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Old October 30th, 2008, 01:34 PM
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Grovyle42(Griff8416)
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Wow, it's been awhile. New Chapter!

Shock of the Lightning

“Treeeeee CKO!” shouted the wood gecko.

He spun his large tails around, pivoting on his foot in a slide tackle-like motion, and smacked a brown-furred mammal across the face. The Zigzagoon flew back against the trunk of a tree. The knocked out rodent fell to the grass, followed by bark cracked by the impact.

Treecko stood up and exhaled. “<Four should be enough for now… I guess I should go find Jeff’s friends.>”

Treecko inhaled but then stopped. The wood gecko sensed something was coming up behind him. He pretended to be oblivious to the thing coming towards him. He could feel a wind blow with it. Suddenly, right before it could reach him, he spun around and grabbed it by the neck. The surprised pokemon let out a squawk. Treecko was grabbing the neck of a Taillow.

“Cko…” The wood gecko sighed and let go, shifting the twig in his mouth from one side to the other. It was Daedalus.

“<Watch it!>” chirped the Taillow angrily. He looked around Treecko to see an unconscious Zigzagoon. “<What the heck were you doing?>”

The grass starter folded his arms and looked at the tree canopies past Daedalus. “<None of your business…>” he answered informally.

“<Right… Well I was supposed to find you. Jeff’s hurt and we’re lost so we’re supposed to go back to them,>” Daedalus explained, pulling Treecko’s hand with his talon.

Treecko held his ground. “<I’m trying to find the others. And who’s ‘them’?>”

“<You know that guy with the Piplup?>”

Treecko shook his head. “<…No.>”

Daedalus flapped his wings and continued trying to pull Treecko. “<Just come on, we’ll find the others later!>”

Treecko yanked his hand from the talons, but nodded and followed the bird. The wood gecko walked behind the slow-flying Taillow.

To pass the time and break the uncomfortable silence, Daedalus struck up a conversation. “<I think Jeff got a new pokemon…>”

“<Uh… huh,>” Treecko replied, unable to care less.

“<Yep. Someone called Drezdek, apparently. Sounds like some sort of bug pokemon based off the name. Yeah…>” Daedalus awkwardly grinned before his stomach growled.

“<You’re thinking about eating it, aren’t you?>” Treecko said, shifting the twig in his mouth.

Daedalus looked back. “<No! …No no! I wouldn’t eat it. Of course not! I->”

Treecko cut in. “<Tree.>”

Daedalus looked back forwards and slammed hard into a warm wall of bark. “Taaiiii…” he groaned, slinking to the ground.

Treecko walked past the wounded Taillow and kept walking onward in the deep forest. Daedalus shook himself alert. “<Ugh… Treeck! Wait up!>” He flapped his wings and quickly caught up to the grass type. “<So, Treeck…>” Treecko kept his head facing ahead but shifted his eyes to the bird in response. “<Why are you suddenly going in your pokeball? I thought you were scared of pokeballs,>” Daedalus asked.

Treecko grunted and looked back forwards. “<I’m not scared of pokeballs... I just don’t feel comfortable in them. They’re very restricting.>”

“<Right, but why are you going in them now?>” Daedalus asked. “<And don’t say ‘It’s none of my business’!>”

“<Fine, it’s none of your business,>” Treecko answered, placing his hands behind his head, idly.

The Taillow sighed. “<Just tell me…>”

Treecko reluctantly answered, “<There are worse things than going in a pokeball… like losing. And I don’t want to be treated special because I’m Jeff’s first pokemon. I hate it but I’m strong enough to be able to suffer through being in those things.>”

Dae nodded. “<And you’re not going to run off like a selfish coward again?>”

Treecko swung to face Daedalus, staring at him. “<I am not a coward. I had something important that I needed to do- and needed some time to think about stuff… Speaking of cowardice, when are you ever going to battle someone?>”

Daedalus likewise swung around to face Treecko. “<How dare you call me a coward! I have led my flock in a territory war against Spearows! I will not injure another pokemon for sport! I->”

“Pip piplup!” chirped a high voice. “<There you are!>” he exclaimed from Blane’s shoulder.

Jeff, being supported by Blane, walked forwards through a tall bush to the two pokemon.

“Treecko… you okay?” Jeff asked groggily.

Treecko nodded. “<Of course I am. I’m perfectly fine, Jeff!>” he responded irately.

The teen took a pokeball and recalled Daedalus to it before reattaching the pokeball to his belt. Treecko stood there, half-expecting to be recalled too.

“<… Jeff, you can recall me to one of those… things, too, you know.>”

He looked at the grass type sceptically and confusedly, but then shrugged. “If you want to…” Jeff then raised another pokeball and absorbed the pokemon into it.

Blane looked at him with a curious look. “You having problems with your Treecko?”

Jeff shot him a glare. “I suppose you have a perfect relationship with all of your pokemon!”

Piplup opened his beak to retort but it was quickly muffled by Blane for its own good. “Jeez, sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it…”

Jeff grunted and continued to limp alongside Blane. He looked up to see a small hole in the massive tree canopies and noticed that dark grey storm clouds were beginning to blanket the sky. Suddenly there was a clap of thunder.

