Pokemon + The Mortal Instruments
~ Chapter Two ~
City of Dragons, Part II
Jace's eyes blinked open. Beyond a veil of fog, he could distantly see that he was lying down on what seemed like a hospital bed. At the end of it stood two people. One was Clary and the other was the blue-haired woman ... hadn't she said her name was Clair, or something like that? In his dazed state, Jaze thought, Clair and Clary, Clary and Clair, Clarissa Clair Clary cocoa ... Ugh, the dragon fried my brain cells. Then his mind jolted, and the fog lifted. Dragon? I fought a ... a dragon? A sea monster dragon ... But dragons are extinct and sea monsters don't exist ... What?
His body shocked itself awake, and Jace woke up - for real.
"Oh good, you're alright," Clair said. She sounded oddly perturbed - a few seconds later, she marched away.
Now that he could see more clearly, Jace made out Simon and Isabelle asleep on a couch, and a woman dressed like a nurse, who, for some reason, had curly pink hair. Pink hair? And where did Isabelle come from?
Clary had moved up to by his side. "Hey," she greeted him softly. "You look pretty good. For someone who got attacked by that ... thing."
"So many questions," Jace thought aloud.
"Clair'll be back soon to answer your questions. Apparently, we're," she hesitated, "in another world."
"I guessed that much," Jace joked. "What with all the crazy hair colours and sea dragons."
"Yeah, apparently, hair is kinda weird here," Clary explained. "There's people with green hair, and purple hair, and all sorts of hair. And the dragon was called a Gyarados."
"Gya-ruh-dos." Jace tested the word in his mouth. It felt odd. "So they don't have demons and Downworlders and Nephilim here. They have Gyaradoses."
"I think it's Gyarados in plural too," Clary corrected. "And yeah, they have Gyarados. But that's not the half of it."
At that moment, a tall, imposing-looking man barged in. What Jace noticed first was not his outlandish dark blue leather outfit, nor the flowing black-and-red cape behind him. It was his hair. It was in long spikes, and red as the rising sun, creating a striking flame-like effect, as though the man's head was on fire. Jace made a mental note to get Clary to draw this man's hair for her later.
The man, who looked like he was around twenty-five or, at the most, thirty, looked over Jace impassively, and then Clair appeared through the door as well. "Goddamn, Lance, get out," she cried. "He needs -" Her voice died in her throat as the newcomer, Lance, turned to give her an odd look. When he spoke, his voice was quiet, but powerful - the voice of a charismstic leader. "Really, little cousin," Lance chuckled. "You should keep your crushes from this dimension."
Cousin?, Jace wondered. At least that explains the hair. Must be a family trait.
"He's not -" Clair began to say something, but thought better of it and remained silent. Lance turned back to Jace and said gently, "I'm sorry about Clair. She's a little reckless, and she should have informed me immediately on finding you, not the morning after you survived Gyarados' attack. Which reminds me." Lance turned back to Clair, and fixed her with a stern gaze. "If you cannot keep your Pokemon under control, I will have to discipline you. You know Gyarados gets territorial. You should have left her loose only in the Den, if you let her loose at all. At least there Grandfather could keep an eye on her."
"Yes, Lance," Clair said sulkily.
"Now," Lance turned back to Jace. "Where were we?"
"What the hell is a Gyarados anyway? And where am I?" Jace demanded.
Lance sighed. "I see you're well enough to ask questions. Come on, out of bed - let's get you some breakfast, and then your questions will be answered."
The 'hospital', where Jace had been staying, turned out to be a 'Pokemon Centre'. When Jace asked Lance what a Pokemon was, the man frowned and said, "All in good time."
From the Centre, the two walked down a block to a small pub where Jace had breakfast. Several pancakes later, Lance bundled Jace into a taxi. As they drove, Jace figured out that Blackthorn City, where he was right now, was small and picturesque, a sort of mountain retreat. However, it didn't seem very resort-like.
Lance interrupted Jace's ruminations. "This is going to be a good half hour long drive, so I might as well get started on the explanations. Your friends Clary and Simon explained to Clair that you came from a world where demons and demon-hunters walked alongside fantastic beings - angels, werewolves, and warlocks and the like. Naturally, she didn't believe them. Rather, she thought they were quite insane. So she called me, and told me the story. I was interested, to say the least, and so I came down here to speak to you personally."
"You'd believe me if I told you I was a Shadowhunter?" Jace said, a little sarcastically.
