Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
"Someone is talking."
'Someone is thinking.'
(Kanto—Cinnabar Island—Pokémon Gym)
It may have only taken a few moments for the flames shrouding the two battling Pokémon to clear, but it felt much longer than that. Both Ash and Blaine were anxious to see which of their Pokémon had managed to defeat the other. That is, if their Pokémon hadn't already forced the other into unconsciousness in a double knockout. Finally, the flames subsided and allowed those watching to see which Pokémon had won.
"... Pidgeot is no longer able to battle!" Wayne announced upon seeing Pidgeot laying on the floor unconscious while Rapidash stood. "Rapidash wins. Therefore, the winner of the first match of this Pokémon Battle is Gym Leader Blaine!"
Pidgeot's last move had clearly managed to injured Rapidash, but it hadn't been able to take the equine down. The bird-like Pokémon, on the other hand, had already been injured when it had attacked Rapidash. The Fire-Type's Inferno had simply been too much for Pidgeot to take. As a result, it and Pidgeot's previous injuries had taken it out of the battle.
The loss stung. Ash had known that it would be a longshot, but he had thought that he and Pidgeot could pull it off. He might have been able to surprise Blaine for a moment, but the aged Gym Leader had recovered quickly and used Pidgeot's last move to his advantage.
'Next time, I'll do better Pidgeot.' Ash promised the faithful Flying-Type Pokémon. He would need to stop getting so distracted, react much more quickly than he had been able to, and try to anticipate his opponent's moves before they made them. Considering that he would be fighting Blaine again really soon, he would have to do his best if he wanted to even have a chance of winning. He applied some Burn Heal to Pidgeot's wounds before recalling him. "Take a good, long rest buddy. You deserve it."
"Indeed. You and your Pidgeot fought admirably, Ash." Blaine said with a hint of a smile on his face. 'Perhaps if that Pidgeot was more experienced or had known more moves, the outcome of our battle could have been different...' Then, he sighed and crossed his arms. "Still, you still only have another match to try and impress me with you and your Pokémon's skills."
Of course, Blaine wasn't going to admit that Ash had already impressed him. He wasn't happy that Ash wasn't at the level he wanted him to be, but he could grudgingly admit that the boy had done well. Ash had come a long way since he and Anabel had arrived on Cinnabar Island. It was just that, knowing that members of Team Rocket could be after them, he was a little worried. And with what had happened to that Seel recently...
Blaine had already tested Anabel. The girl had a good head on her shoulders, a decent team, and a remarkable ability. On the other hand, she was somewhat hesitant and soft-spoken. She had gotten stronger, but she would need some more toughening up. Especially if she wanted to accomplish her dream of opening up her own Pokémon Gym.
"I'll knock your socks off."
"If you truly want to "knock my socks off", you'll have to do better than that. It won't be easy either as I'm bringing the heat." Blaine said before he threw a Poké Ball towards the battlefield. A mischievous expression appeared on the old man's face. "I trust you have heard of this Pokémon before from my grandson. But, if you haven't, let me be the first one to introduce you to my Magmar."
"Mag-maar." The Fire-Type Pokémon was humanoid in shape with red fur covered in yellow, flame-like markings. It had a puckered yellow beak, small red eyes, a row of red spikes that ran down its back, and two two-toed feet. Thick, black shackles encircled its ankles and neck while on the tip of its yellow tail burned a bright orange flame. "Magmar Mag-maaaaaar."
"Magmar: The Spitfire Pokémon. Magmar is the evolved form of Magby. This species is best known for its impressive fire-breathing capabilities and resistance to even the most extreme of temperatures. Magmar, however, are known to dislike cold environments and will use their flames to make the environment suitable for themselves." Ash's PokéDex supplied informatively. "This species will normally be found around active volcanoes."
'... How am I supposed to fight that Pokémon?' Ash wondered. He had heard a few stories about Blaine's Magmar from Wayne. And none of those stories spoke that well of his chances against it in his and Blaine's upcoming battle. If even half the stories he had heard about it were true, then how was he supposed to defeat it? 'On the bright side, it looks really heavy. It probably won't be nearly as fast as Rapidash was.'
