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Old September 30th, 2007, 04:09 PM
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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A Head as Hard as Rock


Jeff and the trio of pokemon neared the large city of Rustboro. They stepped off of the wooden bridge and onto the more secure, solid grassland. Ahead of them was what appeared to be two trainers in the midst of battle, along with a crowd of five people watching. Corphish ran ahead to join the spectators, while Treecko walked to the right to get a better look at the battle. The onlookers cheered and hollered for the girl to win. They all watched the battle intently. Jeff remained standing with Daedalus in his folded arms; his wings were slumped over Jeff’s hands to weakly hang on. Jeff walked to his right, under the shade of a tree.

On the battle field was a confident-looking woman dressed in a red and white-laced jogging outfit. She had short brown hair which flowed smoothly in the river breeze. The pokemon in front of her was a brick red fox pokemon. Its fur was magnificently beautiful. It had six puffy, orange, tails that it swung around in preparation for her trainer’s orders. Facing the two was a person and pokemon that seemed strikingly familiar to Jeff.

The male human was wearing a white t-shirt and blue shorts that didn’t go past his knees. He had a strong but slender face, his eyes covered by sunglasses. He brushed a hand through his very short, almost buzzed head of dark brown hair, in frustration. His pokemon was a blue and white bird, but it could not fly. The pokemon’s yellow feet were shaking. The blue penguin’s chest was a light blue with the false impression that the pokemon was wearing a cape, which was made up of blue fur that hung down its back. He had a bruise on his large blue head. There were white splotches of fur around the water pokemon’s sad, beady, black eyes. Beside them were a grey bike and a blue helmet sprawled in the grass.

It hit Jeff who these two were. Jeff recalled back to when he ran to the lab to get his pokemon, he saw this guy riding on a bike through town with that pokemon. He also remembered that Kristie referred to that pokemon as a Piplup. His eyes drifted from the battle to the grass. He went from remembering the Piplup to remembering Kristie. All he could picture then was Kristie and Alan making out in front of him. He shut his eyes and could feel a hot wave of sweat creep around his spine. With his eyes closed the thought of them kissing continued and became more intense. He dropped one arm, almost causing Daedalus to fall from his arm, and clenched his fist. A bead of sweat dropped from his arm and onto his fist, which shook with rage. He widened his eyes and tried to concentrate on the fight to take his mind from his thoughts.

“Ok, Vulpix, use swift!” yelled the girl to her fox pokemon.

The pokemon opened its mouth wide and let out a cute “VUULLL” as it began to unleash the sharp energy stars at the poor Piplup. The Piplup covered his face with his hands. The stars cut through his skin but dissipated before they could damage any internal organs. The bleeding Piplup fell to the ground. The guy, who seemed only a little older than Jeff, rushed over to it with his bag in hand.

“Come on, Piplup, I know you can do it!” encouraged the man, half-heartedly.

“Pip… ” whimpered Piplup, shaking his head.

Daedalus opened his eyes and groaned.

“Take it easy, buddy,” advised Jeff in a low, reassuring tone.

They both watched the battle, or massacre, from many meters away.

“I believe in you, Piplup! We can win!” the man continued to urge.

Piplup looked up at the man and blinked, giving in. The guy gave his Piplup a large potion to drink. The defeated pokemon struggled to get to his feet. Moments later, Piplup was brought to the ground again, by another barrage of stars.

“Piplup, just hang in there a little more. You can do it!”

The Piplup was given another potion and he got to his feet. He was taken down in the same fashion and brought back up in the same fashion.

Jeff and Daedalus both looked at the pushy trainer in contempt.

“That’s pathetic…” whispered Jeff through a grimace.

“<I hope you don’t mean the pokemon…he’s doing everything he can out there.>”

“I mean the human. He put his friend up against a much tougher foe, who’s clearly beating the crap out of that poor Piplup. Each time the Piplup is knocked down he urges him to keep going. The Piplup clearly doesn’t want to battle and that guy acts as if it’s a game and those phrases, which are supposed to mean something, are just passwords that keep the pokemon battling. His Piplup probably knows that those words are lies, but he will still battle for him because he’s his trainer and his friend.”

“<Or maybe he’s too afraid of the human to do otherwise. He was probably taken from his home and doesn’t know what to do so he just does what his trainer wants so he can stick around.>”

“Perhaps he just wants to THINK that his trainer is being sincere. Also, when the Piplup is knocked out he just keeps pumping him full of potions and revives. It’s like he doesn’t care how much the pokemon is getting hurt and he just keeps setting Piplup up so that he gets hurt more, in the false hope that he may WIN that time around.”

“<Do all trainers do that? Do you, Jeff?>”

“No!” Jeff quickly shot back, offended.

Daedalus let out a heavy sigh of relief, but as he sighed he cringed. The aches from the encounter were still present and unyielding. They continued to watch the Piplup fall to the ground. The water pokemon began to edge away from the Vulpix; he didn’t dare turn his back to the pokemon. His wings were quivering and laced with cuts. His pseudo-cape was matted with so much dirt that barely any of its original color was showing.

