Chapter 23: The pokémon frenzy tournament (PG-13, for violence)

(A/N: There will be a lot of what the pokémon are thinking in this chapter. Just so no one will get confused, everything a pokémon is thinking is in italics. Not everything in italics is what a pokémon is thinking, but you really should be able to recognize those cases yourself.)

May was just returning from the gym.

“What were you doing in there?” she said blankly.

“Ash Ketchum lives there,” Mark replied. “And his son.”

No!” May gasped. “That just can’t be... you saw him?”

“Well, no,” Mark admitted. “But I saw his Pikachu.”


“Yeah. And Alan, his son. He invited me over to tell me that Chaletwo has killed four trainers who had all somehow wanted to catch it... and he saw Molzapart. And owned Rainteicune. And he told me of it. And...”

“Molzapart? Rainteicune?” May questioned.

“Oh, of course... you didn’t read that book. Well, Molzapart is equally powerful as Chaletwo. Rainteicune is a mix between Raikou, Entei and Suicune... and then Alan has a Persian, and a Vaporeon and a Grovyle and a Rapidash and a Misdreavus, and a Charmander that can evolve or devolve at will...”

“Mark – you’re speaking way too fast,” May said.

Mark explained everything in details a bit slower.

“Really?” May said after Mark had finished. “Well, we can think about him later. Shouldn’t we go and find a hotel?”

They found a hotel, sure enough. It was almost full, though, because over the festival days, there was an awful lot of tourists in Green town, but since they were there early enough, they managed to get decent rooms anyway.

The rest of the day and the next day, they spent training their pokémon and watching the preparations for the festival. The day after that was the “more info” day, so Mark and May checked the program to see what they needed more info about.

“The pokémon frenzy tournament. That doesn’t exactly tell much about what it is, so we should at least get more info on that,” said May, peeking at the first part of the program.

“Evolution day. Well, I haven’t got any stone-evolving pokémon, but you have Pikachu...” Mark said and looked at May.

“Nah, I don’t think so,” May replied. “I want Pikachu to learn all of his attacks before he evolves.... hey, look at this... Attack approval. I’m entering that. And I’m definetly going to get some more info.”

“Me too,” said Mark. “And then... Trainer’s market. Well, you don’t really need more info on that, do you? Besides, it doesn’t say it has any more info.”

“Nope. And then the starter pokémon giveaway... the “more info” for that is most likely just for those who are going to get starter pokémon there. So we’re going to the Pokémon frenzy tournament “more info”, 2 PM, and the Attack approval one, 2:30. Let’s just hope we can get to both.”

At two o’clock, they were down in the Green town pokémon stadium. There was a man with a megaphone on one end of the arena. Meanwhile, some people were preparing the attack approval information. The man with the megaphone was shouting in it, making his voice echo through the arena much too loudly.

“Do your pokémon want to be champions? Not with you always telling them what to do? Maybe you’re not a good trainer, but you have very strong pokémon? Or maybe you only have one strong pokémon, but no others so you can’t enter the pokémon league? Then the Pokémon frenzy tournament is something for you, or rather your pokémon! Here, the pokémon battle with their own strength, wits and attacks, without trainers to command them! The pokémon finally get some credit! They finally are the champions, not the trainers! Are you interested? Is your pokémon interested? Go to the lady over there to enter your pokémon! Not for anyone too sensitive... or Water pokémon that need water to battle.”

“I think I’m entering some of mine,” said Mark.

“I think I’m not entering any of mine,” said May coldly. “My pokémon don’t need to have crazy battles that will most likely include a lot of blood to be champions.”

“Well, I think I’m entering all of mine,” said Mark. “Or maybe not Dragonair, he’s a bit sensitive... and Gyarados isn’t allowed.”

He went to the woman.

“Good day. Are you going to enter some of your pokémon?”

“Yes, four,” Mark said.

“Okay then,” she said and handed Mark four forms to fill out. The forms looked something like this:

Species: ____________
Nickname (if none, leave blank): __________
Gender: _ Male _ Female
Level: __
Trainer’s full name: _________
Comments: __________________________________________________

Mark filled the forms out.

“Anything else?” he asked the lady.

“Then you have to sign this,” she said and handed Mark a paper. He read it: “By signing this paper, you are clarifying that all information about you and your pokémon is correct...” and blah blah blah. Mark signed it and handed it to the lady.

