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The Quest for the Legends, now with its ILCOETH revision!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Dragonfree, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. wow, your revised fanfic is awesome, i have read ur old one. the new one is better IMO.
     
  2. Heracross

    Heracross Custom User Title

    This is very good. Lots of description and detail. I can't wait for the next chapter cuz it sounds like there's still a long way to go, and since I never read the original copies this is all new to me. Nice work.:)
     
  3. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    OK, readers, it's chapter five time! I've been working very hard on it, and it's neither more nor less than thirteen pages in Word! What's more, you can probably expect at least eight to ten pages per chapter from now on, unless there's a special case where I really feel like leaving off at some special point.

    I put extra care into the battle scenes, because they both used to be among my weakest points and because I wanted to get a special message along with the wild Pokémon battles: that wild Pokémon are intelligent and not robots, just like trained Pokémon. I believe they came out quite nicely. Some of you might already have seen the first battle in the "Show everybody how much you've improved" thread. Anyway, here we go...





    -------
    RATING

    Violence: Just Pokémon battles, maybe a bit above average on the violence scale.

    Gore: Doubt you'd really call it 'gore', but there's a bit of blood involved.

    Sexuality: None.

    Profanity: One "damn" in there.

    Other: Nothing worth mentioning.
    -------






    Chapter 5: The Lake of Purity

    The hotel was a huge building that appeared to be entirely composed of glass from the outside. To Mark’s pleasant surprise, he found a sign outside it announcing that Pokémon trainers paid half price.

    He walked inside, not sure if Charmander was allowed outside a Pokéball, but just assuming he was. An elderly lady in a blue dress sat by the counter and read the newspaper. Her huge square glasses were on the edge of falling off the tip of her nose.

    “Excuse me,” said Mark. The woman looked up and observed him carefully, eying Charmander.

    “Pokémon trainer?” she asked in a monotone voice.

    “Yeah,” answered Mark.

    “How many nights?” she asked, turning slowly to a computer standing beside her.

    “One to begin with,” Mark said.

    “Your ID number, please?”

    Mark immediately realized that of course, he had forgotten to buy a Pokédex, and what was more, he had never actually read Pokémon Training for Dummies. Feeling stupid, he blushed and said: “Er, I don’t have one yet.”

    “It’s necessary to give your trainer ID before checking in,” said the woman.

    “I’ll go to the Pokémart and buy a Pokédex, then, and come back afterwards,” Mark suggested. The woman nodded and sank back into her newspaper.

    Mark walked outside again, closely followed by Charmander. The clouds were slowly drifting away, predicting a starry night and good weather tomorrow.

    “Well, there’s always something you forget to buy,” Mark sighed. “Charmander, would you like to go into your Pokéball now, or…?”

    “Yeah, maybe, I’m getting tired of walking,” said Charmander, relieved. Mark removed one of the red and white spheres attached to his Pokéball belt, maximized it by pressing the button, and touched Charmander gently with it. He was turned into red energy and drawn into the ball.

    Mark went into the Pokémart, constantly reaching crazily down to check if the Pokéball was still there. He would just have to get used to it, but at the moment it was somehow really discomforting. Reassuring himself that his Pokémon was definitely still inside the Pokéball, Mark walked over to the fourth row of shelves, finding Pokédexes of various shapes, sizes and colors lined there. After a bit of thought, he picked a sapphire blue one with a white back, some red lines and signs for decoration and two flaps to fold in so that it would fit neatly into one’s pocket. After paying almost all of his money left, he exited the shop, unfolded the Pokédex and turned it on.

    “Thank you for choosing Pokédex Advance, Kyogre edition,” said a voice with a British accent as if to test the sound. The screen turned light blue, and then displayed the words “Would you like to start the set-up now?”

    Mark selected ‘Yes’ and pressed A.

    “Please place your right eye in front of the scanner and press A,” the screen now read, with a small picture showing with a red arrow where the scanner was placed – apparently, the Pokédex used the same tool to identify Pokémon as its owner’s iris. Mark held it up to his eye, pressed the button blindly, and as he heard a beep, he removed it, blinked a few times and looked at the screen. It showed the words “MATCHING PATTERN – PLEASE WAIT” for a second, then all sorts of information about him appeared, including his name, home address, date of birth, education, bank account number, and even, to his horror, a school photo which he looked absolutely horrible on.

    “Was I drunk when they took that?” he said to himself with disgust, then looked back at the screen. The information about him had been replaced with a big “Thank you for registering your Pokédex. Your ID number is 0439522166.” Mark pressed A and now it showed the main menu, indicating that he wouldn’t need to do anything else for the set-up.

    Curiously, he selected the option ‘About the Pokédex’. The voice immediately started speaking again.

    “The Pokédex was invented by Professor Samuel Oak of Kanto. Its original purpose was, in Oak’s words, ‘to be an encyclopedia for the trainer to get more information about his or her Pokémon, and to automatically and safely record the data of any undiscovered Pokémon a trainer might see on his or her journey in order to tell fact from fiction when it comes to new Pokémon discoveries’. Since then, all sorts of useful features have been added to the Pokédex’s potential and now it is the only essential tool a Pokémon trainer must have, combining the various devices that have been developed in the different parts of the world for all kinds of Pokémon-related purposes. After Oak retired, the development of the Pokédex was continued by his grandson, Gary Oak, who…”

    Mark decided not to listen to all of it so he pressed B and the voice fell silent. Finally, to register Charmander to his ID number, he held the Pokéball up to the scanner and pressed A.

    “Charmander – lizard Pokémon,” the Pokédex announced. “It is very vulnerable to water; if the flame at the tip of its tail dies, so does this Fire Pokémon.”

    The screen then asked if he would like to view this Pokémon’s stats; he chose ‘No’ and it showed the main menu again, except that now it said ‘1 Pokémon caught’ in the top left corner.

    Mark turned the Pokédex off and walked into the hotel again.

    “Back?” the woman asked, not looking off the newspaper. Mark nodded.

    “So, your ID number?”

    “0437522166,” Mark said after turning his Pokédex on again to check. The woman entered it into the computer.

    “Mark Greenlet?”

    “Yeah,” he answered.

    “You said one night?”

    “Yup,” said Mark cheerfully. The woman handed him a key labeled with the number 387. Assuming that the Pokédex had handled the payment automatically, he walked up some staircases to room 387. It was small, but neat; everything in it was blue except for the walls. Blue bed sheets, blue lamp, blue carpet, blue curtains. He switched the light on.

    Mark flung himself on the bed and sighed, letting his mind flicker across the day’s adventures.

    The Legendary Pokémon, of course, had most of his attention. He had set it as his goal to reach Green town in time to see Chaletwo. If only he could ever know what was up with its similarity to Mewtwo. Mark sighed again.

    Why hadn’t he ever found decent books on the Ouen Legendaries before? And why hadn’t he found that book before?

    His stomach made a loud gurgle to protest this stupid distraction from the bare necessities of life, and Mark rose lazily up.

    “Let’s get ourselves something to eat,” he muttered, knowing that Pokémon could hear the outside world from inside their Pokéballs. He went down to the hotel’s restaurant and Mark ordered a pizza for both him and Charmander to celebrate the first day of their journey after making carefully sure that Pokémon were allowed and that Charmander didn’t mind trying human food.

    “By the way,” Mark asked as they started greedily attacking the pizza, “you never actually answered. Do you want to evolve?”

    “Dunno,” said Charmander as Mark took a sip of his coke. “I’ve heard that Pokémon can go through a huge mental change when they evolve.”

    “Yeah,” said Mark eagerly; this was exactly one of the few things in Pokémonology he found to be very interesting. “It’s because if Pokémon don’t have very defined beliefs and a determined personality, their added power after evolution can result in arrogance, the sudden realization that humans are wimps, and just an overall change in their views on the world. It depends on you, really.”

    “I’m not sure, I don’t want to change mentally… but I want to be strong, and to fly as a Charizard one day.”

    “They say that late evolution helps in these aspects,” Mark commented. “Personality changes are usually biggest in Pokémon that evolve immediately when they can.”

    “Yeah,” said Charmander absent-mindedly, watching a Pidgeotto flying outside the window. “That’s probably best, just evolving when I’m properly ready…”

    He looked at Mark. “I’m a bit nervous, though. What if I just reach level 16, evolve – and turn into a completely different person?” There was worry in his voice.

    “You just need to resist it, you can stop your own evolution without much trouble,” Mark said reassuringly.

    “Yeah,” said Charmander, sounding more comfortable. “You’re probably right.”