“Doesn’t it rain enough in Hoenn?” Blane muttered to himself, looking down at Piplup, who shrugged. He then turned to Jeff. “So how many badges do you have, Jeff?”

He paused and looked back. “I have two.”

“Yeah, me too. Brawly sure was tough, though. We almost lost that one, right Piplup?”

“<Almost,>” Piplup said, nodding proudly.

Jeff scowled at the name ‘Brawly’. Blane looked at him curiously and sighed. “What? What did I say wrong this time? I’m starting to think that you’re just a jerk that hates me for no reason!”

It took every ounce of Jeff’s willpower not to respond to that. He wanted to tell him off for the way Jeff thought he treated his pokemon, but Jeff wouldn’t let himself at least until he could walk on his own.

“Nothing… Brawly claims that my Onix –before I met him- went crazy and tried to destroy the town. So now he banned us from ever going back.”

“Gee, that sucks… Did your Onix do that?” Blane asked.

Jeff grunted and thought. He remembered the outburst on the beach and what Nurse Joy said. “I’d like to say Brawly is wrong… but I’m not sure.” Wanting to change the subject, he asked, “So you’re from Sinnoh, right?”

Blane nodded. “Yup, Twinleaf Town- Piplup’s my starter.”

“Why are you challenging the gyms in Hoenn and not Sinnoh?”

“I offered to deliver something from Professor Rowan to Professor Birch, and Professor Rowan said I might as well start in Hoenn,” he explained.

Jeff nodded and recalled seeing him in Littleroot Town when Jeff was going to get his starter.

“I have a bit of advice for you, Blane…” Jeff told him.

“Yeah?” Blane asked curiously.

“When you’re in a battle you can’t win and your pokemon are really hurt, don’t keep giving them potions if they’re just going to get hurt again in the vain hope you’ll win; you’re just prolonging their pain. Y-” Jeff advised before being cut off and awaited the retort.

“Yeah… I know,” replied Blane, catching Jeff off guard.

“…What?”

“I battled this guy with a Sandslash and he really taught me that doing that wasn’t right. …I still feel like a moron for that,” he said, looking down at Piplup who patted him with his flippers reassuringly.

“Oh… A Sandslash, huh?” Jeff asked. “Was he really mysterious and have a hat?”

“Yeah, why? You know him?”

Jeff nodded. “He helped me in Petalburg Forest…”

“Wow. Small world,” Blane said, stepping them over a large log.

He nodded again and asked, “What about your pep-talks?”

“What pep-talks?” he asked Jeff, curiously.

The injured teen sighed. “Never mind.”

Suddenly, a blue thing started flying towards them from out of the dark forest. Small, infrequent drops of rain began to trickle down from the trees above. It darted incredibly fast at them. Then a crack of thunder boomed, startling the blue creature and causing it to fly into Jeff’s face.

“AHGH!” he yelled as both he, Blane and the creature fell to the forest floor. Piplup jumped on top of his trainer and sucked in, preparing to attack.

“<Jeff! Jeff! It’s me, Jeff! It’s Strix! I’m here to find you!>” said a Zubat, flapping wildly in front of Jeff’s face.

“Strix? It’s okay, Piplup, I know him,” he explained.

“<Yeah, Pipster! He knows me!>” he wryly smiled before landing on Jeff’s head.

As the two humans stood up, Jeff with much struggle, Piplup shot the Zubat a look. “<Don’t call me that.>”

“Lead the way, Strix.”

The Zubat nodded and flew off on Jeff’s head, erratically flying in front of them. He then spun around and started flying backwards, obviously showing off.

“<So what happened to your leg, Jeff?! Did you break it?! You pick a fight with a Beedrill?! I heard they’re pretty bad in these parts! Did you try to do a jump off the bike path? That would have looked cool!>” he hastily asked, not stopping even to take a breath.

The rain hitting Strix’s wings splashed onto the three as he flapped his wings to fly backwards. Lightning flashed, illuminating the four briefly.

“Just get us out of here, okay Strix?” Jeff said, wincing from pain. “I don’t want to get struck by lightning.”

The others agreed and trudged through the dark, now muddy forest. “<We’re almost there!>” Strix told them while doing a corkscrew-like flying manoeuvre.

A louder thunderclap crackled nearer to them and the rain continued to fall.

“Man, the weather in Hoenn is temperamental,” Blane muttered, now drenched.

“Pip piplup!” muttered the water type in agreement.

Jeff nodded. “How much longer, Strix?”

The Zubat flew far ahead of him and stopped, flapping in his place. “<We-are-here!>”

Blane and Jeff sped up as much as Jeff’s injured ankle would allow, and burst through the bushes. Standing under a tree was Kevin, who had a grin plastered on his face, and Rachel, who was looking rather annoyed by the fact that she had no umbrella and that they were in the middle of a thunderstorm.

“Look who decided to show up! It’s Jeff and… some guy! Fancy driving there, J! Did you take this poor guy over the side too?” Kevin said, visibly trying hard not to crack up.

Jeff glared at Kevin. “Laugh it up, Kev.”

“I haven’t even started,” Kevin said. “Let me give you a hand, though.” He took Jeff’s other arm and helped Blane support him.

“I’m Blane, by the way,” he introduced himself.

