Technicallyyyyy, it's not even Sunday yet, but honestly I just feel like releasing this now. It's only forty-eight minutes early, technically. :p 'least in my timezone.
Chapter Five is where some action picks up. We get the battle of Beth vs. Blue, and continue on with Sierra vs. Matt: and during the battle of Beth vs. Blue, something... odd happens!
"Backed me in a corner, huh, Joyson?" Sierra whispered. "Fine. Come at me."
Matt let a smile cross his lips. "Let your Bulbasaur's 'tude shine through? No thanks. If a Pokemon is incapable of battle, and your only other one is unconscious... well, looks like you lose, Sierra."
Sierra stomped on the ground again, earning her a glare from Venus. But this angry force had a second, more positive effect.
"Bulba! Bulba bulba, saur saur basaur," Venus muttered, climbing up to her feet.
Matt had a feeling that this meant something along the lines of, "Fine! Come on woman, get it over with."
Sierra seemed only more infuriated. Matt figured it was about time he stop his taunting smiles before he got a faceful of frustrated woman. "About time! Come on, Vine Whip!" she said.
'It's not gonna do much,' Matt observed in his thoughts. 'It's a grass attack against a fire-type.'
However, Venus seemed to be quite the proficient markswoman. Her vines sprouted from her bulb and swiped forcefully across the raking scratch marks from Ali's Fury Swipes attack, and Matt knew that probably hurt. A lot. But Blair was still standing, albeit with a bit of a staggering, swerving posture. This was going to end soon.
"Use Ember, Blair!" Matt shouted. "Put as much force into it as you can! Make it hot!"
This seemed to make Venus's attitude heighten a smidge, bracing herself for an attempt to dodge. But those burning particles, while not particularly large, were still moving fast, and a multitude of them collided with Venus's leg. The embers then fell to the ground, but the remains of their heat were evident- reddened, slightly bleeding skin was left. Matt couldn't help but smile at this. It was a burn, a status affliction that almost always ended up cutting down the Pokemon's attack power.
"Crap," was all Sierra could muster.
"Gonna give up, Sierra?" Matt asked.
"...In your dreams, Matt!" Sierra responded.
Matt smiled. "Okay, then. Wonder what your plan is- Oh, that explains a lot, doesn't it..."
Sierra was now kneeling in front of her backpack, pulling out a small yellow syringe. She approached Venus with it, placing a hand on her bulb.
"This is gonna hurt," she murmured. "But it'll make it feel better. Trust me."
Venus took one look at the needle and began to quiver. Sierra stroked her head gently, trying to calm this while she slid the needle into the injured patch of skin and pressed down on the top. Within a few moments, the redness disappeared, and Sierra gently withdrew the needle, tossing it into a nearby wastebasket.
Venus looked up at Sierra for a moment, and Matt saw a small smile flash at the Bulbasaur's face before disappearing. She turned back to face Blair.
"Alright, Blair," Matt said. "Official League rules state the usage of items takes up a turn. Let's- Blair... eh." Matt took one look at the heaving form of the Charmander, and removed its Pokeball from his belt. "Come on back."
Sierra looked at him for a moment. Then, she finally spoke up, a tone of confusion evident in her voice. "Did you just give up?"
Matt smiled wider. "Did you really think I only had one Pokemon?"
Beth looked at the Pokemon Blue had just sent out with a mild interest. It was rather large for the Pokemon she had seen, measuring in at about a third of her own height of 5'2", she estimated. It had two drill-like appendages attached to thin black arms, a yellow body with black stripes across it. Its wings buzzed furiously behind it, its large red eyes focused on Beth's Squirtle, Shelly.
"Alright, Beedrill," Blue said. "Pretty obvious you're the faster of the two. Start things off with a simple jab attack."
Beedrill buzzed forward, and before Shelly could start to make a move to defend herself, the drill-like arm appendage was thrust into her stomach. It connected hard, but Shelly managed to stay standing, a thin layer of blood trickling down her shell.
"Oh! Shelly, are you okay? Uhm... use..." Feeling just like someone had done a similar thing somewhere else, Beth realized she didn't know that many of Shelly's attacks. She quickly retrieved her Pokedex from her backpack, and examined her list of techniques. One of which included Withdraw.
"Alright! Use Withdraw, Shelly," Beth said, and Shelly obeyed, drawing her arms, legs and tail into her shell. She suddenly hit the ground.
"Pretty smart," blue admitted. "Not too many newbies tend to tink of strategy. All-out offensive power is their tactic,and-"
Beth allowed herself one of her signature shy smiles. "...that never works."
"Exactly! Now, Beedriill, flip that shell into the air and fire a Fury Attack at it! Scare that Squirtle right ut of its hiding spot!"
