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Old 2 Weeks Ago (7:22 AM).
Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
The Mustachioed Machamp
    Join Date: Apr 2013
    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
    Age: 22
    Gender: Male
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 59
    Chapter 47
    "What was I doing?" A channeler wondered aloud as she picked herself up off the floor, looking over to see Red and Yellow standing in front of them along with Red's Charmeleon."

    "You were possessed," Red explained to the woman.

    "That's right." A sudden look of recognition crossed over the channeler's face.

    "The others that we've been able to free are gathering down below to try and expel the Ghost Pokémon from the tower. You should probably go join them."

    "Of course." The woman walked away hurriedly, being cautious not to accidentally trip over a gravestone or encounter another Ghastly before she made her way to the others.

    "How many more do you think there might be left?" Yellow asked Red as they continued making their way up the Pokémon Tower.

    "I don't know." Red answered honestly. "In fact, I've lost track of how far up we are right now. I don't know how much longer we have until we reach the top."

    "I kind of regret coming up with this idea. But at least we're helping people." Yellow paused for a moment in thought as the next staircase came into view. "I wonder what the others are doing right now."

    "I don't know." Red said as he started to ascend the staircase up to the next floor. "But I guess we'll see after we make it to the top."

    * * *

    Ash and his group reached another level of the Pokémon Tower. To their surprise, the floor wasn't covered with the same purple fog as the floors below it had been. In fact, the room was filled with a bright, white light. Ash looked over to see a group of women gathered in a circle a little way off from where they were.

    "What's going off over their?" Ash wondered aloud.

    "It looks like they're probably trying to get rid of the ghost infestation." Carmine whispered to him. "It would probably be best not to interrupt them."

    "I agree." Brock chimed in.

    "Hey, Ash, what happened to your Ghastly?" Misty asked quietly.

    "I don't know." Ash said as he looked around some more, just noticing that the Gas Pokémon wasn't there anymore. "He was just behind me a moment ago."

    "Pika, pika." Pika said as he and Volty both motioned down to Ash's waist, where his Pokéballs were resting. Ash held up Ghastly's Pokéball and saw that it was full.

    "If the ceremony that they're casting over there is meant to get rid of the wild Ghastly, then it's probably having a negative effect on yours as well." Carmine pointed out. "He probably had to retreat because of that."

    "Right, that makes sense." Ash put the Pokéball away and started walking ahead again. "Why did we even agree to come to this place, anyway?"

    "We?" Misty asked. "What do you mean 'we'? This is all on you."

    * * *

    After Daisy finally made her way to Celadon City, she made a quick trip to the Pokémon Center to heal her team and set off to find the local Gym. It didn't take too long for her to find the Gym and she walked in eager to earn her next badge.

    The interior of the Celadon City Gym was filled with bushes and flowers that formed a maze. Daisy had to make her way around without any idea of where she was going for several minutes before she finally made her way to a large open area within the maze. A young woman with shoulder length dark hair stood at the other end of the area in front of a small table with several pictures on it. She seemed to be staring at one picture in particular.

    "Ahem." Daisy cleared her throat to draw the woman's attention. "Are you the Gym Leader?"

    The woman slowly turned towards Daisy. "Oh, uh… yes. I am Erika, Gym Leader of Celadon City. Sorry about that. I was just lost in thought."

    "Then I'd like to challenge you to a Gym Battle." Daisy said.

    "Yes. Of course." Erika reached absently for a drawer under the table behind her. "How many badges do you already have?"


    "Then this will be a three-on-three battle." She pulled a set of Pokéballs out of the drawer. "We will start when you are ready."

    Daisy pulled a Pokéball out of her bag and held it out in front of her. "Alright, girl. I know I just caught you, but do your best."

    Vulpix sprung out from the Pokéball and landed gracefully on the ground in front of Daisy. Meanwhile, Erika called out her first Pokémon, Tangela. Tangela stood cautiously, waiting for Vulpix to make the first move, while the Fox Pokémon sat back and looked at her opponent smugly, as if daring the ball of vines to try anything against her. After a moment, Erika finally gave her Pokémon an order.

    "Use Poison Powder!"

    Tangela spread a wave of poisonous spores through the air in Vulpix's direction, but eh Fire-Typ seemed unfazed. Rather than dodging the attack, Vulpix instead shot forth a blast of fire from her mouth, incinerating the powder before it could even reach her. She then followed by sending the blast further away, hitting Tangela head-on. Tangela then used its Ingrain move, sending some of its vines down into the ground below it to absorb nutrients and restore its health. This gave Vulpix enough time to use another Flamethrower before Tangela could try and attack. After taking the second hit, Tangela tried to use Growth to increase the power of its next attack.

    "Now finish it off with another Flamethrower!" Daisy ordered her Pokémon.

    Vulpix opened its mouth and, rather than sending forth another stream of flames, let out a load Roar that seemed at odds with the Pokémon's small stature. The force of the Roar sent Tangela flying back and it was sucked back into its Pokéball, with Erika's Weepinbell taking its place.

    "What?" Asked Daisy, confused. "That's not what I said to do."

    "You said that you just caught that Vulpix, correct?" Erika asked.


    "Sometimes Pokémon will not instinctively follow your orders and choose to do what they want to instead, until they have learned to trust your commands and leadership."

    "I guess that makes sense." Daisy said. She then held out Vulpix's Pokéball and the Fox Pokémon was pulled back inside. "I guess I'll use Butterfree for now, then."

    Daisy tossed another Pokéball into the battle and her Butterfree flew out of it. Or at least, it appeared to fly at first, but quickly fell to the ground, soundly asleep.

    "Oh, right." Daisy muttered to herself. "I forgot about that. I'll guess I'll just have to make due."

    * * *

    "It looks like the smoke is finally starting to clear away now." Yellow observed as she and Red made their way up another flight of stairs.

    "Yeah, I guess the channelers are making progress with getting rid of the Ghost Pokémon." Red said back.

    "I'm starting to get tired." Yellow said. "Can we take a break?"

    "You don't have to ask me twice." Red said as he sat down on the cold tiled floor. "I've completely lost track of how many stairs we've gone up."

    The two sat there in silence for a while, but that silence was broken by the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs behind them.

    "Gary?" Red asked as the other trainer's spiky brown hair came into view.

    "What, did you losers give up already?" Gary asked back as finished climbing the stairs, clearly exhausted himself. "Well, if you're not going any higher right now, I might as well wait a while."
    Gary sat down next to them and the three all waited there for a moment before more footsteps could be heard. Ash walked up to them, followed by Brock, Misty and Carmine.

    "Hey, guys." Ash said. "Are we all taking a break? I'm fine with that."

    "Actually," Yellow said as Ash and the others started to sit down as well. "I think I'm ready to go now."

    Yellow got up and started walking towards the next staircase, with Red following her there. As they went, however, a sudden chill wind suddenly passed through the room.

    "Maaaaarrooooo…" Came a harsh moan echoing throughout the tower.

    "What was that?" Misty asked aloud.

    "I don't know." Carmine said.

    "Be gone…" The voice came again. "Intruders…"
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    Old 1 Week Ago (8:28 AM).
    Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
    Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
    The Mustachioed Machamp
      Join Date: Apr 2013
      Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
      Age: 22
      Gender: Male
      Nature: Quiet
      Posts: 59
      Chapter 48
      Erika ordered her Weepinbell to strike Daisy’s sleeping Butterfree with a Vine Whip. The attack struck the Butterfly Pokémon against the back of her head, but was not enough to wake her up. Erika then followed up by having her Pokémon increase its offensive power by using Growth to increase the size of its vines and strike with another Vine Whip, right across Butterfree’s back. This time Butterfree was snapped awake by the blow and hazily flew up into the air.

      Weepinbell launched a Razor Leaf at the Bug-type before she became fully aware of her surroundings, but was too late. Butterfree effortlessly dodged the attack and retaliated by using its Psybeam attack, sending a wave of psionic energy at her opponent. The powerful attack caused Weepinbell to be sent flying back and crashed into a nearby Oran Tree. Weepinbell lifted itself up from the pile of scattered pink leaves that had been left from the impact and as it hopped away it noticed a small blue object that caught its attention. It quickly swallowed the Oran Berry and was partly revitalized by it. The now reenergized Weepinbell leapt back into battle and grabbed Butterfree with its vines, tightening its grip into a Wrap attack.

      As Butterfree struggled to break out of Weepinbell’s grasp, she fired another Psybeam at her opponent. Weepinbell was stuck by the blast again but was able to hold its ground this time. It slammed Butterfree hard into the ground before she could fire another attack at it and then followed up with another Vine Whip attack. As its mighty vine dropped down where Butterfree laid, the Bug-type quickly rolled out of the way of the attack and took to the air again. Butterfree began flapping her wings hard and created a gust of air laced with powdery scales and blew the Silver Wind attack straight at Weepinbell, who took the brunt of the attack head-on.

      Butterfree felt a surge of energy course through her as Silver Wind’s secondary effect kicked in and she gained a temporary boost to her speed, power and defense while Weepinbell collapsed onto the ground. Erika returned Weepinbell to its Pokéball and sent out her third Pokémon.

      “Gloom, come out and finish this battle.” She said as the blue Weed Pokémon came out of its Pokéball.

      * * *

      “Leave this place.” A ghostly haze of purple mist materialized in front of Red, blocking the way to the next floor of the Pokémon Tower.

      “What’s going on?” Yellow asked, fear imminent in her voice. “What is that thing?”

      “It’s probably just a Ghastly.” Gary said. “I noticed a few of them on my way up here.”

      “That can’t be.” Carmine pointed out. “All of the Ghastly should have been driven out by the banishing spell that just passed through here.”

      Ash looked around at the others as they reacted to the ghostly apparition, when he heard the voice of the Maiden pass through his head.

      “That’s not just a Ghost-type Pokémon.” She said. “It’s an actual ghost. I’m going to see if I can force it to take its true form.”

      “Hey, wait a minute,” Misty then said, “it looks like it’s doing something.”

      The purple mist suddenly started to pulse and there was a sudden flash of blindingly bright light. It took a moment for everyone’s eyes to readjust themselves, but when they could see again, the mist had been replaced by a Pokémon.

