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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:42 AM
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bobandbill
Where's that sheep...
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Central Coast - Australia
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Nature: Jolly
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And after months of procrastination and school, I return on a pogo stick and with a new chapter in hand.

Thanks to those who did review after my latest reply - but they seem to be deleted to the no-fic-bumping rule, oh well. I've seen them though (thanks to Astinus =D), so cheers. Particularly to 'Pich_u' - I'll get to those mistakes you pointed out soon, so thanks for that. =)

OK THEN. Time for the chapter. As a quick reminder of what went down the previous chapter -
Spoiler:
Wes and Rui saved the Relic Stone from a small gang of Cipher memebers, notably a man called Skrub who was run out of town upon his defeat (by an angry town throwing Pikachu at him, no less). The Relic Stone is discovered to purify Shadow Pokemon at the end, as demonstrated as Croconaw and Makuhita becoming normal Pokemon again, and Croconaw evolves into Feraligatr upon purification.


Plenty of thanks to Chris_the_Com for beta-reading this with the power of awesome faces. (Also to some guy called Rowan). =P Enjoy!

***

Chapter 15 – The Battle of Battles At... Mt Battle



The group slowly made their way to the Pokemon Centre by the top of the hill sloping down to the Relic Stone forest. Feraligatr had already become somewhat more accustomed to his new form, no longer tripping over or stumbling while he walked.

“Umbreon...Umbre!” (About time you got the hang of walking again – I’ve had enough of you falling on me!)

“Croc-Fe, Feraligatr,” (Jumbo jets- err, I mean, I said I was sorry, you old slowcoach,) Feraligatr replied with a grin after mixing up his words.

“Umb!? Umbre- eon!” (Slowcoach!? I hardly think that you can call me- hey, wait up!) Umbreon cried at the group, realising they were well ahead of him. As he caught up, Feraligatr shot him another cheeky grin, which Umbreon pretended to ignore.

“Oh good, you caught up,” Wes said absentmindedly, further adding to Umbreon’s frustrations with Feraligatr. “Anyway...Rui, this is really fantastic. Looks like we’ve now found a cure for the Shadow Pokemon.”

“I know! All we have to do is cure them some more, then have them visit the Relic Stone, and we’re done! Maybe only a few more weeks, if that!”

“True, true,” Wes pondered. “Oh hey, it’s Yanma,” he added, spotting Yanma’s tail poking out of a bin.

“Yanyanyanyanmamamamama!” (Oh-dear-I’m-stuck-oh-well-it-was-tasty-coffee-hey-look-a profiterole!) the Yanma squealed nonsensically inside. Wes grabbed his Pokeball and recalled the nuisance, and then followed Rui as the mechanical doors of the Pokemon Centre slid open with a clang allowing them to step inside.

“Oh, you’re back,” Eagun greeted the two, grabbing both by the arms and shaking them with glee. “That was fantastic battling, Wes! You saved the Relic Stone, and now you can help those silhouette Pokemon of yours.”

“Shadow Pokemon,” Rui said.

“Whatever,” Eagun said, as Rui returned the Pokemon to their Pokeballs and handed them to the assistant behind a counter. “We drove that nasty lot out of town, at any rate. Some are now busy retrieving their Pikachu – a good dozen or so ended up in a tree, it appears – and some are tending to Duncan’s poor, poor lawn. Those flowers... they’ll never be the same,” Eagun sniffed.

“...There there,” Wes consoled Eagun uneasily.

“Could you please heal our Pokemon? They’re a bit tired since they were fighting to save this stone, you see.”

“...Stone?” the man said.

“Yep. It helps make the Shadow Pokemon happy and all, although I don’t really get how it can be used as a football...” she added, glancing at her book on the Relic Stone and shrugging. She then returned to Wes and Eagun, leaving the assistant scratching his head.

“Hey, we better tell Sherles about this,” Rui said.

“Good idea... I’ll send him an e-mail and wait for him to reply – we’ve got the whole day ahead of us to wait for that.” Pulling out his P*DA, Wes quickly typed up a message and hit send.

“Pity we’ve got so many Shadow Pokemon to purify – we’ve only done two after all, and even with them helping out in Pyrite, it might take a while, especially if more Shadow Pokemon are found...I guess we could always use some more help.”

“I could help!” Eagun offered, smiling brightly.

“...Um, yeah, sure,” Wes said, unsure if Eagun’s ways would terrify some of the Shadow Pokemon or not.

Suddenly a woman walked into the building, and started shouting, waving her arms in the air like a drowning swimmer desperate for attention. “Right, the Day Care Service needs clients! Who wants to give us money to take care of your Pokemon and make sure of their well-being and happiness?”

“Well, that was quick,” Rui said quietly.

“Indeed. Pity she said ‘who wants to give us money’...” Wes sighed, before catching Rui’s frown. “Ok, ok, I was kidding,” he continued, motioning for the woman to come, glad that Espeon was being healed so that he couldn’t mention that he hadn’t been joking.

“Oh, you’re interested?” the woman said, gleaming as she eyed Wes’s wallet.

Oh great, someone else who seems to like money as much as me, Wes thought grimly. “Firstly, may I ask a few questions? Such as the place, and so forth...?”

“Wes!” Rui hissed. “Just give her the money and Pokemon already.”