    -------

    After they ate, Mark suggested that they would go up to the Lake of Purity and catch some Pokémon. Charmander liked the idea, so they decided on that.

    “Charmander, look around for wild Pokémon too,” Mark said, sending Charmander out of his Pokéball as he walked along the road to the Lake. Tall grass surrounded it in both directions; small bushes poked out of the grass here and there.

    “What’s that?” asked Charmander, pointing. A purple tail, curled up at the end, stuck out between the grass blades to their left.

    “I think it’s a Rattata,” said Mark thoughtfully, “but I don’t really want one, they’re pretty puny…”

    The Rattata seemingly took high offense to this comment, as it immediately leapt out of the grass, baring its fangs.

    Mark had never really liked Rattata, but seeing one in real life, he found it kind of cool-looking. The shiny, bright purple fur of its back blended smoothly into the pure white of its belly, paws and head below the nose. Two long whiskers vibrated on either side of its face, sensing small changes in the air; shimmering red eyes full of determination stared hatefully at his face and then turned to Charmander with a low growl.

    “Rattata!” the Pokémon cried in a high-pitched voice, leaping at Charmander, who quickly swished his tail forward into the purple rat’s face. Smacked sideways with a burn mark on its cheek, the Rattata let out a cry of pain, but nevertheless stood right up again and raced head-first towards Mark’s fire lizard.

    “Dodge!” Mark shouted, suddenly now remembering that he was supposed to be giving his Pokémon orders. Charmander ran to the side, more of instinct than obedience. The Rattata followed angrily, and finally took a well-calculated leap at the lizard’s tail, biting it firmly.

    “Charmander, try scratching it,” Mark suggested, Charmander already raising his claws. With an angry “Mander!”, he slashed the Rattata across the face.

    “Raaat!” screeched the rat Pokémon, stepping a bit backwards as it started to wag its tail rhythmically. Charmander’s eyes followed the curled tail end; left, right, left, right…

    “Don’t be distracted by it, it’s trying to catch you off guard!” Mark called. It was too late, though; the Rattata leapt at Charmander with a triumphant battle cry and tackled him to the ground. Growling, Charmander slammed his tail flame into the Rattata’s face again; he was still too inexperienced to use proper fire attacks, but the fire on his tail tip was always there. The rat Pokémon screamed in pain, but then retreated into the tall grass.

    Mark shrugged. “Well, I didn’t want to catch it, anyway. At least, you did great, Charmander.”

    He said the last words in an attempt to sound cheerful, but he couldn’t help thinking that his own part in this battle wasn’t big.

    -------

    When they arrived at the Lake of Purity, they found that it was crowded by tourists and trainers. Pokémon battles were going on all around; noisy Pokémon cries and their trainers’ shouts filled the air.

    A huge tourist information sign was positioned near the lake itself. Mark walked up to it, recalling Charmander into his Pokéball in fear of somebody tripping over him or something.

    The sign told some useless facts about the Lake of Purity, like its size and how there were no rivers in or out of it – and then, the legend behind its purity, which was the only thing Mark was really interested in on it.

    It was far longer than it had to be; it was basically an extremely dramatic description of how Suicune had saved the city, which was small then, by cleaning the lake and banishing the Gyarados that terrorized it. Since then, Suicune had raced all the way from Johto to purify the lake every night.

    Mark realized that he had an extremely broad grin on his face and quickly told it to look normal. He looked back at the text. Below the legend, there were a few words that seemed especially directed at him:

    WARNING: Legendary Pokémon possess power that no human could dream of and should never be attacked, provoked or even approached. Travelers are advised to leave the Lake before nightfall.

    The warning, of course, wasn’t likely to convince many foolish people like Mark that trying to see Suicune wasn’t worth the risk. Much more effective, however, were the “Missing” reports below, telling the reader of people who had seemingly just vanished into thin air near the Lake of Purity at nighttime, the only trace being a bit of red on the dried grass blades on the bank the next day.

    Mark quickly decided he could just see Suicune sometime later and turned away from the sign. The crowd was thinning, so he had some space now. Mark threw Charmander’s Pokéball to the ground and it popped open, releasing Charmander in a shower of red light before bouncing right back into his hand.

    “Should we go into the tall grass?” Charmander asked, pointing at a patch of grass near the left side of the lake.

    “No, I think we should try in the trees over there,” said Mark, looking towards the right. Charmander shrugged.

    They walked over to the trees and Mark picked up a small rock. Not bothering to aim very carefully, he threw it towards the nearest tree-top. Disappearing into the denseness of leaves and branches, the rock apparently angered one of the inhabitants of the tree; an annoyed chirp of “Pidgeoooott!” was heard as a streak of brown and crème shot upwards and then dived down towards Charmander.

    “Uh oh,” Mark muttered before issuing his command: “Charmander, dodge!”

    The fire lizard attempted to duck, but the bird Pokémon grabbed him with its talons and took off into the sky.

    “Hey!” Mark shouted. “Let go off my Charmander!”

    The Pidgeotto grinned devilishly and flew over the lake, threatening in very clear sign language to drop the petrified Fire Pokémon into the water.

    Mark knew that the pigeon wouldn’t dare breaking the Agreement by murdering a trainer’s Pokémon, but he didn’t like being taunted in this way at all. His hand moved towards Charmander’s ball.

    “Pidgeotto,” he announced loudly, “come back here and face me like a Pokémon!”

    The Pidgeotto made a rude sign at him, at the same time emphasizing its false threat by releasing one claw off Charmander, who winced.

    “You asked for it,” Mark sighed, holding out the Pokéball and recalling Charmander into it before sending him back out with both feet on the ground. The Pidgeotto dived at Charmander again, but the lizard took both Mark and his opponent by surprise when he opened his mouth and released a cloud of silky flames which engulfed the unsuspecting bird Pokémon before it managed to turn. The pigeon’s scream of pain died down quickly as it fell to the ground with a thump, scorched black.

    “Whoa, nice Ember,” Mark congratulated his Pokémon. “Good job, Charmander. Only too bad I didn’t get to catch it.”

    “Sorry,” said Charmander apologetically, sounding somewhat confused at the same time. “I didn’t even know I could do that…”

    “Yeah, seems like you’ve reached level seven,” Mark explained. “Charmander learn Ember around that point.”

    “Hey, look,” said Charmander, pointing. A yellow armadillo Pokémon with shiny scales was watching them curiously from a safe distance.

    “Cool, a Sandshrew,” Mark said, his expression brightening up. “Ground types are always useful, I’m going to try and catch it. Charmander, attack!”

    They ran towards the Sandshrew. It curled up into a tight ball from instinct before the jet of flames Charmander fired from his mouth reached it, and the tough scales mostly repelled the heat. It showed no intentions of uncurling afterwards.

    “I guess I’ll have to resort right to the ball now,” said Mark, rather loudly in order for the Sandshrew to hear him well, and then took out a Pokéball. He paused, waiting for reactions, but when there were none, he hurled the ball at the armadillo Pokémon.

    The sphere hit the yellow, scaly ball, opened around the middle and the Sandshrew was transformed into pure energy before being drawn into the ball in a beam of red light.

    The ball fell to the ground. First it was still, then the button glowed blue as the ball slowly started rocking to the sides. Mark watched it intensely, clenching his fists automatically as to telepathically prevent the ball from opening again. Gradually, the ball slowed down as the blue light on the button was fading…

    The ball suddenly took a sharp twitch, its two halves separating again as Mark disappointedly watched the Sandshrew materialize on the ground. The armadillo Pokémon growled unsurely, realizing that just curling up and waiting was the worse option.

    “Ember!” Mark ordered. Immediately, Charmander leapt forward and blasted a jet of flames from his mouth, which hit the Sandshrew before it managed to curl up again. Screaming, the Pokémon stumbled backwards and fell over.

    “Let’s see how well you break out of Pokéballs after that,” Mark said, taking out a second ball and throwing it. As it hit the Sandshrew, the Pokémon was absorbed into the ball in the form of red energy before the two halves of the Pokéball closed tightly.

    The ball fell to the ground and for the second time, Mark watched the button light up as the ball wobbled harshly in the grass. After a few seconds of fighting between the armadillo and the metallic sphere, the ball claimed victory; the blue light faded away and the Pokéball stilled with a ping, confirming Mark’s first Pokémon capture.