      “That’s a Marowak.” Brock muttered in shock.

      Standing at a little over three feet tall, the Bone Keeper Pokémon hovered just above the ground, its toes almost touching the cold tile floor beneath it. It held a single bone firmly in its right hand as it stared furiously at the humans who had dared to invade this place.

      “Well, I don’t care what it is.” Gary said as he took a step forward. He held up an empty Pokéball and through it at the Marowak, who didn’t react as the ball passed harmlessly through it.

      “What?” Red wondered aloud in astonishment.

      “No problem.” Gary said slyly. “Obviously I just need to weaken it first. Go, Wartortle!”

      Gary held up his starter Pokémon’s Pokéball and waited for Wartortle to come out of it. Nothing happened.

      “I said go!”

      There was still no reaction. The others started to check their Pokéballs as well and quickly discovered that none of them were working.

      “That ghost Marowak must be interfering with the Pokéballs’ internal systems somehow.” Brock suggested.

      The Marowak suddenly let out a roar and assumed a battle stance, holding tis bone club behind it, ready to attack.

      “Great. That leaves us with no way to defend ourselves.” Red sighed.

      “Don’t be too hasty.” Ash said. “even if Pokéballs aren’t working, I’ve still got two Pokémon ready to fight.”

      “Pikachu!” Pika jumped off of Ash’s shoulder onto the ground, ready to defend everyone if necessary.

      “Chu, pika.” Volty did the same.

      “Oh, great.” Gary said sarcastically. “We have two Electric Pokémon to fight off a Ground-Type. However could this go wrong?”

      “Don’t worry about that.” Ash said. “I can just have Pika use Brick Break. It’ll be super effective.”

      “No good.” Carmine pointed out. “That thing’s a ghost, which means Normal and Fighting type attacks won’t effect it either.”

      ‘I didn’t think about that.”

      Marowak then let out another roar and charged forward to attack.

      “What do we do now?”

      * * *

      Erika’s Gloom released a Sweet Scent from the flower atop its head which spread throughout the area. Butterfree noticed the scent and became enamored by it, stopping what she was doing and leaving her open for a spray of Acid. Butterfree snapped back to its senses after being hit and started flying circles around Gloom, still experiencing the boost that Silver Wind had given her. Gloom tried to launch another spray of Acid at Butterfree, but missed. Butterfree stopped flying behind Gloom and hit it with a Psybeam. Gloom was knocked flat onto its face by the force of the blow. Before it could get back up again, Butterfree hit it with another Psybeam and then another. After the third hit, Gloom didn’t get back up again, so Erika had no choice but to recall Gloom back to its Pokéball.

      “Yeah!” Daisy shouted in excitement. “We win!”

      “Not yet, you still haven’t defeated my Tangela yet.” Erika said as she called her Vine Pokémon back into battle.

      “Oh, right. I forgot about that.” Daisy said, embarrassed. “But it’s already been weakened, so this should be a piece of cake. Butterfree, use Silver Wind again!”

      Butterfree began flapping its wings heavily like before, but before she could launch the attack, Tangela hit her with a spray of Sleep Powder and Butterfree almost immediately fell to the ground, sound asleep.

      “Oh, bother.” Daisy sighed as she lifted up Butterfree’s Pokéball. “Well, you did good while you were still awake. Now it’s time for Bulbasaur.”

      Daisy was just about to call out her starter Pokémon when suddenly Vulpix came out of its Pokéball. The Fox Pokémon let out a howl as her feet touched the ground and let out a spiraling stream of fire from her mouth. The Fire Spin attack hit Tangela and formed a burning ring of fire around the Grass-type. The move proved too much for the already weakened Tangela and it fainted.

      “Now you've won.” Erika said as the flames died down and she called her Tangela back. “Congratulations.”

      Daisy walked up to Erika, who handed her a Rainbow Badge.

      “Thank you.” Daisy said as she took the badge.

      “You know,” Erika said. “You remind me a lot of an old friend of mine.”


      Erika turned to the picture she had been looking at when Daisy arrived, and Daisy took a closer look at it. The picture showed a younger Erika with another girl, with chestnut brown hair and strikingly blue eyes.

      “Who’s she?” Daisy asked.

      “Her name is Karla. Her parents used to serve my family and we grew up together. We were as close as sisters when we were younger.” Erika gave a depressed sigh. “Though, I haven’t heard from her in years. I have no idea what’s become of her.”

      “That’s sad to hear.”

      “Never mind.” Erika turned back to Daisy. “Anyway, congratulations again on earning the Rainbow Badge. I wish you luck as you continue to make your way through the Pokémon League.”
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      Old 1 Week Ago (6:32 AM).
      Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
      Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
      The Mustachioed Machamp
        Join Date: Apr 2013
        Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
        Age: 22
        Gender: Male
        Nature: Quiet
        Posts: 59
        Chapter 49
        Wes was washing his hands in the Adonis Detective Agency’s bathroom when he looked up at the mirror in front of him and stared at his reflection. Recent events had caused a lot of bad memories and old resentment to start bubbling back up inside of him.

        “Why did she have to get involved in all of this?” He muttered to himself. “Just when I thought I was finally moving on with my life and put the past behind me.”

        He studied the details of his face. It was the face he had always had and yet right now he couldn’t even see himself, only his mother. Sure he had brown eyes rather than her blue, but the details of his face her nearly identical and he had inherited her silver hair as a painful reminder of his background. Even his deep tan from living his whole life in the harsh desert of Orre was steadily fading away. The tan line left after he removed the reflective tape he used to wear across his face to keep the desert sunlight out of his eyes had become only faintly visible.

        Wes placed his hands on the sides of the sink and clenched his fists tightly shut. He closed his eyes and relived the events of his mother’s departure when he was just a boy. This didn’t last long, however, as he was suddenly snapped out of it by a knock on the door.

        “Are you okay in there?” Rui asked from outside.

        “Yeah, I’ll be right out.” Wes called back as he put his gloves back on and opened the door. “What’s up?”

        “Oh, not much.” Rui held her hands behind her back and moved her left foot lightly across the floor beneath her. “I was just wondering if you wanted to go out and do something. Maybe go get dinner?”

        A faint smile slowly creased Wes’ lips. He had done a lot of bad things in his life, made a lot of mistakes, but joining up with Rui was not one of them. The girl always knew how to cheer him up. It probably had something to do with her powers, now that he thought about it, but that wasn’t important right now.

        “Sure.” He said. “I could go for some food.”

        “Great!” Rui beamed. “Let’s go find someplace good!”

        Rui turned around and left, Wes following close behind. They made an odd pair, but they were a pair nonetheless. Wes wouldn’t trade their friendship for anything in the world. Maybe his past wasn’t so bad, Wes thought, if it’s what eventually led him to her.

        * * *

        The members of Team Rocket’s Elite Squadron sat around the long table situated in the main conference room of the organization’s headquarters. Giovanni stood at the end of the table, ready to give them their new orders.

        “I’m sure you are all wondering why I have called you here.” He said as he pushed a button on the table in front of him. The room went dark and an image lit up on the table showing the S.S. Anne shortly before it had set off for its final voyage. “As you all know, this ship sunk just recently under mysterious circumstances. Every passenger and crew member washed up on shore with barely any injuries and yet no one has any recollection of what actually happened. In fact, most of you were there at the time as well and yet none of you have been able to shed any light on the subject. However, we now finally have a lead on what happened aboard that ship.”

        Giovanni pressed another button and the picture of the ship was replaced with an aerial view of the ship surrounded by a pack of Gyarados.

        “It took a lot of resources to get this satellite video feed of the ship’s destruction and even more to make sure that no one else was able to access this same information.”

        Everyone watched as the pack of wild Gyarados surrounded the ship and then as they stopped. A dark figure flew over to the ship and there was a mild commotion before there was a flash of white light and the feed cut out.

        “We do not know for sure what that thing was, but we have reason to believe it has something to do with one of the old Team Rocket’s plans: Project ReBirth.” Giovanni glanced over to Jessie to see the look of recognition pass over her. “Yes, I’m sure that name would be very familiar to you.”
        “But that project never went anywhere.” Jessie pointed out. “My moth-, er, Agent Myra Starr and her team were never able to find what they were looking for, so the project was never able to move forward.”

        Giovani gave a sly smile. “Yes, that’s what you were told. But you have a much higher clearance level than you’ve ever had before. I think it’s time for you, and everyone else here, to learned the truth. While it is true that the scout team never returned from their expedition, they were not emptyhanded. They were able to send back precisely what was needed and the project was carried out in the utmost secrecy on a small island to the southwest. Only a small group of scientists were allowed in on the project and even fewer knew of our involvement. The entire project was then thought lost after an ‘accident’, but it would appear that not everything was as it seemed.”

        “I’m confused.” James interrupted. “What are you talking about?”

        “Oh, yes.” Giovanni turned to him. “You wouldn’t be familiar with this. Then allow me to go into further detail on the subject.”

        * * *

        The Marowak ghost threw its bone club towards Pika and Volty. The two Pikachu jumped out of the way as the bone spun furiously past them and nearly hit Ash who has standing behind them. The bone then curved around the room and everyone else had to duck as it went soaring over their heads and straight back to the Marowak, who expertly caught it.

        “What do you want?” Misty cried out to the ghost.

        “Leave this place.”

        “Sounds good to me.” Gary quickly made his way towards the staircase leading back down. Suddenly the ghost disappeared for a second and reappeared in front of him. “Hey, I thought you wanted us to leave!”

        “I don’t think it meant for us to leave that way.” Carmine said.

        “Well, what other way is there… oh, wait.” Gary’s face gained an expression of horror at the realization of what he meant.

        Marowak tossed its bone again and Gary had to dive out of the way. The bone arced its way around the room as before and smacked Yellow in the back of her head, knocking the girl unconscious.

        “Yellow!” Red cried out as he grabbed her before she could fall onto the ground.

        “That’s it!” Ash cried furiously. “You’re going down! I don’t care if you can’t be hit by physical or electric moves, Pika, Volty, take that ghost down!”

        The two Pikachu nodded at their trainer and faced their opponent. Volty charged forward with a Quick Attack while Pika jumped up high in the air and came falling down with a Brick Break. Both Pokémon passed harmlessly through the ghost and crashed into each other.