“<So this is the breaking point where a Piplup will swallow its pride and back down…>” Daedalus said somberly, with a groan.

“That trainer is more a pure idiot than he is stubborn! Although Piplup’s not seriously injured, the he must be going through a seemingly infinite time of pain…all so that he can see his trainer be happy.” Jeff was now panting as a product of the zealous rant.

The Piplup tried to crawl away from the battle; tears were streaming down his face from the overwhelming situation. The girl, the Vulpix, and the crowd dispersed, acknowledging the fact that the fight was over.

In a serious, profound tone, Daedalus added, “<What’s worse is that the Piplup is only young… too young for treatment like this. They think that they can justify using pokemon to fight their battles with the fact that they have a bond. The pokemon are too loyal and the humans too ignorant.>”

The words that Daedalus had just uttered hit Jeff like stone in his gut. He leaned over, wary of the fragile Taillow, and picked up a stone. He tightly grasped it before throwing it. With a roar, he heaved it towards the river. Jeff was so angry because he knew Daedalus was right.

Jeff brushed his hand through his hair and looked at Daedalus, who looked at him with confusion. “… You’re right; we can’t even fight our own battles on a personal level… we have to use our pokemon instead! It’s times like these that I’m ashamed of being a human.” Jeff began to remember when he beat Alan in a pokemon battle but couldn’t punch him, personally. He bit his cheek and tightened his fist. Man, did he want to slug him across his lying face. Meanwhile, Daedalus looked up at Jeff with a serious face. An ounce of respect he gained for Jeff could be seen through his eyes. Corphish and Treecko walked back to Jeff when the onlookers dispersed.

“<Well that was a disappointment… they didn’t even sell nachos for the battle!>” Corphish scoffed.

“<I could have done better than that Piplup, and I’m a grass type!>” Treecko confidently sighed.

Jeff and Daedalus both shot them subconscious glares in unison. Daedalus clawed his way up onto Jeff’s shoulder. They watched the guy sit his Piplup upright; he gave him a final potion and sat beside him.

“We have to try harder next time! We can’t beat gyms like that!”

The Piplup shook tears from his eyes looked at the ground in shame.

“I know that you can do it but you’re not fighting to your full potential! I want you to try harder next time for me! You were doing it all wrong; you had to do it like I did, like we practiced! That’s the only way that we can become stronger and win!” provoked the biker.

“<Jeff… can I?>” asked Daedalus in a determined rage. He dug his claws sharply into Jeff’s shoulder. Jeff instantly knew what he was talking about. He was surprised by the fact that Daedalus asked permission first.

“Of course you can,” Jeff replied with a malicious grin on his face. He ignored the pain of the digging claws.

Daedalus jumped from the shoulder perch and began to fly. His anger and the pain that he was already in served as a fuel for his flight. Daedalus flapped his wings and shot towards the man. He began to claw and peck at the guy’s face. The Piplup looked up and cracked a smile.

“ARH, get it off me, GET IT OFF,” the guy yelled, flailing wildly.

Treecko and Corphish looked at each other in bewilderment.

“<Now that it’s brought up… that human’s face DOES kind of look like a bird house!>” giggled Corphish.

Treecko decided not to intervene in anyway. He walked over to the tree that Jeff watched the battle from and sat against it, using his tail as a pillow.

“<This is even better than that last battle!>” Corphish added, hopping around Jeff.

After his share of venting anger, Daedalus flew back to Jeff, landing on his hand. As soon as he landed he collapsed in Jeff’s hands, the wounds from Nidoking paying their toll.

The guy ran over to Jeff, holding his bleeding cheek.

“HEY! What the hell was that?! Your damn Taillow just attacked me!!”

“Oh, sorry, he does that when he sees something that strikes him the wrong way. I’m Jeff, by the way.”

“Yeah, ok, I’m Blane…”

“Blane?!” Jeff asked with intent. “I remember hearing on the TV that you had the most fearsome Magmar in all of Kanto! I thought you were older… and less of a jerk.”

“No… NO, NOT the gym leader, it’s B-L-A-N-E, no ‘I’! You should keep that thing on a tighter leash!”

“That ‘thing’ is my friend, Daedalus, and I think you do enough of that for the both of us!”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means that you are more concerned about winning a battle than your own pokemon. If I were like you, then I’d probably be sending my Treecko against a fire type when he already has a serious burn, just so I’d win!”

“You just mind your own business and keep Day… Dahh… WHATEVER! Keep your Taillow away from me!” With that he returned his Piplup to his pokeball and walked away from them.

“Let’s go into the city… I guess,” remarked Jeff. Treecko jumped onto Jeff’s shoulder and Corphish, to Jeff’s annoyance, vicegripped Jeff’s pant leg in an attempt to climb onto his backpack. He slowly made it up further, clamping onto Jeff’s waist like he was scaling a mountain, before reaching the backpack.

“<Real smooth there, Corppy,>” mentioned Treecko, eying the puncture holes in Jeff’s shorts and shirt.

