April 28th, 2012 (7:28 AM).
The Legend and the Apprentice
He was proud of his son. Gerardo patted the Pikachu on his lap when he thought about the last time he had to wake up Andrew for his breakfast. In only a year and a half, the determined blond boy he raised changed from an inexperienced, rash and mischievous boy, into a serious and caring Pokémon Trainer. Right now he was competing in one of the most prestigious battle tournaments in Kanto. The fourty-five year old Pokémon Breeder sat back against the uncomfortable chair he paid for.
He remembered the first time he showed his Bulbasaur to him after he got it from Professor Oak. He remembered how proud his son was on his first capture, a Pidgey. Of course, Gerardo was at least equally as proud. He remembered the first time he met Andrew’s friends Brenna and Brian who joined him along the way. He remembered how they together fought Team Rocket in Cerulean City as father and son. He remembered when Andrew won his first match in the Pokémon League, and, if it depended on him, the entire population of Viridian City would.
He knew that Andrew’s battles were getting tougher just as much as his son was getting tougher and tougher himself. He also knew that soon he would have to say goodbye to his son again, because the journey of a trainer never really ends.
PROLOGUE: The End of the Beginning
28th MARCH 2014
The second half was about to start. Fourteen year old Andrew Masterson tugged on the edge of his right hand glove. The corridor towards the battlefield was empty, and the gray silver walls were as bare as they were clean as they shone like mirrors. At the end of the corridor was a bright light and the sound of thousands of people cheering.
This is it. He graced with his fingertips over the Poké Balls attached to his belt. He touched the latter three a second longer. It’s your turn now, Andrew thought to them. Andrew wasn’t a telepath, but he knew what his Pokémon knew what he expected of them, and they rarely let him down. Sure, he had lost countless battles as much as he won. For a year and a half, he had trained with his Pokémon, and now he was in the ‘Best 16’ round with three of his six Pokémon remaining; the tension was harder than ever. He had already beaten three opponents; one of which was his fierce rival Bart in the ‘Best 32’. He admired how they both grew since they started their journey, both with a Bulbasaur.
His opponent, Cian, was always the favorite for this battle. He had more experience and more fame than Andrew had managed to get through his first journey. Cian’s Dragonite was one of the strongest Pokémon Andrew had ever battled against. Andrew’s exhausted Primeape and inexperienced Rhyhorn didn’t stand a chance against the Dragon-Type. His Poliwhirl had put up a good fight against the dragon. Weaponed with an Ice Beam attack, he had managed to give Dragonite a hard time, and eventually battled it to a draw.
So, for now, it was a heavy fought tie. He felt his heart beat against his chest as he took the first steps in the direction of the battlefield. Confident steps were taken in the corridor. He could feel the wind blow through his blond wavy hair as he approached the intense light on the other end. After a couple of steps he could see the first people and Pokémon in the stands. He saw his father and his Pikachu sitting next to Professor Oak. Next to the professor sat Andrew’s loyal traveling companion, best human friend, and one of the Best 8 of the Kanto Grande Festival, Brenna with a cheerful Sandshrew on her lap. Behind them were Brian, Andrew’s former companion and now Pokémon Ranger, next to his brother Patrick and his Golduck. An earsplitting applause was released when Andrew entered the field. The field was a barren ground field. Nervous, but confident, he started to wave at the people in the stands. He allowed himself to give his father and friends an extra wave, before taking his place on his side of the battlefield.
A half a minute later his opponent entered the battlefield. The crowd welcomed him with a thunderous applause. The eighteen year old Pokémon Trainer with his remarkable light blue dyed hair simply waved away his fans; which were innumerable. His outfit seemed to be themed around his hair. He was wearing a marine blue shirt with a darker blue cape. Under his belt he wore a dark blue pair of trousers, and his black shoes were neatly polished. He took his time getting to his side of the battle field. When he finally arrived he glanced at Andrew for the first time after the break.
“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,” the announcer practically screamed through the microphone, “and welcome to the continuation of the battle between Andrew from Viridian City and Cian, from Saffron Town, a small settlement in the center of Kanto!” Thunders of applause rolled from the stands at those words. “With both trainers down to three Pokémon we continue the battle. Because Andrew started the first period, Cian starts this time by sending out a Pokémon.”
