Chapter 31: Battling in Glass Houses
“YES! I’ve found the perfect place to stay!” Lisa Northwood loudly
proclaimed as she and her younger sister Lindsay looked up at the
Quality Inn that stood before them.
They arrived at the four
story facility shortly after Police Inspector Morgan dropped Lisa off
on the outskirts of town. He had arranged for the local gym leader to
bring Lindsay to the Pokémon Center so the two sisters could reunite.
After a quick stop to the local Pokémon Center, which was actually part
of a Hess travel center, the girls had noticed the dark green sign with
its stylized gold “Q” and “QUALITY INN” in white block letters.
building itself was trimmed in white stucco with the exception of the
first floor exterior, which featured a brown brick façade. The hotel
was topped off with a peach-colored metal roof. Out front, a sharply
angled canopy and small cascading fountains welcomed guests.
to either sister was a rusted-out red Ford Pinto hatchback parked in
front of the hotel. The figure inside the car appeared to watch both
girls closely. As soon as they entered the hotel, the old clunker drove
off before pulling into the parking lot of a rival motel, the crumbling
Inside the well appointed lobby of the Quality
Inn there was already a Christmas tree set up with multicolor chaser
lights. The breakfast area was located on a slightly lower elevation
than the main check-in area, with a half-flight of carpeted stairs
leading to it. A computer was set up in the lobby for guest use, but
with her internet-enabled PDA and the property’s free Wi-fi access, the
older girl would not need it.
Lisa handled the check-in,
presenting her Choice Privileges member card. To help alleviate the
noise from the heavily-traveled thoroughfare in front, she requested a
back room on the fourth floor, overlooking the pool. The similarities
between this hotel and one very close to their home in South Carolina
The girls’ room, number 440, was confirmed by
Lisa to be “as spotless as can be.” The 32” flat-screen television sat
atop a walnut-veneered dresser, with an executive style desk with
swivel chair next to it. A free-standing micro-fridge unit rested next
to a plush easy chair, both situated between the window and the beds.
The room’s two queen beds were topped with comforters that looked very
similar in design and print to Lisa’s favorite dress. After spending
time in the equivalent of a prison cell for the past few days, the beds
here would be a most welcome change for Lisa.
The teen decided
to treat her Pokémon to a special meal, laying out dishes filled with
premium Pokémon food. This of course meant that even Metang would eat
“Aww, you ain’t gon’ let me eat this time?” Sealeo whined.
“I shall consume this food…”
had taken about ten bites of his food when he noticed Sealeo begging
for food. Being charitable, he told the Ice-type, “You can have the
rest of my food if you want.”
“Yay! Thanks, Jolty!” the hefty Pokémon said as he slid over toward the Electric-type’s food dish.
Meanwhile, the spiky yellow Pokémon made his way over to where the three female Pokémon were conversing.
was explaining her last battle to her partners. “I had to battle
against a man with a truly terrifying aura. Jolteon and Sealeo also
battled against him. This man seems to be Lisa’s main enemy, and just
from our battle, he appears to be a formidable foe.”
nodded in agreement. “It wasn’t just the fact that he was powerful.
There was definitely a sense of evil and menace in his voice as he
issued commands. Certainly if we have to deal with again, it will not
Weezing added, “But the guy who we battled alongside
with… He’s definitely a strong trainer, and intelligent to boot. I was
“It was really weird… For several days we saw
no action, then suddenly we’re thrust into two really tough battles
with an unknown ally in a really creepy place. Well, at least we got a
chance to put ourselves to the test,” Flygon said as she buzzed about.
“Yes, but I am hoping for a bit of a break. Hopefully we can relax for a bit,” replied the beige feline.
showered, at the insistence of her sister (“Lisa, you smell like you
live in a garbage can! Clean up or we’re getting separate rooms, and
you’re paying for both!”), then changed into her pink floral dress.
Afterward, she decided to run her clothes through the coin laundry
machines on the hotel’s second floor. It was decided that the girls
would stay put in their fourth floor sanctuary for the day. As far as
meals were concerned, Lisa and Lindsay decided that Papa John’s
delivery would be their best option.
As the sun
began to rise over the horizon, two sisters left their Quality Inn
located in downtown Arkwood City. The area surrounding the hotel was a
collection of shopping plazas, big-box stores, and major brand-name
restaurants. A few taller buildings could be seen against the horizon,
but this city appeared to have an emphasis on commercial businesses
rather than large office complexes or industrial parks. Residential
developments were mostly located between the hotel and the “truckstop
city” at the edge of town.
It was barely dawn, yet the streets
and walkways were already packed with commuters. Making their way down
Civic Center Boulevard, the pair passed by a Target discount store, an
Applebee’s Grill and Bar, and (naturally), a large white stucco
building bearing the words, “Arkwood City Civic Center” in vivid blue
letters. All the while, pedestrian and vehicle traffic made the busy
street difficult to navigate.
Finally, the siblings reached
their destination- a towering and expansive greenhouse labeled,
“Arkwood City Pokémon Gym.” Entering the glass structure, the girls
walked past rows and rows of beautiful flowers and exotic plants – and
lots of green. The older girl’s dress, with its purple, orange, and
green flower pattern set against a blue background, fit in perfectly
here. The other girl’s outfit, with her white sweater, red plaid skirt,
and beat-up red tights, clashed with the surroundings.
clearing, the Gym Leader and a young girl were waiting for the girls.
Reed, wearing a dark green suit matched to a black collared shirt and
black tie, spoke up. The short, blond-haired teenager wore a green
floral dress with a simple white floral pattern, similar to another
dress that Lisa had.
“I’ve been waiting for the day when you
would finally arrive to challenge me. My assistant and sister, Rose,
will oversee our match. Perhaps I should have said ‘matches.’ You see,
your challenge will consist of three single-Pokémon, one-on-one
battles. Each round will end when one Pokémon is unable to battle or
when one side concedes. Both trainers must substitute Pokémon at the
end of a round; they may not use the same Pokémon for more than one
round. The first trainer to win two matches is the winner. If the
challenger is victorious, she will receive the Flower Badge. Ready,
“All right, it’s go time!”
Rose announced, “The
gym battle between Arkwood Gym Leader Reed and challenger Lisa
Northwood from Anderson, South Carolina shall begin! Start round one!
Gym Leader Reed, show your Pokémon!”
“I will lead with Exeggutor! Come forth!”
huge brown Pokémon made its appearance, looking for all the world like
a palm tree with an unusually wide trunk- and with big legs, to boot.
Three coconut-like yellow heads seemingly hung from the mass of green
palm leaves that grew out in all directions. While each of the faces
wore a different expression, it seemed as if all three were having a
The teen took out her PDA and activated its Pokédex
function to size up this foe. “Exeggutor, the Coconut Pokémon. Its
three heads have independent brains and will form an Exeggcute cluster
if one should fall off.”
“Now, Lisa, reveal your partner!”
“Weezing, let us commence our calculations. Time to begin!”
poisonous purple Pokémon prepared for the battle by elevating her
lightweight, low-density body. A “skull and crossbones” marking on her
lower body was barely visible as smoke was billowing out of numerous
ventilation openings scattered throughout her body. One head was
decidedly larger than the other, and the larger one’s face had a look
of boredom and indifference, with its eyes half shut. But her facial
expression belied Weezing’s preparedness for this Gym battle.
“Weezing versus Exeggutor. Begin!”
“Okay, Weezing, we’ll start off with a Sludge Bomb!”
“Quickly, throw up a Light Screen!”
the dual-headed Pokémon shrunk one of her twin orbs to release a clump
of dripping purple goop, her leafy opponent began shaking its three
heads, creating a transparent barrier in front of it. The smelly poison
hit the wall and splattered against it, caking the blockade with slimy
violet ooze. Exeggutor seemed unimpressed, as it continued to dance
about with a blissfully oblivious look on its three faces.
“We need to break that wall! Try a Tackle on it!”
“That won’t work,” warned the blonde-headed man. “Use Stun Spore!”
round Pokémon attempted to smash headlong into the wall, but to no
avail. Meanwhile, her adversary began shaking the broad palm leaves on
top of its heads, loosing a fine powder. Thinking quickly, the purple
Poison-type floated to the right, causing the spores to land harmlessly
on the grassy floor of the greenhouse. As Weezing tried to find a way
around the wall to deal damage, she was met with a powerful kick right
to the face, sending her hurtling backward while a worried Lisa
fingered her dress’s hem nervously. Recovering from the shot, the
smelly sphere of gas launched out a thick black Smokescreen,
temporarily clouding the palm tree Pokémon’s vision.
“Good work, Weezing! But we still need to get past that wall! Meanwhile, try a Poison Gas to slow Exeggutor down!
“Lisa, it was a mistake to use a Poison-type against me! Now use Psychic!”
“Crud, this is gonna hurt!”
its mental energies by closing its eyes, the walking coconut tree was
able to track its foe’s movements despite the latter’s repeated
attempts to dart about randomly. Sure enough, the invisible mind waves
found their mark, and hit up the unsuspecting Poison-type for big
damage. Still ready to battle, the sturdy purple Pokémon unleashed a
thin purple fog from her ventilation holes, blanketing the Grass-type
opponent. One of the Grass-type’s heads began to develop a sick
appearance, as if it were about to vomit. The other two, strangely
enough, retained their happy, carefree expressions.
“Okay, interesting behavior…”
Aloud, Lisa instructed, “We just need to outlast the poison effect, so
try to avoid incoming attacks and maybe send a Smog toward it!”
“Sorry, but it’ll take more than that to win! Exeggutor, use Synthesis, then follow up with Psychic!”
made the first move, spewing out more toxic purple gases from the vents
scattered throughout her rubbery round form. However, her
coconut-headed adversary saw this cloud coming from a mile away, and
used its two hefty legs to maneuver its massive body out of the way.
The gaseous Smog ended up floating wide left. Stopping for a brief
moment, Exeggutor encased its body in a brilliant green glow. Once the
shimmering light faded, it definitely appeared that the Pokémon had
regained much of its strength and vitality. Its one head, however,
still looked ill. Just then, the young teen noticed the Light Screen
barrier was no longer there.
“It recovered its energy, but it’s still poisoned and its protection is gone… I may yet stand a chance!” The girl shouted, “Sludge Bomb!”
“Nice try, but it’s too little, too late! Now, ensnare it with Leech Seed then blast it with Psychic!”
spherical Poison-type struck first, spitting out a foul-smelling ball
of concentrated slime that exploded upon contact with the top of the
foe’s green palm leaves. Not to be outdone, the huge tree-like creature
began shaking its leaves before firing out a single green seed. Like a
bullet, the projectile found its mark, wedging itself right in the
center of the ‘skull and crossbones’ marking on Weezing’s lower body.
Germinating from that seed were a complex network of vines that
surrounded and put the squeeze on the hapless purple Pokémon. Taking
full advantage of its restrained opponent, the oversized plant knocked
Weezing around with more concentrated mental energy. The floating
Pokémon was airborne no more, as she crashed down to the ground, with
the Leech Seed still draining her energy.
“Weezing is unable to battle! First round goes to the Gym Leader, Reed!”
“Sorry, Weezing…” Lisa whispered as she removed her fallen Poison-type.
work, Exeggutor! You’ve earned a nice victory rest!” The hefty walking
tree was engulfed in a flash of crimson light and was returned to its
Rose announced, “The Gym Leader is up, one to zero. Round Two will begin now! Reed, show your Pokémon.”
“For my next Pokémon, it’s Tropius!”
creature easily eclipsed Exeggutor in size. Resembling an ancient
dinosaur, the creature’s brown body was flanked by a set of massive
leaves. More green foliage adorned the top of its head. Dangling from
the top of its long, thick neck were small yellow bananas. When it
began flapping its leaves like a set of wings, the Pokémon’s four feet
actually left the ground.
Once again, the girl activated her
Pokédex. “Tropius, the Fruit Pokémon. This large Pokémon dwells in
tropical jungles where its fruit serves as nourishment for both itself
and others living in the jungles.”
“Challenger Lisa, please reveal your Pokémon.”
“Persian, you are my next variable substitution! Let’s integrate this function!”
feline of grace and elegance let out a loud, “Mrrrroow!” before
stretching out her body. Her smooth, creamy fur let off a soft glow,
but the prized gem atop her forehead was almost blinding as bright
sunlight permeated the glass roof and reflected off the crimson crystal.
“Tropius against Persian! Begin round two!”
“Bring out the sunlight! Sunny Day!”
“Quickly, jump up and use Aerial Ace on it!”
cat used her natural pouncing skills to gain some altitude. Extending
her claws, she began to descend at a forty-five degree angle, slashing
the lower neck of her much larger opponent before landing perfectly on
all fours. Like it had not even noticed the attack, the plant creature
pointed its head in the air and let out a shrill cry. As if the
sunlight wasn’t already intense enough, Tropius decided to turn the
heat up just a little more. As the leafy Pokémon finished up its sun
summoning, the sharp-clawed Persian took another swipe, this one aimed
at the torso.
“Those are futile efforts, Lisa! This one’s all wrapped up for you! Now, fly up and prepare for the next attack!”
“Wait… that big thing can fly?! Oh, well, better go with the flow…” Lisa responded, “Don’t count me out yet! Jump on top of Tropius as it begins to go airborne!”
As the agile feline jumped on top of her adversary, Reed let out a surprised, “Huh? What’s it doing?”
“Now, give it a few good Slashes, and try to aim for the wings!”
going at Tropius with her claws, Persian didn’t realize that her ride
was beginning to invert itself. Before either cat or her trainer could
react, the winged Grass-type dinosaur was flying upside down with
Persian quickly falling back to earth.
“Oh, no! Persian!” the
girl shrieked as she began gripping and pulling on her dress, all the
while with a look of fear on her face.
In typical feline
fashion, Persian did land on her feet, though the impact clearly did
some damage. Still, she didn’t indicate that any bones were broken, so,
for now, she would be able to continue. However, almost immediately
after the beige Normal-type recovered her wits, her high-flying
adversary did a nosedive, ramming headlong into the cat’s side and
knocking her down. Quickly springing to her feet, Persian looked like
she was ready to get back at her opponent.
“All right, we’ll try a Shadow Ball at long range, then go in for an Aerial Ace!”
“You and your Pokémon certainly have determination, but willpower alone will not be enough! Solarbeam!”
green and brown Pokémon stood motionless as its opponent opened her
mouth wide and shot out a sinister black orb of dark matter. At the
last minute, though, Tropius released a long-range attack of its own –
a huge ray of lime-green solar energy that completely obliterated the
Shadow Ball, reducing it to numerous tiny chunks of black. The beam
came in at Persian so quickly that her attempts to evade the strike
This time, Lisa’s delicate white hosiery was the
victim of the girl’s nervous fidgeting, as she ripped out a sizeable
piece of nylon. When the energy from the Solarbeam and the resultant
smoke finally cleared, the cat was somehow still standing. Not waiting
around for another hit, Persian fired off another Shadow Ball, then
immediately leaped into the air. Both the ghostly long-range strike and
the more direct Aerial Ace found their mark at almost the same moment.
The big Grass-type recoiled from the hit, but its hefty size and low
center of gravity kept it upright.
“Your Persian is certainly
more durable than it looks. Most times I use Solarbeam, it’s enough to
finish off the opponent. But no Pokémon can last forever! Leech Seed
followed by Magical Leaf!”