    “Wow,” Mark breathed after a few seconds of silence, walking slowly towards the Pokéball and picking it up. The smooth, cold surface of the metallic sphere was wet, the grass it lay in still being covered in water after the earlier downpour. Mark got a creepy feeling when touching it; he actually felt that there was a Pokémon inside it.

    He slowly took out his Pokédex and pointed the scanner at the Pokéball. Pressing a button, the Pokédex started speaking:

    “Sandshrew – mouse Pokémon. It likes curling up into a ball for protection; its rock-hard scales can repel almost any physical attack. It is also an extremely fast digger.”

    Again, the Pokédex offered Mark the option of viewing the Pokémon’s stats. This time he chose ‘Yes’. The screen immediately showed detailed information about his new partner; it was a young male, level nine; it even announced that he had a careful nature.

    “Sandshrew, go!” he shouted, tossing the ball forward. It burst open as it hit the ground and bounced back into his hand as his newly-captured Ground Pokémon formed from a red beam where the ball had landed.

    “Shrew?” asked the Pokémon, confused, scratching its head. Mark was going to introduce him to Charmander when he felt a finger tap his shoulder.

    “Hey,” said a voice. He jumped, turning around. Sandshrew and Charmander looked around too.

    It was a girl, probably around his age. Her most attention-catching feature was her long, blue hair; at the moment she had it tied in two weird ponytails which somehow stuck forward and outwards from her face. Her face looked rather plain, although she had an annoyed expression Mark sincerely hoped he had no part in. A dark blue sweater was visible beneath a white jacket; white shorts with an old-looking Pokéball belt covered her otherwise bare legs down to the knees.

    “What are you staring at me for?” asked the girl, rather rudely. Mark felt idiotic.

    “Erm… what was it you wanted?”

    “A Pokémon battle,” said the girl like it was the most obvious thing in the world, plucking one of the two balls from her belt. Mark felt rather confident; he had a level nine Pokémon after all.

    “Two on two?” Mark questioned, nodding towards his companions.

    “I’d prefer one on one, actually,” said the girl, smiling the oddest smile Mark had ever seen. On her mouth’s behalf, it was a normal smile, but her eyes had a glint of something between evilness, confidence and the kind of glint he usually got when he thought about Legendary Pokémon.

    “Hey, wait,” said Mark, looking at Charmander and Sandshrew, “this isn’t fair. You’ve seen both of my Pokémon, but I haven’t seen either of yours.”

    “Fine with me,” said the girl, shrugging, as she grabbed her two Pokéballs, maximized them into either hand and threw them both to the ground. Two Pokémon formed in a flash of red light.

    One was a huge butterfly, with a wingspan of around one meter. Its body was dark blue with a tint of purple; two bright red, compound eyes almost covered the top of the head, but the mouth was light blue with two miniscule fangs in it. In the same shade of light blue were two tiny arms and long feet. Broad, silkily whitish-transparent wings fluttered in the breeze; a fine system of dark veins covered their delicate surface.

    The other Pokémon was a giant, metallic vulture; it stood considerably taller than its trainer on two narrow, yet powerful-looking legs. Talons that looked like they could crush bones to dust with little effort dug into the ground. It all shone in various shades of gray except for the bright red, peculiar, sword-like wing feathers. A long, sharp beak extended from its pointed head.

    Mark felt even more confident seeing the girl’s Pokémon. Both her Butterfree and Skarmory were vulnerable to fire attacks, so Charmander should beat whichever Pokémon she chose.

    “Sandshrew, come back,” he said, holding out Sandshrew’s Pokéball and pressing the button. A red beam shot out of it, hitting the armadillo so that he dissolved into red light, and shot back into the ball.

    The girl examined Charmander, and not taking her eyes off him, she took out one of her Pokéballs and returned her Butterfree into it. The two Pokémon left took their places and nodded towards each other.

    “Skarmory, fly up!” commanded the girl loudly, suddenly speaking very fast and basically in a completely different tone of voice.

    “Skaaaa!” screeched the vulture in a high-pitched, raspy voice before it clumsily took off from the ground. As it ascended, it gained better control of its flight and then rather gracefully circled above its trainer’s head, watching Charmander.

    “Man, are you slow?” said the girl impatiently. “Stop staring at Skarmory like that.”

    Mark blushed, envying the girl of being able to focus properly on the battle; he was too fascinated by the Pokémon themselves to concentrate.

    “Uh, Ember!”

    Before Charmander could do anything, the girl grinned devilishly. “I doubt anything less than a Flamethrower is going to hit Skarmory up there, you know.”

    Mark slapped his forehead and took a deep breath. Why couldn’t he just think for once? That girl had probably paid more attention in each Battling Strategies class than he had ever done counting all of them together.

    “Skarmory, peck it and then pull up, quickly!” the girl ordered. The steel bird obeyed instantly, swooping down at the fire lizard. Charmander automatically released a small cloud of flames from his mouth, but the Skarmory dodged the fire skillfully without much trouble and then jabbed its long beak into Charmander’s stomach before shooting upwards again. The lizard tumbled over, almost setting fire to the grass but quickly stomping on it to put it out as he rose up again with difficulty.

    “No, wait, Charmander – try lying low, and then the Skarmory can’t get to you without crashing!” said Mark, getting a strategic idea. The girl smiled triumphantly as Charmander crouched down.

    “I hope you will remember from now on that you should always take into account the possibility of TM moves,” she announced before ordering in the Pokémon battle voice: “Swift!”

    “Ska-a-a!” the steel vulture cried, flying high above Charmander and releasing a flurry of small, sharp metallic feathers from its body. Charmander was bombarded by them, getting cuts all over his back. Moaning, the lizard attempted to stand up, but failed. Mark felt terribly sorry for him, but he found a certain determination that made him want to at least try as hard as he could in his first trainer battle.

    “I can keep this up for however long you like,” said the girl calmly as her Skarmory released another blast of razor-sharp feathers. “You can just as well give up.”

    Mark shook his head, not liking this girl at all.

    The girl sighed, rolling her eyes. “Another Swift, then.”

    Her Skarmory nodded loyally, preparing to shake off more steel feathers. Mark opened his mouth, just to say something, got a sudden idea and blurted out as quickly as he could:

    “Melt them!”

    Charmander used his last strength to lift his head; he spewed a cloud of flames upwards, enveloping the feathers, and for a moment, it seemed like Mark’s plan was working.

    Then, white-hot, but not melted, the feathers all fell through the fire, visibly tearing up Charmander’s flesh like knives. He cringed in pain; Mark looked down, unable to watch what terrible torturing he was putting his friend through.

    “You think a small Charmander’s Ember is hot enough to melt Skarmory feathers?” asked the girl, raising her right eyebrow. “Man, you need to study.”

    No words were necessary; Mark just silently recalled the badly cut Charmander into his Pokéball, accepting defeat.

    “Well – anyway, I’ve got loads of training to do now, I’m planning to challenge the Gym leader tomorrow…” said the girl, recalling her Skarmory – as Mark noted especially – without any compliments at all. She looked at him as if wondering if it would be appropriate to say goodbye, but then just turned swiftly around and hurried towards the city.

    “What level is that Skarmory of yours, anyway?” Mark called after her.

    “Seven,” she shouted back, disappearing behind a hill.

    Mark stared, feeling more than ever that he was completely lousy.

    He sent out Charmander, who was still bleeding, and took one of the Potion bottles from his bag. Carefully, he sprayed it on the lizard’s scratched skin, muttering constantly about how extremely sorry he was. The wounds slowly started to close right before his eyes.

    “This feels good,” Charmander said in relief. “Kinda tickling, but cooling and pain-easing. And pain is an inevitable result of any battling, so don’t worry about it.”

    After a few more seconds, there were barely any traces of the cuts left. Mark looked up to find that he was alone with Charmander.

    The clouds in the west were blood red, but it quickly faded into the purple and finally dark blue of the evening sky.

    I shouldn’t be here, Mark immediately thought, glancing at the missing reports on the tourist information sign and imagining his photo and name on it. Panicking, he looked at the lake.

    The air chilled as a graceful, dark blue shadow rushed out from the forest to the right. The elegant, catlike shape stopped at the bank of the lake, to be illuminated by the moonlight which now flowed out after a cloud passed above.

    The head, which now was to Mark’s horror staring straight at him, belonged to a darkish blue feline. White, diamond-shaped spots covered the slender body. A crown-like crystal shape grew backwards out of its head. Two long, pearly white ribbons floated in mid-air by its sides, rippling gracefully like the ocean’s waves. A long purple cloak which appeared to sprout from the base of its neck moved in similar soft waves.