“I’m Kevin, and that bundle of mirth over there is Rachel,” Kevin replied, pointing to a rather huffy looking Rachel.

“Let’s just go before we get struck by lightning!” she said as Strix landed on her shoulder.

They agreed and quickly trudged through the rain towards Mauville.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The four ran through the gates of Mauville City. The city they were entering was a large city decorated with several skyscrapers. They saw the urban center was on the bank of a large river as they ran through the rain to the pokemon center. Due to the thunderstorm, there weren’t many cars driving through the lamp-lit streets. The group went as quickly as they could up to the pokemon center. They opened the doors and walked inside.

Kevin walked forwards through the spacious white lobby and up to the tall counter, which a Nurse Joy stood behind.

“Hi, uhh, my friend over there in the baseball cap sprained his ankle and we were wondering if you could do something about it,” the blonde haired boy asked.

“I’m terribly sorry,” she replied guiltily, “but we’re only supposed to treat pokemon here. There’s a hospital on the north side of town.”

“It’s fine, Kevin, I don’t need any medical attention anyways,” Jeff insisted, wrenching away from Blane and sitting down on a cushioned, red leather seat.

Kevin rolled his eyes and walked back to the four. He looked over at the purple, swollen injury and flicked it.

“GAAH!” Jeff cried out in pain, clutching his leg.

“Don’t need any medical attention… suuure…” he said with a grin.

Jeff shot a glare at him and then looked at the others. “So… there’s a gym here, right?”

Blane nodded. “Yup, Wattson’s the gym leader… it’s an electric type gym. Who’s coming with me?!” he questioned eagerly.

“I am!” Kevin and Jeff both said competitively.

“We’ll time it to see who beats him first… IF you even beat him!” Kevin said to Jeff with a rivalrous grin.

“And no using Atlas or Prometheus,” Jeff added.

“Got it.”

“You’re goin’ down, Kev.”

“Man, Jeff, it sounds like you’re talking to Alan or something!” Kevin laughed.

Jeff grew silent. “…Yeah,” he mumbled quietly. “…I guess now I’d rather compete with someone who’s worth my effort.”

Kevin tilted his head in curiosity and confusion.

Blane stepped forwards. “I bet I could beat him quicker than both of you,” he said with a confident smile.

“Okay, Blane’s in. No using ground pokemon,” Kevin said. “What about you, Rache? Are you gonna battle?”

She shook her head. “Nope, I don’t really care about pokemon battles. Besides, it’s an electric type gym; I don’t want Strix or Avis getting hurt.”

“Why are you travelling if you aren’t collecting badges?” Jeff asked, curiously while getting out a potion from Kevin’s bag.

Rachel shrugged dismissively. “It’s kinda complicated.”

“Yeah and no one cares!” added Kevin with joking smile on his face.

She glared at him and looked at Strix. “Can you go bite him or something?”

The Zubat shook his head. “<I like Kevin!>”

Rachel sighed. “What did he say?”

Kevin started walking to the door of the pokemon center. “He said I’m awesome.”

Jeff finished spraying his leg with the potion and stood up with a wince. He walked back over to the counter and handed Nurse Joy Drezdk’s pokeball. “Could you please heal this Beedrill for me?”

She nodded and took the pokeball. “Of course… Lots of Beedrills these days, it seems like. Come back in thirty minutes, please.”

“Thanks,” he said before walking back to the group. The four of them walked out of the pokemon center. Blane followed last, after conversing with some teenager.

“Hey, guys,” Blane said, stepping into the rain. “I was talking to some guy in there who just battled Wattson and he said that the battles are one on one. What pokemon are you guys going to use?”

“Uhhh… I guess Blitz is my only real choice,” Kevin said with some discomfort before throwing a pokeball onto the ground. A Scyther appeared on the concrete sidewalk. Standing in the rainy night, he turned towards Kevin, his wings twitching slightly as the rain hit them.

“<Hello, Kevin. What is it that you need?>” the mantis asked, standing uneasily in the rain.

“Uhh… well…” he said slowly, as if he were mulling something over.

“<…Kevin…>” Blitz whispered before making a quick upwards motion with his head to the sky. He then looked at the others out of the corner of his eye, hoping they didn’t see.

Kevin looked up at the sky and he quickly remembered something. “Oh right! Let’s go to the gym already so we don’t get –uhh- soaked,” he suggested running ahead along the wet road with Blitz at his side.

As he ran he asked. “Blitz? How would you like a last gym battle?”

“<Of course, Kevin… last?>” he asked in confusion. Kevin sped up and made it to the front door, which he held open for the water-logged Scyther.

The others didn’t hasten to catch up with the two, despite the rain. Blane turned to Jeff. “So, what pokemon are you using?”

“Uhhh, I don’t really know. Treecko would make the most sense, but he might still be hurt… and I know Corphish has been itching to battle, but he’s a water type… Daedalus and Dre-… the Beedrill are both out of the question. What about you? I’m hoping you leave Piplup on the bench this time.”

Piplup tilted his head, somewhat insulted. “<What? You don’t think I could handle it? I->”

“Piplup…” he warned good-heartedly. “I think I’m using Bagon for the fight.”

“A Bagon!?” Jeff said, surprised and somewhat spiteful. “You sure got lucky. I remember Professor Birch said those are rare.”

