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Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Give a monkey a typewriter and infinite time and it has the potential to write Shakespeare. Give Psycho Monkey a laptop and seven years and he'll produce the most epic fic on Charms. >:D

...Which unfortunately never got finished due to real life shenanigans, burnout, and me simply outgrowing the project. Even so, Volume 1 is done and it would be a shame for it to vanish into the aether so I'm posting it here for posterity. So here it is, all that ever was and ever will be, the complete compellation of The Rise of Team Neos Vol1: A Changing World

Warning: The following story contains copious amounts of language, blood, violence, and mature subjects. Reader discretion is advised.

But first, a teaser what is to come:

To the people who agree with our methods we are heroes. Knights for justice who fight evil on behalf of the masses.

To the people who disagree with our methods but recognize we are trying to help we are vigilantes. A necessary evil to destroy the greater evil.

To the police and the self-righteous we are criminals. Just an organization declaring a petty gang war to make a name for ourselves.

To those who fear and hate us we are terrorists. Far worse than the villains we fight.

To our enemies we arrogant Neophytes. They see us anywhere from a nuisance to a grave threat.

I, however, consider us to be visionary activists. The world is in a deplorable state of chaos and discord. Organized crime has been terrorizing the world for years and law enforcement has been powerless to stop them. One could argue that they are even part of the problem. Someone needed to step up to the task of challenging the decadence. We have a vision of a utopia where people and Pokémon live in peace. No more will there be crime or corruption. We will achieve our goal by any means necessary, even if that means becoming the very evil we seek to eliminate. So long as the world finally reaches harmony it will be worth it in the end.

What of you? How much are you willing to give up for our cause? You will have to sacrifice the pleasures of an ordinary life if you choose to wear our uniform. You may even be asked to kill. Are you prepared for that? Once you join there will be no turning back for we do not accept resignations. Should you choose not to join, I highly recommend not interfering with us. We will show no mercy to those who get in our way.

We are Team Neos. Remember that name!
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Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 1: Enter The Monkeys

One was eighteen, had spiky black hair, blue eyes, and dressed in long black pants, black boots, black fingerless gloves, and alternated between a black T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt of the same color depending on the season. The other was a monkey with a flaming mane and unusual gold fur for a species that normally had brown fur or red for the shiny variety. Both were freaks of nature. This is their story...

“Prepare yourself!” I shouted lunging at my Infernape with my hands pointed so that I would jab him with my fingertips. Axel dodged my first two strikes but I was able to get him with a surprise kick to the chest. Before I could pull my leg away, Axel grabbed my shin with both hands and threw me to the ground where I made a crunch in the newly fallen snow. The Flame Pokémon lifted his leg for a stomp but I rolled to the side and quickly jumped to my feet. After wiping some snow off my black long-sleeved shirt, I took the Repulse the Monkey stance with my left arm outward and my right arm closer to my body. My legs were spread so that my left foot was in front and my right leg in the back. Even though Axel knew this stance, he still came at me with a punch. Fool. I grabbed his punching arm in my outstretched left hand, took a step back on my left foot while pulling the monkey in, and did a palm strike to his chest with my free hand. To my surprise Axel used the momentum to lift his legs off the ground and kick me in the chest with both causing us both to land in the snow.

“Not bad. You really surprised me with that last move.” I complemented slightly winded while cracking my neck.

Well I had to do something to counter Repulse the Monkey. Why do you insist on that stance anyway?” he asked rubbing his shoulders.

“Because you’re a monkey.” I answered straightforwardly.

Touché.” Axel responded pointing at me.

“Come. We have a boat to catch.” I said getting up. I picked up my green backpack which was leaning against a tree, slung it over my shoulders and began my walk back to Snowpoint City. It wasn’t a long walk back from Acuity Lakefront where we had been sparring, but I didn’t want to miss the boat. It was a lot faster and safer getting to Sunnyshore City in this manner than traveling through Mt. Coronet in the dead of winter. I didn’t want to find out the hard way that the old legend ‘Articuno appears to doomed people in the frozen mountains’ was true. We got to the dock where I presented my ticket to the sailor standing guard at the ramp. The ship was a medium sized passenger ship large enough to hold around a hundred people or so.

“Have a nice trip.” was all the guard had to say as he handed my ticket back. I walked up on the deck and leaned against a railing to watch the shore. After about ten minutes the ramp was pulled away giving the signal for the ship to start moving. As our voyage began, there was a crackle at the speaker.

“This is your captain speaking.” came an old but strong voice. “We will be arriving in Sunnyshore City in about a week so make yourselves comfortable. I hope you enjoy your stay.” The speakers went silent after another crackle.

“WAAAAAHHHH!!!!” cried a little girl with short mostly brown hair with pink bangs dressed in a bright pink and white sailor schoolgirl uniform with black leggings underneath the skirt. Based on her small height, my guess is she’s about ten or eleven. “This isn’t the boat to the Resort Area!? I wanted to go to the Ribbon Syndicate!” she wailed.

“Pipe down!” bellowed a brawny sailor. “It’s too late to turn around now, so you’ll have to make do with what you’ve got.” He then got a sly grin. “I think we should battle if you got Pokémon.” The girl stuck her tongue out at the sailor with a childish ‘mmnn’ sound.

“My Pokémon are only for show, not battle.” she said defiantly. If she won’t then I will. I’ve always loved the thrill of battle!

“How about I battle you?” I challenged stepping forward. The sailor turned his thick head to me. He looked me and Axel over to see if we were worth his time before getting his sly grin back. I guess we passed.

“Sure, I’ll take you on. I think I could have some fun with you boy.” he said pulling out a red and white sphere. From it came a tall pink Pokémon with a scaly tan belly, a stupid look on its tan face, and a large grey spiked shell for a tail.

Uh uh! No way am I fighting a Slowbro. Pick someone else.” demanded Axel.

“You act like I was going to pick you.” I said sarcastically. Slowbro can best Infernapes on both offensive and defensive so there was no way I was going to use Axel. No, I had a better idea on who I was using. I readied a Great Ball and sent out the Snover I caught last week. The Pokémon looked like a snow covered evergreen with its legs a wood brown color, tree green hands and tail, and a bright white head. The moment he appeared, the clear sky was covered in white clouds that began dumping clumps of ice onto the ship.

“Start us off with Mist Snover!” I called. The Frost Tree Pokémon stretched out his hands pulling together the water vapor in the already cold air to create a fine mist around himself and Slowbro.

“Dammit, I can’t see anything!” complained the sailor. “Slowbro! Hit it with Water Gun!” Slowbro looked to the side like it was distracted; then a gear must have turned in its head because it decided to comply with its Trainer’s command. Slowbro opened its mouth wide shooting a powerful stream of water at Snover who just shook the attack off as a refreshing bath. A golf ball sized chunk of ice fell from the sky and hit Slowbro in the head. The Hermit Crab Pokémon didn’t even seem to notice.

“Let’s do this Snover! Razor Leaf!” I commanded. Several blade edged leaves fell from the cone on Snover’s head and made their way toward Slowbro. Slowbro put its hands over its head crying out in pain having finally noticed the strike from hail. It then crossed its arms in front of itself to block the leaves that were no longer coming. I couldn’t help but to laugh at this situation. Another chunk of hail hit Slowbro, this one smaller than before.

“He’s makin’ a fool of you Slowbro! Teach ‘im a lesson with Headbutt!” ordered the sailor. Slowbro lumbered over to Snover and smashed his head into my Pokémon’s head. Slowbro then cried out having once again had a delayed reaction to the hail strike.

“Now Snover! Powder Snow!” I called. Snover waved his arms and summoned the hail storm into a steady blast at the Hermit Crab Pokémon freezing it solid. “Unless you want to wait for Slowbro to thaw, it looks like this battle’s over. If you don’t have an Ice Heal, you can use one of mine.” I offered.

“No thank you. I’ll take care of this myself. I don’t need your pity.” he said bitterly. The sailor called back his popsicle Pokémon and went inside the ship. I hope Slowbro will be alright. Suddenly I heard clapping and cheering all around me. I guess our battle drew some attention. As usual I was too focused to notice the crowd.

“Yay Onii-chan!” cheered the little girl from earlier. What the hell? Onii-chan?

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 2: Onii-chan

“You were great Onii-chan!” the girl squealed tackle-hugging me. Ok, why is this girl calling me Onii-chan? I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me, I’m getting hugged, this is weird, I’m gonna stop ranting now…

“Why are you hugging me and calling me Onii-chan?” I inquired prying my arms free of this kid’s grip and pulled her off of me. The girl looked up at me with her enormous brown eyes. The top of her head only came half way up my chest.

“Wow! You’re so much taller up close.” she said getting on her tippy-toes and stretching her arm to the tip of my spiky hair. “*Squee* And look at your Infernape! I’ve never seen this color before, and I’ve lived in Sinnoh my whole life!”

“Yeah, he’s a freak of nature like me. Now could you please answer my question?” I begged even putting my hands together.

“Oh, sorry. It’s because I’m a really, really, really, [about 10 more reallys later] big fan of yours. Your battle just now was really, really, [not this again] amazing!” she said excitedly. I raised an eyebrow at this comment. I think I’m confused, but I’m too confused to notice.

Brian’s got a stalker! Brian’s got a stalker!” Axel taunted while dancing around like a fool with his hands on his hips and his legs going every which way.

“She’s not a stalker.” I told him. Then I turned to her. “You’re not a stalker are you?” I asked in a worried tone. She gave me a strange look.

“Did Onii-chan just talk to his Infernape?” she asked. Does this girl have ADD or something? “And how can I be a stalker if I just met Onii-chan?”

“That’s what I thought. And yes, I did just talk to Axel. He and I understand each other perfectly after travelling together for so long. Back on the more pressing issue, how are you my fan if you don’t even know me?”

“Because Onii-chan defended me from the meany sailor and I really, really, [definitely ADD] appreciate it!” she said in almost one breath. I shook my head.

“You realize that sailors are grumpy 90% of the time and always looking for a fight with anyone that rubs them the wrong way? All I did was give the guy what he wanted; helping a youngling just happened to be a coincidence.” I explained.

“I’m not a youngling! I’ll have Onii-chan know that I’m fifteen! That make me old enough to be an Anime protagonist!” she shouted. No way! Someone this small is actually three years younger than me? I know girls are usually shorter than guys, but damn! She’s totally puny! And an Anime protagonist? Is this kid a weeaboo?

“First off, quit calling me Onii-chan, it’s annoying. The name’s Brian, and as I already said, that crazy monkey over there is Axel.” I introduced. “Yo!” Axel interrupted waving. “Secondly, I’m eighteen so you’re still a youngling in my book.”

“I’m Madison, but Onii-chan can call me Madi-chan.” she said cheerfully with complete disregard with what I just said. I closed my eyes and reached my right hand to my left waist and drew an invisible nonexistent katana. I swerved my wrist so that the would-be blade faced my chest followed by me slamming my fist into myself. Note to self: obtain a real sword. I took a deep breath to prepare for what had to be done.

“Madison, I’m only going to say this once so clean out your ears and pay attention.” I said calmly. “Enough with the Onii-crap! B-R-I-A-N! Pronounced Bry-en! If you must address me, call me by that name! No fancy titles or nicknames, got it?” I said not so calmly. More like boarder line rip your throat out. She then started to cry. Oh dammit all.

“You don’t have to be so mean about it!” she cried before running off. I sighed. Maybe I was a bit over the top, but I can only be pushed so far with annoyance. Great, now I have to apologize. I hate apologizing. Worst part is now I have to find her. Let’s see, if I was a pissed off teenage girl, where would I be?

“I’ve got it!” I said out loud snapping my fingers. “In my room eating a tub of ice cream while watching a chick flick.” I refuse to acknowledge where that information came from. “Come Axel. We must find Madison and apologize.” I said the last word with a shudder.

Finding her room was probably the hardest part. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack or as Axel said that was rather creepy, “A Skitty on a Wailord.” I went down to the kitchen to ask if they had given any ice cream to a small girl with pink bangs in the past half hour, but alas. If this search keeps up, I’ll probably lose what little sanity I actually possess. Well I do have a week before the ship gets to Sunnyshore, I’m sure I’ll run into her by then. If not, meh, I’m sure I’ve pissed off other people in my years as a Trainer.

Now my search shifted to finding my room. A hell of a lot easier considering the room number was written on my ticket. On my way I saw two guys dressed in whitish grey wearing mid-shin high boots, hakama pants, gloves, and long sleeved shirt with a hood on it. On their chest was a silver ‘X’ with red dots in the upper cross, grey dots in the lower cross and blue dots between the two crosses. They had some random guy pinned against a wall.

“We know you’re with Team Galactic, so why don’t you spill it already. What are you doing on this ship?” one of them asked gruffly.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ve never done anything wrong. I’m innocent, I swear.” the guy pleaded in a shaky voice. “Hey! You! You’ve gotta help me, please!” he begged when he saw me walk by.

“You’d best keep walking, boy.” warned the other hooded figure. I turned to look him in the eye.

“I can’t do that.” I said defiantly. “You’re blocking my room. Take it somewhere else.”

“Hmph. Smart move. Allow us to get out of your way then.” said the first one. He grabbed the so called Galactic and dragged him down the hall kicking and screaming. Whether the guy was with Team Galactic or not, it wasn’t my place to get involved. Before I could swipe the ticket through the card slot on the door handle, the door across the hall opened. Coming out was none other than Madison.

Madison! Brian has something he wants to say to you!” blurted Axel.

“She can’t understand a word you’re saying nimrod!” I scolded. Our bickering did manage to get her attention.

“Onii-… I mean Brian. What are you doing here?” she asked indifferently looking away.

“This is my room.” I responded stupidly pointing behind me.

“Well if that’s all, then I’m getting more ice cream.” she said turning down the hall.

“Wait!” I called. “I’m s-s-si-ar-ar-eeeeeee.” Madison looked at me in confusion. Ok, let’s try this again. “We’re sorry!” I said quick enough to get it out of my mouth but tangible enough to be understood. I drove the point across by bowing. Madison giggled at my attempt.

“That wasn’t a half bad apology. For a tsundere that is.” Madison said before giggling again.

The fuck’s a tsundere?” Axel asked me. I shrugged with just as much confusion as my partner.

“No idea. Hey! What’s a tsundere anyway?” I demanded pointing to Madison.

“Teehee. A tsundere is a character who acts mean but they’re actually a big softy on the inside.” she explained.

“I’m not a big softy!” I denied.

“You forgot Baka!” she scolded.

“What now?” I questioned becoming even more confused. I have a feeling if this goes any further I’m going to hurt myself in confusion.

“Whenever a tsundere denies their feelings they have to call the person they’re talking to baka. It means idiot.” explained Madison. Is she saying I’m the idiot or does she want me to call her idiot? Right now I’ll agree to both.

“And where do you get all this moon speak from?” I inquired.

“Anime of course!” she declared proudly putting her hands on her hips. Yup. Definitely a weeaboo.

“Right.” I said blankly. “Well, I just wanted to apologize, I did, so you go get your ice cream and I’ll just to my room.”

“Wait! Please train me!” she said almost as quickly as I apologized if not quicker while putting her hands together.

“What?” I asked flatly.

“You are such an amazing and powerful Trainer. I completely suck. I want to participate in Contests and win Ribbons, but because my Pokémon are so weak, they don’t know many moves. As they get stronger they’ll learn more moves giving me more variety and combinations to pick from.” Madison explained.

“Aren’t Contests supposed to be about appearances? You’ve certainly got that down with your cosplaying.” I pointed out.

“But think of how beautiful, and cute, and clever, and cool, and tough my Pokémon would look if they could use even more moves in the appeals round!” she rambled flailing her arms up and down.

“Fine. It’s not like I have anything better to do for the next six days. We start first thing tomorrow.” I reluctantly agreed.

“Yes Onii-sensei!” she cheered saluting me. I sighed. What have I gotten myself into now?

Baka.” Axel taunted. I shot him an annoyd glare. He was right though. I just might have done something stupid.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 3: Those Who Can’t Teach

“Madison. Oh Madison. Wakey, wakey.” I cooed over her sleeping body the following morning. She made no response, not even a yawn. An evil grin came across my face. “This is going to amuse me a lot more than it will amuse you.” I said pulling a Pokéball from my side. Coming out of the ball was an orange furred otter Pokémon with two tails and a flotation ring around its neck.

“Buizel. Water Gun.” I said pointing to the sleeping girl. Buizel did as told spewing a stream of water at Madison.

“WAAAAAAAHHHH!!!!!!!” she screamed when the cold water hit her. In her panic she fell out of bed. I put my left hand to my mouth trying to contain my laughter. Ah, sweet revenge. Madison looked around in a panic trying to figure out what just happened. She saw me, Axel, and Buizel, then realizing she was soaked, and put two and two together. “Did you do this Onii-sensei?” she asked angrily while water dripped from her short brown hair and pink bangs.

“Yup!” I said proudly. “You wanted me to train you, so we’re doing it on my terms. I wasn’t about to let you sleep away your first day.” Madison crawled out of her wet bed causing me to snicker at her purple footie pajamas covered in yellow stars. She pulled a watch from her Magical Girl themed backpack.

“WAAAAAHH!!!” she screamed noticing it read 6:10am. “Are you serious? The sun isn’t even awake yet.” she complained.

“Six is a good time to wake up. It gives you a good two hours for each Pokémon, along with ample time for rest and food.” I said pacing across the floor with my arms crossed. Then I turned to face my trainee. “Now unless you want hypothermia, I suggest you get changed and dried off. No use going back to sleep in that wet bed. Meet me outside your door in five minutes. I’m sending Axel in if you’re late.” I called back Buizel and walked out of the room with Axel. Once the door was closed, I started laughing unable to contain it any more.

Exactly five minutes later Madison came out wearing another cosplay, this one more recognizable as being some sort of Magical Girl than the last one. The skirt was even shorter but she still had her leggings on. At least she has some decency. I led her to the deck of the ship to take advantage of the open space. “Now, show me what I’m working with.” I told her when we got outside. Immediately I regretted coming out because of how cold it was.

“Yes Onii-sensei!” Madison agreed enthusiastically pulling out six Pokéballs covered in stickers. Released from them came a Mime Jr., a Mantyke, a Pachirisu, a Buneary, a Cherubi, and a Cherrim. I scanned the newcomers with my Pokédex to gage their strength. Madison was right, they are pretty weak, and yet they all have diverse and higher leveled move sets already. All except Cherrim that is. So says she, her parents are breeders and that Cherrim was theirs. Said Cherrim is also the mother of Cherubi. All her other Pokémon are the result of breeding, hence their already decent move sets.

“Ok, this is how we’re going to work this.” I pulled a piece of paper and pen from my backpack and began doodling up a little chart that I then passed to Madison. “This is today’s schedule and sparring matches.” I said.

“What do you mean no breakfast until 8:00!? And what are all these names?” she complained. I snatched the paper back and overlooked it again.

“These are the names of your Pokémon, Fool.” I said giving the list back.

“No they’re not.” Madison insisted.

I pointed to the pink clown looking Pokémon. “Mime Jr.”

“Mimi.” she said like she was correcting me. I cocked my eyebrow.

“Mantyke.” I said moving my finger down the line.








“Cherrim.” I said almost out of breath. What nickname did see give this one I wonder?

“Well ok, that’s what Mommy and Daddy named her.” she admitted. I face-palmed.

Holy shit, she’s stupid.” Axel said in complete disbelief. I shook my head with my hand over my eyes.

“Are you feeling alright Onii-sensei?” Madison inquired bending sideways looking up at me with her arms crossed behind her back.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said regaining my composure. “I just didn’t realize how much of a pain this would be.” Emphasis on ‘pain’. I revised the names on the schedule so my seemingly brain-dead apprentice could understand it. “First sparring match will be against Fluffy and Chuchu. Begin!” I declared.

“Question!” Madison shouted raising her hand. “Why do my Pokémon have to fight each other?”

“Because mine are too strong, they’d rape the shit out of yours.” I said bluntly.

“Aaaahhhhhhh!! Naughty words!” she screamed holding her ears. Shameful.

“Are you sure you’re fifteen?” I questioned. So far she has given me no reason to believe her. “Regardless, if your Pokémon spar with each other, then you can get more accomplished in a shorter period of time. What you do is have one act like a Wild Pokémon to build independence, while you give commands to the other like you normally would. After a while, you’d switch off to give each Pokémon equal time.” I explained. “And go!”

“Chuchu! A… Umm… Use… hmmm…” Madison stared at her Pokémon like she was thinking.

“Too slow! Use Pound Fluffy!” I commanded. The Buneary reluctantly did as told by smacking its ear into Chuchu.

“Hey! I wasn’t ready! And besides, you said Fluffy was going to be Wild! Why did you take command?” Madison complained.

“Because you were slow. You must be able to make split second decisions in combat, no time to think. A Pokémon is only as strong as its Trainer, and you are weak.” I said lowering my voice. “Those words I have lived by since I first became a Trainer, and it will be those words that you will live by. You, Madison, must become stronger. Only then will your Pokémon be able to reach their full potential. Understood?”

“Yes Onii-sensei!” Madison said saluting me.

“Enough with the Onii-crap already. Anyway, get back to training.” I said leaning back against the wall next to the door leading to the inner ship. Watching Madison battle, I’ve got to say, she’s a pretty smart fighter and a good listener to what I tell her.

“Onii-sensei! What happened to Fluffy?” she cried. Did I say good listener? I meant selective hearing.

“Relax, she’s only fainted. Consider it a nap when Pokémon can’t battle anymore.” I explained. “Take a break, now is time to feed.”

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 4: One Week of Stupidity

I kicked back and laid in my bed with my hands behind my head. The first day with Madison was finally over. Despite being her first time, she did exactly as I told her and her performance was spectacular. And I hope no one takes that sentence out of context. I meant her training.

Before I had a chance to settle in for bed there was a knock at my door. What now? I jumped out of bed and walked over to the door. There in the doorway stood the girl who has potentially shaved a year or two off my life with her annoyance wearing her footie pajamas. They must have dried. Or she has a second set.

“Onii-chan can I sleep with you?” Madison asked. My eyes were wide and twitching at the same time if that’s even possible. I think I even swallowed my tongue.

“What!?” I questioned in a deep throaty voice, the result of having just swallowed my tongue and my throat collapsing.

“My bed is still wet from this morning, so can I?” she persisted. I sighed and backed away from the doorway inviting her in. It was my fault her bed was wet after all.

“Aside from teaching you the ways of Pokémon Training it seems I must also teach you the ways of adults as well.” I said. “Never, I’ll repeat, never knock on a man’s door and ask to sleep with him. It doesn’t matter who it is, don’t do it. In the world of adults that could be taken the wrong way. That goes double if it’s night or the guy’s birthday. Just… no.” I explained. “You’re lucky on two counts, my birthday isn’t for another two months, and you’re too young for me.”

“I don’t understand.” Madison said in confusion.

“Well I ain’t going into any more detail. Just don’t do that again m’kay.” I said grabbing my backpack and tapping the sleeping Axel with my foot to get his attention. “You can have my bed. We’ll sleep on the floor of your room. Sharing a room is where I draw the line.” I walked down the hall and claimed the floor that would be my new sleeping place.

“It’s time for your training Madison.” I said standing over her bed again the next morning. Like yesterday she wasn’t getting up. I wasn’t about to soak this bed, but I’m a monkey with many tricks. “Axel, you grab the top I’ll grab the bottom.” I instructed. We stood at our ends of the bed and put out hands under the mattress. “On three. THREE!” Together we flipped the mattress and Madison onto the floor.

“Onii-sensei that isn’t funny!” Madison screamed crawling out from under the mattress. “You’re not supposed to be mean to Magical Girls!”

“Then stop sleeping in and wake up when I tell you to.” I scolded. Actually I hope she sleeps in everyday, this is fun. “Anyway, I was doing some thinking last night after we traded rooms and I decided your Pokémon aren’t the only ones who need some training.” I said pulling out a Pokéball. “Meet Riolu!” A small blue Pokémon with a dog like face, black legs, a black stripe going across his red eyes ending off in weird ear-like appendages, and metal plates on the back of his hands appeared in a red flash of light. Madison’s face immediately lit up.

“He’s so cute!” she squealed running over to Riolu to give him a hug.

“NO!” Axel and I shouted in unison. I wrapped my arms tightly around Madison’s waist while Axel picked up the small Pokémon. “Riolu is only a few weeks old and is still very defensive. When he first hatched, I went over to introduce myself to him. I almost lost the ability to have offspring after a single punch. Axel hit him with a Mach Punch and Riolu was able to endure the hit. Right now Axel and I are the only ones Riolu respects or trusts because we defeated him. Let him get used to you before you get yourself hurt.” I explained sternly.

“Umm Onii-chan. Can you put me down?” Madison requested. I hadn’t noticed before, but the girl’s feet were several inches off the ground. “Damn you’re light.” I said lowering her. Axel did the same with Riolu who looked more confused than pissed off.

Training commenced as it did the day before, only this time Riolu was added to the mix so that he could get some combat experience as well. Although the youngest one in the group, Riolu managed to hold his own surprisingly well. His exceptional speed and strength allowed him to defeat Maki, but Mimi was able to take out the young Emanation Pokémon. I had to explain to the disappointed little warrior that losing is all part of getting stronger. Plus, being so young his abilities weren’t fully developed yet.

Over the last few days Madison’s training had progressed quite nicely. The five Pokémon she had been training along with my Riolu were noticeable stronger under my tutelage. She complained a few times about how tough it was but I told her to suck it up as opponents won’t go easy on her. She complained more about missing her Anime. I told her to watch it online later and stay away from message boards. Madison had done so well in fact that I had decided to give her a break on the final day of the trip. And yet on that last day I was woken up with a violent kick to the ribs.

“Onii-sensei! Onii-sensei! Come on, after all those times of meanly waking me up, here you are sleeping!” Madison whined crouching next to my sleeping bag. I opened my right eye and glared at her.

“Do you realize we’ll be in Sunnyshore Harbor in--” I sat up and looked at the clock I set up. It read 6:22am. “Six or seven hours?” I continued. “I told you last night, your training’s over. Take today off or continue what I taught you, it’s up to you. Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going back to sleep.” I said laying back down on my pillow on the floor. I never bothered seeing if the bed ever dried, nor did Madison and I switch our rooms back.

“I know that, I know that! But Onii-sensei needs to come outside! Quickly, quickly!” she cheered like a kid on Kinsday. I grumbled and sat up again.

“Fine, but you’re going to have to step outside. You may have noticed I’m not wearing a shirt right now. I’m not wearing anything else under this sleeping bag either, so unless you want your innocent mind scarred for life, get the hell out.” I said pointing to the door. Madison’s brown eyes widened to a larger size than they already were and her face turned bright red. She quickly ran outside and closed the door behind her while screaming about Onii-chan being ecchi. Whatever that means.

You liar. You’ve still got your boxers on.” Axel laughed before I even crawled out of my sleeping bag. He knew me too well.

“Meh.” was all I responded with as I starting to get dressed.

“What did you want Madison?” I inquired walking out of the room with my Infernape.

“Outside! Outside! Quickly Onii-sensei!” she said in excitement grabbing me by the arm and dragging me on the deck which was covered in a thin layer of white. Snowflakes fell from the sky melting on contact with my warm body. “It’s snowing!” the young girl squealed gleefully. I’ve gotta admit, it was pretty cool. I hate the cold with a passion, but snow was something I could tolerate. It actually felt warmer when it snowed because the light reflected off the white substance. I started laughing when Madison laid on the deck and began making snow angels. Sweet relaxation.

Madison seemed to disappear after breakfast. She was kind of acting funny so I wondered what was up.

“Onii-chan!” Well so much for peace and quiet. She came walking up to me with her arms behind her back like she was hiding something. How suspicious.

Watch out, it’s a wedding ring!” Axel teased.

“If it is, burn me alive then run like hell.” I told him. Now my apprentice stood well within my personal space in front of me with her hands still behind her back.

“Whacha hiding?” I asked innocently.

“Well I wanted to thank you for training me so please take this as a token of my appreciation.” she said producing a grey disc. She held it in front of her waiting for me to take it. I reached out and took it. The disc was inscribed with the number 10. “That’s TM10 Hidden Power.” said Madison excitedly. Wait a minute! She had TMs all this time that she could have used to supplement her Pokémon's moves with? I’m not even going to ask. If I knew the answer, I’d probably throw myself off the side of the ship.

“You look concerned Onii-chan. Don’t worry, you can have it. I have, like, fifty TMs anyway, one less isn’t going to hurt.” she said completely unaware of what she had just done. I am a man of my word.

“If you need me, I’m jumping overboard.” I said flatly turning to go outside. I walked over the snow covered deck and leaned against a railing.

You wouldn’t!” Axel yelled in disbelief. I turned to the golden monkey with a ‘you have got to be kidding me’ look.

“How long have you known me, Axel? I’m not emo, I just wanted some fresh air and to enjoy the view.” I said. I looked back over the edge and saw what looked like a human body float past. “SHIT!” I screamed falling on my ass.

Brian! You ok?” my Infernape asked pulling me back to my feet. I looked down the side of the boat where the body had presumable come from. Standing over the edge were the guys dressed in grey from before. It didn’t take long for me to piece together that the body that just floated past was the so-called Galactic they were harassing the other day. My heart felt like it was about to pop out of my chest. Then came the worst part, they saw me and came running over.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 5: Team Neos

“What did you see? What did you see!?” one of the hooded men interrogated. I was unable to answer, still in shock from the dead body I had seen float past. “Answer dammit!” he barked punching me in the face sending me to the ground.

You’ll pay for that!” Axel said furiously getting in fight position.

“Stand down Axel.” I ordered calmly. I got back on my feet wiping my mouth with the back of my gloved hand. There wasn’t any noticeable blood on the black fabric. Yet anyway. I turned to face my attackers. “The correct answer to your question, the one you want to hear, is ‘Nothing. Nothing at all.’ Or if you guys are more into scare tactics ‘N-nu-nothin’ suh.’ But I find the truth to be the more interesting route, so I’m gonna have to say that I saw the dead body of the guy you were using as a punching bag the other day float by the ship just now.” I said in spiteful sarcasm.

“You should have just lied.” The other guy said venomously. “Then we wouldn’t have to kill you. Break his bones Tauros!” he commanded sending out a 200lb bull covered in unkempt brown hair with three whip-like tails and horns that could pierce bone. The bull gave an angry moo, the air coming out of his nostrils and mouth turned to steam in the cold winter’s air.

“Rip his flesh Feraligatr!” the other joined in releasing a hulking blue reptile with plates running up its arms, knees, and tail. Three giant three pronged spikes ran down the crocodilian’s back. The beast opened its mouth with a roar showing off row upon row of sharp jagged teeth that could tear flesh from bone. Its savage yellow eyes stared us down like we were prey.

“What lovely commands you give when you summon your Pokémon.” I said sarcastically. “Now let me try. Kick their asses Axel.” The Infernape walked between me and the enemy Pokémon pounding his fists together. And to back Axel up I’ll use-

“Onii-chan!” No, not Onii-chan. Wait! Whoa! I turned around to see that damn weeaboo coming at me.

“Madison, get the hell out of here! NOW!” I yelled in a panic. A battlefield is no place for her, especially against dangerous people like these guys.

“You should know not to get distracted during a fight boy! As punishment, Feraligatr! Use Crunch on the Trainer!” the Trainer ordered.

“Tauros! Keep the Infernape busy with Take Down!” the other commanded. Tauros snorted as it began kicking snow back with his front right hoof. He then charged at Axel at an incredible speed. Before I knew it, the Big Jaw Pokémon was practically on top of me with its mouth gaping wide. Well shit. For such a large Pokémon, Feraligatr move faster than I thought and Axel was having enough problems dealing with the Wild Bull Pokémon to help me.

“Magical Leaf Cherrim!” Out of nowhere rainbow colored leaves flew past my head striking the giant reptile before it could clamp its massive jaws on my body. The sound of that command and the one who issued it filled me with anger.

“You shouldn’t have gotten involved! I had this covered! You should have run away like I told you to Madison!” I scolded angrily looking back and forth between her and Cherrim.

“Don’t worry, I’m a Magical Girl and Magical Girls are allies of justice!” she said with a dramatic pose.

“No you’re not! This isn’t a game Madison! It’s too dangerous for you here!” I shouted.

“But I wanted to help Onii-chan! I know we can win if we work together! The power of friendship always triumphs over evil!” she defended, tears starting to well up in her eyes. I took a deep breath. There was just no getting through to this kid.

“Fine! However, if you dare hinder me or things get too intense, get the hell out. Understood?” Madison nodded with her smile returning to her face. “Good. Just do as you did in combat practice.”

“This isn’t the sewing club! Now if you two are done kissing let’s get back to this!” Feraligatr’s Trainer mocked.

“Me? Kiss her? Pff. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a pedophile. Now the real fun begins!” I declared as a dramatic wind blew past. “Axel! Mach Punch Tauros!” I called. The monkey clenched a fist and sped off into a golden blur.

“Cherrim! Leech Seed… uhh…” Madison stuttered.

“Feraligatr! Do it!” I interrupted.

“Right! Feraligatr!” she continued. The Cherry Blossom Pokémon shot several seeds from her purple flower at the crocodilian.

“Not so fast! Dodge with Agility Feraligatr!” the Trainer commanded. With even greater speed than before, Feraligatr dashed out of the way as the seeds fell harmlessly on the ship deck. Meanwhile, Axel landed his Mach Punch to Tauros’s left side causing the bull to cry out in pain.

“Retaliate with Zen Headbutt Tauros!” ordered Tauros (Trainer). The horns on the bull’s head began glowing blue. With an angry moo, Tauros pulled his head back then slammed it into Axel’s chest.

Damn that hurt!” Axel complained rubbing his ribs.

“Help Axel Cherrim! Use Magical Leaf on Tauros!” called Madison. From underneath Cherrim’s flower came several more rainbow colored leaves, all on a direct course for Tauros. The Wild Bull Pokémon mooed in annoyance at the attack and began whipping himself with his tails.

“Don’t forget about me now! Use Ice Fang on Cherrim Feraligatr!” Feraligatr (Trainer) ordered. Feraligatr opened its massive jaws where frost began surrounding its giant teeth. The brute then charged strait for the Cherry Blossom Pokémon. “And Feraligatr, don’t think it unnecessary to swallow.” he added cynically.

“You won’t eat Cherrim as long as I’m around! Axel! Flame Wheel Feraligatr!” I called. The flame on the Infernape’s head flared up as if lighter fluid had been splashed in it. He then jumped in the air and began spinning around into a ball shape rolling into the Big Jaw Pokémon before it could hit Cherrim. Feraligatr may be fast, but Axel’s faster.

“You’ll pay for that! Feraligatr! Aqua Tail!” Feraligatr (Trainer) barked. It was almost like the reptile secreted water from its skin on how fast the Pokémon’s tail was covered in the liquid. The crocodilian swung its massive appendage into Axel sending the Flame Pokémon flying.

“Now get the Infernape with Horn Attack Tauros!” Tauros (Trainer) commanded excitedly. Just before Axel hit the floor, the bull came charging with his head down and rammed his horns into the monkey’s side. It was absolutely brutal to watch. Axel staggered back to his feet tightly gripping his left side where Tauros had hit. Axel pulled his hand away revealing a patch of red fur on what should have been white.

Madison put her hands to her mouth in shock. “Axel’s hurt!”

Don’t worry about me. Tis but a scratch.” the monkey said bravely.

“He’ll be fine, Axel’s been through worse.” I said. Even though I knew he’d be ok, I couldn’t help but feel some concern for my friend and Pokémon. That’s when I came up with one of my usual brilliant strategies. “Madison, have Cherrim use Sunny Day.”

“Um ok.” she agreed nodding. “You heard Onii-chan Cherrim!” Cherrim temporarily turned upside down shooting a white ball of energy into the sky. The attack seemed to explode in the atmosphere scattering all the clouds in the area while causing the sunlight to intensify. It began to slowly feel like a summer day outside. The extra light caused Cherrim to burst from its flower revealing a small yellow pixie covered in sakura petals with cherries on her head.

“You people are up to something.” Tauros (Trainer) accused bluntly.

“Gee, I had no idea we were up to something.” I said sarcastically. I turned to Madison. “Did you?”

“I don’t know, what are you planning Onii-chan?” she asked. I should have known better.

“Enough of this pussyfooting! Feraligatr! Thrash them!” Feraligatr (Trainer) commanded. The Big Jaw Pokémon’s eyes narrowed as it became more feral. It let out a beastly roar and attacked the closest target, Cherrim.

“Cherrim has to survive if my plan is to work! Axel! Close Combat Feraligatr!” I called.

“You’re not going anywhere Infernape! Use Thrash as well Tauros!” Tauros (Trainer) ordered. The Wild Bull Pokémon began whipping itself again becoming more pissed off. Being closest to Axel, that’s who it went after. Axel instead initiated Close Combat with Tauros.

“Don’t worry Onii-chan, I can take care of myself. Use Solar Beam Cherrim!” With the sun as intense as it is, Cherrim had no problem absorbing sunlight then sending the golden beam of solar radiation at Feraligatr. In an agonizing roar the crocodilian was sent half way down the deck before the Solar Beam faded leaving the beast unconscious. Now that’s one down, and one to go.

A little help here Brian!” Axel called desperately. He was surrounded in a flaming gold aura. It had been quite a while since I had seen Axel in this state.

“So you’ve been pushed so far that your Blaze is activated. Very well, this ends now.” I said silently. “Madison! Have Cherrim use Helping Hand on Axel! The power of friendship, right?” I instructed with a smile.

“Right! Do as Onii-chan says Cherrim!” she called in her usual cheerful manner. Cherrim extended a tiny little hand to Axel. He accepted and she began sharing her power with the monkey causing his Blaze aura to flare intensely. The sunlight, the Blaze, and the power boost from Helping Hand. Now for the last part of my plan.

“Axel! Finish Tauros with Flare Blitz!” I commanded. Axel got down on all fours then lunged at the Wild Bull Pokémon. There was a reason his species was called the Flame Pokémon; Axel had become a speeding fireball by the time he collided with Tauros. The bull mooed in pain as it fell to the ground fainted. Even Axel fell to his knees heavily panting from the double edged sword attack.

“You bastards think we’re finished here?” Tauros (Trainer) said pulling out another Pokéball. Feraligatr (Trainer) did the same. Shit, just when I thought we were done with these clowns. Out of the corner of my eyes I saw Sunnyshore Harbor, and on the shoreline were several cop cars waiting. I began laughing triumphantly.

“You fools. We have won, just look down there!” I said pointing to the harbor. Feraligatr’s eyes widened at the sight of the police.

“Who called them?” he demanded in a mix of fear and anger. He looked between me and Madison before looking Madison dead on. “It must have been you! You came into the battle late! That’s enough time to have called the police!” he accused.

“Little bitch!” Tauros yelled angrily charging at her like his bull Pokémon with his fists clenched. When he was close enough I punched him in the face so hard he fell to the ground causing his hood to fall down. He was probably in his 30’s with buzz cut blond hair. As he got up, he wiped blood from his mouth. “You’ll… pay for-” I kicked him in the ribs to shut him up. The man looked up at me getting a fearful look on his face at the fierce glare I was giving him.

“Don’t ever touch my little sister again, got it!” I said intensely. Madison’s eyes lit up at the comment. I turned to her and smiled. “What can I say, you’ve grown on me.” Like a fungus. “So you called the cops?” I asked her in an impressed tone.

“No.” she said shaking her head.

“It was me.” came a deep voice. I turned around to see the sailor I battled on the first day. “I saw these guys dump a body over the side and called Sunnyshore City Harbor Patrol to look out for two guys in grey.” The sailor explained.

I stepped forward to the murderers who were now looking to the ground in defeat. “Who the hell are you people anyway?” I asked. Feraligatr looked up at me with a sinister grin.

“Team Neos. Remember that name!” he warned darkly.

The Pokémon Feraligatr and Tauros were confiscated along with the rest of the Pokémon while their Trainers were put in separate cop cars. Madison and I both gave our testaments to the police on what we saw and our involvement in fighting them.

“Well this is it.” I said to Madison. “You should find yourself a boat that will take you where ever it was you said you wanted to go.”

“No!” she responded defiantly. “Kinsday is coming up soon and I want to spend it with Onii-chan! You finally acknowledged me as your Imouto-chan and it made me so happy! But even after Kinsday I want to keep training with you and traveling with you!” I face-palmed with a sigh. Axel started laughing but was cut off when his side started hurting again.

“You can come with me only if you agree to these conditions. We go at my pace, you slow me down I’m leaving you behind. You pay for your own stuff; food, lodgings, and whatever else. If we run out of food you hunt and gather your own, what you find is what you get.” I explained. “This way we aren’t exactly traveling companions, more like two people going in the same direction at the same time who happen to travel together.”

“Whatever works for you Onii-chan. I’d expect nothing less from a tsundere.” she said laughing at me. I sighed. This is going to be a long winter.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 6: Partaé

Over time I began to live up more and more to that annoying nickname Madison had given me. As an only child, I never knew what it was like caring for a younger sibling until now. She annoyed the hell out of me, but I simply couldn’t dislike her. Her airheaded, cheerful, optimistic dispassion made that nearly impossible. As Madison and I travelled together, I became more and more attached to her. I also learned more than I wanted to about shipping and moe from the Anime she watched. By the time summer rolled around, I had earned all eight badges to participate in the Sinnoh League Tournament. I made it all the way to finals that year, and this one turning into one close match!

“Infernape and Torterra are staring each other down.” The announcer spoke into his microphone to lay even more suspense on the audience. They were probably on the edge of their seats right now, I know I was. This final match had been intense from the word ‘Go!’ In the last 52 minutes my opponent Paul and I had completely annihilated one another’s teams. Axel was my last Pokémon, just as Torterra was his.

“Axel! Flare Blitz!” I commanded breaking the stalemate. The Infernape let out a battle cry as he surrounded his body in flames, then charged at Torterra like a comet. Torterra turned its head crying out as Axel landed a direct hit.

“Don’t just stand there Torterra! Use Earthquake!” Paul shouted. The massive tortoise lifted one of its giant feet and stomped the ground with enough force to cause the whole field to shake. I even felt the vibrations from where I stood, so I knew Axel was feeling it.

“You’re still close enough! Close Combat!” I called. With a single jump, Axel began beating on Torterra with a high speed melee assault.

“Get some distance! Leaf Storm!” my opponent commanded. As a strong wind began to blow, the leaves on the tree on the Continent Pokémon’s back started rustling as the whole tree started shaking. Axel crossed his arms in front of himself to keep from getting picked up by the wind, but that didn’t help when the blade like leaves were ripped from Torterra’s back and sent on a direct course for the monkey.

“Destroy those leaves with Ember!” I shouted over the loud hum of the wind. The Flame Pokémon spat out a flurry of small flames. While a lot of the incoming foliage was destroyed, there was still too many for Ember to counter. “In that case, turn it up a notch! Flamethrower!” Axel inhaled launching a long stream of fire into the Leaf Storm burning every last one until only ash remained of the onslaught.

“Now Torterra! Giga Drain!” Paul commanded. The giant tortoise shot three green tendrils of energy at Axel, two wrapping around his arms and the last one around his torso. The monkey looked at the energy whips disappointedly as they began sucking away his energy.

Even your strongest Grass attacks are pitiful against me!” the Infernape taunted as he surrounded his fists in fire and slashed the vines of energy, breaking them apart like they were real vines. The green energy slowly dissipated into nothingness.

“Let’s turn this up with Sunny Day Axel!” I called. After the battle on the ship with those Neos guys, Madison graced me with another TM so that I could make use of Sunny Day without her. And so I am. Axel concentrated a white ball of energy into his hand then threw it into the sky where it reacted with the atmosphere to absorb more sunlight making it feel hotter. In the heat, things will dry out from the increased evaporation of water making them easier to burn.

“You fool!” Paul laughed, most likely at me. “Now I don’t have to waste time charging! Torterra! Solar Beam!” Torterra opened its mouth and made use of the plentiful solar energy by drawing it in faster than usual then shot a golden beam of sunlight at Axel. The monkey gave me a look that said ‘dumbass!’ before firing a Flamethrower to hold the beam back. No matter how much fire the Infernape breathed into the attack the Solar Beam kept coming. Axel finally decided there was no stopping it and attempted to dodge it instead. However, the speed of light proved faster, catching his foot as he cartwheeled to the left. Axel grumbled as he stood up albeit a little wobbly from his foot hurting.

“Quit complaining! You know you’re having fun!” I called to him with a grin. It had been quite a while since we faced an opponent this skilled. “Now Axel, what say ye for Combo Two?” I suggested, although we both knew I was telling him to do it.

“Combo Two?” Paul repeated in confusion. The Flame Pokémon balled his fist before disappearing in a golden blur. Axel landed his Mach Punch on Torterra’s jaw, then opening his fist, began Furry Swipes. It’s amazing what can be accomplished by combining attacks.

“Torterra! Solar Beam!” called my opponent. Shit! There wasn’t time to avoid this one! The Continent Pokémon rapidly drew in the sunlight before blasting Axel away with the attack. The way Axel bounced down the field there was no way that attack was anything less than a critical hit.

“Hey! You ok?” I asked him. The first thing to rise was his right hand with the middle finger up. Oh yeah, he’s fine. Axel once again picked himself up of the ground. Some things never change, even as a Chimchar he refused to give up. It’s just not in Axel’s nature to quit unless he’s unconscious. “As long as Torterra can use instant Solar Beam, I say we play the distance game. Flamethrower!” Axel nodded in agreement not wanting another face full of solar energy, then spit a long stream of fire at the tortoise. The sun had been strong for at least five or ten minutes by now as was obvious by the grass igniting under the Flamethrower serving as fuel making the attack stronger. Torterra roared in agony as the flames licked all over its body. When Axel ceased fire (pun intended), there was a long black streak still lit with small scattered embers leading all the way to my opponent who was almost completely surrounded by charred grass and smoke. Barely noticeable was a burn on top of Torterra’s shell.

“Enough of this! Torterra! End this with Frenzy Plant!” Paul commanded confidently. Frenzy Plant? Never heard of that move before. I wonder what it’s like. I didn’t have to wait long, Torterra was quickly surrounded in a green aura as it charged the attack. I don’t like the feel of this. The Continent Pokémon stomped its massive foot to the ground, only this time, instead of an earthquake, four giant earth-green thorned roots emerged from the ground. The giant roots lunged at Axel like snakes. In his attempt to evade one of them, Axel was struck by another causing him to fall on his back. The third root loomed above him thrusting downward like a spear, which he narrowly avoided by rolling to the side and back on his feet. The fourth one came for a frontal attack forcing Axel to jump backward. This had apparently been Torterra’s intention as the giant roots then spiraled around themselves like a drill before spinning into Axel’s chest. The Infernape screamed in pain as the roots continues twisting as if they would pierce him. Instead, he was picked up off his feet and thrown into the wall of the stadium behind me. The roots of the Frenzy Plant retracted and went back underground through the gaping hole in the ground they left behind.

The Flame Pokémon got up as always and staggered forward. As he walked past me, Axel turned his head to look me in the eye as an apologetic smile crossed his face. “S-sorry… I… can’t go on…” he said weakly before collapsing.

“Infernape is defeated! The winner of this match and the Sinnoh League Tournament is Paul Shinji and his Torterra!” the Referee declared.

“Don’t worry about it Axel.” I said gently. “You did your best and that’s all I could ever ask for. Besides, we had fun and that’s all that matters.” I picked Axel up and threw him over my shoulder to carry him to the stadium’s Pokémon Center.

“Brian.” came Paul’s voice. “Good match. You are a very strong opponent and I respect you for your skill.” he said extending his hand. I accepted the hand shake.

“Thanks. You are also a worthy opponent. I had a lot of fun fighting you.” I said.

“*Hmph* Whatever.” Paul said retracting his hand. Did I say something wrong? I wanted to ask him about Frenzy Plant. Oh well, maybe I’ll see him at the after-party. But first things first, I don’t plan on having an unconscious monkey on my back until he decides nap time is over.

After getting my Pokémon healed at the Pokémon Center, I attended the Award Ceremony where I was given the 1,000,000 credits second place prize inside a silver trophy that read 2nd Place on it. All in all, this was a fun tournament. So what if I didn’t win, I haven’t won a League Tournament yet. I didn’t even place in Kanto or Johto, and I got 3rd in Hoenn. As far as I’m concerned, I’m getting better.

“I’m sorry you lost Onii-chan.” Madison consoled as if I were upset when we met up after the ceremony. “I even cast a magic spell for you to win.”

“Why are you sorry? I’m not.” I said matter-of-factly beginning to walk back to the hotel we were staying at.

“But you lost. Aren’t you sad?” she asked in confusion following me.

“Disappointed, yes. Sad, no. Winning isn’t everything Madison. I live for battle, so I actively seek strong opponents to give me the thrill of a challenge. If I always won, I’d get bored. Knowing that there are still people in the world who can beat me is what keeps me going. Combat is a learning experience, remember that.” I explained. “Besides, you saw how close that battle was. If Axel could have held on just a little longer, his next attack coupled with Torterra’s burn would have won me the battle.”

Well excuuuuse me!” Axel said pretending to be offended.

“So you’re saying losing is a good thing?” Madison questioned.

“Indeed.” I nodded walking up to the door of the two-roomed suite. All the competitors were given one. There was still half an hour before the after party so I figured I’d take a rest before leaving, plus I still needed to drop off my goodies.

“Onii-chan, what should I wear to the party?” Madison asked as soon as we walked in the suite.

“What you have on is good enough. I’m wearing what I have on.” I answered tediously sprawling myself out on the sofa. Most of what she wears is Anime related in some way so it matters not to me which cosplay she chooses.

“You wear the same thing every day!” she retorted in frustration. And she doesn’t?

“No, I own two pairs of pants and three T-shirts. Not my fault if they’re identical in every possible way.” I defended. “One warning though, don’t drink the punch.” I warned changing the subject.

“Why?” she asked stopping midway to her room.

“Because the last party I went to, someone spiked it.” I responded flipping over into a semi-sitting position.

“What does that mean?”

“It means someone did something to the punch so that anyone who drinks it would do ‘funny’ things. For example, thanks to drinking some, I had my first kiss with Axel.” Madison’s eyes widened to the size of her face in shock. I was trying my hardest not to laugh It’s no fun having an annoying sibling if I can’t mess with her once in a while. Axel caught on to my prank and started staring at Madison with an amorous look. He then puckered his lips and made a quick kissing sound. With that Madison ran to her room screaming about me and Axel being ecchi.

“You’re bad.” I said laughing.

I learned from the best.” he replied.

“Aye, that ye did.” I agreed. I stood up and stretched. “Shall we be off then?” I offered.

“I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it! I like to move it, move it! Ya like to… Move it!” Axel and I sang into our respective microphones while dancing around like maniacs. It was our tradition for any party we went to, go up to the DJ, request ‘Move it Move it’, obtain microphones, and karaoke! Naturally we became the center of attention. “All girls all over da world! Original Monkeys pon ya case mon!” we continued shamelessly.

When the song ended, we took our bow to the cheering audience then walked off to get a drink. Just not of punch. I threw Axel a water bottle from the food table and grabbed one for myself. I pulled off the cap and took a long refreshing chug of ice cold water. I sighed pulling the bottle away from my face.

“Excuse me, Mr. Brian Nosurname?” someone asked catching me off guard. I turned around to see a pudgy balding man with glasses in a red suit with some sort of envelope in his hand. I recognized the man as the official that handled the award ceremony.

“Don't call me Mister, I hate that.” I responded. I wiped some sweat from my forehead with my thumb as I felt it about to drip in my eyes.

“The Champion was supposed to get this letter, but Paul Shinji turned it down saying he’d rather train for the Elite Four. Therefore, as the runner-up you get this.” he said passing the envelope to me.

“What is it?” I inquired accepting it.

“I have no idea.” The man admitted. “I was just told to give this to the Champion.” I tore it open and pulled out the letter inside along with a boat ticket.

Dear Sinnoh League Champion,

It is my honor to invite you to the White City Tournament on White Island, located to the southwest of Johto. You have been recognized for your exceptional skill and will participate against one hundred twenty-seven other powerful Trainers from all over the world. The tournament will begin on July 1, 3008. If any of the one hundred twenty-eight competitors does not show up on this date or for their scheduled matches, then they will forfeit. Included is a ticket for a special transport that will take you to White City. Further details will be disclosed at the Opening Ceremony. Good luck.

The White City Committee

“Hm, interesting.” I said. Excitement began pulsing through my veins as I laughed quietly to myself. “I hope you’ve had adequate rest, we’re about to enter another tournament Axel.”

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 7: Stupid Is As Stupid Does

“But *sob* I *sob* don’t *sob* want *sob* you *sob* to *sob* le-he-he-heave!” Madison cried with twin waterfalls flowing down her face. Her brown eyes looked like melted chocolate in a bowl of water. What a pathetic creature.

“Look Madison, I was only given one ticket so you can’t come with me and I have no intention of missing a tournament just to stay you. Get over it!” I said sternly.

For serious! After getting that last ass kicking, I want to give some myself!” Axel added. We were in back Sunnyshore City where the ship to White City would pick me up along with the other Sinnoh participants on June 21st, one day from now.

“But Onii-chan!” she pleaded.

“No buts! You need to learn to stand on your own two feet without me. Just keep doing as I taught you.” I put my hand on her head and spun her around to view the horizon. “See that? That is the world. Tis most vast and is yours for the exploring and taking and all that other crazy nonsense I do.” I said philosophically.

Madison turned her head up to look me in the eye despite me still using it as an armrest. “I don’t get it.” she said. I removed my hand from her head as I threw both arms out to the side like I was about to hug someone.

“Neither do I, but it’s an answer that you must find alone.” I said emphasizing alone.

“Like dude! Check out that Infernape man! It’s like, totally gold man!” came a voice belonging to what sounded like one of three people, a surfer dude, a hippie, or a stoner. Then again, the last option could fit the first two.

“Dude, you are like, totally trippin’ balls. There are definitely like, two weirdo Infernapes man.” said another one. Yup, definitely stoners. There were two guys staggering up the boardwalk toward us, each one had a joint in his fingers. I put the back of my hand to my nose to keep from inhaling the smoke. Last thing I want to find out is what happens when a creature whose mind is already warped gets high.

“Who are those guys Onii-can?” Madison whispered to me.

“Those are what crawl out of the shallow end of the gene pool. Because human society frowns upon killing or letting natural selection eliminate those idiots, they are allowed to exist.” I explained.

Excuse me, but what the hell do you think you’re doing?” Axel asked angrily as the potheads began examining him. He looked like he was about to make their already fried brains well done.

“Can I help you foolish Homo sapiens?” I inquired stepping forward between them and a soon-to-be-homicidal Infernape.

“Like dude, I think you got the wrong idea about us. We are totally not gay.” said Stoner1.

“Seriously dude, you need to like, be careful who you call homo. It could really offend someone.” Stoner2 commented. An amused grin slowly came over my face. They had no idea all I did was call them humans, nor did they deny being called fools. This could be fun.

“*snicker* You’re right. Please forgive me, I had no idea.” I said innocently with some sarcasm involved.

“It’s cool man. Forgive and forget right?” said Stoner2.

“Totally man. It’s all good.” Stoner1 said. “So dude, are we like, high off our asses or are those Infernapes really blond?” he asked. I began giggling at what I was about to tell them.

“Well there is only one, and yes Axel has gold fur, he was born that way.” I said. That much was truth. This next part is not. “You see my Aunt Dolores had blond hair. She was also into very kinky things. One night she had her way with a male Infernape named Sun Wukong and got pregnant. Several months later Axel was born as a Chimchar with his mother’s hair color.” I said.

Da fuck!? Where the fuck did that come from!?” a bewildered Axel asked in both shock and disgust at my random comment. I’ll admit that story was kind of messed up.

“You mean Axel’s really your cousin because your Aunt Dolores did things she wasn’t supposed to?” Madison asked in as much shock as Axel. I slowly turned my head to with a WTF look on my face. She actually fell for that?

“Your naivety knows no bounds!” I stated in disbelief. “No he’s not my cousin. I was just screwing with these guys. The only truth in that sentence was that he was born with gold fur.” I clarified. Hell, I don’t even have an Aunt Dolores.

“So wait. You like, totally lied to us man.” Stoner2 realized.

“Uncool dude. I like, thought we were friends dude.” said Stoner1 sorrowfully. Give me a break, I only encountered these morons five minutes ago.

“That wasn’t very nice Onii-chan. You should apologize.” Madison told me. I looked down at her with a ‘like hell’ look on my face.

“What’s an Onii-chan?” Stoner1 asked dimwittedly. I rolled my eyes shaking my head.

“In weeaboo moon speak it means big brother but--”

“So wait! You’re like, that girl’s brother?” interrupted Soner1.

“I would have like never guessed. You two look nothing alike.” Stoner2 said in amazement. I sighed. What the hell, I’ll run with it. I put my finger to my lips indicating I didn’t want Madison to interrupt while I went on another tangent.

“Oh yeah, we’re siblings.” I said sarcastically. “Mom had blue eyes,” I said pointing to my eyes, “and Dad had brown eyes.” I continued pointing to Madison. Next I started playing with one of my spikes. “Dad also had spiky black hair,” I put my hand on Madison’s head “and Mom had brown hair…” I broke from my sarcastic rant when I saw her bangs. “With pink in it apparently…. Ok seriously, all this time we’ve traveled together I’ve never seen you dye your hair and yet it has remained pink as it’s grown! What the hell?” I questioned. “Pink is not a natural hair color!”

Madison smiled at me with a giggle. “I told you Onii-chan. I’m a Magical Girl!” she said coyly. I don’t believe this! She’s actually messing with me! What have I created?

“Dude I’m like, totally confused right now.” Stoner2 said blankly.

“Aw man I know. That guy’s sister, like, had some crazy ass monkey sex and, like, gave birth to a pink Infernape man.” Stoner1 stated not knowing what he was talking about.

“Shut up ignorant masses! Are you so high you can’t keep your facts straight, even if everything I said was false?” I shouted.

“Dude, I think he just like, totally insulted us.” reasoned Stoner1.

“Like, get him dude!” said Stoner2. Even if they were sober they’d be no match for me, but in this state it was like kicking a puppy. The two staggered over to me attempting to attack. I simply sidestepped them and pushed one into the other sending both potheads rolling off the boardwalk into the sandy beach next to the harbor.

“Weeee dude!” one of them cheered as they rolled. I clapped my hands together as if to wipe them off.

“Today’s lesson children; don’t do drugs.” I told a nonexistent crowd turning around. “Now where was I in my rant with you Madison?” I questioned trying to get back on subject.

“You were saying how I should learn to take care of myself alone.” she reminded with disappointment in her tone.

Then a bunch of naked apes began checking me out.” Axel added.

“Right, right.” I said to myself getting back on track. “So I leave tomorrow, anything you want to know before I go?” I inquired.

“Will I ever see you again Onii-chan?” Madison asked sadly. I smiled at her knowingly.

“You’re a Magical Girl right? The power of friendship will always draw us back together. When that will be, I haven’t a clue! But it will happen one day.” I said optimistically. Whether what I said was true or not, I don’t know. The world really is a big place so randomly running into people again could take some time and luck.

“Then I should be ok. I’ll see Onii-chan again later!” she declared cheerfully. Good. I’m glad she went along with it. Madison then gave me a tight hug. “I love you Onii-chan.”

“Wha! What the hell is this!? This better not be a love confession! I am not a lolicon!” I yelled at her in annoyance.

“Don’t worry it’s not. It’s just the way this imouto feels about her Onii-chan. Do you feel the same way about me Onii-chan?” she asked.

“No not really. I mean, I…” I paused and looked down at her. Yeah, truth be told, I did like her as my adopted sibling. I really was going to miss this little weeaboo and her antics, annoying as they were. “It’s not like I’ll miss you or anything, Baka!” I said just to play along with her. The way Madison’s face lit up with joy at my statement made it worth it.

“Tsundere!” she cheered.

I can’t tell who the bigger weeb is right now.” Axel teased. “But I won’t miss her either! Baka!” he added crossing his arms.

The next morning Axel and I left Madison in Sunnyshore City as we boarded the SS Megiddo for White City. This tournament should be fun!

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 8: White City

Team Neos Foils Team Aqua

In an attempt to bring rain to the Hoenn desert with numerous Water-type Pokémon simultaneously using Rain Dance, Team Aqua was defeated by yet another intervention by Team Neos. At the conclusion of the battle, casualties included a Wailmer and two Golducks. Ten other Pokémon and six Aqua members were injured in the attack. Police were unable to make any arrests of Neos members. There will be no investigation on the incident authorities say.

I threw the newspaper to the side in disgust. Ever since that day on the boat with Madison, Team Neos has been popping up in the news more and more frequently. The worst part is the police are just letting this go! Sure the Neos only target the major criminal organizations like Team Galactic and Team Aqua, which I guess makes life easier for the cops, but I just can’t get over all the shit they pull receiving no repercussions what so ever.

“Team Neos. Remember that name.” I said repeating what the guy with the Feraligatr said over six months ago when I kicked his ass. Like it’s hard with how much attention they get these days.

“Attention passengers.” a loud booming voice came over the speakers. “We have just arrived in White City. Please gather all your belongings and disembark the ship carefully. Enjoy your stay in White City.” the captain said until the speakers clicked off with a bit of static. Didn’t need to tell me that, I’ve seen the approaching land for the last half hour. I got up out of the chair I had been sitting in on the deck of the ship to leave with everyone else with a certain monkey behind me.

Salty air blew past as I took my first step on to the island White City was located. It was a beautifully warm day and the scenery was exquisite. The land that wasn’t urbanized was a very fertile green. Not too far away I could hear the sounds of rushing water like a waterfall. If there ever was a paradise on Earth, this was it.

The opening ceremony of the tournament is tomorrow isn’t it?” asked Axel breaking me from my trance.

“Hm? Oh, yeah. Why, what do you propose?” I inquired.

I says we go ‘splorin’!” the monkey declared.

“‘Splorin’s always fun.” I agreed. “Heads we go to the right; tails we go left.” I said pulling out a coin. I flipped it in the air, caught it, and smacked it on the back of my other hand. “Tails!” I announced turning to the left beginning to walk.

Brian, you’re going the wrong way!” Axel called. I stopped and looked down at my hands. I extended the hand I write with, my right, and looked in the direction I had been heading. Curse my directional impairedness. I jumped up doing a 180° spin in the air to face the way I wanted to go, and continued walking like nothing had happened. Behind me I could hear Axel snickering. Like he’s any better, I must constantly remind him of things like days of the week.

Starting from the southwest of the city going clockwise there was a residential area complete with apartments, hotels, restaurants, and shops. Nearby was a small island a few yards away from the main island with a flowing waterfall. Due west across a bridge was a large hollowed out rectangular building colored a whitish silver. The entrance was up a flight of stairs with eight pillars on either side of the double staircase, four on each side, holding up the roof as the double glass doors were more toward the center of the building. On top of it was a giant Pokéball, the same color as the building. So says a random passerbier, this is the research lab of Professor Alfonse Heimrich, a crazy and eccentric scientist. I’m gonna have to pay this guy a visit when I’m done ‘splorin’.

My travels then took me to a castle in the northwest. It had a similar color scheme to the lab and apparently it’s some sort of historical monument of battle. I’ll have to find out more about that later. Directly north was a Contest Hall for Coordinators, as well as a Pokémon playground where Pokémon could play games that don’t have much to do with battle such as a type of soccer game for Furrets, Linoone, and Girafarig. On a small island to the northeast was a park that required you to cross a bridge to get to. All around the park there were benches to sit back and relax, water fountains for drinking, one big aesthetically pleasing water fountain somewhere toward the center, light posts for when it got dark, and a place to battle on the boardwalk. Luckily no one challenged me. I still haven’t seen all the sights yet, and I’d like to know where everything was before sunset.

Continuing my travels, I passed by a school to the east. By the looks of it, and the plaque on the side of the building, this was the White City Pokémon Academy. Haha losers! You guys have to go to school to learn how to be Trainers while I dropped out of school to become one. Then Axel took a piss on the wall. That made my day right there. The next thing on my stop to the southeast was the main city consisting of a ton of skyscrapers, most likely office buildings for various businesses. One of said buildings was particularly interesting; no doubt the largest one on the skyline.

Hey Brian! Watch out!” Axel warned. I turned around just in time to walk into something and fall to the ground.

“Are you alright?” asked a man in a calm voice standing over me. He had semi-neatly combed brown hair, blue eyes, and wore a white suit with a light blue dress shirt underneath and a white tie. His dress shoes were the same color as his pimp suit.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I said getting up. The man gave me a strange look, staring at me as if he were in deep thought. “Something wrong?” I asked confused with a hint of annoyance. The man broke from his trance.

“No. Nothing at all.” he said waving his right hand as if pushing the idea aside. “You have my sincerest apologies. You just look very familiar. Have we met?”

“Can’t say that we have.” I said still confused.

“Then perhaps I have seen you around. Are you by chance a student at White City Academy?” he inquired.

“Nope.” I said proudly. “I actually just arrived in White City for the first time this afternoon.” I explained.

“Puzzling.” the man said. He chuckled quietly to himself. “Anyway, you should be more careful young man.”

“Oh yeah, sorry about that.” I said embarrassedly rubbing the back of my head. “That building over there was just so interesting I couldn’t take my eyes off of it.” I said pointing to where my attention had been.

“Ah, the White City Committee Building. It is the home of White City’s government.” he said turning to look at it. No wonder it’s so big, it’s the most important building in the city. “That would explain why you were so inattentive earlier.”

“What does that even mean?” I asked in confusion. Why did he have to go and use a big word?

“Are you disconcerted by my vocabulary?” asked the man. Stop that! “Very well, I shall expurgate my sentences if it will help you fathom what I am telling you.” he said shrugging his shoulders. Now he’s just doing it on purpose. Stupid smart people.

“So no more big words?” I asked.

“For one as ignorant as you, I will stunt my vocabulary for now.” he mocked.

“Fantastic.” I said sarcastically.

“I see you have an Infernape. I have never seen one of this coloration before, quite a rare breed indeed.” said the man finally taking notice of Axel. Usually his gold fur attracts attention due being so unnatural and out of the ordinary, but I guess because this guy was so distracted by me he didn’t notice.

Thank you for acknowledging me.” Axel said bowing.

“Well I am a Trainer.” I said proudly. Then I realized something. “You said you recognized me from somewhere. I’ve placed 3rd in the Hoenn League, 2nd in the Sinnoh League, and participated in numerous other tournaments over the last five years, including the one that starts tomorrow. Is it possible you know me from them? The name’s Brian Nosurname if you’ve heard it.”

“I believe I have, but only because the White City Committee was informed several days ago that Paul Shinji would be unavailable to participate in the upcoming tournament leaving his spot open for the Trainer who won second place in the Sinnoh League Tournament.”

“Wait, you work for the White City Committee? So you’re a political?” I inquired.

“A politician, yes.” he corrected. “This tournament is the first one hosted by White City and we are hoping to make it an annual affair. If all goes well in the coming week then I can only surmise that the Committee will become very busy, maybe even flourish.”

“Well from a combatant’s perspective I hope it goes well too. I look forward to challenging fights, and I know Axel is ready to kick some ass.” I said excitedly.

Hell yeah I am!” the monkey said in agreement pounding his fists together. The sound of a waterfall entered the silence of the evening. As usual it was found on a small island to the southeast. We had begun walking around the time the conversation started, and now the sky had started turning a beautiful purple-orange mix as the sun disappeared under the horizon.

“I think now would be an appropriate time to part ways. Farewell Brian, I wish you the best of luck in the tournament.” the man said before taking off as I kept walking the opposite direction.

Am I the only one that found that a bit uncomfortable?” Axel asked me.

“That was pretty strange.” I admit.

Did we even get his name?

“No, no we didn’t.”

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 9 pt1: Opening Ceremony

Just as the Opening Ceremony was about to start, the band began playing the Pokémon Theme. It may be predictable but it just wouldn’t feel right to have a tournament start without that anthem playing at the beginning.

“Good morning ladies and gentlemen!” a big fat balding guy with a mustache shouted into a microphone. “I would like to welcome all of you to the first ever White City Tournament!” The audience of spectators and contestants cheered in response. “We the White City Committee have searched the world gathering the strongest Trainers we could find so that they may compete against one another to see which of these 128 individuals is the strongest of all!” More cheering.

By strongest he’s talking about us.” Axel said confidently.

“Most likely.” I agreed. “Though I hope that someone in this audience who’s fighting would be a challenge. It gets boring if you tear through the competition without even breaking a sweat.”

Like Pidgeot versus Magikarp.” Axel compared getting a chuckle out of me.

“Due to the number of competitors, the first round will be split into a two-day period. The first 32 matches will be today after this introduction, and the last 32 will be held tomorrow at the same time.” the old guy continued. Sadly, I already knew I was scheduled as the third to last match tomorrow night. Before the opening ceremony, all the competitors were gathered together, given a schedule of all the matches, and had all the tournament rules explained.

The battles go as follows: First round is as the old man said. The second round held Thursday July 3rd, the day after tomorrow, will be 32 matches. Friday will be the 16 matches of round three, and the eight matches of round four. All of these battles will be 3-on-3 elimination. Then Saturday will be the final rounds. All of these will be 6-on-6 elimination matches. The champion will be crowned that night at the closing ceremony. In battle rules are pretty basic, no healing except by held item or recovery move like Recover, Synthesis, Leech Life, etc. Have the three Pokémon you will use selected before the battle to prevent cheating. You may change your team line up between matches if you have more than six Pokémon. Pretty much nothing I haven’t seen before.

Chapter 9 pt2: Science is Fun!

“Well Axel, what do we do now?” I inquired after the ceremony. We pretty much had a good 36 hours before my match began and I’d rather spend it doing something other than watch the competition. Strange considering most people would watch their opponents to get a feel for their strategies and how they work, but not me. With the switch Pokémon between matches rule, by the time I fight a person they could have changed their tactics to something I would have been unprepared for anyway. Plus, it would be kind of silly to memorize someone only to have them lose before I battle them.

Why not visit that professor? Everyone said he was crazy.” suggested Axel.

“And I like meeting fellow crazy people.” I said getting out of my seat. “Science is fun!” The two of us marched out of the stadium in the center of the city to where the lab was. Soon we stood in front of the large building staring mindlessly at it. “Well you go first.” I said indifferently.

What? Me go first! You’re the human!” Axel complained.

“But it was your idea.” I replied. Axel threw his fist out at me. I answered with my own and we began shaking them up and down. On the third shake I threw out my palm and Axel threw out two fingers.

Ha! Scissors beat paper!” he cheered. I grumbled taking a step forward. “After you.” teased the Infernape politely, even bowing mockingly extending his arm to lead the way for me. I walked up the stair case to the double glass doors. Should I knock or just walk in? Ah what the hell. I opened the door and walked in.

The inside wasn’t as fancy as the outside was. The entrance hall was pretty plain, with a door to the right and a second door in the back behind a spiral staircase. The staircase led to a balcony overhead that looked to be the second floor, the only thing keeping people from jumping off that floor onto this one was a metal railing going across from the wall to the spiral staircase then serving as the staircase’s railing.

“Yo! Anyone home?” I called to the seemingly empty lab.

“Who’s down there?” came a female’s voice. That doesn’t sound like any Alfonse Heimrich to me. I looked up to see a young female scientist, probably in her early 20s, with dirty blond hair and round glasses, wearing a long white lab coat walked to the edge of the second floor balcony looking down at me.

“My name is Brian and this is Axel. We came for an educational visit.” I replied.

“I’ll be right down.” she called back before heading for the staircase. While we waited, Axel and I continued admiring the lab.

“This is a pretty remarkable lab.” I complemented when the scientist joined us.

“Well of course. The White City Pokémon Lab was built to be a state of the art research center on Pokémon physiology! It puts the likes of the Oak Research Lab to shame.” she boasted with a proud smirk. “*Squee* And speaking of physiology, this Infernape has gold fur! Must experiment!” she squeed with great enthusiasm.

No! Experiment on him! Him! I’m just a freak on the outside! He’s the one that’s messed up in the head!” cried Axel pointing at me every time he said him.

“What do you plan on doing to Axel?” I asked anxiously.

“Nothing serious. I just want his measurements, a blood test, and to observe his biometrics.” explained the scientist.

A blood test? Does that mean needles!?” Axel asked fearfully. He ran behind me putting his hands on my shoulders so he could hide while still talk to me. “Brian, I am sorry for anything I may have done to piss you off lately, that includes stealing your pancakes this morning and blaming Snorlax, just don’t let her stick me with a needle!” he pleaded. I should have known he was the one that stole my pancakes! I’ll apologize to Snorlax for scolding him later.

“Axel would rather you not experiment on him. He’s a wuss.” I said.

So cruel…” whined the monkey.

“Damn!” said the scientist disappointedly. “Oh yeah, why did you come here anyway Trainer? You said your name was Brian right?” she inquired.

“Yes, I came to visit Prof. Heimrich.” I said.

“He actually goes by Prof. Himee.” she corrected.

“Himee?” I questioned.

“He said Heimrich sounds too much like the Heimlich Maneuver. He got tired of people asking him if he invented it.” she said flatly.

“That makes perfect sense. So is he around?” I asked.

“Prof. Himee is a very busy man. You can’t just walk in and say ‘Can I see him?’ and expect--” she was cut off buy a huge explosion blowing out a door on the second floor releasing a ton of black smoke. An old man covered from head to toe in black ash and soot walked out of the smoke coughing. His hair was messy sticking out in every direction. I wasn’t sure if that was the result of the explosion or if he was always like that.

“*cough* Note to self. Vhen dissecting Voltorb, don’t start in zhe middle.” he choked in a thick accent.

“Prof. Himee! Are you alright?” the female scientist asked urgently.

“Yes Asuna, I’m fine. But vhen dissecting a Voltorb, don’t start in zhe middle.” Himee repeated. I think I like this guy already. I’m not too sure about Axel though; his eye has been twitching ever since Himee mentioned dissecting a Voltorb. “Oh! Vhy didn’t you say ve had guests?” asked Prof. Himee noticing me and Axel.

“Well they just arrived. Brian said he wanted to meet you.” Asuna explained.

“Vonderful!” Himee cheered running down the spiral stairs. When on the first floor he walked over to Axel. “Brian vas it? I must say, you are a magnificent specimen. Never before have I seen gold fur on an Infernape.” he said examining Axel, including lifting his arm and looking around him.

Get the hell off me you freak!” Axel yelled pulling away.

“You got it wrong. I’m Brian, this is Axel.” I clarified. The professor turned his head from Axel’s armpit to me.

“Vell of course you are. How silly it vould be if zhe Infernape was actually looking for me. Can I interest you in an experiment?” he inquired.

“As long as neither me nor Axel are your guinea pigs.” I said.

“Vell you two von’t be me subjects, but I may ask for your involvement. I vant to show you how Pokéballs vork!” Prof. Himee said. I looked at Axel who nodded in agreement.

“We’re in.” I said to the professor.

“Excellent! Follow me!” he said excitedly. “Oh, and Asuna, could you get me some blue Kool-Aide? It’s zhe best kind.”

“Yes sir…” Asuna said unhappily.

“One for me too! It really is the best kind.” I called down as I was already half way up the staircase. “Make that two, one for me and Axel.” I added.

“This isn’t a delivery service!” argued Asuna.

“Zhen I’ll have three!” Himee called. I love this guy. Asuna sighed and went to fulfill her assignment. Meanwhile the three of us went into the now doorless room that reeked of smoke and recently got a new paint job. Apparently singed black is in this year. On a lab table were various tools and bent deformed metal; half of it red, the other half white.

“Is that a Pokéball?” I inquired.

“No. Zhat is zhe remains of a Voltorb I vas dissecting. Vhen dissecting Voltorb, don’t start in zhe middle.” he said again. He either wants to make sure we know, or he’s a bit senile and doesn’t realize this is the third time he said it. “Now could I borrow vone of your Pokéballs?”

“Sure. Hang on a sec.” I said pulling my green backpack from my back. I started rummaging through it until I came across the red and white sphere. “Here we are.” I said handing it to him. He must need it for a demonstration. Himee inspected the orb, then threw it at my head.

“Ow! What the hell’s the matter with you?” I asked angrily rubbing my forehead which now had a nice bruised bump on it.

“You vere not sucked in. Vhy?” Prof. Himee questioned.

“Because I’m human! Pokéballs only work on Pokémon.” I pointed out in annoyance. He’s a scientist, he should know this stuff. Ow my head hurts.

“Zhat is correct. But do you know vhy Pokéballs only affect Pokémon?” Hm. He’s got me there. I never really gave that a thought before. “Return Axel to his Pokéball for a moment. I vant you to pay close attention vhen you do.”

“Axel’s Pokéball is actually broken, so let me try with a different Pokémon.” I offered. Heh. Broken was an understatement. Completely destroyed is more like it. I pulled a ball from my waist and sent out Riolu who was in battle position with his arms out ready to attack. “Relax Rio. There isn’t a fight. Prof. Himee just wants to show us something.” The Emanation Pokémon lowered his arms and took a more relaxed stance.

“A Riolu! Quite a rare breed indeed. Could I maybe…”

“No you may not experiment on him.” I denied firmly. Himee looked away in disappointment.

“Anyvay, did you notice anyzhing vhen you sent Riolu out?” the professor asked.

“Was I supposed to?” I questioned.

“Zhat vas zhe whole point of zhe procedure! Return Riolu, and zhis time watch very carefully.” instructed Prof. Himee. I apologized to Riolu as I held out his Pokéball to recall him. A red beam of light shot from the button on the sphere at the small Pokémon enveloping him in that same red light before condensing him and pulling him back into his capsule.

“Zhere! Tell me you saw it zhis time!” said Prof. Himee passionately.

“Yeah, but what was that?” I asked unsure of what I just saw. Sure I’d seen it daily for years, but I never paid much attention to it. Now I want to know.

“An excellent question. Zhere are five Kingdoms of Eukaryotes in zhe vorld. Animals like fish, insects, and us humans; Plants like zhe trees in forests, and grass in fields; Fungus like mushrooms and zhat stuff between my toes; Protista which are all but microscopic; and finally zhe Pokémon vhich are zhe most unique of all. Zhe only kingdom zhat can spontaneously metamorphoses, fight using numerous abilities, and, depending on zhe species, have traits of zhe first three kingdoms. Pokéballs are specifically designed to zhe cellular structure of Pokémon and zhe energy zhey produce. Zhat is vhy you veren’t sucked in zhe Pokéball, zhat is vhy trees are not sucked in vhen you miss.” he explained.

“Amazing Prof. Himee!” I said in astonishment.

“Show more enthusiasm.” Himee scolded.

“Enthusiasm?” I repeated.

“No no no. En-THU-siasm!” the professor repeated moving his arms in a circle around his head.

“Amazing Prof. Himee!” I repeated enthusiastically.

“Now you’re just faking it.” the old man said glumly. Well I tried, even though I have no idea what I did wrong.

“Here are your drinks.” Asuna said walking in the room with a tray carrying three glasses of blue Kool-Aide. She set the tray on the edge of the table where there wasn’t as much stuff. Prof. Himee looked at the tray in confusion.

“Vhy did you bring three?” he asked.

“For your guests.” she emphasized exasperatedly. Yup, he’s senile.

“Oh right. Thank you Asuna. You may go back to vork now.” Asuna gave a sarcastic smile and left the room. “Cheers men!” Himee said lifting up a glass. Axel and I lifted our own to his. What we were toasting to, I had no idea, but this guy was fun. I could learn a lot from him.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 10: Let the Games Begin

I ended up spending most of the next two days with Prof. Himee getting a tour of the lab in the process. The giant Pokéball on the roof is actually the fourth and fifth floors, with the fifth being an observatory. Later that night we watched the stars over dinner and got in an interesting conversation on ketchup. Why do we put ketchup on cheese burgers and fries, but not steak or mashed potatoes which are made from the exact same substances? We concluded that that was one of the larger mysteries of life.

“It’s almost time for my match. I’ll see ya when I get back Professor.” I said running down the spiral stair case with Axel close behind.

“Have fun storming zhe castle!” shouted the old man from the second floor balcony.

When I got to the stadium, the 28th match of the day was already underway. I was match 30, so I still had roughly 20 minutes to half an hour before it was my turn depending on how long these people took. The current battle went by pretty quickly, a Goth chick with white-blond hair and a Banette completely destroyed her opponent. If my math is correct, she would be my fourth opponent providing she gets that far. An official came in seconds later to call in the next participants. I sat through that battle until finally my turn came.

“Next participants are Brian and Cal.” said the returning official. A boy with medium length reddish brown hair coming out from under a black and red hat rose from his seat.

“Finally.” Cal said stretching. He walked over to me and put his hand on my shoulder. “Sorry dude, but you really don’t stand a chance against me. I plan on winning this so no hard feelings right?” he said arrogantly. I stared at him and blinked a few times.

“Ok.” I said uncaringly.

“Really dude? Aw you’re the best! Thanks for understanding.” he said smugly running out to the field. Oh I understand perfectly, you’re a pansy. I turned my head to Axel with a wild look in my eyes.

“I say we rape this little bastard.” I stated just as indifferently as before.

I like a good rape fest.” the Infernape affirmed pounding his fists together. We both stated giggling crazy-evilly as we walked to join our obnoxious opponent. When we arrived on the field the crowd began cheering in anticipation of the battle to come.

“Ladies and Gentlemen! This match will be between Brian and Cal!” shouted the Referee. “Please register the three Pokémon you will use.” I grabbed a Great Ball, a Pokéball, and a dysfunctional ball covered in duct tape which was Axel’s and placed the orbs on a machine for registry. On a score board above the arena three question marked silhouettes appeared under my picture, as was the same for Cal.

“Begin!” declared the Referee. On cue we both threw out our first Pokémon. Well to be accurate, Axel was too heavy to throw, so I merely told him to go kick some ass. However, I don’t think Axel’s victim has an ass being a giant floating light blue ice head with two pointy black horns, large blue eyes, and an angry expression. I almost feel bad for the Glalie.

“H-h-hey! Weren’t you going easy on me?” asked my opponent nervously. I wanted to do this later, but I think now would be a good time to break this pansy.

“I said ‘ok’. That means you have to show me I’m no match for you.” I said spitefully. “That just means I’m kind enough to give you the first move.” I mocked. Cal glared angrily at me across the field.

“Big mistake! Ice Fang Glalie!” commanded my opponent. The Face Pokémon opened its large mouth surrounding its many teeth in ice and frost, then quickly, for a lack of a better word, floated at Axel. The monkey took a defensive stance with his left arm out and his right arm pulled in with both palms facing his adversary. When Glalie was close enough, Axel thrust his arms forward catching the Ice type, who was biting furiously at the Infernape.

“That Pokémon sure looks hungry doesn’t it Axel? Why not give it some Embers to chew on?” I suggested, though we both knew I was telling him to do it. Flamethrower would have just been too cruel at such a close range on an Ice-type. Axel did as instructed spitting numerous small flames into Glalie’s mouth and face. The giant head’s eyes widened as it let out a deafening shriek of agony. The Face Pokémon aborted its attack and pulled away in an effort to escape Axel’s relentless assault. Doing so only set it up for our next move.

“Now Close Combat!” I called. Without missing a beat, the Flame Pokémon was on Glalie hitting it with a barrage of punches and kicks.

“Hey give me a beak dude!” Cal complained.

“Then show me! Back up your big talk from the other room!” I demanded. “You said you were better than me. To me that means I have to let each of my Pokémon go all out so that they don’t get their asses kicked.” Cal looked completely nervous as a pansy like him should in this kind of situation.

“Glalie! Push the Infernape away with Icy Wind!” he called. Not a bad response. The Face Pokémon opened its mouth and blew a bone chilling wind around the field. I pulled my arms close to my body as I could already see my breath. Axel had his arms up to block most of the attack, but was still getting pushed back by the force of the attack. With this distraction, the floating head took the needed time to get as far away from Axel as possible.

“Distance won’t save you from us! Fire Spin Axel!” I commanded. The monkey shot a long stream of fire at the ground beneath Glalie which quickly grew into a spiraling tornado of flames around the Ice-type.

“Glalie! Protect!” Cal shouted desperately. A purple force field that looked like it was made of transparent ice quickly surrounded Glalie. It was all he could do to help his Pokémon in this case, but I was still smarter and knew a way around it.

“Feint.” was all I needed to say for Axel to run though his own Fire Spin, put his right fist in his left hand, and use the force of both arms to smash through Glalie’s Protect and elbow the floating head between the eyes knocking it out.

Well that was a good warm-up.” commented the Flame Pokémon cracking his knuckles and neck. I should have known; he was just getting started against this weakling.

“Glalie is unable to battle! Who will be the next Pokémon?” asked the Ref to build suspense for the spectators.

“You won’t beat my next Pokémon so easily!” declared Cal sending out another giant floating purple head, or should I say heads, both adorned with a skull and cross bones with toxic fumes emitting from the pores on its body. I’ll believe Axel not beating this Weezing when I see it.

“Let’s keep our game going Axel! Torment!” I called. Axel got a mischievous smirk on his face and started rubbing his palms together in excitement. He did some fancy acrobatics until he was right in front of Weezing, then he jumped on the Poison Gas Pokémon’s “back” and started banging on its heads like a pair of bongos while chanting “We are tormenting you!” The monkey got off Weezing’s “back” and ran back to his spot on the field while laughing like a giddy schoolboy leaving behind an angry Weezing. I started cracking up despite the situation.

“You think that’s funny?” accused Cal angrily. “I’ll show you funny! Destiny Bond Weezing! Now even if you defeat me I still win!” he declared.

“No you don’t! Taunt!” I commanded before the floating purple heads could get the attack off. Axel stuck out his tongue and held up both middle fingers. Then he started shaking his fists with the fingers still up at his opponent.

We are still tormenting you!” Weezing got angrier and launched a Sludge attack instead of what its Trainer had ordered. Despite an attempt to avoid the attack, Axel was still struck by the poisonous purplish black goo. “Man! I just got cleaned last night too!” whined Axel. If that’s all the monkey is complaining about, then I guess he hasn’t been poisoned.

“Damn it! Stop limiting my moves!” protested the pansy. My my, aren’t we full of complaints tonight.

“Shoosh you and fight like a man! If you can that is.” I taunted.

Tormenting!” Axel added obnoxiously.

“Fine, have it your way. At least after all you’ve done, I can only hurt your Infernape.” Cal jeered. “Thunderbolt!” Weezing’s body began crackling with electricity before its body convulsed releasing the stored lighting attack at the Flame Pokémon.

Fuck me.” Axel said in annoyance looking up at the incoming attack. At the last second he dodge-rolled to the side only to get sent rolling faster by the energy release from the impact of the Thunderbolt.

“Hey Axel! Are you still with me?” I inquired to the Infernape who was laying on his belly. He pushed himself up and shook off the dust. “Great. I say we lay this guy out with Combo 8.” I stated.

Oh that’s a fun one!” the monkey cheered getting in position. The flame on his head intensified as he jumped in the air and began rolling toward the Poison Gas Pokémon. This was no Flame Wheel, though, it was a Flame Wheel combined with Rollout. And not just that, there was a special treat at the end.

