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       "Look Ajay." Melanie started. "Don't think of this as a loss of your personal freedom by being connected to other people. Think of it as a chance to take away someone else's personal freedom. I mean, EVIL was practically founded to fuck with Rob." She walked rear forwards into the forest. Her back turned to the path ahead.

       The man in the hat glared again. He had not been enjoying Melanie's humor. The young woman was in a particularly chatty mood for whatever reason, and it was driving him insane.

       "I know what will cheer you up!" She promptly exclaimed. The devilish grin suggested it would not.

       "No you don't." Ajay said.

       "A musical adventure!" Her words proved Ajay right.

       "The fuck is wrong with you?"

       Her next word dove into song. "Coooooome on, mister Ajay. Life is too short to dismay. You can join us on a magical adventure. Get ready for an adventure."

       "You just rhymed the same word together." He pointed out. She was clearly not a master of singing.

       "Why worry about the fine stuff? When you can spend your time fucking around? Who cares about the minor when there is the major?"

       "Not rhyming at all isn't an improvement."

       "In between the lines there's a lot of obscurity. I'm not inclined to resign to maturity."

       "Well, at least you have FOUND a tune now." Though, he was pretty sure she had stolen that one.

       "I hate Ajay's 'tude. So put another dime in the jukebox baby."

       Nearby, they passed some water. The small pool rippled oddly. "Do you see that?"

       "I hate Ajay's 'tude. So come on take your time and dance with me."

       Boom. "I think something is up."

       "There is no cause for dismay.  Rare Pokemon or not we will... um... stuff..." Melanie's singing meandered about. She started ripping off another tune entirely. "There isn't even all that maaaany wild things about."

       BOOM. "Sure about that?" Ajay.

       "So what if there is a burrowing Diglett-dig diglett-dig diglett-dig diglett-dig."
 
       "That's even worse than your singing!" Ajay exclaimed. "I can't imagine a sound I would rather not hear!"

       BOOOOOM. "RAAAAAAAAANTRUM!" Trees flew in front of the faces of the trainers. The body of a large creature thudded into view.

       Melanie was too engrossed in her attempts at song to not say the next words in a sing-song voice. "THAT'S A MOTHER FUCKING TYRANTRUM."

       The creature's body was slick and slim, it's teeth dripped with poison. The monster had a dark body and it's feet easily trampled apart trees. Nothing quite like it had Melanie seen before. She had read about Tyrantrum, but never imagined them quite like this. It was hard not to know of the king of the ancient world, it was also hard to lay one's eyes on them. Even for that, this one seemed... off somehow.

       Suddenly, it lurched forwards. Ajay scrambled aside and started running in one direction while Melanie took off in another. The towering creature seemed to decide to take off after her trail. Bushes and rocks where ground into the pavement as it ran. It's jaws obliterated trees with unholy ease. Melanie was fast, but not fast enough. She stumbled as she turned too face the onslaught.

       "Spiritfire! I choose you!" The roadblock of an Umbreon steeled itself in place. She took one look and gritted her teeth. "Hold him off!" Melanie ordered. "I'll be right back to help..." They didn't have far to go to place down this detector. Spiritfire could fight until then. The Umbreon nodded before she was lifted in the air and crunched down upon. She cried again and started to use her healing move to stall the fight.

       It didn't take long before Melanie found the right spot. Panting, she put the box down and hurried back. A plan was slowly building in her mind. Cogs coming together. Loose ideas adding up. When she returned, she instantly recalled a tired Spiritfire. Melanie held up her phone in pokedex mode. "Tyrantrum." It confirmed. "A Dark/Poison-type Pokemon. Data error. Form unknown."

       The gym leader got a crocked grin. "I'm gonna catch it." She assured. "Lander, I choose you!"

Silly Songs with Melanie
I'll update description later... sorrry.
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       After her first opponent left, Melanie sat down next to Battler and looked around. Her eyes settled on the judge. “So, Nacho Libre, do I have to go back and make my grand entrance again, or can I fuck around here for a bit?”

       The white and red face mask turned towards Melanie Knight. Athens Runner seemed to be eyeing her up from behind his signature mask. “You’re welcome to hang out here or return back for a bit.” He answered. “Nothing else is happening before your next match. We don’t have any plans.”

       “Cool, thanks Draco Malfoy.” She said. The girl reached behind her Houndoom’s horns to pet her Pokemon on the head. He slowly stirred.

       “How many names do you think you can come up with me before asking my real one?” Athens asked with bemusement.

       “Asking your real name is as redundant as asking Kamata.” Melanie answered. “Even if I hadn’t gotten a good look at you before, but I doubt you remember that. Probably officiate a buck load of this shit.”

       “Fair point.” Athens relented. “I believe you were announced as Melanie Knight correct?”

       “One and the fucking same.” She confirmed. The girl turned her hound to face her in the eyes. She then started removing his choker.

       “Your name does seem familiar.” Athens admitted. “Have I seen you before outside of IPL?”

       “In person? I think I would remember seeing your ugly mug. Or lack thereof.” She shrugged. And pocked the collar and brought out a new, more elegantly designed, one that fit looser to Battler’s neck. “There ya go, that’s better. I know you aren’t use to it, but fuckload of good the other one did you against Ariados.”

       Battler growled and fidgeted both ways. He took his paws to the thing for a moment uncertain about it. “Trust me, Battler.” Melanie said soothingly. She unzipped her jacket and pulled something out from inside. It was a long deck of TMs, some of them ancient looking. The older ones Athens recognized as one time use TMs.

       “That is quite the collection.” The judge noted. He took a few steps closer to see.

       Melanie didn’t move to show him her prizes.  She picked one out of the stack and flipped it over to check it. “Ya, sure is.” She confirmed. “Battler, gonna forget Rest for a bit, kay?” She held up the red disk and inserted it into one end of the container holding the TMs. A small hum could be heard.

       “What are you doing?”

       “Teaching my dog fetch, Hose Runner.” Melanie offered up rudely. “What does it look like I am doing? No fucking rules against this.”

       Sally looked up at the man and extended her brain towards him. Pardon the intrusion, but I am sorry for her attitude. She is making an adjustment based on the last fight.

       “Ah.” Runner offered a short bow to the Ninetales. “It is no intrusion from a noble Pokemon. And you do not need to use such methods if you so wish. I have, a bit of a gift if you will, for understanding Pokemon speech.”

       Sally tilted her head. “<Really?>”

       “Yes, really.” Athens confirmed. “However you prefer. I am curious though, what kind of adjustment are you making? Your Pokemon seemed to do well. He won you the battle soundly.”

       Melanie got out a horse laugh. Sally chose to ignore it. “<I think she is less doing so for the sake of a superior performance, and more so because she is aware our opponent likely watched the previous match.>”

       Melanie turned to Sally and glared. “Seriously going to leave me out of this conversation?” She asked.

       You did not seem interested.

       Athens looked the two over and folded his arms. “A sound strategy, obscuring your plays from your opponent by changing them.”

       Melanie, reluctantly, responded. “Of freaking course it is.” She stated. “Battler showed every trick in his book for that last battle, but not if I change up his moves.” She pulled out a second disk, this one purple. She smirked with reflection from last match.

       “You know, you can revive your Pokemon at a station right next to the doors.” Athens offered as a suggestion. “Perhaps you would like to give your Malamar and Aegislash a second chance as well. Rather than dismissing them over a single loss.”

       The girl’s eyes perked up. She started to respond rudely again, but then muttered. “Thanks.” She glanced around for the things he mentioned. “Not sure I will use them again though… I have a bit of a plan already. Lander might be useful though.”

       “You seem fairly confident in your plans considering you haven’t fought yet.”

       “That’s because I have had a peak at my opponent’s team, Athena.” Melanie smirked. “I got a good guess at some things from that. It’s a three on three, I know my lead, I know I will most likely use one of two other Pokemon, maybe both of them, that only leaves at most one slot as flexible.” She shrugged and stood up to walk over to the revive station. “I suppose it could be Lander, but I got a gut feeling this will be different.”

       The admin nodded in understanding. “I get the power of such feelings.” He said in a vague mystic way.

       The girl felt a chill up her spine. She hadn’t quite been so serious about her statement. “Ya, sure.” She dismissed it.

       Sally glanced in the direction the two were walking off in. She looked back to Athens. “<She seems to like you more than most people.>” The Ninetales offered.

       “That is what she’s like when she likes someone?” Athens chuckled.

       “<The other night she punched her- That is, she punched Dill, the other girl she was with, over a crafts project. This would only be a moderate level of rudeness.  She seems to have mellowed out this week though, so perhaps it is not just you. Melanie might just be in a good mood. As odd as it is, it does happen.>”

       “I see. Then what is she like in a bad mood?”

       “<She learned her manners from Sneasel and has the decorum of a Tyranitar. She possesses the wit of a theater major and the mouth of a heavy metal groupie. Though, I suppose expecting more out of a trainer who’s expertise is Dark-type is perhaps too much.>”

       Athens looked over the Ninetales for a moment. “I must admit you seem an odd couple with her.”

       Sally glanced away from his eyes. “Niiinnnne… < I make my own choices. I would hardly see us as a pair.>”

       “Ah, my mistake then.” Athens offered a bow to her. “I presumed too much.”

       “<It is a normal enough arrangement. I cannot blame you for assuming such.>” She glanced back over her shoulder to Melanie. “<Though, it is not unfair to state I am registered to her and, in a sense, bound to her. It is simply of my own volition for… personal reasons.>” She turned her head back. “<I am sorry Mr. Runner, but I would rather not elaborate on that.>”

       “That is your prerogative. I’m sorry, but I believe I have lapsed in manners. Might I ask your name?”

       “<You may or you may not.>” Sally answered in a bemused tone. “<If you do not I shall have to assume you have Melanie’s good manners.>”

       The judge chuckled. “What are you called fair Ninetales?”

       Sally. She answered mentally, so that the translation would be precise. After I evolved my trainer named me Sally.

       “Sally, you have a pretty name. It suits you well. I am of course Athens Runner, the Black Dragon as you are no doubt aware. Pleased to meet you.”

       “<Thank you kind si->“

       “Yo, Bad Dragon. I’m pretty sure her name is actually blanketburner.”

       Sally’s hair along her back visibly bristled. She gave a rare face of utter shock. “Niiii!” She projected her mental voice to both of them. I did not burn it down! It was merely charred. And how are you aware of that anyways?! I thought humans did not have memories that early!

       Melanie gave a smug grin. Her dark eyes narrowed and glinted. “Never thought mom would think to mention what happened eh? I love that blanket and you almost made her throw it out.”

       The Ninetales sat down in place and tried to look her most dignified. I was hot. I could not speak at the time to tell her to turn down the thermostat. It is the natural way for a Vulpix to cool herself. The only ones at fault are those tall enough to reach such contraptions. She made far too big a fuss about it.

       Black Dragon chuckled to himself. That at least answered what the dynamic between the two of them was. They seemed to be more of siblings than a normal trainer and Pokemon.

      A bit more time passed in relative peace. Sally had huffed off to lie down till the next match. Melanie was playfully petting Battler who started bouncing around on top of her. She laughed and got down on her knees to let him. Athens walked off to the side and checked a devise while waiting for their cue.

