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 Get Real **Seriously- PG13+** 
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
"AROOOOOOOOOO!" The dog Pokemon howled. Jonathon stumbled backward further as the Arcanine bounded closer on all fours. Its maine was brilliant groomed adn the fur seemed to glow with heat. Jonathon could smell the fear eminating from Oddish. It was a sick, sugary scent, far sweeter than he envisioned fear to smell. Arcanine coughed. Oddish shot a tussle of razor leaves at the giant dog.
"Dodge it!" Jamie yelled. Arcanine didn't move. He walked dopely toward Oddish who slapped him hard across the head with her leafy outcrop.
"Ember attack!" Jamie screamed. Arcanine looked back at Jamie and the turned to face Oddish. Oddish shook for a moment and the covered Arcanine in spores that rendered the dog useless. Arcanine fell to the floor, paralyzed.
"How the...?" Jamie stammered, but her thoughts were interrupted by a cracking sound. A piercing crackle erupted across the large Kennel Stadium and Oddish fell to the floor with a whimper. Jonathon and Jamie ran forward and grabbed Oddish who appeared to be in pain. Thye leaves on her head curled and darkened and her body grew and sagged in parts. two lumps appeared at her sides and her head seemed ready to burst. Then, with another painfull shriek Oddish forced four small spherical bulbs out of her head and two little arms pressed out of her sides.
"Gloom..." The Pokemon panted.
"Oh wow!" Jonat6hon cheered. He picked up Gloom and hugged her tight.
"Gloo! Gloo!" She laughed. Jamie gave Jonathon a contemplative look.
"Here. Take it," She said, holding out the Barking Badge.
"But our battle isn't over yet," He off3ered. Jamie shook her head.
"I've seen enough. You deserve this," She smiled. Gloom reached out and took the badge just as Squirtle and Nincada leapt out of their Pokeballs.
"Squirtle!"
"Niiiin!"
"Jonathon," Sam joined in, "That was pretty amazing,"
"Thanks," Jonathon smiled, holding Gloom in his arms with a caring smile.
'Someone else came to watch too," Sa, pointed out. She reached across and took Gloom from Jonathon as Danyl stepped out of the shadows.
"Hey Mister," Danyl greeted.
"Squirtle!" The little Pokemon moaned, pulling a disgusted face.
"Oh Squirtle," Samantha began, "there's nothing wrong with a bit of lip-lock every now and again,"
"Cadaaaa!" Nincada laughed. Gloom chuckled quietly in Sam's arms as Squirtle pulled his head inside his shell.
"You three are an animated bunch aren't you?" Sam teased.
"They certainly are," Jonathon said, holding out two pokeballs. Gloom and Squirtle disappeared into their Pokeballs.
"Nincada, can you help me run an errand in the park?" Jonathon asked as Danyl left the group.
"What are you up to?" Sam asked, checking her Poketch for the time.
"Never you mind, it's a surprise," Jonathon smiled toothily.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

www.youtube.com/PsychesEntertainment


Fri Mar 07, 2008 10:41 am
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Jonathon had Nincada on his shoulder as they entered the park. It was past lunchtime and the usual park-dwellers were leaving as the afternoon sun started to burn down hard. There was no breeze and Jonathon cursed his heavy jeans as a younger trainer ran by in shorts and a singlet with a Zigzagoon following close behind. The collar on Zigzagoon shone in Nincada’s eyes and the bug made a feeble noise.
“You alright buddy?” Jonathon asked with a pet on Nincada’s nose. Nincada cooed in Jonathon’s ear and scuttled over to the other shoulder.
“I can’t believe Oddish evolved today,” Jonathon said. Nincada nodded with a smile.
“Just think, one day you’ll be able to fly as a Ninjask,” Jonathon told Nincada. Nincada jumped off of Jonathon’s shoulder and fluttered awkwardly to the ground. It had tiny little wings on its back that did little to sustain flight.
“One day, Nincada,” Jonathon smiled. They kept walking down the path until the pair reached the spot where the bugs and the Ekans had surrounded Jonathon.
“This is where you rescued us. Do you remember?” Jonathon asked, bending down to Nincada’s eye level. Nincada looked at Jonathon for a long moment and then nodded.
“Ekans!” Came a hiss.
“You again!” Jonathon cried, leaping to the side of the path and turning to see the Ekans behind him.
“Alright Nincada, Ekans wants a rematch, let’s give it to him!” Jonathon ordered. Nincada jumped into a fighting stance and got ready to attack.
“It must have a nest nearby, let’s beat it and check it out,” Jonathon yelled as Ekans jumped toward Nincada. Nincada slashed it across the face and jumped into a tackle.
“Fury Swipes, buddy,” Jonathon ordered, and Nincada followed through with a series of quick strikes to Ekans’ head. Ekans spat acid at Nincada but the bug was too quick and dodged expertly. Nincada followed with its own spit of acid and Ekans too dodged. The two eyed each other off until Ekans jumped at Nincada.
“Slash attack!” Jonathon declared, but Ekans was too quick. It changed its course in mid-air and fell to the side. With a quick spring jump Ekans had wrapped Nincada tightly with its body. Nincada winced as Ekans tightened its grip.
“Nincada, harden,” Jonathon thought quickly. Ekans wasn’t going to let go, not for a while yet. An idea hit Jonathon.
“Nincada, use your harden again, then acid,” Jonathon tried. Nincada hardened its shell once more and then spewed acid onto itself and Ekans. Ekans leapt away, hissing, but Nincada merely shook the self-inflicted attack off.
“Now, slash it again!” Jonathon cried. Ekans fell to the grass and didn’t move.
“Let’s find its nest before it wakes up,” Jonathon said quickly, leading Nincada to the bushes. It wasn’t hard to find the nest hidden in the bushes. It was a small bed of leaves and refuse and sitting still in the middle was a shining purple egg.
“Let’s take it,” Jonathon smiled to Nincada. There came a whimpering from behind them. Jonathon looked back and saw Ekans looking over at him from his weakened state on the grass.
“Oh my goodness… What was I thinking?” Jonathon asked Nincada. Nincada went over to Ekans and looked at him apologetically. Jonathon picked up Ekans gingerly and placed him back in his nest.
“C’mon Nincada, let’s go,” He said quietly. Jonathon sighed. He couldn’t help but feel like a failure. Sam had rescued him from certain poverty, finding him and letting him stay with her just days before his savings ran out, and Danyl had gone and bought him the belt, his ultimate desire. He wanted to give Sam the Ekans egg for her birthday, which was merely distant from them by days. Nincada and Jonathon continued through the park until they found what they were looking for. It was a large playground painted bright colours. Beyond this was a thicker area of trees, inside of which was rumored to live a Pinsir. This wasn’t why Jonathon had come this far into the park though. He’d come for the berries in amongst the thickest area of trees. Nincada crept a few feet ahead of Jonathon who was bent double to avoid snagging his hair on the trees. His hair was, of course, looking immaculate today with a glossy finish. One half of his fringe hung down over his eye, the other was spiked into the air and the top was ruffled to contrast well with the sleek back. He had a green t-shirt on that had an unnecessary but stylish zipper on its front and a hood. His jeans were particularly flared today, and he remembered with a pang that Nick had bought them for him. He vowed to burn them once he got home.
“Wurm…” A shadow moaned. Jonathon and Nincada froze, looking over to where the sound had come from. The forest was dark, almost as dark as night. A tiny Wurmple was sleeping on the grass. Jonathon didn’t dare try to capture it; the noise could have attracted all kinds of trouble. The duo crept on, Nincada scanning the area with his extrasensory ability. Some sort of flying Pokemon swooped by Jonathon’s head and he dove for the dirt, Nincada leaping silently to shield him. As Jonathon looked up, opening his eyes, he saw it.

It wasn’t the berry bush he’d been hunting; instead it was a large stone pulpit with a strange carving on it. Jonathon stepped carefully, sure that there was something sinister at play, and gazed at the pulpit closely. It was tinted with a green colour and leaf carvings sparkled all over it. Nincada scuttled up to sit on top of the pulpit’s topmost stone portion and the little bug and grass Pokemon suddenly braced all of its body. Nincada seemed to appear healthier suddenly; the little wings on his back that looked like leaves prickled up and stiffened, their colour intensifying. His eyes shone and his skin hardened. The stone gave Nincada a gleaming look of contentment and Jonathon reached out to pick the bug up. Nincada even felt heavier.
“Let’s go,” Jonathon decided. Nincada did not make a noise.
“Ka!” Came a shout. Jonathon spun, Nincada still in his arms, and saw the Kakuna drop down from the branches overhead.
“Spinarak!” Screeched another Pokemon, its sleep disturbed.
“Noctooooooowl!” Blared a swooping shadow from overhead, flanked by two smaller bird Pokemon.
“Bat, Bat!” A flock of Zubat cursed, fluttering down over Jonathon and Nincada. The pair ran, Nincada leaping ahead of Jonathon. The chainsaw sound of a Beedrill swarm carried through the forest, striking unprecedented fear into Jonathon’s deepest cavities. He dove to the ground and rolled as a Spearow shot at him from overhead. As he climbed hastily to his feet, Nincada turning to check on him, he realized how much of a disaster they had landed themselves in. The entire forest was now awake, Beedrill were swarming overhead, slowly coming closer. There were Wurmple and Weedle all over the forest floor, inching closer with attack in their eyes. Above the swarming Beedrill were Noctowl and HootHoot, glaring down with glowing red fury in their eyes. Spinarak were dropping down on long threads of silk, a few Ariados interspersed. Jonathon and Nincada turned as one to continue running, but as they did a massive yellow shape dropped just inches from Jonathon’s face.
“Victree!” The Victreebel hissed. Jonathon fell backward, but Nincada had already leapt up and dug his claws into Victreebel and proceeded to slash away with deadly power. Jonathon scampered back to his feet, a Wurmple spattering his jeans and pants with string shot as he did. He turned out of the way, narrowly missing a Spinarak that plummeted down from overhead with a squeal. Nincada shot a stream of acid by Jonathon’s head to knock the Spinarak away and before Jonathon could make the order Wurmple was smacked away by a poison sting.
“Great work Nincada, now let’s hook it!” Jonathon cried. The pair ran for it, groups of Zubat and HootHoot sweeping up behind them. Nincada jumped backward through the air, landing on Jonathon’s shoulder with a gentle spring. He faced the flying enemies and Jonathon heard a piercing shriek unlike any sound he’d ever been party to. The Pokemon all changed direction, fluttering away confused. Nincada flew remarkably to the side and continued to hurry along beside Jonathon. They stopped and looked back, realizing they had lost the pursuing creatures of the forest. Jonathon panted, catching his breath and discovering that they were now lost.

They wandered for a while longer until a small clearing opened up, a patch of bare sky above them.
“Any ideas, buddy?” Jonathon croaked, his voice hoarse from exhaustion. How on Earth could they have gotten lost inside the park? It wasn’t that difficult though, Jonathon thought as they rested in the clearing, for the park really was enormous, and while paths and playgrounds were scattered throughout, most of the land fenced in was covered by thick forest. Jonathon and Nincada set off again, gazing in awe at a group of Metapod hanging in perfect formation. They went on to see Caterpie huddled around a tree stump, looking at the canopy above where an Ivysaur lay sleeping in the branches.
“Shame we can’t catch it,” Jonathon sighed. Nincada scurried up the side of a tree and tapped his mouth on it. He scurried back and pointed the way ahead. Jonathon followed until finally they reached a mighty berry tree, lush ripe berries hanging from it at all sides.
“Awesome!” Jonathon cried, darting toward the tree. He had only picked a handful of berries when Nincada made a deep growling noise. As Jonathon turned he saw a shadow fall over Nincada from high above. Jonathon stepped slowly backward, his gaze shifting up to the top of the berry tree where a dark figure blocked out the sun.
“Pinsir…” It whispered.

Jonathon looked up from the forest floor; his head was pounding, his shirt torn. There were noises nearby. Jonathon rolled over and looked toward the battle. Nincada was crawling all over the enormous Pinsir, slashing wherever it could. Pinsir was turning this way and that, trying to grab Nincada but never quick enough to do so. Finally Pinsir threw itself on the forest floor and rolled over to crush Nincada. Nincada hardened instinctively and then burrowed underground, smashing out from under the earth to crack its claw over Pinsir’s head. Pinsir crowed angrily and snapped its horns at the smaller bug. Nincada gave a shriek that pierced Jonathon’s ears and Pinsir stumbled backward. Jonathon was on his feet now, nursing his wounded stomach but feeling little pain. Nincada slashed Pinsir again, but Pinsir seemed to anticipate the attack and locked Nincada in a vicegrip.
“Nincada, harden and then use stun spore,” Jonathon called. Nincada obeyed, hardening to resist the crush of Pinsir’s mighty power and then spraying stun spores directly into Pinsir’s face. Pinsir dropped Nincada and yelped uncharacteristically. Nincada jumped backward and Jonathon scooped him up.
“Let’s bail,” He cried, turning away. Pinsir seemed sufficiently defeated and didn’t follow them as they ran through the trees again, but with a great roar they both felt the knife blade of fear stab them through the heart’s once more. The Noctowl from earlier was blasting red rings of hypnosis after them. Jonathon had to leap into the air to avoid one of them and the hypnosis sent dust flying up everywhere underneath them. Jonathon misjudged his landing, blinded by dust, and collapsed into a heap. Nincada went skyward, his wings working like mad. There was a sound of beak and claw, shrieks and scrapes echoed all around. Jonathon stood up, still clouded in dust, but felt Nincada press himself into his arms, pushing in the direction they were running. Jonathon stumbled around and continued to run, taking Nincada’s cue. They fell out through the trees, collapsing on the grass near the playground. Noctowl lunged out after them. Another Pokemon bounded over Jonathon and Nincada and slammed its body into Noctowl, sending it plummeting to the earth. A jet of water bashed Noctowl further along the grass and the bird Pokemon staggered to its feet, glaring at the Pokemon and then taking flight again, this time heading back over the forest. The Mudkip jumped up and down with a smile and disappeared back into Danyl’s Pokeball. Sam helped Jonathon to his feet and recalled Nincada to his Pokeball. Danyl to Nincada to the Pokemon Center while Sam took Jonathon home. The adventure it seemed, for now, was well over.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

www.youtube.com/PsychesEntertainment


Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:24 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Back at the apartment Jonathon and Sam were playing with Gloom in the lounge room. Gloom was standing on the coffee table in front of the pair of trainers, who were sitting on the couch. Skitty was on Sam’s lap while Nincada sat on Jonathon’s shoulder, as always. Squirtle was sprawled across Jonathon’s legs like a rag doll, looking at Gloom with interest.
“She’s so beautiful,” Sam said, “Except for that,”
“Gloo…” Gloom cooed. Sam was wiping drool from Gloom’s mouth. Jonathon and Squirtle laughed.
“It’s sap, Sam,” Jonathon explained.
“Whatever it is, it’s gross,” Sam grumbled, throwing the tissue over her shoulder and out onto the balcony.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea, let's take Gloom and the other Pokemon to the lakeside!” Sam suddenly announced. Squirtle jumped up onto the couch and waved his arms excitedly. He leapt to the floor and ran into Jonathon’s bedroom, tripping over as he went. As Jonathon grabbed his sunglasses Squirtle returned with a beach towel over his shoulder and a large floppy hat on his head.
“You’re one of a kind,” Jonathon sighed, shaking his head. Squirtle was smiling a huge smile and Sam was laughing hysterically. Gloom looked away, holding her head high. She climbed down from the table awkwardly and tugged at Jonathon’s leg. She raised her arms to him. Jonathon picked her up and offered her the Pokeball with his other hand. Gloom looked at it with disgust.
“Okay, so no Pokeball then,” Jonathon mumbled.
“Is it just me or is she becoming a bit…” Sam started. She finished by making a very posh face and waving her arms around animatedly. Luckily Gloom was too busy looking at her hands to notice. She rubbed her hand on her body, as if to clean it, and looked at it again.
“Maybe you should trade her to Lorelle,” Sam joked.
“I would never trade any of my Pokemon,” Jonathon said firmly. Sam smiled awkwardly.
“Come on Skitty,” She coaxed the little cat, holding out its leash. Skitty leapt into Sam’s arms and she put Skitty on her leash.
“To the lake!” Sam cried.

The lake was teeming with beautiful flowers and cackling bird Pokemon. A flock of Pidgey took flight as the group stepped down from the road and onto the great grassy patch that came to the water’s edge. There were lily pads all through the water and flowers seemed to creep right up to the water’s edge as if to drink from it when no human watched. The very air sparkled with natural beauty and the sun added extra shine to the crystal, pristine waters. Squirtle leapt into the water, followed by Nincada, who stayed in the shallowest ends. Gloom, however, sat in amongst the flowers and began to sing in a warble of a voice. Skitty was running along the water’s edge, occasionally dipping her tail into it and splashing herself. Jonathon and Sam sat down on the cool grass and relaxed for a long while. They didn’t talk much; the lake was so vividly glorious that it needed nothing to be enjoyed. It wasn’t until Skitty screamed that they suspected anything would go awry.
“What’s wrong?” Sam cried, jumping to her feet. Skitty was leaping around with something on her tail. A small white and orange object went flying into the grass. Sam and Jonathon ran toward it.
“That Goldeen bit Skitty,” Jonathon stated. Sam looked down at the Goldeen flopping around uselessly on the grass.
“You’re not so mean now, are you?” She glared. Goldeen didn’t look at the pair; instead it tried to flop back to the water. Sam knelt down to look closer and as if in defiance Goldeen flopped around more, making it harder for Sam to make out its markings.
“Goldeen’s a male, and he’s healthy,” She told Jonathon. Skitty was cowering in the bushes behind Sam and Jonathon. Sam seemed to be contemplating something. Jonathon looked over to check on his own Pokemon. Squirtle was swimming about, Nincada was jumping around in the shallow waters and Gloom was picking flowers. All was well.
“I’m going to catch him,” Sam decided. She stood up, reached into her oversized handbag, took out a Pokeball, enlarged it, and dropped it onto Goldeen’s head. Goldeen disappeared inside. The Pokeball shook feebly, but Goldeen couldn’t survive outside the water much longer, and so it surrendered to its new master.
“Awesome!” Sam cheered, picking up the Pokeball and placing it in her bag.
“Goldeen won’t be very useful, and it’s hard to battle in the water,” Jonathon pointed out.
“I know, but he was so beautiful, the pretty orange frills and the pearly white scales, I had to have him,” Sam cooed. Jonathon shook his head. Squirtle left the water and sat down, watching Gloom skip around. She had stuck flowers to most of her body and was scattering more flowers all around as she tried to dance and sing. It wasn’t the most talented performance, but it was amusing to watch, as Squirtle was finding it hard to look away. Gloom was certainly a character. Nincada, on the other hand, was splashing the lily pads. The little bug splashed one rather forcefully and somehow, a wave of water splashed back at Nincada. Jonathon looked on, confused. Nincada splashed the lily pad again and it splashed him back. Jonathon stepped close to the water’s edge.
“Nincada, use your acid,” He said sternly. Nincada obeyed and sprayed the lily pad. It leapt out of the water and yelled at Nincada.
“Lotad,” Jonathon smiled, “Nincada, use your slash attack,”
Nincada slashed Lotad, but Lotad was at home in the water and ducked underneath Nincada easily, before spraying him with a water gun attack. Nincada tried to shake the water off but Lotad jumped into the air, bounced on Nincada’s head, and splashed back into the water.
“Nincada, get back, Gloom, help us out,” Jonathon called. Nincada jumped away, ending up next to Jonathon’s foot, but Gloom looked over at Jonathon lazily and waved her hand dismissively.
“Gloom!” Jonathon implored. Gloom had lost interest. She was dancing around with her flowers again. Squirtle had seen the Lotad and was hurrying over.
“Squirtle, quick, use your bubble!” Jonathon hurried. Squirtle shot a spray of bubbles ahead of him as he ran, and they knocked Lotad backward in the shallow water. In retaliation, the little Pokemon shot mud at Squirtle. Squirtle ducked in his shell and the mud splattered him weakly. Squirtle leapt into action and sprayed Lotad with his water gun, then he held out his hand and the bubbles floating away from his earlier attack came spinning back. The bubble barrage slammed Lotad and sent it skidding through the water until it was close enough for Squirtle to grab it. Squirtle picked up Lotad and threw it into the air. Lotad landed on the grass where Squirtle charged at it with a tackle.
“Go little buddy!” Jonathon cheered. Squirtle smiled and then returned to battle, smashing Lotad with another water gun.
“Jonathon!” Sam cried, tossing him a Pokeball.
“Thanks,” Jonathon replied quickly, “Lotad, you’re mine!”

And indeed Lotad was. Sam and Jonathon returned to the apartment with a new Pokemon each- Jonathon had Lotad and Sam had Goldeen. But Gloom’s attitude adjustment was rather concerning to Jonathon, and Sam was worried about Goldeen. The more she thought about it, the harder it would be to train Goldeen if it could only really be used in water. Jonathon couldn’t sleep that night from worries about Gloom. Why didn’t she obey him? Oddish had always been helpful to Jonathon but Gloom was only interested in singing and dancing around. Suddenly, an idea hit Jonathon. He ran from his room, wearing only his long pajama pants, and woke up Sam.
“What the san hell is it, boy?” She moaned.
“I’m going to enter Gloom in a Pokemon Contest!” Jonathon cried.

“You’ll need to train pretty hard,” Sam said as Jonathon took a sip from his milkshake.
“I can help you out,” Danyl added, “My Mudkip has been in a few contests, but we’ve never won,”
“You have to understand Jonathon,” Sam went on, “There are coordinators who spend their whole life doing this kind of thing, they devote every minute to it,”
“Basically,” Danyl interrupted, “There’s no way you’re gonna win,”
“I know,” Jonathon smiled, “And maybe when Gloom realizes she isn’t much of a singer or a dancer she’ll wake up to herself,”
“You’re going to humiliate her!” Danyl snapped suddenly.
“Jonathon, you really can’t be serious,” Sam added. Jonathon sighed. He knew they wouldn’t understand.
Just trust me, alright?” He pleaded.
“Whatever,” Danyl dismissed, “I have to go,” And with that, he was gone. Sam shook her head and finished her milkshake in silence. Squirtle was sitting next to Jonathon in the small café they’d found. He was drinking a red soda drink and was giggling animatedly.
“Uh, Jonathon, I think that drink is doing things to Squirtle,” Sam pointed out, looking down her nose at Squirtle. Squirtle was spraying a small fountain on water up into the air and catching it in his mouth again, except the water was red. Jonathon held out his Pokeball and Squirtle returned to it with a last outburst of laughter. A splattering of red water fell to the floor.
“Can I get a towel please?” Jonathon asked. The waiter boy handed Jonathon a tea towel. Jonathon smiled as he took the towel. The waiter was cute. As Jonathon cleaned up the mess and handed back the towel the waiter wouldn’t stop staring. He winked and disappeared into the kitchen. Sam scowled at the waiter.
“Didn’t he see you here earlier with Danyl? What a creep!” She revved. Sam stood up, Skitty poking her head out of Sam’s massive bag, and the pair left.

“Gloom, use your petal dance!” Jonathon ordered. Gloom danced around in a circle, scattering petals all around. She sang (badly) and leapt into the air, spinning around.
“Now make things sparkle with your stun spore!” Sam offered. Gloom obliged, sending glittering powder into the dance.
“Alright, now end it with a swirl of razor leaf!” Jonathon finished. Gloom jumped up and the razor leaf attack twirled around her as she landed.
“Gloom!” She announced.
“You know she’s actually pretty good,” Danyl smirked. Jonathon smiled at Gloom, picking her up and hugging her.
“I reckon we might stand a chance,” Sam whispered to Danyl.
“Yeah, but then Gloom won’t want to battle much at all. I thought Jonathon was trying to discourage her from contests and get her more interested in battling again,” Danyl replied.
“Well contests are fun too,”
“Yeah but dancing won’t ward off wild Pokemon,” Danyl pointed out.
“True,” Sam nodded, looking over to see Skitty starting to dance too.
“Oh no you don’t,” She laughed, holding out Skitty’s Pokeball. Skitty disappeared into the ball and Sam tucked it into her oversized bag.
“You know, Goldeen might be useful in a contest,” Danyl told Sam. Sam frowned.
“Maybe,” She mumbled. Jonathon made his way over.
“There’s a contest in the city tomorrow, we can still enter if you register on the InterDex tonight,” Danyl informed the group. Jonathon nodded. Gloom’s Contest debut was about to begin!

Gloom’s coat glistened in the lights; her flowery head bounced as she walked and her smile was insatiable. Jonathon led her onto the stage. He’d borrowed a suit from Danyl and pumped Gloom full of berries this morning before taking her to get a massage and haircut. Not that she really had much hair to cut, but she seemed to enjoy being fussed over, even if the hairdresser, who refused to let Jonathon pay, did little more than play with her head for a while and rub lotion on her body. She puffed herself up and looked out to the audience with a smile Jonathon recognized from television. She seemed to delude herself to think she was a movie star. It was cute, if not a little worrying. The first round saw Jonathon and Gloom closed off in a little room with a wardrobe full of costumes and accessories. The theme was “The Glamorous,” and Gloom ignored Jonathon’s suggestions as she began pulling out what she wanted to wear. Just before the time limit was over Gloom turned to face Jonathon in a silver sequin robe with a mess of flowers on her head, sparkling glittered heels and shiny silver gloves. Jonathon had just enough time to grab a tiara he saw Gloom discard and place it on her head. She reached up to pull it off, but in a heartbeat the walls and wardrobe were gone and Gloom and Jonathon were back onstage. Gloom disguised her furious grab for the tiara as an elaborate pose and smiled wide, shooting a sideward look at Jonathon that clearly said “If you putting this tiara on me costs us the contest I’m going to kill you over and over again until you’re dead.”

Jonathon had been right, they’d gotten extra points for the tiara and Gloom now seemed to be remembering that his judgment was trustworthy. It was here though, after Gloom had been placed at second in the ranks after the dress-up section that she and Jonathon were separated. Jonathon had to watch as the dance competition started. Gloom looked over warily to where Jonathon watched from the back of the stage with the other Coordinators as the dance section began. It was here that Jonathon finally got a good look at the other competitors Pokemon. First up to lead the dance competition was a Meowth with a blue bow in the place of her charm. She spun on one foot, and then leapt across the stage, landing low and doing the splits before twirling back onto her feet. Gloom and the other Pokemon copied, Gloom twirled in the air, the bulbs on her head spraying glittering powder as she did so. Her jump didn’t go very far, but as she landed she sunk low into the splits, poising her arms gracefully with a wide and welcoming smile that made Jonathon grin and chuckle. She twirled slower than the others back onto her feet and curtseyed to compensate for it. The judges seemed impressed; at least, none of them had sour looks on their faces. It was hard to tell though as the judges kept blank faces throughout the whole contest it seemed. The next Pokemon to lead the dance was a Ralts. It bent over double and then back up to full height, then swiveled its hips around in a wide circle. Ralts seemed to glide over to the side and then cartwheeled back to where it had started. Jonathon held his breath. Gloom bent low, her bulbs twirling around as she did so, and then stretched back up. She wasn’t as thin as Ralts, and she knew it, so instead of swiveling her hips she did a sort of belly dance movement which sufficed well enough, better than Meowth at least who just thrust her pelvis in all directions. Jonathon smiled as the judges nodded to Gloom. Gloom shuffled her feet to glide over to the side, not really gliding much but it was clear she was trying her best, which Jonathon hoped would show character or something. Then, with a gasp from the audience, Gloom surprised even Jonathon when she leapt higher than any of the other competitors and spun in quick circles, slowly floating down to the ground. So she obviously couldn’t cartwheel, but this floating pirouette seemed an able replacement. It was Gloom’s turn now to lead and Jonathon could have sworn he saw the audience lean forward and hush. Gloom stepped forward and began. First she twirled, and then flew out to the side, sliding across the floor and lowering to her knees as she did so. She sprung upwards and twirled around, landing in her splits and then rolling backward and coming up to stand. The others followed clumsily. Jonathon couldn’t stop smiling while Gloom bowed quickly and stepped back into the line as a Machop came to the front. Machop was still for a long moment. Then, with a great cheer from the crowd- Machop started to breakdance. He spun on his head, did the splits while doing a handstand, leapt into a somersault and then moonwalked.
“A moonwalking Machop?” Sam quizzed from the stands.
“These contests show a lot of diversity,” Danyl replied. Sam continued to watch, Squirtle standing on the bench to see so he came up to her shoulder. Gloom tried to copy Machop but didn’t do so well, of course, she didn’t look at foolish as Meowth, who ended up tripping up and landing in a heap with a very unattractive yowling sound.
“Great work Gloom,” Jonathon smiled as Gloom turned around and ran toward him as the announcer declared a five minute break. She jumped into the air and Jonathon caught her in his arms, spinning her around. She giggled profusely, spraying glittering spores everywhere. Jonathon hurried with Gloom backstage where Sam and Danyl were waiting.
“You’re doing great,” Sam cheered.
“I think we’ve got this in the bag,” Jonathon beamed.
“You are joking aren’t you?” Danyl scoffed. Squirtle, Gloom, Sam and Jonathon all looked up at him.
“That was the easy part. You dress up in some costumes and you copy a dance routine, that’s nothing to what’s coming up next. I’m sorry, I think you’re a great trainer and you’ve raised Gloom well, but you won’t win the Battle Showcase,” He told the group sternly.
“Battle Showcase, one minute,” A staff member called backstage. Sam took Squirtle’s hand and bid Jonathon and Gloom farewell, casting a perplexed look at Danyl as they left.
“Good luck,” Danyl finished curtly. He turned, but was stopped as Jonathon grabbed his arm.
“What the hell was that?” He pressed.
“I mean it, you won’t win. It was really foolish to enter. Back when you wanted to lose it wasn’t such a bad idea, but now, thinking you’ll actually win, it’s crazy,” Danyl explained.
“You were sure we had a chance yesterday!” Jonathon snapped.
“Whatever,” And with that he was leaving.
“What a moody little-”
“The contestants will be ordered as follows: Ralts, Machop, Gloom and Meowth. The Battle Showcase is now starting,” The announcer boomed.

Jonathon didn’t have time to think about Danyl, his mind was instantly placed on Gloom as the stage became more akin to that of a stadium, and Jonathon had to dig through his mind to try and focus on his other abilities. The Pokemon Contest took a backseat now to Jonathon’s prowess in the Pokemon Gyms.
“Machop, use your karate chop,” The other trainer bellowed. Jonathon looked the other guy up and down, shaking his head at the mismatched outfit. The baggy button down shirt was unfitted and way too big, and the boy’s pants were oversized too, and he’d done his tie wrong.
“Gloom, let’s show them what beauty is all about, kick it off with petal Dance,” Jonathon ordered, striking a confident pose. As Gloom spun through the air, sending petals in all directions, Jonathon had another idea.
“Now mix it up with razor leaf!” He added. Gloom’s razor-sharp, green leaves were added to the pink petals and the audience clapped approvingly. Gloom seemed to thrive on the audience and so; she turned the showcase up another notch by adding a glittering powder to the din. Her spores hazed all across the stadium and left the petals and leaves to sparkle in amongst the attack. Quite suddenly, Machop smacked her over the head with a glowing fist. He knocked her with the other one, and then again with the first. After the comet punch he grabbed her and threw her in the air. Gloom flailed about and landed heavily: only to be hit again by Machop’s waiting mega punch. Gloom spat something from her mouth, at first Jonathon thought it was an acid attack, but instead it was what looked like blood. Her eyes looked heavy and Machop took a low kick to her head, sending her into a sitting position.
“Vine whip!” Jonathon called. Gloom shook her head and sent out her vines, but Machop grabbed them and threw her in the air once more. Danyl’s words echoed through Jonathon’s head. He could see the crowd’s shocked faces as Gloom was launched into the air. Sam and Danyl looked worst of all. He could already hear Danyl telling him off for being so foolish; he could see Sam leaving to go back to Isamine City, sick of his irresponsible behavior. He knew Danyl was going to break up with him for this, everything had happened as Danyl had predicted. The crowd roared, their screams filling not only Jonathon’s ears but also his whole body. His hands and feet shook from the vibrations coursing through him. He looked up from the ground, away from his sinking depression to see Gloom staying aloft in the air by spinning her bulbous head like a propeller. Machop jumped up underneath her, and Gloom let out with a flaming kick. Her whole foot, though rather small, crackled to life with a fire that smashed Machop hard in the jaw, leaving him burned and plummeting to the ground. Gloom landed softly and sent a stream of razor leaves at Machop, followed by her petal dance and then the glittering spores. As the crowd couldn’t scream any louder Gloom spewed a stream of acid through the attack that sent clouds of pink, green and gold in all directions as it ate through leaf, petal and spore and drenched Machop.
“Machop is recalled, the winner is Gloom!” The announcer echoed. Jonathon ran forward, slipping on a leaf and falling. He slid across the floor, Gloom diving into him. They rolled over and then jumped onto their feet, Gloom held high above Jonathon’s head. Squirtle and Sam hurried forward. Squirtle blasted Gloom with a series of large bubbles and she was sent higher into the air, caught on a fountain procured by his water gun attack. Sam kissed Jonathon’s cheek and hugged him tight. Danyl was gone.

“What a jerk,” Sam scoffed. Jonathon shook his head.
“It doesn’t matter, we have to focus. We only have to beat Ralts in the Battle Showcase and then we’ve won,” He told Sam. She held Skitty’s Pokeball out before her and it popped open, releasing the little pink cat.
“Go and scratch his eyes out, then meet us back at the apartment,” She said. Skitty meowed and then bounded away.
“You didn’t have to do that,” Jonathon said to Sam, unable to look at her.
“Oh I know… but I wanted to,” She replied with a giggle.
“He could have a good reason for leaving like that,” Jonathon excused, but Sam bit her lip warily.
“No, he left because he’s a toss. He was saying all sorts of crap all through the Contest,” Sam confessed. Jonathon took a deep breath. It just didn’t sound like Danyl.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, the final round of the Battle Showcase will now begin, Please welcome to the stadium Jean with Ralts and Jonathon with Gloom!” The announcer encouraged. Sam whisked Squirtle into her arms and hurried to the stands. Jonathon and Gloom stood at one end of the stadium, eyeing off Ralts and Jean. Jean had rich, brown coloured hair with a soft wave cascading down to her shoulders. She wore a white blouse and black tight pants with a black tuxedo jacket that had huge tails, sweeping down to the floor. She smirked at Jonathon, as though she knew exactly how the battle was going to end up. Jonathon had never battled a Pokemon like Ralts before. Ralts was purely psychic, not like the Ghosts at the Night Gym that were part psychic. Gloom didn’t seem fazed, but Jonathon’s nails went straight to his mouth.

