Alan sat down in time to hear the question posed to him. He stabbed some salad onto his fork before replying.
"I'm Alan and she's Eileen." he said while pointing at each of them as he said their names.
"Aeris here came up to Eileen and talked to her. Since then we've mostly been talking about the gym here and what it is we do."
Drill, Bee. Spike replied before returning the poke to the nose. It knew how to apply enough pressure to be felt without causing any damage whatsoever. He got the feeling this Butterfree would fit in well with Croc and himself if it turned out to be as playful as it seemed.
"Ah, of course. How silly of me. Then maybe after we've both battled Misty, if I can manage to battle her without crying my eyes out of fear?" Aeris giggled at the thought for a second, then stopped because this was a very big step for her. She'd be fighting against a type of Pokemon she feared, in a field that wasn't what she wanted. But somehow, she had to tough up in order to continue. How, she didn't know. But somehow, she would. Maybe. She turned to Terinth. "As he said. Alan and Eileen. At least Eileen here is going to fight Misty tonight. I suppose we will be fighting her ourselves tomorrow. Or, most of us, if I don't manage to get over my fear long enough to fight her..."
Tristan flew around, up and down, before sitting down on the floor, putting his wings together to rest them. Blaze walked over to them and looked curiously at Croc. He was smaller than she was, and didn't look particularly threatening. She poked his nose gently with one claw, like Tristan had done to Spike earlier with his hand.
"Who's Misty?" Jordan asked as he brought his full plate over to the others. "Is she like, the lunchlady, or something?" He was answered with a smack upside the head. "Ow, dude!"
"Misty's the gym leader here," said Fary as she reappeared the Pokemon Center. "And she's really tough. I was there for a battle. She wiped me clean out. Rogue couldn't even cope. So now I have to heal them and just get some sleep. That was not the ending to the day I was looking for." She departed for the counter to leave her Pokemon with the nurse before heading in the back for some shuteye.
Jordan was still rubbing his head. Food eased the pain though. "That was totally uncalled for. I think she's like, angry at me. Um, well if Misty's like the Gym Leader and stuff, you mind if I like, tag along. See how things go in there?"
Vince was still a little miffed at being left out of the fun in the mountain, so he wasn't up for hanging with Jordan at the moment, so the young Scyther decided to go where the other Pokemon were.
Having had no real contact with other Pokemon other than attacking them, Vince was unsure how to proceed. "Uhhhh....hi?" he said to the others in his least threatening voice. "So, uh, how was the mountain? Since I didn't get to see it?"
"We'll see Aeris. As I said I'm not fond of battling people that I might travel with in the future, that is if you will have us," Eileen replied to Aeris as she finished up the rest of her water, getting up and throwing away her plate and cup before coming to sit back down.
She then heard Jordan ask if he could tag along to the gym match in his own sort of surfer lingo, nodding her head and saying in a clear voice, "Of course you can come along, anyone in your group can. It would be nice to have someone actually come and watch other than Alan here." She knew how to deal with the 'slower' types thanks to her own experience with her mother's Slowpoke as a child; slower talking, no big words, and clear enunciation.
"Hey, and here I thought I was a good companion." Alan said with a laugh.
"No appreciation for what I'm doing for you." he continued the joke.
Croc followed Spike's example and poked the Charmeleon's nose. He resisted the urge to bite the hand then run away, figuring his owner would want him to wait a bit before doing that. Spike on the other had remained on the ground to eat as the Butterfree flew around him. He had encountered the type that would do that before and he was actually very hungry at the moment, so he figured the other pokemon wouldn't mind.
"That's alright. I meant it more as friendly sparring, but I see what you mean. I guess I'm just eager to see what Hughes can do, since Fire types are the most interesting to me." Aeris giggled a little. Eileen seemed like she'd be a good friend, and perhaps she and Alan would join them. That'd be very nice, she thought.
Blaze smiled at Croc's poking. "Adorable little thing." She patted him on the head before Vince showed up. "It was a bunch of rocks put together to form one really giant rock. With tunnels. Also, we had to battle some bad guys that call themselves Rockets. Didn't really put up much of a fight. Until one of those idiots decided to block the exit with more rocks. We managed to get out before we'd be sealed inside."
Tristan simply sat and watched Spike eat. He couldn't sit for long, though, and flew over to him. "Is that tasty?" he asked him.
"Cool," Jordan said, as he finished up his meal. "Well, I can go whenever you guys are going. It like, doesn't matter to me."
Vince listened as the Fire Pokemon explained what had happened. He felt at little uneasy around her, since she was sporting a tail that could light him up at any time but stayed put. "Sounds like I missed all the fun. Except for the rocks. Screw rocks. I hate those."
Tyler returned to the table with a plate of macaroni and cheese, with a side of potatoes and a carton of milk. It didn't look like the tastiest food on Earth, but food was food. Plus it was free, so he couldn't really complain. He let out Geist and Blitz so they could eat as well, and pulled out packs of Pokemon food for the both of them. If Tyler was going to relax, the others deserved a little R&R too. With his Pokemon occupied with their food, he scooped a plastic spoonful of macaroni and gave it a taste. Not bad, he thought. As good as free food's gonna get.
