In Her Image: a Pokémon RP

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Kayla walked up to the man and stood right in his face, standing on her tip toes to make herself taller and yelled as loud as she could," YEAH I GOT A PROBLEM WITH YOU, YOU DUNG SMELLING, PISS DRINKING, TWO FACE ROTTEN BELLY PERVERT! I mean just look at that track suit! It is one of the most ugly things I have ever seen. Those colours so do not match and the cut of it. Urgh. Where on earth did you get it! A dump? We have some major work do to," Kayla stepped back away from the man, "King! Use Flame thrower to get rid of these horrendous clothes!" King jumped and let lose a stream of fire at the track suited man, burning off his clothes, "Milan use Thunder Wave so he can't run away!" Milan the Luxio, not to be outdone by King. charged up a ring of electricity and fired it at the man, aiming to paralyzeing him.

"AND NOW IT'S MINE TURN!" Kayla yelled as she wound up and kicked the man in the balls.

The man flashed a bewildered smile. He was ecstatic.


A Pokeball whizzed past the man's face to grab his attention.

Daria advanced up the steps, cracking her knuckles and rotating her neck to loosen it up. Gemini, Spiegel, and Slagger fell in behind her. Her shades had been place back on her face, glinting in the light with a malicious look, not at all helped by the downright monstrous grin on her face. She opened her big mouth, and started to shout in a voice to match his.


Spiegel got the hint fast and leaped up past her, opening his mouth and unleashing a gout of powerful green flames.


All around them, as the match was being played out, a distant rumble could be felt by the spectators. Matt's Ventus had just managed to beat Jack's Swell with a well placed combination of both Aerial Ace and Double Team, when suddenly... *KABOOM!*, as a Steelix burst itself from out underneath the ground, showering the lower section of the arena in dirt and rubble. As this exact moment, dozens of men in black suits simply poured out from the arena entrances, surrounding the place.

'*sigh* Well ain't just terrific, first the power cut, now these guys.' Caleb said to himself sarcastically, as seven men in suits surrounded himself, Darius and Ryan. Both Raiden and Mightyena were growling at the trainers that stared down their own. Caleb's hand gripped around the grip of his blade, slowly unsheathing it, before he released it.

'No, tis not the correct method for dealing with these people, it would be considered rather ungentlemanly. Rest easy though, you might see some action yet if it is called for.' He said to his blade, before turning his head towards Darius and Ryan, who were already in a battling pose.

"Right, it looks like we may have to fight our way out chaps. I suggest that you two take on the four facing you, whilst I deal with the other three. Any objections or other ideas, I'd be glad to hear them." Caleb asked politely.

The stadium moved, pokemon popped out of the ground, and seven guys in suits in front of the three of them. And then the rich boy started in on them, talking about how he could take on three opponents simultaneously. Darius had seen him in the tournament, he was good, but he doubted he was that good, and his pokemon weren't anywhere near as strong as he was assuming they were. Whismur looked up at him, eyes watering from the sudden explosion of motion and noise from around the stadium.

"Any objections or other ideas, I'd be glad to hear them."

"Yeah, nobler noble sir,"He said sarcastically as he reached for a pokeball, then speaking directly to Whismur,"Next time you come out, start screaming as loud as you can, think you can do that for me?" She nodded, hands over her floppy ears and tears beginning to run down her face.

Darius smiled at her and returned her to the pokeball, taking Knuckles' and Daffy's balls from his belt and sending them out. Both were suitably confused for a moment at being let out, and having the other pokemon growling at the men in suits.

"Let's get it on then, boys,"A glint in his eye and his still-smoking pipe clenched between his teeth,"What'd ya want? Rockets went bye-bye years ago, so who the hell are you?"

Daffy and Knuckles had their own way of saying they were ready, each crossing their arms and leaning back on one foot, the other forward, but still having comical expressions plastered on their faces.

Things had seemed to be going great. Swell had been knocked out, Ventus was still moderately healthy, and the fight was undeniably leaning in Matt's favor. If Jack brought Chopper back out, then Ventus could probably take him too, and if it was Kip, then Matt could just switch out for Persephone. Yeah, everything seemed to be working out great.

It took seconds for it all to go to hell.


The floor beneath Matt's feet shuddered and buckled as an explosion in the arena's center hurled up a massive cloud of dust and debris. Reflexively bringing his arms in front of his face, the trainer cried out as he was showered with bits of rock and shards of metal. Blood staining his jacket sleeves crimson, he fell backwards, landing roughly on his back with pain dancing all over his body.

Squinting, Matt tried to peer through the shroud of smoke that poured from the hole in the stadium's ground. To his shock, a man soon emerged from the cloud, a snarl on his face and rage burning in his eyes. "Well then. How'd you like to be the first to surrender your Pokémon, kiddo?"


Before Matt could even process the situation, much less formulate a response, Ventus was tearing through the air, lancing towards the interloper with claws and talons. No one, NO ONE, threatened his trainer and got away with it.

But as the Pidgeotto rocketed toward the seemingly unsuspecting man, Matt saw something else lurking in the smoke and a wave of panic cascaded down his spine. "Ventus," he shouted frantically, "look out!"

Matt's warning came too late; the Steelix's massive tail lashed through the air, slamming into Ventus and sending him hurtling to the ground. The Pidgeotto managed to gurgle out a squawk before passing out, lying limply on the unforgiving ground.

"I'll ask you again, kid. You have something for me?"

The man's voice dripped with contempt, and Matt couldn't help but shiver in fear as the harsh words cut through the air. Every single fiber of his being was shouting at him in unison, unanimous in their pleading cries: this was not a foe to be trifled, this was a fight he had no chance of winning. He had to run. Run. RUN.

Scrambling backwards on his hands and knees, it took a few seconds for Matt to stumble to his feet. Fumbling with his belt, the trainer finally managed to extract Ventus' ball and point it at the unconscious Pokemon. "Ventus, return!" As the Pidgeotto dissolved into a ball of scarlet light, Matt turned and started to charge as fast as his legs could carry him. The exit couldn't be more than a hundred yards away; if he could make it that far then he could escape, he could get out of here safely, he could-


Another cloud of debris was kicked up as the Steelix slammed its tail just in front of the fleeing trainer, cutting off any escape routes the lad might have taken. Desperatly trying to slow down, Matt's attempt at skidding to a halt sent him tumbling to his hands and knees again, his momentum too much for a bit of backpedaling to overcome. The trainer groaned as he struggled to rise to his feet for a second time, his panicked eyes sweeping the stadium. Dread and despair started to course through his veins as he saw dozens of suited figures making their way through the stands, their mere presence enough to send most of the audience fleeing in terror. And meanwhile, here in the arena, that man kept advancing, staring at Matt as though he was little more than a bug to be squashed underfoot.

Can't run... The Steelix was eyeing him the same way that Ventus would eye Caterpies or Weedles, like he was prey that was barely even worth hunting.

No help... The men filling the stands would probably be getting Looker and the others' attention; odds were that they wouldn't be able to help him until they had dealt with their own fights. And Jack was still somewhere on the other side of the smoke. Hopefully he was okay...

I... I... Matt's entire body began to tremble as he tried to find a course of action, any option that would get him out of here in one piece. But, no matter how many times he ran through it, there was only one option:


"SPIKE!" Matt's terrified shout rang out as he hurled a Pokeball through the air. The red and white sphere bounced off the ground, splitting open and letting the Cyndaquil out into the chaotic scene. "FIRE SPIN!"

Quick Attacks. Double Teams. Aerial Aces. Matt and Jack's fight was being fought at such a blistering pace that Rupert could barely follow it. It was entrancing though, the way in which the two Flying-types battled. Ventus and Swell circled each other in the air, diving and turning, only stopping to trade blows at regular intervals. It was almost like an aerial dance. Rupert had never seen violence this graceful.


Hoothoot cooed once again from her perch on Rupert's shoulder, but not in fear as when Charmeleon and Monferno displayed their awesome power. No, her face was clearly beaming with awe and admiration. Rupert furrowed his brow in concern.

Is she admiring those two bird pokémons? I guess that's sorta natural. She's a Normal/Flying-type just like those two... I think. And they are clearly her superiors, so... but still...

Rupert couldn't quite bear finishing the thought. It was a bit hard to admit to himself, but he wondered if Hoothoot was perhaps setting herself up for failure. Having someone to look up to was good; after all, Rupert tried to emulate the likes of Darius, Caleb, and Daria. As trainers he admired them hugely. But looking at the combatants in the arena, whizzing through the air almost too fast for the human eye, he couldn't suppress the thought that surely Hoothoot could never be like them. How could this rotund owl ever hope to keep up with them? She hadn't exactly shown herself to be particularly graceful.
Rupert didn't like this train of thought. It felt like he was betraying Hoothoot in a small way, and he was already really growing to like her too. If only there was something to distract his wandering mind with.




Pandemonium ensued. The arena seemingly exploded as Rupert fell over backwards, dust and debris flying though the air. Screams of panic could be heard everywhere while Rupert sat on the floor in a state of supreme shock, a vapid look of horror plastered on his face. His mind was reeling, just waiting for something to snap it back into action. The enormously loud metallic roar that then blasted the stadium did just the trick.


H-h-h-h-h-h-holy honkering haunters!!! What the hell just happened?!

Hoothoot swooped down and grabbed Rupert by the arm, flapping wildly. She was desperately trying to get her trainer back up again, because as bad as the situation was she sensed something more coming their way. Though Rupert seemed to have momentarily forgotten the primary functions of his legs, he was emboldened ever so slightly by seeing that the Owl Pokémon was unharmed and got to his feet.

Standing at the railing Rupert could only stare at the destruction and chaos that the stadium had descended into. Still in a state of shock he couldn't understand what Hoothoot was screeching about until he sensed it too. Rupert turned around only to see that he was surrounded. Four angry-looking men in dark suits were eying him with malice in their eyes. The young trainer knew instinctively what they were after and backed up against the railing, terrified. He was frozen with fear. Was this where his pokémon journey would end? At the hands of these unknown pokémon gangsters? It hadn't even really begun. Were these bandits going to steal his pokémon for who-knows what purposes? It couldn't end like this. Rupert couldn't imagine his life without his team. He couldn't imagine himself without Cubone and Haunter.

The bright red light from the pokéball snapped Rupert out of his despair. The small Ground-type had come out on his own accord again. Cubone didn't even offer a glance to the terrified trainer. He simply stepped forward, wagged his bone club at the goons and assumed a battle-ready stance.
The message was clear: If you want me, come and get me.