Wes winced. “But... shouldn’t we find out some more first about where we’re putting these Pokemon? I’m not exactly one to trust a complete stranger... Are you, Rui?”

“...Yeah, you’re right. Odd, I just thought for a moment that the Day Care centre would be completely trustworthy.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” the woman said quickly. “We have respectable grounds – lots of, um.... grass! Yes, grass. Also...” she struggled. “We have...air! Lots of healthy air.”

“That’s...nice, I suppose?” Rui said slowly.

“Actually, maybe you should take a look at the grounds for yourself? We’re also a certified Day Care service. It’s got a stamp and everything,” she added, pulling out a piece of paper. Wes glanced at it – it had the words ‘Day Care Service No 34’, and a stamp with the word ‘APPROVED’ encircling an awesome face.

“Sounds good to me,” Wes said finally. “We’ll go take a look in a moment. How many Pokemon can you take, by the way?”

“Oh, well, we have space for four large Pokemon, but we’re currently only taking one at a time now, so your Pokemon has plenty of space!”

“Back up a second – why only one?” Wes asked, frowning.

“Oh... well, a while back we had a few problems. There were these two Pokemon, you see, who weren’t getting along with each other.”

“I see – just trying to keep the Pokemon happy, fair enough,” Rui said.

“No, there’s more... the next morning when I went to check on them there were a number of strange oval-shaped rocks about the place. Most unusual.”

“Odd. Do you know where they came from?”

“No, but this phenomenon only happens when we have more than one Pokemon with us. We even had one of them sent to this really fancy-pants professor. Elm or something. He seemed confused by it too, though when we told him about it so he got started on examining it... and then that story started about how he went insane, so we never found out about his findings. ”

You’re kidding me, Wes thought. Clearly those were eggs, and this eluded a Pokemon Professor? I’m betting he realised though when it hatched, and… that’s what made him go crazy, like those newspapers had reported? Oh boy.

“We had to have the owners of the Pokemon take them away because the neighbours started complaining. Something about how they can’t sleep at night and that the rocks were too spotty for their liking.” The Day-Care woman shrugged. “It gives a bad reputation for some reason, so it’s a new rule. It's along with the 'No giving the Pokemon candy' , and the 'Strictly, under no circumstances, are Wailord allowed' rule.”

“Wow, what a mystery!” Rui said.

“Yeah,” Eagun interjected. “We never could figure out where those rocks came from. The best theory going around is that they came from Clefairy from the moon. I don’t really like that idea, but then again, you just can’t trust those Clefairy. Crafty buggers, they are.”

Wes facepalmed himself, groaning slightly. What’s wrong with this entire region? It’s like they all swallowed daft pills at birth or something...

“It’s one of two mysteries this town has,” Eagun continued.

“Oh? What’s the other one?” Rui asked.

“The Pikachu, of course. It was some time after another bunch of those rocks appeared – only one day, they were gone, and all of these Pichu were running about eating all of the trees, or so the story goes. And that’s why we have so many Pikachu now.”

“Any idea where they came from?” Rui asked. Eagun shook his head.

“Wes... are you alright?” Rui asked, noticing Wes continue to facepalm himself some more while muttering a word to himself with each one.

“Why. Is. Everyone. So... oh... um, never mind, I’m just...tired,” Wes said tiredly, giving up.

“Me too,” Rui said, yawning louder. “It’s tired, and I’m early...”

“You don’t say,” Wes acknowledged.

“Ahem,” the woman said, still eyeing Wes’s wallet. “Shall we go and let you check out the place, then?”

“Oh, fine. We’ll come... in a second, gotta look at this first,” Wes said, as his P*DA began beeping, indicating Sherles had sent a reply to his e-mail. “Eagun, it looks like the Pokemon are healed up as well – could you get them for us, please?”

“No problem,” Eagun said, moving towards the assistant.

“Hello. Your Pokemon are restored to their full health. We hope to see you.” A pause followed, before the assistant looked at a small palm card in his hand. “Again. Arrgh, I keep forgetting what to say...” he mumbled, as Eagun took the Pokeballs and walked back to Wes and Rui.

“Oh, it’s a live call actually,” Wes said, taking the P*DA and holding the large, clunky device it next to his ear.

“Oh good – you can tell him more about the good news then,” Rui beamed, as the Day Care woman sighed and moved towards the door, choosing her vantage point well so she could still admire Wes’s wallet.

“I don’t think we’re out of the woods yet though...” Wes said darkly. “Cipher’s still active, for one. For instance, Cipher did just make that attack on the Relic Stone – they’re probably going to try to attack this place again, or try something else.”

“We could always build a fort,” Eagun suggested.

“Out of what?” Wes countered, still waiting for a connection with Sherles.

“Good question... the Pikachu, maybe?”

“...I think we’re better off just asking Sherles to send some of the Police force that came to Orre to come and help out over here,” Wes said. “Oh, here we go! Hello, Sherles. Did you get our message?”

Sherles’ unmistakable gruff voice crackled through the P*DA. “We sure did. You sure we can purify the Shadow Pokemon properly now?”

“Yes, positive!” Rui shouted into the P*DA.

“Rui, not so loud. My ear is there as well...” Wes said, wincing.