“Persian, you know what to do! Dodge Diplomat Medallion that attack and use Slash!”
cat gave her trainer a very annoyed stare, and that was just the
opening Tropius needed. Like what had happened with Weezing, a
mysterious bullet-shaped seed lodged itself in the tan fur of the
distracted Normal-type. Thin brown vines began to wrap around the cat,
and even as Persian began slashing the roots apart, more sprouted to
take the place of the ones that were cut. Now rendered immobile, the
once-nimble feline found herself being struck with a flurry of
multicolored leaves. The entire scene resembled a windy autumn day
where intense breezes blew fallen leaves all over the place.
“Looks like a minute of inattention cost your Persian big-time! Can’t dodge this! Solarbeam!”
was nothing Lisa could do but scream out, “Oh, no!” and tug at her
clothes as she watched the brilliant green energy beam slam directly
into her Pokémon’s head. After a hit that intense, it surprised both
Lisa and Reed that Persian still struggled to get back up after that
last Solarbeam. But Lisa knew these efforts were futile. Seeing no way
for her Pokémon to escape the vines that had it trapped, it was time
for the girl to make a tough call. “That’s it! Stop the match!” Lindsay
looked on in stunned surprise as her big sister made her decision.
Rose asked the challenger, “Are you sure you wish to forfeit?”
then. I declare Tropius to be the winner of this round! As he has
already won two rounds, the battle goes to the Gym Leader! Lisa, you
must wait three days before attempting to earn this badge again.”
Hanging her head low, Lisa replied, “I… I understand…”
advised her, “I would highly recommend you take some time to rest. Some
trainers train their Pokémon non-stop after losing to me. Most of the
time, any benefits are offset by the fact that both trainer and Pokémon
are completely exhausted. Especially after battling Thrash, you and
your Pokémon need a break to recharge. I will see you in three days,
“Yes, and hopefully I won’t be such an embarrassment next
time… I’m sorry for wasting your time…” The girl bowed before her
opponent before shuffling out of the glass-paneled facility.
Lisa dropped her sister off at the Quality Inn. The elder sister needed
some alone time after her latest loss. The next stop for the Lisa was
the Pokémon Center/Hess Travel Center. Found on the outskirts of town,
it was located in a convenient spot for truckers and trainers who were
just coming into town. It was not so convenient for those coming from
the gym, as the greenhouse was a good half hour’s walk from the
complex. The only other Pokémon Center in Arkwood was in a sketchy
neighborhood that often hosted biker gang wars and other illicit
activity. With boarded-up windows, graffiti all over the exterior, and
a crumbling red façade, that Pokémon Center looked like a good place to
stay away from.
Back at the Hess station, the older sister
readied her two defeated Pokémon for examination. The travel center
boasted multiple gasoline and diesel pumps for serving many customers.
The listed price for regular unleaded, $1.05 a gallon, was a bit high
for this time of year. Then again, Lisa’s parents had told her that gas
prices were upwards of three dollars in some locations in the US, so
compared to that, this was a steal.
As the teen sat in the
Pokémon Center part of the truckstop, she replayed the gym battle in
her head. The image of her Pokémon collapsing in battle seemed to
repeat itself in her mind, to the point where the girl finally lost her
composure. “NO! I’m so stupid!” she finally yelled in frustration as
she ripped apart her pantyhose. After she realized that she had lost
control of her emotions, Lisa put her hands over her face and began
“I… I thought I was more mature… I
thought I could handle a loss… But after all, I haven’t changed a bit!
I’m still the same crybaby I’ve been since I started training Pokémon.
Maybe I am a failure, after all…”
Lisa’s breakdown had not
gone unnoticed, and a pair of trainers walked over to the crying girl.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” asked a female voice.
Lisa looked up to see
two trainers sitting beside her. One was a former acquaintance- a
rather tall young man with neatly trimmed brown hair who she knew as
Marvin Excellus. He was dressed rather neatly in a brown polo shirt and
khaki pants. His friend was a girl about three or four years older than
Lisa, with her long black hair held back by a scrunchy. She also had a
semi-professional appearance, with a red button-up blouse and
knee-length black skirt.
“Lisa Northwood, right?” asked
Marvin. After receiving a nod from the depressed teen, he continued,
“What’s wrong? Did you end up losing at the gym or something?” Once
again, Lisa did not speak, but merely nodded in response.
other girl continued, “Please, don’t feel too bad about it. I mean,
even the greats have lost matches before. It’s really not anything to
get worked up about. Oh, I’m sorry. My name’s Kim. Kim Harris. Nice to
Finally speaking up, Lisa answered, “Good to meet you
as well.” Still fighting tears, she explained, “I know. I’ve lost
before. I should be used to it by now. But still, I can’t help but feel
I’m letting my Pokémon down. I mean, they’re working so hard for the
win, and for them to lose because I make some stupid mistake… I still
feel like it’s my fault.”
Kim told the younger Lisa, “You don’t
really come across as the type of person who is abusive to Pokémon. As
long as you treat them with care and respect, they’ll forgive you, even
if you do cause them to lose a battle. Trust me. It’s hard sometimes,
but you just have to trust that your Pokémon will always be there, as
long as you’re always there for them. Now, I’ve heard some pretty nice
things about you from some of the other trainers I’ve met, including
two of my hometown friends, as well as Marvin here. I’ve also heard on
the news about how you’re making incredible progress against Team
Thrash, dealing major blows to their operations. You’re obviously a
good trainer; please don’t let the small things get to you.”
“I never expected a trainer like her to say such nice things… after all, I’m hardly the best at guiding my Pokémon in battle…”
Wiping a tear from her face, Lisa responded, “You’re right. But, I’ve
always been a perfectionist, you know? When I was in school and
college, I was always at the head of my class, so it was never a
problem. But this whole Pokémon training thing is a whole different
ball game. I’m no longer on the top tier, and I guess it’s a rude
awakening for me. But don’t worry! I’m trying my hardest to get used to
it, and I’m getting better at it. At least, I thought I was, before
The center’s attendant called out, “Trainer Lisa Northwood, your Pokémon are ready!”
the girl, still sniffling a little, made her way to the counter, she
passed by a couple of roughnecks. One was bald, the other had a bright
red Mohawk. Both had arms covered in skull tattoos, and both were
openly laughing at Lisa and calling out names like “crybaby” and
“loser.” Ignoring the punks as best she could, she retrieved her
spherical containers, then made her way back to where Kim and Marvin
were seated. Calling out all of her Pokémon, Lisa kneeled on the floor
and began talking to them, her brown eyes filling up with tears again. “I hope they understand. I don’t want them to abandon me… not after all we’ve been through…”
guys… about our loss at the gym, I can’t even begin to tell you how
sorry I am. You’re giving your all and are depending on me as your
trainer to help guide and direct you to victory. But… I let y’all down,
didn’t I? Despite all the hard work you put in for the battle, we still
couldn’t pull it off… No… I’m the one to blame… you tried your very
hardest, and I’m grateful for that… All I can ask is that you forgive
Each of her Pokémon let out cries, attempting to
reassure their trainer and partner. Persian and Jolteon even began
rubbing the sobbing girl’s back gently as Sealeo nuzzled against her.
Despite its metal arms, the chrome Metang patted the girl on the head
as softly as it could, making sure not to scratch her head with its
Sniffling and wiping away a tear, Lisa answered, “Thanks,
everybody. I really couldn’t ask for better partners… or friends. Tell
you what,” she continued with a bit more confidence, “we’ll take the
next few days off, mixing training and relaxing. Then we’ll challenge
the gym again and we’ll win! For all of us!”
This time, the
Pokémon’s cries echoed the newfound confidence that their trainer had.
Lisa then called them back into their Pokéballs, as certainly the floor
at the center was not all that comfortable. Besides that, she was about
to bring up a subject she’d rather her team not hear. Turning to her
human companions, the girl said, “You know, though, I’m not really sure
if training’s really my calling in life. I mean, it’s exciting and all,
and I’m enjoying my time with my Pokémon, but I do long to return to
college. You know, get a graduate degree and live on campus for a
couple more years. What do you guys think?”
“Well, we can’t really make that decision for you. It’s something you
have to ask yourself. Your mind and heart will let you know what to do.”
Kim told Lisa, “Keep your head up. If you’re ever in doubt, remember these song lyrics:
“When you're down and you're discouraged
When the darkness clouds your view
You've got to gather up your courage
You know the Lord is gonna see you through
Let me tell you now
Tell you now
When you're walking in the dead of night
And your soul is churning
When your hope seems out of sight
Keep the candle burning
All it takes is one steady heart in a world that's turning
Shine a light and pierce the dark
Keep the candle burning
Keep the candle burning”
thanks a lot, you two. You’ve really given me something to think about,
and I do feel a bit better now. Well, I probably should get back; my
little sister’s probably worried sick about me.”
“Yeah, you probably should. Well, Lisa, I guess we’ll see you later! Bye!”
“Good luck on your journey, too! See you around!”
As Lisa made her way back to the Quality Inn, she began singing softly to herself.
the business district, Lisa got a quick meal at the Wendy’s that was
located within a few blocks of the hotel. Upon arriving back in the
room with food for the both of them, Lindsay asked her big sister, “Why
did you just give in like that?”
With a serious, solemn look on
her face, the older sister answered, “Listen closely, as this is very
important for when you become a trainer. Sometimes, when a battle is
clearly not in your favor, when you know you don’t have a chance of
winning, it’s better to give in early rather than making your Pokémon
suffer more than they need to. I’ve learned that giving up doesn’t
always make you seem weak. Sometimes, conceding a match actually shows
you’re intelligent enough to know when you’re beat, and shows you’re
caring enough to sacrifice a win for the sake of your Pokémon. And in
the long run, doing that just might earn you more respect as a trainer,
even if you do lose. But…”
Lisa slowly formed
a smile. “That only applies to Pokémon battles. When it comes to
calculus or chemistry battles, you tough it out and stick with it to
the very end! Show no mercy!”
Rolling her eyes, the young girl responded, “Oh, brother… At least you’re back to your old , nerdy self!”
while four of the six Pokémon were eating (Jolteon and Metang elected
to sit this meal out), Lisa had the front desk deliver a portable DVD
player to the room. The teenager had rented some anime DVDs to watch
the day before, and now was the ideal time to watch. For Lisa,
heartwarming slice-of-life anime was the perfect way to get her spirits
up after a loss.
After the Pokémon had been fed, she and her
younger sister were headed to a restaurant to get dinner. Upon arriving
at Applebee’s, they sulked when they saw a huge line of folks waiting
for a table. “It’s gonna take forever!” whined Lindsay.
we passed by Outback, Cracker Barrel, and TGI Friday’s, and their lines
were at least as long, if not longer! And I’m not in the mood for
McDonald’s or KFC again!”
“Fine, we’ll wait…” conceded the younger sibling as both of them took their place in line.
Chapter 32: Secrets of the Safari Zone
On a lonely country road, two young girls approached a rustic log
cabin. One was a bit taller than the other. Both had the hoods on their
green sweatshirts pulled over their heads, as the cold December air
combined with gusty winds made for some very chilly conditions. Thanks
to the wonder of eighties fashion called black leggings, both girls
could afford to wear blue-jean skirts even in this type of weather,
though the bitter cold did necessitate the use of white socks and
sneakers instead of the sandals they would usually wear.
The taller girl turned to the other. “You know, Shannon, it has been awhile since we’ve heard from Lisa. Think she’s okay?”
I wouldn’t be too worried. Knowing her, I bet she’s fine. I’m more
worried about whoever she goes up against getting totally confused by
Both of the girls shared a laugh. “Speaking of which,
I think that old man at the gym knows her. You know, the Thrash guy who
was plotting to Molotov the gym.”
“Yeah, it was a good thing we
were there to help Reed get rid of the geezer. It’s weird though, he
didn’t seem to remember us from the last battle we had with him. Must
be the guy’s old age setting in.”
“Oh, here it is,” pointed out Shannon, “the entrance to the Safari Zone. Let’s see what they have to offer here.”
pair entered the cabin to a quaint, homey atmosphere, complete with
walnut-trimmed furniture and a brick fireplace. At a desk stood two
people. One was a short woman with her black hair tied into a ponytail.
The other one was a muscular, bald-headed man. The woman introduced
herself. “My name is Ellen, and this is my partner, Francisco. Although
the Safari Zone is a Pokémon preserve, we do allow trainers to catch
Pokémon here, as long as they pay a seventy-five dollar admission fee
and abide by a couple of ground rules, which Francisco will explain.”
of all, you are not allowed to use your own Pokémon or Pokéballs to
capture Pokémon. We will issue you special Pokéballs to be used only in
the park, and some Pokémon food to attempt to lure them into the open.
If you violate either of these policies, you will be fined an
additional five hundred dollars. Also, you have one hour before your
time is up. Please enjoy yourselves!”
Both girls paid their
admission and proceeded through a doorway into a lush, semi-tropical
nature preserve with rich forests and expansive grasslands. Closing the
door behind them, Ellen turned to Francisco. “Hector Rodriguez and his
men will be here in less than a half an hour. Are you sure it was wise
to let those two girls through?”
“Don’t worry about it. This
place is over three hundred acres. What are the odds of those two
finding our present for Senor Rodriguez anyway?”
they claimed there would be rare Pokémon within this park, but all
we’ve seen so far are Rattata and Pikachu, and I lost count of how many
of those rodents we ran into on the way here.”
“Well, I honestly
don’t know for sure, but I’ve heard that rare Pokémon roost here. Hey!
There’s a Heracross!” The tall teenager pointed toward a somewhat beefy
blue Pokémon that was standing on its hind legs. It had a huge horn
sticking out from its face, its base directly between the creature’s
two large yellow eyes. The prominent appendage culminated in three
distinct points at its very top. Two tiny transparent wings on its back
struggled to keep the creature a few inches above the ground.
some food at it, then I’ll try these Pokéballs!” Shannon shouted as her
friend reached into the park-issued burlap sack and threw some kibble
at the horned insect. As the Pokémon started to chow down, Shannon
threw the green sphere at it. Upon hitting its body, the ball would
open and generate red light, but the target was not sucked into the
device. The sphere simply clicked shut. The girl tried another Safari
Ball with the same effect. After about a dozen more attempts, she was
growing frustrated, shaking her fist and stomping her feet.
on, catch, you stupid balls! These blasted things couldn’t catch a
cold!” Heracross finally finished its snack, lumbering off as if
nothing had happened. In its wake it left the girls, both of their
mouths agape in complete shock and anger.
“Arrgh! That one got
away! Something’s fishy about this place!” fumed Alexis. She suddenly
felt something tugging on her leggings. Looking down, a tiny yellow
mouse with pointed ears and rosy red cheeks looked up at her, smiled,
and squealed, “Pika!”
“Ugh! Not ANOTHER Pikachu! Scram, will ya?”
Dejected, the tiny electric rodent slowly walked away, its head hung
low in disappointment. Three of its brethren ran toward the girls to
take its place.
“There is no end to this, is there?”
Senor Rodriguez, always a pleasure to see you.” Ellen and Francisco
were now faced with three men of obviously Mexican descent, the one in
the middle being the largest of them. All three were dressed in black
suits with gray pinstripes.
“Si, I trust business is still going
strong. Now, as per our agreement, this briefcase contains $125,000 in
unmarked bills.” The large man heaved a sizable black suitcase onto the
The bald man took the case and gave the buyer a set
of car keys and a piece of paper in exchange. “Yes, sir, here is a map
directing you to where your product is, and these are the keys to a van
so you may easily leave the premises with your quarry. There are two
girls also in the park; make sure they don’t see you.”
