    Garth was oblivious to the second half of her explanation, however. All he saw was a shape from his memory: a huge black dragon with enormous bulky arms and legs but comparatively tiny bat-like wings, its most notable feature being the large generator-like tail protruding from the dragon’s rear. Garth only uttered a fearful whisper at the sight of this beast.

    “Zekrom…”

    ****

    In the Safari Zone, Derak and Teresa continued on their expedition. Teresa was always looking around nervously, as if fearing that something aggressive would burst out of the bushes. Derak, however, continued to stop every now and then, peering into small areas.

    “So…you, uh…still need a new Pokemon…right?” Teresa asked.

    “Pretty much,” Derak replied. “Hey, I think I see something over there!”

    The two soon came upon a small field-like area, where a rhinoceros-like Pokemon rammed its armored body into a large rock, smashing the boulder into pieces. The Pokemon was a dull grey color, with a single small horn and clawed toes at the end of each of its four short legs. Its blood red irises were just as intimidating as the large ridge coming out of the rhinoceros’ spine.

    “Rhyhorn,” Derak’s Pokedex reported, “the Spikes Pokemon. Type is Ground and Rock. Its powerful tackles can destroy anything. However, it is too slow-witted to help people work.”

    “Maybe…maybe you can catch that Rhyhorn?” Teresa ventured. “The Safari Balls...well, they work better if you’re…closer to the Pokemon. Maybe you can…?”

    “Maybe,” Derak replied, scratching his head. “I’ve heard Ground-types are pretty good against Poison-types, but—”

    He was cut off by a sharp whistle that quickly caught the Rhyhorn’s attention. There, on the other side of the small field, stood Elliot Trey, casually leaning on a tree and smirking arrogantly. The boy with multiple personalities made a beckoning gesture with one finger, which managed to send the Rhyhorn into a violent rage. The Spikes Pokemon quickly charged towards Elliot, smashing anything that got into its way as it barreled towards him.

    “Elliot,” Derak growled. “What in the world is he doing?”

    Despite the Rhyhorn’s seemingly imminent impact with his body, Elliot did not move an inch from where he stood. Instead, he simply took a Safari Ball out of his pocket and waited for Rhyhorn to come closer. Once the Ground-type was a foot away from impact, Elliot reached out and casually tapped the Safari Ball against the Spikes Pokemon’s horn. Eyes wide in shock, Rhyhorn could do nothing to stop its absorption into the Safari Ball. Following the obligatory click that signaled a successful capture, Elliot clipped the Safari Ball onto his belt and left without a word.

    “Great,” Derak growled. “That’s another Pokemon for HIM and one less for ME.”

    Teresa shrank back slightly, as if she feared Derak’s anger turning on her. The boy noticed this, and sighed.

    “What are you worried about?” he asked. “It’s got nothing to do with you.”

    “O-okay,” Teresa gulped. “Let’s…let’s just go. There…has to be a Pokemon for you…somewhere in here…right?”

    ****

    In Orre, the same news broadcast that Garth saw earlier was seen by someone else. The mouth of this someone curved into a sinister grin upon seeing the mysterious Pokemon. He, too, recognized it.

    “There you are,” Nobunaga grinned. “Heh…time to claim what was once mine.”

    ****

    Back in the Kanto Safari Zone, Derak suddenly came to a stop. Before him were several damaged trees, either cut through or knocked over. Teresa gulped as she looked down, cringing as she saw a red liquid spattered on the grass.

    “Oh, man,” Derak breathed. “What happened here?”

    A sickly groaning could be faintly heard within the cluster of broken trees. The eyes of both trainer’s quickly widened. Derak was the first to run in, with Teresa lagging behind due to her unwillingness to see more blood. They soon found the source of the groans: a third Pokemon, this one resembling a humanoid praying mantis with a vaguely canine head and massive blades serving as arms. On the Pokemon’s back was a pair of what were once gossamer wings. Now, however, they were folded and spindled, clearly causing their owner pain.

    “Scyyy,” growled the Pokemon, struggling to push itself up.

    “Scyther,” Derak’s Pokedex reported, “the Mantis Pokemon. Type is Bug and Flying. The sharp scythes on its forearms become increasingly sharp by cutting through hard objects.”

    “Rrgh, of all the times to act useless,” Derak muttered. “Hey…Scyther, hey, can you hear me?”

    The Scyther’s blue eyes narrowed at the sound of Derak’s voice. The Bug-type turned its head and angrily spat something red at Derak’s feet, much to Teresa’s discomfort.

    “Uh…okay, I’ll take that as a ‘yes’,” Derak said slowly. “Look, Scyther, you need help. Hang on, let me…”

    He pulled out a Safari Ball, but Scyther’s eyes widened at the sight of the device. It pointed one bladed arm at Derak, still attempting to rise from the bloody patch it had left behind. The more it rose, however, the more wounds became visible: cuts, bruises, and small holes added to Scyther’s broken wings.

    “Okay, that’s it, I need to take you to the Pokemon Center yesterday!” Derak said, aiming for a relatively unhurt spot on Scyther’s body and gently throwing the Safari Ball. The Bug-type glared at him viciously as its body faded into red energy, but Derak ignored it as he grabbed hold of the Safari Ball and dashed out of the Safari Zone as quickly as he could, Teresa following to the best of her ability.

    ****

    “You again?” Garth groaned. “Why are you here?”

    “I am here to challenge the Fuchsia Gym,” replied Nando, having just sat down at Garth’s table.

    “With nothing but your Grass-types?” Garth snorted. “I believe I have a good idea of how your battle will go.”

    “You are correct to believe that I may be at a type disadvantage,” Nando nodded. “You should not, however, count me out so quickly. As I am sure you are aware, types alone do not determine how a batt—”

    “Nurse Joy!” Derak cried the second he burst into the Pokemon Center, Teresa barely keeping up with him. “Really messed-up Scyther! Needs help now!”

    “Oh, my!” Nurse Joy gasped, taking the Safari Ball that Derak haphazardly threw onto the counter. “Did you find this in the—”

    “JUST HELP IT!” Derak yelled. “It’s bleeding a LOT! It needs help NOW!”

    Nurse Joy hurriedly ran to the back, her Chansey in tow. With a final few pants, Derak collapsed on the ground, sighing as he thumped his head against the front desk.

    “What happened?” Nando asked.

    “We…we found a Scyther,” Teresa replied. “It was…very badly injured. Its wings…they were…”

    “Really messed-up,” Derak finished sadly. “Just like the rest of its body.”

    “How did I know you would stoop to find the first bruised—” Garth began.

    “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STUPID CRITICISM!” Derak bellowed, his dramatic change in demeanor causing Garth to stop for a moment. All that could be heard for that moment was Derak's panting.

    “Are you done?” Garth asked calmly.

    “…that depends,” Derak sighed. “Are you going to spit out garbage about how I shouldn’t have stopped for the Scyther, even after seeing that one of its wings was folded IN HALF? As in, folded in a way that it shouldn’t have been AT ALL?”

    “Ah, I see,” Garth said. “If the injuries were that severe, then I suppose you did the right thing.”

    “What’s that supposed to mean?” Derak asked. Teresa worriedly backed into a wall, anticipating that the worst would follow.

    “I had assumed that—given your nature—you would have stopped to nurse the first injured Pokemon you saw, despite the fact that its injuries could be healed without human aid,” Garth explained. “In all honesty, I would have done the same thing as you if that Scyther was indeed in as poor condition as you claim.”

    “Sure you would have,” Derak scoffed, leaning against the front desk.

    “Hmph…believe what you want,” Garth grunted.

    Derak merely stayed by the desk, looking back into the operation room. Minutes dragged on like hours as he waited for Nurse Joy to return with news of Scyther’s status. Once or twice her Chansey came in to retrieve a supply of some sort, but the nurse herself did not show for some time.

    Eventually, however, she did return. The depression on her face brought worry to Derak’s mind, but upon noticing him, Nurse Joy smiled.

    “Your Scyther’s been patched up, and should recover most of the way by morning,” she said.

    “What do you mean ‘most of the way’?” Derak asked. “There’s a ‘but’, isn’t there?”

    “I’m afraid so,” Nurse Joy nodded. “Scyther’s wings were badly broken. They’ve been put in a cast, but they’re going to take some time to fully heal.”

    “Can I see him?” Derak asked.

    Nurse Joy nodded, and lead Derak back into a sort of waiting room. A large glass panel showed an unconscious Scyther lying face-down on an operating table, its heavily-bandaged wings pointed straight up.

    “We had to anesthetize it,” Nurse Joy explained, “but other than that the only problem was the sensitive wings.”

    Derak could only stare at the Scyther in the operating room. He could only imagine the level of pain it had endured by some unknown enemy…and the amount of time it would take to recover.

    “Don’t worry,” Nurse Joy smiled. “It’ll be just fine by tomorrow. It should even be battle-ready, if you're the go-getter type."

    She turned and left just in time to avoid a dark glare from Derak.

    I don’t care about HIS being battle-ready, he thought. I care about his being a hundred-percent for the sake of being a hundred-percent.

    He slowly approached the window and placed a hand on it.

    “Get well soon,” he whispered. “…Strike.”

    With that, Derak trudged away. Once he had gone and the lights went out, however, Scyther’s body began to move. One blue eye snapped open, and only one thing could be seen within that eye.

    The fires of pure rage.

    *****
    Current fanfics:


    Proving Grounds

    How far will one boy go to prove something?

  11. #61
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    Derak: AHHHHH! IVE BEEN DECAPITATED!
    Is the eevee going to make another appearnce, perhaps on Derak's team.
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01 View Post
    Chapter 19: Safari Zone



    The dusty winds of Orre drifted across Phenac City, speckling the once-spotless city with bits of sand and dirt. Derak’s hometown was now an absolute mess. People and their Pokemon, the latter bearing agonizing battle scars, barely clung to consciousness as their bodies laid flat on the ground. Some buildings were afflicted with scars of their own, large holes having been blasted into them and rubble decorating the streets.

    The most devastated building, however, was Anoch Kadir’s home. It was larger than most due to his wealth, but that only added to the miserable state the house was in. The front wall, along with sections of the roof, had been completely obliterated, and the house had all but collapsed upon itself. Anoch’s body—battered, beaten, and burnt as it was—somehow managed to escape death by crawling out of the wreckage. One shaky hand reached out, as if to grab something.
    Well now, THIS certainly is a surprise. I don't think I could have ever predicted that this would take place. I thought we were done in Orre.

    “Dray…kus…you—” Anoch grunted, only for unconsciousness to finally take hold of him.

    The man he knew as “Draykus”, however, was currently occupied with other affairs. His Conkeldurr and Hydreigon faced down a man with long purple hair and a white jacket, whose chosen two Pokemon had fallen before his eyes. The purple-haired man gritted his teeth, realizing that his fall would most likely mean the end of Phenac. His opponent, however, merely heaved a disappointed sigh.

    “Really?” Nobunaga sighed. “This is the best that Phenac City has to offer? You are supposed to be Justy, the head of the Prestige Precept Gym, where trainers from all over Orre flock to learn about the intricacies of battling. And yet, here we are, with your six Pokemon handily defeated…by my two.”
    Frankly, I'm kind of surprised Nobunaga actually stopped to fight Justy and didn't just dispose of him. The image called to my mind is Loki in The Avengers - he could win easily, but he wants to win in the most theatrical way possible to assert his dominance.

    I'm also kind of wondering where Trest, the mayor of Phenac, is.

    Minor correction: Pre Gym's full name is Prestige Precept Center.

    “I’m still going to stop you, Governor!” Justy declared angrily. “I don’t know why you’re doing this, but I won’t let you destroy the very region you swore to protect!”

    At this, to Justy’s shock, Nobunaga merely chuckled.

    “I’m afraid my reasons would be beyond your comprehension, boy,” he laughed. “Now, stand aside. I wish to see just what you’ve been teaching in your ‘Pre Gym’.”

    He made to advance, but Justy did not move. The Pre Gym Leader steeled his gaze, scowling fiercely at his foe.

    “Very well,” Nobunaga sighed. “Conkeldurr?”

    The colossal Fighting-type simply swung one of its pillars and knocked Justy aside, sending his body careening into Phenac’s outer wall.
    Now that's more Nobunaga's style.

    Did he just kill Justy?

    With the Pre Gym Leader’s now-broken body out of his way, Nobunaga advanced into the semicircular building known as the Pre Gym. Inside, he was met with a less-than-warm reception: young children huddled in a corner with a teacher wrapping her arms around them as best as she could, the teacher herself glaring viciously at Nobunaga, and a group of angry trainers staring down the supposed governor of Orre.

    “Heh,” Nobunaga smirked. “Are you going to battle me, now?”

    “We’ll do better!” one of the trainers declared. “We’re going to defeat you!”
    Um, yeah, that's not happening. Slaughter incoming.

    The trainers sent out a multitude of variegated Pokemon, each one distinguished by its unique shape, size, and typing. Although team balance was clearly part of their studies, Nobunaga was undaunted in the slightest. In fact, he actually seemed to be bored.

    “Hydreigon, use Draco Meteor,” he sighed.

    The three-headed beast reared up, a swirling light gathering upon its stomach. The center of the heads pointed skyward and opened its mouth, releasing a single sphere into the air. The sphere split into a plethora of smaller spheres, which rained down upon the Pre Gym Pokemon like a torrent of meteors. The meteors viciously battered the opposing Pokemon, their types being of no help to them. All the Pre Gym trainers gasped upon seeing their Pokemon beaten so easily with but a single attack, and fell themselves shortly after due to a shockwave caused by Conkeldurr’s fist striking the ground.

    “No wonder Derak sought to flee this city,” Nobunaga muttered, ignoring the ruptured floor and broken bodies that lay before him. “Had he remained here, his potential would be squandered into nothing.”
    One does not become a mighty Warlord by practicing restraint, huh?

    I like the dynamic of Nobunaga being interested in Derak's strength. It makes him more than just a typical villain.

    “Wh…what do you want?” one of the trainers groaned weakly.

    Nobunaga smirked and approached the trainer, Conkeldurr in tow. The Muscular Pokemon pinned the bottom of one pillar onto the trainer’s stomach, and Nobunaga’s sinister smirk grew upon seeing the fear in the trainer’s eyes.

    “Heh heh,” Nobunaga snickered. “You want to know what I want? Very well, then. What I want is information.”

    His smirk suddenly vanished, replaced by a frown. His eyes narrowed, and the entire expression of his face went from sadistic mirth to deadly serious.

    “There is someone I must visit if my future plans are to succeed,” Nobunaga said, his voice calm and his tone authoritative. “What do you know about Team Plasma?”
    Whoa, where did this come from?!

    Suddenly the potential scope of this whole thing has gotten a whole lot wider. If he gets together with Ghetsis, for example, that's bad news.

    A week passed before Derak and Garth arrived at their next destination. It was a city, but it appeared to be rather rural. The houses were generally small and spaced apart, with nature itself set between them. There were a small number of larger buildings, but otherwise the town was fairly unremarkable.

    “This is where the fifth Gym is, right?” Derak asked. “Fuchsia City?”

    “If I remember correctly, yes,” Garth nodded. “The Gym here focuses on Poison-type Pokemon, so to get done with this quickly, you should focus on Psychic-type and Ground-type attacks.”

    “You said that Echo’s Zen Headbutt was Psychic-type, right?” Derak asked, holding his Zubat’s Pokeball. “Well, that’s one guy I’m definitely going to be using.”

    “As if you have any choice in the matter,” Garth snorted. “You have only those three Pokemon, remember?”

    “Eh, if I find another one that’s all right with this whole trainer thing, I’ll let him tag along,” Derak shrugged as the two entered the Pokemon Center.
    I've got a feeling that's going to happen pretty soon.

    “So…it’s a nature reserve…where people catch Pokemon?” Derak said slowly. “What’s the bad news? I mean, it's got to be in there somewhere.”

    “As far as I know, the ‘bad news’ is that you cannot battle the Pokemon you wish to catch,” Garth answered. “Assuming that you find a worthwhile Pokemon, all you can do to capture it is throw a ball and hope that it works.”

    “…that’s kinda stupid,” Derak blurted.

    “Agreed,” Garth sighed, “but it is also your only option at the moment. The Safari Zone is open right now. Go there and capture a fourth Pokemon. You may well need it against the Fuchsia Gym Leader.”
    I'm kind of surprised that Garth actually agrees with him on that.

    “All right,” Derak said as he made to leave. “I’d say ‘wish me luck’, but we both know how that’ll turn out.”
    That line gave me a smile.

    Shortly afterward, Derak pushed his way into the Safari Zone with a large bag in hand. Within the bag were, as Garth had earlier described, thirty Pokeballs with a dark green upper half. Despite having sufficient ammunition, Derak only grimaced as he made his way into a forested area.

    “Whose bright idea was it to give the cranky old receptionist a gun?” Derak muttered. “Ugh, anyway, let’s get down to business…”
    Okay, that was pretty hilarious.

    As his first endeavor for finding a suitable fourth Pokemon, he pushed aside part of a bush and peered behind it. A Pokemon was indeed there: a small purple dinosaur-like creature with small ears, a stubby tail, and what appeared to be a black plate atop its head. The Pokemon looked at him with its beady black eyes, studying him inquisitively.

    “Kang?” the Pokemon squeaked.

    “Hey, little guy,” Derak said, pulling out his Pokedex. “What are you supposed to be?”

    “Khan!” a deeper voice cried, and out of the forest stomped a larger, brown-colored version of the small purple dinosaur with a pouch on its stomach. “Kangas-khan!”

    “Uh-oh,” Derak gulped, backing away from what was apparently the brown dinosaur’s baby. “Okay, look, I’m backing away, I have nothing to do with your baby!”

    Derak had managed to back several feet away, and the brown Pokemon ignored him as it approached its baby. A tender smile overtook the parent’s aggression as it lifted the baby into its pouch, much to the infant’s pleasure.

    “Kangaskhan,” Derak’s Pokedex reported. “The Parent Pokemon. Type is Normal. It raises its offspring in its belly pouch, and only lets the baby out to play when it feels safe.”

    “The kid must have wandered off, then,” Derak muttered as he replaced his Pokedex in his pocket.
    I'm kind of glad that Derak didn't capture the Kangaskhan. They're exceedingly rare and difficult to capture, so I think it might have been a bit unbelievable if he got lucky and got one on his first try.

    “Um…excuse me? Kangaskhan?” a timid female voice ventured. A familiar purple-haired girl came into view, a Safari Ball in hand.

    “Khan?” Kangaskhan blinked, ignoring Derak as it turned to face Teresa. It immediately began sizing her up, attempting to determine if she would be a threat.

    “I…I’m a trainer, and…I’ve, uh…always admired how you…protect your baby…with your life,” Teresa said slowly. “Could you…if it’s not too much trouble…could you come with me? I…I need help…my Pokemon need help…from someone like you.”

    The Parent Pokemon seemed to consider this for a moment. It looked Teresa over once more, eventually judging her to be of decent character. With a friendly smile, Kangaskhan nodded.

    “Really? You’ll…you’ll do it?” Teresa gasped, and Kangaskhan nodded again. “Th-thank you…Kangaskhan.”

    Teresa nervously reached out with her Safari Ball, and gently tapped the mother Kangaskhan’s forehead. The saurian parent was promptly absorbed into the Safari Ball, its child going with it.
    It's good to see her again, and Kangaskhan suits her more than it does Derak. I do think she caught it a little easily, but that's not too big a deal in the bigger picture.

    “Whew,” Derak sighed in relief. “Hey…it was Teresa, right?”

    “Huh?” Teresa blinked. “Uh, oh…yes, it…it was.”

    “Thanks,” Derak said. “I probably wouldn’t have made it out alive if you hadn’t caught that Kangaskhan.”

    “Oh…well…you’re welcome,” Teresa said nervously, fiddling with her fingers.

    “Okay, seriously, what’s your deal?” Derak asked. “How come you’re so nervous all the time?”
    Well, that's a little rude, Derak, especially after she helped you.

    “I…it’s, uh…it’s kind of a long story,” Teresa said. “Erm…if it isn’t too much trouble, could you…uh, maybe…help me get out of here? W-when you’re done here, that is, I…wouldn’t want to…inconvenience you.”

    “Uh…okay?” Derak blinked. “Anyway, I still need a Pokemon, so I guess we’re moving on.”
    I guess that makes up for it though.

    Back at the Pokemon Center, Garth sat alone at his table, taking another swig from his canteen. Once the canteen left his lips, he heaved a ragged sigh.

    “Knowing the boy, I may need to enter the Safari Zone myself,” Garth muttered bitterly. “Doubtless he will have somehow gotten lost…and still be without a fourth Pokemon.”

    “This just in!” a newscaster cried on a television mounted in the upper corner of the lobby. “A mysterious black Pokemon has been spotted in the skies of Kanto! Eyewitnesses claim that this is no ordinary Pokemon, but in fact a Legendary Pokemon!”

    Garth’s eyes widened. A black Legendary Pokemon? He spun around until he located the television, which initially displayed a woman in her twenties sitting at a desk. The picture soon changed to a somewhat blurry image of what was presumably the Pokemon in question.

    “This is an image taken on an eyewitness’ cell phone,” the newscaster explained. “It appears that someone is riding atop this Pokemon across the Kanto region.”

    Garth was oblivious to the second half of her explanation, however. All he saw was a shape from his memory: a huge black dragon with enormous bulky arms and legs but comparatively tiny bat-like wings, its most notable feature being the large generator-like tail protruding from the dragon’s rear. Garth only uttered a fearful whisper at the sight of this beast.

    “Zekrom…”
    Okay, something big is about to go down. Now we've got Zekrom and someone who is probably N involved? Coupled with Nobunaga's actions the plot is suddenly moving forward very, very fast again.

    In the Safari Zone, Derak and Teresa continued on their expedition. Teresa was always looking around nervously, as if fearing that something aggressive would burst out of the bushes. Derak, however, continued to stop every now and then, peering into small areas.