“Oh...sorry.”

“Good work, then,” Sherles continued. “I trust you’ll be wanting to celebrate... however, we’ve got a bit of a problem. You see... we got an anonymous tip-off, that said that Cipher are about to attack a man named Vander.”

“Vander? Who’s he?” Rui asked worriedly. “And why are they interested in him?”

“We’re not sure. Our records of Vander state that he’s an Area Leader of Mt Battle – it’s a place where trainers testtheir Pokemon in a 100-battle challenge, to try to get to the top of the mountain. It’s rather dangerous, apparently... Vander also likes to boast about some Time Flute of his. It’s drawn unwanted attention to him in the past, so it seems going by this record...”

“A Time Flute?” Wes asked. “That sounds kinda familiar...”

“I know what it is!” Rui shouted. “Sorry,” she added, seeing Wes wince once more at her shouting at his ear. “But it was in this book, remember?” She quickly turned a couple of pages, before reading.

“‘According to ancient lore, the Relic Stone holds blah blah...It is said that Celebi can blah blah blah...’ basically purify Pokemon, I suppose, like the Relic Stone... Ah, here we go. ‘To meet it however, you must use an item called the ‘Time Flute’ which is all that one needs to bring Celebi to the Relic Forest.’”

“So they mean to take the item which can summon Celebi,” Wes concluded. “Well, that sucks.”

“Quite,” Sherles said quietly. “We also know that they’re preparing to make an attack on Vander as we speak. It’s going to happen at Mt Battle itself, and it’s to happen in a few hours.”

“In a few hours, an attack on someone at Mt Battle is going to occur?” another voice asked suddenly through Sherles’ end of the conversation.

“Who the hell are you?” Sherles barked. “Get out of here! Johnson, do you have a reason for letting this interviewer in when I specifically told you to not let anybody in?”

“But this guy said he was somebody, so I thought it’d be ok...” Johnson began. Rui and Wes exchanged glances.

“You idiot! Now everyone will know and we’ll have interviewers jumping at the scene. I just know it,” Sherles said tiredly.

“Interesting information – who would give it though?” Wes interrupted.

“Maybe a disgruntled employee or something,” Sherles said. “It frequently happens – probably someone not paid enough or something stupid like that. At any rate, we’ve sent a task force to deal with them, and another to Vander’s home just in case. Andrew’s in charge of them and despite his obvious disgruntlement with this whole thing he should be capable, but I’d like you to go and see if you can help out. Just head to Mt Battle, and hopefully there’s nothing behind this. I’m thinking otherwise, though.”

“Ok, Sherles, I’m on my way there,” Wes said, closing his P*DA and terminating the call. He sat down for a moment, rubbing his head in his arms.

“I hate it when I’m right,” Wes finally said. “Cipher’s just going to keep attacking us, and we’re going to have to keep defending, and they’ll tire us out and we’ll all be very very...I don’t know, sad,” he concluded.

“You really are tired, aren’t you?” Rui said with a weak smile.

“I guess. Oh well. I’ll take some coffee with me or something. In which case, I’ll be keeping Yanma in his Pokeball then... anyway, I’m off. You stay behind-”

“No, I’m coming,” Rui said quickly. “There could be Shadow Pokemon there, and...”

‘Ok, fine,” Wes conceded. Hmm, I gave in rather easily... eh. Wouldn’t mind someone to talk to – it’s a few hours drive or something to get there, I think, and we do need her seeing ability, I guess. “Just...be careful.”

“Will you be fine?” Eagun said worriedly.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got Wes to protect me!” Rui said positively, hugging Eagun quickly as Wes shuffled uneasily on the spot. Meanwhile, the woman waiting stepped forward.

“Aren’t we going to check out the centre, or...”

“I’m sorry – we’ll give you your money soon enough – we’ve got to run-” Wes said irritably, before noticing Rui zip out of the room, yelling ‘Onwards to justice, Wes!’ As Wes shrugged, and ran towards the door himself, she reappeared, looking sheepish.

“Um, Eagun... which way is Mt Battle, anyway?”

Eagun quietly pointed through a window, towards a grey, giant mountain, sitting in plain view from where they sat.

“Oh. Thanks. Let’s go, Wes!” Rui said. The two grabbed their bags and Pokeballs and ran out, ignoring the citizens of Agate village who began asking them for a handshake or help with retrieving their Pikachu, running over the bridge by the town’s entrance, and jumping into the Zoomer.

“Right, let’s go – we may not have much time,” Wes said, gunning the engine as it came to life noisily.

“DISHWASHERS! BUY ONE AND GET ONE AT A SLIGHTLY REDUCED PRICE!” it blazed, as the radio also came back on.

“Arrgh!” Wes cried, covering his ears. “I forgot about that...”


***

Behind a small hill of jagged, dusty rocks, a small contingent of Cipher agents stood in a row, looking up at the giant man before them. Behind them, the entrance to the Mt Battle facility stood – the location of their target. They had never worked with the large man before – all they knew was that he had been highly rated by Master Nascour, who had scouted him out as a fantastic muscle-man, or hit-man, so to speak. It wasn’t hard to see why – the red-haired Master Dakim easily towered over them all, built like a Rhydon.

