Thread: [Pokémon] Champion Game [M]
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Old June 24th, 2011 (04:33 AM). Edited June 24th, 2011 by Misheard Whisper.
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Misheard Whisper Misheard Whisper is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Fancy stuff in the morning bleeh (also fix formatting and stuff. Really want to chuck this up now, but dangit I am tired.) Actual writing quality is not compromised, because this has been done for weeks now.

Chapter Ten
Guerra de Roca

Thankfully, the car arrived at the Rustboro Gym in record time, sliding into the carpark barely ten minutes after it had left Devon. Of course, this meant that Ren still had to endure ten minutes of teasing and awkward questions from his younger cousin. He was quite glad to step out of the car.

The driver offered to wait for them, but Ren demurred; the train station was only a block or two away. Once the car had left, Ren turned to face the Rustboro Gym and the memories came flooding back.

The building was fashioned after a large chunk of brown rock, with broken spires and chunks of stone pointing off in strange directions. It looked to be about two stories tall, though Ren knew that inside it was just one huge space. It sat on its own section, somewhat dwarfed by the heavy commercial buildings on either side but still managing to stand out and look quite imposing.


It had looked far scarier when he had first turned up three years ago. He had only had two badges then, and his Pokemon team had been much less experienced. The building had seemed to grow larger as he had walked towards it; so much so, in fact, that he had gotten dizzy looking up at it from in front of the door and needed to sit down.


He felt no such compulsion now as he strode towards the red double doors, feet crunching on the gravel. At his approach, the doors groaned open automatically, making him pause for a moment. They hadn't done that before. Nevertheless, Ren stepped inside, making sure that Natasha was with him before the doors closed.

Inside, Ren found himself in a familiar foyer. Surprisingly modern and chic compared to the rough outside of the Gym, it was spacious and comfortable, lit with soft uplights placed around the walls. A young man sat behind a desk at the back of the room, next to the door that led to the battlefield. He looked up as the doors closed behind Ren, and his eyes went wide. “Master Goodwin, sir! The new Champion!” he exclaimed, hurrying out from behind his deck to approach Ren. “Is that you?”

I'm pretty sure it is,” Ren said. “Is Roxanne around?”

Not yet, but she's due any minute to do the standard daily checks before she goes off to teach her class.”

Ren frowned. “Isn't it Sunday?”

Yes, but she is handling a weekend class of older students. The class doesn't begin until nine thirty, though, so you should have time for . . . er. What is it you're here for, anyway?”

I'd like a battle,” Ren grinned. “Is that allowed?”

I . . . think so. There's nothing in the rules about it,” Roxanne's secretary muttered anxiously, shuffling quickly over to his desk and digging through a stack of important-looking papers with all the care one would have afforded a pile of dead leaves. “I guess you'd have to ask Miss Roxanne when she arrives,” he said. “It is, after all, ultimately up to her whether she wants to battle.”

Of course,” Ren agreed. “I'll wait. But in the meantime, do you have some water? I'm parched.”

Ah, of course, sir,” the secretary said awkwardly. “I'll just, uh, go and find some.” He backed out of the room through a side door, nodding his head in Ren's direction.

Ren sighed and flopped down onto one of a row of red plastic chairs that had been lined up against the wall, patting the one next to him. “C'mon, 'Tash. Sit down for a few minutes.”

This is fun, Ren! Are you gonna battle your girlfriend now?”

Ren sighed again. “I already told you, she's not my girlfriend.”

Won't she get mad and break up with you if you beat her?” Natasha asked, ignoring what Ren had said.

That's not an issue because she's not my girlfriend,” Ren said through gritted teeth.

Sure,” Natasha smirked.

Ren felt she was going to say something else, but he was spared by the front door of the Gym grinding open again. He stood up quickly. “Roxanne?”

The Gym Leader blinked in confusion. “R-Ren?”

Hey,” he said, suddenly devoid of words for some reason.

What are you doing here?”

Why else does a Trainer come to a Gym?” he asked. “Got time for a battle?”

I – yes. Yes, of course,” Roxanne smiled. “Just, um . . . give me five minutes, would you? I have to check on my Pokemon.”

Of course,” Ren said, sitting down again as Roxanne hurried towards the door her secretary had gone through just moments before.

She's totally into you,” Natasha advised him, nodding sagely.

Oh, give it a rest. She's, like, two years older than me or something anyway.”

That doesn't mean anything these days,” Natasha said dismissively.

What sort of TV programs have you been watching?” Ren asked in disgust, poking her in the ribs. “You haven't been watching the gossip channel again, have you?”

Natasha squeaked and wriggled away from his finger. “No, I haven't! But come on, you big dummy. I can tell she likes you.”

That's not true,” Ren said. “Could you please not talk about it, anyway? Especially in front of her?”

Ooh, what's that? Ren doesn't want to be embarrassed in front of his girlfriend?” Natasha giggled.

Ren stared at her for a moment. “You know, you're a lot different to how you used to be,” he said. “You're still completely mad, but you've grown up a bit.”

I try,” she said. “You've can't call me mad, though, Mr. Run-away-from-home-to-be-a-Trainer!”

