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September 5th, 2009 (10:45 AM).
Chapter 7: Getting her Calculus and her Gym Battle On
Lisa followed Lorelei out then headed back to the Comfort Inn while Lorelei made her way to a parking lot. Back in her room, the young trainer took a quick shower. After getting clean, Lisa put her nightgown on and settled in the room’s comfortable king-sized bed.
The next morning, Lisa got dressed up early. She wore a red blouse, over which she wore a black suit jacket, a matching skirt, a pair of sheer pantyhose, and her other black dress shoes, these ones without open toes. Instead of her white hat, she tied her hair back with a purple scrunchy. She left her Pokémon with some food she had picked up, then headed to the lobby. After picking up a couple bagels and some juice in the lobby’s breakfast bar, she proceeded to the university’s math building, a facility so new, it hadn’t been named after any alumni yet.
A woman at a desk spoke up. “Are you here for the Calculus Challenge? We are still accepting participants.”
“Yes, thank you.” After registering, Lisa headed into the auditorium for a morning of heated math competitions.
A man in his early twenties sat down next to Lisa in the building’s auditorium. The man wore a long white lab coat and blue jeans. It was clear to Lisa that he had not showered in some time. Upon seeing Lisa and her name tag, he scoffed and snorted. “Well, Miss Lisa,” he said mockingly, “don’t you think you’re a little young to be here? Why don’t you try the baby math league; it may be more your speed. I guarantee that after the first round, you’ll be outta here!”
“Don’t write equations your brain can’t solve, pal. I’m not one to be taken lightly,” she retorted.
“Just don’t be shocked when you don’t do as well as you thought you would,” the geek snickered.
The host, distinguished mathematician Dr. Murray Thomson, addressed the group. “Welcome to the 45th annual Fourtix University Calculus Challenge. Despite the name, we will be testing you on a variety of mathematics topics. This is a very special year for us since this is our first tournament to be held in this beautiful, brand new facility! This also allows us to utilize technology like we could not before. Without further ado, let us begin Round One! Twenty questions, one hour to finish, no partial credit. Any contestant with a zero score at the end of this round will be eliminated. Now, begin!”
These were twenty problems of fairly high difficulty, and the absence of partial credit made this round especially difficult. The first round was specifically designed to weed out the weak. Lisa managed to get eighteen of the twenty questions correct.
After time was called, the smug nerd whispered to Lisa, “Don’t get too mad now. Remember, you’re just a baby.”
Dr. Thomson returned to the podium to announce the top scores. “Your scores will be appearing on the monitor in front of you. The mean score was 4.76. The standings, as of now, are as follows: Tied for first place, with twenty points each, are Jon Lowe and Geoff Richards. Tied for third, with nineteen points each, are Yuriko Sakura and Albert Dobson. And in fifth place, with eighteen points, is our youngest entrant, Lisa Northwood.”
With a smug smirk, Lisa turned to her adversary. “You know what, I do need to step up my game. I’m only fifth out of, let’s see, about 450 people. I’m very disappointed in myself. Oh, hey, what’s that red “X” on your monitor mean?”
“Damn!” the nerd cursed before marching out of the room along with about half of the contestants.
Dr. Thomson announced, “Now that we have completed the elimination round, we shall proceed. Begin Round Two! Please read the question on your monitor and answer accordingly. You only have thirty seconds to answer each question.”
Round two consisted of rapid-fire multiple choice questions, one hundred in all. Each question was worth a single point. Lisa was the sole participant to earn a perfect score in the appropriately-titled, “Lightning Round.”
“At the end of round two, Jon Lowe is in first with 119 points. Tied for second, with 118 points each, are Yuriko Sakura and Lisa Northwood. Geoff Richards is fourth with 115 points and Allison Johnson is in fifth with 107 points.”
Round three only had five questions, but were complex multi-step problems worth ten points each. But Lisa managed to receive a perfect score yet again, the only competitor to do so.
“After round three, Jon Lowe and Lisa Northwood are the leaders with 168 points each. Yuriko Sakura and Allison Johnson are tied for third with 156 points, and Lawrence Winston is in fifth with 138 points.”
Round four was the most challenging, being the final round. There were only four questions, but each was extremely complicated and was worth twenty points each. Nobody got a perfect score. Lisa came closest, earning seventy-nine points out of eighty.
“Round four is done! Final results are… Fifth is Lawrence Winston with 209 points. Fourth is Allison Johnson with 222 points. Third is Yuriko Sakura with 229 points. Second is Jon Lowe, last year’s champion, with 236 points. And the winner, with 247 points, is our youngest entrant, Lisa Northwood!”
The crowd erupted in cheers as Lisa and the rest of the top performers headed up to the stage to accept their awards.
At about 2:00 PM, Lisa emerged with two trophies in her hands. One read, “2006 Fourtix University Calculus Challenge Champion” and the other one read, “2006 Pi Recitation Champion.” Several other people chatted with Lisa about her victory, including the rest of the top five contestants. Jon was especially impressed with Lisa’s performance, commenting that, “It takes a smart person to outwit me, but it takes somebody truly incredible to outwit me at your age.” Once the action had died down, Lisa headed to the post office and had them send her trophies back to her parents in South Carolina so they wouldn’t weigh her down during her trip. Then she returned to the hotel, gathered up her Pokémon, and proceeded to the stone building at the outskirts of town.
Just as she suspected, this was the town’s gym. The massive gray doors opened and out walked Alexis, the girl she had met in the forest. Clad in a pink sundress, she greeted Lisa with a friendly wave.
“Lisa, what’s up? You’re all dressed up. You going for a job interview?”
“No, I’m going for a badge. Did you already earn yours?”
“Yup, but it was a tough fight, that’s for sure. This guy’s good. You better be on your toes. Well, I’m headed off to get my team rested. Good luck!”
“Thanks, and bye! I’ll see you soon!”
Another person emerged in the doorway. A large, rotund man in hiking gear greeted Lisa.
“Welcome to the Bluefield City Pokémon Gym. I am Dirk, the assistant and match officiator here. Our gym leader has just lost a match today to that girl who just left. He will not lose again today. Challenge him if you dare.” The mountain man gave Lisa a sly smirk.
“Fine, bring it on,” responded a determined Lisa.
Dirk led Lisa into the gym. A man emerged from a back room. He was an older man, with graying hair. He wore gray cargo pants, a gray T-shirt, and a gray unzipped hoodie. Though not especially tall, the man still had an air of power and prestige.
“Greetings, I am Roy, the local gym leader. I believe in the awesome power and endurance of the Rock type. It allows us to endure strong attacks and remain in battle for the long haul. You better be ready for a long battle, but even more importantly, your bonds with your Pokémon must be as hard as a rock. Wait, does that sound too much like a Chevy Truck commercial?”
“No, not at all. They haven’t used ‘Like A Rock’ in years.”
“Okay, we should probably get started.”
Dirk announced, “Battle for the Bluefield City Pebble Badge between gym Leader Dirk and Lisa Northwood from...”
Lisa whispered in his ear.
“...oh, yes, from Anderson, South Carolina. This will be a one-on-one battle. Both trainers will use three Pokémon. The Gym Leader cannot substitute Pokémon, but the challenger may. Begin!”
“Go, Geodude!” Roy summoned a gray rock-like Pokémon with two jagged arms. It greeted the challengers by calling out, “Duuuuude!” in a low-pitched voice. The surface of the Pokémon’s body was not smooth at all, and it looked like pieces of its body had been chipped off in previous skirmishes. Forming fists with its arms, Geodude performed several quick punches into the air to pump itself up.
“Geodude: The Rock Pokémon. Geodude conceal themselves in rocky caves and either roll or use their arms to move.”
Lisa grabbed a Pokéball from a pocket in her suit jacket. “This is it... battle for the first badge!” Lisa stared her opponent down.
“I’ll start off with my Spheal. Let’s get started!”
Lisa called forth a light blue spherical Pokémon. “Spheal: The Ball Roll Pokémon. Spheal uses its round body to roll and move on slippery ice. It can roll quickly but has little control over its path. Spheal can use Rollout, Water Gun, and Ice Ball.”
Spheal smiled and happily barked as it showed off some of its rolling abilities. It looked up at its trainer, seemingly awaiting a command.
After some thought, the girl said, “Okay, we’ll begin with a Water Gun!”
Spheal launched a stream of water at Geodude, but it ducked behind a stationary rock and deflected the strike.
“Now, Rock Throw!”
“Duuuude!” Geodude started picking up rocks and heaving them at Spheal. One struck Spheal at an angle that sent it rolling. Spheal started to roll uncontrollably around the field, crashing into rocks and walls. The small Pokémon cried out in pain after each of its hard contacts with a rock.
“Oh, no! What do I do now?” Her eyes trying to follow her runaway Pokémon, Lisa frantically thought of a way to get Spheal to stop its uncontrollable rolling.
After a few more impacts, Spheal came to a stop. It wasn’t going to move anywhere now, after all of those hard impacts. Lisa was already down one Pokémon and Geodude hardly broke a sweat. This fact did not sit well with the fidgety girl.
“Spheal is unable to battle. Geodude wins this round,” Dirk announced in a very frank tone.
“Nidorino, you’re up!” Lisa sent out the purple Pokémon with the large poisonous horn on his head. The creature stood on his four feet, but made no sounds or movement. His eyes wandered, not focusing on either the girl, the middle-aged Gym Leader, or his Geodude. Lisa called out, “Use Double Kick!”
Instead, he just stood there, refusing to face his trainer.
“No! Please, attack!” Lisa pleaded with her disobedient Pokémon to strike.
“Haha! Now, Geodude, Magnitude!”
“Geo!” The rocky Pokémon slammed both its fists on the ground, sending massive tremors that spread out in a circular pattern. The powerful attack shook the entire gym, knocking both Nidorino and Lisa down.
“Owwww......” Lisa clutched her head and tried to get back up.
“Give it another one!”
Another tremor shook the arena before either Lisa or Nidorino could get up. Lisa eventually struggled to her feet but Nidorino was unable to.
“Nidorino is unable to battle.”
“Meowth, you’re my last hope. Please, try your best!” Lisa pleaded, almost in tears.
“Now, finish this battle with Rock Throw!”
As rocks came in toward Meowth, she used them as stepping stones, then fired a powerful Water Pulse at Geodude, scoring a direct hit. Geodude emerged still conscious, but ended up ramming into several stones by itself, completely lost in confusion. Meowth hit the small rocky creature with another shot of brilliant blue liquid then just sat back and watched her foe batter itself until Geodude collapsed out of exhaustion.
“Geodude is unable to battle. Meowth wins.”
“Wow… I can’t believe it finally went down… but what’s next?”
“Now I’ll show you my true power. Onix, go! Bind it!”
A huge black snake made completely of rock emerged. The massive Pokémon towered over Meowth and let out a loud roar. Meowth took a couple steps backward. So did Lisa.
“Whoa... it’s huge!” Lisa looked with awe at her towering opponent.
Onix quickly started putting the squeeze on Meowth, encircling her with its long, serpentine body.
Now nervous and ripping holes in her pantyhose, the girl had no idea what to do. “Oh, no! Try to break free!” Lisa sputtered frantically as she tried to think of a way to salvage this match.
Meowth attempted to spray a Water Pulse at Onix, but the huge rock snake just twisted around so that Meowth only struck the ground. As its grip tightened, Meowth was visibly in pain and getting weaker by the second.
“Stop the match," Lisa cried. "I...I forfeit...” she said, falling to her knees.
“The challenger has forfeited the match. Onix and Gym Leader Roy are the winners.”
“Good job, Onix!” Roy recalled it.
“I’m so sorry, Meowth... You did your best...” Lisa called back her injured Pokémon.
Roy went over to Lisa as she finally stood up. “Listen, Lisa, I know you’re feeling down about this, but don’t give up. I’ve seen too many trainers who have given up their training after losing to me. I suppose that’s one of the breaks of being the first gym in line.”
“No, but you’re right... I can’t give up... I made promises to myself and to the Pokémon League...” Lisa said, clearly exhausted.
“Perhaps it was unfair of me to battle you today. You’re clearly wiped out from battling Team Thrash at their camp and at the university. I was informed by the Pokémon League of your recent victories. And I am sure you can battle much better than you did today with proper rest. I wish to battle you again when you are rested and at your peak. I would also like to invite you to dinner at my house, right next door. You should probably go back to your room and rest up a bit first. I’ll meet you at about 5:00. That girl who battled me before you will also be there.”
“Oh yeah, I know her. She beat me too, earlier...”
“Well, I will see you later.”
“Okay, see you tonight.” Lisa walked toward the gym’s exit, her head hung low.
As Lisa exited the gym, she was met by Alexis.
“So, how did it go?”
“I lost... I can’t believe I made so many stupid mistakes...” Lisa broke down and started to cry.
Alexis did her best to console the downtrodden Lisa. “Hey, don’t worry about it. He’s tough. It’s not everyone that can defeat a Gym Leader on the first try. Besides, you need some rest. I’ll see you at dinner tonight!”
“Bye...” Lisa said with a huge yawn. She went to the Pokémon Center. A male attendant took a look at Lisa’s injured Pokémon.
“Please… help my Pokémon. They were hurt badly in a Gym battle and I’m worried.”
The man looked over the Pokémon quickly and replied, “Don’t worry. Roy’s a tough battler, but he’d never battle an opponent to near death. Just a few minutes and they should be fine.”
“Thanks a lot,” Lisa answered, turning her attention to the TV.
“In college football news, the tenth ranked Tigers lost their Thursday night game 24-7 as Tech simply ran over them…”
“Yeah, just like Roy ran over me today…”
She decided to walk over to the other side of the lobby, away from other trainers and the TV. As Lisa waited, she replayed the battle in her mind. She was embarrassed. But more than that, she was mad at herself. “So many stupid mistakes! I made too many dumb calls that I never should have! Just like a certain team who just shot themselves in the foot…”
Her Pokémon were fully healed up and returned to her after about a half hour. She apologized to her Pokémon about losing the battle, tears welling up as she started to break down again. All of her Pokémon attempted to comfort Lisa except Nidorino, who just stuck its nose up in the air.
“Pathetic. Simply pathetic,” said Nidorino to the other Pokémon.
“What is your problem?” asked Meowth. “You were the one who claimed that she would go crazy and start abusing us after she lost a battle. Well, look at her! She feels terrible about losing!”
“Yeah, because her precious ego was crushed. She doesn’t care about you, only her precious reputation.”
The cat Pokémon sighed. “There you go, jumping to conclusions again…”
“Worse yet, she can’t even battle properly!”
“Well, maybe if you actually tried to help out…”
“Look, honey,” Nidorino interrupted, “I battle the way I see fit. Ain’t no stupid human gonna tell me what to do.”
“Call me ‘honey’ again,” Meowth started, “and you’re gonna…”
“Don’t bother with him,” interjected Koffing, putting herself between the two quarreling Pokémon. “He won’t give that girl a chance. We really need to help her get her spirits up.”
“Fine, do as you wish,” growled the other Poison-type. “I really don’t care.”
Over by Lisa, Spheal and Pidgeotto were looking over their depressed trainer.
“It’ll be okay,” said Spheal. “Besides, ya can’t expect to win ‘em all, y’know? So, let’s get feeling better and get some yummy food!”
Pidgeotto cooed softly. “Don’t worry. I know that battling’s a tough business. It takes a lot out of you. As long as you tried your hardest, you should be able to hold your head high, knowing you gave it your best. At least, that’s the way it worked in the forest. I don’t know if trainers follow the same teachings, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt.”
Meowth and Koffing had left Nidorino to stew in his own anger, coming over to Lisa’s side to lend some support. The floating purple Pokémon started, “At least you’re not like my old trainer. He would get really angry and go crazy if his Pokémon ever lost. And I didn’t see the battle, but it must’ve been a tough one. As long as you gave it a full effort, that’s all that should matter.”
The kitten said, “Poor girl. She’s always been like this – stressing out over everything. Even when she wasn’t battling, if her outfit wasn’t perfect, or if she brought the wrong books to the professor’s place when she came to help her out, she would start beating herself up over it. I really think she’s a sweet girl, but I don’t think she realizes that “everyone makes mistakes” includes her. And I think it’s going to be a tough lesson for her to learn. But we have to help her out by supporting her in times like this.” Meowth slowly began massaging Lisa’s lower back with her paws.
Lisa finally looked up. Rubbing Pidgeotto and Meowth gently, she told them, “Thanks, guys. Thanks a lot. Hopefully next time we can manage a victory.” After regaining her composure, Lisa recalled her Pokémon and proceeded to her hotel. The desk clerk stopped her in the lobby.
“Wait, Lisa! Somebody from the college dropped by and wanted to give you this as a prize for winning the math contest.”
She handed Lisa a large egg, this one colored silver with a white triangular pattern and red circles throughout. “I believe that will eventually hatch into a Pokémon if you keep it with you.”
“Oh, cool! Thanks!” With this new prize, Lisa was starting to feel better about herself. “Hey, at least I’m good at something! And maybe this new Pokémon will help me out in a big way!” She read the attached note.
“To Lisa Northwood: This Pokémon Egg is a special prize for winning the Fourtix Calculus Challenge. The Pokémon has been specially bred and is like very few other Pokémon of its species. You’ll see just how rare it is when it hatches. Good luck on your future endeavors!”
Lisa thought to herself, “Man! How could I forget to pick this up? Good thing they were able to find out where I was staying and get it to me. I may be a genius, but I can be so scatterbrained sometimes!”
September 5th, 2009 (10:50 PM).
Haha, I enjoyed the math quiz scene when I read it in the original version and I quite like it again! XD
The battle I like also, especially poor Spheal rolling all over the place and Lisa pulling her pantyhose! I also like this version of the aftermath battle better than last version. Once again, nice you expand on Nidorino’s reasons for not obeying Lisa and the other Pokemon trying to comfort her.
If you’re wonder, no, I won’t tell anyone what’s inside that egg.
There are a few things I want to mention:
Nice to come down to memory lane once more. :D Once more, nice chapter and liked the revision. Can’t wait to see the changes next chapter!
September 6th, 2009 (10:19 AM).
I still prefer, "Wouldn't You Really Rather Have A Buick" though
Be at least a week before the next chapter! See y'all!
September 6th, 2009 (1:13 PM). Edited September 7th, 2009 by Dragonfree.
I think I'll actually pop in to review this chapter because I actually read it on Serebii ages ago and took some particular issues with it. Might as well follow the fic from here on PC, I guess.
And of course Lisa wins. Yet again, why? Why is it so important to you to carefully establish in the story that Lisa is the greatest mathematical genius in the world ever? Does it matter? Does Lisa need to be the greatest mathematical genius in the world ever in the first place? If she just placed somewhere in the top ten, you could get the point of her being good at math across just fine, but no; you have to make her win, because just placing pretty high isn't impressive enough for your character, even though she's the youngest participant and has no actual experience with this competition. And to top it all off, she becomes a pi recitation champion too, even though reciting pi does not actually have anything to do with mathematical ability and is just giving her another genius skill. Wanting her to get the really rare prize for it does not excuse it.
Now, a trainer who loses a battle in a manner such as this might think it's somehow all their fault if they have a low self-esteem and are prone to dramatics. But Lisa really isn't that kind of person. Usually she's extraordinarily (even kind of unrealistically) calm, cool, reasonable and confident. She's a bit vain and has something of an attitude. She's not used to losing. She feels in all respects like the kind of person who would be quick to look for the number of convenient excuses at her disposal, to blame Nidorino for not obeying her or conclude that her Pokémon just weren't strong enough yet - she is not the type to immediately conclude she just sucks that much, especially when there is very little reason to do so, and when she suddenly breaks down crying because she loses for reasons completely out of her control, it feels jarringly out of character. I know she did the same when she lost to Alexis, but it felt that way there too. It's an overblown reaction that just doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of her.
Now, even though Lisa lost the battle, it does not lessen the Sue qualities of her character by much, both because she is not actually shown as being the one who made the mistakes in the battle even though the story seems to proceed to act like it anyway, and because the story immediately goes on to her Pokémon reassuring her and talking about how she did her best and how unlike Koffing's old trainer she feels horrible about losing and would never blame her Pokémon. It reduces the impact of her loss by making it into a device to talk about how great Lisa is in other ways, and since we never get the sense the loss was Lisa's fault to begin with, there is little left to it that actually brings Lisa down at all.
What's worse is that it makes no sense for the university to give out Pokémon eggs as prizes for the math contest - the entrants aren't necessarily trainers (heck, they probably aren't, since most of them are presumably university students and most trainers are younger kids), and what would a non-trainer do with a specially bred Pokémon? It's obvious that you picked the prize because you wanted to give whatever is in the egg to Lisa, not because it seems like a sensible prize for a math competition, and thus we run into the core of Suedom again: the world is written around Lisa to make her get cool stuff and gain ample opportunities to show off her exceptional skills even where they shouldn't be relevant. Why was there a math contest just when Lisa passed through? So that Lisa could win it. Why was there a pi recitation contest that day too? So that Lisa could win that, too. Why was there a Pokémon egg as a prize for the math contest? Because you wanted Lisa to get it. See how the world all seems to be built around her? Losing a couple of battles through no fault of her own just doesn't counteract stuff like this.
The end of the chapter also feels really abrupt and not like an end, though that's a rather minor nitpick.
So, basically, Lisa still feels achingly Sueish. I hope whatever emerges from that egg turns out to be useless and that she will start to show some actual personal incompetence at battling, since it seems you're trying to make her out to be not so great at that after all. Odds are, of course, since the whole fic is already written, whatever is in the egg couldn't be changed without major changes to the story and I respect that if that forces you to keep it as something cool, rare and powerful, but you really need to watch out for stuff like this, because this is the reason Lisa comes across as every bit as much of a Sue as she did back in the old version of the first couple of chapters. Making her lose a couple of battles and act a bit spoiled sometimes does not and will never magically fix it.
~Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis of The Cave of Dragonflies
Still not going to sprite for your fangame. Sorry, but I don't really sprite or give out permission for people to use my fake Pokémon anymore.
September 7th, 2009 (10:15 PM). Edited September 7th, 2009 by Citrinin.
I come to this fic recommended by Bay, albeit a bit later than expected. :x It'll take a while for me to catch up, so for now, I'll be reviewing your older chapters. XD;
Overall, though, I enjoyed your prologue. I especially liked the description, and the line "Blast! For a Pokémon Lab, this place is seriously lacking in the Pokémon department." XD;
September 15th, 2009 (8:33 AM).
Yeah, it's taken me awhile to reply because I was trying to word this correctly without sounding like a jerk. let's hope I succeed.
@Dragonfree: I can say that I agree with you on some points and disagree on others (they would change the very nature of the characters and story into something I never intended this story to be). However, it's essentially a moot point because at this stage, I'm done with this fan fiction. The rewrites that were done were wrapped up over five months ago, and I have not touched it since except to post, first on another forum and now on here. And I don't anticipate having any more fan fiction projects outside of the occasional one-shot. Even before finishing this up on SPPf, my interest in fan fiction as a whole started to wane, and at this point, I have next to no motivation for writing. This, combined with a fairly hectic schedule, all but ensures I won't be making any drastic changes to this. Right now, I'm essentially posting for those here who might enjoy it and to boost my postcount.
In short, thanks for taking the time to comment, but circumstances prevent me from making many of the changes you suggested:/
@Citrinin: Yeah, that is a pretty cliche start, and that's something that's minor enough that I might actually be motivated to change someday
As for the security kill switch, I envisioned it more like the keypad terminal that comes with home security systems like ADT and Broadview Security (The next generation of Brinks Home Security!) that the user can use to deactivate the entire system. Plus, since it's in the deepest part of the lab...