“Hypnosis!” Jean cried. Gloom rolled across the floor to dodge it.
“Acid,” Jonathon called, “Then fire off a stun spore while it’s recovering,”
“Your Gloom’s a girl right?” Jean asked loudly.
“Huh?” Jonathon coughed.
“Your Gloom… it’s female, yeah?” Jean repeated. Jonathon stared at her blankly.
“Yes… Why?” He replied slowly.
“Just checking. My Ralts is a girl too,” Jean said. Then, with a snap of her fingers, Ralts jumped high into the air, Gloom’s acid attack missing. The stun spore, however, clouded Ralts and left it coughing and spluttering on the ground. Gloom slapped Ralts in the face with a Vine Whip and then planted a leech seed on Ralts, who struggled feebly.
“Psychic!” Jean ordered. Ralts’ eyes blazed with a green light and Gloom couldn’t move. Ralts, caught in the leech seed and ailed by stun spore, couldn’t move either. They stood, inches from each other’s face, staring into their opponent’s face. Jonathon chewed his nail again, frantically searching his brain for a solution to Ralts’s attack.
“Gloom, fire your razor leaf,” Jonathon cried. Jean was startled by Jonathon’s outburst and didn’t respond in time. Ralts was smacked backward by the attack. True, Gloom’s razor leaf was sufficiently weaker than usual given that Gloom was frozen to the spot, but with Ralts standing inches in front of Gloom the attack still did quite a bit of damage. Gloom was suddenly freed from Ralts’ Psychic spell and she leapt skyward, hovering there by spinning her bulbs. The jump worked perfectly to dodge Ralts next psychic attack and from the air Gloom launched another razor leaf, this one fully powered. Ralts was knocked to the floor, rolling over twice before looking up at Gloom with a worried expression. Gloom’s petal dance followed, launching Ralts into the air. Gloom spewed an acid attack onto the floor and Ralts landed directly in the smoking treacle and struggled to her feet.
“Gloom, let’s end this with a double slap!” Jonathon cried. Gloom ran and jumped, diving into Ralts, she landed on top of Ralts and proceeded to slap her until the buzzer sounded.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s Las Vista Pokemon Contest Champion is Jonathon’s Gloom!” The announcer screamed, his voice bouncing off the walls and burning itself into Jonathon’s ears.

Two hours later he could still hear the words echoing in his head. Gloom was wearing her ribbon with pride, the sparkling pink satin reflecting light in all directions. Nincada and Squirtle gazed at her in awe as she paraded up and down the long coffee table. Sam’s Goldeen and Jonathon’s Lotad were floating lazily in the large fishtank the trainers had salvaged from the second-hand store downstairs, the water Pokemon watched Gloom with little interest.
“Have you noticed Lotad and Goldeen don’t seem very happy?” Jonathon pondered to Sam.
“It’s because they’re new. We need to spend more time with them, get to know them, you know,” She replied lazily, perched on the lounge with a martini in her hand. Jonathon couldn’t help but laugh at Sam as she grinned docilely.
“What?” She asked.
“Your whole life is and advertisement for underage drinking,” Jonathon laughed. Squirtle, Nincada and Gloom looked over to the trainers, laughing on the couch.
“Please be advised, we do not condone the consumption of alcohol by minors!” Sam chortled, spilling her martini.
“Oh no…” She whispered.
“The carpet,” Jonathon sighed. Sam looked at him, her face filled with horror.
“My drink,” She gasped, tears welling in her eyes. Then, they laughed more, harder than they had laughed in a long time.
“Skitty!” A voice cheered from the balcony. Skitty was prowling along the railing.
“Skitty’s back!” Jonathon cried, “How on Earth did she get up to the balcony? Why didn’t she come up the stairs?”
“Skitty-cat!” Sam cried, stumbling onto the balcony. She scooped up Skitty and hugged her. A loud booming knock resounded from the door.
“Hello?” Sam called from the balcony, making no move to open the door on the other side of the apartment. Jonathon hurried over and opened it to reveal Danyl standing in the hall.
“That Skitty!” He spluttered. Jonathon spied the fresh cuts on his arm.
“Where did you go?” Jonathon asked.
“I had an emergency at the Pokemon Center,” He replied.
“You’re lying,” Jonathon told him, making to close the door.
“Well I guess we’re pretty much over then,”
“Yeah, I guess,” Jonathon smiled wistfully, the door snapping shut. Sam burst out laughing, followed by Squirtle, Nincada and Gloom. Lotad and Goldeen smiled out at the group. Skitty yawned and returned to her Pokeball. It had been a long and tiring day.

_________________
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Sun Mar 30, 2008 10:29 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Jonathon and Sam were at the café they frequently visited, Squirtle was again drinking one of the red drinks that made him go a little crazy and the waiter boy was again checking out Jonathon. Sam shook her head.
“He’s far too young to be checking you out,” Sam scoffed. Jonathon smiled and shook his head.
“Leave him be, it’s sort of cute,” He whispered. Sam laughed. Her oversized bag shook squirmed.
“Come on out, Skitty,” Jonathon coaxed. Goldeen stuck his head out.
“Goldeen?” He asked.
“I thought Goldeen might like to come out instead. Skitty could use a rest,” She offered. Jonathon looked at Goldeen. He looked a thousand times healthier and happier now, as though this tiny act of thoughtfulness on Sam’s behalf had turned him into a different Pokemon. Jonathon reached down to his belt and took Lotad’s Pokeball in his head. He rolled it across the table until it split apart and Lotad jumped out.
“Hey buddy,” He smiled. Lotad did not return his smile. He looked up at Jonathon with studying eyes.
“Do you want something to drink?” Jonathon attempted. Lotad didn’t move. He looked over to Goldeen who nodded at him. Lotad looked back at Jonathon and smiled. He waddled up to Jonathon and jumped onto Jonathon’s head where he sat, looking all around the room. Squirtle stood up on his chair, though it made him hardly any taller, and offered his red drink up to Lotad. Lotad took a sip from the long curly straw that the waiter had forgotten to charge them extra for. Lotad immediately started to jump up and down on Jonathon’s head.
“Why don’t you let Nincada and Gloom out too?” Sam asked, releasing Skitty. Jonathon knocked on Nincada’s Pokeball with his knuckles and Nincada burst out, followed with another rap of knuckles by Gloom.
“Wow! Your Pokemon are awesome!” The waiter started. Sam eyed him off with a smirk. He approached the table without looking at her, his eyes set firmly on Lotad.
“I have a Lotad too,” He smiled, showing his glistening teeth, “We have something in common,”
“Original,” Sam mumbled, trying not to laugh. Jonathon closed his eyes, willing himself not to laugh.
“I caught this one at the lake not too long ago,” Jonathon explained.
“I got mine when my family went to Towa Bay. There are loads of Lotad there during the spring,” The waiter replied, leaning casually against the table.
“Do you have a name?” Sam asked, “Or do we just call you waiter boy?”
“My name’s James,” He said, giving Sam what could easily have been mistaken for a glare. Sam smiled back toothily.
“I’m Sam, and this is my boyfriend, Jonathon,” She said carefully, putting as much hate into each word as possible. James didn’t falter.
“Pleased to meet you, both of you. I better get back to work though,” James smiled, his teeth sparkling again.
“Bye,” Jonathon waved as he turned away. He held up two Pokeballs, recalling Nincada and Squirtle, then recalled Gloom too. She smiled and waved as she faded away. Sam returned Skitty to her Pokeball and poured the remains of her water into her bag.
“Sam!” Jonathon cried, startled.
“What? Goldeen needs water to swim in. Jonathon now noticed that Sam’s bag was indeed filled almost halfway with water, and Goldeen was sitting comfortably in it. Her belongings were instead filling up her pockets. Jonathon sighed, shaking his head. Sam was a constant reminder to him that humans were clearly not the most intelligent race on the planet.

With Lotad planted firmly on his head and Goldeen in Sam’s handbag the duo set out to spend the day with their newest Pokemon, leaving the café and heading for Las Vista’s marketplace. Unlike the malls, the marketplace was cheap and sunny. All the stalls were smaller than the apartment the pair lived in, and the clothes and trinkets were cheap, if not a little poorly manufactured.
“We should get Goldeen a bigger fishtank, that way Squirtle and Lotad can both fit in there too,” Sam suggested, Jonathon agreed, and soon they were carting home a box which they’d been promised contained a sort of swimming pool they could set up on their balcony. After three hours, the pool was set up and Jonathon’s whole body ached. Sam, clutching a pineapple Dakari, nodded her approval, lifting her sunglasses to see Goldeen, Lotad and Squirtle playing about happily.
Lotad suddenly fired two small razor leaves over Jonathon’s head. Jonathon spun in time to see a Tailow swooping down at him. He covered his hands with his face and stumbled backward, closing his eyes. But Tailow simply landed on the rail of the balcony and chirped. Jonathon slowly approached it, Lotad eyeing it suspiciously.
“It has a collar,” Sam pointed out, taking a large sip from her drink. Jonathon looked at the bright red collar with the gold badge. Attached to the collar was a small scroll of paper. Jonathon took the mail from Tailow and opened it. There was a Treecko picture on the paper and the letter was written in green ink.

Dear Jonathon,
Hi, it’s Jean from the Pokemon Contest. I hope my Tailow found you okay. I looked you up on the InterDex and found out you’re collecting Gym Badges. You and I both have four so far and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind challenging the Charmer Gym with me. It’ll be much easier for both of us if we challenge them as a double battle.

I don’t know whether or not you have your own flying Pokemon to send me mail, so I’ve instructed Tailow to await your response. Hoping to hear from you soon,

Jean Marco

Jonathon scribbled his reply in a hurry, taking a pink pen from Sam.

Dear Jean,
Sounds great, meet Sam and I at the fourth street café at six o’clock tonight,
Jonathon Psyches

After attaching the letter to Tailow’s collar, the little blue Pokemon took flight, swooping in between the inner city skyscrapers with ease. Jonathon gave Sam a worried look. Sam sighed.
“I know exactly what you’re going to say- I haven’t done a double battle since I was with Nick, get over it Jonathon. Jean is a girl, she just wants to be friends, and it’s only a Pokemon Battle. Besides, she has a Ralts, do you know how rare they are?”

Jean was a nice girl with a very funky fashion sense. Jean arrived at the café with a pair of brown cowboy boots, tight jeans with a dangly brown belt and a long black coat over a blue button down shirt. She was also addicted to coffee, admittedly of course, and she insisted Jonathon and Sam try her favorite- the choco-latte. Jonathon had only ever had coffee in emergencies (when he was late for school or when he had to stay awake to study or train) and he’d never particularly enjoyed it- but Jean made coffee taste good. Jean and Jonathon both sipped their choco-latte with big smiles. Sam had already finished hers; she was a coffee addict from way back. James bought Sam her next order while Jean and Jonathon continued to talk about their Pokemon. Sam fluttered her eyelashes and James put a dash of rum in her coffee,
“I only have three with me, I leant one to my sister,” Jean told Jonathon.
“I have four, Squirtle, Gloom, Nincada and Lotad,” Jonathon explained with Lotad still sitting on his head.
“I have Treecko, Ralts and Tailow,” Jean replied.
“Do you know what Pokemon we’ll be up against at the Charmer Gym?” Jonathon pondered.
“I presume it’ll be Pokemon like Jigglypuff and Clefairy, you know- Pokemon with the special ability Charm,”
“Ralts won’t be much use against Pokemon like that,” Sam pointed out.
“I know,” Jean sighed, “Which is why I was hoping we could take them on together,”
“Okay,” Jonathon told her simply. Sam shot him a surprised look. She hadn’t expected him to agree so easily.
“So we take on the Charmer Gym Leader tomorrow, and by sundown we’ll have the Coil Badge,” Jean smiled.
“So you’ll have the Mine badge, Stars Badge, Sand Badge, Barking Badge and the Coil Badge,” Sam told Jonathon with a wide grin.
“Hey they’re the same badges I’ve got!” Jean cried.
“You’ve been to Isamine?” Jonathon perked up.
“Yeah, I got the Mine Badge just last week. Treecko did a number on that Dugtrio, but I thought for sure that Sandslash was going to have me. Too bad my Tailow has a few tricks up his sleeve,” Jean narrated.
“We’re from Isamine City,” Sam explained to Jean. The two girls went on to talk about Jonathon and Sam’s hometown while Jonathon daydreamed away. The Mine Badge had been he and Nick’s first double battle, followed by the Stars Badge in Longhorn City, which had been won twice when the Gym Leader wanted a rematch. The Sand Badge in Towa Bay was where Nick and Jonathon broke up, and then Jonathon came to Las Vista. In Las Vista, with Sam’s help, Jonathon had won the Barking Badge from the Kennel Gym the morning after he and Danyl went on their first date, and then they broke up just a few days ago, when Jonathon and Gloom won their first Pokemon Contest Ribbon. He and Jean were dressed in matching outfits, on Jeans’ request of course, and they looked up at the large, dark building. Inside the Charmer Gym there was an Indian feel to everything.
“This is creepy, not charming,” Sam whispered, looking around at the shawls and scarves everywhere.
“There are no preliminaries, we can go straight to the Gym Leader,” Jean whispered back to Sam and Jonathon. Jonathon and Jean made their way to the registration desk while Sam filed into the audience stands. After they filled out the mountains of paperwork and decided on their first two Pokemon, Jean and Jonathon stepped into the arena, only to be stopped by Sam who looked panicked.
“I just saw the last match!” She whimpered, “They’re not Jigglypuff!”
“What are you talking about?” Jonathon said, placing a hand on her shoulder.
“They’re snake charmers!” She screamed. Jean’s eyes were already filled with dread and Jonathon followed her stare out onto the arena where several Snake-Pokemon were slithering around.
“You have to beat all of them just like that,” Sam shuddered. Jean didn’t move as Sam departed and Jonathon stepped forward. The announcer’s voice seemed to be coming from across a ravine, barely whispering in either trainer’s ears. Jonathon looked back at Jean.
“Jean? Jean! Come on!” He pushed. She slowly meandered forward, waving her Pokeball around clumsily.
“Snakes,” She gasped with a dazed look.
“Lotad!” Jonathon cried, throwing his Pokeball. Jean dropped her Pokeball to the ground, shaking her head silently. Ralts and Lotad faced the snakes, now sliding closer. An Arbok hissed, followed by a Seviper, and behind them was a wide area of water where a Gyarados poked its head out of the water. A Milotic was wrapped around one of two large, thin poles pointing up to the roof. A couple of Ekans were scattered here and there, and Lotad and Ralts were forced back to back in the middle of the arena. The Arbok and two Ekans circled around them.
“Ralts hit them with your psychic!” Jean snapped, her voice trembling silently.
“Lotad, use your stun spore,” Jonathon ordered, regretting making this Lotad’s first battle. Lotad’s stun spore worked on the two Ekans, but Arbok shook the attack off easily. Ralts’ psychic, however, held Arbok still. With a great cry from Ralts, Arbok was hurled into the two Ekans and the three landed in a heap off to the side. The two Ekans were recalled to their Pokeballs from overhead. Looking up, Jonathon and Jean saw the Gym Leader, sitting high above them. There were many men and women running around the balcony overhead, each one holding a Pokeball. The Gym Leader had a staff with a Pokeball sitting atop the crooked wood. Arbok rolled back upright and hissed. Lotad jumped, landing on its head, and sprayed a jet of water into Arbok’s eyes. Arbok shook violently and Lotad flew away, bouncing into the path of another Ekans.
“Ralts, save Lotad with a confusion attack,” Jean commanded, sparing a glance for Seviper, which was hurrying closer. Ekans tripped up, smacking itself in the mouth with its tail. Lotad tackled it on the head and then planted a leech seed. The little Pokemon bounded over to Ralts and sprayed a jet of water into Seviper’s eyes, like he did to Arbok. Ralts conjured a barrier between Seviper and Lotad and then smacked Seviper with a double slap. Lotad turned and blasted the Ekans that had tripped before with another water gun, this one more powerful than the last. Ekans was recalled, but Arbok jumped forward in its wake. Milotic was watching ruefully from overhead, still draped over the pole. It coughed a series of bubbles that exploded around Lotad. Lotad jumped skyward and sent his own set of bubbles into Arbok. Arbok hissed and lunged at Lotad, its teeth bared. Lotad cried out and flicked a razor leaf attack at Arbok, who was sent skidding away. Arbok was recalled. At that moment though, Ralts landed with a shriek next to Lotad. Lotad turned and bellowed a war cry before sending a massive water gun blasting over the arena to sock Seviper in the face. Seviper was thrown in the air and recalled to its Pokeball. Jonathon and Jean’s smiles were short-lived. Milotic dropped from the pole and landed with a sickening thud. She flicked her head and began to slide forward, her long body spread out in front of her. She slid sideways instead of forward like the other serpent-creatures, and her eyes were darker and more sinister. Ralts balled her little fists and ran forward, crying out. As Ralts got closer the true size of Milotic became apparent. It was much larger than it appeared, and as it swept its tail out it sent Ralts flying back to land next to Lotad. Ralts did not get up. Lotad trotted up to Milotic and stopped short of its tail. Milotic looked down at Lotad as though it was supremely unworthy. The hatred compacted into the glare it was issuing was equivalent only to how much Jonathon missed Nick.
“Wait,” Jonathon thought, “No, I don’t,”

“Lotad,” The little Pokemon squeaked. Milotic did not move, it continued to glare, the whole stadium burning with Milotic’s suppressed rage. Lotad fired off another water gun, this one even bigger than the attacks preceding. Milotic drew its head backward, coughing as water splashed all over its face. Lotad didn’t stop. The little Pokemon bounded up Milotic’s long tail, as close to Milotic’s face as he could get. The water continued to splash and froth, the force getting apparently stronger until Lotad gave a gurgling noise and the water gun became a hydro pump, smashing Milotic backward to land near Gyarados. Lotad bounced along the ground, unscathed.
“Way to go, little buddy!” Jonathon cheered. Lotad turned and jumped up and down, waving back at Jonathon.
“LOTAD!” Jonathon screamed. It was too late. Milotic’s hyper beam smashed Lotad from behind and sent the lily pad into Jonathon’s arms. Jonathon was already throwing his next Pokeball, hushing Lotad’s whimper. Jean’s Ralts was back on her feet too, and Nincada scuttled along with it toward Milotic. Milotic stretched its tail out again, this time wrapping around Nincada and Ralts. Nincada scurried out of the grip and along Milotic’s tail. Milotic continued to bind Ralts as Nincada made his way up to Milotic’s neck where he bit down hard, leeching Milotic’s blood. Ralts sat silently in Milotic’s painful grip until suddenly, something awoke in her eyes. Ralts’ body glowed yellow and electricity coursed outward, striking up Milotic’s body and forcing the snake to release her. Ralts fell to the ground and hurried backward. The little Pokemon turned around and raised her arms once she was clear of Milotic’s thrashing tail. Milotic’s body became rigid and still, bathed in an ethereal light. Nincada was still biting into Milotic’s neck as the giant serpent rose into the air and came crashing down. Nincada rolled away. Ralts and Nincada gazed over to the Milotic as it lay, unmoving, on the ground. It moved its head to give them both one final glare before fading away as it was recalled. Gyarados came flying out of the water, its mouth threatening to swallow both Pokemon whole. Ralts jumped in front, holding her arms up to block Gyarados with a barrier. Gyarados slowed down momentarily, but did not stop. The beast came crashing down with a great roar and Ralts was gone. Nincada slashed furiously, desperate to move the water snake. Gyarados reared back and Jean quickly returned Ralts to her Pokeball before Gyarados slammed its body down on her again. Jean threw out her Tailow’s Pokeball and the flying Pokemon swooped around Gyarados’ head, scratching it with his claws. Nincada was struck hard by Gyarados’ tail and skid to a stop near Jonathon’s foot.
“Do you need to rest?” Jonathon asked. Nincada jumped back up and turned away, scuttling back to the battle.
“Use your gust attack!” Jean called. Tailow obliged, smacking Gyarados hard on the side of the face with a strong billow of wind.
“Nincada, hit it with your acid!” Jonathon commanded. Nincada obeyed, hitting Gyarados on the other side of the face. Gyarados leapt skyward, turning about and shooting downward, facing the pair of Pokemon. With a great roar the Gyarados unleashed a cascade of blue flames.
“Tailow, double team!” Jean cried. Tailow moved so quickly that Jonathon’s vision was blurred by the appearance of more Tailow until finally, Tailow was sweeping high above Gyarados, clutching Nincada in its talons. Tailow dropped Nincada on Gyarados’ head and then swooped down to peck and scratch every part of the beast it could get close to. Nincada couldn’t bite into Gyarados’ neck as the scales were too hard, but instead the little bug conjured as much acid as it could, leaving Gyarados to smolder and writhe on the ground. Tailow came crashing down from overhead with a wing attack. As the battle seemed won, Gyarados dove for Nincada, crashing down heavily atop the Pokemon. Nincada was buried beneath its body slam. Tailow fluttered down and pecked Gyarados’ face but the beast was already done. Gyarados was recalled from the balcony overhead, followed by Nincada. Jean’s Tailow was all that remained in the arena.
“We did it,” Jean breathed. There was an explosion, a great roar, the sound of metal and rock colliding with great force, a storm of sand and water, and then Tailow was on the ground. A Steelix had leapt out from under the water.
“I only have one Pokemon left,” Jean panicked, throwing out Treecko’s Pokeball. Jonathon threw out Gloom’s Pokeball. The Gym Leader’s Steelix roared like no sound Jonathon had ever heard. Gloom and Treecko darted in opposite directions as Steelix attempted a Body Slam. The dust and rock that flew everywhere showered over the little grass Pokemon. Treecko jumped, pulling a short twig from his arm, and landed on Steelix with a short outcry. Treecko slapped Steelix hard on one of the boulder segments of its body and then darted off into the dust. A leech seed bloomed on Steelix, draining its energy. Gloom went hovering through the air, floating by spinning her bulbs and spraying glittering spores everywhere. A few of the boulders making up Steelix’s body shuddered and became rigid, paralyzed by the attack, but Steelix’s upper body, including the rows and rows of razor-sharp, steel teeth were still fully active. Steelix came crunching down on top of Treecko, socking the little gecko Pokemon with a mighty biting action. Treecko let Gloom run in front, lashing her razor leaves in all directions and charging along with them. Behind her, Treecko began to meditate, bathed in a green light. Steelix’s eyes became green for a time, during which he was hit by Gloom’s body slam and razor leaf, and Treecko bounded forward next, revived by absorbing Steelix’s energy. Treecko spat a stream of bullet-like seeds into Steelix’s face and jumped, preparing his claws for a slash attack. As he drew his arm back, Steelix suddenly lunged, grinding its horn into the attacker. Treecko fell back, screeching with agony. Jean made to run forward but Jonathon grabbed her.
“I know it’s hard, but you can’t run out there. You have to trust Treecko, believe in him,” Jonathon whispered frantically.
“Treecko was my first Pokemon. My parents bought him for me. He’s hurt,” Jean panicked. Jonathon didn’t let go of her arm. With a great effort, Treecko stood back up. Jean was still shrouded with concern. Treecko gave her a false smile and then followed Gloom to run in with another stun spore. Treecko darted away from Gloom, furiously swiping every part of Steelix he could reach. As Steelix reared its head and came down to bite Gloom the little bulb Pokemon made a piercing noise, somewhat similar to a screech. Gloom’s golden, glittering spores that induced paralysis turned suddenly purple and coughed out of her bulbs with more force. Steelix spluttered and coughed, its eyes drooping sadly.
“Poisonpowder!” Jean breathed. Jonathon cheered loudly.
“Go Gloom!” He called. Gloom kept spraying Steelix with the new attack, and then added an acid for good measure. Steelix became infuriated and lashed its tail, thrashing about wildly. Gloom and Treecko disappeared into the dust and rock. Steelix roared, flying into the air, Treecko with it. The two came crashing down, Treecko landing with a quiet thud. Steelix reared back up and roared, the sound making Jonathon’s teeth ache.
“What happened?’ Jean gasped, seeing the huge crack on one of Steelix’s boulders. Treecko wasn’t moving.
“Treecko’s rage attack, I think. Or maybe Steelix used Take Down, I’m not sure,” Jonathon replied. Jean recalled Treecko.
“I’m out,” Jean breathed, a note of defeat breaking through the arena. Gloom bounced around the stadium, avoiding Steelix’s ravaging thrash attack.
“Use your petal dance form a distance,” Jonathon yelled. Gloom obeyed, but as she started to dance she was smacked in the mouth by Steelix’s tail. Blood spurted onto the dirt, trailing out of Gloom’s mouth. She slowly looked up to Steelix’s face, her expression impassive. Gloom’s little hand reached up into the bulbs atop her head. She took her ribbon from the contest out of the hiding place she’d found for it and threw it aside, wiping the blood from her mouth with her other hand. Steelix swung a boulder at her. It smashed Gloom hard in the face, but she barely flinched as the little grass Pokemon started to march forward slowly, with a purpose in her gate. Steelix blasted a barrage of stones at Gloom but again she walked through it. Steelix charged forward at her, its horn bared, ready to strike with a horn drill.
“Gloom!” Jonathon screamed.
“Look out!” Jean warned, her voice shrill. Both trainers made to move forward, Steelix just meters from colliding at full speed with the impossibly calm Gloom.
“GLOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”

The whole Gym shuddered; even the walls seemed to move back away from the light. Jonathon was blinded, stars popping into his eyesight. All sound was extinguished and then, as soon as it had begun the light was sucked away, condensed into a flowing stream from Gloom’s bulbous head into Steelix’s face where it exploded with untold magnitude. Steelix was hurled back into the high wall, leaving it cracked and broken. The giant snake sunk to the floor and didn’t move. Gloom was still for a long moment, every eye trained upon her. The little Pokemon then took a shaky step. She was walking slowly, carefully, as though each step took immeasurable effort. Finally she bent low and picked back up her ribbon, placing it in her bulb again. Gloom turned and waved at Jonathon with a smile and then, in one fluid motion she collapsed to the dirt, dust clouding up around her body. Both Steelix and Gloom were returned to their Pokeballs. Jonathon held up Squirtle’s Pokeball.
“I still have one more Pokemon, that means we’ve won,” He said loudly to the people looking down from the balcony. The Gym Leader with the staff was watching with a fixated stare. He lifted his staff into the air and threw it down into the battlefield. The staff stuck up out of the ground on an angle, quivering slightly. The Pokeball on the top burst open and the Gym Leader’s final Pokemon appeared before Jonathon and Jean.
“Oh my God…” Jean gasped. Jonathon lobbed Squirtle’s Pokeball toward the sparkling snake, its shining eyes fixed on the challengers. Squirtle gazed up at it, his face alight with awe. Jonathon shook his head in wonder. It was the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. The blue and white body was sleek and looked soft to touch, its head small and kindly. There was a shimmering orb under its chin and as it sang its feminine voice lit some fire inside of Jonathon, near his heart.
“Dragonair,” She cooed. From the orb under her chin Dragonair fired a glowing gold hyper beam that slammed hard into Squirtle with full force. The sudden attack seemed to shake Jean and Jonathon from Dragonair’s spell.
“Dragonair,” She repeated as the dust cleared. Squirtle was still standing, but his eyes had clouded over with a dark light, tinted with the slightest touch of purple. The whole stadium seemed cast into darkness. Crackling orbs of dark energy came into being, swirling slowly around Squirtle. Squirtle hovered in the air about a foot from the ground, revolving slowly, his head hung low. Dragonair remained still, training her eyes upon the curious event.
“What is it?” Jean gasped, her eyes filled with dread. Jonathon smiled a cruel smile.
“Hidden Power,” He answered, his voice echoing over the arena.
“Squirtle,” The little Pokemon declared. The purple orbs shot away at once, making a beeline for Dragonair. As each one hit they exploded with loud cracks, sending lightning bolts of the deepest black in all directions. Dragonair went rolling through the air, her body trapped in the explosions from Squirtle’s darkest and most hidden power. With one final bang and the greatest clapping sound of all Dragonair fell unmoving to the ground. Squirtle blinked and his eyes returned. Jonathon seemed to be consumed by a similar feeling of darkness. He stepped out into the battlefield, looking down at Squirtle as he did so. His eyes traveled up to bore into the face of the Gym Leader.
“Give me my badge,” He ordered. Squirtle returned to his Pokeball and Jean appeared at Jonathon’s side, looking up at the Gym Leader too. A single spotlight came down from above and fixed over a boulder where two glittering badges lay, each one like a purple spiral jewel.
“We did it,” Jean said quietly, picking up one of the badges. Jonathon opened his jacket and pinned the badge next to the other four. Isamine’s Mine Badge, Longhand’s Stars Badge, Towa Bay’s Sand Badge, Las Vista’s Barking Badge and now another Las Vista badge- the Coil Badge.
“There are two more Gyms in Las Vista,” The Gym Leader told them in a deep, booming voice.
“The Billowing Badge from the Weather Gym should be your next goal,” One of his assistants called out.
“You may gain my Coil badge, and you may even earn yourselves the Billowing Badge, but you will never gain the Cracked Badge. I suggest you go elsewhere for your seventh badge. Melchrist City is only a few days travel from here, try there for number seven,” The Gym Leader suggested. Jean looked at Jonathon curiously.
“No,” Jonathon scathed, “We’ll get the Billowing Badge, and then the Cracked Badge too. I swear it,”
“You will never defeat the possessor of the Cracked Badges,” The Gym Leader warned.
“I swear we will,” Jonathon promised.
“I look forward to seeing that,” The Leader chuckled.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

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Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:34 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Jean and Jonathon decided they would stick together while they competed for the last remaining badges. Once they had all eight badges though they would be parting ways as Jean headed south for Adelburgh. Jonathon was still undecided about where he’d go when he had all eight of the Quistis Region’s Gym Badges. He could go to Melchrist City and collect the Veltic Region’s Badges he supposed, still not really planning anything. At the moment he found that collecting badges gave him something to do, something to take his mind off things. Not that he was bothered by anything, he didn’t care about Danyl breaking up with him, and he certainly didn’t miss Nick. As far as Jonathon told Sam and Jean he was perfectly happy.
“Solarbeam!” Jonathon ordered Gloom.
“Barrier,” Jean countered to Ralts. The Pokemon obeyed, but Ralts’ barrier held Gloom’s Solarbeam at bay and then the little rag doll look-alike sent a blue shimmer of psychic energy into Gloom.
“How’s training?” Sam asked, waltzing over to the pair who was, as usual, training in the park. Treecko was climbing up and down a nearby tree while Tailow carried Lotad up to the tallest branches. Nincada was already perched there, waiting for the others. Squirtle was lying down in the shade of the tree, watching Gloom and Ralts do battle.
“Yeah good,” Jonathon reported, withdrawing the weakened Gloom from the battle.
“Solarbeam is getting stronger, but I don’t know if it’ll be ready to use at the Gym Battle next week,” Jean informed Jonathon, sending Ralts to run around the field. As Ralts wobbled across the grass Sam gave a sigh.
“What’s wrong?” Jonathon asked.
“Look right there,” She said pointing to a poster, “It’s sad isn’t it?”
“My Goodness,” Jean gasped, seeing the warning. Jonathon read it aloud as Squirtle came over to hold onto his leg, peering up at the sign.
“Warning, Pokemon Trainers should exercise extreme caution until Pokemon Thieves operating under the name Hillsound have been apprehended,” Jonathon read. Jean was already throwing her Pokeballs into the air, her Pokemon returning into the red and white spheres without a moment to spare. Jonathon recalled Nincada as he jumped off of the tree. Lotad was bouncing over already and Jonathon recalled him too. Squirtle stayed out but Jonathon bent down low to talk to him.
“Squirtle, if you want to stay out with Sam, Jean and I then you have to promise me you won’t let go of my hand,” He reasoned. Squirtle nodded silently, holding his hand out for Jonathon to take. Jonathon and Squirtle followed Jean and Sam out of the park.
“We could all go to the Fourth Street Café for dinner if you like? My treat,” Jean offered.
“We’re there,” Sam finished quickly.
“I’ve got to duck home, then I’ll meet you at the café around six,” Jean decided, waving as she started to cross the road. Sam and Jonathon bid her farewell and were soon walking into the apartment. Jonathon placed Gloom’s Pokeball on the restoration device and threw his other Pokeballs onto the coffee table, each one making a loud cracking noise as they landed. Nincada and Lotad appeared on the couch, greeted by Goldeen who was in the pool on the balcony, looking into the lounge room. Sam sat on the long couch and placed her bag beside her. Skitty jumped out of the bag and curled up on Sam’s lap.
“Pokemon thieves,” Jonathon commented.
“I know… I’ve never even heard of it. I guess we were fairly sheltered in Isamine City. Not a lot happened out there, bad or good,” Sam replied. Jonathon nodded and went to his room to change clothes.

Squirtle was again latched to Jonathon’s wrist as he and Sam waited for Jean outside the Fourth Street Café. It wasn’t like Jean to be late, but it was half past six before they saw her running down the street toward them.
“Sorry… I… didn’t mean to… be late,” She panted, breathless.
“That’s okay, what kept you,” Sam asked, taking off her sunglasses.
“I was at the Pokemon Center for ages, the staff got hit by Hillsound,”
“What do you mean?” Sam shook. Jonathon held Squirtle’s hand tighter.
“Hillsound broke into the Pokemon Center. They stole some of the staff Pokemon,” Jean explained.
“Jonathon,” Sam gasped. She didn’t’ need to remind him that Danyl worked at the Pokemon Center. Jonathon was already running around the corner to the Pokemon Center. Sitting in the gutter out the front, their head in their hands, looking defeated, was Danyl. Jonathon walked to his side slowly, kneeling down to sit with him.
“Mudkip,” Danyl choked. Jonathon nodded. They sat for what could have been hours. Jonathon’s arm firmly placed over Danyl’s heaving shoulders. Jonathon saw Danyl’s other two Pokeballs were gripped tightly in his hands.
“I can’t believe I was so careless. We all put our Pokeballs in our lockers. I never imagined anyone would break in and steal them,” Danyl told Jonathon.
“At least Graveller and Porygon are safe,” Jonathon sympathized.
“Not really,” Danyl said, wiping his eyes. He threw Graveller’s Pokeball and Graveller appeared in a blinding flash. The rocky Pokemon was cracked and scarred. Jonathon winced at the sight of him.
“And Porygon has a virus,” Danyl went on, throwing Porygon’s Pokeball next. Porygon was coloured different shades of red instead of pink and green. Jonathon watched as the little Pokemon’s tail flickered and blurred like a bad television reception.
“I hate to think what they’ve done to Mudkip,” Danyl sobbed, his tears cascading again.
“Danyl, I promise, one day I’ll bring Mudkip back. One day, I promise, I’ll bring you back Mudkip,” Jonathon vowed. Danyl smiled and kissed him for a short moment. Jonathon helped Danyl to his feet and hugged him as they said their farewells. Jonathon was at the Fourth Street Café with Jean and Sam within five minutes.
“Come on, we’re going after Hillsound,” Jonathon ordered the girls. Sam laughed suddenly, but then stopped, seeing Jonathon’s face.
“You’re serious?” She stuttered. Jonathon nodded pointedly.
“Hillsound are new to Quistis, but in the Sathalia Region they’ve been stealing Pokemon for years. They have a base in Adelburgh City,” Jean explained, taking a sip from her milkshake.
“Then we’re going to Adelburgh,” Jonathon announced.
“There’s no point in us going down to Sathalia until we’ve got the Eight Quistis Badges,” Jean pointed out.
”Then you only need the Eight Badges of the Sathalia Region and the Eight Badges of the Veltic Region and you have the entire Continent’s badges. Then you can apply to the Pokemon League,” Sam grinned.
“Fine, we get the last three badges from Quistis and then we go to Adelburgh to get Danyl’s Mudkip back.”