I didn't run away from home!” Ren protested.

You might as well have,” Natasha sulked. “You just left all of a sudden. I thought you were coming back!”

I did! I'm back now, aren't I?”

Sort of. But it took you five years. I was lonely.”

Ren didn't really know quite what to say to that, so he fell silent and watched a clock on the opposite wall, listening to its soft ticking while he thought about what his cousin had said.

It was true, of course, that he had left very suddenly. It had been less than a week after his tenth birthday when he had packed up his things and set out. He hadn't wasted any time, that was for sure. He hadn't wanted to. Sometimes, he had decided, things just had to be done, and for him, that was . . . of course. Champion.

And now he'd done it. He imagined that he would be able to spend some more time at home, of course, but . . . it wouldn't be nearly as much as he would like. It was strange, really. He had set out just short of five years ago, full of the desire for adventure, but now . . . now, somehow, all he really wanted was to stay at home.

No. That wasn't what he'd come here for today, he reminded himself. He was here to battle. Hopefully it would clear his head a little, but even if it didn't, it would be good to stretch his battling muscles again. The last battle he had participated in had been the deciding battle at the Pokemon League. It had only been three days ago, but he hadn't gone so long without a battle for years.

At length, Roxanne reappeared. “All right, I'm done. Come through to the battlefield.”

Ren rose silently, following her through the large door and down a spacious hallway. As he walked, the walls turned to stone, growing rougher and rougher as they did so. Ren smiled slightly. When he had first arrived here to challenge Roxanne for the Stone Badge, this hallway had been almost as intimidating as the facade of the building itself. Now, it was . . . just another hallway.

Another set of double doors opened at the end of the passage, letting light spill through into the dimly-lit corridor. Roxanne paused in the doorway and turned slightly towards him, a half-smile visible on her face. “Welcome to the Rustboro Gym, challenger,” she said, before turning back and stepping onto the battlefield.

A grin starting to form on his own face, Ren followed her through, automatically making a beeline for the challenger's box at the near end of the battlefield. The field itself looked much the same as he remembered. A white rectangle, painted on the ground, filled with rocks and coarse dirt. Another line bisected it neatly, with a large circle sitting right in the middle. To either side, empty stands rose over a full storey high, row after row of yellow seats stretching towards the ceiling. Out of the corner of his eyes, Ren noticed Natasha tiptoeing into the battlefield behind them and securing herself a front-row seat.

Roxanne took up her position at the opposite end of the battlefield. “This takes me back,” she said. “Ever since that day, I've been looking forward to having you in my Gym again. It took you three years, but you made it back eventually.”

I came as quickly as I could,” Ren said, drawing a smile from Roxanne.

We don't have much time now, though,” she said. “It'll have to be a one on one match. Does that sound all right?”

Sure,” Ren said, digging through his backpack for a Poke Ball.

Blind choice,” Roxanne said, drawing a Poke Ball from her pocket and showing it to him. “Both Trainers must choose their Pokemon before either is released. All right?”

That sounds fair,” Ren agreed, making his choice and dropping the bag behind him. “Just out of interest . . . what happens if I lose? Not that I plan to, or anything.”

It's not an official challenge,” Roxanne reassured him. “Nothing happens. But to be perfectly honest, I only expect this battle to go one way. It was three whole years ago when we last battled, and you did very well even then. I can tell your team has gone from strength to strength since.”

Fair enough,” Ren said, thumbing the release switch. In a flash of red light, his oldest partner materialised before him. “I choose Zangoose, then.” The bipedal Pokemon flexed its lethal black claws experimentally, clearly glad to have been released. Its fur was a glossy white, save for a diagonal slash of orange across its belly and a matching one across its face that gave it a somewhat demonic appearance. Its hands were a deep orange colour up to the wrists, and its fierce red eyes glared down the battlefield at Roxanne, awaiting the appearance of her Pokemon.

Hm! A poor choice, Ren,” Roxanne chastised him. “You didn't forget that my Gym specialises in Rock-types, did you?”

You didn't think I was that stupid, did you?” Ren countered with a smile. His heartbeat was already starting to speed up again. This was it. This was what he lived for. “Zangoose might have the type disadvantage, but I think we'll manage.”

All right, suit yourself. Then I'll choose Golem!” With a crack, Roxanne's Poke Ball exploded into a shower of red light that quickly coalesced into a huge, ball-shaped Pokemon with short, stubby limbs and skin made of large, thick plates of rock. A small, lizard-like head glowered out from a gap in the armour as it growled loudly in its guttural voice.

Zangoose's ears pricked up at the appearance of its opponent, and it hissed its challenge, fur bristling.

Easy,” Ren murmured. Even after such a long time, the Pokemon still retained its volatile personality.

Would you rather we had a referee?” Roxanne asked. “Jeremy usually does it, but he's disappeared somewhere this morning.”

Oh, the guy at the front desk? Yeah, he went off to get a glass of water, but I haven't seen him since. He's probably busy, though. No, that's fine. We don't need a referee.”