Lee watched the matches pass by, though he remained unsurprised for the most part, entertaint and impressed, but unsurprised except for daria's surrender, which in his opinion was both not the kind of person he thought she was and a stupid move, as for the best plans are born out of necessity.


Out of nowhere what was a standard tournament turned into chaos, having sensed the danger duskull stayed in his shadow and proceeded to place will-o-wisps under the seats of people who had gotten up as the cloaked men burst in, that and under lee's seat. Feeling the warmth lee quickly got up from his seat, out of the corner of his eye he could see's duskull's falmes, what is he planning? well duskull won't go down so easily, he's got permission to mess with these people as much as he wants, no way he is going to waste that chance. Lee raised both his hands to signify surrender. As he did duskull set the plastic seats on fire, causing thick black smoke to rise form them, duskull rose out of his shadow, next to lee, and quickly used ominous wind to wrap the black smoke around the two grunts, cackling as he did so.


Sav's attention was drawn to the now yelling Remy, short of assaulting the strange man he now gripped by the lapels.

The arena floor began to move beneath Sav's feet, the very earth shifting with a rumble. The man's smile slowly grew as Remy's grip slowly loosened.

Anton, now freed from the near throttling he'd received, dusted himself off with a maniacal laugh, as two black suited men joined him.

Suspicious activity!

Zangoose gave this Anton fellow a death glare, as if he was staring down his serpent adversary.

"Ah yes, yes. That's right! We're not exactly men of good social standing. That there's the sign I've been waiting for. Now I get to have some fun!"

"Sprig!!! I need you back here!"

Savannah surveyed the arena for a sight of her companion, with little luck. In a haste, her hand reached to the pokeballs on her belt, and brought out in a flash of light Sutekh.

"I came here because"

Tom was completely panicking at this point and tuned out to what Ada was saying. Instead he just nervously looked at His food.


Startled by the noise, Tom leap up out of his seat.


Blushing he frantically said, " I gotta go check this out... Uh,.. Secret mission sorta thing! Nice to see you again! Bye!" and tore off into the distance with the last of the pizza crust sticking out of his mouth. He arrived at the stadium just in time to see the largest Steelix he had ever seen burst out of the ground of the arena. He couldn't find Rupert or Lee anywhere until he saw Haunter surrounded by people in weird clothes. There was obviously a mass panic, and it seemed that the weirdos were the cause.

"Alright guys, this is an emergency, so I'm gonna need all of you!" He shouted as he threw...
One, Two, THREE?? I'm missing a pokemon? Did I drop the pokeball again? That must have been what Ada was trying to tell me! Stupid!

As Aeolus and Trapic materialized, Tom realized that Kalmia was his missing party member. His teammates were just as confused about the disappearance of their dark-type companion. Deciding that there was no time to run back to Ada, Tom, Kusari, and Aeolus charged into the ring of creeps surrounding Lee and Rupert, with Trapic close behind.



Bursting through into the center, he ended up back to back to back with Rupert, Lee, and their own pokemon.

"Rupert! Quick! Tell me whats going on! Who are these guys? What's with the Steelix over there?"

Although still utterly terrified another emotion snuck its way to the forefront of Rupert's mind: shame. He'd done it again. He had been unable to handle the situation, leaving Cubone no choice but to deal with things on his own. This was exactly what he'd promised would never happen again; he'd vowed that he would never again leave his team hanging. But looking at Cubone's back Rupert just couldn't bring himself to take charge. He just couldn't do it. The steel monstrosity screeching in the arena, the men in black stealing everyone's pokémon, the chaos, the screams in the air. Rupert just wasn't made for this. He felt oncoming tears of shame stinging his eyes.


Rupert looked up at the sound of the roar. Behind the men surrounding him, who had also turned round in confusion, he saw something stomping towards him. Something big. Monstrous, in fact. Hoothoot fell quiet in her terror. Was it possible? Were things actually going from bad to worse? The monster charged into the goons who stepped back, leaving Rupert (whose jelly-like legs could barely hold their owner, let alone propel him) face to face with the creature. The Kanto trainer's eyes were big as saucer as he first took the sight of it in.
It was a giant blue alligator.

I don't even know anymore.

Rupert's stupor was broken by the appearance of Tom and his entire team, right behind the alligator monster. Was it Tom's pokémon? No matter, the bespectacled boy was a sight for sore eyes. Rupert had never been happier to see him. Tom rushed to Rupert's side.

"Rupert! Quick! Tell me whats going on!"

I don't know!

"Who are these guys?"

I don't even want to know!

"What's with the Steelix over there?"

What's a Steelix? Hang on, is that...?

Rupert's eyes had followed Tom's hand when he had referred to the giant metal snake, and that's when Rupert suddenly noticed the tiny figure standing beside the Steelix. There was something eerily familiar about him. Was he talking to Matt? The distance and the dust in the air from Steelix's jack-in-the-box routine made it hard to see, but Rupert was sure that had seen this guy before. It was only when Rupert noticed the Garchomp tattoo that everything fell into place, along with his heart which felt as if it fell down somewhere next to his colon. It was Eres.

... Oh dear.

"Tom! I-it's them! These are the guys L-Looker is searching for! I recognize... i-it doesn't matter right now. W-we're all in danger. We need to... we need to..."

The men in black were back. Aeolus's appearance had only fazed them and they were apparently ready to counter him now with their own pokémon, a prospect the Feraligatr seemed to relish. However, next to him, not even reaching his knees, stood Cubone who hadn't moved an inch since declaring his challenge to the goons. He looked somewhat incredulously at the Water-type. How dare he steal the thunder here? Well, there were quite a few opponents. Cubone didn't actually think that he could take all these guys. Not that he would ever admit that.
The Lonely Pokémon and the Big Jaw Pokémon both gave their best battle cry, and facing the opposition side by side they were ready.

"Tom! I-it's them! These are the guys L-Looker is searching for! I recognize... i-it doesn't matter right now. W-we're all in danger. We need to... we need to..."

Through Rupert's stammering Tom caught the gist of what the trainer was trying to say.


"We all get it Rupert, we gotta battle our way out! I'm ready, Aeolus is ready, Cubone is ready, Let's do this!" Looking up at Aeolus, he smiled and said,"Alright buddy, its finally time to stretch those legs! You ready?" Getting a nod from Aeolus, he suddenly realized. "OH! Aeolus, this is Rupert and Cubone, Rupert, Cubone, This is Aeolus! Alright! Now we can beat these goons!"

Kayla spouted some nonsense before moving to attack Anthony with both her Pokémon and her own person. It wasn't going to go her way.

"Not so fast, ya crazy lil' wench!"

A burly man with crazy, spiked blue hair stepped in with his Pokémon.

"What you forgot about me?! HUH?! Bruiser Frankie from that time in Hoenn? You did a number on my Pokémon that day... It's time you paid fer that!"

This Frankie character was apparently going to be Kayla's opponent. Something was off about the man's Pokémon though. Kayla had noticed it before. It seemed... Lifeless, somehow.


"Wooops! Not so fast, 'Pewter Fist'!"

Anthony said as he dodged Spiegel's attack.

"Don't get me wrong, I AM here to take those Pokémon away from you, but I ain't gonna just steal 'em. I'll fight ya for 'em!"


Anthony's whistle called forth his first Pokémon, who came descending from the upper rafters of the stadium, sending forth a small shockwave as it landed in front of Daria and her partners. It didn't utter a word. It just stood there, swinging its arms and waiting for its orders.

"So then, gimme a good match... DARIA PACE!"

In the West end, Duskull's diversion had worked. As the two goons harrassing Lee were busy coughing and struggling against their shadowy restraints. Unfortunately for Duskull, it wasn't the men he should've worried about. As a stream of water and a blob of poisonous sludge just barely missed the Ghost-type.

Both grunts' Pokémon were loose, both sharing the same dead eyes as the ones facing Kayla on another side of the stadium. As Duskull released the Grunts, he braced himself. It was going to be a double battle.


Rupert was surrounded by four menacing looking men, as Cubone valiantly stood in their way.

"Hehehehehahahah! Look at that wimpy kid and his Cubone."
"Hohoho, yeah!"
"We gon' make mincemeat outta yous!"
"You ain' stand a-"


Tom arrived in the nick of time, with a Pokémon that no one even knew he owned. Fast evolvers, Feraligatr reach their last evolution much earlier than other starters. So although Aeolus wasn't much further into its training than Rupert's Cubone, it had already achieved its impressive frame.

The thugs, however, shrugged it off.

"So now there's two of yous, so what?"
"One with a puny Pokémon and the other with an oversized lizard!"
"Hope ya guys don't mind we play a lil' Tag Team game with y'all!"

The first two men assumed their positions. A skinny man with a large pink mohawk facing Tom and a big, fat man with a mullet facing Rupert. They sent their first Pokémon out.


In the East end, Caleb stuck to the plan. No quarter. One of the goons however, just let out a laugh in response to the gentleman's bold claims.

"Two of us are more than enough for you Richie Rich, let alone three."

He said as his three other accomplices surrounded Darius, Daffy and Knuckles at the ready.

"Two of 'em out huh? We'll take that as an invitation to a double battle!"

Darius wasn't going to fight before he got some answers, though.

"Let's get it on then, boys, what'd ya want? Rockets went bye-bye years ago, so who the hell are you?"

The thugs' faces twitched.

"Rockets?!?! Don't put us in the same category with that sorry bunch. Defeat these, then make clever remarks, smart-ass!"

The other three grunts chuckled as they closed in on Caleb.

"Looks as though yer friend's got 'is hands full, Moneybags. I'll be yer first battle, then!"


There was a brief silence before the other two thugs around Caleb burst into loud guffaws. The owner of the flopping Magikarp was visibly outraged.


The one remaining grunt engaged in battle with Ryan.

"Prepare to give up your pooch, country boy!"


At the South end Remy was sure he couldn't avoid a battle with Anton.

"Heheheh...HAHAHAHAHAH! Oh yes, it's time to have some fun with you two before taking your Pokémon and... well, ya know. Hahahahahaaaaaah. Oh, how I love this job."

This guy is seriously bad news. And no doubt he's got the goods to back it up, too...

In a best case scenario, Sav could've fled the scene to find Looker, but with those goons in the way, she'd have to stay and fight.

And stay she did. With Sutekh out and ready to go, Savannah was up against a single opponent. The silent type, the thug said nothing as he sent out his first Pokémon.

There was something off about the Heracross. It seemed dead inside. Just a husk of what it used to be. Anton chuckled as he continued his venomous speech.

"Something wrong? Heheh. Of course there is! That Pokémon is essentially braindead! HAHAHAHAA! See our boss REALLY doesn't like Pokémon. Says they're a threat an' all that. SO! We kill the lil' fellas dead. But see gathering 'em up with your bare mittens is a bit troublesome, so we brainwash some of 'em to use in the inevitable battles."

