The sun was starting to set as the group made their way down the streets of Ruceelna City. At one point, Red noticed a large stone archway in the middle of a street that seemed to be paved with threes, fours, and bricks. To his confusion, Orange and Violet walked around the arch, though it was definitely tall enough for them to walk through.
"Hey, guys, why'd you walk around this arch? It's- agh!" Red exclaimed, for as he was speaking, he walked under the archway, and immediately found that both of his feet were suddenly stuck firmly to the road. Red managed to not fall over, having nearly lost his balance, but simply could not budge his feet an inch.
"Hmm? Red!" exclaimed Violet as she and Orange wheeled around at the sound of his voice. Together, they walked over to Red, each one taking one of his arms, and they yanked hard. With a loud popping sound, Red's feet were pulled free, and the trio fell to the ground.
"Ow," groaned Red as they climbed back to their feet. "What the hell was that?"
"A freeze arch," replied Violet. "They're these stone archways that immobilize anyone who steps through them. You don't have those in Kanto?"
"Nothing even remotely close to them," said Red, looking back at the innocent-looking structure warily, as though fearful that it would suddenly come to life and attack them. "Are there many of these in Tanko?"
"A fair few," said Orange. "Each major city has at least one or two, though they can sometimes be found on routes. They're easy enough to spot, though. I got stuck in one when I was five, back when I lived in Miliovern City. My dad was close by, luckily, so he pulled me out no problem."
"Miliovern City?" repeated Red, frowning. "Wait... How do you spell that? M-I-L-I-O-V-E-R-N?"
"Yeah, why- ohhhh, I see," said Orange. "You rearrange those letters, you get the name of a city in Kanto, right?"
"Vermilion City," nodded Red. "I'm guessing Miliovern is south of here?"
"Right," nodded Violet. "Just past Fansfor City. Which is spelled F-A-N-S-F-O-R, by the way."
"Thought so," nodded Red. "That would correlate to Saffron City in Kanto."
"This is kinda cool," chuckled Orange. "I mean, for years, I've only known of Kanto as an urban legend, a myth about some parallel universe. And now I know, not only is it real, but its city names are the same as ours, just with the letters all scrambled. Well, c'mon, guys, we better get to the Pokémon Center before it gets dark." With that, he took off, running down the street.
"So, Violet," said Red, "Why don't people just take down those freeze arches?"
"They're indestructible," Violet answered. "Nothing in existence can so much as scratch those things. Someone once tried to destroy a freeze arch by telling their 'M to hit it with Take Down, but nothing happened. And 'M have really high attack power, there's not much that can withstand a physical attack from one of those.
Curious, Red took out his Pokédex at the mention of 'M. On the screen appeared an image of a large, rectangular Pokémon, white with black, orange, and purple markings all over. Jutting out from one side was a smaller rectangle with vague facial features.
"'M, the Shoreline Pokémon," droned the Pokédex. "'M thrive in coastal areas, though are not particularly adept swimmers. It flies through the air with style and grace, and hits with the force of a freight train."
"Guys! Come on!" exclaimed Orange, having finally realized his two companions were moving a lot slower than he was. For some reason, judging by the look on his face, this seemed to annoy him more than usual.
Violet sighed. "Yeah, yeah. Come on, Red."
Ten minutes later, the trio walked through the double doors made entirely of pencil shavings and entered the Pokémon Center. The nurse greeted them warmly and was more than happy to tend to their Pokémon.
"So," said Red as they waited for their Pokémon to heal up, "What type does the Ruceelna Gym Leader use anyway?"
"Water-types, I think," replied Violet. "Chompy should do fine in this one."
"That's what you said about Rewept Gym, though," observed Orange. "And as I recall, Chompy got one-hit KO'd by Bide."
"Orange?" said Violet.
"Water-types, huh?" said Red. "Looks like I'll be trying out Paras here."
"Does it know any Grass moves?" asked Orange.
"Lemme check," replied Red as he took his Pokédex in one hand and Paras's Poké Ball in the other. "OK, Paras's moves... Leech Life... Stun Spore... Scratch."
