After being told of an invitation to enter a championship while chasing the eighth Sinnoh Badge, our heroes entered the luxury liner S.S. Quest which is on its way to the Orthan Kingdom. However, they weren’t the only ones invited to participate; who else could have joined these tournaments?
- Wow… This place is so… luxurious!
- Watch out Dawn, or you’ll drool on the carpet. – Ash muttered, taking the lead as they crossed the richly decorated corridors in search for their room. Even the walls seemed made of gold, accompanied by the bright red carpet that extended on the floor. – Anyone got the invitation?
- Ugh! We left it with that man!
- Hey look! There’s a map of the ship here! – Dawn pointed out a large board with detailed information on each place in the cruiser.
- Let me take a look… - Brock’s finger scrolled through the map, eventually stopping in a large room in the middle of the ship’s second floor. – Erm… I can’t find anything about rooms… if this was made especially for travelling, I don’t see anything about it here.
- You didn’t see well. Let me try!
- OUT OF THE WAY!
- Isn’t that-…
BAM! Just before being able to finish, someone went headfirst against the three, throwing the entire group down like a bunch of dominos.
- I told you to get out of the way! What’s with you people, can’t you listen?!
It was a boy, judging from his voice. The only thing Ash could see, though, was a large, yellow cloud in his eyes, and that was about everything he could see until the boy got up. The green scarf was enough to identify the person who kept running into them.
- What’s Barry doing here?
- Hah! Ash! Whadda’ya know! You’re also going to Orthan, right? – The boy said so fast Ash wasn’t sure he got everything.
- Hum, yeah, I’m going to Orthan but…
He didn’t even finish talking and Barry was already showing his invitation.
- An odd man at the dock gave me this letter once he saw me! It’s a great opportunity to practice for the Sinnoh League, and I’m not going to miss it!
- But if Barry’s here…
- Ash. Why ain’t I surprised?
That voice was thoroughly familiar to the trainer, so much it caused a chill to cross his spine when he slowly turned around.
- At the Royal Family’s service! – The brown haired trainer taunted, showing a shield shaped badge in his hand, glimmering under the corridors light.
Another peaceful day around Olivine City…
- Sailors loitering around every corner, searching for someone to spend some time. Humph.
His name is Maxwell C. Smith. A twelve year old boy from the town of Sunnydale. Many would say he resembles one of the Kanto’s best trainers, Red, if it weren’t for some slight differences and the rivalry between Johto and Kanto, despite sharing the same league. His clothing was an exact match, but their personality drifted quite a lot.
Max was sitting in the Olivine Harbor, just by his trusty Pokémon, Flame, the Thyplosion.
He was holding a large piece of paper, the latest invitation to Orthan. Formalities aside, he was only curious about what this league exactly was.
- Tsc. They won’t stand a challenge. We’ll wipe the floor with them. – Max put the paper in his pocket and got up, heading to a motorized raft that was approaching.
He swiftly got Flame into its Pokéball to avoid him getting any water and carried on to the pilot.
- Maxwell Smith? – He asked, taking the helmet off.
- You bet. Transportation to Orthan?
- Kinda. More like your ride to the S.S. Quest.
Max’s eye twitched.
- You’re going to cross the ocean on that thing?
The pilot shrugged and started to pat the motorized.
- I guess. It’s up to you.
Max’s eye twitched again.
- Are you challenging me?
- Not for a battle I’m not. I like your style. Hop on.
Max didn’t even reply, instantly jumping to the back of the raft.
- Hang on, this’ll be a bumpy ride!
The trainer swiftly put a hand on his hat.
- What do you mean a bumpy riii-…! – He didn’t even complete his sentence because he was already long gone in the horizon aboard the raft, and the pilot didn’t even seem bothered by it.
Although his eyes were being virtually pulled to the back of the head, Max could still see quite a few Lapras zapping by, quickly disappearing behind him. He wondered at exactly what speed they were going.
- What… what are you doing with that badge, Gary?!
- What, you know him?! – Barry immediately interrupted, jumping to Gary’s side. The latest was wearing one of his latest outfits, wearing the black shirt and jeans, and a seemingly heavy bag for a belt. – He’s the best trainer I’ve ever seen! Gary’s been teaching me tricks on how to beat Volkner!
