Chapter 16: Mutark

When Mark and May came to the gym, they saw Mitch had gone somewhere, to May’s great disappointment.

“What’s the point with a gym if the gym leader leaves while two challengers are minding some business? He has no right to leave the gym like that when he knows of two challengers!”

“I think he can go whenever he wants, May...” Mark said, feeling embarassed for even knowing her.

“I’m going to find him now!”

“I’m not coming with you.”

“Then fine!” May snapped. “Do you really think I care if you come or not? I’m just going to find that... that...”

“May, he saved your life...”

“All right, all right, I won’t call him anything... I’m still going to find him..”

With those words, May went somewhere into the middle of the town.

“Fancy a battle?”

The speaker was a trainer with black hair and black eyes in black clothes. He had a raspy voice and was pretty creepy.

“I’m ready,” Mark said, trying to convince himself that the trainer was just a normal boy.

“One on one,” said the trainer and held out a ball. “Prepare to lose...”

“Oh yeah?” said Mark. “I’m not going to lose to you!”

“We’ll see about that,” said the trainer. “Mutark, go!”

Out of the ball he hurled forward, Mark expected to see something big and ferocious. But it wasn’t. It was a tiny, innocent-looking kitten pokémon.

“Meowwww-tark?” said the kitten and looked at the trainer.

“Uh, did you confuse your pokéballs, or is this actually your send-out pokémon?” Mark asked, finding it unbelieveable that the trainer was so sure to win with such a weak-looking pokémon.

“I don’t confuse my pokéballs,” said the trainer. “You obivously don’t know about the power of Mutark...”

“Go, Sandslash!” Mark said. He wouldn’t need Scyther for such a puny little pokémon...

“Just wait, my precious,” said the trainer sweetly and looked at his Mutark like it was a Mewtwo.

“Sandslash, Earthquake!”

The little cat pokémon fell down and seemed completely helpless.

“And now, Slash!” He looked at the innocent-looking kitten, and then added: “But don’t hurt the poor little thing too much.”

Sandslash scratched the small pokémon and then walked back, waiting for its reactions. The kitten licked the wound painfully, but then all of a sudden it stood still. Its eyes glowed bright yellow. And quickly and smoothly, it grew larger. Like it could just stretch itself out in all directions. The claws and teeth seemed to have grown a lot more, though.

“Okay... um, what just happened?”

The other trainer looked back and smiled. “Something that will be your downfall...”

Mark looked at the menacing pokémon that faced him. It couldn’t have been evolving, it hadn’t glowed white.

“Well, Sandslash, you can still beat it! Slash again!”

Sandslash slashed the catlike pokémon, which was now the size of an ocelot, with more power than before. The cat hissed and attempted to strike Sandslash with its claws, but Sandslash rolled out of the way. The cat pokémon now had the opportunity to lick its wounds again, and again it went stiff, its eyes glowed and it went even larger.

“What’s going on??!!” Mark asked. The trainer laughed softly. Sandslash struck the vicioius pokémon again with its claws, and it didn’t fail that when it had licked the scratches, it grew. It was now the size of a leopard, but looked so menacing and dangerous that Sandslash backed away. With a terrifying roar, it attacked Sandslash. Sandslash slashed it again, it licked the wounds and grew to the size of a lion. Sandslash slashed it again, and it grew to the size of a tiger by licking its wounds, Sandslash leapt on top of it and slashed it even more; the huge pokémon shook it easily off and licked its wounds to grow even larger than before. Now it looked so fearsome Mark didn’t at all like the look of things.

“I – I give up,” he muttered and recalled Sandslash. The big pokémon shrank back to the little kitten seconds after Sandslash had disappeared.

“Meeeeeeowtark,” it meowed happily as the trainer recalled it.

“Now you know the power of Mutark,” the trainer said.

“Why did it grow like that?”

“Mutark mutates at the taste of its own blood,” the trainer explained. “It is a cat pokémon, and as it’s a cat’s nature to lick its wounds, you could say it gains power as it is attacked... it looks weak in its kitten form, and it is weak in its kitten form, but it is very powerful in the largest form, that was the one your Sandslash got it in...”

“That’s good, for a second I thought it could grow forever,” Mark said.

“That’s a nice pokémon,” said a familiar voice behind him. Looked like May was back.

“Thank you,” said the trainer, looking pleased. “Although it’s not very nice... Dark types usually aren’t considered very nice...”

“Where did you find it? I’d like one,” May said, sounding very interested.

Of course you would like one, Mark thought. It’s exactly like you, looks innocent at first, but then suddenly turns into an incredibly dangerous beast when it’s angry or hurt. But he said nothing.

“It is very rare,” the trainer said. “But I am a Dark pokémon trainer, and darkness attracts darkness... my faithful pokémon got it out of hiding...”

The trainer sent out five other pokémon; a Mightyena, a Sneasel, a Houndoom, an Absol and a Sableye.

“Do you have any Dark pokémon? If not, you can just about give up all hope of finding one...”

“I don’t have one,” May said. “But when my Pupitar evolves into Tyranitar, I’m going to catch a Mutark. It looks strong.”

“Good luck,” said the trainer and recalled his pokémon.

“He must be from Hoenn,” May said. “Mightyena, Absol and Sableye can only be found there.”

“Did you find Mitch?” asked Mark, turning the subject away from that trainer.

“Yes, he was at a restaurant, getting something to eat... I wonder why I was in such a bad mood earlier? Guess it was just because of Taylor...”

“Let’s go and battle Mitch, then,” Mark commented.

“Good idea,” said May and they went back to the gym.