“<Oh shut up, ninja boy! We couldn’t ALL make the gymnastics team… as much as I would have liked to… >” Corphish retorted, the last part in a mumble.

“<Ninja boy? Your nicknames are slipping as much as you are!>” taunted Treecko from Jeff’s shoulder.

Corphish tried to hit Treecko from Jeff’s shoulder but felt himself slide backwards off the backpack. He clamped the very end of the bag and he dangled, refusing to let go.

“Settle down you two, or do you want to end up back in a cage like last time?”

They sighed while they began to enter the large city of Rustboro. Around them were many high rises and office buildings but it was nowhere near as energetic and yet, to Jeff, as gloomy as Petalburg City. One building that towered over all others was a grey skyscraper that said “Devon Corp.” on the very top. Jeff followed the building from roof to base with his eyes and at the bottom there was an ambulance, four police cars, and police tape sealing off the entrance.


Jeff walked on the paved sidewalk towards a white building with a red shingle roofing, which was undoubtedly a pokemon center. The building looked no different from the pokemon center in Oldale and Petalberg. It was like all the centers in this general area had the exact same blueprints. Across the street from the Pokemon center was a large building labeled “Gym”. Beside it was an equally large building. The sign on the large grassy grounds of the building read “Rustboro Pokemon Academy”. The field must have been used for practicing and working with pokemon. Jeff walked through the sliding door and up to the counter.

“How may I help you?” the pleasant and calm voice of Nurse Joy asked.

“My pokemon need healing. They all have blunt impact wounds and Treecko and Corphish have rope burns on their arms,” Jeff explained to Nurse Joy.

“A trainer battle?” Nurse Joy questioned Jeff, taking Daedalus into the back room followed by Treecko and Corphish.

Jeff quickly answered, “No, a bad run in with a Nidoking.”

Nurse Joy nodded and closed the door behind her. Jeff sat down on a red couch. He noticed a woman with long brown hair with pink bows eying him. He glanced over to her and noticed that she was dressed like a schoolteacher. She put a coffee mug to her fair-skinned face and took a sip. She abruptly stood up and walked out of the pokemon center.

“Good news!” a cheery female voice affirmed. “Treecko and Corphish are all ok and should be in traveling shape! But, your Taillow has some internal bleeding so he will need to remain immobile with us for no more than a day,” explained Nurse Joy.

“In-internal bleeding?! Where?! Will he be ok?! Can I see him?!” Jeff anxiously asked.

“Yes you can see him. There’s no need to worry, I’m sure he’ll be fine.”

“<Fine? He was squeezed like an orange and slammed halfway into the ground… I’m surprised that he made it this far,>” Treecko muttered to Corphish.

Jeff’s chest tightened with the comment. Some things are better left unheard.

Jeff followed Nurse Joy into the door beside the counter, which turned into a hallway with four doors. They entered the first door on the right, which red ICU. Jeff remembered ‘take your kid to work day’ with his dad; ICU meant Intensive Care Unit. It must have been bad.

They opened the door and Jeff saw four beds. The closest one had a Mudkip, surrounded by two large, pink, balloon-esque pokemon. Both had egg pouches on their chests along with stubby arms and feet. The two Chanseys wore nurses’ hats. They were seen removing a large piece of glass from the Mudkip’s face, just beside the orange whiskers. Jeff turned his head and quickly walked over to Daedalus, who lay two beds away from the gruesome scene. Daedalus had his wing in a sling and bandages ties across his chest, concealing his red and white feathers on his chest.

“He seems to have dislodged his wing while flying… it was already tender from the injury, so that must have set it off.”

Jeff ran over to his bed and kneeled down beside him. “Are you ok?! Are you in a lot of pain? Do you need morphine?”

“<I’m fine... stop looking at me like that, Jeff!>”

“You sure you’re ok?”

“<Yeah… but thanks for asking.>”

“Your Taillow could use a lot of rest. We’re lucky he’s as hardy as he is or else he may not have made it.”

Jeff’s heart sunk.

MAY NOT HAVE MADE IT?!

“I KNEW I shouldn’t have let him fly ahead of me! I could have made it by those traps and saved them easily,” Jeff moaned in thought.

Nurse Joy led them out of the room and back to the lobby.

Jeff put Treecko on top of his backpack to relax and held Corphish with his two hands. He didn’t realize that his hands were trembling. “What now?” he asked his two pokemon.

“<Now we do the hokey-pokey and we turn ourselves around! We go win your badge, dummy!>”

“<Yeah, that IS why we came here isn’t it?>” Treecko added.

“You guys fight… so that I can have a badge? I don’t think so.”

“<You know that a badge reflects just as much on the pokemon as it does the trainer. The trainer just wears it since us pokemon don’t have shirts!>”

“<I’m actually agreeing with Corppy here. We want to win!>”

“Are…are you guys sure? It’s dangerous,” Jeff asked again.

“<We’re positive, damn it! We know what we’re getting into; you’re not conscripting us and sending us off to war!>” Treecko insisted.

“Thanks… really.” Jeff smiled, touched that his pokemon would battle despite the fact that he wasn’t doing it himself.