All right, then,” Roxanne nodded. “Then as the challenger, you should take the first move.”

No,” Ren said. “Ladies first, I insist. And besides . . . even though I'm the challenger, I'm the higher-ranked Trainer. You take the first move.”

I don't think that's-” Roxanne began to protest, but Ren cut her off with a raised eyebrow. “All right,” she sighed. “You're so stubborn.”

And you're not?”

No, I'm- oh, forget it,” she harrumphed. “Golem, go! Get started with an Earthquake.”

Taken by surprise, Ren watched as the bulky Pokemon leapt into the air to come crashing down on the ground, sending shockwaves rippling through the battlefield, tearing up chunks of rock and earth that danced up and down like mad demons. “Jump!” Ren shouted.

Zangoose's powerful leg muscles tensed, and the Pokemon went flying upwards, a streak of white lightning. By the time it landed back on the ground, the shockwaves had ceased.

One more!” Roxanne commanded. Golem roared and leapt again, its bulky limbs smashing down onto the ground and shaking the arena.

Ren hissed a quick breath in through his teeth. “Jump one more time, and forwards! We can't win this from a distance!”

With a determined yowl, Zangoose threw itself forwards, leaping over the shockwaves that rushed across the ground. It landed right in front of Golem, taking the other Pokemon aback and causing it to step backwards. “Crush Claw!” Ren yelled. Zangoose drew back its massive claws and then swung them forwards towards the Rock-type's head, the air whistling as they flew.

Defense Curl!” Roxanne countered. Golem's head withdrew into its protective shell, and it braced its stubby legs against the ground. Zangoose's claws skated ineffectually off its rough, rocky shell, and Ren's Pokemon hissed in anger as it backed up slightly, eyeing Golem warily.

Keep your distance,” Ren warned as he watched for Roxanne's next move. “We don't know what they're up to.” Zangoose ignored him, circling Golem closely, swiping and feinting at chinks in its armour.

Perhaps you ought to train your Pokemon to follow orders a bit better, Ren?” Roxanne suggested with a razor-edged smile. “Golem! Bulldoze!”

Shi- Zangoose! Get out of there!” Ren shouted. Zangoose started to dodge backwards, but it was too late. Golem roared and rolled forward at frightening speed, drawing its arms and legs back into its shell and disappearing into a blur of brown that rocketed towards Zangoose, smashing into it at high speed and threatening to crush it into the ground.

With a furious yowl, Zangoose threw itself out of the way. It had still borne the brunt of the attack, but it managed to avoid being steamrollered by the immense weight of the Rock-type Pokemon. Zangoose dragged itself back to its feet as Golem made a turn and came back for another pass.

Golem! Make it a Rollout!” Roxanne commanded.

Ren gritted his teeth as the massive Pokemon's rotation speed increased, causing it to dig a furrow in the ground as it tore around the arena at a blistering speed before banking sharply and barrelling straight at Zangoose.

Jump!” Ren cried. Zangoose bent its knees to leap again, but it hesitated, fumbling to find its balance, and in the split second it took to find it again, Golem struck, a massive brown blur that sent Zangoose flying. “What?” Ren exclaimed. “Zangoose, what's wrong with you? You're faster than that, aren't you?”

Zangoose hissed irritably as it pulled itself to its feet again, glaring warily at the still-rolling Golem with unbridled hatred in its eyes.

I thought you'd have done your homework, Ren!” Roxanne called from the other end of the battlefield. “Bulldoze is a marvellous move, really. Not only does it steamroll your opponent, but it hits them so hard that it rattles their perception, making them less agile and slowing their reactions.”

What? I've never heard of that move before!”

Well, a fine Champion you'll make,” Roxanne remarked wryly. “You're going to have to think fast if you want to keep your pride intact. Now, Golem! One more Rollout, and make it count!”

Ren coughed as Golem's thunderous rolling, seeming to grow more powerful with every passing second, threw up a cloud of dust. “Zangoose!” he choked out. “Don't dodge it! Meet it head on with Brick Break!”

What?” Roxanne exclaimed. “Golem, watch out!”

Ren grinned as he felt the floor shake from the collision of the two Pokemon. “Too late.”

The dust slowly settled to the ground, revealing the battlefield. Golem had stopped dead in its tracks – or more accurately, it had been stopped. Zangoose stood proud against it, massive claws held to the other Pokemon's head.

Golem!” Roxanne cried.

Oh, don't worry,” Ren said. “He won't fall from just that. I'm sure of it. But still . . . I hardly think you're one to be talking about not doing your homework, Roxanne.” He laughed triumphantly, feeling the thrill of battle rush through him.

What? I . . . I knew Zangoose could learn Brick Break. I just didn't think . . .”

You didn't consider it a possibility, did you?” Ren arched an eyebrow. “That's the problem. When you go into a battle, you need to make sure to consider every possibility. That's the only way I managed to win my way through the League. Every option, no matter how remote the possibility, needs to be assessed. I'll admit I was taken aback by that new move, but that ends now!” He slashed his hand through the air to emphasise his point, feeling his confidence building once more. “Come on, Roxanne. The real battle begins here!”
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