Unfortunately it appeared he also had the attention span and brains of one, never seeming to be one to care about the job at hand. Not to mention, his outfit was rather unusual - not many walked about the desert in a karate gi.

“He was a great man. Yes, he sure was. He taught the man who taught the other guy, who taught the other guy who taught me the art of fighting, man!” Dakim said, beaming enthusiastically at the group.

“Excuse me...” one piped up.

“Quiet, you. He basically invented the art of fighting, he did, and I think he knows a little bit more about it than you do, man!”

“Oh dear, here we go again... I hate this story,” the Cipher grunt muttered to the one next to him in annoyance.

“Then he used his fight money to buy two of every animal,” Dakim continued, grabbing two small rocks and miming them as animals. “And then he put them on a boat, and then he beat the heck out of them, man!”

“Yeah, totally cool, keep talking about your stupid make-believe story,” the man continued to whisper. “Seriously, I hope he can fight as well as how badly he thinks, for if that’s the case then I might forgive Master Nascour for lumping him with us.”

“And that’s why they call it a zoo!” Dakim declared, pausing for effect. “Unless it’s a farm!” he added. “Ok, let me ask you a question. Now, does anyone think they can beat me in a fight?”

The annoyed and talkative Cipher grunt raised his hand up irritably, and got promptly hit on the head by one of Dakim’s oversized fists.

“Wrong! None can defeat me! See?” Dakim pointed out, as the man slumped to the ground.

“Um... Master Dakim?” another said, uneasily eyeing his fallen comrade. “With all due respect, it probably would be a better idea to go over the battle plan, rather than telling us stories and asking us questions unrelated to the plan... and knocking us out, I might add,” he finished quietly. Dakim flashed a wide grin at this – the grunt smiled back worriedly, wondering if Dakim was going to knock him out too.

“Good thinking, soldier! I like a good thinker – I can appreciate that, man. You see, I may not be smart, but I sure can lift up heavy objects!”

“...I’m sure you can,” the grunt replied, unable to keep his eyes away from Dakim’s large and menacing arms.

“Just for that, I’m going to promote you to... Super-Admin!”

“Isn’t that, if such a rank does exist, that is, a higher rank than yourself?” the grunt asked.

“Good point. I’m...going to have to demote you now. Sorry. Now about our plan... Oh, I know. How about this – you go in, and start attacking people with your Pokemon, and I’ll go in and punch stuff, man! Then I’ll find that guy and get that Space Saxophone off of him, and we’ll go back!”

“Time Flute,” another corrected.

“Whatever. Some sort of musical...sound maker thingy. Sound like a good plan, man?”

All of the grunts nodded, happy that Dakim was happy and not hitting them. After all, they probably didn’t need a complex plan for this anyway – it was a pure hit, grab and run operation, and there didn’t seem to be any point arguing with him at any rate.

“Um... may I ask a question, Master Dakim?” one asked quietly. When Dakim nodded, he continued. “I can see you have Pokemon of your own...” he said, pointing to the necklace of Pokeballs Dakim was wearing, “but are you going to use them?” Dakim laughed heartily, and slapped the guy on the back lightly, which caused him to start gasping for breath.

“I don’t think I’ll need them for this job! I usually save them for opponents I deem worthy – for the rest, I’ll just use my fists, man,” he grinned, as he glanced around. “All right, men – you can go on – I’ll be around in a second.” With that, Dakim took a few strides forwards in the wrong direction towards the dead remains of a cactus about as large as himself, the vast majority of the spikes usually found on them gone missing bar on the ‘arms’ of the plant, and began uprooting it.

The grunts stood and stared, dumb-folded.

“Yeah... maybe... we should...move in before he starts hitting us with that for being too slow,” one suggested quietly. The rest agreed, running towards Mt Battle.

***

Meanwhile, a large convoy of cars pulled up by the Mt Battle reception area, from which policeman began pouring out of. The policeman Andrew sighed, getting out of one of the convoy cars they had been sent in to combat Cipher, only to immediately have a gust of wind blow, the sand attacking his face.

“Bleh,” he managed, spitting out some of the grains. Lovely place, this is, he thought drily to himself. Nothing but sand, sand, and more sand. Oh, and those boulders over there.

“Looks like that’s the entrance to Mt Battle,” another said, pointing behind Andrew. It stood out from the rest – suddenly the yellow, gritty sand turned into patches of disorganised green and black to resemble a poorly-made garden, with a pathway intersecting and a few benches scattered about, one right in the middle of a pathway for some unknown reason. Behind it, a small, simple building stood – it was the reception area for the place. Behind it, the ashen-coated mountain towered, the top part disappearing into some low-lying clouds, with glowing bright-orange lava visible from beyond, indicting roughly where the top was – it was well known in Orre that Mt Battle was actually an active volcano. A man was jogging around the place, and upon noticing the sudden arrival of the police contingent, ran over.

“What’s going on? Is anything the matter?” he asked worriedly, while still jogging on the spot.

“Oh good – nothing to worry about yet,” Andrew said loudly to the rest, before turning back to the jogger – it appeared all was fine for the moment. “Well, we have reason to believe that there may be some trouble heading over here, so we’re here to prevent that if anything happens... um, could you stop running like that?” he added irritably.