Beedrill rushed forward, slipping one of its stiners beneath Shelly, flipping her upward. As Shelly began to descend, Beedrill met her at the halfway point, thrusting its stingers repeatedly into a single spot on the shell. Beth saw cracks begin to form in it, and her heart began to beat hard. "Oh, no..." She didn't know wehtehr or not a Squirtle's shell culd ever be replaced if it was broken. Did it, by some chance, cripple them? No- did it... kill them?
She shut her eyes and let loose a firm, forceful hwol. "Shelly! Come ut of your shell and use the opportuniy to get a close up attack on Beedrill! QUICK!"
Shelly responded with sudden swqiftness. Blue looked shocked at this-- her hands were the first thing to come ut, grasping the bee Pokemon and holding it in place. Then her head popped out, followed by her legs, and she spat out a Bubble attack at point blank range. The Beedrill begin to fall, Shelly clinging close to it. Beedrill hit the ground with Shelly's weight pushing it down further, and Shell leaped off, fine for having used the bee Pokemon as a cushion for her fall. She ran over to Beth's front and gave hr a knowing glance, before turning back to Blue, watchig as Beedrill slowly lifted upward, conscious- but, judging fromthe shaky pattern of fliht, barely.
Blue looked at her for a moment, then gave her a quick grin. "Your Squirtle is pretty loyal," he said. "I'm impressed."
"Thanks..." Beth murmured.
"Now, I know when a Pokemon will be beat. Beedrill will be exiting the mtch, now." With those words, PidgeBot fluttered up into the air in between the two fighting Pokemon, declaring, "Leader withdraws his Pokemon! That Pokemon can no longer be used in battle!"
Beedrill was then withdrawn, and Blue nodded to PidgeBot, who returned to his spot a slight distance from Beth.
The next Pokemon Blue sent out was one she recognized. It had been at his little table in the restaraunt, the small, blue humanoid worker Pokemon with a pronounced muscular frame. It was a common worker Pokemon, so she even knew its name by heart: Machop.
"Machop here is my secret weapon for newbies such as yourself," Blue said, a smile still playing at his lips, threatening to come on at any given moment. "Let me give you a little tip: don't underestimate him."
Beth saw a twinkle in his eyes that reenforced her belief in the fact that he wasn't giving her that advice to scare her, but to warn her. She looked at Shelly, trying to ignore the now slightly chipped shell on her back, and gave her a firm nod.
"Time for round two, Beth Scott!" Blue exclaimed. "Machop, use Seismic Toss!"
His next Pokemon didn't surprise her. Of course it presented another typology disadvantage on Sierra's end, but he had to find it through such commonplace creatures. Taunting her, Sierra had long since convinced herself. He was most definitely taunting her, trying to infuriate her, as he always had in their little rivalry.
"Breezy," Matt said, adressing the Pokemon in front of him. "Use Gust."
Breezy was a small, brown Pokemon with piercing sharp eyes, slightly tan wings and a pronounced orange beak. Her species was a Pidgey, a common bird that could be seen almost anywhere within the Indigo continent.
She began to flap her wings at a steadily rising pace, gusts of wind beingn whipped up by the forced- tiny, ineffective ones on their own, but with the ending move, a broad-winged flap, they combined together to form a large gust that picked up small rocks and twigs along the way, and no matter how quickly Venus tried to move out of the way, she couldn't dodge the wind. It hit her, rocks and twigs cutting against her skin, causing tiny little lacerations to appear mainly around her sides. None of them bled, but the steady pain must have been a *****. Sierra sympathized with her Pokemon, but wasn't about to recall her.
"Venus! Vine Whip! Try and whack away at those wings!"
Venus looked to her trainer for a moment, taking some time to either register or gain the will to follow the commands issued to her. But she eventually did, the bulb on her back opening just for a moment to reveal two vines, each one reaching out in wiggling motion to slap at the wings of the bird. Breezy didn't seem to be that effected; quite the opposite, in fact. She almost seemed to enjoy it.
"...Venus," Sierra murmured. "Hey, Venus! Vine Whip my arm. Just do it."
Venus turned to face Sierra, and for this, she oddly showed no signs of hesitation. The bulb opened again, and Sierra felt one slap lightly against her arm, feeling more like a gentle touch than the force of a whip.
Venus wouldn't last in battle much longer. Sierra knew she was defeated now: there was no way around it. Better to lose to your own degree than lose by your opponent. She took Venus's Pokeball, and returned her.
She looked at Matthew Joyson for a moment, and almost couldn't stop herself from frowning.
"You win this round, Matt," she said. "But I'm gonna trainer harder! Faster, too! And then... well, then, I'm gonna beat your backside down into the ground. Understand?"
