"All right, Pidgey! Quick Attack!"
"Spearow, Take Down!"
The two bird Pokémon streaked through the air, each aiming for the other one, fully intending to collide. When they crashed into each other, they fell to the ground. Spearow shakily climbed back onto its small feet, but its opponent, a slightly smaller bird with brown plumage all over, didn't even try to get back up.
"Pidgey, return," sighed the Youngster, holding out a Poké Ball.
"Yeah, we did it, Spearow!" Orange exclaimed happily.
"That is one awesome Spearow you got there," the Youngster said.
"I know, right?" Orange replied, grinning proudly. "Your Pidgey didn't do too bad itself, either."
"Thanks," said the Youngster before walking off, saying something about getting Pidgey to the Pokémon Center.
"Orange, you've been battling every single trainer we've come across since we got out of Nugget Swamp," Violet complained.
"And I beat them all!" Orange declared proudly, missing the point completely.
"What Violet is saying, Orange, is maybe you should give one of us a shot," said Red.
"Oh, what are you guys complaining about?" chuckled Orange. "Between Chompy and Rattata evolving, not to mention Violet catching Koffing, you two did well enough for yourselves in the swamp."
Violet opened her mouth to reply, when a familiar voice greeted their ears.
"Hey! Red, Orange, Violet, that you?"
Red wheeled around, to see a familiar-looking Bug Catcher running towards them. Orange and Violet did the same, and all three of them looked surprised.
"Jimmy?!" exclaimed Orange. "What are you doing here?"
"It is you guys! I decided to start traveling, see if I could get any more Bug-types. There's only so many different kinds in Ivadirin Forest. Just the Caterpie and Weedle families, plus Z4."
"How'd that go, anyway?" asked Violet. "You were gonna try and get a more obedient Z4, weren't you?"
"Yeah... that didn't exactly pan out that well," Jimmy chuckled weakly. "But I did get some new ones! Who's gonna battle me and see?"
Violet turned to glare at Orange, but for once, the overeager trainer was keeping quiet. Clearly, his fear of Bug-types was starting to overcome his love for battle.
"I'll go," said Violet. "How many Pokemon should we each use?"
"Two each sound good?" asked Jimmy as he took a Poké Ball off his belt.
"Fine by me," smirked Violet as she readied a Poké Ball of her own.
Jimmy threw his ball first. "OK, Venonat! Let's go!"
In a flash of light, the round, fuzzy, purple form of a Venonat materialized. After sizing it up for a second, Violet threw the Poké Ball in her hand. "Go, Flutters!" she called as her Butterfree emerged.
"Hey, Flutters evolved, pretty cool!" grinned Jimmy. "OK, Venonat! Tackle attack!"
"Veno nat!" replied Venonat as it leapt into the air, trying to slam into Flutters.
"Flutters, use your Confusion attack!" Violet ordered.
"Freeh freeeh!" chittered Flutters as it let loose a pair of blue rays of light from its eyes, slamming into the Insect Pokémon with full force, knocking it to the ground.
"Venonat, Tackle again!" ordered Jimmy.
"Flutters, Harden!" Violet called.
As Venonat leapt at the Butterfree once more, Flutters stuck its wings straight out, and its entire body seemed to gleam in the broken, pixelly sunlight for a moment. Venonat bounced off of the Butterfree's body with a resounding CLAAANG and fell backwards. Flutters proceeded to flap its wings again, rising higher into the air.
"Good, Flutters! Now use String Shot!" exclaimed Violet.
"Freeeeeheeeeheeeh!" trilled Flutters as it unleashed several strands of white string from its mouth, quickly wrapping Venonat up in it until it couldn't move anymore.
"Vmmm nmmmt," muffled Venonat.
"No, Venonat! Try a Psybeam!" Jimmy exclaimed desperately.
"Flutters! Tackle it now!" Violet exclaimed, grinning widely. Flutters dove down at the immobilized Venonat, who couldn't seem to launch Psybeam. Venonat was sent flying into Jimmy's arms once the Butterfree slammed into it.
"Venonat, return!" Jimmy exclaimed as he held out the Poké Ball and calling the Insect Pokémon back. Once Venonat had been returned, he replaced the ball with another one and threw it. "OK, that's it! Scyther, let's go!"