    “So…you, uh…still need a new Pokemon…right?” Teresa asked.

    “Pretty much,” Derak replied. “Hey, I think I see something over there!”

    The two soon came upon a small field-like area, where a rhinoceros-like Pokemon rammed its armored body into a large rock, smashing the boulder into pieces. The Pokemon was a dull grey color, with a single small horn and clawed toes at the end of each of its four short legs. Its blood red irises were just as intimidating as the large ridge coming out of the rhinoceros’ spine.

    “Rhyhorn,” Derak’s Pokedex reported, “the Spikes Pokemon. Type is Ground and Rock. Its powerful tackles can destroy anything. However, it is too slow-witted to help people work.”
    Rhyhorn and its evolutions work for him, and they'll help him against Koga/Janine. I support this.

    “Maybe…maybe you can catch that Rhyhorn?” Teresa ventured. “The Safari Balls...well, they work better if you’re…closer to the Pokemon. Maybe you can…?”

    “Maybe,” Derak replied, scratching his head. “I’ve heard Ground-types are pretty good against Poison-types, but—”

    He was cut off by a sharp whistle that quickly caught the Rhyhorn’s attention. There, on the other side of the small field, stood Elliot Trey, casually leaning on a tree and smirking arrogantly. The boy with multiple personalities made a beckoning gesture with one finger, which managed to send the Rhyhorn into a violent rage. The Spikes Pokemon quickly charged towards Elliot, smashing anything that got into its way as it barreled towards him.
    Or not. Why must this guy ruin everything? Half joking, but seriously, he did it last time too.

    “Elliot,” Derak growled. “What in the world is he doing?”

    Despite the Rhyhorn’s seemingly imminent impact with his body, Elliot did not move an inch from where he stood. Instead, he simply took a Safari Ball out of his pocket and waited for Rhyhorn to come closer. Once the Ground-type was a foot away from impact, Elliot reached out and casually tapped the Safari Ball against the Spikes Pokemon’s horn. Eyes wide in shock, Rhyhorn could do nothing to stop its absorption into the Safari Ball. Following the obligatory click that signaled a successful capture, Elliot clipped the Safari Ball onto his belt and left without a word.

    “Great,” Derak growled. “That’s another Pokemon for HIM and one less for ME.”
    If it's any consolation, Derak, I feel that way too.

    Teresa shrank back slightly, as if she feared Derak’s anger turning on her. The boy noticed this, and sighed.

    “What are you worried about?” he asked. “It’s got nothing to do with you.”

    “O-okay,” Teresa gulped. “Let’s…let’s just go. There…has to be a Pokemon for you…somewhere in here…right?”
    I'm kind of shipping Derak and Teresa now and I feel horrible for it.

    In Orre, the same news broadcast that Garth saw earlier was seen by someone else. The mouth of this someone curved into a sinister grin upon seeing the mysterious Pokemon. He, too, recognized it.

    “There you are,” Nobunaga grinned. “Heh…time to claim what was once mine.”
    WHY DID I NOT REALIZE THIS?! Zekrom and Nobunaga... it should have been so obvious!

    Back in the Kanto Safari Zone, Derak suddenly came to a stop. Before him were several damaged trees, either cut through or knocked over. Teresa gulped as she looked down, cringing as she saw a red liquid spattered on the grass.

    “Oh, man,” Derak breathed. “What happened here?”

    A sickly groaning could be faintly heard within the cluster of broken trees. The eyes of both trainer’s quickly widened. Derak was the first to run in, with Teresa lagging behind due to her unwillingness to see more blood. They soon found the source of the groans: a third Pokemon, this one resembling a humanoid praying mantis with a vaguely canine head and massive blades serving as arms. On the Pokemon’s back was a pair of what were once gossamer wings. Now, however, they were folded and spindled, clearly causing their owner pain.
    Well that was unexpected. I would have thought the Scyther would be the one who spilled the blood, not the one who lost it.\

    Correction: "trainers" needs no apostrophe.

    “Scyyy,” growled the Pokemon, struggling to push itself up.

    “Scyther,” Derak’s Pokedex reported, “the Mantis Pokemon. Type is Bug and Flying. The sharp scythes on its forearms become increasingly sharp by cutting through hard objects.”

    “Rrgh, of all the times to act useless,” Derak muttered. “Hey…Scyther, hey, can you hear me?”

    The Scyther’s blue eyes narrowed at the sound of Derak’s voice. The Bug-type turned its head and angrily spat something red at Derak’s feet, much to Teresa’s discomfort.

    “Uh…okay, I’ll take that as a ‘yes’,” Derak said slowly. “Look, Scyther, you need help. Hang on, let me…”

    He pulled out a Safari Ball, but Scyther’s eyes widened at the sight of the device. It pointed one bladed arm at Derak, still attempting to rise from the bloody patch it had left behind. The more it rose, however, the more wounds became visible: cuts, bruises, and small holes added to Scyther’s broken wings.
    Why do I get the feeling that Elliot may have some connection to the state of this Scyther?

    “Okay, that’s it, I need to take you to the Pokemon Center yesterday!” Derak said, aiming for a relatively unhurt spot on Scyther’s body and gently throwing the Safari Ball. The Bug-type glared at him viciously as its body faded into red energy, but Derak ignored it as he grabbed hold of the Safari Ball and dashed out of the Safari Zone as quickly as he could, Teresa following to the best of her ability.

    ****

    “You again?” Garth groaned. “Why are you here?”

    “I am here to challenge the Fuchsia Gym,” replied Nando, having just sat down at Garth’s table.
    I was wondering when he'd show up again, with Teresa around.

    “With nothing but your Grass-types?” Garth snorted. “I believe I have a good idea of how your battle will go.”

    “You are correct to believe that I may be at a type disadvantage,” Nando nodded. “You should not, however, count me out so quickly. As I am sure you are aware, types alone do not determine how a batt—”
    Also, who says he only has Grass types?

    “Nurse Joy!” Derak cried the second he burst into the Pokemon Center, Teresa barely keeping up with him. “Really messed-up Scyther! Needs help now!”

    “Oh, my!” Nurse Joy gasped, taking the Safari Ball that Derak haphazardly threw onto the counter. “Did you find this in the—”

    “JUST HELP IT!” Derak yelled. “It’s bleeding a LOT! It needs help NOW!”

    Nurse Joy hurriedly ran to the back, her Chansey in tow. With a final few pants, Derak collapsed on the ground, sighing as he thumped his head against the front desk.
    That was... different. We don't usually see Derak act like this.

    “What happened?” Nando asked.

    “We…we found a Scyther,” Teresa replied. “It was…very badly injured. Its wings…they were…”

    “Really messed-up,” Derak finished sadly. “Just like the rest of its body.”

    “How did I know you would stoop to find the first bruised—” Garth began.

    “I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOUR STUPID CRITICISM!” Derak bellowed, his dramatic change in demeanor causing Garth to stop for a moment. All that could be heard for that moment was Derak's panting.
    I can't blame Derak for reacting so angrily. Garth was totally out of line here.

    “Hmph…believe what you want,” Garth grunted.

    Derak merely stayed by the desk, looking back into the operation room. Minutes dragged on like hours as he waited for Nurse Joy to return with news of Scyther’s status. Once or twice her Chansey came in to retrieve a supply of some sort, but the nurse herself did not show for some time.

    Eventually, however, she did return. The depression on her face brought worry to Derak’s mind, but upon noticing him, Nurse Joy smiled.

    “Your Scyther’s been patched up, and should recover most of the way by morning,” she said.

    “What do you mean ‘most of the way’?” Derak asked. “There’s a ‘but’, isn’t there?”

    “I’m afraid so,” Nurse Joy nodded. “Scyther’s wings were badly broken. They’ve been put in a cast, but they’re going to take some time to fully heal.”
    I'm sure that's going to affect how he's able to use Scyther in the future, the injury it suffered. Exactly how, though, is something I'll wait to see.

    “Can I see him?” Derak asked.

    Nurse Joy nodded, and lead Derak back into a sort of waiting room. A large glass panel showed an unconscious Scyther lying face-down on an operating table, its heavily-bandaged wings pointed straight up.

    “We had to anesthetize it,” Nurse Joy explained, “but other than that the only problem was the sensitive wings.”
    That sounds painful just to think about.

    Derak could only stare at the Scyther in the operating room. He could only imagine the level of pain it had endured by some unknown enemy…and the amount of time it would take to recover.

    “Don’t worry,” Nurse Joy smiled. “It’ll be just fine by tomorrow. It should even be battle-ready, if you're the go-getter type."

    She turned and left just in time to avoid a dark glare from Derak.

    I don’t care about HIS being battle-ready, he thought. I care about his being a hundred-percent for the sake of being a hundred-percent.

    He slowly approached the window and placed a hand on it.

    “Get well soon,” he whispered. “…Strike.”
    A reference to Scyther's Japanese name?

    With that, Derak trudged away. Once he had gone and the lights went out, however, Scyther’s body began to move. One blue eye snapped open, and only one thing could be seen within that eye.

    The fires of pure rage.

    *****
    Well that can't be good. I have a feeling Derak's Gym battle is going to be quite the sight...

    I'm especially excited by what was going on in Orre and the introduction of N, Zekrom and Team Plasma. There are just so many places these storylines can go, particularly with Nobunaga involved.

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  13. #63
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    Hi! I read this in45 min. and I love it. Your basic sp. desc. punc. is great. You're developing everyones personality really well and the split person was a stroke of genius. PM list?
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  14. #64
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    I'd run a long commentary on this chapter, but The Great Butler beat me to it. One thing I can comment on from that review is:

    “Nurse Joy!” Derak cried the second he burst into the Pokemon Center, Teresa barely keeping up with him. “Really messed-up Scyther! Needs help now!”

    “Oh, my!” Nurse Joy gasped, taking the Safari Ball that Derak haphazardly threw onto the counter. “Did you find this in the—”

    “JUST HELP IT!” Derak yelled. “It’s bleeding a LOT! It needs help NOW!”

    Nurse Joy hurriedly ran to the back, her Chansey in tow. With a final few pants, Derak collapsed on the ground, sighing as he thumped his head against the front desk.
    That was... different. We don't usually see Derak act like this.
    Actually, I can. Derak is much more sympathetic to a Pokemon's plight than a human's. And Joy basically asking questions when he's pretty agitated is only going to set him off worse.

    Interesting addition to the team, now if he can only evolve it into a Scizor, Koga/Janine won't stand a prayer, Steel types being immune to poison and all... blast that Elliot.

    Nobunaga trolling Phenac City was pretty well done, not to mention quite the opener. Owning like a total boss. I haven't played Conquest, but the Zekrom/Nobunaga connection from there isn't even intriguing me. This fic is doing the link enough justice as it is.

    OK, I gotta jet now... L@er!
    The Corei Quest's latest chapter: Chapter Forty Seven: Tricks of the Trade (24 April 2014)
    PROJECT C-SQUARE STATUS = 100.00% Complete (11-12-2010, ca. 2:40pm GMT)
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  15. #65
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    Rotomknight: Eevee will be making another appearance or two down the road, but it won't be on Derak's team...


    The Great Butler:
    Minor correction: Pre Gym's full name is Prestige Precept Center.
    Ah. My bad.

    Did he just kill Justy?
    Possibly.

    Whoa, where did this come from?!

    Suddenly the potential scope of this whole thing has gotten a whole lot wider. If he gets together with Ghetsis, for example, that's bad news.
    No kidding. I didn't grasp how dangerous Ghetsis really was until I played Black 2...the man is literally a raving lunatic.

    I'm kind of glad that Derak didn't capture the Kangaskhan. They're exceedingly rare and difficult to capture, so I think it might have been a bit unbelievable if he got lucky and got one on his first try.
    Which is partly why I didn't give Derak an Eevee.

    Well, that's a little rude, Derak, especially after she helped you.
    Oh, just wait until Saffron City/Cinnaber Island. You'll be surprised at just how rude he can be to people...

    Or not. Why must this guy ruin everything? Half joking, but seriously, he did it last time too.
    The idea is for people to dislike Elliot. From what I've seen, it appears to be working quite well.

    I'm kind of shipping Derak and Teresa now and I feel horrible for it.
    I'd ask why, but I've learned that some reasons for shipping may be better left unsaid. XD

    A reference to Scyther's Japanese name?
    I was looking over the Pokedex page for Scyther, trying to figure out what Strike's moveset would be, and I found that its Japanese name was "Strike". Sounded good to me.

    I think you'll enjoy this chapter. Stuff is happening. Lots of stuff.


    Grav: Sure! You are now on the PM list. Hope you enjoy the later chapters!


    Air Dragon:
    Interesting addition to the team, now if he can only evolve it into a Scizor, Koga/Janine won't stand a prayer, Steel types being immune to poison and all... blast that Elliot.
    I love how everyone's hating on Elliot, exactly as I planned. XD

    Honestly, evolving Strike right after he's been captured would be a little too fast for my liking. Plus it would give Derak too much of an advantage. He does need to be the unlucky trainer, after all. XD

    Nobunaga trolling Phenac City was pretty well done, not to mention quite the opener. Owning like a total boss. I haven't played Conquest, but the Zekrom/Nobunaga connection from there isn't even intriguing me. This fic is doing the link enough justice as it is.
    That opener went through a couple of revisions plot-wise, so I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    And, if you're into strategy games, I really recommend Conquest. I find it a bit frustrating at times, but I really like how they adapted actual Japanese history into the Pokemon world. It's pretty awesome.



    Well, it's time to bring out the next chapter. This one's going to be fun.



    Chapter 20: Strike



    The morning after Derak’s capture of Strike, his new Scyther, Fuchsia City’s lampposts slowly dimmed as they accepted the sun as their replacement. One lamppost, however, began to crackle with blue electricity. The electricity burst off of the lamp and merged into the form of a familiar red Pokemon.

    “Tom?” blinked the Rotom from Celadon Mansion, looking around at the rural place its travels had brought it to. And then it began snickering mischievously. “Ro-tom-tom-tom!”

    ****

    Derak was the first one up, immediately standing outside Strike’s operating room. The Scyther had not moved since yesterday, instead remaining in the operating room as its strength recovered. Derak anxiously waited for his Bug-type to recover, hoping that he could have a chance to come to an understanding with it. The circumstances of its capture had not quite turned out the way he had hoped for.

    “H-hello?” Teresa stuttered. “I’m…sorry, I just…wanted to see how—”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Derak shrugged. “Strike still hasn’t moved too much, but he’s obviously still alive.”

    “That’s…that’s good,” Teresa nodded, moving alongside Derak so that she, too, could see Strike. “I’m…glad to hear that.”

    “Okay, seriously, why do you keep talking like that?” Derak asked. “Why do you act like people would strangle you if you say one wrong word?”

    Teresa swallowed hard, finding a sudden interest in her feet.

    “It’s…like I told you yesterday, it’s…a long story,” she stammered.

    “I’ve got time,” Derak shrugged. “Don’t have much to do until Strike recovers, so I’ll be here all day if I have to.”

    “O-okay,” Teresa nodded. “I’m…I’m from Agate Village.”

    “The old people’s town up north?” Derak blinked, having heard of Orre’s chief retirement residence.

    “Y-yes,” Teresa nodded. “But, my…my family was originally…from the Sinnoh region.”

    “Oh, yeah, you used a Shinx in the Pewter Contest, right?” Derak asked. “Is that where you got it?”

    Teresa nodded again.

    “So why move to Orre?” Derak asked.

    This time Teresa gulped again, her skin suddenly going pale at the thoughts she was made to relive.

    “You okay?” Derak asked. “Hey, you don’t have to tell me if—”

    “N-no, I…I need to do this,” Teresa interrupted. “Mr. Nando, he’s…he’s always telling me that I if I talk about it…it’ll get better.”

    “So…you’re going to talk about it?” Derak asked.

    Teresa nodded again. She took a deep breath and began her tale again.

    “I…was born in Veilstone City,” Teresa said. “My mother was…a coordinator. I always thought she was great…I wanted to…to be like her. I…I never really wanted to…leave Veilstone. I…I was happy where I was.”

    “So why leave?” Derak asked.

    “I…I had another relative…living in Veilstone,” Teresa gulped, remembering the critical part of her story. “A cousin. His…his name was Paul. He lived…with his brother, Reggie. Sometimes we…we visited them.”

    Tears began to well up in Teresa’s eyes.

    “Those visits,” she murmured. “Those visits…were the worst times of my life.”

    “Why?” Derak asked. “What about Paul and Reggie made those visits bad?”

    “Paul…he,” Teresa muttered, her eyes still misty. “PAUL WAS A BULLY!”

    Derak jumped at her sudden outburst, and was even more startled when Teresa began to slam her fists against the wall.

    “PAUL WAS A STUPID, ROTTEN, NO-GOOD BULLY!” Teresa ranted, tears soaring from her eyes and her fists punctuating each word in her description of her cousin. “His father was never there for him, so he took it out on me! I’ve suffered because of Paul! SUFFERED!”

    She propped herself up against a wall, allowing her eyes to freely release the liquid of sorrow.

    “I’m so afraid,” she muttered. “Paul’s out there, somewhere…I know he is. I’m so afraid that I’ll find him, and…and he’ll…”

    Teresa’s crying became heavier, and a green Pokeball popped open. Her Chikorita emerged and leapt onto her shoulder, stroking her hair with its large leaf. Teresa slowly looked over at the Grass-type and smiled.

    “Th-thank you…Chikorita,” Teresa smiled.

    “Hey, Teresa?” Derak said. “Look…cross that bridge when you get to it, okay? If you do find Paul—”

    The lights in the room suddenly powered down, leaving the two trainers completely in the dark.

    “Uh, what just happened?” Derak asked.

    “I…I don’t know,” Teresa answered. “The power just…just went out.”

    A ceiling light a short distance away from them suddenly exploded, sending shards of glass showering everywhere. Another ceiling light followed suit, then another, until the one directly above Derak and Teresa spontaneously shattered. The two trainers jumped back in order to avoid the falling glass, along with some electrical sparks that fell with it. Derak looked up to find that blue electricity crackled from the ceiling light, and as if on cue, the electricity joined together to form a familiar Pokemon.

    “Oh, no,” Derak groaned. “Not YOU again!”

    Indeed, the Rotom from Celadon Mansion had returned. The Plasma Pokemon snickered at Derak’s reaction to its presence, as if finding his anguish amusing.

    “You…know this Rotom?” Teresa asked.

    “Remember when I went into Celadon Mansion?” Derak asked. “This thing tried to kill me there.”

    Rotom snickered again, but out of the corner of its eye it saw the unconscious Strike lying in the operating room. A mischievous Cheshire grin crossed Rotom’s face as it put its two bolt-arms together, its body charging with electricity as it prepared to launch a Thunderbolt.

    “Oh, no, you don’t!” Derak cried. “Wildfire, stop Rotom with Flame Wheel!”

    A fiery wheel immediately burst out of Wildfire’s Pokeball, slamming into Rotom and knocking it to the floor just in time to prevent the Electric-type’s attack. The Plasma Pokemon gave itself a quick shake, however, and levitated into the air again.

    “Chikorita…please, we need to help,” Teresa whimpered. “I need you…to use Razor Leaf.”

    Chikorita eagerly leapt off of Teresa’s shoulder and spun its leaf around, releasing a flurry of sharp-edged leaves. Rotom, however, quickly darted out of the way, bouncing off several walls before landing directly in front of Chikorita. With a mirthful cackle at the Grass-type’s startled response, Rotom crossed its bolt-arms again and released a new Electroweb. Being at point-blank range, the Leaf Pokemon was easily caught inside, gritting its teeth as the net’s electricity surged through its body.

    “Oh, no!” Teresa gasped. She made to try and work her starter free, only to receive an electric shock from touching the Electroweb.

    “Great,” Derak muttered. “Wildfire, can you use Scratch to free Chikorita?”

    The Chimchar nodded and complied with one swift motion. The Electroweb faded away upon being cut, much to Rotom’s disappointment.

    “Tooomm, roh-tom?” Rotom whined in a tone reminiscent of a child whose favorite television show had unexpectedly ended.

    “Sorry we can’t give you your sick thrills,” Derak spat. “Wildfire, use Flame Wheel again!”

    Again Wildfire assumed its wheel form, but Rotom suddenly shot up to the ceiling. It bounced off of the ceiling and then the walls, its speed increasing as it gathered momentum. Wildfire began to panic, realizing the futility in trying to keep track of the Plasma Pokemon.

    “We need to move, it’s too cramped in here for us to do anything!” Derak cried. Teresa nodded and the two trainers began to flee with their starter Pokemon in tow. Rotom, however, stopped bouncing long enough to notice their retreat efforts. It charged its entire body with electricity and shot off like a bullet, leaving a trail of lightning in its path.

    And then the lightning slammed into Derak’s back, the trainer himself crying out in agony just as he reached the Pokemon Center’s lobby. Despite a seeming lack of physical characteristics, Derak could feel a bruise where Rotom’s attack had struck, particularly as he tumbled across the floor and agitated the spot. Rotom itself materialized in the middle of the lobby, wincing slightly from the attack’s recoil.

    “A Rotom?” Nando gasped.

    “And not just any Rotom, I would wager,” Garth growled, preparing a Pokeball.

    The Electric-type in question looked around, and upon seeing a greater amount of people, cackled hysterically.

    “You will not be laughing for long,” Garth snarled. “Sableye, rise from the ashes!”

    “Sawsbuck, let us assist them!” Nando added.

    Each man’s Pokeball released a different Pokemon. The small purple demon-like creature that was Garth’s Sableye grinned widely, each pointy tooth adding to the intimidation of the smile. Nando’s Pokemon was a brown deer-like creature with a tan underbelly, several small pink spots on its back, and pink flowers growing out of its dark brown antlers. The deer stamped one hoof, awaiting its orders.

    “Stay down,” Garth ordered, noticing Derak’s attempts to rise. Wildfire stopped from entering the fray, as did Teresa and her Chikorita. “We will handle this. Sableye, use Shadow Ball!”