    “Suicune,” Mark whispered, forgetting all about the missing reports; all that mattered was that he was right now looking at a Legendary with his own eyes. By his side, Charmander also stared, stunned, at the Legendary Pokémon.

    That one moment seemed to last for hours. Then Suicune did what Mark could’ve sworn was a small bow or nod, and then a white paw carefully touched the water’s surface. Instantly, Mark saw the purification spread out with the ripples. As suddenly as it had come, the graceful Pokémon sped back into the woods.

    At that exact moment, a much more terrifying shape rose from the lake.

    A dark blue, scaly monster or dragon, rising high above them, staring at Mark with terrifying, red eyes with the whites visible all around them, and a gaping, fanged mouth…

    The Gyarados’ roar drowned Mark and Charmander’s screams, but as Mark was preparing to turn away, he quite clearly heard English coming from the monster:

    “No! Don’t leave!”

    The Gyarados’ voice sounded desperate, almost terrified.

    “You – you can speak human?” Mark croaked.

    “Yes, but that’s irrelevant. What matters is that you stay here, understand?”

    Mark slowly came a few steps forward, blindly obeying the beast without thinking about the possible consequences.

    “No, don’t come so near.”

    He stopped, confused.

    “Step back!” the Gyarados ordered.

    “Why?” Mark asked, puzzled and terrified at the same time.

    “DON’T TEMPT ME!” the monster hissed.

    Figuring that at least he could barely be worse off that way, Mark took three steps backwards.

    “Tempt you how?”

    “I don’t want to lose you like the others before I even started explaining myself.”

    “What others?” Mark asked, nevertheless having a strong feeling about who they were. The Gyarados didn’t answer; just jerked its head towards the tourist information sign with a pained expression. Mark felt sick.

    “Look, that doesn’t matter now. The only thing that matters is getting me out of this place.”

    “What…”

    “I need to get out of Suicune’s reach!”

    “Suicune’s?”

    “SUICUNE IS A DAMN MURDERER!”

    Mark was convinced that this Gyarados belonged in an insane asylum. “I don’t understand…”

    “It doesn’t matter! What you do is catch me and get me to a Pokémon center. You must not tell anybody where you found me. You must never mention what happened here to anybody. If you just do that, I will serve you with all my might forever. Agreed?”

    “But…”

    “There’s no time for questions!” the Gyarados hissed. “Just do it!”

    Mark backed away.

    “PLEASE!” The giant sea monster lowered its head to the bank with a few odd coughs, then looked up again, its eyes full of water. “Please…”

    Mark stared open-mouthed at this turn of events. They were likely to be crocodile tears, of course, but the desperate tone in the Gyarados’ voice throughout the conversation made them look a lot more real.

    After all, it could barely hurt…

    “O – okay…” Mark said doubtfully, taking out a Pokéball and throwing it as well as he could at the sea serpent’s body. All of its gigantic shape was transformed into bright red energy which was then sucked into the ball as it bounced back to land on the bank. The ball didn’t wobble; the monster wasn’t showing any resistance at all. Instead the button’s blue glow immediately faded away and the ball pinged.

    He carefully walked over to the ball like the Gyarados could suddenly burst out of it, then bent down and had to collect his courage before touching it.

    He turned around, to Charmander.

    “Incredible, isn’t it, how such a large Pokémon can fit into such a small ball?”

    Charmander looked puzzled. “Uh, now that you mention it,” he answered, “yeah, it’s kind of weird. Why are you suddenly asking about that?”

    “It’s just…” Mark paused, trying to think of the right words for how weird he felt knowing he was holding a huge monster in his hands. “Oh, let’s just go down and get him to a Pokémon center. Or her? Wait…”

    He took his Pokédex out of the side pocket of his pack and pointed it at the Pokéball.

    “Gyarados – atrocious Pokémon. Evolving from the weak Magikarp, Gyarados are known to sink ships on occasions. They are among the Pokémon that have dragon-like powers but do not have the genetical structure of a true Dragon Pokémon.”

    The statistics appeared on the screen upon Mark’s command.

    “OK, it’s a he, at least. Level 20… I’ll probably crush the Cleanwater City Gym with him…”

    “Are you sure? The guy uses Legendary Pokémon, remember…”

    Mark shrugged. “Perhaps. But Gyarados is a strong Pokémon, and… holy Miltank!”

    “What?” asked Charmander, seeing that what shocked Mark so much was something the Pokédex said, and he wasn’t tall enough to see the screen.

    “Just look at those stats! They’re much higher than what an average Gyarados is supposed to have. And look at this picture of a typical Gyarados – if you compare the color of the armor to the one I just caught, mine is much darker…”

    “Odd,” said Charmander simply, not that interested. “Shouldn’t we go down to town and get Gyarados healed like he asked?”

    Mark just shrugged, still with his mind on Gyarados’ odd qualities.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004
  4. Daatingu

    Daatingu Guest

    Great stuff Dragonfree. I cant believe more people arent replying. Anyway, I can tell that you really worked hard on this one. It really shows. I enjoyed it. Description was fantastic. Especially that of the pokemon. Very vivid. Very real. Length was a huge step up from some of the previous chapters. Great job. There was only one thing that struck me as sort of strange. Its not even a mistake.

    It was kind of odd that Charmander refreed to himself as a person. I kind of liked it. These are the kind of small touches that make a Fic great. Great work! Another thing, please excuse my lack of apostropies. As the keyboards down here dont have them.
     
  5. Evanarios

    Evanarios ...yep

    Good thing Beau posted, or I wouldn't have noticed you posted the next chapter... Anyway,

    I love it! The description was excellent, including the length. One of the greatest things of the Fan-Fiction is the Flow, it was Awesome. How you formed everything was great also, Anyway I like the idea also... Keep it up!

    Good ay!

    ~Evanarios
     
  6. soxs mewtwo

    soxs mewtwo Guest

    whats those new pokemon imeen u could have just used the ones that are all ready here but i do like the story save for a talking charmander
     
  7. bird1111

    bird1111 Well-Known Member

    Wow, this is much better then the old one, and I liked the old one a ton at that, so next chatper as soon as possible
     
  8. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    What's with those new Pokémon in Hoenn and Johto, I mean, they could have just used the ones that were already there. -_-;;;;

    There are new Pokémon because this is a new region and so far, every new region has had Pokémon that were unique to it (except Orre, but there are no wild Pokémon in there at all so that doesn't count). I couldn't have used the ones that were already there, because just what would all the other Legendaries suddenly be doing in Ouen? Besides the fact that there isn't any Pokémon already that can kill by looking at things but is the Guardian of Life so it doesn't. The only time-traveling Pokémon is Celebi, which would not serve Chalenor or Chaletwo's purpose at all. I made Suicune clean the lake because otherwise I'd have to make up a Pokémon with the same purification abilities as Suicune.

    And THERE IS NO TALKING CHARMANDER! If you had read it a bit more carefully, you'd have noticed that Mark learned Pokémon language at school, as everybody does in this story (it happens just about twenty-five years after the Pokémon animé). It would simply be irritating to write "Char charmander" and then note its meaning after it. The only "talking" Pokémon in this story are Gyarados, who has a very good reason to that will be explained later, and then two that haven't appeared yet and also have very good reasons to speak human.

    If you mean that you don't like reading what the Pokémon are saying and having them participate in human conversations, I would advise you to leave, since all in all the Pokémon in this fic talk more than the humans and about much more interesting things.
     
  9. surskitty

    surskitty Guest

    Dragonfree, this is great. I liked the UMR version somewhat, but the main things that kept me reading the earlier chapters were:
    1. Because I heard it was good later on
    2. Because I had been reading every single Pokemon fanfiction that didn't involve shippings that I could find.

    This is soooo much better than the UMR.
     
  10. I think Gyarados is EVIL.

    __________________________
    Read Impossible Impostor! Rayquaza in Hiding!
     
  11. ~Dew~

    ~Dew~ Guest

    I've been reading the prologue and most from the two first chapters and I must say that I'm impressed(and it takes a lot of efford to make me impressed about Pokémon fanfics)! Your story is very interesting and original, as yourself in person.

    I looked at your location and found out that you live on Iceland. Or at least, if you were being serious about your location. I myself live in Sweden, so hello neighbour! ;) And I can't believe your english is that good even though you're one year younger than me. Not that I'm telling you I'm good at english, I sure have lots of gramma errors and stuff.