        “That’s no good.” Brock said. “You need to come up with some other strategy.”

        Marowak swung its club down at Volty, who managed to dodge out of the way. The Marowak then threw its bone again.

        “That’s it.” Ash muttered to himself, then turned back to his Pikachu. “Aim for the bone!”

        The two Pikachu both looked at him in confusion and then fired a twin Thunderbolt at the bone as it arced back. The blast knocked the bone off course and it slammed into Marowak’s head, knocking it down.

        “Way to go!” Misty cheered.

        “It’s not over yet.”

        The Marowak grabbed its bone off of the floor and used it to pull itself back up onto its feet. It looked over to Ash in fury and swung its club up, scraping the ground as it went. A huge storm of dust filled half the room and when it faded way everyone that was caught inside was gone, leaving only Gary, Red and the unconscious Yellow alone with the ghostly Marowak.

        “Well, that’s not good.” Gary said bluntly.

        “You think!” Red snapped back at him.
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        Old 1 Week Ago (7:48 AM).
        Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
        Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
        The Mustachioed Machamp
          Join Date: Apr 2013
          Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
          Age: 22
          Gender: Male
          Nature: Quiet
          Posts: 59
          Chapter 50
          “Now, off we go.” Daisy said to her Cleffa as she set out from Celadon City and onto Route 16. “At this rate, we might actually be able to pass the others and reach the Pokémon League first.”

          “Cle.” The pink and green baby Pokémon giggled back at her.

          “Oh, that’s right.” Daisy said absently. “You haven’t even met the others yet. I can’t wait until I can show you off to them.”

          “Well, well, well, who do we have here?”

          Daisy turned around to see Giselle walking over to her. She had a smug confidence to her posture that Daisy thought reminded her a lot of her brother Gary.

          “It looks like we meet again.” Giselle said.

          “What are you doing here?” Daisy asked her.

          “The same thing as you. Or so I would imagine, anyway. I’m making my way to the next town and with it the next Gym. Unfortunately, the way is blocked from here. Unless you have a bicycle, Route 17 is completely off limits and this place is little more than just a dead end.”

          “Oh,” Daisy looked down shyly at the ground. “I wasn’t aware of that. I guess I’ll have to find another way.”

          “I see that you’ve been busy since we last met. You even managed to get yourself a baby Pokémon. Those aren’t exactly easy to come by.” Giselle bent down slightly to get a closer look at Cleffa. Suddenly the smugness of her expression faded. “Wait, hold on a minute. Is that a shiny?”

          “No, she’s a Cleffa.” Daisy pointed out.

          “I know that.” Giselle said angrily. “I was asking if she was shiny Pokémon?”

          “I don’t know what you mean.” Daisy said, confused.

          Giselle sighed. “How do you not know what a shiny Pokémon is?”

          Daisy shrugged her shoulders.

          “I shiny Pokémon is a Pokémon that has a different coloration than normal. For example, Cleffa normally have brown ears, not green.”

          “Really?” Daisy held up her Cleffa to take a closer look at the baby Pokémon. “I didn’t even realize that.”

          “Shiny Pokémon are, like, extremely rare. How did you even manage to get one?”

          “She hatched from an egg I was given by a Clefable in Mt. Moon.” Daisy explained as she lowered Cleffa back down into her arms.

          “Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, then don’t.” Giselle sighed.

          “But it’s the truth!”

          “Yeah, whatever. Anyway, I know we’re rivals and all, but since we both need to head back to Celadon and find a different Route to take, would you mind if travel together for a bit?”

          “Um, sure.” Daisy answered, surprised by the question.

          “Normally I wouldn’t ask for something like this.” Giselle tried to defend her own ego. “But it gets kind of boring traveling alone all the time.”

          “I know that feeling well.” Daisy added.

          With that, the two girls turned around and headed back to Cerulean. This was definitely an unexpected setback, Daisy thought, but at least she had a bit of company for the time being. This also gave her a chance to get to know her self-proclaimed rival a little better.

          “So, where are you from?” Daisy asked Giselle.

          “Don’t push it.”

          Then again, getting to know her might be a harder challenge than Daisy thought.

          * * *

          “What are we supposed to do now?” Gary yelled at Red. “We’re being attacked by a ghost that won’t let us leave, we can’t call out our Pokémon and the others are just… gone.”

          “I am well aware of the situation!” Red yelled back as he lifted Yellow’s unconscious body onto his back. “Just give me a little time to think.”

          “We don’t have time!”

          The Marowak ghost slowly walked up to them, holding its bone club high above its head ready to strike. Gary tried to call out his Wartortle again, but his Pokéballs were still inactive. Marowak struck down with its club, but both trainers were able to dodge out of the way of the blow.

          “Hold on!” Red suddenly shouted. “I think I have a plan.”

          “Good, now would you mind sharing it with the rest of the class?” Gary asked sarcastically.

          “There’s only one ghost, but two of us. If we both head in opposite directions, it won’t be able to stop us both from leaving.”

          “Well, I guess that’s better than just standing around and waiting to get hit.” Gary said as he started running towards the stairs leading back down the tower. “Smell you later!”

          Marowak turned back and forth between Gary and Red as they ran in opposite directions away from it, unsure of what to do. After a moment, it made a decision and bolted straight for Red. Fortunately for him though, he had enough of a head start to reach the stairs and make his way up. Marowak did not follow him.

          When Red had safely made his way to the next floor of the Pokémon Tower and was sure that the ghost was no longer followed him, he gently set Yellow down on the tiled floor and sat down beside her.

          “I don’t remember the last time I’ve been that scared.” He whispered to himself. “But at least we made our way out of that. Now I’m only worried about how we’re supposed to make our way back down from here.”

          Red then looked up to see if he could at least find the staircase leading to the next floor and to his surprise he wasn’t able to find one anywhere. He gently nudged Yellow in an effort to wake her up and after a moment the girl’s eyes finally flickered back open and she sat up.

          “Good to see you’re okay.” He said to her.

          “It depends on what you mean by ‘okay’.” Yellow groaned. “You wouldn’t believe the headache I have right now.”

          “Getting hit in the back of the head with a bone will do that to you.” Red replied. “Anyway, it looks like we’ve finally made it.”

          “Really?” Yellow stood up excitedly and looked around. “Oh, wow. I was starting to think we’d never make it up here. Where are the others?”

          “Well,” Red wasn’t quite sure what to say. “Gary had to make his way back down so that we could get up here and I don’t know what happened to everyone else. They just kind of… vanished.”

          “What do you mean by-” Yellow’s question got cut off as they heard a yell echo across the room. Red and Yellow both looked around to see where it came from and noticed for the first time that they were not alone up there.

          At the other end of the room, an old man lay on the floor, backing away from three men dressed in black uniforms that had a very familiar design to them.

          “Team Rocket.” Red growled. “What are they doing here?”

          Red called out his Charmeleon and Paras, glad to see that his Pokéballs were working again, and they ran over to help the old man.

          “Stay here.” He told Yellow. “This might be dangerous.”

          “Come on, old man.” Said one of the Team Rocket grunts, distinguished by his long, blonde hair tied back in a rather unkempt ponytail. “Just give us the information that our boss wants and this will all be over. No one needs to get hurt.”

          “Hey, who are you?” Another grunt asked as he noticed Red’s approach. This one had short, black hair with large sideburns.

          “Leave him alone!” Red demanded.

          “Look, kid.” Said the third, brown-haired, grunt. “I don’t know who you think you are or how you even managed to get up here, but you should just leave now. A kid like you has no business interfering with Team Rocket, isn’t that right, Ken?”

          “That’s right, Al.”

          “I’m afraid you’re wrong about that.” Red said. His Charmeleon let out a small breath of flame to show that they were serious. “I’ve beaten your kind before and I can do it again.”

          “Alright then.” The blonde grunt sighed. “It’s your funeral. Which is kind of ironic, given where we are right now.”

          “I’m not sure that would actually be considered irony, Harry.” Al replied.

          “Yeah, whatever. Let’s just get this over with.”

          Harry called out his Muk while Ken sent out his Tauros and Al sent out his Hypno.

          “Face it, kid. You’re clearly outmatched here.” Al said.

          “Yeah? Well, we’ll see about that.”
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          Old 1 Week Ago (6:32 AM).
          Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
          Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
          The Mustachioed Machamp
            Join Date: Apr 2013
            Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
            Age: 22
            Gender: Male
            Nature: Quiet
            Posts: 59
            Chapter 51
            “Where are we?” Ash wondered aloud as he, Pika, Volty, Carmine, Misty and Brock woke up in a long, dark tunnel.

            “And more importantly, what’s that smell?” Misty asked, plugging her nose.

            “It sounds like there’s water flowing by us.” Brock observed. “Could this be some kind of underground river?”

            “That, or it could be a sewer.” Carmine said. “I’m inclined to think sewer.”

            “Well, how are we supposed to get back out of here?” Misty asked irritably.

            “I guess we should just pick a direction and walk until we find a way out.” Ash suggested.

            “If we’re doing that, we should probably make sure that we can see where we’re going first.” Carmine pointed out. “Otherwise we could easily end up falling straight into a river of raw sewage.”

            “Yuck.” Misty made a disturbed face, not that anyone noticed it.

            “Right.” Ash said. “Pika, Volty, I think you’ve got this handled.”

            The two Pikachu both let off a series of sparks from their cheeks that dimly lit up the area.

            “Yep, definitely a sewer.” Carmine commented.

            “How do you know?” Misty asked him teasingly. “Have you ever been in one before?”

            Carmine gave a menacing glare in Misty’s direction. “And why are you still here, again? I thought you just came back for the cruise and that’s already over.”

            “I… I just felt like tagging along for a bit longer.” Misty blushed and quickly glanced at Ash for a fraction of a second, though the poor lighting made it almost impossible to notice.

            “Alright,” Ash tried to ease the growing tension. “I guess we should get going now. The less time we spend down here, the better.”

            With that, Ash turned around and walked along the narrow pathway that they were standing on and the others quickly followed after him.

            * * *

            “Alright,” Squirtle said to the others as they huddled behind the Mossgreen Gym. “From the looks of it, I’d say this place specializes in either Grass or Bug types. Charmander has the type advantage, either way, so he’s our best bet. Are you up to it?”

