Battlegrounds : A Pokémon Role-Play { Closed } - Day Two: On the Road to Jade Forest

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"Although I think her contest or challenge was just to get us to learn to catch Pokémon; it was kind of like how some teachers teach lessons in an attempt to change things up. Ultimately I wouldn't mind joining you in a contest as long as it remains something we're doing for fun. No point doing something if it's only to demean the other people involved," Erika replied to Robyn with a smile.

Erika looked around for her Pokémon; they'd been out of their balls since she released them at the Pokémon center. Breña was following close to her feet the ball still in her mouth. Aerial was flying circles in the sky above her and seemed to be looking for something that Erika couldn't identify. Burtha was darting in and out of bushes, sniffing out stray berries, or anything else that it might find delicious. Erika whistled loudly; Breña dropped her ball and Erika quickly picked up, meanwhile Aerial and Burtha returned to her.

"Alright girls Robyn's issued us a friendly contest. So we're going to head out now and train for a bit. If we're lucky we might find something that I'll want to add to our team," Erika announced as she took off into the tall grass with Robyn.

"So Robyn, any special reason why you decided to become a Pokémon trainer and come to Gensia?" Erika asked as the two walked. Suddenly an Audino popped out of the grass a few feet away from Erika. "Everyone use Tackle," Erika ordered as all three of her Pokémon launched themselves into the Audino. The pink-and-cream-coloured Pokémon was sent flying backwards from the trio's impact and disappeared into the grass.

Heidi was surprised when the Budew tried to wiggle out of her arms, but giggled nonetheless when she got returned to her Pokéball by Eurydice. "You're welcome. And well..." Heidi was about to answer her question regarding the lake, but was interrupted when she saw that the others were heading out there as well. "Yeah, lets go there. Maybe we'll be able to find some Water Pokémon there."

Heidi walked alongside Eurydice with the others, Yani buzzing as she looked around herself while sitting on Heidi's head. "I don't particularly mind so long as I can stay near Eurydice." Heidi said to answer Alix's question. She'd rather be able to keep an eye on the little girl, just in case. Once on the route, Heidi let George and Eve out. Eve was a little miffed over the whole ordeal and didn't look like she'd cooperate right away. "Now, now, Eve. Everyone has to pull their weight on the team. Yani and George have been doing well so far, but I haven't really had a chance to see you in battle. Now, I want all three of you to go out there and find yourself some Pokémon to fight." She almost acted like a drill sergent, but she only had best intentions at heart. Eve still didn't feel like cooperating, but went into the grass and amongst the trees anyway.

"George, keep an eye on Eve, will you? She might attempt to find another Combee hive to inhabit." George saluted her with his wing and kept his distance from Eve, but not so far as to not being able to see her. Eve attempted to use her skills to fight, finding that she did well against her fellow Bug types, especially considering her main move was Gust. She occasionally missed, but for the most part she could hit her opponents and if she missed, she just flew away from their attacks. George trained himself a distance away from her, both keeping an eye on her and the Pokémon he was attacking.

Meanwhile, Yani stayed close to Heidi while fighting some Pokémon she found. After a bit of that, Heidi found a Pokémon she wanted to add to her team. A wild Caterpie walked on a nearby tree. "Oh my gosh, a Caterpie! They're so cute! Yani, we must have one!" Yani understood and prepared a Tackle. The attack hit and the Caterpie was flung off of the tree. He saw no chance to counterattack and tried to flee, but Yani prepared a Quick Attack, quickly closing the distance between her and the Caterpie. She hit him again and with another Quick Attack on him, it looked like this time it was enough. The Caterpie was weakened.

Heidi picked up an empty Pokéball and threw it at the Caterpie with great aim. He got sucked in with a red beam of light and the ball wiggled for a short while before it clicked. Heidi picked up the Pokéball and shrunk it to put on her belt. "I'm going to call you Daniel. It may not sound as cute as you are, but it's a good name nevertheless." She picked up her Pokédex and scanned Daniel's ball.

image#010: Caterpie Worm Pokémon
Height: 1' 00" / 0.3 m.Weight: 6.4 lbs. / 2.9 kg.
Ability: Shield DustDamaging moves used by the opponent will not have an additional effect
Moves: Tackle. Bug Bite. Struggle Bug. Snore.
It releases a stench from its red antenna to repel enemies. It grows by molting repeatedly.

"Huh. Interesting ability. That would mean moves like Poison Sting wouldn't poison Daniel. Neat." She put the Pokédex back into her pocket and watched Yani train some more, confident that George was keeping an eye on Eve, which he was doing, both of them training as well.

Eurydice walked ahead of Heidi, a hand on her Ponyta's reins. Even though she was aware Heidi wanted to keep an eye on her, she decided she could take care of herself. As soon as they got to Route 2, she looked for an opportunity to slip off into the grass.

"Oh my gosh, a Caterpie! They're so cute! Yani, we must have one!"

Huh, a Caterpie is pretty cool, I guess. Easy to evolve, and then all of those powder moves Butterfree have. She wasn't interested in the small bug pokemon, having seen a lot of them already in Kanto. Her Ponyta wasn't interested in most of the other pokemon either, pausing occasionally to tackle a random Ratata or Caterpie. Eurydice made sure they walked around the poisonous Weedles, hoping to not have to waste supplies.

Closer to the small town, she noticed a small ball of pink and yellow rolling around in the dust. "Nyaaa~" A small Skitty was chasing its tail, jumping and running around excitedly. It was adorable. When it saw Eurydice, it ran up, rubbing against her legs. It was a little dirty, but it seemed pretty tame. Curious, and infatuated by its cuteness, Eurydice knelt down to try and pet it. The Skitty bolted off into the grass before she could even touch it. "Ah!" Eurydice immediately gave chase, but she couldn't find it. Oh no! Where did it go? Her Ponyta sniffed around the grass, but had no luck.

As she was looking around for it though, there was another sound. Actually, upon review, it wasn't so much a sound as a hum in the air. What is that? Her Ponyta got excited, sniffing around a small bush near one of the trees. Hoping it was the Skitty, Eurydice carefully moved some of the branches aside. To her surprise, there was no Skitty, but a small... was it a baby? No, it ran out, a small figure in a white dress and a green helmet. She handn't seen anything like it before. Quick as lightning, she snapped a picture of it while giving chase. Her Pokedex beeped in reply:

image#280: RaltsFeeling Pokemon
Height: 1'04"/0.4mWeight: 14.6lbs/6.6kg
Ability: TraceThe Pokemon copies a foe's Ability.
Moves: Growl, Confusion
Level 6
It is highly attuned to the emotions of people and Pokemon. It hides if it senses hostility.

That explains it
Eurydice tried to think happy thoughts as she ran after the Ralts. Her Ponyta, however, being faster, had already ran ahead and cut it off. "Ra... Ral!" The Ponyta jumped back, startled by the attack. It snort loudly, determined to not let the little pest get away. Fortunately, one direct hit from the Ponyta's comparatively massive size downed it. Before it could try to attack again, Eurydice threw a pokeball. It wiggled a little, but broke out, trying to make a bolt for it again. Determined to get it the second time, she threw another ball. This one missed, but didn't open either, so she ran and picked it up. Thankfully, her Ponyta had herded the Ralts back around, and she was able to get a clear shot. This time the capsule clicked closed.

I got it! She was so excited, running back to see if she could find Heidi and show her the newest addition to her team. Now she had a Budew and a Ralts. She let out the pokemon, quickly spraying it with a Potion. "Raa...? Ral." It was so soft spoken, almost like Eurydice herself. She could barely hear the pokemon talk, actually. It seemed happy enough, walking around in small steps. She put her on top of the Ponyta, like the Budew. The Ponyta didn't seem to mind the Ralts though, letting it hold onto her neck so she didn't fall.

Aha! There's something there! The Ralts directed the Ponyta away from Eurydice and into a few patches of grass. She sensed something happy, and was curious to see what kind of pokemon it was.

Eurydice whistled sharply, going after them. A bright flash of light came from where they were rooting around, and three or four bundles of blue fur darted out. One ran right into her. "Huh?" It looked like a small feline. It wasn't as cute as the Skitty from earlier, but it had it had its own charm. "Hi" She reached out to touch it, receiving a light shock from its fur in return. She let out a surprised yelp. The Ralts drove the Ponyta back to Eurydice, and then used Confusion from her perch. A purple light shone from underneath her helmet, and the Shinx was blasted back a little. When the Shinx tried to charge at them, it ran headfirst into a tree. Oh no! It must have been confused! It still snapped around as she tried to check on it, this time running right into Ponyta. It hit her hard enough to throw Ralts off. The pokemon hit the ground with a soft thud, quickly standing up and using Confusion again. Eurydice reached in her bag. Only 7 balls left... She threw one, deciding to try and catch this electric pokemon. It would do good with Budew at the lake. The Shinx was too tired to resist, quietly disappearing into the ball. It didn't even shake, clicking closed. She took out her Pokedex and scanned the ball, simultaneously attaching the Potion to the lock and healing it while it was inside.

image#403: Shinx Flash Pokemon
Height: 1'08"/0.5mWeight: 20.9lbs/9.5kg
Ability: IntimidateLowers the foe's Attack.
Moves: Leer, Tackle, Bite
Level 5
All of its fur dazzles if danger is sensed. It flees while the foe is momentarily blinded.

Oh that makes sense. She decided to keep it resting in its ball for now. It would be hard enough to keep track of her Ralts, who was already partners in crime with her Ponyta.

After a while, Russel had finally managed to take down the Audino. "That took a lot longer than it should have..." he growled as Munchie started climbing up his leg to his shoulder. "Good thing we ate beforehand. You'd probably be starved after all that gas." he said, nudging his shoulder. He took a look back to all the other trainers. Most of them were still behind him, and had gained some ground after his little scuffle with the Audino. A couple had seemed to catch a few new pokemon, but overall it wasn't anything that demanded his attention.

"Ok, break time's over. Let's keep things simple for now." he said, setting Munchie back on the ground. Munchie frowned, but then shrugged, jumping back into the grass, and Russel quickly saw a few clouds of gas rise from the grass, with a couple fainted Seedot rolling from out of the grass. "Hmm... a grass type could come in handy... maybe I oughta consider catching one..."

People were starting to pair off. Heidi and the Eurydice she had mentioned, presumably the young girl with the Ponyta, were in one patch of grass, while Erika and Robyn were in another. Alix was of the mind that now would be a good time to add a third Pokémon to her team, so she stepped into the tall grass herself. Stana eagerly followed her, sniffing at the ground and giving the occasional bark as she did so.

Alix let Matti out of his Poké Ball, so he could get some battle practice in as well. When the Togepi materialised, Stana turned to the shorter Pokémon and growled at him. "Grr... Chee-yen, yen." It seemed that Stana was not too happy with working alongside Matti. The latter squeaked and ran around behind Alix's leg at the sight of Stana's fangs.

"Stana, Matti, time for you to get better acquainted," Alix half-chided as she knelt down with her Pokémon. Staring down at them from a higher height only hindered communication, as far as she knew. She detached Matti from her shoe, onto which he had been clinging, and brought him around to stand next to the Poochyena. Matti seemed to retreat into his shell... was he afraid?

Stana wasn't helping matters: she was looking at Matti like he was lunch. "Oh, right, of course. Food. Let me just... here we go," Alix said to herself as she dug out the Omnivore case, opened it and tossed one of the brownish cubes to Stana. The Poochyena scarfed it down, her attention immediately drawn to Alix and the food in her possession. "Chee! Yen."

"Hah. The way to a Poochyena's heart is through her stomach, eh?" Alix commented. "So... are we friendly now? Not going to try and eat our little buddy Matti here?" Stana closed her mouth and sat down in answer. Alix took that as a yes.

"Alright... let's see what Route 2 has to offer us." She led the way a little deeper into the grass, though Matti was soon running ahead of her, excited again. That little guy will never stay still... am I gonna have to buy a leash for him? "Matti, don't go too far," she called out before realising that he had stopped in front of a goldish-brown Pokémon curled up on the ground, sound asleep.

Alix thought she recognised the small Pokémon, but out came her Pokédex to be sure.

image#063: Abra Psi Pokémon
Height: 2'11" / 0.9 m.Weight: 43.0 lbs. / 19.5 kg.
Ability: Magic Guard(In battle, this Pokémon can only be injured by another Pokémon's moves.)
Moves: Teleport, Foresight, Metronome
Using its psychic power is such a strain on its brain that it needs to sleep for 18 hours a day.

"Thought so... Y'know what, guys? I think an Abra would fit the team pretty well. Matti, come here. We've got to figure out how to catch it without waking it up," she told her Pokémon. Matti did as he was told, but he wasn't all that happy with it. He wanted to play.

Alix briefly considered her options. Matti's Extrasensory move could be a possibility, since it theoretically wouldn't take it out in a couple of hits. Stana was a new addition to the team, though, and needed training. So Alix turned to the Dark-type for help. "Let's go, Stana. Show us your Tackle."

"Chee-yen!" Stana answered as she charged the Abra. The Psychic-type began to glow blue, and it vanished with a noise that sounded like a zwoip. Stana stopped short, confused. The Abra had teleported away.

"Oh, what. That Abra was asleep," Alix complained. Her Pokédex beeped at her, and she consulted it.

Abra senses impending attacks and teleports away to safety before they can strike. It teleports even while asleep.

Alix sighed, but she wasn't about to give up that easily. "Alright, guys, let's go Abra-hunting," she declared, forging a path through the grass to look for the Pokémon she wanted.

"Damn." He thought simply as the group began piling out of the pokécenter. Robyn's reply reflected her confidence and hot-bloodedness. She reminded him of a thick headed sailor he had the pleasure of knowing while in boot camp. Just like that sailor, she was obviously eager to battle. Morgan made a mental note of setting aside some time in the future to battle her...when his pokémon were stronger, of course.

"She definitely won't hold back. And her party outnumbers mine easily." He thought, the group soon entering the dreadfully shabby Route 2. Morgan made a quick remark about abundance of dirt roads. He began to wander away from the group of trainers as Alix talked, keeping a "Meet up at Lake Lazuli" thought posted at the front of his mind. With Spike leading the way, Morgan traversed further into the woods.

It didn't take long for the two to start encountering wild pokémon, and the two got to work. Spike held up his end, handling whatever came his way with ease. However, the two come began to slow their pace. It seemed the grass the two walked through had darkened in color. And ahead of them, two pokémon exchanged fierce glares. While the former could easily be classified as a Weedle, the latter caused Morgan to raise an eyebrow at it's appearance.