"I think you'll be surprised at what Hughes is capable of. Since he's my only Pokemon I've had to come up with strategies so that he is capable of taking down anything. I also make him do daily exercises to keep him in top physical condition, along with giving him vitamins to help out with that. I think Misty will be in for a surprise; type advantage isn't everything. As for you Alan, you are a horrible companion. It's just all work for you when it comes to watching others battle. Always putting the story before anything else," Eileen said sarcastically, looking over at the darkened sky outside. She looked over at Hughes who was watching the other Pokemon converse as he laid down on the chair next to her, giving him a pat on the head.
"Well I'm ready to head on out and challenge her if any of you would like to join," Eileen announced as she stood up, Hughes jumping off of his chair. He stretched next to her and yawned as she grabbed her bag and started to make her way outside of the Poke Center. She waited by the door in case anyone was going to follow and watch.
"Well I do need to watch out for number one." He said with another laugh.
"I will of course be watching. So don't worry, you'll have your glorious audience." Alan continued to joke as he got up and followed Eileen.
"Come on Croc and Spike, we got a job to do."
Croc couldn't resist any longer and bit Blaze's hand. It wouldn't do any damage, but it would get the other pokemon's attention. He immediately released and ran off with his trainer excitedly running away hoping the Charmeleon would chase it like spike or his trainer normally did.
"I like it, then again Alan says it was made for me so I guess I should." Once Croc had bitten down on Blaze and Ran off Spike flew over to the lightly bitten pokemon.
"You and him must have gotten along well. Normally he only does with me or my trainer when he wants to play with us. He doesn't mean to hurt us, but it is just how he is. He expects you to chase him by the way." Once he finished that statement Alan called them away so the Beedrill followed as he had been trained to do after a quick goodbye from him and Croc.
Aeris fidgeted in her seat trying to decide between coming along with Eileen and Alan or staying in the Poke Center. On one hand, it'd be great for her if she could go and watch the fight, because then maybe she'd be able to get some hold on her fear. But on the other hand, she was too scared to go because of the water. She looked like she was about to cry again. She wondered if she would be able to fight Misty. And again she started to think this was the end of the line for her. She couldn't help it. Water did that to her. She couldn't stand up. She just sat there by the table looking down at it.
"There was some fighting, but really, you didn't miss much. You were better off in your ball than out of it." Blaze said to Vince, waving her tail around a little.
"I can't chase after him until Aeris follows your trainer and the girl with him." Blaze said to Spike before he left, then added to herself And by the looks of it, she isn't going anywhere...
She walked over to Aeris and took her hand, holding it close to her cheek. Aeris looked down at Blaze, teary eyed. "Charmeleon..." You shouldn't feel sad. They want you to come and see her fight this water trainer. I'm not fond of water either, but this can be a step forward for you. Aeris just nodded in response. "Char! Charme!" Now, stand up and go with them. Me and Tristan will follow you. Tristan hovered beside them, nodding and smiling at Aeris when she looked at him. Aeris got less teary eyed and gave her Pokemon a smile. "Yeah, you're right... I can at least try, can't I?" Blaze and Tristan both nodded. "Alright. Then l-lets go." She stammered a little since she wasn't entirely sure about going, but she would try.
Aeris stood up from the table slowly and walked over to Eileen. "I-I'm going at least t-try to watch you f-fight." She still stammered, but that was to be expected when she knew she was going to a dreadful place for her. Blaze stood and Tristan hovered behind Aeris. "I should m-maybe let Ekans out to-t-to watch the fight too." She picked up Ekans' Pokeball, her hands shaking a little, and she let her Ekans out. Immediately he coiled around her left leg. "Ekanssss..." New people... He looked away shyly, still coiled around Aeris' leg. She took him off her leg and he instead coiled around her right arm. "Well, l-looks like he's shy again. I'm s-sure he has a t-timid nature." She petted Ekans' head who seemed to like that.
"Yeah sure, I'm coming," Jordan announced as he quickly polished off the remainder of his meal.
"Hey kid. Might want to get your Pokemon before you leave!" Nurse Joy called out to the young trainer.
"OK, yeah," Jordan walked over to the counter to receive his other two Pokeballs. "Thanks Nurse Lady." Now he started heading out the door.
Vince was still disappointed to hear that he had missed out on some battles. "Still, would have been nice. I don't like being in there for too long.
"Vince bro! Let's go!"
"Scyther!Scy!" Where we going? Battle? That'd be cool!
Vince followed after his trainer as they headed out to follow Eileen.
"Glad that you can join us. You'll be fine, I'm sure there are benches or something away from the pool that you can sit on," Eileen told Aeris, giving her a pat on the shoulder before exiting the Poke Center. She turned around and looked at the few people following her, having thought that more would have joined them. She shrugged it off and continued through Cerulean City before stopping and pointing out the gym.
