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Old 09-17-2016, 09:35 PM   #76
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Virbank City
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In The Beautifly Of The Beholder

The Fizzytopia region. By no means one of the better-known regions of the Pokémon world, diverse and expansive though it was. It lacked the constant bustling activity most other regions could usually boast- indeed, none of the region's Pokémon Gyms were open or accepting challengers, and some, if not all of them, even lacked current Gym Leaders. Similarly, there were definite issues with the Elite Four, amid the mysterious and thus far unsolved disappearances of Elite Four members Will and Stark. On top of that, there were periods of time- sometimes long ones- in which simply nothing of interest would happen in the region.

Many Trainers might take these things as a sign that the road to becoming a Pokémon Master lay elsewhere. A sign that Fizzytopia was largely a waste of time. Many Trainers... but not all of them. There is an old saying about Fizzytopia which compares the region to a Slaking, in that while there are periods of inactivity, that which follows those periods of inactivity is invariably worth the wait. There are still Trainers in the region who believe in this saying, and thus continue their journey through the diverse and expansive land, constantly in training, the better to be prepared for whatever might suddenly happen next.

One such Trainer was walking down a worn and dusty dirt path now- this was Keith Masters, the 26-year-old man known for his specialization in the Poison-types, not to mention the talking Meowth constantly hitching a ride on his shoulder. And the hat- his cowboy hat was perhaps his most distinctive feature. Those who did not know Keith by name generally referred to him as "the guy with the hat", and not without reason. Even before he set a Key Stone into it, thus cementing the Mega Hat as an integral and invaluable tool for his Pokémon training career, the hat had long been an iconic fixture of the Keith Masters look. Yes, Keith Masters, a man who had spent the vast majority of his life as a Pokémon Trainer in the Fizzytopia region, was currently headed towards the bustling metropolis of Greenmuk City. As was the case with the more tenacious, patient, and stubborn Trainers such as himself, he sought to improve his Pokémon's skills any way he could, in preparation for whatever curve ball the region would next throw his way, and right now, he was headed towards just such an opportunity.

"Man, this is gonna be great," Keith grinned, addressing the Meowth on his shoulder. "I can't wait to see what I'm gonna be up against in this tournament, Meowth. I mean, only Shiny Pokémon allowed? Even if I lose, this is gonna be cool."

"Yeah, youse says it's cool..." Meowth mumbled, warily eyeing a Great Ball clipped to Keith's belt. "I still tink ya oughta just try and do it wit only Dudley," he said stubbornly."

"And I've told you, nothing doing," Keith replied firmly. "Fatale is every bit a member of this team as Dudley. They both deserve a chance to compete in this. Besides which, it'll help strengthen my bond with Fatale, I haven't gotten a lot of chances to battle with her yet."

"Just make sure dere ain't gonna be no bond between dat stabby mouth o' her's and Meowth's neck," said Meowth.

"Oh, will you relax?" chuckled Keith. "You are such a scaredy-Meowth sometimes, I swear to Arceus... Look, Fatale's not gonna hurt you, OK? She hasn't so far, right?"

"I been lucky so far," Meowth retorted. They continued on in this vein for some time as Greenmuk City drew nearer.

Soon, it was all set. Keith had found the stadium in Greenmuk City, and approached the registration table. "Hello," Keith greeted a bored-looking man sitting at the table. "I'm here to register for the tournament."

"Name?" yawned the man.

"Keith Golbatson Masters."

"Alright," nodded the man, jotting down Keith's name. "What Pokémon will you be registering for the tournament? Bear in mind, of course, that while you may register up to six Pokémon, or as few as one, all registered Pokémon must be Shiny."

"Naturally," nodded Keith. "I'll be entering with my Slowbro and Beautifly."

"Very well," said the man. "I'll just need to verify that they are indeed Shiny. Please send them out." Keith obliged, throwing a Poké Ball and a Great Ball into the air. From the Poké Ball emerged a bright blue Slowbro, with a golden spiral Shellder biting into the tail. And from the Great Ball emerged a particularly beautiful Beautifly, her wings as pretty and colorful as stained glass windows. She glared all around warily, unsure what to make of her new surroundings. The appearances of both Shinies were accompanied by identical swirls of brilliant blue star-like sparkles. In response, the man produced a small square device from his pocket, and slid it open, revealing a small radar screen. He pressed a button on the Poké Radar, and two solid gold dots appeared on the radar screen, corresponding to the pair of Shinies right in front of him. Another dot, this one green, was just behind the two gold dots, this one corresponding with the guy's Meowth. What struck this man as odd, however, was the presence of a fourth dot, this one also green, but... it was flickering. Moreover, it was almost right on top of the Meowth dot, and yet he could see no other Pokémon in the area...

"Everything OK?" Keith asked the man.

"Yeah," the man nodded, putting away his Poké Radar. "Yeah, it's... it's cool, you're in. I just... I think I gotta replace the batteries in this thing soon or something."


Soon, it came time for the first battle of the tournament. Keith was at his place at one end of the battlefield, and the stands all around them were packed with spectators. He grinned- he knew this was by no means a Pokémon League tournament, but for a mere local tournament, there was a very big turnout. "Welcome, one and all, to Greenmuk City's fifth annual Shiny Battle Tournament!" announced the emcee. "The first match of the first round is about to get underway- on one end, we have Irwin Stratos of Breeze Town, and on the other end, we have Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town, Hoenn!"

"Hey, I remember you!" grinned Irwin. "You won the Pokéringer back in Breeze Town! You beat me and Noctowl but good!"

"Hey, yeah!" Keith grinned back. "Well, let's see if your luck's any better this time around!"

"OK, then!" exclaimed Irwin, throwing a Quick Ball. "Let's go- Staravia!"

In a flash of light, an avian Pokémon appeared with brown plumage. However, this coloration, Keith knew, was not usual for the Staravia species. He'd seen a Staravia before himself- just after his friend Okiku had beaten him in battle, defeating Hermione with her Starly named Rawk, aforementioned Starly proceeded to evolve into Staravia as a result of the victory. Unlike Rawk, however, this Staravia was clearly a Shiny, in case the sparkles swirling around it weren't clear enough an indicator.

"Staravia, huh?" grinned Keith, clutching a Poké Ball. "Then I'll go with this!" And he threw the ball. "Dudley, I choose you!"

Now Keith's Pokémon of choice appeared- Dudley the Shiny Slowbro made his appearance on the battlefield, staring vacantly in the general direction of Irwin and Staravia. The crowd had applauded the appearance of Staravia, and now they were doing the same for Dudley.

"Irwin has chosen Staravia, while Keith has gone with Slowbro," remarked the emcee. "No discernible type advantage either way on the surface, but as we're all aware, all is rarely as it seems on the surface."

"Staravia vs. Slowbro- begin!" declared the referee.

Keith made the first move. "Dudley! Ice Beam attack!" he ordered.

"I thought we'd see that from a Water-type!" grinned Irwin. "Staravia, Double Team!"

Keith gritted his teeth- Staravia had countered Ice Beam by creating multiple copies of itself, flying all over the battlefield. Ice Beam struck down several copies at once, but the real one was still indistinguishable from the remaining realistic replicas. And Staravia almost certainly had the edge in terms of Speed... wait a minute, he realized. "Dudley! Trick Room!" he caled.

"Don't let it! Astonish!" commanded Irwin.

The feigned flock of Staravia dove in all at once, shrieking and cawing loudly to startle Dudley, but Keith grinned- getting an immediate reaction out of a Slowbro like that was next to impossible! Sure enough, before Dudley even registered the notion that the attack might be at all scary, he had caused a gigantic energy field to form in a box-like shape over the battlefield. All of a sudden, Staravia slowed down, whereas Dudley's movements seemed to quicken.

"Oh, no," groaned Irwin.

"Oh, yeah!" grinned Keith. "Dudley, now use Bubble Beam!"

"Sloooooow!" Dudley exclaimed, firing a widespread, powerful blast of foam from his mouth. Staravia couldn't react fast enough- as Dudley turned his head, he swept through all the Double Team copies with the Bubble Beam attack. Not only did this only leave the real Staravia, but it also seemed to cause damage to it as well.

"Incredible!" the emcee exclaimed. "Trick Room's turned the tides- now Slowbro is blisteringly fast, and Staravia can't keep up! That Bubble Beam blasted away all the copies almost at once!"

"Staravia! Use Double Team once more!" Irwin exclaimed.

"Not this time!" Keith retorted. "Telekinesis!"

"Bro!" exclaimed Dudley. A blue glow came over his eyes, and at the same time, a similarly-colored aura came over Staravia. This froze it in place, suspending it in midair, holding it right in Dudley's line of fire.

"Staravia!" called Irwin.

"Now! Use Zap Cannon!" Keith commanded.

"Slooooowbro!" replied Dudley. He charged up an orb of crackling electricity in his mouth, then launched it at the helpless, stuck Staravia. The Starling Pokémon stood no chance of evading it, and was struck directly by the attack. When the dust settled, the call was an easy one to make.

"Staravia is unable to battle!" declared the referee. "Keith and Slowbro are the winners, and will be moving on to the second round!"

"And with a brilliant combination of Telekinesis and Zap Cannon, Keith and his stunning Slowbro have claimed victory in the first match!" said the emcee amid the crowd's roaring cheers.

Irwin sighed as he withdrew Staravia. He was looking down at the ground, but looked up as he heard someone approaching- it was Keith. "Hey," said Keith, offering Irwin a handshake. "That was a good battle."

"...No, it wasn't," sighed Irwin. "I stunk just now. Staravia didn't stand a chance."

"Hey, listen," said Keith. "Staravia was outmatched this time, that's all. It happens to every Pokémon at some point. Just keep working with Staravia. That Double Team was incredible, you two got a lot of potential. Just keep working at it, alright? Don't give up. I never did, and I can tell you from experience, it pays off."

Irwin slowly nodded. "Right," he agreed, finally managing a small smile as he shook Keith's hand. "Good battle, man."

After this, the tournament continued. Keith watched every single battle with interest. He watched as a maroon Darmanitan took down a Roserade with purple and black bouquets. He saw a gold Pineco somehow come out on top against a blue-eyed Lunatone. He witnessed a gold and red Ferrothorn ensure the utter defeat of a green Espeon, and so forth. And of course, once the second round came around, he proved to be no slouch there, either...

"Forretress, Pin Missile once more!" came the command. Keith gritted his teeth- this could be it!

"Well, it certainly seems that timely evolution of Pineco's has turned the battle in Gavin's favor!" the emcee was saying. "Forretress is gearing up to finish off Slowbro!"

"Just try and finish this off!" exclaimed Keith. "Dudley! Teleport!"

"Slow-" Dudley replied before vanishing into midair, just in time to evade the Pin Missile attack completely.

"What the-" exclaimed Gavin.

And then Dudley reappeared- directly behind Forretress. "-bro!" he finished.

Now Keith was grinning. "Now! Use Flamethrower!" he ordered.

"SloooowBROOOOOO!" Dudley exclaimed, exhaling a super effective stream of fire at the Bug/Steel-type. Once again, the referee's call was an easy one.

"Forretress is unable to battle!" declared the referee. "Keith and Slowbro win, and will be moving on to the semifinals!"


"Man, dat was intense!" Meowth was saying as Keith sat in the waiting area, feeding Dudley a number of Oran and Leppa Berries. "If dat last Pin Missile had hit, I don't even wanna know how dis would'a ended up!"

"You're telling me!" Keith nodded in emphatic agreement. "Alright... Meowth, I'm gonna give Dudley a break for the next round, fair warning."

"Oh, no..." groaned Meowth. "Dis can only end badly."

"That remains to be seen," Keith stated firmly. "Part of the reason I entered this in the first place was to work with Fatale, so I can't just rely on Dudley through the whole thing, even if he is turning out to be one of the strongest Pokémon I've ever seen."

"Oy..." groaned Meowth. He was not looking forward to Keith's semifinal match.


"And now for the first match in the semifinal round of this year's Shiny Battle Tournament!" declared the emcee. "On one end, we have Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town, Hoenn, who thus far has been wowing us all with the impressive array of moves demonstrated by his slow yet skillful Shiny Slowbro. And on the other end, we have Autumn Cherrim of Floaroma Town, Sinnoh, whose Shiny Darmanitan and Vespiquen have been thoroughly overpowering their opponents. Neither Trainer has used every single Shiny they've entered in the competition just yet, however, so we don't know what to expect here, folks!"

"See if you see this coming," smirked Autumn, throwing a Heavy Ball. "Go, Snorlax!"

In a flash of light, a massive blob of a Pokémon appeared. Immensely fat, its formidable bulk supported by a pair of stumpy feet. "Snooorlaaaaaax," it rumbled as the usual stars swirled around its dark blue body. Keith took out his Pokédex and pointed it at the behemoth.

"Snorlax, the Sleeping Pokémon, and the evolved form of Munchlax," said Keith's Pokédex. "Snorlax is extremely lazy, merely eating and sleeping all the time. It gradually becomes lazier as its rotund bulk builds, though it also has immense energy to expend in battle."

"Alright," Keith stated, producing a Great Ball off of his belt and enlarging it to full size. "I'm counting on you, Fatale." And he threw the ball. "Go!"

This time, it was the Shiny Beautifly who had emerged. "Beau-u-u-u-utifly-y-y-y-y-y!" trilled Fatale as blue stars swirled around her body. She seemed rather startled by the presence of a crowd, but by no means did they intimidate her.

"Beautifly, huh?" smirked Autumn. "Unexpected, but I can deal with it. Snorlax, Smack Down!"

"Dodge that!" Keith exclaimed, though even as he spoke, Fatale was soaring above the glowing rock Snorlax had spewed out at her.

"I'm not impressed!" stated Autumn. "Use Flamethrower!"

"Fatale, use Flash now!" Keith commanded. in response, Fatale dove down and out of the way of the oncoming flames. She then lit up her entire body to blind the Snorlax, though to Keith this seemed almost like an afterthought to her. Nevertheless, the sight of Snorlax clutching its face, grunting in pain, elicited a sadistic chuckle from the Shiny Beautifly.

"Beautifly's managed to dazzle Snorlax with a Flash attack," said the emcee. "Snorlax had better be careful how it aims its next attacks!"

"Oh, we will be," promised Autumn. "Snorlax, cover the entire battlefield! Icy Wind attack!"

"Fatale, use Defog to counter!" Keith ordered. This time, however, Fatale seemed to have other ideas. She instead spat a Toxic at Snorlax, but the Poison move didn't seem to have any effect. "What?!" Keith exclaimed in disbelief as Autumn snorted with laughter at this development.

"Now what's this?" asked the emcee as Snorlax unleashed Icy Wind. "Beautifly just ignored its Trainer's commands and used Toxic instead of Defog! Moreover, it seems Autumn's Snorlax has the Ability of Immunity, preventing Toxic from working!"

"Fatale, what was that?!" Keith exclaimed. But before anything else could be said, the Icy Wind washed over Fatale. She shivered uncontrollably as the frigid move slowed her down, but this only further enraged her. That Snorlax would feed her for several months, easily- maybe even longer if kept alive- and she intended to see to it that this theory of her's got its chance to be proven.

"Too easy," smirked Autumn. "Snorlax, Smack Down!"

"It's still blinded from the Flash! Dodge it!" Keith ordered. Fatale did as ordered this time, though Keith couldn't help but notice that she didn't seem to have been waiting on his order- she was already flying up before he'd given the order to dodge. The eternal optimism within Keith wanted to believe this was due to the two of them being completely in sync, but then, the incident with Toxic shattered that hope thoroughly, didn't it? "Fatale, now!" Keith added once the Smack Down was successfully evaded. "Slow it down in return! Electroweb!"

"Beau-u-u-u-utifly-y-y-y-y!" Fatale shook her head in disagreement. An Electroweb? No. Surely a harsher blow than that would be necessary. She dove down towards Snorlax, body glowing harshly as she prepared for a Double-Edge attack.

"Fatale, no!" Keith exclaimed.

"We got it! Flamethrower!" commanded Autumn.

"LAAAAAAAAAX!" Snorlax rumbled, firing a stream of flame directly at the oncoming Beautifly. She was blasted backwards by the attack, making it necessary for Keith to catch her in his arms. She flew out of his arms almost immediately, glaring at him.

"Now don't give me that," Keith said sternly to Fatale. "That happened because you got in close- I knew Snorlax would try that, why do you think I didn't have you go for Double-Edge or something like that?"

"Fly-y-y-y-y-y!" Fatale trilled, unfurling her long, pointy mouth. She didn't look any less irritated.

Keith folded his arms. "You've been the feared vampire of Cadaver Forest for many years, Fatale," he stated. "But you're not in the forest anymore. You no longer have that element of surprise you've always relied on. What you do have, is a knowledgeable and skilled Trainer on your side. How could I not be with all the moves I've helped you learn? Huh? Half the moves you know today you didn't know the day I caught you, and you know it. Look, Fatale... I want us to work as a team. I know you're not used to the idea yet, but together we can take down way stronger opponents than you've ever faced. Such as that Snorlax." He paused. Fatale was eyeing him intently, but she seemed to at least be willing to let him speak, so he continued. "Remember when we battled Hydreigon? Remember how every order I gave you just so happened to line up with what you were thinking, and remember how you beat the Hydreigon? That's no coincidence. I knew what I was doing in that battle, and I know what I'm doing here. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. All I ask is you give me the chance to prove it. Someone very important to me once told me- Actions speak louder than words. So what do you say? Just give it a try for this battle, and see what a difference it'll make, alright?"

Fatale took in Keith's words. True enough, she was used to working alone, her own thoughts being the only commands she'd ever followed. And true enough, back when this man's orders happened to line up with her own thoughts, that Hydreigon had fallen, and now that they were of differing opinions, this Snorlax was not. It was possible, then, she supposed, that perhaps he was a bit more than just a source of food and new attacks. Perhaps... perhaps listening to him would be worth her while after all? The idea still didn't sit especially well with her, but she figured, considering how badly she'd been doing... what did she have to lose by giving it a shot?

"Fly," she stated at last, nodding curtly. Though her expression didn't change (not that ever changed very much to begin with), the look in her eyes looked slightly softer.

Keith smiled. "Then let's do it," he said. "Just relax, do as I say, and we'll win this!"

As Fatale flew back onto the battlefield, the referee spoke up. "The battle will now resume!" he said.

"No, the battle will now end!" declared Autumn. "Smack Down!"

"Dodge it and use Harden!" Keith ordered. Immediately, Fatale flew off to the left, and her entire body stiffened for a moment, increasing her Defense.

"That'll only get you so far!" exclaimed Autumn. "Snorlax, Icy Wind!"

"Counter with Defog!" Keith retorted.

And this time, Fatale's wings glowed a bright blue. She flapped her wings, sending powerful bursts of wind flying towards the Icy Wind. Sure enough, Defog won out, and the frigid attack was blown back onto Snorlax. And since it had Immunity, and not Thick Fat, the Normal-type really felt the attack's effects. This elicited a sadistic chuckle from Fatale, as it registered in her mind that Keith must have known it would work like that.

"It seems as though Beautifly is now listening to its Trainer!" said the emcee. "This battle isn't over yet, folks!"

"Alright, let's do this!" declared Keith. "Infestation attack!"

"Flamethrower!" exclaimed Autumn, but Fatale was quicker- she unfurled her mouth, firing a whole swarm of glowing green gnats right at Snorlax. The persistent, pestilent pests buzzed all around Snorlax, dealing minor damage and preventing it from moving at all. Fatale was thoroughly enjoying Snorlax's obvious discomfort here as it flailed its fat arms at the insects.

"Follow up with Struggle Bug!" commanded Keith.

"Beautifly-y-y-y-y-y!" trilled Fatale. A red aura came over her body, and she unleashed a pulse of red energy. Snorlax grunted as the Bug-type move washed over it, and its Special Attack was lowered.

"Gah... Snorlax, get out of there!" Autumn exclaimed. "Burn them all up with Flamethrower now!"

"Do it!" Keith called. "Fly above Snorlax and let loose your Stun Spore!"

"Beau-u-u-u-utifly!" replied Fatale. She soared above Snorlax, who was roasting the bugs with Flamethrower, and scattered a glittering golden powder down onto the Sleeping Pokémon. A lot of the Stun Spore was burned up by the Flamethrower, but Snorlax couldn't help but breathe in some of it, since its attack was aimed at the Infestation instead of the Stun Spore, or the source of the Stun Spore. Snorlax's muscles locked up at that point, and the Infestation continued its assault.

Keith saw the chance- Fatale was now situated directly behind Snorlax, who was now paralyzed and unable to react very quickly anymore. "Now! Use Double-Edge!" he ordered.

"Snorlax, Beautifly's right behind you!" exclaimed Autumn. "Use Thunderbolt!"

But it was no good- Snorlax was unable to fight the paralysis, and thus the Double-Edge went unopposed this time. Fatale slammed into Snorlax's back, tipping over the precariously positioned paralyzed Pokémon, who fell forward onto his stomach.

"Get up! Get up! GET UP!" Autumn was screaming. "Use Smack Down and GET THIS OVER WITH!!!"

"I don't think so! Fatale, Hyper Beam!" Keith grinned.

"Beau-u-u-utiFLY-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y-Y!!!" Fatale trilled savagely as she unfurled her long mouth and unleashed from it an impossibly huge and powerful purple-black beam of pure destructive force. There was an explosion as the Hyper Beam hit Snorlax, and when the dust settled, the referee had a call to make.

"Snorlax is unable to battle!" he declared. "Keith and Beautifly win, and thus move on to the final round!"

"Astonishing!" the emcee declared amid the crowd's wild cheering. "After that pep talk, Beautifly started listening to its Trainer, and they turned this battle around but good! Keith Masters will be moving on to the final round now- this tournament is far from decided just yet, folks!"

"Fatale, you were great!" Keith grinned as the Shiny Beautifly approached him. "So, what do you say? Listening to me, it made a difference, didn't it?"

"Fly! Beau-u-u-utifly!" nodded Fatale. There was a new look in her eyes... it was respect, Keith realized. And indeed, Fatale had started to come to accept the notion that Keith's orders were worth listening to. This victory was irrefutable proof- the man really did know his stuff. Taking orders from someone still felt odd, but that amazing victory over the Snorlax, not to mention all the ways Fatale had been able to make it suffer, that helped with that significantly.


"At last! The time has come for the final round!" the emcee was exclaiming later on. "We are down to two Trainers- on one end, we have last year's champion, Steve Surge of Vermilion City, Kanto, whose Shiny Raichu has single-handedly plowed through all opposition thus far! And on the other end, we have a newcomer to this tournament, Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town, Hoenn, whose Shiny Slowbro and Beautifly have been wowing us all so far.

"I hear you're good," grinned Steve- he looked about as old as Keith, and sported wild, spiky blond hair. "Let's see just how good, though- I've seen challengers in Dad's Gym make it through his Electric-types despite type disadvantages, so let's see what your Pokémon are capable of."

"Right!" Keith nodded. He was a little surprised- from the sound of things, Steve must be the son of famed Vermilion Gym Leader Lt. Surge. But by no means was he going to let said surprise deter him any. Even if both his Shinies were weak to Electric. He threw the Great Ball once more. "Let's go, Fatale!" he exclaimed.

In response, Steve tossed a Poké Ball. "Go, Raichu!" he exclaimed.

Keith eyed the Raichu that appeared before Steve. Its body was a darker shade of orange than was usual for the species, of course. He took out his Pokédex and aimed it at the Electric-type.

"Raichu, the Mouse Pokémon, and the evolved form of Pikachu," said the Pokédex. "When electricity builds up in Raichu's body, its muscles are stimulated, making it more feisty and aggressive than usual. Due to a weak electrical charge it exudes all over its body, Raichu glows in the dark."

The referee was ready to proceed. "Raichu vs. Beautifly- let the battle begin!" he exclaimed.

"Raichu! Thunderbolt!" commanded Steve.

"Use Electroweb to counter!" exclaimed Keith.

Fatale needed to act fast, and so she did- she spewed an electrified ball of string which quickly unfurled into a huge Electroweb. The Thunderbolt struck the Electroweb, but the web seemed to absorb the electricity, upping its own power. Raichu cried out as the Electroweb fell onto it, slowing it down with the added power of its own Thunderbolt.

"A shocking move as Keith and Beautifly counter Thunderbolt with Electroweb!" declared the emcee. "A promising start for Mr. Masters!"

"Let's keep it up!" Keith declared. "String Shot, let's go!"

"Raichu! Agility!" exclaimed Steve. He saw what Keith intended to do, and sought to prevent it. Alas, the Speed decrease from Electroweb was doing its job- before Raichu could begin to use Agility, Fatale had already launched String Shot. Sticky strands of string had bound Raichu, and it had even tripped over. It was struggling to get back up, and managed to break free from the Electroweb, though the String Shot was still causing it problems.

"OK, Fatale, use Toxic right now!" Keith urged his Shiny Beautifly.

"Dodge with Quick Attack!" ordered Steve. And this time, Raichu was able to dart out of the way of Toxic. But this did not deter Fatale, who kept repeating the attack, intent on making Raichu suffer. And this paid off, as the third Toxic was indeed the charm.

"Yes!" grinned Keith. "Now let's use Venoshock!"

"Raichu, Bide!" Steve ordered. Raichu closed its eyes and focused, not even flinching as the powerful Venoshock washed over its body, inflicting horrific damage.

Keith gritted his teeth- he was quite fond of the move Bide himself, so he was very familiar with it- after Raichu took another hit, it would then unleash energy, dealing twice the damage that it took since starting to store up energy. Fatale was thinking another Venoshock, but Keith was thinking differently- even with the power boost from the poisoning, it still wouldn't be as strong as... and they needed to use their most powerful option here and now if they had any hope of pulling this out. Moreover, this needed to happen quickly, before Raichu could double the damage it had already taken- even just that much would knock Fatale out. Or... would it? Keith realized- Fatale hadn't actually taken any damage yet in this battle. Perhaps... But could she? Keith looked at Fatale- yes, he realized. She could. He believed in Fatale.

"Fatale, Flash!" he ordered. This elicited surprised murmurs from the crowd, and Fatale turned back to look at him. He gave her a reassuring smile. "Trust me," he said.

Much as she wanted to blast Raichu with Venoshock here and now, Fatale nodded. She emitted a blinding Flash, which managed to force its way between Raichu's closed eyelids, albeit with much less effectiveness than the move would normally have. Then, as the Flash faded, Raichu's eyes opened wide.

"Big mistake! Now! Raichu!" exclaimed Steve. "DOUBLE THE DAMAGE!!"

"Raaaiiii... CHUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!" Raichu bellowed, unleashing a colossal beam of energy. Fatale tried to dodge it, but was unsuccessful. However, as the attack subsided... Fatale was still in the air! The attack had weakened her significantly, but as Keith had known, Raichu hadn't absorbed enough power to outright one-hit KO Fatale.

"Unbelievable!" the emcee exclaimed. "What initially seemed like a bad move on Keith's part ended up keeping his Beautifly in the battle! Talk about skill!"

"Oh, it was no mistake!" Keith grinned. "I knew Fatale could withstand that much damage! Another attack would only have sealed our fate! Fatale, Attract!"

Fatale flapped her wings, scattering a number of dark pink hearts and sending them flying towards Raichu. Before either Steve or Raichu could react, the hearts had passed into Raichu's body, and now he seemed entranced by the sight of Fatale- yes, he, for it was clear that Steve's Raichu was a male.

"Oh, come on! Raichu, snap out of it!" Steve exclaimed. "Volt Tackle, go!"

"Not happening!" grinned Keith. "Fatale! Venoshock!"

Sure enough, Raichu didn't even attempt Volt Tackle, so entranced by the beautiful Beautifly was he. The searing pain of the Venoshock, however, seemed to snap him right out of it. Fatale gave a sadistic laugh at the look on Raichu's face.

"Let's finish this!" Keith declared. "Signal Beam!"

"Thunderbolt!" Steve ordered.

This time, Raichu did not hesitate to attack. And neither did Fatale- the Signal Beam and Thunderbolt collided, though given how slow Raichu was made by Fatale's earlier attacks, the collision was much closer to Raichu. And Fatale wasn't giving an inch- she poured more power into the Signal Beam, until the Bug and Electric moves exploded. Fatale was able to fly above the blast, but Raichu was caught up in it right away. A dust cloud was billowing on the battlefield, and Fatale's wing flapping helped it clear away that much quicker to reveal...

"...Raichu is unable to battle!" the referee ruled. "Beautifly is the winner, which means that our winner this year is Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town!"

"YES!" Keith cheered. Fatale did not join in on the cheering, though she did have a look in her eyes that suggested that she, too, was pleased with this outcome.


"I still can't believe it," Meowth was saying as Keith was walking home, Greenmuk City disappearing in the distance behind them both. "Youse and Fatale really did it."

"Didn't I tell you this was a good idea?" grinned Keith. "How's that for a good day? IWon the tournament, earned the respect of my Shiny Beautifly, and I even won that Shiny Charm they had as the prize."

"Where is it? Lemme see," said Meowth.

"Yeah, well... I kinda gave it away," Keith replied sheepishly. "You remember that Irwin guy, right? I figured this would help with his confidence, so I gave it to him. He needed it more than me, I think."

Meowth stared at Keith. "I dunno whether yer really generous or really stupid," he stated, sounding torn between exasperation and approval.

Keith shrugged (nearly jostling Meowth off his shoulder in the process). "Might be both," he chuckled. "But yeah- let's get home, Meowth. Dudley and Fatale deserve a big meal after today."

"As long as I ain't a part o' Fatale's meal, I'm all fer dat," Meowth nodded in agreement.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 09-18-2016 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 09-27-2016, 09:46 PM   #77
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The Full Battle

It was another normal morning at Keith's Secret Base. Ginny was standing guard outside the front door, keeping a wary eye out for anyone who looked even the least bit suspicious. Of course, to Ginny, pretty much everyone fit that description. And then, her eyes narrowed as she spotted the man approaching the Secret Base. Orange shirt, messy brown hair- she'd seen this man before, and every time she saw him, she'd seen Keith showing displeasure at his presence.

Ginny sprang up, suspending herself in midair by using Magnet Rise, and dove down towards Ralph McPhione, brandishing her blades threateningly. "Halt!" she exclaimed. "You are not welcome here!"

Inside the Secret Base, Meowth turned to Keith. "Oy," he sighed. "It sounds like dere's someone comin' ta visit," he stated. "We betta go see- remember dat PokéGear salesman?"

"All too well," Keith replied grimly, standing up. "Let's go."


"H-hey, whoa, hold up," Ralph was saying, trying to convince the Pawniard he meant no harm. "Look, I'm just here to visit Keith, you don't have to-"

"Silence!" interrupted Ginny, pointing her right hand blade at Ralph's neck. "Allow my Trainer's archnemesis into his house? I wasn't hatched yesterday! Visit- HAH! No, it's far more likely you wish to eliminate the competition, since you know you pale in comparison to him as a Trainer. Well, not only is that not happening, but I'm also not liking your chances of getting out of here with your life! You got exactly eleven seconds to convince me to not run you through and rip out your-"

"Ginny, stand down!" Keith exclaimed, bursting through the front door. At this, the Pawniard spun around and saluted her Trainer, though kept a mistrustful eye on Ralph all the while.

"Sir!" Ginny greeted Keith. "I have apprehended the Dragon Trainer McPhione, no doubt in an attempt on your own life. Requesting permission to violently eliminate the threat."

But Keith was shaking his head. "Ginny, it's fine," he assured the Dark/Steel-type. "I thought I told you, Ralph and I are cool now. Hey, Ralph," he added.

"Hey, man," Ralph replied as he and Keith shook hands. Ginny was speechless at this- last she saw, the two of them hated each other! True, Meowth had told her that Keith and Ralph had since become friends, but she didn't actually believe it! "So, uh, your Pawniard here-"

"Don't worry about Ginny," Keith reassured Ralph. "She's very big on security, and... more than a little paranoid. Sometimes a dangerous combination, but she does keep this place safe. Ginny, we'll be fine," he added.

"Pawniard," nodded Ginny. Saluting her Trainer once more, the Pawniard then flew off.

"She ever kill anyone before?" Ralph asked, sounding a little nervous.

Keith looked to make sure Ginny was out of earshot before answering. "She thinks she did once," he replied. "Long story- guy was trying to kill me, Ginny got him. Later on, I found out he made it, but Ginny was in her ball at the time. I haven't had the heart to tell her she didn't really kill the guy."

"Ah," nodded Ralph. "Hey, so, I was in the area, and I figured I'd swing by. How's it going?"

"Not bad, not bad," Keith nodded. "I actually won this year's annual Shiny Battle Competition over in Greenmuk City. Gave the Shiny Charm to a friend of mine, though- I'm no Shiny hunter anyway."

"Yeah? That's pretty cool," grinned Ralph. "So, what do you say to a battle?"

Keith grinned back. "I say let's do this," he agreed. "What are you thinking, one-on-one? Three-on-three?"

"Actually," said Ralph. "I was thinking maybe we have a full six-on-six battle. I get the feeling we're long overdue for that sort of thing, y'know?"

"Yeah, I get what you mean," Keith agreed. "Alright, then. Let's do this."


Half an hour later, they were ready to go. Keith had allowed Ralph use of his PC to make a change to his team, while Keith himself selected the six Pokémon he wanted to use for this. As he made the selection, he registered the fact that this would be his first time going up against Ralph McPhione since the two of them became friends. This battle was gonna just be a friendly competition between two friendly rivals, as opposed to a means to prove himself to someone who had no respect for his skills as a Trainer. But even so, Keith was no more willing to hold back. He was gonna give this battle his all, as he knew Ralph would.

And soon, they were ready. Meowth stood off to the side as the rivals faced each other in front of Keith's Secret Base, in that clearing that was so perfect for holding battles. "Dis will be a full six-on-six battle between Keith Masters and Ralph McPhione!" Meowth declared. "Now let da battle begin!"

"I warn you, Keith," grinned Ralph, preparing a Safari Ball. "We might be friends now, but I'm not holding back!"

"I wouldn't have it any other way," Keith grinned back, a Poké Ball at the ready. "Let's do this!"

"Now!" Ralph replied, throwing the Safari Ball. "Tyrantrum, stand by!"

Keith threw his Poké Ball as well. "Let's go, Bart!" he exclaimed.

From Keith's ball emerged his abnormally large Scrafty, standing at a relatively impressive five feet tall, and wearing his trademark Black Glasses. And yet, still dwarfed by what Ralph had sent out. A gigantic rocky beast who roared loudly from his massive jaws. Keith pointed his Pokédex at this creature.

"Tyrantrum, the Despot Pokémon, and the evolved form of Tyrunt," said Keith's Pokédex. "Tyrantrum's gargantuan jaws are able to shred thick metal plates like tissue paper. With this sort of power, Tyrantrum was invincible in the ancient world it inhabited 100 million years ago, so it behaved like a king."

"Geez," Keith murmured. "I guess his Tyrunt evolved!"

"Scrafty," nodded Bart.

"Alright- Tyrantrum, use Dragon Pulse!" Ralph ordered.

"We'll use Dragon Pulse as well!" Keith exclaimed.

"Rantrum!" roared Tyrantrum, unleashing a pale blue orb of energy from its huge jaws.

"Scrrrrafty!" Bart exclaimed, firing off an identical orb. The Dragon Pulse attacks collided in midair. Evenly matched, the clash of the two Dragon moves resulted in a small explosion that harmed neither side.

"Use Dragon Dance!" Keith ordered.

"You use Dragon Dance, too!" Ralph commanded.

Once again, the combatants executed identical moves. The red auras faded away, leaving them still evenly matched.

"Now! Use Dragon Claw!" Ralph ordered.

"Iron Defense!" Keith commanded.

This time, instead of matching Tyrantrum's move, Bart went on the defensive. He pulled up his baggy "pants" in front of him, and the makeshift trousers took on a metallic gleam. A loud metallic clang could be heard as Tyrantrum's Dragon Claw landed, and Bart, while pushed backwards, didn't look too bothered, the move having successfully increased his Defense, and quite sharply as well.

"Not bad," grinned Ralph. "But let's see how you like our Poison Fang attack!"

"Now, Bart!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Dragon Pulse!"

"Scrrrrafty!" Bart replied, shooting another Dragon Pulse- this time, into Tyrantrum's open mouth. The Despot Pokémon staggered backwards, coughing and spluttering.

"Tyrantrum!" exclaimed Ralph.

"Bart! Now's our chance!" Keith called. "High Jump Kick, let's go!"

Bart grinned and charged forward. His right knee glowed with vicious red energy, and he lunged at Tyrantrum, landing a powerful super effective blow. The Rock/Dragon-type collapsed to the ground with an earth-shaking crash, and when the dust settled, Meowth had a call to make.

"Tyrantrum is unable ta battle!" he ruled. "Bart wins!"

"Nice one, Bart!" Keith grinned, exchanging a fistbump with his Scrafty as Ralph withdrew Tyrantrum.

"I gotta say, that was pretty good," grinned Ralph. "Why's your Scrafty so big, though? I thought they weren't that tall, but yours looks like it's, like, five foot tall or something."

"Long story," Keith replied. "He wasn't always this tall, I'll say that much right now. Tyrantrum's gotten pretty good. And I notice you're using Poison moves now?" he added with a grin.

"Heh, yeah," nodded Ralph. "And speaking of which, here's the next one," he added, at which point Keith noticed the Rocket Ball he held. "Swalot, stand by!" Ralph exclaimed, throwing the Rocket Ball.

Keith couldn't help but smile- Ralph had sent out the Swalot he'd gotten back at that Team Rocket hideout, the one who used to belong to Team Rocket Executive Remy. "OK, Bart, you ready?" asked Keith.

"Scrrrafty!" nodded Bart.

"We'll see if you're ready!" retorted Ralph. "Swalot, use Sludge!"

"Block it!" Keith ordered. And indeed, by pulling up his "pants" once again, Bart was able to deflect the steam of vile purple gunk Swalot was firing from its mouth.

"Block this!" grinned Ralph. "Earthquake!"

"Swaaa... LOT!" Swalot exclaimed, jumping up and slamming its amorphous form into the ground. Bart struggled to stand as shockwaves coursed throughout the battlefield.

"Bart! Can you still battle?" Keith asked.

"Sccrrr... Scrafty!" nodded Bart, managing to stand back up.

"Yes!" grinned Keith. "Now use Iron Head!"

"Power-Up Punch!" commanded Ralph.

Bart and Swalot charged towards each other. Bart's crest was aglow with a metallic gleam, while Swalot's right fist had an intense red glow to it. The attacks made contact, and while Bart seemed to have the upper hand, Swalot's attack had the type advantage. In the end, both Pokémon were blasted backwards by each other's moves, both of them having sustained heavy damage. Keith was a little surprised that Bart had taken such damage from a Power-Up Punch. Even with the weakness to Fighting, Bart was still protected by Iron Defense.

"Heh. That Power-Up Punch seemed to have been a critical hit!" grinned Ralph. "Swalot, finish this! Body Slam!"

"Bart! Giga Impact!" Keith ordered.

Once again, the adversaries charged at each other, with Bart's body surrounded by purple and yellow streaks of swirling energy. However, at the last second, Swalot jumped! Bart stumbled, and the Giga Impact failed. And then, Swalot landed right on top of Bart. The Scrafty's struggling did not last long before Swalot climbed off, leaving Meowth free to make the ruling.

"Bart's unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Swalot's da winner!"

"Come back now, Bart," Keith said, withdrawing his Scrafty. "Get a good rest, you did great."

"So, what do you think of me and Swalot?" grinned Ralph.

Keith grinned back. "I gotta say, you two make quite the team," he nodded. "Doing pretty good."

"I'll take that as high praise, coming from you," said Ralph.

"Well, here's the thing, now," Keith replied, another Poké Ball at the ready. "I know quite a bit about Poison-types, which means I think I know exactly what to do against your Swalot." And he threw the ball. "Let's go, Hermione!" he exclaimed as his Weedle materialized before him.

Ralph arched an eyebrow at the sight of the Weedle. Visually, it wasn't especially impressive. A bit larger than your average Weedle, maybe, and the tail stinger was jet black. Not to mention there was somehow a look of intense determination in her eyes as she bowed politely to her opponent (her head stinger catching the sunlight in the process). But... what could a Weedle even do? "A Weedle?" he murmured. "Swalot, be careful- he's gotta have something up his sleeve," he advised the Poison Bag Pokémon."

"Swa," nodded Swalot.

Keith grinned. "Let's serve 'em up a heaping helping of defeat!" he exclaimed. "Hermione, use Chocolate Magic!"

"Weedle Weedle... WEEEEDLE!" Hermione exclaimed, charging up an orb of molten chocolate and launching it at the Swalot. With a hungry look, Swalot swallowed the molten chocolate whole.

"Heh, bad move," chuckled Ralph.

"Oh, is it?" grinned Keith. "Hermione, again!"

"Weedle! Weedle! Weedle!" Hermione exclaimed, firing Chocolate Magic after Chocolate Magic. Swalot happily swallowed each and every one, taking in more calories than damage.

"Heh... I don't know what you think this is gonna achieve," chuckled Ralph. "But mealtime's over. Swalot, Shadow Ball!"

"Counter with Shadow Claw!" Keith ordered.

"Weedle!" exclaimed Hermione. A vicious shadowy aura came over her jet-black tail stinger, and she swung her tail, stabbing the Shadow Ball with the tail stinger. The Ghost moves cancelled each other out, and now Ralph looked mildly impressed.

"OK, not bad," conceded Ralph.

"Time for the final course!" Keith grinned. "Hermione! Chocolate Bomb!"

"Dodge it!" said Ralph.

However, Swalot had no intention of dodging it. After enjoying several delicious helpings of chocolate from this Weedle, Swalot was in the mood for even more, and seeing a big heart-shaped piece of chocolate flying its way, it couldn't resist. Swalot opened its mouth and swallowed the Chocolate Bomb whole. And that was the attack's cue to detonate- the blast inflated Swalot slightly, causing damage from within. Nothing too serious, of course, but Swalot now looked dazed, and for the first time in this battle, Hermione had dealt some real damage.

"Swalot!" Ralph exclaimed.

"Do it, Hermione!" Keith grinned. "Use Ice Beam!"

"Weeeeedle!" Hermione replied, unleashing a powerful beam of frigid energy from her head stinger. Swalot, too dazed to dodge, took the Ice move head-on. Not only did it inflict damage, but it also caused chunks of ice to form on Swalot's body, inhibiting its movement.

"No! It's frozen!" grunted Ralph.

"Let's wrap this up!" declared Keith. "Hidden Power!"

"Weedle Weedle Weedle Weedle... WEEEDLE!" Hermione exclaimed. She charged up several earthy orbs of Ground energy, and fired them at Swalot. The super effective move was more than the Poison-type could take, and it collapsed to the ground.

"Swalot is unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Hermione wins!"

"Man," sighed Ralph as he withdrew Swalot. "Did... What... How did... What even just happened there?"

Keith grinned. "Swalot can't resist a snack," he replied. "So I had Hermione feed yours a few Chocolate Magics, so that when she switched to Chocolate Bomb, Swalot would have been too hungry to dodge it. When the blast stunned it, I saw my chance, and I went for it."

"Damn," murmured Ralph. He sounded impressed. "But... How does your Weedle know Ice Beam and Hidden Power?"

"I've been training with Hermione for a long time," Keith stated. "Believe me, when you got a Weedle who wants to learn as many moves as possible but doesn't want to evolve, you find ways to get it done.

"That's kinda cool," admitted Ralph. "But," he added, producing a Dusk Ball, "Let's see how far that gets you! Hydreigon, stand by!" he exclaimed

Hermione looked up at the fierce Hydreigon Ralph had just sent out. She didn't seem scared- in fact, she seemed more intent on studying how the Dark/Dragon-type moved. She looked ready for the battle, far more ready than Weedle generally look.

"Ready, Hermione?" said Keith.

Hermione nodded. "Weedle!" she replied.

"Hydreigon! Head Smash!" ordered Ralph.

"Wait for it..." Keith murmured. He and Hermione were both eyeing Hydreigon intently as it dove down towards the Bug/Poison-type. "Wait for it.. NOW!" he exclaimed. "String Shot!"

"Weedle!" grunted Hermione. She fired a strand of sticky string, landing it right on Hydreigon's middle neck.

"Now reel yourself in and get on its back!" grinned Keith.

"Hydreigon, shake it off!" exclaimed Ralph.

But Hydreigon was unable to shake Hermione off. The Weedle reeled in the String Shot, and by swinging her body back and forth as she did so, she managed to swing herself around Hydreigon and onto its back. "Now! Use Bug Bite!" commanded Keith.

"Weeeedle!" Hermione responded. She opened her mouth, revealing a row of glowing green teeth, which she promptly sank into Hydreigon's flesh. Hydreigon roared its displeasure at the super effective move.

"Hydreigon, throw that Weedle off of you!" called Ralph.

"Not happening!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Blizzard!"

Hermione hung on tightly, in direct defiance of Hydregion's repeated attempts to shake her. In response, her head stinger glowed a pale blue, and she unleashed a howling snowstorm. Hydreigon roared, diving towards the ground in an effort to get her off... and finally, Hermione was thrown to the ground. She was still able to battle, but the fall had caused decent damage.

"Now! Flamethrower!" ordered Ralph.

"Hermione!" Keith exclaimed, but too late- Hydreigon unleashed the Fire move faster than Keith could order any sort of counterattack, and the results were quite predictable.

"Hermione is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Hydreigon wins!"

"Alright, Hermione, take a good rest," Keith stated as he withdrew his Weedle. "You did great."

"She really did do great," nodded Ralph. "I gotta say, I never expected to have that much trouble taking on a Weedle."

"Well, that's Hermione for you," grinned Keith. "She's good like that. Alright," he added, preparing another Poké Ball. "Gonna have a type disadvantage here, but I got faith in the guy." And he threw the ball. "Peeves, let's go!" he exclaimed.

The Dusknoir appeared in a flash of light. He took one look at the Hydreigon flying overhead, and turned to face Keith. "You gotta be kidding me," he said flatly.

"Oh, you'll be fine, Peeves," Keith assured the Ghost-type. "Type isn't everything, and you're still a Fighting-type at heart. Now let's show them how it's done!"

"Alright," nodded Peeves. He turned back to face the opposition. Ralph was a little taken aback by the fact that this Dusknoir could speak, but recovered remarkably quickly.

"Hydreigon, use Dark Pulse!" ordered Ralph.

"Peeves! Go up!" Keith commanded.

With the hovering capabilities Peeves was more than happy to have regained as of his most recent evolution, the Dusknoir soared up, evading the Dark Pulse. He was now level with Hydreigon.

"Go in for a Crunch!" said Ralph.

"Don't let it!" retorted Keith. "Disable!"

Peeves's eye glowed a bright blue. The oncoming Hydreigon was frozen in place. "It won't hold long!" Peeves called down to Keith. "You got a strategy, this would be the time!"

Keith nodded. "I do indeed!" he confirmed. "Peeves, use Focus Punch!"

"Hydreigon, get out of there!" exclaimed Ralph, but no good- Hydreigon was utterly immobile as Peeves slowly charged up massive amounts of energy into his right fist. Such a delicate procedure was this that taking any damage during the charging period would completely prevent the attack's execution. It was for this reason that holding Hydreigon with Disable was necessary. And just as the Disable's hold broke, Peeves charged forward, slamming his fist into Hydreigon's gut with great force. Hydreigon was slammed into the ground, but was able to get back up.

"Nice, Peeves!" Keith grinned. "Now use your Ice Beam attack!"

"Flamethrower!" commanded Ralph.

Ice Beam and Flamethrower clashed in midair, the latter being fired from Hydreigon's middle head's mouth, the latter coming out of Peeves's eye. And type advantage started to win out- Flamethrower started to overpower Ice Beam, and the attacks exploded, blasting Peeves backwards. "Peeves!" Keith exclaimed, but the Dusknoir was quick to recover. "Alright- now use Drain Punch!" he ordered.

"Have a Crunch attack ready and waiting, Hydreigon!" said Ralph.

The combatants clashed once more with super effective moves. And as much as Peeves tried, Hydreigon appeared to have the upper hand, forcing the Ghost-type to back off. "Gah," grunted Peeves. "That's tough!"

"Damn straight," grinned Ralph. "Hydreigon, use Crunch once more!"

Keith gritted his teeth as Hydreigon flew in, closing in on Peeves. Going head-to-head with that Crunch, as Peeves just demonstrated, was a bad idea. A different approach was needed... an approach Peeves might be familiar with. One that one might expect to see more out of a Fighting-type than out of a Ghost-type. Which would be fortunate for Peeves, considering he was a Machop when he was alive. "Use Bind!" Keith ordered.

Peeves, arms stretched out to either side, flew at Hydreigon. At the last minute, Peeves altered his course, flying above Hydreigon instead of into it, and wrapped his powerful arms around Hydreigon, using his formidable power to hold the Dark/Dragon-type, who was already squirming and struggling.

"Get out of there now, Hydreigon!" Ralph exclaimed.

Keith was grinning- this was over. "Peeves! Seismic Toss!" he commanded.