"Hmm. I don't think I've seen one of those in person before..." His mind hung on the thought as he looked on perplexed. Spike, on the other hand, was still eager to tussle, and began growling at the two. The sound of hostility broke the pokémon from their would-be duel, as the two set their gaze on a new adversary. Morgan's eyes widened from under his glasses as he watched the two slowly approach.

"Dangit Spike, you can't fight 2-on-1!" He said, looking down at the Poochyena that had lowered himself into a ready stance. The two began their assault, the four-legged-felid-esque thing breaking into a sprint with it's eyes deadlocked with Spike's. Instinctively, Morgan grabbed at the pokéball on his belt, and threw it ahead. He only realized what he had done once the bright lights faded. Chase, now fearing the similarly-colored pokémon more than his master, began to run away for a reason that wasn't rebellion. The yellow-eyed pokémon saw Chase as a new challenge, and took after him, the two delving further into the woodlands. Morgan began to follow after the two, but realized the Weedle and Spike were still eager for a battle.

"Shit, uhh...Spike, Bite 'im!" The sailor commanded, brow furrowed as he tried to wrap his mind around what was happening. Spike replied with a quick bark before lunging towards the Hairy Bug pokémon with fangs bare. The Weedle barely dodged the attack, slinking out of the way fast enough to send a sharp barb of poison in Spike's direction. It was a successful retaliation, but did little to faze the Dark-type. Spike broke into a sprint, making a second attempt to connect his attack. He succeeded at his second chance, razor sharp fangs briefly digging into the Weedle before using those powerful jaws to toss the much lighter Bug-type in the opposite direction. Morgan realized how critical the damage was as he watched the Weedle struggle to stand.

"A potential Beedrill...I can use one of those." He thought briefly, blindly digging through his duffel bag until his hand came across an empty pokéball. He hastily tossed the ball in the direction of the Weedle, anxiously watching as the pokémon vanished into light. Morgan could swear a bead of sweat trickled from his forehead as he watched the pokéball hesitantly rock to and fro, the light of the small white button pulsating with its red light. Morgan cautiously edged towards the the ball as it shook. The replying click the pokéball made caused him to jump, with it being a sound he honestly wasn't expecting. With a sigh a relief, he picked up the ball. Just then, a confirmation sound came from his pokédex, with the Weedle's information imprinted within.

image#170: WeedleHairy Bug Pokémon
image image
Height: 1'00"/ 0.3mWeight: 7.1 lbs. / 3.2 kg
Ability: Shield DustDamaging moves used by the opponent will not have an additional effect.
Moves: Poison Sting, String Shot, Bug Bite
It eats its weight in leaves every day. It fends off attackers with the needle on its head.

"CHINNNNN!!" Broke Morgan from his pokédex. No doubt it was Chase. From a distance, the Chinchou let another cry of help and pain. Spike's ears perked and twitched, most likely finding a pinpointed direction on where the cries were originating from. Habitually, he began to trot towards it, with Morgan not far behind.

"So Robyn, any special reason why you decided to become a Pokémon trainer and come to Gensia?"

"Uhhh, not really," Robyn answered as she watched Erika's Pokemon attack the Audino in the grass. "I'm here to prove that no matter what happens, I'm still a winner, and I'm going to be crowned Champion before anyone knows it."

Another Audino popped up near where Erika's beaten one had landed, obviously upset about the treatment it's sibling had gotten.

"Nina! Scout! Hit that thing hard! Use Absorb and Dizzy Punch!" Robyn plucked Natalie off of her head. "You go too Natalie. I don't care if you can't fly, you can still Peck at that ball of fluff."

Natalie scoffed at that last insult, but had little time to do more than that as Robyn tossed her towards the battle. The Cotton Bird Pokemon proved it was no relation to a Meowth, as it landed on it's head before tumbling onto it's feet. A little dizzy, it hopped towards where Nina and Scout were already in battle.

Robyn stood back up, still putting more pressure on her left leg. "Yep, nice shiny championship trophy will look pretty sweet glistening in the sun on the way back to Unova. Plus the money won't hurt." That's pretty much the point. "What about you Erika? You seem like a smart girl. You must be out here for the same thing right?"

Aerial, Burtha, and Breña were swapping out between targets at Erika's command as she listened to Robyn answer her question. Rattata, Hoothoot, Skitty, Spearow, and the rare Venonat became the targets she was commonly switching between. None of her Pokémon had an advantage over the others for the first four, but she only had Aerial battle the Venonat due to her type advantage. Soon enough Robyn had replied with her own question.

"I personally just thought becoming a trainer was a cool idea. Watching the trainers come through our town to battle Pryce and watching all their different Pokémon battle was interesting. I wanted to give it a shot and then I read about Gensia; afterwards I decided to take up the Gensia League Challenge. The championship stuff doesn't interest me as much as the experience of becoming a trainer." Erika replied, as she proceeded to move forward towards the edge of the forest. "So do we turn back, or see if there's anything else to offer in the forest?"

Munchie had hopped back out of the grass, once again crawling up Russel's leg. "Ok, ok. We can take it easy until we get to the lake. Must be a little harder for you considering you haven't been having much help." he said, looking back at the other trainers. "Maybe we oughta get one pokemon. It's be nice having a bit of company." As soon as he finished that sentence, the grass behind them rustled, and a small pokemon slowly walked out. "Hey, a Ralts! Only seen like one or two of them back home..."

image#280: Ralts Feeling Pokemon
Height: 1'04"/0.4mWeight: 14.6lbs/6.6kg
Ability: TraceThe Pokemon copies a foe's Ability.
Moves: Growl, Confusion
Level 6
This Pokémon rarely appears before people. But when it does, it draws closer if it senses that the person has a positive disposition.

"Positive? Me? I prefer 'cheery', myself..." he said, shrugging. Munchie slowly walked to the little psychic type, extending a hand. The Ralts just yawned, then lazily shook Munchie's hand. "Seems friendly enough. Think we might be able to get this one?" Munchie nodded. Maybe we oughta try diplomacy... Munchie is almost certainly stronger, but I don't want to try my luck with Poison vs Psychic...

He knelt down, extending his hand to the Ralts. "Hey, little guy..." he smiled, but was met with another yawn. "Hmmm... sleepy fellow, ain't he?" he muttered. "Hey... you want to come on a journey with us? I got a nice ball for you to rest in, lots of berries, some shelter... sounds nice, doesn't it?" Russel reached into his backpack, pulling out an Oran Berry, handing it to the wild pokemon. The Ralts took a couple bites, slowly nodded its head, finally speaking Raaaalts.

Russel smiled, reaching into the pocket in his shirt, pulling out a Pokeball. "Well, if you really want to come along, just get in the ball..." he said. "Come to think of it, I need to give you a name if you want to come along. You kinda look like a 'Rory' to me. That seem like a good name?" Rory nodded, pressing the button on the Pokeball. It shook a couple times before it finally clicked. "Huh... that was actually pretty easy. Who knew bribery was so effective? Still, that one seemed a little... lazy. You get that impression too, Munchie?" Gulll pinpin... "Heh. You're right. It'd explain why it came to me of all people... hopefully he won't be lazy during training." He said, turning back and noticing most of the trainers had caught up.

"So do we turn back, or see if there's anything else to offer in the forest?"

"Well," Robyn answered. "I found Natalie deep in the forest on the last route, so if there are really good Pokemon in here, I gotta think they'll be deeper off the path too. So I think we should head in...that way there!" Robyn pointed towards a patch of trees a short ways in the distance.

"Well if you already found a good Pokémon in a forest before, it would definitely be a good idea for us to go and check here," Erika stated.

"All right! Come on guys, let's go!" The Audino soundly defeated, Robyn's Pokemon followed their fearless leader into the forest.

Robyn was regretting her choice a little bit into the hike. Despite her thoughts to the contrary, Route 2's forest was just as hilly as Route 1's, and she was starting to feel the effects already. Damn it. Well, I'm not leaving until we catch something. We have to get something for coming in here.

The two girls and their Pokemon came into a clearing the mini-woods. Robyn held up her Pokemon. "OK, know we've struck out so far, but there's got to be some Pokemon around here somewhere." A quick scan of the area contradicted her however. "Damn it. Where are they?" she asked rhetorically. "I know they gotta be here! They just gotta!"

She looked around the floor. There was a nice sized rock on the ground. Perfect for scaring up some Pokemon! Robyn picked up the rock. "We just gotta bring them out!" Her makeshift projectile was hurled into the tree canopy above, and her throw struck paydirt. A couple of seconds after her throw, a small green Pokemon crashed onto the ground, the rock following shortly after.

"See?" she said confidently. "There we go! There's a..." She pulled out her Pokedex to confirm what exactly it was she had hit.

image#010: Caterpie Worm Pokémon
Height: 1'0" / 0.3 m.Weight: 6.4 lbs. / 2.9 kg.
Ability: Shield Dust(Prevents Pokemon from suffering from the additional effects of attacks.)
Moves: Tackle, String Shot, Bug Bite, Snore
Its feet have suction cups designed to stick to any surface. It tenaciously climbs trees to forage.

"Caterpie! That's it!" Robyn was a bit disappointed that the Pokedex gave a sort of underwhelming description. But a Pokemon was a Pokemon. "All right Scout, go and-"

Robyn's command was cut off but a furious rustling from above. The noise was surrounding the entire clearing. This sudden development forced Robyn to back away from the trees, back towards Erika. As the noise got louder, a flurry of blurs fell from the leaves, turning the clearing a different shade of green. Where there was previously one injured Caterpie, there were now dozens of angry Caterpie. All those large black eyes, staring through the perceived intruders. Even if what the Pokedex said painted them as a non-threat, the swarm still looked very intimidating. They were backed up by a few brown worms mixed in with the Caterpie. They looked a lot more threatening thanks to the sharp horns on their heads, and they looked just as pissed off.

"Ummmmm, shit," was all Robyn could say as the herd of Caterpie and Weedle started moving in.

As he followed behind his trusty Poochyena, Morgan raced deeper into the woods in hopes to retrieve his lost (and possibly hurt) Chinchou. He hadn't realized it, but his surroundings began changing. Grass became taller and thicker, and trees and bushes appeared closer and closer together. The dull murmurs of whatever humans were in his immediate range quieted further. Wherever his Chinchou had gone, it was certain that he veered a fair's distance away from the main route.

Soon, he spotted the Pokémon he were searching for. Chase was quite cornered, his back pressed against a thick formation of trees. It was obvious that his adversary held the upper hand throughout their battle, apparent by the numerous bruises and scratches adorning the Chinchou's little blue body, accompanied by the whimpers he emitted. His predator sauntered ahead, closing the distance between its prey with every pace. Spike took the incentive, and began rushing towards the predator.

"Spike! Tackle!" He did so, ramming violently into the character. The attack was effective, cleanly knocking the Pokémon away from Chase. Morgan moved in closer to tend to the Chinchou while Spike provided promient cover. The sailor knelt down to the Chinchou, who actually seemed happy to see his master for once.

"See what happens when you're disobedient? I hope you learned a lesson from all this." Morgan talked sternly to the Chinchou, but his words easily contrasted the smile on his face. Instinctively, he brandished a Potion from his bag and presented it to Chase, spraying a fine mist onto him. As the bottle emptied, the bruises and scratches began to fade, and Chase was in fighting form once more. Chase was grateful and moved closer to Morgan. the sailor looked towards the battle that raged behind him, his eyes widening as he realized that Spike was on the losing end of the fight, despite his enemy's obviously weakened state. Quickly, he turned back to the Chinchou.

"Chase, you must listen to me if we're to make it out of this, okay? I cannot stress this enough." He told the Angler Pokémon with obvious urgency in his voice. The Chinchou replied with a grimace of newfound volition, a grimace that made the option of payback apparent. He stepped from beyond Morgan, taking his place next to a tired Poochyena. Morgan smirked as the unnamed predator glanced between the two Pokémon. It didn't seem to appreciate the imminent double team, and began rushing towards the two.

"Chase! Supersonic!" Morgan commanded. Chase did as he was told (proudly, even), releasing a blasting screech from his mouth. The invasive noise hit the pokémon at point blank range, causing it to slow its assault. It very visibly winced as it failed to keep its focus on the two Pokémon ahead of it. It showed some symptoms of dizziness as it struggled to stay on its feet. The battle was nearing its end.

"Spike, finish 'im off! Tackle!" The Poochyena built what little bit of energy it had left, and pummeled its body face first into the unsuspecting enemy. The attack connected with a blunt, wet WHAP!, sending the Pokémon off its feet, and rolling away from the trio. The tackle seemed critical, as the Pokémon failed to respond. It was unconscious. Morgan and his two Pokémon celebrated the small victory.

"...But I still don't know what kind of Pokémon it is." He thought. Soon after the thought, his Pokédex made sounds of confirmation. As he checked the screens, he too, made a sound of confirmation.

image#403: Shinx Flash Pokemon
Height: 1'08"/0.5mWeight: 20.9lbs/9.5kg
Ability: IntimidateLowers the foe's Attack.
Moves: Leer, Tackle, Bite
Level 7
All of its fur dazzles if danger is sensed. It flees while the foe is momentarily blinded.

"A Shinx..." He approached the unconscious Flash Pokémon, a knelt down beside it. It looked peaceful as it slept. He put a hand to its fur, and softly, he began to pet it. Spike and Chase looked on cautiously, in case it would spring back to life. "She would've made a great addition to our team...Thank you for that battle. You were a definitely a handful." He said with a legitimate sincerity. He turned to the two victors, brandishing their respective capsules.

"Good job you two. You both deserve some rest." He said, a thin stream of red light shooting from each ball, engulfing both. The forest air soon became quiet, and Morgan examined his surroundings. He soon began to think of how everything looked identical. He let out a heavy sigh, yet kept his composure. He found his map, and watched it unfold. As he examined it, he noticed its lack of coverage that wasn't the immediate cities, towns, bridges, or lakes. It wasn't the conclusion he was looking for, but he knew he could still try to make it work somehow. "I'm not lost, I have great navigation skills." He kept thinking, and soon he began to traverse in the direction he (hoped he) entered from, making opposite glances to the map with every few steps.