“I would,” the jogger replied, “but I was hungry so I ate something I found and now I think if I stop running, I’ll die!” With that the man ran off and started running around a patch of grass again.

Andrew shook his head. How stupid can this region get? “Well... looks like we’ve just got to wait. Nothing will probably come from this tip-off and we’ve come all this way for nothing,” he spat, sitting down on a bench. It started creaking loudly in protest, causing Andrew to stand up quickly, afraid it would break.

Stupid region. It’s all so...stupid, Andrew decided with a sigh. Too much sand, nothing to do, and it is rifled with criminal activity. Bah, why did all of the criminal gangs these days have to have aspirations for world domination, seriously? Couldn’t they just go for something less dangerous once in a while, such as trying to eat everyone’s berries from their trees, or aiming to steal everyone’s left shoe?

...no, that’d be rather problematic. I like my left shoes.

I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. No, I’d have had my holiday with my family back home. I had my plan all set up – five weeks in the sun, drinking... something nice, I suppose. And it would have worked as well, if it wasn’t for those meddling kids, Wes and what’s-her-face.

Andrew frowned some more, his face beginning to resemble a scowl Geodude tended to have whenever someone stepped on them when they were sleeping. Oh, sure, it’s not like it’s all that bad that by the end of this Pokemon will stop being made in Shadow Pokemon, and crime could cease in this forsaken place – goodness knows how long Orre has suffered in silence - but if that guy hadn’t had the bright idea to stand up and do something by blowing up that building, then I wouldn’t be over here, away from home standing in the middle of the desert!

It sucked how things seemed to always affect me for the worse. Worst of all, that fool Johnson keeps talking to me, as if he was told to or something. At least Sherles seems to be able to get a handle on things, but Johnson? If I ever hear him talking about how powerful his Magikarp is, or asking me if I knew where milk came from, I’ll...

Suddenly, a gang of people emerged into view from behind a hill of rocks only a few hundred metres away from them. They were all clad in purple, and were heading straight for them – suddenly though, they stopped, noticing the police force.

Both groups looked at each silently, the only noise coming from the footsteps of the jogger, and the howling wind blowing up sand in-between the two.

“It’s Cipher! Get them!” Andrew shouted suddenly, as he and his convey charged forward and threw a large number of Pokeballs at the ground ahead.

“No, we’re innocent!” a woman from the group cried as the police force’s Pokemon materialised, mostly comprising of Growlithe and Arcanine, dog-like Pokemon which began growling furiously, priming themselves for battle, with a few Psychic Pokemon such as Kadabra amongst the group. “We didn’t do nothing legal. I mean, illegal!”

Andrew frowned, and then put up a hand to show the others to wait for a moment. “Then who are you?”

“We’re a fundraising group for charity! We sell cookies!” she added, waving boxes in the air clearly marked ‘Cookies – Buy One To Raise Funds For The Defenceless Magikarp’ in large letters.

“Oh,” Andrew finally acknowledged.

Suddenly, another group emerged behind the charity group, also clad in purple, singing a chant as they approached.

“We are Cipher, we are here, something something we like beer! Gonna go kick up a fuss, all your base are belong to us...” they sung, before trailing off into silence, noticing the Police force.

“Oh, bugger,” one of them added quietly. ‘I told Dakim we should have saved the singing for later...”

“Ok, that’s Cipher!” Andrew cried. “GET THEM!” With that, the charge resumed, the army of police Pokemon moving in, while the Cipher agents grabbed their own Pokeballs and chucked them as well, their own Pokemon quickly joining in the fight. Noticing they were in the middle of the beginning battle, the charity group screamed and ran for cover, frantically throwing cookies about to try and protect themselves.

“Organise yourselves, men!” Andrew bellowed. “Get your Pokemon into formation! Psychic Pokemon, move to the rear and begin those defence fields – Reflect and Light Screen, now! Growlithe and Arcanine, charge forward and begin with Heat Wave!”

“Kill them all!” shouted one of the Cipher grunts bluntly. Their Pokemon met the oncoming wave of red, as the Growlithe and Arcanine began firing off Heat Wave attacks.

“Now focus on taking down one Pokemon at a time!” Andrew commanded. Everyone else began shouting commands to the psychic Pokemon, who took part of their focus off the barrier of light they were creating to convey the commands clearly to each Pokemon, organising them into a dangerous pack.

Andrew smiled. Looks like this will be over quickly – as the Heat Wave attacks hit each other as well as our opponents, their fire attacks will merely get stronger thanks to their Flash Fire ability! I do love a good strategy, he thought to himself, observing Cipher’s Pokemon begin to crumble under the siege of fire. The mass of red would converge onto a Pokemon and take it down, while the others had trouble fighting back, as the heat generated by the group made it nigh impossible for a direct approach to be made.

“Doesn’t anyone of us have a water Pokemon!?” a Cipher grunt cried in anguish, watching his Pokemon fall, as Andrew’s grin grew.

“The guy who Dakim knocked out did, I believe...” another replied.

Then he frowned. From behind the group, a large figure appeared – unlike the rest, he was clad in white – they looked like pyjamas. He was far away, but strangely he seemed almost double the height of the rest as he came closer, if not more. It was almost as more startling as the fact that he appeared to be wielding a cactus.

What the hell? Andrew thought.