"Well, at least it's still resistant to Water moves," Violet said.
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," Orange said. "OK, I got nothing that's especially good against Water-types, but Q and LM4 can at least let me go with the same kind of stuff the leader will be using."
"Huh... that's actually a good point," said Violet, sounding very surprised to be saying such a thing to Orange. "Well, maybe I can use Migraine as well, then."
"All healed!" the nurse said suddenly, as she approached the trio with three trays full of Poké Balls.
"Ah, thanks," said Red as he took his Poké Balls and attached them to his belt. Orange and Violet did likewise, and then the group walked off towards the cafeteria for dinner. Red enjoyed a fiveburger with eight sauce; Orange happily wolfed down a nine casserole; and Violet had an even number salad. After this, the nurse showed them to their room, where a tired Red flopped down onto his bed and fell asleep at once. Not even the inhuman cacophony that was Orange's snoring could awaken him.
At least, not until five o'clock the next morning.
Red woke up to the earsplitting noises Orange was emitting and groaned upon noticing the clock.
"I need earplugs," he groaned as he tossed and turned in his bed, trying to block out the noise with no success. After several minutes of this, however, Red gave up the attempt and climbed out of bed. At that moment, however, Violet yawned as she awoke. Casually, she pulled out her earplugs, walked over to Orange, and slapped him with her pillow, waking him up.
"Zzzz-hmm?! What?! Huh?!" exclaimed Orange as he woke up abruptly.
"I really need a pair of earplugs," said Red, shaking his head.
"Here, take these," replied Violet as she pulled another pair out of her pants pocket and tossed them to Red, who barely caught them. "I keep extra pairs on me just in case."
"Geez, Vi," grumbled Orange. "You act like I snore really loudly or something like that.
"Maybe because, oh, I don't know, you do?" Violet replied sarcastically. "Did you think I wear these earplugs to keep my ears warm?"
"Yeah, whatever, let's eat and get to the Gym," said Orange.
"Orange, it's five in the morning," said Red. "You really think the Gym's gonna be open that early?"
"It's worth a shot, at least," shrugged Orange. "Come on, Red, Vi."
As the trio entered the main lobby of the Pokémon Center, they noticed that it didn't seem closed at all. All the lights were still on, and the cafeteria was still open.
"Knew this'd still be open," said Orange as they took seats around a small table in the cafeteria. "Pokémon Centers run 24/7, because you never know when a trainer's gonna come in from a late-night training session, or some sort of sudden emergency or something."
At that moment, a Chansey had noticed the trio and came waddling right over, ready to take their orders.
"Fried nines, please," said Orange.
"Make that two," Red added. "Those are good." At this, Orange grinned and high-fived Red.
"A small bowl of fresh sixes for me, please," said Violet. Chansey nodded as it scribbled down their orders, then walked away.
"You know, one of these days, Orange," Violet said, "You're gonna get tired of having fried nines every morning."
"Yeah, sure," scoffed Orange. "I'll start ordering something different when that happens, no problem. If that happens, anyway."
"They are pretty good, Violet," said Red.
"She wouldn't know, though," Orange said. "She's an evenetarian."
"An evenetarian," repeated Orange. "She only eats even numbers."
"Orange, if I've told you once I've told you a hundred times," sighed Violet. "I am not an evenetarian. Evenetarians eat only even numbers because they choose to. I only eat even numbers because I don't like how odd numbers taste."
"You're still an evenetarian," said Orange stubbornly.
"I am not."
"You are too."
"No, you are not!" declared Orange. "You are most certainly not an evenetarian and that is final!"
"Whatever you say," shrugged Violet.
"You're darn right, whatever I say," grinned Orange. Then, as he sat there, his grin slowly gave way to an annoyed expression. "Hey, wait a minute!" he exclaimed suddenly, at which point both Red and Violet started laughing.
"Sorry, Orange," chuckled Red. "But that was hilarious."
At that moment, however, Chansey returned to the table with their meals. Red and Orange happily started in on their fried nines, while Violet picked up a spoon and started to slowly scoop the small sixes out of the bowl and into her mouth.
