Chapter 6: Rick

When Mark got to the gym again, he reminded himself not to talk to the first trainer while battling, or he would lose a turn. He checked if his pokémon were all right and then went in and took out Sandshrew’s pokéball.
“You again? Go, Arcanine!” said the trainer with the annoying voice. Arcanine barked.
“Go, Sandshrew!”
“Arcanine, Extremespeed!”
Arcanine became a blur and tackled Sandshrew at great speed.
“Sandshrew, Earthquake!” Sandshrew stod upright, then smashed its paw into the ground – and the ground shook! It was amazing how such a small pokémon could cause and earthquake to occur, but it still did. Arcanine was still shaking after the Earthquake, being a Fire type, it was very vulnerable to Ground type attacks.
“Arcanine, Extremespeed!” the trainer commanded. Arcanine wasn’t as fast and didn’t hurt Sandshrew as much this time.
“Sandshrew, Earthquake!” Sandshrew caused an earthquake again, still getting hang of its new attack, Sandshrew now tried smashing the ground again so the earthquake would last longer. Arcanine ended up falling. It didn’t stand up again.
“Arcanine, return! Go, Zapdos!”
“Sandshrew, that’s enough! Go, Charmeleon!” Mark still remembered the pursuit between Sandshrew and Zapdos.
“Zapos, Thunderbolt!” Zapdos charged up electricity and shot a bolt of lightning at Charmeleon.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
Charmeleon inhaled deeply, then blasted flames at Zapdos from its mouth.
“Zapdos, Thunder wave!”
Zapdos started charging again.
“Charmeleon, Try to be quicker and use Fire blast!”
Charmeleon managed to blast Zapdos while it was still charging, and Zapdos fainted, to Mark’s surprise.
“Zapdos, come back! Go, Moltres!”
“Charmeleon, come back! Do it, Jolteon! Thundershock!”
Jolteon discharged electricity and Moltres somehow fainted in one hit.
“Moltres, come back! Go, Articuno!”
“Jolteon, Thundershock!”
Articuno fainted in one hit too. Mark couldn’t believe it!
“Articuno, return. You beat me again,” the trainer said.
“Yeah, I guess so,” said Mark and went on. After he healed his pokémon, he checked their levels. Charmeleon was level 19, Jolteon was level 18, Sandshrew was level 17 and Gyarados was, of course, still level 22.
“You? Go, Raikou!” the next trainer said as soon as Mark entered the battlefield.
“Go, Sandshrew!”
“Raikou, Crunch!”
“Sandshrew, quick! Earthquake!” Mark yelled. Raikou was quicker, however, leapt at Sandshrew and tried to bite it. But like in the first battle, Sandshrew had managed to curl up first and Raikou couldn’t bite it properly. Then Sandshrew did a powerful Eathquake and Raikou fainted.
“Raikou, come back! Go, Suicune!”
“Sandshrew, come back! Go, Jolteon!”
“Suicune, Hydro pump!”
“Now you made a big mistake!” Mark said. “Jolteon, be ready with Thundershock!” Jolteon charged for a Thundershock while Suicune blasted water at it, but when the water was just about touching Jolteon...
“Now!!! And evade the Hydro pump!” Mark shouted. Jolteon let off the Thundershock and the water led it at Suicune which got fried. Mweanwhile, Jolteon jumped aside and the Hydro pump just hit the wall.
“Suicune, come back! Go, Entei!”
“Jolteon, come back! Go, Sandshrew! Earthquake!” This time Sandshrew was quicker and Entei fainted in one hit, just like the other ones. Odd, Mark thought. Legendary pokémon ought to be stronger than that...
The trainer said nothing, he just recalled Entei and opened the door. Mark went to the nurse and healed his pokémon and then he checked their levels. Jolteon had grown to level 19 and Sandshrew was level 18, almost 19. Charmeleon and Gyarados were, of course, still level 19 and 22.
“Okay, now it’s the trainer with Mewtwotwo,” Mark thought. “Better be careful this time.”
But the trainer wasn’t there. Mark went to the door and saw a note saying “Went to get another Mewtwo. Challengers, please go through, it’s not locked.” Mark thought of how the Mewtwo had teleported away. And the trainer had said “the last one also did”. How many Mewtwos could be lurking around, waiting to take over the world? Mark tried not to think about it and went through. The next trainer came.
“You’re finally back,” he said. “I’ve been waiting for you. Go, Ho-oh!”
“Go, Jolteon!”
“Ho-oh, Sacred fire!”
“Jolteon, quick – Thundershock!”
And, oddly enough, Ho-oh fainted.