"S-s-s-s-scyyyy... S-s-s-s-scyyyyy..." Orange started gasping as a rather large winged creature emerged from Jimmy's Poké Ball. It stood on two legs, and was brandishing its arms; more specifically, the sharp, shiny, metallic sword blades on the ends of the arms. In what he evidently considered to be a nonchalant manner, Orange moved off to the side until he was directly behind Red.
"Scyther!" shrieked the large bug. Violet held out her Pokédex at her newest opponent.
"Scyther, the Mantis Pokémon," droned the device. "Scyther moves incredibly quickly and shreds its enemy with its razor-sharp scythes. On rare occasions, it flies with its wings."
"Flutters, use your Confusion!" Violet ordered.
"Scyther, Quick Attack!" Jimmy called.
Butterfree prepared to launch beams of psychic energy, but before it could even begin, Scyther began to flap its wings with incredible rapidity, and zipped forward with even greater rapidity, slamming headfirst into the Butterfree and tackling it to the ground.
"Flutters, return!" Violet exclaimed, holding out the Poké Ball and recalling her feebly stirring Butterfree. She quickly took out another ball and launched it. "I choose you, Skulls!"
In a flash of light, Violet's Koffing materialized, "Koffing," it rumbled in a deep voice.
"Koffing, pretty cool," nodded Jimmy. "OK, Scyther, use Wing Attack now!"
"Skulls, Smog attack!" commanded Violet.
"Koffing," replied Skulls as it blasted a thick, dark green fog from the prominent pores all over its body. Scyther had flown right into its fog, and could soon be heard coughing.
"Now, Skulls, Mimic!" Violet called.
Skulls looked down at the Smog cloud, and its skull-and-crossbones pattern briefly glowed with a bright white light. At that moment, Scyther flew out of the cloud, now hovering behind the Koffing.
"Scyther, Slash it!" ordered Jimmy.
"Skulls, Wing Attack!" yelled Violet.
"Koffing!" exclaimed Skulls as two of its pores unleashed plumes of smog. Each cloud formed itself into the shape of a wing as the Koffing began to fly towards the oncoming Scyther. The smog-wings and swordlike blades collided in midair, to general astonishment at just how solid the Koffing's "wings" had turned out to be. After several minutes of struggling, both attacks got through to their respective targets. Skulls smacked Scyther with its "wings", while Scyther sliced at Skulls with its scythes. Both Pokemon fell to the ground after this, neither one of them able to get back up.
"A draw, who'd have guessed?" remarked Orange as both trainers were recalling their Pokémon.
"It's not a draw, though," argued Violet. "Flutters took a lot of damage from Scyther's Quick Attack, but it wasn't knocked out. I'll admit, it was a pretty close match, though!"
"Yeah," grinned Jimmy. "That was a pretty good battle-"
"Sshhh!" hissed Orange, his eyes wide, staring at something behind Jimmy. Red looked, and saw a vaguely familiar rectangular thing floating a foot or so off the ground. It was covered in black, orange, and purple markings.
"Hey, is that-" began Red.
"It's an A," whispered Orange. "I missed my chance back at Rewept City, I'm not about to let this one get away!"
At that moment, however, the A turned to face Orange, and seemed to do a double take upon noticing him, giving a surprised squeak.
"Huh," remarked Violet. "Orange, I think that's the same A from that last time!"
"You think so?" asked Orange, surprised as A began to squeak in a frightened manner, slowly backing away.
And then, suddenly, a net fell over the A from above it. Orange looked up and gasped in outrage, for a pair of Team Error grunts were standing on an aluminum tree limb, looking very pleased with themselves. A, meanwhile, was squeaking in an agitated manner, struggling to free itself from the net.
"Heh heh, nice work, Larry!" laughed one of them. "A are really rare, the boss is gonna be very pleased with this!"
"Hey!" Orange exclaimed. "Team Error! What do you think you're doing?!"
"Hey, it's the twerps again!" said Larry as he and Jeff wheeled around to face them. Then, as one, the duo leapt off the tree branch and landed on the ground expertly, each on one side of the net.
"What we're doing, little boy, I think would be easy enough to understand," sneered Jeff. "We're catching ourselves a new Pokémon!"
"With a net?" scowled Orange. "I don't think so!"
"Hey, Poké Balls are expensive!" whined Larry. "And our salary is pitiful!"