Peeves flew up into the air, still securing the squirming Hydreigon in his arms. He started to fly in circles, going faster and faster each time, flying as though he was circling the entire planet. And then, he went into a dive, headed straight for the ground, but before he could crash, he heaved Hydreigon straight down, slamming the Dark/Dragon-type into the ground with a crash that shook the battlefield. The resultant dust cloud took a few minutes to settle down, but Meowth found the call an easy one to make. "Hydreigon's unable ta battle!" he ruled. "Peeves is da winner!"

Ralph gave a low whistle as he withdrew Hydreigon. "I'm impressed," he admitted. "Battling that Dusknoir felt like battling a Fighting-type!"

"Not surprising," nodded Keith. "Peeves here actually used to be a Machop when he was alive."

"Cool," nodded Ralph. "Well, let's see how your Dusknoir fares against this!" he added, throwing a second Safari Ball. "Dragonite, stand by!"

Ralph's Dragonite materialized in a flash of light, eyeing up the Dusknoir that was to be its opponent. "Peeves, careful," Keith advised the Gripper Pokémon. "That Dragonite's tough."

The Dusknoir nodded. "It's a Dragonite. I'd expect nothing less," he replied.

"Use Dragon Dance!" commanded Ralph.

"Peeves! Ice Punch!" Keith ordered.

Peeves flew in, his right fist covered in ice, but before he could land the powerful punching move, Dragonite had finished the Dragon Dance. Spreading his wings wide, Dragonite took flight, deftly evading what would have been a super effective blow.

"Bring it right back down, Peeves!" ordered Keith. "Use Gravity!" Peeves responded by taking on a pink aura. He suddenly felt heavier- incapable of hovering more than a foot or two off the ground.

But Ralph was grinning. "I had a feeling you might try that!" he said. "Dragon Rush!"

"Wha-" Keith began, before realizing Ralph's plan- Dragonite would be forced down to the ground by the intensified gravity, which in turn would give him one shot at a gravity-assisted Dragon Rush! "Peeves- right above you! Ice Beam!" he ordered.

But even as Peeves looked up, Dragonite was already bearing down on him, cloaked in a menacing aura. Already a powerful move, the effects of Gravity forced Dragonite to fall even faster and hit even harder, which in turn meant the Dragon Rush Peeves took head-on was much stronger than usual. And then there was Dragonite's use of Dragon Dance to consider. With all of these factors, what Meowth said next came as relatively little surprise.

"Peeves is unable ta battle!" he ruled. "Dragonite wins!"

"Peeves, return," said Keith as he withdrew the Dusknoir. "Man," he added. "Using Gravity to power up Dragon Rush- I gotta remember that one."

"Not bad, huh?" grinned Ralph.

"Not bad at all," nodded Keith, grinning back. "But let's see how you handle this next one without Dragonite being able to fly," he added, producing an Ice Ball and throwing it. "Let's go, Lenny!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, Keith's Weavile materialized, grinning at the sight of the formidable Dragonite before him. "Weaviii!" exclaimed Lenny.

Ralph raised his eyebrows at the sight of the brown and blue Weavile. "Wha- I didn't think Sneasel or Weavile could even be found with that color scheme anymore," he remarked.

"Lenny here came from a family of Sneasel isolated up in the Clawmark Mountain Range," explained Keith. "He's actually pretty lucky- his Egg managed to survive the rockslide earlier this year. Alright, Lenny, ready to go?"

"Weavii!" nodded Lenny.

"We'll see!" grinned Ralph. "Dragonite, Flamethrower!"

"Lenny, Double Team!" Keith ordered.

"Weavi! Vi! Vi!" exclaimed Lenny, as numerous copies of himself appeared all over the battlefield. Dragonite's Flamethrower blasted a bunch of them, but none of them turned out to be the real deal.

"Now! Use Ice Punch!" Keith ordered.

And with that, the numerous Weavile swarmed Dragonite. All of them attacked simultaneously, but of course only the non-illusory Weavile landed an actual hit. Nevertheless, Dragonite roared its displeasure at the super effective Ice move.

"Dragonite, focus!" exclaimed Ralph. "Use Earthquake to take care of those copies and damage the real one!"

"Lenny, Defense Curl!" said Keith.

Every single Weavile curled up into a ball as Dragonite unleashed Earthquake. As expected, all the illusory Weavile were destroyed, leaving only the real Lenny. He stood back up, however, having taken relatively less damage from the Earthquake than he normally would have. "Weaviii!" Lenny exclaimed- he still sounded ready to go.

Keith grinned. "Way to go, Lenny!" he exclaimed. "Now use your Crush Claw attack!"

"Fire Punch, let's go!" commanded Ralph.

Dragonite did not have to move- Lenny was coming to it. At the same time Lenny landed a powerful Crush Claw, Dragonite slammed a flaming fist into the Weavile. Both Pokémon sustained damage from the clash, neither one looking ready to give in just yet. But then, the atmosphere seemed to lighten. Quite literally- Gravity's effects wore off, and Dragonite was quick to capitalize on this, spreading his wings and taking to the skies once more.

"Don't sweat it, Lenny!" said Keith. "We got options here! For now let's use Calm Mind!"

"Weaviiii..." sighed Lenny. He took a deep breath, closed his eyes and exhaled. Then, seconds later, his eyes flew back open- he looked empowered by the Calm Mind, looked better equipped to dish out and take special attacks.

"Dragonite! Flamethrower!" ordered Ralph.

"Use Quick Attack to dodge!" Keith commanded.

"Weavi! Wea! Wea! Weavi!" grunted Lenny as he dashed around, zigzagging all over the battlefield with impressive acceleration. With this speed, he was able to successfully evade the Flamethrower no matter how many times Dragonite attempted it.

"And now!" declared Keith. "Ice Beam!"

"Dragon Pulse!" exclaimed Ralph.

The attacks were launched simultaneously, both of them on target. They clashed in midair, neither one overpowering the other... until the Ice Beam started to win out. Finally, the Ice Beam cut through the Dragon Pulse and blasted Dragonite, who started to fall out of the sky. However, it spread its wings, and was able to regain its balance.

"Lenny! Icicle Crash now!" ordered Keith.

"Agility!" yelled Ralph.

Lenny charged up a pale blue sphere between his claws, and heaved it up into the sky. As it soared above Dragonite, it burst open into a large circular portal, through which a barrage of sharp icicles fell. But now it was Dragonite's turn to zigzag all over, evading each and every frigid spear.

"See, your Weavile's not the only speedy one around here," grinned Ralph. "We can dodge attacks, too!"

"Well, just try to dodge this one!" retorted Keith. "Lenny, Ice Shard, let's go!"

"Challenge accepted!" Ralph replied, his grin widening. "Extreme Speed!"

If Keith had thought Dragonite was moving fast before...! Now the Dragon/Flying-type was but a big orange blur in the sky, moving at speeds to blow and boggle the mind, speeds which enabled it to dodge Lenny's Ice Shard, speeds which then enabled it to land a solid blow on the Weavile before either of them could do anything about it.

"Lenny! Can you still battle?" Keith asked as his Weavile tumbled to the ground.

"Weeeaaa.... Weavi!" nodded Lenny as he struggled to get back up. He was successful, and stood back up, heavily damaged, but still with that grin on his face- this battle, as far as Lenny was concerned, was thrilling, and he intended to see it out to its end.

"Alright," nodded Keith. "Now use Mimic!"

Lenny closed his eyes. The white charm on his forehead, which for most Weavile would be yellow, glowed brightly as his mind's eye replayed the sight of Dragonite's Extreme Speed. "...vile!" Lenny exclaimed, his eyes flying open.

"Alright, Dragonite, use Dragon Rush!" ordered Ralph.

"Lenny! Extreme Speed!" Keith commanded.

And now it was Lenny moving so fast that he was but a mere blur. Dragonite merely slammed into the ground while attempting the Dragon Rush, at which point Lenny landed the hit, ending up with him on the fallen Dragonite's back. "Dragonite!" exclaimed Ralph.

"OK!" grinned Keith. "Finish it off with Ice Punch!"

But Ralph was undeterred. "Thunderbolt!" he commanded.

Lenny raised his front right paw, which was coated in ice, but before he could bring it down, Dragonite lit up with electricity. And since Lenny was on its back, this meant Lenny also lit up with electricity. Lenny was unable to execute Ice Punch, but he was able to fall off of Dragonite and to the ground. And while Dragonite was able to stand back up, the same could not be said for Lenny.

"Lenny is unable ta battle!" declared Meowth. "Victory fer Dragonite!"

"Whew," grinned Ralph as Keith withdrew Lenny. "Now that was intense! I wasn't sure if Dragonite could pull off the win. But hey- when you're that weak to Ice moves, you work on ways to get around that weakness, y'know?"

Keith nodded. "I certainly do," he agreed. "It's paid off, too, that much is clear," he added, with a respectful bow to Dragonite, who smiled and bowed back. "But," Keith added, producing a Poké Ball. "I'd say it's time to get serious!" And he threw the ball. "Let's go now, Hedwig!" he exclaimed as his Crobat materialized in a flash of light.

Ralph grinned. "Dragonite! Thunderbolt!" he ordered.

"Hedwig, Confuse Ray!" Keith ordered.

Though sparks flew from Dragonite's body, that's as far as the Thunderbolt attack got before Hedwig unleashed Confuse Ray. The dazzling flash of light made Dragonite cry out and stumble around as it attempted to come to its senses. Ralph groaned as Dragonite punched itself in the face.

"Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Hidden Power attack!"

"Cro!" grunted Hedwig. Numerous orbs of imposing Dragon energy formed all around her, and she unleashed the attack at Dragonite, who roared in pain as the attack struck. This seemed to snap it out of the confusion, but it was still shaking its head as if to clear it.

This was their chance, and Keith knew it. "Let's finish it off!" declared Keith. "Cross Poison!"

All four of Hedwig's wings glowed a vicious shade of purple. She flew down, diving at Dragonite, landing a powerful slash with all four wings at once. This was the straw that broke the Numel's back, and the mighty dragon collapsed.

"Dragonite is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Hedwig wins!"

"Way to go, Hedwig!" grinned Keith. "You were great!"

"Cro Crobat!" nodded Hedwig, the faintest of smiles on her face.

"Not bad at all," nodded Ralph as he withdrew Dragonite. "But let's see if your Crobat can top this!" he added, throwing an Ultra Ball. "Flygon, stand by!"

In a flash of light, Ralph's Flygon materialized. Dragonite might not have gotten the chance to do so, but now Flygon was about to take this battle sky-high.

"Hedwig, careful," advised Keith. "That Flygon's no pushover. Use Hidden Power!"

"Fight back with Iron Tail!" ordered Ralph.

Flygon's tail glowed a bright metallic silver. As Hedwig unleashed the Hidden Power, Flygon swung its tail at the orbs, managing to hit each and every orb right back at Hedwig. She was able to evade most of them, but was hit by one of them.

"Not bad," grinned Keith. "But let's see you deal with our Brave Bird!"

"Flygon! Outrage!" ordered Ralph.

Hedwig soared towards Flygon, seemingly ablaze with bright blue flames, while Flygon screeched loudly, an intense red aura coming over its whole body. The attacks clashed, each Pokémon causing significant damage to the other. But Flygon continued to charge at Hedwig, forcing her to dodge.

"Hedwig, focus!" called Keith. "Dodge the rest of the Outrage with Quick Attack!"

"Cro! Bat! Cro! Bat!" Hedwig grunted, deftly swerving, swooping, and diving to evade Flygon's repeated strikes. However, this was not always successful, and eventually, Flygon landed another blow. Hedwig was almost knocked out of the sky, but managed to right herself.

"OK!" exclaimed Keith as Flygon began to fly around erratically. "It's confused, Hedwig! Now's our chance, use Brave Bird!"

"Cro! Bat!" Hedwig replied, flying in for the attack once more, and landed a clean blow on Flygon. This, however, seemed to snap Flygon out of it, and it looked ready to re-enter the fray.

A fact, clearly, that was not lost on Ralph. "Use Thunder Punch!" he commanded.

"Hedwig! One last Brave Bird, finish it off!" Keith ordered.

It was perfect, Keith thought- Hedwig would land this last Brave Bird before Flygon could even begin the Thunder Punch. Or at least, that was the theory- in reality, Flygon was able to start up the Thunder Punch by the time Hedwig had closed in. This resulted in a clash between Brave Bird and Thunder Punch, which in turn resulted in an explosion. This time, both Pokémon were knocked out of the sky. And this time, neither one of them made an effort to stop their fall. What Meowth said next was not much of a surprise to either Trainer.

"Hedwig, Flygon- both are unable ta battle!" Meowth exclaimed. "Dis one's a draw!"

"Down to one each, now," Ralph stated as he and Keith withdrew Flygon and Hedwig, respectively. "You probably know what my final one will be, too."

Keith nodded. "I can guess," he replied. "I won't be using Melittin, though," he added, producing a regular Poké Ball, as opposed to his Beedrill's Ultra Ball. "I think it's high time for a rematch."

"Hmm," murmured Ralph. "Right... the Koffing. Well, then, let's do this," he added, throwing a Great Ball. "Sceptile, stand by!"

Keith threw his Poké Ball. "Gemini, I choose you!" he exclaimed.

The Sceptile and Weezing materialized simultaneously- both Trainers had opted to use their respective starters in this final match. The atmosphere had tensed up as both Trainers thought back to their very first battle, back on Hoenn's Route 111. Back when this Sceptile was just a Treecko, and Gemini was still a Koffing. The significance was not lost on anyone present, be it human or Pokémon.

At last, Keith went to make the first move. "Gemini! Sludge attack!" he commanded.

"Weezing weez!" exclaimed Gemini, as he and Mustard launched twin streams of sludge at Sceptile.

"Dodge it!" ordered Ralph, at which point Sceptile darted out of the attack's path with astonishing speed. "And now..." added Ralph. He took the Mega Scepter out of his pocket, pressed the button to bring it to its full length, and struck the ground with it. "Sceptile! Mega Evolve!"

Keith saw this coming. He saw the tendrils of energy connecting the Mega Scepter with the Sceptilite that Sceptile wore around its neck. He saw the transformation taking place, and he saw the formidable Mega Sceptile before him. Even with a type advantage, he knew this would be a tough battle. "OK, Gemini, no letup!" he instructed his Weezing. "Sludge Bomb!"

"Dragon Pulse!" ordered Ralph.

The attacks collided in midair, creating an explosion. This went on for some time, the pair of powerful Pokémon trading powerful blows. Double Hit clashed with Dual Chop. Leaf Blade clashed with Gyro Ball. Sceptile also had to deflect Poison Gas with Dragon Breath at one point.

"Sceptile, Dragon Pulse once more!" said Ralph.

"Gemini! Bide!" Keith commanded.

The Weezing closed all four of their eyes and focused, bracing themselves as the Dragon Pulse landed.

"Gah... Sceptile, Swords Dance!" ordered Ralph.

Sceptile now set up with a Swords Dance instead of further attacking. A smart move on Ralph's part- now when Gemini unleashed energy, the attack didn't do enough damage to knock Sceptile out. This seemed familiar to Keith, recalling a similar strategy he himself employed in a recent battle competition. But he could see it- Sceptile was near its limit. They could still win this! "Gemini! finish it!" he ordered. "Hyper Beam!"

"Sceptile, we'll use Hyper Beam as well!" exclaimed Ralph.

The duo unleashed identical Hyper Beams at the same time. This was the most intense collision of attacks in this battle yet. Both the Weezing and the Sceptile poured everything they had into their attacks. And soon, the intense collision of attacks resulted in an explosion. The entire battlefield was engulfed in the blast. Keith had to hold onto his Mega Hat to prevent it from flying off.

"Gah... Gemini? Mustard?" Keith called as the dust started to settle.

"Sceptile?" called Ralph.

The dust was settling agonizingly slowly, but finally, Meowth could see all he needed to see to make his call...

"Gemini is unable ta battle!" he declared. "All six o' Keith's Pokémon have been defeated, so Ralph's da winner!"

Keith gave a long sigh as he withdrew his Weezing. The truth was sinking in- he'd finally had an all-out six-on-six full battle against his longtime rival... and he lost.

Ralph grinned as he proudly withdrew Sceptile. But then he saw Keith, and approached him. "Hey," said Ralph. "Good battle man." He offered Keith a handshake as he spoke.

After a moment, Keith shook Ralph's hand. "Thanks, man," sighed Keith. "I just... I dunno, I always figured that when we'd have us a full battle like this, that I'd... that I'd win, y'know?"

"Hey, you came close," stated Ralph. "Your Pokémon are good. Just... y'know, keep training, right? Even elite Trainers lose sometimes, right?"

"Yeah, I guess so," Keith nodded. "I've been at this for so many years, but... yeah, I still got a long way to go, don't I? Thanks, Ralph. It was a good battle," he nodded, finally smiling.

"Damn right it was," Ralph smiled back.

"Why don't we go inside, rest up from that battle?" Keith suggested. "Maybe have something to eat once Hermione's feeling up to it?"

"Your Weedle cooks?" asked Ralph.

"Oh, you bet," nodded Keith, leading the way inside. "She and my Swirlix, they make an incredible team in the kitchen." As they ventured inside, Keith was thinking about the battle. He'd gone all out, and Ralph had still won. But he knew- he knew he was still a good Trainer. He just still had a long way to go to become the very best.


Later that day, Keith addressed his Pokémon, after Ralph had left. "Alright," stated Keith. "For those of you who don't yet know, me and Ralph had a full battle earlier today... and I lost. Now... as good a Trainer as I've become, it's clear we all still have a long way to go before we're the best. So starting today, we're gonna train, and we're gonna train hard. I mean, I'm not gonna become some sadistic drill sergeant or anything, but we're gonna all work on improving ourselves, alright? And next time we battle Ralph, it'll be another full battle, and we'll come out on top next time!" This was met with exclamations of approval all around. Shelley, of course, could only make her approval known through puffs of smoke which took the shape of a smiley face in midair, but Keith got the idea nonetheless. He smiled- he was surrounded by wonderful Pokémon who were all willing to train harder with him so that they could all rise to the very top. He vowed at that moment to never lose sight of who he was- to never forget to be considerate of his Pokémon, to never end up mistreating them, or pushing them too hard. If he was going to become a Pokémon Master, he would do it the right way- he would do right by his Pokémon. Without them, he wouldn't be a Trainer at all, so he owed them that much at the very least.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 04-11-2017 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 03:08 PM   #78
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Willow's Worries

It was a morning like any other at Keith's Secret Base. Or at least, a morning like any other in this day and age- in recent weeks, Keith had a fairly major renovation made to his Secret Base following an astonishing jackpot at the Casino- there were now three floors to his Secret Base, one of which was a Pokémon Center. Because of this, the place saw a considerable increase in visitors. All of them Trainers. Which was very, very good for Keith- ever since his full battle against Ralph McPhione, training has been his number one priority, and he found that after visiting Trainers got their Pokémon healed up, they were generally more than happy to accept his challenge to battle. Of course, not every Trainer accepted, but Keith didn't mind- he was content to battle just whoever did accept, and at the moment, that's just what he was doing.

"Florges! Moonblast!" came the command. A woman was standing at one end of the clearing in front of the Secret Base, commanding an Orange Flower Florges.

Keith, who stood at the other end, grinned. "Knock it away, Millicent!" he ordered.

"Timburr!" Millicent exclaimed. She swung Willow like a baseball bat, and sent the Moonblast flying right back at Florges- the Fairy-type was forced to take her own attack.

"Now!" Keith called. "Use Poison Jab!"

The woman smirked. "I don't think so," she retorted. "Psychic!"

With a smirk to match her Trainer's, Florges's eyes glowed blue. "FlooooorGES!" she exclaimed, utilizing powerful Psychic energy to send Millicent flying backwards. The Timburr slumped to the ground and did not get back up.

"Millicent is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled from his position off to the side. "Florges wins!"

"That's two down," smirked the woman as Keith withdrew his Timburr. "We're each down to one now. Think you got what it takes to take out my Florges?"

"Oh, you better believe I do," Keith grinned, producing a Level Ball and tossing it. "Kyle, let's go!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, there appeared Keith's Heatmor on the battlefield. The Anteater Pokémon eyed up his ferocious floral Fairy-type foe. He looked ready for battle, as did his Trainer.

Keith made the first move. "Kyle! Substitute!" he ordered.

"Heeeeat... MOR!" Kyle exclaimed. He charged up an orb of energy in front of him, which quickly formed into an exact copy of the Heatmor's likeness, albeit with a perpetual faint glow.

"Break through it!" commanded the woman. "Florges, use Psychic once more!"

"Hone Claws, go!" exclaimed Keith.

Kyle set to work at once, sharpening his claws on a nearby rock, while his duplicate stood before him, shielding the real Heatmor from the Psychic onslaught. As soon as Kyle finished Hone Claws, the Psychic had forced the Substitute to fade away.

"I have you now," smirked the woman. "Attract!"

"Kyle, Dig!" Keith ordered.

"Heatmor!" Kyle replied, tearing at the ground with his sharpened claws. In an instant, he was underground, and Attract had missed completely. Before Florges could react, she was suddenly struck from underneath by Kyle as he resurfaced.

"Florges, now!" the woman exclaimed. "Use Copycat!"

"Don't let it! Use Fire Punch!" Keith retorted.

Kyle acted swiftly on Keith's orders, landing a fierce Fire Punch before Florges could begin the Copycat, which was exactly what Keith wanted- to the woman's horror, Florges began to re-enact the last attack she witnessed being used. Her intention was for Copycat to copy Dig, but now it was Fire Punch instead. Kyle simply stood there as his body absorbed the flames with no ill effect whatsoever. "No!" the woman exclaimed.

"Oh, yes, yes," Keith grinned. "I just love Flash Fire- you just powered up Kyle's Fire moves right there!"

"Mor!" nodded Kyle.

"And now we finish this up!" Keith added. "Kyle, Fire Blast! Go!"

"Heeeaaaat... MOOOOOR!" Kyle shouted. He inhaled deeply and launched a massive five-point plume of fire from his narrow mouth. Florges attempted to evade this, but the attempt was in vain. The Fairy-type was knocked to the ground- even without the weakness to Fire she so looked as though she ought to have, that Fire Blast was the straw that broke the Numel's back.

"Florges is unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Keith Masters has defeated three Pokémon on the opposin' side, so he's da winner!"

The woman scowled as she withdrew Florges into a Luxury Ball. "You just got lucky," she grumbled as she stormed back into the Pokémon Center to heal up her team again.

"Heh, yeah, right," Keith chuckled. "Lucky. Right. Kyle, you were awesome out there," he added to his Heatmor.

"Heat mor," Kyle nodded. With a mouth like his, it was hard to tell, but he was smiling.

At that moment, Keith opened up a pair of Poké Balls, sending out his Smeargle and Timburr. "Alright, good battling, both of you," smiled Keith. "Chromium, you're really getting the hang of that Mega Punch, and your Teleporting is much faster. Her Persian didn't stand a chance. Only thing is, I think we should work a little more on your Voodoo Bugaloo, alright? I think you probably could've held that Lilligant in place for longer than you actually did- that Firestream should not have missed, y'know?"

"Smeeear," sighed Chromium. She wasn't fond of the criticism, but even she had to admit Keith had a point- Lilligant was able to break free of the Voodoo Bugaloo spell quicker than either of them had anticipated. She was relatively low on practice with that particular move, which she figured must have played a role in that somehow.

"We'll work on it," Keith reassured the Smeargle. "You're really coming along nicely, Chromium. I know perfection's what you strive for, and I'm all for helping make it happen." Chromium nodded at this, betraying the tiniest trace of a smile at that last sentence in particular. Keith then turned to his Timburr. "And Millicent, very nicely done against Lilligant," he added. "You were able to switch between Fire Punch and Poison Jab very quickly, really threw her off guard. And using Willow to pole vault over the Petal Dance was a stroke of genius. But you still could've been a little quicker to land that Poison Jab on Florges, so I'm thinking we'll try and work on your speed, sound good?"

"Timburr..." nodded Millicent. She looked deep in thought, and Keith could guess why- this was hardly Millicent's first loss in recent weeks. She'd been losing battles left and right. It kept taking her back to the time she'd spent in the Adoption Center, before ever joining Keith's team- constantly passed over in favor of other Pokémon. Stronger Pokémon. Were those other Trainers right to pass on her? Did Keith make a mistake by welcoming her onto the team?

This alarming train of thought was abruptly derailed as Keith knelt down beside his Timburr and put an arm around her. "I know you've had more than your fair share of losses over the past few weeks," he said kindly. "But Millicent, you're not the first Pokémon to experience such a thing, nor will you be the last. You're not weak. Not by any means. I'll keep on working with you, as much as it takes, and we'll get stronger together, OK?"

Grateful tears filled Millicent's eyes. She looked up at Keith with a look of admiration, and then threw her arms around her Trainer, wrapping him in a tight hug. This support was exactly what she needed, and she decided on the spot she would prove her Trainer right. Keith hugged Millicent back with a smile- he knew he could help bring out the best of Millicent's power.


Later that day, Keith was walking around, watching his Pokémon as they engaged in training battles with each other. Some were practicing with their various attacks. Millicent could be seen repeatedly lifting a huge, heavy rock into the air. Keith nodded his approval at Millicent's progress, though as he made to walk away, a voice sounded in his head; Excuse me. Keith?

Keith stopped and looked around. His initial look of confusion subsided somewhat as he noticed the piece of lumber leaning up against a nearby dead tree. "Willow?" Keith said. The ghost what haunted Millicent's log rarely spoke to anyone besides Millicent herself. She did sometimes talk to Keith, but it wasn't very often that she did this. Keith was wondering, what could this be? What could be urgent enough that Willow would speak to him?

Yes, Willow's voice rang in Keith's head. I... am quite thankful for the words of encouragement you gave to Millicent earlier. It is certainly something she desperately needed. However... I'm worried.

"What about?" asked Keith.

There was a pause before Willow spoke up again. I am worried... that Millicent might be pushing herself too hard. Losing herself in her desire to become stronger, to live up to the faith you have in her. She even told me she is considering evolving.

"Evolving?" repeated Keith. "I thought she didn't want to evolve?"

She didn't. She still doesn't, said Willow. Millicent is like a sister to me. I know her very well. To her, evolving into Conkeldurr, or even simply into Gurdurr, would only appeal to her in terms of getting stronger. She would not be truly happy. She would be miserable, I can tell. I have tried to tell her this, but her newfound obsession with becoming stronger is blinding her to reason.

"I see," nodded Keith. "That would be a problem," he agreed. "I mean, I'd be fine with Millicent no matter what evolutionary stage she's in, but her happiness is what's important, you're absolutely right. I'll have a talk with her, see if I can't set this straight."

Thank you, Willow replied. Keith nodded, giving a reassuring look to the seemingly inanimate piece of lumber, before approaching his Timburr. Millicent was still repeatedly lifting the large rock, even as she saw Keith approaching.

"Hey, Millicent," Keith said to his Timburr. "How about you put that down for a second?"

"Burr, Timburr," Millicent shook her head, continuing to lift the rock as though it were a large, shapeless barbell.

"Well, I'd like to talk to you, and I'd prefer it if you took a little break while I do," Keith responded patiently. "Please put down the rock?"

"Burr..." sighed Millicent. After a moment's consideration, she set the rock down on the ground and looked up at Keith, while leaning on the rock.

Keith sat down on the rock. "OK, so, Willow tells me you're really taking your training seriously now," he began.

"Timburr Timburr!" Millicent responded proudly. To demonstrate, she took a running start and landed a devastating Power-Up Punch to a different rock, shattering it into gravel.

"Very nice," Keith smiled. "You're really getting the hang of that move. But Millicent, listen, alright? Willow's worried about you, and after what she's told me, I admit I'm a little worried myself. I mean, I'm glad you're so determined to get stronger- it means that you get what I said to you earlier. But... Millicent, you don't want to evolve, I thought?" he asked.

"Timburr! Timburr!" Millicent shook her head vehemently. She looked off to her right. Keith followed her gaze, just in time to see his Hariyama and Scrafty sparring with each other.

"You don't think you measure up to them?" Keith said to Millicent. "Is that what this is about?"

"Timburr..." sighed Millicent, giving a small nod.

Keith sighed. "Look, Millicent, first off, size isn't everything, and neither is evolutionary stage. You should know this good and well by now, you've had Hermione as a teammate for how long now? In fact, y'know what? Let's have a look at the Pokédex," he added, taking out his Koffing-purple Pokédex. "You're about two feet tall, right? Let's just see what other Pokémon are your height," he stated, pressing buttons. Before long, he'd brought up a list of Pokémon the same average height as a Timburr. "OK, look here- Klinklang, Amoonguss, Meowstic, Mawile- none of those are pushovers, y'know? Look- Celebi. The legendary Celebi is the same height as you," he grinned. "I've met Celebi myself, and I can tell you, she may be small, but she's no pushover, not by a long shot."

Millicent looked rather impressed by this, but she wasn't completely convinced by Keith's words. "...burr," she murmured. Keith put his Pokédex away, looking at his Timburr. He wasn't sure how to convince her that she didn't need to evolve if she didn't want to...

"Excuse me," came a voice.

Keith blinked at the sound of the voice. He turned and looked, and saw a muscular Black Belt, a Hitmontop standing by his side. "Yeah?" Keith replied.

"These Fighting Pokémon yours?" asked the man, gesturing to Helga and Bart.

"Yeah, they're mine, "Keith nodded. "Why do you ask?"

"Well, I figure maybe you're planning to enter the P1 Grand Prix," grinned the Black Belt.

"Wait the- the Fighting-type tournament?" Keith replied. "I thought that was only held in Kanto?"

"It used to be," replied the Black Belt. "But it can take place in pretty much any region these days, and this year, it's being held in Goodbattle City."

"Is it, now?" Keith replied, a look of vague interest on his face. "Well, then. Maybe I will enter, then."

"That's the spirit!" roared the Black Belt. "Hope to see you there!" With that, he and his Hitmontop walked away.

Meowth approached Keith. "Da P1 Grand Prix, huh?" he said. "Who ya gonna enter, Helga or Bart?"

At Meowth's words, Keith turned to look at Millicent. "Neither of them," he replied.


Several days later, the day had arrived. A large crowd had gathered at Goodbattle Stadium, and a large wrestling ring had been constructed for the tournament. "Ladies and gentlemen!" boomed the emcee's voice over the speaker system. "This year's P1 Grand Prix is about to begin! This year's contestants are entering the stadium right now!" And indeed, amid a number of Pokémon Trainers walking into the stadium was Keith Masters. Meowth was not on his shoulder as usual, but was instead seated in the stands, cheering as Keith walked in. A Poké Ball was clutched in Keith's right hand.

"We got this," Keith murmured, addressing the Poké Ball- more specifically, its contents. "You'll see. We got this."

After all the contestants had been introduced to the audience, the first match was ready to begin. Keith approached one corner of the ring, and another Trainer, a young man who looked slightly younger than Keith, approached the opposite corner. A referee stood at yet another corner.

"And now it's time for the first match!" boomed the emcee. "It's Keith versus Derek! The rules are simple- each Trainer must choose one Fighting Pokémon to battle, and the match is over when one Pokémon is unable to continue battling."

Derek acted first, throwing a Poké Ball into the air. "Let's do it, Pignite!" he exclaimed, unleashing a rather round creature into the ring. It snorted, loosing several embers from its nostrils.

"What do we got here?" Keith murmured, taking out his Pokédex and pointing it at Derek's Pokémon.

"Pignite, the Fire Pig Pokémon, and the evolved form of Tepig," said Keith's Pokédex. "Anything Pignite eats becomes fuel for its internal fire, with more food meaning the fire burns stronger. The stronger its internal fire, the more power Pignite has, and its movements are sharper and faster when the fire flares up."

"Derek's Pignite is ready to battle!" declared the emcee. "What Pokémon will Keith use to take it on?"

Keith grinned, clutching the Poké Ball. "Millicent, let's go!" he exclaimed, sending out his Timburr. She had agreed to participate in the P1 Grand Prix, though she didn't look especially sure of herself. She had Willow slung over her shoulder as she eyed the Pignite.

At that moment, the bell rang, and Derek was quick to act on it- that bell marked the start of the battle! "Pignite, use Arm Thrust, let's go!" he exclaimed.

"Piiigniiiiite!" Pignite exclaimed, rushing forward.

Keith was ready. "Millicent! Comet Punch!" he commanded.

"Burr!" Millicent exclaimed. She let Willow fall to the floor and met Pignite's Arm Thrust with a series of fast, furious punches, each Fighting-type deflecting the other's moves.

"Timburr and Pignite seem evenly matched!" the emcee observed. "Neither attack can get through!"

But this didn't deter Keith. "Now! Use Low Kick!" he ordered.

Before either Derek or Pignite could respond, Millicent aimed a kick at Pignite's legs. Pignite was tripped up, and it fell down at once. "Pignite, get up!" exclaimed Derek.

"We got it now, Millicent!" Keith exclaimed. "Thunder Punch!"

As Pignite jumped back up, Millicent was ready. She slammed a fist crackling with electricity into Pignite's gut. Pignite grunted- it stood its ground this time, but judging by the sparks flying, it was now paralyzed.

"Pignite! Flamethrower!" ordered Derek.

"Not a chance!" Keith grinned. "Millicent! Stone Edge!"

"Burr!" Millicent grunted. She picked Willow back up and slung her over her shoulder, taking aim with her as though with a bazooka. A red aura came over Millicent and Willow, and a number of sharp stones were fired from the end of the log in rapid succession. Pignite inhaled deeply to deliver the Flamethrower, but before it could exhale, it was pelted by the Rock-type move.

"Pignite, hang in there!" exclaimed Derek, as the Fire/Fighting-type bravely withstood the rocky onslaught.

But Keith was not finished just yet. "Leer attack!" he ordered Millicent.

"Timburr!" replied Millicent as she fixed Pignite with a positively frightening glare. A shiver went down the Fire Pig Pokémon's spine as his Defense fell, and Derek's frantic order to use Incinerate fell on deaf ears.

"Nice!" Keith grinned. "Let's wrap this up with Drain Punch!"

"Burr... TIMBURR!" Millicent screamed as green and yellow energy swirled around her fist. She then slugged Pignite with great force, the Drain Punch helping Millicent to recover some of the damage she'd taken, while Pignite fell backwards, making no attempt to get back up. Keith grinned proudly as the bell rang multiple times, signalling Pignite's defeat.

"And this match is over! Pignite is down and out! An incredible first match from first-time contestant Keith and his Timburr!" the emcee exclaimed, booming over the crowd's excited cheering. "Pignite's spirit burned bright, but it just couldn't keep up with Timburr's powerful attacks!"

"You did it, Millicent!" Keith exclaimed. Millicent looked rather surprised that she did so well against the Pignite, though she couldn't help but smile at her Trainer's praise.

The tournament continued on. Keith and Millicent watched some of the other Fighting-types in action. A Machoke took out a formidable-looking Lucario, a Scrafty came out on top against a Breloom, and so forth. It came time for Keith's second match before very long.

"And the battle between Timburr and Hitmontop continues to rock the stadium!" the emcee declared as Millicent swung Willow expertly at Hitmontop's point, knocking him off-balance and stopping the Rolling Kick short.

"Get up, Hitmontop!" roared the same Black Belt who had told Keith about the P1 Grand Prix to begin with. "Close Combat!"

"Millicent! Double Team now!" Keith ordered.

"Hitmoooon- top? Top?!" Hitmontop murmured, for his attempts to pummel Millicent resulted in the destruction of a mere Double Team copy. Moreover, as Hitmontop looked around, he could see multiple Timburr surrounding him.

"Stay strong!" exclaimed the Black Belt. "Take out the copies with Vacuum Wave!"

"Not today!" Keith declared. "Millicent, Force Palm!"

Hitmontop unleashed Vacuum Wave, sending blades of energy flying in all directions, taking out the copies at a decent pace. However, even as one hit the real Millicent, she was not deterred, and she landed the powerful Force Palm. Hitmontop staggered backwards and was struggling to stand- Force Palm had paralyzed it!

"Hitmontop!" exclaimed the Black Belt.

"Finish it!" Keith grinned. "Comet Punch!"

"Timburr Timburr Timburr Timburr!" Millicent exclaimed, landing what to Hitmontop felt like about a thousand punches all at once. Between how fast each blow landed and the paralysis, Hitmontop couldn't even begin to defend, and he could only topple over. Keith grinned as the bell sounded multiple times, confirming that Hitmontop had fallen.

"Keith and Timburr come out on top again!" boomed the emcee as the crowd's cheering grew louder and louder. "And now, we move to the final match of the second round- the previous year's champion, Charles, , against first-time P1 contestant Oliver!"

"Good luck, Oliver!" Keith exclaimed, for it was in fact the very same Trainer Keith had met several times in the past who stood at one end of the ring. Keith had seen his Hawlucha come out on top against a Primeape in the first round, though the opponent, an extremely muscular man known as Charles, he was no pushover, either. He spoke not a word as he casually lobbed an Ultra Ball into the ring, unleashing a huge, beefy, muscular Pokémon, gripping a concrete pillar in each hand, and wearing a distinct, noticeable belt which told the crowd that it's won in the P1 Grand Prix before. The Conkeldurr, as Keith had seen in the first round, was not to be underestimated. In the first round, Charles's Conkeldurr had taken out a powerful Blaziken with no trouble whatsoever. Oliver, meanwhile, threw a Safari Ball from which emerged his Hawlucha.

The bell sounded at that point, and they sprang into action. "Hawlucha! Wing Attack!" ordered Oliver.

"Lucha!" exclaimed Hawlucha. It ran towards Conkeldurr, its wings glowing brightly.

In response, Charles gave a small smirk. "Low Sweep," he responded.

With an earth-shaking crash, Conkeldurr slammed a concrete pillar onto the battlefield, then with amazing acrobatic skill, swung around the pillar, expertly landing a kick to the oncoming Hawlucha. This stopped the Wing Attack, and as Hawlucha tumbled to the floor, it got back up, wincing in pain.

"Use Swords Dance!" called Oliver.

"Thunder Punch!" commanded Charles.

Hawlucha spun around, aglow with a red aura, though Conkeldurr slamming an electrified fist into the Wrestling Pokémon cut this short. The super effective move sent Hawlucha flying backwards, though it managed to recover with little trouble. "All right!" grinned Oliver. "Let's make a comeback, Hawlucha! Flying Press!"

"Ice Punch!" responded Charles.

From that point, the battle was more or less decided. Hawlucha went in strong with its signature Flying Press, but the Ice Punch thoroughly overpowered it.

"And this match is over!" declared the emcee as the bell rang multiple times. "Hawlucha has been soundly defeated by Conkeldurr and its powerful punching moves! Conkeldurr's Ability of Iron Fist means any punching it does is gonna be even stronger than usual, and it sure shows here!"

"Timburr..." murmured Millicent. She held Willow close to her for comfort- that Conkeldurr, she knew she might have to go up against it. Keith noticed Millicent's discomfort and put a comforting arm around her, which seemed to help.

The semifinal round was next, consisting of two matches. And sure enough, Charles and his Conkeldurr emerged victorious, having taken out a Machamp with alarming quickness. Millicent was no slouch either, on the other hand, and emerged victorious against a formidable Heracross.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is it!" declared the emcee. "We've reached the final match of this year's P1 Grand Prix! In one corner, we have Charles and his Conkeldurr, a pair of reigning P1 champions!" This elicited cheering from the crowd. "And in the other corner, we have Keith and his Timburr, a pair of P1 newcomers who have been wowing us all so far! This match is sure to be an interesting one, folks!"

"Conkeldurr. Let's take home the victory once again," Charles said to his Conkeldurr.

"Durrr..." growled Conkeldurr, nodding in response.

"OK, Millicent, let's win this whole thing," Keith encouraged his Timburr.

"Timburr..." murmured Millicent.

"Hey, listen to me," Keith said. "You'll be great, I know you will. Just relax and do as I say."

"And let the match begin!" declared the emcee as the bell rang.

Keith made the first move. "Millicent! Work Up!" he ordered. Millicent closed her eyes, and a red aura came over her body, boosting both Attack and Special Attack.

"Bulk Up!" ordered Charles. Conkeldurr responded by flexing its muscles, which seemed to get even larger than usual as a result.

"Alright, now let's use Hidden Power!" Keith ordered.

Charles smirked. "Defend," was all he said.

As Millicent unleashed the ghostly Hidden Power orbs, Conkeldurr sprang into action, swinging its concrete pillars around, swatting away each and every orb. Moreover, Conkeldurr stepped forward as it swatted away the Hidden Power, and towered over the Timburr, standing right before her.

"Now's your chance, Millicent!" Keith exclaimed. "Low Kick!"

"Thunder Punch!" said Charles.

Millicent lashed out at Conkeldurr's legs with a kick, but before she could land the blow, an electrified fist slammed her backwards. Keith gritted his teeth as his Timburr climbed back to her feet.

"And Conkeldurr seems to have the upper hand," the emcee was saying. "Timburr may pack a lot of power, but Conkeldurr seems to pack even more. There's just no stopping that Thunder Punch!"

"Millicent, can you keep going?" Keith asked.

"Tiiiim... burr!" Millicent nodded, sounding pained but determined.

Keith nodded back. "Alright, then, let's win this!" he stated. "Drain Punch!"

"Counter with Fire Punch," smirked Charles.

Millicent charged forward, right hand clenched into a fist, green and yellow energy swirling around the fist, but again, Conkeldurr was able to put a stop to the attack, this time with a fist ablaze with crackling flames. The Fire Punch sent Millicent flying back again, and it seemed to take her even more effort to get back up this time. And what was more, the Fire Punch seemed to have left a nasty burn.

"Millicent!" Keith exclaimed. "Are you OK?"

Millicent did not answer right away. The burn was... she felt it, but... but at the same time, she didn't really feel it. It was as if the burn, far from weakening her, instead served to strengthen her, her resolve. She felt strong. Powerful. All of a sudden, living up to the confidence Keith had in her seemed possible. Even while she was getting pummeled by this Conkeldurr, Keith never once lost faith in her. And at that moment, Millicent vowed that she would win this. No evolution- that wasn't the answer, and she knew it. No, she would win this her way, the way Keith knew she could.

"Tiiim... TIMBURRRRRR!" Millicent exclaimed suddenly, standing back up. An intense red aura came over her entire body, an aura of immense strength and power. Even Conkeldurr looked surprised.

"Millicent?!" Keith exclaimed. "Wait- is this..."

"Guts- Timburr's special Ability," responded his Pokédex. "When afflicted with a status condition, Timburr's physical power is increased."

"I didn't know Millicent's Ability was Guts," Meowth remarked, still seated in the stands, watching the match unfold. "Dis oughta be good!"

"Timburr is back on her feet and looking stronger than ever!" the emcee exclaimed. "The burn from that Fire Punch has triggered Timburr's Guts Ability, so this fight can still go either way!"

"It won't work!" snapped Charles. "Low Sweep!"

"Force Palm, let's go!" Keith retorted.

Conkeldurr once again pivoted around on a concrete pillar, swinging itself around to deliver a crippling kick, but Millicent was ready with a powerful Force Palm. This time, it was Conkeldurr knocked off-balance. Not paralyzed, but some damage had been undoubtedly dealt.

"We won't let up!" Keith exclaimed as Conkeldurr tried to get back up. "Millicent, now use Drain Punch!"

"Mach Punch right now!" exclaimed Charles.

Once again, a pair of punching moves went head to head. But this time, they seemed more evenly matched. And even then, not for long- as Drain Punch kept sucking energy out of Conkeldurr and giving it to Millicent, the fully-evolved Fighting-type began to falter, allowing Mach Punch to be overtaken completely by Drain Punch.

"Conkeldurr, what are you doing out there!" Charles exclaimed. "It's just a Timburr, this should be a piece of cake! Now use Ice Punch and let's get this over with!"

"Don't let it get close!" Keith grinned. "Millicent, Grass Knot!"

Millicent grinned back, her eyes glowing green, and she slammed Willow down onto the mat. At that instant, a glowing green vine protruded from under the mat and snared Conkeldurr's feet. It tried using its concrete pillars to support itself, but the Grass Knot produced another few vines which toppled these as well, forcing Conkeldurr to collapse. It was down but not out, but Keith knew the time was ripe to finish this up.

"Get up!" Charles ordered sharply. "Win this with Mach Punch!"

"I don't think so!" said Keith. "Facade attack!"

Now a rainbow-colored aura shone all over Millicent's body. The burn further fueled her as she charged forward and rammed into Conkeldurr. This time, the Mach Punch didn't do a thing, and Conkeldurr was thrown backwards to its corner. And yet, it still got back up, Very shakily, yes, but it was back on its feet.

But Keith looked undeterred. "Now, Millicent!" he exclaimed. "Focus Blast, let's go!"

Once more, Millicent shouldered Willow, aiming her like a bazooka, and it was from the end of the log that the Timburr fired off the Focus Blast. It created a minor explosion as it slammed into Conkeldurr, and once the smoke cleared out, the bell started to ring multiple times. Keith grinned widely as the outcome became clear.

"It's over! It's all over!" the emcee was half-shouting, the better to be heard over the earsplitting roar of the cheering crowd. "I don't believe it! Keith's Timburr has toppled Charles's Conkeldurr! Keith and his Timburr are our new P1 Grand Prix champions!"

Millicent was speechless. She'd actually done it! She looked down at the championship belt Keith put on her, astonished that she'd actually earned this. It was a wonderful moment for her- it was the moment when it finally sank in to the Timburr- she was strong. She didn't need to evolve, and Keith did not make a mistake taking her in. In fact, if this belt wasn't so darn heavy and uncomfortable, she'd never take it off! Millicent smiled up at Keith, who returned the smile with one of his own. And then, Keith heard Willow's voice in his head again; Thank you. This was exactly what Millicent needed. Keith could only smile at this, happy that he was finally able to get through to Millicent, finally able to help give her the confidence boost she so dearly needed.


"You know, Millicent," Keith said as they left Goodbattle City. "I've been thinking- since you don't want to constantly wear your P1 championship belt, I'm thinking we do something else to commemorate this." With that, he dug a spherical object out of his backpack- it was an Ultra Ball, the last of the four he'd bought in the Pokémart some time ago. "A ball fit for a P1 Champion," he grinned. "What do you say?"

"Burr! Timburr!" Millicent nodded, grinning widely. Keith grinned back. He fiddled with Millicent's Poké Ball until the halves split apart, rendering the ball useless, then tapped his Timburr with the Ultra Ball. It sucked her inside, and clicked shut almost immediately. Keith smiled at this, then sent Millicent back out- the two of them, plus Meowth, were gonna walk back to the Secret Base together.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 10-29-2016 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 01:31 AM   #79
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From A To Z

Keith gritted his teeth. What he'd expected to be another simple Monday routine ended up with him squaring off against three Team Rocket grunts just outside the Candy Store, which, despite its name, did not sell candy. Rather, it was the old bank, still serving its old purpose even though the Fizzytopia region had finally adopted the Pokédollar as its primary form of currency. Keith had exited the facility after depositing yet another Rare Candy into his account, only to see a trio of Team Rocket grunts making their way for the entrance.

"Oh, COME ON!" exclaimed one of the grunts. "Seriously?!"

"Well, in all fairness, who in their right mind plans to hold up a Rare Candy bank on Monday?" Keith retorted, chuckling at their stupidity. "Busiest day of the week in the shopping districts."

"But even so!" whined the same grunt. "We've been planning this for how long now, and bam- now we got to deal with Keith Freakin' Masters!"

"I told you we should've hit up the one in Yupien City," grumbled another grunt."

"Oh, yeah- where Tess of the Elite Four does her banking?" retorted the third grunt, the only female of the three. "I'd rather tangle with Masters than with a member of the Elite Four."

"Yeah, but doesn't Stacey of the Elite Four use this one?" the first grunt pointed out. "In hindsight, pulling this off in Grandio City would've been the smart choice.

This elicited derisive laughter from the first grunt's cohorts. "Grandio?" repeated the woman. "That ghost town? What's that place got, what, two people doing their banking there? Maybe three or four?"

"It's got to be five, tops," added the second grunt. "Somehow I don't think holding that one up is worth our time."

"Yeah, well, you're all forgetting one very important detail," Keith said, speaking above all three grunts. "You're not gonna be holding up this bank or any other bank. Now, I'm in a good mood today, so I'm gonna give you three the option of just turning yourself in to the cops and my Pokémon need not waste their time with you, and your Pokémon get spared the savage beatdown, everyone's happy. Except you three, of course, but then, the alternative wouldn't make you happy either, so..."

"Yeah... we're gonna pass on that, thanks," sneered the first Grunt. He and his cohorts each prepared a pair of Rocket Balls.

"You're gonna regret that, I hope you know," Keith smirked.

"We'll just see about that," retorted the first grunt, as the three of them threw the balls into the air. "Come on out, Raticate!"

"Nuzleaf!" added the second grunt.

"Zubat!" exclaimed the female grunt.