    “Sawsbuck, please, use Horn Leech,” Nando said, somehow maintaining his composure despite the situation.

    Sableye formed a sphere of darkness between its hands, but even after it threw the projectile, Rotom bounced aside with ease. Nando’s Sawsbuck, remembering the strength it had gained since its time as his Deerling, charged forth as its antlers began to glow a bright green. Rotom unleashed an Electroweb, but Sawsbuck’s horns simply tore through the net and crashed into the Plasma Pokemon’s body. Due to its small size, however, Rotom actually managed to get stuck between Sawsbuck’s antlers, causing Nando’s Pokemon to become greatly distressed.

    “Please, Sawsbuck, calm yourself!” Nando cried, noticing Sawsbuck’s frenzied attempts to shake the Electric-type free from its antlers. “Use Giga Drain, please!”

    Although understandably uncomfortable with having Rotom stuck in its antlers, the voice of its trainer was enough for Sawsbuck to regain its composure. Its antlers again began to glow green, this time causing a green aura to course through Rotom’s body. The Plasma Pokemon winced as its stamina was steadily sapped away, managing to summon enough strength to discharge a Thunderbolt. The intense pain of having electricity surge through its horns was too much for Sawsbuck, and as its Giga Drain halted, Rotom managed to slip out of its antlers.

    The Electric-type’s freedom was short-lived, however, as Garth’s Sableye leapt upon it with a Shadow Claw drawn back. Rotom wailed in shock, its body taking on a strange glow for roughly half of a second. Sableye’s slashed its Shadow Claw through Rotom’s body, but instead of falling to the floor in defeat, the Electric-type somehow vanished in a puff of smoke.

    “What?” Garth gasped. “A Substitute? Then…where is the real one?!”

    Sableye’s gemstone eyes glanced about, attempting to locate its missing foe. Sawsbuck slowly rose to its feet, still suffering from an unpleasant headache brought on by Rotom’s Thunderbolt. For a moment, there was nothing. Rotom appeared to have completely disappeared, leaving behind only the damage caused by the battle. Nurse Joy carefully peeked up from behind the counter, trying to see if it was safe to reemerge.

    Then the light fixtures began to crackle with electricity, and Rotom burst out with yet another Electroweb. The electrical net quickly enveloped Sableye, and Rotom laughed wildly as its captive tumbled back helplessly. Its eyes widened, however, when Sableye’s claws cut the Ghost-type free, with an angry sneer in place of its usual grin.

    “Rooh?” Rotom blinked, having clearly not expected Sableye to escape so soon.

    “Saaaay,” Sableye rasped viciously, flexing its claws in anticipation.

    The resolve of Garth’s Pokemon seemed to worry Rotom, and in another dash of lightning it slipped back into the light fixture. Sableye’s grin returned, this time with a measure of satisfaction.

    “Is…is it gone?” Teresa asked nervously.

    “That thing…survived having Celadon Mansion collapse on top of it,” Derak groaned as he managed to rise. “No way something that crazy is going to give up that easily.”

    Derak’s words seemed to be justified when a faint humming sound could be heard from outside. The humming became steadily louder, and the louder it became, the more it sounded like a running motor. And then, when it sounded as if it were just outside, it stopped. A tense calm descended on the Pokemon Center.

    And then the storm ensued.

    A hurricane of wind and leafs burst through the front doors, blasting Garth’s Sableye off its feet and pushing back Nando’s Sawsbuck. Wildfire tumbled into a wall, and Teresa’s Chikorita skidded back into its trainer’s leg. Most of the humans found ways to shield themselves from the windy assault, but what came in afterward was completely unexpected.

    Rotom had returned, this time having possessed another appliance. Its appearance now resembled a sideways egg with two wheels on each side and a large cube in the back. Its antenna had grown a large bulb, and its eyes—along with its aura—had turned green. Underneath the eyes was a wide, sharp-toothed grin, and its bolt-arms had merged into a single scoop-like protrusion that emerged from the front.

    “Oh, great,” Derak groaned. “Now it’s a lawnmower with teeth!”

    “Tom-tom-tom-tom-tom-tom!” Rotom chattered rapidly, its body becoming electrified as it barreled towards Derak.

    “Sableye, use Brick Break to stop Rotom’s Wild Charge!” Garth yelled.

    Despite the small size of the gemstone-eyed Pokemon, Sableye leapt between Derak and Rotom as it drew up one arm. Once the Plasma Pokemon’s lawnmower body was within range, Sableye brought its arm down, directly slamming the space between Rotom’s eyes. The Wild Charge dissipated as Rotom winced in pain, stunned from the blow Sableye had landed.

    “Now, Sawsbuck, we must finish this!” Nando cried. “Use Megahorn!”

    The twig-like horns on Sawsbuck’s head began to glow a bright green, and the entire Pokemon charged towards Rotom. Knowing that its possession of the lawnmower had given Rotom a Grass-type’s weakness to Bug-type attacks such as Megahorn, Nando hoped that this would indeed be the final blow. Unfortunately, Rotom quickly shot out of the lawnmower and into the air, causing Sawsbuck’s attack to damage only the lawnmower. The device that Rotom once inhabited skidded in shambles towards the wall, with Rotom itself hovering in the air once again.

    “I can see why you found this creature so vexing,” Garth muttered to Derak.

    “So how do we beat it?” Derak asked. “It just keeps jumping into appliances nonstop.”

    Rotom put its bolt-arms together and prepared another Thunderbolt, but its eyes suddenly widened. It stopped charging and looked past the counter with an inquisitive gaze. Derak blinked in bewilderment until he heard a single footstep down the hallway. The footstep was eventually followed by another, then another, all in slow procession. Something was slowly coming out of the back. Teresa clapped her hands over her mouth in shock once she saw what it was. Derak’s jaw dropped once he also saw it.

    The source of the footsteps was his Scyther.

    Strike stood there, bandaged wings pointing up at the ceiling, as it slowly looked around. Its intense blue eyes drifted from one individual to another, as if evaluating them. The Scyther stared darkly at Derak for a moment before its eyes fell on Rotom. Up until this point, the Plasma Pokemon had simply floated there, trying to determine how it was going to react to an injured Scyther emerging from the hallway. The first one to speak, however, was Derak.

    “Strike?” Derak blinked. “What are you doing, are you nuts? You shouldn’t be out of—”

    The Scyther silently pointed one of its bladed arms at Derak and sent him a threatening glare.

    “Scy-ther,” growled the Bug-type before it turned its gaze back towards Rotom. It studied the Electric-type for a moment until it pointed a blade at the Plasma Pokemon’s body. And then Strike flicked its head in a beckoning gesture.

    Rotom blinked in surprise at the gesture, but quickly recovered and burst into a fit of laughter. The Plasma Pokemon fired off a Thunderbolt, but in a sudden surge of speed defying its current condition, Strike was gone. Rotom spun around wildly in its attempts to locate its new Bug-type foe, only for Strike to appear out of nowhere and slash the Plasma Pokemon in an “X”-shaped pattern with both its blades.

    “Strike, what are you doing?!” Derak cried. “You’re not fully--!”

    “Enough!” Garth spat at Derak.

    “But his Scyther is still—” Nando ventured.

    “It seems to me that Scyther has things under control,” Garth said, “In fact…this particular Scyther seems to be more than capable of defeating Rotom, in spite of its injuries.”

    Rotom had since recovered from the X-attack, and after a quick shake of its head, released an Electroweb. Strike simply scoffed and cut through the electric net with a single slash, causing the attack to fizzle into nothing. Rotom’s desperation had reached its peak by this point, and the Electric-type began to fervently look around for some kind of edge or escape. Upon spying the broken lawnmower, it quickly dove into the device again, regaining its new form and somehow completely repairing the lawnmower.

    “Tom-tom!” Rotom chattered, snapping its teeth viciously.

    Strike, however, was less than impressed with Rotom’s new form, and indicated as such with another scoff. Rotom growled at this, its typical mirth all but gone, and managed to unleash a Leaf Storm that hurtled straight towards the Mantis Pokemon. Strike smirked, as if finally seeing what it wanted, and crossed its blades in front of it. Some of the Leaf Storm blew past or nicked Strike's body, but the majority of it slammed into the makeshift shield the Bug-type had created. The second that the Leaf Storm ended, Rotom rushed forth with another Wild Charge, its lawnmower body somehow bouncing up and colliding with Strike’s front.

    “Strike, no!” Derak cried.

    His concern was well-earned, as the force from Rotom’s Wild Charge sent Strike skidding back towards the wall. The Scyther, however, managed to turn its body so that its side bore the brunt of the impact, rather than its wings. Strike fell onto one knee, and seeing weakness in its foe, Rotom charged again.

    “Strike, get out of there!” Derak yelled.

    Despite the imminent Wild Charge and its seemingly-perilous situation, however, Strike smirked. Everything was going just as it had planned. All it needed was for Rotom to come just a bit closer.

    Derak, however, did not understand Strike’s plan, and was busy fumbling for his lone Safari Ball. Just as he managed to find it, he stopped. Something was wrong.

    “Uh, Garth?” Derak asked. “Why is there a faint red glow coming from Strike’s body?”

    “That,” Garth smirked, “is why I told you to not interfere. I knew there was something unique to this Scyther.”

    Rotom came closer to impact, its malicious grin back on its face as it cackled madly. Just as it was about to land the critical blow, however, the faint red glow on Strike’s body burned brightly. Rotom’s eyes widened, but it could not stop itself in time. The glow transferred to one of Strike’s blades, and that blade slashed Rotom across its face. The apparent impact, however, looked more like Rotom had been struck with a giant sledgehammer, seeing as the Plasma Pokemon was sent spiraling into a wall and out of its lawnmower body.

    “Whoa,” Derak gasped. “What was that?”

    “Reversal,” Garth replied.

    “Brilliant,” Nando observed with a tone of admiration. “Reversal is an attack that becomes more powerful if the user is in worse condition than the target. Your Scyther intentionally injured itself in order to strengthen Reversal, knowing that it could do a significant amount of damage.”

    “Roooh…Ro…ro-tom,” moaned the Electric-type target of Strike’s Reversal, wobbling in mid-air as it attempted to flee. Strike saw this, but did nothing to stop Rotom. As far as it was concerned, the Plasma Pokemon was already beaten.

    “You will not be getting away from me!” Garth cried. “Sableye, stop Rotom!”

    Rotom, however, was too quick for even the lunging Sableye. The Plasma Pokemon slipped into a light fixture once again, this time vanishing from the Pokemon Center altogether.

    “Ugh, here we go again,” Derak groaned. “Watch, he’s going to pop right back in while possessing a toaster or something.”

    “No, I believe that your Scyther has taught Rotom an excellent lesson,” said Nando. “Rotom will need to lick its wounds, which should provide us all a break from its mischief.”

    “Yeah, ‘mischief’. That’s one word for it,” Derak groaned as he finally managed to rise. Wildfire came to his side, gingerly prodding its trainer’s leg. “I’m okay, little guy. I’m just glad that Rotom’s gone.”

    “Char,” Wildfire nodded. Even it had to admit that Rotom was a problem.

    “So…Strike?” Derak ventured. His Scyther made no indication that it heard him. “Thanks for scaring off Rotom and all…but you’re still injured. I mean, just look at your wings! They’re in casts, for crying out loud!”

    Strike briefly glanced at its trainer, but otherwise gave him no acknowledgement. Derak sighed.

    “Look, let’s just get you back on the recovery table, and—” he began, but stopped short when Strike pointed its blade in his face once again. The blade was practically touching Derak’s nose, much to the trainer’s discomfort.

    “Uh…okay, sure, you’re fine,” Derak said quickly. “Just…don’t use attacks that involve your wings, okay? They’re still in pretty bad shape, even if the rest of you isn’t.”

    “Scyy,” Strike spat as it withdrew its blade. The Scyther then walked out the front doors, heading outside and leaving everyone else behind.

    “Uh…okay?” Derak blinked. “Well, this is a messed-up way to start off this morning.”

    “I have had worse,” Garth assured him.

    Derak did not respond, instead looking down at Wildfire. The Chimchar was staring at Strike’s departing back, wondering why the Scyther acted in such a manner.

    “Might as well go introduce you and others to Strike,” Derak shrugged. “I just hope that goes well.”

    ****

    Outside, a black shape passed over the clouds that drifted above the Pokemon Center. The shape was colossal even at first glance, but only when it broke through the cloud barrier and landed behind Fuchsia City did it become truly visible. It was a massive red-eyed black dragon, with small bat-like wings and large hands that ended its long arms. The creature’s tail resembled a large cone-shaped turbine, and it was from atop this turbine that a mysterious man dismounted.

    The man had long tea-green hair tied into a ponytail, all of which emerged from underneath a black baseball cap. He wore a white jacket over a black shirt, and tan pants upon his legs. The moment the man’s green sneakers touched the grass beneath him, a cube-like puzzle bounced as it dangled from his waist. Six Pokeballs attached to his belt also shook from the impact of his landing.

    “Thank you, Zekrom,” the man said. “I need you to return to the Pokeball for now.”

    The dragon nodded, having a prior understanding of the man’s reasons. It thus put up no resistance as it allowed its apparent trainer to recall it and place its Pokeball on his belt. One of the other Pokeballs, however, suddenly began to wobble violently. The man’s eyes went wide as he snatched the Pokeball off of his belt and held it between his hands.

    “Wait, my friend!” the man cried to the Pokeball, apparently communicating with the Pokemon within. “ I know you find it loathsome in there, and I understand! But you must endure just a bit longer!”

    The ball continued to shake, exerting a significant degree of force against the man’s hands.

    “Please, I know this is difficult, but you must trust me, just this once!” the man cried. “If you are always outside, someone is bound to notice your unique circumstances and indulge in selfish desires for power! I cannot allow Pokemon to be used so greedily, and neither can you!”

    The ball stopped shaking after a moment, allowing the man to breathe a sigh of relief.

    “Thank you,” the man said. “I understand that your patience is wearing thin, but we have just reached Fuchsia City. It is only a matter of time before you will be given the freedom you deserve.”

    With that, the man placed the renegade Pokeball back on his belt and trudged into Fuchsia City.

    Will this be where black and white meet? the man thought. We shall see soon enough.

    *****
    Current fanfics:


    Proving Grounds

    How far will one boy go to prove something?

  16. #66
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    Oh yeah! N is back! Strike is awesome! Zekrom is actually in a ball.
    That aside, will Derak be battling him? That would be funny to see the mighty Zekrom taken down, smashed into a spike wall153 times, and thrown into Four Island by Strike.
    I awaite the next chappie!
    Formerly Grav.
    Quite inactive, but still available. If you have a fanfic that no one wants to review, PM/VM me and I'll give you a hand.

  17. #67
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    XLNT!
    I like strike, I hope he can trust derak soon!
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

  18. #68
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    Is it just me, or is this Rotom that much of a freaking tank? Seriously, Wildfire, Sableye, Sawsbuck and Strike were needed just to make it back off?

    If Derak or Garth actually manages to catch that, then it would be a game breaker. Nuff said. Speaking of which, I had to reread Strike's using Reversal on Rotom to remember it was Mow Rotom then. It was that high speed.

    So, Theresa is related to Paul... the plot thins. I find it a bit hard to believe this all passed under the radar of a "breeder" like Reggie, who actually beat six out of seven Battle Frontier facilities as well as every gym from Kanto to Sinnoh, but Paul must be really slick, or Reggie defunct.

    Strike's behaviour is going to make this a sticky relationship somewhat. He can't exactly leave, and he clearly doesn't want to stay around. I'd be cautious about making an avatar for Murphy's Law out of your protagonist. He gets a bit predictable that way. No use throwing bad stuff at him if everyone (except him) can see it coming. That would make him dumb.

    Either way, the upcoming introductions should be... interesting. Keeping watch!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01 View Post
    Chapter 20: Strike



    The morning after Derak’s capture of Strike, his new Scyther, Fuchsia City’s lampposts slowly dimmed as they accepted the sun as their replacement. One lamppost, however, began to crackle with blue electricity. The electricity burst off of the lamp and merged into the form of a familiar red Pokemon.

    “Tom?” blinked the Rotom from Celadon Mansion, looking around at the rural place its travels had brought it to. And then it began snickering mischievously. “Ro-tom-tom-tom!”
    Oh no. You know as soon as this little troublemaker shows up that things are going to be crazy.

    Derak was the first one up, immediately standing outside Strike’s operating room. The Scyther had not moved since yesterday, instead remaining in the operating room as its strength recovered. Derak anxiously waited for his Bug-type to recover, hoping that he could have a chance to come to an understanding with it. The circumstances of its capture had not quite turned out the way he had hoped for.

    “H-hello?” Teresa stuttered. “I’m…sorry, I just…wanted to see how—”

    “Don’t worry about it,” Derak shrugged. “Strike still hasn’t moved too much, but he’s obviously still alive.”

    “That’s…that’s good,” Teresa nodded, moving alongside Derak so that she, too, could see Strike. “I’m…glad to hear that.”

    “Okay, seriously, why do you keep talking like that?” Derak asked. “Why do you act like people would strangle you if you say one wrong word?”

    Teresa swallowed hard, finding a sudden interest in her feet.

    “It’s…like I told you yesterday, it’s…a long story,” she stammered.

    “I’ve got time,” Derak shrugged. “Don’t have much to do until Strike recovers, so I’ll be here all day if I have to.”

    “O-okay,” Teresa nodded. “I’m…I’m from Agate Village.”
    Ah, another Orre connection. You know I like those.

    “The old people’s town up north?” Derak blinked, having heard of Orre’s chief retirement residence.

    “Y-yes,” Teresa nodded. “But, my…my family was originally…from the Sinnoh region.”

    “Oh, yeah, you used a Shinx in the Pewter Contest, right?” Derak asked. “Is that where you got it?”

    Teresa nodded again.

    “So why move to Orre?” Derak asked.

    This time Teresa gulped again, her skin suddenly going pale at the thoughts she was made to relive.

    “You okay?” Derak asked. “Hey, you don’t have to tell me if—”
    I just like shipping them to answer the question, okay? XD;

    “N-no, I…I need to do this,” Teresa interrupted. “Mr. Nando, he’s…he’s always telling me that I if I talk about it…it’ll get better.”

    “So…you’re going to talk about it?” Derak asked.

    Teresa nodded again. She took a deep breath and began her tale again.

    “I…was born in Veilstone City,” Teresa said. “My mother was…a coordinator. I always thought she was great…I wanted to…to be like her. I…I never really wanted to…leave Veilstone. I…I was happy where I was.”

    “So why leave?” Derak asked.

    “I…I had another relative…living in Veilstone,” Teresa gulped, remembering the critical part of her story. “A cousin. His…his name was Paul. He lived…with his brother, Reggie. Sometimes we…we visited them.”
    Well then, that's something I certainly didn't expect. I hope you'll expand upon it going forward.

    Tears began to well up in Teresa’s eyes.

    “Those visits,” she murmured. “Those visits…were the worst times of my life.”

    “Why?” Derak asked. “What about Paul and Reggie made those visits bad?”

    “Paul…he,” Teresa muttered, her eyes still misty. “PAUL WAS A BULLY!”

    Derak jumped at her sudden outburst, and was even more startled when Teresa began to slam her fists against the wall.

    “PAUL WAS A STUPID, ROTTEN, NO-GOOD BULLY!” Teresa ranted, tears soaring from her eyes and her fists punctuating each word in her description of her cousin. “His father was never there for him, so he took it out on me! I’ve suffered because of Paul! SUFFERED!”
    You know, in hindsight I should have seen this side of Teresa coming. You can't possibly be as timid as her without it building up over time.

    She propped herself up against a wall, allowing her eyes to freely release the liquid of sorrow.

    “I’m so afraid,” she muttered. “Paul’s out there, somewhere…I know he is. I’m so afraid that I’ll find him, and…and he’ll…”
    Foreshadowing?

    Teresa’s crying became heavier, and a green Pokeball popped open. Her Chikorita emerged and leapt onto her shoulder, stroking her hair with its large leaf. Teresa slowly looked over at the Grass-type and smiled.

    “Th-thank you…Chikorita,” Teresa smiled.

    “Hey, Teresa?” Derak said. “Look…cross that bridge when you get to it, okay? If you do find Paul—”

    The lights in the room suddenly powered down, leaving the two trainers completely in the dark.
    Oh boy, here we go.

    “Uh, what just happened?” Derak asked.

    “I…I don’t know,” Teresa answered. “The power just…just went out.”

    A ceiling light a short distance away from them suddenly exploded, sending shards of glass showering everywhere. Another ceiling light followed suit, then another, until the one directly above Derak and Teresa spontaneously shattered. The two trainers jumped back in order to avoid the falling glass, along with some electrical sparks that fell with it. Derak looked up to find that blue electricity crackled from the ceiling light, and as if on cue, the electricity joined together to form a familiar Pokemon.

    “Oh, no,” Derak groaned. “Not YOU again!”
    You're not the only one feeling that way, Derak. Not at all.

    Indeed, the Rotom from Celadon Mansion had returned. The Plasma Pokemon snickered at Derak’s reaction to its presence, as if finding his anguish amusing.

    “You…know this Rotom?” Teresa asked.

    “Remember when I went into Celadon Mansion?” Derak asked. “This thing tried to kill me there.”

    Rotom snickered again, but out of the corner of its eye it saw the unconscious Strike lying in the operating room. A mischievous Cheshire grin crossed Rotom’s face as it put its two bolt-arms together, its body charging with electricity as it prepared to launch a Thunderbolt.

    “Oh, no, you don’t!” Derak cried. “Wildfire, stop Rotom with Flame Wheel!”

    A fiery wheel immediately burst out of Wildfire’s Pokeball, slamming into Rotom and knocking it to the floor just in time to prevent the Electric-type’s attack. The Plasma Pokemon gave itself a quick shake, however, and levitated into the air again.
    I might have used different words other than "fiery wheel" to describe Flame Wheel.

    “Chikorita…please, we need to help,” Teresa whimpered. “I need you…to use Razor Leaf.”