It was a large circular building with a huge, pink and yellow striped dome top. The first time Eileen had seen the building she thought that it looked like a cross between a gaudy circus tent and a merry-go-round. 'And it still looks like one. The only appealing thing about it is the giant Dewgong in the front,' she thought to herself as she strolled up to the gym, pushing open the door so everyone could go in.
Aeris stepped forward for a bit, but stopped herself and fell to her knees. "I-I can't go in..." She was again about to cry, but Blaze, Tristan and Ekans were there with her. They weren't alone in being there, as Mika arrived. He wondered why Aeris would try and go into the gym, since he knew about her hydrophobia. "Darling, why do you seem to want to go in there now?" Aeris looked up at him and stood up to wrap her arms around him. "I-I want to s-see Eileen fight against M-Misty, plus we will h-have to fight against her ourselves..." Mika wrapped his arms around Aeris and rubbed her back where he could because of her backpack. "Then I'll come with you. You'll be alright, just stay close to me." Aeris just nodded as they made their way into the gym, slowly because Aeris was a fair bit reluctant to actually step foot inside. Before going inside, however, she picked up Blaze's Pokeball and returned her into it, then put it back on her belt. She wasn't about to risk having Blaze outside of her ball while near water. Besides, she only needed Tristan and Ekans to watch.
Alan put a hand on Aeris' shoulder while Totodile stayed a ways away. Noticing her reluctance.
"Try not to worry Aeris, there will be plenty of us there. I'm sure they have an observation area where there is no water. Besides, I'm also thinking of facing Misty tonight with Croc and Spike, so focus on all the battling you'll get to see. But if it just gets to be too much I'll be writing it all down anyway so you can always see my notes once I convert it out of shorthand." He said trying to change her focus or offer an alternative to being forced to be around what she feared for so long.
Jordan followed in after the others. The place didn't look all that promising from the outside but inside Jordan was great with welcome sights. Coral sculptures, shells of all kinds of sizes, various treasures of the ocean that made him feel at home.
"Dude, I like this place," he noted. He looked up and saw a sign. "Challengers, Left hallway / Spectators right hallway". "Hey so, like do we go up here? I guess?"
"I suppose you guys should go that way," Eileen joked, taking a deep breath to try to calm the pre-battle jitters that she was feeling. "I guess this is where we part. Wish me luck," she told them, waving a quick goodbye before opening the door and walking down the Challenger's hallway. Hughes barked and followed after her excitedly, clearly not afraid or nervous for the battle ahead.
"Alright boy, let's do this. We've got this in the metaphorical bag here. We've been training for the past week just for this battle, and we shall win. I know you'll pull through boy," Eileen told her Pokemon, looking down at him a few times as the hallway led to another set of doors. She opened them up and walked into what seemed to be a huge indoor pool. Eileen and Hughes both looked at the large pool in the center and the aquarium that was below rows of bleachers to the side. They then stepped forward closer to the pool, Eileen noting that she had been right about platforms to stand on. She and Hughes stood tall awaiting the gym leader, with Eileen wondering if she was still accepting challenges.
'Its only 8:15,' she thought as she rocked back and forth on her heels biding time.
A young woman, around 22 years of age sat in front of the mirror in the back of the gym. She was fiddling with her bright orange hair, trying to get it set right. "Come on, just stay down for once," she pleaded. "For once I'd like to hit the Vermillion night scene without having to have it all flared up at the bottom." She kept trying to fix this problem until a bell started ringing in her room. "Oh, what? Now? Really? Ugh, don't people around here have better things to do at this time of night? Well, screw it, I'm not changing for this."
Jordan decided to lead Red, Stick and New Guy to the slightly raised grandstand section, even if they weren't following. As he reached the top of the small staircase, he hit the balcony overlooking the pool area. The pool was massive, and just seeing all the water rippling below made Jordan pine for home. "Dude, I could totally, like, go swimming and stuff in there. Like, I haven't been swimming in forever. That would be totally cool."
As Eileen stood at the other end, a platform began rising at the other end of the pool, much like a diving board. Standing on it was a woman wearing a black jacket over a bright blue shirt and very short deep blue shorts. She was holding onto the railing as it rose, before stopping at a height of 15 feet. "Good thing I didn't put my heels on yet," she quietly noted to herself. She then shouted down to the challenger. "You picked a bad time to be challenging me so you're not getting any kind of show tonight." She went to the back of the platform and started climbing down the ladder to the gym floor.
Once back on the ground she stepped to the main platform in front of the pool. "I am Misty, leader of the Cerulean City Gym," she announced. "I hope you're ready to face the awesome power of Water Pokemon hon, because I won't be holding anything back!" Especially not against some nerdy girl like you. Bugging me this late. She looked at the meager crowd the challenger had assembled. Too young, couple, well hello there. That guy's not bad. Least there's something for me to look at while I end this quick. "So are you set to go?"
Jordan watched as the Gym Leader made her grand entrance. Another Redhead? What's in the water up here that makes so many redheads? There are like none back in Fuschia. She's cute though. And she's got Water Pokemon! That's like, awesome! I actually want to see this now.