Once they were done eating and Chansey had scanned their Pokédexes to confirm that they were trainers, Red, Orange, and Violet exited the Pokémon Center and began to walk down the street.
"OK, if I remember the nurse's directions correctly, the Gym should be right around here," stated Orange as he looked around. "Not much farther-aha!" he added in triumph as he pointed down the road, having only just spotted the large structure at the end of it.
The building was massive, constructed from what appeared to be large concrete bricks, pieces of wooden fence, various shrubberies, and a bunch of ones and threes. In the very front, where a set of doors ought to have been, there was instead a large wall of water. As Orange and Violet continued to walk towards it, Red stopped, confused.
"Where's the door?" he asked.
"Right here," replied Orange as he walked right through the wall of water as if it was absolutely nothing. Violet followed with similar results. After taking a moment to stare at the strange entrance, Red tentatively walked through the wall of water. Oddly, it didn't feel a thing like water; indeed, it felt as though a cool breeze was blowing on Red's body from above, like from an air conditioner.
The inside of Ruceelna Gym was brightly lit. The floor, ceiling, and walls were all white, with numerous windows near the ceiling letting in large amounts of sunlight. Most notably, in the middle of the room, there was a large swimming pool built into the floor, with two large, white floating platforms bobbing in place. Then, Red could see someone at the other end of the pool. A teenage boy, looking somewhat older than Orange. His head was covered in unkempt blond hair, and he was wearing only a pair of blue swimming trunks. His exposed torso showed obvious muscle.
"Hey, what's up, dudes?" called the youth. "Welcome to Ruceelna Gym! I'm, like, Walter, the Gym Leader."
"Hi, Walter," breathed Violet, sounding as though she was extraordinarily pleased to make his acquaintance. "I'm Violet Scramble from Talpel Town, and I came to challenge you to a battle!"
"Ahem," butted in Orange, sounding very annoyed. "I'm Orange McPixel, also from Talpel Town, and would like to remind Violet that she is not your only challenger today!"
"Red Vershunn, also from Talpel Town," added Red. "Also here for a battle."
"Right, dudes," nodded Walter as he took his place at the far end of the pool. "I can only battle, like, one of you at a time, so, how about I battle the pretty girl first?" At this, Violet blushed and giggled.
"Heh heh... Fine by me!" she said.
"Two Pokémon each sound cool to you?" called Walter.
"You're the boss," replied Violet.
"Right on," he grinned as he reached for a nearby duffel bag and pulled out a Poké Ball. As he threw it, he shouted, "Let's go, Tentacool!"
In a flash of light, a small, blue Pokémon materialized in the water. Its blue body was vaguely bell-shaped, and possessed two very large red dots, with one smaller red dot between the two. A pair of gray tentacles could be seen coming out of the bottom. Violet took out her Pokédex and aimed it at her opponent.
"Tentacool, the Jellyfish Pokémon. Tentacool drifts in shallow seas. Fishermen who hook it by accident are punished by its stinging acid."
"OK, let's get started!" said Violet as she threw a Poké Ball. "Chompy, I choose you!"
The ball burst open to unleash Violet's Bellsprout, who expertly landed on the floating platform closer to Violet's end of the pool. "Bellsprout, sprout," said Chompy.
"Tentacool, Skull Bash!" called Walter.
"Chompy, Wrap it!" ordered Violet.
With surprising speed, Tentacool sprung out of the water, lunging at Chompy. The Bellsprout, however, merely stretched out its root-lke body and bound it tightly around the oncoming Tentacool.
"We got it now," said Violet. "Tighter, Chompy!"
"Tentacool, like, use Acid!" Walter commanded.
"Cool," replied Tentacool in a slightly nasally voice as it aimed one of its tentacles at Chompy and unleashed a blast of purple liquid from the tip. Chompy screamed as the Acid made contact, and involuntarily released Tentacool.
"Alright, little dude, way to go!" Walter congratulated his Pokémon. "Now, let's show them what, like, a real Wrap attack looks like!"
"Tentacool, Tentacool," chanted Tentacool as it wound its tentacles tightly around Chompy, immobilizing the Bellsprout.