“Do not worry, they shall not interfere with our business proposition. Gracias, amigos.”
The two staffers led the three mysterious clients to a concealed doorway with a white Ford cargo van parked outside.
“Not another Rattata! Shoo!” Shannon yelled, making a waving motion with her hand.
Just then, the girls spotted the brown rear end and three distinctive tails of their second rare Pokémon, the bull, Tauros.
“Weird, its tails aren’t even moving. Oh, whatever, maybe we can catch it by surprise.”
it would be the teens who would be surprised. Like before with
Heracross, the ball bounced off the bull’s behind while emitting only a
scarlet flash of light. This time, however, the device made an oddly
metallic clanging sound upon impact.
“Double weird, I don’t recall Tauros being a Steel-type,” observed Shannon.
look at this! These balls are hollowed out with only a red light
inside!” exclaimed Alexis, taking a look at the sphere that had not
clicked shut after the failed capture attempt. “These aren’t authentic
Pokéballs! No wonder they couldn’t catch anything!”
“Well, I want to check out that ‘Tauros’ as I have a feeling things are not what they seem here.”
figure in front of them certainly looked like the triple-tailed bull
Pokémon, with its tan body, dark brown collar, and two horns atop its
head. But it was motionless. Surely a real Tauros would have charged
the girls with its four hoofed feet by now.
Just then, Alexis
noticed what appeared to be a perfectly symmetrical rectangle outlined
on the right side of the fake Pokémon. “Electabuzz, go! Thunderpunch
that rectangle!” she commanded, sending out her yellow Pokémon with
twin antennas and black lightning bolt markings. The creature raised a
fist crackling with electric sparks and aimed it directly at the side
of the “Tauros.” After Electabuzz had succeeded in punching a hole
through the steely exterior, its trainer thanked it before quickly
returning it to its Pokéball. The girls could hardly believe what was
They had made a monumental discovery. Inside the steel
Tauros were probably close to fifty clear plastic bags neatly filled
with a fine white powder. The name, “H. Rodriguez” was scrawled in
black ink on each bag.
“Looks like we found a drug smuggling ring, Lexy.”
here come the clients!” Alexis shouted, drawing her friend’s attention
toward a white Ford van charging toward them. The passenger could be
seen reaching under his seat.
“Torkoal, use Flamethrower on the
tires of that van!” Shannon sent out the sluggish orange tortoise. With
its eyes shut and gray shell emitting smoke and an eerie red glow, the
armored creature opened its mouth to let loose a stream of fire that
instantly melted the van’s tires. Swerving wildly, the vehicle crashed
into the remains of the Tauros-shaped storage unit. Calling back her
Pokémon, Shannon next whipped out her cell phone to alert the
authorities as both girls ran toward the entrance to the park.
in the log cabin office, an alarm began to sound. ‘Dammit!” Ellen
shrieked. “They’ve found us out! Put the place on lockdown, then we’ve
got to switch into our battle gear!”
Francisco stuck his head
into a back room. “I need two of you to go into the park and intercept
two teenagers! The rest of you, load all the dope into our trucks and
move it out! We’re shipping all of it outta here before the cops seize
A mysterious man in the back office replied, “Make sure
they do not get to the exit! If they do, my future position will be
Ignoring any and all wild Pokémon that
were in the park, Alexis and Shannon knew they had to leave this
facility before the drug-smuggling operators got hold of them. Of
course, they were not going to make it back without running into
resistance. A pair of men in bright red T-shirts and cargo pants
intercepted the girls.
“Where do you think you’re going? You
should’ve just stuck to trying to catch Pokémon, but it’s too late for
you now! Golbat! Pikachu! End their little espionage game!”
if the two girls had not seen enough of the little yellow electric
rodent, the employee happened to send out another one of the
deceptively cute pests. This one began sparking near the red dots on
its face, as well as twitching its pointed ears in a failed attempt to
come off as intimidating.
“Well, here’s Pikachu number 436, not that I’m keeping count,” remarked Alexis.
other Safari Zone employee called forth a large but lightweight blue
bat with shades of purple on the inside surfaces of its wings. Its face
looked oddly disproportional with tiny eyes resting above a huge gaping
mouth. Occasionally it would stick its pink tongue out from the black
abyss inside that mouth as it flitted about.
“Sandslash, let’s get the party started!” yelled Alexis, sending the Pokéball out.
“Back her up, Torkoal!” shouted her best friend as her Pokémon also took to the field.
hard bodied yellow rodent emerged, glaring at the two enemies with its
angular black eyes. The mass of pointed brown scales on its back
appeared to function as both protection and for attacking purposes.
Standing on its hind legs, it pointed one of its forelegs at Pikachu,
the long sharp claws clearly visible.
Backing up the spiny
creature was the lumbering orange turtle named Torkoal. Its dark gray
shell emitted a mysterious red glow as smoke billowed from both its
nose and holes on its armored back. As it slowly walked forward, its
eyes remained shut, yet it still had a decent sense of direction.
“Let’s begin with a Mud Slap, then Sand Tomb on Pikachu!”
“Pikachu, dodge it! Blast them with Thunderbolt!”
its claws into the soft earth, the spiny yellow mouse hurled large
clumps of caked dirt and mud onto the face of the smaller, weaker
yellow mouse. Trying to release an electric strike with mud blinding
it, Pikachu’s attack was poorly aimed and ended up striking a tree and
shearing off the bark. As the tiny rat tried to clean its face off, the
dry-skinned creature simultaneously spun around and dug its claws into
the earth, generating a swirling cloud of sand. It was no longer the
mud that was blinding the electric annoyance; now it was the fine
particles that stung Pikachu’s eyes and made it impossible for the
critter to see. Adding to the mix, the sluggish tortoise shot out an
intense stream of fire, enveloping the Sand Tomb and turning up the
heat on the hapless little Pokémon trapped inside the impressive
twister of fire. The wide-mouthed blue bat ended the fiery assault with
a glob of poison directed at the armor-shelled reptile.
“Golbat, Wing Attack on that Torkoal!” ordered one of the grunts.
shorter of the two girls shouted out, “Blind the opposition with
Smokescreen then fire off a Flamethrower while they’re down!”
hulking orange Pokémon released a thick cloud of black smoke that
completely blanketed the area and made it impossible to see. After
several moments of mass confusion, Golbat emerged from the thick veil,
followed closely by an orange trail of flame that singed the toxic
flyer’s big wings. The blue creature used its appendages to whip up an
intense gust of wind, clearing the smoke – and Sandslash’s Sand Tomb.
Finally free, Pikachu began charging electricity using its red cheek
marks, but its larger mouse-like adversary shorted it out with a well
aimed slice from its razor-like claws. As the tiny rat examined the
scratch mark left behind on its stomach, it was on the receiving end of
even more mud in its face.
The blonde-haired teen directed,
“Trap Pikachu in Sand Tomb again! The sooner we finish it off, the
sooner we can get out of here!
“Pikachu! Avoid that attack at all costs!”
its vision still severely hindered, the tiny rat ran around the field
with no sense of logic- inadvertently running right into the swirling
mass of sand and dirt. The lumbering turtle took full advantage of
this, and let loose another Flamethrower aimed at the intense
whirlwind. Soon enough, the flames were caught up in the spiral,
circling a defenseless Pikachu while increasing the temperature on the
particles that prevented the rodent’s escape. The victim could not be
seen; only a dazzling whirlwind of bright orange flame that rotated
like a tornado.
“No way! My Pikachu!”
“It’s always up to me! Golbat, use Poison Fang!”
ahead, bring it!” taunted the girls. Perhaps the thug had forgotten
that both of their Pokémon boasted protection against such physical
As the teens’ Pokémon kept the heat on a constricted
Pikachu, the high-flying bat swooped down on the hefty turtle, fangs at
the ready. At least the blue creature had the sense to aim for
Torkoal’s neck instead of its hard gray shell.
“Torkoal! Try to use an Overheat to blast it off of you!” Shannon frantically yelled.
its attack on the encased yellow rat, the huge orange creature’s shell
began to give off a dull red glow. With Golbat’s fangs still planted in
its neck, Torkoal began firing off huge shots of searing flame from the
holes on its shell. With concentrated chunks of fire and lava raining
down on it, the toxic parasite was forced to relinquish its hold. As it
retreated, however, it got its wings torched and scorched by huge
falling orange embers.
The whirlwind of sand then dissipated,
leaving a dizzy Pikachu stumbling like it had downed more than its
share of alcohol. Sandslash saw that it was still conscious, so it took
it upon itself to shut down the woozy opponent by slashing at it
several times as it squealed loudly. The disoriented (and possibly
inebriated) Electric-type finally called it quits, toppling over and
letting out one final, deafening squeak.
Alexis cheered, “Good work, Sandslash! Only one left now!”
“Idiot! Your Pikachu was useless!” screamed the Golbat trainer. “Golbat, don’t fail us! Get them!”
Pikachu was withdrawn from battle, Golbat was hungry for vengeance. It
furiously flapped its broad wings, whipping up strong gusts that
slammed into both of the opposing Pokémon. Still, the pair stood their
ground. The scaly Sandslash dug into the ground slightly and came up
with a fairly large gray rock. As its partner blasted the aerial
Pokémon with more fire, the Ground-type dealt the finishing blow,
tossing its newly unearthed projectile upward, striking the bat on the
wings and grounding the winged blood-sucker for good.
“Crap! We lost somehow! We’ll get an earful from the boss!”
might have beaten us,” remarked the other ‘ranger’, “but the next pair
of guards you’ll meet are much tougher. Too bad for you.”
two teens continued their sprint toward the exit to the twisted nature
preserve. “Look, there’s the entrance!” Shannon called out after
catching a glimpse of the roof of the check-in building.
the way to the entrance to the log cabin were two individuals in the
silver armor of Cipher. One was a smaller woman; the other a husky man.
Though both were wearing helmets that hid their faces, it was clear
that these two were Ellen and Francisco.
“Grrr… We should’ve
known that you two would be trouble. Fine. I see no need to conceal our
true identities any longer. I am Fudler, and this is my partner, Exinn.
You saw something you should not have, and you will pay dearly for
that! Masquerain! Attack them!”
“You’re up, Wigglytuff! Deflate their egos!”
first, it appeared as if Fudler had sent out a pair of angry looking
eyes. Upon closer inspection, however, the two eyes were actually the
wings of a moth-like Pokémon. Its white main body featured a single
pointed antenna atop its head and four feelers on its underside. As it
flew about, the wing-eyes appeared to glare menacingly at the girls.
Exinn released a pink jellybean-shaped Pokémon with huge blue eyes. As
it hopped about on its huge feet both its rabbit-like ears and rubbery
body both jiggled quite a bit.
“Okay, you ready? Go, Duskull!”
“You got it, girl! Doduo, it’s your time to shine!”
enigmatic, spooky sight formed from the red energy beam. Its amorphous
gray body boasted a skull-like white “face.” Within its body, a creepy
red light moved from left to right between the two eye openings. Its
partner was a two-headed bird, its body resting on a pair of tall,
lanky legs. Both its heads as well as its main body were comprised of
balls of brown feathers, and its twin beaks were quite long. With no
wings to speak of, its powerful legs nonetheless allowed the bird to
gain surprising altitude.
“Duskull, hit ‘em with Confuse Ray!”
“No way!” countered Fudler. “Bubblebeam!”
deceiving bug released a flurry of clear bubbles that smashed into the
white face of the floating ghost. While the insect was performing its
attack, the two-headed wingless bird struck it from behind, driving a
long, slender beak into its underside. Undeterred by the watery hit,
the enigmatic gray creature’s eye began to glow with an even greater
intensity. Duskull then unleashed an odd energy wave, with dark matter
swirling around the flexible pink opponent’s head. The bloated bunny
made a move to hit Doduo upside both heads, but instead ended up
slapping itself in the face.
“Crap! Shake off that confusion then go in for the kill!”
nail the bug with Drill Peck!” commanded Shannon as she carefully eyed
the pair of angry-looking “eyes” that were attached to the tiny white
Though Masquerain attempted to stop the avian aggressor by
whipping up a Gust, the bird ran right through the midst of the
swirling breeze. Using both of its beaks, Doduo repeatedly jabbed the
winged insect, with the beaks more or less making a circular pattern.
Still dazed and disoriented, Wigglytuff continued to lay the smackdown
on itself. Its condition was in no way aided by Duskull, who fired off
a tiny, white-hot flame. Grazing the pink rubbery skin, the attack left
its mark – a charred, black burn mark.
“Masquerain, use Hydro Pump!” ordered the burly Fudler as he punched the air for some unknown reason.
“Back it up with a Body Slam! And stop hitting yourself!” bellowed Exinn as she shook her chrome-armored fist in fury.
that tiny flying bug was able to unleash a massive ray of concentrated
liquid pain as the pale blue strike met brown feathers. Soon enough,
the bird found itself eating dirt as a panicked expression formed on
the short black-haired teen’s face. As Doduo was still attempting to
rise to its feet, Duskull provided some much-needed backup, sending a
sphere of dark matter colliding with Masquerain’s real face.
twin-headed bird was finally rising to its feet when a pink
rabbit/balloon Pokémon ran toward it and whacked both heads with one
swipe. The big eared cream puff wasn’t ready for the consequences of
what it had triggered. Doduo began to give off a blinding white light,
the same light that usually heralds an evolution. The creature that
emerged now had three heads. Also sporting pink plumage on the rear of
its body and a pair of black feathers sticking up from each head, it
still hadn’t developed wings. However, each of its three heads now wore
its own distinctive expression.
“Oh, sweet! You’ve got a newly evolved Dodrio!”
“All right! Good work, Dodrio! You worked hard for this! Now, let’s get these chumps!”
as the triple-headed Pokémon glared at them, the two Cipher agents
remained defiant. “More heads mean nothing! You two! Pluck that thing’s
Both the opposing Pokémon charged in toward Dodrio.
The gray Ghost-type, ignored by the opposing creatures, launched a
surprise Shadow Ball attack from behind, catching the winged insect off
guard. Angrily, Fudler had no choice but to remove his fallen Pokémon
from battle. In the meantime, the bouncy pink balloon creature had
managed to kick the bird with its oversized feet, only to receive the
business end of three beaks right in the gut.
turn to fight!” The brown Pokémon that was sent out by the musclehead
was brown in color. It was impossible to distinguish between the
Pokémon’s head and its body, as both were contained within one large
rounded torso. Only a pair of glaring eyes gave any semblance of it
even having a face. Its thin arms appeared not to be its main method of
attack; rather its muscular legs served that purpose. The damage caused
by Hitmonlee’s kicking attacks would most certainly be compounded by
the sharp nails that protruded from its sizable feet.
Keeping watch over both opponents, Alexis shouted, “Duskull! Let’s nail Hitmonlee with Shadow Ball!”
“Not a chance! Go after that birdbrain with Rolling Kick!”
wily fighter’s first move was to the wingless bird’s underbelly,
performing an upward-sweeping kick that propelled Dodrio upwards,
similar to what an uppercut would have done. While in midair, the
crafty three-headed creature managed to turn things around, descending
toward its squishy pink adversary with all three beaks ready to poke
and puncture its airy body. At the same time, Hitmonlee used its
powerful leg muscles to jump clear of the ghostly projectile fired off
“That’s okay,” reassured Alexis, “try another Shadow Ball!”