“Yeah… You could say I got lucky; he’s great! Want me to introduce him to you?” he answered with pride.

“Uhh… sure.”

Blane took out a pokeball and pointed it towards his left arm. There was a bright flash of light and a small, light blue reptile appeared in his arms. The rain drops splashed down and ran off the back of Bagon’s head, which had three white, boney crests.

“Bag bagon!” he said, rubbing his beige underbelly and jaw.

Rachel came up from behind them with Strix, interested in the new pokemon.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“Jeff and Rachel… this is Bagon. Bagon, these are my friends Jeff and Rachel,” Blane explained.

Jeff’s jaw dropped. “…‘Friends’?!” he thought, stunned.

“<Nice to meet you,>” the Bagon said acknowledgingly.

The teen stared blankly at him. “Uhhh… Oh! Uh, yeah. You too,” Jeff said to Bagon.

Blane looked at the two. “Should we catch up to Kevin? We’re getting soaked.”

“Yeah, let’s hurry to the gym already!” Rachel agreed.

Jeff stalled. “You guys go ahead… I’ll catch up to you,” he said, taking out a pokeball.

They nodded and ran off through the night rain towards the gym at the end of the street. He released the occupant of the pokeball on the ground. The bright white light against the dark backdrop of the night hurt Jeff’s eyes. When his vision refocused, he saw the green form of Treecko walking calmly towards him as the grass type ceremoniously put his twig in his now-wet green mouth.

“<I see you’re walking now,>” observed Treecko.

“That’s right, Treecko… thanks for trying to get help.”

The lizard’s eyes looked off to the side as he nodded. “<Where are we?>”

“Mauville City. I’m about to challenge a gym…”

“<Okay… Then let’s go fight.>”

“Hold on there…” Jeff said deterrently. “Your ribs… how are they?”

Treecko raised a rain-drenched eyebrow in slight irritation. “<Seriously?>” he thought to himself. The grass type then spoke up. “<My ribs have never been better…>”

“Do you think you can battle okay?” he asked with concern.

“<…Of course I can battle okay!>” he replied, slightly insulted. “<What is this about?>”

Jeff sighed. “Last time you got beat up pretty b-” he attempted to say before being cut off.

Treecko stepped forward into the orange street light which shone upon Jeff. He attempted to remain as calm as possible while interrupting. “<But I won… and now I’m fine and now I’m stronger,>” he coolly explained in self-assurance.

“But-”

“<Look! I’m not a child. I can take care of myself without you having to watch over me like a Staraptor. If you’ve shut up, then I’m going to win this gym battle whether you want me to or not,>” he boldly told him. Treecko then turned and began to walk down the street in the rain, leaving a drenched Jeff standing in the orange glow of the street light.

“…I just don’t want you to die again,” he silently murmured to himself. He slowly tailed his starter and walked up to a large yellow building with the words “gym” plastered above the entrance. He opened the glass door and the two stepped inside.

Meanwhile, Kevin and Blitz waited on the bleachers around the arena. This gym hall was fairly straight forward: the floor was flat ground, dirt, and there were no obstacles on the field. It seemed Wattson liked to keep things simple. The security guard told Kevin that Wattson would be arriving at the gym shortly.

Kevin swung around his hiking backpack and zipped it open. He reached in and pulled out a neatly folded beach towel. He then unfolded it and began drying off Blitz with it, as the Scyther couldn’t himself due to his awkward scythes.

“<Thank you, Kevin,>” the Scyther said appreciatively.

“No problem,” the teen answered simply and hastily.

“<Please, do not tell the others that I fe->”

“I won’t… I promise,” Kevin said somewhat downbeatly while drying the scythe closest to him.

Blitz faintly smiled, but it disappeared when he noticed his trainer’s gloomy expression. “<What is the matter, Kevin?>”

Kevin looked at him and forced a smirk. “Nothing. I’m fine.”

Blitz didn’t entirely believe him, but he nodded, wanting to respect his privacy. “<What is it that you implied earlier when you said ‘last gym battle’?>”

The teenager stalled. The two swung their heads towards the arena door that led to the front lobby. From the door came Blane, Rachel, Jeff, Treecko, and a man in his late fifties. The somewhat stout man held an umbrella to keep his brown sweater and yellow undershirt from getting wet from the rain. The colour of his pants matched the colour of his undershirt. There was a lightning-shaped patch on his upper sleeve; it was Wattson. His white hair and beard looked like he had been electrocuted because it looked like it was permanently sticking out.

“Kevin!” Rachel called out, beckoning him down.

He nodded and he and Blitz walked down to the arena floor. They went up to the old gym leader, who inspected them.

“So this is the third competitor? Excellent! I hope you’re as ecSTATIC as I am for this match! …BAHAHAHAHAAAH!!” he chortled hysterically.

There was silence. The four teenagers looked at each other and wordlessly agreed to force a smile or even a laugh. Jeff cleared his throat, “So, are there any special conditions for this match?”

“Hahah... hee… Err, I don’t have enough pokemon with me, so it will be a single one on one match for each challenger. Who’s up first?!”

Blane stepped forwards with Bagon before Kevin could raise his hand. “I am!”

“Ah! I see a spark in this one!” he said before a hearty giggle.