Having her team battle a bit more, Heidi looked around for Eurydice. She noticed her, and saw that there was a Pokémon on her Ponyta's back. By the looks of it, a Ralts. Yet another Pokémon she knew from Sinnoh. Wonder if she's going to have a team filled with Sinnoh Pokémon, despite being from Kanto. She giggled at the thought, then returned George and Eve back to their balls, and called for Yani who came to her almost immediately.

She walked over to Eurydice and patted her shoulder. "Is she a new addition to your team?" she asked the younger girl, referring to the Ralts. "I've seen a few of them around Sinnoh. Some close to Hearthome. They evolve into Kirlia, who then evolve into Gardevoir. I've heard some people say they're great Psychic types. If you had a male one, you could evolve Kirlia into Gallade with a Dawn Stone, who is apparently a good Psychic/Fighting Pokémon. While a dual type, I don't think I'd want one myself. Besides, it's nice if only one of us has a Ralts." That was one thing Heidi had a small tendency to do, ramble on about what she'd learned about various Pokémon, specifically who evolved into who and how. It was important for her to know, since she wanted only dual types on her team. It was one of the reasons she allowed a Caterpie onto her team, because it evolves into a Metapod, who evolves into a Butterfree, a decent Bug/Flying type. Funny how most of her team seemed to consist of Flying types, she thought.

Eurydice nodded enthusiastically as Heidi asked her questions. She was pretty proud of herself, and the pokemon she caught. She brought up Shinx's pokedex entry as well, showing it to the redhead. Gardevoir is pretty. She showed her an old sketch she had of the pokemon, one that she copied from one of her school books. A Gallade sounded okay, but she didn't like to have too many dual types, especially ones that contrasted so much. The Shinx would be good enough when it evolved, and the Budew she didn't think she would bother using when it got to Roselia. She made a note to get a Grass type somewhere, since they were pretty useful.

I don't mind if you have a Ralts. was her next hasty, somewhat half finished scribble. She took the Ralts off the Ponyta's back and returned her to the capsule. Eurydice then returned Ponyta to her ball. Not good for Lake she wrote, taking out the Budew and Shinx's pokeballs. Both of them would be useful at the lake, but she wasn't sure which to use in the meantime. Having two new pokemon out at the same time seemed like a hassle. Then again, the Shinx didn't really know any Electric type moves... she released the Budew.

"Dew... Budew?" It smiled at Heidi, running around her feet a little before crying to be carried by her trainer. Eurydice relented, taking the small pokemon and carrying it awkwardly in her arms. She wasn't used to something so small, especially since her Ponyta was usually the one carrying her. She nodded towards the lake, inviting Heidi to go with her.

Heidi took a look at the data Eurydice was showing her on her Pokédex, seeing there was data for a Shinx there. "You caught a Shinx as well?" She really does only have Sinnoh Pokémon. Reading what she wrote, she giggled a little. "Yeah, I've heard people say that about Gardevoir as well." The sketch looked good to her and she gave her a thumbs up for it. "Nice."

Heidi giggled at the next thing Eurydice wrote. "I could get a Ralts, but I find dual types much more interesting than any single types. And as I mentioned, the only dual type I'd get out of a Ralts is Gallade which I'm not too interested in, despite it not having too many weaknesses. It's at least not as interesting as what I'll get from evolving a female Combee." She read again what Eurydice wrote after she'd returned her Ralts and Ponyta to their Pokéballs. "Makes sense." she said to her. Yani was buzzing over Heidi's head, watching the two talk, before she flew around them and between them at about head level with both of them.

When Eurydice released her Budew, Heidi knew why she didn't bring out the Shinx. No Electric moves. She knew many a trainer who had a Shinx in Sinnoh and some of them cursed that it didn't know any Electric moves aside from maybe Charge which was useless without an Electric move to back it up with. Though it was still popular, mostly because of how adorable it was. It was cute how Eurydice's Budew ran around Heidi's feet before wanting to be carried by Eurydice. Heidi just giggled when she picked her up. "Yeah, let's go to the lake. I can't think of anything else I'd want to catch here." Heidi replied to Eurydice's nodding and they started to walk towards the lake.

Can't exactly blame her for swearing. Erika was backing up and hit her bag into Robyn's. She looked around at the numerous number of Caterpie and Weedle slowly closing in towards them. There were so many that she didn't know what to do right away. After a moment, Erika took notice of the Pokédex in her hand. She had pulled out to scan the Caterpie Robyn hit with the rock just before. She quickly brought it up and scanned the Weedle that had appeared as well.

No. 013
image image
Name: Weedle
Species: Hairy Bug Pokémon
Height: 1'00" / 0.3 m
Weight: 7.1 lbs / 3.2 kg
Ability: Shield Dust - Blocks the added effects of attacks taken.
Description: It eats its weight in leaves every day. It fends off attackers with the needle on its head.
Moves: Poison Sting: Poison, Physical.
................String Shot: Bug, Status.
................Bug Bite: Bug, Physical.
Item: N/A

Damnit, both of these Pokémon know Bug moves. Breña won't be able to really defend against those types of attacks. Erika gritted her teeth together as she looked around again at the approaching Pokémon. No option but to fight. "Robyn, it seems that we're corned and only have one way to attain victory. I hope you're ready to fight them." Erika said before she looked towards her Pokémon, who had drawn back closer to her.

"Aerial use Razor Wind! Burtha take as many of them out with your tackle as possible! Breña stay back and don't attack; you're weak against their Bug attacks and I need you back her to defend me if one of them gets through." Erika ordered her Pokémon in a voice that was trying to mask anxiety with volume.

Aerial quickly got to work and a whirlwind was generated in front of Erika and itself. String Shot attacks from the Caterpie and Weedle flew through the air only to be lost to the whirlwind. As the attacks missed their intended targets, Burtha quickly ran around the whirlwind and slammed into a group of Caterpie and Weedle. The charge continued as Burtha continued to plow forward into more of the bugs. Following in its wake were a flurry of wind blades; Aerial's attack had met its focal point, and the Tiny Bird Pokémon was content on finishing off all the Pokémon the Swinub was leaving behind.

The battle was looking starting to look winnable, before suddenly Erika felt something tugging at her leg. A String Shot attack had made contract with her leg, and a Caterpie was pulling itself to her using the string. Intelligent little creature. Since it managed to get hit me, it might be worth catching. There was a Howl attack,and Breña ran forward and slammed into the Caterpie, using Tackle. "Good girl." Erika said as she pulled out a new Poké Ball. The Worm Pokémon tried to get back up and Breña hit it again at Erika's command.

"I hope this works," Erika said as she pressed the button on the Poké Ball, and threw it at the weakened Caterpie. The Pokéball hit its mark and the Bug Pokémon was pulled inside. The ball rattled and shook. Rattled and shook. Rattled and shook. Finally there was a click shut as the Caterpie was captured.

There was no time to retrieve the ball at the moment; the battle against the numerous Bug Pokémon was still on going. Erika turned back and saw that the whirlwind was fading out. She couldn't count the number of fainted Pokémon on the ground; however the number was relatively high. Burtha had turned back around and Erika ordered her back as she was becoming noticable slower and sluggish. To cover her return Erika ordered Aerial to send the Weedle and Caterpie flying with several Gust attacks.

There were several barbs in Burtha's side and Erika quickly reached down and started to pull them out; a few grunts of pain came from Burtha. "I know this must be painful, but you have to let me remove them." Erika said before she quickly pulled out the last two barbs. A drip of poison fell off the edge of one of the barbs, and Erika slid off her backpack; quickly grabbing a potion and an antidote. Two fine mists soon filled the air, as Burtha's cuts healed and she became steadier. It wasn't long before the Pig Pokémon was back into the fight against the remainder of the swarm of Bug Pokémon.

As they walked along the lake path, Eurydice suddenly stopped and clapped her hands together, a happy look on her face. She had spot a pair of trainers that looked like they were catching pokemon too. It looked like a pair of siblings. Without bothering to explain to Heidi, she went over and held up her whiteboard. Hi! Battle? She hadn't had a battle in a long time. It was so exciting!

"Oh, hi there!" The girl replied. She was about Eurydice's age, dressed in a school uniform. "Sure, I'd love to battle!" She pulled out a pokeball. The boy beside her, however, ran up as well. "Hey! No fair! There's two of you!" He said, pointing to Heidi. "Let's do a double battle!" He looked younger than the girl, wearing a baseball cap, a t shirt, and a pair of shorts. "Oh, yeah, we can do that! Would you like a double battle?"

Heidi giggled at the suggestion. "Well, I certainly wouldn't be against it. So long as she's alright with it." she said as she pointed with her thumb towards Eurydice, then looked towards her. Eurydice nodded in agreement, putting the Budew down and scooting her towards the middle. The Budew didn't seem to want to battle, running back to Eurydice and trying to climb her shoe. "Dew! Dew!" "Tsk tsk tsk!" Eurydice tried to get her to battle.

"Go, Ashton!" "You can do it, Dan!"
The lass sent out a Lillipup, and her companion sent out a Caterpie. Eurydice frowned and picked up the Budew, deciding to use one of her other pokemon instead. Maybe it would be less scared after it saw another pokemon battle? She threw out her Ponyta. The Shinx and Ralts probably weren't used to her commands yet, so she hoped she had the opportunity to let them practice on wild pokemon first.

Heidi didn't need to pick up a pokeball as her Pokémon was already out. "Go, Yani, and show them what you can do." Yani buzzed in delight and flew to Ponyta's side against the Lillipup and Caterpie. Heidi wasn't sure what pokemon the young girl had sent out and picked up her Pokedex from her pocket to scan it. "A Lillipup?" she said after getting the appropriate data. "Never heard of it before. But it doesn't look too tough. Nothing we can't handle." Eurydice took a moment to examine the Lillipup as well. Normal type. She nodded with a smile at Heidi and pointed it out for Ponyta's attack. The fire pokemon snorted and ran at the small Lillipup, tackling it out of the way. The Caterpie threw out a String Shot in Ponyta's face, partially obscuring her vision as she ran by, regrouping with the Lillipup.

Yani didn't need to be told what to do, quickly taking the strings off of Ponyta's face, before answering what had been done to her battle partner with a Quick Attack on the Caterpie. The Ponyta, clearly upset, charged at the Caterpie as well. "Come on Dan! Get out of the way!" The Caterpie couldn't dodge the Quick Attack, but was able to roll under Ponyta, coming up near the Lillipup. "Ashton, tackle that Yanma!" Lillipup jumped up and tried to hit Yani, but Ponyta turned and hit it midair, throwing it back.

Yani buzzed as thanks for Ponyta having stopped the Lillipup from hitting her, then tackled it for trying to attack her. This was fun, she thought, fighting with someone else against two pokemon.

Eurydice was almost jumping up and down, eyes glued on the fight. The Ponyta and Yanma took down the Lillipup first, but not without both of them getting a good coat of String Shot. "Oh no! Ashton!" The Lass withdrew the fainted Pokémon, pulling out another Pokéball. "Go, Mimi!" A fluffy Minccino jumped out of the light. "Cinni! Cinni!" Eurydice decided to switch her pokemon out, since all the String Shot had slowed it down. Instead, she released the Ralts. "Ra..lts?"

Heidi, however, was determined to at least bring down the Caterpie before switching. "Yani, give that Caterpie a taste of your Steel Wing!" Yani nodded and quickly flew in for a hit as her wings got a steel coating before they hit the Caterpie, knocking it out. "Oh no! Dan, return!" the boy said as he returned his Caterpie to its ball, then grabbed another one. "Go, Steve!" he said as he threw the Pokéball and a Wurmple appeared. Heidi had Yani return, not to her ball though, and grabbed a Pokéball off her belt. "Go, Eve!" she said as her Combee was released. "Bee?" She was a little confused as to what was happening, but quickly gathered that a battle was happening and, despite still being miffed at Heidi, she prepared for the battle.

The Ralts looked around, a little confused, before using Confusion on the first thing that ran at her: the Minccino. "Ralts!" It blast the Minccino back before it could get in striking distance, looking up at the Combee for some sort of confirmation it was doing the right thing.

Eve released a Gust onto the Wurmple which seemed to have tried to make its move towards Ralts, sending the Wurmple flying backwards towards its trainer. She looked towards Ralts. "Combee! Bee!" That's it! Keep going!

The Ralts still seemed unsure, but charged another Confusion, hitting the Minccino again. "Mimi! Helping Hand!" The Minccino threw the Wurple up, accurately, at the Combee, hitting it with a Tackle. As it fell, Minccino ran towards it, trying to hit it as she fell.

Eve wasn't about to let another attack hit her, and released another Gust, this time towards the Minccino to send it flying back. It also dealt a bit of damage to it. Quickly, Eve sent a sweet scent towards the Wurmple, making it less evasive with the scent.

Knowing a Psychic attack wouldn't do much good against the Wurmple, Eurydice pointed to the weak Minccino. The Ralts hit it with another Confusion, and it held still. "Nooo!" The Lass retreated it, sadly pouting at the two Pokéballs in her hands.

"Nice one!" Heidi said to Ralts, despite Ralts not being her Pokémon. "You too, Eve!" she quickly said to her own Pokémon, who didn't take long to whip up another Gust attack at the Wurmple, finishing it. "Damn!" The boy returned his Wurmple to its Pokéball. "That was a good fight." Heidi said to the three other trainers there.

As the Bug Pokemon slowly advanced forward, Robyn kept backing up along with her outnumbered team, trying to get away from the mistake she caused. It was only when she bumped into Erika when she realized that the running option was completely off the table. Damn it. This isn't looking good.

It was only when the other trainer spoke that Robyn realized what they had to be able to do. "Robyn, it seems that we're corned and only have one way to attain victory." Robyn looked over and it was apparent that Erika wasn't going to be going down without a battle. "I hope you're ready to fight them."

Seeing that kind of determination from the smaller girl reignited the flickering flame in Robyn. If she can do this, I can do this. A confident smile emerged on Robyn's face. "I'll be ready enough," she told her. "Let's do this."

Erika wasted no time in ordering her Pokemon like a field general, and Robyn did likewise. "Natalie, get forward and start Pecking as many of those bugs as you can! Scout, you're her back up! Anyone gets by Natalie, Dizzy Punch till they don't know what direction they're going in!" Natalie and Scout nodded and charged towards the horde, ready to meet them head and beak on.

Nina was about to bound forward and join them when Robyn stopped her. "Nina! I need you to stay back here and keep using Growth. Those Bugs are going to be able to tag you good, so you have to be ready. Keep growing and then when you see one of them get by Nat and Scout, hit it with an Absorb. Got that?"