“Weezing! Double Hit!” called Cal. The giant siamese head floated at the rolling fireball attempting to hit the spinning monkey only to get run over. “Try again with Sludge!” my opponent commanded. Unfortunately for them, Axel’s rolling speed was just too fast as he rolled right past the purple gunk for another hit. This was so pitiful it was fun! For the finally Axel spun himself into the air, then ended his flaming Rollout with his tail covered in a coat of metal which he slammed between Weezing’s two heads smashing the Poison-type to the ground and fainting it. Yes, the special treat was Iron Tail.

“Ugh… this can’t be happening.” Cal said ashamedly while lowering the rim of his hat over his eyes.

“Oh but it is!” I said widening my eyes for emphasis. I can’t believe this guy was considered one of the 128 best Trainers in the world.

“It’s one Pokémon against three now. The battle has become one sided.” the Referee announced.

“It’s all up to you Typhlosion!” Cal called unleashing a bipedal badger with tan fur on its front and dark blue fur running from the top of its head down its back to its ankles. The Pokémon had a large flame around its collar and a mouth full of vicious fangs that were most likely used for shredding meat. The Typhlosion walked up to Axel and looked down at the Infernape. The golden monkey looked up into Typhlosion’s eyes. I could tell that this bout between Fire-types was going to be a heated match. Pun intended.

“Quick Attack Typhlosion!” shouted Cal breaking the stalemate between the Fire-types. Typhlosion jumped back, then pushed forward again turning into a blur.

“Mach Punch Axel!” I commanded. The Flame Pokémon disappeared in a golden blur flying toward the Volcano Pokémon’s blur. The two Pokémon collided in a violent clash resulting in Axel’s fist in Typhlosion’s stomach and the latter’s head in Axel’s chest. The opposing forces pulled away, each holding their respective wounds.

“Use Fire Punch Typhlosion!” ordered Cal.

“Monkey see, monkey do Axel!” I called. Both adversaries charged each other with flaming fists, each punching the other in the jaw. “Blaze Kick Axel!” The monkey covered his leg in fire then kneed the badger Pokémon in the gut, then kicked it in the face when it keeled over.

“Come on Typhlosion! Use Swift!” Cal called. The Volcano Pokémon created white stars of energy in its hands and threw them like shurikens at Axel. The Infernape put up his arms in an attempt to block the unblockable with each star bursting on his arms, causing the monkey to wince after every strike.

“Just a bit more! Furry Swipes!” I shouted. Axel threw his hands back then ran at his enemy bringing them forward as he neared Typhlosion and started slashing away.

“He won’t be able to avoid you at this close range! Use Rollout!” Cal said as if he knew what he was doing. Poor misguided Cal. The badger Pokémon leaned forward rolling over the monkey like bowling ball to pins.

Ow! Son of a bitch!” yelled Axel getting up. “Brian! Give me the order to Counter now!” What point is there to tell me what to tell him?

“Counter.” I said uncaringly. Axel grinned evilly as the rolling Typhlosion came back at him. The Infernape shoved out his arms catching the Volcano Pokémon, then lifted it over his head and threw it into the nearest wall. As Typhlosion stared getting up, Axel took it upon himself to charge his opponent and Mach Punch it in the face KOing it.

“And there goes the battle!” the Ref declared. The crowd went wild with applause and whistles. I held up both my arms victoriously.

“I… I can’t believe I lost.” said Cal in shock.

“I can.” I said matter-of-factly. “It’s because you’re a smug bastard that thought he could talk someone into losing for them. Tsk tsk.”

Hey Monkey! Can I get a banana split?” asked Axel.

“For the rape fest you just unleashed, I’m getting you two with Cheri Berries on top!” I said proudly which gave Axel a big smile like a kid in a candy store. I shouldn’t take this victory lightly though; I doubt the rest will be this easy.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 11: Round 2! Fight!

Once again my match was in the evening, so I spent the day in Prof. Himee’s lab to see what I could learn. That and Himee amuses me. However, it didn’t quite go as I planned. Today was Asuna’s day off, so I had the “privilege” of being the errand boy today.

I ran back to Himee’s lab as fast as I could. He sent me to the store to pick up any Whitney Houston CD that had I Will Always Love You on it, and of course now I had half an hour left before my match. I burst through the door to the laboratory and raced up the spiral staircase.

“Here’syourCD!” I said in one breath quickly handing it off.

“Oh good! I’ve been looking for zhis song for a long time. Now could you pick me up some milk?” he asked.

“No time! Need to get to stadium!” I called jumping off the second floor balcony and barrel rolling so as not to hurt myself.

“Damn. Zhere has to be anozher vay.” I heard him contemplating before I ran through the door again where Axel had been waiting outside.

Took you long enough.” Axel said sarcastically. I paid the monkey no mind, grabbing a Pokéball from my side and sending out my Aerodactyl.

“To the stadium!” I commanded hopping on his back with Axel. To get there from the sky was a lot faster than running to the arena. I had the prehistoric Pokémon descend as we got closer so I could jump off safely and call him back as I ran to the rest area with five minutes to spare.

“Damn.” I sighed taking a seat to wait for my name to be called. At least Prof. Himee agreed to pay me for being his runner today. I’ll probably stop by after my battle to pick up my 5000 credits.

“Brian. Katelyn. You two are up.” said the official. My turn already?

Ready to kick some ass tonight?” asked Axel getting battle ready.

“I am, you’re not.” I said straightforwardly.

What!?” yelled the Infernape in shock.

“You thrashed our opponent last night. We gotta let the rest of your teammates have the spotlight once and awhile.” I explained. Axel crossed his arms and looked away grumbling with a sulking look on his face. I think I’ll just let him brood for a while, the battle is starting.

“The second to last match tonight will be between Katelyn and Brian! Please register your Pokémon!” shouted the announcer. I placed a Pokéball and two Great Balls on the registry machine and like last night, my picture and the picture of my opponent, a female with short strait black hair and tanned skin, came on the screen with three question marked silhouettes representing the Pokémon we were using came on the big screen.

“Let’s make this a fun match.” Katelyn said cheerfully with a smile. Finally, an opponent who isn’t a complete dick weed.

“I agree.” I nodded unhinging the Pokéball containing my first Pokémon as she got hers ready. The second the Referee said ‘Go!’ we unleashed our chosen Pokémon. Riolu appeared ready to once again prove himself in combat. His opponent this time was a green frog with yellow toes, small pink cheeks, and a strange curly hair sticking out of its head. The size of the Politoed’s cheeks indicated it to be female.

You’re using the infant over me? Not my fault if you lose.” Axel complained. I ignored him. We both knew that for only being six months old Riolu was one tough little Pokémon. Whether that had anything to do with being a Fighting-type or being able to sense and use aura or a combination of both, I don’t care. He does what is needed and that’s all I ask. Besides, Axel hates fighting Water-types.

“Politoed! Bounce!” called Katelyn initiating the first move. The Frog Pokémon crouched low and pushed itself high in the air with its powerful leg muscles.

“Detect Riolu.” I said calmly. Riolu closed his eyes trying to sense exactly when and where Politoed would land. I looked up watching gravity take its toll on Politoed who came falling right above Riolu. On cue, the Emanation Pokémon opened his eyes and jumped out of the way leaving Politoed to land butt first on solid ground.

“Now Force Palm Rio!” I called. Riolu spun around to face his opponent then thrusted his glowing blue right hand into her, pushing the Frog Pokémon back a few feet with a powerful burst of aura.

“Try a Body Slam Politoed!” Katelyn called. Politoed jumped forward landing belly first on top of Riolu. It was quite disturbing when the amphibian started wiggling around.

“Riolu! Counter!” I shouted. A WTF look appeared on Politoed’s face as she began rising off the ground as Riolu pushed up lifting the Frog Pokémon over his head. Then he threw Politoed and punched her for good measure followed by shaking his arms from the exertion. Politoed got back up and faced her young adversary.

“Try and counter this attack! Bubble Beam!” commanded Katelyn. The amphibian opened her mouth unleashing a flurry of transparent bubbles at Riolu.

“Hear that Rio? She challenged us. Pop the bubbles with Bullet Punch!” I called. The Emanation Pokémon began a rapid assault against the bubbles with his fists. Several got through and hit him, but Riolu managed to pop the majority of them. “Well done!” I complemented.

“That was pretty impressive.” Katelyn acknowledged. “But let’s see if you can do the same with Hydro Pump!” The Frog Pokémon opened her mouth wider than before and shot a river of water comparable to a fire hose at Riolu.

“Quick Attack!” I commanded urgently. Riolu dodged out of the way of the gushing water, disappearing into a blue blur as he circled around Politoed and attacked from behind abruptly stopping the Hydro Pump.

“I’ll admit you got me there, but can your Riolu stand up to my Politoed’s Psychic?” my foe taunted.

“Probably not.” I said humbly. “But he sure as hell can try!”

“I’ll be completely outclassed if he does. Use Psychic Politoed!” she ordered. The amphibian’s eyes began glowing blue and that same blue glow surrounded Riolu as he was lifted into the air.

“Riolu! Endure!” I called. Riolu nodded closing his eyes and crossing his arms to use every ounce of power he had in staying conscious. Politoed violently threw Riolu to the ground and released her hold on the young Pokémon. Moment of truth here. When the dust cleared, Riolu was still standing although completely worn out and covered in scrapes and bruises.

“That’s it Rio. Just hang in there a little longer.” I encouraged.

“So I’m completely outclassed. That is one tough Riolu. I’ll just have to try harder if I’m to beat it! He can’t go on much longer after that!” Katelyn mused. “Finish it with Ice Beam!” The Frog Pokémon opened her mouth again firing a blast of cold breath crystallizing all the water molecules in the air into a solid stream of ice aimed right for the Emanation Pokémon.

“Use Agility followed by Cross Chop!” I commanded. In the blink of an eye, the Ice Beam passed through an after image of Riolu as he was already half way to his target with his arms crossed in an X in front of him. The Frog Pokémon stopped her attack looking down as Riolu was now right under her thrusting his arms into her throat. The amphibian’s eyes widened to their full size as she choked and collapsed. Attacking a pressure point; how strategic.

“What did you do to Politoed!?” Katelyn panicked.

“Relax. Riolu only hit a pressure point. Your Politoed will be fine. Her neck may be sore for a while, but she’ll live.” I reassured. Katelyn looked relieved, but quickly got serious as she called back Politoed.

“At least your Riolu won’t be giving me any more trouble after this. Your turn Honchkrow!” shouted Katelyn sending out a robust looking bird covered in dusk black feathers with red feathers lining the wings and tail, a white chest, and a witch hat shaped head. The Honchkrow spread its wings wide with an intimidating caw upon emerging.

“You’re right, Riolu won’t be fighting any more, but not because you defeated him. Rio, time to exit stage left. Return.” I said holding out his Pokéball. The Emanation Pokémon materialized into a red light as he was sucked back into his protective capsule. I then got one of the Great Balls ready. “Come Vaporeon!” I summoned. A streamlined blue marine mammal with a fish tail and fin-like ears, head crest, and collar came on to the field stretching his paws forward before getting in a sitting position. My Vaporeon; I caught him early in my journey as an Eevee and evolved him as soon as I got a Water Stone. This Vaporeon also fathered my Espeon. It’s been awhile since I used him, I hope he hasn’t gotten rusty.

“Why must you have so many cute Pokémon?” asked Katelyn with that ‘OMG so kyut!’ expression I saw every day with Madison.

“Cuz I do.” I said blankly. “So are you going to attack or should I?”

“Oh, right. Honchkrow! Shadow Ball!” she commanded. The crow began gathering power from all the surrounding shadows in the arena to fuel an ever growing ball of darkness. It didn’t help matters that it was night, and even with the blinding floodlights, there were more shadows than during the day. When the Shadow Ball had reached the desired size, Honchkrow launched it at its target.

“This may be completely mean, but meh. Tear through Shadow Ball with Ice Beam!” I called. The Bubble Jet Pokémon solidified vapor in the air into a frozen beam blasting at the ghostly attack creating an explosion of darkness and ice. That was unexpected, I thought the Ice Beam would have pierced the Shadow Ball and struck Honchkrow. That attack was stronger than I anticipated. “We must be careful with this one Vaporeon.” I warned.

“Now Wing Attack!” I heard Katelyn call through the still lingering smoke from our attacks. The Big Boss Pokémon emerged from the haze smacking Vaporeon in the right flank hard with its wing. It shouldn’t have gotten so close.

“Push it away with Hydro Pump!” I yelled eagerly. I didn’t even see Vaporeon initiate the attack, all I saw was the crow getting carried to the other side of the field on a torrent of water leading back to my marine mammal. Honchkrow crashed into the wall behind its Trainer with the force of a raging river.

“Honchkrow!” Katelyn cried as the water died down causing the bird to fall into a puddle that formed beneath it. Don’t tell me it’s over already. Honchkrow slowly picked itself back up and shook the water from its ruffled feathers. That’s more like it! “So you like playing rough huh? I think I can match you. Sky Attack!” commanded my opponent. Honchkrow flew into the air as it started gathering energy causing to get an eerie white glow.

“This attack may be painful Vaporeon. I suggest we start up an Aqua Ring to heal some of the damage.” I advised. The Bubble Jet Pokémon spun in a circle spraying a Water Gun creating a halo of water around himself. Thanks to his Water Absorb Ability, simple touching the ring will heal some of his wounds.

Honchkrow had just finished charging its attack and dive bombed Vaporeon with a loud caw leaving a ghostly white stream of its energy in its wake. That was definitely freaky looking. Vaporeon braced himself as the crow came inches from his head and struck violently. The marine mammal cried out in pain from the impact, then absorbed his Aqua Ring to restore some of his energy.

“Bite ‘em Vaporeon!” I called. Vaporeon got a mouth full of feathers as he chomped down on Honchkrow’s wing. The bird cawed in annoyance.

“Oh yeah? Peck its eyes out Honchkrow!” retorted Katelyn. Vaporeon closed his eyes tightly and turned his head as the Big Boss Pokémon assaulted him with its beak. Vaporeon released his hold on Honchkrow and the latter flew back to its side of the arena. This is getting pretty entertaining!

“Vaporeon! Water Pulse!” I commanded. The Bubble Jet Pokémon did as told, spitting a shockwave of H2O at his foe.

“Cancel it with Dark Pulse!” Katelyn countered. The crow gathered more shadows, then scattered them with a loud caw. The water and darkness collided midfield causing the respective elements to disperse in all directions. While Honchkrow received no damage by getting splashed with a few harmless particles of water and shadow, Vaporeon was healed, if only a little by the water droplets landing on his skin. Axel yelped and jumped back as a few drops landed on him as well.

“Not… bad…” I said cracking my neck. “But now I’m afraid I’m going to have to defeat your magnificent Flying Pokémon if I plan on winning anytime soon. Aurora Beam!” I called. The marine mammal launched a semi-transparent blast of green, purple, red, and blue that weaved down the arena like the Aurora Borealis.

“Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m not done just yet! Dodge it with Fly!” called Katelyn. Honchkrow launched itself into the sky just barely avoiding Vaporeon’s beautiful attack.

“I but we can finish this in two moves.” I challenged, mostly to myself and Vaporeon.

“You think so?” asked Katelyn doubtfully. Honchkrow began its decent.

“Yup! Vaporeon! Sand-Attack!” I commanded. Just as the bird was near ground level, Vaporeon smacked his fish tail across the ground sending dust into Honchkrow’s eyes impairing its vision. The crow cawed as it veered off course and crashed into the ground. “That’s one, and… well forget the second, I think Honchkrow KOed itself when it crashed to the ground.” I said looking at the fainted crow.

“What… What the hell was that?” Katelyn shouted in frustration.

“Every now and then I like to test what my Pokémon can do.” I said flatly. Katelyn looked completely at a loss for words by my statement. She then shook the thought aside and put her focus back on the battle by removing her downed Honchkrow from the field and readying her last Pokémon.

“Whatever, I can still beat you.” she said confidently.

“Are you sure? Riolu was never technically defeated, so in a weird sense it’s three against one.” I pointed out. “Anyway, I hope we can continue having a fun battle.”

“Yeah me too. It’s your turn Gardevoir!” An elegant white Pokémon with a body that flowed like a dress, thin green arms that were proportionally similar to humans, and green hair growing down around the face and neck graced the arena. I really hope that that Pokémon is female. I can’t help but pity male Gardevoirs.

“Tell me, is Gardevoir’s Ability Trace or Synchronize?” I inquired.

“Wouldn’t you like to know.” Katelyn taunted. That doesn’t really tell me anything. She’s either baiting me to attack with a Water-type move that would heal Gardevoir because it Traced Water Absorb, or she’s trying to hide the fact that the Ability is Synchronize so that I won’t attack with Water-type moves for fear that it’s Trace. Clever.

“I would like to know, and the best way I can do that is with Aqua Tail!” I commanded. Vaporeon began excreting water from the pores on his tail creating a thin layer of the life giving liquid around the appendage. He then ran up to the Embrace Pokémon and spun around to smack his opponent. The Psychic winced from the attack meaning the move caused it pain meaning its Ability is Synchronize. “Thank you, I got the information I was looking for.” I thanked.

“Don’t go thanking me yet! Give them a taste of Thunder Bolt Gardevoir!” shouted Katelyn. EEP! And another EEP! The Embrace Pokémon’s body began sparking with electricity as it called upon the attack. Gardevoir tensed its muscles releasing the powerful lightning move into the air where it curved around aimed for my aquatic creature. Vaporeon jumped back just as the Thunder Bolt struck, but was sent flying by the explosion caused by the impact on the ground which sent dust and the smell of ozone into the air. The Bubble Jet Pokémon staggered weakly back to his feet.

“It’s not over yet! Vaporeon! Use Hydro Pump on yourself!” I called. Vaporeon tilted his head to the sky then spewed a great surge off water into the sky that went up about halfway to the top of the stadium before raining down back onto the field. As Vaporeon bathed in his self-created shower, his injuries disappeared from his body like they never existed. The rejuvenated Vaporeon stretched his paws forward and yawned as if waking up from a refreshing nap.

“Interesting strategy.” Katelyn complemented.

“Combat is my specialty.” I said bowing. “I live for the trill of a challenge against strong opponents like yourself Miss Katelyn. The stronger they are the more fun I have.”

“Well aren’t you sweet.” said my adversary playfully.

“You won’t be calling me sweet after this. Body Slam Vaporeon!” I called. The marine mammal charged Gardevoir preparing his physical assault.

“Defend with Psychic!” commanded Katelyn. The Embrace Pokémon’s eyes took a purple glow and soon Vaporeon had that same glow around his body as he was lifted off the ground before getting thrown through the air back to his starting point. He landed on his side and slid a few feet before stopping.

“If you’re going to take a beating like that, then I suggest you create another Aqua Ring.” I said as Vaporeon stood. “And make this on last.” I added. The Bubble Jet Pokémon created another water halo around himself to constantly feed him energy for this battle.

“Even with an Aqua Ring you won’t survive this! Use Magical Leaf!” Katelyn called. The Psychic crossed its green arms around its torso, the quickly threw them out sending a barrage of rainbow colored leaves at Vaporeon. “And to plan ahead, Future Sight!”

“Icy Wind!” I commanded. I’d rather stick to the here and now and worry about Future Sight later. Vaporeon blew cold air from his mouth creating snow particles and ice chunks in the attacks range. By the time the leaves struck the Bubble Jet Pokémon, all were frozen and had lost the majority of their velocity rendering them harmless. The Icy Wind continued until it stuck the creator of the previous attack. Katelyn looked as if she was beginning to get frustrated. So long as Vaporeon could produce water, he could continue to regenerate.

“This could take a while.” Katelyn said as if she was planning something. “Gardevoir! Use Wish!” The Psychic put its hands together and began chanting something in its own tongue. I see, with both our Pokémon healing themselves, there will be no end to our battle. Excellent! The only difference is, Vaporeon can recover instantly while it usually takes a minute for Wish to take effect.

“I’ll just have to end this in the next 57 seconds then won’t I? Vaporeon! Brine!” I commanded. The aquatic creature blasted a steady stream of salt water at Gardevoir to irritate her wounds.

“We won’t lose so easily ya know! Double Team!” my opponent gloated. Soon one Gardevoir was ten, and with only 30 seconds left, I didn’t have the time to go through all of them.

“I don’t want to win so easily! Surf’s up Vaporeon!” I retorted. An enormous tidal wave erupted from under the stadium, flowed over Vaporeon, and rushed over the Gardevoirs dissolving all the copies. When the water receded, Gardevoir was laying face down in a puddle. The Psychic stirred a bit and started weakly pushing itself back up. Damn! Only 10 seconds left!

“Quick Attack now Vaporeon!” I called with increased desperation. Vaporeon dashed at his target as fast as his legs could take him. To ensure his victory, the Bubble Jet Pokémon bit Gardevoir upon collision. All of a sudden a giant purple meteor of Psychic energy fell from the sky and crashed into Vaporeon as if it was homed in on him. Of course! How could I have forgotten the Future Sight? When the dust from the impact cleared, both Pokémon lay on the ground. My heart raced in anticipation for the result of this outstanding showdown.

“Both Gardevoir and Vaporeon are unable to continue! By default, the winner is Brian for having two Pokémon remaining!” declared the Ref. I sighed in relief and smiled at the narrow win.

“If only Future Sight had hit even a second sooner. Then Wish would have taken effect and I would have still had a chance of winning.” Katelyn lamented.

“Don’t feel bad. You were a very challenging adversary, worthy of being called one of the strongest 128 people in the world.” I complemented wiping sweat from my brow. “If Vaporeon didn’t have Water Absorb, he would never have lasted as long, even with Aqua Ring. I would have been forced to use my Donphan had he lost, and who knows how that would have gone.”

“Thanks Brian.” said Katelyn happily. “You are a great Trainer, and I’ll be sure to train hard so that next time I can kick your ass.”

I’m glad I didn’t get in the middle of that. Every one of her Pokémon would have destroyed me.” Axel said shamefully as we left the stadium.

“See. I told you, you have to let your partners fight every once and awhile.” I said.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 12: Third Round Tough Guys

“Himee! You in there?” I asked knocking on the only wooden door in the lab found on the third floor. This was Prof. Himee’s loft.

“Vhat? Vhat is it? Who’s zhere? I’m busy! Go avay!” he shouted from the other side of the door.

“It’s Brian. I got your milk.” I called back lifting the bag. No sooner had the words left my mouth I heard movement as the old man scrambled to the door. I was completely shocked to hear a deadbolt as Himee unlocked the door and opened it to greet me.

“Ah fresh calcium!” the professor cheered grabbing the bag from my hand. “Vould you like to join me for some Fruit Loops tomorrow for breakfast?” he offered.

“I’ll join you for breakfast, but I’m bringing the Lucky Charms I have stashed in my hotel room.” I replied. Prof. Himee’s face lit up with excitement.

“I love Lucky Charms! Zhey’re Magically Delicious you know!” he said gleefully.

“I know! I always eat the cereal first so that I have a bowl full of marshmallows at the end.” I agreed.

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios!” shouted Axel holding up his hand. I high fived the monkey with a big grin. Hell yeah for a conversation on cereal.

After a delightful breakfast with Himee the next morning, I left for the stadium. Rounds three and four were today so if all went well I’d have two matches and be moving on to the quarter finals tomorrow. If things don’t go well… well, I won’t bother with what ifs.

“We started with 128. In just three short days this number has dropped to 32. Which of these skilled Trainers will make it to the final eight? Find out today!” shouted the announcer into a microphone to pump up the audience.

“Anyone who’s been following this tournament would already know that much, genius.” I mocked silently. What made things worse was that I was last match of this round and the next.

Wanna play some poker to buy time?” asked Axel already searching my backpack for my deck.

“You are so going down Monkey boy.” I answered confidently.

I was getting strange looks from the people around me. I don’t know if it was because all six of my Pokémon were out playing poker with me, or because I was losing.

I looked up from yet another sucky hand, consisting of the 2 of clubs, 5 of clubs, 4 of diamonds, king of hearts, and 7 of spades. I looked up at the match list on the screen and grinned in sweet delight.

“Game over. We’re up next.” I said throwing down my cards.

You’re just a sore loser.” taunted the Infernape with a cocky look.

“If you want to fight next round you’ll be a good monkey.” I reminded. Axel froze for a few seconds slowly turning his head to me.

Well what are you waiting for? Put the deck away!” he demanded taking the cards from the other Pokémon and throwing them at me. I picked up the five usable Pokéballs to return their respective Pokémon before gathering the cards and putting them in the box.

“Brian. Goliath. You’re up next.” said the official sent to get me and my opponent just as I threw the deck in my backpack. Goliath?

“Hey there little man!” said a giant beast of a man with huge rock solid muscles staring down at me with hard black eyes. I’m a pretty tall guy standing at six feet even, however this behemoth had to be seven or eight feet given that I actually had to look up at him, and he was at least as wide as a tree. Oh how I wished my name was David right now. “Let’s make it interesting.” he said.

“Uhhh sure…” I said nervously. When I win I’m going to have to run like hell, Goliath could break me like a twig. As before, the official led us to the field, the spectators cheered, we registered our Pokémon, and then awaited the referee to say the word.

“Begin!” the Ref declared. On his word the two of us launched our Pokémon. From my Great Ball came the snow covered conifer shape of my Snover. On Goliath’s end a short brown man with broad shoulder pads wearing a purple skirt with matching shoes and red boxing gloves appeared.

“Hold on!” I shouted calling back my Snover.

“An abrupt Pokémon change! That one must not have been the right choice.” announced the referee. Of course it wasn’t, I had someone better suited to fight Hitmonchan.

“Let’s try this again with Hitmonlee!” I called summoning the solid brown creature with concave black eyes with white irises, long but underdeveloped arms, and huge feet that could break through anything attached to spring loaded legs that could stretch for several feet.

“So that’s what you were doing. I gotta say Little Man, you sure are making this exciting.” Goliath remarked. “But let’s see you keep it up. Hitmonchan! Comet Punch!” The Punching Demon jumped at Hitmonlee with one arm extended and the other one bent for a quick strike.

“Defense!” I commanded. Hitmonlee put his arms up with his palms facing out to block the rapid punches Hitmonchan was about to dish out. The latter Pokémon began to fire off multiple punches in quick succession, each of which my fighter blocked with his palms no matter where they were aimed.

“Now Double Kick Hitmonlee!” I called. This time it was Hitmonchan who took a defensive pose as the Kicking Fiend launched two bone crushing kicks from each of his powerful legs, the force of the blows pushing Hitmonchan back a bit. “Meditate now.” I said. The Kicking Pokémon closed his eyes and put his hands together in a cup shape.

“Get ‘em with Fire Punch!” yelled Goliath. The Punching Pokémon’s right fist ignited into a bright orange flame as he charged at my seemingly vulnerable Hitmonlee.

“Hitmonlee! Blaze Kick!” I shouted. Hitmonlee quickly opened his eyes, then threw his left foot forward about three feet at such a speed that it too ignited into an orange flame. Hitmonchan thrust his fist forward to meet his rival’s foot. The two fiery appendages met center field creating a spectacular inferno as the fires mixed into one.

“Close Combat!” Goliath and I shouted at the exact same time. In the middle of the arena the two Fighting-types engaged in a fierce show of strength by blocking and dodging their opponent’s attacks while simultaneously countering with their own. To put it simply, Hitmonlee looked as if he were floating because of how fast his legs were going, and Hitmonchan looked like he didn’t have arms. At the same time, both Pokémon’s upper bodies were moving back and forth in an attempt to avoid the other’s hits.

“This battle has been intense since the word go!” the Referee cried. I couldn’t have put it better myself. These Fighting Pokémon were insane!

“Rolling Kick!” I commanded to break the stalemate. The Kicking Fiend planted his left foot, then pivoted on it smashing his right foot into the Punching Pokémon’s side.

“Use Ice Punch Hitmonchan!” Goliath called. The Punching Demon pulled back his left arm and began forming a thin layer of ice around the red glove. He then drove his fist into Hitmonlee’s abdomen. The Kicking Pokémon staggered back with his hand over his injury but was luckily not frozen.

“Hitmonlee! Jump Kick!” I called. The fighter jumped forward in the air with one of his long legs extended to hit his adversary.

“Detect his movement Hitmonchan!” shouted Goliath. Hitmonchan took a defensive stance and began bouncing on the balls of his feet ready to move aside when Hitmonlee got close so that he’d crash into a wall. Too bad it won’t work.

“Feint!” I yelled. Just as the Kicking Pokémon was about to land his Jump Kick, Hitmonchan jumped out of the way as predicted. Hitmonlee then threw his leg to the ground causing him to slide and leave a gash in the surface. Then he spun on his heel using his momentum to catch the Punching Demon in the back with his opposite heel.

“Counter!” commanded Goliath. Hitmonchan quickly recovered and punched Hitmonlee in what would be his face.

“Revenge!” I called. The Kicking Fiend slammed his knee into his rival’s stomach.

“Also use Revenge!” Goliath countered. The Punching Pokémon delivered a devastating right hook to the side of Hitmonlee’s head sending him flying. The kicker slid down the arena back to his starting point. Hitmonlee stood up and wiped his face like nothing had happened before getting back into his fighting stance.

“That’s what I’m talking about! Focus Energy Hitmonlee!” I shouted. Hitmonlee crouched putting his head between his fists and began summoning all of his inner strength.

“While he’s doing that use Focus Punch Hitmonchan!” Goliath called. Hitmonchan took the same stance as his opponent enveloping his gloved fists in bright white energy.

“This is our chance! Hit him with Super Power!” I yelled. The Kicking Fiend’s body turned red, heating up to the point where steam was coming off of him, then he stretched his leg to its maximum length.

“Hitmonchan! Dodge with Agility!” shouted the giant. Hitmonlee swung his leg down guillotine style, only for it to pass through an after image of the Punching Demon leaving a large crater in the ground. Hitmonchan reappeared next to Hitmonlee’s leg as the Kicking Pokémon retracted it back to its normal length. The Punching Pokémon was unable to move having had his move interrupted. He’s a sitting duck!

“Hitmonlee! High Jump Kick!” I commanded. The Fighting-type jumped higher in the air this time then he did before and flew at his opponent, landing his hit to Hitmonchan’s jaw sending the Punching Pokémon flying into a wall. Hitmonchan picked himself up and wiped some blood from his lip with the back of his glove.

“Hitmonchan! Sky Uppercut!” Goliath called. The Punching Demon ran at Hitmonlee, only to stop in front of him and duck. Hitmonchan then threw his fist into the air as he jumped bringing Hitmonlee with him. The Kicking Pokémon flew backwards and landed on his back as his attacker landed neatly on his feet. “Now finish him with Mega Punch!” shouted Goliath triumphantly.

“Hitmonlee! Counter with Mega Kick!” I shouted. Hitmonlee jumped off the ground and sent a glowing white foot at Hitmonchan while the other Fighting Pokémon lobbed a glowing white fist at his rival. The two attacks clashed in a bright light that made the crowd awe. When the light returned to normal Hitmonlee had a fist in his face and Hitmonchan had a foot in his face. Both Hitmons were struggling under the force of the other’s blow but both were too proud to admit defeat and break away from their dead lock. It was up to the Trainers to decide this spectacular match.

“Reversal Hitmonlee!” I called. Hitmonlee grabbed Hitmonchan’s arm and flipped the Punching Demon onto his back knocking him out. Hitmonlee looked down at his fallen foe with respect. I sighed in relief as the epic battle closed. But it wasn’t over yet, that was only Goliath’s first Pokémon.

“Exciting first round Little Man.” Goliath said jovially. “But let’s see how you handle my Swampert!” Goliath through down an Ultra Ball releasing a large blue Pokémon with pointed orange cheeks, dark blue fins above each eye and one running down its back like a tail, and two massive arms. Unlike Swampert who was completely fresh, Hitmonlee could barely stand and was covered in numerous cut, scrapes, and bruises including a black eye. It would be completely irresponsible to leave him out.

“Hitmonlee return. You’re back up Snover!” I said rotating my Pokémon. My Frost Tree Pokémon seemed delighted to be back out. The clear afternoon sky suddenly became heavily overcast as snow and hail began to fall from the sky. A very odd phenomenon for the beginning of July that I doubt the people in the audience were dressed appropriately for. I felt the cold air, but I didn’t have it so bad standing next to a Fire-type.

“Swampert! Take Down!” Goliath called. The Mud Fish Pokémon firmly planted its powerful arms on the ground and pushed off, flying at Snover like a torpedo. The collision knocked both Pokémon to the ground. Swampert was the first to get back up followed a second later by Snover.

“While it’s in close, use Wood Hammer!” I called. The Frost Tree Pokémon swung his arm wildly into Swampert’s exposed torso. The amphibious Pokémon’s eyes widened in pain at the highly super-effective hit. It was further abused by a falling chunk of hail.

“Swampert! Get some distance and use Muddy Water!” commanded my behemoth opponent. Swampert did as instructed by putting a good many feet between itself and my conifer, then summoned a huge sediment filled tidal wave which over swept the field pushing Snover back by its force. As the water receded, it created a thin layer of ice on the ground thanks to the freezing temperatures that surrounded the arena.

“Snover! Restore your energy with Ingrain!” I yelled. Snover firmly planted his root like feet on the ground. The duel-type’s feet then burst open releasing even smaller roots strong enough to penetrate the frozen ground and gather the nutrients in the soil below at the cost of not being able to move.

“I’d like to see that strategy of yers work when there isn’t any solid ground to stand on! Use Earthquake Swampert!” shouted Goliath proudly. Swampert rose up on its hind legs then slammed its powerful fists to the ground sending earth shattering tremors down the field. The stadium floor exploded as the shock waves passed under it in all directions turning a formally flat surface into a terrain of jagged rocks jutting out of the surface. The Frost Tree Pokémon looked like an evergreen planted on the side of a cliff with some of his roots on the edge with the rest hanging out to the side completely exposed. At least Swampert was repaid with another chunk of hail.

“Icy Wind Snover!” I called. The snow covered tree pushed his arms forward and began directing all the falling ice and snow at the Mud Fish Pokémon in one cold wintery wind.

“Bide through it Swampert!” Goliath commanded. The amphibious Pokémon crossed its arms and began absorbing the attack. That is not something I’m going to let them get away with.

“I would rather not do this, but hey, victory is victory. Snover! Grass Whistle!” I shouted. Snover put his hands to where I guess his mouth would be and started blowing between his fingers creating a soothing melody. To keep myself and Axel awake, I punched him and had the monkey punch me back. I could see Swampert’s eyes flickering as the Mud Fish Pokémon swayed from side to side before finally collapsing into slumber. “Now use Ice Shard!” I called. Snover punched an incoming chunk of hail causing it to shatter and send the remnants at his sleeping foe.

“Nice try, but it won’t work! Swampert knows Sleep Talk!” boasted Goliath. In its sleeping state Swampert glowed red and unleashed his pent up energy in a single punch dealing heavy damage to Snover. The Frost Tree Pokémon was panting in quick raspy breaths.

“Just hang in there a little longer Snover. You can still win.” I encouraged. “Use Razor Leaf!” Several blade like leaves fell from Snover’s “hat” and flew at Swampert like heat seeking missiles, each leaf slicing at the amphibious Pokémon’s cold skin. Ouch.

Without needing a command from Goliath, the Mud Fish Pokémon activated its own Sleep Talk using Aqua Tail. Swampert subconsciously charged at Snover, smacking the conifer like Pokémon with its tail covered in a thin layer of water. Another clump of hail woke Swampert from its nap.

“This is getting ridiculous now. Finish the job with Giga Drain!” I commanded. Snover threw his arms forward sending out two green vines of energy from each hand which latched on to Swampert and began transferring its strength to the Frost Tree Pokémon. Swampert lifted its arm to block the attack but it ultimately failed and collapsed. By this point Snover’s breathing sounded like he was hyperventilating.

“Hey Snover. Are you ok?” I asked anxiously. As soon as I finished the sentence, Snover cried out and began rapidly growing to more than double his height and began to warp into a new shape. The creature that stood before me now was a tall thick white monster with green feet and hands, green spike running down his back to his tail, pointed eyebrows above pink eyes, and shingles hanging over his mouth, chest, and back.

“Amazing! Brian’s Snover just evolved into an Abomasnow! You saw it here folks! The first ever evolution in White City Stadium!” the Referee cheered. The spectators were going nuts with applause and whistles. I made sort of a cocky look. After all, it was my Pokémon that evolved.

“Congrats Little Man.” Goliath congratulated. “But don’t think you’ve won yet! Finish this guy off Ursaring!” From a white Premiere Ball with a red stripe on it, came a hulking brown grizzly bear with a lighter brown circle on its chest and was armed with long sharp claws. The giant bear roared upon entry showing off its powerful flesh ripping teeth while lifting its massive arms to the sky. A smaller chunk of hail struck one of Ursaring’s paws casing the Hibernator Pokémon to stare daggers at the sky.

“I agree Ursaring. Get rid of this annoying weather with Sunny Day!” commanded Goliath. Ursaring created a white ball of energy in its paw then threw it to the sky where it intensified the sunlight hidden behind the hail storm. Immediately the cold precipitation ended with the scattering of the clouds allowing bright sunlight to penetrate through. After the clouds we had had the past ten minutes, the sun was kind of blinding forcing me to squint and put my arm to my eyes.

“How are you doing Abomasnow?” I inquired. I got a positive reply from my Pokémon. “Good. Let’s try out your new Ice Punch!” I called after looking up possible changes to his move list in my Pokédex. The Frost Tree Pokémon gathered water vapor from his surroundings to his fist turning it into a ball of ice. Abomasnow then stampeded over the shattered ground toward Ursaring and punched it in the center of the circle on its torso. The Hibernation Pokémon did not look impressed.

“Teach Abomasnow a lesson with Fire Punch!” my giant foe ordered. One of Ursaring’s mighty paws ignited into an elegant red-orange flame which was then smashed into Abomasnow’s face with the power of a falling tree. The abominable snowman cried in agony putting his hands to his burned face.

“Use Bullet Seed Abomasnow!” I yelled. The Frost Tree Pokémon produced numerous brown walnut shaped seeds and began throwing them at Ursaring as if they were grenades.

“Ursaring! Furry Swipes!” shouted Goliath. The Hibernator Pokémon slashed through all the seeds thrown at it with its powerful claws. “Abomasnow shouldn’t have much left. Finish it with Rock Smash!” The great bear looked around the destroyed field for a second or two until deciding to pick up the largest of the loose fragments of the arena. Ursaring then smashed the boulder sized segment over the Frost Tree Pokémon’s head rendering him unconscious. Or concussed, but I have to call him back anyway so I’ll worry about technicalities later.

“The show is all yours Donphan!” I called summoning a grey elephant with black armor running from his rear to the tip of his trunk and ears and two long tusks coming from its mouth. Donphan lifted his trunk to the air trumpeting loudly letting all who heard him know he would win. He is a bit off a show off. “Avenge the fallen Donphan! Magnitude!” The Armor Pokémon stomped the ground with such force that it began shaking again leaving more damage in its wake. On the scale of one to ten, I’d give this one a seven, however it was strong enough to make Ursaring lose its balance and fall on its ass. I started giggling silently to myself. That made my day.

“Hit it with Metal Claw Ursaring!” commanded Goliath. The grizzly got up with a not so happy look on its face. Its pearl white claws turned a metallic silver as it roared and tore down the field.

“Defense Curl!” I shouted quickly. Donphan curled up into a ball just as Ursaring swiped its hardened claws across the elephant’s thick hide, not even leaving a scratch. “Now use Rollout Donphan!” While still balled up, the Armor Pokémon pulled back then barreled forward once again knocking the bear off its feet. Donphan rolled down the arena, then turned around hitting Ursaring once again before busting through a jutting boulder.

“Catch it with Seismic Toss!” Goliath yelled. As Donphan came back around for his third strike, the Hibernator Pokémon held out its palms preparing to catch him. Donphan plowed into his adversary, pushing the bear back a few feet before the two finally came to a stop. Ursaring lifted the elephant off the ground and threw him down the field with the latter, still being in his Defense Curl, leaving a crater upon impact.

“Because I just love destruction, you are going to use Earthquake Donphan!” I commanded. Donphan unballed by pushing himself in the air then landing with all of his weight and strength sending violent tremors down the already ruined arena. I couldn’t help but laugh maniacally at the sweetness of it all.

You are such a lunatic of a battler. I love you.” Axel said happily.

“Thrash ‘im Ursaring!” called Goliath. The grizzly bear threw itself into a berserk frenzy and began wildly clawing at Donphan.

“Donphan! Fury Attack!” I countered. Donphan rammed his tusks into Ursaring’s torso repeatedly shaking his head from side to side to do the most damage. In its out-of-control state, the Hibernator Pokémon could do nothing more than attack madly.

“Now use Slam!” I continued. The Armor Pokémon threw his entire body into his rampaging opponent. Ursaring was now panting heavily looking as if it was beginning to wear out.

“Take a Rest now Ursaring!” said Goliath rewardingly. I watched in annoyance as my almost eminent victory took a snooze.

“Go wild Donphan! Ancient Power!” I shouted. Donphan voiced his dissatisfaction with the opposition’s actions in a loud trumpet. The sound also caused all the loose stones on the scarred ground to rise then fly at the sleeping bear.

“Use Snore Ursaring!” shouted Goliath. Oh, of course. The Hibernator Pokémon began snoring so loudly that the sound waves actually shook the field.

“Whoa that’s loud!” I yelled holding my ears.

What?” cried Axel also holding his ears. When the noise stopped, I stuck my pinkie in my ear to clear it out.

“Right then. Use Earth Power next!” I called. The Armor Pokémon dug his face into the loose ground, and with a powerful upward thrust, sent a tidal wave of dirt and sand at his adversary. Ursaring awoke with the same unimpressed look it’s had all battle. Donphan and I agreed, this creature must go down.

“Welcome back Ursaring. Have a nice nap?” asked Goliath. If there was any hint of mockery, it was for me. “Carry on with Slash!” The Hibernator Pokémon yawn-roared, then charged at Donphan. When in range, it slashed across the elephant’s vulnerable flank causing him to trumpet in pain.

“You want to get it back? Then make it feel your pain! Endeavor!” I commanded. Donphan swung his head to the side slapping the bear Pokémon with his trunk which effectively drained Ursaring off all the energy it recovered from its untimely nap.

“Get some distance Ursaring! Prepare for Giga Impact!” Goliath called. Ursaring turned and ran the opposite direction of its opponent.

“That sounds like fun! Use your Giga Impact too!” I yelled delightedly. Should the results of this next attack not go in my favor, I still have two Aces left to ensure my victory.

When the two Pokémon were in position, Donphan trumpeted in triumph while Ursaring roared victoriously even though neither had won yet. At the same instant, both Pokémon ran at each other at their full speeds, Ursaring having gotten down on all fours to attain its maximum velocity. Then came the moment everyone was holding their breath for; the collision. The impact from the two Pokémon gave off a bright light further delaying the result of the battle. My heart was pounding in anticipation. Sheesh. The way this was going, someone would think this was the finals. When the dust finally settled both Pokémon were still standing, but barely. The final blow would come when they had a chance to recover their strength.

“Come on. Come on.” I chanted tensely. I was so excited. One word and it would be all over. To my dismay, Ursaring seemed to come to first.

“I guess it’s my go. You were fun Little Man, but now it’s over. Sorry.” Goliath said unapologetically. “Ursaring! Scratch!” As the bear raised its paw for the finishing blow, Donphan caught his second wind.

“FLAIL!” I cried at the top of my lungs. The Hibernator Pokémon raked its claws down, but not in time for Donphan to throw his whole body into the grizzly knocking it to the shattered floor. When it didn’t get up after a few seconds I began laughing completely relieved that I somehow pulled this hard earned win.

“And there goes the battle! The winner is… Brian!” shouted the Ref to the cheering crowd.

“I don’t believe it! You actually beat me Little Man!” said Goliath in shock. “Guess I got a little full of myself at the end there, huh?”

“I had my moments too.” I admitted calling back Donphan. We walked up and met at the center of what was left of the field. “I hope I kept this exciting for you.”

“You were excellent!” he complemented holding out a hand the size of my head. When I accepted the hand shake I felt like a little boy holding my dad’s hand. Once I exited the arena, which probably needed some repair anyway, I looked for a stadium map so that I could find the stadium’s healing station to prepare for my next match.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 13: Eve of Destruction

Pokémon fully healed and ready to go: Check.
Lunch break: Check.
Bathroom break: Check.
Ready to kick some ass: Check, check, check, and check!

“Ladies and gentlemen! The final battle of the evening has arrived! Whoever wins this will be participating in the quarter-finals tomorrow! Will it be Brian Nosurname or Eve Illuminati? We’ll find out tonight!” rambled the Ref. That guy is way too excited about this. Then again, who am I to argue? Quarter-finals means I only have to deal with three more opponents and I get to use all six of my Pokémon.

“Hey Hotshot!” Eve called over to me flirtatiously. I have to admit; even though she wasn’t really my type, she was still pretty hot. She had long whitish blond hair, piercing green eyes, and a Lolita goth outfit consisting of the ridiculously frilly dress and the platform knee high boots.

“Yes?” I responded interestedly.

“I just wanted to warn you ahead of time not to cry when I defeat you wittle baby.” she taunted.

“Keke!” I verbally ticked in annoyance.

Haha! She owned you.” Axel mocked.

“Sh-shut up!” I stammered. No one has EVER called me a little baby and not gotten their asses kicked. Come to think of it, this is the first time I actually have been called baby.

“Begin!” the Referee shouted. Must focus!

“I’ll show you a real baby! Come Espeon!” I called summoning the daughter of my Vaporeon. Fine smooth purple fur covered the Sun Pokémon’s body with a thick patch of whiskers under her ears. The red jewel on Espeon’s forehead between her large purple eyes and her long forked tail only amplified her psychic powers. Even though Espeon is no longer a baby, she was the first Pokémon I ever hatched making her my first baby.

“Show him playtime is over Luxray!” Eve shouted sending out a lion Pokémon covered in thick black fur with blue fur on its face, hind legs, and part of its torso. Its long tail ended in a yellow star that matched its menacing gold eyes which glared at Espeon threateningly. “Oh? Let me guess, your Espeon is female right?” inquired Eve.

“Yeah, so?” I asked. It took no more than a second to realize what was going on here. Eve’s Luxray must also be female with the Rivalry Ability. “Crap.” I sighed unhappily.

“Teehee! You figured it out huh? Guess you’re not as dumb as you look.” my opponent mocked.

“Geh! *Ahem* Right then.” I said regaining my composure. If I let her get in my head, I’m done for. “Espeon! Swift!” I called. The Sun Pokémon created multiple white energy stars in the fork of her tail, followed by wiping her appendage side to side throwing the stars like homing shurikens that struck Luxray no matter where she tried to dodge to.

“Looks like you’re not as predictable as I thought you were.” Eve admit. “Charge your power Luxray!” she instructed. The Gleaming Eye Pokémon never took her sinister gaze off of Espeon as yellow and blue sparks began flying off her glowing body.

“Miss Eve, I am predictably unpredictable.” I bragged. “Allow me to demonstrate. Psybeam Espeon!” I shouted. Espeon lowered her head and fired off a rainbow colored beam at her adversary.

“Counter with Charge Beam!” commanded Eve. Luxray opened her mouth wide and began concentrating electrical power into a ball between her jaws. Then with a forceful roar, the Gleaming Eye Pokémon blasted the electricity into a long bright yellow stream that tore through Espeon’s Psybeam like a rock through wet paper and struck the Sun Pokémon head on.

“Shit! Espeon!” I yelled when she didn’t get up. I heard Eve laughing mockingly.

“Don’t tell me she’s already done after only one attack.” she ridiculed playfully. At that second Espeon rose back up after catching her second wind. I didn’t think she would have lost so easily.

“Underestimating an opponent is a careless mistake, one that could cost you a battle.” I warned. “Let me just show you how wrong you are! Use Quick Attack!” I called. A purple blur streaked down the field ramming head first into Luxray’s left flank.

“Awww how cute. The wittle baby thinks he knows phiwosophy.” Eve said as if she were talking to a small child. I think I felt an anger vein growing on my forehead as another ‘Ke!’ escaped my mouth. “Luxray! Show our toy how he’s the one underestimating us with your Bite!” she said more seriously. The lioness flipped around and chomped her maw around the Espeon’s shoulders causing the smaller Pokémon to howl in pain. “Continue with Thunder Fang!” Eve ordered sadistically. The Sun Pokémon cried out again at lighting was shot into her wound. As Luxray released her grip, her face contorted in pain. By the way the two Pokémon were shaking, I would say Thunder Fang paralyzed the Eeveelution then Synchronize took care of Luxray.

“That’s what happens when you underestimate your enemies.” I said in an I-told-you-so way. “Even better, Espeon’s attacks are all mental based meaning she can attack so long as her body isn’t in too much pain. Espeon! Psychic!” I commanded. Espeon’s purple eyes took on a glow of the same color which then surrounded her entire body. Luxray was then surrounded in the violet aura and lifted into the air before being smashed back to the ground.

“Don’t let him do this to you Luxray! Use Spark!” shouted Eve. The Gleaming Eye Pokémon’s movements were stiff and sluggish as her body began crackling with electricity while she attempted to run at Espeon. It was a pretty pathetic sight; like watching a three legged Poochyena hobbling after a bone.

“You won’t get any closer than that. Use Shadow Ball Espeon!” I yelled. The stadium’s flood lights made the arena as bright as day. It also left numerous shadows in the corners of the stands and under the competitors themselves, all of which were now being lifted up into a swirling ball of darkness in front of the Sun Pokémon. Espeon pulled her head back dragging the Shadow Ball with her then threw her head forward launching the attack at her vulnerable foe. Luxray instinctively turned her head to the side to protect her face from the incoming attack which exploded into a cloud of darkness on impact.

“Well you’re not playing very nice.” Eve pouted sadly. Bipolar much?

“You haven’t been playing nice since before the battle even started!” I defended.

“But I always play nice with my toys.” she said innocently.

“See!?” I shouted pointing at her.

“Pointing is so rude. Didn’t your mother teach you anything?” mocked Eve. This bitch is really getting on my nerves now! “If Luxray is going to have trouble moving, then she’ll just have to use Charge to unleash stronger attacks!” she said confidently. Sparks began flying off the lioness as she gathered more power for her next attack.

“If she wants to buy time, then so will we! Future Sight!” I called. Espeon’s eyes took on their purple glow again as she called upon mystic forces to summon an attack from the future. Seriously though, how the hell does that work?

“You silly boy, you should know better. Take your advantages while you can! Use Discharge Luxray!” commanded Eve. Luxray roared threateningly as blue lightning began shooting off her body. Then it was almost as if the Pokémon exploded with bright blue bolts flying indiscriminately in every direction.

“Protect!” I shouted urgently. A violet bubble was emitted from the crimson gem on Espeon’s forehead until her whole body was enveloped. Just in time too as a random bolt of lightning struck at the Eeveelution’s location.

I hate attacks like this!” cried Axel dodging a stray bolt. When the assault ended, Espeon dropped her barrier. She received a furious glare from Luxray for not taking any damage.

“Did you know Espeon evolve from Eevee by being completely happy with their Trainer?” I asked rhetorically. “Well I decided to put that bond to good use. Espeon, show everyone how much you love me with Return!” I said very cutesy like.

You scare me sometimes.” commented the golden monkey by my side. Meanwhile, the Sun Pokémon had lifted her limp body into the air with her psychic powers and thrown herself into Luxray. I giggled triumphantly when Luxray didn’t get back up.

“Oh how mature.” Eve said sarcastically. “You’re such a child.”

“I was just trying to communicate with you in the only language you seem to understand.” I said playfully.

“Goo goo gaa gaa?” were the next sounds to come out of Eve’s mouth.

“What?” I questioned.

“Sorry, I was just trying to communicate with you in the only language you seem to understand.” teased Eve. Now who’s being mature? “Try not to wet yourself now! You’re next Steelix!” A giant thirty-foot silver serpent with a spiked tail and a giant head carrying massive jaws materialized from its Ultra Ball. One, two fangs, it’s a boy. Every other turning metal segment on the Iron Snake’s body had two long rods poking out.

“Sorry to disappoint, but I took a bathroom break before the battle.” I replied. “Anyway, use Psybeam Espeon!” Espeon fired a rainbow colored ray from the jewel on her head at the giant snake. The psychic attack simply bounced off Steelix’s body like it was nothing. Curse steel for being the most durable type!

“*taunting laughter* Is that all your Pokémon can do? Poor baby.” Eve mocked. “Steelix! Crunch!” Steelix roared as he lunged face first to the ground and scooped up my immobile Espeon in his monstrous mouth. He then carried the Sun Pokémon at least 25ft into the air, tossed his head upward throwing Espeon higher, caught her again in his mouth, then spit her to the ground. I quickly readied Espeon’s Pokéball and returned her as she fell.

“You God damn sociopath, what the hell was that!?” I asked furiously. “You could have killed her!”

“It’s not my fault Steelix likes to play rough.” Eve said flatly like she was blameless. “Besides, this is the big leagues. If it’s too much for you, go home and suck your thumb.” I began growling angrily deep within my throat.

Let me handle this.” Axel offered stepping forward. I threw my arm out in front of him.

“Not yet. We don’t know what her third Pokémon is. I might need you for that on.” I pulled a Pokéball from my side. “Let your student handle this one.” I held out the sphere releasing Riolu into the battle. The young Emanation Pokémon got a nervous look on his face after seeing Steelix, a Pokémon that’s head was bigger than he was. “You’ll be fine Rio!” I encouraged. Sensing my determination, he shook away his doubts and got ready to battle.

“Awww how cute! Another wittle baby for me to pway with!” cheered my opponent.

“And how old are you to think me so young?” I inquired.

“You never ask a woman her age or her weight!” she said offendedly. “But if you want to know my measurements…” she blushed putting her thumb to her lip.

“What? No! Have some decency woman!” I denied. “Riolu! Force Palm!” I commanded. Riolu concentrated his aura into his hand then thrust his blue-glowing palm into one of Steelix’s pointed segments sending a burst of energy through the Iron Snake’s body. Steelix roared in irritation.

“Phooey. Must be gay.” said Eve disappointedly. “Why else would you not want this?” she taunted slowly rubbing her hands up and down her body. I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to hit a female this badly in my life. “Bind up that Riolu!” she commanded in my distracted state. Riolu was quickly surrounded by a thick metal tail and lifted into the air. Steelix held the Emanation Pokémon at eye level just for the sadistic pleasure of watching him squirm. Riolu let out a weak yelp as the snake tightened his grip on him.

“Use Rock Smash on him Rio!” I yelled. As Riolu struggled to get free a purple meteor fell from the sky smashing into Steelix’s head. That would be Espeon’s revenge. That was just the distraction Riolu needed to free his arms and slam his elbows into the serpent’s tail with all of his strength. Steelix subsequently released his captive, letting Riolu fall back to the ground where he landed on his feet.

“Steelix! Drag Riolu underground with Dig!” called Eve. The Iron Snake dove at Riolu head first with an open mouth. Riolu naturally knew to avoid the attack and jumped back as Steelix penetrated the arena floor sending a mountain of dirt and debris up around him as the giant serpent went who knows how deep.

“He’ll be back up soon Riolu. Detect where he’ll be.” I advised. The young fighter nodded and closed his red eyes so he could concentrate on locking on to his foe’s aura. The second his eyes shot open he quickly turned to his left and jumped backward just as the monstrous Steelix burst back to the surface with his massive maw wide open. Riolu put his arms over his head to block the rain of earth that fell from the sky in the Iron Snake’s wake.

“Why do you bother delaying the inevitable?” questioned Eve sarcastically. “You will lose, plain and simple.”

“Because by delaying your victory, I can still pull off the win.” I retorted. “Observe! Low Kick Riolu!” I shouted. Riolu ran at Steelix, followed by throwing his foot out in front of himself so that he dropped to the ground sliding into the giant serpent foot first. Riolu kicked Steelix in the segment the Iron Snake Pokémon had been using as his center of balance causing the metal monster to collapse. A tremor was created as his body came crashing down.

“Hm. Predictable response. Trying to deny fate when you learn it isn’t in your favor. I thought you said you were predictably unpredictable, not predictably childish.” Eve said disappointedly. “Steelix! Use Dragon Breath!” she commanded. After lifting himself off the ground, the Steel-type blasted an intense blue flame from his huge mouth at Riolu. The Emanation Pokémon ran to avoid the attack, but the Steelix lived up to his cruel nature by actually turning his head and adjusting how much of his body was up so that he could follow Riolu around the field with his blast until finally striking the young Pokémon.

“Riolu!” I shouted. Riolu weakly got up, rubbed his paws together, and got combat ready again. “I’m glad you’re ok Rio.” I said relieved. “Now, use Reversal!” I commanded. The young Emanation Pokémon ran around Steelix twice to confuse him before stopping behind the serpent. Riolu grabbed the Iron Snake Pokémon’s tail and pulled it causing the Steel-type to fall on his face again.

“Damn. I wasn’t expecting this. Your Riolu is stronger than I gave him credit for.” Eve admit irritably.

“What did I tell you about underestimating your opponents? Even a youngling like Riolu has untapped potential.” I reminded cockily.

“Why do you have to be that way cutie? I just wanted to have some fun, but I’m done playing now. Show no mercy Steelix! Use Stone Edge!” called Eve getting a bit more serious. Steelix slammed his body to the ground causing four huge spears of rock to shoot up around Riolu. “Now Crunch!” she ordered before I could even think of a counter measure. The monstrous snake dived at the trapped Riolu with his jaws opened wide.

“Defense!” was all I could yell before Steelix shattered through his own rock formation picking up Riolu in his giant head and taking him 25ft up like he did with Espeon. I could see the Emanation Pokémon holding the metal serpent’s mouth open with his hands on the roof of the mouth between two white square teeth and his feet on the jaw in front of another square tooth. Unfortunately, I could tell Rio was losing the struggle as his limbs began shaking and Steelix’s mouth got that much closer to closing shut.

“Push out!” I shouted. Riolu did as told managing to escape the serpent’s mouth as it clamped shut sending a metallic ring throughout the stadium. As Riolu fell, I could see him maneuvering in free fall so that he would land safely with minimal damage.

“Finish him with Iron Tail!” I heard Eve shout victoriously. She wouldn’t dare! Steelix got a sadistic grin as he lifted his pointed tail, now shimmering in the floodlight with a fresh coat of metal. Riolu yelped as the sharp tail was smashed into his already falling body making his plummet that much faster. I pulled out Riolu’s Pokéball and quickly summoned him back before impact. I stared at the ball for a while to confirm that Riolu had been fainted by that attack.

“This is all a game for you isn’t it?” I asked venomously.

“Pretty much. You’re just my toy. But don’t worry, I’m not going to break you because then you won’t be as fun to play with.” Eve responded carelessly.

“Axel.” I said darkly. “Combo One.”

As you wish. For Riolu!” cried Axel surrounding his right fist in fire. In a single leap he became a gold blur landing his fiery Mach Punch to Steelix’s jaw. The Infernape finished his combo with a flurry of close range Embers to the Steel-type’s face. The Iron Snake Pokémon let out a cry of defeat as he was finally brought down with Axel landing gracefully on his fallen foe’s head.

“Axel huh? He’s the only one of your Pokémon to have a name isn’t he? I’m guessing that he’s your first and undoubtedly strongest. You two probably share an unbreakable bond forged over hard training and good times.” analyzed Eve.

“Quit your rambling and send out your last Pokémon!” I ordered. The way she said all that was beginning to put me on edge.

“With pleasure! Allow me to introduce my Axel, although her color isn’t nearly as unique, Diva!” Eve threw down a Dusk Ball which released an ominous shadow upon opening. The shadow materialized itself into a small black doll with three horns, long black ‘hair’, evil glowing red eyes with vertical pupils, a yellow zipper for a mouth, and a star shaped yellow tail. The Banette gave an otherworldly cry upon emerging. It may just be me, but it feels like it just got a few degrees colder in here.

“Diva! Take care of wittle Axel with your Attract!” Eve called. Diva stared at Axel amorously, even going so far as to put her hands together under her chin and wink.

Good luck with that. I’ve got eyes only for other Infernape.” Axel snickered proudly. Eve looked completely confused.

“Your Infernape’s gay too?” she asked in disbelief.

“No, and neither am I. We both just happen to be asexual.” I corrected.

“Boooooooriiiiiiiiing!” Eve chastised shaking her hand at us.

“It keeps us from getting seduced by our female opponents so it works.” I replied. “But enough talk! Ghost-types have very dangerous move sets so I think a little precaution is in order. Don’t you agree Axel?” I didn’t need to say anymore. Axel kissed his palm, turned around, and began smacking his monkey ass. He got down on all fours and began shaking it in the Banette’s general direction. Being a Pokémon that likes to hold grudges, Diva was powerless to resist.

“Diva, teach that vile little monkey a lesson! Spite! Wait, no. Curse! Dammit!” complained my opponent.

“Having trouble?” I taunted.

“Shut up! Diva! Shadow Sneak!” Eve commanded. Diva dived into the nearest shadow completely disappearing from view. The Marionette Pokémon reappeared jumping out of Axel’s shadow before shoving her arm through the monkey’s back and out his chest. Axel and I both screamed in horror before realizing that it was just an optical illusion as Diva was incorporeal.

“*Hysterical laughter* Oh you are just too much! I wish you both could have seen the looks on your faces! Priceless!” cheered Eve still laughing.

“While you have Diva close like this, use Flamethrower!” I yelled.

“Sucker Punch!” Eve countered quickly. The Banette punched Axel in the face before he had a chance to breath.

Bitch!” he shouted spitting fire from his mouth that turned into a raging fireball at the close range the two Pokémon were in. When the flames subsided, Diva had a swirling black mass of dark energy between her hands and looked like she was ready to use it.

“Alright, fine Diva. You can use Dark Pulse.” Eve said giving in to her Pokémon’s already irreversible demand. The zippered mouth curled up into an evil grin. Axel’s eyes widened as the Marionette Pokémon thrust her arms forward unleashing a burst of pure darkness. The Infernape was thrown down the field by the force of the blow until the shadows dissipated.

“Get up Axel! It’s Fire Spin time!” I called. The Flame Pokémon jumped up then fired a long spiraling tongue of flame that quickly surrounded Diva on impact. She shouldn’t be too much trouble in there.

“Ooooo! Pretty fire!” Eve admired. “Unfortunatewy your wittle baby mind couldn’t compwehend that a weak wittle attack wike that would be usewess against Diva.” That baby talk is really getting old! “Show them your Hidden Power Diva!” she called being serious again. Dirt and sand exploded from the field completely putting out the Fire Spin and leaving a circle of freshly upturned soil around the Banette. Then the sand began to rise and form ten orbs of earth.

“Use your Hidden Power too Axel!” I commanded. Axel’s blue eyes took on a paler blue color as he held his arms out in front of himself with pale blue spheres in each hand. The monkey then turned both arms in a clockwise direction reproducing the orbs until there were twelve and his arms were opposite from where they started. As soon as the orbs became ice balls, Axel quickly uncrossed his arms sending his Ice-type HP at Diva’s Ground-type HP. The two attacks collided midair and cancelled each other out in a beautiful shattering of the ice and earth spheres. However, Axel had two more than Diva which were heading right for the ghost.

“Diva! Throw those back with Psychic!” shouted Eve. The Banette surrounded herself in an ominous purple aura while holding out her hands stopping the ice balls dead in their tracks. With a flick of her wrists, Diva sent the remnants of Axel’s Hidden Power right back at him.

“Axel! Flare Blitz!” I yelled. The monkey’s flaming mane went wild as he got down on all fours and charged at Diva melting the two ice orbs in the process. The flaming torpedo that was Axel sped down the arena bashing into the Marionette Pokémon’s stomach head first.

For a ghost, that kinda hurt.” complained the Infernape rubbing his head.

“Awww. Did monkey get a boo boo?” mocked Eve. “They say you get better when you sleep so why not take a nap? Diva! Show them why this next move is called Faint Attack!” commanded Eve laughing at her own joke. Diva disappeared in yet another shadow, then coming out in Axel’s blind spot, kicked the Flame Pokémon across the field.

Damn you!” cried the monkey rising in his Blaze state. His body was surrounded in a golden aura coming to a tip around his flaming mane which was like a raging inferno.

“Axel!” I shouted authoritatively. “Calm down! Eve has been messing with us all battle, but Don’t let her get in your head. We have to ignore her mindless taunts if we’re going to win. Relax with Calm Mind.” I said.

Right. Thanks.” Axel thanked. He sat down cross legged, crossed his arms in front of himself, and closed his eyes. His twitching face slowly began to relax as his labored breathing became more controlled.

“Wow. You used so many big words. I’m very impressed.” Eve congratulated sarcastically. I didn’t even bother to dignify that with a response. I can play mind games too. “Nothing? You are unpredictable.” she said in amazement. “Diva! Try and get a response with Night Shade!” The Banette’s presence quickly got stronger as if it was taking up the entire arena. Two giant Banette hands emerged suddenly from the ground under Axel and wrapped around the Flame Pokémon’s neck.

*cough* Can’t *ahk* brea-” Axel choked.

“Wench!” I yelled.

“What, so now we’re reduced to name calling? How very mature.” Eve said in a disappointed sarcastic tone.

“You damn succubus, you let him go right now or I’m coming over there!” I threatened. Eve looked at me seriously.

“Let Axel go Diva.” she said boredly. I gave a slightly relieved smile. At least she wasn’t obnoxious about it. Axel was coughing and panting.

Wh-what ever happened to calm?” he asked ironically.

“Not when you’re life is in danger.” I answered. “Now, use Flame Wheel!” I commanded. The Infernape curled into a ball and began rolling at Diva at such speed that his mane looked like one continuous loop. The Marionette Pokémon quickly recovered from the attack. Not a good sign.

“Hit him with Shadow Ball now!” shouted Eve back in her peppy voice. Diva gathered the darkness and shadows around us creating a black sphere with the darkest shades of blue and purple swirling around its center. Diva then tossed the ball carelessly at Axel but with enough force that it sent the monkey to the ground. As Axel started getting back up, the Banette stood above him with a sinister look in her eyes.

“Now finish him with Shadow Claw Diva!” Eve said knowing the match was hers while still rubbing it in for me. Diva thrust her hand all the way through Axel’s skull. The Marionette Pokémon seemed to be getting a sadistic pleasure by the look of pure terror on Axel’s face. My whole body was shaking at the sight. All at once everything that had happened this match became clear to me. I never stood a chance from the beginning.

“Be nice Diva.” Eve scolded. Diva frowned giving a disappointed sigh as she pulled her hand from Axel’s head without using her attack. If she had used her attack, I wouldn’t have been able to say what I was about to say.

“Axel. Come here.” I said somberly.

“Have you finally given up?” questioned Eve.

“Yes.” I admit. “I realized why you played with me all this time. It wasn’t to throw me off my game. You wanted to push me to my limits.”

“That’s right. This whole time when I said I was just playing and that this was a game, I really meant it. All my Pokémon were holding back.” Eve boasted.

“Then Espeon, Riolu, and Axel could have…” I began to ask.

“Right again. I could have ended their lives at any moment. But there is no fun to be had in that. I would rather not kill if it isn’t necessary plus tournament regulations and all.” she said like it was no big deal to her.

“Will any amount of training be enough to beat you next time?” I asked.

“I cannot be defeated by anyone who doesn’t have the intent to cause real harm. You’re a good person Brian and a marvelous Trainer, you just don’t have that capacity.” she pointed out.

So does that mean…” started Axel.

“Yeah. We lost.”

Psycho Monkey speaking! Ladies an Gentlemen, may I introduced Eve Illuminati, a woman whose name cannot be spelled without Eve Il; evil. >:D

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 14: Truth Revealed

Ow! That stings!” whined Axel as I sprayed his wounds with a Super Potion.

“Stop your whining! Be glad you’re still alive.” I reminded. We were currently in the Trainer’s lounge in the stadium resting up from our last match. I had slipped Espeon and Riolu a Revive each, but they both will still need medical attention.

“Are you Brian Nosurname?” asked a man walking in the room. He had styled back brown hair with four strands hanging over his eyes which were hidden behind red tinted sunglasses. He had an uninterested look on his face like he had something better to do. The noticeable scar on his left cheek was a direct contrast from his outfit consisting of a black suit and tie with a red dress shirt underneath the jacket.

“I am.” I answered warily. “But who are you and what do you want with me?”

“I am Arthias. My boss, Mr. Strife Maxwell, would like to see you.” he answered remaining stoic.

“What for?” I questioned.

“I’m not sure, but I believe he’s taken an interest in you. Now come with me.” Arthias said beckoning me forward.

“Sorry, but not tonight. My Pokémon and I are tired. All we want is to go to bed.” I responded. I didn’t know who this Strife guy was, nor did I feel like dealing with him at the moment.

“Mr. Maxwell doesn’t like being made to wait. If you don’t like what he has to say you may leave.” Arthias persisted.

“Fine! I’ll go with you only to tell this boss of yours to shove whatever he has to say up his smug ass. I am not some item to be chosen and bought.” I spat. “Come along Axel.”

And I was looking forward to going to bed too.” the Infernape complained.

“Follow me then.” Arthias said forcefully.

Arthias led us out of the Trainer’s lounge to the nearest elevator. Once we got inside he pressed four. The entire walk and elevator ride were silent. Not that I was complaining, anything Arthias said would have probably pissed my off. I just wanted to meet Strife Maxwell to find out what he wanted with me.

I’m getting a bad feeling about this.” Axel mentioned breaking the silence as well as practically reading my mind. Something about this situation had put me on edge.

When the elevator opened, we walked out on a very fancy level, obviously the suites. We turned a corner where the wall was replaced by a railing. Below us was the club level where the spectators were still clearing out after today’s matches. When we arrived at Room number 465, Arthias knocked on the door. I heard someone on the other side call out “Enter.”

“I’ve brought him Sir.” Arthias said bowing after walking inside. Directly across from the door was a desk in front of a tall leather chair with its occupant facing away from us looking out at the field through wall sized windows.

“Welcome Brian.” a voice in the chair addressed me. “I am glad you could make it. I am Strife Maxwell.” As that last sentence was spoken the chair turned around to face me and Axel. I was only slightly stunned. It was the political… er, politician from the other day. He even had on the same white pimp suit and blue dress shirt as before. Then again, he could be like me and own multiples of the same outfit.

“I remember you.” I recalled.

“Well that is nice to hear. I would hate to have made so little of an impression on you that you would not remember me only a few days later.” Strife said coolly.

“So what did you want with me Strife?” I asked hastily.

“That’s Mr. Maxwell to you!” interrupted Arthias. Strife waved his hand up and down at Arthias to ease him.

“That’s enough Arthias. Our guest has no etiquette, how is he supposed to know common courtesy or formalities.” said Strife softly. The guy defends me by talking down about me? What the hell? Arthias grumbled and leaned against the wall by the door crossing his arms.

“I apologize on behalf of Arthias. Your question was perfectly justified, and to be honest, hearing my name out of your mouth in such a manner was not unusual to me.” He reached under the desk, pulled out a manila folder, and threw it on the table. “This should answer all of your questions Brian. Open it.”

I actually hesitated for moment before reaching for the folder. Axel stood over my shoulder as I opened the file. My hands began trembling when I saw what was inside. It was a picture of me! At least it looked like me. The man in the picture looked older with shades of grey in his black hair and a few other differing characteristics.

Holy shit!” cried Axel in disbelief.

“Wh-who… who is this man?” I stammered in a shaken voice with the folder vibrating in my hand with how much I was trembling. I felt very pale.

“That is Nathan Xelbu. By the difference in your ages and the uncanny resemblance between the two of you, I can only surmise that Xelbu is your father.” Strife said calmly. I, on the other hand, nearly fainted from those words. Luckily Axel was still behind me to catch me.

“Arthias, could you fetch our guest a chair and some water? He looks like he is about to pass out.” I felt a chair pushed into me as Axel helped lower me down. Then Arthias gave me a glass of water which I took a few sips from.

“This can’t be right.” I said. “I know my father. I’ve known him and my mom for almost twenty years.” I told them.

“Is it possible that your parents were married after you were born?” asked Strife unconvinced.

“I… I’ve seen the wedding certificate. They were married at least a year before I was born.” I protested.

“Then could your mother have committed adultery?” Strife continued. I jumped out of the chair and grabbed Strife by his tie and pulled him close to my face. There was a thump behind me.

“You don’t know them! Neither one would cheat on the other. Don’t ever make a comment like that again!” I yelled angrily. “I would sooner believe I was adopted.”

“You have my sincerest apologies Brian. I did not mean to insult you or your family.” Strife said apologetically. I pushed him back into his chair as I let go of his tie. Strife readjusted his tie making it strait and neat again. I turned around to pick up my chair which had fallen only to see Axel on top of Arthias.

He was about to attack you.” said the monkey defensively. I put my hand on his shoulder silently telling him to get up as I sat back in my chair. Axel rose, followed by Arthias who gave us both an unforgiving glare as he went back to the door.

“This is why you recognized me isn’t it?” I realized as I started to regain myself.

“Indeed. Xelbu was twenty years my senior, but he and I knew each other well. We both had ties to an organization known as the Non Existent Ones. Xelbu was the organization’s chief scientist while I was the son of its leader, Animus Maxwell. When I turned eighteen I was made head captain and heir to the Non Existent Ones, but that is beside the point. The point is Xelbu was a friend and mentor to me as I grew up.” explained Strife.

“Based on what you said earlier, you probably don’t know who my biological mother is.” I suspected. Strife’s face turned grim as he lowered his head closing his eyes.

“Unfortunately I do not. Although Xelbu had numerous honorable traits, he was still human and had his share of disreputable ones as well. One of which was… well… he liked to bring women to his bed and… fornicate.” Strife said distastefully.

“So he was a sex fiend.” I said bluntly. Strife sighed and shook his head.

“To put it so callously, yes, Xelbu was a… sex fiend.” My words he said with even more dislike as if he were choking on them.

“You keep saying his name in the past tense. You mean he’s…” I was almost afraid to ask the question.

“Yes. I regret to say, Nathan Xelbu is deceased.” Strife lamented. “I already mentioned that Xelbu was a brilliant scientist. About ten years ago, he was involved in an experiment on Cinnabar Island with a freelance research team titled ‘Project Myu2’. Unfortunately, the experiment went horribly wrong. The mansion the research was conducted in was utterly destroyed along with the lives of everyone inside at the time. Nathan Xelbu died at the age of 41. Fate had been especially cruel that terrible day as my father, Animus Maxwell, had gone to the mansion to get a progress report on the experiment. He too died. That fateful day I had to assume the role as leader of the Non Existent Ones as its heir at the age of 21.”

“You brought me here to say all of that? I think I would have been happier not knowing the truth.” I confessed. My mind was in complete disarray. If dealing with Eve’s mind games earlier hadn’t been bad enough, now I have all this on my mind too! I don’t think I can handle anymore.

“Sometimes ignorance truly is bliss.” Strife empathized. “I am sorry I called you here for this. I believed you deserved to know the truth, but I see now I was mistaken.”

Are you ok?” asked Axel worriedly.

“I’m fine.” I said despite everything that happened. “I have one more question before I go. You’ve mentioned this a few times, so who are the Non Existent Ones?” I inquired. It was only for a brief second, but I could have sworn I saw Strife flash an evil grin as if he had hoped I would ask. Then again it has been a long night. Must have just been my imagination.

“If you must know, make an acronym of the first letter in each word in Non Existent One.” told Strife.

“Sir, no!” shouted Arthias desperately extending his hand.

“N-E-O.” I spelled out. “Neo.” Then I felt like a ton of bricks had been smashed into my face. “Neos. Team Neos.” I said in an almost whispered voice.

“Allow me to formally introduce myself. I am Strife Maxwell, Leader of Team Neos.” Strife said calmly as he practically stared through me.

Time felt like it had completely stopped. I think my heart missed a beat or two when he said those words. A cold sweat ran down my forehead. Why would he reveal himself like that? Especially to someone like me and… Oh no! Arthias! He must be a member, a high ranking one no doubt. And he’s been standing at the door this whole time. I have no way out! I am completely surrounded by the enemy. Arthias looked about as nervous as I did. He must not have known his boss would out himself either. He reached into the side of his suit jacket and never took his eyes off of me.

“Why? Why would you tell me all that?” I asked nervously. “You could have just lied!” I shouted jumping out of my chair and slamming my hands on Strife’s desk. At that very second Arthias pulled an Ultra Ball from his jacket and pointed it at me. I was completely frozen solid. I didn’t know what was in that sphere, but something told me I didn’t want to find out. Not with my Pokémon still so exhausted. Axel was staring daggers at the two men. He was just as anxious as I was and knew he was just as vulnerable.

“Put you ball away my Captain.” said Strife standing up. “You do not want to frighten our guest now or give him the wrong impression of us.”

“Frightened?” I said in a low voice. “I’m fucking terrified right now! What the hell is with you!?” I yelled slamming my hands on the desk again. This whole situation had me completely freaked out. Strife began pacing around the room.

“Brian, to answer your first questioned ‘Why did I not lie?’ the answer is quite simple. I wanted you to know. You are correct; I could have completely left out all traces of the Non Existent Ones when I spoke of Xelbu. Better yet, I could have never invited you in the first place. But I did call upon you, and I told the truth. The other day when we met, you told me you were participating in the White City Tournament. I made sure to watch your matches to see how you performed in battle. I was most impressed, particularly your most recent one with Eve Illuminati. Though you lost, you demonstrated finesse and good judgment. You recognized that you would lose, so you did the honorable thing by cutting your losses before it was too late. You are just the kind of Trainer Team Neos needs.” he explained.

“No way!” I shouted when I realized what he had just asked. “I will never join a criminal organization like Team Neos!” With that Strife stopped walking, never taking his eyes off of me for a second.

“Criminals? What an ugly word.” he said hurtfully. “The Neos are visionary activists. The world is in a deplorable state of chaos and decadence. Teams Rocket, Galactic, Aqua, and Magma have been terrorizing the world for years. Someone needed to step up to the task. I have a vision of a utopia where people and Pokémon live in peace. No more will there be war or discord. Team Neos acts on this goal by any means necessary. Now I will admit, I have heard stories of members who take things too far, but can you really chastise an entire organization based on the sins of a few? Is the police force evil because of the actions of a few dirty cops? Can the student body of a school be called irredeemable because one delinquent always makes trouble for others? They say that it takes one hundred good deeds to make up for one bad. You see Brian; the media takes that one instance of misjudgment, blows it out of proportion, and slanders us relentlessly for it. Never do they so much as mention all the positive things Neos does for the world.” Strife continued, making hand gestures when appropriate and never losing his cool for a second.

“If what you say is true, then you owe me 200 good deeds for when I saw your people kill a man, then attempt to kill me.” I said vehemently.

“Then join us Brian. You can be the one who makes up those 200 actions.” Strife encouraged holding out his hand bidding me to accept.

“The answer is no!” I rejected fiercely. I took a deep breath. “This may just be me being naïve, but I won’t tell anyone who you really are. They probably wouldn’t believe me anyway, but it may be enough to start an investigation. But I won’t say anything.” I said more calmly.

Are you sure?” Axel asked nervously.

“Yeah, let’s go.” I said turning to the door.

“I would appreciate that Brian. Team Neos is still in its infancy. The world is not ready to know my identity yet. When order is restored to this corrupt society I will come forward, but not yet.” said Strife thankfully. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a Pokéball. “Here. A gift for all of your troubles so that there is no ill will between us.” he said throwing the ball to me. “It is a Beldum, a very rare breed that evolves into one of the most powerful known Pokémon, Metagross. Train it well. Good night Brian and Axel.”

I slowly staggered with Beldum’s Pokéball in hand and Axel at my side holding me steady. As I neared the door, Arthias slammed his arm against it blocking my exit.

“Sir, with all due respect, what are you thinking letting him go like this?” he asked angrily. For the first time I saw a change in Strife’s demeanor. He looked aggressive.

“Be quiet!” he roared angrily. After everything that happened tonight, this was by far the most terrifying moment. “I need not explain myself to the likes of you my Captain! Now kindly remove your hand from the door so that Brian and Axel may leave. They have had a long night.” His tone subsided to its usual calm as he spoke. Arthias reluctantly did as instructed and even opened the door for me.

“My apologies, Sir.” Arthias said as I walked out. “I just wanted to know the purpose of this meeting.” Strife gave no answer, at least none while I was still within hearing range. The door closed behind me as I walked back to the elevator. The only life remaining in the stadium were employees cleaning up after today’s events.

I was both physically and mentally drained. So much had happened in such a short time. Eve, Strife, Neos, Beldum… It’s just too much! Axel must have sensed my torment as he didn’t say a word the whole time. Once we were outside I couldn’t contain myself any longer. I let out a sad scream of defeat.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 15 pt1: Emo Loneliness

I was completely shaken to the core. I didn’t go back to the hotel. I didn’t even go back to Himee’s lab. I wandered White City in my sorry state all night. My entire existence went through my mind. The night’s events were still fresh but were faded like a bad dream. No, not a dream, an all-out nightmare.

Brian…” whispered Axel worriedly.

“Don’t talk. Your words can’t help this empty shell.” I said in a monotone of sorrow. There was nothing he could do for me now, maybe not ever again. Then all thoughts vanished.

When my mind began functioning again, I was in the residential district a few blocks from my hotel. Axel was ever faithfully standing by my side with a disheartened look on his face. Still clutched in my hand was Beldum’s Pokéball. I felt the warm light of the rising sun on my hollow back. What time was it anyway? Hmph. It doesn’t matter. Time means nothing to those who have nothing left but darkness. I continued dragging myself until I got to my room. I have this big luxurious room when all I need is a small hole.

“Axel.” I said vacantly. I threw him Beldum’s ball and the remaining five Pokéballs I carried. “You know my username and password for the PC Storage System. Put them away.” I don’t need to drag my Pokémon down with me. They’ll be safe in the PC; data doesn’t need to eat for survival.

Don’t do this! You’re stronger than that!” Axel begged. I ignored him as I turned off all the lights and locked myself in the master bedroom. It was too late for talk and I wasn’t going to condemn my best friend to darkness with me.

I slept for I don’t know how long, but when I woke up it was completely dark. Was it cloudy or was it night already. Doesn’t matter. The light doesn’t suit me, I’m better off in darkness. For hours more I sat in darkness keeping my mind blank. I focused completely on darkness. I had no need for my thoughts or imagination to run wild. I was broken from my trance by a knock at the door.

You’ve been in there all day. Are you hungry?” came Axel’s protective voice. I made no effort to move or speak. All I wanted was to be left alone in darkness without interference. “*sigh* Still playing the quiet game? I won’t break down the door because you’ll only be pissed when you get the bill, but don’t think I’ve given up on you. Send me in Alakazam.” The room was suddenly illuminated in orange as Axel was brought in by Alakazam’s Teleport. I lifted my arm over my eyes from the sudden light.

“Axel, please leave. Your flame gives off too much light.” I requested.

I’m not going without you.” said the monkey defiantly.

“I’m not in the mood for this so just go.” I said coldly waving my free arm to the door.

Then get in the mood!” he ordered pulling out a Great Ball. “Vaporeon, this is for the good of our Trainer! Water Gun!” The Bubble Jet Pokémon spayed me with a light stream of water the second he materialized from the ball's red light. “Hopefully that woke you up a bit. We’ll be waiting outside.” Axel unlocked the door and walked out with the other Pokémon, then closed the door behind him leaving me completely soaked.

After I changed out of my wet clothes into a dry set, I tried to fade back into darkness. I’m not sure if I did or not though, I haven’t seen any clocks in a while as I unplugged the one in my room, nor could I recall any time lapse. Plus, it was still dark outside. Unfortunately, the darkness didn’t last very long as Axel once again opened the door flooding the room with light.

“Don’t you ever quit?” I asked uncaringly.

No, and neither do you. Now get your ass moving!” he commanded. Suddenly I heard a certain kind of tapping sound on the window. It would be my salvation.

“I’ll move, but to a place you can’t follow. It’s raining and I’m in the mood for a walk.” I said dully. Hopefully that will be enough to ease my troubled mind. I walked unfeelingly past Axel, out of the room, and out of the hotel. Once outside I realized this was not just rain; it was a downpour. That’s a relief. With any luck it will drown out my thoughts and wash away my existence. Unconsciously I began walking into the dark skied world.

Chapter 15 pt2: Fight in the Rain

The rain became heavier and the winds stronger. It was the most intense rain I ever had the privilege of existing in. I didn’t know where I was going nor did I care. Where ever my legs wanted to take me would be fine with me. When I had found my way to a grassy hill in the park, I heard another set of footsteps behind me.

Going somewhere?” asked that persistent Infernape. And here I thought he wouldn’t dare step foot in the elements.

“You hate the rain Axel. So why?” I inquired.

I hate the rain, but it is my curse as a Pokémon to be eternally loyal to my Trainer.” Axel said placing his hand over his chest.

“Then as your Trainer, I order you to be gone.” I commanded sternly.

I can’t do that. I live for battle, just like you, and without you I won’t see any action. I can’t get a new Trainer because no one knows me like you and you’re the only human I have any sort of respect for.” the monkey defended.

“Leave me in peace.” I said emotionlessly.

You idiot! I overheard someone outside our room saying how this isn’t an ordinary rainstorm. Why do you think it’s so intense? It’s a hurricane!” the Flame Pokémon said urgently.

“I’ve always wanted to be outside during a hurricane. Maybe this is the answer I seek.” I said with anticipation.

Come on! It’s too dangerous out here!” begged Axel.

“I’m not going back! If you’re so worried, then save yourself!" I said coldly. Axel got a sorrowful look on his face as his shoulders sank.

Fine. I get it. I’ll go.” he said hurtfully as if he were about to cry. Axel turned around and began walking. Surprisingly, the monkey then jumped in the air and spun, punching me in the face. The sudden impact sent me to the ground with a loud splash. Yes, the ground was so wet by now that it actually splashed. “But I’m dragging you back with me, conscious or not!” declared Axel. I got up and wiped the blood off of my lip.

“You will try!” I threatened. I had to almost yell as the wind was beginning to pick up. I threw a punch at the monkey with my right hand which Axel side stepped. He then grabbed my arm, pulled me in, and kneed me in the stomach knocking the wind out of me. I quickly recovered grabbing Axel’s still extended leg and flipped him on his back. The Infernape put his palms on the ground behind his head while curling in his legs and pushed himself back to his feet.

“Stupid monkey!” I yelled pulling my fist back.

Naked ape!” Axel retorted doing the same. We both ran at each other and punched one another in the face. Both of us realized this was going nowhere, so we jumped back to put some distance between us.

“Come!” I challenged taking the Repulse the Monkey stance. Axel must have finally learned his lesson as he didn’t charge at me. “Fine!” I declared making the next move. Before I could land the kick I had planned, the Flame Pokémon jumped in the air. As he landed, he grabbed my wrists in his opposable feet and my ankles in his hands.

Can’t attack now can you?” Axel mocked. “But I can.” The monkey then began smacking my face with his tail. Not letting an opportunity to regain the offensive pass, I opened my mouth and bit Axel’s tail as hard as I could causing the Infernape to scream in pain like the monkey he is, as well as loosen his grip on my limbs. I pulled my wrists free before grabbing Axel by the ankles and tearing him off me. I then spun around and tossed the Flame Pokémon into a puddle. The rain was now beginning to get heavier.