"Use Growth now!" Violet ordered.
"Sprooooooooooooout!" bellowed Chompy as its body took on a greenish aura and began to double in size. A surprised Tentacool was practically forced to let go.
"Whoa, dude," murmured Walter.
"Vine Whip attack!" continued Violet.
"Bellsprout, sprout!" replied Chompy as it extended a pair of thick vines from behind its leaves and smacked Tentacool clear across the pool with them. The Jellyfish Pokémon skidded to a stop on the opposite platform, unconscious.
"Impressive," grinned Walter as he withdrew Tentacool. "Usually, like, Tentacool's good for taking out at least one Pokémon, you know? I've won entire battles just using it."
"It's very well-trained, though," Violet said quickly.
"Well, you thought that was something, you ain't seen my best yet!" said Walter as he produced a second Poké Ball and launched it. "LM4, go!"
In a flash of light, the Poké Ball unleashed an LM4 into the pool. It looked rather identical to Orange's, if not somewhat larger.
"Four four LM4!" it exclaimed as it began to swiftly swim laps around the pool.
"OK, Chompy, try to hit it with Vine Whip!" ordered Violet.
"LM4, like, dodge it!" Walter called out.
Chompy's vines plunged into the water and flailed about, but LM4 deftly evaded each and every attack.
"OK, now, like, hit it with Quick Attack!" said Walter.
"Fooooooouuurr!" bellowed LM4 as it leapt out of the water and rammed into Chompy's back, sending it into the pool.
"Chompy, get out of there!" exclaimed Violet.
"Aurora Beam!" exclaimed Walter.
As Chompy flailed about in the water in a pathetic attempt to swim to the nearest platform, LM4 unleashed the Ice-type move at point-blank range. The rainbow-colored ray sent Chompy flying out of the pool and crashing down on the platform as it slowly shrunk back down to its original size.
"OK, LM4's a Fighting-type," muttered Violet as she withdrew Chompy. "I think I got an idea!" She then threw another ball. "I choose you, Migraine!"
The ball opened up and unleashed the Psyduck into the open. Migraine landed in the water and began to swim around, eyeing its opponent with its trademark blank look as it climbed onto the platform.
"LM4, like, use ThunderPunch!" exclaimed Walter.
"L M!" replied LM4 as what appeared to be a fist covered in the same patterns as the rest of its body sprouted out of its top side and crackled with electricity. LM4 then zoomed through the water, preparing to leap out at Migraine.
"Migraine, Confusion attack!" called Violet.
"Psy?" was the Psyduck's response as it turned around and tilted its head, obviously not having understood the order.
"Migraine! Come on, I know you know that move!" Violet exclaimed. "Migraine, look out!"
"Psy? DUCK!" exclaimed Migraine as it looked back just in time to see LM4's electrified fist make contact with its gut.
"What's wrong with Migraine?" wondered Red out loud as LM4 retracted its fist. Orange, who didn't seem especially keen on watching the match, merely shrugged.
Meanwhile, the battle wasn't going so well for Violet. Following Migraine's failure to use Confusion, Violet decided to stick with its other attacks, but its Water Gun was overpowered by LM4's BubbleBeam easily.
"Migraine, Submission!" said Violet.
"LM4, like, Wrap!" ordered Walter.
Immediately, a pair of tentacles unraveled themselves from LM4's sides and wound their way around Migraine's torso, squeezing it tightly.
"Let's end this- Rolling Kick!" he ordered.
"Migraine, Water Gun!" Violet cried. It was no good, however- LM4 pulled Migraine in close and slammed a newly-grown foot right into Migraine's head.
"Violet, there's still a chance!" Red exclaimed. "Remember the last time Migraine used Confusion?"
"Right- its headache!" exclaimed Violet as Migraine's eyes took on a blue glow. "A Rolling Kick to the head would give anything a headache! Migraine, use your Confusion attack!"
"Psy..." droned the Psyduck as it unleashed a ray of blue light from its eyes. LM4 screeched horribly as the super effective move made contact, and released its hold on Migraine. The Bubble Cube Pokémon floated on the surface of the water, unmoving.