“I can’t believe it! It fainted in one hit?!” Mark said curiously.
“It’s level 9,” said the trainer. “Its stats are boosted, but it’s still only level 9.”
That explains much, Mark thought. I knew legendary pokémon have great stats and shouldn’t lose just like that! But he said nothing aloud.
“Go, Lugia!”
“Jolteon, Thundershock!”
Lugia fainted too.
“You beat me,” said the trainer. “Go on – there’s one more junior trainer before Rick!”
Mark went int the room and healed his pokémon. The last junior trainer came and said: “I won’t be easy! Go, Celebi!”
He sent out a green fairy pokémon.
“Celebi???” Mark questioned. How on earth could common junior trainers have pokémon like Mew and Celebi?!
“Yes. Send out a pokémon.”
“Okay, go, Charmeleon! Fire blast!”
“Celebi, Psychic!”
Charmeleon was quicker, but to Mark’s surprise, Celebi didn’t faint of one Fire blast, which it would surely have done if it was anywhere near level nine. It just glowed purple and sent Charmeleon banging its head against the ceiling.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast again!”
But Celebi teleported away in time; Charmeleon missed.
“Celebi, Psychic!” Celebi sent Charmeleon up to the ceiling once again, then let it fall. Charmeleon didn’t stand up again.
“Charmeleon, come back! Go, Sandshrew!”
By sending out Sandshrew, Mark was taking a risk. Celebi was a Grass pokémon and therefore it was resistant to Earthquake, but Sandshrew would surely gain a level if it managed to beat Celebi.
“Celebi, Solarbeam!” Celebi started charging power for a Solarbeam.
“Sandshrew, Earthquake!” Mark knew it had to beat Celebi, or Sandshrew would faint to Solarbeam. But luck is a blessing; it was a critical hit! Celebi fell down, fainted.
“Celebi, return. Go on and face Rick!” the trainer said and opened the door. Some noise could be heard through the door. Mark went to check what it was.
“Lapras, come back!” It was May, just recalling her Lapras. “Oh, hi, Mark! How are your pokémon?”
“They’re fine. Both have evolved and I’ve caught two more,” Mark answered. “Was the battle hard?”
“He’s tough, you should beware of his pokémon, especially Mew. They’re very strong.”
“Thanks for warning me, May,” he said, smiling.
“Okay, girl, here’s the Element badge,” said Rick. He was a young man, about 20, with blond hair and brown eyes. “Now get lost so I can battle your friend.”
“Okay,” said May and put the badge in her pocket. Then she smiled at Mark and went out. Now Mark noticed that this battlefield was even larger than the other five. The pool was on the right, spanning about five meters into each half and 1/3 of the battlefield’s width. On an equally large area on the left were rocks all over. The middle was just normal.
“Let’s start the battle, boy,” said Rick. “I choose Ho-oh!”
“Jolteon, go! Thundershock!”
Ho-oh got fried, but still managed to hang in.
“Ho-oh, Earthquake!” ordered Rick. Ho-oh dived down and hit the ground, shaking it. Jolteon stood wearily up again.
“Jolteon, Thundershock!” Ho-oh fell down, fainted.
“Ho-oh, return! Go, Mew!”
“Jolteon, you’re quicker! Thundershock!”
“Mew, Metronome something good!” Mew waved its paw, and it used Extremespeed! Before Jolteon attacked, Mew struck it at incredible speed. Jolteon fainted.
“Jolteon, come back! Go, Gyarados!”
“Mew, be ready! And now! Thunderbolt!”
Electricity + Gyarados = faint. Everyone’s heads had been filled with this in school. There was no way to forget it.
“Gyarados, return! Go, Sandshrew!”
“Mew, Surf!” All the water in the pool rose up and flooded at Sandshrew.
“Sandshrew, you can do it! Curl up and repel the water!” And Sandshrew managed to survive the Surf without being hurt.
“Sandshrew, I know! Use Earthquake, trust me!” Sandshrew looked at Mark. Mew was floating in the mid-air, so how could Earthquake possibly damage it? The situation was pretty much like when Mark told Gyarados to use Splash, but one main thing was different: Sandshrew trusted Mark all the same. As a powerful Earthquake struck the ground, the rocks on the left started to roll around, the smaller ones flew up in the air and landed again. One rock hit Mew’s tail and stuck it to the ground; more rocks followed and Mew was getting shaken by the Earthquake too. Mew fell to the ground and got buried under the rocks. “Meeeeeeeeeew!” it cried from under the pile.
“Sandshrew, stop!” Mark shouted through the noise, but Sandshrew didn’t hear him the first time.
