Keith was sitting on the porch, watching the Heracross sip honey from a pitcher as Arthur was lying in the grass in the fading sunlight asleep. Ben came down from the wash station up the hill from the cabin pulling on his shirt and holding his hat in his hands his hair still wet from the shower he sat across from Keith watching the sun set in the western hills. Lucy lay curled asleep against Zeus who was also asleep. Keith handed him a cup of steaming tea as he took a seat and they sipped the warm drink and listened to the sounds of the forest.
“I want to thank you again for your help, son. I’ll raise this Pokemon right.” Keith said, taking a drink of his tea.
“I was happy to help, sir.” Ben said with a smile. “Just wish that Scyther hadn’t gotten away.”
“You’ll find him. Trust me, a catch like that ain’t worth lettin’ go.”
“I hope so.”
“You wanna use Arthur? He’s a mighty fine tracker.”
“Thank you, sir but I think me and my team can handle it.” Ben said rising from the chair and stretching. Lucy heard the chair squeak and sat up, rubbing her eyes and yawning. Zeus twitched a leg in his sleep and opened an eye.
“I know you guys are tired but we best get a move on.” Ben said, Lucy and Zeus getting to their feet and stretching as well, looking up at him.
He recalled Zeus and pulled on his hat.
“I’ll come back and visit you, Keith. It was nice meeting you, sir.” Ben said.
“Same to you, son. I wish you luck on your travels.”
“Yessir, bye now.” He said and set off down the pasture with Arthur lifting his head as he walked past, watching him go on across the clearing into the trees.
He walked long into the night, looking for the tracks by the light of his Pokedex with Lucy on his shoulders. He walked across expansive plains and through dense wooded areas where there was very little to see. By and by he came across faint glints of pink energy in the area which worried him but he pressed on, crossing a wide meadow he saw a figure come through the darkness of the forest to meet him.
“Fancy seeing you here.” The figure said and in the moonlight he could see Harrison standing proudly in the knee-high grass. He leaned and spat and chuckled loudly.
“I don’t have time for this.” Ben said
“Oh, but you do. We’ve got a score to settle.” Harrison said, taking the Pokeball from his necklace he tossed it into the air lightly a few times, a smirk stretching across his darkened features. He opened the ball and a bright white light illuminated the field and a lean Dewott appeared, drawing his scalchops and taking a battle stance.
“My Oshawott evolved. We ran across some poachers coming into the forest but Dewott here whooped em good didn’t ya?” Harrison said.
“Dewott!” The lean blue otter said confidently, still bearing the bruises from the previous battle.
“I really don’t have time for this. I’m tracking a Scyther.”
“Oh yeah? I saw one of those a while back but it was moving too fast to catch it. A real shame.” Harrison sighed. “You’re not getting past me without a fight.”
“Fine then.” Ben said, releasing Zeus who stomped a hoof preparedly, his mane crackling in the darkness.
“Still using that dumb old Blitzle huh? Bet that thing doesn’t even know any electric attacks.”
“Zeus! Charge it up bud!” Ben called out and Zeus lowered his head, his mane glowing brightly and shining with a white light.
“Dewott! Water Gun!” The little otter ran within range and blasted a jet of water into Zeus face, making him take a few steps back but he shrugged it off, his mane still shining furiously.
“That all you got?” Ben asked chuckling himself now. “Zeus! Light that thing up! Shock Wave!”
Amidst the glow of Zeus’ mane Ben could see Harrison’s eyes widen in shock as Zeus’ mane erupted in a sudden flash of electricity headed straight for Dewott.
“Dewott! Get out of the way!” The otter Pokemon tried to do just this, rolling swiftly to the left but the powered-up blast of lightning followed it, enveloping the otter in a flash of yellow-white light as it cried out in agony, sinking to its knees as smoke billowed off of it.
“Damn you!” Harrison shouted.
“Shock Wave never misses.” Ben said calmly. “You should know that Mr. Expert.”