Keith eyed up the Pokémon. Raticate, Nuzleaf, and Zubat- two of each. He reached for his belt-


Keith turned and saw a somewhat familiar sight. A young Trainer had just exited the Candy Store and was rushing to Keith's side. Keith realized he recognized this youth, in spite of what was clearly a very recently acquired tan. "Irwin?" he said.

"Yeah," grinned Irwin. "Been a while, hasn't it? I've been traveling, training with my Flying-types."

"Yeah," Keith nodded. "Not since the Shiny Battle Tournament in Greenmuk City. We ought to catch up, right after I deal with these losers."

"Hey, we're right here, you know!" exclaimed the first grunt.

"Unfortunately for all of us, yes, you are," Keith agreed.

"Well, hey, lemme help," offered Irwin, producing a Poké Ball. Keith noticed Irwin's left wrist at that point- more specifically, the odd stone bracelet he seemed to be wearing on aforementioned wrist. "Perfect opportunity to show how far we've come."

Keith shrugged. "Hey, be my guest," he agreed, turning back to the Team Rocket grunts, at which point he threw a Poké Ball. "Severus, let's go!" he exclaimed.

In a flash of light, Keith's Dustox materialized. He flapped his wings to stay airborne, ready to take on anything the Rockets would throw his way.

Irwin threw his Poké Ball as well. "Now! Oricorio! Come on out!" he exclaimed.

From Irwin's ball emerged a Pokémon Keith had never before seen. A somewhat small bird with vivid red and black plumage. With its wings it struck a dance pose. "Wha...?" Keith murmured. Thankful that the currently ongoing campaign for Poké Pelago was accompanied by a Pokédex upgrade to version 7.0, Keith pointed his Pokédex at the new Pokémon.

"Oricorio, the Dancing Pokémon," said the Pokédex. "Oricorio changes its form by sipping nectar from different color flowers, which in turn changes its type. Baile Style Oricorio are Fire and Flying-types that beat their wings together to create fire."

"Cool, huh?" grinned Irwin. "I caught her when I was training in the Alola region. It's packed with all sorts of awesome Pokémon."

"Now, Raticate!" exclaimed the first grunt. "Use Thunderbolt on Dustox!"

"Nuzleaf, use Headbutt on that bird thing!" added the second grunt.

"Zubat, help the Raticate and use Air Slash!" ordered the female grunt.

"Severus! Quiver Dance!" Keith commanded.

"Tox!" Severus responded, fluttering around. To Keith's surprise, however, Oricorio proceeded to copy Severus's movements, also executing a Quiver Dance.

"Wait, what the-" said Keith.

"If another Pokémon in battle uses a dancing attack, Oricorio will copy it," grinned Irwin. "It's Oricorio's Ability- Dancer."

As Keith looked impressed with this, Severus took the Thunderbolts and Air Slashes very impressively thanks to the Quiver Dance. The Nuzleaf, however, were closing in on Oricorio.

"Now!" exclaimed Irwin. "Use Revelation Dance!"

"Corio! Oricor, Oricorio!" chirped Oricorio. She promptly started to dance around, and as she did so, every time she beat her wings, it caused several fireballs to fly out at the Nuzleaf. This sent the both of them tumbling backwards, wincing from the super effective blow they'd just taken. Keith's Pokédex was quick to offer an explanation.

"Oricorio's special attack- Revelation Dance," the device explained. "A dancing move that draws upon the power of the user's primary type and turns it into energy to fire at the opponent."

"Now, Severus- Blizzard, let's go!" Keith ordered.

"Duuuustox! Tox! Tox!" Severus exclaimed. Flapping his wings with great force, the Dustox generated a powerful snowstorm that blasted all six opponents for great damage.

"Hah! Nice job, Severus," grinned Keith.

"Dustox!" nodded Severus, likewise pleased with the results of the attack, even though none of the opponents had actually been defeated just yet.

Irwin grinned. An odd, sky-blue crystal set into his stone bracelet seemed to gleam. "We'll finish this up," he said to Keith, before turning his attention back to the battle. "All right!" he exclaimed. "Oricorio, let's go!" As he spoke, he started doing what Keith could only assume to be odd dance moves. And Oricorio was copying these movements as well, in perfect sync with her Trainer.

"What..." Keith murmured, exchanging confused glances with the Meowth on his shoulder as the crystal in Irwin's bracelet started to generate energy.

"We push ourselves to our limits to unlock our greatest strength!" Irwin was saying. "We will soar high, higher than the clouds, higher than the great peak of Lanakila!"

"What's going on?!" demanded the second grunt, for as Irwin finished his odd dance moves, ending it by thrusting a fist up into the air, the energy his bracelet and crystal had generated had now flowed right into Oricorio, who was giving the Raticate, Nuzleaf, and Zubat a look that basically told them they were all screwed.

"Supersonic Skystrike!!!" commanded Irwin.

"Coooooooooorio!" trilled Oricorio. With a single intense flap of her wings, she zoomed up high into the sky, streaks of energy swirling all around her. And a second later, down she dove, speeding right at the grunts' Pokémon, cloaked in an intense aura that put Sky Attack to shame. The impact caused an explosion, one that got all six opponents caught up in the blast. When the dust settled, the lot of them had fainted.

Keith and Meowth were staring at Irwin, mouths agape at this point. "I... wha... Irwin, what was that?" Keith asked, sounding highly impressed. Too impressed to even care that the grunts had withdrawn their Pokémon and were currently scurrying away from the scene as fast as they could, shouting feeble, empty threats to the Trainers they were fleeing from.

"Oh, that?" grinned Irwin. "That was a Z-move. This thing I got here, it's known as a Z-Ring," he explained, indicating his stone bracelet. "And the crystal here? It's a Z-Crystal- Flyinium Z, to be exact. Think of it like Mega Evolution, but for attacks. With this, and the Flyinium Z that Oricorio holds, I'm able to turn her Hurricane attack, for one use only per battle, into the Flying-type Z-move, Supersonic Skystrike. A little something I picked up while I was training in Alola."

"...Holy crap, Z-moves are awesome," Keith stated. "I have got to get me a Z-Ring. Are there Z-Crystals for every type?"

"Yep," nodded Irwin. "There's even ones for specific Pokémon, too, like Pikachu and Snorlax. And I heard a rumor," he added with a grin. "That there's plans in the works to import Z-Rings and Z-Crystals to the Fizzytopia region, once Alola's native Pokémon are introduced into the region."

"Certainly has my attention," Keith nodded. "Z-moves... Wow... Definitely something I want to be able to try someday," he stated.

"You and me both," Meowth agreed. "One o' dem Z-Crystals could probably turn one o' my moves into sometin' amazin'."

"Yeah," Keith nodded, grinning at the thought of this already. "So, Irwin, man," he added. "You gotta tell me more about Z-moves," he stated.

Irwin grinned. "You bet," he replied. He and Keith started walking, and Irwin proceeded to explain all he knew about Z-moves to Keith, and the more he learned about them, the more eager he became to be able to help his own Pokémon pull them off.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 02-06-2017 at 01:39 AM.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:40 AM   #80
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Anarchy, Attacks, and Albus

To say the Fizzytopia region was in disarray was an understatement. Not long after Keith caught Andromeda, his Starmie, the shocking announcement was made that the sad, sad remnants of Fizzytopia's Elite Four were stepping down from their positions. Why they were even called the Elite Four anymore was a mystery, considering it had consisted of but three Trainers since the mysterious disappearance of Stark. Naturally, pandemonium ensued. Team Rocket grunts ran rampant, being more open and brazen about their crimes than ever before- even without any remaining executives to keep them organized they managed to wreak havoc. Two of Fizzytopia's major shopping cities were completely destroyed- Grandio City was all but leveled at this point, the inexplicably glorified and overly-advertised ghost town had no buildings standing anymore, and ferries to the Cascadia archipelago no longer ran. Selibee City was likewise in ruins, the city in which Keith had always done his shopping. Of the three, only Yupien City remained, and even then, its shops had been all closed down in the midst of this chaos. Not that this stopped the multitudes of looters, of course.

Some might take all of this chaos as a reason to abandon ship and haul ass to literally any other region, but inexplicably, the good people of Fizzytopia were hopeful. A number of Trainers were trying to restore order to the ransacked region, with Keith doing his best to help this out. Even old faces seemed to be flocking back to the region in the name of helping this cause.

Right now, however, Keith was merely doing his part to keep a couple of Team Rocket grunts out of his Secret Base. "Hermione! Andromeda! Double Firestream!" he ordered his Weedle and Starmie. Andromeda's core glowed a fiery orange before she and Hermione launched identical streams of molten bubbles at the flock of Golbat they were up against. "Meowth, Fury Swipes!" he added to the Normal-type on his shoulder. Once the Firestream stopped, Meowth lunged, scratching and swiping at every Golbat he could reach.

"Gah!" exclaimed one of the grunts as they all withdrew their Golbat. "This ain't over, Masters! The boss still wants you dealt with-"

"Oh, cry me a river," Keith retorted. "Like I give a Raticate's ass what your boss wants. Besides, this looks pretty over to me. I don't think you guys will be bothering me again for a while."

"Oh? Why is that?" smirked another grunt. "Gonna call the cops on us? What cops?"

"Well, let's just say you guys are gonna be all tied up for a while," Keith smirked back. He glanced at the ceiling above the grunts. All three grunts followed his gaze to see yet another Weedle on the ceiling. "Albus! Electroweb!" Keith grinned.

"Weeeeedle!" Albus exclaimed, firing an electrified web from his head stinger, ensnaring the trio of Rockets, also delivering to them an unpleasant electric shock.

"Alright, let's take out the trash," Keith stated, approaching the ensnared crooks. "Andromeda?"

The usual? inquired the Starmie telepathically. Keith nodded in response, then her core glowed as she used Psychic to pick up the grunts. She carried them out through the door and soared above the forest, with the intention of dumping the grunts in the middle of nowhere.

"And good work, Albus," Keith grinned, his male Weedle lowering himself down onto Keith's arm with String Shot. "Nice Electroweb- you've been practicing, haven't you?"

"Weedle, Weedle Weedle," Albus nodded modestly.

"Weedle Weedle," Hermione said with a proud, motherly smile as she looked at her son.

"Alright, well, that's another bunch of loser Rocket grunts booted out of here," stated Keith. "Yeesh... Ever since the Elite Four stepped down, this region's been insane. And Helena," Keith added, approaching the counter of the Pokémon Center that was the first floor of his Secret Base. "You gotta try a different approach with these grunts. I mean, granted, the fact that four grunts walk in here and we only end up battling three, that's pretty good, but all the same, you keep going for Curse every time you see a Rocket, especially these days, you're just gonna wear yourself out."

"I know," sighed the blue-eyed Banette who was resting on the counter, while a white-finned Stunfisk administered a Soft-Boiled. "I mean, you know how I am about Team Rocket-"

"I do indeed," Keith nodded. "I'm not saying never Curse them, Helena, just... I mean, that's not the only move you got to work with, y'know? Never forget, we're on your side on this, we want the world rid of Team Rocket just as badly as you do, but you're doing no favors for anybody by wearing yourself out like this."

"...You're right," nodded Helena. "Next time I'll see if I can snap their necks with Psychic."

"Disturbing, yet effective," Keith nodded. "Alright, keep resting up, let Rubeus do his thing, and then come up for lunch-"


"Oh, Arceus above," Keith groaned. He wheeled around and headed back out the door at his Pawniard's shouting. Sure enough, Ginny had her blades brandished threateningly as yet another Team Rocket grunt was approaching the ramp that led up to the treetop base. "Another one?" Keith sighed. "Do you guys ever know when to quit?"

"Nope!" smirked the grunt, throwing three Rocket Balls at once. He sent out a Honchkrow, a Golbat, and a Fearow. "I take you in to the boss, and that promotion to executive is MINE! Honchkrow! Golbat! Fearow! Get him!"

Keith sprang into action. "Hermione, Albus, double Electroweb!" he ordered.

The pair of Weedle likewise sprang into action, the mother and son duo firing a pair of electrified webs. Golbat was caught in one of them, but Honchkrow and Fearow were much quicker, and were able to evade the entirety of the attacks.

"Now! Use Drill Peck!" the grunt commanded them both.

But Keith was ready. "Ginny! Iron Defense!" he ordered.

"Pawn!" grunted Ginny. She rushed in and jumped up, her body hardened considerably as she took both Drill Pecks at once. Both beaks bounced off with loud clanging noises.

"Now!" Keith grinned. "Follow up with Psycho Cut!"

"Heat Wave!" ordered the grunt.

All three Flying-types (Golbat by now had escaped the Electroweb) were now flapping their wings, sending powerful waves of hot air at Ginny. She was able to fend off the Fire moves with Psycho Cut, but not for long- three beat one, and the Psycho Cut got beaten back until Ginny was hit hard with three super effective hits. The Pawniard fainted on the spot.

"Gah," Keith grunted as he withdrew the Pawniard. "Meowth, use Thunderbolt!" he ordered. "Hermione, Blizzard!"

"Heat Wave to counter Blizzard!" called the grunt. "Except you, Honchkrow- Drill Peck!"

Keith gritted his teeth as Honchkrow soared above the Heat Waves- the Fire moves won out against the Blizzard, and Hermione, Albus, and Meowth were all blown backwards into Keith. Hermione could have dodged it, but instead she wrapped herself around Albus, to try and spare her son from the worst of the attack. And now, the Honchkrow was diving down towards them, beak glowing brightly and swirling with Flying energy as it readied itself for a devastating strike. Meowth had been burned by the Heat Wave, and try as he might, it pained him too much to move, to try and attack. Hermione and Albus were both spared from a burning thanks to the Shield Dust Ability they both possessed, but this didn't mean they were any better off. Hermione struggled to move, having been severely weakened- the Heat Wave seemed to have been a critical hit on her. Albus, however, had not taken nearly as much damage, thanks entirely to his mother's heroic efforts. The best thing that could be said was that Meowth was able to knock Golbat out with Thunderbolt. Albus's eyes blazed with determination. The younger Weedle crawled forward, glaring up at the Honchkrow. His mother had just put herself in harm's way to keep him safe, and now, Albus would return the favor.

As Honchkrow drew closer, Albus's body began to glow brightly. The Bug/Poison-type started to change shape, grew taller. The round segments of his body fused together into a single rigid shape. His stingers receded, and in their place, two more stingers of limited mobility sprouted in front of him. His tail stinger didn't quite fade away, with a rather rounded point remaining for the brand new to balance upon, for indeed, the glowing faded at that point, revealing what Albus now was.

And the Honchkrow was almost upon them. Keith knew what Albus was doing, and while he wasn't too keen on him fighting this battle solo, his options were quite limited at this point. "Albus! Harden!" he called out.

"Kaku!" Albus exclaimed, a greenish glow coming over his new shell. He dug his pointed bottom into the dirt below him to hold his ground, and Honchkrow collided with Albus, the Drill Peck making an awful grinding noise against the Kakuna's hardened shell. Incredibly, Albus was able to repel the Drill Peck completely, but this by no means deterred the Honchkrow.

"You think this is over?" scoffed the grunt. "You can't beat my birds with a dinky Kakuna! Honchkrow! Fearow! Attack together! Use Sky Attack!"

"Albus, Electroweb!" Keith ordered.

"Kakuna!" Albus exclaimed, brandishing his small stingers. The stingers glowed brightly, and from them Albus launched an electrified web. This ensnared both birds and shocked them badly, but by the looks of the glow coming off of them, this did not stop their Sky Attack charging.

But Keith was undeterred. "Now use your Poison Sting!" he ordered.

"Kaaaakuna!" Albus responded. Now his stingers glowed purple, and he launched volley after volley of glowing purple spikes. The Poison Sting flew in through the Electroweb, dealing relatively minor damage, but going by the Flying-types' now sickly cries, it had successfully poisoned them. Nevertheless, the poisoned birds spread their wings to rid themselves of the Electroweb. Despite how weakened they were, they still closed in on Albus with dual Sky Attacks.

But Keith was ready. "Albus! String Shot!" he called out.

And the Kakuna knew just what to do, too- truly a combination of his father's fighting spirit and his mother's brains and ingenuity. Firing a sticky strand of string, Albus landed the end of the strand on Honchkrow's crest. Then, he reeled it in, rocking his hard body back and forth, until he had ended up on Honchkrow's back. Both Fearow and Honchkrow had built up too much momentum by this point, and they plowed into the ground, rendering the Sky Attacks woefully ineffective.

Now Keith was grinning- Albus was in perfect position. "OK! Finish them up with Bug Bite!" he ordered.

"Kaaaaa... kuna kuna kuna kuna!" Albus exclaimed. His stingers glowed green, and he rapidly jabbed at both Honchkrow and Fearow with them as the birds stirred feebly.

"How can this be?!" shrieked the grunt as he withdrew Honchkrow and Fearow. "Beaten by a Kakuna?!"

"Heh. Would you say that bugs you?" Keith quipped. The grunt did not stick around to answer, and merely turned around and ran away. Keith chuckled as he ran, though he then scooped up his Meowth, Weedle, and Kakuna, and walked back inside. Hermione was still too weakened to move much, but she still gave her son an immensely proud smile. Helena was still recuperating, so it was a good thing Keith knew how to operate that healing machine.

What? Weedle is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Weedle evolved into Kakuna!

*Albus learned Harden!*
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:41 AM   #81
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Rules. An important facet of any community, always crucial to uphold, and the world of Pokémon was no different in that regard. But what about the obscure, unknown rules that the uninitiated could easily break by complete accident? The rules that don't get advertised in the big bold lettering they need to convey their importance? Does the severity of the transgression override any and all extenuating circumstances? If the culprit had no reason to believe there was ever such a rule in place, would the normal punishment still be suitable, or would it be rather disproportionate to the crime?

It was these sorts of questions that raced through the noble mind of a certain shapeless purple bloblike being as he bounded through the big city in the dead of night, his red outfit leaving stunned bystanders in no doubt as to who he was. Yes, he tended to turn heads wherever he went in full costume, such was the effect of being a real, live superhero. A righter of wrongs. And right now, he sought to right what he saw as a most grievous wrong. He made only two stops on his journey through the city. One was to incapacitate a would-be burglar who was attempting to break into a Pokémart. And the other was to pick something up at the local Egg House. Once he was able to make his aims known to the employee on duty that night, the bold blob left the house with a vivid green Egg cradled in his Marvelous Mustache of Might. And so the stupendous stomach of a superhero vanished into the night. He'd righted one wrong tonight, and if all went well, he would soon right another.

I am the belch that echoes in the night.
I am the indigestion of justice that makes you regret your dinner of evil.
I am the enemy of evildoers and all-you-can-eat buffets alike!
I am... Captain Stomach!
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:29 PM   #82
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From A to Z II

Keith stood outside his Secret Base, grinning happily as he admired what he wore on his left wrist. Normally, this would be his Xtransceiver, but at the moment the portable videophone was residing in his pants pocket, in favor of his recently-acquired Z-Ring. Keith hadn't initially noticed it among the loot he'd been given on Springtide Isle, but upon closer inspection at home, he realized that he had in fact been given a Z-Ring to go with his very first Z-Crystal.

This Z-Crystal, Keith had figured out how to fit it into the Z-Ring. But that alone wasn't all the knowledge he needed. For the rest of this knowledge, he was waiting on someone's arrival.

"Wow, lookin' good," Meowth remarked, eyeing the Z-Ring on Keith's wrist. "So, when's he gonna get here?"

"Any time now, Meowth," Keith responded. "I'll be honest, I'm pretty excited about this," he added with a grin. "Ever since I first saw a Z-Move in action, I knew I wanted to be able to do this- hey!" he added, for he noticed someone approaching the clearing just outside the Secret Base. A young Trainer, still as tan as he was when Keith last saw him, also wearing a Z-Ring. "Irwin, good to see you," Keith stated, shaking the Trainer's hand.

"Same," grinned Irwin. "So, lemme see it," he added, trying to see Keith's left wrist. Keith obliged, and showed the Z-Ring, as well as the Z-Crystal inserted into it. Irwin nodded. "Yep, that's the Poison-type Z-Crystal, alright," he confirmed. "It's called Poisonium Z. With that, you and your Pokémon can turn Poison-type attacks into powerful Z-Moves."

"Awesome," Keith replied, unable to stop grinning. "So, how do I do it? I know you gotta move your body in order to get it going, right?"

"Right," nodded Irwin. "But not the same way I moved mine back when we faced Team Rocket- different Z-Crystal. The movements depend on the Z-Move's type. Now, for Poisonium Z, you'll have to move like..." And with that, he started moving. It started the same as when he helped his Oricorio pull off Supersonic Skystrike, but the difference in the movement became very obvious very quickly. Keith nodded and copied these movements as best he could. He sweatdropped when his first attempt elicited only stifled laughter from Irwin, but it only took a few more tries before he seemed to get the hang of it.

"OK," Keith grinned after Irwin finally stated with certainty that he seemed to really have it. "So... how about a battle?" he asked Irwin.

"Thought you'd never ask," responded Irwin. "One Pokémon each?" He clutched a Great Ball as he spoke.

"Works for me," Keith nodded, clutching a Poké Ball in his right hand.

And before long, they were ready to roll. Irwin stood at one end of the clearing, and Keith at the other. Meowth was off to the side, ready to act as the referee, while Aster, Keith's Shiny Mareanie, was watching the battle from a safe distance, looking quite interested. "Alright!" Meowth exclaimed. "Dis one-on-one battle between Keith and Irwin will now begin!"

Irwin threw the Great Ball. "OK! Noctowl, go!" he shouted, sending out a Normal/Flying-type who hooted loudly, flapping its wings to stay airborne.

Keith grinned. He remembered going up against that Noctowl in the Breeze Town Pokéringer competition. He might not have Batrach anymore, but he was still confident in his choice for this battle. He threw the ball he'd been holding onto. "Gemini! Let's go!" he exclaimed, sending out his trusty Weezing.

"Weezing weez," groaned Gemini, as well as his smaller head, Mustard. Both heads eyed Noctowl, and looked more than ready to take it on.

"Begin now!" Meowth called.

And begin Irwin did. "Noctowl! Hyper Voice attack!" he ordered.

Keith reacted swiftly. "Gemini! Payback!" he commanded.

"Weeez..." groaned Gemini and Mustard as the Hyper Voice washed over them. This, however, served to intensify the black aura they'd taken on, and the Weezing barreled forward and rammed into Noctowl.

"Shake it off, Noctowl!" said Irwin, for the Payback had thrown the Owl Pokémon for a loop. "Blast it with Psychic, let's go!"

"Counter with Psywave!" Keith ordered.

This time, the pair of airborne Pokémon clashed with a formidable display of psychic power. Gemini and Mustard unleashed a forceful Psywave to hold the Psychic attack at bay, though the higher and more consistent power of Psychic eventually won out, and the Weezing took the super effective Psychic attack. "WEEZ!" both heads exclaimed at once.

"Gemini!" Keith exclaimed as his Weezing wobbled in midair. "Come on, Gemini- fight back with Sludge!" he ordered.

"It won't work! Extrasensory!" grinned Irwin.

Gemini and Mustard unleashed twin streams of sludge from their mouths, but Noctowl was able to repel them with its Extrasensory attack. The Psychic move pushed back the Sludge until it had hold of the Weezing itself. With Gemini and Mustard unable to escape the move's grip, Noctowl slammed the Weezing into the ground. Keith looked worried, but grinned as his Weezing floated back into the air, still ready to go. "That's the spirit, you two!" he grinned. "Now let's-"

"All right!" Irwin interrupted. His Flyinium Z gleamed as he started to move his body. "Noctowl, let's go!"

"Oh, no," Keith murmured. "Gemini, Mustard, be careful- they're using a Z-Move! They're incredibly powerful!"

"We push ourselves to our limits to unlock our greatest strength!" Irwin was saying. "We will soar high, higher than the clouds, higher than the great peak of Lanakila!" He finished up his movements by thrusting a fist up into the air as the Z-Power flowed into Noctowl's body. "Supersonic Skystrike!!!" he exclaimed.

Noctowl trilled loudly, giving a single intense flap of its wings and zooming high into the air. Streaks of energy swirled all around it... and then it dove down, glowing with an aura so intense it made Sky Attack look like Peck. Keith, Gemini, Mustard, they all had no time to react before Noctowl's Supersonic Skystrike landed. "GEMINI!" Keith exclaimed, covering his mouth to avoid breathing in the dust- for the resulting blast from the Z-Move hitting threw up more dust than a Hippopotas with the stomach flu. But when the dust settled... the Weezing remained airborne! Keith's look of concern gave way to a confident grin, which both heads of the Weezing returned.

"No way!" Irwin exclaimed, though he sounded rather impressed.

"Oh, yes, way," Keith grinned broadly. And what was more, now was the time, he knew. He moved his arms the way Irwin had done, grinning as his Poisonium Z gleamed brightly. He made the same movements he'd practiced with Irwin, and as he did so, he saw- and felt- the Z-Power flowing from his Poisonium Z, witnessed it flow into the Weezing's body. Gemini and Mustard seemed mildly surprised, but mostly confident- the Z-Power was giving them the knowledge and power they'd need to turn their Sludge Bomb into something much stronger.

"Noctowl, be ready," Irwin murmured, though he grinned as Keith finished the pose.

"Go! Gemini!" Keith exclaimed, the last of the Z-Power reaching its Poison-type destination. "Hit 'em with everything we got! Do it!!!"


Gemini surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Gemini unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Acid Downpour
Swirls of poisonous energy spiraled out from the Weezing, and at the same time, the ground beneath Noctowl turned to a smelly, horribly poisonous swamp. And at the same time, vicious purple clouds formed above Noctowl. "WEEEEZIIIIIIING!!!" bellowed Gemini and Mustard simultaneously, and this was the cue for the clouds to open up, raining a horribly poisonous substance down onto Noctowl. This forced it to crash into the swamp, where the poisonous substances reacted to damage Noctowl even further. And then, the swamp and the poisonous rain was all gone, though the damage it had caused was not- Noctowl had fainted.

"Noctowl is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Da winners is Keith and Gemini and Mustard!"

"Awesome!" grinned Irwin, withdrawing Noctowl as he spoke. "That was the Poison-type Z-Move- that was Acid Downpour!"

"Acid Downpour," Keith repeated, smiling. "That was all kinds of awesome. Gemini, Mustard, that was some good battling," he added, for his Weezing came floating over to him.

"Weez Weezing weez," grinned Gemini.

"Weezing Weezing," added Mustard.

"You really got the hang of this," Irwin stated, walking over to shake Keith's hand. "You hold onto that Z-Ring and Poisonium Z, hmm? I get the feeling you'll get some real good use out of those."

"Thanks, Irwin," Keith nodded, shaking the Flying-type Trainer's hand. "Though there's still one thing I gotta do now."

"What?" asked Irwin.

Keith gave a small chuckle. "Buy a PokéGear," he responded. "I can't exactly wear an Xtransceiver on my left wrist anymore, now can I?"

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 05-13-2019 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 05-22-2017, 10:04 AM   #83
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Technical Difficulties

"Mail's in," came a voice as Keith Masters walked into the living room of his Secret Base, clutching a handful of envelopes, which he then handed off to... Keith Masters?

"Thanks, Jack," Keith responded, accepting the bundle of mail. "Alright... Bill... Bill... You may have won 10,000,000... Another death threat from Team Rocket... Bill... Bill... Oh, hey, here's something," he added, having come to a rather official-looking envelope. He tore it open and began reading. "Dear Mr. Masters, in response to your inquiry regarding the compatibility laws governing Technical Machine usage, we are pleased to inform you that the laws put into effect by the old Elite Four in 2012 are hereby repealed- all right!" Keith exclaimed, a broad, Gengaresque grin on his face. "Jack, you realize what this means?"

"Uh..." murmured the Ditto. "...it means you no longer have any reason to complain about Gemini and Mustard not being able to learn Sludge Wave?"

"Yes," Keith nodded. "But that is just the tip of the Bergmite, Jack, my friend," he grinned. "That is just the tip of the Bergmite..." As he spoke, he dug his TM Case out of his backpack, his grin widening.


"Alright- let's do this!" Keith declared. "Aster, ready?"

"Mareanie!" Aster exclaimed, the Shiny Mareanie crawling forward onto the battlefield. Or, well... whatever the clearing in front of Keith's Secret Base qualified as. As she moved into position, a swirl of blue stars circled her.

"Weedle! Weedle!" Hermione exclaimed, on the opposite side of the battlefield. Behind her hovered a Banette- the blue eyes made it obvious that this was Helena, not Myrtle.

"Alright, Aster vs. Hermione- begin!" declared Meowth.

Helena made the first move. "Hermione, blast her with Psychic!" she exclaimed.

"Weeeeedle!" Hermione exclaimed, her beady eyes glowing blue as she unleashed a wave of telekinetic energy.

"All right! Aster, use Dig!" Keith exclaimed.

"Reanie!" Aster grunted, using her tentacles to tunnel underground, just narrowly evading the Psychic.

"Hermione, be careful," Helena advised her brother's Weedle. "Aster could come from anywhere."

"Now, Aster!" Keith exclaimed.

"Ma!" exclaimed Aster, bursting out from underground just beneath Hermione, landing a solid hit with Dig.

"Hermione! String Shot!" Helena called.

"Dodge that!" Keith ordered his Shiny Mareanie.

"Mareanie! Mareanie! Mareanie!" grunted Aster, the Brutal Star Pokémon deftly dodging every sticky strand of string that was shot her way, until Hermione stopped the attack.

"Now! Use Peck!" Keith commanded.

"Mareanie!" Aster grunted. She lunged forward, and landed a solid super effective blow on Hermione.

"Come on, Hermione!" encouraged Helena. "Fight back with Swift!"

"Aster, use Dig once more!" Keith ordered.

Both attacks happened at once. Hermione unleashed several stars of pure energy, while Aster attacked the ground beneath her, tunneling downward just in time to evade the Swift attack. And this time, she popped up directly behind Hermione.

"Hermione, behind you!" Helena exclaimed.

"Aster, use Peck!" Keith commanded.

"Mareanie!" exclaimed Aster, landing another powerful Peck attack. Keith couldn't help but grin- this was Aster's very first battle, and she was doing amazingly!

"Shadow Claw!" ordered Helena.

"Weedle!" grunted Hermione. Her jet-black tail stinger was cloaked in a powerful black aura, and she swung it into Aster, landing a critical hit that sent the Poison/Water-type tumbling backwards.

"Aster! You OK?" Keith asked.

"Maaa.... Mareanie!" grunted Aster. It took her some effort to stand back up, but she managed it nonetheless, and even gave Keith a confident smile.

Keith nodded, smiling back at Aster. He knew that if there was ever a right time to go for this in this battle, it was now. It was a simple training battle, but he needed for her to get in some training doing just this. He started to make the poses, his Poisonium Z gleaming brightly from within its position in Keith's Z-Ring. "All right!" he exclaimed. "Aster, let's go!"

"Mareanie!" Aster exclaimed excitedly, realizing what was about to happen.

"Hermione, look out," murmured Helena, also realizing what was about to happen.

"Our minds, our spirits, linked as one!" Keith was saying as he moved. "A power as intense as the Plague Swamp of Cascadia! Feel the poison- BE the poison!"

"MAAAA!" Aster responded, feeling the Z-Power flow into her. She was ready, ready to upgrade her Poison Sting into something far stronger.

"Do it! Acid Downpour!!! Keith commanded.


Aster surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Aster unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Acid Downpour
Swirls of poisonous energy spiraled out from Aster, and the very ground under Hermione's feet turned to a smelly, horribly poisonous swamp. At the same time, vicious purple clouds formed above Hermione, and once Aster exclaimed loudly to unleash the energy, the clouds opened up and rained a horribly poisonous substance down onto the Weedle, reacting with the swamp below to deal even more damage. And then, it was all gone, though Hermione had very clearly sustained great damage from it. She was quite weakened by this, but very evidently not knocked out just yet. Both she and Aster were looking quite tired, however, and Meowth was quick to notice this.

"Alright, I'mma call dis one a draw," Meowth declared, stepping forwards. "Dey both proved dey got a lot tougher from learnin' dem new moves."

"True," Keith nodded. "Though Hermione, I'm thinking you'll want to get in some more battling, right? You didn't even get to show off half of what you just learned."

"Weedle," Hermione nodded.

"M-Mareanie?" Aster murmured, looking up at Keith.

Keith smiled and scooped up the pink Mareanie in his arms. "And Aster, you were awesome," he said. "Your very first battle, and you held your own against Hermione beautifully. Not many Pokémon can say that. Plus, pulling off an Acid Downpour like that when your only Poison move is Poison Sting, that's not nothing," he added fairly. Aster responded to this by hugging Keith tightly, to which Keith grinned and hugged her back. "Now c'mon," he added. "Why don't we head back inside, rest up a bit?" he suggested.

"Weedle!" "Mareanie!" Hermione and Aster exclaimed their approval of this idea simultaneously. Keith chuckled, smiling as he led the way inside.

OOC: Using this post to confirm the usage of my TMs as follows;

Using my TM Solar Beam on Andromeda the Starmie.

Using my TM Hyper Beam on Hebenon the Qwilfish.

Using my 2 TMs for Hone Claws on Hermione the Weedle and Albus the Kakuna.

Using my TM Return, my TM Aurora Veil, my TM Retaliate, my TM Rock Smash, and my TM Psychic on Hermione the Weedle.

Using my TM Power-Up Punch on Meowth.

Using my TM Attract and my TM Dig on Aster the Shiny Mareanie.

*Andromeda learned Solar Beam!*

*Hebenon learned Hyper Beam!*

*Hermione learned Hone Claws!*

*Albus learned Hone Claws!*

*Hermione learned Return!*

*Hermione learned Aurora Veil!*

*Hermione learned Retaliate!*

*Hermione learned Rock Smash!*

*Hermione learned Psychic!*

*Meowth learned Power-Up Punch!*

*Aster learned Attract!*

*Aster learned Dig!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 05-22-2017 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 06-21-2017, 01:18 AM   #84
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Shockwave Showdown

"...have reported that while all human passengers were safely evacuated, one Pokémon was found trapped in the sinking ship. The Pokémon in question was sent to the Fizzytopia Adoption Center. Our sources say that the Pokémon in question was a-"

"Yeesh," Keith was saying, shaking his head at the TV news report he was watching. "Can you believe all the bad luck that happens to any ship that sails from Gateon Port? First the S.S. Libra incident, and now this."

"Yeah, it's nuts," Meowth nodded. "Let's stop watchin' dis," he suggested. "Ain't youse wanted ta get in some trainin' today?"

Keith nodded. "Right!" he declared as he stood up.

"Alright, who's we workin' on today?" Meowth inquired. "Sunny? Cotton?"

Keith shook his head, throwing a Poké Ball. "Go, Colin!" he exclaimed.

"OH COME ON!" whined Meowth as Keith's Yanma materialized. Meowth covered his ears, a move which proved futile against the shockwaves that ensued- Colin, overeager as usual, beat his wings uncontrollably, sending uncontrolled shockwaves in every direction. Keith also shielded his ears against the horrible droning noise, to no effect.

"Yan ya..." Colin murmured, hastily stopping himself. He looked down, tears in his Compound Eyes.

"Colin, don't worry," Keith said, approaching his Yanma. "We're gonna work on this again today, OK? I want you to battle Meowth."

"Youse says wat now?" Meowth demanded.

"Just get on the other side of the clearing and be ready," Keith stated. Meowth muttered under his breath, but did as told, turning around once there was plenty of space for him and Colin to have it out.

"Alright, all set on dis end," Meowth groaned.

Keith grinned. "Then go, Colin!" he exclaimed.

"Yan ya!" Colin buzzed, excitedly flying forward.

"Alright," Meowth stated, charging up a sphere of water between his front paws. "Have a drink o' Water Pulse!" And with that, he fired the sphere.

"Now, Colin!" Keith exclaimed. "Focus your shockwaves on that Water Pulse and destroy it!"

"Yan! Yan yaaaa!" Colin responded, eagerly beating his wings. And while the resulting shockwaves did indeed cause the Water Pulse to fall apart, it also threatened to do likewise to Keith's innards- Colin still wasn't able to focus them yet. "Y-yan..." Colin murmured, his momentary excitement fading fast upon spotting his Trainer's obvious discomfort.

The Yanma hung his head- nothing was working. And if he kept this up... he would surely only bring more pain and misery to his Trainer. There was obviously a reason nobody would adopt him before Keith...

"Hey, Colin!" Keith called, for his Yanma was starting to fly away. "Colin, wait! Wait!" With that, he took off running after the Yanma, ignoring the shockwaves his wings were involuntarily giving off. Meowth briefly considered taking off after them. One headache later, he changed his mind abruptly.

Keith's head was pounding, but he didn't slow down. He couldn't just let Colin live like this. That Yanma deserved... uh, deserved to... uh... head hurty...


Keith slowly opened his eyes. His vision was blurry. His view of the sky above seemed to be partially obscured by a number of horizontal lines parallel to each other. He blinked- the blurriness cleared up a bit, but those lines remained. He blinked again- no more blurriness, though that very quickly proved to be the least of his problems- those lines, he could now see, were cage bars.

Keith sat up and looked around- he was in a metal cage. Next to him lay Colin, awake but lying still. And more to the point, a number of Team Rocket grunts were standing around the cage, identical unpleasant smirks on their faces. "Oh, great," Keith groaned. "You guys just don't know when to quit, do you?"

"Heh, says the little Mankey in a cage," retorted one of the grunts. "Found you just lying on the ground, unconscious, with that Yanma buzzing over you all worried like. Stupid bug tried to take us all on at once. Didn't end too well for it. So yeah, we'll be taking you both to the boss. Not sure what he could use the Yanma for, but hey, why not, right?"

"OK, yeah, you're not getting away with this," Keith began, reaching for his belt, when he stopped. He'd left all his other Poké Balls inside his Secret Base.

"Heh. Looks like we are," chuckled another grunt. "What's wrong, Masters? Didn't bring your other Pokémon? How careless of you. Alright, let's load 'em in the truck," he added to one of the other grunts.

"Yeah, about that..." muttered a third grunt. "The truck ain't here yet. That's what that text was a few minutes back- flat tire. It's gonna take 'em about ten minutes more to get here."

"Oh, for the love of..." grumbled the second grunt. "Alright, at least we know they're not going anywhere. C'mon, let's keep an eye out for the truck," he stated, leading the others away from the cage.

Keith kept an eye on the grunts. Once he was sure they were far enough away, he whispered to Colin. "Now's our chance," Keith hissed. "Colin, let's break out of here!"

"Yan..." Colin murmured, looking up at Keith, a look of great sorrow in his eyes.

"Hey, look," Keith said gently. "I said I'd help you learn to focus your shockwaves, and I meant it. Yeah, it means headaches for me, and apparently, today, blacking out, but look- I've been on the business end of Sludges, Thunderbolts, Flamethrowers, Water Guns, Mega Punches, Double Kicks... even almost a Curse once, but that's beside the point. Look, my point is, I don't expect this to be easy or painless. But that's not gonna stop me. You deserve a Trainer who refuses to give up on you, and I want to be that Trainer," stated Keith.

"Yan ya..." Colin murmured, his look of sorrow replaced with one of respect, his tears of sadness replaced with ones of pure emotion. He'd never known a Trainer to be so determined to work with him, never known a Trainer to endure so many uncontrolled shockwaves and still stay by his side.

Keith smiled. "Now what do you say?" he said. "Let's bust out of here!"

"Yan ya!" nodded Colin.

"All right!" Keith grinned, turning to face the cage bars before him. "Colin, Tackle, let's go!"

"Yaaaa!" buzzed Colin, zipping forward and ramming into the cage at as high a speed as he could muster with so little distance to work with. Keith hastily looked back, but the grunts were no longer in sight- wherever they were awaiting the truck, it was clearly a bit of a walk.

"Alright- once more, Colin!" he encouraged the Yanma.

"Yaaan yaaa!" Colin grunted, ramming the cage bars once more. And this time, he repeated this without waiting for orders. Keith watched his Yanma ram the cage bars over and over again, until finally, they showed signs of damage.

"OK, Colin, hold on," Keith said, stopping Colin from using Tackle again. "You weakened the bars- your shockwaves might be enough to finish the job. It won't destroy the cage, but we'll have enough space to get out at the very least."

"Yan..." Colin murmured, sounding uncertain.

"Hey. You can do this," Keith encouraged the Yanma. "Don't worry about me- just break us out of here."

"Yan... ya," Colin nodded resolutely. Focusing like never before, Colin took careful aim at the point of the cage where he'd been executing Tackles, and beat his wings with dizzying rapidity. He could feel the shockwaves already, spreading out on all sides, but no- not this time. Colin would not disappoint Keith, not after he put so much faith in the Clear Wing Pokémon. After all the training sessions, after all the dizziness and pain he'd subjected himself to in the name of helping the Yanma train... Colin vowed he wouldn't let it all be in vain.

Colin focused hard, so hard he began to sweat. Focused on that one specific spot like his life depended on it. And then, he felt it- some sort of primal force awakening within him. His wings glowed with energy as they flapped, and he could feel the shockwaves focusing, concentrating on a single point, manifesting themselves as a powerful glowing orb of ancient energy. Keith's jaw dropped as Colin unleashed the powerful move, which plowed straight through the cage like it was nothing.

"...Holy crap, Colin!" Keith grinned as he and his Yanma exited through the hole. "That... that was Ancient Power, wasn't it?" he said. "Colin, that was awesome-"

"Hey!" barked a voice from a distance. "Masters is escaping!"

Keith turned to look- the grunts were running back their way. For a moment, he contemplated fleeing- perhaps he could outrun them, make it back to the base, and get his other Pokémon to take them on-


Colin was hovering before Keith. His wings still gave off shockwaves, Keith could still feel them... but they weren't as intense as before. Learning Ancient Power seemed to have helped Colin to exercise a certain degree of control over them. It wasn't a total fix, but it was certainly a start! Moreover, Colin looked ready to battle, even as the grunts sent out a pack of Houndour.

"Oh, we can handle these!" Keith grinned. "Colin, Ancient Power!"

"Yaaaan yaaaa!" Colin trilled, generating another orb of primal force before him, and sending it flying at one of the Houndour, who yelped as the super effective move made contact. The other four Houndour, however, started to advance on Colin, growling and snarling viciously.

"Gah..." Keith murmured- Colin couldn't take on this many Houndour at once!

"Alright!" smirked a grunt. "Houndour, Flamethrower!"

"Use Fire Spin, you!" another grunt commanded.

"Colin!" Keith exclaimed, but before he could say anything else, his Yanma flew up high, a brilliant glow coming over his whole body. The tail lengthened, as did his wings, and spiky ridges formed on his back. The whole body got larger, and when the glow faded away, the Ancient Power that followed was delivered not by a Yanma, but by a formidable ! At a loss for words, Keith took out his Pokédex and pointed it at Colin.

"Yanmega, the Ogre Darner Pokémon, and the evolved form of Yanma. A Bug and Flying-type," said the Pokédex. "The shockwaves Yanmega generates can inflict critical internal injuries on its foes. It can easily transport an adult in flight, staying balanced with the help of the wings on its tail."

"And you even got some new moves!" Keith grinned. "And Colin- your wings are going a mile a minute, and I'm not feeling any shockwaves!"

"Yan ya!" nodded Colin, his voice now a very deep rumble, though Keith could tell his new Yanmega sounded happy.

"Enough of this!" snapped a grunt. "Houndour! Fire Fang!"

"You use Fire Fang, too!" the other four grunts ordered simultaneously.

"All right!" Keith grinned. "Colin, use Bug Buzz!"

"Yaaaan!" rumbled Colin, beating his wings, sending visible red shockwaves at all five Houndour. This stopped them in their tracks, whining and whimpering, their Fire Fangs extinguishing as they did so.

"Now!" Keith exclaimed. "Night Slash, let's go!"

"Yan yaaa!" Colin responded, his wings glowing black as he dove down, and he landed some solid damage on two of the Houndour with this move. It wasn't very effective, Keith knew, but this was mitigated by Colin's newly-acquired Ability of Tinted Lens.

"Get it! Flame Charge!" ordered a few grunts.

"Go up!" Keith instructed. Colin obeyed, flying straight up at high speeds, resulting in three Houndour ramming into each other, rather than converging on the Yanmega.

"Flamethrower!" called all five grunts at once.

"Use Double Team!" commanded Keith. And at once, the air was thick with Yanmega copies, all of them swooping and diving. The Flamethrowers cleared out a good number of the copies, but they were still seemingly surrounded, with no way to tell the real Colin from the fakes.

"Oh, this is no problem!" scoffed one grunt. "Use Odor Sleuth!"

"Do it now! Air Slash!" Keith commanded.

One of the Houndour sniffed deeply at the air, causing the Double Team copies to vanish, though even as this happened, the real Colin was already sending a blade of pure air flying their way. This outright knocked out two of the Houndour, leaving only three.

"Colin, wrap this up!" Keith grinned. "Quick Attack!"

"Yan ya!" growled Colin, zooming down at rapid speeds, ramming all three remaining Houndour in quick succession.

"Gah..." grunted one of the grunts as he and his cohorts all withdrew their totally unconscious Houndour. "You won't get away with this, Masters!" And then, as if on cue, the roar of a truck engine could be heard in the distance- a truck was navigating its way around the trees, a Rocket grunt at the wheel.

Keith and Colin merely smirked at each other. "Air Slash," was all the former said.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Colin, flying forward, and unleashing a blade of air, this one aimed at the truck's front wheels. The tires were slashed by the Flying move, causing it to come to a stop. This prompted the grunt to get out of the cab and start running away at high speeds, which in turn prompted his cohorts to follow his example. Keith chuckled as the Rockets ran off.

"Come on, Colin," Keith said to his Yanmega. "Back to the house." With the grunts no longer a problem, Keith was free to go home, to show off Colin's evolution to the others, and now that he had his shockwave-inducing wings under control, free to bring him out in public. And of course, he was free to call Officer Jenny, tip her off to Team Rocket activity in the area.

What? Yanma is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Yanma evolved into Yanmega!

*Colin learned Bug Buzz!*

*Colin learned Air Slash!*

*Colin learned Night Slash!*

*Colin learned Bug Bite!*

*Colin learned Quick Attack!*

*Colin learned Double Team!*
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Old 06-22-2017, 05:26 PM   #85
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The Shiny Hunter

"Aha," smirked Gavin. He stood on the beach, beholding a bright blue creature, one he knew for a fact was absolutely not supposed to be that shade of blue under normal circumstances. "Let's just make absolutely sure, shall we?" With that, he plucked a small grey box off his belt, and slid it open, revealing a small screen, while a short antenna flipped open, the tip of which blinked green. Gavin pressed a button on the Poké Radar, and a single dot appeared on the screen- a gold dot. His smirk widened at the sight of this- this meant he was right. This meant that he was beholding a Shiny. He closed up the Poké Radar and clipped it back to his belt, before digging out his P*DA and pointing it at the Shiny before him.

"Slowbro, the Hermit Crab Pokémon. An evolved form of Slowpoke. Type: Water and Psychic. Walks upright due to the Shellder on its tail, but can no longer fish for food. If the Shellder is removed, it devolves to Slowpoke."

"Well, then," smirked Gavin, eyeing the Shiny Slowbro before him. "Looks like I'm about to nab my very first Shiny." As he spoke, he threw a Poké Ball. "Miror, go get it!" he exclaimed, his Maractus appearing in a flash of light.

"Sloooow..." the Slowbro remarked vacantly, eyeing the Maractus with an unreadable expression.

"Hmph. Looks like we're making the first move, then," said Gavin. "Well, I'm not about to fucking refuse the upper hand. Miror, Absorb!"

"Marac!" exclaimed Miror. His flowers glowed brightly, and beads of energy started to be siphoned off of the Slowbro, and into the Maractus.

"Slow... bro?" murmured the Water/Psychic-type. The Shellder on his tail muffled in an irritated fashion, biting down harder on its tail. This seemed to elicit a reaction from the Slowbro. "SlooowBROOOOOO!" he exclaimed, unleashing a powerful Flamethrower at the Maractus.

"Holy shit! Dodge it!" Gavin ordered his Maractus, beyond shocked to see a Water-type using Fire attacks.

"Rrrractus!" exclaimed Miror, springing up into the air, narrowly dodging the Flamethrower.

Gavin grinned. "Now! Use Peck!" he commanded.

"Maaaaractus!" bellowed Miror as he dove down at the Shiny Slowbro, only to be met head-on with an Ice Beam!

"Fuck!" Gavin swore as the super effective move sent his Maractus tumbling backwards. "Miror, come on, get back in there! Secret Power attack!"

"Maaaa..." grinned Miror. A pink aura came over his body, before traveling through the sand on which the battle was taking place. And then, just before the Slowbro, a blast of pink aura and sand in equal measure blasted out of the ground, right into the Slowbro's face. The Hermit Crab Pokémon tried to rub the grit out of his eyes, but the damage had been done, his accuracy already lowered.

"Now! Absorb once again!" Gavin commanded.

"Maractus!" exclaimed Miror, once more siphoning energy off of the Slowbro. The Shiny responded with another Flamethrower, but with all the sand in its eyes, it was way off target.

