(Drumroll, please) And here's the next chapter It's a bit late, because (one) it's long, and (two) I reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally didn't want to get around to typing it so... Just don't pelt me with washing machines or anything, eh? (Is pelted with washing machines) Shouldn'ta said that...

Disclaimer: I'm even in a good enough mood to say the disclaimer. Imagine that... Anywhodom (just in case you haven't got it yet), I don't own Pokemon. (Everyone gasps in shock) I know, its such a surprise. Especially after ALL THOSE OTHER DISCLAIMERS. Sheesh.

CHAPTER 4

FIRST BATTLE

Around the bend was a widening in the path. In it stood an enraged dark blond boy of (by appearance) ten, and a man and woman greedily examining a thin rope with a cluster of three Pokeballs hanging onto the end. The boy was glaring at them and Alena noticed, with a clenched stomach, that they had the golden feather of Team Phenom splashed onto the front of their black clothes and the trademark tattoo on their necks. She heard Kaolin creep up softly behind her and mutter, "Anya and Taben. Shoulda known."

"You know them?" Alena hissed.

"I know who they are."

"Would they recognize you?"

"Probably not."

"Good."

"I said give them back" the boy yelled again.

"Yeah, right," the man said, blue eyes twinkling malevolently. "We rightful stole them." He had brown hair, which was starting to thin on top, and a scrubby beard of the same color.

"For your information, 'rightful stole' is not grammatically correct in the least. And even if it was phrased correctly, then it still wouldn't make sense," said the boy scornfully. "Now give them back!"

The woman rolled her icy blue eyes. "Do you ever give it a rest? We comprehensively stole them from you, alright? Now beat it."

"I will not 'beat it,' until you give me my Pokemon back," he said stubbornly.

"Are his Pokemon even worth all this?" the woman asked her colleague.

The man shrugged and released two small Eevees and a Totodile, which for some reason known only to itself, was wearing sunglasses.

"What's up, man?" it said crossly. "I was gettin' my beauty sleep."

"It talks," said Taben, surprised.

"You'd better believe it, buster."

"Quick, Frazzle, Water Gun" the boy commanded.

The Totodile blew a loud raspberry.

The adults laughed. "Come on, let's blow this joint," said the man, returning the Eevees.

Alena had had enough. "Stop right there," she commanded, stepping into the scene of crime. "Give those Pokemon back"

"Oh, not you too,"said Taben wearily. "Wait, who are you?"

"Like I'd tell you. In the name of justice, I challenge you to a battle"

Anya raised a delicate eyebrow. "You just can't get any cornier than that. Anyway, are you stupid or what? There's two of us and one of you."

"Two," said Kaolin, emerging from the trees with scarf around his neck to hide his tattoo.

The woman rolled her eyes again, and said, "Fine. But let us go afterwards, because this is getting tedious."

"Without the Pokemon, if we win," countered Alena.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Go, Growlithe" She released a menacing Growlithe, with a chunk taken out of its tail and a large scar crossing its muzzle.

"Tentacool, go" yelled Taben, releasing the jellyfish-ish Pokemon.

"I'll take on Taben, you get Anya, alright?" Kaolin said.

"Right," said Alena. "Niyoki, I choose you" Niyo hopped out in front of her and gave a growl that rather failed to be threatening.

"Growlithe, Ember"

Small bursts of fire hit Niyo and she whimpered.

"Oh crap," Alena muttered. "I hate type disadvantages. Niyo, use Razor Leaf"

Growlithe barely flinched when the sharp leaves hit it.

"I'm such an idiot," Alena muttered. "I just had to run into a pointless battle, didn't I?"

Anya smirked and tucked a lock of long auburn hair behind her ear. "What happened to your face, by the way? Spill a bucket of paint on it?"

Alena growled but was prevented from answering by an interruption from the boy.

"Now Frazzle, hit it from the back with Water Gun!"

"Do I have to?"

"YES YOU HAVE TO!" yelled the boy on the verge of ripping his hair out.

"Be that way," Frazzle muttered, affronted. However he hit the Growlithe with a faceful of water when it turned around to face him.

"No fair" Anya shouted. "Growlithe, Take Down the Chikorita"

"Niyo, dodge it"

Niyo managed to leap out of the way. The Growlithe couldn't stop and was sent crashing into a tree. It was weakened considerably.

"Now, Niyo, Tackle" Niyo rammed into the Growlithe, who was left dazed.

"Finish it off, Razor Leaf"

"Frazzle, hit the leaves with Water Gun"

This command obviously suited Frazzle's perverse nature and he hit the leaves with a jet of water that blasted them out of the way.

"What the heck was that for?" Alena yelled angrily. "I was about to finish it" The Growlithe shook its head to clear it and readied itself for further battle.

"Don't KO it; it's a Shadow Pokemon," the boy said urgently. "We have to save it."

Alena looked at him blankly. "Huh?" She looked at the Growlithe, who was readying a ball of fire in its mouth.

"Niyo, dodge But how can you tell?" she asked, as she watched Niyo dodge another Ember.