A Growlithe also took notice of the man, and charged at him, but he only smiled.

“Aha! Some action! I always like a good fight,” he bellowed, before using the cactus like a baseball bat, hitting the Growlithe into the air back the way it came, as it yelped in surprise.

Oh my god! He swatted that Growlithe like a toy!

Suddenly the tide turned – the Cipher agents seemed to gain confidence with the man’s arrival and began fighting back, as he walked right through the battle, swinging the cactus.

“Quick, focus your attacks on him!” Andrew decided, realising the newcomer was an unusual threat. The Psychic Pokemon dropped their wall and began hurriedly sending messages to the rest of them before beginning.

“Have your Pokemon make it easier for me, men!” Dakim shouted, and they responded, throwing themselves against the new concentrated wave of canines, who suddenly found themselves on the back foot as Dakim moved forward.

“Oh look, there’s the entrance,” Dakim suddenly announced, and with that he broke into a run, catching everyone unawares by bursting toward through the defence line. With the barriers down he had no trouble running past, and as the rest of Cipher’s Pokemon pushed forward, the Psychic Pokemon found themselves under pressure, having to abandon any plan to contain Dakim.

This can’t be possible...suddenly some giant came here and is fighting against our Pokemon with a cactus, and is winning? Have I gone mad? Andrew wondered to himself, in-between shouting orders at his Pokemon. And that sound... who’s that shouting in the background? Very faintly, he could hear....advertisements?

DISHWASHERS! IF YOU HAVENT BOUGHT ONE YET, YOU MUST BE MAD! MAYBE NOT AS MAD AS THE MAD HATTER BECAUSE HE’S JUST MAD! BUT YOU’LL BE CRAZY NOT TO BUY OUR CHICKEN-FLAVOURED DISHWASHERS!”

Yep, I’ve gone mad, Andrew thought to himself. Oh well. He turned around, and scowled – a vehicle was approaching the battle, which was blazing ads of all things. Within it was that annoying guy in blue, and the girl who could see whether a Pokemon was Shadow or not. Right, this is just too strange. Why the hell are they here!

“We’re here to help!” the girl cried, frantically throwing out Pokeballs at people. “Go hit them... and stuff!” Rui ordered, as new Pokemon joined the fight.

Well, that’s useful, I suppose... but why is she wearing pyjamas here? Chibi-Pokemon-patterned ones at that?

“Hey, look at that...” the girl said slowly, pointing to the large cactus-wielding person, as Wes slammed the brakes and hopped out of the Zoomer.

“Yikes... he’s a giant... and he’s heading towards the entrance there! We better follow him, although if it came down to it I doubt we could stop him... C’mon, Rui!” he said, running off. “Go and punch everyone you can see, Makuhita!” he added, tossing a Pokeball which landed at Andrew’s feet, Makuhita springing forth.

“Wes, why are there cookies on the ground?” Rui yelled as they ran.

“No idea!” he shouted back.

“Maku!” (Can do!) Makuhita cried, before he turned around and punched Andrew in the gut.

“Not me – I’m on your side, idiot!” Andrew gasped, doubling over. Makuhita frowned.

“Mahuhita. Maku – HITA!” (He said ‘punch everyone you can see’. I can see you – so DIE!) Makuhita reasoned, punching Andrew again before running off to attack everyone else.

***

Dakim calmly strode up the steps and ducked his head so he would fit through the door into the building, ignoring the jogger outside who stared at his size. He quickly surveyed the room – only a few people were in the room, with a nurse manning the healing machine to the left who seemed to have awoken from her slumber when he arrived. Noticing another door straight in front of him with a sign stating it led to the challenge area for Mt Battle, he moved onwards, pushing aside the man who stood there and went in, walking right through the closed door.

“Oi! You need to register before going there! Why the hell did you break our door? We paid good money to have that installed, you know!” the nurse snapped. “Get back here, you deaf oaf! No cacti are allowed – it’s against the rules!” Meanwhile, Wes and Rui burst in.

“Man...he’s... fast... where did he go...” Wes panted, also looking around. The nurse quietly pointed to the door, and Wes began again, running through with Rui close behind.

“Hey! Don’t you two go running off as well without filling out this form!” she shouted, but to no avail. “Bloody people these days, don’t they ever know to follow the rules? And why the hell is it so noisy outside, anyway?” she said to herself, moving to the window to peer outside. “Oh, for goodness sakes...” she opened it and hollered out.

“Look, I know you all like to practise and all, but keep it down, will you? Some of us are trying to sleep here!” With that, she retired to her desk with a scowl.

Wes proceeded onwards through a long corridor, grabbing two Pokeballs and sending out Espeon and Umbreon.

“Umbreon...” (Something tells me we’re no longer in Agate...) Umbreon said, breaking into a quick run to keep up with Wes.

“Espeon,” (You don’t say,) Espeon responded dryly before running himself, while focusing his powers on Wes’ thoughts and relaying them to Umbreon so they knew what was going on.

“Umbre, Umbreon- Umb?” (Right, we’re chasing a giant man with a cactus to stop him stealing a Time Flute from a guy called Vander- wait, what?) Umbreon said.