            “Definitely.” Charmander declared proudly.

            “Okay then. Now that that’s settled, it’s time to go in. Is everyone ready for this?”

            Charmander, Bulbasaur and Zoroark all nodded back at Squirtle and Zoroark walked around to the entrance of the building with the others following close behind her. They entered the Gym and found the leader picking some herbs growing off to the side of the room. She didn’t notice them as they approached, so Zoroark had to clear her throat to draw the Gym Leader’s attention.

            “Oh, sorry about that.” The Gym Leader said as she stood up and turned to face Zoroark. “I didn’t notice you over there. I’m Cassandra, the local Gym Leader. Are you here for a Gym Battle?”

            “Yes.” Zoroark answered. “My name is Zahira and I already have one badge.”

            “Okay, let’s not get wait any longer then.” Cassandra and Zoroark each walked over to the opposite ends of the battlefield. Charmander readied himself while Cassandra sent out her Paras. “Let the battle begin!”

            Paras sent a spray of Stun Spore in Charmander’s direction. The Lizard Pokémon blasted a hole through the spores with an Ember and unleashed an intimidating Growl. Paras retaliated with a Scratch but was unable to put its full strength unto the attack due to the effects of the Growl and Charmander countered the attack with another Ember, forcing Paras to take several steps back.

            Paras shook itself back to its senses and released a spray of Poison Powder at Charmander, inflicting him with poison. Charmander used Ember again but Paras was able to dodge to the side in time to avoid the attack and hit Charmander with an Absorb, draining some of Charmander’s health. Charmander then struck Paras with a Scratch attack and knocked the Bug-type onto its back. Paras tried to roll back up onto its feet but before it was able to, Charmander hit it with another Ember. Paras flailed its legs out widely for a moment before it gave up and passed out.

            “That went by faster than I thought it would. You must be an exceptionally good trainer.” Cassandra commented as she walked over to Zoroark. “Then again I don’t really have much experience with this. Anyway, here you go. You’ve earned this Mushroom Badge.”

            Zoroark took the badge and nodded before placing it inside the badge case tucked inside of her ‘pocket’ before she turned around and left.

            “Well, she’s not very talkative.” Cassandra muttered to herself as she returned to picking herbs. “But I guess it doesn’t really matter.”

            * * *

            “Woohoo! Made it out alive!” Gary cheered himself on as he took his first steps outside of the Pokémon Tower. He turned around on the off chance that Red was behind him. “Well, I hope they make it out, but there isn’t really anything I can do to help them.”

            “Well, I definitely didn’t think you’d be out of there so soon.” Gary jumped as Kat walked up to him. “I guess you probably didn’t make it all the way up to the top of the tower, did you?”

            “N-no.” Gary admitted reluctantly. “But that doesn’t matter right now. I just want to get out of this crazy place as soon as possible and get back to sanity.”

            “That’s kind of a strange thing to say.” Concern showed in Kat’s voice. “What happened up there?”

            “I do not want to talk about it.” Gary’s turned absently off to the side as he spoke.

            “Alright then, but are you really sure you want to be leaving so soon?”

            “I am very sure of that, yes.” Gary turned back to his cousin.

            “But what if I told you that there was a Gym on the outskirts of the town?”

            “I… wait, what?” Gary was caught off guard by this.

            “Yeah, the Gym Leader here is kind of a recluse, so not very many people even realize that she’s here, but I do know where her Gym is.”

            “Why didn’t you say something earlier?” Gary screamed angrily.

            “I was waiting for a good time to mention it.” Kat shrugged.

            “Well, ‘a good time to mention it’ would have been when we first got here! Or even before that!”

            “Fine, fine.” Kat raised her hands in a motion for Gary to calm down. “I guess I should have mentioned something, but I had no idea you’d act like this.”

            “Wait a minute.” Gary said as he started to calm down and take things in. “Where are the others?”

            “Back in the Pokémon Center. I just came out here to stretch my legs and maybe see when you got back.”

            “Oh, whatever. Let’s just check out that Gym.”

            * * *

            “That’s two down already.” Bulbasaur said excitedly as they walked away from the gym. “We’re making great progress so far.”

            “Let’s just hope that we can keep it that way.” Squirtle commented.

            “We’ll do fine.” Charmander added. “No one can stop us!”

            “I’m just worried about how long we can keep up this masquerade.” Zoroark said. “I’ve only used my human disguises for short interactions or in large groups where everyone’s attention is divided away from me, using personalities I specifically use to try and make people not want to talk to me for very long. I’m not sure how long I can keep this up, though I will do my best.”

            “I’m sure you’ll be fine.” Bulbasaur tried to comfort the Dark-type. “You’ve been able to do a good job so far, after all.”

            “True.” Zoroark muttered.

            “There is no obstacle big enough to get in our way!” Squirtle announced loudly. “If we put our minds to it, anything is possible! That’s my guiding philosophy and the principle upon which Team Pokémon stands!”

            “Team Pokémon?” Bulbasaur questioned.

            “That’s the name I have chosen for our group and soon everyone will learn to hold that name and all that it stands for with only the highest of honors!”

            “I guess that works.” Charmander said.

            “I think it sounds stupid. I mean what, just because we’re a bunch of Pokémon we should be called ‘Team Pokémon’? What kind of logic is that?” Bulbasaur complained.

            “I like the sound of it.” Zoroark argued. “And being Pokémon is what sets us apart from everyone else.”

            “Exactly!” Squirtle said matter-of-factly. “So then we’re all agreed on the name?”

            “No, we are not.” Bulbasaur said.

            “Perfect!” Squirtle ignored him. “Then onward we go, Team Pokémon! Our destinies await!”
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            Old 1 Week Ago (8:42 AM).
            Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
            Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
            The Mustachioed Machamp
              Join Date: Apr 2013
              Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
              Age: 22
              Gender: Male
              Nature: Quiet
              Posts: 59
              Chapter 52
              “Well, that was anticlimactic.” Red said as the three Team Rocket Grunts ran away from him in defeat.

              “Yeah.” Yellow agreed as she walked over to him. “I thought for sure they would at least be a challenge. There Pokémon looked strong, at least. But on the bright side, it looks like Paras is evolving.”

              Sure enough, the Grass and Bug-type Pokémon glowed bright white and grew slightly larger, the two mushrooms on its back combining into a single large mushroom.

              “Neat.” Red called both of his Pokémon back into their Pokéballs and turned his attention to the old man the Rocket Grunts had been harassing. “Anyway, are you alright?”

              “Yes.” The old man responded. “Thank you very much for saving me from those ruffians.”

              “Wait a minute…” Said Yellow, “They just ran back down the tower, but isn’t the ghost still there? In fact, how are we supposed to get back down?”

              “Don’t worry about that.” The old man said as he gestured towards a differently colored tile off to the side of the room. “We had this installed just recently. It’s a state of the art teleport tile, straight from Silph Corp.”

              “Wow!” Red did nothing to hide his surprise. “I’ve heard of these things but I’ve never seen one in person.”

              “Follow me.” The old man walked towards the teleport tile. “I have something I want to give you as a thank you gift for saving me.”

              * * *

              “Well, this is it.” Said as she and Gary stood outside the Lavender Town Gym.

              Gary hesitated before entering the light purple colored decrepit old building that looked like it hadn’t been used in a very long time. To his surprise, the Gym’s interior was lit entirely by candlelight and he could faintly see the form of a short old lady standing in the center, keeping herself propped up with an old, gnarled cane.

              “I had a feeling someone would be challenging me today.” The old woman said as Gary cautiously approached her. “I am Agatha, the Gym Leader here. And who might you be?”

              “I-“ Gary’s voice cracked as he spoke. “I’m Gary Oak.”

              “Ah, yes.” Agatha muttered to herself. “Oak. I used to train with your grandfather, you know. Sam and I had a rivalry that drove both of us to our limits to try and outdo each other. But that was a very long time ago. Your grandfather decided to pursue a more academic lifestyle, leaving me to train alone. Now, let’s see if you have even half of the battle prowess that Sam had at your age.”

              Agatha tapped her cane against the floor and the shadows around her twisted and turned as a Ghastly rose up from them. Gary grabbed a Pokéball from around his waist and called out his Nidorina. Ghastly’s eyes lit up as it used Hypnosis to try and lull Nidorina to sleep, but Nidorina was able to look away just in time and avoid the effects of the move as she rushed forward and used Bite. A dark aura surrounded her jaw as she clamped down her teeth hard on Ghastly’s face, which allowed the attack to effect the Ghost-type, who flinched, leaving it open to another Bite.

              “If only I could have done this against that ghost.” Gary muttered to himself.

              Ghastly was able to back away from Nidorina before being hit by a third Bite and attacked with Nightshade. A dark flaming wave of energy radiated from the Gas Pokémon and knocked Nidorina back. Ghastly then sped towards Nidorina to try and use Lick on her, but she was able to prevent it by using another Bite just as it reached her. Ghastly flinched again and Nidorina was able to finish it off with one last Bite.

              “Very good.” Agatha said as she recalled her Ghastly to its Pokéball. “But just using the same move over and over again isn’t a very good strategy in the long run, is it.”

              She pulled out a black and green Dusk Ball and called out her second Pokémon, a bluish gray ghosy with a string of red pearls around its neck.

              “Hey!” Gary called out in anger. “I thought Gym Leaders could only use Pokémon native to the Kanto Region!”

              Agatha chuckled back at him. “It is a common mistake to think that Misdreavus cannot be found here, but the truth is that a Ghost can be found anywhere if you know where to look.”

              “Yeah, whatever.”

              Misdreavus opened with an Astonish, fading out of view and and reappearing in front of Nidorina with a terrifying face. Nidorina was caught off guard by the attack and was stunned long enough for Misdreavus to follow it up with a Psywave, blasting Nidorina back. Nidorina quickly got back up to its feet and launched a Poison Sting from its mouth. The tiny purple dart struck Misdreavus right int eh center pearl of its necklace inflicted it with poison.

              Misdreavus tried to use Astonish again, but this time Nidorina was prepared and used Bite as it appeared in front of her, leaving Misdreavus stunned long enough for another Bite. Misdreavus backed away and started floating in circles around Nidorina.