"Alright, let's try it," declared Gavin, producing a Poké Ball from his backpack. "Slowbro!" he declared, holding the sphere out in front of him. "You shine for me now!" And he threw the sphere forward. "Go, Poké Ball!"

The ball hurtled forward... the ball struck the Slowbro... the ball split open... and then it snapped shut again and fell to the ground, having made no effort to pull the Shiny inside.

"Wait, what? What the fuck is this shit?!" Gavin exclaimed.

"Hey!" came a voice- the source of the voice was distant, but clearly getting closer by the second. "That's my Slowbro!" And at that moment, none other than Keith Masters showed up, running over to the blue Slowbro. "That's... that's my.... my Slowbro," he panted.

"Wh- oh, shit, man, I didn't realize," Gavin frowned. "Hey, I ain't no thief- I see this Shiny Slowbro walking the beach, I figure it's wild, you know?"

"No, I get it, easy mistake to make," Keith agreed. "Dudley here kinda wandered off by himself. Does that sometimes."

"Yeah, well, you trained Dudley here pretty damn good," stated Gavin. "Ain't expected to see shit like Flamethrower coming from a Water-type."

"Oh, this is nothing," grinned Keith. "You should meet my Qwilfish. Keith Masters," he added, offering a handshake.

"Gavin Golurkson," replied the other, accepting the handshake. "I'm a Shiny hunter from Orre. For a minute, I thought this Slowbro here would be my very first Shiny."

"Shiny hunter, huh?" said Keith. "I don't consider myself one of those- more of a Poison-type specialist myself- but I got a few Shinies to my name. Dudley here was my first Shiny, in fact."

Gavin's eyes lit up. "You got other Shinies?" he replied.

"Yeah, just two others," said Keith. "A Beautifly and a Mareanie. I take it you never caught any, then?"

"Don't remind me," grumbled Gavin. "I was kinda hopin' to get started by the time I turned ten, but then, I also wanted to start off with a Shiny. Skip ahead to earlier this year, no luck. But then I meet this guy," he added, gesturing to the Maractus next to him. "He and I hit it off, I decide I don't mind starting with a non-Shiny after all."

"Marac, Maractus," nodded Miror. At this, Keith dug out his Pokédex and pointed it at Miror.

"Maractus, the Cactus Pokémon. A Grass-type," said the device. "Maractus uses song and dance to scare away bird Pokémon that try to prey upon the seeds of its flowers. It makes its home in arid environments."

"Cool shit, that Pokédex," Gavin stated. "I got a P*DA, myself- that's what you get in Orre." As he spoke, he dug out his P*DA and showed it to Keith.

At that moment, Meowth caught up with Keith. "Hey, dere you are," he said. "And who's dis?"

Gavin's eyes bulged. "Holy shit!" he exclaimed. "A talking Meowth?"

"Yeah, Meowth here can talk," Keith nodded nonchalantly. "Meowth, this is Gavin Golurkson, a Shiny hunter from Orre."

"...Dude!" Gavin exclaimed. "A bunch of Shinies, a talking Meowth- what else does your team have going on?"

"Lot of weird," Keith smiled. "Wouldn't have it any other way. So, Gavin, where you headed?" he asked.

"At the moment?" Gavin shrugged. "Probably to a Pokémon Center. Miror here took a buttload of damage in that battle."

"Well, there's one not far from here. I actually live right above it," Keith stated. "

"You what- dude," said Gavin. "How the fuck? What, some dingy little apartment? That's the kind of setup I'd expect to see back in Pyrite Town- this region's fucking huge, and you're obviously doing pretty damn good for yourself!"

Keith simply smiled. Gavin would see.


"...This is not the image your description evoked," Gavin said, staring up at the Poisonous Paradise, looking rather stunned.

"Well, come on in," Keith smiled, leading the way up the ramp. Gavin followed in silence, mouth agape. Dudley followed them all in as well, having stayed out of his ball the whole way back. Inside the Pokémon Center, Gavin's surprise compounded as he saw the blue-eyed Banette operating the healing machine. He took out his P*DA again and pointed it at Helena.

"Banette, the Marionette Pokémon. The evolved form of Shuppet. Type: Ghost. A discarded plush doll imbued with cursed energy. Sticks pins into its body to generate energy to lay horrible curses."

"Welcome to the Pokémon Center," Helena warmly greeted the newcomer.

"...The Banette talks, too?" Gavin asked Keith.

Keith nodded. "And before you ask- and believe me, you will ask- so does my other Banette, my Dusknoir, my Gengar, and my Camerupt."

"Wh- other Banette- Your Duskno- Your Camerupt?!" spluttered Gavin. "How the-"

"Um, who are you, sir?" Helena asked Gavin.

"Uh... but- I... Uh, Gavin. Gavin Golurkson," Gavin said, still sounding stunned as he handed a Poké Ball over to Helena. "Uh... my Maractus, um, with- with the healing, please..."

"No problem," smiled Helena, placing Miror's Poké Ball on the healing machine.

"Don't sweat it, Helena," Keith said. "Gavin's still trying to process all the weirdness."

"I understand," the Banette nodded. Already, the healing machine did its work, and so she handed the ball back to Gavin.

"Yeah, I mean... I ain't never heard of a talking Pokémon before, is all," Gavin explained. "Hey, Keith, man," he added, turning back to the Poison-type Trainer. "Thanks for everything, dude. I'll see you around, yeah?"

"I'd like that," Keith nodded, shaking Gavin's hand. "Any time you're in the neighborhood, feel free to drop in."

"You know it, man," he replied. "And you, thanks for healing up Miror," he added to Helena.

"You're welcome," Helena smiled, bowing to Gavin.

With that, Gavin made his way to the door. However, as Keith was quick to notice, so did Dudley! The Shiny Slowbro was walking after Gavin, prompting Keith to go after him in turn.

"Hey, what the fu-" began Gavin, as he noticed someone following him. "Oh- Dudley," he chuckled, turning to see the Shiny Slowbro. "Hey- that battle was some good shit," he stated. "I'll see you again, yeah?"

"Slow. Slowbro slow," Dudley stated, looking up at Gavin.

"Dudley, what's up?" Keith asked. "Saying goodbye?"

"Bro," Dudley replied, shaking his head. The Slowbro pointed up to Gavin.

"Yeah, about the opposite," Meowth translated. "Dudley's sayin' he wants ta go wit Gavin."

Keith blinked, stunned. "Dudley?" he said to his Slowbro. "Is... is this true?"

"Slowbro!" Dudley nodded. "Slowbro bro slow, Slowbro bro bro!"

"Dudley's sayin' he likes Gavin, and wants ta be on his team," stated Meowth. "Dat battle at da beach must'a left a real impression on him."

"Holy shit," Gavin murmured. "I mean... I don't wanna separate you two, y'know? But if it's what he wants-"

Keith sighed. "One of the things about being a Pokémon Trainer is... you gotta do what's best for your Pokémon," he said. "Even if that means letting them go with someone else. Dudley... is this really what you want?" he asked the Shiny Slowbro.

"Slow. Bro," Dudley nodded. Then, Dudley walked back up to Keith and hugged him. Keith couldn't help but give a small smile as he hugged Dudley back. He knew this wasn't his fault, he knew the Shiny Slowbro still liked him. It was just... sometimes, the Trainer chose the Pokémon. And sometimes, the Pokémon chose the Trainer. Keith knew that this was one of those times. He relinquished his grip on Dudley and gave a nod, and the Shiny Slowbro walked back over to Gavin.

Keith approached Gavin as well. "Here," he said, handing a red-and-white sphere to Gavin. "It's Dudley's Poké Ball. Take care of him, alright?"

Gavin hesitated for a moment, then nodded as he accepted the Poké Ball. "Damn right I will," he replied. "If this is what Dudley wants, I'll make sure he doesn't regret it. He's in good hands." He then looked down at the Shiny Slowbro before him. "Well... welcome aboard, Dudley," he grinned. "You shine for me now. Dudley, return!" As he said this, he held out the ball, and withdrew the Shiny Slowbro that now belonged to him.

Keith watched as Gavin gave him one final nod, then walked away. He'd see that Shiny hunter again someday. And he'd see Dudley again someday as well. Though even with that knowledge, a tear rolled down his face.

Meowth looked up at Keith. "You'll see 'em again," he said. "I know ya liked havin' Dudley around. But I gots a good feelin' about dis Gavin fella," he nodded. "I tink ya did da right ting."

Keith nodded. "I think so too, Meowth," he agreed.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 07-22-2017 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:06 PM   #86
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Boss Rocket

"Let's try it again! Tinnitus, Mud Shot!"

It was at this point the Palpitoad would have exclaimed in response before firing several muddy projectiles from his mouth, were he able to actually speak. Nevertheless, his enthusiasm for the training came through loud and clear, and Keith grinned at how much his Palpitoad had improved. Back when he'd let Cotton, Chromium, and Tinnitus travel to Incognito Isle, Tinnitus was still a Tympole, so it came as a pleasant surprise when Keith was greeted by a Swirlix, a Smeargle, and a silent yet cheerful-as-ever Palpitoad.

"Yeah!" Keith grinned as the balls of mud struck the targets Keith had set up. "Nicely done, Tinnitus! Your aim's really improving!"

"Yeah," Meowth remarked, patting the Palpitoad on the back. "And it looks like dis here battlefield was a good idea," he added, glancing around.

"Yeah," Keith agreed, vaguely aware as he did so of how much they were all saying "yeah" that day. "Sure wish they'd finish up with the house, though," he added, glancing at the gigantic structure looming at the northernmost point of the gigantic clearing adjacent to Salt Wave Coast- or as Keith called it now, Sludge Wave Coast. This structure was to be Keith's new Secret Base. His new house. No longer bound by archaic Secret Base laws only allowing for oddly specific locations to set up one's house, nor any sort of stipulation that it must be built in a tree or into a cave or something like that, nor restricted by some specific shop with relatively limited selection, Keith saw the freedom to go all-out, and by no means did he squander said freedom. Until such time as work on the house was done, Keith had been living in the Pokémon Center they had built on the premises, the one Helena, Rubeus, and Selia were running together. It wasn't uncomfortable by any means, but at the same time, Keith really couldn't wait to move into his new place.

But before he could spend too much time dwelling on this, Keith heard quite loud footsteps coming his way. Far from being alarmed by this, however, he turned with a small smile to face the fedora-clad Camerupt coming his way. Said smile shrank somewhat, though, upon seeing the look of urgency on the Fire/Ground-type's face. "Yeah, I don't come bearin' good news, hat man," said Vinny.

"What's going on, then?" Keith asked.

"Well, y'know the four Rocket Executives, yeah?" asked the Camerupt.

"Might've heard of them, yeah," Keith smirked.

"Yeah, well, trouble is, now that youse had a hand in takin' them all down, youse kinda climbed right up Boss Rocket's list o' priorities," stated the Camerupt. "Team Rocket may be all but finished, but not if Giovanni's got somethin' to say about it, savvy?"

"Yeesh," Keith frowned. "Well, I guess we gotta start planning an attack on their headquarters, then."

"Yeah, about that," said Vinny. "Good news/bad news time."

"Oh, lemme guess," groaned Keith. "Good news, I don't need to find them, bad news is because they're actively hunting me?"

"Youse catch on quick," grinned Vinny. "So yeah, we gots to be ready, cuz dey could find us any... time... now..." he trailed off, glancing at some point behind Keith. This plus the sound of a rapidly approaching helicopter behind Keith somewhat eliminated the need for him to even ask what was behind him. And indeed, as he turned to look, his suspicions were quickly proven correct.

"Oh, crap," sighed Keith as the black helicopter landed, emblazoned with a red R. And as the doors flew open, a handful of Rocket Grunts rushed out, Rocket Balls at the ready. Thinking fast, Keith threw the various Poké Balls he had on his person, sending out his Vespiquen, his Slurpuff, and his Weedle, all before any of the grunts could activate those pesky Poké Ball-disabling devices.

"Ooh, so Masters finally catches on," sneered one of the grunts. "Not that it'll make matters any easier for you this time around, punk!"

"Yeah!" jeered another grunt. "Because this time we got the boss with us, and he'll fix you good!"

"Now, now," came a surprisingly calm and refined voice as an older man stepped forward, short black hair concealed beneath a fedora just as black. He was sharply dressed in a nice suit, the red R of Team Rocket sewn onto his jacket. He gave a cold smirk as he regarded Keith. "So," he said. "Keith Golbatson Masters, we meet at last."

"You're Boss Rocket, aren't you?" said Keith, frowning. "Giovanni, right?"

"Indeed I am," smirked Giovanni. "I see my reputation precedes me, as does yours. You see, you have proven yourself responsible for the, ah, indisposition, of four of the best Executives in the history of Team Rocket. Imagine, if you will, my distinct displeasure at discovering that one of my most trusted lieutenants, Shadow Greg, was found lying dead in a ditch en route to Darkshade Village one day, showing unmistakable signs of having been tortured to death via Curse."

"Yeah, well, you'll forgive me, I'm sure, for being less than sympathetic towards the man who raped and killed my sister," retorted Keith.

"And to follow that up," continued Giovanni, "I get wind of the fact that Jet has been arrested and sent to prison. Well, now, I couldn't have that. I made arrangements to have him bailed out straightaway, but alas, that plan hit a minor snag- see, the officer in charge of him had, in a truly astonishing display of stupidity, put him in the same cell as a very violent man he'd wronged many years back. While I was able to arrange for his release, sadly, Jet left the prison in a body bag instead of this helicopter."

"I would say I'm sorry for your loss, but under the circumstances, I'm really, really not," Keith stated.

"Oh, and dear old Remy McPhione," said Giovanni, ignoring Keith's snarky coments altogether. "Promising young lad, full of potential. Rose through the ranks magnificently, and earned his spot as Executive. I had been considering him as a successor, in fact, when it would someday come my time to retire, but you and that pesky Ralph fellow forced me to rethink my plans."

"Once again, really not sorry," said Keith.

"And finally, Executive Elmer," said Giovanni. "A bit too fond of alliteration for my liking, but he made up for it with all manner of redeeming qualities. Though I'm sure we disagree on the definition of 'redeeming qualities' here," he chuckled. "But the point still stands. Elmer faced off against you. Elmer is no longer among the living."

"Elmer was insane," Keith stated. "He died because he had his own Electrode blow up the cave he was currently inside in a last-ditch effort to kill me."

"Indeed?" questioned Giovanni. "Well, then. Quite a heroic effort, and a pity he didn't succeed. You see, you, boy, have been a persistent and pestilent thorn in Team Rocket's side for far too long now. And with each and every one of my trusted Executives dead, I fear the time has come to take matters into my own hands. With a little backup, of course," he added, glancing around at the numerous Rocket Grunts who had come with him. "Seems foolish to take on the great Keith Masters without taking a few precautions, after all."

"Well, that makes you smarter than most of your lackeys," stated Keith.

"Mr. Giovanni, may we?" asked one Grunt.

Giovanni's smirk became more pronounced. "Have at him," he responded.

The grunts roared their approval, and Rocket Balls were thrown left and right. Raticate, Golbat, Houndour, Fearow, multiples of each appeared before Keith. "Oh, we can handle these!" smirked Keith.

"Can you, now?" Giovanni smirked back. "All right, Vinny- Take Down!"

Keith was rather surprised to hear the boss of Team Rocket issuing a command to Keith's own Camerupt, though pleasantly relieved to see the Camerupt's response- a shrewd smirk and a shake of the head. "Nothin' doin'," replied Vinny. "You see, when I told youse I was a double agent, I got that part right. I just might'a mixed up exactly who it was I was a double agent for."

Giovanni's smirk vanished faster than food in the presence of a Snorlax. "What?!" he barked.

"Vinny, what the-" began Keith.

"Y'see, hat man, all the info I been feedin' youse about Team Rocket didn't come easy," explained Vinny. "I didn't just have some spy in the operation- I had to become the spy. Convince 'em I was on deir side and dat I was spyin' on youse fer dem. Had ta give 'em a few nuggets of information, but I left out just the right pertinent details ta make all da difference. Meanwhile, ain't none o' dem suspected dat I was passin' along info on dem ta youse! See, Boss Rocket ova dere thought I was settin' youse up fer a trap, when in fact I was settin' dem up!"

Keith gave a low whistle. "I'm impressed," he nodded.

"You filthy traitor!" roared Giovanni. "How dare you betray Team Rocket! Attack, now!" he called to his grunts.

"Yeah, let's deal with these guys first," smirked Keith to Vinny. "Vinny, Incinerate! Meowth, Swift! Hermione, Blizzard! Tinnitus, Bubble! Cotton, Dazzling Gleam! Apamin, use Gust!"

And the battle commenced. With all of Keith's Pokémon launching attacks that hit multiple Pokémon at once, they were able to get off to a good start. Indeed, several Raticate, Fearow, and a Houndour were already knocked out by all this, though several of the Houndour were powered up by Incinerate thanks to Flash Fire.

Apamin found herself fending off multiple Fearow and Golbat at once. "Apa! Fury Swipes!" Keith exclaimed.

"Vespi!" buzzed Apamin, claws glowing brightly as the regal Bug/Flying-type started slashing and swiping at the various Flying-types.

Keith turned to where Meowth was fending off two Raticate and a Houndour at once. "Meowth, use Shadow Wave!" he commanded.

"It's on!" grinned Meowth, unleashing waves of shadowy aura at all three opponents.

Giovanni observed as Keith went on in this vein for some time, continually giving commands to his Pokémon, all of whom seemed quite capable of holding their own against multiple opponents. And soon, all the grunts were withdrawing their Pokémon, while not one of Keith's had fallen.

"W-We're sorry, boss," mumbled one of the grunts.

"It is of no matter," Giovanni responded, once again sounding calm and refined, smirking once more as he stepped forward to face Keith. "Truth be told, I find myself rather impressed with you," he said to Keith. "One hears the rumors, of course, but it's never clear whether one should believe the hype. In this case, however, the hype has not been exaggerated."

"If you're trying to lead into some sort of recruitment spiel for Team Rocket, I'll save you some time," replied Keith. "I have no intention of joining Team Rocket."

At this, Giovanni actually chuckled. "Oh, dear boy, I've known all along that trying to recruit you would be an exercise in futility. No, I merely want it known that I'm quite impressed with you. It's rather refreshing to know, you see, that the Trainer who took down my Executives is a very formidable and powerful Trainer. It would be quite a blow to Team Rocket's pride if a weakling were to be the one to put us in such a dire situation. Now, having said that, it is now my turn," he added, producing a Rocket Ball from within his suit. "A full six-on-six battle- the boss of Team Rocket against the number-one enemy of Team Rocket. We shall see who triumphs."

"Alright, then," agreed Keith. "But how about this? If I win, you disband Team Rocket for good."

Giovanni raised an eyebrow. "Disband Team Rocket?" he repeated with a smirk. "Hmm... And if I win?"

"If you win?" repeated Keith. "Uh..."

"Let me make a suggestion," said Giovanni. "If you win, you surrender all your Pokémon to me. You agree to that, and I'll agree to disband Team Rocket if I lose."

"And how do I know you won't screw me on this deal?" asked Keith.

"The same way I know you won't screw me on it," Giovanni retorted swiftly.

"You make a good point," nodded Keith. "All right, then..."

"Keith... Youse should make da deal," Meowth said shakily. "We'll fight harder den we eva fought before," he vowed.

"Count on us, hat man," added Vinny.




Tinnitus obviously couldn't voice his agreement, but emitted some very positive vibrations to make known his agreement.

Keith smiled at his Pokémon. "I know I can count on you all," he stated. "Alright- Giovanni, I accept!"

"Then we begin!" roared Giovanni, throwing his Rocket Ball. "Honchkrow, enter!"

"Cotton, you're up first!" Keith declared. As Giovanni's Rocket Ball sent out a large bird with black plumage, Keith's Slurpuff dashed forward.

"Going for the type advantage?" smirked Giovanni. "I had a feeling. Use Steel Wing!"

"Cotton! Flamethrower!" Keith called out.

"SluuuurPUUUUFFFFFF!" bellowed Cotton as he unleashed a powerful stream of flames from his mouth. Honchkrow cawed its displeasure as its gleaming wings were heated up unpleasantly by the Fire move. Eventually, Honchkrow was forced to abandon the attempt.

"Gah... Now use Brave Bird!" ordered Giovanni.

"Dazzling Gleam attack!" Keith commanded.



The pair of Pokémon exclaimed loudly, Honchkrow as it dove down to ram into Cotton, body aglow with a fierce aura, Cotton as he unleashed a brilliant flash of magical light. And though the super effective hit hurt immensely, still Honchkrow powered through, and slammed Cotton hard.

"Cotton!" Keith called as his Slurpuff tumbled backwards. "Can you still fight?"

"Sluuuur... puff!" grunted Cotton, getting back up by way of an answer.

"Excellent!" grinned Keith. "Now, Cotton, use Shadow Chill!"

"Dodge that, Honchkrow!" snapped Giovanni.

But Honchkrow couldn't evade it. Cotton was far too quick in firing off the beam of sinister icy energy, and Honchkrow was knocked right out of the sky. It couldn't even attempt to start flying again, for dark ice was forming all over it- Honchkrow was frozen solid!

"No!" Giovanni exclaimed.

"Yes!" Keith exclaimed. "Finish it off, Cotton! Drain Punch right now!"

"Slurp! Slurpuff Slurpuff Slurpuff... SLURPUFF!" Cotton exclaimed, running up to Honchkrow, right fist swirling with green and yellow energy, before taking a great swing at the frozen bird, shattering the ice, and any chance of Honchkrow winning along with it.

"Gah," grunted Giovanni as he withdrew Honchkrow. "Not bad," he conceded, before producing another Rocket Ball. "Now try your luck with this! Nidoking, enter!" he bellowed, throwing the Rocket Ball, and indeed it was a Nidoking that materialized. Keith, of course, knew the species quite well, as he owned one of his own. Of course, he didn't have Godric with him right now, which was a shame- he kinda liked the idea of seeing how his own Nidoking might match up. But right now wasn't the time for that, was it?

Keith looked at Cotton. The Slurpuff had the type disadvantage, but everyone present knew there were ways around that. "Use Yawn!" he ordered.

"Puuuuffff~" yawned Cotton, a big pink bubble emerging from his mouth. Nidoking made to evade it, but could not.

Giovanni growled at this. "Come on! Poison Jab!" he ordered.

"NIIIDOOOOH..." Nidoking half-roared, half-yawned as he stumbled forward, right arm glowing purple.

"Now! Use Fire Shield!" Keith commanded.

"Slurpuff~" Cotton responded, a dome of fire surrounding it. Nidoking roared his displeasure as not only was his Poison Jab repelled, but he was also stricken with a burn. And better yet, since there were no arbitrary video game mechanics in play here, the burned Nidoking was able to fall asleep.

"Wake up!" Giovanni bellowed to Nidoking.

"Not a chance," Keith smirked. "Cotton, now use Dream Eater!"

The orb on Cotton's head glowed purple, and the Slurpuff began to consume Nidoking's dreams in great quantities. The Nidoking began to thrash around in his sleep, pained by the super effective attack... and then, with a great roar of displeasure, Nidoking's eyes flew open!

"Uh-oh," Keith murmured.

"Indeed," Giovanni said, his smirk back in place. "Sludge Wave, go!"

"We'll use Sludge Wave as well!" Keith ordered his Slurpuff, and the two Pokémon unleashed their Poison attacks. However, Nidoking's was able to overpower Slurpuff's, not only due to Nidoking sharing a type with the attack in question (and thus being able to put more power behind it), but also due to the Sheer Force Nidoking seemed more than capable of putting behind such attacks. Before long, Cotton was blasted with a deluge of sludge, and came out of it quite unable to continue fighting.

"Come back now, Cotton!" Keith stated, withdrawing Cotton to the spherical pink confines of his Heal Ball. He then turned to the small Weedle by his side. "You're up, Hermione," Keith declared. "Show them what you got!"

"Weedle! Weedle!" Hermione nodded, crawling forward with determination. None of the present Rockets dared question Keith's sanity at this, having seen for themselves how well Hermione fared against their own Pokémon. Nidoking, however, gave a derisive snort at the sight of his pint-sized opponent.

"Watch yourself, Nidoking, it's no joke," warned Giovanni. "Burn it up! Flamethrower!"

"Hermione! Flash!" Keith ordered.

"WEEEEDLE!" Hermione exclaimed, letting loose a blinding light from her head stinger. Nidoking roared in agony, launching a Flamethrower in a completely wrong direction, clutching his burning, temporarily blinded eyes.

"Yes!" Keith grinned. "Now let's use Frosted Flake Fall!"

Hermione's head stinger glowed a soft blue, before firing a beam of the same color straight up into the sky. Immediately, dark clouds billowed into existence above the battlefield, and razor-sharp snowflakes descended upon the combatants. Nidoking roared angrily at this, and though Hermione felt it as well, she didn't dare succumb to it. She knew what Keith would order next, after all.

"And follow up with Aurora Veil!" Keith called out.

"Weeeedle!" Hermione exclaimed- now her head stinger glowed in the colors of the rainbow, and a rainbow screen of energy formed all around her briefly before fading from sight.

"Enough!" snapped Giovanni. "Nidoking, crush it like the bug that it is! Rock Slide!"

"Hermione, Blizzard attack!" Keith declared.

"NIIIIDOOOOOH!" roared Nidoking, summoning numerous rocks to tumble down upon Hermione.

"WEEEEEEEEDLE!" bellowed Hermione, unleashing a howling snowstorm, aided by the Frosted Flake Fall, to hit Nidoking dead-on for super effective damage. Meanwhile, Hermione wasn't sweating the Rock Slide too much. It was super effective, and bolstered by Sheer Force, true enough, but Aurora Veil was cutting all that effectiveness right in half.

Keith grinned- Nidoking was now panting heavily. The Blizzard hadn't frozen him, but the damage it dealt was unmistakable and immense. Not to mention the damage he was taking from his burn and the sharp snowflakes. Granted, said snowflakes were harming Hermione as well, but she seemed to be faring quite a bit better than Nidoking, to the general incredulity of the gathered Rockets, even with how well she'd done in previous battles. It was clear to Keith that Hermione was very likely the only Weedle ever to fare so well against their boss.

If Giovanni felt any frustration or embarrassment at being given such a hard time by a Weedle, he hid it well. There was a look in his eyes that almost seemed nostalgic as he regarded Hermione. "What you have there is no mere bug, for sure," he said to Keith. "We will need to go all-out, Nidoking. Fire Blast!"

"I don't think so! Hermione, Fire Shield!" commanded Keith.

"Weedle!" exclaimed Hermione, erecting yet another Fire Shield to block the Fire Blast.

"Now let 'em have it!" grinned Keith. "Follow up with Psychic!"

"Nidoking! Confusion!" roared Giovanni.

And now it was a clash of Psychic-type moves, Unlike the previous Sludge Wave clash, however, Hermione seemed to have the upper hand. However, Nidoking was not giving up so easily... and before Keith knew it, the colliding attacks exploded, knocking back both combatants! And as the dust settled, Keith could see that they weren't just knocked back- they were knocked out.

"Now, Nidoking, come back," said Giovanni, holding out the Rocket Ball.

"Hermione, come back now!" Keith stated, withdrawing his trusty Weedle.

"Impressive indeed," smirked Giovanni as he readied his third Rocket Ball. "I've never seen a Weedle so determined and powerful, not for a long time. Now- Persian, enter!" he exclaimed, throwing the Rocket Ball.

Keith felt Meowth tense up as Giovanni's third Pokémon appeared. A sleek quadrupedal feline with fur just like Meowth's, and a gleaming ruby in its forehead. Keith took out his Pokédex and pointed it at Persian.

"Persian- Normal Form- the Classy Cat Pokémon, and the evolved form of Meowth. A Normal-type," said the Pokédex. "Persian has a violent temperament, and can inflict deep wounds with its sharp claws. With its lithe muscles, it can walk without making a sound."

Keith turned to Meowth. "You want this one?" he asked.

"Thought ya'd neva ask!" Meowth declared, springing off Keith's shoulder and landing before his evolved form, claws extended, scowling at Persian's derisive chuckle. "Yeah, laugh while ya can, four-legs," Meowth snapped. "I oughta show youse how a real cat gets it done!"

"Alright- Meowth, use Fake Out!" Keith ordered.

"Persian! Fake Out!" Giovanni called.

Both felines moved. Both felines clapped their front paws. Or at least, Persian did. Meowth was too busy flinching from the faster Fake Out to use his own. "Gah!" he grunted. "Wat da-"

"Never mind, Meowth," Keith said as the Frosted Flake Fall cleared up. "Now use Power-Up Punch!"

"Aerial Ace!" ordered Giovanni.

Persian screeched as it charged forward, front paws glowing brightly. Meowth swung a front paw at it, but the two attacks collided, and the Fighting move was not faring well against the Flying move. Nevertheless, however, Meowth persevered, and managed to land the Power-Up Punch even while taking damage from Aerial Ace.

"Great, Meowth!" grinned Keith. "Now use Cut!"

"Repel it with Hyper Voice!" ordered Giovanni.

Persian opened its mouth and yowled loud and long, bombarding Meowth with visible soundwaves. Meowth, right front claws aglow, valiantly stood his ground against the powerful move, and once it had ended, lunged forward to deliver the Cut. Persian screeched its displeasure, especially as Meowth landed on its back.

"Toss Meowth off!" snapped Giovanni.

"Not happening!" declared Keith. "Meowth, use Bite!"

And Meowth indeed bit down on Persian, causing the Classy Cat Pokémon further displeasure. It bucked and lurched, trying to shake Meowth off, but his jaws held on tight, until finally Persian was able to shake its unwelcome passenger.

"All right!" declared Keith as Meowth scrambled back to his feet. "Meowth, good work!"

"Tanks, but we ain't done yet!" Meowth nodded, eyeing Persian warily.

"Persian! Slash!" Giovanni roared.

"Skull Bash, let's go!" Keith ordered.

The pair of felines lunged at each other again, Persian ready to slice up the competition, Meowth charging in headfirst. And sharp though Persian's claws were, Meowth won out with sheer power, knocking Persian to the ground. The evolved Normal-type was not out yet, but was struggling to get back up.

"Now let's finish it!" Keith grinned. "Meowth, Fury Swipes!"

"YAAAAAAAAH!" Meowth exclaimed, lunging at the fallen Persian, taking great swings at it with his sharp claws. And by the time Meowth had settled down and stopped, Persian too had stopped trying to get back up.

"Come back, Persian!" Giovanni said, withdrawing his Normal-type. "You are making things a bit difficult for me now, I see," he said to Keith. "Taking out half my team is no small feat. But with the pride of Team Rocket on the line, by no means will I allow this to hamper my performance going forward." And he threw a fourth Rocket Ball. "Gliscor, enter!"

Keith eyed the creature Giovanni had sent out- almost batlike, with a stinger-tipped tail, and a pair of powerful pincers. He held out his Pokédex once more.

"Gliscor, the Fang Scorpion Pokémon, and the evolved form of Gligar. A Ground and Flying-type," droned the device. "Gliscor hangs from tree branches to observe prey, swooping at the first opportunity. It flies soundlessly and carries off its prey with its lengthy tail, letting its fangs finish the job."

"Ground and Flying, huh?" grinned Keith. "Meowth, use Icy Wind!"

But Giovanni was ready. "Sky Uppercut, let's go!" he ordered.

"Gli!" grunted Gliscor, and in an instant, Meowth was punched high into the air by Gliscor's right pincer. The Icy Wind fizzled out before it started, and as Meowth crashed to the ground, he was not making an attempt to get back up.

"OK, you're done," Keith said, not unkindly, as he scooped Meowth up in his arms. "Don't sweat it, Meowth, you did good," he said with a reassuring smile. "Now, then, who..."

By way of an answer, the Camerupt stepped forward, clearing his throat. "How about lettin' me at him, hat man?" he asked with a grin.

Keith grinned back. "Go for it, Vinny," he nodded.

Giovanni regarded Vinny with an unreadable expression. "You know, this betrayal is not a deal breaker," he said. "Were you to turn on this young man here and now, you would be assured of a position of power when Team Rocket takes over the world."

"I'mma say this as nice as I can- go screw yourself with a Spelon Berry," Vinny responded.

"Somehow I figured that would be your response," nodded Giovanni. "Very well, then. Gliscor, Aqua Tail!"

"Vinny! Stockpile!" Keith ordered.

The Camerupt took a deep breath, storing up power within himself. Gliscor landed an insanely super effective Aqua Tail, but Vinny was able to stand his ground, partly due to the Stockpile, and partly due to his Solid Rock Ability dampening the attack's power.

"Pathetic stalling," smirked Giovanni. "Gliscor, use Aqua Tail once more!"

"Vinny, Stockpile a second time!" stated Keith. And so the attacks repeated themselves, with Vinny taking even less damage than before.

"You can't keep this up forever," Giovanni continued, still smirking.

"Yeah, I guess you're right," Keith smirked back. "So now it's our turn- Vinny, Fire Blast!"

"Double Team!" shouted Giovanni, and in an instant, Vinny's Fire Blast merely disintegrated three or four illusory Gliscor copies. The sky was full of Gliscor now, and there was no telling which was the real one.

"No matter- use Incinerate and burn them all up!" Keith ordered.

"Aqua Tail!" called Giovanni.

Vinny fired a small ember from his front hump, but before it could explode into a wall of fire in midair, the real Gliscor extinguished it with its tail, which was swirling with water. The super effective move then went on to slam Vinny to the ground, though the Camerupt was able to get back up.

"Vinny, don't give up," Keith said encouragingly. "Lava Plume, let's go!"

And this time, before Giovanni could even give a command, Vinny's humps erupted, spraying smoke and flame into the air. Every Gliscor was struck- the illusory copies fizzled out, and the real Gliscor soared up to escape more damage.

"There!" Keith exclaimed, pointing. "Vinny, now use Spit Up!"

"Giga Impact!" roared Giovanni.

Summoning every ounce of Stockpiled power he'd stored up, Vinny unleashed it all in a single powerful beam of pure energy, while Gliscor came diving down, bathed in intense swirling energy. The attacks collided powerfully, and Gliscor continued to charge straight through the Spit Up. It was a slow, tough process, but Gliscor kept going, and managed to slam right into Vinny, causing a great explosion. For a moment, Keith thought it was another tie, but then he saw Gliscor flying up and out of the dust cloud. Giovanni smirked as the dust settled, for it revealed that Vinny had fainted.

"Vinny, get back now!" Keith exclaimed, withdrawing his Camerupt, fedora and all, into his Rocket Ball.

"Not worried, are we?" smirked Giovanni. "You, after all, have fewer Pokémon remaining than I."

"It ain't over til it's over!" Keith stated confidently. "It's time to fight flyer with flyer! Apamin!" he exclaimed, to which his Vespiquen responded confidently. "Use Confuse Ray!" Keith ordered.

"Strike it down! Stone Edge!" Giovanni ordered.

Keith gritted his teeth- Stone Edge would hit Apamin's greatest weakness, and that just wouldn't do. However, the Vespiquen, stubborn and prideful though she could so often be, was far from stupid. She swerved, swooped, and darted her way around every single sharpened stone Gliscor shot her way before retaliating with the dazzling and disorienting Confuse Ray, making Gliscor's flight patterns rather erratic.

"Nice!" Keith grinned. "Now use Defend Order!"

"Snap out of it, Gliscor!" roared Giovanni. "Use Stone Edge once again!"

But it was no good- Gliscor merely punched itself in the face with one of its pincers while Apamin summoned Combee from all over the world to bolster her defenses.

"Let's turn this around!" Keith declared. "Apa, use Slash!"

"It won't work!" roared Giovanni. "Use Fire Fang!"

And this time, Gliscor was able to do as ordered. Its mouth ignited, Gliscor flew at the oncoming Vespiquen, biting down at the same time as she landed the Slash attack. Apamin gave a deep, displeased buzz at the Fire Fang, though Gliscor wasn't looking so hot itself- having to fly straight through a two-Stockpile Spit Up seemed to be starting to take its toll.

And Keith noticed this, too. "Alright! Apa, Sweet Scent!" he ordered.

"Don't let it! Use Wing Attack!" said Giovanni. However, as Gliscor flew forward, it flew right into the pink mist Apamin was letting off, and was immediately entranced by the scent. It drew closer and closer, all thoughts of attacking fading fast. "No!" Giovanni roared.

"Yes!" Keith grinned. "Do it! Fell Stinger attack!"

An ominous green glow emanated from the big stinger within the hive that was part of the Vespiquen's body. And with no warning, quite suddenly, she struck! Gliscor was knocked out of the sky, and as it crashed to the ground, Apamin could feel herself powering up, a telltale sign that her foe had fallen.

"Come back, Gliscor," frowned Giovanni, withdrawing the Fang Scorpion Pokémon. "This could be problematic," he murmured, but his smirk returned as he produced a fifth Rocket Ball. "But then, perhaps not," he sneered, throwing the ball. "Rhyperior, enter!"

Keith gritted his teeth- Rhyperior could be a big problem. Very high Defense, and a definite type advantage to boot. But no- he had to have more faith in Apamin than that. She had mildly increased Defense, drastically increased Attack, and way more determination than your average Vespiquen. "Apamin, go for it!" he exclaimed. "Fury Cutter!"

Giovanni smirked. "Use Rock Wrecker," he said simply.

Apamin buzzed with determination, just barely managing to fly around the massive boulder Rhyperior fired off, and with her claws glowing green, the Vespiquen started swiping away at Rhyperior, each strike dealing more damage than the last. And with Rhyperior having just fired off such an exhausting move, it couldn't even move to defend itself against the souped-up Vespiquen.

"Snap out of it and use Rock Blast!" Giovanni exclaimed.

"Grr... Groooohhh!" Rhyperior grunted, starting to move once more. Taking aim with its arms, Rhyperior charged up a number of sizable rocks.

"Apa, get out of there!" Keith said urgently.

"Quen! Quen! Quen!" buzzed Apamin, flying up and away from Rhyperior, swerving and dodging around as many rocks as she could, but some of them struck her nevertheless. However, the Defend Order was doing its work, and Apamin remained airborne.

"Quick, use Flamethrower right now!" ordered Giovanni.

"Dodge it!" Keith exclaimed, but no good- Rhyperior landed the Flamethrower in no time. "Come on, Apamin, fight back!" Keith called to his slightly-singed Vespiquen. "Bug Bite, let's go!"

"I'm afraid you're simply outmatched," smirked Giovanni. "Rhyperior, Smack Down!"

"Apa, quick, Confuse Ray!" Keith called desperately, but once again, Rhyperior was too fast, and fired a single glowing stone projectile. This one knocked Apamin clean out of the air, the Vespiquen now struggling to move, stuck on the ground.

"And finish it!" smirked Giovanni. "Stomp!"

"Apamin! Destiny Bond!" Keith exclaimed. Even as he spoke, Rhyperior was almost upon Apamin... but a glow in the Vespiquen's eyes as the Stomp knocked her out told Keith that the attack had succeeded. And even if that hadn't clued him in, Rhyperior suddenly passing out certainly would have.

"So," said Giovanni as he withdrew Rhyperior. "We're each down to our last Pokémon." He took a moment to glance dubiously at Tinnitus. "I haven't heard a single sound from your Palpitoad," he added. "Unusual for its species. I would know- Ground-types are something of a specialty of mind, after all."

"Yeah, well, Tinnitus has never been able to speak," Keith stated. "That doesn't mean he can't fight!" Tinnitus nodded his agreement, smiling up at his Trainer.

"Well, we'll soon see," Giovanni stated, throwing his sixth Rocket Ball. "Beedrill, enter!"

Keith's eyes widened- not at the Beedrill Giovanni sent out so much as the gleaming gemstone strapped to one of its stingers. "Is that-"

"A Beedrillite? Why, yes, yes it is," smirked Giovanni. "And I take it you know what this is as well," he added, reaching for his pocket. Keith tensed up as Giovanni drew a pistol from his pocket, but in the next instant he saw that the weapon couldn't possibly fire a bullet, for there was a Key Stone set into the barrel. Not that this made him much more relaxed, though, of course.

Keith looked at Tinnitus. "Well... ready, Tinny?" he asked. The Palpitoad responded with confident, reassuring vibrations and a smile just as confident and reassuring, before hopping forward onto the battlefield.

"Oh, you're not ready," sneered Giovanni. "Nobody ever is. And now!" he roared. "Beedrill! Unleash your true power, and show the full extent of what Team Rocket can do!" He took aim with the pistol and pulled the trigger. "Mega Evolve!!!"

If Keith needed any further proof that the gun had been modified to have no functional firing mechanism whatsoever, this here was it. The gun made no noise other than a quiet click as Giovanni pulled the trigger. As he pulled it, however, the tendrils of energy snaked out of the Key Stone, as did the tendrils of energy from the Beedrillite. They met in midair, linking Giovanni's Mega Gun to Beedrill's Beedrillite- linking Giovanni to Beedrill! And the Mega Evolution took place, a sleek and deadly Mega Beedrill flying before them. Several of the Grunts exchanged grins at this, evidently very confident in their boss's secret weapon.

"Let's do this, Tinnitus," Keith said fearlessly. "Use Supersonic!"

"I think not! Fury Attack!" roared Giovanni.

And in an instant, Tinnitus was pinned down by one of Mega Beedrill's stingers, while the other four started pelting it with attacks. And the last one was delivered with the powerful tail stinger, sending the Palpitoad flying backwards.

"Tinnitus!" Keith exclaimed, a note of fear showing in his voice for the first time- if Tinnitus couldn't beat Mega Beedrill, this would mean Giovanni won! And even if Keith refused, he knew that with no conscious Pokémon on hand, and Giovanni with a conscious Beedrill, there was no question of trying to resist their attempts to steal all his Pokémon. "Come on, buddy, you can do this! Turn this around! Rain Dance, let's go!"

The bumps on Tinnitus's head glowed blue, and in an instant, dark clouds formed over the battlefield for the second time that day. Rain clouds, this time, however, if the immediate downpour was any indicator.

"Beedrill! Twineedle!" grinned Giovanni.

"Use Muddy Water!" Keith exclaimed.

Beedrill flew in fast, but Tinnitus was able to meet it with his own attack- mouth open wide, the Palpitoad fired a powerful stream of brown water. Beedrill pushed right through it, of course, but not without considerable effort- the rain was strengthening the Water attack.

Keith winced as the Twineedle hits landed, and a purple tint on the Palpitoad's forehead told Keith that Tinnitus had been poisoned... for all of two seconds before the rain seemed to literally wash it away. Keith grinned- Tinnitus's Hydration had kicked in, the rain helping him to recover from the status affliction. "Awesome!" Keith grinned. "Now let's turn this around! Bubble Beam!"

Once more, Tinnitus opened his mouth, and once more he fired a powerful Water move from within. This time, it was a powerful spray of foam that struck the Mega Beedrill. Indeed, some of the foam stuck to its wings, which Keith took notice of- this would impact its Speed!

"It's useless!" Giovanni exclaimed. "You cannot beat my Mega Beedrill! Not with your mute Palpitoad! Beedrill, finish it now! Pin Missile attack, maximum power!"

"Aqua Ring!" Keith commanded desperately. And while Beedrill fired numerous glowing green needle-like projectiles, Tinnitus formed a number of rings of water all around himself. They did nothing to stop the attack, but they did start to help heal off the damage.

Tinnitus glanced back at Keith. He was trying to remain confident, but he was starting to sweat, starting to panic. And not without reason- if Tinnitus lost this battle, Keith lost. And if Keith lost, things were going to be very bad. Tinnitus, all his teammates, Team Rocket would take them all. And Keith was doing his very best to prevent that from happening. But now it all fell to Tinnitus. He looked back at Mega Beedrill- he had to defeat it. He absolutely had to. With so much at stake, failure was not an option.

Keith's eyes widened. Through the pouring rain, a bright blue-white light became visible. It came from right where Tinnitus was standing. It was Tinnitus! "What?!" growled Giovanni.

"Oh, yeah!" Keith grinned as Tinnitus started to change shape. "It's happening!"

And indeed it was. Tinnitus's small tail finally vanished for good. Legs, actual legs, sprouted from beneath him, as the bumps on his sides grew out to form arms. His forehead bump split into two, and more bumps formed all down his back, and the glow soon faded, revealing a strong yet silent , looking more ready than ever to kick some ass.

"Grr, so it evolved," scoffed Giovanni. "It changes nothing!" Keith, meanwhile, had pointed his Pokédex once more, but this time at his Pokémon.

"Seismitoad, the Vibration Pokémon, and the evolved form of Palpitoad. A Water and Ground-type," said the Pokédex. "Seismitoad vibrates the bumps on its fists to increase the power of its punches. Just one punch allows it to turn a boulder to rubble."

"Awesome," Keith grinned. "And you even learned a new move on top of it all! Tinnitus, use Acid!"

The newly-evolved Seismitoad opened his mouth, and, for the first time ever, unleashed the caustic Poison-type move. Even when not very effective, Beedrill buzzed its displeasure at taking such an attack, the corrosive fluid having done a number on its Special Defense.

"Beedrill, use X-Scissor! Finish it!" roared Giovanni.

"Not happening! Muddy Water!" Keith exclaimed.

And this time, the Seismitoad's Muddy Water was able to repel Mega Beedrill's attack. It couldn't power through the Muddy Water- evolution seemed to have been quite kind to Tinnitus in terms of newfound strength. The rain, at that point, let up quite quickly. As the sun shone through once again, Keith knew the time was now.

"Let's finish this!" Keith declared, moving his arms, the Poisonium Z in his Z-Ring gleaming brightly as he did so.

"What... But that's-" murmured Giovanni.

"Our minds, our spirits, linked as one!" Keith was saying as he moved. "A power as intense as the Plague Swamp of Cascadia! Feel the poison- BE the poison!"

As he said this, Z-Power flowed freely from the Poisonium Z, right into Tinnitus. He may have only just learned Acid, but the move was getting powered up right here and now, and the Seismitoad was ready, ready to unleash a full-force attack.

"Ready, now!" Keith exclaimed. "Full power- use Acid Downpour!!!"

Tinnitus surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Tinnitus unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Acid Downpour
Swirls of poisonous energy spiraled out from Tinnitus, and the very ground beneath Mega Beedrill turned to a smelly, horribly poisonous swamp. At the same time, vicious purple clouds formed above the Bug/Poison-type, and once Tinnitus let loose the energy, the clouds opened up and rained a horribly poisonous substance down onto the Beedrill, reacting with the swamp below to deal even more damage. And then, it was all gone, nothing left but one completely knocked-out, un-Mega'd, Beedrill.

Giovanni sank to his knees as he wordlessly withdrew his Beedrill. "I... I lost?" he murmured, sounding shocked.

"Alright," said Keith, approaching the disgraced Team Rocket boss. "A deal's a deal, right? You gotta disband Team Rocket now."

Giovanni stood back up, regarding Keith in silence for a moment, looking deep in thought with an unreadable expression. Then, with a slight bow of the head, he spoke up once again. "...Well, I've done it once before," he said quietly. "And... whatever my other faults, never let it be said I'm not a man of my word."

"M-Mr. Giovanni!" exclaimed a Grunt.

Giovanni turned to face his underlings. "Get the word out to all our operatives," he stated. "Team Rocket is finished now. What you do now is up to you." The grunts looked less than thrilled about this, though started to file into the helicopter. Some of them rather looked as though they might want to revive Team Rocket themselves someday, though Keith so dearly hoped it would never come to it.

"...I'm gonna be honest, I wasn't sure you'd keep your word," Keith remarked, sounding mildly impressed.

"World domination is a lofty goal," said Giovanni. "Too lofty to attain, yet enticing enough to make some people too greedy to see that. I... shall go," he said. "I will train, train my Pokémon, and think about what I should do. When the time comes, I will make my fresh start. Keith. I cannot make promises as to the rest of Team Rocket, but from me, you will have no more trouble. However, be warned- my last attempt at disbanding Team Rocket didn't exactly take. It stands to reason that this time may not be so different."

"Noted," Keith nodded.

Giovanni offered his hand to Keith. "I hope we meet again, perhaps even have a rematch," he said. "And that when we do, it will be on better terms."

Keith hesitated for a moment, then gave a small smile and shook Giovanni's hand. "Same here," he nodded.

Giovanni gave a small smile. "It was a good battle," he stated. He turned his attention to Seismitoad. "Your Seismitoad is remarkable," he added. "You've raised him well- I only ask you continue to do so." With that, he walked away- the grunts had long since took off in the helicopter.

"Well," Keith remarked, once he and Tinnitus were the only ones present in the clearing. "Gotta say, I never would have seen this one coming." The Seismitoad nodded in agreement. "Alright," said Keith. "So, what say we get on over to the Pokémon Center? I should really have Helena manning it at all times, honestly... But yeah, you guys need some rest, and if you're anything like me, something to eat." And this time, Tinnitus's nodding was much more emphatic as he followed his Trainer to the Pokémon Center.

What? Palpitoad is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Palpitoad evolved into Seismitoad!