Thanks for reviewing!
As for the next chapter, its timing is unknown. I'm waiting for one more review to come in before I post the next chapter. It could be in a few days, or it could be a few weeks.
September 21st, 2009 (3:14 PM).
Too bad I missed almost half of your fic when I started reviewing :/ Oh well, now is a good time to catch up. (BTW: Before I started revewing, I actually read some of these, so 7 is familiar to me.)
Soo, the chapter starts out with a math competition, then ends with a Gym battle. All in one day I didn't spot anything major in this chapter, and I completely understand your reply to Dragonfree. I also love the bit with the talking Pokemon It gives more insight into their personalities and thoughts, especially in the moments when I'm wondering what the heck they're thinking
And aww, Lisa gets an egg I already know what's inside of it, since I've read your later chapters. But don't worry, I won't tell anyone >:0
I'll be waiting for 8!
September 26th, 2009 (1:55 PM).
Thanks for the comment and for not spoiling! About time I got 8 posted
Chapter 8: In the House of Stone
A large mass of at least a thousand were gathered in a huge conference room. Scrolls and tapestries were set up throughout, and at the head of the room, a temporary “altar” was set up, complete with white candles and a podium. On the altar was a decorative red shield with a white script “T” insignia. The man at the altar was dressed entirely in red, his face hidden by the huge robe he wore.
“Welcome, friends, to today’s sermon. As followers of The Holy Religion of the Ancient Society of Hirojuto, I, as your prophet and messiah, extend my warmest regards. Unfortunately, I must inform you that a major threat to the creation of our ideal society has revealed itself.”
Murmurs could be heard throughout the entire congregation. The preacher interrupted all discussion by raising his right hand. All in the room came to attention.
“This new threat is far worse than the foolish governments and Pokémon Leagues who refuse to accept our teachings. No, I am speaking of the devil incarnate, who has officially made contact with some of our wandering missionaries.”
“Devil incarnate?! What do you mean by that, Your Holiness?”
The man at the altar leaned forward in order to project his already commanding voice. “Just as I am a messenger of God and communicate between Him and you, my followers, Satan also has his own earthly messenger, who has been charged to stand against our God and all that He preaches. According to our missionaries who have had contact with this messenger of Satan, the evil one has taken the guise of a teenage girl. She has been seen in the company of members of the Pokémon League.”
Fear and panic now gripped the entire congregation. Followers exchanged nervous glances and uttered phrases like, “Pokémon League? Definitely no good!”
“As I have revealed before, the Pokémon League has committed countless sins against us, and have allied with Satan. And this girl has associated herself with them. In addition, this girl reportedly is very skilled at the use of mathematics and the sciences. Beware if you have any contact with her, as she will try to use those tools of mathematics and sciences to convince you that God’s teachings are wrong. The girl also is in possession of a Meowth, whose evolved form is said to be the preferred Pokémon of Satan and his minions. This is clear, irrefutable evidence that this particular girl is the messenger of Satan, and we must stop at nothing to destroy her and expunge Satan’s presence from our world! I understand that this is a vague warning, but I will be gathering more information on this individual through our missionaries. Now, rise and we shall profess our allegiance to our Brotherhood and God’s word!”
Lisa headed up to her room and took a quick shower. She put on a green dress with a white floral print, a dark blue jacket, a pair of white stockings, and her open-toe shoes. Lisa flipped on the TV and went through the channels.
“If someone has caused you injury, call me right now! I’ll crush every penny out of them that I possibly can! I’m Larry “The Knockout” Jones! In court, I’m not just your lawyer. I’m the nastiest SOB around, and you’ll want a nasty SOB on your side for this battle! So call me right now at…”
“Trade in whatever piece of junk you drive for an $8000 minimum trade! Here’s Liz from West Bluefield!”
“I couldn’t believe it! West Town Kia paid me $8000 for my old ’74 Pinto that went toward a brand new Sedona! Thanks, West Town Kia…”
Finding nothing decent on TV, Lisa headed over to Roy's house, Pokémon and her egg in tow.
Over dinner, Roy, Lisa, Dirk, and Alexis started some engaging conversation.
“Lisa, you do understand that every Gym Leader has been informed by the Pokémon League of your attempts to bring down Thrash. However, don't expect them to go easy on you. In fact they might be a bit harder on you to adequately prepare you for tough Thrash battles.”
“Well, I wouldn't want it any other way. Even though losing does sting…” Lisa trailed off.
“You see, Team Thrash's best admins could pose a bigger challenge than any of us could. It's not that they're better trainers – they're not – but it's because they play by their own rules. They'll fight you five-on-one, they'll use chemicals to alter their Pokémon...”
“And they're armed to the teeth with military grade firearms.”
“Right. However, there is something special about you. Even though you were battling while tired, I still sensed that you have a strong bond with most of your Pokémon, Nidorino being the exception. But that's to be expected when you first catch a Pokémon that didn't go willingly. Plus, the Nidorino species is aggressive by nature. Otherwise, though, you do appear quite skilled at raising and training Pokémon, and I believe that the Pokémon G-Men saw that in you as well. I am certain you can go far. Just don't give up. You will win some battles and lose some others. It's just part of the Pokémon training experience.” Roy seemed like a much nicer guy outside the gym.
Lisa started to blush. “Thanks. And don't worry. I made so many promises and I will not let my family, my friends, or the Pokémon League down. I can accept losses from most people, but I can't afford to lose against Team Thrash.”
“That is true. If you fall in battle to them they will most likely take you prisoner... or worse.”
Alexis added, “Lisa, you're a great person who cares deeply for your Pokémon, and you're highly intelligent. None of us could even compete in that math competition, much less win. And you obviously have a strong drive to reach your goals. With those attributes combined, you've got what it takes to become a top-class trainer, and you've got the skills to take down those Thrash clowns. Don't worry, I'll have your back if you need it. Here's my number. Feel free to call if you need me.”
“Thanks a lot, everyone.”
“Now, Lisa, I want you to get a good night's sleep tonight. If you are still tired in the morning, don't challenge me until you get fully rested. Our rematch will be much more satisfying that way.”
“Okay, gotcha. By the way, how good are you guys at Mario Kart?” Lisa had noticed Roy’s GameCube and copy of “Double Dash” in the living room.
After a night of kicking Mario Kart butt and taking Mario Kart names, Lisa headed back to the hotel and Alexis went back to the Pokémon Center. Lisa slipped into her nightgown and neatly draped her outfit over the back of the room’s leather office chair before settling into a good night's sleep. Her alarm clock went off at 9:00 but Lisa slept right through it.
Atop a huge high-rise building sat an elegant penthouse with marble flooring, crystal chandeliers, expansive windows, and huge decorative pillars. A tall man, his face completely obscured by a red hood and cloak, sat in a huge black leather recliner behind a massive steel desk. A huge red plaque reading “Thrash Brotherhood” in elegant gold script hung on the wall behind him. Facing the man were a dozen individuals, some in the red Thrash uniform, some not. They stood before their superior, awaiting their next mission.
The figure behind the desk began speaking in an electronically altered, Darth Vader-esque voice, sans the heavy breathing. “As exceptionally effective members of the Brotherhood, you twelve have been selected to advance our cause by seeking assistance and information in other regions. Now, here is your mission, therefore it is advised that you listen closely and that you do not fail, otherwise there shall be dire consequences. Have I made myself clear?”
“Yes, sir!” the agents replied in unison, not wanting to show any signs of weakness.
Calmly and methodically, the leader revealed their objective. “Your assigned mission will be code-named Operation Kanto Investigation. You shall depart for it as soon as our Orre operatives return with their objectives completed. You will report to our production factory and storage facility and wait there until I inform you that we will be commencing the mission. Then you shall fly to the Kanto region using the Brotherhood’s private jets. There you will seek out information regarding the now-defunct Team Rocket’s Pokémon genetic alteration experiments, and capture the resultant specimens if you are able to do so. I have sent each of you documentation via inter-office mail with specific locations I want you to investigate. I shall be awaiting news of your success. You are officially dismissed. But bring in Betty and Fred; I need to have a word with them regarding their recent failures.”
The agents filed out of the penthouse. Fred and Betty were nervously pacing back and forth outside, dreading their scheduled meeting with their boss. One of the other agents told them, “The boss will meet with you now. I wish you the best of luck.”
When she finally woke up, Lisa put on the same outfit she wore to dinner the previous night and headed to Roy's gym at about 2:00 in the afternoon. She had the chance to sleep late and was ready to show Roy a hot battle. She stepped into the gym.
“Lisa, I trust you're ready this time. I won't hold anything back, and I don't want you to, either. Dirk, shall we begin?”
“Sure thing. The match between Gym Leader Roy and Lisa Northwood will begin. Three Pokémon each in a one-on-one battle. Only the challenger can substitute Pokémon. Begin!”
“This is it,” Lisa thought. “I can't lose like yesterday. I have to give it my all.”
Lisa grabbed a Pokéball from her purse and lobbed it onto the rocky battlefield. Lisa’s spherical ice Pokémon emerged from it.
“Okay, Spheal, you're up! Water Gun!”
The battle started out just like last time, with Geodude hiding behind some rocks. The volleys of water splashed harmlessly off the barrier.
“Not again…” thought Lisa, gritting her teeth.
“Rock Throw now!” commanded Roy as he pointed at Lisa’s Ice-type.
“Duuude!” The rocky gray Pokémon began picking up rocks and heaving them at Spheal as he watched the incoming projectiles.
Spheal started rolling to avoid the rocks. Lisa realized she needed to capitalize on her Pokémon’s movements. But it wasn’t long before she came up with a plan. A smile forming on her face, she commanded, “Okay, Spheal, let's turn this into an Ice Ball!”
Spheal encased himself in a layer of ice as he continued to bounce off the jagged rocks that lined the gym, instantly freezing them.
Lisa was now ready to implement the next stage of her strategy. “Okay, jump up and stop rolling! Launch Water Gun!” she called out.
Spheal got some air from a ramp-like rock formation, then proceeded to shoot Water Gun attacks at each of the flash-frozen rocks, shattering them into thousands of shards and eventually destroying the one where Geodude was taking cover.
“All right! We've eliminated all hiding spots! Now it's time for Water Gun!”
“Nice work getting rid of Geodude’s cover,” Roy complimented. “But this is far from over.”
Geodude dodged the first two shots but was hit directly by the third blast of water. The strike knocked the hard-skinned gray Pokémon to the ground. It slowly began to struggle back into contention.
“Nice work!” Lisa called out. “Now let’s finish it!”
Spheal released two more liquid blasts while Geodude was down. Both found their mark, hammering Geodude with more watery fury. The rocky Pokémon remained on the floor, but was now motionless. It made no motion to get back up.
“Geodude is unable to battle. Spheal is the winner!”
“Awesome work! We did it!” Lisa cheered, jumping up in excitement.
The middle-aged Gym Leader already had his next Pokémon at the ready. “Let's try Aron! Go!”
Roy sent out a tiny Pokémon with blue eyes and a shiny armor-like outer coat. Its hard exterior was speckled with small circular holes that resembled black spots. The Pokémon’s face showed no emotion.
“Aron, the iron armor Pokémon. Aron's thick armor allows it to destroy objects twenty times its own size with a well placed Tackle.”
“I’m switching for now. Spheal, return! Nidorino, you're up!” Lisa was nervously shaking as she threw her Pokéball into the battle.
“Okay, hopefully my strategy will pan out…” Sending out the disobedient Pokémon was certainly a risk, but the girl hoped that she could use his violent temperament to her advantage.
Predictably, Nidorino snorted and looked away from the battle as well as Lisa, holding his head high arrogantly.
Roy’s demeanor was noticeably different from the dinner the night before. Smirking, and with his hands on his hips, he shouted, “Ha! Looks like your Nidorino still refuses to respond to you! Aron, Tackle!”
Lisa smiled. “I hypothesize that Nidorino’s not going to attack unless provoked. So I’ll just let him get first strike and fall right into my hands.”
As soon as Aron landed a charging hit on the purple creature, Nidorino rushed right into battle and executed a Double Kick that sent the armored Pokémon sliding backward.
Nidorino’s sudden burst of energy took Roy by surprise, as he watched the attack with eyes and mouth hanging wide open. Taking a moment to regain his composure, the Gym leader game his next attack order. “Tackle it into the air and juggle it with Metal Claw!”
Lisa did not bother issuing a command. Knowing Nidorino would act on his own anyway, she decided to save her voice.
Aron charged in for another attack, but Nidorino jabbed its horn into one of the holes in Aron's armor, then flung his head around, eventually sending the tiny silver Pokémon flying and crashing against the wall. Nidorino began growling angrily as he pointed his ears straight into the air. Lisa could also see that her Pokémon was baring his teeth.
As Aron got back up, the enraged Poison-type quickly charged in and delivered two more quick kicks. The Poison-type’s rampage left Aron unconscious.
“Aron is unable to battle. Nidorino wins!” Dirk announced.
“I am impressed so far, Lisa. Your head is certainly in the game this time around, but you’ll still need to find a way past my trump card! Onix, you're up!” Roy pitched out a Pokéball containing his prized Pokémon. The huge gray snake batted Nidorino aside with its long, jagged serpentine body.
This preemptive strike did nothing to calm Nidorino’s rage. He let out the loudest roar that Lisa had heard from him yet, and proceeded to launch his assault.
Lisa smirked. “When Nidorino gets mad, he’s something fierce!”
Nidorino delivered two swift kicks to the rock snake but Onix slammed its tail on Nidorino, then used a sweeping motion to send him flying toward a wall. Nidorino made no attempt to get back up, as he appeared completely exhausted.
“No! Nidorino!” Lisa recalled her fallen Pokémon, quivering a bit.
“Nidorino is unable to battle. Onix is the winner.”
Lisa weighed her options, rubbing her chin in thought. “Spheal, it's time I brought you back in here! Use Water Gun!”
The blue Ice-type reemerged, happily barking and eager to rejoin the fray. He opened his mouth and shot out several small volleys of light blue water. Onix used its tail to try to block the incoming attack. Lisa could see that Onix had taken some damage, as it seemed to reel a bit from the hit. But then, before Spheal could react, Onix used a sweeping tail motion to knock Spheal around the gym.
“Spheal, try to get some air to stop rolling! Then use Water Gun!” yelled Lisa, struggling to stay composed – and keep her fidgety hands from ripping her pantyhose.
Without a rocky ramp to boost him like last time, Spheal used his two front legs to boost himself into the air, then shot a Water Gun at Onix.
“Onix, Dig now!” commanded the Gym Leader, pointing at the ground.
Before the attack was able to hit, Onix had disappeared underground, leaving displaced dirt and a gaping hole in its wake. Spheal landed, and the ground began to shake. Onix reappeared right under Spheal and slammed into him from below, sending him skyward. He eventually came down with a huge crash.
Lisa began sweating and pulling at her dress. “Oh, no! Are you okay, Spheal?” Despite her yells, the Ice-type couldn’t muster the energy to get back up.
“Spheal is unable to battle.”
Still sweating, Lisa pulled out her Luxury Ball. “Meowth, I'm counting on you. Give it your all!”
In a burst of light, Lisa's little cat Pokémon appeared, meowing loudly and staring down her much larger foe with her large eyes. The Gym’s light reflected off the gold coin on her forehead, creating an almost blinding burst of light.
“It's come down to our last Pokémon! Who will win?” Roy asked the nervous Lisa, who was fidgeting with her dress, knees shaking.
Lisa soon regained her composure. She had thought up a plan.” We’ll begin this show with a Water Pulse!”
Meowth’s first Water Pulse was thin and didn’t look too strong. Before the kitten’s shot of water could hit, Onix crashed through the ground and disappeared. The liquid splashed harmlessly off a wall.
“Too slow!’ Roy taunted.
“Meowth, you know what to do,” Lisa said with a smirk.
“Meeeowth!” Meowth nodded and approached the hole, then started using her Water Pulse and Pay Day attacks to plug up the hole where Onix was hiding. The ground started to shake and Meowth jumped aside with plenty of time to avoid Onix as it finally broke through a layer of earth, concrete, and coins, getting splashed with water in the process. It let out howls as it emerged, sending coins and debris flying in all directions.
Meowth quickly hit it with a somewhat stronger Water Pulse than before, and the force of the pulsating attack ended up sending the giant stone snake crashing backwards. With a roar, Onix smashed into a wall, sending pieces of concrete flying.
“It’s not over by a long shot! Onix, Bind it now!” commanded Roy. The Onix recovered and quickly used its long body to wrap up Meowth. As it continued to put the squeeze on Meowth, Lisa feared the battle would end the same way as before.
As Meowth cried out in pain, Lisa looked on, still pulling on her dress and quivering. But Lisa soon came up with a brainstorm about how to deal with the situation. She stopped shaking and her panicked look slowly morphed into a smirk.
“Meowth, use Water Pulse straight up into the air!”
Meowth did that, and the water rained down directly on both Pokémon as gravity took over. The small cat Pokémon seemed to be hurt a bit by the raining water, but with her fur now soaking wet, she was able to slip right out from Onix’s Bind.
Once free, she let loose wave after wave of rippling watery fury at her foe. Onix crashed through the floor to avoid the water but Meowth ran over to the hole and sprayed more Water Pulse blasts into it. Lisa could hear the giant stone snake was starting to come back above the ground.
“We’ve got ‘em on the run now!” Lisa observed.
The huge Pokémon emerged from its hiding spot, ramming into Meowth and sending her flying. While in midair, the cat managed one final hit with a well-developed blast of water. Onix howled in pain before succumbing to the attack. As it slammed on the Gym’s floor, its heavy body sent up a cloud of dust and debris. Meowth neatly landed on her two feet next to the fallen Rock-type.
“Onix is unable to battle. The winner is Meowth and Lisa!”
“All right! We did it! The first badge is ours!” Lisa jumped up and pumped a fist in the air.
Roy approached Lisa. “I knew that if you just focused on the battle, you would be able to win. You used your head to come up with strategies that were able to beat even my defenses. Now, I believe this is yours. Here is the official Pokémon League Pebble Badge along with this carrying case for your badges. Now, I wish you the best of luck as you continue to train and grow stronger. Perhaps we will meet again someday.”
“Thank you. My first Gym battle. It will be something to remember.”
Lisa bid Roy and Dirk farewell before heading to the Pokémon Center for a quick refresh. Then Lisa, with Meowth in tow, headed out toward the east and the next destination.
Passing by a sign that read “Route 504”, Lisa looked toward the horizon, and only saw a huge mountain range. This, apparently, was the southern part of the mountain range that separated Fourtix from Orre to the north. Looking ahead, the road was dirt as usual, but it was well-kept and a meandering stream flowed alongside the path. Small pools of blue water could be seen scattered along the entire path. At the path’s end was another foreboding mountain range.
The path seemed relaxing enough, though, and Lisa started to make her way east. She soon came across a girl training over in some bushes. When the girl saw her, she ran out to the path to meet Lisa. The other girl wore a green top and a blue denim skirt. Waving and running her hands through her black hair, she introduced herself.
“My name is Shannon. I’m good friends with Alexis. In fact, we’ve been best friends since we were only two! She’s told me an awful lot about you.”
“Really? What has she been saying?”
“That you’re a good up-and-coming trainer who has a lot of potential. And the fact that you’re doing the whole Pokémon journey thing wearing high heels… that takes guts.”
“Thanks,” Lisa replied, rubbing the back of her head. “My feet are hurting like heck, but that’s the price I’m willing to take so that I look my best.”
“What do you say to a quick battle? One Pokémon each.”
“Okay, sounds good. I’ll be using Meowth.”
“Nidoran, I choose you!” Lisa had seen this Pokémon before – it was part of the group of Pokémon that Nidorino was trying to protect when he first attacked her. Shannon’s Nidoran was colored blue and only had a tiny spike on its head as opposed to a full-blown horn Various spots of dark blue were speckled on her body..
“Nidoran, the poison pin Pokémon: The female Nidoran prefers defense over offense. Though its horns are smaller than the male’s, both inject poison of the same intensity.”
“Watch out for it, and use Scratch!”
“Meow!” Meowth quickly rushed in and slashed at the Nidoran. The opponent let out a squeak as it recoiled from the attack, but it recovered and performed a rapid kicking attack with its front legs. Both Pokémon jumped backwards after the strike, Meowth wobbling a bit.
“You’re doing good so far,” Lisa said. “Just need to keep up the attacks! Let’s try Water Pulse!”
Steadying her feet, Meowth released an intense beam of blue liquid with pulses of energy running throughout it. It looked to Lisa as if the battle against Roy had helped Meowth develop her skills with Water Pulse almost to perfection.
“Good hit!” complimented Lisa. “Wow, she’s looking really good with using that water now!”
The small blue opponent was struck directly in the head, but it managed to shake off the water. Nidoran came rushing at Meowth with its claws ready, delivering a hard Scratch before the cat forced it backward with a claw strike of her own. Both claw attacks left visible marks on the other battler, though the scratches were mostly on the surface. They didn’t appear to affect their stamina at all.
“Now give it a Fury Swipes!”
“Poison Sting!” Shannon yelled, pointing at Meowth.
The cat struck first, delivering a quick series of slashes and swipes at the tiny scaly foe. The Nidoran reacted with a flurry of needles shot out from the small spikes on its back. A good number of these needles hit Meowth, who fell to the ground. A strange purple liquid began bubbling out of the puncture point where one of Nidoran’ barbs had struck Meowth.
The kitten picked herself up fairly quickly, but something was noticeably wrong with Meowth. She seemed sluggish and dizzy, struggling to stand up and stumbling about. Her eyes became glassy and red, and she had trouble keeping her eyelids open.
“Meowth, are you okay?” Lisa looked on, wide-eyed and concerned.
“Now use Double Kick!”
Still staggering, Meowth took a direct hit, falling backward to the ground. Now nervous and pulling on her skirt, Lisa took out Meowth’s Luxury Ball and called her back. “Sorry, but I’ve gotta forfeit! Something’s really wrong with Meowth and I’m not gonna risk it keeping her out!”
“All right, looks like this battle’s over!” Shannon recalled her Nidoran and walked over to Lisa. “It must be poisoned. Happens a lot when you battle Poison-types. Here, let it out of its ball and give it this.” She handed Lisa a small bottle. “It’s an antidote used to help cure poison. I’d advise picking up some next time you go shopping.”
“Yeah, I probably should…” Lisa released her Meowth from her ball, gave her some of the antidote in the bottle, then called her back. She figured it wasn’t a good idea to keep her Pokémon outside, especially in the condition she was in now.
“That will tide it over for a little while but we must get it back to the Pokémon Center fast. It looked like an especially adverse reaction to the poison. There’s a Center at the base of the mountain. That one’s closer than the one in town.”
The two girls ran down the path. Soon enough, they could see the center’s roof on the horizon.
“There it is – the Pokémon Center.”
“Okay, thanks…” Lisa replied between heavy breaths.
Once inside the building, Lisa left her Pokémon to be refreshed by the center’s attendant. The man assured her that her Meowth would be fine after treatment, and she took a seat next to Shannon. It wasn’t long before Lisa started to break down and cry.
“Lisa, what’s wrong?” Shannon asked.
“Sorry, it’s… it’s nothing… But I’ve lost my third battle now and I haven’t been training for a week yet. Is… is there something wrong with me?”