"Lillil!" Nina gave a stubby salute and turned to face the throng of opponents. Her body started to glow a light green, pooling in a ball in the center of her forehead. She gained a slight advantage in height as she did this.

After a few minutes it looked like the strategy was a sound one. Despite being young and unable to hit them from above, Natalie's Peck was taking down most of the Bug-types in one or two taps. Scout's Dizzy Punch was serving it's purpose as well, confusing about a third of the bugs into going back towards the trees. A couple of brave worms got through that one-two punch, but Nina had a few turns of growth in her, and by the time those Bug types got to her, they were in no shape to be taking a super-charged Absorb.

Until the swarm started to die down a bit and a new challenger emerged from beyond the scope of the two Normal types. A rather large Caterpie battered it's way through despite a few nicks from Natalie's beak. It didn't even look like Scout had touched it. It came charging through towards Robyn, but Nina was waiting in it's path.

The Petilil was ready to hit another Bug with an Absorb. However, the Caterpie was coming with a full head of steam, and it launched itself at Nina. A red aura was glowing around it as it smacked into the Grass-type. Nina was tossed onto it's back, the green glow fading a little. Did she just shrink? What the heck? Was that Burgh's move? Robyn was confused to the how, but she knew the result was good. One of these Bug-types just earned itself a roster spot.

"Looks like we got a fighter, that's what I like to see! Nina! Get up and hit it with an Absorb!"

Nina obliged, but the red beam was noticeably weaker. The Caterpie took the hit and looked like it wanted some more action. It leaped forward again, and Robyn could see it's mouth glowing white. She had seen enough of Burgh's battles to know what that meant. Bug Bite. Not on Nina you don't.

As Caterpie was ready to strike, Robyn pulled a Pokeball out of her bag. "Think again!" she shouted and hurled the ball at the attacking Pokemon. Her aim was true and the ball struck the Caterpie in the head before it could reach Nina. Pulled into the ball and now suffering from a head shot in addition to the other attacks, Caterpie weakly struggled in the ball, but it wasn't long before it clicked shut.

"All right, there we go!" Robyn pumped her fist in celebration of another successful capture. Looking down at Nina, she seemed to be all right but a little disappointed at having that last Caterpie get the best of her. She came over to Robyn and looked up at her trainer, as if she was asking for forgiveness after almost losing. "Lil....Peti. Petilil."

"Nina, it's OK. I'm OK, you're OK, it's all good. Just go out there and get these last Bugs. End strong, OK?"

Nina nodded, looking a little better and rushed to join Natalie and Scout, who were mopping up the last few Caterpie in their area, the Weedle were already gone. Her Pokemon taken care of, Robyn headed to where the Pokeball she tossed came to rest and picked up her capture. "How you doing over there Erika?" she called out to the other trainer.

"Come here, you little nuisance," Alix half-grumbled to Matti as she pulled the baby Pokémon out of a particularly thick patch of grass and dusted him off for the third time. That Abra had vanished without a trace, and she had spent a good portion of time looking for it with help from her Pokémon. Not a one to be found... there had been other unfamiliar species, though. A lot of pages in Alix's Pokédex had new data.

"Seriously, Matti, I keep telling you not to run off. When will you pay attention?" The Togepi, however, was more interested in looking around the area. Alix sighed and settled for holding him so he wouldn't escape again. Her worries, however, were set aside by Stana alternating between pawing at her foot and running a few paces into the grass.

"What is it? Find something?"

Stana yipped and moved deeper into the thicket. Alix soon followed... and there it was. The same Abra from before, judging by the way it was curled up. "Alright... we need to make sure it doesn't escape again," she said quietly, crouching down to address her Poochyena. What was the right way to do it? "Maybe... that could work. Stana, see if you can jump on it and pin it down. You might be able to stop it teleporting away again," she explained.

"Chyen!" Stana nodded in understanding and charged at the sleeping Pokémon. Instead of hitting it dead-on with a Tackle, she jumped at the last second in a flash of grey fur and landed on top of it. Startled out of its slumber, the Abra tried to wriggle free, flailing its arms, legs and tail. But Stana extended claws from her paws and dug in, trying to hold on.

The pair were partially obscured by a dust cloud now, stirred up as a result of their flailing about. Alix's guess had been right: the Psychic-type couldn't escape with the heavy Stana on top of it. It couldn't concentrate. She dug out one of the empty Poké Balls from her satchel and tossed it, but the Abra's tail batted it away before it could properly connect.

"Darnit!" Alix threw another Ball, this time with more force. It hit, bounced off and sucked the Psychic-type in. As it dropped to the ground, so did Stana, landing in a heap. Alix watched the ball twitch back and forth... Matti started squeaking at her and wriggling around a little. She relaxed her grip on the eggshell-encased Pokémon, having subconsciously tightened it in anticipation.

Soon the Ball stilled, and Alix hurried over to pick it up, setting Matti down as she did so. "Gotcha... my second new Pokémon. Nice work, Stana, you did well." She leaned down and let Stana bump her nose against her hand.

"Togeh!" Matti promptly ran off again, towards what looked like the path away from Lazuli Town. His antics were starting to get on Alix's nerves. She gave another sigh and began to chase after him. He was fast, for a little guy. And that meant he was in danger of hurting himself, most likely by crashing into something with fangs or claws... or getting stepped on... Alix picked up the pace.

Stana, however, paused to pick up the first Poké Ball that she had thrown at the Abra. It was cold and hard. Didn't taste like food. But the thing she was holding in her mouth belonged to Alix, so she wanted to return it.

The numbers had been clearly thinned out, and Aerial and Burtha were busy taking out the random stragglers. Two more of the Bug Pokémon had made it through to her by this point, but Breña was able to take both of them out without getting too hurt by their attempted Bug Bite attacks.

A quick scan of the battlefield gave Erika enough confidence to go and pick up her previously captured Pokémon. The Poké Ball was a bit dusty and had scratches that were left from the battle that the ball was submerged in. The damage appeared to be just cosmetic, and Erika placed her Pokédex up the ball in order to get her new Pokémon's data.

No. 010
Name: Caterpie
Species: Worm Pokémon
Height: 1'00" / 0.3 m
Weight: 6.4 lbs / 2.9 kg
Ability: Shield Dust - Blocks the added effects of attacks taken.
Description: It releases a stench from its red antenna to repel enemies. It grows by molting repeatedly.
Moves: Tackle: Normal, Physical.
................String Shot: Bug, Status.
................Snore: Normal, Special.
................Bug Bite: Bug, Physical
Item: N/A
OT: Erika Park // 27718

"How you doing over there Erika?"

Erika looked over to her side of the area before giving her reply. "If they aren't dead or fainted, they're retreating." Erika let out a whistle and Aerial and Burtha stopped and looked for the source. As soon as they noticed it was Erika, they returned to her when she was signaling for them to come back with her hand.

"All of you girls did an amazing job, I've got some treats for you," Erika said to her Pokémon as she took off her bag and pulled out her bags of Pokémon food. She opened up the bags and spilled a few pieces of the herbivore type in front of Burtha, before doing the same with the omnivore type to Breña. Not ignoring her Pidgey, Erika poured a few into her hand for her to eat; the Pidgey ignored it and instead headed to go feast on some of the defeated Caterpie.

The sight made Erika feel a little ill, so she closed her eyes and looked away. She could exactly order it to stop considering that this is how the Pidgey ate before she caught it earlier today. The most she could is stop it from eating the Caterpie she just caught.

When Erika opened her eyes, she was looking at Robyn; this reminded her that she wasn't alone out here. "So Robyn if you are finished, I think it would be a good idea to leave while we're clear and avoid getting swarmed again." Erika said with a hint of a joke in an attempt to lighten the mood a little.

Russel had managed to get out ahead again, and was now at the lake. "And here we are..." he said, taking a look around the lake. It was a lot bigger than he thought it'd be. There were a lot of grass and water Pokemon around the edge of the lake, making him smile. "Hopefully there's something good here. Never did have any luck fishing back at home..."

As Russel walked along the edge of the lake, he noticed a group of eleven people dressed in military-looking uniforms. All of them carried one or two Poké Balls on their belts, but did not pay attention to anyone. They all wore a patch on their right shoulders that, from a distance, resembled a blue and orange gyroscope.

One of these people had a patch on his left shoulder that resembled the typical Army Sergeant insignia. He carried three Poké Balls instead of two, and wore a peaked cap. "Huh. Seems to be some sort of little get-together going on..."

He managed to find a nice, shady spot right near the lake. Unfortunately, it was still somewhat close to the dressed-up folks he just walked past. "Well... we'll just stay out of the way." He reached into one of the pouches he had at his side, pulling out a fishing rod, extending it. It wasn't the top-of-the-line Super Rod, but it did the job just fine. He took off his backpack, setting it next to him as he sat down, leaning back against the tree that was giving him and Munchie shade. "Maybe we oughta let our new friend enjoy the atmosphere..." he said, getting a quick nod from Munchie as a response.

He reached into his pocket, pulling out the pokeball, letting Rory out, the half-eaten Oran Berry still in his hands.Ral? "Oi. Thought you'd enjoy the scenery. Great place to relax, am I right?" he said, sitting up straight for a moment to cast his rod into the lake, then leaning back. Rory nodded, mirroring his actions, leaning on Russel's leg, taking another bite of the berry. Munchie took a moment to get comfortable, right next to Russel's backpack. Russel took one look to Route 2, waiting to see which of the other trainers would arrive first, running the odds in his head.

After his encounter in the Poké Mart, Caleb soon found himself walking down one of the dirt trails of Route 2 with a new Poké Ball belt around his waist and a treat for Maxwell nestled in his backpack. Spike was resting atop the pack in his usual manner when his little stomach let loose a small growl. Both the Trainer's and the Pokémon's eyes perked up at the audible sound of the latter's hunger.

"Well, I guess it has been a while since you've eaten," Caleb said to Spike shortly before his own stomach had emitted a growl. "And seems as though I've been neglecting my appetite as well, hehe. Let's find some place to chow down, alright?"

"Kid! Elekid!" Spike exclaimed with clear exuberance.

Caleb sped to the fringes of the dense woodlands nearby, leading them beneath a large shady oak to sit near. The Trainer helped his Pokémon safely down from his pack before removing its heft from his shoulders and placing it against the tree. The Elekid was quick to nestle himself against the thick trunk of the tree and his Trainer soon followed suit. A can of peaches and a box of fresh Pokémon food were withdrawn from the large backpack, then were shortly being dug into by the pair.

As pleasant as this little makeshift picnic was, Caleb just knew that something was missing - their latest addition to the team was still stuck inside his Poké Ball. The adolescent quickly grabbed Maxwell's containment unit from his belt and once it enlarged to its full size in his hand, he released the Mankey within. The bright red energy quickly formed into the familiar pig-monkey Pokémon, and while he was in much greater condition than before, he was still a tad disheartened. Hoping to ease the tension between the two, Caleb reached into his pack for the bunch of bananas he'd set aside for his new companion.

"Hey, Maaaaax," Caleb called to the Mankey and he dangled the bananas before him. "Maxwell? Ya hungry, buddy?"

"Mank?" Maxwell questioned as his ears perked up and he turned to face the Trainer. The Mankey's eyes lit up as he saw what Caleb held in his hands and he was quickly on his feet, running to claim his meal. "Mank-KEEEEEEYY!!"

The Mankey practically leapt to grab for the bananas and landed next to Caleb, seating himself opposite Spike. He looked from his prize the to one that had given it to him, almost feeling ashamed that he'd given in so easily. It seemed that Maxwell had decided to set aside all hard feelings for the time being and enjoy the new company. However, the fresh cheerful gleam in the Mankey's eye faded quickly as he discovered that peeling even just one of the bananas was proving to be more difficult than he anticipated. Realizing his efforts resulted merely in turning the insides to mush, he resorted to prying it open with his teeth. Instantly, it was clear that this was not the wisest, or most pleasant-tasting of decisions. Maxwell spat the bitterness of the peel on the ground before glaring at the banana in disgust and frustration. He sighed heavily in agonizing shame that even this small fruit had him outmatched. Pleadingly, he looked up to Caleb and waved his sealed prize in front of the Trainer's nose. "Mank?"

"Alright, since you asked so nicely," Caleb said with a chuckle as he proceeded to assist the troubled Pokémon with his peeling plight. With the obstacle clearly out of the way, Maxwell began his work on devouring the morsel.

Meanwhile, Spike was quietly eating his fill of soft, quality Pokémon kibble beside Caleb. Seeing that both Pokémon were content for the time being, the Trainer decided he may as well dig into his own meal. Just as he fished his can opener from his pack, something resembling a rather large acorn fell right into his lap. Caleb jolted from the sudden impact and nearly threw his glasses off. After a quick readjustment of his spectacles, he was finally able to see what had dropped from the branches above. Whatever it was, it appeared to have feet. Then it began to fidget about and Caleb could discovered that they were feet. Carefully picking up the apparently restless object, he turned it and was surprised to see a large set of eyes looking curiously at him.

"Well, hello th-" was all Caleb had said before he was abruptly interrupted by several seeds being shot at him, all coming from the thing he held in his hands. Whether it was out of fear or agitation, Caleb hadn't known, but what he did know was that the attack hurt like hell. "Ow! Hey! Knock it off!"

Seeing no relent from the Pokémon he held, Caleb resorted to throwing it away. The agitated acorn bounded and rolled across the grass until it came to a halt and stood with a look in its eyes that it was ready to fight, even if a little dazed. Quickly, it made a mad dash for Caleb, getting nearer to making contact with its Quick Attack. However, Maxwell saw fit to take action, an opportunity for redemption presenting itself. Caleb had already awkwardly leapt to his feet by the time the Mankey rushed forward, delivering a Low Kick to the charging attacker. The small foe fell forward and, with its built momentum, rolled right into the trunk of the tree it fell from with an audible 'thunk'.

Spike had risen to his feet from all the commotion, but Caleb encouraged him to stand back and let Maxwell have a chance. "C'mon, Max! You can beat 'im, show us what you can do!"

Maxwell readied himself for battle against the newcomer who was back on its feet, shaken but still more than capable of putting up a good fight...

Happy with the results of her first duel, Eurydice walked a little faster. She was already visualizing several pictures she could draw from the fight, sketching their skeletons haphazardly on a page of her book. Finally, the lake came into view, along with a group of people in uniform. Are these local police? Rangers? They didn't seem very outgoing, so she decided to walk around them. The water and the grass nearby were her destinations after all.