"Good! I didn't want to see a water show, I wanted a battle! I am Eileen Weismann from Cinnabar Island and I challenge you!" Eileen called out to the orange-haired (and oddly dressed for a battle) gym leader, watching as she jumped onto a floating platform on her side of the pool. Eileen and Hughes shared a glance with Eileen simply shrugging before they both jumped over to the platform closest to them.
Hughes made it with no problem, but Eileen slipped due to the movement of the platform and almost fell in. As she regained her balance she heard Misty laugh on the other side, a frown forming on her face before she looked down at Hughes and said, "It's time to show her what we can do. I choose you Hughes!" The Growlithe barked and jumped onto a circular platform in front of him, his demeanor changing to serious now that the fight was going to begin.
Misty couldn't help but laugh again once she realized that the nerdy girl in front of her was actually going to use to fire puppy Pokemon that had been by her side. 'Even though she looks nerdy she must not be that smart to use such a Pokemon against me,' she thought, taking a second to catch her breath before saying, "Alright this will be a two on two battle, so choose another Pokemon!"
"I don't have another one, it's just him. So, make it like how Brock did where it was one at a time," Eileen replied as she grabbed out her pen and notebook from her jacket pocket, looking up to see that Misty had a dumbfounded look on her face, "What's the matter?"
"What's the matter!? You're obviously pulling my leg here or else you would be using one Pokemon against me, especially a fire-type! Fine though, we'll do it that way," Misty yelled out in frustration.
"Alright, that's cool. Now send out your strongest Pokemon to battle!" Eileen said excitedly, the pre-battle jitters having gone away now that the battle was about to begin.
"Hah, as if! First you have to prove your little Pokemon can even handle one of my water-types!" Misty replied and she grabbed a Pokeball from her belt and threw it over the water, the ball opening up and revealing a Horsea in a flash of light.
'At least this will be over quick. Maybe I can ask the blond to join me after this,' Misty thought, watching as Eileen dug through another of her coat pockets and bringing out a Pokedex.
"Time to look up some stats," she muttered to herself, opening her Pokedex and pointing it towards the Horsea that was in the water.
Horsea the Dragon Pokemon
WT: 17.6 lbs
Desc: It maintains balance using its tail, which is wound up like a coil. It may spray ink from its mouth.
'Not what I was looking for...ah there!' Eileen thought after a few quick button presses, frowning slightly at the info she received before putting away her Pokedex. "Alright let's get this battle started! Go Hughes!" she yelled out.
"Horsea use Bubblebeam. Let's finish this fast!" Misty ordered, her Horsea quickly following her command and shooting out a stream of bubbles from it's mouth in Hughes' direction. The fire Pokemon didn't even need a command from his trainer and effortlessly dodged the Horsea's attack, getting an order to use Ember on the small Pokemon and doing it.
Misty was not expecting such a quick dodge, and she certainly wasn't expecting her Horsea to let out a cry of pain as Hughes' Ember hit it.
"Now who's laughing Misty? You just boarded the beat down train to non consensual station!" Eileen called out arrogantly, jotting down notes on the battle. Misty was clearly not amused by what was going on.
"Horsea use Smokescreen!"
Horseeeea! Her Pokemon replied, sending out a billow of blackish-purple smoke that enveloped the immediate area. Hughes coughed a little as the smoke started to surround him, hearing Eileen tell him that even though he can't see that he can certainly hear.
Rowwl!" Hughes barked, closing his eyes to protect them from the smoke and listening for any movement. His ears perked as he heard the other trainer call out an attack, and readied himself for wherever the attack would come from.
A moment later and he heard movement in the water and the sound of water being shot out behind him. He quickly jumped out of the way and landed on another platform close by. There was another call from the other trainer and another Water Gun attack that he subsequently dodged. This continued a few more times before Eileen called out for him to pinpoint where the Horsea was and use Bite attack. He heard the other trainer yell out a command, and that's when he heard the Horsea go underwater. He quickly jumped up from his position and down into where he had heard the sound, his jaws opened wide as he splashed into the water.
There was silence for a moment as the Smokescreen started to fade away, the two opposing trainers waiting impatiently for the result. Eileen was frozen in her place, her pen in hand ready to write down whatever had happened. While her exterior showed calmness there was nothing but anxiety inside, her mind racing through a number of scenarios should the attack have not gone in favor of Hughes.
A second later and there was the a splashing sound, and as the smoke dissipated the two trainers saw Hughes shaking all the water off of his fur, with Misty's Horsea unconscious on the platform with him. Misty was silent as she recalled her Pokemon, telling it that it had done a good job.
"Alright Hughes! That's one down one to go. You ready to start taking us serious as opponents Misty?" Eileen said to the gym leader, a cocky grin on her face as she wrote down the results.
"I can see that the two of you are certainly much stronger than I first thought, but it's no matter. You wanted to fight my strong Pokemon, well here's the strongest! Got Starmie!" Misty yelled grabbing another Pokeball and throwing it, the purple, double star shaped Pokemon appearing.