“Get up Dewott! Don’t embarrass yourself. Tackle that thing!”
“Shock Wave.” Ben said flatly.
The feisty little Dewott came sprinting head first for Zeus who merely released a second burst of white-hot lightning, striking the Dewott head-on and knocking him off his feet as he rolled to Harrison’s feet whimpering and attempting to get up.
“You failed me again, Dewott. You must get stronger!” Harrison said, his head lowered as he recalled his Pokemon, drawing a second ball from his belt.
“This isn’t over yet, kid.” He said, releasing a mid-size purple horned Pokemon who growled low, bearing its teeth.
“Nidorino is my trump card. This battle is far from over.”
Ben aimed his Pokedex at the odd horned thing; Nidorino, the evolved form of Nidoran. It has a violent disposition and stabs foes with its horn, which oozes poison upon impact.
“Zeus, Shock Wave!” Ben called and the electric zebra shot a third jet of white lightning which struck the Nidorino dead-on but the Poison-type shrugged it off, seeming to smirk as did Harrison in the moonlight.
“Your little tricks won’t work on this Pokemon. Nidorino, Poison Sting!” The purple horned Pokemon charged forth, Zeus taking a step back, unsure as its opponent horn glowed a bright purple, shooting out a blast which struck Zeus and made him stand on two legs, trying to regain his balance.
“Again!” Harrison shouted.
“Zeus! Shock Wave one more time!” Zeus struggled to get his footing and he shocked the Poison-type again but it kept coming, releasing a jet of purple striking Zeus again which made him drop to one knee.
“Double Kick Nidorino!” The purple Pokemon turned on a dime as it neared Zeus, kicking the zebra twice in the face knocking him off his feet he fell back to Ben’s feet.
“Zeus!” Ben called, dropping to one knee holding the zebra in his arms as he began to glow a faint purple, the same as he’d seen on the Pidgeotto from earlier.
“No! You’re poisoned!” Ben recalled him into his ball, Lucy stepping forward with scalchops ready.
“You’ll pay for that!” Ben shouted. “Lucy! Razor Shell!” The fierce blue otter charged forth scalchops glowing a bright blue she struck Nidorino across the face in a swiping X motion, making it step back a bit as it readied an attack.
“Poison Sting again!” Harrison yelled.
“That’s a dirty technique!” Ben shouted. “You’ll do anything to win even if it means poisoning my friends. I won’t allow it!” Ben was angry. He saw Harrison’s technique and it only frustrated him. The Scyther could be miles away by now. “Lucy! Use that Pokemon’s weight against him, watch that Poison!” Lucy understood and slid on her stomach under the purple blast, narrowly avoiding it as she rose just in front of the Nidorino.
“Razor Shell once more!” She struck the Poison-type once making it reel in pain and then again shouting as she did so, angry for what this Pokemon did to Zeus.
“Damn you and your stupid fat otter!” Harrison yelled. “Nidorino, Double Kick!” The Poison-type struck Lucy with a quick barrage of kicks and she cried out as the bruises easily showed where the little hooves had struck her.
“Water Gun! Full power!” Ben called out and Lucy’s jaws expanded and she blasted the Nidorino in the face knocking it back a few feet where it pulled itself up, shaking off the water but it was hurt.
Just then a pink shimmer flew between the battle, almost too fast for the trainers to see and they were both stunned, watching it go as a purple one flew after it even faster and they both disappeared into the trees.
“Wha?!” Harrison was dumbfounded and Ben took the chance.
“Razor Shell now!” Lucy held her scalchops high slicing them in that familiar X pattern across the Nidorinos’ face and it slumped to its stomach, pulling itself back onto its feet.
“Nidorino! Poison Sting on the ground around that otter’s feet!” The Nidorino swung its horn in all directions, singing the grass around Lucy in poison.
“Now! Double Kick!”
“Lucy! Water Gun into the ground! Blast yourself back!” The blue otter understood and shot a high-intensity jet of water into the grass, flying off her feet far back to Ben’s side, smirking in the light of the moon.