I was already running at Axel while he was getting up. In the art of combat one must always take an opening or exploit a weakness whenever possible if victory is to be attained. No sooner was Axel on his feet, I was already close enough to strike. I first punched him in the stomach causing him to keel over. I then slammed my elbow into his back making him fall. I caught his head between my hands and kneed him in the face. I finished my combo by kicking his now exposed torso which sent him back a few feet before falling to his back.

Axel spat blood from his mouth as he slowly got up. “Damn human! You made me bite my lip!” complained the Infernape.

“And you made me bite your tail.” I said finally spitting out the golden hairs that had been in my mouth for the last few moments. “We’re even.”

Not yet we’re not!” shouted Axel running at me. I quickly took Repulse the Monkey to prepare for whatever this monkey had planned. Regrettably, I hadn’t expected Axel to duck at the last minute and knock my legs out from under me with a well place karate chop behind my knees. Axel then paid me back for earlier by lifting me off the ground by my shins and flinging me into a nearby hill. I couldn’t exactly tell what was going on in my dizzied state, but it felt like I actually bounced.

When I started to regain focus, Axel was standing over me with his hand extended to help me up. I smiled and accepted his hand. My smile then turned devious as I pulled Axel to the ground and got up myself.

“Didn’t I ever teach you not to let your guard down?” I taunted. Before I knew it, I was on the ground again with Axel’s tail wrapped around my leg.

Like you just did there?” teased the monkey. I yelled and jumped at Axel only for him to side step causing me to land face first in a puddle with a splash. I struggled to get up because the weather was now at an all-time high with winds so strong that it was blowing the rain at horizontal angles which tried pushing me back to the ground.

I pushed through, throwing another punch at Axel, this time with my left. Axel caught my fist in his palm, then lobbed a punch of his own which I caught. I shifted my fist into a grip allowing me to pull Axel in closer for a headbutt. The monkey recoiled with a scream as our foreheads collided. I then took the opportunity to land a kick to Axel’s chest. While he recovered from that, I went in for another attack. Axel looked up at the last second and pulled his head to the side avoiding my palm strike. He then took a bite out of my hand causing me to scream in pain as his sharp monkey teeth pierced both my glove and my flesh. I pulled my hand back and examined blood trickling out of the puncture wounds on either side of my hand.

“Damn you A--” I started before the Infernape tackled me to the ground finally taking an opening when it presented itself. I pushed him off of me and rolled over on top of him pinning his arms to wet ground.

“Checkmate.” I declared.

For me.” Axel corrected kicking me in the gut. I fell off of him clutching my abs while trying to catch my breath. “Had enough yet?” he taunted. I glared at the monkey. Not out of anger or hate, but out of determination to win. I don’t know when it happened, but I had stopped fighting out of the desire to be left alone and began to actually enjoy the fight. I fought Axel for the thrill and fun of it. I think Axel noticed that too which meant that we had absolutely no reason to end this.

We continued beating the shit out of each other until were both laying in the wet grass completely exhausted, soaked, and covered in cuts, bruises, and other injuries. The rain and wind had finally subsided into a light drizzle and a calm breeze. I stopped panting and turned my head to look at Axel.

“Thanks Axel. I really needed that.” I said appreciatively.

Sure. I loved beating the emo out of you.” said Axel happily.

“Not that, I meant about saving me. I owe you one.” I said gratefully.

Nah, we’re even. You saved my life years ago. I was just repaying my debt.” Axel acknowledged. “I’m just sorry I had to kick your ass to do it.

“Excuse me, but I won that fight.” I reminded. “What I owe you is for coming out into the rain to get me.” Axel gave me a ‘Yeah right’ look.

If it makes you feel any better about losing then fine, it was a tie.” the monkey said playfully. Then both of us started laughing.

Chapter 15 pt3: Back to Normal

When the two of us finally had the strength to move again, we dragged ourselves to Prof. Himee’s lab both because it was closer than the hotel, and we wanted to say goodbye. We had every intention of leaving White City as soon as possible.

“Could someone bring me a towel?” I called when I walked through the double glass door. From head to toe I was completely soaked. My usual spiky hair was actually laying flat for once due to the weight of the water with only a few odd strands sticking up from the wind force.

Almost as soon as I called for a towel I began peeling off my shirt which was practically sticking to my back and was heavy with water. Once I got my shirt over my head, gravity did the rest by pulling it to the ground. I rubbed my aching shoulders. Just a minor injury from Axel. Next were my gloves which also took some effort to pull off. I investigated my right hand which still had Axel’s teeth marks in it, but it wasn’t as bad as it originally seemed. When I took off my boots I had to step back outside to dump the water out of them. I decided to just leave them there for now. The sun was starting to come out and there was the roof above to protect them if the rain came back. My socks soon joined the rest of my outfit being the only trace of white in a pile of black.

“Where the hell is that towel?” I called dropping my pants.

Whoa!!” cried Asuna walking in the front door. “What do you think you are doing?” she questioned turning her head to the side.

“Stripping.” I said nonchalantly kicking my pants off my ankles.

“I can see that. I’d rather not, but why at the front door where everyone can see you? Have you no shame?” interrogated Asuna.

“Nope.” I said proudly.

“Your towel.” said one of the other aides giving me a green towel.

“Why thank you Bernard.” I said taking it. I dried my body as best I could before wrapping the towel around my waist and shedding the boxers underneath. Asuna rolled her eyes and walked past me trying not to look.

“Good morning Brian.” Himee shouted coming down from his loft. He then got a curious look on his face. “Vhy are you vhering a towel? And vhy do you look so beat up?”

“Axel and I had a sparring match in the hurricane.” I answered casually. “Can I use a PC to withdraw my Alakazam to Teleport back to my hotel where all my clothes are?”

“Sure. Right up zhe staircase on your left. Or vas it right?” the professor stated.

“Hey Asuna. If you don’t want a view, don’t look up.” I warned. “And Axel, grab my wet clothes will ya?” I requested.

Why me?” he asked.

“Cause if I carry them and this towel comes loose, everyone gets a free show.” I said flatly while typing various keys on the computer to take out Alakazam. Once I had his Pokéball in hand, Axel and I were instantly taken back to the hotel room.

No matter how many times I’ve done it, teleporting is still the weirdest sensation I have ever felt. One minute you’re standing in a lab, then you get this tingling sensation all over your body as you’re blinded by a whitish blue light. When the light fades you are in a completely new location like a hotel room. The only way I can figure Alakazam gets us to the right place every time is his psychic powers to see where we’ll end up.

Before getting dressed even crossed my mind, I had to take a piss. The last time I went was before my match with Eve which had to be at least 24 hours ago if not more. Himee said it was morning and according to my watch it was 8:15a which means I lost a day. After taking care of that business, I was forced to put on my bathing suit as I only own two pairs of pants which were both wet thanks to Axel’s stunt with Vaporeon and the downpour. A direct contrast to what I usually where, my trunks were a bright orange with white flowers outlined in a blue flame pattern.

“Axel you are so lucky these are stylish.” I said threateningly. He is also lucky that unlike pants, I own three black T-shirts so I still had one of those left. I had Alakazam Teleport me and Axel back to Prof. Himee’s lab because I left my only footwear there and they were still wet anyway.

“Oh Brian! I’m glad you returned. I vanted-- Nice trunks! Very stylish!” the Professor complemented.

“Thanks. So what were you about to say?” I inquired.

“I vas about to say somezhing? Oh yes. Zhere is anozhere tournament coming up in three days if you are interested.” he proposed.

“Thanks for letting me know, but I don’t think I want to enter this time. Axel and I could use a vacation.” I answered after thinking about it for a second.

Agreed.” Axel said nodding.

But before we can do that, those parents of mine have a lot to answer for.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 16: That Clichéd Little Village

As soon as everything was packed, Axel and I took the first ship to Kanto we could. Fortunately, said ship was bound for the Pallet Town Wharf which is exactly where we wanted to be. The moment I stepped off the boat back home I caught the scent of nostalgia mixed in with the salty air.

August 11, 2999
“Why couldn’t we have stayed in Sinnoh a little longer Mom? I wanted a Chimchar and my 10th birthday is only six months away!” I had complained ten years ago when my family and I first moved to Pallet Town from Sandgem Town.

“Because I needed to take this job transfer and you’re still too young to be off on your own, especially with your impulsive behavior that always gets you into fights.” my mom had countered leaving a dejected nine-year-old in her wake.

“Don’t worry Brian, you could always get a Charmander from Prof. Oak if you want a Fire-type so badly. Or there are always Bulbasaur or Squirtle to choose from.” my dad had attempted to console with no luck.

Hey are you awake in there?” asked Axel shaking me. I blinked a few times to bring myself back to present day.

“Yeah I’m conscious. Just remembering when I first came to Kanto.” I reminisced. I had to know the truth; was I related to Mom and Dad on the genetic level and if not, I had to find out why they never told me.

Pallet Town was mostly rural farmland covered in lush green fields and dirt roads. A ridiculously boring place if you ask me. I couldn’t wait to leave when the time finally came. Life is way too short to be able to predict everything that will happen the next day and be completely right every time.

It took roughly an hour to walk from the wharf to my house, or rather my parent’s house, which was a simple brick structure with a triangular shaped roof that flattened out on the top. Needless to say, I took advantage of the flat roof by sitting on it whenever I needed to think or just sleep out in the sun on a nice summer afternoon or evening.

“Knock knock!” I called knocking on the door. No response. So says my watch it was 1:58p meaning they were both at work and I, of course, didn’t have a key. “To the roof!” I shouted without a second thought. I have nothing better to do than wait for one of them to get home other than take a nap anyway. Axel and I scaled some moss on the wall left of the door like the monkeys we are until we were on the roof.

Nap time!” Axel cheered as we both picked our spot to sleep.

July 7, 3003
“Prof. Rowan is inviting me to Sinnoh to catch a Chimchar!” cheered my fourteen-year-old self after receiving a response letter after four and a half long years of sending him letters asking for one.

“So what made him finally call for you after all these years?” my mom asked sounding excited for me.

“He said that there is a population spike in the Coronet Mountain range. After how persistent I’ve been about getting a Chimchar, Rowan believes I should be allowed to pick my own.” I responded.

I sprung awake when I heard the sound of jingling keys and the front door opening. I kicked Axel to wake him up as I walked over to the edge and looked down. A short brown haired woman was crouched picking up the groceries she had obviously put down to open the door.

“Yo!” I called down to her waving like a nutcase. She looked to the roof with a startled expression.

Hi Mommy!” Axel called joining me in a frantic wave.

“Brian and Axel!” she greeted in surprise to see us. “I didn’t expect to see you two. What are you guys doing here?”

“What? Can’t we just…” I cut off there as I jumped off the roof, crouching as I landed to absorb the impact, “… drop in whenever we feel like it?” I asked as I rose. Axel soon landed by my side.

“Not when you do dangerous stunts that could give your mother a heart attack!” she scolded.

“Dangerous? That’s what, a twenty-foot drop? Axel and I have been through worse.” I bragged looking at my partner. We both began chuckling sneakily.

“No don’t tell me that! I worry enough about you without trying to think of the trouble you two are getting in.” Mom cried. “Now you boys behave yourselves and carry in those groceries, I want to hear all about your adventure in Sinnoh.” she invited walking in ahead of us. We did as told and followed Mom to the kitchen.

“So what time is Dad getting home tonight?” I asked putting the grocery bags on the table. “I kinda have something I want to ask you two and I’d rather both of you be around when I do so I only have to say it once.” I said gathering the courage I would need for this situation. Mom got a grave look on her face. Oh no. Not more bad news.

“He got arrested for assault.” she said disappointedly rolling her eyes. I almost started laughing in relief but was able to contain myself. What I could not hide was the smile I had. I could hardly believe that such a relaxed man who wouldn’t even raise his voice to anyone actually got in a fight. It was stupendous! And completely out of character. I had to know all the details.

“So what happened? Did Dad win? Did the other guy deserve it? And how long is he in for?” I asked proudly running off every possible question I could think of in my excitement.

“You wouldn’t be so thrilled to know that there was a break-in.” my mom started with a serious tone. My grin quickly faded.

“Here!?” I asked in disbelief pointing to the table the three of us were sitting at which referred to the entire house. I couldn’t believe it. Pallet Town had a 0.01% crime rate a year and the one that occurs once a decade just happened to be on my doorstep. Oh how fucking fantastic! (sarcasm)

“Mm hmm.” she nodded. “Last month someone tried robbing us and your father went and broke the guy’s arm trying to fend him off. Well the burglar then decided to exploit the legal system and sue us for a hundred grand. At first we thought it was a joke until we were called into court, but even then we didn’t think anything would happen. However, it soon became obvious that despite the fact that this guy broke into our house and tried to rob us, he was going to win because you father “caused him excessive trauma and he couldn’t pay his medical bills or go back to work”. That’s when your dad volunteered to do one month of jail time on assault charges rather than pay the guy, which the judge agreed to so the criminal wouldn’t win.” Mom explained. “He’ll be out next week.”

“WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THIS!!” I roared in outrage. “Shouldn’t the burglar have been the one arrested? Shouldn’t Dad have gotten off because it was self-defense? That case shouldn’t have even gone to court!” I protested angrily.

“I completely agree. Unfortunately, that is the way the legal system goes.” Mom said sharing my disapproval.

“Well the system’s flawed!” I spat. “It should either be fixed or eliminated entirely!”

Just like a body’s systems. If the heart doesn’t function properly, the creature dies.” Axel put in completely understanding what I was getting at.

“Well don’t do anything you’d be ashamed to tell me about.” Mom warned worrying about me as usual. I guess she figured I was talking about tearing down the establishments.

“By the way,” I said calming down now, “is there anything you’re ashamed to tell me about?” I asked. It would be now or never.

“Wh-what do you mean?” she questioned completely clueless.

“I wanted to wait for Dad, but since he isn’t coming and I really need to know, was I adopted?” Mentally I was both relieved to get that out there, but still a bit worried about what I would find out.

“When did you find out?” Mom asked dejectedly looking to the floor. So it is true.

“Four days ago. I was participating in a tournament in White City where I met a man who instantly recognized me because I am the spitting image of my biological father.” I said. “So why didn’t you tell me?”

“Would that have made a difference in our relationship?” inquired my mom.

“At least I would have heard it from someone I trust and not some stranger who I hold nothing but hatred for.” I admit. In such few words I understood that I was still her son and she my mother and nothing would ever change that. “Now stop brooding and tell me what’s for dinner. I’m hungry!” I said with disregard for our previous conversation. Mom sensed that the uncomfortable talk was over and smiled at me.

“Well I was just going to make egg salad, but with you home I think I’ll let you decide.” said Mom just to humor me.

“Well, I did win 1,000,000 credits for coming in second in the Sinnoh League, so why don’t I treat you to that sea food restaurant down by the wharf that I like so much?” I asked without giving her much of a choice. “Then I’ll tell you what we monkeys have been up to for the past year.”

“Well let me change then.” Mom said happily.

Between bites of an all-you-can-eat shrimp platter, I discussed everything Axel and I have been up to lately with the exception of the moments that would only make her worry about us, namely our encounters with Team Neos, Axel nearly getting killed by Diva, and our epic battle just the other day. I also inquired if I had a little sister that no one told me about given that Madison insisted I was her Onii-chan and persistently followed me for six months until I finally escaped to White City. Mom denied, but said how cute it was that I had taken Madison under my wing like that.

“Not cute. I took that weeaboo with me out of pity for how pathetic she was.” I responded. I reached down to pick up more grilled shrimp, but my plate was missing. I looked over to Axel already expecting to see his mouth full of my shrimp.

It’s all you can eat! You can get more.” he defended after swallowing. “And get more Cajon shrimp while you’re at it.” I lifted my hand which to Axel meant I was going to slap him for stealing my food as I’ve been doing ever since he was a conniving little Chimchar. He looked at me in surprise when all I did was tap his shoulder.

“Axel, you know the only reason you’re getting away with this right now is because today is July 8th, better known as our anniversary.” I reminded.

I’m glad you remembered because I don’t know the human calendar. I only know that the night before you caught me it was a New Moon.” Axel stated.

“Is that why you wanted to go out to dinner?” Mom asked suspiciously.

“Maybe.” I said mischievously as I turned my head to the side scratching a nonexistent itch behind my ear. “Actually I just wanted an excuse to get some shrimp. More shrimp alfredo pasta please!” I called politely as the waiter past our table. My mom just shook her head in delight and went back to her Remoraid filet as Axel yelled at me for not getting the Cajon shrimp.

July 8, 3003
“And where is this Chimchar population again?” I asked impatiently. I had been following Prof. Rowan in a forest at the base of the Coronet Mountains for the past hour and still had yet to see any signs of the Chimp Pokémon.

“Be patient Brian. I found them right up this ridge, so we should be arriving very soon.” the old man reassured. I’d believe that when I had a Chimchar. Suddenly something hard hit my head.

“Ow! Dammit that hurt!” I yelled putting my hands on the top of my head.

“Are you alright?” asked Rowan with concern.

“What was that?” I questioned as I looked up. There was a tree branch sticking out of the side of the mountain and hanging on it was a small gold colored Pokémon hanging on for dear life as the cliff around the tree began crumbling sending rocks and pebbles to the ground. Then without warning, the gold creature lost its grip and came plummeting to its death. At least it would have if I hadn’t instinctively thrown out my arms to catch it.

“Ow!” I cried recoiling my arms dropping the small Pokémon harmlessly to the ground. I tightly gripped my left arm which felt like it had just been burned. I looked down at the Pokémon I dropped and, to my surprise, I saw that it was in fact a Chimchar who was rubbing his butt which was probably sore from getting dropped. “But Chimchar have brown fur. Is that a shiny?” I asked in confusion.

“No. Shiny Chimchar have maroon fur.” Prof. Rowan confirmed.

“Then it’s a freak of nature just like me! Get a Pokéball out Rowan, this one’s mine!” I said in excitement. The Chimchar growled at me as it reached under its fiery tail. It then tossed a fire ball at me which I narrowly dodged causing it to splatter on the cliff wall behind me. Wait, a splatter? An unpleasant odor filled the air.

“Oh poo! That’s flaming poo!” I realized in shock. I better be careful, that stuff will mess me up. “So it’s a fight you want, eh?” I challenged. Chimchar launched another flaming poo which I ducked to avoid. “Stop that!” I yelled kicking it. It actually went pretty far considering I’m nearly three times Chimchar’s size.

“Now Brian! That was uncalled for!” reprimanded Rowan.

“Chimchar started-- Ahhh!” I screamed as the little monkey came back and bit my arm. I lifted my arm up and bit the small primate’s head causing it to let go of my arm as it screamed. I released Chimchar’s head and spat out a few gold hairs. Chimchar retaliated by scratching my other arm. Before the young monkey could pull its hand away, I grabbed it by the arm and threw it into Prof. Rowan.

“My word!” Rowan cried out as he fell to the ground with Chimchar. I walked over, pulled an empty Pokéball from the Professor’s bag, and dropped it on the dazed Chimchar. The Pokéball shook violently as the Chimp Pokémon struggled to get free, but it ultimately locked. A smirk of satisfaction went across my face as I crouched over to pick up my first Pokémon. “An unorthodox way of catching Pokémon, but it seemed to work this time. Next time use him.” Rowan commanded pointing to the Pokéball.

“A boy huh?” I mused sending out the young monkey. Once released from the ball Chimchar stared at me in defiance as he reached under his tail but quickly thought better of it and instead crossed his arms in front of himself.

“Would you like to give him a nickname?” asked Prof. Rowan. A nickname? Hmmm… I’m not very good at coming up with names, but this golden Chimchar definitely needs one being as special as he is. Let’s see…

“I can’t name you Sun Wukong after the Monkey King because you already seem like the proud type and that name would just go straight to your head. I know! I used to know a pyromaniac named Axel, so that’s what I think I’ll call you. Do you like it?” Chimchar looked like he was thinking about it before smiling with a satisfied cheer.

“Alright, Axel it is. I’m Brian.” I said extending my hand. Axel sniffed my palm but quickly caught on and gave me his hand too. As we shook, I got an unsettling feeling. “That’s the hand you threw the poo with isn’t it?” Axel laughed in embarrassment that I called him out on it. I slowly pulled my hand away and held it to the side in disgust. “Make sure you wash your hands before eating anything. As for me, I think I’ll start wearing gloves. Fingerless of course because those are more badass.”

After that, I had Prof. Rowan take me back to Kanto so my parents could meet Axel and give me a proper farewell.

What’s on your mind Monkey?” inquired Axel. When we got home from dinner Axel and I had gone back to the roof to watch the sunset and stars come out.

“Just reminiscing about when our two paths crossed and merged into one.” I said. “The Road of Life is a strange one. Twists and turns exist at every point and you can never turn around to see what could have been. You can’t stay in one place either because the road is long and unpredictable, otherwise you’ll never get anywhere. You’re only hope is to follow the road to the end and hope you had fun doing it.”

Since when did you become a philosopher?” Axel asked jokingly.

“Since I thought about how your road could have ended when you fell and how mine could have ended when I met Strife Maxwell, but because a chance encounter occurred five years ago today, we were both able to be led down a path we didn’t know existed.” I went on.

You have a point there Brian. In order to survive we need each other.” acknowledged Axel understandingly.

“That’s right, so let’s promise that we see the Road of Life to the end.” I said extending my hand.

And we continue getting stronger so that we can survive any bumps in the road.” Axel added taking my hand. “By the way, this is the hand I throw poo with.

“You stopped throwing poo when you evolved into Monferno because it didn’t catch on fire anymore. Besides, I’m wearing gloves, even if the right one has holes in it now from when you bit me.” I responded. After a good laugh, we laid back and watched the summer night sky until falling asleep.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 17: A Relaxing Vacation (Maybe)

“Do you have everything you need?” my mom asked for the third time.

“Yes Mother dearest.” I said beginning to get annoyed by the constant reminder of something I’ve been doing perfectly for half a decade while still trying to sound sincere. “We’re off now!” I announced grabbing the worn and beaten green backpack I have been using since day one and heading out the door.

“Take care you two. Have fun, be safe, and try to stay longer than three days the next time you come and visit.” Mom asserted bidding us farewell from the doorway.

“I’ll try. I need more mental stimulation than this town has to offer.” I said pulling a red and white orb from my side. “But I’ll see if I can’t fit it into my completely random schedule to visit more frequently.” I added noticing a look of disappointment on her face. That comment seemed to satisfy her for now. After saying our goodbyes, I opened the Pokéball in my hand releasing a long stone grey winged beast with a large maw filled with razor sharp fangs. Aerodactyl gave a loud screech which startled several of the neighbors who were outside.

“To Vermillion City!” I instructed once Axel and I had boarded our prehistoric transport. With another loud screech the Fossil Pokémon beat his powerful wings to attain lift off. When we were high enough, he curled in his clawed legs and simply glided on the thermals.

It had been one tournament after another, battle after battle for so long that Axel and I had decided we needed a break from it all. It has been awhile since we were in Johto, so that’s where we decided we would take our vacation. We had originally planned to take the Magnet Train to Goldenrod City as it would be quicker than the S.S. Aqua, but I hear the Whirl Islands are nice this time of year, and it would save us a trip if we were to start in Olivine City.

Beneath us Pallet Town gradually went from houses and farmland to open grassy fields, then the scenery changed to lush green forested wilderness followed by crystal blue open water, all before we passed over Vermillion City half an hour after our departure from Pallet Town. Aerodactyl turned 45 degrees into a nosedive taking his passenger plummeting to the ground. Just as we were only a couple of feet from the surface, the ancient flier pulled up again and flapped his wings three times to maintain balance making for a badass yet elegant landing.

“Thanks Aerodactyl, you deserve a break.” I said appreciatively as I hopped off of the Fossil Pokémon’s back. After patting him on the head, I rewarded Aerodactyl’s efforts by returning him to his Pokéball to rest.

What time does the S.S. Aqua leave?” inquired Axel eagerly.

“Patience my young monkey. We’re on vacation, we can afford to wait and be as lazy as we damn well please. But to answer your question: 4:00p. That gives us roughly fifty minutes to get on board.” I answered. That did remind me though. I pulled off my backpack and rummaged through it until I found a rectangular sea blue ticket with a white boat drawn on it. Like my backpack, this ticket has seen some action as was noticeable in the bends in it and slight tears on the ends. This was a lifetime Aqua Pass I had won off of some rich guy who thought he could beat me in a Pokémon battle. Rich people never learn; they always think they’re better than us commoners.

We took the opportunity now to go down to the harbor so that we wouldn’t risk missing the ship. As would be expected of Vermillion Harbor, sailors and their Machokes, Poliwraths, Blastoises, and Primapes were everywhere loading and unloading the cargo of all the sea going vessels in the port. I wouldn’t expect anything less than to see this place bustling with activity giving the harbor its familiar scent of industry mixed with the salty sea breeze. One of the sailors began yelling and cursing at a Wingull that unknowingly and uncaringly took a dump on his bald head. Both Axel and I had to withhold our laughter unless we wanted a fight on our hands. We would make jokes about it when we got aboard the S.S. Aqua.

“Here you go.” I said handing my pass to the sailor guarding the ramp to the ship. After inspecting it he handed it back to me and stepped aside.

“Right this way sir. Enjoy your trip.” he said with genuine courtesy. I smiled politely and walked up the ramp onto the ship where my expression changed to one of confusion. Never before have I encountered a well-mannered sailor. Either he’s a new guy and hasn’t gotten as irritable as his coworkers, or he really likes his job. Then again, maybe he thought I was rich due to my lifetime pass and was hoping for a nice tip. Damn the privileged.

That was different.” Axel affirmed. I nodded in agreement and began looking for the room that I would call my own for the next eighteen hours.

The next morning the S.S. Aqua arrived safely in Olivine Port without anything exciting happening during the voyage. I descended the ramp with my tattered backpack on my shoulders and Axel by my side as always, while surrounded by the other passengers. I stretched my arms in the air with a satisfied sigh.

“Let the relaxation begin.” I declared in a mellow tone. I suddenly heard a tear and felt the weight on my back shift to my right shoulder. “Oh don’t tell me…” I groaned. I pulled off my backpack and sure enough the left strap had ripped. “Crap. Hold this while I get out the duct tape.” I told Axel passing the pack to him. This was the second time I had to actually repair my pack with duct tape. The first was when it got caught on a thorn bush and the pocket I keep all the Pokémon medicine ripped open.

Why not put it in an Item Ball like you do with the stuff that doesn’t fit in it?” the Infernape suggested.

“Because then it would be a pain in the ass getting stuff out.” I countered as I dug through the bag. “Ah! Found it!” I said pulling out the silver roll of tape. While I repaired the strap by wrapping tape all around it, Axel was quietly giggling to himself at all the trouble I was going through. He looked at me like he was going to make fun of me, but he suddenly got a terrified look on his face.

Forget the backpack for now, we have to go!” he said desperately.

“Why? What’s wrong?” I said getting ready to turn around.

Don’t look! Just run! I’ll explain everything when we get to safety!” he pleaded urgently. Before I could react to what he had told me, I understood why the monkey was so panicked. And I wish I had had listened.

“Onii-chan!!!” came a loud high pitched excited girly voice.

“Oh no…” I whispered in complete terror. She’s back.

Why didn’t you run?” Axel mourned in defeat.

“I didn’t know!” I sobbed regretfully. I had already been spotted so there was no use in fleeing now. All I could do was stand my ground and take this like a man. Without warning, ninety pounds of weeaboo was thrown onto my back causing me to lean forward. I’m glad I did stand my ground; otherwise I would have been knocked to the ground. Madison had her legs wrapped tightly around my waist and her arms just as tightly around my neck.

“Onii-chan! I really, really, really, [Oh kill me], missed you!” she squealed just as enthusiastically as ever. The feeling isn’t mutually. Especially when I can’t breathe! Her grip was like an Ekans around my throat. I desperately pulled on her arms while trying to choke out the words ‘Can’t breathe!’

“Oh! Sorry!” she said loosening her grip. I began sucking in as much air as I could to fill my oxygen starved body. “Is Onii-chan ok?” she asked.

“Yeah. I’m fine.” I said gasping heavily as if I had just run a mile with Madison on my back. I let out one big sigh having finally caught my second wind. “Now get off my back.” I said sternly while straightening up so she’d be able to reach the ground easier. No sooner had I gotten her off of me, she was already glomping Axel.

“I missed you too Axel-kun!” she cheered snuggling him. Now here we have the weirdest size comparison imaginable. Axel is tall for an Infernape, standing at five and a half feet. Madison is a sixteen-year-old human female and is a foot shorter. I guess some things never change. She still dresses like she belongs in an Anime convention rather than on the road as a Trainer, not to mention her everlasting pink bangs.

Brian, she won’t let me go!” whined the golden monkey trying vainly to pry his way from Madison’s death grip.

“Alright, that’s enough Madison. Axel needs to breathe too.” I said lightly tugging her shirt collar. Madison tilted her head back looking up at me then back down to Axel.

“Sorry Axel-kun.” she apologized releasing him.

“So Madison, what brings you to Johto?” I inquired. Her brown eyes grew huge followed by a pathetic whimper from her mouth. I could tell by the shocked look on her face that I was in for a ridiculous story.

“You mean this isn’t Hoenn?” she asked distraughtly as if hoping I would contradict myself. Instead, I face-palmed and sighed. I knew it. “Nooooooooooo! I got on the wrong boat again! I wanted to go to Hoenn for all the contests! Are there any contests in Johto?” I shook my head in the negative. Madison put her hands to her chin and began crying twin waterfalls while looking at me for guidance.

“You can’t do anything right without me can you?” I asked already knowing the answer. Madison shook her head with the same chibiish expression.

“Can I go with you?” Madison asked hopefully giving me puppy eyes.

“Me and Axel are supposed to be on vacation.” I stated trying to deter her. All I succeeded in doing was make Madison give me a cuter face. I can’t believe I’m about to say this. “Fine.” I conceded. “It would be heartless of me to leave such a pathetic creature as you to roam on your own.”

“YAY!” Madison cheered completely changing her disposition while jumping up and down. “I love you Onii-chan!” she cried happily as she hugged me again. I face-palmed again. So much for a relaxing vacation.

You go too easy on her.” Axel pointed out. I groaned knowing that much to be true. What can I say though? My big brother instinct is too strong towards her. I slipped my arms between myself and Madison trying to free myself from her powerful clutch.

“We’re going to the Whirl Islands. Any objections?” I asked without giving her much choice. Not that she would object. Knowing Madison, she would probably follow me to Hell and back.

“*Squee* The Whirl Islands sound like so much fun! Thank you so much for inviting me!” she said gratefully. “Wait. Do they have Wi-Fi on the Whirl Islands?”

“Nope!” I answered without remorse.

“But but… Anime…” she whimpered.

“You can watch your Anime when we get back. Now remember Madison, this is a vacation. That means we get to be as lazy as we damn well please, all schedules are out the window, and we just sit back, relax, play and have fun. Got it?” I went over just to make sure she understood.

“Why did you throw your schedule out of a window?” she asked blankly. I felt my eye twitch. I should have taken the Magnet Train.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 18: The Unthinkable

I held a long sturdy black fishing rod in my hands as far out as my arms would allow with a big chunk of meat dangling from the string. This was to serve as motivation for the giant rotund bear with midnight blue fur and a cream colored belly to Surf myself, Axel, and Madison down to the Whirl Islands. No ships would dare make the trip because of all of the whirlpools so I had to resort to my usual brilliance in unconventional means and use my Snorlax. The food would always be there, but he wouldn’t be able to reach it with his short arms until the task at hand was complete no matter how hard he swam. Sometimes it’s a good thing hunger and instinct outweigh good judgment and reason.

“Are we there yet Onii-chan?” asked Madison. My eye started twitching at the dreaded question. I have to take care of this now before it gets out of hand.

“No Madison, and if you ask again I’m throwing you off the Snorlax.” I answered trying to hide my annoyance.

“But I only asked once.” she said giving me a confused look. “It’s not like I was saying Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” she rambled on. I quickly felt what little sanity I had fading into nothingness.

“Gah! Axel! Shut her up!” I yelled trying to keep the fishing rod steady and hold my ears at the same time. I found it was an impossible move.

Way ahead of ya.” Axel said pulling the duct tape from my backpack. Madison let out a frightened squeak as she put her hands on her mouth and curled into a ball.

“Don’t you think that’s a little harsh? It would be funny as hell, but then I’d have to deal with her crying when we finally took the tape off.” I said indifferently. The Infernape grunted in annoyance that he couldn’t have his fun in making Madison a silver mummy.

“Thanks Onii-chan.” said Madison gratefully. She crawled up Snorlax’s back and joined me near the shoulders where I was sitting with the fishing rod.

“What are you thanking me for? Silence is golden, duct tape is silver. If you get duct taped, I’ll never have silence again.” I said straightforwardly.

“You forgot to say ‘baka’ again.” she said.

“You are baka.” I said flatly which got a squee from Madison. Crazy weeaboo.

We could go no further. Whirlpools and rocks were everywhere blocking every possible route except the one we had come from. To keep Snorlax from killing us, I pulled in the meat and let him have at it.

“What now Onii-chan?” Madison asked hoping I’d have an answer. As always, I did.

“Give me a minute to put away this rod.” I said pulling out a grey orb that resembled a Pokéball but was used for an entirely different purpose. I held the Item Ball to the fishing rod and pulled back the latter item like how a Pokémon would be called back to its Pokéball. You got to hand it to the Devon Corporation; Item Balls sure make a Trainer’s life easier. It is possible to carry large items like fishing rods and bikes in a backpack along with tons of smaller items with these balls. After putting away the fishing rod, I pulled a Pokéball from my waist.

“Now to get to the islands.” I said sending out Aerodactyl. “All aboard!” The Fossil Pokémon swooped in low so that everyone could climb on his back. By the time everyone had gotten on the flier, Snorlax had finished his meal. I took out the Sleeping Pokémon’s Ultra Ball and called him back in a flash of red light for his nap.

We flew on Aerodactyl until reaching four rocky islands arranged in a spiral pattern, each one covered in rocks with some vegetation and surrounded by white sandy beaches. “Take the lower right one!” I called out pointing to the one I meant. The prehistoric beast pulled in his wings while tilting down into a dive. Madison screamed while I grinned in excitement from the adrenaline rush.

“That was scawy.” Madison sobbed as she clung to my torso for dear life even after we had already landed.

“Wuss.” I mocked. With a good bit of effort, I managed to peel the girl’s arms off of me. I then unmounted my noble stead with Axel following me. Madison got off less gracefully, first getting caught on one of Aerodactyl’s spikes causing her to slide before falling face first into the sand. Axel and I burst into laughter at the scene.

“It’s not funny!” she whined getting up while trying her hardest to brush the sand off of her clothes and out of her hair.

“Ha ha ha aha… *sigh* You’re right, it’s not funny.” I said catching my breath. “It’s hilarious!” I began laughing hysterically again. Axel held out his hand trying desperately to say something over his laughter so I gave him the high five he was looking for. All the while our female companion glared at us angrily for getting so much amusement at her expense.

“Hmph!” she pouted turning her head away from us.

“Aw. Don’t get mad. It’s vacation, you have to unwind.” I encouraged. “Besides, you should already know that me and Axel are easily entertained. Now get your bathing suit on! We’re going swimming!” I declared already taking my shirt off.

“But where do I change?” asked Madison nervously as she began looking around.

“Well, you could be ridiculously prepared like me,” I dropped my pants to reveal that I already had my suit on, “or you can duck behind those bushes over there.” I said pointing to a small patch of green foliage roughly fifty feet up the beach. The brush was actually closer to the rocky part of the island than the sand.

“But--” she started.

“Look. You already know I’m not a lolicon and I’m the only boy on the island. All I care about is going swimming so I certainly won’t peek on you. swim. Use your Pokémon for protection if you’re scared.” I pointed out, now fully undressed save my swimwear. Madison nodded and ran up the beach to her hiding place.

Enjoy yourself. I’m not going past the high tide mark.” Axel said bitterly. Such is my one disadvantage of having a Fire-type. He’ll join me in all of my crazy endeavors except the ones that will get him wet.

“Then let me give you some company.” I said picking up my other Pokémon’s balls. Snorlax, Piloswine, Riolu, and Beldum joined Aerodactyl and Axel on the beach. “It’s everyone’s vacation so have fun doing as you please.” I encouraged.

With that, I turned toward Kyogre’s realm and ran headlong down the sand to the sea. My speed was gradually diminished the further out I got, starting with kicking water everywhere at the tide line, to hopping on the bottom until I could no longer feel it. Once I could no longer feel anything but cold water under my feet, I leaned forward into prone position and began breast stroking out further. The water was not as rough as one might think from all the whirlpools everywhere. But it was also not what I would call calm either. Something in the middle I would say.

“Onii-chan!” Madison called from the shoreline waving at me. I turned around bobbing in the water. From what I could see from my location, she was wearing a pinkish purple one piece and standing about ankle deep. I waved back at her and Riolu who was doggy paddling just a few feet from Madison. Aerodactyl was perched on one of the many rocks that littered the shore, Snorlax was sleeping lazily on the beach with Axel leaning against his bulk, Piloswine looked like he was digging a hole in the sand with his tusks, and Beldum just floated around aimlessly. Mimi, Maki, Chuchu, Fluffy, Ichi, and Cherrim were also out and about with Maki swimming alongside Riolu. Suddenly, Riolu stopped his leisurely swim and looked toward me with a startled bark. Axel also got up off of Snorlax and ran to the tide line.

Brian! Get back here now!” the monkey shouted urgently.

“Onii-chan!” Madison screamed frantically. I didn’t even need to guess why they were so worked up, I already knew. No sooner had Riolu’s head perked up, I felt the water around me recede. I quickly turned my head around to see a huge tidal wave looming over head.

“Oh shi--!” was all I could scream before all that water came crashing down on me. I felt like I was in a whirlwind of madness. I couldn’t tell which direction was up, down, left, right, forward, or behind as I spiraled through the water. The answer only came when I bounced on my back against the sandy bottom, then again when I was lifted back up, spun around, and dropped on my left shoulder.

When the currents seemed to calm down, I was finally able to pick myself up and get the much needed air that my lungs burned for. I tried wiping the salty water from my eyes to see where I was, but that only made things worse as my hands were also dripping wet. I finally got my eyes open enough to see that I was about knee deep facing the ocean and another wave was heading my way. This one, however, broke just before hitting me, but sent gallons of water hitting me below the waist like a punch to the balls. I fell on my ass from the impact with the wind knocked out of me.

I got up again and staggered back to the beach completely dizzy from the shellshock. I couldn’t even walk in a straight line and almost fell twice. My nose and eyes burned from the salt water and my mouth felt dry. Despite it all, I was laughing maniacally. I have never been thrashed so badly before and I liked it. If I could, I would love to go through that all over again without any changes.

“Onii-chan! Are you ok!? You’re bleeding!” Madison cried. Bleeding? I looked at my left shoulder, the one I had landed on. It had a few scrapes on it but other than that it was nothing serious. My back was probably the same way. Axel walked up next to me when I got out of the water in case I needed anything or fell from dizziness.

“Grab me a bottle of water.” I told the Infernape as I sat down with my legs up for balance. I started spitting to get all the salt out of my mouth. Not exactly an easy task. Axel came back and handed me a fresh bottle from my backpack. I accepted and began chugging to rehydrate myself. After my drink, I used what was left in the bottle to wash out my mouth by rinsing and spitting the mixture into the sand.

“Onii-chaaaaan!” Madison called obnoxiously trying to get my attention.

“I’m fine Madison.” I said with a sigh. I started sniffing inward until I finally forced out a sneeze that had been bothering me for the last couple of minutes. It was a very phlegmy sneeze as it was taking all of the ocean’s dissolved particles with it. “Very fine.”

That night after my epic experience, we had a bonfire complement of Axel. For dinner we had hotdogs, followed by s’mores for dessert. While we ate, we told random stories of past endeavors and complete fantasy. By this time, Madison had changed into a pair of beige shorts and a pink Magical Girl hoodie. All I did was put my shirt back on.

“Then when it looked like I was about to lose, Axel let out a furious roar. He was consumed by his Blaze aura and began growing and changing. When the flames dissipated, my Monferno was gone, replaced by the badass Infernape you see here. Whitney’s Miltank didn’t stand a chance.” I said telling Madison about my last trip to Johto.

True story. Afterward we had burgers.” Axel added. I began chuckling evilly remembering how we called our lunch that day Whitney’s Miltank.

“Wow.” Madison said in amazement. “Onii-chan and Axel had lots of fun huh?”

“We still are. You can too.” I looked at my watch. It read 11:29p. “Tis getting late. Have Maki put out this fire so we can go to bed. Tomorrow will be another day of unplanned fun.”

Even with the light of the fire completely gone so that even sparks didn’t remain, the beach was still bathed in the light of the almost full moon and stars. Even the ocean had a soft glow of Staryus and Chinchous beneath the surface. I was slowly lulled to sleep by the peaceful sound of the waves which was all that could be heard in the silence of the night.

Was it humming? No. It sounded more like singing. It was so calm… soothing… and peaceful. It sounded like a happy song. Or was it sad? I guess melancholy would be the right word to describe it. Whatever it was, it was relaxing. Like every worry or problem I had was gone. It was just me and the song.

“Onii-chan wake up!” I lazily opened one eye to see Madison crouching over me. I wish it was just me and the song. Wait! The song. It was gone. Had I just been dreaming it?

“What do you want?” I asked groggily. The sky was still dark with the only sign of morning being a thin azure glow on the eastern horizon.

“I saw a big silver bird.” she whispered. I was slightly intrigued, but not enough to get up. I took a quick look at my watch which read 5:38a.

“You’re dreaming. Go back to sleep.” I advised as I rolled back over.

“It wasn’t a dream. I really saw it. It came out of the ocean and flew to one of the other islands.” Madison went on. It is way too early for this.

“Alright, fine. Show me where you saw this ‘silver bird’ of yours.” I said drowsily getting up. “Let me just get dressed first.” When I had at least gotten some pants on I kicked Axel to wake him up too.

Man. I was having such a nice dream too. That was a beautiful song.” the monkey groaned at being woken up so early.

As Madison dragged us to the northern part of the island, I began hearing screeches and fluttering. It definitely sounded like a bird, or rather multiple birds. The sound was coming from behind one of the tallest of the many rock formations. When we rounded the corner, we were greeted by a sight like no other. The north side of the beach was littered with dozens of Tentacool, Chinchou, Shellder, and Mantine carcasses. Above them were dozens, maybe even hundreds more Wingulls having a feeding frenzy on the all-you-can-eat-buffet that covered the sand. One of the bird Pokémon was picking the eye out of a deceased Tentacool while another ripped out the soft insides of a Shellder. There was more going on than I could possibly describe. I was left awe struck. How did so many Pokémon wash up on the beach like this? What could have done this? As bizarre as this situation was, it did answer one question.

“There’s your silver bird Madison.” I said pointing to the flock of Wingull. “The morning light, or lack thereof, must have reflected off of their white feathers making them look silver. And because there are so many, they looked like one giant bird.” I explained.

“That’s not it!” Madison responded adamantly. “It wasn’t Wingull. It was ginormous and it flew over to that island!” she said pointing in the distance to a rock peak. “We have to go!” Persistent as always.

“Madison, the sun isn’t even up yet. I’m on vacation, I’m tired, I’m going back to bed.” I said leaving no room for argument. “However, you have aroused my curiosity. When I wake up for real we can investigate this silver bird of yours after breakfast. Until then, don’t wake me.”

True to my word, the three of us flew on Aerodactyl to the specified island four hours later. It took some work getting around the Wingull, but after that it was a smooth flight. Between the two islands in the ocean were several violent whirlpools grouped together in one area. The strange thing about them was the way they were spiraling. It was as if they were pulling water from the surface to fill a void left below, like a giant mass rose from the sea at a very high velocity. I suddenly remembered something Axel said earlier that I was too tired to process at the time.

“Axel, you said you had a dream about singing earlier. What was it like?” I questioned.

I don’t know. It sounded kinda lonely but at the same time reassuring.” Axel tried explaining.

“I also had a dream about singing.” Madison added with excitement.

“You too?” I inquired in disbelief. “Do you remember how it went?”

“Mhm. It was something like…” she closed her eyes and began humming. That was it! That was exactly what I heard in my dream. Axel had the same surprised look as I did.

“This is no coincidence. There is no way all of us had the same dream about a song none of us have ever heard before.” I acknowledged. “No, it wasn’t a dream. We must have been hearing the song at the exact same time.”

“Do you think it was the silver bird?” asked Madison. Aerodactyl landed on the island’s mountain near a cave.

“Maybe.” I said hopping off. This time I helped Madison off so she wouldn’t hurt herself on the jagged rocks in the area. I recalled Aerodactyl to his Pokéball before walking into the cave. Axel walked in front as our light while I brought up the rear with Madison in the middle so she wouldn’t get lost. Most caves I have found are very treacherous and can be deadly if you don’t know where you’re going or you don’t take proper precaution ahead of time.

Rather than seek out the silver bird itself, we decided to look for traces it had been here: feathers, bird poo, footprints, or anything else relevant to the search. The next best thing would be if we heard it, with the best being actually seeing it. I debated on whether or not I should try to catch it or not. I guess it would depend on the situation.

“WAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!” Madison suddenly screamed as she jumped back into me. I caught her in my arms and helped her regain her balance.

“What’s wrong?” I asked in concern.

“S-so-something touched my leg!” she wailed hysterically. I wordlessly directed Axel to turn his head to where Madison had been standing. Running away from the light was a decent sized red crab with its pinchers elevated above its body.

“It’s just a Krabby silly.” I reassured. “I’m sure there are many more Wild Pokémon in here. Now come. We have a silver bird to seek.” Madison whined as I pushed her forward to keep going.

The deeper we went, the colder it got. It was nowhere near as cold as the Ice Path where I could see my breath, but it was enough to make my exposed arms tingly. Some paths were open, allowing us to go anywhere. Others were narrow, forcing us in one specific direction without the option of turning around. Inside the cave there were also hills, some so steep we had to go over one at a time so we wouldn’t fall into each other while using the wall in an attempt to maintain balance. Others were flat enough that it didn’t even feel like a hill. There were also random tunnels in various places leading to different “rooms” inside the cave. More than once Madison let out a pathetic whimper from something that scared her, usually the occasional Zubat.

“Can we go now Onii-chan?” she asked nervously. I stopped in my tracks which told Axel to do the same when he looked back and saw we weren’t moving.

“Go? You’re the one who wanted to find the silver bird!” I reminded. “Where be ye sense of adventarre?” I asked pirate like. “You commented last night how Axel and I had a lot of fun. Now’s your chance! Even if this search is a bust, you can still brag later that you explored the deep, dank, and dark caverns of the Whirl Islands in search of a rare silver bird! No go forth! See this to the end!”

With my encouraging speech, Axel moved forward again. Madison reluctantly followed, with me behind them. I noticed the small child was shaking despite hugging herself for warmth. I walked closer and leaned forward to talk in her ear. “If you’re cold, get closer to Axel’s fire. If you’re scared, don’t be. We’ll protect you from any harm. Kay?”

“Okay!” Madison said happily. “I know I can trust Onii-chan!”

As we walked down one particular tunnel, the floor started getting damper, most likely from the water dripping from the ceiling. Every step we took caused the floor to splash. Every drop that fell did nothing to me, but made Madison jump and Axel grumble. A new scent slowly filled the cavern. It was the smell of water. When we exited the tunnel, we were on a subterranean island possibly big enough to fit me, Madison, and all twelve of our Pokémon with only a little bit of room to spare. The smell of water came from the water surrounding the island. I slowly walked across the slippery damp surface to the edge. I got on my knees, stuck my face in the water, and sucked in, something I immediately regret doing. I quickly pulled my head out and started spitting.

“Don’t drink that! It’s brackish.” I warned.

“What does brackish mean?” asked Madison putting her index finger to her mouth cluelessly. I informed her three times that it meant it was salt water, but not as salty as the ocean as she didn’t quite get it the first two times. My theory was that the water was once fresh ground water, but being surrounded by the ocean, salt water gradually seeped in as well. I decided not to voice that theory out loud as I really don’t feel like explaining it five different times.

“Looks like we can go no further. Time to turn around and go back.” I said dejectedly.

“Why can’t we get on Snorlax and see where the water goes?” Madison inquired.

“You don’t hear it?” I asked noting a roar in the distance. Madison looked around obliviously before shaking her head. “That is the sound of crashing water meaning there’s a waterfall nearby.” I informed. “If we go down that waterfall, we’re screwed. It’s better to cut our losses now and say we tried, than to do something stupid and end up dead.”

Why not try a different corridor and see where it leads?” asked Axel.

“Simply put, we’ve been in here for almost five hours. In another five hours it will be almost dusk. That’s providing we take the exact path back that we took getting here. One wrong move and we may not be getting out of here until midnight.” I explained.

After sending my charges back the way we came, I noted that it was just as difficult to get around if not more. Just like getting to this point, we had to deal with treacherous terrain and maze-like structures. What made it more difficult was remembering which way we had come from; exactly as I predicted. It got to the point that I had to carry Madison on my back because she was too tired to keep going.

“We’ll rest here for a little while.” I declared after climbing up a particularly steep hill. Even I had reached my limits, plus with Madison now asleep, she was dead weight and wouldn’t be able to hold on to me if I needed to use my hands for any reason. Axel sighed with relief. Obviously he only kept going for me. I had the Flame Pokémon take the sleeping girl off of my back and lay her on a flatter surface of the bumpy ground. I sat down and started rubbing my shoulders.

So what do you think it was? The silver bird I mean.” the golden monkey inquired taking a seat next to me.

“Honestly, I’m thinking Lugia.” I admit as I leaned forward to stretch my back muscles.

Lugia huh?

“Mhm.” I nodded. “Johto legend speaks of a Great Silver Guardian that used to reside atop the Brass Tower before fleeing when a lightning bolt burned the tower to the ground. Over the last couple of centuries sailors and fishermen have been spreading rumors of a silver beast that causes storms near the Whirl Islands. I think they are one and the same and that the silver bird Madison saw is in fact Lugia. The song that we all heard was my first hint that what we were looking for is actually real. But there are other clues that I think all go together. The tidal wave that hit me yesterday was the only one that hit all day leading me to believe some unusual force caused it. A bigger one must have struck last night while we were sleeping to wash all of those Pokémon onto the beach. Adding that to those violent whirlpools that we saw in the ocean between the islands has led me to the conclusion that something big and powerful rose from the depths in the last 24 hours. My tidal wave was just the first ripple of Lugia’s rising. The other came when it emerged. Madison must have woken up and seen it before it flew over to this island. Whether or not it actually landed here, I’m stumped given that we have found no further evidence, but at least we know what it is we’re dealing with.” I explained.

It makes perfect sense. You’ve been think about that a lot haven’t you?” he inquired sounding impressed.

“What else would I have been doing all this time? I can’t not think.” I confessed. I looked over at Madison who was sleeping so peacefully. “We might as well get some rest too. She doesn’t look like she’ll be getting up anytime soon.”

You rest. I’ll take the first watch.” Axel offered.

“No, you sleep too. You’re our light source.” I said releasing Riolu from his Pokéball. “He’ll watch. Rio, if you sense anything, wake us up before it gets here.” I instructed. Riolu nodded in compliance before closing his eyes to survey the area. I laid back and threw my hands behind my head as a pillow. Axel curled up next me and closed his eyes. It didn’t take long for me to join him.

I was the first to wake up, followed by Axel a few minutes later. Madison could probably out sleep Snorlax with how long she’s been out. I’ll give her ten more minutes. After that I’m waking her up in the most interesting way I can think of.

“3… 2… 1. Time’s up.” I said after the allotted ten minutes before unleashing Aerodactyl.

What’s he for?” Axel asked warily.

“Watch. Roar Aerodactyl!” I commanded. The Fossil Pokémon inhaled deeply prior to releasing a frightening ear shattering shriek that echoed off of the cavern walls giving it a more ominous and sinister sound. Madison awoke with a terrified scream while I laughed my ass off at how evil I can be.

“It’s not funny Onii-chan!!” my victim yelled. My amusement ceased when Riolu tugging at my pants leg with a nervous look on his face. Answering Aerodactyl’s call was a loud cry that echoed from deep in the cave. The howl was like nothing I had ever heard in my life. It was one of power that commanded respect.

“You’re right Madison. Perhaps I did go too far this time.” I admit with an uneasy tone. “But we can talk about that later. Right now I think I just pissed off Lugia. Run!” I ordered trying to hide my panic. The sound of multiple beating wings could be heard as a swarm of Zubat flooded the corridor we were in. They were most likely startled by Aerodactyl’s and that other creature’s roars.

You’ve really done it now, haven’t you?” Axel chastised.

“You can tell me off later! Right now move it!” I yelled after returning Riolu and Aerodactyl to their respective balls. We kept the same pecking order to ensure that no one got left behind. That made life rather difficult for me as I was the one who was harassed the most by those bloodsucking fiends.

“That’s enough!” I proclaimed. “Come back out Aerodactyl!” I summoned releasing the stone grey winged terror. “Scatter these Zubat with Supersonic and Roar!” I threw my hands over my ears as I expected the Supersonic to vibrate off of the walls just like Roar did, and confusion at a time like this would be pretty bad. “Cover your ears everyone!” I shouted. The ancient Pokémon opened his mouth releasing a shrill screech that sent the Zubat into disarray. Once they started swarming aimlessly, Aerodactyl let out another fearsome roar sending the Bat Pokémon back into the depths of the cave they came from.

“Is it over?” Madison asked hopefully. Before I could say yes, another wild bat dropped from the ceiling, this one with a huge gapping mouth lined with sharp fangs. In a sense it was a flying mouth as the feet came out of the jaw and the wings were attached to the cheeks. Jeez, it’s one thing after another here. The Golbat spit out its long saliva covered tongue as it screeched a cry rivaling Aerodactyl’s.

“I’ve had enough of this!” I said angrily. I called Aerodactyl back to his Pokéball while readying a Great Ball. “Finish this Piloswine!” I called sending out a large pig Pokémon covered in coarse brown fur with two large tusks protruding from his mouth. “Icy Wind!” The wooly boar blew a freezing breath at the evolved Bat Pokémon that crystallized the cave’s water vapor into a white icy mist. The Golbat shrieked with displeasure from the Super-effective hit as it flew into the abyss.

“I say we get the hell out before a Crobat decides it wants to join the party as well.” I said sarcastically. I will be willing to admit this was my fault after we get out of the cave.

Hours passed until we finally reached the mouth of the cavern, recognizable only for the moonlight shining in. According to my watch it was 1:11a. We would have made better time had we not taken that rest or been attacked by deranged Zubat, but I digress. We found Lugia, even if we only heard its cry, so the trip wasn’t a total waste. Plus, it is always fun to explore new places just to see what can be found.

“It’s late, so I say we sleep here tonight.” I said taking a seat followed by a yawn.

“Ok. Good night Onii-chan.” Madison said after her own yawn while rubbing her eyes.

Night ya lazy monkeys.” Axel said tiredly.

“I’m going for an early morning walk. You wanna come with?” I asked Madison the following morning.

“No thanks Onii-chan. I’m making us breakfast today.” she said confidently.

“You!?” I questioned in shock. “Ooookaaaay. Axel my friend, I have a feeling one of us is going to die today.” I joked.

That’s why you’re eating first.” the monkey replied.

“Bye Onii-chan! Bye Axel-kun!” Madison called to us as we began our trip from the rocky ridge near the mouth of the cave down to the beach.

For this vacation, Axel and I decided that we would do no training or battling unless in self-defense like yesterday. However, that doesn’t mean a leisurely walk along the beach on a beautiful sunny morning was out of the question. The salty breeze was crisp and fresh, the sound of the waves was relaxing, and the shining sun was warm. While we walked, Axel and I lamented that we didn’t get to at least see Lugia like Madison did. Lucky girl.

I suddenly stopped cold in my tracks. I don’t know what it was, but I sensed something. Something felt horribly wrong. My heart began racing and my body began shaking.

Brian. What’s wrong?” Axel asked in a serious, apprehensive voice. I looked out into the ocean. In the distance there was a gun metal black ship. There was some marking on the hull, but I couldn’t tell what it was from this angle at this distance. The sight of the ship only made this foreboding feeling stronger.

“We need to go back!” I yelled breaking into a run back the way we had come. I don’t know how I knew, but my instincts were telling me that that ship in the distance was dangerous. An agonizing scream could be heard as we neared the campsite. “Madison!” I shouted desperately as I picked up the pace.

A horrifying sight greeted me when I returned. Two men dressed in black with a red ‘R’ plastered on each of their shirts, white gloves and boots, and black hats stood behind two Houndoom, each spewing streams of orange fire from their maws onto their poor unsuspecting victim. My entire body quivered with rage.

“Axel! Destroy those Houndoom!” I roared my voice shaken with fury. The Infernape screamed as he ran to the demon dogs, tackling one into the other. The Dark Pokémon yelped in surprise as they were knocked away from their burning prey. In a single motion I grabbed Piloswine’s Great Ball and released the boar. “Powder Snow!” I commanded desperately. Piloswine blew a cold snowflake filled breath over the burning corpses putting out the fires. I collapsed to my knees over the two sets of remains. On was of a charred shriveled plant. A Cherrim! The other… No… the other was of a human girl! On parts of the body the flesh had been burned clean off the bone while in other parts only the skin was gone revealing the muscle tissue below. The most horrific part was how unrecognizable the body was, yet I could still identify the blackened remains by the remnants of pink hair on the front of the scalp, the single remaining brown eye, and what was left of the clothes. It was sickening!

“Oh Madison… What did they do to you?” I asked mournfully starting to cry. “Y-you… you’re supposed to be a Magical Girl right? Magical Girls can’t die… B-baka!” I screamed in a choking voice.

“Was that girl a friend of yours?” one of the murderous Rockets asked in a mocking tone. I looked up at the two criminals with an unforgiving gaze. I could barely see them as my eyes were blinded with tears. My entire being burned inside with a violent anger. They had just taken a life, no, two lives and they were making jokes!

“Friend?” I said shakily. “I was Madison’s Onii-chan. At first I hated the nickname, but more and more it grew on me until she finally did become like my little sister. Though we were not related by blood, I was as much her brother as I am my parent’s son.” My voice sounded calm, but it was seething with malice. “But you bastards took all that away! Madison was just a child, she had her whole life ahead of her! A little naïve, sure, but she would have overcome that! I will never forgive you for this! I’ll make you pay! I’ll make you hurt! I’ll destroy you!” I roared vengefully. My voice no longer sounded human.

“I’ve heard enough of this guy.” said the other Rocket pulling a knife from the belt his waist. “I’ll send you to hell to reunite with your sister!” he yelled lunging at me. I ran at the Rocket head on, the adrenaline rush from my bloodlust giving me deadly accuracy. As he stabbed at me, I grabbed his wrist in my right hand and thrust my left palm into his elbow causing it to shatter and his arm bend the opposite way it was supposed to. The Rocket let out a painful scream from the damage done to his arm. But I wasn’t done with this one, not yet. I picked up the knife he dropped when I destroyed his arm and slashed it across his throat before stabbing him between the eyes. The murderer fell to the ground dead himself.

“Madison was too sweet to go to hell, which is a good thing as she’ll never have to see you again.” I said without remorse or regret.

“Shit! You’re fucking insane!” the other killer screamed turning to run away.

“And you’re fucking dead! Don’t kill unless you are prepared to be killed!” I screamed giving chase. I was on him in a second. My body was powered by anger and hate; there was nothing I couldn’t catch. I pounced on my victim like a Persian on a Rattata. I flipped him around to face me, then punched him in the face causing his nose to shatter. I stood up, lifted the Rocket by his collar, and punched him back to the ground. I then sat on top of him planting my feet on his wrists so he couldn’t fight back. I furiously punched his face where every time I pulled a fist back the other one was already coming down on him again. I continued my relentless assault until my prey’s face no longer looked like a face, just a distorted mound of bleeding flesh. Yet he still managed to live.

“Monstah! Monstah!” he choked spitting teeth and blood at me.

“Monster? Me?” I asked hatefully. “You’re the one who killed a child! She did nothing wrong! Just in the wrong place at the wrong time! You didn’t need to kill her, you just did! I’m not the monster here, YOU are!” I wrapped both of my hand around the Rocket’s neck and began pressing down on his Adam ’s apple as hard as I could with my thumbs. “And now you will never speak again!” With every gasp of air the murderer made, I squeezed tighter and tighter until his trachea collapsed under the pressure and he breathed no more.

I sighed heavily as I began to regain my composure. Everything had happened so fast, so it took a while for it all to sink in, and when it did I screamed in horror.

“Wh-what have I done!?” I sobbed. I threw my blood soaked hands around my head and began griping trying to comprehend everything. “I… I killed them… I just killed two people! I’m no better than they are! I’m a murderer! There’s no forgiveness for this, I’ll go to jail for sure!” I looked around the area at the two people whose live I had taken. Then I saw Madison’s and Cherrim’s corpses.

“No. What am I saying? I’m not the murderer here, they are!” I realized. “They killed an innocent girl, they deserved to die! I was simply avenging the death of someone close to me. They killed for the fun of it! I’m right, they’re wrong! Strife Maxwell was right. This world is corrupt. The police are obviously not enough to set things right, hell, they’re part of the problem! This whole system is flawed! Only Team Neos can set this world straight, and to do that they’ll need all the help they can get, right Axel?” I asked the golden Infernape who had come up behind me during my rambling. “Right!?” I pressed.

Yeah.” he said solemnly with a nod.

“That’s right.” I said with a dark grin. “Hmhmhmhmhm Hehehehehehe Ahahahahahaha AHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!

And so I fell into maniacal laughter…

Psycho Monkey speaking. Anyone need a tissue because after all these years this chapter still makes me cry. ;_;

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 19: Descent Into Darkness

Axel and I spent the next hour prying open the melted Pokéballs of Madison’s surviving Pokémon until our fingers were raw. When Fluffy, Ichi, Maki, Mimi, and Chuchu were all released, we gave them the tragic news. As expected, they were devastated at the loss of their Trainer and fellow Pokémon. Ichi possibly took it the hardest as the Cherubi was the offspring of Cherrim.

“I am so sorry about what has happened here today. If there is anything Axel and I can do for you, let Axel know and he’ll relay the information to me.” I said supportively. I then turned to my companion, who was coved in blood just like I was, though not as much. He had a few splashes on his arms, and one each on his chest and face. Both of my hands were drenched with the life giving plasma, along with several splatters on my shirt and at least one I could feel on my face. From what he told me, the Houndoom were all dead. Axel had smashed one of the Dark Pokémon’s head into a rock which shattered its skull and scrambled its brain, thus resulting in the blood on him. The other had its neck snapped.

“Axel, could you see if they need anything?” I requested. “I’m going down to the water to see if I can’t clean myself up some.”

I know where you’re coming from; even I’m considering taking a bath for once. Go. I’ve got things covered here.” said Axel. I nodded in thanks as I moved away from the scene towards the beach. When I got down to the ocean, I waded into the salt water just over ankle deep and got on my knees. I began scrubbing my hands vigorously even using sand as soap hoping the small particles would be able to loosen the crimson stains.

Why did things have to go so wrong? I was only on my walk for ten minutes, but it only took ten seconds for everything to go straight to hell. Who knew that when she bid us farewell this morning that it would be for keeps? What further drove my guilt was what we had said yesterday. I told her in the Whirl Island cave that I’d protect her and she trusted me. But I failed. And I can’t get the smell of blood off of my hands! I punched my fist into the water in anger, impacting the sandy bottom.

Brian?” I looked behind me at Axel who had come down to the water’s edge. “You probably won’t like this, but Madison’s Pokémon all agree that they want to go back home to Madison’s family. Her parents are breeders so none of them can be released into the wild as they were all born and raised in captivity and know nothing about surviving on their own.” the Infernape passed on.

“Aw man. How can I face them?” I pondered sorrowfully. I sighed as I steeled myself for my inevitable fate. “Alright. I’ll do it. Someone has to tell them what befell their daughter. I just hope I have five empty Pokéballs.”

I returned to the defiled campsite and one by one recaptured Fluffy, Ichi, Maki, Mimi, and Chuchu in fresh Pokéballs. Actually, two Pokéballs, a Dive Ball, a Premiere Ball, and a Great Ball to be more precise. One after another the five Pokémon were transported to my PC as I already had six Pokémon on me. I then focused my attention on the grotesque remains that were once a cute sixteen-year-old and a Cherrim.

“Do you know if we have two empty jars Axel?” I questioned.

We’ll need to check. What for?” inquired Axel.

“We can’t leave Madison here all alone, but we also can’t carry that around with us.” I said briefly shifting my eyes to the corpse. “So, as horrible as it will be, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to finish what the Rockets started. Cremate her Axel. Cherrim too.” I ordered mournfully. Axel was completely taken back by my request. His eyes were wide and his mouth hung open. I can’t say I blame him. I hate myself for even coming up with such an appalling idea, but it has to be done.

If I’m going to do this, then we also need to take out that blindfold we use for training.” insisted the monkey bitterly.

I dumped out the contents of my backpack and began sifting through Item Ball after Item Ball looking for anything that could hold ashes. The blindfold was easy enough to find, as it was one of the few nonspherical objects I carry. While Axel and I didn’t find anything jar-like, we came across roughly ten empty water bottles. Makes sense, I’m a heavy drinker of water and I have nowhere to put empty bottles when on the road but back in my backpack.

“Ready?” I asked once Axel had his blindfold on.

Just give the detestable order.” Axel demanded disgustedly.

“What are you talking about? It’s just another day of training your senses in case you get blinded or the battlefield is dark.” I said calmly hoping to make this easier on him. “The target is right in front of you. Use Flamethrower.” The Infernape made an upset groan just before breathing a blazing tongue of fire at the remains. I quickly turned away with the horrified realization of the malignant command I had asked. The putrid stench of burning human flesh once again filled the air. I made a fist with my right hand and put it in the palm of my left to silently pay my respects to the dead in honor of the life Madison and Cherrim lived.

Even after Madison was nothing more than a pile of grey ash, that horrible odor lingered on. I tapped Axel’s shoulder to let him know he was done for now. I walked over to Cherrim’s body to separate it from the ashes so they wouldn’t get mixed up. “Thirty degrees to your right.” I commanded pathetically. The Flame Pokémon moved his body accordingly, followed by another Flamethrower.

“That’s enough!” I shouted when the Grass-type was reduced to another pile of ash. Axel removed the black cloth from his eyes to see what he had accomplished. Neither of us were proud of it. Now came the tricky part. I released Snorlax from his Ultra Ball for this very important mission. “Snorlax. I know I’m asking a lot, but can you try to use Psychic to transfer those two piles of ash into the empty bottles while keeping them separate? If you can’t do it, don’t worry. I’ll find another way.” I begged.

The Sleeping Pokémon pulled himself to his feet with a very determined look on his face. Snorlax’s white face started to turn red from the intense concentration. Finally, Madison’s pile began to rise in a spiral as if it were in a gust of wind. The ash trailed to one of the bottles and began filling it until the bottle was full. The stream continued moving down the line until all the ash was gone, filling a total of three bottles. While Snorlax transferred Cherrim’s ashes into the fourth bottle, I sealed the others marking them each with an ‘M’. Cherrim only filled one bottle which I marked with a ‘C’.

“Thank you Snorlax. I know that that command was very taxing on your mind and body, but I am very grateful for what you did.” I said appreciatively. After returning the rotund bear to his ball, I picked up the bottles to put away. “May you now rest in peace.” I said to the bottles.

I agree. Let’s leave this place now.” said Axel mournfully. I couldn’t agree more.

“No, I haven’t found the scouts yet.” I heard a female voice yell. “I know they should have reported in an hour ago, but I am not entering that cave.” I put my index finger to my mouth telling Axel to be quiet as we stealthfully moved closer. “Look, all I’m saying is that maybe they have tried to radio in but they don’t get reception in the tunnels.” I pressed my back up against a rock and looked around the corner. Talking over a radio was a woman about average height with shoulder length blond hair wearing knee high white boots, white gloves, a black miniskirt, a black beret, and a long-sleeved black shirt with that despicable red ‘R’ on it.

The rage from this morning began to resurface at her sight. However, I did everything I could to suppress my bloodlust for now. First of all, I didn’t want whoever was on the other side of that radio to hear me unless I wanted a whole army after me, and second, I wanted to hear this conversation. I might learn something. “For the last time, I am not going into that cave!” she shouted into the radio emphasizing every syllable. I turned my head and whispered something in Axel’s ear. “Fine, I’ll report back. Send someone else to find those scouts.” She turned off her radio with an annoyed grunt. “Who the hell does that guy think he is ordering me around like that?” Now I would strike.

“Excuse me.” I said walking around the rock into view. The woman jumped back in surprise. She quickly reached for a Pokéball, but I was smarter. I threw my hands up to show that I meant her no harm. Yet.

“Who are you? What do you want?” she interrogated warily, never moving her hand from the sphere.

“Easy. I only want to help you out.” A lie, but I was putting on a pretty convincing performance. “I’m sorry for eavesdropping, but I couldn’t help but over hear your conversation. You’re looking for your two friends, right?” Come on, take the bait bitch!

“Are you saying you’ve seen those two scouts?” she questioned suspiciously.

“Indeed.” I answered. No came the fun part. “After all, I’m the one who killed them!” I confessed in a psychotic voice. A look of shock and terror appeared on the female Rocket’s face. Exactly the look I wanted to see! “Now Axel!” I shouted. Axel jumped out from behind the Grunt in an ambush, landing a fully charged Focus Punch to her back before she could react. Our prey let out an agonizing scream of pain as she fell to the ground flat on her chest.

“Th-this can’t be! I-I can’t feel my legs!” she screamed with a mix of pain and panic.

“That’s because Axel’s attack broke your spine.” I said calmly with an uncaring tone walking over to my victim.

“You bastards will pay for this!” the Rocket cried pulling out her radio. I stomped her hand as hard as I could, smashing both the radio and her fingers. She screamed in anguish again at the loss of her hand.

“If you want to live, you will answer my questions!” I demanded fiercely. The woman nodded miserably with tears falling down her face. “Good girl. Now, why is Team Rocket here? What were those two scouts looking for?”

“Th-they *sob* They were… *wheeze*” How irritating. I crouched down, flipped off the Rocket’s beret, grabbed a handful of her dirty blond hair, lifted her off the ground, punched her in the stomach, and threw her back down on her broken back causing her to scream again.

“Answer dammit!” I yelled.

“LUGIA!” she cried before falling into tears. Amazing how tough Team Rocket acts, but when the tides turn they can be such pathetic cowards.

“That’s why they were here!? For Lugia!? Is that why Madison had to die!?” I ranted off. The woman simply sobbed and cried in response. “Alright, last question and I’ll let you live. Where is your base? Where is Team Rocket hiding?”

“A ship…” she said in almost a whisper. That black ship I saw in the distance! The one that gave me such an ominous feeling! So that’s where they are. “Please… you have to get me to a hospital. My body… it hurts…” she pleaded pitifully.

“I said I’d let you live. Whether or not you can survive with the use of only one arm is entirely up to you.” I said coldly glaring down at her without remorse. Her brown eyes widened with grief realizing that while I wasn’t going to kill her personally, I was leaving her to die a slow and painful death. She began screaming and begging me to help her. I ignored her as I walked away from my victim, motioning Axel to follow me. We travelled back to that dreaded place where the Rocket scouts remained.

Why are we back here again?” Axel inquired grimly.

“Team Rocket is looking for their scouts. I say we give them what they want.” I said graciously. “And then we make them pay for everything they’ve done! The lives they’ve ruined in the past will be avenged. The people they would have hurt in the future will be saved. And I get to have more fun!” I cheered with a gleeful malice.

You’re insane!” Axel shouted.

“I know! But the question is, are you with me or against me?” I asked hoping my friend and ally for so many years was still on my side.

Bitch please. I already told you that it is my curse as a Pokémon to be eternally loyal to you. Besides, this is so that no one has to suffer again. I’m with ya Monkey!” the Infernape replied devotedly. I laughed triumphantly at his response.

“Excellent! Come forth Aerodactyl!” I shouted sending out my prehistoric Flying Pokémon. “We have a delivery to make. Would you be so kind as to carry myself and Axel to a nearby ship with that cargo in tow?” I asked pointing to the deceased enemy. The stony terror screeched his reply as he crouched to let Axel and I board. Once we were settled, Aerodactyl fluttered to the Rockets and picked them up in his claws before flying off the island.

I directed my Fossil Pokémon to the location I had seen the ship and what luck! There it was, sitting stationary just waiting to be ambushed. It was disguised as a black cargo ship, about thirty feet in length, but on the hull was the red ‘R’ that gave it away as the world’s enemy. Due to the sharp point the bow came to, the ‘R’ was somewhat misshapen. It was really no wonder I didn’t recognize the symbol from the distance and angle I saw it from the beach.

“Aerodactyl. When you drop off the delivery, let it touch down first, give the Rockets on board just enough time to acknowledge the bodies but not enough to react to us, then blow them away with Hyper Beam. Aaaand Go!” I instructed. The ancient beast opened his claws letting the corpses plummet to the ship below. No sooner had they touched down, a group of black dressed Rockets ran over to investigate.

“Now!” I shouted. Aerodactyl pulled his head back and blasted a powerful beam of yellowish orange energy when he thrust forward. Even though I wasn’t the intended target, I could feel the heat from the attack from where I was and I had to grip Aerodactyl harder to brace myself from the recoil. The people below us looked up at the impending apocalypse heading their way. They didn’t even get a chance to scream before their bodies were incinerated and the ship beneath their feet exploded. For maximum damage, the King of the Skies lifted his head from facing directly downward to almost looking forward sending the Hyper Beam in a straight path form the bow to the stern of the ship destroying everything in its wake.

I began laughing maniacally at the mindless destruction. I was forcibly silenced when the ship wasn’t completely and utterly destroyed as I expected, in addition to the sight of more Rockets emerging on the deck to investigate the damage. The ship was more durable than I gave it credit for. To top it off, Aerodactyl won’t be able to do another Hyper Beam, or even attack for that matter, for a few minutes. Not a problem.

I pulled out Snorlax’s Ultra Ball again and released the heavyweight in midair. “Harden!” I yelled as the giant plunged from the sky, crashing into the ship below like a comet. Snorlax had landed on the Captain’s driver seat room causing the windows to shatter and the steel to bend and snap like twigs. The entire boat violently rocked in the water from the impact. The Sleeping Pokémon rose from the resulting crater in a grumpy rage facing the stern of the ship. The Rocket’s began readying their Pokémon at the sight of their foe.

“Eliminate them with Hyper Beam!” I commanded from Aerodactyl who had swooped in closer so that I could give commands. Snorlax inhaled followed by his own blast of the lethal energy attack. The enemies in front were consumed by the beam which resulted in another explosion on the ship starting a fire. However, the enemies behind Snorlax and on his flanks were still active and now had their Pokémon out, ready to take advantage of his recharge time. From my vantage point I saw a Nidoking, two Mightyena, a Dustox, three Golbat, a Raticate, a Gligar, two Weavile, an Ariados, and a Drapion. I quickly called back Snorlax and circled around to get some distance.

“Don’t let that coward escape! Chase after him Golbat!” one of the Rockets ordered. Who said anything about escape?

“Use Iron Head to tear through the port side of the ship!” I commanded. “Be ready to jump Axel.” Aerodactyl did as I told, stiffening his head until it shined a pale silver. With two seconds until impact, Axel and I got up, ready to dismount at the right second. As the prehistoric Pokémon tore through the side of the ship, the two of us jumped and landed on the boat while Aerodactyl tore through the other side with some unsuspecting victim in his mouth.

“You have some nerve attacking a Team Rocket vessel.” threatened one of the criminals standing with the Nidoking. The Golbat that had been chasing us landed with its Trainer as well. Axel and I stood back to back in a defensive position as we were now surrounded by the enemy. I couldn’t help but smirk. The worse the odds, the greater the fight or flight response. I then did the one thing they wouldn’t expect; I charged them head on.

“Your plan will fail! We have you out numbered!” a Rocket shouted. “Slash him to ribbons Weavile!” he ordered. I felt the heat of Axel’s flame as he flew past me surrounded by fire for Flare Blitz. Weavile shrieked as the fire monkey collided into it.

The Weavile’s Trainer grabbed me from behind wrapping his arm around my neck in an attempt to choke me. Lucky for me, I was both taller and stronger. I leaned forward flipping the criminal on his back. I repaid him for attacking me by kicking him in the face and stomping his groin. A cruel thing for one man to do to another, but I no longer view those who wear Team Rocket’s uniform as human. They are nothing more than trash polluting this world. I dragged the unconscious (or dead, who could tell) Rocket over to the fire created by the Hyper Beams and casually threw him in. Wait a second, how did I do that? I’m relatively strong, but lifting a human body and casually tossing it?

Now wasn’t the time to reflect on that as I heard the furious roar of Nidoking. The Drill Pokémon came charging at me with his horn pointed low in an attempt to skewer me. I quickly drew Piloswine’s Great Ball to summon the wooly boar. “Ice Beam!” I called rolling to the right just barely dodging the purple monster. As soon as the Swine Pokémon was fully materialized, he shot a wintry beam of condensed water vapor at the spiked bipedal rabbit. Nidoking roared in anguish as he was slowly frozen solid. With that, I unleashed Beldum onto the field. This would mark the first time I used the metallic blue arm shaped Pokémon in battle. I hope it performs well.

“Beldum! I want you to use Iron Defense, then shatter that Nidoking with Iron Head. Got it?” The Iron Ball Pokémon responded by shining with a fresh coat of metal followed by charging strait though the King of the Nidoran. “Long live the King!” I shouted smashing the Pokémon’s severed head.

“Nidoking! Bastard! Look what you’ve done!” shouted the Pokémon’s former Trainer angrily.

“All I did was defend myself.” I said indifferently. “You just need to chill. Ice Beam!” Another pale blue beam came from Piloswine’s mouth freezing the Rocket as well. I walked over to the frozen statue and pushed it over causing it to shatter. “Oops.” I said like a child who just broke his mother’s vase. I casually walked away from the frozen shards to find what more trouble I could get into.

“There he is!” cried more Rockets charging at me. I took a fighting stance and quickly dealt with them with a mix of punches, kicks, and throws. I didn’t kill them; in fact, I even left them conscious. I had a better plan. Besides, the fires were starting to spread, and the deck was littered with warped or sharp metal shrapnel.

“Axel! Where are you?” I called stopping at the bow of the ship.

Right here. Why?” the monkey asked running to me with an Ariados leg in his hand.

“It’s time to end this.” I told recalling Beldum and Piloswine to their respective spheres as both were weak against the spreading fire.

“Attention Team Rocket!” I announced. “As you have probably noticed, you can’t beat me! My Pokémon and I have already killed a few of your members and Pokémon. Now I’m giving you a choice. Those of you who think you deserve to live step forward and stand in a straight line. Return all of your Pokémon to their Pokéballs and lay the balls in front of you. Do that and I may accept your surrender.”

Are you serious?” asked Axel in dismay.

“Just watch.” I whispered to him. As I expected, all of the surviving members of Team Rocket gathered and stood side by side in a straight line.

“So you all think you deserve to live?” I asked them. Each one nodded nervously. At that moment my face turned grim. “So did Madison.” I mumbled. An evil smirk appeared on my face. “Now all of you! Die!” I commanded sweeping my arm down the line. While the arm motion did nothing in particular to them, it was the signal to Aerodactyl, who was patiently hovering above, to launch another Hyper Beam. The revived carnivore cocked his head back before sending another burst of heated radiation right down the line. The Rockets screamed in agony before being completely destroyed by the blast and the resulting explosion.

“That’s what you deserve you animal fucks!” I shouted victoriously.

You are enjoying this way too much.” Axel pointed out.

“I know. I’m so fucked up.” I owned up shamelessly.

If you are, then so am I. I never expect to enjoy revenge this much. It’s actually a kind of liberating feeling. Before when I fought, I always gave it my all, but I never crossed that fine line. Now it feels like I’ve been holding back.” my companion described.

“Well don’t let it go to your head. We only kill the guilty. Friendly battles will stay just that. We don’t want to hurt innocent people or Pokémon. We’d be just like them if we did.” I made clear. The boat then began to shake violently knocking me off balance. The sound of creaking metal could be heard. I guess the ship has finally had it. “Hehehe. Time to go Axel.” I said raising my right arm in the air while embracing Axel in my left. Our transport dove down catching us in his claws. I tightly gripped Aerodactyl’s ankle as we sped away from the exploding ship.

The middle of the boat caved in first sending the bow and stern into the air folding into each other. The fires of the deck were gradually put out as the vessel sank. Axel and I climbed up on Aerodactyl’s back so we could get a better view of it all. I had the ancient flier circle the crash site for about ten minutes just in case any survivors surfaced. If there were any, I’d have Aerodactyl pluck them out of the water and tear out their throats with his serrated fangs. After ten minutes, no one surfaced and I doubt any survivors would be able to hold their breath this long after such a traumatic experience. Satisfied, I had Aerodactyl fly us to Cianwood for a much needed rest.

One week later after having chartered a boat from Cianwood, I arrived back in White City. Knowing what I had learned from last time, Strife Maxwell was a political who worked for the White City Committee which resides in the tallest building in the city. Axel and I wandered around the pristine and clean city until finding a tall, reflective glass paned building dominating the skyline. This was it!

I walked through the glass doors into a gigantic lobby. Lining the door were two potted plants, one on each side and each about human sized. The floor was white, smooth, and uncarpeted. In the middle of the room was a finely crafted marble fountain carved in the shape of a Suicune with its snout turned up as it sprayed a Water Gun to the sky before coming back down into the surrounding pool. People in suits walked to and fro going about their daily lives completely ignoring me. On the left and right sides of the room were a set of staircases, both covered in an expensive looking ruby carpet. Each staircase was adorned with a golden railing on either side and in the middle to give them both up and down capabilities. In the back of the room between the double staircases was a mahogany desk with someone sitting at it; most likely the secretary.

I waded my way through the crowd to the desk in order to greet the secretary, who was an older woman, possibly mid-forties, with tied back graying hair, a narrow wrinkled face, thick librarian style gasses, and a dress suit like everyone else. “Can I help you, young man?” she asked in a shrill voice.

“Yes, I’m here to see Mr. Strife Maxwell. I’m the son of one of his friends, Nathan Xelbu. My name is Brian.” I introduced making sure I covered all of my bases so I could get my business done as soon as possible. The secretary gave me an unconvinced look but picked up the phone on her desk anyway and dialed a number.

“Sorry to bother you Mr. Maxwell, but there is a young man here to see you. He says his name is Brian Xelbu.” the woman said into the phone.

That’s not his name dumbass!” Axel corrected. I on the other hand, found it to be the perfect alias to protect both my reputation and my family from my new enemies.

“I understand. I’ll send him right up.” she acknowledged before hanging up the phone. “Mr. Maxwell will see you now. He is in room 376 on the eleventh floor. Elevators are right up those staircases.” said the secretary pointing to the stairs behind her. “And this is your visitor’s pass.” she said giving me a sticker and a marker.

“Thank you.” I said graciously. I quickly filled out my pass and made my way up the right staircase passing several workers on the way. The upper part of the first level had the same white floor as downstairs. Just like the building’s entrance, healthy looking green human sized potted plants were on both sides of the four gold door elevators resulting in five plants total.

The first elevator to open was the second one from the left. Without hesitation Axel and I entered as everyone else got off. I guess it wouldn’t make much sense to be going to the first floor if you weren’t intending to exit. Two other people entered with us, a man in a shit brown suit and a woman in midnight blue dress clothes. I pushed eleven while the man pushed three and the woman pushed eight. Both gave us weird looks; first curious, then dirty and condescending. That is the very reason I hate rich people, they think they’re better than the commoners, especially Pokémon Trainers who have almost no money at all.

As the elevator went up, those two eventually left, but more got on. Each time they regarded me and Axel as diseased rodents and tried their best to keep their distances. Just you wait you rich bastards, I’m going to tear down the establishments so that your money is worthless!

At last, floor eleven. I rudely pushed past the three smug humans who remained in the elevator just to give them something to talk about. The hallway was like a lounge area of sorts with blue carpeting and comfy looking sofas and chairs surrounding tables of various sizes where people were enjoying their lunch breaks and coffee. I ignored them as I made my way to the offices. 374… 375… Ah there’s my prey, 376! I didn’t bother knocking, Strife should already know I’m here, so I just opened the door and walked right in. I made sure to close the door behind me so that no one would easily overhear our conversation.

Strife sat in his black leather chair facing away from me, instead looking out the window which gave a scenic view of the entire west side of the City. The interior of the room was fancy as one would expect. The azure carpet from outside trailed in covering the floor. Strife’s fine brown desk was covered with neatly stacked paperwork and office supplies. The white walls had awards and pictures on them that I really didn’t give a damn about. There was only one thing I was here for.

“Brian Xelbu?” he greeted with interest placed on the name.

“I had nothing to do with that. It was the secretary’s assumption.” I defended. Strife turned around in his chair to face me. Like before, he was in a neatly pressed white suit with a sky blue dress shirt underneath. His brown hair was also neatly combed giving him a sophisticated and proper look.

“So what brings you here Brian? After our last meeting, I did not believe I would see again, especially so soon. What has it been, two, maybe three weeks?” Strife played at with his hands folded under his chin and his elbows resting on his desk.

“I won’t drag this out Strife. I want in.” I said straightforwardly. The politician chuckled lightly at my declaration.

“So what made you change your mind?” he inquired.

“I’ve been enlightened. I’ve finally seen the world for what it really is; corrupt, unjust, dangerous, and chaotic. A man gets charged with assault for defending his family and property from a burglar, an innocent child is burned alive because she’s in the wrong place at the wrong time… I want it all to end! You said Team Neos is working to bring peace and order to the world so let me help.” I ranted while Strife sat silently hearing me out. “In fact, let me make myself clearer.” I got down to one knee and extended both my arms to my side. “I, Brian Nosurname, now known as Brian Xelbu, do hereby swear my loyalty to the ideals set out by Team Neos!” I decreed.

“Where would you like to be stationed?” asked Strife obviously accepting my proposal. He was, after all, the one who extended the first invitation.

“Anywhere in the world is fine, I’ll gladly go where ever my services are needed.” I answered. “Although, I want Team Rocket to suffer the most.” I added maliciously. Without a word, Strife reached into his desk and pulled out a notepad. He scribbled something on it, ripped off the sheet, and handed it to me. I walked over to the desk to accept it.

“The Left Atrium is a bar in Goldenrod City. It is also one of Neos’s recruitment facilities. Go up to the bartender and say you want a NEOpolitan with emphasis on the Neo. He’ll show you to the back room.” Strife instructed.

“Thanks.” I said stuffing the paper into my pocket.

“I have a few words to share with you before you go.” said Strife. “When someone refers to the Leader of Team Neos, they refer to Arthias. He goes by the code name Leader while serving as my stand in so that I may easier manipulate dealings with the bureaucrats and politicians. As of this moment you, Arthias, and my Captains are the only ones who know my true identity. Therefore, do not say anything foolish.”

“Got it.” I answered. “By the way, I also have something I want to say. Before I realized how the world really was, I thought of Team Neos as nothing more than another criminal organization. If at any time I regret joining, I will kill you Strife Maxwell.” I warned heatedly.