    Chikorita eagerly leapt off of Teresa’s shoulder and spun its leaf around, releasing a flurry of sharp-edged leaves. Rotom, however, quickly darted out of the way, bouncing off several walls before landing directly in front of Chikorita. With a mirthful cackle at the Grass-type’s startled response, Rotom crossed its bolt-arms again and released a new Electroweb. Being at point-blank range, the Leaf Pokemon was easily caught inside, gritting its teeth as the net’s electricity surged through its body.
    It knows Electroweb? Neat. Rotom knowing Electroweb is coincidentally something you might want to remember yourself.

    “Oh, no!” Teresa gasped. She made to try and work her starter free, only to receive an electric shock from touching the Electroweb.

    “Great,” Derak muttered. “Wildfire, can you use Scratch to free Chikorita?”

    The Chimchar nodded and complied with one swift motion. The Electroweb faded away upon being cut, much to Rotom’s disappointment.

    “Tooomm, roh-tom?” Rotom whined in a tone reminiscent of a child whose favorite television show had unexpectedly ended.

    “Sorry we can’t give you your sick thrills,” Derak spat. “Wildfire, use Flame Wheel again!”

    Again Wildfire assumed its wheel form, but Rotom suddenly shot up to the ceiling. It bounced off of the ceiling and then the walls, its speed increasing as it gathered momentum. Wildfire began to panic, realizing the futility in trying to keep track of the Plasma Pokemon.

    “We need to move, it’s too cramped in here for us to do anything!” Derak cried. Teresa nodded and the two trainers began to flee with their starter Pokemon in tow. Rotom, however, stopped bouncing long enough to notice their retreat efforts. It charged its entire body with electricity and shot off like a bullet, leaving a trail of lightning in its path.

    And then the lightning slammed into Derak’s back, the trainer himself crying out in agony just as he reached the Pokemon Center’s lobby. Despite a seeming lack of physical characteristics, Derak could feel a bruise where Rotom’s attack had struck, particularly as he tumbled across the floor and agitated the spot. Rotom itself materialized in the middle of the lobby, wincing slightly from the attack’s recoil.
    Was that any particular attack? It can't be Wild Charge, unless you're taking liberties with the movesets, which is fine.

    “Sawsbuck, please, use Horn Leech,” Nando said, somehow maintaining his composure despite the situation.

    Sableye formed a sphere of darkness between its hands, but even after it threw the projectile, Rotom bounced aside with ease. Nando’s Sawsbuck, remembering the strength it had gained since its time as his Deerling, charged forth as its antlers began to glow a bright green. Rotom unleashed an Electroweb, but Sawsbuck’s horns simply tore through the net and crashed into the Plasma Pokemon’s body. Due to its small size, however, Rotom actually managed to get stuck between Sawsbuck’s antlers, causing Nando’s Pokemon to become greatly distressed.

    “Please, Sawsbuck, calm yourself!” Nando cried, noticing Sawsbuck’s frenzied attempts to shake the Electric-type free from its antlers. “Use Giga Drain, please!”

    Although understandably uncomfortable with having Rotom stuck in its antlers, the voice of its trainer was enough for Sawsbuck to regain its composure. Its antlers again began to glow green, this time causing a green aura to course through Rotom’s body. The Plasma Pokemon winced as its stamina was steadily sapped away, managing to summon enough strength to discharge a Thunderbolt. The intense pain of having electricity surge through its horns was too much for Sawsbuck, and as its Giga Drain halted, Rotom managed to slip out of its antlers.
    That was an awesome use of of the physiology of Sawsbuck and Rotom in creating an in-battle scenario. Very good.

    The resolve of Garth’s Pokemon seemed to worry Rotom, and in another dash of lightning it slipped back into the light fixture. Sableye’s grin returned, this time with a measure of satisfaction.

    “Is…is it gone?” Teresa asked nervously.

    “That thing…survived having Celadon Mansion collapse on top of it,” Derak groaned as he managed to rise. “No way something that crazy is going to give up that easily.”

    Derak’s words seemed to be justified when a faint humming sound could be heard from outside. The humming became steadily louder, and the louder it became, the more it sounded like a running motor. And then, when it sounded as if it were just outside, it stopped. A tense calm descended on the Pokemon Center.

    And then the storm ensued.

    A hurricane of wind and leafs burst through the front doors, blasting Garth’s Sableye off its feet and pushing back Nando’s Sawsbuck. Wildfire tumbled into a wall, and Teresa’s Chikorita skidded back into its trainer’s leg. Most of the humans found ways to shield themselves from the windy assault, but what came in afterward was completely unexpected.
    If there was any way this mess could have gotten worse, I think Rotom just found it.

    "Leaves," not "leafs."

    Rotom had returned, this time having possessed another appliance. Its appearance now resembled a sideways egg with two wheels on each side and a large cube in the back. Its antenna had grown a large bulb, and its eyes—along with its aura—had turned green. Underneath the eyes was a wide, sharp-toothed grin, and its bolt-arms had merged into a single scoop-like protrusion that emerged from the front.

    “Oh, great,” Derak groaned. “Now it’s a lawnmower with teeth!”
    That... is probably an appropriate reaction to seeing Mow Rotom.

    “Tom-tom-tom-tom-tom-tom!” Rotom chattered rapidly, its body becoming electrified as it barreled towards Derak.

    “Sableye, use Brick Break to stop Rotom’s Wild Charge!” Garth yelled.
    Oh, so it was Wild Charge.

    Despite the small size of the gemstone-eyed Pokemon, Sableye leapt between Derak and Rotom as it drew up one arm. Once the Plasma Pokemon’s lawnmower body was within range, Sableye brought its arm down, directly slamming the space between Rotom’s eyes. The Wild Charge dissipated as Rotom winced in pain, stunned from the blow Sableye had landed.

    “Now, Sawsbuck, we must finish this!” Nando cried. “Use Megahorn!”

    The twig-like horns on Sawsbuck’s head began to glow a bright green, and the entire Pokemon charged towards Rotom. Knowing that its possession of the lawnmower had given Rotom a Grass-type’s weakness to Bug-type attacks such as Megahorn, Nando hoped that this would indeed be the final blow. Unfortunately, Rotom quickly shot out of the lawnmower and into the air, causing Sawsbuck’s attack to damage only the lawnmower. The device that Rotom once inhabited skidded in shambles towards the wall, with Rotom itself hovering in the air once again.
    I see Rotom actually knows some tactics. Clever.

    “I can see why you found this creature so vexing,” Garth muttered to Derak.

    “So how do we beat it?” Derak asked. “It just keeps jumping into appliances nonstop.”

    Rotom put its bolt-arms together and prepared another Thunderbolt, but its eyes suddenly widened. It stopped charging and looked past the counter with an inquisitive gaze. Derak blinked in bewilderment until he heard a single footstep down the hallway. The footstep was eventually followed by another, then another, all in slow procession. Something was slowly coming out of the back. Teresa clapped her hands over her mouth in shock once she saw what it was. Derak’s jaw dropped once he also saw it.

    The source of the footsteps was his Scyther.
    There's about to be a beatdown, isn't there?

    Rotom had since recovered from the X-attack, and after a quick shake of its head, released an Electroweb. Strike simply scoffed and cut through the electric net with a single slash, causing the attack to fizzle into nothing. Rotom’s desperation had reached its peak by this point, and the Electric-type began to fervently look around for some kind of edge or escape. Upon spying the broken lawnmower, it quickly dove into the device again, regaining its new form and somehow completely repairing the lawnmower.
    If that attack was X-Scissor, then you may as well go ahead and call it X-Scissor instead of "X-attack."

    I really like how you're using Rotom's form changes.

    “Whoa,” Derak gasped. “What was that?”

    “Reversal,” Garth replied.

    “Brilliant,” Nando observed with a tone of admiration. “Reversal is an attack that becomes more powerful if the user is in worse condition than the target. Your Scyther intentionally injured itself in order to strengthen Reversal, knowing that it could do a significant amount of damage.”
    Maybe it's just the wording, but that's not quite how Reversal works. Reversal gets stronger the lower the health of its user has against its own maximum, not against the target's current condition.

    “Roooh…Ro…ro-tom,” moaned the Electric-type target of Strike’s Reversal, wobbling in mid-air as it attempted to flee. Strike saw this, but did nothing to stop Rotom. As far as it was concerned, the Plasma Pokemon was already beaten.

    “You will not be getting away from me!” Garth cried. “Sableye, stop Rotom!”

    Rotom, however, was too quick for even the lunging Sableye. The Plasma Pokemon slipped into a light fixture once again, this time vanishing from the Pokemon Center altogether.

    “Ugh, here we go again,” Derak groaned. “Watch, he’s going to pop right back in while possessing a toaster or something.”
    Don't tempt fate, Derak. Don't do it bro. Because now we KNOW that'll happen later.

    “Look, let’s just get you back on the recovery table, and—” he began, but stopped short when Strike pointed its blade in his face once again. The blade was practically touching Derak’s nose, much to the trainer’s discomfort.

    “Uh…okay, sure, you’re fine,” Derak said quickly. “Just…don’t use attacks that involve your wings, okay? They’re still in pretty bad shape, even if the rest of you isn’t.”

    “Scyy,” Strike spat as it withdrew its blade. The Scyther then walked out the front doors, heading outside and leaving everyone else behind.

    “Uh…okay?” Derak blinked. “Well, this is a messed-up way to start off this morning.”

    “I have had worse,” Garth assured him.

    Derak did not respond, instead looking down at Wildfire. The Chimchar was staring at Strike’s departing back, wondering why the Scyther acted in such a manner.

    “Might as well go introduce you and others to Strike,” Derak shrugged. “I just hope that goes well.”
    Strike is going to be quite the character on Derak's team, I can tell now. And that's to say nothing of when he meets Nobunaga, judging by how aggressively he went at Rotom.

    Outside, a black shape passed over the clouds that drifted above the Pokemon Center. The shape was colossal even at first glance, but only when it broke through the cloud barrier and landed behind Fuchsia City did it become truly visible. It was a massive red-eyed black dragon, with small bat-like wings and large hands that ended its long arms. The creature’s tail resembled a large cone-shaped turbine, and it was from atop this turbine that a mysterious man dismounted.

    The man had long tea-green hair tied into a ponytail, all of which emerged from underneath a black baseball cap. He wore a white jacket over a black shirt, and tan pants upon his legs. The moment the man’s green sneakers touched the grass beneath him, a cube-like puzzle bounced as it dangled from his waist. Six Pokeballs attached to his belt also shook from the impact of his landing.

    “Thank you, Zekrom,” the man said. “I need you to return to the Pokeball for now.”
    And here's where the stakes get stepped up even further. I didn't expect Zekrom and N to become relevant this quickly.

    The dragon nodded, having a prior understanding of the man’s reasons. It thus put up no resistance as it allowed its apparent trainer to recall it and place its Pokeball on his belt. One of the other Pokeballs, however, suddenly began to wobble violently. The man’s eyes went wide as he snatched the Pokeball off of his belt and held it between his hands.

    “Wait, my friend!” the man cried to the Pokeball, apparently communicating with the Pokemon within. “ I know you find it loathsome in there, and I understand! But you must endure just a bit longer!”

    The ball continued to shake, exerting a significant degree of force against the man’s hands.

    “Please, I know this is difficult, but you must trust me, just this once!” the man cried. “If you are always outside, someone is bound to notice your unique circumstances and indulge in selfish desires for power! I cannot allow Pokemon to be used so greedily, and neither can you!”

    The ball stopped shaking after a moment, allowing the man to breathe a sigh of relief.

    “Thank you,” the man said. “I understand that your patience is wearing thin, but we have just reached Fuchsia City. It is only a matter of time before you will be given the freedom you deserve.”

    With that, the man placed the renegade Pokeball back on his belt and trudged into Fuchsia City.

    Will this be where black and white meet? the man thought. We shall see soon enough.

    *****
    Great ending line. It leaves me wondering, just what is N after? What is it that he wants Zekrom to meet, presuming Zekrom is the "black" in that sentence? I also wonder what was up with that ball that N had to calm down.

    Good chapter. There was a lot of action surrounding Rotom, and I think you captured it well.

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  20. #70
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    Oh yeah! N is back! Strike is awesome! Zekrom is actually in a ball.
    That aside, will Derak be battling him? That would be funny to see the mighty Zekrom taken down, smashed into a spike wall153 times, and thrown into Four Island by Strike.
    I awaite the next chappie!
    Heh, glad to see that Strike is so well-recieved.

    As for Derak VS N...you'll see.


    Rotomknight:
    XLNT!
    I like strike, I hope he can trust derak soon!
    I'm afraid you won't be getting your wish for a while. XD


    Air Dragon:
    Is it just me, or is this Rotom that much of a freaking tank? Seriously, Wildfire, Sableye, Sawsbuck and Strike were needed just to make it back off?
    Rotom is almost a tank in that it has pretty much no idea how to quit when it's behind. XD

    If Derak or Garth actually manages to catch that, then it would be a game breaker. Nuff said. Speaking of which, I had to reread Strike's using Reversal on Rotom to remember it was Mow Rotom then. It was that high speed.
    ...too high speed? XD My bad. Hopefully the fighting in the later chapters will be a little easier to follow.

    So, Theresa is related to Paul... the plot thins. I find it a bit hard to believe this all passed under the radar of a "breeder" like Reggie, who actually beat six out of seven Battle Frontier facilities as well as every gym from Kanto to Sinnoh, but Paul must be really slick, or Reggie defunct.
    According to Bulbapedia, Reggie has (at some point in the DP saga) admitted that Paul has always had something of a cruel streak. I took some liberties with that, and thus Teresa's backstory.

    Strike's behaviour is going to make this a sticky relationship somewhat. He can't exactly leave, and he clearly doesn't want to stay around. I'd be cautious about making an avatar for Murphy's Law out of your protagonist. He gets a bit predictable that way. No use throwing bad stuff at him if everyone (except him) can see it coming. That would make him dumb.
    Noted. Thanks.

    Either way, the upcoming introductions should be... interesting. Keeping watch!
    From what I've written so far...they are. XD You'll see.


    The Great Butler:
    Well then, that's something I certainly didn't expect. I hope you'll expand upon it going forward.
    I'm working with something like that, but it might not be apparent for a while.

    You're not the only one feeling that way, Derak. Not at all.
    And you're going to be feeling that way several more times throughout the course of this fic. XD

    I might have used different words other than "fiery wheel" to describe Flame Wheel.
    It does seem fairly redundant, doesn't it? Maybe something along the lines of "burning somersault" or something similar would be more appropriate. Eh, needs a little more brainstorming.

    It knows Electroweb? Neat. Rotom knowing Electroweb is coincidentally something you might want to remember yourself.
    Oh, I have.

    Rotom's current movepool is as follows: Electroweb, Thunderbolt, Ominous Wind, Substitute, Wild Charge (which will be replaced in upcoming chapters due to an error on my part XD), and whatever move is given to it by the appliance it's possessing at the time. Unless I'm introducing a new move, the ones I've listed are what Rotom will be sticking with.

    Was that any particular attack? It can't be Wild Charge, unless you're taking liberties with the movesets, which is fine.
    I neglected to look at the Pokedex while I was writing this chapter, actually. XD I only figured out that Rotom can't learn Wild Charge until I read your review. I'm probably going to replace Wild Charge with Sucker Punch or something along those lines.

    "Leaves," not "leafs."
    Noted. That's actually been a recurring problem of mine: what version of "leaf" to use in which context. XD

    Maybe it's just the wording, but that's not quite how Reversal works. Reversal gets stronger the lower the health of its user has against its own maximum, not against the target's current condition.
    Ah...that was my fault. The wording isn't the problem, it's the fact that I never dug too deeply into how Reversal works. I just assumed "oh, it gets stronger when the user is weaker, good enough for me"...which will probably come back to bite me at some point. XD

    Great ending line. It leaves me wondering, just what is N after? What is it that he wants Zekrom to meet, presuming Zekrom is the "black" in that sentence? I also wonder what was up with that ball that N had to calm down.
    Oh, you'll see. Can't spoil the surprise too early. XD Just know that you'll be incredibly familiar with the Pokemon within that certain ball.



    Okay, update time: the next chapter should be up by next week. My finals only just ended, and I still need to finish up the current chapter. Some interesting stuff happens, and I hope everyone's looking forward to it.
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    I wish a very merry Christmas to the readers who celebrate it. For my gift, I present...at long last...the next chapter.

    Without any further ado, let us begin:



    Chapter 21: P1 Grand Prix




    A short while after Derak’s encounter with Rotom, the boy stood outside the Pokemon Center with his four Pokemon beside him. Wildfire stared blankly into space, waiting for orders as always. Echo, fittingly enough, hung upside-down from a tree, yawning as it basked in the shade. Brute stood with its arms crossed, eyeing Strike warily. The Scyther itself merely glared at Derak, occasionally glancing to its new trainer’s other Pokemon.

    “Okay…introduction time,” Derak said. “Strike, this is Wildfire, Brute, and Echo. They’re going to be your partners, so you might want to try and get used to them.”

    Strike silently rolled its eyes at the thought of receiving help.

    “Everyone, this is Strike,” Derak said to his other three Pokemon. “He’s the new guy. You can do a handshake…well, actually, that’s kind of impossible with Strike, now that I think about it. Just…I don’t know, greet him somehow, just don’t touch the wings.”

    At the mention of its injured part, Strike glanced back at its wings with a sigh. That was going to be a problem.

    “Char?!” Wildfire cried, finding itself pushed forward by Echo’s head. “Char, chim char-char?!”

    Echo’s only response was to communicate in a series of small screeches and gesture to Strike with one wing. Wildfire looked back at Brute, the latter giving the Chimchar an approving nod. The Fire-type looked down at its hand for a moment, and slowly reached it outward, in what Derak considered a momentous step.

    “Yeah, that’s it, Wildfire,” he smiled. “Don’t be afraid, he’s…well, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to hurt you. Kinda.”

    Wildfire nervously held its outstretched hand, but Strike looked down at it in disgust. The Bug-type made to turn away, but a familiar crab-like Pokemon with mushrooms on its back approached it from the exact direction in which Strike had turned.

    “Ras, paras?” the crab rasped, waving a claw in greeting.

    “Scy-therr,” Strike sighed with an irritated tone in its voice, putting one bladed arm beside Paras’ body. The Scyther then suddenly whipped its arm to the side, catching Paras with the flat part of the blade and launching it into a tree.

    “Oh, crap, Paras!” Derak cried, rushing to the crab’s aid. “Seriously uncalled for, Strike!”

    His Scyther merely spat at the ground, as if trying to show just how defiant it was going to be.

    “Ugh, great,” Derak sighed. “Hey…you were from Melanie’s village, right? Sorry about that, Strike’s kind of…new.”

    “Paras!” a girl’s voice cried, and as if on cue, Sarah Arachson jogged into view. “Oh, hey, Derak! Is Paras all right?”

    “Paras, paras!” rasped the Bug-type, nodding as best as its physiology would allow.

    “That’s great,” Sarah sighed in relief. “You really need to stop wandering off like that. Return.”

    The Mushroom Pokemon was reabsorbed into its Pokeball, but Sarah nearly dropped it when she saw Strike.

    “Oh…my…Arceus!” Sarah gasped. “Is that a Scyther?! Is it yours?!”

    “Uh…more or less,” Derak said slowly.

    “Oh Arceus, it’s so cool!” Sarah cried. “Can I touch—”

    “No!” Derak cried fearfully. “I…sorry, just…Strike here isn’t exactly great with people…or anything else, actually.”

    “Scyyy,” Strike rolled its eyes, turning away from its trainer.

    “Wow…sorry to hear that,” Sarah said. “So, if you don’t mind me asking, what happened to Scyther’s wings?”

    “Don’t know,” Derak sighed. “I just found him with busted wings in the Safari Zone. I don’t know what did it to him, but I’m hoping I never run into them.”

    Strike narrowed its eyes upon hearing this.

    “Aww…I feel sorry for it,” Sarah pouted, somehow remaining oblivious to the loud retching noise that Strike made. “Well, it’ll be okay soon. I’m going to see if I can find a couple Pokemon in the Safari Zone, and one of the ones I’m looking for might be able to help with Scyther’s wings.”

    Strike rolled its blue eyes once more. Neither human noticed, however.

    “So, anyway, Derak,” Sarah said, “are you entering the P1 Grand Prix?”

    “The…what?” Derak blinked.

    “You don’t know?” Sarah gasped.

    “Look, I only just got to Fuchsia and I’ve been kinda busy dealing with a psycho Rotom that wants to fry me like a piece of toast,” Derak sighed. “Mind explaining for me?”

    “Okay, sure…hang on, I found a poster somewhere,” Sarah said. “Oh, here’s one!”

    She walked over to a nearby house and removed a poster from the wall, then came over to Derak and displayed the poster for him. On it were several vicious-looking Pokemon engaged in combat within a wrestling ring.

    “This is the P1 Grand Prix,” Sarah explained. “It’s a special tournament held every so often around Fuchsia City. The winner gets a golden championship belt.”

    “A golden trophy, huh?” Derak said, crossing his arms as he began to think. He took the poster in his hands, reading it over for himself while Sarah continued to talk.

    “Yeah, it’s awesome!” Sarah cried. “But there’s some rules for it. You can only enter with one Pokemon, and that Pokemon has to be a Fighting-type. In addition, your Pokemon can only use attacks involving physical contact, and if a Pokemon gets knocked out of the ring for too long, it loses. You should totally enter with your Machop, I’m sure it could win the whole thing!”

    “…do I even want to know how you’re so sure of that?” Derak asked.

    “Hey, Ash Ketchum started off even worse than you! …no offense,” Sarah added. “He entered the P1 Grand Prix with a Primeape, and won on his first try! I’m sure you and Machop could do really well, too!”

    She looked over to the Safari Zone.

    “Well, I might as well see what I can catch,” Sarah said. “Good luck in the tournament, Derak!”