“And this,” she said and handed him another paper. It said: “You hereby declare that you are aware of the rule that the trainer is not allowed to have any business with his or her pokémon’s battles in the Tournament. You are aware that in this Tournament, the trainer is no more than audience. You are also aware that neither the staff of the Tournament nor of the festival can be held responsible for any physical harm or injuries on your pokémon after the Tournament is over.” There was more, but it didn’t appear to be anything more than repeating these lines with different words. Mark signed it, and then the lady told him he could go now as she stapled all of this together and put it aside where signed forms would go.

Mark got out just in time to catch May on the way to the attack approval information. There were a man and a woman standing by a pile of what seemed to be Clefable dolls. There were long queues to each of them and Mark went to the one to the woman right away but May counted the people in both queues carefully and then chose the man’s one.

At long last, Mark reached the woman.

“I’d like to enter, please,” he said.

“Yes. Take a Clefable doll,” the woman said.

“What are they for?” Mark asked as he picked one up.

“They’re hi-tech caculators for the base damage, type, accuracy and power points of the attack used on them,” she said. “You take one, then when you’re going to practise your attacks, you turn it on, let your pokémon use their attack on it as many times as they can, and the doll will show you all information you need about the attack. The doll can store information about six attacks at once, and when it comes to the attack approval itself, you give us the doll so we can see the information about the attacks, and then you show us the attacks.”

“OK, thanks,” said Mark, took the doll and walked to May, who had gotten her doll long before him, being in the shorter queue.

Finally there came the twentieth. Mark and May walked to the stadium at half past one. Mark handed four of his pokéballs to the man who was collecting the pokémon that were to take part in the tournament, then they went and found decent seats. The pokémon frenzy tournament apparently did not use the whole arena; a small part of it was marked off. There weren’t as many people there as Mark had imagined, but there were still quite a few trainers. At two o’clock, the megaphone man came.

“Okay! Round one begins!” said the man in the megaphone. “I will be commenting on the battles. The first fight is between a Jolteon, level 35 male, no nickname, and a female Vibrava called Terra, level 35 also!”

The pokémon were sent out and Jolteon looked up into the audience for Mark. After he spotted his trainer, he turned to the Vibrava, who had flown up into the air, and examined it. He had never seen one before.

A dragonfly. Looks like a Bug/Flying type. Weak to electricity, then... this will be easy.

He charged a Thunderbolt and fired it at the dragonfly pokémon. It didn’t move, just leviated there and took the full blast, but seemed completely unharmed.


The Vibrava, Terra, slammed hard into the ground.

“And Terra uses an Earthquake! Jolteon makes, it, though... he stands up and faces her again...”

Earthquake? What the heck?

Terra smashed into the ground again, but Jolteon was ready and jumped on top of her as she landed. Angered, she flew faster as Jolteon tried pumping more ineffective electricity into her, and he fell off to the ground. The dragonfly pokémon took a deep breath and then breathed this weird sort of pale, kinda greenish fire at Jolteon. He avoided it using Agility.

Earthquake? Dragonbreath? No bug can do that... Ground and Dragon attacks... Ground/Dragon... no Flying type... so Bug is neutral...

Jolteon roared and blasted a flurry of pins at Terra.

“Jolteon counters the Dragonbreath with a Pin missile! He gets the point, Vibrava is a Ground type and unharmed by electricity!” the megaphone guy announced.

Jolteon’s first two flurries of pins hit as well as the third one. The Vibrava was getting too hurt to keep flying, enabling him to hit two more times. His back end was clearly less spiky now, but one Quick attack finished the Vibrava off.

Take that, bug look-alike!

But he was very weak and weary after this battle.

“Jolteon wins! Next match... it’s a Scizor, level 45 female with no nickname, and Blade, the level 50 male Sceptile, who is also (not that it has anything to do with anything) the highest level pokémon in this tournament! But will his level be enough to match up for the type disadvantage?”

The two pokémon emerged on the arena. Mark compared the crimson red, metallic bug with some sort of pincers on its arms, and the green reptillian creature with a fern for a tail. Sceptile had always looked pretty strange in his pokémonology textbook, because Mark had always gotten the impression that its tail was a christmas tree. Now, when he saw one in real life, he had to admit it looked pretty cool.