“<Ok ok, settle down. Besides, I’m fighting first!>”

“<My leafy *ss you are! I don’t think you can take a gym battle!>” scoffed Treecko.

“<I can take you!>” Corphish threatened through a grin.

“Ok, enough! We’ll see when we get there!”

Corphish scowled at Treecko, who coerced him through a triumphant, confident grin.

Jeff turned around to Nurse Joy, who was handling a Sandshrew.

“Excuse me, if Daedalus… the Taillow, wakes up, can you tell him that I’m out buying him some medicine?” Jeff pleaded.

“Of course I will,” Nurse Joy responded

“Thank you.”

It’s best if Daedalus doesn’t know that I’m out fighting in a gym. After that conversation we had I can’t face him if he knows I was trying to get a gym badge. Plus this way he thinks I’m doing things for others instead of selfishly getting a badge. I will give him medicine… except it will only be from my medical kit,” thought Jeff to himself.

Jeff turned to his two pokemon and suggested, “Let’s get this done.”

The two nodded and followed him out of the pokemon center. Conveniently the gym was right across the street from the center, so they crossed the road. There was not much traffic seeing as the sun was setting and people were already home from their jobs. The gym was about the size of a warehouse. There were two boulders on both sides of the glass door. Jeff opened the door and to his left was a bored-looking man sitting behind a counter. He was munching on a donut and watching a pokemon football game of the TV beside him.

“And the Pinsirs have taken the lead against their arch nemeses the Heracrosses!” roared the sports announcer.

The man looked up at Jeff and asked in a gruff voice, “You here for a gym battle?”

Jeff looked unsurely at his companions who proceeded to lightly punch the backs of his legs.

“Err…yeah! I’m here for a…gym battle,” he stammered.

“Oook, go through the door on your right and I’ll buzz in Roxanne,” the guard instructed.

Jeff followed the order and walked from the main entrance, through a door, to the arena field. Jeff was in awe at the sight he saw; the field was the size of a football field. There were rocks ranging from massive boulders to pebbles strewn about the field. The terrain was hard and there were protrusions of land mass coming from the field which created slopes, as if an earthquake had hit it. The ceiling was high, so that flying pokemon could still move freely… although no good trainer in the right mind would put their flying pokemon up against rock types.

A woman appeared from behind Jeff and poked him on the shoulder. Jeff turned around and it was the brunette who looked like a school teacher. She had a serious yet welcoming expression.

“… Hi,” Jeff greeted with a puzzled tone.

“Hello, I saw you in the pokemon center earlier. You must be here to battle me,” deduced the woman in a sweet voice.

“You’re Roxanne?!”

“Yes I am. I’m also one of the teachers on the Rustboro Pokemon Academy. What is your name?”

“I’m Jeff… Jeff Growell. It’s nice to meet you. I… guess I’m ruuhhh… ready.” Jeff replied in uncertainty.

“<Arceus… man up, Jeff…>” muttered Treecko under his breath. Jeff still heard and shot Treecko a glare.

“You seem hesitant… but you are a new trainer, most new trainers are either over-confident, over-worried, or overwhelmed. But all want to battle as much as the next. Is something troubling you?” she asked in a soothing voice.

“I uh… it’s… no, it’s nothing. I only have two pokemon and I think the rules usually call for three on three battles.”

“I was only planning on using two pokemon anyways,” Roxanne, the rock-type gym leader, explained.

“But what if we come to a draw?” Jeff inquired, somewhat confused.

Roxanne grinned as if she had a hidden agenda. “We’ll just see if it comes to that. Feel free to choose your first pokemon while I go to my side of the arena,” Roxanne suggested, starting to traipse along the rocky field.

“Ok, I choose Corphish!” said Jeff, the one decision that he didn’t second guess.

Corphish hopped about with excitement. Treecko, hurt, darted his head at Jeff and opened his mouth to protest but he stopped himself. Instead he closed his mouth and walked away from them to lean on a rock.

“<No need to be a sore loser but why would he choose HIM before me?>” thought Treecko.

Reaching her side of the field she turned her head and informed, “By the way, it will be two rounds on a one on one battle.”

Jeff nodded and she withdrew a pokeball from a briefcase which lay beside a large rock.

“You’re up, Aaron!” she called, throwing a pokeball onto the rocky terrain.

What appeared was not what Jeff had expected. A small, metal-backed quadruped formed from the red light. It shook small steel spikes which obtruded from its back, as if brandishing them. Dispersed, black spots could be seen on the tough shell of the pokemon. He identified it as an Aron, who was, in addition to rock, steel-typed. He had scene one of these creatures from his pokemon biology class. Professor Birch had brought one in to show an example of what a mix of an endoskeleton and exoskeleton of a pokemon was like.

“Aaron, harden your shell please!” Roxanne advised her pokemon.

The armor pokemon dug its feet into the ground and a crackling noise could be heard from the Aron’s stiffening shell and muscles.

“Corphish… you use… do a... try a Crabhammer!” Jeff managed to spatter out in an incoherent order.