"What Pokémon are you going to use, Ash?" Blaine asked.
The black-haired Trainer frowned. He would have liked to use Seel, but the Water-Type Pokémon was still in the hospital and still didn't trust him that much. And with Pidgeot out of commission, that left Rattata, Eevee, Vulpix, and Beedrill. 'Well... here goes nothing.' Ash thought. He turned towards the excitable bundle sitting on the ground besides him, "Let's do this, Eevee."
Eevee seemed to be the best choice. The Normal-Type Pokémon was perhaps the strongest member of his current team, was quick on her feet, and knew a variety of moves. Hopefully, Eevee's speed would enable her to evade Magmar's attacks and give her the opportunity to sneak into a few attacks of her own. If not, the battle would be over before it had even started. But, he couldn't think like that. He needed to focus on what he and Eevee could do to maximize their chances of winning this fight.
"Eevee Ee-Ve-Ee Ve-Ve." Eevee yipped as she rushed onto the battlefield and took her place. She practically bounced in place as both of them waited for Wayne to start the match. "Vee~"
"You guys are ready? Alright. The second round: Challenger Ash Ketchum's Eevee vs. Gym Leader Blaine's Magmar!" Wayne shouted. He watched as the two opposing parties readied themselves for a moment before slashing his right hand in a downwards motion. "Begin!"
Blaine didn't waste any time. "Magmar, Fire Burst."
Magmar quickly opened its mouth, inhaled, and then released a bright stream of red-orange flames into the air. The reason why quickly became apparent when the flames coalesced into a ball and then broke apart into a multitude of smaller flames. All of which then proceeded to zoom in towards Eevee at a rapid speed.
"Eevee, Quick Attack!"
The Normal-Type Pokémon's body glowed for a brief moment before she took off running. The streaks of Magmar's flame crashed down around Eevee to scorch the battlefield, but she was able to swerve around most of them. She was just coming to rest in a position next to Ash when they both heard Blaine order Magmar to use Sunny Day. It was hard to tell whether Magmar had managed to use it or not since they were indoors, but they did hear Blaine order Magmar to use Lava Plume.
"You better think fast, Ash!" Blaine shouted towards his competitor. As Magmar lifted its hands into the air, a horrifying mixture of noxious smoke and red flames began to form in its palms. "If you don't do something now... this match will be as good as over!"
'C'mon, think. Think! Think of something, you idiot!' Ash knew that Lava Plume was one of the most dangerous moves that Magmar knew. It would allow the Fire-Type Pokémon to wipe out everything in front of it in a single, powerful wave of smoke and fire. Even if the receiving party somehow managed to survive that, the attack would have weakened them enough that the battle would be pretty much already over. If only there was some way to stop it or turn it back on Magmar itself. 'Wait a minute...' "Eevee, use Helping-Hand on Magmar! Now!"
Eevee nodded. Within moments, the Normal-Type Pokémon unleashed a bright blue bolt of energy towards Magmar. The Fire-Type Pokémon's eyes widened as the energy hit it and it began to feel the new energy coursing through it, but managed to regulate it and maintain control over its Lava Plume. That was, until it looked up to see that Eevee had closed the distance between them and had released a multitude of heart-shaped energy constructs at it.
Soon after the hearts impacted Magmar, its expression softened. If only for a moment, Magmar forgot the reason that it was fighting. It didn't understand why its Trainer would call it out to fight such a cute, defenseless Pokémon.
"Magmar, snap out of it!" Blaine commanded.
Magmar simply turned its head towards Blaine with a confused expression on its face. Ash grinned, "Now let's finish it with another Helping-Hand!"
This time, however, Eevee's Helping-Hand wasn't so helpful. It hit the Fire-Type Pokémon and gave it a boost of energy, but Magmar was unable to regulate it. Eevee's first Helping-Hand had not been allowed to disrupt its Lava Plume because of how quickly Magmar had taken control of the new energy, but this time was different. In its confused state, Magmar was unable to take control over the energy before it had automatically used that energy to help it form its Lava Plume. The careful construction it had over its technique failed.