“I’ll use Bagon here,” Blane told him eagerly.

“Then let’s cut to the chase.” Wattson walked to his side of the arena and signalled to the referee.

“It will be a one on one battle… one pokemon each… the first person with their pokemon unable to battle will be the loser,” said the ref in a voice that said he’d rather be at home with his friends watching the football game where the Pinsirs were facing the Rhydons. “…Begin…”

“Let’s win this quick, Bagon!” Blane encouraged as the tiny dragon hopped in front of him on the battlefield.

“Bag gon!” he eagerly complied.

Jeff, Rachel, and Kevin all took seats on the bleachers; Kevin was careful to take mental notes of Wattson’s fighting style.

“Magnemite!” Wattson beckoned, calling out his pokemon. In a flash of light, a floating metal ball with an eye appeared floating above the arena ground. The light emitted by the pokemon brightly reflected off the metallic lustre and the magnets coming off both the ball’s left and right side.

“Magnemiiiiiiite,” it droned mechanically.

“You get the first move,” Wattson called to his opponent.

Blane nodded and then looked to Bagon. “Start it off with focus energy, buddy!”

The dragon shut his eyes and began to thoroughly concentrate. He seemed to be completely relaxed.

“Wow,” Jeff said aloud in surprise, “I expected him to go in guns blazing.”

“He’s not Kevin, Jeff,” Rachel replied.

“Good!” said Kevin with a grin. “I think even I’d hate another one of me!”

“Magnemite, hit him with a thunderbolt!”

The floating magnet began to pulse electricity into its magnets. A large bolt of lighting shot out from the magnet’s poles and speedily went towards Bagon. The concentrating dragon opened his eyes and threw himself to the side, electricity just missing him. The attack struck the ground where he was standing, which exploded in sparks and left a black scorch mark of the floor.

“Concentrate, Bagon! I know you can do this!” Blane yelled out. “Get in close for a headbutt!”

“And there’s the pep talks,” Jeff said to himself, standing up.

Kevin looked up. “If you’re going to the vending machine, can you pick me up some stuff? I’ll pay you back,” he asked.

Jeff paused. “Uhh… yeah, sure. I was actually going to get Drezdk from the pokemon center, but I guess I can get something on the way.”

He limped down and off the bleachers, going slowly towards the door while warily looking behind him in case of stray attacks. Jeff opened the door, walked out to the lobby, and then went out to the dark street. He limped as quickly as possible to the pokemon center up the street so he wouldn’t get soaked again. The teen entered through the automatic doors and approached the counter.

“Ah yes, you must be here for your Beedrill. I took him out to deal with his hurt wings; he was very sweet. There was something strange with his wings, though, they were-”

“I know, the bottom pair was missing,” Jeff interrupted.

“No- the bottom pair was stuck to the upper pair using a substance that I believe is a Beedrill’s string shot. The half of the bases of the wings was torn so they appeared mutilated.”

Jeff was shocked. “Really? Will he be able to fly again?”

“Yes, I’ve added some medicine to increase the tissue growth. He should be fit to fly in a couple days,” she explained reassuringly.

“Great! Thanks!”

Nurse Joy looked at him curiously. “… I believe the wounds were self-inflicted…” she said, choosing her words carefully. “Is he… okay? I have a program that might help…”

Jeff scratched the back of his head awkwardly. “He didn’t do this to himself out of sadness, I don’t think. I mean… he is sad over losing his friend, but I’m almost certain that he did this in order to save himself from death. He said that his hive was pretty… uhh… cruel. I don’t know the full story, but…”

Nurse Joy nodded in understanding before handing over the pokeball. “If you two ever need anything, then feel free to come here,” he said, smiling.

Jeff thanked her appreciatively and walked over to near the front doors. There he stood and released Drezdk onto the ground. The Beedrill appeared on the ground, looked around and then stood before Jeff.

“<…Hello.>”

“…Hey… How are you feeling?” He was replied with a blank stare from Drezdk’s red eyes. “Sorry… stupid question.”

Drezdk looked outside. “<Do you mind if we walk?>”

“Oh, sure,” Jeff said, walking in front of the automatic door to open it. “Good news, your wings will be healed in a few days!”

The Beedrill nodded silently and walked alongside Jeff in the rainy night. “<Did you find your friend?>”

The teen nodded. “Yeah, I did.”

“<…That’s good.>”

Jeff placed his hand on Drezdk’s shoulder. “The friend I mentioned… I nearly lost him once… I kind of know how you feel, Drezdek.”

Drezdk wrenched away from the human’s grip. “<All due respect – ‘Jeff’ is it? - but you have no idea how it feels to have your life-long best friend die in your arms and then disappear without a trace! And it’s ‘Drezdk’!>” he angrily snapped.

Jeff looked down at the ground. “… Sorry…”

After a short silence, he glanced over at Drezdk. The Beedrill looked at him with a guilty expression and tears brimming. “<I’m truly sorry, I’m not usually rude like that. I know you were just trying to help and I appreciate all that you’ve done for me… but I… I just keep thinking that what happened to Tal was all my fault!>”

Jeff replaced his hand on the pokemon’s back. “I’m sure it wasn’t. You can stay with us as long as you want.”