The Sceptile, Blade, leapt at the Scizor, roaring. The Scizor hadn’t seemed to be paying any attention to her oppoment; instead, she just stood there and did some sorts of ninja movements with her pincers while looking in the other direction. But when Blade drew nearer, she suddenly turned, swung her arms forward and grabbed his left arm, then somehow swung him back and into the ground as easily as if he were a sheet of paper.

“Ooh! Scizor made it look like she was being careless while she built up her attacking power with Swords dance! Clever move!” said the announcer.

Meanwhile, the Sceptile got wearily up, plucked a leaf off his tail and held it in his hand like a sword. It stiffened and started to glow. Then he rushed at the Scizor, and quicker than she could react, he slammed the leaf into her. However, it didn’t hurt her very much since she was coated with steel armor, and she stood slowly up again and held up one arm, looking seriously at the Sceptile. He was confused, but after she pointed at his Leaf blade with her other pincer and then at the one she held forward, Blade understood and smiled, narrowing his eyes.

Then a ferocious duel began. They moved their arms faster than the eye could catch for a while, then stopped to catch their breath.

Scizor held up her other pincer in the same way as the one she was using as a sword. Blade nodded and plucked off another leaf from his tail with his free arm. They swung their weapons slowly around like showing them off, then Scizor suddenly attacked, and the duel started again. Every now and then the audience could hear roars when they were hit, but as the duel went on, Blade’s type disadvantage started to show as he was getting covered with scratches and blood was leaking from a big gash on his head, but Scizor was barely harmed at all. In the end, it appeared that Blade gave up, as he dropped his Leaf blades to the ground and then lay flat down on his belly, closing his eyes. Scizor smashed her pincers into his skull and a sickening crack was heard as blood started prickling from his mouth. Mark heard May fuss beside him. She had been right in one aspect: these battles did seem to include a lot of blood. Even while bothered by the fact that no one did anything to prevent this from happening, he couldn’t help noticing how civilized pokémon were. He never thought pokémon had actual duels with rules. Even less that they took the rules seriously enough to lie down and wait to be killed after losing.

“And Scizor won this battle!” the announcer cried. “Next... it’s a level 40 Hitmonchan called Fury, obivously male since all Hitmons are... and Happy the level 38 female Blissey! Who will win?”

Mark couldn’t help rolling his eyes. A higher-level Fighting pokémon against a Blissey? What excitement did that guy think he could create over an obivous result?

The Blissey appeared, disgustingly happy-looking, as a cool humanoid pokémon wearing a tunic and boxing gloves appeared on the other side. The Hitmonchan did a funny copy of the Blissey’s expession, then punched her hard in the stomach. She shrieked and then fell down, fainted. Fury jokingly stroke some nonexistant sweat from his forehead and pretended to be exhausted. Mark laughed. Fury had a sense of humour.

“Ummm... yeah. And after this... er, great match... we’ll see Jaws the male Feraligatr, level 42, and a male Blastoise called Cannon.”

The two water pokémon were sent out from the sides of the arena and for a while they just glared at each other, showing their teeth.

Then suddenly, Jaws rushed at Cannon, they grabbed hold of each other and started wrestling. Jaws bit the Blastoise’s cannon and he immediately started pumping water through it. Jaws was cast back but he stood quickly up again and used his own water attack agains Cannon’s.

As suddenly as before, Jaws bent down and out of the way, and rushed at the tortoise pokémon and slashed its face. Cannon slammed hard into Jaws’ back, but he was strong enough to withstand it and to retailate he bit Cannon’s arm powerfully. Then Jaws used what was, according to the announcer, a Dynamicpunch, and this sent Cannon flying backwards. He landed helplessly on his back, and Jaws smashed his tail into Cannon’s belly, ending the battle.

“Jaws wins! And it’s time for the next match – it’s a level 35 male Sandslash with no nickname versus a level 32 male Umbreon called Ringwraith! This will be interesting!”

Mark watched as the pokéball people at either side of the arena recalled Jaws and Cannon, and sent out Sandslash and that Umbreon owned by a Lord of the Rings-obsessed trainer. Very obsessed, apparently, since the trainer had painted Elvish runes on the ring on Umbreon’s forehead. Mark was actually surprised that the other rings had been left alone, but then figured that the trainer just took “The ONE Ring” too seriously to make many of them.