      “Are you ready for another round Pokemon fans? We've got two returning fighters in a minute! One of whom seems unwilling to leave the arena. Hahah.

      Black Dragon walked back over. “Are you ready to begin?” He asked Melanie.

      “Naturally, Greece Jogger.” She stated. “Been ready since Battler was.” She continued to pet her Houndoom and the dog's tail wooshed happily.

     He nodded in acknowledgement. “Good.” Athens stated. “You should be on your toes, Eisha seems willing to battling solid throughout today. But she has not tired out yet and your battle has given her a respite.”

     “Duh.” Melanie stated. Sally shot her a glance along with a light psychic prod. “Hey, fucker!” She told Sally. Her rude glance said to stop it. “Ugh, ya, thanks for the advice or whatever. I worked out the score here.”

     “Niiiiine…” Sally said. She stood up and walked over towards Melanie. I take it you intend to lead with Battler again?

     She nodded back. “Yep.”

     Are you certain you know what you are doing? This is a highly experimental battle style for you to take on. Battler is simply too slow for this. He was not bred for the unbridled fury of his ancestors.

     Melanie chewed at the corner of her lip. Sally had some really good points. It was a concept she had been eager to test, but the drawbacks might not match the advantages. Though it could work it could also prove to be playing too far against what she had raised Battler to do. He was, in essence, a bit of a tank. Perhaps not as solid of one as Spiritfire, but no less effective at what he did. His Early Bird and quick awaken were a frightening combination.

     But on the flip side, for this to work relied on something more akin to the wild Houndooms of the old forest. Melanie had been far too young when she got Battler for one of those Pokemon to be her companion. She was reluctant to attempt training one as well since she did already have Battler. The two of them where inseparable. It would feel like a betrayal to start training another Houndoom while he still lived. And Battler dying would not happen anytime soon, he was in his prime.

     “Battler can manage.” Melanie assured Sally.

     The Houndoom looked between the two of them. “<What are you two saying?>” He asked Sally.

     Sally hesitated for a moment. “<We were debating the wisdom of attempting a different approach here. This is a much different battle strategy than you are accustomed to and I->”

     Battler snorted dismissively. “< I have as much fire in my veins as Houndoom!>” He boldly declared.

     Sally looked bemused. “< I hardly think your strength lies in that direction.>” She told him. “<You have stout legs and are a fine example of your breed. You merely need to understand one Pokemon cannot do everything.>”

     Battler huffed. “<Maybe you can’t Sally. I can!>”

     “<It is about more than just your physical abilities, it is about learning to adapt to a new form of figh->”

     “Laaaaaadies and Gentlemen. In the Arena we have returning Melanie Auuuuuuurora Knight! And facing off against her, yet again, we bring back to you Eiiiiiiiishaaaaaaaaa Shaaaaaaaanna!

     The crowd began to roar. Melanie glanced down at the two. “Positions.” She ordered. Battler jumped to sit by her right side. Sally cleared out of the way more laxly. She laid down off to Melanie’s left.

     Their opponent wandered into the arena. Her entrance was nowhere near as grand as Melanie’s had been last match. While Melanie cockily threw back her shoulders and smirked, Eisha seemed completely no nonsense. She walked out casually. Her eyes were trying to tear the younger trainer apart for information. Melanie merely hooked her hand into her pocket and posed with her hair covering her eyes. The Gym Leader was more concerned with her own image than eyeballing her opponent. She tried to radiate out the impression of being dark and confident.

     Both of them seemed quite serious, but merely with different tones. Melanie wondered if Eisha was even aware of how focused her expression was. It was too blank to give off a good impression for the camera. A performer had to pick an emotion and project it. Melanie’s seriousness was calculated and emotional. It was self-evident, but with undertones of smug knowledge.

     “Are both combatants ready?” Athens asked.

     Eisha nodded. “I have my Pokemon picked out.” She said. The woman pulled a Pokeball out.

     “We’re ready to rock her world.” Melanie confirmed. She glanced up into the light and gave a shit eating grin.

     “Then-” Black Dragon raised up part of his cape in his right hand. “-Begin!” He swirled his cape down in between the battlers.

     Eisha pulled back and threw. “I choose you-”

     “Battler, wreck ‘em!”

     “Dude!”

     The Houndoom leaped forwards and gave his cry yet again. A spout of flame shot out of his mouth. He proudly showed off his new collar. Across from him appeared an orange ball of fur with long feet, elegant ears, and a long tail ending in a lightning bolt. It wasn’t a hard Pokemon to identify, Raichu, the evolution of the incredibly senselessly popular Pikachu. This one was holding a big red surf board.

     Oh no… Sally thought in Melanie’s brain.

      “What is it?” Melanie asked. The Ninetales fell silent.

     “Our first match-up for the battle, Melanie’s Houndoom returns as does Eisha’s Surfing Raichu. We’ve seen these Pokemon fight before, but how will they fair against each other??”

     Battler’s tail swished back hurriedly. “<Hey there, Sheila.>” He said flirtatiously. “<What brings you to my neck of the woods?>”

     The Raichu seemed uncertain. “<Um, to beat you in a Pokemon battle?>”

     “<Now I love a good fight, Sheila, but why brawl when we can have a better time without doing so?>”

     Melanie suddenly caught on to what was happening. She groaned loudly. “Dat- dat- Dude looks like a lady.” She voiced.

     Eisha spoke. Melanie noted that her expression turned more loving when directed at her Pokemon. “Dude, try to dose his flame with a Rain Dance.”

     Melanie’s own expression was one of dismay. “Battler, please, for the love of all that is holy use Sunny Day. That’s not an attack, you can still do that and gross flirting right?”

     Raichu started dancing around on her long legs. “<Beating you will be the better time!>” She stated. Storm Clouds gathered over the arena. Thunder boomed.

     Battler raised his neck up into a wave of rain drops. A beam of light extended from his mouth to break the clouds and spread them open to allow strong moonlight to beat down on the field. “<Come on, why rain on such a bright day as meeting a cutie like you?>”

     The Raichu beat out a more furious dance. Clouds closed back around the clear spot and rain started to beat back down again. Battler raised his throat back up and intensified the beam of clearing heat. Raichu tumbled and spun her surf board ferociously over her head. Waves of rain drops spiraled from the sky followed closely by waves of intense heat. The weather slowly turned into a swirling vortex of conflicting personalities.

     “It seems instead of hitting each other the Pokemon are more concerned about the forecast. I predict very confusing weather until one of them blinks!

     Eisha realized after a moment that the Houndoom had started this fight last, and that meant Dude would run out of energy for it first. “Dude, break it off! Return!” She shot out her Pokeball’s beam. The Raichu seemed confused as she disappeared.

     Eisha needed to go aggressive. She had to move quickly to deal with the Houndoom, but she didn’t have a comfortable answer to it. Scorch could take Fire Blasts all day and come back hotter for it, but lacked any moves with true offensive potential against another Houndoom. Aquali had the type advantage, which was nullified by the weather and made her vulnerable to Solar Beam, if this Houndoom even ran such moves. Eisha had to assume the worst case scenario. Ree could tank, but that was not good if it had another set up move like Nasty Plot. Plus, this Houndoom seemed to have broader shoulder and a stout body marking him as hard for Ree to knock out.

     That left the mercenary with only two options, one was to send out her wild card and hope for the best. The other was to send out Garuda. The Pidgeot was the most offensive potential she could put out, but it likely would not be enough against a set up Houndoom. That meant the former option was the best one. “Go, Omonom!” She shouted out.

     Scorch’s chew toy appeared out on the field. The holey corpse floated just barely above the arena floor.

     “Shedinja.” Melanie identified. She started to form her mouth to whistle out an attack command, but then thought better of it. That was too easy; it meant there was a trick still up her opponent’s sleeve. Ghost-types had plenty of tricks to pick from too. She couldn’t afford to loose Battler to something just yet, Melanie wanted him to win out this battle. “Battler, come back!” She cried.

     The Houndoom glanced back and, reluctantly, walked back over towards her. “You’ll have your time to shine.” Melanie assured him. She pulled out a Pokeball “Alright, let’s do this, Spiritfire!”

     “Eisha backs off the weather war first and switches out prompting Melanie to do so as well. Maybe these two will be more interested in each other.

     The ball broke open. Under the light from the arena lamps, intensified by Battler, shined the bright blue rings of the Umbreon. Spirit S let out a soft cry. “Umbrrrrre.” Then she shook her head around and checked out the arena. At first she was looking backwards towards Melanie and the other two canines. She smirked at them. “<How’s it going, huns?>” She asked.

     Sally answered first. “<It is going well, but I believe you have a fight in the other direction.>” She chuffed lightly.

     “<Hmm? Oh right.>” Spiritfire turned back only to catch a sinister light into her eyes. The beam left her feeling disoriented. The flat arena seemed to move about oddly.

     “<Focus Spirit, that’s Confuse Ray!>” Sally warned her.

     “<Don’t worry honey, I got this.>” Spirit insisted. She shook her head off. Her eyes focused enough to identify the tan blob she was supposed to be fighting.

     Melanie interjected. “Just spam Foul Play on the Shedinja.”

     The Umbreon nodded. She narrowed her yellow eyes narrowed and she leaped forwards to force the husk’s weight against it. The small ghost knocked into the ground harmed greatly by the simple Dark-type attack. “<I got it!>” She trilled.

     A sash tightened around the Shedinja’s waist triggered its effect. The ghastly Pokemon bounced back up, perfectly healthy. At least, healthy for a Shedinja which was not much to say. They only really had fainted or not fainted.

     Spirit growled and leaped after him again trying to repeat the attack. She face planted into the ground and looked back up to see multiple Omnoms floating around her head. “<Great, now I’m seeing double.>” She murmured.

     “<That’s not just you Spiritfire!>” Sally warned. “<It’s double teaming.>”

     “<Fantastic.>” Spirit’s voice dripped with sarcasm. She tried to focus in on her prey, but it just kept multiplying. Her blue rings lit up the arena as she pounced from place to place trying to find the real bug without smashing her face into the pavement too many times. After another crash she growled in frustration and shook her head ferociously. She managed to shake off the fogginess in her head and focus finally.

     With a more graceful gesture she lunged at another she suspected of being the real deal. Again she fell through, but without the confusion easily recovered. Then, all the fakes shot another beam of the annoying light. Her vision turned foggy again. She groaned softly. “Breeee…” It was back to random guesses. She pounced around again.

     After a third miss, she felt a sharp pang in her side. Her head whirled to take note of the duplicate that had just struck her. “<I’m sorry, you trying to tickle me?>” She asked. Spiritfire threw back her head and her rings glowed brightly. She drew in the light from the moon and every mark from her misses as well as the strike to her side evaporated. “<Gonna have to hit harder than that honey.>” She taunted.

     Spirit leaped at the one she suspected of striking her and fell through. Another one from her side struck her quickly, but this time she turned her head quickly enough. She smashed into the bug lightly, and it rolled over on the ground knocked out. “<Gotcha!>” She celebrated.

     “Good job.” Melanie congratulated.

     “And the first knock out goes to Melanie! After quite a long while into this match. Both sides seem to be playing the long game this time around. Neither of them seems eager to finish the other off. Oftentimes seasoned battlers know when slow and steady will win the race!