The battlefield shook as Magmar's Lava Plume exploded violently. The explosion quickly consumed Magmar, the ground around its feet, and then ten feet in every direction. It wasn't enough to put anyone else in danger though the shear heat of the failed technique forced Blaine to shield himself with his arm.
Only, the Gym Leader didn't appear worried. That realization stopped Ash cold; after his Pokémon had suffered such an attack, why wouldn't Blaine be worried?
'Ash actually came up with a decent strategy to counter Magmar's Lava Plume.' Blaine thought, a touch impressed. It was true that other Pokémon Trainers had managed to neutralize Magmar's Lava Plume, but they weren't usually as at much of a disadvantage as Ash happened to be. Nor were they usually as young as Ash happened to be. '... I didn't think that he would be able to do it.' Looks like he had underestimated the boy again.
Still, the battle wasn't over quite yet. The strategy that Ash had come up with may have worked on one of his other Pokémon, but it wouldn't have worked against Magmar. His Fire-Type Pokémon was extremely resistant to heat and had an amazing endurance and vitality. Magmar would have suffered some damage from its own attack though not as much as Ash probably thought it would have.
It was at that moment that Magmar took its first step outside of the dwindling smoke. The Fire-Type Pokémon didn't appear to be that injured. Magmar was covered in a swath of small scratches, burns, and slowly forming bruises but little else. Yet the fact that Eevee had actually managed to cause its attack to backfire seemed to have awakened Magmar if the look on its face was any indication. Compared to its earlier lazy expression, that interested look spelled trouble.
This wasn't going to be anywhere near easy.
"I'll give you and your Eevee credit for managing to stop Magmar's Lava Plume, but I'm afraid that that won't be enough." Blaine said and then laughed at the shocked and worried expression on Ash's face. He spread his arms out, "Show us what you two are made of, boyo!"
Even though the prospect of fighting against such a powerful creature was frightening, Ash also felt a measure of excitement. There was a good chance that he and Eevee would lose this match, but he wasn't going to give up that easily. He and Eevee would do the best that they could do. And that was all that anyone could ask of them, really.
"I just hope that you two can handle us." Ash retorted with a small, teasing grin. "Let's go, Eevee. Quick Attack!"
'This move again? If your plan is to take advantage of your Pokémon's speed to defeat Magmar, it won't work.' Blaine thought with a frown. A lot of Pokémon Trainers had tried to outpace Magmar before and, while their Pokémon were faster than Magmar, they often expended too much energy in moving around then they did actually fighting Magmar. "Magmar, Fire Blast."
While Eevee closed the distance separating her from Magmar, Magmar inhaled. The Fire-Type Pokémon then exhaled a large stream of flames in a "大"-shape towards Eevee. The Normal-Type Pokémon's eyes widened at the sight of the flames before she swerved to the left. While she was able to get away from the flames in time, Eevee still felt the heat as the fiery construct flew by. Getting hit by that thing would hurt. That thought was only further reinforced when the Fire Blast slammed into the wall near to Ash and left a deep, black scorch mark.
"Magmar, Fire Punch." Blaine ordered.
Magmar's fist quickly became enshrouded by a cloud of orange flames before the Fire-Type Pokémon ran forward.
"Eevee, use Charm!" Ash shouted. He then watched as Eevee quickly created and sent the heart-shaped constructs towards Magmar before seizing the moment as Magmar began to weave around them. "Now, Eevee! Use Sand Attack!"
Eevee was quick to obey. The Normal-Type Pokémon tore into the earthen ground, tearing it up, before she kicked the pile of loosened earth towards Magmar's face as it drew near. Only a handful of the material managed to hit the Fire-Type Pokémon's shoulder before it lowered itself and swung its fiery fist towards Eevee. Eevee flattened herself against the ground to avoid the blow before snapping at Magmar's elbow.