Now, the problem with getting the last three badges was that the Weather Gym would be hard enough to beat, let alone the seventh Gym, which, it seemed to general consensus, was the hardest Gym on the Continent. As for the eighth badge, the trio tended to get into an argument whenever they pondered where to get their last badge, as was the case the morning after Hillsound broke into the Pokemon Center as they trained in the park.
“I have a friend in Villa Town, we can stay with him and get the eighth badge from there,” Jonathon started.
“I am not setting foot in Villa Town,” Jean argued, raising her hand in a stop motion.
“Why don’t we go to Towa Bay?” Sam pleaded.
“We’ve already got the Sand Badge from Towa Bay,” Jean retorted.
“Do you two ever read? Towa Bay just opened a new Gym,” Sam explained.
“I’m not going to Towa Bay,” Jonathon spat, a scowl on his face.
“I thought you were over Nick,” Sam teased, one of her thin eyebrows cocked.
“I don’t want to be around those memories,” Jonathon shot back.
“Towa Bay’s only a few hours from here though. It’ll take a day and a half to get to Villa Town, and the Villa Town Gym is hard, everyone says so,” Jean countered. The argument would go on for hours, until one of them decided they would continue it at a later date. Of course, training for the Weather Gym was pointless according to Jean who was suddenly without her hardened confidence.
“Your Pokemon are up in the air on a tiny circular dish along with the Gym Leader’s, the wind is surging around them like mad, trying to knock them for six, and then there’s lightning because it’s always stormy out where the Gym is at this time of year. Plus the Gym Leader’s Pokemon are big and not affected by the wind trying to throw them overseas,” She moaned.
“What about Tailow?” Jonathon asked.
“Tailow can’t withstand those gusts,” Jean shook her head.
“Gloom won’t be able to fly either,” Sam pointed out.
“Nincada and Lotad are too small, they’ll be thrown off the edge easily, so will Ralts” Jonathon added.
“Treecko is too small too, Squirtle’s our only hope,” Jean sighed. Her mobile phone beeped as a text message arrived.
“Oh… it’s my sister. She’s in Las Vista,” She read.
“Fourth Street Café for dinner?” Sam suggested.

Jean’s sister was awesome. Jonathon and Sam had never laughed so much in their lives. Hannah looked nothing like Jean. She had long straight blonde hair, a big, bouncing bust and rosy cheeks framing a model’s smile. Her eyes sparkled with the same curious intensity as Jean’s and the pair both had a passion for Pokemon.
“Here’s your Makuhita back,” Hannah said, passing Jean a Pokeball.
“MAKUHITA!” Jean screamed, her voice a very good impersonation. Sam and Jonathon jumped at the sudden outburst.
“Makuhita and Squirtle will be perfect against the Gym Leader together,” Jean explained. Jonathon had to agree. Makuhita and Squirtle would be similar in size and fighting and water was a good combination, there wouldn’t be many types that had an advantage against both. The group’s dinner arrived and they began to eat until Hannah spoke next.
“There’s a tournament here tomorrow, it’d be a good chance for Squirtle and Makuhita to practice together,” She pointed out.
“Good idea,” Jean pouted through her lasagna.
“What’s the prize pool look like?” Sam asked.
“It’s an open tournament so they’re only offering one major prize for first place. There are no second place or third place prizes, not even trainer credits,” Hannah replied.
“Those trainer credits are useless anyway,” Jean spat, “They’re only redeemable at Pokemon Mart, and Pokemon Mart charges twice as much as Psy Mart,”
“I know, the Trainer Credit system is nothing but an extra and quite large factor adding to global inflation,” A voice carried. The four of them looked up to see James, the waiter boy, standing at their table. No one said a word; they just stared up at him.
“Here’s your bread,” He mumbled, placing it on the table and then turning to leave. Hannah, who was sitting in the booth between Sam and the wall, shook her head.
“What a tool,” She whispered. The other three laughed. Jonathon, who was sitting across from Sam, was the first to stop laughing.
“He is cute though,” Sam smiled, giving Jonathon a sharp look.
“If you say so,” Hannah snickered.
“I don’t think it matters who says so, no amount of looks can make up for that dorkiness,” Jean teased. James was cute, now that Jonathon thought about it. It was too bad that he was so weird. Then again, everyone in Isamine used to say how weird Jonathon was. Maybe there was something in that.
“Squirtle…” Came a voice. Jonathon saw Squirtle under the table, looking up between his knees.
“What the- How did- Where-” Jonathon spluttered. Squirtle climbed up and turned around to face the table. He ate a handful of Jonathon’s fries and then took a sip of the red drink Jonathon was drinking.
“Very cute,” Hannah commented, “My starter Pokemon was from Kanto too,”
“Really?” Jonathon asked excitedly.
“Yep. Bulbasaur,” Hannah said, taking a lime green Pokeball from a chain around her neck. She rolled the Pokeball over to Squirtle and Squirtle caught it. Squirtle disappeared under the table and appeared next to the booth a moment later. He dropped Bulbasaur’s Pokeball onto the ground and the little toad Pokemon appeared with a flash. Bulbasaur croaked and gave Squirtle a quizzical look. Barely seconds later they were rolling around on the café floor, laughing and cheering.
“What other Pokemon have you got?” Jonathon queried.

Hannah’s Pidgeotto flew in great circles around them. She had a Butterfree too that perched on her shoulder. Her last Pokemon was the newest member of the team and she’d borrowed Jean’s Makuhita to capture it. Sandshrew was curled up in a ball and refused to come out. Hannah ignored her and then took out of her black backpack the most incredible thing Jonathon had ever seen.
“Why is it glowing?” Sam breathed, fearful to make too much noise.
“Because it’s so close to hatching,” Hannah smiled. The egg was orange, or maybe brown- it was hard to tell. It seemed to be glowing like fire, pulsating and throbbing in the fading light. As the sun set swiftly behind the high city buildings the group headed for the hostel that Jean and Hannah were both staying in. Coincidentally it was the same one that Jonathon had stayed in before he’d moved in with Sam. They all sat on the rooftop, deciding it would be safe to let their Pokemon roam free up there.
“This Hillsound group are scaring everyone,” Hannah said, giving Butterfree a berry.
“I can’t believe they stole Danyl’s Mudkip,” Jonathon sighed.
“They’re really twisted. The idiots think that they’re intentions for the Pokemon are for the greater good or something and so they deserve whatever Pokemon they want,” Hannah explained. Sam shook her head. Hannah suddenly lunged forward.
“Pidgeotto, gust attack, Butterfree hit it with your stun spore, Bulbasaur get your leech seed in the air!” She cried in perfect recitation. Her Pokemon were already halfway through their orders as the rest of the group saw the giant Muk towering over Lotad. Lotad turned around and squealed, spraying water in all directions. Finally, with what looked like a huge effort the little Pokemon smacked Muk with a hydro pump. Butterfree’s stun spore froze Muk to the spot and Bulbasaur’s leech seed sunk into its oily skin. Pidgeotto slammed it with a gust as it swooped past. Jonathon scooped up Lotad but stayed close to Muk. Muk had a saddened look in her eyes. She gave him a pitying sigh and slowly retreated to her rubbish pile.
“It’s okay, I’ve met that Muk before. She’s just lonely,” He explained. Lotad fell asleep quickly in his arms as the group sat and talk well into the night. Sam and Jonathon were meandering home very late, their Pokemon safe in their Pokeballs. Needless to say, the most discussed topic was Hillsound.

“Wow!” Sam cried.
“Jonathon, look at that!” Jean pointed.
“This is incredible!” Jonathon gasped. The Pokemon Tournament was clear across the other side of Las Vista in an area of the city that Sam and Jonathon had never been. Luckily Hannah had a car and drove them there for Squirtle and Makuhita’s first battle together. The registration was quick and easy and soon the group could wander around aimlessly, looking at all the stalls offering Pokemon Merchandise.
“That’s cruel!” Sam announced, pointing to a Macho Brace.
“They work well, but you’re right, they are really unfriendly,” Hannah agreed.
“We should get matching Badge Cases,” Jean suggested, pointing out a stall selling the cases. Sam pushed a fifty-dollar note into Jonathon’s hand and nudged him after Jean. Soon he and Jean were shining their badges with the polish and cloth that had come with the cases. Their cases were black on the bottom and midnight blue on the top. They had silver clasps and locked with a key. Jonathon hung the key on a chain around his neck.
“The warm-ups are starting, come on!” Hannah urged, taking Sam’s hand and dragging her ahead. Jean and Jonathon followed until Hannah had bustled them into the stands. The dusty area of ground below them was where the Pokemon Tournament would take place and onto it ran three Ponyta. Riding on their backs were younger trainers, each one brandishing a short stick with a Pokeball on the end. After the Ponyta ran around the arena a few times a larger Rapidash came out with an older lady on its back. The Rapidash reared up on its hind legs and then jumped higher than what seemed possible. Rapidash finished by shooting a spiral of small fires into the sky. Rapidash led the Ponyta off and then a man came on leading five Donphan. The Donphan walked clumsily until they were in a circle around the man. He cracked his whip and they started to roll in a perfect circle. One by one they would jump into the air, letting the one behind pass underneath them and landing back in a different place in the line. They moved into figure eights and then one of them jumped high enough that two of the others had time to get underneath and catch it. The triangle of spinning Donphan grew as the other two skid underneath and stood up, holding the others on their backs. The crowd cheered and clapped and the man led his Donphan off. Finally a taller man came onstage and threw six Pokeballs into the sky. A Swellow and five Pidgeotto exploded with feathers and swirled down to the ground. Dust flew everywhere and as it cleared the man was holding a hoop with each Pokemon flying through it faster than the eye could see. Swellow swooped overhead and took the hoop in its talons, the Pidgeotto following and diving in and out of the hoop with expert skill. Swellow threw the hoop high in the air and let it fall. Each flying Pokemon managed to surge through the hoop before Swellow caught it again just inches from the ground. The man took the hoop and Swellow joined the other in formation in the sky. They beat their wings and show toward the ground with deadly speed. Jonathon stood up, his fingernails in his mouth. The rest of the crowd was on their feet too, gasping, as the birds seemed sure to strike the earth. Swellow burst into golden flames, followed shortly by the five Pidgeotto. There was a loud bang and dust flew in all directions. As it cleared, the silence of the crowd like a cold winter night, the crowd let out a wild scream. The Swellow and Pidgeotto were standing in a pyramid on the ground, Swellow at the top.
“All competitors please report to the beige tent,” The announcer asked. Jean and Jonathon left with beaming smiles, Hannah and Sam wishing them luck. As they hurried through the crowd a boy’s black shirt caught Jonathon’s eye. He stopped and spun, reaching out frantically to grab the offender.
“Jonathon, it’s this way,” Jean pointed out, grabbing his shoulder.
“That girl had a Hillsound shirt,” Jonathon told her. Jean stood; slack jawed, her eyes following the figure retreating into the crowd.
“Jonathon Psyches and Jean Marco?” A lady asked.
“Yes,” Jean replied.
“This way please,” The lady beamed, leading them into the tent.

The Tournament was fast paced and quick, Squirtle and Makuhita barely had time to think as they were thrust from battle to battle. Makuhita was socking a Meditite in the face while Squirtle doused a Growlithe with his water gun, then within minutes Squirtle was tossing a Sandshrew high above Makuhita’s head as Makuhita kicked an Ekans around the dirty ground. Geodude were pummeled, Rattata were sent scampering and finally all that remained were two white orbs sitting on the field, ready to fight with Makuhita and Squirtle.
“That one with the orange eyes is a Cascoon,” Jonathon noticed. Jean nodded.
“The sadder looking one is a Silcoon, let’s hope the battle doesn’t force them to evolve,” She said quietly. Squirtle and Makuhita gave each other a united nod and then started to run with all their might toward the cocoon Pokemon.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, this year’s winners of the Las Vista, Chapel Valley Pokemon Tournament are Jonathon Psyches and Jean Marco!” The announcer boomed. Jonathon and Jean hoisted Squirtle and Makuhita up onto their hips and waved at the crowds, the screaming and whistles threatening to induce headaches unlike any other.
“There!” Jonathon shouted, pointing at the girl in the Hillsound shirt. Jean followed his finger and frowned.
“Come with me,” She said, making to drag him off the stage. Before they could go anywhere though they were handed their small trophies, given medallions for Squirtle and Makuhita and finally each handed a silver Pokeball.
“What’s this?” Jean asked, forgetting about the Hillsound sighting.
“The prize for winning the tournament. You each receive a Pokemon courtesy of Hillsound Imports,” The announcer told them.
“Hillsound?” Jonathon scathed.
“Not the same Hillsound bragging about the crime spree, that I can assure you,” A voice promised. Another man had joined them on the dusty field and he was wearing a black shirt with the word Hillsound emblazoned onto its front, just like the girl in the crowd.
“Hillsound are the ones behind all the stolen Pokemon,” Jonathon snarled, stepping forward with his hands outstretched.
“Whoa, calm done kid, let me tell you a bit about Hillsound before you get too carried away,” The man hurried, stepping away from Jonathon.

Hillsound, it seemed, was a group that studied Pokemon history and folklore. They delved into the deepest mysteries of Pokemon mythology and were responsible for the discovery of many intriguing tales. Not only that but they had an Import department that used forced Pokemon migration to help with natural disasters and turmoil. The man explained how they’d taken water Pokemon to the deserts of Africa to help ease the drought and how they’d used grass Pokemon to help reforest the Amazon.
“So Hillsound are good?” Jean pondered.
“The Pokemon thieves have been calling themselves Hillsound,” Jonathon glowered. The man held up a hand to explain.
“They’re rogues. We don’t always have enough Pokemon to do what we need to do. A rogue group of trainers left Hillsound and started stealing Pokemon for what they consider the greater good,”
“And what are Hillsound doing to stop them?” Jonathon spat.
“It’s a matter for the police now,” The man laughed, “We can’t go chasing after thieves,”
“They’re from your organization, you should be responsible for stopping them,” Jean silenced the man. She and Jonathon shook their heads and turned to leave, most of the crowd had dispersed by now and the Tournament grounds were being disassembled. Hannah and Sam found the new information about Hillsound as interesting as it was unjust.
“Hillsound should be stopping the rogue faction themselves, they should never have let it get this out of hand in the first place,” Hannah growled. The four trainers drove back to Sam and Jonathon’s apartment and cracked a bottle of Sam’s wine. They were continuing their discussions about Hillsound when a bright flash of light came piercing out of Hannah’s backpack. She pulled it onto her lap and took out the egg, now glowing with a dazzling white. Hannah wordlessly placed the egg on the coffee table and the group watched with silent, baited breath as the white egg started to crack. As the first piece started to crumble away they saw the unmistakable orange scales of a fire Pokemon most sought after.
“I found this egg in a valley in the deserts near Isamine City,” Hannah breathed, afraid to speak too loudly. A tiny hand shook as it reached out of the shell and bent around to scratch feebly at the egg. Another piece of the egg fell away and a long tail with a yellow underside rolled out. There was a louder splintering noise and more pieces of shell dropped onto the coffee table revealing a domed head and small fragile body. The egg fell down completely, revealing the tiny Pokemon to the group entirely. It moved its tail first, lifting it high over its head. The Pokemon’s body trembled and shook, a soft whimper escaping its pursed lips. With a faint pop the tip of the Pokemon's tail caught alight. The Charmander rested for a moment and then with tremendous effort it opened its eyes.
“She’s beautiful,” Jonathon gasped. Charmander’s eyes were coloured purple and shone in the dim light of the lounge room. She looked up at the group, her little arms rising and falling with her heaving chest. Her mouth opened curiously as Hannah reached out a slow-moving hand. Charmander became still as the hand approached. She closed her eyes tight as Hannah stroked her cheek.
“Char…” The baby Pokemon gurgled. Hannah let out a shaky breath and smiled, coming closer. She picked up the now smiling Charmander and placed her in her lap.
“Wow,” Jean smiled.
“She’s so beautiful,” Sam smiled.
“To Charmander,” Jonathon toasted, raising his glass.
“Charmander,” The rest of the group repeated, lifting their glasses also.

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Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:17 am
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Ace Trainer
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Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
It was a teary goodbye as Hannah left for Melchrist City the next day. Bulbasaur sat in the passenger seat of Hannah’s topless pink sportscar with Charmander strapped into a baby carriage between he and Hannah. Pidgeotto and Butterfree sat on the backseat in amongst several blankets and pillows. Jonathon saw Sandshrew curled up in a ball next to them. Hannah waved all the way to the end of the street with Jean’s Tailow flying after her. Tailow came back to Jean and perched on her shoulder.
“Let’s get back to training,” She said, her steely determination masking the tearful farewell. Jonathon turned to go back inside but was suddenly winded. He bent over, clutching his stomach and felt a sudden rushing beside him. He dropped to the ground, his legs aching from what felt like a kick. Tailow screeched overhead and fell to the pavement. Jean cried out, crashing down next to Jonathon. Sam fell next, her bag landing near to Jonathon’s hand. He’d left his Pokemon upstairs; maybe Sam had one in her bag. Something kicked Jonathon in the head as he made to reach into the bag. He rummaged around, grabbing at everything that he could feel. He felt something hit him again and was moved over enough so he could see down into the bag. At that exact moment his hand found a round object. He looked and realized he was holding the silver Pokeball he’d won at the tournament. Inside was the prize Pokemon from Hillsound. Jonathon had thrown it in Sam’s bag and forgotten about it. He didn’t want anything to do with Hillsound, not even if they’d given him a free Pokemon. But now, it seemed, there was no choice. He threw the Pokeball over his head and jumped to his feet. Something made to trip him over; a sweeping purple shape punched him in the mouth, spraying blood everywhere. One of Jonathon’s teeth felt loose. Sam climbed to her feet next to him but coughed as another purple shape streaked by, socking her in the jaw. Jonathon turned around in time to see the Gastly getting hit in the face from a Trapinch’s rock throw attack. The Trapinch jumped on the spot and yelled, throwing sand in all directions. There were two more Gastly that quickly stopped flying around and joined the other a short distance away from the Trapinch. Jonathon looked at the three just in time to see their eyes cloud over with a red iridescent glow. A Haunter appeared with its hand planted firmly on a man’s shoulder. The man gave a quick smirk and then he, the Haunter and the three Gastly were gone.
“What on earth was that about?” Jean groaned, holding her elbow.
“Should we report it?” Sam wondered. Jonathon was ignoring them. The man looked vaguely familiar. Jonathon had seen him before, of that he was sure. He felt something rubbing against his leg. The Trapinch that had been summoned from the silver Pokeball was grinning up at what it presumed was its new master. Jonathon bent down and rubbed its oversized jaw.
“Trap-trap!” He squealed.
“I have to confess little guy, I don’t know the first thing about Trapinch,” Jonathon told the orange turtle.
“Trap,” Trapinch smiled, ignoring the warning. Trapinch waddled away and then returned a second later, rolling the silver Pokeball with his huge head. Jonathon laughed and took the Pokeball from the sidewalk.
“Okay, if you insist,” Jonathon nodded. He held out the Pokeball and Trapinch disappeared inside.
“Show me that ball,” A voice croaked. Jonathon, Jean and Sam turned as one to see Danyl: rings under his eyes, looking disheveled and broken and staring at them with his hand outstretched.
“Hi Danyl,” Sam attempted.
“Show me that ball,” Danyl repeated. Jonathon placed it in his palm.
“Jean and I won a Pokemon each from the Pokemon Tournament yesterday,” Jonathon explained. Danyl studied the ball carefully and then finally held it out on his palm and stared at it with pity on his face.
“This is a Restrain Ball,” He mourned, his voice riddled with sadness.
“A what?” Jonathon stammered, looking down at the silver Pokeball.
“Restrain Balls make Pokemon forget. They won’t remember their original Pokemon trainer again unless they here them speak the Pokemon’s name,” Danyl cracked. He handed the ball to Jonathon and made a feeble attempt to smile before turning away.
“Mudkip will hear your voice again,” Jonathon promised Danyl’s back. Danyl seemed not to have heard him. Jean took out her Restrain Ball and held it over the ground. It opened in her hand and a small green dog-like Pokemon joined the group on the sidewalk.
“Electrike,” Jonathon told her.
“I don’t plan to get too attached, I intend to relocate its original trainer,” Jean said solemnly. Jonathon smiled.
“At least they’re safe with us.”

Trapinch was extremely loyal and happy and Jonathon found this very worrying. For a Pokemon he presumed had been stolen from its trainer for Hillsound to use in their quest for the greater good it appeared to be under the complete control of the Restrain Ball. Jonathon and Jean had both speculated about trying to transfer the Hillsound Pokemon to different Pokeballs but neither knew if this practice was safe and beside that, if they transferred the Pokemon to different Pokeballs and they no longer were under the effects of the Restrain Ball how would they act? Would they attack Jean and Jonathon, thinking they were the ones who had stolen them? It seemed the Pokemon would have to remain prisoners for now, at least until Jean and Jonathon traveled to Adelburgh and took down Hillsound. Instead the pair was focusing all their thoughts on training for the Weather Gym. Sam had taken to making regular trips to the lake to leave them alone. Goldeen was growing bigger quickly and the swimming space the lake provided was satisfying the aquatic Pokemon greatly so. Makuhita and Squirtle were running through the park with Jonathon and Jean on roller blades speeding along with them.
“Bubble,” Jonathon shot. Squirtle obeyed, spraying bubbles ahead and not dropping a step.
“Thunderpunch,” Jean ordered. Makuhita sped up, his tiny feet becoming blurs underneath him. He spun into the air, lightning streaking along with him. The bubbles were energized by the hit, turning into crackling lights in the sky.
“Light them up with water gun,” Jonathon jabbed. Squirtle sprayed short bursts of water gun up into the sky. Each one hit with perfect accuracy and the bubbles exploded; smoke billowing away into the sky. Jonathon and Jean pulled up on the side of the path. Makuhita and Squirtle fell to the ground, panting for breath. Squirtle reached into the sky dramatically, pretending he was dying. Makuhita clutched at his throat.
“Oh come off it guys, we’ve trained you a lot harder than this before,” Jean teased. Jonathon was looking over at a larger man with an Aipom. He was older and looked very familiar. Vance turned and waved at Jonathon.
“I remember you,” He bellowed, coming over.
“Vance! I haven’t seen you since I was in Towa Bay,” Jonathon exclaimed. Jonathon held out a hand to shake with Vance’s but instead the jolly man pulled him into a hug. Jonathon nearly fell over on his roller blades.
“This is Jean, my new battle partner,” Jonathon introduced.
“Howdy lady, I’m Vance,” Vance cheered. Aipom, Makuhita and Squirtle chased each other around on the grass while Vance told the trainers about the holiday he was taking in Las Vista.
“So you’re up against the Weather Gym? You’ll need a good offense. Now, most people will say to train up your defense, but I’m telling you, it doesn’t matter how long you can keep your Pokemon alive up there, eventually they’ll be knocked out unless you’ve got the power to knock out the Gym Leader,” Vance chuckled. Jonathon and Jean had to agree, though they still didn’t have much of a plan for their attacks. All they had been able to find out about the Gym Leader’s Pokemon was that they were big, thus they could withstand the mighty winds that pound the arena, which is airborne and circular without walls. Regardless of their ill-prepared nature, the two trainers were soon in an elevator heading for the battle area far up in the sky. Squirtle and Makuhita were in their Pokeballs and these had been placed on a small shelf in the elevator facing outwards to where one wall of the elevator was glass.
“There’s no way we can beat THAT!” Jean screamed, pointing through the glass to what looked like two giant dinosaurs. Jonathon had never seen the long necked Tropius before but he’d seen pictures of it in books and on the InterDex. The other Pokemon however was a complete mystery to him. It was even bigger, larger than a Snorlax, and Jonathon had seen a Snorlax when two were bought into school for the students to see. This Pokemon had a giant shell with four big bulky legs but it had a tree growing out of its back. The Pokemon were walking around the circle easily, Tropius chewing on a large leaf. As it saw the elevator the Tropius dropped its leaf and roared like a Donphan. The other Pokemon turned around and roared along with Tropius, only this roar was much more sinister. Jonathon felt his stomach churn; whether because of the vibration or nerves he couldn’t tell.
“Take over Makuhita for me,” Jean said, turning around and rummaging in her pockets.
“Jean, this is no time for a phone call,” He told her, looking at her playing with her phone. The Pokeballs on the shelf in front of them opened and Squirtle and Makuhita shot out onto the platform floating in the sky. The Gym Leader was also in a glass-fronted elevator and Jonathon saw him releasing several Fearow. The Fearow circled the arena, waiting to pick up any falling Pokemon. In the center of the circular plate in the sky was a small gray blob. Castform sang a piercing note and was shrouded by a blue raindrop. An air horn sounded and Tropius and the other giant turned to face Squirtle and Makuhita. Before Jonathon could make any attack the wind started. Castform disappeared under a torrent of rain and wind, billowing gusts circled the arena and Squirtle and Makuhita were clinging to each other for their lives. Tropius galloped over, two strong vines flicking out from an area on its back. The vines lashed out, socking Squirtle and Makuhita each in the face. Squirtle slid along the rain-drenched battleground for a while and then managed to clamber to his feet. Makuhita was heavier so he wasn’t moved by the wind as much. He was moved, however, by Tropius’ headbutt, which sent Makuhita skidding over toward the edge. Squirtle ran closer, blasting Tropius with a water gun but the other giant Pokemon came thundering over, bashing its skull into Squirtle. Squirtle was floored instantly; crashing to the ground under the giant beast, water spraying everywhere. The giant stopped and stood still as Tropius cantered past, lowering its head to knock Makuhita again. Makuhita looked up from the ground, a foot away from the edge of the platform, and saw Tropius thundering closer. Just as the battle seemed lost a Hydro Pump came blasting after Tropius. Squirtle had emerged from underneath the other beast and was sending the new attack cascading into Tropius. Tropius was forced along faster by the attack and stumbled, tripping, and falling over the edge. Squirtle slid out from underneath the unknown Pokemon and ran to help Makuhita. As Squirtle ran the beast turned about to face them. Squirtle and Makuhita got balanced again, fighting with the torrential winds, and began to walk slowly toward the beast. The tree on its back swayed and creaked in the storm. Squirtle made to fire another hydro pump but the wind was too strong. Squirtle floundered water hopelessly from his mouth and it sprayed in all directions. Makuhita clenched his fists and they crackled with electricity. Squirtle nodded and fired a stream of bubbles. Makuhita jumped into the air and spun through them, igniting the bubbles with the Thunderpunch. The bubbles were too light though and were swept away in the wind within seconds. Squirtle reached after them, trying to call them back for a Bubble Barrage but the wind was impossible to fight.
“That’s a Torterra,” A muffled voice declared, a tinge of panic in her voice. Jonathon turned and saw Jean’s phone, alight with the image of Hannah. Hannah shook her head.
“Turtwig are found high in the Himalayas, they’re extremely rare and difficult to raise. Turtwig evolves into Grotle, but a lot of Grotle never evolve into Torterra. They’re unmatched in average weight,” Hannah informed them gravely.
“What’s worse is that Squirtle and Makuhita can’t even hear us,” Jonathon told Jean and Hannah.
“I noticed, and the battle is only two on two, Squirtle and Makuhita are our only chance,” Jean panicked.
“Now don’t stress, you’ve already gotten rid of one of the Gym Leader’s Pokemon, and remember there’s a Castform hiding out there somewhere, if you knock out the Castform you’ll be rid of the rain and wind,” Hannah explained.
“But they can’t hear us!” Jean cried as the rain continued to pelt against the glass. Squirtle and Makuhita fought their way closer to the Torterra, the raindrops lashing against their bodies like small rocks. Squirtle sprayed more bubbles into the storm to no avail, but then, with a flash of blue light the bubbles surged forward, concentrated into a beam.
“Bubblebeam!” Jonathon cheered.
“Hydro Pump and Bubblebeam in the same battle, Squirtle’s really stretching himself,” Jean commented.
“Let’s hope it doesn’t tire him out,” Hannah’s voice crackled form Jean’s phone. There was another crackling noise and the image of Hannah on Jean’s phone faded away.
“The storm’s blocking reception,” Jean breathed, looking out at the blurry shapes of Makuhita and Squirtle and the giant mountain called Torterra.

Squirtle and Makuhita kept pushing through the wind, slowly making their way closer to Torterra who stood, somewhat docilely in the middle of the circular platform. Squirtle blasted off another Bubblebeam that ground into Torterra’s hard shell. Torterra seemed to have finally become infuriated enough by the two much smaller Pokemon to attack. It braced its legs and glared fiercely at the approaching duo. For a long time nothing happened but then Jonathon and Jean realized their view was now clouded by wind, rain and leaves. More leaves appeared, rifling through the wind and swirling in all directions, they slammed hard into the glass until the whole pane was obscured. Out on the battlefield the leaves spun everywhere with razor sharp edges and pointed ends. They dug into Makuhita and Squirtle, gouging their skin apart. Blood spurted through the air as Makuhita collapsed, clutching at his stomach. The Torterra didn’t move once while the Leaf Storm erupted into a raging cyclone of nature’s fury. As the storm ended, the rain subsiding also, a final Bubblebeam struck Torterra on the side of the face. Squirtle was clutching his cracked shell, panting heavily. Torterra gave a low roar, turning his head to look at Squirtle. As if the glare from Torterra were painful to him, Squirtle fell to the ground, unmoving. Jonathon bashed on the glass until the doors slowly opened. He sprinted through the leaves out into the field, Jean hot on his tail. Jonathon tripped and slid, reaching out to grab Squirtle as he moved against his will. Jean grabbed his arm and pulled him to stop. She was holding Makuhita in her other arm, the little potato sack look-alike barely breathing. Squirtle’s left arm was tucked inside his shell, a large crack coming up from the hole his right leg stuck out of. Jonathon gingerly plucked a leaf from near Squirtle’s tail and hugged the Pokemon closely.
“You’d best take them to a Pokemon Center,” A girl said in a low, croaky voice. She was feeding her Castform a berry and spoke without looking over at them. Her hair was short and black, with a tiny streak of green through it. Her clothes were black too, except for a green choker she had around her neck.
“The elevators are slow, take the loser taxi,” She smiled to Castform, still not looking at them. A gust of wind came crashing over Jonathon, his feet let go of the platform, and Squirtle was pressed hard into his side. He lifted up over the platform and was carried over the edge where the wind let him go. He plummeted for what felt like an eternity, all the while holding Squirtle to him. The Fearow slowed him down before he hit the ground and carried him over Las Vista. Under normal circumstances Jonathon would have enjoyed the trip, the view spectacular, but Squirtle’s lack of movement unnerved him. Finally Fearow touched him down on the pavement outside Danyl’s Pokemon Center. Jonathon ran inside. Danyl, with dark rings under his eyes and the skeletal look of a broken man, perked up as he saw Jonathon. His face fell again when he saw Squirtle. He took the Pokemon wordlessly and hurried it out to the back area where a Surgeon and Doctor were always ready to work their magic on ailed Pokemon. Makuhita and Jean ran in next and Danyl seemed to understand. As he returned from dropping off Makuhita he shook his head.
“The Weather Gym?” He asked, though it was more of a statement. Jonathon and Jean nodded.
“Anna is a two-faced, backstabbing-” Danyl started, but he was interrupted by the doctor entering the room with a low whistle.
“Makuhita is going to be fine but your Squirtle is pretty badly hurt. It’ll be at least a week or so before Squirtle can do a lot. I want to keep him here until the weekend, and then you can take him home but keep him out of his Pokeball and out of any battles until I give you the all clear, you understand? This is very serious. If Squirtle’s shell doesn’t heal he may never evolve,” The doctor narrated, waving a finger at Jonathon. Jonathon nodded and sat down while Jean talked to the doctor about Makuhita. He’d had stitches and wasn’t allowed to battle or be in his Pokeball either but Jean was free to take him home in a few hours. With Makuhita safely in Jean’s arms they soon bid Danyl farewell and headed for Jonathon and Sam’s apartment where Sam was waiting for them.

IS ANYONE STILL READING THIS??

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"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

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Thu Apr 24, 2008 1:19 am
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Dragon Tamer
Dragon Tamer
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Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:46 pm
Posts: 182
Location: Delving deep into the darkness of life.
I am still reading this... and this is a great story too :wink:


Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:29 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Anna was certainly a hard opponent to beat, the number of Billowing Badges that had been registered on the InterDex as being won was significantly less than any of the others, except of course the Cracked Badge that Jonathon could find very little information on. It was Jean’s theory that the Cracked Badge belonged to the man with the ghosts who’d attacked them in the street.
“Just think about it, that whole situation was cracked, wasn’t it?” She smiled, “Ghost Pokemon are usually a little crazy, it’d make sense to get a cracked badge off of them,” She went on. Sam nodded slowly, drinking deeply from her bottle of red wine. The glass lay abandoned on the coffee table. Goldeen filled almost the entire swimming pool on the balcony now and Lotad was sitting on its head, dangling its little feet in the water. Nincada was making a web in a corner of the ceiling while Jean’s Electrike watched with interest from the floor by Jean’s feet. Skitty was glaring at Electrike from Sam’s lap. Jean’s Tailow was stretching its wings outside while Ralts lay in her lap. Treecko was asleep on the couch between Sam and Jean. Jonathon had Gloom in his lap and was stroking her gently. She sighed happily and rested her head against Jonathon’s chest.
“There’s got to be a way to beat that Torterra,” Jonathon pondered.
“Maybe if we train Tailow up so he can withstand the wind,” Jean wondered.
“That’ll take too long, by then Anna could have another Torterra ready to battle. We need to beat her before she gets any stronger,” Jonathon said, remembering what he’d read on the InterDex. Anna was a hardcore trainer. She spent hours a day training all of her Pokemon, and all of her Pokemon were big like Tropius and Torterra. There was a photo of her with a Charizard on her website and Jonathon sincerely hoped he wouldn’t be battling the Charizard. Fortunately though it was listed that she didn’t have a license to use fire Pokemon in gym battles. That was lucky, Jonathon supposed, but she did have a license to do battle a hundred meters in the air on a slippery platform with billowing winds and rain and two giants that were immune to the weather effects.
“Trapinch,” Jonathon began, waking the little Pokemon who was sleeping next to him on the couch.
“Inch?” Trapinch replied sleepily.
“Sorry to wake you, but can you use Sunny Day?” Jonathon asked quietly. Trapinch looked up at Jonathon curiously. He turned his big head to look at the light hanging from the ceiling silently. Trapinch opened his mouth and made a peculiar noise. The light became brighter, heating the lounge room until Goldeen let out a low moan from the balcony. Nincada fell to the floor from the roof and gave a wail.
“Trapinch, that’s enough,” Jonathon ordered. Trapinch closed its mouth and the light returned to normal. Jonathon shifted Gloom to the floor where he bent low to check on Nincada. Nincada rolled around, his skin turning a different colour. Nincada shed its old skin and then climbed up the wall to its web again.
“We need a cleaner,” Sam commented, looking at Nincada’s shed skin, the web, the countless berry seeds and footprints of their Pokemon strewn across the carpet.
“We’ll be moving down to Sathalia soon anyway,” Jonathon pointed out. The three were quiet for a long time, during which Sam placed down her bottle.
“I don’t think I’m going to go to Sathalia with you guys. I’m thinking of staying here in Las Vista,” Sam confessed. Jonathon’s heart felt like a brick that had been dropped into the ocean. It plummeted downward, landing somewhere near his feet.
“Okay,” He managed to choke out.
“Trapinch can use Sunny Day, that should counter the Weather control from Castform,” Jean said, changing the subject.
“Trapinch can replace Squirtle, who can replace Makuhita though? None of our Pokemon will stand a chance against that Torterra,” Jonathon pointed out. Treecko suddenly awoke from his nap and stood up on the couch. He looked at them all and nodded, nominating himself.
“I don’t know,” Jean hesitated. Treecko leapt into the air, did a somersault and landed on the coffee table. He flicked his arm out to the side and razor leaves went shooting onto the balcony and into the night. He clenched his fist and they came swirling back, spinning around his arm. With a flash of green the leaves sealed around Treecko’s arm.
“Treecko’s learnt how to use Leaf Armour,” Jonathon told Jean with an impressed expression. Jean nodded.