     Eisha seemed annoyed. She was lagging behind in this fight now. “You’re gonna have to put in some work now, get back out there Dude!” The Raichu reformed onto the battlefield. She glanced around and looked up to notice the now neutral weather. Then, she glanced down and identified the Umbreon as her next opponent.

     Dude spoke up this time. “<You look like Ree, but she’s got yellow rings.>”

     Spiritfire proudly raised her neck. “<I’m a rare breed.>” She boasted. “<It would be nice to meet this Ree after the battle though, if our trainers hang out.>” She then munched on an apple core that was hidden in her mouth.

     “<I don’t think so.>” Dude lifted up her surfboard and prepared to fight. “<We have a few more matches to go. Don’t be surprised if I take you out while holding back.>”

     Spirit lowered her head. She had hoped the Raichu would keep talking till her head was on straight again. “<I don’t go down easy.>” She informed the other Pokemon. “<Oh, and by the way, name’s Spiritfire, hun. Try to remember it when you are eating dirt.>”

     Eisha butted in. “Dude, use Rain Dance!” The Pokemon nodded and she spun her surfboard over her head and did a jig. Again, rain started to pour down from on high, but this time it didn’t stop. Instead, thunder boomed and rain started coming down heavy onto the field. Melanie wiped at her head, annoyed, but not really terribly bothered by getting wet.

     “Raichu comes back out and without Houndoom to shine on her parade seems eager to put us all into the splash zone with a little maelstrom of rain! Hope you brought your umbrellas Pokemon fans. It’s about to get wet and wild.

     “Umbreeeee…” Spiritfire muttered and looked up towards the sky. She didn’t necessarily dislike the rain. In fact, she loved how it looked next to her rings. She did, however, dislike not being in the bright light. The Umbreon spread her legs out broadly to balance herself.

     “Trap him in, Mean Look.” Melanie ordered. Spiritfire’s eyes glowed a supernatural yellow color. She tried to fixate a nasty glance upon Dude. However, she still couldn’t focus from the annoying bug’s attack. Her eyes closed shut and she gave out a whelp of pain as the attack backfired. She chewed more harshly on her apple.

     Eisha smirked. “You know what to do Dude!”

     The clouds above collocated into a mass above Spiritfire’s head. The Umbreon’s ears pointed up as she kept her head focused on the ground. She tried to hear whatever was about to happen. Dude leaped up into the air. “Raiiiiiiiiii-” She said. Electricity sparked overhead. “CHUUUUUUUU.” A massive lightning bolt struck down from on high into the middle of the arena. Spirit was hit dead on by volts and volts of electricity. She cried out in dismay.

      Regardless of the pain, the jolt was just what the Umbreon needed to break her out of the mental block. Her eyes cleared up and then glowed yellow again. She fixated an unnerving look on the Raichu. Dude looked disturbed, but still confident in her victory.

      Melanie gritted her teeth. She knew it was probably a losing battle at this point. Water started to collect up on the floor. The Raichu put her surfboard down and water started to gather towards her. The Pokemon lifted up into the air riding on a sudden tidal wave she brought out of the collected water. The water rushed towards Spiritfire with the Raichu balanced on her red surf board. “Raaaai!” She happily exclaimed.

      The Umbreon spread out and prepared to take the attack head on. “Spiritfire, return!” Melanie shouted. A red beam saved her Pokemon from the attack. She had to send another one right back out into this though. There were two choices, Lander and- “Go, Kai!” The Pokeball’s broke open to show the Greninja.

      Kai’s eyes blinked in surprise out of suddenly being in the path of a massive wave of water while on land. A moment later she was underwater and looking up at the churning waves over her head. The Greninja naturally swam with the flow to hide in the refuge of water. The wave slowly dissipated, and when it did she leaped up into the sky. Kai tried to remain outside of her opponent’s view. She drew in the clouds around her body, but the Raichu noticed slight movement in the sky. Suddenly, leaping up high seemed a very bad idea as the air around her filled with electricity.

      Melanie frantically called out. “Dodge the super-effective! Reitō Bīmu!

      The water in Kai’s veins froze over, but she felt no pain. Her breath turned cold. Her skin turned slicker and sharper with a pale tone. She drew her hands together and between them a ball of ice formed. Very quickly, she threw out a long beam of ice to hit the Raichu dead on with the freezing blast. Dude rebutted by drawing the electricity all around Kai into a powerful cloud to cloud lightning strike. The attack resonated throughout the Greninja’s body.

      “Incredible display Ladies and Gentlemen! Unwilling to let her Pokemon fall, Melanie saves her by switching out into Greninja, normally a water-type Pokemon. But! Then she used Greninja’s ability to dodge the predictable Thunder to come next. It seems even with fast Pokemon both combatants are unwilling to make this match easy on each other.

      Melanie breathed a sigh of relief, but they weren’t out of the woods yet. The weather still favored Eisha predominately. Then, Melanie frowned and noticed the Ninetales by her side. It suddenly hit her that had she let Sally fight this wouldn’t be a problem in the first place.

      Battler gnashed his teeth from where he stood next to Melanie. “<We have to do better than this!>” He said. His head turned towards Sally. “<You heard what Melanie said on the train, we can’t let her dominate us! And we can’t let this abominable rain continue.>” He glared at the sky angrily.

      Sally bristled. “<Melanie was lying! None of those things happened.>”

      Battler scoffed. “<Of course you wouldn’t understand a matter of honor such as this.>”

      “<What honor?! It is just another Pokemon battle!>”

      “<This is important!>” Battler insisted. “<Maybe you have just forgotten what it’s like to actually fight your own battles.>”

      Sally stood up from her resting place. “<That is it.>” She stated with finality. The Ninetales strode over to stand next to Judge Athens. “<Do you have a slot open on your current team?>” She inquired of him.

      Athens seemed surprised to be distracted from the fight. “Hmm? Yes?” He said.

      “<Good, I am with you now.>” She sat down at his side and looked as regal as she possibly could with rain falling down on her fur. Sally proved surprisingly good at that. Upon closer inspection the rain drops where mostly dissipating somehow before touching her head. Likely a Ninetales trick she had started using at some point to keep her face clean.

      Under the mask, Black Dragon opened his mouth to argue, but then closed it. He knew better than to fight with a Ninetales while she was like this. She would probably cool down in a little bit. But, in the meantime not saying something to direct a potential curse upon himself would probably be wise. “Very well.” He said instead.

      Meanwhile, Kai was trying to hide in the clouds and the pouring rain. At first Dude was having trouble keeping up with the quick ninja Pokemon. Raichu were fast though, and she was always a few steps behind. At some point, Kai has shifted to Grass-type to dodge both of Dude’s common attacks. She was clearly weakened, but still holding on thanks to her ability. What her ability did not rescue her from was another Thunder which left a parting gift. The waves of electricity started a coursing paralysis in her body. Now, Dude was firmly quickly than her.

      The rain overhead started to dissipate. Battler howled in happiness at the sight of the sky again, but just as soon as it had started to flee the clouds closed back in. Dude was dancing up a storm, literally, with her surf board held overhead.

      Kai and Melanie saw an opening. “Daibingu!” Melanie exclaimed. Kai’s body released the verdant growth of vines had built up and the waters rose at her command. Rain drew in towards her and collected under her legs. Dude leaped up in the air again and put her surf board down to ride the waves in towards the Greninja.

      Dude’s cheeks sparked with stored electrical power. She tried to direct it forwards, but suddenly the waves turned against her. Kai made an exquisite feet gesture and the water flipped up like a mat underneath Dude. The wave crashed downwards floating her in its path. Dude’s own advantage had turned against her and when the waters drew back downwards the Raichu was fainted.

      “Dude is unable to battle.” Athens confirmed. Sally huffed in seeming annoyance that Kai won that one.

       Eisha frowned. Her team wasn’t doing badly in this battle. Yet, the momentum from turn one had been on Melanie’s side. It had forced her team into a losing battle. But, maybe it wasn’t over yet. Dude had done a lot of work against Melanie’s entire team. She could do this, it just meant relying on a more recent addition. “Go, Aquali!”

      The Pokeball opened up to show the youngest of Eisha’s Pokemon. The small Vaporeon let out a sharp cry. “Vaaap-eon.” She shook her head and her frills shined under the rain. Aquali bounced happily in the puddles.

      The light blue Water-type Pokemon was a close cousin to Umbreon, both of them being Eeveelutions. The relationship made her more than a bit of a familiar sight to Melanie. Melanie’s half-brother even favored using one. The trainer did not have much concern about what the Vaporeon could do that she was unfamiliar with, but what she was familiar with did worry her.

      “Melanie takes another one down! But, with Vaporeon out and plenty of rain turns left she might be in a bit of a pickle. Everyone else is on the ropes. It could end up being a clean sweep by Vaporeon to win the battle!

      The Judge echoed Melanie’s fears. Eisha spoke soft instructions to Aquali. “Your opponents are weakened Aquali, you can do this at your leisure.” She smiled warmly. “I’m counting on you, I know this is a big responsibility, but you’re ready.”

      Aquali took her trainer’s words to heart. She cried out an affirmative. “Eon!” And swished her tail playfully as she squared off against the Greninja.

      Since Aquali was new, Eisha tried to give her some more instructions than the others. “Use Surf over the whole arena, don’t let it escape.” The Vaporeon gave a quick headbob. She gathered up energy for the attack.

      Aquali’s youth meant it was unsurprising that her wave of water she surfed on was not quite as turbulent or large as Kai had summoned up. Still, she gave an impressive showing. The Greninja tried to dodge up into the clouds, but a whip of the Vaporeon’s finned tail shot a water spout into the sky to hit her. Kai fell down out, too exhausted to continue. Once the Vaporeon landed on the ground she gave a brief trill of excitement.

      “Kai is unable to battle. Pick your next Pokemon Melanie, out of the two you have already used.” Athens instructed.

      With thoughts projected to both the Judge and Gym Leader, Sally spoke. It is a grievous shame neither of the two possess the Drought ability. That would work very well with their typing and abilities. Melanie showed her middle finger to Sally as she recalled Kai.

      “Greninja is down! The young Vaporeon is showing an eagerness to prove herself. She might have what it takes to go aaaaaaaaall the way!

      “Right, Battler.” Melanie started. She leaned down to speak more directly to him. “Hey, my little motherfucker.” She petted him around the horns. “We are going to do this, just you in me. It’s time for a little magic, don’t you agree?” Battler barked out an affirmative and paced his feet back and forth eagerly. “Go get ‘em!” She stood up and dramatically shot out an arm. “Battler! You know that you’re the only one and I choose you!”

      The Houndoom leaped into a puddle and it sizzled beneath his paws. “Hoooooooooound DOOOOOOOM!” He gave a war cry.

      Eisha smirked to herself. She had expected the Umbreon first to try and stall. The Houndoom was Melanie’s only healthy Pokemon, but it wouldn’t stay that way for long against a Water-type in the rain. “Aquali, you have to hit first! Use Surf again and knock him out!”

      “Eon!” She agreed. The young one was starting to get her blood pumped up after having taken a knock out so easily.