Anton kept talking with that toxic smile of his as he took out a PokéBall of his own.

"'Course me, some other elite members and the bosses don't have to brainwash theirs. Seeing as we're strong an' all. Anyways... I should really get started with the fun part. Guess I'll start with that Zangoose o' yours. TIME TO KILL, HABUNAKE!



Spike let fly a barrage of flames that went straight past Eres, who didn't even flinch, and entwined themselves around the gangster's Steelix. The huge Steel-type roared in pain as a vortex of flames trapped it, scorching its metallic body little by little.


Eres was honestly a little surprised at the boy's courage. Few had stood up to him before. All had lost.

"You got more guts than I gave you credit for, kiddo. It's nice to see some people still have guts. Very well then! You wanna fight me? I'll show you the true power of the Dragon of Veilstone, ERES!"

"Steelix! SANDSTORM!!"

Eres' Steelix began spinning its sections at blinding speeds until a maelstrom of flames and sand was kicked up. Things were looking grim for Matt. He was already in over his head. Now? Now there was a thick veil of sand buffeting him and his Pokémon, while also rendering him and Eres invisible to his friends in the stands.

Somewhere in the storm he could hear a loud bellow.


Caleb stuck to his original plan, which was met with laugh from one of the grunts in response to his somewhat bold claim. Not five seconds into the match, and they were already trying to taunt him, if one could call them actual taunts.

"Two of us are more than enough for you Richie Rich, let alone three." He said this as three other grunts went in supposedly deal with Darius. A couple joined up with the first one, and chuckled as they came closer to Caleb.

"Looks as though yer friend's got 'is hands full, Moneybags. I'll be yer first battle, then!" The grunt then pulled out a Pokéball, and from the red beam of light came... a Magikarp? This caused Caleb to mentally facepalm, as the other two grunts burst out loud into laughter. Caleb consider joining in with the laughter, but the man had already embarrassed himself enough.

"DAMN IT! WHY DO I KEEP GETTING THIS DAMN REFUSE!!!" All Caleb could do was sigh.

"You know, if you're trying to make a statement here about how threatening you are, this isn't helping your case." Caleb said in a mixture of sarcasm and insult as he looked at Raiden, both of them already knowing how to proceed with this battle. Auron meanwhile, curious about what was going on, had come out of his ball, and rested atop Caleb's shoulder.

"Still, you are providing me with a battle, so I shall duel you, regardless of your chosen Pokémon."

Ralts? He asked, confused as to what was happening.

"Ah, Auron, come to watch a battle have we?"

Ral-ra alts! Auron said happily.

"Very well then. Raiden, Thunderbolt please."


As he choked on a mouthful of sand and dust, Matt raised one of his arms upwards, desperately trying to shield his face from the barrage. But the limb's pitiful cover proved mostly ineffective against the onslaught of debris, forcing the trainer to squint his eyes to barely-open slits. This was bad. Really bad.

The Sandstorm had cut his visibility to almost nil; Matt had no way of knowing where this Eres or his Steelix were lurking. Hell, he could barely make out Spike's cringing form, and the Cyndaquil had flames pouring from his back!

"Spike!" The lad's frantic shout was nearly drowned out by the storm's roar, but there was no missing the desperation that stained his voice. "You okay?"

"Cynda... Quil!"

Matt couldn't help but cringe as the Fire-type's weak reply rang out. Spike may have been trying to put on a tough front, but the constant barrage of sand was clearly dealing a lot of damage. This was... This wasn't good.

Spike's not gonna last much longer... But who else do I have?! Ventus is out, Persephone wouldn't do much better, and it's not like I can just keep Spike alive on Potions the entire match! Wait, what about... Dammit, she's Ditzy, could she help? No, Water doesn't work against Steel, so what do I do?!

There was nothing to be gained by bemoaning his situation. Matt had to do something, and do it fast. Spike could do more damage against the Steelix, but Persephone could probably handle the onslaught better, and she could hopefully put the enemy to sleep.

Undoubtedly, the best thing to do was just to flee... But there was no way he could get out of here safely, especially with this storm raging.

"Spike..." he muttered. "Please, hang in there."

Then, in a louder shout, "Flame Wheel!"

"Rockets?!?! Don't put us in the same category with that sorry bunch. Defeat these, then make clever remarks, smart-ass!"

Darius looked at the pokemon before him, a Beedrill and a Rattata, this inspired nothing to indicate that the thug in front of him wasn't just one of the Rockets that got away.

"You sure about that? I know it's been a few years but I'm pretty sure you Rockets used pretty much the same pokemon as the ones you've got here."

He shifted the pipe over to the other side of his mouth, inhaling a minute before breathing out a cloud of smoke that concealed his face and the top part of his pink t-shirt. Still in the cloud Darius saw the dust storm rise up on the Stadium floor.

"Well, I never was one for long speeches, so here goes. Daffy you've got the Rattata, Knuckles, take care of that Beedrill. Number 8, both of you."

Knuckles' opponent was a Bug-type, so he felt a Crush Claw, following up with Rollout or however many times he needed to work off the momentum, and finishing the thing off with a Swift should do the trick. Daffy was a bit more complicated, seeing as there wasn't any type advantage/disadvantage with his buddy. The first step would be to lessen the headache a bit, so Calm Mind was first, followed by Water Pulse, and finishing that one with Fury Swipes. Not much else he could do, but he dropped into a fighting stance anyways, just in case one of them got any bright ideas. The Day-Care did more than just feed and throw balls for the Pokemon, they needed training just as much as the Pokemon on the outside. A few of them had been Fighting-types, and if you wanted to keep working with them, you had to know how to defend yourself. Well, that and staying alive. That had always been a plus.

"What're you waiting for? Fight."

"So then, gimme a good match... DARIA PACE!"


The look in Daria's eyes was killer; all the enthusiasm that could sanely be contributed to any activity that wasn't fighting terrorists. "A good match?! Ya just asked me for a good, match, right? Not the other way around?"

The Pewter Fist stepped forward and punched the palm of her own hand, cracking her neck as Slagger stepped up beside her. "Pal, ya don't really know me too well. Lemme teach ya. There are three kinds of people that I hate. I hate bratty kids."

Spiegel stepped up next, joining Slagger on the field.

"I hate women with attitudes."

Gemini dropped its mallet and walked up beside its teammates. The three of them stood together and leaned forward, Spiegel and Slagger looking a bit too viciously eager for what was coming next. Gemini seemed as enthusiastic as ever.


Daria stretched her arm out, hand balled into a fist.

"And I really, really hate jerks who break the law, and then expect me to play by the rules!"

She threw a thumbs-down with her fist.


The trio charged, roaring their battle-cries as Slagger led, followed by Spiegel, and Gemini took to the air.

Lee was surprised the grunts where still able to get out there pokemon while choking on the smoke but it was far form an impossibility. Lee released octilery on swalots side 'use psybeam!' he commanded but octilery looked at the large and slow target at such a close distance and saw no challenge in hitting him, instead deciding to only shoot down any attack swalot might try to do. 'duskull confuse ray on poliwhirl and then use will-o-wisp to make a barrier of flames between you and him' duskull complied with lee's orders.

"Something wrong? Heheh. Of course there is! That Pokémon is essentially braindead! HAHAHAHAA! See our boss REALLY doesn't like Pokémon.

Sav's eyes grew wide at this new found revelation of the groups methods, to do something so atrocious was unforgivable. From a young age, Savannah was taught to always treat her Pokemon with respect, as they each have their own thoughts and feelings. Looking upon the vacant gaze of the goon's Heracross made her uneasy, she was both pitiful and disgusted.

"What?! How dare you people do something like that to Pokemon?! They are not tools to be used against their will, especially not to destroy themselves!"

Sav could feel the fury building up inside her, the injustice against these Pokemon, was not something she could let go, she had to make these people pay. It wasn't going to be easy, the brainwashed Pokemon was in between her and the perpetrator, she'd hate to hurt the poor thing but there was no other way.

With a tightly clenched fist, Savannah shouted the command.

"Set! Blast 'em with Signal Beam after a Sand Attack!"

Kayla looked at Frankie for a few seconds before recognition crossed her face.

"You! You're the one that taking those pokemon away from those toddlers. Man I thought those Dustoxs would never leave you alone. I guess you finally got away huh. Man you really know how to hold a grudge." Kayla started at Frankie's Venamoth. At it's lifeless eyes, the way it just floated with little energy.

"You abuse your pokemon don't you. I thought they seemed off back in Honnen but it seems even more obvious now. Your Venamoth doesn't have any energy and it doesn't seem to do anything on it's own." As if to prove her point Kayla's pokemon surrounded her. King stood in front of Kayla, Milian by her left and Adephle to her right and Skylar circled around her.

"I thought that just beating you was enough buts not the case anymore, Kayla curled her hands into fists, anger burning in her eyes, "now I know. A person like you doesn't deserve pokemon. Skylar use Aerial Ace!"

The Fearow circled around Kayla one more time before charging Venamoth, picking up speed and slashing at it with her wings.

"We all get it Rupert, we gotta battle our way out! I'm ready, Aeolus is ready, Cubone is ready, Let's do this!" "OH! Aeolus, this is Rupert and Cubone, Rupert, Cubone, This is Aeolus! Alright! Now we can beat these goons!"

With Aeolus at hand Tom sounded like he was ready to take on the universe and a few alternate planes of reality too for good measure. This could not be said for Rupert. Having Tom at his side boosted his morale considerably; knowing that the bespectacled boy had Rupert's back let him dare to hope that they might actually get through this, but at the moment Rupert was afraid that the worst had already happened. When the attack happened he had frozen, leaving Cubone no choice but to stand up for him. Rupert had promised that he would never leave his team on their own again. Was that promise broken? Had he really failed them already?

"OH! Aeolus, this is Rupert and Cubone, Rupert, Cubone, This is Aeolus! Alright! Now we can beat these goons!"

With his thoughts focused on Cubone, Rupert didn't manage any more than a shaky hand wave to the Water-type and a "hello" that never found its way out of his throat. Cubone seemed unusually curt too, merely giving Aeolus a short, courteous nod before turning his attention back to the thugs. Actually, as Rupert just noticed, Cubone hadn't even looked at his trainer since stepping out of his pokéball.
I-is he really mad at me?

The aforementioned thugs didn't have much consideration for Rupert's mental anguish though.

"So now there's two of yous, so what?"
"Hope ya guys don't mind we play a lil' Tag Team game with y'all!"

