Chapter 29: The Green Town gym

Mark went to have his battle in the Green town gym while May and Alan played with Diamond. He was sort of ashamed that he didn’t dare to sit a Rapidash while it used Agility, but he thought “Well, at least I’m more careful than those crazy kids” and that thought comforted him in an odd sort of way.
He entered the gym. Inside it, there were two girls, one who he assumed was around 18 and one younger, twelve or thirteen.
“Hello?” said the older one.
“Hi, I’m here for a badge,” Mark said.
“Of course you’re here for a badge!” she snapped. “No one comes into a pokémon gym without wanting a badge!”
“Err... guess you’re right...”
“OK, it’s junior trainer first.”
The younger girl stepped forward.
“Go, Tangela!” she yelled.
“Go, Charizard!” Mark roared and hurled the ball forward.
“Tangela, Sleep powder!”
“Charizard, blow it away with your wings!”
“Tangela, hold that Charizard still!”
The Tangela’s vines shot forward and bound Charizard tightly; then it released a cloud of spores that engulfed Charizard and as soon as he breathed, he was fast asleep.
“Tangela, Slam!”
The Tangela slammed its vines down on Charizard’s back, and then again, and again, always muttering “Tan-gela! Tan-gela!” until Charizard woke up from the beating, and without warning shot a Flamethrower at the vine-covered pokémon. It stood there for a second all charred, then collapsed while Charizard wearily got up.
“Sunflora, do it!” the girl shouted and sent out a sunflower pokémon.
“Flora,” it said happily.
“Charizard, Flamethrower!” Mark ordered.
“Sunflora, Solarbeam!” the girl said, clenching her fist. Charizard fired a jet of flames and the Sunflora didn’t even manage to charge the Solarbeam before it hit. And Sunflora fainted on the spot. Mark smiled triumphantly; Sunflora was, if he knew his pokémonology correctly, one of the very weakest fully evolved pokémon of all. And Tangela wasn’t all that great, either.
“Ah, well, it happens every time,” the girl said and looked anxiously at Mark as she took out her third, and last, pokéball.
“Go, Jumpluff!”
Mark smiled again. Jumpluff was weak too.
But he didn’t get any farther, beause the girl had already yelled “Jumpluff, Stun spore!”
The Jumpluff released a cloud of spores, and Charizard froze, completely unable to move. Charizard collapsed to the ground like a stone statue.
“Guess you can’t battle anymore,” said Mark, recalling Charizard. “Go, Scy... no, Jolteon!”
He changed his mind on the last second; he remembered what Sandslash had said about Jolteon being annoyed.
Jolteon emerged from the ball he hurled forward, clearly happy to get to battle.
“Jolteon, Thunder spikes!”
Jolteon charged up electricity and being very quick, he managed to fire the pins before Jumpluff could do anything. Jumpluff fell to the ground, and Mark quickly ordered Jolteon to finish it off with a Quick attack, ending the battle.
The older girl walked forward.
“I’m Flora, the gym leader. I’d like to mention a few things before we start our battle. First off, I hate perfume. I don’t train grass pokémon ‘for their scent’. I don’t train them because I’m a flower-mad hippie either, because I’m not. The reason why I train grass pokémon is that they have spore attacks, and that means strategy, more strategy than all-out attacking. Status affections, I’ve found, are far the easiest way to win a battle, and that’s why I train grass pokémon, they have spore attacks, which cause status affections. Then, I want to remind you that I wasn’t a gym leader when I was born, so my name is just a coincidence. Heck, it’s my parents’ fault, not mine! I didn’t ask to get a name that sounds like a pun on my job!” She took a deep breath, then continued in a calmer tone, “Shall we start the battle, then?”
“Yeah,” said Mark.
“OK then. Go, Victreebel!”
A vicious-looking plant pokémon came out of the ball.
“Go, Scyther!”
Scyther faced the plant, and they stared nastily at each other.
“Scyther, Fury cutter!”
Scyther leapt forward and slashed viciously at the Victreebel. Flora clenched her fist and said, “Victreebel, Sludge bomb now!” The Victreebel fired a ball of sludge at Scyther’s face and he slashed back, but the Victreebel cut back with its razor-sharp leaf.
“Scyther, Slash!”
“Victreebel, Razor leaf!”
The Victreebel fired a bunch of leaves at Scyther, leaving him all cut and bruised, but he slashed it one more time and it fainted.
“Return, Victreebel! Go, Vileplume!”
“Viiiiile!” said the Vileplume’s voice as it came out of the ball.
“Vileplume, Poisonpowder!”
A cloud of dust came out of its flower and Scyther inhaled it. Weakened, he attempted to slash the Vileplume, but it got out of the way.
“Vileplume, finish it off with a Petal dance!”
The Vileplume shook itself violently and red petals shot towards the already hurt Scyther. The petals hit him with a lot of force, and he collapsed on the ground.
“Strategy,” Mark muttered to himself. “Strategy is what she has, but I lack.”
He took out a pokéball.
“Go, Dragonair!”
Dragonair faced the Vileplume.
“Dragonflame and then Fire blast!” Dragonair flared up and then blew a blast of flames at the Vileplume. It couldn’t stand the fire, and fainted.
“I have more pokémon than this,” said Flora. “Go, Meganium!”
A dinosaur pokémon came out of the ball she threw forward.
“Body slam!”
The Meganium flung itself on top of Dragonair, but as he was still flaming, the Meganium got badly burned and as the breast was its weak spot, it was seriously weakened.
“Dragonair, come back! Go, Sandslash, and use Slash!”
Sandslash slashed the Meganium hard with its claws, and roaring, the dinosaur pokémon fainted.
“You shall not beat me! Return, Meganium, and go, Bellossom!”
“Sandslash, Slash again!”
Flora hadn’t considered the fact that Bellossom was a very small pokémon and slashing it would be much more effective than on a big one. This lead to the fall of her Bellossom, bringing her down to her last pokémon.
“I made a mistake, but I won’t make another one,” Flora said determinedly. “This is my strongest pokémon, just try to beat it! Go!”
She hurled a ball forward as hard as she could, and out of it came a Venusaur.
“Venusaur, Vine whip!”
Even though Vine whip was the basic Grass attack with only 35 base damage (at least if Mark remembered his pokémonology correctly), it was very effective nonetheless. Sandslash curled up to defend against it, but started spinning around when the whip hit him, and he ended up on his back, unable to do a thing as Venusaur fired a Razor leaf at him, finishing him off.
“Sandslash, come back! Go, Gyarados!”
Mark sent Gyarados out in a pool that was on the arena like required in all pokémon gyms.
“Gyarados, Dragon beam!”
Gyarados roared, then closed his eyes and started concentrating, getting grayer like when they had been practising for the Attack approval. The laser beam hit the Venusaur and it roared, then it froze as icicles started forming on its leaves. Gyarados rested a bit while Venusaur couldn’t do anything, and then fired another Dragon beam, winning the match. As the trainers recalled their pokémon, the junior trainer went somewhere to the back and came back with a small badge, handed it to Flora without words and then stood there and waited while Flora gave Mark the badge. He then went outside to meet up with May and Alan.

Chapter 30

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