Corphish caught the gist of the command and ran towards Aaron with his claw swinging in a downward cut.

“<You’re going to be in a world pain from my claaaaa…>” Corphish trailed off in a wince as soon as his claw hit the iron shell. The claw hit a dull metal spike on the Aron’s back.

“<OW OW OW OW!>” yelled Corphish, hopping around sucking his claw with his mouth. “<IT’S KIND OF LIKE SPARRING WITH A BRICK WALL HERE, JEFF!>”

“Sorry, I’m sorry!” Jeff quickly answered. “Use your bubblebeam?” he asked, giving an insecure suggestion of Corphish’s defense tactic.

“Aaron, quickly use headbutt!”

The Aron tucked in its head and began to charge at Corphish, who was still shaking off the pain in his claw. Aaron struck Corphish’s side with its head. The impact actually created sparks from the friction of the two colliding shells. Corphish flew backwards into a rock which was his size.

“Again!” Roxanne commanded with a serene voice.

The Iron Armor pokemon continued running, head down, in a charge towards Corphish.

Jeff struggled to order a defense command in time. “Corphish, hurry…uh, try a… I know!” But it was too late. Aron rammed him into the rock with a sickening crack. The force from the two tough objects shot Corphish upwards. The ruffian pokemon landed back on the rock and slumped to the ground. Jeff dashed over to Corphish and gently placed him in his arms.

“Oh… Arceus! Say something, Corppy!”

Corphish managed to strike a faint grin. “<You know how much I hate being stuck between a rock and a hard place…>”

“So your Corphish can no longer battle… good effort, though. Aaron, come back!” Roxanne called.

“I’m sorry,” Jeff said, picking up Corphish and bringing him back to his side of the field.

“<Oh, get over it! It’s not YOUR fault Corphish lost! You have nothing to be sorry for!>” Treecko prodded, annoyed at Jeff’s constant behavior.

Jeff glared at Treecko and pointed a thumb towards the field. “You’re up, Treecko. It’s all riding on you.”

The lizard stepped forward to the left of a large rock, flicked his twig up before catching it in his mouth, and struck a confident pose. As Treecko did this cocky gesture, a fresh pokeball was released onto the field.

“Slate! Go for it!” the gym leader called, releasing her second pokeball onto the ground.

Slate appeared to be a small boulder with two arms and a broad face. It tucked its arms to its chest and rolled forward, going faster. What the rock pokemon known as Geodude was famous for was its attack ‘rollout’. The Geodude rolled along the ground, picking up both dirt and speed.

“Slate, keep using rollout!” Roxanne encouraged the boulder pokemon. Geodude kept rolling forward towards Treecko, constantly gaining momentum.

Treecko saw a window of opportunity. He decided to back up against a large boulder. Treecko outstretched his arms and dug his feet into the ground, waiting for the enemy to take the offensive in the fight. Slate came towards the wood gecko who had a plan, who now had his tail firmly against the boulder. The Geodude rapidly neared Treecko.

Jeff yelled, “Treecko what the hell are you doing?! If you don’t want to battle then don’t leave yourself wide open; come back here!”

Jeff could no longer see Treecko behind the boulder, but he had a feeling that Treecko was giving him a defiant look. Jeff could see the Geodude become ever closer to the Treecko and the boulder. When it was three feet away Treecko jumped and Slate rammed right into the boulder. A dirt cloud erupted around the boulder hindering all vision. The smoke began to dissipate and Geodude could be seen no longer rolling and fallen on its back, stunned. Treecko landed on the top of the boulder above Slate.

Jeff decided to do something; Treecko was making him look like an incompetent idiot. “Now try a bullet seed!” he yelled.

Treecko glanced back and opened his mouth to fire. Nothing came out except for air! Treecko was surprised at the lack of Bullet Seeds coming from him.

“Treecko, what’s wrong?” Jeff called to him.

Treecko desperately tried again; this time it worked. Geodude tried to get back up but he was bombarded with bright green energy bullets pelting him into the ground. Dust and rock fragments shot up around Geodude. The smoke cleared; Geodude’s unconscious body could be seen lodged halfway into the ground. The boulder pokemon snorted in defeat.

“Good try, Slate!” remarked Roxanne before recalling it, leaving a crater beside the boulder.

“<Alright!>” said Jeff and Treecko in unison. “What happened there, Treecko?”

“<I… don’t know,>” he answered, lost in deep thought. Treecko glanced at Corphish who drank a potion down whole in one gulp.

Jeff and Roxanne met at the center of the arena.

“It’s a draw… so now what?”

“I overheard you talking to Nurse Joy in the pokemon center. You said that your pokemon had a run in with a Nidoking?”

“Yeah… they were captured by him but managed to escape… why?”

“That Nidoking has been causing problems for the people and pokemon native to Rustboro and its surrounding areas. Just recently he stole two fossils from the Devon Corporation.”

Jeff tilted his head in response to hearing the name of the company. Then he remembered the massive building with the police tape around it.

“The Devon Corporation is a company local to this city that creates many futuristic technologies… one of which includes a fossil reviver. The Nidoking broke into the company late one night, knocked out the guards and stole two ancient pokemon fossils from the lab.”