After seeing the Feraligatr and Cubone making a united front they had apparently decided to respond in kind, as two of the men threw out their pokéballs. Rupert looked up from his own Ground-type to see the Ball Pokémon and Vine Pokémon materialize.

O-okay, pull yourself together, man! You can't afford to think about anything other than this battle. The stakes are as high as they get. Tom is relying on you. ... and you have to show Cubone that he can rely on you. You have to try to make this right.

The opponents were a Voltorb and a Tangela, which made Rupert silently praise his stars that these were pokémon he actually knew. He then cursed his fortune just as silently, because right now that knowledge merely meant that he could see how dire the situation was. That Grass-type spelled serious trouble for Cubone, but Aeolus had it even worse. Not only did the Tangela have a type advantage against him, but he was also weak against the Electric Voltorb.

This is bad. What do I do? I've never been in a double battle before. I have to consider Aeolus too. The guy has some serious bulk, but we can't afford to take too many chances. We're at a disadvantage, but maybe we can pull through if Cubone eliminates one of the threats. If Voltorb wasn't here maybe we could overpower that Tangela together.

"T-Tom! Cubone and I'll try to take that Voltorb out. W-will you be okay?"

Geez, listen to you trying to be all assertive and strategic. Tom is ten times the trainer you are.

"Right. Cubone, Focus Energy. W-we're gonna try to make quick work out of this Voltorb. Hit it with a Bonemerang... Cubone?"

Cubone looked like he was not so much facing his opponents, as he was showing his back to his trainer. He still hadn't looked at Rupert. For a moment it seemed as if all Rupert was going to get out of Cubone was a cold shoulder, but he then listlessly held up his bone club, flexing his throwing arm before firing the Bonemerang.

"T-Tom! Cubone and I'll try to take that Voltorb out. W-will you be okay?"

"Okay? I dunno Aeolus, will we be okay? I dunno, but I think that that Tangela needs to cool off. That blank look can't be healthy! I prescribe three doses of strong undiluted ice fang. Aeolus, Get him!"

The giant blue pokemon rocketed off at a speed that seemed impossible for something of its size. Aeolus' teeth began to glow the same color as his scales while every breath sent out a puff of water vapor.

"Oh!" Tom called out, "Try to knock him straight into the creep with the voltorb! Pick up that viny thing and throw it as hard as you can once you fang it!"

As Daria spoke, three of her Pokémon joined their Trainer at her side.

"And I really, really hate jerks who break the law, and then expect me to play by the rules!"

She was about to take on Anthony's Electabuzz in a 3 v 1 battle. The mere thought of such an unconventional challenge made the young man shudder with excitement.


"Ahhhahahahahahahahahahahhah! EXCELLENT! AWESOME! THIS IS EXACTLY THE KIND OF WHITE-HOT CHALLENGE I'VE BEEN NEEDING!! Electabuzz! Dodge that Fire Fang and counter with a ThunderPunch! Take the Rollout head-on but use Low Kick on the Golem! Take the hit from Swift and counter with a Thunder!"

Electabuzz didn't need to be told twice. As Spiegel came at him with his flaming maw ready to inflict some serious pain, Electabuzz deftly sidestepped, making the lizard-like Pokémon bite the concrete floor. As one of the stairs shattered under Spiegel's jaws' pressure, the Fire-type only had time to turn his gaze towards his Electric opponent before getting ThunderPunched squarely in the jaw, sending the Charmeleon flying into the bleachers below.

Slagger took this as his que to make a move. Retracting his arms, legs and head, the Rock-type spun around and rolled towards Electabuzz, his new, round body allowing him to move faster and hit harder. Slagger had also learned from his past battle against Remy's Primeape and instead of rolling straight into a devastating counter attack, jumped into the air, avoiding any suprise legs and slamming into an unaware opponent's upper body. He felt that one.

As their foe recovered from the 660 pounds of stone he had just taken to the face, Gemini assaulted him with Swift. Dozens of glimmering star-like particles connected with Electabuzz, further damaging him. But it was not over. Enraged, the Electric-type started spinning his arms at blinding speeds, before grinding them to a halt, bringing down a massive thunderbolt from the sky. Spiegel, having gotten up from where he'd been launched, tried to save Gemini. No use. Thunder came down in the blink of an eye, engulfing both of Spiegel's teammates.

As the dust settled, Gemini lie motionless in a crater with its gem dark. Slagger was in the same crater. However, being half Ground-type, the Megaton Pokémon just stood there, unscathed with an oblivious look on his face.

"Hhahahah! One down! C'mon little girl, I'm sure you can do better than that!!!"

Meanwhile, Kayla was with her opponent, a grunt named Frankie, a few rows below from Daria and Anthony

"You! You're the one that taking those pokemon away from those toddlers. Man I thought those Dustoxs would never leave you alone. I guess you finally got away huh. Man you really know how to hold a grudge."

"Yeah, that's... GAH! WHAT!?!? How dare you! You runt!"

The thug had been busted. He was indeed one of the criminals Kayla had caught trying to steal Pokémon from some children in Hoenn. He had failed miserably and, when trying defeat Kayla for hers, got destroyed.

"You abuse your pokemon don't you. I thought they seemed off back in Honnen but it seems even more obvious now. Your Venamoth doesn't have any energy and it doesn't seem to do anything on it's own."

"No abuse here kid! Just brainwashing done by the brass to keep these things in line until they're no longer needed. Whacha gonna do 'bout it? Eeeeh?"

As her own Pokémon took their places, protecting their master, Kayla sent out her first Pokémon.

"I thought that just beating you was enough buts not the case anymore, Kayla curled her hands into fists, anger burning in her eyes, "now I know. A person like you doesn't deserve pokemon. Skylar use Aerial Ace!"

"Bah! Venomoth, use Psybeam!"

Kayla's Pokémon was the faster one. With a blinding swoop, Skylar slashed at the soulless Bug-type, before flying up, slashing it once more. The damage was massive, but the husk managed to fire a Psybeam at Kayla's Fearow, causing her to dip slightly before regaining her altitude.

Caleb's trial started with a promising sense of ease, as his first opponent grappled with his feelings of inadequacy over the meager Pokémon he'd been outfitted with. Auron, Caleb's most recent acquisition had joined the battle as a spectator.

"Very well then. Raiden, Thunderbolt please."

Raiden did not hesitate to carry out his Master's orders. He let loose a Thunderbolt that hit its target without a hitch. In its braindead state, the Magikarp was hardly even flapping about. As Caleb's Luxray ended his attack, the grunt's first Pokémon laid on the ground. It must've been a personal record for the team. The grunt was busy gripping his face with both hands, stifling a frustrated howl as his accomplices let out mocking guffaws.


Another Pokéball flew through the air, revealing the Pokémon inside.

As the laughter behind him became deafening, the thug himself seemed catatonic, no longer even bothering to yell. Another easy victory for Caleb, it seemed.

"What're you waiting for? Fight."

A few feet away from Caleb, Darius urged his opponent to defend himself. The thug complied.

"Feh. Rattata, Quick Attack, Focus Energy, Bite! Beedrill, Focus Energy, Fury Attack, Rage!"

Rattata was first. Rushing towards Daffy, the blank eyed Pokémon tackled the Water-type. Darius' Psyduck seemed relatively unphased. The Rattata looked low level, this wasn't going to be too difficult.

Knuckles was up. He jumped towards the Beedrill, bringing his claws down, catching the Bug-type and slamming it to the ground, inflicting massive damage. A critical hit, it seemed. Beedrill buzzed faintly for a moment before giving up and fainting.

Daffy closed his eyes and meditated for a moment, calming his mind and raising his psychic abilities in the process, before opening his eyes. He could now concentrate much better.

"Damn, I'm down. These were my only two Pokémon. Only got that runt left..."

Rattata focused its energies and readied itself for attack. A futile attempt, however, as Daffy formed a ball of water inside his bill and launched it at the Normal-type. Defeating it in one hit.

"Shit. I'm out. Eres-aniki's gonna have my ass for this... Oi, you're up."

The next grunt came to the forefront and released his first two Pokémon.

"Show me what ya got breeder boy!"

Raiden let out a Thunderbolt that made its mark with ease, knocking out the Magikarp without much hassle. Auron looked at the battle with interest, curious to learn more about it. As the attack ended, the grunt was busy gripping his face with both hands; almost as if he was about to tear it off as he stifled an angered howl, whilst his comrades let out mocking guffaws.

"HNNNNNNGGGGHHHHH! DAMN IT ALL! YOU GOT LUCKY WITH THAT ONE! HERE, CHEW ON THIS!!" The grunt shouted, as he left another Pokéball fly, and out came... another Magikarp. Even Caleb had to admit that this was getting a little ridiculous, he was expecting a challenge. This latest setback didn't stop the other two grunts from continuing their tirade of laughter. Caleb let out a low sigh, almost to the point of pitying the poor grunt.

"How disrespectful. Here we are, two gentleman fighting it out on the battlefield, and these jokers are being rather disrespectful. No matter, we shall proceed regardless." Caleb remarked, referring to the other two grunts as the 'jokers' as he began tossing Raiden's Pokéball in the air with one hand.

"Raiden, return, you have earned yourself a respite." He then added as the Gleam Eyes Pokémon disappeared in a beam of red light.

"How about I give you a easier challenge." Caleb said as he turned his head to the Feeling Pokémon that was resting on his shoulder.

"Auron, care to play this one out for us?" He asked, Auron immediately tilting his head in confusion.

Ral? Auron asked, unsure by what his master meant.

"What I mean is, how about this be your battle début, show them what your capable of as a Psychic type."

Ral! Auron said happily, clapping his hands as he jumped off of Caleb, landing nearby and went into a fighting pose. He even managed a little growl. This little gesture caused Caleb to smile.

"How cute. Anyway Auron, begin with a Confusion."

Spiegel stumbled over his own legs, disoriented, but in the process saved himself from a nasty Thunderbolt. The flashing yellow arc came down quickly, and without remorse. When the smoke cleared, Slagger stumbled out of the confusion no worse for wear. Gemini, on the other hand, was limp. The Staryu's limbs twitched a little, as the remnants of the electric discharge pumped through its veins. Slagger looked back, concerned, as Spiegel limped up to the crater. The Charmeleon shook off the pain in its joints, and looked down at Gemini.


"Gol Gol." Slagger agreed. They glared in unison at the Electabuzz. He was tougher than he looked. "Golem Gol Lem, Golem?"

Spiegel shook his head. That wouldn't work. The sole voice of reason was fresh out of ideas, and the both of them looked back at their trainer for some sort of guidance.

Daria was hunched forward, fists clenched as she saw the outcome of the battle... and all the while she had the biggest, most furious, terrifying grin on her face.