    The bug-loving girl then headed for the Safari Zone, leaving Derak behind. The boy barely noticed her departure, however, for he had other thoughts on his mind.

    “Hmm…what do you think, Brute?” Derak asked his sole Fighting-type. “Think we can give it a shot?”

    “Chop,” Brute nodded. Strike, however, looked at the Machop skeptically, seriously doubting its supposed comrade’s capabilities.

    ****

    “So,” Garth began as Derak entered the Pokemon Center, the P1 Grand Prix poster still in the boy’s hands, “how is Scyther dealing with having you as its trainer?”

    “Badly. What did you expect?” Derak sighed, handing Garth the poster. “Forget about that for a minute, Sarah handed me this. There’s a tournament around Fuchsia that I can enter Brute in.”

    “And you believe that a tournament for Fighting-type Pokemon will help you train for the Gym?” Garth asked. “Despite the fact that Fighting-type attacks are not particularly effective against Poison-types?”

    “Well…to be honest…I want the gold belt they’re offering,” Derak admitted. “I figure that, if I can show my dad a trophy that my Pokemon won, he might actually think twice about the whole ‘Pokemon-hating’ business.”

    “…I expected better from you,” Garth growled, throwing the poster aside. “Nobunaga may be gathering strength right at this very minute, which means that we should work our way through the Gyms as quickly as possible. And here you are, wanting to play around with your Machop while the rest of your team sits and watches like a group of couch potatoes!”

    “Hey, Brute’s one of my best guys!” Derak cried. “Besides, I’m pretty sure he used a Ground-type move when I first met him back around Pewter. I think it was called…mud-something…Mud-Slap, that’s what it was!”

    “Mud-Slap is one of the weaker Ground-type moves,” Garth sighed. “Still…I suppose that the strength of the Pokemon is what matters more than the strength of the move. If you believe that this P1 Grand Prix will provide you with an ace in the hole when the time to battle Nobunaga comes, then this idea of yours may work out for the best.”

    “Sounds good to me,” Derak shrugged. “Going to need to train Brute a little, though.”

    “Indeed,” Garth nodded. “And I believe Electivire would be the ideal sparring partner.”

    “I take it you want to get this over with?” Derak asked.

    “You could say that,” Garth replied. “Now, let us begin. We need to work in as much training as we can before the tournament starts.”

    The two trainers left the Pokemon Center, but as they did so, Nando and Teresa stood up from their own seats. Nando approached the poster and carefully read it over.

    “What an interesting proposition,” Nando said. “Perhaps I shall enter the tournament, as well.”

    ****

    It was a short while before the Grand Prix began, but Derak and Garth had managed to squeeze some last-minute training for Brute beforehand. A sizeable building on the outskirts of Fuchsia City had attracted an equally-large crowd of people, clearly indicating that the tournament would take place here.

    “Wait, run that by me again?” Derak sputtered as he and Garth slipped into the crowd and made their way into the stadium. “You’re actually WATCHING something that I’m doing?”

    “Electivire and I put quite a bit of effort into your Machop’s training,” Garth answered. “I only want to see whether or not that effort was wasted.”

    “Thanks, Mr. Confidence,” Derak sighed. “Hey, uh…could you watch the rest of my team for me once we get in? I want them to see this, too.”

    “I suppose that would be fine,” Garth nodded. “Perhaps watching Machop’s battles will inspire them to put in a bit of effort, as well.”

    “Not exactly what I was going for, but…I guess that works to,” Derak shrugged. “You know, you’re unusually agreeable today.”

    “As impromptu as this event may be,” Garth said, “it may eventually prove worthwhile for when we battle Nobunaga. If this is what we must do to strengthen your Pokemon, then so be it.”

    Derak simply shrugged and released three of his Pokemon. Wildfire, Echo, and Strike appeared alongside Garth, while Brute remained within its own Pokeball. As Derak approached the registration counter, Garth let out a sigh.

    “I assume that I will have to play babysitter with the three of you?” Garth groaned. Only Echo made a vocal response, letting out a series of screeches with a rather offended tone. Wildfire stared into space once again, and Strike simply glanced at Garth for a moment. “Brilliant. Well, come on, then.”

    He led the three Pokemon into the stands, where—despite the rather odd group they presented—they managed to find several seats. Garth sat down in one, but the Pokemon had other ideas: Echo flapped onto Garth’s head and lounged lazily atop his hood, Wildfire climbed into the back of the seat next to Garth’s, and Strike simply stood in the middle of the aisle.

    “Hey, creep!” a jocular man barked at Garth, a large bag of popcorn in hand as he attempted to push his way past Strike. “Get your Scyther back in its ball, it’s taking up—”

    The man’s popcorn suddenly went scattering everywhere, Strike having sliced the bag—and very nearly the man’s hand—in two. He stood there in stunned silence for a moment, only moving when Strike pointed a blade in his face. The man stumbled back onto his rear before scrambling away in panicked fright.

    “Scyy,” Strike sighed, shaking its head. Humans were so overrated.

    “Your trainer might object to that,” Garth remarked, earning a glare from Strike. Unlike Derak, however, Garth merely raised an eyebrow and studied the Scyther’s expression for a moment. “So…you want someone dead. And that someone, I assume, is the one who injured your wings?”

    “Scy-ther?” Strike blinked.

    “It may be on a Pokemon’s face, but I know that look,” Garth said. “I have seen it hundreds upon thousands of times…all of them seen in my reflection. It is a look of rage…but it is not the sort of mild irritation that comes from running out of Potions or something mundane like that. No…the rage you feel, and the rage I feel, is because we each have been grievously wronged by someone…and we wish to avenge ourselves.”

    “…Sccyyy,” Strike nodded reluctantly.

    “How very odd that I find a kindred spirit in a Pokemon,” Garth observed, turning his gaze to the wrestling arena in the center of the stadium. “Oh, well…that is how the world works, I suppose.”

    “Welcome, one and all!” the announcer boomed, quieting the chattering audience down. “Today, you shall witness no ordinary tournament! This tournament is a full-on fight to the finish between the toughest Fighting Pokemon that you’ll ever see! I hope you’re ready for a big brawl, because this is the P1 Grand Prix!”

    “Ugh,” Garth gritted his teeth, quickly becoming irritated by the ear-splitting cheers of the crowd, “why did I agree to sit here with all these banshees around?”

    “Our first two Pokemon combatants are an interesting pair!” the announcer continued. “First up, a Machop—named Brute—entered by a trainer named…uh…well, he didn’t put his last name…or his hometown, so…well, let’s just give it up for Derak!”

    Garth smirked slightly, recognizing that—like on the S.S. Wailord—Derak had once again filled out paperwork as he saw fit. Down near the ring, the boy and his Machop trudged out from backstage, both approaching the arena. Despite the warm welcome he received, Derak merely raised a hand in acknowledgement to the audience. Brute, however, gave the crowd a more friendly wave.

    “His opponent, ladies and gentlemen, is…entering the ring now!” the announcer cried.

    A green kangaroo-like Pokemon with red points at the ends of its limbs suddenly leapt into the ring, the mushroom cap on its head bouncing wildly as it landed. Its short arms burst forward in a series of quick jabs, and its long tan tail sported a ring of fungi around the tip.

    “Bre-bre-bre-loom!” the Pokemon cried, bouncing from one muscular leg to the other and eagerly performing several more jabs.

    “Breloom,” Derak’s Pokedex identified, “the Mushroom Pokemon. Type is Grass and Fighting. Evolved form of Shroomish. Its short arms stretch when it throws punches, and its technique is equal to that of professional boxers.”

    “So…who’s entering with this—” Derak began, but did a double-take upon seeing that Breloom’s trainer was none other than Nando. “Oh…great…we’re toast.”

    “Do not sell yourself short,” Nando smiled encouragingly. “This match between us shall be on equal terms.”

    “Yeah, because the battle between my team and your Lilligant was so equal,” Derak rolled his eyes. “Or maybe that one between your Deerling and Teresa’s Chikorita? That was pretty equal, wasn’t it?”

    “Perhaps you doubt yourself too quickly,” Nando chuckled. “In this world, many things work in mysterious ways. I am certain that our battle will be no exception. Shall we?”

    “It’s Nando’s Breloom versus Brute the Machop!” the announcer declared as Brute climbed into the ring. “If our competitors are ready, then…BEGIN!”

    With that last word, the fight bell was rung, signaling the official start of the match. Breloom stamped its feet wildly, jabbing viciously as Brute looked on with a raised eyebrow. Nando could only chuckle at his Pokemon’s display.

    “Very well, Breloom,” Nando said. “Let us sate your hunger for battle. Use Headbutt!”

    “Brute, stop it with Vital Throw!” Derak yelled.

    The Mushroom Pokemon lunged forward, its head bent down as if it were a battering ram. Brute stood its ground, however, and merely held its arms out. Breloom’s head slammed into the Machop’s palms, but only Brute noticed a small burst of powder erupt from the crimson bulbs on Breloom’s cap. Nonetheless, the Superpower Pokemon gripped its foe by the cap and swung it around, throwing Breloom across the ring and into the ropes on the opposite side.

    “All right, nice job, Brute!” Derak cried. His jubilation turned to concern, however, when electricity spontaneously coursed through Brute’s body. “Wh-what? Brute, what’s going on!”

    “And that’s Breloom’s ability, folks!” the announcer cried. “It’s Effect Spore, which—upon making physical contact with Breloom—inflicts a random status condition on the opponent. Looks like Brute just got a dose of paralysis!”

    Aw, great, Derak grimaced. As if we weren’t outmatched enough.

    Breloom smirked as it watched Brute’s struggle to stand, believing fully that its victory was assured. Its smile faded, however, when a crimson hue spread through Brute’s eyes and a blood red aura surrounded the Superpower Pokemon’s body. Brute slowly rose to his feet with a grin, which all but destroyed Breloom’s confident swagger.

    “And it looks like Brute’s own ability has been activated!” the announcer cried. “The paralysis from Effect Spore has activated Guts, an ability that sends a Machop’s attack power through the roof once it’s been afflicted with a status condition!”

    “Ah, it seems the tables are beginning to turn,” Nando smiled. “Do not give up, Breloom. Let us try and turn the tables back. Use Mach Punch, if you please!”

    “Brute, quick, use Poison Jab!” Derak cried.

    Breloom’s fist began to glow, and in a sudden blur of movement, the entire Mushroom Pokemon had leapt towards Brute and attempted a punch. From the audience, Garth narrowed his eyes. Breloom had now completely stopped in front of Brute, as if the paralysis it had inflicted on the Machop had been turned back against it. After a moment, Breloom fell onto its back, a large purple bruise on its stomach from where Brute had managed to strike it.

    “Unbelievable!” the announcer cried. “Derak and Brute have defied all odds and won the first battle!”

    “We…won?” Derak blinked. “Holy…did we actually just beat Nando?”

    “You certainly did,” Nando nodded as he approached Derak, his friendly smile still in place. “Your Machop is quite well-trained, my friend. I am proud to have contributed to its strength, even if my contribution was rather small.”

    “Chop,” Brute shrugged, the glow in its eyes and its aura having faded away.

    “Okay, pal, let’s get you fixed up,” Derak said as he led Brute backstage. “As thankful as I am for Guts’ saving our butts, the paralysis has to go.”

    Garth leaned back in his seat as the crowd burst into applause, unable to help but smirk. Perhaps the boy did know what he was doing.

    “Will our next two competitors come up to the ring!” the announcer cried. “And now, ladies and gentlemen, it’s Croagunk versus Hariyama!”

    Garth looked down at the two Pokemon that were now in the arena. On one side was a small blue Pokemon reminiscent of a bipedal frog with large, flat teeth lining its mouth. On the other side was a colossal white humanoid Pokemon with three-fingered orange hands that were larger than even its own head. The latter of the two stamped its feet like a sumo wrestler, slightly shaking the arena with its bulk.

    Croagunk simply sat and watched, slowly inflating and deflating the orange sacs on its cheeks.

    “Croooa…croooa…croooa,” murmured Croagunk, staring into space and paying no regard whatsoever to its opponent’s display of strength.

    Hariyama narrowed its eyes and lumbered forth, its body taking on a silver aura. Despite the massive bulk of its body, it somehow managed to jump into the air and position itself above Croagunk.

    “Could this be the end already?!” the announcer yelled. “If Hariyama’s Heavy Slam hits Croagunk, it’s all over!”

    Croagunk again paid no regard to Hariyama, instead casually glancing behind it. Its apparent trainer, shrouded in a brown cloak that obscured all features save the mouth, merely nodded. Croagunk looked up at Hariyama, watching the giant Pokemon come barreling down, and simply waited.

    Just as Hariyama was about to crush Croagunk, the frog suddenly leapt backwards onto the ropes with speed defying its earlier lethargy. Hariyama crashed violently onto the arena, allowing Croagunk the opportunity to leap upon its back and thrust a Poison Jab into the larger Pokemon’s back. Hariyama let out a pained groan, but before it could get up and remove its attacker, Croagunk landed another Poison Jab in the same spot, and then another. One final Poison Jab later, and Hariyama’s strength finally gave out.

    “I don’t believe my eyes!” the announcer boomed. “Croagunk has somehow defied all odds and defeated Hariyama!”

    Croagunk slid off of Hariyama’s fallen body and landed back on the mat, its body taking on a white glow. Its body grew larger and more slender, and by the time the glow of evolution had faded, Croagunk’s appearance had noticeably changed. Its two orange sacs had now fused into a single red one underneath its throat, and its arms now sported recognizable hands that each grew a single hooked claw from the middle knuckle. Its yellow eyes glanced about the arena until they fell upon the evolved Pokemon’s trainer, and without a word to anyone, the mysterious cloaked trainer left with the Pokemon formerly known as Croagunk.

    “Sccyy,” Strike smirked, scraping its blades together in anticipation.

    “Do not even think about it,” Garth snapped. “If that Toxicroak can fell a Hariyama without so much as a word from its trainer, then you would have no chance whatsoever.”

    Strike silently glared at Garth before turning back to the arena, deciding to observe some of the other matches.

    ****

    After several hours of match observation, however, Strike was quite ready to force its head through a concrete wall. By its judgment, every fighter in the P1 Grand Prix was outright weak. Pokemon like Mankey and Heracross fell in an instant against the mysterious Toxicroak trainer, and even Derak’s Machop was sweeping through Pokemon like Scraggy and Hitmontop with ease.

    “Is this tournament done yet?” Garth groaned, evidently thinking on a similar wavelength as Strike. “I now remember why I never bothered with competitive circles. Too much bureaucracy.”

    Strike gave him a nod of agreement, then looked down to the arena once more. Brute was currently engaged in battle with a blue dog-like Pokemon with a pair of black protrusions emerging from the sides of its head. The dog—a Pokemon called Riolu—thrust the palm of its paw forward in a shower of sparks, only for Brute to catch the Force Palm in one hand.

    “Nice, Brute!” Derak cried. “Now, use Vital Throw!”

    Given the smaller size of Riolu, Brute needed only one arm to swing the canine Pokemon around. After a moment of swinging, Brute released Riolu, sending it sailing into the ropes and into unconsciousness.

    “And, just like that, Derak and Brute have won again!” the announcer cried. “Give it up for one of the P1 Grand Prix’s greatest trainers!”

    “Oh, come on, I’m not great,” Derak sighed. He turned to Brute with a smirk, however. “You, on the other hand…”

    “Ma-chooop,” Brute laughed, rubbing the back of its head in an embarrassed gesture.

    “And now, we’ve reached the final!” the announcer continued. “Please give it up for our mystery trainer and his partner, Toxicroak!”

    The frog hopped into the ring once more, the shrouded trainer remaining on the ringside.

    “Looks like Garth has a cousin,” Derak smirked as he pulled out his Pokedex. “Anyway, let’s see…”

    “Toxicroak,” the Dex reported, “the Toxic Mouth Pokemon. Type is Poison and Fighting. Evolved form of Croagunk. The croaking that Toxicroak produces before a battle is for churning the poison it has stored in its poison sac.”

    “Crroooaaak,” growled Toxicroak, inflating the sac as it clenched its three-fingered hands into fists, making as intimidating an appearance as it could.

    “Ma-choop,” Brute narrowed its eyes. This one was going to be tricky.

    “Hmph…well, what do you know?” Garth snorted. “It seems as if he IS going to manage some practice for the Gym.”

    Unbeknownst to the audience, another strange figure stood in the middle of the arena’s entrance hallway, watching the match alone. The green-haired Zekrom trainer slowly looked across the ring, silently examining each of the Pokemon. Although most trainers would be excited by such a potential clash, this one merely heaved a tragic sigh.

    “Both Pokemon are ready to take each other on!” cried the announcer. “So, without further ado, let us begin!”

    “Okay, Brute…we don’t have the Poison Jab advantage we had against Nando’s Breloom, so we’ll have to make do with what we have,” Derak said. “Let’s try Vital Throw!”

    Brute nodded and charged towards Toxicroak, but the Toxic Mouth Pokemon was fully prepared. It crossed its arms, allowing a pale green glow to envelop its knuckle claws before it slashed at Brute. Although Derak recognized the attack as the same sort of X-scissor that Strike used against Rotom, by then it was too late. Brute was knocked back a short distance, but quickly recovered due to his type’s resistance to Bug-type moves.

    “Great,” Derak grimaced. “Okay, try Karate Chop!”

    Brute made as if to attack, but Toxicroak suddenly rushed forward in a blur of movement and quickly knocked the Machop onto the mat. Brute tried to rise, but Toxicroak stamped its foot on the Superpower Pokemon’s back, pinning it down.

    “Hey! Sorry I’m late!” Sarah Arachson said, pushing her way to a seat near Garth. “What did I miss?”

    “Could this be the end?!” the announcer cried. “That Sucker Punch may have just given Toxicroak the win!”

    “Does that answer your question, girl?” Garth sighed.

    “No…no way,” Derak murmured. “Brute, come on! We can’t let it end like this!”

    Toxicroak was oblivious to the cries of Brute’s trainer as it drew back its fist once more, preparing its latest Poison Jab. Brute simply squeezed its eyes shut as it tried to push the frog off, but failed due to Toxicroak’s superior size. With the Poison-type looming over him, preparing the final blow, Brute could only think of the day it was abandoned…

    ****

    “There, now,” smirked Elliot, Brute by his side as they both faced down a trainer. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

    The trainer, a child who was clearly too young to own Pokekmon, simply recalled the small yellow horse Brute had beaten.

    “But..it’s not fair!” the child wailed, tears falling from his eyes. “My dad just told me to catch a Pokemon! I didn’t even want to battle to start with!”

    “That, I’m afraid, is the way of the world,” Elliot shrugged.

    “But my dad’s going to be so mad at me because his Ponyta got beaten up!” the child wailed.

    “Grr…shut up, stupid brat!” roared Elliot as the Jason persona took forth, lunging for the boy with one fist drawn back. Before he could strike the child, however, something caught his fist.

    Brute.

    “Machop!” Jason growled. “Let me go this INSTANT!”

    Brute steeled its gaze, tightening its grip on its original trainer’s arm. It nodded to the child, who quickly took the hint and ran away.

    “You IDIOT!” Jason snarled, tearing his arm out of Brute’s grasp. “You do what I say, no matter what! Understand?!”

    Brute only crossed its arms. Jason raised an eyebrow, but then his blue eye twitched. A twisted grin crept across his face.

    “Ah…have we developed a conscience?” Elliot sneered. “I’m afraid that won’t do.”

    He looked up to the sky, leaning on a tree.

    “I have plans in store, Machop,” Elliot continued. “Many plans. And I fear that your behavior today…does not agree with them.”

    “Chop?” Brute blinked. Elliot looked at it, his Cheshire grin showing every one of his teeth.

    “Yes, pacifism from you would be…detrimental, shall we say?” Elliot said. “And there is one person in particular who absolutely MUST be punished for his deeds. His punishment must be as severe as possible, everything from public humiliation…to execution.”

    “Ma-chop?!” Brute gasped. Elliot only laughed a cold, disturbed laugh.

    “Heh heh haa…you don’t know me at all, do you?” Elliot grinned. “Let us begin the lesson, then. I demand complete and utter obedience, regardless of my deeds or the moral convictions of others. And those who are unable to comply with my demands…”

    He removed a Pokeball from his belt and placed it against a tree.

    “Well, they say it’s better to show than tell,” Elliot smirked.

    He picked up a rock the size of his hand, and used it to smash the Pokeball against the tree. Brute’s eyes went wide as it realized whose Pokeball Elliot destroyed.

    “Look at you,” Elliot scoffed. “The ‘Superpower Pokemon’? Hardly. You can’t even stomach a simple act of retribution.”

    “Choooop,” Brute growled.

    “Are you angry?” Elliot smirked. “How adorable. You really think a miserable little runt like you can threaten me?”

    Brute’s temper finally broke as it lunged for Elliot, roaring madly. It was stopped, however, by a flash of light and a prompt Bubblebeam that sent it sailing into a tree. Brute slid down onto the ground, and came face-to-face with Elliot’s Piplup.

    “Pip-lup,” scoffed the penguin, arrogantly turning its head away and returning to its trainer’s side.

    “You have to simply face facts, Machop,” Elliot smirked. “You are not only obsolete…you are, put bluntly, WEAK.”

    Elliot turned and left, leaving Brute without a trainer. Its rage at the boiling point, Brute tossed a Vacuum Wave into the bushes. It launched more as its rampage continued, bringing it closer and closer to Pewter City.

    ****

    “Toxxiiiii,” growled Toxicroak as Brute’s memory faded away. It wound back its fist, preparing one last Poison Jab. “CROOOAK!”

    “Brute, NO!” Derak cried.

    Brute’s eyes snapped open. And, then, just before Toxicroak’s Poison Jab landed…

    …a white glow enveloped Brute’s body.

    “Brute?” Derak gasped. “What’s going on?”

    “I don’t believe this, ladies and gentlemen!” the announcer cried. “Looks like Toxicroak isn’t the only one who can evolve mid-battle!”