Sandslash faced his oppoment. Umbreons are calm pokémon, Mark thought, so Sandslash will probably get the first hit in.

Sandslash rushed at Ringwraith and slashed him with his claws. Ringwraith got some deep cuts, but didn’t show any signs of pain. His rings glowed, making the Elvish runes even more noticeable, as a black orb started forming in front of him, and then the orb shot forward. Sandslash quickly curled up into a ball, but the orb still hit him with a lot of force and sent purple sparks flying all around.

“Sandslash started this battle with Slash, but Ringwraith used a powerful Shadow ball to counter it! And hey, that looks like a Sand attack!”

Ringwraith was kicking sand randomly up, surrounding him in a cloud of sand.

I’ll never hit him like that with Slash...

Sandslash rose up on two legs and then slammed his whole body into the ground, causing an earthquake. The earthquake sent sand swirling up everywhere. When it was back on the ground, the Umbreon was still kicking up sand all around himself.

You asked for it...

Sandslash turned his back to the cloud of sand and suddenly, the spikes from his back started flying forward at high speed, straight at the middle of the dust cloud. Then he raced at the unclear, dark shape and slashed randomly in hopes of hitting something. When the dust ceared, Ringwraith had Sandslash on top of him, clearly unable to battle.

“This battle goes to Sandslash! Sorry, but the One Ring has no power in a pokémon battle!”

The announcer waited for laughter, but when he didn’t get any, he continued.

“Next battle... a level 35 Charmeleon who’s male without a nickname, and a Jynx without a nickname, level 37 and obviously female...”

Mark watched as Charmeleon was sent out, facing a purple-skinned pokémon wearing a red dress and blond hair.

Charmeleon looked at the Jynx with disgust, then raised his hand to his mouth, breathed a bit of fire into it. Then he aimed and shot.

He hit his target, straight in the face. The Jynx then raced towards him and gave him a huge kiss. Charmeleon got an awkward expression and Mark couldn’t help thinking he looked drunk when he put his hand forward and mumbled: “Char charmeleon?”

“And it’s a Sweet kiss, and Charmeleon is confused! What will he do now?”

He didn’t get the opportunity to do anything, because the Jynx started wriggling her hips and blinking her eyes rapidly.

“Oooh! Attract!”

Charmeleon’s eyes went all hearty and his mouth fell open. Then he just stood there with this stupid expression. Mark heard May snicker beside him.

Finally, the Jynx bent down to kiss Charmeleon on the lips. He joined heartily in as his eyelids were dropping slowly. Then, when he was starting to look really sleepy, he suddenly seemed to realize what he was doing, his eyes opened wide and he ripped himself free and blasted a Fire blast straight in the Jynx’s face. Then he slammed his tail into her body and, as mad as he now was, used Rage.

His tail flame burned powerfully and he attacked the Jynx with a wild glow in his eyes.

How did I ever fall for that! This is the biggest humiliation of my whole life! Take this! And this! And THIS!

The Jynx ended up lying all charred in a pool of water.

“And Charmeleon managed to withstand Jynx’s Lovely kiss and beat her! Good job to him! Next battle: a level 43 male Scyther without a nickname, and an Absol by the name of Armageddon, level 45 and male also!”

Scyther appeared on the arena along with an Absol. Scyther smiled cunningly and held forward his scythe. Armageddon bowed so that the blade on his head pointed forward. Then they walked up to each other, and Mark realized that he’d be seeing another duel similar to Scizor and Blade’s.

If he ever thought Scizor and Blade were fast, it was nothing compared to Scyther and Armageddon. Their blades moved like blurs. But Scyther was faster, and since speed was an important part of this, in the end Scyther knocked Armageddon down and stood there breathing rapidly for a few seconds, then when Armageddon didn’t stand up again, he lowered his scythes and waited for his fallen oppoment to be recalled.

“And then it’s the final match of round one – Casey the female Pidgeot, level 49, and a male Haunter without a nickname, level 40...”