The Ralts seemed to squirm and try to hide in Eurydice's arms. The Budew, on the other hand, was humming, enjoying the view from the height.

Catch more pokemon? Eurydice wrote.

"So Robyn if you are finished, I think it would be a good idea to leave while we're clear and avoid getting swarmed again."

"Hey, I'm all for that!" Robyn answered as she headed back towards her Pokemon. Nina and Scout were dancing and celebrating their victory while Natalie was having at some of the spoils, a piece of Caterpie still dangling from its beak.

"Ewwww," Robyn grimaced at the sight of the Flying type chowing down. She looked down at the Pokeball that now apparently contained the equivalent of lunch. "Well I guess we won't be bringing you out to see this. Should probably call everyone back too." She brought out her other Pokeballs. "OK guys, lunch is over. You all did a good job. You deserve a rest." Nina offered a little protest but eventually went back in the ball, just like the others.

As Robyn walked over to where Erika was, she felt another twinge in her bum leg. It was stronger than the one from earlier. Damn. I guess I have been putting a lot of pressure on it today. But I can't show any weakness. Definitely not in front of someone as strong as Erika looks.

Robyn was trying not to favor her leg, but she couldn't tell if she was effectively concealing it or not. She stopped to shift her brace back, to try and stabilize things a bit better, before continuing to where Erika was watching over her Pokemon. "OK, we should probably get heading towards the Lake right?"


"Oof. Hey, what's with the net?"

"As if you don't know. We must fight, now! Show me what you've got!"

"Uhhh. Okay? I'm Elias, by the way."

Elias hadn't meant to run into the net carrying stranger but apparently doing so was a big mistake. He tossed out a Poké ball. "What'do I get if I win?" Elias asked as his Poké ball snapped opened to reveal his new Rattata.

"You won't win!" boasted the stranger. "Caterpie, use string shot on that rat."

"Rattata. Not Rat. Rattata," Elias stressed the Pokémon's 'name' before giving him instructions, "use a quick attack." The attack wasn't quite quick enough to avoid in the incoming string shot but Rattata gave an irritated cry. Rattata spun around to hiss and spit at the bug before finally attacking.

"RAT! Rattata!" After quick attack came tackle, and another series of string shots. Nothing slowed Rattata down or even seemed to affect his accuracy. Time and time again Caterpie went tumbling through the grass until it fell over and refused to rise.

The net guy stomped his foot as he recalled his Pokémon. "This ain't over." he held out another Poké ball.

"So about winning..." Elias replied. He still wanted to know what he was going to get out of this whole battle.

The next Pokémon called made Elias take a step backwards. It was a big Pokémon, with wicked looking needle-arms and an annoying buzzing sound to accompany its giant wings. Elias called his favorite dark Pokémon from his slumber. "Dune, I'll leave this to you. Start by biting that...thing." the trainer requested.

"Dile. San." Rolling one eye at the flying Pokémon Sandile flashed his sharp teeth. In response sharp needles flew through the air. Dune snapped his jaws on half of them. Unfortunately, Sandile's attacks were slower than the flying bug's. After only a few exchanges Dune began to tire. Beedrill was the name of the opponent, Elias' Pokédex revealed. Elias returned Dune to rest and sent Electrike out to finish the battle. Energetic and happy to be 'outside' Electrike's waves of electricity sent Beedrill crashing to the ground.

"It's over now." Elias grinned. Beedrill stopped buzzing and twitched in place. Elias held out his hand, intent on showing a smidgen of good sportsmanship since he'd never really apologized. To his surprise he was given some money and no handshake. But he was okay with that.

"I'll get you, later." Net guy - and how hard was it to give someone your name? - left with some weird parting words. Elias gave Electrike some food before returning her to the Poké ball. "Nets mean weird. Got it."

(A little while later...)

It started with a weird cooing sound. Sort of a cross between a snore and the sound wind made across a high sand hill. And it wasn't really bad except that it was constant. And loud. Elias decided he would find out whatever it was that sleeping and either capture it or make it go away. That was the rough plan anyway. Now that he was halfway up a tree of questionable stability Elias decided that maybe he could have lived with the annoying sound for another few minutes. He shook a high branch next to his head, the one closest to the sound. Leaves fell off the branch and into his face. But he shook the branch again. And again.


His interference was rewarded by a dark feathered blur flying past his head, nearly causing him to lose his grip. "Peh" Elias spat out a stray feather with a grimace.

'What was that?'. Elias turned carefully on his thin branch to see bits of twigs and leaves falling in a steady pattern. "That way." The winged Pokémon hadn't gone far and only a bit higher. Elias climbed another tree, this one two over from the waiting, or sleeping, Pokémon. The tree limbs were sturdier this time with plenty of hand and footholes. When he was close enough Elias pointed his Pokédex at the bird. Hoot-hoot was the name his Pokedex read aloud. But there wasn't very much other information. At least, not yet.

*Rrrrr...* Far beneath him on the ground Electrike was stalking a stationary jumble mess of plant life.

"Is something there?" The feathered noisemaker wasn't making much noise so Elias dropped to the ground with only a slight stumble. "Hello?" The shrubbery rustled, startling Electrike who jumped. She gave a sharp bark that pulled Elias' attention away from the tree. "Guess so." Grabbing a short but heavy branch from the ground Elias brandished it like a sword.

"Ha!" With a manly war cry Elias jabbed the plant with his makeshift weapon. He revealed...nothing. More plants. And leaves. And dirt.

"Aaaah" a spooky voice sounded from somewhere close by.

"What was that?" Elias spun around. He looked up but the Hoot-hoot hadn't moved. And it didn't seem like a very bird-like sound. It was...too creepy. Was there another net guy?

"Trike!" Ignoring her trainer's confusion Electrike began barking at the tree the Hoot-hoot was resting in.

"Okay, let's try to get you a new playmate." Elias called up to the sleeping Pokémon, "You may want to wake up now. Just saying. Electrike how about a thunder wave to wake him up?"

Electrike sent her bolts of electricity up through the trees and leaves. Part of the attack hit harmlessly against the tree but something must have hit close because there was a rush of wind.

"Hooooot!" A slow, unbothered cry answered the attack. From a graceful glide the Hoot-hoot dropped down tackle Electrike to the ground. Hoot-hoot then began to stare at Electrike. And Electrike paused mid-step. She even stopped barking.

"Hey, hey, what are you doing?" Elias fumbled open his Pokedéx for the last read entry.

'Hypnosis' he read as he scrolled down the list of attacks. It was a sneaky attack. "That's not fair." At least in his opinion it wasn't. Pulling his pack open Elias shuffled through the bottles to check each individual label. Nothing said that it woke a sleeping Pokémon. He was missing important gear. He was unprepared.

"Electrike? Electrike!" With no other option Elias yelled, hoping to startle the Pokémon into waking.

"Tri?" Electrike swayed slightly from side to side. Hoot-hoot had flown back up into the tree and was peering down at them both.

"Okay. You've won this battle." Elias returned the woozy Electrike and called out...Rattata. Which wasn't the Poké ball he'd meant to grab but moving fast they all tended to look alike.

"Now then you're going to. Hey!" Chattering rapidly Rattata was running in frantic circles. "What are you? This isn't going to work." Elias returned Rattata and brought Dune out which he'd tried to do the first time. "Let's try rage out." he suggested.

"Sand." Always agreeable Sandile grew still as it concentrated. Hoot-hoot hopped off of its branch and glided in a slow circle just above Elias' head. He ducked as the bird passed, just in case it was looking for a place to land. As the Pokémon banked to the left Sandile suddenly lashed out with his attack.



Hoot-hoot tried Hypnosis but Dune shook the effects off and kept his rage growing. Soon Hoot-hoot grew tired and settled on the lowest branch available. Lining up Sandile's bite attack perfectly.

"Now just stay there for a sec." Elias told the trapped Pokémon. He pulled out a new Poké ball and tossed it gently to catch his fourth team member.

No. 163
image image

Night Shade

Name: Hoothoot
Species: Owl Pokémon
Height: 2'04" / 0.7 m
Weight: 46.7 lbs / 21.2 kg
Description: It marks time precisely. Some countries consider it to be a wise friend, versed in the world's ways.
Item: N/A
OT: Elias Lanford // 53504

"We did it." Elias congratulated Electrike, freshly freed and no longer hypnotized. The canine Pokémon ran in happy circles at Elias' feet, "Yow!", and then got just a little too close for comfort. "That's enough." Electrike was till spinning as she disappeared in a flash of white light.


"Noooo. Not you again..." Elias complained. He spun around but saw only plants. And dirt. And leaves. "Where are you?"


He'd retraced his steps twice and still there was no sign of his mysterious stalker-fiend. Maybe he'd been imagining things? Was it all in his head? "No..." He wasn't crazy and besides Electrike had sensed something.


"Gyaah!" Just as he was about to give up on Spooky-mon the voice sounded right next to his ear. Elias gave an undignified yell and swatted at the air.

"You know I don't think I like you anymore." he declared. Grumbling quietly he turned to walk back towards the main road. "I'm leaving now. This is me, leaving." Elias made a show of juggling two of his minimized Poké balls back and forth in his hands.


"Ha!" Throwing the left-hand Poké ball Elias grinned. "Gotcha. Let's go!" Electrike appeared in an electric haze mixed with the white light of the Poké ball.

"Do -you- see him?" Elias asked.

Nose to the ground Electrike whuffed quietly in affirmation.

"What about a nice Thunderwave?" Surely that could cover some decent ground. "Would"

Before he'd finished the thought Electrike's body flashed with electricity that rose up in a series of arcs. Each strike hit a different direction. And the last zap had an answering cry to go with it.

"Abra!" There was a tiny flash of something and Elias look up on instinct. "I see you!" He called to the small tan Pokémon hovering in the air. No longer shadowed his mischievous friend now had a name too.

"Abra, huh." He'd heard of the Pokémon but had never seen one. He -still- hadn't seen this one up close. Yet.

Abra's features blurred as the Pokémon sped past Elias and kept moving to hit Electrike in the side with a strong tackle.

*Rrrrr* Growling, but still playful, Electrike shook herself vigorously.

"You okay?" Elias asked. He got a cheerful bark back. Who didn't like being knocked down occasionally, the bark seemed to imply. It was all fun and games.

Another blur, or rather the same blur only faster, passed by again. It was accompanied by a rushing wind a flurry of leaves -

"Ow! What the-" Not just leaves, these were razor sharp leaves that hurt as they passed. Electrike yelped along with Elias. It wasn't fun anymore.

"That's enough of that." Elias raised his arm up for protection too late, he could already feel the sting of shallow cuts on his face. Like paper cuts but smaller. "Use thunder wave again, Tesla!"

The newly dubbed Tesla...'Tess?' looked up at Elias and gave a curious whine.

"Is that okay? I can change it..." But he didn't want to change it right now.

Tess gave an short bark and took off at a run. Elias hurried to follow. "Guess it's okay."

They chased Abra through the trees and into a clearing with Tess shooting electricity at the smaller Pokemon whenever she had a partial shot. More bizarre attacks came from the Abra but it made the mistake of using one too many close range attacks. Even as the Abra teleported itself away for the upteenth time Elias could see the electricity clinging to it. It too became paralyzed, just like Dune and Beedrill before it.

Elias tossed a fresh Poké ball and then watched as the ball shook and rattled. And...broke open?

"How did you do that?" Abra stood unmoving but the empty, cold Pokéball lay beside of it. Before Abra could get away Elias threw another Poké ball. This one also rattled and shook. And rolled on the ground. But then there was the small flash, the flash of a successful capture and Elias added an Abra to his team tally. He pressed the button to make Abra reappear.

"I'll fix you, but I need to scan you with this thing first. It won't hurt I promise." Elias held his Pokédex in one hand and his bottle of paralyze heal in another.

"Ab.Ra." muttered the Pokemon.

No. 063


Name: Abra
Species: Psi Pokémon
Height: 2'11" / 0.9 m
Weight: 43.0 lbs / 19.5 kg
Ability: Synchronize - Passes on status problems to the opponent that caused the problem.
Description: Using its psychic power is such a strain on its brain that it needs to sleep for 18 hours a day.
Item: N/A
OT: Elias Lanford // 53504

Elias upended the bottle over Abra. The Pokémon shivered and glared up at his trainer. "Sorry, but it's that or be frozen." Elias tried to explain.

"Aaaabra." Abra vanished with no sound only to reappear on Elias' shoulder. Wet and dirty feet sunk into his shirt. 'Eeew' Up close the paralyzing potion was vile smelling.

"I'll get you all rested and cleaned at the next Pokémon Center." Tilting Abra's Poké ball Elias returned his new friend and brushed off most of the dirt from his shirt. "And I've got to get some names for the rest of you." he realized belatedly. Mentally cycling through his favorite sunglasses brands Elias headed back towards the main road.

image#273: Seedot Acorn Pokémon
Height: 1' 08" / 0.5mWeight: 8.8lbs / 4.0kg
Ability: Early Bird Causes quick awakening from sleep.
Moves: Quick Attack. Bullet Seed. Harden. Bide.
As it looks like an acorn, it can startle other Pokémon by suddenly moving. It enjoys scaring them, especially foraging Pidgey. Seedot polishes its body once a day using leaves.

Caleb only managed to get a quick glance at the information that appeared on his Pokédex's screen before he turned focus back onto the battle that was unfolding right in front of him. By the looks of things, the Seedot was strengthening its outer shell, hardening his flesh as his eyes closed in focus and his exterior appeared to rapidly condense. If Seedot kept this up, Maxwell wouldn't stand a chance against his defenses.

"Maxwell, use Scratch!" Caleb called out, hoping the attack would be able to get through the Seedot's natural shielding. The Mankey quickly closed the gap between his opponent and scraped his claws across the acorny flesh. It hadn't cut deep, but it was a powerful swing that sent the Seedot tottering stem-over-heels. The Acorn Pokémon recovered quickly, the blow barely having hurt him, and returned with rapid-fired Bullet Seeds. The large seeds battered Maxwell, quickly putting him on the defensive. Another short barage forced him to stagger back and try to regroup as he was pelted again. The Seedot fired yet another burst of seeds, but the Mankey acted swiftly and managed to avoid getting hit.