    Toxicroak was just as surprised as Derak, particularly when Brute’s body surged to double its original size and even outgrew Toxicroak. The Superpower Pokemon’s already-muscular body became even burlier, and its head developed a somewhat canine-like skull shape. The glow faded away, revealing that Brute had somehow gained a pair of underwear that already bore a champion wrestler’s belt, as well as crimson markings on its arm muscles.

    “Maaa…CHOOOKE!” Brute roared, causing Toxicroak to shrink back in fright.

    “Brute, you…you evolved!” Derak gasped. “Holy—this is—I have no idea what I can say, this is great!”

    Brute glanced at its trainer with a smirk, flashing him the thumbs-up sign. Toxicroak clearly lacked the confidence the newly-evolved Machoke had, and even the Poison-type’s trainer gasped at this development. Both Garth and the Zekrom trainer looked on with interest, albeit for different reasons.

    “Okay, Brute, let’s finish this!” Derak cried.

    “Choke,” Brute nodded, cracking its knuckles. Toxicroak whimpered for a moment, backing up against the corner of the ring, but upon realizing that it had nowhere to run, its vicious deameanor—or at least an imitation of it—returned. It charged both of its fists with a Poison Jab and leapt into the air, but Brute simply stood still and waited.

    “Croak?” Toxicroak blinked, already expecting a trap. Nonetheless, it plummeted downward and prepared its dual Poison Jab, only for shock to dominate its face when Brute caught both of its fists in its hands.

    “Ma-choke,” Brute smirked, swinging Toxicroak around and throwing it into a far ring post.

    Toxicroak gave its head a shake and scrambled to its feet, inflating its sac menacingly. Brute only chuckled and beckoned with one hand. Toxicroak blinked and looked over to its trainer, who nodded. The Poison-type prepared an X-scissor, but Brute merely clenched one fist.

    “Okay, we can do this,” Derak said. “We can totally do this.”

    Brute smirked and closed its eyes. It waited to hear the sound of Toxicroak’s feet, and as it heard the Poison-type heading towards it, Brute also knew that it could win…for the sake of its new friendship. As if illustrating its newly-strengthened resolve, a fiery pink aura surrounded Brute’s body, burning violently.

    “Is that…?” gasped the Zekrom trainer, eyes going wide.

    Toxicroak charged forth, ignorant of Brute’s newfound skill, and leapt up for a final X-scissor. Brute, however, opened its eyes just in time to see the Poison Mouth Pokemon close in. The Machoke pulled one fist back, and then slammed it into Toxicroak’s stomach. The sheer force of the impact sent the Poison-type rocketing through the air and even out of the ring. Gasps rang through the entire arena as the unconscious Toxic Mouth Pokemon landed at its stunned trainer’s feet.

    “No way!” Sarah cried. “Was that a Return?”

    “So it would seem,” Garth nodded. “And a powerful one at that.”

    The Zekrom trainer was just as stunned for a while, but when he saw Brute climb out of the ring and give Derak a gentle high-five, he smiled.

    “This…this is what I’ve been searching for,” he whispered to himself. He looked down at the Pokeballs on his belt. “Can you all feel it? Only one thing could produce a Return so powerful…and we are lucky to have witnessed it.”

    “Brute, that was awesome!” Derak cried. “You evolved, you learned a new move…this is just too awesome!”

    “Ma, ma-choke,” Brute laughed, crossing its arms.

    “Okay, let’s take a look at the new you,” Derak said, pointing his Pokedex at Brute.

    “Machoke,” the Dex reported, “the Superpower Pokemon. Type is Fighting. Evolved form of Machop. It happily carries cargo to toughen up, and willingly does hard work for people.”

    “Let’s give it up for Derak and his new Machoke, Brute!” the announcer cried, inciting a round of cheers and applause from the audience. “They have broken all possible boundaries, and become the new P1 Grand Prix champions!”

    “Ugh, can we just skip the song-and-dance routine?” Derak sighed. “I just want to get the trophy and leave before the interview garbage starts.”

    Brute smiled in amusement as it shook its head. Only Derak would act in this manner…

    …but that was what made him the best possible trainer.

    ****

    Later, after the presentation of the trophy, Derak held it in his hands as he sat in the Pokemon Center lobby. It was a colossal belt with a golden center, with the words “P1 Grand Prix” etched onto it. He stared at it for the longest time, and most of his Pokemon shared in the glory of his accomplishment. Echo laid upon its trainer’s head, wishing it had eyes to admire the belt with. Wildfire gently prodded the trophy belt, attempting to determine if such things were truly real. Brute simply leaned on a wall, much like its trainer did in most public settings, and smiled. Strike, however, rolled its eyes in disgust.

    “Are you trying to find your reflection in that piece of junk?” Garth asked, evidently sharing Strike’s sentiments.

    “Hey, it’s not a piece of junk!” Derak shot back. “This thing…when I show it to my dad, he’ll have to drop his whole ‘Pokemon-are-bad’ thing. He’ll see that, if they can win stuff like this…then he’ll have to let me get more from stuff like the League or other tournaments.”

    “I suppose appealing to a businessman’s sense of greed would be the best way into his heart,” Garth shrugged.

    “Yeah, especially because there isn’t much else I can appeal to,” Derak chuckled. “Speaking of which…whenever we find my mom…I need to show this to her, too. I’ll bet she’ll be happy. I’ll bet she’ll be proud that her son, even with such a lousy dad, became as great a trainer as her. I mean, she HAS to be a great trainer if my dad won’t talk about her, right?”

    “Knowing your idiotic father, that sounds logical,” Garth agreed. “Now, let us move on to the Fuchsia—”

    “Derak!” cried Sarah as she jogged up to him. “I saw you win! Your Machop—sorry, your Machoke—was awesome!”

    “You really think I don’t already know that?” Derak smirked.

    “Heh, yeah, what am I saying?” Sarah laughed. “You were the one training it, of course you knew it was awesome!”

    Her expression turned from one of elation to a more somber look.

    “That’s why…this is hard to ask,” Sarah said. “Derak, I need you to help me with something.”

    “Uh…that depends,” Derak said. “What is it?”

    Sarah responded by opening one of her Pokeballs—now numbering at six—and revealing a small pink Pokemon that seemed fairly out-of-place on her bug-dominated team. Its egg-shaped body possessed a small, rosy-cheeked face as well as a large curl of hair. The Pokemon appeared to be wearing a large, dark pink diaper as well.

    “Happiny,” Derak’s Pokedex explained, “the Playhouse Pokemon. Type is Normal. It likes to play while carrying around a small rock. It may wander around others’ feet and cause them to stumble.”

    “You know how all the Nurse Joys have a Chansey?” Sarah asked. “Happiny here evolves into Chansey through a strong bond with its trainer.”

    “And you’re telling me this…why?” Derak asked.

    “Because Brute’s new Return move becomes more powerful the stronger the bond it has with the trainer,” Sarah answered. “I—”

    “Wait, hold on,” Derak interrupted, “they named a move ‘Return’, even though we already tell Pokemon to ‘return’ when we send them back into their Pokeballs? Really?”

    “I, too, have wondered about that,” Garth added.

    “Yeah, but this is why I need your help,” Sarah said. “I can’t get Happiny to evolve. I’ve tried everything: professional massages, vitamin drinks, and even a Soothe Bell. No matter what I try, I can’t get it to evolve, and the Pokedex won’t tell me what I’m missing.”

    “Figures,” Derak sighed. “The only reason I keep using the thing is because I need at least SOME info on all the Pokemon I meet. But, what exactly do you want me to do? Give you tutoring or something?”

    “Not really…this is where it might get a little awkward,” Sarah grimaced. She took a deep breath and spoke again. “Derak, I want to trade my Happiny for your Machoke.”

    “…huh?” Derak blinked. “Wait, you can do that?”

    “Trading Pokemon is a common practice among trainers,” Garth sighed.

    “But…why would I want to give my Pokemon away?” Derak blinked. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

    “Look, I know Brute just evolved, and I’m sure he’s going to be a real powerhouse on your team,” Sarah began, “but a Machoke can only reach its full potential if it’s traded to someone else. Please, Derak, you’re the one person I know who could do this the best.”

    “But—” Derak began, but Brute put a reassuring hand on his shoulder and nodded.

    “Even your Machoke knows that this is for the best,” Garth said. “Do not draw out your misery for any longer than you have to.”

    Derak paused, looking down at the belt that he and Brute had won. He shut his eyes as he remembered how Brute had been a pivotal part of almost all of his Gym battles: Pewter City, Cerulean City, and Celadon City were the sites of those victories. And now, if what Sarah was saying was true, and that Brute could only reach his full potential if he was traded to her…

    “Choke,” Brute grunted, giving Derak a nod of approval. “Ma-choke.”

    “…okay,” Derak said quietly, his voice becoming almost a whimper. “Let’s get this over with.”

    “Thanks so much!” Sarah cried as she recalled her Happiny.

    Derak made as if to recall Brute, but stopped for a moment. He then wrapped the P1 Grand Prix champion belt around Brute’s waist, fastening it and backing away.

    “There you go,” Derak said, trying to hide the liquid that was forming in his eyes. “Hey…do me a favor? …make sure that thing stays shiny.”

    “Choke,” Brute nodded. Derak wordlessly recalled Brute, then held out his Pokeball, which Sarah promptly swapped for the one containing her Happiny.

    “Thanks, Derak,” Sarah smiled. “I’ll take good care of Brute, I prom—”

    “Just GO,” Derak growled. Sarah blinked for a moment, realizing that she overstepped her boundaries, and quietly left.

    “You will see your Machoke again,” Garth said. “If it helps…”

    “I don’t care,” Derak spat. “Can we just go to bed?”

    “…fine,” Garth said.

    Derak was the first into the deeper parts of the Pokemon Center, where the beds were. Garth did not immediately follow him, however. Instead, he sighed.

    One day, Derak, Garth thought. When you know the sort of suffering I have endured…you will know my story. And you will know that neither of us will be alone this time.

    He then headed for the Pokemon Center’s rooms, unaware that the Zekrom trainer—watching through the window of the Pokemon Center—had been watching. The original admiration in his eyes was gone, replaced with a rage that defied his normally-even temperament. One of the Pokeballs on his belt began to shake violently, and in response, he held up the Pokeball.

    “Yes, my friend,” the trainer said. “It will soon be time for you to act out your desires. But not now…it needs to be fair, first.”

    ****

    Meanwhile, the mysterious Toxicroak trainer quietly ducked into a wooden ninja’s dojo. No one saw this enigmatic figure slip inside, but everyone knew the building. It had a simple identifying mark: the word “GYM” printed above the door.

    ****
    Current fanfics:


    Proving Grounds

    How far will one boy go to prove something?

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morpher01 View Post

    Chapter 21: P1 Grand Prix
    From the anime? Now there's something I haven't heard in a very long time.

    A short while after Derak’s encounter with Rotom, the boy stood outside the Pokemon Center with his four Pokemon beside him. Wildfire stared blankly into space, waiting for orders as always. Echo, fittingly enough, hung upside-down from a tree, yawning as it basked in the shade. Brute stood with its arms crossed, eyeing Strike warily. The Scyther itself merely glared at Derak, occasionally glancing to its new trainer’s other Pokemon.

    “Okay…introduction time,” Derak said. “Strike, this is Wildfire, Brute, and Echo. They’re going to be your partners, so you might want to try and get used to them.”

    Strike silently rolled its eyes at the thought of receiving help.
    I like this because there are a number of ways that you could take Strike not wanting help from others.

    [quote]“Everyone, this is Strike,” Derak said to his other three Pokemon. “He’s the new guy. You can do a handshake…well, actually, that’s kind of impossible with Strike, now that I think about it. Just…I don’t know, greet him somehow, just don’t touch the wings.”

    At the mention of its injured part, Strike glanced back at its wings with a sigh. That was going to be a problem.

    “Char?!” Wildfire cried, finding itself pushed forward by Echo’s head. “Char, chim char-char?!”

    Echo’s only response was to communicate in a series of small screeches and gesture to Strike with one wing. Wildfire looked back at Brute, the latter giving the Chimchar an approving nod. The Fire-type looked down at its hand for a moment, and slowly reached it outward, in what Derak considered a momentous step.
    This was a little confusing insofar as keeping track of who was talking to who when.

    “Yeah, that’s it, Wildfire,” he smiled. “Don’t be afraid, he’s…well, I’m pretty sure he’s not going to hurt you. Kinda.”

    Wildfire nervously held its outstretched hand, but Strike looked down at it in disgust. The Bug-type made to turn away, but a familiar crab-like Pokemon with mushrooms on its back approached it from the exact direction in which Strike had turned.

    “Ras, paras?” the crab rasped, waving a claw in greeting.

    “Scy-therr,” Strike sighed with an irritated tone in its voice, putting one bladed arm beside Paras’ body. The Scyther then suddenly whipped its arm to the side, catching Paras with the flat part of the blade and launching it into a tree.

    “Oh, crap, Paras!” Derak cried, rushing to the crab’s aid. “Seriously uncalled for, Strike!”

    His Scyther merely spat at the ground, as if trying to show just how defiant it was going to be.
    Well, that tells us a little more about Strike's personality, if nothing else. This could be the flame on the powder keg that is Derak's team...

    “Wow…sorry to hear that,” Sarah said. “So, if you don’t mind me asking, what happened to Scyther’s wings?”

    “Don’t know,” Derak sighed. “I just found him with busted wings in the Safari Zone. I don’t know what did it to him, but I’m hoping I never run into them.”
    I kind of get the feeling Derak - or at least the reader - already has met them.

    Strike narrowed its eyes upon hearing this.

    “Aww…I feel sorry for it,” Sarah pouted, somehow remaining oblivious to the loud retching noise that Strike made. “Well, it’ll be okay soon. I’m going to see if I can find a couple Pokemon in the Safari Zone, and one of the ones I’m looking for might be able to help with Scyther’s wings.”

    Strike rolled its blue eyes once more. Neither human noticed, however.

    “So, anyway, Derak,” Sarah said, “are you entering the P1 Grand Prix?”

    “The…what?” Derak blinked.

    “You don’t know?” Sarah gasped.

    “Look, I only just got to Fuchsia and I’ve been kinda busy dealing with a psycho Rotom that wants to fry me like a piece of toast,” Derak sighed. “Mind explaining for me?”

    “Okay, sure…hang on, I found a poster somewhere,” Sarah said. “Oh, here’s one!”

    She walked over to a nearby house and removed a poster from the wall, then came over to Derak and displayed the poster for him. On it were several vicious-looking Pokemon engaged in combat within a wrestling ring.

    “This is the P1 Grand Prix,” Sarah explained. “It’s a special tournament held every so often around Fuchsia City. The winner gets a golden championship belt.”
    Yep, the P1 Grand Prix from the anime. Props for incorporating something so obscure.

    “A golden trophy, huh?” Derak said, crossing his arms as he began to think. He took the poster in his hands, reading it over for himself while Sarah continued to talk.

    “Yeah, it’s awesome!” Sarah cried. “But there’s some rules for it. You can only enter with one Pokemon, and that Pokemon has to be a Fighting-type. In addition, your Pokemon can only use attacks involving physical contact, and if a Pokemon gets knocked out of the ring for too long, it loses. You should totally enter with your Machop, I’m sure it could win the whole thing!”

    “…do I even want to know how you’re so sure of that?” Derak asked.

    “Hey, Ash Ketchum started off even worse than you! …no offense,” Sarah added. “He entered the P1 Grand Prix with a Primeape, and won on his first try! I’m sure you and Machop could do really well, too!”
    Okay, I laughed. That Ash line is funny on several levels.

    “So,” Garth began as Derak entered the Pokemon Center, the P1 Grand Prix poster still in the boy’s hands, “how is Scyther dealing with having you as its trainer?”

    “Badly. What did you expect?” Derak sighed, handing Garth the poster. “Forget about that for a minute, Sarah handed me this. There’s a tournament around Fuchsia that I can enter Brute in.”

    “And you believe that a tournament for Fighting-type Pokemon will help you train for the Gym?” Garth asked. “Despite the fact that Fighting-type attacks are not particularly effective against Poison-types?”

    “Well…to be honest…I want the gold belt they’re offering,” Derak admitted. “I figure that, if I can show my dad a trophy that my Pokemon won, he might actually think twice about the whole ‘Pokemon-hating’ business.”
    That's actually... pretty deep for Derak. I don't think it's going to do all that much though.

    “…I expected better from you,” Garth growled, throwing the poster aside. “Nobunaga may be gathering strength right at this very minute, which means that we should work our way through the Gyms as quickly as possible. And here you are, wanting to play around with your Machop while the rest of your team sits and watches like a group of couch potatoes!”
    I don't see Garth's logic here completely. Nobunaga's gathering strength, sure, but isn't training your Pokemon a way to gather strength too? I mean, beating all the Gyms right away might leave Derak with not enough strength.


    The two trainers left the Pokemon Center, but as they did so, Nando and Teresa stood up from their own seats. Nando approached the poster and carefully read it over.

    “What an interesting proposition,” Nando said. “Perhaps I shall enter the tournament, as well.”
    That caught me by surprise.

    It was a short while before the Grand Prix began, but Derak and Garth had managed to squeeze some last-minute training for Brute beforehand. A sizeable building on the outskirts of Fuchsia City had attracted an equally-large crowd of people, clearly indicating that the tournament would take place here.

    “Wait, run that by me again?” Derak sputtered as he and Garth slipped into the crowd and made their way into the stadium. “You’re actually WATCHING something that I’m doing?”

    “Electivire and I put quite a bit of effort into your Machop’s training,” Garth answered. “I only want to see whether or not that effort was wasted.”
    I think he's actually interested in it this time... why so cynical, Garth?

    “Not exactly what I was going for, but…I guess that works to,” Derak shrugged. “You know, you’re unusually agreeable today.”
    There's a "to" in this line that should be a "too."

    “As impromptu as this event may be,” Garth said, “it may eventually prove worthwhile for when we battle Nobunaga. If this is what we must do to strengthen your Pokemon, then so be it.”

    Derak simply shrugged and released three of his Pokemon. Wildfire, Echo, and Strike appeared alongside Garth, while Brute remained within its own Pokeball. As Derak approached the registration counter, Garth let out a sigh.

    “I assume that I will have to play babysitter with the three of you?” Garth groaned. Only Echo made a vocal response, letting out a series of screeches with a rather offended tone. Wildfire stared into space once again, and Strike simply glanced at Garth for a moment. “Brilliant. Well, come on, then.”
    Well, Derak did warn you, Garth.

    He led the three Pokemon into the stands, where—despite the rather odd group they presented—they managed to find several seats. Garth sat down in one, but the Pokemon had other ideas: Echo flapped onto Garth’s head and lounged lazily atop his hood, Wildfire climbed into the back of the seat next to Garth’s, and Strike simply stood in the middle of the aisle.

    “Hey, creep!” a jocular man barked at Garth, a large bag of popcorn in hand as he attempted to push his way past Strike. “Get your Scyther back in its ball, it’s taking up—”

    The man’s popcorn suddenly went scattering everywhere, Strike having sliced the bag—and very nearly the man’s hand—in two. He stood there in stunned silence for a moment, only moving when Strike pointed a blade in his face. The man stumbled back onto his rear before scrambling away in panicked fright.

    “Scyy,” Strike sighed, shaking its head. Humans were so overrated.
    That's equal parts funny and horrifying. I'm loving Strike so far.

    “Your trainer might object to that,” Garth remarked, earning a glare from Strike. Unlike Derak, however, Garth merely raised an eyebrow and studied the Scyther’s expression for a moment. “So…you want someone dead. And that someone, I assume, is the one who injured your wings?”

    “Scy-ther?” Strike blinked.

    “It may be on a Pokemon’s face, but I know that look,” Garth said. “I have seen it hundreds upon thousands of times…all of them seen in my reflection. It is a look of rage…but it is not the sort of mild irritation that comes from running out of Potions or something mundane like that. No…the rage you feel, and the rage I feel, is because we each have been grievously wronged by someone…and we wish to avenge ourselves.”

    “…Sccyyy,” Strike nodded reluctantly.

    “How very odd that I find a kindred spirit in a Pokemon,” Garth observed, turning his gaze to the wrestling arena in the center of the stadium. “Oh, well…that is how the world works, I suppose.”
    That was... surprising. I wonder where those plot threads will go next.

    A green kangaroo-like Pokemon with red points at the ends of its limbs suddenly leapt into the ring, the mushroom cap on its head bouncing wildly as it landed. Its short arms burst forward in a series of quick jabs, and its long tan tail sported a ring of fungi around the tip.

    “Bre-bre-bre-loom!” the Pokemon cried, bouncing from one muscular leg to the other and eagerly performing several more jabs.

    “Breloom,” Derak’s Pokedex identified, “the Mushroom Pokemon. Type is Grass and Fighting. Evolved form of Shroomish. Its short arms stretch when it throws punches, and its technique is equal to that of professional boxers.”
    That's a rather interesting way to describe Breloom. Not sure it's the kind of thing that would come to my mind.

    “So…who’s entering with this—” Derak began, but did a double-take upon seeing that Breloom’s trainer was none other than Nando. “Oh…great…we’re toast.”
    Oh boy, here we go.

    With that last word, the fight bell was rung, signaling the official start of the match. Breloom stamped its feet wildly, jabbing viciously as Brute looked on with a raised eyebrow. Nando could only chuckle at his Pokemon’s display.

    “Very well, Breloom,” Nando said. “Let us sate your hunger for battle. Use Headbutt!”

    “Brute, stop it with Vital Throw!” Derak yelled.

    The Mushroom Pokemon lunged forward, its head bent down as if it were a battering ram. Brute stood its ground, however, and merely held its arms out. Breloom’s head slammed into the Machop’s palms, but only Brute noticed a small burst of powder erupt from the crimson bulbs on Breloom’s cap. Nonetheless, the Superpower Pokemon gripped its foe by the cap and swung it around, throwing Breloom across the ring and into the ropes on the opposite side.