- Volkner? – Ash repeated, frowning. – But you never challenged Volkner!
- Oh yeah? How does Lt. Surge and my Electrivire do for a reason?
- He’s got a point, you know. – Brock sarcastically commented to Ash, forcing him to blush.
- I’m not asking you. – He discreetly replied. – You still haven’t answered my question; what are you doing here?
- Sorry Ash, but you were left behind as usual. Gramps told Prof. Cal in Orthan to have me help him out in his research, and he’s borrowing me some awesome Pokémon! But that’s not all, Ashie! I also happen to be the owner… - Gary switched the badge with a card. - …of the Litindle Pokémon Gym!
That one fell on Ash’s stomach like a rock.
- You’re a… Gym Leader?!
- Not just any Gym Leader! I’m the seventh and most powerful Gym Leader in all of Orthan!
- How come they took you for a Gym Leader and they didn’t take me?!
Gary took a few steps forward and leaned to confront Ash in the face.
- Because you were too busy collecting badges in Sinnoh! And the best part is that I hear you’re going to take the Orthan Gym challenge! I can’t wait to have you in my own arena!
Ash felt a knot in his throat. How did he guess all that?!
- Well maybe I’m not taking the Gym Leader challenge! Maybe I’m entering the tournaments!
- This is getting a little heated; let’s go find some place to stay. – Brock managed to say over the twosome’s voice.
Barry and Dawn nodded, following the Kanto Gym Leader through the corridors, followed by Pikachu and Piplup.
- Hey, wait! I almost forgot we have to be in the main hall to know our rooms! – Barry reminded, taking the lead.
- We need to get rooms like that? Isn’t this supposed to be a quick trip?
- I heard it’ll take a day or two. – It was the first time the two had heard Barry speaking so slow and clear.
- And when does the ceremony start?
Barry took a quick look at the Pokétch and gulped.
- IT ALREADY STARTED! – He energetically shouted, running off as if there was a fire in the ship.
- WHAT?! – Brock and Dawn shouted back in unison, following Barry to the main hall at full speed.
David’s Mightyena wasn’t really eager to travel out. Leaving the house meant he would have to battle, but that didn’t bother him.
Right now, he was crossing many routes and cities to reach David’s next destination, the Vermillion Port.
The worst part was that David did not use Pidgeot to fly there, and instead was using him to ride and run all the way there. That thought was leaving the Pokémon slightly suspicious, but he still kept running. The sooner he got there the sooner David would leave his back. The trainer was getting heavy, too.
David, on the other hand, wasn’t paying much attention to the Pokémon. He was instead focused on the Pokégear, programming its clock to the Orthan time.
- And this must be it. – He finished, placing the Pokégear back to the backpack’s strap. He leaned forward and pet Mightyena in the head. – Come on, buddy. Hold on, we’re almost there. One more town to go. Good thing we went over Mt. Moon, huh?
The Pokémon growled in agreement and hastened his running speed, raring to drop his trainer off himself.
And suddenly, the sun got blocked, and the two were covered by a shadow.
But just before David could look up, the shadow disappeared, causing a quick gust that threw sand into his eyes. He cowered to rub them on his arm, trying to clean the dirt.
When he finally made it, with his eyes still whimpering, he looked over the Saffron City buildings, searching for whatever the shadow was. It couldn’t have been a cloud, the day was clear and clouds don’t move that fast.
His eyes narrowed when he saw an orange blur flying away. He knew what it was…
- Claire’s Dragonite… Shadix is here. – He muttered very slowly. Mightyena had stopped a little to rest, but ended up snarling at the Dragon Pokémon that was seen flying away. – Hit it, Mightyena! We’re going to reach Vermillion and see what this entire invitation thing means! I bet it was just a joke from her!
The Pokémon readily jumped down and started running again, crossing the Saffron streets in the blink of an eye.
- I should have been the Gym Leader! You’re just some trainer they found randomly!
- Me?! Look at who’s walking everywhere and still hopes to be found!
- What?! I’ll show you!
Ash promptly pulled an arm back, but suddenly jumped towards Gary, who was projected against the wall along with the other trainer. The ship was shaking violently enough to throw both trainers to the other end of the corridor, dragging the red carpet across the floor until they reached the wall.
Both were in a messy pile when the ship stopped shaking and a door opened near them.