    Anyway, I'm also writing a story, in swedish(duh), and I would love if I could translate it to english since there aren't many people over here that likes PKMN anymore.. Which is very depressing cause I(like you) have a very unusual and darker story and I really want to show my work to anyone. Actually I'm kinda proud of the idea I came up with.

    The thing about that people learn the Pokémon language sure is very clever! I was just sick of typing "Bulba, Bulbasaur!" all the time..You've given me tons of inspiration about that! Thank you!

    *Looks at clock* My god, it's 02:24 AM over here! Gotta go to sleeeep..very well, I will read more of your wonderful fanfic later on. Cause this is truly a masterpiece in PKMN fanfics. Keep up the good work!

    ~ Dew
     
  12. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Trancel and Mo: That was kinda spamish. At least, Gyarados is definitely odd, no question about that, but is he actually evil? What's up with him? Why does he hate Suicune so much? Find out in a future chapter...

    ~Dew~: Yes, I was being serious about my location, and best greetings, neighbour. Unfortunately I don't know anything interesting to say in Swedish, but meh. I will read your story if you do translate and post it (if I remember). Glad you like the fic, and even happier that I've been of inspiration to you. :)
     
  13. ~Dew~

    ~Dew~ Guest

    I saw that you had responded and I just had to reply before I go to bed :p

    Well, my story would take me years to translate since I'm that kind of person who adds details in my writing. LOTS of details. And yet again I don't want it to sound plain when I'm translating cause my english langauge isn't that "colorful".
    A hint about my idea though is that this is about two different worlds. Our world and the other world. And the rest you can never even imagine..Okay, now I'm starting to sound like I'm bragging..-.-'

    Anyway, best wishes to your fanfic in the future! ^^

    ~ Dew
     
  14. Elementy

    Elementy ROSE.FTW.

    I think your Fan-fic is really good. I love how you made Mark "learn" the Pokemon languge. You decrribed the battle scenes very well too. i aslo liked how you made Mark's parents not wanty him to go on a pokemon journey. (It sounds like my parents... XD ) Your story flowed very well, and is VERY creaitve..
    I have been inspired by you to make my Fan Fic even better. Compared to yours, it is horrible.. can't wait for the next chapters.

    Can you post the link to your not revised Fan fic? I want to read it..... Thankies
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2004
  15. Oh man, I obviously haven't come to the fanfiction side of the forum for too long. If it weren't for the update mentioned in your sig I wouldn't have realised you'd posted the new chapters at all!

    Anyway, it's amazing how a rewrite can change a story, this version reads so differently from the old it's stunning. You've obviously put truckloads of effort into making this fic better while still keeping your philosophical/informative tone throughout. I liked the Kyogre edition Pokedex, it was just one of those little things that added to the story as a whole but wasn't that important on its own.

    My only complaint was that the battle with, erm, The Girl ( <<; ) didn't seem to run properly in my eyes. Although you told me that Charmander was being beaten prety badly, I didn't really get the impression that he was trying very hard through the wording you chose; it's like he just keeps falling over and getting back up without much effort... doesn't grunt, doesn't shake, doen't complain.

    Of course, that was only one scene. I'll be damned if one little fight is gonig to stop me from loving this rewrite! ^_^
     
  16. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    *reads over battle again*

    o_O;;; Whoa... I didn't notice that... heh, I keep telling people that Pokémon have feelings, but I still can't keep Charmander as anything more than a plush toy in a battle I was trying to write very carefully. I'll make sure not to do that again... ^^;;;

    And this, kids, is what people call "criticism the author would much rather be with than without".

    Chapter 6 is slowly progressing, but it will probably be very long, just to warn ya'll.

    I'm thinking about doing a small revision of these early chapters of the HMMRCIG after I've gotten hang of this style better.
     
  17. Mastercougar

    Mastercougar The Infinite Fire

    Well Chap. 6 will probably need to be long to explain Gyrados' position. And I like long chapters so full steam ahead!
     
  18. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Gyarados isn't about to be explained anytime soon, I'm afraid the revision will still keep to the theme of explaining things 20 chapters after they happen. ^^;;; For short, there won't be any *that* drastical changes of the order in which things happen; I might move things that happen very closely to each other, but if there are twenty chapters between them, it's staying the way it is.
     
  19. Isaiah

    Isaiah Guest

    wow that story keepes getting better and better. To tell u the truth, that story inspired me to write my own story!
     
  20. Dragonfree

    Dragonfree Just me

    Chapter six, finally. Twelve pages.




    -------
    RATING

    Violence: Pokémon battles of the more violent kind.

    Gore: Some blood, yeah. No guts, though.

    Sexuality: None...

    Profanity: None.

    Other: Nothing special I can remember.
    -------





    Chapter 6: The Mammal, the Monster and the Mental Change

    Mark walked silently with his Pokémon towards the city. He was still afraid of what he held in his Pokéball, attached to his own belt.

    This Gyarados was strange. Too strange. The more he thought about it, the more uncomfortable he felt. Yet, Gyarados was more likely to be dangerous to him if he attempted to release him. Mark was stuck in an odd situation – and perhaps a serious one at that, if the sea monster would wreck something. He found it absurd that a few minutes earlier, he had been thinking “It can barely hurt, can it?” Of course it could hurt. It was a Gyarados. What if he went berserk at the Pokémon center or something?

    “Uh, Mark?” Charmander asked carefully.

    “What?” Mark replied, snapping out of his thoughts.

    “We’re here,” the lizard pointed out.

    “Oh,” said Mark stupidly, looking around. They were in front of the Pokémon Center again; it looked somehow safer in the dark with the fluorescent lighting of the roof, made to help trainers find it.

    Stepping inside to be greeted by the warmth, Mark noticed that there were still quite a few trainers sitting in the red sofas, tapping their feet or just staring into the air in a kind of a trance while their Pokémon got healed. Mark imagined how it must be to wait anxiously for the nurse to try to heal a severely injured Pokémon, not knowing if it would live or die… he would never, ever let Charmander get hurt so much again. He would rather give up.

    He walked with Charmander on his heels across the room, and to the desk, where the red-haired nurse was currently standing, waiting for more patients.

    “Good evening. You’re out late,” she said in her trademark soft voice.

    “Hi, I’d like to have my three Pokémon treated overnight,” Mark said.

    “I don’t think that’s necessary…” Charmander began, but Mark just picked him up and put him on the desk, looking him in the eyes.

    “That Potion was just temporary,” he explained. “You’re still worn-out after the battle and the cuts haven’t fully healed; it would be better if you stayed here for the night. You’d have to be inside your Pokéball, anyway, since I doubt the hotel would allow a Pokémon with a flame on its tail to sleep in one of their rooms.”

    Charmander shrugged. “Well, guess it’s best, then. See you tomorrow.”

    Mark nodded, touched his lizard lightly with the Pokéball and he was dissolved into red energy and sucked into the ball. Plucking the two other occupied spheres from his Pokéball belt, he handed them to the nurse.

    “Come back tomorrow for them,” she said, smiling. Mark felt alone as he walked out of the Pokémon Center.

    -------

    He came to the hotel. A few of its windows were still illuminated from the inside, but most were dark. All the Pokémon trainers the hotel was usually full of were either at the Pokémon center, out trying to catch nocturnal Pokémon or they had gone to bed already, hoping to start the next day early.

    Mark entered quietly, going up the stairs to his room. Just like it had been odd when Charmander first went into his Pokéball, it was odd when he was being treated at the Pokémon Center.

    Mark sighed, and couldn’t wait to retrieve his partners next day.

    -------

    “Here are your Pokémon. Eevee is still inside, sleeping. I have a concern about your Gyarados, though…”

    Mark was in the Cleanwater city Pokémon Center after a breakfast at the hotel, getting his Pokémon back. It was rather early in the morning, and currently Mark was the only trainer there.

    “What is it?” Mark asked, worried. Had Gyarados attacked somebody? Wrecked the healing machine?

    “He suffers from severe lack of nutrition,” the nurse explained. “What have you been feeding him, anyway?”

    “Nothing,” said Mark truthfully. “I just got him.”

    “I figured that had to be it,” said Nurse Joy, nodding thoughtfully. “Your other Pokémon aren’t underfed at all, so it seemed sort of odd that you would starve him.”

    “What can I do about it?” asked Mark concernedly. Maybe that was why Gyarados wanted to get out of the lake? Just to eat? No, he had talked about getting out of Suicune’s reach…

    “I fed him very nicely,” said the nurse, smiling. “After eating, he even said – in English, mind you; that’s quite some Pokémon you got! – that I was the second-nicest human in the world, after you.” She giggled.