“Make sure Wigglytuff doesn’t interfere! Use Tri Attack!” added Shannon.
long-legged and long-necked feathered creature was the first to get its
shot off. It positioned each of its three heads to form the outline of
a triangle. All three opened their beaks simultaneously, loosing weak
shots of electricity, fire, and ice that converged to form a
triple-sided energy beam. Slamming right into the squishy pink gut of
Wigglytuff, the oversized Easter Bunny fell down out of total
exhaustion. Enraged, the brown Fighting-type used its fancy footwork to
stretch out its leg and stick its clawed foot right into one of
Dodrio’s heads. But Hitmonlee was in for a surprise itself, as a
shadowy black sphere smacked right into its back, sending it crashing
to the ground.
“Houndoom, dinnertime!” The thin and lanky canine
emerged, getting pumped for battle by letting out a loud howl. Small
embers of flame developed near the black Pokémon’s orange snout. With
its pointed tail swaying in the wind, the sinister creature crouched on
all fours, ready for attack. The curved white horns on its head and
white “ribs” running across its back completed its demonic appearance.
“Now, Flamethrower followed by Crunch!”
Attempting to stop the
dog in its tracks, the large bird let loose its familiar tri-colored
beam. Despite taking a direct hit, Houndoom was able to spit out a long
trail of flame, knocking its Ghost-type foe for a loop. Before its prey
could react, the black beast ran in toward the gray Pokémon, sinking
its teeth into Duskull and taking it down.
“Oh, no! Duskull,
come back!” The tall blond-haired girl then fished out another Pokéball
from her bag. “Electabuzz, go!” A large yellow creature with two
rounded antennae atop its head materialized, pounding its chest with
its muscular arms and roaring quite loudly. The fur on its body
featured black markings that more or less resembled lightning bolts.
Charging one of its fists with electricity energy, it slammed its
curled hand into the face of the red-hot canine.
Furiously gritting her teeth, Exinn shrieked, “Houndoom, don’t take that! Torch the both of them with a wide-range Fire Blast!”
to themselves, the girls had devised a plan. “Okay, Dodrio, charge in
at Houndoom! Electabuzz, follow through with Thunderpunch!”
its long, thin legs to pick up speed, the large bird rushed right at
the black creature of despair, all three beaks aimed directly at it.
The hothead prepared fire within its mouth for an attack, but a mere
second before impact, Dodrio performed an extra high jump, avoiding the
huge ball of flame. Bewildered, the dog jerked its head in several
directions looking for the brown Pokémon. It then received a painful
blow to the rear as Electabuzz had slammed the creature’s behind with a
well-aimed punch. Almost instantly after impact, the static current was
sent flowing through Houndoom’s body.
To add insult and even
more injury to the Thunderpunch, its avian adversary landed right on
top of the hapless firebrand, one foot planted on top of the head and
the other weighing down the torso. Houndoom’s thin legs could not
support the added weight, and it ended up crashing to the ground. The
bird began pecking at its victim, ceasing only after the dog’s
Fighting-type partner rammed headlong into Dodrio.
“We’ve definitely weakened Houndoom! Let’s go in for the finishing blow!” suggested Shannon.
“Sounds like a plan! Get ready for this!” agreed Alexis.
“Dammit! Houndoom needs protection! Hitmonlee, keep them away from it!”
Dodrio was the faster of the teens’ Pokémon, it ran in for the kill
first. It was also the one to meet Hitmonlee’s interference. Too bad
for Fudler that it was a very poorly planned tactic. The furious
pecking that was intended for the Fire-type was then directed at the
brown kicking specialist, with all three of the bird’s heads getting in
on some beak action. The only thing that saved the brawler from certain
defeat was Houndoom’s Flamethrower. The heated stream of flame engulfed
Dodrio as its trainer began to sweat and twitch. This attack was
interrupted as the bug-looking Electric-type blasted the devilish mutt.
After the shocking strike had run its course, all of the combatants
save Electabuzz showed signs of serious wear. They wore the nicks and
scratches of a heated conflict, and were no longer as fast as they were
earlier in the conflict.
“Finish it! Tri Attack now!”
“Follow that up with Thunderbolt!”
“Hitmonlee! Don’t you dare let that hit you!”
didn’t have to worry about any attacks hitting his Pokémon, but Exinn
did. The female Cipher peon watched in stunned surprise as her normally
agile canine was unable to dodge a one-two punch of long-range attacks
from the girls’ teammates. As Houndoom went down, however, so did
Dodrio. The wily Fighting-type dealt a final, devastating kick to the
bird’s main body. Both Pokémon were called back simultaneously. The
black-haired girl had another Pokéball at the ready. “Bellossom, let’s
dish out the final attack!” she called out as the teen pitched the
sphere into the fray.
The small green Pokémon that emerged wore
a cute smile on its face and two flowers on either side of its head. It
wore a “skirt” consisting of flower petals of bright shades of red and
yellow. With those petals swaying back and forth, it appeared as if the
flowery creature was doing a ballroom-type dance.
pounded its chest and yelled out loudly, a steady bolt of electricity
began flowing between its two antenna tips. Soon enough, the gathered
electricity was condensed into a concentrated shot that was fired off
at the Fighting-type. As the electricity found its target, the short
plant-like Pokémon began spinning around. With its petal-skirt
billowing, the green flower Pokémon began to fire off razor-sharp green
leaves. Hitmonlee extended its right foot and got off a surprise kick
to Electabuzz’s face, but the flurry of leaves from Bellossom did their
work as well, slicing at the brown brawler’s body and causing it to
topple over. As the bruised Hitmonlee slowly rose to its feet, it saw
its opponents prepping another round of assaults. Reacting quickly, it
crouched and extended its leg again, performing a sweeping attack that
tripped up both opposing Pokémon and interrupted their attacks.
“Ha! Now you brats are mine!”
“Don’t think so! Bellossom, charge up the Solarbeam!”
“Back her up, Electabuzz! Keep Hitmonlee busy with Thunderpunch!”
Grass-type could be seen gathering light energy in preparation for its
attack. Hitmonlee made a move to intercept the Pokémon, but was
interrupted with an electrified punch right between the eyes. The brown
Fighting-type knew it had to stop the Solarbeam that was on standby, so
it quickly delivered a roundhouse kick to Electabuzz, knocking it out
of the way. But it was too little, too late. A huge, all-consuming ray
of bright green energy and light came flying right at the stunned foe,
smashing into the Pokémon and sending the fighter hurtling backward
into a tree. Roaring loudly in a fit of rage and jumping about wildly,
the pouting musclehead finally called back his last Pokémon. With the
girls’ two Pokémon glaring at them, the owned Cipher agents had little
choice but to back down.
“Damn! You two are good… But, let’s see you take on the bosses!”
Chapter 33: Shutting Down Thrash's Shop
Once inside the cabin’s lobby, the girls saw that it was completely
empty. But then a steel door behind the reception desk caught their
attention. Both girls made their way through the door and were
presented with a massive chemistry laboratory. Various chemicals were
in beakers and on evaporation dishes, with centrifuges in place to
separate the necessary ingredients and Bunsen burners set up to
synthesize the chemicals into high-value contraband. But as the pair
examined the equipment, no end products were in sight. Suddenly, an
eerie, low-pitched voice startled them.
“Mwofuofuofofofo! I never expected you to make it past my two toughest guards! But your hero act ends here!”
tall, thin man, wearing a tight-fitting gray jumpsuit emerged. His long
gray robe was decorated with purple accents. Atop his head was a huge
purple and silver headdress that arched rearward from his scalp. Purple
lipstick and thin tinted glasses of the same color completed his
bizarre appearance. He pointed both his index fingers in the air as he
tilted his head backward. Accompanying him was a woman who looked very
similar. She wore a floor-length gown of the same purple and gray
pattern as the man’s robe, and her extremely long hair was dyed to
match his headdress.
The man continued, “I am Snattle, and the
great leader of the Thrash Brotherhood has assured me the position of
this region’s Grand Chancellor! And my wife, Abyssa, is also guaranteed
a high-ranking government position in another region! The whole Safari
Zone is my contribution to this great organization! It makes money in
so many ways!”
“My little Snattle-poo is so smart too!” his wife
added as she tickled the odd man’s chin. “We trick trainers with
promises of rare Pokémon to catch, only to give them fake Pokéballs and
fields loaded with ridiculously common rodents! We have a few rare ones
to tempt trainers, but it don’t matter since the Pokéballs are duds!”
boasted, “But my favorite part is the drug operation, which we’ve been
heading up for a good while now! We make our own high grade crack
cocaine and meth in our labs, hide them in Pokémon-like storage units,
and sell the dope to dealers! Only a genius like me could have thought
up such an ingenious plan! Mwofuofofofo!”
“It’s too late,” Shannon responded. “We’ve already alerted the police!”
“Bah!” sneered Abyssa. “It is impossible for you to get a cell phone signal here!”
“Funny, we were getting five bars out there in the park,” said Alexis.
“You bluff! But never mind that, it is time for the final showdown: a battle with Snattle!”
“Jeez, how many times have you used THAT line?”
impressed, Snattle pitched his Pokéball in a sweeping underhand
fashion. “You mock us, but now you shall see our power in battle!
His wife then threw her containment sphere into battle. “Charizard, it’s time!”
Pokémon were orange in color and had the ability to hover above the
ground. One had eight jagged yellow points surrounding its round body,
giving it the look of a sun. Two eyes, almost completely shut, looked
out onto the field. Some sort of invisible power kept it afloat as it
lacked wings. The other creature, however, had obvious wings- big blue
ones. Easily eclipsing its smaller partner, the orange dragon-like
Pokémon viciously swung its flaming tail around as its wings created
some pretty intense winds. It clenched its fists as a loud roar came
from its gaping mouth.
The taller girl shouted, “You two don’t stand a chance! Wartortle, let’s stop these guys!”
Shannon added, “It’s time to play, Ampharos!”
from Alexis’ Pokéball was a blue turtle of medium size. Blue in color,
it had stationary white ears that resembled wings. A huge curly white
tail stuck out from the bottom of its hard brown shell. Standing on its
hind legs, it eyed both enemies closely. Its battling companion was a
tall yellow Pokémon with black stripes on its ears, neck, and tail. Red
orbs on the tail and forehead gave off flashes of light at regular
intervals; in fact its entire tail seemed to light up. Its stubby arms
had no discernible hands or fingers, and its mouth was concealed under
its elongated nose. As it walked toward the opponents, its left arm
began to crackle with electricity before delivering a sucker punch to
Charizard’s light-colored underbelly.
“Solrock, use Sunny Day!”
course… Sunny Day…” muttered Alexis as her shelled blue reptile was
withdrawn before it saw any action. “Kadabra, I’m substituting you!”
The teen unleashed her thin yellow Psychic-type. With its thick tail
waving completely in rhythm with the head of its spoon, the mustached
Pokémon’s eyes began to narrow. The air around its head began to become
distorted as the creature sent a blast of invisible energy right at the
fire dragon’s head. The winged reptile began clutching its head in
pain, and it was easy fodder for an intense bolt of electricity that
descended from the ceiling. As a counterattack, the rocky sun-shaped
Pokémon elevated its heavy body before it came crashing to the floor,
shaking up both yellow opponents.
“These guys are gonna be tough, Lexy. Let’s hammer ‘em one at a time. Ampharos, use Thunderpunch!”
“You got it, girl! Kadabra, give it a piece of your mind! Psychic!”
the hovering sun for the time being, the intelligent Psychic-type
closed its eyes and held its chrome eating utensil in front of its
face. As the spoon’s head bent, the air around the fiery beast’s head
became blurred and distorted. Within that distortion, a wave of energy
could be faintly made out as it converged on Charizard’s skull. The big
Pokémon cried out in pain as the mental assault was doing a number on
The yellow Electric-type took advantage of the
situation, delivering a statically-charged punch to the orange
reptile’s pale-colored gut. Seeing its partner in trouble, Solrock
quickly let loose a beam of lime-green solar energy, blasting the bony
Kadabra with a powerful burst of pain. This gave the winged one time to
shake off the previous attacks. Now angry, smoke billowed out of its
snout as the dragon spit out a gigantic ball of red flame, torching a
surprised Electric-type. Its trainer was equally stunned.
twirling her long black hair, Shannon shouted, “Ampharos, no! Can you
keep battling?” Getting a nod from her still-standing Pokémon, she
continued, “All right, let’s teach Charizard a lesson! Thunderbolt!”
a chance! Use Fire Blast!” ordered the bizarre man’s equally odd wife
as she pointed both index fingers in the air, imitating what her
husband had done before the battle.
As the winged dragon loosed
the five-pointed flame formation, Kadabra teleported itself between the
powerful fire attack and the targeted Electric-type. The quick-moving
Pokémon threw up a protective green bubble, causing the Fire Blast to
further spread out and dissipate, saving both Pokémon from severe
damage. With an opening, Ampharos’ tail began to light up and crackle
with sparks as the Pokémon gathered the energy into one concentrated
bolt. It then shot off the electrical burst of power, striking
Charizard directly and causing the big beast to collapse as Abyssa
began to jump about and yell incoherent gibberish. As the hotheaded
reptile got back to its feet, the sun-shaped Rock-type slammed its hard
pointed body into Kadabra’s much more frail body.
“Thanks for the backup, Lexy. But I think we have to start to take down that Solrock.”
“Leave that to me. You try to cool off Charizard.”
“Solrock! Let us shake things up! Earthquake!”
crystals began to form on the surface of Kadabra’s fist. The wily
yellow creature used its tail as leverage to gain altitude, with its
chilled fist aimed right at the rocky orange body of Solrock. Sending
the pointed Pokémon spiraling out of control, the Psychic spoon-wielder
landed and immediately teleported itself out of the way of an incoming
fireball. Kadabra continued to try to draw Charizard’s attention away
from the Electric-type, who was prepping an attack. Though the
fire-breathing reptile finally succeeded in nailing its brainy
adversary, it soon felt the effects of Ampharos’ perfectly aimed
Thunderbolt. The shock was too much for the creature to endure. But
before it was recalled by its tantrum-throwing trainer, Solrock smashed
its hard body on the ground, shaking up the entire lab. Both of the
girls’ Pokémon lost their balance and fell to the floor, and the teens
themselves struggled to keep on their feet. The tremor had also knocked
some of the lab equipment and glassware to the floor.
get back here! Jynx, get them!” Abyssa’s next Pokémon resembled a very
short young woman – albeit a young woman with prune-colored skin, as
both its face and broad hands were awash in purple. On its face were a
pair of two wide eyes and an even wider mouth dressed up with pink
lipstick. As it moved, its floor-length gown billowed almost as if the
Pokémon was dancing. Its long, blond hair resembled a mullet more than
anything else. The ladylike creature closed its eyes and began to make
kissy faces at its opponents.
“Ohhh… kay… Anyways, let’s give Solrock a nice slicing Iron Tail!”
“Follow that up with Ice Punch!”
the fastest of the bunch, the agile Kadabra prepared its clenched fist
by encasing it in ice, then proceeded to jump up at Solrock from below.
As soon as it landed, though, the clever yellow one found itself in the
embrace of the icy Psychic-type. Before it could Teleport to safety,
Jynx smacked lips with it. Soon enough, Kadabra began to whack itself
upside the head with its own spoon.
After using its tail to
jump up, Ampharos aimed the lighted appendage right at the stony sun.
With the tail glowing a blinding white, the Electric-type nailed a
perfectly executed tail smash to the thick-skinned Pokémon, sending it
crashing to the ground momentarily. Dodging an incoming ray of
crystallized ice, the only non-Psychic-type on the field let loose a
sizzling shot of electricity at its pointy-bodied adversary.