      Melanie raised her pointing arm up to the sky. “Combo move special!” She shouted to the wild winds and the drenching rain. Her messy bangs attached to her face and she smirked with dark intent. Her left hand grabbed on to the Umbreon themed band she wore. Her mouth made two whistles in quick order, one long and soft, the second one much sharper and sinister. Melanie’s armband moved back to show the homemade bracelet hidden underneath. She pushed against it and a bright light shot up her arm.

       “<Battler is too slow!>” Sally exclaimed. Aquali closed in fast. Her body was virtually part of the wave she had summoned, its lower part evaporating into water itself as the Vaporeon’s body composure was prone to do. The wave rushed up over Battler’s head and then smashed down covering the Pokemon entirely in a world of rushing water. The titan attack completely engulfing the Houndoom thanks to its rain boost.

      Then, from between the waters a bright light pierced the heavens. The clouds parted in its wake giving way to clear skies. The waters where pushed away from the center of the blast. Pieces of a shell-like structure flew away from the epitome. Suddenly, standing there was a Pokemon unlike the one before. His horns were straighter and taller. His tail was twin forked. His chest was covered in big boney plates. Teeth and claws stuck out more.

      Eisha gasped. “Quick, use Surf ag-”

      The Mega-Houndoom turned on Aquali in a rush. In one lightning quick movement he took in power from the sun’s rays and send out a sharp blast of nasty thoughts. In one quick stroke Aquali went tumbling down to the floor. She got back up and turned to face the Houndoom.

       “Three point combo, finisher! Dà!” Melanie’s arm flung out widely in the accompanying hand gesture. They needed more Fire-power! They had to hit it with everything.

      Battler pulled back and gladly followed the order. A massive burst of flames flew out of his mouth engulfing Aquali. They blasted out in a five pronged explosion. When the dust settled, the Vaporeon was out cold. Battler staggered in place. His new shoulder pieces tilted dangerously low and then he collapsed. The Mega-form had drained him too much in addition to the sunlight.

      Athens looked over the two and made his verdict. “Umbreon is the only Pokemon able to battle. Melanie Knight wins with one Pokemon remaining!”

      “What an amazing set of plays! Melanie Knight unleashes a potent combo attack, using the speed boost from Mega-Evolution to flinch and then knock out Vaporeon with a three move and Mega-Evolution co-co-co-coooooooooombo play!!! Houndoom gets another notch on his belt at the cost of a suicide play.

      Melanie pulled out a Pokeball reluctantly. “You are the best Battler.” She said. “Let’s rest now.”

      Eisha looked across the way and offered a respectful nod. Melanie grinned and nodded back.
Effort Values in Learning Rising: VS Eisha 2

[Melanie Prologue][Rob Rhys Prologue by :iconmrathens:][VS Rem Part 1][VS Eisha Part 1] [VS Rem Part 2][VS Eisha Part 2]

[Opponent's Side]

This fight was rough. Unlike with the one against Rem where everything came together naturally all at once this one... was hard to plot out and I'm still unhappy with it. Add on to that a misunderstanding on the due date and having a personal crisis and this was p bad. I've had to settle for this. Hopefully Ryua enjoys it anyways. Kinda funny. VS Eisha Part 1 I love, VS Rem Part 2 I also love. The end bits here? Less thrilled with.

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       “And up against him, the challenger, Meeeeeeeelaaaaaanie Knight!

      Two strong lean arms blasted the massive twin doors apart. Her head was lowered as she took her first few practiced steps. Then, dark eyes flashed up and shot the crowd a look of prideful superiority. With a tall back she marched out with a Houndoom on her right and Ninetales on her left.

      Gym Leaders were more than just testers of a trainer’s potential. They were part ranger, part caretaker, and part celebrity. For all her distain towards romance, the human condition, humans, and most things related thereof; Melanie was nothing if not a lover of drama.

       “This will be a three on three singles style battle, crowd, are you ready for a ruuuuuuuuuuumble?!” Cheers erupted.

      She was half-way across the stadium. Melanie reached up and grabbed the headphones she was wearing before ripping them off her ears down towards her neck. She looked around then, acknowledging the crowd. Her body turned around in a circle as she did so. With her back to Rem, she selected a Pokeball and then held it up to the crowd. “Let’s freaking do this.” She said with a laugh.

      The trainer stopped in place and Sally and Battler sat down elegantly on either side. She thrust her Pokeball up over her head. “Pick your poison!” She threatened.

      Rem had not seen this side of Melanie before. He smiled and reached for his belt. Between them, an official in a black shirt stood. Though he was at least partly consenting to the garb of a judge, for the most part the man stood out as a figure almost everyone in IPL would recognize as one of the Admins, Athens Runner. A man who insisted on wearing a face mask and thick cape. He looked between them and asked each trainer. “Ready?” They nodded. “Begin!”

      Melanie threw out her Pokeball first. “Get in there-”

       “Come on out, Nash!”

      A red glow solidified into the form of a Mightyena with a blue bandana. “Yeeeerrrrna!” She cried.

      The other Pokeball broke open without any Pokemon being revealed. Without hesitation, Melanie’s left arm raised up on cue. “Battler!”

       “Hooooounn-” The hellhound leaped up from his place at Melanie’s side to pounce to the center of the arena. “Dooooooooooooom!” Fire burst from his lips to the sky.

      Nash rebutted with a second, much louder battle cry against Battler. “Yeeernaaaaah!” She chomped her teeth fearsomely. The Houndoom faked ignorance of the deed, but Melanie could note he was slightly affected.

      The announcer spoke excitedly. “What a matchup we have here, Mightyena verses Houndoom! Two canine Dark-type Pokemon. Let’s see what they have in store for us.

      Melanie’s fist clenched in front of her. She got a wicked grin as she surveyed the battlefield. Nash wasn’t a bad match-up. And yet, she thought it could be better.  Her mind flashed back to her and Rem’s last encounter. One of the first things she noticed about Nash was that she had been bred with fang moves. Her hand slipped down towards her other Pokeballs. In specific, the move she would go for first in Rem’s shoes-

       “Poison Fang!”

       “Battler return! Go, Lander!”

      The Houndoom leaped back and in his place landed the Royal Sword Pokemon, Aegislash. Nash’s poisoned teeth clenched ineffectively against Lander’s heater shield. She growled and tightened her grip.

       “Hold on to it!” Rem offered by way of advice. “Crunch it up.”

       “Shake her!”

      Lander’s body glowed with the signature power of the Aegislash. From his shield a force field pushed back against Nash’s jaws as she tried to chomp down. The attack backfired tremendously hurting her jaw and forcing her to let go of the new chewtoy. Nash shook her face back and forth trying to feel her jaw. She glared at the difficult and unfamiliar sword and shield she had found herself against. The Pokemon started to circle around trying to find an opening.

       “Oh, a startling display of moves from Melanie Knight! Type disadvantage is no factor as she switches in the tricky Aegislash to use his full potential. Poor Mightyena looks like she just got stung by the wrath of King’s Shield!

       “Hmm, never fought an Aegislash before?” Melanie asked.

       “Um, no…” Rem said, a bit nervously. He hadn’t seen a move quite like that one before.

       “That’s their signature trick. It’s basically just Protect, but can’t block status junk and has a negative effect.” Melanie offered by way of explanation. “Always be careful about attacking Aegislash. Otherwise you could find you are hurting yourself more than me.” As she spoke her feet seemed to cross in a small dance. The Pokemon in front of her seemed to be mimicking the movement in a feetless waltz.

      Rem sat hypnotized for a moment before realizing that she said it was like Protect. That meant it would be difficult to use in a row. So right now was their best chance for an opening. “Nash, attack immediately, but stay back this time.”

      The Mightyena growled an affirmative. She focused her dark thoughts about being tricked. The unbridled anger against the Pokemon focused into a wave of negative energy. The blow connected firmly against Lander. The eye on the hilt somehow seemed annoyed. Melanie and her Pokemon’s dance slowly became faster and faster. It exploded in a fevered pitch. Lander’s body spun around as he got charged up for a ferocious fight.

       “Looks like ‘Remix’ Dacourix is not going to go quietly into the night. He’s mounting a comeback and adjusting to this unusual Pokemon as it sets up a Swords Dance!

      Rem noted how effective the attack was. “Keep that up Nash!”

      Melanie’s feet stepped forwards in a careful manner, one in front of the other slowly and firmly. The Aegislash closed in on Nash in a similar manner. He munched on some kind of Pokemon treat to recover slightly as another Dark Pulse smashed into the shield. Then, Melanie’s hand reached up to her back and gripped her katana. Lander flipped up out of his shield.

      As one they drew. Ethereal energy connected trainer and Pokemon together. The swords moved in the same fluid motions. Melanie stuck at the air while Lander went full offensive. He pushed back at Nash with a dizzying series of blows that forced the Mightyena back. Then they lunged. The blade caught Nash along her left side and sliced down to leave a jarring wound.

       “Nash!” Rem cried.

      Melanie did a short roll along the ground. Lander’s shadow extended out to engulf Nash. The trainer stood up and raised her free hand behind her to rake the air. The shadow did the same motion to smash into Nash’s belly. The Mightyena rose up and then fell to the ground exhausted.

      Judge Athens stepped between the Pokemon and looked over Nash. “Mightyena is unable to battle.” He proclaimed. His mask looked up towards Rem. “Pick your next Pokemon.

       “Mightyena is out! What a startling display to take the first knooooooOOOOOCK OUT! Trainer, Pokemon, both are fighting in perfect unison. We promised the regions some good fights and there are few as amazing as pairs this in tune with each other!

      Melanie looked over her shoulder to Rem and smirked confidently. The smile somehow also echoed over to the sword’s face. Lander bashed his sword against his shield and Melanie did the same with her left arm. “Oh, I forgot to mention, that was shield form, this is sword form. You have a small opening now, but their signature move will stop that opening and protect us from attacks.”

      The man frowned. He thought for a moment about Melanie’s words. She had said King’s Shield wouldn’t work on status moves right? Rem started for his Sableye and then stopped. Thus far, he only had Melanie’s word for most of this Pokemon’s techniques. And also for what attack she would use next turn. What all could he confirm about it?

      The Pokemon appeared to be some sort of spectral sword, that much was for sure. It had to be psychic or a ghost based on how it floated and Melanie connection to it. More likely it was ghost from what it did to Nash. But, then also it was made of metal. What was Metal could be burned. There seemed no real risk in King’s Shield if his Pokemon kept their distance.

      Suddenly, Rem knew exactly who had to come out. Right before recalling Nash, he threw out the Pokeball holding Samuel. “Dooooooooooom!” came the cry out of the red glow. The second Houndoom looked around for a moment before taking in Nash’s unconscious body. Samuel’s eyes widened with concern before Nash was recalled. His teeth gritted in. This time it was Rem’s turn to smirk. He didn’t need some form of psychic connection to instruct Samuel. The Houndoom would do it all on his own.

      Melanie’s left arm raised up. Lander threw his shield up in the air. Then they both lunged under the feint and stabbed out at the Houndoom. Only to be greeted by a solid wall of Flamethrower. The Aegislash was engulfed in fire. His whole world was set ablaze. Melanie and Lander tried to change course and protect, but Samuel charged on flaming feet for them and smashed Lander to the ground. The hellhound howled and bit down with his sharp fangs.