    “Huh? After me?” Mark was puzzled; he hadn’t thought Gyarados liked him so much just because he brought him to a Pokémon Center.

    “Yes. You must have earned his respect very well; most Gyarados are quite overwhelmed by their power when they evolve and are some of the most arrogant, impolite Pokémon you’ll ever see – he isn’t like that at all.”

    “Well, that’s good,” Mark said, brightening up. To think of it… Gyarados would actually obey and be his strongest Pokémon…

    “Anyway, shouldn’t we wake Eevee?” the nurse suggested, gesturing for him to follow her. They walked into the room at the back; it was all dark blue and seemed cold, very unlike the warm, fluffy pink and red of the waiting room. In a cardboard box with blankets in standing on a table, Mark saw the furred creature he had found the day before, fast asleep and content, with his thick tail wrapped around his body.

    “Eevee,” Nurse Joy said sweetly, “time to wake up.”

    She gently reached down and touched the Pokémon’s fur carefully. Eevee stirred, licked her hand friendly and then opened his gleaming brown eyes. He noticed Mark with an expression of curiosity and, unless Mark was very much mistaken, some level of gratefulness.

    “Remember me?” asked Mark slowly, offering his hand. Eevee carefully reached up with his nose, sniffing his fingers, then stroked his head up to his hand. Mark started scratching him behind his ear; Eevee gave a soft “vee” and then started licking his hand too. Mark looked up at Nurse Joy; she was smiling.

    “He’s really friendly and trusting; he will probably be a good Pokémon for you if he wants that. I haven’t mentioned it; perhaps you should explain the situation now.”

    “OK…” Mark started nervously, withdrawing his hand as to keep Eevee unbiased. “Erm… Eevee, do you have a home?”

    The Pokémon’s ears dropped as he shook his head sadly.

    “Would you like me to… take you with me?”

    Eevee instantly nodded excitedly.

    “And… um… I’m a Pokémon trainer, you see…”

    “Vii?” asked the small Pokémon, tilting his head.

    “Don’t you know what a Pokémon trainer is?”

    Eevee shook his head and looked up at Mark curiously.

    “That’s a person who… er, keeps Pokémon inside little balls, like these.” Mark removed Charmander and Sandshrew’s Pokéballs from his belt and showed them to Eevee, minimized.

    “See, then you can make them inflate, like this…”

    Mark pressed the buttons and the spheres instantly maximized into battle-size. Eevee started, taking a small jump backwards inside the box. Mark laughed.

    “There’s nothing to be afraid of. Come on, the balls won’t bite.”

    Eevee carefully touched the cold, metallic surface of Charmander’s ball with the tip of his nose. He shivered, apparently still finding that thing a bit creepy, but with a small nod he confirmed his acceptance of the Pokéballs.

    “Okay, now, don’t be scared…” Mark carefully dropped the balls into Eevee’s box; they both opened and the two Pokémon formed in red light beside Eevee before the balls bounced right back into Mark’s palms.

    This was something Eevee clearly found a lot harder to accept, which was no more than Mark had expected; his eyes widened from the shock of seeing two Pokémon materialize from thin air right beside him. Eevee pressed himself against the wall of the box, moaning nervously as he covered his eyes with his long ears. Charmander and Sandshrew looked confusedly around; Charmander soon realized what was going on, carefully bent down to Eevee’s level and cautiously lifted one of his ears from his face. A terrified eye half-opened, then shut again as the Pokémon forced its ear back down. Sandshrew curiously poked Eevee’s thick, soft mane; Charmander started to pat Eevee’s back reassuringly.

    “It’s all right,” Mark said quietly, now placing his hand carefully on the scared Pokémon’s head. “Look.” He brushed Eevee’s ears away, and pointed both Pokéballs at the Pokémon they belonged to; Charmander and Sandshrew both dissolved into red light as they shot back into the balls.

    “Now,” Mark began explaining as Eevee started to calm down, “a Pokémon trainer carries Pokémon in balls like these, and when he sees a Pokémon or another trainer, he uses his Pokémon to battle.”

    Eevee looked expectantly up at him, waiting to hear more.

    “He sends out his Pokémon from the balls – only one at a time – and they battle the other Pokémon or trainer’s Pokémon. If his Pokémon are getting too hurt, he will recall them back into the ball. A Pokémon trainer will always heal his Pokémon as soon as possible when they are hurt, and make sure they get plenty of food and never suffer permanent injuries.”

    Mark had never in his life thought about what Pokémon training actually was – yet now, he was telling it to an innocent, young Pokémon that hadn’t had a mother for long enough to learn about these things. It felt odd.

    “Then…” Mark’s voice was trembling for some reason, “… the trainer… well, usually… becomes really close to the Pokémon – a type of friend who takes really good care of them and loves them like his own siblings... and usually, the Pokémon will feel like that too…”

    Eevee’s shiny, big eyes still looked happily up at Mark’s deep green ones; he took a deep breath before asking the final question.

    “So… will you… do you want me to train you? Don’t think about what I want, just what you want. Do you want to be released back into the wild where you can continue your life, or do you want to… come with me and I’ll be your trainer?”

    Hot pulse throbbed in Mark’s neck with every beat of his heart; they sounded unnaturally loud now as the boy and the Pokémon stared deep into each other’s eyes; nothing could be read from either’s expression.

    “Veee!” Eevee finally said happily, nodding and placing his forepaws in Mark’s hands. He picked the Pokémon carefully up, unable to believe he actually had an Eevee now. The fluffy Pokémon emitted some sort of a purr, digging his nose into Mark’s face.

    “Eevee…” Mark started in a muffled voice because of the fur covering his mouth, “if you’re going to be my Pokémon, you need to go into a Pokéball.”

    “Vee?” the Pokémon questioned. Not having very good control of Pokémon’s complicated language due to young age, he managed to get his meaning across, but not word for word.

    “Yes, see, sometimes I can’t carry you with me otherwise. Pokéballs are nice, just like a luxury room with everything you need, you’ll even feel all dreamy and comfortable, and when you’re sent out, you’ll be refreshed, just like you were sleeping.” Mark knew this in fact because that time he had discussed Pokémon rights with a Vulpix in a Pokémonish test, one of the things they had talked about was whether it was right to capture Pokémon in Pokéballs, and Vulpix, who was pro-Pokéballs, had described to him what Pokéballs were like.

    “Vui,” said Eevee skeptically, glancing at the Pokéballs Mark had replaced at his belt. Finally he looked up at Mark, seemingly still a bit scared of the balls. Mark took one of his empty balls and touched Eevee lightly with it; the Pokémon dissolved into red light and was drawn into the ball.

    Mark waited a few seconds; the ball stood quite still in his hand, meaning that at least Eevee wasn’t trying to break out of it.

    He dropped the ball into the box again; a beam of red energy burst out of it and took shape into Eevee. He looked quickly around, realized that he was back in the box and then accepted the Pokéball with a small nod.

    “Great,” said Mark, still not believing what was happening. Him, with an Eevee!

    “Will you come into the Pokéball now, then?” he asked upon realization that Eevee was waiting for him to say something else. The Pokémon thought a bit, but then nodded, smiling. Mark recalled Eevee into the Pokéball, convinced that he was the luckiest person alive.

    “Erm… thanks, Nurse Joy,” Mark muttered, not sure what to say. She just smiled. “It’s Eevee who’s going to come with you, thank him.”

    “Wow,” he just breathed.

    “So, where are you headed now?” asked Nurse Joy kindly.

    “The Gym,” Mark said, still staring at the Pokéball in his hand.

    “Good luck, then. You’ll need it,” were Nurse Joy’s warning words before Mark left the building.

    Absent-mindedly, he walked out of the Pokémon Center, noticing that he was getting used to having his Pokémon inside Pokéballs. The sun was shining now; the stormy clouds from the day before had drifted away overnight and now the sky was clear.

    He wandered around a bit, looking for the Pokémon Gym, but once he found it, he was surprised he hadn’t figured that huge yellow building with the glass dome roof he could always see behind the other houses had to be the Gym.

    The door was odd; it was round and shaped like a Pokéball lying on the side. The button that would normally maximize the ball said “PRESS”. When Mark nervously pushed it with his hand, the two halves of the door separated and moved to the sides with a rumbling noise. Mark carefully stepped inside; he heard the door slide back into place behind him.

    Now there was no turning back. He took a deep breath and walked forward, through a second gateway; the entrance room was just empty for whatever reason.