“Then I hope that we meet your expectations Brian.” he said sounding unconvinced of my threat. It wasn’t that he didn’t believe me, it was more like he was confident I would fail if I tried. Always with that air of confidence and coolness. Never faltering once except that time with Arthias. Strife Maxwell is probably the most dangerous man on the planet. It’s a good thing I’m on his side.

“Come on Axel.” I said walking out the door.

I’ll be honest with you. I really don’t like that man.” stated the monkey once we were in the hallway.

“I can’t say I’m too fond of him either, but if anyone can change the world, it’s him. Not to mention at this very moment, Strife Maxwell is our new boss.” I responded.

Your new boss. The only human I take orders from is you.” Axel retorted.

“Right.” I affirmed. “Anyway, back to Johto then.”

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 20: Point of No Return

It took a while to find due to the size of Goldenrod City and my own directional impairedness, but I finally found the bar known as the Left Atrium. It was a rather simple design; rectangular, peeling white paint on the outside revealing the wooden walls beneath, and a beaten wooden door leading inside the bar itself. On the roof were the words “Left Atrium” shining in red neon lights written in a fancy cursive font. On the left side of the name was an Ace of Hearts card, also made out of red neon lights. Just what could be expected from this kind of place.

Unlike the rest of the city which had a golden glow in the afternoon sun, the area I was in was dirty and full of broken buildings and boarded up houses. According to the people of Goldenrod, this dingy district was considered a bad neighborhood where only the scoundrel of humanity resided. The main hangout spot for these vermin was none other than the Left Atrium. It was ironically fitting that this was also the very recruitment center of the organization that would clean up this filth.

“Ready Axel?” I asked my companion. “Once we walk through that door, it’s over. There will be no going back.”

There was no going back the moment you killed those people. I say we do what we came here for and finish what we started.” declared the monkey. I could only smile at his determination. I reached out for the bar door and entered.

The inside wasn’t much better than the outside. First of all, I started coughing from how much cigarette smoke there was in the air. I grabbed the collar of my shirt and lifted it over my nose and mouth to keep from breathing that shit, but that did nothing to keep my eyes from watering. I felt bad for Axel who had no protection from the carcinogen. Aside from the foul stench in the air, the lights were dimmed giving it a drearier look. To the far right were a number of booths and tables, some occupied, with a yellow tinted window by each. In the middle of the floor were about six pool tables with various thugs playing at all but one table. In the back left corner was a dart board with about three darts in it, none on the bullseye. What I wanted was on the far left side, the bar itself. All I had to do was ask for a Neapolitan with emphasis on the Neo. The idea was to get in without any trouble, but based on the looks I was getting from everyone here, I could already tell that was going to be difficult.

“Hey there little boy.” said a soon to be dead man. He was a shirtless bald fat bastard wearing a simple black leather vest letting all his girth hang over his blue jeans. A tattoo of a Gyarados ran up his right arm. “That’s a mighty nice Infernape you have there. Hand it over!” he ordered.

Go fuck yourself tubby!” Axel spat. I pulled my face out of my shirt to make speaking easier.

“Sorry, but it doesn’t look like he’s interested in going with you and I’m not really the type to give into intimidation.” I said nonchalantly with a hint of snark.

“Are you making fun of my friend here?” asked a skinny guy with buck teeth and a purple mohawk. Judging by how alike the two men were dressed, I’d say they were both part of the same gang. Tubby must eat all the food leaving Slim hardly any.

“What ever gave me away?” I asked carelessly. Both hooligans gave me angered looks. “Listen, I have better things to do than deal with you unevolved monkeys, so get out of my way and no one gets hurt. Kay?” I proposed pushing past the two thugs.

“Hey! I’m not done with you yet!” shouted Tubby grabbing my shoulder.

“I got the Infernape!” Slim said proudly. My eyes widened with my pupils narrowing. They had their chance to live.

“Flare Blitz!” I called to Axel. I heard Slim cry in pain as Axel surrounded his body in fire, then most likely tackled the fool. I reached my arms behind my head and grabbed Tubby’s arm. I then pulled him as I leaned forward flipping the fat bastard over me with some effort. I stood over him glaring.

“Wh-wh-what’s with your eyes?” he stammered in fear.

“These are the eyes of a killer.” I said coldly. “Perish, now.” I ordered placing my foot on his head. Slowly I pressed down, savoring Tubby’s every scream.

“That’s enough!” shouted the bartender. I looked over my shoulder at the man in a white T-shirt and black apron with buzz cut brown hair and a stubble beard and mustache.

“You’re lucky I have better things to do than waste my time on you.” I said lifting my foot off the man’s head. “Axel!” I called.

Oh fine.” Axel said disappointedly as he dropped the now hairless Slim. I took a seat at the bar with Axel standing on my right. No one else in the bar dared mess with us after the stunt we just pulled.

“Hey bartender! Can I get a NEOpolatin?” I asked.

“What did you just say?” he asked warily.

“Perhaps you didn’t hear me. NEOpolatin.” I repeated boldly. The bartender shifted his eyes right and left before looking back at me and nodding.

“Could you watch the bar Jack?” the bartender asked another guy who was wiping down glasses up until now. “Follow me.” he said to me quietly. As soon as he left the bar, the guy led us down a narrow hallway.

“So who’d you hear that from?” he inquired suddenly.

“What?” I asked not completely sure what he meant.

“The password. There is no way you just knew, so who told you?” I couldn’t exactly tell him the truth since I swore myself to secrecy. Actually, I could tell the truth and lie at the same time.

“I heard it from Leader himself.” I said. Strife may be the real leader, but they all will think I’m talking about his stand-in Arthias.

“Shit! Leader!? As in…” he said starting to shake his hand over his head.

“Leader as in the head of Team Neos.” I bragged. The bartender started spazzing as if he was about to die. He was acting like I was some sort of prince or other type of royalty.

“Shit. You must be somethin’ then for Leader to recommend you. Those guys out there really had no idea who they were messin’ with did they?”

“Well I don’t like to brag, but I came in second at the Sinnoh League. Now, there’s a reason I’m here.” I reminded sternly.

“Ah! Right, right! Sorry!” he said walking forward once more until we got to a door. He began fumbling with a set of keys he pulled from his apron. When he found the one he wanted, he unlocked the door and led me and Axel into a dark room. After flipping a switch on the wall by the door, the bartender knelt down and lifted up a secret hatch on the floor revealing a set of stairs.

“Take these stairs and you and your Infernape will find yourselves in Team Neos’s recruitment branch of Goldenrod. Normally I wish people luck, but someone like you probably doesn’t need it. Hell, I’m willing to bet you’re made a seated officer if not lieutenant.” he kissed up.

“Thank you.” I said walking down with Axel close behind. I wonder what will have to be done for me to become an official member. Maybe all I have to do is say Leader told me about this place and they’ll just give me a position. Heh. Wishful thinking.

At the bottom of the stairs was a room full of people conversating about whatever. Were we waiting for something to happen or was this it? I walked through the crowd interacting with no one, but observing and listening to everything so that I could piece together what was going on. As I passed through, I realized the diversity Team Neos represented. People no better than the ones upstairs were here, along with teenagers and adult alike. Some people were still dressed in their work clothes having just come from their jobs. Why were they here? Did they have the same goals as I did? As Strife does? Or are they here just because? For the crime? For the money?

“This should be interesting Axel.” I stated continuing to look around. Out of nowhere a pair of hand came around my face covering my eyes.

“Guess who.” a female voice said sweetly. The voice was so familiar, I know I know it, but from where?

Evil bitch.” Axel mumbled unkindly.

“Eve Illuminati.” I said pulling her arms away from me and turning around. Indeed it was her. Long white blond hair, piercing emerald eyes, black gothic dress, black platform boots going up to her knees and everything. “Why am I not surprised to see you here?” I asked condescendingly.

“Why am I surprised to see you?” she asked. “This is no place for children.” I was hoping I’d see Eve again so I could pay her back for before, but this was way too soon.

“I’m here to change the world.” I answered deciding not to let her get to me. “What are your reasons?”

“For fun.” Eve responded with a crude gratification. I should have known. She isn’t the type to change her behavior on or off the battlefield. Speaking of battlefields…

“Tell me, who won the White City Tournament?” I inquired. Eve looked away from me with a mopy look on her face. Obviously not her.

“It was so stupid!” she shouted in aggravation. Obviously a humiliating loss. “Raiden Arka beat me in the final round.” I had stopped listening right there. Raiden Arka had been in that tournament? How the hell did I miss him? It should have been me fighting him! The first Trainer I ever battled. The first Trainer I ever lost to. The first and only Trainer to grant me my ideology on training Pokémon.

July 10, 3003
“I challenge you to a battle!” I said to an older Trainer on Route 1. The man had long black hair tied in a ponytail with several strands hanging down the side of his face ending at his cheek bones. His eyelids hung over his dark eyes giving him a sense of aloofness. He wore black jeans which were torn at the knees, yellow boots, and a blue denim jacket over a sleeveless navy blue shirt. I was so excited! This was the first Trainer I had met since I captured Axel just two days ago.

“Do you honestly think you can beat me?” he questioned uncaringly.

“Of course I can! And don’t think you can back out either! Once a Trainer makes a challenge, you must accept!” I said arrogantly. “Let’s go Axel!” I called throwing a red and white sphere. The Pokéball opened materializing the golden Chimchar in a burst of red light.

“A Chimchar. One of an interesting color no less.” he said before sighing. “So young, so brash. Fine. I accept your challenge. You will not win, but I will at least give you some advantage with Magneton.” said the Trainer holding out a blue Pokéball with red stripes on either side. I believe it is called a Great Ball. From it emerged a Pokémon made of three silver steel orbs held together by about seven screws with a vacant white eye on each orb. The Pokémon was surrounded by six magnets.

“Alright Axel! Let’s get this guy with Ember!” I called. The young monkey inhaled deeply but was only able to burp out a puff of smoke. Axel giggled in embarrassment.

“He cannot use even the simplest Ember?” the Trainer questioned with an unamused look.

“We’re working on that!” I defended. “So let’s try Scratch instead!” I commanded. Axel ran at the Magnet Pokémon and swiped his claws across the opponent’s smooth shiny body. The young Pokémon gave out a muffled wail of pain as he gripped the hand he had attacked with in his other.

“A Steel-type like Magneton is resistant to such weak attacks as Scratch. If anything, your Chimchar hurt himself in the same way a human would scratching the side of a building. How weak.” scoffed the other Trainer. Axel got an angry look in his eye and before I could stop him, the Chimp Pokémon reached under his tail and threw a pile of flaming poo at the Trainer. Lucky for him, his Magneton was fast enough and willing to take the hit instead. “What… was… that?” he asked completely perplexed.

“I’m so sorry!” I apologized. “Axel! Enough with the flaming poo! It’s rude and just… just no! Don’t do it again, got it?” I scolded. The Chimchar gave me a dirty look in response.

“No need to be so harsh on him. I will punish your Chimchar for you. Magneton! Thunder Wave!” the Trainer ordered. Magneton had shaken off the poo leaving an unpleasant brown stain on the Magnet Pokémon where it had hit. All three eyes stared at Axel furiously as the entire body began sparking. Axel whimpered nervously as he slowly started backing away with a scared expression on his face. Magneton discharged its electricity on the young monkey causing him to first scream then quiver uncontrollably from paralysis.

“And finish it with… Tackle.” he said picking the move seemingly at random. Magneton threw itself into the immobile Chimp Pokémon sending him rolling across the ground before stopping with his butt up in the air. The flame on the Chimchar’s rear extinguished itself as a sure sign he was fainted. I was left with my mouth agape completely taken off guard by the situation. How easily I had lost.

“No… No way! What power! You are way too good for me.” I said in admiration.

“That is because you are a low class Trainer. You just picked up a Pokémon without knowing what to do with it while I am Gym Leader level. I was just on my way to Viridian Gym to prove that Electric-type Pokémon can beat Ground-types when given the proper training.” explained the other Trainer after recalling his Magneton.

“A Pokémon is only as strong as its Trainer, and you are weak. You rush into things and you do not have complete control over your Pokémon or else he would not have thrown feces at my Magneton. You, the Trainer, must first become stronger before you can expect anything from your Pokémon. You must lead by example. Also,” he reached into his pocket and pulled out a white crystal, “it is very irresponsible to walk around with your Pokémon fainted if you can help it, so take this Revive and use it on your Chimchar. Now, I hope you learned something today. I must be off now.”

“Wait! What is your name? I wanna know so that when I do get stronger I can beat you.” I spoke up. The man turned back to me with a blank look.

“It’s rude to ask someone else their name before giving your own.” he said flatly.

“Sorry. I’m Brian Nosurname.” I said.

“Raiden Arka.” he responded before walking away again.

I never forgot what Raiden said that day. Ever since, I have trained alongside my Pokémon including my frequent sparring matches with Axel just to make sure that I am also at the top of my game. Unfortunately, that training wasn’t enough. Three years ago I ran into Raiden again in Hoenn by chance. We had another battle but I still lost. He beat two of my Pokémon with his Manectric before I beat it, he beat another two with Magneton until I was able to take it down as well, but his Raichu finished me off. He said my problem then was that I had realized I was going to lose but kept going anyway. Losing faith in my Pokémon’s ability to win is what cost me.

“Hey! Are you even listening to me?” Eve yelled bringing me back to the present.

“Yeah, I heard you. You got your pretty little ass handed to you by the most powerful Trainer either of us have ever met.” I repeated.

“And he’s the one that recruited me.” she added. I think I just swallowed my tongue and had a heart attack. Raiden was also with Team Neos? How many other people do I know are with this organization?

“Alright, quiet down all of you!” shouted a man standing on a stage wearing the Team Neos uniform; whitish grey mid-shin high boots, hakama pants, gloves, and a hooded long sleeved shirt, the emblem of a silver X with red dots in the upper cross, grey dots in the lower cross and blue dots between the two crosses was on the chest. Standing with him were three other members, two on his right and one on his left. “As of this moment you maggots are members of Team Neos. To determine your rank, we will hold a number of tests from Pokémon battling to situational logic. If you want a respectable rank, I advise you to do well.” he blared from his high point.

“I am not wearing that outfit.” Eve said defiantly.

“Then work on getting an advanced rank. Higher ups are usually allowed to customize their uniforms.” I taunted.

“There’s no doubt I’ll get a high rank. Most likely higher than you. And then you can be my wittle gwunt servant.” she mocked with her baby talk.

“Just know that if we ever meet in battle again, I will rape you.” I threatened.

“Oh please don’t! I’m still a virgin!” begged Eve crossing her legs. She decided to drop the act by laughing me off with a snide giggle. “Remember? You even admit it yourself, you can’t beat me. That is an unchangeable fact.”

“Just be glad we’re on the same side now.” I warned.

Stupid woman. She has no idea what we’re capable of now.” Axel said. I wonder though, what would she be like if I actually got her to fight seriously? My Pokémon would need to be ready to fight for their lives if I did.

The training really wasn’t all that bad. The way it worked was the better you did in one round, the tougher the next round would be. Our four instructors would give us different scenarios and hypothetical missions, whereas we trainees had to find ways to complete those missions successfully by any means necessary. What made these tricky were random hurdles and unexpected incidents that threw off the original plan forcing us to adapt. Those who passed with all requirements met were sent to the next level. Those who failed were demoted.

Another thing they looked at was our skills in battle. Obviously those who were strongest and smartest outclassed the weaker crowd. Combining these two attributes, combat and success rate, would be what would determine our rank.

Low Class Grunts: Any Trainer who just picks up a Pokémon and thinks they have power now. A lot like what Raiden said about me all those years ago. They are only a threat to people without Pokémon, new Trainers, and Wild Pokémon. Low class grunts are given the most basic and unimportant missions.

Grunt: Trainer level. They are like the average Trainer. They have a team of about three or more Pokémon, and they can hold their own in most battles. Grunts are given missions where failure is only a minor setback and success leads to great rewards. This is the most common rank among the Neos.

Officer: Gym Leader level. Officers are as strong as a Gym Leader or someone who has beaten all eight leaders of any region. They are highly unlikely to lose except to higher ranked individuals and are given more important missions such as interfering with the major criminal organizations of the world. The two Trainers I fought on the boat that one time were Officers.

Seated Officer: Frontier Brain Level. A step above regular officers, seated officers are given a numerical rank to determine status. Ten is only slightly better than a regular while one is the strongest. Seated Officers have missions similar to Officers, only they are to derail the more important plans of the enemy Teams. A Seated Officer would have been needed for the Lugia incident on the Whirl Island had they known about it.

Lieutenant: Elite Trainer level. The highest obtainable rank. Like Elite Trainers who have mastered all or most of the world’s Gyms, beaten at least one Battle Frontier, and regularly participates in tournaments worldwide, Lieutenants are nearly unstoppable unless faced with someone of equal or greater power, though this is rare. They are given missions that are crucial to Team Neos’s plans and are treated with the utmost care. Failure is not an option.

Captain: Elite Four Level. The three most powerful members of Team Neos, this rank cannot be obtained without first being appointed by Leader. Their missions consist of only the most important. If there is any room for failure by a lower ranked member, the mission is given to a Captain. Arthias is ranked Head Captain making him the fourth, though for Strife’s purposes Arthias assumes the role of Leader.

These ranks of course only apply to the main division. I don’t know how accurate the rumors I’ve heard are, but supposedly there is also a Stealth Division. They serve as spies and do more black-ops type missions. There is also the Science Department which Xelbu was a part of, but that has nothing to do with me.

“If you are ever in a situation where the mission has crumbled and the only way to get out alive is to abandon your Pokémon, what do you do?” asked one of the instructors. Today was day four of our training.

“That’s easy. Leave it! When it comes to survival, you must always look out for number one.” answered a random person I couldn’t see from my position in the crowd.

“You’re wrong!” I interrupted. “Abandoning your Pokémon is the stupidest thing you can do in that kind of situation. I’ll give you two scenarios to prove you wrong. In the first one, you abandon your Pokémon but get captured by the enemy. You now no longer have any means to defend yourself against them and their Pokémon leaving you with two options: surrender or die. If it were me who caught you, I’d execute you on the spot without mercy. The second case is you get out safely, but the rest of your Pokémon no longer trust you. They’ve seen that they are disposable to you, and like how you abandoned the other Pokémon, they too will abandon you to survive. It would be the same case if you were a grunt and saw your commanding officer leave a fellow grunt to die. You would do whatever it took to get away from him before you were next. That is why I would do whatever I could to save my Pokémon or die trying because I know they’d do the same for me.” I explained.

“Well said.” came a voice that did not belong to any of the instructors. Arriving down the stairs from the bar was none other than Raiden Arka wearing a Team Neos uniform with the hood down so that we could clearly see his face.

“Third Seat Raiden Arka! Sir!” the four instructors acknowledged simultaneously as they saluted Raiden. Third Seat huh? As expected, he is very far up there in rank. I didn’t expect to see him here though.

“Brian is absolutely correct.” Raiden agreed. He even remembered who I was. There is a reason I have an undying respect for that man. “A Pokémon is only as good as its Trainer. In combat a Trainer acts as a general to his troops, the Pokémon. If the general is weak, he can expect nothing from his subordinates. At the same time, a general is at the mercy of his troops, without them he cannot accomplish his goals. That is why a symbiosis must be met where the two work together.” Raiden clarified. “I want all of you to remember that!” he addressed to all of us.

He’s amazing.” said Axel in admiration.

“He is.” I agreed. So badly I wanted to battle Raiden right now just to see how much I’ve improved. However, this was not the time or the place. I’ll challenge him after today’s seminar. Hopefully my Pokémon and I won’t be too worn out.

Riolu thrust his palm forward sending a burst of aura through my opponent’s Sudowoodo’s body. The tree look-a-like gave a weak yelp before collapsing unconscious making Riolu and me the winners.

“Alright Rio!” I cheered as I crouched down to high-five the young Emanation Pokémon. Riolu gave me a gratified smile as he slapped my hand.

I took a quick look at my watch which read 7:51p. Only nine minutes remained of this exercise. Our final test of the day was combat practice. We could challenge any other new recruit of our choosing and there was no backing down from a challenge. A lot of the people that challenged me would be Grunts at best. The sad part was that Eve and I were two of the best people here leaving not much decent competition. It’s a shame we aren’t allowed to challenge the instructors or Raiden.

“Hey you!” someone yelled out to me in a deep gravelly voice. This challenger had a jowled face like a Granbull’s with small narrow eyes and short silver hair.

“Let me guess, you want a battle.” I said uninterestedly.

“I wanna get you back for making me look like an ass in front of the superiors!” he shouted. I had no idea what he was talking about. I turned my head slightly to the side to try and remember who all I had humiliated today.

“Oh, you wouldn’t happen to be the clown that was going to abandon his Pokémon are you?” I realized.

“Yer damn right I am! Now it’s yer turn to be humiliated!” he bellowed grabbing a ball from his waste and releasing a human sized green mantis with long bladed arms and a reptilian like head.

Can I fight this one?” asked Axel like he wanted a treat.

“Alright, Scyther is yours.” I agreed. “Hit it with Flame Wheel!” Axel’s fiery mane grew intense as he jumped in the air and spun at the unfortunate Bug-type.

“Avoid with Agility!” my adversary ordered. Scyther turned into a green blur dodging right of Axel’s attack. “Now I’ll use Staraptor!” he said sending out a tall bird covered in black, grey, and white feathers with a long head crest tipped with red feathers. The bird Pokémon stood on powerful orange talons that could tear its prey to ribbons.

“Two against one isn’t exactly fair, ya know?” I said looking back and forth between Scyther and Staraptor. “So I’ll just have to use--”

“Staraptor! Use Brave Bird on the Infernape! Scyther! Quick Attack the Trainer!” barked the Trainer. What did he just say!? Staraptor slammed itself into Axel’s chest knocking the monkey as far away from me as possible while the Mantis Pokémon lunged at me at a blinding speed. Before I could react, I was thrown to the ground with Scyther looming over me.

Brian!” Axel cried trying to get to me.

“Keep the Infernape busy with Close Combat!” ordered the Granbull face. The Predator Pokémon started rapidly kicking and slashing at Axel with its enormous talons forcing the monkey on the defensive. “Now Scyther! Finish the Trainer with Slash!”

Time seemed to slow down as Scyther lifted one of its lethal blades over my head. I couldn’t dodge, Scyther was way too fast, it would hit me no matter what direction I moved. I couldn’t summon another one of my Pokémon, it would take too long for them to protect me. There was only one thing I could do, and that was to protect myself! I instinctively threw my right hand into the air actually catching the Mantis Pokémon’s blade in a firm grip. I winced in pain as I felt the blade cut into my palm. Blood ran from my palm down my arm before trailing off to drip on the floor.

“Impossible! Scyther’s blade should have cut your hand off!” my opponent cried in shock. I gazed up at the man with a feral look in my eyes. He stepped back in fear at my commanding presence. I picked myself up, throwing Scyther aside when I had regained my balance. I stared down at my wounded hand, blood still trickling from the gash in my glove. To my alarm, I noticed that my finger nails had suddenly grown into claws and there was a faint blue glow around my hand. “What the hell are you!?” demanded the terrified man.

“I’m beginning to wonder that myself.” I answered in confusion looking back at him. The glow around my hand faded away while my nails returned to their normal length.

“Whatever you are, yer dead! Scyther! X-Scissor! Staraptor! Aerial Ace!” he ordered. I reached for Piloswine’s and Aerodactyl’s Pokéballs for assistance, but they were unnecessary as two bolts of blue lightning shocked the two Flying-types into fainting. Raiden walked up with a Jolteon by his side and a very unamused look on his face.

“Like I said before, a Trainer is like a general and the Pokémon his troops. Taking out the general will leave the troops in disarray making victory impossible for them and inevitable for you. It is a smart strategy when facing your enemies. However, taking out one of your own comrades is greatly frowned upon and is also a way to develop mistrust among the ranks. Much like abandoning your Pokémon.” Raiden reprimanded. “As for you Brian; great job parrying that Scyther’s attack. Perhaps you have gotten stronger.”

“Thank you Master!” I thanked appreciatively of the complement.

After getting my hand bandaged up, I joined the rest of the recruits for rank and squad assignment. The four instructors stood on the stage with two on each side of Raiden.

“Well maggots, you are all being promoted tonight! Your rank has been determined by the tests you each performed these last four days! If you do not like your rank, you have only yourself to blame and only you can change that!” one of the instructors blared. “First, I would like to inform you all that as of now you each serve under Third Seat Raiden Arka! That won’t change until you become seated officers yourselves! That said, Raiden Arka has handpicked four of you to be his personal officers and as such his squad members! Will Eve Illuminati, Zack Kaguya, Chane Turk, and Brian Xelbu report to the stage?”

Did I hear that right? Raiden handpicked me to be in his personal squad along with Eve? This is both an honor and a WTF moment.

Get moving Monkey, we’re up!” Axel told as he pushed me up to the stage.

“Let’s do this!” I declared with excitement. I would be in a squad with someone I admire, someone I have a loathing respect for, and two people I know nothing about other than they must have impressed Raiden somehow.

On the stage standing by Raiden’s side were Eve, a petite girl with wavy auburn hair and brown eyes with a timid expression on her face, and a boy with unkempt red hair with blue eyes hidden behind glasses. This one had a look of confidence to him.

“Wow. Little baby Brian made it all the way to the big leagues. I’m so impressed.” Eve teased sarcastically. “And since when is your name Xelbu? I thought it was--”

“I changed it to protect my family.” I interrupted. “You and Raiden are the only ones here who know my true name.”

“Well whatever your name is, I’m Zack Kaguya.” introduced the boy holding out his hand. I gladly accepted my new partner’s hand shake.

“A-and I-I’m Chane Turk.” the girl introduced shyly. It made no sense to me why someone as timid as Chane was here. Team Neos doesn’t seem like the line of work someone like her would be cut out for, but she must have her reasons. Either that or she’s just nervous.

“I’m Brian Xelbu and this is my life partner Axel.” I introduced formally motioning myself then the Infernape.

When he says ‘life partner’ he means it. Don’t you ladies come sniffing around my man.” the deranged monkey said defensively. It’s times like this that I’m glad I’m the only one who can understand him.

“Shall we be off then?” Raiden inquired leading us to the exit.

“We shalst!” I answered following my new leader with the rest of my companions. I took one last look at my bandaged hand. There was definitely something going on with me that I needed an answer to. For now though, I’ll just have Axel keep an eye on me until I get a chance to find out what’s happening. For now, I’ll enjoy the company of my new squad. This will be where the fun truly begins!

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 21: The Dream Team

Mom and Dad

Due to being in the wrong place at the wrong time and events that were completely beyond my control, I have become public enemy number one of Team Rocket. To protect my identity, I have changed my name and to protect you this will be the last time I contact you until everything is taken care of. I have Axel with me along with a few trustworthy allies so don’t worry, I’ll be completely fine. I love you both.

-Your one and only son.

P.S. Burn this letter after reading it. I don’t want my enemies to trace this to you.

I held the envelope addressed to my parents which contained that letter in my bandaged hand staring at it for a solid two minutes before tossing it into a blue mailbox at the corner of a street in Goldenrod. It was only 11:30 in the morning, but already it was turning into a hot day. The bright August sun made the city glow like its namesake. I don’t think any Grass-type would have trouble launching a Solar Beam today if there were to be a battle.

You ready?” asked Axel empathetically.

“Yeah, we can go.” I said turning away from the mailbox. All I could do at the moment was turn as my destination was across the street and I had the red light. I stood patiently waiting until the light for the cars turned red and I got the white walking signal. At that moment I casually walked across the street to the building that housed my squad’s temporary base.

Raiden had rented us a four-bedroom apartment paid for by Team Neos. The Team will support us until we get our first mission and start making money at which point our squad funds will pay for our finances. The way I understand it, mission profits are divided into three categories; what goes to Team Neos to keep it running, what goes to the squads to support their field work, and what goes to individual members to keep them happy.

The apartment we were staying in was on the first floor so all I had to do was walk in the main entrance and go down the hall to room 109. As I put my key in the door, I heard yelling and screaming on the other side.

What the hell is going on in there?” Axel wondered out loud. I quickly turned the lock and pushed the door open. Standing in the middle of the floor was Eve dripping wet wearing nothing more than a white towel. She was staring daggers at Zack who had his arms up palms out with a nervous grin on his face. Chane was standing by the doorway to Eve’s bedroom with a concerned look. She probably heard them fighting and came to investigate.

“What is going on here?” I asked in confusion.

“Zacky boy though it was a smart idea to walk in on me in the shower!” Eve said angrily.

“I told you, I only wanted to see if you needed help scrubbing your back. My intentions were entirely pure.” he replied like he did nothing wrong. “Help me out here Brian. I know we haven’t known each other long, but we men have to stick together.” he said looking to me for support. My mouth slowly curved into a demented smirk as I realized what was going on here.

“What are you so happy about?” Eve questioned venomously. “You better not be siding with this lecher!”

“I’m not siding with anyone nor will I get involved. This is between you two. I’m just thrilled to watch.” I said happily. I closed the front door and leaned against the wall. “As you were.” I instructed. This will definitely keep me entertained for a while.

“C-can’t we all just get along? M-maybe we could sit down and maybe g-get to know each other? W-we are a team now s-so why argue?” Chane proposed fidgeting around nervously.

“And miss all the fun?” I asked sarcastically raising an eyebrow. Zack used this distraction as an opportunity to run over to Chane. Comparatively, he was about nine inches to a foot taller than she was.

“I for one agree with the idea.” he declared wrapping his arm around her shoulder. I’m not sure if it was intentional of accident, but he had his hand on one of her boobs. Chane definitely noticed as she was wide eyed and blushing bright red. “It will be a nice way to settle our differences and become better comrades.” Zack went on.

“U-u-umm…” Chane stammered trying to get Zack’s attention. He looked down at her realizing what he was doing. Zack pulled his hand away with a shameless laugh.

“Sorry, old habit.” he confessed modestly. He then turned to Eve. “Eve, as much as I love seeing you dripping wet in nothing but a towel, how about getting dressed so that we can get better acquainted. Then maybe later we can really get acquainted.”

“Not going to happen!” said Eve spitefully. As she walked past Chane and Zack to go to her room, Zack thought it smart to grab her ass. Needless to say, no one was surprised when Eve turned around and elbowed him in the face before slamming the door.

“I might have deserved that.” Zack said holding his nose as he crouched to retrieve his glasses. Already I like this squad! Although by the looks of it, one of us was missing.

“So where’s Master Raiden?” I inquired pushing myself off the wall and walking to the rest of the group.

“Master?” asked Zack regaining his composure.

“Well yeah, I respect him and he is our superior. That is why I call him Master.” I clarified.

He has a warped sense of respect.” Axel threw in for the hell of it.

“R-Raiden w-went to pick up our n-new uniforms.” answered Chane with a stutter. It’s too bad he’s going to miss our Q&A session. I would suggest postponing it until he got back, but I don’t know how long he’ll be and Eve might kill Zack in that time span. Speaking of the devil herself, Eve came walking out of her room fully dressed but still emanating a wrathful aura.

“If we’re doing this, I’m sitting out of Kaguya’s reach.” Eve said sounding calm, but her tone was laced with anger. We all gathered in the common area and sat on the various furniture laying about. Zack, Axel, and I sat on a grey three cushion sofa, Chane sat in a red recliner with her hands folded nervously in her lap, and Eve laid on her side on a blue two cushion sofa with her head propped up in her hand glaring at Zack. Poor bastard’s made it on her hit list it seems.

“Well the first question I think that should be asked is; why did you all join Team Neos?” asked Zack starting everything off. “I myself joined for the chicks. Chicks dig a man in uniform and we have one badass uniform.” he said concededly with his hand on his chin and a smug grin. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me with his behavior this morning.

“I joined for the fun of it. Seeing the humiliated faces of people when you beat them is just so satisfying and some of their expressions are just priceless!” Eve sneered joyfully. “Isn’t that right Brian?”

“Quiet you!” I yelled at her. “Your turn Chane.” I said more calmly.

“W-w-well… m-m-my brother always took care of me and looked out for me, b-but w-when he got hospitalized, I decided to join s-so that I could become stronger a-and protect him for once.” she explained. Somehow though I don’t think we’re getting the whole story on her.

“What about you Brian?” inquired Zack pushing up his glasses.

“Me? I want to change the world. I want to destroy all crime and tear down the world government. Only then can things be rebuilt the way they should be. A place where both Pokémon and humans can be happy and free: that is my goal.” I said straightforwardly. Everyone in the room gave me strange looks. Eve broke the silence by laughing mockingly.

“Oh what a vivid imagination the child has.” she taunted.

“I-I think it is a wonderful goal.” Chane agreed with me.

“Why not? We’ll help each other achieve our goals.” declared Zack. “The three of us will work on getting Chane stronger for her brother, you all can help me get laid, especially you ladies, we can assist Brian in destroying the world, and Eve can have herself the time of her life doing all of that. Whadaya say?”

“Fuck off.” Eve answered flatly. Figures she would be unsupportive.

Next question! What Pokémon do you all have?” Axel brought up. I kindly translated for everyone and ran down my list of Axel, Aerodactyl, Riolu, Piloswine, Snorlax, and Beldum, the six I was currently carrying.

“I have a Banette named Diva, a Luxray, a Steelix, a Nidoqueen, a Roserade, and a Walrein.” Eve told.

“I-I have Beautifly, Lunatone, Pidgeot, Chansey, Azumarill, and Breloom. Th-their names are Celia, Luna, Jace, Lucy, Kermit, and Izzy r-respectively.” listed Chane.

“I’ve got a Golduck named Lloyd.” said Zack. “Up until a month ago I was a Pokémon Ranger so I was only allowed and only needed one partner.” he said bluntly.

“S-so you quit to join Team Neos?” inquired Chane.

“Quit?” he replied with a confused look. A nervous smile then appeared on his face. “I was kicked out for way too many sexual harassment charges!” stated Zack shamelessly pointing his thumb at himself. “It’s part of a Pokémon Ranger’s job description to stay fit and athletic so who can blame me if I was turned on? I mean those are some sweet lookin’ hotties in that profession.”

“Figures.” Eve said unamused as she rolled her eyes. Chane simply looked to the floor blushing while I just started giggling uncontrollably. Was this guy for real?

“You are a horrible person Zack and yet I just can’t help but think you will be the source of much amusement!” I declared between giggles. It had been awhile since I laughed like this at something genuinely funny and not at ripping people’s limbs off. “Next question?” I proposed after catching my second wind.

“Are you ready to try on your new uniforms?” All five of us turned to the front door where none other than Raiden was standing wearing his “civilian” clothes consisting of long black pants, brown tennis shoes, and a sleeveless navy blue shirt. Slung over his shoulder was a white gym bag which I’m guessing contains our uniforms.

“Sure, why not? Kaguya was making me nauseous anyway.” said Eve getting off the sofa and walking to Raiden.

“Ouch. That hurt.” Zack said pretending offence.

Raiden emptied four uniforms out of the bag and passed them out to us, sending us to our rooms to get changed once we had one. Those who had rooms anyway. Since there were only four bedrooms, one person would not get a room. I was the first person to call the floor as I am fully capable of sleeping anywhere. As such, Raiden sent me to his room. It was rather basic with only a bed and dresser occupying a moderate amount of space.

“Can you believe it Axel? Things just keep moving forward. At this rate we’ll fix this world in no time!” I mused optimistically while getting undressed. I held the pale grey hoodie out in front of me admiring the shining silver X on the chest.

Yup. As much as I liked our previous lifestyle, we only fought for ourselves. Now it seems like we’re putting our talents to better use.” acknowledged Axel with an outlook I hadn’t really considered. I mean I knew what I was doing, I just hadn’t heard it put into words like that before. That monkey can be wiser than me sometimes.

After applying the whitish grey gloves, I proceeded to look myself over in a mirror on Raiden’s dresser. Zack was right; we do look pretty badass in this outfit. And here I thought I only looked good in black. I finished off by throwing the hood over my head to get a view of what my enemies will see. I must say, I’m quite pleased with the results. As far as the fit went, the pants were comfortable around the waist and baggy in the legs, just the way I like my pants, and the hoodie was loose giving me room to breathe. The gloves and boots were also perfect fits. It’s almost as if Raiden bleached what I normally wear and gave it back to me.

Dude. You rock.” Axel complemented looking me over.

“Indeed I do. Now come! We must join the others.” Outside Zack was already standing fully dressed with Raiden. Aside from being two inches shorter than me, we could have been called twins. Joining us a minute later was Chane. Eve was the last one to come out but she had modified uniform just as she promised she would. She had cut the top of her shirt open to expose her cleavage, and rather than wearing the pants she was given, she wore her own skirt and platform boots. Raiden did a slow motion face-palm with a sigh and shook his head. Chane was a stuttering mess as she tried to form the words she wanted to say.

“Wh-wha-what did you do!?” she finally got out.

“Simple, this shirt was too tight and I do not wear pants.” declared Eve arrogantly.

“Hell yeah!” Zack cheered at her comment.

“Get over yourself jizz stain. It’s not gonna happen.” she shot down mercilessly.

“Ow. My feelings.” lamented Zack. Twice in one hour. How much more can he take of this before Eve breaks him for real?

“Enough nonsense.” Raiden scolded. “While you were all getting changed, I was informed that the spies we have infiltrating Team Rocket reported that the Rocket’s plan on raiding the Day Care Center on Route 34 to steal the Pokémon the elderly couple living there are taking care of. Their reasoning for doing this is of no concern to us; your objective is making sure theirs fails.”

“Our objective? What about you?” I questioned with a raised eyebrow.

“So far we are the only squad in the area to be informed as the report only just now came in. I have an errand I need to run, but the four of you should be more than enough to handle it. Now stop wasting time! Get going!” he told us. Without a seconds more hesitation, we left the apartment.

Well that was random.” Axel said as we ran outside.

“Agreed.” I affirmed.

“What kind of leader is he anyway? Sending us to do all the dirty work.” Eve protested.

“A good leader also needs to know how to delegate. If Master Raiden were here it would be serious overkill.” I pointed out both to annoy Eve and defend Raiden. I looked at the many buildings lining the streets then up at the sky. I determined the fastest way to get to where we need to go would be by air so I quickly reached for Aerodactyl’s Pokéball to release him.

“Good idea Brian.” Zack complemented when the Fossil Pokémon materialized in a red beam of light. “You mind if I ride with you? I don’t have a Flying-type.”

“Sure, hop on.” I instructed jumping on first followed by Axel. Aerodactyl growled in disapproval as Zack also mounted. The only other time he had been forced to do a three-seater was with Madison and she was a light weight. At the same time, Eve joined Chane on the latter’s Pidgeot. When everyone had their rides sorted out, we took to the sky. “Sorry Aero.” I whispered in the dinosaur’s ear as he flew us.

“I guess I need a flier?” posed Zack realizing Aerodactyl’s stress.

“It would be helpful.” I approved. “Eve should get one too if she doesn’t already have one.”

“Yeah, I’d love to have the option of mounting either her or Chane.” Zack said enthusiastically.

“You mean their Flying-types?” I suggested wondering if he meant it to sound the way it did, or if he just forgot a word. Axel was snickering at the very thought of it.

“That too.” he said not bother to correct his mistake. “But what about you? Which do you think is cuter?” he inquired flirtatiously.

“We’re here!” I dodged pointing down to the small ranch. Unfortunately, we were late as I could see several figures below dressed in black harassing the Pokémon at the Day Care. What worried me was that I couldn’t see the elders anywhere. Hopefully they were just being held hostage in the house and not hurt in anyway. After all, I know full well what those bastards are capable of. The very thought of it makes my blood boil!

Jace came from behind Aerodactyl in a nosedive toward the ranch. I led my flier to do the same. Four Rockets looked up in alarm as the two Flying-types landed and the five of us dismounted.

“Ah! It’s them! It’s Team Neos!” one of them screamed fearfully, this one male.

“It seems our reputation precedes us.” I said sinisterly. I glared at my foes like a predator looking for the weakest link to feed on. Looking around the group I count two males and two females accompanied by a purple bipedal canine with massive jowls curved up in two pointed fangs and a black collar around its neck, a red snail made of lava with huge yellow eyes and grey hardened lava forming a shell, an angry white furred monkey with a red crest on its forehead and two long black claws on each hand, and a cyan colored rabbit covered in short poisonous barbs. Just one Pokémon each? Can’t they do better than that?

“Relax, there are only four of them and six of us. We can handle these punks.” said the other male confidently. What a delirious fool. Still, that meant there were still two more unaccounted for.

“Oh no! They have us out numbered! Whatever are we going to do?” mocked Eve sarcastically. I could almost laugh now that her quips weren’t directed to me for once. I was also amazed that it required six of these clowns to hold up a Day Care.

“You’re not making fun of us now, are you Little Girl?” taunted what sounded like an older female from behind us. Eve simply laughed the woman’s comment off.

“Are you just jealous because, unlike you, I still have my looks you ugly old hag?” she retorted not missing a beat. A silver spoon held by a yellow three fingered hand swung around Eve’s throat threatening to slash if the owner didn’t like the next remark out of her mouth. The rest of us were entangled in blue vines save Axel and the fliers. The morale of the other Rocket members seemed to shoot up at seeing us taken out so quickly.

“If your Pokémon are smart they won’t dare attack my Tangrowth or my Kadabra unless they want their precious Trainers to be crushed or have her throat slit.” warned the woman stepping into our view. I’m guessing she was in her mid-thirties. She had grey eyes, red hair done up in a ridiculous perm, and wore a fancy white uniform with the trademark red ‘R’ on it that would look magnificent stained with blood. She also had white heeled boots and on her waist was a gold belt. I nodded to Axel and Aerodactyl to let them know to stay at bay for now.

“That’s Ms. Charmaine for ya. There’s no winning with her unless you agree with her.” said one of the two females proudly. That meant this woman was the leader of this operation. I will enjoy killing her.

“What do you want with this Day Care anyway?” inquired Zack.

“We have no reason to explain ourselves to you NEOphytes.” mocked the male who was originally scared of us. I love how they act so tough when things end up in their favor.

“Pff. Nice pun. Did you hear it from your mommy?” Eve ridiculed. Kadabra pulled its spoon closer to her neck causing Eve to grunt in annoyance.

“Watch your tongue girl. To answer your question young man, we heard there was a Pokémon staying here that was bred from a good stock so we decided to acquire it. Unfortunately, that well-bred Pokémon just turned out to be this weak little thing.” she criticized holding up a small blue Pokémon with white cheeks and a zigzagged black tail ending in a blue ball the same size as the Pokémon. The poor little Azurill looked panicked and terrified as the vile woman held it by its bubble like tail.

“Azurill!!” Chane shouted in distress. That’s right, she did say she had an Azumarill, the fully evolved form of the victim. Was Chane empathizing or were this one and hers related? Chane began struggling to get free of Tangrowth as hard as she could.

“What’s wrong? Did I hit a nerve?” tormented the leader. “What if I were to do this?” The woman began playing paddle-ball using the ill-fated Azurill as the ball with its own tail the paddle.

“Stop it!” Chane cried desperately.

“How typical of a stupid Rocket.” I scoffed. The wench stopped her assault and looked at me curiously to see what I was up to. “You told our Pokémon that if they were smart, not to attack. Well they’re not the ones who should be smart. It’s you! On our side are two Flying-types and a Fire-type. On yours is a Grass-type holding us hostage.” I smiled darkly giving the female Rocket wide eyes full of fright. “Axel! Flamethrower Tangrowth now!”

You got it!” Axel agreed willingly. He spat a long tongue of fire at the hapless Vine Pokémon behind us. I could feel the intense heat as the creature behind me writhed in agony. The vines around me and my partners weakened enough for us to literally break free. Eve took the opportunity to elbow Kadabra in the side to escape while it was distracted by its companion’s agony.

“Time to play Diva.” she said evilly as she removed a Dusk Ball from her belt.

“Jace! Aerial Ace that woman and free Azurill!” Chane commanded. The Pidgeot wasted no time in dive bombing the leader in the chest knocking the wind out of her and causing her to drop Azurill. At once Chane rushed over to catch the baby Pokémon as it fell. “You’re ok now. You’re safe.” she whispered to it comfortingly. Kadabra instantly Teleported away from the possessed doll known as Diva to aide its master.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Eve questioned rushing after her chosen opponent.

“How dare you hurt Ms. Charmaine! Use Flamethrower on the girl with Azurill Magcargo!” ordered the second male Rocket. Before I had a chance to react, the Vigoroth was attacking me with its arm raised over its head. Axel swiftly jumped in the way to parry the Wild Monkey Pokémon’s Slash and threw it to the ground.

While we were distracted by Vigoroth, Chane embraced Azurill tightly as the stream of flame neared its intended target. A blast of water suddenly came from behind Chane cancelling out the fire. She looked up and behind her where Zack stood next to a blue kappa with a long tail and a red jewel on its forehead. A few drops of water dripped off the Golduck’s beak onto the ground.

“You ever think about hurting my friends again or you’ll have me to deal with.” Zack said threateningly. I couldn’t see her face under her hood, but I think Chane was looking at Zack as if he were Lance of the Elite Four as he chuckled before saying “Don’t give me that look. We’re teammates, we lookout for each other.”

“R-right.” she answered. While holding Azurill in one arm, Chane stood up in addition to pulling out a Luxury Ball. From the ball came a pink egg shaped Pokémon with small arms and legs, small frills hanging off the side of its head like hair, and an egg in a pouch on her belly.

“Lucy, I need you to take Azurill and heal it with Soft-Boiled.” Chane told the Chansey handing off the baby Pokémon. Lucy wasted no time in pulling out her egg and feeding it to the young Azurill. “Now it’s your turn Kermit!” The fully evolved Aqua Rabbit materialized from his Net Ball with a very pissed off look on his face. Either the Azumarill was aggressive anyway, or sensing what happened to his kin from inside his ball put him in a bad mood. “Please use Hydro Pump on the Magcargo!” she commanded. Kermit gladly complied, blasting water from his mouth like a fire hose. The lava snail was quickly taken out by the attack.

“Hey, you’re kinda cute. Why not ditch Team Rocket and join me? I will give you as much passion and romance as you want.” Zack said hitting on one of the female grunts. This one was the owner of Nidorina. Has he no shame?

“Get real.” was her annoyed response.

“Too bad.” Zack sighed lowering his head. “Lloyd! Use Psychic!”

I had no time to observe any more of the battle as I was in one of my own. “Vigoroth! Attack with Ice Beam!” called the monkey’s Trainer. Vigoroth screamed as the cold pale blue ray shot from its mouth. Axel threw his arm in front of the beam to block it only to have his arm frozen.

“Axel, I think you just learned Ice Punch. Use it!” I called. The Flame Pokémon pulled his fist back followed by a devastating jab to the enemy monkey’s jaw which cracked the ice around Axel’s arm. “Follow up with a Fire Punch! Same arm!” Axel punched the Wild Monkey Pokémon in the stomach causing the ice to shatter, not only from impact, but also from the Infernape’s flaming fist.

That’s better.” Axel declared while staring at his hand as he moved his fingers. He was suddenly struck from behind by a Headbutt from Granbull. The monkey landed on all four limbs and growled at the purple canine.

“How dare you interrupt a monkey battle!” I yelled at the female Rocket who had issued the command while I was distracted with Vigoroth and its Trainer.

“Hey I had this!” agreed my opponent. I was actually surprised he wasn’t grateful for the assistance seeing that he had nothing but a humiliating loss ahead of him.

“Well sooorrrry for helping then.” she said snidely.

“Not yet you’re not.” I said vehemently. “Aerodactyl! Lunch is served! Granbull or human? Which do you want today?” I called over to my prehistoric beast who had been sitting bored and idle since we landed. The revived terror shrieked with delight as he flew over to us with his mouth wide open.

“Oh Arceus no!” the female Rocket cried running away with Granbull close behind as Aerodactyl fast approached. A yellow dust filled the air around the two causing them to stop dead in their tracks.

“Just thought I’d lend a little assistance. You can hardly take care of yourself.” teased Eve. She stood with a small green human shaped creature that had white hair, a leaf like cape, a green mask, and two bouquets for hands, one red the other blue. “Roserade’s Stun Spore should last ten minutes or so, so don’t take too long torturing them.”

“Thanks.” I told her. I looked over at my ancient warrior who already had his claw on Granbull and was tearing out the Fairy Pokémon’s throat. “Aerodactyl thanks you too.”

“You… You ate them!” panicked my foe slowly backing away.

“No. He ate them.” I corrected pointing back to the scene where the Fossil Pokémon was devouring Granbull leaving behind bloody bones. “Or rather is eating them. Now are we going to finish this monkey battle or not?” I demanded.

“*Grrr* Vigoroth! Double Team!” the Rocket ordered. One Vigoroth soon became seven attempting to surround us. “Now use Fury Swipes!” The seven monkeys all came at me and Axel with their claws swinging wildly. We stood back to back knowing that the real one would attempt to take either me or him out. I punched at the nearest one only for it to vanish. This would be so much easier if I had a sword, then I could take two or three out in a single stroke.

Gah!” I heard Axel scream. Sounds like he found the real Vigoroth. I turned around to see my monkey grab the other monkey by its head followed by several rapid kicks to the stomach. At last the Vigoroth fell unconscious.

“Now it’s your turn!” I said victoriously turning toward the Trainer. He tried to run away, but when he turned around Aerodactyl was standing behind him with blood lining the sadistic grin on his maw.

“P-please… spare me.” he begged getting on his knees.

“Ok.” I said in a friendly tone.

“Really?” he asked nervously.

“Sure.” I walked over to the Rocket and extended my arm in a gesture to help him up. However, the moment he accepted my hand, I thrust my palm into his elbow snapping his arm in the wrong direction. Over his pain written scream I added “You’ll live, but you’ll be a cripple. I call that a fair deal.”

After breaking the Rocket’s other arm and shattering both of his knees with the help of Axel and Beldum, I looked around to see what else could be done. The Trainer with the Magcargo was fast asleep as a result of Luna’s Hypnosis and Chane’s mercy. The Nidorina was laying on top of her Trainer, both alive but in rough shape. I’m actually surprised Zack didn’t try to rape her. Could it be he has a chivalrous side? The other female Trainer shared the same fate as her Granbull being nothing more than a pile of broken bones in a pool of blood. There was no sign of this group’s leader, her Kadabra, or the sixth member that was spoken of.

As I walked around the side of the house into the ranch the Pokémon stayed in, I was greeted by Chane who was sitting with a Paras, a Rattata, a Politoed, and a Flaafy. Kermit was holding the Azurill from before and Lucy was tending the wounds of a Nuzleef.

“Um… H-hi Brian. A-and Axel.” she greeted cheerfully while petting the Rattata.

“Hi yourself.” I responded. “You really care about Pokémon don’t you?” I observed.

“I-I had to make sure th-they were alright. Team Rocket w-was being so cruel to them.” said Chane in despair. “B-but everyone’s ok now!” she said happily.

“Yup. You did great today. I can see why Master Raiden chose you.” I praised.

“Th-thank you…” she said shyly.

“Oh yeah! Where is everyone else!” I asked when I realized they were still missing.

“I-I don’t know. As soon as Luna p-put that Rocket to sleep I came back here to check on the Pokémon.” she answered looking side to side. I guess she didn’t witness my massacre then.

“Come on! I haven’t checked the house yet!” I said running to the side door. I threw open the screen door to see Charmaine standing in the living room holding a knife to the Day Care Lady’s throat while the Day Care Man was knocked out on the floor with a big bruise on his bald head. She looked like she had been put through hell as her hair was a mess and her clothes were dirty and ripped in several places including a gash in her shirt that exposed her entire bleeding shoulder. Standing in front of her were Zack, Lloyd, and Eve who were looking on motionlessly.

“I was wondering where the rest of you Neophytes were.” the Rocket wench ridiculed. “As I told your friends, one wrong move and the old lady dies!” she warned pushing the knife harder to the elder’s throat. That would explain why the others weren’t attacking. But did they have a plan?

“So where’s your Kadabra?” I interrogated not seeing it as I looked around.

“I fainted it.” Eve admit proudly. “But she called it back before I could have any more fun.” she pouted. I rolled my eyes. How typical.

“Shut up! All of you!” the Rocket demanded furiously. “Now that I have you all in one place, I can finally escape. You may have ruined our plans, but none of you will leave here alive!” she announced. The woman pulled a black rectangular radio from her pocket with her free hand and pushed down a red button. “Are the Electrodes ready?” she asked into it.

“Yes ma’am.” came a response on the other end.

“Very well. Get down here so that we may take our leave.” ordered the wench. A moment later the sixth Rocket came running down the stairs followed by a muscular grey skinned man with a black crotch and a big gold belt with a red ‘P’ on it. The size of the Machoke’s red veined arms gave it a slight hunch. They must have been holding the couple hostage before we arrived which is why we didn’t see them until now.

“You should feel lucky Old Woman. You get to live.” the sixth Rocket told the Day Care Lady spitefully.

“You scoundrels will never get away with this!” the elder warned defiantly.

“Hostages should know better than to talk.” growled the leader pushing the knife harder drawing some blood.

“She’s right though. You won’t get away.” Eve said confidently. On cue a black ghostly hand came out of the woman’s head. The fingers on the hand curved into claws before raking back through the Rocket’s skull. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head as she fell lifelessly to the ground. Axel and I both shuddered as we realized that could have been him when we last battled Eve. Diva came walking through the wall with a satisfied look on her zippered face.

“My word!” gasped the old lady looking down at the scene.

“You bastards!” yelled the last conscious survivor. “Machoke! Crush them!” There was no response from his Pokémon. “Machoke!” he yelled angrily turning to the Super Power Pokémon. Machoke groaned as it collapsed to the hard wood floor crackling with electricity.

“I was wondering what was taking you four so long.” Raiden said bluntly. He stood in his Neos uniform with his arms crossed and an orange mouse with yellow cheeks, big curly black ears, and a long black tail tipped with a yellow lightning bolt standing with him. I remember that Raichu! It’s the one I lost to in my and Raiden’s last battle.

“There are five of you now!? I can’t take this! I surrender!” moaned the final Rocket falling to the floor in defeat.

Once the Day Care was safe, and all the surviving Rockets gathered up and sent to the police, we returned to the apartment for some well-deserved rest. And a lecture which none of us were quite thrilled about.

“Your first mission was a success, but you all could have done a lot better. I want to see more teamwork. Things will go by much faster if you work together.” Raiden told us.

“Says the man who didn’t show up until the end of the fight.” Eve retorted.

“Next time I will be with you so that should help smooth things over. As squad leader, I will also find ways to utilize each of your individual talents to their fullest. Zack Kaguya, the ex-Ranger. Your specialty is using the environment to your advantage. Chane Turk, you care a lot about Pokémon. Your performance today only proves how passionate and determined you are to protect them from harm. Eve Illuminati and Brian Xelbu. You are both cunning strategists. Eve, you use your charm and wit to throw enemies off balance allowing you to control the battle. You, Brian, can adapt to any situation for better versatility. Then there is myself. Like Eve and Brian, I am a strategist. I strive to overcome my weaknesses while exploiting the weaknesses of my foes. Just as I have found ways to compensate for my Electric-type Pokémon’s weakness to Ground-types, I will find ways to compensate for each of your weaknesses to make our squad unstoppable. That is all I have to say, so you may do as you like now.” he finished.

So I figured I should point something out with this chapter. It was written before HGSS was a thing so Charmaine was based on the "generic" female Rocket Executive from GSC, hence the similar appearance. Her name comes from the Pokémon Special manga's name for that character.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 22: Dragon’s Den

The early morning silence was interrupted by laughter. My laughter. I was the first of the five of us to wake up which also made me the first one to read today’s newspaper. The paper was limp in my hands while I leaned back in my chair at the kitchen table giggling at what I had just read.

“What is so funny that you had to interrupt my beauty sleep?” Eve demanded grumpily walking into the kitchen. As I explained before, her room is closest to the living room. The kitchen is to the left of the living room making her room also the closest to the kitchen. Although since I chose the living room floor as my sleep area, that could make me the closest, but I digress.

“Well good morning to you too.” I said sarcastically. I was taken slightly off guard by her nightwear, a very short see-through purple nighty. Lucky for my biological instincts, the top was opaque. “*Ahem* If you don’t want Zack hitting on you, then you shouldn’t be wearing such a revealing outfit. I can see your panties you know.” I pointed out.

“That’s exactly why I’m wearing this. After yesterday I think he might replace you as my favorite chew toy.” she said matter-of-factly with a playful vibe. Oh I should feel so honored. “But what do you care? You even said you thought Kaguya’s sexual harassment was funny.” Eve’s eyes widened as if she had just had an epiphany. “You actually like it don’t you? Aww… so cute.” she teased getting a little too close for comfort. This is the last thing I wanted, her getting the wrong idea and finding some way to twist it even further in that wicked mind of hers.

“Anyway, you wanted to know why I was laughing earlier?” I said changing the subject and handing Eve the newspaper. “Have a look.” She snatched the paper from my hands and began looking over it.

“‘Team Neos Thwart Team Rocket Scheme at Route 34 Day Care Center.’” she read off the headline. “Aha! We made the front page! Go us!” she cheered gleefully. While she had been reading I picked up a white mug to sip my chai tea, still hot from the microwave.

“I know. The four of us actually make a pretty bitchin’ team if you ask me.” I stated putting down my cup.

Excuse me, four?” Axel, who was sitting to my left, questioned unhappily crossing his arms while throwing his feet on the table and crossing them too.

“I’m sorry, five. But I was counting us as the same combative mind in two separate bodies.” I apologized. “Besides, if you want to cut hairs like that, then there are really thirty of us. Five humans plus six Pokémon each minus Zack who only has one.” I analyzed.

“Fun article.” said Eve throwing the paper back at me. “Not all the details are correct and some of the stuff was embellished to make us look bad, but what the hell. It doesn’t change what we did.” she reviewed. “Now since my appearance has you all hot and bothered, I’m going back to my room and getting dressed.” she played just for the sake of toying with me, even going so far as to walk with a sexy swagger. Eve then turned to me with her index finger to her mouth. “Unless you’d rather me stay like this for a while longer.” she said taking a sexy pose and faking vulnerability.

“I actually don’t care what you do. Remember, I’m asexual so you can’t seduce me.” I reminded looking straight at her to prove my point. “Zack is probably the only one you’ll get excited while dressed like that.”

“Oh fine.” whined Eve in defeat. “I should have known better than to expect a reaction from someone who hasn’t reached puberty yet. I feel like a pedophile now.” she mocked.

“Since when is nineteen considered a minor?” I inquired with a raised eyebrow.

“Doesn’t matter. You’re still younger than me.” Eve said. At that moment her eyes widened with dread as she had just let a certain detail slip.

“Oh so you are older than me. By how much?” I asked taking advantage of the opportunity.

“So what if I am older? It makes no difference if I’m one year older or one thousand, you’re still a baby!” she yelled in frustration before storming off back to her room. I looked over at Axel smiling. I held out my hand soliciting a high-five from the monkey. I had just beaten Eve at her own game. Point mine.

As everyone else woke up and came in for breakfast, I passed along the newspaper to show them our accomplishment. Zack had the same reaction as I did, getting a good chuckle out of the fact that our first mission was getting so much attention. Chane was both embarrassed and proud uttering a simple “Oh wow.” Raiden however, didn’t take it as well as the rest of us.

“What does it matter that we got in the news? The mission was a success and that is what counts. Yes, Team Neos needs media attention in order to recruit new members, but it is not essential. What is essential is the destruction of the enemy Teams. Anything else is just trivial.”

“Now why did you have to go and bring us down like that?” Zack asked dejectedly. “It was our first mission and it made front page. Can you blame us for getting a little excited?”

“Yes.” Raiden answered flatly. That quickly shut Zack up leaving him, and the rest of us, speechless. There was really no come back for that kind of response. The only thing that could be said after that would be ‘Damn’ and even that would just be a hollow retort. I quietly went back to my breakfast of eggs and bacon on an English muffin pondering how easily everyone in the room was silenced by a single word.

A little while after everyone finished eating, Raiden instructed us to pack our things as we would be moving on to our next destination for another mission. We’d be getting the details as soon as everyone was ready.

It took me no time at all to pack up as I was simply living out of my backpack. I wasn’t intentionally trying to keep the living room clean; it was more of a habit I had developed from camping in the wilderness for five years so I wouldn’t lose anything.

“Well that’s it.” I said after stuffing my uniform into my pack. I then stored the green duct tape covered bag in an Item Ball for easier transport. I know I had told Axel before this would be a pain in the ass, but with the way we would be living from now on, this was much simpler.

I wonder where we’ll be going next.” Axel stated out loud. “I can’t wait to beat the crap out of more Rockets!” declared the monkey punching his fists together. That reminded me. I looked at my right hand that was still bandaged from the Scyther incident. I had actually completely forgotten that I had been wounded, and as such hadn’t changed my bandages in the last three days.

“If you need me, I’ll be in the bathroom.” I told the gold furred Infernape showing him my hand. I walked down the hall to the sterile looking white tiled room complete with a porcelain toilet, sink, and tub.

I stood over the sink as I unwrapped my hand so that I could wash it off. My jaw practically hit the floor when I finished removing the bandages. While the wrappings were stained a rusted brown red color from the blood, my hand was completely and fully healed. Not even a scar remained. I ran the index finger of my left hand across my palm. I still had feeling in my palm and it felt as it always had; no pain. I then brought my hand to my face; first I sniffed it, next I licked it. There was nothing abnormal that I could pick up on. It was just healed. Nothing more, nothing less.

They’re waiting for you.” said Axel walking in. I looked up at the monkey and turned my palm towards him. Axel tilted his head to the side investigating it. “How did such a nasty gash heal in three days?” he questioned as he grabbed my hand for a closer inspection.

“I don’t know.” I admit shaking my head. “Well we can’t keep Master Raiden and the others waiting now can we?” I rhetorically asked exiting the bathroom. Back in the living room the rest of my squad was lounging about on the furniture waiting. Eve opened her mouth to say some offhand comment, most likely about me and Axel being in the bathroom together, but she was quickly cut off by Raiden.

“Now that everyone is present, I will debrief you on today’s mission.” he interrupted, possibly unknowingly as there was no sign of scolding or reprimanding in his voice. Eve slouched back in the sofa with an unhappy sigh as her quip would now be late and not as menacing. “Today we will be heading to Blackthorn City to do reconnaissance in the legendary Dragon’s Den to see if it holds any information that can be useful to Team Neos.”

“Excuse me sir, but don’t we have a Stealth Force for that?” inquired Zack even raising his hand so he wouldn’t seem as rude.

“The Stealth Division is primarily for sending spies to infiltrate the ranks of our enemies to inform the Combat Division of the enemy’s activities. We also have spies infiltrating other areas of interest that would be important for Team Neos to exploit. The reason recon falls on the Combat Division is in case we encounter enemies.” Raiden explained.

“Then why not send a grunt squad?” asked Eve boredly putting her head in her hand like she wanted to fall asleep. Raiden sighed before continuing.

“If you all would let me continue, I could tell you.” he said. “The requirements for this mission call for more strength and strategy than grunts are capable of. Basically, we need to keep the Dragon Clan out of the way until we finish investigating the Dragon’s Den. Lance will be no problem because as of two days ago, the winner of the Indigo League tournament emerged from Victory Road and made it safely to Indigo Plateau. While she rests, all members of the Elite Four must report in for when the Trainer is ready to take them on. That eliminates the biggest threat. Next is Clair.” Raiden turned and looked directly at Zack. “In order to keep her out of the Den, you, Zack Kaguya, must issue a Gym Challenge. Your goal is not to defeat her, but to prolong the battle for as long as you can. The reason it has to be you is because I need to lead the mission, Brian already has the Rising Badge, and Eve and Chane will be needed to dispose of the guard at the entrance and the Dragon Clan Elder without drawing attention to us. Now gather your things and let us be off.”

We arrived in Blackthorn two hours later via train and once again rented an apartment to use as a base. The building was a lot smaller than the one we had in Goldenrod due to Blackthorn City’s smaller population and isolated location at the top of a mountain bordering the treacherous Ice Path. Once we got to our room, Raiden, Eve, Chane, and I wasted no time in getting changed into our uniforms while Zack remained in his black slacks and red button down short sleeved shirt as he had the more “open” task.

“Alright. The four of us will go to the roof and take to the sky to minimize the number of people that see us. While we do that, Zack will make his way to the Gym to make sure Clair is present and challenge her to a battle. If she is not in the Gym, radio us immediately Zack.” instructed Raiden.

“You got it!” Zack agreed to his assignment.

As soon as we left the apartment, the rest of the recon team, Axel, and I darted up the nearest staircase until emerging on the roof of the building. The view from up here was amazing, almost breathe taking. I shook my head. This was no time to be admiring the sights. I had a job to do.

“Come Aerodactyl!” I called summoning the King of the Skies. Aerodactyl shrieked with delight upon emerging, flapping is purple skinned wings to get some lift off. That’s right. Before going extinct Aerodactyl were predominately found in the mountains, at least according to the fossil record. He must be feeling quite at home. Axel and I boarded the Rock/Flying duel-type to take us to Dragon’s Den.

Eve once again mooched a ride on Jace, while Raiden sent out a long silver steel disc. On its orb like shoulders were screws jutting out the back, a magnet forming hands, and an eye on each shoulder. A third magnet stuck out from its back like a tail and a red eye adorned its front. A yellow rod stuck out of a grey plate on the creature’s head.

“So your Magneton evolved I see.” I said stating the obvious.

“Indeed. It happened when I was in Sinnoh last autumn.” Raiden responded as the Magnezone attached itself to metal plates on Raiden’s back that he had modified to his uniform. “Well, shall we be off?” Each of us nodded as we left the roof.

The group flew over the city virtually out of sight until we hovered over Dragon’s Den. Standing on the landmass between Blackthorn City’s lagoon and the entrance of the cavern below us was a lone guard. Unknown to him, he would soon be taking an unexpected nap. It was time for our plan to begin!

“Get ready Diva.” said Eve sinisterly. Out of the Dusk Ball in her hand came a black mist with purple highlights that soon formed into the devilish Banette. Diva made a spine chilling hiss as she contorted her body like she was stretching after being cramped inside her ball. The wicked Ghost-type floated an inch above Chane’s Pidgeot in preparation for her command.

“Do your best Izzy.” Chane said gently as she held out a Pokéball releasing a tall, mostly green bipedal dinosaur like creature in midair. All I saw of the Breloom as she fell from the sky was her green mushroom-capped head with red orbs on the sides and her long off white tail tipped with four green spheres.

“Now Diva! Hold Izzy in the air with Psychic. And be gentle Sweetie. We don’t want to hurt our companion.” Eve told. I wasn’t sure if the ensuing screech from the deranged spirit was one of compliance or one of disappointment at not being able to brutalize the half Fighting-type. Either way, she did as told by suspending the Mushroom Pokémon right above our target. So long as the guard doesn’t look up in the next minute everything should run smoothly.

“Thank you Eve.” Chane said gratefully. “Izzy, could you please use Spore to put that man to sleep?” I noticed the unusual way she gave commands on our last mission but didn’t really think about it until now. It seemed to work for their team seeing that a pale blue powder began pouring out of the mushroom on Izzy’s head. The man below began to slowly nod off until finally succumbing to the attack and slumping over into a sitting position with his head in his lap. Part Two was a success.

With the guard asleep, Izzy was the first to be lowered to the ground touching down on her red talons and standing a full four feet tall. Aerodactyl was the next to land followed by Jace and last was Raiden. As soon as Chane got off of her Pidgeot, she ran over to give her Breloom a hug. “You were great Izzy!” she complemented.

“Return your Pokémon everyone. We cannot dawdle out here too long, we do not want to get caught before we even get to do what we are here for.” Raiden ordered as he called back his Magnezone. The rest of us did as instructed leaving Axel as the only Pokémon remaining as usual. Without further delay, we entered the Dragon’s Den.

The moment we set foot in the underground cavern, my entire being began quivering. It was both an ominous feeling and a sense of belonging at the same time. I felt at peace and yet I wanted to lash out to release the surge of energy that passed through me. What was this? Every breath I took was like becoming one with the Dragon’s Den.

Yo! Are you still alive in there?” questioned Axel smacking my back effectively breaking my trance.

“Yeah, I’m fine.” I responded coming back to my senses. “What is our next order of business Master Raiden?” I asked of our superior.

“We split up and investigate.” he answered nonchalantly. “Eve and Chane will take the eastern part of the Den, Brian and I will examine the western half.” Raiden went over pointing to each side as he spoke. “We will rendezvous at the Shrine in the center of the cavern where Eve will have Roserade use Grass Whistle to put the Clan Elder and everyone inside to sleep. At that point we will go over everything our respective groups have uncovered. Understood?” The three of us nodded in the affirmative before moving out to our respective areas.

Raiden, Axel, and I carefully inspected the west side making sure nothing was left unnoticed. When there was no longer any land for us to investigate, I sent out Snorlax for us to Surf on.

“Brian, can I ask you a personal question?” inquired the Third Seat with a serious tone. I turned to him in slight confusion. Sure Raiden was a serious guy, but he also seemed unconcerned with what the rest of us did so long as we didn’t cause too much trouble. This time however, he seemed as if he was concerned about something.

“Go ahead.” I said giving him permission as I was curious as to what he wanted to know.

“How much are you willing to give up for Team Neos?” Raiden asked just as seriously as before. I was even more confused now.

“What do you mean?” I asked hoping to get more detail.

“I mean Axel. You and he are very close, and I do not expect the two of you to ever separate. However, just like you observed this morning, our squad made the news. As we go on more high profile missions our endeavors will continue to be noticed. It will not be long before people realize that an Infernape with gold fur is hanging around Team Neos. Those who already know you will make the connection immediately. Strangers who see you on the street will be able to identify you as a member. You will have to sacrifice the pleasures of an ordinary life if you continue to wear that uniform. Are you prepared for that?”

I had never really thought about that before. I looked behind me to Axel who had also heard Raiden’s rationalization. He simply gave me the look that said ‘I’ll follow you no matter what.’ The true reality of what I had gotten myself into weighed heavily on my mind, but I had already made my choice.

“Master Raiden. I joined Team Neos so that I could change the world. Even if I must die in the process, as long as I give up my life knowing that I made a difference in bettering the lives of both mankind and Pokémon, then my sacrifice wasn’t in vain.” I said calmly. Raiden nodded in understanding.

“I see you have already made your peace with what is to come. It is the duty of the commanding officer to help his subordinates, therefore I will grant you assistance where ever and whenever you need it so do not be afraid to ask.” my commander affirmed. I smiled and nodded in appreciation.

The rest of the swim was silent save for the sound of water. That feeling I had before came back while I sat idle on Snorlax without distraction. We continued the reconnaissance once the Sleeping Pokémon got to the next landmass. During the investigation we gathered a good bit of data on Dragon’s Den, but nothing that I perceived as being too useful for Team Neos. Who knows though, Raiden might know how this information could be helpful.

The sound of a soothing whistle suddenly echoed through the underground cave. I felt my eyelids grow heavy and had to smack myself to stay awake. Eve and Chane must have made it to the Shrine. It also meant that we were nearing the Shrine as well.

“We have learned everything we can over here. Let us rejoin with the others.” declared Raiden. Once again Raiden, Axel, and I boarded my rotund blue bear in order to swim to the designated rendezvous point.

“So, what did the two of you find?” questioned our leader.

“Ummm… Just this.” Chane said pulling a pointed white tooth from her pocket. “I-it was just laying there and Eve said to take it with us.”

“It looked important so I figured what the hell.” added Eve to justify herself. I couldn’t help but stare at it. I felt like it was calling to me. The longer I stared, the more I wanted it.

“Can I have a look at that?” I posed holding out my hands to either catch the object or have it handed off.

“Uhhh… Sure.” answered Chane handing it to me. The moment my hand touched the tooth a surge of power shot through my body causing my muscles to spasm and my nerves to fire off wildly. At first it felt great, but then it just became too much! I screamed from the sheer intensity of it all. My head was spinning in a whirlwind of madness. I thought I had heard Axel call my name, but it sounded so distant. I feel to my knees from loss of control over my body while I gripped my head. I have no memory of what happened after that.

Why do I feel so dizzy? I tried opening my eyes, but they only flickered. I could not fully open them. It felt like the whole area around me was spinning. I lifted my right arm and threw it over my face. The way it fell and that fact that there was a cool damp washcloth on my forehead told me I was laying down on my back.

“Ah! Y-you’re awake!” I heard Chane say with relief.

“Wha… happen? Whe… am I?” I asked jadedly unable to form tangible words quite yet. I then heard the sound of Eve’s mocking laughter.

“You fainted you baby. Then we had to drag your sorry ass all the way home.” she ridiculed.

“Be nice Eve!” Chane defended. I tried saying thanks, but all that came out was a weak hum. Next I tried sitting up, but attempting to rise only made me feel lightheaded. Before I fell back, I felt a hand grab me and help me sit up. By now I could see again and standing over me was the ever faithful Axel.

Take it easy monkey boy.” the Flame Pokémon told me. I nodded to him gratefully.

The only people in the room were the girls still wearing their uniforms with the hood down and we two monkeys. I was also still in my pale grey uniform with the hood down. In my hand was the washcloth that I’m guessing Chane put on me. The lights in the room were off with the only light coming from the window behind the bed I was laying in. Even then the sun was beginning to set leaving the room a mix of gold and red. We hadn’t had a chance to claim rooms before leaving on our mission, but I guess this one is now mine by default.

“So tell me, what happened back there?” I inquired.

“I told you, you passed out like a wuss wuss. I guess it was past baby’s naptime.” Eve continued to tease obnoxiously.

“R-Raiden th-thinks it had s-something t-to do w-with the Dragon Fang I-I gave you.” Chane explained wrought with guilt. The poor girl couldn’t even look me in the face when she said it. She looked like she was about to cry.

“It’s not your fault Chane.” I attempted to consol. “I’m the one who asked you for the Dragon Fang plus neither one of us expected me to have such an adverse reaction to it. So put it behind you. I’m alive and I think I’m healthy, so we don’t have a problem.”

“Thanks.” Chane said gratefully giving me a hug. I heard Eve snickering in the corner. I’m sure she had something nasty going on in that mind of hers. When Chane released me, she said “You should go see Raiden. He may not say it out loud, but I think he was worried about you too.”

“Right.” I left the room with Axel to look around the apartment for Raiden. In the living room Zack sat watching TV wearing a different outfit than this morning, this one consisting of a blue silk shirt and white slacks.

“How did the Gym battle go?” I asked Zack walking up behind him. He turned his head back to me allowing me to see a few minor cuts on his face along with a melancholy expression.

“Not only did I lose to Clair by attempting to draw out the match, but then she had her Kingdra use Dragon Pulse on me.” he replied dejectedly. I waited quietly for him to say exactly why she would do that. “I mean, all I did was ask her out to dinner as my treat for being the superior Trainer.”

“And what else did you say?” I pressed knowing that wasn’t the full story.

“Well, I may have mentioned how nice her body looked in blue leather and that I wouldn’t mind her using that whip of hers on me. I mean come on! You can’t dress like a dominatrix and not expect that kind of request.” And there it was. Axel and I couldn’t help but laugh at him. “It’s not funny! Dragon Pulse is not a fun attack to be the victim of, especially when you’re human!” he complained.

“I understand.” I said trying to empathize. It was hard because I’ve never been hit with a Dragon Pulse and it was just too funny.

“There you are Brian.” came Raiden’s voice as he joined us. “Are you feeling well?”

“I am.” I responded. “Thanks for bringing me back.”

“You should be thanking Axel. He knew which Pokéballs Snorlax and Aerodactyl were in to help transport you. All I did was help Axel carry you back to your room.” Raiden said aloofly. “Anyway, whether or not we have a mission tomorrow, you will have the day off to recover.”

“Yeah, I probably do need a day off.” I agreed. First it was my wounds healing quicker and cleaner than they should and now a strange reaction to a Dragon Fang. It was almost like my body was going through a sudden change. “Actually, can we make it the next two days? I would like to see a certain doctor in White City about my condition.” I requested. Prof. Himee was a Pokémon physiologist, but maybe he’d know a thing or two about human physiology as well.

“Very well.” he allowed.

“By the way, whatever happened to the Dragon Fang?” I asked.

“Do not worry about the Dragon Fang. I have it in a safe place. Just make sure you do not touch it again.” informed Raiden. Don’t have to tell me twice.

The following morning I left for the nearest airport to book a flight for White City. It was too long of a trip for Aerodactyl to make and I figured I had been giving him enough of a work out the last few days anyway.

Brian. Last night Riolu told me that lately he’s been sensing a change in your aura. He said that the biggest spike came when we were in the Dragon’s Den.” Axel brought up while we waited for the gates to open.

“Well as soon as we get to White City, I’m having Prof. Himee do a blood test on me. We’ll have answers soon enough.” I reassured. For a while I had thought about asking Strife Maxwell what was going on since he seems to know a bit more about my family history than I do. It didn’t take me long to dismiss the idea as he may know and not tell me, or he’ll find a way to better use me to his advantage and I will not allow myself to become his tool.

“Flight 3582 to White City is now boarding. Repeat, Flight 3582 to White City now boarding.” an announcement over the speakers said. Axel and I got up from our seats to make our way to the gate.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 23: I Am Not An Experiment!

“Passengers of Flight 3582 now unboarding. We hope you enjoyed your flight and will enjoy your stay in White City. Have a nice day and please fly with Poké Airlines again!” spoke the intercom as we left the terminal.

“Hmph. Enjoy the flight my ass.” I complained rubbing the inside of my ear with my pinky. My ears were still ringing from the altitude which had also given me a headache. I had taken two aspirin before landing but unfortunately they hadn’t kicked in yet.

Seriously, what was with all of those people staring at us? It’s like they’ve never seen a Pokémon flying coach before.” Axel whined. During the flight, the other passengers kept gawking at me and Axel. Some even turned to whisper to the person sitting next to them. The two most likely possibilities were Axel’s fur and the fact that all Pokémon were supposed to be in their Pokéballs during the flight. The only reason I got away with it was by wearing a pair of pointy sunglasses and convincing security that I was blind. Axel, being my seeing-eye-Pokémon, didn’t have a Pokéball because I needed him to guide me. Just to better uphold the charade, I closed my eyes so that I really wouldn’t be able to see. It wouldn’t be the first illegal thing I’ve done.

I decided it would be best if I left the shades on until we got to Prof. Himee’s lab. I would rather not get arrested today, especially for such an innocent misdemeanor as this. Once the two of us got outside, I was glad I left the glasses on because of how bright the sun was today. Even with sunglasses I still had to squint which did nothing for my lingering headache.

The airport was in the main city area, same as the Committee building, so it was a pretty long walk to the lab. I didn’t really mind though as I liked being outside when it’s warm. If I was more familiar with the area I would have probably taken the long way just to enjoy the weather. Regardless, there was a reason I was here and Raiden had only given me two days off to take care of things so I had to work fast.

About half an hour later I crossed the bridge that led to the large white rectangular lab. The building practically glowed in the sunlight. I walked up the left side of the double staircase to the glass doors located under an awning giving the entrance and upper part of the stairs shade from the sun. When I entered through the glass doors I was hit with a burst of nostalgia. It felt like it had been forever since I was here, though in reality it had been only a little over a month.

“Himee! I’m home!” I shouted excitedly from the first floor lobby. I stood with my arms wide spread but there wasn’t a response from anyone. I sighed in annoyance that not one person was around to greet me. I took off my sunglasses and hung them on my shirt collar, quickly choosing to go seek out someone rather than wait in the lobby completely ignored. “Prof. Himee! Asuna! Is anyone around?” I called as I went up the spiral stairway.

“Intruder!” yelled Prof. Himee jumping out from behind a corner with a metal bucket on his head and a pillow tied to his chest while holding a frying pan. I fell into Axel who was behind me with a startled scream having been caught completely off guard by the old man’s stunt. The loss of balance caused us both to fall to the floor. The mad scientist looked down at us with a curious look. “Oh I remember you now! Slappy Joe and Monkey Fist!” he stated as if he knew exactly what he was talking about. I just looked up at Himee with a confused expression.

“I… I think you mean Brian and Axel.” I corrected getting back up. Axel used me as support as he pulled himself off the floor, more out of spite for me making him fall than because he couldn’t get up by himself.

“Zhat is vhat I said; Brian and Axel. You must be getting deaf. Is all zhat loud music you fledglings listen to. So tragic.” Himee sighed disappointedly. That isn’t what’s tragic here. I might as well let it go, it’s not like correcting him gets us anywhere.

“Right then, can I ask a favor from you Prof. Himee?” I inquired. I then held out my arms in front of me to be at his mercy. “I need you to take a blood sample.”

“Vhat zhe hell are you talking about? I am not a vampire!” Himee rejected. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open. Where did he get vampire from?

“He means he wants a blood test.” Asuna said walking out of the room behind me. I hadn’t noticed before, but it was the same one Himee blew up last time. It had a new door on it now. “As in an experiment.” she said with emphasis to drive the point home. The old man’s face lit up with excitement.

“I love an experiment!” the professor cheered. “But before ve start, I must find zhose damn leprechauns! Zhey stole my undervear again!” he rambled aimlessly. I guess that would explain the outfit and why he attacked me. Asuna face-palmed with a sigh.

“Professor, it has been weeks since you did your own laundry. I took your clothes to get them washed for you so that you could continue your research unbothered.” she confessed. Himee’s eyes widened as an alarmed look over too his face.

“Asuna is a leprechaun! Get her Brian!” he declared illogically.

“First I want you to test my blood! Test it for any and all abnormalities, even genetic ones!” I asserted. “Do that for me, and I will help you catch Asuna.” I agreed even if it was complete madness.

“Oh fine zhen.” Prof. Himee agreed unhappily. “Besides, I might need her help anyvay vith all zhe tests you vant us to run. And for vhat purpose?” he asked.

“This.” I said pulling what was left of my right glove from my pocket. I handed the article to Himee to look at. “Do you see that huge gash in the palm and the dried blood around it? I was wounded by a Scyther not even a week ago.” I explained.

“So you vant to know if you got infected vith somezhing?” inquired the scientist looking over the black glove. I held out my naked palm for him to observe next.

“More like I want to know why I fully healed so quickly without even a scar.” I said straightforwardly. Both Himee and Asuna began grabbing at my hand to look it over. “I’ve experienced other strange things as well lately that I want answers to.” I added.

“Zhis vill be exciting!” declared Prof. Himee without hesitation. “For science!”

“I agree! Come with us Brian, we’ll draw your blood right away!” Asuna agreed with as much enthusiasm as her boss.

Axel was a nervous wreck. The monkey paced back and forth moaning anxiously every couple of seconds as he turned to me. I was strapped to a chair with a tourniquet on my left bicep to get the vein on my arm to pop up. Once that was ready, Asuna was going to stick me with a needle to draw the blood as neither of us trusted Himee to do that much. Afterward, I would be free to go and Himee would call me when the tests were done.

Are you sure you want to do this? I mean… n-needles?” Axel chattered tensely.

“Unlike you, I’m not scared of needles, plus I need this done to better understand all the weird stuff that’s been happening to me lately.” I reminded.

“Ready Brian?” asked Asuna coming to me with a giant needle attached to a bag. Axel shrieked like a Chimchar before jumping into the smallest space he could fit in curling up into the fetal position. I’ll make fun of him for being a coward later.

“Go for it.” I consented. There was a slight pinch as the needle entered my vein, but after that it was more uncomfortable having the foreign object in me than it actually hurt. As I watched the blood flow into the bag, I began to feel slightly light headed but not like I was going to pass out.

“There. All done.” Asuna said putting gauze over the needle prior to pulling it out so that I wouldn’t bleed all over the place. “How do you feel?” she asked securing the gauze with medical tape.

“Not bad.” I answered. “I have to go find a way to amuse myself now while you do your tests right?”

“Himee already has several experiments set up. He’ll notify you when we’ve got something.” she confirmed.

“Right. Axel! Let’s go!” I called to the pitiful monkey after getting out of the chair only slightly dizzied. He squeaked as he tried freeing himself from his self-imposed purgatory. I made sure my new phone was on before walking back outside. Raiden had insisted all of us get phones so we could have each other’s numbers. The time on it was 2:18p, so hopefully they’d have something before it got too late.

Are you ok? Tell me you’re still alive!” Axel pleaded pathetically.

“I’m hungry. Let’s get some lunch first, then we can go find ways to amuse ourselves.” I said putting my sunglasses back on. That was obviously good enough for the Infernape seeing that he answered with a pleased cheer.

After lunch I had considered trying my hand at a Pokémon Contest in the White City Contest Hall, but the mere thought of Contests made me think of Madison making my heart ache. Not today. Next I thought about taking a tour of the White City Castle, but that cost money I didn’t have after purchasing my plane ticket. I seemed to be at a crossroads. On the one hand, I needed to pass the time until Himee and Asuna were ready for me, but on the other, I didn’t want to get too involved with something like a battle and have them interrupt me. I pondered for a bit longer before deciding to return to the field where Axel and I had our duel in the rain.

What are we doing back here? Heh. Looking for a rematch?” the Infernape asked in anticipation.

“Not this time. I did just lose a good bit of blood after all.” I said holding up my left arm. “No, I think this time I’ll have you and Riolu spar.” I decided sending out the young Emanation Pokémon.

What? You want me to spar with the infant?” he complained disappointedly.

“Be nice Axel. You know Riolu looks up to you so why not help teach him some moves.” I suggested.

Alright, alright. Let’s see what you’ve got Rio.” the monkey challenged holding up his fists while keeping his legs lose. “I’mma teach you some monkey kung-fu!” Eager to learn, Riolu put up the same stance before jumping up to kick Axel in the face. As expected of my first partner, he blocked it with ease along with Riolu’s follow up kick.

I sat watching the two Fighting-types battle each other until I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. I immediately pulled it out to answer.

“Did you find something?” I questioned impatiently after filling it open and putting it to my ear. Axel and Riolu stopped their match and turned to me expectantly.

“Brian! Get back to my lab quickly! Zhere is much to discuss!” Himee requested urgently. There was a click on the other end of him hanging up. I pulled my phone away from my ear and stared at it. That was it? It had only taken him a little less than two hours to find something, and it was obviously something incredible to get a reaction like that from him.

“Come Axel! Himee’s on to something!” I commanded shoving my cell back into my pocket and breaking into a run toward the lab. The Flame Pokémon dashed behind me having no trouble keeping up even with Riolu on his shoulders. When I returned, I jumped up the steps of the facility taking two at a time. If one of the aides hadn’t opened the door to leave, I think I might have crashed through the glass doors.

“Hey! What’s your problem!” the guy yelled as I pushed past him.

Sorry about that!” apologized Axel for me as I was already tearing up the spiral stairwell. When I made it to the top, I fell to my knees panting. I guess I hadn’t recovered enough blood yet to go through that kind of physical activity. But wasn’t I supposed to be a fast healer?

“You look a mess. Don’t tell me you ran all the way here.” Asuna observed coming to get me. I giggled shamelessly in response earning a sigh from her. “Well come on. Himee is in his loft.” she said. Axel, now on the second floor with me, picked me up so that we could follow Asuna to the next floor.

“So what did Prof. Himee find?” I inquired while we travelled through a door in the far back of the lab. It was in this room that the stairs for the third floor resided. Three aides wearing white lab coats were sitting at their desks, one doing paperwork, another was tweaking what looked like a weathervane, and the third was looking at a map.