      The gym leader’s feet stuttered to a stop and she lowered her katana towards the ground. Somewhere in that Lander had most definitely feinted. She reached up behind her back to put her sword away. “Um, Lander return?” She fired the Great Ball’s at her Pokemon.

      Samuel growled in annoyance as a red beam accidentally hit him in the back. He spread out over the sword and was trying to figure out how to burn it even more effectively. His jaw charged up with another Flamethrower. Suddenly, a second attempt to recall connected and the Houndoom fell an inch to the ground while his flames licked the floor of the arena.

       “Talk about a revenge kill ladies and gentlemen! Well, hopefully not a literal kill. That’s normally just an expression, hahah. Melanie is checking her Pokemon and seems satisfied he’s fine. We’re good folks! That was a quick dealing with of a Pokemon that gave Remien problems just a few seconds before.

      The white and red mask shot Rem a warning glance. Melanie however just laughed. “Called my bluff, eh?” She giggled more. “Nice.”

      Rem smiled back at her. “Those who dare win.” He stated.

       “Not so bad, Monsieur Connard.” She answered back. “I’m sure Elite Four Cinnabon is enjoying this.”

      Rem laughed in mild surprise at her insult. He turned towards his Pokemon who was still growling in Melanie’s direction. “I’m sure Nash will be okay, Samuel.”

      The Houndoom snorted and looked down. His hooded eyes still glared, but slightly less intensely.

      Melanie’s own Houndoom glared back and snarled slightly. His legs started to rise up. Sally let out a short cry. “Niiiine, niiiii-tales!” She said, warning them both off of it. “<It is nothing personal, let us try to get along. She will be okay.>”

       “<Would you say the same if it was your mate?>” Samuel questioned Sally.

       “<If my mate wished to engage in Pokemon battles I would accept that he faces the same threats I do.>”

      Samuel scoffed in return. Battler growled. “< I can take him on.>” He threatened.

       “<Leave it to Melanie!>” Sally interjected. She stepped in front of Battler blocking the two from each other’s view. Then, she looked up at Melanie. Please, send out anyone but Battler right now.

      Melanie nodded. She already had a plan anyways. “Go, Maleficent!” She shouted.

      The Malamar popped out of her own Pokeball just above the ground. She floated elegantly downwards to land facing Samuel. The squid’s tentacles waved about her head and her narrow eyes evaluated her opponent.

      Rem started to open his mouth, but Samuel was having none of it. The hellhound leaped forwards to unleash another torrent of flames. Yet, the Malamar charged forwards protected by a thick vest around her tight body.

       “Superpower!” Melanie ordered.  Malamar’s body bulged up and Maleficent smashed her shoulder into Samuel’s body. The Houndoom cried out in surprise over how much the attack stung. Maleficent’s body glowed slightly and her muscles seemed to retain the stronger, but lean look they had while bashing Samuel. “Again!”

      The hound didn’t look quite so hot. His rage seemed to have been knocked out of him by that blow. “Return.” Rem called out. He had to formulate a better plan. Weren’t Malamar both Psychic and Dark-type? That gave him an idea. He threw out his next Pokeball. “Go!”

      The ball cracked open. Its red glow slowly formed an outline. It was just over a meter tall and longer than it was tall. The Pokemon instantly got smashed by the second Superpower, but seemed barely phased by the mighty attack.

      Melanie was shocked when she saw what the Pokemon was. “Ariados?!” She questioned. The long legged spider? Why would anyone at the IPL have an Ariados? She’d only seen them while training with her father, and even then they were a rare sight. She shivered as cold memories flooded over her back. They might be not terribly great in battles, but for assassins Ariados were… uncomfortably useful.

       “It seems that Remien has decided his epic Houndoom isn’t going to cut it against Malamar’s brutal barrage. And he has switched out for- an Ariados? That’s not a Pokemon you see everyday folks! And if you do you probably should call the exterminator. Hahaha. Ah, even though Malamar have a massive Bug allergy she might still be heavily favored in this matchup! Especially after all those boosts, even a… um, bug bite? Won’t do much! But, uh, surely they have better attacks… Um, give me a little bit to look this up folks!

      Melanie figured this one would go down quickly. “Just Psycho Cut it.” She instructed. She felt a psychic confirmation in the back of her mind.  That didn’t do much for her discomfort, she had only barely gotten used to Sally and Lander. What was with all the Pokemon she ended up stuck with and mental contact?

      With the same level of disinterest, Maleficent raised up her right primary tentacle. It started to glow with pink energy as she charged up the certain knock out psychic slash. There was no way for a poison-type like that to survive this attack.

      But, the spider instantly leapt up in Maleficent’s face. His forearms jabbed in double tandem. The first one glanced across her body before the second smashed straight into her face with an especially well targeted and fast jab. The clawed leg went down Maleficent’s throat. It twisted and then pulled quickly out. The Malamar waved for a moment. Ariados leaped off of her and Maleficent’s body hit the floor while her Psycho Cut disappeared.

       “Good Twineedle, Laval!” Rem said proudly.

      Melanie’s jaw hit the floor. The judge cleared his throat. “Malamar is unable to battle.” He stated for the record. “And was taken out rather quickly.”

       “Ah, I have it. Ariados can be bred Megahorn and if it has that it might be strong enough to… Wait, what did I miss?!? MALAMAR IS DOWN LADIES IN GENTLEMEN!!! It must’ve been Megahorn, right? In one swift attack it moved first and knocked out Malamar! What I just read said they were really slo- Uh, could we get instant replay on that? Oh here it is. A face shot, with, what’s that move even? Ouch, that was definitely a nasty strike! Talk about a precise attack! Twineedle? What is Twin- oh great back to the internet. No, I can check recent…

      Laval stared with his bug eyed face waiting for the next challenger. Battler got to his feet and leaped forwards. Melanie was down to her last Pokemon, and because she had picked him at the start of the battle there was no backing out of this.

      There was no messing around from Melanie. She thrust her arm outwards. “Dà!” She instructed.

      Battler howled and his breath filled with fire. The Pokemon lowered his head and a cone of flames erupted. His aim was good, Battler was well trained and with a choker that helped direct the power of attacks such as his Fire Blast. The hot flames balled up as they neared the target.  The powerful attack impacted, extremely strong bursts of flames flew out in five directions.

      Above the flames, Melanie’s eyes caught movement. Her mouth opened again. “Battler, watch out!” Laval had quickly spun web out of his mouth to form a tiny glider between his lengthy legs. Out of his rear more web connected him back to the ground allowing the Pokemon to control his height while riding out the fiery wave. “Dà! Dà!

      Battler quickly spun and fired again, the Ariados curved to the side of the jet of fire. He soared onwards using the stream coming from Battler’s mouth to keep himself afloat as he charged. When he reached the billowing smoke at the end of the flames, Laval pulled his fax wings in to dive bomb Battler. Twin arms shot out piercing at the Pokemon’s side. Battler howled out. He wheeled around trying to bite at Laval, but the spider was too quick. It darted around the hellhound and leaped a good distance away.

      Battler snarled and turned his head back around in the new direction. Then, he winced and his side seemed to be inflamed with a purple liquid. Melanie’s Pokemon looked at her with concern. He hadn’t been expecting that. His glaze fell down to Sally. “<What?>” He asked her in confusion.

      Melanie’s inner thoughts tried to make sense of what had happened. Twineedle can poison?

       “<Twineedle can poison!>” Sally told Battler.

       “<Twineedle can poison?>” Battler repeated.

      Seemingly understanding the Pokemon, Athens joined in to help. “Twineedle can poison!”

      Sally looked up at Melanie with concern. Twineedle can poison.

      Melanie looked at Battler’s side more closely. “Twineedle can poison!” She exclaimed.

       “Twineedle can poison, ladies and gentlemen! That’s the power of this technique first seen by the Pokemon Beedrill. Hun, never knew that.

      In a rage, Battler threw another Fire Blast in the direction of Laval. The spider leaped to the side again. This time an offshoot flame of the blast licked close to his legs, but did no damage. The spines on Laval’s back rose. He glowed slightly purple and opened his mouth. A nasty looking liquid shot back at Battler and coated the dog.

       “Hooooooouuuulll!” Battler shouted out in pain.

       “Ariados cheats death for a third time, what a close call! And he retaliated with a Venoshock technique. That special type of poison does more damage if the victim is already poisoned such as from a move like Twineedle! The move that poisoned Houndoom. The move with a chance to poison that is Twineedle. It is a Bug-type move, but with a chance of the effect poison and mostly learned by dual typed Bug and Poison Pokemon, Twineedle that is. The move, we just saw a bit ago, that poisoned.

      Melanie’s teeth gritted. Battler was still faster, they were so close with that last shot. If they fired one more then surely they could finally take out this freaking ridiculous spider. How could she possibly be losing to, of all things, an Ariados?

      Battler cannot take another hit like that. Sally pointed out.

       “I know!” Melanie snapped. She didn’t like thinking this way, but that next shot would also loose the match if Battler missed the elusive Pokemon again. Sally was only re-iterating the thoughts Melanie already entertained. “Battler, down.” She said calling him off.

      The Houndoom looked to his master with confusion. Behind him Laval started getting together an even more powerful Venoshock. Melanie glared intently, ignoring the spider for the moment. “Do it.” She said. Reluctantly, Battler sat down in place and then lowered his head. He closed his eyes and drifted off.

      Rem looked surprised. “That’s it?” He asked.

      Melanie growled. “That’s the plan, Dumbo.” She stated annoyed. The attack from Ariados connected cleanly. However, Battler’s nap had cured him of the poison already. His body slowly relaxed and seemed to revert back, growing in health.

       “What a twist ladies and gentlemen!” The announcer emphasized. “When the long leg Pokemon came out it looked like curtains for Remix, but instead it seems to have been the come back the trainer needed! Ariados has taken out Malamar, and seems to have Houndoom on the ropes. A desperate ploy for time had been employed with Rest, but that has only given the spider more time to wrap up this battle, literally!

      Melanie mumbled to herself. “Oh, shut it.” She sat down in place and closed her eyes. “Not desperate, just have a bit of patience…” It didn’t matter what move the opponent had up their sleeve now, they couldn’t do anything about it.

      Laval crept up to Battler and poked the hellhound cautiously. Satisfied the creature was out, but not finished just yet, Laval started spinning a web with an electrical current running along it. The silky threads wrapped around Battler’s body engulfing the unconscious Houndoom. He wrapped it as tight as he pleased before being satisfied the Pokemon was contained.

      Once that was finished, Laval settled in on Battler’s back. His back spikes rose up. He focused his poison on Battler yet again. A seemly focused expression was on the spider’s face as he finished the job. It would just take a few hits, but it seems the opposing trainer had given him that time. He prepared the second attack.

      The crimson eye of hell opened up.

      In dawning realization, Laval’s legs skittered trying to run far, far away. Dark words escaped from between sharp teeth. “<Come into my parlor!>” Without hesitation, fire erupted all around Laval’s body. The Ariados flew up again, this time without self-guidance. He rode the geyser of flame up and then back down to collapse between the contestants.

      Melanie grinned sharply. Battler howled his victory to the skies. His body stretched and fought against the webbing it had been trapped in. Athens spoke up. “Ariados is down… and currently extra crispy after a good one liner.” Melanie idly wondered what he meant by that last part.