“Not at all. Lisa, at some point everyone loses a battle. And when you’re first starting out, you have to figure there’s gonna be more experienced trainers. Don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine.”
Lisa looked up and gave a small smile, still with some tears in her brown eyes. “You know, Alexis gave me almost the same talk just the other day at her house.”
“You know, I wouldn’t doubt it.” Shannon glanced at her watch. “Hey, sorry, I can’t stay any longer. I’ve gotta be on my way. However, I spoke with Alexis and she wants the three of us to meet at the Pokémon Center in the next town, on the other side of the mountain.”
“Geez, I hope I don’t have to hike up it.”
“No, no, there’s a cave called Express Tunnel that was bored right through the mountain. Watch it, though. It’s poorly lighted and there’s plenty of places for a girl in heels to trip over rocks – or even Pokémon.”
‘Thanks for the advice. I’ll see you in the next town, then!”
“Yup. I’ll see you then. Bye, Lisa!”
After waving to her new friend, Lisa headed into the restroom to change clothes. Now she wore a red T-shirt, a ruffled purple skirt, and sheer pantyhose, along with her open-toe shoes. After receiving her Pokémon she headed out, quickly found the cave’s entrance, and headed inside. As soon as she was in, however, she spotted a familiar figure, and hid behind a rock.
Her nemesis, Tommy, was on the phone with someone. Fortunately, he had the volume turned up so Lisa could eavesdrop on the conversation. The girl figured that the old man’s hearing was starting to go bad.
A familiar voice started speaking, and Lisa recalled that this same one that she heard back at the university. She listened in. The voice on the other end boomed, “Listen, father, we have a problem. I have sent some agents to Orre to investigate the old Cipher Shadow Pokémon factory and laboratory, but all they found was rubble. I was hoping to find the production apparatus but apparently it’s been dismantled by the police or it’s been otherwise destroyed or seized.”
“Which means we have to build our production machine from scratch. That’ll take a month and a half, minimum! But, I suppose better late than never.”
“Right. At least something good did come from this.”
“We’ve recruited several new members and some of them are extremely powerful and skilled trainers.” The man on the phone laughed in a sinister tone.
“Former Cipher members?” asked the old man.
“I do not know at the moment. They have just arrived at our factory. I shall drive out to your location to meet with you and introduce several of our new members to you. I will contact you at your motel room when I have arrived. One final word of warning. Watch for that Northwood girl. She’s trouble. She took out Fred and Betty.”
“You don’t have to tell me twice. She got me twenty years in lockup. That’s practically a life sentence at my age, and ain’t no way I’m going back there! So yeah, I’ll be on the lookout.” Tommy fumed.
“In retrospect, perhaps I should not have performed those experiments on our underlings’ Pokémon. Apparently, reverting them to their first evolutionary stage didn’t pan out like I thought it would. Now I wish I didn’t do the same with our new recruits’ Pokémon…”
The man on the phone suddenly changed his tone. “Well, anyway, they’ll evolve again in due time. It should be of little consequence in the long run. Hey, do me a favor. If you find that girl, rip her dress or stockings or something. Make her really mad,” replied the man in his reserved yet chilling tone.
“Right. I’m out.”
So, it was true. Tommy and that Bart Sy guy are father and son. And those new Orre recruits? Lisa figured they could be trouble. Lisa was now faced with a difficult decision. Should she jump out and battle Tommy and help hinder his progress, or just lay low?
As Lisa was weighing her options, Tommy was walking away. “It’s now or never!”
September 28th, 2009 (6:25 AM).
Yay, first review!
Anyways, the first scene is very scary. Not in the 'AAAAHHHH!!!!!' type of scary, but the 'WTF' type of scary. Apparently Thrash has its own religion now >:0
And yay! Lisa finally wins her first Gym badge! The battles were exciting and well-written. Good job!
October 11th, 2009 (3:06 PM).
Thanks for the review! About that one scene, I did want to detail what Lisa was doing, but it admittedly does sound a bit choppy :/
Thanks again, and chapter 9 coming up
Chapter 9: Stumbling Through
Lisa jumped from behind the rock and landed in front of Tommy, taking the old man by complete surprise.
“Wha...wha...It’s you!” he stuttered, eventually regaining his composure. “Fine. I hear you think you can stop my son and defy destiny. It is impossible! You have no idea who you are dealing with.”
“Yeah, but I do know that working with Thrash is in direct violation of your parole. I suggest you watch TV this weekend. You’ll be seeing your mug on ‘Fourtix Region’s Most Wanted’, courtesy of yours truly.” Lisa gave her opponent a smug smirk, knowing that it would probably set the old man off.
“NO! I am NOT going back to prison! Oddish and Magnemite, attack her!”
“Got some new Pokémon, huh? Well, so have I! Pidgeotto and Nidorino, let’s get this show started! Pidgeotto, whip up a Sand Attack then use Gust on it!”
“Haha! That won’t work! I’ve trained and tortured these guys at our training camp before you dismantled it! They are invincible! Thundershock and Absorb, now!” the old man instructed.
Pidgeotto kicked up some dust, blinding Oddish. She took advantage by whipped up some strong wind, trapping Oddish in a vortex of sand and wind. Magnemite started to shoot electric energy at Pidgeotto. Pidgeotto quickly darted to the right and continued to lure Magnemite’s attacks away.
An errant Thundershock landed a glancing blow on Nidorino, and that’s all it took to get him riled. Nidorino jumped up and delivered two swift kicks with his front legs, knocking the floating magnet to the ground. As it tried to get airborne again, Nidorino struck again, delivering more kicks to the Electric-type. Magnemite recovered, firing off and landing a direct hit with its electric energy.
Meanwhile Oddish had just freed itself from the Gust and started to shake its head, releasing a fine powder. Lisa didn’t know what kind of powder it was, but she figured it wasn’t going to help her Pokémon out. “Pidgeotto, blow that stuff right back in Oddish’s face!”
Pidgeotto used Gust again, blowing the powder back toward Oddish, and the small plant Pokémon dropped and started to sleep.
“Idiot! Don’t let it turn your attacks back at you!” Tommy bellowed.
Lisa smiled. “It’s nighty-night time! Give it a Gust followed by Tackle!” she yelled, pointing at the snoozing Pokémon.
Pidgeotto used another Gust, then flew right into it. The winds did a little damage to her, ruffling her feathers a bit. But they also accelerated the bird Pokémon, who flew at her sleeping foe at full speed, knocking it into a rock.
“Dammit! You useless pile of…” Tommy recalled it and replaced it with Houndour. “Now crush her!”
The small dog Pokémon angrily snapped its orange muzzle at Lisa as it prepared itself for attack. The black creature let out a snarl before spitting out a barrage of fireballs at Nidorino. Although he tried to dodge the strike, a few fireballs did strike his side. He whipped his head around and growled at Houndour. But another electric blast from Magnemite turned Nidorino’s focus back toward the floating magnet.
Lisa pulled a Pokéball from her handbag. “Time for me to substitute another variable into this equation! Return, Pidgeotto! Spheal, you’re up!”
Lisa pitched out another Pokéball while doing a ballet-style spin, sending out her light blue circular Pokémon. The Ice-type smiled and barked as it waved its two small front flippers.
Meanwhile, with one last Double Kick, Nidorino finished Magnemite off by sending it crashing into a rock formation, but not without being blasted with a final Thundershock and slumping to the ground. Both Pokémon were called back.
Lisa summoned her Koffing into battle, shouting, “Okay, your turn! Let’s school this old geezer!” The toxic creature released puffs of gray smoke from the craters on her body as she floated a couple feet in the air.
“Annihilate that stupid girl! Now!” Meanwhile Tommy called forth... a Magikarp. Lisa could hardly believe her eyes when the old man’s red fish appeared. With its wide eyes bearing a clueless expression, the hapless Pokémon flopped around harmlessly on the cave’s floor, its mouth hanging wide open as it repeated its low-pitched cries of “Karp?”
“Looks like you’re all washed up, Tommy! I expected better from you!” The teen made no attempt to stifle or hide her laughter.
“You won’t be laughing after this!” Tommy wasted no time in injecting a chemical into his Water-type. “Now meet Gyarados!” With an angry expression on its face, the huge blue sea serpent let out a huge roar that shook up the whole battlefield. Viciously slamming its tail on the ground, the monstrous beast barely fit inside the confined spaces of the cave.
“You can’t scare me that easily! Koffing, give the big brute a taste of some Sludge! Spheal, launch repeated Water Guns at Houndour!” Lisa looked at her nemesis with a determined expression and her hands on her hips.
“Attack, my henchmen! Destroy her!” Tommy yelled, shaking his fist.
As Lisa’s round partner unleashed his volleys of water, Houndour fired out embers at Spheal and both sides were able to hit the other. The two Pokémon reeled from the other’s attacks, but they firmly held their ground. The barks and cries of both became louder and began to take on an angry tone.
Meanwhile, the mighty Gyarados let out another mighty roar...
And started flopping around on the cave’s floor. Once again, Lisa began to chuckle at the Pokémon’s incompetence. “Hmmmm.... Apparently those chemicals only change the Pokémon’s form. They don’t allow them to use new moves. Maybe Tommy boy should’ve thought of that...”
While still flailing about frantically, Gyarados was hit by Koffing’s well-placed Sludge. It let out another roar, but this one sounded like it was bellowing out in pain. Gyarados started to move more sluggishly and its eyes began to grow red.
“Must be poisoned. Meowth suffered the same thing when Shannon poisoned her... but Tommy’s probably so stupid he’ll keep it in there until it succumbs completely.”
“You incompetents!” Tommy screamed. “What the hell are you doing?!”
“Okay, Koffing, Gyarados is poisoned and it’ll go down by itself. Right now, help out Spheal!” Lisa shouted, looking at the
Spheal and Houndour continued exchanging their Water Gun and Ember attacks. Both were still pretty evenly matched, with many of their attacks all canceling the other’s out. As both Pokémon began another round of attacks, Koffing blew out some Smog clouds which made contact with some flames and triggered an explosion.
Spheal took the opportunity and shot some Water Guns right into the smoldering cloud of smoke. When the smoke cleared, Houndour was still standing, and it wasn’t clear if Spheal hit it or not with his attack. Lisa couldn’t believe it and her opponent took advantage. Tommy injected another chemical into it and Houndour let out an angry roar in response.
“Now, Frustration!” Tommy smiled and laughed. He looked as if he was confident that his chemicals would be the game changer.
The powerful charging strike was incredibly powerful and knocked both of Lisa’s Pokémon backwards and against the rocky cave wall.
“Come on guys! Don’t give up yet!” Lisa frantically yelled, as she fidgeted with her skirt nervously.
Righting themselves, both of Lisa’s Pokémon fired long range water and poison attacks as Houndour was charging in for another harsh blow. Fortunately, both attacks hit, knocking Houndour for a loop. As the dog’s legs gave way and it collapsed on the ground, Tommy was forced to recall it. “Stupid idiot! Even with the help of science, you’re useless!”
Despite the poison affecting its performance in battle, Gyarados was still a major player. It charged at Spheal, knocking him into a cave wall. Lisa noticed that her Pokémon lay motionless at the point of impact, and knew he was spent. However, it was some consolation to Lisa when she noticed Gyarados squinting and howling out in pain from the poison.
With a look of concern on her face, Lisa pulled out a Pokéball and withdrew her Ice-type. “Uh, oh! Spheal, return! You need some rest! Good job, though! I think Koffing can handle it from here!”
Koffing floated out of the path of another one of Gyarados’ rampaging tackles. Out of control, the massive beast slammed headlong into a wall.
Seeing her chance, the Poison-type began spitting more putrid poison at the huge blue serpent. Her aim was true, and the thick purple Sludge splattered all over the foe’s face. Gyarados let out one more deafening howl before collapsing to the ground. Completely flabbergasted, Tommy called it back just as it was reverting to its Magikarp form.
“NO! How is this possible?! I... You... ARRGH!” Throwing up a smoke veil, he ran off toward the eastern end of the cave. The cloud of smoke made it impossible for the teen to pursue him.
Realizing that her Pokémon had taken a beating, Lisa headed back out the entrance and into the Pokémon Center. Once there, Nidorino somehow released himself from his Pokéball. Emerging directly in front of the girl, he began snarling at Lisa as soon as the red beam of light from the Pokéball subsided. Only a quick sidestep avoided disaster as the injured but angry Poison-type tried to charge and stab his trainer.
“Hey, watch it!” the girl shrieked as she stumbled and nearly fell down trying to dodge the enraged Pokémon. “What am I gonna do with you?” The spectacle had attracted the attention of others in the center, who stared at the two with stunned expressions. After dodging another attack, the girl pulled out Nidorino’s Pokéball. The wily Pokémon dodged several beams of red light before finally being engulfed by it.
As she finally succeeded in calling back the out of control Pokémon, the teen sighed as sweat began to pour down her forehead. “That’s it… I can’t handle this one…”
Desperate to escape the gazes of shocked onlookers, Lisa ran to a small hallway behind the front desk. There she used the phone to call Professor Sequoia.
“Hello? Lisa? How are you doing? It’s been awhile!” came the voice of the young scientist.
“Truth be told, I’ve been better. I’m all stressed out, I’m scared to death, and this whole routine is not what I was expecting. But before I tell you my life story, can I ask you to do a favor for me?”
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Can you look after a Pokémon that I caught earlier. I think this Nidorino would rather be able to run around on the ranch at the moment. I mean, he won’t obey me at all and he just tried to attack me.”
The professor took a deep breath. “Lisa, you really should try to work with him more. I mean, that’s part of being a trainer. You have to develop bonds with your Pokémon and gain their trust.”
“But, I’m at my wit’s end trying to keep him in line! Just now he tried to jab me with his horn. He won’t eat, he won’t attack unless provoked in battle, and when he does attack, it’s like he snaps and goes ballistic. Overkill, really! Please, I’m begging you! He’s just too much for me!” The girl began to whimper.
“Okay, Lisa, if your hands are that full, I’ll take care of him. Now, what about this rough time you’re having? Any news?”
“Most of the rough time I was having was related to Nidorino. Other than that, I’ve got some good news and some bad news. The good news is I got my first badge.”
“Congratulations! And the bad news?”
“Do you know about that group, Thrash, who invaded your lab the night before I got Meowth?”
The professor grew silent for a moment, as if to jog her memory. “Yeah, what about them?”
“Well, apparently now I’ve been roped into this Pokémon League mission to try to stop them…”
“Yeah… Lorelei called me yesterday. Said they were after some research documents at the university that were connected to the research I was doing. Research related to Shadow Pokémon.”
Lisa explained, “Well, I found out that Team Thrash is officially looking to make Shadow Pokémon again. They’re putting together an apparatus to do that. It seems like they’re going to be taking awhile to put it together so I think I have some time.”
“Sounds really serious. Now, I want you to stay safe and don’t get yourself over your head. I’ll try to dig up some dirt on Thrash and see what’s going on with Nidorino. But right now I have an appointment with my doctor, so I have to go. Well, I’ll wish you the best of luck! Bye!”
“Okay, we’ll chat later.”
After the conversation, Lisa rested up her Pokémon again then headed back into the cave.
Lisa had not made it ten steps into the cave before she tripped over something. She looked at the ground and saw a small orange Pokémon with an unusually large jaw. In fact, its head was nearly double the size of the rest of its body. It was also equipped with razor-sharp teeth.
“Trapinch: The Ant Pit Pokémon. Trapinch digs and hides itself just underground with its mouth open, ready to clamp down on unsuspecting prey.”
The Trapinch began snapping its jaw at Lisa. She knew it wanted a battle, but t the same time, she didn’t think it sounded angry.
“All right, Meowth, let’s get it! Use Fury Swipes!”
Meowth quickly slashed Trapinch several times with her claws, leaving red marks on Trapinch’s orange skin. It countered by creating a vortex of sand. Meowth was trapped in the cyclone and couldn’t reach the Trapinch. Every time she tried to escape the twister, blinding sand forced her back.
“Grrr... Time for some long-range tactics. Use Pay Day!”
Shiny coins began to emanate from the Sand Tomb and came right at Trapinch. Upon being struck, Trapinch reeled. It couldn’t keep the vortex going, freeing Meowth to leap in and scratch at it. Trapinch emerged from the onslaught, barely able to stand on its four stubby feet. It now bore numerous red scratch marks and couldn’t keep its lower jaw from dropping to the ground.
“Go, Pokéball!” Spinning around twice, Lisa threw out the Pokéball. Trapinch was drawn into the device, and after several moments of wobbling (and of Lisa fidgeting nervously with her skirt), the ball clicked shut.
“All right! Trapinch is mine!” As she went to retrieve her Pokéball someone pushed her to the ground. The impact with the ground ripped both her blouse and skirt.
“Whoa!” As soon as she regained her wits, the girl noticed the fresh tears in her clothing. “My outfit! Hey, what’s the big idea?”
As she got back up, she came face to face with a young man about her age. He wore thick glasses, an oversized white button-up shirt, and wrinkled black slacks. His blond hair was long, curly, and rather disheveled.
Pushing his glasses up on his face, the man said, “Remember me? You knocked me out during the first round of the calculus competition! I was crushed! Listen, just because you happened to solve that third-order differential equation by a fluke doesn’t mean you’re smarter than me.”
“In case you didn’t know, I won the entire thing and was named the 2006 math champion!”
“No way! You won… Fine. You may be better at math than me, but I doubt you can beat me at Pokémon battling... or chemistry!”
“I think I can take you. Bring it on!” Lisa spat, eager for whatever challenge this guy had.
“Hahahaha! I have the entire Periodic Table tattooed on my chest! There’s no way you can win!” The man pulled a Pokéball out from his pants pocket as he wore a confident smirk on his face
“Okay, obsessed much?” Lisa gave her opponent a baffled look; not knowing why – or how – this weirdo fit the entire Periodic Table on himself. Nor did she want to see it.
Lisa commented, “You don’t want to mess with a girl with a bachelor’s degree in math, with concentrations in computer science AND Chemistry.”
“You asked for it! You think you’re so smart but I’ll show you! I call out Grimer!”
The nerdy fellow sent out a purple mass of living sludge. The toxic substance on its body constantly oozed and dripped down its gelatinous form.
“Might as well fight Poison with Poison, if only because I don’t want to be poisoned again. Go, Koffing! Use Tackle!” Another purple Pokémon emerged in a brilliant flash of energy, this one spherical in shape.
“First question, little girl. I’ll take it easy on you. What is the chemical symbol for zinc?”
“It’s Zn. I was expecting a challenge. What is the atomic number of antimony, smart guy?” Lisa quickly responded.
Koffing rammed headlong into Grimer, who delivered a rather weak hit with its slimy arm in retaliation.
“It’s 51. Any numbskull knows that. Atomic weight of barium. Give it to me! And use Screech!” the nerd spat at Lisa.
“137.33. Duh. What group and period does vanadium belong to? Oh, and Koffing, use Smokescreen followed by Tackle!”
“Pound it! And the answer is Group 5, Period 4. Now for you. What is the charge of an unbonded Sulfate ion, and what is its formula?”
Grimer let out a piercing scream but it didn’t deter its foe. Koffing blew out a thick cloud of black smoke and charged in at Grimer while it was still blinded. The mass of slime was knocked backward a few feet as it yelled out in anguish.
“Easy. Its formula is SO_4, with a -2 charge. An amino acid contains an amino group and what other functional group?” Lisa asked, smirking.
Lisa’s opponent started sweating and fidgeting. The teenage brainiac knew she had stumped the nerd. Eventually, he mumbled, “Um… a hydroxyl group.”
“Ha! Wrong! It consists of an amino group and a carboxylic acid group!” Lisa looked at him with a smug, confident smile. “Who’s your chemistry mama now?”
“No, I can’t believe I lost!” he yelled out as he recalled his Grimer, just as Koffing was ready for another Tackle.
“But the battle wasn’t over...” Lisa pointed out.
“Yes it was. The battle is lost either when a Pokémon faints or when a question is answered wrong. That is how these ‘quiz battles’ are carried out. But anyway, I am shamed. I must return home to study more…”
As he ran off, Lisa continued deeper into the tunnel until she tripped over something again. “Ow! Jeez! I’m tired of tripping! What is with this place? Someone call the DOT!”
Getting back up, she saw herself face-to-face with a Geodude and Aron, two of the Pokémon she recalled that Roy used. Both looked primed for battle. Both gray Pokémon stared the girl down, with Geodude flexing its rocky arms while the armor-plated Aron simply looked on with its large blue eyes.
“So, you’ll battle together? Fine by me. Go, Meowth and Spheal! Use Water Pulse and Ice Ball!”
Spheal spit out a small ball of solid ice. The frozen blue projectile hit Geodude, knocking it over, but the rock Pokémon quickly recovered, delivering two quick punches to Spheal with its fists. Meowth landed a direct hit on Aron, but it was quick to react with a Tackle that sent her sliding backwards. The cat remained on her feet, showing little signs of wear… so far.
“Good hits, guys. Now, repeat the attacks!” Lisa pointed in the direction of the aggressors.
Spheal’s ball of ice was somewhat larger this time, but this time Geodude dodged out of the way, enabling the attack to strike Aron this time. Aron was sent sliding back from the force of impact, but the ice shattered against the Steel-type’s shiny armor. Unfortunately for Geodude, by dodging the Ice Ball, it was right in the path of Meowth’s Water Pulse, which did significantly more damage to it. The rocky Pokémon was slower to regain its composure than it was after the last hit.
“We’ve got ‘em on the run! Keep up the good work!” Lisa cheered.
This time, Aron delivered a rushing tackle, slamming directly into Spheal’s round body. Though he was sent rolling, he had learned in Roy’s gym to use his front flippers to catch air and regain control of his movements. While in midair, he opened his mouth and launched a sizable chunk of freezing fury at Aron. Once again, the ice shattered on impact, but a quick Water Pulse from Meowth found its mark. Aron was sent crashing against the cavern wall. The girl suddenly noticed Geodude holding a large gray rock in its hands.
“Meowth, behind you!”
Lisa’s warning came just in time as her Pokémon turned around to see the incoming boulder. She quickly jumped, forcefully kicking the rock and sending it back at Geodude. The Rock-type looked bewildered as its own Rock Throw was used against it. Stone met stone as the boulder broke in two after striking the Pokémon directly in the head.
“Great job, Meowth! Rinse and repeat, guys! You’re looking great out there!” The teen smiled as her Pokémon were making quick work of the wild ones.
Spheal’s Ice Ball was huge this time, but Aron was able to dodge underneath it. The ice splintered into hundreds of shards as it slammed against the rocky wall. Geodude was much less successful, as it got a face full of Water Pulse, courtesy of Meowth. Knowing it couldn’t last much longer, Geodude beat a hasty retreat into the dark depths of the cave. Aron stuck around, however, and appeared to be preparing to attack again.
“Okay, guys, one left! Give it a Water Pulse and Ice Ball!”
Aron started charging at Lisa’s Pokémon. It was able to shatter the Ice Ball and continue its rush, but Meowth’s Water Pulse stopped it in its tracks. The little armored Pokémon’s stubby legs gave way as Aron fell to the floor.
Lisa prepared two Pokéballs, one in each hand, and tossed it at the weakened foe. Aron put up little resistance, but as soon as the capture was completed the Pokéball dissolved in a shower of pixels. Just then, the girl’s PDA beeped. Lisa took it out and read the message:
“Aron successfully transported to Professor Sequoia.”