“That is for him to tell you. Besides, I’d rather not say when there are other ears around.” she whispered. That only made me all the more curious as to what could be so classified. Oh well, very soon I would know.

My heart pounded and my body trembled in anticipation. Up the stairs we went. Very soon. Around the corner. Very soon. To the wooden door of Himee’s loft. Very soon!

“He’s here Professor!” Asuna called knocking on the door. I heard Himee scrambling on the other side to open the door. How long is this going to take!? Seconds felt like minutes, I don’t think I can take the wait any longer! At last the wooden door flew open. The old man reached out, grabbed me by the shirt collar, and yanked me inside.

“You are a remarkable specimen!” Himee complemented as he slammed the door.

“Uh… what about Axel?” I questioned as the monkey didn’t have a chance to come in after me before the mad scientist shut the door.

“Yes, yes. He’s a remarkable specimen as vell.” responded the professor oblivious to what I meant.

“No, he’s still outside. I want him in here.” I clarified. Himee looked at me in confusion as if I were crazy. He then started looking around the room.

“Vhere’s Axel?” he asked.

“Outside.” I reminded. I would have probably found this a lot funnier if what he had to tell me wasn’t so catastrophically important. Prof. Himee scratched his balding head of wild white hair prior to turning around to open the door. No sooner had the wooden slab creaked, a golden blur pushed through nearly tackling me to the ground.

How could you let him lock me out!” cried the Infernape throwing his hands on my shoulders and shaking me. The abuse I take.

“Get off!” I reprimanded smacking his arms off of me. Following a well needed sigh, I began looking around for a place to sit. It was the first time I had ever really been in Prof. Himee’s loft. Every other time I had only stood at the entrance. First off, the room was in complete disarray; papers, boxes, various scientific instruments, clothes, and a ton of other junk littered the floors in stacks. No wonder Asuna had to come in and do his laundry. There were three desks in the room, each one equally covered in various papers and equipment. And then there was the pink bovine Pokémon with a black head, black spots, and small horns in the right hand corner standing on a platform with a bale of hay in a trough.

“Himee. Why is there a Miltank in here?” I asked in bewilderment.

“Oh zhat’s Millie. I got tired off asking ozher people to get me milk, so I found a better vay. Now I get free MooMoo Milk every day! Is very nutritious.” He told gleefully. I understood completely. Not only did it make perfect sense, this was Prof. Himee. Damn he’s an awesome role model. Hearing that also helped to ease my tension. This world needs more crazy people.

I finally found a soft recliner in the midst all the mess to make myself comfortable in. Luckily there were three chairs all situated around a small table for each of us. If I could give a color scheme to the lab, this room was a light brown where the floor, walls, door, and tables were wood while the rest of the building was clean silver and made of more modern materials. There was no mistake; this was definitely the room of an old man.

“Anyvay, you vanted us to test for everyzing and so ve did. Vhat I found vas zhat unlike normal humans who have forty-six chromosomes or twenty-shree pairs, you have forty-seven or twenty-shree and a half pairs.” Himee enlightened.

“H-half!?” I stammered in astonishment. “But how? What is it? What is that half?”

“Here is zhe fascinating part! It is a chromosome zhat is normally found in a Pokémon. Zhis particular vone determines zhe Pokémon’s type and vhat moves it can learn. Vhat I do not understand is vhy you only have vone copy and not two like a normal Pokémon.” the Professor analyzed.

“It’s because I’m not a Pokémon! I shouldn’t even have this! It has to be a mistake!” I yelled in denial.

“I zhought zhe same zhing. Zhat is vhy I did zhe test five times.” Himee affirmed. “According to zhe analysis, you are a member of zhe Dragon-type. Zhere vere also trace amounts of shinkasterone in your blood vhich is a hormone zhat causes Pokémon evolution. Shinka is anozher vord for evolution and of course –asterone is a common hormone suffix. Basically, you just evolved or are about to. Zhis hormone would have been found in Axel before and after his evolutions to Monferno and Infernape.”

I sat in the chair silently leaning forward with my head down trying to absorb it all. I’m a Dragon. I’m freshly evolved or about to. What’s going on here? What madness is this!? None of this makes any sense! I think my mind is about to explode!

“How did this happen? Answer that! I must know!” I shouted suddenly. I couldn’t believe this! Not without proof or some sort of explanation.

“Vell in order for a Pokémon to evolve, certain conditions must be met. Reaching a certain level of strength, stimulation from certain items, or strong emotional attachments can all lead to a spontaneous release of shinkasterone and zhus evolution. But zhe zhing is, shinkasterone only lingers in zhe blood for about a day or so, and you said zhese strange occurrences have been going on for a couple of veeks.” said the old man without truly answering any of my questions.

“And what about my stimulation!?” I demanded. Prof. Himee started rubbing his chin while he pondered my question. He suddenly looked up as if he had just come to a conclusion.

“Zhat is it! Of course, it vas so simple, vhy did I not see it before. Oh I feel so foolish. Zhis changes everyzhing!” he declared passionately. At last I might get some answers. “Asuna! Zhe red drapes vould look best in zhe zhird floor east ving!” he shouted. My jaw fell open weightlessly. How did such a random thought come from something so serious? I squeezed my fists together in frustration.

“Focus Himee!” I ordered fiercely.

“Focus? Focus on vhat?” he asked unknowingly. Before I could answer him with the tongue lashing I had in store for such a careless question, I was interrupted by Riolu’s frantic barks. I looked over at Axel who was holding the upset Emanation Pokémon. The small puppy was focused directly on me as he yapped his head off.

He says he senses your aura changing again. It has him very panicked?” the monkey translated as he held Riolu at bay.

“I figured it out! Forme shifting!” Himee announced jumping out of his seat. “It bozhered me from zhe beginning zhat you only had vone copy of zhe gene and not two. Having a second copy vould have made you a full Dragon or a duel type, but zhis means zhat zhe Dragon gene was dormant until you evolved and zhe reason you still look human and still have traces of shinkasterone is because you can change forme.” the old man hypothesized.

“Forme shifting? Explain.” I pressed getting calmer now that I had a potential answer to my problem.

“Vhat is zhe veazher like outside?” Himee asked out of nowhere.

“Sunny, why?” I inquired.

“I vill show you! Come, come my boy! Zhere is still much to be done! For science!” the Professor declared hurrying out of the room. Axel, Riolu, and I had no choice but to chase after him if we wanted answers. It wasn’t until we were outside that Prof. Himee produced a half red half white sphere from his lab coat.

“Aww. Is not as sunny as it vas earlier. Guess I vill haff to use Sunny Day. Men, zhis is Castform!” he said throwing the Pokéball in the air where it opened shooting a red ball of energy from its hollow interior. The red light materialized into a small grey ball shaped head sitting on top of a cloud. The head had a friendly expression, white rings around its eyes, and a small wisp on its head.

“I’ve heard of Castform, but I’ve never seen one up close. So this is what they look like.” I stated. I had to admit, I was curious as to what the little monster could do along with how it related to my condition.

“Oh you have not seen nozhing yet. Cast your Sunny Day Castform!” Himee told his Pokémon. The Weather Pokémon briefly started glowing white until his pent up energy shot into the sky. Though it was quarter to five, the sun immediately brightened back to the way it was several hours ago. To my amazement, Castform began changing right before my eyes as if it was evolving. Soon the Pokémon floating near Himee’s head was an orange sphere with numerous smaller orbs attached to it making the head look like a sun sitting on top of a fluffier white cloud.

Interesting.” Axel said while Riolu got his exercise by jumping over the monkey’s tail like a jumprope.

“So it changes in the sun just like a Cherrim?” I inquired.

“Not just in zhe sunlight. Castform has two ozher formes depending on zhe veazher.” clarified Himee. I nodded in understanding by what he had meant by Forme Shifting now. I’d seen it done plenty of times, I just never knew there was a term for it. “Veazher is Castform’s stimulation, now ve must find yours.” said the old man. I couldn’t agree more.

As it would turn out, there was a basement below the first floor that Prof. Himee hadn’t shown me when he gave me the tour the last time I was here. I can almost imagine why too. When one enters the basement, they come to a fork. One fork leads up a short flight of stairs to an observation deck full of monitoring equipment and a large window overlooking a large grey empty room with a single door. The second fork leads into that room. I had been in the grey room for roughly an hour meditating in order to access my Dragon power while Himee, Asuna, Axel, and Riolu crowded into the observation deck.

“How long is this going to take? I’m not changing at all!” I called up to them.

“He has been in there a while Professor. Should we try a different approach?” questioned Asuna over the open channel speakers we set up so that I could hear everything they said up there. That way I wouldn’t be kept in the dark if the scientists came up with a new hypothesis, nor would I get bored from no interaction.

“Zhen it is time for Plan B.” declared Prof. Himee.

“Plan B? What’s Plan B?” I questioned. There was a long silence until the door at the front of the room opened. The mad scientist’s arm up to his elbow entered the room with a Pokéball in his hand. No sooner had the ball opened bringing forth Castform, did Himee retract his hand and shut the door.

“Professor, you’re not!” cried Asuna.

He’s not gonna what?” asked Axel worriedly.

“Castform!” called Himee reentering the observation deck. “Powder Snow!” He wouldn’t dare! If I’m a Dragon-type and Dragon’s are weak to Ice-type attacks, then…

“You senile bastard old man!” I yelled as cold air and small ice fragments struck my body. I crossed my arms to shield myself from the bone chilling attack. For as long as I can remember, I’ve never liked the cold but I could grudgingly tolerate it. I could travel in winter, I could stand in the snow, and I could stand fighting in the Ice Path in Johto and Icefall Cave in the Sevii Islands. It was a typical human reaction. But not this time this time was just torture!

Enough!” I roared throwing my right arm out. Words can’t even describe the shock I felt when a blue burst of raw energy shot from my hand at Castform. The Weather Pokémon cried out as the attack struck, sending the small Pokémon hurdling into the wall behind it, then falling to the floor unconscious.

“No way! That was a Dragon Pulse wasn’t it?” cried Asuna fearfully.

Holy fucking shit!” Axel screamed over a barking Riolu.

“Himee! What the fuck was that supposed to be!? I am not your fucking experiment that you can do whatever the hell you want to! Now get back down here so that I can rip your goat damn head off!” I shouted.

“No vay am I going down zhere and getting my goat damn head ripped off.” Himee said calmly as if my threat was something minor. In annoyance I began clawing at the metal wall of the grey room beneath the window. Even with my hands glowing with an unstable blue aura which I perceived as my Dragon Claw attack, I was leaving only minimal gashes in the wall.

“It vould seem zhat aggression is zhe trigger for zhe Forme Shift and vonce transformed zhat aggression is heightened as can be observed by zhe subject’s clawing at zhe vall.” Prof. Himee noted. “Is a good zhing zhat despite zhere incredible strength, Dragon-types cannot damage Steel-types or any metal for zhat matter.”

“So we’re safe up here until he calms down?” Asuna wondered nervously.

“No you’re not! And I told you, I am NOT your subject!” I growled fiercely. I pulled my right arm down to my side. I could feel the energy course through my body into my appendage where it gathered and condensed in my palm. I thrust my arm into the air launching another Dragon Pulse up the side of the wall causing the window to shatter when it got that high. I could hear the screams of everyone above.

Brian!” shouted Axel jumping out of the shattered window. As the Infernape fell, he lifted his leg to his torso. When the monkey was just barely a leg’s length above me, he brought his foot down in a drop kick to the back of my skull causing my entire upper body to jerk forward so that it was parallel with the floor.

“Axel.” I said nonchalantly as I lifted my body back into its upright position. The golden monkey stared back at me defiantly. “I give up.” I surrendered throwing both arms in the air and slightly lowering my head.

“Sorry about that Prof. Himee. Sorry Asuna.” I apologized to each of them back in Himee’s loft. There was no need to say anything to my Pokémon, Axel already got back at me, and Riolu was just happy that I turned back into my Human-Forme. “So do the two of you think I’ll ever be able to control this transformation at will?” I asked them.

“Zhat is for you to find out Brian.” Himee answered flatly. I sighed in disappointment.

“You are our first case like this. I’ll see if I can’t dig up any instances of this in the past, but it will more than likely just be a wild goose chase. Sorry.” Asuna added with a sense of hopelessness.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll perform my own tests and see if I can’t learn some self-control. I would hate to change into my Dragon-Forme at the wrong time in the wrong place.” I affirmed optimistically. “Well thanks for everything guys. I’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if I notice or come up with anything.”

“Ve vill do zhe same!” the old man declared. “Is late now, so vhy not stay here for zhe night?” he offered. There was no reason for me to decline, so I gratefully accepted.

The following morning was a blast. Prof. Himee was beyond thrilled when his missing underwear returned. Just to humor him, Asuna said she had caught the leprechauns and stolen his clothes back. I had offered to make breakfast, but Himee insisted that we have Lucky Charms instead just to stick it to the leprechauns. I could hardly eat because I was laughing so hard. Now that the worst was over, I could finally relax. After all, it wasn’t like I changed; it was more like going through a second puberty only this time I had no one to explain what was happening.

I made sure that I called Raiden directly after breakfast to find out where I should meet the squad when I got back, to which he replied that we have a mission in Ecruteak City. Since he had given me two days off, I booked a later flight and used most of this day to hang out with Himee and to help out around the lab. As I had guessed by Castform and the instruments the aides had been using the day before, Prof. Himee was doing research on how weather affected certain Pokémon, and not just the Forme Shifters like Castform, but Pokémon with weather based Abilities as well. I assume he finished, or got bored with, the work he was doing on the Pokéballs last time. Unfortunately, there just weren’t enough hours in the day until it was time for me to go.

“Do be careful vhen you fly. Zhose damn gremlins vill make zhe plane crash if you are not alert.” warned the mad scientist unnecessarily.

“I will be sure to warn the pilot then.” I said trying to keep a straight face. I reapplied my sunglasses fully prepared to pull the blind man stunt again.

Back to work again already.” groaned Axel. Yup. It would still be a long time before our work was done. In fact, I would even go so far as to say our work was just beginning.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 24: Secret Secret Service

Ecruteak City was by far one of, if not THE most beautiful cities in Johto. The way the houses and buildings have remained unchanged since feudal times was amazing. Seeing both older and younger people roaming the streets in kimonos and other traditional wears gave a very cultural feeling as if I had gone back in time. If it wasn’t for modern conveniences like the cab I was riding in, I would have thought I really was in the past.

“So where ‘m I takin’ ya?” inquired the driver in a scratchy voice. Doubtless this man was a smoker when not driving.

“If I’m not mistaken, I’m supposed to meet up with some friends at the Phoenix Hotel.” I answered casually. At least I think it was Phoenix Raiden told me. It was only yesterday morning that he had told me about it. Had I not been so concerned about my damn flight being delayed, I would have probably remembered it better. The dumb shits working air traffic control ended up rerouting those who were originally going to Ecruteak City to Olivine. Rather than deal with those morons again, I just camped out for the night and flew here on Aerodactyl this morning. I only rented a cab because I didn’t know where the hotel was.

“Oh I know that place. The one on Tin Drive? Yeah, it’s a real fancy joint, lot o’ rich and important people stay there. Yer friends must be loaded.” the driver commented. Someone sure as hell is if that place is as exclusive as this guy says. But at least I now know I have the right place. “So is this yer first time in Ecruteak?” he asked.

“Third actually. The first time I was here was when I won the Fog Badge. As for my second, I was just passing through. With all of the beautiful places in the world, it’s hard to decide which one to visit. Even more so when there is still a lot of the world I haven’t seen yet.” I said.

We’re only here now because we’re on the job.” Axel put in. Sad but true. After making a turn, we had to stop at a stop sign to let three pedestrians get across the street. Instantly I recognized the trio as they walked past the cab.

“Let me out here instead. Those are the friends I was talking about.” I requested. I paid my cab fare, got out of the back door with Axel, and ran across the street to join Zack, Chane, and Eve. They obviously heard me coming because they turned around as I caught up to them. “Yo!” I greeted with a mock salute.

“Well, well, well. If it isn’t Baby Brian. We thought you ran away ‘cause you got a wittle booboo.” Eve teased.

“You mean you thought that.” Chane corrected defensively. “W-welcome back.” she said to me cheerfully.

“So where did you go?” asked Zack inquisitively.

“To make sure I was fit for duty.” I said tapping my temple with my index and middle fingers. “As it turns out, I’m more than ok. I just need to learn some self-control is all.”

“I’m not sure I follow, but that’s good. It just means that you get to join us for the mission we’re on right now.” Zack declared. Wait a second. They were on a mission at this very moment?

“Our mission: Go shopping!” clarified Eve. I think I just felt several of my precious brain cells die off. Was this a joke? Could the fact that Raiden wasn’t with them mean that this was a self-imposed mission? The girls probably wanted to go shopping, and poor Zack got dragged along for the ride. Now that I was here, Axel and I were getting dragged down too! While there is a lot of cool stuff that we could probably buy here, shouldn’t we be doing something more productive?

“Y-you look concerned. Is th-there something wrong? M-maybe you aren’t f-fully recovered after all.” analyzed Chane.

“No, I am fully recovered. I’m just trying to contemplate why we’re shopping.” I said dryly. “I mean, what purpose does it serve?”

“We’re shopping for formalwear so that we can be incognito at tonight’s party.” said Zack excitedly even doing a freakish dance to go with his statement.

“A party.” I said flatly. Eve shook her head in disappointment at me.

“Because you were crying in your emo corner, you missed the mission review. Basically, the Johto Prime Minister’s son Johan Kaiser is vacationing here in Ecruteak and is staying at the Phoenix Hotel. Raiden got a call from a Lieutenant, who is also going to meet us here, saying that there is a strong possibility that Team Rocket is going to attempt to kidnap the pampered brat and hold him for ransom. Our mission, of course, is to keep that from happening. To get close to Kaiser, we need to get into that party, and to get into that party, we need to dress the part.” she explained.

Now that was a mission! A pretty damn serious one too if a lieutenant was getting involved. I am so glad I came back in time for this. Kicking Rocket ass is one thing, but attending a rich people’s party to do it is just icing on the cake. I have always hated rich people because they think having money makes them better than everyone else, but I love raiding rich people’s parties because they’ve got shrimp and all kinds of other good food. But most importantly shrimp! On top of that, with me being there, they’re spending their money on a commoner!

“Well why the hell are we just standing here? Let’s go shopping!” I proclaimed ridiculously loud. Random passer-biers even turned to stare.

Woo. Shopping.” moaned Axel sarcastically. The monkey absolutely hated clothes shopping because he saw no point in it. Even I found the idea trivial as I only needed the few clothes I already had to survive, but it helps to have formal attire for occasions like this. Even better because it’s not my money I’m spending! Because it’s for the mission, it gets paid for by Team Neos. Point mine.

“What do you think Axel? Sexy, yes?” I asked the Infernape coming out of the fitting room in a solid black suit, with a black dress shirt and a red tie underneath. On my feet were shiny black dress shoes. I put my hands together as if I were holding a gun and made some badass 007 poses. “The name’s Xelbu. Brian Xelbu.” I introduced in a fake accent. My monkey started laughing at me.

Nice monkey suit!” he mocked falling to his knees with laughter.

“Well I’m glad you like it, because I’m getting one for you too.” I responded with sarcastic seriousness. Axel lifted his head up immediately putting an end to his hazing.

No! You can’t! I won’t allow it! I hate clothes! No! No! No! No! No!” rejected the Infernape frantically. I smiled deviously as I began searching the rack for a smaller sized version of the suit I had settled on.

“Nice Brian! You look like you belong in the mafia.” Zack complemented. Just one look at Zack had me nearly hyperventilating from laughter at the thorough amusement his outfit provided. He wore very tight light pink pants that ended just before his ankles to show off his pointy white boots. His frilly white shirt took the average V-neck to the extreme by ending halfway down his torso leaving most of his chest exposed. And have I mentioned the frills on the sleeve? This is probably the coolest suit I’ve ever seen a guy wear that I would never put on myself.

“That is amazing Zack. I love you for this.” I said appreciatively almost in tears from the sheer awesomeness.

“That’s right, I’m a pimp! But sorry to disappoint, I have eyes for women only.” he said immodestly with his eyes closed while waving his hand at me as if telling me to go on with the complements. That motion alone had me and Axel laughing our asses off. “Oh now you’re just making fun of me.” said Zack pretending to be hurt.

“Not at all. You just broke my mind.” I panted. I took a deep breath to try to settle myself. “Alright, let’s go pay for these pimp suits so we can meet back up with the girls.” I suggested.

After changing back into our normal attire, Zack and I paid for our chosen clothes, Axel’s included, and left the only men’s formalwear outlet store that sold non-traditional clothing that we had found. I also made sure to buy a new pair of fingerless gloves while I was out because of how naked my hands had been feeling the last few days.

We decided to grab some lunch while we were waited for Eve and Chane to finish their spree. I could almost understand why females take forever searching for the perfect outfit for the perfect occasion. I get that way when I want something badass: it had to have the right amount of badassery while still being comfortable and easy to move in. It also has to be cheap because the life of a Trainer does not leave much room for a stable source of income.

“So how cute do you think their dresses will be?” Zack asked over sushi at a really nice restaurant we found. I couldn’t answer right away while my mouth was stuffed with a delicious crab roll. Why must people ask questions while the person they’re talking to has food in their mouth?

“I’m sure they will be very pretty.” I replied after swallowing. “I am equally certain that no matter what they wear, you will be turned on.” I added stuffing a squid roll in my mouth. Mmm… tasty.

“Yeah I will.” Zack nodded knowingly.

“Can I get you gentlemen anything?” inquired the waitress coming back to our table.

“Can I have a date with you?” solicited Zack. I practically choked on my sushi at such an offhand request. Has this man no shame?

“Excuse me?” she said taken back. Here it comes, almost like clockwork. He hits on a female, she rejects him, he says something crude, and she gets pissed at him.

“What? You’re a beautiful woman, I’m a handsome guy. Can’t you feel the chemistry between us? Back in college, chemistry was my best subject so I know it when I feel it. Are you free tomorrow night?” he flirted shamelessly. To my dismay it was actually working! The waitress was actually giggling at his ridiculous come-on!

“Alright, you have yourself a date.” she accepted. WHAT!?

“Great! I’ll come pick you up at seven tomorrow night.” Zack claimed confidently. As she left the table, I just stared at Zack trying to figure out how he did that. I didn’t even notice I had dropped my chopsticks until I heard them hit the floor.

“How did you do that?” I asked perplexedly.

“I asked.” he relied simply.

“No! Every time I’ve ever seen you hit on a girl it ends in disaster for you. How was this one different? Besides the fact they aren’t a sociopath, a shrinking violet, and our enemy?” I demanded still confused.

“Well you see, the dating world is like a slot machine. Even if you lose the first time, or the second time, or the third time, keep playing and you’ll eventually win. You may even score big.” explained Zack. I just shook my head. This would just have to be categorized as one of the greater mysteries of the world that I cannot understand. I picked up my chopsticks and quietly got back to my sushi.

It’s not fair that I couldn’t eat with you! I cry speciest!” protested Axel after lunch. Like the rest of my Pokémon and Lloyd, Axel was forced to dine in a separate room much to his dislike.

“There was nothing I could do about it, so hush.” I told him straight-forwardly. It wasn’t my fault that the restaurant didn’t allow humans and Pokémon to eat together.

When we reunited with Chane and Eve, we went straight back to the Phoenix Hotel to get ready for the party. I was taken back by the beautiful architecture of the hotel once we arrived. The place was essentially a giant four story golden pagoda with gold statues of the Legendary Bird Ho-oh adorning the entrance. Before I could even see this palace, we had to first go through a tall gate on Tin Drive to enter the walled off property. Next, we walked down a bricked walkway and across a wooden bridge over a Magikarp pond to arrive at the front door. I can definitely see why this place is exclusive to rich bastards.

The inside was just as impressive if not more so. The floor was lined with a very expensive looking wine colored carpet, the lobby was gigantic, and the hallways could easily fit four people walking side by side with room to spare. Axel being the fifth had to walk behind me until we got to the elevator and took it to our floor.

“D-do you think the lieutenant has arrived yet?” asked Chane as we walked to our room.

“I hope the lieutenant is a she. I love a woman with power! They can be so… naughty.” Zack mused pushing on his glasses.

“If it is female then hopefully she’s like me so that she can put you in your place the moment you try anything Kaguya.” Eve warned without remorse. Now there’s a scary thought: two Eves. Something like that would be the source of my worst nightmares.

Zack unlocked the bright red door ironically numbered 250 allowing us into our room. Like everything else, our room was amazingly huge and fancy with that just being the entrance. Behind a set of sliding paper doors in the back of the room I could hear talking which obviously meant there was another room behind there where Raiden was having a conversation with someone, presumably the lieutenant.

“My Master! Your humble vassal has returned to your service!” I announced sliding open the door. Raiden gazed up at me from his Tatami mat with an unsurprised look on his face as did the small guy with short brown hair who he was sitting with at a table. And by small, I mean this guy had to be between three and four feet tall.

“Oh. There you are.” Raiden answered indifferently.

“Hey Raiden, who’s the kid?” inquired Eve insensitively entering the room behind me.

“Who the fuck are you calling a kid you dumb blonde?” demanded our guest in a semi-deep voice jumping off of the floor. I barely noticed Eve’s annoyance as I could hardly contain the pleasure and excitement about what I had just learned. I should have noticed sooner by the stubby limbs to torso ratio. A giant smile appeared on my face while my legs uncontrollably bounced my body up and down.

“You’re a midget!” I cheered followed by a happy giggle. I love midgets! I always wanted to meet one!

“What the hell was that!? Do not use the ‘M’ word on me bastard!” shouted the midget angrily. He must be very sensitive about his height.

“Everyone, I would like to introduce to you Lieutenant Charles Deter. He will be the one in charge of this mission.” explained Raiden once everyone else entered.

“What? They actually let midgets into Team Neos, let alone promote them to lieutenants?” asked Eve. I honestly couldn’t tell if she was being serious or just screwing with Lt. Deter. Knowing her, probably the latter.

“Call me midget one more time and see what happens! Come on! Anyone? Anyone?” challenged Lt. Deter. Eve took the dare by crouching down in front of him so that they were the same height.

“What’s wrong? Little Charlie doesn’t like being called midget? But what can you do about it Midget? Nothing because you’re a midget.” she mocked rubbing her hand vigorously though his hair like he was a child. Eve then rose to her full height and looked down at our superior. “Look at this. I’m two feet taller than you. Like a midget can do anything to me.” she ridiculed laughing at him.

By this point Deter really looked like he was going to flip out. His face was bright red with rage, both of his fists were clenched, and he was grinding his teeth. Finally, Lt. Deter let out a furious battle cry as he ducked and ran under Eve’s legs. Once behind her, he elbowed her in the back of the knees causing her to lose balance and fall forward. He then lifted his leg literally kicking her ass. I started pointing and laughing at Eve’s humiliation.

“Eve just got her ass kicked by a mi-- I mean lieutenant.” I corrected before I received the same twisted fate.

“Anyone else want to call me a midget?” Charles taunted aggressively. He looked around the room at the three of us remaining intensely. “That’s what I thought.”

“Ya know Eve, I can see your panties from this angle.” Zack pointed out tilting his head to the side so he could get a better view.

“Don’t look!” Chane told Zack trying to block his gaze.

“I’m not looking, I’m peeking.” he defended with a wide grin.

“Dammit Kaguya!” yelled Eve turning around on the floor into a sitting position so Zack couldn’t peek. Zack let out a loud depressed sigh so that everyone knew just how let down he was.

“Third Seat Raiden Arka. I am very disappointed in the personal squad you selected for yourself. They appear to be nothing but squabbling monkeys.” Deter chastised.

Hey I resent that!” yelled Axel shaking his fist. Why is he blaming all of us when Eve and I are the one who screwed up? In my defense I didn’t know he hated being called a midget though.

“Lt. Deter, I apologize for my squad’s behavior. The four of them are excellent Trainers worthy of Team Neos. The problem comes in that neither of them have any social skills.” Raiden apologized.

“Well see to it that they don’t fuck up this mission. If anything goes wrong, there will be five demotions in store for the lot of you.” warned the lieutenant trudging out of the room.

“What ever possessed you to do such a stupid thing Eve?” Raiden asked with his left hand over his eyes. Eve didn’t answer; instead she averted her eyes with a submissive grunt. “Well anyway, take a seat everyone so that I can get you all up to speed.” said Raiden making room for everyone around the table. He pretty much repeated what I had found out earlier while adding that the party stated at six o’clock which was two hours from now. Raiden also informed us just how important this mission truly was.

“As you all already know, Johan Kaiser is the son of Johto’s Prime Minister. If he is protected from Team Rocket by Team Neos and comes out unharmed, then that puts Team Neos in good standing with the Prime Minister. As a reward for protecting Johan, those among our ranks who have been arrested could get pardons. That is not all, if all goes well, then Team Neos may have the support of the entire Johto Region which will further our goals faster than ever before. In short, it is to our advantage that nothing goes wrong tonight.” explained our superior. “Now go prepare yourselves. I want all of you to be ready when Lt. Deter returns.”

With the meeting adjourned, I went to the room that I was told was mine to get ready. Preparations included my first shower in three days since I had been travelling so much. That killed half an hour because of how nice the water felt. After that, I got fully dressed in my awesome new suit. Then I had to fight Axel to get him to wear his. My attempt at telling him that it would be funny to screw with the rich people because they would never expect a Pokémon to wear clothes failed even though I thought it was a pretty effective argument. I finally won when I bribed him with the promise of setting something of his choosing on fire other than his or my clothes and a Cheri pie.

I had to assist the monkey as he was very unfamiliar with how to put clothes on. When the time came I even ripped the seam on the back of his pants so that his tail could move freely.

I look ridiculous.” groaned the Infernape checking himself out in a mirror.

“On the contrary, you look absolutely badass.” I complemented. We were, after all, wearing the same thing and he did look pretty good in it. “Just think of all the amusement it will bring us.” I predicted. That got a devious laugh from the Infernape. I held out my hand for a high five which he accepted meaning we were both fine with the arrangement.

Despite how much screwing around the two of us did, we were the first ones ready and the only ones in the meeting area. I’m not entirely sure how to label these rooms other than what we’ve used them for so far. Joining me five minutes later was Eve who wore a green shoulderless dress that came down to her mid-thigh. She had on green eye shadow drawing attention to her bright emerald eyes. At the sight of us she started laughing, not mockingly but out of enjoyment.

“Oh wow! You actually got Axel to wear a suit! I love it!” she praised. For once she sounded sincere about something. Axel and I turned to each other with the same confused look. “Oh what? Can’t I complement my favorite boy toy without him getting suspicious?” Yup, should have known better.

“I’m not your boy toy.” I said flatly.

“Ladies! Your prince has arrived!” announced Zack jumping into the room in his gigolo costume with his usually messy red hair neatly combed. Eve laughed harder at him than she did Axel.

“You’re right, HE’S my boy toy!” she declared. “Oh Zacky poo. Could you say fabulous in a really high pitched voice for me?” she sang.

“Fabulous!” Zack shouted as instructed getting a giggle from Eve.

“I love you.” Eve said figuratively.

“If you love me so much can we make a love child?” Zack proposed.

“Don’t push your luck.” warned Eve in a scary tone giving him an evil eye.

“I didn’t hear a no.” he indicated playfully.

“Uh… Um… H-how do I look?” Chane asked nervously slowly walking to join us. She wore a long black dress, much more modest than Eve’s, and had her hair tied into an upside down ponytail on the top of her head. It was a cute look that screamed moe.

“That outfit looks beautiful on you Chane.” Zack complemented.

“R-really! Th-thank you!” she responded happily.

“Of course it would look better on my bedroom floor.” he added. Chane’s face turned bright red at the implied implications of Zack’s comment.

“W-wh-why would you s-s-say that?” she questioned fretfully.

“Because he’s a womanizing jackass.” Eve said angrily. “Look Kaguya, don’t go breaking my toys before I’ve had a chance to play with them. Otherwise I’ll just have to play harder with you.”

“Oh good, I like it rough.” Zack said excitedly not realizing he was poking the Arbok with a short stick and she was about to strike. Eve simply smiled devilishly at Zack’s declaration. In one swift motion she clamped her hand on the poor bastard’s crotch and began squeezing. Zack’s blue eyes grew huge as he realized the horrible predicament he was in.

“Rough enough for you?” inquired the demon woman sweetly. Zack simply laughed pitifully trying not to show her the pain he was in, but she saw right through the act. “Say the safety word and I’ll let you go.” she teased.

“I am not sure what Zack did to receive such brutal treatment, but let him go so that he can participate tonight.” ordered Raiden apathetically as he too arrived in the meeting room. The way he was dressed was like he had just gotten out of a fight. His black slacks looked like they were a size too long with the extra length of the legs bunched up at his ankles over top black tennis shoes. His white dress shirt was untucked, the collar popped up, and his lack of a tie showed that the top button was also undone. On top of that was a black vest that came down to the base of his ribcage. Just when I thought my admiration for Raiden couldn’t get any higher, he does this. While the rest of us try to blend in, he openly sticks it to our hosts by proving he’s a commoner.

“Fine.” Eve said releasing her victim. The now freed Zack began gasping for air once his torturous ordeal was over. Seeing the lecher’s pain gave Eve a satisfied smirk.

Fifteen minutes later Lt. Deter came back to make sure we were ready. If I was part of the mafia like Zack suggested earlier, then the lieutenant was my don. He had on a custom white suit with a black dress shirt and a white tie complete with a white fedora with a black band on it.

“Are you people ready? Johan’s limo pulled up just as I got here.” the little man informed us. “No you’re not ready! What the hell is this?” he demanded looking us over. “Raiden! You look like a lazy slob! And you!” he yelled pointing to Zack. “You look like some sideshow clown! And why are you icing your balls?” Zack didn’t say anything nor did he remove the ice pack, he just silently pointed to Eve who started acting innocent at the accusation. Lt. Deter growled shaking his head in disgust. “And you! Why is your Infernape wearing a suit? Return it to its Pokéball this instant!” he commanded me.

“No can do Lieutenant.” I said snarkily as I showed him Axel’s busted, duct tape covered ball. “He stays.”

Too bad Tiny Tim.” the monkey out right mocked. I could have sworn I saw an anger vein appear on the midget’s forehead, but it was kind of hard to see under his hat.

“Fuck it. We don’t have time for you all to fix this so just get your asses downstairs so we can concentrate on getting this mission over with.” Deter said getting tired of us already. I’m so glad I’m not his direct subordinate.

The ballroom where the party was being held was gigantic. It was a circular room that could be only entered from the main lobby. Directly across from the lobby entrance there were several glass doors that led out into the hotel’s garden. Lining the top of the room was a balcony that I wasn’t entirely sure how to get to. On the ceiling directly overhead was a massive glass chandelier. Scattered throughout the ballroom were tables for people to eat and drink at. An area devoid of tables was used for dancing with an orchestral band at the far edge playing soft classical music. Traversing the floors were waiters carrying an array of appetizers and drinks. For those who wanted something specific, there was a mini bar set up and a banquet table. My first priority was to find and devour all of their shrimp.

“Hey Brian! You want to get some drinks?” inquired Zack making a cup shape with his hand and tilting it to his mouth.

“I assume you mean alcohol. I really don’t think it’s a good idea to be drinking on the job.” I said straightforwardly.

“Aw come on. Just one?” he persisted.

“Forget it. It’s not nice to make a toddler drink.” Eve teased. She put her arm around my shoulders bringing her face close to mine. “Besides, even though the drinking age is eighteen, I doubt BriBri has ever had one in his life.” I lowered my head to wiggle out away from the she-demon.

“You are correct.” I admit. “I am already borderline psychotic, so why push the madness further?” I finished the sentence with a short but sweet maniacal laugh.

“You won’t wuss out on us will you Chane?” Eve asked in a won’t-take-no-for-an-answer tone.

“B-b-but I can’t! I-I’m seventeen, I’m… I’m underage!” she resisted. No way! She’s that young! That officially makes her the youngest human member of the team.

“Damn. Chane’s jailbait. I can’t hit that for at most a year.” Zack said pretending to be distraught. “When’s your birthday so I know when you’re legal?”

“I-I’m not telling you.” Chane defied assertively. Zack looked like he was about to say something else, but the sound of Eve cracking her knuckles quickly silenced him while giving him the look of a Stantler in headlights.

“So where are Master Raiden and Lt. Deter?” I asked in an attempt to change the subject.

“Watching the entrance as bouncers. Now let’s have our drinks already!” continued Eve relentlessly. Unbelievable! Were they that intent on getting drunk?

“Right! It’s a party so no reason we can’t enjoy ourselves!” Zack agreed heading off to the bar.

“No…” pleaded Chane.

“Sweetie, if you’re worried about being underage, don’t be. We’re Team Neos, we have fake IDs.” Eve reminded snidely. If that was her attempt at being comforting, it failed horribly. If anything, it only made Chane more fearful.

“Brian!” cried Chane holding out her arm hoping I’d help her as Eve dragged her to the bar.

“C’mon Axel. Looks like it’s up to us to keep those two out of trouble while protecting Chane.” I said exasperatedly.

It’s pretty sad when the most mentally unstable one becomes the voice of reason.” Axel said reading exactly what was on my mind. Team Rocket better show up soon so that we can get this night over with.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 25: Reckless Behavior

Chane sat at the bar staring nervously at a martini glass filled with a mysterious pink liquid. Eve sat on her right watching her intently like a Staraptors eyeing up a bewildered Bidoof. Zack was next to Eve but seemed more curious about the situation.

“Whatcha got there Chane?” I inquired passively while I squeezed in between her and her tormentors taking a seat on a stool.

“Strawberry Dakari.” she answered distantly not looking away from the drink. It was pretty apparent that she wanted no parts of it.

“Why are you guys doing this, huh?” I asked in complete seriousness turning to Eve and Zack. “It’s obvious the lady’s not interested, so why pick on her?”

“For fun mostly.” Eve admit shamelessly without a second thought or remorse.

“Hey I’m not picking on her.” Zack said defensively. “In fact I was just telling Eve that maybe we should back off a bit. At first I just thought Chane was just being nervous about getting her first drink. I’m not pushing her to do anything she doesn’t want.”

“So this isn’t a ploy to get in her pants?” I questioned skeptically. Hearing that only made Chane more fearful about taking that first sip.

“Hell no! I take offence that you would even think that!” he retorted “I’m a chivalrous pervert. I don’t take advantage of drunk girls, I don’t date rape, and I don’t go for underage girls.” Eve got one of her trademark crouching-innocence-hidden-motive faces at Zack’s statement.

“I’m feelin’ a li’l tipsy Zacky. You wanna fool around?” she asked jadedly, putting her hands on her lap and sliding her dress up her legs.

“Well since I know you’re still sober, hell yeah I do!” the redhead accepted. The duo started laughing together.

“Hahaha… I’ll castrate you.” Eve said scornfully. That instantly silenced Zack while giving him a halfhearted grin. I shook my head in displeasure at how lightly they were taking the situation.

“Chane, you know you don’t have… to…” I trailed when I saw her looking a bit sickly and the glass half empty. She didn’t! “Chane. Why did you do it?” I asked concernedly.

“W-we’re all p-part of the same squad s-so I took one for the team.” she replied timidly.

“You’re not getting off that easily Cutie.” declared Eve spitefully. “I didn’t see you drink that, so finish it.” she coaxed.

“Wh-what!?” Chane questioned in a panic.

“You heard me. Why waste a good Dakari? Finish it.” the sociopath ordered unsympathetically. I couldn’t believe this! Wasn’t it enough for her that Chane drank half of it?

“I… I don’t want too…” protested Chane.

“Come on Eve. She didn’t even want the first half. Don’t you think you’re taking this too far?” Zack asked. “The goal was to have fun, and Chane does not look like she’s enjoying this.” Eve ignored him as she got out of her chair and pushed me out of mine so she could get closer to her prey. I landed with a thud having been caught off guard.

“Finish it!” Eve persisted getting aggressive.

“NO!” Chane shouted, reflexively grabbing the glass and splashing its contents in Eve’s face. Zack, Axel, and I were awed by such an unexpected response. I had only just gotten back to my feet to help Chane, but I guess she didn’t need me after all. Eve had instinctively closed her eyes to shield them from the liquid so that now her green makeup ran down her cheeks which made her eyes look even fiercer when she opened them.

“You little bitch!” yelled Eve furiously as she back handed Chane across the face, knocking the poor girl out of her stool to the floor.

“Chane!” I cried. Had I stayed down a few seconds longer, I could have probably caught her or at least broken her fall. I reached down and grabbed Chane’s arm to help her back up. “Are you okay?” I questioned. Chane responded by smacking my arm away.

“W-why d-do you think th-that I always n-need y-your help?” she slurred standing up, though a bit wobbly. “I… I’m not s-some baby th-that always needs r-rescuing you bastard.” I was completely taken back by what she said. It was so out of character!

“Damn! Chane just cursed!” Zack shouted in shock.

“B-be quiet you s-stupid s-sex offender!” Chane ordered swaying back and forth like she would fall any second.

“Are you feeling okay Chane?” I asked worriedly. I stood close enough to her that if she did fall, I could catch her.

“Isn’t it obvious? The little girl can’t hold her liquor. It was barely a sip and she’s already smashed. A weak little lightweight.” mocked Eve. “I mean look at her. She can barely stand!”

“S-shut up bitch! I… I can k-kick your ass!” Chane babbled. She swatted her arm at Eve to slap her but missed completely by a whole arm’s length. The momentum spun Chane around and falling into my arms with her face buried in my chest.

Nice catch.” Axel complemented over Eve’s condescending laughter.

“Silence!” I roared. Not only did Eve obey my command, but she did so with an expression of primal fear.

“When did you put in those creepy red contacts?” she asked nervously. Contacts? Does she mean for corrective vision? I don’t wear those. That’s when I realized a correlating trend starting from the incident on the Whirl Islands up until to now. Those who fear me always comment on my eyes. On this latest occasion Eve mentioned that they were red. I’ve never seen myself in a mirror when in Dragon-Forme, but I can’t imagine that claws would be my only change. There must be other alterations as well like to my face. To my eyes.

“I’m not wearing contacts. These are the eyes of a monster.” I answered cryptically. “Axel. Grab her legs.” I instructed. Chane’s body had recently gone limp meaning she just passed out, and while I could easily carry Chane by myself, I was less likely to bump her head into any walls if I had help in carrying her linearly. After the two of us organized our position so that Axel held Chane’s ankles while I had my arms wrapped under her arms, I gave Zack and Eve one more hateful glance.

“I hope you’re both satisfied.” I hissed.

“This was not supposed to happen. I’ll apologize as soon as she wakes up.” Zack promised regretfully. At least he has a conscience. As it would turn out, we had drawn quite a bit of attention. From what I gather, people had been staring ever since Eve slapped Chane.

“What’s going on here?” demanded Raiden pushing through the crowd to join us. “What happened to Chane?”

“Those two got her drunk.” I said tilting my head to the culprits.

“Tattletale.” Eve snipped crossing her arms.

“You have got to be kidding me. Are you people trying to sabotage this mission?” interrogated Raiden in a hushed voice so onlookers wouldn’t hear. Before face-palming in disappointment. “Brian, take her back to the suite please, and take the long way. Lt. Deter is watching the south hall and if he finds out about this there will be no end to his fury.” Raiden instructed.

“On it.” I complied leaving the scene with Axel and our precious cargo. I was glad to be departing too, because I could tell Raiden was about to give those two a lecture that I would rather not be a part of. Once we entered the elevator, I heard Chane moan as she slowly came to.

“Mmm… Brian…” she said in a daze. “I don’t feel so good.” Aw crap.

“Just hang in there Chane. We’re in an elevator right now so I’m begging you not to throw up yet. I really don’t want to be puked on tonight.” I told her.

Don’t throw up on me either. If that stuff gets in my fur, I’m doomed as I also hate the water that would wash it all out.” my monkey partner added. Chane groaned again at the sound of the elevator’s dinged for our floor. I felt so bad for her. At any rate, we were almost back to the room.

Axel and I arrived back to the suite just in time to run Chane to the bathroom for a not so pretty sight. I was thankful that she had her hair already tied back so that I could turn away as I was getting nauseous by just being nearby.

“I-I’m s-sorry for all the tr-trouble I’ve caused and all of the m-mean things I said.” apologized Chane as I escorted her to her room.

“Don’t be. You did nothing wrong.” I consoled laying her in her bed. “It’s Eve and Zack who should, and will, be sorry. You just rest.” I may not have an experience with hangovers, but from what I understand things won’t be so pleasant for Chane when she wakes up so I went to my room to get her some aspirin.

“Brian.” she whispered when I came back to put the orange pills on her nightstand. “You and Axel need to get back to work, b-but I d-don’t want to be alone. C-can you send out m-my Pokémon?” Unlike all of our other rooms we’ve stayed in lately, the bedrooms in this suite were large enough to accommodate all six of her Pokémon at once with room to spare. They were about as mad as I was, if not more, when I told them why their Trainer was in bed in a half state of consciousness.

“Lucy. See what you can do about healing her.” I told Chane’s Chansey as I left the room. I really hated seeing good people suffering like this because of someone else’s selfishness.

Just as I had decided earlier, once I got back to the ballroom I began eating as much shrimp as my stomach could hold. While I devoured my dinner, I heard people discussing what was apparently a really hot topic in Johto. There was a huge debate on renaming the Tin Tower as the Bell Tower. I didn’t understand why the name change was a thing, so unless it became official, I would just keep calling it Tin Tower.

I’m starting to think that this mission was pointless.” Axel mused. “I mean, didn’t they say that they thought Johan was a target. What if they were wrong?

“No argument there.” I said taking a drink of water. I was starting to get jittery by this point. I had taken Chane to bed some 90 minutes ago and even now there was no sign of Team Rocket. Then, as if we had set ourselves up for it, the doors leading to the garden suddenly burst open and dozens of people dressed in black uniforms with white boots and gloves came flooding into the dance floor. While the rich people screamed in surprise and terror, I laughed at the irony. Show time.

“Good evening everyone.” greeted a thin sickly man with a slight wobble to his step. He had short purple hair with a mohawk in the middle of his head, a purple goatee, and lazy grey eyes. His long face resembled a bobble head that if tapped the right way would bounce all over the place. His uniform differed from the others in that he wasn’t wearing a black beret, his boots and gloves had a single red stripe lining their rims, the middle torso of his shirt was trimmed with gold, and he wore a white belt with three strange vials on it.

“My name is Petrel Lambda. I am an Executive of the glorious and mighty Team Rocket.” the Rocket introduced. “Do as we say, and no one will be harmed in any way. Just line up and hand over all of your valuables. Cash, jewelry, any Pokémon you may have with you, and the like.” He had particularly eyed Axel when he said Pokémon. I think I’ll kill him for that.

The Rocket Grunts went from person to person with bags to collect their loot. I watched as the rich people reluctantly parted with their expensive belongings, biding my time until one of them was unfortunate to come to me, Eve, or Zack. While his minions stole, Lambda walked through the room with two guards looking side to side, most likely seeking out Johan.

“Hey you! Hand over your valuables and your Infernape!” demanded a pre-mortem grunt. I began laughing mockingly at him. “What’s so funny?”

“Why don’t you die?” I ordered calmly. I snatched a nearby glass of red wine and splashed it in the Rocket’s face. “Ember!” I called. Axel spit a small fireball at the man which was enough to ignite his face in a burst of flame. The criminal screamed in agony as he clutched his burning face and ran in circles.

“What the hell!?” shouted another Rocket in alarm. I unbuttoned my suit jacket.

“Brian Xelbu of Team Neos says this!” I announced dramatically while crossing my arms over my waist to grab my Pokéballs. “Fight!” I rapidly uncrossed my arms sending five spheres flying into the air. In an explosion of white lights Riolu, Beldum, Piloswine, Snorlax, and Aerodactyl emerged sending panic throughout the room.

“Did he say Team Neos?” cried Lambda wide eyed and worried.

“You couldn’t wait, could you?” Eve asked sarcastically with a sadistic grin. By this point she had cleaned herself up and fixed her eyeliner. “Time to play darlings!” From Eve’s Pokéballs came Diva, Luxray, Roserade, Steelix, who towered over the entire ballroom with a murderous look in his eyes, and the other two I had yet to meet until now. The first was a plump blue Pokémon with flippers for limbs, a shaggy white head and two massive tusks coming from its mouth. The second was a blue bipedal creature with a tan belly, rabbit ears, a small horn on her nose, and spikes running from the top of her head to the tip of her powerful tail.

“Let’s party Lloyd!” Zack called summoning his Golduck to join the fray.

Much better!” Axel cheered gladly after stripping off his clothes so they wouldn’t get destroyed or restrict him in battle.

“Don’t sweat it! There are only three of them and over twenty of us! We got them out numbered!” proclaimed a Rocket arrogantly. The moron was swiftly electrocuted, not by Eve’s Luxray, but by Raiden’s Raichu. The Mouse Pokémon’s long black lightning bolt tipped tail wagged proudly while its yellow cheeks still sparked with electricity.

“There are five of us.” corrected the third seat standing with Lt. Deter.

“It should be six. Where’s the brunette?” Charles questioned irritably scanning the room.

“She was feeling ill so I gave her permission to take a leave of absence to rest.” Raiden covered for us. Eve grumpily averted her eyes.

“Well don’t just stand there like idiots! Attack!” ordered Lambda. Within seconds, the room was filled with dozens of Pokémon representing just about every type and evolutionary stage.

“Rich bastards! If you don’t want to die, then I suggest you get the hell out of our way!” I threatened. “Snorlax! Body Slam!” The Sleeping Pokémon got up on his legless feet and slowly trudged through the crowd to the nearest enemy Pokémon which happened to be a Murkrow. The civilians who had nothing to do with this fight scattered in screams of fear; pushing each other out of the way to escape. I love inducing chaos and panic among the masses. Snorlax then belly flopped on top of the pitiful Murkrow smashing it to the floor.

Aside from the orange mouse by his side, Raiden also called forth his Magnezone, an Electrode, a Manectric, his Jolteon, and finally Electabuzz. Lt. Deter summoned six large and intimidating Pokémon. My guess is for compensation. The first was an Arbok with a pattern of an open smiling mouth that was red with a black outline making the impression that there were teeth on the inside, and eyes similar to the mouth in that they were outlined black, had red inside, yellow irises, and black pupils. The rest were a Milotic, a Tyranitar, a Hariyama, an Ursaring, and a Dusknoir.

“Your orders are simple: Eliminate Team Rocket!” commanded Lt. Deter. “Hariyama! Go after one of those Raticate with Force Palm! Tyranitar! Eliminate the Xatu with Stone Edge! Arbok! Crush that Gliscor with Wrap! Ursaring! Use Slash on the Tentacruel! Dusknoir! Curse one of the Houndour! And Milotic! Cover the rest of the party, including my men, with Safeguard!” the midget systematically ordered.

The Tender Pokémon began singing as it surrounded every Pokémon owned by a member of Team Neos in white halos. What I want to know is how an angry little man like Charles owns such a calm and soothing creature as a Milotic. At the same time, the Lieutenant’s other Pokémon went on the offensive.

The Cobra Pokémon lunged at a purple Flying-type Pokémon that looked like it was a cross between a bat and a scorpion as it had large black wings, big ears, and long fangs like a bat, along with large purple claws at the end of slender red arms and a long segmented tail tipped with two deadly stingers like a scorpion, entangling the creature in its coils.

Dusknoir impaled itself with a ghostly knife it created then threw the knife into a nearby Houndour. The Requiem Pokémon’s pain will be that Fire-type’s eternal suffering. Meanwhile, the other three were having their way with their respective opponents.

“All six of you, Charge Beam the Golbat swarm!” Raiden told his Pokémon. Magnezone and Electrode began gathering bright blue electricity in front of their faces while Jolteon and Manectric did so in their mouths and Raichu and Electabuzz charged the energy in their cupped palms. Then all at once the six Electric-types released their attacks at six different Golbats, two of which were fainted by the attacks.

“Hey Lloyd! I think I see a dehydrated Arcanine over there! Give it a drink will ya?” Zack said courteously. Per his Trainer’s request, the Golduck sprayed the Legendary Pokémon with a gushing river of Hydro Pump much to the latter’s dislike.

“Diva! Use Shadow Ball on Haunter! Luxray! Put that Rivalry Ability of yours to good use and take a Bite out of Jynx! Roserade! I want you to make a Raticate suffer with Toxic! Steelix! Take out one of those filthy Grimers with Dragon Breath! Walrein! Take care of another one with Sheer Cold! And Nidoqueen! Earthqu-- well maybe that isn’t the best idea. Earth Power the Hypno instead!” commanded Eve. It’s a good thing she cancelled that Earthquake order because otherwise everyone’s Pokémon, even her own, would be screwed.

The Banette gathered a swirling mass of black and deep purple shadows between her hands and threw it at a large transparent purple demonic face with two floating hands. The Haunter screeched an otherworldly cry of pain from the attack. Nidoqueen tore up the floor in a single stomp that sent dirt and mud flying at a human shaped Pokémon with yellow fur, a fluffy white collar, and a long nose holding a pendulum. One Grimer was instantly frozen solid while a second was engulfed in a powerful beam of green energy. Elsewhere, Eve’s Luxray clamped her jaws around a Pokémon that could easily be confused with a blond haired woman with a dark face and big lips wearing a red dress. Meanwhile, the Roserade sprayed an unfortunate Rat Pokémon with a thick purple toxin.

“Piloswine! Use Dig on the Weepinbell! Aerodactyl! Get that Skarmory with Rock Slide! Beldum! Hit a Rattata with Iron Head! Riolu! Take out another Rattata with Cross Chop! We can’t keep going after the bigger prey while leaving the small ones around to run wild! That is why Snorlax is going to flatten everything within range with Rollout! And Axel! I think that Primeape looked at you wrong. Close Combat!” I called out to them.

Axel ran madly to engage the enemy monkey in hand to hand combat at the same time that Riolu and Beldum went on an exterminating mission of the pest population. While that was going on, Piloswine tore up the floor by burrowing underground for a sneak attack against a yellow Grass-type Pokémon with green leaves for arms. Aerodactyl further destroyed the ballroom floor with a loud screech that summoned dozens of rocks hurdling at the Armored Bird Pokémon. Snorlax did a summersault to get his Rollout started that not only finished off the Murkrow from before, but also rampaged through members of Team Rocket and their Pokémon.

Naturally the Rockets fought back hollering out commands for Weepinbell to Razor Leaf, Hypno to use Psychic, Grimers, Muks, Koffings, and Weezings were to use Sludge, Poison Gas, Tackle, and Pound, Tentacruel to Wrap Ursaring, Skarmory to use Steel Wing on Aerodactyl, Primeape to retaliate with its own Close Combat, and Haunter to use Shadow Punch. There were the commands for Jynx to use Ice Beam, Houndours and Houndooms to use Crunch or Flamethrower, Golbats and Zubats were told to use Supersonic, Confuse Ray, Wing Attack, Air Cutter, and Leech Life, while the Rattatas and Raticates were mostly told to use Hyper Fang, Tackle, and Quick Attack. Voltorbs and Rocket owned Electrodes were ordered to use Thunderbolts, Tackles, and one even called for a Self-Destruct sending even more chaos through the battleground.

All of this occurred in less than two minutes.

“Man, oh man! If you wanted all-out war, I think this might be it!” Zack shouted ducking out of the way of a Geodude’s Rock Throw. “Lloyd! You mind teaching that Geodude a lesson for me?” Lloyd answered the call by surrounding his tail with water and smacking Geodude unconscious. “Thanks Buddy!” said Zack giving a thumbs-up to the Duck Pokémon.

“I’ll get that Golduck! Shoot it with Bullet Seed Exeggutor!” ordered a Rocket. A walking palm tree began firing off multiple rounds of brown balls from its three heads.

“Axel! Destroy those seeds with Ember!” I called. The Infernape momentarily kicked his Primeape opponent away in time to shot down each projectile in a flurry of small flames. No sooner had the seeds been destroyed did the Pig Monkey Pokémon jump on Axel in an angry rage. My monkey responded by kicking Primeape off and finishing it with a Fire Punch.

“Thanks Brian! We owe ya one.” said Zack appreciatively with Lloyd nodding in agreement.

“Don’t mention it.” I said with a smile. “Just helping a teammate out.”

“In that case… Lloyd! Finish that damn Exeggutor with Ice Beam!” my partner commanded. Lloyd opened his beak releasing a pale blue beam of frost at the Coconut Pokémon. The Grass-type cried in pain but wasn’t beaten yet.

“You call that an Ice Beam?” mocked Eve. “Walrein! Show these children a real Ice Beam!” At once her Walrus Pokémon launched an even larger wintry ray than Lloyd had which succeeded in knocking out the Exeggutor. “How was that?” she taunted.

“Hey now, you’re Pokémon is Ice-type, you have STAB bonus.” Zack defended. While Eve laughed at him, an Arbok that wasn’t Deter’s loomed up behind her without warning. Eve turned around just in time for it to sink its fangs into her face. At least it would have had it not been consumed by a pink aura and thrown into a wall at the last second. Zack and I looked at each other in confusion as neither of us had ordered any of our Pokémon to use Psychic.

“A-are you okay Eve?” asked a certain team member flying overhead on her Pidgeot with a Lunatone by her side.

“Chane… you saved me. Why?” Eve questioned in wonder as Jace landed with us.

“B-because we need to w-work together.” Chane said cheerfully. “I s-still haven’t forgiven you f-for this terrible headache I have now, b-but we have to beat Team Rocket first.” Because Chane was still a bit hungover, Zack and I helped her off of her bird so he could fight without worry about his Trainer’s safety.

“Ya know, if I wasn’t such a sadist I’d feel bad about what I did to you.” Eve confessed shallowly. At least she was honest about it.

“But I feel bad. I’m sorry Chane.” Zack apologized keeping his word. Chane nodded in understanding as she sent out the rest of her Pokémon.

“Fuck! Shit! Another one just showed up!” screamed various grunts at once.

“Yeah, but look! She has a Chansey! Let’s steal it!” announced another one foolishly. “Go get her Ariados!” A large spider crawled its way through the crowd in a futile attempt to attack.

“Please keep Ariados away with Gust, Jace!” Chane called. The mighty Bird Pokémon flapped his powerful wings several times to kick up a wind strong enough to knock back the Long Leg Pokémon.

“Hey! Get your hands off me!” demanded a voice that sounded like it belonged to a young man. I turned to see Lambda standing with his two goons who had a man with neatly combed blonde hair wearing a grey suit in their arms. If logic serves, that must be Johan. After Lambda slapped a piece of tape over his captive’s mouth, he pulled a Pokéball from his belt. From it came a Pokémon made up of two purple spheres fused together and covered with numerous vents emitting toxic fumes.

“I want the rest of you to finish off Team Neos and meet at the rendezvous point as soon as you do!” he ordered his troops. “I’m sorry to say, but I will now be taking my leave ladies and gentlemen.” said the Rocket Executive apologetically to everyone else. With that, his Weezing let out a Smokescreen covering the entire ballroom in a thick haze. Everybody remaining in the room, the rich people, my squad and I, and even the remaining members of Team Rocket, not to mention our Pokémon coughed asthmatically as the smoke filled our lungs.

“Ce- *cough* Celia! De- *hack* Defog!” Chane gagged.

“Do *gasp* the same *cough* Aerodactyl!” I wheezed. Even though I couldn’t see them through the smog, I heard the manic flapping of wings and felt the wind produced by it. Gradually the smoke dispersed from the room through the door to the garden and the door to the hallway. It was then we noticed that Lambda and Johan were missing.

“Dammit! They’re getting away!” shouted Lt. Deter furiously. “Arka! Take the exit into the garden! I’ll go through the hall! The rest of you are to cover us!” he commanded returning his Pokémon leaving only Tyranitar out. Raiden did the same with only his Electabuzz remaining before running to the garden.

“Where do you think you’re going small fry?” questioned a most unfortunate Rocket getting between Lt. Deter and the doorway. The midget yelled out angrily before kicking the dumbass in the kneecap then punching him in the stomach.

“The only thing small here is your IQ.” he retorted. “Tyranitar! Scatter these lowlifes with Hyper Beam!” The Armor Pokémon opened its mouth wide blasting a devastating yellowish orange beam that sent the Rockets and their Pokémon fleeing for their miserable lives.

“Use Discharge Electabuzz!” commanded Raiden. The Electric-type roared as it sent lightning shooting off indiscriminately in every direction. Luckily, the only two Pokémon that were hit on our side were Piloswine and Nidoqueen who felt none of the effects. All at once the members of Team Rocket and their Pokémon that were nearest to the garden door were covered in a purple glow and pushed to their knees, or in the case of some Pokémon, their bellies.

“Diva, I did not tell you to use Psychic!” Eve scolded uncaringly. The Marionette Pokémon rolled her demonic eyes at her Trainer as she released her unwary prey. It just seemed too perfect as it had given enough time for Raiden to escape. Unfortunately, that also meant the four of us had to face down about twenty Rockets and roughly four times that number in Pokémon.

Chane, Zack, Eve, and I stood back to back to cover each other’s blind spots as Team Rocket encircled us, determined to finish us off for good. Naturally they were mistaken, but even so, we needed a strategy if we wanted to get out of this in one piece.

“All we gotta do is finish these guys off and then meet back at Tin Tower right?” questioned a particularly brainless grunt for just giving away their location.

“You moron! You weren’t supposed to say that out loud!” reprimanded another one.

“Doesn’t matter. These guys won’t live long enough to use that information anyway!” assured a third. “Take ‘em Down Rhyhorn!” A large rhino like Pokémon covered in plated grey armor let out a low bellow as it charged at the group.

“Don’t be so sure!” I warned as I felt my Dragon blood rise. “Hit it with Iron Tail Axel!” I called. The monkey’s golden tail changed to a metallic silver color as it hardened. He held out his arms to catch Rhyhorn as it charged then started whipping the Spikes Pokémon across the face and in its eyes. Rhyhorn roared in pain until Axel took it out with a swift punch to its jaw.

That’s how it’s done bitches!” taunted Axel giving our enemies the finger on both hands while sticking out his tongue.

“Sorry everyone, but play time is over.” Eve alerted. She turned to her Luxray with a bored look. “I don’t care who, but use Thunder Fang on someone that isn’t on our side.” The lioness complied, teeth crackling with electricity, as she took a bite out of a female Grunt’s leg causing her to scream in anguish. “I should warn you all, Luxray is very territorial. If you’re a woman, get away from her now.” she notified.

I suddenly heard the cracking sound of gunfire and Axel cry out hardly half a second later. I quickly turned to my partner who was gripping his left arm.

“Axel! Are you alright!?” I asked fearfully. The Infernape moved his hand to investigate himself, but there was no visible scratch on him.

“Yeah. I’m missing some hair so I think the bullet just grazed me.” he said with as much relief as I felt that he was alright. We both then started looking around to see who or what got shot and who ever fired because one person may need medical attention while the other would need a body bag. I noticed a flattened piece of metal on the floor under Steelix meaning no one was hurt but that wouldn’t save Team Rocket.

“Guys, I think we need to get out of this predicament.” Zack advised warily. I think we all felt the same, but there was something that needed to be done first.

Draconic energy coursed through my body into my hand the moment I set my sights in the direction the gun was shot from. An inhuman growl came from my vocal cords as I pulled back my arm, then in the blink of an eye the blue burst of energy was launched when I thrust my arm forward. My Dragon Pulse crashed into the Rocket standing closest to me destroying the criminal’s uniform and knocking him back into the Jynx behind him sending both to the floor. And standing behind them was a Rocket with a look of terror on his face and a gun holster on his chest.

“It was you!” I screamed like a madman, jumping over my previous victims with my claws pulled back. My prey had absolutely no time to aim his weapon before a Dragon Claw tore through his eyes, skull, and brain. When I pulled my fingers out, they were covered in blood down to my knuckles with splashes of blood on the back of my hand and wrist.

With them out of the way, my squad had room enough to get out of the fray with the chance of getting the high ground. Including me, only Axel, Eve, Diva, Roserade, Lucy, and Zack were able to get out of the circle before our adversaries closed in again and began attacking those still trapped with some going after us. Zack flipped over one of the buffet tables for us to take refuge behind.

“Piloswine! Beldum! Take Down! Snorlax! Body Slam!” I called. That should open another path for Chane and the rest of our Pokémon to get free. Rockets jumped out of the way of the charging Pokémon letting their own monsters take the hits. This time everyone got out and joined us behind the table. I grabbed a discarded napkin to wipe the blood off my hands.

“Listen, I’ve got a plan!” proclaimed Zack. “You guys see that chandelier up there? Steelix can reach it, so what we need is for Axel and Kermit to stand on his head. Axel will melt the chain with Flamethrower and Kermit is too cool it with Water Gun.” he elaborated.

“What good will that do?” Eve criticized, unimpressed by his idea.

“I’m getting there! That will warp the metal while keeping the chandelier in place. While they do that, we will have the rest of our Pokémon go after Team Rocket to get them under the chandelier. Once that’s done, Steelix will use Crunch on the weakened chain and Boom! Down it comes crashing on the Rockets.” he finished.

“I like it!” I agreed whole heartedly.

“Whatever.” sighed Eve probably mad that she didn’t come up with the idea first. “Lower your head Steelix.” The Iron Snake Pokémon grunted irritably at the thought of having other creatures stand on his head, but he did as instructed.

“Be strong.” encouraged Chane as Steelix rose again with the Infernape and Azumarill. I took the initiative to jump out from behind the table with a deranged battle cry.

“Rollout around the Rockets Snorlax! Confuse the fuck out of them with Supersonic Aerodactyl” I commanded. “The rest of you just make sure that no one goes where they shouldn’t be!”

“I need you to keep them off balance with Whirlwind Jace! Please do the same with Gust Celia! Could you use Psychic on them as well Luna?” Chane told her friends.

“Play with Team Rocket anyway you want my little terrors!” shouted Eve lightheartedly.

“Put them in place with your Psychic too Lloyd!” called Zack.

Aerodactyl’s loud screech echoed throughout the ballroom as the gale force cyclones created by the Pidgeot and Beautifly sent everything that wasn’t pinned down flying. Meanwhile people and Pokémon were being forced around not just by the raging indoor tempest, but also pink and blue auras of psychic energy. Piloswine, Luxray, Nidoqueen, and Walrein used intimidation tactics by pushing, biting, or jabbing at anyone who dared to get away from the crowd while Snorlax rolled around forcing those who weren’t already into the cluster. Riolu, Beldum, and Diva did what they could to keep everyone under control as those above blasted the chain with an unending stream of fire and water.

“That’s it! They’re all under!” Zack cried looking up and down just to make sure that the alignment was correct. “Alright! Have Izzy and Roserade use Stun Spore now!” he told the girls.

“Your heard the man Roserade.” Eve said victoriously.

“Do your best Izzy!” said Chane supportively. The two Grass-types unleashed a cloud of yellow power over the Rockets, Roserade from her flowers and Izzy from under her mushroom cap. The Rockets and their Pokémon screamed as their muscles stiffened making them immobile.

“Bring that thing down with Crunch Steelix!” Eve shouted up to her metal serpent. First Steelix violently shook his head to throw off Axel and Kermit who were caught midair by Jace, then the Iron Snake Pokémon turned his massive head to chomp the chandelier chain sending it falling on the heads of Team Rocket.

“Now to make sure they don’t escape, freeze them! Use Ice Beam Lloyd!” Zack commanded.

“Ice Beam them Walrein!” called Eve pointing to the pile.

“Piloswine! Ice Beam!” I added. All three of our Pokémon shot cold beams of pale blue at the creatures under the chandelier creating a massive wall of ice encasing our captives. The moment we ceased our attack, the civilians still in the room that had to endure all of this craziness began clapping and cheering for our wonderful job.

“Well done! Well done!” praised a rich woman. “Thank you for all of your hard work, you saved us all. We can take it from here, I’ll call the police to have those scoundrels arrested at once.” she offered.

“No need. Aerodactyl and Snorlax! Destroy them all with Hyper Beam!” I commanded maliciously pointing to the frozen pile of evil. Aerodactyl opened his great maw and blasted a yellowish orange beam of raw energy from the sky at the captured Team Rocket members. Snorlax did the same from the ground creating a massive explosion of frozen body parts of all kinds of different species. Those that weren’t incinerated that is.

“All criminals should be executed. Why waste the space in prison or risk them going free because of some flaw in the legal system?” I posed answering the horrified looks I was getting from everyone.

“H-how? How c-could you be s-so c-cruel?” questioned a frightened Chane.

“Because he’s a monster.” Eve replied. “Isn’t that what you told us earlier?” she asked me. “Unlike me who would rather not kill, he seems to have no issue with it. It’s actually kind of scary.”

“Regardless, I just did the world a favor by eliminating its vermin. Now let’s go! Master Raiden and Short Fuck are waiting for us.” I said returning all of my Pokémon except for Axel and Aerodactyl. I took them with me outside to the garden which was a pretty nice place. There was a stone fountain in the middle of the walkway, tall but thin trees lining said walkway, and various types of flowers, berry producing trees, and apricorn baring trees about. However, this was no time to admire the scenery.

“To Tin Tower!” I told Aerodactyl jumping on his back.

I would like to point out that this chapter was written before the English release of HGSS so that is why Tin Tower retains it's Gen II name. Petrel Lambda was originally called just Lambda but I later added Petrel as his first name so I included it in this installment. Brian continues to call him Lambda for the rest of the series however.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 26: Battle At Tin Tower

It wasn’t long before the Tin Tower appeared on the horizon. Hell, being the tallest structure in Ecruteak City it was hard to miss. While Aerodactyl faced forward, Axel and I scanned the ground for any sight of our prey or Raiden. There was none. I tightened my grip on the Flying-type’s shoulder as he increased his speed to get to our destination faster. The speed caused a slim red fabric to start whipping my face. I caught my tie in my mouth then tossed it behind me where it wouldn’t be a hindrance.

“To the top!” I called as we reached our destination. Aerodactyl screeched in compliance quickly going into a 90° turn only losing a little speed. Speed which was soon regained with one mighty flap of his wings that sent us bulleting to the sky. My plan was that if Lambda entered from the first floor entrance with Raiden and Lt. Deter coming in behind him, then I would cut him off by attacking from the top floor of Tin Tower.

The Fossil Pokémon had actually built up enough speed that he overshot the roof of the tower. Normally I would have just jumped off, but because the blue tiled roof was so slanted leaving only a small flat part at the tippy top with tall golden spire in the center and statues of Ho-oh at its edges, there were just too many obstacles to deal with that could have hurt. I felt Axel’s grip on me tighten as we both knew what Aerodactyl was about to do. The King of the Skies did a midair back flip before diving back to Tin Tower and landing next to one of the Ho-oh statues.

I hate it when you do that Aero.” Axel complained to the prehistoric beast as we both got off the Flying-type’s back. Aerodactyl must have made some sort of snarky comeback in his own language because my monkey partner looked like he was getting ready to throw a fit.

“Behave yourselves now.” I told the Pokémon. “Aerodactyl. I want you to keep watch for any Team Rocket activity. If you see them, eliminate them anyway you wish.” I permitted. The Fossil Pokémon nodded with a shriek while taking to the sky once again to circle Tin Tower.

“Alright, come along Axel. We have some more Rockets to slay.” I said darkly as I walked over to a staircase leading to the lower levels.

I have never been in Tin Tower before, I have only seen it from the outside, but the inside was both beautiful and eerie at the same time. The floor and walls were all made of 700-year-old wood giving the room an ancient kind of smell. Paper doors led from one room to another which were all full of yet more sculptures of Ho-oh. There was also a giant pillar in the middle of the floor that led all the way down to the first floor. Because it was night time, only the light of the stars penetrated the windows making the rooms feel that much more ominous. In reality, if I was here during the day, it probably wouldn’t be that bad. As usual, I made Axel stand in front so that I could use his fiery head like a flashlight.

Gah!” screamed the Infernape jumping back into me. “Stupid Rattata!” he grumbled kicking away the rodent that had brushed past his feet.

“You’re just too jumpy.” I teased. The two of us made sure to check every room before going down to the eighth floor in search of Team Rocket and their hostage. We found nothing. Obviously they hadn’t gotten this high yet. It wasn’t until we got down to the sixth floor that I heard a voice.

“Be patient my dear Johan. By the time my men finish with those fools from Team Neos, the chopper should be here and then we can leave. After that, Daddy just has to pay your ransom and you can go free.” said the voice.

I motioned for Axel to stay put as his fire would only draw unwanted attention to us while I stealthfully crept forward. I threw my back against a wall to peer around the corner only to be left confused by what I saw. There was a man tied up on the floor and standing over him was his twin in appearance right down to his clothes! There was no sign of any members of Team Rocket, and yet there were two Johan Kaisers! The one on the floor rolled around moaning something in protest, but it was impossible to understand with the tape over his mouth.

“Struggle all you want, it won’t make a difference. I was given the position of Executive of Team Rocket because I never fail my missions. In the event that those two who tailed us get past my guards, I’ll simply masquerade as you to get them off the trail. As you can clearly see, I am a master of disguise.” he mocked. No doubt this one was Lambda. How he was able to replicate the appearance of others, I’m not sure, but he isn’t the only one who can put on an act. I quietly slinked back to Axel and filled him in on what I saw.

“Just follow my lead.” I instructed in a hushed voice. “Come on Axel! I think I heard a voice coming from somewhere in this room!” I shouted obscenely loud so that both men were sure to hear me. As expected, the imposter came running around the corner to see what was up and so I wouldn’t have to opportunity to see the real Johan tied up.

“Wh-who are you?” he questioned in a somewhat panicked voice. I had to admit, he was a pretty good actor to sound just like the real thing. If I hadn’t caught him in the act, I’d be completely fooled.

“I am a member of Team Neos. You must be Johan Kaiser, the Prime Minister’s son.” I answered. As long as he didn’t suspect that I knew he was a fake, then chances are he’ll drop his guard. Once that happens, it’s all over.

“Y-yeah. I’m Johan Kaiser. I just got away from Team Rocket when those two other Neos guys showed up. They’re fighting downstairs as we speak.” the imposter lied through his teeth not once breaking character.

“In that case, I want you to go with Axel,” I said motioning the Infernape, “and go to the top of Tin Tower. My Aerodactyl is waiting up there and will escort you to safety. I’m going to go downstairs and help my comrades.” The phony looked a bit worried knowing that as soon as I walked around that corner I would see the real Johan as Lambda hadn’t had a chance to stash him somewhere yet.

“Why can’t you come with me to the top? I know that the battle downstairs is three against two, but I’m sure your partners can handle it themselves.” he tried to convince. I’m sure that if I were to agree with that, Lambda would then strike me down when my back was turned.

“Actually, I have a score to settle with Lambda.” I lied. Tonight was the first time I had ever seen the Rocket Executive, but the real Johan wouldn’t know the difference. Just for entertainment, I think I’ll even make fun of Lambda and make him sound like a complete tool! “You see, when I first encountered Lambda he was a poor little creature dressed in rags and smelled like sun-dried piss. He was an ugly pile of monkey vomit, but I took pity on that filthy piece of shit and took him under my wing. He later repaid me in a bar by calling me a donkey head, dumping my apple-tini in my hair, and declaring that he was going to join Team Rocket.” I tried my hardest not to burst out laughing at my own fabrication especially considering the statement had the man in front of me glowing red with anger. I hope he breaks his charade before I do!

“That never happened!” he yelled in disgrace. That was when both Axel and I started laughing uncontrollably at him. While I got my giggles out of my system I pointed to the next room telling Axel to go retrieve the hostage. “You knew!” realized Lambda when Axel walked past him and patted him on the shoulder for trying.

“That’s right.” I shamelessly admit. “You really shouldn’t conversate with the hostages Lambda.”

Got him!” called Axel from the other side.

“No!” Lambda yelled throwing a Pokéball. Emerging from it in a white light was a large, blue, fang filled mouth with stubby feet coming from its chin, two small ears and narrow eyes on its head, and two long wings on its cheeks with purple membranes in them. “Golbat! Stop that monkey!” he ordered.

“I don’t think so!” I countered throwing a Great Ball to release my Piloswine. “Powder Snow!” The Swine Pokémon created a wind that began condensing water molecules in the air into ice fragments that were blown at Golbat before it could go after Axel.

Let me guess. I’m taking the prince to Aerodactyl while you have the fun of battling.” Axel observed running passed with Johan thrown over his shoulder.

“Just consider it motivation to get your ass back here as soon as possible.” I taunted. The monkey growled at me as he continued back the way we came.

“Damn you! You actually think you can stop me?” interrogated my opponent clutching the top of his forehead. As he pulled off his face, his entire disguise began to give way until he was back to his old appearance with a pink blob in his hand. So it was a Ditto that made him a master of disguise.

“I don’t think, I know I can kick your ass.” I retorted. “And even if I somehow lose, my partners are already on their way. You see, we finished off all the Rockets at the hotel, and Master Raiden and Lt. Deter should have no problem finishing off your goons downstairs. That makes you the only one left.”

“I’ve heard enough from you! Golbat! Make Piloswine suffer with Toxic!” Lambda commanded. The vampire made a hacking sound as its mouth filled with a purple ooze which it then spit all over Piloswine. The wooly pig made as sickly sound as the sludge seep through his thick fur and was absorbed by his skin.

“Hang in there.” I encouraged. “Use Ice Fang!” The boar’s twin tusks were coated in a thin layer of frost as he charged at Golbat. Once he was close enough, Piloswine shook his head to stab Golbat once with each tusk. Piloswine then winced as the poison started taking its effect.

“Suffer a little more! Confuse Ray Golbat!” shouted the Rocket Executive. With a loud screech, the Bat Pokémon blasted a ghostly white light from its gigantic mouth directly at the mammoth boar who was still at too close a range to have any hope avoiding the attack.

“Resist confusion Piloswine! Take Down the son of a bitch!” I called. Instead of doing what I asked, Piloswine drunkenly shook his head side to side as if dancing. That must be one trippy song playing in his head.

“That’s more like it. Use Aerial Ace Golbat!” yelled Lambda. Golbat flew over the field directly above Piloswine, then as it dive-bombed, the vampire was surrounded in white streaks as the air around it broke apart from the speed. Piloswine grunted loudly in displeasure as he was struck, both from the pain of the attack and from the poison continuously draining his strength.

“Hit Golbat with Ice Fang again!” I commanded taking note that the mammoth pig was still bobbing his head back and forth. The Swine Pokémon’s tusks were once again covered in ice as he jabbed his bloodsucking opponent several times. If I had ordered Fury Attack it wouldn’t have made much difference, this just hurt more.

“Golbat! Restore your strength with Leech Life!” Lambda ordered. The Bat Pokémon looked more than delighted at such a request. It flew behind Piloswine, away from all possible points of offense, and sunk his fangs into the thick hide of the wooly boar’s giant hump. I knew that had to hurt because Golbat’s mouth was bigger than Piloswine’s body. The Swine Pokémon began going wild, jumping up and down and scraping his hooves against the wooden floor. On top of that, Toxic was taking a heavier toll on him every minute.

“Piloswine! Body Slam into that wall!” I called pointing to the one on our right. Piloswine snorted as he ran straight for it, then turned at the last second to smash his back and the parasite on it into the wall. The impact sent vibrations through the room causing dust to fall from the ceiling. Golbat spat fresh blood as it let out an ear piercing shriek from getting pinned between the two. I wasn’t entirely sure if that was Piloswine’s blood that it had drunken or its own.

“Now finish it with Blizzard!” I commanded. This battle had gone on long enough. The Swine Pokémon turned to his opponent who was still regrouping from having its meal interrupted. Without hesitation Piloswine took a deep breath, then exhaled the coldest wind imaginable turning the air and everything around it into ice. The Bat Pokémon cried in agony as the frozen gale shredded its wings and formed crystals of ice on its body. When the wooly boar ceased the attack from fatigue, Golbat collapsed to the ground unconscious and very hypothermic.

“Dammit! I can’t believe I’m losing to some punk!” the Rocket Executive berated as he returned the Bat Pokémon to its ball and readied another. I did the same with Piloswine so that he could take the rest he earned. “You won’t beat my Raticate!” A brown bipedal rat with a long scaly tail, messy brown fur, and four giant front teeth, two on top two on bottom, materialized from its Pokéball. In response, I summoned Riolu from his ball.

“Start us off with Bullet Punch Rio!” I called. Riolu’s fist started glowing blue before he disappeared in a blue blur. The young Pokémon reappeared in front of Raticate and thrust his fist between the Rat Pokémon’s eyes. The oversized rodent shrieked in pain while putting its paws to its eyes out of instinct.

“You can’t let that little creature beat you! Use Hyper Fang!” my opponent ordered. In the blink of an eye, Raticate pounced on Riolu with its mouth wide open. The only thing that kept Raticate from biting off the Emanation Pokémon’s head was Riolu holding its jaws open as the rodent pressed forward.

“Kick it Riolu!” I told him. This stalemate would have gone on until one of them either wore out or did something, and it’s better for me that Riolu be the one to do it. The young canine delivered a swift kick to Raticate’s stomach per my request causing the Rat Pokémon to jump back. “Now use Quick Attack!” I called.

“Raticate! Sucker Punch!” countered Lambda the second Riolu moved. Before the Emanation Pokémon could land his attack, Raticate slugged him in the face as soon as he was within the rodent’s reach.

“Counter Riolu!” I commanded. The young Pokémon clasped his paws around Raticate’s claw and flipped it over his shoulder.

“Get out of there! Quick Attack!” Lambda shouted. After rolling over on all fours, the Rat Pokémon lunged at Riolu with incredible speed sending him bouncing down the floor. True to form, Riolu got right back up. “I guess I’ll just have to increase the pain. Use Swords Dance Raticate!” instructed the Rocket Executive. Raticate growled as it increased its fighting power. For a brief second it looked like transparent swords had appeared around the rodent.

“Be on your guard Riolu. As soon as Lambda calls another attack, use Detect!” I strategized. Riolu nodded in compliance wiggling his aura sensing appendages to get a feel for the environment.

“Too bad your plan won’t work! Drop their guard with Screech Raticate!” yelled Lambda. Raticate let out an ear splitting sound that forced both Riolu and I to hold our ears. “Now hit it with Zen Headbutt!” I heard my opponent shout after the audio onslaught. The Rat Pokémon dropped to all fours again and charged at the small canine with a glowing pink head. Still disoriented from Screech, Riolu was unable to defend himself when Raticate literally attacked head on.

“Hang in there Rio!” I encouraged. “Use Cross Chop!” The Emanation ran back to the giant rodent then karate chopped Raticate on both sides of its neck so that his arms ended in an X shape. Needless to say, I was pretty shocked and a bit worried when Raticate opened its eyes with a menacing glare aimed at Riolu.

“Bite the damn thing’s arms off!” the Rocket Executive ordered. The Rat Pokémon mercilessly chomped down on Riolu’s right paw causing the young canine to bark in pain as he struggled to free his arm. While I disliked this predicament, I did see a benefit to it.

“Riolu! Force Palm directly into Raticate’s mouth!” I commanded. The Emanation Pokémon quickly composed himself as he concentrated his aura into a blue glow in his palm. He then straightened his hand to send an azure energy blast tearing through Raticate’s body. The rodent yelled in agony releasing Riolu at once.

“Now finish this with Brick Break!” I called. Riolu paid back Raticate’s bite with interest by landing a powerful punch to the Rat Pokémon’s fangs shattering them to pieces. Raticate dropped to its knees clutching its face in agony as enamel and blood fell from its mouth. If I didn’t know that those teeth grew back, I’d almost feel bad for starving the creature. In a matter of seconds, Raticate passed out from the pain.

“No.” Lambda denied taking a step back. “This can’t be. I can’t be losing to the likes of you! I am a member of the glorious Team Rocket!”

“Recall your Raticate and bring out your next Pokémon. If you don’t finish this Pokémon Battle, then I will kill you on the spot like I did with all of your minions at the hotel.” I warned returning Riolu.

“You did what!?” he demanded in disbelief. I smiled at him with a deranged look in my most likely red eyes and began laughing.

“My partners and I defeated the grunts you brought with you and then I destroyed them all!” I proudly admit. Lambda looked absolutely terrified of such a revelation. “Now then…” I trailed walking forward.

“Don’t come any closer!” cried the Rocket Executive in fear grabbing another Pokéball. “Protect me Weezing!” he begged sending out the Poison-type from earlier.

“That’s more like it! Let’s go Snorlax!” I called releasing my rotund bear from his Ultra Ball. Snorlax stretched and yawned as if I had woken him up from a nap.

I’m back!” Axel announced jumping into the fray. “I told Aerodactyl to drop him off back at the hotel. He’s probably calling the police so you may want to finish this soon.” the monkey advised.

“Guess what Lambda. According to Axel, Johan Kaiser is free and is calling the police as we speak. You lose!” I mocked. Lambda’s eye began twitching while he began grinding his teeth.

“Brian!” Raiden called running in behind Lambda with Lt. Deter effectively surrounding the Rocket.

“No! It won’t end this way! Weezing! Take them all out with Explosion!” ordered the Rocket Executive in desperation. The Poison Gas Pokémon’s body began slowly expanding beyond its normal limits.

“Get back!” shouted Lt. Deter as Weezing’s massive growth suddenly came to as stop. It then rapidly contracted its body exerting so much pressure that it broke apart releasing all of its toxic gases at once in a fiery burst that shook the whole room and probably the whole tower. I heard a cracking sound of splintering wood just before the ancient floor beneath my feet gave way.

“Oh shit!” I yelled as I felt myself go into a freefall. I saw Axel reach down to grab me, but I was only able to touch my fingers to his as I plummeted. As my luck would have it, Snorlax had also fallen through the hole. I pulled out his Ultra Ball and called him back then maneuvered myself in the falling debris to point my arm downward to resummon him beneath me. No sooner had Snorlax finished materializing, did I land on his soft belly.

I’m coming!” I heard Axel yell as he jumped down to join us also landing on Snorlax. I looked around to see if anyone else had fallen and what damage there was. Littered among the burned and fragmented wood were warped purple chunks of Weezing’s kamikaze attack. What a miserable way to end things.

“So you survived.” a voice said sounding neither relieved nor malicious. I turned to see Raiden brushing himself off after the fall.

“Yeah. You know it takes more than that to kill me.” I said rubbing my shoulders. “Where are Lt. Deter and Lambda?” I asked looking around for them.

“I’m not sure. Maybe they were killed.” Raiden answered bluntly. I put my hand to my chin to think. I highly doubt Lambda would have intentionally killed himself, but given the circumstances he may not have been thinking straight. Still…

“I want to find proof. If Lambda is still alive, then I want to kill him. As for the midget, well, he’d probably be pissed off at us for ditching him.” I said.

“Alright. You search down here, I’ll go back upstairs to see what I can find.” suggested Raiden. I nodded telling Axel and Snorlax to overturn some of the fallen wood for any traces of anyone. No sooner had I begun my search, Chane, Eve, and Zack at long last rejoined me.

“What took you guys so long?” I teased when they saw me.

“Have you ever tried running in heels? It’s not that easy. On top of that, your pretty princess had to throw up.” Eve informed cynically.

“It’s your fault I feel so terrible.” Chane reminded.

“My condolences Chane. But seriously, why do you girls torture yourselves with those shoes?” I questioned in complete dismay.