       “What a ploy!!! Turns out Melanie Knight’s Houndoom is one light sleeper. Ladies and Gentlemen, this is what IPL is all about.” Rem returned Laval to his Pokeball. “We are down to our final Pokemon. It’s Houndoom versus Houndoom for match point!” On cue Samuel returned to the battlefield. “Both of these Pokemon bear injuries from earlier in the match, but who will come out as top dog? Remien Dacourix’s Houndoom is showing heavy signs of damage from that Malamar, but Ariados’ shocking web is slowing down Melanie’s! Who has what it takes to get the win?!

      Melanie started frowning. They weren’t out of the woods yet. This could still be an intense fight. Battler only had one attack that could even damage Samuel, and it wasn’t even that effective. Maybe she should’ve thought about using a TM before fighting someone else with mostly Dark-types.

      Her Pokemon was far more confident about his odds. Battler growled at Samuel menacingly. “<Ready to see your mate in the infirmary? I promise to be just as gentle to you as what she got.>” Battler tried to raise his head up high, but the webs forced it back down. He bit at them trying to get the remainder off.

       “Drrrrroooom. <Don’t you dare speak about Nash in that way!>”

       “<Your Sheila went down so quickly, barely scratched him. Pathetic. Maybe she needs to learn from a real Houndoom how to fight.>”

       “<Lair! She is strong already and has a real Houndoom!>”  Samuel lunged forwards.

      Rem offered some direction. “Sludge Bomb!”

      Melanie was wincing already as she heard those horrible words. That’s what she should’ve taught Battler right before the match. She was being outdone with Dark-types, fantastic. She felt like instructions shouldn’t be necessary, but just in case Battler tried something stupid, she gave a short sharp whistle indicating his orders.

      The two wheeled on each other ferociously. Both of them were determined to give it all for the fight. Sludge Bomb whizzed over Battler’s head and he fired back with a Dark Pulse at Samuel’s chest. Samuel pounced and smashed his head into Battler’s mouth. The directed nasty thoughts were knocked into the concrete. Flames started to come up around the edges of Battler’s mouth. Samuel was responding in kind.

      Rem shouted. “Samuel, just keep using Sludge!”

       “Battler, don’t use any Fire-type attacks ya nimrod!”

      The two Houndooms closed their mouths and growled. Samuel taunted Battler. “<Just try burning me, I’ll return the favor.>”

      Battler growled. He focused his answer into thoughts as another Dark Pulse. Before he could fire it off, a disguising purple liquid with an unhealthy texture hit his face. He suddenly felt an uncomfortable feeling, same one from the Ariados. His side where the spider had hit him twinged with pain as he relapsed under the poison. “<You’ll pay for that…>” The Houndoom promised before firing. Samuel dodged, but it was a dead on Dark Pulse lead perfectly so Samuel only ended up leaping into the middle of it.

       “<Your hits do nothing.>” Samuel scoffed. “<Something wrong? Maybe it’s because your body is just too old, weak, and failing.>”

       “Battler, finish this, he’s too weak!” Melanie cried excitedly.

       “Samuel, he’s low! You could take him.” Rem encouraged.

      Samuel scoffed and out of his mouth another poisonous strike flew. Battler leaped into it with a frenzy and broke out the other side with yet another pulse. The dark waves overwhelmed Samuel’s body. Battler howled into his attack. The waves smashing into Samuel’s face cleanly. It was surely a critical hit.

      The attack was more than strong enough to knock out Samuel. At this point few things weren’t. The Houndoom’s legs quivered. His head started to dim down, but then he growled and raised his head up. His weakened muscles solidified. “<For Nash!>” He howled. Samuel glared at Battler and gave a devilish grin. He had held up, and it was clear Battler was just as exhausted as he had been a moment ago.

       “Houndoom toughed it out to show his best side to Remien! Incredible! Poison will certainly finish off Melanie’s Houndoom. It came down to a sliver of health ladies and gentlemen!

       The crowd jumped in place cheering for their winner. Samuel turned his back proudly. Battler was already down; the suborn hound just didn’t know it yet.

       Battler hung his head down. Melanie started walking up behind him to return her pet to his Pokeball. “You did good Battler.” The hound looked up at her. Did good? Not good enough to win. No, not good enough. That stupid Samuel had held on longer than he should’ve. Yet another growl came out of Battler.

       He didn’t let Melanie near him, instead his body burned. Fire erupted past his tongue and he turned his head to the traitorous side. Heat washed over the gunk and poison. Flames spouted from inside his body over fresh wounds. The remaining webbing caught on fire. Battler pounced. Crushing dark energy hovered only inches in front of his snout. Flaming talons pinned Samuel’s body to the ground. A single cry of surprise escaped from Rem’s Pokemon before he got the full brunt of one last attack.

       Athens Runner stepped forwards between the trainers. “Remien Dacourix’s Houndoom is unable to battle, Melanie is the winner!”

       The crowd cheered even louder than before. The announcer stumbled over themselves. “This has been the wildest ride ever! Both Houndooms faced certain defeat and overcame it, but Remien’s Houndoom was over-confident and lost the match! Inconceivable! I’ve rarely seen a fight go so many different directions!”

       Melanie walked back over to the pair of entangled Pokemon. “Off.” She instructed. Once Battler stopped standing over Samuel and the flames died down, Melanie reached out to pet his forehead. “You did better than good.” She assured him. “You showed that luck ass what for didn’tcha?” Melanie laughed as she stroked Battler. The hound panted heavily. “Down.” She said. “Recover, okay?” The Pokemon nodded and laid down right there to curl up contently.

       The other Houndoom disappeared in a red glow of energy. Melanie followed the trail and smiled up at Rem. “That, was, great!” She said excitedly. “You have one hell of a well-trained Ariados on your hands.” She complimented. “That was absolutely ridiculous! Hah! You’re one freaking lucky trainer to have Pokemon carrying you on their backs like that.”

       “Hey, don’t I deserve some credit too?” Rem asked her. “I thought I gave good directions.”

       “Oh yeeees, I really liked your directions of fuck all with Ariados.” Melanie teased. “Good job on that one.”

       “Hey, I called your bluff with the sword thingy.”

       “Suuure you did, bang your head or something? I’m pretty sure your Pokemon did that themselves.”

       Remien grinned sheepishly. “Kinda, but I knew he would which is why I sent him out.”

       “Aaaah.” She shrugged. “Either way, you are definitely in with Effort Values in Training if you are still game for it. After a battle like that I don’t think I could deny you if I hated your guts.”

       “Oh, so you don’t actually hate me after all, good to know.” Rem noted. “Sure, that sounds great! I look forwards to training alongside you.”

       Melanie held out a hand and he shook it. “Welcome to EVIL.” She said. Rem’s expression changed at once to dawning realization. Then, the corners of his mouth slowly curled up into a grin.
Effort Values in Learning Rising: VS Rem 2
[Melanie Prologue][Rob Rhys Prologue by :iconmrathens:][VS Rem Part 1][VS Eisha Part 1] [VS Rem Part 2][VS Eisha Part 2]

[Opponent's Side]


    Ariados being unappreciated here is not really a reference here to Smogon’s tier list or anything. Sure, they have an NU, but there is NU and then there is ARIADOS. Not that I dislike Ariados, far from it! It’s just that, well… I have never seen one. Ever. In anything. At least cute Pokemon like Pachirisu are used for cute factor, tough Pokemon for toughness, Fossils for being Dyno-mite, pre-evos abound in IPL and similar places, the TCG highlights some Pokemon that are less useful in games, and plenty of Pokemon that “suck” have their hour in the spotlight. But Ariados?! Nope, and thus I had to do something epic enough to make up for all that ignoring poor little Ariados gets. Ariados powah!

    Also, one of my favorite parts of writing Pokemon is discovering new moves and Pokemon. For Rem, it is Aegislash. For Announcer and Melanie it is Twineedle. Laval MVP.

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[Yo, champ in the making. This entry is part one for my battle against Eisha, but it is also part a larger story starting here. I heavily recommend you check that out before continuing!]

      Melanie hated the Challenger Chain train layout.

      Midnight Tracks was a mess of cobwebbed tacks. They carried beautiful full trains. Trains built to last and run forever in blocky glory. Trains that ferried cargo more than men. Yet, they could carry cars of bunks and tables. Be as classy as the trains of myth. There was a mystic about them, a certain charm and character. It was all far more metal, more rock and roll and American.

      These trains though, they were slick. Meant to run only in their well monitored environment ferrying people alone. Melanie got a wistful smile at the thought of what would happen to these trains should an Aron find its way on the tracks. They were double decker, something her home had few of by comparison, though she was no stranger to them. Melanie always rode on top, they were usually more empty and private, not to mention had the better view. The tracks felt too smooth, but it was still oddly comforting riding the train. Even though she was at home only a week ago, the feeling of something so familiar sat easy with the girl. Happy memories flooded unbidden. Her hand idly petted Battler’s forehead as she settled into her usual position with him at her feet.

      The feel of slowing down for their first stop on this connection brought with it distain. The chaotic rambling of tracks leading outwards from her hometown to the world had a certain logic to it. A logic that Challenger Chain denied. Sure, you couldn’t apply the same rules to an island chain. It was different geologically, it needed a different approach. For the most part the circuit of passenger trains around the island with an, expensive and impressive, underground rain connecting them made perfect sense.

      But there was that one connection. Everything else on the map made sense to Melanie’s sensibilities, but there was just one connection that drove her crazy. The underground tracks came up in three places on the largest island. The heart of these places was IPL HQ, the central administration buildings. Given where everything was located, this wasn’t a terribly bad place to come up. However, the local above-ground trains ran completely around the outside of the island.

      Everywhere else this was fine, but on Challenger Island the most important destination was, in Melanie’s mind, the commercial district. There wasn’t much to do on Challenger Island by way of business or shopping, except at the commercial district. It was not terribly far from the IPL HQ. But does the train track lead straight there? Nope, instead it goes a roundabout way through the boring Johto Monorail and then to the blah Grand Prix Stadium before finding its way somewhere useful. Both of those stops would’ve been better served as one way tracks veering off from a line that was straight to and from IPL HQ. Thus, the interisland train would be a mere one connection away from the lifeblood of Challenger Island.

      It was such a small difference. Since she was going straight to the Stadium this time anyways it didn’t even add a destination on her journey. Yet, her home sensibilities still thought the trip would be shorter her way. Melanie was so sick of the sight of the freaking Johto Monorail when she could be seeing the central destination of the islands. Who even used the Monorail all that often anyways? Johto was boring by comparison. It just made for better traffic flow her way. She glared rudely at the source of her insane ire.

      The Ninetales by her side nudged Melanie’s arm with her snout. Can we ride it soon? She protected her thoughts.

      Melanie whirled on the Ninetales. The little traitor was enjoying this senseless diversion?! A sharp retort started to form out of her annoyance.

      Then, Melanie’s face startled with realization. Her expression softened greatly. She stopped stroking Battler to pet Sally behind the ears. “Ya…” Melanie said. “Soon.”

      Apparently the train held thoughts of home for more than just herself. Melanie could feel her dumb bias in design slipping away. This stop had a point after all. If not for herself then for Sally, she had forgotten the Ninetales was native to Johto.

