In Her Image: a Pokémon RP

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Caleb watched with amusement as Nicolas stormed out of the arena after suffering a defeat.

"Well that was a fun battle. I get this feeling though that this won't be the last time I see Nicolas." He thought to himself as he retrieved his coat and sword. Caleb looked over at Raiden who had little surges of lighting dart across, a sign that he was happy with the outcome of the match. However, Raiden began to glow with a faint white light.

"Raiden... your glowing?" Caleb asked in confusion.
"Lux?" Raiden replied, equally confused as his trainer was. The light soon engulfed him.
"I know what this is, your evolving Raiden." Caleb remarked with a slight chuckle, as Raiden's shape changed into that of a Luxray.

The light soon faded, and what was once a Luxio, now stood as a proud, majestic, and fearless Luxray. More jolts of electricity jumped across Raiden's body as he gave a powerful roar.

"Lux... Luxray!" He roared with delight as Raiden began to walk over to its trainer. Caleb knelt down and stroked his newly evolved Pokemon's mane of black fur, which now stood more prominently. Despite his now more mature nature, Raiden couldn't resist given Caleb a lick on the cheek. Caleb smiled and chuckled as this happened.

"Ah Raiden, you still have the kid inside. And I must say, well done." Caleb remarked as he gave Raiden a pat on the back.

"Now then, lets get Raphael over to the PokéCenter, and then join our fellow patrons from the Sleeping Sunkern. But first, back into your PokéBall." Caleb said quietly to Raiden, as the plucked the Pokémon's ball, and activated the return feature, the red light engulfing his newly evolved Pokémon. He then made his way down the Blue Tunnel, and off to the PokéCenter.

"You okay there kid? Good battle by the way. You two are naturals."

"Sorry about that! He's just curious, gets in places he shouldn't be! Great match, by the way!"

"Thanks." Tom smiled as Remy helped him up. He wasn't hurt, just surprised. "It's no problem, I'm pretty clumsy and should really look where I'm going more often."

Kusari had fallen off of Tom's shoulder again. The Skorupi shook herself off and jumped back up to her perch where she let out a small chirp of content.

"Oh and thanks again! Actually to tell the truth that was really Trapic's first battle with a trainer. I'm really glad he did so well! Everyone else has a lot more experience, we've earned a few badges too!" Tom fished around in his bag and produced his badge case, which displayed The Zephyr, Hive, Coal, Forest, Cobble, and Fen badges, which Tom's smile outshone. It was clear he was very proud of his victories.

"Your battle was amazing as well! Although personally I would've taken up the offer and had that fighting pokemon battle! But then again, battles for me are more about having fun than winning."

"Lets give Silvio a shock with Thunderbolt."

Looking back at the match Tom saw that Caleb had sent out a pokemon he had seen more than a few times before.

"Oooh! A Luxio! They're really tough, and they're known for their spirit! This is going to be a great battle!"

He and the other watched as Caleb's pokemon carried out the commands that were given perfectly at an incredible speed. Before he knew it the battle was over.

"That is some amazing work by Caleb and Luxio, right there Terry. You can see that this Pokémon has been trained well! And with that, Caleb Grey is the winner of this round!!!!"

"YEAH! Great job Caleb! That was just the battle I was hoping to see-WOW!"

Suddenly The Luxio began to glow. The light became brighter and brighter and as it grew brighter, Tom became ecstatic.

"I can't believe it! It's evolving right there! Wow! This is great, there's nothing more amazing than seeing a pokemon evolve!"

As the light faded and presented the Luxray for all to see Tom thought out loud, "I wonder how it would do against Kalmia? I bet that would be a battle to remember!"

"By the way... Darius, Savannah, shouldn't you get going? Your battle is almost coming up."

"Oh? Well good luck you two! Have a great battle!"

"By the way... Darius, Savannah, shouldn't you get going? Your battle is almost coming up."

"Yeah,"Darius said lazily,"But I was just getting comfortable again after the avalanche incident." He took his pipe out of his mouth and tapped Knuckles on the head, who knew the drill and clicked the button on his pokeball and re-entered.

"Alright,"He said standing, dusting some of the rock dust off his Torkoal shirt before walking off the stands.

He put his hand on Sav's shoulder and said,"Good luck, it'll be good to see that Grovyle in action." With that he walked off to his corner, puffing on the pipe, unruffled by his opponent, he was here for a good time, not much he had to prove as a trainer anymore after all.

Daria leaned back in her seat, scratching her scalp as waved off Darius and Savannah to their match. "Hehe, this oughta be good!" she exclaimed, before sitting up straight half a second later. She slumped down into a thinking stance, cupping her chin with a palm as she thought about the Pokemon she'd seen yesterday.

"Actually..." she began to make odd motions with her hands, before finally smacking them both together. "Huh! Who to root for... neither of them are big jerks like that Nicolas guy..."

She began tapping her foot, still weighing the odds of the battle. "Her Grovyle's gonna have a big advantage over his Sandslash and Psyduck. So it seems likely she's gonna have a big lead, maybe even have it in the bag for that. Then again, the underdog's always got a shot... but then again, Sav is kinda cute..."

Whether on cue or by coincidence, Spiegel took that moment to rise out of his seat and wag a claw at Jet and Gemini. The trio left the Trainer's box in search of a concession stand.

Savannah had been drifting off during the battle between the two stuffy noblemen, their incessant bickering and airheadedness had really been extremely tiresome and boring. She was awoken by a Graveller that had accidentally started a Rollout, causing it to crash into the side of the awning, shaking the immediate area and the crowd along with it. The tremors roused Sav from her sleep just in time to witness the end of the fight. She looked down to see who had emerged victorious.

So...what did I miss...?

"....And with that, Caleb Grey is the winner of this round!!!"