Volkner walked out with his hands in his pockets, passing by Ash and Gary as if he didn’t notice them. However, both trainers heard something coming from the Gym Leader.
- You’re back home, guys. – Volkner stopped and turned around. – You’d better kill off all the longings and get ready to spend some months out.
With that, he walked off, disappearing in a corner.
- ASH! – Dawn’s voice echoed, and the female trainer was seen running in the boy’s direction, carrying a key in her hands. – Guess what!
- I can’t pay attention now, Dawn! I’m trying to get out of this mess!
- We’re in the same room!
As if a blizzard had crossed the hall, Ash and Gary froze in their place. Quite a messy position.
- I’m going to be your roommate for the next two days!
Ash gulped and scurried to the hall’s corner, until he noticed Brock had also appeared nearby.
- Brock, is this true?!
- Yeah. And guess who’s also coming in my room! – Brock handed the ticket and stepped back, covering himself behind Dawn.
- MISTY’S GONNA STAY WITH YOU?! – The young trainer howled such a mighty roar that it startled some Wingulls outside.
- Someone sounds jealous to me. – His rival taunted, backing against the wall with his arms crossed.
- I’m not jealous… - Ash replied very low, turning away.
- There’s someone outside you need to see, then, Ashie. – Gary added, walking away from the window. I need to see this with my own eyes, eheheheh.
Like Volkner, and with the same cool atmosphere above him, Gary put his hands in his pocket and disappeared in the corner, leaving behind a twisted moment of embarrassment upon Ash. He knew who Gary was talking about. If Misty was coming in this cruiser, then it had to be her who was outside in the docks.
- You’ve just got to say hello, Ash. – Brock tried to calm his friend’s anxiousness. – Come on, she traveled with us for a long time, we should go.
Ash didn’t even reply when Brock started to push him over to the exit, reluctant.
- Oh WOW! A Dragonite in the middle of the docks! Awesome! I gotta go and check it out! – Barry immediately freaked out, running off frenetically, barely even having time to pull the brakes and do the corner.
- A Dragonite? – Dawn repeated to Piplup, who just nodded back at her, just as confused.
- Hum, excuse me, but where is room 34?
Someone pat Dawn’s shoulder, and the voice seemed roughly familiar.
- I think it’s that way… - The trainer replied, turning afterwards. That green thing that girl wore in her hair…
- Thanks! – The girl replied, preparing to walk away.
- Wait! – Dawn suddenly called, halting the other trainer. – Have we met? Somewhere in Sinnoh?
- Sinnoh? – The other girl blinked, trying to remember what Dawn was referring to. – The only time I was in Sinnoh was for a contest…
- In Lake Valor!
- Wait… you participated in the Wallace Cup? I made to the finals, but…
- May! – Dawn wildly cried out, hugging the other trainer tightly. – You were invited to Orthan too?! It’s me, Dawn! In the finals!
- You’re Dawn?! I thought I’d never see you again! – May happily accepted the hug, but quickly separated from Dawn as well. – Where’s Ash?
- Oh, hum, he went outside with Brock just a minute ago. They said they were gonna say hello to Misty.
May’s eyes seemed to have glittered for a moment.
- You know what? Let’s make them a surprise. Come with me.
The trainer walked off, but Dawn hesitated.
- A, hum, surprise? – She repeated, puzzled. Piplup was just as confused as she was, but both followed the Hoenn trainer anyway.
- Aaaah… the busyness of Vermillion never felt this good… - A blond/brown haired trainer said as she jumped off the Dragonite’s back. She was dressed in a thoroughly informal way, with a plain orange shirt with blue borders and normal, blue jeans.
She scrolled her look through the harbor, stopping at the sight of the S.S.Quest. It was quite a large dock, that one, especially to keep such a big ship docked. Being from Johto, she knew she couldn’t talk too much while the other Johto trainers were watching, at least not with Kanto people.
- Okay, thanks for dropping me here, Dragonite. Tell Claire she was a sweetheart for helping me out.
The dragon Pokémon nodded and after a strong flap of its wings that caused a large cloud of sand, took off, flying away across the bay.
- *cough* Wait! – Barry’s voice suddenly called.
But it was too late. The Dragonite was already long gone in the horizon, and the girl that rode it was already walking towards the ship.
- Man, I‘ve been searching for a Dragonite since… I don’t know, since I left Twinleaf!