    “All right, nice job, Brute!” Derak cried. His jubilation turned to concern, however, when electricity spontaneously coursed through Brute’s body. “Wh-what? Brute, what’s going on!”
    As soon as you mentioned Brute actually touching Breloom, I knew Effect Spore would come. Derak's luck just sucks.

    “And that’s Breloom’s ability, folks!” the announcer cried. “It’s Effect Spore, which—upon making physical contact with Breloom—inflicts a random status condition on the opponent. Looks like Brute just got a dose of paralysis!”

    Aw, great, Derak grimaced. As if we weren’t outmatched enough.

    Breloom smirked as it watched Brute’s struggle to stand, believing fully that its victory was assured. Its smile faded, however, when a crimson hue spread through Brute’s eyes and a blood red aura surrounded the Superpower Pokemon’s body. Brute slowly rose to his feet with a grin, which all but destroyed Breloom’s confident swagger.

    “And it looks like Brute’s own ability has been activated!” the announcer cried. “The paralysis from Effect Spore has activated Guts, an ability that sends a Machop’s attack power through the roof once it’s been afflicted with a status condition!”
    ...but on the other hand, it took me a moment to see this coming. Paralysis will still give Brute trouble, though.

    “Ah, it seems the tables are beginning to turn,” Nando smiled. “Do not give up, Breloom. Let us try and turn the tables back. Use Mach Punch, if you please!”

    “Brute, quick, use Poison Jab!” Derak cried.

    Breloom’s fist began to glow, and in a sudden blur of movement, the entire Mushroom Pokemon had leapt towards Brute and attempted a punch. From the audience, Garth narrowed his eyes. Breloom had now completely stopped in front of Brute, as if the paralysis it had inflicted on the Machop had been turned back against it. After a moment, Breloom fell onto its back, a large purple bruise on its stomach from where Brute had managed to strike it.

    “Unbelievable!” the announcer cried. “Derak and Brute have defied all odds and won the first battle!”

    “We…won?” Derak blinked. “Holy…did we actually just beat Nando?”
    I'm surprised Derak actually pulled it off, and pretty quickly to boot.

    Croagunk again paid no regard to Hariyama, instead casually glancing behind it. Its apparent trainer, shrouded in a brown cloak that obscured all features save the mouth, merely nodded. Croagunk looked up at Hariyama, watching the giant Pokemon come barreling down, and simply waited.

    Just as Hariyama was about to crush Croagunk, the frog suddenly leapt backwards onto the ropes with speed defying its earlier lethargy. Hariyama crashed violently onto the arena, allowing Croagunk the opportunity to leap upon its back and thrust a Poison Jab into the larger Pokemon’s back. Hariyama let out a pained groan, but before it could get up and remove its attacker, Croagunk landed another Poison Jab in the same spot, and then another. One final Poison Jab later, and Hariyama’s strength finally gave out.

    “I don’t believe my eyes!” the announcer boomed. “Croagunk has somehow defied all odds and defeated Hariyama!”

    Croagunk slid off of Hariyama’s fallen body and landed back on the mat, its body taking on a white glow. Its body grew larger and more slender, and by the time the glow of evolution had faded, Croagunk’s appearance had noticeably changed. Its two orange sacs had now fused into a single red one underneath its throat, and its arms now sported recognizable hands that each grew a single hooked claw from the middle knuckle. Its yellow eyes glanced about the arena until they fell upon the evolved Pokemon’s trainer, and without a word to anyone, the mysterious cloaked trainer left with the Pokemon formerly known as Croagunk.

    “Sccyy,” Strike smirked, scraping its blades together in anticipation.

    “Do not even think about it,” Garth snapped. “If that Toxicroak can fell a Hariyama without so much as a word from its trainer, then you would have no chance whatsoever.”

    Strike silently glared at Garth before turning back to the arena, deciding to observe some of the other matches.
    That guy in the cloak is the one who injured Strike, calling it now.

    After several hours of match observation, however, Strike was quite ready to force its head through a concrete wall. By its judgment, every fighter in the P1 Grand Prix was outright weak. Pokemon like Mankey and Heracross fell in an instant against the mysterious Toxicroak trainer, and even Derak’s Machop was sweeping through Pokemon like Scraggy and Hitmontop with ease.

    “Is this tournament done yet?” Garth groaned, evidently thinking on a similar wavelength as Strike. “I now remember why I never bothered with competitive circles. Too much bureaucracy.”

    Strike gave him a nod of agreement, then looked down to the arena once more. Brute was currently engaged in battle with a blue dog-like Pokemon with a pair of black protrusions emerging from the sides of its head. The dog—a Pokemon called Riolu—thrust the palm of its paw forward in a shower of sparks, only for Brute to catch the Force Palm in one hand.

    “Nice, Brute!” Derak cried. “Now, use Vital Throw!”

    Given the smaller size of Riolu, Brute needed only one arm to swing the canine Pokemon around. After a moment of swinging, Brute released Riolu, sending it sailing into the ropes and into unconsciousness.

    “And, just like that, Derak and Brute have won again!” the announcer cried. “Give it up for one of the P1 Grand Prix’s greatest trainers!”
    Why do I get the feeling Brute's going to evolve soon? His steamrolling this tournament is making think he's getting really strong.

    “Hmph…well, what do you know?” Garth snorted. “It seems as if he IS going to manage some practice for the Gym.”

    Unbeknownst to the audience, another strange figure stood in the middle of the arena’s entrance hallway, watching the match alone. The green-haired Zekrom trainer slowly looked across the ring, silently examining each of the Pokemon. Although most trainers would be excited by such a potential clash, this one merely heaved a tragic sigh.
    Didn't expect to see him here, but in hindsight, it makes sense.

    “Both Pokemon are ready to take each other on!” cried the announcer. “So, without further ado, let us begin!”

    “Okay, Brute…we don’t have the Poison Jab advantage we had against Nando’s Breloom, so we’ll have to make do with what we have,” Derak said. “Let’s try Vital Throw!”

    Brute nodded and charged towards Toxicroak, but the Toxic Mouth Pokemon was fully prepared. It crossed its arms, allowing a pale green glow to envelop its knuckle claws before it slashed at Brute. Although Derak recognized the attack as the same sort of X-scissor that Strike used against Rotom, by then it was too late. Brute was knocked back a short distance, but quickly recovered due to his type’s resistance to Bug-type moves.

    “Great,” Derak grimaced. “Okay, try Karate Chop!”

    Brute made as if to attack, but Toxicroak suddenly rushed forward in a blur of movement and quickly knocked the Machop onto the mat. Brute tried to rise, but Toxicroak stamped its foot on the Superpower Pokemon’s back, pinning it down.

    “Hey! Sorry I’m late!” Sarah Arachson said, pushing her way to a seat near Garth. “What did I miss?”

    “Could this be the end?!” the announcer cried. “That Sucker Punch may have just given Toxicroak the win!”

    “Does that answer your question, girl?” Garth sighed.

    “No…no way,” Derak murmured. “Brute, come on! We can’t let it end like this!”

    Toxicroak was oblivious to the cries of Brute’s trainer as it drew back its fist once more, preparing its latest Poison Jab. Brute simply squeezed its eyes shut as it tried to push the frog off, but failed due to Toxicroak’s superior size. With the Poison-type looming over him, preparing the final blow, Brute could only think of the day it was abandoned…
    I'm still predicting Brute's evolution coming soon. This seems to be a formula for a mid-battle evolution.

    “There, now,” smirked Elliot, Brute by his side as they both faced down a trainer. “That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

    The trainer, a child who was clearly too young to own Pokekmon, simply recalled the small yellow horse Brute had beaten.

    “But..it’s not fair!” the child wailed, tears falling from his eyes. “My dad just told me to catch a Pokemon! I didn’t even want to battle to start with!”

    “That, I’m afraid, is the way of the world,” Elliot shrugged.

    “But my dad’s going to be so mad at me because his Ponyta got beaten up!” the child wailed.

    “Grr…shut up, stupid brat!” roared Elliot as the Jason persona took forth, lunging for the boy with one fist drawn back. Before he could strike the child, however, something caught his fist.

    Brute.

    “Machop!” Jason growled. “Let me go this INSTANT!”

    Brute steeled its gaze, tightening its grip on its original trainer’s arm. It nodded to the child, who quickly took the hint and ran away.

    “You IDIOT!” Jason snarled, tearing his arm out of Brute’s grasp. “You do what I say, no matter what! Understand?!”

    Brute only crossed its arms. Jason raised an eyebrow, but then his blue eye twitched. A twisted grin crept across his face.

    “Ah…have we developed a conscience?” Elliot sneered. “I’m afraid that won’t do.”

    He looked up to the sky, leaning on a tree.

    “I have plans in store, Machop,” Elliot continued. “Many plans. And I fear that your behavior today…does not agree with them.”

    “Chop?” Brute blinked. Elliot looked at it, his Cheshire grin showing every one of his teeth.

    “Yes, pacifism from you would be…detrimental, shall we say?” Elliot said. “And there is one person in particular who absolutely MUST be punished for his deeds. His punishment must be as severe as possible, everything from public humiliation…to execution.”

    “Ma-chop?!” Brute gasped. Elliot only laughed a cold, disturbed laugh.

    “Heh heh haa…you don’t know me at all, do you?” Elliot grinned. “Let us begin the lesson, then. I demand complete and utter obedience, regardless of my deeds or the moral convictions of others. And those who are unable to comply with my demands…”

    He removed a Pokeball from his belt and placed it against a tree.

    “Well, they say it’s better to show than tell,” Elliot smirked.

    He picked up a rock the size of his hand, and used it to smash the Pokeball against the tree. Brute’s eyes went wide as it realized whose Pokeball Elliot destroyed.

    “Look at you,” Elliot scoffed. “The ‘Superpower Pokemon’? Hardly. You can’t even stomach a simple act of retribution.”

    “Choooop,” Brute growled.

    “Are you angry?” Elliot smirked. “How adorable. You really think a miserable little runt like you can threaten me?”

    Brute’s temper finally broke as it lunged for Elliot, roaring madly. It was stopped, however, by a flash of light and a prompt Bubblebeam that sent it sailing into a tree. Brute slid down onto the ground, and came face-to-face with Elliot’s Piplup.

    “Pip-lup,” scoffed the penguin, arrogantly turning its head away and returning to its trainer’s side.

    “You have to simply face facts, Machop,” Elliot smirked. “You are not only obsolete…you are, put bluntly, WEAK.”

    Elliot turned and left, leaving Brute without a trainer. Its rage at the boiling point, Brute tossed a Vacuum Wave into the bushes. It launched more as its rampage continued, bringing it closer and closer to Pewter City.
    Elliot is a bastard. That's all I can really say. It's too hard to predict yet just what is going on with him.

    “Toxxiiiii,” growled Toxicroak as Brute’s memory faded away. It wound back its fist, preparing one last Poison Jab. “CROOOAK!”

    “Brute, NO!” Derak cried.

    Brute’s eyes snapped open. And, then, just before Toxicroak’s Poison Jab landed…

    …a white glow enveloped Brute’s body.
    I KNEW IT

    “Brute?” Derak gasped. “What’s going on?”

    “I don’t believe this, ladies and gentlemen!” the announcer cried. “Looks like Toxicroak isn’t the only one who can evolve mid-battle!”

    Toxicroak was just as surprised as Derak, particularly when Brute’s body surged to double its original size and even outgrew Toxicroak. The Superpower Pokemon’s already-muscular body became even burlier, and its head developed a somewhat canine-like skull shape. The glow faded away, revealing that Brute had somehow gained a pair of underwear that already bore a champion wrestler’s belt, as well as crimson markings on its arm muscles.
    That's an amusing description of Machoke's, um... garment.

    “Maaa…CHOOOKE!” Brute roared, causing Toxicroak to shrink back in fright.

    “Brute, you…you evolved!” Derak gasped. “Holy—this is—I have no idea what I can say, this is great!”

    Brute glanced at its trainer with a smirk, flashing him the thumbs-up sign. Toxicroak clearly lacked the confidence the newly-evolved Machoke had, and even the Poison-type’s trainer gasped at this development. Both Garth and the Zekrom trainer looked on with interest, albeit for different reasons.

    “Okay, Brute, let’s finish this!” Derak cried.

    “Choke,” Brute nodded, cracking its knuckles. Toxicroak whimpered for a moment, backing up against the corner of the ring, but upon realizing that it had nowhere to run, its vicious deameanor—or at least an imitation of it—returned. It charged both of its fists with a Poison Jab and leapt into the air, but Brute simply stood still and waited.

    “Croak?” Toxicroak blinked, already expecting a trap. Nonetheless, it plummeted downward and prepared its dual Poison Jab, only for shock to dominate its face when Brute caught both of its fists in its hands.

    “Ma-choke,” Brute smirked, swinging Toxicroak around and throwing it into a far ring post.

    Toxicroak gave its head a shake and scrambled to its feet, inflating its sac menacingly. Brute only chuckled and beckoned with one hand. Toxicroak blinked and looked over to its trainer, who nodded. The Poison-type prepared an X-scissor, but Brute merely clenched one fist.

    “Okay, we can do this,” Derak said. “We can totally do this.”

    Brute smirked and closed its eyes. It waited to hear the sound of Toxicroak’s feet, and as it heard the Poison-type heading towards it, Brute also knew that it could win…for the sake of its new friendship. As if illustrating its newly-strengthened resolve, a fiery pink aura surrounded Brute’s body, burning violently.

    “Is that…?” gasped the Zekrom trainer, eyes going wide.

    Toxicroak charged forth, ignorant of Brute’s newfound skill, and leapt up for a final X-scissor. Brute, however, opened its eyes just in time to see the Poison Mouth Pokemon close in. The Machoke pulled one fist back, and then slammed it into Toxicroak’s stomach. The sheer force of the impact sent the Poison-type rocketing through the air and even out of the ring. Gasps rang through the entire arena as the unconscious Toxic Mouth Pokemon landed at its stunned trainer’s feet.
    I wanted to cheer at this point. Brute really earned that victory.

    “No way!” Sarah cried. “Was that a Return?”

    “So it would seem,” Garth nodded. “And a powerful one at that.”

    The Zekrom trainer was just as stunned for a while, but when he saw Brute climb out of the ring and give Derak a gentle high-five, he smiled.

    “This…this is what I’ve been searching for,” he whispered to himself. He looked down at the Pokeballs on his belt. “Can you all feel it? Only one thing could produce a Return so powerful…and we are lucky to have witnessed it.”
    Looks like N is going to be meeting Derak soon, by my estimation.

    “Ugh, can we just skip the song-and-dance routine?” Derak sighed. “I just want to get the trophy and leave before the interview garbage starts.”

    Brute smiled in amusement as it shook its head. Only Derak would act in this manner…

    …but that was what made him the best possible trainer.
    Could this be a hint to something?

    “Hey, it’s not a piece of junk!” Derak shot back. “This thing…when I show it to my dad, he’ll have to drop his whole ‘Pokemon-are-bad’ thing. He’ll see that, if they can win stuff like this…then he’ll have to let me get more from stuff like the League or other tournaments.”
    Yeah, I don't think it's going to work like that.

    “Wait, hold on,” Derak interrupted, “they named a move ‘Return’, even though we already tell Pokemon to ‘return’ when we send them back into their Pokeballs? Really?”
    I always did wonder this.

    “I, too, have wondered about that,” Garth added.

    “Yeah, but this is why I need your help,” Sarah said. “I can’t get Happiny to evolve. I’ve tried everything: professional massages, vitamin drinks, and even a Soothe Bell. No matter what I try, I can’t get it to evolve, and the Pokedex won’t tell me what I’m missing.”

    “Figures,” Derak sighed. “The only reason I keep using the thing is because I need at least SOME info on all the Pokemon I meet. But, what exactly do you want me to do? Give you tutoring or something?”

    “Not really…this is where it might get a little awkward,” Sarah grimaced. She took a deep breath and spoke again. “Derak, I want to trade my Happiny for your Machoke.”
    What the...?! Okay, that really came out of left field. I don't know if I want him to do it or not.

    “…huh?” Derak blinked. “Wait, you can do that?”

    “Trading Pokemon is a common practice among trainers,” Garth sighed.

    “But…why would I want to give my Pokemon away?” Derak blinked. “That doesn’t make any sense.”

    “Look, I know Brute just evolved, and I’m sure he’s going to be a real powerhouse on your team,” Sarah began, “but a Machoke can only reach its full potential if it’s traded to someone else. Please, Derak, you’re the one person I know who could do this the best.”
    I'm beginning to wonder if I trust Sarah all that much. She's essentially getting a Machamp in exchange for a Happiny, and she has nothing stopping her from keeping Brute whether Derak wants that or not.

    “But—” Derak began, but Brute put a reassuring hand on his shoulder and nodded.

    “Even your Machoke knows that this is for the best,” Garth said. “Do not draw out your misery for any longer than you have to.”

    Derak paused, looking down at the belt that he and Brute had won. He shut his eyes as he remembered how Brute had been a pivotal part of almost all of his Gym battles: Pewter City, Cerulean City, and Celadon City were the sites of those victories. And now, if what Sarah was saying was true, and that Brute could only reach his full potential if he was traded to her…

    “Choke,” Brute grunted, giving Derak a nod of approval. “Ma-choke.”

    “…okay,” Derak said quietly, his voice becoming almost a whimper. “Let’s get this over with.”

    “Thanks so much!” Sarah cried as she recalled her Happiny.

    Derak made as if to recall Brute, but stopped for a moment. He then wrapped the P1 Grand Prix champion belt around Brute’s waist, fastening it and backing away.

    “There you go,” Derak said, trying to hide the liquid that was forming in his eyes. “Hey…do me a favor? …make sure that thing stays shiny.”

    “Choke,” Brute nodded. Derak wordlessly recalled Brute, then held out his Pokeball, which Sarah promptly swapped for the one containing her Happiny.

    “Thanks, Derak,” Sarah smiled. “I’ll take good care of Brute, I prom—”

    “Just GO,” Derak growled. Sarah blinked for a moment, realizing that she overstepped her boundaries, and quietly left.

    “You will see your Machoke again,” Garth said. “If it helps…”
    Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen right now, Garth.

    “I don’t care,” Derak spat. “Can we just go to bed?”

    “…fine,” Garth said.

    Derak was the first into the deeper parts of the Pokemon Center, where the beds were. Garth did not immediately follow him, however. Instead, he sighed.

    One day, Derak, Garth thought. When you know the sort of suffering I have endured…you will know my story. And you will know that neither of us will be alone this time.

    He then headed for the Pokemon Center’s rooms, unaware that the Zekrom trainer—watching through the window of the Pokemon Center—had been watching. The original admiration in his eyes was gone, replaced with a rage that defied his normally-even temperament. One of the Pokeballs on his belt began to shake violently, and in response, he held up the Pokeball.

    “Yes, my friend,” the trainer said. “It will soon be time for you to act out your desires. But not now…it needs to be fair, first.”
    Whatever N is planning, I hope it sets all of this straight.

    Meanwhile, the mysterious Toxicroak trainer quietly ducked into a wooden ninja’s dojo. No one saw this enigmatic figure slip inside, but everyone knew the building. It had a simple identifying mark: the word “GYM” printed above the door.

    ****
    ...Janine?

    This was a good chapter, even if I didn't like every event that took place in it. It certainly set up a lot for later.

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    Beyond all ideals, the truth shall set you free...
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  23. #73
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    Nov 2005
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    The Great Butler:
    From the anime? Now there's something I haven't heard in a very long time.
    That episode actually stuck with me for a while, and it was going to be used in this fic ever since the beta stages of planning.

    This was a little confusing insofar as keeping track of who was talking to who when.
    I can definitely see that in Echo's "line", at least. Not sure if I understand on the others, though.

    I kind of get the feeling Derak - or at least the reader - already has met them.
    I will say that you're on the right track. Nothing more than that. XD

    I don't see Garth's logic here completely. Nobunaga's gathering strength, sure, but isn't training your Pokemon a way to gather strength too? I mean, beating all the Gyms right away might leave Derak with not enough strength.
    The thing is, Garth really doesn't have much love for competitive battling, which is what the P1 Grand Prix falls under. The Gyms are the barest minimum that he can tolerate.

    There's a "to" in this line that should be a "too."
    Noted.

    That's equal parts funny and horrifying. I'm loving Strike so far.
    There's going to be a bit or too later where you may not be loving Strike so much...

    That was... surprising. I wonder where those plot threads will go next.
    You'll see in a couple of chapters.

    Elliot is a bastard. That's all I can really say. It's too hard to predict yet just what is going on with him.
    You'll be finding out around...Saffron-ish, methinks.

    I'm beginning to wonder if I trust Sarah all that much. She's essentially getting a Machamp in exchange for a Happiny, and she has nothing stopping her from keeping Brute whether Derak wants that or not.
    I have to say that I'm pleased you're reacting that way. XD

    Whatever N is planning, I hope it sets all of this straight.
    You'll see.





    Now, with winter break underway, it's time to stock up on chapters.

    Here's the latest one. Some interesting stuff happens here. Hope you enjoy!




    Chapter 22: Shades of Black and White



    “Derak?” Garth said the next morning, sharply rapping the door to the boy’s room. “Will you stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out here?”

    No response. Garth sighed and tried the knob, finding that—curiously enough—it opened with ease. With the door no longer obstructing his view of the room, Garth soon came upon Derak, albeit in a poor state. The boy was close to falling out of his bunk, and his eyes were somewhat reddened. He looked as if he were barely awake.

    “Did you even get ANY sleep last night?” Garth asked.

    “Not really,” Derak groaned. “I’m worried about Brute.”

    “If you are going to whine about a trade-off,” Garth grumbled, “then I have to wonder how you will react when you suffer an actual tragedy.”

    “How is this not—” Derak began.

    “Be quiet and let me finish,” Garth spat. “I realize that it is difficult to part with a friend…but believe me when I say that a Machoke can only reach its maximum potential after it is traded to someone else. Although I cannot exactly call what you and the bug-obsessed girl did a ‘trade’.”