“Solrock, don’t tolerate that! Use Flamethrower and Solarbeam while the sunlight’s still out!”
“And help Solrock out with your Ice Beam!”
the quickest Pokémon still pounding itself in the noggin, the floating
rock creature unleashed a massive trail of flames from between its
eyes, directed at Ampharos. The Electric-type somehow withstood the
powerful blow, before jumping in the air and executing another
razor-sharp Iron Tail strike on its sun-shaped foe. As the yellow
creature landed, an Ice Beam from the blond-haired Pokémon was already
on the way. But Kadabra interjected itself, putting up a wall of
protection and enabling its electric partner to blast Solrock with a
bolt of sparking energy. The embattled Rock-type still had the strength
to fire off a powerful lime-green beam of energy, which was more than
enough to do Ampharos in.
“Uh-oh, I think it’s time for Ampharos to rest! Nidoqueen, I’m calling you in to battle!”
blue creature that emerged stood on its two muscular feet. The beige
areas covering its lower jaw, breasts, and lower torso appeared to be
softer than the Pokémon’s armored blue skin. The horn that sat between
its eyes was short and stubby, but sharp nonetheless. Its wide tail
swayed back and forth as it used its powerful legs to move its hefty
body with surprising speed. Using both tail and feet, Nidoqueen jumped
upward with its tail glowing a bright white color. Slamming it against
Solrock, the tail left a sizeable gash in the Pokémon’s hard orange
“Mwofuofuofofofo! Big mistake, girly! Solrock, unleash the Solarbeam!”
think so,” countered the black-haired girl. “Maybe your glasses are too
purple to notice your sunlight has faded. And it’s also lights out for
you! Iron Tail, now!”
Sure enough, the sun-shaped floating rock
found itself having to take a considerable amount of time to charge up
its attack, giving Nidoqueen ample time to execute a high jump and
deliver a high-powered tail smash to bring down Solrock once and for
all. As the Pokémon crashed to the floor, Kadabra’s fist began to light
on fire as it delivered a fiery strike directly to the face of the
“Solrock, I expect better from you next time! Castform, show ‘em how it’s done! Mwofuofuofofofo!”
next Pokémon sent out was a small round creature. Floating above the
ground, its circular gray form featured two small spherical “nubs”
below its main body. Gazing forward with its beady black eyes, it
didn’t look like too much of a threat. Suddenly, small chunks of ice
began to fall from the ceiling, and Castform underwent a
transformation. Now colored a gray-green color, a flat halo-like
appendage formed above its head. Underneath, it formed even more
ball-like nubs that now made a ring around its entire body. Nidoqueen
and Kadabra both winced as the ice pellets struck and bounced off their
“A weather strategy, huh? Well, let’s take care of business. Fire Punch Jynx, now!” yelled the taller of the two teens.
“Stop them with Weather Ball!” Snattle ordered.
on its feet, the wily Psychic-type jumped right at the other, colder
Psychic-type with its fist ablaze. But Jynx was able to take the heat
and then forced the thin yellow Pokémon back with a chilling ray of
crystallized ice. Kadabra was then blasted with a mysterious ball of
energy that seemingly came from the underside of the hovering weather
manipulator. As Alexis withdrew Kadabra and readied her next Pokémon,
the bulky Poison-type nailed Castform with a downward punch. Only
problem was, the ladylike Pokémon then hammered Nidoqueen with a blast
of mysterious mental energy. The thick-skinned blue Pokémon was in for
more pain as a chilled ball descended on it, further compounding the
damage. Shannon gasped as this carnage unfolded, her eyes as wide open
“Ha! Eat that, losers! Mwofuofuofofofo!” Snattle cackled.
Nidoqueen!” But, once she saw that her tough Pokémon had survived the
double whammy, her worry turned to anger. “All right, let’s teach that
Castform a lesson! Brick Break attack!”
“Wartortle, help out by
keeping Jynx busy with your Bite! Go!” The blond-haired girl
reintroduced her hard-shelled blue reptile into the battle.
Immediately, the watery Pokémon opened its mouth wide and sank its
teeth into the top of the enemy’s mullet. To get Wartortle to release
its toothy grip, Jynx began to slap its underbelly repeatedly with its
wide purple hands. The turtle then released its hold and tucked its
head and limbs into its thick brown shell in an attempt to rebuff some
of the damage. Meanwhile, Nidoqueen had performed another jumping move,
culminating in a punch from above that sent Castform crashing to the
“No! Castform, shut that stupid thing down with Weather Ball!”
Abyssa continued, “Make that lousy turtle thing come out of hiding by hitting it with a Psychic, then move in for the kill!”
the burly blue Pokémon ran toward the weather changing Pokémon, the
latter attempted to stop the charge with its Weather Ball. Though the
frozen sphere struck Nidoqueen right in the gut, the big Poison-type
remained determined and continued its rushing tackle. Though Castform
originally dodged to the right to avoid being sacked like a
quarterback, it was in for another surprise. With its back toward its
opponent, Nidoqueen suddenly unleashed a roundhouse Mega Kick, catching
the hapless foe completely off guard.
“All right! Way to go, Nidoqueen!”
a direct Psychic blast had drawn the blue reptilian Pokémon out of
hiding. Jynx followed up by throwing its entire body weight on the
stunned Water-type. While on top of its victim, the icy Pokémon took
the opportunity to slap the foe in the face a few times before using
its mind to send another barely visible attack to rattle Wartortle. But
the turtle soon went on the offensive, punching the creature right in
its red gown and forcing Jynx off of it. The purple-faced Pokémon was
staggering and swaying quite a bit, which the girls took as being a
sign of exhaustion.
“Good move, Wartortle! We’ve got ‘em on the run!”
The weird Abyssa sulked. “Bah, not even close! Jynx, use an Ice Beam!”
performing some bizarre, intricate hand motions, the icy woman-like
Pokémon generated frozen energy in front of its face before shooting it
off in the form of a crystallized beam. But this time, the charging
Poison-type was able to jump clear of the incoming frozen ray.
Continuing its run toward the opponent, Nidoqueen drove its tail into
its opponent while the appendage was glowing white. Though Castform was
able to knock the attacker aside with one of its Weather Balls, the
watery turtle was ready to pick up where its partner had left off. The
blue reptilian Pokémon drove its white teeth into Jynx’s blond hair
before releasing its grip. For the finishing blow, it landed a swift
kick right to the lips, knocking out the icy opponent for good.
“Damn! Get back here, Jynx! Azumarill, it’s time! Attack!”
to Abyssa’s collection of oddball Pokémon was this bloated blue rabbit
thing. A white bubble pattern adorned its big egg-shaped body. A
zigzag-shaped tail ended in a small blue sphere. Its clueless, vacant
smile and floppy rabbit ears did nothing to make this Pokémon look
threatening in the least. Immediately, the Water-type’s ally began to
shape shift as the falling ice pellets were replaced by a steady
rainfall. Now colored blue with its head encased in a transparent
raindrop-shaped covering, Castform blasted Nidoqueen with a blue energy
sphere, knocking the thick-skinned Pokémon over.
doing the weird pose where she tilted her head back and pointed at the
ceiling, Abyssa announced, “You shall not smite our glorious family
name! Azumarill, use Hydro Pump!”
Her hubby Snattle was also pointing skyward like a man possessed. “It’s time, Castform! Use Thunder on Wartortle!”
“Quickly, throw up a shield with Protect!”
“Nidoqueen, let’s shake things up with Earthquake!”
yellow bolt of lightning shot upward from the upper tip of the
droplet-shaped Pokémon. The shelled Water-type surrounded itself in a
green spherical barrier as its hefty partner jumped into the air. The
electric strike came crashing down on the green shield but failed to
affect the Pokémon inside. Just then, something else came crashing down
as well – Nidoqueen. Its landing resulted in a massive tremor that
shook up both enemies and made them eat ceramic tile and grout – but it
left the protected Wartortle unharmed. Azumarill eventually made its
way back into contention and unleashed a massive beam of water,
smacking right into the big Ground-type. In brilliant flashes of red
light, both Nidoqueen and Castform were called back from the conflict.
Shannon already had her next Pokémon ready to enter the fray. “Nidoqueen, good work! But Starmie can take it from here! Go!”
“Mwofuofuofofofo! Now meet my pride and joy! Lunatone, avenge my honor! Destroy them!”
purple star-shaped Pokémon was summoned on the lab’s floor, standing on
two of its points. The octagonal jewel at its center was surrounded by
a yellow base. The five-pointed Water-type’s central core glimmered in
differing colors depending on what angle it was viewed at. To combat
it, Snattle unleashed another floating Rock Pokémon. This beige
creature was shaped like a crescent moon. Located near the inner
curvature of its body, on either side of the Pokemon, a huge, glaring
red eye was set into a circular cavity. Directly in front of the eye
cavities rested a pointed nose that protruded into the space that was
mostly surrounded by the crescent shape.
“Lunatone, use Psychic attack!”
“Okay, Starmie, let’s try your Thunder!”
heavy rain still dousing the drug lab, the purple star fired off an
electric shot that was aimed skyward. Within moments, that energy came
back down in the form of a sizzling yellow bolt that sent large amounts
of current flowing right through the fat body of the blue rabbit.
Seeing an opening, Wartortle delivered several hard punches and kicks
to the Azumarill’s spongy stomach. The moon-like Pokémon was able to
end the hard-shelled one’s assault by blasting its head with invisible
“Alright, we’re gonna get back at that Lunatone! Flood it out with Water Pulse!”
“You’re not getting anywhere near my hubby’s Pokémon! Azumarill, start Rollout!”
egg-shaped Water-type laid down on its side. With a little help from
Lunatone’s Tackle, it got the ball rolling on its attack, plowing right
into its Water-typed adversary and bowling it over. The turtle did
manage to get a shot of water off before it got sidelined again. But
before Azumarill could get hit number three, Wartortle threw up a
defensive Protect sphere, forcing the floppy-eared foe to end its
rolling assault. Not happy with the rotund blue Pokémon, Starmie sent
it a gift from above – a devastating lightning strike that effectively
crippled the unfortunate water rabbit. Lunatone and Wartortle exchanged
one more round of attacks, with the blue shelled Pokémon hitting the
crescent Pokémon with another shot of water before the hovering rock
ended it with a devastating shot of mental power. Alexis had one final
Pokémon to use; Abyssa was down and out.
“Good work, Wartortle. Get some rest while I… send in Tropius for reinforcements!”
“Snattle, my love, it’s all yours now! Take them down!”
funny-looking purple-lipped man did a strange little dance.
“Mwofuofuofofofo! Not a bad suggestion! Lunatone, Take Down the both of
them, now! Mwofuofuofofofo!”
A towering Pokémon took the field
as the moon Pokémon threw itself toward its star-shaped adversary. The
newcomer, a brown, long-necked dinosaur, had a green leafy covering on
its head and upper torso. A set of massive green leaves sprouted from
its back, waving rapidly and kicking up wind and dust, and possibly
some of the drug residue as well. Mysterious yellow fruit, almost
banana-like in appearance, hung from the upper part of the creature’s
neck, just behind the facial area. Those big leaves seemed to function
as wings, as they were able to lift the plant Pokémon’s four large feet
off the ground.
Immediately, Lunatone finished knocking
Starmie around and came toward the other target. Though it was hit
directly by the rocky moon, Tropius brushed off the attack rather
easily. Both teens knew they had the decisive type advantage, as well
as a two on one edge over the lone opponent.
“Nice try, Snattle, but it’s our turn to throw down! Razor Leaf!”
‘Time to hit the showers, Snattle! Hydro Pump!”
began waving its broad, wing-like green leaves, stirring up a frenzy of
small green foliage. The cutting edge of the emerald-colored
projectiles sliced through the thick rock that made up Lunatone’s body.
Before the moon could react, its star-shaped opponent sent a massive
trail of light blue liquid fury hurtling toward it. The furious rush of
water took the floating Rock-type down, but not for the count. Slowly,
the big beige crescent-shaped Pokémon struggled back into contention.
But the recent onslaught of effective attacks left its normally hard
body severely weakened.
“Arrgh! How dare you two do that to my
magnificent Lunatone! Now we shall make you pay!” Snattle bellowed, his
bespectacled face turning red.
Shannon looked at her fuming
opponent, giving the man a sly smirk. “All right, weirdo, the final
curtain’s about to come calling. Ready, Lexy? Starmie, hit ‘em with a
“I was born ready. Tropius, use Magical Leaf!” Alexis answered.
crescent-shaped rock rammed its hard, tough body into its opponents,
one after another, but the hits weren’t going to deter them. As the
leafy dinosaur began flapping its huge green leaves, a flurry of small
multicolored leaves were created in its wake. At the same time, the
star-shaped creature began gathering large amounts of water, ready to
release liquid fury at any moment. At the same time, Starmie and
Tropius let loose their attacks, overwhelming Lunatone with a battery
of razor-sharp leaves and pressurized water bubbles. The combined
assault was sufficient to bring the spent Lunatone crashing down on the
lab’s floor one last time.
“Duh! No!” Snattle spun 270 degrees
and covered his face with both hands. After remaining in his funny pose
for a few seconds, he finally called his fainted Lunatone from the
floor. Just then, Exinn and Fudler burst into the room. They opened
their mouths to say something, but were tackled by two burly police
officers who took them by complete surprise. Additional officers then
ran into the building, with the muscular Inspector Morgan among them.
“You two, on the ground now!” ordered Morgan, pointing to the odd couple.
“On what charges?” sneered Snattle, as he and his wife were restrained and handcuffed by officers.
“The possession, manufacture, and distribution of illegal substances.”
what proof do you have? Some fairy tale concocted by two little girls.
I assure you, this is nothing but a chemistry camp for high schoolers!”
we shall see what Brutus and Falco have to say about that,” said
Morgan, unleashing a pair of huge orange Arcanine. “These are our two
senior drug-sniffing Pokémon. If even traces of drugs were present here
anytime in the past twenty-four hours, they’ll pick it up.”
immediately, both dogs began barking loudly and pointing their snouts
toward various beakers and other equipment within the lab.
that’s it,” the head police inspector calmly said as both drug-sniffers
returned to their Pokéballs. “Okay, it looks like they’ve cleaned house
pretty well, but I’m sure some trace amounts are still present on this
equipment. We need to carefully catalogue and collect all of the
evidence. Let’s get started; I’ll talk with the girls.”
we’ll never govern the region! But you haven’t seen the last of Snattle
and Abyssa! We shall return!” shouted the funny-looking man as he and
his wife were ushered out of the lab.
Shannon called Morgan’s
attention. “Look at this computer. Looks like they’re using GPS
trackers to monitor their trucks’ locations.”
relay this information to headquarters so they can intercept these
shipments and arrest the drivers. Alexis, Shannon, I want to thank you
again for alerting us to this scheme. We’ve dealt a major blow to the
drug trade in Fourtix. Now, you are friends with Lisa Northwood, am I
“Yes, sir,” answered Alexis.
“She is making her way toward Plum City, a resort city on the ocean.
You might want to meet her there, though it’ll probably take her a
while to get out to that area. I don’t think we need you for anything
else related to the investigation, so you’re free to head out.”
you Inspector,” the girls replied as they finally left the Safari Zone.
As they left, they passed by a group of four dark-skinned men heading
into the complex. One of the men was holding a briefcase, presumably
filled with drug money.
“They’re gonna be in for a big surprise.”
“I think Lisa’s going to be surprised when she hears about our little adventure here.”
As the girls shared a laugh, a Pikachu ran out to greet them.