- Sorry, pal. But that Dragonite wasn’t mine, you know. It’s Claire’s.
- Claire? The Johto Gym Leader?! You know her?!
- Of course I do. I live in Blackthorn, silly.
Barry wasn’t too pleased with that gal’s personality.
- And you are…?
- Me? Shadix Arua.
- Yeah! Shadix of the Blackthorn Rua! – David’s voice was heard from behind. When they both turned, the trainer was by Mightyena, with his arms crossed, as if he was ready to fight.
- David? What, you were invited to the Orthan Championship?
- Of course I was. I beat the Silver League clean, why else wouldn’t they invite me?
- ‘Cause I beat the Elite Four faster than you!
Barry swallowed dry at the arguments both threw at each other. One completed the Silver League and another beat the Elite Four in record time!
Shadix the realized she was doing something that could mean danger to her: she was talking with a boy from Kanto!
- David! Shush! If someone sees us talking, we’ll be fried!
Barry swallowed dry yet again, but this time also felt some kind of dizziness; he was messing with what he shouldn’t, even his hyperactive nature knew it.
- How the heck do you know if there are any Johto trainers around here?
- Yo foo’! – A Bodybuilder near the ship called in his rough, thick voice. – Ya messin’ with da’ gal, ya messin’ with Johto!
- Yeah! That’s right! – Another random trainer added.
The continuous yells were interrupted by a loud BANG, as if something had just exploded, when suddenly, a raft stopped by the dock’s edge.
- Okay, kiddo! You’ve reached Vermillion City! And look at that! The S.S. Quest! Looks like I was a ride after all!
Max could barely believe he had survived the trip without dropping even once… still, he jumped out of the boat, eager to kiss the floor in thankfulness for being alive.
- Your turn now, mate! Knock yourself out! – The pilot finished, driving away at a crazy speed.
By the time David, Shadix and Barry focused on the Johto trainers again, an entire army of Pokémon was already out of their Pokéballs, threatening to battle.
- Come, you Johto punk! Think you’ve got what it takes?!
David’s heart seemed to have stopped: he was in a large number disadvantage! He couldn’t handle all of those trainers!
Shadix, on the other hand, didn’t make use of that advantage: she stayed by his side, her six Pokéballs in her hand.
- Come on, David! Let’s show them how wrong they are about Kanto and Johto being rivals!
David, though, wasn’t too eager to fight, lowering his head in resignation. They would be two to some twenty powerful trainers. How could they stand a chance?!
- David, throw them out! – Shadix insisted, showing out her Thyplosion in the first place, nicknamed C.V., to intimidate some of the trainers.
- So you want to betray Johto, huh, kid?! WELL WE’LL SHOW YA WHAT YA GET!
- I don’t know what the hell just happened, but I’m sticking to the fun! Empoleon, Roserade! Come on out! – Barry recklessly threw out his two Pokémon, ready to fight.
- David. Do it. – Max’s voice called. When he raised his head, he saw that Max was approaching indeed, his own Thyplosion, Flame, following him close behind, as well as Ty, the Tyranitar. – We can win this.
Both knew each other from their journeys together through Johto. David had already traveled with Shadix and Max, as well as many other friends who parted ways…
But that was the past. He had to revive the good old times when he fought along with them.
- No time for hesitating. – He declared, showing two more Pokéballs, besides Mightyena who was already out. The twosome was thrown to reveal an Ampharos and a Walrein. – LET’S DO THIS!
- Now you’re talking! Empoleon, use Hydro Pump!
- C.V., use Fire Blast!
- Aid C.V. with some more fire, Flame!
As the orders to combat were issued, the Johto trainers made their moves.
Soon enough the clash had begun.
With a historical fight in the docks of Vermillion, we find our heroes in the biggest predicament as of yet… will the league of revolutionaries triumph? Or will the Johto fanatics take the lead? And where have our other heroes gone? The truth is close…
To be continued…
The following trainer characters belong to the respective users from Gateway Island:
Maxwell C. Smith belongs to user Kcx
Shadix Arua belongs to user Salimus
David Lawride belongs to me.
I saw that Johto and Kanto had a small rivalry somewhere… I don’t remember where. Sorry if I’m making it up, just take it as if Johto had a league of fanatics. :3