Cian smirked. “Dugtrio, let’s go!” he yelled. The experienced trainer grabbed a Poké Ball from his belt and hurled it into the battlefield. The device opened, and with a white-blue stream of energy a Dugtrio appeared on the battlefield.
Dugtrio is a Ground-type, Andrew reasoned inward and I would have an advantage with a Flying-or a Grass-type, I have the advantage,
“Pidgeot, come on out!” Andrew yelled as he threw his Poké Ball into the air and Pidgeot was released in the air about one meter above Andrew’s head. The bird Pokémon let out a confident cry, which was audible in the far corners of the stadium.
“And it’s Pidgeot!” the announcer said. “versus Dugtrio. With Pidgeot having the type-advantage, and Cian having the advantage of experience; this is surely going to be an exciting battle!”
“Ready, Pidgeot?” Andrew asked, squeezing his hands into fists.
“Pidgeoo!” Pidgeot screamed affirmatively.
“Alright, start with Quick Attack!” Andrew ordered. Pidgeot rushed toward Dugtrio with amazing speed, striking the Ground Pokémon before it could move. The bird Pokémon struck Dugtrio with amazing speed.
“Dugtrio, cloak yourself in Sandstorm!” Cian yelled. Dugtrio’s eyes shone bright red and the Mole-Pokémon started to spin around his axis. A massive column of rough sand was summoned by the Ground. The sand caught Pidgeot’s tail, before she got away.
“Pidgeot, use Gust!” The Flying-type obeyed by flapping her massive wings, creating a strong stream of air in the direction of Dugtrio. The wind made the sand change direction, exposing the Ground Pokémon in the process. Andrew smiled, knowing that his plan worked. Andrew raised his hand and Pidgeot stopped the attack.
“Dugtrio, Sludge Bomb!” Cian ordered. Dugtrio opened its mouths and started to spit many small balls of sludge in the direction of Pidgeot. The Pidgeot for the next orders from her trainer.
“Pidgeot! Out of the way! Agility!” Pidgeot tried to escape from Dugtrio’s attack, but her wing got hit by Dugtrio’s Poison-type attack. Nevertheless, Pidgeot executed her commands, and started to fly in circles to gain pace.
“Keep on using Sludge Bomb Dugtrio!” Dugtrio followed his trainer’s orders and started assaulting Andrew’s Pidgeot with his ranged attack, desperate to hit the fast Pidgeot in midair. Pidgeot gracefully dodged the incoming sludge balls, while keeping her speed high.
“Quick Attack!” Andrew yelled. Pidgeot immediately launched herself towards Dugtrio. Andrew smiled confidently as he saw that Pidgeot was doing great. The fact that she didn’t get hit full on by any attacks yet was saying a lot about the speed of the first Pokémon that Andrew had ever caught. He remembered the little Pidgey that had evolved twice on the way to the Pokémon League, but this is not the moment to get sentimental.
“Dig!” Dugtrio tried to escape by digging his way out, but Pidgeot was simply too fast and hit Dugtrio with a strong Quick Attack. “Sandstorm! Now!” Cian yelled desperately. The Ground-Pokémon summoned a piercing sandstorm the same way he did before, but this time he was able to trap Pidgeot in the vortex.
Andrew startled at the sudden change of events. “Pidgeot! NO!” he yelled. His brain was trying to think faster than ever as his Pokémon’s endurance was declining as long as she stayed in that sandstorm. Quick Attack won’t work, Agility neither, Pidgeot needs space to use Gust and her wings will take heavy damage when spread out. Wait! That’s it! I have to try! “Pidgeot! Steel Wing and get outta there!” Pidgeot barely held on, but managed to send extra energy to her wings. In one movement Pidgeot spread her glowing and diamond hard wings, “Now send the sand back with Gust, but keep on using Steel Wing as well!” With a lot of effort Pidgeot flapped her heavy wings, repelling the sand from her body. Pidgeot immediately flew away escaping the Sandstorm. “Now fly low!”