Once Maxwell recovered, his eyes practically glowed with anger as he Leered at the Seedot. The grass Pokémon's eyes widened and its flesh visibly softened as its constitution was weakened from the frightening look. Doing its best to shake the feeling, it rushed at Maxwell with another Quick Attack. Whether it was because of the strength of the Seedot's fear or blind luck, the attack was more powerful than either had anticipated. It knocked the Mankey back several feet and sent him tumbling across the grass, winded and dazed. The Seedot looked at the heaped Pokémon lying motionless on the ground and huffed in a victorious sigh of relief. He was about to make his way back to the trees when he heard the Mankey's grunting as the pig-monkey Pokémon pulled himself up by his proverbial bootstraps.

The Seedot could only stare in disbelief at what he was witnessing, the only thing preventing him from delivering what surely would've been the finishing blow was shock. Maxwell stood, though rather shakily and stared down his opponent, Leering with great intensity. The Seedot's exterior almost visibly softened again, just as the acorn Pokémon decided to attack with another Bullet Seed. However, the distance allowed too much room for error and the attack missed its mark. Although Maxwell had opportunity to retaliate, he remained still. Not wanting to lose the seemingly free shot he was being given, the Seedot rushed at the Mankey, preparing to deliver yet another powerful Quick Attack. The distance was waning rapidly, and Maxwell still remained in place, almost frozen. Little did the Seedot know, the Mankey was using the time on focusing his energy on his next move.

Caleb was stunned, unsure as to just what Maxwell intended to accomplish by just standing there. It appeared as if the Mankey was about to intentionally giving his opponent the battle. Unexpectedly, at the last possible moment before the Seedot could make his hit, Maxwell mightily slashed his clawed hand upward against the acorn Pokémon's weakened body. The Seedot reeled and fell to the ground, coming to a stop just inches from his opponent.

Maxwell looked down at the defeated Pokémon, huffing and grunting in exhaustion. No longer willing to stand, the Mankey dropped down to take a seat in the grass and recuperate. Caleb was practically jumping up and down in elation before recognizing his companion's urgent need for aid. He hurriedly rummaged through his pack for a Potion and made a hasty run to Maxwell's side. He sprayed the contents of the bottle on the Mankey's wounds, eliciting a relieved sigh from the Pokémon. Caleb tussled his victorious friend's fur in a gesture of pride and appreciation before reach for his belt and removing an empty Poké Ball. With a gentle tap of the red and white ball's outer casing, the Seedot phased into the comparment in a flash of red energy.

"Well, that was certainly interesting," Caleb said aloud as he trekked back over to his original resting place by the oak. "But at least we have a new addition to the team, albeit a temporarily incapacitated one. I say we finish our little lunch here and head onward to the lake. How's that sound?"

With nods of agreement from both Spike and Maxwell, the decision was unanimous. Caleb figured they would have to restore their new companion to perfect condition in the next town they stopped in if they were to remain with the group of travelers. Then, in a few moments' time, the small picnic was packed, Maxwell was safely resting in his Poké Ball, and Spike rode on Caleb's pack as they headed further along the route.

"That's what I was originally planning on," Erika replied as she removed the stickers from her bag and placed the Caterpie sticker on her new Pokéball. She returned her Swinub, Poochyena, and Pidgey as Robyn and herself took off towards the Lake.

Along the way to the Lake, Erika was often lost in thought about what she should name her new Pokémon. There were breaks in between where some wild Pokémon would appear. Both Robyn and Erika agreed to rotate between battling the wild ones that would attack them. Even while lost in thought about the name, Erika notice Robyn favouring a leg and slowed her pace to bring less strain on the other woman.

As they cleared the forest, a crystal clear lake was visible immediately. The shoreline was generally clear, but a few large shady trees that dotted the edge. Besides the trees there was a group of people a bit off in the distance; too far away to distinguish anything about them. Erika looked back at Robyn and asked, "We've been walking a lot today, do you want to a rest under one of the trees?"

More and more of the group began to arrive at Lake Lapis, each of them noticing the strangely dressed men and women patrolling back and forth. The nearest one raised her wrist to her hand and spoke quickly and quietly, presumably into a microphone. Whatever she said, it alerted the others to the group of Trainers. They all looked around to take in how many of them there were, some reaching for Poké Balls attached to their belts... or going for something else on their hip. The man in the peaked cap, however, raised a hand to his fellows and they calmed down.

Peaked Cap approached the majority of the Trainers, as they were at least somewhat clustered together. "I'm sorry, but if you were hoping to catch some Pokémon or train the ones you already have, you will have to move along. This area is currently off-limits to unauthorised personnel." He spoke in a formal tone of voice, as if he had the right to tell the group what to do.

Alix raised an eyebrow at this. A lake was common property, belonging to no-one and free for all to use without fuss. "On whose authority, if I may ask? And why?"

"On the authority of the Equinox Security Company, miss," Peaked Cap answered without missing a beat, hands clasped behind his back. "We've been instructed to cordon off the area surrounding Lake Lapis, including the lake itself, until such time as our superiors see fit to lift the detainment."

Erika was skeptical about the man's claims; Team Rocket had invaded her home town and had tried to perform an experiment on the Magikarp in the Lake of Rage previously. "Do you have any credentials on you, or any signed authority notice from the Gensia Government?" Erika asked, without hiding the suspicion in her voice.

"That is none of your concern. All that you need to know is that you are not allowed to enter this area," the man answered, keeping his voice level and free of annoyance.

This group of people looked rather suspicious to Heidi. Not as dumb as Team Galactic back in Sinnoh, but suspicious nevertheless. "Well, we wouldn't be here for long and then we'd be out of your way. Can't you allow us to be here for just a short moment?" she asked the man.

"No. We are not allowing any exceptions at this time," Peaked Cap replied. "I strongly suggest you all move along." His facial expression had turned slightly sour: these people were persistent.

Another voice rang out from the woodland nearby. "No exceptions? Not even for a Gym Leader and Pokémon Rangers?" From another path a short distance away, an African-American man, with bright neon-green Mohawk-style hair and dressed in casual street attire, sauntered out into the open. He was backed up by two others, each wearing the universal dark orange, red and black uniform of a Pokémon Ranger.

"These people givin' you fine ladies and gents some trouble?" the man asked cheerfully. "'Cause I know fo' sure they ain't operatin' under any jurisdiction I ever heard of."

Peaked Cap sighed, mildly disappointed. "I should have known the Rangers would have gone tattling to you, Barrett. Doesn't matter. Looks like you didn't bring any Pokémon with you: it'll be easy enough to chase you all off so we can get back to work."

The man - Barrett - laughed in the guy's face. "Why bother with battling you myself when I can see how these strangers do it! Whadda ya say? You lot looking ta show me what you can do?" His line of thinking was that he didn't recognise any of the Trainers. They were likely rookies, since he would have been warned by another Gym Leader if they'd known people were coming to visit.

"Fine!" Peaked Cap raised his own hand to speak into his wrist mike. "Equinox, engage the Trainers at will!" The other uniformed people jumped at his command and rushed towards the group, ignoring Barrett and the Rangers.

As the trainers engaged everyone in a battle like the man in the peaked cap ordered them to, Heidi dodged towards the man. "You think you can just send the small fry after me? Me and Yani are going to teach you not to mess with us." Peaked Cap just looked at her as if unimpressed and raised up three Pokéballs. "As if your Pokémon are strong enough. But, fine by me. I will be your opponent!" He picked two of the Pokéballs, threw them and out came a Sneasel and a Poochyena.

"Not bad. But here are mine!" Yani was still buzzing over her head, so Heidi only had to pick up one Pokéball, releasing Daniel onto the battlefield. "What, just going to send out some bugs to deal with me? Doesn't matter. Go, my Pokémon! Attack them!" Sneasel and Poochyena charged towards Heidi and her Bug Pokémon. She needed to give them orders quickly. "Yani, give that Sneasel a taste of your Steel Wing! Daniel, deal with that Poochyena by giving him a Bug Bite!" Both of her Pokémon went forward to attack their respective opponents.

Yani's wings got a metal coating before she sliced the Sneasel with them, making him fall down and hold his side in pain. Meanwhile, Daniel bit the Poochyena with his Bug Bite, making him yelp in pain. "Don't just stand there and take it! Sneasel, Quick Attack on the Yanma! Poochyena, Tackle that Caterpie!" Peaked Cap called to his own Pokémon. Sneasel stood up and quickly attacked Yani, making her slam against a nearby tree. "Yani!" Heidi called to her, hoping she was alright. Which she was, just a bit beaten from the attack. Same with Daniel when the Poochyena tackled him, though he didn't go as far back as Yani did. Neither Pokémon was going to let them get away with it.

"Same attacks on same opponents!" Heidi called to them. She knew how effective Steel moves were on Ice type Pokémon and Bug moves on Dark type Pokémon. So did Peaked Cap, even it didn't show on his face. He'd have to either switch out one of his Pokémon or take the hits. And as of right now, he didn't really have any Pokémon that would take out her Pokémon. Or moves. It would have been nice if his Sneasel actually had an Ice move, but he'd have to do with what he had.

Yani's Steel Wing hit the Sneasel again, making him fall back again and hold his side, now in more pain than he was earlier. Poochyena got hit again as well with Daniel's Bug Bite, yelping again. They wouldn't last for much longer with things as they were. Still, he had to try and wittle down the bugs. "Attack with the same moves again!" he called to Sneasel and Poochyena, who stood up, both breathing a bit heavily as the executed their attacks. The Quick Attack from Sneasel didn't make Yani slam into a tree again, but it did a fair amount of damage on her. As did the Tackle from Poochyena, but Daniel took it better than the previous one.

Heidi smirked. "Your Pokémon don't look so good to me. Maybe you should give up. Yani, Daniel! Steel Wing and Bug Bite again!" Both of them nodded as they charged towards the two Pokémon, using their respective attacks on the opposing Pokémon they'd each attacked two times now. With that, the Sneasel and Poochyena were knocked out. Peaked Cap growled a little as he returned the two back to their Pokéballs. "You may have beaten them, but-"

He was interrupted as Daniel turned his head upwards and started to cover himself with string. He continued until he was completely covered, and then some. The string started to harden and turn green before two eyes appeared on each side of it. Heidi quickly grabbed her Pokédex and scanned the now evolved Daniel. She knew that he was now a Metapod, but it didn't hurt to have the data in the Pokédex.

image#011: Metapod Cocoon Pokémon
Height: 2' 04" / 0.7 m.Weight: 21.8 lbs. / 9.9 kg.
Ability: Shed SkinThe Pokémon has a chance of healing its own status ailments
Moves: Tackle. Bug Bite. Struggle Bug. Harden.
A steel-hard shell protects its tender body. It quietly endures hardships while awaiting evolution.

"We'll see how quietly you'll be allowed to endure your hardships." Heidi said before closing her Pokédex and returning Daniel to his Pokéball. Peaked Cap wasn't done, though. "As I was trying to say before your Pokémon interrupted me, I've still got one more left. Pick your Pokémon to be his opponent." With that said, he released the final Pokémon he had, a Hippopotas. Damn, if only I'd gotten a Water Pokémon from this lake before this happened, I'd be able to beat it easily. I'll have to improvise, it seems. On top of that, when Hippopotas had been released, a small sandstorm had started, which would prove a challenge for Heidi's Pokémon no matter who she sent out. With that, she picked up one of the two remaining Pokéballs on her belt and released the Pokémon within, her Eve.

"Eve, attack him with Gust!" she called to Eve while Peaked Cap called at the same time to Hippopotas. "Take a Bite out of that Combee!" Both Pokémon initiated their attacks. The Gust attack from Eve hit Hippopotas, but he barely responed. Charging towards Eve, he took a Bite out of her as Peaked Cap had instructed him, and it left Eve wounded as she hadn't been able to evade the attack, and in addition the sandstorm caused her field of view to drop. She could probably take another hit, but after that, she'd need a Potion.

"Use Gust again, then fly up!" Heidi called to her. "Bite it again!" Peaked Cap called as well to his Hippopotas. Gust hit again, and as Heidi has commanded her, Eve flew up, but the sandstorm proved a challenge again to get through as she didn't see anything above her and hit a tree, making her plummet right back down. She did pick herself up before hitting the ground, but she couldn't avoid the attack from Hippopotas since she came within biting range for him. "Damn it!" Heidi didn't want to risk Eve any further than she already was by having her attack in the sandstorm, but it could also become a problem if the sandstorm made the spray of the Potion not hit Eve. Nevertheless, Heidi commanded Eve to come back while she fetched a Potion from her backpack. She found one, and when Eve was nearby, Heidi shielded her from the sandstorm so she could be sprayed.

Now healed, Eve was again ready to fight. "Use Gust again, Eve! Keep going!" Eve flapped her wings harder to both counter the sandstorm and so she could use her Gust, which again hit Hippopotas. The attacks were starting to wear him down, but he was still up and at it. "Bite it again! Take it down!" The Hippopotas charged again, intent on biting Eve. However, she wasn't going to have that she'd be bitten three times, so she flew away again, flying towards Peaked Cap with the Hippopotas still charging with his mouth open. "Stop! Stop!" he called, but wasn't heard properly as Hippopotas knocked him down and was finally stopped. While all this was going on, Eve gave Hippopotas and Peaked Cap a Gust attack, knocking out the Hippopotas and making Peaked Cap irritated. "Damnit! Useless Pokémon!" he said as he returned the Hippopotas which caused the sandstorm to disappear.

Samuel and Willow continued their walk, trailing behind the rest of the group at a fairly considerable distance. At the moment, Willow was fluttering overhead, cheerfully chirping. As they passed a small cluster of trees, she stopped chirping at all and started circling, making a more hostile call. Sam turned and headed over to take a look, seeing two Pokemon engaged in a fight with each other.

One was a bizarre purple-furred creature with massive red eyes, the other looked like a head with feet and a helmet on. At the moment, the helmeted one was dancing around the purple monster, but it didn't seem able to muster up enough time to get an attack off. He kept behind the tree and raised his Pokedex.

image#0273: Seedot Acorn Pokémon
Height: 1' 10".Weight: 8.5 lbs.
Ability: PickpocketCan Steal another Pokemon's held item.
Moves:Bide. Harden. Quick Attack. Bullet Seed
When it dangles from a tree branch, it looks just like an acorn. It enjoys scaring other Pokémon.

image#043: VenonatInsect Pokémon
Height: 3'03".Weight: 66.1 lbs.
Ability: Compound EyesRaises the Pokémon's accuracy considerably
Moves:Tackle. Disable. Leech Life Supersonic.
Its big eyes are actually clusters of tiny eyes. At night, its kind is drawn by light.