              “That Bite of yours is becoming quite the nuisance.” Agatha said. “Let’s fix that, shall we? Spite!”

              A shockwave flew out from Misdreavus. At first it didn’t seem like the shockwave did anything, but then Misdreavus flew back within Nidorina’s range and she tried to get it with another Bite, but the dark aura didn’t appear and her teeth passed harmlessly though Misdreavus and her jaw clamped together as if there were nothing there.

              “What will you do now?” Agatha taunted Gary.

              “More Poison Sting, obviously.”

              Nidorina launched another purple dart from her mouth which stuck Misdreavus exactly where the first one had. The Screech Pokémon was now showing signs of fatique, which Nidorina took as an opportunity for another Poison Sting. As the dart hit Misdreavus’ pearl, it began to crack and Misdreavus fell to the floor.

              “That was better than I was expecting, but there is no way you will be able to defeat my final Pokémon.”

              “We’ll see about that.” Gary remarked.

              Agatha recalled Misdreavus and sent out a Haunter. Meanwhile, Gary swapped out his own Nidorian for his Wartortle. Haunter attacked Wartortle with a Sucker Punch, its hand moving through the air independently from its body and striking Wartortle right in the face before he could react. Wartortle shot a furious look at Haunter as the evolved Gas Pokémon’s hand returned to it and used Bubble. A stream of water bubbles shot out of Wartortle’s mouth and struck Haunter, slowing down its movements. Haunter tried to swoop in closer to hit Wartortle with a Shadow Punch, but just as it was about to get in range, Wartortle jumped up and used Bite.

              “You just love that move, don’t you.” Agatha said bitterly.

              As Wartortle fell back down to the gorund, he retreated into his shell with Withdraw. Haunter hit the shell with Shadow Punch, but was unable to do much. As Wartortle hit the ground, a Water Gun shot out from his shell and hit Haunter, causing it to drop down closer to the ground and leaving it open for Wartortle to jump forward and get it with another Bite. Haunter flinched, leaving it open to another Bite, and the battle was won.

              “You did a lot better than I was expecting.” Agatha said. “Perhaps there is still hope for the Oak family after all. Take this Spectre Badge. You’ve earned it after all.”

              Gary took the badge, which resembled a dark gray Yin-Yang symbol.

              “Thanks.” He said as he turned to walk away. As he left the Gym with Kat, he turned to his cousin. “Did you know about her and Grandpa?”

              “No.” Kat answered. “I’ve never actually met Agatha before and I’ve never heard Grandpa mention him. It was definitely news to me.”

              “Huh.” Gary shrugged. “I mean, I knew he was a trainer at one point, but I’ve never really thought about it before. I wonder if he had any other rivals.”

              “Who knows? Maybe we should ask him when we get the chance.”

              “No thanks. It’s not really all that important.”

              “Yeah, you may feel that way, but I want to learn more. I’m going to get Grampa to tell me about his time as a trainer whenever we finally get back home.”
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              Old 1 Week Ago (7:02 AM).
              Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
              Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
              The Mustachioed Machamp
                Join Date: Apr 2013
                Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                Age: 22
                Gender: Male
                Nature: Quiet
                Posts: 59
                Chapter 53
                The Teleport Tile sent Red, Yellow and the old man directly to the first floor of the Pokémon Tower and from there the old man led the two kids to a nearby building.

                “This is the Volunteer Pokémon House.” The old man said as he opened the front door. “I opened this place up many years ago as a place to take care of abandoned Pokémon.”

                Several Pokémon were scattered around the house, enjoying themselves. On the far side from the entrance, a girl around Red’s age was tending to an injured Cubone.

                “This is Reina. She’s our only volunteer here at the moment, but she does more than enough work to make up for that.”

                “Thank you, Mr. Fuji, but I just do what I can.” Reina blushed as she accepted the compliment.

                “Though I suppose you two would be more interested in hearing about Cubone. You see, that Cubone is the son of the Marowak ghost that you encountered up in the tower.”

                Red and Yellow weren’t sure what to make of this revelation.

                “Not too long ago a group of evil-hearted Team Rocket members attacked and killed Cubone’s mother. When we found them shortly afterward, we took Cubone in and made sure that Marowak had a proper burial in the tower, but then her spirit started to haunt the floor she was buried in and attacking everyone in sight. I went up there to try and calm her down, but then those three you fought showed up and only agitated her spirit further, trapping us on the top floor.”

                “Wait, you were attacked?” Reina gasped.

                “I will explain later.” Mr. Fuji told her before turning his attention back to Red and Yellow. “Now I’m afraid I will have to go up there again to calm her down, but in the meantime, I wanted to give you a gift for saving me.”

                Mr. Fuji walked over to a nearby set of drawers and picked up a small case and some sort of wooden flute. He then walked back to them and handed the flute to Yellow.

                “This is a Pokéflute. They say that the sound it makes is capable of waking up any sleeping Pokémon.” He then turned to Red and handed him the small black case. Red opened it up to find a small black bracelet and some sort of marble that shone blue and yellow as light reflected off of it. “I don’t know for sure what this is, but I feel that it will come in handy for you at some point.”

                “We can’t take these.” Red insisted.

                “Nonsense! I’m giving them to you because I want you to have them. Are you really going to turn down an old man’s generous offer like this?”

                “I-I guess not.” Red said.

                “Good. Now, I wish you the best of luck in your travels!”

                * * *

                Daisy and Giselle were just reaching the outskirts of Celadon City when they found their path blocked by two men on motorcycles.

                “Now what do we have here?” One of the men mockingly asked the other. He was a thin man with a spiked Mohawk and a brown leather coat. “Yo, Cue Ball, what do you make of this?”

                “Looks like a couple kids trying to make their way past our turf.” The other man said. He was a very heavyset man with a black vest and his head was cleanly shaven to the point where light reflected off of it as if his scalp were made of glass.

                “That’s what I thought.” The first biker said. “But surely no one would be that stupid, right?”

                “Not unless they want a beatin’.” ‘Cue Ball’ agreed.

                “Get out of our way.” Giselle ordered the two bikers.

                “Oh, this girl thinks she can just go and order us around like we’re her servants or something. Well, guess what, girlie: The Gyarados Gang down’s take orders from nobody!”

                Giselle smirked. “That’s a double negative, which means that you do take orders from somebody. And I guess right now that somebody would be me.”

                “Why you little-” The first man said, gritting his teeth. “Come on, Cue Ball, it’s time we teach these two a lesson on respecting their elders.”

                “I guess this will be our first team battle.” Giselle said to Daisy. “Two rivals teaming up to fight off a common enemy. It’s almost poetic, don’t you think.”

                Daisy, who had been looking on in horror as Giselle had somehow managed to make a bad situation even worse for them, meanly sighed as she pulled out one of her Pokéballs.

                * * *

                “What do you think it does?” Yellow asked Red as the made their way out of Lavender Town. Red had put the bracelet on his right wrist and was examining it closely.

                “I’m not sure.” Red answered as he pulled out the marble-like object. He held the strange gemstone up to the bracelet and noticed there was a small opening just large enough to put the marble in. He inserted the marble into the bracelet and found that it fit perfectly.

                “It looks good on you.” Yellow smiled.

                “Yeah, but I’m sure there’s more to this thing than just a fashion accessory. Oh, well. We’ll figure it out eventually I guess.”

                The two continued walking in silence as they made their way along Route 8 until eventually Yellow turned to Red.

                “I think someone’s following us.” She said to him.

                Red turned around and saw that there was indeed someone following them. A young woman with long purple hair that Red recognized as the woman that had been asking Yellow about ghosts yesterday.

                “Can I help you with something?” He asked her.

                “No, not really.” She replied.

                “Then why are you following us?”

                “Oh, no reason. I was bored and thought you looked interesting. I thought that if I went with you for a while, something might happen.”

                “Well, you can’t just follow someone around without their permission.” Red said.

                “Alright then. Can I go with you for the time being?”

                Red thought for a moment, but couldn’t really think of a good reason to say no. “Um, sure, I guess. At least until we get to Saffron.”

                “Oh, good.” The woman clapped her hands together.

                “I’m Yellow and this is Red.” Yellow greeted the girl. “What’s your name?”

                “You may call me Sable.”

                * * *

                “How much longer do we have to go?” Misty whined as she, Ash, Carmine and Brock continued to make their way through the sewer tunnel they had become trapped in.

                “Who knows?” Brock answered. “We don’t even know where we are right now. We might not even be in Kanto right now.”

                “In fact, it was a ghost that sent us here, so for all we know we’re actually stuck in the Distortion World for all eternity.” Carmine joked.

                “That’s not funny.” Misty said angrily.

                “I’m just messing with you. According to the map on my Pokégear, we’re somewhere between Lavender Town and Saffron City, heading towards Saffron.”

                “Wait, you’ve had that the entire time?” Misty asked. “Why didn’t you say something earlier?”

                “No one asked.” Carmine replied. “Besides, it’s not like this thing will tell us where the sewer exit is. I can’t make a call from down here.”

                “But can you at least tell us how far much longer we have to go until we reach Saffron City?” Ash asked. “There should be some way out over there.”

                “It shouldn’t be too much further. Although it’s hard to tell because I lost the signal for the map a little while ago.”

                “Well, this is just great.” Misty said, “Just when we get some sort of hope about knowing when we’re getting out of this stupid place, it just goes away. We’re going to be down here for the rest of our lives, aren’t we?”

                “Don’t be ridiculous. There was to be a way out somewhere and we’re going to-”

                “Going to what?” Ash asked as Carmine didn’t finish his sentence. When no reply came, Ash turned around to see Carmine, Misty and Brock all standing still. Something seemed off about their eyes. Ash started to walk back to them, but just as he took the first step, suddenly a loud chattering sound echoed through the tunnel and he, Pika and Volty all had to cover their ears to try and block out the horrible noise. He tried to yell over the deafening noise, though of course no answer came. Ash turned around again and saw ten glowing eyes come into view ahead of him as the shadowy silhouettes of some unknown Pokémon made their way closer to him.
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                Old 5 Days Ago (8:19 AM). Edited 5 Days Ago by Glitch the Lifehacker.
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                Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
                The Mustachioed Machamp
                  Join Date: Apr 2013
                  Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                  Age: 22
                  Gender: Male
                  Nature: Quiet
                  Posts: 59
                  Chapter 54
                  Daisy and Giselle stood with their Ivysaur and Cubone, respectively. Across from them, the two bikers had sent out a Grimer and a Weezing. Daisy waited for their opponents to make the first move so that she could counter them, but Giselle was the first to act.