Gemini's Pokeball snapped from her belt and recalled the Staryu, sucking it away in a red beam of light. As she replaced the ball on her person, Daria called out to her opponent.

"GOOD SHOW, SILVER!" she called, throwing him a thumbs-up and a smile that tiptoed the line between congratulatory and murderous. "Only things I've seen KO Gemini like that are a Fissure..."

She stopped to crack her knuckles and jam a thumb into her chest. "...And ME. You trained that Electabuzz well; where ya from?"

As if a conversation were not in any way contrary to a battle, she asked this question immediately prior to signaling her remaining Pokemon. "Spiegel, lay down a cover Smokescreen, then hit him from the air with Dragon Rage! Slagger, you go on a Rollout, zig-zag through the smoke and come out for a quick shot, and lay on the pressure until he goes down; got it?"


Spiegel moved first charging up and down a pirouette of a spin into the air. From there, he belched out a thick cloud of smoke that choked over half a dozen rows of seats in darkness. Slagger was immediately on the move after that, yelling a battle-cry as he curled up and began to roll, shooting right and left, back and forth as he disappeared into the cloud. Above them, Spiegel launched a Dragon Rage from above, the emerald flames blowing down from above. At the same moment, to Electabuzz's right, Slagger shot from the cloud and cannonballed straight towards him.

But then, a second shadow darted through the smoke, aiming a kick coming in from his left.

This second object was Daria.

"Show me what ya got breeder boy!"

"Good to see one of you Rocket wannabes at least knows something about the Pokemon world. A shame for your Pokemon though."

Darius smirked and belted out his Pokemon's orders.

"Daffy Confusion and Water Pulse on the Linoone, Knuckles! Sand Attack, Crush Claw on the Goldeen! Make 'em know they're still Pokemon!"

Darius stood back and watched his friends do their thing, Daffy a concentrated look plastered across his face as he reached into the center of that brain of his for his power, Knuckles running straight in, sawdust from the stands he'd dug through clenched in both claws, these grunts weren't Rockets, but they fought like them. Not to mention the looks on their faces as soon as he mentioned the name the last time.

Venamoth's Psybeam sent Skylar spiralling into the bleachers. The long necked pokemon raised its head from the broken stands and flapped its wings a few times before jumping into the air and flying around Kayla and Frankie.

Fear! Fear! Fearow!

"No abuse here kid! Just brainwashing done by the brass to keep these things in line until they're no longer needed. Whacha gonna do 'bout it? Eeeeh?"

Kayla stared at at Frankie in disbelif. How could someone allow that to happen to their pokemon. Just the thought of doing that to one of her friends made Kayla tear up.

Quickly wiping her tears away, Kayla yelled at Frankie,

"I can't believe that you would do such a thing. Pokemon are supposed to be our friends. Our allies. They are supposed to be there when we are sick and we need to be there when they are hurting. They comfort us in our times of need and they watch over us when they sleep. They laugh with us when we are happy and they cry with us when we are sad. They protect us from harm and we heal them when they are injured. There is no one closer to us then our pokemon."

Kayla remembered feeding King day after day when she was a child and found it lost outside of Cherrygrove City. Day after she left food for him. At first he was hesitant to come out to her but after a while he approached her as she put the food down though he still hid in the forest to eat.

After a few months he started to come out to eat even though he was still wary of Kayla. The one day she didn't show up for a couple of days. Following her scent he came to her house and when someone left it, he ran for the door and ran to her room to find her lying in bed, very sick. He refused to leave her and every time someone tried to pull him out he ran back in. After a couple of days Kayla recovered and when she woke up the first thing she saw was King lying on the floor, waiting for her. Ever since that day the two of them were always together.

"I'll save them," Kayla whispered. Kayla faced Frankie, full of determination, "I'll show you the bonds between a pokemon and their partner. Skylar use Hyper Beam!"

Skylar was more than happy to comply, gathering energy around her beak and letting lose a large blast at Frankie, that left a trail of destruction down the stands, across the stadium floor and up the other side.

"King use Flamethrower! Adelpha! Follow with Steel Wing!" King opened his mouth and let lose a long trail of fire at Venamoth, Adelpha flow above it, her wings glowing and when King's Flamethrower stopped,Adelpha charged in and struck at Venamoth with her wings.

'Duskull Confuse Ray on Poliwhirl and then use Will-o-Wisp to make a barrier of flames between you and him'

"Poliwhirl, use Water Gun on the Duskull! Then the same again to get rid of those Will-o-Wisps!"

"Swalot, start with Sludge, then Body Slam!"

Poliwhirl went first, shooting a spray of water at Lee's Duskull, damaging it somewhat. Octillery would've been next, but it seemed content to just sit there and tease its opponent.
Duskull did as asked and shot a peculiar looking ray at the foe's Poliwhirl, confusing the already possibly brain damaged creature. Swalot shot a blob of toxic Sludge at Octillery. Octillery however, just shot the attack down with a BubbleBeam.

Poliwhirl was now staggering back and forth with no idea where it was or where it should be going, eventually hitting its head into a nearby seat, hurting itself. Octillery kept on mocking its opponent while Duskull obediently summoned some Will-o-Wisps to serve as a barrier. Anything trying to physically attack him was getting burned.
Swalot jumped up to the skies and came down with a Body Slam. Octillery's beams couldn't stop such an attack and resulted in Octillery taking a hit.

"Bhah! That's what you get, you overinflated octopus! Now get serious before I make takoyaki outta you!"

Meanwhile, Tom and Rupert were going to have to work together against their opponents. The two grunts sounded off, barking orders to their oblivious Pokémon.

"Voltorb, use Spark on that Feraligatr, then SonicBoom on the Cubone!"

"Tangela! Sleep Powder on Feraligatr, Absorb on Cubone!"

Voltorb went first. Charging up a decent voltage on its small body, it rolled towards Aeolus at a blinding speed. Feraligatr, being somewhat sluggish on the ground, had no chance of dodging. This would sting a bit.


In the blink of an eye, Cubone had put himself between Voltorb and its target, taking the attack without any effect, due to its Ground type. Cubone then looked over his shoulder to a somewhat surprised Aeolus and nodded. Aeolus took off, whizzing by Cubone and bearing down on the enemy's Tangela with his massive jaw wide open, while his teeth froze over.


Tangela was effortlessly picked up by Aeolus, as it froze in the Water-type's maw. The Grass-type had already lost as Aeolus proceeded to toss it at the Voltorb's "owner".


The grunt managed to dodge the flying ball of frozen vines, which flew off into the raging Sandstorm in the middle of the arena.
It was Cubone's turn. Voltorb had already retreated to prepare its next strike as the Bone Pokémon wound up his Bonemerang and let fly.


Futile. The Bonemerang smashed into Voltorb's face with the force of a small car, instantly knocking out the Electric-type. No need for a second hit. Cubone snatched his returning weapon, whirled it around in his hand a few times and got ready for his next opponent as Aeolus settled onto his side.

The grunts were taken aback by this turn of events. Not only did their advantage do no damage, but this tag team was showing some fearsome potential.

"Grh, screw this! Go, Piloswine!"
"Cacturne, yer up!!"

"Let's see you kids OHKO these two, eh?"
"Set! Blast 'em with Signal Beam after a Sand Attack!"

Savannah disdainfully ordered her Pokémon to attack the pitiful looking Heracross, while keeping an eye out for Sprig, who was missing in action.

"Heracross! Leer. Horn Attack."

The Heracross went first, weakly Leering at Sutekh. The Trapinch was more intimidated by the ghostly look on his foes face than any attempt that it had made at a Leer. It was Set's turn however, and he obliged by spewing sand out of his gaping maw and into Heracross' face.
Heracross attempted to counter with Horn Attack but, blinded by the sand, managed only to destroy a couple of benches. Set wasted no time in shooting a Signal Beam into his foe's back. It made contact, but failed to do much damage to the half Bug-type. Her partner wasn't faring any better.

Remy was furious. He wasn't a saint and he'd be first to admit it, but the man standing in front of him was a cold blooded killer. Zangoose was beyond that, though. Staring at him was none other than a Seviper. Zangoose's blood boiled with expectation to be let loose at this despicable enemy.

"Hehehehehhhehh... Gimme a good show now... HABUNAKE! Start with a Glare! Then Poison Tail and Poison Fang!"

Remy snapped out of his rage to give Zangoose his orders.

"Zangoose, Swords Dance, then Quick Attack, finish with a Slash!!"

Even though Anton's Pokémon was clearly stronger than Remy's, Zangoose still edged Habunake out in speed. After a few moves, Zangoose setteled into a fighting stance and vanished, reappearing to strike Anton's Seviper from the left. Habunake countered by using Glare but Zangoose wasn't going to be taken out by such a poor attempt.
Zangoose then rushed at Habunake again, Slashing it upwards from the torso to the jaw, sending the venomous Pokémon reeling backwards. The Cat Ferret Pokémon the motioned his lifelong foe to "bring it"

Habunake was furious. It attacked furiously with Poison Tail, slashing Zangoose's forearm, and while the poison had no effect on him, Zangoose could still feel the pain.

"Zangoose, use Leer to lower its Defense, after that a Slash should do it"

The Normal-type complied, leering at his opponent. Habunake could feel the pressure. This one had guts. For a runt. The Poison-type then sprung forward, sinking its needle-sharp fangs into Zangoose's shoulder.


Stifling a pained growl, Zangoose went to Slash Habunake, only to miss as the snake let go right on time.

"Hahhhhhahahahah! Not looking so hot there, is he?"

Remy squeezed his fists tighter as he tried to ignore Anton's piercing laughter.

"It's no good... The bastard's Pokémon are simply superior. I'm playing for time at best...

He then glanced at the storm raging in the arena.

I hope the kid's fine...

"Flame Wheel!"

Spike replied weakly to his Trainer, only to have it disappear in the storm. Visibility was close to zero but there was no mistaking the gargantuan snake-like form in the eye of the storm. The tiny Fire-type used every last drop of energy in his body to rev up a flame and rolled forward and up and let himself be whisked away by the Sandstorm.

Matt was desperately trying to catch a glimpse of Spike, not knowing that his precious companion was whirling around in the air, when...



An ear shattering howl of pain, accompanied by a flare of flames up where Steelix's face would be signaled Matt that the attack had connected. Only, what the heck was Spike doing all the way up there?
As the little Cyndaquil started falling down, more tremors rocked the ground. It was Steelix. It was boaring its way underground, preparing to finish Spike off.
The Sandstorm slowly faded, granting Matt a clear view of what was going to happen.