      It wasn’t long before they moved again, speeding down towards their appointed match. Melanie pulled out a phone to check the time. After eight, the battles had already started. She stifled a yawn. You know that you are on the opposite side of the world, correct? Sally pointed out. Shouldn’t you be awake during the day then? As opposed to your current state of having just woken up and thrown your clothes back on.

       “Hell, fucking, no.” Melanie said. “Doesn’t work that way, at all. Sun down, I’m awake. Sun up, fuck all ya’ll.”

      Melanie was always impressed by Sally’s ability to project disappointment with her canine face. I’m quite glad that in this confided space we are at least in an almost empty car without children onboard.

       “Children can suck it.” Melanie frowned. She was not the fondest of normal people. Tiny people were ten times worse.

      Sally realized her disapproval of Melanie’s language was useless. Well, what battle strategy will you use?

      Melanie shrugged. “I dunno, send Battler out, judge from there. It’s only three mons, so I just need to react. I know a bit of Rem’s team, and while I like the Dark-types I get the feeling he’s still a bit… green. If it was a Gym Battle instead of IPL I wouldn’t go all out. So, no way would I feel right sending you out unless he’s got some super Pokemon hiding in the wings.”

      I am uncertain, did you just compliment me?

       “I stated a fact, you’re far more heavily trained than any mon I own. Heck, you’re the dancing queen. Young and sweet only seventeen.” Melanie chuckled a bit. “I don’t have Pokemon that are as old as that or have fought for… fourteen years straight was it?”

      No, it is fifteen now. Sally gently corrected. She looked out the window again and seemed more agitated.

      The gym leader started. She took a very educated guess at what was wrong. “…I’m sorry my brother’s a dick.” Melanie said. “I really am… I didn’t think he would…”

      It was my choice.

       “That doesn’t fucking mean he should stay away, okay?”

      Sally pulled her head away from Melanie’s hand and leaned down into her lap. That was perhaps the first time she had enjoyed hearing the girl’s cussing.

      The rest of the ride was silent and short. While Melanie hated the two ways in and out of Grand Prix, she had to admit they tried to make both tracks look gorgeous.  It was almost a shame she found the stadium itself so boring. Fighting on top of these rails would make a lovely background for a battle. The well-trimmed and mighty trees, the small water features scattered about, the odd Pokemon roaming free, it was so picturesque.

      By contrast, Grand Prix Stadium, for all its style on the outside was just… big inside. The prize of Challenger Island had little going for it besides being massive. In fact they boasted that it was the largest in the world. That was probably why it sucked. There was only so much designing one could do with a big empty space. It is hard to express something artistically in such an area, either that or expensive.

      Perhaps it was merely Melanie’s taste that made her disappointed with this place. She knew others were intrigued by it. But for her intimacy was key. She didn’t want to stand back a mile back from her Pokemon or even her opponent while battling.

      A slight smirk appeared on Melanie’s face. She had of course been witness to the spectacular disasters that befell challengers of Siebold. By far the most amusing of which had been the Abomasnow Trainer’s attempt at punching his own way through the challenge without using more than one Pokemon. Perhaps that had been too intimate, but hilarious. That guy, she would love to have him in Effort Values in Learning. It would be so, so sweet.  What team didn’t need an absolute nutter and possible bouncer type?

      Melanie shook her head. She had to stay focused. Today she had two battles. First, she needed to take on Weblord. The second one might be trickier.

      She knew where she stood with Rem. They at least knew each other. The second battle for today had come out of nowhere. The gym leader glanced down at Sally. While she had despised the Pokemon’s options at first, now Sally was a more trusted confident for these things. “Whadidya think of that black girl?”

      Sally inwardly groaned. I see you have taken racial sensitivity courses.

       “What? I only said black, not like I said-”

      Sally glared intimidatingly.

      African American.” Melanie finished with a smirk. “I wouldn’t want to assume her country of origin. That would be insensitive!”

      The Ninetales broke eye contact. For all the positive steps that had happened since STAB, Melanie was still Melanie, perhaps in far too many ways. You might want to consider offering up details about someone other than their race. Then perhaps I would know who you meant.

       “Chick that we are fighting in round two, well, not round two round two, but ya know what I mean.”

      Oh? That girl? I am afraid that while I would love to correct you properly, I missed her name.

       “I’m not sure we got it.”

      I would not know.  I was distracted at first.

       “No, wait, totally did. See, here’s what happened…

       “As we were walking up to the place you smelled something stinky and you wanted to smell it’s butt-“

      I smelled no such thing. Sally bristled. It was not even a smell. I heard something.

       “Ya ya, whatever. Anyways, one of the morons who took on Elite Douche was there. She saw that I was signing up and started, ‘You are Melanie Aurora Knight, the Gym Leader! My Dark Mistress of the Night! Defender of all that is under the Moon! Savior of the Universe! And the one-’”

      None of that happened! Sally interjected. You are the only one who makes up such names for yourself.

       “Where you freaking around there?” Melanie asked. “No? Oh right, you heard jack all with your super ears. Stop being a fucker. Anyways…”

      The Gym Leader’s hand waved elegantly into a curtsy. “As your legend and mercy have spread wide, I wish to beseech you for a most generous battle in which you shall beat my ass red.”

      Apparently you had this conversation in ye olden times.

      Melanie shrugged. “Then I was all, ‘Whatever. Let’s rock this joint.’ My name is Melanie Knight-”

      Oh, so now you are introducing yourself to your biggest fan?

       “Hey, it’s polite to anyways! And she was all like, ‘I’m-” Melanie made garbled noises.  “It’s a pleasure to meet you, your imminence.’ And that’s where you came in.” The train started slowing down. Melanie pushed Sally and Battler back towards the isle.

      The Ninetales indignantly jumped away. “Niiiiii.” She threated Melanie. The girl ignored her.

       “’Yo, is that your dumbass Ninetales about to get her head chomped off?’” Melanie continued her story. Her arm thrust outwards to indicate something off in the distance. “’She shouldn’t be sticking her snout in such machinery. My Pokemon would never do something so moronic.’”

      It was rattling fiercely! Sally defended. It was also making this high pitched tone. Battler wanted to Fire Blast it. I talked him out of that. I know how to operate such things.

       “Oh yes, I can see by the way your opposable thum- oh waaaait. You don’t have those? Sucks to be you.”

      Sally lowered her head. I do not need such things anyways. She defended herself. In either case, I know she was not like you describe her.

       “So was.”

      She seemed more apathetic. Her main goal, near as I could tell, was to test herself. She kept saying that she wanted a challenge and you were too busy being… yourself to even recognize half of what she said.

       “Like what did I miss?”

      Well, for starters your story does not include that she said she was signing up anyways. Challenging us was merely a matter of convenience. She was looking for more people to take on, we only happened to be nearby.

       “My version is more exciting. You make it sound so boring.”

      It was rather a drool affair. I, however, do not see your version as an improvement.

       “It adds a relationship! What do you want me to say, ‘Ya, we ran into this chick, she challenged us.’”

      Well, there is rather nothing more to the matter is there not?

       “It can be better though. Like, let’s say we go with, ‘Oh my, my Pokemon would never do such a stupid thing. So untrained.’” Melanie continued her impression and started a conversation with herself.

       “’Hey, Sally knows what she is doing, why don’t you back off?’

       “’Like I will back off of a Gym Leader who can’t keep her Pokemon under control.’

       “’Oh ho ho, I’ll beat your face in!’ And that’s when she pulled back to wallop me!”

      That definitely did not even remotely-

       “Shush. ‘Hey, save it for the ring asshole!’ I shouted gloriously. And then in a rage we both signed up to beat each other up. With pokemon.”

      Sally shook her head and sighed. “Niiiigh….”

      Battler scoffed, he didn’t understand all of Melanie’s story, but her energy was infectious. Melanie grinned in victory that the critics had reviewed her version favorably. “See? We need motivation to give it our all.”

      In protest the Ninetales fell silent. Melanie’s feet resounded against the stairs to the stadium. Apparently they were just late enough to avoid the crowds. That was good, but even with the main crowd having entered plenty of trainers still wandered about. The grand entrance was large enough that Melanie didn’t have to walk anywhere near them though. She glanced up at the archway and stepped inside. “Now, just to find where we need to go.” She told her crew.

      The girl stood and pulled her phone back out of her pocket. She flicked over the touch screen till she got what she was looking for. The instructions for trainers included how to get around to the ready rooms. She had never been behind the scenes for Grand Prix before. Melanie knew there were a few different rooms circling about the building. Most of them were standard fairs for a big battle hall, food stands, drinks, desserts, and merchandise. Aside from that was supposed to be other halls for the trainers to use before the matches.

      Melanie thumbed over the relevant section and highlighted it. She then copied it down and switched over to a notepad app. On that she put the instructions and pressed part of the screen. The words projected over her phone in a blue holographic display. The girl’s eyes were more than good enough to read the words without the projection, but it was easier to watch where she was going while trying to follow them this way.

      While the girl spun in place looking for confirmation on what direction to go, Sally peaked up at the holographic display. That is to the left. She told Melanie.

       “I freaking know, just orienting myself.” The trainer grumbled. She walked along the extremely wide corridor till she saw the point she was looking for. Eventually she came to a stall built into the walls. “Hey.” She said. “I’m Melanie Aurora Knight, nine and nine thirty.”

      The deskman of the checkpoint checked his schedule and then glanced back up. “Uuum.” He said slowly. “You have a sword on your back.”

      Melanie’s eyes rolled. This again. She couldn’t imagine how stupid some places could be with rules. Had they never checked a Doublade’s Pokedex entry before? Policies against weapons were trite and pointless. “Part of the uniform, bro.” She said as an excuse. The girl’s hands did a practiced gesture of pulling out a wallet marked with a huge league insignia and opened it up to show her badge and face. The convenient truth had always worked before to get her past normal regulations. “I’m cleared.”

      He pursed his lips considering the situation. Eventually the man decided that he wasn’t in charge of that kind of security. If she got this far on the island without someone else stopping her he doubted there was a point in contesting her now. “Fine.” His thumb jerked back. “Blue lines along the floor lead to the prep rooms; green lines can take you to the lockers if you need to change, computers to check before the matches, or whatever else; red lines and doors are for employees only.”

       “Right, if I see someone else fucking around behind the red doors I’ll be sure to remind them not to be there.” Melanie said quickly. Sally’s eyes rolled and Battler scoffed. “Adios, stupido.” Melanie waved her hand behind her as she pushed into the double doors next to the man.

      The dark dressed girl hummed to herself as she slipped by. She spontaneously pulled out some headphones that plugged into her phone. Her feet did a short skipping motion as she marched to follow the blue line. Along the way she glanced into various other rooms. Most of the red doors were hard to see much in. The windows built into them only showed off various bits of machinery or pipes. Some had the windows blacked out by paper on the opposite side.

      Green rooms usually had open doors already. The ones for changing didn’t really have doors so much as short corridors with bends. Melanie counted three of them, two with familiar signs for male and female, the third with a sign incorporating both. The gym leader looked curiously at that one, but then decided it didn’t matter. A room was a room, she didn’t want even other girls, especially ones like Dill, seeing her naked. If someone else didn’t give a shit, not Melanie’s problem. Heck, she didn’t even know if these lockers were really ones where everyone walked around naked. Maybe they were just for set up or whatever. She’d rather use the one where Battler was allowed in anyways, unless Pokemon didn’t count or whatever. Lockers were weird; they had weird rules and policies. Best avoided if at all possible.