Heh, at least it was one of the group that won, I prefer this snooty aristocrat to the other one at least

As she looked down from the stands to the dusty arena ground below, she saw a dazzling light surrounding a pokemon she had never seen before, the light grew in intensity, enveloping the Pokemon in it's bright glow.

Huh? That Pokemon is evolving! Right here and now!

Sav was not wrong, for as soon as the light reached the apex of it's brightness, it quickly faded, and out emerged a larger, more mature Pokemon with a large mane and a star-ended tail, complete with electricity arcing all around it's body, showing it as an electric type.

"Wow. It's rare to see a Pokemon evolve in such a public situation such as this, we truly were privileged to see this!"

"By the way... Darius, Savannah, shouldn't you get going? Your battle is almost coming up."

"Oh yeah, that's right, thanks for reminding me. I guess it's now or never then" she said with enthusiasm in her voice and a hearty grin on her face.

Darius came over and put his hand on Sav's shoulder and said,"Good luck, it'll be good to see that Grovyle in action."
With that he walked off to his corner, puffing on his pipe.

"Grovyle!"

"You too Darius! Have fun too okay?"

And with that Savannah made her way down into her corner, Sprig in tow, awaiting the arena announcer.

Before Darius and Savannah were up, there were a few other battles that would take place in Groups 14 and 16.

First up were Tony Iverson and Seth Killian. A somewhat uninteresting match ended with Seth's Hitmontop defeating Tony's Voltorb. The crowd was not enthralled.

Then came Forte and Ken Capins' turn. Although strong in both willpower and brawn, Ken's Donphan and Hippowdon were both put down by a single foe. Forte's Hariyama.

"Yaaaay! That's why I hired you as my bodyguard, Forte! Wooooo!"

Forte ignored Tatya's inane screams and instead threw a challenging glance at Daria (quite a feat considering she was just one girl in a sea of people) before returning to his tunnel.

Third match involved Jack Almond, a Hoenn native with a loud shirt and a Slateport Sharpedos baseball cap, against a certain Dimitri Harris.

AND JACK ALMOND IS THE WINNER!! Who would've guessed a single Machop could pack that much of a punch!?

You said it, Terry! Jack just sweapt through Dimitri's team like they were training dummies. It'll be fun to see whether his next opponent, the win-by-default Matt Seras is going to put up any kind of a fight.

"Eh? That's it? What a gyp, brudda... Come on Chopper, I needs me some meat..."
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And with that, we're ready for yet another Group 16 battle. In the Red Corner, from Pallet Town, Kanto, where legends are born, DARIUS O'KERE!!!

Aaaand from Rustboro City, Hoenn, SAVANNAH IRIS!!!

And with that, we're ready for yet another Group 16 battle. In the Red Corner, from Pallet Town, Kanto, where legends are born, DARIUS O'KERE!!!

Darius walked out into the stadium, it'd been years since he'd seen a fight from this perspective. It was a nice change, but the noise was deafening. Good thing he'd been busy raising a Whismur or else he might've been grabbing his ears already. Sav stood across the way, in her own trainer box, thumbing her pokeballs. He puffed on his pipe and rocked his head back and forth a couple of times before reaching for a pokeball at his belt and throwing it out.

A flash of light appeared and Numel appeared, eyes almost vacant.


"Alright," He said, pipe clenched in his teeth,"Whatever she throws out, Growl, Focus Energy, Magnitude, in that order. Oh, and try to not get hit by her stuff, fortify yourself if you have to."

The Numel looked back and slowly nodded at his trainer's words before facing the front again, eyes seemingly empty.

Aaaand from Rustboro City, Hoenn, Home of Steven Mothafuckin' Stone, SAVANNAH IRIS!!!

Sav strolled out to the middle of the arena, waving to the crowds. The cacaphony of their applause as they all cheered for her. It was overwhelming, but this wasn't the time to lose sight of things, this is what she came all this way for, to show all these people her strength, both of will and of her Pokemon.

She brushed her long purple locks out of her face, before dusting off her shoulder. She was ready.

"Time to roll! Hold nothing back okay? Sutekh, I choose you!"

She reached down for a Repeat Ball on her hip, before throwing it high into the sky, momentarily disappearing into the Sun's glare, before falling down with tremendous velocity and sending out a flash of red light.

"Now, Set, use Sand Attack followed by Sand Tomb, then Bite!"

The Trapinch immediately complied, kicking dirt in the direction of the opponent's Pokemon

Caleb watched the two matches after his from the comfort of the PokéCenter whilst Raphael was getting healed after his showdown with Nicolas's Silvio. He and Raiden had been getting a fair bit of attention from spectators, but also from his unofficial fan club; mostly to congratulate him on his battle, but also to Raiden, as it was not very often that a Pokémon would evolve in such a public place. After having Raphael returned, he made a quick exit with Raiden tagging alongside him, wanting to get used to his new form.

As the pair made their way back to the seats were the other Sleeping Sunkern patrons were residing, he stopped at a concession stand to pick himself up a couple of drinks. He also happened to notice that Daria's team were there as well, but no sign of their trainer, as they were being lead by Spiegel the Charmeleon. Soon as they came into contact, Gemini began observing Raiden in the same manner as it did when looking at Sebastian.

Caleb bought some drinks, and soon arrived back at the seats, where he found Remy, Matt, Tom, Daria, and Rupert sitting down watching a match that was about to start between another pair of patrons from the Sleeping Sunkern, Darius O'Kere from Pallet Town, and Savannah Iris from Rustboro City.

"Well hello there you lot. I take it you've been enjoying the tournament so far?" Caleb asked as he sat down in one of the empty chairs, Raiden sitting next to him.

"Any of you guys want a drink, since I got plenty." He remarked, showing his purchases.