“Because they’re cute and really go with my outfit.” responded Eve as if it were completely obvious and that I should know this already. I still didn’t quite understand. “Plus I can use them to punish Kaguya if he misbehaves.”

“Normally I would respond to that with something naughty, but now isn’t the time. What happened up there and where is everyone?” Zack asked seriously. I proceeded to fill in everyone on what I did with Johan and the battle with Lambda leading up to the big kaboom. Then I told them about my recent assignment from Raiden.

“But I never said that.” Raiden said in confusion walking in to join us along with Lt. Deter.

“That’s right. Arka has been with me since the moment we entered the Tower.” the lieutenant informed. If that’s true that means… Dammit! That rat bastard deceived me!

“LAMBDA!” I yelled furiously. I should have figured it out from his speaking patterns! I returned Snorlax once again and charged passed my superiors.

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” demanded Charles.

“I’m hungry and I’m in the mood for some lamb! Duh!” I shouted viciously. I heard no response to that whether there was one or not because I was already on the lookout for the stairs so that I could catch up to my prey. I won’t let that Rocket get away with this!

You’re not leaving me out of this fight!” called Axel running up behind me. I smiled at him as I continued my search.

When we got to the stairs I actually dropped to all fours since it was easier to climb them that way. We tore back up to the sixth floor only slowing down to find a way around the big giant hole in the floor. With Axel’s natural speed and the boost I got from Dragon-Forme, we easily caught up to Lambda who had resumed his natural appearance on the eighth floor.

“Not you!” he cried the moment he saw me. The look of primal terror and sweat on his face said he was on the verge of pissing himself. “Ditto! Transform into the Infernape!” he pleaded sending out the pink amoeba. Seconds later, the Transform Pokémon had created an exact replica of Axel.

Monkey battle huh? Let’s see if you can give me a good show!” my Infernape said with excitement at getting the chance to fight himself.

“Axel! See how well this copy does with Close Combat!” I commanded.

“Do the same Ditto!” shouted Lambda. Monkey see, monkey do eh? The two gold Infernapes rushed each other and began a barrage of punches and kicks on one another. It was obvious which one was which with how expertly Axel parried and dodged Ditto’s blows while countering with his own.

“Why not try something these idiots can’t mimic? Combo 16! Away!” I yelled.

Was the away really necessary?” Axel questioned as his hands and feet were surrounded by fire. He continued with his Close Combat with the added effects of Fire Punch and Blaze Kick in the mix.

“You think Ditto can’t mirror that? I’ll show you! Do exactly what the Infernape is doing!” the Rocket Executive ordered. As expected, the Transform Pokémon didn’t have the natural talent of a Fire-type or the years of training Axel had endured to maintain a flame on each limb at once. I laughed at how pitiful Ditto looked as it struggled to simultaneously ignite more than one appendage at a time.

“Axel, I really want you to mess with these guys. Double Team.” I said casually. The monkey pulled the bottom of his eyelid down while sticking out his tongue before multiplying so that both Ditto and Lambda would have to stare at eight copies of that.

“Stop mocking me!” Lambda yelled at me.

“You mean like the way you mocked me earlier by disguising yourself as Master Raiden?” I retorted. “Face it, you can’t stand that you’re losing. Attention all Axels! Mach Punch Ditto all at once!” I instructed throwing my hand out toward the pseudo Infernape. Each of my Infernapes began laughing evilly as they pulled back their fists.

“No! Ditto! Flamethrower them!” cried my opponent. The Axel-replica opened its mouth spitting a long tongue of fire at all of the Axel clones. Before the flames could touch them, each copy disappeared in golden blurs, but were ultimately destroyed when they got too close to the Transform Pokémon who was turning its head side to side covering its flanks. What Ditto failed to notice though was the blur that appeared behind it lobbing it in the back of the head.

Pika boo! I see you!” Axel announced as the fabrication fell face down on the floor.

“You worthless Pokémon! Get up! You need to beat this guy Ditto! Get up!” commanded Lambda desperately as his own life depended greatly on the outcome of this fight. Suddenly the sound of footsteps echoed throughout the room as my squad members arrived.

“Now why did you have to go and steal the show without us?” Zack asked dejectedly. Lambda looked about as horrified seeing the six of us together as he did with me alone.

“This can’t be! More of you showed up!?” he whimpered taking a few steps back.

“Aw. You broke him before I could play with him.” Eve said sadly. Almost as if sensing the change in the tide, Ditto got back up just barely maintaining its Infernape form. At the sight of his Pokémon, Lambda got a wry smile as if he still had a chance to get out of this.

“Ditto! Burn everything! Everything!” he ordered frantically. Ditto once again breathed flames, turning its head in every direction setting the seven-century-old tower a blaze. “Ecruteak City was always meant to have twin towers! Now this one will be burned to the ground as well!” yelled the Rocket Executive clearly out of his mind as fire consumed the wood and paper doors giving the room an orange glow. “So long Neos! Enjoy hell!” With that he ran into the inferno laughing triumphantly. “All hail Team Rocket!”

“You just had to fucking antagonize him didn’t you?!” Lt. Deter reprimanded to me.

“Now isn’t the time for that Lieutenant! Right now it is crucial we put out this fire!” Raiden argued. Zack already had Lloyd on the scene spewing Hydro Pumps everywhere.

“Help us Kermit!” Chane requested summoning her Azumarill which also used Hydro Pump once realizing the situation. Deter’s Milotic and Eve’s Walrein were also called upon to insist on this dire situation with Milotic placing a Safeguard around everyone for protection. Raiden being an Electric-type trainer and I not having a Water-type Pokémon on my person made us the only ones not helping out.

“Electrode! Use Rollout to put out the flames!” Raiden called sending out the large inverted Pokéball that began rolling its spherical body over the fires. Yeah, thanks for making me the only one not to contribute.

“I don’t mean to ditch you guys again, especially during this crisis, but I’m useless right now except in finishing off Lambda!” I told them all straightforwardly.

“Then go! Just do not get hurt!” Raiden authorized. I nodded as I ran in the direction the Rocket Executive had gone with Axel close behind. Given that this wasn’t the way back downstairs, the maniac must be going to the roof. Why any idiot would go up in a burning building and not down is beyond me, but this only made him cornered when I finally found him.

Just think. If Aerodactyl came back already from dropping off that guy, Lambda is in really deep shit!” Axel pointed out enthusiastically. I laughed at the thought of his expression if he ran into my prehistoric terror up there. We got to the top floor once again closing in on our prey who was standing in front of the ladder going up to the roof.

“Don’t you ever quit? Just please leave me alone!” Lambda begged as he vigorously climbed the ladder.

“I’ll quit when you’re dead! Then you can be left alone for eternity!” I promised darkly chasing after him. I reached up the ladder to grab his foot only to get my hand kicked away before I could pull him back down.

“You’ll pay for that!” I yelled following Lambda to the roof. Much to my surprise and anger, there was a black chopper with a red “R” painted on it waiting to rescue the Rocket Executive. I ran after the purple haired freak with draconic energy surrounding my claws to strike him down before he could get away. Fortunately for Lambda, he turned around just in time to duck causing me to behead one of the four Ho-oh statues instead. He then swung his leg behind mine tripping me and sending me falling to the floor.

“As I told you before, so long you Neos fool!” Lambda bid farewell grabbing a rung of the rope ladder his comrades were kind enough to send down to him. As the helicopter flew away from the tower, I got up and chased after it. There was no way I was letting him away! I jumped onto the blue tiles only to lose my balance and start sliding down.

Brian!” Axel shouted worriedly as he reached out to stop me. I was already too far out of his reach and sliding too much to stop. At the last second I jumped off the roof and grabbed the bottom most rung of the rope ladder that was still hanging out.

“Tenacious creature!” sneered the Rocket Executive attempting to kick me off with his left foot. I pulled my head back to avoid his kick, then I leaned back in sinking my fangs into his akeles tendon and ankle. Yes, the way that bite felt, I am now sure that Dragon-Forme comes with fangs as well. Lambda screamed in pain desperately trying to pull his leg away from me. I responded by shaking my head like a Growlithe puppy with a brand new chew toy to rip to shreds. With every tug, the taste of blood got stronger as his filled my mouth.

“Release me you monster! Release me!” he pleaded hysterically. “Are you trying to kill us both? Do you want to die?” interrogated Lambda with his grip on the rope noticeable weakening with how much extra slack I was getting with every yank.

Out of necessity, Lambda pulled his right foot back and slammed it into my face in a last ditch effort to free himself. I winced in pain as I was struck again and again. Too bad for Lambda that this was a double edged sword on his part as every time I was hit, my bite got tighter. Then came that last boot to the face which I couldn’t endure any longer. I opened my mouth to let out a cry of pain only to lose my grip on Lambda’s leg and thus fell to the ground below.

While in free fall, I watched helplessly as the chopper flew into the distance. I soon realized just how far it had gone in those few moments as Tin Tower was part of the horizon like it had been when I first arrived. Below me were a bunch of trees. At least I’ll have them to break my fall. Or my neck.

There’s our dumbass!” I heard a familiar voice ring out into the night. A winged beast soon flew over me, retrieving my plummeting body in its claws. “You are so lucky Aerodactyl got back just as you left. As soon as we land you’re getting on your knees and begging for forgiveness for being such a reckless dumbass.” Axel threatened.

“I know, I deserve as much.” I admit as I climbed up Aerodactyl’s side to his back. “But what about Master Raiden and the others? Are the fires out?” I asked concernedly.

Don’t know. But Raiden won’t be so happy with you. He said not to get hurt, and here you are with a black eye, and a few scrapes and bruises on your face.” the monkey pointed out.

“Nothing my healing factor won’t clean up in a couple of days.” I said nonchalantly. “But first we need to get back there and make sure everyone is okay!” I said more urgently. Without any instruction, Aerodactyl made a U-turn back to Tin Tower. And by U-turn, I mean another back flip and a corkscrew much to a certain monkey’s displeasure.

When we got back, police cars were already parked at the entrance with the cops dressed in SWAT uniforms and armed with rifles and Pokéballs storming the tower. That isn’t good. If my team hasn’t gotten out of there yet, they are utterly screwed unless they find a way to get out from the roof.

I had my Fossil Pokémon once again fly to the top so that Axel and I could go through the tower from the upper tiers and assist in any way we could. When we got back to the roof, I returned Aerodactyl and began my search. There was significant fire damage to the eighth floor, but all the flames had been put out which was a sigh of relief right there. However, there was no sign of anyone, not even the Rattata and Gastly that infest this place. We had to slow down again when the two of us got to the scene of Weezing’s Explosion to get by the hole in the floor without falling. Man, we sure did a number on this place. I sure hope Ho-oh doesn’t curse us for this.

When Axel and I got to the fourth floor, we were greeted by the sight of the aforementioned SWAT team laying on the floor unconscious with a fine blue powder surrounding them like dust. I crouched down, wiped some on my fingers, and sniffed it. Instantly I began to feel drowsy as my eyelids got heavy.

“Sleep Powder.” I confirmed. “Most likely from Izzy which means everyone most likely got away without trouble.”

“Then let’s keep going down to the front door and get the hell out of here.” Axel proposed.

Once back outside I noticed the cops who had stayed with the cars as back up were also asleep, complements of a certain Breloom’s Sleep Powder. With still no sign of my comrades, I did what I should have done half an hour ago: pull out my cell phone and call Raiden.

“Third Seat Arka speaking?” he answered picking up.

“Yeah, where are you guys right now? I just spent the last half hour wandering around Tin Tower looking for you all and now I’m back outside again.” I explained sheepishly.

“We’re on our way back to the hotel. Meet us back there immediately.” instructed Raiden before hanging up. Forget Ho-oh’s curse, now I hope I’m not in trouble with Raiden. That would suck worse.

This time when I once again summoned Aerodactyl, he gave an exasperated sigh from all the work he’s had to do in one night. I apologized, promising him a good meal and first dibs in the next battle I get in. Only slightly satisfied with the potential rewards, the Flying-type agreed to let me mount him for the last time tonight. Considering the eastern sky was starting to glow a pale blue with the soon to be rising sun, I could understand his weariness. Even I was exhausted from all that had been done.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 27: Aftermath

Rather than go straight back to the room, I made a detour to the Pokémon Center to heal my Pokémon. It would be irresponsible and cruel of me as a Trainer to leave them in the shape they’re in. I’m sure Raiden will understand. In the wee hours of the morning it was no surprise that the Center was empty save for two bored looking nurses at having the graveyard shift. They immediately jumped to attention seeing me walk in.

“Good morning! You’re up early!” greeted one of them, a brunette.

“Oh my! What happened to you?” questioned the second, a red head, noticing how beat up I was.

“I got in a scuffle with Team Rocket. My Pokémon could really use your attention, especially my Riolu and Piloswine.” I said holding out my Pokémon’s balls. “And this one doesn’t have a functional ball so you’ll have to do him the old fashioned way.” I added motioning Axel.

“Right away!” they agreed in unison.

It took two doses of Antidote to cure Piloswine’s poison condition, followed by getting the puncture wounds made by Golbat’s fangs cleaned up and bandaged to prevent infection. Riolu had some lacerations on his lower arm from the bite which were direct opposite of the metal plate on his upper arm which is why he had no wounds there. He too was cleaned up and bandaged to avoid infection. The rest of my Pokémon got the standard rejuvenation treatment.

“You’re Pokémon are fully healed. Have a good day and try to be careful.” said the red head energetically handing me back the Pokéballs.

“Thanks.” I said appreciatively.

I thank you too.” Axel said looking livelier.

All of us seemed to congregate back to the hotel at the same time with me coming in seconds after everyone else. We actually had to sneak around to get back to our room as the place was crawling with police investigating the night’s event.

“That was such a pain. I want to take a hot shower and I want to go to bed.” Eve complained sounding about as worn out as she looked.

“Can I join you?” inquired Zack in a weak voice, the complete opposite of his usual cheerfulness. All he got was an irritated look as Eve was too tired to even punish him with physical pain.

“No one is doing anything until we review what happened!” Charles prohibited sounding about as grumpy as always. We all gathered around the table he and Raiden had been meeting at earlier to hear the midget rant.

Abridged version: Lt. Deter was far from happy. Despite saving Johan Kaiser as was the entire goal of the mission, along with the bonus of capturing the two Rockets who had been Lambda’s lackeys for interrogation, Lambda still got away and the damage to done to the hotel and Tin Tower have effectively put an end to the endorsement Team Neos would have received for saving the Prime Minister’s son. After all, what politician in his right mind is going to endorse terrorists?

“As punishment, you are all demoted!” the angry little man yelled.

“Hold on! We accomplished our mission! We may not have gotten the bonus you wanted, but you and Master Raiden still succeeded in capturing two Rockets! Isn’t that compensation enough?” I objected jumping to my feet.

“Silence! You’re the jackass who caused most of the mess!” accused Lt. Deter. That quickly silenced me while making me feel pretty bad about my destructive tendencies.

“Brian has a point though.” Raiden defended. “What happened in the ballroom downstairs was a direct result of an out of hand battle where my squad was heavily outnumbered, and technically it was Petrel Lambda who ruined Tin Tower.” he pointed out.

“I don’t care! The five of you are now grunts! You got that?” yelled Charles with a vein popping on his forehead that looked like it was about to burst.

“Now with all due respect, you are my superior but that does not mean I will not appeal the situation to Captain Ross.” Raiden threatened. Now it was the midget’s turn to look concerned about his future.

“You wouldn’t dare get her involved in this!” Deter challenged. The Third Seat simply looked at the lieutenant intensely and unwaveringly. It was the most emotion I’d ever seen in Raiden.

“Try me.” Raiden dared. “I will do whatever it takes to protect my people. Sure we still have some work to do, but tonight proves their strength.”

“Wh-who are you talking about?” asked Chane curiously.

“Just like Lt. Deter is my direct superior, Captain Alexandra Ross is his direct superior. They do not get along very well.” Raiden explained. Makes sense why the midget looks so panicked by the prospect then.

“Ok, fine. I won’t demote any of you.” Lt. Deter caved. “But I’m reassigning the lot of you to the Kanto region effective tomorrow. Now get some rest.” he ordered before getting up from the table and storming out of the room.

“Glad that’s over.” Zack said tiredly stretching. “I’m going to bed. I have a hot date tonight.”

“Kaguya has a date?” Eve said in disbelief as Zack dragged himself to his room.

“Jealous?” he shot back seductively.

“No, just wondering what kind of desperate whore you picked up.” she responded uncaringly.

“Now that wasn’t very nice. Angela happens to be a very nice girl.” said Zack defensively. Rather than wait for Eve’s next stab, he continued back to his room.

“Good night.” Chane said softly.

“And you!” Eve pointed at me. “What the hell are you really?” she demanded.

“It can wait until I wake up.” I told her. I then turned to Raiden. “Thanks for taking up for me earlier.” I thanked. He nodded in response. “Come along Axel. Night ladies. Master Raiden.” I said nodding to each one as I made my way to my room.

What a night.” Axel groaned falling flat on the floor of our bedroom.

“Tell me about it.” I sighed looking at the early morning light coming in from the window. I collapsed face first onto the soft bed and quickly faded from consciousness.

It was 12:05p when I finally revived from my sleep. I tiredly cracked my neck and stretched my arms over my head. I was still so groggy from my all-nighter that I almost wanted to go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I was also tired of sleeping.

Feed me!” ordered Axel like a spoiled child jumping on top of me in bed. Why does my mind want to read that out of context?

“Feed yourself you lazy monkey.” I told the Infernape pushing him off of me.

I did, I ransacked your stash of Cheri Berries, but I’m still hungry!” he persisted. I rolled my eyes and crawled out of bed.

“Fine. Come along.” I said walking to the door. No sooner had I walked out of my room did everyone else turned to me. Chane had an expression of worry and concern on her face, while Eve looked absolutely thrilled. Raiden on the other hand seemed to gaze at me with pity.

“Have a seat.” Eve offered sweetly tapping the cushion next to her in front of the TV. “You too Axel. You both really should watch this.” I took my seat next to her noticing that the News was on. I became slightly unnerved when I realized that the black haired female reporter was standing at the entrance of the Phoenix Hotel.

“Team Rocket’s kidnapping attempt was quickly thwarted by the teamwork of six Trainers, one of them a self-proclaimed member of Team Neos.” she reported. The scene then shifted to the ballroom which had a huge crater in its center, cracks in the walls, broken furniture, and yellow caution tape everywhere. “The hotel ballroom where the battle took place was left in ruins with millions of credits worth of damage after a heated battle culminating the suspected Neos member ordering his Pokémon to murder the Rockets with Hyper Beam. He is wanted by police for multiple accounts of second degree murder and reckless endangerment as well as for questioning. Witnesses say that he gave his name as “Brian Xelbu” and that he can be identified by the Infernape with gold fur that he used in battle. Here is a police sketch of what witnesses say the suspect looks like.” the reporter continued with the screen flashing to a very poorly drawn picture of me.

“You are totally screwed.” teased Eve. Instead of having an ‘oh shit’ moment like any normal person, I quickly fell into maniacal laughter at how soon I had been outed. This earned me blank stares from everyone, even Axel.

I fail to see the amusement in this. We can’t show our faces in public anymore!” reminded the Infernape irritably. I slowly turned to him with a giggle still in my throat.

“But Axel, you and I already agreed that this was best. Remember when Master Raiden brought up the subject before? Don’t tell me you’re backing out now.” I laughed.

“That was before last night.” Raiden said. “There will be no repercussions for your actions, I just want to know what I am dealing with when I turn you loose next time.”

“Dragon-Forme.” I answered simply. “I’m not lying when I say that I know very little about my strange power. I had some tests done that confirmed this fact and all I know so far is that I am in fact a Dragon-typed human, I can use Dragon Pulse and Dragon Claw, I can’t damage steel, and I am critically weak to the cold. Fairy-types are probably my mortal enemy too. On top of all that, I can’t control the transformation yet, and once I am in that Forme my aggression is through the roof. As you noticed I was like I wild monster last night. Oh. I also have accelerated healing.”

“That was heavier than expected. If I hadn’t seen your startling display first hand I wouldn’t believe such a thing.” said Eve with a sigh. I was actually in the same boat as her. I have lived it for a week and it still feels unreal.

“Well it explains the Dragon Fang incident.” Zack said lightly trying to make the revelation less intense.

“Wh-which is the r-real you? Th-the one who took care of me, o-or the one wh-who k-k-killed th-those people?” Chane asked me.

“Both. I will do whatever it takes to protect my friends and I’ll do what I must to eliminate my enemies.” I answered matter-of-factly. To my surprise, Chane then came up to me and gave me a hug.

“Dragon or human, I really hope you continue to hold on to that kindness.” she said warmly.

“I will.” I said patting her head.

“Aw. You two make a cute couple.” taunted Eve with a snicker.

“W-we are not a couple!” protested Chane blushing slightly.

“That’s right. We’re friends who aren’t afraid to show our affections. It’s the same way with me and Axel.” I agreed.

“Wow Chane. You just got compared to a monkey.” Eve giggled.

“S-so? I-it’s true.” she stuttered defensively.

“Then why are you still hugging him?” continued Eve unrelenting. Noticing the blonde was right, Chane quickly released me while taking a step back with an apology.

“Brian. A Pokémon is only as strong as its Trainer.” Raiden reminded. I remained silent to hear him out at what he was getting to. “You are weak. Being half a Pokémon means you must also become your own Trainer. Train hard and learn to control yourself better. Leaving yourself uninhibited like this will only lead to your own destruction.”

The way he said wasn’t stern like a lecture, nor was it a warning. In his own way Raiden was begging me not to do anything that could permanently ruin my life or end it. While he was aloof and normally stoic, I could tell after how he dealt with Lt. Deter earlier and how he handled learning about Dragon-Forme that he really does care about our well-being.

“Yes, Master!” I accepted gratefully. “I won’t let my inner demon consume me. I’ll bend it to my will to make it a part of me.”

Wait!” Axel cried suddenly. “If we’re still in the hotel, and reporters and police are everywhere, won’t we get caught?” I relayed the question to everyone else with equal concern. I was pretty mad I hadn’t thought about such a threatening issue sooner.

“I took care of that.” said Zack reassuringly with pride. “I still have my Ranger ID for emergencies. When the police came to our door for questioning, I showed my ID and told them that ‘Yes, I helped in that battle, but because Team Rocket are practically Pokémon poachers which I am sworn to combat. I had no idea that the guy from Team Neos would take things so far. I would have arrested him, but he took off before I could.’ I then assured the cops that everyone else staying in my room were trustworthy individuals.” he explained. I high-fived Zack for such a brilliantly audacious stunt.

With that out of the way, Axel and I went to the kitchen to finally get our breakfast/lunch after nearly eighteen hours. All the while, I heard from Raiden how he and Lt. Deter had no problem dispatching Lambda’s guards in the tower and how Deter’s Arbok and Tyranitar detained the two while their Trainer and Raiden went to the upper levels to eventually join with me. It also explained why Lt. Deter didn’t use Tyranitar during the fire to make uses of its Sandstream Ability.

Tyranitar then carried both of the Rockets to the lieutenant’s car where Dusknoir watched them until presumably Deter left to drag them to where ever headquarters was for interrogation. Pretty sad that I still have no damn clue where HQ is for this organization.

Next I finally changed out of my suit which I had slept in back into my usual attire. I then proceeded to pack everything up so that all I had on me was a single Item Ball that contained my backpack which had everything else in it.

“Come on Raiden! Let’s go to Kanto already!” Zack persisted.

“Why are you in such a hurry Zack? I thought you had a date tonight.” I asked in confusion. He looked down in defeat.

“She just called me to say that she hooked up with her ex-boyfriend last night. The date’s off.” he said in disappointment.

“Awwwww. Poor Zacky. The girl must have come to her senses after all.” Eve tormented sarcastically. Put that way I almost felt sorry for him.

“If you really feel sorry for me, then give me the comfort only a woman can give.” he requested romantically embracing her.

“I’ll comfort you with the pain only a man can feel. How about that?” she said nonchalantly sliding her hands down his torso to his crotch.

“Point taken.” said Zack knowingly as hew released her. He didn’t want any repeats of last night’s abuse on his balls. Then again, who would?

“Eve, you’re a hypocrite. You hate it when Zack touches you, and yet you enjoy touching him in naughty places.” I pointed out just to mess with her.

“You’re simply too young to appreciate adult interactions.” she retorted. “If it means bending someone to my will, I’m even willing to do a strip tease.”

“Please?” solicited Zack wide eyed reaching for her skirt.

“Knock it off. You four better behave yourselves on the Magnet Train. It is an hour and a half ride so try to be civil.” Raiden requested. The lecher retracted his hand, not just because Raiden said so, but also because Eve now had a Great Ball in her hand that most likely held an unpleasant punishment if he proceeded.

“Since you are now a wanted man, you and Axel need to sneak out from the balcony. The rest of us will check out downstairs and meet you at the Pokémon Center.” the Third Seat instructed. I nodded and walked outside onto the terrace.

“Ready Axel?” I inquired.

Let’s run like crazy Monkey!” he agreed. He jumped off the balcony first as he is more graceful at landing from two stories up. I jumped next into the Infernape’s open arms using him to break my fall. Unfortunately, it didn’t exactly work as planned and hurt about as much as if I had done a barrel roll. “We need a new way of doing this.” he said sounding strained.

“Indeed.” I acknowledged rubbing my ribs. We then ran for dear life so as not to be spotted. It would be pretty shameful to have come this far only to get caught now. Once we five humans, I even still count, rendezvoused at the Center, we headed out to Goldenrod City to catch our train for Kanto.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 28: It’s A Trap!

Two months had passed since that fateful night in Ecruteak City. During that time my team became a lot more unified and better adapted to working together. We were able to pull off strategies at a moment’s notice that would have required a few minutes for us to talk out before. I also noticed that Chane stuttered less as she got more comfortable around us. I say less because she still gets nervous easily.

What hasn’t changed is that Eve will screw with our heads whenever possible, and Zack still shamelessly flirts with her, sometimes Chane just to tease her, and just about every other human female we come across. I don’t know how Raiden puts up with us. Zack has also started leaving Lloyd outside of his Pokéball like I do with Axel. He said that until he met me, he thought all Trainers kept their Pokémon in Pokéballs at all times. Being a former Ranger, it’s more comfortable for him having his partner out with him. As we all soon learned, Lloyd is as much of a Casanova as his Trainer.

As for me, I have been training myself to control Dragon-Forme. While I don’t have complete mastery yet, I at least don’t become a berserker anymore unless I’m really riled up. Which brings up something I have learned about myself while doing this training. Prof. Himee was wrong about me, it isn’t anger that triggers the change, it’s actually a fight-or-flight response. Since I’m naturally more combative, the adrenaline rush combined with the surge of draconic power ramps up my aggression in battle. Even when I feel excited about battle, I’ve felt the power well up inside me. It doesn’t matter if the battle is recreational or to the death. It’s taken a lot of effort not to transform when I don’t need to. I’ve also gotten better at limiting my rampages.

I even bought a book recently written by the Blackthorn City Dragon Clan Elder titled “The Myths, Legends, and Truths About Dragon Pokémon” with extensive detail on Dragon-types from stories about them, powers and abilities, and even sections on how to raise one. Sure it isn’t a ‘How to Train Your Dragon-type Human’ book, but the man is still an expert as far as anyone else is concerned. I figured this would help, not only with my training, but understanding myself as well.

But I’ve digressed long enough. It was now October, and on this particularly chilly night the five of us were on stakeout at Vermillion Harbor ready to do a drug bust on a Rocket cargo ship that was bringing some nasty stuff to Kanto from the Sevii Islands.

“So then the nurse says Lloyd has Pokérus and I’m like ‘Dammit Lloyd! I told you not to go after that Floatzel!’ Then the nurse says ‘No, no. Pokérus isn’t like that. It’s just a harmless bug Pokémon pick up from time to time like a human cold. It should clear up in a couple of days.’ Then Lloyd gives me an ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ look.” Zack rambled as we waited with his Golduck nodding at every word proving his validity.

To pass the time we, or I should say Zack and I, shared stories of some of our past adventures. The girls and Raiden didn’t seem as interested in sharing as we were. Unfortunately, story time was over as I noticed a black freighter pulling into the docks. The others noticed too so we wordlessly got into formation to ambush tonight’s victims.

As expected, people dressed in Rocket uniforms crawled onto the pier like the ants they were to unload their cargo. Or rather make their Machokes, Machamps, Poliwraths, Tentacruels, and in one case a Vigoroth, do all the heavy lifting. Lazy scum.

“Is everyone ready?” Raiden’s voice rang in my ear as we all now wore two-way ear pieces for better communication.

“Yes Master Raiden!” I answered readily.

“Alright, launch Elemental Strike!” he commanded after a few seconds from getting everyone else’s responses.

“Elemental Strike it is!” I turned to Axel. “Go for it!” The Infernape opened his mouth blasting a Flamethrower at the Rockets. His attack was joined by a Hydro Pump from Lloyd, a Seed Bomb from Izzy, a Shadow Ball from Diva, and a Charge Beam from which ever Electric-type Raiden was using at the moment.

The criminals scattered in confusion and shock as the five attacks came at them from all directions. Of course we weren’t aiming for them, at least not yet, we were targeting their Pokémon and the crates they carried. Axel’s Flamethrower hit a Machoke in its right arm causing it to drop its cargo. The box shattered when it hit the ground leaving its contents to scatter across the pier. Then the monkey burned that too. Similar results were met from my teammates.

“Alright! Show yerselves! We know ye’re out there so come out!” demanded one of the Rockets pulling a whip off his waist.

“Can I Master Raiden? I mean he did ask us.” I inquired into my earpiece.

“Ugh. You are such a child. Must you always be so melodramatic?” Eve reprimanded from her end.

“Yup!” I responded cheerfully after a giggle.

“I hear you up there mocking me!” roared the Rocket.

“Well as you have already blown your position, go for it.” allowed Raiden. “We will be with you shortly.”

“Yoink!” I shouted jumping down from my perch into the open. As expected, they all looked a bit unnerved seeing a member of Team Neos. They regained their composures a lot sooner than I thought they would.

“There’s only one! Vigoroth! Attack!” yelled a female Rocket. The white furred Wild Monkey Pokémon charged at me with its claws bared presuming to tear me apart.

“A monkey battle is it? Axel! Double Kick!” I called.

Attack!” shouted the Flame Pokémon jumping into the fray with his leg extended. His foot smashed directly into Vigoroth’s face followed by his other foot as he kicked off the shaggy haired baboon. “Is that it?” lamented Axel when he realized the other monkey was down for the count.

“Bastard you’ll pay for that! Get ‘im!” yelled another Rocket sending the remaining Pokémon after us.

“You may want to get off the ground.” Eve suggested. I grabbed Axel by his hand and jumped up just as a large bipedal blue rabbit with small spikes running down her back smashed into the pier sending tremors through the ground which cracked up the concrete and splintered the wood. As I landed, Eve jumped off the back of her Nidoqueen. “Someone had to stop you from stealing the spotlight again.” she teased.

“But I have to steal the show. I am the main character after all.” I said casually.

“Of what? Your own twisted fantasy?” she questioned with a raised eyebrow. I smiled and nodded. “Freak.” muttered Eve rolling her eyes.

“Screw the Pokémon! These guys could never dodge a bullet!” shouted the previous Rocket pulling out a hand gun. Before he could even pull the trigger, the firearm was surrounded in a pink glow and yanked from his hands.

“I… I won’t let you hurt them!” Chane defended standing with the crescent moon shaped Pokémon Luna.

“Hey guess what? All their Pokémon are weak to Water-types!” pointed out another Rocket.

“Good eye.” complemented the one with the whip. “All Poliwraths and Tentacruels! Attack them with your Water moves!” he commanded. Within seconds Bubble Beams, Water Pulses, Water Guns, and Hydro Pumps were heading right for us.

“Protect!” called Chane. In an instant the six of us were surrounded by a pale pink barrier that resembled the moonlight on a hazy night.

“Hate to say it, but the Rocket’s right. I recommend you all take the high-ground before I call my next attack.” warned Zack from his end. We each turned to each other and nodded in agreement. Eve and Chane returned their Pokémon and then all of us ran the opposite direction of the harbor.

“Look they’re retreating!” I heard a foolish Rocket cheer. She won’t be laughing long. I turned around to see a large tidal wave advancing rapidly to shore with a Golduck riding it. The criminals all screamed when they saw it coming at them. Too bad they noticed too late as gallons of water came crashing down on them.

“They’re all yours Raiden!” Zack called. All at once six different sets of Thunder Bolts struck the soaked crooks and their Pokémon knocking all of them unconscious.

“Mission accomplished.” Raiden announced. Already? Either those guys were weak or we’re just that awesome. I’m going with both.

“Not yet.” I said walking to the Rocket vessel that had been lucky not to capsize with Lloyd’s Surf. “Axel.” I said turning to my Infernape.

Understood.” he said blasting the hull with Flamethrower until there was a large glowing orange blotch on the side of the ship. Next I sent out Beldum and told it to smash through the weakened side with Iron Head followed by a Take Down to the bottom of the ship. The attack did no damage that I know of to the vessel, but it did force the hole we made to sea level causing the ship to take on water until it sank into the harbor.

“Now mission accomplished.” I said. Rather than kill the Rockets, we just left them for the police to handle. While I hated just letting them go, I really had no other choice in the matter. At least I got to destroy their ship and cargo.

The following day, my squad and I were enjoying our lunch in a Vermillion food court called Harbor Place. We appeared to be just an ordinary group of Trainers having a meal together. Harbor Place was pretty nice being two floors with food stalls around every corner serving all kinds of different yummies. In the center of the food court were tables for the patrons to sit at. There were also tables on a balcony outside, but being early Fall not many people were out there.

The seven of us were inside crowded around a long table fit for eight. On my side was Lloyd on the right end, Zack, me, and Axel on the left end. On the other side was Chane across from me and to her left Raiden followed by Eve on the end across from Lloyd. Zack had cracked a joke about Raiden pimpin’ it up with the ladies. Raiden responded with a blank look followed by a head shake.

“You know it to be true Raiden. Someone as devilishly handsome as you could get any--” Zack paused midsentence as a cute girl with short black hair wearing a pink sweater and tight jeans walked passed our table. His blue eyes followed the girl until he actually had to move his head to keep up with her. “Excuse me.” he apologized getting up from the table and chasing after her.

“You are such a womanizer Kaguya.” commented Eve shaking her head.

“Hey cutie. Are you eating alone? I’m Zack Kaguya. Mind if I join you?” inquired Zack when she sat down.

“Cutie?” she repeated with a confused look. “I’m sorry, I’m actually straight.”

“So am I. All this is is a casual lunch. We don’t have to call it a date if you don’t want to Miss.” he continued.

“Miss? I think you’re confused. I’m a guy.” HE stated matter-of-factly. Zack’s eyes got huge and his lower lip started quivering like he was about to freak out. Eve, Axel, and I on the other hand were laughing so hard we were crying and could barely breathe. I really shouldn’t be laughing though. I thought that was a girl too… It’s still funny as hell! Chane’s eyes had widened from the revelation while Raiden had his face in his hand shaking his head.

“How embarrassing.” he sighed.

“This can’t be! You’re just messing with me right?” Zack asked in a panic. The Bishonen responded by lifting up his sweater to show off a well-toned chest and abs.

“With a body like this I’m either a dude, or I really need to lay off the steroids.” he joked pulling his sweater back down.

“So those A-cups I noticed were pec size not breast size.” analyzed Zack. “But why the hell must you where pink and tight pants?”

“Because only real men wear pink and these jeans are comfy.” he answered. “I’m sorry you got confused Mister… Kaguya was it?”

“Don’t worry about it. Zacky-boy is just bi-curious.” Eve teased with a giggle. I couldn’t help but snicker along with her.

“It’s not funny!” Zack whined looking at us. He turned back to the pretty boy clearing his throat. “Look, I’m sorry for putting you through suck an awkward situation like this. Then again, seeing as how you’re probably the spitting image of your mother, you probably get this a lot.”

“Actually I’m told I look more like my father, and you are the first guy to ever come on to me.” Once again, hilarity ensued at our table as yet another nail was added to Zack’s coffin of shame. He just can’t get a break with this guy. Then I noticed Mr. Bishie looking our way. “Are any of those Pokémon yours?” he asked Zack.

“Yeah, the Golduck, why?” he answered unaware of the fact that this guy was most likely a fellow Trainer looking for a battle.

“Battle?” the Gender Bender inquired holding up a black topped Pokéball with a yellow crescent moon on it. “If you win, it will at least give you back some of your pride. But if I win…” he trailed looking back at the table. “…you have to tell me the name of the cute brunette in the back.” All of us turned to Chane.

“M-me? N-no! I… I can’t. I… I’m not old enough! I’m not allowed to go on dates until I’m eighteen.” she stammered nervously. We all looked at her with confusion. Not allowed to date? Even I find that a bit ridiculous. Eve got up and took the empty seat next to Chane.

“Sweetie, you’re a big girl, you can go on as many dates with as many guys as you want. Besides, you can’t keep playing the underage card forever. I know that in less than a year you’ll be legal.” She then put her hand under Chane’s chin and started caressing her. “And when that time comes, you’re all mine.” she said gently while staring into Chane’s eyes amorously.

“W-why are you looking at me like that. I-I don’t like it! I-It’s scary!” Chane panicked.

“You’re so cute when you’re terrified. You’re just my type.” teased Eve seductively as she patted the fearful Chane on the head. After the brief moment of what can only be considered subtle sexual harassment, she got up and went back to her original seat. I wasn’t sure if that Eve was being serious or if she was just screwing with Chane to the Nth degree. Sometimes it scares me how convincing she can be. Meanwhile, Zack had called Lloyd from the table to join him in the middle of the food court to do battle with the other guy who I overheard give his name as Mike.

“If you’re using Golduck, I’ll start with Balli!” he called throwing the Moon Ball. In a flash of light with star like effects came an oval shaped pink creature with long rabbit-like ears, stubby limbs, a pink tuft of hair on its forehead, a white belly, and huge blue eyes. The distraught look on Zack’s face gave away his thoughts of disbelief that even Mike’s Pokémon were feminine. He quickly shook the thoughts away and got ready to fight.

“Start with Screech Lloyd!” Zack called getting the battle underway. The Duck Pokémon opened his beak wide letting out loud honking noises that forced Balli to pull down its long ears to block the full sound. “Now that it’s off guard use Aqua Jet!” he followed up. Lloyd surrounded his body in water and crashed into his opponent at an incredible speed.

“Balli!” Mike cried worriedly as the Balloon Pokémon staggered back. “Counter with Body Slam!” he commanded once Balli regained its composure. The Wigglytuff inflated its body to being a third larger than before. Lloyd basically had an ‘Oh shit!’ face right up to the point Balli tackled him to the ground and lay on top of him.

“Even though that thing is light, use Strength to get it off!” commanded Zack. Balli’s eyes got bigger than normal as it was lifted up over the Golduck’s head before getting casually tossed aside.

“Who are you calling a thing?” demanded Mr. Bishie angrily. “Show this guy we mean business Balli! Thunder Bolt!” Mike yelled.

“Oh crap!” Zack cried as sparks started crackling around Balli’s body. “I would use Protect, like, now!” Just as Balli released its Electric attack, Lloyd’s jewel projected a transparent blue bubble around him that had a fluid look to it like water. Just like water, the Thunder Bolt struck it and was carried around the bubble and absorbed.

“That was close.” sighed Zack wiping his forehead. “Make sure it never happens again! Disable that attack Lloyd!” he commanded. The Duck Pokémon’s eyes started glowing blue and for half a second it looked as if a thin blue beam of the same color passed through the center of Balli’s head.

“Well so much for that idea.” Mike said calmly. “Guess I’ll just have to use the move the Wigglytuff line is famous for. Sing for us Balli!” The Balloon Pokémon began singing a soft relaxing lullaby that even had me starting to nod off.

“Axel. If you’re still awake, I say we make sure we stay that way.” I suggested balling my fingers into a fist.

Got it.” he agreed tiredly. At the same time, we both punched each other in the face to wake ourselves up. The pain would make sure we stayed conscious. Lloyd however wasn’t so lucky and was sound asleep.

“Man, buddy, of all the times to take a nap.” said Zack sarcastically.

“Now Balli! Hyper Voice!” Mike called. Balli opened its mouth wide and began screaming the loudest earsplitting sound I had ever heard. I could even see the sound wave vibrations streaming through the air at their unfortunate target. By some sadistic miracle, the Golduck remained asleep.

“How are you still snoozing after such a loud noise?” Zack asked his unresponsive Pokémon.

“If you wanted me to wake him up, you could have just asked. Use Wake-up Slap!” commanded Mike. The Wigglytuff waddled up to Lloyd and outright bitch slapped him in the face. Needless to say, he wasn’t a very happy kappa when he woke up.

“I know, that was such a rude awakening. Give Balli a headache with Zen Headbutt!” Zack told him. The Duck Pokémon placed his webbed claws on Balli’s shoulders, tilted his head back as it started to glow blue, and slammed it pointblank into the Wigglytuff’s cranium. When Lloyd pulled his head off of Balli’s, the Balloon Pokémon had tears in its eyes and was pouting. Lloyd started blushing with hearts in his eyes.

“You gotta be kidding me! You’re Wigglytuff is a girl with the Cute Charm Ability?” Zack called-out frustratedly.

“Wasn’t it obvious? You really are pretty bad with telling genders ya know?” mocked the Bishie. Poor Zack. This just isn’t his day. “Well whatever. Balli! Double Slap!” Balli did as told smacking Lloyd with her flipper like hands eight different times by my count. Even after the abuse, the Golduck had a smile on his bill, and a loving look in his eyes.

“Get her back with close range Water Pulse!” called Zack. Rather than doing as told, Lloyd started showing off in an attempt to win Balli’s affections. “Oh come on! You two aren’t even in the same Egg Group!” he reminded. That’s when an interesting, if not highly amoral and evil, idea popped into my head.

“Zack! They may not be in the same Egg Group, but that just means Lloyd won’t become a father. Use his attraction to your advantage!” I informed him. By the devious grin Zack got, I knew he understood what I was telling him.

“Alright Lloyd, new plan! Forget the Water Pulse, instead use Mate!” commanded Zack a bit more enthusiastically than necessary. The Duck Pokémon didn’t hesitate for a second before he jumped Balli and started humping her. Mike screamed in horror as he brought out Balli’s Moon Ball and quickly returned her to its safety. Lloyd looked temporarily confused as to where his conquest had gone. As the Cute Charm wore off, he got back to his feet looking unamused by the ordeal.

“Oh Balli, I’m so sorry! I never meant for you to get violated.” he apologized to the sphere. “You animal!” he screamed at Zack.

“Hey now, it was his suggestion.” Zack defended pointing back at me while I laughed my ass off at how well my diabolical plan worked. “I just took his idea.”

“Yes, YOU took the idea!” yelled Mike getting out a second Moon Ball. “Star! Avenge your sister!” Emerging from the orb came another pink Pokémon, this one with long black-tipped ears, dark pink wings, a tuft on its head, and a large round tail.

“Alright Lloyd. It’s been a crazy battle so far, so use Calm Mind to relax a bit.” told Zack. Lloyd closed his eyes while taking slow, deep breaths to settle his thoughts.

“That won’t help you much! Time for Star’s famous move! Metronome!” Mike called. The Clefable held out both of its pointer fingers and began rhythmically shaking them back and forth. Next Star extended both its arms while glowing with an ominous white aura. That aura then shot out and surrounded Lloyd. While I think all of us were focused with anticipation as to what this attack was, I started to relax a bit when I noticed the Fairy Pokémon wincing in pain and Lloyd looking rejuvenated.

“Oh no! Why Pain Split?” cried Mike when he figured out the attack.

“Hey thanks for working in my favor. We appreciate you evening the playing field.” Zack commented happily once the attack stopped. “I’m feeling an Ice Beam would be an appropriate move now, what do you think Lloyd?” The Duck Pokémon responded by opening his bill and blasting a pale blue subzero beam made from frozen vapor at Star. The Clefable recoiled from the attack but otherwise seemed ok.

“If you were trying to freeze her, then that won’t work. Star has the Magic Guard Ability, so neither of us has to worry about Attract or rape. Now attack with Iron Tail Star!” called Mike. The Fairy Pokémon’s tail hardened until it was sheening with a metallic silver. She then smacked the Golduck hard in the torso.

“Hang in there buddy.” encouraged Zack. “I’m glad to know we don’t have to worry about Cute Charm any more even if Star is a girl. Let’s celebrate with Tail Whip!” Lloyd nodded, walking up to the Fairy Pokémon and knocking her arms apart with his tail from the floor up. “Now Aqua Tail!” Zack continued. The Golduck surrounded his tail with water and swung it in the opposite direction smacking Star from the top of her head down.

“Retaliate with Double Slap Star!” called Mike. Once again poor Lloyd was on the receiving end of a furious session of bitch slaps across the face.

“I bet you’re tired of getting smacked around like this. Show Star what it feels like by using Fury Swipes!” Zack called. The Golduck honked affirmatively before repaying his opponent with a rapid series of slashes all across her torso.

“How dare you! Star! Use Shadow Ball!” Mike commanded. Star held her hands out in front of her chest and began gathering the shadows of Harbor Place into her palms. Once a swirling purplish black ball of adequate size had been created, the Clefable tossed it at Lloyd hitting him directly in the face. At this point the Duck Pokémon was panting from fatigue at having fought two battles already.

“You can do it Lloyd! Please win so I don’t have to go on a date!” Chane cheered on.

“Aw how cute. Our little girl is growing up.” Eve said with joking affection.

“Hey, I never said I wanted to ask you out, at least not yet!” Mike countered indignantly.

“You hear that Lloyd? Chane is counting on us to win. We can’t let her down!” Zack said passionately. “Now show our effeminate opponents your Psychic power!” Just as the Golduck’s eyes started glowing blue, Mike issued his next command as well.

“Counter with your Psychic Star!” The Clefable’s eyes also began to glow, but with a pinkish color instead.

The two Pokémon engaged each other in a strength of the mind by sending their psychic auras to the battle field between them in a spectacular display of pink and blue. Words can hardly describe the swirling energy waves as they mixed together in a battle for supremacy. Both Pokémon were struggling to keep their focus lest they wanted the other to win and throw their attack back at them. I can only imagine what each of them is going through.

Finally, it looked as if Lloyd would win the struggle as the two auras merged into one taking on a deep violet color indicating the blue energy was in control. The Duck Pokémon even started slowly pushing his arms forward to add to the attack. Star dropped to one knee as she failed to keep control. At last Lloyd pushed all the pent up psychic energy forward in a massive ball. The Clefable cried out in pain as she was surrounded in such a heavy attack.

“Star!” Mike cried as the Fairy Pokémon collapsed to the ground. There was no response from the unconscious Clefable. “Damn! Well Mr. Kaguya, I guess you win. Balli and Star are my only two Pokémon.” I heard both Zack and Lloyd let out very audible sighs that the battle was over.

“Glad that’s over. Lloyd is my only Pokémon. You sure gave him a run for his money.” Zack said with relief.

“Ya don’t say. Well he’s really good then to take on both of my girls and win.” complemented the Bishie. After shaking hands, the two went back to their respective table to get back to their now cold lunches.

“Oh man, what day!” Zack sighed. “Me hitting on a guy does not leave this room you got that?” he told us while Chane fed Lloyd some Oran Berries. Suddenly Eve climbed up on the table for a reason we were sure to find out soon.

“Attention everyone!” she called out to the food court. “My friend Zack Kaguya here just hit on a guy! Take it as you will!” she announced playfully.

“Eve what are you doing!? I told you not to do that!” cried Zack frantically.

“You said it doesn’t leave the room. So I told everyone in the room.” she replied innocently having taken full advantage of Zack’s poor choice of words.

“Well ok fine, it doesn’t leave the table!” he corrected. “By the way, feel free to stay where you are. I’m enjoying the view.” Yes, obviously Eve didn’t think about the fact that standing on a table in a skirt would give everyone sitting there a view up said skirt.

“Then why don’t I give you a better view!” Eve offered darkly as she lifted her leg and gave Zack a heeled-boot to the face. That would be the reason I chose not to say anything. After causing Zack harm, Eve gracefully jumped off the table and went back to her seat.

“So worth the pain.” Zack said happily despite the red mark on his face.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 29: Assassin

“It would seem we are a day early.” said Raiden as we arrived on Cinnabar Island. It turned out that Team Rocket didn’t know when to quit as they were now trying to import their drug cartel to Cinnabar after their Vermillion trade was breached last week, complements of us. We were currently on an isolated part of the island near the abandoned mansion as we had decided to take a shortcut to our hotel.

“Well I say if we’re a day ahead of schedule, then let’s take advantage of Cinnabar’s tropical climate and go to the beach!” Zack suggested eagerly. Lloyd nodded in agreement, equally eager to get in the water.

“W-We can’t! W-We’ll be attacked b-by Missingno!” protested Chane fearfully. I raised my eyebrow at her. She couldn’t possibly be serious about that.

“What?” snickered Eve trying to keep a straight face.

“Missingno! It’s a horrible shapeless monster that lives in the shoreline around Cinnabar Island. It causes horrible distortions and may even erase you and your Pokémon from existence! We can’t go anywhere near it!” Chane continued.

“Oh please. That’s a load of bull and you know it. If you’re shy about being seen in a bathing suit just come out and say it. Don’t make up such ridiculous stories.” Eve chided.

“She’s not making it up.” I put in. “But all it is is an urban legend, nothing but nonsense.”

“You don’t believe me either? I’m not making this up!” she cried. Before our debate could continue, Riolu’s Pokéball began shaking violently.

Hey what’s wrong with Rio?” asked Axel worriedly. Just as I was about to let him out of his Pokéball so he could tell Axel what was bothering him, the answer came in the form of a small black ball that landed by our feet.

“Get back!” Raiden shouted seconds before the sphere started spewing a thick grey smoke causing the seven of us to start coughing. I heard a whistling sound and suddenly felt three ropes wrap around my arms and body. I was then pulled to the ground and dragged from the smoke cloud. I heard what sounded like cannon fire followed by the cries of my friends.

“What’s going on here!?” I demanded angrily breaking free of the ropes. I detached Aerodactyl’s ball from my belt and released the Fossil Pokémon. “Defog now!” I commanded. The prehistoric beast powerfully flapped his wings creating a strong wind. Once the smoke cloud was cleared, I could see my friends, including Axel, trapped under a huge iron net.

“Well lookit what I caught.” said a deep accented voice proudly. I turned around growling at the camo colored jeep that wasn’t there a moment ago. Sitting on the roof was a man dressed in forest green pants, black combat boots, and a sand brown longcoat overtop a red shirt. A brown wide rimmed hat with a long yellow feather in it was on his head obscuring his face. From his right shoulder going across his chest to his left hip was a brown belt lined with long golden bullets and from his left shoulder to his right hip was another belt with three dark metallic green canisters and three egg shaped devices of the same color that could only be grenades. In his right hand was a silver launcher that presumably shot the net and in his left hand was the other end of the rope that dragged me.

“Oi! You must be pretty strong to have broken through my bolo like that Mate.” he said to me. I looked around me and noticed that there had been three heavy orbs attached to the ropes that ensnared me.

“Who the hell are you and why have you attacked us!” I demanded glaring daggers at him. I was trying my hardest to suppress my inner Dragon’s desire to thrash this guy until I had answers. The stranger put down the rope and pushed up the rim of his hat revealing the face of a man in his mid to upper thirties with dark eyes, black hair, and a sinister grin that would make a Gengar shudder.

“Name’s Creed.” he introduced. “As for why I’m comin’ after ya, it ain’t nothin’ personal Mate, just a job. And let me tell ya, you’re a hard man to track down.” he continued casually. I narrowed my eyes into a fiercer gaze. Well I got my answers.

“Aerodactyl! Blow him away with Hyper Beam!” I commanded. The ancient sky king cocked his head back, then pushed forward launching a bright yellowish orange energy blast. Creed quickly threw one of his canisters in the way of the beam causing it to explode. More smoke engulfed the area but this one was painfully different than the last smoke bomb. My eyes stung and began tearing up from the irritation caused by the tear gas. Aerodactyl screeched loudly and vengefully from the smoke as well. The sound of skidding tires could be heard as our attacker drove off.

“Coward!” I yelled as the tear gas started to clear.

“Who’s a coward?” asked Creed’s voice followed by the sound of gunfire and a throbbing pain in the back of my right shoulder. I screamed as fell to my knees with my left hand over my wound. “Aw don’t be such a baby Mate. It was only a rubber bullet. Just a test for ya.”

“Bastard!” I snarled turning around. My vision was still hazy from the tear gas, but I could still make out his shape standing by the net that contained everyone holding a shotgun with the barrel resting on his shoulder.

“Leave Brian alone! He’s done nothing to you!” pleaded Chane from her prison.

“He told his lizard to blow me up. I don’t consider that to be nothin’ Sweetheart. Tear gas and shootin’ him are my ways of self-defense.” Creed justified.

“But that doesn’t justify singling him out and throwing a net on the rest of us!” Zack said irately.

“Like I said Mate, it’s just a job. It ain’t in my contract to off the whole lotta ya, just the freak. The net is to keep y’all from interferin’ with my sport.”

“You’re a dead man Creed!” I promised darkly.

“Maybe, but not before you.” he retorted reloading his shotgun. Then he looked as if he thought of something. “Tell ya what Mate. Why not make this more interesting? Y’already have yer lizard out, so why not have a proper Pokémon battle for the fun of it? Full battle, one at a time, whadaya say?”

“Or I could just kill you now!” I roared running forward. He turned the shotgun to the net stopping me dead in my tracks.

“No matter how fast you may be, you can’t out run a bullet at point blank. I may not get paid to off them, but if it subdues you I’ll do it. My game, my rules. Whadaya say Mate, ready to play?” I growled menacingly at the assassin. Damn him!

“Fine! But you’ll have to get rid of the net to set my Infernape free so that I can use him to fight. My teammates won’t get involved if we have a simple Pokémon battle.” I accepted unwillingly.

“Not takin’ that chance. You’ll use the Infernape last.” said Creed firmly. “Now let’s get on with the battle! Snipe ‘im Kingdra!” he called sending out a tall blue scaled seahorse with a yellow belly, an elegant white fin on its back, a white fin on each cheek, a long narrow snout, red eyes, and two antennae on its head. One thing unnatural about his Pokémon was the black collar around its neck.

“Bite Kingdra with Thunder Fang Aerodactyl!” I called. The Fossil Pokémon flew toward his foe and clamped down with his large maw which was crackling with electricity.

“I hope that ain’t the best ya got.” taunted Creed. “Show ‘em a real attack Kingdra! Bubble Beam!” Kingdra turned its snout to Aerodactyl and shot off a rapid fire barrage of foamy bubbles that exploded on impact. The revived dinosaur shrieked with disdain from the Super-effective hit.

“You want our best? You got it! Sky Attack!” I commanded. Aerodactyl let out a furious roar as his body began glowing red from the energy he was gathering for the assault.

“Leavin’ yerself vulnerable like that ain’t really the best idea Mate.” berated the assassin. How dare he chastise my method of combat! “Hit ‘em with Hydro Pump!” The Dragon Pokémon blasted a powerful stream of water at Aerodactyl like cannon fire, however the Sky King dodged the projectile with ease by flying into the sky. He then dive-bombed Kingdra at full speed causing serious damage.

“Now who said Aerodactyl was vulnerable?” I questioned cynically. Creed’s face contorted with anger. He pulled a strange black detonator like device from his waist.

“You missed!” he furiously shouted pressing the button on the detonator. The collar on Kingdra’s neck lit up sending electric shocks throughout the Pokémon’s body causing it to grunt and writhe in pain. “You know better Kingdra! I do not tolerate missing!”

“You bastard! You’re actually torturing you Pokémon over a miss!?” I yelled heatedly.

“What’s it matter? It’s my Pokémon, I can do whatever I like to it.” he responded. “Besides, it’s called disciplining them when they screw up!”

“But that’s cruel!” Chane cried from the net.

“You have no integrity as a Trainer! You are weak.” Raiden said hatefully.

“Oi! Pipe down all o’ ya!” ordered Creed pointing his shotgun at them.

“Your battle is with me, not them Creed! Aerodactyl! Take him Down! Attack the human!” I shouted. The Flying-type screeched in understanding and charged at the damnable creature with his mouth wide open ready to tear Creed to shreds with his fangs. Things didn’t quite go as I had expected as Kingdra willingly threw itself in Aerodactyl’s path to protect its Trainer.

“Good work Kingdra! Now redeem yerself with a close range Ice Beam!” While the Fossil Pokémon was still chewing on Kingdra’s abdomen, the giant seahorse turned its head at him and blasted him with a critical hit ray of frozen air.

“Aerodactyl!” I called as the winged beast was forced to the ground shrieking in agony. I glared at the assassin with a violent hatred burning in my red eyes. All I had to do was gather my Draconic power in my claws and I could end this in a heartbeat. But as much as I wanted to, this was still a Pokémon battle meaning it was up to our monsters to settle things, even if Creed was using that disgusting collar to “discipline” his Pokémon.

“Aero! Can you move?” I asked desperately. Aerodactyl weakly got off the ground and dizzily flapped back into the air with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. A little tired, but it looks like he can still fight. “Good. Now use Fly!” I called.

“Oi! Not so fast Mate! Trap ‘em with Whirlpool Kingdra!” called Creed before Aerodactyl could get airborne. The Dragon Pokémon shot a swirling vortex of water at the ground beneath the ancient tyrant’s feet that spiraled into the air after Aerodactyl as he flew up. Even from down here I could hear his screeches as the water struck him.

“Now before the lizard comes back down, use Dragon Dance!” Creed commanded. Kingdra began moving its body around in a rhythmic and foreboding manner which I knew was focusing its muscles to make it both faster and stronger. This was made even more evident with how easily the Dragon Pokémon avoided Aerodactyl’s aerial strike when he descended. On top of that, the Whirlpool had chased him down keeping him trapped in the vortex.

“Let’s see you dodge this! Use Aerial Ace Aerodactyl!” I called using way too many ‘A’ sounds in one sentence. The Fossil Pokémon moved rapidly and gracefully through the air until he hit his mark dead on. They don’t call him the King of the Skies for nothing. Both Pokémon were starting to look worn out, made worse by how Aerodactyl just couldn’t seem to shake that obnoxious Whirlpool.

“Finish this lizard off with Surf!” demanded the assassin. There was a sudden tremor as the ground split open erupting a huge tidal wave of water. The Fossil Pokémon gave one final shriek as the water wall crashed down on him knocking him out.

“Fainted, but still breathin’. It’s tougher than I gave credit. Finish it for real this time with Dragon Pulse.” Creed ordered. Bastard! I can’t believe he would actually go as far as to actually kill my Pokémon!

“I don’t think so! Dragon Pulse!” I yelled throwing my right arm forward blasting my own blue energy wave at the Dragon-type before it could launch its attack at my unconscious Pokémon. Kingdra cried out from the unexpected Super-effective attack and also fainted leaving Creed completely awe struck.

“What the hell was that Mate!?” he demanded anxiously.

“That was my own Dragon Pulse.” I said preparing another one in my left hand while returning Aerodactyl to the safety of his Pokéball held in my right. “And this one’s for you!” I shouted firing my attack at the assassin. He quickly dodge-rolled to avoid my attack which hit his jeep instead leaving one of the taillights destroyed.

“Petrel Lambda warned me to be careful around you. He said you had some inhuman abilities.” said Creed throwing another smoke bomb, the black orb variety this time.

So Lambda was the one who hired this guy. I guess he was still pretty upset about what I did to him at Tin Tower. Upset enough to put a bounty on my head. The skidding sound of the jeep’s tires told me that Creed was on the move again. By now I knew he wasn’t the type to give up on his prey, so I quickly sent out Riolu and Beldum.

“Riolu! Grab Beldum and use his metal body as a shield against bullets.” I instructed quietly to prevent the bounty hunter from over hearing my strategy. It was all I could say before I started coughing again. I really hope my ability to heal prevents lung cancer or I will be thoroughly pissed.

Riolu wasted no time in grabbing Beldum and holding it at the right side of my head. Once again I heard the sound of Creed’s shotgun going off followed by the pinging sound of metal on metal. No rubber bullets this time.

“Well that was unexpected.” Creed said when the smoke cleared. He had a pair of thick green lensed goggles over his eyes that I’m guessing are heat vision goggles so he can see me in the smoke fields. “Usin’ a Steel-type Pokémon to deflect my bullets is a smart move, but it won’t save ya for long. Why not recall one of them Pokémon so we can get back to our battle Mate?”

“No chance Creed! They both stay.” I said defiantly. The assassin only smiled, chuckling slightly at my remark.

“Then I’ll have to use two of my own! Take the field Sableye and Flygon!” he shouted throwing two balls at once. Materializing from the first was a small purple human-shaped Pokémon with large blue gems for eyes, a ruby on its chest, a sapphire on its back, long sharp claws on its hands and feet, three spikes on each elbow, and long pointed ears. From the second ball came a much larger green lizard-like Pokémon with darker green stripes on its tail, three green feathers outlined in red on the tip of its tail, large wings also outlined in red, short three clawed forelimbs, short hind limbs, two long green antennae, and transparent red lenses over its eyes. Both Pokémon also wore those damn collars.

“Whadaya think Mate? Sableye has no weaknesses for you to exploit and is immune to any attack your Pokémon can throw at it! Not to mention Flygon who has enough power to take on both yer li’luns at once.” the assassin bragged. That’s what he thought. “Fake Out the Riolu Sableye! And use Dig on the Beldum Flygon!”

The Darkness Pokémon went to attack Riolu with his claws, but at the last second jumped side to side then slapped the young bipedal canine while his guard was down. At the same time Flygon had burrowed its way underground out of view.

“Beldum! Since Flygon is temporarily out of reach, use Iron Head on Sableye! Meanwhile I want you to memorize its aura with Foresight Rio!” I told my Pokémon. The ball that made up Beldum’s head stated sparkling as the metal became denser. It then sped into the purple gremlin colliding into its torso. While Beldum attacked, the Emanation Pokémon concentrated on locking onto Sableye’s aura.

“How’s that possible? I was told that Beldum can only learn Take Down! Why does yers know Iron Head Mate?” demanded the bounty hunter.

“It knew the attack when I received it as a gift from the leader of Team Neos himself.” I said condescendingly. “Iron Defense!” I called abruptly when I realized that Flygon had yet to emerge. As soon as the words escaped my mouth, the Mystic Pokémon burst from the ground directly beneath Beldum making direct impact.

“Iron Defense too? Well now, yer just fulla surprises ain’t ya Mate?” commented Creed snidely. “Here’re a few surprises of my own! Flygon! Use Flamethrower on Beldum! Hit Riolu with Shadow Claw Sableye!”

“Zen Headbutt through the flames Beldum! Counter Riolu!” I commanded hastily. While Flygon opened its mouth blasting a long tongue of fire, the Iron Ball Pokémon surrounded itself in blue psychic energy and charged head first into the stream. Beldum pushed its way through, enduring the pain, until colliding with the desert dweller’s jaw. Flygon let out a loud cry as its attack was forcibly cancelled.

At the same time, Sableye’s claws had grown longer and were emitting a black cloud of ghostly energy. Riolu hung tough waiting for the attack. In one swift stroke, the goblin swiped Rio with its deformed claws causing the bipedal canine to yelp. However, Riolu had prepared himself, so while Sableye was off guard he landed several counter blows to its exposed torso and face.

“Oi! What the hell was that!? Sableye is a Ghost-type! Fightin’-type moves ain’t supposed to hurt it!” the bounty hunter yelled angrily.

“Don’t you know anything? Foresight negates that disadvantage which also means Sableye does have a weakness I can exploit! Without its Ghost-type shield, the Dark half will suffer all of Riolu’s Fighting-type attacks!” I berated. “Allow me to demonstrate! Riolu! Attack Sableye with Force Palm!” The Emanation Pokémon charged his aura into his paw before smashing his paw into Sableye’s chest sending a burst of blue aura through its body and causing it to scream in pain. Creed looked furious.

“Damn you!” he shouted pulling a grenade from his belt. Once the safety pin was removed, he hurled the explosive at us. In desperation, I shot a Dragon Pulse at it while it was still in midair. I figured it would be less fatal or catastrophic if it didn’t go boom directly on top of me and my Pokémon. I was only half right. I was still blown back by the force of the blast and I was pelted by shrapnel, but the three of us still made it out in one piece, just with a few cuts.

“Both of you! Go after that damn Riolu! Use Aerial Ace Flygon and you use Zen Headbutt Sableye!” I heard the assassin shout. Emerging from the smoke left behind by the explosion were both enemy Pokémon each targeting Riolu who was still off guard from the previous attack.

“Riolu! Detect Flygon! Beldum! Take Sableye’s hit!” I called. At the last second before the Mystic Pokémon was about to strike, Riolu rolled to the side causing Flygon to hit the ground instead. Unfortunately, Beldum wasn’t fast enough to get between Riolu and Sableye in time. The Darkness Pokémon pulled its glowing purple head back and slammed it into Riolu’s head.

“Flygon you missed! Don’t fuck with me! You don’t miss!” roared Creed pressing the detonator’s button again giving the Mystic Pokémon a horrible electrocution.

“I’m begging you! Please stop!” Chane cried. Creed lifted his shotgun and pointed it at the net.

“And I told you to pipe down over there!” he reprimanded. Now while he’s distracted…

“Flygon’s a Ground-type so how does that even work?” questioned Eve. I whispered my command to Beldum…

“Because the collar is connected directly to its nervous system. Just because the outside is resilient doesn’t mean the inside is. Anything is possible with technology Sweetheart.”

“You’re a monster!” yelled Zack. Beldum got into position…

“Your friend has the abilities of a Dragon Pokémon and I’m the monster? I think you need new glasses Mate.” Creed shifted his eyes back to me.

“Now Beldum!” I called. The Iron Ball Pokémon flew in a direct course for the assassin.

“Shadow Sneak Sableye!” he called. The Darkness Pokémon dove into its shadow, then almost as quickly jumped out of Creed’s just in time to cut off Beldum’s Take Down with an attack of its own. The duel Psychic/Steel-type fell to the ground stunned from the unexpected interception but quickly regained its composure by rising back to the air.

“You really thought I wasn’t watching you while I talked to yer teammates? Attack an enemy while their back is turned, not their head.” said Creed haughtily. “Flygon! Redeem yerself by using Heatwave on the lotta them. Attack the Riolu with Shadow Ball Sableye!”

Flygon turned its head to the sky then opened its mouth spewing hot air that contorted the scenery like a hot summer day. The air began to get very thick and heavy making it hard to breathe. Even though it was October, I was starting to sweat. Sure we were in the tropics, but that doesn’t change the fact that it felt like it was 90° out here with 100% humidity!

Meanwhile, Sableye charged up a sphere of pure darkness between its claws. It pulled its arm back before tossing the purplish black ball at Riolu. The Emanation Pokémon defiantly held out his arms to block the attack but it was no use. The Shadow Ball pushed through doing its damage.

“Counter attack time guys! Use Cross Chop on Sableye Rio! Attack Flygon with Take Down Beldum!” I called. Riolu crossed his arms in front of himself then slammed the X shape into the Darkness Pokémon’s throat doing great damage. Unfortunately, Sableye was coughing which meant that we hadn’t finished it off yet. My Iron Ball Pokémon put all of his effort into its Take Down granting it a critical hit when it impacted Flygon in the stomach. Regrettably the recoil damage fainted Beldum. I quickly returned it to its Pokéball before Creed got any more sadistic ideas for it.

“Well now that’s one down. Finish off the Riolu with Night Shade Sableye!” ordered Creed confidently. The goblin’s presence grew to the point where even I could feel it. The strain was too much for the young Emanation Pokémon to handle knocking him out as well. “This is fun Mate. Send out yer next two so we can keep this battle goin’. Unless of course, you’re done now and wish to die.” the assassin taunted.

“I only need one Pokémon to finish these two off!” I said firmly. “Let’s go Piloswine!” I called throwing out the Great Ball after calling back Riolu. “Use I--”

“My attack! Flygon! Iron Tail!” commanded Creed before I could call out my attack. The desert dragon’s tail turned a metallic silver color as it whipped my wooly boar with it. “Now Sableye!--”

“Earthquake!” I cut off displaying the same rudeness as him. In these kinds of battles you must play dirty to win. Piloswine lifted his front hooves of the ground, then threw all of his weight on them as he put them back down sending tremors in every direction. While Flygon evaded the attack thanks to its Levitate Ability, Sableye was helpless and was swiftly KOed.

“That wasn’t nice Mate, cuttin’ me off like that.” Creed said feigning disappointment. I knew better though that this was just an act to get me to drop my guard. “This is your punishment!” he shouted changing his tone quickly while lifting his shotgun at me. Without a shield I was helpless! He then causally moved the barrel from me to my trapped friends. “Yer punishment is one of their lives.”

“NO!” I screamed jumping in front of the shotgun as it fired. I fell to the ground with a searing pain running through my left leg. I looked back at my leg to see a tear in the back of my pants leg with blood leaking out of a gash in the skin. Damn him! He actually shot me!

“BRIAN!” Chane screamed. I held up my hand to calm her down.

“I’m alright. The bullet only grazed me.” I assured stumbling back to my feet. I could hear Creed laughing mockingly at me.

“What was that all about Mate? Lambda said you were a ruthless demon that cared for nothin’ other than killin’. And yet there you go throwin’ yerself in harm’s way to protect those people.” ridiculed the bounty hunter.

“I hate to lose. That includes battles and friends, and ‘those people’ are friends.” I told him straightforwardly. Creed made a disgusted face at me.

“Hideous. Well you were fun while you lasted Mate, I’ll give you that. Finish this Dragon boy with Draco Meteor Flygon! Give him a taste of Super-effective pain!” Creed said sadistically. Flygon opened its mouth and began charging a massive green energy ball with swirling blue streaks around it.

“You forgot something.” I reminded. Just as Flygon blasted the massive energy sphere, Piloswine charged between me and it to take the attack. The mammoth pig winced and cried out in pain from such a powerful hit, put it would take more than that to defeat him.

“Now finish Flygon with Ice Beam!” I commanded. The Swine Pokémon snorted before blasting a frozen stream of air point blank at the Mystic Pokémon which already possessed a double weakness to the attack. Needless to say, Flygon wasn’t getting back up anytime soon.

“If that’s how ya want it, I’ll be happy to oblige Mate.” said Creed shrugging. “I could just blow ya up with a grenade this very moment, but if ya want to continue this battle, fine by me. It’ll be fun humiliatin’ ya. Crush ‘em Tyranitar!”

Emerging from the sphere was a large green two legged dinosaur-like Pokémon with long spikes running down its back, a long thick tail, a mouth full of sharp teeth, long sharp claws on its thick legs and arms, a blue diamond on its chest, and black stripes on its chest and legs. Like its previous brethren, Tyranitar wore a black collar. The Armor Pokémon threw its head to the sky giving a fierce roar that summoned a cloud of sand and dust to surround the area.

“Now Tyranitar! Attack with Rock Slide!” commanded the bounty hunter. Lifting its massive feet, the Pseudo-Legendary stomped at the ground several times to break it apart creating dozens of loosened rocks that went flying at Piloswine. The Swine Pokémon grunted in annoyance as each boulder hit its mark.

“Even up the playing field with Hail Piloswine!” I called. The mammoth boar shot a large ball of ice into the sky which served as a magnet to draw in thick white clouds. The clouds completely obscured the sun giving the battlefield a pale grey color. The fall of massive chunks of ice completely decimated Tyranitar’s Sandstream. With the Snowcloak Ability, Piloswine was able to completely fade into the scenery.

“Damn!” Creed spat. “Kick up a Stealth Rock to keep it from getting too far away Tyranitar!” The Armor Pokémon roared while giving the ground a powerful stomp that sent dozens of sharp spears of rocks shooting up to surround the arena. Too bad that didn’t protect it from a large chunk of ice smacking its back.

“No problem! Earthquake!” I called. Where ever Piloswine was in this storm, I heard him rear up and stomp the ground with incredible force. I winced as tremors tore up the earth beneath us. I had experienced the shockwaves of Earthquake many times, just never with an injured leg before. It was definitely not pleasant. Tyranitar roared as its own leg got caught in a small fissure created by the Earthquake.

“Quit yer whinin’! Counter attack with yer own Earthquake!” commanded the assassin. Oh not this again! The Pseudo-Legendary jumped in the air and landed with such intensity that the ground was once again shredded to pieces. My eyes widened and rolled at the obnoxious pain shooting up my leg.

“Alright Piloswine, time for Blizzard!” I decided. The Swine Pokémon inhaled deeply then blew a heavy wind that gathered several chunks of falling hailing. The frozen gale found its mark much to Tyranitar’s and Creed’s annoyance. To add insult to injury, Tyranitar also got hit in the head with a large chunk of hail.

“Oi! Find that blasted pig and use Stone Edge on it!” Creed ordered. Tyranitar roared as three blue rings surrounded its body. The rings magically turned into dozens of pointed rocks. With one final roar, the Armor Pokémon’s eyes glowed green and the rocks were sent flying. To my dismay, some were even heading right for me! I quickly jumped to the side to avoid them, but landed on my bad leg wrong and fell over again.

“Piloswine! Use Ice Fang!” I commanded struggling to get up again. Coming at the Pseudo-Legendary from behind, the exact opposite direction the Stone Edge was fired, was the wooly boar with his long tusks covered in ice. Piloswine made a slight turn in his charge to avoid the target’s back spikes and stabbed his tusks directly into Tyranitar’s vulnerable right flank.

“If Piloswine came from that direction, then you missed Tyranitar!” Creed shouted violently pressing the detonator again. Electric shocks were sent through Tyranitar’s body causing it to howl in agony. With his tusk still embedded in the Armor Pokémon, the only thing that saved Piloswine from getting shocked as well was being a Ground-type.

“Either way, now we got it up close! Hit it with Super Power!” the bounty hunter commanded.

“Get out of there Piloswine!” I yelled as Tyranitar’s body started glowing red. The wooly pig tried to retreat back into the safety of the storm, but the Pseudo-Legendary was faster and was able to attack Piloswine with a powerful glowing punch.

“We got it now! Use Iron Head!” shouted Creed triumphantly. Tyranitar gripped the Swine Pokémon tightly as its head shimmered metallic silver. Then it delivered a swift and merciless headbutt to Piloswine.

“Don’t let them win! Avalanche!” I called. Piloswine howled into the hail storm summoning a large pile of snow and ice to fall on the Armor Pokémon completely burying it. Not even two seconds later, the hail storm ended.

“Tyranitar! If ya ain’t fainted under all o’ that snow, use Dark Pulse!” commanded Creed. The pile the tyrant was buried under started shaking, then exploded in a burst of darkness as all that dark energy was focused into Tyranitar’s claws. The pseudo-legendary blasted the gathered dark energy at Piloswine causing the mammoth boar to fall over on his side unconscious. I quickly returned him before Creed could order anything terrible to be done to him.

“Well now, are ya ready to call it a day Mate, or do you want to keep up this charade?” Creed asked uncaringly. He knew that I only had one Pokémon left against his three. And I knew full well by now that he had no intention of freeing Axel so that I could use him in a fight.

“I’ll keep fighting until all my enemies are dead or until I am! Take over Snorlax!” I said confidently summoning the rotund bear. The Sleeping Pokémon plopped down on the ground and yawned as he left the comfort of his Ultra Ball. He was quickly woken up in a grumpy rage from the cuts he sustained from the Stealth Rock.

“So be it then Mate. Tyranitar! Take care of that thing with Giga Impact!” the assassin ordered. With orange streaks of energy flying off of its body, the tyrant charged at Snorlax. The collision was strong enough to move the half ton Sleeping Pokémon to the point that Snorlax was forcefully flipped over on his belly.

“We need to finish Tyranitar now while it recharges! Use Surf Snorlax!” I commanded. He had plenty of moisture to use for the tidal wave attack. There were dozens if not hundreds of hail balls still littering the field, not to mention the ground was still damp from Kingdra’s Surf earlier. All of those remnants were swiftly gathered underneath Snorlax allowing him to rise up with his massive wall of water. The Pseudo-Legendary was powerless to stop the tidal wave from crashing down on it. When the water receded and sank back into the sand, Tyranitar was knocked out on its side.

“Useless beast.” Creed berated as Tyranitar was dematerialized into a red light and summoned back to its ball.

“Die now!” I shouted. Before I could even move, Creed shot the ground in front of my feet leaving a small round hole where I was about to step.

“Oi! Stay where you are Mate!” he warned leveling the shotgun so that it was aimed at my chest. “You even think about attacking me again like that, and I’ll throw a grenade over at that net. I know how you ‘hate to lose’ and how sickenin’ly you care about those mongrels over there.”

“Curse you!” I snarled. The moment this guy drops his guard I will rip him apart.

“Now whadda ya say we get back to business. I am still on the clock here.” the assassin said casually. “Rhydon! Pierce!” he called sending out his next Pokémon. Materializing from the red light was another dinosaur like Pokémon, this one with a thick stone grey hide, thick legs and arms with three clawed hands and two clawed toes, a long powerful tail, a tan belly, massive spikes on its back, and a long tan horn on its nose. As usual, Rhydon also wore a collar. The Drill Pokémon let out a deep roar while giving two stomps to the ground.

“This could be treacherous. Take a Rest Snorlax!” I told my Pokémon. Stealth Rock and Giga Impact had not been kind to him, and I had a feeling Rhydon would be a tough opponent. Snorlax yawned in preparation for his mid-afternoon nap. I watched as his breathing slowed until he was almost completely motionless.

“How stupid of you. Yer Pokémon is completely helpless now that it’s asleep!” Creed groundlessly criticized. “Rhydon! Take care of this thing with Rock Blast!” The bipedal rhino smashed its hands to the ground tearing out two large boulders. It then threw them at the sleeping Snorlax, who simply rolled over at the disturbance.

“Rhydon! Only two? You know the rules! Four or more times Dammit!” yelled Creed delivering electric shocks to the Drill Pokémon as punishment. “Four or more!” he shouted giving a second torturous shock to the already suffering Pokémon.

“Enough of that! Snorlax! Sleep Talk!” I commanded. No matter what attack Snorlax did, it would be better than what Rhydon had already endured. The still snoozing bear lifted his arms and started shaking them side to side in Metronome. He then got up to his feet and spun in a circle with his arms out stretched to clear away the Stealth Rock. Nice Rapid Spin. Too bad it did minimal damage to Rhydon.

“So you know Sleep Talk eh? Big deal!” spat the bounty hunter. “It won’t help ya beat me Mate! Redeem yerself with Hammer Arm Rhydon!” The Drill Pokémon lifted its arm over its head then slammed it onto Snorlax’s rotund belly. The Sleeping Pokémon choked from having the air knocked out of him.

“Keep up the Sleep Talk Snorlax!” I called. The half-ton bear stirred in his sleep before beating on his chest. Crap! Not Belly Drum! While a very effective move, Snorlax still has roughly another minute before waking up, and anything can happen in that minute to finish him off!

“Guess the odds just ain’t in yer favor Mate. A shame really.” Creed taunted. “Finish Snorlax off with Earthquake!” Rhydon did as told by jumping up only about a foot or so, and landing with enough force to shake the whole arena. The tremors caused the Sleeping Pokémon’s flab to jiggle, but gauging how he simply yawned and shifted in his sleep again, I could honestly say he wasn’t down yet.

“Ok Snorlax! This will be our last Sleep Talk before you wake up again. Let’s make it count!” I encouraged. To my surprise, Snorlax got to his feet and ran right into Rhydon without hesitation. The Drill Pokémon roared in anger from the attack while Snorlax yawned and fell on his belly unconscious. And Double Edge. Of all the battles to have that kind of bad luck. At least with the attack boost, it did considerable damage to the two legged rhino. I returned Snorlax to his Ultra Ball while contemplating what to do next with Axel trapped. Any attempt I make to free him will result in one of us getting shot at or grenaded.

“Looks like yer outta usable Pokémon Mate. Tough break.” mocked the man hired to eliminate me. “You were fun while you lasted, but I have a job to finish and a paycheck to collect.” No choice! I’ll have to fight myself! To my horror, Creed pulled a grenade from his strap then yanked the pin out!

“Catch!” he challenged throwing the explosive at me. I began charging a Dragon Pulse in my hands hoping that I’d be able to blow it up in midair again. Creed then lifted his shotgun and pointed it at me! A diversion! I heard the gun fire, then not even a second later the grenade exploded right above me! His marksmanship is either highly accurate, or this is the most interesting coincidence ever! I instinctively held my arms over my head to protect from any falling shrapnel while temporarily blinded from the light of the explosion.

“I got one more for ya!” I heard the assassin call. There was a clanking noise under my feet as another canister rolled up to me spewing out more smoke making it impossible for me to see anything. “Now finish the job with Horn Drill!” The sound of a spinning drill could be heard along with heavy stampeding footsteps. Emerging from the smoke came Rhydon with the horn on its nose spinning rapidly and aimed right for my heart. Was this the end? I held my arms out in front of me in one last desperate attempt at survival!

ATTACK!” A golden blur flew past me delivering two swift kicks to the Drill Pokémon’s face while avoiding the dangerous horn completely. Rhydon fell to the ground unconscious from the unexpected ambush. Standing at my side now like he had always been was a gold Infernape looking triumphantly at his felled opponent. “Miss me?” he asked cockily.

“Axel? H-how? How did you escape the net?” I asked in confusion.

I know Dig, remember?” he responded superiorly.

“Hey! Are you alright?” asked Zack running up behind me with everyone else. Obviously they used the hole Axel made for their escape as well.

“Yeah, I’m fine. I’m glad you guys are safe too.” I said with a sigh of relief.

“I don’t believe this! How dare all o’ ya escape my trap!” yelled the assassin angrily.

“It’s over Creed! You don’t stand a chance against all of us!” Eve declared confidently. The bounty Hunter responded with a look of anger mixed with contemplation. Just like how I was a few moments ago, he was trying to figure a way out of this predicament.

“Actually, I’d like to finish this guy off myself. It’s me he wants, so it should be me who finishes him.” I resolved.

“A-are you sure? We’re all together now. You don’t have to fight alone anymore.” offered Chane.

“I understand. We are here for if you need us.” said Raiden in understanding. The others tried to argue but there was nothing they could do now. My mind was already made up.

“Well ain’t ya a gentleman. Sparin’ the man who was about to kill ya.” Creed mocked readying his last Pokéball.

“I wasn’t sparing you. I just want to be the one to kill you!” I clarified.

“Whatever Mate. Finish the job Togetic!” he called summoning a small white Pokémon with tiny wings and hollow blue and red triangles on its body. Like all the others, Togetic wore a black collar, but unlike the rest, there was nothing fearsome about this Pokémon at all. In fact, the so called Happiness Pokémon looked to be anything but.

“How did a creep like you end up with a Togetic?” questioned Zack heatedly. “I’ve seen the way you treat your Pokémon so there is no way a Togepi would evolve in your care.”

“That’s because I stole it from my last target!” Creed responded proudly. “This Pokémon showed remarkable power in battle so I decided to acquire it for myself!”

“You have to save Togetic! They…. They get dispirited when they’re around someone mean!” pleaded Chane. In other words, it’s especially bad for this particular Pokémon’s health to be in this kind of situation.

“Axel! As soon as you faint Togetic get it away from Creed! This is a rescue mission now!” I commanded. “Flame Wheel!” The flame on Axel’s head went wilder than normal. Being an indication of an Infernape’s fighting spirit meant Axel was extra passionate about this fight. The monkey jumped in the air and spun himself into a large ball of fire that struck the Happiness Pokémon dead on.

“Ya wanna see the move that made me want this monster? Use Extrasensory Togetic!” Creed ordered. The chicken hesitated with a nervous expression. “Are you defying me?” the bounty hunter threatened holding out the remote with his thumb over the trigger as a warning. Togetic winced in fear, then held out its hands to initiate the attack. A pink aura surrounded Axel causing him to fall to his knees screaming with his hand on his head.

Make it stop! Make it stop!” he screamed writhing around.

“Hang tough Monkey! Use Hidden Power!” I called. The Flame Pokémon got back to his feet panting with a pale icy blue glow to his eyes. He held out his arms creating an orb of light the same color as his eyes in each hand. Then Axel spun his arms in a clockwise directing creating twelve identical orbs which quickly became balls of ice. He swiftly uncrossed his arms to send the dozen ice spheres at his opponent. Togetic cried out as each of the twelve balls hit it.

“The Infernape didn’t seem to like Extrasensory, so give ‘im another!” commanded the assassin sadistically. All Togetic did was whimper. “I order you dammit!” he yelled pushing the trigger. The not so happy Pokémon wailed in agony as the electricity coursed through its body. “Now attack!” The sobbing Togetic unwilling complied once again giving Axel another dose of psychic torture that had him rolling on the ground in pain.

“I bet you’ve had enough of that move, haven’t you?” I asked rhetorically.

Damn right I have! Give me the order to use Torment!” the Infernape confirmed. All I had to do was nod and Axel was running at Togetic. The monkey then back handed his opponent while making irritating noises. “Torment Bitch!” he yelled with a laugh.

“I don’t know what you just did, but it won’t save you! Another Extrasensory!” shouted the bounty hunter. Togetic whimpered as it instead sent dozens of unavoidable rainbow colored leaves flying at Axel.

“Burn them away with Ember!” I called. In a few short seconds the leaves were smoldering piles of ash.

“You damn creature! I ordered you to do Extrasensory, not Magical Leaf!” Creed growled rapidly smashing the detonator with his thumb sending countless shocks through the angelic Pokémon’s body.

“Stop it! Please stop hurting Togetic!” cried Chane practically in tears.

“Dumbass! That move Axel used was Torment! It means you’re Pokémon can’t keep using the same moves over and over again!” I clarified wrathfully.

“*Tch* Why didn’t you just say so then?” he responded in a light voice as if he hadn’t just been torturing his Pokémon. “Fly Togetic!” The chicken could barely flap its wings, but out of fear it managed to get airborne.

“This may sound unreasonable, but I want you to take the hit.” I instructed somberly.

So Togetic doesn’t suffer another electrocution right?” Axel questioned knowingly. I nodded. “Gotta love being a destroyer of evil.” he sighed sarcastically. The unHappiness Pokémon swooped down but, horrifyingly enough, missed us anyway!

“You worthless Pokémon! Don’t you miss! Don’t you ever fuckin’ miss!” roared the assassin bestowing yet more unjust punishment to the hapless Pokémon. The screams were probably the most painful sounds I ever heard.

“You’ve done enough! Stop it now!” Chane continued to beg.

“Oi! Pipe down Girlie! This is how I train my Pokémon. If ya don’t like it, then don’t watch!” Creed spat.

“Enough of this now!” I shouted. “Axel! He can’t avoid both of us! Attack!” I command running at the assassin.

Yeah, but he sure as hell can shoot one of us!” Axel threw in even though he was doing exactly as I was.

“I thought you were smarter than that Mate!” mocked the bounty hunter pulling his last grenade from his sash. “Oh well, mission accomplished.” he said casually throwing it at me one the pin was out.

Not so fast!” called my partner batting the explosive back at Creed with Iron Tail.

“What the!?” he cried in alarm jumping out of the way. The grenade landed in the back seat of his jeep just in time to blow up the vehicle. “My car!!” he roared furiously. You’re a dead man Mate!” assured the bounty hunter getting his shotgun out to reload.