The Haunter’s hands started glowing as soon as he faced Casey and she started to look a bit drowsy as she looked into his eyes. After a few seconds, she collasped, fast asleep. Haunter then came carefully and put his hand on her head. She glowed purple, as did his hand (Mark noticed that he was apparently left-handed), and then he moved the hand slowly away, containing a red orb. He put it into his mouth.

“PIDGEOOOOT!” came the Pidgeot’s cry as the ghost pokémon ate her dream. She woke up, looked quickly around, then flew up into the air and started flapping her wings rapidly. The Haunter, being only floating gas, was blown right back into the pokéball.

“And round one is over, and it’s the start of round two! The winners from round one will now battle, while the losers are out of the tournament. So, round two begins, and it’s Jolteon and Scizor!”

The men with all the pokéballs on either side of the small marked arena sent out the pokémon, Jolteon and that Scizor.

A Scizor. It shouldn’t be too hard...

Jolteon didn’t hear the levels, so he didn’t know how much stronger Scizor was, but he found out soon enough because the Scizor was extraordinarily fast for a Scizor, as had been clear earlier by her duel with Blade. She came at Jolteon at high speed, grabbed his leg and tightened her grip. There was a sickening crunch, which could even be heard through Jolteon’s shrieks of pain, that told Mark Scizor had broken Jolteon’s leg. Jolteon discharged electricity into the Scizor’s body, and she let him go. Jolteon whimpered on the ground and shot a Thunderbolt at the Scizor, which she evaded before she dived down and smashed Jolteon to the other end of the arena. Jolteon fell unconscious.

“AND SCIZOR WINS! The next match is,” the announcer said as the pokéball men recalled Jolteon and Scizor and took out new balls, “Fury the Hitmonchan and Jaws the Feraligatr! Will Fury’s punching power bring him victory in this battle like his first one? Or will Jaws override the Fighting pokémon with his jaws, claws and Water attacks? We’ll see!”

The alligator and the boxer pokémon faced each other, ready to fight. Neither moved. Then suddenly, Fury jumped at Jaws and punched him in the stomach.

“And Fury’s decided to start this out with a Mach punch!” cried the announcer. “Jaws – Jaws – he uses a powerful Slash, but Fury evades it! Fury uses Comet punch, Jaws bites Fury’s arm! Ouch! No, Fury is Mega punching Jaws’ lower jaw – this is one tough Hitmonchan! Jaws doesn’t let go – Fury headbutts Jaws and gets his arm out! What will Jaws do... it’s a Hydro pump! Fury evades it, and – and – Dynamicpunches Jaws right in the head! Ow, that must’ve hurt! The Dynamicpunch made Jaws confused – oh! Fury strikes again with a Dizzy punch! And Jaws – Jaws – Jaws has fainted! Fury the Hitmonchan wins!”

“I wonder who this Fury will be battling next time,” Mark muttered to himself. “Hopefully none of my pokémon... he seems pretty darn strong too...”

“The next match – Sandslash versus Charmeleon!”

Sandslash versus Charmeleon... they apparently made no efforts to avoid making pokémon owned by the same trainer battle. Sandslash and Charmeleon were sent out into the arena. Sandslash apparently didn’t want to battle Charmeleon, but Charmeleon took the tournament more seriously than that. He used a Fire blast and when it hit Sandslash, he maybe rolled a bit too much to keep it looking real. The announcer wasn’t going to try to make them actually battle.

“And Sandslash seems to have given up!” the announcer said. “Charmeleon goes on to the next round!” And Sandslash and Charmeleon were recalled after this short battle.

“And the last match before the next round, Scyther versus Casey!”

The two pokémon were sent out. Casey looked at Scyther with disgust, shook herself dropping a few loose feathers to the ground, and Scyther and Casey then both flew up at the same time.

“And Scyther has his scythes raised, Casey has her talons ready! They clash, and – and...” Scyther and the Pidgeot were in a mighty battle in mid-air and they both moved so fast there was no way to see clearly what was happening until they kicked each other away and then Scyther was covered in cuts and Casey’s feathers all stood on end. They panted there for a few seconds, flapping their wings, then flew at each other again.

She’s strong... Very strong. But I have the upper wing...

When they went back to rest for a few seconds again, Mark saw Casey’s right wing was hurt. She could still fly, but with more difficulty. Then Scyther flew at her again, slashed at her injured wing and she fell down to the ground, unable to battle anymore. Scyther landed and collapsed on the ground too, just out of exhaustion.