Hoh! It called out, getting a confused look from both Eileen and Hughes (neither expecting it to make a cry like that). Eileen brought out her Pokedex again, aiming it at the purple Pokemon.
Starmie the Mysterious Pokemon
WT: 176.4 lbs
Desc: Its central core glows with the seven colors of the rainbow. Some people value the core as a gem.
'I swear these default descriptions don't ever give that great of information,' Eileen thought with a frown, putting the Pokedex back into her pocket and looking back up to the battle. Hughes and the Starmie were looking at each other (or at least the Starmie was facing Hughes), Hughes glaring intimidatingly at the mysterious Pokemon.
"Go Starmie, use Rapid Spin!" Misty ordered her Pokemon who quickly spun at Hughes, the Growlithe somewhat off guard at the speed of the opponent. He barely dodged the first Rapid Spin, managing to jump over to another platform as the Starmie went into the water and repeated the attack.
Eileen knew what was going on, and told Hughes to not jump to another platform and just stay on one. 'Otherwise he'll be wasting stamina getting away,' she thought, watching as Hughes slipped on some water on the platform and was struck in the side by Starmie's Rapid Spin. He fell into the water with the other Pokemon, jumping back up as quickly as he fell in and shaking himself off to prepare for the next attack.
Hughes waited for the Starmie's next attack, which came from behind him. "Hughes use Bite attack now!" Eileen yelled out quickly, her Pokemon having just enough time to turn around and grab a hold of the bigger Pokemon. It let out it's odd cry as it spun it's way out of Hughes' grip, going back into the water.
"Be careful Starmie! That last attack did some damage!" Misty said to her Pokemon, able to just barely see it underneath the water from her angle. Hughes wasn't as lucky. He was listening and looking for any sign that the Starmie would attack, pacing in a circle impatiently.
This lasted for a few minutes before Eileen called to Hughes to use Ember on the water.
Grrow? Her Pokemon replied with some confusion before doing as he was told, firing his balls of flame into the water. His trainer told him to keep doing it, and he followed the orders obediently. He hopped from platform to platform to get some coverage, his confusion matching the other trainer's.
"That's not going to do anything..." Misty finally told Eileen, wondering if her own uneasiness at what was happening was unfounded.
"Oh it is," Eileen replied back, pointing at the steam and bubbles starting to come from the water. A few seconds later and her Starmie hopped out of the steaming water, Hughes this chance to run towards it and use his Bite attack.
After a brief struggle Starmie escaped once more and went onto another platform, this time having lost a fin in the process. "Nice one Hughes!" Eileen called out before hearing Misty tell her Pokemon to use Recover.
Hoh! Her Starmie replied as it started to glow white. Everyone watched as its lost fin regrew, Hughes acting especially confused. In his confusion he left himself open, and Misty called out for Starmie to use it's Water Gun attack. It hit Hughes in the chest, the Growlithe letting out a cry before it saw Starmie spinning towards it. It jumped up in time for it's torso to not get hit, but the Pokemon's hind legs were hit in the process. Hughes fell back down onto the platform as Starmie circled it in the water.
"Finish it with another Rapid Spin Starmie!" Misty called out confidently, figuring that this match would be over soon enough.
"Hughes catch it with a Bite attack!" Eileen yelled, watching as her Pokemon was pushed back as it's mouth and the other Pokemon collided. The two Pokemon vied for the upper hand, neither of them willing to back down until Misty called for her Starmie to try and escape. Hughes was having none of that however as he tightened his grip on the struggling Pokemon. The two of them continued to struggle against each other with Hughes using another Bite after Eileen told him to. The Bite attack proved to be the clincher in the match, the weak Starmie's red gem cracking underneath the pressure.
It was then that Hughes let go, the other Pokemon landing on the floor with a loud thud. It's gem was blinking at a slow pace, and Misty knew it was over. "Starmie return" she said, lifting up her Pokeball before putting it away.
"Aww yeah Hughes we did it!" Eileen cheered excitedly as she danced around on her platform before being knocked over as her Pokemon jumped onto her excitedly. The two fell into the lukewarm water, both of them all smiles once they arose from it. "You did such a good job!" she said as she lifted him up onto the side of the pool before following. She took off her glasses and tried to dry them off by shaking it, her efforts being fruitless with Hughes shaking all the water off his fur repeatedly.
"Oh enough of that you fuzzball," Eileen told him after wringing out her hair and putting the her glasses back on, looking down at her Pokemon who's fur was sticking out from all sides. She grabbed her bag up where she had left it before heading over to where Misty was. "It was a good battle. Had me worried there a few times," Eileen said, extending a hand to the gym leader.
Alan had filled a couple pages of his notepad with shorthand writing.
As always, she is ever the technical fighter. Luckily the readers like learning from it so this will work perfectly. Alan thought as he put the last few notes into his writing before closing the pad.