Steelix literally exploded out of the ground, aiming to crush its tiny opponent. It was but inches away from dealing the final blow when.


A blur went by and Spike was gone. A second later Swell flapped his wings in front of Matt and placed the weakened Fire-type onto Matt's arms.

"Ooooooooi! Doncha think yer forgetting about someone brotha!?"

It was Jack. As Swellow returned to his side, the Hoennian boy pointed his finger at Eres, seemingly showing no fear.

"Yer a real prick, ya know that? Coming up in here with yer oversized bullshit and attacking a couple of already worn out guys who just wanted to have a good lil' rough n' tumble."

He then rubbed his finger against his nose and grinned.

"Well, while ya were busy pickin' on guys 1/12th yer size, I went ahead and healed up."

Slamming a thumb to his chest he concluded.

"Now yer dealin' with me brotha! Yo, Matt! Heal yer buddies up and let's take this bald asshole down togetha!!"

"Now yer dealin' with me brotha! Yo, Matt! Heal yer buddies up and let's take this bald asshole down togetha!!"

As Jack's words rang out, Matt found himself pressing Spike up against his shoulder, a smile slowly stretching across his face. The cavalry was finally here!

"R-right!" he shouted back in reply, hastily (but carefully) laying the injured Cyndaquil on the ground so that he could handle his pack with both hands. As Spike slowly struggled back to his paws, Matt hurriedly fished a few items out of his backpack, barely noticing as his hat, snagged by a rogue gust of wind, was blown away.

"Cynda... cyn..."

"Hold on, buddy," the trainer muttered as he wrapped a protective arm around his friend, his free hand lifting up an orange spray bottle. "This'll help you feel better."

With a few quick squeezes, Matt sprayed the Super Potion all over Spike, grinning in relief as the sparkling vapor washed over the Cyndaquil's bruised and battered body. They didn't call it Super for nothing, it seemed; dozens of tiny cuts and scratches, inflicted by Steelix's Sandstorm, were healed in a matter of seconds, and the flames that covered Spike's back surged back to full strength as the Fire-type let out a revitalized squeak. "Cynnnnnndaquil!"

"Heh, glad to hear it."

Brought back up to nearly full health and ready for action, Spike turned to face his master, awaiting Matt's instructions. Uneasily, Matt lifted his head, nervously scanning the scene before him. There was no denying that Eres was a serious threat, and was probably a trainer of the utmost skill. There was no way in hell the lad could possibly take him all on his own; that Steelix would probably be enough to wipe his entire team!

But, now that Jack was entering the fray...

"Alright, Spike, here's the plan! You need to go back up Swell, okay? While the two of you are fighting Steelix, I'm going to get Ventus back up. Got it?"


Matt's hands trembled slightly as he watched his friend charge back into battle. He was still afraid, terrified even, there was no doubt about that. But he didn't have time to let that stop him now, not when Jack, Spike, and Ventus were all depending on him. Taking a shaky breath to help steel himself, the lad snatched up the other two items he'd removed from his bag, a Revive and another Super Potion, as well as Ventus' Pokeball. The Pidgeotto was going to want to get back into the fight as soon as possible, and he needed to be in top condition when he did.


Rupert's eyes were wide as he got up from his crouched position. He had instinctively dropped down on one knee when the K.O.-ed Vine Pokémon went sailing through the air past him, caught by the sandstorm that now dominated the arena behind him. Aoelus and Cubone had utterly destroyed the Tangela and Voltorb, finishing them in seconds. This had all gone far more smoothly than Rupert had expected. Neither of the two combatants had taken a single blow, and this despite their opponents having type advantages. Rupert was especially proud (and just a bit surprised) at how Cubone had proven himself a capable team-player by protecting Aoulus.

"N-nice work, Cubone! Just keep it up."

Nothing. Cubone offered absolutely no response to his trainer's mild encouragement. If anything the few feet of distance between them started feeling more like an impassable void. Cubone still refused to look at him.

He... he really is mad at me, isn't he?

The Kanto trainer's thin lips contorted into a grim little smirk. Rarely had he felt more ashamed as a trainer. All his talk about becoming a proper trainer seemed utterly ridiculous right now. When the attack happened Rupert had, to use a popular phrase, lost his shit. He would probably have let the suited goons take his pokémon without resistance, paralyzed as he was. This had forced Cubone to take action. The little Ground-type had once again taken it upon himself to protect Rupert, the team, and himself. What other choice did he have with a trainer like that?
Rupert's smile faded as he realized that this might finally be it. This might have been the final straw for Cubone. Maybe he had finally grown tired of waiting for Rupert to pull himself together. Maybe he had finally given up. Rupert remembered how Cubone had taken Voltorb's attack, so that Aoulus would be spared an electric attack. Rupert had never ordered that.

"Grh, screw this! Go, Piloswine!"
"Cacturne, yer up!!"

The suits looked less than pleased as they threw their second pokéballs towards the mismatched Water/Ground duo. As the Cacturne and Piloswine materialized Rupert was faced with the by now familiar problem of not really knowing what exactly they were. The scarecrow-like Cacturne was obviously some kind of Grass pokémon, which was slightly worrying. He found it hard to care right now though. After all, what was his input in the fight really worth? Cubone had proven that he could take care of himself. Rupert was more liable to get his team hurt.

"You could... you could try a Dig against the wooly one," Rupert offered lamely. "I-I mean, Aoulus has that Ice Fang. He can p-probably take the Grass one. Maybe try a Headbut if Ground attacks turn out to be ineffective..."

Cubone made no sign that he acknowledged his trainer's meek suggestions.

"Heracross! Leer. Horn Attack."

The glassy eyed Heracross had failed with it's attack on Set, the sand finding it's target causing it's Horn Attack to collide harmlessly with some arena benches. Sutekh's counter-attack however had also proved ineffective, the normally powerful Signal Beam being shrugged off by the same-typed opponent.

"Damn it! There's nothing in Sutekh's moveset that can even remotely damage this guy! He doesn't stand a chance..."

Savannah almost seemed to resign to her fate, her normally determined look seemed to slowly fade from her face, her adamantine posture softening in the wake of imminent defeat.The brainwashing psychopaths had won. There was nothing in her repertoire that she could use to counter the Heracross, the typing was all wrong, Sprig was nowhere in site, which left...

Sav's eyes focused on the enemy in front of her, her feet finding firm footing once again, her hand instinctively moving to her Pokeball on her hip. She only had one final trick up her sleeve, and she prayed to Arceus that it would work.

"Set return!" she cried, letting loose a red beam of light that engulfed the waiting Trapinch. Sav then replaced the ball onto her belt, producing another in the same fluid movement, this one coloured light blue with white spots, a Dive Ball.

"You're my last shot!" Sav said, giving the ball a kiss for good measure.

"Go... Feebas!"

The flash of light revealed the feeble-looking Fish Pokemon, seemingly unaware of it's surroundings nor of the importance of the battle it had just become a part of. There was something that seemed to have it preoccupied, it's rocky scales seemed to almost gleam in the bright arena lighting.

" Bass... "

The Heracross looked to be giving Feebas any leeway however, the switch having not delayed the action, it seemed to charge forward to attack the fresh target. Savannah screamed out in warning at her friend, determined not to let it end up as a fish stick.

"Quick Feebas, use Attract!"

With the usual wide smile he had during a battle, Tom shouted out to Aeolus,

"So you cleared out all that rust yet buddy?"

With a similar grin that nearly spooked the pants out of Rupert The water type nodded and crouched, ready to take off into the next enemy. He didn't have to wait long.

"Grh, screw this! Go, Piloswine!"
"Cacturne, yer up!!"

"What? What's that pointy looking pokemon? Definitely not from anywhere I know of.. But then there's a Piloswine too and those are tough. Hey! Rupert! Be careful, That thing is part Ice and Cubone's gonna be at a disadvantage!"

Aeolus looked back at Tom


"Huh? Oh yeah that spikey thing! Um, try not to stay in its range, so dash behind it and uh... It looks like a grass type, so give it a good ice fang? Try not to hurt yourself though ok? No biting the thorns!"


Aeolus' eyes narrowed, his teeth began to glow blue again, and he blasted off towards the Cactus like pokemon.

Lee wasn't happy to say the least about octillerys complete disregard for orders but what was he expecting given the pokemon's record, he decided to focus on duskull as at least then he could make a impact on the fight 'now that its confused, give it something to fear, ominous wind and night shade' duskull liked the sound of that, he aimed ominous wind at poliwhirl's spine and went to do the night shade as close to poliwhirl's face as it could, he also decide that if he got close enough he would throw his will-o-wisps at poliwhirl.

Octillery did not appreciate swalot's attack he didn't do anythign to swalot, in fact when given orders to attack swalot he denied them, while this swalot did not do the same for him, he didn't even retaliate to swalot's first attack. Octillery decided to blast a psybeam into swalot's mouth if swalot's next attack would allow for that if not he would just blast him with a psybeam.



Anthony raised his brow slightly as there was a lull in the action and Daria recalled Gemini.

"GOOD SHOW, SILVER! Only things I've seen KO Gemini like that are a Fissure... ...And ME. You trained that Electabuzz well; where ya from?"

Giving the tracksuited man no time to formulate a response, however, The Pewter Fist promptly gave her two combatants their next orders.

"Spiegel, lay down a cover Smokescreen, then hit him from the air with Dragon Rage! Slagger, you go on a Rollout, zig-zag through the smoke and come out for a quick shot, and lay on the pressure until he goes down; got it?"

"Hmph! Electabuzz use Thunderbolt on the Charmeleon, avoid that Dragon rage and Low Kick Golem before he rolls out. Then Thunderpunch Charmeleon again!"

Spiegel went first, drowning the area in thick, black smoke. Electabuzz was blind, but fired at what it thought was a flicker of the Charmeleon's tail flame. While the battle raged on Anthony started answering Daria's question.

"Hmph... Did I ask for your opinion? They call me The Saffron Jaguar. I've been Eres-aniki's enforcer for over 8 years."

Electabuzz missed, and Slagger spun into a second Rollout. The smoke gave no quarter and before he knew it, the Electric-type was taking another 660lbs of hard rock to his gut.

"Hell, I could beat down anything with these two fists... But... This shitty world we live in, where anything is handled with Pokémon... I've got little choice but to make sure that mine are AT LEAST half as tough as me."

Last but not least, Daria herself made a move towards Anthony's Pokémon, who was on his last legs after Slagger's attack. Surprised, the Electabuzz hastily grabbed the girl's ankle and prepared a Discharge just for her. As the smoke gradually cleared, it became clear to anthony what was going on.

"You idiot, don-!!"