Lisa jumped up and pumped her fist in the air. “Awesome! Another capture! Now, if I can just find my way out of here without tearing up my clothes any worse than they are now...”
Just as Lisa had called back her two Pokémon, she was interrupted by a voice. “You there! You’re not dressed for hiking! You look like someone roughed you up at a school dance!”
She looked at the man, who was wearing a hoodie and jeans. “Well, you don’t look the part of the hiker either.”
“Hey, how about you battle my Pikachu?”
The man sent out a chubby little yellow rodent with rosy red cheeks. It yelled, “Pika!” in a high pitched voice, its pointed ears raised and wearing a smile on its face.
“So, that’s my opponent. Looks easy enough. Trapinch, it’s your turn! Your first battle by my side! We’ll start row-reducing this matrix by using Dig!”
“Wait? Row-reduce? What matrix?” the man asked, completely confused.
“Oh, sorry. Just a little math geek metaphors there.”
“Whatever. Thundershock, Pikachu!” he ordered, uninterested in Lisa’s lame attempt at humor.
Trapinch quickly concealed itself underground. The enemy Pikachu just ran to the hole and peered into it. Without warning, Trapinch popped up and sent Pikachu airborne. While in midair, the rodent attempted to blast its enemy with bolts of yellow electricity emanating from its red cheeks, but the bolts just bounced off Trapinch. Pikachu’s landing was less than graceful, as it landed right on its face.
“Arrgh! That didn’t work!” the man grumbled.
Having seemingly taken no damage at all, the orange Pokémon rushed right at its Electric-type adversary and clamped down with its powerful jaws. Pikachu struggled to break free and eventually released itself by beating Trapinch with its tail.
“Urgh… Pikachu, show her your true power!” the man shouted as he jumped up and down in a tantrum.
Lisa chuckled as she watched the man flail about. “Fine by me. Let’s give it a Sand Tomb followed by another underground strike!”
Trapinch quickly encased Pikachu in a vortex of sand before the rat had an opportunity to make a move. Every time it tried to leap out of containment, the blinding sand whipping about would force it back inside the swirling mass. Trapinch headed underground again, leaving a small hole in its wake. From within the twister, the Ground-type quickly knocked Pikachu for a loop. It landed hard on the ground and let out a final, pained squeal. With his mouth hanging wide open in shock, the young man recalled it and ran off.
“Guess that battle left him... speechless. Ha, I’m so funny!”
Lisa made her way through the rest of the cave, somehow avoiding any more battles. She only would have to dodge the stray Zubat, which oddly enough were not in a combatitive mood today. She ended up tripping over rocks at least a dozen times though, so it was not an easy endeavor by any stretch of the imagination. After each stumble and fall, she bemoaned the lack of regular maintenance.
When Lisa finally made her way out of the tunnel, she took a look at what was left of her clothes. Both her skirt and blouse were badly soiled and ripped in several places. Her stockings were essentially no more, with the number of holes and runs in them. Her knees and elbows were bruised a bit as well. Not wanting any more mishaps, Lisa pulled off her shoes and just broke out into a sprint into the next town.
Lisa completely ignored a badly deteriorated motel at the cave’s exit. She ran right by a couple of boys battling with their Rattata and Poochyena. They paid her no mind as she blitzed past them. Fortunately, it was a clear path, with no wild Pokémon appearing for battle. The route itself was yet another boring dirt path with grass and trees on either side. The wind kicked up a little dust, but the girl was happy for the reprieve from the dangers of the cave.
Finally stepping into the city limits, Lisa rested her body on a lamppost, panting heavily out of exhaustion. “At least I made it here alive…”
After a few minutes, Lisa was finally ready to continue walking. Her clothes reduced to rags, she did not want to spend too much time outside, for fear of embarrassment. She read on a sign, “Greenville City.”
“How ironic.” Lisa had spent most of her life not far from the city of the same name in South Carolina. Huge, towering buildings loomed in the distance. The road leading into town was lined with the usual mix of hotels, restaurants, shopping plazas, gas stations, and the ever-present Pokémon Center. Her first destination was the red-roofed Pokémon healing facility. Upon entering, the balding, gray-haired nurse commented, “My, you look like a wreck.”
“I know. I ran into some hostile trainers in that cave back there,” Lisa explained, clearly exhausted from her trek.
“Well, I’ll look after your Pokémon here while you rest up.”
Just then, two girls entered the building. It was Alexis and Shannon, wearing identical red sweatshirts.
“Oh, no! I can’t let them see me like this!”
“Lisa! There you are!” they both called out.
Lisa began to sweat as her face turned red. “It’s too late!”
At the base of the Express Tunnel mountain was a run-down single story motel that Lisa had ignored. “BUDGET INN” was hand-painted in red block letters on a dilapidated sign in front of the motel.
A phone rang in dark, dusty room 24, and the guest in the room answered it.
“Father, look for a red Ford cargo van outside. I must show you a few things.”
Grabbing his room key, Tommy Junger made his way outside his room and found the red van mentioned by the caller. As he approached it, the door flew open and he got inside.
A shadowy figure wearing a red hood greeted him. Standing next to him were four figures dressed in silver armor. One of the four was significantly more muscular than the other three, and one was visibly shorter than the others. The figure in the red cloak started to introduce his accomplices in a low, menacing tone. “Now, father, I will show you four of our six Orre recruits. Meet Arton, Skrub, Exol, and Naps. The other two are performing key duties at our base so they will remain stationed there. As you travel the region scouting out new members and other places and items of interest you will rendezvous with each one to get status reports. Arton will be heading up Operation Game Boy. Skrub will command Operation Power Block. Since Operation Hilltop Fissure is so important, both Exol and Naps will be dispatched to supervise it. Now I will let you go so as not to arouse suspicion.”
“Father, for your sake, I hope nobody heard our conversation in the tunnel entrance. Least of all the Northwood girl. I know you like to use your speakerphone, so I am a bit concerned. So tell me. Did anyone eavesdrop on our discussion?”
“Uh... Of course not…” Tommy stammered, hoping his son and boss would not call his bluff.
“Very good. I’m out,” Bart Sy calmly announced.
As soon as Tommy got out, the van pulled out of the lot.
“Crud! If he finds out, I’m in for it! I can’t believe I’m now taking orders from my own son!” Tommy muttered as he made his way through the dusty lot back to his room.
October 12th, 2009 (1:25 PM).
I know you're not interested in editing this fic further, but I'm going to make a short comment anyway about something that really bugs me.
You have a very annoying tendency to equate intelligence or ability with the memorization of useless information. The fact is you don't need even a trace of mathematical talent or expertise to memorize the first x digits of pi, and a real mathematical genius probably has better things to do than memorize pi. Likewise, having the periodic table tattooed onto your chest is only related to ability at chemistry in that both are probably correlated with general interest in chemistry, and having it memorized (as you gleefully show Lisa having here) does not indicate she knows any chemistry whatsoever. They are not having a chemistry battle. They're having a "What useless chemistry-related information have you brainlessly memorized because you have no life?" battle.
Furthermore, if Mr. Nerd actually knew anything about chemistry, he would be able to deduce simply from the name that amino acids contain, surprise, an amino group and an acid group. Hell, even if I didn't know anything about amino acids or the naming of chemicals, I could guess that if one of them is called an "amino group", the other one is probably called something to do with acid. It is still not ability at chemistry, but since it involves actual logical deduction, it's at least slightly closer to it than simply having memorized it like a parrot.
You could theoretically do this intentionally, as a way to show that the nerd is a real loser because he thinks he knows chemistry just because he knows the periodic table, but the fact the supposedly really gifted Lisa does not make any sort of comment on the inanity of the questions and in fact asks him the exact same kinds of questions herself seems to indicate that you really think knowing the atomic mass of X is chemistry. In which case, no. Stop. Bad. Don't be Dan Brown. Never take a subject you don't intimately understand and try to write about it as if you do. Somebody who actually knows the subject and can tell how wrong or shallow your knowledge is will come along sooner or later.
(My friend suggests decent questions might be something along the lines of "What is the most common orbital hybridization in C3H8?" or "Name one species that cannot be reduced and one that cannot be oxidized" or, if you don't mind needing a bit of calculation, "What is the density of CO2 at 0.990 atm and 55°C?". Or, well, basically any question that would ever be asked in an actual chemistry class if the teacher isn't a moron, which he is if he expects you not to simply have a periodic table handy to look up things like atomic mass and chemical symbols in when you need them to solve actually useful problems.)
~Butterfree/Dragonfree/antialiasis of The Cave of Dragonflies
Still not going to sprite for your fangame. Sorry, but I don't really sprite or give out permission for people to use my fake Pokémon anymore.
October 17th, 2009 (1:02 PM).
And very interesting... a battle of science AND Pokemon. That's what I love about Lisa
Overall, interesting chapter! Battles were very well written Great job!
October 27th, 2009 (10:49 PM).
Well, today's my birthday, so to celebrate, the next chapter!
Chapter 10: Lisa Takes a Gamble
“I’m so embarrassed!” Lisa’s new friends were looking at her with her clothes all torn up and dirty, and her hair was a disaster. But then she noticed that their clothes were in no better shape.
“Don’t look at me like this! I look like a disaster area!” Lisa practically screamed at them.
“Don’t worry about it,” Alexis told Lisa calmly. “Everyone gets a bit ruffled up going through that tunnel.”
“Thanks. I think I’ll head up into the rooms and change.”
“All right. We better do the same.”
Upstairs, Lisa found a private room and went in, locking it behind her. “I can’t believe it. I get my clothes all torn up in that blasted tunnel, then I have my friends see me at my absolute worst! At least I think they were okay with it...”
Minutes later Lisa finished changing, wearing a pink floral dress with a purple, orange, and red print. She had on a pair of those white stockings she loved so much and also her black strappy heels, and her white hat, which she had stored during her trek through the tunnel. After having to throw her ruined clothes in the trash, she made her way back to the main room.
Alexis and Shannon were now wearing matching outfits: green T-shirts and blue denim skirts with black leggings.
Lisa looked outside. “You know, it’s almost dark. I’m gonna go and get a room for the night, then I’ll meet up with you somewhere for dinner.”
“How about the Club Greene? There’s supposed to be some sort of show there tonight.”
“Okay, sounds good. I’ll see you later.” Lisa bid her friends good-bye.
The two girls left. Soon after, Lisa got her Pokémon back from the attendant and headed out to look for a nice place to spend the night – or couple of nights, as the case may be. She let out her Meowth and the two of them walked out toward the business district. Soon they found a six story AmeriSuites hotel with its brick and glass façade, and went into the modest but attractive lobby. Inside the hotel, an older woman was checking in, along with an elegant beige cat Pokémon with pale fur and a shimmering red mark on its forehead. Lisa recognized this Pokémon as Persian. Meowth immediately noticed and started to stare at the Persian with awe. Lisa noticed Meowth’s reaction.
“Like that, Meowth? You’ll evolve into a Persian like that someday if you work hard at it.”
Meowth started purring with a big smile on her face. Lisa walked up to the desk and began to check in. After receiving her card-key, Lisa noticed that Meowth was still watching the Persian as its trainer made her way down the hallway.
“You really like that Persian, don’t you, sweetie?”
Smiling, the teen made her way down the corridor to the elevator. She had been given a third-floor room and was too tired to use the stairs. “It feels like my whole body aches… I’ll be glad to get into this nice, comfortable bed…”
Once she arrived in her room – a large suite with kitchenette, 25’’ TV, VCR, king bed, and sofa bed – she let the rest of her Pokémon out and laid out some Pokémon food for them. Spheal seemed to eat his food especially quickly, and Lisa had to lay out more for him. “I hope he doesn’t end up looking like Santa Claus,” she joked to herself.
Lisa decided to leave her Pokémon out, but gave them a warning: “Don’t tear up this room. Otherwise we’re all in trouble. This isn’t the ideal place to practice attacks anyway.” Then she proceeded to leave the hotel and walk to Club Greene, just down the road.
The club was awash in neon lights. A marquee at the entrance read, “SHOW TONIGHT! Orre Magicians Razzel and Dazzel with special guest Miror B.!”
Lisa entered and soon found where her friends were sitting.
“So, Lisa,” Shannon asked, “I hear you’re from the U.S. How did you find your way out here?”
“Yep, I live in the commercial area of Anderson, South Carolina, just off the main strip on Clemson Boulevard. Our place there overlooks a Quality Inn, a Target, a Lowe’s and an Applebee’s. Now, about how I got over to this corner of the world. My dad does business over here and in the States. Lately, we’ve been spending more time over here, though my parents just returned to South Carolina. Right after they send me off to train. Perfect timing, huh?”
“Yeah, it is… Hmmm… Where did you go to school? Here or over there?” Shannon asked between sips of water.
“In South Carolina. I know here most kids leave school at ten to start training Pokémon, but over in the U.S., school goes until you’re eighteen, unless you drop out or are really smart.”
“Really smart like you, for instance. So, when did you graduate high school?” Alexis asked
“When I was eleven.” A blushing Lisa let out a giggle after saying that. “Then I went to college nearby and got a four year bachelor’s degree in just two and a half. After I graduated there was when we started spending serious time here. Which reminds me... my car is still in our garage in Fort Barnes. I hope it’s all right.”
“I wouldn’t worry about it… it’s just a car, right?”
“Of course not!” Lisa answered. “My car’s my baby, and I would give my life to protect it!”
“Wow, it must be some car!”
“You bet it is!” Lisa said proudly. “It’s an ‘89 Chevy Caprice Classic, only 40,000 miles and in near perfect shape!”
Not knowing much about old cars, Alexis and Shannon simply nodded.
“Moving on,” Shannon said, “What about the rest of your family?”
“Well, I’ve told you about my dad. There’s also my mom and younger sister. My mom works with my dad and is the company’s chief financial officer. My sister’s currently in school in South Carolina. She’s been staying with grandma, who’s also caretaker of our house in South Carolina when mom, dad, and I have been in Fort Barnes. My sister’s nine, and she’s expressed interest in being a trainer. Last I heard, mom and dad are pulling some strings to get her out of school and into a Pokémon training class so she can start training once she turns ten. Okay, I’ve given you my life story. What about you guys?”
“Well,” Alexis started, running her hand through her blond hair, “my family isn’t that interesting. My mom’s a secretary for the English program at Fourtix University, and my dad does designs for a house manufacturer. I have an older brother who left to train Pokémon four years ago. Last I heard from him was three weeks ago; he said he was in the Kanto region.
“Both of my parents are retired. They made a good bit of money with an investment firm and were able to retire early. I’m an only child, and also our family’s first Pokémon trainer!”
“Well, that’s actually quite interesting, you two. Anyway, I’m staying in the AmeriSuites hotel, room 329. Don’t be a stranger!”
“Yeah, we’re sharing a room in the Pokémon Center. But yeah, we’ll stop by sometime.”
“Oh, I think the show’s starting!” Shannon whispered.
Suddenly the lights began to dim except for the ones over the stage. Disco music started to play. First there appeared two young girls in white top hats and tutus. Then, between them, emerged a tall lanky man wearing a purple suit and with a huge red and white afro. Lisa looked bewildered at the mysterious man with the odd but impressive hairdo.
Alexis whispered, “The dude with the giant afro is Miror B. I hear he’s a former criminal from Orre who gave up after a crushing defeat in a spectacular battle atop a lighthouse. Now he travels the world with the magicians showing off his dance moves. He’s got some cool dance moves, even if he’s a little… let’s just call him ‘unique,’ and leave it at that.”
Miror B.’s voice came through the loudspeaker. “Behold the most elegant dance steps in the world! Trudly! Folly! Let the music play!”
In the hotel suite, the Pokémon had just finished eating.
“Aww!” Spheal moaned. “The food’s all gone! I wanted more!”
“Still? You ate half of mine too!” Koffing replied. “It’s a good thing for you I’m not hungry tonight.”
“So, Trapinch,” Meowth started. “What was life like before you joined with us?”
The orange Pokémon took a step forward. “Pretty boring, actually. Surprisingly, I never even caught sight of any humans in that cave, even though the other Pokémon there complain about too many of them. And I really can’t battle the other ones in that cave. I can’t jump up to fight the Zubat, and the Geodude and Aron have that thick armor that my teeth can’t bite through. And the other Trapinch are all relatives, and refuse to fight me. I’m hoping that with this girl, I’ll have the chance to really test how well I battle.”
“That’s funny,” Pidgeotto said, flapping her wings. “You’re hoping to battle more often with this girl, while I’m hoping to battle less often!”
“Really?” Trapinch asked. “Are there that many battles where you used to live?”
“Oh, yeah, too many of ‘em. It was like for every meal, I had to battle first. And it seemed like it was always the Weedle that I would have to contend with, and you know how bad their poison can be. Compare that to earlier, when the girl just gave us food in a nice bowl. No battles or anything.”
“Very interesting,” observed Meowth as she scratched her chin lightly. “Two very different perspectives on the whole situation. As for myself, I guess I’m in the middle. I like a bit of action, but I can’t do it non-stop. I like to have time to just kick back and relax.”
“I guess I’m the same way,” Koffing chimed in. “but what’s more important to me is how nice the human is. I’ve had a bad experience with humans before, but this girl seems pretty nice, if a bit of a scatterbrain.”
Meowth agreed. “Yeah, I know. I’ve known her since before I started battling, and she’s almost nice to a fault. She does like to ramble on about stuff I don’t think anybody else understands, though…” Spotting something out of the corner of her eye grabbed her attention. A certain spherical Ice-type was chewing on the corner of the bedspread. “Spheal, no! That’s not for eating! If she notices that…”
“Sorry, but I was hungry!” In response, Meowth merely sighed.
After the show and dinner the girls split up and headed back to their respective rooms for the night. On her way back, Lisa noticed another neon-clad building, this one with a sign that read, “Greenville City Casino Gaming Hall.”
“Oh, great,” she muttered. “This will become Fourtix’s version of Vegas.”
Lisa arrived back in the room about fifteen minutes later. She started to talk with her Pokémon when her PDA’s cell phone went off.
Still petting Meowth, she pulled out the electronic device. “Sorry guys, but I have to take this call. Hello?”
A familiar Italian voice greeted the intrepid young trainer. “Yes, Lisa. It’s Giovanni. I am en route to Greenville City now. I just got word from the Pokémon League that they want you to check out the casino there. There have been reports of shady deals going on there and it is suspected that Team Thrash is behind its operation. I was given permission to accompany you on this mission. I will meet you at the Pokémon Center at 9:00 the next morning. Sleep well. I anticipate there will be tough battles tomorrow.”
“All right. I’ll be ready. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
Lisa turned to her Pokémon. “Sorry, guys, but it’ll be another tough day tomorrow. We’ll be turning in early.”
Lisa headed into the bathroom to change into her nightgown and to get ready for bed. She made her way back to the bed.
Picking up her PDA to shut it off, Lisa noticed someone had sent her an email. She read it aloud.
“Dear, Lisa: This is Joel Madison from ‘Fourtix Region’s Most Wanted’. We are looking to interview you for our show in a feature profiling Team Thrash and Mr. Thomas Junger. A previous interview with Lorelei and Police Inspector Leslie Morgan will also be shown during the segment but we would like to air your segment live during our show, which will air two nights from now. Would you be interested, and if so, please let us know your location so we can fly out there in time.”
“Woo-hoo! I’m gonna be on TV! I called that one perfectly!” she happily squealed, remembering her comment to Tommy back in the cave. Lisa wrote back, “Yes, I would be interested in doing the interview. I am currently in Greenville City where I will be for the next few nights. Also, I would like to have a couple of friends on the air with me. Is that okay? Thanks again, Lisa Northwood.”
Lisa turned to share the news with her Pokémon. “Looks like we’ll be here a couple more days, guys. Guys?”
With her Pokémon spread out on the floor and sofa bed and already falling asleep, Lisa turned out the lights in the room.
Early the next morning, Lisa woke up early and got dressed. She put on pretty much the same outfit she had on last night, except that she elected to wear her white slippers instead of her heels, at least while going into enemy territory. Lisa gathered up all of her Pokémon and transferred them all back into her Pokéballs, then headed downstairs. After grabbing a cup of apple juice and a bagel from the free breakfast buffet, she proceeded to walk out to the casino she had passed by last night.
Outside the neon nightmare, Lisa waited for Giovanni. After about five minutes, he showed up, wearing the same black suit he had when they had first met.
Giovanni examined Lisa from head to toe, commenting, “Well, Lisa, you’re here, though bright pink floral’s not exactly the outfit of choice for espionage operations.”
“Meh, it’s daytime. Even if I had worn my black stealth dress, it wouldn’t hide me any better.”
“You have a point. All right, let’s do this thing,” Giovanni answered, shoving his right hand into his pocket.
Lisa and Giovanni headed into the casino. Amid rows of slot machines, poker tables, and roulette wheels, Lisa soon focused her sight a man standing in a corner in front of a closed door. The man was clean shaven and had also shaved his head bald. He wore a black suit not unlike Giovanni’s. On his head rested a pair of sunglasses and a headset with microphone.
“There,” Lisa whispered to Giovanni, pointing to the man. “Let’s move in on him.”
Lisa walked up to the man and asked him, “Hey, what’s behind the door?” Giovanni was not far behind.
In a low, deep voice, the man responded, “Employees only.”
“Well then,” Lisa said, tearing off the guard’s sunglasses, “let’s just say I have important business to discuss with management.”
Upon seeing her, the man sputtered, “You... It’s the girl that the boss warned us about! I won’t let you in here! Zubat and Pikachu, get her!”
A small blue bat and yellow electric rodent, both familiar foes, appeared, Pikachu not looking threatening despite the scowl on its face.
“Fair enough. I call out Meowth and Spheal. Let’s start off with an Ice Ball and Fury Swipes!” The beige kitten emerged and jumped high in the air using her large brown feet as leverage, while the round aquatic mammal looked on with a smile.
Both of Lisa’s Pokémon struck quickly, hitting Zubat with a small chunk of ice and slashing Pikachu several times in rapid succession. The bat Pokémon was knocked downward, but furiously flapped its wings before being grounded. Its partner began stomping its feet and released a small shot of electricity, but Spheal quickly rolled left, causing the attack to harmlessly strike the tiled floor.
“You two! Use Leech Life and Tackle!”
“Meowth, dodge right fifteen inches and jump up at a thirty-seven degree angle with your claws ready. Spheal, roll left then hit Zubat with another Ice Ball.” Lisa was unveiling her secret weapon: Lessons taught to Meowth one night back in Bluefield regarding geometry and hyperbolic curves. She began to smile.
Meowth jumped sideways then backwards at a small angle as Pikachu ran beneath it. Then the small cat Pokémon spun around and sank her claws into the Electric-type’s back, interrupting a Thundershock before it could be formed. The little yellow Pokémon let out a pained squeal before batting its feline adversary with its tail, successfully shaking its opponent off its back.
Zubat was able to drain some of Spheal’s life energy with an olive-colored energy circle before the Ice-type got the chance to roll to safety, but Spheal was able to hit Zubat with a larger Ice Ball regardless. This frozen attack sent the small Pokémon crashing to the ground, but Zubat was able to recover, albeit shivering from the cold
“Quick Attack, you spineless dimwit!” commanded the security officer.
Pikachu quickly struck Meowth with a blindingly fast running tackle attack. As Meowth stumbled and almost lost her balance, the rodent began charging at Meowth again, this time with yellow sparks emanating from the red spots on its cheeks.
“All right, give it a blast of Water Pulse!”