"Brilliant as ever. It really comes through that she is the latest in a long line of pokemon professors. Hopefully all of our battles will go as smoothly as hers." He said already thinking about the language he was going to use in his latest article. Obviously he couldn't include anything but the new group would have to make it in. Perhaps he would cut out some of the rematches she had done that day, no reason to repeat the old when the new is right in front of you.
Aeris had, reluctantly, gone up where Jordan and Alan were, Mika keeping her close to him. While watching the fight, she kept herself behind Mika to stay away from any stray water that might come their way.
She did watch the fight in awe, amazed how she could beat Misty's water Pokemon with a fire Pokemon. Then again, Hughes didn't have the same problem as Blaze of having an outside fire that showed how good her state of health was. Which could also potentially be put out, and Aeris and Blaze both knew that nothing good could come from a tailfire being put out. That's why she wouldn't risk having Blaze fight against Misty.
She was still shivering, despite hiding behind Mika. She did not like this place at all. It had water, and she didn't want to accidentally fall into it. "A-Alan, are y-you going to f-fight her now?" she asked, still stammering a bit.
"Hmm, as much as I want to I probably shouldn't. I need to get all of my notes out of shorthand and get my article completed for the next installment while still finding enough time to get a proper night's sleep. Which means I should probably head back to the center and get to it. The life of a reporter is sometimes a bit of a drag like that." Alan replied with a slight frown as he thought over everything he had to do in the next few hours if he wanted his sleep. Luckily the translation wasn't necessarily the hard part, it would be picking what should and shouldn't make it into the finished product.
Jordan watched the fight with great interest, mostly due to the pretty gym leader who emerged but also because of the battling. Damn. New Girl is like really good and stuff. Maybe she should like teach me or something. Then the battle was over and his attention went back to the gym leader. Or her. Yeah that would work. With the festivities done, he joined the other three in heading back to the ground level.
Misty grudgingly stepped off of the platform. Even if it was a quick match like she wanted, she hated to lose, especially to a fire Pokemon. "I didn't think I would be losing like that," she admitted to the soaking wet challenger. "Don't...don't touch me like that, I've got to head out of here. Here." She handed the trainer a pouch. "That contains your badge, a Water Pulse TM and $210. That's your prize for beating me. Well done."
There that's over with. I wonder if that guy is still up there. Misty looked to the stands and saw nothing. Damn. I hoped he would at least stick around for a minute. Oh well, maybe I'll have some luck in the city tonight. "OK, I've got to close down here, so please make your way out through the front there."
Prize in hand the trainers returned to the Pokemon Center, eager to savor and recover from the victories of the day. Nine trainers hit the hay, the delivery boy having not been seen since arrival in the city. Soon there was not a sound to be heard, as even the most diehard of nightowls would soon fall asleep.
The sun rose over the mountains East of Cerulean, slowly breaking it's rays in through the windows of the center. It was time for another day of training and other things.
Aeris woke up in Mika's arms, smiling gently at him. She got up from the bed they were in, in her underwear and t-shirt, and went over to the showers after getting a towel and shampoo. It felt nice, she thought. Some would find it odd that she would shower, give her hydrophobia. But she had showered enough to like that. Besides, she was much more likely to give a reaction to baths than showers.
After the shower, she dried herself and got dressed. She went to the front of the Poke Center, stepping outside for a moment to breath in the fresh morning air. It was a beautiful day, with the sun shining high. She let Blaze, Tristan, Ekans and Xal out of their Pokeballs. All but Blaze were still asleep. Aeris giggled at that. She woke them up one by one.
"Come on. It's a nice day outside. Why don't you play a bit before we attempt this next gym?" Tristan and Ekans were worried about Aeris wanting to take it on, and so was Blaze. Xal was the only one who wondered why they looked a bit worried. "Geo?" Why the glum faces? he asked them. Blaze turned around to face Xal. She's seriously afraid of water... Xal looked around in panic. Water?! Where's water?! I don't want to be near that stuff! He hid behind Aeris who giggled at him.
"I'm just as afraid of water as you are, if not more..." Xal looked at her with sympathy in his eyes. "Geodude?" Then why are you taking on this water gym? "Because I need to in order to continue on the path to become a great Trainer." "Geodude!" That sounds stupid if you ask me. Just skip this one and go to the next one. "I-I can't. I need to try..." Xal sighed and hugged her arm, careful because of his rock body. "Geodude." Then I'll help you when I can. However, not here in this gym. Aeris giggled. "No, I didn't expect you to. Tristan and Ekans are the only ones I'll be using against her." Tristan and Ekans nodded. "I'm not going to put you or Blaze at risk by having either of you near water."
"Well, lets get to training a bit, then. Blaze and Xal against Tristan and Ekans. Lets see how well you'll do." All four of her Pokemon nodded and went against each other, training both for Misty and any future battles.
Grrowwro? Hughes had been following Eileen on their morning jog around the city, only to notice that he was now in front of her. He trotted back over, careful to make sure that he didn't put too much strain on his back legs. Nurse Joy had said that he was perfectly fine, but his trainer always liked to be cautious with injuries after an important battle. It's why their job was shorter and at a lighter pace than normal, and why he was confused by Eileen's sudden stop.