    “Why’s that?” Derak asked, slipping out of bed and managing to land on his feet.

    “Why do you not simply ask your new Happiny?” Garth snorted. “Your Pokedex can analyze its potential skills, assuming you can figure out how to use that feature.”

    Rather than make one of his typical sarcastic remarks, Derak instead wordlessly released Happiny. The small Normal-type squealed cheerfully, having evidently anticipated its arrival into the company of a new trainer. Derak gave it a quick wave before pointing his Pokedex at Happiny.

    “Okay, let’s see,” Derak said. “Normal-type, we already know that…hey, Garth, what does the ability Natural Cure do?”

    “If Happiny is afflicted with a status condition like paralysis, then switching it out will cure its problems,” Garth explained.

    “Okay, then,” Derak shrugged. “All right, moves…sheesh, I haven’t seen many of these…Pound… Sweet Kiss? Aromatherapy? Helping Hand? What do these even do?”

    “Sweet Kiss causes confusion, Aromatherapy heals the status afflictions of other Pokemon, and Helping Hand boosts the power of a partner Pokemon’s attack,” Garth answered. “In other words, it is a poor substitute for your Machoke.”

    “…so, what you’re saying is…I got ripped off?” Derak said slowly.

    “Essentially,” Garth nodded.

    “Haap?” Happiny whimpered, its expression saddening.

    “Uh…that doesn’t mean you’re not welcome, though!” Derak sputtered. “It’s just…I had to give away a really good friend to get you. And I already miss him.”

    “Ugh, here we go again,” Garth sighed.

    Happiny, however, appeared to understand Derak’s concerns. It nodded, waddled up to him, and hugged his leg.

    “Uh…thanks?” Derak blinked. “Okay, Happiny, I think it’s time for you to go back in the Pokeball, now.”

    “Hap-peeny!” nodded the Playhouse Pokemon, promptly backing away and allowing itself to be recalled. Once it was gone, Derak sighed.

    “Garth,” he said, “remind me to never trade Pokemon with anyone ever again.”

    “Noted,” the cloaked man nodded. “Now, let us try and determine which Pokemon you will use against the Fuchsia Gym Leader.”

    “Definitely not Happiny,” Derak said as he headed out of the room and into the lobby. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s great for moral support and giving its partners a boost in double battles, but in what’s probably going to be a single battle…not so much.”

    “Is that really all that matters? How a Pokemon will perform in battle?”

    The source of the new voice was none other than Zekrom’s apparent trainer, who sat with his hat over his eyes as he methodically fiddled with the puzzle cube that typically hung from his belt. Garth’s eyes narrowed at the sight of him, but Derak was merely confused.

    “Uh…not really, now that you mention it,” he answered. “Why?”

    The green-haired young man sighed, reattaching the cube to his belt as he stood up.

    “Ever since I was a child, all I have ever seen are Pokemon who were hurt by trainers,” he said. “It hurts me, as well. They’re my friends, you know…Pokemon are the only friends I can really have.”

    “Funny how that worked out for you, is it not?” Garth growled, preparing a Pokeball. “Electivire, rise from the ashes!”

    In a flash, Garth’s Electivire appeared on the scene, grinning wickedly as it faced the Zekrom trainer down. Despite the fearsome foe before him, the mysterious young man was completely undaunted, and simply stared at Electivire as if expecting something. Derak, however, was not so calm about the situation.

    “Garth, what the heck are you doing?!” Derak cried.

    “Eliminating a problem,” Garth shot back. “Electivire, use—”

    “Vire?” blinked the Thunderbolt Pokemon, looking down at the green-haired young man. “Electi-vire?”

    “Yes,” the young man smiled. “That is who I am. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Electivire.”

    “Electivire, what are you waiting for?!” Garth cried.

    “Your Electivire…he tells me that you ‘have issues’,” the Zekrom trainer said, “but still speaks highly of you. He says you are his longtime partner, and always will be.”

    “Tell me something I do not already know,” Garth growled.

    “Uh…did he just translate Pokemon language?” Derak blinked. “Hey, wait...can you teach me how to—”

    “Do not bother,” Garth spat. “His organization will only use that ability for their own twisted ends.”

    “I see…so you already know. That makes sense,” the young man said. “Let me introduce myself. My name is N. My…father…a man named Ghetsis, once led a group called Team Plasma.”

    “Team what?” Derak blinked.

    “A group of medieval-themed gnats who tried to force the trainers of the Unova region into releasing all of their Pokemon solely to make Ghetsis the sole remaining trainer,” Garth growled. “And who also buzzed once too often around me during my travels.”

    “That…was their plan?” Derak blinked. “That sounds kinda stupid. Then again, I guess I should expect that from someone who only gave their kid one letter for their name.”

    “Firstly, Ghetsis is only my foster father…a difficult thing to call him, as well,” N sighed. “Secondly…my full name is actually Natural Harmonia Gropius. But I prefer to go by N.”

    “…I can see why,” Derak blinked.

    “But that is not what I am here to discuss,” N continued, looking over at Derak. “You…your name is Derak? I wish to battle you. I want to hear the voices of your Pokemon. Wait…”

    He closed his eyes for a moment. Derak looked to Garth for an explanation, but neither could answer the questions raised by N’s behavior. Finally, the former king of Team Plasma opened his eyes.

    “I can feel that I have a particular friend who wishes to witness our battle,” N said. “Let us go outside so I can introduce you.”

    ****

    N took the two into a rather secluded area outside Fuchsia City, specifically the spot where Zekrom had landed the day before. He stood at one side of the clearing, staring into space for a while. Derak and Garth took their place at the other side, the former wondering what in the world was going on. Electivire stood by the sidelines, arms crossed as it glanced back and forth at each side.

    “Before I introduce you to my friend,” N began, “let me say one thing: many trainers aspire to use its kind for their own benefit. And I will prevent any further attempts by either of you.”

    With a deep preparatory breath, N enlarged a Pokeball and revealed his ownership of Zekrom. The black dragon’s imposing stature alone was enough to cause Derak to fall backwards out of shock. But Garth was the most severely affected: his eyes went wide, his skin paled, and his hands began to shake. Memories flooded into his mind, all of them chronicling horrible times.

    “No…no, NO!” Garth roared. Without warning, he charged at Zekrom, rage blinding him as he began attacking the dragon’s leg with his bare hands. Zekrom looked down at him with mild surprise on its face, but upon squinting in an attempt to get a closer look at its comparatively tiny attacker, it understood.

    “ELECTIVIRE!” Garth bellowed. “What are you waiting for?! This is what I have been training you for!”

    “Elec?” Electivire blinked, nervously staring up at Zekrom. True, the majority of its training under Garth’s ownership was for the purpose of eventually defeating this colossal beast, hence its being taught the move Ice Punch…but the task now seemed quite intimidating, to say the least.

    “Zekrom?” N looked over to his dragon, which stared at him for a moment. After a short time (in which Garth’s continued attempts at doing harm to Zekrom were met with failure), N nodded. “I see. You…your name was Garth? Zekrom tells me that it knows you.”

    “Of course it knows me!” Garth roared. “It was used to destroy everything I ever cared about!”

    “Wait, back up…what the heck is going on?” Derak blinked.

    “I am not Zekrom’s first partner,” N replied. “It was allied with numerous people over the years…a hero who sought ideals and created the Unova region with his brother, and—”

    “And a guy named Nobunaga?” Derak interrupted.

    “Yes,” N blinked. “How did you know?”

    “Long story that you might not even believe,” Derak shrugged.

    “He has no right to any of our business!” Garth spat. “Electivire, use Ice Punch on Zekrom NOW!”

    But Electivire still would not move. The Thunderbolt Pokemon scratched its head for a moment, attempting to weigh its options. Before it could make a decision, N stepped forward.

    “I won’t allow harm to come to Zekrom,” he said. “It wants me to tell you…how sorry it is that it—”

    “I WANT NONE OF ZEKROM’S EXCUSES OR PITY!” Garth roared. He then reduced his voice to a snarl as he continued. “All I want…all I have wanted for the many years that I have wandered…is to take my revenge upon Nobunaga Oda. Zekrom was the Pokemon he used to destroy that which was dear to me…which means that it must pay, as well.”

    “Uh, Garth, any chance you could just save all your revenge talk for Nobunaga alone?” Derak asked. “Just because he used Zekrom to do bad stuff to you doesn’t mean that it’s to blam—oh, crap…”

    “What?” Garth asked.

    Derak nervously pointed at the sky. The others looked up and saw a storm of comets raining down from above, gaining more power and speed as they gathered momentum.

    “A Draco Meteor!” Garth cried. “Electivire, shield us with Protect!”

    “Zekrom, destroy it with Thunder!” N cried.

    Electivire rushed to Garth’s side as its trainer pulled a stunned Derak behind the Thunderbolt Pokemon, allowing the Electric-type to form a Protect large enough to defend all three of them. N’s Zekrom, however, took to the skies, its body surging with electricity. A colossal bolt of lightning burst from the dragon’s electrified aura, decimating the first meteor it came into contact with. Other meteors soon followed the first, Zekrom having progressively aimed its Thunder to the right.

    “Magnificent,” a voice praised. “The years have indeed been kind to you, Zekrom.”

    The dragon’s eyes went wide as it recognized the voice, but Derak was filled with a sense of dread. A Hydreigon land in the clearing, and Nobunaga himself dismounted the beast.

    “Now, then…N, was it?” Nobunaga smirked. “I believe you have something that belongs to me.”

    “What…? You mean Zekrom?” N gasped.

    “Yes,” Nobunaga grinned, his Hydreigon eyeing Derak darkly. “I have come to reclaim the Pokemon that was once a valued partner during the War of Ransei…as Garth over there can attest.”

    Garth tensed, his fists shaking with rage. Derak, however, was the one to speak.

    “Oh, no way,” Derak said. “I know enough about you to know that there’s no way we’re letting you take—”

    “Hy-DREEEEIIIIII!” roared Nobunaga’s Hydreigon, the very sound of its voice sending numerous bird Pokemon scattering from the trees and causing Derak to fall over in a sudden surge of terror.

    “Gah!” Derak grunted, fumbling for his Pokedex. “O-okay, seriously, what is that thing?!”

    “Hydreigon,” the Pokedex reported, “the Brutal Pokemon. Type is Dark and Dragon. Evolved form of Zweilous. It responds to movement by attacking. This scary, three-headed Pokemon devours everything in its path.”

    “Oh, great,” Derak gulped. “Figures he’d get one of those.”

    “Indeed it does,” Garth growled. “I have to say that a Pokemon of that description fits you quite well, Oda.”

    “Why, thank you,” Nobunaga smirked.

    “This is…Nobunaga Oda?” N blinked, clearly overwhelmed by the strange information he was presented with. “Ghetsis…told me stories of Ransei’s war…and how Nobunaga’s actions were an inspiration for him.”

    “Is that so?” Nobunaga said. “As flattered as I am to have a fan in your ‘father’, I am afraid that I will have to take Zekrom now.”

    He reached out a hand, pointing it directly at Zekrom’s head. The dragon could only stare in shock, wondering how in the world Nobunaga was still alive centuries after the battles of Ransei had concluded. A sudden sensation in its mind made it gasp, however, and its eyes began to glow a bright yellow.

    “NO!” Garth yelled. “Derak, N, we must stop him! He is attempting to Link with Zekrom again!”

    “Link?” Derak repeated.

    “That was how ancient warriors used Pokemon: by establishing a telepathic link!” N cried. “I can’t allow Zekrom to be used for the purpose of conquest!”

    He pulled a particular Pokeball off of his belt, knowing that within was the same Pokemon that constantly yearned for release.

    “My friend…you will have your freedom,” N said. “I need your help now!”

    He threw the Pokeball into the air, and released a lizard-like Pokemon with a pale brown body. Its most noticeable feature was the large reptilian skull over its head, and the bone it held in its one-fingered hand. The lizard gave its head a shake, as if relieving itself of some contamination.

    “I promised you exercise, my Marowak friend, and you will have it,” N declared, an unusual resolve in his voice. “Please, stop this man from taking Zekrom!”

    The Pokemon—evidently called “Marowak”—looked over at Nobunaga, observing his attempts to Link with the now-immobile dragon. With a grunt, it slapped it bone into its free hand and charged forth, a dark aura beginning to grow from its body.

    “What?” Garth blinked. “That aura…”

    “Garth, snap out of it, we’ve got Linking to stop!” Derak cried. “Wildfire, let’s go!”

    “You’re right,” Garth grunted. “Electivire, go forth!”

    Joined by Derak’s Chimchar and Garth’s Electivire, N’s Marowak quickly advanced on Nobunaga. The three Pokemon were quickly faced with an obstacle, however, as Nobunaga’s Hydreigon landed between them and let out a terrifying roar. Wildfire stumbled back in fright, but Garth’s Electivire narrowed its eyes as it cracked its knuckles. N’s Marowak, however, simply scoffed.

    That scoff was apparently enough to incite Hydreigon’s wrath, however. Without any order, the Brutal Pokemon rose into the air and exhaled a blast of orange wind that almost seemed to be on fire. Wildfire, being a Fire-type, managed to resist the Heat Wave, but still struggled to advance. Marowak waved its bone about, somehow managing to summon a rocky shield for itself without ever touching the ground. Electivire channeled an Ice Punch into both its fists, pushing them forward in an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of Hydreigon’s attack.

    Eventually, however, Hydreigon began to suffer from lack of oxygen, and thus halted its Heat Wave for a moment. This provided the perfect opportunity for N’s Marowak, which abandoned its shield of rocks and dashed forward. With its aura of shadow in place, it slammed itself into Hydreigon’s stomach with enough force to send the Brutal Pokemon reeling.

    Despite the violence that was dealt to his Pokemon, however, Nobunaga barely seemed to notice. A glow had entered into his own eyes as he continued to Link with Zekrom, his progress increasing with each passing second. This progress, however, appeared to be at the cost of noticing what happened around him, including Derak’s sneaking up behind him. The boy clenched his jaw, pulled back his leg, and aimed a kick towards the area between Nobunaga’s legs.

    Before the kick could connect, however, Nobunaga’s other hand suddenly shot out and wrapped itself around Derak’s throat.

    “Crap,” Derak choked. “Guess you…really were paying attention…”

    Without the slightest hint of reaction to Derak’s words, Nobunaga simply tossed him aside. Derak’s body slammed into a tree, unconsciousness taking hold of him as he limply collapsed on the ground. Wildfire stopped attacking Hydreigon long enough to see its trainer suffer such an injury…and, for the first time in recent memory, it was angry.

    “Derak!” Garth yelled. “Nobunaga, you sickening piece of filth…!”

    Garth put a halt to his rage unusually early, however, when he saw Wildfire’s own emotional state. The Chimchar’s flaming tail was burning more violently than usual, and a low growl could be heard from behind the monkey’s gritted teeth. It threw its head back in a screech of pure rage, and formed a Flame Wheel that quickly barreled towards Nobunaga.

    “Chimchar, no, you won’t make it!” N cried.

    As if to prove its trainer wrong, however, N’s Marowak viciously tackled Hydreigon into a tree, pinning it down and preventing it from stopping Wildfire’s assault. The Chimchar neared Nobunaga, but another Pokeball on the warlord’s belt automatically opened…

    …and released an Infernape.

    Wildfire suddenly stopped in its tracks, its rage quickly turning into terror as it remembered the events of Cerulean City, where Nick Spire’s Infernape displayed traumatizing brutality towards Garth’s Cradily. The Infernape standing before it appeared, for all intents and purposes, completely identical to Spire’s Infernape, right down to the sadistic grin plastered across its face.

    “Ferrrn,” Infernape grinned. Wildfire’s Flame Wheel was long gone by this point, the Chimchar now trembling and frozen still.

    “That does it,” Garth growled. “Dewgong, use Aqua Jet on Infernape!”

    The very second that Dewgong appeared, its body became surrounded by a watery shell that made the Sea Lion Pokemon resemble an aquatic missile. Fittingly enough, the missile rocketed towards Infernape, slamming into the evolved Fire-type with devastating force. The Flame Pokemon was sent tumbling back head-first into yet another tree, giving a small fraction of hope. N’s Marowak even charged darkness into its bone and clubbed Hydreigon’s head, knocking out the Dragon-type and preventing further harm from it.

    “Now, Dewgong!” Garth yelled. “Use Aqua Jet again, this time to stop Nobunaga!”

    Realizing that its master was in jeopardy, the still-conscious Infernape sprang back into action by aiming a punch at Dewgong, which—as evidenced by the sudden burst of speed with which Infernape lunged at Dewgong—was soon revealed to be a Mach Punch. The Flame Pokemon managed to knock Dewgong aside, and once the Sea Lion Pokemon was out of the way, Infernape scrambled to Nobunaga’s side and began fiddling with one of his Pokeballs.

    “Oh, for the love of…!” Garth growled, noticing a still-paralyzed Wildfire and a fallen Dewgong. “N, you clearly have some sort of link with Zekrom, try and fight Nobunaga’s control! Electivire, use Thunder on Nobunaga immediately!”

    With Hydreigon out of the way, Electivire released a Thunder into the air that bore down on Nobunaga. Meanwhile, N approached Zekrom and stood firm before it, closing his eyes and attempting to access the mind of his friend. He soon found resistance, however, as his facial expression contorted into one of intense effort. Fortunately, Nobunaga’s face wore a similar expression, revealing that their two minds had come into conflict within Zekrom’s mind.

    Just as the Thunder seemed to near Nobunaga, however, Infernape pressed a Pokeball’s button and released an avian shape into the sky. The bird-like Pokemon was quickly struck by the Thunder, and only upon falling to the ground in agony was it revealed to have been a Braviary. Infernape bounded over its fallen comrade’s body and spat a whirling tunnel of flame at Electivire, only for the Thunderbolt Pokemon to block the Fire Spin with another Protect.

    N’s Marowak suddenly leapt out of the trees, heading towards Nobunaga with its bone ready to smash. Infernape, however, intercepted the reptilian bone-wielder with another Mach Punch. Rather than be sent sailing away by the force of the blow, however, Marowak grabbed hold of Infernape’s free arm, taking the Flame Pokemon down with it. Realizing his opportunity, Garth rushed forward, roaring madly as he charged towards Nobunaga.

    But then N cried out, falling to the ground as he clutched his head in agony.

    “So…horrible,” N whimpered. “Such…terrible things…”

    And then the glow faded from Nobunaga’s eyes. A smirk grew across his face.

    “Link complete,” he smirked. “Zekrom, come.”

    And, shockingly enough, Zekrom obeyed.

    The Legendary Pokemon trudged over to Nobunaga’s side, as if all memory of its true trainer had been wiped away. Nobunaga’s grin grew as he climbed upon Zekrom’s back, recalling the Hydreigon, Infernape, and Braviary that had fought for him.

    “I trust you are familiar with the Pokemon I took from Derak’s lawyer acquaintance?” Nobunaga smirked.

    “You STOLE the man’s Pokemon?” Garth growled. “And here I thought even you would not stoop to such petty deeds.”

    “He refused to join my cause, so I took the next best thing,” Nobunaga smirked. “A shame that the honor ingrained in Ransei’s warriors has not made its way into the modern age.”

    “You…you are…a monster,” N said slowly as he rose. “You are no honorable warrior…we have seen each other’s lives when our minds made contact…you have destroyed lives, hopes, and dreams…all in search of your ideal world. Those who kill without remorse…are without any sense of honor.”

    “Is that so?” Nobunaga said, his smirk fading away. “You do realize that I could have easily had Zekrom vaporize the lot of you five times over the course of our conversation? And I can guarantee that I did not do so just so other people could hear the sound of my voice.”

    “Then why…?” N trailed off.

    “To make a request,” Nobunaga said. “When Derak awakes, tell him that I will be waiting for our battle when his strength is sufficient.”

    “Then I hope you do not mind waiting,” Garth growled.

    “Heh…I can wait until the end of this year,” Nobunaga snickered. “After all, I have waited hundreds of years for the opportunity to create my ideal world. What’s another few months? Zekrom, let’s go.”

    Without a second’s hesitation, Zekrom rose into the air, Nobunaga on its back. N rushed to the place where his partner once stood, but by then it was too late.

    Nobunaga had taken Zekrom.

    “Brilliant,” Garth growled. “Our task just grew three times as difficult.”

    “So it would seem,” N sighed. “Garth…please, let me help you and Derak.”

    “And what can YOU offer us?” Garth spat.

    “Let us carry Derak to the Pokemon Center,” N suggested. “We should wait until he wakes up.”

    “I suppose that makes sense,” Garth agreed as he recalled his Dewgong, making sure to leave Electivire out in case of another attack. “That way I will not have to serve as the middleman.”

    With a nod from N, the two trainers hoisted Derak’s still-unconscious body between them and carried him off. Wildfire nervously followed, but as it began to fall behind, it found itself lifted up by the two tails of Garth’s Electivire. Only N’s Marowak remained behind, and once most of the group had left the clearing, the skull-wearing lizard heaved a sigh.

    “Figures,” the Marowak said in a harsh, gruff voice. “There’s always SOME moron trying to take over the world.”

    With a shake of its head, the Marowak reluctantly followed the group back to the Pokemon Center.

    ****
    Current fanfics:


    Proving Grounds

    How far will one boy go to prove something?

  24. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    37

    Default

    YES!!! The marowak from struggle for power. HE IS BACK!!!! By the way I've been reading both of the stories and let me say they are amazing, keep up the good work!

  25. #75
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    302

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    Wow...
    PLease don't have reshiram appear as Derak's pokemon. WAY TOO CLICHED!
    They say if you press cntrl and W you get to see the programming of a website after making a signature with 3 ws and 8qs
    Fanfics I like that are still in production: Author's Run, Pokémon emerald the better version

    This the aquabats song awesome forces:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx4sL0w3SHM
    and here is their song shark fighter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3wchrctxFo

    I NEED A BETA READER!
    Check out my fic.
    http://www.serebiiforums.com/showthr...2#post14945242

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