Drezdk turned away and wiped his eyes with his right stinger. “<…Thank you, Jeff… Can I please go back inside that odd contraption now?>”

He nodded and recalled the bug pokemon to the pokeball just as they had come up to the gym. Jeff opened the front door, purchased a Coca Cola for both himself and Kevin, and then cautiously entered the arena.

As he looked in, he saw Blane rush over to his pokemon and pick him up. “Awesome work, Bagon. I knew you could do it! Way to win us a badge!”

“<Thanks.>” The Bagon smiled and nursed the small burn mark on his head from when he had collided with the Magnemite in the fight. As this happened, Jeff quickly walked back up to his seat on the bleachers.

“Good show, lad! I’ll give you your badge after I finish with your two friends,” Wattson explained, grinning and returning Magnemite to its pokeball.

“Got it. I’m gonna take Bagon to the pokemon center, guys,” Blane called over to the three.

“Okay! Nice job, Blane!” Rachel called back.

“I’ll beat him faster!” Kevin yelled competitively as he stood up. “I timed you!”

“Why don’t I just get a ruler for you three?” Rachel asked with a smirk.

“Because I think you already know that I’d win that contest bar-none, too,” Kevin said smugly.

“If you say so, Kevin…” she sighed.

Blitz, remembering being shown a ruler in Kevin’s house, asked, “<Excuse me, Kevin… but what is it that you would measure with a ruler?>”

Kevin, being stared at by Blitz, started to blush as he thought of a delicate way to put it.

“Ask Corphish,” Jeff said, helping him out while also throwing him his drink.

“What he said!” answered Kevin, standing up and putting his drink down as a placeholder for his seat. “Now… let’s start this battle.”

Blitz nodded and followed him off the bleachers and down to where Blane previously stood. Kevin took out a pokeball and tossed it to Rachel. “Let Ace out; I want to show him that winning battles can be fun!”

She nodded. “…But what if you lose?”

Kevin merely grinned. “We won’t.”

She rolled her eyes and released Ace in her lap. He looked around the area, confused. “Kevin and Blitz are competing in a gym battle,” she explained.

He slowly nodded and looked down at the two. Jeff took out a pokeball of his own. “I should let Corphish out for some air.” The shellfish pokemon materialized and landed on his lap, causing Jeff to sharply exhale. “Did you gain weight?” he asked, jokingly.

“<I didn’t gain weight… I just lost height! …Yeah!>” he indignantly replied. Corphish then looked over to Treecko, who was sitting a couple feet to the right of Jeff, idly chewing his twig. “<Plant butt!>” he exclaimed happily, scuttling over to him.

Treecko looked over and nodded. “<Corp.>”

“<I take it you’re going to be the one battling in this gym match?>” he asked, motioning to the gym ground.

The grass type nodded.

“<Aw… well don’t collapse any more lungs; I was worried about you!>” he said, patting his friend’s back with his claw.

“<I’ll be fine,>” he insisted with calm confidence.

Corphish turned back to Jeff. “<Hey, let Dae out! I haven’t seen him in ages!>”

Jeff stalled and looked down at the arena, watching Kevin and Blitz prepare as the referee restated the rules. “Uhh… I don’t think he-”

Corphish walked over mid-sentence and snatched the pokeball off of Jeff’s belt and then pointed it beside him. Emerging from the light was the Taillow, cracking his neck and stretching as he appeared.

“<Featherface!>” Corphish happily greeted.

“<Heya, Corppy… what’s going on here?>” he asked, gesturing to Kevin and Blitz.

Jeff bit his lip and slowly moved away from the bird. Corphish smiled. “<This, my good Taillow, is your first arena-side gym battle.>”

Daedalus let out a caw that could safely be considered an expletive. “<…So who’s battling for our ever-so moral human?>” he asked, huffily.

“<Treeck is,>” Corphish replied.

“<Hmph… At least no one I care about is going to get hurt…>” Dae scoffed quietly.

Once again having his hearing underestimated, Treecko turned his eyes to coldly stare at Daedalus, and then turned them back to watch the battle. The Taillow averted the gaze, rubbed the side of his head with his wing, and pretended like nothing happened.

“<Would you like to say that again, Dae? I don’t think the people of Johto heard all of that!>” Corphish replied, giving him a pat of the back. The crustacean then looked over to see Ace curiously watching Kevin and Blitz impatiently wait for the ref to finish. Corphish climbed up to Jeff, who was sitting to the right of Rachel.

“<Hey! I don’t believe we’ve officially met,>” he said, getting Ace’s attention. Ace shyly looked over. “<I’m Corphish, but you can call me ‘Corp’, ‘Corppy’, or ‘Sir Awesome the Fourth’.>” The shellfish stuck out his claw for a handshake.

Ace nodded and very slowly moved his hand towards Corphish’s claw for the handshake. He noticed that it was a somewhat sharp pincer and he paused the movement. The Squirtle looked up at Corphish, who smiled, and then back down at his small hand. He gulped and slowly moved his hand towards the pincer; the closer his hand got, the more it started shaking from fear.

“<Relax…>” Corphish smirked. “<It’s not like I’m going to tear you limb from limb or anything…>”

Ace completely froze and his eyes widened and pupils shrunk. The colour drained from his face so that he was a very pale blue hue. Corphish’s smile grew and he clicked his pincer once. “Squir!!!!” Ace sputtered, instantly retreating back into his shell in Rachel’s lap.