Matt stuck his arm out, and Sierra watched as the Pidgey in front of him was recaptured by a blast of red light. He smiled his signature, taunting smile and then nodded. "Well, Sierra... I'd like to see you try."
Machop leaped into the air, grabbing onto one of Shelly's stubby arms in the process and bringing her up with him. He hugged her as close to his chest as possible, and as he began to fall, he tilted himself until he was totally upside down. Then, at the last moment he released the struggling Squirtle, flipping to the side and landing safely, while the less experienced tiny turtle Pokemon crashed into the ground headfirst.
It was pretty obvious that Shelly wasn't going to get back up from that for some time.
Beth extended her arm, pressing the release switch on the Pokeball, returning Shelly to her home for a while with a flash of red light. Moments later, she repeated the proccess- but with a different ball that sent out a white light this time around, a light that materialized into the small, tan form of Buck.
"Alright, Buck!" Beth started. "Time to kick some butt!"
"A Mankey, huh?" Blue observed. "Well, seems it's a fighter versus a fighter. Wonder which one will win?"
"Buck, start this run off with a simple Fury Swipes!" Beth's mind was focused on getting the waters tested, for now: she wanted to see just how well Buck could do against an experienced fighter like this Machop.
Buck took one look at the Machop and seemed to be infuriated. He rushed forward and skidded to a stop right in front of Machop, using his tiny paws to deliver fierce scratches toward his torso. Machop walked backward a step with each blow, but Buck moved forward a step in the proccess, leaving him virtually unable to dodge. After a few moments though, Machop realized he should take advantage of the close proximity.
"Karate Chop!" Blue ordered.
Machop quickly ducked beneath one of the scratch attacks, costing him some skin on the back of his neck but gave him some room to deliver a quick, decisive blow toward the stomach. The forceful chop caused Buck to stagger backward and fall onto his back. For a moment, he didn't move, and Beth's heart began to pound in her throat. She shut her eyes, and began to breathe steadily. Her muscles loosened and then suddenly contracted, causing her to shake slightly, and then nothing. No movement. She saw through closed eyes. All that she saw was a black void around her, as well as its two inhabitants: herself and the Machop. She realized suddenly that she was in Buck's body, or she was at least in his likeness.
"Buck," she said. "Stand up and use Focus Energy."
She felt an odd calm in her voice. She pressed her hands against the ground and pulled herself up to her feet, and then once again let her muscles loosen. Her wild anger was forgotten, and she merely stood there.
She heard Blue try to say something, but it came out inaudible, little more than steady whisps of wind escaping his lips. Machop approached her and delivered a firm punch forward. She felt it connect with her leg, but it didn't seem to effect her much. At least, she felt no pain. She spoke again.
"Now, Karate Chop."
And suddenly, she felt herself falling. Down to her knees she went, and then she was back into reality, feeling as if someone had directly knocked her in the stomach, the wind punched out of her. She couldn't breathe. Her short hair was matted to her head by sweat, and her muscles were tense to the point of pain.
Blue looked at her for a moment. "Hey! You alright?" She could read hesitance in his voice, as if he wasn't sure whether or not to do something.
She forced herself to stand up and examine the battle field. Buck had just finished delivering a blow to the Machop, apparently- he stood in a victorious, fist-pumping pose, while the Machop stood with shaky breathing, one of its eyes squinted.
"Yes," she said. "Must have tripped over a rock or something... I didn't get hurt too bad."
Her mind was in scatters. She didn't know what the heck just happened, but she knew she would have to try and focus elsewhere.
"Well, just sayin', you signed the agreement," Blue said. "Anyways, Machop. I think you can make one more move, right?"
"Then I want you to put your fighting spirit into this one. Use Low Kick and combo it with a Karate Chop!"
Machop was putting his heart into this one, apparently. A firm running start occurred, and within seconds, Machop was sliding- right into Buck, knocking his feet out from under him and sending him ever-so-slightly into the air. Then, with as much precision as he could muster, Machop thrust his hand directly into Buck's gut.
Buck was sent flying. He landed on the ground, but managed to struggle back to his feet.
The two were standing, both on their last breaths of consciousness. Both fighters were almost on the verge of victory... it all depended on who tuckered out first.
Beth let a weary smiile cross her lips. "Blue, I-"
Machop fell forward, and did not make any movements to get back up.
"Well then," Blue said. He had a smile on his face, though that twinkle of worry was still evident in his eyes, seeing her panting, as well as the pale color of her skin. "Looks like you win, Beth Scott." He returned Machop, then approached her, placing one hand on her shoulder and the other on his belt. He removed a small, green feather-shaped piece of metal from a case attached to it, and handed it to Beth. "Looks like you win the Earth Badge."