"OK, less talking, more fighting," snapped Jeff as he threw a Poké Ball. "pPkMnp, go!"
"I choose you, 7g!" added Larry, throwing a ball of his own.
The Poké Balls burst open, revealing the horizontal rectangular form of pPkMnp, and the reddish cube that was 7g. Orange took out a Poké Ball of his own, but Jeff slapped Larry upside the head. "OK, wait, why are we battling them when we can just grab A and make a break for it? pPkMnp, use TM04!"
pPkMnp roared as it let loose a plume of purple dust from the top of its body, Everyone tensed up, but the clouds of purple dust didn't even make them cough, and were gone just as soon as they came.
"TM04, a Water-type move with no discernible effect," piped up Violet's Pokédex.
"Hey, they're gone!" exclaimed Orange. "And so is A!"
Indeed, neither Team Error grunt could be seen. A was also gone, along with the net it had been trapped in. pPkMnp and 7g were gone as well.
"We gotta try and find them," stated Violet.
"Yes, we gotta save A!" Orange nodded.
"Hey, maybe I can help," offered Jimmy, holding up a Poké Ball. "Do you have anything that's ever come in contact with that A?" he asked.
"No- wait!" exclaimed Orange as he threw the ball he had been holding. "Spearow, go!"
The Poké Ball burst open, unleashing Orange's Spearow in a flash of white light.
"When I first tried to catch A, it pushed this Spearow in front of the Poké Ball," explained Orange. "But why-"
"This is why," grinned Jimmy, tossing his own Poké Ball into the air. "Weedle, come on out!"
Orange stifled a scream and hastily backed up as Jimmy's Weedle materialized, landing expertly in his trainer's hand.
"Spearow," Jimmy called up, "Can you please come down here? I need Weedle to smell you."
Spearow simply glanced down at Jimmy, the look on its face implying that it thought he was crazy. After a moment, however, Spearow descended, though still regarded Jimmy warily. "OK, Weedle, get the A's scent and lead us to it!" Jimmy said.
"Weedle," replied Weedle as it placed its nose close to Spearow's left wing and sniffed deeply. Weedle then raised its head and sniffed at the air. And then it tensed up, and blasted a String Shot at a nearby tree limb, and swung by the string. Then it broke off that String Shot and fired another one at another tree limb, further away. Weedle continued this, swinging its way off into the distance. Jimmy raced after his Weedle, motioning for the trio to follow. After exchanging highly confused looks, that's just what they did, Spearow following them in the sky.
"What... was that... about?" panted Orange as they caught up with the Bug Catcher.
"Weedle have... an amazing... sense of smell," Jimmy replied as they ran. "Those noses... aren't just... for show, you know. And they... lose this... sense of smell... when they evolve."
"I've often... wondered why... some Bug Catchers... won't evolve... Weedle," remarked Orange.
Several minutes later, they had caught up to Jeff and Larry. The two were walking at a leisurely pace, each one holding one end of A's net. They had obviously called pPkMnp and 7g back to their Poké Balls.
"Stop, thieves!" Orange called out.
"Weedle, String Shot!" exclaimed Jimmy.
"Weeeeedle!" replied Weedle as it fired off several strands of silk from its horn. These strands stuck fast to the backs of the grunts' shirts, and though the strands snapped easily, they caused the grunts to stumble and drop A's net. Undaunted, Jeff and Larry wheeled around, each one now brandishing a Poké Ball.
"How did you catch up with us?" demanded Larry.
"Like we'll tell you," Violet replied coldly.
"Now let that A go!" added Orange.
"Not on your life!" snarled Jeff, throwing the Poké Ball. "pPkMnp, go!"
"You too, 7g!" added Larry.
Once again, the villains' Pokémon materialized, looking as ready for battle as Pokémon without faces could hope to look.
"Spearow, ready?" called Orange.
"Speeearow!" cawed Spearow as it descended, hovering directly in front of Orange.
Red then threw a Poké Ball. "Go, Charmeleon!" he exclaimed.
In a flash of light, Red's Charmeleon appeared. It stood in front of red, claws bared, ready and raring for battle.
"pPkMnp, use Sludge on Charmeleon!" ordered Jeff.
"7g, Double-Edge on Spearow!" called Larry.