“I’m guessing you already found out why... we’re here, huh?” Wes said, still a bit lost for breath. “Well, it’s certainly true, so don’t go about thinking I’m crazy... look, there he is!” Wes shouted, pointing at Dakim as they rounded a corner, who seemed to be out of the corridor, outside and approaching a person standing on a circular platform.

As they came towards the end of the corridor, Rui gasped at the sight before them. The pathway narrowed, only extending every so often whenever it reached a large circular platform – but the main feature of the place was that it was impossibly suspended several feet in the air above the foot of the mountain, the platforms kept up by a giant propeller spinning rapidly underneath.

“How the...” Wes began, before catching sight of a sign by the end of the corridor.


PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE PLATFORMS – NO RUNNING OR BREAKDANCING PERMITTED

BE CAREFUL NOT TO LET YOUR POKEMON FALL DOWN – HAVE YOUR POKEBALLS AT THE READY SO YOU CAN RECALL THEM


Thinking about how the platforms stay up in the air is severely discouraged.


“Umb, Umbreon...” (I’m sorry, my mind already broke...) Umbreon said, gazing at the infrastructure and then at the gray, jagged rocks of Mt Battle below them.

“Espeon,” (Even this confuses me...) Espeon admitted, before they continued forward after Dakim, who was currently talking to the man on the first spacious platform.

“Hello, and welcome to the Mt Battle challenge...” the young boy on the platform began, stopping when he looked up and saw Dakim, who was currently comparing the boy’s face with a photograph.

“I don't think I'll need this any more," Dakim declared, throwing away his cactus before pulling out a photograph with a name written on it. "Are you the first area leader of this place, first name ‘Vander’, second name... what does that say?” Dakim asked, trying to read out the surname.

“You’re...big,” the boy responded.

“...nah, man – you look too fat,” Dakim concluded, before grinning.

“Hey – I’m not fat-” the boy began.

“If you’re not, then show me your moves!” Dakim challenged. As the boy looked back at Dakim blankly, Dakim suddenly brought his fist back, and threw it forward.

“You’re too slow! Out of my way! DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” Dakim yelled, connecting with his punch before running onwards.

“Holy...” Wes said. “He just... Espeon, do something!” Wes said, as the boy went into the air.

“Help! I’m flyinggggggggggg!” he cried.

“Espeon!” (I’m on it!) Espeon said, making use of his Psychic powers to stop the boy from moving any closer towards the edge of the platform, lowering him down gently.

“He’s just going up and punching random strangers! How can he?” Rui wailed, feeling helpless about the situation. Meanwhile, Dakim’s voice bellowed from the next platform.

“Is your name Vander?” Dakim asked of the next person.

“No, it isn’t. First, you have to battle me, because it’s the rules,” he added as Dakim turned to leave. Dakim turned around at that, and grinned.

“DAKIM KICK!” Dakim shouted, this time kicking the person.

Squarely in the face.

“YES!” Dakim said, proud of his strength, moving onwards as the other man fell down, luckily staying on his platform as well.

“Whoever designed this places deserves to be shot, seriously,” Wes muttered as they desperately ran forward, trying to catch up to Dakim, who was at the third platform. Luckily, the person there had noticed his actions, and had caught on.

“Don’t hurt me! Vander is on platform ten!” he cried, before sprinting past Dakim and Wes’ group back to the reception area.

“Thanks, man!” Dakim shouted back, before noticing his pursuers. “Hmm, I better get a move on...” With that, Dakim took a run up, and jumped a gap to the next platform, leaving Wes and Rui to gasp in awe.

“Great, it turns out we’re chasing after Spiderman,” Wes commented dryly. I don’t think even a professional long-jumper would be able to clear that gap with ease...and now he has a clear lead on us. Great.

“Umbreon,” (Man, imagine if I dropped an egg off from here,) Umbreon muttered.

“Esp.” (Shut up.)

“Umbreon, umb-” (But seriously, if I dropped an egg from here, it’d just go ‘SPLAT’, just like that-)

“Espeon! Esp!” (I said SHUT UP! Or you’ll go splat!) Espeon warned.
The group and Dakim moved forward, approaching the tenth platform as everyone else evacuated, careful to avoid Dakim and stay out of his way. A mere two minutes later, Dakim had reached the tenth platform, to meet a lone figure, while the rest were hurriedly following, only at the eighth one.

“This was the tenth...no, wait, ninth. Wait... what number platform is this?” Dakim asked, scratching his head. “Oh, I see,” he added, noticing the large number ‘10’ written onto the tiling of the platform. “Is your name Vander?” Dakim begin, again taking a look at the photograph he had in his hand.

“Yes, I am. I mean, yes, it is,” Vander confirmed, quickly but quietly. He was of a small frame, and looked up at Dakim uneasily, observing his muscles and martial art attire.

“Ok. Now, hand over the Money Piano,” Dakim demanded, holding out one hand.

“...I think you mean the Time Flute?” Vander said, confused.

“Whatever, man. I’m kinda in a rush here, so please hand it over,” Dakim said with a smile. “Otherwise, I may have to punch you, and I don’t really like punching people if I can avoid it... the two who did were too slow, and as I said, I’m in a rush.”

“Yes... well... unfortunately, I don’t believe I have it here.”