Daedalus hopped over and whacked Corphish on the back of the head with his wing. “<That was mean!>” he scolded.

“<And saying that you wish Treeck was dead was SO the work of a saint,>” Corphish smugly answered.

“<I didn’t say that!>” he defensively replied. He jumped to between Jeff and Rachel and began to attempt to get on the better side of Ace.

Meanwhile, the ref finished monotonously reading the rules and Wattson was now ready, as well.

“I’m ready when you are, laddy!” Wattson yelled over across the field.

“Then let’s start this!” Kevin replied. “Ready, Blitz?”

The Scyther stepped forwards and raised his scythes in an offensive guard. “<Of course, Kevin.>”

“Let’s roll, Voltorb!” Wattson threw out a pokeball and from it appeared what seemed to be a much larger pokeball with eyes. The red and white sphere rolled forwards on the floor and crackled with electricity. “Use Spark!” The electricity around the pokemon increased and it began to roll faster across the floor.

“Blitz! Quick Attack!” Kevin shouted. A smirk seemed to appear on Blitz’s face and he rushed forwards, matching the Voltorb’s quick speed.

“I kinda hope Wattson wins,” Jeff muttered.

Corphish looked up at him. “<You’re as bad as Dae; I don’t see why you two don’t get along!>” The water type then found his head being whacked by a dark blue wing again.

Ace emerged from his shell just as Blitz rushed forwards. The Scyther and Voltorb were headed straight for the other. As Blitz dashed, he dragged his right scythe in the ground, creating sparks as it was sharpened. He then raised the scythe above his head. The sparking spherical pokemon was now just meters away from him.

“Agility!” Kevin called.

In the blink of an eye, Blitz moved diagonally from heading straight towards Voltorb to appearing behind him. A chill crawled down Jeff’s back at the deadly speed of the pokemon. Blitz than turned around and charged Voltorb. All that the electric pokemon could see was ground and the daunting, upside-down image of a Scyther charging towards him. Blitz rammed the Voltorb and sent him careening to the floor where he rolled to a stop after a few meters.

“Charge beam, Voltorb!” Wattson called, rather calmly.

The pokemon shook himself alert and started to build up electricity. He then shot a massive surge of crackling blue electricity at the Scyther. Blitz effortlessly side stepped, the beam missing him completely.

“Slash, Blitz!” Kevin yelled, a confident grin plastered on his face.

The Scyther darted towards Voltorb, raising his scythe. With tremendous speed, he brought the jagged metal down on the pokemon. Voltorb cringed and let out a pained buzz. Blitz’s metal conducted the electricity emitted from the electric type and coursed through his arm, making him wince and withdraw the scythe.

Corphish looked at Jeff, who was rather fidgety. “<You don’t look so good, Jeffy. You look like you’ve seen a ghost pokemon. Maybe a Scooby-snack would help?>”

“I’m fine…” he assured, watching the Scyther fervently deliver more blows with his scythe.

“Voltorb, hang in there!” Wattson called over to the wincing orb pokemon. “Use Spark!”

Voltorb hopped back from the blows and built up more electricity. He then lunged towards Blitz with tremendous force.

“Blitz, sidestep!!!”

The Scyther shifted his body sideways and leaned backwards. Voltorb just barely missed hitting his chest. Then, just as Voltorb was passing right in front of him, Blitz stretched out his two scythes and caught a shaky hold on him. Ignoring the electricity going through his arms, he used the momentum of Voltorb’s tackle to spin around at increased speed. Blitz swung around three times before hurling Voltorb upwards in the air. He immediately flapped his wings and flew upwards after him, matching his speed.

Just as Voltorb was reaching the peak of the height that he could go, Blitz appeared in front of him and raised his right scythe to his left shoulder.

“<Crap…>” the Voltorb managed to squeak in a buzzing voice.

A Kevin-like smile appeared on Blitz’s face and he immediately slashed diagonally downwards, sending Voltorb flying to the ground. He hit the ground about ten feet in front of Kevin before detonating. The blonde-haired teen braced himself and was nearly knocked off his feet by the discharge of energy.

Wattson frowned but then started to chuckle light-heartedly. “Wow, that was a blast!” he exclaimed with a laugh, recalling the unconscious Voltorb.

Blitz flew down in front of Kevin. “<I apologize for that; I didn’t expect him to detonate, though I should have.>”

“Haha!” Kevin laughed, ecstatically hugging the mantis. “Don’t worry about it, you kicked ***!”

Blitz smiled and hugged him back, conscious of his scythes. “<Thank you, Kevin.>” Despite this, he still shocked Kevin due to the electricity in his scythes.

“Gah!” he sputtered, jumping.

Blitz almost let out a chuckle. “<Should we go collect our badge now?>”

Kevin paused and came to a realization. “Oh… uhh… yeah, sure…” he mumbled, glumly.

“<What is wrong?>”

“Uhh… we have to have a talk later…” Just as Kevin said this, Jeff came up to him with Treecko, taking their place on the field.

The two walked back up to the bleachers and Wattson took out his third pokeball. Meanwhile, Treecko confidently stepped forwards on the field.