Meowth opened her mouth wide and let loose a steady stream of water complete with sonic pulses rippling through it. The attack successfully stopped the enemy’s incoming attack, knocking the tiny Pikachu backwards and into the leg of a blackjack table.
“Now, follow up with Pay Day! And Spheal, use another Ice Ball!”
“Meowth, meow!” Before Pikachu could get back on its feet, several shiny coins hit it at high velocity, knocking it out for the count. The chubby Pokémon fell on its rotund belly, coins and water surrounding it. A casino patron bent down to retrieve the coins, and her neighbor took advantage, stealing some of her poker chips.
The man grudgingly recalled his Pokémon and let out a low growl. “Zubat! It’s all on you now! Get them!”
Meanwhile, a sizable Ice Ball just struck Zubat but the small blue bat was still able to recover. Each time, though, its movements became slower and it seemed to fly closer to the ground.
“I don’t think it will take much more. Give it an Ice Ball and Scratch attack, guys!” Lisa yelled, pointing at her remaining adversary.
Sure enough, Zubat could not take a double whammy from both Pokémon, especially since the Ice Ball this time was very large. That attack grounded Zubat long enough for Meowth to slice at the blue blood-sucking opponent. The Pokémon lay on the floor, with chunks of ice scattered all around its motionless body.
“Damn! I didn’t figure I’d actually have to battle! I’m outta here!” The man packed up his Pokémon and fled out the front door.
Lisa ran over to the office door and tried to force it open. “Blast, it’s locked.”
Giovanni approached, a Pokéball in hand. “Step aside. I’ll handle this.”
Giovanni pitched out his Pokéball as curious gamblers looked on. The battle had caught everyone’s attention.
Emerging from the Pokéball was a huge gray Pokémon with a large drill-like horn on its head, that stood on its hind legs. Its body was covered in a rock-like hide, somewhat less jagged than that of a Geodude. Lisa fired up the Pokédex on her PDA.
“Rhydon, the drill Pokémon. Rhydon gains the ability to reason after it evolves from Rhyhorn. Its rocky hide enables it to make its nest inside volcanoes and near hot springs.”
“Now, Rhydon, use Mega Kick!” Giovanni ordered, pointing at the steel door.
With one powered-up strike with its foot, the steel door crumbled to the ground. Lisa’s mouth was wide open as she witnessed Rhydon’s raw power. “Giovanni’s really strong! Or, at least his Rhydon is.”
Inside the small office, Lisa saw two people. One was a male Thrash agent wearing the usual red uniform. But the other guy was wearing silver metallic armor on his legs, his chest, his lower arms, and on his helmet. Due to the helmet’s tinted visor, Lisa could only see his mouth.
Giovanni stuck his head out of the doorway and flashed his Pokémon League badge at the onlookers. “Attention! This facility is operated by Team Thrash! On orders from the Pokémon League, everyone evacuate now!”
The patrons did as they were told, running out of the casino while in an obvious panic. Many loudly expressed disbelief at the news, while others bemoaned their interrupted games.
The man in the standard Thrash uniform started to protest loudly, “We are not ‘Team’ Thrash! We are the Brotherhood...”
The man in silver interrupted his subordinate in a surprisingly calm voice. “Silence! So, you must be the Lisa that everyone at headquarters is buzzing about. It is hard to believe that someone so young, in such a frilly outfit, could possibly pose a threat to us, but I will not take any chances. I am Arton. I am not dressed in usual Thrash attire because I am one of six ringers brought here from the Orre region for our expertise on Shadow Pokémon. I hope you understand that to me Pokémon battles are not a silly game. Do not think you can beat me with childish tactics. Agent Sissger! Take on the man in the suit. I want to experience the girl’s power firsthand. I call out Oddish and Charmeleon!”
Arton released a red fiery lizard Pokémon with its tail burning at its tip and a small blue Pokémon with leaves on its head. Charmeleon let out a loud, angry hiss, making a threatening slashing motion with its claws. Oddish did little other than shake its leaves as furiously as it could.
“Then I’ll start this with Pidgeotto and Trapinch! Give Oddish a taste of your Gust! Use Dig to take them by surprise!”
Pidgeotto took to the skies upon her release, flapping her light brown wings. Trapinch emerged on the floor and opened her jaws wide.
Oddish made an attempt to drain Trapinch’s power, but she managed to dig under the tiled floor before the attack hit. The missed attack left Oddish wide open for an incoming Gust attack from the airborne bird Pokémon. Charmeleon started to spit small flames out of its mouth at Pidgeotto, but she flew up to the ceiling and out of reach of the flames.
“Would you hit that thing?!” screamed Arton, shaking his armored fist furiously.
From up in the sky, Pidgeotto released another burst of wind aimed right at Oddish, then dive-bombed right at it. Oddish was sent flying back and slammed against the office drywall, looking incapacitated.
“Worthless plant! Stupid idiot Pokémon!” Arton clutched his head in exasperation.
Charmeleon managed to land several direct hits on Pidgeotto with Ember as she retreated to the air. Just then, the floor began to rumble, as Trapinch reappeared and slammed into Charmeleon from below. The fiery lizard was knocked several feet into the air and landed hard on its back. Charmeleon got back up easily but its partner was spent.
“Good job, guys! Let’s focus on Charmeleon now. Hit it with Wing Attack and Dig!” Lisa commanded with authority.
Arton replaced Oddish with a new Pokémon, this one a white hairy monkey-like Pokémon with an angry expression. “Haha! Now, Primeape! Destroy her!” The creature jumped about wildly, punching the air in a flurry of fists.
Primeape rushed in toward Trapinch at full speed, but she managed to duck underground seconds before impact. Pidgeotto, now back in the air, flew down at Charmeleon at high speed and whacked it hard with her wing. As Charmeleon reeled from the attack, Trapinch executed another Dig attack, but Charmeleon jumped clear and slashed at Pidgeotto with its claws. It took another well-aimed Wing Attack to shake off the fiery red reptile. It let out a loud, “Charrr!” and looked on in fury.
Quick on its feet, Primeape jumped in front of the small orange Ground-type and landed a series of quick punches to Trapinch before the big-jawed Pokémon could retreat underground. Primeape now focused its attention on Pidgeotto, leaping high before executing a downward sweeping motion with its hand, smacking the bird right in her back.
“Excellent work, Primeape! I will finish her off now!” Arton said. “Charmeleon, now!”
Charmeleon started to spit its fire at Pidgeotto again, but it failed to notice the ground rumbling beneath it. Trapinch struck it hard from below, launching Charmeleon skyward. The Fire-type’s head bounced off a desk as it descended, and the Pokémon landed in a motionless heap on the floor of the office..
“Great going! This guy’s apparently all talk!” Lisa confidently proclaimed.
Without missing a beat, Arton summoned a brown bird Pokémon with an elongated beak and huge, impressive wings, which the bird spread wide as it cawed and took flight. “Now, meet my Fearow! And don’t you dare underestimate my power, little girl! I will crush you! Primeape, Karate Chop! Fearow, use Peck!”
Lisa watched as the two Pokémon charged in at hers. “Quickly, dodge right, Pidgeotto! Trapinch, Dig underground and wait for it!”
Both Pokémon did so, and Primeape ended up delivering a Karate Chop to a chair with its boxing glove-like hands. Fearow and Pidgeotto started an aerial battle, exchanging Pecks and Wing Attacks. Meanwhile Trapinch landed a surprise hit on Primeape from underground. Despite being knocked into the air, the agile monkey landed on its feet and charged again.
“Whatcha gonna do now?” Lisa taunted her adversary, hands on her hips.
“Watch this, you little vermin! You two, get back here!” Arton bellowed to his two battle-worn Pokémon.
Both enemy Pokémon retreated back from Lisa’s team and landed in front of Arton. The thug proceeded to inject a chemical into both Pokémon. “Now that you’re angry as hell, give them a taste of your Frustration!”
Fearow and Primeape rushed in and both landed hard blows on Trapinch, knocking her unconscious. The double whammy was so blindingly fast neither trainer nor Pokémon had time to react.
A wide-eyed Lisa looked on while nervously pulling at her dress. “No!” Lisa screamed as she brought back Trapinch. “Sorry…You did well. But it is time to end all of this! Koffing, let’s go!”
With a flash of light, the purple orb Pokémon appeared in midair, loosing small puffs of smoke as she watched and assessed the situation at hand.
Lisa was planning her strategy to finish this battle. “Now, Pidgeotto, we’re going to lure Primeape into an attack then smack it silly with Wing Attack. Koffing, I think we’ll try a Sludge on Fearow.”
“You two! Frustration again!” Arton roared, gritting his teeth angrily.
Primeape rushed right toward Pidgeotto, but at the last second the bird flew slightly to the right and knocked Primeape upside the head, sending it careening into the wall. Primeape struggled to its feet, just in time to be struck down by another Wing Attack. This time, Primeape wouldn’t be getting back on its feet. Arton was forced to call back Primeape, muttering something unintelligible under his breath.
Meanwhile, Koffing had fired some Sludge at Fearow, but the angry bird still connected with Frustration as it delivered the blow via its long, sharp beak. Once again, it was a hard hit that shook up Koffing. She was able to withstand the attack, but Fearow was also still ready for more. But now it had both Pidgeotto and Koffing to deal with.
“You’re outnumbered, outmatched, and outsmarted now, buddy! Do you think you can win?” Lisa asked the now-fuming Arton, a smile forming on her face. She knew that she was in control of the match now.
“Do not underestimate the Thrash Brotherhood. You are to respect us. And I’ll show you why!” Arton responded.
Undaunted, the strong bird viciously pecked at Lisa’s Pokémon whenever they attempted to move in close for an attack. Lisa figured that she couldn’t have her exhausted Pokémon get hit by that sharp beak again.
“Time for a distance assault. Gust and Sludge! Be careful to avoid that beak!”
Both of the teen’s Pokémon launched long range attacks at Fearow. Pidgeotto initiated a Gust while Koffing used another slimy Sludge to slow down its assault. With its feathers ruffled up and purple slime on its face, Fearow was just barely hanging in the battle.
“Idiot! You’ve got Frustration, use it!”
Undaunted, Fearow landed another hard hit on Koffing, but that left it open to a final hard strike with Wing Attack that finally brought Fearow down, crash landing on the desk. Arton was forced to recall his last Pokémon, which he did while letting out a frustrated roar.
“How…how is this possible? I was beaten by a girl? Never mind that!”
Arton then noticed his underling was lying on the floor, beaten as well. “Sissger, we have no choice! We must retreat!”
“Freeze! Police! You two, on the ground, now!”
“No! It’s all over? I just started here!” Arton stuttered as he was placed into custody.
As officers led Arton and his pal to a waiting squad car, Giovanni had some words for Lisa as the pair walked out of the building.
“You did very well here today. However, I fear that the situation is more dire than we thought. That guy Arton… he was wearing a Cipher uniform.”
“You mean, those creeps from Orre who started the whole Shadow Pokémon project?”
Shoving his hands into his pocket, Giovanni said with a grim expression on his face, “Exactly. I must leave now and inform Eldes and Lorelei of this disturbing new development. I will wish you the best of luck with your future endeavors. Farewell. Oh, one more thing. Do you see that large domed building? That is the region’s Weather Research Center. I suggest you check it out. I don’t think anything’s going down there, but it would be good general knowledge for you to have.”
“Right. I’ll check it out.” Lisa answered.
As Giovanni departed in a black Town Car, Lisa headed for the domed glass building. Fortunately it was not a long walk. “Why not? I’ve just finished cleaning house, and this could be a good educational diversion.”
At the door she was greeted by three individuals, all wearing white lab coats. “Lisa Northwood! We’ve heard about your adventures and your struggle to take down Thrash! Please, come in!”
Inside the building’s clean but blandly furnished lobby, Lisa got a good look at the three people. One was a tall man, with slick red hair. It stood out because his hairline somewhat resembled the letter “M”. The second man wore a blue bandana on his head. He had a slight beard and was slightly shorter than the first man. The third person was a young woman with long, curly red hair. Like the second man, she wore a blue bandana.
The man with red hair spoke up. “My name is Maxie. This here is Archie and his wife, Shelly. The three of us are the co-chairs of this research facility, but our intentions have not always been benign in the past. Ours is a cautionary tale about the power of weather and Pokémon. Please, sit down and let us explain.”
Nodding, Lisa had a seat in an upholstered chair as she prepared to listen to the researchers.
Archie started telling their story. “A couple of years back, Maxie and I were leaders of two opposing environmental groups in the Hoenn region. Both of us sought to upset the balance of the land and water masses of the region. Our reasoning was that if our respective group accomplished its goals, then we would aid in the development of Pokémon. Key to our operation was awakening two ancient Pokémon of legend, named Groudon and Kyogre.”
Maxie continued. “At that time, we believed we had the tools to control the two Pokémon but they proved too powerful for us. Calamity was averted since a young trainer, much like yourself, was able to summon a third ancient Pokémon, Rayquaza, to calm the two beasts. Since that incident, Groudon and Kyogre have been roaming the world, looking for a place to go back to rest. We were no longer welcome in Hoenn because of our misdeeds, but the Weather Lab here recognized our expertise with weather and the two legendary Pokémon and offered us positions.”
Shelly warned Lisa, “We have been tracking both Pokémon based on the weather conditions they leave in their wake and we’ve found that both Pokémon, in all likelihood, have migrated to Fourtix recently. I am not sure if they have moved on, but we suspect that if they are here, Team Thrash could be out to capture the Pokémon for their immense power. I will give you our cell number and we will be in contact if anything comes up. Meanwhile, feel free to look around here.”
“Okay, thanks.” Lisa got up from her chair to explore the lab. Just then, Maxie’s cell phone went off.
“Yes? Yes, this is Maxie… Really? Yes… understood.” Turning to his partners, Maxie said, “Sorry, but something has come up. I must leave for some important personal matters. Please excuse me.” He left the laboratory in a hurry.
Archie turned to Lisa and informed her, “He’s had a lot of these ‘emergencies’ come up lately. I do wonder what is up with him. But please, enjoy yourself here. I was told by Roy that you have an interest in science, so I think you will find something useful to you here.” While he was speaking, Shelly had sat down at a computer behind a desk. Archie joined her at the terminal.
After exploring the lab’s various exhibits, which included some interesting displays of various weather phenomena, Lisa headed outside and checked her messages. She had received a reply from the TV show, ‘Fourtix Region’s Most Wanted.’
That sounds good. We will be in the Greenville City Pokémon Center tomorrow night at 7:00 PM. Feel free to bring your friends. We’ll see you then.
Host, Fourtix Region’s Most Wanted.”
Lisa smiled to herself and said, “I can’t wait.”
Lisa’s next call was to her two friends who were in town. Alexis answered.
“Hey, it’s Lisa. Guess what? I have a TV interview tomorrow night and I was wondering if you two would like to come? It’s gonna be at 7:00 tomorrow night in the Pokémon Center.”
“Hey, sounds great! We’ll be there! Hey, we’re also planning on stopping by your room tonight. Which one is it?”
“It’s the AmeriSuites. I’ll meet you in the lobby at 5:00 tonight. We’ll grab a bite to eat then it’s sleepover time!”
“We’ll be there!”
November 6th, 2009 (4:52 PM).
Other than that, the chapter was great I enjoyed the battle scene and the not-so-nice comments a few certain individuals make to their pokemon
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I like how all these former bad guys (Giovanni, Archie, Maxie, etc.) are all joining together to fight this all-new 1337 gang. Go teamwork!
November 14th, 2009 (7:38 AM).
I don't think I've mentioned this before, but I like how all these former bad guys (Giovanni, Archie, Maxie, etc.) are all joining together to fight this all-new 1337 gang. Go teamwork![/QUOTE]
Yes, but are their intentions good, or do one or more of them have ulterior motives? Something to ponder about. But I drop a subtle clue in this chapter...
Thanks for reviewing! Next chapter up in a week or so!
November 22nd, 2009 (3:30 AM).
Chapter 11 posted!
Chapter 11: Contests and Brawn and Interviews, Oh, My!
On her way back to the Pokémon Center and her hotel, Lisa saw a building that caught her eye. It was red in color, with Pokéballs and ribbons of various colors painted on it. The place was boarded up with plywood and weeds growing all around it.
A voice called out, “Hey, you! This building is off limits!”
Lisa looked up at the man, a burly, dark-skinned individual with a shaved head. He had on khaki cargo pants and a red button-up shirt. Lisa stammered, “Sorry, I was wondering what this place is about.”
“All right. I thought you might be up to trouble, but you don’t look like it. My name’s Bernie and I’m the Gym Leader in another town, visiting the Gym Leader here.” Bernie got a closer look at Lisa. “You’re Lisa, right? I thought I recognized you from what the Pokémon League had told us Gym Leaders. Please, come with me. Since you’re fighting the criminal element here, I suppose I should tell you about that facility.”
They passed by the Gym, which had a sign posted that read, “Gym Leader will not accept challenges until tomorrow.” Lisa thought to herself, “In a way, I’m relieved. I really don’t feel like another battle today.”
Arriving at the Pokémon Center, Lisa sat down with Bernie, and he began to tell his tale. “That building used to house events called Pokémon Contests, which are competitions between Pokémon. However, they are fundamentally different from a traditional battle, so they require a somewhat different training regimen. They were very popular in Fourtix until we had to shut the operation down.”
“Why? Were they illegal?”
“The contests themselves were perfectly legal, but the way they were financed certainly was not. You see, soon after contests started here, so did a series of takeover-style armed bank heists and ransom kidnappings. When family members of me and two other gym leaders – Wendy and Reed – were kidnapped, the three of us started an investigation aided by Lorelei to recover our them.”
Lisa looked intrigued. “Wow, sounds like a real mystery.”
Bernie continued. “We traced patterns and determined that the crimes occurred in a specific city while the local contest was in town. During this investigation, we found out that contest judges, staffers, and promoters were directly involved in all of the robberies and kidnappings. The Contest HQ in Marquis City held a treasure trove of evidence. As it turns out, the head of the contest operation was a man named Karl Eugene Jenkins, though he was using an alias. A real stupid one, too. Something like ‘Contesta’ or some dumb name like that. I mean, how blatantly obvious can you get? Well, anyways, it turned out he was wanted in the U.S. for armed bank robbery.”
Lisa nodded. “Yeah, I heard about that guy. He mostly operated in Macon and Valdosta, Georgia.”
Bernie then revealed some more information. “The final championship for the contests was called the Grand Festival. Karl Jenkins and his associates had come up with a plan to steal every single Pokémon that entered the Grand Festival, as all Pokémon had to go through post-event check-ups. It was an ingenious plan, but fortunately, we were able to foil it by fielding a contestant of our own who worked undercover.”
“Well, I hope they threw everyone involved in the slammer!” Lisa exclaimed angrily.
Calmly, Bernie answered, “Indeed we did. We threw all of Karl’s associates in prison and extradited him so the FBI could convict him for his Georgia bank robberies. He’s now serving 65-90 years for armed robbery and extortion in lockup in Atlanta.”
“Good. That’s right where that slimeball belongs,” Lisa fumed.
“They were the first real organized crime ring in Fourtix, with Thrash being the second. Unfortunately, Thrash is even more deadly since they actively use Pokémon in their criminal acts, and they seem to be much better organized. Not to mention the chemicals they use and the guns they carry. I urge you to take the utmost caution when facing them. Also, if you want to fight for a badge, the gym leader will be back tomorrow. And I’ll be waiting in the next town, which, ironically, bears your family name, since it was built up around your father’s company. It’s the newest town in the region and I’m the newest gym leader. But, don’t take me – or any Gym Leader – for granted. I’ll be waiting for you!”
“Okay, see you then.”
Bernie headed out of the center, presumably to rendezvous with the gym leader.
Lisa headed back to her hotel and took a nap. After the battle with Arton, she definitely needed one. She woke up in time to meet Alexis and Shannon in the lobby. After a quick meal at Wendy’s, the three girls headed back to the hotel.
Alexis and Shannon had fed their Pokémon already, but Lisa had not. The three of them laid out food for Lisa’s Pokémon. Once again, Spheal made a glutton out of himself, and the other Pokémon were forced to aggressively protect their own food. Eventually, Lisa had to call Spheal into his Pokéball.
“Geez, he might be a Spheal, but he eats like a pig!” Shannon observed.
Lisa let out a small laugh. “Yeah, it just seems like he enjoys eating. Looks like I’ll have to increase my food budget. Okay, girls, what should we do now?”
Alexis said, “TV, I guess. Ain’t much else to do.”
“Alright, sounds like a plan.”
After several hours of watching romance anime on television with surprisingly little conversation, the girls decided to get some sleep. Shannon and Alexis pulled out the sofa bed while Lisa put on her nightgown. Then all three went to bed.
The next morning, Lisa got dressed, putting on her gray business suit, the one she had worn for her first gym battle. Alexis and Shannon had woken up a half hour earlier, and were already in the hotel’s breakfast area. The tardy teen met with the two younger girls in the lobby.
“Ah, I see you’re finally awake,” Shannon joked.
“It’s only 9:30!” Lisa complained. “Well, I guess it is time to move out.”
With her Meowth walking beside her, Lisa made her way to the gym. Alexis and Shannon followed.
On the way, Lisa noticed a bright light emanating from her bag. She opened it to see that her egg that she had won after the math competition was glowing and shaking. The egg began to crack, and give off a blinding white light. When the light wore off, the egg was replaced by a silver Pokémon with a red eyeball and white claws on the other end of its short, metallic body. Somehow the Pokémon was able to float in the air. All three girls were focused on the newly hatched Pokémon.
“Oh, cool! Must be a new Pokémon! Let’s check it out!” Alexis excitedly shouted.
“Beldum, the Iron Ball Pokémon: Beldum uses magnetic waves to float above the ground. It also uses those waves to confuse enemies. At this time it can only use Take Down.”
Lisa quickly glanced at the Beldum, then at her PDA screen again. “That’s weird. The Pokédex shows it blue in color, but mine is clearly silver.”
“Must be a really rare specimen. That one’s special.” Shannon observed.
Lisa then said, “Yeah, the letter that came with the egg did say something about this Pokémon being carefully bred and unlike others of its species. That must be what they meant.” Lisa called her new Beldum into its Pokéball.
“Alright girls, let’s get ourselves over to that gym.”
Outside the gym, Shannon and Alexis stopped. Shannon explained. “We both beat this guy yesterday and he was really steamed. I don’t think he wants to see us again, so we’ll wait out here.”
“Gee, thanks, guys...” More light emanated from Lisa’s bag and Beldum reappeared. the Steel-type floated toward the entrance to the building.
“Wait – you just hatched, and yet you want to take on this Gym Leader? Are you sure?” Lisa asked, tilting her head to one side.
Beldum slowly moved up and down, as if this was its way of nodding. “Okay…” Lisa aid, a bit apprehensive.
The gym was a large building constructed of red brick. As Lisa walked in, she was immediately stopped by a man wearing a black ninja outfit. Meowth and Beldum nearly bumped into the back of their trainer.
“I am Kurtis. You are here for a challenge, right? Step this way and prepare to meet the Gym Leader.”
Lisa approached the Gym’s stadium, with Meowth and Beldum flanking her on either side. A muscular man wearing a karate uniform stepped out of the shadowy depths of the gym and lumbered toward the opposite end of the arena. He had black spiked hair with a short beard.
“My name’s Armond! Bernie told me you were in town and I thought you’d show up here! I don’t like talking so let’s get it on! I’ll show you true muscle and power! Kurtis! Now!”