“Here we go again,” they said in unison.
Chapter 34: Two Epic Rematches: Will Lisa Prevail?
As Reed had suggested, Lisa Northwood had taken a couple days off for
both her Pokémon and herself to relax and rejuvenate. She had taken the
Pokémon for a spa treatment, and treated herself to one as well. She
had strolled through the local Prime Outlets mall at the edge of town,
as well as stocked up on travel supplies at the local Target store. In
fact, she had cleaned out their entire supply of white pantyhose, as
she seemed to go through at least four pairs a week. Lisa had also
finally taken the plunge, buying a TI-89 Titanium graphing calculator
to replace “Lizzie,” her standard TI-89 that had been her partner since
1998, long before her Pokémon training days. But after getting all
teary-eyed at the thought of replacing her first “friend,” she decided
to keep both calculators and promptly named her new one, “Lizzie 2.0.”
in addition to her shopping spree, she had also taken time to train her
Pokémon. In particular, she worked with one of them so it could perfect
a tactic she had seen a foe use in an earlier battle. Today, the
determined challenger wore a variation of her usual outfit. Her beloved
blue floral dress and green button-up cardigan were making a repeat
appearance. Also, her white hat with its purple ribbon and bow was
still situated on top of her head, with her brown hair falling behind
her head except for two locks which were draped over her shoulders.
Instead of a pair of white pantyhose, she had on a pair of cute black
leggings with lace trim adorning the hem on both legs. Besides looking
adorably retro, her new legwear would be more resistant to her bad
habit of pulling and fidgeting with her clothes when nervous.
Lisa’s sister looked no different from last time, wearing the same
schoolgirl outfit she had always worn. The white sweater and red plaid
skirt was one of many identical outfits she had on her. Unfortunately,
the brown-haired Lindsay’s red tights were ripped and soiled and pretty
much on their last legs.
In the clearing, the Gym Leader and his
sibling were waiting for the girls. Reed, wearing his familiar dark
green suit, seemed to be awaiting the teen’s return. His sister, Rose,
the short, blond-haired teenager, once again wore a green floral dress.
hope you’ve gotten enough training and rest in so you will be able to
make this battle different than the last one. Show me what you’re
capable of! Ready, Lisa?”
“Yes, sir, let’s get to it!”
announced, “The gym battle between Arkwood Gym Leader Reed and
challenger Lisa Northwood from Anderson, South Carolina shall begin!
Start round one! Gym Leader Reed, show your Pokémon!”
“Ivysaur, let’s get started!”
called out a green dinosaur-like creature that walked on all fours. On
its back was a closed-up pink flower flanked by broad green leaves. The
creature slowly made its way to the center of the battlefield, with its
flower bud occasionally releasing powder. Its huge red eyes imparted a
look of determination.
“Now, Lisa, reveal your partner!”
“Persian, let us commence our calculations. Come on out!”
lithe, athletic form of Lisa’s graceful beige feline took the field.
With claws at the ready, this cat was ready to pounce. The jewel on her
forehead glowed a brilliant red as Persian stretched her long tail to
“Ivysaur versus Persian, begin!”
“Let’s see what you’ve learned since last time! Okay, Ivysaur, let’s lead with Bullet Seed!”
Lisa observed the round brown seeds as they emerged from the center of
the plant Pokémon’s pink flower, she devised a plan to counter the
high-velocity projectiles. “Persian, move two inches left, then back
right four inches! After that, dart left seven inches, then jump to
avoid the remaining projectiles!”
Executing the series of
evasive maneuvers, the agile feline was able to avoid each and every
seedling that Ivysaur shot at her, and was able to do it in a very
graceful manner, timing each sidestep perfectly before using her hind
legs to launch herself into the air.
While in midair, Lisa commanded, “And now use Aerial Ace!”
“Ivysaur, stop it with Vine Whip!”
pair of slender green vines came flying from deep within the plant’s
foliage on its back. As the two elongated projectiles homed in on the
airborne Persian, the wily kitty successfully batted down both of them
with her claws before descending on the Pokémon itself. With a
perfectly executed swipe, the descending cat caused her leafy foe to
recoil in pain.
“Impressive speed, Lisa. I see now what I need to do to turn the tables. Ivysaur, Sleep Powder!”
“If he puts Persian to sleep, it really will be lights out for us. Can’t let him pull it off!” Aloud, the teen advised her starter, “It’s coming in fast! You’ll need to jump again to avoid it!”
the cloud of spores intently, Persian crouched down, ready to spring up
at the precise moment. But as the smooth-furred Pokémon pulled off her
move to dodge the incoming particles, Reed unveiled his real plan.
“Now, Ivysaur, Vine Whip!”
“No, it was a bluff! Persian, deflect it!”
this time the vines were coming in too fast for the Normal-type to swat
out of its way. Ivysaur successfully tied up Persian, making escape
impossible. The green reptilian Pokémon then took full advantage of the
situation, using the vines to slam its hapless opponent on the ground
several times, all the while with Lisa nervously shaking and grabbing
at her dress and leggings. Making one final move, the plant Pokémon
threw Persian, sending her smacking into a rather large tree, which
made the girl only quiver and fidget with more intensity. “No! Persian!
Please, are you hurt? I’ll call the match if I have to!”
embattled Persian slowly and shakily rose to her feet and scowled at
her flowery adversary, baring her teeth fiercely at the Pokémon that
had just manhandled her.
“Are you sure you’re fine to battle? Okay, I guess we’ll try something long-range… okay, use Shadow Ball!”
“Attack it with Vine Whip!” Reed countered.
her mouth wide, the cat unleashed a sphere of dark matter upon its
opponent. The attack was swift and sure, smacking directly into the
face of Ivysaur and interrupting its attempt to entrap Persian.
“Wow, great job! We might pull through this after all!”
“You’re a crafty young lady, I’ll give you that, but I can be equally as cunning! Now, charge up the Solarbeam!”
work with your last attack, Persian! Let’s end this! Okay, let’s rush
him while he’s still gathering power. Then give it one last Aerial Ace!”
of yellow energy were emerging from the ceiling and clustering on the
tip of the green Pokémon’s flower. As the lanky feline rushed in toward
the stationary Grass-type, Reed suddenly called out, “Now switch into
In a heartbeat,
Ivysaur was able to momentarily stop siphoning energy long enough to
fire off a thin brown seedling. The projectile got itself embedded in
the beige fur of the rushing Persian, and the resulting vines stopped
the Pokémon in its tracks.
“Stop! I call the match!” Lisa
screamed in horror, barely keeping herself from running out to
intercept the beam. But it was too little, too late. She could only
look on as the massive ray of green energy engulfed her struggling
starter Pokémon, leaving it bruised and battered in the aftermath.
“Oh, no! Persian, come back and rest! I’m sorry for letting you down…”
“Oh, no! Don’t worry, sis, it’s only the first round, you can recover!”
“Round one goes to the Gym Leader, Reed! Round two will begin now! Reed, send out your Pokémon!” Rose shouted.
“All right, we’ll try Exeggutor for round two!”
out a strange, low pitched battle cry, a familiar three-headed Pokémon
took the field, still wearing happy-go-lucky expressions on all three
of its coconut-shaped faces. Its torso was very much like a thick brown
tree trunk, though it did have two legs to enable it to walk, however
clumsy it appeared when doing so. The triple heads were blanketed by a
mass of green palm leaves that grew out from the center of the cluster
of yellow coconuts. The leaves and head shook a bit as the Pokémon
Focusing on the challenger, Rose instructed, “Now, Lisa, it’s time to show us your Pokémon!”
“Okay, this equation’s tough, but we’ve still got a few tricks up our sleeves! Metang, we’ll try substituting you!”
a flying saucer with arms, the hovering Metang emitted some mechanical
whirring and clanking noises as its bright red eyes examined its
opponent, clearly doing its pre-battle analysis of its opponent. Its
silver form similar in color to a chrome car bumper, the mechanical
Steel-type pointed one of its arms at its plant-like foe claws
seemingly aimed right at the heads.
“I hope this battle shows more of your skills than the previous one did, Lisa! Start this with Sleep Powder!”
With a sly smile, Lisa replied, “I think it will. Now, use Confusion to turn the tables on it!”
Reed scoffed at this tactic, unimpressed. “Oh, really? You should know that your attack will do little damage to Exeggutor!”
The teenaged challenger merely retained her smile as the action unfolded. “Oh, I KNOW what I’m doing this time, Reed!”
The metallic creature patiently waited for its heavyweight opponent to
unleash its cloud of slumber-inducing powder, then focused its mind on
them, instead of the opposing Pokémon itself. An odd purple aura began
surrounding the hypnotic particles as a mysterious force sent the
entire cluster right back at the Pokémon that had released them. The
walking coconut tree soon stopped in its path as all six eyes on its
three heads began to close. Soon enough, the big brown Pokémon fell to
the ground with a rather loud thud. Snoring contently, Exeggutor looked
quite peaceful. But to Lisa, it also looked quite vulnerable.
did more damage than you expected, didn’t it?” the girl replied smugly,
observing the usually mild-mannered Gym Leader gritting his teeth and
clenching both fists. “Now, Metal Claw at Exeggutor until the cows come
A brilliant white glow formed on the ends of Metang’s
claws as it prepared to have some fun, machine-style. Hovering above
its hapless target, the chrome Pokémon began to do a number on the
Grass-type’s thick brown trunk – or was it its stomach? Slashing,
swiping, jabbing – the Steel-type’s assault was relentless for a good
two minutes – until the pain from its attack finally jolted Exeggutor
from its peaceful slumber. Still lying on the ground, it kicked the
aggressor out of the way before rising to its two feet again. Though it
had managed to get back up, the Pokémon with the big green palm leaves
nonetheless showed clear signs of injury and fatigue. The girl figured
it couldn’t take much more, but she remained on her toes.
“I remember from last time that it’s pretty sturdy… it could still take a few good hits to go down…”
“Exeggutor! Don’t take that from some machine! You are one with nature and therefore we can still win! Leech Seed!”
iron-bodied Pokémon focused its attention toward Reed, staring at the
green-clad man with its mysterious red eyes. Though it visibly showed
no emotion, its trainer figured that her metallic battler was insulted
by that last remark. But then she noticed some familiar seedlings
preparing to take Metang by surprise. “Elevate, now!” she hollered.
drastic action, the shiny mechanical being flew straight up, causing
the Leech Seed to fly under it and land harmlessly on the ground near
Lisa’s gold ballet flats. Seemingly taking great offense to Reed’s
comments, Metang rammed headlong into one of the yellow coconut-heads
of its opponent, actually causing the latter to stagger backward before
landing on the ground. As Exeggutor tried to right itself, its
levitating foe once again gained altitude before hurtling back down to
earth. Its steely claw was basked in white light as it was aimed
directly at the underbelly of the still struggling Grass-type. The
angered machine finally made contact, driving its extended claw deep
into its foe’s gut with the impact made worse by Metang’s accumulated
downward velocity. Somehow, even after a hit that hard, the walking
jungle managed to struggle back into contention.
“Grrr… Your Metang definitely has determination, but so do my Pokémon! Now use Leech Seed!”
“Let’s end this! Metang, do whatever you feel is necessary, but be sure to avoid that Leech Seed!” The girl then mused, “Looks like you said the wrong thing, pal!”
quite following orders, the metallic Pokémon decided instead to
pulverize the Leech Seed, timing itself so that it slammed its steel
arm down directly on the projectile, knocking it to the ground and
causing it to splatter on the grass upon impact. Metang then decided to
give the same treatment to the opponent Pokémon itself, though the
plant creature gave it its all to try to avoid the punishment.
Unfortunately for Exeggutor, its clumsy running was no match for
Metang’s methodical hovering. One clobbering on the head stopped the
pursuit, and four more bonks to the head shut down the coconut-headed
creature for good.
“Exeggutor is unable to continue! Therefore the battle goes to the challenger, Lisa!”
You were great out there, Metang! Return and unwind for a bit.” With
that, the big floating machine disappeared into its tiny ball-shaped
“Exeggutor, you’ve done well, but this time, we’ve been outmatched. Return…”
Lindsay cheered her sister on after seeing her win the second round. “All right! Go, Lisa! Only one more to go!”
“The score is tied, one to one. Round three will determine the victor! Reed, reveal your final Pokémon!”
“Okay, I think Tropius will do the trick! Come on out!”
second grassy dinosaur screeched loudly as it came out to battle, but
this one was significantly larger than its predecessor. With its body
bathed in dark shades of brown and green, this large Pokémon would fit
in perfectly in the jungle. Stretching its long neck upward, the big
creature nonetheless still had plenty of clearance under the huge
greenhouse roof. It was able to gain altitude by using the flat leaves
on its back, flapping them like wings. As it lifted, one of the slender
yellow fruits fell from the bottom of its head, but it still had plenty
of them to spare.
“Lisa, now send out your final Pokémon!”
got it! We’re halfway to the solution! If I use Weezing as my next
formula, we should be able to finish up our calculations! Go!”
much smaller Pokémon than her foe, Weezing could at least float high
enough to meet her opponent at eye level. The gaseous creature’s bored,
half-closed eyes made it difficult to determine her true emotions, but
by the way she was rapidly expanding and shrinking her dual heads, she
appeared to be pumping herself up for this duel. The “skull and
crossbones” warning on her lower body seemed redundant with the toxic
smoke billowing from her body, however.
“Tropius versus Weezing! Begin!” Rose announced the final battle in this series.
“Start ‘em off with a Smokescreen to black out its vision, then use Poison Gas!”
didn’t go as planned, as the huge plant creature could easily see over
the black cloud of smoke. Then again, it did have the effect of
obscuring the two Pokémon from the other’s vision. Tropius tried in
vain to crush its opponent under the weight of its huge feet while
Weezing shot blasts of thin purple gas upwards in hopes of hitting its
foe’s head. Neither tactic was very successful. Seeing that this wasn’t
getting anyone anywhere, Reed commanded, “Tropius! Use Gust to clear
the smoke away!”
A violent whirlwind soon engulfed and dissipated the black fog, leaving both Pokémon visible – without a scratch on either.
“Tropius! Our Grass attacks won’t do us any good! So hit it with Wing Attack!”
Running through options in her mind, Lisa concluded, “If Weezing can just take a bit of damage, that Wing Attack can propel her upwards where she can get a clear shot at the face…” Aloud, the crafty teenager yelled, “Weezing, let the attack hit you from below!”
“Hah! What, are you giving in? Fine then, if it’s a Wing Attack you want, it’s a Wing Attack you’ll get! Do it now!”
the leafy dinosaur prepared a pair of outstretched leaves to smack its
opponent silly, the lightweight toxic orb positioned herself so that
the enemy would have to hit her from below. Tropius happily obliged,
but then realized its blunder, perhaps even before its trainer did. But
the damage was done.
“Now, Weezing, Poison Gas right to the face, and follow up with Sludge Bomb!”
noxious violet cloud blanketed the head of the large Grass-type, and
the beast began coughing in response. This left an easy opening for
another putrid strike, as Weezing was able to hit up Tropius for more
damage by hurling a ball of heavily concentrated sludge at the face.
After a small explosion, the jungle-dwelling reptile found itself in
even more trouble, as now its face was splattered with goop and it was
blinded for the moment.
“Grrr… Tropius! Use your wings to
clean that off, then go up for an Aerial Ace strike! Fly so high that
Weezing can’t catch you!”