“SANDSHREW! STOP IT NOW!” Sandshrew stopped and the noise died away. Mew seemed to have fainted under the rocks, but all the same...
“Sandshrew, finish it!” Sandshrew curled up and rolled at the pile of rocks Mew was buried under. As it hit the pile, all the rocks scattered around the battlefield. Then Sandshrew stopped and there laid Mew, as fainted as it could possibly be.
“Poor thing!” said Mark and walked up to the worn-out Mew. He then heard Rick say something like: “I knew I shouldn’t use those originals, they’re much too weak...”
“What? This is the original?” Mark asked, now standing up.
“Yes, but it’s useless! You can have it if you like,” said Rick.
“Can I... just take it?” Mark asked.
“Why not? It’s useless, and it’s even fainted! I have nothing to do with it! Here, take that!” And Rick threw a pokéball to Mark – Mew’s pokéball. Mark recalled Mew into it and was going over to the nurse when Rick called:
“Hey, I said you could have it, not that you could use it in the battle! Come back here at once!”
“But I want to heal it! It’s badly injured, I have to!”
“After the battle, kid! After the battle!”
“It’s dying!!” Mark roared.
“And I don’t care!” roared Rick even louder. “Go, Celebi! Solarbeam!” Celebi started charging sunlight.
“Sandshrew, come back! Go, Charmeleon!”
Celebi used Solarbeam, but it didn’t damage Charmeleon much.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
“Chaaaaaaaar!” Charmeleon attacked with a good blast of fire. This Celebi fainted, so apparently the junior trainer’s Celebi was stronger than this one. Odd.
“Celebi, come back! Go, Suicune!”
“Oh no! Sandshrew is also weak to water! Well, I have to. Charmeleon, come back! Do it, Sandshrew!!!!”
“Suicune, Surf!”
“Sandshrew, curl up and repel it!” But Suicune’s Surf was more powerful than Mew’s. Sandshrew was hurt, less than it normally would, of course, but it was hurt.
“Sandshrew, do it, please! You have to! Earthquake!”
Sandshrew jumped up and cried “SHREEEEEEEW!!!!!!”, then landed on the ground, causing a big earthquake. Suicune fainted.
“Suicune, return! Go, Articuno!”
“Sandshrew, come back! Go, Charmeleon!”
“Articuno, be ready!”
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
“Articuno, Ice beam!”
Articuno’s Ice beam and Charmeleon’s Fire blast met in the middle between them. The ice melted into water upon contact with the fire. Now Mark saw what Rick was trying to do; the Ice beam would turn into a Water attack, gain enough power to be like a Hydro pump and if Charmeleon gave up, it would hit, fainting Charmeleon. However, if Charmeleon could somehow push the water back at Articuno, it would surely faint to the power of Hydro pump and Fire blast put together. But a blast of water should eliminate a blast of fire easily, shouldn’t it?
“Charmeleon, don’t give up! You can do it!” said Mark. But the water was already moving slowly towards Charmeleon. It seemed hopeless. Suddenly, something seemed to happen with Charmeleon. Like it just got an idea. And it stopped for a second and blew a great blast of flames at the ceiling, but then started blowing against Articuno again. Now the water had almost reached Charmeleon, but now it didn’t get any nearer now. Suddenly the sun burst out – Charmeleon’s flames had burned a hole in the ceiling.
“Sunny day! It works like Sunny day! And that means... Sunny day powers up Fire attacks but weakens Water attacks! Hooray!” Mark was delighted. “Charmeleon, keep going, you’ll do it!” Charmeleon kept blowing the Fire blast. And the water started moving towards Articuno and finally reached it along with the Fire blast. Articuno melted.
“Articuno, come back! Go, Raikou!”
“Charmeleon, enough! Sandshrew, go!”
“Raikou, Crunch!”
Raikou sped at Sandshrew and bit it. Sandshrew took the damage pretty well with its hard skin.
“Sandshrew, Earthquake!”
Sandshrew smashed its paw to the ground and caused an earthquake; it hurt Raikou a lot, but it didn’t faint.
“Raikou, Roar!”
Raikou roared, and Sandshrew was forced into its pokéball.
“Go, Charmeleon! Fire blast!” Charmeleon blew a Fire blast at Raikou and it fainted.
“I won! I won! I won!!!!!!!!!” Mark shouted and hugged Charmeleon. “You did great! Really great! And that “Sunny day” was a great idea!”
“Okay, kid, you can have the Element badge, but you won with luck!”
Rick handed him a cool badge, with clouds, lightnings, fire, grass, snow and water surrounding a purple eye. Mark put it in his pocket and went out.

Chapter seven

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