“Okay Treecko, give it a shot,” Jean said. Treecko’s Pokeball opened and the little green lizard dove across the battlefield, covering Torterra with bullet seeds before Trapinch had even fixed the weather. The Castform was concealed in a blue raindrop again, the wind and rain thrashing at the platform with deadly force. Trapinch looked around scared, expecting to hear Jonathon’s voice. He looked up at the Tropius rearing over the top of him and ducked as it came crashing down overhead, swooping down to bite him. Trapinch rolled away and turned, showering Tropius in sand. It was ineffective given Tropius’ size. The mighty Pokemon swung its tail and knocked Trapinch into the sky. He was heading over the edge when Treecko leapt by, grabbing Trapinch and placing him down near Castform. Trapinch opened its mouth and made a noise that Jonathon recognized. The sound pierced the storm and bought out the sun. Castform transformed from the little raindrop into a tiny sun. With a crack the wind stopped and the sunlight grew strong. Trapinch closed his mouth and headbutted Castform. Treecko went running past the pair with Tropius and Torterra galloping after him. Castform let off a pink glow and Trapinch suddenly dropped to the ground. He stood back up clumsily but tripped again. Castform started to giggle and then, with a smirk to Trapinch, Castform was enveloped in a cloud. The sun faded even before the clouds moved to cover it. There wasn’t rain this time; instead the wind grew harshly cold. Treecko slid out of the way as Tropius and Torterra followed the little Pokemon dangerously close to the edge. Tropius tripped but grabbed onto Torterra’s tree with its mouth, pulling itself back away from the edge. Treecko unleashed more bullet seed attacks and then fired off a leech seed. The leech seed landed in Torterra’s tree and spread over most of its back. Tropius pushed ahead, roaring with a quake and sending a Solarbeam into Treecko. Treecko braced itself but the Solarbeam was weak and ineffective. As Treecko looked over to the confused Tropius, both wondering why the Solarbeam was so weak, a piece of ice fell onto Treecko’s head. More ice followed as the hailstorm opened up, devastating the playing field. Trapinch was still stumbling around while Castform giggled. Torterra and Tropius started to close in on Treecko, their jaws frothing.
“Those Pokemon are mad!” Jean screamed, pointing at the salivating beasts. Tropius snapped its mouth at Treecko but the little Pokemon was too fast for them. Unfortunately, speed was not the best advantage to have on this field. Treecko slipped on the ice and fell into a slide, zooming toward the edge of the platform. From nowhere came Trapinch, sliding on his bottom with a gleeful smile. Trapinch knocked Treecko clear of the edge and then gave one final yell before disappearing into the storm. From the area Trapinch had fallen came a great spiraling wind tinted brown. A Sandstorm had erupted and was surging over the battlefield. Castform was transformed back into a little gray blob and fell to the floor with a squelching. Its eyes filled with dread and then sand as it was pounded fiercely. Torterra seemed the only Pokemon not bothered by the sand. Tropius became enraged and charged at Treecko who grimaced and covered his face with his hands. Tropius ran straight over the top of Treecko and fell off the platform with a fading roar.
“Anna may be strong but she’s really not in any way intelligent. Her attacks are foolhardy and poorly developed. I don’t’ think she even has a strategy, she just reaches for anything at hand at the time,” Jonathon discovered. It was true, Anna didn’t seem to pre-think anything, instead she just threw everything she had at her enemies. Torterra and Treecko stared each other down. Castform disappeared into its Pokeball as the sandstorm subsided. It was just the two grass type battlers now. Jonathon knew what was coming. Torterra didn’t move as the wind started to circle it. Leaves were appearing all across the battlefield, plucked from Torterra’s enormous tree and hurled in all directions. Treecko held his arms to the side and resigned to a meditative stance. The leaves came flying at Treecko, circling his body and fading away with a flash of green light. Treecko was buried beneath the leaf storm, Torterra letting out an almighty bellow that ended the cascade. Treecko stood proud with a triumphant smile on his face. Torterra glared and opened its mouth. The sun came forth with a harsh glow and Torterra seemed to grow before Treecko’s eyes. With the snap of its jaw Torterra unleashed the Solarbeam. It pounded Treecko and sent him skidding across the battlefield. Jean flinched as Treecko fell over the edge. The elevator started its slow descent. It lingered long enough for Jonathon to catch Anna giving him a snide look. She mouthed the words “I win,” and waved sarcastically as Jean pounded the glass with fury. Jonathon smirked. He’d figured out how to beat her.

Jonathon told Jean to book their third battle with Anna for two days time. He left quickly with a big smile and Jean didn’t see him again for precisely two days. During this time she’d trained hard with Treecko, which was Jonathon’s only instruction. Sam had hardly seen Jonathon either, and she lived with him. If he wasn’t with Squirtle at the Pokemon Center he was consoling Danyl. Sam couldn’t imagine how Danyl felt, losing his starter Pokemon. Then one day she saw a Chikorita at the lake and something inside of Sam stirred. She’d traded her Chikorita for Skitty to Anita, the French exchange student. Anita was a big girl, not overweight, but with huge hair, big makeup and outrageous clothes. She spoke with a heavy French accent and Sam hit it off with her straight away. She’d traded her Skitty for Sam’s Chikorita. Sam remembered though that they’d promised to trade back one day. Sam was glad they set that condition, because now she felt a tinge of guilt for Chikorita. Goldeen was sweeping through the waters, his huge fins swirling all around. Goldeen was enormous now, big enough for Sam to sit on his back and ride him at least. She scooped up Skitty and called Goldeen over. She perched on Goldeen’s back and carefully held his horn. Goldeen swam across the lake. Sam had never been this far out on the lake’s surface before and now she could see on the other side of the lake a Nidorino and a couple of younger male Nidoran. Beyond them were legions of berry trees. Sam spied them enviously, noting that the Nidorino was watching her closely.
“Come on Goldeen, that Nidorino won’t let us anywhere near those berries,” She sighed. Goldeen took her to the opposite bank. Sam stepped back onto the shore carefully. Goldeen swam backward carefully, his frilly fins billowing out all around him. Goldeen shone in the light of the sun with the water sending different coloured streaks of light all over his beautiful body. Sam held up his Pokeball and Goldeen jumped out of the water, dissolving into light and shooting into the ball. Skitty followed along at Sam’s heel but yowled suddenly. Sam turned quickly, her bag and hair flying about. A streak of purple shadow went past and Sam threw Goldeen’s Pokeball. Goldeen burst out and showered water everywhere. Goldeen landed in the water with a soft splash and dove back out in another second, more water flying all over the place. Sam saw the water bouncing off of something moving closer. She pointed at it and before she could order an attack Skitty leapt forward, scratching the air with her claws. The purple shadow flashed brighter and darted away into the trees. Sam scooped up Skitty and recalled Goldeen. She started to run back toward the gates, beyond which was the short road to the train station that would take her back to the city. She looked back when she got to the gates and saw the purple shape watching her still. It was bigger than the Gastly and Haunter but coloured the same purple as Gastly. Its eyes shone brightly in the shade of the trees. A tall man appeared next to it and then both disappeared.

“Sam!” Jean yelled, banging on the door. It was very early in the morning and Sam had been drinking the night earlier, which was hardly any surprise. She staggered to the front door with Skitty yawning at her heels. Goldeen was asleep in the pool and Nincada hung in his web on the ceiling. Jean hurried inside, holding up a newspaper.
“Skitty?” Sam mumbled, reading the headline.
“A bunch of Hillsound guys stole six Skitty yesterday from the Villa Town Gym,” Jean read for her. Sam bent over and picked up Skitty holding her close.
“That explains what that man wanted,” Sam murmured.
“What man?” Jean gasped. Sam explained over a bacon and egg breakfast about the second attack from the man with the ghosts.
“Only this ghost was different to the others,” Sam insisted. Jean took out her phone and started rifling through its features until she had bought up a picture of Gengar, the evolution of Haunter.
“Maybe one of his Haunter evolved?” She asked, showing Sam the picture.
“No, it wasn’t that one. It was thin but with a big head… And its eyes… they were creepy,”
“Hold on,” Said Jean, delving back into the phone. She showed it to Sam again but Sam shook his head.
“It wasn’t that one,” She said to a picture of Banette. Jean shrugged and put her phone down on the coffee table next to her empty plate. Jonathon walked in the door a second later.
“Morning,” He said with a smile.
“What are you doing up this early?” Sam scowled. Jonathon opened the curtains out to the bright sunny morning and Sam winced, clutching at her head. Jean looked at him curiously.
“You’ve been training haven’t you?” She asked, knowing that this is how he got after a successful training session.
“Today’s the day,” He cheered. Sam mumbled something about getting dressed and disappeared. Nincada dropped down from the ceiling to nibble at Jonathon’s neck. He petted Nincada on the nose and watched Gloom and Lotad traipse out of his bedroom groggily. Trapinch came out after them, bumping into the couch with his big head.
“If your Pokemon are all here, who were you training?” Jean asked. She found out soon enough as Jonathon placed a rather expensive looking Pokeball down on the shelf in the elevator. It opened and Graveller burst out onto the battlefield with Treecko.
“Danyl!” Jean gasped.
“He leant me his Graveller for the match,” Jonathon told her. Graveller was still badly cracked across his face but the Pokemon flexed its mighty arms and Tropius shot a look back at Anna in her glass-fronted elevator.
“Let’s do this,” Jonathon whooped as the Castform began storming the arena. Treecko ran at Tropius and Torterra, firing bullet seeds everywhere while Graveller stomped over to Castform. The whole platform shook as Graveller walked and Castform merely stared up at him with fear in its eyes as Graveller smiled cruelly. Castform was sent flying over the edge as Graveller’s foot kicked out. The little Pokemon’s shriek faded almost as quickly as the storm. The sun shone once more and Graveller turned around just in time to see Treecko duck and slide out of the way as Torterra thundered closer. Tropius roared as Torterra smashed into it. Torterra stopped moving but Tropius tottered clumsily, craning its neck to keep balance. It was standing on its front left and back left legs, the other two waving about blindly. Treecko fired a bullet seed attack and knocked Tropius further off balance. The massive beast fell over the edge. The celebrations were cut short as Torterra smiled. Treecko composed himself and stepped to the front to take the full force of the attack. The leaves appeared in the air, Torterra’s tree swaying wildly in the sudden wind. Treecko was covered in them once again, flashes of green light issuing from his little body. The storm ended and Treecko, panting, stepped out of the leaves with a thick shine on his skin.
“The Leaf Armour is working perfectly,” Jonathon complimented.
“Now what though? The armor’s useless, we need an attack that’ll hurt Torterra,” Jean pointed out. Jonathon smiled.
“That’s what I’ve got Graveller for. Treecko’s Leaf Armour will protect him from the explosion,”
“EXPLOSION?”

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Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:29 am
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Anna was certainly a hard opponent to beat, the number of Billowing Badges that had been registered on the InterDex as being won was significantly less than any of the others, except of course the Cracked Badge that Jonathon could find very little information on. It was Jean’s theory that the Cracked Badge belonged to the man with the ghosts who’d attacked them in the street.
“Just think about it, that whole situation was cracked, wasn’t it?” She smiled, “Ghost Pokemon are usually a little crazy, it’d make sense to get a cracked badge off of them,” She went on. Sam nodded slowly, drinking deeply from her bottle of red wine. The glass lay abandoned on the coffee table. Goldeen filled almost the entire swimming pool on the balcony now and Lotad was sitting on its head, dangling its little feet in the water. Nincada was making a web in a corner of the ceiling while Jean’s Electrike watched with interest from the floor by Jean’s feet. Skitty was glaring at Electrike from Sam’s lap. Jean’s Tailow was stretching its wings outside while Ralts lay in her lap. Treecko was asleep on the couch between Sam and Jean. Jonathon had Gloom in his lap and was stroking her gently. She sighed happily and rested her head against Jonathon’s chest.
“There’s got to be a way to beat that Torterra,” Jonathon pondered.
“Maybe if we train Tailow up so he can withstand the wind,” Jean wondered.
“That’ll take too long, by then Anna could have another Torterra ready to battle. We need to beat her before she gets any stronger,” Jonathon said, remembering what he’d read on the InterDex. Anna was a hardcore trainer. She spent hours a day training all of her Pokemon, and all of her Pokemon were big like Tropius and Torterra. There was a photo of her with a Charizard on her website and Jonathon sincerely hoped he wouldn’t be battling the Charizard. Fortunately though it was listed that she didn’t have a license to use fire Pokemon in gym battles. That was lucky, Jonathon supposed, but she did have a license to do battle a hundred meters in the air on a slippery platform with billowing winds and rain and two giants that were immune to the weather effects.
“Trapinch,” Jonathon began, waking the little Pokemon who was sleeping next to him on the couch.
“Inch?” Trapinch replied sleepily.
“Sorry to wake you, but can you use Sunny Day?” Jonathon asked quietly. Trapinch looked up at Jonathon curiously. He turned his big head to look at the light hanging from the ceiling silently. Trapinch opened his mouth and made a peculiar noise. The light became brighter, heating the lounge room until Goldeen let out a low moan from the balcony. Nincada fell to the floor from the roof and gave a wail.
“Trapinch, that’s enough,” Jonathon ordered. Trapinch closed its mouth and the light returned to normal. Jonathon shifted Gloom to the floor where he bent low to check on Nincada. Nincada rolled around, his skin turning a different colour. Nincada shed its old skin and then climbed up the wall to its web again.
“We need a cleaner,” Sam commented, looking at Nincada’s shed skin, the web, the countless berry seeds and footprints of their Pokemon strewn across the carpet.
“We’ll be moving down to Sathalia soon anyway,” Jonathon pointed out. The three were quiet for a long time, during which Sam placed down her bottle.
“I don’t think I’m going to go to Sathalia with you guys. I’m thinking of staying here in Las Vista,” Sam confessed. Jonathon’s heart felt like a brick that had been dropped into the ocean. It plummeted downward, landing somewhere near his feet.
“Okay,” He managed to choke out.
“Trapinch can use Sunny Day, that should counter the Weather control from Castform,” Jean said, changing the subject.
“Trapinch can replace Squirtle, who can replace Makuhita though? None of our Pokemon will stand a chance against that Torterra,” Jonathon pointed out. Treecko suddenly awoke from his nap and stood up on the couch. He looked at them all and nodded, nominating himself.
“I don’t know,” Jean hesitated. Treecko leapt into the air, did a somersault and landed on the coffee table. He flicked his arm out to the side and razor leaves went shooting onto the balcony and into the night. He clenched his fist and they came swirling back, spinning around his arm. With a flash of green the leaves sealed around Treecko’s arm.
“Treecko’s learnt how to use Leaf Armour,” Jonathon told Jean with an impressed expression. Jean nodded.

“Okay Treecko, give it a shot,” Jean said. Treecko’s Pokeball opened and the little green lizard dove across the battlefield, covering Torterra with bullet seeds before Trapinch had even fixed the weather. The Castform was concealed in a blue raindrop again, the wind and rain thrashing at the platform with deadly force. Trapinch looked around scared, expecting to hear Jonathon’s voice. He looked up at the Tropius rearing over the top of him and ducked as it came crashing down overhead, swooping down to bite him. Trapinch rolled away and turned, showering Tropius in sand. It was ineffective given Tropius’ size. The mighty Pokemon swung its tail and knocked Trapinch into the sky. He was heading over the edge when Treecko leapt by, grabbing Trapinch and placing him down near Castform. Trapinch opened its mouth and made a noise that Jonathon recognized. The sound pierced the storm and bought out the sun. Castform transformed from the little raindrop into a tiny sun. With a crack the wind stopped and the sunlight grew strong. Trapinch closed his mouth and headbutted Castform. Treecko went running past the pair with Tropius and Torterra galloping after him. Castform let off a pink glow and Trapinch suddenly dropped to the ground. He stood back up clumsily but tripped again. Castform started to giggle and then, with a smirk to Trapinch, Castform was enveloped in a cloud. The sun faded even before the clouds moved to cover it. There wasn’t rain this time; instead the wind grew harshly cold. Treecko slid out of the way as Tropius and Torterra followed the little Pokemon dangerously close to the edge. Tropius tripped but grabbed onto Torterra’s tree with its mouth, pulling itself back away from the edge. Treecko unleashed more bullet seed attacks and then fired off a leech seed. The leech seed landed in Torterra’s tree and spread over most of its back. Tropius pushed ahead, roaring with a quake and sending a Solarbeam into Treecko. Treecko braced itself but the Solarbeam was weak and ineffective. As Treecko looked over to the confused Tropius, both wondering why the Solarbeam was so weak, a piece of ice fell onto Treecko’s head. More ice followed as the hailstorm opened up, devastating the playing field. Trapinch was still stumbling around while Castform giggled. Torterra and Tropius started to close in on Treecko, their jaws frothing.
“Those Pokemon are mad!” Jean screamed, pointing at the salivating beasts. Tropius snapped its mouth at Treecko but the little Pokemon was too fast for them. Unfortunately, speed was not the best advantage to have on this field. Treecko slipped on the ice and fell into a slide, zooming toward the edge of the platform. From nowhere came Trapinch, sliding on his bottom with a gleeful smile. Trapinch knocked Treecko clear of the edge and then gave one final yell before disappearing into the storm. From the area Trapinch had fallen came a great spiraling wind tinted brown. A Sandstorm had erupted and was surging over the battlefield. Castform was transformed back into a little gray blob and fell to the floor with a squelching. Its eyes filled with dread and then sand as it was pounded fiercely. Torterra seemed the only Pokemon not bothered by the sand. Tropius became enraged and charged at Treecko who grimaced and covered his face with his hands. Tropius ran straight over the top of Treecko and fell off the platform with a fading roar.
“Anna may be strong but she’s really not in any way intelligent. Her attacks are foolhardy and poorly developed. I don’t’ think she even has a strategy, she just reaches for anything at hand at the time,” Jonathon discovered. It was true, Anna didn’t seem to pre-think anything, instead she just threw everything she had at her enemies. Torterra and Treecko stared each other down. Castform disappeared into its Pokeball as the sandstorm subsided. It was just the two grass type battlers now. Jonathon knew what was coming. Torterra didn’t move as the wind started to circle it. Leaves were appearing all across the battlefield, plucked from Torterra’s enormous tree and hurled in all directions. Treecko held his arms to the side and resigned to a meditative stance. The leaves came flying at Treecko, circling his body and fading away with a flash of green light. Treecko was buried beneath the leaf storm, Torterra letting out an almighty bellow that ended the cascade. Treecko stood proud with a triumphant smile on his face. Torterra glared and opened its mouth. The sun came forth with a harsh glow and Torterra seemed to grow before Treecko’s eyes. With the snap of its jaw Torterra unleashed the Solarbeam. It pounded Treecko and sent him skidding across the battlefield. Jean flinched as Treecko fell over the edge. The elevator started its slow descent. It lingered long enough for Jonathon to catch Anna giving him a snide look. She mouthed the words “I win,” and waved sarcastically as Jean pounded the glass with fury. Jonathon smirked. He’d figured out how to beat her.

Jonathon told Jean to book their third battle with Anna for two days time. He left quickly with a big smile and Jean didn’t see him again for precisely two days. During this time she’d trained hard with Treecko, which was Jonathon’s only instruction. Sam had hardly seen Jonathon either, and she lived with him. If he wasn’t with Squirtle at the Pokemon Center he was consoling Danyl. Sam couldn’t imagine how Danyl felt, losing his starter Pokemon. Then one day she saw a Chikorita at the lake and something inside of Sam stirred. She’d traded her Chikorita for Skitty to Anita, the French exchange student. Anita was a big girl, not overweight, but with huge hair, big makeup and outrageous clothes. She spoke with a heavy French accent and Sam hit it off with her straight away. She’d traded her Skitty for Sam’s Chikorita. Sam remembered though that they’d promised to trade back one day. Sam was glad they set that condition, because now she felt a tinge of guilt for Chikorita. Goldeen was sweeping through the waters, his huge fins swirling all around. Goldeen was enormous now, big enough for Sam to sit on his back and ride him at least. She scooped up Skitty and called Goldeen over. She perched on Goldeen’s back and carefully held his horn. Goldeen swam across the lake. Sam had never been this far out on the lake’s surface before and now she could see on the other side of the lake a Nidorino and a couple of younger male Nidoran. Beyond them were legions of berry trees. Sam spied them enviously, noting that the Nidorino was watching her closely.
“Come on Goldeen, that Nidorino won’t let us anywhere near those berries,” She sighed. Goldeen took her to the opposite bank. Sam stepped back onto the shore carefully. Goldeen swam backward carefully, his frilly fins billowing out all around him. Goldeen shone in the light of the sun with the water sending different coloured streaks of light all over his beautiful body. Sam held up his Pokeball and Goldeen jumped out of the water, dissolving into light and shooting into the ball. Skitty followed along at Sam’s heel but yowled suddenly. Sam turned quickly, her bag and hair flying about. A streak of purple shadow went past and Sam threw Goldeen’s Pokeball. Goldeen burst out and showered water everywhere. Goldeen landed in the water with a soft splash and dove back out in another second, more water flying all over the place. Sam saw the water bouncing off of something moving closer. She pointed at it and before she could order an attack Skitty leapt forward, scratching the air with her claws. The purple shadow flashed brighter and darted away into the trees. Sam scooped up Skitty and recalled Goldeen. She started to run back toward the gates, beyond which was the short road to the train station that would take her back to the city. She looked back when she got to the gates and saw the purple shape watching her still. It was bigger than the Gastly and Haunter but coloured the same purple as Gastly. Its eyes shone brightly in the shade of the trees. A tall man appeared next to it and then both disappeared.

“Sam!” Jean yelled, banging on the door. It was very early in the morning and Sam had been drinking the night earlier, which was hardly any surprise. She staggered to the front door with Skitty yawning at her heels. Goldeen was asleep in the pool and Nincada hung in his web on the ceiling. Jean hurried inside, holding up a newspaper.
“Skitty?” Sam mumbled, reading the headline.
“A bunch of Hillsound guys stole six Skitty yesterday from the Villa Town Gym,” Jean read for her. Sam bent over and picked up Skitty holding her close.
“That explains what that man wanted,” Sam murmured.
“What man?” Jean gasped. Sam explained over a bacon and egg breakfast about the second attack from the man with the ghosts.
“Only this ghost was different to the others,” Sam insisted. Jean took out her phone and started rifling through its features until she had bought up a picture of Gengar, the evolution of Haunter.
“Maybe one of his Haunter evolved?” She asked, showing Sam the picture.
“No, it wasn’t that one. It was thin but with a big head… And its eyes… they were creepy,”
“Hold on,” Said Jean, delving back into the phone. She showed it to Sam again but Sam shook his head.
“It wasn’t that one,” She said to a picture of Banette. Jean shrugged and put her phone down on the coffee table next to her empty plate. Jonathon walked in the door a second later.
“Morning,” He said with a smile.
“What are you doing up this early?” Sam scowled. Jonathon opened the curtains out to the bright sunny morning and Sam winced, clutching at her head. Jean looked at him curiously.
“You’ve been training haven’t you?” She asked, knowing that this is how he got after a successful training session.
“Today’s the day,” He cheered. Sam mumbled something about getting dressed and disappeared. Nincada dropped down from the ceiling to nibble at Jonathon’s neck. He petted Nincada on the nose and watched Gloom and Lotad traipse out of his bedroom groggily. Trapinch came out after them, bumping into the couch with his big head.
“If your Pokemon are all here, who were you training?” Jean asked. She found out soon enough as Jonathon placed a rather expensive looking Pokeball down on the shelf in the elevator. It opened and Graveller burst out onto the battlefield with Treecko.
“Danyl!” Jean gasped.
“He leant me his Graveller for the match,” Jonathon told her. Graveller was still badly cracked across his face but the Pokemon flexed its mighty arms and Tropius shot a look back at Anna in her glass-fronted elevator.
“Let’s do this,” Jonathon whooped as the Castform began storming the arena. Treecko ran at Tropius and Torterra, firing bullet seeds everywhere while Graveller stomped over to Castform. The whole platform shook as Graveller walked and Castform merely stared up at him with fear in its eyes as Graveller smiled cruelly. Castform was sent flying over the edge as Graveller’s foot kicked out. The little Pokemon’s shriek faded almost as quickly as the storm. The sun shone once more and Graveller turned around just in time to see Treecko duck and slide out of the way as Torterra thundered closer. Tropius roared as Torterra smashed into it. Torterra stopped moving but Tropius tottered clumsily, craning its neck to keep balance. It was standing on its front left and back left legs, the other two waving about blindly. Treecko fired a bullet seed attack and knocked Tropius further off balance. The massive beast fell over the edge. The celebrations were cut short as Torterra smiled. Treecko composed himself and stepped to the front to take the full force of the attack. The leaves appeared in the air, Torterra’s tree swaying wildly in the sudden wind. Treecko was covered in them once again, flashes of green light issuing from his little body. The storm ended and Treecko, panting, stepped out of the leaves with a thick shine on his skin.
“The Leaf Armour is working perfectly,” Jonathon complimented.
“Now what though? The armor’s useless, we need an attack that’ll hurt Torterra,” Jean pointed out. Jonathon smiled.
“That’s what I’ve got Graveller for. Treecko’s Leaf Armour will protect him from the explosion,”
“EXPLOSION?”

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Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:31 am
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Jean didn’t have time to say anymore. Flames clouded out the glass, then smoke, until finally the smoke cleared and Treecko stood watching Torterra. Torterra groaned, his tree smoldering and his body burnt. Treecko was fine.
“Oh my…” Jean started.
“Treecko, hit it with razor leaf!” Jonathon ordered. Without the torrential rain the Pokemon could hear them now. Treecko obliged and Torterra groaned louder. With one swift movement it fell, thundering to the ground. The whole platform lurched over, moving with the sudden weight. Treecko sat down, catching his breath.
“We did it,” Jean breathed. She hurried out as the doors opened and scooped up Treecko. She hugged him tight and jumped up and down. Jonathon stroked Graveller’s head. His eyes were half open and they gazed up at Jonathon with a clumsy smile.
“Good work buddy,” Jonathon smiled, patting him. Torterra disappeared into Anna’s Pokeball. Jonathon suddenly recognized her.
“Hillsound scum,” He shot, spitting at her feet. She smiled wickedly.
“Some things are bigger than gym badges,” She whispered to him. She took out a purple Pokeball and waved it in front of her. It opened automatically and a purple shape flew around Anna as she dropped two badges to the ground. Anna disappeared with the streak of purple shadow and Jean gasped.
“Misdreavus!” She screamed, nearly dropping Treecko. Treecko struggled out of her arms and shot her a dirty look.
“Sorry Treecko,” She attempted. Treecko burst into light and returned himself to the Pokeball in Jean’s hand.
“Moody thing” She murmured, “Sam got attacked by a Pokemon at the lake and I think it was that Misdreavus,”
“Let’s get out of here,” Jonathon said, worried about being in Anna’s gym while she wasn’t there.

“That’s not it,” Sam sighed, pointing at the picture on Jean’s phone.
“Darn it,” Jean frowned. From the balcony Jonathon could see Anna’s gym, towering alongside the skyscrapers of the city. It looked much different to the others in that it was thin with a large flat circle on top. The other buildings were nothing similar. But it wasn’t this that intrigued Jonathon; it was that workmen were taking down the gym. Anna’s Gym was being demolished just hours after Jonathon, Jean and Sam had discovered whom its leader worked for. Jonathon looked down on the coffee table inside at his Gym Badges, laid out in their case. The Mine Badge, the Stars Badge, the Sand Badge, The Barking Badge, The Coil Badge and now the Billowing Badge shone up at him with gleaming surfaces.
“The Seventh Gym is the Cracked Badge,” Jean said more to herself than to anybody in the lounge room at the time. Jonathon was already on his phone.
“Hi Vance,” He smiled, “We did it. We beat Anna and got the Billowing badge,”
“Congratulations boy, I knew you’d get that wench,” Vance boomed.
“Hey, listen, where’s the Cracked Badge Gym and what Pokemon do they use?” Jonathon asked.
“The Maniac Gym, that’s where you get the Cracked Badge, and if I were you I’d go over to Villa Town and get a Badge from there instead. You don’t want to battle one of the Maniac Pokemon,” Vance said sternly.
“Maniac Pokemon?” Jean repeated curiously.
“Boy, if you want to go for the Cracked Badge then head over to Chapel Valley and the Maniac Gym is on Beat Road, but you’re not in for a fun time,” Vance warned.
“Thanks Vance, I’ll send you a photo of the badge,” Jonathon teased.
“We’ll see how you joke when you’re being beaten by crazy Pokemon,” Vance laughed. There was a knock on the door and Jonathon said goodbye to Vance and hung up as Danyl came in, smiling but still looking a mess. Jonathon took Graveller’s Pokeball off his belt and tossed it to Danyl. The ball opened as it flew through the air, spilling the giant Graveller out onto the floor.
“Hi Graveller,” Danyl smiled warmly. Graveller held out his arms and pulled Danyl into a hug. Jean, Sam and Jonathon pointed, their mouths gaping. Sam dropped her drink to the floor, adding to the stains already covering most of the carpet. As Danyl let go of Graveller and gazed down at his Pokemon he got a shock. Thick plates of brown rock had emerged from somewhere and covered up most of Graveller’s body. Graveller had evolved into Golem.
“The scars, they’re all covered,” Danyl gasped, running his hands over Golem’s smooth body, “Thankyou so much, Jonathon,”
“I really didn’t do anything,” Jonathon choked. Danyl returned Golem to his Pokeball, all the while giving Jonathon a coy smile.
“Forth Street café for Dinner, my shout?” He offered. Jonathon nodded.

Jonathon was getting ready to leave for dinner when a loud voice came screeching across the apartment.
“The gym is closing! We have to go now!” Jean ordered. She grabbed his hand and pulled him into the lobby. From the door Jonathon held out his Pokeballs, recalling Nincada, Lotad, Gloom and Trapinch. In the elevator they ran over their battle plan and Jean explained what was happening.
“The Maniac Gym is closing because its leader is leaving town. Tonight is the last night they’re open,” She read from the InterDex update she’d received to her phone.
“The leader must be in Hillsound with Anna. Anna left and her Gym was shut down. The Maniac Gym Leader must be leaving too, Hillsound are up to something,” Jonathon speculated. He text Danyl, expecting him to be angry, but instead Danyl replied with a “nok em ded J” and Jonathon smiled. He was going to miss Danyl when they went to Sathalia.

The duo ran from Chapel Valley Train Station through the Mall (it was the first Jonathon had passed through without making a purchase) and out onto Beat Road. Across the road from the Mall was a large, run down building with broken neon lights out the front that spelt out GYM. Inside there was no desk for paperwork, just a large room. There wasn’t much light, and dust covered most of the floor. There were a few tracks were feet had recently been, but Jonathon felt the rebellious fire inside him stir as it had done when he’d wanted the Coil Badge. He threw Trapinch’s Pokeball and the little Pokemon appeared before him.
“Weakling,” A voice whispered from the shadows. Jonathon ignored the voice.
“Trapinch, brighten things up with sunny day,” He ordered. Trapinch made a gargling sound and the lights grew bright enough that Jonathon and jean could see a group of teenagers lingering by the walls. They were all wearing black and had eyeliner on.
“You must be the Maniacs of the maniac Gym then,” Jonathon smirked.
“What are you doing here?” Jonathon’s brother asked, stepping forward.

DUM DUM DUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

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Sat May 03, 2008 6:22 pm
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Location: Australia
Trapinch looked up at Jonathon as the trainer gasped for words. His brother had revealed that he was indeed the leader of the Maniac Gym and the person responsible for the Cracked Badges.
“Did you think your big brother would just hand over a Cracked Badge?” Matt asked, holding out a black square badge with a yellow crack in it.
“This is where you’ve been? Hiding in Las Vista at this crazy Gym?” Jonathon coughed.
“Did Mummy and Daddy send you to find me?” Matt teased.
“Mum and Dad don’t talk to me. They blame me for you leaving,” Jonathon retorted.
“Why would they blame you? I left because I wanted to,”
“They think that when I beat you at school in front of all your friends you were so embarrassed you left town,” Jonathon confessed.
“What?” Matt cried, “You beat me by pure luck!”
“Oh please, I beat you because I’m good, I always have been. But I was so guilty after you left I stopped. Squirtle and I gave up, we thought it was our fault,” Jonathon said, more to himself than his brother.
“Your Squirtle was weak,” Matt scoffed.
“My Squirtle destroyed your Charmeleon, and it’ll do it again,” Jonathon laughed.
“What about now,” Matt smiled cruelly. He threw his Pokeball to the floor and it exploded with light, a huge Pokemon stepping out. Charizard was enormous and looked wild. Its eyes were red with creases all around them. It had a black collar and its claws were tainted black from Charcoal.
“You’ve been training it with Charcoal,” Jean pointed out.
“Unfortunately you can’t beat the wholesome goodness of berries,” Jonathon told Matt, tossing a berry to Charizard. Charizard lunged forward and snapped it out of the air.
“Don’t eat that, Scorch, you don’t know what he’s done to it,” Matt snapped, grabbing Charizard’s neck.
“You call him Scorch now?” Jonathon laughed.
“Are you going to try and fight me or is this reunion going to continue on until I have to go?” Matt glared.
“Sir, the helicopter is on its way,” One of the other teenagers told Matt.
“See little bro, I gotta take off. The way I see it, you got about five minutes if you want to take me down. Of course, you won’t, but you can try,” Matt teased.
“And I’m sure your little friend wants a piece too,” Matt said, throwing another Pokeball.
“Does she know you’re gay?” Matt carried on as a Quilava darted through Scorch’s feet.
“He’s not very good at hiding it,” Jean giggled, throwing a Pokeball. Electrike bolted out of its Pokeball, chasing after Quilava. Trapinch started spitting small rocks at Scorch. Matt threw another Pokeball and out came a Victreebel. Jonathon threw out Lotad’s Pokeball, and then Jean added Tailow to the battle. Matt took a Restrain Ball from his belt and Jonathon’s heart stopped beating.
“You’re with Hillsound,” Jonathon realized. His eyes filled with tears. His own brother. Sure, he and his brother had never gotten along, but now his brother was part of the group ruining the world for everyone. He was part of the problem.
“Lotad Hydro Pump,” Jonathon yelled. Lotad blasted Scorch in the side of the neck and face and then jumped, blasting Scorch’s body next. Trapinch hit Scorch with a Rock Slide as Electrike blasted Quilava with a Thunderbolt. Ralts had emerged from her Pokeball now and was shocking Scorch with a Shock Wave. Matt looked over to Victreebel and gasped as Tailow knocked it to the ground where it didn’t get up. Matt was losing to his own little brother.
“Sir, we need to go, the helicopter’s here. If we leave now you haven’t technically lost and then you won’t need to give up a badge,” One of the teenagers told Matt.
“No, I can beat him,” Matt protested.
“But if you lose you’ll go the same way as Anna. Do you want to end up losing Scorch?”
“Sorry little brother,” Matt cackled, grabbing a hold of Scorch’s shoulders, “But I got things to do,”
“Coward!” Jonathon spat, throwing Gloom and Nincada into the battle. Quilava tried to hold off all of Jean and Jonathon’s Pokemon but to no avail. Matt ascended into the air on Scorch’s back and swooped over their heads. Tailow suddenly appeared behind Matt and dropped Lotad onto Scorch’s tail. With a roar the dragon crashed and Matt rolled frantically away as it thrashed about. With a yelp Scorch became dead still. Lotad had the tip of Scorch’s tail in his mouth. The fire was in danger of going out. Matt eyed Lotad carefully. His hand twitched, aiming for his belt.
“Don’t even think about it,” Jean said, pointing out her Treecko. Treecko had razor leaves loaded on his arms, ready to fire at them any second. Nincada had wrapped Quilava and Victreebel in web and was rolling them over to Jonathon. The other teenagers were gone.
“You have no idea what you’re getting involved in,” Matt croaked quietly.
“Hillsound? You’re in effing Hillsound?” Jonathon screamed over the whir of the helicopter. Matt and Scorch were in the doorway, behind them the helicopter waited.
“They’ll kill me,” Matt whispered, pleading with his brother. Jean looked at Jonathon, letting him make the decision.
“I’ll kill all of them,” Jonathon replied. Scorch disappeared into a Pokeball, followed by Quilava and Victreebel. Jonathon watched as his brother faded away before his eyes, Treecko’s razor leaves slicing though thin air. Nincada’s webs fell away as the Pokemon they encased disappeared.
“What happened?’ Jonathon panicked. There were purple streaks all around them, something punched him in the mouth, and then he was hit on the back of the head. Jean fell into him, unconscious. Gloom fired razor leaves with Treecko after the helicopter as it took off. Tailow fluttered as close as he dared but swooped away as a Pikachu blasted a thundershock close by Tailow’s wing. The Pikachu shocked the leaves out of the sky and the helicopter vanished onto the dark horizon. Two Gastly, a Haunter and a Sableye appeared, surrounding Jonathon and Jean.
“Back off of Hillsound,” A man said. Jonathon couldn’t see him, not until one of his feet landed by his head. He and Jean were on the floor at the door to the gym, trapped there by the ghost Pokemon. Then the most beautiful thing Jonathon had ever seen happened. Gloom ran forward shrieking like a maniac, leaves and petals flying all about. Nincada scuttled wildly behind her, spraying a Gastly in the face with web. Treecko bounded onto the man’s shoulders and slashed his face until blood covered the little gecko all over. Tailow screeched about overhead, swooping down to peck anything within reach. Trapinch sent sand and rocks into the Haunter while Ralts stared it down with a confusion attack. The Haunter countered with psychic, and as if in response to the attack, Ralts began to grow, its robe curling at the sides. Ralts’ hair cascaded down its face and its horn split into two pointy ears. It had long green legs now and sang in a soft voice, “Kirlia.” Electrike shocked one Gastly with thunderbolt while Nincada finished wrapping the other and let it fall to the ground next to the electrocuted one. Lotad and Gloom were now running around the man with their vine whips, tying him up and Treecko sat on his head holding his mouth shut. Haunter fell to the ground, beaten by Kirlia. Finally, as one the group turned to Sableye. The man couldn’t move, he’d been forced to the ground by Treecko and was tied up impossibly by Gloom and Lotad. Sableye smiled and sat on the ground, holding its hands in the air. Jonathon slowly got to his feet. Jean sat up, clutching her head.
“What the hell do you think you’re doing? When the police get here you’ll be sorry,” Jonathon told the man.
“The police will just tell you to let me get back to work,” The man retorted.
“What?” Jean questioned, looking at the man like he was mentally ill.
“I was protecting you, this is the third time I’ve saved your lives,” He growled.
“Protecting us?” Jonathon laughed, “Your Pokemon were attacking us,”
“Actually, they were flying in circles around you, stopping any attacks from those Hillsound trainers,” He argued, “I’m Constable Jackson.”