“Ok… why are you telling me this?”

“I want you to defeat… or even distract the Nidoking long enough for me and a small team of others to go into his territory and take the fossils back. If you can do that and make it out in one piece… you can not only have the badge but Rustboro City will be in your debt.”

Jeff was shocked. “Debt? I’ll do it… but I don’t want any debt or anything… even the badge...”

“Leave at nine-o-clock sharp! I’ll send the team in fifteen minutes after and I’ll meet you under the bridge on the far side of the river.”

“Yeah, ok.”

Jeff picked up Corphish and, with Treecko, walked from the rocky arena and past the sleeping security guard at the main desk. He lay strewn amongst donuts and many copies of ‘sports illustrated’. They opened the front door and headed off back towards the pokemon centre. On the way Jeff couldn’t help but wonder why she chose him to do this mission.

Why did she choose me? I’m an awful trainer… I can’t even keep my own pokemon from being taken and beaten up,” he couldn’t help but ponder. More thoughts crossed his mind. “What if I can’t hold him off? What if Treecko or Corphish end up like Daedalus or worse?! Why can’t they distract him instead of us?!”

They crossed the black asphalt road. Street lights began to turn on when the sun set completely into the west. The traffic was now nonexistent, which was strange given the size of the city. Jeff, Corphish and Treecko walked into the pokemon center. Jeff greeted the cheerful Nurse Joy. He was worried that she’d think that he was a horrible person for letting his pokemon get hurt so much. Jeff sheepishly muttered, “I think Corphish needs another check up.”

“Of course, Jeff!” Nurse Joy smiled. She took Corphish and his pokeball, and went into the back room. She opened the door to the room and Daedalus instantly flew out of the room and flew over to Jeff. He chirped ecstatically; he was happy to be away from the aid station, landing on Jeff’s shoulder.

“Hey! I’m glad you’re alright, buddy! Your wing must be ok!” Jeff greeted with relief. Daedalus shrugged at Jeff’s gesture of friendliness. Daedalus’ coldness towards him was still fresh and Jeff couldn’t help but feel more rejected. “Right… ok, I gotcha. Anyways, you know that Nidoking?”

He nodded and chirped with an angry trill.

“Good, because we’re going to pay him a visit very soon!” Jeff fueled on the Taillow’s revenge lust.

“All done!” Nurse Joy stated cheerily. She handed back Corphish’s pokeball, which Jeff opened on the ground. "Remember to get your Taillow to stay off of his wing for awhile."

Jeff looked at Daedalus, whose face became disconcerted at the thought of being landlocked.

Jeff winked at him and lied, “Sure, I’ll get right on that!”

“Saddle up, you three, we’re going to take down the king,” Jeff explained, trying to boost the anticipation. Jeff was not prepared for anything of this caliber. He couldn’t even command a simple trainer battle. How could he possibly pull off something like this? He felt as in he was getting a stomach ulcer. One thing Jeff knew for sure was that fear was contagious, so he swallowed his own and forced an adrenaline filled grin.

He bent down to quickly pick up Corphish, as well as to let Treecko climb up his back. Jeff cringed as Treecko scaled his back and set up camp on his right shoulder, opposite to Daedalus. “You know, Treecko, those mini needle-hook things on your palms and soles really do hurt!” Jeff complained.

Treecko patted Jeff’s cheek with his hook-laden hand, causing Jeff to shout out in pain. Jeff scowled at Treecko, who gave a calm grin which lightly said, “Deal with it!”

“Let’s go!” Jeff crankily ordered.

He pressed his hands on the glass door. When Jeff opened the doors a night breeze swept into the Pokemon Center. They inhaled and smelled a sea breeze with a mixture of car exhaust which blew by their heads. Treecko jumped down from Jeff’s shoulder; the breeze seemed to stimulate Treecko’s urge to battle. He walked ahead of the three, eager to get the show on the road.

“Yeah, yeah. Don’t get your tails in a twist,” Jeff muttered, his mood worsening, not liking to be rushed.

Jeff caught up to Treecko and they walked past the tall office buildings and out of the streetlight lit city. They retraced their steps, walking over the wet grass and reaching a large, wooden bridge. Treecko ran ahead of Jeff and the others, stopping on the other side and chilling out against a sign post. Jeff admired the calm river which they walked over. The full moon reflected in the flowing water, casting a blue light on Jeff, Corphish, and Daedalus. They finally made it across the bridge and they walked down a hill to the right of the bridge. They walked by the riverside beach and stopped at the sign that Nidoking had created.

“Here we are…what are we supposed to do now?” Jeff thought out loud.

Daedalus raised his wing with a triumphant look.

“<Either you have a plan or you just telepathically won a game of chess with an Alakazam,>” Corphish pointed out.