The fight had started. Numel, being the faster of the two, let out a Growl to intimidate its opponent. Slightly deterred by Numel's intimidation tactics, Sutekh nevertheless carried out its Trainer's orders, opening its large maw and spewing sand into Numel's eyes, hampering its eyesight.

Numel's next move didn't require being able to see, however, as it closed its eyes and focused all its energy. With any luck, its next attack would do more damage than usual. By this time, Savannah's Trapinch had already burrowed its way underground, going in circles under Numel's position until the ground around it caved in and started sucking Numel in, damaging it as it exerted itself in order to avoid getting buried.

Frustrated, the Numb Pokémon started pounding the ground by jumping up and down with great force, creating a small Magnitude to hurt the still digging Trapinch.

Not to worry folks, that tremor is only Darius O'Kere's Numel using Magnitude.

And it's a weak one too, I'm afraid. Our Magintude measuring Richter scale, brought to us by the Devon Corporation shows us a 5.2!

Sutekh came out, slightly dizzy and hurt, its gigantic maw gaping and going for Numel's neck.

*CHOMP*

Numel cried in pain as the Ant Pit Pokémon bit its neck, not letting go until it was satisfied with the damage done to its foe.

Hurt and struggling to keep out of the Sand Tomb's center, things were not looking good for Darius.

"Any of you guys want a drink, since I got plenty."

Daria shot a hand out into the air, and caught the drink as it was tossed to her. She took a sip--"Bleh, what kinda joint serves Moo-Moo Milk at a tournament?"

She set the beverage aside to never, ever touch again, and began her running commentary of the match, examining her Pokedex as it fed back its scans of the Pokemon. "Looks like Sav's got the first round in the bag. A fire type won't do crap against that Trapinch."

Truth be told, she wasn't paying much attention to the match--as much as she would have otherwise, at least. She was thinking about that Hariyama that Forte had been using. Quite the beast, winning a match all on its own. The thought of it and Jet going head-to-head dominated her thoughts.

Meanwhile, at the Concession Stand of Justice

"CHAR! Chaaaar, CharMELE!"

"For the last time, we're out of Skorupi-kabobs!"

The frazzled stand-keeper, a young sandy-haired boy, was currently at his wits end. Five minutes ago, a Charmeleon had arrived at his stand and starting growling at him. It'd taken until now just to figure out how to communicate with the thing; it would point at things and threaten him, and up until now his default response was to unfortunately admit they were out of whatever confection it had chosen. Things were getting out of hand, and the Charmeleon looked ready to start using some attacks if it didn't get something.

"Er... could I interest you in a bottle of Sparkling Squirtle Water?"

The Charmeleon's eye twitched, and a moment later a volley of flames erupted high into the air, along with the squeals of a terrified man.

Sutekh reappeared slightly dizzy, before shaking it off and sinking it's jaws into the Numel, doing a fair bit of damage. It still was damaged from the Magnitude, which was amplified due to Set being underground during the attack.

Don't get too cocky... situations can change at the drop of a hat...

"Yes Sutekh, that's it! Keep it in the centre of that Sand Tomb and we'll cinch this!"

Sav gave her Trapinch a reassuring sign as she clenched her fist, before pointing sharply at Numel.

"Now use Sand Attack again, and then use Faint Attack to hit it from behind whilst it's blinded!"

Got to play this one defensively, it's what Sutekh does best...At least for now

Darius was unfettered by the fact that Numel was having a hard time, to put it lightly. He was here for training, he'd have some fun of his own after all of this, he and Whismur. But the fight was the important thing right now. He calmly took the pipe out of his mouth and gave Numel his orders.

"Growl, Magnitude, Tackle buddy, in that order. You know what to do, and how to do it."

The Trapinch was interesting, but then again, most of Numel's attacks that he was going to use didn't need a whole lot of accuracy, just enough to know the general area. And if that Ground-type bit Numel, he'd better not bite his hump, seeing as how it held a hell of a lot of magma.

Again Numel Growled, making Sutekh nervous. The Ant Pit Pokémon responded in kind, showering its opponent's face in yet another dose of sand. With its eyes all but closed from the stinging pain of sand coated eyes, Numel started jumping up and down again, giving the stadium's construction a run for its money.

Looking better Andy, our Devon Corporation Richter scale is showing a 6.3 this time!

And better it was. Another tremor rocked the ground while Sutekh struggled to keep its balance, eventually falling and bouncing around at the mercy of the trembling earth and the jutting rocks. Once it was over, it was Set's turn. It scampered over to Numel's position before disappearing behind a cloud of sand. Confused, Numel looked around for it for a while only to have its foe appear from the center of the Sand Tomb and bite its leg.

In pain and being dragged down, Numel used every ounce of its strength to pull the Trapinch out of its hidey-hole and Tackled it and itself out of the now dissipating Sand Tomb. They were back to square one, albeit with Numel looking worse for wear compared to the slightly bruised Sutekh.
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Any of you guys want a drink, since I got plenty.

"No thanks, Caleb. I just got done gulpin' down mine. Excellent match, by the way. Congrats on the new and improved Raiden."

Remy remarked, as he admired the proud Luxray that lay on the ground behind him. His attention then turned back to the match where Darius had his hands full with Savannah's feisty Trapinch.

"Wooo, go Sav!"

Matt seemed very enthralled by the matches, seeing as he had been quiet for a while now. That is until a young man about his age with a bucket of meat and a Machop in tow came up to where they were sitting.

"Hey there brudda! You Matt Seras, ain'tcha? Name's Jack Almond, from Dewford Town, this 'ere's Chopper, my Machop."

Chop. Chop.

The small Pokémon greeted Matt with what must've been the manliest pose ever in Machop-kind.

"I hear tell you're my next opponent, don't worry, I'll try not to beat you too hard. Nhihhiii."

Jack said, while swallowing the remains of a drumstick, throwing out the bone and offering his hand for a handshake, with a wide, elated grin on his face.