"Hmm? Oh no it's nothing Hughes, I'm fine just...thought I saw something," Eileen muttered back to her Pokemon, choosing now to re-tie her shoes before continuing the jog. They were finally at the home stretch of their jog, only needing to go a few more blocks down past the house before making a turn and winding up back at the Poke Center. 'And finally away from whatever seems to be stalking us,' she thought to herself, finishing tying her shoes and running down the blocks.
It was ten minutes later when she and Hughes rounded the corner and saw the Poke Center in the distance, the two of them speeding up their pace a little bit. The cool, crisp morning air made the jog less tiring though Eileen wished she had at least brought her jacket with her. It was then she noticed that some Pokemon were out in front of the Poke Center with their owner, who Eileen quickly recognized. She and Hughes jogged up towards Aeris, before Eileen greeted her, "Good morning, it's quite nice not being the only one up so early!"
Grooww! Hughes barked at the other Pokemon, sitting down next to his owner and looking over at them.
Alan had woken up and put the finishing touches on his article before sending it off to be edited and printed. After a quick shower and breakfast he dressed and decided to see what his colleagues were doing. He was currently walking out of the pokecenter with the paper his article ran in in his hand. Croc and Spike were back inside eating breakfast, he had told them to meet up with him outside once they had finished.
I hope they got enough rest, they are going to need it. He thought as he walked through the sliding doors to see Aeris and Eileen outside.
"Morning ladies, how are the both of you doing?" He asked the two of them as he found a place to sit and began to open the paper.
Five Hours Earlier:
After a few hours of dreamless sleep, Rochelle's sleeping mind began to wander for the first time that night.
She was wandering alone through the caverns of Mt. Moon, and she was in the state she had been in when Tyler had broken her out of the supply closet. She must have taken the wrong turn, and gotten lost somehow. It was cold and damp under the mountain; there were less torches than she remembered, and the occasional faint splash of water around her feet.
Then something moved behind Rochelle as she walked; she heard it. A footstep: a heavy boot judging by the muted thud it made. Anxious to get out of the cavern and return to her friends, she sped up, taking turns at random. She wasn't alone down here after all. The footfalls gradually grew louder as Rochelle continued; and was it her imagination, or were there more of them? And those movements in the water... those weren't just Pokémon swimming around.
Rochelle started to run from her pursuers, dashing into the natural maze of rocky walls and deep water. There were definitely more of them now, and they were faster; whoever it was had sped up. Rochelle dared not look behind her as she picked up the pace, whipping around corners and vaulting over low walls of rock. Then she rounded a corner and ran straight into one of the many dead ends that would be present in the cavern. She sat down hard, bleeding from light scrapes on her face and arms.
The footfalls grew even louder; they had found her. Trapped in the small space, all she could do was watch as silhouettes began to appear: uniformed people began to take shape. In the dim light of the cave - there were no torches nearby - all that Rochelle could make out was a faint crimson R emblazoned on the uniform.
Horror filled her as she raised one arm in a pathetic attempt to shield herself from the invasive clutches of Team Rocket. They had already taken everything Rochelle owned... and now they would take her life, her panic-filled brain told her. The Rockets began to casually walk towards her, closing the distance as she cowered in the corner...
At the sight of the black-clad men and women closing in to take her away, Rochelle abruptly woke, sitting bolt upright in her bed with a scream of fright. She looked around wildly, certain she was trapped in the cavern she had dreamed up, only the lights were out. Her fear increased a few notches. Team Rocket members were about to walk through that door and kidnap her, surely... then she caught sight of moonlight dancing on the softly shifting water and remembered the walk with Jordan into Cerulean City. Other sleeping people lay on identical beds; two people were sharing one, judging by the silhouette cast from the reflected light. Thankfully Rochelle hadn't woken any of them up with her scream.
With a deep sigh of relief, Rochelle flopped back down on her bed and rolled over onto her side, staring aimlessly out the window. She didn't want to go back to sleep now, even though it was the middle of the night and her body told her that she needed it. But she didn't want to go through that nightmare again... eventually, though, she succumbed to her heavy eyelids and dozed off, too tired to resist.
Over the next few hours the young Trainer's rest was constantly interrupted. She kept waking up to find that not much time had passed between her fitful periods of dozing. Each time she was relieved that she had not gone through her nightmare a second time. After one such episode, Rochelle found herself lying face-down under the sheets, uncomfortable due to having not properly gotten ready for bed before crashing. It must have slipped her mind in her heavily fatigued state.
Dawn had broken over Cerulean while she had slept: the room was brightly lit from both natural lighting and the glow of overhead lights identical to those found in office buildings and the Pewter Gym's battle arena. Rubbing her eyes with one hand, Rochelle maneuvered herself onto her back, not wanting to get up yet. Her stomach protested - she hadn't eaten in a while, having been too tired for dinner - but she ignored it and just lay there, occasionally shifting when she found herself uncomfortable again.