Magmar stepped back and then backhanded Eevee as she tried hitting it with a Covet. The move sent the smaller Pokémon flying backwards before she slowly skidded to a stop. Still, after what that Eevee had managed to do it, it wouldn't take any chances. It obeyed its Trainer's orders and unleashed another Fire Blast in Eevee's direction. It then followed this up by charging towards the Normal-Type Pokémon, crossing its arms in preparation for the Feint Attack it would use against her. That is, if Eevee managed to get up in time to avoid its Fire Blast.
"Dodge it with Quick Attack, Eevee!" Ash ordered. "Then use Take Down!"
Eevee pushed herself to her feet and took off again. Barely, just barely, she managed to avoid being hit by Magmar's Fire Blast. The singed and burnt parts of Eevee's fur showed just how close the attack had been. It was painful, but the Normal-Type Pokémon grit her teeth and continued to push herself. When Magmar was within range of Eevee, it slashed at her with its claws in an "X"-like shape, but only managed to graze her backside as she then slipped underneath its legs. Eevee then spun around and launched herself at Magmar's exposed, unprotected, backside.
"Magmar, Fire Punch." Blaine commanded.
It all happened so quickly. Magmar's fist erupted with flames as Eevee jumped before the Fire-Type Pokémon spun on its heel. It then slammed its fiery fist into Eevee's stomach and watched as the Normal-Type Pokémon was sent flying. Eevee cried out from the pain, bounced across the ground a couple of times, and then slowly came to a stop. Despite Ash's concerned urging, the Normal-Type Pokémon was too weak to get up again.
"Eevee Ve-ve..." Eevee muttered in an apologetic tone, "Ee-Ve-Ee..."
"Eevee is no longer able to battle." Wayne announced shortly afterwards. "Magmar wins. Considering that this was a two-on-two Pokémon Battle and that Gym Leader Blaine has won both rounds, it is Gym Leader Blaine who has won this battle."
Eevee looked like she might cry. "It's okay, Eevee. We did our best." Ash said after he had reached his Starter Pokémon and taken her into his arms. Even as he applied some Burn Heal and a Potion to her wounds, she sniffled and dug her head into his chest. "Shh. Shh. It's okay, Eevee. You tried as hard as you could. We'll do better next time."
It was the same promise that he had made to Pidgeot earlier. He couldn't tell if the promise had comforted Eevee or not, but they reminded him of his earlier failure. If he just been a little smarter, or faster, or had been a better Pokémon Trainer...
"You and your Eevee did well in that battle." Blaine stated as he and Wayne approached them. "Not many Pokémon Trainers as young as you even do half as well against Magmar. I would even say that I would be a little impressed at what you were able to do."
"... You're impressed?" Ash repeated.
Blaine grinned. "Yeah! Somewhere during that battle, you somehow managed to impress me! Congratulations!" He made as if to reach for something in his pocket, but stopped the moment Ash began to look a little hopeful. "Psych! You didn't really think a Gym Leader would hand over a Badge to someone that didn't defeat them, did you?"
The Gym Leader's happiness was short-lived as Magmar stepped up. The Fire-Type Pokémon lightly whacked him on the head which caused the old man to feign a betrayed look. All he got for his trouble was a headshake and a chiding from Magmar. "Mar. Magmar mag ma magmar."
As Blaine deflated, Ash laughed.
Shortly after their battle had ended, Blaine and Wayne escorted Ash to the Pokémon Center. If anyone asked them, they would say that it was to get their Pokémon healed. In truth, they were going to do that as well as see Ash and Anabel off to their next destination. Nurse Joy may not have been happy that they would be moving Seel so soon, but she had understood why they had to do it.
"You two will be going to Citrine City." Blaine said after everyone had settled down in Seel's hospital room. "It is a small town near the northwestern coast of the country. While it may not be as popular as Cinnabar Island, the locals there won't think anything of two travelling Pokémon Trainers deciding to visit their city. You'll have a good time there."
"Can you tell us anything more about Citrine City?" Ash asked curiously.
Surprisingly, it was Anabel that decided to answer him. "Citrine City is well-known for what was supposed to be a national power plant. It was believed that such a plant would reduce the costs of city-based power plants as well as create several new jobs for the people living near Citrine City." The purple-haired girl paused, "It worked too well."