    He was on a Pokémon battle arena, that was certain, and an overwhelmingly huge one at that. The glass dome was three times as high as the ceiling in a regular house, and the room had all the features a standard battle arena had to have; a large pool on the right side that was obviously intended for Water Pokémon, and the way the floor was marked had a very clear meaning. Just ahead of him was the red-painted box he was supposed to stand in. He nervously took his place; a trainer stood up from a bench at the other end and stepped into the box at his end. Mark found his clothes very odd: a cap that seemed too big for his head, a jacket and shorts, all bright neon green.

    “Hey, you have to battle me first, Rick will only take on the best of the best,” the boy called in an extremely monotone, boring, politician-like voice.

    “I wasn’t going anywhere!” Mark shouted back. The trainer ignored it.

    “Three on three, ready, go, Articuno.”

    The boy hurled forward a black and red Pokéball with as much power as he could; it burst open in mid-air, releasing Mark’s second favorite Pokémon, and bounced back to the trainer.

    A smooth, peaceful-sounding cry of “a-ar” emitted from the magnificent, parrot-like icy blue bird as it circled the middle of its own half of the arena, dragging a darker blue, wavy tail feather after its body. Swooping gracefully down every now and then but pulling up again, the Legendary Pokémon loyally awaited its trainer’s orders. It pained Mark to think that the Pokéball had brainwashed his second favorite Pokémon like that – thankfully just a clone.

    Mark hesitated, but then decided that sending out Charmander would be worth the risk. He blindly reached for the Pokéball and threw it forward. The ball popped open upon impact with the floor and sent out the lizard.

    “Mander!” he growled, assuming a battle stance and glaring at the Articuno, focusing. Mark could figure out what was going through his Pokémon’s head; the last time he had been put up against a Pokémon he was supposed to have an advantage over, he had lost. He wasn’t going to go down a second time.

    “Charmander, be ready to dodge!”

    The lizard nodded, still concentrating on his opponent.

    “Articuno, Powder Snow,” said the junior trainer in his monotone voice.

    The Legendary bird’s eyes closed as it glowed white; the room cooled gradually as every flap of its wings and every wave of the long tail feather started emitting flurries of snow which flew straight at Charmander. Mark shivered as the cold wind blew in his face. Even before he opened his mouth to issue a command, Charmander seemed to read his mind and breathed a tongue of flames at the snow, melting and boiling it instantly and leaving Charmander unharmed.

    The junior trainer swore loudly, still in the monotone voice, and then ordered: “Articuno, Gust.”

    Instantly, the magnificent bird started flapping its wings in Charmander’s direction instead of up and down, and also faster and faster. In a remarkably short time, a strong gust of wind powered up and sent both Mark and Charmander flying into the wall.

    “Sorry,” said the junior trainer, not sounding it. “Peck!”

    The Articuno clone immediately dived down with a cry of “Aaaarti!”, heading straight towards Charmander. Mark had no time to think, but luckily Charmander spat out a blast of flames by instinct just as the bird was about to hit him. For a second Articuno was on fire, and unfortunately that was the exact second when its beak smashed into Charmander’s belly so that he was thrown harshly backwards; but when the flames died, the Legendary bird crashed clumsily on the ground.

    Stretching out both of its wings, Articuno’s icy feathers were clearly dripping with water as it withered in pain; Charmander stood heavily up and despite hating to do this to a Pokémon he loved so much, Mark made a final command:

    “Finish it with another Ember!”

    Articuno was helplessly trying to take off, but failing. Charmander fired another cloud of flames which enveloped the Legendary Pokémon; when it cleared, Articuno lay in a pool of water on the floor, defeated.

    The junior trainer grumpily recalled the half-melted bird.

    “Go, finish off that overgrown salamander.”

    He threw forward another Pokéball, black with glowing red stripes like the previous one. Out of it came spiky-feathered Legendary bird that Mark recognized immediately as Zapdos.

    It opened its long beak as the pitch-black and shocking yellow thunderbird ascended through the air, letting out an electrical cry of “Dooos!”

    “Charmander, quick, uh…”

    Mark didn’t have the time to make an order; Zapdos fiercely flapped its wings without a command and released a bolt of lightning which shot down and hit Charmander. He screamed in pain, then went stiff and fell down to the floor like a stone statue.

    “Charmander! Are you all right?” asked Mark worriedly. Since there was no response, he was forced to recall his Pokémon and wait until he would be able to heal him.

    “Go, Sandshrew!” Mark did this without much thought; Sandshrew seemed like the obvious one since he was a Ground Pokémon and therefore immune to Electric attacks, but immediately after the yellowish brown armadillo materialized on the floor, he realized how foolish a decision it had been; Sandshrew wouldn’t be able to harm Zapdos either unless it came near enough for him to scratch it.

    “Drill peck,” said the junior trainer dully. Immediately, the thunderbird let out another cry towards Sandshrew as it prepared to dive.

    “Sandshrew, Defense curl!” Mark ordered quickly, that being just about the only thing he could do. The armadillo Pokémon locked tightly up in a knot in an amazingly short time; Mark quickly looked up to watch Zapdos again. The spiky bird now started spinning like a drill in mid-air and then dove towards Sandshrew at high speed, jabbing him with its beak. The curled-up Sandshrew rolled like a soccer ball from the impact; Mark automatically blocked the path with his foot. Immediately, the armadillo uncurled, seemingly unharmed, and focused on Zapdos again, although, as Mark couldn’t help noticing, with a complete lack of determination.

    Zapdos swooped down again without an order. Likewise, Sandshrew curled up without Mark having the time to say anything. This time, though, Sandshrew rolled himself powerfully out of the way. Zapdos barely avoided crashing, pulled up and was clearly getting ticked off by now. With yet another electrified “Do-o-os”, the thunderbird started zooming back and forth near the ceiling, gaining speed as it went and soon turning into a blurred streak of yellow and black before it lunged down at Sandshrew again. The armadillo Pokémon didn’t have time to curl up again, and being stabbed with Zapdos’ long, spear-like beak in his vulnerable white underbelly was too much. Letting out a piercing cry, Sandshrew was thrown a bit backwards, but then collapsed, his chest bleeding disturbingly much.

    “Oh God,” Mark muttered, still unable to do anything about it but just recall the Pokémon and hope he would be all right. Now it was facing the next problem.

    Mark automatically grabbed Eevee’s Pokéball, but hesitated. Eevee was so young, and had immediately started to trust him out of childish innocence. How could he let Eevee get as badly injured as Charmander and Sandshrew?

    He couldn’t.

    His hand moved to Gyarados’ ball, plucked it off his Pokéball belt, and threw it at the pool, biting his lip. Sending out a Gyarados against an Electric Pokémon? He had to be going crazy.

    Gyarados took shape out of the red light as Mark’s Pokéball bounced back into his hand. An intimidating roar sounded from the sea monster, visibly unnerving even the Legendary Pokémon.

    “Thunderbolt,” said the junior trainer, smirking. Zapdos prepared to do the same thing as on Charmander, but the most that happened were a few sparks that shot between its wing feathers.

    “Dos!” growled the Legendary with a hint of annoyance, attempting to charge up electricity again. Mark’s mind raced. Zapdos was probably tired after the battle with Sandshrew; did Gyarados perhaps have a chance?

    “Dragon rage!” Mark roared. Gyarados raised his head and, letting out another ear-splitting roar, he fired a jet of crimson red, dark flames from his mouth.

    The blast hit Zapdos powerfully. The bird stayed in the air for a second, stiff; then with a weak “dos…” it fell to the floor. A smile broke out on Mark’s face; Dragon rage was a very, very powerful attack at this stage of his journey, because it always hurt exactly as much, completely independent on the user’s strength or any kind of weaknesses and resistances. That meant that the attack’s outcome depended purely on the victim’s ability to endure pain – a weak, inexperienced Pokémon, such as most of the ones he was facing now, would therefore fall unconscious from being subjected to it once. He was just remembering this now – some of Mrs. Grodski’s classes appeared to have sunk in after all.

    He grinned. He would sweep this Gym’s floors with Legendaries, all on account of Gyarados’ Dragon rage attack.

    “Zapdos, return,” said the junior trainer dully, holding the Pokéball forward and recalling the battered bird. “Go… Moltres…”

    From the junior trainer’s expression and even duller tone in these words, he was also well aware of how powerful Dragon rage was against such low-leveled Pokémon. He threw the Pokéball with less enthusiasm than before; the golden phoenix that was the third and last of the Legendary birds of Kanto burst out of it in a flash of red light.