“<I do! We’re going to set up an ambush right over there in the middle of the beach over there.>” Daedalus pointed his wing at the trap filled beach. “<We’ll set up bait somewhere where there are no traps. I’ll hide in a tree; Corphish, you hide in the river and barrage him with bubble beam when he’s caught off guard. Jeff, you can help fight if you want, but watch out for his poison spikes and his tail.>”

“<That’s a great plan, General Patton, but what’s the bait?>” Corphish asked. Daedalus stared at Treecko, followed by Corphish and Jeff.

“<Heh, no deal. This plan is Tauros crap. I’m not going along with this.>” Treecko scoffed with a cool defiance.

“Fine, I’LL be the bait,” Jeff sighed in irritation. “You do what Taillow told me to do.”

“<No way, I don’t need someone telling me what to do; I know my strengths and you should just let me fight Nidoking on my own,>” Treecko insisted.

Jeff shot him a cold, disapproving look. “We’re doing Daedalus’ plan,” he angrily claimed.

“<Fine, you guys do your thing, I’ll do mine.>”

“I see what Professor Birch means with his stubbornness and independence,” Jeff muttered to himself as Treecko walked away from them. Treecko’s adept hearing picked up on the comment. Offended, he indignantly sighed and climbed up a nearby tree to avoid the traps.

“<Jeff, you get to your place. I’ll guide you to make sure you don’t step on any traps.>”

Jeff, with Taillow on his shoulder, carefully treaded over the sand to avoid the traps. Corphish dove underwater in the river until all but his eyes and horns were submerged. Treecko watched the three in action, skeptical of their over-thought plan.

Jeff sat down in a trap free, sanded area. Taillow pecked him in the leg, sharply.

“Ach, damn it!” He cried out, clutching his bleeding leg.

“<We have to make your performance realistic,>” Daedalus reassured. “<Also, that’s for Treecko bullet seeding me in Petalburg Forest,>” he grinned before taking off to perch in a dark tree crown.

The waiting game had begun. Corphish exhaled bubbles from his mouth for amusement.

Pretty soon they could hear the loud stomps breaking branches in the nearby forest. The group became nervous in anticipation of the oncoming giant. They stayed in their places as the stomps became louder. There was still only darkness in the forest. Soon they could see the glint of Nidoking’s purple horn in the moonlight. His body became visible as he stepped out of the forest and onto the sand. He had a large black eye patch covering his right eye.

“<Well, well, well. An injured human in MY territory, you must have hit your leg on one of my traps!>” he growled, walking closer to Jeff. He walked up to him and grabbed Jeff up by the collar. The Nidoking held Jeff over his head. “I am DAGGERBACK THE OPPRESSOR… AND YOU SHALL PAY!”

“<What a coincidence! ‘The’ is his middle name and ‘Oppressor’ was his last name… it fits perfectly!>” Corphish thought while he treaded in the water.

“<NOW!>” Daedalus trilled in a battle cry. He swooped out from behind the shaded tree branched and began to peck at the back of Nidoking’s head, leaving bleeding cuts. Nidoking roared, threw Jeff off to the side, turned around, and began to swat at Daedalus. Corphish burst from the river water and unleashed a volley of bubbles at the Nidoking who called himself Daggerback. The bubbles hit Nidoking, distracting him from Daedalus. He roared as they burst on his gigantic chest. He whacked away Daedalus with one arm and began to charge full speed at Corphish. Corphish continued to fire his bubble beams at him. Daggerback endured the bubbles and picked up Corphish in one hand, beginning to squeeze with all his might.

“<That’s a mighty fine hand shake you got ther---AHHH!!>” Corphish tried to joke but had to let out a scream when he felt his shell beginning to crack under the pressure of Daggerback’s palm.

Nidoking, with Corphish still in hand, ran back from the river, dropped Corphish and swung his tail. With expert precision, Nidoking whacked Corphish with his tail and he hit the Taillow out of the air. Corphish’s hard shell knocked Daedalus out on impact. Daedalus fell from the air and landed on his bad wing. Jeff got to his feet and prepared a battle stance.

Treecko, who watched the plan go to hell, decided it was his time to intervene. He jumped from tree branch to tree branch until he was above Nidoking, who approached Jeff, cracking his knuckles. Treecko jumped down in front of Nidoking.

“Nice eye patch, pal. Wasn’t that Corphish and me’s handy work?>” Treecko mocked.

“<YOU! I shall take BOTH of your eyes!>” he bellowed.

“<Come here and try!>” he taunted, folding his arms.

‘Daggerback the Oppressor’ roared and charged at Treecko, horn lowered like a Tauros. Treecko ran to Nidoking’s right side, knowing that his vision was gone for that side. He jumped up onto Nidoking and crawled between his ears and on his head, looking downwards and firing an array of glowing green seed onto Nidoking’s face. Daggerback’s charge was forced into the sand by the sudden pressure on his head. As the beast skidded forwards in the sand, Treecko jumped from his head and landed triumphantly in front of him. Just to be sure he was down, Treecko unloaded another mouthful of bright green seeds into Daggerback’s head.

“<That was for putting me in a cage,>” Treecko spat, coldly.

He held up Nidoking’s bleeding and battered head by the horn and indicated that he was definitely unconscious. Jeff had helped up Daedalus and Corphish. They walked to Treecko’s side and stared in awe at the finally downed beast.