"Whoa!" exclaimed Walter as he withdrew LM4. "Like, you totally blew me away! Awesome battle." At that point, he reached into his duffel bag, pulled out a blue disc and a small, glittering blue object, then leapt into the pool and swiftly swam over to Violet.
"That was cool," giggled Violet as Walter climbed out of the pool. Orange rolled his eyes.
"Thanks," smiled Walter as he held out the glittering object- small and blue, in the shape of a tidal wave. "Here you go- the Drench Badge. You've totally earned it." As Violet accepted it, he then offered the blue disc. Oh, and here's TM11- it teaches BubbleBeam."
"Thank you," said Violet as Walter went back in the water and swam back to his side.
"Alright, which one of you dudes wants to go next?" he called.
"I'll go," voluteered Red.
"Oh no, you don't," said Orange suddenly, stepping up to the pool. "I'll battle you next!"
Walter shrugged. "Whatever, little dude. Let me heal my Pokémon first." With that, he took both his Poké Balls and placed them on a machine in the back of the room, identical to the one Minerva used back in Rewept Gym. After a few seconds, he took the Poké Balls back and faced Orange. He placed one ball back in the nearby duffel bag and threw the other one. "Tentacool, go!"
The ball split open in midair, and Walter's Tentacool rematerialized in the water, looking as healthy as ever. "Tentacool, Tentacool," it said.
"Spearow," Orange exclaimed as he heaved a Poké Ball into the air, "I choose you!"
In a flash of light, Spearow appeared in midair, screeching loudly as it circled above the pool.
"OK, Tentacool, like, your target's, like, flying around and stuff," explained Walter. "We'll need to try, like, long-range attacks. Use BubbleBeam!"
"Tentacool!" squealed Tentacool as it unleashed a barrage of bubbles from the tips of its tentacles. Spearow, however, evaded them with ease.
"Spearow, Razor Wind attack!" ordered Orange.
"Speeeaaaaarrrowwww!" screeched Spearow as it flapped its wings furiously, sending a gust of razor-sharp air straight at Tentacool, who couldn't dive underwater quickly enough.
"Good job, Spearow, keep it up! Rapid-fire Razor Wind!" grinned Orange.
"Spea! Row! Spea! Row!" grunted Spearow with each flap of its wings, sending wave after wave of wind flying at Tentacool. Occasionally, Tentacool could attempt to block an oncoming Razor Wind with BubbleBeam, but the attack would always get popped by Razor Wind.
"OK, let's finish it! Take Down!" Orange ordered. Immediately, Spearow did a backflip in midair and dove down at Tentacool, who was too tired to try and dodge it. Skimming the surface of the pool with its talons, Spearow plowed Tentacool into the platform, though fell into the water briefly. As Walter withdrew Tentacool, Spearow got out of the water and flew over to the floating platform near Orange, though clearly had a hard time doing so; its feathers were drenched with water, making them much heavier than normal.
"Well done, little dude," remarked Walter. "But now let's see how you handle LM4!" he added as he threw the second Poké Ball, unleashing his Water/Fighting-type into the water.
"Spearow, it's a Fighting-type! Use Peck!" Orange exclaimed. Spearow flapped its wings rapidly, but only succeeding in spraying water in all directions.
"LM4, like, use Aurora Beam!" commanded Walter.
"Fooouur!" shouted LM4 as it unleashed the rainbow-colored attack. Spearow attempted to dodge it, but the flight back to the platform had worn it out too much to be able to get into the air, and the attack sent the soggy Spearow flying into its trainer's arms, clearly unfit for further battling.
"I'm sorry, Spearow," sighed Orange as he withdrew his Flying-type. "If I had just stuck with Razor Wind, you'd have been able to dodge Aurora Beam easily. But that's in the past," he continued as he readied another Poké Ball. "They say to fight fire with fire. Well, in this case, I'll fight Fighting with Fighting!" And he heaved the sphere into the air. "LM4, let's go!"
In a flash of light, Orange's LM4 materialized, landing in the pool. Now able to see the two side by side, Red realized that Orange's LM4 really was somewhat smaller than Walter's, but not by too much.