*Tinnitus learned Acid!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 10-23-2017 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 02-07-2018, 08:38 PM   #87
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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Angry, Angry Artemis

It was a busy day at the Sludge Wave Coast, with training going on all around. In one direction, a Seismitoad could be seen landing a powerful blow on a Barbaracle with his Liquidation attack. Elsewhere, a pair of Darumaka were duking it out, one charging in with Crossfire, and the other making the first strike with Sucker Punch. In a particularly sunny spot, an Ivysaur and her Druddigon son could be seen recovering from their training matches by using Synthesis. And on the battlefield in front of the house, an Inkay launched progressively more powerful Overheats at an Alolan Vulpix, who was doing her best to block the Fire attacks with her Aurora Veil, made possible of course by the hail currently falling due to her Snow Warning Ability.

Artemis, meanwhile, was not doing so well in her own training battle. She went into a solid Harden attack, but was still blown backwards by Willow's Aerial Ace. She whipped up a Gust attack in retaliation, but Willow retaliated with Hurricane, which easily overpowered the weaker Flying move. Rather than try and fight back after this, Artimis angrily flew away from the scene, leaving a rather confused and concerned Shiftry, who hastened to follow.

"Alright," Keith grinned as he looked around. "How's everybody doi- GAH!" he exclaimed, for at that moment, something struck him in the back of the head- and as he wheeled around, he quickly noticed that it was none other than Artemis, his Shiny Dustox, having hit him with Tackle. "Artemis?" Keith said, sounding confused. "What the-"

"TOX!" Artemis interrupted. "Dustox tox Dustox, Dustox Dustox Dustox! Tox!" With that, she hit Keith with yet another Tackle, just as Willow caught up and held the seething Shiny back.

"Artemis ain't pleased wit youse," Meowth translated from his usual spot on Keith's shoulder. "She's sayin' dat everyone else keeps gettin' new tricks ta work with while she just gets left in da dust wit da few moves she learned on her own."

"Dus tox!" Artemis added, tears now coming to her eyes. "Dus... Dustox tox Dustox!"

"She's sayin' she don't deserve dis kinda shabby treatment," said Meowth. "She's done. She wants out."

Keith looked at the Dustox, who was already looking as though she regretted her words even before Meowth finished translating them. She opened her mouth, and Keith knew in an instant she was going to apologize, to take back what she said. And in that same instant, he knew that that wasn't going to fix everything. Not really. It would make things OK with this outburst, but it wouldn't fix the underlying problem what caused the outburst in the first place.

"Artemis," Keith said, forestalling the Shiny's words. "I know you didn't really mean to hurt my feelings there. There's no hard feelings, OK? But... I mean, you were right- I haven't been doing as much with you as I should have been. I take full blame for that- with all the Pokémon I choose to train, as much as I hate for it to happen, sometimes it just happens. And it shouldn't. And I'll work harder to make sure it doesn't happen anymore... but I have to know, Artemis, honestly- when you said you wanted out, did you mean it?"

Artemis met her Trainer's gaze. The honest answer was yes. Keith was awesome with Poison-types, and was able to train her up from a baby Wurmple... but she wanted to be on a team where she could be assured more attention, more training. Even if that meant departing from her parents- even from birth, Artemis had been more independent than most, and as much as she loved Severus and Fatale, she knew she would be fine without them. But... she didn't want to hurt his feelings. Already she was feeling bad about attacking Keith, even as valid as her points were.

"Hey, look," Keith said, snapping Artemis out of her train of thought. "I don't want you to worry about hurting my feelings here, alright? If you're not happy being on the team, I want you to be able to say so."

"...Dustox tox," Artemis finally nodded.

Keith nodded back. "Well, then... this is goodbye, isn't it?" he asked. Artemis nodded again.

Soon, Severus and Fatale were located and informed of this development. Severus was shocked, though Fatale didn't seem all that surprised. Or if she was, she hid it well. But in the end, they too were in agreement- Artemis had to do right by her. They wanted their daughter to be happy, even if it meant saying goodbye.

It was with a heavy heart Keith fiddled with the Net Ball until it split into two useless halves. He looked down at the halves for a second, then looked back up- Artemis had started to fly away, though turned back around to look at Keith, Severus, and Fatale.

Keith managed a brave smile. "The Pokémon and Trainer have to choose each other," he said. "Otherwise, neither of them will be happy. Good luck, Artemis... or whatever you end up being called."

Artemis smiled back. "Tox," she responded.

"Tooooox! Tooooox!" Severus called out.

"Beauuutiflyyyyyy!" trilled Fatale.

Artemis's smile grew a bit, a few tears falling as she heard her parents' goodbyes. "Duuustooooox," she called back, before turning around and flying off at last.

Not long after, Keith stood in front of his Secret Base, addressing all of his Pokémon. "Alright," he called to them. "As some of you may already know, earlier today, Artemis decided she was no longer willing to be a part of the team. She's gone off to find herself a Trainer who can give her the attention she deserves. Now... I want you all to know... I love working with each and every one of you. If ever I'm doing something wrong, by all means, let me know. And... if ever any of you feel like you no longer want to be on the team, you need only let me know, and I can promise you there will be no hard feelings. I told Artemis earlier- the Pokémon and Trainer have to choose each other, otherwise neither of them will be happy. So... any of you want out, you can tell me."

A silence met Keith's words at first. Several Pokémon exchanged glances. And then, a fedora-clad Camerupt stepped forward. "I think I speaks for at least most of us, hat man," he said, "when I says I ain't goin' nowheres anytime soon."

"I'm with Vinny on this," added Peeves. "I'll leave this team when the Distortion World freezes over."

"I'm staying, too," chimed in Liliana. "And not just because Peeves is staying, either- you're a great Trainer, Keith!"

At this, the other gathered Pokémon started to voice their agreement, including all the ones who did not speak human language.



"Inkay Inkay!"



"Led Ledian!"



Keith was in tears of happiness at this point. Meowth even put a foreleg around Keith and gave him a reassuring grin, just before Keith was grabbed and hugged by his Garbodor and Hariyama. And it wasn't long before this developed into one big, chaotic group hug from most of Keith's Pokémon.

Meanwhile, Artemis was flying aimlessly above the Fizzytopia region. As she neared a forest her parents once showed her, she felt something... a strange pulse of energy, seemingly calling out to her kind. And it came from within the forest. Driven by curiosity, the Shiny Dustox started to descend...


Cadaver Forest. Though the infamous vampire who gave the forest its ominous name was long gone, the name had stuck. Even though it was now flourishing and full of life once more. A haven for Bug-types. Including, or so a certain Orre native was hoping, those of a different color...

"Miror! Peck!" Gavin exclaimed.

"Marrrractus!" exclaimed Miror, hopping forward and striking the Dustox with a powerful blow. This caused the green-winged Bug/Poison-type to fly away.

"Alright, Miror, that brings the chain up to 37," grinned Gavin. "We're getting there! And the battery's at a full charge... here we go!" And he pressed the button on his Poké Radar once more, sending a pulse of energy throughout the area. Gavin kept a sharp eye on the tall grass surrounding him. Any moment now, the energy pulse would draw in more Pokémon, mostly Dustox since those are what he'd been battling... and hopefully...

Gavin's eyes widened as several patches of grass started shaking. And from one patch of grass that shook, sparkles could be seen, kind of a pulsing light. He quickly consulted the screen of his Poké Radar. Four dots appeared on the screen, each corresponding with a patch of grass that had shaken just now. And only three of them were green.

The one corresponding to the sparkling patch was gold.

Slowly, carefully, Gavin made his way to the sparkling patch. And a Dustox shot up out of it, blue sparkles swirling all around it. Its wings, rather than green, were a decidedly autumnal shade of brown.

"Ohh, finally!" Gavin grinned. "Miror, let's go!" he exclaimed to his Maractus. "Thunder Wave!"

"Marac!" exclaimed Miror, letting loose a feeble jolt of electricity from his flowers. The Dustox had fired off a Poison Sting, but was unable to stop the attack from paralyzing her. Miror, meanwhile, took the Poison Sting relatively well despite the super effectiveness of the move.

"Great, Miror! Now straight into a Peck attack!" ordered Gavin.

"Rrrrrractus!" trilled Miror, lunging forward and striking with his forehead spike. The Dustox had managed to use Harden, but was only somewhat successful in deflecting the super effective move.

"Let's do it! Secret Power!" ordered Gavin.

Miror glowed pink for a moment, then sent the pink glow into the ground. Moments later, glowing pink vines shot up out of the tall grass below the Dustox and struck her. The power from the vines might have put her to sleep, but her Shield Dust meant this was in no danger of occurring. What was in danger of occuring, however, was this Dustox losing the battle- she was flying lower to the ground, losing altitude and hit points in equal measure, and struggling to remain in the air at all.

Gavin saw his opportunity and took it. He plunged his right hand into his red backpack and dug out a Net Ball. Once he enlarged said Net Ball, he then held it out in front of him. "Dustox!" declared Gavin. "You shine for me now!" He brought back his right arm as he said this... and then launched the Net Ball forward. "Go, Net Ball!"

Before the Dustox knew it, she found herself inside another Net Ball. It fell to the tall grass with a soft thud and started wobbling back and forth... and then it clicked shut.

"Aww, yeah!" Gavin grinned as Miror handed him the Net Ball. "A Shiny Dustox, and it's mine!"

"Marac Maractus!" added Miror.

"Heh... now to name her," stated Gavin, looking at the Net Ball. "Y'know... her wings look like leaves in autumn. Reminds me of that time I went to visit Grandma Golurkson in Agate Village... Heh... y'know what, I'll call her Agate," he decided. "C'mon, Miror," he added. "The ol' Poké Radar deserves a bit of a break, and you deserve a trip to a Pokémon Center, yeah?"

"MaRAC!" Miror agreed emphatically.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:38 AM   #88
Missingno. Master
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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The Mystery Of Miss Terri

Keith was confused, and quite understandably so. He led the way into the living room of his Secret Base and took a seat, making eye contact with the Swoobat who had followed him in as he did so. "OK, lemme get this straight," Keith said. "You're saying your time with me grows short?"

It seems so, Luna responded telepathically, her tone of voice remarkably conversational, as though they were discussing the weather.

"Well, I- just- wha, what do you mean by that?" Keith sputtered. "Can you elaborate? Do I die or something?"

Oh, no, nothing like that, Luna shook her head. At least, I don't think, anyway. In the vision I had, I missed you, but I wasn't nearly as sad as I'd be if you died. And of course, I was alive and well in my vision, so I don't think I'm dying, either.

"Well... what, then?" Keith asked, feeling utterly helpless.

I wish I knew more,
Luna mentally sighed. It perplexes me that parting ways with you could be beneficial to me. You are, after all, a skilled Trainer, and I've always been proud to take orders from you, and help out any way I can. And you've helped me grow strong. But still... the feeling I got from my vision...

Keith stood up and stroked his Swoobat's head. "Look," he said. "I'm glad you're happy with me as a Trainer. But if there's gonna be someone you'd be even happier with, I ain't about to keep you from them." He gave Luna a sincere, reassuring smile. "I wish I knew more about this, but I guess we just gotta wait and see."