    “Mooool!” the swan-like bird cried, smoothly ascending into the air and leaving a trail of flames behind from its fiery wings and tail. When it was just slightly below the ceiling, the bird shook its head powerfully, the fire that rested atop its head blazing up and adding to the powerful image of the Legendary. Moltres flapped its flaming wings slowly, focusing on Gyarados with keen eyes, ready to take an order.

    “Another Dragon rage!” Mark called, slightly nervously; what if it wouldn’t work? Gyarados immediately released a blast of crimson fire from his mouth again, but with the grace of only a Legendary, the phoenix dived down, evading the attack with ease.

    “Oh man,” Mark murmured, gritting his teeth. “That thing can dodge.”

    “Glow,” said the junior trainer. Mark scanned through his head, not remembering any attack called that, as he watched Moltres start to glow bright white. Suddenly something clunked into place, and Mark realized that this was the preparation for a Sky attack.

    “Gyarados – Dragon rage!” he commanded desperately, hoping that the sea monster would be quick enough to get the hit in. Unfortunately, just as Gyarados started forming the dragon flames in his throat, Moltres’ glowing swan shape shot towards the huge monster at amazing speed, its beak stabbing Gyarados right where two plates of his deep blue armor met; the exact place where he was vulnerable.

    With a terrible roar, the sea monster screwed his eyes shut, flailing around in pain with the no longer glowing Moltres still stuck with its beak between two enormous plates of armor. Interestingly enough, Gyarados’ size was such that he managed to splash enough water at the phoenix to almost put out its fire. A high-pitched screech was heard from the Legendary bird as it tried to flutter away while Gyarados retained his balance.

    “And now, quickly, another Dragon rage!” Mark blurted out.

    Being wet clearly slowed Moltres down considerably, since as the bird tried to fly out of the way, Gyarados managed to fire yet another blast of crimson flames, hitting this time. Moltres fell unconscious in mid-air and dropped limply to the ground.

    “Wow,” Mark muttered to himself as the junior trainer resentfully recalled his last Pokémon. “That’s got to be the only time in history a battle was won on account of Splash.”

    The junior trainer took a small thing that looked like a car key out of his pocket, pressing a button on it. The Pokéball-shaped door on the other end of the arena slid open with a rumbling noise. The trainer pointed lousily over his shoulder with his thumb and then walked up to the bench again, sitting grumpily down with crossed arms. Mark nervously walked towards the door, but then stopped.

    “Can I go back? I need to heal my Pokémon,” he asked the trainer, feeling a sting of guilt for having almost forgotten how injured Charmander and Sandshrew were.

    “You don’t need to, there’s a nurse just beyond the door,” the junior trainer muttered, still sulking.

    Mark walked through the round doorway; it immediately closed after him. As the junior trainer had said, a blond-haired woman in a white uniform waited just by the entrance, clutching a Pocket Healer in her hands.

    “Good morning,” she said politely with a small bow. “Would you like me to heal your Pokémon?”

    “Er, yeah… thank you,” Mark said, carefully handing her the Pokéballs. She gave a tiny nod, placing one ball at a time into the Pocket Healer and pressing the heal button.

    “Done,” she said, smiling, as she handed the balls back to Mark. He thanked her and then went on to the battle arena, which was identical to the previous one. This time around, however, the trainer wore red clothes with white linings on them, had bushy, purple hair, and was already standing in his square, grinning broadly with a scary glare of enthusiasm.

    “Three on three,” he said in a loud, clear voice with a British accent, holding one of those black and red Pokéballs. “Go, Raikou!”

    The Pokéball released a huge tiger-like Pokémon, yellow in color. Its unnaturally long claws and fangs combined with the fact that its face was all hidden made it look scary; a black triangular plate covered the forehead and nose, four metallic-looking whiskers spread out from the front of its muzzle, and creamy white tufts of fur handled the sides of the head.

    Mark had never been that much of a Raikou fan compared to the other Legendaries, but he found a certain grace in the way the tiger’s muscles tightened under the black-striped skin and the absolute determination in its red eyes, the only visible parts of the face. Unsurely, he grabbed hold of Sandshrew’s ball. Raikou was very well capable of using Crunch and other non-Electric attacks, and Sandshrew didn’t know any Ground attacks.

    But it wasn’t like Charmander or Eevee would do much better, and letting Gyarados get beat at the first Pokémon that was sent out would be suicide. He made his decision.

    “Sandshrew, go!” he shouted, throwing forward the Pokéball. As it bounced off the ground, it released the armadillo Pokémon in a flash of red. Sandshrew didn’t appear to be a fan of Raikou either; his eyes opened very wide at the sight of the tiger and then he curled tightly up into a ball, which appeared to be his ideal solution to whatever problems he was facing.

    “Raikou, Calm mind!” shouted the junior trainer. The tiger closed its eyes and bowed its head in deep concentration, revealing the then started glowing with a faint lavender aura. After a few seconds of waiting, Raikou raised its head again, its eyes open.

    “This won’t do, Sandshrew, Raikou will just use some stat boosters!” Mark said impatiently to the scaly sphere that was supposed to be his Pokémon, poking it with his toe. Sandshrew slowly uncurled, but this was the chance the junior trainer was waiting for; he quickly gave Raikou another order:

    “Crunch, now!”

    The tiger leapt at Sandshrew before he had the sense to curl up again, and with a roar, it locked its jaws around Sandshrew’s body. The armadillo Pokémon’s arms helplessly flailed around in mid-air; he gave a squeak when Raikou started squeezing its jaws together. A few drops of blood fell to the ground.

    “No… Sandshrew, come back,” Mark said limply, holding up the Pokéball so that Sandshrew was absorbed into it. Perhaps Pokémon battling wasn’t the right sport for him…

    “Go, er… Charmander.”

    Mark still didn’t want to send out Eevee, although he wasn’t sure why he was more ready to let Charmander get hurt.

    The little lizard came out of the ball in a red beam of light, and clearly didn’t like Raikou that much either.

    “I’m supposed to battle that?” he whispered in disbelief, flicking his big eyes quickly back at Mark.

    “Sorry, Charmander, we have to,” Mark answered with a pained expression. “Just do your best.”

    Charmander nodded slowly and said in an odd voice: “Yes. I will.”

    Immediately after Charmander finished that sentence, the junior trainer gave Raikou a new command:

    “Raikou, Spark!”

    The thunder tiger started sparkling with electricity and jumped towards the much smaller Fire Pokémon. Charmander leapt to the side with surprising agility and then grabbed hold of Raikou’s jagged, metallic tail. Snarling oddly in a way that wasn’t very much like him, Charmander spat a bit of fire at the tail end. The reactions were immediate; a painful howl came from the Legendary’s mouth at first as its body stiffened, then it started sprinting over the arena in an attempt to shake Charmander off. The lizard held on as well as he could, occasionally breathing flames on the tail end again in order to keep it hot. Mark could see that it was slowly melting.

    Finally, Charmander fell off, bouncing once off the floor before landing on his side, seemingly unconscious. The junior trainer desperately tried to tell Raikou to stop running around in circles, but the Pokémon ignored it, putting higher priority on cooling down its tail than finishing the battle. For a few seconds, Mark was worried about Charmander as he didn’t move, but then the small Pokémon stood up with difficulty, looking dizzy and breathing very hard. He started walking towards Mark.

    “I… have a headache…” he said weakly, then dropped back on four legs, panting uncontrollably as sweat sprouted on his skin.

    Slowly, the little Pokémon started emitting a bright white glow. Mark and the junior trainer both watched, stunned; even Raikou stopped running and turned its head sharply to watch.

    “You weren’t going to evolve until later, remember?” Mark said, remembering what they had discussed at the restaurant the previous day. On second thought, that was a stupid thing to say; obviously Charmander had to remember it, but he was in no state to resist the evolution.

    Charmander’s now pure white shape was steadily growing larger and bulkier. A small horn grew out of the back of the Pokémon’s head. His muzzle lengthened. Then the growth came to a halt. For a second, the shape was just there emitting a bright aura; then the glow faded revealing a crimson red Charmeleon; bigger, more muscular and dragon-like, but otherwise somewhat similar to Charmander.

    A more adult-shaped eye looked at Mark. A weak, deep “Char…” came from the evolved Pokémon, but then his legs collapsed under him and he lay limply on the ground, fainted.

    Shaking, Mark held forward a Pokéball. “R-return,” he stammered, his freshly-evolved friend disappearing into a beam of red energy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2004

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