“Good thinking but it won’t save you! Poison Sting and wait for the right moment!” Harrison yelled as Lucy charged into the battlefield, leaping over the poisoned spots in the grass but catching the attack straight on her chest she fell onto her back, crying out as she landed with an audible thump.
“Lucy! Get up girl you can do it!” The Water-type rose slowly, holding her belly as she readied her scalchops, not willing to give up.
“Double Kick now!” The Nidornio met her as she got up and kicked her twice in the face making her stumble back and drop to one knee. Her health was fading fast and she was still tired from her battle with the Vileplume and Marowak from earlier.
“Finish it with Poison Sting!”
“Quick Lucy! Water Gun into the ground again! Straight up!” The little otter shot a blast of water in the grass and was blasted into the air, the poison blast flying under her as she readied her glowing scalchops, anticipating Ben’s call.
“Razor Shell!” She came down with her scalchops held high, slicing the Poison-type hard across its lowered head it reeled back onto its haunches, shaking its head.
“Poison Sting in bursts now!” Ben’s eyes went wide as Lucy rolled and jumped the blasts of purple poison but she slipped in a puddle of the poison from earlier and scampered to her feet as the final blast hit her straight on, knocking her back into the grass where she lay shuddering horribly and glowing a bright purple.
“Lucy! No!!!” Ben shouted, his voice hoarse as he ran to her side, holding her in his arms as tears welled in his eyes.
“Please girl please hold on. I’ll get you and Zeus an antidote I should have never let this happen. I’m so sorry please hold on.” He said softly, dropping his pack as he fumbled inside for the antidotes.
“Looks like your chubby little otter couldn’t cut it.” Harrison said laughing loudly into the moonlight. “You forfeit kid?”
“You’re damn right I forfeit! I could care less about a stupid battle when my Pokemon were already tired from a battle with trainers twice your skill level and now they’re poisoned! Get out of my face you jerk!” Ben hollered, holding Lucy tightly to his chest as he uncapped the antidote.
“Sheesh. Just admit you lost. It’s pretty simple. Good work Nidorino.” He recalled the Poison-type and held up Dewott’s Pokeball.
“These otters are pretty useless huh? They aren’t much use to anyone. Pretty pathetic if you ask me.”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” Ben shouted at the top of his lungs.
“Tsk tsk tsk. So angry. Fine, see ya around sport.” Harrison said and shouldered his pack, walking off into the trees.
Ben’s eyes watered heavily as his shaking hand sprayed Lucy with the antidote, the poison so strong it almost had no effect and he sprayed her lightly once more and the purple glow finally subsided, her shakes dying down as she relaxed in his arms and he held her tightly to his chest.
“Please forgive me girl. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have made you battle.”
“Deww…” Lucy said softly, hugging his chest. “Deww-ott…”
“I know girl I know. I’m sorry.” He released Zeus who crumpled at once to his knees, the evil purple glow radiating all over him too. Ben laid Lucy very gently into the grass and held the zebra close, the Electric-type shaking terribly in his arms as he pulled another antidote from his pack, spraying it over Zeus as his shakes slowly went away and the purple glow softened and was gone as well.
Ben sat back in the grass holding Zeus, the tears on his cheeks drying as he wiped his eyes. He laid Zeus beside Lucy and produced the blankets and sleeping bag from his pack, laying them out on the grass he rolled Lucy into one and Zeus into another gently, spreading his sleeping bag on the grass beside them he sat watching them for some time until they both fell asleep. He sat and thought to himself and watched them sleep for a long time and then he rose and went around to the trees around the meadow and gathered some twigs and sticks and he went back to where the two Pokemon were curled next to each other and he made a small fire to warm them and he sat staring into the fire long into the night.
“You guys get a good long rest. You deserve it. I’m a terrible trainer.” He said softly, poking the fire with a twig. It was nearly morning when he fell asleep sitting up in front of the fire.