Eventually Jackson convinced Jonathon and Jean that he was telling the truth and that he and his ghost Pokemon were sent to guard trainers who had Pokemon that Hillsound were targeting. They decided to walk back to Sam and Jonathon’s since they could heal their Pokemon there and Jackson could tell them more.
“They wanted strong water Pokemon so they went for me and Squirtle, then when you protected us, they went for Danyl’s Mudkip instead,” Jonathon realized.
“And any Pokemon they find but don’t need are roughed up pretty badly,” Jackson sighed.
“You stopped them getting Sam’s Skitty too,” Jean realized.
“How do you know what Hillsound are after?” Jonathon wondered.
“We have people inside Hillsound working for us. You might call them Moles,” Jackson said. Jonathon led him up to the apartment and all of his Pokemon except Sableye were placed in Sam’s regeneration machine. Sam was in a bathrobe when they arrived but curled up with them on the couch anyway, her pink slippers clashing with her green robe. She made herself a jug of martinis and offered them around. Jackson obliged but Jonathon and Jean were already fighting off headaches.
“So you were protecting us, but accidentally hurt us a little in the process,” Sam said, “I guess that’s to be expected, what with five ghosts flying around you at full speed to absorb attacks from outsiders,” Jean added. Sam nodded.
“Hillsound use sounds to steal Pokemon. A Sonicboom on a frequency only your Pokemon hears to paralyze them. Add in a few more that drain their energy, then a lullaby to put them to sleep and they teleport or fly in, grab the Pokemon, and take off with it. This all happens in about ten or twenty seconds,” Jackson recited. Sam looked shocked. She pulled her sleeping Skitty closer and stroked its back.
“That’s terrible,” Jean trembled.
“Your defense works well,” Jonathon smiled to Jackson.
“Thanks,” He said. Jackson was a nice guy; he had black hair and a large forehead. He was wearing all black, supposedly to camouflage. His dimples left crease marks on his cheeks and Sam wouldn’t stop looking at him.
“I suggest you go to Villa Town, get a badge from there, then go to Towa Bay and get their new badge. After that Sathalia is about a week’s journey from here. I can take you with me to Villa Town on Tuesday if you like, I’m heading there to our headquarters,” Jackson offered.
“Your headquarters? I didn’t realize you had a whole organization,” Jonathon admitted.
“We do. It’s a division of the police,” Jackson took another sip of his martini.
“Are Hillsound in any trouble for the breakaway faction?” Jonathon finally asked, staring hard at Jackson. Jackson laughed.
“You’ve heard that story that Hillsound are a good company, they do all this relief work and importing and rubbish, haven’t you?” He chuckled, “It’s not true. The whole company is crooked. They’re hiding behind that story, that way they don’t have to worry about people finding out they’re behind the crimes, they just say it’s some of their ex-workers who’ve lost the plot,”
“That’s insane,” Jean gasped.
“That’s their leader. Completely insane. We know nothing about them except that they’re mad. I reckon it’s a woman, but most of the police working on the Hillsound project reckon it’s a bloke. Still, either way they’re one hell of a Pokemon Master,” Jackson finished his drink, “He likes you. Why don’t you keep him with you in case you get attacked again? That way I won’t have to keep knocking you around with those clumsy Gastly,” He finished, standing up. He was pointing to Sableye who was staring into Jonathon’s face with a huge, silly grin. Jonathon realized Sableye was staring at him and jumped, a little uncomfortable by the magnitude of the staring.
“I’ll be back Tuesday Morning to escort you to Villa Town,” Jackson said. He took his Pokeballs from Sam, who had them on a tray for him. He bid them all a farewell, kissing Sam on the cheek. Finally he threw a Pokeball into the air and Haunter emerged, swirling around him and then disappearing, taking the constable with it.

Sableye was staring at Jonathon all through his dreams. First, Jonathon was back in Isamine as the new Gym leader, Lorelle was begging him to stop beating her. His brother was there, mopping the floors and he was tutoring his sister. Sableye was sitting in the stands. Jonathon shifted in his bed, mumbling something. He was flying on Trapinch’s back, only Trapinch was now a Flygon. Squirtle was at his side, the crack was gone from his shell and he was spraying coloured bubbles through the sky. Sableye was flying beside Flygon. Jonathon coughed, rubbing his nose. Now he was swimming with Lotad and Goldeen. Goldeen kept growing bigger though until it was in danger of swallowing Jonathon. As Jonathon swam as fast as he could to get away he felt something grab his leg and pull him under the water. It was Danyl’s Mudkip. He reached out, trying to grab it, but it swam away into a cave with Sableye sitting at the entrance. Jonathon grunted and the water became thick and cloggy. He swam to the surface and flailed about, being sucked into Muk’s poisonous body. Sableye watched him silently until Jonathon’s head was dragged under the surface of Muk’s skin. Jonathon felt something grab his hand and pull him out from Muk and onto the Contest Stage. There was both a Vileplume and a Belossom onstage with him. He didn’t know which was his Gloom, but he saw that Belossom had won. Sableye was sitting with the judges now. Jonathon turned and walked off the stage, tripping and falling into a bright white light. Instead of getting bigger as he fell toward the light it shrank down until it was the size of a diamond. There was another next to it and Jonathon recognized them as Sableye’s eyes. Finally, he sat up in bed, looking around his room. Squirtle was still at the Pokemon Center; Nincada was sleeping in his web in the lounge and Lotad was sleeping with Goldeen in the pool. Jonathon leaned over and looked under his bed to where Trapinch and Gloom were sleeping peacefully. As he pulled himself up Sableye was standing in front of him, smiling and staring hard into his eyes. Jonathon jumped, falling out of bed and landing hard on the ground. The crash didn’t make a sound though and he somehow knew Sableye had silenced the fall.
“You can control sound?” Jonathon asked in a whisper. Sableye nodded. Jonathon mouthed the next question.
“Can you read lips?” Sableye nodded again,
“Can you read my thoughts,” Jonathon thought. Sableye didn’t move.
“Where did you come from?” Jonathon asked, “How did Jackson get you?” But Sableye couldn’t reply for he could only nod or shake his head and the answer was clearly complicated. Jonathon had an idea.
“Were you controlling my dreams?” Jonathon mouthed. Sableye shook his head.
“But you were in them?” Jonathon added. Sableye nodded and then held up a hand. He nodded to Jonathon and then looked at his hand. Jonathon raised his hand too and Sableye pressed his own against Jonathon’s. Jonathon felt the bed slip away and he was asleep again. Sableye was beside him and Jonathon smiled feebly.
“Are you showing me how Jackson caught you?” Jonathon asked. His own voice answered the question with a resounding yes from all around the big empty black space. Sableye pointed to a teenage boy walking with a smaller looking Sableye. The teenage boy had a blurred face. Sableye could not remember what he looked like. The smaller Sableye froze on the spot and the boy walked on. Sableye fell to the ground and something rushed by, grabbing it from thin air. The teenager was older now and had an Aipom with him. He was running along a corridor. At the end was another trainer. The trainer was wearing a Hillsound shirt and spoke in Jonathon’s voice.
“You’ll never take us down on your own,” She cackled. Jonathon watched as the scene intensified. The Hillsound trainer took out a Restrain Ball and it opened to reveal Sableye. The real Sableye, next to Jonathon, flinched as the boy with Aipom, Sableye’s original trainer, choked out Sableye’s name. The Hillsound girl quickly withdrew the Sableye and ran. The boy followed her with tearstained cheeks. The dream changed and now Jonathon and Sableye were with Jackson and a few other police officers. Jackson was placing all the Restrain Balls in a large bag. He carried them out of the room and the scene changed again. Sableye was the only Pokemon left from seized stolen Pokemon. All the other’s had been returned to their trainers. Sableye was stolen so long ago though that his trainer had given up. Jackson placed a Pokeball on the desk in front of Sableye, and then he opened a window and let Sableye choose what he wanted. Sableye looked at the window for a long time, then turned back to the Pokeball. Instead of the Pokeball, Sableye reached for Jackson’s badge.
“You can help me take down Hillsound if you want,” Jackson said, again speaking with Jonathon’s voice. Jonathon woke up, his hand still pressed against Sableye’s.
“You never got returned to your rightful owner?” Jonathon croaked, tears stinging his eyes. Sableye looked down at the floor, a glittering tear falling to the carpet.
“My friend Danyl had his first Pokemon stolen. I’m going to go to Adelburgh to stop Hillsound and rescue the Mudkip,” Jonathon explained to Sableye. Sableye nodded vigorously.
“You want to come with?” Jonathon asked. Sableye nodded still.
“Well, let’s get some sleep and tomorrow we’ll introduce you to my other Pokemon. Sableye nodded and turned to the wall. He climbed up the wall noiselessly and turned his head around to nod to Jonathon as he hung from the ceiling. Sableye’s head revolved back around and the Pokemon faded away until he was almost completely translucent. Jonathon seemed to fall asleep easily that night, he was sure it was something to do with his newest Pokemon giving him what could only be described as a Helping Hand.

Sableye got along well with Trapinch, Gloom, Lotad and Nincada and Sam and Jean thought he was adorable. As well as having Sableye, Jean’s Ralts had evolved into a Kirlia the night before and she was beside herself with glee. Hannah sent her congratulations, reporting that Sandshrew was now much happier and Bulbasaur had evolved into Ivysaur. All agreed though that Jonathon’s new Sableye was by far the coolest Pokemon they’d seen. This presented a problem to Jonathon though because he now had six Pokemon, so if he caught a new one he would be forced to nominate one to leave with his guarantor, whom he suddenly remembered, was still Nick.
“We have to go to the Pokemon Center!’ Jonathon cried, getting to his feet. Lotad jumped at the sudden movement.
“Sorry Lotad,” Jonathon smiled, “I have to change my guarantor. Otherwise if I catch another Pokemon it’ll be sent to Nick,”
“I need to pick up some Pokeballs anyway and we should probably check in on Danyl,” Jean agreed. Sam was trying to fit Goldeen into her bag but the fish was now four times the size it was when she’d captured him.
“That is the biggest Goldeen I’ve ever seen,” Jean pointed out. Jonathon nodded. Sam held out Goldeen’s Pokeball.
“Sorry Goldeen, but I’ll need to buy a bigger bag,” She apologized. Skitty jumped in her bag instead and the trio set off. At the Pokemon Center Jonathon visited Squirtle, lying on his bed in the back area. His shell was almost completely covered in thick bandages and his face was still badly bruised but the Pokemon jumped around on the bed excitedly when Jonathon came in the door. He hugged Squirtle as tight as he dared, then kissed him gently on the cheek. While Nincada, Gloom and Lotad introduced Trapinch and Sableye Jonathon sat next to the bed filling in the forms to change his guarantor. Sam signed the forms to agree to be the guarantor and kissed Squirtle on the cheek while she was there. Skitty curled up at the end of his bed. Jean’s Makuhita was with them for a check up form the doctor and got the all clear for battles and to be in his Pokeball. After the check up he came over to sit with Squirtle. The two spoke in quiet voices, even though Jonathon couldn’t understand what they were saying anyway.
“What are you up to?” Jonathon asked. Squirtle and Makuhita grinned at him without saying a word.
“You know your Squirtle is undersized?” The doctor asked.
“Yes,” Jonathon told him curtly.
“I’ve got some medication you can take to get him bigger. You’ll want Iron, Protein, Calcium and maybe Carbos. I have these new rare pills from this group called Candy, they’re supposed to boost your Pokemon’s strength, I can prescribe them too,” The doctor rattled wistfully.
“My Squirtle is not a druggie,” Jonathon glared. The doctor looked at him carefully and nodded clumsily before leaving the room without a word.
“Toss,” Sam said under her breath, having come back just in time to hear the end of the conversation, “Your forms have been handed in, any new Pokemon you catch will be transported to my apartment,”
“Great,” Jonathon smiled. He stood up and held out two Pokeballs. Trapinch and Lotad disappeared, and then in another moment Gloom and Nincada were gone too. Squirtle waved goodbye as Jonathon left the room. He was missing someone though. He looked over the room, frowning.
“Sableye?” He called. Sableye dropped from the ceiling with a big grin. Jonathon shook his head with a smile.
“You’re a character,” He commented. Sableye returned to the Pokeball Jackson had given Jonathon the night before and Jonathon followed Sam out to the foyer, Skitty at their heels. Golem could be seen outside the window.
“Golem’s taken to guarding the Center,” Danyl explained, carrying a tray of Pokeballs to Jean. Jean placed them on her belt and smiled. Danyl was looking better. He seemed to finally be coping without Mudkip.
“So we took on the Maniac Gym last night,” Jonathon began. He and Jean told the story, then told Danyl about Jackson and showed Danyl Sableye. Danyl told them Sableye looked a lot stronger than any Pokemon he’d seen or treated before. He explained how you could tell from their eyes apparently. The more expensive and exquisite the diamond-like eyes became, the stronger the Pokemon was. Sableye’s eyes looked like they’d just come off of a ten thousand dollar set of earrings. Danyl laughed when Jonathon told him this.
“Well, he’s definitely strong then,” Danyl finished. He had to get back to work now and the trio was planning on training at the park today so they set off. Sam set up an umbrella and lounged out on a picnic blanket with Skitty curled up at her feet. Lotad was hopping around near the edge of the forest where Treecko was sitting under a tree. Gloom was asleep by Skitty while Nincada and Trapinch stood with Jonathon and Sableye. Kirlia and Tailow faced them with Jean.
“Trapinch, hit Tailow with your rock throw, Nincada use your string shot to trap Kirlia on the spot, then hit her with acid,” Jonathon commanded. Jean’s Tailow was already in the air dodging the rock Trapinch had thrown and was now swooping down to peck the Pokemon furiously on the nose. Trapinch suddenly jumped, biting hard on Tailow’s tail. Tailow landed hard on the ground with Trapinch still clutching hard. As Trapinch let go he kept his mouth open and blasted Tailow with a force of sand in the face. Tailow coughed and spluttered, dropping to the ground again. Nincada scuttled past, running from Kirlia who was twirling along the ground blasting psywaves in all directions. Jean frowned.
“Kirlia, try aiming!” She offered. Kirlia stopped and stared at Jean. She looked back Nincada, retreating across the field.
“Nincada, harden up!” Jonathon yelled. Nincada stopped and glowed for a brief moment. Kirlia’s psywaves blasted Nincada a fair distance though. Jonathon thought frantically as Kirlia aimed again. Nincada, however, pulled a trick from nowhere. The little Pokemon coated himself in acid and absorbed it as extra defense.
“Acid Armor,” Jonathon nodded with a smile. Kirlia knocked Nincada with another psywave and then she slapped him hard in the face. Nincada shook the attack off and rolled about to face her. Nincada sprayed a string shot at Kirlia but she raised a hand and it turned back and covered Nincada. Nincada scratched at his face and then tripped as the web got caught in his legs. He frantically rolled about, thrashing and struggling. Kirlia giggled and turned away. Suddenly, Nincada leapt, shedding his skin and throwing himself at Kirlia. Nincada flew through the air, slashing the sky as he went. Kirlia was thrown to the ground and a black shadow engulfed both Pokemon. Jonathon and jean ran forward, Trapinch and Tailow forgetting their battle. As the shadow eased they saw Kirlia and another Pokemon flying just above the ground next to her.
“Ninjask…” Jean said in awe. Jonathon reached out to touch Ninjask. The bug landed on his outstretched arm. Jonathon and Jean looked it over with open mouths.
“Ew,” Sam coughed. Jonathon realized that unlike Jean and himself, Sam was looking at the point where Nincada had evolved. Jonathon turned over, Ninjask still on his arm. Jean followed him over to the shape on the grass. He bent over and looked at it. It was a dull yellow colour and had hollow eyes. By all accounts it was the empty shell of the former Nincada, except that it seemed to be moving ever so slightly. A small white ring hovered slightly past the Pokemon’s head. With a fluid movement the Pokemon sat up and floated up in the air next to the trainer’s heads.
“What is it?” Sam asked. Jonathon stroked the shell’s face and it made a soft purring noise.
“It’s Nincada’s shell. It’s alive,” Jonathon replied.
“Shedinja,” Jean read from her mobile phone, “It’s the ghost of Nincada’s shell. It’s a living Pokemon but its only skill is defense. Both Ninjask and Shedinja have the memories of being Nincada and are exactly alike mentally and emotionally, they’re just different physically and genetically,”
“Shed,” Shedinja whispered.
“Are you tired?” Jonathon asked. Shedinja nodded carefully and Jonathon took out a Pokeball. Shedinja disappeared inside and the Pokeball flashed brightly. Jonathon shook it as it suddenly became weightless.
“Shedinja’s been transported to the apartment,” Sam told Jonathon.
“Oh,” Jonathon realized. He looked over at Ninjask, now hovering perfectly next to his head.
“Well let’s get back to the apartment and rest up, tomorrow we have to pick up Squirtle and then on Tuesday we’re off to Villa Town,” Jonathon decided. The girls agreed and they recalled all their Pokemon. Sableye was nowhere to be found.
“Sableye, come on, we’re going home,” Jonathon called. Sableye appeared in front of him and smiled.
“Return,” Jonathon told him. Sableye disappeared into his Pokeball with a giggle.

Squirtle was very pleased to be home and the doctor had even given him the all clear to go inside his Pokeball, unfortunately though Squirtle could not battle and this was annoying him to no end. Jonathon had to stop Makuhita from going into his bedroom where Squirtle was resting. Treecko agreed to stand guard, being the most mature of all their Pokemon, and so Jonathon was able to ponder Shedinja and Ninjask in peace. They were both the same Pokemon but also completely different Pokemon. It was something he pondered long and hard into the night. Sableye appeared in his dreams again, sitting on the sidelines watching. Jonathon managed to ignore him for most of the night but Sableye was suddenly in front of him just as Jonathon went to kiss Zac Effron on the set of Hairspray. Sableye pulled Jonathon’s head back away from Zac and then out of the pillow to look up at the window. Gastly was smiling dopily in at him. It floated through the glass and over to Jonathon’s door. Jonathon got dressed quickly and grabbed his bag, already packed, and headed into the lounge. Sam was in her bathrobe and slippers, holding Skitty in her arms. There were two more Gastly in the lounge room, one hovering beside Sam and the other over Jean, who had slept on the couch and was still waking up. Jean grabbed her bag too and stood by Jonathon as they bid Sam farewell. Sam nodded and hurried them along, desperate to get back to sleep. Squirtle hobbled out of Jonathon’s room and nudged his head against Jonathon’s leg. Jonathon put him in his Pokeball, and then returned Sableye as well. Ninjask floated over and disappeared into his Pokeball. Trapinch and Lotad were already in theirs. Gloom hugged Sam’s leg and then waddled over to Jonathon, fading into red light and being sucked into her ball too. Shedinja was staying with Sam while Jean and Jonathon went to Villa Town to get their Seventh Badge. Haunter came floating through the kitchen wall, making Sam jump and drop a bottle of bourbon she’d hidden under her robe. She picked it up, not even bothering to comment on the huge stain she’d just added to the already filthy carpet. The three Gastly swirled around the room and with a faint whoosh Jackson appeared. They all greeted each other sleepily and then, with a swirl of purple ghost Pokemon, Jackson, Jonathon and Jean disappeared from the room. They arrived a second later in Villa Town.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

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Sun May 04, 2008 4:51 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
The river flowing through the town was pristine and sparkling and trees adorned every surface that a building didn’t. The people were smiling, the sun was shining, the Pidgey were chirping and Sableye leapt from its Pokeball just in time to stop a Whismur that was creeping up behind them. Whismur was knocked to the ground. A trainer cursed loudly and another Pokemon appeared. Duskull swirled around a nearby tree and with a crack the Duskull and the unseen trainer were gone, leaving Whismur to tremble before the group.
“Hillsound,” Jackson said, seeing the silver Restrain Ball the trainer had dropped in their haste to escape.

The group had no idea what they were going to do with Whismur. In the end Jonathon used Gloom to paralyze it and the Ninjask wrapped it up in string shot and they took it with them to Jackson’s Headquarters.
“Welcome to Division U of the Police Department,” Jackson announced, spreading his arms wide. He led Jean and Jonathon into his office where they placed the Whismur on his desk. Jackson took the Restrain Ball and placed a small metal square against its shiny surface. The ball made a buzzing sound and snapped open. It appeared unable to reseal and Jackson threw it into the bin next to his chair. He sat down and pulled his laptop close to him. Whismur was sleeping peacefully as Jackson placed it on a set of scales and weighed it.
“You can tell from a Pokeball how heavy a Pokemon is. Pokeballs store that kind of information permanently. If the Pokemon is stolen then their weight is taken from the Pokeball and used as an identifying tool. It can take their weight right down to the very tiniest fraction and so it makes for an almost flawless identification process. Of course, for Pokemon that have been stolen a long time they can have changed weight, especially if they evolve,” Jackson explained. Jonathon and Jean nodded.
“There’s no Whismur registered being stolen. We’re going to have to give it to someone to look after until the trainer lodges a missing Pokemon report,”
“I can look after it,” Jean offered.
“If you two are going to Sathalia I’d rather you didn’t take Whismur. It’ll need to stay close to Villa Town,” Jackson told Jean. Jean nodded and Jonathon had an idea.
“Sam can look after Whismur,” He suggested.
“Great idea,” Jackson smiled, his face bursting to life, “I’ll take Whismur over tonight for her,”
“Can you check our Electrike and Trapinch in the system?” Jean piped up. Jackson did so, first releasing them from their Restrain Balls and then weighing each one.
“No Trapinch has been registered at all. It’s not really surprising, Trapinch hibernate for most of the year; they’re only active during summer. Because they’re so often sleeping they’re easy to capture and therefore there’s no need to steal one,” Jackson sighed, “You may as well keep hold of him, you’ve already bonded with Trapinch,”
“As long as that’s okay,” Jonathon countered.
“It’ll be best for Trapinch. I don’t want to uproot it from another trainer. Electrike on the other hand is turning up a few results… This exact weight was reported stolen a few weeks ago. Electrike belongs to the Gym Leader of Villa Town!” Jackson gasped.
“We can take Electrike back to him when we challenge him,” Jean smiled.
“Good idea,” Jonathon agreed.
“Can you do that today?” Jackson asked.
“Sure, let’s go,” Jonathon waved, hoisting his shoulderbag further up his arm.
“See you later then,” Jean told Jackson as they headed for the door. The Villa Town Gym was next in line for the Jonathon and Jean thrashing of a lifetime.

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Wed May 07, 2008 12:26 pm
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pretty good story, but the huge walls of text probably keep a lot of people from actually reading the story. i would try and spread em out a little more, but keep it going its good!


Sun May 11, 2008 12:14 pm
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Jean and Jonathon walked through the Gym with strained expressions. It was almost impossible for them to keep themselves from bursting out with raucous laughter. Everything was sequined

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Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:19 pm
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wow i finaly got done reading this story and there's not much to constructive critisize. the only problem is the plot, I mean where's it going? However, there's just enough action, description, and dialog to keep me reading. way to go :D

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A flea and fly in a flue, Were imprisoned so what could they do? Said the flea let us fly. Said the fly let us flee. So they flew through a flaw in the flue.


Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:04 pm
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“Well that certainly wasn’t the Gym battle I expected,” Jonathon laughed to Jean as they made their way to the hotel they were staying in. Jackson had kindly offered them a hotel that the police force used and therefore the pair didn’t have to pay for any accommodation. Their food was provided as well in the form of a lady pushing a cart to their door three times a day. She had a Shuckle smiling on her shoulder. Two legs clung to her white blouse and the little bug Pokemon’s head stuck up into the air. Jonathon presumed it was Shuckle that made the berry juice they had with every meal, and he was most grateful for the juice was incredible. The Pokemon liked it too. At dinnertime that evening, Squirtle and Makuhita were whispering mischievously on the floor next to the television while Ninjask watched from overhead tentatively. Gloom sat next to Jean and looked at Squirtle and Makuhita disapprovingly. Sableye was hanging from the ceiling and Trapinch was gazing up at him mindlessly. Lotad and Treecko were sitting quietly under the table while Tailow perched on Jean’s shoulder. Kirlia was looking out the window as if guarding the group. As Jean put the leftovers from their dinner in the fridge Jonathon spread the map over the table.
“There has to be an eighth badge still up for grabs somewhere,” He moaned, staring down at the tiny black dots that represented cities and towns.
“Isamine City’s Mine Badge,” Jean pointed, “Longhand’s Stars Badge,”
“Towa Bay’s Sand Badge and the Kennel Badge from Las Vista,” Jonathon added.
“We also got the Storm Badge and the Spiral Badge from Las Vista,”
“Now we have Anita’s Sparkling Badge,” Jonathon said, “which takes Villa Town off the map. The Cracked Badge is the eighth badge, we need to find my brother,”
“He’ll be interstate by now. You heard what Jackson said,” Jean retorted. Jonathon sighed. Jackson had told them only a few days after they saw Anita that the Hillsound trainers had all begun to disappear. There were reports coming from the southern regions, particularly of Sathalia, reports of missing Pokemon everywhere. Jackson was busier than ever preparing a team to help the people of Sathalia. This meant Jonathon and Jean barely got any time to see him and when they did they felt rude to ask him to use his influence to find their eighth gym badge.
“We could always scrap the whole badge thing and go straight after Hillsound,” Jean suggested meekly. Kirlia suddenly turned to look at them, her eyes blazing red. Squirtle and Makuhita were looking over from the television with blank expressions. Sableye dropped from the ceiling and surveyed the scene.
“Guys, what’s going on?” Jonathon queried, backing away from Kirlia’s glare.
“Sableye?” Jonathon asked. Jean was trying to get close enough to Kirlia to pick her up but the dancer Pokemon kept leaping away, her eyes burning with rage. Sableye shook his head and placed his hand on Jonathon’s shoulder. Jonathon’s eyes closed and he saw himself strolling though a crowd showing off an assortment of badges pinned to his chest. People awed and cheered until Jonathon transformed suddenly into Kirlia. The vision faded away and Jonathon opened his eyes in the hotel room.
“I think Kirlia likes Gym Badges. She sees them as a status symbol,” Jonathon explained to Jean. Jean took out Kirlia’s Pokeball and recalled the Pokemon with a huff.
“Treecko, Tailow, Makuhita, you too,” she frowned. Squirtle leapt forward onto Makuhita as his friend disappeared into the Pokeball. Jonathon took out his Pokeballs and began returning his own Pokemon to their Pokeballs.
“Anyway, we can’t challenge any of the Gyms in Sathalia or Veronica without having obtained eight badges from our home region. We can’t even compete in sanctioned events in the other regions until we have at least eight of the badges from our home region,” Jonathon recited to Jean, suddenly slightly more appreciative of his school teachers for drilling him with what he once though of as useless information.
“Border Town perhaps?” Jean pondered.
“They have a Gym but it’s part of the Veronican Region,” Jonathon told her. She sighed, looking back at the map.
“Wait…” Jonathon breathed, looking back over their journey.
“Isamine has a new Gym Leader, maybe they have a new badge,” Jean thought aloud.
“No… Towa Bay has a new Gym. I totally forgot. We have to go there, we need that badge before we head south,”
“At sunrise?” Jean asked.
“We’ll have the badge by nightfall tomorrow,” Jonathon smiled.

Towa Bay was as Jonathon remembered it. Sableye yawned and returned to his Pokeball, his job of transporting the pair to Towa Bay now finished. Jonathon and Jean couldn’t help but sigh at the beautiful vision of Towa Bay. The pristine beach could bring a smile to the saddest of beings. The sun gleamed down onto the pair as they strolled along the beach.
“This is where I rescued Nick,” Jonathon told Jean. Jean nodded silently. She’d managed to piece together a vague idea of what had happened between Jonathon and Nick but Jonathon had still never spoken so openly about the breakup.
“And that’s the hotel we stayed at,” Jonathon pointed out. Jean nodded.
“And there’s Vance,” Jonathon smiled, waving to a jolly ice cream vendor. Aipom was bouncing up and down on his shoulder with a chattering giggle.
“Welcome back, boy,” Vance bellowed, clapping Jonathon on the back hard.
“This is Jean,” Jonathon smiled, introducing his new travel partner to his old friend. Vance hugged Jean tightly and then looked her up and down.
“She’s straight,” Vance commented, “Peculiar,”
“Uh, thanks,” Jean smiled awkwardly.
“Is she in love with you?” Vance asked Jonathon, not bothering to whisper. Jean looked indignant.
“I most certainly am NOT,” She barked, slapping Vance’s mighty forearms as he lifted them over his head to shield himself.
“Okay, okay, geez girl,” Vance laughed.
“Hey, you asked for that,” Jonathon chuckled.
“Eh, anyway… I suppose you two are here for the new Gym?” Vance supplied. Jean and Jonathon’s beaming smiles were all the answer he needed. Vance turned and pointed to a building further along the beach.
“That’s the one. Used to be a harbor, now it’s a fully qualified Gym too. The leader aint easy either,” Vance explained.
“What Pokemon does he use?” Jean asked professionally.
“Why is it always about boys with you?” Vance teased.
“Huh?” Jean grappled, confused.
“The Gym Leader’s a girl, and I bet she’ll think you’re real pretty too,” Vance chuckled. Jonathon burst out into raucous laughter. Jean punched both of her companions in the stomachs and began marching toward the Gym.
“What types of Pokemon does she use?” Jonathon corrected Jean as he and Vance caught up with her.
“She uses an assortment really. Whichever Pokemon she needs in the harbor. Machoke to move things… Seaking to launch the boat… And she has this lighthouse Pokemon with a blinding flash attack. I’ve never seen it but all the trainer’s that I’ve heard talk about her have told stories about how she blinds them and their Pokemon with this flash and then it’s all over,”
“How many badges has she surrendered?” Jean asked suddenly.
“None,” Vance answered solemnly. At that moment the huge boat docked at the Gym let out a siren and began to set sail.
“The Gym’s closed until tomorrow,” Vance explained, “Coz the boat’s leaving… ya know,”
“Hotel?” Jonathon asked Jean.
“Nonsense,” Vance interrupted, “Stay at mine. I’ve got plenty of spare rooms since my kids went off with their Pokemon,”
“Oh, we couldn’t impose,” Jean attempted.
“Good, let’s go then,” Vance misunderstood. As Vance clapped Jean hard on the shoulder Jonathon couldn’t help but notice she made a cough that sounded strangely like the words ‘Stupid Hick.’

Vance’s house was enormous. It was three stories with a swimming pool that Squirtle and Lotad took to instantly. Ninjask and Tailow perched on a towel rack as Treecko climbed up the diving board and sat like a lifeguard high above the swimming Pokemon. Trapinch grabbed a towel from the towel rack and pulled it down. With little fuss he made a nest out of it and lay down to sleep. Makuhita was lying on a deck chair with Gloom dancing at his feet. The only one not having fun was Kirlia who watched them all playing with a scowl. Sableye wandered toward her but when she shot him a glare of purple eyes he backed away and sat by the water.
“Kirlia, what’s wrong?” Jean asked, kneeling down and putting her arm around the little Pokemon. Kirlia turned away from her with a “humph.”
“She wants more Gym Badges,” Jonathon noted. There was a sudden loud crash from behind them. Vance had dropped the tray of food and drink he was carrying as he walked through the door. His face was white. Aipom too looked like he had seen a ghost.
“Vance, are you okay?” Jonathon asked, hurrying to help him. Vance continued to stare blankly ahead in some sort of shock.
“What is it?” Jean asked with Kirlia following her over. Vance raised a shaking hand and pointed at something by the pool. Sableye looked up and froze as he saw Vance.
“Hillsound…” Vance trembled. Sableye kept staring at Vance, something stirring in his eyes.
“Jonathon – the little boy with the Aipom,” Jean stammered.
“You were Sableye’s trainer,” Jonathon said to Vance. Vance couldn’t have heard him for he was shaking from head to foot, tears streaming down his face.
“Sableye,” He croaked, holding out a hand. Sableye leapt up from the poolside and jumped through the air, latching onto Vance with all fours. Aipom screeched gleefully and jumped up and down on Vance’s shoulder as Sableye was finally reunited with his trainer.
“It’s been years,” Vance sobbed, coughing everywhere. Sableye’s tears fell like diamonds, pooling on Vance’s shoes.
“That makes two Hillsound Pokemon we’ve returned to their rightful trainers,” Jean said to Jonathon quietly.
“Pretty good for a couple months work,” Jonathon smiled.

Vance was so grateful that he outfitted Jean and Jonathon before letting them take on the Harbor Gym. With new clothes, a shiny new Poketch each and a bag full of Great Balls the duo set off down the beach. Jonathon was sporting a new blue jacket with black sleeves. His Poketch was pink, which matched his belt. Jean had opted for a blue Poketch to go with her blue vest that sat tightly over her white blouse. Both had jeans with a silver stripe down the side of one leg. They opened the big heavy double doors to the Gym and stepped inside. There was a large group of people staring at them and a handful of Machoke carrying crates and barrels here and there.
“Challengers?” A pretty girl asked. Jean nodded profusely and the girl chuckled quietly.
“You must be the Gym Leader,” Jonathon pointed out.
“No,” Another voice cracked, “I am.”
A teenager walked forward through the crowd. She was wearing black leather pants with a black leather vest. Her short black hair was spiked and she had a collar around her neck. Piercings adorned her skin everywhere and her lips were black.
“I’m Bekka,” She grunted.
“I’m Jonathon, this is Jean, we’re here for the badge,” Jonathon announced. The crowd spread apart.
“Three single battles. You can team up if you want, you’ll both get a badge. But you have to beat all three of my Pokemon to get the badges,” Bekka informed them. The largest Machoke stepped forward.
“Kirlia,” Jonathon whispered to Jean.
“Got it,” Jean answered, taking a Pokeball from her belt.
“Bring it, kids,” Bekka laughed.