                  Cubone tossed its bone club at Weezing. The impact of the attack knocked Weezing to the ground where was then hit by a Vine Whip from Ivysaur. Grimer tried to help its ally by distracting Cubone and Ivysaur with a Sludge attack, launching a poisonous blood from its mouth at Cubone. Cubone dodged to the side and tossed another Bonemerang. This one struck Grimer head-on, but the bone became stuck in Grimer’s gooey body, making Cubone unable to retrieve it.

                  “That was a miscalculation.” Giselle said as she bit her thumb lightly in frustration.

                  “Hold on, I have an idea.” Daisy said to her. “Ivysaur, use cut on that small tree over there!”

                  Ivysaur looked over to where Daisy was motioning and saw a small sapling growing out of the ground. She launched a Razor Leaf at the base of the tree which cut cleanly through it. Giselle was confused by this at first at first but quickly realized what Daisy was doing and ordered her Cubone to retrieve the fallen sapling. The baby tree was larger and heavier than the bone it was used to wielding, but that did not stop Cubone from putting the makeshift weapon to good use. Cubone smacked Weezing back into the ground just as the Poison Gas Pokémon had lifted itself back up. Ivysaur Tackled Koffing and sent it rolling straight into Grimer, knocking Cubone’s club out of its ooze. Cubone grabbed its club off the ground and used Focus Energy before smacking Weezing with both weapons. The force of the blow shook through Weezing and into Grimer, knocking them both out.

                  “Well, well, well.” Giselle said tauntingly at the two bikers. “And who was supposed to be teaching whom a lesson here?”

                  “Why you little…” Cue Ball started to say before his speech gave haw to unintelligible angry gibberish.

                  “You may have gotten lucky this time,” the other biker said, “but if we ever see your faces around these parts again, you will rue the day you ever messed with the Gyarados Gang!”

                  The two recalled their Pokémon and rode off furiously.

                  “And here I thought they’d at least be a challenge.” Giselle said before turning to Daisy. “Nice thinking, with the tree club idea. I hate to say this, but it looks like we actually might make a good team after all.”

                  “Wait, does that mean you didn’t think we’d work well together?” Daisy asked.

                  “Not at all. Now come on, let’s go.”

                  * * *

                  Ash took several steps back as the heavily shadowed figured continued their approach towards him. He didn’t know what they were and he wasn’t particularly interested in waiting around to find out, but he wasn’t about to abandon his friends either. Carmine, Misty and Brock remained motionless as if being held in place by something and Ash quickly realized that Pika and Volty had frozen up now as well.

                  “Now what do I do?” Ash asked aloud.

                  “That’s up to you.” Ash jumped as Ghastly suddenly appeared next to him but before he could say anything else, the creatures came into view.

                  “Are those… Raticate?” Ash wondered in surprise.

                  “Don’t be fooled.” Ghastly said. “They may look like normal Raticate at first, but they are more than that. That’s a Raticate King.”


                  “When a Raticate’s tail gets tangled up with another’s, their minds become momentarily linked until they can be separated. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but when five Raticate manage to get their tails together at once they become what is known as a Raticate King. Legends say that they gain powerful psychic powers in the process and no longer have the ability to be safely be removed from each other.”

                  “I’ve never heard of that before.” Ash said as the Raticate King came closer. Ash could now see the knot in their tails that connected them.

                  “I’m not surprised. To my knowledge, a Raticate King has not surfaced in hundreds of years. This is a troubling turn of events indeed.”

                  “So are they preventing the others from moving?”

                  “It would look that way. I appear to be unaffected due to my Ghost-typing, but I have no idea why you are not affected by their control.”

                  “Well, we don’t really have time to think about that right now. Use Shadow Ball to fend them off.”

                  “I’m afraid I haven’t fully regained all of my energy from the banishment spell earlier.” Ghastly said. “I don’t think I have enough strength for that right now, but I’ll see what I can do.”

                  Ghastly spread its gaseous body towards the Raticate King as it approached. The Raticate King stopped as it inhaled the poisonous fumes, coughing violently. Ash tried to come up with a plan while it was distracted but could only think of one thing to do.

                  “Pokéball, go!” He tossed the small red and white ball at the Raticate King with as much force as he could muster, but the Pokéball merely bounced harmlessly off of it.

                  “That won’t be nearly enough.” Ghastly explained. “A Raticate King isn’t going to be captured by just a regular Pokéball.”

                  “Noted.” Ash said, looking around desperately for something else as the Raticate King resumed its steady approach towards them. After a moment, he ran up to Carmine and started rifling through his bag. He pulled out what he was looking for just as the Raticate King finally caught up to him and pounced. There was a flash of yellow light and the Raticate King was gone, leaving Ash lying on the floor, clutching an Ultra Ball tightly in hand as the others regained movement around him.

                  “Guys!” He yelled at them. “You’ll never believe what just happened!”

                  “We already know.” Carmine responded. “And I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t go through my stuff without permission.”

                  Ash blushed as Pika and Volty hopped back up onto his shoulders. “Sorry, it was the only thing I could think of.”

                  “I know. That’s why I’m going to let you keep that thing.”

                  * * *

                  Gary walked into the Lavender Pokémon Center after defeating Agatha. Mal, Ciel and Sue were all still sitting in the lounge area as he approached the front desk.

                  “Hello and welcome to the Lavender Town Pokémon Center!” The nurse said joyfully. “May I heel your Pokémon?”

                  “Yeah, sure, whatever.” Gary said unenthusiastically as he placed his Pokéballs on the tray she was holding out to him. He turned back as she put the tray into the healing machine beside her. Kat walked in after him and met up with the others. Meanwhile, a strange woman with bushy purple hair walked up to Gary.

                  “Do you believe in ghosts?” She asked him.

                  “Yeah, why?”

                  “No reason.”

                  The woman left without another word as Gary turned back to the nurse to get his Pokémon back.

                  “Here you go. We hope to see you again!”

                  Gary gave the nurse a half-hearted grin as he walked left to go meet up with his cheerleaders. The strange woman had walked over to the opposite side of the Pokémon Center and was staring at Gary. He gave her a sour look before turning to the others.

                  “Alright, I’m all done here. Let’s get going before we all get haunted or something.”

                  “Sounds good to me!” Mal said as she stood up. “Come on girls, we’re finally getting out of this place.”

                  “You know we haven’t been here for more than a few hours, right?” Gary pointed out.

                  “And that’s still too long.” Said Ciel. “This place gives me the creeps.”

                  “Where are we going next, anyway?” Sue asked.

                  “I say we head north to Rock Tunnel.” Kat suggested.

                  “Why would we go that way? Gary asked her. “Wouldn’t that just take us back around to Cerulean? Why would we want to go back there?”

                  “Because there’s another Gym Leader there.” She explained. “Like Agatha, he tends to keep to himself so most Trainers don’t realize he’s there, but it’s not that far, so you might as well challenge him and get another Gym over with.”

                  “I guess I can’t argue with that logic.” Gary said, then realized something. “But wait a minute, don’t all Gyms need to be in a city or town?”

                  “That’s a common misconception. Most Gyms are in major settlements to make them more accessible, but it’s not actually a rule. It’s one of the major reason most trainers don’t realize this Gym Leader is there.”
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                  Old 5 Days Ago (7:15 AM).
                  Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
                  Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
                  The Mustachioed Machamp
                    Join Date: Apr 2013
                    Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                    Age: 22
                    Gender: Male
                    Nature: Quiet
                    Posts: 59
                    Chapter 55
                    Ash stared at the Ultra Ball in his hand as he continued to make his way through the sewers. The others followed him closely, ready to finally find the exit and make their way back to the surface.

                    “What are you going to do with that thing anyway?” Carmine asked Ash.

                    “I’m not sure. I don’t know if the Raticate King counts as a single Pokémon or five. For all I know, just having this thing brings me over the maximum Pokémon Team limit and I can forget actually trying to use it in official battles.”

                    “If you were able to catch it with just the one Ultra Ball, then it counts as only a single Pokémon, somehow. Although I’m not sure if I’d want to use that thing if I were you.”

                    “Why not?” Ash asked as he put the Ultra Ball back along his belt.

                    “I’ve dealt with powerful and unusual Pokémon like that before.” He absently held up a Heavy Ball from his own belt and stared at the gray and blue sphere. “From what I’ve seen, the best thing to do is to simply make sure that they stay under control. When you become a powerful enough trainer, you should be able to train it but even then it should probably only be a last resort.”

                    “Wait, what Pokémon do you have in there?” Brock asked curiously.

                    “It’s none of your business.” Carmine put the Heavy Ball back down around his waist.

                    “I think I see an exit!” Misty yelled excitedly, pointing over to a hatch on the ceiling just ahead of them with a ladder leading up to it. “We can finally get out of this stupid place!”

                    * * *

                    “Celadon City!” Squirtle shouted out dramatically as the city’s skyline came into view. “Or at least it should be, anyway. I’m not sure where else it would be.”

                    “You know, this is going much faster than I thought it would.” Zoroark said.

                    “That’s probably because we haven’t really been doing anything else. If we were actually training between Gym battles or even just had other stuff come up, I’m sure this would take much longer.”

                    “We’ll train when we need to train!” Said Squirtle. “But for now we seem to be doing fine without it.”

                    “But how long do you think it will take before we reach that point?” Charmander asked.

                    I’d say right after this Gym, actually. Once we have three Gym Badges the Gym Leaders are going to start using three Pokémon each, which will make things much harder for us.”

                    “Well, we have three Pokémon ready to fight, so it shouldn’t be that big of a deal.”

                    “Yes, but we have to keep type matchups in mind. Also, it will get even harder once we get to the point where the Gym Leaders will be using full teams of six Pokémon.”