"Charmeleon, Flamethrower!" exclaimed Red.
"Spearow, use Take Down!" commanded Orange.
pPkMnp launched a stream of sludge at Charmeleon, who met it with a stream of fire. The attacks collided, neither one letting the other advance any. Meanwhile, 7g and Spearow flew at each other and collided with great force.
"Now use Razor Wind!" Orange called.
"Speearrrow!" cawed Spearow as it flapped its wings rapidly, the wind slicing at 7g. Unknown to anyone other than A, the attack also grazed the net, slicing through a little bit of it.
"More power, Charmeleon!" Red urged.
"Chaaaar!" roared Charmeleon as its Flamethrower intensified, becoming hotter and wider. Slowly, pPkMnp's Sludge was getting pushed back.
"OK, Spearow, Peck it now!" Orange ordered.
"Roooooowwwww!" Spearow screeched as it streaked towards 7g and struck it with its small yet sharp beak, knocking the Slow Pokémon out of the air and onto the ground. At the same time, Charmeleon's Flamethrower won out completely, scorching pPkMnp. Without waiting for orders, Charmeleon then ran at pPkMnp and executed a Scratch attack. It was clear that pPkMnp's injuries had been severe, for not even its incredible Defense helped out; as Charmeleon unleashed Scratch, the Fortress Pokémon fell to the ground."
"Return!" Jeff and Larry exclaimed simultaneously as they withdrew their fallen Pokémon. Then, something unprecedented happened; they readied two other Poké Balls.
"Wait, what?!" Orange exclaimed. "I thought you couldn't afford Poké Balls!"
"We can, we just gotta save our salaries for months in order to get any," replied Jeff as he threw his ball. "Go, 'M!"
"Let's do it, Z4!" added Larry.
Larry's Poké Ball unleashed a Z4, an all-too-familiar sight to the trio (especially Orange, who whimpered slightly at the sight of it, yet stood his ground all the same). Jeff's however, unleashed something Red had only previously seen on his Pokédex's screen. From a side view, it was vaguely L-shaped, but facing them head on, it proved to have a rather narrow body On the part that protruded forward, it sported a pair of wide, square eyes, one on each side of its body, directly above a wide, grinning mouth. The whole thing stood roughly eight feet tall. Though he already knew what it was, Red held his Pokédex out.
"'M, the Shoreline Pokémon," droned his 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."
"OK, Charmeleon, hit Z4 with Flamethrower!" ordered Red.
"'M, Water Gun!" exclaimed Jeff.
"Z4, Body Slam!" Larry called out.
"Spearow, use Take Down on 'M now!" commanded Orange.
Charmeleon launched a stream of flame at Z4, but 'M swooped in front of Z4 and launched from its mouth a blast of water, cutting through the Flamethrower like extremely fiery butter, and soaking Charmeleon, who roared its disapproval. Spearow rammed into 'M's side, however, disrupting the attack. As 'M recovered from the attack, Charmeleon continued its Flamethrower, knocking Z4 out.
"OK, 'M, Sky Attack now!" ordered Jeff.
"M M!" trilled 'M as it rose into the air, its entire body taking on a majestic golden glow.
Red and Orange tensed up, both knowing just how powerful a Sky Attack could be. And 'M's reputation for hitting with the force of a freight train did nothing to improve their spirits.
And then a rectangular blur slammed into 'M, disrupting the Sky Attack's charging. Orange's jaw dropped; A had broken free of its net, and had attacked 'M.
"A, you're free!" Orange exclaimed.
A squeaked excitedly and flew in circles over Orange's head. Orange couldn't understand what it was saying, but he got a vague feeling that it seemed grateful for his rescue efforts.
"'M, take them all out!" Jeff exclaimed. "Use Tri Attack!"
"M!" exclaimed 'M as a large, glowing triangle formed in front of it, then flew towards A.
"No! A, dodge it!" Orange exclaimed. A flew straight up into the air, and managed to evade the triangle completely. A then flew at 'M again, landing another light blow. Now it seemed to be going even faster than usual.
"TM40, a Normal-type move," said Orange's Pokédex. "A light, quick blow which increases the user's Speed."
"OK, A!" Orange exclaimed. "Give it a Razor Wind!"