"Come now, Numel, you've got it in you to win this, follow up another Magnitude with a Growl, that's about all you've got against this thing."

Darius was genuinely surprised at the turn of events, the little tyke was holding his own against a pokemon trained twice as long as himself, but he knew this was a last ditch effort here, it was make or break time, and that last attack may be all that stands between his victory and Sav's. All in all, it had been a good fight so far, so he was happy and ready for more.

" Hang in there! Don't lose your footing Set, we've almost got this!"

It was no doubt that Numel was visibly weakened, Savannah could tell it was severely weaker than Trapinch's power level, and yet it was still putting up a difficult fight. Set was also hurt from that Magnitude, and she didn't really want to risk an even higher strength one hitting Sutekh and KOing at this crucial moment.
No, no more playing defensive, she had this.

"Sutekh! We're going in for the finish now, don't let your guard down. Use Signal Beam! And a Faint Attack if it's still left standing!

Sutekh's body started glowing with a multicolored aura as it buzzed and charged up a Signal Beam. All charged up, it let fly, with the beam engulfing Numel in the multicolored hues of the blast. When the light cleared, Numel was down.

That is it. That Numel is done! It put up a valiant fight but this last move, although usually ineffective against Numel, was just too much for it to bear.

That Trapinch sure is feisty, Terry. Let's see what Darius has for us next!

Darius returned Numel to his pokeball, tapped it twice, and put it back on his belt before biting down on his pipe and appearing to think hard, even though he already knew exactly what he was going to do next.

After what he deemed a suitable amount of time, he threw out his next pokemon.

Knuckles looked up at him, then at the Trapinch, waiting for his trainer's orders.

"Number 4 bud, you know the drill, if she sends out that Grass-type from yesterday, Number 3."

Sending out his strongest pokemon so soon eh'? Spriggan will have the type advantage...

"Well done Sutekh, you did your job well for now..."

Sav took the same pokeball from her hip and tap the button in the centre, sending a ray of light that formed and enveloped around the Trapinch before sucking it into the pokebal in a flash of red.
She replaced the ball on her belt, before reaching for what looked like an ordinary pokeball immediately next to it, except it was a green instead of red.

"Time to show everyone what you can do!"

She threw her pokeball with great speed, it popped open mid-flight, sending out her Grovyle.

"Sprig, no time for introductions. Use Screech, followed by Bullet Seed, then Quick Attack, and finish on a Mega Drain!"

"Any of you guys want a drink, since I got plenty."

As Caleb generously offered his companions some drinks, Rupert managed to mutter a "No thank you" even though he was actually quite parched. His new found admiration for Caleb made it that much harder to approach him. The man was apparently a good trainer, carried himself with confidence and social grace was obviously not a problem for him. Caleb seemed to be everything Rupert was not yet yearned to be, so was it any wonder that Rupert admired him?
Rupert did however manage to congratulate him.

"Um... C-congratulation on your victory. Oh! A-and with your new pokemon. That evolution was... amazing."

The evolution had indeed been an amazing sight, but right now Rupert was more concerned about the battle in progress. Numel had just been defeated but his trainer, this guy Darius, seemed wholly unconcerned. Even during battle he was more calm than the average Munna. Not that Rupert had any idea what a Munna was.
Rupert wasn't sure that he liked this. Not giving any battle your all, being seemingly unengaged in a match; it seemed to go against everything Rupert had learned in his match against Tom. Maybe things were going to change with Darius' next 'mon, a mightily impressive Sandslash.

"I hear tell you're my next opponent, don't worry, I'll try not to beat you too hard. Nhihhiii."

"Oh! Um, hi, I guess." Matt had suddenly been yanked back to reality by his opponent's advent; tearing his attention away from the battles below, the young man focused on Jack, struggling to return a small smile. Reaching out, Matt took Jack's proffered hand, only to wince as the Hoennite nearly wrenched his arm off with an incredibly enthused shake.

Doing his best to put forward a brave face, and to ignore the sauce and grease Jack had unintentionally transferred to his hand, Matt did his best to make some small talk. His words may have been stuffed with pauses and stuttering, and his eyes rarely made contact with Jack's own, but hey, at least he was trying. "Um, that was re-really awesome, how you beat all that guy's Pokemon with just, uh, Chopper right?" The nervous trainer couldn't help but pause, distracted by the Machop's continued posing. It would have been somewhat ridiculous, had the Fighting-type not looked so utterly manly.

"...Anyway, yeah, you'll probably beat me no problem. Heh, sorry, but I'll try not to make it a boring fight for you."

Matt's unconvincing grin quickly faded, as he dropped his gaze to somewhere between his feet. "Sorry. I just... yeah."

Two fresh fighters were out on the field. Spriggan measured its opponent while Knuckles took a few practice swipes before settling into its fighting stance. Both Pokémon received their orders and were off. Spriggan being the faster of the two, started with a Screech. Again, the ears of both its foe and those of more sensitive spectators were put to the test, as Knuckles' hearing took a beating, lowering its defense. Sprig then moved to shoot seeds out of its mouth to put the Sandslash's freshly lowered stats to the test.

In response Knuckles swiftly made its way underground with a textbook Dig causing the barrage of bullet-like seeds to harmlessly pellet the ground. Try as it might to locate Knuckles, Spriggan's senses were no match against the expert digger, who by now had already made its way to the spot under the Grovyle's feet. Knuckles burst through the ground at an insane speed, tackling Sprig with the spikes on its back.

Sprig took the attack in stride, however, it being resistant to Ground-type attacks and all. It quickly recovered its footing and with a Quick Attack, vanished, only to appear behind Knuckles' back before it even reached the ground and proceeded to smack the Mouse Pokémon with its tail, sending it flying towards Darius.