“SCYTHER WINS!!!!!!” the announcer bellowed. “And now it’s round two! The first match is this Scyther, who is, in case you forgot, level 43 male, and the winner of the first battle, Scizor! This will be interesting – for anyone who might not have leaned that yet, Scizor is the evolved form of Scyther, but their total strength is still equal. So this will probably be an exciting battle!”

“They’re going to make Scyther battle twice in a row?” Mark stared open-mouthed at the announcer. “When Scyther is that exhausted? I can’t believe it!”

“I told you this tournament is run by people who don’t care about cruelty to pokémon!” May hissed. “No one in their right mind would organize pokémon battles where everything is allowed except making sure no one gets seriously hurt! This is madness, and I always knew it. I tried to tell you!”

But when Scyther’s oppoment, that Scizor, was sent out, Scyther caught an eye on her and his eyes suddenly flamed with hate. He stood up, and as fatigued as he had been just a few seconds ago, he now didn’t seem tired at all. He stared into Scizor’s eyes and she stared back. Apparently, Scyther had battled that Scizor in the Metal city gym not just for the pride of all Scythers that haven’t been evolved. In fact, Scyther seemed to hate and loathe Scizors more than anything else in the world, judging by how he seemed to want to rip Scizor apart just by staring at her.

A Scizor... Scizor... I want to kill... I want revenge...

Scyther leapt up and shot at the Scizor. She evaded him.

She’s fast... for a Scizor at least. But no Scizor is faster than any Scyther...

Scyther shot at her again, and as she was trying to evade him, he changed direction at the moment she moved. He hit her with great force, knocking her to the ground. She locked her pincers around Scyther’s arm and tightened the grip, but because bugs don’t have any bones to break but instead have this hard shell around them, it wasn’t quite as effective as it had been on Jolteon. It gave her the opportunity to stand up, though. Now she shot at Scyther, but he flew up to evade it and then dived down and landed on top of her. Scyther held her down and searched quickly for a place where she wasn’t covered with steel plates that prevented his scythes from doing any serious damage to her. The weakest spot was on her neck, just below her head. She made some attempts to push Scyther off, but she was too hurt to manage it.

Prepare to die, filthy little Scizor...

Suddenly, a trainer in the top row stood up.


Scyther looked angrily up at him.

“THAT’S MY POKÉMON DOWN THERE!” the trainer bellowed. “STOP THE BATTLE!!!!!!!!!”

“Scizor’s trainer is breaking the rules, the trainers aren’t allowed to interfere with their pokémon’s battles! And it seems like he didn’t read the papers before signing them – it clearly said that “the staff of the Tournament or the festival are not to be held responsible for any physical harm or injuries on your pokémon”...”

“NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! SCIZOR!!!!!!!!” the trainer roared. Mark now finally understood the point of that sentence in the papers – they didn’t want to be sued if a pokémon got killed in the tournament. But, although the staff ignored the trainer completely, Scyther didn’t. He looked at the trainer and the Scizor several times and after staring at the Scizor for a few long seconds, he stood up. The Scizor lay still, but conscious, and Scyther stared at her. She didn’t stand up, and Mark guessed that meant she admitted defeat.

The announcer frowned, like he had been hoping for a real ‘exciting’ end to the battle. “Scizor has given up! Scyther is the winner!” was his failed attempt to sound like when announcing the outcome of the previous battles. He still had a clear tone of disappointment. “Next up are Charmeleon and Fury.”

Scyther and Scizor were recalled and instead Fury and Charmeleon were sent out. They glared at each other.

“Um, Mark?” May said. “Do you know what I just discovered? If Charmeleon wins this, we’ll have Scyther versus Charmeleon in the finals, and that might not be... uh, a very good idea...”

Mark froze. She was right, of course. Why hadn’t he noticed before?

“Scyther versus Charmeleon? But... even though Charmeleon has the type advantage, Scyther has the level advantage and he can fly but not Charmeleon... and of course Scyther has those scythes... I’ll end up with a bunch of Charmeleon slices!”

May’s answer was not encouraging. She just nodded and said: “Yeah, something like that, I’m afraid.”