“Maybe, but not before you.” I retorted using the same words he had used on me earlier. In the time it would take him to prepare his gun, both Axel and I would be all over him. What we didn’t count on was him throwing his last gas canister at us to buy time. Of course it just had to be another dose of tear gas!

Gah my eyes!” Axel cried with his hands over his eyes. Through the smoke and the water my eyes had released as a defensive shield, I saw the barrel of the gun pointed right at me. I know I had told the others not to get involved, but really? I would think in this kind of situation they’d be all over him by now.

“G’night Mate.” I heard Creed say gently as if he were talking to a child. All of a sudden, Togetic came out of nowhere tackling Creed to the ground.

“No Togetic!” Chane cried knowing full well what was going to happen next.

“Who the hell do you think you’re attacking Togetic!?” yelled the bounty hunter kicking the angelic Pokémon. “I am yer master! Don’t you forget that!” Creed showed no mercy squeezing the controller to administer his punishment. “You defy me! You miss! You’re also probably so stupid you’d hurt yerself in confusion!” With every sentence he sent another heartless shock through the Pokémon’s body.

“Stop! Please stop! Don’t do this anymore! Togetic has suffered enough!” she continued to appease.

“I said shut up!” the bounty hunter yelled turning his shotgun to Chane and not even hesitating to fire. In a cruel twist of fate, Togetic jumped in the path of the shot to protect her at the cost of its left wing.

“TOGETIC!” screamed Chane running to the fallen Pokémon.

“Useless waste.” Creed spat.

“No no no! You can’t die! You shouldn’t die!” she begged with tears falling from her face. Chane kneeled down picking up Togetic in her arms. “It’s not breathing… There’s no heart beat… You killed it. How could you be so cruel?” she sobbed.

“Because I don’t care about that worthless thing. You see this gold feather in my cap? It belonged to a shiny Pidgeot, the last Pokémon to defy me.” Creed said matter-of-factly. “But if you’re gonna be so bent outta shape over it, I’ll gladly send you to join Togetic.” With that he got a remorseless smirk and pointed the shotgun at Chane once more. “G’night Sweetheart.” Before he could even attempt to touch the trigger, I had my hand wrapped around the barrel.

“Have you forgotten who your real target was?” I growled vehemently. With all the strength my Dragon-Forme gave me, I bent the barrel upward so that it would never be able to fire another shot. The look on the assassin’s face was one of fear, and I would make sure he felt more fear, more pain, in his last remaining moments to make up for everything he’s ever done. My first act was to slam my wrist into his nose.

“Aw hell!” he screamed falling to the ground with his hands over his now broken and bleeding nostrils. In the fall his hat fell off showing that he was balding in the front. He instinctively reached for his useless shotgun, but I just kicked it away and smashed his hand under my feet getting another scream from him.

“Creed, did you know that if you get on my bad side I’ll destroy you?” I inquired not expecting an answer. “Let’s go over everything you’ve done to piss me off and get on that bad side! Pokémon theft!” I yelled kicking him in the face. I reached down picking him up by the collar. “Pokémon abuse and torture!” I punched him in the face followed by a swift kick to his stomach.

“Pokémon murder!” I grabbed him again and smashed his knee caps with kicks to the legs. I then threw him to the side like the trash he was. “As a bounty hunter, surely you’ve taken the lives of innocent humans as well!” I jumped up to deliver a kick to his rib cage. I chased him while he flew back, spun him around, grabbed his wrists, and planted my right foot on his back. “Associating with Team Rocket!” I pressed as hard as I could until I heard the popping sounds of his shoulders dislocating, then threw him to the ground again.

“But probably your greatest crime of all, the one I most absolutely will not forgive…” I reached down, grabbed his face, and lifted him up while digging my claws into his flesh. Draconic energy flared into my palm illuminating the terror in Creeds eyes. “Making Chane cry! Be gone now!” I yelled blowing his head off with a violent Dragon Pulse. The headless body fell from having nothing to hold it up anymore. In front of me was a triangle of splattered blood littered with fragments of bone. My entire body still trembled with rage.

“Damn you Creed! That wasn’t enough! I hate you so much I wish you were still alive so I could kill you again!” I yelled furiously. I forced myself to relax. Creed was gone and there was nothing that could be done about it now. Besides, I had a much more important matter to take care of. I walked back to Chane who was still crying over Togetic’s body. I crouched next to her and put my hand on her shoulder. “Are you going to be okay?” I asked worriedly.

“It’s not fair. Why do bad things happen to the ones who don’t deserve it?” she responded sadly. “It’s not fair!” she cried turning around to bury her face in my chest. I could already feel the tears soaking through my shirt.

“I know it’s not. It’s a crap sack world out there full of crime and corruption. That’s why we do what we do. The reason I’m in Team Neos is to eliminate people like Creed and Team Rocket. While we haven’t gotten any missions like this yet, I would also like to one day get rid of this corrupt government and legal system that lets those kinds of people exist. Maybe then people and Pokémon can live happily without fear.” I told Chane in an attempt to console her.

“I want to do that too.” she responded in a grieving whisper.

“Hey. What happened?” Eve asked us with concern.

“You don’t know?” I questioned with slight annoyance. I didn’t even bother to look back at her since she should know this already.

“The police showed up to investigate reports of gun shots while you were still fighting. Kaguya, Raiden and I went to stall them. After molesting some female cops, Kaguya got arrested so Raiden has to go to the station and bail him out. I came back to check on you guys.” she explained.

“Creed’s dead but so is Togetic. As you can see, Chane isn’t taking it well.” I informed. From the corner of my eye, I saw Eve crouch next to us.

“It’s been a rough day. Let’s go to the hotel and rest.” she suggested kindly. Highly out of character for her, but in these situations it would seem even she can be nice.

“No. I… I want to give Togetic a proper funeral first.” said Chane pulling away from me wiping the tears from her eyes.

“Of course. Whatever you need.” I consoled.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 30: Stand Up, Be Strong

Things had been very quiet since we got to the hotel that night. Chane went straight to her room and hasn’t come out since. We decided it would be best to just leave her alone. While I made sure to get all my Pokémon healed right away after the battle, Axel still decided he needed a nap and was knocked out on the floor. As Raiden and Zack hadn’t come home yet, that left just me and Eve to do as we pleased.

To pass the time, she and I decided to play a game of War so I got out my deck of cards. Sadly, I was losing with only three cards remaining in my hand. The top card I threw down was a three to her six. She took them. The next one I got was a five, but strangely enough, she threw down another six. I hope my last card gets me something! Ace or King, that’s all I need. Two!? Damn. I lost. Made worse by the fact that she got another six!

“How can this be!?” I cried jumping from the chair I was sitting in.

“Aw what’s wrong? It’s not the first time you’ve lost to me.” teased Eve innocently.

“No, not that. I don’t care that you beat me. You won with 666! It’s rare enough for three of the same number to be dealt in a row like that, but those three being possessed by you of all people is just creepy.” I said uneasily.

“It’s not my fault. You’re the one who shuffled the cards.” she passed off.

“Initially! The cards changed hands so many times after that, that it shouldn’t matter anymore!” I argued. Why we were arguing over a random occurrence was beyond me.

Suddenly, the door to the apartment opened with Zack, Lloyd, and Raiden coming in. All three looked like they had been through hell with Raiden looking as if he had taken the brunt of it.

“So how was prison Kaguya? Did someone make you their bitch?” Eve asked obnoxiously.

“No, but I did almost get to third base in my holding cell.” he responded proudly.

“With a prostitute.” Raiden added exasperatedly.

“Anyway,” Zack continued “we got interrupted by the guard because Raiden posted bail too soon.”

“After filling out a lot of tedious paperwork to free you and get your confiscated Pokémon back. Your bail was not cheap either. 200,000 credits for sexually assaulting a police officer. What the hell were you thinking?”

“I was helping. Would you have rather me get arrested for a silly misdemeanor or the police walk in on Brian versus Creed. I was a simple distraction.” defended Zack.

“Regardless, I am cancelling tomorrow’s mission. I will pass the intervention into Team Rocket’s drug cartel to a different squad of officers that work under me.” stated Raiden absolutely.

“What? Why?” I demanded. I know we had all had a rough day, but tomorrow was a new day meaning we should all be ready for the mission.

“I will tell you why. I am mentally strained, as I am sure you are, you were shot, Zack was arrested, and from what Eve told me over the phone Chane is not doing too well either. As of this moment, the team is in shambles and I doubt we can pull ourselves together in 24 hours for work. It is better for us all to rest.” he explained matter-of-factly.

“But Master Raiden, I’m fine. Look.” I said pulling off my shirt and showing Raiden my back. On my back over my right shoulder was a huge purple, yellow, and overall nasty looking bruise from the rubber bullet. “Nothing too bad right?” I sat back down to pull up my left pants leg. There were bandages wrapped around my calf where I had gotten shot for real. “It’s just a minor scratch. The bullet only grazed me so there’s nothing to worry about.” I assured.

“My decision is final. I am calling the back up squad now.” Raiden said completely disregarding my argument. I grumbled, slouching back in the chair. How annoying. I was really looking forward to the mission too after today. I was going to imagine all of the Rockets present as that sneering bounty hunter to vent my frustration on. Hopefully some sleep will clear my head.

“Come on Axel. We’re going to our room for bed.” I said tapping the monkey with my foot. He grunted irritably but followed me anyway. No sooner had we gotten into the room did he sprawl out on the floor and go back to sleep. I got undressed and did the same in my bed.

The day was pretty boring leaving me with nothing better to do than read my Dragon book. It wasn’t until close to sunset when we were originally going to head out did Chane’s door finally open. She walked out dressed in her Team Neos uniform. At first I was confused, but then I remembered she hadn’t been at the debriefing last night.

“I-I’m ready.” said Chane nervously. She looked around noticing that none of us were dressed or even making an effort to prepare. “W-what’s going on?”

“Master Raiden called off the mission. Another squad of officers is going in instead of us.” I said irritably.

“Oh…” she sighed lowering her head. She looked disappointed about not getting to go, but it also seemed like there was something else to it. At that moment, Raiden and Eve walked in with our dinner; four large bags full of Chinese carry-out boxes.

Mmm… That smells good.” Axel said sniffing at the air. I agree. That does smell tasty.

“Chane? Why are you dressed in your uniform?” Raiden inquired when he saw her.

“I didn’t know we weren’t going tonight.” she responded distantly.

“Well either way, I am glad you are out of your room. Eve and I bought us and our Pokémon dinner.” said Raiden placing the bags on the table. No sooner had he started pulling out the boxes did his cell phone ring.

“Third Seat Raiden Arka speaking.” he answered. Must be work. I started sniffing at the boxes for my shrimp lo mien. “What?” shouted Raiden sounding startled. “Damn! Alright, back up is on the way.” he assured closing the phone. Looks like we’re going in after all.

“Team Rocket was expecting Neos to intervene so they set up an ambush. Get dressed!” instructed Raiden professionally. Yes! “Not you Brian.” he added when I got up.

“Why not?” I asked defensively with my head turned to the side.

“Your wounds have yet to fully heal. You need to rest.” Raiden told me bluntly.

“Have you forgotten? I’m a Dragon. These scratches are nothing. My book even says that Dragon-types can endure minor injuries.” I said proudly.

“It does not matter, you are grounded.” he said unwaveringly. I was floored! Did he? Did he really just tell me I was grounded? Made worse by the fact that Eve was practically dying of laughter.

Not even your parents grounded you!” Axel teased.

“That’s just not right. Tough break man.” said Zack empathetically shaking his head.

“Then I guess I’m just going to have to sneak out.” I taunted throwing my arms out. Raiden gave me an unamused look before grabbing a Pokéball and sending out a blue canine Pokémon with spiky yellow fur on its ankles, head, and hips.

“Thunder Wave.” commanded Raiden calmly. The Manectric growled while a weak electrical current appeared around its body. It then barked sending the shock waves at me. The current moved through the air faster than I could react, hitting me right in the chest before surrounding my entire body. I felt like I should be screaming as a painful tingling sensation went throughout my body causing my muscles to stiffen and go numb.

“Damn… you…” I said weakly since I couldn’t move my jaw very well.

Hang on! I’ll grab some Cheri Berries!” offered Axel running for my room.

“Thunder Wave.” Raiden commanded again obviously knowing what the Infernape was up to. Just as Axel had reached the doorway to the room, he too was struck by the electric attack. The monkey grunted uncomfortably as his fate became the same as mine. “Chane, I want you to guard Brian. Axel too. At any moment their paralysis could wear off enough for them to cure it. They are both very cunning individuals that will most likely say or do anything to get to the battlefield. Do not let either of them out of your sight for a second.” he requested.

“O-of course.” Chane reluctantly agreed. “Brian, Axel. I’m sorry.” she apologized. Without further delay, the others rushed out in a desperate attempt to salvage the mission. Now was my chance.

“Chane. I need to go to the bathroom, could you heal my paralysis?” I inquired hoping to appeal to her good nature.

“I can’t. Raiden told me not to let you out of my sight.” she replied nervously.

“But I really have to go! Could you carry me there instead? You’ll have to take off my pants and get me all situated, but I’m sure you can handle it.” I persisted. As expected, Chane started blushing and stuttering.

“I-I’ll g-get you a P-paralyze Heal r-right aw-w-way!” she stammered running to her room.

You’re terrible.” Axel laughed fully aware that I was just using her. Although in my defense, having my muscles spasm like this meant I really did have to take a piss. Chane came running back with a yellow bottle full of a muscle relaxant that she sprayed me with. I soon felt the feeling return to my body; flexing my fingers to prove it.

“Thanks!” I said gratefully running to my room. After doing what I told her I would do, I changed into my uniform to do what I wanted to do. I also grabbed a Cheri Berry for Axel. It would be rude of me not to help my buddy.

“What are you doing?” inquired Chane warily when she saw me come out of my room. I smiled at her as I put the Cheri Berry in Axel’s mouth.

“The answer is quite simple really. We’re leaving.” I said casually once my Pokémon regained the ability to move.

“You… you tricked me? You used me?” she muttered hurtfully.

“No, I really did go to the bathroom. I just didn’t tell you the whole truth that I planned on going on the mission.” I justified. Chane responded by pulling out a Pokéball and pointing it at me.

“Raiden told me to keep you here s-so that’s what I’ll do!” said Chane trying to sound tough but I could still detect the uncertainty. I could tell that she didn’t believe she could actually stop me.

“Chane, Master Raiden told you to guard me and Axel and keep an eye on us. He told me to stay here, and while I respect Master Raiden, I don’t take well to authority.” I said walking toward Chane.

“S-stay back!” she commanded nervously. I stopped mid-step giving a sigh. She had the right idea, but was showing too much fear and uncertainty. An enemy could easily take advantage of that so I better take this opportunity to help her with it.

“Tell you what Chane. I have a few questions I’d like you to answer. Depending on how you answer will depend on whether or not I stay put like a good boy or go off like the rebel I am.” I suggested. Chane slowly lowered the Pokéball in acceptance to my proposal. I’ll have to make this quick if I plan on getting to the Cinnabar port in time.

“Which is more important to you? Following Master Raiden’s orders or helping your friends?” I questioned holding out my hands for each option.

“My friends of course.” Chane responded warily trying to get a feel for what I was getting at.

“Friends who are putting their lives on the line this very moment. Friends who are out numbered and may be in trouble!” I pointed out.

“You’re wrong! I believe in Raiden, Zack, and Eve! You should have faith in them too!” she chided with a bit more fire. Progress.

“I do believe in them Chane. But I also believe that no matter how strong an opponent is, there is a way to beat them. We got an S.O.S tonight saying that Team Rocket ambushed a squad of officers showing that they have an organized plan!”

“But we’re organized too!” cried Chane.

“Yes. WE! As in the five of us!” I showed holding out my hand with my fingers wide spread. I put down my pinkie and thumb leaving three fingers. “Right now they are two members short. That means the three of them have a limited time to come up with new strategies to compensate for our absence, thereby weakening them! All the Rockets have to do is have a decent enough strategy and three more members of Team Neos are out of the picture.” Chane lowered her head looking away.

“You’re right… But… But I’m scared. What if we fail again? I don’t want anyone getting hurt.” I walked up to her and gave her a hug. She looked like she needed one really bad.

“If this is about Togetic, then don’t think about it.” I said gently “We win some, we lose some, but we can’t give up. If we do nothing now, then Team Rocket wins anyway. If that happens, then more people and Pokémon get hurt, including Zack, Eve, and Master Raiden. If you don’t want people getting hurt, then you have to be the one who protects them.”

“But I can’t.” she sobbed. Looks like she needs more motivation. I released her from my hug and pushed her to the floor. “Ow! What was that for?” asked Chane starting to tear up.

“Stand up! Be Strong! And believe in yourself!” I ordered harshly. “And if that’s too hard, then believe in the me that believes in you! I won’t sit back and let you beat yourself up or talk down to yourself! I’d rather kick your ass before that happens! Now show me your strength!” At first Chane looked up at me nervously while I gave my rousing speech, then she smiled at me.

“Is it ok if I ask for help?” she inquired holding up her hand.

“Of course.” I said pulling her back to her feet. “Now we’ve wasted enough time here! Yoink!” I reached behind Chane’s legs picking her up in my arms. She started blushing turning her head side to side.

“Wh-what are you doing?” she asked nervously.

“Well I’m not staying here a moment longer, but I’m not leaving without you.” I said matter-of-factly. “Your choice, am I carrying you all the way or will you walk with me willingly?” I proposed.

“I-I’ll walk! J-just p-put me down please!” she requested timidly. I put her down then ran for the window. At this point flying was faster so I jumped out after throwing Aerodactyl’s Pokéball first. The prehistoric beast finished materializing just in time for me to grab his talon and climb onto his back. Axel jumped out right after I did to join us.

When we retire from Team Neos, you should be a motivational speaker.” the monkey suggested based on how I handled Chane. She came out flying next to us on Jace’s back.

“So what’s the plan?” inquired Chane sound much more confident. I didn’t know if that confidence was for me or her, but it mattered not. At least she was sure of something.

“Depending on how the others have done, I say we either wreak havoc or ambush Team Rocket and then wreak havoc. Regardless, we have to destroy their vessel and the cargo within. Whatever nasty stuff those crooks brought in from the Sevii Islands, we cannot allow it to be distributed in Kanto.” I devised on the spot.

Genius.” said Axel sarcastically.

When the docks on the eastern shore of the island came into sight, we were greeted by the aerial view of a circle of black behind some crates. In the center of the circle were three whitish grey dots and a blue dot on one end and two back dots on the other. Upon closer inspection, the circle became about a dozen Rockets and the dots were three members of Team Neos and a Golduck on their knees with their arms tied behind their backs while the other two must have been the Rockets in charge. It was plainly obvious that the captured ones were the rest of my squad.

“They… they’ve been captured!” Chane panicked in a whisper knowing we’d be spotted if she were any louder.

“Looks like it.” I said scanning the area. There were no signs of the team we were supposed to be assisting. Had Team Rocket already disposed of them?

“How does it feel to be betrayed by your own people?” interrogated one of the Rocket’s in the circle with a somewhat high pitched voice. His version of Team Rocket’s uniform had a high collar forming a V-neck lined with yellow, long white gloves that went to the middle of his upper arms, white boots with a red stripe near the top, and a loose white belt hanging off of his waist. Poofy green hair was sticking out from under the traditional beret Team Rocket wore. If it wasn’t for the red ‘R’ on his chest, I would have thought this guy was going to walk the runway at a gay bar.

“What do you mean betrayed?” Raiden questioned defensively voicing the very question that was on my mind.

“Isn’t it obvious Neophyte? You got sold out!” mocked the female Rocket that was standing with the male.

“In exchange for their freedom, the three we captured earlier agreed to send a false distress signal so that Team Rocket could capture a higher ranking member of Team Neos. Now which one of you is Third Seat Raiden Arka?” demanded the male who must be the leader of this group.

“That would be me. But it is rude to ask someone’s identity before giving your own.” answered Raiden.

“I am Executive Lance Proton, the cruelest and scariest member of Team Rocket!” Proton responded pompously. Another Executive!

“Chane.” I whispered over to her. “I’m going to cause a distraction. You have my back right?” I asked her.

“Of course I do.” she replied.

“Alright then.” I said taking Riolu’s and Beldum’s Pokéballs from my belt. “Axel, take these two and Aerodactyl to the Rocket’s ship and destroy it while I have them occupied. The ship is out of view from the ones below us, so you’ll only have to worry about any guards that were left on the ship.”

Won’t you need us?” the monkey questioned with concern.

“I’ll be fine. I still have Piloswine and Snorlax, plus Chane has my back. As far as I’m concerned we’re killing two Pidgeys with one stone. Now get moving!” I instructed getting up.

Be careful.” advised Axel. I nodded and jumped off Aerodactyl’s back. “Let’s go Aero!” the Infernape commanded once I was off the prehistoric Pokémon’s back. I landed center circle between Proton and my team in a crouching position. I winced as pain shot up my left leg. I guess I’m not as fully healed as I’d like to believe. I better do something to keep people from noticing. I quickly jumped to my feet.

“Thank you! Fuck you! The anti-hero has arrived!” I declared thrusting my right pointer finger to the sky while positioning my left hand on my waist to take a dramatic pose. Was this the best I could come up with? It’s awesome! I’ll have to remember this one!

“What the hell?” said the Rocket Executive in disbelief.

“You have got to be kidding me.” Eve stated unamused.

“Oh hey Brian! Nice of you to drop in.” said Zack cheerfully.

“You should be paralyzed.” Raiden pointed-out nonchalantly.

“Another Neos! Get him!” Proton shouted having finally regained his composure. Two grunts jumped into the circle tackling me to the ground. While I could have easily avoided them or taken them out already, I wanted to give them a false sense of security first. I also needed to buy time for Axel and my other Pokémon to destroy their vessel.

“You’re so hot Lance!” cried the female all fan-girlishly when he gave the order. Creepy fan girls.

“How are you not paralyzed? And where are Chane and Axel?” questioned Raiden unable to drop the subject.

“Leave Brian alone!” I heard Chane call as the two Rockets were picked off of me in Jace’s talons. The Pidgeot flew at a high speed throwing the grunts into the Rockets holding the rest of the squad hostage. I took the time for Jace and Chane to circle around to limp over to my friend and break their restraints.

“Chane is there being awesome, and Axel is on a special assignment with my other Pokémon.” I explained while untying them.

“You were limping.” Raiden observed in an I-told-you-so manner when I freed him.

“You should be glad I’m defiant. Who knows what could have happened to you guys if we didn’t show up.” I indicated in a take-that tone moving down the line to Eve.

“He has a point.” Zack defended when he was untied as well. Raiden simply sighed and shook his head. Jace landed center stage allowing Chane to dismount.

“How dare you interfere with Team Rocket! Do you have any idea who I am? I am Executive Lance Proton, the cruelest and scariest member of Team Rocket!” Proton yelled at her.

“C-cruelest and s-scariest?” Chane repeated nervously. Proton must have picked up on her timidness, for he smiled evilly.

“That’s right, and you, my dear, are my new prey.” he intimidated walking closer to her.

“Stand up, be strong! You can take this guy Chane! Just believe in yourself and your Pokémon!” I encouraged from the sideline after freeing Lloyd as well.

“Y-you’re right! I’ll fight!” she declared staring Proton in the face.

“You are not worthy to even breathe the same air as my Lance and you dare challenge him?” the fan girl questioned. “My love, let me teach this bitch a lesson in manners.” she requested from the Executive.

“I am not your love.” he corrected sternly giving the fan girl a dirty look. “But whatever, she’s all yours. The rest of us will stay back and watch. That goes for the rest of you Neophytes as well!” Proton told us forcefully. Is that the new slang term for us?

“I will show you the wrath of Team Rocket!” declared the fan girl getting out a Pokéball. “How was that Lance?” she asked with a big amorous smile.

“Just shut up and get to the battle already dammit!” reprimanded Proton aggressively. The fan girl flinched back, then gave Chane a hateful look.

“You made Lance scold me! You will pay! Get her Ekans!” she shouted angrily throwing the ball. Emerging from the capsule was a long purple snake with a yellow belly, a yellow ring around its neck, and a yellow rattle on its tail. The serpent flickered a forked tongue to get a feel for the battle while surveying the area with yellow vertical pupiled eyes.

“Jace, could you please you Air Cutter?” Chane requested. She definitely has a unique way of battling. Jace opened his wings to their full wingspan, then with one massive flap downward, sent spinning blades of wind at the Snake Pokémon. The serpent hissed in annoyance while shaking its rattle to emphasize its irritation.

“Slow that bird down with Glare Ekans!” commanded FG (Fan Girl). The serpent’s eyes grew more menacing. Once the eyes started glowing, Jace completely froze solid in the same manner that Axel and I were afflicted with earlier.

“Oh no! Jace!” cried Chane.

“There’s nothing you can do now! The fastest way to victory is to immobilize your enemy and then take them out with your strongest attacks! Ekans! Gunk Shot!” Ekans rose up with its head pointed straight into the air like a spear. A huge lump formed in its body then gradually moved up into its throat. The Snake Pokémon jerked its head forward, coughing up a huge wad of brown sludge.

“Quick Attack!” Chane called. The eagle moved at incredible speed despite his handicap. Not only did he avoid Gunk Shot, but he also struck Ekans before it could regroup from its own attack.

“So that’s how it’s going to be. I will not let you embarrass me in front of Lance! Ekans! Hinder Pidgeot’s movements even more with Wrap!” FG ordered. I was quickly reminded of the fact that Ekans are a foot and a half longer than Pidgeots when the serpent constricted its long body around Jace creating a total of two coils while still having enough slack to move its dangerous head.

“Jace! You have to break free! Try… Try Aerial Ace!” our youngest member called sounding panicked. Unfortunately, her pleas went unanswered as Jace was too paralyzed to do anything.

“Sucks to be you! Now Ekans, Poison Jab!” FG commanded gleefully. After the Snake Pokémon’s rattle took on a purple glow, it impaled its tail into Jace’s abdomen. The Bird Pokémon cried out in pain, muffling out what I think was the frightened squeak of his Trainer.

“Hang in there! Um… p-please try to use Wing Attack Jace.” requested Chane anxiously. The proud eagle struggled against paralysis and Wrap to break his wings free, but just couldn’t find the strength. “You can do it Jace!” she encouraged. The Pidgeot got renewed determination in his eyes allowing him to fully spread his wings and send the Snake Pokémon flying through the air. Ekans landed hard on the ground knocked out.

“Impossible!” yelled FG in denial.

“You did it!” cheered Chane giving Jace a hug.

“Don’t think you’ve won yet! I still have three more Pokémon you need to beat! Let’s go Ekans!” It was strange seeing an unconscious snake get replaced by a fresh one. It was almost like it got revived.

“Rest now Jace. Your battle is over.” Chane said gently as the majestic eagle dissolved into a red light to be returned to his ball. “It’s your turn Izzy!” With the toss of a Pokéball, the Breloom was instantly summoned to the battlefield. I’m not exactly sure why she would use a Grass/Fighting-type against a Poison-type, but I’m sure Chane has her reasons.

“Use Glare on that thing Ekans!” FG commanded. Just like the previous Ekans, this one’s eyes started glowing striking Izzy with Paralysis. For a grunt, this girl has a pretty effective strategy.

“Hang on Izzy! I know you can win!” Chane comforted. “Please try to Tackle!” The Mushroom Pokémon attempted to step forward, but her movements were sluggish and stiff only allowing her a few steps until FG took the opening.

“Wrap it up Ekans!” she ordered mercilessly. The Snake Pokémon slithered at Izzy, eying up its victim for the best way to strike. When in range, the serpent rose up to the Breloom’s height of about four feet then coiled itself around her body. Since Izzy was both smaller and slimmer than Jace, Ekans was able to make a total of five coils around her body.

Too bad for Ekans, Izzy’s natural defense mechanism of Effect Spore kicked in. A fine yellow powder sprinkled down from her mushroom head onto the Snake Pokémon sharing the paralyzed status with it as well. I guess today has just been a day for paralysis.

“Could you do a Headbutt now?” requested Chane. The Mushroom Pokémon tilted her head back, then slammed it into Ekans’s face which was mere inches from hers. The rattle on the serpent’s tail started shaking vigorously out of anger as it glared viciously at Izzy.

“Do it Ekans! Point blank Gunk Shot!” demanded FG evilly. Ekans made a gagging sound as a lump of unpleasant things moved up its throat. In one nauseating hack, Izzy was shot in the face with a lot of Super-effective crap. Literally.

“Be strong! U-use Counter!” Chane told Izzy sounding as if she was about to cry. After freeing her arm, Izzy grabbed Ekans by its shaking tail, forcefully ripped the serpent off her body, spun it around like a rope, the smashed Ekans to the ground like a whip. Do I even need to say Ekans is out cold?

“I’m sorry Izzy. I’m so sorry.” she whimpered calling back the Breloom.

“It’s a Pokémon battle Chane. Your Pokémon will get hurt, maybe even faint. Plus, you have to remember that you’re fighting Team Rocket. They fight dirty.” Eve reminded remorselessly.

“I know, but…”

“The important thing is that they’re ok. Nothing a visit to the Pokémon Center and rest won’t fix.” I said supportively.

“What a weak little girl! Cries every time her Pokémon get hurt!” ridiculed FG.

“If she’s so weak, then why are you losing?” Proton reprimanded crossing his arms. FG looked as if she had just been punched in the stomach. Then she became even more violent looking then before.

“I hate you!” she yelled at Chane. “Gloom! Come out and use Poison Powder on that stupid bitch!” FG ordered summoning a short blue creature with thin arms and legs, a red four budded flower on its head with four red leaves hanging down, and an almost constant supply of drool dripping from its mouth. Perhaps though, I should be saying ‘she’ due to the large size of the white dots on the Gloom’s flower.

As soon as the Weed Pokémon appeared, a horrible stench filled the air causing all of us to choke. On top of that, it was shaking its head at Chane releasing a stream of purple spores! I heard the bursting sound of a Pokéball opening a second before a crescent moon materialized in a white light in front of Chane to take the attack.

“Luna… You saved me. But now you’re poisoned!” cried Chane.

“Just end the battle quickly and it’ll be fine. You’re doing great so far.” I encouraged.

“When are you going to evolve that hideous thing? Every one of us was pleased the day Executive Sham evolved hers because we no longer had to deal with that insufferable odor!” Proton lashed out at the same time we were talking.

“I’m sorry Lance! I haven’t found a Leaf Stone or a Sun Stone yet!” FG justified in a whining voice.

“You can win Luna. All you have to do is use Psychic!” Chane told the lunar creature supportively. A loud cosmic howl came from Luna as its body and eyes were enveloped in a pale pink aura. The same glow appeared around Gloom causing her to shriek and fall to the ground writhing in pain. “Stop the attack Luna! That’s too much!” pleaded the young Trainer. In an instant the Psychic assault was ended.

“Well aren’t you generous! Too bad I’m not so nice! Get that energy back with Giga Drain Gloom!” FG ordered gleefully. Three green tendrils of energy shot from the Weed Pokémon’s flower that wrapped around Luna’s body to drain its energy while restoring Gloom’s.

“I won’t let you do that! Heal Block Luna!” called Chane. The Lunatone’s body started glowing pink again, this time cancelling the effects of the Giga Drain. Most of the effects anyway. Luna still suffered serious damage from the attack and poison, but Gloom remained in rough condition as well.

“Foolish girl! Taste Petal Dance!” commanded the Rocket Grunt. Red petals shot out of Gloom’s flower as the Grass-type spun in circles while throwing out her arms and legs in some kind of strange tribal ritual.

“Protect yourself Luna!” the kindest member of our team told her Pokémon. A hazy pink barrier surrounded the Meteorite Pokémon deflecting each of the red petals. Luna was also getting noticeably weaker from the poison. “Be strong!” Chane encouraged.

Lunatone have the appearance of being emotionless, but I’m sure the strain Luna must be going through from poison and keeping up the Protect must be exhausting. Luckily, it was able to maintain the Protect long enough for Gloom to get confused, obvious to how she tripped over her own feet during Petal Dance. The Weed Pokémon fell flat on her face but continued to shoot out petals doing further damage.

“Get up Gloom! You can’t lose yet!” FG demanded. Too bad for the Rocket, Gloom had already fainted herself with her own attack.

“Rest now Luna. You earned it.” Chane told Luna as she recalled it. FG seemed just about to freak out.

“Dammit! I only have one Pokémon left! Don’t fail me Oddish!” she shouted sending out a smaller, armless version of Gloom that wasn’t drooling and had green leaves on its head rather than a red flower.

“She said this is her last Pokémon. Do your best Celia!” encouraged Chane releasing the butterfly from her Pokéball. The smaller red dot at the top of her wings was the subtle indication that Celia was female if the name didn’t already give it away.

“Start us with Silver Wind please!” she called. Once Celia’s wings began glowing a bright silver color, she rapidly flapped them sending dozens of silver blades flying through the air at Oddish. The Weed Pokémon shrieked as the blades sliced it up. For half a second, Celia’s entire body glowed silver showing it got the boost from the attack.

“I won’t be beaten this time! Somehow your Pokémon have survived Paralysis and Poison, but they can’t fight back if they’re asleep! Use Sleep Powder Oddish!” commanded FG as if she had already won. Oddish shook its head creating a cloud of blue dust.

“Celia! You have to get rid of it somehow! Try Whirlwind!” Chane suggested. The Butterfly Pokémon flapped her wings madly whipping up a powerful maelstrom in seconds. The debilitating particles were gathered up by the gale, and in a strange twist that could hardly be planned, the Sleep Powder rained back down on its creator putting Oddish to sleep.

“No way! Wake up Oddish! Wake up you damn Pokémon!” FG screamed.

“It’s over now. I won’t attack a Pokémon that can’t defend itself.” Chane said adamantly. “Please call it back now.”

“I will not! Oddish isn’t fainted yet so I still have a chance if it wakes up! Wake up dammit!” Still there was no reply from Oddish.

“Alright enough of this! Use Flamethrower on both of them Weezing!” Proton commanded suddenly. I hadn’t even noticed him call out his Poison Gas Pokémon until it was blowing out a long stream of fire on both Oddish and Celia.

“Oh no! Celia!” cried Chane calling back her Beautifly before she could receive any more damage. Oddish wasn’t as lucky, but at least it was only fainted. I would hate to see Chane go through another break down.

“What are you doing Lance? I had her!” shouted FG in dismay. Proton gave her a fearsome look like he had had enough of her. Rather than responding with words, he out right slapped her with the back of his hand knocking her to the ground. The entire crowd of Rockets gasped in horror at their leader’s ruthless display of force.

“What am I doing? Is that any way to address your superior!? If you must know, you were taking too long! This girl has single handedly defeated all of your Pokémon without even one of hers fainting!” Proton paused to take a breath “Then again, this is my fault. I should have known better than to let a useless bimbo like you handle such a simple matter.” he said calmly. The Rocket Executive looked down at his now crying grunt with a wrathful gaze in his eyes. “Now get out of my sight.” With that order, FG got up and ran away with her face in her hands echoing loud sobs. Once she was gone, Proton turned to Chane with the face of a predator.

“Now it’s your turn Dear.” he said with a frightening smile. Chane was visibly trembling.

“You’ve got this! The executives are surprisingly weak and we’re right here if you need us!” I reminded supportively.

“Hold your tongue boy! You know nothing of Team Rocket’s true power, let alone mine!” he shouted. Then he got a sinister smirk. “Perhaps I shall demonstrate my power by destroying this girl. Send out a Pokémon so that we may do battle!” he ordered Chane.

“L-Lucy! Help us!” she called throwing a Luxury Ball. From it came a light pink egg shaped Pokémon with stubby limbs, stringy hair on her head, an egg pouch on her stomach, and the kindest expression a Pokémon can have. The very sight of the Chansey gave Proton a lustful grin.

“I know what I’ll be taking home tonight! A Chansey should give me major points with the Boss!” Proton deluded himself happily. “Weezing! Use Sludge, but don’t damage the goods!” The Poison-type hacked up a disgusting blackish purple glob of filth.

“Light Screen! Hurry!” called our youngest. Lucy threw out her short arms instantly creating a transparent pink shield that warped around her body like armor. The Sludge splattered on Lucy but with less intensity thanks to Light Screen.

“That won’t protect you forever! Double Hit Weezing!” Proton ordered.

“Defense Curl Lucy!” Chane requested. The Egg Pokémon curled her body into a tight ball just as Weezing beat on her with both of its large heads.

“Defend against this then! Poison Gas!” shouted the Executive getting angry. A noxious purple smog spewed out of Weezing’s pores. Lucy started coughing as the poisoning took effect on her.

“Heal yourself with Refresh Lucy!” Chane told her. Lucy out stretched her arms as her body took on an angelic white glow and her expression became peaceful. Proton screamed in irritation.

“Well no matter, Weezing still has taken no damage so all I have to do is gradually wear that Chansey down before it belongs to Team Rocket! Now Weezing! Use Sludge Bomb!” ordered Proton confidently. The Poison Gas Pokémon once again blasted the putrid ooze from its body, but this time it was thicker and in a greater quantity.

“Try a Safeguard now!” suggested Chane. Lucy moved her arms in a circle creating a white halo that would protect her from any future poisoning. Since Light Screen was still in effect, Sludge Bomb was met with the same results as Proton’s other attempts.

“*Grrr* Weezing! Flamethrower!” The Poison-type unleashed another long tongue of fire that whipped Lucy, but she seemed unaffected by the attack.

“I would feel better if you used Substitute.” said Chane assuringly. The Chansey complied by instantly creating an exact replica of herself. The Executive growled again, but then started to laugh.

“I think I finally figured you out. You’re too scared of me to fight back! Either that or your Chansey has no attacking moves, and her only use to Team Rocket is that it is such a rare collectable.” he said haughtily.

“You’re wrong! Lucy isn’t some collectable! She’s my friend! She has thoughts and feelings just like you! I-I won’t let you take her away!” Chane shouted defiantly.

“But you are scared. You’re shaking.” Proton acknowledged superiorly.

“Y-yes. B-but I still won’t let you beat me! I-I need to win! Please use Return Lucy!” At last! Chane’s fire is awakened! Lucy’s fist took on a bright white glow as she lobbed a powerful punch to Weezing.

Arriving from above just in time to watch was Axel, landing right next to me. A few nearby Grunts jumped back in alarm, but Proton and Chane remained focused on their battle. He gave me Aerodactyl’s Pokéball so that I could return the flier without him interrupting the match.

“What took you so long? Come to think of it, why didn’t I hear an explosion?” I asked.

Well the ship’s destroyed.” replied the monkey ambiguously as if there was something he wasn’t telling me. I decided to let it go for now since I didn’t want to miss any of the battle.

“I won’t be taken so easily! Demolish that Substitute with Assurance Weezing!” commanded Proton. The Poison Gas Pokémon did a full body assault on Lucy’s replica completely tearing apart.

“I think you should heal yourself with Soft-Boiled now Lucy!” Chane suggested. Lucy pulled the egg from her pouch and took a bite out of it. Within seconds the Chansey looked fully revitalized.

The abrupt sounds of cracking glass could be heard putting a temporary hold on the combat. Lucy’s Light Screen faded back into view covered in dozens of fractures then completely shattered.

“Well look at that. Use Sludge Bomb before they get another one back up!” Proton ordered triumphantly. Once again, Weezing blasted a massive glob of shit from its mouth. This time however, the Egg Pokémon looked like she was feeling the effects of the powerful attack.

“You can do it Lucy! At-t-tempt Th-Thunder Bolt!” stuttered Chane.

“Relax! You’ve got this!” I called while the Chansey’s body began sparking with electricity. Lucy yelled releasing numerous high voltage lightning bursts at Weezing creating a loud crackling sound and the scent that lasts in the air after a thunderstorm. The Poison Gas Pokémon cried uncomfortably but seemed otherwise fine.

“Got this? Ha! This girl is on her last leg and falling fast. Witness the wrath of Team Rocket! Giga Impact Weezing!” commanded the Rocket Executive victoriously. Weezing made an intimidating cry as it charged forward at full speed causing its body to glow red with power.

“Endure Lucy!” cried Chane desperately. The Egg Pokémon braced herself for the attack just as Weezing collided with her. Chane’s lucky stars must be shining tonight as Lucy was still standing, though barely, and Weezing would be immobile for a few seconds while it recharged its power.

“I… I think I just won!” Chane cheered excitedly. If I could see her face under that hood, I’m sure she’d be smiling for the first time this battle.

“You haven’t won anything yet!” rejected Proton unconvinced.

“Watch. Lucy! Please use Endeavor!” Chane asked politely. I started laughing at the beauty of it all. Lucy beat the crap out of Weezing until it was in the same barely conscious condition she was in. Even so, the Poison Gas Pokémon had all but shaken off its fatigue from Giga Impact meaning Lucy was in big trouble unless Chane had some sort of plan.

“It’s over now! Finish Chansey off with Sludge Bomb!” Proton commanded.

“Hurry! Endure again!” she called. That was her plan!? Lucy put up her best guard, and with enough concentration, miraculously survived the attack! “Now quickly! Use Egg Bomb!” While Chane did have the sense of urgency to her voice, I could detect a slight hint of the inner strength she was lacking earlier. About damn time!

Lucy pulled the egg back out of her pouch and threw it at Weezing. What had the appearance of a soft edible egg, turned out to be a high octane explosive that went off upon contact with Weezing. The Poison Gas Pokémon gave one final cry as it collapsed to the concrete docks unconscious.

“You did it Lucy! You won!” congratulated Chane proudly as she gave the Chansey a hug. Their moment was interrupted by the furious growl of Proton after he called back his Pokémon.

“I told you, didn’t I? You haven’t won anything yet! Destroy her, Golbat!” roared the Executive summoning the giant Bat Pokémon. “Use Poison Fang on that irritating girl so we can claim her Chansey!”

“No!” Chane refused defiantly as she returned Lucy to the safety of her Luxury Ball, only to realize that she now no longer had protection from the Golbat. “Help!” she pleaded looking right at me. Wish granted!

“Blitz!” I commanded quickly not even bothering to finish the attack name. Axel blazed into battle like a comet colliding with the Bat Pokémon full force just as it was looming over Chane’s head. She had dropped to the ground with her hands over her head for protection.

“Thanks Axel.” she said gratefully giving him a hug after standing back up. “Take it from here Kermit!” she called sending the Water-type out of a Net Ball.

“I told you not to interfere!” Proton yelled at me. I stuck out my tongue and stuck up my middle finger while Axel skipped back to me. “You too will suffer the wrath of Team Rocket! Golbat finish that Azumarill quickly so that we can dispose of the rest! Air Slash!” The Bat Pokémon shrieked while karate chopping the air with its wings. Blades of wind sliced through the air cutting at their target.

“Hang in there Kermit! Once we win, we can all go home. Let’s go with Bubble Beam!” encouraged Chane. Finally, victory after victory, she realizes she can win. Kermit opened his mouth rapidly firing numerous bubbles like a machine gun. Golbat shrieked as each bubble popped around and in its giant mouth.

“If you hadn’t already guessed, I am very fond of this next move. I guarantee it will hurt! Blast it with Sludge Bomb Golbat!” Proton ordered. Nasty looking blackish purple sludge bubbled up in Golbat’s mouth until it almost overflowed from its bottom jaw. At that point, the Poison-type splashed all of it out with its long tongue bathing poor Kermit in the filth causing him to cry out in agony.

“I’m sorry Kermit, I should have thought of this sooner!” apologized Chane. “Heal yourself with Aqua Ring!” The Aqua Rabbit Pokémon sprayed a stream of water around his head forming a watery halo. Droplets of the life giving liquid gradually dripped down to restore Kermit’s health.

“You are grinding on my last nerves! Golbat! Drain the life out of Azumarill with Giga Drain! Make sure you suck every drop it has to give!” the Rocket Executive commanded.

“Oh no! Defense Curl Kermit!” Chane called worriedly. Kermit curled himself into a dense ball, but it didn’t matter to Golbat who took a huge bite out of him anyway to drain him. “N-now Rollout!” Oh she is good! With a bit of shaking back and forth, Kermit was able to build up the momentum to completely run over the Bat Pokémon.

“Stop that thing with Aerial Ace!” commanded Proton. Golbat flew into the spinning Water-type doing more damage to him, but got flattened again as Kermit’s momentum and speed increased. “Get away from them! Fly Golbat!” ordered the Executive. With a shriek of agreement, Golbat took to the sky out of Kermit’s range. The Aqua Rabbit Pokémon ceased his attack in preparation to defend against Golbat’s next. The giant bat dive-bombed with a vengeful look in its eyes.

“Try to jump back and use Hydro Pump!” suggested Chane hopefully. Kermit did as told, narrowly avoiding the Bat Pokémon. As soon as he was on his feet, Kermit blasted a powerful torrent of water from his mouth. The blast smacked into Golbat carrying it through the air until colliding with a pile of crates. If that wasn’t enough, the impact knocked the crates over falling right on top of Golbat.

“No!” Proton shouted seeing his Pokémon fainted under a pile of broken wood. He recalled Golbat, then punched the nearest grunt out of frustration. He turned back to Chane with a murderous look on his face. “You have only made the wrath of Team Rocket grow!” he yelled pointing to her.

“I… I’ve beaten you. Please leave now, I… don’t want to fight any more!” Chane insisted shakily. Proton only grinned evilly with a light chuckle.

“You have defeated me, but are willing to let me go because you don’t want to fight any more?” he laughed. “Ha! I may be out of usable Pokémon, but I can still fight you little girl!” threatened Proton reaching for something concealed in his back pocket.

“Don’t move!” I warned fiercely holding a duct tape covered Pokéball in my outstretched arm. Axel may already be on the field where all I have to do is say the word, but it’s more threatening when you’re pointing something at your target. Eve, Zack, and Raiden did the same with their Pokéballs.

“We’re respecting our friend’s wishes by letting you all go, but don’t the wrong idea about us. We’re not as gentle as she is.” Eve warned.

“Unlike you Rockets, we look out for our own. We will show no mercy if a comrade is in danger.” Zack added.

“If you do anything to hurt her, we will show you the full force of Team Neos. Now do as she requested and leave.” finished Raiden. Proton looked at each of us one by one with a malevolent glare. He made the right choice by throwing his arms in the air, even if he had a conceited grin while doing so.

“Fine. The battle’s over, victory is yours, woo hoo.” he mocked. “Come on Rockets, they’re giving us a get away free card so I suggest we live it up. We’ll go back to the ship and distribute our cargo at a different time and place.

“Your ship’s toast!” I laughed. The Executive turned to me with a look of confusion and fury. “My partner Axel here and my other Pokémon completely annihilated it!”

Actually, no we didn’t. The boat was destroyed when we got there, it wasn’t us.” explained the Infernape sounding concerned.

“Ahhhhh FUCK!!” screamed Proton. “You haven’t seen the last of me! I will have my revenge! My wrathful revenge!” He punched another Grunt (who might have been the same one he punched last time) and walked off.

“What do you mean it wasn’t you?” I whispered to Axel so the others wouldn’t hear.

Just as I said, the boat was already destroyed. The wreckage was strange too. Riolu said he sensed a horrifying aura nearby. You think it might have been Missingno like Chane said?” he wondered.

“Doubt it. It may have been our betrayers getting back at Team Rocket. Either way, we’ll keep this under our hoods for now.” I said. I walked up to Chane who was standing where she had been all battle.

“I did it. I did exactly as you told me and I won!” she said proudly throwing back her hood.

“Yeah you did! And let me tell you, you were awesome!” I congratulated.

“R-really? N-no I wasn’t that good.” she said modestly while blushing a little. Zack popped in and threw his arm over her shoulder.

“Are you kidding? Brian’s right! You were kicking ass and taking names and kicking more ass!” he cheered.

“Yes, all hail Chane for making the rest of us look bad!” Eve said sarcastically sounding irritated.

“I-I’m sorry.” Chane apologized unnecessarily.

“Don’t be! Eve’s just mad because she got ambushed and man-handled!” teased Zack.

“No, I believe what Eve meant to say was that you have shown just how formidable an opponent you really are Chane. You defeated an Executive of Team Rocket and a Grunt without the loss of a single Pokémon. The same Executive who successfully captured three members of Team Neos, one of them a Third Seat. That takes talent and finesse. Well done Chane.” Raiden praised.

“S-stop… I just…”

“You just stood up, were strong, and believed yourself!” I interrupted. “In doing so you beat a Rocket Executive and his lover! That is worthy of praise! Now admit you’re awesome! Admit it!”

“Ok, ok. I’m awesome.” she agreed modestly.

“Good. Now forever hence believe yourself!” I instructed.

“I will.” agreed Chane smiling.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 31: Masquerade

The 31st day of October. The day of the great Pokémon Masquerade where people dress up in costumes. Children go to the doors of random strangers and solicit candy and other treats while the adults attend parties. And what better place to be for a Masquerade party than the town of Lavender under the tower. Lavender Town was the focal point of spirituality and strangeness due to the ominous Pokémon Tower that loomed overhead making it a major hotspot for tourist activity this time of year.

Already the streets were lined with stalls people set up either to sell trinkets, food, or to host games. Poles were erected with orange lights hanging from them shedding an eerie glow on the night streets. Even more exciting, it was a Friday meaning people had no work or school the next day meaning they could really go all out this year! If only the full moon hadn’t been a few days ago. Then things really would have been fun!

What made going to the Masquerade all the more enjoyable was the fact that we were off for the night! The four of us finished a recon mission in the Pokémon Tower, which was probably the creepiest mission to date, two days ago and we decided to stay in town for the festivities. I say four because Raiden wasn’t with us. After he reported the betrayal that occurred at Cinnabar Port, Lt. Deter charged Raiden with the responsibility to eliminate them since they worked under him. Raiden decided to go after them alone as it would be less noticeable if only one person was tracking them instead of five. Plus, he had other assignments waiting for us like the aforementioned Pokémon Tower mission. We would have fallen behind if all of us went after the traitors.

I wandered the streets with my team marveling at not just the attractions of the festival, but also the costumes people wore. The variety was indescribable. Some looked thrown together at the last minute, others were obviously generic store bought ones, and then you had the ones where you could tell the person spent time and effort planning their wardrobe for the evening. Axel and I were the latter.

Earlier that night…

“It’s time! Change… Now!” I yelled as I began stripping off my clothes and handing them to Axel. In turn, the monkey traded me a new set of clothes that I had been collecting over the past 358 days.

My new outfit now consisted of golden shorts with an armor like emblem at the bottom that looked similar to the armor on an Infernape’s knees, blue shoes, white leg warmers going up to my knees that looked like fur, a long white sleeveless shirt that was frayed at the bottom, a white jacket that came down to the base of my chest lined with gold to look like an Infernape’s body armor, blue gloves with a gold plate on the back of each hand, a long gold sash tied around my waist and hanging off like a tail, and to complete my transformation, cloth headgear designed to look like a massive flame surrounded by messy white fur and a gold band to hold it all on. I had evolved into Axel!

In turn, my partner put on the clothes I just changed out of becoming me. Because Axel is a good bit shorter than I was, it was only natural that the shirt and pants were baggy on him. That is why he used his tail like a belt by running it through the belt loops of my pants. One look at one another had us laughing at how silly we each looked in our respective costumes. What can I say? He and I are nothing but lunatics that want nothing other than amusement out of this world. We do a good job of finding it too if I do say so myself.

This is probably the first time you’ve forced me to wear clothes that I’m actually enjoying it!” Axel laughed.

“Just make sure you remember to take off my pants if you want to do your business. I don’t want to find any surprises when I get them back.” I instructed playfully. Our fun was abruptly cut off by a knock at our bedroom door.

“Hey, are you done yet Brian? I still need to put on my costume.” Zack inquired from the other side of the door.

Sad truth: the apartment we rented this time around was a lot smaller than the ones we usually got consisting of only two bedrooms and one bathroom. Despite Zack’s protests, the girls shared a room, the guys shared a room, and there was a line for the bathroom in the morning. It was pretty cramped in the guys’ room too considering we both leave one of our Pokémon out of his ball.

“Yeah, we’re done. Have at it.” I responded opening the door to let him and Lloyd in while leaving myself. Zack gave me and Axel the once over with a comical grin at our appearances.

“Only you two.” he said affably. Lloyd gave us a thumbs-up before Zack shut the door behind them.

“Took you two long enough! Don’t you realize that the festivities start at sunset?” scolded Eve. Apparently the Masquerade is her favorite holiday so she is pretty meticulous about the whole thing. Everything has to be done right and on time or she will become more of a bitch than she already is.

Ironically, she was wearing a white one-piece dress that came down to her mid thighs, white knee high boots, white elbow length gloves, white feathered wings on her back, and a golden halo on her head. She was a freaking ANGEL!

“Wouldn’t it have been more appropriate for you to just go as yourself? I’m sure people would have instantly recognized you as the devil, or at the very least a demon.” I teased. To that she responded with a sarcastic laugh.

“Silly child. Don’t you realize you’re supposed to go as something you’re not for the Masquerade? Which is why you shouldn’t be dressed like a monkey, you should be dressed as my butler.” she chided.

“Tell you what. I’ll let you play dress up with me if you have sex with Zack.” I dared. Thanks to the paper thin walls this place has, Zack heard that last part and popped his head out of the door with a hopeful look on his face.

“Say yes!” he commanded.

“I’m not that desperate Kaguya. At least Brian had a costume for today.” Eve shot down causing Zack to retreat back into the room to finish changing.

Yes, unfortunately for Zack and Chane they had no costume for today. Therefore, to make everything perfect for her night, Eve took them shopping for costumes. They were not exactly pleasant ones either. She tried getting me to wear a butler outfit but I had Axel ignite the pants putting an end to that debate right there. Instead, the upper part that wasn’t burned went to Lloyd as he would be the only one not in a Pokéball without a costume at this point.

“I-I’m really n-not comfortable w-wearing this.” Chane said walking out of the girls’ room blushing because of the very moe maid outfit she was dressed in. The way she was pulling down on the skirt part made it clear that she thought it was too short.

“Look, I told both of you that I wasn’t spending all day in the store. I gave you three choices and you said no to the bondage gear and the bunny suit I picked for you so you have to do the maid.” Eve said remorselessly.

“Trust me Chane. There will be so many scantily clad women at the festival tonight that only weeaboos with a moe or maid fetish will notice you. Plus, you have your Pokémon for protection so you’ll be fine.” I consoled.

“If you say so…” she answered warily still blushing and fiddling with the skirt.

When my and Zack’s bedroom door opened, the first out was Lloyd wearing a prim suit top and looking rather indignant about the whole thing. It must be a Pokémon trait to dislike clothes. Then came Zack wearing nothing but an orange speedo with black stripes and a white tuft of hair on the back to look like a Growlithe tail and coloration, shoes and gloves shaped like Growlithe paws, and Growlithe ears. No shirt. No pants. Alas poor Zack. Eve was practically crying with laughter as she approached him.

“Oh Kaguya! This is better than I could have imagined! Your red hair matches the costume perfectly!” she said gleefully as she started playing with his dog ears. Zack responded by groping her chest and feeling her up. As punishment, Eve kneed him in his exposed stomach.

“That’s not fair! You got to dress me like this and then play with me. I thought it would only be right to play with you back.” he coughed while keeled over.

“The difference is you’re my pet Growlithe. The master can pet the dog, but when the dog starts humping his master’s leg he gets neutered.” Eve said cynically. She pulled out a red leash attached to a red collar lined with metal spikes. “Time for your walk Kaguya.” she sang.

“I’m not wearing a leash unless you arouse me.” Zack defied.

“I’m not wearing a bra.” Eve said seductively walking closer to Zack.

“I noticed.” he replied cupping his hands. “Tell me something else.”

“Or panties.” she continued with erotic movements toward him.

“Ok, you win!” Zack submitted willing exposing his neck. Once the collar was applied, Eve smirked devilishly.

“I lied, I am wearing panties.” she admitted shamelessly pulling Zack along. “Now let’s go! We’ll be late!”

Present Time

“That was so scary!” Chane trembled as we exited a haunted house that had been set up. It wasn’t really that bad though, just the standard fright-fest goodies: Frankenstein’s monster, vampires, Golbats, Ghost Pokémon like Haunter, Misdreavus, and Duskull, werehounds and their familiars Houndoom, and zombies. I will admit that there was one weird prop of a sarcophagus with red eyes and four black arms which was pretty startling when it jumped out at us. Too bad it looked absolutely fake.

“You wuss. You’d have to be ten to find that place frightening.” mocked Eve. “Honestly, things just stop being scary after a certain age.”

“I agree with that.” said some random guy walking past us. He had short black hair, brown eyes, dark blue jeans, and a black jacket with a fluffy white collar zipped up so I couldn’t see his shirt. The stranger had a sly smirk which put me on guard until I could figure out his motive. “The four of you should come with me, I’ll give you a real scream!” he invited.

“What’s the catch? There’s gotta be a catch right?” I asked suspiciously.

“Catch?” he repeated. He then started laughing very oddly. “You’re right! My whole plan was to murder you off one by one until it was just me and the blonde.” he admitted sarcastically while dramatically throwing his arms out.

“Oh really?” inquired Eve as if what he said was a compliment.

“Yes. You are very pretty… for a Bidoof!” the stranger out right insulted before laughing again. I could almost see the anger veins appearing on Eve’s forehead.

“Excuse me!?” she demanded viciously.

“Ah you’re right. I’m sorry. That’s an insult to Bidoofs to compare them to you!” he taunted laughing again.

“Dude, seriously, are you trying to pick a fight or something?” Zack demanded stepping in to mediate things.

“And now the boyfriend is getting involved. Great.” the stranger said uncaringly.

“I’m not her boyfriend, I just want to have a friend’s with benefits relationship with her.” proclaimed Zack honestly.

“Thank you Kaguya.” responded Eve resentfully. Then out of spite she yanked Zack’s leash to not only pull him closer, but to also choke him in the process.

“Why are you being so mean? We did nothing to you.” asked Chane defensively. The guy just turned to her like it should be plainly obvious and she just wasn’t figuring it out.

“Because for Masquerade this year, I chose to go as myself. An internet troll! Username Teh Jack@$$!” he revealed proudly. While everyone else had confused looks, I actually started giggling at the whole idea.

I don’t get it.” Axel said flatly.

“So just because your mommy didn’t love you enough you have to seek our attention and waste our time? Pathetic. Just ignore him.” said Eve walking past him.

“Ignore this!” Jack declared grabbing Eve’s arm. He pulled her towards him and, to my complete disbelief, kissed her! Eve’s eyes went big from shock and she even remained frozen went the troll pulled away

“Ok, you just crossed the line their Troll Boy! I may be a perv, but at least I respect a woman’s boundaries!” Zack yelled angrily. I’m curious to know what his definition of boundary is. Because of the paw gloves, the best Zack could do was bitch slap the troll.

“Is that the best you can do?” questioned Jack. He then punched Zack hard enough in the face to knock his glasses off. Just to live up to his username, the troll stomped on the discarded eyewear. Zack’s mouth dropped open at the loud crunching sound of the lenses shattering and the metal bending.

“Aw hell no! You bastard!” he yelled at Jack. Zack threw off his paws and went in for a real punch this time, but there was definitely a reason he had been wearing those glasses in the first place for his attack fell short. The troll then grabbed Zack’s arm and pulled him to the ground.

“Oh no! I surrender!” taunted Jack dancing around my fallen comrade. He wasn’t laughing long as Lloyd stepped in to assist his Trainer with a Water Gun.

“Aw I’m all wet now! I can’t troll when I’m wet!” he complained. “It was fun guys! See ya Bidoofus and Growleyes!” he called running away with a cheesy evil laugh. Rather than make that guy suffer, Axel and I silently agreed to let him go as helping our teammates was more important.

“Eve, are you okay?” Chane asked in a kind attempt to comfort her.

“I will kill him.” Eve said silently in a low voice. The fact that she had absolutely no emotion when saying that had me terrified beyond words.

“What about you Zack?” asked Chane going to his side to help him up. I guess she decided it would be safer to deal with him instead of the murderous one.

“Terrible! When did I get demoted from ladies’ man to butt monkey anyway? Whatever I did to make the universe hate me so much I’d like to know so I can make it up.” he rambled while collecting the fragments of his glasses.

“I’ll tell you what you did wrong Kaguya. God is a woman and this is karma for your lecherous ways.” Eve said venomously. I hope she’s just venting on him because that was harsher than he deserved.

Actually, I’m pretty sure God is a genderless goat.” Axel interjected.

“Maybe you’re just having a bad October and things will be better for you starting tomorrow. You’ll see.” Chane encouraged optimistically.

“See? That’s funny. Sad to say I’m far-sighted so even though I can see distances, I can’t see what’s right in front of me. I can’t even tell if I’m getting a view or not.” he said disappointedly looking right between Chane’s legs. She pulled the skirt down to block his gaze.

“I was trying to help you too!” she scolded as her face turned red.

“I just told you I can’t see anything.” he replied coolly.

“Enough of the stupidity!” screamed Eve. “Instead of screwing around, you all should be hunting down Teh Jack@$$ so I can claim his head! Find him!”

“I know you’re pissed that the guy stole your first kiss and all, but he’s gone so there really isn’t much we can do.” I pointed out frankly. Before I knew it, Eve had her hands wrapped around my throat choking me. Surprised to say, she had a pretty strong grip making it extremely hard to breathe.

“For your information, that was not my first kiss, but it was still very much unwanted. Secondly, he still has to be around this festival somewhere! I will not allow any sin committed against me go unpunished. He humiliated me and he will pay, unless you would rather take his place!” she said darkly, squeezing tighter on the last word.

“No…” I choked. Satisfied with my answer, Eve released me. I took a very deep breath to account for the lack of oxygen I had gotten in the last few seconds.

“We’ll split up into four groups. Brian and Axel take the East side of town, Zack and Lloyd take the North, Chane and whichever Pokémon of her choosing take South, and I’ll take West. Meet at the candy apple stand in an hour with results. GO!” she commanded violently.

So what do you want to do?” Axel asked.

“Nothing. It’s Eve’s fight, we shouldn’t get involved. Besides, my policy for dealing with internet trolls back before I became a Trainer when I actually got on the internet was to just stay out of it. Don’t side with them, don’t side against them. Just watch the storm until it passes.” I explained.

“I’m with you. I don’t want him to do… things… to me.” said Chane with concern as to what Jack might do to her.

“I still want to find him to get him back for breaking my glasses. That was just overkill.” Zack declared. He passed his leash over to Lloyd. “Will you be so kind as to be my seeing-eye duck?” The Golduck quacked in agreement as he took the leash.

“I wish you both luck then Zack. I’m just going to wander around until we’re supposed to meet up just so it actually seems like I did something.” I decided. “Come on Chane. Since you don’t want to get involved either, you’re with me and Axel.”

An hour later we all met up at the candy apple stand as told. My group was the first one there because I wanted an apple dipped in caramel. They are so good!

“Report.” demanded Eve when we were all gathered together.

“We found nothing but a tasty treat.” I said dismissively taking another bite of the sweet goodness. Eve gave Axel and me a vicious glare that almost made me choke. I’m so glad she’s not the dragon of the team.

“I… I didn’t find anything either. S-sorry.” Chane stammered trying her best to lie.

“Unfortunately, nothing from me either.” said Zack disappointedly as he was the only other one who actually wanted to catch the guy.

“Dammit!” Eve screamed. Out of nowhere a guy on a motorcycle came from around the corner and drove through a nearby puddle getting mud all over Eve’s clean white costume. What’s more, the cyclist was not only wearing the same clothes as the troll, but he did the same obnoxious laugh as Jack as well. Bitch should have stayed hidden because he’s getting crucified now.

“He is dead! Nidoqueen! Earth Power!” roared Eve vehemently throwing down the Moon Ball containing her bipedal monster rabbit. The Drill Pokémon gave a loud roar as it stomped the ground hard enough to send a wave of dirt oscillating through the street like water in the ocean.

The wave ran under the motorcycle sending flying into the air. I heard Jack scream as he somersaulted through the sky until landing head first on the ground with a loud smashing sound. His bike landed on its side a few feet away and spun around a couple of times before stopping.

“What the hell!?” yelled Jack getting up. His helmet had been completely destroyed in the impact with the only injuries to the wearer being a cut on his forehead, messy hair and several tears in his clothes.

“Me, that’s what!” Eve called fiercely walking up to him with Nidoqueen at her side. Jack’s eyes got big with dread as he clearly sensed the danger he was in. “If you have Pokémon, I suggest you bring them out now as this could get very ugly if you don’t!” she advised maliciously.

“A battle eh? This should be quick if I use Poliwrath!” Jack called throwing a Lure Ball. Emerging in a white light was a tall blue Pokémon with a white belly adorned with a black spiral. The Tadpole Pokémon flexed its arm and gave a battle cry letting everyone know it was ready to fight. Like all battles in public places, this one was beginning to draw a crowd. If only they knew this wasn’t going to be a friendly fight.

“Silly boy. You think type advantage is going to help you? Nidoqueen! Flatter Poliwrath for how big and strong it looks!” she said in a cutesy voice. And the nightmare begins. Nidoqueen began openly flirting with Poliwrath much to the latter’s confusion and annoyance.

“All you did was raise Poliwrath’s Special Attack! Put an end to this battle with Hydro Pump!” called Jack. The Tadpole Pokémon did as instructed by blasting a massive torrent of water from its mouth. However, thanks to confusion and the low accuracy of such a high powered attack, Poliwrath missed by a pretty wide margin laying ruin to a cabbage stand instead.

“MY CABBAGES!!” the vender cried in horror. I silently snickered to myself while trying not to get too distracted from the battle at hand.

“That is so rude! What do you have against cabbages?” Eve antagonized.

“They taste bad that’s what. And it’s your fault for confusing my Poliwrath anyway.” Jack retorted snarkily.

“And blaming me for your inability to properly control your Pokémon? Naughty boys need to be punished!” said Eve seductively causing Zack to squee with delight. “Body Slam them my dear!” she continued. The Queen of the Nidoran charged at her foes, smashing into Poliwrath with incredible force.

“I need to end this quickly then.” the troll said trying to hide concern. “Increase the power of your water attacks with Rain Dance Poliwrath!” The Water-type instead punched itself in the face.

“Teehee, you’re so silly.” Eve giggled. “Let me help you with that. Use Rain Dance Nidoqueen!” Nidoqueen roared as she shook her body side to side. By whatever magic this world works with, that was enough to condense the clouds and make it rain. Since she was wearing white and didn’t want her clothes to become see-through, Eve casually walked under the cover of one of the stands.

“What the hell? Why are you being so nice? A moment ago you were trying to kill me and now you’re being so friendly! What’s your deal?” demanded Jack. Silly troll has no idea what he’s up against.

“I’m just trying to have a fun battle.” she responded innocently. “But if you’d rather me be the bitch…” At that she got an evil smirk. “Take your turn so you can at least say you tried.” Eve dared.

“If you insist on losing! Hit Nidoqueen with Waterfall Poliwrath!” he commanded. Poliwrath gathered a river of water under its feet, rose up with the water, and charged at the Drill Pokémon fist first. Despite getting hit with a punch and several gallons of water, Nidoqueen was only knocked back. Using her tail as a balance, the monster rabbit quickly sprang back to her feet.

“Unreal! That attack should have KOed you!” cried the troll in dismay.

“Sweetie, you’ve only been fighting weaklings if you thought that weak attack would finish Nidoqueen.” Eve ridiculed. “Now since you wanted me to stop playing, end this with Thunder Nidoqueen!” Of course that was her game. She would never give an opponent an advantage unless she could also profit from it. Truly a devil in Mareep’s clothing. The Drill Pokémon’s body crackled with electricity before she released a whole world of hurt on the hapless Poliwrath.

“Endure the attack!” Jack called hastily. The Tadpole Pokémon was struck by Thunder, and while it came out singed and very weary, it was still standing. “Now bring her down to your level with Endeavor!” Both of Poliwrath’s fists began glowing white before it unleashed a relentless punching assault on Nidoqueen.

“You little punk! Finish Poliwrath with Earthquake now!” yelled Eve angrily. She must not have anticipated the tables to turn on her so quickly.

“Not so fast! Vacuum Wave Poliwrath!” Jack cut off. Just as Nidoqueen jumped in the air to cause the tremors, the Tadpole Pokémon thrust its hand forward sending a powerful fighting force at Nidoqueen both knocking her out of the air and unconscious. “Looks like I win. Sorry babe.” Jack taunted.

“How dare you!” Eve growled fiercely. “Avenge Nidoqueen Roserade!” she called sending out the Bouquet Pokémon.

“H-hey now, I thought we were done!” stammered the troll nervously.

“We’re not done until I say we are! Magical Leaf Roserade!” Eve commanded. Roserade held out her flowered arms shooting a wave of rainbow colored leaves at her adversary. Poliwrath fell over backwards from the force of the petal flurry.

“*Arg* Dammit!” yelled Jack in frustration. “You’re up Arcanine!” Appearing on the field was a large orange dog with black stripes, a shaggy white mane, a thick white tail, and a mouth full of impressive fangs.

“Oh hey look, it’s my evolved form.” said Zack playfully.

“You’re so stupid! Don’t you realize it’s still raining?” Eve pointed out as she caught drops in her hand.

“Arcanine can handle it! Show her with Flare Blitz!” Jack said overconfidently. Even an amateur could see Arcanine did not like being the rain. Even so, it obeyed its Trainer’s orders by immersing its body in flames and charging Roserade at an incredible speed. Despite being a Super-effective attack from a strong Pokémon, the rain weakened it enough that the Grass-type easily brushed it off. Arcanine, however, seemed to have had more trouble. Aside from the recoil damage of Flare Blitz, the Legendary Pokémon also had a few poisonous thorns jabbed into by Roserade’s Poison Point.

“This can’t be!” the troll cried in denial.

“That’s one of the things that make trolls so annoying. They can’t think and are incredibly dense.” sighed Eve with disappointment. “I better take advantage of the rain while it’s still here shouldn’t I? Use Weather Ball Roserade!” The Bouquet Pokémon gathered the falling raindrops into her flowered hands until they formed a pale glowing blue ball before throwing the orb at Arcanine. The canine whined in torment as the water ball exploded on it. Arcanine was afflicted with further agony as the poison continued to run its course.

“Surely Flare Blitz did enough damage that Roserade is on its last leg! Finish it with Extreme Speed!” commanded Jack. If I thought Arcanine was fast before, this time it looked as if the canine had teleported to where Roserade was leaving the latter on her back a few feet away. At the same time the rain came to an abrupt stop leaving behind nothing but puddles. Much to Jack’s horror, Roserade got back up although noticeably weaker now.

“I’m done with this match up now.” Eve said nonchalantly as she withdrew Roserade to her Pokéball. “Walrein seems like a better choice!” A large blue walrus with coarse white mane around his head, yellow eyes, and very long tusks coming from his upper jaw emerged from his Pokéball in the flower’s place. Jack was noticeable and justifiably scared.

“No matter! That is still partly Ice-type! Hit it with Flamethrower!” commanded the troll. The Legendary Pokémon spewed a long tongue of fire at Walrein but the walrus just shrugged it off.

“My turn? Let’s see… I know! Use Avalanche Walrein!” called Eve lightheartedly. Her Pokémon wasn’t as forgiving. Bellowing loudly, the Ice Breaker Pokémon summoned up all of the leftover rain water, turned it into huge chucks of ice, and sent all of that crashing down on Arcanine. The Legendary Pokémon let out a weak howl as the attack coupled with the poison finally took their toll in knocking it out.

“Oh no way! That was my last Pokémon!” Jack conceited. Eve smirked evilly as she approached him.

“No! Stay back! Don’t come any closer!” he warned in a panic. Eve ignored him. She didn’t stop until she was literally pressed against him.

“You said you wanted me? I’m all yours now.” she said seductively before kissing him. What. The. Fuck.

“You have got to be kidding me.” Zack said agitatedly which pretty much voiced mine and probably everyone else’s opinion. Clearly Jack felt the same way because as soon as he broke free of her, he took off running.

“Don’t let my prey escape Walrein. Powder Snow!” she ordered. The walrus sprayed a cold wintry blast of air at the helpless troll knocking him to the ground. Eve returned Walrein to his ball and once again made her way over to Jack.

“What do you want from me!?” he demanded as he was once again in Eve’s clutches.

“To punish you for your crimes against me. Insults, sexual assault, and ruining my clothes. The Pokémon battle and kiss took care of the first two. Now it’s time for the second.” she said sadistically. “Follow me you three!” she called addressing us.

“Hey! This isn’t funny anymore! Let me go!” pleaded Jack. Eve had dragged him to Route 8, stripped him down to his underwear, tied him to a tree and was now lathering his body with peanut butter.

“Oh trust me, this is hilarious!” she said happily. “This is my treat for your tricks. There done!” she said satisfied with her work. Her green eyes were wide with delight to accompany her sadistic grin at the troll’s struggling. “Just you wait Jack! Soon the wild Pokémon will catch your sent and will be all over you! Ahahahaha!”

“Let me go!” he begged fearfully.

“Relax. You still have your Pokémon for protection.” Eve said placing the Pokéballs under his feet just out of reach. “But your money’s mine.” she added taking all the cash out of his wallet and stuffing it down her shirt. “Nighty night!” With that we turned to leave.

“Hey! You three have to stop this! Untie me!” he demanded.

“Sorry but I can’t see very well.” Zack said sarcastically as he waved his hand in front of his eyes.

“And I stay out of situations that have no effect on me.” I admitted carelessly with a shrug of my shoulders.

“I… I… Well you were pretty mean to my friends. I’ll tell someone in town that you’re out here at least.” Chane said kindly.

“No! Don’t go! You can’t leave me like this! STOP!” cried Jack miserably.

“It’s your own fault! You should never mess with me, especially on the night of Masquerade!” Eve yelled back to him.

Fun fact: This chapter was originally posted on Halloween, the very same holiday it's based on. >:D

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 32: Thunder’s Judgment

Raiden Arka’s search had been going on for over a week now, but it was finally at an end. After an unanticipated betrayal of three of Team Neos’s officers at Cinnabar Island, the Third Seat was charged with finding them for punishment as he had been their direct superior. The traitors, having presumed that Raiden was killed by Team Rocket before fleeing to Canalave City, Sinnoh, believed that they were in the clear. It would only be a matter of time before the trio would realize how wrong they were.

To avoid detection by his marks, Raiden wore his long black hair down instead of the pony tail he normally kept it in. He also traveled in his civilian clothes consisting of faded black jeans, a faded long-sleeved denim jacket over a navy blue T-shirt, and brown hiking boots. Surely the fugitives would assume that potential pursuers would be dressed in Team Neos uniforms and traveling in larger numbers.

Raiden entered a bar located within the inner-city hoping that he could get a solid lead on the rogues rather than a general location of their whereabouts. He hadn’t noticed what the name of the bar was, nor did he care. It was irrelevant. Raiden shifted his eyes side to side scanning the area. This bar wasn’t as sleazy as the Left Atrium that his branch of Team Neos owned. It seemed respectable enough. It was a typical Sunday night crowd of everyday people who just needed one more moment of relaxation before going back to work the next day. That, and the game on one of the TVs above the counter that had a decent sized group of guys around it watching. The Third Seat doubted the trio would be in a place like this, but it never hurt to ask.

“What can I getcha?” asked the female bartender as Raiden approached the counter.

“Information.” he said producing a sheet of paper from his pants pocket that had three mug shots on it. One was of a brutish looking man with a wide face, a seemingly permanent scowl, short black hair, no eyebrows, and brown eyes. The second one was of a female with a bob cut black hair and brown eyes. The final one was of the trio’s commanding officer who had medium length bleached white hair and blue eyes. They were the Hunter Siblings. “Have you seen these three?” The bartender gave the pictures an inquisitive look.

“I have actually.” she answered after some thought. “They came in here not that long ago actually. I think they went to sit over there.” She pointed to her right toward the furthest corner of the bar. Raiden followed her lead narrowing his eyes in that direction. It was certainly an out of the way area where they wouldn’t draw much attention.

“Thank you.” he said appreciatively. Raiden got up, put the mug shots away, and proceeded in that direction. Sure enough, there they all were. Sitting, talking, drinking, and acting like nothing was wrong. The Third Seat casually walked over to the siblings and without saying a word, placed his hands under the table and flipped it spilling all of their drinks on them. The glasses that once contained those drinks were shattered upon impact with the floor.

“What the fuck is your problem!?” shouted Buck, the large muscular man in the first photo and the oldest of the siblings. His face turned white when he realized who he was dealing with. “Third Seat Arka…” he whispered in denial.

“You’re alive?” Marcy, the middle sister, questioned.

“We do not except resignations.” Raiden threatened. He was answered by the traitors each pulling out a Pokéball to which he responded in kind.

“Hey! If y’all are going to fight, take it outside! Don’t make a mess in here!” demanded the bartender who had come to see what all the commotion had been about.

“You heard the lady. We shall take this to the gutters where trash like you belongs.” decreed Raiden. He made sure that the traitors were the first ones out so as not to risk them escaping or attacking him while his back was turned. Of course, once they were all outside, the rogues wasted no time in surrounding their former superior to cut off all possible routes of escape as well as to attack from potential blind spots.

“Cowards.” Raiden belittled shifting his eyes to keep his adversaries in check.

“I’m impressed Arka. I didn’t expect you to get away from Team Rocket’s ambush. That must be some squad you put together for yourself.” commended Terrance, the white haired leader of the team. Despite being the youngest, Terrance was the smartest and most cunning between his brother and sister.

“Why did you betray us?” demanded Raiden. He would still show them no mercy, but he had to at least know what their motivation was.

“Survival.” Marcy said bluntly.

“Team Rocket ambushed us in what was supposed to be your mission in the first place. You so carelessly handed it to us. So after convincing the Rockets we just lowly grunts, we simply promised them a higher ranked member of Neos in exchange for letting us go. We knew someone as noble as you would be there in a heartbeat to save your comrades.” mocked Terrance.

“And it worked too. You guys showed up and we got off scot free.” added Buck.

“For such shallow and selfish reasons you shall receive the maximum punishment.” declared Raiden.

“And what are you going to do about it? You’re all alone. It’s one against three.” Marcy taunted. “Take him out Gengar!” she called summoning a transparent purple demon with stubby limbs, spikes running down its back, and a murderous grin coupled with red eyes.

“Get ‘im Scizor!” Terrance yelled sending out a metallic red mantis Pokémon that had crab like claws, four wings, yellow eyes, and three horns on its thin head.

“Burry him Hippowdon!” shouted Buck releasing a large black hippo onto the field that had a very large mouth filled with bone crushing teeth and pores on its back that began excreting copious amounts of sand. At the sight of the monster, Raiden’s eyes widened, not out of fear, but out of annoyance.

“You dare use a Ground-type on me?” he said with disgust.

“Sure do! Everyone knows you only use Electric-types.” Buck said superiorly. “We got this in the bag.”

“Because I specialize in Electric-types it is a fallacy to think that I am not well prepared to deal with their only natural weakness.” warned the specialist. “Allow me to demonstrate with Raichu!” Emerging from his Pokéball came an orange furred mouse with a long black tail tipped with a lightning bolt, yellow cheeks, brown hands, and pointy black ears that were yellow on the inside and had twirled lobes.

“Ya think that little rat can take Hippowdon? Use Earthquake!” the brute commanded.

“Buck you fucking shit head!” Terrance yelled. “Iron Defense now Scizor!”

“Fly.” Raiden told his Raichu.

“Sucker Punch Raichu Gengar!” ordered Marcy.

Gengar dove into its own shadow, raced under Raichu, and emerged from the shadow to punch the Electric-type in the face while he was off guard. Raichu then crouched low and with incredible jumping power shot himself into the air. At the same time, Scizor’s body turned metallic silver as it hardened its exoskeleton in preparation for the immanent attack.

Meanwhile Hippowdon rose up on her hind legs and threw all of her weight into an attack that sent massive tremors throughout the area shaking buildings and knocking over trash cans. Scizor barely kept its balance through the ordeal and Gengar and Raichu only got out undamaged because of their Ability and their Trainer’s quick thinking respectively. The four Trainers weren’t as lucky as each fell to the damaged ground with varying degrees of panic. Raiden of course managed to keep his cool despite the danger.

“Dumbass! What the hell were you thinking? Are you trying to take us all out!?” reprimanded Terrance getting back to his feet.

“I’m sorry Terrance. I guess I just wasn’t thinking.” apologized Buck with his eyes lowered.

“Obviously. Don’t use that attack again! There are plenty of other Ground attacks you can use.” added Marcy.

“Well how was I s’posed to know the rat could fly?” defended the elder.

“Raichu is the Mouse Pokémon.” Raiden corrected flatly. “And his target shall be Gengar!” he declared pointing to the Ghost-type. At that moment, the Mouse Pokémon came falling from the sky right onto Gengar’s head stunning it momentarily. While Hippowdon was the greatest threat defensively as well as elementally, Gengar had the lowest defense of Raichu’s three opponents and that was a weakness Raiden was more than willing to exploit. The sooner a weaker opponent was removed, the more time and energy could be spent on the harder enemies.

“Payback Gengar!” its Trainer commanded. Gengar returned Raichu’s attack with a swift headbutt to his forehead.

“Now strike with X-Scissor Scizor!” Terrance shouted. The Pincer Pokémon crossed its thin arms into an X shape and prepared to strike Raichu.

“Agility.” the Electric Master called quickly. By the time Scizor swung his attack down, all that remained of Raichu was an after image. “Counter with Charge Beam!” A few feet in front of the Steel/Bug Duel-type was Raichu who now had his hands cupped with a sphere of electricity forming in them. He then thrust his hands forward blasting Scizor with the beam attack.

“There is no way you can dodge this attack! Double Edge Hippowdon!” called Buck believing he had caught his foe off guard. Raiden barely acknowledged the charging hippo as he uttered his next command.

“Grass Knot.” The Charge Beam had only begun to dissipate yet Raichu was already waving his hands up and down to summon grass to grow through the cracks in the street left by Earthquake. The grass tied itself together on Raichu’s seemingly mental command making the Heavyweight Pokémon trip. Due to the nature of Grass Knot, Hippowdon’s own bulk was turned into a brutal weapon dealing severe damage to her.

“*Grr* How can you be this good!?” cried Buck in frustration.

“Because I am a Third Seat and you are weak.” he answered straightforwardly.

“Oh yeah? We’ll see how weak we really are! Team attack!” ordered the youngest.

“Terrance is right. If we all attack at once, Arka will have nowhere to run!” Marcy concurred gleefully.

“Then what are we waiting for? Use Stone Edge Hippowdon!”

“Shadow Punch Gengar!”

“Scizor! Attack with Night Slash!” they each shouted at once. The Shadow Pokémon’s fist took on a ghostly aura as it moved toward Raichu. Simultaneously, Scizor’s claws were surrounded in a dark energy while it also went in for the attack.

“No good! Flash!” commanded Raiden closing his eyes tightly. The Mouse Pokémon’s yellow cheeks started sparking, but instead of devoting energy to a powerful Electric-type attack, Raichu concentrated on a bright attack that blinded the siblings and their Pokémon. In the confusion, both the Third Seat and his Pokémon got out of the way as the three enemy attacks collided. Scizor was struck by Gengar’s Shadow Punch, Gengar received a Super-effective hit from Night Slash, and both Pokémon took severe damage from the sharp rocks Hippowdon had blasted long before the blinding Flash.

“Now finish them with Surf!” instructed the Electric-type Master. Appearing from the ground under Raichu’s feet was an intense stream of water that quickly grew into a tidal wave that Raichu then rode over his three opponents. By the time the traitors could see again, they were shocked to see the receding water and even more shocked to see their fainted Pokémon.

“Impossible! It’s three against one! How are we losing?” yelled Terrance in disbelief.

“I would like to know that myself. It is shameful to think you were once officers of Team Neos. You cannot even handle one man.” The Third Seat scoffed

“Don’t mock the Hunter Siblings! When the three of us fight together we never lose! Right guys?” Buck proclaimed in an attempt to boost his younger family’s moral.

“That’s right! We still have five Pokémon each meaning it’s really fifteen against six!” Marcy agreed. “That is why I’ll use Exeggutor now!” Appearing on the field to replace Gengar was a tall palm tree with a body made from sturdy brown bark, long green leaves coming from its head, and three yellow coconut shaped faces under the broad leaves.

“Let’s crush that rat Hariyama!” called the oldest replacing his Hippowdon with a massive tan Fighting-type Pokémon that had thick blue legs, a yellow skirt, and a large head with a blue bandana wrapped on it. Hariyama’s most notable feature was its gigantic orange three fingered hands.

“Then I’ll use Gallade!” announced Terrance sending out a slim Pokémon with white legs and hips, green bladed arms, a green torso, a white face, red eyes, green hair, and a blue blade like crest on his head. A red spike protruded from both Gallade’s chest and back.

“Before we attack though, how is it that you’re Raichu knows both Fly and Surf? I’ve heard that on rare occasions Pikachus can learn Surf and on rarer occasions Fly, but it is unheard of for it to know both.” Terrance pointed out.

“You are correct. But I told you, I have found ways to combat my Pokémon’s weakness to Ground-types. We mastered both through training.” revealed the Neos. “Now no further talk! Use Volt Tackle on Gallade!” In an instant, Raichu’s body was emitting so much electricity that his body looked like lightning itself. Coupled with the incredible speed the Mouse Pokémon moved at, it appeared that Gallade had been struck by horizontal lightning rather than a Pokémon.

“Zen Headbutt Gallade!” the youngest sibling commanded his Pokémon. The top of the Blade Pokémon’s head began glowing a bight shade of blue. He then smashed his head into Raichu’s causing the Electric-type to flinch.

“The rat’s off guard! Attack with Arm Thrust Hariyama!” ordered Buck excitedly. The large Sumo wrestler esque Pokémon brutally pounded Raichu with its broad hands one after another leaving Raichu panting heavily.

“We’ve got it! Finish Raichu with Seed Bomb Exeggutor!” Marcy called victoriously.

“Not yet. Hit Hariyama with Iron Tail!” Raiden countered. As Exeggutor shot large grenade like seeds from the tree on its head, Raichu’s long tail took on a metallic silver sheen. He then whipped the Fighting-type with his tail before getting hit with Seed Bomb. “You did well Raichu.” his Trainer praised as he was recalled to his Pokéball. Raiden then readied his next one to continue the battle.

“You won’t be sending out another one! Hariyama! Crush Arka with Brick Break!” Buck commanded ruthlessly. The Arm Thrust Pokémon charged forward, but Raiden wasn’t even the slightest bit nervous. Just as Hariyama thrust its arms out in what would have been a lethal bone shattering blow to a human, Raiden did a back flip avoiding the strike by a hair’s length. So close was the attack that Raiden could still feel the incredible force even though he wasn’t hit which caused him to fall off balance when his flip was finished.

“Get ‘im again!” Buck persisted.

“Not so fast. Thunder.” the Third Seat called. Hariyama didn’t even get a chance to step forward before the Pokéball Raiden had so tactfully left under its feet burst open. Appearing was a blue canine with a yellow mane that stood straight up and yellow fur on his ankles and hips that also stood straight up on end. The second it was released, the Manectric discharged an incredible Electric attack that knocked the sumo wrestler on its back a few feet away.

“How? I never saw you throw a Pokéball!” interrogated Terrance.