                    “Wait, what?” Charmander was thrown off guard by this. “How are we supposed to put up with that?”

                    “That’s actually rather simple, my friend. We just have to get that strong. After all, the whole point of our mission is to prove ourselves as the strongest this land has ever seen.”

                    “I thought we were just proving that we don’t need trainers.” Bulbasaur pointed out.

                    “And looking for my son.” Zoroark added.

                    “Okay, so I guess we each have our own personal reasons for doing this, but the point still stands. If we do not become strong enough to do this, then we will never be able to accomplish our goals. Except you, Zoroark. Strength shouldn’t have anything to do with finding your son.”

                    “But we’ll need to fight that monstrous woman who kidnapped him.”

                    “I stand corrected. Anyway, onward towards our next victory!”

                    * * *

                    The roads of Saffron City were uncharacteristically quiet as a lone manhole cover was lifted up from the ground and Ash, Misty, Brock and Carmine crawled up onto the empty street.

                    “Finally!” Misty said with a sigh of relief as she laid back onto the cold, hard pavement. “I never want to see another sewer as long as I live.”

                    “We do seem to have a strange habit of ending up stuck in dark confined spaces.” Brock pointed out.

                    “Well, I guess we should head over to the nearest Pokémon Center and rest up, right Carmine? Carmine?” Ash looked over at the older trainer and saw that he was looking around at the surrounding area. “What’s wrong?”

                    “We’re in the middle of a road in the largest city in the region in the middle of the afternoon.” Carmine muttered. “This whole area should be teaming with people, which brings up the important question, where is everyone.”

                    “He’s right.” Brock said. “I can’t see anyone around here.”

                    “Maybe it has something to do with why the city has been blocked off for so long?” Misty suggested.

                    “But that just brings us back to why the entire city would be shut down. That’s not something that just happens unless there’s some kind of major disaster going on.”

                    “Okay, let’s just keep calm and head to the Pokémon Center.” Ash said. “If there’s someone there, we can ask them what’s going on. If there isn’t for some reason, we can at least rest for a bit.”

                    “I’m up for that.” Misty said as the group began making their way down the road. “I feel like we’ve been walking non-stop for hours now.”

                    “That’s probably because we have been.” Carmine sighed.

                    * * *

                    “Well, it looks like we’re taking the Underground Tunnel to Celadon.” Red said as he, Yellow and Sable stood outside the closed off gateway leading into Saffron City. “I really thought they’d be open by now. How does an entire city get shut down, anyway?”

                    “Something dark is stirring in there.” Sable said ominously. “It’s for the best that we don’t enter there.”

                    “Okay…” Red wasn’t sure how to respond to that. “Anyway, let’s head back to the tunnel.”

                    “We can use Abraham to get through it quickly like we did last time.” Yellow said as they turned around and started heading over to the entrance way they had passed by just a few minute earlier.

                    “Although it is starting to get dark.” Red noticed. “We should probably camp out here for the night before we head down there.”

                    “Sure!” Yellow said cheerily. “That sounds like a good idea.”

                    “Whatever you say.” Sable said dryly. “Though I was hoping we’d be able to do something more interesting.”

                    “Like what?”

                    “I don’t know, just something.”

                    “Well, we’re camping for the night outside the entrance to the Underground Path.” Red said. “And then in the morning, we’ll use Teleport to get across to Celadon as quickly as we can. If you want something to do, there should be plenty available there.”

                    “I guess that works.” Sable relented.

                    “Great. Although I just remembered that I still only have one sleeping bag.”

                    “That’s fine. I don’t really need one anyway.”

                    “And here we are.” Yellow said as the three walked up to a small building along the side of the route.
                    “I suppose we should set up camp now, then.” Red pulled out his sleeping back and handed it to Yellow, who laid it down on the ground. “I’m going to go gather some wood for a fire. Do you want to help, Sable?”

                    The strange woman was looking off into the distance, up at the treetops. “What? Oh, no. I’m good.”

                    “What are you looking at?” Yellow asked her.

                    “Nothing. I just thought that I… uh… heard something. It’s nothing.”

                    * * *

                    “Finally.” Pikachu thought to herself as she once again felt Yellow’s presence nearby. “I thought I had lost her for good, but now she should be just up ahead.”

                    Pikachu jumped from treetop to treetop as she felt the presence grow closer and closer. Soon she felt Abraham’s presence enter her mind as well.”

                    “What took you so long?” She asked him.

                    “Sorry. I’ve just been distracted lately by stuff that’s happened. I’ll give you the details later.”

                    “What kind of stuff.”

                    “We had a run-in with a ghost and now we have a new person with us.”

                    “What?” Pikachu couldn’t hide her shock.

                    “Yeah. Not really sure what to make of her, though. She’s been acting kind of off and she seems to be able to shield herself from my telepathic abilities so that I can’t read her mind. But at the same time, she hasn’t really done anything yet to suggest she’s hostile or dangerous and there’s something about her that just seems… familiar.”

                    “What do you mean?”

                    “I’m not sure how to explain it, but I guess you’ll see what I mean in just a moment.”
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                    Old 4 Days Ago (7:57 AM).
                    Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
                    Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
                    The Mustachioed Machamp
                      Join Date: Apr 2013
                      Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                      Age: 22
                      Gender: Male
                      Nature: Quiet
                      Posts: 59
                      Chapter 56
                      “Hello?” Ash called out as he walked into the Pokémon Center, which seemed to be as deserted as the streets outside. “I guess there’s no one here, either.”

                      He headed over to a coach situated on the right-hand side of the room and sat himself down, relieved to finally rest for a while. Misty and Brock both sat down as well. Carmine, on the other hand, walked straight to the counter where a nurse would normally be standing by to heal trainer’s Pokémon.

                      “I’m going to see if I can find any clues as to what’s going on.” He said as he hopped over the counter. “Stay there until I get back.”

                      “That shouldn’t be a problem!” Ash yelled back to him.

                      “And for the love of Lugia, keep your voices down. We have no idea what could be listening.”

                      Carmine walked back and knocked lightly on the first door he passed before checking to find nothing but empty rooms. Eventually, he reached the last door and knocked on it. He thought he heard a faint shuffling noise come from the other side. He opened the door slowly and immediately had to duck down to avoid an Egg Bomb aimed directly at his egg.

                      “S-stay back.” A panicked-looking nurse sat on the floor on the opposite end of the room beside an angry Chansey that was ready to toss another Egg Bomb.

                      “I’m not here to hurt you.” Carmine said a reassuringly as he could while holding his hands up to show his lack of violent intent. “I just want to know what’s going on here.”

                      “How could you possibly not know that?” The nurse asked, surprised.

                      “My traveling companions and I have just arrived here.”

                      “That’s impossible. The entire city is blocked off.”

                      “I know. We had an unfortunate trip through the sewers that lead us just a few blocks away from here. If you don’t believe me, then the smell should probably be enough proof.”

                      Both the nurse and Chansey took big sniffs and immediately recoiled.

                      “Now,” Carmine continued, “What exactly is going on here.”

                      “They took over the city.” The nurse said frantically.

                      “Who took over the city?” Carmine asked.

                      “They blocked off all the exits and forced everyone into their homes.” The woman was becoming more and more panicked as she recalled the events of what happened, not even hearing Carmine’s words. “All communications have been cut off so that we can’t get help.”

                      “But who did this.” Carmine grabbed the nurse by her arms and held her tightly, trying to snap her out of her panic.

                      “T-Team… Team Rocket.”

                      Carmine released his grip and both he and the nurse slumped down onto the floor.

                      “Team Rocket did all of this?” Carmine asked absently.

                      “Yes, but they weren’t alone. They had help.”

                      “From who?”


                      * * *

                      “Welcome to the Celadon Gym. My name is Erika and I am the Gym Leader here.” Erika introduced herself as Zoroark and Charmander approached her.

                      “I’m Zahira,” Zoroark said, “and I’m here to challenge you to a Gym Battle.”

                      “Very good then.” Erika smiled. “I’ll just pull out my Pokémon then, shall I?”

                      Erika grabbed a Pokéball out from underneath the sash of her kimono and called out her Tangela as Charmander readied himself for battle.

                      “Let the battle commence.” Erika said as Tangela lifted up a pair of dark blue vines from its body in preparation to attack.

                      Charmander let out an Ember as Tangela’s vines swung down, forcing the Vine Pokémon to abandon its Vine Whip attack and use Ingrain instead, growing roots down into the soil below to steadily regain health. Charmander charged toward its now immobile opponent and hit it with a Scratch attack. Tangela retaliated with a Vine Whip, knocking Charmander back, but Charmander hit Tangela with an Ember as he fell and caused some of Tangela’s vines to catch on fire.

                      Tangela started flailing itself around in an attempt to put out the flames, leaving itself open to another Ember, which caused Tangela to fall over. The flames were put out as Tangela hit the ground but it also severed the roots of Tangela’s Ingrain. Charmander hit it with another Ember as Tangela got back up and then slapped Charmander hard with a Vine Whip and knocked him down. As Charmander got back up onto his feet, Tangela grabbed him with its vines and tightly squeezed him with Constrict.

                      Charmander tried to hit Tangela with another Ember but was unable to take a deep enough breath to launch the attack. After a couple minutes, Tangela released its grip and slammed Charmander into the ground. Charmander forced himself up with great effort and let out one final Ember, which hit Tangela but was not strong enough to defeat the Grass-type.

                      Both Pokémon were now physically exhausted and the battle has no a matter of seeing who would land the next blow. Tangela sent out one of its vines to his Charmander again, but Charmander was able to use Scratch to stop the vine before it hit him. Tangela tried again several more times, but Charmander was able to stop the attack each time until finally Tangela’s strength gave out and it collapsed.

                      “Congratulations!” Erika said as she recalled Tangela and walked over to Zoroark. “Here’s your Rainbow Badge!”

                      Zoroark took the badge and picked up Charmander, heading out of the Gym. When she exited the building, Squirtle and Bulbasaur were there waiting for them.

                      “How did it go?” Bulbasaur asked.

                      “We won, just barely.” Zoroark said as she lowered Charmander onto the ground.