"Well, the whole shadowy aura thing is a bit of a giveaway," he said.

"The whole what?" asked Alena, confused.

"What do you mean, the whole what?" the boy asked, also confused.

"I don't see any shadowy aura," Alena said bluntly.

"Are you going to battle me, or are you going to sit around talking all day?" Anya yelled angrily. "That Chikorita's getting on my last nerve. Growlithe, Shadow Blitz the stupid thing"

Growlithe rammed into Niyo and for a moment Alena thought she saw a flash of purple light. Niyo was thrown backwards and landed on her side, breathing heavily.

"Finish it, Static Thunder Punch" yelled Kaolin, who had been battling Taben the whole time. The Tentacool fell to the ground, scorched and KOed.

"Now, use Thunder Wave on Growlithe"

Static obeyed and three small bolts of lightning hit Growlithe, paralyzing it.

"Pokeball, go" Kaolin shouted, throwing a Pokeball at the still Growlithe.

"No, Growlithe, retur-" Anya cried, attempting to recall it. It was too late, however, and Growlithe was caught.

"No fair You weren't supposed to know it was a Shadow Pokemon" She looked at them helplessly. "How did you know anyway?"

Alena and Kaolin both looked at the boy, who shrugged and simply said, "I don't know."

Unnoticed by anyone, Niyo had slowly gotten up. Suddenly, her vines lashed out and snatched the string of Pokeballs from Taben's grasp.

They all looked at her surprisedly, except for Anya, who was glared at Taben. Alena quickly recovered and said, "Now leave. Or else..." She indicated the three Pokemon in front of them; Static with sparks of electricity playing between his prongs, Niyo with her vines raised threateningly, and Frazzle, who smiled impishly, showing a mouthful of sharp, gleaming teeth.

"Fine," Anya snapped "But we'll be back. I swear..."

They both threw some sort of stones on the ground, which emitted a loud bang and a puff of smoke. By the time the smoke cleared, they were gone.

Alena released a pent up breath she didn't know she was holding.

"Chiko," said Niyo, sitting down hard.

"Not bad for a first battle. I think..." Alena said.

"No, I suppose not," said Kaolin teasingly.

Alena glared at him and said, "Gee, thanks."

"As a reward, I will give you this," he continued, holding out the Pokeball containing Growlithe to her.

Alena's eyes lit up. "Really? Thanks"

Frazzle pouted. "Hey, what about me?"

The boy rolled his smoky violet eyes. "Shut it, you."

Niyo offered him the Pokeballs, which he accepted, and he returned the peeved Totodile. "Anyway, who are you?"

"I'm Alen, this is my friend Kaolin, and these are Niyo and Static," said Alena.

"I'm Hyto. Hyto Elektrus," he answered, extending a small hand.

Alena and Kaolin goggled.

"What?" he asked uncertainly.

"You wouldn't happen to be related to Duke Elektrus, the gym leader?" Alena choked out.

"Yeah, he's my dad. So?"

"Oh..." said Alena weakly. "Well then..."

Kaolin shook the boy's hand, ignoring the odd spluttering sounds emitting from Alena, and said, "Nice to meet you. Now about ominous purple auras..." he added meaningfully.

"Did you guys really not see it?"

Alena shook her head, while Kaolin said, "I thought I saw something occasionally, but..."

Hyto shrugged. "Well, it's what I saw. I'm guessing that at least one of you is on a Pokemon journey?"

"Yeah, that'd be me," Alena said. "You?"

"Nah, I'm a breeder. How about you?" He directed this question at Kaolin.

"Uh... I...um..." Before Kaolin could think up a sufficient alibi, Hyto gasped and stared in shock at Kaolin's neck. Alena winced as she saw the scarf had slipped downwards, revealing the tattoo.

"You're not one of-?"

"Hell, no," Kaolin answered angrily. "I used to be a servant of theirs, but I escaped last night. Afterwards I ran into Alen."

"More like ran onto," Alena reminded him. Kaolin sheepishly scratched the back of his head.

"That would explain the... ah... polychromatic facade."

Alena muttered something along the likes of 'If someone mentions a colorful face again, I swear I will rip their faces off, and proceed to torture them in cruel and creative ways,' while Kaolin asked, "So where are you headed?"

"I was thinking about the Vegatra River. It's said to have some unusual breeding techniques, so I thought I'd check it out."

Alena brightened. "That's where the nearest gym is! You wanna go together?"

"Sure, why not? Coming, Kaolin?"

"Don't have anything better to do," Kaolin said, shrugging.

"Well, then, let's get going!" said Alena happily.

She started off down the path, Niyo pattering tiredly behind her. Hyto, Kaolin, and Static followed, and soon they were swallowed up by trees.

Falls over from shock I actually got around to finishing this evil freaking typing! Everyone else also falls over from shock Anyway, I just started my freshman year of high school, and everything's still a bit hectic. I also have a crap load of homework every day, so I'm prob'ly only going to type on weekends. Is bludgeoned XX

Peace out!

Amunet