“Dugtrio don’t let her escape! Sludge Bomb!” Cian yelled. Dugtrio immediately stopped using Sandstorm and turned around to spit multiple sludge balls in Pidgeot’s direction, but Pidgeot was simply too fast again. Pidgeot gained speed low on the ground, before Andrew ordered another Steel Wing attack. Pidgeot approached the Ground-type. Dugtrio was able to land a few hits with Sludge Bomb, but the Steel Wing hit the Mole-Pokémon hard. When Pidgeot felt the impact she immediately ascended from her opponent. The beaten up Pokémon watched how the Ground-type lay beaten on the battlefield.
“Dugtrio is unable to battle!” the referee called out. “Pidgeot is the winner!”
“And that gives the lead to Andrew!” the announcer yelled through the microphone. “A real surprise here. Cian has his work cut out for him. With Pidgeot barely holding on, the battle could still go either way.”
Cian returned Dugtrio to his Poké Ball and congratulated the Ground-type on a battle well fought.
“Aerodactyl, let’s go!” he commanded. A second Poké Ball was hurled into the air and after it opened, the ancient Pokémon landed on the ground with a mean grin on his face.
“And Cian releases one of his most famous and dangerous Pokémon, Aerodactyl, the ancient Pokémon who showed quite an impact in the first rounds. Also, its advantage against Pidgeot is also undeniable! Surely we have a favorite here!”
“Aerodactyl! Use Wing Attack!” Cian ordered. Aerodactyl leapt in the air and approached Pidgeot with great speed.
“Pidgeot! Parry it with Steel Wing!” Andrew responded. The bird Pokémon quickly blocked Aerodactyl’s Wing Attack with a Steel Wing, but Aerodactyl’s attack still had a small impact at Pidgeot.
“Another Wing Attack!” Cian said.
“Get outta there! Agility!” Andrew yelled, repeating his strategy used against Dugtrio. Aerodactyl slashed with his wing in the direction of Pidgeot who swiftly dodged.
“Stone Edge!” Cian yelled. Aerodactyl summoned a belt of small stones around his body and threw every single rock at Pidgeot. Pidgeot seemed too fast at first, but then the first rocks hit their target. Pidgeot was caught in her tracks, many other rocks followed. Pidgeot let out a sharp cry of pain and eventually collapsed head-first to the ground. The big bird Pokémon tried to push herself off the ground using her wings, wincing in pain.
“Pidgeot, come on!” Andrew yelled, but to no avail.
“Pidgeot is unable to battle!”
“And with barely a scratch on his fifth Pokémon, Aerodactyl, Cian managed to repair his numeric disadvantage towards our debutant Andrew! Who will be Andrew’s next Pokémon?”
Andrew returned Pidgeot to her Poké Ball. “Thanks Pidgeot, you did well against Dugtrio, maybe Aerodactyl was a little too much”, Andrew attached the Poké Ball to his belt and threw another one into the battlefield. “Charmeleon, you’re up!”
The red salamander Pokémon got out of the Poké Ball and let out a confident growl.
“And Andrew’s next Pokemon is a Charmeleon!” the announcer said enthusiastically. “We watched earlier how Charmeleon defeated Bart’s Arcanine earlier in the competition. Will it fare against this Rock-Type?”
“Yes, we will!” Andrew yelled out confidently. “Charmeleon, use Smokescreen,”
“Aerodactyl!” Cian said, “Stone Edge!”
Out of his nose Charmeleon created a large screen of smoke, covering around ten meters around him. Aerodactyl summoned another belt of rocks around him and launched them in the direction of Charmeleon. Most of the rocks missed Charmeleon, but some pelted into Charmeleon’s body. Slowly, the Smokescreen faded. Charmeleon was now situated close to the middle line.
“Flamethrower, Charmeleon!” Charmeleon looked around and breathed a column of fire in the direction of the ancient Pokémon. The flames grazed the dodging Aerodactyl.
“Aerodactyl! Use Stone Edge again!” Cian’s Pokémon again started to hurl rocks from a summoned belt towards Charmeleon who was ready to dodge. However Andrew decided to try something different.
“Charmeleon! Iron Tail!” Andrew yelled. The Fire-Type smashed an Iron Tail in the direction of the incoming rocks. A lot of them were smashed into smithereens, while the most of the rest were batted back to the other incoming rocks and Aerodactyl himself. Some rocks, however came through and hit Charmeleon.