Too late. Above the action, Spiegel fired his Dragon Rage, hoping that it would fry their foe before it fried Daria.


The emerald flames engulfed Electabuzz as Daria flew away from the brief jolt she'd managed to recieve before being liberated in the nick of time. Electabuzz was down.

"Hahhah... HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! GOOD SHOW, DARIA PACE!!! SEEMS YOU AND I HAVE SOMETHING IN COMMON!!! WOOOOO-OO!! Who gives a rats ass if you get fried, as long as they go down too, right?!?"

Anthony recalled Electabuzz and took out a Pokéball. What was an insanely ecstatic grin a second ago turned into a murderous scowl as he threw out his second Pokémon.

"But try that again, and you'll have to get by me."




Anthony's Ursaring made the entrance of a lifetime as the bear-like Pokémon used every last inch of strength in its massive bulk and charged at Spiegel, leaving a trail of crushed cement in its wake. The impact was brutal, as it sent Spiegel flying several rows down. Near to Kayla's and Frankie's position.

That was it. No struggle, nothing. Spiegel was out cold.

At the same time, a few rows below, Kayla had just finished giving Frankie an earful about her views on Pokémon and their rights. Frankie just stood there, mouth slightly open. There was no reasoning with the guy. He was just a gorilla for hire who'd gladly throw himself into a grinder if that meant he was getting paid.

"I'll save them,", she whispered.

"Eeeh? Speak up lil' tyke! You and what army, huh?!? HEEEEHEHEHEHEHE!!"

"I'll show you the bonds between a pokemon and their partner. Skylar use Hyper Beam!"


Too late. Skylar let loose the massive beam from her mouth, tearing through the stadium, right behind where Daria was standing before rushing down an Electabuzz, engulfing Frankie and sending him flying somewhere way past Goldenrod Bay.

"King use Flamethrower! Adelpha! Follow with Steel Wing!"

Kayla's Pokémon attacked immediately. King engulfed the zombified Venomoth in flames, as the Pokémon let out a dull screech of whatever rudimentary forms of pain it could still feel. It tried in vein to counter with a Psybeam, which went clear past King and bounced off the floor harmlessly. Adelpha then dove down, delivering the coup de gras with her razor sharp wings. Venomoth was down.

It was over. With Frankie gone and his Pokémon defeated, Kayla could go help her new friend, and as she spotted Spiegel lying limp on the stands next to King, Kayla realized that Daria could use all the help she could get.


It wasn't going to be that easy. Skylar would detect the threat to her Trainer's safety, as 3 more zombified Pokémon, no doubt left behind by the launched Frankie, slowly approached to attack Kayla. With no one to guide them, they were feral and vicious, if a bit dull.

Things were looking grim...

Meanwhile at the Eastern wing of the stadium, things had started rather swimmingly. Ryan and Mightyena were holding their own, having just defeated their opponent's Raticate. A Carnivine was to be their second hurdle.

Darius had dispatched his first thug with ease, and was now busy taunting the second one.

"Gah, keep that trap of yours clammed and fight ya damn clown!"

"Daffy Confusion and Water Pulse on the Linoone, Knuckles! Sand Attack, Crush Claw on the Goldeen! Make 'em know they're still Pokemon!"

"Linoone, Sand-Attack and Headbutt on the Sandslash! Goldeen! Supersonic and Horn Attack on Psyduck, NOW!!!"

The thug's Pokémon were hopelessly weaker than Darius' dynamic duo, and thus they would suffer Daffy & Knuckles' attacks before making their moves. Knuckles went first, spraying Goldeen's face with the sawdust it had at hand. As the Goldfish Pokémon struggled with visibility, Daffy tapped into his Psychic power, delivering a crushing blow to a glowing Linoone without so much as looking at it.

Linoone took quite a bit of damage, but did not become confused. It used the same trick as Knuckles and hurled the sawdust at Daffy's face. Goldeen however was not as lucky, as her blindness caused Supersonic to miss its target.

Daffy tried in vain to catch a glimpse of his target. Forming a ball of water inside its bill, the platypus-like Pokémon decided to "spray and pray". Unfortunately for him, the Water Pulse hit a bench, feet away from its intended target. Knuckles, however, was much more successful. He rushed towards Goldeen and delivered a crushing blow with both his massive claws. Goldeen was down. The grunt was unhappy. Discarding Goldeen's ball he took out a third.

"Go, Golbat!!"

"Golbat, use Supersonic and then Wing Attack on Sandslash."

Knuckles had quickly become the center of attention. As he measured up his next opponent, he could tell that this one was at least twice as strong as their previous challengers.


A hard Headbutt, hit Knuckles in the face and sent him sliding backwards. It was the first time that either of Darius' Pokémon were damaged. It wasn't bad, but it was a sign that it was time to up the ante.

"How cute. Anyway Auron, begin with a Confusion."

Caleb's newest acquisition took to the stage, concentrating every ounce of psychic power into his attack. A blue glow enveloped the flopping Magikarp and sent it flying into the stands. The Magikarp flopped around haplessly for a moment before becoming still.

"Damn it... Even a lil' runt like that can toss 'em around like ragdolls. What a load..."

One of the thugs stopped laughing for a moment to poke some fun at his unlucky comrade.

"Hahahah, Just give it a rest Brian. Let the big boys take the-"

The incessant jeering was interrupted by the defeated Magikarp, still glowing. But this wasn't part of Auron's attack. This was an evolution. The glowing fish quickly started gaining a lot of size, growing into a huge serpentine form. As the glow faded, red, cruel eyes that seemed to have regained their lifelike glow stared down at the creature's assailant.


".......AWESOME!!!! NOW WE'RE TALKING!!! Gyarados use Bi-GBUH!!"

Brian's orders were swiftly ignored as Gyarados sent the thug flying down the aisles. The sudden evolution had erased the Pokémon's mind control and thus any loyalty it might've had towards its captors. Its will to destroy the opponents in front of it were still there though, and it wasted no time in using Thrash, going for Auron at reckless speeds.


The first attempt missed, and only sent Auron tumbling backwards with the rubble. As Gyarados got its head out of the rubble and its roar filled the stadium, Caleb would have to contemplate his next move.


"You could... you could try a Dig against the wooly one, I-I mean, Aoulus has that Ice Fang. He can p-probably take the Grass one. Maybe try a Headbut if Ground attacks turn out to be ineffective..."

Cubone didn't even look at Rupert. He was busy measuring up his next foe anyway. These enemies were annoying. No feelings, no eye contact. Just numbly staring into space and attacking recklessly.

Cubone drove his bone into the ground, shoveling away at the concrete until he could burrow underneath it and leave opponents' lines of sight. That left Tom's Feraligatr as the only remaining target.

"Cacturne, use Absorb on the Feraligatr, once Cubone comes up, Faint Attack it!

"Piloswine! Ice Fang that Cubone until it's down!"

"Huh? Oh yeah that spikey thing! Um, try not to stay in its range, so dash behind it and uh... It looks like a grass type, so give it a good ice fang? Try not to hurt yourself though ok? No biting the thorns!"

Aeolus was off, fangs glowing a light blue as he dashed towards Cacturne. The Big Jaw Pokémon tried to get to Cacturne's back but the Grass-type was having none of that, as it kept up with Aeolus. Finally Aeolus decided to strike, catching Cacturne's leg in his massive jaws and delivering the freezing blow, as Aeolus' grip loosened, Cacturne retaliated by grabbing onto its opponent with all its limbs, causing the spikes on its body to bore into the Feraligatr's thick, scaly hide. A green glow accompanied Cacturne's Absorb as it sucked some of Feraligatr's life force, converting it into its own.

Meanwhile, Piloswine was busy trying to sniff out Cubone's whereabouts underground. Too late.


Cubone burst out of the floor, hitting Piloswine in the gut with a fierce uppercut that sent the Ground/Ice-type flying onto its back. It hit hard but Piloswine was quite resilient himself. It quickly regained its footing and charged at Cubone bearing its glowing tusks of ice. As much as Aeolus would've wanted to repay Cubone's favor, he had his claws full with a grab-happy Cacturne.

The attack hit Cubone like an icy freight train, sending him flying backwards to Rupert's feet. Catching a glimpse of Rupert, Cubone struggled to get back onto his feet, using the bone as support. It then drove it into the ground and dashed towards Piloswine head first.


The sound of hard bones hitting must've resonated all the way to Hoenn as Cubone's head collided with his foe's.

Piloswine staggered as it tried to get back up. It fell to its knees again as the attack had caused it to flinch.

Aeolus wriggled free from Cacturne's hug and went at it with another Ice Fang. It hit its mark again. Cacturne wasn't feeling so good. The Ice Fangs were doing much more damage than the Absorbs could heal. It was still in the game however, and spotting the limping Cubone making his way to his bone it vanished, only to reappear behind Cubone. Rupert couldn't get a full word out before his trusted partner took a blow to the back and collapsed next to his weapon. Cubone was down.

Lee was doing quite well himself. The grunt's confused Poliwhirl was living moments of sheer terror as an Ominous Wind first blew through its body, followed by more confused shenanigans as it tripped over itself. As Poliwhirl got up, Duskull was already next to its face, projecting a massive presence over the brainwashed, confused and frightened Water-type, finally ending it by dropping the remaining Will-o-Wisps to torture and burn his hapless victim. Poliwhirl was down.

Right next to them, Swalot had been ordered to use Sludge. Swalot opened its mouth only for Quickdraw McOctillery to shoot a precise Psybeam right into his opponent's gaping piehole, causing it to faint as well.

That'll teach him to mess with this Octillery. Lee must've been quite satisfied with his team's performance too.

The grunts however, were not.

"Gah! Damn it Terry, you suck! Why'd they pair me with you anyways?"

"Shut yer trap Clay! I'm not the one who's Pokémon got KO'd in one darn hit! Go, Tyrogue!"

"Whatever, Delcatty!"


Down south, things were looking grim.

Savannah had just recalled Sutekh, her Trapinch, seeing as his attacks weren't affecting her opponent's Heracross. With Sprig missing (and not that useful in the match-up at hand anyway), she had finally opted to rely on...


The grunt she was facing was the stoic type, but even he had to let out a bit of a cocksure grin. Feebas, on the other hand, just floated there, eyes vacant and mouth open. Savannah might've been grasping at straws at this point but she was not about to give up now.

"Quick Feebas, use Attract!"

"Hmph... Useless. Heracross, Horn Attack, Brick Break. End this farce."

Heracross complied and rushed at Feebas, bearing its impressive horn at the dull witted Water-type. Savannah couldn't help but bite her lip.