As Knuckles hit the ground, it recovered by using its claws to regain its balance and swiftly jumped back towards the Wood Gecko Pokémon, bearing down with both of its sharp claws. Sprig can't dodge the attack on time and the Sandslash's attack connects, sending the Grovyle to the ground under the crushing weight of the attack, lowering its foe's defense in the process.

Down but not out, Spriggan releases two vines from its back, that proceed to catch Knuckles in midair as it tried to get some distance from its opponent. The vines start to faintly glow with a green hue as Knuckles suddenly feels its very life force being drained from it. The vines release their pray and the Sandslash falls to the ground, while Sprig stands up, feeling somewhat refreshed, with some of its wounds healed.

Knuckles, not wanting to let Darius down first thing in the tournament, makes its way back onto its feet and jumps high into the air. Once at maximum altitude, it plummets down to the ground, spinning claws first.

*BOOOOOOOOMMM*

Dust and debris is scattered through the air as the diminutive Ground-type causes a tremor stronger than any Magnitude its teammate was able to create.

Holy Ho-Oh, Andy! What does the Richter Scale say about this tremor's level??

It's quite the Earthquake, Terry! Our Devon Corp. measurement equipment is showing us that it's OVER 9.0!!

9.0!? Woweeee! That's quite the Earthquake from such a small Pokémon!! And look at O'Kere! No reaction as if this was a normal ocurrence for him!

The tremor devastates the field, creating crags and managing to do some solid damage to its opponent, even with the type-advantage.

The Earthquake subsides and both Pokémon take their positions. With Sprig looking a tad healthier compared to the exhausted looking Knuckles.

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"Sorry. I just... yeah."

As much as Matt tried to match Jack's enthusiasm and confidence, he just didn't seem to have it in him. That's when he felt an all too familiar by now clap on his shoulder.

"Don't worry about it island boy! This lil' guy here is gonna give you a run for your money, I'll bet my wallet on it!"

Remy says with a grin as he winks at Matt.

"Izzat so brudda? Am I glad ta hear that! I'll leave yous guys to it then. Gotta go buy some stuff at the market before the day is over. I'll be lookin' forward to our lil' brawl then Matt! You better not lemme down brudda! NHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"

Jack's loud as hell laugh echoes through that part of the stadium as he makes his way back down the stairs with a still posing Machop in tow.

Remy settles back into his seat and reassures Matt.

"Don't sweat it, kid. I bet you're going to impress, right Daria?"

The devastating tremor wrecked the field, providing multitudes of cracks and bits of ground flung everywhere that added to the terrain. Had to be careful not to lose footing or trip, this Sandslash was quite strong, and even with the type disadvantage had managed to do some serious damage to Spriggan, who was looking visibly exhausted from that Earthquake

"Grov....vyle...."

"Are you okay Sprig?"

"Grov...Grovyle!" said Spriggan, flaying his arms and slashing the air with his leaves.

"You've got him on the ropes now, don't quit! Now... use Quick Attack to rush him from your position, then use your Leaf Blade to slash him at close range! Then follow up with a Bullet Seed to push him away, finishing with a Mega Drain to heal any injuries!"

Knuckles was in bad shape, but so was Spriggan. Darius stood with his arms crossed, surveying the torn battlefield, and knowing that although the Grovyle had a type advantage, it didn't have the strength to carry through for much longer, if he played this right.

"Knuckles, use the cover you made, stay out of reach of the Mega Drain, and it's time to do Number 7!"

Daria's eyes darted back and forth, moving faster than her own mind could process the information. The two combatants raged across the arena, impacting with all the force their training could provide. The Pewter Fist felt a giddy shiver tingling in her bones. The thought of fighting either of these two was something she could hardly ignore. As the two collided, flashes of images would blast through her mind. Spriggan replaced by Jet, or Knuckles by Slagger. Her smile was as wide as it had ever been, her teeth sparkling in the sunlight as her eyes shone even brighter.

Come on, come on! Up, now down, counter! Use a--that's right, perfect! Nice job, nice job, now rock him with it!!

Her hands, clenched into fists, trembled as the entire arena shook from the colossal Earthquake attack. POWERFUL! That's gonna be tough to beat! Come on, Sav, ya can do i--

"--right Daria?"

"Huh?"

Daria looked over at Remy and Matt, blissfully unaware of the other conversations as she was getting into the match. They both stared at her blankly for a moment, and she returned the look. "Erm..." Thankfully a little lightbulb switched on, and she figured out what was going on. "Oh, right, totally!"

She leaned over from her seat and gave an impromptu noogie to the smallest of the trio, mostly in an attempt to save face. "With Pokemon like yours? You're gonna blaze a name for yourself right through the sky, kid!"


Meanwhile, at the freshly-roasted Concession Stand...

Spiegel grumbled to himself as he walked away from the stand, his fried Slowpoketail-On-A-Stick already missing a few bites. He told himself that he'd stick to Pokemon food for a while; this junk wasn't worth the effort. He, frankly, didn't know what he'd have done if Jet had remembered to steal Daria's wallet to pay for this stuff. But at least the chaos was done for a--oh Ho-Oh, where were Gemini and Slagger.

He gave a curious glance at Jet, who merely shrugged before digging back into his cotton candy. Spiegel felt a chill as he considered all the trouble they could be getting into, and began to frantically scan the crowd for any sign of them. This was not necessary.

"HEY, GET BACK HERE YOU PUNKS!"

"HYAHYAHYAAA!"
"GRAAAAAAAAAV!"

The two missing members of the party dashed by the both of them, squealing in terror as Slagger tried to hold onto their freshly looted supply of meat buns. Behind them, a portly security officer and his Growlithe gave furious pursuit, barking orders to cease and desist.

"Ch...Char??"

Spiegel stopped and stared in helpless confusion for a few moments, only reverting back to fury when his thoughts were collected. "CHAR CHARMELEOOOOOON!"