“...what? That’s not allowed. You’re meant to have it here,” Dakim complained, as Wes and Rui finally caught up, careful to keep their distance for the moment to catch their breath and observe the conversation.

“It’s... at home, you see,” Vander said. “I’m not about to take such a precious item here every time I come for battles, you know...”

“I guess you have a point...” Dakim said.

“And by now there would probably be a police presence there too,” Vander added nervously. “I gather that’s why all those police sirens were blazing only some minutes ago outside of here... so if we can talk this out calmly-”

“No calm talking! Only rage!” Dakim shouted. “DAKIM PAWWUNCH!” he yelled, once again raising his arms and punching out.

“Espeon, use Reflect!” Wes ordered, as Espeon quickly summoned up a shimmering barrierin front of Vander -

- only for Dakim’s punch to go straight through it as if it hadn’t been there at all, and connect with Vander’s chest. He gasped, and then fell down.

“No!” Rui shouted, unsure whether to go and help or not. Dakim then turned around and observed the newcomers.

“Umbreon!” (Oh no, the man knows Brick Break!)

“Don’t worry, lady,” he said softly. “It’s nothing bad, actually – my punch merely struck him so that he would have trouble breathing. He’ll feel better in a while... but if you rather not...hey, I know you!” Dakim cried, noticing Wes who took a frightened step back.

“Look, I don’t want to fight you or anything-” Wes began.

“Umbreon!” (Yes, we have to go... um, buy a dishwasher!) Umbreon exclaimed hurriedly, not noticing that the advertising from the Zoomer’s radio had affected him.

“You’re Wes, man! The guy who blew up Team Snagem! Man, that must have been cool!” Dakim then struck out a hand, offering Wes a handshake.

Wes blinked. “Umm...”

“No, it’s ok! Anyone that could have made Master Nascour fret about so much has my respect! You’ve made yourself quite the worthy opponent for us – even defeating Miror B! You’re pretty cool, man!” Wes cautiously shook Dakim’s hand for a short moment, carefully watching. Seems this guy holds a good deal of respect for me, even though I’m his enemy... well, I guess I just won’t question it, Wes thought quietly.

“But this brings about a dilemma,” Dakim said quietly. “It looks like this whole mission is a lost cause... yet I have Vander here, who I could kidnap and hold ransom for the...flute thingy.”

Thanks for telling me your ideas, then... looks like he’s brawn over brains as well, Wes noted.

“But seeing as it appears you are my current obstacle, and although my enemy, the most worthy of them... I think this calls for a Pokemon Battle.” With that, Dakim grinned. “I do not believe you will win, but perhaps you could entertain me. Only Master Nascour has been able to defeat me – but if you do, I shall leave without Vander. And if I win-”

“I...understand,” Wes interjected, jumping at the offer. He had faith in his Pokemon, and although he had gotten into a few street fights years before, he knew that he stood as much chance beating Dakim in a fight as a Sunkern with paralysis had against an army of Crobat whose sole purpose in life were to beat up Sunkern. “If you insist, we’ll battle with our Pokemon.”

Dakim grinned. “Then it’s agreed! May the best man win. Needless to say...” he added, “that person is me, man.”

***

END CHAPTER YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


I hope you enjoyed that, particularly after my break... well, comment away!

And as for how this relates to the game:
Spoiler:


The Day-Care centre - there's one in the game in Agate Village, which unlike others only takes one Pokemon at a time for unknown reasons. But it does take Shadow Pokemon, which will slowly become purified if you have the time to leave it there. And the money. The stuff about the rocks eggs and nobody realising what they were is a jab to all of those NPCs in the Pokemon games not realising where Pokemon came from. INCLUDING ELM.

Mt Battle request - in the game, once you save the Relic stone, instead of being urged to purify Pokemon first, you're told to go straight to Mt Battle as there's an emergency there. All of a sudden the game throws a million events at you after that lull in activity setting up the plot some more.

Mt Battle - the front of the place is a garden with a small reception area, leading to the mountain itself. It's quite a neat-looking place - it's a 100-trainer battle challenge where you have to beat the next person to get closer to the top of the mountain - at stages you go inside it and observe lava flowing within, and the last battle occurs on top, upon a platform floating on lava. Cool stuff. The platforms are rather un-safe looking though - if your Pokemon (or yourself) were to be pushed off the edge, it'd be goodbye, and SPLAT. (Of course that never happens in the game).

Cipher - they come and invade Mt Battle. In true game-style, rather than battle any police forces (which, if you recall, I added into the story along with Andrew), you battle them on Mt Battle, one by one - 9 battles to get up to Dakim. Not very realistic.

Dakim - the first time your character meets him - in fact, the first time he is seen in the game. Makes for a scary sight - an intimidating face, height, and all. Plus, in the opening scene with him, he punches Vander out because he won't hand over the Time Flute. When you show up rather than punching you out too, he challenges you to a battle. An interesting one at that... His Captain Falcon-inspired antics were suggested by Chris_the_Com.

Vander - the first Area Leader of Mt Battle, who also happens to have a Time Flute, which is an item you can use to summon Celebi to completely purify any Shadow Pokemon at any stage. He has the fun role of getting punched out and lying on the ground for the time being.
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Sheep in the Big City: General Specific

Last edited by bobandbill; October 2nd, 2009 at 10:21 PM.