Luna nodded, smiling back. Thank you, she replied.

~~~Three weeks later...~~~

"Inkaaay Inkaaaaay!" trilled George, Keith's Inkay, as he spewed yet another Overheat from his beak. His Special Attack had been boosted by previous uses of this move, thanks to his Ability of Contrary, so things were certainly heating up, so to speak.

But Keith was ready, and so was the Pokémon who was training against George. "Ava! Aurora Veil!" he commanded.

"Vuuuuuul~" squealed the Alolan Vulpix Keith was commanding. A rainbow aura covered her body, reacting with the falling hail to create a protective shield. The Overheat hit with great force, but Ava dug in her heels and stood strong against the super effective move. And once George let up, Ava was still standing!

"Good going, Ava!" Keith grinned. "Now! Use Moonblast!"

"Vul!" exclaimed Ava, firing a silvery orb of lunar energy. George made to dodge it, but the Fairy move landed nevertheless, knocking the Inkay for a loop.

"Alright, I think we'll call it there," Keith grinned, approaching his pair of Pokémon. "George, Ava, good battling, both of you."

"Inkay! Inkay!" chirped George.

"Vuuuuul~" smiled Ava. "Vul Vulpix vul?" she added, sounding somewhat hopeful as she looked up at Keith.

Keith couldn't help but smile at this. "...Oh, alright," he said, acting as though he was relenting following lengthy deliberation, when in fact it had been his intention to do this following this battle anyway. "You've been improving a lot as of late, Ava, and I think it's time." With those words, he dug his Ice Stone out of his backpack and set it on the ground before the Alolan Vulpix.

"Vuuuulpix!" cheered Ava, darting forward and placing a single paw on the chilly surface of the blue rock. The effect was immediate- both stone and Pokémon began to glow, the former being absorbed into the latter as the latter started growing. Six tails split into nine, and before Keith knew it, he was beholding a beautiful ! "Niiiine~" exclaimed Ava as Keith pointed his Pokédex at her.

"Ninetales- Alola form- the Fox Pokémon. An Ice and Fairy-type, and the evolved form of Vulpix," droned the device. "Ninetales produces ice crystals from its fur, and can use them for offense or defense. Though normally calm in demeanor, Ninetales will freeze solid anyone who angers it."

"Wow," came a voice from behind Keith. "She's very pretty." Understandably startled by this unfamiliar voice, Keith wheeled around to see who had shown up at Sludge Wave Coast.

"Uh... thanks," Keith replied. "I'm Keith, by the way. Keith Masters. Um... who are you?" he added. He'd never seen this girl before, he was pretty sure. Rather short, and if she was a teenager, she hadn't been one for long, going by looks alone.

"I'm Terri," replied the young girl. "Terri Alph. May I pet your Ninetales?" she asked.

Keith turned to Ava. "Well, that's not exactly my call to make," he shrugged. "What say you, Ava?"

"Niiiine," nodded Ava. At this, Terri approached the Alolan Ninetales and stroked her head.

"So, Terri," said Keith, chuckling as Ava gave a contented sigh in response to the petting, "Are you new around here? I don't think I've seen you around here before."

"I doubt you did," smiled Terri. "I just got to the Fizzytopia region today. I'm from Alph, Johto."

Keith blinked in surprise. "Alph?" he repeated. "As in, the ruins of?"

Terri nodded. "Yep," she said. "Dad's in charge of the research team there. Oh, there she is!" she added, looking behind Keith. Keith followed her gaze, and sure enough, there was Luna.

Hello, Luna greeted Terri telepathically. We finally meet, Terri.

"Nice to meet you, Luna," Terri smiled back.

"...I'm very confused here," Keith piped up.

Keith- this is who I had a vision of three weeks ago, explained Luna.

"Luna reached out to me telepathically," explained Terri. "She explained about her vision and wanted to meet me in person. And apparently some of her teammates wanted to as well."

"Wait, what?" Keith blinked. He looked around- George was hovering near Terri, and Andromeda, Keith's Starmie, had also arrived on the scene. "Wh- wait, you guys don't mean-"

I apologize, Andromeda conveyed telepathically, and she sounded like she meant it. But I find myself intrigued by this girl. I feel as though my talents would flourish more thoroughly under her ownership. A pause. Do not misinterpret my words as an insult to your training abilities, she pleaded. I do not mean this as an insult, nor do George or Luna.

Keith was understandably stunned. He'd only met this Terri girl two minutes ago, and three of his Pokémon were already lining up to go with her?

Terri looked up at Keith. "I'm not gonna take them from you if you don't want to say goodbye," she said.

"I just..." Keith sighed. "I mean, Luna told me, back when she had that vision, that she and I would be parting ways, and I spent these past few weeks mentally preparing myself for when that'd happen... I mean, not only am I less ready than I thought I'd be, but now I find out it's not just Luna?"

I'm sorry, Luna said telepathically, looking down. I should have told you. It's just... I couldn't bear to pile any more on top of what I already told you, seeing how sad you were.

"...I can't blame you for that, Luna," Keith conceded. "But it still doesn't make this any easier to take, y'know? I mean... honestly, I don't think there'd have been a particularly good time to tell me," he admitted with a shrug.

"Inkay..." George murmured, looking downcast at seeing Keith like this. Tears had started to come to the Poison-type Trainer's eyes.

Keith, however, shook his head as though to clear it. "OK... I don't pretend to understand all of this," he began. "But... what I do know is, a Trainer's gotta do what's best for their Pokémon. And if Luna's convinced that you taking these three is what's best for them... well, she's never been wrong before," Keith said, with a brave attempt at a smile. "It's just... I'm gonna miss you guys," he added to the trio of Psychic-types.

At this, aforementioned trio moved in and hugged Keith. It's not goodbye forever, Luna conveyed to Keith. We will ask Terri to visit. Often.

And when we do visit, we will battle, and show how far we've come since last we've met, added Andromeda.

"Inkay! Inkay!" added George, the only one of the bunch not yet capable of telepathy.

Keith said nothing at first, tearfully hugging his Pokémon. "...OK," he stated. "Terri... I've made up my mind."

"Yes?" said Terri, tilting her head.

"You can have these three," said Keith. "...if you can prove to me that they'll do well with you."

At this, Terri grinned. "You mean a battle, don't you?" she asked.

Keith grinned back. "Three on three," he responded. "Prove to me that Luna got another one right."


Soon, everything was all set up. Keith had relinquished Luna's Space Ball, Andromeda's Psychic Ball, and George's Lure Ball to Terri. Terri had gotten to know the Psychic-types, while Keith decided on the lineup he'd use for this battle. And now, they stood on opposite ends of the battlefield at Sludge Wave Coast. Meowth, though just as shocked by the whole thing as Keith, had agreed to act as referee. "Alright, den," he stated, standing on the sidelines. "Dis'll be a three-on-three battle between Keith Masters o' Lavaridge Town, and Terri Alph o' da Ruins o' Alph. Let da battle begin!"

With that, Terri tossed the Lure Ball. "George! Engage!" she exclaimed as the Inkay appeared in a flash of light.

It felt weird to Keith that he was going to be battling his own Inkay. At first, anyway. After taking a deep breath, Keith forced himself to think of this as just another training battle. And with that done, he threw a Fast Ball. "You're up, Anion!" Keith exclaimed as his Minun appeared before him.

"Let's go!" said Terri. "George, Hypnosis!"

"Anion, use Quick Attack!" Keith commanded.

"Maaaiiiinun!" exclaimed Anion, charging forward at great speeds, ramming into the Inkay before he could even begin to use Hypnosis.

Keith refused to relent. "Follow up with Mega Punch!" he ordered.

"Use Trick Room!" called Terri.

Anion landed her Mega Punch, but even as she did so, George took on a pale blue glow that quickly spread all over the battlefield. Keith gritted his teeth- Trick Room was gonna work against Anion in a big way here! "Use Thunderbolt!" he ordered.

"Quick! George, use Overheat!" said Terri.

"IiiinKAAAAAY!" chirped George, unleashing a powerful blast of intense flames from his beak. Anion let loose the Thunderbolt attack, but both moves hit their respective targets. And George, of course, was powered up by Overheat.

"Gah... how to get around Contrary..." Keith murmured. Then, his eyes widened. "Of course! Anion, Entrainment!" he ordered.

"Mai mai! Mai mai!" Anion exclaimed. A strange golden aura took over her body as she started to dance peculiarly. Then, a similar aura came over George, forcing him to move in the same way as his Ability was forcibly changed from Contrary to Volt Absorb!

But if this setback fazed Terri at all, she didn't let on. "No matter- you're already powered up!" she assured George. "Psywave, let's go!"

"Anion, use Acrobatics!" ordered Keith.

George let fly the Psywave at the same time Anion darted forward. However, Keith hadn't counted on the Trick Room screwing with Anion's maneuverability so much- he had figured Acrobatics would allow Anion to circumvent the psychic rings, but she was slammed by each and every one. This, however, did not deter her from landing the actual attack itself, and she struck with great force, nearly knocking the Inkay to the ground.

"Now use Reflect, George!" called Terri.

"Don't let him, Anion!" Keith exclaimed. "Quick Attack!"

"Mai maiii!" Anion responded, charging forward once more. Now here was a move Trick Room couldn't mess with- it might make fast Pokémon slower, but Quick Attack was Quick Attack any way you slice it. And sure enough, the Quick Attack landed, not giving George a chance to use Reflect. The Inkay was knocked to the ground, and also knocked clean out.

"George is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Anion wins it!"

"George, undo!" declared Terri, withdrawing the Inkay. "Very nice indeed," she smiled, before selecting the Psychic Ball and throwing it. "Andromeda, engage!" she called out as the Starmie appeared.

"Anion, use your Thunderbolt attack now!" Keith commanded as the Trick Room vanished from around them.

"Andromeda, Hydro Pump!" ordered Terri.

Anion was fast again, but Andromeda was faster still. The Minun let out a disgusted cry as the Hydro Pump washed over her, and to Keith's mild astonishment, Anion was knocked out right away.

"Anion is unable ta battle!" said Meowth. "Andromeda wins!"

"Come back now, Anion!" declared Keith, withdrawing the Minun. "Hey, you did great," he murmured as he replaced the Fast Ball upon his belt. He then addressed Terri. "So far, so good," he said. "And you've never had a battle before?" Terri didn't respond, save for a mysterious smile. Keith simply shrugged, and threw a Christmas Ball. "Now- Winter, I choose you!" he declared as his Cryogonal appeared before him.

"Use Flash Cannon!" commanded Terri.

"Dodge it and use Night Slash!" Keith called.

"Gonal!" exclaimed Winter, floating upward. The Flash Cannon barely grazed him, and in response, the Ice-type started spinning like a sawblade, his snowflake body taking on a sinister black aura as he sped towards Andromeda.

But Terri wasn't leaving it at that. "Protect!" she ordered. Andromeda's core flashed blue, and a reflective dome appeared all around her. The Night Slash couldn't cut through.

"Winter, use Freeze-Dry!" ordered Keith.

"Andromeda, Psyshock!" ordered Terri.

And the attacks flew at once. Winter sent a chilling blast of energy Andromeda's way, while solidified chunks of psychic energy were heaved at the Cryogonal. Both attacks hit for heavy damage- Cryogonal were good at taking special attacks, but Psyshock targeted the physical Defense, something Cryogonal were known to stink at. And Freeze-Dry, while an Ice move, had the distinct distinction of being super effective against Water-types.

"Use Signal Beam!" ordered Keith and Terri simultaneously.

And just like that, the rainbow beams of energy were fired off, and met in midair. Neither Pokémon let up any, and very soon, a great explosion rocked the battlefield. It took a while for the dust to settle, but when it did...

"Winter and Andromeda are both unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Dis match is a draw!"

"Andromeda, undo!" called Terri as she withdrew the Starmie.

"Now, Winter, come back!" added Keith as he too withdrew his Cryogonal. He gave a small smile to Terri. "Not bad at all," he said. "But we each still got one Pokémon left. Let's give this our all."

Terri nodded. "Let's," she agreed, readying the Space Ball. "Now, Luna, engage!" she called out, throwing the sphere.

Keith threw his Poké Ball as well. "Hedwig, let's go!" he exclaimed.

The pair of bats eyed each other from across the battlefield. Hedwig's expression was unreadable. The Crobat was beyond shocked to learn that the Swoobat who regarded her as an older sister was now intent on leaving the team. She knew the purpose of this battle, and she intended to see to it that this Terri girl be put to as harsh a test as she could muster. And Luna, in turn, knew all of this, and was determined to show Hedwig, she knew what she was doing here.

"Let's go, Hedwig! Rain Dance!" Keith ordered.

"Cro!" Hedwig responded, flapping her wings hard. Black clouds billowed above the battlefield, and quickly opened up, letting loose a deluge upon the combatant bats.

"Luna, Thunder Wave!" commanded Terri.

"Swoooobat bat!" exclaimed Luna, letting loose a feeble electrical jolt from her heart-shaped nostril.

"It won't be that easy!" grinned Keith. "Fly, Hedwig!"

"After her!" called Terri as the Crobat hastened to ascend, evading the Thunder Wave completely. "Use Heart Stamp!"

"Now! Use Water Pulse!" commanded Keith.

A pink glow emanated from Luna's nostril as she charged at Hedwig, only to be met with a sphere of water for her troubles, bolstered further by the rain. It knocked the Swoobat for a loop, but she recovered quick enough.

"OK, Luna! Calm Mind!" ordered Terri.

"Hedwig! Thunder!" Keith ordered.

"Crooooooo!" Hedwig bellowed, eyes glowing yellow. At the same time, the clouds above let loose a sizzling lightning bolt. The bolt descended upon Luna with grim precision. Luna took the attack, and while it had a great effect, Luna did not so much as flinch, eyes still shut serenely as she Calmed her Mind. She found it a Simple matter to double the effectiveness of the Calm Mind on her stats, and when she opened her eyes, it was clear- she was still in this.

"Fight back! Charge Beam!" said Terri.

"Detect!" Keith called out.

Hedwig's eyes gleamed even as Keith spoke, and she was able to evade Luna's Charge Beam with great speed. Keith, of course, knew this wasn't likely to work twice, so he knew he had to think fast- surely another Charge Beam was about to happen.

"Now- Hedwig, use Haze!" Keith exclaimed.

"Luna, Taunt!" retorted Terri without missing a beat.

"Swoooooo! Swoobat bat Swoobat!" Luna called up mockingly at Hedwig. Thoroughly enraged by this, Hedwig didn't bother with the Haze. Keith gritted his teeth as Terri called for another Charge Beam- Hedwig couldn't dodge this one, and it even seemed to power up Luna even further! He had to do something, and fast. And then, his eyes fell upon his Z-Ring...

"Luna, use Substitute!" commanded Terri.

In response, Keith moved his arms. Moved his arms to activate his Icium Z. "Let's go, Hedwig!" he exclaimed. Meowth was understandably surprised- he saw that Keith was using the Icium Z here instead of his Poisonium Z, but... Hedwig didn't know any Ice moves, did she?

“Our hearts, our minds, linked as one!" Keith exclaimed as he moved. "A chill as intense as the Snowfall Steppe of Cloud Garden! Raise the power, lower the temperature!”

"Cro!" Hedwig exclaimed as she felt the Z-Power flow into her.

"Let's do it! Use Z-Haze!!!" Keith commanded.

Hedwig restored all of its HP using its Z-Power!

Hedwig unleashes its full-force Z-Move!

Hedwig used Z-Haze!
The Z-Power, for once, was not providing raw power, was not upgrading any of Hedwig's moves into a single-use nuke. She had no Ice moves- no damaging Ice moves, anyway. Haze, after all, was still an Ice move. Rather, the Z-Power was serving to heal Hedwig of the little damage she'd taken thus far, and also helped clear her mind somewhat. It didn't shake off the Taunt altogether, but it did at least get this particular order through to her. And this time, Hedwig unleashed the Haze attack. Luna tried to evade it, but no good- all her stat boosts vanished at once.

"Luna!" exclaimed Terri.

"We got it! Thunder!" Keith grinned.

"Croooo BAAAAAT!" Hedwig exclaimed, summoning yet another intense lightning bolt. It struck the Substitute and kept on going, Hedwig's Infiltrator allowing the move to bypass the Substitute completely and strike down the Swoobat herself.

"Luna, are you OK?" Terri asked. The Swoobat, lying on the battlefield, slightly smoking, made no attempt to respond, or even to move.

"Luna is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Hedwig wins! All three o' Terri's Pokémon are unable ta battle, so da winner is Keith!"

Terri scooped up Luna in her arms. "Infiltrator," she murmured. "And status Z-Moves... I never saw any of that coming. I'm sorry, Luna," she said gently.

Keith approached Terri at this point. "...You got a lot to learn," he said. "But at the same time, not as much as the average rookie Trainer would have to learn," he conceded. "Terri... you really made me think on my feet in that battle. You commanded my Pokémon well... well enough for me to approve of you as their new Trainer," he finished with a sigh and a small smile.

Terri smiled back. "Thank you," she replied. "I'll come visit with them a lot. I think they'd like that."

"I think I'd like that, too," Keith nodded.

What followed was a series of sad goodbyes. Tears were shed by all present (with eyes, anyway, though the way Andromeda's gem flickered, one could argue that to be the Starmie equivalent of crying, as it was different from the standard low HP flashing). But even as Terri departed Sludge Wave Coast with three more Pokémon than she arrived with, Keith couldn't help but smile. He'd miss Luna, Andromeda, and George, but at the same time, there was no denying, they were in good hands.

What? Vulpix is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Vulpix evolved into Ninetales!

*Ava learned Dazzling Gleam!*

*Ava learned Imprison!*

*Ava learned Nasty Plot!*

*Ava learned Ice Beam!*

*Ava learned Ice Shard!*

*Ava learned Confuse Ray!*

*Ava learned Safeguard!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 03-11-2018 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 03-20-2019, 01:40 PM   #89
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Christmas At Sludge Wave Coast

Christmas was always a festive time of year, including and especially where Keith Masters was concerned. It was a favorite holiday of his, and his enthusiasm for the holiday was more contagious than Pokérus, as was evident in his Pokémon's love for the holiday as well. It was not uncommon to see Gemini and Mustard floating around, the larger head wearing a Santa hat and beard, the smaller head wearing Stantler antlers and a red nose. Pomona took an intense delight in decorating their home for Christmas, and in recent years, was joined in this by Winter, a shared interest that strengthened the already-present friendship between the Ivysaur and the Cryogonal. And Marvolo, of course, had his own... unique history with the holiday.

This year, however, was to be even more special than usual- Keith was to have guests over for Christmas that were not simply his own Pokémon. On the day of Christmas Eve, during Fizzytopia's Christmas festivities, Keith had a chance encounter with two other Trainers he'd previously met, befriended, and entrusted some of his Pokémon to. And upon learning that they were planning to just spend the night in Pokémon Centers, he knew they deserved better than that and invited them to spend Christmas with him at Sludge Wave Coast.

"Whoa," Terri murmured as they approached the Poisonous Palace. She and Gavin had been here before, and they knew the look of the place well enough, but never around Christmastime. The mansion was decked out with lights, garland, all manner of awesome decorations. And through one of the front windows, they could see a beautiful Christmas tree in Keith's living room.

"Shit, dude," Gavin remarked, clearly impressed. "You go all-out, don't ya?"

"You better believe it," Keith grinned.

"Fros, Froslass," Laugh remarked, also sounding impressed. Keith smiled and nodded- Froslass language wasn't one of the Pokémon languages he could understand, but the sentiment was not lost on him.

Keith then led the way inside, and his guests were even more floored- the place was even more beautifully decorated on the inside! Even as they looked, Pomona was humming merrily to herself as she hung mistletoe over every doorway through use of Vine Whip. One look into the living room revealed it was even more beautiful than it looked through the window, between the Christmas tree, the Plusle elf and Minun elf plushies Marvolo always insisted on making sure sat over the fireplace, and everything in between.

Gavin and Terri, once they got over their initial shock at how lavishly the place was decorated, made themselves at home fairly quickly, as did their Pokémon. Severus and Fatale were surprised but happy to reunite with their daughter. They still wished she could be with them more, but Agate assured them she was far happier on Gavin's team. Rui, Luna, Andromeda, and George all happily reunited with their former teammates on Keith's team, as well with Keith himself. Aipom, of course, drove everyone crazy. And Terri and Laugh spent much of their time kissing under the mistletoe at every perceivable opportunity.

"...and then he realized that the only one who could help Santa out now was himself," Marvolo was saying to some of Gavin and Terri's Pokémon. "He asked Santa if there was any way he could make him able to fly like those Stantler. And Santa told him that he already could fly- because he'd eaten Dasher so recently, that Christmas magic was still in his system, and he too could fly. So Santa sent out his Abra, who Teleported them all back to the North Pole."

"But a Seviper at the North Pole?" Miror questioned. "Wouldn't that have been cold?"

"It was freezing," Marvolo responded. "But that Seviper knew that if he didn't brave the cold, Christmas would be ruined for everyone worldwide, and he couldn't have that. So he tapped into his Flamethrower energy to combat the cold, he ignored the disdainful stares from the other Stantler. He sucked it up, and he helped pull that sleigh all over the world."

"Did that really happen?" Aipom chimed in. "How do you know so much about this?"

Marvolo gave a grin. "Because that Seviper is me," he revealed. "I'm the Seviper who saved Christmas."

"Prove it," cawed Want.

Marvolo said nothing. With a knowing grin, he focused. Then, red and green energy swirled all around him and he rose up into the air, eliciting "ooh"s and "ahh"s from everyone present as he flew around the room. Ever since these incidents he was retelling, Marvolo had found that he was able to tap into those tiny traces of Christmas magic still within him, and learn Magnet Rise as a result.

The matter of sleeping arrangements was settled fairly quickly- Keith only had one guest room, but Terri didn't even fight for it, stating that Gavin was welcome to it, having already found the couch in the living room to be very much to her liking.

The next day, Christmas, was about as wonderful and magical as you could expect Christmas Day to be. Presents were exchanged, friendly battles were waged in the Battle Room, videophone calls to family were made. Terri had called the research staff at the Ruins of Alph, Keith had called up his parents (and their Abomasnow) in Lavaridge Town, and Gavin had called up his parents and brother back in Pyrite Town.

"Haha, yeah," Gavin chuckled. "Yeah, Merry Christmas to you fuckers, too, bye." He was still chuckling as everyone hung up. "Yeah, so, you see where the swearing comes from," he added to the others.

"Oh, yeah," Keith nodded in agreement. "They seem pretty nice, though."

"They really are," nodded Gavin. "Pyrite Town's shit to grow up in, but when you got good family, that helps. I mean, I'll be honest, Dad and Hordel kinda got mixed up with the wrong crowd at one point, but they got themselves out. They're good people. I mean, yeah, Dad's got a bit of a temper, but he don't take it out on us, and I really respect that about the old man. And Mom- lemme tell you right now, Stella Golurkson is the best cook in the world. Though I will say, Hermione comes close," he added fairly.

"Heh, I bet you never thought you'd be favorably comparing a Weedle's cooking to that of your own mother," Keith smirked. "And speaking of which," he added, as a puff of smoke floated into the room and formed itself into the shape of a Farfetch'd. "I do believe dinner is ready."

And was it ever! Hermione, Cotton, and Shelley had gone all-out, and it showed. Delicious roast Farfetch'd, mashed potatoes, assortments of berries (including bowls of Snoverberries picked from the trees all over the house), and so forth. And it wasn't only the humans who sat down at the table- Terri wanted Laugh to sit beside her, something Keith had no problem with. Jack, having Transformed into the vague likeness of his Trainer, also took a seat, as did Helena, having created an illusion of how she looked in life. A few other Pokémon, the ones more easily capable of utilizing the chairs, took seats at the table rather than eating out of dishes on the floor. And even then, the food on the tables was happily shared with all present, person or Pokémon.

As they were well into their meal, Keith stood up from his seat at the head of the table, clinking his fork against his glass to attract everyone's attention. Once he had that, he cleared his throat and spoke up. "Alright, well, first and foremost, I want to wish every one of you a Merry Christmas," he began. "Especially those of you who have agreed to be our guests during this Christmas season. Gavin, Terri, it's been an absolute pleasure to have you and your Pokémon around here. We've all enjoyed having you here, and I very much hope you've enjoyed it as well."

'We have," confirmed Terri, nodding and smiling.

"Froslass," agreed Laugh.

"Fuckin' bet on it," nodded Gavin.

"I'm glad to hear it," Keith smiled. "Because I have another offer to extend to you- how would the two of you like to live here at Sludge Wave Coast?"

Naught but a stunned silence followed these words. Gavin, Terri, and Laugh simply stared in shock as their brains processed Keith's offer.

"...Are you for real?" Gavin squeaked finally.

"I am for real," Keith smiled. "Sludge Wave Coast is a big place, and frankly, even with all my Pokémon, it can sometimes feel a bit lonely. There's plenty of room for my Pokémon and I to help you guys build homes of your own, and we'd be more than willing to help with that as well. What do you guys say?" At this, Keith's Pokémon all chimed in, voicing their agreement with this sentiment. Even the normally disagreeable Marvolo was voicing his approval of this notion.

Terri turned to Laugh. "What do you think?" she asked.

Laugh gave a small smile and a nod. "Fros Froslass," she stated.

Terri smiled back. "I couldn't agree more," she said, then turned back to Keith. "We accept," she said.

"Yeah, I'm in, too," nodded Gavin. "But holy shit- dude, that's more than generous! How can we thank you?"

"Y'know, don't even worry about that," Keith responded. "Having you guys as neighbors, I feel like that'll be thanks enough."

And so it came to be- Terri Alph and Gavin Golurkson ended up becoming residents of Sludge Wave Coast along with Keith Masters. Construction of these houses took some time, which meant they had to continue staying with Keith for a period of time, which overlapped with a few events, including Laugh's birthday, but it wasn't too terribly long a wait before they were complete, and for the first time since coming to Fizzytopia, finally had places they could truly call home.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:41 PM   #90
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Paras Problems

It was a day like any other at Sludge Wave Coast. Gavin was hosting another Colosseum Challenge at his place; Jack the Ditto was resting and relaxing under the pickup truck parked not far from the shore; and in the Poisonous Palace, Keith Masters had his hands full with handling his newest Pokémon.

Amanitin the Paras was scuttling determinedly down the entrance hall, tochukaso mushrooms conspicuously absent from her back, and judging by the scene unfolding, she wanted to keep it that way. For at that moment, flying after her were a Ledian and a Pawniard, the former clutching both tochukaso mushrooms in two of his four fists, the latter airborne by way of Magnet Rise. A scene the likes of which had become quite familiar in the Masters household as of late, this being the third time this month alone. Stewie and Ginny were in hot pursuit of the Paras, even as she veered off into the kitchen. "Warp tile!" Ginny cried out. "Stewie, dining room!"

"Right!" Stewie responded, making a sharp right and flying into the dining room. Ginny's call was right on the mark, for Amanitin did in fact appear in the dining room warp tile, just in time for Stewie to Tackle her into the corner.

"GAH! NO! GET THE FUCK OFF!" the Paras bellowed.

"Silence!" Stewie snapped. "You will wear these blasted mushrooms!"

"The hell I will!" retorted Amanitin. "Get your stupid dumb fists offa me before I use these claws to slice open your-"

"Now, do you really want to finish that sentence?" came a deadly whisper, just as a blade drew perilously close to the Paras. Ginny had joined them, and was in a very good position to carve up Amanitin like a Christmas Farfetch'd at a moment's notice.

"...Fuck you, bitch," Amanitin grumbled. She stopped struggling, but glared murderously at both Stewie and Ginny as they secured the tochukaso mushrooms back onto her back. Immediately, the hateful glare subsided, replaced by a much nicer look in the Paras's eyes.

"You all right, Amanita?" Stewie asked.

"Yes, thank you," replied the Paras, in a much nicer tone of voice. "Thank you, Stewie, Ginny."

"Happy to help," Ginny responded, saluting the Paras. "I must say, it'll be a relief when you finally evolve and we don't have to keep dealing with Amanitin anymore."

"Agreed," nodded Stewie.

Amanita did not immediately respond. "Hmm," she murmured thoughtfully.

Ginny looked at Amanita. "Something wrong?" she asked. "Or- are you still Amanita-"

"No, no, I'm still me," Amanita said hastily. "No, it's just... when you mentioned what a relief it would be when I evolved... I fully expected Amanitin to throw a fit and make a sudden frantic bid to seize back control. But... it's as though she didn't hear it. And make no mistake, she can hear when I'm in control."

"Hm," murmured Stewie. "Odd indeed. Ominous, almost... Almost as if-"

"As if her evolving would be playing into a trap of some sort?" Ginny finished her boyfriend's sentence.

At that moment, however, the Paras reacted wildly, Amanitin taking back control in an instance. "NO- wh- uh- yeah, that's right! Evolving me, it's- it's a trap, it... it just... it's gonna... ah, screw it," she groaned, and in the blink of her spherical eyes, Amanita was back in control, though she said nothing to indicate this- a stunned silence had followed Amanitin's outburst.


Ginny, Stewie, and Amanita, none of them knew what to make of Amanitin's behavior. So they decided to take this to one of their teammates who might stand more of a chance. And with that, the Pawniard, Ledian, and Paras headed into the library. As they turned a corner and walked past some bookshelves, a larger-than-average Weedle looked up from the book she was perusing. "Hello, Ginny, Stewie, Amanita," Hermione greeted them. "What brings you here?"

"Hello, Hermione," said Stewie. "We were looking for Liliana."

"Amanitin's recent behavior has us baffled," added Amanita.

Hermione nodded. "And you think Liliana can help get to the bottom of it," she stated understandingly. "She and Peeves were working with Chip in the Battle Room earlier-"

But in that instant, the pair of Dusknoir and their son came floating in through the wall. Chip, unusually, seemed noticeably less energetic than usual, even as he greeted the others. "Hi, Stewie. Hi, Ginny. Hi, Amanita," he yawned. "Mom and Dad were helping me with my Ice Beam, and it's really coming along."

"The little guy wore himself out," Peeves said proudly. "C'mon, sport, let's head on down to the kitchen, get some cookies."

"Ooh, cookies!" Chip exclaimed, still sounding tired, but he and Peeves floated down through the floor regardless.

Liliana was about to follow them, when Stewie spoke up. "I say, you there, Liliana," he called to her.

"Excuse me, can you please help?" Amanita asked as the female Dusknoir turned around. "Amanitin's been acting... unusual. I'm not sure what to make of it, I was hoping maybe you could please...?"

Liliana nodded. "I'll try my best," she promised. "But I can't guarantee we get to the bottom of it. You know I've tried talking to Amanitin before..."

"Yeah, I remember," Ginny nodded. "Hard to forget- we had to chase her down with Pursuit together." The Pawniard gave a small chuckle.

Liliana chuckled along with this, then turned to the Ledian. "Stewie? Remove the tochukaso," she said. Stewie nodded, and plucked the mushrooms off of the Paras's back.

The shift in personality was less drastic than usual. No sudden murderous glare, no violent outbursts. Amanitin simply stood there, looking down. "...So what of it, then?" she spat.

Liliana passed partially through the floor until just her head was sticking out, putting her as close to eye level with the Paras as possible. "Amanitin," she said gently. "Amanita tells us you've been acting-"

"Unusual, yeah, yeah, I can hear what goes on when she takes the wheel," the Paras interrupted bitterly. "Like I said, what of it? What do any of you care? I'm just the murderous psycho Paras, aren't I?"

"Are you really, though?" Liliana asked. "Is that the real you or is it what you want us to see?"

"The fuck does it matter!" exploded Amanitin.

"We just want to get to know you better," Liliana said patiently. "We want to understand-"

"YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND!" screeched Amanitin. "None of you! I don't give a Raticate's ass if you used to be an Umbreon whose Trainer got murdered, or if you used to be some super-evil Shadow Pokémon, or what have you- none of you are, or have ever been, a Paras!"

Seconds later, Liliana spoke up to break the stunned silence. "You're right," she said. "None of us are in the same situation as you. But that means the only way we have any hope of understanding is if you tell us. Tell us what's going on, why you act the way you want us to believe you are- because the more I talk to you, the less I'm convinced that you're really psychotic or murderous." And for a moment, Amanitin did not respond. Then, she took a deep breath, and, sounding as though it cost her a great effort, started reciting a little poem.

"When Paras hits level twenty-four,
The bug you knew will be no more.
Succumbs to the mushrooms on its back,
Which gain the power they used to lack.

Taking another deep breath, a rather shuddering one this time, Amanitin spoke up again. "I ain't no dummy. I know my lot in life. I live a little life of false hope, pretending I got a future, when the fact of the matter is that when I evolve, I'm gone. Once I'm a Parasect, I'm done, and this will be all Amanita. And just... just knowing this... I... what good would it do to make any of you miss me?" she asked. There was definite moisture in her eyes as she posed this question. "All y'all, you're good Pokémon, and Keith's got the patience of a friggin' saint. I... I just... it's hard enough knowing what my ultimate fate is gonna be, but... if I make friends, I'm just gonna end up having to abandon them when we evolve. I... I can't do that to any of you... I was never really gonna kill any of ya, I just... I needed to make sure nobody would miss me..."

Before anyone could respond to this, they heard footsteps. As they turned to look, they saw Keith entering the library. Meowth, with tears in his eyes, was whispering the translations to the Paras's side of the conversation into Keith's ear. The Poison-type Trainer sat down beside Amanitin, who was determinedly looking at the floor.

"...For anyone training a Paras, knowing that fact about what happens upon evolution is a terrible burden," Keith said quietly. "But I never dreamed that... that this would be such a burden on the Paras as well. Amanitin... I... I had a girlfriend... sh-she's gone now. There was a brief glimmer of hope a few years back, but... no," he sighed. "And... it hurt. I spent more time crying than I cared to keep count of. Losing her left a hole in my heart that will never fully heal. But," he added, even as Liliana put a hand on his shoulder (the Dusknoir knowing all too well who and what Keith was talking about here, and thus knowing very well how he was feeling at this moment). "...the moment when I approached her, when I told her how I felt, when we decided to start going out... I don't regret it in the slightest. I feel like I'm a better man for having been with Coselle," he stated. "And I'll always still have those wonderful memories... and this," he added, producing a Chespin doll from his bag. "A gift from her on Valentine's Day, back in 2013... It's now my most prized possession. If... if you were to make friends among us, yes, we'd miss you, but... when your time comes, you'd have the satisfaction of knowing you've managed to touch the lives of others, and make them better for having known you." It was at this moment the Paras burst into tears, and it was at this moment Keith pulled Amanitin into the first hug they've shared that was for comfort rather than restraint. Everyone present knew then and there that things were gonna be different dealing with Amanitin going forward.

Finally, the hug broke apart, and Amanitin looked over at her teammates. "...so..." she muttered. "Uh... I get that I ain't made the best first impression on y'all, but... well... I, uh... I'm sorry," she mumbled. "I... I'd like to be your friend. If, y'know... if you'll have me."

Once again, a silence followed Amanitin's words. The gathered Pokémon exchanged looks. And then, Stewie stepped forward. "I was as universally detested as you," he said to Amanitin. "After being purified, I sought redemption among my teammates. Now I'm proud to call them my friends. And... I may have tried to pretty much destroy the world. So if they could forgive me for that... I for one am willing to be your friend," he said, holding out one of his fists. Amanitin, tears in her eyes, touched her claw to that fist in the closest approximation of a handshake that a Ledian and a Paras could pull off.

"I'll be your friend as well," Hermione added.

"As will I," added Liliana.

"...I will give you a chance," relented Ginny, but however reserved she was trying to be, she couldn't help but crack the smallest of smiles.

"You got a friend in me as well," Keith assured his Paras.

At that moment, Amanita took over. "Same with me, Amanitin." Then, the tochukaso relinquished control back over to Amanitin.

Amanitin said nothing more. She simply looked at all her new friends, tears in her eyes. Short though she knew her time was... it all suddenly seemed a lot more bearable now.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:16 PM   #91
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Grime Time

"...and then the toilet exploded!" Keith was saying amid Gavin's chuckling. "Second-worst Masters family reunion ever, I'm telling you," he chuckled himself.

"Holy shit, man," Gavin laughed. "Every day really is an adventure for you, ain't it?"

"Oh, don't I know it," Keith nodded. "Even just today was nuts."

"Yeah," nodded Gavin, glancing at the dull grey Spritzee currently exploring Sludge Wave Coast. "You make a wrong turn, end up in an abandoned city, and wind up catching the Garbage Queen, you said they called her?"

"Yep," Keith nodded back. "Of course, the trip back home was pretty eventful, too. Took my team to a Pokémon Center, and this Nurse Joy in training came out, grabbed me by my shirt, started shaking me, going, "What the fuck did you do to that Spritzee?!?!" Because of the feathers and smell, she'd thought I'd been abusing it. Luckily, Nurse Joy was able to clear things up, assuring the trainee that this had been going on long before I caught Miasma, and far from being abused, that Miasma actually has the strongest immune system of any Spritzee she'd ever seen before, and is in perfect health."

"Shit," Gavin remarked, sounding impressed. "I feel like I'd kinda like to meet that Nurse Joy in training, though," he added. "I feel like we'd either piss each other off or fall in love."

"Heh, I could picture either one," smirked Keith.

Before Gavin could say anything else, however, another Trainer approached them both- the other resident of Sludge Wave Coast, one Terri Alph, with her Froslass girlfriend by her side. "Hello," Terri greeted Keith and Gavin. Laugh simply gave her usual shy wave.

"Hey, Terri," said Keith. "Laugh," he added.

"'Sup?" added Gavin.

"So I actually have something for you," Terri said to Keith. "You want to see?"

"Sure," Keith replied. "What is it?"

At this, Terri revealed a Poké Ball in her right hand. Turning to give the ball's occupant sufficient space to materialize, she tossed the ball. "Grimer, come on out!" she exclaimed. And in a flash of light, the Alolan Grimer Terri recently caught appeared before them. It looked up at the unfamiliar humans shyly. "Griiii?" he said quietly.

"What the- is that Shiny- why does it have teeth?" Gavin demanded.

"Ohhh, cool!" Keith smiled as he saw this. "Gav, no, it's not Shiny- this is Grimer's Alola Form!" As he spoke, Gavin produced his P*DA and consulted the Strategy Memo.

"Grimer, the Sludge Pokémon. Alola Form. Type: Poison and Dark," droned the device. "Normal Form Grimer were imported to Alola to deal with their garbage problem. Generations of eating nothing but garbage resulted in this form."

"This Grimer was part of a horde of Grimer that were living in the Arcane Realm," explained Terri. "They were led by a Muk that hated humans, though the Grimer themselves obeyed him more out of fear than loyalty. But this one's always wanted a home of his own, and I knew I couldn't just leave him behind."

"And... you want me to provide that home?" Keith asked.

"Would you?" Terri asked. At this, Grimer looked up apprehensively at Keith.

But the look Keith gave Grimer was an extremely reassuring one, complete with happy smile. "You bet I would," he said. "I just wish I had something to give you in return-"

But Terri shook her head and smiled. "Consider this me repaying you for entrusting so many of your Pokémon to me," she said, handing Grimer's Poké Ball over to Keith.

"Heh, fair enough," conceded Keith. "Hi, Grimer," he said, addressing the apprehensive Alola Form. "I'm Keith. I'm gonna be your Trainer, if you're OK with that?"

"G-g-g-griiiii...?" Grimer squealed, sounding almost disbelieving. His eyes then welled up with sludgy tears, and he burst into noisy sobs of pure emotion as he oozed forward and threw his arms around Keith. Keith was not altogether too surprised by this, and hugged the Alolan Grimer back, which made the Poison/Dark-type even more emotional.

The hug went on for a while, but Keith didn't let go. He figured, with Grimer being the one who needed said hug more, he should be the one to decide when the hug had gone on long enough. And at last, Grimer let go, still looking up at Keith, though admiration replaced apprehension in his eyes now. "Welcome to the team, Grimer," Keith smiled. "Though that being said... I'm thinking we should work out a nickname for you, if you'd like." Grimer nodded at this, prompting Keith to continue. "I do have one in mind," he added. Back when he'd learned of Alolan Muk, he'd intended to name one Neon if ever he got one, but now that he had an Eevee named Eon, he figured that could get more than a little confusing. That said, he had a bunch of poison-based nickname ideas all set to go for whatever might end up joining the team. "How does Ricin sound to you?" he added.

"Gri!" smiled Grimer. "Grimer gri!"

Keith smiled back. "That settles that, then. Ricin it is!" he declared. "C'mon, Ricin," he added, leading the way to the Poisonous Palace. "Lemme show you your new home, introduce you to your new teammates." And Ricin readily followed, still trying to take it all in. Family. A home. A human that was genuinely happy to have him around- it was everything he'd dreamed of and then some. Miasma followed as well- the Garbage Queen was interested to see what her new family was like.
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Old 05-21-2019, 02:18 PM   #92
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The Bug You Knew Will Be No More

"Ahh, what a day," Keith smiled. "Beautiful weather, surrounded by my Pokémon, and we'll be competing in the Unevolvedathon battle tournament in Greenmuk City before we know it!"

"I dunno," Meowth piped up, seated on Keith's shoulder as usual. "I ain't neva heard o' dis tournament before."

"Me either," admitted Keith. "I guess it's something new they've cooked up."

"Paras! Paras!" chimed in the Pokémon on Keith's other shoulder. Amanitin, his Paras, had eagerly agreed to take part in this tournament, the better to live her life to the fullest.

"Pawn..." muttered Ginny. The Pawniard was floating behind the group, keeping aloft by way of Magnet Rise, and looked deep in thought, even as she glanced warily around. Something about all this seemed very suspicious- none of them had ever heard anything about this tournament before, and Keith didn't even hear about it from some public venue such as a Pokémon Center or the TV news- rather, he'd received a personal invitation in the mail. The whole thing was very sketchy, as far as Ginny was concerned, and she insisted on coming along. The fact that, as an unevolved Pokémon, she qualified for the competition was merely a bonus- her intention in accompanying Keith was to ensure everything was on the up-and-up with this competition.

"Aha," grinned Keith, as they reached the top of the hill they'd been climbing. "Take a look, guys- Greenmuk City's just ahead!"

"Den let's get movin!" Meowth purred.

"Paras! Paras!" chattered Amanitin. And judging by the intermittent changes in her tone of voice, it was safe to assume Amanita was trying her best to voice her excitement at the same time without completely taking control from the bug host.

As they proceeded, Keith consulted the directions included in his invitation. As he hadn't perused them earlier, he was rather bewildered to find that they did not in fact lead him to the same stadium where Greenmuk City's annual Shiny Battle Tournament had taken place, but rather to what seemed to be... an old, abandoned warehouse?

"Huh," Keith murmured, looking up at the place. "This... is not the location I was expecting.

"Pawn Pawniard pawn!" Ginny was saying. The time for quiet wariness, in her opinion, was long past- her tone was one of urgency, and indeed, she was now more sure than ever that something wasn't right here.

Keith gave a small nod. "Yeah, you're probably right, Ginny," he conceded. "Something ain't right here..."

"Ah, screw it!" came a voice from behind them, and before Keith knew it, he was being forcibly shoved through the warehouse's doors. Inside the warehouse, Keith could see a group of young adults all dressed in red, all eyeing him with expressions ranging from mild intrigue to utter contempt. "Well, he almost caught on, but here he is!" came that same voice from behind Keith. "I give you Masters!"

"Secure his Pokémon," snarled one of the men Keith could see glaring at him. "Underestimate none of them, and confiscate his Poké Balls."

But of course, Meowth, Ginny, and Amanitin weren't about to just let this happen. Amanitin let loose a cloud of Poison Powder as the man behind Keith attempted to shove her into a burlap sack, and this was Meowth's cue to jump off of Keith's shoulder and give this man his daily dose of vitamin Fury Swipes.

"Gah! Fuck!" swore the man as he tried vainly to get Meowth off his face. At this, the others made to approach Keith, but Ginny positioned herself between them and him, blades brandished threateningly, and a crazed look in her eyes that told them in no uncertain terms she had no trouble Cutting their throats if she had to.

"Well," Keith panted. "Not exactly the warmest welcome I've ever gotten. We doing introductions, then? Cause I get the feeling you all know me."

"Not personally, no," said one of the women. "Just by your reputation."

It was then that Keith realized where he'd seen these garish red outfits before. They looked just like the uniforms worn by the pair of thugs Keith had taken on back in Grandio City. "Team Turnback," he breathed.

"I see our reputation precedes us as well," smirked one of the men. "Yeah. Word has it two of our guys never came back after tangling with you in Grandio City."

"Hey, last I saw them, they were running away," Keith stated. "I didn't pursue them." This was, of course, true, but Keith neglected to mention that the Garbage Queen seemed to have ordered them hunted down and executed for their actions. "Whatever went down after that had nothing to do with me."

"Yeah, but you fought them," stated the woman from before. Her tone of voice was hard to read- Keith found himself wondering whether she was disgusted or impressed with him, or even both. "Tried to stop them from restoring Grandio to its former glory."

Keith snorted. "There was no glory to Grandio City in the first place," he stated. "Besides, by that point, hundreds of Poison-types had made it their home. It's by far the most useful Grandio's ever been. And all for what, huh? You really want the old Elite Four back? The ones who ruled Fizzytopia with an iron fist, enforced laws in extremely arbitrary ways that hurt more than they helped, and turned tail like Wimpod and just abandoned us all?" He looked around at the Turnback Grunts. A few of them looked deep in thought at this, including the woman who had been addressing Keith. Most of them, however, shook their heads.

"Enough of your lies!" snarled one of the male grunts. "Willa, hold him!"

Willa, as it turned out, was that same woman. She nodded and produced an Ultra Ball. "Yanmega!" she exclaimed, sending out the Ogre Darner Pokémon. And just like that, Keith's arms were pinned to his sides as Yanmega wrapped its powerful legs around his torso. Keith struggled to break free, but Willa's Yanmega was too strong.

"Gah!" grunted Keith. "Ginny, help!"

"Pawn!" nodded the Pawniard, springing into action.

Willa, however, was faster, and threw a second Ultra Ball. "Eelektross! Thunder Wave!" she commanded as the hovering eel materialized. Eelektross was quick to zap Ginny with a mild jolt of electricity that made the Pawniard's muscles lock up. Meowth sprang into action as well, but Yanmega blasted him with an Ancient Power that sent him flying into a corner. Her expression unreadable, Willa looked at the Grunt who had given the order. "Now what?" she asked.

"Heh," chuckled the Turnback Grunt. "Guess." As he spoke, he tossed an Ultra Ball of his own, sending out a Fearow. "We're not like Team Rocket, Masters. We won't just do our own thing while letting you run loose. You're a danger to our plans, so you must be dealt with early on."

"Wait, what do you mean?" Willa muttered to her colleague. "You don't mean you're going to-"

"That's exactly what I mean," snapped the man.

"But wait- I thought we were a force for good!" argued Willa. "What are we doing killing-"

"SILENCE!" roared the man, cutting off Willa's attempts at speech. "We have our orders from the boss to eliminate all that threatens progress towards our noble goal! You're new to this region, you don't know Masters- that man is relentless. Fearow! Drill Peck!" he roared.

Keith tried to stay calm, but as the Fearow's beak drew nearer to his head, he knew this was it. He didn't want to give these complete assholes the satisfaction of knowing they'd gotten to him, but there were tears in his eyes nonetheless. He cast desperate looks at Willa- Her expression had been fairly unreadable thus far, but right now she looked heavily conflicted. As their eyes met, Keith knew- he'd gotten through to one Grunt at least, even if she couldn't bring herself to go against the others.

And the tears weren't just in Keith's eyes, either. So soon after befriending this man, Amanitin was going to be the one to lose her Trainer rather than him losing her, and it tore at her. Part of her, the part of her responsible for her previous bitterness towards the whole situation, knew that this was exactly why she'd initially decided against making friends, because loss was too much for anyone to deal with. But the rest of her, the parts of her who knew that friendship was important, who knew that friends were what made life worth living, knew that she had to stop that Fearow. It was all up to her.

"PARRRRRRRRRRAAAAASSSSSSSS!" screeched Amanitin. Amanita was too surprised to even try and seize control, but she didn't even know what she'd have done in this situation anyway. But Amanitin did- jumping up, higher than she normally could thanks to the power boost from Swords Dance, she drew level with the Fearow and blasted it with a point-blank Stun Spore. And while the yellow powder made contact and had its intended effect, Amanitin saw Fearow continue to close the gap, felt a piercing, excruciating pain, and then everything went black.


Amanitin woke up. A cursory glance at her surroundings confirmed that she wasn't in the warehouse anymore. At first, she thought they'd been spared somehow, that they were recuperating at the Pokémon Center, but no- this wasn't like that, either. She was on somebody's bed, a bed laden with Pokémon plushes, with ones such as Phione, Pumpkaboo, Drilbur, and Mareanie scattered near her.

She examined herself. No wound seemed to have been sustained from where she felt that pain, and upon further inspection, she did not seem to still have her tochukaso mushrooms. As bewildered as she was by this, she continued to look around the room. Someone's bedroom, and a somewhat cluttered one at that. Not unclean, but clearly containing more items than the room was meant to accommodate. There were a number of bookcases and shelves containing various items, such as book, binders full of Pokémon trading cards, and in a few cases, video games. A Nintendo Switch and a GameCube were hooked up to a modestly-sized television, and plugged into a charger of some sort was what appeared to be some kind of Poké Ball. And then, Amanitin saw that she was not alone- sitting at a small tray table in a cool-looking chair, typing away intently on a laptop, was a man who looked extraordinarily like Keith Masters, but with definite differences. This man was a great deal heavier, and possessed decidedly more facial hair, and wore a wristwatch where Keith would sport his Z-Ring. On a table beside him sat a black Z-Ring, but it looked more like a plastic toy, as did the Poisonium Z set into it. And while he had no hat on, a hat that bore a remarkable resemblance to Keith Masters's Mega Hat (minus the Key Stone) sat atop a vase colored to resemble a Poké Ball.

Almost as though sensing the bug's eyes on him, the man looked up from his work, seemingly unsurprised by the Paras's presence. "Hello, Amanitin," he said.

"...Where the hell am I?" Amanitin asked.

"Well... I guess you're here," the man shrugged. He seemed unsurprised by his ability to understand Amanitin's words, and Amanitin found, strangely, that she wasn't surprised by his understanding of her words.

"And who the hell are you?" Amanitin demanded.

The man gave a chuckle. "Just... call me a writer," he said cryptically.

Amanitin stared at this man. "...Are you Arceus,?" she asked meekly.

At this, the man burst into laughter. "Oh, goodness, no!" he laughed. "I'm flattered, though. No, no... Though that being said, I can certainly see why you'd jump to that conclusion," he added fairly.

"So, wait, what's going on here?" demanded the Paras. "The last thing I remember, I was..."

"Yes?" prompted the man.

"I... I was... jumping up to use Stun... Stun Spore on the... on the Fearow..." she trailed off. It all clicked at that moment. The still-moving Fearow. The piercing agony. Everything going black. Waking up in this strange place with a strange man who vaguely resembled her Trainer and who understood exactly why she'd think he was Arceus. "...I'm dead," she whispered. "The Fearow... the Fearow gored me, didn't it? DIDN'T IT?!?!" she added hysterically, for her first attempt at the question had elicited no answer. "Oh, geez, what... what's gonna happen to Keith? I was the only one he had left to stop that thing from murdering him! What's gonna happen to Meowth and Ginny? And- wh-what's gonna happen to Amanita?"

The man raised an eyebrow. "And what about you?" he asked.

"Bitch, please- I've made peace with my lot in life by now," Amanitin responded. "I... I knew I wasn't much longer for the world. My level was getting up there, I knew it was all numbered... but not like this," she whimpered.

The man continued to eye Amanitin, regarding her with an unreadable expression.

"H-hey," Amanitin added. "You, you might not be Arceus, but you got some kinda influence, don't ya?"

The man raised an eyebrow once more. "If you're asking me to revive you-" he began.

"Screw that!" interrupted Amanitin. "If I gotta die, so be it- I already told you, I've made peace with all that by now. Just... please, help my friends," she pleaded. "I been a bitch for much of my life, so I got this coming, but they don't. Please," she begged.

For several seconds- or possibly hours, it was hard to really tell, even with that strange backwards clock hanging on one of the walls- the man and the Paras maintained eye contact, the former's expression never changing... until his mouth curled into what had to be the most reassuring smile the Paras had ever seen. "You really do care about them," he said. "You've come so far, Amanitin. I remember when you and Keith first met... you are not the same bitter bug you were back then. You put your own life on the line for your friends, and continue to do so even now. Very well." He turned back to his laptop and continued typing. "I will, no doubt, catch a lot of flak for this, but I think I can do this just this once."

"So... you'll help my friends?" asked Amanitin hopefully.

At this, the man grinned broadly as he typed away. "And then some," he responded. At this point, the room around them blurred. How she knew it, Amanitin wasn't sure, but she knew that their moment of parting was at hand.

"One more thing," the Paras called out, her voice starting to sound strangely echoey. "Is this real, or has this been happening inside my head?"

The man locked eyes with her, and even as he too vanished from sight, his single word of response still echoed in the Paras's ears; "Both."


Back in the warehouse. Keith was shaking, tears streaming from his eyes as a paralyzed Fearow tried to remove the lifeless Paras that it had inadvertently skewered. Meowth was in tears as well as he lay weak and practically immobile on the ground, and even Ginny was tearing up, knowing then and there that any lingering misgivings about Amanitin's change of heart had just been thoroughly discredited, albeit a little too late. The Turnback Grunt known as Willa was shaking from a combination of horror and fury, but she still couldn't bring herself to give Eelektross and Yanmega any orders.

But then, everything seemed to happen all at once. Somehow, incredibly, Amanitin's eyes flew open. and she wriggled her way off of Fearow's beak, her grievous wound closing up miraculously as she fell to the floor, and before she even landed, a familiar glow came over the Paras.

The Fearow's Trainer growled. "It's not possible!" he exclaimed.

"Amanitin...?" Keith murmured wonderingly.

"Sh- she's evolving," Meowth added shakily, still very weakened by Yanmega's Ancient Power.

Indeed, the Paras had not only apparently come back to life, but was now evolving before their very eyes. The claws and legs lengthened, and whatever changes were happening to the main body were quickly obscured as the tochukaso fused together and bloomed into one big fungal shell. And the glow faded, revealing the very much alive and well whose seemingly blank eyes were unmistakably glaring up at the Turnback Grunts and their Pokémon.

"So it evolved. Big deal," scoffed the Fearow's Trainer. "Fearow, dispatch it with Drill Peck."

"Amanita! Metal Claw!" Keith ordered, knowing that the mushroom's personality must now be in total control.

And the Parasect lunged! Her brief stint with death did not seem to have diminished the Swords Dance boost, and with a swipe of a metallic claw, she fended off the paralyzed Fearow's fresh attempt at murder. Moreover, this knocked the Fearow clean out.

"Oh, enough of this!" the man grunted in disgust. "Everyone, just attack!"

With that, the remaining Grunts all sent out a variety of Pokémon, but at that moment, Keith found that Yanmega had relaxed its grip, and he was able to get to his Poké Balls. An all-out melee ensued, with the goings-on becoming increasingly harder to keep track of, but one thing Keith noticed was that Yanmega and Eelektross were at no point ordered to attack Keith or his Pokémon. Indeed, whatever whispered orders Willa was giving them seemed to prompt them to "accidentally" interfere with her colleagues' attempts. And then, at one point, the air was thick with Yanmega copies, Yanmega having used Double Team, but this served to interfere with the other Grunts more than with Keith. Before Keith could remark on this, he saw Willa approaching, heedless of the Pawniard brandishing her blades threateningly. "Go," she whispered urgently to Keith. "Now, before they break through the Double Team."

Keith was at a loss for words at this. But now was not the time to let that hold him back. Willa was right- he had mere seconds. His only response was a brief nod and a grateful smile as he hastily withdrew his Pokémon and fled the building.


Once they were back home and starting to relax from their ordeal, the Parasect was looking down at herself. "...I'm alive? But how?" she murmured.

"...Amanitin?" Meowth asked incredulously. "Wait a sec- I thought Amanita was takin' da wheel fer good when youse evolved?"

"I thought so, too," the Parasect muttered breathlessly. And then, there was that subtle shift. "And so did I," chimed in Amanita. "Somehow... we still share a body. That Metal Claw and Dig back there, that was all Amanitin, but I had taken over for the Poison Powder." Floored by this development, Meowth hastened to translate for Keith.

"...So we still have both Amanitin and Amanita?" he murmured wonderingly. "But how? I've never heard of a Parasect where the mushroom and the bug host continue to share the body after evolution."

"Neither have I," added Hermione. The Weedle, of course, was part of Keith's intended team for the fake tournament. "This is most fascinating."

"Amanitin tinks it's a miracle," Meowth stated. "Afta Fearow gored her, apparently she saw some weird stuff. So I guess she's gonna be in control fer da big attackin' deals, and Amanita's gonna take control fer da more supportey kinds o' situations? At least dat's wat Hermione's hypothesis is."

"That would suit their respective battle styles," Keith nodded. "And honestly, if that's the case... y'know what? Who cares why it happened? All that matters is that we're all OK, we all still have each other, and that now we know that Team Turnback has it out for us, so we know to be more careful around them. Y'know," he added. "That one grunt who helped us... Willa, I think? I hope she gets out," he stated. "It's clear as day she wanted nothing to do with any of that, and I hope I get to repay her for helping us out like that." This statement was met with murmurs of agreement all around. Except from Ginny, but of course, rampant suspicion on her part was pretty much to be expected.

What? Paras is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Paras evolved into Parasect!
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Old 05-22-2019, 05:06 PM   #93
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The Turnback Turncoat

It was a dark and stormy night in the Fizzytopia region. Thunder rumbled, flashes of lightning provided brief seconds of nearly sunlike illumination, and the rain came down as though Kyogre itself had cracked open the skies. Truly awful weather unless you were a Ludicolo, or perhaps a Sliggoo hoping for an opportunity for evolution, or something of that sort.

Alas, the figure running across the Shadow Clearing at that moment was nothing of that sort, and judging by her hasty movement, she sought to get out of the rain as quickly as possible. And yet, she ran right past the Pokémon Center and the House of Alph- no, she knew where she was going and why, and as much as she wanted out of this nasty weather, she wasn't one to be deterred by such trivial things as the elements.

Keith looked up from his food in surprise as he heard the knock on the door. Hermione wasn't feeling up to cooking that day, so they'd simply gone out for burgers from White Crustle instead, and they hadn't gotten home a moment too soon, for that was when this torrential downpour had ensued.

"Wat da?" Meowth remarked after swallowing his mouthful of cheeseburger. "Who'd be fool enough ta be out in dis storm?"

"Whoever it is, they're not fool enough to want to stay out there, I'd bet," Keith stated, already making his way out of the kitchen and into the entrance hall. "Coming," he called as the knocking persisted. However, Ginny darted out of the living room and stood ahead of Keith, glaring suspiciously at the front doors. Keith gave a small sigh at this, and walked around his Pawniard and pulled open the double doors.

At once, the visitor rushed inside, clearly thankful to get out of the rain. She shed her raincoat, looking around for somewhere to hang it, whereupon Keith took it from her and hung it on a nearby hook. As he turned back around, however, Ginny was already in the air, the Pawniard airborne by way of Magnet Rise, her blades brandished threateningly as she glared at the woman who had entered.

"Intruder alert!" Ginny was snarling. "Intruder alert! You've got a lot of nerve coming to visit the man you tried to assist in the murder of-"

"Ginny! Ginny, cool it!" Keith exclaimed, cutting off the Pawniard's monologue. "You don't remember?"

"...Pawn?" Ginny murmured.

"Yeah- she was the one who helped us get away from Team Turnback," Keith reminded the Pawniard.

"So you did remember," the woman remarked.

"Yeah- I mean, you pretty much saved our lives that day, not something I'm likely to forget," Keith chuckled. "Never did get to thank you for that, by the way."

The woman gave a shrug. "I'm not a murderer," she replied. "I thought the same could be said for Team Turnback, but obviously not..." She gave a deep sigh. "May I come in?" she inquired.

"Yeah, of course," Keith agreed, leading the way into the living room. "Want something to drink?"

The woman gave a small nod as she took a seat. "Some tea would be nice, if you have any," she responded.

Keith did have any, as Willa soon learned. Once they were both seated around the coffee table with mugs of tea, the conversation picked back up once more. "So... I mean, I take it your colleagues filled you in on who I am," Keith said.

"Indeed," nodded Willa. "Though I'd hardly deem 'colleague' the correct descriptive term anymore. And I take it that you, in turn, heard one of them call me by name."

"I think I did, yeah," nodded Keith. "Willa, wasn't it?"

Willa gave a nod. "My name is Willa Carnet," she said, finally formally introducing herself.