Jeff looked at Treecko who stared back at him with a cool, smug grin that made Jeff want to punch him.

“Oh, shut up!” Jeff shot at him, sore about being wrong.

“<What are we going to do with Patchy here?>” Corphish asked, pointing weakly to the body.

“Corphish has a good point, he’s heavier than me and those poisonous horns are going to be a pain in the *ss if we have to carry him. Where would we even carry him?” Jeff asked Daedalus.

Daedalus put his wing to his chin in thought. He stared out into the river and saw a couple rowing a boat. The Taillow snapped two of his feathers together, indicating an idea.

“<I’ve got it! We’ll use that boat, that way we can send him down river so he’ll be out of here, in the country, and we won’t have to drag him anywhere. Corphish, do your thing; besides, you are the ruffian pokemon!>” Daedalus suggested.

Corphish dove into the water and swam towards the boat. The couple looked worried as three orange horns in the water drew close to them. His pincers grabbed the side of the small boat.

The couple looked at him warily and the man began to reach for his pokeballs. “<I’m sorry, we’re going to have to commandeer your love boat,>” Corphish said uncomfortably. He then had made a facial gesture that said, “Oh, wow, surprise!” in a mock-shocked smile, as if he was going to his own surprise party but already knew of it before hand.

“<Have a wonderful evening, you two,>” he smiled before flipping the boat over.

The couple screamed as they fell into the water and swam to the opposite shore. Corphish proceeded to drag the capsized rowboat to the coast. The two continued to scream and cuss at the mischievous Corphish, who was now in stitches while he pulled the boat. They stomped soaking wet back towards Rustboro City, most likely to report the misdeed.

Through his laughter, Corphish managed to ask him the familiar rhetorical question “<Could I BE anymore awesome?!>”

Jeff helped him drag it ashore. He dragged it onto the sand and tipped it over to pour the water out. Jeff and Treecko pulled the unconscious Nidoking into the boat, cautious of his poison-laced horns. When he was resting fully in the boat, Jeff pushed the boat off into the tame current of the calmed river. They watched the Nidoking disappear into the fog capped rivers.

“<Goodbye, Purplebeard! Good luck finding the Black Pearl!>” Corphish called after him.

Jeff took out a blue, spray-on potion bottle and sprayed Corphish and Daedalus’ wounds with it.

“There, the wounds should fully heal in about twenty minutes.” Jeff informed, picking them up. “Let’s rest for about ten minutes to let the potion take affect.”

They sat and waited in the night. Tensions were high, wounds were deep, and time ate away at their sanity.

Much to their surprise and relief, pattering of many feet could be heard coming from the forest. A team of Roxanne and five others appeared from the darkness; in the same direction that Nidoking came. They were all dressed in black. Roxanne stepped forward; she had a scowl on her face.

“Jeff… I’m sorry.”

Jeff eyed her precariously.

“Your struggle has been in vain. We infiltrated his home but the fossils were not found. We looked high and low… and nothing. You got rid of Nidoking?”

Jeff nodded. “Yes, he’s floating on a boat down the river.”

“Darn… well, you did what I asked of you…you’re more than worthy of this badge.”

She handed him a shiny badge which was shaped like two golden chevrons.

“Thanks anyways,” Roxanne mumbled before turning away. The team walked up the hill and began to cross the bridge back to Rustboro City.

As soon as they were gone Jeff began to stare at the badge in his hand. He grimaced and placed the badge in his white and green New Balance shoe. Not his badge case. Not his shirt. Not his backpack. It was in his shoe.

The pokemon got to their feet.

“<Ya think we’ll see Patchy again?>” Corphish asked the group.

“<Given our luck I wouldn’t be surprised. He doesn’t seem like one who will let go of a grudge quickly,>” Daedalus stated. “<Where are we headed now?>”

“Dewford Island, I guess. We have to go back through Petalburg Forest to get to some Mr. Briney’s house. I hear he ferries people across the water.”

“<Petalburg Forest…>” Daedalus said, ominously, “<Let’s go!>”

Jeff walked with the pokemon that gave him so much, yet he returned so little.

Charity.”

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AN:

A lot of stuff happened in this chapter, I hope not an overwhelming amount.

Blane (the guy with the Piplup) is kind of a reference to Ash. I just wanted to show a more realistic...I dunno version of what could pontentially happen with the typical trainer.

First gym battle... woohoo.

Beta'd by Diamondpearl876. Thanls BTW.

I hope all who read it enjoyed the chapter.
[B]Claimed: Treecko, Grovyle, Charmeleon.
Co-Owner of Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club.
Paired withAnastasia R.
PC Family so far: Cousin - ScytheMaster, Awesomest Sister - Diamondpearl876, Brother - Rebellious Treecko (PM one of us if you want to join it)

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Click Below for The Awesome Treecko/Grovyle/Sceptile Club
Older Fic banner by Scenice.
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Last edited by Grovyle42(Griff8416); September 30th, 2007 at 04:47 PM.