“Wing Attack!” Cian ordered. Aerodactyl approached Charmeleon trying to smash him with his wing. Charmeleon dodged on Andrew’s orders. “Dragon Pulse!” Aerodactyl shot a green beam in Charmeleon’s direction who took the full attack. Charmeleon was already panting and Andrew felt he was outmatched against Aerodactyl as he had only landed few hits. “Aerial Ace!” Cian yelled feeling the victory was close.
“Quick! On the ground!” Andrew ordered. Aerodactyl launched a fast Flying-type attack in the direction of Charmeleon who barely managed to lie down in time to escape the full blow.
“Wing Attack! One more time!” Aerodactyl raced towards Charmeleon again, ready for another strike. Aerodactyl was close when Andrew ordered Metal Claw. Charmeleon quickly grabbed himself on Aerodactyl’s wing with his claws of steel and dug his nails in the rock body of his opponent. Aerodactyl started to move faster and tried to catch Charmeleon off-guard by using unexpected manoeuvers in the air.
“Get on!” Andrew encouraged Charmeleon. The Fire-type slowly but surely climbed on the ancient Pokémon with the help of Metal Claw and Aerodactyl’s rock body. It took a couple of minutes before Charmeleon was on top of Aerodactyl. “Flamethrower!” his trainer yelled. Charmeleon started launching Flamethrowers on Aerodactyl’s head and wings.
“Aerodactyl! Fly upwards!” Aerodactyl quickly changed course and was headed for higher air and Charmeleon was having a difficult time clamping himself on Aerodactyl. “Stone Edge!” Aerodactyl created a new belt of stones and Charmeleon was badly hit immediately. It was soon to be over. Charmeleon was thrown off Aerodactyl’s body and was headed for a nasty crash.
“Charmeleon! No!” Andrew yelled as he almost took his first step when Charmeleon started glowing white. He quickly changed his form from a big salamander into an enormous fire dragon. The white glow faded and a Charizard was flying in mid-air.
“It’s unbelievable, Charmeleon saved itself from a nasty injury by evolving into Charizard!” The announcer said. “The battle isn’t over yet, but it is soon, judging the condition of both Pokémon.”
“Concentrate, Aerodactyl! Wing Attack!” The ancient Pokémon launched himself from high air onto the Charizard who was flying lower.
“Counter it with your own Wing Attack, Charizard!” Andrew yelled. The two flying Pokémon approached each other in high speed before their wings clashed. With Aerodactyl having the high air he pushed his advantage by hurling Charizard towards the ground.
“Aerial Ace!” Aerodactyl took the advantage of the momentum and assaulted Charizard from the side about two meters in the air. While still having contact Cian ordered another Stone Edge attack. Again the Rock-type attack was a full hit. Charizard crashed upon the hard underground.
“Charizard! Get up!” Andrew yelled, knowing his friend could continue, but there was no response. “Come on, Charizard, Flamethrower!” he yelled almost breaking his voice. Again, there was no response, but a heavy groan from the injured Charizard.
“Charizard is unable to battle!” the referee decided. “Aerodactyl is the winner!” The audience cheered in jubilee except the handful people Andrew brought along. They were looking in concern to their friend and his Pokémon.
“Ooh! Aerodactyl just knocked Charizard out after the latter evolved. His second of the day! The Fire/Flying-type combination seemed to have been the deciding factor in this match. Now, Andrew is down to one Pokémon!”
“Charizard, Return!” Andrew called to his fallen Pokémon. “You were great. Thank you,” he took his last Poké Ball in his hand. “We’ve been through so much, my friend,” he said to the Poké Ball inside. “You’ve saved my life numerous times. And I’m proud of you no matter what. Now this might be the hardest challenge ever, but I know you can do it,”
“Andrew!” the referee yelled. “Send out your Pokemon now!”
Andrew simply nodded. “Venusaur! Go!”
“And Andrew’s last resort is Venusaur!” The announcer yelled. “The Grass-type decided many Gym Battles in Andrew’s favor. Is he able to defeat Aerodactyl and Cian’s remaining Pokémon?”
“Aerodactyl! Stone Edge!” Cian ordered. Aerodactyl pelted Venusaur with rocks causing the Grass-types first damage. Venusaur stood there defenseless. I could use…, but that would waste my strongest attack on defense, Andrew thought, but Cian had a new order for his Pokémon, who started to get worn-out himself. “Aerodactyl! Aerial Ace!” Cian yelled.
“This is our chance, Venusaur! Sleep Powder!” Andrew commended. Aerodactyl was headed to Venusaur with an Aerial Ace, but took the Sleep Powder head on. Drowsing off and due to his speed crashed into the ground, close to Venusaur. “This is our chance Venusaur! Leaf Storm!” Venusaur assaulted the sleeping Pokémon with a storm of humongous proportion which contained numerous small glowing leaves. There was no doubt that Aerodactyl couldn’t continue after the attack.
“Aerodactyl is unable to battle! Venusaur wins!” the referee yelled.
“And Andrew pulled one back!” the announcer’s voice resounded all over the stadium. “Both are now down to one Pokémon. Who will be Cian’s last Pokémon?”
Cian returned Aerodactyl and congratulated it for his two victories. “Typhlosion! Let’s go!” Cian yelled as he hurled his last Poké Ball into the battlefield.
“What’s that?” Andrew asked when a completely new Pokémon was standing on his hind legs.
“And Cian uses his Typhlosion for the last battle. We haven’t seen this Pokémon in this Pokémon League before. Typhlosion is the fully evolved form of the Johto starter Cyndaquil. More importantly, it’s a Fire-type and Venusaur is in a clear disadvantage. Victory gets more and more likely for Cian!”
Andrew took the initiative by ordering the first attack. “Venusaur, use Earthquake!” the heavy Grass-type stood on his hind legs and smashed his front paws against the ground, creating a strong earthquake.
“Typhlosion! Defense Curl” Cian ordered. Typhlosion rolled himself in a ball bracing himself against Venusaur’s attack. “Now Rollout!” Typhlosion started to roll in Venusaur’s direction while the earthquake faded.
“Venusaur send it flying! Earthquake!” Again Venusaur created an earthquake the same way he did before. Typhlosion was close when Venusaur stomped his feet against the ground and a powerful wave launched Typhlosion in the air. “Leaf Storm!” Another column of wind and leaves left the tree on Venusaur’s back, hitting Typhlosion in mid-air. Typhlosion was taking good damage, causing Andrew to smile widely.
“Use Flame Wheel!” Typhlosion kept his rolled up position, and started spinning and created a flame wheel. Andrew’s smile faded like snow in the sun when he saw how the flames obliterated Venusaur’s attack before it reached Typhlosion. When the attack stopped Typhlosion wasn’t nearly as damaged as Andrew and Venusaur had hoped.
Typhlosion landed with his fist on the ground for balance and leered at Venusaur with a smug smirk on his face. Venusaur growled and showed his teeth. “Typhlosion, use Flame Wheel again!” Cian yelled. Typhlosion created another flame wheel and started to roll in the direction of Venusaur. There weren’t many options left for Andrew and Venusaur. The Earthquake and Leaf Storm combination only worked so often, and nearly all attacks would be undone by Typhlosion’s fire attack.
“Venusaur, use Earthquake!” Andrew yelled out of desperation. Venusaur stood on his hind legs and smashed into the ground with them, causing another earthquake. Typhlosion was launched into the sky again. “Leaf Storm again!” Venusaur created another leaf storm, but this time it was much weaker than before and it hardly grazed the in fire covered Johto native Pokémon. Typhlosion easily devastated the small leaves and landed a Flame Wheel attack on Venusaur. Venusaur took a lot of damage from the attack and Typhlosion immediately leapt back for the next attack.
“Let’s finish this, Typhlosion!” Cian said knowing the battle was over. “Flare Blitz!” Typhlosion covered himself in fire again, but instead of the usual red fire, the fire had a light blueish color, lighter than the hair of the Fire-type’s trainer. It leapt into the direction of Venusaur.
“Venusaur! Earthquake! Quick!” Andrew yelled, despair getting the better of him. Venusaur obeyed by standing up, but was hit before his front legs hit the ground. The Fire-type attack was landed on Venusaur’s weak spot and the Grass-type was hurled into the wall behind Andrew. “VENUSAUR!”