Heracross missed. It missed. In all of Sav & Feebas' sordid history, not once had an opponent missed when attacking her. But this time, as unbelievable as it might sound, Feebas had dodged the attack. She the turned to face her assailant, jumped up in the air, her scales glistening in the spotlights before winking at Heracross.

The brainwashed Bug-type was too brainwashed for Feebas' attempt to have any chance of working (if it did to begin with) and in no time the Grunt's Pokémon resumed its assault. It dashed into flight, first veering up and the spinning down with incredible force, crashing into the ground where Feebas was and sending her flying up into the air

Savannah watched on in horror as her Pokémon flapped about helplessly in the air. It seemed this was it. But then.

Everything rushed into Feebas' mind. Memories of her Trainer, the girl that would not give up on her, always trying to bring out the best in her. Feebas' brain was on the verge of imploding. Beauty, wisdom, power. Everything she lacked, the power to finally help her Trainer, to become all she could be, was in front of her, glistening like the scale she'd been given not long ago.

Then, the glow enveloped her.

Remy was not faring well. Zangoose was exhausted. Anton's Pokémon was clearly superior. And he wasn't above making it abundantly clear to his opponent.

"Ahhhhahahahahahah! Oi, oi... What's the matter, can't keep up with ol' Habunake here? Oi, finish off that mangy filth, Crunch!"

Remy looked towards Zangoose expectantly. the Cat Ferret Pokémon simply nodded.

"Okay then, use Slash! End this!"

Zangoose took off, running as fast as his legs could carry him. Once he'd closed the distance, Zangoose jumped at his despicable foe and Slashed it across the face. It wasn't over though.


Anton's Seviper quickly shot backwards to catch Zangoose who tried to avoid the counterattack, sinking its fangs into him with vicious force.


With one last pained growl, Zangoose fell to the ground, unconscious.

"YAAAAHAHAHAHHHOOOO! Seviper 1, Zangoose 0! But let's not end it here... C'MON! Gimme your next shot!"

Remy silently called back his companion and reached for his Dusk Ball.

"Slice him up, Sneasel!!"


"Sneasel, use Ice Shard, then Faint Attack!"

Sneasel complied faster than Anton could react, breathing ice cold air onto the concrete in front of him and then clawing it into razor sharp shards of ice, hurled at Habunake at blinding speeds.

Habunake hissed in pain as its master tried to give it the next batch of orders.

"Habunake, use Pois-!"


In the blink of an eye, Sneasel had already vanished and re-appeared behind Habunake, having slashed it in the neck. Habunake was down.

"He might not be the most resilient, but my lil' fella here sure is fast. Faster than your garden variety belly crawler anyways..."

Anton's cavalier expression twitched ever so slightly as he realized that he hadn't managed to maintain his lead for very long. Recalling Habunake, he dug out a Dusk Ball of his own.

"How's about we put claws against claws, eh? Go! Yamime!!"


"Hold on, buddy,"

Jack's intervention gave time for Matt to attend to his injured friend. Meanwhile, this crazy boy from Hoenn seemed to have no qualms in berating a hardcore criminal with a Steelix.

"Yeah, ya think ya got anything on both of us? Look at that! While yer lookin' at me with that ugly mug o' yers, my brotha over there's already healed his fireball right up!"

"Alright, Spike, here's the plan! You need to go back up Swell, okay? While the two of you are fighting Steelix, I'm going to get Ventus back up. Got it?"

Signaling for Swell to come to him, Jack continued.

"Yer goin' down pal, nhihihihiii, yeah! Okay, Swell! Yer job is to fly around that big ol' vermin, while Fireball over there lays on the damages, got it?"


Swell squawked in agreement and joined Spike in flanking Eres' Steelix from both sides. The gangster himself, however, appeared as calm as a meditating Meditite.

"Mhahah... Hahhahahhahahhaahhahahah! Such guts! Well done boys! Well done!"

Eres laughed and clapped.

"I really like ya both. So young, and you probably got more guts than all my guys combined. Haaahhhh... Ain't gonna help ya though. See I got a job to do, and I'm not the type 'a guy to do a half assed job."

He dug Steelix's PokéBall from his jacket pocket. As well as another PokéBall.

"Come on back boy."

As the beam shrunk the colossal Steel-type into a portable form, Eres prepared to send out another Pokémon in its stead.

"Sorry kids. It's been fun, but now it's time for y'all to give up yer Pokémon. Don't be sad though, I'll give you a hell of a show for 'em. GO! GARCHOMP!!


The light dissipated to reveal a Garchomp. Identical to the one tattooed on Eres' head. It looked more vicious than anything either of the boys had ever seen. Jack found himself gulping.



Far away from the veritable battleground that the Goldenrod Stadium had become, on Route 34, a young woman stood outside the Silversong Daycare. She was in her early twenties, with long brown hair that fell to one of her shoulders, tied up with a pink ribbon. She wore blue overalls, cut at the thigh with a red sweater underneath. Constantly at her side was one of her most treasured companions. A Marill.

Marill! Mari, Marill.

"Yeah, you're right Marill, that is quite the storm approaching... Better start getting the Fire and Rock-types inside."

The young lass hurried inside to get the Pokémon with aversion to water inside, and the ones with affinity to it outside.

"Aeden! Aeden! Where is that boy...?"

Aeden Shay was a 19 year old boy from Orre, who had moved to Johto a few years ago. He was working as an assistant at the Daycare. It wasn't like him to go missing like this in the middle of the workday. The woman finally found him in the kitchen, transfixed to the TV.

"Oh, so this is where you've been hiding, huh? Watching Fuschia Shore while old Lyra herds a dozen Torkoal, is that it? Well? Answe- Hey, what's going on."

What had Aeden spaced out was a emergency report from Goldenrod Stadium where a group of criminals had attacked everyone inside. One brave cameraman had evaded them and was now transmitting the gruesome action using the stadium's own cameras.

"What on Earth is happening over there. I hope HE'S alright..."


Thunder clapped with a tremendous sound as water started pouring down. The heaviest rain Central Johto had had in months. Soon the stadium was being showered as well.

Knuckles staggered backwards, the blow having hit his sensitive nose. He held his claws in front of his face and rubbed it before he stopped seeing spots. In a ready position now, claws poised over the dirt, facing his opponent Golbat.


Daffy was blinded and staggered a moment himself, before squirting water into his hands from his bill and washing the sawdust out. But although the offending material had been washed away, the damage had been done. His now red eyes fumed behind his monstrous bill at the Linoone that had pulled the dirty trick.

"Psyduck!"He laughed,as he realized the joke he had made""Psy-psy-psy-psy,"

"Daffy, you're not on stage right now, focus."

The Psyduck stopped just as suddenly as he had begun laughing, now holding his head as another pain flashed through it.

"Knuckles, switch. Finish the Linoone, Crush Claw. Daffy, Confuse the Golbat. Both of you switch again, Knuckles, Swift on that Golbat, Daffy, drench this Rocket with Water Sport. Cool him off. There's gotta be something still in there that's Pokemon!"


Daria's eyes went blank as Spiegel's frame went careening past her, blasting flat against the stands back a ways. The battleground was momentarily silent as Slagger's vision darted between his downed comrade and his motionless trainer. "G-Gol?"

Daria's had slowly reached down to her belt and retrieved Spiegel's Pokeball from the clip. Her eyes leveled with Anthony's... and she smiled.

"Saffron Jaguar, huh? Neat!" A red beam of light caught the limp salamander and recalled him to his ball. "Never heard of ya!"

She re-clipped the ball, taking out a Revive and feeding it into Gemini's Pokeball. "Never heard of your boss, either. Maybe I'll take him next, after I whup your ass into next week." She unclipped the ball, tossing out Gemini, hurt but not down for the count yet. "Recover, girl."

Her Staryu complied and brought itself back to fighting speed. Coordinating with Slagger the pair slowly stepped in front of their trainer, keeping a healthy buffer between her and the gigantic bear in their path. Their growls were low and fierce. Try a single thing against their trainer, and Ursaring would regret it for the rest of its very short life. Daria opened her mouth wide to shout a challenge. Then the arena shook. A cry of draconic rage rippled through the air and stood the hairs on the back of her neck on end. She looked down and the arena. A Garchomp--half shark, half dragon, all bad attitude. And facing off against it was--

Oh shit, Matt!

She glared back at her opponent, the Saffron Jaguar. Her eyes then slid back to Kayla, facing off against the Pokemon circling around her. A three-way split visualized itself in her mind. Matt's face was screaming at her in the silence of her mind, berating her. All she'd wanted to do was help. Ventus was giving him so much trouble, that--

This isn't helping!

Down three paths lay three different outcomes. She could focus on her own opponent, she could assist both of them, or she could assist only one. The results of all of them were... not pretty. He's not a child. He can handle things on his own. But... a freakin' Garchomp! That's not right!

Pace took a deep breath. It wasn't an easy decision, but she knew what she needed to do.

"Yo!" Both of her soldiers looked back at Daria, pointing over her shoulder at the situation in the other direction. Kayla was surrounded by three very nasty-looking Pokemon, and they were closing in fast. "Ganging up on a lady isn't nice," she said with a cheeky grin. "Go even things out Gemini, okay?"

She then pointed down into the arena, at the dragon squaring off with the young boy. "Slagger, you're Matt's until this is over. Ya don't let that thing touch a hair on the boy's head. You're not allowed to die, even if he kills you. Got it?"

Both of her team looked very uncomfortable with the idea of leaving their trainer's side. Daria was a powerhouse. But then again, so was a ten foot bear. She belayed their worries with a single glance. "Go," she commanded more firmly. "I've got this."

The pair hesitated another moment but ultimately relented. They charged off to battle, Slagger leading off with a Rollout crashing down through the stands, rocketing off from the side of the ring and speeding towards the Garchomp. Gemini swooped into the other skirmish, leading with a Swift on the Kingdra. That left Daria alone, arms crossed and her eager smile gone as she sized up her competition.

"You've got a good Ursaring, Silver. It looks like you've trained it well. But you and your folks have just gone and made a big mistake by putting my friends in danger. So if you'll excuse me, I'll have to beat your ass into the dirt fast so I can go back them up." She stepped towards the Saffron Jaguar, and glanced over at his Pokemon. "But don't worry. Your bear will have a playmate."

She looked up, over Anthony and Ursaring both to the stands above. Specifically, at the Hitmonlee leaning over the railing, glaring at the crooks below. "Jet! Waste these jerks!"


Jet flipped from the stands, flinging down at the Ursaring and winding up a Rolling Kick the whole way down. Daria's feet shuffled at such speed they could well have caught fire as she slid around and past the bear, moving straight for Anthony with a mean left hook. "Let's see what you've GOT, Jag!"

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