"And I am Keith Masters," Keith responded. "So... when you say you wouldn't call them your colleagues anymore...?"

"I'm done with Team Turnback," stated Willa. "I thought they were a force for good, that I was taking part in something that would result in a positive change..." She shook her head. "I apologize for not ordering Yanmega and Eelektross to stand down," she said. "Until Fearow actually did the deed, I couldn't bring myself to believe that they would do something so reprehensible."

"Yeah, I noticed you didn't seem to know what to think in that moment," Keith nodded. "I'm not blaming you, for the record- organizations like Team Turnback have no qualms about using deception to get their way, tricking people into thinking their way is right-"

"Are you calling me a fool?" demanded Willa, cutting across Keith's speech.

"Not at all," Keith shook his head. "You don't have to be a fool to be fooled."

"Good," Willa stated, seeming satisfied by this. "I... must say, I agree with that point of view." She took another sip of her tea after this. After a few moments' silence, Willa spoke up again. "Team Turnback used the promise of a fake battle competition to lure you in," she stated. "I take this to mean you enjoy battling?"

"Oh, yes," Keith nodded. "What about you, Willa, you like to battle?"

"Immensely," came the response. "Do you have a suitable room for battling in here?"

"I do indeed," Keith nodded, sounding more and more interested. "What would you say to a battle-"

"Absolutely," Willa responded, her voice betraying more enthusiasm than usual.

Once their tea was finished, Keith led the way upstairs to his Battle Room. Willa tried to not look too awed by the large room and impressive battle arena, but as Keith looked sideways at her, he saw the look of wonder. A look of wonder she immediately tried to scrub from her face as soon as she noticed Keith looking, though the following blushing could not be hidden.

"Alright!" Meowth exclaimed, standing off to the side. "How many Pokémon will da two o' youse each use?"

"Three-on-three work for you?" Keith called across the battlefield.

"Obviously not," retorted Willa. "I only have two Pokémon at the moment. This will be one-on-one.

"Hey, how was I supposed to know?" Keith shrugged. "Alright, though- one-on-one, I'm fine with that."

"Good," nodded Willa, throwing an Ultra Ball. "Yanmega!" she declared as the Ogre Darner Pokémon materialized before her. The sight of the reminded Keith of Colin somewhat, though the differences were certainly there, and furthermore, this was not the time to be distracted by such things.

Keith responded by throwing an Ultra Ball of his own. "Go! Melittin!" he exclaimed as his Beedrill appeared before him. Willa's grey eyes immediately found the Beedrillite set into Melittin's stinger band, though her expression betrayed no reaction to this.

"Yanmega vs. Melittin- begin!" Meowth declared.

Willa gestured towards Melittin. "Attack!" she called.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Yanmega. Though Willa hadn't given a clear order, the two had been partners for long enough to know each other, and know each other well. The Bug/Flying-type immediately charged up an Ancient Power and hurled it towards Melittin.

"Swords Dance into Drill Run!" Keith ordered. Right away, Melittin spun in place, stingers aglow as his Attack power rose. And then, a glow came over his rear stinger, and the spinning helped the Beedrill move right into a Drill Run, the Ground-type move letting him drill through the Rock move with relative ease.

"Nice!" Keith grinned. "Now follow up with Aerial Ace!"

"String Shot!" commanded Willa.

The bugs battled it out in midair. Yanmega sent strands of sticky silk flying Melittin's way, but Mel was able to either slice through or straight-up outmaneuver each and every one of them, and then strike hard and fast with the super effective technique. However, even as this happened, Keith couldn't help but notice Yanmega steadily getting faster and faster. "Wha-" he murmured.

"Hm," smirked Willa. "Not used to dealing with Yanmega's Speed Boost, are you? The longer you mess around, the faster Yanmega becomes! Use Quick Attack!" she commanded.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Yanmega, and just like that, the Bug/Flying-type was naught but a buzzing blur, zipping in what seemed to be every direction at once. Melittin was bewildered, being pelted with numerous light strikes in rapid succession.

"Mel! Reflect!" Keith exclaimed.

Stopping his panic, Melittin closed his eyes and focused. The next thing any of them knew, Yanmega was rebuffed by a psychic barrier. "Reflect?!" exclaimed Willa.

"That's right," grinned Keith. "Now, Mel! Brutal Swing!"

"Air Slash!" commanded Willa.

This time, Mel was the one rebuffed by the opponent's move. Much as he tried, he couldn't get in close before Yanmega sent the blades of air flying towards him. And as Melittin righted himself in midair, he and Keith exchanged brief looks and nods.

Keith gripped the brim of his Mega Hat, the slight movement allowing the Key Stone set into it to catch the light. Willa's eyes widened almost imperceptibly as she realized what was going to happen. "Here we go, Mel!" Keith exclaimed. "Our hearts connected by an unbreakable bond- let out that power and show what we got!" With that, he swept the Mega Hat off his head and held it up high. "Mega Evolve!!!" he exclaimed.

Once again, Willa couldn't completely hide the look of wonder as Keith and his Beedrill were connected by tendrils of energy emanating from the Key Stone and the Beedrillite. Melittin transformed before their eyes, sprouting an extra set of stingers that grew long and sharp along with his pre-existing stingers. And finally, the transformation was complete, and they beheld the formidable !

Melittin's Beedrillite is reacting to Keith's Mega Hat!




Melittin has Mega Evolved into Mega Beedrill!
Keith grinned, ready to turn the tides on the battle. "Use Agility!" he ordered. And now it was Melittin off like a rocket, the Mega Beedrill zooming all over the battlefield, keeping remarkable pace with Yanmega.

"Fly, Yanmega!" ordered Willa.

"Mel, use Mimic, then you use Fly as well!" called Keith.

And with that, the battle was taken to new heights, and quite literally so. Melittin and Yanmega soared up near to the ceiling, each trying to outmaneuver the other, with Melittin continuing use of Agility to keep pace with Yanmega's Speed Boost. The bugs shot all around the room, colliding several times in midair, until at one point they were both visible once more, each straining and struggling to overpower the other with pure physical power.

"Night Slash!!" ordered Willa.

"Poison Jab!!" Keith commanded.

The struggling intensified, Yanmega attempting to slice with wings aglow with dark energy, Melittin trying to plow through with all five stingers oozing poison. And after several tense seconds, the Mega Beedrill won out, Poison Jab driving Yanmega straight down to the battlefield. The dust settled in a few seconds, which Meowth saw as his cue.

"Yanmega is unable ta battle!" Meowth ruled. "Keith and Melittin is da winnas!"

Keith exhaled as Melittin changed back to a regular Beedrill. "Nicely done, Mel," he grinned. Then, they looked over to the other end of the battlefield.

Willa was kneeling on the battlefield, cradling her barely conscious Yanmega in her arms. "You battled well, my friend," she murmured gently, before calling him back to his Ultra Ball. As she stood back up, she saw that Keith had been looking at her. "What?" she demanded.

Keith shrugged. "Nothing," he replied. "It was a good battle. You and Yanmega make an awesome team."

"...Thank you," Willa responded after a few seconds. "You and... Melittin, you call him? You make a good team, too. I... rarely see Trainers so capable of controlling Mega Evolved Pokémon. It... it reminded me..."

Keith tilted his head. "Of what?" he asked.

"...nothing," Willa shook her head. "I take it that Pokémon Center I saw is open?" she added.

"Well, yeah, but it seems to still be pouring out," Keith pointed out. "If you come with me to the kitchen, I've got some berries that'll help Yanmega heal up." Willa said nothing in response, but followed Keith onto the warp tile that took them instantly to the kitchen. True to his word, Keith produced some Sitrus and Leppa Berries from the refrigerator, and offered them to Willa.

"...Thank you," said Willa. She accepted the berries and started feeding them to Yanmega. As she did so, Keith looked at her again, wondering what to make of her. She didn't come off as the friendliest person generally, but when it came to her Pokémon, she clearly cared an awful lot. And back when she was involved with Team Turnback, she was horrified when Amanitin had been gored by that Grunt's Fearow.

Willa, meanwhile, was deep in thought as she fed the berries to Yanmega one by one. This here was a clearly skilled Trainer, with command over a Mega Evolution the likes of which she'd only seen once before. A friend not only to his Pokémon, but also to more or less anyone who came to visit. He'd welcomed her into his home even when for all he knew she could still have been part of Team Turnback, an organization that had tried to kill him. Did that make him warm and trusting, or too dumb to live? And even so... who was to say, she pondered, whether the two weren't the same?

Finally, Yanmega was feeling much better, and was in the air once more. He gave a grateful growl to Keith, who smiled in response as Willa withdrew the Ogre Darner Pokémon. "I thank you for this," Willa said to Keith. "As soon as the storm clears, we'll stop imposing on you."

"Well, where are you headed?" Keith asked. "It's starting to get pretty late."

For a moment, Willa was silent. Then, she gave a small sigh. "I don't know," she admitted. "Coming here tonight was the extent of my plans."

"Y'know, on that subject, why are you here in the first place?" Keith asked. "If you needed to get out of the rain, you'd have had to run right past the Pokémon Center to get here."

"Well, isn't it obvious?" snapped Willa. "After what happened, I wanted to ensure that you and your Pokémon made it back unscathed. And... I wanted to... to thank you," she added quietly. "That encounter opened my eyes to the kinds of people Team Turnback really are."

Keith nodded. "I'm glad I was able to help," he said. "Y'know, if you need somewhere to stay, I have a guest bedroom," he offered.

Willa turned to look at Keith. "...Why?" she asked. "Not just this- why? You let me in, when for all you knew I was still part of Team Turnback. This whole thing could have been a trap for all you knew. I never even gave you a satisfactory explanation for knowing where you live. Why... do you trust me?"

"Honestly?" said Keith. "I saw it in your eyes, back in that warehouse. You were appalled by what they wanted to do, and when Fearow gored Amanitin, you were just as horrified as I was. Your Pokémon kept working against the other Grunts during the battle, and you used Yanmega's Double Team to cover my escape. As for knowing where I live, well, Team Turnback already knew where to send the invitation to that fake tournament, so I feel it made sense that you'd be able to get that info from them before calling it quits. I trust you because you've given me reason to- because you've proven that you're a good person. Even if you joined Team Turnback, you thought you were doing the right thing. And any genuinely good person deserves a second chance, if you ask me."

Willa was rendered speechless by all this, her expression unreadable as she looked at Keith. Then, she gave a nod and the tiniest of smiles. "Thank you," she said. "I... if it wouldn't be an imposition, I'd like to take you up on your offer," she added.

Keith smiled back, his smile much more noticeable. "Wouldn't have offered if it'd have been an imposition," he replied. "Lemme show you where it is," he added, leading the way out the kitchen and up the stairs, Willa following close behind.

What? Yanma is evolving!




Congratulations! Your Yanma evolved into Yanmega!

*Yanmega learned Bug Buzz!*

*Yanmega learned Air Slash!*

*Yanmega learned Night Slash!*

*Yanmega learned Bug Bite!*

*Yanmega learned Quick Attack!*

*Yanmega learned Double Team!*

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 02-27-2020 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 05-25-2019, 07:57 PM   #94
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Where There's A Willa, There's A Way

It started out as just wanting to stay the night. But lack of anywhere to go mixed with the surprisingly warm hospitality she'd been getting from someone whose attempted murder she had played a part in (however unwillingly) got Willa willing to stay another night when invited to. Two nights became three, three became four, and before she'd known it, it had been one week since Willa Carnet had first shown up at the Poisonous Palace, and she'd spent every night of that week in Keith Masters's guest bedroom.

Keith did not mind this. Willa was hard to read, quite aloof, and very reserved. The aspiring Ace Trainer divulged extremely little in the way of any personal details about herself, not only when asked, but also seemingly just by default. She came off as a bit distant for all of this, but Keith found it interesting as well, and Keith liked interesting. The things he knew about Willa were few and far between, but one thing he knew good and well about her, whether she wanted to show it or not, was that she was extremely enthusiastic about battling, and more than a little adept at it as well. Because of this, she ended up in more than a few training battles against Keith, in which she showed just how well her Yanmega and Eelektross worked with her. And today, one such battle was underway in the Battle Room.

"Go for it, Nagini!" Keith was saying. "Bubble Beam!"

"Chaaa!" hissed Nagini, the Arbok firing a powerful spray of foam from her mouth.

"Now, Eelektross- Acid!" exclaimed Willa.

"Trrrrross!" responded Eelektross, shooting a corrosive spray from his mouth, cancelling out the Bubble Beam completely and also splattering against the Arbok. The damage was minimal, but Nagini hissed her displeasure nonetheless.

"Not bad, hmm?" smirked Willa. "Against my Eelektross, weak moves like Bubble Beam stand no chance!"

"Trrrrross!" Eelektross agreed.

"Nagini! Can you go on?" Keith asked.

The Arbok nodded. "Chaaaa!" she hissed.

"Then it's time to use our Z-Move!" Keith declared, moving his arms. The Poisonium Z set into his Z-Ring flashed as Z-Power began to be generated.

"Chaaaaaboka!" Nagini hissed eagerly.

"Oh!" Willa murmured softly, watching this go on, trying and failing to conceal a look of wonder at what was happening.

"Our minds, our spirits, linked as one!" Keith said as he moved, as he struck the requisite poses. "A power as intense as the Plague Swamp of Cascadia! Feel the poison- BE the poison!"

"Chaaaaaaaaaaaboka!" Nagini exclaimed as the Z-Power built up within her.

"Yeah!" Keith grinned. "You're gonna see what we can do! Use Acid Downpour!!!"


Nagini surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Nagini unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Acid Downpour
Willa gritted her teeth. As little as she knew about Z-Moves, one thing she knew for certain was that barring type matchups, there was no stopping them. And Eelektross didn't even know Protect, so there was no hope of even softening the blow. Indeed, as the toxic deluge rained down upon Eelektross, the battle was already decided and they knew it.

"Eelektross is unable ta battle!" Meowth declared. "Da winnas is Keith and Nagini!"

"Nice job, Nagini," smiled Keith, holding out the Arbok's Poké Ball. "Now take a good rest," he added as he withdrew her.

"You battled well, Eelektross," Willa said gently, patting the feebly stirring Electric-type. "You deserve a good rest." With that, she withdrew Eelektross into his Ultra Ball. After that, she walked across the battlefield, right towards Keith. "So that was a Z-Move," she said.

"Yeah," nodded Keith. "Your first time seeing one?"

Willa nodded back. "I've heard of them before, but they're not commonly seen where I'm from." Before Keith could try and ask where that was, Willa dug into her bag and pulled out what was unmistakably a Z-Ring of some sort. A Z-Power Ring, if Keith had to guess, not unlike what Terri had, except this one was purple. "I was given this when they recruited me into Team Turnback," she murmured. "But I was never given any Z-Crystals, nor instructions on how to use it."

"Speaking of which," said Keith. "Why did you join Team Turnback?"

Willa gave a sigh. "Their recruiting grunt saw me win a battle. He told me about this region- or rather, the version of its history they seem to believe. They say the old Elite Four were respectable figures driven out by ingrates... but from what you've told me, it seems to be the other way around. And after Team Turnback tried to kill you, I'm... less inclined to take their word for anything anymore. I... believed that by joining them, I would be helping to make the region a better place. I was tricked into thinking I was a part of something good..."

"Yeah," sighed Keith. "There are some crazy people out there. The old Elite Four might not have been complete garbage at what they did, but they were near-universally disliked, enacted laws without consulting any of the Trainers within the region... one time a law went into effect that only had a negative impact on me by limiting how many Pokémon one Trainer was allowed to have. I had to hastily find new homes for a handful of my Pokémon."

"That's despicable," spat Willa. Then, she noticed something- it was Ginny, Keith's Pawniard, eyeing her from the doorway with a distrustful glare. "Your Pawniard's looking at me like that again," she remarked.

"I wouldn't take it personal," Keith sighed. "Ginny's naturally suspicious. Though I would think she should remember how a certain somebody saved her Trainer's life!" he added pointedly. Ginny's suspicious glare softened, but only slightly. "She's obsessed with keeping me safe," Keith continued to Willa. "She's made larger leaps in logic before, which is why door-to-door salesmen avoid this place like the plague."

Willa gave the slightest of chuckles at this, then seemed to think about something for a moment. "Perhaps I should seek out some Z-Crystals," she mused. "Put this Z-Power Ring to good use. Z-Moves could be very helpful."

"Hmm..." murmured Keith. "Do Yanmega or Eelektross have any Ice moves?"

"Y-yes," nodded Willa. "Yanmega knows Icy Wind. Why do you ask?"

In response, Keith dug a light blue Z-Crystal out of his bag, with a snowflake emblem visible within. "Because I think you could at least try and see how well you can use this," he stated, offering the Icium Z to Willa.

"Well... I suppose I could at least practice with it," conceded Willa, accepting the Z-Crystal.

"Cool," smiled Keith. "Now, lemme show you the poses you'll need to make," he stated, moving his arms. His Z-Ring didn't react, of course, since he was showing off the Icium Z poses. Willa watched this intently, then attempted to copy the poses. She was pretty far off the first time, but after a few tries, she got it down perfectly.

"How was that?" Willa asked after doing the poses to perfection.

"You got it," Keith smiled. "You really got it. Now, the name of the Z-Move is Subzero Slammer. Your Yanmega's Ice move- Icy Wind, you said, right?"

"Yes," nodded Willa.

"Good, an attacking move," stated Keith. "Moves like Mist or Haze can't become Subzero Slammer, but merely become mildly enhanced versions of themselves. Status Z-Moves have their own wide range of effects, and while they can be useful, nine times out of ten you're probably gonna just want to use Z-Power to launch a full-force attack-"

"Led! Ledi Ledian!!"

Keith's lesson was cut short as his Ledian shot into the Battle Room, calling out urgently. Whatever he was saying, it certainly caught Ginny's attention, and Meowth's as well. "Dere's intrudas!" Meowth exclaimed, rushing out to the warp panel. Keith and Willa exchanged looks, and followed Meowth.

As the group made their way outside, they could see exactly what the nature of this intrusion was- four Turnback Grunts, easily identifiable with their bright red uniforms, approaching the Poisonous Palace. Ginny wheeled around, fixing Willa with a murderous accusatory glare. "You bitch!" Ginny exclaimed. "You led them to us!"

"Ginny!" Keith barked. "Can we focus??" he asked, gesturing to the oncoming grunts.

"...Pawniard," grumbled Ginny, shooting Willa one more glare before turning to face the grunts.

"Heh," smirked one of the grunts, who Keith identified as the man who tried to kill him with a Feaorw. "If it isn't the deserter. You know we'll have to deal with you as well, yeah? You're either with us or against us, and you made your stance on that pretty clear last week."

"Oscar," sniffed Willa. "I would say it's good to see you again, but my mother didn't raise a liar."

Keith looked mildly impressed with this remark, before speaking up himself. "So you guys are gonna deal with me, huh?" he said. "Oh, yeah, because that worked so well for you last time."

Oscar shrugged. "If at first you don't succeed..." he trailed off, before he and his fellow grunts threw an Ultra Ball apiece. "Fearow!"

"Go! Grovyle!"


"Tropius, get him!"

Right away, all four Pokémon appeared before them. Keith didn't recognize the scaly dragon among them, and so pointed his Pokédex at it.

"Hakamo-o, the Scaly Pokémon. A Dragon and Fighting-type, and the evolved form of Jangmo-o," droned the device. "It sheds and regrows its scales on a continuous bases. The scales grow back harder and sharper every time."

"Oh, we can handle this!" Keith declared. "Meowth, Stewie, Ginny, go get 'em!"

Willa threw an Ultra Ball as well. "Yanmega!" she exclaimed, as her Yanmega appeared to fight alongside Keith's Pokémon. Right away, the grunts issued orders.

"Fearow! Drill Peck!"

"Grovyle, Leaf Blade!"

"Hakamo-o, Dragon Claw!"

"Tropius, use Gust!"

"Meowth, use Fury Swipes!" Keith exclaimed. "Stewie, use Air Slash! Ginny, Iron Head!"

"Attack!" Willa commanded Yanmega.

And the battle ensued! Fearow's Drill Peck collided painfully with Ginny's Iron Head, while Meowth and Hakamo-o squared off with Fury Swipes and Dragon Claw respectively. Stewie's Air Slash clashed with Tropius's Gust, and Grovyle's Leaf Blade was stopped cold by Yanmega's Air Slash. The fight continued in much the same way, attacks clashing against other attacks, both sides evenly matched for a good while.

"Use Icy Wind!" exclaimed Willa.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Yanmega, beating its wings rapidly and blowing a chilling, super effective blast of frigid air onto all four opponents. Each of them shivered involuntarily, their movements slowed noticeably.

"Yes!" Keith grinned as all foes showed signs of weakening. "Now let's finish them off-"

"May I?" interrupted Willa. Keith looked at her- she was adjusting the Z-Power Ring on her wrist, Keith's Icium Z still set into it.

"...Sure," Keith smiled.

Willa gave a small smile and nod in response, then stepped forward, and moved her arms. "Yanmega, off we go!" she declared.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Yanmega in response.

"Feel the chill... as we aim for the top..." said Willa as she struck picture-perfect poses. "As we stop at nothing to reach the coldest, highest pinnacle!"

"Yaaaaaaan!" roared Yanmega as Z-Power flowed into his body. The Ogre Darner Pokémon felt his Icy Wind transforming, becoming something far stronger.

Willa gave the most excited grin Keith had ever seen from her, even during a battle. "Go... Subzero Slammer!!!" she shouted.


Yanmega surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Yanmega unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Subzero Slammer
Keith was in awe at the whole spectacle. The poses, the speech, even the pillar of ice that formed beneath Yanmega- it all added up to a much more impressive Subzero Slammer than Keith had ever pulled off with any of his Pokémon. And as the Z-Move hit its mark, all four Pokémon fainted on the spot, a fact that became evident as the bone-chilling ice disappeared.

"Gah!" exclaimed Oscar as he and his cohorts withdrew their Pokémon. "Alright, so you beat us in battle, so what?"

"Oh, I'll tell you so what-" began Keith, but Willa stepped forward.

"So either you leave this man alone, or Yanmega attacks," Willa stated calmly.

"Yan ya!" Yanmega growled in agreement.

"Ehh..." murmured some of the other grunts in response to this, exchanging nervous looks.

"Oh, grow some backbones!" snapped Oscar. "She Combuskened out of killing Masters, she don't got the nerve!"

"Ah, but you miss an important distinction," smirked Willa. "Keith is an innocent man, a good man. Something that can't be said for any of you. Now, maybe I have the nerve, maybe I don't... but what I absolutely do have is a reliable partner whose wings can generate shockwaves that can and will reduce your internal organs to confetti. Are you really willing to roll the dice on that?" she inquired ominously.

Oscar, as it turned out, was not. After exchanging a nervous glance with his cohorts, he turned around and raced away, with his fellow grunts following as fast as they could run. Once they were out of sight, Willa turned around to see Keith looking at her, mouth agape, eyes full of admiration. "What?" she demanded.

"That!" Keith exclaimed. "That right there- that was amazing! The Z-Move was perfection, and the way you just scared them away like that... just... that was awesome," he smiled.

"Ah," nodded Willa with a small, polite smile. "It was nothing, really. I was merely doing what was right. Oh- I should give you back your Icium Z," she added, reaching for her Z-Power Ring.

But Keith shook his head. "Keep it," he grinned. "First, you saved my ass from Team Turnback yet again, so you've more than earned it. And second, you and Yanmega use it way better than I ever did. So... What say we hit up the Pokémon Center?" he suggested.

"Pawn Pawniard," Ginny stated. She looked up at Willa and saluted her, all traces of suspicion in her eyes replaced with respect. Willa gave that same small smile in response to this. Saying nothing, she led the way to the Sludge Wave Coast Pokémon Center, Keith and his Pokémon following close behind.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 05-26-2019 at 02:05 AM.
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Old 05-27-2019, 11:20 PM   #95
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Opening Up

"Ha haaa! Yanmega's too fast now, isn't he, Mother?"

"Is he, now? Gardevoir! Trick Room!"

"Wh-what?! No! Yanmega! Quick, use Air Slash!"

"Now, Gardevoir- Hyper Beam!"


"Gah!" Willa Carnet gave a soft gasp as her eyes flew open, as she abruptly awoke from her less-than-pleasant dream. Blinking her eyes, she looked around, taking in her surroundings, relaxing once she remembered- Keith Masters's guest bedroom. Right. Then again, this was the fourteenth night in a row she'd spend as a guest of his now, simply due to having nowhere else to go. Willa gave a small sigh as she sat up in bed, thinking about this. She'd spent the past two weeks living in this guy's house, training in his Battle Room, eating his food, even getting to know his Pokémon (and becoming increasingly surprised by just how friggin' many there were). Keith Masters had been incredibly welcoming and accommodating to her. Overstaying her welcome seemed a poor way to repay his kindness. Besides, someone so trusting... they could only be setting themselves up for being screwed over, right?

Eventually, once she'd forced herself off of that train of thought, Willa, dressed and ready to go, exited the guest bedroom, and headed on into the Battle Room with the intention of training Yanmega and Eelektross. However, as she got there, she already saw that Keith was in there, observing a small-scale battle between his Salandit and his Alolan Grimer. Willa's first thought was to silently slink back out of the room, but she stayed instead, watching the pair of Poison-types duke it out.

"Nice going, you two," Keith grinned. "Keep it up!" Then, he saw movement out of the corner of his eye, and turned to see Willa. "Oh- good morning, Willa," he added. "Sorry if we woke you, I just wanted Rob and Ricin to get in some training."

"No, it's alright. I was awake anyhow," responded Willa.

Keith was mildly surprised by this- in the past few weeks, Willa displayed a remarkable tendency to wake up bright and early at the crack of noon. "You sleep alright?" he asked.

"...Yes, fine," Willa lied. "May I watch your Pokémon train?" she asked.

"Sure," nodded Keith. "In fact, you can get Yanmega and Eelektross in on the training as well if you like."

"I... you're certain that would be OK?" Willa asked.

"Well, yeah," said Keith. "Why wouldn't it be?"

Willa stayed silent for a few seconds, looking moderately uncomfortable as she spoke up. "You are already using this room for training. I have no desire to interfere... the fact of the matter is, I've been imposing on you for two weeks now. I... I'm concerned that I might be running the risk of overstaying my welcome," she admitted.

"Well, lemme assure you, you're not running that risk anytime soon," stated Keith. "I've had no problem with you staying here." He looked at Willa, for she did not look completely convinced by his words.

"...I would at least like some tea before training, I think," Willa said finally. "If that's alright," she added.

Keith looked at Willa, and nodded. "That's very much alright," he confirmed.

Before long, the tea was made, and Keith and Willa were seated in the living room, hot mugs of tea on the table before them. "So, Willa," Keith said. "You don't think I'm a liar or something, do you?"

"N-no, no," Willa shook her head. "It's just... It is simply... I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate that you've been willing to have me around for as long as I've stayed here thus far. However much you insist to the contrary, I can't help but be concerned that I am becoming a burden on you, what with you having so many Pokémon to take care of."

"I mean, I appreciate the concern," said Keith. "It's not generally the easiest thing, taking care of as many Pokémon as I got, but frankly, I like having other people around. It's... if I'm being honest, it makes a very refreshing change from my childhood," he admitted.

Willa turned her gaze to Keith, grey eyes fixed on him intently. "What do you mean?" she inquired.

"I was not a popular kid growing up," Keith sighed. "I'm from Lavaridge Town in Hoenn- small town, and when one's grandmother is better known as the crazy Wobbuffet lady... yeah. Not to mention, the incident back when I was seven, when a... well, a kind of Pokémon saved my life that... well, it's not very... people don't think it... I was saved by a Missingno. during a family vacation to Cinnabar Island," he stated. "I was wowed by the whole thing, but when I went back to school later that year, nobody believed me and I became even less popular. So... I mean, nowadays I... I actually have friends. It's... it's a good feeling, having friends. I mean, a childhood like mine, it's hard to convey just how-"

"-just how lonely it can be," murmured Willa, nodding slowly. "I'm from Kiloude City in Kalos. I was enrolled in Kiloude Academy in my youth. It's... a very prestigious Trainer's School. Only the best are allowed in, or at least the children of the best. In my case... well, being the daughter of League Champion Diantha didn't exactly hurt my chances."

"...Your mother is Diantha?" Keith asked in surprise. Part of him had registered that the last names matched up, but until now he hadn't made the connection. Possibly having something to do with this also being the first time Willa disclosed to him where she'd come from. "OK, wow, that's pretty cool."

"It is," conceded Willa. "To a point. She's a good mother. Encouraged my love for Pokémon battling, helped me learn. Took me to the Friend Safari where I met Yanmega, gave me Eelektross before I started traveling. But... the types of kids who tend to attend Kiloude Academy, all that matters to them is status. Shallow and soulless, the lot of them... So many feigned interest in being my friend when they learned who my mother was, but once she stepped down from being Champion, suddenly nobody cared about me anymore."

"Oh, man..." Keith murmured. "Willa..." In the two weeks they'd known each other, this was the first time Keith had known the reserved Trainer to open up like this.

"...Now you see why I'm not convinced by your words alone?" Willa muttered. "I've been burned before. When I let Team Turnback sway me with words alone, I almost assisted in the murder of an innocent man. When I let my classmates sway me with words alone, I ended up alone and friendless. Words alone are meaningless."

After a moment, Keith got up and sat down right next to Willa. "You're not alone," he stated. "I know the feeling of being alone and friendless far too well to ever wish it on someone else. You can stay here for as long as you like."

"No. I... I don't want pity," Willa shook her head.

"Well, good, because that's not what this is," stated Keith. "Me giving the OK for you to stay as long as you like, that was my stance from the start. I'm simply reassuring you of the fact."

The silence that followed was a lengthy one, during which Willa took a sip of her tea and seemed to be thinking about a lot of things. "...I lied earlier," she confessed. "I didn't sleep well last night. It was nothing to do with the room- it had more to do with a recurring dream. I... foolishly thought me and Yanmega had what it took to overcome Mother and her Mega Gardevoir. Speed Boost can make Yanmega so fast nothing can keep up. Opponents scarcely even know where to aim their moves. As a teenager, I believed this was enough. I challenged her to a battle... I should have guessed it was going too well when they allowed us to pile on the Speed Boost increases, because she had Gardevoir use Trick Room. All at once, all that time, all those stat increases, they were turned against us. And then... Hyper Beam," she sighed.

"Oh, man," Keith murmured, following a moment of silence in which he took a sip of his tea. "Losing's never fun, but when you're that confident..."

"Overconfident," Willa corrected Keith. "I not only thought I could win, I thought victory was assured. I just..." She gave a deep sigh. "Being a Champion's daughter... I feel like I have this expectation to live up to. And... it's not like I don't want to be the best Trainer in the world- I very much do- but there are times when I feel... as though I need to be."

Keith looked at Willa. "Listen, Willa," he said. "Everyone trains Pokémon for their own reasons. Emphasis on 'their own'- if you like battling, and genuinely want to become a Champion yourself someday, then that's good enough reason to train Pokémon. Don't fool yourself into thinking that you need to live up to some standard just because your mother was the Champion of Kalos. You're your own person."

Willa nodded, giving a little chuckle. "If only getting these thoughts out of my mind was as simple as that," she lamented. "I... I apologize for dumping all of this on you," she added. "I just..."

Keith nodded back. "It's alright," he stated. "It feels good, doesn't it? Talking to someone about this sort of thing, knowing they're there to listen and not judge?"

"...It does," admitted Willa.

"Well... you've opened up to me, so... if you'd be willing to hear me out, perhaps now it's my turn," Keith continued. "If that's OK?"

Willa nodded and sipped her tea. "It's only fair," she agreed.

"Scan me with your Pokédex," Keith stated. Willa was perplexed by this request, but did so in any case. Nothing appeared on its holographic screen for longer than usual, until finally...

"Gastly, the Gas Pokémon. A Ghost and Poison-type. Gastly's gaseous form can infiltrate the smallest of areas and overwhelm large enemies with ease, but it is very susceptible to the wind."

"...You're a Pokémon?" Willa murmured.

"Yes and no," stated Keith. "Remember when I said a Missingno. saved my life when I was seven? The version I tell most people is that I almost drowned in the sea, and this Missingno. pushed me to shore just in time. And the truth-"

"You actually did drown?" inquired Willa. "I... know a little about cryptopokology," she admitted. "I took a class on it back in Kiloude. Some of the powers Missingno. is said to possess... you were meant to come back as a Gastly, weren't you?"

"Y-yeah," Keith murmured, suitably surprised. He was resigned to the notion of having to explain the whole idea whenever he told the true version of his story. Not once had it occurred to him that Willa would already possess enough knowledge of cryptopokology to be able to infer any of it for herself. "I'm 75% human and 25% Gastly as a result... Kiloude Academy really teaches a class on cryptopokology?" he asked.

"Indeed," confirmed Willa. "We even had a guest speaker at one point- Oldman Starmie from Viridian City-"

"You've met Viridian Coffee?" Keith breathed. "I have the book he and his wife wrote-"

"-Kanto Myths and Legends," finished Willa. "I have it, too. He actually signed my copy."

Neither of them had noticed until just now how close they'd moved to each other over the course of the past minute or so, not until they were looking right into each other's eyes, their mugs of tea long forgotten and getting cold. Slowly, without conscious thought, their faces moved closer and closer together, and the next thing either of them knew, their lips met. Though the scene was silent, fireworks were going off in Keith's mind... and yet, seconds later, he pulled away, looking down at the floor, almost as though in shame. A few seconds later, Willa gave a disgusted grunt, and by the time Keith realized he ought to follow her, she was already storming out of the living room.

"Willa!" Keith called after her as she stormed towards the stairs. "Willa! Wait!"

"Wait for what?" demanded Willa. "I knew I shouldn't have... I thought something could've..." she shook her head, tears forming in her eyes. "I was a fool," she muttered. "I'll be out of your house and out of your hair as soon as I get my things."

"Please, don't go!" Keith called as he continued after her. "That... what we just-"

"I know- it disgusted you," Willa interrupted scathingly, wheeling around to show the fire in her eyes, too distraught to even try and hide the tears. "And to think I was starting to feel like that about you... I knew I shouldn't have opened up... Nothing good ever comes of it..."

"That's not true-" began Keith.

"We kissed and you hated it!" yelled Willa.

"I LOVED IT!" Keith exploded. "I loved it, OK?! I feel the same way about you, Willa! And that kiss! It felt amazing, and beautiful, and- and so, so very right... and... and that's exactly what scared me so much," he admitted quietly. He stopped to catch his breath, and saw that Willa was eyeing him curiously now. His words in and of themselves weren't swaying her, but the look in his eyes, that was a whole other swarm of Yanma.

"...There's a story I haven't yet been told, isn't there?" Willa inquired after a long silence.

"Understatement of the century," Keith panted. "I... I'd like to tell it to you, if... if you'd hear me out?"

For the next few seconds, Willa and Keith locked eyes, neither saying a word... and then Willa gave a small nod. "I would," she replied.

And back in the living room they went. Keith took a few sips of his tea to calm himself- thankfully it hadn't gotten too cold yet- and then launched into the whole story. About Marion and her Banette. About Neville, the Stunfisk whose stuffed, charred corpse was hanging above Keith's fireplace. About the Halloween 2012 incident, and all that occurred as a result. About Coselle. About their relationship, and all the ups and downs thereof. The memory erasure. Her brief return, and finally, the certainty that she was gone for good.

Willa had an arm around Keith by the end of the story, for while he had not burst into sobs of anguish, it was very clearly only due to a great effort on his part. "I see," she murmured. "When we kissed, you realized you were truly starting to move on from Coselle."

Keith nodded. "Many people tell me I'm better off forgetting it all, that it shouldn't have happened, but... I disagree," he said. "When I learned her memory was erased, it shook me. Like... I knew that if ever we crossed paths again... I'd see her... but she wouldn't see me. It... It's not right," he murmured. "And I... I never want to forget her. For better or worse, she changed my life. I... I know... I know she's gone, but... but that just means that the memories are all that's left," he sighed."

Willa was silent for a second, pondering what to say to this, before speaking up. "You said she made you a Chespin doll for Valentine's Day," she said. "Do you still have it?"

Keith nodded." Yeah," he said, pulling aforementioned doll out of his backpack and showing it to Willa.

"It's amazing," Willa murmured, examining the handmade doll closely. "The details have been captured perfectly, and just being near it gives me a sense of warmth and happiness... she must truly have cared about you."

Keith nodded. "She did," he said.

"Then don't you think she'd want you to be happy?" asked Willa.

Keith fell silent as he pondered this question. On the one hand, the obvious answer was a resounding yes. But on the other hand, considering what Coselle had been... He thought, long and hard, about this simple question, before finally opening his mouth to answer it. "...I think she would," he finally said.

"And you obviously take good care of this doll," added Willa. With Keith's permission, she gently held it in her hand. "I think as long as you keep it around, as well as the stuffed Stunfisk over your fireplace... I think the memories will stay alive."

Keith nodded as he wiped away the remaining tears from his eyes. "We loved each other dearly," he said. "And we wanted each other to be happy. I think... I think she would ultimately, Banette or otherwise, understand that I need to move on." He smiled at Willa. "Thank you, Willa," he said sincerely. "This... I needed this, I think. It's... it's like a huge weight has been lifted off of me, a weight I didn't know I carried until now."

Willa nodded. "I don't know if this compares," she said. "But I could describe how I felt when I confided in you earlier in the same way. If I was able to do that for you, then I'm glad."

Keith had no response to this, and so the two Trainers simply smiled at each other for another minute, until Keith finally spoke up again. "So," he said. "I... seem to recall we were... attempting something earlier?" he ventured.

"I do believe we were," Willa nodded, a knowing smile on her face. "Do I take this, then, to mean you're open to the notion of making another attempt?"

Keith gave a nod and a smile in return. "I'd like that very much," he said. "And I think I can guarantee a more satisfying outcome this time."

Willa gave what Keith could have sworn to be a playful smirk. "I'll be the judge of that," was all she said before pulling Keith in close to her, whereupon the kiss from before resumed, and this time, was neither marred nor cut short by any semblance of uncertainty from either party. Not even as Meowth gave a sigh from his position in the doorway, rolled his eyes, but smiled as he pushed a pawful of Pokédollars into Fang's waiting leaf hand. Seeing Keith this happy was worth losing the bet, he knew. They had a feeling that, moving forward, things were gonna be very interesting.

And Keith liked interesting.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:02 PM   #96
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Meowth's Meeting II

It was a quiet day in Fizzytopia. Well, most of Fizzytopia, anyway. In a private room of the local bar- er, rather, in the large, spacious, and largely unused dining room of Keith Masters, a motley collection of Pokémon were gathered, and a much larger one than the last time a meeting of this nature had been called. Poison-types of all kinds were gathered, from the Arbok, Weezing, Qwilfish, Vileplume, Venomoth, and Crobat that were the original six members of their Trainer's team right down to the Salandit and Alolan Grimer that were both extremely recent acquisitions on his part, and everything in between. There was also a number of non-Poison-types, among them being a pair of Dusknoir and their Duskull son, a pair of Banette, a Pawniard and a Ledian, a Timburr and a Shiftry, a Heatmor, a Stunfisk, a Cryogonal... just a lot of stuff in general. In addition, two Pokémon were present that most certainly did not belong to Keith- a Yanmega and an Eelektross. Some of these Pokémon were seated at the table. Some of these Pokémon were seated on the table. Some were just hovering or flying around, most were either standing or sitting on the floor. But they all had their attention turned to the head of the table, where a Normal Form Meowth stood on his seat, a small podium set up on the table before him, as he tried to catch the attention of all present.

"Hey! Hey! Order! I want order in dis room!" Meowth shouted. Though several of the Pokemon quieted down, many of them continued carrying on with their conversations. At this, Meowth sighed, muttering to himself, "Didn't wanna hafta do dis..." as he produced a small chalkboard from behind the podium, and Scratching at it slowly with the claws on his front right paw. The ensuing screeching noise served to quiet everyone down, though some of them shot Meowth some resentful glares. Especially the Crobat and the Seviper, who both looked about ready to kill. "Tank youse," Meowth stated. "Now, den, I bet yer all wonderin' why I called youse here today."

"I'm not," smirked a smug-sounding Carnivine, his leafy hand still clutching a wad of Pokédollars. "Saw this coming a mile away."

"Yeah, yeah, I know," Meowth rolled his eyes. "Wat are ya gonna do wit dat money anyway, Fang?" he demanded. "Yer a Carnivine, it ain't like youse can just hova ova ta da nearest Starboks and get youse a coffee."

"Excuse me, can we get on with this?" asked the Barbaracle's left foot. "Or at least get us a seat?"

"Ehh, quit yer bellyachin', Travis," said Meowth. "I seen you and Tom stand fer way longer den dis witout all da complainin'." Elliott's legs raised no objections to this point, which seemed to satisfy Meowth. "Now, den," continued Meowth. "Dose of youse wat been wit da team fer a long time'll have kind of an idea wat dis could be about, as I only called a meetin' like dis once before. And unlike last time, I also invited our guests to attend, as dis concerns deir Trainer as well." He said this with a nod of acknowledgement to the Yanmega and Eelektross in the room, who nodded back. "Now, before we get started, anyone got any questions?"

"Yeah, I got one," the Basculin called out. "When do we get the free food?"

"Ya don't," Meowth snapped. "No one made no mention of free food, Pisces, we went trough dis last time. Any more questions?"

"Yeah, uh, why isn't there any free food?" Pisces retorted. Meowth facepalmed.

"Because dis meetin' ain't even dat long! Dude, just wait-"

"I'm a girl, moron!" Pisces interrupted. "You 'dude' me one more time and I'll see to it you go through a good three or four of your lives right here and now!"

"Yeah, yeah," Meowth grumbled. "OK, any more questions, from a non-Basculin?" he added with a nasty glare in the Basculin's direction, which Pisces was only too glad to reply to in kind.

Meowth was thankful that the next question did indeed come from a non-Basculin. "I got a question," said the Camerupt, clad in his usual fedora, speaking human language. "If this concerns hat man so much, where he at?"

"Excellent question, Vinny," said Meowth. "The answer actually kinda ties inta why we's here in da first place, though, so have a little patience-"

"I could have a little patience," smirked the Camerupt. "Or, youse could have a little payoff. Recoup a little of what you lost to Fang, yeah?"

"Ya know I knows Pay Day, too, right?" Meowth rolled his eyes.

"...As you was sayin', then," mumbled the Camerupt.

"Damn right," nodded Meowth. "NOW, den," he said. "As youse all knows, fer da past two weeks, dis house has also been where Yanmega and Eelektross's Trainer, Willa Carnet, has been stayin'. I trust we's all aware o' dat by now?" he added. After numerous cries of "Yes!", "Of course!", "Duh!", and "What kind of morons do you take us for?", and even one cry of "I am THIS close to exsanguinating you right now!", he hastily spoke up again. "Alright! Alright! I witdraw da stupid question!" exclaimed Meowth. "We all know, I get it. Now den, fer da big, major announcement I called youse all here ta say- it gives me great pleasure ta be able ta say once more dat our Trainer has a girlfriend." This statement was met with many murmurs of approval among Keith's Pokémon. Both Banette nodded approvingly, neither one looking particularly surprised.

"Ooh! Keith have girlfriend!" exclaimed the excitable Duskull with the chocolate chip cookie cloak. "Who this girlfriend?" he added.

"Alright, and fer those o' youse wat dat ain't got da picture yet, let's clear dat up right now," said Meowth. "By a show o' hands, or paws, or watever youse gots ta raise, who here tinks dey know who it is? Or actually knows? Whicheva." At this the vast majority of Pokémon present raised a hand, or a wing, or a paw, or a puff of smoke, and so on and so forth. The few that didn't included Chip, the aforementioned Duskull; Eon, the Shiny Eevee; and Rob, the Salandit standing on the shoulder of Charlie, his father and Keith's Charizard. The Charizard, on the other hand, had a hand in the air, having a shrewd idea as to what Meowth was getting at.

"OK, good. I'm hopin' most o' youse got it right," grinned Meowth. "Cuz item numba two- our Trainer's girlfriend is Willa Carnet."

"I KNEW IT!" exclaimed Ginny triumphantly. Many of her teammates spoke up their approval of this turn of events. Few of them were surprised, but those that were were ecstatic.

"Ginny, yer pretty happy about dis," Meowth observed. "I ain't thought youse trusted Willa."

"I didn't at first," admitted the Pawniard. "After all, the first time Keith met her, she was a member of Team Turnback who was trying to help people who wanted to kill him." At this, some of the Pokémon shared murmurs of surprise and concern.

"OK, OK, cool it!" Meowth called out. Mercifully, silence came quickly. "Alright. Item numba three- Willa's got history wit Team Turnback. But all dat's firmly in da past now, alright?"

"She tried to help kill him?" demanded one of the Mightyena. Black and grey fur- this was Sirius. The first of Keith's Pokémon that wasn't a Poison-type, and until Ginny came along, it was he who was always most protective of Keith.

"Alright, fer dis, I'm gonna turn tings ova ta Ginny fer a moment," stated Meowth. At this, Ginny hopped up on the chair beside Meowth (narrowly avoiding putting him on the business end of her torso blades in the process).

"Alright," stated Ginny. "Now, I know some of you are shocked to learn that Willa was part of an organization that wants Keith dead. I was, of course, more suspicious of her than anyone else when she first showed up here, because I was there that day, and so were Meowth, Amanita, and Amanitin." At this, the Parasect on the floor gave two separate waves of their right claw, one for each of her personalities. "She argued against killing him once she knew what they were doing, and after Amanitin and Amanita evolved, she and her Pokémon aided in our escape. Yanmega, Eelektross?" she added.

"It's true," Yanmega stated. "Willa whispered to us both, telling us to interfere with the other grunts and to not hurt Keith."

"She was very insistent on that last bit," added Eelektross.

"And last week, when a number of Team Turnback Grunts showed up to finish what they started," added Ginny, "we fought them off together, and Willa and Yanmega finished off their Pokémon with Subzero Slammer. Then, she threatened to have Yanmega shred up their internal organs if they didn't leave Keith alone, and take it from me, she meant it. I think it was at that moment I realized Willa could be trusted."

"So we all good now?" Meowth asked. "We all approve?" And this time, the response was wholly unanimous and positive, including from Yanmega and Eelektross. "Good," he nodded.

"So wait- where is Keith?" asked Liliana, one of the Dusknoir.

"Ah, yeah," nodded Meowth. "Well, he and Willa are... currently in da process of... approvin' o' one anotha," he said delicately. Figured dey could use da privacy, so I felt like dis was da best time fer da meetin'. Now den, dere's just a few items left ta cova here," he added. "Numba four- ain't nuttin' been confirmed eitha way on dis one, but I wouldn't be surprised if Willa ends up livin' here wit us, so dat's a possibility we all oughta be prepared fer, and hopefully be cool wit. Can we do dat?"

"I wouldn't mind, for one!" Eelektross spoke up. "I like training here! Lots of tough opponents!" And with that statement, he flew right at Marvolo, and the two began a sparring battle right in the middle of the dining room, which lasted until Meowth's claws were reacquainted with the chalkboard. "HEY!" they both bellowed.

"Hey, yerselves!" Meowth shot back. "Dis meetin' ain't ova yet! Ya wanna train, dat's fine, just hold off until we's done here and take it ta da Battle Room!"

"...Alright, fine," grumbled Eelektross.

"Spoilsport," hissed Marvolo.

"I would be happy if Willa decided to live here," stated Yanmega. "And I feel like she would be, too. She's never said as much for fear of overstaying her welcome, but she likes it here. I can tell."

Many of Meowth's teammates turned to Ginny to get her take on this. "I would welcome it," stated the Pawniard, a statement that seemed to satisfy most of them. Even Sirius looked less wary now, knowing how much more paranoid Ginny was than he.

"Alright, looks like we's all in agreement on dis," Meowth purred. "Glad ta hear it. Final item fer today, kind of a minor one, but I tink it's worth bringin' up- afta wat went down last week, Keith ain't got his Icium Z no more. It's now Willa's. He tinks she uses it way betta dan he eva did."

"Aww, man," sighed Winter. "I love the feel of using Subzero Slammer!" Several of his teammates, including Brighton the Chinchou, likewise voiced their displeasure at this development, but ultimately, as far as Meowth could tell, this was not a deal breaker for any of them. Keith used his Poisonium Z way more often anyway.

"Alright, den, dat's everyting I wanted ta cover," Meowth stated. "Dis meetin' is adjourned."

With that said, the gathered Pokémon began to disperse, though as Meowth hopped down to the floor, Yanmega approached him. "That went well, I think," remarked Yanmega.

"Yeah, I guess so," agreed Meowth. "Y'know, Yanmega, dis is a real crazy family we gots here, but end o' da day, we all care about Keith and wanna see him happy. And if Willa's wat makes him happy, den we's all for it."

"I can say the same for myself, Eelektross, and Willa," nodded Yanmega. "She is a remarkable Trainer, but she is lonely. I feel Keith has been great for her already, and will only continue to be so."

"Yeah, he's good like dat," Meowth nodded back. "He deserves dis kinda happiness in his life."

"As does Willa," concurred Yanmega. "I'm quite glad to see that everyone approves of them, too."

"Yeah, it-" began Meowth, when he stopped short as though realizing something. "...Cyanide," he murmured.

"Pardon?" said Yanmega.

"Cyanide- Keith's Umbreon," Meowth said. "She ain't been here, she don't know yet. She's been busy, er... approvin' o' her own boyfriend fer da past two weeks. Keith's actually gotta pick her up from da Hatchery sometime soon. Oy, dis oughta be interestin'..." he muttered.
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Old 08-05-2019, 01:03 AM   #97
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You Don't Know Jack II

Jessica: Are we on? Is this thing on? OK, good, good. Well, then, hello there, everybody. I am your lovely, charming host, Jessica Arbokson, and of course you all know my co-host, Jameson McWeezing. And welcome to another episode of Blast Off, where our interviews are prepared for trouble...

Jameson: And we bring them to you, and make it double!

Jessica: We have a very special episode for you, as today's guest is in fact a Pokémon! Ladies and gentlemen, please give a warm welcome to Jack the Ditto!

Jack: *Transforms into Jameson* Hello, hello, it's a pleasure to be on your show, Jessica, Jackson.

Jameson: Er, Jack? It's Jameson, actually. Also, if you don't mind, can you maybe lessen the resemblance to yours truly?

Jessica: Yes, please? It'll be quite confusing to our viewers.

Jameson: Not even that, I'm just creeped out by it.

Jack: Alright, sure, not a problem. *nose morphs into a Tamato Berry* There. That better?

Jameson: What the- No, that's not better! Now look, you've got Jessica shaking with inexpressible rage!

Jack: ...yeah, I hate to break it to you, man, she's holding back laughter.

Jameson: Oh, don't be so ridic-

Jessica: *bursts out laughing*

Jameson: ...ulous...

Jack: *joins in on the laughter* *involuntarily returns to normal* Dit?! Ditto... *Transforms into the likeness of experienced Poison-type Trainer Keith Masters* Is this better?

Jessica: Hahaha... yes, yes, that's better. Jameson?

Jameson: Anything that doesn't openly mock me is fine by me.

Jessica: Good. So, Jack- from what we've been told, you're the very first of your kind, yes?

Jack: I am indeed, Jessica. Y'know how there's those rumors that we Ditto came to be due to a failed attempt at cloning Mew? They're true. I'm the first result Team Rocket got with their Mew cloning shenanigans.

Jameson: Very interesting. Though if you would perhaps satisfy my personal curiosity, since Ditto are unable to breed with each other, how do more Ditto come to be in the first place?

Jack: Well, I can only speak for how my immediate descendants came to be- when my body was still kinda stabilizing, little drips kinda fell off, and they grew into Ditto of their own. Once I learned this, I tried replicating it, but no good. So I don't know how the species has flourished since then, to be perfectly honest with you. Uh... What's up, Jessica, I got something on my face?

Jessica: Pardon me... I'm sorry, I can't help but notice your eyes-

Jack: Easy there- I'm currently Transformed into my Trainer, and he's got a girlfriend.

Jessica: No, it's not that- your eyes aren't beady. I thought-

Jack: Oh, here we go... Look, I wanna just clear up a disturbingly common misconception right here and now. Y'know all that freaky merchandise that's a bunch of Pokémon plushes with Ditto faces, and like how some of those Ditto on TV couldn't copy faces with Transform, and all that? That ain't normal for us Ditto. We are damn good at copying faces, thank you very much. Those kinds of Ditto are the exception, not the rule.

Jameson: So only some Ditto have that sort of limitation, then?

Jack: Exactly. There are certain aspects of Transform that vary wildly among my kind. Y'know how I'm talking right now? Dead ringer for my Trainer's voice, and I got the language down perfectly.

Jessica: I did find that peculiar- my knowledge of Ditto was that they couldn't speak if Transformed into humans.

Jack: It depends on the Ditto. Some of us are better at more thorough transformations than others, and the vocal chords of humans is one part of that. And not even just humans- some Ditto can copy the language of others but still have their own voice, while others can copy the voice but are stuck speaking Ditto language.

Jameson: Fascinating. Now, I've noticed that you involuntarily turned back to normal when you started laughing at my expense earlier.

Jack: Eheh, yeah, I did, Jasperson.

Jameson: ...it's Jameson.

Jack: Anyways, yeah, that's... that's a pretty standard universal thing among us Ditto. Make us laugh, our transformations can't hold.

Jessica: Indeed? Does this hold true for all Pokémon that know Transform, or only Ditto?

Jack: I got no friggin' clue, to be honest with you. Those that can learn Transform are few and far between. It's basically Ditto and Smeargle, and I've yet to meet a Smeargle what that knows the move. And then there's Mew, and believe you me, that's just one thing on an entire list of topics I wanna cover if ever I get the chance to talk to her...

Jameson: I understand. Mew's like your mother, isn't it?

Jack: Yeah, exactly, Jellybeans.

Jameson: Er... it's Jameson.

Jessica: Now... on that subject, what's your take on Mewtwo?

Jack: Ho, boy. I've heard the legends, sure. And I know all the crap Mewtwo's said to have pulled, and how it don't think too kindly about humanity... but someday I wanna meet my brother and talk to him, one-on-one. Cause I've seen that there's a lot of bad to humanity, sure, but I've also seen that there's just as much good to it as well, if not more.

Jameson: What about the Mythical Pokémon Meltan? Comparisons have been drawn between them and Ditto. Is there any connection?

Jack: Pfft, not likely, Jokerson.

Jameson: That's Jameson!

Jack: Meltan date back several millennia. Team Rocket's cloning experiments were a little over twenty years ago. Plus, the little nut heads can't even learn Transform. I find it sincerely doubtful Team Rocket had access to any Meltan DNA, either.

Jessica: So, more on the subject of you specifically, what have you been doing with your life?

Jack: Oh, well, I spent a good chunk of my early years trying desperately to reconnect with a long-lost friend, until I got caught and put up for sale in the old Coins for Prizes shop they used to have in this region. Drove the guy working there all kinds of crazy. *chuckles* He kept telling me to cut out the jokes and pranks and all that or else I'd never get a Trainer to come in and buy me. But I told him, screw that- if I was gonna have a Trainer, I wanted one I could be me around, y'know? And Keith is that Trainer, lemme tell you.

Jameson: And the fact that you are a non-Poison-type on a team full of Poison-types doesn't make you feel like an outcast?

Jack: Oh, hell, no. I ain't the only non-Poison-type on the team. There's a Timburr, a Makuhita, a Scrafty, two Mightyena, two Dusknoir, two Banette- one of whom is that long-lost friend of mine, might I add- uh, let's see, a Charizard, a Blastoise, a Wobbuffet, a Chesnaught, a Duskull- the two Dusknoir I mentioned, they got a kid- a Cryogonal, a Druddigon, a Musharna, a Minun, a Seismitoad-

Jessica: I believe we get the point.

Jack: -and a Slurpuff, and a Weavile, and a Heatmor, and a Stunfisk-

Jameson: Yes, we get it!

Jack: -a Dunsparce, a Smeargle, a Feraligatr, and I dunno if the Umbreon oughta count, she's a Poison-type at heart, and a Camerupt, and a Haxorus, and a Ledi-


Jack: OK, OK, Yeesh! Wow. Who shat in your cornflakes this morning, Johnson?

Jameson: And my name is Jameson!

Jessica: Alright, moving along, Jack- to get straight to your point, it's abundantly clear by now that you are in good company in terms of non-Poison-types. So you fit in well with your teammates?

Jack: Yeah, you bet. And that includes the Poison-types as well, just so you know. Keith's good at helping damn near any kind of Pokémon feel welcome. I think the guy takes "Gotta Catch 'em All" as a personal challenge, you ask me. And he and I, we're good friends, too. Me Transforming into him, having a chat, that's a regular occurrence with us. I like it.

Jameson: And it seems as though you've found yourself a Trainer you can indeed be yourself around, yes?

Jack: Oh, yes. This is perhaps the best-case scenario if you ask me.

Jessica: I actually want to close out the show today by asking you- considering your capabilities, you can both understand Pokémon language and speak human language, so I was wondering if there are any sort of... how do I put this...

Jack: You wanna know if I know any kind of Pokémon secrets that you humans would know if you could just understand what we's saying.

Jessica: Basically.

Jack: OK, first off, when Wobbuffet pop out of their Poké Balls and say something seemingly in agreement with you, they're literally saying "Wobbuffet". Also, Basculin are incredibly foulmouthed. In fact, the younger they are, the more they swear. Well, Blue-Striped Basculin, anyway- I don't got a lot of firsthand experience with the Red-Striped variety. And despite the chilly appearance, tone of voice, and body temperature of your average Cryogonal, they can be seriously warm-hearted individuals. And finally, it's a common misconception that most Doduo have two wildly different personalities in each head, when in fact that's actually really rare. By and large, Doduo have two identical brains linked by telepathy. On the other hand, you got Barbaracle- seven different personalities right there, and they can be wildly different. Weezing's kind of a happy medium there- different personalities, but they can communicate and coordinate with telepathy, and they rarely disagree with each other.

Jameson: Fascinating. Truly fascinating. Unfortunately, it's about time we were blasting off again.

Jessica: Yes, indeed. Join us next week when we interview the CEO of Starboks. And Jack, thank you very much for appearing on our show today.

Jack: Oh, no problem. It was a pleasure. I enjoyed myself today, and it was great getting to meet you two. Thanks very much, Jessica, Joblessness.

Jameson: IT'S JAMESON!!!
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Old 10-15-2019, 10:43 PM   #98
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The Full Battle II

It was a fairly typical day at Sludge Wave Coast. The sun was shining, Jack the Ditto was hanging out under the pickup truck parked near the shore for reasons even he couldn't adequately explain, and a Colosseum challenge was going on at Sludge Wave Colosseum.

"Things are getting heated here in the final round of today's Colosseum challenge!" Gavin exclaimed, commentating the match as it happened before him. "Furret and Wobbuffet are both unable to battle, leaving Terri and Keith with just one Pokémon apiece!"

Indeed, battles in Sludge Wave Colosseum, as was the case in the Orre region in general, were always fought as double battles whenever possible. And Gavin, who sought to bring the Orre region's tradition of Colosseum challenges to Fizzytopia, was adamant about them being as authentic an experience as fucking possible, to use his exact words. Zoom's attempts at finishing off Smiley with Slash had backfired due to a very well-timed Destiny Bond, knocking them both out, leaving Terri and Keith with their Murkrow and Salandit, respectively.

"Go, Want, blast it with Psychic!" Terri commanded.

"Krow! Krow!" cawed Want, eyes glowing blue.

"Rob, shoot a Sludge Wave straight down!" Keith commanded.

"Salaaaaaan... DIT!" Rob exclaimed as he did just that. He formed the glob of sludge all around him, and by propelling it towards the ground below, this in turn propelled him upward and out of the path of the Murkrow's Psychic.

"Want, above you!" Terri warned the Murkrow.

"Rob! Dragon Pulse attack!" Keith grinned.

"Salaaaaaan!" hissed Rob, firing a vivid blue orb of energy before Want could even act, plowing the Murkrow into the ground.

"And Murkrow is unable to battle!" Gavin declared to the cheering crowd. "Both of Terri's Pokémon have been defeated, so the winner of today's Colosseum challenge is Keith Masters!"


"Haha," Keith chuckled as he filed out into the lobby along with Terri. "That was some good battling right there."

"I think we used our Z-Move too soon," Terri stated. "Want might have done better against Rob if we could have gone for Shattered Psyche."

"Yeah, possibly," Keith nodded in agreement. "Frankly, I was worried whether I'd gone for mine too soon, y'know?" But at that moment, there was little time for either of them to say more on the matter, for they saw their respective girlfriends approaching them. Terri took Laugh's hand, said her goodbyes to Keith and Willa, and they exited the Colosseum lobby hand in hand. Keith, meanwhile, smiled at the woman who had just come up to him and given him a congratulatory kiss. "Now that's what I call a prize," he grinned.