"What does that mean?"
"Let me first explain something to you, Ash." Blaine explained, "While Pokémon can be found anywhere a person may go, the type of Pokémon a person will discover depends on the area they are travelling in. Like attracts like. Fire-Type Pokémon prefer somewhere hot and dry, Ground-Type Pokémon prefer open plains or valleys, and Grass-Type Pokémon prefer forests or other vegetated areas." He paused. "I suppose you know that Electric-Type Pokémon are drawn to electricity?"
"Yeah," Ash said. "Back in Pallet Town, if there was a problem with something not working or the power going out it was blamed on them. I never saw one, but I heard people say that the Pokémon were chewing on the wires or something."
Blaine smiled. "Exactly. Wild Electric-Type Pokémon are drawn to electricity. They will "chew on the wires" in order to get access to that electricity and either convert it into food or store it within themselves. Although comparing what they are able to get out of some wires to Citrine City's power plant would be like comparing a lousy snack to an all-you-can-eat buffet.
"Oh." Now Ash understood.
"A Gym Leader might have been able to force the Electric-Type Pokémon out of the plant, but it would've been extremely difficult. Citrine City didn't ask for help because they believed that the Pokémon would quickly return after the Gym Leader left and they would have to call for help at the time, the city didn't have the resources or the money to pay for a Gym Leader's services or enough popularity for a Gym Leader to want to build a Gym there." Blaine sighed, "Eventually, the local government decided to stop trying to make the Electric-Type Pokémon leave and decided to turn the plant into some sort of natural preserve for them."
Wow. "Is the plant still working?"
"I think it might be. I don't really know for sure..." Blaine said. He hadn't really cared to find out if the power plant actually worked or not. He had had other, more important matters to focus on. "All that I know is that it has attracted a lot of tourists who come to the city to fight and capture the Electric-Type Pokémon living there. That is why you two going there won't seem so suspicious."
"Okay." Ash agreed.
Anabel frowned. "Won't it seem a little strange for us to Teleport there?"
"No. You two won't be teleporting in the middle of the town. Wayne here will be giving your Kadabra a picture of an area a couple of miles outside of Citrine City. You'll have a bit of a walk on your hands though you should be able to get to the city before nightfall." Blaine answered.
Wayne brought up another issue. "There is one more thing we need to tell you about before you two leave. I'm sure that you noticed that device around Deoxys' wrist... It is a holographic projector from Kalos that a few friends modified. You will want to be careful with it, to familiarize yourself with the image we preprogrammed into it, and to prevent anyone you don't trust from holding Deoxys." The young man warned, "Unless you want someone to figure out what Deoxys really is and blowing your cover, you should keep that device on at all times."
"I will." Ash promised. He wouldn't have agreed so easily if it seemed like Deoxys didn't like it, but the baby Psychic-Type Pokémon didn't seem to mind it. That the device would project the image a baby Abra was another bonus as it wouldn't seem too strange for his "Abra" to learn underneath Anabel's Kadabra. People might even think that their Pokémon were related. "When are we leaving?"
"You two will be leaving as soon as possible." Blaine said.
Wayne clarified. "After Kadabra memorizes the location, you should wait a couple of minutes. It will give us time to leave and hopefully confuse anyone that might be watching us. By the time that someone manages to check in, you both will be long gone."
It didn't need to be said that, if there was anybody following the group, the room would become a trap to hopefully ensnare that person. It wasn't ideal to be using the Pokémon Center as the place for such a trap... but what Nurse Joy didn't know wouldn't hurt her. Better to beg for forgiveness then ask for permission, after all.
Ash's Pokémon Team:
Attacks: Tackle (Normal), Sand Attack (Normal), Scratch (Normal), Baby-Doll Eyes (Fairy), Tail-Whip (Normal), Helping Hand (Normal), Growl (Normal), Bite (Dark), Refresh (Normal), Charm (Fairy), Quick Attack (Normal), Covet (Normal), Take Down (Normal), and Quick Swim (Normal).
Ability: Keen Eye.