       Finally, she found her way to the blue room. It was spacious with a nice double door at one end clearly leading out into the arena. She sat down at a bench facing a big screen. Not that any of it was interesting to her. Sally seemed curious though. The Ninetales projected her thoughts again. Is that not the woman who challenged you while signing up?

       “Eh, black girl?” Sally bashed her forehead into Melanie’s leg. “Ouch, quit it.”

      The face on the screen was that same douche. Melanie quirked a brow. She paused her music and fiddled with her phone till she found the official match times. It didn’t take long to work out who it was. “Eight, Eisha Shanna vs Clament. Eight thirty, Eisha Shanna vs Fio. Us. Then motherfucking Eisha Shanna vs us. Another one for kicks. Presumably after that Eisha will take on the seven evil exes. Then, Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White and Monty Python and the Holy Grail’s Black Knight.” Melanie shook her head. “Guess she just really likes fighting.”

      On screen an Umbreon put up a shield against a Jolteon. Melanie bit her lip slightly. “Protect?”

      Wish Protect seems likely.

      Almost certain. You never run Protect without Wish.”

      Assuming this trainer considers such synergy and is not merely running a random moveset.

       “No way, you learn Moonlight naturally no one would use-”

      -protect unless they already bred for Wish.

       “And that set is best at Wish passing or-“

      -for toxic stall. That technique is a bit old-

       “-but no less useful. Most likely a support-”

      -and therefore a tank with the Synchronize ability.

       “A great mirror matchup for Spiritfire.”

      Because her own Synchronize would work against them-

       “- and Screech plus Moonlight would break the stall. They can’t use Screech themselves, not with those moves.”

      But they could Baton Pass out.

       “Maybe, but it’s favorable enough to be worth a shot if they stay in. Not to mention, Foul Play does nothing to Spiritfire.”

      Is that what would be referred to as ironic?

      Melanie chuckled. “Spiritfire just happens to be top Umbreon when it comes to Foul Play is all. Funny coincidence something so weak against her is so effective for her.”

      She is good against Physical attacks in general, certainly all that she herself can learn.

       “-and resistant and immune to virtually every typical Special Attack for an Umbreon.”

      A flash of poison on screen confirmed the pair’s theory and solidified their thoughts. Information could be dangerous in the hands of an experienced Pokemon fighter. In this case, Melanie and Sally both had the distinct advantage of having grown up around Markus. Not to mention Melanie’s own expertise with Dark-type Pokemon. Umbreon was practically the family’s signature Pokemon.

      The girl smugly grinned and continued her music. The fight against this Eisha had already begun; she just needed to keep the edge. She hummed along with the rock sounds exploding out of her headphones. Battler joined in a little bit with short howls of enjoyment. Sally seemed more curious about the battle on the screen than the music.

      Eisha’s style was a step ahead of plenty of Trainers Melanie had fought. She would probably be a shoe in for a gym battle. Or at least she would be on a technical level. It was harder to judge how well a trainer connected to their Pokemon. She would need to get a better feel for the trainer on the fly. It was one of the many reasons Gym Battles existed.

      Eventually, the fight was over. A short while after that the announcer called out the name of Remien Dacourix. Melanie perked up. “Showtime.” She told the two Pokemon. The dark haired girl pushed up and turned up the volume on her music to eleven. She took in a deep breath. Her body swayed in anticipation.
Effort Values in Learning Rising: VS Eisha 1

[Melanie Prologue][Rob Rhys Prologue by :iconmrathens:][VS Rem Part 1][VS Eisha Part 1] [VS Rem Part 2][VS Eisha Part 2]


    I read a bit of Grand Prix entries since it’s apparently related to Sailcirc. “Challenger Chain has no weapons.” HAHAHAHAH. Nope, not believing that for a second. Don’t try to play Alderaan on me IPL, I see those armed mercs. :p

    On a more serious note, Melanie’s excuse is the same legitimate reason my Uncle used when he brought weapons into the White House. I figure, if it’s good enough to get him to shake the president’s hand with a great honking bowie knife strapped to one hip and a whip on the other it can get a Gym Leader past basic security.

    …I wasn’t joking about the more serious note part. That happened.

    Also, Melanie and Sally’s dialog is similar to one I have regularly have with myself whenever I dip into competitive Pokemon. I also tend to like Umbreon (And all Eeveelutions!) a lot for competitive so seeing Protect, I would have an instant reflex on what the rest of the moveset would be. Lots of writing from reality in part one of this.

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[Yo, champ in the making. This entry is part one for my battle against Rem, but it is also part a larger story starting here. I heavily recommend you check that out before continuing!]

      Remien Dacourix was a mid-twenties man, with green hair and purple eyeshadow. The sides of his hair were mostly shaven down and darker. But, on top and from behind two green ponytails shot out. That alone made him a fairly recognizable figure, even had he been at a convention for those with unusual hair. Here, however, was merely the streets of the commercial zone for Challenger Island. In this place he stood out a lot more.

      Rem’s clothes helped matters little. He was perpetually bare chested with a purple vest being his only top. A green feather hung down from a cord leading up to his right ear. His right arm was covered in white wraps leading to a green sleeve on his lower arm. Black pants ripped into shorts were worn over baggier purple pants. Instead of socks he had more white wraps around his feet. In short, he was ridiculously easy to track.
      The boy aimed for a short path under an archway. At the entrance he passed by a Houndoom and Ninetales who seemed to be resting and minding their own business. He took a sharp turn down a corner and double checked his map for the poison shop he was looking for.

       “Greetings Weblord.” A figure stepped unnaturally smoothly out of the shadows.

      It was a face Rem had not seen in a long time. His memories scrabbled together, but the clue of “Weblord” drew his mind back to being trapped in a web only to be rescued by a young female ninja. She had changed, more so than him. Something was different now in her eyes. More than that, her long hair had been cut off before the ponytail. Instead it formed messy unkempt bangs framing her face. Rather than one of her omni-present jackets, she was apparently electing to wear a sleeveless vest today.

      Remien tilted his head in thought. Or perhaps it was merely a sleeveless jacket. Which would maybe make it into a vest? In the middle of this revelation he replied, “Oh, uh, hi… Melanie, right?” Rem had not considered the ramifications of cutting off the sleeves of a jacket before. There were certainly subtle rip markings where the sleeves had been removed rather than the attire coming naturally that way. Claw marks also ran down her left side opposite an Absol themed patch that had been attached to the vest -which-was-possibly-a-sleeveless-jacket. The thing had a tight collar against her neck, and around that collar was a homemade Heart Scale necklace ending in a giant sea shell.

       “Comment vas-tu?

       “Eh, pas mal, et toi?” Rem blinked a few times. “Wait, you speak French?”

      The gym leader shrugged.  She switched back to the common language of Japanese. Though she favored English more with people like Dill who understood it, Rem couldn’t understand that so well. “I speak a little of a lot. Mandarin mostly, aside from English obviously.” She smirked. “Et bien, Monsieur Crétin. A Kalosian being around is a good time to practice, non?”

      He tried to gently correct her. “I’m not Kalosian I’m from Ho-”

       “The elite four dude, idiot.” Melanie corrected. She crossed her arms unimpressed. “You know, jerk everyone is in a kerfuffle about.”

       “Oh.” Well, now he just felt silly.

      Melanie sighed. “Anyways, I was looking for your sorry butt. I thought I would make you an offer you can refuse.”

      She grinned more openly. “I am making up a team of trainers for the whole coalition system. I figured that Nash and Samuel would make great additions. Unfortunately I guess that means your dumb face would have to come along too, Monsieur Stupid.

      The man laughed at her joke. “So, what’s this coalition about?”

      The girl smiled. “It’s called Effort Values in Learning. It’s about expanding, growing, becoming stronger with Pokemon by learning more about the world around us.” Her voice lowered. “Which we may or may not try to conquer.” Melanie raised her tone up again. “And thus become the very best, like no group ever was.”

      Rem tilted his head in thought. It was an intriguing offer. And he knew Melanie despite being years younger than him was a very knowledgeable trainer. He could learn a bit from her and her Dark-types. More importantly, he was bored otherwise. “Sure.” Rem said quickly. “Wynaut?”

      Melanie grimaced. “Really? We are going with that pun? Ugh.” She shook her head. “I can have like, the registration and stuff done fairly quickly, but I thought we should put you to the test first. Not like, a battle you have to win, just prove you and your Pokemon are the stuff Effort Values in Learning are all about.”

      She shrugged and continued. “Elite Four asshole is looking for a delicious dishing up of battles, so we might as well double up the activities. Test each other’s meddle with a proper Pokemon battle as long as that’s going on as well. Can’t hurt.”

      Rem nodded along. “Sounds fair.” He said.

      Melanie smiled. “Good, I figure three on three singles sounds good, ya?”

      Rem nodded again.

      Great, I’ll make the arrangements, just confirm the fight for the IPL and it will be all set. Later, moron.”
Effort Values in Learning Rising: VS Rem 1

[Melanie Prologue][Rob Rhys Prologue by :iconmrathens:][VS Rem Part 1][VS Eisha Part 1] [VS Rem Part 2][VS Eisha Part 2]



Zippie headcanoned that the Pokemon world is Japanese centric. I always had some elements of that (American Ninjas anyone?). But, here I am incorporating parts of her headcanons about language. It’s really all Japanese, just translated for our convenience (which makes sense). However, notably Melanie will be speaking in both Japanese-that-I-show-as-English and English-that-is-English. I don’t really want to clarify what is what most of the time for the sake of flow. Generally, for people like Dill, Rob, BD, and so on who have all lived or grown up some in America she speaks English. For people like Rem she switches tongues.

Also, enjoy the shortest of these entries. It's just going to get longer from here.
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TheMortonator
Morton
Artist | Student | Literature
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I might be slightly crazy.

Current Residence: TEXAS!
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Personal Quote: "Today is a good day for you to die."
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:iconryua:
Ryua Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015
Don't forget the IPL event!
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:iconthemortonator:
TheMortonator Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015  Student Writer
I haven't. I'm on top of it. Just not posting till all the sections are finished.
Reply
:iconryua:
Ryua Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015
Yay! I am excited.
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:iconbrazilliancara:
BrazillianCara Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Aloha.
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:iconcathto:
Cathto Featured By Owner Feb 4, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thanks for the :+fav:s
Have a cookie :biscuit:
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:iconharlansaysmoose:
HarlanSaysMoose Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012
Mort you sexy bastard! Thanks for the DA watch! :D
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:iconthemortonator:
TheMortonator Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2012  Student Writer
Heh, if you keep talking like that I'll either regret it or sleep with you!
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:iconallanpike:
Allanpike Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
... Did you get the link to my character's descriptions?
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:iconthemortonator:
TheMortonator Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Student Writer
Ya, no one has volunteered yet though, but since the tourney has a few months before starting and hasn't even finished the intro plot that's not surprising. I'll keep bringing it up as we get further along for you. ;)
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:iconallanpike:
Allanpike Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Okay, thanks. Guess I'm just anxious to get it done before the deadline as I'm horrible with them.
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