Chapter 17: The battle with Mitch

“Welcome back. I hope your anger has faded,” Mitch shot a quick look into May’s eyes, “and you are ready to battle me for the Venom badge. And you too, of course.” He looked at Mark and showed them a purple badge.

“I’ll battle you first,” said May and pushed Mark back, walking to her place on the arena. Mitch nodded and took his place. “Three on three,” he said.

“Fine. Go, Pikachu!”

“Go, Ariados!”

“Pikachu, Thunderbolt!”

“Ariados, Spider web!”

“CHUUUUUUU!” Pikachu let of a Thunderbolt that was sent flying towards Ariados, which evaded the attack and shot around Pikachu a few times. Pikachu watched it and got dizzy, but now there was a thin web spun all around him.

“Pikachu, Quick attack on the web to get rid of it!”

Pikachu struck the web with a Quick attack, but it was strong and could withstand the attack. However, the thread was sticky and Pikachu was stuck. He struggled to get away, but he just got more and more stuck.

“That was your first mistake,” said Mitch. “Ariados, Poison sting!”

Mitch’s Ariados stung Pikachu with its poisonus stinger. Pikachu whined in pain, and let off a Thundershock, but it wasn’t very powerful, as Pikachu was poisoned and stuck in the web.

“Pikachu, come back, this is hopeless,” May said and recalled Pikachu. “I won’t make another mistake! Go, Pupitar! Rock slide!”

Pupitar emerged from the ball. He sent rocks flying at the Ariados. One landed on its leg and held it down, then another fell right on top of it.

“Ariados, return! Go, Venomoth!”

The purple moth pokémon came out of the ball. “Venomoth!” it cried and flapped its wings.

“Venomoth, Sleep powder!”

The Venomoth flapped its wings rapidly and sent a cloud of dust towards Pupitar. His eyelids started sinking down and he was struggling not to fall; Mark was feeling drowzy too and May yawned, but squinted her eyes and shouted at Pupitar “No! Don’t fall asleep! Then it can finish you off easily!” But Pupitar didn’t take her advice and fell down, fast asleep.

“That was your second mistake,” Mitch said, smiling. “Venomoth, Psybeam!”

The Venomoth fired a purple beam of energy at the sleeping Pupitar, sending him rolling on the floor. He was still just as sleeping.

“This won’t do,” May said and recalled Pupitar. “Go, Skarmory!”

“Skaaaaaaaaaar!” said the steel bird as he came out of the pokéball and stretched out his wings.

“That, however, was a wise decision, because I know that Steel pokémon are immune to poison,” May snapped at Mitch. She obivously felt insulted that Mitch talked about her mistakes. Mitch nodded slowly. “Venomoth, Sleep powder!”

“Skarmory, Whirlwind!” Skarmory flapped his wings fast and blew the powder back at the Venomoth, which fell asleep.

“Skarmory, Drill peck!” Skarmory shot down at the Venomoth, spinning like a drill, and nailed the Venomoth to the wall with his beak. Mitch’s Venomoth fell limply to the ground.

“Venomoth, come back. Go, Beedrill!”

“Skarmory, Drill peck it too!”

“Agility!” The Beedrill became a blur and raced out of the way.

“Skarmory, Whirlwind!” Skarmory flapped his wings like crazy and the Beedrill, being small, was blown towards the wall and hit it on great speed, causing it to fall down, knocked out.

“Beedrill, return,” Mitch said. “You are worthy of the Venom badge. Go ahead and take it,” he then said to May and held forward the same purple badge as he had shown them before.

“You’re up, Mark,” May said. “I better heal Pikachu with my antidotes...” She searched her bag as Mark got ready to battle. He had no Steel pokémon, but he was sure he could win all the same. Mitch put his pokémon in a pocket healer, and Mark saw he had one healthy pokémon which he hadn’t used against May.

“Go, Sandslash!”

“Go, Beedrill!”

It was a wise choice, Mark thought. Beedrill can fly, so Earthquake wouldn’t harm it. He had to use other attacks.

“Beedrill, Twineedle!”

“Beeeeeeezz,” said the Beedrill and shot towards Sandslash.

“Sandslash, slash it down when it approaches!”