Meanwhile, Fury and Charmeleon were down on the battle arena, staring at each other. Catching Charmeleon off guard, Fury suddenly shot towards Charmeleon and started punching him, first in the stomach, then in the chest, then in the jaw, then straight in the face. Then Fury leapt back, waiting for Charmeleon’s reaction. Charmeleon looked like he was going to vomit, then bent down and spat some blood on the ground. Then he rose up again, inhaled deeply and sent a swirl of flames at Fury, who tried to leap aside, but nevertheless got hit by it. However, Mark knew about the awesome ability to withstand elemental attacks the Hitmons had. Fury shot at Charmeleon again, but this time Charmeleon was ready and leapt aside just as Fury was about to punch. Then Charmeleon jumped on top of Fury and bit his arm.

“No,” Mark moaned, “don’t win... please...”

But his wish did not come true, in a few seconds Charmeleon had Fury in a headlock and Fury was forced to give up.

“And Charmeleon is the winner! The final match is... SCYTHER VERSUS CHARMELEON!!!!”

Charmeleon watced with a look of satisfaction on his face as Scyther was sent out at the other end. Scyther took his place perfectly calm and expressionless.

Now is the time... time to advance...

“Char,” Charmeleon said. “Chaaaaaaarmeleon!!!!!!!!!” He closed his eyes, and something incredible happened.

He glowed white.

He went larger, much larger; batlike wings spread from his back; the head went longer and the horn on his head split into two much narrower ones. He stopped glowing, revealing a Charizard.

“Whoa! Look at that! Charmeleon has decided to evolve a bit early! Actually, those two look like they hate each other... hey, wait a minute... this is strange... they’re both owned by the same trainer! What’s up with them?” said the announcer.

“Oh no,” Mark moaned. “I don’t want to watch them kill each other...” He looked straight down at his own legs and concentrated on an ancient mouldy piece of chewing gum that happened to be just there.

“Mark, wait,” May said. “Scyther doesn’t really look... up to battle.”

Mark dared to look up again and saw she was right again. Scyther looked more “hey, aren’t you overdoing this a bit?” and his scythes twitched with Charizard’s every movement, like he was going to stand there until Charizard attacked, then try to defend himself.

“Maybe it will be okay after all,” Mark said hopefully.

Charizard looked like he was going to vomit again. Probably time for more blood-spitting. And apparently, he thought the blood would be wasted if it landed on the ground, so he decided to spit it at Scyther instead, then flew up. Scyther’s face got completely covered in it...


Blood is red.

Something red in a Scyther’s eyes equals disaster. That was one thing he had learned in pokémonology.

“Uh oh. Bad idea, Charizard... bad idea...”

With a terrifying, mad roar, Scyther shot towards the nearest moving object: Charizard’s wings. He slashed them madly, but Charizard’s thick skin prevented them from being absolutely torn apart. Charizard turned around in the air and shot a Flamethrower at Scyther. Scyther evaded it and was shooting at Charizard again, but Charizard swung his tail around and hit Scyther with it. Scyther was smashed to the ground but he stood right up again, but the blood seemed to have cleared out of his eyes. He stopped to think, and while he stopped to think, Charizard’s tail came smashing into his back again, sending him flying up, then he landed on the ground, face down. Charizard raised his tail again.

One more attack, and Scyther will never attack us in our sleep!

“You know, I think Charizard’s just going to kill him...” said the announcer with more interest than ever before.

He suddenly lowered his tail.

Maybe I don’t need to finish Scyther off once and for all.

Scyther’s body twitched; Charizard raised his tail again.

No, I better finish it now, since I’ve started.

He hesitated again.

Why am I doing this?

We did hate each other. But why? Scyther has never done anything to me.

I got him to hate me too. I wanted him to hate me too.

It was because I was afraid Scyther would attack Mark... try to kill him...

Or, that was what I got myself to believe. I was just jealous.

Of course, that was when I was a Charmeleon. I’m more mature now.

But my actions may not be taken back...

What have I done?

Charizard lowered his tail completely. He stopped flapping his wings and fell down on the arena, and lay there completely motionless.

The announcer, who had been too busy watching this unusual fight, finally got himself to speak. “Well, it looks like this terrifying battle ended in a draw! Charizard has given up, but Scyther doesn’t seem to be in a very good condition, either!”