Kirlia leapt to the side as Machoke threw his whole body at her. Kirlia giggled but then regained her focus instantly, slashing Machoke’s cheek with her nails.
“Confusion attack, Kirlia!” Jean commanded. Kirlia jumped and thrust her hands at Machoke who quite suddenly turned a funny shade of yellow. As Kirlia landed and dropped her hands Machoke returned to normal, all except his eyes which remained a glowing yellow. Kirlia spun round and round in circles, slapping him over and over. Machoke lumbered forward and tried to grab her but he missed by a foot and landed in a heap.
“Psywave,” Jean ordered. Kirlia was already charging the attack when she nodded and launched a shimmering blue light that pulsated over to Machoke and sent him rolling further across the floor.
“Machoke snap out of it!” Bekka barked. Machoke shook his head and his eyes returned to normal.
“Hit him with another Psywave,” Jean told Kirlia. As she charged her Psywave Machoke flew through the air and knocked her hard with a jump kick. Kirlia stumbled back and stood still for a moment, stunned. Machoke took this opportunity to clock her with a karate chop and then headbutt her so she fell onto the floor. She looked up at him, stunned again. Machoke grabbed her and lifted her over his head. At that moment Kirlia shrieked and Machoke dropped her instantly. Kirlia landed gracefully and continued to stare at Machoke who was stumbling backward with flashes of yellow light bursting from his body.
“Shock wave?” Jonathon stammered.
“Go on Kirlia, hit him with full power!” Jean encouraged. Kirlia smiled and stepped closer to Machoke. The shock wave exploded from Machoke and sent him flying skyward. Kirlia raised her hands and grimaced. Machoke stayed airborne and continued to writhe in pain.
“Machoke, get it together!” Bekka snapped. Kirlia let go of Machoke and he fell to the ground, landing with a loud thud. He didn’t move.
“To the water we go,” Bekka told the challengers. The entire wall behind Bekka split apart and opened to reveal two docks, one holding the boat and the other empty. There were two Goldeen and a Seaking waiting in the water.
“Seaking, you’re up. Goldeen, get out of the way,” Bekka snapped. The Goldeen swam away quickly and Seaking puffed himself up to his full height.
“Sam’s Goldeen is bigger than her Seaking,” Jean pointed out.
“Who’s Sam?” Bekka asked rudely, “Is he your boyfriend,”
“He’s a girl,” Jonathon said in a warning tone. Jean seemed uncomfortable.
“So she’s your girlfriend?” Bekka continued.
“No, she’s our friend,” Jonathon replied, tossing Squirtle’s Pokeball into the water. With a mighty splash Squirtle dove out of the water and fired off a mountain of bubbles that floated around merrily. He splashed about playfully until he realized Bekka and her goons were laughing at him.
“A Squirtle?” Bekka cackled, “And look at the thing, it’s tiny,”
“Hey, watch your mouth,” Jonathon barked. Bekka stopped laughing and looked at him with a blank face.
“Seaking, kill it,” She said plainly.
“Squirtle, use your skull bash underwater,” Jonathon shouted, ducking closer to the water’s edge. Seaking swam at Squirtle with deadly speed but Squirtle floated in the water calmly. As Seaking drew near it lowered its horn. Squirtle ducked underwater and Seaking swam right over him. Squirtle emerged and smashed Seaking hard with his head. As Seaking floundered helplessly Squirtle sprayed more decorative bubbles into the air. Seaking caught him off guard with a spike cannon. As Squirtle tried to retaliate the giant fish fired off a Bubblebeam that sent Squirtle spinning away. The attack seemed to remind Squirtle that he too knew how to use Bubblebeam and so he fired one off that hit Seaking fair on the face. Seaking roared and shot another spike cannon that hit Squirtle twice in the chest.
“Squirtle!” Jonathon cried. Bekka stepped closer to him.
“This is the last Gym in the region, did you honestly think it would be easy?” She laughed.
“Actually, it wasn’t until I saw you that I realized how easy this Gym would be. You don’t know squat about raising Pokemon,” Jonathon replied nastily.
“Bah! I’m twice the person you’ll ever be! Look at you in your pink belt and your tight jeans, you think you’re so pretty don’t you?”
“I’m twice as pretty as you’ll ever be and twice as pretty as you’ll ever get,” Jonathon finished. Squirtle was now floating above the water, his eyes purple and with shimmering orbs spinning around him.
“Hidden Power, Squirtle,” Jonathon ordered as Bekka glared at him with the look of a thousand evils.
“Ampharos, kill him,” She croaked. Jonathon jumped back just in time to miss a thunderbolt that would have split his head apart. Seaking roared in protest as Squirtle hammered it with the shimmering dark orbs. Jean screamed, pointing up to the roof. Ampharos, as big as a car, jumped down from the rafters.
“How the hell did it get that big?” Jonathon yelled, stumbling back as it marched closer, the orb on its head charging another thunderbolt. Squirtle raced to Jonathon’s aid with a bubble barrage flying through the air behind him. The bubbles smashed Ampharos hard in the face but the beast was hardly slowed.
“Kirlia, use your hypnosis,” Jean tried, but Ampharos kicked Kirlia aside like it was a rag doll. Squirtle blasted it with a Bubblebeam but the oversized Pokemon walked through it. From behind Kirlia fired off a Psywave that did nothing to sway Ampharos. Squirtle stood protectively in front of Jonathon, threatening Ampharos with clenched teeth.
“Squirtle, return,” Jonathon said, holding out Squirtle’s Pokeball. Squirtle turned and batted the Pokeball out of Jonathon’s hand. He turned back to Ampharos and shot a blast of water into its face.
“Squirtle, we can’t fight it, we’ve got to get out of here,” Jonathon pleaded. Squirtle wouldn’t listen. He ran forward and slashed Ampharos’ leg then jumped up to bite it on the neck. He scratched at it like a maniac until Ampharos punched him away. Squirtle slid along the gym floor with Jonathon chasing after him. From nowhere came Kirlia, blasting Ampharos’ orb with her newfound shockwave.
“Ampharos! Kill it, kill them all!” Bekka shrieked, her goons starting to draw back in fear.
“Squirtle, wake up,” Jonathon whimpered at the shell lying lifeless on the floor.
“Come on buddy, wake up, you gotta wake up,” He said, tears stinging his eyes. He ran his fingers over the scar from when his shell had been cracked. They hadn’t had a big battle since then.
“Squirtle, get back in the ball,” Jonathon sobbed, holding out the Pokeball.
“Come on,” He begged. Squirtle’s shell remained still and silent. A shadow fell over the shell and Jonathon looked up to see the mighty Ampharos towering over them.
“AMPH!” It roared. Jonathon threw himself over Squirtle’s shell as the explosion of light erupted from all around him. Or rather, the explosion of light came from his belt as Trapinch jumped out of his Pokeball and sprayed sand and dust into Ampharos’ face. Ampharos fell backward as Trapinch blasted the sandstorm from his mouth. With a great crack a huge rock flew toward Ampharos’ head. Ampharos tried to dodge it but the rock struck it on the neck and caused it to fall on its face. Trapinch jumped on its back and bit hard. He stomped down with a crunch and then smacked his huge head into Ampharos. Ampharos leapt up and lashed out but Trapinch darted to the side. With a flash of light Trapinch was running through Ampharos’ legs and hiding behind it. Kirlia floated through the air holding a shimmering blue orb that she fired at Ampharos. It seemed to stun the beast long enough for Trapinch to catch his breath behind the beast and then re-emerge. This time though, Trapinch had wings.
“Vibrava!” Bekka spluttered. Vibrava flew around Ampharos’ head, spraying a sticky web all over its face. Ampharos stumbled backward.
“Ampharos, kill em all with your thunder!” Bekka snarled, pushing past Kirlia. Kirlia fell to the floor.
“Don’t you dare touch my Pokemon!” Jean scathed, running forward.
“Or what?” Bekka teased, a wicked grin on her face. Bekka fell backward and lay on the ground without moving. Jean was rubbing her knuckles.
“That hurt more than I though it would,” She noted. Kirlia shrieked as Ampharos puffed itself up to full height. Vibrava was still flying around its head.
“Jonathon!” Jean shrieked. He looked over as Ampharos’ orb charged up its thunder attack.
“We will all die!” Jean screamed to Bekka’s goons. They cowered back, trembling in fear.
“Can’t any of you control that thing?” Jonathon yelled, not daring to leave Squirtle’s side.
“None of us even have any Pokemon! They’re all Bekka’s,” One of the boys trembled.
“Gutless!” Jean snapped. Jonathon reached onto his belt for his other Pokemon. It would take all of their best efforts to hold off Ampharos. Even then, Jonathon knew they had no chance of defeating the giant Pokemon. Squirtle’s shell was gone.
“Squirtle!” Jonathon cried with all his might, turning to see his first Pokemon running as fast as he could toward Ampharos. Squirtle flew through the air and spun, ducking back inside his shell. With a great crack he struck Ampharos on the head. Squirtle flew away, skidding to a stop near the boat. He fell back out of his shell and collapsed again, breathing heavily. Ampharos teetered back and forth, moaning wordlessly. It tipped over and fell into the water with Seaking where it did not move. Bekka too was not stirring.
“Give me the badge, NOW,” Jean breathed to the goons. One of them scurried onto the boat as she recalled Kirlia and hurried over to Squirtle. Jonathon and Vibrava were already there, kneeling over him.
“Squirrrrr,” Squirtle groaned. Jonathon smiled at him as he opened one eye half way.
“You did it little buddy,” He choked, a tear falling from his eye. Squirtle lifted a finger shakily and used it to wipe the tear from Jonathon’s face. He smiled once more and then passed out. Jonathon sobbed with relief and recalled Squirtle to his Pokeball. As he stood, Vibrava floated near his shoulder.
“And you!” Jonathon cheered, “You saved our lives! And evolved! Vibrava, that was incredible!”
“Great work Vibrava, you really saved the day,” Jean agreed. Vibrava buzzed gleefully as the goon returned with their badges.
“The Piercing Badge? Is that because of Ampharos’ piercing flash attack or Bekka’s nose?” Jean wondered out aloud.

Now that Sableye had been returned to Vance, the pair had to rely on other means of transportation than his teleport ability. Of course, this was not so much of a problem for them, especially considering they were now headed south, which meant-
“MORE POKEMON!” Jean cried. Jonathon was still waking up as she yelled this and didn’t particularly appreciate her cheerful morning behavior.
“What?” He moaned.
“Veronica and Sathalia have more Pokemon that any other region on the continent,” She repeated.
“Great,” Jonathon yawned, making himself a coffee in Vance’s kitchen. It was barely dawn and the pair were about to set off for Border Town, the town that sat on the border of Veronica. In Veronica they planned to learn more about Hillsound and train their Pokemon at the Gyms before heading to Sathalia where they would destroy the Adelburgh Hillsound Headquarters.
“Border Town… Imaginative name… I wonder, is it on a border?” Jonathon asked Jean. She ruffled his hair.
“Very funny,” She teased with heavy sarcasm. At that moment Squirtle meandered in.
“Hey,” Jonathon piped up, a smile finally crossing his sleep deprived face, “How’s my little champion?”
“Squirt,” Squirtle replied, holding his side. He suddenly gained a limp and twisted his face into a painful grimace. He climbed up onto the table and lay on his back, feigning great pain.
“What do you expect to gain from faking sick?” Jean asked him simply. Squirtle looked at her, then at Jonathon and then opened his mouth and pointed into it.
“Carrot?” Jonathon asked plainly. Squirtle nodded like an eighty year old man on his deathbed. Jonathon went to the fridge while Jean consulted the map.
“It’s going to be tricky getting all these turns right. The road intertwines with the highway where only cars are allowed and the cycling road for bikes only. If we could only drive…” Jean wished.
“Why don’t we get bikes?” Jonathon asked, handing Squirtle the carrot. He took it and then handed it back to Jonathon making a movement with his hands that implied he wanted it cut into smaller pieces. Jonathon rolled his eyes and set about cutting up the carrot.
“I can’t ride a bike. Besides, think of all the Pokemon we’ll be missing if we’re zooming along on a bike,” Jean countered.
“But I’m hopeless with maps, Jean,” Jonathon argued, handing Squirtle the carrot pieces. Squirtle sat up on the table with excitement and began to eat the carrot.
“Oh see now you’re fine,” Jonathon declared. Squirtle gave him a big toothy smile.
“I’ll be the map reader then,” Jean said suddenly. Squirtle choked on a piece of carrot and coughed it back up. Jonathon spilt his coffee at the exact same moment.
“Jean, I don’t really know how to tell you this,” He started.
“Girl, you can’t read maps to save yourself,” Vance finished as he walked through the door.
“Vance,” Jonathon smiled, “Morning,”
“Morning kids,” Vance beamed, making himself coffee.
“I can too read maps,” Jean whined.
“It doesn’t matter, you’re taking Aipom and he’s got the best sense of direction in any Pokemon I’ve ever seen,” Vance told them. Jonathon spilt his coffee again, which prompted Squirtle to choke on another piece of carrot.
“Ew…” Jean said as Squirtle spat it back up, “What do you mean we’re taking Aipom?”
“Well, since you two returned Sableye to me I’ve decided Aipom can go with you. Aipom is young. Sableye and I traveled all over the world when we were young. Aipom needs his turn. When you’re adventure is over you can bring him back, or not, as long as he’s happy,” Vance shrugged.
“Vance, Thankyou so much,” Jean stammered.
“You’ve been too kind to us already,” Jonathon told the man.
“Ah, cut the emotional stuff. Just come get me when you’re heading off, I’ll be in the lounge… Mary’s on the morning news,” Vance dismissed. He took his coffee out of the room and Jonathon and Jean gave each other grins as wide as the horizon.

It was a sad moment out on the front porch of Vance’s house. Sableye and Jonathon had to say goodbye and then Vance had to say goodbye to Aipom. Jean waited awkwardly off to the side. Tailow was flying overhead.
“Well buddy, I guess this is goodbye,” Jonathon told Sableye. Sableye held out his hand. Jonathon chuckled.
“One last trip,” He agreed. Sableye was standing in a room with a young Vance. Then, Vance turned into Jonathon. The vision ended there.
“Was I really as good a trainer to you as Vance was?” Jonathon whispered, “Or are you just being nice?”
Sableye hugged Jonathon with all fours somewhat similar to how he’d hugged Vance when they’d been reunited. Sableye stood next to Vance and Aipom leapt onto Jean’s shoulder.
“Well, this is it then,” Jonathon said to Vance.
“Oh it is not, you’ll be back to visit. Go on, get out of here before it gets too late in the day,” Vance pushed, “I’m missing Mary on the news.”

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Sat Aug 16, 2008 1:55 am
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Posts: 357
Location: Australia
“Well that certainly wasn’t the Gym battle I expected,” Jonathon laughed to Jean as they made their way to the hotel they were staying in. Jackson had kindly offered them a hotel that the police force used and therefore the pair didn’t have to pay for any accommodation. Their food was provided as well in the form of a lady pushing a cart to their door three times a day. She had a Shuckle smiling on her shoulder. Two legs clung to her white blouse and the little bug Pokemon’s head stuck up into the air. Jonathon presumed it was Shuckle that made the berry juice they had with every meal, and he was most grateful for the juice was incredible. The Pokemon liked it too. At dinnertime that evening, Squirtle and Makuhita were whispering mischievously on the floor next to the television while Ninjask watched from overhead tentatively. Gloom sat next to Jean and looked at Squirtle and Makuhita disapprovingly. Sableye was hanging from the ceiling and Trapinch was gazing up at him mindlessly. Lotad and Treecko were sitting quietly under the table while Tailow perched on Jean’s shoulder. Kirlia was looking out the window as if guarding the group. As Jean put the leftovers from their dinner in the fridge Jonathon spread the map over the table.
“There has to be an eighth badge still up for grabs somewhere,” He moaned, staring down at the tiny black dots that represented cities and towns.
“Isamine City’s Mine Badge,” Jean pointed, “Longhand’s Stars Badge,”
“Towa Bay’s Sand Badge and the Kennel Badge from Las Vista,” Jonathon added.
“We also got the Storm Badge and the Spiral Badge from Las Vista,”
“Now we have Anita’s Sparkling Badge,” Jonathon said, “which takes Villa Town off the map. The Cracked Badge is the eighth badge, we need to find my brother,”
“He’ll be interstate by now. You heard what Jackson said,” Jean retorted. Jonathon sighed. Jackson had told them only a few days after they saw Anita that the Hillsound trainers had all begun to disappear. There were reports coming from the southern regions, particularly of Sathalia, reports of missing Pokemon everywhere. Jackson was busier than ever preparing a team to help the people of Sathalia. This meant Jonathon and Jean barely got any time to see him and when they did they felt rude to ask him to use his influence to find their eighth gym badge.
“We could always scrap the whole badge thing and go straight after Hillsound,” Jean suggested meekly. Kirlia suddenly turned to look at them, her eyes blazing red. Squirtle and Makuhita were looking over from the television with blank expressions. Sableye dropped from the ceiling and surveyed the scene.
“Guys, what’s going on?” Jonathon queried, backing away from Kirlia’s glare.
“Sableye?” Jonathon asked. Jean was trying to get close enough to Kirlia to pick her up but the dancer Pokemon kept leaping away, her eyes burning with rage. Sableye shook his head and placed his hand on Jonathon’s shoulder. Jonathon’s eyes closed and he saw himself strolling though a crowd showing off an assortment of badges pinned to his chest. People awed and cheered until Jonathon transformed suddenly into Kirlia. The vision faded away and Jonathon opened his eyes in the hotel room.
“I think Kirlia likes Gym Badges. She sees them as a status symbol,” Jonathon explained to Jean. Jean took out Kirlia’s Pokeball and recalled the Pokemon with a huff.
“Treecko, Tailow, Makuhita, you too,” she frowned. Squirtle leapt forward onto Makuhita as his friend disappeared into the Pokeball. Jonathon took out his Pokeballs and began returning his own Pokemon to their Pokeballs.
“Anyway, we can’t challenge any of the Gyms in Sathalia or Veronica without having obtained eight badges from our home region. We can’t even compete in sanctioned events in the other regions until we have at least eight of the badges from our home region,” Jonathon recited to Jean, suddenly slightly more appreciative of his school teachers for drilling him with what he once though of as useless information.
“Border Town perhaps?” Jean pondered.
“They have a Gym but it’s part of the Veronican Region,” Jonathon told her. She sighed, looking back at the map.
“Wait…” Jonathon breathed, looking back over their journey.
“Isamine has a new Gym Leader, maybe they have a new badge,” Jean thought aloud.
“No… Towa Bay has a new Gym. I totally forgot. We have to go there, we need that badge before we head south,”
“At sunrise?” Jean asked.
“We’ll have the badge by nightfall tomorrow,” Jonathon smiled.

Towa Bay was as Jonathon remembered it. Sableye yawned and returned to his Pokeball, his job of transporting the pair to Towa Bay now finished. Jonathon and Jean couldn’t help but sigh at the beautiful vision of Towa Bay. The pristine beach could bring a smile to the saddest of beings. The sun gleamed down onto the pair as they strolled along the beach.
“This is where I rescued Nick,” Jonathon told Jean. Jean nodded silently. She’d managed to piece together a vague idea of what had happened between Jonathon and Nick but Jonathon had still never spoken so openly about the breakup.
“And that’s the hotel we stayed at,” Jonathon pointed out. Jean nodded.
“And there’s Vance,” Jonathon smiled, waving to a jolly ice cream vendor. Aipom was bouncing up and down on his shoulder with a chattering giggle.
“Welcome back, boy,” Vance bellowed, clapping Jonathon on the back hard.
“This is Jean,” Jonathon smiled, introducing his new travel partner to his old friend. Vance hugged Jean tightly and then looked her up and down.
“She’s straight,” Vance commented, “Peculiar,”
“Uh, thanks,” Jean smiled awkwardly.
“Is she in love with you?” Vance asked Jonathon, not bothering to whisper. Jean looked indignant.
“I most certainly am NOT,” She barked, slapping Vance’s mighty forearms as he lifted them over his head to shield himself.
“Okay, okay, geez girl,” Vance laughed.
“Hey, you asked for that,” Jonathon chuckled.
“Eh, anyway… I suppose you two are here for the new Gym?” Vance supplied. Jean and Jonathon’s beaming smiles were all the answer he needed. Vance turned and pointed to a building further along the beach.
“That’s the one. Used to be a harbor, now it’s a fully qualified Gym too. The leader aint easy either,” Vance explained.
“What Pokemon does he use?” Jean asked professionally.
“Why is it always about boys with you?” Vance teased.
“Huh?” Jean grappled, confused.
“The Gym Leader’s a girl, and I bet she’ll think you’re real pretty too,” Vance chuckled. Jonathon burst out into raucous laughter. Jean punched both of her companions in the stomachs and began marching toward the Gym.
“What types of Pokemon does she use?” Jonathon corrected Jean as he and Vance caught up with her.
“She uses an assortment really. Whichever Pokemon she needs in the harbor. Machoke to move things… Seaking to launch the boat… And she has this lighthouse Pokemon with a blinding flash attack. I’ve never seen it but all the trainer’s that I’ve heard talk about her have told stories about how she blinds them and their Pokemon with this flash and then it’s all over,”
“How many badges has she surrendered?” Jean asked suddenly.
“None,” Vance answered solemnly. At that moment the huge boat docked at the Gym let out a siren and began to set sail.
“The Gym’s closed until tomorrow,” Vance explained, “Coz the boat’s leaving… ya know,”
“Hotel?” Jonathon asked Jean.
“Nonsense,” Vance interrupted, “Stay at mine. I’ve got plenty of spare rooms since my kids went off with their Pokemon,”
“Oh, we couldn’t impose,” Jean attempted.
“Good, let’s go then,” Vance misunderstood. As Vance clapped Jean hard on the shoulder Jonathon couldn’t help but notice she made a cough that sounded strangely like the words ‘Stupid Hick.’

Vance’s house was enormous. It was three stories with a swimming pool that Squirtle and Lotad took to instantly. Ninjask and Tailow perched on a towel rack as Treecko climbed up the diving board and sat like a lifeguard high above the swimming Pokemon. Trapinch grabbed a towel from the towel rack and pulled it down. With little fuss he made a nest out of it and lay down to sleep. Makuhita was lying on a deck chair with Gloom dancing at his feet. The only one not having fun was Kirlia who watched them all playing with a scowl. Sableye wandered toward her but when she shot him a glare of purple eyes he backed away and sat by the water.
“Kirlia, what’s wrong?” Jean asked, kneeling down and putting her arm around the little Pokemon. Kirlia turned away from her with a “humph.”
“She wants more Gym Badges,” Jonathon noted. There was a sudden loud crash from behind them. Vance had dropped the tray of food and drink he was carrying as he walked through the door. His face was white. Aipom too looked like he had seen a ghost.
“Vance, are you okay?” Jonathon asked, hurrying to help him. Vance continued to stare blankly ahead in some sort of shock.
“What is it?” Jean asked with Kirlia following her over. Vance raised a shaking hand and pointed at something by the pool. Sableye looked up and froze as he saw Vance.
“Hillsound…” Vance trembled. Sableye kept staring at Vance, something stirring in his eyes.
“Jonathon – the little boy with the Aipom,” Jean stammered.
“You were Sableye’s trainer,” Jonathon said to Vance. Vance couldn’t have heard him for he was shaking from head to foot, tears streaming down his face.
“Sableye,” He croaked, holding out a hand. Sableye leapt up from the poolside and jumped through the air, latching onto Vance with all fours. Aipom screeched gleefully and jumped up and down on Vance’s shoulder as Sableye was finally reunited with his trainer.
“It’s been years,” Vance sobbed, coughing everywhere. Sableye’s tears fell like diamonds, pooling on Vance’s shoes.
“That makes two Hillsound Pokemon we’ve returned to their rightful trainers,” Jean said to Jonathon quietly.
“Pretty good for a couple months work,” Jonathon smiled.

Vance was so grateful that he outfitted Jean and Jonathon before letting them take on the Harbor Gym. With new clothes, a shiny new Poketch each and a bag full of Great Balls the duo set off down the beach. Jonathon was sporting a new blue jacket with black sleeves. His Poketch was pink, which matched his belt. Jean had opted for a blue Poketch to go with her blue vest that sat tightly over her white blouse. Both had jeans with a silver stripe down the side of one leg. They opened the big heavy double doors to the Gym and stepped inside. There was a large group of people staring at them and a handful of Machoke carrying crates and barrels here and there.
“Challengers?” A pretty girl asked. Jean nodded profusely and the girl chuckled quietly.
“You must be the Gym Leader,” Jonathon pointed out.
“No,” Another voice cracked, “I am.”
A teenager walked forward through the crowd. She was wearing black leather pants with a black leather vest. Her short black hair was spiked and she had a collar around her neck. Piercings adorned her skin everywhere and her lips were black.
“I’m Bekka,” She grunted.
“I’m Jonathon, this is Jean, we’re here for the badge,” Jonathon announced. The crowd spread apart.
“Three single battles. You can team up if you want, you’ll both get a badge. But you have to beat all three of my Pokemon to get the badges,” Bekka informed them. The largest Machoke stepped forward.
“Kirlia,” Jonathon whispered to Jean.
“Got it,” Jean answered, taking a Pokeball from her belt.
“Bring it, kids,” Bekka laughed.

Kirlia leapt to the side as Machoke threw his whole body at her. Kirlia giggled but then regained her focus instantly, slashing Machoke’s cheek with her nails.
“Confusion attack, Kirlia!” Jean commanded. Kirlia jumped and thrust her hands at Machoke who quite suddenly turned a funny shade of yellow. As Kirlia landed and dropped her hands Machoke returned to normal, all except his eyes, which remained a glowing yellow. Kirlia spun round and round in circles, slapping him over and over. Machoke lumbered forward and tried to grab her but he missed by a foot and landed in a heap.
“Psywave,” Jean ordered. Kirlia was already charging the attack when she nodded and launched a shimmering blue light that pulsated over to Machoke and sent him rolling further across the floor.
“Machoke snap out of it!” Bekka barked. Machoke shook his head and his eyes returned to normal.
“Hit him with another Psywave,” Jean told Kirlia. As she charged her Psywave Machoke flew through the air and knocked her hard with a jump kick. Kirlia stumbled back and stood still for a moment, stunned. Machoke took this opportunity to clock her with a karate chop and then headbutt her so she fell onto the floor. She looked up at him, stunned again. Machoke grabbed her and lifted her over his head. At that moment Kirlia shrieked and Machoke dropped her instantly. Kirlia landed gracefully and continued to stare at Machoke who was stumbling backward with flashes of yellow light bursting from his body.
“Shock wave?” Jonathon stammered.
“Go on Kirlia, hit him with full power!” Jean encouraged. Kirlia smiled and stepped closer to Machoke. The shock wave exploded from Machoke and sent him flying skyward. Kirlia raised her hands and grimaced. Machoke stayed airborne and continued to writhe in pain.
“Machoke, get it together!” Bekka snapped. Kirlia let go of Machoke and he fell to the ground, landing with a loud thud. He didn’t move.
“To the water we go,” Bekka told the challengers. The entire wall behind Bekka split apart and opened to reveal two docks, one holding the boat and the other empty. There were two Goldeen and a Seaking waiting in the water.
“Seaking, you’re up. Goldeen, get out of the way,” Bekka snapped. The Goldeen swam away quickly and Seaking puffed himself up to his full height.
“Sam’s Goldeen is bigger than her Seaking,” Jean pointed out.
“Who’s Sam?” Bekka asked rudely, “Is he your boyfriend,”
“He’s a girl,” Jonathon said in a warning tone. Jean seemed uncomfortable.
“So she’s your girlfriend?” Bekka continued.
“No, she’s our friend,” Jonathon replied, tossing Squirtle’s Pokeball into the water. With a mighty splash Squirtle dove out of the water and fired off a mountain of bubbles that floated around merrily. He splashed about playfully until he realized Bekka and her goons were laughing at him.
“A Squirtle?” Bekka cackled, “And look at the thing, it’s tiny,”
“Hey, watch your mouth,” Jonathon barked. Bekka stopped laughing and looked at him with a blank face.
“Seaking, kill it,” She said plainly.
“Squirtle, use your skull bash underwater,” Jonathon shouted, ducking closer to the water’s edge. Seaking swam at Squirtle with deadly speed but Squirtle floated in the water calmly. As Seaking drew near it lowered its horn. Squirtle ducked underwater and Seaking swam right over him. Squirtle emerged and smashed Seaking hard with his head. As Seaking floundered helplessly Squirtle sprayed more decorative bubbles into the air. Seaking caught him off guard with a spike cannon. As Squirtle tried to retaliate the giant fish fired off a Bubblebeam that sent Squirtle spinning away. The attack seemed to remind Squirtle that he too knew how to use Bubblebeam and so he fired one off that hit Seaking fair on the face. Seaking roared and shot another spike cannon that hit Squirtle twice in the chest.
“Squirtle!” Jonathon cried. Bekka stepped closer to him.
“This is the last Gym in the region, did you honestly think it would be easy?” She laughed.
“Actually, it wasn’t until I saw you that I realized how easy this Gym would be. You don’t know squat about raising Pokemon,” Jonathon replied nastily.
“Bah! I’m twice the person you’ll ever be! Look at you in your pink belt and your tight jeans, you think you’re so pretty don’t you?”
“I’m twice as pretty as you’ll ever be and twice as pretty as you’ll ever get,” Jonathon finished. Squirtle was now floating above the water, his eyes purple and with shimmering orbs spinning around him.
“Hidden Power, Squirtle,” Jonathon ordered as Bekka glared at him with the look of a thousand evils.
“Ampharos, kill him,” She croaked. Jonathon jumped back just in time to miss a thunderbolt that would have split his head apart. Seaking roared in protest as Squirtle hammered it with the shimmering dark orbs. Jean screamed, pointing up to the roof. Ampharos, as big as a car, jumped down from the rafters.
“How the hell did it get that big?” Jonathon yelled, stumbling back as it marched closer, the orb on its head charging another thunderbolt. Squirtle raced to Jonathon’s aid with a bubble barrage flying through the air behind him. The bubbles smashed Ampharos hard in the face but the beast was hardly slowed.
“Kirlia, use your hypnosis,” Jean tried, but Ampharos kicked Kirlia aside like it was a rag doll. Squirtle blasted it with a Bubblebeam but the oversized Pokemon walked through it. From behind Kirlia fired off a Psywave that did nothing to sway Ampharos. Squirtle stood protectively in front of Jonathon, threatening Ampharos with clenched teeth.
“Squirtle, return,” Jonathon said, holding out Squirtle’s Pokeball. Squirtle turned and batted the Pokeball out of Jonathon’s hand. He turned back to Ampharos and shot a blast of water into its face.
“Squirtle, we can’t fight it, we’ve got to get out of here,” Jonathon pleaded. Squirtle wouldn’t listen. He ran forward and slashed Ampharos’ leg then jumped up to bite it on the neck. He scratched at it like a maniac until Ampharos punched him away. Squirtle slid along the gym floor with Jonathon chasing after him. From nowhere came Kirlia, blasting Ampharos’ orb with her newfound shockwave.
“Ampharos! Kill it, kill them all!” Bekka shrieked, her goons starting to draw back in fear.
“Squirtle, wake up,” Jonathon whimpered at the shell lying lifeless on the floor.
“Come on buddy, wake up, you gotta wake up,” He said, tears stinging his eyes. He ran his fingers over the scar from when his shell had been cracked. They hadn’t had a big battle since then.
“Squirtle, get back in the ball,” Jonathon sobbed, holding out the Pokeball.
“Come on,” He begged. Squirtle’s shell remained still and silent. A shadow fell over the shell and Jonathon looked up to see the mighty Ampharos towering over them.
“AMPH!” It roared. Jonathon threw himself over Squirtle’s shell as the explosion of light erupted from all around him. Or rather, the explosion of light came from his belt as Trapinch jumped out of his Pokeball and sprayed sand and dust into Ampharos’ face. Ampharos fell backward as Trapinch blasted the sandstorm from his mouth. With a great crack a huge rock flew toward Ampharos’ head. Ampharos tried to dodge it but the rock struck it on the neck and caused it to fall on its face. Trapinch jumped on its back and bit hard. He stomped down with a crunch and then smacked his huge head into Ampharos. Ampharos leapt up and lashed out but Trapinch darted to the side. With a flash of light Trapinch was running through Ampharos’ legs and hiding behind it. Kirlia floated through the air holding a shimmering blue orb that she fired at Ampharos. It seemed to stun the beast long enough for Trapinch to catch his breath behind the beast and then re-emerge. This time though, Trapinch had wings.
“Vibrava!” Bekka spluttered. Vibrava flew around Ampharos’ head, spraying a sticky web all over its face. Ampharos stumbled backward.
“Ampharos, kill em all with your thunder!” Bekka snarled, pushing past Kirlia. Kirlia fell to the floor.
“Don’t you dare touch my Pokemon!” Jean scathed, running forward.
“Or what?” Bekka teased, a wicked grin on her face. Bekka fell backward and lay on the ground without moving. Jean was rubbing her knuckles.
“That hurt more than I though it would,” She noted. Kirlia shrieked as Ampharos puffed itself up to full height. Vibrava was still flying around its head.
“Jonathon!” Jean shrieked. He looked over as Ampharos’ orb charged up its thunder attack.
“We will all die!” Jean screamed to Bekka’s goons. They cowered back, trembling in fear.
“Can’t any of you control that thing?” Jonathon yelled, not daring to leave Squirtle’s side.
“None of us even have any Pokemon! They’re all Bekka’s,” One of the boys trembled.
“Gutless!” Jean snapped. Jonathon reached onto his belt for his other Pokemon. It would take all of their best efforts to hold off Ampharos. Even then, Jonathon knew they had no chance of defeating the giant Pokemon. Squirtle’s shell was gone.
“Squirtle!” Jonathon cried with all his might, turning to see his first Pokemon running as fast as he could toward Ampharos. Squirtle flew through the air and spun, ducking back inside his shell. With a great crack he struck Ampharos on the head. Squirtle flew away, skidding to a stop near the boat. He fell back out of his shell and collapsed again, breathing heavily. Ampharos teetered back and forth, moaning wordlessly. It tipped over and fell into the water with Seaking where it did not move. Bekka too was not stirring.
“Give me the badge, NOW,” Jean breathed to the goons. One of them scurried onto the boat as she recalled Kirlia and hurried over to Squirtle. Jonathon and Vibrava were already there, kneeling over him.
“Squirrrrr,” Squirtle groaned. Jonathon smiled at him as he opened one eye half way.
“You did it little buddy,” He choked, a tear falling from his eye. Squirtle lifted a finger shakily and used it to wipe the tear from Jonathon’s face. He smiled once more and then passed out. Jonathon sobbed with relief and recalled Squirtle to his Pokeball. As he stood, Vibrava floated near his shoulder.
“And you!” Jonathon cheered, “You saved our lives! And evolved! Vibrava, that was incredible!”
“Great work Vibrava, you really saved the day,” Jean agreed. Vibrava buzzed gleefully as the goon returned with their badges.
“The Piercing Badge? Is that because of Ampharos’ piercing flash attack or Bekka’s nose?” Jean wondered out aloud.