“The match between Greenville City Gym Leader Armond and Lisa from South Carolina will begin! Single battle, two Pokémon each! Only the challenger may switch out Pokémon! Begin!”
“I choose Machop!” Armond sent out a short grayish blue Pokémon that was rather humanoid in shape. Its large red eyes darted about as it vainly flexed its muscles, much like its trainer was doing. “Machop: The superpower Pokémon: Machop has a body consisting almost entirely of muscle. It trains in a variety of martial arts.”
“Okay, then. Looks like Beldum’s ready to go!” The girl’s sparkling silver Pokémon had already taken its place on the field. Its single red eye carefully scanned the battlefield, fixated on both opposing Pokémon and trainer. “Remember, this is your first battle, so be careful!”
“Machop versus Beldum. Commence battle now!” Kurtis announced.
“Get ready for a display of my power! Karate Chop now!”
“Chopppp!” Machop jumped in the air and prepared to come down with a sweeping hand motion. Beldum quickly darted to the right, then came in and struck Machop while it was still planning its next attack.
“Good job! Let’s nail it with another Take Down!”
“Low Kick now! Hammer her!” Armond shouted as he punched the air with both fists.
The little Fighting-type jumped into the air, its foot extended and ready to strike. Both attacks met in midair, causing both Pokémon to fly backwards. Machop was first to recover and delivered a punch to Beldum. The powerful blow sent the Steel-type hurtling backward, but it regained control before hitting the Gym’s wall.
“It’s okay! You can get this one!” Lisa said to her new Pokémon, though she was fidgeting a bit already.
Beldum quickly brushed off the attack, then came in at Machop again. The wily fighter jumped right over Beldum, but, without turning around, Beldum charged in the opposite direction, hitting Machop as it was about to land.
“Arrgh! Machop! Give her a taste of your Cross Chop! Try to beat this muscle, little missy!”
“Okay, you did NOT just call me that! Beldum, right fifteen inches then Take Down!”
As the Steel-type hovered out of the path of Machop, the fighter ended up missing its target, as both its hands swiped only air. Beldum took advantage, ramming into and knocking Machop down again. Without missing a beat, Machop was able to grab ahold of its foe.
“Uh, oh! This looks bad!” Lisa shouted, panicking. Now she was sweating and frantically grabbing at her dress.
“Right you are! Seismic Toss!” Armond boasted with a laugh.
Jumping up almost to the ceiling with Beldum in its arms, the muscular foe suddenly descended quickly, hitting the ground with great force. As it turned out, however, Beldum had managed to move around just enough so that Machop’s head also struck the floor hard. Surprisingly, both combatants were still ready for more, as each was quick to get back up.
“Beldum, Take Down!”
“Machop, use Mega Punch!” roared the muscular Armond.
“Okay, change of plans! Twelve inches left!” Lisa commanded.
At the last second, the silver machine-like Pokémon dodged left. Machop missed with its attack but stopped its charge before hitting the wall.
“Mega Punch it again!” Armond yelled impatiently.
“Beldum, you know what to do.” Lisa whispered quietly.
As Machop rushed in, its fist extended and glowing with power, Beldum floated straight up. The wily fighter stopped in its tracks and looked around, unable to find its foe.
Lisa grinned. “Now, airborne Take Down!”
Beldum, in a vertical position, quickly sped downward in a straight line and slammed directly into the grayish creature’s head. Like a drunken redneck, Machop stumbled around before tripping over its own feet.
“Machop is unable to battle. Beldum is the winner!”
Armond had a stunned expression on his face. “WHAT! No way! Makuhita, go!”
Lisa was now confronted with a small, chubby yellow Pokémon with squinty eyes. It wore dark blue gloves and had a strange appendage that made its head vaguely resemble a tied-up sack or bag.
“Makuhita, the Arm Thrust Pokémon. Despite its size, Makuhita is known for its indomitable spirit. Very rarely will it give up a fight unless its energy is completely depleted.”
“Makuhita versus Beldum. Begin!”
“Ready to go?” Lisa asked. “All right, Take Down!”
Beldum quickly struck Makuhita, knocking it over. Makuhita reacted by delivering a punch that landed a direct hit.
Lisa looked at Beldum. Though it was still conscious and ready for battle, Lisa figured it had taken a number of hard hits.
“Looks like you can use a rest, Beldum. Return! I will now make a substitution of variables! Pidgeotto, go!” Lisa figured Beldum could still battle in a pinch, if things came to that point. She called Beldum back into its Pokéball and sent out her bird Pokémon. “We’ll give it a nice Wing Attack!” The light brown avian Pokémon flew overhead, scanning her surroundings.
“Makuhita versus Pidgeotto. Continue!”
Pidgeotto struck Makuhita hard with her wings. The chubby yellow creature flinched from the sudden strike, but was quick to delivered a series of quick slams with its arms to the larger brown bird.
“Hahaha! Like my Arm Thrust, little girl?” Armond asked, a boastful smirk on his rugged face.
“It’s okay, but watch this. Gust!”
Pidgeotto started flapping her wings frantically, whipping up a small cyclone that headed toward Makuhita. It took the attack directly but responded with a swift chopping motion that used two crossed arms. This did some serious damage to Pidgeotto, sending her toward the ground. But the bird was quickly able to regain flight, then strike back with her broad wings before quickly flying out of range of another Cross Chop.
Lisa now understood this one’s strategy. Makuhita would take whatever damage was headed toward it, then strike back right after the attack was executed.
“All right, we need to attack this from a different angle. Pidgeotto, go in for another Wing Attack but make sure you pull up and away fast, before it can strike you.”
Pidgeotto swooped in, her large wing prepared to knock the plump little fighter silly. Sure enough, the foe made no move to avoid the attack. Pidgeotto flew upwards to avoid the retaliatory strike, but the airborne Pokémon couldn’t avoid a jumping headbutt followed up with four punches right to the face.
“Uh, oh!” Lisa shouted, looking worried.
“Enough games! Time to unleash all of our muscle!” Armond roared.
Makuhita now went on the offensive, landing a hard punch on Pidgeotto before she could take flight. Undaunted, Pidgeotto let loose another swirling Gust that knocked Makuhita over. This gave her the opening to take to the air once again.
“All right, we can take it! Dive at it again for another Wing Attack!”
This time, however, the Makuhita jumped on Pidgeotto’s back and grabbed it by the throat.
“Oh, no!” Lisa began to nervously shake in the knees. “This doesn’t look good! I don’t think Pidgeotto can survive this!”
Armond laughed. “Oh, yes! Seismic Toss now! Finish it!”
The little Fighting type jumped high into the air, firmly grasping the larger bird. It delivered several headbutts to Lisa’s defenseless Pokémon during its ascent. Makuhita suddenly came crashing to the ground with Pidgeotto in tow, causing the ground to shake as it made contact with the ground. Pidgeotto was knocked out completely, making no motions whatsoever. Makuhita was still standing, but breathing heavily in exhaustion.
“Pidgeotto is unable to battle.”
Lisa looked on, worried. “No, Pidgeotto! Return! Sorry for that, but you did good...just what I needed to soften it up.”
“Ha! Now I win!” Armond announced triumphantly.
“Not yet,” Lisa said, suddenly forming a smirk on her face. “I call out Beldum again!”
“WHAT!?” he shouted in stunned surprise.
“You forget, Armond. Beldum was not down and out when I swapped it out.”
“Fine, I’ll crush it anyway!”
Kurtis announced, “Final round: Beldum versus. Makuhita! Go!”
Lisa merely said to Beldum, “You know what to do.”
Beldum just sat and waited.
The girl could almost see the veins popping on her burly adversary’s face. “Grrr! You’re trying my patience! Mega Punch now!”
Makuhita rushed at Beldum, fist extended. However, at the last second, Beldum floated upward. Makuhita ran right under it. Then Beldum slammed into Makuhita before it stopped charging and slammed it into the Gym’s wall.
“NO! How is this possible?!” Armond dropped to his knees and hung his head low.
“Makuhita is unable to battle. Beldum wins. The winner of this gym battle is Lisa from South Carolina!"
Lisa ran over to Beldum. “All right, we did it!” Lisa summoned it back into its Pokéball, before happily jumping up.
Standing up, Armond turned his back to Lisa. “On that table there... it’s the Glove Badge... take it and leave my gym. I am shamed...”
Lisa picked up the boxing-glove shaped badge and added it to her collection. She pumped her fist in the air in excitement. “The Glove Badge is ours! Two down!” Meowth cheered and jumped up and down.
With no further business with the Gym Leader, Lisa, with her Meowth in tow, exited the Gym, with Armond still refusing to make eye contact with her. The victorious teen met her two friends outside the gym.
Shannon asked, “Well, how did it go?”
Lisa proudly showed them her newly acquired badge. “Right here. He’s got a lot of power, but he’s lacking in strategy. And he doesn’t like to talk to those who defeat him. Okay, girls, I’m gonna head back to my room to rest up. Then we’ll grab dinner and then time for the interview!”
Lisa first headed to the Pokémon Center and fished out Pidgeotto’s Pokéball. She handed it and Beldum’s to the male attendant. When he came back, he had some bad news for Lisa.
“Your Beldum is fine but Pidgeotto suffered some serious injuries. I would advise you not to use it in any battles for the time being.”
“All right. I’ll send her to the lab so she can get rested to full health.” Lisa replied. The girl headed over to the area with the phones and contacted Professor Sequoia.
“Professor, I just earned my second badge but my Pidgeotto got beaten up pretty badly during the battle. I’m sending her back to you so she can rest for a bit. I think she’ll like the wide open spaces on your Pokémon ranch.”
“Okay, will do. And congratulations on your second badge!”
“Thanks. Hey, how are my other Pokémon doing?”
The professor sighed. “Aron seems to be enjoying himself, but you were right about Nidorino. He’s just so stubborn, I can’t get him to do anything. I’ve got to keep him on a short leash or he’ll attack others. I can see now exactly why he was causing you so much trouble.”
“Thanks for the update. Oh, and tune in to ‘Most Wanted’ tonight. They’re going to interview me in a segment.”
“Okay, I can’t wait. See you later!” The professor hung up her phone, and Lisa followed suit.
Lisa’s next destination was her hotel, where she changed clothes. Now she wore the same blue dress and green cardigan that she had worn when she first set out on her journey. After resting up and cooking a quick microwave meal of ramen noodles, she headed back to the Pokémon Center. It was nearing seven and her interview would begin shortly.
Lisa was greeted by a tall man with a brown suit and graying hair upon entering the building.
“Greetings, Lisa. Joel Madison, host of ‘Most Wanted.’ We begin our segment in thirty! These two girls those friends you told me about?” he asked, motioning toward Shannon and Alexis, who had arrived before Lisa.
“Yup, there they are. Hey, girls!” The pair waved back to her.
Lisa had a glass of lemonade before going on the air. Her legs began shaking and her fingers were inching close to her delicate white pantyhose. Finally, as Lisa began to calm herself, the Thrash segment was about to start.
“Hello, and welcome back. Now we will profile the infamous Thrash Brotherhood. As you know from past segments, Thrash is the second organized crime ring to plague Fourtix, the first being the violent crime ring perpetrated by Pokémon Contest officials. Thrash has proven themselves to be much more dangerous, however.”
As images of Thrash thugs in their standard red uniform were shown on screen, Joel continued. “Unlike the Contest perpetrators, Thrash is set on harming Pokémon as well as capturing them and making money. With me are Lisa Northwood and two of her friends. Lisa was chosen by the Pokémon League to help them infiltrate and ultimately put an end to Thrash’s activities. We’ll interview Lisa in a few, but first, I had the chance to talk with police investigator Leslie Morgan and Pokémon League Covert Ops commander Lorelei.”
After that clip played, it was time to interview Lisa.
“So, Lisa, you’ve been involved in numerous battles with Thrash members. How big a threat do you believe they pose?”
“A very significant threat. Not only are they armed with military-style assault weapons, but they’ve developed chemicals to force evolution and make Pokémon become extremely angry. So, in essence, they are using science to manipulate Pokémon.”
“And what about the Shadow Pokémon rumors?” Joel asked.
“None have been created yet, according to the team’s bosses. I found out about their plans through eavesdropping and by their direct words to me. But the team is developing a device to make Shadow Pokémon. Fortunately, it appears that they are still several months off from completing it, which gives us some time to stop them.”
“You’ve raided a few of the team’s facilities. Can you tell us a bit about them?”
“First was a basic training-style boot camp in Chromo Forest that they apparently put both their operatives and their Pokémon through. From what I’ve heard, it’s basically a torture chamber. I was captured and locked in a cell for a short while but my Meowth got me out of there and I was able to defeat the leader in a Pokémon battle, buying the police enough time to shut it down. Then, right in this town, the gaming casino was a front for the team. It was a source of money and a way for them to smuggle and sell illegal substances. I helped close down shop here. Both facilities are now out of operation.”
“I also understand that you have a history with a man who allegedly has some connection to the group. Please, explain.”
Lisa answered, “Yes. A man named Tommy Junger claims to be the father of the team’s boss. He used to work for my own father, but he was convicted of several charges including fraud and extortion. But now he’s out on parole. He’s challenged me to a couple of Pokémon battles but I have been able to defeat him. The last battle, he was using some of Team Thrash’s Pokémon-altering chemicals.”
“You know what, Lisa? That is enough evidence to suspect he’s working directly for Thrash, and thus is in violation of his parole. Do we have his mug shot? I’ll have the officers issue an APB for him. Okay, here we go. Thomas Frederick Junger is 67 years old. He has blue eyes, though he wears designer contacts which give them a menacing red appearance. He is balding with white hair and a white beard. He is 6’2" and weighs about 220 pounds. Should be considered armed and dangerous, and he is a Pokémon trainer.”
Joel concluded, “Well, thanks to Lisa Northwood for her time and remember that all Team Thrash members should be considered armed and dangerous. Trainers would be putting themselves at serious risk if they choose to confront them. Do the right thing and call the police. That’s the best way you can help us put these scumbags behind bars where they belong.”
After the segment, a police officer approached Lisa. He was a chubby little man, with bright blond hair and a well-developed beard. “I’m Officer J.C. Hauston. I’ve recorded everything you’ve mentioned in your interview and I’ll be reporting it to my superiors. Great job. I’ll be seeing you.”
“Okay, see ya.” Lisa watched as the officer headed out of the building. She was a bit baffled, but decided not to think too hard about it.
Alexis and Shannon came up to Lisa. “Great interview, Lisa! Hey, the two of us decided to travel together and we’re heading onward tonight. You’re welcome to join us.”
“Sorry, but I think I’ll spend the night here and start out tomorrow morning.”
“All righty. Hopefully we’ll meet up with you later on. Bye!”
“Good luck, you two!” Lisa waved to her friends as they headed out.
Lisa headed back to the hotel and her room. As a reward for a gym victory, she opened up some premium gourmet Pokémon food and all of her Pokémon devoured it happily. Such food was much too expensive for everyday meals, so Lisa broke it out only for big victories and special events.
Afterward, her Pokémon all retreated into the calm and serenity of their Pokéballs. Lisa slipped on her nightgown and watched some TV before falling asleep. The next morning, she quickly threw on the clothes she had worn last night, then went down to the lobby to check out and grab some breakfast. She set out toward the next town, the town that bore her family’s name and was home to her father’s company.
On Route 507, secluded by a dense forest, sat a badly dilapidated and abandoned single-wide trailer. The TV was the only light coming from the living room. It was tuned to ‘Fourtix Region’s Most Wanted’. As soon as the commercials started, the TV went off and a small light went on.
“Blast!” Tommy smashed his fist on a table. “That little brat told them all! And apparently, she just broke up Operation Game Boy! I was just there a couple days ago and things were going fine!”
The sinister voice of the mysterious leader responded. “You know what this means, father? It means that we must resort to other means to obtain money. I don’t want to have our agents pull off bank robberies, but thanks to that girl we have no choice! I’ve also had to call off Operation Kanto Investigation before our operatives even took off from the factory! It’s time to put an end to her games. I want you to wait for her to get out to this route, then eliminate her...”
The elderly madman interjected. “No. I have a better idea. Her father’s company is based in the next town she will be passing through. I want your permission to assemble a group of agents and invade the offices. We will steal whatever we can get our hands on and sell it. Maybe they even have money around...”
Bart Sy’s usual calm, colleted demeanor began to diminish, as he was clearly intrigued by the plan suggested to him by his father. “Excellent plan. I will dispatch a group of agents to the alley behind the Northwood City Pokémon Center. You will meet them there and begin the invasion. Yes! That little teenybopper will be so traumatized by our invasion of her dear daddy’s company that she’ll just give up and go home! Well done! We can leave this hideout now.”
“Good thing, too. I hate this place.”
Both men exited the trailer. The masked figure in the red cloak got into a black Infiniti SUV and drove east. The bald old man started to walk west toward a large city visible on the horizon.
November 28th, 2009 (12:12 AM).
Urgh, so sorry for being behind on the reviews! Been very busy and also my reviews seems to be the same ones I mentioned on your much, much later chapters at Serebii. D:
This chapter I feel you put a bit much again. Lisa’s gym battle, Lisa’s battle, and a couple scenes from Trash. I think you can just have Lisa in Roy’s house and the gym battle in one chapter and everything else next chapter, but that is just me. Also, even though Meowth got refreshed from the Pokemon Center, I believe she should be given a bit more rest, especially from a battle against an Onix.
Have to say though, interesting Trash has its own religion, although the organization could have a better name. Also, indeed you did nicely with the battle this time. I like we get inside Lisa’s head when she does her strategies.
About Dragonfree’s comment: even though I’m no science person (heck, Chemistry is my lowest grade in high school: the math part of it I’m cool, but the concepts… D: ), sorry, but I agree with her. Too me, you’re able to emphasize Lisa’s strong point is math without her doing much memorization, but in the chemistry battle it’s more of memorization. Heck, the nerd could have just look at the periodic table on his chest real quick (which the readers probably won’t like to see XD; ). *coughs* Considering chemistry does have a lot of math, the two should have gone through a chemistry battle with a couple questions calculations. Don’t ask me examples, though. XD As for the Dan Brown part, I understand where she’s getting at, but at the same time I don’t think Dan Brown is like that. His stories are mostly conspiracy thriller ones, so of course he’s going to fabricate a lot of history and info in the name of plot, and he’s not the only author that does that.
I like the Tommy and Lisa battle a lot. Very fast pace and well executed. Heck, I love it when Gyrados does Splash. XD;
Would have done reviews for Chapters 10 and 11, but I’m tired from Black Friday. XD; I want to post what I have now though because I want to mention something about Dragonfree’s comment. Might edit this post though with reviews for Chapters 10 and 11, so watch out for this space.
November 28th, 2009 (8:06 AM).
So even contests are a conspiracy now... WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO?!?!?!/ >:0
Gasp. A spelling error.
You have a thing for ending lines, too:
Can't wait for the next one!
November 28th, 2009 (12:26 PM).
A strategy beforehand might not work because you don't know coming into the battle how your opponent is going to conduct battle. But there has to be a way of covertly giving commands in battle...
November 28th, 2009 (2:53 PM).
All right, Chapters 10 and 11. Sorry they’re short—not much to say with those two chapters since I read them before and I think I would be repeating myself from the reviews at Serebii. D:
Enjoyed the conversations with the Pokemon again. Aw, poor Spheal, always hungry. XD
As for the battle, it is well written, although this time a lot has been going on I lost track a little. Not much biggie, though.
As for the part where Maxie, Shelly, and Archie introduced themselves, there seems to be no reaction from Lisa after hearing that story. Would like a bit of emotion from her in that part. However, I already know what's going on, so I'll keep my mouth shut. :x
On the battle, ouch on Pidgeotto. O.o Glad she’ll be able to rest, though. Don’t like the gym leader. Such a sore loser.
The interview is something I see how people are interviewed all the time when I used to watch America’s Most Wanted. The Pokemon world should have those kind of things, especially with each game having an organization or two posing a threat. *nods*
Okay, overall enjoyed reading the last four chapters again, though there are a few issues I mentioned. Don’t sweat too much though as this story is still a great read. :3 Looking forward reading the company chapter again!
December 15th, 2009 (2:51 PM).
Thanks for the comments, and fear my belated and short reply.
NOTE: Chapter 12 is ready; however, due to exams, I'm not sure how readily I will be able to reply to comments. I may just do very brief replies, or I may not reply at all. Also, this will be the last chapter posted in 2009. Consider this a Christmas gift
Chapter 12: When Pikachus and Old Men Attack!
There were three roads leading out of Greenville City. Based on recommendations from the hotel staff, Lisa headed toward the eastern exit, passing the abandoned Contest Hall, the gym, a high school, and several residential neighborhoods. At the city limits, the road split into two.
The north fork was a new, six lane freeway with a center dividing wall, reminiscent of Interstate 85 near Lisa’s hometown. Signs posted on that road read, “SPEED LIMIT 70” and “NO PEDESTRIANS MOTOR VEHICLES ONLY.” The black asphalt ribbon stretched as far as the eye could see. The south fork was the traditional dirt path flanked by grass and trees. “Looks like I’m taking the southern road,” thought Lisa as she continued down the dirt path, as cars and trucks of various stripes took advantage of the newer highway. “I could be cruising on the freeway of love right now…”
Lisa passed a sign reading, “Route 506.” Almost immediately a small yellow Pikachu ran out and blocked her path. It immediately tried to zap the stunned girl. She had to jump quickly to avoid the attack. Then Pikachu turned around, mooning Lisa before farting right in her face! “CHUUU!” it squealed in Pikachu’s typical high-pitched voice.
“Dah! You rude little...” Lisa screamed.
Then Pikachu faced Lisa again, flipping her off with its tiny hands before attempting a kick aimed at her head, yelling, “Pika!” in a playful voice! Once again, Lisa just barely avoided its attack.
The girl, now angry, boomed, “Okay, you want a piece of me?! Time to teach you some manners! Trapinch, you’re up! Let’s start by kicking up a Sandstorm!”
Lisa sent out her small orange Pokémon with distinctive large jaws. She immediately started to whip up a large could of dust. Pikachu attempted to land a jumping kick but the blinding sand threw its aim way off.
“Now, Dig underground and hit it when it least expects it!”
Pikachu attempted an electric shock attack that just simply bounced off Trapinch. Unfazed, Trapinch disappeared into a hole underground.
“Foolish Pikachu! Your electric attacks are useless!” Lisa laughed before she broke out into a song, complete with awful looking air guitar. Meowth, outside of her Pokéball and watching all this, simply rolled her eyes.
“Now I’ve got you in my sights with these
Now did I take you by surprise...”
With that, Trapinch did take Pikachu by surprise, landing a heavy hit on the offensive little Pokémon. Pikachu launched another, stronger electrical attack that struck Meowth who was standing on the sidelines. She was knocked down by the sneaky attack
“Oh, no! Meowth!” Lisa ran over to the cat Pokémon and knelt before it. She shot an angry look at the giggling Pikachu. “Hey, you annoying little rat! What you’d do that for? You’re not fighting Meowth! Trapinch is your opponent here!” The Electric-type merely stuck out its tongue.
Just then, Lisa noticed that Meowth was surrounded by small bolts of static electricity that crackled on the tips of her fur. Letting out a loud growl, Meowth discharged the electrical energy by launching a large yellow lightning bolt aimed right at Pikachu. The electric rodent wasn’t expecting it, and looked surprised as it was zapped.
