Quilava: Karate Master
By Spiral Breeze
Quilava had spent years training under the greatest Sensei in the world. Sadly Master Hitmonlee had grown old and withered. Arthritis had developed in his knees and he could no longer use any of his kicking attacks. The old Karate Master knew that it was time to name a new Master, could that Master be Quilava?
Quilava woke up every morning, before the sun, to begin his strict regimen of meditation, work outs, and study. He was an excellent student, the best Master Hitmonlee had seen come through the dojo in years. It seemed the old Sensei had made up his mind. Quilava would take his place.
The ceremony was a brief one, as Master Hitmonlee could no longer tolerate being out of his bed chamber for lengthy periods of time. Quilava was proud of himself. His years of hard work and determination had paid off, and now he stood above the entirety of the dojo as Karate Master and Sensei.
He went to bed later that night then usual, after indulging in a fine bottle of sake, with the company of a rather flirtatious Sunflora Geisha. She kept his cup full as well as his ears, she spoke nonstop, pointless chitchat. Initially Quilava was not amused, but as the bottle of sake emptied, and his belly grew full, Sunflora's voice softened and her jokes became very amusing.
Quilava woke up for the first time in a very long time to day light streaming through the paper screens in his bedchamber. He rolled over and found that he had not even slept on his futon, he was on the tatami mats, with no coverings. His head ached and he felt ashamed. His first day as Karate Master, and here he was hung over.
Quilava stood and decided to go for a swim. Even as a fire type, he had trained extensively at swimming so as to gain stamina against his ultimate weakness. Today the cleansing, yet potentially deadly waters of the wading pool outside the dojo would help him get back on the right foot.
Once outside, he stripped off his soiled yukata and waded into the shallow pool. The flames on his back went out in a puff of black smoke, and the sudden feeling of cold water on his back caused him to shiver. Nonetheless he walked slowly forward, until only his head remained above the surface.
Quilava did not see the Krabby standing directly in front of him under the water. Quilava was staring up at the cherry blossoms when the Krabby used it's Crabhammer attack on his toes. The pain was unlike anything he had ever felt in his life, and without the flame on his back, he could not attack. He tried to run as fast as he could, even attempting his Swift attack, but it was in vain.
He noticed light filtering through his eye lids, and opened them, several Pokémon were standing around his bed, he was in the infirmary. They looked surprised to see him awake, but their faces were sad, not happy.
"What happened?" He asked groggily.
"You were attacked by a Krabby, while you were swimming." A Chansey in a nurses uniform explained.
A Golduck, who was obviously the doctor, lifted his bed sheet and tutted.
"I'll see what we can do about a prosthesis, but, for now, you'll need a wheelchair." He explained. Dr. Golduck looked like he belonged in Hollywood, not a hospital. Quilava found himself getting angry at the handsome young doctor.
"What do you mean wheelchair? I'm a Karate Master!" He yelled, his voice cracking from disuse.
"That Krabby took your toes off. It probably-"
His heart was racing and the machine he was hooked up to began to beep loudly. He tried to pull the sheet off his body, but the IV on his arm flew off squirting fluids everywhere. Nurse Chancey was on one side, trying to hold him down while Dr. Golduck ran to a cabinet and was busy with a huge syringe.
"Calm down!" All around him Pokémon were yelling. "Hold him down!"
He finally got the twisted white hospital sheets off himself and looked at his legs. They ended in stumps, he could see the blood through the wrappings. Quilava wanted to cry, he wanted to scream, he wanted to use Heat Wave and roast that Krabby alive, and eat it with butter.
He remembered the sudden stabbing pain in his arm, as this time his eyes adjusted to the darkness in his infirmary room. No one was over his bed this time, he could not move his arms, because they were fastened to the railings on his bed. Quilava tried to move his legs, but suddenly whimpered as he remembered, that he no longer had toes. He cried silently to himself, wanting nothing more than for this to all be some drunken dream.
Quilava must have fallen asleep again, because he woke this time to daylight. Early morning light, he knew from the look of it. He turned his head, and noticed that the Sunflora Geisha was sitting on a chair next to his bed, she was dressed in a simpler Kimono this time, without the customary makeup and trimmings in her hair.
"Oh!" She said startled. "You're awake, shall I get the nurse?"
He shook his head no, he noticed that Sunflora looked almost pretty with the sunlight in her petals.
"How do you feel?" She questioned, genuine concern written all over her face.
"Like I got hit by an Onix."
"The doctor said they could make special shoes for you."
He turned his head away, he did not wish to discuss his toelessness with a Geisha.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean-"
"It's... it's ok, I know you mean well. I'll get through this, I've trained long and hard. What's a few toes anyway?"
He observed her looking down at her own feet in her geta. Her toes were probably painted some atrocious Geisha color.
"They've brought you a wheelchair, would you like to go outside and get some fresh air, maybe a cup of tea?"
Quilava thought about it. She would want to push him in the wheelchair, however he could do with the fresh air. It would set his mind straight and he'd be able to think about what he should do about being a toeless Karate Master.
"I think I'd like that."
She smiled and helped him to sit up and slid himself onto the wheelchair. Sunflora seemed thrilled to push him down the hall and outside to the garden. The air was fresh with the scent of spring rain and cherry blossoms. Quilava tried to focus on everything but his bloody stumps, yet all he could actually think about were his bandaged legs.
"I've seen you fight." She said quietly. "You're brilliant."
"Uh... thanks." He responded awkwardly.
"Do you think you'll be able to fight and battle again?"
Quilava suddenly grew angry.
"Karate Masters do not battle! Battling is for the common Pokémon!"
"You should be! I've trained in a dojo my whole life, I was named Karate Master, I've never battled, I fight, and I fight hard, I've never lost, what good is battling, you always have a weakness, if I wanted to right now I could burn you!"
She backed away from him, afraid.
"I only use the strength that I've trained hard to obtain, attacks can not be strengthened. Only muscles can!"
"You're scaring me!"
"Good! You should be afraid, I'm the Karate Master!"
Sunflora ran then, away crying, and Quilava laughed wholeheartedly. It felt good to scare the bimbo Geisha. Now he could meditate by himself without her nagging voice asking him stupid questions with her talk of common Pokémon battles. He closed his eyes and centered his breath, he felt the air pick up, and heard a swooshing sound above him, but he didn't open his eyes. Quilava never felt the giant Pelipper dive and lift him clean off his chair. The Karate Master was never seen again.
At the memorial service, they lamented about his bad luck. The entire dojo was upset, who would be their Master now? Sensei Hitmonlee would not live to see a new one. He stayed in his bedchamber, meditating on the issue, incense burning in a circle around his mat. The only image he received from his ancestors was of Sunflora. If she had not been chased away by Quilava's taunts, she could have used her Solar Beam on the Pelipper, alas, it would have been super effective.