"Those two look like they've been at it for a while..." The Seedot's agility was fading as its endurance wore down, but the Venonat wasn't attacking very often either. "We can take them. Deadeye, get out here." He cracked open the pokeball, the Wurmple dropping out with a sour expression. "Alright, here's the plan. The Venonat - that purple thing - get it in the eyes with your goo stuff, then just stay evasive. Try and keep your back to trees, wear it down. While you're doing that, I think Willow can handle the Seedot."

Willow chirped, and Deadeye made a sound that might have been an affirmative or a rude response. Samuel nodded and got ready as Willow took flight, getting some good air before dropping down like a thunderbolt on the surprised and tired Seedot, knocking the acorn creature down and rolling it a bit before it could get to its feet. The Venonat turned around to see who had interfered with its fight, only to catch a stream of Deadeye's spray in the eyes, the thick fluid clinging. The creature made a bizarre sound that might have been a roar, then charged.

Unfortunately for Deadeye, Samuel had greatly overestimated its agility, and the charging Venonat took him center of mass, sending the creature flying, bouncing across the terrain. Against all odds, Deadeye managed to get back up after that hit, now looking rather pissed off, but not exactly in shape for a fight.

"Shit...this is going to be bad." Deadeye tried to attack the Venonat, swinging his body at it, but the Venonat just batted him aside and smashed into him again, this time driving him in to the tree and nearly flattening him. Deadeye flopped to the ground as the Venonat stepped away, turning his attention back to the Seedot and Willow.

Willow was doing well, the exhausted Seedot having been taken completely by surprise by the ferocity of her attack, but the creature was tough and she was having a hard time doing much damage just batting at it with her wings. At the moment, the Seedot seemed to have huddled up, head down, preparing for the opportune moment. Sam watched the Venonat coming from behind, about to squash her between the two of them.

"Willow! Fly straight up, now!"

Willow immediately complied, and the two pokemon, one nearly blinded the other's head covered slammed into each other, falling together in a huddle. Samuel quickly grabbed his Pokeballs and primed them, then made the throw, beaning both of them dead center, the two balls shaking briefly before going still.

As soon as he had the two of them on his belt, he ran over to where Deadeye was downed. The Wurmple was badly hurt. Sam quickly put him back into his ball, then glanced around, noticing that all the other trainers were out of sight.

"Well. Crap. I'll deal with you two later. Got to catch up." He broke into a run, Willow trailing behind as he ran to catch up with the other trainers.

Heidi was so brave, challenging the top guy! Her attention was soon demanded by another girl from the "Equinox Security Company" who demanded to fight. They was very suspicious. Still, Eurydice was excited to battle again. She sent out her Ponyta, which faced came face to face with an odd looking pokemon. Her pokedex called it "Patrat". It didn't look too intimidating, she could handle it!

The brown Ratata was unfortunately just as agile, easily dodging Ponyta's tackles. It nipped at her ankles when she galloped by, doing just enough damage to make Eurydice worry. "Hah! You should never underestimate your opponent! My Patrat and I have trained for months!" Eurydice shrugged and switched out her pokemon. This was a good time to get her Shinx some experience.

The blue pokemon tumbled out of its capsule ready to fight. "Raaar!" It's yell was the cutest thing ever, but his bite was no joke. The two were evenly matched, jumping back and attacking in turn. The Shinx was doing well without orders, occasionally glancing back at Eurydice, who cheered him on.

"Bite, Patrat! Show him who's boss!" Shinx avoided the attack, countering with his own bite. The Patrat fainted, disappearing in a flash of red.
"Dammit! That was a lucky shot! You won't defeat my Houndour! Go!"

Shinx shrunk back a little, hesitating. The Houndour was slightly bigger, and a whole lot more serious. "Awooo!" It blew out fire, and that was it. Shinx was cowering behind Eurydice, along with an anxious Budew that eyed the flames warily. "Hah! What a loser! It won't even finish the fight!"
I can't use my Budew or Ralts... Ponyta needs to recover...
The Shinx was her only hope right now. She knelt down and tried to pet it, getting a small shock. He whimpered, glancing at the intimidating Houndour.
"You can do it!"

Shinx took a deep breath, not completely convinced by his trainer, but willing to give it a try. He stepped forward, growling in reply to the Houndour. They charged at each other, the Houndour spitting fire, and the Shinx sparkling with electricity. He ducked under the fire, aiming at his opponent's neck. The bite connected, and he had to hold on tight in order to not get sprayed with fire. They tumbled in the grass, getting covered in dirt and leaves. The fire was getting hot, even if he wasn't getting directly hit with it.

Eurydice ran over to the fighting pokemon, spraying Shinx with a Potion. The grunt she was facing clearly didn't have any, as evidenced by the string of expletives and cursing that resulted when she healed Shinx. With the new edge, he won, finally downing the Houndour. Eurydice squealed in joy, picking up the Shinx and hugging it. Shinx was happy too: it was easier to fight other pokemon when you had someone to heal you. He didn't have to worry about getting hurt too much now!

"Hey you loud mouth. Ya, you with that stupid red dye job. Me and you let's go." Sounded a challenge from a woman in an Equinox uniform who was a few inches shorter than Erika. Erika looked her up and down and didn't consider her much of a physical threat. More importantly she spotted someone equally easy to pick on about the woman.

"Who are you to insult anything about my appearance? Your dye job makes it look like you asked a stylist to make it look like a Tentacool. It's so ugly a Rattata could mistake it for its nest." Erika shot back and the other woman became infuriated.

"That's it, right now!" The woman shouted as she removed a Poké Ball and walked over to the side of the lake. "Go Carvanha!" the woman shouted, as her Pokémon materialized in the lake.

Erika quickly pulled out her Pokédex and scanned the Pokémon for its information. Water-Dark type huh? We I guess I should try out my newest addition. Erika removed the Poké Ball on her belt that was marked with a Caterpie sticker. "You'll luckily be the first to face that's it. You'll face Maya. Let's demolish this woman!" Erika yelled, excited to have figured out a name for her new Caterpie.

The Caterpie appeared on the side of the lake and quickly looked around its surroundings. "Hey Caterpie, I'm calling you Maya and we're going to be fighting that woman and her Pokémon. You're fighting that Carvanha," Erika announced to Maya.

"Shut up you loud mouth! Carvanha use Rage and don't stop till that Caterpie's done!" The Equinox Grunt half ordered, half yelled.

The Savage Pokémon grew red and darted along the shore line towards the Caterpie, who was looking for its opponent in the water. It launched out of the water and made contact, sending the Caterpie rolling backwards. The Carvanha's speed seemingly increased after it landed back into the water after the attack .

"Maya pay attention. Dodge the Carvanha by moving backwards and slow it down with your String Shot," Erika ordered, as the Carvanha came back to try for another attack. When it left the water Maya jumped backwards and sprayed out a string of the sticky semi-fluid material. The Carvanha tried to speed off in the water, but the String Shot had clearly slowed it down.

The blue haired woman growled with rage. "Forget using Rage! Use Bite and rip that thing in half!" The Equinox member screamed. The Carvanha obey and headed back, torpedoing out of the water, towards Maya.

"Evade forward and hit it with Bug Bite," Erika countered once the Savage Pokémon left the water. The Caterpie easily dodged under the Carvanha, and once it was trapped on land, it hit it with the Bug Bite attack. The Water-Dark Pokémon was trapped and injured, flopping about on the shore. "One more time!" Erika ordered as the Caterpie knocked out the Carvanha with another Bug Bite attack. The Bug Pokémon fell backward, exhausted from this battle and the previous beating it took from Breña.

"You fucking Bitch!" the blue haired woman screamed, "Let's see you beat my Misreavus!"

Erika withdrew Maya as the Misreavus appeared. Pulling out her Pokédex, she scanned the Screech Pokémon. This might have been a problem, but I've got a counter. "Go Burtha," Erika yelled as she removed Burtha's ball from her belt, and released her Swinub.

"Like a low level thing like that could ever have a move that can hit a ghost type." The Grunt said cockily as the Misreavus disappeared from sight. A sly smile crossed Erika's face as she announced her attack. "Burtha use Odor Sleuth!" A white ball of energy appeared at the tip of its nose. Suddenly the Misreavus was in full sight again, and couldn't disappear when order to.

"Burtha use tackle!" Erika ordered and the Pig Pokémon ran and jumped at the Misreavus making contact, but not doing a lot of damage.

"Misreavus take that porker down with Psywave!" Blue rings appeared in the air and started to land around Burtha. Burtha started to freak out with an odd pain, and Erika thought better of leaving her in to battle, and decided to return her.

That won't work on this one," Erika replied as she removed Breña from her belt buckle and released it.

"Ha. Like that thing can stop Misreavus." The Grunt said with a smirk. "Hit it with a Psywave." The Misreavus followed the order, and Erika didn't bother issuing a command. The blue circles landed around the Poochyena, but didn't affect it at all.

"Psychic attacks don't work on Dark types you imbecile. Now Breña keep tackling it till it's knocked out!" Erika replied as the Poochyena darted forward. The first Tackle knocked it out of the air. The second one sent the Screech Pokémon into the Grunt's chest. The final attack knocked both the Grunt off balance, and sent the Misreavus and its owner into the lake.

"Good job Breña." Erika said as she returned her. "Looks like it's my victory," Erika said to the grunt before turning around to watch the other trainers. Heidi had just finished taking down the clear leader of this group, and Eurydice appeared to give what would normally be a pep talk to her Shinx before she won her battle. The sight of the Electric Pokémon broke Erika's concentration, so any thoughts about whether Eurydice could actually speak or not, never passed through her head.

One of the Equinox people made a beeline for Alix, Poké Balls in hand. The first one the man released was a Rattata similar to the ones that she had seen on the past two routes. It had a gleam to its eyes, though, suggesting it wasn't a freshly caught Pokémon. "Put up your dukes, girlie," the Equinox guy declared. "We'll have you all driven off soon enough. We got a lotta work to do here and you lot won't get in the way."

"You wanna be like that? Fine," Alix retorted, perfectly comfortable with defeating her opponent. These weirdly-dressed people couldn't be any worse than that one time Teams Aqua and Magma had tried to show Trainers who was boss. "Stana, be a dear and take out the rat," she suggested to the Dark-type at her side. In response, the Poochyena bent over and dropped something from her mouth before bounding forward. Alix noted it as being a Poké Ball, but resolved to deal with it later.

Stana charged the diminutive rat Pokémon, smacking it with a Tackle; the Rattata skidded a little in the grass before it got back to its feet. The Equinox guy's eyes narrowed and he shot a terse command to his Pokémon. "Hit it with a Quick Attack!" His Pokémon, too, ran forward, picking up speed before delivering an attack of its own. The blow connected, and Stana whined as her opponent hit her with its little claws.

"This shouldn't take long, Stana. Give it a Howl, then another Tackle," Alix commanded. Stana immediately rushed towards her target, letting loose a loud, "Chee-YEN!" as she leapt forward and crashed into the Rattata. Again she knocked it back a couple of feet, and it scrambled to regain its footing before charging back into the fray. This continued for a short while, with both Alix and the Equinox guy watching as they battled: one with narrowed eyes and a snarl on his face, the other fiddling with the strap of her satchel as she fixed her gaze on the two battling Pokémon.

Soon the Equinox guy tried to turn the battle in his favour. "Get on its back, you little runt!" Alix gave him a look. That was no way to talk to a Pokémon. The Rattata jumped upwards to try to do as its Trainer said, but Stana would have none of it. She bared her fangs and jumped straight up herself when the Rattata was directly above it, catching the Mouse Pokémon's tail in her mouth. The rat squealed and began thrashing about in an attempt to break free.

Stana let go at Alix's command, and the Rattata ran away from the fight, hiding behind the grunt's legs. The Equinox member was pissed now. "Gah! Useless little fucker! Fine then! Croagunk, deal with this little bitch and her dog," he called out as he released a second Pokémon. This one looked like a weird cross between a blueish froglike thing and some sort of fighter, judging by its black and white markings.

Alix flinched. Feeling as if she had been slapped, her eyes widened in shock. Almost no-one had aimed insults at her before... and even when people had, they had been her friends joking around. How dare he! The shock soon turned to anger. "You want to go, tough guy? Fine! Stana, come back for now." Let's see how my latest catch will do in battle. Stana retreated to Alix's side as the Trainer pulled a Poké Ball from her satchel and opened it. The brown and gold Abra materialised in front of her, appearing to be as asleep as he had been when she first met him.

"Tchah! You think that'll beat me? Not a chance, bitch. Croagunk, Astonish!" the grunt jeered. The Pokémon raised what looked like hands and charged at Alix's Abra, which promptly vanished and reappeared a few feet to one side.

"Abra, try a Metronome," Alix called out, remembering that she hadn't given him a name yet. As the Psychic-type raised its hands and began to wag its fingers back and forth, the Equinox member saw fit to comment. "You're resorting to luck to get out of this one? This match'll be over soon." He ended with a derisive laugh.

Abra, however, seemed to see things differently. He straightened up and assumed what looked like a meditative pose. Twin orbs of blue light materialised above each hand, and he gestured towards the Croagunk. The spheres launched themselves at their target, colliding with such force that the Pokémon performed an involuntary backflip and landed prone in the grass. Alix let out a low whistle, making sure to grab a scan of the Pokémon with her Pokédex.

image#453: Croagunk Toxic Mouth Pokémon
Height: 2'04" / 0.7 m.Weight: 50.7 lbs. / 23 kg.
Ability: Dry Skin(This Pokémon's health is subject to change depending on the weather.)
Moves: Astonish, Mud-Slap
It rarely fights fairly, but that is strictly to ensure survival. It is popular as a mascot.

The Equinox member's expression only soured more at the sight of his second Pokémon beaten soundly. "You got lucky, bitch. Next time that move won't save you," he snapped as he returned his Pokémon.

"Do you kiss your mother with that filthy mouth?" Alix shot back, having no intention to stand for the insults he was spouting.

"Agh! You little - " The grunt shut his mouth with what looked like a lot of self-control. He spun on his heel and stalked off, taking a spot near the guy in the peaked cap. Presumably the latter was the leader of their little band. Alix caught him muttering something about 'useless Pokémon' as he hurried away. She paid him no heed, instead turning to her Abra and crouching down. "You did good there... though I should have taken the time to do proper introductions," she said, beckoning to the Psychic-type to come closer.