Now that Sableye had been returned to Vance, the pair had to rely on other means of transportation than his teleport ability. Of course, this was not so much of a problem for them, especially considering they were now headed south, which meant-
“MORE POKEMON!” Jean cried. Jonathon was still waking up as she yelled this and didn’t particularly appreciate her cheerful morning behavior.
“What?” He moaned.
“Veronica and Sathalia have more Pokemon that any other region on the continent,” She repeated.
“Great,” Jonathon yawned, making himself a coffee in Vance’s kitchen. It was barely dawn and the pair was about to set off for Border Town, the town that sat on the border of Veronica. In Veronica they planned to learn more about Hillsound and train their Pokemon at the Gyms before heading to Sathalia where they would destroy the Adelburgh Hillsound Headquarters.
“Border Town… Imaginative name… I wonder, is it on a border?” Jonathon asked Jean. She ruffled his hair.
“Very funny,” She teased with heavy sarcasm. At that moment Squirtle meandered in.
“Hey,” Jonathon piped up, a smile finally crossing his sleep deprived face, “How’s my little champion?”
“Squirt,” Squirtle replied, holding his side. He suddenly gained a limp and twisted his face into a painful grimace. He climbed up onto the table and lay on his back, feigning great pain.
“What do you expect to gain from faking sick?” Jean asked him simply. Squirtle looked at her, then at Jonathon and then opened his mouth and pointed into it.
“Carrot?” Jonathon asked plainly. Squirtle nodded like an eighty year old man on his deathbed. Jonathon went to the fridge while Jean consulted the map.
“It’s going to be tricky getting all these turns right. The road intertwines with the highway where only cars are allowed and the cycling road for bikes only. If we could only drive…” Jean wished.
“Why don’t we get bikes?” Jonathon asked, handing Squirtle the carrot. He took it and then handed it back to Jonathon making a movement with his hands that implied he wanted it cut into smaller pieces. Jonathon rolled his eyes and set about cutting up the carrot.
“I can’t ride a bike. Besides, think of all the Pokemon we’ll be missing if we’re zooming along on a bike,” Jean countered.
“But I’m hopeless with maps, Jean,” Jonathon argued, handing Squirtle the carrot pieces. Squirtle sat up on the table with excitement and began to eat the carrot.
“Oh see now you’re fine,” Jonathon declared. Squirtle gave him a big toothy smile.
“I’ll be the map reader then,” Jean said suddenly. Squirtle choked on a piece of carrot and coughed it back up. Jonathon spilt his coffee at the exact same moment.
“Jean, I don’t really know how to tell you this,” He started.
“Girl, you can’t read maps to save yourself,” Vance finished as he walked through the door.
“Vance,” Jonathon smiled, “Morning,”
“Morning kids,” Vance beamed, making himself coffee.
“I can too read maps,” Jean whined.
“It doesn’t matter, you’re taking Aipom and he’s got the best sense of direction in any Pokemon I’ve ever seen,” Vance told them. Jonathon spilt his coffee again, which prompted Squirtle to choke on another piece of carrot.
“Ew…” Jean said as Squirtle spat it back up, “What do you mean we’re taking Aipom?”
“Well, since you two returned Sableye to me I’ve decided Aipom can go with you. Aipom is young. Sableye and I traveled all over the world when we were young. Aipom needs his turn. When you’re adventure is over you can bring him back, or not, as long as he’s happy,” Vance shrugged.
“Vance, Thankyou so much,” Jean stammered.
“You’ve been too kind to us already,” Jonathon told the man.
“Ah, cut the emotional stuff. Just come get me when you’re heading off, I’ll be in the lounge… Mary’s on the morning news,” Vance dismissed. He took his coffee out of the room and Jonathon and Jean gave each other grins as wide as the horizon.

It was a sad moment out on the front porch of Vance’s house. Sableye and Jonathon had to say goodbye and then Vance had to say goodbye to Aipom. Jean waited awkwardly off to the side. Tailow was flying overhead.
“Well buddy, I guess this is goodbye,” Jonathon told Sableye. Sableye held out his hand. Jonathon chuckled.
“One last trip,” He agreed. Sableye was standing in a room with a young Vance. Then, Vance turned into Jonathon. The vision ended there.
“Was I really as good a trainer to you as Vance was?” Jonathon whispered, “Or are you just being nice?”
Sableye hugged Jonathon with all fours somewhat similar to how he’d hugged Vance when they’d been reunited. Sableye stood next to Vance and Aipom leapt onto Jean’s shoulder.
“Well, this is it then,” Jonathon said to Vance.
“Oh it is not, you’ll be back to visit. Go on, get out of here before it gets too late in the day,” Vance pushed, “I’m missing Mary on the news.”

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

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Sun Aug 17, 2008 7:58 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Y'all are aware this is where things start gettin nasty? the PG13+ warning is VERY appliccable to this chapter. Be warned...

“WHY DID WE EVER LEAVE?” Jean hollered, sending Tailow swooping away with fright. The bird fluttered back to Jean and she reached out and scratched his beak.
“Sorry Tailow,” She apologized.
“Squirtle, cool us down a bit,” Jonathon asked, throwing Squirtle’s Pokeball onto the road. Both trainers had their jackets tucked into their bags, which were heavy enough without the added jackets. Sweat dripped from their foreheads down their faces like waterfalls. Squirtle jumped from foot to foot all over the dirt road. He scowled at Jonathon and returned to his Pokeball.
“The ground is too hot,” Jean told Jonathon.
“I see,” Jonathon panted.
“You could put him on your shoulder?” Jean offered.
“Forget it, the sunlight’s too strong, you know Squirtle, he’s a mommy’s boy,” Jonathon sighed.
“Wait, are you mommy?” Jean pondered.
“Are you delusional from the heat?” Jonathon pondered back.
“I think so,” She wafted, scratching Aipom on the chin.
“I think I see a train…” Jonathon told her. Jean nodded slowly, a grave look on her face.
“We’re both delusional,” She decided.
“No it is- it’s a train!” Jonathon declared, pointing wildly at the train in the distance.
“It’s stopped, maybe there’s a connecting station at Border Town,” Jonathon squealed excitedly. Aipom leapt from Jean’s shoulder, holding the map. He opened it on the road and pointed to Border Town. There was a train line marked on the map running from Border Town all the way along the border to the coast, then back to Las Vista.
“The train runs from Las Vista to Border Town. We can get on it here and get off at Border Town,” Jonathon smiled.
“There are trains connecting all the Veronican cities and towns,” Jean laughed.
“We can get the train everywhere!” Jonathon cried, “We’ll be like career go-getters or something,”
“We’re saved!’ Jean whooped.
“We weren’t really dying,” Jonathon pointed out.
“Bring down… come on, if we miss the train who knows when the next one will be,” Jean replied.
“We don’t want to miss the train… I’ve always wanted to say that,” Jonathon beamed. Tailow returned to the Pokeball and the trio broke into a sprint, Aipom holding the map in his tail.
“Hold it!” The stationmaster exclaimed.
“We have tickets!” Jean cheered, waving the tickets they’d just bought from the ticket master. The stationmaster simply tapped his finger against a sign.
“All Pokemon in Pokeballs,” Jonathon read. Jean took Aipom form her shoulder and held him in her hands.
“He doesn’t have a Pokeball,” She told the stationmaster.
“Then he’s wild and can’t board the train,” The stationmaster replied. Aipom looked scared.
“Jean, put him in one of your Pokeballs,” Jonathon told her.
“But you gave Vance Sableye back, you should have Aipom,” Jean countered.
“Hello, he’s been riding on your shoulder for the last four hours. Aipom is yours,” Jonathon replied. Jean smiled and took a Pokeball from her belt.
“Can you go inside the Pokeball, Aipom, just for the train ride?” She asked sweetly. Aipom looked at the Pokeball curiously for a time and then reached out and took it in his hand. He held it up in front of his face and looked at it closely as though it were a valuable gem. Finally Aipom held it against his body and smiled.
“POM!” He growled. The Pokeball split open and Aipom was drawn inside. Jean placed it on her belt.
“I need to check your bags, please,” The stationmaster continued.
“Oh come on,” Jean scoffed. When the stationmaster had finished searching them they took a seat and the train left for Border Town. Jonathon’s mobile phone started to ring almost as soon as they’d left the station in the desert.
“Who is it?” Jean asked curiously.
“I don’t know the number,” Jonathon told her, “Hello?”
“Who’s Jean?” A voice asked.
“She’s my friend, who’s this?” Jonathon asked back.
“It’s Renee… your sister… duh?”
“How do you know about Jean?” Jonathon pressed.
“Do you know anything? It’s all over Isamine that you got the eight badges. Everyone at school is talking about it. Mum and Dad keep asking me if I know where you are and all the kids at school are grilling me for the inside story on you,”
“Huh?”
“John, you’re famous,” Renee informed him.
“No way,”
“Way,” Renee grunted. Her inner hick was showing through even in her voice.
“So everyone in Isamine is talking about me?” Jonathon attempted. He was finding it hard to believe.
“Yeah… and Mum and Dad want to talk to you. They like you now,” She giggled.
“Go figure,” Jonathon drawled.
“Oh they always loved you, you know what they’re like though. They’re just proud people. Now they’re proud of you,”
“BORT!” Jonathon spat. It wasn’t until he’d said the word that he realized it was just a shapeless gargle he’d spluttered indignantly.
“Bort? What the hell is Bort?” Renee scoffed.
“It, uh… it means that’s ridiculous,” Jonathon improvised.
“Oh, so kind of like bullsh-”
“Hey, guess who I saw?” Jonathon interrupted.
“I dunno… Professor Hilton?” Renee guessed.
“Matt,” Jonathon told her. Renee went silent.
“He was a Gym Leader in Las Vista,” Jonathon continued.
“So he just gave you the badge?” Renee queried.
“No, no, we didn’t beat him. He, uh, had to leave. The Gym closed down. He moved to Sathalia,” Jonathon lied.
“Awesome… Sathalia is the coolest ever! They have wild Bulbasaur. And they have the best Gyms. They’re all just these massive stadiums with the hugest crowds and a wicked leader. The last badge, the Half Badge, they’ve only given out like ten of them EVER,” Renee carried on, “And they have a school there that’s the best on the continent for teaching Pokemon trainers,”
“Cool… We’re going to Veronica now. We want to train some more before we go to Sathalia,” Jonathon replied.
“Good idea, the Gyms there are top notch,” Renee complimented, “Anyway, I gotta go, I have an essay to write. I’ll talk to you soon. Text me!”
“Bye,” Jonathon said. Jean shook her head slowly.
“Your sister’s really interesting,” She said, stifling a laugh.
“My whole family is. I’m the normal one,” Jonathon explained. Jean patted his hand.
“Yes, dear,” She mocked.
“I should call Sam,” Jonathon realized. He dialed her number but no one answered.
“Try Jackson,” Jean smiled. Jonathon gave her a trying look but did so anyway.
“Jackson,” Jonathon greeted when Jackson picked up, “It’s Jonathon,”
“Hey Jonathon, hold on for a minute, we’ll be there soon,” Jackson replied. The phone went dead.
“Jackson?” Jonathon asked. The train’s lights went out and the carriage shook.
“What the-?” Jean gasped. Purple shapes flew up and down the aisle until with a thud two people dropped into chairs that were previously unoccupied.
“Sam?” Jonathon asked as the lights flickered back on. Sam’s red hair was unmistakable; as was the half drunk smile she gave him.
“Thought this would be easier than a phone call,” Jackson offered with a shrug. Jean shook her head again. After the initial hellos and catching up the group got down to discussing Hillsound, as they always seemed to do.
“We found Sableye’s trainer,” Jonathon told Jackson.
“That’s great! My gosh, I looked everywhere,” Jackson cried.
“He must have been grateful,” Sam commented.
“He was a friend of mine. But he leant us his Aipom for our journey in return,” Jonathon replied.
“Aipom have excellent navigational skills. You can never get lost if you have an Aipom with you,” Jackson noted.
“That’s why the explorers used to have them riding on their shoulders back in the seventeenth century,” Jonathon said without thinking.
“School isn’t suddenly looking so pointless is it?” Jackson winked. Jonathon blushed and looked away.
“Jonathon was always the top of his class… until he started noticing boys,” Sam told the group.
“Anyway, back to the point,” Jonathon interrupted.
“Electrike’s been returned. Sam is still looking after Whismur while we try to locate its owner,” Jackson explained.
“Any luck on Trapinch?” Jonathon asked. Jackson and Sam exchanged looks.
“Well… yes… but you’ll be keeping him,” Jackson said quietly. Sam looked at her lap.
“What’s wrong?” Jean implored.
“Trapinch’s owner is dead,” Jackson sighed. The group went silent.
“Trapinch will never know. His memory will only return when he hears his original trainer speak his name, and since that trainer has died, he’ll never hear it. So it won’t be a problem for you to keep Trapinch,” Sam explained.
“Trapinch evolved by the way,” Jonathon perked up, trying to lift the mood.
“That’s excellent!” Jackson congratulated.
“Good work,” Sam added, “We’ve got to leave soon, Jacky,”
“Ah yes, we have dinner reservations, anyway, listen carefully,” Jackson shuffled close and dropped his voice.
“If we can pin Trapinch’s trainer’s death on Hillsound then we can finally blow the lid on their secret Pokemon kidnapping spree. Hillsound know we’re onto them so be careful. If they think you’re in on the plot to bring them down they’ll come after you. Watch your backs. And trust no one,” Jackson finished.
“Since you don’t have Sableye anymore, do you want Shedinja?” Sam offered.
“Thanks,” Jonathon smiled, taking the Pokeball Sam held out to him. The lights on the train flickered out and purple shapes flew through the air. With a buzzing noise the lights returned but Sam and Jackson were gone.

Border Town really was a town on the border of two regions. As Jonathon stepped off the train he thought they were still in the desert until he turned the corner to look down the main road. There were lush green trees everywhere with bright green grass underneath. Berries hung from every bush and tree; it was incredible. Jean tripped over and landed in a heap with Aipom.
“Where are we staying?” She asked grumpily.
“Right…” Jonathon said, looking at the names on the buildings, “There!”
“The Sportsman’s Hotel?” Jean scoffed.
“Sportsmen,” Jonathon explained simply.
“Perve,” Jean scolded. She changed her resolve as a very attractive man walked past them and into the hotel.
“Looks alright to me,” She decided. They were checked into the hotel in a flash and sitting in Jonathon’s room plotting their assault on the Border Town Gym.
“The Furnace Badge resides at the Factory Gym, which is a combination of steel and fire type Pokemon, featuring the Gym Leader Elliot,” Jean read from the guidebook.
“Tomorrow?” Jonathon offered.
“Why not now?” Jean complained.
“Hello? We just got to a new city in a new region… Jean, we’re going shopping,”

Jonathon and Jean had done more than shop in Border Town. Jean had been at the library researching both Hillsound and the Veronican Gyms. Kirlia was by her side constantly, taking every opportunity to open Jean’s jacket and let the Veronicans see her eight badges. Jonathon on the other hand had gotten a tan to rival Janet Jackson, of whom he had also bought the latest DVD box set. As well as this, he’d bought an entirely new wardrobe and upgraded the Poketch Vance had given him. Finally Jean convinced Jonathon to end their holiday period and head over to the Factory Gym where Elliot awaited their challenge.
“I’ve already registered us in the Veronica Regions Gym Challenge and the Factory gym is waiting for us. They haven’t got any qualifying rounds in Veronica, you go straight to the Gym Leader,” Jean told Jonathon as they walked toward the Gym.
“Won’t there be a huge line?” Jonathon asked skeptically.
“No,” Jean answered seriously, “Because in Veronica the Gyms are tough. Not many people compete at all,”
“Gee, that sounds promising,” Jonathon groaned.
“Don’t worry, Kirlia and I have been training hard. We’ll be okay,”
“Squirtle will be good against the fire types,” Jonathon added.
“And Kirlia’s shock wave will take out the steel types,” Jean finished as they arrived at a large metal ramp that sloped upward to the huge steel gym doors. There were fires burning in small metal bowls by the door.
“Fancy,” Jonathon commented.
“The battle conditions change every time. The Leader chooses them before each match. Let’s go,” Jean breathed dramatically, pulling open the mighty steel door.
“Elliot is hot,” Jonathon squeaked, gripping Jean’s arm like a Pinsir. Elliot was standing atop a platform made of steel suspended two meters above them by a flight of steel stairs. Between he and Jonathon there was a long battlefield.
“I’m Jean Marco, this is Jonathon Psyches, we’re here to challenge the Gym Leader,” Jean announced, prying Jonathon’s hand from her arm. Elliot smiled. His teeth were like diamonds. His hair was perfectly windswept, his eyes like shimmering orbs, and his body was sculpted like a statue of perfection. He had a black short sleeve shirt on with black pants and a shining silver belt, attached to which were red and silver Pokeballs.
“Are your balls made of steel?” Jonathon stuttered. Jean’s head snapped to the side to look at him.
“What are you doing?” She whispered.
“Yeah, they’re steel,” Elliot winked. Jonathon swooned.
“What are the battle conditions?” Jean asked pointedly. Elliot strolled down the steps smiling and took a Pokeball form his belt.
“Well since there are two of you how about we make this a two on two battle?” Elliot charmed.
“Sure,” Jonathon nodded, trying to flick his hair and instead looking like he was suffering from a neck spasm.
“Okay Kirlia, let’s do this,” Jean snapped, throwing a Pokeball. Elliot threw the Pokeball he was holding and then expertly knocked another one off his belt so that it flew after it. Kirlia pirouetted and gracefully bowed to Elliot just as his Pokemon appeared.
“Chime!” Chimecho sang. Kirlia stumbled backward at the odd creature before her. As she did so she inadvertently trod on Charmander’s tail.
“You have a Charmander? That’s hot… get it?” Jonathon cracked awkwardly. Elliot laughed politely and smiled.
“Things tend to get pretty hot in here,” Elliot joked back.
“I bet they could get hotter,” Jonathon said, tossing his Pokeball.
“How hot do you want things to get?” Elliot continued.
“That depends… do you think you could handle it?”
“Kirlia, shock wave on Chimecho!” Jean shouted. Elliot jumped back and quickly ran up the stairs to his platform, shouting out orders as he did so.
“Chimecho, barrier, Charmander, heat things up!”
“Squirtle, take Charmander down with your bubble,” Jonathon ordered.
“Use Bubblebeam, it’s stronger,” Jean shot. Chimecho and Kirlia weaved their way across the battlefield as Kirlia tried blasting Chimecho over and over again with her Shock Wave to no avail. Chimecho giggled as the barrier flashed up just in time to stop each one. Charmander dodged Squirtle’s Bubblebeam and then aimed his mouth at the roof. He shot a stream of fire up to the ceiling that turned the metal roof red-hot.
“The Gym is made of steel, this place is going to get hot as hell,” Jean cursed.
“Squirtle, use your water gun!” Jonathon attempted.
“Screw that, Squirtle knock out Charmander with your hydro pump!” Jean growled. Jonathon staggered backward as Jean took control of the battle.
“Charmander, slash attack, Chimecho, use your psychic,” Elliot cheered.
“Squirtle, duck inside your shell and dodge it, Kirlia, use Psywave,” Jean retaliated.
“Squirtle, hit Charmander with hydro pump from inside your shell!” Jonathon called. As Charmander went to slash Squirtle a mighty blast of water pumped out and sent the lizard skidding across the floor. Chimecho and Kirlia’s attacks exploded with dust and smoke as they collided. Kirlia came flying through the clearing smog and slapped Chimecho hard in the face. As Chimecho tried to regain herself Kirlia let off another Psywave, only at the last minute the Psywave changed into a solid blade that sliced right through Chimecho, leaving a deep gash in the Pokemon’s steel surface. Chimecho dropped to the ground and bounced away, making a hollow clunk.
“Was that psycho cut?” Jean whispered to Jonathon.
“Nice one,” Jonathon smiled. Chimecho returned to Elliot’s Pokeball.
“We’re actually winning,” Jean laughed.
“Not yet,” Elliot called, “Charmander, fire spin,”
“Squirtle, hit Charmander with your skull bash quick!” Jonathon cried. Squirtle ran toward Charmander as he closed his mouth and aimed at the ground. Just as Squirtle threw himself at Charmander the fire spin started, hurling huge wisps of flames in all directions. Squirtle and Charmander disappeared into the vortex, caught inside the flaming tornado.
“Kirlia, knock the fire spin with your psycho cut!” Jean yelled. Kirlia jumped toward the flaming tornado and moved her hands through the air to send a shimmering blade rocketing into the fire spin. The collision sent flames everywhere, then smoke filled the gym until finally Charmander and Squirtle landed in a heap on the floor, both out cold. Kirlia was still standing.
“We did it!” Jean cheered.
“That was hot,” Elliot said, walking down the steps to recall his Charmander.
“Oh that was nothing, I’ve been in battles that are so hot, you think you’re going to explode,” Jonathon teased.
“I’ll meet you back at Sportsman’s,” Jean sighed, rolling her eyes, “Kirlia, let’s go,”
“Jean, wait!” Jonathon tried, but Jean and Kirlia were already out the door.
“Charmander and Chimecho need to go to the Pokemon Center, did you wanna come with?” Elliot asked Jonathon with a dazzling smile.
“That could be hot,” Jonathon turned.

Elliot was truly amazing. He drove Jonathon and Jean anywhere they wanted to go in Border Town and was a vault of information on the Veronica Region. Even with his perfect body and killer looks though, Jonathon couldn’t help but feel as though something was missing.
“He kind of looks like Nick,” Sam said one day while she and Jackson were visiting. Jackson and Jean were training in the park while Jonathon and Sam caught up on the gossip.
“Yeah… but it’s not that. I’m over Nick. Elliot’s perfect and all. Only he’s just… too perfect?” Jonathon struggled.
“There’s no excitement?” Sam supplied.
“It’s exciting… but it’s boring at the same time. I dunno… maybe it’s just not meant to be,” Jonathon contemplated.
“The longer you leave it, the more it’ll hurt when you finally say something,” Sam advised.
“But if I wait, maybe things will get better. I haven’t been in a relationship in ages, maybe it’s just cold feet… rehabilitation even,”
“Oh you stupid drama queen,” Sam laughed, “Let’s have a battle,”
“Oh, I have to show you Vibrava, and Squirtle’s learnt Hydro Pump,” Jonathon cried.
“You haven’t seen anything until you’ve seen what Pokemon I’ve got on me now,” Sam teased, showing off the four Pokeballs on her belt.
“There’s a swimming pool and tennis court on the rooftop,” Jonathon suggested.
“Perfect,” Sam beamed. Upstairs on the roof Jonathon released Squirtle and Vibrava to show Sam. Squirtle leapt into the air and ran to hug Sam as soon as he saw her. Sam picked him up and held him on her hip while Vibrava flew circles around her head.
“Alright then, I’ll show you what I’m packing now,” She called. Sam threw all four Pokeballs and stood back, pleased with herself.
“Skitty,” Jonathon smiled, calling the little cat over. Skitty jumped into Jonathon’s arms and rubbed her body up against his.
“You’re so cute,” He cooed. Loudred came hobbling over.
“Whismur evolved. Awesome… Hey Loudred,” Jonathon smiled, bending down and petting her. A HootHoot landed on Jonathon’s shoulder.
“Wow! HootHoot! How did you find a HootHoot?” Jonathon gasped.
“Well, it’s on loan from the police. They want me to train it up and evolve it into a Noctowl for them,” Sam told Jonathon.
“That is so cool… WHAT THE HELL?” Jonathon jumped backward, sending HootHoot fluttering away and Loudred tripping over. Skitty was still asleep in his arms. Sam was sitting on Goldeen’s back. Goldeen was enormous now, the size of a small car, and he didn’t seem concerned in the slightest by the fact he was out of water.
“I don’t know why he’s so big… he just keeps growing. I’m worried about when he evolves, whether or not he’ll still fit in the Pokeball,”
“He’ll still fit,” Jonathon reassured her, stroking Goldeen’s back.
“How’s Gloom?” Sam asked. Jonathon threw Gloom’s Pokeball toward Sam and Gloom leapt up onto Goldeen’s back with her. Ninjask and Shedinja came out next and flew over to Sam’s side, followed by Lotad who jumped up on Goldeen’s head and rubbed against his sleek coat.
“There’s no way I can battle Goldeen,” Jonathon laughed.
“Yeah, he’s been cleaning up in the contests. I’ve got so many ribbons now. I don’t really understand why… I’m not that good. Goldeen does all the work, really,” Sam pondered. Jonathon tried not to laugh as he suddenly realized the water bottle Sam was drinking from was filled with water of a very odd color.
“Are you drunk?” He asked.
“Of course, dear,” Sam replied simply.

Sam and Jackson couldn’t stay long and so Jean and Jonathon were soon saying goodbye to their friends and watching the ghost Pokemon swirl around them until the entire scene disappeared in a cloud of purple smoke.
“So are you staying here with Elliot?” Jean asked suddenly.
“What? No, of course not. We’ve got to go after Hillsound,” Jonathon replied, slightly hurt by Jean’s assumption.
“Good,” Jean nodded, “You know he can’t come with us. He has a Gym to run,”
“I know,” Jonathon told her.
“So you’re going to have to break up with him,” Jean finished. Jonathon sighed. He managed to persuade Jean to stay in Border Town for a few more days before she finally told him to stop stalling and dump Elliot so they could leave. So, naturally, being the courageous Pokemon Trainer that he was, Jonathon called Sam and she called Elliot.
“You’re a gutless pansy, you know that?” Jean drawled as Jonathon ducked down in his seat on the train so he couldn’t be seen from outside the window.
“Elliot will be at the Gym, he’s not going to see you, and you could have dumped him yourself, that was pretty damn low, dude,” Jean scolded.
“I dunno… I just couldn’t do it. He was perfect… except something wasn’t right. There just wasn’t a spark,” Jonathon explained.
“You and this spark, tell you what, I’ll bust out Kirlia’s shock wave on your sorry hide if you want a spark down there,” Jean teased.
“Hey, ew,” Jonathon spluttered, “You come up with the most sick analogies ever,”
“Yeah, yeah, you love it,” Jean smiled.
“Where are we going?” Jonathon changed the subject.
“Jericho Bay,” Jean breathed with a pleasant smile, “The most beautiful city in the world,”
“Are you serious?” Jonathon pressed.
“Well, I personally think it’s the most beautiful city in the world,” Jean repeated.
“I see,” Jonathon nodded, “So it’s most probably just an ugly dump that you have a soft spot for,”
“Ah, shut your trap, pansy,” Jean coughed, throwing her pillow at him.
“Thanks, I think I’ll have a power nap,” Jonathon pointed.

“WAKE UP PANSY!” Jean shook. Jonathon leapt up, grabbing Squirtle’s Pokeball from his belt.
“Keep quiet,” Jean hushed.
“You just screamed in my ear to wake me up and you’re telling ME to keep quiet?” Jonathon rasped with outrage.
“Look out the window, carefully,” Jean whispered. The night was black and the train was still traveling. Another train was speeding along next to them. Emblazoned on the side was the word ‘Hillsound.’
“We have to get inside that train,” Jonathon decided.
“You’re mad, we’ll never get out of this train, let alone into that one,” Jean scoffed.
“If only we still had Sableye, he could teleport us right inside,” Jonathon sighed.
“Shedinja is part ghost, maybe he can do it,” Jean offered.
“Shedinja, come on out buddy,” Jonathon whispered, knocking his knuckles on Shedinja’s Pokeball. Shedinja came out with a soft sigh and floated down close to the ground in front of the seats.
“Can you teleport us into that train, Shedinja?” Jonathon asked. Shedinja looked insulted and returned to his Pokeball with a growl.
“Jonathon, Shedinja’s been stuck with Sam, the alcoholic, while you and the other Pokemon have been off having an adventure,” Jean realized.
“Oh dear… he’s not happy,” Jonathon moaned.
“It doesn’t matter, the train’s gone,” Jean pointed out. The Hillsound train had veered away from their train and was now fading into the night quickly, leaving behind nothing but tiny lights in the distance.

“WAKE UP BUTCH!” Jonathon shook. Jean slapped his hand away and groaned something about ‘Bekka’ and how she was nothing like her. Jonathon licked his finger and stuck it in Jean’s ear. Jean slowly sat up, Jonathon’s finger still in her ear as she stared him hard in the eyes.
“Is that your finger?” She asked seriously. Jonathon nodded enthusiastically.
“Did you lick it?” She asked him, with the same serious tone. Jonathon nodded again, a little less enthusiasm in his movements now. Jean continued to stare him down until he slowly took his finger out of her ear and placed both hands in his lap.
“Don’t do that,” Jean warned. Then she slapped him.
“Oh, we’re here,” Jean piped up, pulling her bag down from the overhead locker. Jonathon grabbed his out and he and Jean left the train. On the station they both froze as they saw the train waiting next to their own. The Hillsound train was sleek and silver with red stripes running along it. Both trainers slid toward it without discussing a word. The night was still full and they managed to disappear into the shadows until the other passengers had left. The Hillsound train was only a few carriages long. The first two were dining cars and then there were two storage cars on the back. Jean ushered Jonathon into the storage car and they carefully closed the door.
“Let’s look in these boxes,” Jonathon whispered.
“Jonathon, this is illegal,” Jean rasped. Jonathon waved her away.
“Just do it, Jackson will sort it out if we get caught,” Jonathon mumbled, reefing open a big cardboard box. The box was filled with Pokeballs.
“They’re more stolen Pokemon,” Jean gasped. Tears sprung to her eyes and she held a hand over her mouth to stop from making any noise as she sobbed silently.
“Call Vance, get him to send Sableye to teleport everything out of here” Jean stammered. Jonathon pulled out his phone and dialed the number, trembling a little.
“Vance, it’s Jonathon, I’ve found boxes and boxes of stolen Pokemon, you need to send Sableye to get them,” Jonathon whispered into the phone as soon as Vance answered gruffly.
“Sableye, go to Jonathon,” Vance ordered, waking up quickly. Sableye disappeared for a few seconds but then reappeared next to Vance’s bed. He showed Vance a vision quickly and then began jumping up and down with worry.
“Boy, Sableye can’t teleport a moving object. You have to stay still. Are you running or something?” Vance grumbled.
“No, I’m standing still… on a train… which has started moving,” Jonathon croaked.

“We’re trapped on a Hillsound train with a carriage full of stolen Pokemon…” Jean breathed. Jonathon was sitting in front of the box he’d opened thinking hard. He’d already called Jackson and Jackson had promised to send his ghosts as soon as he could, followed by the police of course. Sableye was flying along the train line trying to track them. There were a dozen train lines that the train could be traveling on out of Jericho Bay so Jonathon had little faith that Sableye would find them before the train stopped and they were discovered. He grabbed a Pokeball out of the box and threw it at the wall. It burst open and a Kadabra looked curiously at him.
“Kadabra, you’ve been stolen from your trainer but we’re here to rescue you, do you understand?” Jonathon tried. Kadabra stared blankly at him.
“Can you teleport us out of here?” Jean asked. Kadabra continued to stare blankly. Jonathon returned it to the Pokeball.
“These Pokeballs look a little weird…” Jonathon noticed.
“They’re thicker… and they have a different shade of red…” Jean agreed.
“They must be Restrain Balls that look like Pokeballs,” Jonathon realized, “Because carting around a belt full of Restrain Balls is a bit obvious that you’re a thief,”
“This isn’t good. Restrain Balls that look like regular Pokeballs, next they’ll have berries that knock out your Pokemon,” Jean speculated.
“We’ve got to get out of here,” Jonathon whimpered, imagining what Anna or one of the other Hillsound trainers might do to them if they were caught.
“Shedinja please, can you help us?” Jonathon begged as the Pokemon came out of its Pokeball.
“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING IN HERE?” A voice bellowed. The door at the far end of the carriage had opened and someone was standing there, bathed in light so their face was obscured. Shedinja flew forward just in time to take a bullet for Jonathon. Shedinja spun in the air and then fell to the ground with a sickening crack. Jonathon dove for Shedinja, Jean screamed, the man at the door cursed loudly and raised his gun again but Jean was quicker. Treecko was firing off a bullet seed attack that dropped the man to the floor, blood seeping from his body.
“Shedinja, no, you can’t be dead, you can’t be, come on Shedinja, get up,” Jonathon begged, tears streaking down his face, dropping onto Shedinja’s hollow shell of a body. Shedinja remained lifeless and still.
“Shedinja… please wake up,” Jonathon croaked.
“You two are coming with me, now,” A more familiar voice said from the doorway. It was Anna, one of the Gym leaders from Las Vista. She was still as nasty looking as ever, even with a smile on her face as her Castform buried Treecko in ice. Jean recalled Treecko and placed the ball on her belt.
“Don’t you DARE reach for another Pokemon, missy,” Anna threatened. Jean glared and dropped her hand, leaving her other Pokemon on her belt.
“Hey, pansy, get up,” Anna called to Jonathon. Jonathon stood up, his face lined with tears. Shedinja was dead.