Lance smiled: a wry, small smile, a smile that said, I have seen things that would make you very, very afraid. It was a smile Jace knew; he himself had smiled the same way at anyone he wanted to intimidate. "No less fantastic than a ten-year-old child bringing down a criminal empire nearly single-handedly. Which, in fact, did happen. I know, because I have met the ten-year-old in question."
"This world seems a lot nicer than ours," Jace remarked. "In New York, where I come from, a ten-year-old bringing down a criminal empire would be shot or run over by a car, or be the victim of a mysterious accident ... and so on."
"Here, it's much different," Lance said. "Our world is at peace with itself, except for the occasional case of fanatical eco-terrorists trying to take over the world or megalomaniacs attempting to remake it in their image."
"I take it back. Your world is downright crazy."
Lance continued. "Our world is filled with beings known as Pokemon. Their origin nobody knows of, but they've been around for centuries, and they are similar to everyday objects and animals, but living, thinking beings. Pokemon are classified on the basis of species, of which approximately 650 are known as of now. Gyarados, as you have met, is one such species. Pokemon can be upto two of seventeen different elemental types, and can use several different types of techniques in battle or to aid humans. The former is set for each species of Pokemon but the latter is variable. For example, all Gyarados are of the Water and Flying types, but not all may know the move Dragon Rage; which incidentally, was the spitting-fire move."
"And finally, Pokemon have the ability to change when certain conditions are fulfilled. This ability is called evolution, but takes place within a matter of seconds. Many Pokemon evolve when they reach a certain level of strength, some evolve in the vicinity of a certian location and some evolve when specific items are given to them. In our world, people known as trainers capture Pokemon with devices called PokeBalls, and battle other trainers using their Pokemon. Trainers often journey around their country. In most countries the government authorises a Pokemon League. The League sets up areas called Gyms in some cities and towns, headed by powerful trainers called Gym Leaders. Trainers battle Leaders to get symbolic badges. Once they have eight badges, they participate in the Pokemon League tournaments. Clair is one such Leader."
"And what about you?"
Lance seemed a little surprised at the question. "I was the Blackthorn Gym's Leader a few years ago, but trainers began to complain that I was far too strong to defeat, and so, the League, er, transferred me. So to speak. Anyway, every year, the Pokemon League tournament is held in a certain location in the region. In the Johto region, where we are now, we share our Pokemon League tournament with the Kanto region. The reasons are political, but the fact is, every year, fifty trainers are selected to participate in the League tournament. Once it comes down to just two trainers through a process of elimination via Pokemon battles, these two trainers qualify to the third level of the League, after Gym Leaders and the tournament entrants. The third level is a set of four trainers who are the very best, the pinnacle of the country's League. The Elite Four. Both trainers are given the chance to battle the Elites in a series of consecutive battles. The trainer who wins is given a trophy - or even trainers, for there have been two or three occasions both trainers defeat the Elites. But more often than not, neither one wins, and the trophy gathers dust until someone really powerful comes along." He gave a little sigh.
"Then who are you?" Jace asked.
"Me?" Lance sounded amused at the question. The taxi drew to a stop outside a building that looked like a small, but imposing, stone castle. A sign by it read, 'BLACKTHORN CITY POKEMON GYM - OFFICIALLY APPROVED BY THE POKEMON LEAGUE OF JOHTO'.
Lance stepped outside, and Jace with him. Lance turned to face Jace, rather than the Blackthorn Gym. "I am Lance Blackthorn. Son of former Mayor Lucius Blackthorn. Grandson of the Elder of the Dragon's Den. Descendant of Blackthorne the First, founder of this hallowed city. Dragon Master of the Pokemon League. Former Gym Leader and former Elite Four member. And the current President of the Pokemon League. I am the Champion." With a devilish grin, he asked, "That answer your question?"
Jace was not impressed by the speech. Well, maybe a little.
Taking Jace's stony silence as a yes, Lance strode into the Gym, followed by Jace. The inside was larger than it should have been: it held a large pit of lava, shaped like a curving 'S', or perhaps a serpentine dragon. A small bridge connected the lava to a floating arena, a large rectangular slab of rock that shouldn't have floated but did. On the short sides of the arena were bleachers. Clary, Simon, Isabelle, Maia and Jordan sat on the bleachers, while Clair stood on the far side of the arena.
Remembering what Lance had said, Jace asked, "You're going to make me battle Clair?"
Lance's lip curled into a smile. It was the same smile he'd given Jace about half an hour ago, when Jace asked him if he'd believe that he was a Shadowhunter. "Of course not, you don't have any Pokemon." He gestured at the bleachers. "Go join your friends. Today ..." Lance's smile became sharp and dangerous. Now it said, I am something that will make you very, very afraid.
"Today, I'll be battling."