The red lizard sprinted off towards the increasing conga line of pursuers, shaking a fist in anger as he tossed his Slowpoketail-On-A-Stick high into the air. Food had to wait until the idiots were sorted out. It drifted through the air, caught just before hitting the ground by Jet, who casually reached out to take it as he watched the group dwindle off into the distance.

"Lee."

Jet turned around and began to head in the opposite direction. He'd kept a careful eye on which tunnel Forte had taken after his match, and had a pretty good idea of where to find him.

Sav's Grovyle disappeared yet again. The Treecko line were notorious for their speed. Knuckles barely had a second to react before its opponent appeared in front of him, stopping for a moment as if to taunt its slower foe.

*SMACK*

Another hit from Spriggan's tail sends Knuckles sliding on the ground. Using what agility it had left, the Sandslash uses its claws again to flip it onto its feet, while spraying Sprig's face with a Sand-Attack at the same time, as the Wood Gecko tries a Leaf Blade. The loss of accuracy causes it to miss and Knuckles wastes no time in Digging its way underground again.

Slightly blinded and not sure where its opponent is, Spriggan shoots Bullet Seed all over the arena, managing only to hit rocks and dirt. Knuckles uses this to its advantage, bursting out of the ground and hitting its foe from behind, causing it to fall to the ground once again. The Mouse Pokémon wastes no time in jumping to the air, preparing to do another Earthquake.

Feeling the fatigue and pain, Spriggan slowly gets back up and launches its vines for another shot of refreshing energy. The vines extend at their target and...

It missed!!! Amazing!!! Grovyle missed and now that Sandslash is on another collision course with the arena floor!

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, it's gonna be a bi...

*BAABOOOOOOOOMMM*

Knuckles hits the ground with tremendous force yet again. A pleased Darius can barely be seen amidst the flying debris as Spriggan looks for a way out. It manages to dodge some of the destructive force of Knuckle's attack but is ultimately ravaged by the Earthquake.

As the tremors subside and the dust clears, a tired Sandslash stands victorious in front of a downed Grovyle.

HE'S DONE IT! SANDSLASH IS THE WINNER!!

That's not something you see every day, thanks to that missed Mega Drain, Darius and his partner managed to overcome the type advantage and take this one home. Ms. Iris is out of her main fighter and things are not looking all that peachy for the Hoenn native!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a training area reserved for trainers near the Red Tunnel. Jet, Daria's Hitmonlee finds Forte training his Hariyama. The Kicking Pokémon approaches the fighter only to have its way blocked by the towering Arm Thrust Pokémon, that warns it not to be a bother to its master.

Hariiiiiiii...

"I don't see your Trainer around, Pokémon. What is it you seek?"

"I don't see your Trainer around, Pokémon. What is it you seek?"

Jet stared down the trainer for a moment. A Hitmonlee was an intimidating Pokemon, known universally for their stoic nature. With no visible mouths to express themselves, and being Pokemon of few sounds, they relied almost entirely on nonverbal cues to communicate, even with other Pokemon.

If a Hitmonlee could frown, or else look angrier than it did usually, Jet did so then, and pointed with one of its fingers towards the Pokeballs that Forte had yet to open. Their occupants were still hidden. With a gesture, pulling the finger back, Jet demanded the others be let out for him to see.

If anyone could tell what a Fighting-Pokemon was thinking, it was a man like Forte who dedicated his life to training them. Jet was here for the sake of his trainer's honor, scoping out the competition for the strongest opponent. The one he would defeat.


"WHAAAA-?!" Daria's eyes were diverted from Matt for a moment to see the fantastic upset in the arena below. With a bellow and a raised fist, Daria's cheers raised above even the volume of the rest. Poor Matt.

"Did ya SEE THAT?!" she hollered. "Now THAT'S fighting spirit!"

I just wonder if he can keep that up?..

Savannah watched helplessly from the sidelines as she saw the barrage of attacks play out on her Grovyle, him missing his Leaf Blade, Bullet Seed and Mega Drain, leaving him defenceless and exhausted as the Earthquake shook the very foundations beneath Sprig, knocking him to the floor and pelting him with debris and vibrations.

"Spriggan! No!"

But Sprig was down for the count, the tremors being too much for him to handle.

That's not something you see every day, thanks to that missed Mega Drain, Darius and his partner managed to overcome the type advantage and take this one home. Ms. Iris is out of her main fighter and things are not looking all that peachy for the Hoenn native!

Dammit... How could I let this happen?...Should've used Magical Leaf..."

But even though she ran through all the things she could have done in her head, there was no contesting the harsh reality that she had lost this one. She had to fall back on Sutekh.

"You did a good job Sprig, that's all that matters. We'll get you healed up nice and quick..." she said as she opened up her green pokeball, the beam of light surrounding Spriggan before retracting and taking him along with it.

"...Right after we win this one! Go Sutekh!"

Sav threw out her pokeball again, and the Ant Pit pokemon obliged.

"Use a Faint Attack to ambush it, followed by a Sand Attack and a Signal Beam whilst it's still blinded!"

Darius watched in complete stoicism as Knuckles avoided each and every single attack but the first one of Spriggan's. He nodded his head in approval as Knuckles slammed down into the ground, causing another Earthquake in the small stadium, stumbling a bit as it reached him since the fight had reached it's apex about ten yards away. Savannah looked on in horror as the Grass-type stumbled and then fell, and Darius couldn't help but feel her pain, the same pain he felt with Numel, but it was tempered by the fact that the small pokemon had stood his ground somehow against a tough opponent.

However, he knew that his Sandslash was almost out and he didn't want to lose two of his pokemon to something he knew was going to be a problem. He pulled his pokeball and returned Knuckles to it before switching it out for Daffy.