"Righteous, dude," grinned Walter. "You got an LM4 too! This is gonna, like, be really interesting. LM4, go! ThunderPunch now!"
"Use PoisonPowder!" Orange commanded as Walter's LM4 zipped through the water, electrified fist already at the ready. Orange's LM4 unleashed a plume of purple dust, which stopped its enemy cold. Walter's LM4 now had a purplish hue all over its body, and it was coughing.
"It's poisoned," remarked Red.
"Not bad, little dude," said Walter. "But try and beat our Quick Attack!"
"We'll use Quick Attack, too!" Orange replied. "Go, LM4!"
Simultaneously, the two LM4 darted through the water and collided in the middle. Walter's LM4, being larger, rammed Orange's LM4 hard, sending it crashing onto the floating platform.
"Come on, LM4, you can do it!" Orange exclaimed.
"Four... Four... FOOOOUUUUR!" bellowed Orange's LM4 suddenly as it stood on the floating platform and took on a bright glow. Orange's jaw dropped as LM4's body rounded out somewhat, and sprouted small arms, legs, and pointed ears. A tail and a pair of small wings grew out of its back as the glow faded, revealing a pale pink Pokémon to be standing in LM4's place.
"Did... LM4... But..." stammered Red.
"It evolved into Clefairy!" exclaimed Violet as Orange held out his Pokédex.
"Clefairy, the Fairy Pokémon, and the evolved form of LM4," droned Orange's Pokédex. "Exceptionally cute, Clefairy has many admirers. It is exceedingly rare and appears only in certain areas." As the Pokédex finished speaking, however, Orange's Clefairy began to glow once more. This time, the change in shape was much more drastic. Its small tail became large and thick. Its petite body grew drastically, and its ears became larger. Numerous spikes jutted out of various spots on its body, mainly its back and ears. As a large horn jutted out of its forehead, the glowing stopped, revealing a monstrous purple Pokémon, who roared loudly.
"Now that's more like it!" Orange exclaimed, holding his Pokédex out once again.
"Nidoking, the Drill Pokémon, droned the Pokédex. "Although it is the evolved form of Nidorino, when LM4 evolves into Clefairy, it will promptly evolve again into Nidoking. Nidoking possesses steel-like hide which functions much like armor. Its horn can pierce even diamonds, and its tail packs enough power to destroy concrete structures."
"Very cool," nodded Walter. "Here's the deal, though- Nidoking are, like, Ground-types, which is, like, weak to Water! How are you gonna deal with that?"
"See for yourself," said Orange, grinning widely. "Nidoking has one other move it knew since it was LM4, but I never had it use it before. Didn't really have an opportunity to, but now I do. Nidoking, TM05!"
Nidoking roared as it leapt into the water and, despite its weakness to it, swiftly swam towards LM4, but at the last second, changed direction and vanished into thin air.
"Whoa!" breathed Walter. "My LM4 didn't even learn that move yet! Awesome! LM4, be careful, it could come from anywhere!"
"Nidoking, Quick Attack!" Orange commanded.
With a sudden roar that seemed to come from nowhere, LM4 was suddenly slammed into the side of the pool as Nidoking rematerialized.
"LM4, BubbleBeam now!" called Walter.
"Not happening!" Orange declared. "Nidoking, finish it with Rolling Kick!"
As LM4 unleashed a barrage of bubbles, Nidoking leapt out of the water and expertly delivered a roundhouse kick, sending LM4 crashing into the back wall of the Gym, where it fell to the floor and moved no more.
"Wow," sighed Walter as he withdrew LM4. "Now, that was a battle, little dude." As he took another badge and TM out of his bag, Orange withdrew Nidoking, allowing Walter to swim across the pool, at which point he presented Orange with a Drench Badge and a TM11.
"Good battle, Orange," said Violet. At this, Orange grinned, and then stood back, allowing Red to take his place near the pool.
"OK! Red, right?" asked Walter.
"Excellent!" Walter said happily. "Just let me heal my team and I'll be glad to battle you, dude."
"You ready, Red?" asked Orange.
"As I'll ever be," Red replied.