“Weezing, that’ll hit you no matter
what, so don’t even waste energy trying to dodge it… just wait for the
hit and then strike back before it gets out of its downward dive!”
the winged plant Pokémon took to the air, its putrid foe did not even
try to pursue it. Once it had gained sufficient altitude, Tropius made
several circles in midair before going into a high-speed dive right
toward Weezing. The latter only rotated her body so that she would be
facing the same direction as her opponent after the hit. When the
Aerial Ace, the dual orb did become a bit disoriented, but quickly
regained her composure and shot off another Sludge Bomb. When the pile
of slime smacked into the back of the Grass-type, it affected its
landing and the dinosaur ended up crashing to the ground. Weezing took
advantage of the situation and sent another ball of toxins toward her
foe. Tropius struggled a bit, but ended up getting back on its four
“Tropius, we’re out of options! We’ll have to cast Sunny Day then hit her with a supercharged Solarbeam! Do it now!”
The girl tried to disguise her sly smirk. “He’s playing right into my hands now! Wait until he gets a taste of the fruits of my training!”
Grass-type let out a shrill shriek, causing the already bright sunlight
to gain even greater intensity, becoming almost blinding. But neither
challenger nor her Pokémon were unnerved. “Now, Weezing, like we
practiced! Fire Blast!”
Lisa had gotten the
idea from Tony’s Muk, and she and her Weezing had worked hard (and
braved multiple explosions) to perfect the technique. By carefully
combining the toxic chemicals within, the purple-bodied Weezing could
generate fire. And now Tropius was going to get a nice taste of it. The
star-shaped formation of fire closed in quickly on a stunned plant
creature, unleashing the full fury of its intense heat on the hapless
dinosaur. Once the smoke had cleared and the sunlight had faded,
Weezing was hovering over the charred body of Tropius, now lying on its
“Tropius is unable to continue. The winner is Lisa Northwood! As the winner of two of three rounds, she has won the gym battle!”
“Yay! Lisa won! Good job, sis! You beat him!” the younger sister congratulated.
tall, blond-haired Gym Leader approached Lisa, his outstretched hand
holding a badge that looked like a daisy. “For your impressive win at
the Arkwood Gym, I present to you the official league Flower Badge. It
has been a pleasure to get to know and battle you. You and your Pokémon
are among the better teams that I have battled. I hope that our paths
“Thank you, sir. I do look forward to the next
time we can get together. And don’t worry; my Pokémon and I will
improve even more. Farewell for now!”
Lisa and her sister waved
to the Grass-type trainer and his sister as they departed the
greenhouse. But outside, a familiar foe was waiting for Lisa.
figured I could ambush you here, Lisa!” announced a disheveled and
bespectacled brown-haired young man. “Perhaps you have forgotten who I
am, but you creamed me at ‘Prime Or Not!’ But now I, Reginald
Fernsworth III, have a new game to play! Prepare yourself to match wits
with me in the most intense battle known to man – ‘The Highways of the
Charlotte, North Carolina Metro Area!’ Get ready to lose!”
although I would have preferred the Anderson-Greenville-Spartanburg
version of this game, I’m up for a battle! Lindsay, remember that
‘Charlotte’s Web’ book you told me about last summer? Now it’s time to
show you what ‘Charlotte’s Web’ SHOULD have been about! All right, now,
I am assuming communities like Rock Hill, Concord, and Mooresville are
“Yes, they are acceptable, Lisa. First question:
Which I-85 exit is closest to the Concord Mills Mall?” started the
young man in the collared white shirt and black pants.
the girl answered, “Easy. Exit 49, which is Speedway Boulevard. Also
the closest exit to Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Now then, in Rock Hill, Dave
Lyle Boulevard is also what South Carolina state highway?”
“SC 122, noob. Which I-85 exit serves Charlotte-Douglas International Airport?”
Thirty-Two, easy enough. But, let’s see if you know this one. What US
Highway used to run through downtown Charlotte, but was recently
truncated north of I-485?”
Chuckling softly, the nerd replied, “US 521, of course. What is unique about the I-485/I-77 interchange?”
off her knowledge of the Queen City’s freeway infrastructure, Lisa
answered, “It’s the only four-level ‘stack’ interchange in the state of
North Carolina. Too easy! Shall we try this? NC state route 73 is named
what at its I-77 interchange at Exit 25?”
“Are you for real? Sam
Furr Road. Now it’s time for a real challenge. In Rock Hill, this road
stretches from Cel-River Road to Oakland Avenue, where it turns into
the main entrance road to the Winthrop campus. What’s it called,
“Eden Terrace. My turn now!” Pointing a finger at the
geek, Lisa queried, “W.T. Harris Boulevard in the northern part of
Charlotte is named for the co-founder of which regional supermarket
“The answer is Harris-Teeter. But now, try this one.
What is the name of the road directly leading into the Carowinds theme
Unhinged, the girl calmly answered, “Avenue of the Carolinas. All right, tough guy, what two I-77 exits serve Mooresville?
a smile full of crooked teeth, Reggie gave his correct response and
next challenge. “Exits 33 and 36. What name does North Carolina State
Route 49 assume as it nears the UNC-Charlotte campus?”
City Boulevard. Yeah, nice try tripping me up there, but it didn’t
work. Try this one on for size. Heading southeast from I-85, exit 6A on
Woodlawn Road, what does its name change into after its intersection
with Selwyn Avenue?
With his knees wobbling and his forehead drenched in sweat, Reggie stuttered, “Um… I know this one… Sharon Amity Road, right?”
answer, fool! The correct response would have been Runnymede Lane.
Check your Charlotte metro map if you don’t believe me!”
After folding out his map, and much to his dismay, the stunned nerd found that his teenage adversary was indeed correct.
“I told you so,” Lisa smugly replied.
it! How the hell am I going to outsmart you?! But, if you think you’ve
seen the last of me, you’re sorely mistaken!” Defeated again, Reggie
trudged off toward his bright red Ford Pinto hatchback. After
backfiring a few times, the ancient relic of a subcompact headed off
for places unknown.
“Well, it wasn’t a math battle, but an enjoyable break nonetheless. Man, that last battle was intense, wasn’t it, Linds?”
be completely honest, sis… NO! Your Gym battle was intense. What you
were just doing- that’s what we normal people call boring! And don’t
tell me – I’d rather not know where your useless knowledge comes from!”
but you’ll never understand the finer points in life – like integral
calculus or the United States System of Interstate and Defense
Highways. Anyway, I think in the next town I’m going to relax a little
bit by taking the GRE exam. If I do well enough, I should be able to
get into a good graduate school. Wait, what am I saying, ‘if?’ This exam is in the bag!”
you’re the only person I know who actually finds exams relaxing! I
mean, you actually celebrated your eleventh birthday by taking the SAT!”
I know. A lot better than my stupid ninth birthday where we went to
that skate park. I actually snuck off and went to a city council
meeting that day! If I recall, they voted on some zoning ordinance for
that plot of land near the I-85/US 176 interchange. But, back on the
topic of the SAT, you know, it really is too bad.”
“What is?” asked her baffled sister.
“Once you get a perfect SAT score, they won’t let you take it again! That test rocked the hizzouse!”
Letting out an exasperated sigh, Lindsay replied, “Only you would say stuff like that, sis. Only you…”
in room 440 of the Quality Inn, it was feeding time for Lisa’s Pokémon.
The girl poured out some high-end gourmet Pokémon food and watched
alongside her Persian as the chaos of feeding time unfolded. Before
even digging into his own food, Sealeo made an attempt to take Metang’s
meal, thinking the Steel-type would just ignore the food as it always
did. But this was gourmet Pokémon food, which was acceptable for a meal
in Metang’s mind. It shoved the ravenous sea lion away from its food
before making its move to dig in. The chromed machine-like creature
lowered its body on top of its food. After a few moments of mechanical
whirring noises, the steely Pokémon lifted its body airborne, with its
food completely gone.
Not deterred, Sealeo would instead get
some of Jolteon’s share. The icy Pokémon’s modus operandi was to slide
over to the Electric-type’s dish, grab some food, then retreat back to
its own feeding station. The lazy spiked Pokémon seemed not to care.
Fast as he was in battle, his dinnertime M.O. was to grab a bite of
food and spend several minutes chewing it down before slovenly making
his way back to his dish, all the while nearly nodding off to sleep
several times. In fact, hefty as he was, Sealeo could usually get three
bites of Jolteon’s food in the time it took the yellow creature to
finish one mouthful. Even so, Jolteon gave up on eating after only half
his food was gone. As the Electric-type took a nap, Sealeo happily
finished off the meal.
Back at his own dish, the big Ice-type
stuck his snout right into the food, making a huge mess and getting
crumbs everywhere. In comparison, Weezing and Vibrava’s eating styles
were more normal, but still somewhat messy. Vibrava in particular was
finding that she couldn’t eat as much at a time since evolving. Though
Persian took her time eating, this was because the cat thoroughly and
painstakingly licked her paws clean after every bite. The prim Pokémon
also took the time to make disapproving scowls at her rude and
uncivilized eating partners. Both cat Pokémon and her teenaged trainer
let out collective sighs as the feeding frenzy continued.
girl took out her PDA, and, after checking her email, proceeded to
check up on one of her favorite websites, occasionally muttering out
bits of information from it. “Okay, so the Quality Inn Merry Acres got
Inn of the Year honors again. Good for them! Okay, checking this… looks
like I have 8,940 points on my account… I still need about three
thousand more for a free night when I get back… since Anderson now
requires twelve thousand points now… okay, I guess I’m set for now.”
Afterward, Lisa left her Pokémon save for the napping Jolteon to remain out of their Pokéballs to let off some steam.
a well-deserved dinner at the local TGI Friday’s, both sisters returned
to the comfort of their fourth-floor hotel room. Once inside, and after
Lisa had called most of the Pokémon back to rest (Persian had already
fallen asleep on the foot of one of the beds, so she decided to leave
her out), the older sister reached into one of the dressers and pulled
out a bright red shopping bag. Handing it to her younger sibling, Lisa
said, “It’s a gift from me to you for sticking with me all this way.
Come on, open it!”
“Sis, if this is a textbook, I swear I’m
gonna…” Lindsay then pulled her surprise out of the bag, revealing a
very cute knee-length dress. Light purple in color, the outfit was
decorated with a blue and green floral print, along with a pastel pink
ribbon that served as a decorative sash, tied into a bow in the back.
“Aww, Lisa, it’s so cute! I love it! Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
her sister answered, “I thought you’d like it! I saw it while I was in
Target, and I thought it would look perfect on you! Almost as pretty as
“Wait, what do you mean, ‘almost?’ Anyway, Lisa, I do
think it looks adorable! You may have weird interests, but you’re still
my sister! Let me try it on real quick, okay?!”
climbed into her bed, being careful not to disturb the sleeping cat
Pokémon. Stretching out on the bed, she relaxed and waited for her
Chapter 35: Partners in (Stopping) Crime!
Their journey already having been delayed a couple days, the Northwood
sisters finally were ready to leave. Grabbing one last quick
continental breakfast from the Quality Inn that had been their home for
the past few days, they proceeded in a southeastern direction along
Route 512. Lisa was clad in her frilly pink floral dress, matched to a
pair of white pantyhose and black heels. Her big white hat rested
comfortably on her head. Lindsay, meanwhile, was wearing the purple
floral-print dress that her sister had bought her during their week’s
hiatus. Forests lined the path off in the distance, but for the most
part, the route was one expansive grassy field. It was not as cold as
it had been in previous weeks; in fact the girls did not need their
jackets for this part of the journey.
A couple hours and about
a dozen defeated wild Poochyena and Pikachu later, the sisters caught
their first glimpse of a human since the friendly Quality Inn clerk
that had checked them out. She was a woman in her early twenties with a
black top and short purple skirt. The tall lady wore a pair of glasses
on her face and had short red hair done up in a bun. The teen
recognized her immediately. It was Lorelei, who was now walking toward
the Northwood siblings.
”Hello, Lisa. Fancy we should meet up again here. But I don’t recall meeting this young lady who’s with you.”
“Hey, Lorelei. This is my little sister, Lindsay. But what brings you here?”
former Elite Four member said, “I’ve gotten word that a Thrash facility
might be around here, but so far I’ve been unable to find it. I’m about
ready to head back…”
“Wait!” called out Lisa, holding up her
right hand. Something had caught her eye. A badly beat up AMC Gremlin,
with its ancient hatchback body consisting of equal parts avocado green
paint, brown rust patches, and gray primer, had turned off of the main
path and down a dirt driveway leading into the forest. Somehow, the
driver looked… familiar, even though the teen had only caught a glimpse
of the figure behind the wheel.
“Change of plans. I’m going to investigate where that car was headed.”
“I’ll come with you. It could be the break I’m looking for.”
“Okay then! Lindsay, I’m not quite sure where around here you can hang out until we get done…”
“There’s a Pokémon Center over there.” Lorelei pointed to the horizon where a Pokémon Center could just be seen.
making sure her sister safely made it inside the building, Lisa was
ready to begin her investigation, with her old ally Lorelei in on the
case. The two females began hiking down the narrow dirt path that the
old hatchback had traversed only minutes earlier.
Stepping gingerly over mud puddles and twigs, Lisa muttered, “Just when I think I can get away with wearing heels…”
“It probably wasn’t a good idea to wear them.”
“Yeah, I know I shouldn’t wear them, but sometimes I just can’t keep myself from wanting to look cute!”
“Sometimes business must take precedence over fashion,” Lorelei muttered with a sigh as she rolled her eyes.
reaching a clearing in the thick undergrowth, the pair were presented
with something that seemed completely out of place. Here, before their
eyes, stood an old, timeworn factory. Its old red brick façade was
crumbling, with ivy growing at least halfway up the walls. Parked off
to the side was the same ugly ‘70’s hatchback that had first alerted
Lisa to this place. They quickly ducked back into the woods upon seeing
a sentry in the red Thrash colors making his rounds. As soon as the
patroller turned the corner and disappeared from sight, the girls
proceeded with the infiltration plan.
Lisa commented, “Those guys are definitely Team Thrash. Looks like we finally found the facility you were looking for.”
“Ah, thank you. This trip wasn’t in vain after all.”
of them headed to the front door, only to find it locked. Lisa took out
her phone and began to make a 911 call to alert the authorities to the
location. Unlike at the lab before, the cell phone signals had no
trouble reaching this location.
“Yes, I would like to report a
location of Thrash activity. It’s this old factory on Route 512. It’s
at the end of a dirt path that cuts through the woods and branches off
from the main route. The path’s not far north of the Pokémon Center.
Okay, thank you.”
Lorelei was quick to notice the electronic
keypad next to the door lever. Lisa examined the device’s mechanism.
“Well, it doesn’t look like we’ll be able to lock-pick our way in.
Let’s try to find a vent.” With that suggestion, the hunt began for a
way inside the facility.
Lorelei looked around before noticing an opening on the right side of the building. “There’s one.”
“All right, let’s get ourselves inside!”
this was an old facility, the ventilation shaft was especially dusty
and dirty. After following a straightforward, linear path, this shaft
led the girls to an exit near the heart of the facility. They had to
jump down from the ceiling. Lorelei landed perfectly; Lisa ended up
slamming right on her rear.
“That was rather less than graceful,” the Ice-type master said, trying hard not to smile.
“Yeah, don’t remind me… OW!”
had landed in an area of the laboratory facing a large pool of water.
But the water was flowing like rapids, quickly gushing from one wall of
the factory to a huge machine positioned on the opposite end of the
“Looks like this place is powered by water, much
like a hydroelectric dam. Which means that we are in the perfect
position to shut down their operation. Get out your Water Pokémon,
we’re sending them in!”