However, the Beedrill was fast enough to hit Sandslash with the stingers on its arms before Sandslash managed to Slash it with his claws, but once the bee pokémon was down on the floor, it was easy prey for Sandslash.

“Beedrill, come back! Go, Venomoth, and use Stun spore quickly!”

“Veno!” it cried as it came out of the ball and fluttered its wings, sending a cloud of powder at Sandslash.

“Sandslash, Slash!” Mark shouted at his pokémon. But Sandslash didn’t move. He was badly paralyzed.

“Oh no! Return, and go... um... Jolteon!”

Jolteon came out of the pokéball and seemed in a bad mood. Mark suddenly remembered he hadn’t battled with him in a while. He was just bored.

“Jolteon, Thundershock!”

“Venomoth, Psychic now!”

The Venomoth glowed purple. Jolteon did too. Then Jolteon was levitated a bit off the ground. He used a Thundershock on the Venomoth. It was still fine. Jolteon used another Thundershock, which caused the Venomoth to break the psychic connection and drop him. Unfortunately, it had already got Jolteon pretty high up. When he fell down, he landed on his head and started bleeding. “Jolt...” he said weakly, and then fainted.

“Jolteon, come back! Go, Charmeleon! Fire blast!”

Charmeleon appeared out of the ball and used Fire blast right away so the Venomoth didn’t have time to counter it.

“Venomoth, good job. Go...” Mitch’s hand reached for the fourth pokéball, the one he hadn’t used against May, “...Scorplack.”

“Scorplack? Not the same Scorplack as the one that... um... didn’t kill you?”

Mitch nodded. “Yes, it is. My strongest pokémon and my best friend... Mega sting! Now!”

The Scorplack shot forward at Charmeleon with its tail raised.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”

“Scorplack, get out of the way!”

Charmeleon blew a blast of flames at the Scorplack, but it shot to the side and then approached Charmeleon from the back and swung its poisonus stinger at Charmeleon’s tail. Charmeleon stopped cold, and then leapt at the Scorplack and started biting it and scratching it like crazy. Scorplack stung Charmeleon again and again. Mark wondered why Charmeleon hadn’t fainted of the poison yet, Mitch’s Scorplack must be pretty strong, and most likely stronger than the wild ones in the desert, so the poison should work quicker now...

“Of course,” Mitch muttered. “Charmeleon has been stung before... he has gained an immunity to Scorplack venom... Scorplack, try an Irongrip!”

The Scorplack grabbed Charmeleon’s arm with its pincers. Charmeleon roared in pain and bit the Scorplack’s tail and shook it violently. The Scorplack stung its tail end in Charmeleon’s eye and he dropped Scorplack, roaring in pain. Charmeleon swung his tail madly at the Scorplack and sent it flying across the arena, but it quickly rose back up, and came towards Charmeleon. Charmeleon used a Fire blast on the Scorplack and hit it this time. Then Charmeleon put his foot on top of the near-unconscious Scorplack and roared “Admit defeat, you desert slug!”

“Scorplack, return,” Mitch said calmly and beamed his Scorplack back into its pokéball. Mark recalled Charmeleon too. He was sort of disappointed that Charmeleon hadn’t evolved, but he would sometime soon, he was sure....

“Take this venom badge as a proof you beat me,” said Mitch and handed Mark a badge identical to May’s. He noticed May was gone. Maybe she was searching for that Mutark thing. He went outside.

May wasn’t there either. She had completely disappeared. Not that it really mattered. She had never said she’d wait for him. Mark assumed she was off to the next city, Aqua town. He tried to remember what he knew about it. It had a pokémon gym, he knew that. The gym leader was a woman called Marge. What else was there? Oh, of course, he thought, the whole city is underwater! How could I forget?

Aqua town would be interesting to explore. It would at least surely have some pokémon. And Gyarados would have fun.

Mark ran out of Scorpion city and into the wilderness ahead. Three badges up, five to go.

Mark didn’t notice that Mitch had gone out of his gym. He glared after Mark and muttered to himself.

“I have the feeling that we will meet again. Sometime soon. I also have the feeling that something unexpected will happen in Aqua town...”