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.
"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.
*CRASH* *RUMBLE* *THOOOM*
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!"
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.
"C'MON KIDS! LET'S RUMBLE!"
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.