“Okay. Go, Dewgong!” Lorelei took the Pokčball containing her Dewgong and hurled it toward the pool.
from her Pokéball was a white creature. It was a sea lion, but looked
drastically different from Lisa’s own Ice-type. Its body was slim and
slender, with its rear tailfin billowing like a mermaid’s. A short horn
was positioned on its forehead, directly above its eyes.
Sealeo, time for some underwater espionage!” The hefty, mustached blue
sea lion made his appearance, beating his front flippers on the beige
tiled floor. His smooth blue body was accented by patches of white
skin, including a large one underneath his snout.
“I see you’ve trained my Pokémon well,” Lorelei said, observing Sealeo. “But let us get down to business.”
guys, we need you to dive into that water and find a way to destroy
their power generator or plug up the water supply. Whatever they’re
doing here needs to be put to a stop!”
Both Pokémon took the
plunge into the rapidly flowing pool, swimming toward the
infrastructure that was apparently harnessing its energy. The girls ran
along the edge of the pool, but Thrash agents soon spotted them.
“Hey! This area is off limits!” yelled two grunts as they ran across a foot bridge to try to intercept Lisa and Lorelei.
Gun!” commanded both female trainers simultaneously. Both aquatic
Pokémon poked their heads above the water’s surface before spitting out
volleys of shimmering blue liquid, striking both guards directly and
causing them to fall into the pool. The men were victims of the current
as they were swept off further into the facility.
the two Pokémon had spotted something that got their attention. Though
their trainers were too far away to see what it was, the aquatic
creatures figured they had found some sort of switch. Sure enough, as
soon as Dewgong had batted the lever with its rear tail, the groan of
old machinery powering up could be heard as a rusted steel wall
descended from the ceiling, slowly easing itself into place in front of
the huge structure that was collecting the water.
At the same
time, a door on the wall opposite the girls opened, and the water began
flowing out of that opening into a canal that had been dug in order to
collect excessive runoff. As soon as the flowing rapids were diverted
to the alternate route, the factory went pitch black for a few seconds
before the low hum of the emergency generators restored some of the
lights. Having cut the power, the trainers were done in this room.
“Thanks, Dewgong. You may return.”
“Great work, Sealeo! Time to rest up for a bit!” Lisa told her icy Pokémon before calling him back.
pair then headed through the door, but did not get much farther. A
hulking, muscular figure blocked their path. Wearing black workout
shorts and a red tank top, he looked none too happy, with a nasty frown
on his bearded face. The emergency lighting gave off a nice glow off of
his shaved head. “Remember me, Lisa?” he growled, tightly clutching a
large red duffel bag.
“Yeah, you’re that guy Fred from way back
at your training camp. Dude, you look so much better with your helmet
on!” snickered the teen, remembering that last time, Fred was wearing a
black helmet that hid his entire face. Still, his buff physique and
booming voice were unmistakable.
“Never mind my looks! You
shut down our factory’s production, didn’t you? I can’t have you do
that! My position as a Team Thrash admin was already in jeopardy! I’ll
battle you and your friend here, defeat the lot of you, and switch the
water power back on! I’ve been unlucky lately when it comes to battling
teenage girls, but I intend to redeem myself right here!”
“Sorry, pal, but this is the wrong pair of ladies to try to redeem yourself with!”
“If you think you can defeat us, think again, buster!”
“Enough! I, Fred, the Dog Master, shall have none of this! Granbull and Manectric, come forth and fetch your dinner!”
out some weird grunting and barking noises, Fred heaved two of the
classic red and white Pokéballs into battle. It did not go unnoticed by
Lisa that he was not equipped with the Pokéball bazookas. Perhaps he
really was in danger of being demoted to grunt. Not that she cared.
wolf-like Manectric had fur in hues of blue and yellow. Its most
noticeable feature was the yellow fur on the top of its head, which
rose straight up and ended in a distinctive point. It let out a loud
howl before snapping its jaws viciously.
Fred then proceeded to
pull a small, battery operated CD boombox from his bag and began to
play the song, “Who Let the Dogs Out?” at high volume. “I figured I
lost last time ‘cause my dogs didn’t have their motivational fight song
playing! I’m not messing that up this time!” he yelled over the blaring
Both Lisa and Lorelei rolled their eyes. “Yeah, that’s really gonna make a difference…” the teen thought.
“Who is this weirdo? Ah, it matters little. Glalie, let us proceed.”
large crystalline Pokémon took the field. It was essentially one large
face, as it looked at its opponents with clenched teeth and mesmerizing
light blue eyes. The creature hovered above the ground, with two thick
black pointed appendages coming out of the top of its head like a pair
“Then I’ll call out Weezing! Let’s send this clown packing!”
floating several feet above the ground, Weezing proceeded to shrink one
of her dual heads and inflate the other into a spherical shape. Smoke
began pouring out of the holes that dotted her purple, expandable body.
She looked on with half-closed eyes.
“Bite them! Chew them up and spit them out! Arf! Grr! Ruff!” Fred commanded to his two Pokémon while making odd barking sounds.
“Smokescreen and then Smog!”
“Glalie, dodge the attacks, and then use Ice Beam!”
the admin’s two Pokémon came rushing in at their opponents with their
drooling jaws wide open, they were met with thick black smoke that
served to completely befuddle them. In the wake of their opponent’s
blindness, Weezing first unleashed a thick purple fog that lingered
above the cloud of black smoke before eventually descending on the two
Pokémon within that smokescreen. Glalie followed up with an impressive
beam of crystallized ice, followed up by another. The twin Ice Beams
were each aimed at a different opponent and sent both of Fred’s Pokémon
hurtling in different directions. As the two of them struggled to rise
to their feet, the girls saw an opportunity to put them away.
“Give them no quarter! Sludge Bomb on Manectric!” Lisa directed.
Pointing at the struggling purple opponent, Lorelei commanded, “Another Ice Beam on Granbull, Glalie!”
looked on as both of his Pokémon were engulfed in hard-hitting attacks
– from Pokémon owned by teenage girls, who had become the bane of his
“This can’t be happening again! No more stupid games! Granbull, Mega Punch! Manectric, Thunderbolt! Get them!”
time, the meathead’s two partners managed to land their blows. The
electric wolf lit up its toxic opponent with a sizzling blast of
electric sparks, while Granbull delivered a devastating punch right to
“You two all right? Okay then, let’s get these punks!”
“Hahaha! Feel the pain! Thunder and Hyper Beam, now!”
its huge jaw wide, the purple fanged Pokémon unleashed a massive ray of
yellow energy. Meanwhile, its electrically charged partner sent a
single bolt of electricity upwards from the top of its head. Soon, a
massive yellow lightning strike descended from the ceiling, aimed at
the girl’s Pokémon. But both of them managed to take evasive maneuvers
before launching their counterstrikes. The resultant combination of
chilling ice and combustible toxins rendered Manectric helpless,
although apparently Granbull was ready for more. The purple creature
barked loudly as it shivered from the cold.
Pitching out his next Pokéball, he screamed, “Smeargle, use Hyper Beam! You too, Granbull!”
short white Pokémon appeared, looking like a beagle that stood on its
hind legs. On its head was a mysterious appendage that looked for all
the world like a classic painter’s hat. Matching the artist theme, its
long tail, which it held in its right paw, culminated in a paintbrush,
complete with a thick green liquid dripping from it. With a somewhat
vacant look on its face, it aimed its tail at Glalie and Weezing and
launched a powerful energy beam from it, with Granbull matching with an
identical beam from its gaping mouth.
“Weezing, Glalie! Are they okay?”
“Let’s take them down! Sludge Bomb!”
Raising a finger at the bizarre little painter Pokémon, Lorelei commanded, “Glalie, use Sheer Cold!”
thug’s Pokémon were still catching their breath from unleashing their
prior attack, and were easy pickings for this latest assault. This
proved to be the final curtain call for Granbull, as the purple bulldog
staggered around like a suspect at a field sobriety test before finally
falling over. But instead of sending out his next Pokémon, he pulled a
cheap shot. “Smeargle, Explosion!”
The artistic creature began
basking itself in a bright white light before triggering a massive
explosion of light and smoke, the deafening sound and force of the
explosion engulfing the entire room. When the smoke and debris cleared,
no Pokémon was left standing. All that could be heard was the CD
player, still belting out, “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
“Return, Glalie! Go, Crawdaunt!”
“Come back and rest, Weezing! Go, Persian!”
beige cat took the field as she stretched out her lithe body, her
smooth fur shimmering despite the low lighting conditions.
laughed. “What, you think a mangy cat and a lobster dinner are gonna
take down my glorious dogs! What are you, stupid or something?
Houndoom, Mightyena, attack them! Awooooo! Arf! Arf! Arf!”
of these black canine Pokémon were familiar foes. Seemingly staples of
Thrash teams, Houndoom’s demonic appearance was accentuated by curved
horns on its head, a pointed tail, and the skull-like medallion on its
neck. Snapping its orange snout viciously, it readied its lithe, agile
body for attack. Mightyena’s bushy gray tail wagged behind it, as it
howled and looked at its two opponents with its bright red eyes, drool
dripping from its mouth as it anticipated a tasty meal.
“Man, I hope not all dog trainers are this thick-headed…
” Aloud, Lisa gave the instruction, “Ready to strike? Let’s give Mightyena a Body Slam!”
“Crawdaunt, Water Pulse.”
large red crustacean fired off a rippling blast of blue water while the
agile feline jumped in at Mightyena, landing directly on top of it and
knocking the wind out of it. Houndoom was also taken by surprise when
the watery attack bowled it over. As Mightyena got back to its feet,
Lorelei’s Crawdaunt released a shimmering blue Ice Beam from its right
pincer, knocking it back down once again and leaving ice particles on
its gray fur.
“This can’t be happening! Dogs always beat cats! Plus, I’ve got our fight song playing! How are we getting beaten?”
“Lay off the cartoons, pal; I think they’ve warped your mind! Thunderbolt and Slash, now!”
directly at Mightyena, Lorelei did not even need to say a word. Her
Pokémon knew what to do. It dodged an onslaught of Embers fired by the
demonic black canine and rammed right into the other opponent with
pincer extended, sending the wolf-like creature flying backward. The
crayfish sidestepped to the left just as its partner sent a brilliant
yellow spark toward the downed Pokémon. With Mightyena reeling, Lisa’s
Persian then ran toward the opponent and jumped on top of the black
Pokémon as it struggled to get back up. All the while, the other
Pokémon was distracting Houndoom by dodging its fire-based attacks.
“Okay, we’ll split the duties. Lorelei, you finish off Mightyena while I hit Houndoom with some nice watery fury.”
“Right! Ice Beam, followed up with Vicegrip!”
“All right, give it a nice sizzling, electrified Water Pulse!”
“No way!” barked Fred. “Hyper Beam, the both of you!”
Crawdaunt began charging up its Ice Beam, the cat began charging up
electricity as she released a rippling wave of blue liquid. She
followed up with a Thunderbolt directly to the water, causing it to
sizzle and crack with yellow energy as it made its way toward the fiery
canine, who was still charging up its attack. It never got the chance
to send it off, as the combination of electricity and water sent it
airborne and disrupted its attack.
The dark gray wolf did manage
to fire off a huge ray of concentrated yellow energy, but it went wide
right as the crustacean quickly stepped aside before launching its Ice
Beam. This time the chilly move completely encased its target in an icy
prison. The red Water-type walked over to its immobilized foe and
smacked it with its claw. The ice shattered, allowing Crawdaunt to grab
Mightyena by the tail and swing it around a few times before releasing
its grip. This sent the hapless wolf flying directly into a wall,
leaving a dent in its wake.
Mightyena had taken enough damage
and made no attempt to get up. Fred let out more grunting and barking
noises as he called back his fallen creature. The meatheaded thug was
now down to his last Pokémon.
“Arcanine, it’s your turn to fetch a stupid cat! Go! Arf! Arf! Arf! Awooooo!”
fearsome orange dog took the field, fire forming at its mouth. The
beige hair on its face and tail stood up on end, and its tail swayed
back and forth in a rhythmic manner. Snarling and barking, it matched
its owner’s demeanor perfectly.
“Frustration, the both of you! Kill!” ordered the admin.
The lanky Houndoom was lighter on its feet and rushed at the opposition first.
at the black dog with its curved white horns, Lorelei ordered, “Stop
its run with Water Pulse then give it a nice Vicegrip toss!”
rippling stream of water left Houndoom soaked and vulnerable. Like it
had done with Mightyena, the lobster-like creature grabbed the tail of
its foe and threw it aside, sending it flying into its heavier
firebrand partner, knocking both dogs to the floor. Lorelei’s Pokémon
stepped aside as Lisa prepared for attack.
“Water Pulse, then Thunderbolt!”
Persian doused both of Fred’s Pokémon in a torrent of water before
lighting up the two of them with a sizzling blast of electricity. To
compound the damage, Lorelei’s Crawdaunt fired a long-range Water Pulse
that further drenched both dogs. The Arcanine was able to slowly pick
itself back up, but its partner was done for. Houndoom disappeared in a
flash of red light.
“Arcanine’s still soaked. Persian, give it a Thunderbolt followed by Shadow Ball!”
wet fur conducted the electricity especially well. With the current
flowing through its body, the brute was unable to avoid the black
sphere of dark matter hurtling toward it.
Again aiming her finger at her foe, Lorelei yelled, “Vicegrip one more time!”
began to form intense flames at its mouth, then released an incredible
amount of fire condensed in one massive fireball. Lorelei’s Crawdaunt
threw up a protective green barrier to disperse the attack, while Lisa
and her cat darted to the right to avoid the assault. Then, Persian
landed directly on top of the fiery antagonist, knocking it down.
Though the dog did not attempt to get up, it did spit out more flames
at the opposing Pokémon, who each took a glancing blow.
“Alright! Let’s finish this!”
Pokémon rushed at the crippled mutt, claws and pincers bared, before
digging into its thick furry hide. This was the deciding blow, as the
Arcanine’s head slumped down out of complete exhaustion.
stunned look on his face, Fred recalled his downed Pokémon. “This is
impossible! I can’t believe my dogs lost! Fine! Go! Get out of my face!
But, I warn you, as soon as you leave, I will go ahead and switch back
on the main power!”
“I don’t think you’ll be doing that,”
replied a male voice. It belonged to the brawny, mustached police
investigator, Leslie Morgan. He was accompanied by a team of five
officers. “Restrain that man.”
“NO! The legend of Frederick
Tomlin, the Master of Dog Pokémon can’t end like this! It’s not fair!
It’s not!” the man whined as officers put him in handcuffs.
“Thank you for alerting us to this factory, Lisa. And Lorelei. We are glad to have your assistance.”
“No problem at all. Just carrying out League duties.”
am Leslie Morgan, a police inspector charged with investigating Thrash.
My officers and I have done a full sweep of this facility, and we’ve
taken eleven agents into custody. The only room we haven’t checked yet
is the old manager’s office at the end of that hall. I’m guessing the
heads of this operation are in there. We need you two to battle it out
with whoever is in charge here, and we will make arrests once you have
subdued their Pokémon. Our own Pokémon are rather exhausted from having
to battle all of the underlings.”
“You can count on us. Come on, let’s bust the bad guys!”
“Agreed. It is time to take them down.”
two trainers ran down the dark corridor to its very end. On a rotted
old wooden door was a tarnished brass nameplate that read, “Factory
Manager Office.”Next Section ---->