The girl watched with a stunned expression as her starter Pokémon hit her attacker with a taste of its own medicine. “Weird… She’s never been able to fire off electric attacks. Must be that Pikachu’s doing…” The girl pulled out her PDA and the device started up automatically. “Meowth has now learned Thunderbolt.”
The teen’s surprised look slowly morphed into a smile. “Awesome! I guess you were good for something, Pikachu. But now the fun and games are over! Sand Tomb!” Lisa pointed at the Pikachu, who was continuing to flip off her and Trapinch.
Trapinch dug underground and started to create a vortex of sand, drawing Pikachu into its fast-rotating core. After about a minute, the sand subsided. Trapinch appeared out of her hole, slamming into the rat’s underside and sent it skyward. As Pikachu crash landed, the Ground-type was now facing an unconscious Pikachu, lying motionless on the dirt path.
Lisa dusted herself off. “That’s what you get for messing with me. At least you were kind enough to equip my Meowth with Thunderbolt.”
Just then a boy ran up to where the battle had taken place. He wore a matching red tank top and shorts with Pokéball logos. His shaved head, backwards ball cap, and gold-plated plastic jewelry completed the wannabe gangsta look. “Hey! My name’s Billy! I saw that last battle. Why’d you have to be so nasty to that poor Pikachu?”
The girl shot Billy an angry look, her face red. “Um, hello!? Pikachu was the one who flipped me off and farted in my face!”
“Don’t blame it on Pikachu! I suppose I’ll have to teach you a lesson! Zigzagoon and Spearow, go!” He sent out the small avian Spearow and a small brown Pokémon with jagged, bristly hair that quickly ran on all fours out to the trainer’s side. Spearow flapped its tiny tan wings furiously to stay airborne.
Sighing in exasperation, Lisa said, “There is just no rest for me, is there? Oh, well. I call out Spheal and Meowth to battle your Pokémon.” With Meowth already out, the girl tossed out the Pokéball containing her blue mammalian Ice-type, who looked on as Billy’s Pokémon stared him down.
“Prepare to lose, you meanie girl! Before we start, though, I’m gonna rescue that Pikachu! Go, Pokéball!” Billy threw a Pokéball at the Pikachu, catching it. “Don’t worry, that meanie won’t hurt you any more. Now, let’s go!”
“Fine with me, if you want a Pokémon that’s as rude as they come! Now, Meowth, use Fury Swipes on Zigzagoon! Spheal, I need you to use Ice Ball on Spearow!”
Before the foe could react, Meowth charged in at Zigzagoon and landed four quick slashes before Zigzagoon was able to shake her off its back. Meowth flew off the opponent’s backside but was able to land on her feet. Zigzagoon began crying out loudly, with several slashes visible across its back.
Spheal spit out a small ball of ice that struck Spearow’s wing and froze it fast. As Spearow came crashing to the ground, Spheal launched another, larger chunk of ice that compounded the damage. Try as it might, Spearow was not going airborne with its wing covered in a heavy layer of ice.
“No! Spearow can’t fly like this!” Billy knew he was in trouble already He began stomping the ground.
“All right, we’ve immobilized half of his crew. Let’s hit Spearow with more ice before that wing thaws. And Meowth, keep hammering away at Zigzagoon!”
Meowth leapt in at Zigzagoon, but the brown Pokémon quickly dashed right and avoided a downward claw slash. With the cat caught off guard, she was an easy target for a full-body Tackle attack from Zigzagoon. Though the hit knocked her into the air, she recovered before even landing and flung several coins at her foe while in midair. The spare change struck Zigzagoon in its face just as Meowth gracefully landed behind it.
“Nice recovery!” Lisa cheered. “Let’s keep it up!”
Spearow tried to drag its frozen wing, but struggled to even move on the ground. As a result, it was a sitting duck for Spheal’s onslaught of shimmering ice. After a couple more hits with blocks of solid ice, Spearow collapsed to the ground, completely encased in an icy tomb.
“No! Spearow!” Billy called back his flash-frozen Pokémon and started to pout. “You’ll pay for that!”
“Okay, Spheal, back up Meowth as we go after Zigzagoon!”
Meowth came at Zigzagoon with its claws at the ready. Zigzagoon ran right at Meowth and both Pokémon landed hard blows on each other. Both shook the other’s attack off and came charging at each other again.
But this time Meowth had some backup. Spheal unleashed a Water Gun that stopped Zigzagoon’s charge dead in its tracks, enabling Meowth to land multiple hits without any resistance. Zigzagoon let out one final, pained cry before it slumped down on the grass.
“No! No! No!” With a stunned look on his face, Billy called back his last Pokémon. As the young boy continued to pout, an older girl in a red halter top and khaki shorts ran up to Billy and Lisa. Her blonde hair partially covered her face.
The girl glared angrily at Lisa as she raised a finger to point at the brainiac. “Hey! That’s my kid brother you’re picking on! My name’s Shirley and I won’t let you hurt him!”
Lisa matched Shirley’s glare with a cold look of her own. “Um… RUDE MUCH? We were conducting a Pokémon battle, and he was the one who challenged me!”
“Well, then, you won’t mind battling me then! Go, Bellsprout!” The young woman summoned a small yellow bell-shaped Pokémon with thin root-like legs. Its “arms” were essentially leaves and its eyes were little more than two black dots. It walked, though its legs didn’t give it much stability and it looked unsteady.
“Now you’re gonna get it!” Billy taunted. “My big sis is gonna cream you!”
“Fine. Meowth and Spheal, return!” Lisa called Spheal back into his Pokéball and Meowth returned to her side. “Now I call out Beldum!” Lisa thought, “Man, this is getting old…”
The small silver Pokémon glittered as it appeared out of Lisa’s Pokéball and began to float. Its single red eye soon locked onto the plant-like adversary.
“Go, Bellsprout! Vine Whip!” Shirley commanded, pointing at the chrome-colored Beldum.
Bellsprout shot out two vines that knocked Beldum and sent it spinning in midair. Despite the harsh-looking hit, Beldum seemed unaffected by the strike and flew right in and knocked Bellsprout over.
“Use Acid attack, Bellsprout!” yelled Shirley, who looked determined to avenge the honor of her fallen brother. She was gritting her teeth and shaking her fist furiously as Billy looked on, still fuming.
Bellsprout shot a chemical out of its mouth, but it simply splashed off of Beldum. Not knowing what else to do, Bellsprout slammed Beldum with its thin leg, but that again seemed to do very little as the levitating silver Steel-type retreated backwards from Bellsprout before slamming into it again. The unsteady plant fell over, and it looked shaky as it got back up.
“Great-looking Take Down, Beldum! Keep it up and we’ll win this thing!”
Despite the Grass-type’s best efforts, it soon became apparent that it was outmatched. All Beldum had to worry about was being knocked backwards by Vine Whip. Bellsprout’s Acid attack did absolutely nothing to stop its onslaught. With a few more high speed Take Downs, Bellsprout fainted without very much resistance. The little plant Pokémon collapsed out of exhaustion.
Shirley could only sputter, “But… how? Why?”
As both trainers recalled their Pokémon, Shirley screamed, “Fine! Get outta here and don’t bother us again!” She began pouting much like her younger brother had only moments before.
Lisa sighed. “Ohh… kay… Sore loser much?”
“GET OUTTA HERE!” she bellowed at the top of her lungs.
“Fine, fine, I’m going!” Lisa wasn’t going to try and argue with the family of rude and obviously unskilled trainers.
As Lisa continued down the path, she heard Shirley scream, “Why you rude, ungrateful little excuse for a hearing-aid battery! How dare you flip me off!” Lisa cracked a smile, knowing that Pikachu was someone else’s problem now. Just then, Lisa’s phone rang.
“Hey, Lisa, it’s Mom. Listen, could you pick up your sister at our branch headquarters in Northwood City? You know, the one that’s named after us. She was getting bored staying with us and she wants to travel with you. We flew her in to Northwood Airport today. Just stop by our offices. Branch Director Arthur Sweeney has been watching her since we flew her in.”
After she hung up, Lisa stopped walking for a moment to rest her aching feet. Her escalating stress level might have had something to do with it, though. “Great. How did I get roped into this, now? And how did she get out of school to come over here? It doesn’t make any sense…” It wasn’t that her sister was annoying, but Lisa’s life was dangerous enough without having to look after her nine-year-old sibling as well.
Lisa finally continued her walk. She saw many wild Pokémon, and made mental notes on their temperaments. The Pidgeys and Zigzagoons would, for the most part, just watch curiously as she walked by, while the Poochyenas, Rattatas, and Spearows would more than likely try to attack her. The teen used the latter group to help her Pokémon improve the accuracy of their attacks, particularly with Meowth and her new Thunderbolt, as well as Spheal’s Ice Ball.
She would also find the odd Weedle, and sic Beldum or Koffing on them to avoid the effect of poison. Beldum seemed to take these battles in disdain, as if battling a mere Weedle was a waste of time for it. The silver metallic Pokémon would just hover there as Weedle made a futile attempt to bombard it with poisonous barbs that bounced off while leaving nary a scratch. Ultimately, Lisa realized she would just have to use Koffing to battle them.
Lisa had not encountered any trainers since battling Shirley, and soon realized she had wandered off the path and was now lost. As darkness fell, she was starting to get desperate for a place to spend the night. “Come ON! There has got to be something around here! I DO NOT want to have to camp out here where anything can attack me! There must be some sort of shelter nearby!” Her Meowth had long since grown tired and retreated into her Pokéball for rest.
“Oh, wonderful!” she screamed out in annoyance. The girl had found herself confronted with a stand of trees. Lisa took out a flashlight and proceeded with caution, using the light to avoid stepping on anything that she would regret. And there were plenty of obstacles. Sinkholes, mud puddles, fallen branches, and tall weeds – each of them requiring the frustrated girl to proceed with caution, or risk ruining her outfit. She made her way through the thick brush, somehow avoiding getting her dress or stockings snagged on anything. “Where’s a hotel when you need one?” she yelled to nobody in particular. As soon as she cleared the forest, she saw exactly what she had been looking for.
It wasn’t quite a town, but two large, lighted signs advertised, “Howard Johnson” and “HESS”. The new highway was located directly behind the complex. She never would have figured that her “light at the end of the tunnel” would say “Howard Johnson.” Lisa ran right to the triangular, orange-roofed structure that served as the hotel’s lobby. After checking in, she proceeded to the two-story structure.
She noted that it was an older hotel with a balcony outside her second floor room. A set of horizontal wood beams spanned the width of the ceiling. A panel by the bed contained four light switches. The girl discovered she could control all the lights in the room from this panel. There were two sinks, one in the bathroom and one located just outside of it. The room showed some wear and tear, but not anything too bad. Wasn’t the best place, but it was clean and would suffice. She flipped on the TV and a news report caught her attention.
“A bank in Greenville City was hit this afternoon by a gang of about six armed bandits. Armed with assault rifles and wearing ski masks and body armor, they stormed the bank and executed a violent takeover-style robbery right during an armored car drop-off. The entire robbery only took three minutes and the gang made off with over $290,000 in unmarked bills. This is the first armed robbery in Fourtix since the Pokémon Contest crime ring, and police suspect Team Thrash may be involved, though they cannot say for sure yet.”
Lisa thought to herself, “It probably is them. After all I just shut down their casino, their major source of income. They’re probably strapped for cash right now.”
After settling into her room, Lisa laid out some food for each of her Pokémon. All of them dove in except for Beldum, who just floated there without taking a bite. Spheal happily took advantage and ate Beldum’s share. “Beldum ate the food I laid out last time, but it’s not even interested in this batch. I wonder why?”
While they ate, the Pokémon took the opportunity to converse among themselves.
“Don’t you want your food?” Meowth asked to Beldum.
“Negative…” droned the Steel-type in a mechanical voice. “Food does not meet minimum standards for consumption…”
Koffing replied, “I also noticed that you really didn’t want to battle any of the wild Pokémon we ran into on the way here. Any reason for that?”
“Encountered Pokémon were not sufficiently powerful to warrant the initiation of combat…” came Beldum’s answer.
“Hey, as long as it means I get more food, I’m not complainin’, nope, nope!” Spheal said.
“I see…” Trapinch mused. “It’s an interesting concept you have there, battling and eating only when it meets a minimum standard.”
The silver-toned Pokémon didn’t take offense to the comment, replying, “Affirmative. Sensors indicate sleep is now necessary… I will be retiring to my quarters… I look forward to another opportunity to converse with all of you…” With that, it returned itself to its Pokéball. Spheal followed suit.
“Man, all dat food made me sleepy! I’mma go night-night now!”
This left the three females, Meowth, Koffing, and Trapinch left to chatter.
“Well, I don’t know what to think of that Beldum. It seems pretty cold to me, not to mention stuck-up,” Trapinch said, her face not showing her annoyance.
Koffing replied, “It is a different color than the typical Beldum, and it gives off that odd sparkle. Before my days with even my first trainer, there was a Weezing like that in the old factory where I used to live. He had blue skin that also sparkled like that, and he was arrogant and fussy as well. It might have something to do with the odd coloring.”
“Well, to be fair to Beldum,” Meowth started, “it is a mechanical Pokémon. Before I traveled with Lisa, I spent all my time in this big building with all sorts of Pokémon. Among them was a Voltorb. It acted cold and mechanical at first, but eventually it started to open up and become more friendly. Perhaps that attitude is a trait of mechanical Pokémon. Plus, it just joined our group. It really hasn’t gotten to know us.”
“Yeah… Maybe we should give Beldum a chance before we write it off,” the Poison type said in agreement.
Trapinch added, “All right, we should give it a chance…”
“Well, I don’t know about you guys,” Meowth said, “but I’m ready for a nap!” Her two companions nodded in agreement, before heading over to their teenage trainer to let her know they were finished eating.
After her Pokémon were fed, Lisa headed to the adjoining restaurant and had her standard order: burgers, fries, and lemonade. She decided to pass up on the restaurant’s signature dish, its fried clams. She made her way back through the motor lodge’s winding corridors to her room. Then quickly, without even changing, she jumped into bed and fell asleep in record time. She didn’t really care that her dress would get all wrinkled; she figured she would only run into random trainers and would change in the next town.
In the fields behind Dr. Sequoia’s Pokémon ranch, Lisa’s Pidgeotto and Aron had just finished up their lunch.
“Ooh, that was some good food,” Pidgeotto cooed as she rubbed her stomach with her wing. “And the fact that I didn’t have to whip up a single Gust makes it all the more enjoyable.”
“You are correct there, my friend,” Aron replied. “I know that the others of my kind like to test their strength by ramming into rocks headlong, then eating them, but I never saw the point of it. I mean, I know we had to smash those rocks to bits in order to eat them, but why not eat softer food, like what we get here, you know?”
“Well, I would imagine there’s not much of a choice in a cave…”
“Ah, true. But I never liked it in the caves. Honestly, I’m perfectly happy right here. Good food, relaxing setting, and if I ever get the urge to battle, those Golem over there are always willing to oblige.” Aron called out, “Hey guys, how’s it going? We up for a battle later today?”
The group of large rock-like Pokémon nodded and waved to Aron, then went back to eating their own food.
“That’s great! As for me, I don’t even need to battle – I’m perfectly happy just being able to relax and spread my wings out and fly everyday.”
“So, what’s with the ornery fellow who also belongs to our human? What is his problem?”
Pidgeotto scoffed. “Don’t ask me. He’s been that way since he was first caught. He hates the girl, thinks the rest of us are soft because we’ve warmed up to her a bit, and causes all sorts of trouble. I really think the guy needs an attitude adjustment.”
Meanwhile, the subject of the conversation was off on his own, deep in thought. “This is pathetic. My wife and kids are out there, and I can’t do anything to protect them because I’m cooped up here. Dammit! What kind of a father am I? Wait, this is not my fault! That stupid human… if she would have just left us alone, my family wouldn’t be out here alone!”
“Um, are you okay?” A tiny green bird, with a round body and short stubby wings, saw Nidorino by himself and hopped over to him.
Noticing the curious Natu, the Poison-type spun around, teeth grinding. “What the hell do you want? Get back unless you want me to drill this horn right in your face!”
Terrified, the Natu hopped away as quickly as its two tiny feet could move it. Once again turning his back to the rest of the ranch’s population, Nidorino snorted loudly.
“I’m surrounded by idiots. Idiots who don’t know enough to leave me alone.”
Lisa ended up sleeping until 11:00 in the morning. She sat bolt upright in bed. “Oh, no, I missed breakfast! Ah, I can’t worry about that now. Time to head out so I can get to the next city before nightfall!”
The girl quickly checked out and went on her way. After the long rest, Meowth was ready to follow her on foot. The two barely got out of sight of the hotel when they ran into the one person she didn’t want to see at this point. Lisa found herself staring into the wrinkled, bearded face of Tommy.
With a sinister grin, the balding old man told his teenage adversary, “I’ve been waiting for you. I was gonna ambush you in the city, but you were taking too long, so I had the boss delegate our operations in that town to some of our other elite trainers!”
“What operations?” Lisa scowled, folding her arms across her chest and giving the elderly parolee a cold, hard stare.
Tommy’s grin widened as he pulled two Pokéballs from his suit’s pockets. “That’s for me to know and for you NOT to find out, ‘cause I’m gonna reduce you to pulp right here and now! Gyarados, Houndour! You are up! Crush her!”
The weak Magikarp from last time had evolved into the vicious blue serpent – this time without Tommy using any chemicals. With an expression of pure rage on its face, the beast let out a deafening roar as it slammed its tail on the ground. Its black canine partner also appeared angry, as it snarled and began to gather flames in its mouth. It crouched down on all fours, preparing to strike.
“Fine, you wanna play games? I’ll take you on. Like any good math problem, the key to solving this situation is through thinking ahead. I summon Spheal and Meowth!”
Lisa unleashed her spherical ice Pokémon and her beige cat-like Meowth. Both Pokémon stared down the opponent’s, though Meowth’s facial expression looked more determined than Spheal’s smile.
“Hah! Lame math jokes will only spell your doom!”
Ignoring the old man’s comment, Lisa yelled, “We’ll start out this one with a couple of moves that’ll knock your socks off! Spheal, Meowth, you both know moves that can make quick work of these two. Let’s take him by surprise.”
Spheal spit out several small blasts of blue water directly at Houndour while Meowth released a concentrated shot of electricity from her fur, directly striking Gyarados and causing a great deal of pain. Gyarados continued to howl in pain as Meowth hit it with more electricity.
“WHAT? How did that thing learn Thunderbolt?!” Tommy screamed.
“Wouldn’t you like to know?” Lisa asked smugly.
Houndour rushed the Ice-type, dodging Water Gun strikes from Spheal. The black canine bit down on him with its sharp jaws. Spheal yelled out, but was able to roll away from trouble with a few bite marks on its round body. Gyarados finally shook off the damage and attacked Meowth with a Bite of its own. The cat reeled from the attack as Lisa looked on nervously.
“Hawhawhaw! Now you’ll experience true pain!” Tommy grabbed two syringes filled with some of Team Thrash’s chemicals and prepared to use them on his Pokémon. Houndour began to glow and grow in size, emerging as a fully evolved Houndoom. Gyarados let out a loud, deafening roar and swiped at both of Lisa’s Pokémon with its long tail. Meowth was able to jump over it but Spheal was hit and sent rolling. Before hitting any obstacles, he straightened himself out and shot out another Water Gun aimed at the Pokémon that was now Houndoom. The attack splashed off the dog’s face and caused it to cringe.
“Your Pokémon are weaklings and mine are fully evolved AND mad as hell! How do you think you will counter them?” Tommy boasted.
Remaining calm, Lisa replied, “Like this. Both of them have already sustained heavy damage, so I calculate that a few more hits and they’re going down, before you have the chance to strike back.”
“Not a chance! Both of you! Frustration, now!”
Spheal hit Houndoom directly with a Water Gun, but it didn’t deter the enraged dog’s charge and it slammed right into Spheal. But he quickly got himself upright again and launched another blast of water, which Houndoom jumped clear of.
“Now you lose, Lisa!”
“I don’t think so. I have the right formula to solve this equation!”
Meowth quickly zapped Gyarados with electricity and quickly dodged the incoming flying sea serpent’s rushing charge before hitting it with another, more powerful Thunderbolt from behind. With a pained howl, the huge beast collapsed to the ground.
“One variable eliminated.” Lisa smiled and put her hands on her hips.
“Gah! That’s only one! I call out Magnemite!” screamed the elderly trainer.
Tommy replaced Gyarados with his levitating magnet Pokémon. It gazed at its opponents with its single round eye.
“Fair enough. Now I’m gonna make a variable substitution! Spheal, you’ve done well. Return and rest up! Now, I call out Trapinch! Now, let’s hit Magnemite with Water Pulse and Sand Tomb!” With that, Spheal disappeared from play in a flash of red energy, replaced with the big-jawed Trapinch.
Meowth hit first, letting loose a stream of water with pulsing currents that knocked Magnemite backwards. It immobilized the magnet long enough for Trapinch to dig a hole and whip up a vortex of sand that sucked Magnemite in and drew it toward the hole that Trapinch was hiding herself in. The intensity of the sand was so great that the Electric-type had no hopes of breaking free.
“Fool! You are no match for me! Houndoom! Combine Ember and Frustration and knock out that stupid Meowth!”
The girl was now livid, her face turning red and her expression contorting into a scowl. “THAT’S IT! Nobody calls my Pokémon stupid, least of all my Meowth! Show ‘em what you’re truly capable of and nail him!”
Meowth appeared very insulted at Tommy’s last comment. She nodded at Lisa before facing the much larger Houndoom.
Houndoom charged in at Meowth, spitting out flames while running. Meowth was able to avoid all of the flames but Houndoom itself slammed Meowth with all of its rage and frustration powering the strike. But, like cats usually do, Meowth landed on her feet and shot out a Water Pulse. The agile Houndoom dodged the attack but when it landed, it was visibly exhausted. The dog panted and wobbled unsteadily on its feet.
“That Houndoom isn’t going to take much more! One more Water Pulse should do it in!”
Meowth fired a final Water Pulse, knocking Houndoom for a loop. The Pokémon began to glow white as it reverted to its original form and fell on its side. Tommy pulled it out of battle and replaced it with a drooling blue plant with red bulbs on top of its head. “Gloom! If you fail me you shall pay serious consequences! Destroy her!”
With its eyes closed, Gloom immediately shook its head and released a cloud of powder that rained down on Meowth. The kitten promptly made herself comfortable down on the ground and started to snore.
“Lights out!” cackled Tommy.
“This is no time for a nap! Meowth, come back!”
Meowth was called back into her Luxury Ball as Lisa sent out Koffing.
“Now, Koffing, hit Gloom with Sludge!” she instructed.
Koffing launched a glob of purple slime that splattered as it struck Gloom. Meanwhile, Trapinch was having her way with Magnemite, knocking it around repeatedly while it was still trapped in Sand Tomb.
The sand subsided and Magnemite readied an electrical attack. However, when launched, the attack ended up coming straight down and striking Magnemite itself. It was apparently still confused after Meowth’s initial attack. Gloom started spraying powder from its head but Koffing shot out some more poison and stopped the powder before it affected Lisa’s Pokémon.
“Good job, Koffing! Great move! Now, let’s hammer Gloom while it’s still vulnerable! Sludge!”
Gloom tried to launch some leaves to break up the poisonous sludge, but the heavy slime just sailed right through the leaves and landed another direct hit.