                      “I’m surprised I even managed to hold out as long enough to win. If the battle had gone on just a few seconds longer I probably would have lost.” Charmander said as Squirtle handed him an Oran Berry that he accepted graciously and downed in one gulp. “Oh, that’s much better. I can already feel my energy coming back.”

                      “Well, it sounds like we should probably start training now to make sure we can stand up to stronger opponents.” Squirtle said. “It will only get harder from here and we can no longer rely on just our base strength.”

                      “Weren’t we just talking about that this morning?” Bulbasaur asked.

                      * * *

                      “Sabrina?” Carmine tried to make sure that he heard that right. “You mean a Gym Leader has joined forces with Team Rocket?”

                      “Yes.” The nurse confirmed. “Well, sort of.”

                      “What do you mean?”

                      “I didn’t witness what happened first hand, so I only have rumors to go off of. From what I’ve heard it sounds like Sabrina confronted Team Rocket when they arrived but was defeated and knocked unconscious by a mysterious woman who wore a white mask over half of her face. Team Rocket then took her away, only for her to come back several days later working for them. No one knows why he would have joined them.”

                      Carmine remembered their confrontation with the masked woman back in Mt. Moon. He hadn’t noticed anything particularly off about her besides the half-mask, but Ash had seen something about her which was enough to make Looker worried. He still wasn’t sure what that meant, but it couldn’t be good.

                      “Well, there’s nothing we can really do about that now. Is it okay if my companions and I stay here for a while to freshen up before we head out?”

                      “Uh, of course. This is still a Pokémon Center after all.”

                      “Thank you. I’ll let them know and we’ll try to see if there’s anything to do to help.”

                      With that, Carmine left the room and headed back to the entrance, leaving the nurse and Chansey behind. He wasn’t sure what to make of the current situation. A hostile takeover of an entire city seemed wildly out of character for Giovanni, so what was he planning? And how did they manage to recruit a Gym Leader? Carmine tried to push these thoughts to the back of his mind as he made his way back to the front counter.

                      “There’s a lot we need to talk about.” He said as he hopped back over the counter. “Team Rocket is here and-”

                      The nurse walked up to the counter in case anyone needed to heal their Pokémon, just in time to see Carmine clench his fists tightly as he looked angrily at the empty couch.

                      “Is something wrong?” She asked him.

                      “I told them not to leave.” Carmine said behind gritted teeth. “So what did they do? They left, of course.”

                      “Oh no.” The nurse gasped.

                      “It’s all right.” Carmine turned back to her. “They should be able to handle themselves for the time being so long as they don’t draw attention to themselves and I’m going to go find them.” He took a brief sniff. “Right after I take a quick shower.”
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                      Old 3 Days Ago (6:16 AM).
                      Glitch the Lifehacker's Avatar
                      Glitch the Lifehacker Glitch the Lifehacker is offline
                      The Mustachioed Machamp
                        Join Date: Apr 2013
                        Location: Gresham, Oregon, U.S.A.
                        Age: 22
                        Gender: Male
                        Nature: Quiet
                        Posts: 59
                        Chapter 57
                        “This is it.” Kat said as Mal pulled up the car outside the southern entrance to Rock Tunnel. “The Gym Leader should be right in there.”

                        “What kind of Gym Leader operates from inside a cave?” Gary asked her as he got out of the car. “Is there even an actual Gym here?”

                        “There used to be one right over there, actually.” Kat pointed to the nearby cliff face. “It was destroyed in a landslide not too long ago. It was just a few weeks after I came here during my Pokémon journey, actually. I haven’t heard when they plan on rebuilding it but the leader has been staying in the cave for now.”

                        “You do know that there’s a difference between a tunnel and a cave, right?” Ciel asked.

                        Both Gary and Kat glared at her, causing Ciel to back away behind her sister, Mal.

                        “Anyway,” Gary said. “Let’s get going.”

                        Gary walked over to the tunnel entrance and stepped inside. It was dark inside Rock Tunnel but enough light filtered in through the entranceway that he was able to see. Kat, Mal, Ciel and Sue all went in after him so that they could cheer him on during his battle.

                        “So where is this supposed Gym Leader supposed to be, anyway?” Gary asked, seeing that the tunnel appeared to be completely empty.

                        “He should be in here somewhere.” Kat said.

                        Gary sighed and leaned against the wall of the tunnel, hoping that this wasn’t just some wild Farfetch’d chase. He thought that the wall seemed unusually cold and smooth, almost like metal when suddenly it began to shake. Gary had to back away from the wall as it shifted and began sliding rapidly along. It continued moving for several minutes before finally the disappearing and revealing the small candle-lit opening behind it. A large highly-muscled man with long, dark bushy hair sat there, deep in meditation.
                        Gary took a cautious step towards the man, who immediately stood up onto his feet. The large man towered over Gary and the others as he opened his eyes and looked down at Gary.

                        “You are here for a Gym Battle.” It wasn’t a question. “Come, we shall do battle outside.”

                        The man walked right past Gary towards the entrance to the cave and motioned over his shoulder for Gary to follow him. Gary did so hesitantly and they all exited the cave.

                        “I am Bruno.” The large man said as he turned around to face Gary. “I am the Fighting-type specialist of the Kanto Gym Leaders and member of the Elite Four.”

                        “My name is Gary Oak.” Gary said, is confidence returning as the shock of the cave moving and Bruno’s sudden appearance wore off. “I’m an up and coming trainer who already has five badges and I’m about to earn my sixth.”

                        “Very well, then this will be a six-on-six Pokémon battle that will begin… NOW!”

                        Bruno suddenly tossed a Pokémon to the ground, sending out his first Pokémon, Primeape. Gary barely had time to react by sending out his own Pokémon, Exeggcute. Gary had just recently added Exeggcute to his team and had not had time to properly train it, or rather them, yet but the six egg-like heads that formed Exeggcute were part Psychic-type, giving them a type advantage against Bruno’s Fighting Pokémon.

                        “Primeape! Use Crosschop!”

                        The Pig Monkey Pokémon charged up to Exeggcute with its arms crossed in an X-shape and swung them together, hitting Exeggcute from both sides. The six heads were scattered around by the attack, making it so that Primeape wasn’t sure which one to target with its next attack, giving Exeggcute enough time to attack themselves. Each of the heads pelted Primeape with a barrage of Bullet Seeds, hitting it from every direction. This proved to make the Primeape angrier as it used its Rage attack to increase its attack power with every hit. As soon as it found an opening, Primeape charged one of Exeggcute’s heads and hit it with all of its strength. The other five heads didn’t like to see one of their own get attacked and switched up their attack pattern, blasting waves of Confusion at it instead. The Psychic attacks were Super Effective against Primeape, who was knocked out.
                        Bruno recalled Primeape as Exeggcute regrouped and gathered themselves back up together. Bruno sent out his next Pokémon, Hitmonchan. The boxing Pokémon assumed a defensive position as Exeggcute started spitting Bullet Seeds at it. After blocking the seeds with its boxing-glove-like hands, Hitmonchan dashed to the side and came up close to Exeggcute, hitting them with a Fire Punch. Exeggcute retaliated with Confusion but it was not enough to defeat Hitmonchan, who knocked Exeggcute out with another Fire Punch.

                        Gary recalled Exeggcute back to their Pokéball and sent out his next Pokémon. Growlithe was another new addition to his team, but he had it for a little longer and was confident in its abilities. The Fire-type puppy Pokémon have a small howl as it Leered at its opponent, causing Hitmonchan to lower its defense slightly as Growlithe ran up to it and bit Hitmonchan in the leg with its Fire Fang move. The attack burned Hitmonchan who knocked Growlithe away with a Close Combat attack. Before Growlithe could pick itself back up, Hitmonchan hit it again with Mach Punch. Growlithe then used Flame Burst, launching a large fireball from its mouth which split apart midair into several streams of fire that struck Hitmonchan and the area directly around it. Hitmonchan used Mach Punch again, quickly striking the Fire-type before it could react and knocked it out. But before Gary could send out his next Pokémon, Hitmonchan collapsed as well due to its burn.

                        Gary sent out his Nidorino while Bruno called out a Hitmonlee. The Kicking Pokémon leaped high up into the air as soon as it touched the ground and came falling back down with one of its coiled up legs outstretched to his Nidorino with a High Jump Kick. Nidorino was able to side-jump out of the way just in time, however, causing Hitmonlee to injure itself as it crashed into the ground. Nidorino then rammed into Hitmonlee with a Peck attack, followed up with a Poison Jab. Hitmonlee stood back up with great effort and hit Nidorino with a Double Kick, knocking him onto his side, before using High Jump Kick again and this time hitting Nidorino with enough force to knock him out.

                        Gary recalled his Nidorino and sent out his Nidorina, who immediately hit Hitmonlee with a Double Kick of her own and following up the attack with a Poison Sting. Hitmonlee tried to hit Nidorina with a Mega Kick, but missed and opened itself up to another Double Kick, knocking it out.

                        Bruno then sent out his fourth Pokémon, Hitmontop, who spun around on the point on top of its head and knocked Nidorina down with a Triple Kick. Unfortunately for Hitmontop, it happened to hit one of her poisonous spikes in the process and was inflicted with Poison. Nidorina got back up again and hit Hitmontop with a simple Scratch attack, which was enough to knock Hitmontop off balance and make it fall down. Nidorina then hit Hitmontop with a Double Kick before it could get back up again and was able to dodge a Close Combat attack from Hitmontop before it jumped back onto its head and started spinning again. Nidorina tried to dodge another Rolling Kick, but was unable to get out of the way and was struck by the attack. Before Hitmontop could follow up with another attack, however, Nidorina was able to hit it with another Double Kick which, when combined with the damage it had already taken and the poison slowly sapping away its health, was enough to knock out Hitmonchan.

                        Bruno was down to his last two Pokémon now, while Gary still had three, placing him in the lead for the time being. Bruno sent out his second-to-last Pokémon, Machoke. The Superpower Pokémon stared down at Nidorina while flexing its massive muscles. Its biceps were thicker than Gary’s head.

                        “You are doing very well so far.” Bruno said to Gary. “Certainly better than most who try to face me, at any rate. Keep this up and you should be able to defeat me without any problem.”

                        “Yeah.” Gary replied. “Like there was ever a problem to begin with.”
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