"Aaabra?" the Abra queried, head tilted slightly to one side. After a few seconds of consideration, he began to hover a few inches off the ground and levitated himself closer to Alix. He did, however, stop short at the sight of Stana, the Pokémon that had been instrumental in catching him.

"Come on, Stana won't bite," Alix tried to coax the Abra a bit closer. At the mention of her name, Stana gave a small yip and scratched at the ground a little. She was probably still a bit excited from the battling. Again her Abra paused. Was he worried? Maybe. It seemed that way when he positioned himself so that Alix was between him and Stana, but close enough so that the Trainer could reach out to him.

"There we go," Alix commented, giving him a light scratch behind one ear. "You'll need a name, mister... let's see, who do we know that likes Psychic Pokémon?" Her brother Karl had shown her a different Psychic-type he'd picked up during his trip through Unova, a greenish one called Elgyem. He'd named it Callista: that was a no-go, since Alix's Abra was male. "How about... hmm. There was a guy on TV one time... how does Ludevic sound?"

Abra tilted his head the other way, thinking it over, then nodded. "Rra." He vanished again, and Alix felt a weight on her shoulders. "Hey now," she tried to protest, but thought better of it. It was probably better to let the newly named Ludevic have his spot for now. She shuffled over a little bit to pick up the Poké Ball that Stana had dropped, wiping it on the grass to get rid of the saliva before she returned it to her satchel in case it could be used again.

"Okay...maybe I am lost..." Morgan muttered with dissatisfaction. He had to mentally mark down 'navigating through nondescript forests' as one of his weaknesses as he traversed through the mostly unmarked terrain. Before the feeling of vulnerability could seep into him, the sounds of battle got his attention. From what he could hear, it sounded like a large group of people. And they were close. Just beyond a tree line to the north of his position. The occurrence gave Morgan a bit of a hunch.

"I wonder...did I end up at..." As he talked, he pushed himself through the nearest thicket, gaining ground towards the sound. With a final, energy-filled shove, Morgan stumbled out into an open space, with an all out brawl was engaged before a large body of water. The number of recognizable faces could only tell him that he's arrived at Lake Lapis.

"Looks like I've arrived late to party. Who are those people? Doesn't look like a uniform I've seen before..." He pondered with intrigue, trotting towards the fray to get a better outlook on the situation. Before he could ask anyone anything however, one of the uniformed men (that wasn't fighting) stopped him. The man wore a stern look, a expression similar to his similarly dressed comrades. It did little to phase the sailor, he's seen scarier looking scowls in boot camp.

"You don't belong here sir. Move along." The operative commanded, deepening his voice, puffing out his chest, and just all out trying his hardest to seem intimidating. Morgan raised a confusion-induced eyebrow at the man and his acts before giving his reply.

"Okay, no. Those are my people behind you. We were all planning on meeting here. And it seems like we did..." His voice trailed as he easily looked over the man, looking on as his travelling group fought. He felt compelled to provide assistance, and half thought of just shoving past the guy. But he also had questions to ask the guy, who in which, was still trying to get him leave.

"That's besides the point. Disperse no-"

"Who are you guys supposed to be, anyway? You're not dressed like the local police. All this unofficial uniformity is making me feel a little uncomfortable." Morgan hastily interrupted, the calm in voice contrasting his uneasy words. Caught off guard by Morgan's questions, the man hesitated, almost stammering as he answered.

"We're the Equinox Security Company. We-"

"Oh yeah? What're you guys securing around here? There's nothing here but trees and this lake. And I know i'm not feeling all that secure right now." The so-called security guard was beginning to become agitated by Morgan's nonchalant gibes.

"It's none of your damn business what we're doing here-"

"Oh? Disclosing info to the public in regards to a public location and using coarse language? Tsk tsk. I'm gonna have to report this whole little operation you guys got going on here." Morgan threatened mockingly, wagging a finger in the security guard's face. To add insult to injury, Morgan proceeded to brandish his pokédex. Using the device's camera, he quickly snapped a pic of the gentlemen's bewildered face and uniform, saying something about "documenting proof" as he did so. Such an act sent the Equinox guard over the edge, and he shoved the sailor in a burst of anger. It wasn't enough to harm Morgan, but it did put a bit of distance between the two.

"Get the steppin', four-eyes! I'm not afraid of using force!" The Equinox guard raised his voice and clenched his fists. Morgan smirked as he stepped towards the guard, cracking his fingers. It's been a while since he's been in a hand-to-hand fight. Maybe the security guard might have previous training like he did. Maybe it might actually be a challenging fight-

"Get out here, Venipede!" The Equinox guard tossed out a pokéball, and a purple, bug-looking, abomination of a pokémon appeared out of the light. Morgan looked disgusted, in more ways than one.

"This is what you call 'force'? You're such a pussy." He spat, before sighing. "Damn shame. I was looking forward to that fight." He thought before tossing his own pokémon, the Weedle he managed to catch earlier. Now a little more than disinterested, Morgan ordered for the Weedle to begin attacking with Poison Sting. The Bug-type complied, a barrage of thin, thorn-like spines releasing from its person, inflicting little damage upon the Venipede. The guard scoffed at Morgan's feeble attempts at an offence.

"Ha, dumbass! Venipede's a Poison-type! Maybe next you should-"

Using the guard's showboating to his advantage, Morgan attacked again, this time ordering the Weedle to perform a Bug Bite. It did so successfully, as it was upon the Venipede in a matter of seconds, and delivering a countless number of chomps in a speedy succession. Before the Venipede could fully defend itself, the attack had did its damage, and the Weedle was back, safely beside its owner. And yet, the guard scoffed again, even harder this time.

"It's half Bug-type too! Heheh, Just how green are you?" He squealed in delight, Morgan returning the Weedle to its pokéball. "You say that like I know what the goddamn thing is!" A furrowed brow accompanied the sailor's agitated thoughts on the predicament, but he soon wiped them aside as he threw out his next pokéball. Spike was next one to be sent into the field, and the little Poochyena couldn't have been any more eager to fight.

"Rrrrr...Yen! Yenyen!" He barked defensively, readily. It took off toward its opponent in a fit of speed, and its owner gladly called out its attacks. "Tackle!" Zakarias called, and Spike complied, taking off towards its opponent.

"Oh no you don't! You're not getting another free hit in-!" Before he could protest any further, Spike's attack had already executed itself, and the Venipede was easily showing signs of weakness. As one would expect, the guard showed no happiness to the situation, didn't want to voice an opinion. As he learned, talking out of line left his Venipede vulnerable.

Morgan, on the other hand, saw this battle as only a nuisance, and wanted to end it a quickly as possible. So, as the guard stood across from him quietly, he and Spike executed another successful Tackle. This particular move overwhelmed the Venipede to the point that it was unable to stand. The Equinox employee went livid as he realized what had transpired before him.

"What the fuck was that?! I never even got to attack! And you keep FUCKING interrupting m-"

"Are we done here? I didn't come all this way to get yelled at by some scrawny-necked crossing guard." Morgan interrupted, crossing his arms in annoyance as his words were delivered in a plain, yet harsh and condescending manner. The guard growled (which, in turn, caused Spike to growl back) before releasing another pokémon. As it turned out, the guard's next pokémon was a Rattata. Morgan groaned audibly. To have the audacity to use such vermin at a time like this...

"Spike, rip it shreds please? This shit is getting ridiculous." Morgan said with a frustrated sigh. And Spike complied obediently, charging headfirst into the purple pest. One moment of figurative shred-ripping later, the deed was accomplished. The Rattata was subdued, and Morgan stood over the poor excuse for a guard as he hastily retreated his 'mon back into its capsule. Morgan crossed his arms again, and Spike began to crouch, growling maliciously.

"Is that it? Or do you have anything else you want my dog to fuck up?" The sailor asked. The Equinox guard shook his head. Morgan smirked as he violently shoved past the guard. "Good. Now if you don't mind, i'm gonna see if any of my trainer friends need help. And this whole little operation you chumps got going on here? It's still getting reported. Thanks for your cooperation." He added lastly before moseying off, with Spike leading the way.

As Robyn approached the lake, she couldn't help but take in the beauty of the shimmering waters. Back in Castelia the waterways were filled with freighters and tour ships, and carried the taint of the sewers on them. From the little hill, it looked like an oasis.

Until the goon squad showed up however. The odd uniforms would put even the Mode Street Kings to shame, outclassed and outweirded by this bunch. There was know rhyme or reason to it, they all looked vaguely military, but the colors were all over the place. The intention was made clear however, when the power-tripping head sicced the rest of his lackies on the group of trainers.

Everyone seemed to split off and pair up, but one of the guys sporting jungle green stepped towards Robyn. "Heh, I'll take the cripple there," referencing the leg brace. "She looks pretty easy."

"Excuse me? You look like a PMC reject with a thick neck, asshole."

"You got lip, but well see if you got any Pokemon worth a damn." The smaller man reached into his pocket and produced two Pokeballs. "Venipede! Poochyena! Report for duty!" Emerging from the balls were the small puppy-like Dark-type and the tiny Bug-type. No sounds were made, but they appeared to be staring forward towards Robyn. "They should be more than enough for whatever pathetic Pokemon you were able to catch on one leg, girlie."

The young woman was in no mood to pay attention, the flunkie's trash talk had incensed her enough that she wasn't really thinking about strategy and instead trying to show this idiot up. "You know what? To prove how shit you are, I'm just going to beat you with my two newest Pokemon! OK, fuckface? You're going to get trounced! Natalie! Uh....uh....Sauza! Get ready to kick this guys ass!"

Robyn tossed her own two Pokeballs out, unleashing the currently ground-bound flyer and her newly captured, recently christened and still somewhat beat-up Caterpie onto the lake shore. Natalie was hopping around, while Sauza was not in a state to be battling, visibly scuffed up from it's fight against capture.

"Shit, one sec," she insisted as she dug into her satchel for one of her Potions. Didn't want to burn a Potion this early, but this guy is going to get it, and I guess...Sauza will give it. As she sprayed the medicine onto the Bug-type, Sauza was quickly rejuventated by the spray. "Rrrrrrrerrrr." It almost sounded like it was purring, but that couldn't be. Still, the scrapes that it had picked up battling through Robyn's other Pokemon were washed away. Natalie hopped over, thinking that it had been provided another snack, but Robyn was quick to stop that train of thought. "No Natalie! Sauza's a team member! No eating!" Natalie looked disappointed and offered a soft "Bluuuu....." before hopping back towards the battle.

The Equinox member was laughing. "This? This is what you're facing me with? I'm not even sure they're worth fighting! Hah! Ah! You're funnier than I thought, crip! OK, let's get this over with! Venipede! Poochyena! Attack!"

The two opponents launched forward, Poochyena leading with the head and Venipede stopping to turn around and point it's tail at Natalie. Robyn backed away and went into battle mode, aided by the further taunting of the grunt across from her. "Sauza! Use your String Shot to slow it down! Natalie! Dodge it and go at it with a Peck!"

When the Caterpie looked up, it fired away a sticky stream at the charging Poochyena, although it wasn't apparent whether or not that was due to Robyn's command or it's own interest in self-preservation. It slowed the Poochyena enough to lessen the blow that it dealt to the tiny Bug-type, but not by much. Natalie had a bit more luck. The Poison Sting shot glanced through one of its wings and the Swablu was able to hop above the aggressive Venipede and land on top of it, beak first, a powerful blow given it's size. The Poison-type staggered backwards, visibly wounded.

"Grrrr, I'll show you, bitch! Poochyena use Howl! Venipede, lay down some Spikes!" The grunt's Pokemon did as commanded, with barbs now littering the sides of the battlefield in front of the trainers and a sharp yell coming from the little black Pokemon.

"Hah! That's all you got, chump?" Robyn laughed. "I didn't know you had to trade in your brain for one of those ugly looking suits."

"Shows what you know, you brat! I'm building up for the next wave of attacks!"

"Yeah, about that. There isn't going to be a next wave. Natalie! Peck that Venipede! Sauza, use your Bug Bite on Poochyena!"

Natalie hopped forward as Sauza's mouth began to glow a faint white. The pair dashed towards their designated opponents and the attacks were once again on the mark. The Swablu's hop landed it firmly on Venipede's head and the second crack was enough to send the Bug-type onto it's back. The squirming legs came to a halt after a second and the swirls appeared. Meanwhile the Caterpie completed its move towards the still string-covered Poochyena and jumped forward, glowing teeth bared. It connected near the nape of the neck, and the pain was blinding. The Poochyena jumped back howling in pain, and when Sauza finally let go, the opponent was already falling towards the ground.

"Looks like a critical hit," Robyn pointed out. "Told you there wouldn't be another wave. Now go crashing somewhere else, loser."

"You miserable LITTLE-" The grunt was fuming and was about to commence Round 2 for the humans when the presence of the imposing Gym Leader above reminded him that there were people that might not take kindly to him trying to beat up a teenage girl. He stifled himself, mumbling as he slunk back towards the group.

Robyn turned her attention to her combatants. "You guys did great!" Natalie hopped right over to its trainer, but the newest member wasn't moving. "Come on Sauza. I know it's not a stellar name, but I'm still your trainer. Come here." The Caterpie still did not move, still looking skyward. "What are you doing?" Robyn started to move towards her Pokemon.

Suddenly a fountain of string burst from Sauza's mouth, coating itself in the spray. The string started to shine as the mass around Sauza grew bigger and bigger, until finally the shining stopped and the string hardened and turned green. Two eyes opened up, one on each side, as the pod hopped to rotate itself. "Metapod."

"Sweet! My first evolution Pokemon!" Robyn said excitedly as she pulled out her Pokedex for a quick scan.

image#11: Metapod Cocoon Pokemon
Height: 2'04"/0.7mWeight: 21.8lbs/9.9kg
Ability: Shed SkinIt heals special conditions by shedding it's skin.
Moves: Tackle, Bug Bite, Struggle Bug, Harden
Level 7
A steel-hard shell protects its tender body. It quietly endures hardships while awaiting evolution.

"Well I guess your little brat pack is good for something, anyway," Robyn commented as she pocketed her Pokedex. Sauza was hopping at what looked to be a slower speed than its teammate, but it was still moving. "Good job, Sauza. Proud of you."

"Metapod!" Sauza gave a thank you as Robyn returned it and Natalie to their balls.

"All right, so do you jokers want to get out of here, or do I have to bring out my stronger team members?" she asked the group rhetorically.

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