Smiling, Lisa asked, “What are you gonna do now, Tommy? Oh, and by the way, how did you like seeing yourself on TV last weekend?”
“Don’t...You... Because of you, I have to constantly be looking over my shoulder! You shall pay for ruining my lifestyle!”
“Right now, it doesn’t look like it. Let’s finish him!”
Magnemite fired another shot of electricity that struck Koffing. Recovering quickly, Koffing started emitting black smoke that engulfed both enemies. Meanwhile, Trapinch used the veil to quickly dig underground before emerging and slamming into Magnemite from below. This finally put the electric Pokémon out of commission, sending it slamming on the ground hard.
At the same time Tommy recalled his Magnemite, Gloom unleashed another cloud of powder that ended up affecting Trapinch, who promptly fell asleep.
“Wahaha! It’s lights out for you!”
Lisa gritted her teeth. “So, that’s the way you want it? Fine. Return, Trapinch, and enjoy your nap. Now, Koffing, finish Gloom off!”
Koffing hurled a final Sludge attack at Gloom, finally causing the plant Pokémon to fall in defeat.
Without saying a word, Tommy threw up a smoke bomb. By the time the cloud dissipated, Tommy had recalled his Gloom and disappeared.
“Silly Tommy. He still fails to realize the key to being a skilled trainer, always relying on brute strength.”
December 20th, 2009 (5:34 PM).
Was the title on purpose? If it was, LOL. If it wasn't then it's still LOL.
WHEN PIKACHUS AND OLD MEN ATTACK! It sounds like a horror movie I'd pay to see
Moving on to the actual chapter...
My favorite parts of this chapter were the anti-Pikachu tidbits. Like this:
Overall, great chapter! Once again, great job with the anti-Pikachu stuff and Shirley just made me laugh. unfortunately, I know a lot of girls who would do that...
Well, I'll be seing you next chapter!
December 27th, 2009 (1:39 PM).
January 6th, 2010 (2:23 AM).
Well, Chapter 13 is officially my 2,000th post and it's going up on my pair's birthday So enjoy!
Chapter 13: Bad Luck Lisa
The clear sky above Route 506 began to fill with clouds as a large vintage Chrysler Newport police car rolled past, the trooper inside paying Lisa no mind. She figured, “Well, that was the reason Tommy took off in a huff instead of making his normal empty threats and ‘I’ll get you next time’ and ‘blah, blah, blah’ and whatever. Although I’m impressed with this region’s ability to keep old patrol cars in use.” The clouds cast a measure of darkness over the area. The dirt path stretched as far as the eye could see, flanked by grassy plains. Trees were few and far between. “Man, how far IS it to the next town?”
Soon, Lisa came across a young man wearing a dark red jacket and baggy jeans. His black hair was short and sloppily combed. Still, he had the look of a man who was well-traveled. Upon seeing Lisa, he pulled out two Pokéballs and asked her, “You there! How about a battle? We’ll have a two-Pokémon Double Battle, all right?”
“Okay, I guess I could entertain you for awhile. I’ll call out Beldum and Koffing!” Lisa responded, sending out her silver machine-like Pokémon and her poisonous purple orb. Beldum’s single eye moved back and forth, scanning the area. Koffing let loose small puffs of smoke from the openings in her round purple form.
“My name’s Bruce and I suggest you remember that! Now, get her, Camerupt and Xatu!”
Bruce heaved two Pokéballs which opened up to reveal two formidable Pokémon. The Pokémon called Camerupt was a huge, lumbering beast with red fur and two rocky volcano-like humps on its backside. It let out a low grunt, revealing a set of white teeth as it smiled tauntingly. Bruce’s other Pokémon was a green bird with two white wings spread wide. Its form and markings were reminiscent of the ancient Aztec culture. Camerupt let out another low growl while Xatu silently rocked back and forth, as if thinking about something.
“Camerupt, the eruption Pokémon. Camerupt occasionally release huge amounts of fire and molten lava when the volcanoes on its back erupt. Xatu, the mystic Pokémon. This Pokémon is revered in some cultures and is believed to be a link between the past, present, and future.”
“Let us begin!” Lisa began the battle by having her two Pokémon rush in at their much larger opponents. That strategy didn’t work very well, as Beldum just hovered in place and the both of them were forced back by powerful waves of psychic energy as well as intense blasts of fire.
“Don’t you realize you’re badly outmatched? I am the 2001 Hoenn League Champion!” boasted Bruce.
“Gee, nice of you to tell me this now… And aren’t you modest,” muttered Lisa. “No matter, attack with Take Down, Beldum! Koffing, use Smog when Camerupt tries to launch fire again!”
Having seen the power of its foes, Beldum finally decided to cooperate. The shiny silver machine sped toward Xatu at high speed, knocking the mysterious green bird over. Without missing a beat, the mystical creature righted itself, seemingly unfazed by such a futile attack.
Koffing waited for Camerupt to begin flaming at the mouth or the humps, but the wily foe had other plans. The hulking four-legged Pokémon shot large stones from its humps instead of fire, with more than a few striking Koffing directly. Shaken up by the strike, Koffing could only react with a heaping pile of purple sludge, which the furry red behemoth easily shook right off, smiling at Koffing once again.
“We’re not down and out yet!” Lisa announced, but Bruce could easily detect more than a bit of worry and panic in her voice.
“You seem a bit unsure of yourself. The trainer who lacks confidence cannot prevail!” advised Bruce. “Now, Flamethrower and Drill Peck!”
“Try to dodge that and then give them a Take Down and Sludge, guys!”
Xatu spread its large wings and took flight. After a few tries, it was able to nail the floating purple orb with a direct hit from its fast-spinning beak. Meanwhile, Beldum found itself completely engulfed in a bright orange stream of flame emanating from Camerupt’s mouth. Lisa could only gasp and look on in concern as her two Pokémon fell to the ground.
“No! Are you guys okay?” she cried, frantically pulling at her dress and stockings. Both creatures eventually struggled back into contention, but the wear and tear of this lopsided contest could be seen in their battle scars and their heavy panting.
With a smirk, Bruce prepared to launch his next attacks. “Now, Camerupt, it’s Eruption time! Xatu, deliver a nice Psychic as well!”
“See if you can dodge that, you guys!” Lisa yelled, quite concerned that she was horribly outmatched here. Still, she could tell from her Pokémon’s expressions that they would not give up until the end. She began grabbing at her dress and her white pantyhose nervously.
The massive camel-like creature shot a huge burst of lava from its humps. The smoldering blast of fire struck both Koffing and Beldum. Lisa’s strategy of using Smog to ignite fire backfired this time, as the poisonous purple Pokémon couldn’t release the gaseous purple cloud in time. Instead, the explosion was triggered right in front of Lisa’s Pokémon, sending them hurtling right into Lisa and knocking the three of them to the ground as all three let out loud, pained cries.
They landed in a heap just as the enigmatic psychic bird launched its attack, distorting the air around the three of them right before telepathically lifting the two Pokémon. Koffing and Beldum, surrounded by a blue aura, were helpless as Xatu used its mystical powers to slam the both of them on the ground, barely missing Lisa’s outstretched leg.
After taking a moment to recover from being knocked down, Lisa picked herself up and called back her two Pokémon, sadly admitting defeat… again. “I’m sorry guys… I didn’t think I’d be up against someone this tough. You did your best, though…”
With a confident smile, Bruce called back his Pokémon, who appeared like they hadn’t broken a sweat. “And that’s the way the cookie crumbles. Heh.”
“Well, I suppose I can’t win them all,” she mumbled as she started to walk away, head hung low.
“Wait!” Bruce yelled. “Give them these!” he instructed, throwing Lisa two bottles of healing potion. One hit Lisa on the head, knocking her hat off.
“Sorry!” Lisa said as she picked up the potions and her hat off of the ground. “I never was any good at sports.” She quickly sprayed Koffing and Beldum’s Pokéballs with the potions.
Bruce had one final word of advice to Lisa. “You didn’t do too bad considering you were up against a trainer as strong as me. But you will need much more practice before you are ready for the Pokémon League. I suggest you practice and improve your skills. Farewell.”
Lisa watched as the strong trainer walked down the path in the direction she had come from. He had left before Lisa had a chance to thank him for the advice.
As Lisa continued down the path, rain started to fall, and quickly intensified into a fairly bad storm. The occasional cold wet droplet on Lisa’s face soon turned into a drenching downpour that had Lisa running as fast as her high heels could take her.
The crackling of lightning and booming thunder only persuaded her to run even faster. But the route ahead of her seemed to stretch forever. Lisa soon found herself soaking wet, her hat doing little to keep her dry. “Why did it have to rain now? Why couldn’t it have waited until I found someplace to crash?”
To add insult to injury, Lisa realized that she had somehow ripped her pantyhose during one of her recent battles, perhaps while nervously fidgeting with her clothes. There was now a significant run that spanned most of the length of the right leg. “Oh, wonderful… Another pair ruined…”
But the worst was yet to come. As she continued her blitz to the next town, the heel on her left shoe broke off and sent her falling into a big puddle of mud.
The teen took a look at the dirty aftermath of her sudden fall. Her bright blue dress with its flower pattern was now simply a mass of slimy, sticky brown mud. She then heard the ominous noise of fabric ripping. “No… this can’t be happening…”
“Oh, no!” Lisa started to cry, her brown eyes welling up with tears. “What else could go wrong today? My favorite outfit is ruined! Waaaaaah!” Knowing she had to get out of the mud, the girl got up to her feet. She trudged over and picked up her hat and bag, which had landed clear of the mud. Lisa put her hat into her bag, lest some other disaster happen to ruin it as well. Then she dropped to her knees and started sobbing once again. “My poor adorable outfit… I’m sorry… Why is this happening to me?”
Lost in her own world of embarrassment and sorrow, Lisa never noticed the large figure casting a shadow over her cowering frame until its low, booming voice began to speak.
“Haha! Lookit the little crybaby! Aww, did Little Miss Perfect fall down and get herself dirty?” Lisa looked up and saw a rather tall Team Thrash Grunt standing above her, in their distinctive red attire. This one was wearing a black helmet that protected him from the torrential downpour. “I should just capture and eliminate you now, but I’ll let you go if you can beat me in a battle! I summon Poochyena and Grimer!”
Lisa got back up and her face turned red with anger, shoving the much larger Thrash member to the ground. “The last thing I need is to have to deal with you clowns! Beldum and Meowth, you’re up! Get him!” she hissed.
Meowth looked on trembling, a bit scared of her trainer’s look of rage. She stopped to shake the water off of her furry white coat. Beldum’s mysterious eye scanned Lisa and the grunt. The agent’s black wolf and purple mass of slime made the mistake of looking into the girl’s fiery eyes, and immediately began to cower. So did the thug after picking himself up. Perhaps he should have thought this through. But the match was called, and Lisa for one would see it through. The sizzling lightning and rumbling thunder off in the distance set the stage for the showdown.
“Uh… maybe this isn’t the best time…” the man stammered.
“You don’t know the half of it, buddy! Get them!” she snarled.
Both of Lisa’s Pokémon leapt into the fray, landing quick, strong blows without letting up. The opposing Pokémon attempted to use Tackle and Pound attacks to shake off Lisa’s Pokémon. After being struck by the physical tactics, Lisa’s two Pokémon did retreat from their foes, with the small cat switching to a long-range approach.
Meowth used a combo of Water Pulse followed quickly by Thunderbolt to electrically charge the watery attack and do extra damage to Poochyena. The heavy rain only intensified the effect of the soaking, sizzling attack. Howling in pain, the small wolf couldn’t begin to approach its feline adversary.
“Keep it up, guys! I want to finish this guy as quickly as possible!” After suffering repeated embarrassments, Lisa was ready to redeem herself. She had a look on her face that could scare even the most hardened criminal, and her opponent was too terrified to even issue a command. Instead, he took a step backward, his face frozen.
With a look of both fear and anger on her face, Meowth sprinted toward both foes and quickly slashed both. Beldum could also detect its trainer’s anger and quickly flung itself at the purple Grimer, knocking it back several feet. Because of the rain-slicked ground, it was propelled much farther than even the Steel-type aggressor predicted.
“Go, go, go!” Lisa shouted. “This guy picked the wrong person to mess with!”
Beldum continued repeatedly ramming into the living mass of purple slime, who could only counter with weak strikes with its slimy hand, which barely fazed the tough metallic Pokémon. With a look of desperation, it also tried completely useless Smog attacks, where the purple cloud simply hovered around the floating silver creature before dissipating in the heavy rain.
Meowth angrily taunted the gray wolf with her front paws, beckoning it to attack, almost as if asking, “You wanna piece of me?” Poochyena charged in at Meowth with its teeth ready to clamp down on the kitten, but Meowth stopped it in its tracks with a barrage of coins. While the opponent was still stunned, Meowth landed four more Fury Swipe slashes, causing the small gray wolf to faint. At the same time, Grimer finally succumbed as well to a final ramming attack from the silvery Pokémon.
Still soaking and muddy, Lisa angrily growled, “You don’t wanna mess with me right now.” Her fists were clenched and she looked ready to fight anyone who dared get in her way.
The grunt recalled his Pokémon and then turned tail and ran after getting a close look at the enraged teenage trainer. Bad guy or not, he knew better than to anger this girl even more. Lisa took off her remaining shoe and hurled it at the fleeing villain, but her throw ended up far short of its goal. Anger apparently does not make one a better football quarterback.
She let out a loud, deafening roar of anger and frustration before calling her Pokémon back and trudging on. Because there was now nothing protecting her feet except for a thin layer of nylon that was ripped in parts, Lisa could feel the “squish” of every step of the now muddy trail. But she would not risk walking in the grass and getting something sharp stuck in her feet.
Because of the heavy rain, the teen didn’t see much more of anyone, trainer or Pokémon. “Apparently everyone else was smart enough to stay indoors…” She did manage to see a few delicate white Wingull in the sky, one of which promptly left a messy white “gift” on her shoulder.
“Why am I NOT surprised?”
The trees were becoming more abundant as the path entered a forest of sorts. Not anything too dense, as the trees provided little cover from the intense rainfall. Night started to fall and once again Lisa was hunting frantically for a place to sleep. Seeing no sign of civilization, and becoming too exhausted to continue hiking, she eventually stopped for the night under a large tree that was located near the dirt path.
“Ugh… I CANNOT go any further! Where is the rest of civilized society?” she screamed at nobody in particular.
Of course, because she had not planned to ever have to camp, Lisa had no sleeping bag, so she had to lie directly on the soaked, muddy ground. Lisa absolutely hated camping out, and had avoided it entirely after a few days at summer camp about eight years ago. But now nature and circumstance forced her to do what she had thought she would never have to do again.
Sleep would not come easy. The thunder and lightning in the distance had little to do with it, though. The girl was completely unprepared for an endeavor such as sleeping outside in the elements. “Oh, how I wish for a Quality Inn right about now!” She tried to make herself comfortable at her makeshift camp, but Lisa failed miserably at doing so. She was cold, wet, and terrified to death that something would get at her. At fairly regular intervals, she would shriek things like, “What’s that noise?!” and “What’s crawling up my leg?!” Sometimes she would toss and turn fearfully.
At other times she would curl herself into a ball, bury her head into the tattered remains of her favorite dress, and sob hysterically. After hours of worry and panic, Lisa finally drifted off to sleep, literally crying herself to bed.
When Lisa woke up in the late morning, she found herself staring right into the cross-hatched grill, chrome bumper, and gold hood ornament of a late-80’s Chevrolet Caprice Classic! “Was it all a dream? Had I just imagined the whole Pokémon quest thing while working on my car? Did I even leave South Carolina?”
The cold, wet clumps landing on Lisa’s face gave her the answer. No, it wasn’t a dream. This was all real. Although the storm had dissipated after she had fallen asleep, the rain was still coming down, albeit as a light drizzle as opposed to a full-on downpour. Lisa took a look at her clothes. Her dress was still as muddy as ever, attributed to her tossing and turning for most of the night. “But if this is all real, then why is my car right in front of me?” she wondered.
“Well, you’re finally awake,” said a brawny man with a handlebar moustache. In her groggy state, it took a minute for Lisa to realize that the man before her was Police Inspector Morgan, but with a new moustache.
“Oh, it’s you! Am I glad to see you here! The past day has been horrible!” Lisa exclaimed, now completely awake.
“Lisa, you look awful covered in mud! Come on, I’ll drive you to the next town so you can clean up and get out of those filthy clothes,” Morgan replied.
“Thanks a lot! I don’t know how to thank you,” Lisa murmured as she got herself up.
“That’s okay. Just let me put a cover on this seat.”
After Morgan placed a towel on the seat, Lisa sat down and closed the door. As soon as they started driving off, the rain subsided.
“NOW it stops raining. Go figure,” Lisa scoffed.
Lisa had a look at the dark gray interior of Morgan’s car. She suspected this one was his personal car, as it had the luxury LS Brougham trim package, with the plush velour seats and upgraded radio. The car was very similar to her second car except in color. Looking down at her ruined dress, she saw that some of the original color and pattern was showing through the caked-on mud. Unfortunately, there was also a fairly large tear in the dress as well.
As they proceeded to town, she needed to get the topic of her destroyed outfit out of her mind. Lisa talked at length about her two cars with Morgan, who seemed to have similar tastes in automobiles.
“You know, I have a car that’s almost exactly like this one back home,” Lisa said. “Well, mine’s dark burgundy, but it’s got the LS Brougham package and everything.”
Morgan let out a hearty laugh. “I never expected someone your age to be interested in old cars like these. Most of these young kids, they want the small sporty cars.”
“Ugh, no way! I can’t picture driving something like that! I need my acres of room and my smooth ride and my V-8 power!”
“This here’s an ’88 model. What year is yours, Lisa?”
“I’ve got an ’89. Mostly the same as yours. I believe the main difference is that I’ve got the fuel-injected V-8. In ’88 it still had carburetion.”
“Well, the V-6 in 1988 had the fuel injection.”
“Yeah,” Lisa responded, “but who in their right mind buys a Caprice with a V-6?”
Both the girl and the police inspector shared a laugh. “Anyway, Lisa, how did you get your car?”
“It used to be my parents’ car. But when they heard that GM was canceling their full-size cars in ’96, they rushed out and bought a Buick Roadmaster Estate wagon, and that became their main car. But they couldn’t bear to get rid of the Caprice, so they gave it to me, even though I was only five at the time. Funny thing is, I still won’t be old enough to drive until next May!”
Inspector Morgan laughed. “Hey, it’s never too early to get a start on a car collection! Well, you may have noticed how a good number of our patrol cars in this region are older.”
The girl nodded. Morgan continued, “A few years ago, our region’s police department had a vote whether to switch to Chevy Impala police cruisers or keep our current fleet and restore them. There was only one guy who voted for the switch. The rest of us realized that a fleet of old, V-8 – powered police cars could beat a V-6 – powered one any day of the week.”
“Amen to that!” Lisa said.
“Probably the stupidest decision GM ever made was their decision to cancel their full-size cars in ’96. That left Ford wide open to take over the police car market, and if Chevy thinks their ‘Wimpala’ is gonna keep up, they’re in for a rude awakening.”
‘You know, that’s exactly what my parents said when they bought the Buick wagon. It’s a pretty nice wagon, and I wouldn’t mind owning a car like that someday.”
The trip wasn’t too terribly long, but Lisa would not have been able to make it in one go on the previous night. Their talk about cars helped the miles go by faster.
After dropping her off at the Pokémon Center in Northwood City, Morgan told Lisa, “Sorry I can’t stick around, but I’ve got to train some officers in the next city down the road. I’ll see you later!” As Lisa got out of the car, Morgan warned her, “Um, Lisa, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but… you’ve got a hole on the back of your dress and parts of your panties are showing.”
A panicked Lisa immediately slammed both hands over the hole in an attempt to “cover her rear,” so to speak. “Oh, no! I’ve go to go! Thanks again for giving me a lift, though!” she called out before Morgan drove off in his gray sedan with matching gray vinyl roof cover.
The girl dashed into the building as fast as she could. Before even checking her Pokémon in, Lisa, hands still firmly on her rear end, sprinted upstairs to shower and change clothes, yelling, “Sorry, gotta change first!” Lisa put on her frilly pink dress with the purple, orange, and red floral print. She had to put on her last pair of dress shoes and her last pair of white pantyhose.
Her other dress had gotten ripped up pretty badly when she fell, so cleaning it could not save it. Lisa reluctantly had to throw out what had been her favorite dress and outfit, wiping a few tears from her face while doing so. Lisa’s mind began to wander, thinking about her recent past.
“I got that dress as a college graduation gift about two years ago, and I actually wore it on stage when I graduated…. It’s the end of an era… my beautiful dress… Even after two years, it still fit me perfectly. It was the cutest dress ever made, but it’s now gone…”
Finally regaining her composure, Lisa put on a windbreaker-type jacket on over her dress. The jacket was purple with a small orange paw logo embroidered on the right side. Lisa then made her way down to the nurses’ station. She handed over her Pokéballs, telling the thin male nurse, “Please have a look at my Pokémon, although they haven’t battled in a while. In fact, they’re probably better off than I am right now.” Leaving her Pokémon in the care of the attendant, she walked to the Target down the street to buy some clothes and other accessories.
“Is everything set for the invasion tomorrow?” Tommy asked into his cell phone. He was standing in the orange-roofed lobby of the Howard Johnson that Lisa had stayed in the night before.
A woman’s voice on the other end answered, “Yes, hon. We’ve got about twenty agents on standby at our motel. But is it wise for us to be the only two with Pokémon?”
Tommy let out an annoyed huff. “The other agents have guns. If things go south, just command them to open fire. But let them know they’re not to fire a shot without you giving them the go-ahead. Boss’s orders. Frankly, I don’t know why he’s taking so many precautions. If it were up to me, I’d just enter with guns blazing.”
Another voice, this one male, answered. “I think it is some liability issue. He probably does not want to draw undue attention to our operations.”
“It’s a little late for that!” the old man bellowed. “We’re already all over the damn news, and this operation tomorrow is hardly gonna be low-key. I swear, that man might be my son, but sometimes his decisions absolutely baffle me!”
“Look, calm down,” came the woman’s voice. “We have everything under control. We received the blueprints you faxed to us, and we’re planning our invasion now. Besides, he’s the great leader, and we both have faith that his decisions are the right ones that will lead us to salvation.”
“Yeah, whatever… just make sure you do not fail.” With that, Tommy ended his call, but immediately began dialing another number. He began talking as he walked out of the lobby of the motor lodge.
“It’s me. Everything is set for the big invasion tomorrow. Our agents are in place and ready to strike.”
“Excellent. After Arton’s failure in Greenville City, it is vitally important that this not fail. Fortunately, our bank heist provided us with additional capital to fund our future research, so the impact of the loss of our casino will be lessened. And I am hoping that our take from this invasion will further improve our financial standing. We need that funding before we can even consider dispatching Skrub.”
“Understood. The top agents in charge have assured me that they can handle the Northwood girl in battle. Plus, they will have armed reinforcements.”
“Let us hope that is, in fact, the case. You will be held responsible for the success or failure of this operation. That is all.”
As Tommy clicked his phone shut, he muttered, “I’ll be held responsible! How the hell am I responsible if those two idiots screw up?”
January 12th, 2010 (2:54 PM).
And something I've noticed as I continue writing is that
Other than that, good chapter! I really don't have anything specific to comment on... sometimes I'm glad to just enjoy a nice read The only thing I have left to say is this: