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  1. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Perfect Duo – Part 2​

    Brendan and May sat in the waiting room with Gwen fidgeting nervously as Grace and Francis got ready for their battle. The two trainers they were facing were named John Stiles and Jane Stanley. Jane was Shuppet's trainer and she wore a pitch black silk dress that reflected the light very well. John, Numel's trainer, wore an orange vest tuxedo.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your patience. Now, it's time for the battle rounds. Our first match is between Grace and Frank Sinatra, and the team of Jane Stanley and John Stiles," Vivian said as the two teams took their positions on the two sides and the audience applauded. "Each battle will be five minutes, or until one team runs out of points. Are both teams ready?" Both teams nodded confidently. "Then begin!" Francis and Grace sent out Alfred and Arya respectively.

    "Come on out, Leo!" John called out, releasing his Numel.

    "Join him, Hazel!" Jane said, sending out her Shuppet.

    "Arya, let's start this off with a Silver Wind!" Grace called out.

    "Alfred, use Bug Buzz!" Francis said calmly. The cricket Pokémon began to make loud, shrill noise. Meanwhile, Arya began to beat her wings, sending sickles of silver dust at the opponent's Pokémon.

    "Leo, counter with Flame Burst on Alfred!" John called out.

    "Hazel, use Confuse Ray on Arya," Jane said. Leo spat out a small ball of flames that flew across the stage at Alfred. It was about to hit its target when Francis acted.

    "Use Wide Guard!" Francis said, knowing that Flame Burst would affect Arya as well. Alfred acted quickly, a field of light appeared in front of both himself and Arya, and the ball of flame simply bounced off, exploding in midair. Unfortunately, the wispy ball of energy from Shuppet went through the field without trouble, orbiting Arya and disorienting her.

    "Arya, try to use Flash!" Grace said. Arya, who was now feeling the full effects of the confuse ray, barely heard her trainer's calls. Thankfully, she could still spread her wings, which quickly began to glow with a blinding white light. Only Alfred was able to look away in time, while Leo and Hazel were both blinded by the light.

    "Great job you two, now Alfred, use Bug Buzz!" Francis said. Alfred buzzed loudly disorienting the two opponents again. That, however, wasn't the only buzzing that could be heard. The other buzzing was the signal that the match's clock had run out.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, let's take a look at the scoreboard and see who our winner is!" Vivian said. The entire audience looked at the board, and the results were clear. John and Jane were at about a quarter of their starting points, while Grace and Francis were just below half of theirs. "And it seems that Grace and Francis are our winners for this round!"

    "Knew it," May said.

    Of course they won, Gwen said, with a slight grin, but Brendan could tell that the upcoming match was still bothering her.

    "Brendan, May, Richard, and Hailey. You're on," said the event coordinator.

    Brendan looked at Gwen and lowered his shoulder to her level. "Hop on Gwen. You should make the entrance as we normally travel!" Gwen seemed to relax a lot at that.

    Thanks Brendan, Gwen said as she leapt onto his shoulder like she always did as a Ralts.

    May then walked up to Brendan. "Then let me take your other side," she said as she put her hand under his and took hold of the crook of his elbow. Brendan smiled before May leaned in and kissed him lightly. "And there's some added confidence for you."

    Brendan smiled and he led May to the stage. They arrived just as Vivian was preparing to call their names.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen. It's time for our last semifinal match up. On the right we have the sibling team of Richard and Hailey Johnson!" Vivian said, and that team entered the stage to the audience's applause. "And for the next team, please welcome May Birch and Brendan Maple!" Brendan looked at May with a smile and they walked onto the stage, the crowd cheering loudly.

    Gwen, however, was still feeling nervous deep down about facing this Murkrow. It had been more than a year, but the fear was still so strong. Even with Brendan's reassuring words, she still couldn't keep the fear down for very long.

    "We'll now begin the match. Five minutes on the clock. GO!" Vivian said.

    "Al, show 'em what you can do," Richard said as he sent out his Murkrow.

    "Gina, let's dance!" Hailey said. Her Girafarig coming out with a sort of whinny.

    "Lily, take the stage!" May said as Lily materialized on the field.

    Brendan looked at Gwen with an encouraging smile, as if he was saying 'You can do this. I believe in you.' Gwen smiled back before Brendan gave his command. "Gwen, dazzle them!" Brendan said. Gwen leapt from her trainer's shoulder, did a midair twirl, and landed gracefully beside Lily.

    "We'll start things off," Hailey said. "Gina, use Stomp!" The dual headed Pokémon ran at Gwen with her hooves glowing white.

    "Gwen, Double Team, let's go!" Brendan called. Gwen smirked as she teleported out of Gina's path, leaving an illusory clone of herself behind, while multiple more clones appeared around the stadium, causing Gina to get confused.

    "Lily, Silver Wind on Gina," May said. Lily flew over the Girafarig and began to beat her wings quickly, sending silver scythes toward the Psychic type. The attack hit their target, sending her into the ground, but it wasn't strong enough to end it there.

    "Al, use Brave Bird on Lily!" Richard said. Gwen's eyes flew wide in worry.

    No, don't you dare! Gwen said loudly. The entire audience gasped at hearing a Pokémon actually speak.

    "Gwen, use Disarming Voice to stop that attack!" Brendan said. Gwen didn't need to be told twice as she shrieked loudly, sending sonic waves at the crow Pokémon.

    I will not let you hit any of my friends with that attack! Gwen shouted as she attacked. Her shouting was shockingly powerful, especially for a contest battle, but it did the job and made Al flinch, effectively stopping the attack.

    "Gwen use Calm Mind, please relax!" Brendan said. Gwen heard him and knew he was right. She, and all her clones, stood in a yoga position and took deep breaths with their eyes closed. A greenish glow came from Gwen as she meditated.

    This is only a contest, Gwen said to herself. Brendan's right. I can't lose control here.

    "Gina, Future Sight!" Hailey said confidently. The giraffe Pokémon's eyes glowed blue temporarily, but nothing happened…yet.

    "Alright Lily, use Silver Wind on Al!" May called out. Lily turned to Al and began to beat her wings hard, sending sickles of glowing wind at the gangster bird.

    "Al, dodge it and use Brave Bird on Gwen!" Richard said. Al did what he was told, doing a barrel roll into a nearly vertical dive above Gwen, flames wrapping around the bird.

    "Gwen, Teleport, then use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said, trying to have a calm tone of voice. Gwen, who was still meditating, didn't even open her eyes. She just disappeared as Al was about to land a hit. This caused the bird to run headfirst into the ground. It took him a second to recover, but that was a second too long. Gwen had reappeared right behind Al and shrieked at the top of her lungs. Al had no time to react, and was sent flying across the field, right into Gina.

    "Now, Lily, use another Silver Wind on both of them!" May said. However, Lily never got the chance to fire off the attack. A large ball of psychic energy materialized in front of Lily and flew directly at her, knocking her back a few feet.

    Brendan gritted his teeth. "Gwen, finish this with another Disarming Voice!" he called out. Gwen complied, sending another sonic wave at the opponents. The impact kicked up dust and left the crowd in stunned silence.

    May was about to give another command, but she was interrupted by the buzzer. "It looks like that's it folks. Richard and Hailey are out of points, and the clock has hit zero. Congrats to Brendan and May for advancing to the final round!" Vivian said. The audience applauded as Gwen leapt onto Brendan's shoulder and May recalled Lily to her Pokéball. The two walked back into the tunnel as Vivian made her next announcement. "There will now be another ten minute intermission to give the finalists a chance to rest before their battle."

    Those ten minutes passed all too quickly for the four finalists. The two couples now stood at opposite ends of the field with their Pokémon already out, the battle having just begun. Alfred and Arya were both out, as well as Gwen and Lily. This match would be one to remember.

    "Gwen, you and I will start this match with Psychic on Alfred!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as a blue aura surrounded her, sending a wave of energy at Alfred, gripping the bug tightly before throwing him into the air.

    "Arya, use Bug Buzz on Gwen!" Grace called out. Arya's wings began to vibrate loudly, disorienting Gwen slightly.

    Brendan, May, somebody help! Gwen said as she covered her ears.

    "Lily, use Gust on both Alfred and Arya!" May said. Lily began to beat her wings hard, sending a small tornado at the two bugs. It caught Arya, ending the auditory assault on Gwen. Francis and Alfred, however, had other plans.

    "Alfred, use Aerial Ace on Lily!" Francis said. The cricket Pokémon landed deftly on his feet before leaping toward Lily, his front legs glowing brightly, ready to strike.

    "Gwen, use Psychic to stop that Aerial Ace!" Brendan said. Gwen smiled as she glowed blue and extended her hand. Alfred was mere inches from Lily when he stopped cold. Gwen then whipped her hand toward the ground and Alfred followed the path.

    "Arya, Morning Sun!" Grace called out. From inside the tornado, a beam of sunlight streamed through, making the gust glitter beautifully. "Now spin and use Silver Wind!" The tornado broke apart as sickles of wind sliced through it proceeding to hit Lily and just barely missed Gwen. Brendan looked up at the scoreboard, and he saw that they were currently both dead even, at the halfway point with three minutes left.

    "Gwen, use Disarming Voice on both of them!" Brendan called out. Gwen shrieked loudly twice, first at Alfred, then at Arya. Neither bug had enough time to get out of the way of the sonic waves. They both recoiled, sending them skidding (or in Arya's case, spinning) across the battlefield.

    "Arya, use Flash!" Grace said. Arya righted herself in the air and spread her wings, brilliant light shining from her wings, blinding not only Gwen and Lily, but Brendan and May as well.

    "Gwen, I need you to use Psychic and stop Arya's attack!" Brendan said as he covered his eyes. Gwen, who was having enough trouble seeing herself, trusted her other senses to grab Arya with her psychic aura. That stopped Arya and the blinding light just before Gwen threw Arya to the ground.

    Arya, you're a friend, but don't you ever blind me like that again! Gwen said as she rubbed her eyes. I'll be seeing spots for a week or more.

    "Lily, use Gust and Silver Wind!" May said. Lily beat her wings again, sending a new, glittering tornado at the two bug types, this time it caught both of them. Two minutes left, with both sides only having about a third of their original points. Both Grace and Francis had worried looks on their faces.

    "Gwen, use Magical Leaf!" Brendan called out. Gwen smiled, knowing what Brendan had in mind. The Gust was already in place, they just needed to give it more color. Gwen sent the rainbow colored leaves at the tornado, recreating the performance from the appeals round as the leaves entered the cloud and made it glow in rainbow colors.

    "Lily, use Stun Spore!" May called out. Lily flew over the tornado, letting yellow spores fall from her wings, dusting the cloud, ensuring that Arya and Alfred were both hit.

    "Now break that tornado up with Psychic!" Brendan said, Gwen smiling slightly. Her body began to glow once more as she held up her hand, and the tornado dispersed. Both bugs fell to the ground, knocked out. The buzzer sounded as the judges all ruled a knock out. Grace and Francis looked shocked, but they weren't too disappointed.

    "It looks like this contest is over. May and Brendan have won the Slateport City Contest!" Vivian said. "Let's give them a round of applause." The crowd cheered and applauded the duo.

    "Wow, that was really fun!" May said. "It's too bad there aren't more doubles contests."

    I know what you mean. I really enjoyed performing like that, Gwen said with a smile.

    "And you guys really earned that win. I've never seen anybody use their appeals round performance in the battle round," Grace said as she and Francis crossed the field. "You two should be proud for winning today, but don't count on it next time, May!"

    "We will see about that, won't we?" May said confidently.

    Mr. Contesta approached May and Brendan with the two ribbons in-hand. "Congratulations to you two. You just showed a lot of skill and teamwork out there. Good luck in future contests," he said as he presented their ribbons to them.

    "Thank you sir," Brendan said while May was beaming with joy. "We'll try to keep getting better!" With that, May and Gwen gave a cheer of happiness.

    Even all the excitement of the contest the previous day didn't stop the fact that Brendan and May were on a journey across Hoenn. So, the next morning, Brendan and May were exciting Slateport and heading toward Route 111.

    "Wow, this is a pretty long route," Brendan said. "I just wish I could have a bike so we could ride on the cycling path up top."

    "Where's the fun in that?" May asked. "Besides, there could be Pokémon we want to catch here."

    Yeah Goldenrod! Why would you want to skip out on the adventures this route has to offer?

    Brendan smiled in some slight defeat. "Alright, besides, we won't be able to get on the road anyway. The sign says that it's only for bike riders." As they continued, they both saw a very…strange house in the distance. It was loud in its color scheme, and it had some weird designs in those colors.

    What is that? Gwen asked.

    "Oh, that?" May asked. "That's the Trick House. It's a very weird house that belongs to the Trick Master. Somehow he turns his house upside down to make mazes for people to explore. He's always extremely quirky."

    "So it's a no-go?" Brendan asked.

    "For me, yes. We should avoid it for now. Maybe come back later as tourists or something," May said with a grimace.

    The duo kept going through the route for a while, diverting to Route 103's eastern half where they had a few battles with random trainers on the route. They then returned to route 111, and continued through the grassy area. They were about halfway to the next city when May stopped walking.

    Brendan turned around to face her. "Something wrong May?"

    May just shook her head. "No, nothing's wrong. I was just thinking that we haven't had a battle since we were in Rustboro City, and the contest just showed me how well we battle as a team. Now I want to see how well we do battling each other," she said.

    I'm down for a friendly battle, Gwen said.

    "So am I," Brendan said. "I'm ready to start whenever you are."

    May picked her first Pokéball from her belt. "Then pick your first Pokémon and let's start," she said before throwing out her Pokéball. "Go, Graham!" The little Wingull appeared with a chirp.

    Brendan smiled. "Go Nikki!" he said as he threw out his first Pokéball, letting out the sloth Pokémon. "Now let's go!"
  2. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    Lighthearted Rivalry

    "I'll start this battle off!" May said. "Graham, use Wing Attack!" Graham leapt at Nikki with his wings spread wide as they began to glow.

    "Nikki, dodge that and use Fury Swipes," Brendan said. Nikki waited for a few seconds as Graham was about to leap to the side as Graham passed by. Nikki then swiped her claws at Graham quickly.

    "Perfect, now use Supersonic!" May called out. Graham shrieked at a high pitch, sending a golden sonic wave at Nikki before the first swipe could strike. It hit its mark, causing Nikki to begin to stumble around in a daze.

    "Damn," Brendan said. "We'll have to do this the hard way now. Nikki, use Bulk Up!" Nikki took a deep breath as her body seemed to get larger. A red aura surrounded Nikki, showing her increase in attack and defense power.

    "Graham, use Water Gun!" May said. Graham spat a bullet made of water at Nikki, which went really fast.

    "Nikki, try to dodge, then use Fury Swipes!" Brendan said. Nikki heard him, and was thankfully able to do what he commanded. Unfortunately she still took the Water Gun to her chest, but it seemed to barely phase her. She then leapt at Graham with her arms spread wide. She then began to slash and scratch Graham with her claws repeatedly. It wasn't long before Graham was on the ground, knocked out.

    "Graham, return!" May said as she had the seagull Pokémon come back to his Pokéball. "Thank you for fighting so hard. Now rest up." She put Graham's Pokéball back on her belt as she pulled out her next Pokéball. "Come on out Erza!" she called out. The little steel type came out, and she looked ready for battle.

    "Alright, Nikki, use Bulk Up!" Brendan said. Once again, Nikki seemed to get larger as she inhaled, getting a red aura around her, marking her boost in attack and defense.

    "Mud Slap!" May said with a smirk. Erza kicked the ground, sending a pile of mud at Nikki, and it hit her directly in the eyes. "If you can't hit us, there's no point in having all that attack if you can't hit us."

    "We can still try. Fury Swipes!" Brendan said. Nikki, whose eyes were still closed, began stumbling toward Erza, her sight blurry from the mud. She slashed out early, and missed her mark.

    May smirked again. "Headbutt!" she said. Erza charged and leapt at Nikki, hitting the sloth like a hammer, and forcing her back. "Now Metal Claw!" Erza's foot began to glitter like polished steel as she swiped it across Nikki's chest, sending the sloth tumbling toward Brendan. Nikki came to a stop a few inches away from Brendan's feet, and she was knocked out.

    "Return Nikki!" Brendan said as he had her go back to her Pokéball. "You fought bravely, now rest up." He took out Clint's Pokéball. "Let's go Clint!" Clint showed up and pulled a stalk of grass from the ground, placing it in his mouth. "Now, start with Mega Drain!" three tendrils of green energy extended toward Erza, and they were moving too fast for May to react. They attached and began to glow even more vibrantly.

    "Erza, use Headbutt!" May said. She hoped that a retaliation would stop the attack. Erza began to run at Clint, her head down. Clint stopped his attack, but only so he could dodge the incoming attack.

    "Nice job Clint!" Brendan said. "Now, use Bullet Seed!" Clint spat out a stream of seeds which hit their mark. Erza grimaced as she took the attack.

    "Rock Tomb!" May said. Erza stepped on the ground hard, causing four boulders to shoot out of the ground around Clint, pressing tightly and restricting his movement, and cutting off the Bullet Seed.

    "Break out with Fury Cutter!" Brendan called out. Clint's forearm leaves began to glow a yellow green as he spun, cutting the rocks into pieces. "Now use Bullet Seed again!" Clint once again fired a stream of seeds at Erza. "Use Agility and don't let her pin you down!" Clint began to run around the battlefield, firing more seeds as he moved. Erza didn't last much longer under the attack, and May couldn't get a plan together in time. Erza collapsed to the ground and Clint stopped his attack.

    "Return Erza," May said, the Pokémon went back to her Pokéball as May pulled out Lily's Pokéball. "Erza, you fought well. Now, you're up Lily!" The butterfly Pokémon appeared, her wings spread wide. "Alright Lily, use Silver Wind!" Lily behaved as if she was in a contest, beating her wings quickly and sending scythes of wind at Clint.

    "Clint, dodge and use Fury Cutter!" Brendan said. Clint leapt to the side and rolled before leaping at Lily, his forearm leaves glowing yellow-green again. He began to slash Lily almost mercilessly.

    "Lily, Flash!" May called out. Lily's wings began to glow brilliantly, blinding Clint as he got within a few inches of his target. Lily simply fluttered to the side and dodged the incoming attack.

    "Clint, use Quick Attack!" Brendan said.

    May simply rolled her eyes in an almost sassy manner. "Now, use Gust!" May said. Lily sent a large tornado of dust at Clint whose now bloodshot eyes had not yet fully recovered from the Flash, couldn't move in time, and he was caught in the whirlwind.

    "Clint, try to escape with Fury Cutter!" Brendan called. Unfortunately, Clint couldn't move. The tornado spun for about a minute before dropping Clint and dissipating. Clint, however, was not going to get back into the fight. "Clint, return!" Brendan said as he held out Clint's Pokéball, recalling the gecko Pokémon. He then looked to Gwen, who was currently laid back in a pile of grass that she matted down for bedding of sorts.

    Is it my turn now? she asked with an impatient tone.

    "Yes it is. You ready?" Brendan said.

    Of course, let's do this, she said as she leapt from her bedding and levitated to the ground gracefully.

    "Alright, Gwen, use Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen shrieked loudly, sending a sonic wave at Lily. It flew quickly, striking hard, and sending the Beautifly spiraling through the air. "Now use Psychic!" Gwen began to glow with blue aura, which then surrounded Lily, extended her hand, and swiped it toward the ground. Lily followed the path of Gwen's hand, crashing into the dirt.

    "Lily!" May called out. It was too late, though. The attack had been too powerful for Lily to take. She was exhausted, and now she was out cold. May sighed. "You fought bravely, now, return and get some rest." She recalled Lily to her Pokéball, and placed it back on her belt. She then got her last Pokéball and threw it into the air. "Miranda, you're up!" The energetic Combusken came out of her Pokéball, and she looked ready to battle.

    Well, Miranda, I don't think we've ever had a battle against each other. Let's make this one to remember, Gwen said. Miranda nodded.

    "Miranda, Flame Charge!" May said. Miranda's body became coated in flames as she sprinted toward Gwen.

    "Gwen, use Double Team," Brendan said. Gwen smirked as multiple copies of her appeared around the makeshift battlefield. Miranda sprinted through one after another. The number of Gwen's copies kept decreasing. All the while, Miranda was steadily getting faster.

    "Alright Miranda, use Peck!" May called out. Miranda's beak began to glow white as she sprinted toward one of the two remaining copies of Gwen.

    "Gwen, use Calm Mind!" Brendan called out. The two Gwens both began to glow with a green energy, increasing her special abilities. "Now, use Psychic!" Brendan said. Just as Miranda passed through the final copy, she was caught with the blue aura of Gwen's power. Miranda was then thrown back across the ground before she crashed into the sea wall.

    "Flame Charge!" May said. Miranda sprinted at Gwen, her body covered in flames.

    "Gwen, teleport!" Brendan said. Gwen vanished as Miranda passed by, only to reappear right behind Miranda.

    "Miranda, Bulk Up!" May called. Miranda was surrounded by a red aura, showing an increase in physical strength. "Now, use another Flame Charge!" Miranda sprinted at Gwen with flames coating her entire body.

    "Gwen, Disarming Voice!" Brendan said. Gwen shrieked loudly as Miranda closed in. The soundwave hit its mark, but Miranda kept barreling through toward Gwen.

    Damn it! Gwen shouted as Miranda collided with her. Both of them went flying, only to land in a heap. Both were out.

    "Huh," Brendan said. "I, uh, guess it's a tie."

    "Yeah, I wasn't expecting that," May said. "But it was a fun battle."

    With that, the duo began to treat their Pokémon with Revives, and Super Potions that they had bought with the prize money from the contest. None of the injuries were too serious, so they were able to heal all of the injuries without trouble.

    Once they finished with healing their Pokémon, the two trainers continued on their way, Gwen skipping happily along with them. Their next goal was just barely visible in the distance: Mauville City.

    "So, how much do you know about Mauville?" Brendan asked.

    "Not too much, just that it's a very technological city. Heck, the entire city is just one big mall, with apartments on the second floor. There's supposed to be a really good bike shop there too," May said.

    Well, I would really like to ride a bike, Gwen said.

    "Have you ever ridden one?" Brendan asked with a smile.

    No, I can't, but I've watched a lot of people riding them, and I think it would be fun, she replied.

    "Well, you may not be able to ride one, since they're designed for humans," Brendan said. "But then, you are one of the humanoid Pokémon, so it could work."

    Awesome! Gwen said. Could you teach me how to ride?

    "How about I teach you once you evolve so you can get an adult bike," Brendan said.

    Gwen pouted a little just to make Brendan feel guilty, but she understood his reasoning. Fine, but you will have a basket in the front for me to ride in. And you will make it as girly as possible.

    "Okay," Brendan said without hesitation. "But it comes off after you evolve."

    May giggled at the shenanigans the two got into routinely. Even though she was really close with her own Pokémon, Miranda especially, there was just something different about how Brendan and Gwen interacted. It was still fun to watch.

    The three continued to walk and converse until they reached the gates to the city. That was where they saw a face that Brendan was familiar with. Wally was standing with an older man, and they seemed to be arguing. Brendan was about to call to him, but Wally and the man walked away.

    "Brendan, who was that? It looked like you were about to call to him," May asked.

    "You remember when I told you about the time I helped a kid catch a Ralts in Petalburg? That was him just now. Not sure what he's doing here though."

    "Well, then let's catch up to him," May said. They duo went through the city, seeing a couple kiosks, but none had anything really useful. There was also a food court, but it seemed that people were battling there. For now, they avoided the place. They would check it out after they'd met up with Wally. They then passed through the courtyard, which had the Pokémon Center and PokéMart, as well as a miniature version of Prism Tower in Lumiose City in Kalos.

    "Wow, why is this city so modernized?" Brendan asked.

    "That's because of the Gym Leader here. His name is Wattson, and he's a bit of a technology nut. He wanted to make this city more technological, so he began to renovate when he got permission from the city council. And he's made the generation of electricity environmentally friendly."

    "Impressive," Brendan said. "I just hope he's strong when it comes to battle, I want a good gym battle."

    May opened her mouth to respond, but she was interrupted by a rather loud, male voice. "ABSOLUTELY NOT! You aren't ready for such a challenge!" The trio shared a look before running toward the source. They quickly found that it was the older guy yelling at Wally in front of the gym entrance, which was so flashy that it would have fit perfectly in any of Unova's cities.

    "But I've been training really hard, and this is the closest gym to home. If not now, when can I start taking on the gyms?" Wally protested.

    "I don't know, but you need to get healthier," the man said.

    "But, Uncle, you can see that I'm perfectly healthy now," Wally said. "My Pokémon and I are ready for this!"

    "Hey Wally!" Brendan called out, hoping to help his friend and rival in this situation. "How've you been?"

    Wally perked up a little bit upon hearing Brendan's voice. "Brendan, I didn't expect to see you here!"

    Wally's uncle raised his eyebrow, but remained silent. Gwen followed Brendan. Hey Wally, how's Sam doing?

    "He's doing really well. Here, why don't you two catch up," Wally said as he took out his Pokéball. What came out was not a Ralts or a Kirlia. He was a Gallade. Brendan and May both looked impressed by one of the two final evolutions in the Ralts line. Gwen, however, was looking almost jealous.

    Well, you've gotten bigger, Gwen said, not really looking at her old friend. She paused for a little as Samuel spoke like a normal Pokémon. Yeah, go on and rub it in that you could evolve from a Dawn Stone while I have to do it through training. I'm still stronger, since I'm still a fairy type.

    Brendan just looked at Wally. "So how have you been since Petalburg?"

    "Well, I've been training a lot, but I haven't challenged any gyms yet. Mostly because I was still getting healthy," he said with some slight hesitation. "But I'm fine now, and I want to start traveling. My family, however, doesn't really agree with me. They want me to wait more. None of them think I'm ready, but Paul and Sam have both gotten stronger, and I even caught a Fletchling, who evolved into a Fletchinder. His name is Jet."

    May decided to join in at this point, and she was slightly annoyed because she wasn't actually. "Excuse me, Brendan, are you going to introduce me?"

    "Oh, yeah, sorry about that," Brendan said. "Wally, this is my girlfriend, May. May, this is Wally. I helped him catch Samuel back on Route 102. We've kind of been rivals ever since."

    Wally extended his hand to May. "It's a pleasure to meet you May," he said. "I wish we could have met in Petalburg, but I guess now is as good of a time as any."

    OH YEAH? WELL WHY DON'T YOU PROVE IT THEN! Gwen shouted out of nowhere, and she was almost glaring at Sam.

    "Gwen, what was that about?" Brendan asked.

    This jerk keeps saying that he could beat me in a battle without trying. Let's prove him wrong! Gwen said.

    "Actually, I was about to ask you to battle me," Wally said to Brendan. "Why don't we have a best of three rounds battle?"

    "Okay, but let's save Gwen and Sam for the last round," Brendan said.

    "Agreed," Wally said. "Let's go out to route 111 for our battle. We don't want to damage the city, you know?"

    Fine, I'm okay with that! Gwen said.

    The group, including Wally's uncle, went outside of Mauville City, where Brendan and Wally took positions across from each other, leaving a space just wide enough for a battle. Gwen and Sam both stood just behind their respective trainers "Alright Wally, I'll pick my Pokémon first," Brendan said. "Nikki, you're up!" The Vigoroth appeared, and she looked prepared for battle.

    "Okay, let's go Jet!" Wally said as he sent out his Fletchinder.

    "Alright, Wally, you can have the first attack," Brendan said.

    "Jet, use Flame Charge!" Wally called. Jet reared back, became coated in fire as he flew at Nikki.

    "Nikki, dodge and use Fury Swipes," Brendan said. Jet kept flying toward Nikki, picking up speed steadily. Nikki rolled to the side as the flaming hawk passed by. When the flames dissipated, she leapt forward, swinging her claws repeatedly. Jet, however, was doing a fantastic job of dodging the furious attacks.

    "Alright Jet, use Peck!" Wally said. Jet began to jab his beak at Nikki. The sloth and hawk began to trade blows. In fact, the power of the attacks was almost equally balanced.

    "Nikki, time to use Rock Tomb!" Brendan called. May's eyes went wide. If Nikki knew Rock Tomb, why didn't Brendan have her use it during their battle earlier today? She decided that she would ask him about it later. Nikki stomped the ground, causing four rocks to erupt from the ground, each one hitting a point on Jet.

    Jet struggled to stay in the air and his will was strong enough that he could stay up, despite clearly having felt the attack.

    "Jet, use Steel Wing!" Wally called. Jet's wings began to gleam like polished metal as he flew at Nikki quickly, hitting her hard in the stomach. Nikki staggered back from the force of the hit.

    "Nikki, use Fury Swipes again!" Brendan called out. Nikki leapt at Jet, slashing wildly.

    "Jet, use Ember!" Wally called out passionately. Jet spat out a ball of fire just as Nikki was about to start her attacks. This attack caused Nikki to trip and fall to the ground, where she passed out.

    Brendan was startled to say the least. Wally, the kid who had no confidence in himself and spoke with a stutter less than two months ago had just won the first round of their battle. "That was really impressive Wally. You've definitely raised that Fletchinder well," he said.

    "Th-thanks," Wally said, his stutter returning slightly, but only from the surprise of what had just happened.

    What the heck Goldenrod? Now Sam has an advantage over us, Gwen said angrily.

    "Don't worry Gwen, remember who is next?" Brendan said. "Wally, you send out your next Pokémon first for this round."

    "Come on out Paul!" Wally said as he threw his next Pokéball. The Pokémon that appeared was a bipedal mudfish.

    "So, Paul evolved into a Marshtomp," May said. "I remember him always being timid when he was still in my dad's lab, but now he looks incredibly confident."

    "Well, I never met Paul before, but he knows my next Pokémon," Brendan said. "Come on out Clint!" The wood gecko Pokémon appeared, his eyes going slightly wider as he recognized his old friend.

    "Oh yeah, that's right. You got a Treecko from Professor Birch," Wally said. "I guess these two haven't seen each other in a while, so let's make this a battle for them to remember."

    "Sounds good, you take the first attack," Brendan said.

    "Sounds good. Paul, use Mud Shot!" Wally called out. Paul fired a large ball of mud at Clint, and the attack moved quickly.

    "Clint, use Agility, then use Mega Drain!" Brendan said. Clint seemed to vanish from sight just as the attack was about to land. He then reappeared and sent tendrils of green energy toward Paul. They connected and began to glow in a brighter neon color. Paul began to cry out as the attack did serious damage.

    "Paul, stop the attack with another Mud Shot!" Wally said. Paul fired another ball of mud, this one hitting Clint in the chest, sending him stumbling, and slowing him down significantly.

    "Clint, use Agility once again, then use Fury Cutter!" Brendan said. Clint disappeared once again, only to reappear behind Paul with his forearm leaves glowing a green yellow color. Clint swiped the claw across his body, sending Paul skidding across the ground.

    "Paul, use Water Gun!" Wally called out. Paul spat out a stream of water, hitting Clint in the chest, but the attack didn't seem to do anything to Clint, who simply sat kept slashing at Paul relentlessly, each cut getting stronger. On the fifth slash, Paul was sent flying back, and it crashed into the trunk of a nearby pine tree.

    "Paul!" Wally called out. "Are you okay?" Paul, however, had passed out. Wally sighed and pulled out Paul's Pokéball. "You fought well, now return and get some rest!" Paul was brought back into his Pokéball. "I guess I should have seen that one coming," he said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

    "Hey, you fought well there, and you were very creative with your attacks. But now, it's time for the main event," Brendan said before turning to Gwen. "You ready to battle?"

    You even need to ask? I need to put Sam in his place, Gwen said as she brushed some hair out of her face and behind her ear.

    "Alright, then let's do this," Brendan said.

    "Sam, you too, get out there," Wally said.

    "Hey, Wally, I have to ask, how do you already have a Gallade?" May asked.

    Wally smiled slightly. "Thing is, I've been volunteering at the Pokémon Day Care every once in a while. They helped me train in exchange for me helping them. Then, once Sam evolved, they gave me a Dawn Stone as additional thanks. I used it shortly after that so he could start getting used to being a Gallade as soon as possible.

    "I see," Brendan said. "Well, even though Gwen doesn't have the option of a Dawn Stone for evolution, she's still scary strong."

    And I have a bit of a score to settle with that jerk, Gwen said only to Brendan.

    "Well, let's start this off," Wally said. "Sam, use Swords Dance!" Sam began to glow red as illusory swords appeared and circled around him, increasing his attacking power significantly.

    "Gwen use Calm Mind!" Gwen closed her eyes and took on a green glow as she boosted her special abilities. "One more time, use Calm Mind!" Gwen kept her eyes closed as her power continued to increase.

    "Sam, use Fury Cutter!" Wally called. Sam's arms began to glow like Clint's usually did when using Fury Cutter. He then sprinted at Gwen with his arms raised.

    "Gwen, use Double Team repeatedly!" Brendan called out. Multiple copies of Gwen appeared around the field, and Sam sliced through one of the copies, but that was only to be replaced by two more.

    "Sam, focus and try to find her, then use Disarming Voice!" Wally called out. Sam closed his eyes this time, focusing his mind, searching for the real Gwen among the clones.

    "Gwen, use your own Disarming Voice before he get the chance!" Brendan called out. Gwen was more than happy to oblige as she shrieked loudly, sending a powerful sonic wave at Sam.

    "Sam, cancel it out with your own Disarming Voice!" Wally said. Sam also shrieked loudly, but when his sonic wave collided with Gwen's it was pushed back until it was within a few inches of Sam. "Cut through those with Fury Cutter, then go after Gwen!" Sam did as commanded, his arms glowing brightly as he cut through the incoming waves, which exploded to the sides. He then sprinted at one of the multitude of Gwens spread across the field.

    "Gwen, use Psychic!" Brendan called out. Gwen took on her usual blue aura when she used the attack, and Sam was gripped by it and stopped in his tracks. "Now throw him!" Sam went flying across the field toward a tree. Sam managed to adjust himself so his feet hit the trunk first before he leapt forward toward another Gwen. This time, his Fury Cutter hit the real Gwen, sending her tumbling across the field.

    Ah, damn it that hurt! Gwen said. Hey Brendan, can we finish this soon. I don't think I can take another hit like that one.

    "Yeah, of course," Brendan said. "Use one more Calm Mind!" Gwen smirked as she closed her eyes and began to meditate again. She started to glow green as her special abilities increased once more.

    Wally's eyes went wide. "Sam, use another Fury Cutter quickly!" Sam heard the urgency in Wally's voice, and leapt at Gwen with his arms raised for his next attack. He was about to execute the attack when Brendan gave his last attack.

    "Disarming Voice, now!" Brendan called out. Gwen shrieked again, the resulting sonic wave was incredibly powerful. It sent Sam hurtling through the air before he struck the ground hard. That was where he passed out.

    "It seems the battle is over," Wally said disappointedly as he recalled Sam to his Pokéball. "You were amazing Sam. Now, take a good rest." Wally sighed, looking really disappointed in himself.

    "Hey, don't get down on yourself Wally," Brendan said. "Your Pokémon were amazing. You had me scared a few times in that battle. You should be proud."

    Wally's uncle seemed disinterested. "Well, Wally, what do you think now? Do you really think you're ready to challenge the league?"

    "Actually yes," Wally said, which only earned an eye roll from his uncle.

    "You couldn't beat a trainer who isn't a league certified gym leader," his uncle said. "You need to get healthier and train more before you even consider taking on the League."

    "Hold on," Brendan interjected. "First of all, league certification has little to do with strength as a trainer. And secondly, my father is the new leader in Petalburg City." This got Wally's uncle's attention. "Besides, that was a very close battle. Maybe you should have more faith in your nephew instead of telling him he's not ready to challenge the league. I can tell you that he's got a lot of talent for training Pokémon."

    Wally's uncle glared at Brendan for a while. "Fine, Wally, if you feel ready, you can go on your journey and do as you please. I'd like to see you prove me wrong, but I'll be back home with a big old plate of 'I-told-you-so' if you can't make it." With that, Wally's uncle left the three trainers and Gwen, and he walked toward Mauville City, and then began walking west.

    "Hey, thanks for that," Wally said. "I've been trying to convince my uncle to let me go on a journey, but he's been stubbornly refusing for a month now."

    "It was no problem," Brendan said.

    "Anyway, we should head to the Pokémon Center before we continue this conversation," May said.

    I completely agree, Gwen said. After all, I'm getting pretty hungry, and I'd like to rest up after having two intense battles today. Brendan smiled at her.

    "Sure, just hop onto my shoulder and we'll get there in no time," he said. Gwen smiled as she leapt onto Brendan's shoulder.

    Alright, full speed ahead to the Pokémon Center! Gwen said loudly, pointing toward Mauville's central courtyard. With that, all three trainers made their way to the Pokémon Center, ready for a meal and a rest.
    #22 Jan 13, 2019 at 4:51 PM
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019 at 5:16 PM
  3. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    It's an O-phish-al Match

    The next day, the three trainers woke up and decided to go to train on Route 117 to prepare for the upcoming battles and contests. When they got there, Brendan and May both couldn't believe how beautiful it was. There were multiple tall trees, and two ponds. To the north, there was a small building with a massive fenced-in area that was full of Pokémon. At one part of the fence that was close to the house stood an elderly gentleman who waved to Wally as they passed.

    "You know that guy?" Brendan asked.

    "Yeah, he and his wife run the Pokémon Day Care," Wally said. "He's actually the one who gave me the Dawn Stone for Sam." They continued on, Wally waving to multiple other trainers and one breeder as they passed by.

    "You trained with these people a lot, didn't you?" May asked Wally.

    "Yeah, this is where I did the bulk of my training recently," Wally said. "Anyway, I actually did plan to meet with a training friend today for a rematch, so I'm going to head over there. Good luck to you two over here."

    "Thanks, and good luck in your rematch!" Brendan said. Wally waved as he departed, heading west toward Verdenturf Town.

    "So, May, where do you want to start?" Brendan asked.

    "Why don't we explore the grassy areas first," she said enthusiastically. "Then we battle some other trainers, and then we head back to Mauville for lunch at their food court."

    "Well, that sounds like a plan and a half," Brendan said.

    Yeah, I like it too, Gwen said. By the way Brendan, there are some really strong Pokémon here too.

    "Alright, May, do you want to go together, or search separately?" Brendan asked.

    "I say separately. If we start to search together, we will only scare the Pokémon away," she said.

    Brendan just nodded in understanding. "Alright, just remember to call or text me when you're ready to meet up again."

    "Of course," May said before she went to the northern portion of the route.

    "Alright Gwen, I say we go toward one of the ponds and see how it goes," Brendan said.

    Sounds good, and I will gladly battle if I need to, Gwen said. Brendan began to walk into the grass, Gwen not far behind. There were a couple Oddish and even one Rosalia who appeared, but Brendan already had a powerful grass-type with Clint. He needed something else for a more diverse team.

    Hey, Goldenrod, I think I sense someone strong nearby, Gwen said.

    "Oh?" Brendan said, lowering his voice so he wouldn't be heard.

    Yeah, I think it's a water type.

    "Nice, we could use a water type on the team," Brendan said.

    I know, let's go for it, Gwen said. Brendan advanced forward, heading toward the pond. When he got within a few feet of the edge of the pond he saw the Pokémon that Gwen was talking about.

    It looked like a small, orange crawfish, and it was currently walking around in the shallows of the pond. Brendan pulled out his Pokédex and scanned the Pokémon.

    Corphish, the Ruffian Pokémon. Corphish were originally foreign Pokémon that were imported as pets. They eventually turned up in the wild. This Pokémon is very hardy and has greatly increased its population. Corphish catches prey with its sharp claws, and it has no likes or dislikes when it comes to food-it will eat anything. This Pokémon has no trouble living in filthy water.

    "Huh, that sounds like a very sturdy Pokémon," Brendan said as he turned to Gwen. "You ready for a battle?"

    Duh, of course I am! Gwen said.

    "Good, then use Psychic," Brendan said. Gwen leapt out from the grass, her eyes and body aglow with the blue aura of her psychic power. The Corphish looked up in surprise, but then it took on a confident look, like it wanted to battle. That was when Gwen took hold of him. There was no chance of escape there, but Brendan could tell that this Pokémon didn't want to run. Gwen pulled it into the air, before slamming it into the ground. However, the Corphish used Harden just before impact. That reduced the damage significantly.

    "So, it's smart about defense," Brendan noted. "That's good. Now, Gwen, use Disarming Voice!" Gwen shrieked loudly, the attack hit Corphish in the chest and sent it skidding across the ground. "Now, use Psychic once more, and hold that Corphish in place!" Brendan called out. The blue aura reappeared as Gwen used her power. Corphish froze in place, struggling to move against the psychic energy. Brendan pulled out an empty Pokéball from his bag's side pocket. "Alright, Corphish, you're mine!" he called as he threw it at the ruffian Pokémon.

    Corphish's eyes widened slightly before the Pokéball hit its head perfectly. He was taken into the Pokéball, which bounced on the ground and began to roll around. The center button glowed red as it shook. On the third roll, the ball stopped and three sparks flew from the sides. The Pokémon had been captured.

    "Alright!" Brendan cheered, and Gwen joined in. Brendan walked over to the Pokéball and picked it up. "Well, let's get out of the grass and find May. Then we can all meet this Corphish properly."

    Okay, actually, I think May is starting to look for us now, Gwen said. I'm not sure where she is exactly, but she's close.

    "Thanks for letting me know," Brendan said. Gwen leapt on Brendan's shoulder, and the two walked out of the grass, and back onto the main path. Brendan saw both Wally and May conversing with the Day Care Man. They seemed to be having a lively talk when Brendan approached them.

    "Hey Brendan," May called out. "How was the searching?"

    Brendan smiled as he lifted the newly occupied Pokéball. "Well, time for us to officially meet our newest team member. Come on out!" he opened the Pokéball, letting out the Corphish, who gave a strong cry of almost defiance.

    The Day Care Man leaned forward with interest. "Is that you Turk? So, looks like you finally got yourself a trainer," he said. His nametag gleamed in the light, so Brendan looked, seeing that the man's name was George

    "Wait, you know this Corphish?" Brendan asked.

    "Oh yes, I know this particular Corphish quite well. He is arguably the strongest Corphish on this route," George said. "You must be one hell of a trainer to have caught him."

    "How do you mean?" Brendan asked.

    "Well, Turk is one of the more aggressive battlers among the Corphish of this route, and Corphish are typically aggressive as a species," George said with a slight smile. "He occasionally breaks into our fence and tries to battle with the Pokémon of other trainers."

    Brendan just chuckled. "Well, that's perfect for him being on my team," Brendan said as he knelt down beside Turk. "Hey, Turk, I know you don't know me, but you should know that my goal is to become champion of the Hoenn League. Since you like to battle, I think you and I will get along famously."

    Turk looked over at Gwen, a very competitive look in his eyes. "Corphish-Cor-Corphish!" he said. Gwen nodded.

    He says that he can't just take that defeat we handed him earlier, so he agrees to come along with us so long as he gets to battle me every once in a while, Gwen said.

    Brendan chuckled. "Well, that's good to hear. Just don't go too overboard in your battles with each other," he said. Turk nodded his approval, but kept his competitive gaze fixed on Gwen. Brendan pulled out Turk's Pokéball and recalled him.

    "Well, that's all I had planned for this route. I think it's time for me to go and challenge Wattson," Wally said.

    Brendan looked over at his rival. "Well, that's a good idea. I'll challenge him after you do," he said confidently.

    "I'm okay with that," Wally said before waving to the Day Care Man and departing with Brendan and May. "I'll see you around George."

    "Stop by whenever you can, Wally!" George said. "Linda and I will be rooting for you in the league."

    "Thanks for everything," Wally said.

    Brendan and May followed Wally to Mauville City, and they went straight to the Pokémon Center, getting all their Pokémon restored to full health and energy, taking less than an hour before they were ready for the Gym.

    "Wally, Brendan, are you two ready to go?" May asked with a smile.

    "Definitely," Brendan said as he pushed the doors open. What they saw was a lot of electrical pylons around an official Pokémon League battlefield. Behind those were grand stands. At the back of the gym was a small platform, and on that platform stood an older gentleman with a white beard and white sideburns, and he was wearing a brown shirt with yellow lightning bolt patterns over four-leaf clovers.

    "Well, it seems I have some new challengers. Welcome to the Mauville Gym!" he said. "Allow me to give a shocking introduction; I am the electric-type specialist, and the leader of this gym, Wattson. Wahahahahah!"

    Brendan looked at Gwen with a raised eyebrow. Did he seriously make a pun? Gwen said.

    "I see three people there, but I don't know who I will be up against first. If you don't mind, I'd like to know the names of my challengers," Wattson said.

    "Well, I'll be your first challenger of the day, and my name is Wally," he said.

    "Perfect, and as for the lovely lady and the other young man?"

    "I'm May Birch, but I'm only here as a spectator," May said with a smile.

    "And my name is Brendan Maple. My Kirlia here is Gwen," Brendan said.

    Wattson nodded. "It's a pleasure to meet all of you, now, since Wally is my first challenger, would the rest of you please move to the grand stands? We don't want to have any accidents here."

    "Alright, May, let's go into the middle row. Not too far from the action, but not too close either," Brendan said.

    "Sure, sounds like a good idea," May said.

    Just be sure you're watching the match, not May, Gwen teased.

    "Hey, I can multitask," Brendan said.

    They went into the stands, taking their seats just as the pylons began to spark to life, forming a fence of electricity around the field. Wattson gave a bellowing laugh. Then, the wall opposite the main stands opened to reveal a screen. "Well, I will be the first to choose a Pokémon, and my first pick is an electrifying one. Come on out Ed!" The Pokémon that came out looked like a Pokéball, except it had eyes, and it looked angry.

    "So, a Voltorb. Then I choose Jet!" Wally called out, sending his Fletchinder onto the field. The screen then showed a picture of both Pokémon, each next to a green bar.

    "Before you ask, that screen is a substitute for the referee. It tracks the stamina and health of your Pokémon with pinpoint accuracy. The bar will shrink as your Pokémon takes damage, and when the bar disappears, your Pokémon has fainted," Wattson said. "It's a new technology, but I've been steadily perfecting it with the help of the local Nurse Joy."

    "Wow, that's an impressive piece of technology," Brendan noted. May nodded

    "Well, you can have the first attack, Wally," Wattson said.

    "Jet, use Flame Charge!" Wally called out. Jet became coated in flames as he flew at Ed, flying at high speed. His speed increased as he moved closer to the target.

    "Spark!" Wattson said calmly, which seemed rather out of character for the jolly leader. Ed became coated in electricity and he began rolling at Jet. The two Pokémon collided and created a small explosion. Jet recoiled from the strike, but Ed just barely rolled away, relatively unharmed. On the screen, Jet's bar dropped to just above half, while Ed's bar only went down by a quarter.

    Wally seemed to curse, he then refocused. "Jet, use Ember!" he called out. Jet spat a ball of flames at Ed. The orb of fire flew too fast for Ed to dodge in time, and he was hit head-on, this dropped Ed's health bar to below the halfway mark.

    "Respond with Shock Wave!" Wattson said. Ed shook and leapt into the air, spinning on his x-axis as he discharged a constant stream of electricity. Jet had no physical way to dodge the incoming attack, and he was hit hard. Jet was thrown to the ground and stayed down as his bar was depleted. The screen gave a buzzing noise, indicating a loss for the round.

    "Jet, return!" Wally said. "You fought well. Now take a good rest, I promise we will win this." He then pulled out Paul's Pokéball. "Come on out Paul!" He sent out the bipedal mud fish.

    "A much more stable choice in an electric gym," Wattson said with a slight chuckle. Paul's picture appeared on the screen, and the match resumed. "Alright, use Sonic Boom!" Ed began to roll extremely fast as he approached Paul. Soon the airwaves around him formed a cone. A loud crack could be heard as Ed broke the sound barrier, and he slammed into Paul.

    "Paul, use Mud Shot!" Wally called out. Just as Ed rolled away, Paul spat out a ball of mud at the Voltorb, and it was on a perfect trajectory to intercept its target, sending it flying and rolling back toward Wattson's feet. The screen buzzed as Voltorb's health bar hit zero.

    "Alright, great job Paul. Keep it up!" Wally said.

    "Time for my next Pokémon. Let's go Electra!" Wattson called out. This time, his Pokéball contained a floating metal eye with a screw on the top and a magnet on each side.

    "So, a Magnemite," Brendan said. "Let's hope Wally can win this round as well."

    "Paul, use Mud Shot!" Wally called. Wattson seemed to grimace at the sound of Wally's command.

    "Electra, use Supersonic!" Wattson said. Electra made a piercing high-pitched sound, which disoriented Paul. Paul then began to fumble and stumble around the battlefield, tripping and hurting himself before he could launch the ball of mud as Wally ordered.

    "Crap," Wally said under his breath. "Paul, use Mud Shot!" Wally said. Paul seemed to just barely hear his trainer, but that was enough for him to start to attempt an attack. This time, however, he managed to fire a ball of mud at Electra. The attack hit its mark and sent the magnet Pokémon spiraling through the air. The health bar on the screen went down rapidly, and was about to hit zero, only to stop abruptly at one point.

    "And Sturdy comes through for us!" Wattson said. "Now, use Sonicboom!" This time, Electra began to spin in place. She picked up so much speed, that she broke the sound barrier, sending a wave of highly pressurized air at Paul. It moved too fast for Paul to dodge. The attack hit him head-on and sent him sliding across the ground. His health bar drop by a lot, but it wasn't enough for a knock out.

    "Paul, once more, use Mud Shot!" Wally called out. Paul, now seeming to be back to his senses, fired his attack once more. This time, Electra's health bar hit zero and she fell to the ground, knocked out of the fight. Brendan gave a surprised smirk.

    That was well done, but there's still one more in Wattson's arsenal, Gwen said.

    "Yeah, we'll see how Wally does in this next round," Brendan agreed.

    Wattson recalled Electra and pulled out his next Pokéball. "Go, Nikola!" The next Pokémon was a Magneton. It looked ready for battle.

    "Alright, let's do this!" Wally said. "Paul, just keep spamming Mud Shot!" Paul fired two smaller balls of mud, rather than a single larger one.

    "Nikola, use Protect, then Flash Cannon!" Wattson said. The Magneton became surrounded by a green sphere of energy, the two balls of mud hit it and slid to the floor. The force field fell, and a stream of silver light flew at Paul. Brendan looked at the screen and saw that Paul's health bar was already almost empty. If this attack landed, Brendan was certain it would end the round.

    Wally noticed that too. "Paul, dodge it, then use Mud Slap!" Paul leapt to the side as the stream of metallic energy passed by, striking the ground and making a small crater. Paul, who was still slightly airborne, stuck his hand into the ground and scooped out a handful, hitting it with a small stream of water to make mud. He then threw it at Nikola. The mud hit its target easily, even if it didn't do as much damage as a Mud Shot.

    "Finish this with Tri Attack!" Wattson called. From each of Magneton's segments came a triangle of energy, each one colored differently. The three flew out, weaving around each other before colliding with Paul. This attack sent him rolling as his health bar dropped to zero. Paul slid to a stop, but he wasn't about to get back up.

    "Thanks Paul, please get a good rest," Wally said as he recalled the Pokémon. "Now, I need your help Sam!" He threw his last Pokéball, releasing his Gallade.

    Hey, Sammy, DON'T SCREW THIS UP! Gwen said, earning a mild glare from Sam.

    "Alright Sam, use Close Combat!" Wally called. Sam leapt at Magneton, punching and kicking rapidly, doing serious damage. The screen showed a significant drop in health for Nikola.

    "Nikola, use Thunderbolt!" Wattson commanded. The Magneton's six magnets all began to arc electricity before it coalesced into a single point and flew at Sam. There was no time to dodge, and he was overcome by the electrical attack.

    "Sam, Protect, then use Swords Dance!" Wally said. Sam was surrounded by a green sphere as he pushed the electricity back. Inside that sphere, blue swords materialized out of energy, circling the Pokémon and creating a red aura around him. "Now, use Close Combat once more!" Sam broke open the sphere of energy, jumping to the side to avoid the electricity before sprinting at Nikola.

    "Nikola, use Tri Attack to stop that attack!" Wattson called. Sam arrived and began to hit the Magneton hard, but he wasn't in time to stop the incoming triangular energy beams. He was hit hard, but he manage to continue fighting. Brendan looked up and saw that both Sam's and Nikola's health bars were about to be depleted. Nikola's health just hit zero a split second faster. The magnet Pokémon collapsed, and the battle was over. Wattson sighed before recalling Nikola. "That was an excellent battle young man. Please, take both the Dynamo Badge and TM34." Wattson pulled a remote from his pocket and pushed a button, which caused a single stand with the badge and the TM disc to rise from the floor.

    "Thank you Wattson, sir," Wally said. "Now, I guess Sam and I will get off the battlefield so Brendan can start his battle."

    "Thank you young man, I will properly congratulate you once this next battle is over," Wattson said.

    Brendan and Gwen both stood up, Brendan only stopping to give May a quick peck on the cheek for luck. He then made his way to the field, Gwen simply leaping onto his shoulder for the ride.

    "So, Brendan, you definitely look like your father," Wattson said.

    "You figured it out?" Brendan asked.

    "Well, Maple isn't exactly a common last name, and when a gym leader from Johto who has that same last name and an eighteen year-old son is transferred to Hoenn, it does logically follow that you are Norman's son," Wattson said. "But you didn't come here to exchange pleasantries, so let us begin this match. First, though, I would like to know how many Pokémon you have with you."

    "I have four currently," Brendan said. Wattson nodded.

    "That works then. See, the team I just used against Wally will need rest time. So, I will be using my other team, which has four Pokémon on it. What do you say to a four-on-four match?"

    Brendan looked at Gwen, who just nodded to him. "Sounds good to me," Brendan said to Wattson.

    This will be a fun match, I can tell! Gwen said. Brendan didn't question how she knew that, he'd learned a while ago to stop questioning Gwen on this sort of thing.

    "Alright, then I choose Art!" Wattson called as he sent out his first Pokémon. This one was also a Voltorb.

    "Alright, I know I just caught you, but let's give it a try. Let's go Turk!" Brendan called as he sent out the ruffian Pokémon. Turk showed up with a confident look in his eye that screamed 'Come at me!'

    "You and Wally both have made strange choices in first Pokémon in an electric gym. Oh well, let's see how this goes. You have the first move young man," Wattson said.

    "Turk, start with Bubblebeam!" Brendan said. Turk fired multiple bubbles from his claws which flew toward Art.

    "Art, dodge and use Screech!" Wattson said, seeming to have become much more focused. Art rolled to the side just as the bubbles were about to hit. It then gave a very piercing screech, sending a sonic wave at Turk, severely lowering his defenses.

    "Turk, get in close and use Vicegrip!" Brendan called. Turk started to sprint at Art, his left claw extended forward for the attack. Wattson, however, didn't give any command to dodge. That was when Brendan realized that he'd taken the bait.

    "Use Spark!" Wattson called. The Voltorb began to emit electricity rapidly, sending it through Turk's body.

    "Damn, Turk, throw Art into the air and use Bubblebeam!" Brendan said. Turk didn't need to be told twice. He lobbed Art into the air and fired a stream of bubbles with his right claw simultaneously. The sentient Pokéball was hit perfectly with the attack. Brendan stole a quick glance at the screen and watched as Art's health dropped faster than it should have from that attack. In fact, it did enough damage to drop its health to zero.

    "Ah, I hate critical hits!" Wattson said as he recalled Art. "But you dealt with that bad situation well, even if you did take my bait. Now, how will you deal with Jackson?" He threw out his next Pokéball. It released a green and yellow dog-like Pokémon.

    "Huh, that's a new one for me," Brendan said.

    "Oh, right, a Johto native has never seen an Electrike," Wattson said. "Well, this is an even greater test of your skill. Now you must adapt to an unfamiliar opponent."

    "I guess you're right," Brendan said. "Well, there's no use standing here, Turk, use Bubblebeam!" Turk fired off a stream of bubbles at the Electrike.

    "Don't try to be sly, Jackson, dodge that!" Wattson said. The electric dog moved blindingly fast, too fast for Brendan to follow it. "Now, Thunder Fang!" Jackson's teeth began to spark with electricity as he ran at Turk, biting the crawfish with all his strength. That was enough to drop Turk's health bar to zero, as he collapsed to the ground. Jackson simply let go and slid back to where he began.

    "Turk, thank you for battling so hard. Now, return and rest up!" Brendan said as he recalled the Pokémon. "Now, let's step things up, go Clint!" He threw his next Pokéball, letting out the wood gecko.

    "Alright then. Jackson, use Howl!" Wattson called out. The little Pokémon gave a loud howl, as a red aura surrounded him, showing that his attacking strength had risen.

    "Clint, use Agility, then Mega Drain!" Brendan called. Clint began to sprint around the battlefield, his speed gradually increasing. Then three tendrils of green energy extended from Clint, latching on to Jackson. Once they had attached, they began to sap him of his energy.

    "Jackson, use Thundershock, send it through those tendrils!" Wattson called.

    "Let go and then use Fury Cutter!" Brendan called. Clint reacted just in time as the electricity had just begun to hit him, dropping his health bar slightly. That was when Clint began to show his true speed, sprinting across the floor, his arm leaves glowing with a yellow-green energy. He closed the gap between himself and Jackson as he began to rapidly and relentlessly slash the Pokémon. Brendan glanced up at the screen, only to see that Jackson's health bar was getting low, but Clint's bar was now outlined yellow. Just as the fifth attack was about to hit, Clint froze and a lot of electricity could be seen coursing through his body.

    "Damn, that thing must have the Static ability," Brendan muttered to himself. "Alright, I can still win with this hand." He took a calming breath. He needed only one more solid hit, but with Clint paralyzed, that would be difficult. There was only one option open to get a quick hit in. "Clint, use Quick Attack!"

    Clint gave Brendan a confident smirk as he leapt back from Jackson to gain distance. He then began to sprint across the battlefield, a streak of white light extending from his back. Jackson didn't have any time to react, even though Clint was paralyzed. The impact sent Jackson flying across the battlefield, but Clint was forced to stop as electricity once again coursed through his body. The screen gave a buzz, indicating a knock out. Wattson recalled Jackson and simply sent out his next Pokémon.

    "Go, Tesla!" he called. The Pokémon was another Magneton, but just by looking at it, Brendan could tell that it wasn't quite as strong as the one Wally had just faced.

    "Clint, use Mega Drain, get some health back!" Brendan said. Grovyle complied, sending more tendrils that latched onto Tesla's body, glowing brightly momentarily. This just made Brendan uneasy. Wattson hadn't even bothered to call for a dodge. That meant he was planning something.

    "Tesla, use Hidden Power!" Wattson said. A ring of little icy blue balls of energy formed around the Magneton, circling quickly before coalescing into a single sphere. That sphere then flew at Clint with almost pinpoint accuracy.

    "Clint, dodge that!" Brendan called. That was when the paralysis picked the worst time to act up. Clint stopped moving as more electricity ran through his body, making him take the full force of the hidden power attack. Brendan looked up at the screen and watched as Clint's health bar dropped to zero within a few seconds. "What?!"

    "You're confused, right?" Wattson said. "Well, I taught this particular Magneton Hidden Power to counter ground types. It just so happens that his hidden power is ice-type, so it works pretty well on grass types too."

    Brendan recalled Clint, and took another steadying breath. Hey, you can still do this. You still have Nikki and me.

    Brendan smiled at Gwen. "Yeah, you're right, there's no reason to be worried," he said as he pulled Nikki's Pokéball off his belt. "Let's go Nikki!" The Vigoroth came out of her Pokéball, raring for a fight.

    "Good, I should've expected a normal type from the son of Norman," Wattson said.

    "Well, let me show you something you won't be expecting," Brendan said. "Nikki, start with Bulk Up, then use Rock Tomb!" Brendan said. Nikki took a deep breath, getting stronger offensively and defensively. She then stomped on the ground, causing four rocks to erupt from the ground around Tesla. Tesla's health bar dropped significantly, but it wasn't nearly what Brendan expected.

    "Tesla, break out of there with Thunderbolt, then aim it at Nikki!" Wattson said. That was when lightning began to arc through the battlefield, centering on the rocks around the steel type.

    "Nikki, it's time for that strategy we've been practicing, use Endure!" Brendan said. Nikki crossed her arms in front of her body as Tesla's attack began to form a single stream of electricity. The Thunderbolt hit her arms as she braced herself against the attack. Brendan watched as Nikki's health bar dropped until it remained at one point. "Great, now use Reversal!" Nikki leapt at Tesla with her claws raised high. She grabbed hold of the Pokémon, did a sideways barrel roll, and threw it into the ground hard. There came a buzzing from the screen, indicating another knock out, and Magneton was clearly out of the fight.

    "Return Tesla," Wattson said as he recalled his Pokémon. "Well Brendan, you certainly have a very strategic mind. There is, however, one flaw with the strategy you just employed. You used it when there was another Pokémon coming out. And since you weren't familiar with Jackson, I am certain you don't know this Pokémon either. Go, Voltaire!" The Pokémon that came out of the Pokéball looked similar to the Electrike from earlier, but it was taller, with blue and tan fur.

    "Damn, he's right," Brendan muttered. "I have never seen that one before, but I'm guessing it evolved from an Electrike."

    Yeah, that's a Manectric, they're blindingly fast and they have strong electric attacks, Gwen said.

    "Well, this should be an interesting match in that case," Brendan said, a bead of sweat forming on the side of his head. He then spoke up, ready to continue the match. "Nikki, use Reversal again!" Nikki ran at Voltaire, ready to give her the same treatment she had given Tesla.

    "Thunder Wave," Wattson said calmly. Voltaire formed a ball of purple lighting in front of her before firing it directly into Nikki's chest. The attack caused Nikki to stop in her tracks, electricity coursing through her like it had done to Clint. "Now, Ice Fang!" Voltaire's teeth began to glow lightly as her breath came out in a cold, frosty cloud of steam. She lunged forward, closing the small gap between herself and Nikki in a second, biting the sloth on the shoulder, causing ice to form on Nikki's fur. The screen buzzed once more, indicating that Nikki had been knocked out. And Brendan couldn't agree more. Nikki was in no condition to continue.

    "Nikki, that was a great battle, now rest up. I promise we will win this battle," Brendan said. He then looked to Gwen. "Ready?"

    Of course, Gwen said.

    "Good, because it's your turn," Brendan said. Gwen shot a quick glare into the stands, directly at Sam, so Brendan assumed that he had just given Gwen some slightly sarcastic encouragement like she had done to him. She quickly refocused as she leapt to the center of the battlefield.

    Alright, time to earn badge number three, Gwen said.

    "No hesitation, Gwen, start with multiple Double Teams!" Brendan said.

    Kage bushin no jutsu! Gwen shouted as she made multiple illusory copies of herself.

    Brendan just shook his head at the bad joke. This is what I get for letting her watch that show a few nights ago, he thought. "Now use Calm Mind!" A green aura surrounded all of Gwen's clones as she powered up her special skills.

    "Voltaire, use Odor Sleuth, then use Thunder Wave," Wattson called. Voltaire closed her eyes and seemed to be focusing on a scent in the air. That tipped Brendan off.

    "Gwen, use Psychic, now!" Brendan said. Gwen's eyes lit up with psychic aura as she gripped her opponent, lifting her into the air. "Now drop her!" At the same moment Gwen began to send Voltaire plummeting, the electric wolf fired another ball of electricity, and Gwen could tell it was heading straight for her. "Dodge it with another Double Team!" This time, Gwen acted without making a joke. More copies of her filled the battle field, but that didn't change anything. Odor Sleuth ensured that the next attack would hit. Gwen couldn't do anything about it. She took the hit and could feel her body go almost numb from the electricity.

    "Now, use Shock Wave!" Wattson called. Voltaire fired off a single ring of electricity, it passed through all the clones before it struck the real Gwen hard.

    Damn, that hurt! Gwen said. Brendan took a look at the screen. Both Gwen and Voltaire were just below half of their health.

    "Gwen, you can do this. I think one or two more attacks should do it. So, use Disarming Voice!" Brendan commanded. Gwen gave a piercing cry, sending a sound wave at Voltaire. The attack landed, dropping the Manectric's health to the one quarter mark.

    "Voltaire, Thunderbolt!" Wattson called.

    "Gwen, Psychic!" Brendan called simultaneously. Voltaire, however, was faster, firing off her electric attack just before Gwen grabbed and threw her across the battlefield. Voltaire hit the ground hard, just as the Thunderbolt hit Gwen.

    Brendan watched as both health bars ran down rapidly, only for Gwen's to stop at the one-point mark. No, I will not lose. I can't let Brendan down! Gwen said for all to hear. Wattson raised his eyebrows in surprise at Gwen's determination and strength of will. That was when the buzzer sounded. Voltaire, and thus Wattson, had lost the battle. Wattson sighed.

    "Well, I guess your power is beyond the norm an' I should've seen that coming," Wattson said, earning a groan from Brendan at the bad pun. "Sorry, well, you've earned the Dynamo Badge and TM34." As he said that, the same stand from before to rise from the ground, a new badge and TM ready for him. Gwen slowly started to make her way over to Brendan, who ran up and grabbed her before she could go any further.

    "You were great today Gwen, but just relax and rest now," Brendan said as he carried her almost bridal style.

    Thanks Goldenrod, I could use some time off my feet, Gwen said. Just as Gwen said that, May, Wally, and Sam came up behind Brendan; Wally patted him on the back.

    "Man that was an amazing battle. I've never seen a Pokémon without Sturdy, a held item, or a defensive move manage to hold on like that," Wally said.

    It was nothing, I just couldn't bear the thought of losing the battle, Gwen said.

    "Well, I'm tired from watching those battles," May said. "I can only imagine how you two feel. Why don't we go relax at the Pokémon Center and call it a day?"

    I'm game! Gwen said, exhaustedly, earning a chuckle from Brendan, who was already leading the way out of the Gym.

    Wattson just stood in his gym, shaking his head. "Even at such an early stage in his journey, and that boy has a bond with his Pokémon strong enough that she stayed conscious just for him," he muttered to himself. "I guess I've seen it all now, haven't I?"
  4. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    Racing to New Heights

    The next morning, May was on the phone with Lisia, and they were talking about her next strategy for the contest's appeals round. "You know, I'm actually impressed by your strategic mind for contests," Lisia said. "You're even better than I was when I first started."

    "Thanks, I just hope that I can win the Verdanturf Contest," May said.

    "Oh, didn't you hear, the Verdanturf Contest and the Fallarbor Contest were switched on the schedule. The Fallarbor Contest is in half a week, so that should give you enough time to get there," Lisia said.

    "Oh, when and why did that happen?" May asked, surprised at the shift of schedule.

    "Well, apparently the Verdanturf contest hall is being renovated, but they were set back due to some mistakes made by the construction crew," Lisia said. "Why they decided to make renovations, I'll never know."

    May laughed a little. "Thanks for the heads up Lisia; I guess Brendan and I will be heading to Fallarbor. See you there!"

    "Ciao!" Lisia said as she hung up. May put away her phone and went to join Brendan, Gwen, and all the other Pokémon for breakfast. Wally had decided to go home and show his aunt and uncle his badge, hopefully convincing them that he was able to be a good trainer.

    "So, what did Lisia have to say?" Brendan asked as he finished a bite of his zesty breakfast burrito.

    "Well, turns out the Fallarbor Contest has been switched with the Verdanturf Contest due to renovations in Verdanturf's contest hall. So, it seems we're on our way to Fallarbor Town now," May said.

    That shouldn't be a problem. Besides, we were going to go through Verdanturf after we beat the Lavaridge Gym so we could get to Petalburg, right Brendan? Gwen said.

    "Actually, yes, that was pretty much the plan, but taking a break in Verdanturf for a contest sounds great to me," Brendan said with a grin.

    May smiled. "Thanks for being okay with this," she said.

    "Why wouldn't we be?" Brendan said, taking a sip of coffee. "Besides, that just means that we get to explore more of Hoenn sooner." May hugged Brendan, almost making him spill. "Ok, you're welcome, but be careful, I don't want hot coffee on my crotch!" May laughed as she let go and sat next to Brendan. She had finished her breakfast before talking to Lisia, but she wasn't above stealing a bite of Brendan's burrito. Brendan just laughed slightly. "You just love to push my buttons, don't you?"

    "If I didn't do that, you'd think something was wrong," May said after she cleared out her mouth. Brendan just kissed her on the top of her head.

    "I guess I can't stay mad at you," Brendan said as he hugged her closer. He finished his breakfast burrito and coffee, making sure the Pokémon had all finished their food before getting up. "Well, we'd better get going!" He recalled his Pokémon while May did the same with hers.

    "Alright, let's head north," May said. Brendan followed her out of the Pokémon Center, Gwen right behind them.

    "By the way, how are you feeling after yesterday, Gwen?" Brendan asked.

    I'm great, just a little sore, she said rubbing the back of her neck.

    "Well, that'll fade with light training and a nice rest from intense battles," Brendan said.

    Let's just hope that's the case, Gwen said. With that, they the Pokémon Center, and were about to make their way to the route 111 gate when May stopped.

    "Damn, we almost forgot to get bikes!" May said.

    "Wow, good job remembering that, let's go get bikes," Brendan said. He glanced at a nearby map and saw that the bike shop was only a five minute walk away from where they were. They walked to the east, and soon saw the sign for the shop. It was really hard to miss due to it being a gigantic bicycle with the word "Rydel" on both sides.

    They entered only to see a man in a business suit by a bike display rack. "Well hello there," he said. I am Rydel, the owner of this bike shop. How can I be of service to you?"

    "We'd like to buy a couple bikes," Brendan said.

    Rydel scanned over them with a look briefly. "I see, well, there's one issue with your request. That is your use of the word buy."

    "What do you mean?" May asked.

    "Well, you see, I've been hurting for business recently because nearly everybody in Mauville has one of my bikes already. However, I think we can get a mutually beneficial arrangement here. I will give you one of my bikes and then you ride it around, and advertise for me," Rydel said.

    Brendan looked at May, and shrugged. "Well, so long as there's no catch, I can't see any problem with that," Brendan said.

    "Well, I'm not sure you can really call this a catch, but I have two different types of bikes available. You just need to pick your preference," Rydel said. "The first bike is the Mach Bike, it's made for speed and racing. The other is the Acro Bike, which is more of a trick bike."

    "I'll take the Acro Bike," Brendan said.

    "And I will take the Mach Bike," May said.

    "Alright," Rydel said. He walked over to a screen, pushed a few buttons, and two square remotes with a single button on them. "These are the bikes, they're collapsible, just hit the button and it expand into a bike. It won't open indoors, however.

    "Alright, then let's go outside and check them out!" May said. Brendan followed her out the door, Gwen deciding to sit on Brendan's shoulders.

    "Alright, I'll open mine first," Brendan said as he put the bike on the ground and hit the button. In an instant the bike had unfolded transformers style and was standing beautifully. It was orange with short handlebars. "Looks really nice, but is there anything with a seat for Gwen here?" he said.

    "Actually, I do have a small Pokémon seat here," Rydel said. "But are you sure you want that, because once she evolves she'll be tall enough to ride a bike of her own."

    Actually, Brendan, I think I can just stay on your shoulders. I can hold on pretty well, Gwen said.

    "Okay, good point, both of you," Brendan said. "But Gwen, if you start to fall off, I will have to put you in your Pokéball."

    Gwen gasped and covered her mouth. You wouldn't, she said in mock fear.

    "Anyway, my turn!" May said as she put her bike on the ground and hit the button. It opened up just like Brendan's did, only her bike was blue with lower, racing handlebars. "Wow that looks awesome. And the frame is so light."

    "Well, it has to be to go faster," Rydel said. May got on her bike, while Brendan got on his, Gwen sitting on his shoulders. "By the way, if either of you two want to switch bikes, just stop by and I'll make the switch in no time at all."

    "Thanks Rydel," Brendan said before turning to May. "I'll race you to Route 112!"

    "Oh you're on!" May said, a competitive gleam in her eye. Brendan began to pedal hard, making some distance between himself and May. That was until May started pedaling. Her Mach Bike shot forward much faster than Brendan's Acro Bike could've. She caught up with no trouble at all, and was soon passing Brendan.

    "Wow, I should've picked the Mach Bike!" Brendan said.

    Too late for that now, just catch up to her! Gwen said.

    "Alright, hold on tight," Brendan said as he watched May pass through the gate to Route 111. He started to pedal harder, shifting to a lower gear as he did. He quickly caught up to May, but she simply shot him a taunting glance as she shifted into a higher gear, and while she temporarily slowed down, she quickly increased her speed.

    "You've gotta do better than that!" May called back.

    Brendan smiled as he followed her example, switching to a higher gear. He pushed harder and soon caught up, sticking close behind May. Brendan glanced over his girlfriend, realizing just how much fun he was having with her. He felt like he wanted to do things like this with her for a long time to come. "Man, I am so glad I moved to Hoenn!" he shouted. Both trainers could now see the sign for Route 112, and they knew that the race was almost done. Brendan got a confident look on his face as he began to pedal even harder than before.

    Damn it, Brendan, I'm sitting in your backpack next time you choose to ride a bike! Gwen shouted. Brendan just laughed, but soon realized that May was right next to him. She wasn't about to let him win.

    Brendan smiled. A little more speed was okay with him. The sign was within a few feet, all they had to do was cross the "finish line." Just when Brendan thought the victory was his, May shot forward, winning by mere feet.

    "WOOOOOHOOOO!" May said. "How'd my dust taste?"

    "Yeah, you won. Nice race. I guess I should've picked the Mach Bike," Brendan said with a slight chuckle.

    "EXCUSE ME!" said a vaguely familiar voice. Brendan just couldn't remember where he knew the voice from. He turned around and saw a woman in a fashionable blue sleeveless shirt and a microphone in her hand. She was followed closely by a man in jeans, a plain white t-shirt, and a red hat. The man also carried a news camera.

    "Oh, hello," May said. "Aren't you Gabby from PokeVision News?"

    "I am, my cameraman, Ty, and I couldn't help but notice you two racing earlier, but I have to wonder if you two are as good with Pokémon training as you are with cycling," Gabby said.

    "And I'm just doing what the lady tells me," Ty said.

    "So, what do you say to a quick double battle?" Gabby said. "If it's intense, then we might air it on PokeVision's new series In Search of Trainers."

    "Wow, so if we battle you, then we could get on PokeVision?" Brendan asked. "Man, first free bikes to help advertise, now a chance to gain some fame. Today just keeps getting better, doesn't it?"

    "Well, I'm okay with it if you are!" May said.

    "Alright, let's put our best feet forward," Brendan said as he dismounted his bike, pushing a button to make it fold up again. May did the same, and they both pocketed their bikes once that was done.

    "So Miranda and Gwen?" May asked.

    "You know it," Brendan said as Gwen leapt off his shoulders. May took out Miranda's Pokéball. Brendan then turned to address Gabby and Ty. "We're ready whenever you are!"

    "Ty, are we rolling?" Gabby asked as she pulled out her Pokéball.

    Ty did the same. "Yep, the camera is rolling. Let's get started," he said.

    "Perfect, let's begin. Let's go Phoebe!" Gabby said as she threw out her Pokéball, which released a purple Pokémon with yellow ears, small eyes and it looked a little timid.

    "A Whismur, huh?" May said quietly. "This should be interesting."

    Ty threw his Pokéball. "Let's go Vinny!" he called, his Pokéball unleashing a Magnemite.

    Brendan just shook his head. "This will be easier than I expected," he said. "Now, let's show them what we're made of. Gwen, you're up!" Gwen skipped onto the battlefield, ready to battle.

    "Miranda, you're up!" May said, just opening her Pokéball, not bothering to throw it. The Combusken came out of her Pokéball, ready to go.

    "Alright, I'll start us off," Gabby said. "Phoebe, use Uproar!"

    "And Vinny, use Metal Sound!" Ty called out. Phoebe took a breath before shouting extremely loudly, and Vinny began to produce what sounded like metal nails on a chalkboard.

    "Alright, Gwen, use Psychic on Phoebe!" Brendan said while covering his ears slightly. Gwen's eyes glowed briefly as she grabbed and threw Phoebe back, into a nearby tree.

    "Miranda, use Double Kick on Vinny!" May said, her ears starting to hurt too. Miranda leapt at the Magnemite. As she got in close, she lashed out with a vicious roundhouse kick, doing serious damage before she fired an axe kick, sending Vinny crashing into the ground. Both Phoebe and Magnemite were out of the fight now.

    "…W-was that all?" Brendan said, not trying to be rude. "That seemed way too easy."

    Gabby just sighed. "We usually hold our own for a few minutes. You two are the first to beat us with just one hit to each Pokémon. That's really extraordinary strength. If you two don't mind, could we get an interview?"

    May and Brendan exchanged looks, Gwen leaping back onto Brendan's shoulder. "Sure, I'm okay with it," Brendan said. "What about you May?"

    "Definitely," May said.

    "Alright, so first question for both of you is you name and where you're from," Gabby said.

    "I'm May Birch, from Littleroot Town," she said.

    "And I'm Brendan Maple. I'm originally from Goldenrod City, but I just moved to Littleroot Town about a month ago," he said.

    And I'm Gwen! I'm from a hidden village on Route 102! Gwen said enthusiastically, earning a look of surprise from both Gabby and Ty.

    "Yes, she can speak telepathically, we get that response a lot," Brendan said.

    "I see," Gabby said with a slight laugh. "Well, tell us, where did you learn to battle so well?"

    May started. "Actually, I'm a coordinator. Most people who follow the contest tour may know me. Anyway, my father is Professor Birch, and he made sure I stayed in school and learned as much as I could from books and classes about Pokémon," she said.

    "Wow, so you've been around Pokémon your whole life," Gabby said. "And what about you, Brendan?"

    "Well, I'm a trainer aiming to win the Hoenn League title, and eventually become the Champion," Brendan said. "I was also in school for a while because my dad wanted the same thing that May's dad wanted for her."

    "And you said your last name is Maple, is that right? Why does that sound so familiar to me?" Gabby said.

    "That's because my dad is the new gym leader in Petalburg," Brendan said.

    "Oh, of course, I should've remembered that!" Gabby said, slightly disappointed with herself. "I mean I interviewed him only shortly after he arrived. I should've remembered that."

    "It's okay. My family is still pretty new to the region," Brendan said.

    "Well, where are you two planning to go from here?" Gabby asked.

    "We're on our way to Fallarbor Town for the contest there," May said.

    "Well, since we will be there to cover that contest, I guess we'll see you then," Gabby said with a slight smile. "Thank you so much for your time. I'm sure this will make it onto PokeVision."

    "You're welcome, hope to see you there!" May said. The news crew duo left, heading for Mauville City. May then turned back to Brendan. "So, do you want to walk or ride from here?"

    "Well, we will be going through a mountain, so I think going on foot would be better," Brendan said.

    "Yeah, good point. Besides, we can't go through the desert since there's a massive sandstorm there almost constantly," May said.

    "Oh, really? That sounds like a place where I can find some really strong Pokémon," Brendan thought out loud.

    "You need some special goggles to even go on that part of route 111," May said.

    "I see, well, as much sense as that doesn't make, I won't question it," Brendan said as they went toward what the PokeNav map marked as Mt. Chimney. Up the stairs was the mouth of a cave, and a building that housed a cable car to get up the mountain. Gwen, however, was the first to point out an oddity.

    Hey, why are there two men standing in front of the cable car entrance? She said.

    Brendan looked over where Gwen was indicating and saw two men wearing strange, identical outfits. They were red with black "M"s on the front that were in the shape of a mountain, and they wore red hoods.

    "Oh no, please tell me that's not the Team Magma that Team Aqua has been going on about," Brendan said.

    "Let's steer clear of them for now. Something tells me that we don't want to even bother with them right now," May said as she led the way to the mouth of the cave. "Anyway, this is Fiery Path, it should lead us to the other side of the route so we can get to Fallarbor Town," May said.

    "Perfect, let's get through here, because those Magma guys are giving me evil eyes," Brendan said. May laughed slightly as she followed Brendan into the cave.

    It was three hours later when the two trainers finally got out of the cave, and both were sweating like crazy, and Gwen was dragging her feet.

    "Oh Arceus, that was one hot tunnel!" May said.

    "Uh-huh," Brendan said, not even trying to form a coherent sentence.

    Well, it was either that, or get pelted with sand the entire time, Gwen said.

    "Yeah, I guess you're right about that," Brendan said. "Still, there were so many Slugma and Koffing. It was good battle experience for Turk and the others, but still, I could barely breath in there after the second hour. "Let me know when you guys are ready to get moving again," Brendan said.

    May sat up and looked at Brendan. "Well, if nothing else, we now know to avoid Fiery Path at all costs, since it is literally under an active volcano," she said.

    "Duly noted," Brendan said.

    Gwen just sat for a moment before levitating herself to her feet. I think we need to get moving soon, she said. Something just tells me that we want to get moving as soon as possible.

    "A-alright," May said as she and Brendan stood up. "Let's get going!"

    They quickly left the exit of the cave and made their way to the northern part of Route 111. There they saw a line of trees that slightly obscured a house in the distance. Closer to them was a man wearing an outfit that was a mixture between a hipster and a cowboy. He was simply staring the tree in front of him, like he was pondering something.

    "Excuse me, sir, what are you doing?" Brendan asked. The man jumped slightly and turned around.

    "Oh, geez, this must look weird to see somebody staring intently at a tree. Well, I'm actually considering making a secret base here. See, there are some low hanging vines, so with the use of the move Secret Power, you can make a living space in trees like this one," he said.

    "Wow, so it's like a secret tree house?" May asked.

    "Yes, but you can also use a cave, or even a large pile of grass," he said as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a TM disc. "Here, take this. It's TM43, it teaches Secret Power. Use this to make your own secret base." With that, he departed.

    "Wait, didn't you say you were going to make a Secret Base here?" May called.

    "Wouldn't be much of a secret if I made it now that you know about the location, now would it?" the guy called back. "See you both later!"

    "Well, that was awfully nice of him," May said as she put the disc into her bag. "But I don't think I want a secret base in a tree. Maybe we should make ours somewhere else."

    Wow, making a Secret Base together, almost like buying a house, Gwen said in a teasing tone.

    "Oh, you can just shut up!" May said in a teasing tone as well.

    Brendan laughed a little as they began to move north again. "This must be how May sees my interactions with Gwen," he muttered to himself. Gwen then teleported onto Brendan's shoulders, ready to relax for a while.

    They all walked for almost an hour before they got to Route 113. This route, however, was really odd in Brendan's opinion. "Is it snowing on this route?" he asked, a bit bewildered.

    "No, not at all," May said, giving him a weird look. "Hoenn is in the tropics, and the only mountain is a volcano. Why would there be snow?"

    "I don't know, I was just wondering since it looks like there is snow falling on that route," Brendan said.

    Actually that's volcanic ash, Gwen said. It's coming from Mt. Chimney, but it only falls lightly so people aren't in any danger when they're on that route.

    "O-okay, but it is getting late, we may have to rest in the middle of the route," Brendan said.

    "Well we did just get the TM that pretty much gives us automatic shelter, so that shouldn't be a problem at all," May said.

    "Yeah, I guess you're right," Brendan said. "Well then, let's go, with any luck we will get to Fallarbor before night falls, so we can sleep in a Pokémon Center." The two trainers then continued on toward Fallarbor.
    Not far away from Brendan and May, in the depths of Mt. Chimney's Jagged Pass, was a tall man with copper-colored hair, a red lab coat and glasses with a multicolored stone on one side of the frames. He was sitting at a desk, writing and signing off on orders. There came a knock at his door.

    "Enter!" the man said. The door opened to reveal a woman with darker strawberry blonde hair, almost looking pink, in high heeled boots, and an outfit similar to the grunts, except it was more elegant, and it had yellow horns on the hood. "What is it Courtney?"

    "Commander Maxie, you asked to be informed about that boy that Team Aqua has had trouble with recently, correct?" Courtney said.

    Maxie looked up, putting his pen down. "Proceed."

    Courtney pulled an SD card from her pocket, and handed it to Maxie. "This video just aired on PokeVision's new show, In Search of Trainers. There are two trainers in this film, and they both fit the descriptions that Archie has been telling his underlings."

    Maxie inserted the SD card into his computer, quickly opening the video and watching it closely. "I see. And the boy does indeed have a Kirlia that prefers to stay outside her Pokéball, and can project her thoughts with telepathy. If we were Team Rocket we'd definitely be after that Pokémon," Maxie mused.

    "Sir, what do you want to do about this kid?" Courtney asked.

    "While they haven't interfered with our plans, and they obviously don't support Team Aqua, I doubt they'll be joining our cause. Just by their short battle, I can tell that's not their personality," Maxie said before pausing to think. "We have a team that's heading to Fallarbor to convince that Dr. Cozmo to get us a meteorite, correct?"

    "Yes sir, we do," Courtney said.

    "Good; send them these pictures of both Brendan and May, along with the following orders: they are only to observe those two unless they interfere with any of our plans. If these children get in our way, bring me one of them so I can give the other a message."

    "Yes sir," Courtney said.

    "And Courtney," Maxie said, earning his lieutenant's attention. "Very good work finding this video." Courtney smiled at the praise once she had turned to leave the room. When she did Maxie spoke to himself. "Brendan Maple, you'd better play your cards right, or you will feel the wrath of Team Magma in full force."
  5. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Date With Disaster

    "Oh wow, Fallarbor Town is so pretty!" May said as she crested the hill leading to the town. Brendan, on the other hand, was not too thrilled, as he was once again shaking off the volcanic ash which had, almost miraculously, not even touched May. Brendan had a sneaking suspicion that he knew who was behind it, but he wasn't about to start anything. Besides, the night spent inside May's Secret Base was really comfortable to say the least. They had played Monopoly, although Brendan had no idea how May got the game into her bag, and Gwen completely dominated the board, getting hotels on all of her property and owning most of the higher-end locations, including Boardwalk and Park Place.

    "Well, it is kind of a quiet town, but the stadium for the contest is pretty big," Brendan said. "It should be interesting to see how this one goes." He then led the way to the Pokémon Center which was very clearly visible with its red roof.

    So, how long is it until the contest? Gwen asked.

    May pulled out her schedule, and glanced over it. "It's actually tomorrow, so we have some time to relax, practice, and enjoy ourselves," she said with a grin.

    Well, I can't wait to see your finished product in the contest! Gwen said as they arrived at the Pokémon Center. They entered and got a room in no time at all. They had only had short battles with random trainers on route 113, and they hadn't taken much damage, if any. So, the two trainers simply went back outside to the training fields, only to see a very familiar group.

    "Well, you made it in time after all," Grace said to May.

    "Great to see you too Grace," May said with a smile. "And Lisia, thanks for letting me know that the contest was moved."

    Lisia, who was standing behind Grace, nodded. "Of course, I couldn't let my little protégé miss an important contest," she said.

    "OH REALLY!?" came a new voice. Lisia just rolled her eyes before turning to face the speaker.

    "What do you want Chaz?" she said, almost angrily to the young man with blonde hair, accompanied by a Machoke.

    "I want you to stop leading this girl on. It's almost like you actually think she's got promise," the guy said, catching Brendan's attention in a very bad way. "You should stop wasting your time with her, and start working with me and Macherie. You know that we're better than her."

    "Well, Chaz, I don't know about that," Lisia said. "After all, she's won the only two contests she's been in, and she only started training Pokémon about two months ago. You, on the other hand, have been training for a few years now, and you have yet to compete in a single grand festival."

    Chaz went a bit red. "Yeah, well, Macherie and I are still the best out here. This bitch can't even compare," he said.

    "Hey, troll doll!" Brendan said. "Will you stop bad mouthing my girlfriend? You literally haven't even spoken to her and you're already being a dick!"

    Chaz went even more red than usual. "F-fine, I'll leave, but don't think you'll be winning this contest little girl," he said.

    "Chaz, you're fifteen. She's eighteen," Lisia said, pinching the bridge of her nose. Chaz just scoffed and then ran away. Lisia turned to the Machoke, who was still standing there. "Macherie, I am so sorry you were captured by that jerk." Macherie just waved it off before following her trainer.

    "Okay…what the hell was that just now?" May asked.

    "That was Chaz, the obligatory douchebag on the contest circuit," Lisia said. "He's really not that good, but he thinks he's a genius. He's been annoying me about being my student for a while, but he's always been so rude. And I'm pretty sure he's a perv."

    "Wow, he's gone the whole nine-yards in terms of being an asshole," Brendan said.

    "You said it," Lisia said with a short laugh. "Anyway, let's get off that topic and keep practicing."

    Grace nodded. "Delilah!" she called, and the Pokémon that responded was certainly unexpected for the Hoenn region.

    "Woah, Grace, you have a Persian?" Brendan said in genuine shock.

    Grace smiled. "Yep, I caught her while I was in Goldenrod City, of all places, during a contest there ten years ago. She was just a Meowth back then, but we won the contest together."

    Brendan's eyes widened. "Wait, I went to that contest with my mother! I remember seeing a coordinator with a Meowth win it!" he said.

    "You were there?" Grace said. "Wow, small world."

    "Well, anyway, I'm going to start practicing with Graham," May said. Brendan nodded.

    "Hey, Gwen, I've got something I need to do before tomorrow, but I need you to stay here since you've got a good eye for contests," he said.

    Gwen just read his mind briefly, seeing what he was up to. Okay, I'll stay and help May. Good luck with whatever it is you're doing. Brendan smiled as he left.

    "Well, that was…odd," Lisia said. "Does Brendan usually go off on his own like that?"

    "No," May said. "This is the first time he's ever gone anywhere without me or Gwen since I've met him." Lisia and Grace gave each other knowing looks, having already figured out what Brendan was up to.

    "Well, I guess it doesn't matter, does it?" Lisia said. "We will figure it out soon enough."

    Once Brendan was out of sight of the girls, he pulled out his PokeNav and opened the map of Fallarbor Town. He had heard about a really nice jewelry store in town while traversing Route 113, so he had decided to pre-emptively get May a gift for the contest. He even had a date night planned tomorrow to Meteor Falls.

    He wasn't searching long before he found the shop. The jeweler looked up and smiled. "Hello young man, how may I be of service today?"

    "Hi, I'm looking for something I can give to my girlfriend as a gift, but I've got very limited knowledge with jewelry," Brendan said.

    "Not a problem. I've had a lot of customers like that. Anyway, I am Jared, before we go any further," he said extending his hand.

    "Nice to meet you Jared, I'm Brendan," he said.

    Jared put a hand on his chin as he seemed to examine Brendan before he got a look of surprise. "You were just on In Search of Trainers!" he said enthusiastically.

    "Yeah, that was my girlfriend and me," Brendan said as he rubbed the back of his neck.

    "Well, where is Gwen?" Jared said.

    "She's helping May practice for the Pokémon contest tomorrow," Brendan said.

    "I see, well, onto business," Jared said. "What would you say May would like for her jewelry?"

    "Like I said, I'm not sure. But if I had to guess, I'd say she prefers simple styles," Brendan said.

    Jared nodded. "I agree, I hate flashy types of jewelry. Jewelry is an accentuation of the natural beauty already there, and it should draw the attention to the wearer, not to the jewelry itself," he said. "Now, you're a bit young to be getting rings, so I think I know what items would best suit May. How does a necklace or earrings sound?"

    "That sounds good, let's see what you've got," Brendan said. Jared then went to the display case with the necklaces, and pulled out the entire selection. Brendan immediately saw one that caught his eye. "What about that one?" he said, pointing to a gold chain with a sparkling polished stone charm on the end of it.

    "Ah, this one is a bit expensive. The stone at the center is actually a meteorite," he said.

    "How expensive are we talking?" Brendan said.

    "It's about one hundred thousand PokeDollars," Jared said. Brendan cringed a little bit.

    "I think I've made about fifty thousand, but I'm nowhere near able to afford that," he said.

    Jared nodded. "I figured that would be the case," he said.

    "Are there any other pieces like that in this shop that I could afford?" Brendan asked.

    "Honestly, no," Jared said with a bit of regret in his voice. "But I think I can give you a 50% discount on one condition."

    "What's that?" Brendan said.

    "I want you to come to me for when you're getting the most important piece of jewelry you'll ever get," he said. Brendan thought for a second before realizing what Jared meant.

    "You want me to come to you for an engagement ring when the time comes, right?"

    "Exactly," Jared said. "I don't know when that will be, but I want to be the one to hand-craft your ring for you."

    "Wow, okay, I can do that," Brendan said. He pulled out his trainer card and walked over to the register. "I can't believe that I'm about to spend fifty grand on a necklace."

    "You may want to get used to it man, you're getting to that point in your life," Jared said with a slight laugh as he rang up the sale.

    "Yeah, I know," Brendan said with a begrudging tone as he swiped his card through the scanner. Jared smiled and put the necklace in a gift box.

    "Here you go, Brendan. Be sure you give her that at the right time," Jared said with a smile.

    "I already have a plan, don't worry," Brendan said.

    Jared nodded. "That's good to hear. Now good luck," he said.

    "Thanks," Brendan said as he left, pocketing the necklace box.

    "Welcome everybody to the Fallarbor Pokémon Contest. I'm your host, Vivian Meridian!" Vivian said with confidence. Brendan was sitting in the front row with Gwen on his lap. Vivian went on to introduce the three usual judges, so Brendan mostly tuned her out.

    So, Goldenrod, when are you going to give May that gift? Gwen said almost nonchalantly.

    "Wait, how do you know about," Brendan started. "You were reading my thoughts, weren't you?"

    Yes, I was. But I should tell you, this connection I have with you is getting a lot stronger. It's like I can almost hear what you're thinking even when I'm not trying to listen, she said as she thought on it deeply.

    "Don't worry about it too much," Brendan said. "For now, let's just enjoy the contest."

    Lisia, who was sitting in the crowd with Brendan and Gwen once again was listening to the two talking, and was already intrigued when she heard the word "gift."

    "So, Brendan, what is this gift you got for May?" Lisia asked.

    Brendan sighed. "Do you promise not to tell May about this?"

    "Of course, otherwise it would ruin a hopefully wonderful surprise."

    Brendan reached into his pocket and pulled out the necklace box. "I got her some really expensive rocks," he said as he opened it. Lisia looked at it intently with a slight sparkle in her eye.

    "Holy Distortion World, that must've cost you a fortune," Lisia said.

    "Yeah, it did," Brendan said. "Pretty much everything I've won from battles."

    "Ouch," Lisia said. "But I honestly think she will love it."

    "Thanks," Brendan said. He looked up as the first contestant came onto the stage. He walked confidently as he sent out a Growlithe, who began with a Flame Wheel that worked its way around the stage, leaving a circle of flames around it. It then came to the center of the circle and unleashed a Fire Spin into the air, getting the fire on the ground to swirl together. It was an impressive performance. Brendan clapped, but he was really looking forward to seeing May perform. Unfortunately, she was in the direct middle of twenty appeals.

    The next one to come up was none other than the crowned prince of douchebags, Chaz. He sent out Macherie, and started things off with a Flamethrower, an odd move for a Machoke, but nothing too strange for a contest. They then transitioned into a Focus Blast, which flew into the fire, catching the flames and starting to glow nicely. They then finished up with a Cross Chop, which Macherie pulled off well, cutting the fiery Focus Blast with her bare hands. The screen showed a score of 26. Pretty high for this contest, but not great.

    "Wow, as annoying as he is, Chaz did pretty well," Lisia noted. "Still, May's performance will put him to shame.

    Before May performed, however, Grace was on. "Delilah, let's dazzle them!" she called out. The Persian leapt from its Pokéball, ready for her performance. "Start things off with Power Gem!" The gemstone charm on Delilah's head began to shine brightly, sending out multiple purple gemstones that stayed floating in the air. "Now, use Thunderbolt!" Delilah's gemstone gathered electricity briefly before firing it at the nearest crystal. The lightning then branched out to the other gems, making a web of stones. "Now, Aerial Ace!" Delilah leapt into the air, her claws glowing as she slashed through the gems, making them burst and sparkle while they cascaded to the ground. Delilah stuck the landing and then took a bow with Grace.

    "And a magnificent performance by Grace and her Persian!" Vivian said. "Let's see how the judges rule!" The screen's numbers rolled and stopped at a perfect 30. It was the first one in the contest. "Amazing! Great job, Grace. Now, it's time for our next contestant." Grace left the stadium with Delilah at her side. "Now, please welcome the next coordinator, the fast-rising star, May!"

    That was when May came out on stage wearing the same contest costume she wore in the Slateport contest. "Wow, she looks even more beautiful than last time," Brendan said, almost breathlessly

    Lisia smiled. "So, have you told her yet?"

    "Told her what?" Brendan asked in confusion.

    "That you love her," Lisia said with a knowing smirk.

    Brendan blushed fiercely. "Wh-what? What are you talking about?" he asked, trying to play innocent.

    "Brendan, you don't need to lie about it," Lisia said. "It's really obvious, actually. Isn't it, Gwen?"

    Definitely, Gwen said with a smirk of her own.

    "Can we just drop it for now? I want to watch May's performance closely," Brendan said.

    "Fine, but you should tell her soon," Lisia said with her eyebrow raised slightly. Brendan nodded as he turned to watch May.

    May took a deep breath as she got to the center of the stage, and she had Graham's Pokéball in her hand. "Alright, Graham, take the stage!" she called as she sent out the Wingull, who gave a slight screech. "Now, you know what to do! Start with Water Gun!" Graham fired a stream of water into the air. "Now use Supersonic!" Graham let loose a shriek that hit the water in the air, the sound pushing the water into a single sphere before breaking it up into multiple smaller spheres, pretty much forming bubbles in the air. "Now use Wing Attack!" Graham's wings began to glow as he flew through the bubbles. When he was halfway through the bubbles, however, the glowing of his wings spread through his entire body. May was stunned. "Graham, you're evolving," she said quietly as Graham began to change forms. His beak grew a pouch on the bottom and his body grew much larger than before. When the glowing ended, Graham was a Pelipper. He flew through the air, slicing the remainder of the bubbles before he glided onto May's out-stretched arm as she took a bow with the water misting and sparkling in the sunlight. The crowd burst into applause, watching the screen tally up May's final score. May turned to see it for herself, seeing that she had another perfect score.

    "Well, with an evolution in the appeals round, almost like it was planned, I can see why May has a perfect score!" Vivian said. "Great job May, and good luck in the finals!" May smiled widely as she exited the stage, waving with her free arm to the crowd.

    "Well, I should've guessed Graham was close to evolving," Brendan said with a chuckle. "After all, it seems that most of our Pokémon are now getting to that point."

    Yeah, it seems like it, Gwen said quietly, not really speaking to anybody.

    "Now, ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the second round participants to be selected from this wonderful field of coordinators," Vivian said. "The judges have made their decisions, it seems. So please direct your attention to the screen for the four finalists!" Brendan looked as directed, only to see what he was expecting based on the scores. Up first were Grace and Chaz, while May would be facing off against the Growlithe coordinator who started the appeals round, who was identified as Frank. This would be interesting.

    "Alright ladies and gentlemen, it's time for the first two coordinators to come onto the stage. Please welcome both Grace and Chaz!" Vivian said enthusiastically as both coordinators re-entered the stadium. "There are five minutes on the clock, and each coordinator is going to be starting with 100 points. The one with the most points when the clock hits zero, or whoever makes the other coordinator's points hit zero is the winner. If either Pokémon is ruled unable to battle, then that is the end of the match. But you both know the rules, so without further ado, begin the match!"

    "Delilah, dazzle them!" Grace called out.

    "Macherie, show your strength!" Chaz said. Both Pokémon appeared on the stage, ready to go.

    "I'll start us, Delilah, use Aerial Ace!" Grace said. Delilah raced across the field, her claws glowing as she closed the distance. She got within striking distance, only to be interrupted by Chaz's next command.

    "Counter!" he said calmly. Macherie's body was surrounded by an orange aura as she grabbed Delilah and whipped the cat around and slamming her into the ground. Grace's points dropped to 75 rapidly, while Chaz's points only dropped to 87.

    Grace seemed to smirk. "Use Slash!" she called. Delilah lunged up from directly under Macherie, swiping her claws across the Machoke's chest, sending the fighting-type flying across the battlefield. Chaz's points dropped to 60. "Now, use Aerial Ace before she can recover!" she commanded. She quickly leapt at Macherie, her claws once again glowing as she took another swipe. The attack struck perfectly, and Chaz's points dropped to 50.

    "Macherie, get up and use Karate Chop!" Chaz called. Macherie got up and leapt at Delilah, her arm glowing as she closed the distance.

    "Delilah, dodge and use Aerial Ace once more!" Grace commanded. Lilah dipped under the attack as it swiped overhead. She then leapt in and slashed Macherie once again. That dropped Chaz's points to 25. Barely a minute and a half had gone by and the match was already almost over, and a clear victor was already visible.

    "How'd I know that Grace was going to win this round too?" Brendan asked rhetorically.

    "I know what you mean. She's always been really good at contests, even before I met her, when she was on the Sinnoh circuits," Lisia said as Delilah delivered another devastating Aerial Ace, dropping Chaz's points to zero and ending the match.

    "Congratulations to Grace for advancing to the final round! Now, it's time for the next round to begin!" she said as Grace and Chaz made their way off the stage. "I am now happy to introduce the next round's contestants, May, and Frank!" Brendan smiled as he watched May come onto the stage again, and she looked confident. Frank was also looking confident, but Brendan was certain May would triumph in this round. "Now, you know the rules already. Five minutes on the clock, now BEGIN!"

    "Graham, take the stage!" May called as she sent out her newly evolved Pelipper.

    "Karliah, come on out!" Frank said, letting out the fire dog.

    "I'll start this with Supersonic!" May said. Graham shrieked, sending a wave that hit Karliah, confusing her.

    "Karliah, use Bite!" Frank said. Karliah, however, was too disoriented and wound up stumbling and tripping over herself. Frank's points dropped to 90.

    "Now, Graham, use Water Gun!" May called. Graham fired a powerful stream of water that drenched the Growlithe and pushed her back, dropping Frank's points to 65.

    "Karliah, snap out of it and use Flamethrower!" Frank said. Karliah seemed to get out of her confused daze. She let out a stream of flames toward Graham.

    "Dodge and use Mist!" May called out. Just as the fire flew by, Graham flew up and around the flames, opening his beak as a dense fog spilled out of it and filled the stage. "Now, Wing Attack!" Graham's wings began to glow as he flew at Karliah, striking multiple times and creating many flashes of light that brightened the entire cloud of fog before returning to the ground. Frank's score dropped to 30 with that attack.

    "Bite!" Frank called. Karliah ran and leapt at Graham, biting his wing. May's points began to steadily drop.

    "Graham, use Supersonic once more!" May called out. Graham shrieked loudly, once again disorienting Karliah, who let go of his wing. "Now finish it with Water Gun!" Graham fired another torrent of water at Karliah, pushing her out of the battlefield. The sound of three separate buzzers sounded, indicating that judges had ruled a knock out.

    "And that's it for the semifinals! May advances to the final round against Grace!" Vivian said. "There will be a five minute interim for May and Graham to recuperate, but then we will begin the final battle!"

    In the tunnel to the stage, Grace was standing and waiting for May. "Well, that was certainly impressive," she said. "But I have to tell you that you won't be winning this contest."

    "We will definitely have to see about that, won't we Grace?" May said with confidence.

    "Well, I don't think I've told you this yet, but since before this year's Petalburg contest when you joined, I've been working on ribbon number five. I have one more ribbon to go before I qualify for the grand festival," Grace said with a confident smile. "But since you joined, I've been unable to grab that last ribbon, but that's all going to change today."

    "Maybe, but I won't let you win it without giving it my all!" May said.

    "Perfect, I don't want it to be easy," Grace said. May smiled.

    "I'm glad to have you as a rival, Grace," she said before the one minute countdown started.

    "Well, time to see who wins this one," Grace said confidently as she walked past May toward the tunnel. May followed her, ready to battle.

    "Alright, this is it ladies and gentlemen! This is it. These two have faced off in the finals regularly, so this is bound to be a heated battle. It's May and Grace!" Vivian said. The two coordinators came onto the stage side-by-side before separating to take their positions. "Five minutes are on the clock once again. BEGIN!"

    "Delilah, let's dazzle them once more!" Grace called out, sending out her Persian.

    "Graham, take the stage!" May called, the Pelipper flying out of his Pokéball gracefully. "I'll start us off. Use Water Pulse!" Graham fired off three rings of water that struck hard, sending Delilah sliding back, but only briefly.

    Grace just smiled. "Use Power Gem!" she called out. Delilah's crystal began to glow as multiple crystals flew out of it going directly at Graham.

    "Fly up to dodge, and then use Wing Attack!" May called out. Graham leapt into the air, flapping twice to start flying. He then flew at Delilah, his wings glowing white as he prepared his attack.

    "Aerial Ace!" Grace shouted. Delilah's claws began to glow as she leapt into the air as she prepared to slash Graham. Unfortunately for May, Delilah proved to be the faster of the two. May took a look at the screen. She was at 60 points, while Grace was at 70. She brushed it off, she could still win this.

    "Graham, use Supersonic!" May called out. Graham let loose another shriek, disorienting Delilah. "Now, use Water Pulse once more!" Graham fired another set of three rings of water at Delilah. The attack hit the Persian head-on, and Grace's points dropped to 60, even with May's.

    "Delilah, use Power Gem again!" Grace called. Once again, May was the bearer of bad luck. Delilah seemed to have already reoriented herself, and she had no trouble firing off more gem stones into the air. At first, Graham seemed to be dodging the attacks well, but then a smaller stone hid behind a larger one, and Graham flew right into it. Graham fell to the ground, unable to right himself in time. May watched as her points dropped to 30. Graham struggled to his feet, but it was too late. "Sorry for this May, but it's over. Delilah, use Thunderbolt!"

    May's eyes widened. She had forgotten Delilah knew that attack. "Graham, try to dodge it!" she cried, desperation clear in her voice. That, however, seemed like it would do no good as Delilah fired multiple bolts of electricity that crossed the distance in a matter of seconds. Graham had only just managed to get steady when the attack hit. He was thrown back and he landed at May's feet. He was knocked out, and May watched her points drop to zero.

    "No, I lost?" May muttered in shock. She knelt down by Graham. "Hey, you fought really well. Get a good rest, because you've earned it." Grace gave Delilah a pet before recalling her and walking over to May.

    "Hey, you fought really well," Grace said sincerely. May, who had some tears forming in her eyes, dried her eyes and stood up. "Don't let yourself get down about a loss. Everybody loses at some point, just keep your chin up."

    "Thanks, but don't worry, I'll be fine," May said, although she really didn't feel what she said.

    Brendan, however, could tell from a distance that she was getting down. Maybe now wouldn't be the best time to give her the necklace, he thought.

    Hey Brendan, I have an idea to help May cheer up, Gwen said.

    I'm listening, Brendan replied.

    Take her to Meteor Falls. I hear it's a beautiful location. You can see the stars very clearly at night.

    Brendan mulled it over for a little bit. Okay, that's a good idea. I'll take her there and give her the necklace when the time is right.

    After the contest, and their goodbyes with Lisia and Grace, May was laying on her bed in the Pokémon Center, her face buried in a pillow. "Why," she said. "Why did I lose? I was so confident, but I failed." That was when she felt a weight on the bed next to her.

    "Hey," Brendan said as he sat down and began to stroke her hair. "You didn't fail. You gave it your all, and you performed brilliantly. So you lost this time, it's no big deal. You're still new to contests compared to Grace."

    May just started to curl up, her back to Brendan. "But I was able to beat her before. Why did I lose to her now?"

    Brendan sighed. "You need to clear your head. Come with me, I think I know where you can do that." He picked up May and got her to her feet.

    Gwen then levitated onto Brendan's shoulders. I'm coming too, Arceus knows you two couldn't protect yourselves against wild Pokémon. Brendan chuckled as he led the way out of the Pokémon Center, heading to the west. They walked for about ten minutes when they could hear a waterfall nearby. They saw a small cliff with a beautiful waterfall, but what really caught their attention was the small mountain that looked to be dotted with craters. That was when May seemed to perk up.

    "You're taking me to Meteor Falls," she said more than she asked.

    Brendan smiled as he continued to lead the way. "Yeah, I figured you could use some time to get away from everything and just relax." May suddenly felt more tears in her eyes, but this time they were out of joy. What had she done to deserve such a great boyfriend? They walked for another ten minutes, avoiding the patches of tall grass so they wouldn't run into any wild Pokémon They climbed up to one of the highest points they could reach without going into the caves.

    "Alright, what is this all about? You obviously have something planned," May asked, her excitement starting to bubble.

    "Well, I was hoping to give you this as a celebratory gift, but cheering you up works too," Brendan said as he reached into his pocket. "May, I–"

    "HELP, SOMEBODY HELP ME!" came a voice as it echoed from the cave.

    "Damn it!" Brendan said. "Hey, mind if we put this on hold for now?" May, who was not happy about having the romantic moment ruined, begrudgingly agreed. The two ran toward the caves, Gwen teleporting onto Brendan's shoulder. When they entered the cavern, they would have been astounded by the beauty of the cave; that is if there wasn't a band of Team Magma thugs who seemed to be mugging a man in a lab coat. Standing a short ways away from the grunts was a man in the Team Magma attire, but he had a cape and his uniform was made of much higher quality material. That other member was clearly in charge.

    "Alright buddy, just hand over that meteorite and this beating will stop!" the leader said. Brendan and May both ran forward.

    "HEY!" Brendan called. "What the hell do you think you're doing?" The grunts stopped attacking the man, one of them holding up a rock similar in color to the one in May's necklace. That was when the leader turned to acknowledge the newer development.

    "Oh, so the two brats we were told to keep an eye on have decided to try and interfere with our plans?" the leader said. "Well, you should know that it will not end well for you three, counting your cute little Kirlia."

    "Commander Tabitha, sir, we have what we came for, do we have your orders to move out?" one of the grunts asked.

    Tabitha took on a sinister look. "Don't you remember the orders?" He pulled out a Pokéball. "I'll take care of these two."

    "May," Brendan said, his voice having a worried edge to it. "Get back, Gwen and I will handle this."

    "O-ok," May said as she backed up toward the exit of the cave. That was when Tabitha smiled even more evilly.

    "Boy, have you forgotten? We're a criminal organization. We don't play by the rules!" Tabitha said. Just as the last words left the commander's mouth, Brendan felt a solid impact from a fist on the back of his head, and everything went dark as he collapsed.

    "BRENDAN!" May called out. Tabitha then sent out a Golbat, which spat out a ball of sludge, hitting Gwen and knocking her out in one hit. Now May was terrified as multiple grunts surrounded her.

    "Alright, take care of her and bring her with us," Tabitha said. "Leave the boy and his Pokémon." One of the grunts, who had gotten behind May, hit her head, knocking her out. "Now, let's go to Mt. Chimney, our leader is waiting for us.

    "Scamp!" came a slightly familiar voice. Brendan was only aware of three things at this point: he was laying on stone, some guy was calling him, and his head was throbbing. "Hey, Scamp! Get up!" Brendan's eyes shot open and he bolted upright, immediately regretting it as his head began to throb even more. He looked around, seeing Gwen kneeling near him, and he felt a lot of relief knowing that she was okay. Then he looked for the source of the voice, only to come face-to-face with the leader of Team Aqua, Archie, with a lot of grunts behind him.

    "What the hell?" Brendan said.

    "Relax kid, we aren't here to harm you. We were after Team Magma, hoping to prevent them from getting a meteorite. Seems we were too late," Archie said.

    Brendan clutched his head again. "May, is May alright?" The question seemed to confuse Archie.

    "Kid, you and your Kirlia are the only ones here other than us," he said.

    Brendan's eyes went wide. "That means they took her," he said, getting frantic. "Team Magma took her!" Archie looked at the grunts.

    "Kid, I think I know where she might be. I'll help you get there," he said.

    Brendan narrowed his eyes in suspicion. "And why should I trust you?"

    Archie didn't seem angered by the question. In fact, he seemed to be expecting it. "Because we have a common enemy at the moment," he said. "I can get you to this May girl, and I get the feeling that you'll be able to help us with Team Magma."

    Brendan thought for a moment, looking to Gwen, who nodded her approval. "Alright, we're allies for now. Only until I get May back," he said. "After that, I could care less about your team."

    Archie nodded. "Fine by me." He helped Brendan to his feet and then led the way out of the caves. He didn't notice, however, the newly awoken fire in Brendan's eyes.

    May, I swear I will save you!
  6. jmoul18

    jmoul18 Camper

    Level 11
    Nov 26, 2018
    Gardevoirite ★★★★Poké Ball ★
    A Desperate Rescue

    "Girl," said a deep voice. May was just beginning to regain awareness. She was currently sure of three things: it was unimaginably hot, she was tied to something, and her head felt like it was about to split open. Her eyes began to flutter open, as she fully returned to consciousness. She was looking at a red haired man with glasses, but she had yet to take in her surroundings.

    "Wh-who are you?" she asked. "And where am I?"

    "My name is Maxie, I'm the leader of Team Magma. And if you take a look around, you will see where we are. May did as he said, seeing a lot of volcanic rock. Below her was a glass floor, and when she looked through it, she screamed.

    "Why are we on a platform over lava?" she cried out.

    "It's for an increase in effectiveness of the machine you're currently tied to, but you don't need to know what it does exactly. By the way, we took your pack and Pokéballs, and they're hanging above you. Take a look," Maxie said. May looked up, seeing her fanny pack with her Pokéballs on it hanging just above her. And sitting just above that, was a massive purple bat with four wings. "That is Wayne, my Crobat. He will be watching you to make sure you don't do anything I don't approve of. Now, be a good girl, and stay quiet." With that, Maxie pulled out a blue handkerchief that looked like it was from Team Aqua. "Here, this should help you hold your tongue." He forced May's mouth open and pushed the handkerchief inside. He then took another piece of cloth and tied it tightly over her mouth and around her head multiple times. She had no way of getting it off on her own. He then walked over to the controls for the machine, and was quickly absorbed in whatever he was doing. That was until the sound of a helicopter could be heard. Maxie looked up to find the source before getting back to work, this time he was moving much faster than before.

    Meanwhile, Brendan and Gwen were in a Team Aqua helicopter, flying to Mt. Chimney. "Alright, Scamp, let's review the plan again, because you're obviously not getting this!" Archie said. "When we land, you are going to take on the grunts while I take on Maxie. This is the only strategy that ensures Team Aqua will have victory. You keep saying that you're going to get this May girl at all costs, but–"

    "I don't give two shits about Team Aqua winning! I thought I made it very clear to you; I am not one of your grunts that you can order around. Once this helicopter lands, I could care less if you were thrown into the volcano. And if May is harmed by the time I get there, so help me both Team Aqua and Team Magma will not survive, because I will see to it that you're all wiped out," Brendan said. Archie flinched back, now that the boy was finally looking him in the eye, there was an undeniable anger and ferocity that hadn't been there when they met in the museum in Slateport. Archie was about to open his mouth to argue, but was cut off when the helicopter landed, and the doors opened. Brendan and Gwen were out of the door within seconds.

    "Damn, everybody get moving. Don't let that kid beat us to Team Magma!" Archie called out.

    Brendan, however, was not about to wait. Gwen was on his shoulder, and they were moving fast. The first group of Magma grunts didn't notice him, but that was alright. He only had one goal, and he could plainly see a strange platform with white metal edges and a glass floor. There was a square machine with a strange casing on top. Perched on top of the casing was a Pokémon Brendan recognized from Johto: a Crobat. It was a hunch, but Brendan had a strong feeling that May was there.

    Brendan, there are three members of Team Magma up ahead, and they know you're coming. They have their Pokémon out already, Gwen said.

    "That's fine with me," Brendan said as he got out Turk's Pokéball. "With a name like Team Magma, they probably use ground and fire types. This will be a great battle for Turk."

    You should know that the guy who knocked me out in Meteor Falls used a Golbat, so there are bound to be some of them. Maybe some Poochyena and their evolution line, Gwen said.

    "We can take care of them without a problem," Brendan replied as they rounded the corner. Just as Gwen said, there were three Magma members ready. One, however, Brendan recognized. "Tabitha!"

    "Oh, so you remember me!" the lieutenant said with a sinister smirk. "I was wondering if that hit would cause some damage, maybe some memory loss." While he was mocking, Brendan had been busy scanning the Pokémon that the trio had out with his Pokédex. There were five in total. Two Numels, one Zubat, a Golbat, and a Baltoy. This would be simple except for the Golbat. That would be troublesome.

    Brendan was about to send out Turk when a Mightyena leapt over them and began fighting the Magma grunts. "Scamp! I'll take care of these clowns, you go stop Maxie!" Archie said as his own Crobat entered the fray.

    Brendan was genuinely surprised that Archie would help him, but he didn't have time for that. "Gwen, teleport us past those three," Brendan said.

    On it! Gwen said as she made Brendan and herself disappear and reappear right behind the line of Team Magma. Brendan began to sprint to the glass platform, and as he drew closer, he could begin to see May, and what he saw angered him. She was tied to the machine, bound and gagged. That just pissed him off more.

    "MAXIE!" Brendan shouted, getting the attention of the man at the machine, who Brendan assumed was in charge. His appearance definitely fit that of the boss of a criminal organization. When Brendan saw the Crobat look at him, however, he got a sinking feeling that he was about to get in over his head.

    "So, you're the boy who tried to interfere with our plans at Meteor Falls," Maxie said as he knelt down next to May. "Well, you should know that if you hadn't gotten involved in our affairs, then we would not have had to take your little friend here." He ran his finger over her cheek, making her flinch in response. Maxie gave a cackle.

    "Get the hell away from her!" Brendan roared. "I challenge you to a battle."
    Maxie grinned evilly. "I was expecting that. You see, unlike that gibbering oaf, Archie, I am a man of logic and science. He and his followers are under the delusion that expanding the sea is a good idea, and will bring prosperity to humanity, but I know better. Expanding the landmass is the true way to better the human race, and improve the lives of Pokémon too. See, my goals are noble. Do you really want to interfere?"

    Brendan kept glaring "You're insane," he said. "But I couldn't care less about what you're planning. I want you to release May!" He could see that she was silently pleading with him to not do anything reckless.

    Maxie looked over to his Crobat. "Wayne, go, let's show them how dangerous it is to battle Team Magma." The bat Pokémon fluttered off the machine, and he looked ready for battle. Brendan noticed as May was viciously wrenching and fighting against her restraints.

    "What the hell are you doing here? Get away from him!" May said, or at least tried to say, all that could be heard was "MMPHM HMMPH!" in a very shrill tone. Brendan couldn't make out a word of what she said.

    "An extremely fast Poison/Flying type, shit," Brendan said. "Well, Nikki, looks like you're up!" he threw out Nikki's Pokéball, and the Vigoroth came out looking angry.

    "Wayne, use Poison Fang!" Maxie said. Wayne's teeth began to glow purple with acid and poison. He rushed Nikki, moving so fast that Brendan didn't even have time to issue a counter command. Nikki was hit hard as she slid over the stone.

    "Nikki! Are you alright?" Brendan called to her. She gave a shaky grunt in response. This will be much harder than I expected. "Alright, try using Rock Tomb!" Nikki grabbed multiple boulders from the area and began throwing them rapidly at the enemy Crobat. The rocks would've been tough to dodge for any other opponent, but Crobat proved to be too fast for that attack. He dodged them almost effortlessly. "Try using Faint Attack!" Nikki leapt into the shadows of the rocks, drawing Wayne in as he tried to use another Poison Fang attack. Just as he closed in, Nikki leapt out and punched Wayne.

    "Wing Attack!" Maxie said coldly. Wayne began to fly directly back at Nikki, his wings glowing brightly.

    "Counter that with Slash!" Brendan commanded. Nikki leapt at Wayne with her claws glowing. The two attackers collided, battling fiercely to push the other back. Thankfully, Nikki was only using one claw, so she was able to use the other to slash Wayne across his face. The bat fluttered away. "Great, now try another Rock Tomb, try to slow him down!" Once again, Nikki began to throw stones at Wayne once more. This time, the dazed bat had more trouble dodging. Three of the stones struck Wayne's body, while a fourth hit and broke one of his wings. "Nice shot! That should slow him down!"

    "Wayne, use Toxic!" Maxie called. Wayne, who was on his last legs for this battle, flew in quickly, getting within inches of Nikki before spitting a glob of toxins at her. Nikki couldn't dodge in time, and she was hit. When that happened, she began to look very sickly.

    "Nikki, use Slash once more and finish this!" Brendan said. Nikki leapt at Wayne with a dangerous look of anger as she slashed him once more across the body. Wayne collapsed to the ground, completely knocked out. Maxie recalled the Crobat with a look that was definitely bad for Brendan. He didn't even look concerned that he had just lost this round. Brendan glanced over at Gwen. "Hey, I need you to get May's belt off that machine. It has her Pokémon on it, and we can't let them stay in Maxie's hands."

    Yeah, you got it, Gwen said. She concentrated for a moment before the belt was teleported into Brendan's hands. Brendan placed the belt on the ground, and he refocused on the battle.

    "MPHHMMM! MMPHHMMM!" May shouted as she tried to pull on her restraints, feeling the rope begin to rub her arm raw and some blood beginning to run down her arm, dripping off the tip of her finger onto the glass floor.

    "Go, Oscar!" Maxie said as he let out his next Pokémon. What came out was a Mightyena, and it looked really angry.

    "So, a Dark type," Brendan said. "Nikki, return!" Nikki would not have lasted out there much longer, so it would be best to not let her get hurt any more than she already had. "Clint, it's your turn!" Brendan sent out his Grovyle.

    "I see, so you chose a grass type when you first started your journey," Maxie said in a cold and calculating voice.

    "Clint, let's show them your newest attack, Leaf Blade!" Brendan called out. Like with Fury Cutter, Clint's arm leaves began to glow brightly, but they were now a deep green. Clint sprinted in, closing the distance in no time before mercilessly slashing Oscar.

    "Oscar, fight back with Fire Fang!" Maxie called out. Just as Clint was about to land his fourth blow, Oscar's teeth lit up with fire and he bit Clint's arm. Clint cried out in pain as his arm was burned severely, and the heat the volcano was giving off was making the burn hurt worse.

    "Use Bullet Seed to get out of there!" Brendan called out. Clint began firing a stream of energy-coated seeds into Oscar's face, making the wolf let him go. "Alright, we need to end this as soon as possible. Use Screech!" Clint began screeching loudly, making Oscar shrink back to try protecting his hearing. "Now, mix Fury Cutter and Leaf Blade!" On Grovyle's right arm, where he had been burned, he started a Leaf Blade, and on his left he started a Fury Cutter. He closed the distance quickly as he began to hack and slash at Oscar. This time, Clint was even more merciless than before, and even more effective.

    "Oscar, use Ice Fang!" Maxie commanded. Oscar's teeth then began to take on an icy glow as his breath fogged from the cold. He bit Clint again, this time on his chest. Clint cried out as the ice slowly crept over his body. "Now use Dark Pulse!" Oscar whipped his head around, throwing Clint into the air like a ragdoll. He then fired a stream of intertwined black rings that hit their target perfectly. Clint gave a cry in pain as he fell to the ground, hitting his back hard. He was unable to continue, and Brendan knew it.

    "Clint, return!" Brendan said. "Thank you my friend. I promise we will win this." He then picked out Turk's Pokéball. "Turk you're up!" The little crawfish was eager to battle at this point, and his eagerness showed. "Turk, don't let your guard down. This battle will be unlike anything you've ever experienced." Turk nodded.

    "Oh please, you don't have a chance. Oscar, use Thunder Fang!" Maxie called. The Mightyena's teeth began to crackle with electricity as he sprinted at Turk.

    "Turk, use Protect!" Brendan called out. Turk was surrounded in a green sphere as Oscar bite down. The sphere threw the dog back, but he just looked angrier. Brendan was getting angrier now. Surely Clint had weakened Oscar enough. Well, no use in holding back anything now. "Drop the shield and use Aqua Jet!" Turk did as he was told. Once the sphere of energy fell, he was surrounded by a sphere of water that quickly turned into a bullet shape. Oscar couldn't dodge in time, and he was sent flying into a nearby rock. Turk skidded to a stop as he returned to Brendan.

    Maxie recalled Oscar without a word. He then threw his third, and it seemed like his final Pokéball. "Aesir, you're up my friend." The Pokémon that came out looked like a yak with blue rings on the side and two volcanos on its back, and it didn't just look ready to battle. It looked extremely confident. What had Brendan worried, though, was the multi-colored stone around Aesir's neck.

    A Camerupt, Gwen said. It's a walking volcano, and it has a temper. But that's not what has me worried. You see that stone around its neck?

    "Yeah, what about it?" Brendan asked.

    That's Cameruptite. It's Camerupt's mega evolution stone. This one might be able to mega evolve, Gwen said.

    "Shit, that's really bad for us. We may not be able to win this," Brendan said.

    Don't doubt us, Gwen said. Turk and I combined may be able to beat it. Brendan nodded. He knew now that Maxie had just been gauging him; testing his true strength as a trainer and seeing if he would need to go all out.

    "Aesir, it's time to Mega Evolve!" Maxie said, touching the side of his glasses, which Brendan just now realized had the keystone. Multiple streams of energy extended from Aesir's stone and Maxie's keystone which then connected. The connection caused Aesir's body to take on a multi-colored glow as he began to change physically. His two volcanoes converged into one, three large rocks extended from the three rings on each of his sides. His fur got much longer, including the tufts on the top of his head. When the glow faded, the defining details were shown. There was an "M" shaped marking on his forehead, and there was lava flowing from the volcano on his back.

    "MMMMMMMMHHHHHMPH!" May screamed. Brendan knew she was screaming at him, pleading with him to run before it was too late. He also noticed that both her arms were bleeding now, forming a small puddle of blood under her.

    "Alright, no more playing around," Brendan said quietly, his blood starting to boil with anger, before turning to Turk. "Hey, Turk, you will need to follow my calls to the letter if we're going to win this. Do you understand me?" Turk must have detected the urgency in Brendan's voice. He nodded in full understanding. "Good, then start this off with another Aqua Jet!" Turk leapt at Aesir, he was covered with the water bullet again. Once again, there was no time for Aesir to dodge. What scared Brendan, though, was that Maxie didn't even try to call for a dodge.

    "Lava Plume!" the Magma boss called out. Brendan's eyes went wide as he watched the Mega Camerupt's volcano erupt with an enormous amount of lava. Turk had little chance of dodging and he was covered with lava briefly.

    Unbeknownst to the two combatants, the attack had effects outside the battle, as multiple drops of lava hit the glass floor of the platform, melting through and dripping onto the metal support beams. May was still trying to scream out a warning about it, she was fairly certain that her arm was going to be bruised for a while if she made it out of this.

    Turk used another Aqua Jet to clear the lava off his body, but he was only able to slowly get to Brendan's feet before collapsing. Brendan's eyes were wide with fear at this point. What the hell have I gotten myself into? He thought as he called his Corphish back to his Pokéball.

    Brendan, don't give up, May needs us! Gwen shouted, snapping her trainer out of his fear.

    "You're right," Brendan said as came back to himself. "Are you ready?"

    I think so, but I doubt I ever will be ready for a challenge this big, Gwen said.

    "Yeah, you're right again," Brendan said. "But regardless of if we were ready, we're here now, and we have no choice but to keep fighting."

    Alright, now enough motivational speeches, let's get this over with.

    Brendan steeled his nerves, still hearing May's muffled screaming, seeing that the blood pool had grown wider, some of it trickling off the edge and into the volcano. This would be the hardest thing he and Gwen had done to this point, but they had to win. "Gwen, start with a Double Team and Calm Mind combination. Keep using both until you can't raise your strength anymore!" Gwen followed Brendan's orders, creating countless clones of herself, littering the entire section of the mountain with her copies. Then each one was surrounded by a green aura as Gwen boosted her special attack and defense, working to get them to their maximum level.

    "That won't work!" Maxie said. "Aesir, use another Lava Plume!" Aesir erupted once again, the lava landing on and destroying almost half the clones. Gwen silently cursed. She continued to power up, but the chance that Maxie would miss the next was just cut in half. "Now, use Earth Power!" Aesir stomped on the ground, causing the stone to crack under many of the copies, cutting the number in half again. Gwen just kept focusing. She hadn't been hit, but she wasn't quite at the level she needed to be. "Use Rock Slide!" Maxie called out. With a cry, Aesir stomped the ground again, this time causing rocks to cascade from one of the cliff faces overhead. Gwen was just about to where she needed to be. Then a stone clipped her shoulder. There came a great deal of pain, but she kept concentrating. She needed to if she would save May.

    Meanwhile, May was thrashing in fear, trying to get free of her bindings or at least get the gag out. The platform she was on was taking too much abuse. There was no way it would be able to hold out for much longer. Just as she was thinking that, three panels of glass fell from the platform, one of which was right next to her.

    "Gwen, are you ready?" Brendan called in desperation.

    Three…two…one! Gwen said. READY!

    "Great, now finish this with Psychic!" Brendan called out. Gwen's psychic aura was so powerful now that all the rest of her clones disappeared as she was surrounded by a dark blue aura, unlike anything she'd ever produced. Aesir had no chance to escape her grasp before he was thrown not just into a rock, but clear across the volcano's top, crashing into the wall on the other side, and reverting to his normal form. There was no doubt that Maxie had lost as his eyes went wide.

    "Aesir!" he called in concern as he ran off the platform and started to make his way to where his Pokémon had landed.

    Brendan, however had no interest in that, and neither did Gwen, who was now standing at the edge where the stone transitioned to the glass of the platform, three more panels having fallen or been melted by the Lava Plume attacks. Brendan, that platform won't hold out. It's taken too much damage from that battle. Get May and get off of that thing as soon as possible.

    "Alright, but you stay on the rocks, got it!" Brendan said as he took off his Pokéball belt and placed it near May's. Gwen, with a look of absolute terror in her eyes, just nodded. Brendan then made his way onto the platform, which creaked with his weight.

    May was screaming at him to stay away, trying to say that he should leave her. But Brendan listened to none of it as he got to the machine May was tied to. He pulled a survival knife out of a side pocket of his bag, it was something he was so glad he had thought to pack it when he left home. With it, he cut both the cloth tied around May's head and the rope holding her to the machine. When she was free, May pulled the Team Aqua bandana out of her mouth, coughing slightly.

    "Brendan, you crazy idiot!" May said as she embraced him. "Why didn't you run?"

    "I couldn't leave my girl. Now, hugs later, we need to get off this thing," Brendan said. That was when he saw that the machine was holding the meteorite that Tabitha had taken in Meteor Falls. He didn't know why, but he had the feeling that he would need it later on. So, when they stood up, Brendan quickly grabbed the space rock and pulled it out of the machine.

    Guys! Hurry! Gwen shouted. Just as Brendan and May took their first steps back to safety, however, the platform groaned even louder than before, and instead of just stopping there, a crash resounded across the entire mountain top. Brendan looked through the floor, seeing that both the supports had broken. He looked to Gwen, his eyes showing nothing but fear. Gwen was the same.

    No, she said, her voice quivering. No! Just as she said that, the platform gave out, and Brendan and May began to fall toward the lava. DAMN IT, I ALREADY SAID I'M NOT LOSING YOU TOO! Gwen shouted, her entire body glowing bright white. She grew to just over five feet tall, her hair came closer to her head, making a more mature style. Her dress became a ball gown and her head spikes disappeared, reforming as a single chest spike. Her evolution, however, was the last thing on her mind. With the new boost in psychic power and the remaining effects of the previous battle, she extended her power, catching the two trainers just in time.

    Brendan and May, however, saw none of the evolution. Brendan just held May close, ignoring the blood on her arms. "May!" he called over the howling of the wind.

    "What?" May said, fear in her eyes as they fell.

    "We don't have much time left, so before we die you should know something," Brendan said.

    "I know, you don't have to say anything," May said. "I love you too." She gave him a kiss on the lips, tears in her eyes as they drew closer to the lava below them. But then they suddenly stopped.

    "Wh-what just happened?" Brendan asked.

    "I don't know," May said. In an instant, however, they landed back on the solid rock where the platform used to be.

    Brendan sat up when he looked around, and right were Gwen had been when the platform fell was what looked like an older version of his first Pokémon. "Gwen? Is that you?" he said.

    The Pokémon turned around, tears in her eyes, and threw herself at both Brendan and May, hugging them tightly. Damn it, don't you two ever do anything like that to me again! This was a new voice for her, but Brendan knew it was Gwen. She now sounded like a woman in her twenties.

    "Trust me, we're not doing anything like that ever again," May said.

    "Yeah, volcanic base-jumping really isn't fun now that I've tried it," Brendan said, earning a slight chuckle, but that was all that he got. And he understood why. "Hey, May, you know I still have something for you."

    Gwen sensed what Brendan meant, so she let them out of the hug, and helped both of them to their feet. "Wait, before you do, let's get our Pokéballs first," May said. Gwen, however, was one step ahead. She teleported the two belts to her hands and gave them to their respective trainers. When that was finished, Brendan started where he left off at Meteor Falls, pulling the jewelry box from his pocket. It had miraculously stayed in during the fall.

    "I wanted to give you this last night, but we were interrupted," Brendan said as he handed her the box. May gasped.

    "So, this is what you did when you went off on your own the day before the contest," she said. May then opened the box, seeing the pendant and she lost all words for a moment. "Oh, Brendan, it's beautiful!" She took it out of the box and put it on. "I love it!"

    Brendan smiled. "I love you," he said as he kissed her on the lips. Then he broke the kiss briefly. "And I promise you that I will never let anybody take you ever again."

    WOOOOOOO! Gwen teased with a smile. This just made Brendan and May burst out laughing.

    "Well, Scamp, that was an impressive fight you had there!" Archie said as he approached them. Brendan stepped in front of May, defensively, and Gwen teleported in front of him. "Relax, I'm not here to cause trouble. I just came here to ask you something."

    Brendan glared slightly. "Go on," he said.

    "After seeing this whole thing, are you now convinced that Team Magma must be stopped? Team Aqua could use somebody like you in our ranks," Archie said.

    "You're right, Team Magma is a bunch of fanatics who will go to dangerous, even deadly lengths to accomplish their goals," Brendan said. Archie nodded.

    "I thought so," Archie said. "You can start as a member tomorrow!"

    "I never said I'd join Team Aqua," Brendan said. "In fact, after hearing that you plan to expand the sea, I can tell that you are no different from Team Magma. As far as I can tell, you're no different, and you're just as willing to go to such lengths to achieve your goals." That earned a glare from the Aqua boss.

    "I should've figured that'd be the case," Archie said as he scanned over the two trainers and the newly evolved Gardevoir. "I'll let it go for now. You two just need more time and you'll eventually understand my way of thinking." With that, he left, shortly after that, the Team Aqua helicopter flew away, heading east.

    "Ok, I'm going to say that is enough excitement for one day," May said. "Let's get off this Arceus-forsaken mountain and find a Pokémon Center."

    I couldn't agree more, Gwen said with a smile as she led the way toward Mt. Chimney's Jagged Pass. But you should know that this walk won't be pleasant.

    "Of course it won't be," Brendan said, slightly sarcastically as they started down the treacherous path.

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