"Psy?"

"Turn around Daffy"

The Duck pokemon looked around at the devastation caused by Knuckles's Earthquake and somehow grabbed his head whilst smiling at the Trapinch crossing the distance between them.

"Number 3, last half only though."

Daffy nodded, his tailfeathers twitching before his eyes took on a different sheen than normal.

"Don't sweat it, kid. I bet you're going to impress, right Daria?"

"With Pokemon like yours? You're gonna blaze a name for yourself right through the sky, kid!"

It looked like you could cook an egg over Matt's ears. In fact, the entirety of the lad's face was burning red as Remy and Daria attempted to stroke his fighting spirit. They were failing miserably, obviously.

"Um, thanks guys. That's really nice to hear, I guess."

Matt appreciated the efforts his friends were going to, in order to motivate him, he really did! It was just... Dammit, what was he even doing here? He would be infinitely happier if he had just stayed at home and ignored all this buzz about a tournament! There was nothing wrong with just training and waiting, right?

"WHAAAA-?! Did ya SEE THAT?! Now THAT'S fighting spirit!"

Daria's incredible volume pulled Matt out of his depressed stupor, and dragged his eyes to the incredible fight taking place below. He was awestruck as Darius and Savannah waged an all out war down there, trainers and Pokemon all giving it their all. Even as part of him tried to sink back down, another part reminded him that this was why he had trekked across Jhoto to be here. That was the relationship he wanted with his opponents and Pokemon; that was his ambition.

Reaching to his belt, Matt clutched his Pokeballs in his hands. Though he left them miniaturized and closed, it was almost as though he could feel his friends inside. He owed it to them to give it his best, to be the trainer that they deserved. Even if it meant doing the impossible.

Gritting his teeth, Matt stood up, locking his gaze on Jack's receding back. "HEY, JACK!"

With volume that put even Daria's cheers to shame, Matt's cry brought the hungry Hoennite to a halt. As Jack turned around, Matt met his surprised stare with a determined gaze, a grin stretched across his face. Thrusting a fist into the air, the young trainer continued his shout, for once unconscious of all the stares he was attracting. "I'M GONNA GIVE YOU HELL TOMORROW, SO GET READY TO LOSE!"

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, it's gonna be a bi...

*BAABOOOOOOOOMMM*

Rupert did just that. He held onto his seat as the Sandslash's mighty Earthquake shook the stadium itself. A small voice in Rupert's brain urged him to run away immediately, but as his legs mysteriously seemed to have been turned into jelly, he instead opted for looking at the aftermath of the attack with a slack jawed and utterly enthralled expression. This was a match the like of which he had only heard of; a titanic struggle with power that threatened to spill out if it wasn't handled with care.

Luckily it seemed that despite the power of his pokemon, Darius was in complete control of the situation. He looked as calm now as when he had entered the ring. Rupert felt a pang of shame rise in him. He had doubted the seemingly unengaged trainer, but it was now obvious that Rupert had misjudged him. He had thought that Darius might be the type not to get engaged in a battle; someone who let's his team carry all the burden without contributing. Rupert felt another pang of shame as he knew that this had been a fault of his own just recently.

HE'S DONE IT! SANDSLASH IS THE WINNER!!

As the dust subsided it became obvious that Spriggan wasn't getting back up. Sandslash, though visibly exhausted, stood proud though. Rupert rose from his seat to give the Mouse Pokemon a standing ovation.

That was amazing. They were amazing, both trainer and pokemon. They were perfect together. This is what I need to emulate. Cubone, Haunter; I promise that I will get better.

The match wasn't over though as both trainers switched out pokemon. Rupert forgot to sit down again as he continued following the battle, face pale and hands clenched.

Hold on to your hats, ladies and gents, it's gonna be a bi...

*BAABOOOOOOOOMMM*

Caleb could already tell what was about to happen. As the building began to shake, his sword began to rattle in its scabbard, whilst Raiden laid down on the floor, the Bright Eyes Pokémon's paws holding on to its mane. After a few hair raising moments, the shaking stopped, and the battle resumed.

Its seems as thought, despite the earth shattering power of the Earthquake, Sandslash's trainer Darius, remained completely un fazed by the events. After gathering his things, he pulled Raiden's Pokéball from his belt, and activated the recall function.

"I think its best if you stay in here, won't have to feel any more quakes." Caleb remarked, returning the ball were it rested. It seems as though Savannah's Grovyle Spriggan didn't fare as well, being unable to battle a short time later.

"Hmm, that Sandslash certainly has some power behind it. Sadly though, I lack anything to make an effective counter, except of course Angelique. Will watch out for this one in case I happen to battle him in the future." Caleb thought to himself, as he watched the two trainers switch out their Pokémon. Savannah went back to a Trapinch, whilst Darius brought out a Psyduck.

Having been switched in, Daffy was at a speed disadvantage. Sutekh used Faint Attack and disappeared again to who knows where, only to appear beneath Daffy and bite it in the foot. The Psyduck was not pleased. As Sutekh made its escape, Daffy started creating a ball of water between its paws until it became roughly the size of a handball. Concentrating some of its psychic energies into it, the Duck Pokémon launched its attack at Sutekh, who took it in full force and was launched a good 12 feet towards Darius.

Sutekh got up but something wasn't right. Aside from the massive damage done to it by the Water-type attack, the Ant Pit Pokémon had become confused. Trying to spew out a Sand-Attack, the confused Trapinch forgot to open its mouth and only managed to hurt its insides.

Daffy continued fulfilling its Trainer's orders, closed its eyes and concentrated for a moment. Soon, a light blue aura surrounded its body. Opening its now glowing blue eyes, the Psyduck threw a paw out towards its opponent, engulfing it with the same light. Sand-Attack had been Disabled.