A squeaked loudly as it rotated furiously in midair like a fan, sending a gust of cutting air right at 'M, causing it to screech in discomfort. Then, A began to glow and change shape!
"Is it evolving?" asked Red.
Orange shook his head. "A don't evolve," he replied. "It's using Transform!"
"Wait, Transform?" Red asked, taken by surprise by this news. "I thought only Ditto could learn Transform!"
"Nope. Ditto and A," Violet stated. A stopped glowing at that point, only now it looked identical to 'M.
"A, try a Mega Punch!" Orange called, after quickly consulting his Pokédex for a list of moves the Speed Demon Pokémon could now use. Despite now looking like 'M, A still squeaked like its old self as a thick arm tipped in a large fist seemed to grow out of the top of its body. A then flew at 'M and slammed the fist into the Shoreline Pokémon. 'M was thrown backwards, where it collided with Jeff and Larry, and they were all sent flying into the distance.
"Goodbye, and good riddance!" shouted Violet as A resumed its usual form.
"Wow," sighed Orange. "A, thank you so much!"
A squeaked happily in response as it flew circles around Orange, this time level with his head.
"Orange, I think A wants to go with you," Jimmy pointed out.
"A, is this true?" Orange asked, a look of mild surprise on his face. A nodded, but then put some distance between itself and Orange, and gave a loud squeak.
Orange grinned and nodded, understanding at once. "OK, I get it, you want a battle first," he said as he withdrew Spearow and took out another Poké Ball. "Let's do this, then! .4, go!"
In a flash of light, Orange's .4 appeared, gibbering excitedly and flying in tiny circles, unable to contain its limitless energy.
A made the first move, and launched a barrage of coins. .4 screeched as the metallic projectiles made contact with its diminutive body.
".4, use your TM28 attack!" ordered Orange.
"EEEEEEEEEE!" shrieked .4 as it zoomed in close to A and exploded, sending the Normal/Normal-type flying backwards.
"Good! Now use Wing Attack!" Orange ordered.
Instantly, a pair of wings seemed to appear out of nowhere on .4, one wing coming out of each side. The wings looked as though they were composed of small purple cubes, giving the wings a distinctly blocky appearance. .4 then zoomed forward and struck A with its wings, slamming the Speed Demon Pokémon to the ground.
Orange wasted no time, and launched a red-and-white sphere at the unmoving A. "Poké Ball, go!" he yelled.
The ball struck A, transformed it into a shapeless mass of transparent red energy, and sucked it inside. It then fell to the ground and began to wobble back and forth, a red light blinking on the ball's button the whole time. For a moment, there was total silence as everyone present watched the ball intently. Even .4 seemed to be holding perfectly still. And then, at long last, the ball stopped moving.
"YES!" Orange exploded, cheering loudly as he ran over and scooped up the Poké Ball containing his newest Pokémon. "I did it! A is mine!"
"Nice!" Jimmy exclaimed. "Hey, so what are you guys doing up here, anyway? Meant to ask you that a while ago, but this whole A business got me a little sidetracked."
"Can't say I blame you," shrugged Red.
"We came up this way to train," explained Violet. "We heard that Fansfor Gym's leader uses Psychic-types, and we figured we should toughen up our Pokémon before going there."
"Good thinking," Jimmy remarked as his Weedle crawled onto his shoulder. "I actually came up here to see if I could meet Meg."
"Who?" asked Red.
"...What did you say?" asked Jimmy. "You mean you don't know who Meg is? Meg Abytte, the extremely cute creator of the Pokémon PC Storage System? ...At-at least, that's what I hear," he added, blushing slightly.
"Riiiiight," Orange said with a smirk on his face as he winked knowingly at the Bug Catcher. This only served to increase the amount of red growing on his face.
"Yes, well, ahem, so, that's where I'm headed," Jimmy said.
"You know what? I think we'll come with you," Orange said. "She did, after all, invent the PC Storage System, it might be good for us to visit her."
"I thought we were supposed to be training today?" asked Violet, a rather irritated look on her face.
"We've been training all day," Orange said dismissively. "Anyway, it can't be that far, right, Jimmy?"
"Not that far, I don't think," Jimmy said as his blushing went away somewhat. "I think it's only a short walk from here."
"Great, then let's go!" Orange exclaimed. With that, the four trainers headed off in the direction indicated by Jimmy.