“Come down to the dining car, I’m sure the other agents would love to meet you… Although,” Anna smiled, “I think some of them already have,”
“We’ve beaten you before, we can do it again,” Jonathon trembled.
“Ah, let’s not forget you had to borrow a Pokemon off your little boyfriend to beat me,” Anna teased, “Gee, Danyl was nice to lend you a Pokemon. You know he leant me one too? He leant me his Mudkip,”
“YOU UGLY FU-”
“Kirlia, shock wave!” Jean cried, knocking the Pokeball from her belt.
“ING SLAG FACED WHO-”
“Hypno, use your Psybeam,” Anna replied, throwing her Pokeball.
“RISH DIRTY FILTHY PIECE OF SH-”
“Psycho Cut, Kirlia!”
“I’M GONNA FU-”
“Hypno, use your pound attack!”
“ING KILL YOU!” Jonathon finished, He flicked a Pokeball up from his belt and hurled it at Anna. It split apart and out came Squirtle.
“Blast that bltch, Squirtle!” Jonathon ordered, his voice cracking with rage. Squirtle was already glowing with a dark light as he appeared from his Pokeball. Purple orbs sprung into being and circled the carriage, sending shadows all over. Hypno and Anna were sent flying back down the hallway. Jonathon marched on, holding Squirtle’s Pokeball behind him to recall his Pokemon. He threw Ninjask and Vibrava’s Pokeballs ahead of him and they were soon floating in front of him. He walked into the dining car and everyone turned to look at him.
“Hey Matt, Mum and Dad say hi,” He told his brother. Matt was sitting in an armchair reading a book and looked around dumbfounded as his little brother greeted him.
“Kill him,” Nick growled, pointing at Jonathon.
“Nick?” Jonathon stammered. Scorch, Matt’s Charizard, was there in a second, bearing down on Jonathon with a flamethrower so powerful Ninjask’s barrier broke and shattered around him. Vibrava fought back with a sandstorm that gave them enough cover to run back down the hallway. Jean was fighting Anna again, who had woken up. Hypno and Kirlia were flashing different psychic attacks in all directions. The towers of boxes were quickly falling to the ground, Pokeballs flying everywhere.
“Ninjask, take her out!” Jonathon pointed to Anna. Ninjask shot ahead with vicious speed. Anna shrieked and fell to the ground with a slicing noise. Ninjask waited next to Jean as Jonathon and Vibrava came down the hall. Jonathon turned around as Scorch came fumbling down the hallway, barely able to fit. His wings were folded awkwardly but the dragon roared and sent spiraling flames after Vibrava. Vibrava disappeared into the burning fury.
“NOOOOOOOOOO!” Jonathon screamed, tears bursting from him once more. He threw himself back into the fire, his skin blistering and bruising instantly. He felt something fly into him and he jumped backward out of the heat. Vibrava was cradled in his arms. He tripped over Anna and landed next to Shedinja. Scorch burst into the storage car. He smiled toothily and drew a breath. As he opened his mouth and the fire spewed forth a blinding light filled the car.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

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Tue Aug 19, 2008 3:22 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Jonathon opened his eyes to see a bright white light over him. Everything was white. He sat up. Vibrava was still in his arms. Shedinja was next to him with Ninjask floating just above him. Jean and Kirlia were lying a few feet away.
“We’re dead,” He breathed, dumbfounded.
“We’re not,” Jean groaned, holding her neck. Jonathon’s eyes were starting to adjust now and he could make out the walls of a Pokemon center.
“How did we make it out of there?” Jonathon wondered.
“Shedinja,” Jean answered simply. Tears sprung to Jonathon’s eyes.
“I know… I can’t believe it,” He sobbed.
“No… Shedinja teleported us- he’s alive,” Jean rephrased.
“Huh?” Jonathon stammered goofily. Shedinja was still lying on the floor but the bullet hole was gone.
“Ghost Pokemon can’t die. They’re already dead,” Jean told him. Jonathon smiled and held Shedinja close to him.
“You were… amazing,” Jonathon cried, tears still streaming down his face.
“You all were,” Jean wept, holding Kirlia close to her. She reached out a hand and Ninjask landed on it. She kissed his face and then stroked Vibrava’s back. Jonathon let Squirtle out of his Pokeball and Jean let Treecko out too. Both looked a little worse for wear.
“We did it,” Jonathon smiled.
“Not quite, we didn’t get any of the stolen Pokemon off them,” Jean sighed.
“Anna had Danyl’s Mudkip!” Jonathon yelled, banging his fist on the white floor in rage.
“Squirtle…” Squirtle cooed.
“Not now, Squirtle, please,” Jonathon waved.
“Oh my- Jonathon!” Jean gasped, pointing to Squirtle. Jonathon looked over to see Squirtle holding up a Pokeball.
“SQUIRTLE!” Jonathon screamed. He grabbed the little Pokemon and threw him into the air. He caught him again and hugged him so tight Squirtle coughed up a bubble.
“We did it!” Jonathon screamed, his voice hoarse.
“Where are we?” Jean wondered. She stood up, only now realizing that there was a girl at the front counter staring at them warily.
“Hey, sorry, we just beamed down from, uh, somewhere else… anyway, do you know where we are?” Jean asked her, sliding over to the counter.
“You’re in Fallender Town,” She said in a scared voice.
“Don’t be so scared, we’re not crazy or anything,” Jean reassured her.
“Can you please heal our Pokemon?” Jonathon asked, handing her his Pokeballs. Squirtle was sitting on his shoulder.
“Do you want me to take him too?” The girl asked. Squirtle hopped down and waddled across the counter. He clapped his hands to Jonathon and so Jonathon threw him his Pokeball. Squirtle caught it and then winked before disappearing inside it.
“HOW THE HELL DID WE END UP IN FALLENDER TOWN?” Jean screamed suddenly. The girl behind the counter fell to the floor, dropping Pokeballs everywhere.
“Sorry,” Jean called, “Jonathon, Fallender Town is the Northern-most part of Veronica. Shedinja teleported us clear across the country,”
“Whoa,” Jonathon breathed, “My Pokemon are awesome,”
“Sure, he’s got heaps of power, but too bad he can’t control it,” Jean retorted. Jonathon frowned.
“Well, there’s a Gym here, right?” He contemplated.
“Yeah, try not to get too cozy with this one,” Jean teased.
“So we’ll go against the Gym once our Pokemon are ready, then we’ll catch the last train south. And as soon as we’re close enough we’ll get Jackson to teleport us to Las vista so I can return Danyl’s Mudkip,” Jonathon decided.
“There’s no phone reception up here. We probably won’t have reception until we get further south,” Jean pointed out.
“So we’ll get the badge then head south again,” Jonathon smiled.

Outside of the Pokemon center, Fallender Town was a mess. There were no roads because of the huge boulders and rocks that littered the ground. It was more like a mess of rocks and houses than a town. Jonathon climbed up onto a smaller rock and looked out to see what the town had to offer.
“Gym is that way… Library is that way… And there’s a store over there,” He told Jean.
“I wanna stop by the library for a while, then we can go to the Gym,” Jean said.
“I’ll meet you at the Gym then,” Jonathon smiled. Jean rolled her eyes and departed for the library. Jonathon let Shedinja out of his Pokeball and started exploring.
“Check this out,” He called to Shedinja. There was smoke coming from one of the rocks.
“It’s from the volcanic undercurrents. Deep under the ground are these rivers of volcanic magma, the heat from that escapes through cracks and holes until it comes out up here as smoke,” A little girl told him, “I like your Shedinja,”
“So do I,” Jonathon replied, “My name’s Jonathon,”
“I’m Cindy,” She smiled, “I wish we got Nincada up here. But instead all we get are fire and rock Pokemon. I’d love a Nincada, then I could get a Shedinja,”
“And a Ninjask, remember,” Jonathon reminded her. Cindy looked at him curiously.
“Ninjask?” She asked. Jonathon threw Ninjask’s Pokeball to the ground and the Pokemon came out with a buzz.
“Ninjask, Shedinja, this is Cindy,” Jonathon introduced.
“Wow,” Cindy beamed. The sound of Cindy’s cry seemed to echo around the group until a blast of fire came down from overhead.
“What the-” Jonathon gasped, ducking to avoid the fire. Shedinja had conjured a barrier to protect he and Cindy while Ninjask was flying skyward after the attacker.
“It’s probably a Chimchar up on the rocks again,” Cindy sighed, “We get them all the time,”
“Ninjask, can you see anything?” Jonathon called. Ninjask swooped back down, shaking his head.
“Sometimes Chimchar make their nests up on the rocks and try and attack anyone who gets too close,” Cindy explained. Shedinja was floating by her shoulder.
“Shedinja…” Jonathon began, but he thought better of it and stopped.
“I have to go now, I have a meeting,” Cindy suddenly said. She ran off quickly, waving goodbye.
“Why would a little girl be going to a meeting?” Jonathon asked Ninjask and Shedinja. Shedinja was looking over to where Cindy had run off.
“You liked that little girl, didn’t you?” Jonathon asked him. Shedinja nodded slowly.
“You’re a sweet little Pokemon, aren’t you?” Jonathon smiled, scratching his chin, “Let’s head to the gym.”

Jean arrived at the Gym just seconds after Jonathon and the two entered as one, the sliding doors letting out a gush of steam as they moved. The whole Gym was shrouded with steam and the cloud obscured the Gym Leader who stood at the other end of the long field.
“Two on two,” The Gym Leader called.
“Squirtle,” Jonathon said.
“They’ll be fire types, I’m not sure which Pokemon to use,” Jean worried.
“Try Makuhita, he and Squirtle are used to working together,” Jonathon suggested. Jean took Makuhita’s Pokeball and threw it into the battlefield. Makuhita and Squirtle gave each other their secret handshake before turning to face the Gym Leader.
“Cindy?” Jonathon coughed.
“Oh you’re joking,” Jean spat, “First Elliot, now this one too?”
“What? No, I just met her outside,” Jonathon laughed. Jean smiled.
“Hi Jonathon,” Cindy cheered, “I’m glad you’re not using your Shedinja because I don’t think I could hurt such a cute Pokemon,”
“Is it too late to switch?” Jonathon asked with a chuckle.
“Torkoal, come out and play,” Cindy giggled, “You too, Rapidash,”
“You take Torkoal, I’ll bring down the Rapidash,” Jean snarled, becoming aggressive.
“You always get so angry when you’re battling, you need to relax,” Jonathon sighed. Jean gave him a trying look.
“Shut up and fight, pansy,” She said pointedly.
“As you wish… Squirtle, hydro pump!”
“Torkoal, overheat!”
“Makuhita, seismic toss!”
“Rapidash, flamethrower!”

The battlefield exploded with flames and smoke. Torkoal roared, Rapidash cried, Squirtle coughed and Makuhita grunted: the battle was away. Squirtle was running around Torkoal as fast as he could, blasting the bigger Pokemon with water at every chance he could get. Torkoal was sending out pulsating rings of red light that Squirtle was forced to jump every time, yet he still felt the heat of the attack and his water gun was growing weaker. Makuhita and Rapidash on the other hand were quickly coming to a close. Makuhita was on Rapidash’s back, punching every part of the Pokemon he could reach. Rapidash bucked and kicked furiously but to no avail. With a great whinny Makuhita went flying and Rapidash was there in a second to trample over him as he landed. As Rapidash reared back Makuhita kicked sand into its face, but it still didn’t stop Rapidash from blasting Makuhita into the ground with a fire blast. Flames burnt out around the battlefield and Makuhita was buried beneath them.
“This is the second fire gym we’ve been up against and just quietly, I still hate fire Pokemon,” Jean grumbled.
“I love fire Pokemon, Squirtle, try a bubble barrage! They have so much power. True, they have a lot of weaknesses, but it’s always good to have one around for emergencies,” Jonathon retorted.
“Emergencies? Like what? A forest that needs to be burnt down?” Jean scoffed, “Makuhita!” She cried. Makuhita was nowhere to be seen. Squirtle bought down the wall of bubbles to crash on Torkoal’s back. Torkoal roared as they buried him in smoke and water but not before Rapidash smashed Squirtle with its horn. As Squirtle skidded along the battlefield Rapidash fired off a hyper beam that connected and knocked Squirtle for six.
“Did we just lose to a little girl?” Jonathon gasped as he recalled Squirtle. The fire that had consumed Makuhita stirred. It seemed to grow suddenly; or rather something inside it was growing. A great big hand reached up, followed by another. Soon there was a giant sumo Pokemon brushing ash from its body.
“Hari!” The Pokemon bellowed, striking a battle pose.
“Hariyama!” Jean screamed, “Use your double hit!”
“Wow, that’s impressive,” Jonathon commented. Hariyama spun quickly, slapping Torkoal’s face and then Rapidash. Rapidash fell over as it was struck and Hariyama took the opportunity to dive onto it with a body slam. Rapidash returned to Cindy’s Pokeball.
“It’s up to you now Torkoal!” Cindy cheered. Torkoal ran toward Hariyama but Hariyama merely puffed out his belly and Torkoal crashed into it and bounced away. Torkoal didn’t have time to climb back on its feet before Hariyama hit it too with a body slam. Smoke billowed out from underneath Hariyama.
“Hold it down, Hariyama!” Jean commanded. Hariyama pressed himself harder into the ground. More smoke gushed out, flames licking at Hariyama's sides. Finally, Torkoal’s struggling ended and Hariyama slowly climbed to his feet.
“Torkoal!” Cindy cried, running out onto the field.
“He’ll be okay,” Jonathon promised her.
“I know… I just hate when he loses. I’m not a good trainer for him at all,” Cindy moped.
“Cindy, you’re a fine trainer. You’re a Gym Leader!” Jonathon reassured her.
“Only because my Mum and I have the same name and she’s away so I’m filling in,” Cindy reasoned.
“WHAT?” Jean shrieked.
“We can still have badges though, can’t we?” Jonathon asked. Cindy smiled.
“Yeah, of course. Mum said I could fill in, she said I could give out badges if I lose,”
“That’s lucky,” Jean sighed.
“Do you wanna trade my Torkoal for your Shedinja?” Cindy added quickly, as if by sneaking the question in she would get the answer she wanted.
“Cindy… I dunno,” Jonathon stammered, “It’d be up to the Pokemon really,”
“Torkoal, do you want to travel with Jonathon or stay here with me?” Cindy asked the Torkoal. Torkoal looked at Jonathon and then at Cindy. It looked sad, but took a step closer to Jonathon. Jonathon threw Shedinja’s Pokeball and the ghost Pokemon appeared with a rasping breath. He flew over to Cindy and buzzed around her head before making his way to Jonathon’s shoulder.
“Cindy wants to know if you want to stay here with her,” Jonathon explained, “If you want to stay with Cindy, that’s okay,” Jonathon promised. Shedinja looked from Jonathon to Cindy and with a sad look floated closer to Cindy. He looked back at Jonathon.
“I’ll see you soon then Shedinja. Jean and I will come and visit,” Jonathon waved, “I promise!”
“I’ll take good care of him,” Cindy promised, looking as though all her Christmas’s had come at once. Jonathon tossed her Shedinja’s Pokeball.
“Come on Torkoal,” Jonathon beckoned. Torkoal started to run toward him.
“Slow down there, buddy… Torkoal, whoa!” Jonathon cried as Torkoal knocked him to the ground. Torkoal licked his face with a searing hot tongue that burned like fire.
“Torkoal, hey, wait!” Jonathon pleaded. Jean recalled Torkoal to the Pokeball Cindy tossed their way.
“I can’t stand fire Pokemon,” Jean sighed throwing Jonathon the Pokeball.

“So the next city is Crustett City, except there’s no train to Crustett so we’ll have to walk,” Jean told Jonathon as she knelt over the map with Aipom.
“POM!” Aipom agreed.
“Sometimes I think you have absolutely no idea how to read a map and you just agree with me because you know it’s safer,” Jean cooed to Aipom, hugging him like a rag doll.
“We’re not walking,” Jonathon said, taking a Pokeball from his belt.
“You traded your Shedinja, remember, we can’t teleport. And besides, even if we could, Shedinja can’t control his teleport,” Jean reminded Jonathon, but Jonathon was shaking his head.
“WE’RE not walking,” He said, tossing the Pokeball. Torkoal smiled at the pair and galloped over with a moan. He knocked Jonathon to the ground and sent Aipom screeching onto Jean’s shoulder.
“Your Pokemon are all so… weird,” Jean noted.
“Hey, they just have character, alright?” Jonathon excused.
“Right,” Jean nodded skeptically. The pair climbed onto Torkoal’s back and tried to coax Aipom up with them. Aipom refused and so Jean had to recall the little monkey Pokemon to his Pokeball.
“He’s a moody prat today,” Jean sighed.
“The heat has got most of our Pokemon in bad moods,” Jonathon added.
“Squirtle and Lotad must be in agony,” Jean noted.
“Yeah, especially since I haven’t been able to use Lotad in a battle in awhile,”
“The Crustett City Gym is rock type. You can use him there!” Jean pointed out.
“Perfect… We already have two badges from Veronica,” Jonathon realized.
“The Furnace Badge from Border Town and the Ash badge from Fallender Town,” Jean recited.
“And Crustett City is next!”

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Sun Aug 24, 2008 6:41 am
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Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 10:00 am
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Location: I'm not telling you! Why do you want to know anyways?...Are you a stalker?!
Not bad, keep it up.

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Once there was a man who ate a poisonous grapefruit and died.The moral of the story:DON'T EAT POISON GRAPEFRUIT!!

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Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:05 pm
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Location: Australia
As the duo headed South to Crustett City, Jonathon couldn't help but worry about the events that had transpired onboard the Hillsound train. Not only was his own brother a member of the sinister group, but Nick, his loathed ex-boyfriend was also part of the coup. What was worse was that now Jonathon and Jean had made an obvious stand against Hillsound and Jonathon was sure this would bring around repercussions. These repercussions happened sooner than he expected. It was a hot night and the pair were lying on Torkoal's back dozing halfwardly as the fire tortoise carried them slowly over the desert. Tailow was flying overhead to keep an eye out for wild pokemon, though both jonathon and Jean knew there was another fear, an unspoken one. It happened quickly, too fast for any reaction that may have helped. Tailow screeched and disappeared from the sky. Jean leapt off of Torkoal's back and scanned the night.
"Show yourself!" Jonathon yelled galliantly, reefing a pokeball from his belt. There was silence all through the desert.
"It must be a wild pokemon, maybe an Abra or Drowzee put tailow to sleep," Jean stammered nervously, her voice trembling.
"It's Hillsound," Jonathon replied darkly, his eyes squinting through the dark. The night sky dissolved suddenly and revealed the flock of Fearow in the sky. One of them flung the unconsious tailow to the ground from its talons and squarked loudly.
"You two are getting in way too deep," A male's voice drawled. Like the Fearow had done a moment ago, a teenage boy became visible all of a sudden. at his side was a Kadabra, its eyes and spoons glowing with a purple ethereal light. The Fearow looked down threateningly as the boy stepped closer to the pair, revealing his handsome features. He had blonde hair that hung down over his ears. He was wearing white pants and a tight white jumper and his skin was almost just as white. With a smirk he recalled Kadabra and took another pokeball from his belt.
"You can try to fight me or you can hand over all your pokemon. Then all will be forgiven. Your debt to Hillsound will be repayed," He cooed sweetly, a pleasure in his voice that seemed to aggrevate Jonathon to no end. Jean stepped forward, Tailow in her arms.
"You touch any of my Pokemon again and I'll break your little neck," she growled slowly.
"Cute," The boy smirked, eyeing her up.
"Who are you?" Jonathon demanded, still clutching a pokeball.
"I am Tyler. I'm Hillsound's bounty hunter, the best one they have. My Fearow are trained so well i don't need to keep them in pokeballs so i have an army at my command at all times. Of course, even the entire flock of them coudln't compare to just one of the pokemon I carry in my pokeballs. But I doubt you'll make it that far. Assuming you try and fight... I'm hoping you do. It'll be fun to wipe the floor with you,"
""Oh Tyler," Jean sighed, a smile on her face. she recalled Tailow into its pokeball and stepped forward, taking another two pokeballs from her belt. She was shaking her head with a silent chuckle.
"You can't possibly think you'll win," Tyler teased.
"You have no idea who you're dealing with," Jean replied calmly as she dropped her two pokeballs to the desert floor. The Fearow dived for the ground without so much as a nod from tyler but Torkoal blasted a searing fire spin around Jonathon and Jean to protect them as their pokemon leapt out of their pokeballs. The Fearow backed away behind Tyler, afraid of the savage fire. Tyler threw two of his own pokeballs out at his sides. Gallade and Gardevoir shimmered into existence, each one striking a fighting pose and flashing their eyes a frightening blood red. The fire parted and Jonathon and Jean were ready, leaping out with their pokemon. Torkoal sent a blasting overheat into the sky, swirling it in all directions to keep the Fearow back as Treecko, Squirtle, Hariyama and Ninjask jumped at Gallade and Gardevoir. Tyler threw more pokeballs into the fray. Kadabra and Grumpig dove for Torkoal but Hariyama knocked them aside with his mighty palms. squirtle took over for Torkoal and sent a hydro pump blasting overhead, sending more Fearow to the desert floor.
"They're obedient as all hell but hardly strong," Jean commented as she tried to duck past Galade to get to tyler. gallade made to slash at her but Treecko pelted the beast with a bullet seed.
"Alakazam," Tyler said calmly, "end this,"
"Alakazam?" Jonathon stuttered. With a shimmer the Pokemon appeared and with a loud crack a pulsating blue wave shot out over the group. The pokemon continued to battle, switching foes quickly and confusingly, none flinched as the wave washed over them. Alakazam stood still as a rake while Tyler stepped closer. Kadabra shimmered to life next to Alakazam and then, quite suddenly, Kadabra blasted alakazam to the head with a psybeam. Alakazam fell to the ground, his energy spent. another blue wave pulsated from his body and as it passed over the Pokemon they collapsed without a sound.
"Destiny bond," Jean breathed, her voice trembling. As Torkoal fell to its knees the fearow flew back toward the group, surrounding Jonathon and Jean with murder in their eyes. Kadabra stepped closer too and Tyler started to cackle.
"You can't win," he told them. Far in the distance on the night sky appeared a glowing light.
"And now you're coming with us," He continued. Scorch the Charizard flew cloaser, carrying Matt on his back. It landed and Matt dismounted to join Tyler.
"Scum," Jonathon spat.
"Hello to you two," Matt replied. He snapped his fingers and Scorch leapt into the air. Flames cascaded over the trainers and they dropped to the ground as the heat seared them hot. The loudest sound roared all around them until suddenly the fire was swirling back away from them and the noise was dying away. As Jonathon tentatively opened his eyes and looked he saw Tyler and all his remaining Pokemon in a battered heap. Matt raised his eyebrows at Jonathon but didn't say a word.
"Get out of here. Get out of here before the others arrive. Never say a word about this. Don't tell anyone. don't tell anyone or they'll kill me," He said in a monotone, looking at a point somewhere to the right of Jonathon's head. It was as though he couldn't bring himself to look at his younger brother whom he had just rescued from certain capture. jean recalled her exhausted pokemon and Jonathon slowly did the same.
"Hurry," Matt said, his voice little more than a whisper.
"Matt... Come with us," Jonathon attempted. Matt stifled a laugh.
"I can't," He croaked, "You know I can't. Just leave,"
"Matt, please-" Jonathon begged.
"GO!" Matt screamed, pointing out to the desert. Jean took Jonathon's arm and made to pull him away. The horizon was quickly filling with more shapes and shadows. It wasn't just Tyler who had been trawling the desert for the wanted trainers and it seemed their battle had alerted their presence. Jonathon ran, looking back to see Matt mounting Charizard and flying in a different direction. Scorch sent a flamethrower above his head to hail the other hunters in his direction and somehow Jonathon knew his brother would keep him safe. How long he could protect him for though was a question jonathon didn't want to find an answer to. They ran. They ran until the sun was piercing the sky at dawn and they kept running, jogging, and finally walking as quickly as they could, until finally they collapsed in a heap under a tree as the desert became grassland and the horizon became the view of Crustett City.
"We need to get back to Jackson," Jonathon panted with a dire grimace, "We need to get back to Jackson,"

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Sat Nov 29, 2008 10:53 pm
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As they walked through Crustett City toward the Pokemon Centre the pair couldn't help but jump at the slightest noise, afraid that Hillsound were still following them. If anyone so much as waved at them they would immediately hurry along, determined not to be caught in battle again, especially with their weakened pokemon.
"Welcome to the... Jean and Jonathon?" The Pokemon Centre receptionist stammered. They looked at her suspiciously.
"With a cautious approach like that I'm guessing ytou must be," She hurried, walking closer toward them, "Get in the back, quickly, you don't want to cause a scene,"
"How do you know us?" Jonathon croaked, panic in his voice.
"Jackie phoned ahead," She countered, trying to usher them through a doorway.
"Jackson?" Jonathon asked.
"Yes, that's the one, sorry," She apologized, "quickly, out back,"
"Why, where is he?" Jean stammered.
"On his way," The girl went on, pushing the pair into the back room.
"Now you're right where we want you," Another voice spoke up. Jean and Jonasthon turned around just in time to see Tyler waiting for them.
"This is Thomas, he's a police officer as well, he'll wait with you until Jackson gets here," The girl went on.
"Not likely," Jonathon sighed, taking a pokeball from his belt.
"Come back for round two have you?" Jean scoffed. Tyler already had two pokeballs in the air. Jonathon threw one of his own and Jean quickly followed suit. Aipom and Mudkip were out and raring for a battle.
"Mud shot attack," Jonathon ordered.
"Swift, Aipom," Jean added. Tyler's two Abra threw their barriers up to defend Tyler but they were little match for the attacks, shattering to the floor. There was a rushing of wind and Mudkip and Aipom were thrown back to Jean and Jonathon's feet. The room went dark and in the blink of an eye Jonathon and Jean were standing in a much smaller room with Jackson and Sam. Sam threw herself at Jonathon, wrapping her arms around him in a hug and bursting into tears. She didn't smell like her usual drunken self at all. Jonathon dropped to his knees, still in her embrace,m and the two cried for what felt like hours. Jackson was talking about something but Jonathon could not hear him, nor did he truly wish to hear. They were on a plane high anove Crustett City, the police had sent Jackson and Sam to extract Jonathon and Jean. They were being taken to Sathalia to meet with the Elite Four.

The Elite Four were the four chiefs of police, one for each region in the country. All four were currently in Sathalia fighting with Hillsound.
"The last twenty foiur hours have been the beginning of a war. You have no idea what the attack in the desert started. Hillsound have now come right out and declared war on the police force. They're campaigne to make people think they're actually doing good while they breed an army underground has worked a little better than we thought. Hilsound want to take over the country. It's a militia situation. We've got to get to the head of Hillsound and take down the leader," Jackson explained as they walked through the hallways of the police headquarters.
"You don't need to worry about Gyms anymore, you two are being inducted into the highest order," Sam added. It was then that Jonathon noticed she had a shining gold pokeball with silver wings pinned to her chest. Jackson was wearing one himself,
"What's the order?" Jean asked.
"Ashley will explain," Jackson smiled, opening a door and pointing Jean and Jonathon inside.
"Jonathon Psyches," A woman greeted. She shook Jonathon's hand, then kissed his cheek, And Jean Marco," Ashley continued. She offered them both a seat.
"You're being inducted into the Order of the Sky," Ashley said as she sat down at her desk, "You have full access to anything the police has at its disposal- vehicles, pokemon, weaponry,"
"Weapons aren't a problem, our pokemon are all the protection we need," Jean spoke up,"
"As for vehicles if we could just get a ghost pokemon for transport we'll be fine," jonathon added.
"I'll have one for you today, now about your assignments," Ashley went on.
"We're going after the leader, and taking down my b@stard ex and my tool brother while we're at it," Jonathon informed her.
"First I wanted to send you both-" Ashley began, but Jonathon laughed loudly, cutting her off.
"Perhaps you misunderstood," He chuckled, leaning forward in his chair.
"We're going after the leader, with or without your support," Jean threw in. Jonathon smiled at her.
"Great minds," He started,
"Think alike," She ended.
"Alright, I'll authorize it," Ashley nodded, "But you're taking an officer with you,"
"You can send one along but we're not waiting up for them, if they can't keep up they'll be left behind," Jonathon warned her.
"I'm sure Jackson will keep up with you just fine, Jonathon," Sam pointed out, strolling into the room, "And I'll be in the air in case you need to be evacuated or if you need any support,"
"Do you know where the Hillsound headquarters is?" Jonathon asked.
"No, but we know where your b@stard ex is," Sam offered.
"We need you to trick him into taking you to the headquarters," Ashley explained.
"And how the hell do you expect me to do that?" Jonathon cried, indignified.
"I'm sur eyou can think of something," Sam teased, seductively perching herself on Ashley's desk. Ashley smiled toothily.
"The art of seduction can often work far greater than the strongest hyper beam," Ashle finished. Jean burst into laughter.
"You wan me to seduce Nick into taking me to the Hillsound headquarters?" Jonathon sighed, "This is so not cool."

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Thu Dec 25, 2008 1:20 pm
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Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:43 pm
Posts: 122
now what?

I'll have you know that I have spent the past three days reading this every chance I have had. I want to know how it ends...

advice:
there were a few discrepancies in your writing... i.e. hoothoot is not psychic, but rather a normal flying that has some psychic abilities, and chimeco is only psychic, and a few other points, like nincada is a ground bug, and doesn't learn vine whip... there were a few other things, but they aren't very important.

Next: jonothon is not spelled correctly... at least not if you wanted Jonathan
JONOTHON PROMISED GLOOM HE WOULD EVOLVE IT INTO BELLOSSUM AFTER SHE EVOLVED INTO GLOOM... YET STILL A GLOOM.

I do like many of your ideas, and I was wondering what had happened to nick for a while. I love your idea about the cracked badge, but out of curiosity what pokemon would that gym leader use? what has the dad been up to? the beginning said that jonothon's dad, and two brothers were fighters, so what about the dad, and the other brother, or did I misread that?

I do like this story, and have been raving about it to my friends, but now there is nothing written... what happens next? I waited 3 days before commenting, because I wanted to finish before answering...

the typos are rather sporadic, and the ending up until this point seems rather rushed... why did they sudden;y come to so much power? they are noobs! I don't like how the heroes suddenly became leaders of this sky thingy, and think it would be better if they were better trained before entering this league, rather they should be introduced to the group, and be given some protection from jackson instead of suddenly joining the group.

The plot is good, and the twist of Nick was great... I think the comment made about this story not going anywhere was incorrect... (made on page 2 near the mid bottom I believe by some guy with a charizard user screen or something) I really do like this though, and Gloom hasn't been used for a while, so evolve it and go... and you might wanna revise some of the typos, and and the ending so far...


was this continued elsewhere somewhere like was this the prologue of something, or did you just get tired of writing this? I wanna finish the story, so please post the rest of it!

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Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:48 pm
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
It's still coming, I've been away for six weeks touring. I work in the Entertainment Industry, I can be called away for shows at the drop of a hat and not return for long periods. if you like this check out the last war and the new war series. Get real is coming to a close now, get them, the sequel will be up soon after.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

www.youtube.com/PsychesEntertainment


Tue Mar 03, 2009 12:30 am
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Ace Trainer
Ace Trainer

Joined: Wed Feb 15, 2006 10:48 pm
Posts: 357
Location: Australia
Jonathon was suited up with a bulletproof vest and a very tight undershirt to keep it from showing. Over this he was wearing a form-fitting black coat that hung to his knees. He was waiting on the rooftop with Sam on one side and Jean on the other. Jackson was speaking into his headset a short distance away.
“That must be your helicopter,” Jean noted as a whirring sound filled the night air. Her voice was shaking, whether it was nerves or cold Jonathon couldn’t tell. He himself felt rather calm considering he was about to go and risk his life and attempt to seduce his ex-boyfriend in a bid to bring down Hillsound. The helicopter was coming in quickly, it veered to the side and tilted over, dropping low enough for the trainers on the rooftop to see that inside was Ashley and she didn’t look a good way. With a great effort she clambered down from the helicopter and limped toward them. The helicopter was already lifting off again and soon it was joining dozens of others that seemed to have materialized in the city sky. A screeching flock of Murkrow seemed unimpressed by the noise as they flittered this way and that. Ashley waved her arms over her head to shoo them away as they came near the rooftop.
“Duskull, confusion!” Jackson ordered. Duskull integrated out of thin air and with a blinding red flash the Murkrow flew away in the wrong direction.
“What’s happening, what’s going on?” Sam asked, looking up at the action overhead.
“It’s started, the war, it’s begun,” Ashley panted.
“Gloom, I need your help,” Jonathon said calmly, dropping a pokeball at his feet.
“Treecko, come on,” Jean added, reading Jonathon’s mind.
“You kids aren’t going. It was different before, you were the only real shot we had at getting someone on the inside. That plan’s shot to sh!t now, we’re going into battle and you’re all too young,” Ashley insisted.
“Vine Whip!” Jonathon and Jean said together. With a loud bang their Pokémon had latched their vines onto the rung of a passing helicopter and as the Pokémon were lifted into the air and carried from the rooftop their trainers trailed along with them. Sam ran to the edge of the roof as Jonathon and Jean’s silhouettes became smaller and smaller on the horizon.
“Jackson,” She demanded.
“Already on it, dear,” Jackson sighed, throwing her a pokeball. Sam smiled and blew him a kiss before jumping from the rooftop like a diver on a diving board.
“JACKSON!” Ashley roared.
“I’m sorry Ashley, but if you knew any of those kids you’d know you where there’s danger you’ll find Jonathon, and where there’s Jonathon you’ll find Jean and Sam,” Jackson chuckled, taking his Duskclops’ pokeball from his belt and hurling it into the night.
“You just gave Sam a ghost Pokémon to help her chase after those two idiots!” Ashley yelled, “They’re kids, you called them that yourself, they’re no good to me in a war!”
“Now you listen here you loud-mouthed bureaucratic b!tch,” Jackson snapped as ghosts started appearing all around the rooftop.
“You’re fired,” Ashley scathed.
“You’re dead,” Jackson retorted. Suddenly Ashley realized there were far too many ghosts on the rooftop for one trainer. Groups of Gastly, Duskull and Shuppet surrounded her, all with a red glint in their eye.
“See ya,” Jackson croaked.

Jonathon and Jean were still sweeping through the air after the helicopter their Pokémon had latched onto.
“Oh my God,” Jonathon stammered. Up ahead in the sky was the Hillsound fleet, hundreds of flying Pokémon, many with trainers on their backs. Deep within the fleet was a Chinook coloured black as the night and moving away as quickly as possible.
“Jonathon!” Jean cried. To their side was a trainer flying on a Pidgeot and leading a flock of Pidgeotto behind. They were streaking toward the helicopter that Jean and Jonathon were hitchhiking upon with deadly speed. Jonathon threw a pokeball awkwardly, clinging to Gloom with all his might. He felt Gloom wrap one of her vines around his waist and then she jumped from his arms and latched herself around the helicopter’s rung. Treecko did the same and Jonathon and Jean were now hanging from the helicopter by vines attached to their waists, Ninjask now buzzing around their heads. Jean’s Tailow soon joined them.
“Ninjask, use your confuse ray to shift as many of those Pidgeotto off-course as you can,” Jonathon ordered, pointing to the flock.
“Tailow, use your double team to draw them away,” Jean called. Their Pokémon set to work but soon the duo were pointing toward a new threat. A roaring Skarmory was shooting at them, firing off swift attacks in all directions as it came forth with bared fangs.
“Vibrava, dragonbreath!” Jonathon screamed, hurling another pokeball. Vibrava flew toward Skarmory in a blur of wings and spat a stream of blue and purple fires that collided with Skarmory in a shower of smoke and lights. Skarmory fell from the sky and Vibrava quickly turned about, coming back toward Jonathon and Jean’s helicopter.
“Tailow, aerial ace!” Jean ordered as a Pidgeotto broke away from the flock and came toward them.
“Ninjask, use your slash attack on Pidgeot,” Jonathon cried in an attempt to take down the leader. Pidgeot turned and struck out with a steel wing attack and Ninjask took the blow. As Ninjask recovered Pidgeot made a beeline for the helicopter.
“Ninjask, night shade!” Jonathon ordered. Ninjask blasted off a searing black beam of light that singed Pidgeot’s tailfeathers but left the bird streaking for the helicopter ever still.
“Tailow, get it!” Jean tried. It was too late, Pidgeot, it’s trainer perched on its back with a silly grin, seared right through the helicopter, explosions billowing through the sky. Jonathon and Jean fell, Gloom and Treecko still connected to them by vines. There were lights all over the night sky, flashes of fire, dazzling streaks of light from the myriad of Pokémon attacks being launched all over and the bright white light of evolution as Tailow and Vibrava rushed after their fallen trainers. Jonathon pointed to Pidgeot as Flygon reared upward triumphantly, Gloom still swinging through the air, now launching a solarbeam that sent Pidgeot and its few remaining Pidgeotto flying away while Swellow looped over in the air so Treecko, now perched on jean’s shoulder, could fire a bullet seed after a trainer on a Fearow.
“Fearow!” Jonathon scathed, his temperature rising.
“Tyler!” Jean added.
“He’s mine!” Jonathon screamed, his voice filled with rage. Flygon beat his wings furiously, carrying Jonathon in amidst the explosions and billowing smoke and turmoil of the battle’s most inner core. Tyler was weaving in and out of the Order of the Sky battlers now facing off with the Hillsound Fleet. Soon enough he wasn’t far from the Chinook. He chanced a look over his shoulder and saw Jonathon, malice in his eyes. Fearow turned in the air and blasted a Hyper beam at Flygon. There was no time to dodge. Flygon reared upward, shielding Jonathon from harm with his body.
“Flygon, protect!” Jonathon risked. The Hyper Beam exploded just feet from Flygon’s face, spraying in all directions except for over Jonathon and Flygon, as it cleared Jean went swooping past after Tyler.
“Jean, no!” Jonathon cried. It was too late, Fearow bore down over her with a screech and slammed Swellow so hard it plummeted downward, spiralling out of control. Jean was thrown asunder, her scream fading into the battle with Tyler’s wicked cackle and Jonathon’s yell of anguish.

_________________
"If I'm flying solo at least I'm flying free,"

www.youtube.com/ThePlastikOne

www.youtube.com/PsychesEntertainment


Tue Mar 03, 2009 1:19 am
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