Attacks: Sand Attack (Ground), Tackle (Normal), Gust (Flying), Peck (Flying), Quick Attack (Normal), Whirlwind (Flying), Twister (Dragon), Feather-Dance (Flying), and Agility (Psychic).
Attacks: Bite (Dark), Tackle (Normal), Quick Attack (Normal), Crunch (Dark), Hyper Fang (Normal), Assurance (Dark), Scratch (Normal), Pursuit (Dark), Quick Swim (Normal), Sucker Punch (Dark), and Super Fang (Normal).
Attacks: String-Shot (Bug), Poison-Sting (Poison), Bug-Bite (Bug), Fury Attack (Normal), Agility (Psychic), Assurance (Dark), Pin Missile (Bug), Pursuit (Dark,) Twineedle (Bug), Rage (Normal), and Toxic Spikes (Poison).
Ability: Flash Fire.
Attacks: Ember (Fire), Tail Whip (Normal), Fire Spin (Fire), Roar (Normal), Confuse Ray (Ghost), Quick Attack (Normal), and Imprison (Psychic).
Anabel's Pokémon Team:
Ability: Inner Focus.
Attacks: Teleport (Psychic), Psyshock (Psychic), Kinesis (Psychic), Confusion (Psychic), Psychic (Psychic), Disable (Normal), Miracle Eye (Psychic), Ally Switch (Psychic), Telekinesis (Psychic) Psybeam (Psychic), and Reflect (Psychic).
Ability: Compound Eyes.
Attacks: Confusion (Psychic), Poisonpowder (Poison), Stun Spore (Grass), Harden (Bug), Sleep Powder (Grass), String Shot (Bug), Gust (Flying), Supersonic (Normal), Whirlwind (Normal), Psybeam (Psychic), and Silver Wind (Bug).
Attacks: Water Sport (Water), Double-Slap (Normal), Bubble (Water), Hypnosis (Psychic), Body Slam (Normal) and Water Gun (Water).
Attacks: Tackle (Normal), Harden (Normal), Water Gun (Water), Rapid Spin (Normal), Recover (Normal) Camouflage (Normal), Swift (Normal), Bubble Beam (Water), and Minimize (Normal).
Blaine's Pokémon Team:
Ability: Flame Body.
Attacks: Smog (Poison), Leer (Normal), Ember (Fire), SmokeScreen (Normal), Feint Attack (Dark), Fire Spin (Fire), Clear Smog (Poison), Flame Burst (Fire), Confuse Ray (Ghost), Fire Punch (Fire), Lava Plume (Fire), Sunny Day (Fire), and Flamethrower (Fire).
Ability: Flash Fire.
Attacks: Quick Attack (Normal), Heat Wave (Fire), Energy Ball (Grass), Safeguard (Normal), Ember (Fire), Hypnosis (Psychic), Tail Whip (Normal), Nasty Plot (Dark), Confuse Ray (Ghost), Roar (Normal), Fire Spin (Fire), Imprison (Psychic), Faint Attack (Dark), and Flame Burst (Fire).
Rapidash (Female): Ability: Run Away. Attacks: Poison Jab (Poison), Megahorn (Bug), Growl (Normal), Flame Wheel (Fire), Quick Attack (Normal), Tail Whip (Normal), Ember (Fire), Stomp (Normal), Flame Charge (Fire), Take Down (Normal), and Inferno (Fire).
A/N: Author's Note: Well, that's the end of this chapter. Not a lot of things happened, and parts of it may have seemed a little filler-ish, though it was a needed chapter. I couldn't exactly continue without revealing something that would ruin the surprise you guys will feel when I actually show you what is going to happen. Though you smart readers will probably figure out what I'm planning before the next chapter is out.
In addition, I would like to say that I've managed to create a map based of how I see the Pokémon World. You can find the link to the map on my profile under the "fanart" subsection of my Pokémon: Eevee Chronicles section. Hope you guys like it!
P.S. I've started to work on The Workshop Forum again in order to worldbuild my version of the Pokémon World. And I've also started a once-a-month "Chash's Journal" on Devianart to keep you guys in the loop, even if I don't upload a chapter that month.