Next was the attempt at a Signal Beam by Savannah's Pokémon. It did not go well. The beam was shot into the atmosphere, while the confused Ant Pit Pokémon couldn't handle the recoil and was shot into a nearby rock, a remnant of Knuckles' toying with nature. And with that, Sutekh was down.

...And that's a win for Darius' Psyduck! Uh... What an incredibly unlucky turn of events for Trapinch.

Indeed, Terry! Hit with a super-effective move and confused. And knocked out by it's confusion too! Wow.

What will Savannah do now, I wonder? That upset earlier really turned the tables on this girl. Just goes to show you how unpredictable the world of Pokémon can really be!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back at the training area, Forte eyed Lee with amusement.

"Hah! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! So, you want to challenge the strongest, eh? Typical of your species, I guess."

Reaching into a large cloth bag for two other PokéBalls, Forte introduced his fighting trio.

"Well, you've already met Hariyama."

HarrriiiiiiiiYA-MA!! Hariyama stomped its feet on the ground as if to intimidate Lee.

"Up next is my main Pokémon. Might need some more training, though..."

The Pokéball split open and revealed its contents

Ferno, ferno! MONNNFERNO!

The fiery ape bounced up and down, showing off its acrobatic prowess with some aerial play.

"But right now, I'm guessing he is the one you want. I'd be willing to bet that you already know what is in here, hm?"

Lee could feel it already. A very familiar presence could be felt inside. Something akin to a brother. The ball opens.

Hit. Hit, hit. Channn!

The Hitmonchan shadowboxed for a bit before making its way to Lee. The two were face to face. Only inches apart as the staring contest took place.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Nheh? NHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! That's the spirit brudda!"

After recovering from his initial surprise, Jack roars again in laughter and resumes his way down the stairs and out of view.

Remy also regains his composure and turns back to the battle.

Heh. I knew the kid had it in him. Can't wait to see what you can do Matt Seras from Violet City.

...And that's a win for Darius' Psyduck! Uh... What an incredibly unlucky turn of events for Trapinch.

Darius smiled, the first real emotion he's allowed on his face throughout the battle. Taking out his pipe, he beamed, first at Daffy, who still looked a bit out of it after having his foot bitten, then across the field at Sav. Giving her a wave, he picked his Psyduck up and made an announcement to the stadium. He hadn't come for the contest really, just a good time and some training.

"Thanks for having me Rustboro City! It's been fun, but my time in this tournament is at an end! I respectfully withdraw and ask that if any of you have Day-Care or Pokemon Breeding needs, please, come looking for Darius O'Kere, Kanto Region!"

He bowed to Savannah and turned on his heel, Daffy still under his arm, clutching the bitten foot. The pipe he stuck back in his mouth and puffed on before heading for the tunnel, fully intending to go to the nearest pokemon center and get Numel back on his feet and Knuckles not swaying side to side so much.

Daria stared at Matt, mouth agape and eyes blank. Her shades hung down on the bridge of her nose, letting her look of surprise clearly display itself. "Matt..."

She leaped from her seat, wrapping her arms around the boy and squeezing tightly. It was something of a miracle nothing was broken as she lifted the skinny boy into the air with her vice-like hug. "THAT WAS AWESOME!!"


Jet's eyes narrowed, body utterly motionless as the Hariyama and Monferno took their turns trying to intimidate him. As Forte correctly guessed, he wasn't interested in the slightest with their attempts. His attention was only grabbed by the Hitmonchan that stood opposing him. Jet stepped forward, until he and the Hitmonchan were inches apart.

He eyes his soon-to-be foe very carefully, not making any visible movements.

"Hit."

He leaned forward, smacking his forehead against the other's, both fighters in a standstill from their respective strengths. This continued for approximately five seconds.

"Mon."

Jet stepped away, giving a cursory glance at Forte before turning and walking away, stopping just before disappearing into the crowd. Without looking back, Jet extended his arm and gave a thumbs-down.

"Lee."

He stepped into the crowd, and disappeared.


"Chaaar. Charmeleon, Char Charmele... Meleon! Char?"

"Graveler..."
"Hya..."

Spiegel was just finishing scolding the two little thieves; he had already forced them to return the stolen meat buns, and sit through one heck of a lecture when Jet reappeared from seemingly nowhere, tossing back the lizard's unfinished snack. The Charmeleon gladly took it, ripping out a bite and giving a questioning glance on where Jet had been. The fighter shrugged, unwilling to respond, which was enough to give Spiegel pause. But he didn't question it; Jet was the only other member of his team he could trust to make consistently good decisions, including his Trainer. It wasn't in his best interest to take away that trust.

Sighing, Spiegel decided this outing had been less of a disaster than it could have been, and ordered the other Pokemon back to the Trainer's Box. Daria was probably in some kind of trouble by now.


"I respectfully withdraw and ask that if any of you have Day-Care or Pokemon Breeding needs, please, come looking for Darius O'Kere, Kanto Region!"

"WHAAAAAT!?"

Daria was kind enough to finally release Matt and shoot to the edge of the Box, looking at the ending match below. She looked at the scoreboard to be sure--Darius was still in the match. "HE'S GIVING UP?!" she hollered, absolutely baffled. "But he could've won it!" She grabbed both sides of her head, looking ready to tear her own skin off as she cried, "WHYYYYYY?!"

About that time, Spiegel led his gaggle of troublemakers into the Box, and immediately knew his timing was perfect. Slagger ran to his trainer's side, eagerly tugging on her pants leg to get her attention. "Huh?"

"Graveler, Grav Grav!"

"Oh hey, Slagger! Where'd ya go anyway?"

She didn't get an answer beyond an exasperated sigh from Spiegel. Shrugging, she turned to Remy. "Hey Snow-boy," she asked. "any idea when the next round of matches starts? I'm kinda itching to fight the guy in the black belt cosplay."

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