“I placed it down when I flipped. The fact that I had something round in my hands along with Hariyama’s incredible power caused me to lose my balance and trip.” answered Raiden. “Now Manectric, bite Exeggutor with Fire Fang.” The Discharge Pokémon roared as he ran at the living palm tree with fire coating his teeth.

“No you don’t! Stun Spore!” Macy retaliated. Exeggutor swished its head side to side releasing a yellow cloud of spores, but Manectric dodged left avoided the entire mist. He then bit the Coconut Pokémon’s leg causing to cry in pain. “Get it with Stomp now!” The angry Exeggutor lifted its tree trunk sized leg and slammed its foot down on Manectric’s skull and held it there so that its Trainer’s brothers’ Pokémon could attack the Electric-type as well.

“Good job Marcy! Gallade! Attack with Slash!” Terrance called.

“And you get it with Vital Throw Hariyama!” added Buck. Raiden simply shook his head as all three Pokémon yet again assembled in the same place.

“Discharge.” he instructed. Manectric lived up to his species name by emitting a massive burst of electricity from his body in every direction. The humans of course were protected because they had unknowingly sent their Pokémon out as meat shields to take most of the hit.

“Endure Hariyama!” shouted the elder knowing full well that Hariyama would otherwise not survive the attack. He was proven right when the sumo wrestler fell to its knees with the other two Pokémon in fatigue allowing Manectric to get away from them.

“No way! You aren’t winning that easily Arka! Use Psycho Cut Gallade!” Terrance ordered. Gallade’s arm blades took on a blue glow as it ran at Manectric.

“Bite.” Raiden told him. The canine bit down hard on the Blade Pokémon’s attacking arm, but the latter retaliated with a Psycho Cut with his other arm leaving a nasty gash on Manectric’s face and shoulder.

“Hit that mutt with Leaf Storm now Exeggutor!” commanded Marcy. Exeggutor shook its head side to side blasting an intense flurry of leaves from its head. Gallade took that as his cue to jump out of the way to let the onslaught of foliage hit its mark.

“Don’t count me out! Brine!” Buck followed up. Hariyama clapped its hands together then opened them palms out to launch a torrent of salt water at its enemy. Manectric howled as the salt got in his wounds before collapsing. The Third Seat wordlessly returned his fallen Pokémon and readied another Pokéball.

“End this Electabuzz.” he commanded throwing the sphere. Appearing was a medium sized bipedal Pokémon with yellow fur, jagged black stripes, a long tail with alternating yellow and black bands, thick arms, two fangs coming from his mouth, and two ball tipped horns.

“He’s already down two! Let’s keep up the pace! Gallade! Use Close Combat!” Terrance motivated.

“Thunder Punch.” Raiden said simply. Just as Gallade engaged Electabuzz in combat, the Electric-type punched him with a fist crackling with electricity. The Blade Pokémon fell backwards unconscious.

“Attack with Wood Hammer Exeggutor!” yelled the middle child.

“Low Kick.” Before Exeggutor could slam its wooden body into Electabuzz, the Electric Pokémon swept his feet under the tree causing it to trip and faint itself under its own weight.

“Hariyama! Hit Electabuzz with Force Palm!” Buck ordered.

“Charge Beam.” Electabuzz gathered copious amounts of electricity into his cupped hands. He then drove his arms forward sending a powerful beam of lightning at Hariyama also taking it out of the fight.

“You gotta be kidding me!” rejected Buck.

“Afraid not.” Raiden said pulling a pair of black rubber gloves from his pants pocket.

“Well no matter, we still have twelve Pokémon between us! You still don’t stand a chance!” Marcy bragged.

“Wrong. I have had enough of this foolishness. It ends now.” he decreed pulling out an Item Ball. With the press of a button, the sphere burst open to produce a long spear. The shaft of the spear was black with yellow lightning bolt patterns on it. The bottom of the shaft was tipped with a spiked blue ball. The blade was fang shaped and shiny silver in color. Connecting the blade to the shaft was a blue X shaped crest that also held a long purple ribbon that flowed like a cloud and was almost as long as the shaft. When held vertically, the spear stood 6ft 3in, which was approximately five inches taller than Raiden. This weapon was named for the same creature it was designed after: Raikou.

“What is that!?” Terrance cried in alarm of the formidable weapon.

“This is my Raikou. Thunder.” Raiden commanded. Electabuzz sent a powerful burst of electricity from his body into the metallic spear. The only thing preventing Raiden from being electrocuted was his gloves.

“You can’t! You’re actually going to kill us!?” screamed Marcy.

“Spare your remorse.” Raiden refused before slashing Marcy from her shoulder down into her torso. Due to the electricity coursing through the spear, every swing sounded like thunder; just like the Legendary Raikou’s cry. The electrical charge also ensured that those executed by the blade would die as they would be electrocuted from the inside.

“Marcy!” screamed Buck furiously. “You bastard!” The brute roared running at Raiden from behind. All the Third Seat had to do to stop him was pull the spear out of his sister and, without even turning around, thrusted the shaft upward so as to hit Buck in the jaw. While the big guy was momentarily stunned, Raiden spun around and sliced open his stomach with the blade.

“Not Buck too!” cried Terrance. He didn’t get a chance to say any more before the butt of the spear smacked him in the face knocking him to the ground. The youngest held his bleeding face staring at Raiden with hatred. “You killed them!” he yelled.

“I told you, we do not accept resignations. Traitors will receive the maximum punishment. You and your siblings brought this upon yourselves.” Raiden said condemningly stabbing Terrance through the heart. The last thing Terrance ever saw was the wrathful silhouette of the real Raikou imposed over the spear of the same name.

Raiden wasn’t fond of doing such a dirty job, but someone had to and he was the one given the order. Anyone who would willingly betray their own comrades had no place in the utopian world Team Neos was trying to create.

Once he was sure the rouges had been eliminated, he returned Raikou to its Item Ball and shook his hands a few times. Even with the gloves, holding something carrying that much voltage still made his hands tingle. After the feeling returned, the Third Seat recalled Electabuzz to his Pokéball. Next, he pulled out his cell phone and pressed 1 on the speed dial. After a few rings there was an answer.

“Captain Ross speaking.” answered a female voice on the other end.

“Captain, this is Third Seat Raiden Arka. I have just dispatched three traitors and am requesting a clean-up crew.” Raiden explained professionally.

“Raiden, you know you should be reporting this in to Lt. Deter, right?” inquired Captain Ross indifferently.

“You are correct. However, Lt. Deter would then have to report in to you to request for a clean-up crew. I know it is against protocol, but I was merely trying to cut out the middle man.” justified Raiden.

“Ha! More like the ‘little’ man.” the Captain laughed. For whatever reason, Captain Ross and Lt. Deter didn’t get along. Arguments usually went in the Captain’s favor since she had rank and seniority. While Raiden didn’t like members of Team Neos disrespecting one another like that, it would be just as disrespectful if he scolded someone of a higher rank than him for such a frivolous reason.

“Anyway, my coordinates are inner Canalave City, Sinnoh. The bodies are in an alley between 33rd and Main.” he continued.

“Alright, a squad will be sent to get rid of them. I’d advise you to get out of there just in case the police get there before our people do.” she informed.

“Yes Captain.” Raiden said obediently. He put his phone back in his pocket after hanging it up. With that he left the scene of the crime to return to his squad. Then a very disturbing thought crossed his mind.

“I sure hope those four have not caused any trouble.” he mumbled.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 33: A Day In The Life Of Axel

The first thing I noticed this morning when I woke up was that something wasn’t right. I was awake, but it was by my own volition. Normally I was woken up by my Trainer kicking me. A gentle kick of course, but it was still his foot to my ribs. I stretched out my long arms with a loud grunt as I fully woke myself up.

After getting up off the floor, I walked over to the bed where my human slept to see if he was still breathing. Brian looked so peaceful, sleeping face down in a puddle of his own drool. It would be a shame if some naughty monkey were to climb up on the foot of the bed and jump on him thus interrupting his restful sleep. Who would do something like that anyway? I would!

“ATTACK!” I yelled to give him fair warning. Granted I only gave him a second to react before throwing myself on top of him.

“Axel!” Brian shouted throwing his hand in my face to push me off getting his fingers in my eyes, nose, and mouth. I retaliated by grabbing a pillow and smacking him with it. The human then grabbed his own pillow and smacked me. I pushed him hard as payback. Bad idea. Brian started to fall out of bed so he grabbed me as leverage which ended up pulling both of us out of the bed. We both landed with a thud on the hard floor.

“Rude awakening. I was enjoying the comfort of my nice warm bed too.” lamented Brian rubbing his head.

“It’s what you get for slacking off.” I teased standing back up. “You know you’re in trouble if I wake up before you. Now feed me breakfast!” I demanded.

“And I’m the slacker?” he questioned sitting up. His entire body started jerking as if there was an invisible force shooting down his spine and travelling throughout his body. “It’s too cold to exist in this world.” grumbled Brian. He reached for his green backpack, but after determining it was out of arms reach, stretched out his leg to pull it towards him with his foot.

“I would have grabbed it if you asked.” I told him. Brian of course ignored me because his one track mind was telling him to get warm not hear what Axel has to say. My Trainer started throwing out random Item Balls until he found the one he was looking for. He pushed the button on it releasing a long sleeved black shirt.

I liked Item Balls much better than Pokéballs. Brian could store lots and lots of food for us in Item Balls. Pokéballs suck! I hated feeling my body getting all energy like and weird. And they were cramped too! That’s why I broke mine as soon as I got the chance. I Fire Punched it against a tree much too Brian’s annoyance. He tried to fix it with duct tape but my Pokéball still couldn’t contain me after that. I guess duct tape can’t fix everything. It does do a good job holding the straps to Brian’s worn torn backpack at least. Even then, he still carries his backpack in an Item Ball now for convenience. Those things rock!

“What are you doing now?” I asked. Brian was fully dressed now in everything but his gloves and boots and was staring intently at the T-shirt he had worn until today. I know he owns three exact copies of the same shirt, but even I can’t keep track of how often he changes his clothes.

“I’m trying to decide if I should wash this now or wait until spring.” he answered. Brian put the shirt to his nose and sniffed it. “Doesn’t smell like man-sweat to me, but why would it? What do you think Axel?” he said passing the shirt to me.

“Smells like you.” I responded after smelling it.

“Then in the Item Ball it goes!” he declared. Much like those portable prisons suck in poor unsuspecting Pokémon, Brian’s shirt turned red and was absorbed by the grey sphere. No sooner did he throw the ball back into his backpack I was in his face close enough that our foreheads were almost touching.

“Feed me!” I ordered.

“Baby!” he yelled back. “Alright, let’s go.”

While we ate, the humans discussed their plans for the day. Last night Raiden called us saying he would be back today so the humans decided to take the day off and plan something fun. Since it was the season humans call Fall, it was guaranteed that we wouldn’t do anything water related because it was too cold. That is unless those naked apes pick a hot spring.

“Brian, don’t let them pick a hot spring!” I requested.

“What’s wrong with hot springs?” Lloyd inquired teasingly. “They’re very nice and relaxing. It is much easier to approach a female when they’re comfortable.” I gave the Golduck an are-you-kidding-me look.

“Of course you would like it. That’s your element.” I started passing my hands through my flame. “See this? My fire and water don’t mix! I hate it! And I’m only interested in female Infernapes which would also stay away from water.”

“To each his own I guess.” shrugged Lloyd. Don’t get me wrong, Lloyd is a cool Pokémon and makes for interesting conversation when Brian is distracted, but he can also be pretty spacey sometimes.

“What about a day spa? It’s important we don’t get too stressed out.” suggested Chane.

“I could use a massage.” Eve considered as she rubbed her shoulders.

“And I love happy endings!” Zack added exuberantly.

“I like it!” Brian affirmed making the decision unanimous. He then turned to me. “Try not to get us kicked out this time Axel.” he whispered with a playful grin.

“Well don’t take me in the steam room then.” I warned. That was a crazy day that I would rather not repeat. I’m too big now to even attempt some of that stuff that I got away with before anyway.

“Looks like we’ll finally be putting those paychecks of ours to good use.” Eve said when the team arrived at what I’m guessing to be an expensive day spa in Saffron City. I’ll let Brian deal with paying for it as long as it doesn’t come out of my food fund.

I’m not sure how humans found places like this relaxing. Sure there were some nice plants at the doorway and around the lobby, and the ambiance in the background was soothing, but what the hell was that nasty smell? Why couldn’t they just have a natural scent instead of those horrible artificial odors?

“Four people and nineteen Pokémon.” Zack told the receptionist. I’m sure he was disappointed that the person at the counter was a male wearing a white polo shirt and not a female he could mate with.

“Ok, but I have to let you know that people and Pokémon have different programs meaning they are separated from their Trainers for the day. Is that alright?” the worker asked everyone.

“Fine by me.” answered Eve without a second thought.

“W-will they be alright?” Chane questioned with concern.

“What say ye Axel?” Brian asked me.

“It means you get to go to the steam room and I stay out of trouble. Now hand over my partners.” I answered excitedly holding out my hands. It was like a field trip!

“Before we get started, I’m going to the bathroom.” stated Zack. Brian started snickering when Zack disappeared behind one of the doors at the far end of the hallway.

“What?” I inquired looked from the door to my Trainer.

“Look closely at the symbol on the door and remember how we humans are.” he answered with an amused grin. I turned back to the door and stared at it. The one Zack went into had a human shape with a wide triangle for a body. The symbol on the door to the left was just a human silhouette. Wasn’t the first one used to represent human females and the normal looking ones males?

“Ow! Ow! OW!!” Zack screamed as he was escorted out of the bathroom with his arm twisted behind his back by a female human who I’m guessing was security based on her blue uniform. Well that answers my question. “I’m sorry! My glasses broke and I haven’t gotten new ones yet. I’m far-sighted so I can’t see things within five feet of me.” he explained.

“In that case I’ll let you off with a warning. Don’t let me catch you in the women’s restroom again.” Ms. Security warned sternly. She released him and watched as he slunk back to us sheepishly.

“Using your disability as an excuse to go peeping? That’s sad.” Eve criticized shaking her head in disappointment. Zack smiled slyly at her claim.

“I have to use my advantages when I can right?” he replied not even bothering to deny the truth with us. So he really did know he was going in the wrong bathroom. That sneaky devil.

“I take it back Axel. Zack will be the one who gets us kicked out.” Brian said with certainty. The nice people in white polos and white pants all came out to escort us to our proper locations. They first took the Trainers to the area where we Pokémon would be left for our treatment. It was a big open room that could fit at least a dozen Wailords so there was definitely enough room for all of us to fit.

“Enjoy your spa treatment. I hope you all come out very relaxed.” Chane told her Pokémon nervously.

“We’ll be fine. Don’t worry about us Chane.” Izzy assured. I know don’t know if she can communicate with her Pokémon the way Brian and I do, but Chane did seem relieved by Izzy’s lack of concern.

“Be on your best behavior now children.” Eve instructed her team. The atmosphere of the spa became less comfortable with the appearance of Diva. I swear that thing is evil incarnate. And I’m not just saying that because she tried ripping out my heart or clawing out my brains that one time. Ok maybe I am.

“Oh we’re always on our best behavior Mother.” the fell spirit said sweetly. You could get a headache with that much sugar.

“What are they going to do to us Axel-senpai?” asked Riolu inquisitively.

“It’s called a day spa Rio. It’s something humans do when they want to relax and it is also relaxing to Pokémon as well.” I informed. I was almost always the one giving Riolu new information. He was the youngest member of all of Brian’s Pokémon and I was Brian’s first, not to mention a fellow Fighting-type so he looked up to me.

“See ya’s! Have fun!” Brian called to us as he and the others left.

“As you wish my liege.” Piloswine responded respectfully. Piloswine was an interesting case. He’s a quiet one who only speaks when spoken to unless he really has something important to say. We caught Piloswine when entering the Ice Path in Johto and he has been one of Brian’s most loyal Pokémon since.

“I hope they feed us.” yearned Snorlax rubbing his fat belly with one of his stubby arms. Snorlax is a gentle giant who thinks about food more than I do. We picked him up in Sinnoh as a Munchlax and he quickly evolved because of how happy eating made him.

“I highly doubt they plan on feeding us.” Aerodactyl shot down curtly. In short, he’s a jerkass. And I’m not just saying that because he teases me every chance he gets when we’re in the sky. Aero is grateful to Brian for giving him life, but he’s still blatantly rude to everyone. Even the human who resurrected him on Cinnabar Island from a tooth encased in amber isn’t immune to an insult here and there.

The sixth member of the team is Beldum, but I don’t exactly know how to describe it. Not only is it the newest of Brian’s Pokémon, but it also keeps to itself to the point where I have never even heard it speak. I don’t know if it has anything to do with Beldum’s previous owner being Strife Maxwell or not, but Beldum just seems off to me. Even right now it just floats around aimlessly while the rest of us socialize. Such a strange creature.

“Hey, shouldn’t there be people in here tending to our every whim?” questioned Diva conceitedly. While I didn’t agree with her, I did find it strange that the only nineteen creatures in the room were Pokémon. And not just that, we all belonged to a small group of people. Surely more Trainers had come here with Pokémon.

“Ah you’re too impatient Diva. Just sit back, chill, and enjoy each other’s company.” suggest Lloyd as he made himself comfortable on the floor. “So any of you ladies ever wanted to fuck a duck before?” he proposed nonchalantly.

“Ew.” Diva spat in disgust.

“Umm Lloyd. None of us are even in your Egg Group.” Lucy pointed out sounding unsure how to respond to that statement. I’ve noticed that Lucy is the one most like her Trainer out of Chane’s Pokémon. While all six share Chane’s kindness, Lucy is the shyest and most uncertain one.

“Best form of birth control out there.” he responded.

“You’re terrible.” said Izzy straightforwardly. Izzy and Jace are the most serious and protective ones of their team so I can only guess one of them was Chane’s first Pokémon. I’m not sure which one though as they both seem to share the leadership roles.

“You won’t know unless you try.” the Golduck persisted.

“If you don’t knock it off I will Mega Drain you Lloyd.” she warned.

“Kinky. Is that an innuendo?” At this point I was just giggling uncontrollably.

“If you want a plant, I’ll Leech your Seed.” offered Roserade. Now those giggles had become all out hysterical laughing.

“I fail to see the humor in this.” Jace said unamusedly. The difference between Jace and Izzy is that he’s a lot more stern while she’s more understanding. They almost reminded me of a mother and father.

“I can’t help it. I’m easily amused.” I said through laughs.

“I don’t understand what they’re saying Axel-senpai.” Riolu stated which silenced me instantly. Damn. I didn’t think I’d have to tell him about mating too.

“I’ll… tell you when you evolve.” I answered evasively.

“But I want to know now!” he pressed impatiently.

“You’re too young to know now! You’re not even a year old yet Rio!” I insisted assertively.

“Balderdash! I’ll tell the boy if you don’t have the spine.” Walrein volunteered.

“No you won’t!” I rejected firmly. “As the second in command for this team and Riolu’s primary guardian, I make all the strategic decisions when Brian isn’t around. And I say no one gives Riolu the talk until he evolves!”

“I agree with Axel. It should be the Trainer or one of the Trainer’s own Pokémon that teaches the younger ones such things.” Jace stepped in.

“Don’t waste your time with them Walrein. They’re beneath us.” Steelix scoffed.

“Why are you all such bullies?” Kermit asked defensively. He never got his answer because we were interrupted by a loud scream from Lloyd.

“This sucks!” he cried. He was tied up in roots that had emerged from a single brown seed planted on his chest. I spat a small Ember at the seed to burn it off for him.

“Ah thanks man. I had no idea Roserade had been literal when she said she’d leech my seed.” he thanked gratefully.

“Of course. You and I need to watch each other’s backs from the abuse we take from Eve’s Pokémon. And that goes for Chane’s and Brian’s other Pokémon as well.” I declared.

“So much hate for us. What did we ever do to deserve it?” Diva asked innocently.

“Nearly killed me.” I said flatly.

“Used Leech Seed on me when I didn’t deserve it.” Lloyd protested.

“Violently beat me up.” Riolu added.

“I still have a dent in my tail from you, Pipsqueak!” interrupted Steelix.

“Causing trouble for us even though we’re on the same side.” Izzy added.

“Don’t act high and mighty with us.” Luxray cautioned threateningly.

“She wasn’t. Izzy was just stating a fact.” interjected Celia.

“I wasn’t talking to you Bug!” the lioness snarled.

“Thus proves our point. Instead of trying to get along, you all start conflict.” Jace said matter-of-factly.

“You’re just too sensitive.” Roserade admonished. “Besides, it was Lloyd who started causing trouble.”

“Was not!” he denied. Actually it kind of was. He wouldn’t have gotten seeded and Rio wouldn’t have asked about mating if Lloyd had just kept his bill shut.

“Can’t we just get along?” Lucy pleaded.

“I wish we could Lucy, but some battles must be fought in the name of loyalty.” Piloswine affirmed.

“Alright! We’re gonna have a fight aren’t we?” anticipated Aerodactyl gleefully.

“Not yet we aren’t.” refuted Nidoqueen.

“All this because I asked one question?” panicked Riolu.

“No, I think this had been boiling over for a while Riolu.” Luna consoled.

“That’s right. They’ve been unfriendly since before Brian or Eve were even in Team Neos.” I reminded.

“Still holding that grudge Abu?” taunted Diva. What!? Abu!

“I think you have me confused with someone else. The name’s Axel. Got it memorized?” I said tapping my temple with my index finger.

“Whatever you say Abu.” she mocked with a wry zippered smile just for the sake of getting on my nerves. I snarled at her to show my agitation but didn’t go any further. Throwing a tantrum or a punch would just encourage all six of them.

“Our Trainers would be all over us if we got in a brawl, especially if the people who should be here walk in and find us at each other’s throats. That’s why I say Eve’s Pokémon stay over there, and everyone else stays over here.” I delegated.

“What about Snorlax-san?” Riolu asked pointing to the snoozing bear. I swear he could sleep through the apocalypse if given the chance.

“He’ll be fine. Let him sleep.” I said waving my arm at Snorlax. At that moment, I heard voices on the other side of the door to the room we were in. Finally. It’s about time we got our service.

“They’re right in here Sir. Nineteen Pokémon in total.” said one of the voices as the door opened. If I had a mirror, my reflection would show a WTF face mixed with an Oh Shit face because filing into the room were two people in the white uniforms like we were expecting, but with them was none other than our old pal Petrel Lambda, the Team Rocket Executive.

“Fuck me!” I blurted.

“You have got to be kidding.” said Diva unamusedly.

“They won’t service me.” Lloyd said blankly. Jace spread his wings wide, puffed up his chest and screeched loudly at Lambda and his accomplices. His smug look instantly dissolved when he saw us.

“They were supposed to be asleep! Why didn’t you fools turn on the sleep gas like you were supposed to?” he demanded.

“Look Sir! The Snorlax is sleeping on the vent!” one of the so-called spa people indicated pointing at Snorlax. Go Snorlax! Lambda got an annoyed expression on his face.

“Well how do you expect me to kidnap them if they are all conscious? I can’t take on nineteen Pokémon at once! No way!” he yelled.

“Hey shit face! Remember me?” I called to him walking up. It was worth it just to see his face turn white with terror.

“Th-th-that golden Infernape! I-i-is its Trainer here by chance?” stuttered Lambda shaking uncontrollably.

“Yes Sir. He and the people he arrived with are enjoying the normal service we give the Trainers to distract them from the theft of their Pokémon.” answered one of the people in white. “Why do you ask?”

“I need to get out of here! Forget the Pokémon! I want to live! I would rather face Lord Giovanni’s wrath than the claws of that demon!!” the Rocket Executive shrieked. Lambda looked like he was about to piss himself at the thought of what Brian would do to him. He wasted no time in fleeing the room.

“Sir, wait!” called one of the whities running after the cowardly executive. I decided it would be funnier to let Lambda run away in shame than to try and capture him. No harm came to any of us so I don’t even see a legitimate reason to tell Brian.

“We’re not getting a treatment, are we Senpai?” Riolu realized.

“Nope. So until our humans are done, I guess we’re just stuck here bored.” I said unable to think of other options. Steelix suddenly threw his large head mere inches from mine which not only pushed me back, but forced me to look into his hate filled red eyes.

“Why did you let the Rocket go? He’ll only cause more trouble for us in the future!” demanded the metallic serpent.

“Because attacking him would only provoke him to attack us. This way no one gets hurt, everyone is safe, and Brian and I get to enjoy terrorizing Lambda some more. The faces he makes when scared really are priceless.” I explained trying to push the metal head away from me.

“I respect Axel’s decision not to attack. I would rather avoid violence unless there is no other option than to fight.” Jace supported.

“But that was our enemy he let escape!” admonished Luxray.

“Then why didn’t you go to stop him from running away with his tail between his legs?” Lloyd countered. That basically shut up anyone who disagreed with letting Lambda go.

“The Rocket even said he couldn’t handle all of us and would probably have left anyway even without the previous trauma Axel and Brian inflicted on him.” stated Izzy. “As far as I’m concerned we won that battle.”

“Until he comes back with reinforcements anyway.” Nidoqueen said cynically.

“I know Hyper Beam, Fat Ass over there knows Hyper Beam, he and I incinerate their worthless existence. Simple as that.” Aerodactyl responded indifferently.

“But killing is wrong! We should at least try to fight them back.” objected Lucy.

“It was a hypothetical statement. Besides, I will kill if it’s a fight for survival.” I admit. “You can’t go easy on an enemy who is willing to use deceitful and underhanded tricks to come out on top.” I shot Diva a quick look with that last part.

So there we all were, stuck in a room with nothing to do except talk to each other and all that seemed to do is invite disagreements and arguing. That left no other option than to sit in bored silence aside from the short lived conversations with our respective teammates. The silence was suddenly interrupted by a loud yawn from Snorlax after sleeping for half an hour.

“I’m hungry…” he grumbled.

“You’re always hungry fat ass. I doubt we’re even going to get fed since this was supposed to be a trap.” Aerodactyl deduced bitterly.

“No windows, no photosynthesis.” Roserade said dejectedly.

“Alright, I’m going hunting. I’ll go ransack the first place of feeding I come across, steal one of those metallic cart things, load it up with as much as it’ll hold, and deliver room service.” I proposed. I know I promised Brian I would be a good monkey and not do anything that might get us kicked out this time, but given the circumstances I say it’s worth the risk.

“Let me join you Senpai! I can feel people’s auras so we can avoid trouble.” requested my young protégé.

“I appreciate the gesture Rio, but I have a better idea for you. You’re in charge of all of Brian’s Pokémon while I’m gone.” I designated.

“I’m not taking orders from the infant.” refused Aerodactyl.

“You will or Piloswine will Ice Beam you.” I threatened. The prehistoric Pokémon screeched what sounded like ‘What!?’ while Piloswine nodded in compliance at his assigned duty.

“Huuuuuunngryyyyy…” Snorlax moaned.

“Patience!” I ordered. Now I know how Brian feels when I harass him for food. Not that that will make me stop harassing him for food or anything. “Be back soon.” I told everyone.

“Hold on! Let me come too. Celia has very specific dietary needs that you might not know how to shop for.” volunteered Izzy.

“There are a lot of us here, and I’m sure Snorlax is a big eater, so you might need an extra pair of arms to push another cart.” Lloyd suggested. I would have rather gone alone, but they both did have some valid points for tagging along.

“Fine, fine. You are both welcome to come.” I allowed. I couldn’t believe I was about to say this next sentence, but I threw it on the table anyway. “Do you want to join us Diva?” I invited. The Banette gave me a shocked look.

“What?” she questioned suspiciously.

“We might need you to look through walls in search of munchies and people. Besides, you know what your team likes to eat better than we do.” I explained. I wanted to gag, but as much as I disliked her, we still needed her services.

“Fine, I’ll go with you. But I get first dibs.” agreed the specter.

As it turned out, Zack is an avid fan of spy movies so Lloyd picked up a few tactics from them that will help us sneak to the kitchen unnoticed. I decided it would be best to follow his lead as I was originally just going to rely on audacity and walk right in as if I belonged there.

To exit the room, Lloyd and I did barrel rolls into the hall as that is how you’re supposed to go from one hiding spot to another. We then pushed ourselves as flat against the wall as we could.

“What are you two doing?” Izzy inquired with a concerned look on her face.

“We’re being stealthy. You have to do ridiculous gestures when sneaking about because otherwise guards will see you.” explained the Golduck.

“Yeeeaaaahh…” Diva trailed. She closed her eyes quickly vanishing from sight. “I can make myself invisible. It’s a better form of stealth than your childish antics anyway.” she admonished.

“She’s just jealous of us.” I taunted. “Coming Izzy?” I asked. The Breloom rolled her eyes as she dropped down and barrel rolled toward us. It was expertly done as expected from a fellow Fighting-type. Izzy sighed as she reluctantly pressed herself against the wall with us. I felt a horrible chill as I’m guessing Diva passed us by.

“Coming?” the invisible demon asked us.

“Right behind ya! I think…” Lloyd said running zigzags down the hall.

“Are you sure that’s how it works?” I called to him.

“Every time!” he called back. I just shrugged as I followed suit. What did I know about spy movies? I had only seen the end of one with Brian and that’s it. It was already half way over when we turned it on late one night.

“I hope we find some cool stuff to hide behind, because we are totally exposed in the open hall like this.” Lloyd criticized. I looked around for anything we could use as cover for our espionage. I noticed a row of potted plants at the edges of a doorway up ahead.

“There’s something!” I pointed out.

“Good eye my fine mammal friend.” he thanked. “Where ever you are Diva, could you look in there for us to see if they have anything to eat?” he called to her. While we waited for her response, the three of us barrel rolled and crouched behind the plants. It was so awkward considering there were three of us in such a small area.

“No food here, but there are humans getting ready to come out.” warned Diva professionally. At least they won’t be able to see us hiding behind this bush. As soon as the door opened, three spa employees walked out and just our luck, they turned to walk the direction we were!

“Hey! What are Pokémon doing here?” one of them questioned before even passing us. Impossible! You mean they actually saw us hiding here?

“Sleep please!” Izzy requested the humans. I quickly covered my faces with my hands as I realized she was about to release her Spores. With a shake of her head, a fine blue powder scattered from the mushroom on her head. The employees’ eyes began sagging until they collapsed unconscious.

“Good work Izzy.” I complemented once it was safe to breathe again. “Alright, let’s keep hunting.” I said. As I got up, Lloyd fell face down on the floor. I can’t believe that duck! He fell asleep! I gave him a hard punch to the back of the head.

“Wake up you lazy bum! This isn’t the time for a nap Lloyd!” I yelled at him giving him a few more whacks.

“Ow! That hurt!” he yelled waking up and rubbing his head.

“Serves you right for sleeping on the job.” I scolded.

“My apologies Lloyd. I thought you would have covered your face like Axel did.” Izzy apologized. “Are you still with us Diva?” she called out as she turned her head side to side looking for signs of the invisible ghost.

“I never sleep.” said Diva matter-of-factly from where ever she was hiding. Makes sense to me. she must have what the humans call the Insomnia Ability. After moving the spa people out of the way, Lloyd, Izzy, and I barrel rolled from our hiding spots and continued to zigzag down the hall. That is, until we came to the lobby; a wide open space where we were vulnerable and had two forks to choose from. Made worse because we were immediately spotted by the two people at the front desk.

“Call security!” the female one ordered.

“Cover your face Lloyd.” advised Izzy. I also took the hint in time for the Breloom to scatter more spores from her mushroom head. The employees fell forward smacking their faces to the desk. They were going to have some nasty headaches when they woke up. Now the big question was which fork should we take; the one closest to the desk or the one directly ahead of us?

“Take cover!” called Lloyd dramatically pointing at the desk. After a barrel roll from each of us, we pressed up against the desk and wall to decide our next plan of action.

“All in favor of going down that hall?” I proposed pointing to the one closest to the desk.

“It’s the least obvious choice. That means it must be it!” Lloyd assumed.

“Works for me.” agreed Izzy.

“Fine, whatever.” Diva said boredly. Then it was settled! The three of us that were actually visible jumped over the desk, barrel rolled, then zigzagged up the chosen hall. Man this was fun! I’ll have to do random covert espionage with Brian sometime.

Delicious scents soon came to my nose meaning we had chosen the right path. We would be there soon! Though we couldn’t see her, Diva was checking every room we passed in search of a cafeteria or kitchen to raid.

“Here!” she called to us. The Ghost-type reappeared in front of a pair of large grey double doors on our left. Based on all of the tasty smells coming from there, I knew it was the place.

“Alright guys, up until this point we did things Lloyd’s way and it worked. But now we do things my way!” I declared. I delivered a powerful kick to the doors sending them flying wide open followed by my umpteenth barrel roll of the day to get inside. “Thank you! Fuck you! The Pokémon have arrived!” I announced imitating that awesome introduction Brian gave at Cinnabar.

“What the hell?” cried one of the chef’s in shock of our presence.

“Nice one Abu.” Diva complemented sarcastically.

“We could have been a bit more discreet.” Izzy said hesitantly.

“Too late! Steal everything!” I command jumping on a table and grabbing the vegetables that were being cut up. I wasn’t really paying attention to the kind.

“Get them!” ordered another chef coming at me with a cleaver. I kicked him in the face then used his head as a stepping stone to jump off the table. Lloyd meanwhile was raiding the freezer while smacking cooks away with his tail.

“I’ve got a cart!” stated Diva delightedly. She must be enjoying this chaos we’re causing. Hopefully not by too much. I put my kleptoed veggies on the cart and attacked the oven next. I was the only one who could resist the heat and not get burned when stealing the steaks. I also ransacked the hot boxes which had pork cutlets, chicken, and more steak all while knocking around the cooks who got in my way. Some of them were even repeat offenders who didn’t learn the first time.

“Oh good, they do have honey. Celia will like this.” Izzy said over the confusion as she loaded the bottle to another pilfered cart.

“Sweet! They have Krabby cake! This really is the best spa in Saffron City!” cheered Lloyd elatedly as he stole a tray of the uncooked seafood. I’ll cook that later if anyone wants me to.

“You can’t take those! Those are for the guests!” shouted one of the chefs.

“I’m sure Zack would love to meet you, but we gotta eat too.” Lloyd apologized pushing her away. Just to distract them, I blew a few Embers on the stove to ignite all the burners.

“Get the fire extinguishers!” a cook demanded. This was great! I grabbed a bottle of ketchup and a bottle of mustard and squirted them all over the floors and chefs.

“Damn monkey!” cried another one.

“Alright, we got what we came for, let’s go!” I told my partners as I threw the now empty bottles at people. I grabbed a cart full of our spoils then ran to the exit with everyone else. Still, this isn’t the awesome way I wanted to leave. I turned around placing my thumb on my nose. “Bye bye Boo!” I taunted waving my fingers at the chefs. That was much better.

“You are such a troublemaker.” scolded Izzy as we ran down the hall.

“I learned from the best.” I admit proudly. Life wouldn’t be half as fun without shenanigans and hijinks. I suddenly heard vengeful yelling coming from behind us. I turned around to see the cooks we harassed joined with security chasing after us. Each was armed with their weapons of trade: cleavers and knives on the cooks, tazers and beating sticks on security. At least there were no guns.

“Oh shit!” I cried. “Fun faster!” Easier said than done. It was nearly impossible for me to control the cart I was pushing while running at my top speed.

“Get them!” the crowd of enemies behind us hollered. Eep! Since we can’t run as fast thanks to the carts, they were quickly gaining on us.

“No choice then. I will sacrifice myself for the good of the team!” Lloyd volunteered with dramatic somber. “Farewell my friends!” he said standing firm with his arms out to block the mob.

“Knock it off Lloyd! You still need to push your cart!” Diva chastised.

“No. Let him go. A man must be willing to sacrifice his own life to protect his people from starvation and invasion. I promise you my friend, I will always tell the legend of Lloyd the Great Hero! For generations to come!” I praised on the verge of shedding manly tears. With that I grabbed my cart and Diva reluctantly took control of Lloyd’s so we could get this hard earned meal to our comrades back at the bunker. From behind me I heard the entire exchange between Lloyd and the mob.

“Don’t let them get away!” commanded a human.

“You shall not pass!” Lloyd vowed with emphasis on each syllable of his sentence. I turned around for a brief instant to at least watch his fall only to see the Golduck blast the floor with an Ice Beam making all the humans slip and slide all over the place, even into each other.

“Alright Lloyd!” I commended.

“Oh you haven’t seen anything yet Axel!” Lloyd put his hands to his face. “Confusion!” he yelled. The humans all screamed before falling unconscious. Point ours.

The four of us returned intact and triumphant to our awaiting team members. I told Snorlax that if he wanted to eat he had to sit in front of the door so no one could intrude. Riolu would tell us if he sensed our Trainers approaching so that we could still let them in. Everyone seemed to be in a much better mood now that we were feasting. Even the rift between Eve’s Pokémon and the rest of us seemed smaller if only by a little bit thanks to Diva assisting us.

“Axel-senpai, Chane-sama is coming.” Riolu notified after finishing an apple.

“Just Chane?” I questioned. As Rio had just shoved half a sandwich in his mouth, he only nodded in response. “Alright Snorlax, move aside.” I requested.

“I was comfy.” he sighed getting up and then slumping down away from the door just in time for Chane to knock on the other side. Izzy opened the door and greeted her Trainer with a hug.

“Hello to you too Izzy. I wasn’t expecting… you…to… What is all this?” Chane asked in justifiable concern and confusion to our situation as she entered the room. I myself was a bit confused because the last time I was at a spa, Brian wore only a towel or a robe yet Chane was fully dressed.

“Bitches wouldn’t feed us so we helped ourselves to their kitchen.” I said straightforwardly.

“Be civil Axel.” Jace scolded. “Things weren’t exactly as we expected here Chane.”

“I see. So they aren’t really that nice to the Pokémon at this place. I’m so sorry. I had no idea.” she apologized regretfully. The six of her Pokémon went to her as comfort to show her they were fine.

“It’s not your fault sweetie. You couldn’t have possibly known about this.” Luna told her.

“But still, I feel like I let you all down. We got to get unstressed, but all of you just sat here with nothing to do.” said Chane guiltily.

“That’s not true. We got to scare people and wreak havoc. I call that something.” I said. Then again, she probably didn’t understand a word of it.

“Well I guess if everyone had fun, it’s ok.” she said.

“Did you hear me speak?” I questioned curiously.

“No, Chane is very empathetic. She feels your emotions rather than your words.” Kermit explained. Well that made sense.

“Brian-sensei, Eve-sama, and Zack-sama are coming now too.” Riolu announced. Oh boy. We’re going to have some explaining to do. A minute later, the three remaining Trainers came walking through the door, each was wearing a white robe.

“Axel. Explain to me why we were told about a small band of Pokémon, one of which being a golden Infernape, rampaging through the building.” demanded Brian in annoyance.

“Service here sucks. No one came to do activities with us and no one came to feed us so we took matters into our own hands.” I explained. I grabbed a Krabby cake from the cart then ignited my hand to cook it. “Krabby cake?” I offered.

“Krabby cakes are tasty.” he caved accepting my gift. “But you aren’t off the hook yet.” he warned taking a bite.

“What are you doing here anyway Chane and why are you dressed?” Eve questioned.

“Well… um… I wanted to check on the Pokémon and I wasn’t really comfortable walking around a public place mostly undressed.” she answered timidly.

“But you have a nice body. You shouldn’t be trying to hide yourself.” Zack advised. I agreed with that. Humans were way too caught up in wearing clothes. Granted those things keep them warm this time of year because they don’t have fur all over their bodies, but there are plenty of Pokémon that are completely hairless and still endure the cold. Humans can be sensitive about the strangest things sometimes.

“Is that steak?” Brian inquired pointing to one of our conquested carts.

“Yup! Last one too. Shall I cook it up for you?” I proposed.

“Do that and all will be forgiven!” he said practically salivating.

“You’re letting him go just like that?” Eve protested.

“They were left here all alone for hours. I can understand them doing what they did.” Chane defended. I passed the warmed up steak to Brian.

“Besides, they got us steak and Krabby cakes! That makes up for everything!” Brian cheered rubbing his hands together. “Wait, where are the fork and knife?”

“Haha! You pitiful creature!” Aerodactyl mocked.

“Pokémon don’t need such things so we didn’t steal any.” I said. Brian just stared at me blankly.

“I’m going to go get my stuff. I’m sure I’ve got some kind of utensil somewhere.” he mused leaving the room.

“We’re as good as kicked out anyway, so I think I’ll finish the day by walking into the women’s locker room pretending to be lost before gathering my stuff.” Zack announced. “Coming Eve?”

“I’ll wait until after you get thrown out.” she said uncaringly basically allowing him to do as he pleased.

“Zack you can’t!” Chane forbade.

“Try and stop me then.” he dared running off followed by the females. I have never met a creature, Pokémon nor human, that needed to mate as badly as him.

“Go Zack!” Lloyd encouraged.

“Mmmm… smells tasty.” said Snorlax lumbering over to the plate of steak before picking it up between his claws. Oh damn, I didn’t realize he was still awake!

“No Snorlax-san! That’s Sensei’s food!” cried Riolu trying to grab it from the giant bear. All Riolu succeeded in doing was getting picked up along with the meat. The puppy kicked his legs trying to pull back.

“Just let go Riolu! It isn’t worth you getting eaten too!” I called. Riolu let go landing on his feet just in time for Snorlax to scarf down the last piece of steak. I am so not getting dessert tonight.

Luckily Brian was in a better mood than I thought he’d be. Sure he was mad at Snorlax for eating his steak, but he knew it was a bad idea to leave food out around the Pokémon so he let it go. Besides, he channeled all his anger at the front desk by complaining about how we Pokémon were mistreated. When they didn’t give the humans a refund due to the trouble me and the rest of my crew caused, Brian stole one of their chairs and threw it through a window just because he could.

We then had to run like hell because security was ready to arrest us. The important thing was that Brian got to relax for a day and had fun pulling a prank again. He’s been far too tense lately with work compared to how he was before. That’s why I had no intention of telling him about Lambda.

When we finally got back to the penthouse in Celadon City we were staying in, Raiden was already back waiting for us.

“Where have the four of you been?” he asked calmly.

“Enjoying our day off.” Zack said in high spirits. When Zack had come out of the female’s locker room he said something about having been to the Promised Land and seen heaven. I have no idea what that means, but apparently that and his happy ending, whatever that is, were the highlights of his day.

“Well that is always beneficial. Have the missions I left you with been successful?” inquired Raiden.

“About that Master Raiden. Things went fine, but I think they might have gone smoother if you had a second-in-command to take charge when you aren’t around.” Brian proposed. “During your absence we took turns running things, but it would be helpful for you to name a number two so we don’t have to have daily elections.” Oh Brian. I can see right through you. You’re trying to subtly convince him to make you his second. I hope you get the position!

“I will think about it.” Raiden answered uncaringly.

“Well in that case, may I also suggest that we go to Hoenn for the winter? We might lose moral if it’s cold.” requested my Trainer tactfully.

“The answer is no. Unless we’re given orders from above, we stay in Kanto to subdue Team Rocket’s efforts.” refuse Raiden.

“Awww. Poor baby got rejected. I guess the little boy is just gonna have to stop being a little wussy and endure the cold.” Eve taunted in a childish tone.

“Don’t pick on him! I don’t really like the cold either.” defended Chane.

“Or are you just saying that to protect your crush?” Eve ridiculed. Chane’s face started turning red. What a silly accusation. I have seen no signs of willingness to mate from her or Brian.

“I-I do not!” she denied. As I thought. If they wanted to mate, they would have groomed each other or something.

“Please be silent. Assassination is a very exhausting job, so if there is nothing more to say then I will go to bed. I suggest the rest of you get some sleep as well. There is always work to be done.” instructed Raiden leaving us for his room.

“Come on then Axel.” Brian called over waving me to our room.

Hopefully we can put an end to Team Rocket soon. Maybe after making the world a better place, things can go back to the way they were. I much prefer good times and fun battles over the high stressed life or death situations we find ourselves in now a days. Deep down, I’m sure Brian feels the same way.

“Right behind ya Monkey.” I said.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 34: Combined Threat

As the months continued to pass, Team Neos became more of a dominating force. It was not long before membership was in the tens of thousands. The villainous Teams that used to control the majority of the crime in their respective regions were losing profit by the day thanks to the continued interventions of Neos. Their control was slipping fast. And then the event no one imagined was possible became a reality. On March 10, 3009 Team Neos won its first major victory: they defeated Team Magma!

The Hoenn branch of Neos was able to locate Team Magma’s stronghold in Mt. Chimney and raided the base without warning. There were casualties on both sides of the battle consisting of both human and Pokémon, but in the end it was Team Magma that was crushed. Magma Admins Courtney, Tabitha, and Mack were all defeated and executed on the spot. Because Team Magma Leader Maxie’s body was never recovered, it is rumored that after Maxie was defeated he was thrown into the Mt. Chimney volcano to become one with the land he so reverently wanted to expand. With its chain of command eliminated, Team Magma was forced to permanently disband.

When what happened in Hoenn went international, the world was taken by storm. Granted, Team Neos had already long since established a name for itself, but this simple act had made world history. However, while the members of Team Neos across the world rejoiced over their collective accomplishment, darker things were in the works. Those who thought things would only get easier for Neos would be proven wrong. Dead wrong.

Team Galactic HQ—Veilstone Building

Sitting at a white circular table in what must have been a conference room was a man with spiky pale blue hair, cold blue eyes, and a permanent scowling expression on his face. The man wore black pinstriped pants, white shoes, and a grey shirt with black sleeves that resembled his pants. A stylized yellow ‘G’ was emblazoned on the man’s shirt over his heart indicating that he was associated with Team Galactic. He sat with his elbows on the table and hands folded in front of his face as if waiting for something.

The man’s wait came to an end when the door to the conference room opened and a younger man entered. This one had darker blue hair styled to look like cat ears, sapphire colored eyes, and wore a uniform similar to the older man’s, however the shirt was simpler in design and the ‘G’ emblem was in the center of his chest.

“Cyrus. Your guests have arrived.” the younger man informed.

“Very good Saturn. Escort them in.” Cyrus ordered. Saturn lowered his head in compliance and left the room. When Saturn came back, he was accompanied by four individuals. Cyrus stood to properly greet his guests as they approached the table.

The first was Archie, the Leader of Team Aqua. He was a man with black eyes, a scruffy black beard and mustache, and short black hair covered by a blue bandana marked with an ‘A’ written in a style to represent bones. He wore long black pants, black shoes, a golden chain necklace, and a long-sleeved black shirt with a high collar and open around the chest. Just below the opening was an ‘A’ like the one on his bandana.

Joining Archie was his top Admin Shelly. She had long poofy red hair, brown eyes, and wore long blue pants with red rings on the side of the legs, heeled red shoes, blue gloves, a black sports bra, a blue vest that came down to the base of her ribs, and a blue bandana like her boss’s complete with the Aqua emblem. Shelly was holding her arms close as she was unused to, and improperly dressed for, Sinnoh’s cold climate.

Cyrus’s second guest was known as one of the most dangerous, yet most underground, of all of the crime bosses. He was Team Rocket’s clandestine Leader Giovanni, a man with short black hair, black eyes, and a face as hard as the earth. He wore a black suit marked with Team Rocket’s signature red ‘R’ and a white dress shirt underneath.

Escorting Giovanni was his most trusted Executive Archer. He had short teal hair and wore a white suit marked with the red ‘R’ and a black shirt underneath.

“Welcome my fellow Leaders.” Cyrus greeted politely. “Please, have a seat.” he offered. Giovanni took the chair directly across from Cyrus and Archie took the seat on Giovanni’s left so that they both could look the Leader of Team Galactic in the eye. The three second-in-commands each sat next to their respective leaders leaving only the seat on Cyrus’s left empty. “I am sure you all are aware as to why I requested this conference.” alluded Cyrus.

“It is because Team Neos is becoming a threat to our very survival.” Giovanni surmised.

“Correct. They started off as only a mere nuisance, but quickly grew into an irritating itch, then a thorn, and now they are quickly becoming a plague.” the Galactic Leader stated.

“I would have thanked Team Neos for getting rid of those damn Magmas for me, but those bastards have been causing Team Aqua just as much trouble. We’ll probably get hit more frequently now that there aren’t two of us in Hoenn anymore.” Archie said bitterly.

“Then what does Team Galactic propose we do?” inquired Archer.

“The reason I asked for this audience is to ask for your help. Time and again Team Galactic has been thwarted in our schemes and has watched our hard work crumble before our eyes thanks to Team Neos. I am sure the same can be said for Teams Aqua and Rocket. Unless you want to one day suffer the same tragedy as Team Magma, I suggest we pool our resources and crush Team Neos once and for all.” advocated Cyrus. The Galactic Leader held out his hand. “I feel it is in our best interests if we join forces and work together.”

“Team Aqua should have been the ones to defeat Team Magma. They were our rivals for years, and then Team Neos comes in and takes them out first. You have Aqua’s support Cyrus.” Archie declared shaking the other Leader’s hand.

“Team Rocket controls the most territory, yet with all of our resources and man power Team Neos continues to spoil our plans. Perhaps this union will be fruitful to our goals as well.” Giovanni sneered also accepting Cyrus’s offer.

Back to Brian

“Finally! It’s about damn time I can talk again!” I said indignantly. I blame Raiden and Axel for this. I had a bet going on with Zack, Chane, and Eve that I could name all the Pokémon in National Dex numerical order. My self-imposed penalty for failure was to be silent for as many species as I missed in minutes.

Unfortunately, Raiden asked me a question not aware of what I was doing which threw me off. Then Axel had to keep shouting ‘Infernape’ at me because I wasn’t at his species yet which threw me off more. As a result, I had to keep quiet for almost two and a half hours. Damn people didn’t even let me finish because I missed too many thanks to those interruptions. I could have shaved off at least two hours if they had only let me progress passed the Sinnoh Pokémon.

“It’s your own fault for being overconfident in your abilities.” Eve criticized.

You should have said Chimchar, Monferno, and Infernape first.” scolded Axel. Just because I could, I smacked him upside the head.

“This is half your fault Axel. You know that right?” I told him unamusedly. I slouched into my chair with my arms crossed to show him how unpleased I was.

But you still love me anyway right?” he asked sarcastically.

“Depends on what you do for me.” I said playfully.

I’ll fling poo at Team Rocket in our next mission.” he proposed.

“It would be funnier if it was flaming poo. Unfortunately, we don’t even know when our next mission is.” I reminded. In the two weeks since Team Magma was eliminated, Team Rocket has been laying low. They must be afraid of our superiority. I actually wish they would do something so that I can have the same pleasure of wiping them all out that my colleagues in Hoenn got.

“What if I were to tell you our next mission was now?” Raiden informed coming into the room. “Our intelligence has reported that Team Rocket is on the move again. They are heading for the Safari Zone, most likely to poach the wild Pokémon living there. Since we are already in Fuchsia City, the job goes to us.”

“‘Bout damn time.” I said getting up and quickly making my way to my room to get my uniform on.

Once we were all suited up, we headed to the north of the city where the entrance to the Safari Zone was located. When we got to the gate, the guards were already unconscious meaning we were too late to cut Team Rocket off.

“That’s not a good sign.” Zack said stating the obvious.

“This could be troublesome. The Safari Zone is a big place. Team Rocket could be anywhere by now.” said Raiden with annoyance. “When we get in, split up to cover more ground. If any of you find Team Rocket do not engage them, radio the rest of us for back up.” he commanded. When we entered, we were greeted by a lone Rocket who must have been charged with keeping watch over the entrance.

“Oh shit! Team Neos! I must warn the others!” he cried running away into the vast grassland. There were a few trees here and there, but the majority of the Safari Zone was open plains.

“Forget the last strategy! After him!” Raiden ordered.

“The idiot’s going to lead us right to the main group!” Eve laughed. Sure enough, there was a whole team of about a dozen Rockets in a clearing by a lake full of reeds not far from the entrance. They must have arrived only moments before us.

“We are Team Neos! Now prepare to die!” I announced evilly.

“Only five of you? No, I think you’re the ones who are about to die.” threatened a particularly bold Rocket. What a fool.

“Incompetent creature! I’ve killed more than this on my own before.” I bragged.

“Really? Prove it then!” he insisted snapping his fingers. All of a sudden, people dressed in blue pants, black and white horizontal striped shirts and blue bandanas emerged from the lake throwing aside the reeds they had used for air. Then coming from behind us were people dressed in black and silver space suits with ridiculous bowl cuts. They weren’t alone at all! This was a fucking ambush! But who were these new guys?

“May I introduce Team Aqua and Team Galactic. They will be assisting us from now on in eliminating you Neophytes.” the Rocket taunted. No doubt, this guy was the one in charge here. Kill him and the rest will fall.

“Pentagon Formation now!” Raiden ordered. The five of us put our backs to one another to cover all possible blind spots so enemies couldn’t attack our backs. This formation also required the use of at least one Pokémon each to work. I of course had Axel, but I added Beldum to cover the air. Zack used Lloyd, Eve summoned Steelix for size, Raiden called out Electrode for speed, and Chane used Luna.

“Show them the combined might of the new Team Triad!” ordered the lead Rocket. The now thirty some enemies we were facing all threw their Pokéballs unleashing a wide array of Pokémon species. Aside from the usual suspects we normally see from Team Rocket, the Aqua Grunts were using Poochyenas, Mightyenas, Carvanhas, and other species of Water-types, while the Galactics were sending out Stunkys, Glameows, Bronzors, their evolutions, and other Sinnoh native Pokémon.

“Strike down one of the Tentacruel with Thunder Bolt!” Raiden commanded. Electrode’s body sparked as it gathered electricity. It then released its gathered bower at the nearest Tentacruel. The lightning attack however was redirected, weaving through the enemy Pokémon until it hit a Rhydon’s horn. “Well that is troublesome.” said Raiden disappointedly.

“I’ve got Rhydon! Water Pulse Lloyd!” Zack called. The Golduck blasted sonic waves of water from his bill at the Rhydon only for his attack to get drawn to a Gastrodon. “Did these guys plan this or something?” he questioned.

“I’ll take Rhydon then! Someone else can get Gastrodon!” I volunteered. “Axel! Mach Punch! Beldum! Iron Head!” With blinding speed, Axel punched Rhydon as hard as he could, followed next by the Iron Ball Pokémon headbutting Rhydon.

“Way ahead of ya! Use Slam on Gastrodon Steelix!” commanded Eve. The metallic serpent smashed his large head on top of the Sea Slug Pokémon.

“Luna, please use Hypnosis on that Skuntank!” Chane called. The giant crescent moon stared at the Skunk Pokémon using its psychic powers to put the enemy to sleep.

“Gang up on them so they can’t defend!” shouted the Rocket in charge. “Rhydon! Knock that Beldum out of the air with Hammer Arm!” The Drill Pokémon slammed its arm into Beldum with incredible force.

“Get Beldum with Flamethrower Houndoom!” ordered a Rocket Grunt. To protect his teammate, Axel willing took the hit instead since he was more resistant to fire.

“If it’s pain you want monkey, we’ll give you some! Use Crab Hammer Crawdaunt!” commanded an Aqua. A large lobster punched Axel with its water-soaked claws.

I am so cracking you open for that!” Axel yelled engaging the Crawdaunt in Close Combat.

“Dig Steelix!” Eve called to protect her Pokémon from the barrage of Water Guns he was receiving from Team Aqua’s Pokémon.

“Use Reflect Luna!” Chane shouted as her Pokémon was also being viciously attacked by two Stunkys, a Glameow, a Raticate, and two Koffings.

“Flatten these miscreants with Rollout Electrode!” Raiden ordered. His Electric-type did as told rolling here, there, and everywhere hitting multiple enemies. “Come out Jolteon!” he summoned throwing a Pokéball to release the yellow Eeveelution.

At the same time, Steelix emerged under the Water-types that had been bothering him earlier, grabbing a Whiscash in his mouth as he rose. Without mercy, he crunched down hard sending the fish’s lower body and tail falling to the ground.

“This is getting out of hand! There’s too many of them!” Zack shouted worriedly.

“We just need more ammo!” retorted Eve sending out Walrein and Diva.

“She’s right!” I agreed sending out my four remaining Pokémon. “Piloswine! Watch Zack’s back for me! Snorlax! Use Belly Drum, Rest, and Sleep Talk in that order! Aerodactyl! We need to take out that Rhydon! Fly Riolu over there so he can use Force Palm while you use Iron Head! Go!” I commanded. “Beldum, if you can hear me, Zen Headbutt one of the Croagunks! And Axel, crush that Crawdaunt!”

While my Pokémon did as told, I looked around the field at some of the other battles going on. Jace was having an aerial battle with a Fearow while Celia sucked the life out of a Lombre with what was either Absorb or Mega Drain. Not a good sign was Kermit getting beaten down by a Rocket’s Muk.

As Luxray had recently joined the battle, she was engaged in a cat fight with a Purugly the same time Diva was struggling with a Sharpedo. On top of that, Steelix had met his match in both strength and size with an Aqua’s Gyarados.

Meanwhile, Lloyd had moved into the lake to trade blows with a different Golduck. Unfortunately, the location also put him at a disadvantage to other Water-types like Seaking, Staryu, and Carvanha. Simultaneously, Raiden’s Pokémon had to resort to their non-Electric-type moves because Rhydon was still on the loose. Jolteon was Double Kicking a Mightyena, Electrode was still bowling enemies over, and Magnezone was floating high above sniping enemy Pokémon with Mirror Shot.

As for my Pokémon, Piloswine was bulldozing opponents down around the water’s edge to protect Lloyd from other enemies as instructed. Axel had torn the claws off of Crawdaunt and was now assisting Aerodactyl and Riolu with that bothersome Rhydon. He was even using a Crawdaunt claw to beat the bipedal rhino. Snorlax had ended up Sleep Talking Rollout which had him bowling over enemies like Raiden’s Electrode, and Beldum had just KOed a Croagunk.

“We can take them out easier if they’re separated and can’t work together! Break them up Koffing! Get between the Trainers and use Self Destruct!” commanded a Grunt. The cowardly bastard! A floating purple mine marked with the skull and cross bones floated towards us. The Poison Gas Pokémon’s body was already beginning to throb as it was preparing to detonate itself.

“Walrein! Kill that thing with Sheer Cold!” Eve ordered. The cold air the walrus blew from his mouth was so bone chilling even I could feel it. I instinctively held myself as I shivered under the wintry blast. The enemy’s Koffing was reduced to a floating popsicle, however the energy it had built up did not go to waste. The moment Koffing hit the ground, it violently exploded.

While the detonation wasn’t as bad for us as it could have been had Koffing been closer, it did kick up a lot of dust and create a lot of smoke completely obscuring our view. Still, as long as we remained in Pentagon Formation, no enemy could attack us from behind.

“What the—AAAHHH!!” Zack screamed. I turned to his direction, but he was already gone! I then heard Chane scream as she too was pulled away! What the hell is going on!? All of a sudden I felt my body grow lighter as a blue glow surrounded me. I was getting pulled against my will towards a giant blue bell with glowing blue eyes!

“Axel! Blaze Kick the Bronzong that’s using Psychic on me!” I commanded. The Infernape yelled as he jumped in the air into a flying kick. His out stretched right foot caught on fire just before the kick struck Bronzong. The Bronze Bell Pokémon let out an echoing cry as it fell to the ground freeing me from its hold. I didn’t get a chance to congratulate Axel before a Galactic came up from behind and wrapped his arms around me to constrict my movements.

“Gotcha!” he said as if a pathetic grip like this could ever hold me. I activated my Dragon-Forme and used the strength boost to break the Galactic’s hold on me. On previous missions where Raiden had instructed me to keep the body count low, I would have just punched the assailant in the face. But the time for a “peaceful” surrender was over! I surrounded my claws in draconic aura. Before the Galactic could react I impaled him in the stomach with a particularly lethal version of Dragon Claw I came up with.

Wait a go Team Numb-nuts. You’ve gone and pissed him off now. I hope you all know that none of you are getting out alive now.” Axel said dryly. I pulled my blood soaked hand out of the former Galactic and cracked my knuckles.

“Who’s next?” I dared menacingly with a sadistic grin.

“Ahhh… Drifblim! Constrict that man!” ordered a Galactic nervously. A purple balloon like Pokémon that had red eyes, a yellow ‘X’ on its face, and a white cloud on its head sent out long purple streamers with yellow tips to tie me up. I stood still allowing the Pokémon to wrap me up. I had been confident that I could break free of the attack, however it was proving to be more difficult than I originally predicted.

“*Ack* Piloswine! Ram Drifblim with Ice Fang!” I commanded as I struggled to move. Note to self: Never let the enemy ensnare me like this again. My wooly boar charged into the Blimp Pokémon with his tusks coated in ice. Drifblim was weakened enough that I could wriggle my way free.

“Don’t let that loser beat you Drifblim! Use Shadow Ball on Piloswine!” the Galactic controlling it ordered. Drifblim gathered the shadows cast from the sun light above between two of its streamers. When the darkness had swirled together to create a sphere, the Ghost-type launched the Shadow Ball at Piloswine. He recoiled with an angry grunt on impact.

“Attack Piloswine as well with Brine Sealeo!” I turned to my left and snarled at the Aqua. A plump blue seal Pokémon that was similar in appearance to Eve’s Walrein, only smaller and lacking tusks, opened its mouth and blasted spiraling salty water at the Swine Pokémon. Piloswine reacted with more disdain to that attack; shaking his head trying to get the water out of his thick fur.

“Stay out of this!” I yelled blasting the Aqua with a Dragon Pulse shredding her uniform. “Aerodactyl! Crush all enemies with Rock Slide!” I called. The ancient flyer dive bombed the ground from high up in the sky. By slamming his head into the ground at such a high speed, he caused the surface to break apart sending numerous shattered rocks at Drifblim, Sealeo, the Galactic Grunt, and the Aqua Grunt. With Sealeo and its Trainer being the one’s closest to Aerodactyl, Sealeo was fainted while the already injured Aqua was impaled through the torso by a sharp stone. The Galactic was lucky enough to only be knocked unconscious.

“Now Piloswine! Finish Drifblim with another Ice Fang!” I commanded. Piloswine once again stabbed the Blimp Pokémon with his tusks, only instead of fainting, the Pokémon exploded taking Piloswine out with it! Damn! I should have anticipated the Aftermath Ability! I returned Piloswine before any more harm could come to him.

Alright Snorlax!” cheered Axel. I looked around noticing that Snorlax had woken up and had summoned a giant wave with Surf. Said wave crashed down on Rhydon and several other Pokémon along with their Trainers washing them away. When the water subsided back into the lake, Rhydon was revealed to finally have been taken out.

“Good work! Now, Jolteon! Raichu! Use Thunder Bolt on that Machoke and that Purugly respectively!” Raiden called now having the use of his Electric-type moves.

“Two can play this game! Come out Electivire!” called the lead Rocket. A taller, hairier, and uglier version of Electabuzz emerged from the Rocket’s Ultra Ball.

“I will take you on! Electabuzz! Low Kick!” Raiden commanded. As much as I wanted to watch their fight, I had my own battles to deal with. Namely Riolu getting KOed by an Aqua’s Wailmer leaving me down two! Never have we done so poorly!

“Beldum! Attack Wailmer with Zen Headbutt!” I yelled angrily. The Iron Ball Pokémon’s head took on a blue glow as it charged through the air at Wailmer like a missile.

“Mightyena! Use Crunch on Beldum!” ordered that same Aqua. A wolf Pokémon with coarse black fur and a maw filled with sharp white teeth jumped in front of Wailmer taking Beldum’s attack instead. Thanks to typing, Mightyena didn’t even feel Zen Headbutt which made it all too easy for the Bite Pokémon to pin down Beldum and sink its teeth into my Pokémon.

“Iron Defense now!” I called. Beldum’s body turned silver as it made its metal body denser. Hopefully Mightyena will break its teeth!

“Izzy! Help Beldum with Mach Punch!” I heard Chane cry. A green blur whisked by slamming her fist into the wolf causing it to jump back with a yelp. Before I could thank Chane, a giant purple scorpion with a segmented body, two huge claws, a formidable looking tail and rows of sharp teeth jumped into the fray.

“You Neophytes shouldn’t be ganging up on people when there are so many of us to deal with! Use Poison Fang on Breloom Drapion!” ordered a Galactic Grunt. The monster scorpion sank its long fangs into Izzy injecting her with poison.

“No Izzy!” Chane screamed as she quickly returned her Pokémon.

“Hey, how many are you down?” I questioned urgently.

“Three; Izzy, Kermit, and Lucy.” Chane said. She was barely better off than me.

“I never thought I’d owe one to Team Galactic.” thanked the Aqua.

“Consider it a favor in taking out a common enemy. I hope you can repay it.” the Galactic replied curtly.

“I will! Wailmer! Finish Beldum with Water Pulse!” he ordered. The whale blasted sound waves of water at Beldum fainting it. Oh that’s it!

“Die!” I ordered racing at the Grunt. He had just enough time to put on a look of fear before I grabbed his throat. I lifted the Aqua off the ground as I squeezed tighter and tighter. As soon as my claws sunk deep enough to pierce the skin, blood spurted everywhere.

“What are you, some kind of demon!?” cried the Galactic fearfully. I turned to her with a murderous look in my eyes and a sadistic smile.

“Yes.” I answered simply. “The Rockets have taken to calling me the Demon of Team Neos! Not that you will remember it!” I threw the dead Aqua’s body at her knocking her to the ground. I ran in her direction, jumped up, and landed on top of her chest. I felt myself sink as her ribs shattered under my weight. The Galactic coughed up blood from her pierced lungs.

“Shit! This isn’t good!” I heard Zack scream. I looked in his direction to see him return Lloyd to his Pokéball. With Lloyd fainted Zack was helpless!

“Aerodactyl! Take care of Zack! Zack! Use Aerodactyl as you see fit!” I called to them. A loud roar alerted me to Steelix finally succumbing to Gyarados’s power. This can’t be! We can’t be losing!

I hate to say this Brian, but I think I’m just about spent!” lamented Axel wearily.

“Not you too!” I shouted in disbelief.

“Keep it up everyone! We’ve almost got these guys!” encouraged a Rocket victoriously. Hearing them so cocky, so proud, was infuriating!

“No! The one’s who will fall are you!” I roared. In all the time I’ve known about my Dragon-Forme, I have only ever relied on Dragon Pulse and Dragon Claw. Now I was about to attempt something I’ve never tried before. I concentrated my energy into my chest the same way I concentrate it into my palms. It stung a bit actually because I’ve never done this, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

“Dragon Breath!” I yelled focusing the energy up my throat into my mouth. I opened my mouth only to blast out a small burst of energy but a good bit of blood. I tried to scream, but that only hurt more. I fell to my knees holding my neck in pain. The inside of my throat burned as if I had chugged a cup of boiling water. No, it was more intense than that! It was like I swallowed fire! What went wrong? It should have been no different than shooting a Dragon Pulse. Is it just that the inside of my esophagus is too tender to handle draconic energy? Am I not strong enough yet? This hurts so fucking bad!

“Brian! Are you okay?” Chane asked frantically.

“Ffff… ahk…” I choked. Even talking hurt right now. How could I have been so careless? How could I allow myself to appear vulnerable in front of our enemies!?

“This is not good! Everyone! Retreat!” I heard Raiden announce. No! We can’t! We can’t just stop now! We need to end them!

“Come on let’s go.” insisted Chane. But I wasn’t having any of it. I got up and charged at Team Rocket and their allies. I won’t run away! Not from them!

“Brian, get back here!” ordered Raiden.

“I’ll stop him! Hit Brian with Ice Beam Walrein!” Eve commanded. What the hell did she just say!? I spun around to see a frozen white beam coming at me. Primal fear took hold of me as I instinctively realized this was not going to be pleasant.

The moment it struck, I screamed in agony as I fell to the ground and curled into the fetal position. The pain was unreal! It was so intense that I forgot about the pain in my throat from my failed Dragon Breath. S-s-s-so… c-c-cold… It was like being thrust into a frozen hell to which there was no escape. I could almost feel my blood crystallize in my veins as my heart rate slowed to one beat per minute. My mind was getting all kinds of fuzzy. I thought I heard people calling my name, but their voices were so distant. It felt like the world was spinning around me. Was I about to lose consciousness?

Then I felt it. Warmth! Something soft, and more importantly, warm, had taken hold of me and was no carrying me off. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I clung to it practically snuggling against it. So soft. So comforting. So warm.

Back at our room I was slowly recovering from my agonizing ordeal. My feet were in a tub of hot water, about bath water temperature, I was wrapped up in heavy blankets, I had a hot towel on my head, and in my hands was a hot cup of herbal tea that I slowly sipped at. The tea was supposed to both help my throat and keep my insides warm.

When the water got too chilled, Axel would spit Embers into it to warm it back up. As I figured out when my mind was coherent again, he was the one who carried me back. We agreed that my snuggling him was a result of delirium induced by the hypothermia I was experiencing.

Another thing I surmised was the reasons behind that Ice Beam having such a severe effect on me. First of all, it’s Super-effective against my Dragon-type, then there’s the natural strength of the attack, the STAB bonus it got from Walrein, the power bonus from how well trained Eve’s Pokémon is, and based on the bruise on my chest, it was a critical hit. A recipe so deadly, I’m lucky I came out of it with only a really bad case of hypothermia and not frostbite or death.

But above all, I was absolutely pissed off! Not only did we get our asses handed to us by those inferior creatures, but my own teammate turned on me! Eve knows I’m a Dragon-typed human, so of all the potential ways to subdue me she chose the most lethal method! That I cannot forgive! Paralysis or sleep would have worked just as well! Worse yet, if our enemies were smart enough to get reinforcements to ambush us, then surely they will be smart enough to figure out that me plus ice equals vulnerability!

As Axel explained to me, escaping wasn’t easy. Teams Rocket, Aqua, and Galactic had completely blocked off all possible escape routes on land so everyone had to pile on Aerodactyl, Jace, and Magnezone to escape via the air. Of course our enemies tried pursuing us and shooting us down, but our fliers were able to fight them off enough that we got out without any casualties.

Feeling better?” Axel inquired worriedly.

“You know how you feel after getting mind-raped by Psychic attacks? It takes more than an hour to fully shake the numbness.” I replied dryly. The way Axel cringed at the acid in my tone told me he knew I was in an extremely foul mood. Fury so great that the next person to get on my bad side would be lucky if I left their body recognizable as human.

During my recovery period, I had no visitors namely because I told everyone except Axel to leave me be. The only one who did come in my room was Chane, but only to return my Pokémon that she had taken to the Pokémon Center for recovery.

By the time I was able to stand without needing support, my mind was made up. I was taking a break from all of this. I got dressed in my usual civilian wear, made sure my Pokémon were ready and that all my stuff was tucked away safely in my backpack, and then put that in its Item Ball for storage.

“Come Axel. You and I are going out.” I told him.

Where to?” he questioned.

“Anywhere that isn’t here.” I answered bitterly. When I opened my bedroom door to leave, Eve was there waiting for me. The very sight of her filled me with rage.

“Brian, I--” she started. I cut her off by swiftly raising my arm with my claws pointing only inches from her face.

“Save it! I don’t want your excuses!” I snarled. She gulped nervously not even bother trying to hide her terror.

“Settle down! That is no way to speak to your comrade!” ordered Raiden strictly. I lowered my arm back to my side. She wasn’t worth the effort right now anyway.

“You’re right Master Raiden. That is why I’m requesting a leave of absence.” I requested casually walking up to him.

“Request denied. There is too much going on now for you to not be here.” he shot down. Not the answer I wanted.

“Then let me make this easier for you to understand.” I said sternly. “I’m walking through that door, and no one is going to stop me. Kay?” I said pointing to the apartment door. I waved bye to everyone as I continued out.

“Brian!” Raiden shouted.

“Don’t go!” pleaded Chane. I didn’t turn back, I just kept walking. I hated going against my friends like this, but if I stayed I would only endanger them.

So when do you plan to come back?” Axel asked.

“After I’ve had a chance to unwind a bit.” I replied. I still had no clue where I was going, but it’s more fun to let life dictate that road. One thing was certain though; I had to make sure I was at my best the next time I went on a mission.

Psycho Monkey

Member of the Literary Elite Four
Chapter 35: Matters Uneasily Resolved

“Now Axel! Finish it with Flare Blitz!” I commanded. My monkey partner surrounded his body in fire and charged recklessly at a Pokémon with a thin green stalk for a body and a large yellow sunflower for a head. The Sunflora screamed in pain before falling to the floor unconscious.

“Oh no! Sunflora lost!” my opponent cried returning the Sun Pokémon to its Pokéball. “Good match!” she continued before walking out of the room.

“Excellent job! That’s twenty victories! Would you like to continue battling, rest, or retire?” asked the female referee, identifiable by her green uniform. I don’t know why they have to wear those silly hats though.

“What do you think Axel?” I asked turning to him. The Flame Pokémon put his hand to his chin to think.

A quick rest would be nice. I don’t need one, but Snorlax took a beating from that last Trainer’s Hariyama.” he replied.

“Fair enough. We’ll rest for a bit.” I told the ref.

“Very well sir. Step out into the lobby please.” she instructed. Axel and I followed her out of the arena into a large open lobby with grey flooring. In the center of the floor was a pentagon with grey circles on four of the five points. The circle on the upper point was red indication that this facility was Battle Tower. Around the Battle Frontier logo were four statues that looked like deformed stars with Pokéballs on one of the points. I guess they’re supposed to represent people holding the Pokéballs or something.

After getting my Pokémon healed, I sat with Axel on one of the many benches drinking from our water bottles and watching the other Trainers prepare themselves, converse, or just wander around aimlessly.

After leaving Raiden and the others, I flew on Aerodactyl to Vermillion City and took the SS Aqua to Olivine City, and from there walked to the Johto Battle Frontier. I had heard good things about it, but never officially visited before. Since I wanted a straight fight, I chose Battle Tower as it was the only one of the five facilities not to have any silly gimmicks.

It was nice being able to enjoy a battle for a change instead of worrying about casualties. I had my Pokémon battle each other and Wild Pokémon before coming here just to make sure we were still capable of friendly competition. It was nice to know that we were. It was also nice to know that we haven’t lost our edge. The opponents in Battle Tower weren’t exactly pushovers. In battles 1-7 I used Axel, Piloswine, and Riolu; battles 8-14 Axel, Beldum, and Aerodactyl; and battles 15-21 Axel, Snorlax, and Piloswine. Only one battle left in this round.

“We needed this.” I said with a relaxed sigh.

Yeah we did. All this fighting makes for good training too.” agreed the Infernape. I nodded with a smile, but my smile faded when I saw a familiar female with white blonde hair wandering the lobby as if searching for something. Or rather someone.

What the hell is she doing here?” Axel wondered bitterly.

“Isn’t it obvious? She’s searching for us.” I said disdainfully. My inner dragon so badly wanted to run over there and claw Eve’s throat out and spill her internal organs, but my human rational told me that murder in a place like this was an extremely bad idea. Surrounded by so many powerful Trainers meant there was no escape. That, and I would have to flee from Team Neos permanently for killing one of my own. Instead, I decided it would be easier to try to blend in with the crowd until it was time for my next match. Unfortunately, we were spotted.

“There you are!” Eve called walking over to us. Axel and I crossed our arms and stared at her hatefully. I even gave her an inhuman snarl so Eve would get the idea that she was the last human I wanted to deal with right now. The blonde paused before throwing her hands up in submission.

“Look, I know you probably hate me--”

“Not probably, I do hate you.” I interrupted.

“Right. But anyway, I need you to come back with me.” she requested.

“Why should I?” I questioned spitefully.

“Raiden ordered it. Do you know what happens to traitors and deserters? They get hunted down and eliminated.” said Eve answering her own question.

“So you want to finish what you started in the Safari Zone.” I said venomously. Granted, I may have been harsher than necessary considering her tone was nothing but submissive, but I wanted Eve to feel my pain.

“No, see Raiden didn’t report you to the superiors. The five of us are the only ones who know you left. He ordered us to bring you back so he wouldn’t have to report you. I’m just the one who found you first.” she explained.

“Lucky me.” I said sarcastically.

“I’m glad that I found you first because…” Eve looked like she was having a hard time coming up with the words to say next. “Because I wanted to apologize.” she said lowering her head.

“For nearly killing me? Yeah… Not forgiven.” I blew off dismissively.

“I’m not asking for forgiveness! I just wanted you to know that I’m deeply sorry for shooting you with Ice Beam. I had no idea it would have that effect on you!” she informed.

“You stupid bitch! I’m a Dragon-human hybrid. What the hell did you think was going to happen?” I yelled in a hushed voice. I didn’t want onlookers hearing our conversation after all.

“I don’t know! I thought you’d react like a Dragonair. It would hurt enough to get your attention, but you’d still walk away from it. You have proven to be very tough in the past.” admit Eve unsurely.

“Dragon-human hybrid.” I repeated. “I have the strength, speed, and endurance of a Dragon-type Pokémon, but I still possess the frailness of a human along with the weaknesses of my type. Ice-type attacks don’t exactly tickle. They are extremely unpleasant to me and may even be fatal! Have you ever felt your blood crystallize? Because I almost did!” I spat. I watched Eve blink hard as if she was trying to hold back tears. Don’t tell me the sociopath actually has a heart and was about to cry. I may actually laugh at the irony of that.

“I know that! I feel awful about it! I like tormenting people, I like playing with people as if they’re my toys, but I can’t kill someone unless they deserve it or it’s a necessary evil. I may be cruel and manipulative at times, but I do have standards.” Eve said defensively. Too bad for her I wasn’t buying it.

“I will not forgive you and I will not acknowledge your apology. If you are truly sorry, you will find a way to make this up to me somehow.” I told her flatly.

“I won’t give you sexual favors.” she rejected. I couldn’t believe her!

“Depraved woman! Who the hell do you think I am? Zack Kaguya? I wasn’t going to ask for anything like that!” I yelled furiously, this time not caring about my tone or who heard me.

“Settle down. It was a joke. I thought some light humor would help ease the situation a bit.” said Eve waving her hands up and down telling me to keep my voice down.

“Well I’m not laughing.” I said unamusedly. Eve sighed.

“I know. That was mostly for me. I hate feeling this vulnerable in front of people.” she said hugging herself. “But it’s fine. I’m sure I can think of something to make things right with you.” agreed Eve.

“How dare you! You aren’t supposed to make yourself feel better when begging someone to do something for you. You are supposed to be absolutely submissive!” I shot back irately. Eve lowered her head shamefully and this time I’m sure I saw tears starting to flow. So she was telling the truth after all. Either that or she’s a better actress than I ever gave her credit for. I think I’ll test her sincerity.

“You had just better hope that our enemies don’t realize what happened back there. If they were smart enough to form an alliance, then there’s a chance they will be smart enough to notice the correlation that me plus Ice-type attacks equals me out of commission. If that happens, we’re all screwed. And if by some miracle I live through their assault, I will kill you regardless of the consequences.” I told her flatly.

“Raiden already told me about that. That is why I’m so sorry about it. Not only did I wrong you once, but I may have left you open to further, undeserved torture. The rest of us would be left vulnerable because we’d have to help you or suffer the loss of one of our own.” she responded. Then Eve looked to the floor in shame. “I… I hate feeling vulnerable. If people know your weaknesses, they’ll take advantage of you. In the end you’ll just be hurt and feeling like a loser and I also hate losing. I hate losing games, I hate losing battles, and I hate losing people. It’s such an awful feeling.”

“For once we agree. But you still owe me, remember that.” I said dryly. Eve may have put it in a self-centered perspective, but the idea is the same. People fight to protect what they care about because the pain of loss is so great it can be unbearable. I fight Team Rocket not just to avenge Madison’s murder, but so that other innocent people don’t suffer as well. Even if it was a lie, Eve seemed to at least understand what it’s like to lose something precious. I’d ask her what it was, but given what she just said, she’d probably deny it.

“Sir, are you ready for your next match?” asked the ref coming for me. I turned to Eve.

“May I? You did say you had to take me back.” I asked her.

“True, but I haven’t told anyone that I actually found you yet.” replied Eve with half a smile.

“Good. But this doesn’t make us even yet!” I reminded.

“I can accept that.” she granted. I smirked as I followed the referee to the arena for my twenty-first match. I took a deep breath to clear my mind of my rage. I wanted this final battle to be fun.

So… s-strong…” panted Axel wearily as I walked him out of the arena. I had no idea this battle was going to be against Tower Tycoon Palmer. We were very unprepared for such a formidable opponent. Rhyperior, Milotic, and Dragonite all had an advantage over Axel, but luckily I had Piloswine to fight Dragonite, and Snorlax to handle Milotic leaving Axel to do his best against Rhyperior. In the end, I barely came out on top. Both Snorlax and Piloswine were knocked out and Axel was very low on health, but we pulled through in the end.

“So did you win?” inquired Eve, who had been waiting for us outside. I still despised her, but it would be rude not to answer.

“We did. After Axel and my other Pokémon get healed, I’m to meet Palmer outside so we can take a commemorative photo outside the Tower.” I told her. As soon as Axel could stand on his own, I met the Tower Tycoon outside Battle Tower.

“There’s Mr. Spectacular!” called a man in his thirties with spiky blonde hair cheerfully motioning us over. That was Palmer, the Frontier Brain. He wore long khaki pants, black shoes, and a white shirt underneath a green trench coat. In order to be allowed to participate in the Battle Frontier, I needed to first purchase a Vs Recorder to keep track of my matches. I pulled my Vs Recorder from my pocket and handed it to one of the green uniformed employees so that he could get a picture on it of me, Axel, and Palmer. The Tower Tycoon threw his arms over my and Axel’s shoulders with a wide grin. The monkey and I leaned close to Palmer giving a thumbs-up and victorious smirks to the photographer.

“Say Frontier Brain!” shouted the photographer before snapping the picture with my Vs Recorder. “There you go! Your Tower Print has been saved.” he said handing it back to me.

“Thanks. And thank you Palmer for that excellent battle.” I said appreciatively.

“Brian, I know you will become even more skilled. Keep battling Trainers from around the world and keep growing greater in stature!” encouraged Palmer. I smiled and nodded.

Before leaving the Battle Frontier, I was given a Bronze Trophy for winning twenty consecutive battles in Battle Tower and each of my Pokémon was awarded a Ribbon for beating Palmer. I put the ribbons in the trophy and put that in an empty Item Ball I had in my backpack.

“Alright Eve, report in that you found me.” I told her. I was still feeling good about my recent victory but I was starting to feel down now that I had to return to work.

“Already done. I called in while you were getting your Commemorative Print. Raiden says to meet him in Saffron City.” she debriefed. “Also, I know I’m in no place to request anything from you, but could you please keep what happened here between us? I don’t want the others to know I actually have a nice side.” Eve beseeched.

“Heh. As far as I’m concerned, you were just playing nice so that I wouldn’t destroy you like I do to so many others that get on my bad side.” I said. I didn’t say this, but why would I put someone I loathe in a positive light anyway?

“Thanks.” she said somewhat relieved. “And I promise, I will find a way to make things right. We have to work together so I would rather there not be bad blood between us.”

Getting to Saffron City was no easy task. Or I should say it was a very unpleasant one. Without a Flying-type Pokémon of her own, Eve and I had to sit uncomfortably close together on Aerodactyl’s back on our way to Goldenrod City. We had to spend more time together in taking the Magnet Train to Saffron. At least there, we could keep our distance. The only good thing that came out of this situation was that my tolerance of her grew; something I would need for us to effectively work together again on future missions.

“This is the place.” Eve said looking at a piece of paper that she had written the address on and comparing it to the apartment building we were standing in front of. It was a bit shoddy. It was a brick building with peeling yellow paint on it.

Well let’s go. And don’t worry Monkey, I’ll stay with you while Raiden gives you your lecture.” promised Axel. How encouraging. We walked inside to the apartment number written on the slip.

“We’re back!” called Eve knocking on the old wooden door. The one to answer the door was, luckily, Zack who had a big smile on his face.

“Hey buddy! Hey beautiful!” he greeted happily leading us in. The apartment was small and not exactly the cleanest thing around. Of all the places we’ve stayed in the past this was definitely the dirtiest and in the sketchiest possible neighborhood. This almost felt like the kind of place Team Rocket would hang out which was all the more disgusting. Why would Raiden take us to the ghetto of Saffron City unless we had a mission? Of course maybe we did.

“Brian, tell me you hit that during your alone time with her.” asked Zack.

“Define hit. If you mean sex her, then no, certainly not. If you mean smack her, I wanted to but I restrained myself.” I answered.

“Unlike you Kaguya, Brian’s a perfect gentleman to a lady. Granted, he probably wouldn’t know what to do with a woman if she threw herself at him.” teased Eve.

“Oh be quiet.” I said sardonically. I would have usually retorted with a snarky quip, but I was still too pissed at her to bother with one.

“I’m glad your back.” said Chane coming to join us.

“I guess it’s good to be back.” I said indifferently. “I just wish you or Zack had been the ones to find me. I really didn’t feel like dealing with Eve.” I admit. Chane looked happy to hear that, but at the same time dispirited that I was still a bit grumpy. Then Raiden entered the room giving me the most disappointed and unpleased look he could make.

“Hey Master Raiden. How goes it?” I inquired trying to appear calm.

“A word Brian.” he demanded motioning me closer. I took a deep breath preparing for the tongue lashing of my life as I walked towards Raiden.

All of a sudden Raiden reached out, grabbed me by the shirt collar and threw me against the wall. Before I could react to the shock of getting thrown or the pain now in my back and head from colliding with the wall, Raiden held out an Item Ball in his right hand which burst open to reveal a long black spear with a silver fang-shaped blade, yellow lightning bolt patterns on the shaft, a spiked blue ball at the base of the shaft, and a purple ribbon flowing like cloud connected to the weapon by a blue crest shaped like an ‘X’. I leaned my head as far back against the wall as I could as the blade of the spear was placed against my neck. I was in too much shock to even swallow out of fear that the blade would slit my throat.

“Raiden! Stop!” screamed Chane.

Hold it!” Axel yelled running to attack Raiden. In a swift motion with his left hand, Raiden’s Electabuzz appeared in the room to block off Axel. I motioned my hand telling the Infernape to stand down. I was sure Raiden wasn’t going to kill me. If that had been his intention, I’d already be dead. The Flame Pokémon growled as he unwilling took the order. I shifted my eyes back at Raiden who in turn looked back at me once he was sure my Pokémon was no longer an issue.

“Brian, need I remind you that Team Neos does not accept resignations? Traitors and deserters will receive the maximum punishment.” my superior refreshed. “I understood that you never intended to leave us, that is why I did not report you. However, insubordinate behavior is still insubordinate behavior and will not be tolerated. Your disregard for orders in the past may have led to success, but this time you nearly cost us! Believe me, there will be repercussions for this! As of right now you are on probation so I suggest you behave yourself. Any further defiance from you will result in punishment ranging from solitary confinement for an allotted time period to elimination. I would rather it not come to that, but if you try to run away again, I will execute you with this spear myself. Do I make myself clear?” Raiden paused giving me the opportunity to speak, but didn’t relax the spear at all.

“Yes…” I choked not daring to say anymore out of fear for my life. This was the angriest I had ever seen Raiden and I didn’t want to push my luck.

“Good. Now stop being so egotistical and prideful and look at the big picture for once. Retreating from an unwinnable fight is not the