Aeris was watching over the fight between Blaze and Ekans, and Xal and Tristan, when Eileen showed up a bit sweaty, Hughes not far behind her. "Good morning. I just woke up after a good night's sleep. Though I'd get the guys, and girl, to train a bit before trying to take on Misty. I don't have too good a feeling about going in that gym again, but hopefully I won't need to be on the same platform as you were on..." She was alright with heights, it was just the looming water beneath she didn't want to fall into.
"I'm doing very well, thank you." Aeris answered Alan, seeing him step out of the Poke Center. "Just having my Pokemon train a bit before I attempt to challenge Misty. I only hope I can stay there long enough to battle her and win." She was trying to pump herself with enthusiasm, but failed just a bit. The nearby waters didn't exactly help her calm down completely. She tried to focus on just training her Pokemon, though. However, maybe it would be better if they fought some wild Pokemon.
She looked around, and noticed a bridge that headed north. "Does either one of you know what's beyond that bridge?" She might take a look over it to see what was there after a bit more training.
"Doing fine Alan, just the usual morning routine," Eileen replied as she walked over to a bench nearby to sit down at with Hughes following after her. She got out her water bottle and drank deeply, now starting to feel the exhaustion from the jog setting in.
She chuckled when she heard Aeris' question about what was north, taking another drink before answering. "There are a couple of interesting things. Patches of grass, a cave you can't get to, a lighthouse, and a bunch of trainers who think they're hot stuff. It's quite fun proving them wrong," she told Aeris, adding, "If you don't feel like bothering with the trainers there are a number of Pokemon over there that you can fight, most of which make for good battles. If you're gonna head over there I think I'll join you. You can never have enough training, right Hughes?"
"I can tell you're excited at the thought," Eileen said to her Pokemon, petting him behind the ears, "We'll go easy if we do head up there."
"Well then that makes two of us Eileen." Alan said as he found a place to sit and opened the paper before replying further.
"It's good that you are both doing well. I myself am letting my pokemon eat and rest before I go fight Misty. Can't have them being tired you know." With that he was still paying attention to the conversation but he was reading the paper fully while doing it.
"Hmm. I think training with actual Trainers against their Pokemon sounds like a good idea. They need that." Aeris picked up Xal's Pokeball and returned him to his respective Pokeball. Blaze, Tristan and Ekans stopped their training once Xal was gone.
"Tristan, Ekans. We're going Trainer hunting." She giggled at that, Blaze, Tristan and Ekans doing the same. They nodded and went over to her. "Well, if you're ready, I think we should go over the bridge." she said to Eileen, she, Blaze, Tristan and Ekans ready to go. She was going to let Tristan and Ekans fight against those Trainers, with Blaze either watching over the battles or go against the more tougher ones, should they fight against any.
"Woah now slow down there, I'll need ten to fifteen minutes or so to take a shower then change and grab breakfast. I suppose I'll go get to that now. Wait up for me if you want, or just go on ahead and I'll catch up," Eileen told Aeris, hopping up from the bench before heading inside the Poke Center. The trainer and Pokemon strolled through the center and over into the room that they were staying in.
Eileen was thankful that not a lot of people were staying at the Poke Center and that she didn't have to share a room with anyone. After grabbing a set of clothes she ran to the shower block (telling Hughes to stay in the room) and undressed before taking a quick shower. She put on her pants and shirt before trying to dry off her hair once inside her room, deciding to just leave it somewhat wet as she grabbed her messenger bag and headed out with Hughes.
"Alright just need to eat quickly and then we'll be ready to go," Eileen told Hughes once they entered the cafeteria area, choosing a table to sit at. Once Eileen finished feeding Hughes his breakfast she went and grabbed some waffles and fresh fruit to eat, sitting back done and starting to eat it as fast as she could.
Tyler crawled out of bed and sluggishly rose to his feet. The post-sleep haze began to fade away as he made his way towards the showers. By the time he freshened himself up for the day and got dressed, he was wide awake and ready to take on Misty. Taking his belt out from his pack, Tyler put it on and made sure all three of his Pokemon were in their proper places. With all three Pokeballs accounted for, he made his way out of the Pokemon Center.
Outside, he noticed Aeris and Alan standing around as if ready to go somewhere. He approached them and gave a friendly wave. "Morning guys," he said in greeting. "What are you guys up to?"
"No problem. Just take your time." Aeros told Eileen as she headed inside. She waited with Alan outside while Blaze, Tristan and Ekans were playing around. She had brought out Xal again to play with them while she waited for Eileen.
"Good morning, Tyler." Aeris said when he came to them. "Me and Eileen are going across the bridge to the north to explore a bit. Not sure if Alan will be joining us, but you're both welcome to join us if you want to."
"I would but I need to finish my own morning ritual. Can't exactly be a reporter without examining the works of others to and then comparing it to your own work. Some pretty good articles if I'm honest, but of course it isn't all good." Alan replied from behind his paper where he sat.
"Perhaps I'll go with you guys once we are out of the city one day. Seeing as I can't get a paper there anyway."