"Battling like that, you earned it," Willa smiled back. "But just be warned- once I've gotten to a satisfactory point with Skiddo and Spewpa's training, you can bet I'll be entering another one of these as well."

"Then I look forward to facing you in the finals," Keith grinned. "Just be warned- Colosseum challenges are all double battles. And I'm from Hoenn- the birthplace of the double battle."

Willa nodded, grinning back. "Oh, it shows," she said. "Have you healed your Pokémon yet?"

"Not just yet," Keith replied. "Healing machine's right over there, though, so no reason to put it off. Smiley and Rob definitely deserve the rest, too, they battled hard today." As he was saying this, they ventured over to the healing machine Gavin had set up in the lobby, and Keith's Wobbuffet and Salandit were both healed up in no time.

Just then, Gavin, who had exited earlier to stretch his legs, came bursting back in. "Holy shit, you two!" he exclaimed. "Some big, fancy helicopter's coming in for a landing right here!"

"The hell?" Keith murmured, following Gavin back outside.

"Oh, here we go..." Willa murmured, following her boyfriend.

As they arrived outside, they could see that Gavin was right- a white helicopter was landing in the Shadow Clearing, and as it touched down, a lone woman climbed out, dressed entirely in white and gold with brown hair. Keith's mouth fell open as he realized who this was.

Willa gave a small sigh as she too knew who this was. "Hello, mother," she greeted the woman, not unkindly.

Diantha gave a warm smile in response, walking up and embracing her daughter, who hugged her back. "Hello, Willa," she responded. "I'm sorry I didn't call ahead, but this wasn't actually planned on my part. I'll be shooting a movie soon, and only while en route to the location did I learn that it was to be shot in Fizzytopia. I decided that since I have a little time to spare, I'd use that time to see how my girl's doing. And maybe finally get to meet this boyfriend of yours," she added, with a glance at Keith. "Speaking of which...?" she added.

Keith nodded. "Yes, ma'am," he responded. "I'm Keith Masters, it's nice to meet you."

Diantha nodded. "Likewise," she smiled. "Willa's told me a lot about you."

"All good things, I hope?" Keith chuckled.

Diantha gave a small chuckle herself. "To put it lightly," she responded. "Just talking about you put the biggest smile on my daughter's face I'd ever seen.

"Mother..." muttered Willa, looking down, her face turning as red as an Electrode's ass. It took Keith unfathomable amounts of willpower to not chuckle at the sight out of respect for his girlfriend.

"There's no shame in liking someone, Willa," Diantha said. "You honestly reminded me of how I would act when I was talking about your father to my own parents." She then gave a heavy sigh with a sad look, which Keith understood, having already learned from Willa that her father had passed away years ago. "Ah... but there is one thing I do intend on finding out during my visit," she said, turning to Keith. "And that's to see whether Willa's compliments about your training skills are warranted."

Keith's eyes lit up. "You mean a battle?" he asked.

"Naturally," smiled Diantha. "Willa's told me that you're one of the most skilled Pokémon Trainers she's ever known, and as a former League Champion, I confess myself very interested to see just how well our Pokémon compare. Do you accept?"

"You don't have to if you don't want to," Willa said to Keith.

But Keith was grinning. "Oh, but I want to," he said. "I'd think you'd know me well enough by now to know I'm never one to turn down a battle challenge, especially against an opponent I know will give me a challenge."

Willa gave a small smile at this. "This is true," she conceded. "I suppose this will be happening, then."

"The only question now is where to have this battle," Diantha stated. "I see there's a Colosseum over there, as well as an outdoor battlefield, but in all honestly there are times I'd rather not be constantly in the public eye... have you anywhere more private?" she asked Keith.

"Of course," Keith nodded, gesturing to the Poisonous Palace. "The Battle Room in my house would be perfect. Come on," he said, leading the way inside. Diantha was mildly impressed by the grandiose dwelling they entered, with its spacious corridors and the abundant potted Snoverberry trees. It wasn't long before they arrived in the Battle Room, and to Diantha's satisfaction, there was indeed no chance of a crowd forming in such a private venue. Keith did have seats for the benefit of guests, but as she was his only guest at the moment, she wasn't especially concerned.

"This will do nicely," nodded Diantha. "The only question now is, are you ready for battle right now or do you need to make some adjustments to your team?"

"Definitely need to make some adjustments," he stated. "Also, would it be alright if I got a friend of mine to act as referee?"

"I suppose," said Diantha.


Eventually, Keith was decided on a team of six, and Gavin, once he stopped swearing in utter shock and surprise at the fact that Keith's girlfriend's mother was the former Champion of Kalos, readily agreed to referee the battle. With that agreed upon, Gavin stood on the side of the elevated battle arena. "Alright!" he exclaimed as the large television behind him lit up, revealing a scoreboard that showed pictures of Keith and Diantha, along with six spaces for pictures of their Pokémon. Willa took a seat, ready to watch the battle unfold. "This will be a full six-on-six Pokémon fight between Keith and Diantha, the battle only ending when all six Pokémon on one side are unable to battle. A coin flip has determined that Keith will choose his Pokémon first! And... begin!"

Keith turned to the feline on his shoulder. "You're up first, Meowth!" he declared.

"Right!" Meowth nodded, jumping down and dashing out onto the battlefield. He stood, claws extended, ready for action.

Diantha smirked as she prepared her first Poké Ball and threw it. "Hawlucha!" she exclaimed. Meowth's confidence drained out of him in record time as the Fighting/Flying-type materialized before him. Hello, obvious type disadvantage!

"Hey, don't sweat it, Meowth!" Keith called. "Type matchups aren't everything! Now let's start things off right! Fake Out, go!"

Diantha, however, was having none of that. "Quick Guard!" she ordered.

"Halucha!" exclaimed Hawlucha, hastily erecting a flimsy barrier which nevertheless proved effective against Meowth's attempted Fake Out, blocking the first-strike move completely.

And Diantha wasn't about to let up! "Follow up with Karate Chop!" she commanded.

"LUCHAAAA!" Hawlucha cried out, slamming a wing into Meowth before Keith could even react. Meowth was sent flying backwards from the super effective move, but was nevertheless able to get back up.

"You good to go, Meowth?" Keith asked.

"Everyting is pain," groaned the Scratch Cat Pokémon. "Yeah, I tink I can keep goin'."

Diantha wasn't about to let up on them, however, and as thought to prove the point she gestured towards Meowth. "Wing Attack!" she commanded.

But Keith was ready this time. "Detect!" he ordered. Hawlucha glided towards Meowth at high speeds, but Meowth was able to evade at unnatural speeds with a gleam in his eye as he did so.

"Halu?!" Hawlucha exclaimed in surprise, looking back at where Meowth had gone.

"Meowth! Flash!" Keith called out. And right away, Meowth put his paws up to his charm, and emitted a brilliant flash of light. Keith had shielded his eyes just in time, but Hawlucha had not.

"Lucha!" Hawlucha cried out, stumbling around, blinking desperately, trying to regain its eyesight.

"No! Hawlucha, Double Team!" called Diantha.

"It won't work!" Keith grinned. "Swift attack!"

Even as numerous copies of Hawlucha materialized all over the battlefield, Meowth grinned. He spread his arms wide, and numerous large star-shaped bundles of energy appeared all around him. With a great cry, Meowth sent them flying, the curious stars honing in on the real Hawlucha, not fooled by the copies for an instant.

"Now! Use Icy Wind!" Keith commanded.

"Time ta chill out!" Meowth quipped. He inhaled deeply, then exhaled a frigid gust of air that got Hawlucha shuddering.

"Hawlucha, use Brick Break!" Diantha ordered.

"Jump to dodge it!" Keith exclaimed. And this worked beautifully- with Hawlucha still struggling to see, Meowth found this to be even easier to dodge than before. Hawlucha had known which way to go to move in for the attack, but it still couldn't see well enough to actually aim properly. Moreover, this landed him right on Hawlucha's back.

"Toss Meowth off!" Diantha exclaimed.

"Meowth, use Bite!" Keith exclaimed. And sure enough, now Meowth was the faster of the two, the Icy Wind having sufficiently slowed Hawlucha down enough, and he was able to sink his teeth in and hold on tight before Hawlucha could even start trying to shake him loose. The Dark move wasn't very effective in terms of damage dealt, but it was proving quite effective in keeping Meowth in nice, close range.

"Get it off! And give it the Flying Press!" Diantha commanded.

"Not happening! Meowth, use Thunderbolt!" Keith declared.

Hawlucha desperately tried to grab Meowth, but before it could get even the most remote semblance of a good grip, Meowth lit up with electricity, which meant Hawlucha also lit up with electricity. This, however, was not sufficient to finish Hawlucha off, and it was able to still grab Meowth and throw him to the ground. Then, Hawlucha sprang up, and striking a pose as it fell, plowed right into Meowth from above.

"Oh! Meowth!" Keith exclaimed, but as the dust settled, the result was fairly obvious.

"Meowth is unable to battle!" ruled Gavin. "Hawlucha wins!"

"Gaah... Meowth, dat's right..." Meowth murmured, dazed as Keith scooped him up off the battlefield.

"Yeah, don't sweat it, Meowth, you did great," Keith said as he walked back to his end and set Meowth down beside him. He turned back to the battle, running his fingers along the balls on his belt, selecting one after a couple of seconds. "Alright, here's the next one- Anion!" he exclaimed, heaving a Fast Ball onto the battlefield, sending out the tiny yet tough form of Keith's Minun.

"Mai mai!" Anion exclaimed as she appeared. She smirked confidently at the Hawlucha before her.

"It won't be that easy," Diantha smirked.

"We'll be the judge of that!" Keith grinned. "Wild Charge!"

"Hawlucha! Fly!" ordered Diantha. Anion zoomed forward, crackling with electricity, but with a great flap of its wings, Hawlucha was airborne, able to evade the attack completely.

"You think that'll stop us? Magnet Rise!" Keith called out. And in an instant, Anion drew level with Hawlucha, an electromagnetic aura surrounding her as she flew up into the air.

"Hit it now!" ordered Diantha. "Karate Chop!"

"Anion, use Mega Punch!" Keith ordered.

And so commenced the airborne battle between Anion and Hawlucha, each maneuvering around the other's attacks, until Hawlucha landed a clean hit that sent Anion flying backwards.

"Now follow up with Brick Break!" ordered Diantha.

"Use Acrobatics!" Keith called out.

"Mai!" responded Anion. She darted to and fro, back and forth in midair, leaving short-lived afterimages in her wake, confounding Hawlucha with her movements, until she landed a forceful blow from above that sent Hawlucha tumbling down to the battlefield, where it did not attempt to get back up.

"Hawlucha is unable to battle!" Gavin declared. "Anion is the winner!"

"Well fought, Hawlucha," murmured Diantha once she'd withdrawn the Wrestling Pokémon. "And to you, too," she added to Keith and Anion. "Quite the interesting little Minun you have there.

Anion grinned proudly. "Mai mai, mai mai!" she declared.

"Interesting's definitely the word," Keith chuckled. "Your Hawlucha's really strong."

"I've used her in many battles to defend my title," smiled Diantha. "My Hawlucha does not go down easy. So I commend you for getting off to a decent start. But we'll see just how far you get," she added, another Poké Ball in hand. "Tyrantrum!" she exclaimed, throwing the sphere, from which the massive, roaring form of a Tyrantrum. Anion had already been dwarfed by Hawlucha, but that was nothing in comparison with this prehistoric powerhouse!

But if this fact intimidated Anion any, she didn't show it. The stubborn Minun glared at Tyrantrum, determined to not back down. And Keith was loving this. "Go for it, Anion!" he exclaimed. "Nuzzle!"

"Tyrantrum, use Head Smash," smirked Diantha.

Tyrantrum shook the room with a bellowing roar, and charged headfirst at Anion. Sparks flew as Tyrantrum's head slammed into Anion's cheek pouch, and while Anion took major damage, Tyrantrum growled his displeasure at having been paralyzed.

"Can you keep going, Anion?" Keith called, for Anion had landed on the ground.

"Mai.. Mai mai!" Anion exclaimed, slowly getting back up.

"Good!" grinned Keith. "Growl attack!"

Anion took a deep breath, then opened her mouth wide. "MAI MAIIIIIIIIIII!" she bellowed, visible sound waves emanating from her mouth and washing over Tyrantrum. The Despot Pokémon was displeased by this move and the ensuing drop in his Attack power.

"Now use Earthquake!" ordered Diantha.

"RrrrrrRRRRRANTRUM!" snarled Tyrantrum. Keith realized a split second too late that this was a bad thing- Anion's Magnet Rise had worn off by now! But by the time this occurred to him, Tyrantrum had stomped the battlefield hard, shaking the entire thing. Anion was getting tossed around like a Hoppip in a hurricane, and as the attack ceased, so too did her movement.

"Anion is unable to battle!" Gavin ruled. "Tyrantrum wins it!"

"Come back, Anion!" Keith declared, withdrawing the Minun. "You did great," he reassured her. "Now take a good rest." He sized up Tyrantrum for a moment, then selected the Rocket Ball off his belt. "Let's go- Vinny!" he exclaimed, the Camerupt appearing in a flash of light, his usual fedora sitting on his head as it so often did.

"Ohh, big fella, huh?" Vinny remarked, glancing up at Tyrantrum. "Well, I'll make quick work o' youse. Give the orders, hat man." Diantha looked more than a little surprised to have just heard a Camerupt talking, but Willa, having met Vinny before, was used to such craziness by now.

"With pleasure, Vinny," grinned Keith. "Flash Cannon, go!"

"Tyrantrum, Earthquake!" ordered Diantha.

"Tyyyy...rrrr-rrraan..." groaned Tyrantrum. Sparks flew off of him as he struggled to move- Anion's Nuzzle was doing its job! This allowed Vinny a clean shot with Flash Cannon, and the move was super effective, causing Tyrantrum to stumble backwards a little bit.

But Diantha looked worryingly pleased with this turn of events. "We've got them now!" she declared. "Stomping Tantrum, let's go!"

"Vinny! Payback!" Keith called out. Tyrantrum stomped his feet, pouting and complaining loudly as he charged at Vinny, but as the powered-up Ground move struck, Vinny held his ground, a dark aura around his body intensifying as he as struck, and when Tyrantrum was done, Vinny rammed into him with great force. Tyrantrum collapsed to the ground with a huge crash, but a moment later, Vinny slumped over as well, the huge damage from Stomping Tantrum having caught up with him.

"Tyrantrum and Vinny are both unable to battle!" declared Gavin. "This match is a draw!"

"An impressive performance," Diantha stated as they withdrew their Pokémon. "Your Camerupt is extremely powerful."

"So's your Tyrantrum," Keith responded. "And using Stomping Tantrum like that, that was a good move."

"It's a handy option to have in one's back pocket," smiled Diantha. "Sometimes the situation will call for it." By this point, she and Keith had selected their next Poké Balls. "Aurorus!" she called, throwing her ball.

"Go! Hermione!" Keith exclaimed, throwing his ball.

Once again, Keith's selection found herself utterly dwarfed by Diantha's choice, for the latter was a large, beautiful prehistoric creature, while the former was... a Weedle. A slightly larger than average Weedle, but a Weedle all the same.

Diantha took notice of this as well. "A Weedle?" she inquired.

Keith nodded. "A Weedle," he stated confidently.

"Weedle," Hermione stated, bowing respectfully to her opponents. This allowed her sharp stinger to catch the light, and as she looked back up, the fierce look in her tiny eyes was unmistakable, by both Aurorus and Diantha.

"Then let us proceed," said Diantha. "Aurorus! Ancient Power!"

Keith reacted swiftly. "Use Smart Strike!" he commanded. Aurorus bellowed as he fired the orb of ancient energy, but Hermione's horn-like stinger gleamed silver, and she jabbed viciously at the Ancient Power, forcing the bundled energy to dissipate. "Excellent," grinned Keith. "Now, String Shot, let's go!"

"Weeeeeeedle!" exclaimed Hermione, quickly shooting strands of sticky silk at Aurorus. The Tundra Pokémon cried out in displeasure, but was unable to snap off the strings that were serving to slow her down.

"Let's go, Hermione!" Keith exclaimed. "Don't detach that last one- reel it in and head right for Aurorus!"

"Throw it!" Diantha called out.

"Rooooooooor," whined Aurorus, shaking her head and long neck in an effort to throw Hermione off- that last strand of String Shot was stuck on Aurorus's neck, and it was right there Hermione was headed for.

"Now! Use Rock Smash!" Keith commanded as Hermione came in close.

"Weeeeedle!" Hermione exclaimed. As she drew near, she swung her glowing red tail stinger into the back of Aurorus's neck, causing the Rock/Ice-type to cry out in pain from the super effective move. Not only that, Aurorus seemed to have lost some defensive capabilities from that Rock Smash.

"And follow up with Aqua Tail!" called Keith.

"It won't work! Icy Wind!" Diantha commanded. The sails on Aurorus's back flared up with beautiful color all at once, and from them, a chilling gust blew forth. It disrupted Hermione's attempts at Aqua Tail, but it couldn't shake her off. Moreover, as the attack stopped Hermione didn't look as though the move had slowed her down one bit! "But how-" began Diantha.

"That'll be Shield Dust," smirked Keith. "Attacks that hit Hermione won't have their side effects, and Icy Wind's Speed reduction falls squarely under that heading! Now, Hermione, use Stomping Tantrum!" he added.

"WEEDLE WEEDLE WEEDLE!" Hermione thundered, powered up by her own frustration at the failed Aqua Tail as she pummeled Aurorus, causing almost absurdly large amounts of damage considering the vast size difference. Aurorus collapsed almost immediately, and did not get back up.

"Aurorus is unable to battle!" declared Gavin. "Hermione is the winner!"

"To be defeated by a Weedle..." Diantha murmured wonderingly as she withdrew Aurorus. "Very extraordinary indeed, to be able to train a Weedle to such levels, and I see I'm not the only one who knows the value of Stomping Tantrum." She bowed to the Bug/Poison-type. "I apologize for underestimating you," she said to Hermione.

"Weedle," Hermione responded politely, bowing back.

Diantha, however, grinned as she selected another Poké Ball. "Now- Gourgeist, let's go!" she exclaimed, throwing the ball and sending out a long-haired possessed pumpkin. Nothing too special in terms of size- pretty average in all honesty. Keith produced his Pokédex and pointed it at Diantha's newest choice.

"Gourgeist- Average Size- the Pumpkin Pokémon. A Ghost and Grass-type, and the evolved form of Pumpkaboo," droned the device. "Gourgeist wanders town streets on the night of the new moon, singing in eerie voices said to curse those who hear them. It wraps its prey with its hairlike arms."

"Ghost and Grass," murmured Keith. "Hermione, let's do it!" he called out. "Ice Beam, go!"

"Dodge it!" Diantha commanded. And at once, even as Hermione let loose a frigid blast from her stinger, Gourgeist swiftly floated out of harm's way, flying in a wide circle around the Weedle.

"Gah! Hermione, Hail!" Keith called.

"Use Trick-or-Treat!" Diantha ordered.

As Hermione shot a beam of energy up to the ceiling that caused clouds to form and subsequently start pelting the battlefield with tiny chunks of ice, Gourgeist spread its arms wide, and numerous wisps of ghostly energy flew from them, surrounding the Weedle before being absorbed into her body. Keith gritted his teeth, and Willa could tell that this wasn't Keith's first experience with that move- indeed, Keith knew good and well that Hermione was now a Bug/Poison/Ghost-type, and thus would be highly susceptible to Gourgeist's Ghost moves!

"Gourgeist! Phantom Force attack!" Diantha commanded.

"Now use Aurora Veil!" Keith called out.

Gourgeist vanished instantly, but Hermione didn't let this bother her. Instead, she caused a shimmering rainbow-colored veil to form all around her, the light refracting off the falling hail beautifully. But this wasn't about looks- no, Keith knew that techniques such as Protect or Fire Shield had no hope of blocking Phantom Force, and it was bound to be super effective on Hermione at this point. The best Keith could do would be to lessen the damage, and indeed, as Gourgeist reappeared and slammed into Hermione, the Weedle was not flung far, landing on her feet and looking up defiantly at Gourgeist.

"Now! Use Blizzard!" Keith commanded.

"Weeeeeeedle!" Hermione responded. Her head stinger gleamed brightly, and a howling snowstorm erupted from within, working with the falling Hail to strike Gourgeist with grim precision.

"Fight back! Fire Blast!" ordered Diantha.

"Goooour...GEIST!" exclaimed Gourgeist, inhaling deeply and unleashing a five-point plume of flame from her mouth. Though she'd taken solid damage from Blizzard, the Fire Blast started pushing back the snow. Hermione redoubled her efforts, but the Fire Blast ultimately won out, and the end result became crystal clear as the dust settled.

"Hermione is unable to battle!" Gavin ruled. "Gourgeist wins this one!"

"Phew," grinned Diantha as Keith withdrew Hermione. "Very resourceful indeed. I must say, I like this battle very much."

"As do I," Keith agreed.

"Then show us what else you can do," challenged Diantha.

Keith grinned, producing an Ultra Ball. "We'll do just that," he promised, throwing the Ultra Ball. "Millicent, let's go!" he exclaimed. As she appeared, it was clear the Timburr was winning her P1 Grand Prix Champion belt. She brandished her log, grinning up at the Gourgeist.

"Hm! The P1 Grand Prix, if I'm not mistaken?" Diantha inquired, glancing at Millicent's belt. "Quite an accomplished fighter, though I somewhat doubt she can do much to Gourgeist. Gourgeist, blast it with Psychic!"

Keith was ready. "Millicent! Shadow Ball!" he commanded.

"Tiiiim...BURR!" Millicent responded, shouldering her log like some sort of arboreal firearm, and launched a Shadow Ball from the end that cut right through the Psychic attack like a knife through extremely telekinetic butter.

Keith wasn't finished here, either. "Now, follow up with Foresight!" he ordered.

"Burr!" grunted Millicent, her eyes glowing red as she peered intently at Gourgeist. Beams of red light flowed from the eyes, washing over Gourgeist.

"We won't be beaten just because we're now susceptible to your Fighting moves!" declared Diantha. "Gourgeist, Phantom Force right now!

"Wait for it, Millicent," Keith instructed his Timburr as the Gourgeist vanished into thin air.

"Timburr..." murmured Millicent, looking around intently. Nothing... nothing... and then, a strange rift opened up right behind it! Millicent didn't see it, but Keith did.

"Gourgeist, attack now!" called Diantha.

"Millicent! Counter!" Keith ordered.

"TIMBURR!" Millicent screamed violently, reacting to the Phantom Force expertly. A red aura came over her body, and as soon as Gourgeist went to slam into her, she grabbed the ghoulish gourd behind her, heaved it over her shoulder, and slammed it into the ground.

"No! Gourgeist!" Diantha exclaimed.

"Let's wrap this up!" declared Keith. "Mach Punch, go!"

"BURR!" Millicent responded, slamming a fist into the side of the pumpkin body at speeds neither Diantha nor Gourgeist could react to. Gourgeist was flung across the battlefield, and did not attempt to get back up.

"Gourgeist is unable to battle!" declared Gavin. "Millicent takes this round!"

"Well done, Millicent!" Keith grinned. The Timburr smiled proudly, looking ready for more.

"You certainly have some interesting Pokémon," commented Diantha as she withdrew Gourgeist. "I've never known a Timburr to have such command over a special move such as Shadow Ball before."

"Millicent's got more experience with ghostly matters than most of her kind can say," Keith replied enigmatically. "She's good with both physical and special attacks."

"Most interesting," stated Diantha. "But we're not finished just yet," she added, producing another ball. "Goodra!" she declared, sending out a large, slimy creature with which Keith was wholly unfamiliar. Out came the Pokédex yet again.

"Goodra, the Dragon Pokémon. A Dragon-type, and the final evolved form of Goomy," droned the device. "Goodra gives hugs that leave its Trainer covered in sticky slime. Although friendly, Goodra is also extremely powerful."

"I can believe that," Keith nodded. "We don't underestimate this one for a second, Millicent!" he instructed.

"Timburr!" Millicent agreed, standing at the ready.

"I should certainly hope not," smiled Diantha. "Goodra, Dragon Pulse!"

"Millicent! Payback!" Keith ordered.

Millicent stood still, and just before the Dragon Pulse struck, a black aura came over her body, which intensified as the move struck. She then lunged forward and swung her log with great force, knocking Goodra off-balance.

"Perfect! Now follow up with Ice Punch!" Keith grinned.

At this, Diantha smirked. "Goodra! Counter!" she declared.

Now it was Goodra who took on the reddish aura. Millicent swung an ice-coated fist, but it slipped and slid off of Goodra's slimy skin, and Millicent was forced to topple over, damaged by the momentum of her own move.

"You see?" Diantha smirked. "Your Timburr's not the only one who can make use of Counter."

"Goooo!" agreed Goodra.

Willa looked over at Keith. Any normal Timburr Trainer would be pretty well screwed against this Goodra, but Keith was far from normal, and so was Millicent. Indeed, Keith looked more determined than ever before.

"Not bad at all," Keith replied to Diantha. "But we'll see if that's enough! Ready, Millicent?"

"Timburr!" nodded Millicent.

"Then let's show 'em what we got- use Focus Energy!" he ordered.

"Goodra, Laser Focus!" commanded Diantha. This left both Pokémon to focus, readying themselves for their next moves. Of course, while Millicent's move would give her improved odds of striking weak points throughout the battle, Diantha had guaranteed that Goodra's next move would do just that.

"Shadow Ball!" Keith commanded.

"Dragon Pulse!" Diantha ordered.

And the attacks were fired! Millicent shot a Shadow Ball from her log, while Goodra let fly another Dragon Pulse from its mouth. The attacks whizzed past each other, struck their targets, both striking weak spots for critical hits. Keith and Diantha both saw that their Pokémon were getting tired out. This had to be finished, and fast.

"Make this one count, Goodra!" Diantha ordered. "Draco Meteor, go!"

"Millicent! Frenzy Plant!" Keith commanded.

Goodra turned its head upward at the same time Millicent raised her log over her head. Goodra charged up a powerful orb in its mouth... Millicent charged intense energy within her log... The orb was fired off into the air, and the log was slammed into the ground. From the spot where the log struck the battlefield, a ripple of energy expanded through the ground. Thick, spiky vines erupted from the battlefield just as the orb Goodra had launched exploded into numerous shards. The vines pummeled Goodra at the same time the Draco Meteor rained down upon Millicent. The intensity of both moves threw up more dust than a Hippopotas with the stomach flu, and it took a few moments before Gavin was able to make his call, but in the end, a call he made indeed.

"Millicent, Goodra- both are unable to battle!" Gavin declared. "This match is a draw!"

"Just one left apiece," Willa murmured as her boyfriend and mother withdrew their Pokémon. "And I know exactly what Mother saved for last..."

Diantha smiled. "You've made it farther than most challengers I've gotten at the Pokémon League can say," she stated. "It all comes down to which of our final Pokémon can triumph over the other." She produced a Poké Ball as she said this.

Keith nodded. "It sure does," he agreed, producing a Poké Ball of his own. An old, slightly weathered Poké Ball, but very clearly lovingly maintained. "I feel we've both saved the best for last, too."

"Then this makes things all the more interesting," said Diantha. "I hope you and your final Pokémon provide a thrilling conclusion to this battle, whichever of us wins."

"Oh, you can bet on that," grinned Keith. As they spoke, they each enlarged their Poké Balls.

"Then show me!" Diantha exclaimed, throwing her ball. "Gardevoir!" she called out.

Keith threw his ball at the same time. "Go! Gemini!" he exclaimed, his Weezing materializing at the same time as Diantha's Gardevoir.

Diantha eyed up the two... er, three... of her opponents with interest. "...your first Pokémon, I take it," she said. "I can practically feel the bond you share with your Weezing."

Keith nodded. "Gemini, Mustard, and I are like brothers," he replied. "And I've heard about this Gardevoir, too," he added.

Diantha nodded back. "My very first Pokémon," she replied. "My closest and most trusted partner. But then, I think you could tell that already," she added, for indeed Keith's eyes had found the Gardevoirite pendant around the Psychic/Fairy-type's neck.

"Oh, yeah," Keith nodded. "Gemini, Mustard, we're up against a seriously tough one. We've got to be ready for anything."

"Weezing weez," responded the Weezing.

"Gardevoir, don't underestimate them," Diantha advised her Pokémon. "This won't be easy."

"Garde," nodded Gardevoir.

They were ready, both sides, and Keith was the first to issue a command. "Use Sludge Bomb!" he ordered.

"Psychic!" Diantha commanded. Gemini let loose a Sludge Bomb, but Gardevoir's eyes glowed blue, and the Sludge Bomb was slowed rapidly, coming to a halt in midair before being allowed to fall harmlessly to the ground.

This, however, wasn't an unexpected development to Keith, and so he was able to respond immediately. "Gyro Ball, let's go!" he commanded.

Diantha smirked. "Dodge it," she said.

"Garde!" exclaimed Gardevoir, gliding across the battlefield at astonishing speeds, zigzagging out of the way of Gyro Ball with elegance and ease alike.

Keith gritted his teeth. They had to go for a guaranteed hit. "Gemini! Toxic!" he ordered.

"Predictable. Safeguard!" said Diantha. Immediately, Gardevoir cast a shimmering veil around herself that the Toxic splattered harmlessly against.

Keith took a few deep breaths to steady himself. He had to think this through- beating this Gardevoir in terms of speed was looking more and more like an exercise in futility. In fact, he recalled Willa telling him as much, back when she'd related the story of when she'd battled this Gardevoir with her Yanmega. Even when they'd gotten in a lot of boosts from Speed Boost, one Trick Room turned that woefully against them. But they didn't need to rely on speed- a slower, more defensive battle style was what Weezing as a species excelled at anyway! "Gemini, use Curse!" Keith ordered.

Good- he figured it out in time, Willa thought to herself, smiling slightly as she looked at her boyfriend.

"You think that'll work, do you?" smirked Diantha. "Well, then, Gardevoir, I say we show him the full extent of what he's up against."

"Gar devoir," Gardevoir nodded in response.

Diantha touched two fingers to her Mega Charm, and at once, a powerful energy was let loose. Tendrils of energy connected the Key Stone to the Gardevoirite- connected Diantha and Gardevoir.

"A psychic bond forged over time," Diantha was saying. "The linking of two minds, of two souls, and the full potential it brings out in us both! Gardevoir- Mega Evolve!!!"

And boy, oh, boy, did Gardevoir ever Mega Evolve. The transformation took place at once, the chest spike splitting, the flowing dresslike part of her body billowing into something that gave the impression of an elegant ballgown. Mega Gardevoir now stood before Keith and his Weezing. Willa looked on, unpleasantly reminded of her own encounter against that thing in battle, but Keith looked undeterred. If anything, the presence of such a formidable opponent seemed to be exciting him, a confidence Willa couldn't help but admire. And yet... was it confidence or overconfidence? That was a vital distinction...

Let's show 'em what we got, Gemini," Keith stated. "Stockpile!"

"Weez," grunted the Weezing as they stored up power within their body, further beefing themselves up defensively.

Diantha gestured forward. "Psychic attack!" she commanded.

"Use Dark Pulse to counter!" Keith ordered.

And at once, Mega Gardevoir let loose a telekinetic blast that everyone in the room could feel happening. But Gemini and Mustard let loose a barrage of Dark energy rings. While they were slower in launching their attack, they were able to do so before Psychic could hit, fending off the move. Though Gardevoir turned up the power, so did the Weezing, and slowly but surely, type matchups were winning out here, Dark Pulse pushing Psychic back. Mustard was contributing to the attack as well, the Weezing's second head adding its own blast of Dark energy to the attack, and together, they were able to cut through the Psychic attack and actually land a hit on Mega Gardevoir.

"Interesting," Diantha remarked. "Very well, then- circle around them!"

"Voir!" Mega Gardevoir's voice echoed as she glided forward, racing in circles around the Weezing until she was but a well-dressed blur. The Weezing was desperately trying to keep track of her.

"Steady, Gemini!" Keith called out. "Use Gyro Ball and Flamethrower at the same time!"

"Weezing," responded the Weezing's two heads simultaneously, and they were off, Gemini spinning in place with great rapidity, while Mustard let loose a continuous stream of fire. The end result was fire spiraling out from the Weezing, a swirling stream that inevitably struck the Gardevoir. She wasn't burned by the flames, but it did slow her down for the moment.

"We got 'em! Thunderbolt!" Keith commanded.

"Weeziiiing... WEEEEEEEEZ!" bellowed the Poison-type, letting loose a bolt of electricity that struck the momentarily stunned Mega Gardevoir. And to Keith's satisfaction, when the attack stopped, they could all see sparks remaining, crackling all around Gardevoir- she was paralyzed! Safeguard must have worn off!

Diantha gritted her teeth. "Gardevoir! Hyper Beam!" she ordered.

"Gemini! Payback!" Keith commanded.

Gardevoir charged up and unleashed a beam of pure destructive force, powered further by her Pixilate Ability. Even if it wasn't the best matchup against a Weezing, it was still an immense show of force, something few of her challengers could hope to stand up to, type matchups be damned.

However, as the dust from the impact settled, the Weezing was still airborne! More than that, they were coated in an intense black aura, and they hurtled towards Gardevoir, who attempted to evade, but was stuck in place for the moment by the paralysis.

This was their chance and Keith knew it. He moved his arms, crossing them before him, and the Poisonium Z set into his Z-Ring reacted at once. "Here! We! Go!" Keith exclaimed.

"Weez!" responded Gemini and Mustard. Diantha's eyes widened as she realized what was going on here.

"Our minds, our spirits, linked as one!" Keith declared as he struck picture-perfect Poisonium poses. "A power as intense as the Plague Swamp of Cascadia!" he continued. "Feel the poison- BE the poison!" he exclaimed as he made the final movement, struck the final pose, as buttloads of Z-Power flowed into Gemini and Mustard. The Weezing gave identical twin grins as they could feel the Z-Power within them. Powering them up. Taking their Gunk Shot move and turning it into something far stronger.

"This should be interesting," Willa murmured, smirking as she saw the astonished look on her mother's face.

"Let's show 'em what we're made of!" Keith exclaimed. "Use Acid Downpour!!!"


Gemini surrounded itself with its Z-Power!

Gemini unleashes its full-force Z-Move!


Diantha could only watch. Commanding anything out of Gardevoir was futility at this point and she knew it, what with that Hyper Beam to recover from. Protect wouldn't even completely block the Z-Move. She was forced to watch as a deluge of poison and Z-Power alike rained down on Gardevoir, reacting with the toxic swamp the Z-Move had created below her for immense damage. And as everything cleared away, Gardevoir was still standing, but was significantly weakened, breathing heavily.

"Gardevoir! Psychic!" Diantha commanded.

"Gemini! Hyper Beam!" Keith bellowed.

Under normal circumstances, Mega Gardevoir would have gone first. But under normal circumstances, Mega Gardevoir wasn't generally paralyzed and flat-out exhausted. She started the attack, but was met with Hyper Beam extremely quickly, and found herself unable to power through. There was an explosion as Hyper Beam hit its target, and a thud from within the dust cloud, but as it settled, it didn't take Gavin long to make his ruling, especially since Gardevoir was no longer Mega Evolved.

"Gardevoir... is unable to battle!" he declared. "All six of Diantha's Pokémon have been defeated, so the winner is Keith Masters!"

"Heh... Nice job, Gemini," grinned Keith. He held out the Poké Ball, withdrawing his tired Weezing. "You take a good rest, OK? You earned it."

Diantha, likewise, had withdrawn her Gardevoir, and was now walking across the battlefield to Keith. "A well-fought battle indeed," she smiled. "I can see my daughter's praise of your battling skills were no exaggeration. Not that I believed them to be in any case, but it's still much more satisfying to witness them in person, I think."

Keith nodded. "I know what you mean," he said. "It really was a good battle, miss." And the two shook hands.

Diantha nodded. "I agree completely," she said. Then, she turned to the seating. "Willa, can you give us a moment?" she inquired.

"Mother-" began Willa, but one look from Diantha, and she relented, walking out the door and into the hallway.

Diantha turned back to Keith. "I know my daughter, Keith," she said quietly. "Trust is not something she gives out so easily, and with good reason." Keith nodded, knowing this good and well about her. "You cannot imagine how happy it made me when she told me about you, how happy she sounded when talking about you... and how worried it made me, too. I have been there for her when her trust was betrayed before- few things are more heartbreaking to a mother." She looked Keith straight in the eyes. "You make her happy, Keith. Happier, I think, than she's ever truly been in years. I beg you... don't make her regret trusting you. Don't ever break her heart."

Keith returned the eye contact unflinchingly, a sincere, serious look in his eyes as he replied. "Willa makes me happy, too," he said. "A happiness I never thought I would feel again, a happiness I never want to go away. I will never, ever betray her trust or break her heart. I would rather die."

Diantha regarded Keith with an unreadable expression for several moments (in which Keith realized where Willa had inherited said unreadable expression from), before smiling. "Gardevoir senses this about you," she said. "When she was Mega Evolved, I could sense that which she sensed."

"So is that why you wanted the battle?" Keith asked. "To have Gardevoir sense what I'm like?"

"Partly," admitted Diantha. "I really was interested in seeing if your battling skills lived up to the hype, too. I hope you won't hold it against me," she added.

"On the contrary," shrugged Keith. "If it helps put you at ease, that's fine by me."

Diantha nodded. "It does. Thank you," she replied. "Now, then... my Pokémon are in need of healing, and I am certain yours are as well. I hope you could escort us to the Pokémon Center?"

"Certainly," Keith replied. He and Diantha exited to the hallway, and Willa went along with them to the Pokémon Center.

"...my goodness," Diantha murmured as Helena went to start treating their Pokémon, as they took seats in the waiting area. "Though I suppose a talking Banette isn't quite as surprising as a talking Camerupt," she added fairly.

"Keith and his Pokémon are full of surprises," Willa said. "Mother, you've only begun to scratch the surface."

"So I can see," Diantha replied. "I'm afraid, however, that once my Pokémon are healed up, I really ought to get going. You understand, of course?" she said to Willa apologetically.

Willa nodded. "You're on a strict schedule," she replied. "No offense taken. Please, do come back if you can... though maybe call ahead first?" she requested. "Next time perhaps I can show you my Pokémon- I have more than just Yanmega and Eelektross now."

"Agreed- we'd love to have you back," Keith nodded.

"I will let you know when I'm able to make it, then," Diantha smiled. And with that, the three of them continued to talk until Helena called Keith and Diantha over to retrieve their Pokémon.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 10-16-2019 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:17 AM   #99
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The Cryptopokologist

The sun was shining over Sludge Wave Coast, a beautiful day. The beauty of which was not lost on its residents, either- indeed, a certain couple was just finishing up a friendly battle using the outdoor battlefield just outside the Poisonous Palace.

"Finish it! Use Razor Leaf!" Willa Carnet called out. In response, her Skiddo bleated loudly, unleashing a flurry of foliage. The mute Seismitoad struck by these leaves collapsed in a heap.

"Tinnitus! Come on, get up!" Keith Masters called out, but the Water/Ground-type did not respond.

"Seismitoad is unable to battle!" declared Gavin Golurkson, the Shiny hunter from Orre who was serving as referee. "All three of Keith's Pokémon have been defeated, so the winner is Willa!"

"Hah... not bad at all," Keith grinned as he withdrew Tinnitus. "Still can't believe you managed to make it so I was down to Tinnitus against a Grass-type."

Willa gave a satisfied smirk. "It was an ambitious plan, but I'm pleased that it paid off," she said. "I... hope you weren't expecting me to go easy on you," she added.

"Are you kidding? I'd have been insulted if you did," Keith chuckled. "A battle's no fun if both sides aren't giving it their all."

Willa walked over to Keith, still smirking. "I couldn't agree more," she said, before grabbing him and pulling him in for a kiss. Keith, to put it mildly, did not object. As they broke apart, however, Keith could spot someone coming in on the main road that ran through Sludge Wave Coast, a teenage boy carrying his bag with one hand and what appeared to be a Poké Ball with the other.

The newcomer looked around, though as he spotted Keith, he gave a small nod and walked in that direction. "I'm not interrupting anything, am I?" he asked.

"Uh... not really," Keith replied, mild confusion evident in his voice. "We... just finished up with a battle. Uh... can I help you?"

"I certainly hope so," the boy replied. "You are Keith Masters, correct?"

"I am," Keith nodded, now with a hint of wariness in his voice- in his experience, total strangers knowing his name haven't really boded well for him. "May I ask-"


Keith's question was abruptly and loudly interrupted as Ginny flew in, held aloft by her Magnet Rise move, both blades aimed at the sphere in the newcomer's hand.

Meowth, who had been on Keith's shoulder the whole time, tensed up. "Ginny's sayin' dat's no Poké Ball- dat's a Voltorb!"

"Ah! Please, hold up, don't hurt me," the boy pleaded, hastily backing away. He dropped his bag and held up his hands. Indeed, the sphere he still held grew in size with the same whirring sound of a Poké Ball being enlarged, and at this angle Keith could now see the eyes. "Gigawatt is very tame, I assure you!"

"VOLTORB, VOLTORB," droned Gigawatt in agreement.

"Ginny, take it easy," Keith said. "At least let him talk, alright?"

"...pawn," muttered Ginny, backing off somewhat, but keeping a wary, distrustful eye on the boy all the same.

"Phew," the youth sighed in relief.

"Alright, well, I do apologize for my Pawniard, but before anything else, I do have to say I understand her suspicion," Keith stated. "You seem to know about me, after all, and I don't know you."

"Ah, yes, I can see how that might give the wrong impression," agreed the boy. "If I may introduce myself, then? Edward Starmie- you can call me Eddie if you like. In fact, I prefer it," he admitted.

"Starmie?" Keith repeated. "By any chance, would you be related to Oldman-"

"-to Oldman and Anna Starmie? Yes indeed, they're my grandparents," nodded Eddie. "I'm far from surprised that you know of them, given your experiences. You are not unknown to the cryptopokology community, Keith," he stated. "And as an aspiring cryptopokologist myself, I couldn't very well pass up an opportunity to ask you some questions."

"Uh, excuse me- can I just- uh- the fuck is cryptopokology?" Gavin piped up.

"It's the study-" began Keith.

"If I may?" Eddie interrupted. "Cryptopokology is the study of certain species of Pokémon which, while not recognized officially by any Pokémon League, nevertheless do exist. Sightings of such Pokémon tend to be few and far between, and oftentimes getting to see one for oneself entails attempting to glitch the very fabric of reality as we know it. These Pokémon, dubbed glitches by the ignorant and fearful, possess untold mysterious power far beyond what we would normally deem ordinary, or even possible. Beyond our comprehension, even, I would go so far as to say!"

"You're really into cryptopokology," Willa observed.

Eddie adjusted his glasses with a proud, passionate grin. "As I have been my whole life," he replied. Then, he realized something. "Excuse me- I know who Keith is, of course, but I didn't get any of your names?" he said to Willa and Gavin.

"Gavin Golurkson," Gavin said, offering a handshake.

"My name is Willa Carnet," Willa added. "Keith Masters is my boyfriend."

"It's a pleasure to meet you both," replied Eddie. "I, as I said, am Edward Starmie, though again, I'd prefer to be called Eddie. Now, uh, Keith? Is there somewhere we can sit down and talk?" he added, pulling a tape recorder out of his bag.


Some time later, Eddie's interview concluded, with the four of them seated in the Poisonous Palace's library. Willa had come along, as had Gavin, and they were joined shortly by Hermione, Keith's Weedle, as Eddie started asking Keith numerous questions. About the incident with Missingno. on Cinnabar Island when he was seven. About his encounters with Missingno. in the Fizzytopia region. About his Gastly capabilities, even- Keith was surprised that word of that had gotten out to the cryptopokology community, but was completely fine answering Eddie's questions nonetheless.

"Fascinating. Truly fascinating," Eddie murmured, putting away his tape recorder. "It seem I made the right choice in coming out to Fizzytopia, then."

"Oh, you're not from around here either, then?" Keith asked.

Eddie shook his head. "I'm from Cinnabar Island, born and raised," he replied. "As I'm sure you can surmise, that's generally where cryptopokologists like to study, but as you yourself confirm, sightings of Missingno. and other such Pokémon are not confined to the shores of Cinnabar, or even to the Kanto region. There's many things I wanted to look into- the Dynamax phenomenon, the numerous reports of Fizzytopian Pokémon learning moves considered unusual or even impossible for their kind-"

"Weedle Weedle," Hermione chimed in, and as though to drive Eddie's point home, shot an Ice Beam into the air. Then, she turned to one of her bookcases and used String Shot to retrieve a notebook, which she then pushed towards Eddie.

"Hm..." Eddie murmured as he looked at the cover. "'The potential connection between Missingno. and Dynamax'?" He flipped through the pages, looking progressively more impressed. "X-x above," he murmured. "Who wrote this?" He looked at Keith, who merely chuckled, shook his head, and pointed at Hermione. "You?" Eddie breathed.

"Hermione's gotta be the smartest Weedle in the world," Keith explained. "She dips her tail stinger in ink and writes with that, which, as you can see, resulted in it being permanently dyed black.

"This is phenomenal," Eddie stated, continuing to peruse the notebook before turning to Hermione. "May I keep this?" he inquired. "I'm hoping to establish a laboratory where I plan to study cryptopokology here in Fizzytopia.

"A laboratory, huh?" Keith murmured. "Hmm... what if we were to build you one right here in Sludge Wave Coast?"

"B-build me a laboratory?" Eddie stammered in disbelief. "I- well, I mean, I'd be most appreciative, but at the same time I couldn't possibly ask it of you-"

Willa smirked and chuckled. "You say that like it would stop this man," she said.

"How right you are, babe," Keith smiled at Willa, before turning back to Eddie. "It'd be my pleasure. My Pokémon and I would be more than happy to help," he insisted.

"I... well, then, certainly. Thank you," Eddie replied with a small smile. "Um... I would like to request one more favor, actually- I would like to challenge you to a battle, specifically against your Banette."

"Wh- OK, I'd ask which one, but I think I already know the answer to that," Keith chuckled. "Yeah, had a feeling you'd want to see Myrtle in action."

"Naturally," agreed Eddie, adjusting his glasses as he picked up Gigawatt, whom he'd set down on the table earlier. "Come, Gigawatt. We're to do battle."

"VOLTORB," droned Gigawatt.


"This will be a one-on-one battle between Keith Masters of Lavaridge Town and Eddie Starmie of Cinnabar Island!" Willa was saying as she stood off to the side of the outdoor battlefield. "Let the battle begin!"

"Alright, Myrtle, let's show 'em what we got!" Keith grinned at his Banette.

"Na-tu-ral-ly, Meat Sack," Myrtle retorted as she floated forward onto the battlefield.

"Go, Gigawatt!" Eddie called out as he rolled the Voltorb out onto the battlefield.

"VOLTORB, VOLTORB," Gigawatt droned.

Keith made the first move. "Myrtle! Water Gun!" he commanded.

"I had a feeling," smirked Eddie. "Now, Gigawatt, spin with all you've got!"

"VOLTORB VOLTORB VOLTORBVOLTORBVOLTORBVOLTORB," droned Gigawatt as the Voltorb proceeded to spin in place, repelling the water Myrtle was firing at it.

"Now we shall use Charge!" Eddie called out.

"TOOOOOOORB," responded Gigawatt, who stopped spinning and began to glow as it drew in excess electricity, powering it up while boosting its Special Defense.

"Slow it down! Icy Wind!" Keith commanded.

"Use Thunderbolt!" ordered Eddie.

Keith gritted his teeth as Gigawatt landed Thunderbolt before Myrtle had even started her Icy Wind- this was exactly why he wanted to slow the Voltorb down, he knew how fast they were! Nevertheless, after taking the supercharged Thunderbolt, Myrtle stubbornly let loose the Icy Wind, landing the first real hit on the Voltorb.

"Gigawatt, now use Eerie Impulse!" instructed Eddie.

"Phantom Force, go!" Keith commanded. And cackling evilly, Myrtle vanished into thin air, managing to avoid Eerie Impulse completely.

"VOL... TORB..." Gigawatt droned nervously, looking around for any sign of Myrtle.

"Steady, Gigawatt! Prepare for Spark attack!" Eddie called. And as Gigawatt crackled with electricity, Myrtle reappeared right behind it, ramming right into the Voltorb and sending it rolling across the battlefield. However, the electricity from Spark had impacted Myrtle as well and she grumbled audibly as she floated back over to her side of the battlefield.

"Meat Sack!" Myrtle exclaimed. "We might need to go all-out."

Keith nodded. "I agree. That Voltorb's tough, we need to be tougher." With that, he gripped the brim of his Mega Hat. "Myrtle!" he declared. "It's time to show our opponents, the true power of a Missingno.!" And he swept the Mega Hat from his head and held it up high. "Mega Evolve!!!" he commanded. And at once, the tendrils of energy erupted from both Key Stone and Banettite, connecting Keith and Myrtle, and inducing the incredible transformation into !

Myrtle's Banettite is reacting to Keith's Mega Hat!




Myrtle has Mega Evolved into Mega Banette!
Eddie looked on in wonder at the Mega Banette before him- the claws and legs consisting of the cursed energy were not their general shade of pink, but rather bore a pixelly pattern consisting of purple and orange (not unlike the color scheme of Eddie's shirt, glasses frames, and bag, for that matter), and black and white. "So even in death, the essence of the Missingno. finds a way to emerge," Eddie murmured. "Fascinating."

"Myrtle! Sky Attack now!" Keith commanded.

Eddie smirked. "Use Foul Play!" he ordered Gigawatt once Myrtle had fully charged up her move. And the two charged towards one another, Myrtle zooming down towards the Voltorb who was rolling right towards her. And then, without warning, Gigawatt picked up speed, too late for Myrtle to react, and she plowed into the ground, the force of her own attack used against her. Keith gritted his teeth, but the Mega Banette picked herself up, glaring at the Voltorb.

"Hyper Beam!" Keith called out.

"Thunderbolt!" Eddie exclaimed.

"VOLLLL TOOOOOOORB!" exclaimed Gigawatt, launching a sizzling bolt of lightning just as Myrtle wordlessly exclaimed and fired off a forceful beam of pure destruction from her mouth. The attacks collided in midair, creating an explosion that threw up more dust than a Hippopotas with the stomach flu. And when the dust settled, Willa was able to make the call.

"Gigawatt is unable to battle!" she declared. "The winners are Keith and Myrtle!"

"Nicely done, Myrtle!" Keith grinned as Myrtle reverted to her normal form.

"Was there e-ver a-ny doubt, Meat Sack?" smirked Myrtle.

Eddie, meanwhile, picked up his unconscious Voltorb. "You battled well, my friend," he said. "Take a good rest." And he withdrew Gigawatt into an actual Poké Ball, before walking over to Keith and Myrtle. "A fine battle," he said. "Myrtle, it was an honor to be able to test my skills as a Trainer against an actual Missingno. Thank you."

"I kicked your ass and you thank me for it," Myrtle smirked. "I think I'm go-ing to like you." And cackling at this, Myrtle flew off back into the house.

"...so that's Myrtle," Ketih chuckled weakly. "Not the easiest to get along with, but I think she truly enjoyed that battle. I know I did," he added. "You and Gigawatt aren't bad at all."

"You're very kind, but we have a long way to go," Eddie smiled modestly. "We- hmm?" he added, feeling something hitting his foot. He looked down, as did Keith, to see Hermione, pushing a Poké Ball into the side of his shoe. "Hermione?"

"Hermione, wha...?" Keith murmured, immediately realizing exactly wha.

"Weedle, Weedle," Hermione was saying in an apologetic tone as she bowed to Keith, before turning to Eddie, looking up expectantly. "Weedle, Weedle Weedle?"

"Hermione's sayin' she wants ta go wit youse," Meowth translated from his usual spot on Keith's shoulder. "She don't mean no disrespect," he added to Keith. "But she tinks workin' in a laboratory wit Eddie might be just da sort o' challenge her mind's been cravin'."

Eddie looked at Keith. "I would be happy to have her, but of course only if you're OK with it," he said. "The laboratory would be right here in town, too, and you'd be most welcome to visit whenever you like."

"I..." Keith murmured. He was at a bit of a loss for words. It wasn't the first time one of his Pokémon chose a different Trainer over him, but for it to be Hermione, that threw him for a loop. He'd had the Weedle for so long, he'd always figured that Hermione would end up going down in history as one of his strongest Pokémon. As these thoughts went through Keith's head, he felt a hand on his shoulder, and looked to see that it was Willa's. Keith gave an appreciative smile at this, then took a deep breath and turned back to Eddie. "A big part of being a Pokémon Trainer is doing what's right for their Pokémon," he stated. "Even if that means having to make a very hard decision. If this is really what Hermione wants... then I trust you'll take good care of her," he sighed. He bent down and picked up Hermione's Poké Ball, and handed it over to Eddie. "Just letting you know- her mate is my Drapion, so you can expect him to be visiting a lot," he added with a chuckle.

"That's perfectly fine," smiled Eddie. He crouched down and extended a hand to Hermione, who crawled onto it. "You have my word, Hermione will be very well taken care of," he promised. "Weedle as a species I know much about- Grandpa Oldman catches them in Viridian City all the time to show rookie Trainers how to catch Pokémon. At any rate, I will need somewhere to stay until the laboratory is complete. Does the Pokémon Center up the road rent rooms?"

"It does, but I'll go you one better and offer the use of my guest bedroom," Keith replied.

"Oh- well, that's even better, then. Thank you," Eddie replied. With that all said and done, Keith, Willa, and Eddie all went inside. With a new resident now moving in, Sludge Wave Coast was becoming all the more interesting.

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 02-16-2020 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 04-08-2020, 01:27 AM   #100
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Several years ago...

Willa Carnet saw the determined face staring back at her from the mirror she was looking into. She was dressed in the style of the Kalos region's Ace Trainers, she had her bag, she had the Ultra Ball containing her one and only Pokémon... she was as ready as she'd ever be.

Just at that moment, there came a knock at her bedroom door. "Willa?" came a voice.

"Yes, mother?" Willa responded, still looking at herself in the mirror, as though trying to find something wrong.

Diantha pushed the door open, walking inside. "You're really ready, aren't you?" she asked with a gentle smile.

"As I'll ever be, I think," Willa replied with a singular nod. "I have faith that Yanmega and I will be fine."

"Oh, I have no doubt," Diantha nodded. "Before you leave, however, I have something for you."

Willa turned to look at her mother. "Might this account for your trip last week that you've been steadfastly refusing to talk about?" she inquired.

Diantha chuckled. "That obvious, am I?" she replied. "Yes, it does, in fact. If you'll accompany me to the Battle Room?" Willa said nothing, but, suitably intrigued, followed her mother throughout the rather luxurious house in Kiloude City where they both lived.

Finally, they arrived in the Battle Room. A sizable room, large enough to comfortably contain a Steelix or two, with a massive battlefield for Pokémon fights. Willa loved this room. She trained here with what would officially be her starter soon enough on a very frequent basis. It was in this room that Yanmega had evolved from a Yanma, even. "What are we doing in here?" she asked.

"Well, first, I wanted to give you this," Diantha stated, handing her daughter a standard Kalos model Pokédex, albeit with a lavender casing. "No Trainer should leave home without one."

"Thank you," Willa said, accepting the device with a faint smile. "You didn't bring me to the Battle Room just to give me my Pokédex, however," she added shrewdly.

Diantha chuckled. "Naturally," she agreed. "I have a gift for you. A gift... and a test," she amended. "My trip last week was to the Fizzytopia region. They have an Adoption Center for abandoned Pokémon. I remember hearing about it during filming for Kingler Kong, so I went back to check it out. I saw this Pokémon in there and decided it might be a suitable companion for you. If, of course, you accept each other," she added. Willa reached for the Ultra Ball her mother was now holding, but Diantha shook her head and pulled it back. "I wish to test you by having you and Yanmega battle this Pokémon," she stated. "Earn its respect, and confirm to me you're really ready for this journey of yours. You do that, and I will send you off with not only my blessing, but also the contents of this Ultra Ball."

Willa was momentarily taken aback that she wasn't simply being given the Pokémon, but a moment later, nodded in agreement, realizing how much sense her mother's idea was making. "Very well, then," she stated.

Diantha smiled. "That's my girl," she said, before tossing the Ultra Ball into the air. What emerged from it was not something Willa had ever seen before- some sort of serpentine dark blue fish, with a pair of arms. It also floated in midair instead of flopping or slithering on the ground, and its voice was like crackling electricity. Activating her new Pokédex for the first time, Willa aimed the device at what her mother had just sent out.

"Eelektross, the EleFish Pokémon. An Electric-type, and the evolved form of Eelektrik," it droned. "Eelektross sucks prey into its large mouth and delivers an electric shock via its fangs."

"An Electric-type," Willa murmured. She was understandably apprehensive here, with her only Pokémon being at a type disadvantage, but still she grabbed her Ultra Ball. If she was to let something so simple as an unfavorable type matchup dissuade her before she even officially set out as a Trainer, what kind of a start would that be? No, this was part of her mother's test, she was sure- Diantha had almost certainly deliberately picked something Yanmega would be weak to. Taking a deep breath to steel herself, Willa threw the Ultra Ball. "Yanmega!" she declared as the Ogre Darner Pokémon materialized in a flash of light. Smiling, Diantha walked off to the side- Eelektross was not hers to command by any stretch of the imagination. Though she still kept hold of the Ultra Ball, just in case things went badly.

Eelektross made the first move. Realizing that a battle was imminent, he was more than ready to show his stuff, and show it he did, cloaking himself in electricity and charging headfirst at Yanmega. However, Yanmega was quick to evade the Spark, his Speed already pretty well off without any sort of Boost.

Willa gestured forward. "Attack!" she called to Yanmega.

"Yan ya!" rumbled Yanmega, beating his wings furiously, generating a visible red shockwave that washed over Eelektross, causing noticeable discomfort. The Bug Buzz was a direct hit, but they couldn't drop their guard from that alone. And sure enough, almost before the echoing remnants of the move died down, Eelektross was already preparing the makings of a Charge Beam in his gaping mouth.

"Careful, Yanmega," Willa advised the Bug/Flying-type. "Fight back with Ancient Power!"

"Yaaaaaan ya!" responded Yanmega as he charged up a brown-grey sphere of primal energy between his six legs, then shot it off just as Eelektross let loose the Charge Beam. The attacks collided in midair, causing a small explosion.

"Trr-rr-rross!" crackled Eelektross. Frustrated with the lack of results, he rose higher into the air, flying towards Yanmega, but already all present could see he wouldn't be able to outmaneuver Yanmega. Not at his fastest.

And that included Willa. "Yanmega! Quick Attack!" she commanded.

"Ya! Ya! Ya!" grunted Yanmega, zipping here and there with dizzying rapidity. None of Eelektross's Headbutts hit their mark, but soon, Eelektross was starting to move faster and with more precision. Before Willa knew it, the EleFish Pokémon was leaving short-lived afterimages in his wake, before ramming into Yanmega from above, sending him into a spiraling descent. It was fortunate this happened from so high up, however, for it gave Yanmega ample time to right himself.

"So it can use Acrobatics?" Willa thought out loud. "Interesting."

"Trr-rr-rrossssss!" crackled Eelektross- not content to leave it at that, now the Electric-type was letting loose with a widespread Discharge, and no amount of evasive maneuvers on Yanmega's part were helping it here.

"Yanmega!" Willa called out as Yanmega was hit hard. But the Ogre Darner Pokémon remained in the air. He'd taken some damage, but wasn't about to give up.

"Mega!" rumbled Yanmega.

Willa gave a faint smile at her partner's determination. "We're not out yet!" she declared. "String Shot!"

"Yan yaaaaa!" replied Yanmega, firing a sticky strand of silk from his mouth. Eelektross was caught off-guard by this, and found his arms bound to his sides.

"Now slam it into the ground!" Willa commanded.

"Yaaaaan... MEGA!" Yanmega grunted as, with a considerable effort, he was able to flip Eelektross up over him, and slam him into the ground by way of the String Shot. However, Eelektross was able to free his arms in the process, and got right back up, charging in for another Headbutt.

"Now! Night Slash!" Willa ordered.

"Yan!" Yanmega rumbled, flying directly at the oncoming Eelektross, a black aura having come over his wings. They collided in midair, collapsing to the ground. Both of them were able to get back up, but only just barely.

Willa looked at Eelektross. The Electric-type was panting, tired out by the massive effort he'd put into this battle, same as Yanmega was. Neither of them, however, seemed willing to fight any further, and Willa found that she agreed with this. "...Eelektross," she called out. "What do you say? Will you join me?"

"TRRROSS!" Eelektross bellowed in response, though his tone of voice was a happy one.

Diantha chuckled, moreso as Willa jumped at Eelektross's exuberant response. "That would be a yes," she stated.

"Indeed," Willa replied, slightly uncertain.

Diantha walked over to her daughter, placing the Ultra Ball firmly in her hand. "Indeed," she repeated firmly. "You and Eelektross will make a great team, I know it." Willa nodded mutely as she withdrew Yanmega and her new Eelektross. The Electric-type had made for a formidable opponent, but something about him came off as a bit... rowdy. She said nothing, but deep down, Willa had her doubts. Did she really have Eelektross's respect?


Not much later, Willa had brushed these troubling thoughts from the forefront of her mind. She now stood on a platform at Kiloude's train station, with her mother seeing her off. "Be safe, now," Diantha was saying. "Have you decided where you'll be traveling?"

"I have," Willa confirmed. "When I get to Lumiose, I'll be catching a flight to the Fizzytopia region. I've read up on it after you mentioned it, and it sounds... interesting. If there are more Pokémon there like that Eelektross, it's sure to be a good test of my skills."

"I'm certain it will be," Diantha nodded. "And Willa," she added, lowering her voice and establishing deliberate eye contact. "I know how you are, and I will simply tell you this- you will, at some point, meet some other Trainers, people with whom you end up getting along. I'm not saying to trust such people right away, I'm only saying to not rule out the possibility." Willa did not respond to this. The usual words of encouragement, the same spiel about opening up, trusting other people... she did not respond because her mother had heard her response many times before, and was probably expecting it now. There was only one living person in existence who had Willa's trust, and she was seeing her off right now, and Willa couldn't possibly imagine that changing. After a moment of silence, Diantha sighed. "Don't forget what I told you," she said, giving her a hug, and smiling as Willa hugged her back.

"Goodbye, mother," Willa said, giving her a small smile as she stepped into the waiting train. Diantha smiled back, waving until long after the train had left. She would be fine, Diantha knew.


At that precise moment, somewhere in the Fizzytopia region, a young teenage girl was walking through a grassy meadow as a Swoobat flew overhead. The Swoobat's eyes went blank as she started to have another one of her premonitions, and what a premonition it was! Once her eyes were no longer blank, she flapped her wings harder to catch up with Terri Alph. So she's leaving for Fizzytopia, Luna mused silently. I shouldn't tell Keith, she decided. I think the best possible outcome would require him to not know this beforehand. This will be interesting indeed...

Last edited by Missingno. Master; 04-08-2020 at 03:02 AM.
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