“Let’s go, Electrike!” Wattson called, throwing a pokeball onto the arena. Emerging from the ball was a light green dog-like creature with yellow ears and tail. It stepped forwards and snarled, electricity shooting from its bristling green fur. “This must be the Jeff that Brawly mentioned to me yesterday. Let’s see if what that surfer nut says is true or not… Electrike, use Discharge!”

Jeff glanced with shock at Treecko, not knowing that the ref gave the okay to start already. “Treecko, play this defensively! He’s going to be using fast and disabling attacks!”

Treecko shook his head. “<Then I should go out and meet him before he gets the chance to use them,>” he calmly replied.

“Treeck, no, stay where-” But before he could finish, Treecko dashed forwards, just barely dodging the electrical attack that was headed towards him. “Damnit,” Jeff murmured. “Try a quick attack, then!”

The speedy wood gecko dashed towards the pokemon, who was still cooling down from the electric attack he emitted, and swung his tail around, slamming it into the Electrike’s face. Electrike flew to the side, but managed to land standing on his feet.

“Careful, Electrike! Try Spark!” the gym leader ordered.

“Trike, trike!” Electrike barked, charging forwards towards Treecko. The grass type attempted to dodge, but was slightly too slow to the draw; Treecko was hit by both Electrike and coursing electricity in the chest, sending him backwards onto the floor.

“Treecko!” Jeff yelled out.

The wood gecko immediately got to his feet. “<I’m fine,>” he called back.

“Electrike, go for a Thunder Fang now!” Wattson said.

Electrike started bounding towards Treecko, sparking fangs bore. Treecko took a defensive stance and glared at his oncoming foe.

“Don’t just stand there, Treeck! Keep moving so he won’t hit you!” Jeff shouted as the green hound-like pokemon raced closer.

“<No, I’ve got a better idea,>” he replied. Treecko’s eyes locked with the oncoming Electrike’s and he glared into them. Electrike was confused as to why his opponent seemed to be welcoming the attack, but he continued charging ahead. Treecko remained standing in his place, staring down the electric pokemon.

“Treecko, what are you doing?!” Jeff yelled, growing impatient.

Hmm, he and the Treecko don’t seem to be working well as a team, at all,” Wattson thought, examining the two.

Electrike lunged at the grass type, prepared to bite and still fixated on the reptile’s glaring eyes. As the fangs were now inches away from his upper body, Treecko leaned backwards, using his tail as a tripod. Electrike’s fur brushed horizontally against his red stomach, bristling with static as it did; it was just far enough so that Electrike missed and flew over Treecko, landing several meters behind him.

Immediately after this, Treecko used the momentum from falling backwards to pivot on his tail to turn around and then stand back up, facing behind Electrike. He grinned and then opened up his mouth to use Bullet Seed. Four glowing seed-sized balls of energy came from his mouth and hit Electrike, causing him to cringe, but four was all.

His eyes widened and he attempted to fire again. Nothing. A bead of sweat dripped down his face. Again, he tried to use the attack, but it was to no avail.

“Crapcrapcrap,” Jeff murmured, clenching his fists.

“<Uh oh, he’s shooting duds again,>” Corphish remarked. Daedalus merely smirked in reply, watching closely.

Wattson tilted his head in confusion, but shrugged it off and called to Electrike. “Quick Attack and Thunder Fang!”

Electrike barked in agreement and charged towards Treecko, who still attempted to use his attack. The lightning pokemon dove at Treecko, dug his teeth into his left shoulder and brought him to the ground. The grass type cried out as electricity coursed through him, but he shoved Electrike off of him.

“Treeck!” Jeff called over. “Are you alright?!”

The Treecko sluggishly sat upwards, flinching. “<I’m… fah-fine- errgh!>” he attempted to reply. He slowly got to one knee, at the pace of a tortoise. Treecko tried to stand up but then he froze in his place. He winced and then fell forwards onto the floor.

“Treecko!” Jeff yelled, louder and more concerned this time.

The wood gecko grimaced and got back up to his hands and knees. Wattson grinned. “He’s paralyzed, laddie! You don’t happen to have a paralyze heal for that, do you?”

Jeff glowered. “How are you doing, Treeck?!”

Treecko got back up on one knee and looked back at Jeff out of the corner of his eye. “<Fine… Can still fight…>”

Wattson sighed. “I’m calling this match, lad!”

Both Jeff and Treecko darted their heads towards him in shock. “<I can still fight!>” the latter shouted in a growl.

“But he’s not knocked out yet!” Jeff also protested.

“He’s paralyzed from my Electrike. He doesn’t stand a chance against us now. We’d only be prolonging his pain.”

“But-”

“You can’t win, I’m telling you! Besides, if you two can’t work together by this point… neither of you really deserve the Dynamo Badge. Go to the pokemon center, settle out your differences, train, and then come back here for a rematch. We have these gym battles for a reason, lad; it’s not just to test strength, but also cooperation and the relationships between a trainer and pokemon.” Wattson looked over to the ref, who impatiently nodded.

“Treecko is unable to battle, Wattson and Electrike are the winners.”

There was an eerie silence, which was broken moments later by Daedalus cracking up into a fit of laughter.
[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
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