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!”
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.