Chapter 13: Battle for the Shining badge!
When Mark woke up after that terribly long night, he wasn’t feeling better at all, but he recalled his pokémon into their pokéballs (thankfully Scyther and Charmeleon were both still sleeping), got dressed and went downstairs to the breakfast table. May was there too and he sat down beside her.
“Slept well?” she asked.
“No, not really... I was having nightmares... Scyther was too...something about eyes, pain and Mew... and I had no face... and Scyther saw itself killing me, and then battling other pokémon and neither had trainers... weird...”
“That’s what I thought it would be... hey, Mark, I’m sure you will make you feel better when you get your second badge! I think you should sleep some more, though. You look tired...”
“No, we should just go and get our badges... this gym will be a piece of cake...” Mark yawned. “It’s a Steel gym, isn’t it? It’ll be easy with Charmeleon.”
“I’m not sure,” said May doubtfully. “After all, your pokémon are still level 22 or something like that... you haven’t gone out and trained in a while. Mine are level 34, but I have no Fire pokémon. So I guess we’re about equally placed.”
“Hey, what was Scyther’s level again? Wait, I’ll check...” Mark took out the pokédex and pointed it at Scyther’s pokéball. This was a great feature invented by Gary Oak, making it enough to point the pokédex at a pokéball instead of having to release the pokémon first.
“At level 42, Scyther should know four of the following: Quick attack, Leer, Focus energy, Pursuit, False swipe, Agility, Wing attack, Slash and Swords dance.”
Mark stared. “Level 42?? Wow! No wonder Scyther could beat that Fangcat thing! He’s double my other pokémon!”
“I’ll bet Fangcat was at a high level, too,” said May. “And remember, it’s no good to have one pokémon much stronger than the others.”
“Yeah,” said Mark. “I’ll not use Scyther for the gym.”
“Also, a Scyther’s main strength is its scythes, and they are useless against Steel pokémon. Charmeleon will melt them down.”
They finished their breakfast, went out and walked in silence to the gym. It was made of Skarmory feathers and people said that the gym leader, Christopher, used light to his advantage, blinding the oppoment. When they approached in the sunlight, the bright, shining feathers made them squint their eyes. Mark eyed a poster on the wall beside the door. He walked to the poster and May followed. It was about the pokémon league.
Here is how the Ouen pokémon league rules will be this year.
First, all trainers may enter the Elite four competion. The trainers who enter the Elite four competion cannot battle for the title of a League Champion, but they will all get an official pokémon league T-shirt. The requirements for competing are only that if you have five or six pokémon, they must all be higher than level 40, if you have three or four pokémon, they must all be higher than level 50, if you have two pokémon both must be higher than level 60 and if you have one pokémon, it must be over level 70. The trainers will battle to find the four strongest of them. Those four will get an official pokémon league Elite four badge. The one who was in fourth place is put as Elite first, the one from third place will be Elite second, the one from second place will be Elite third and the one who was in first place will be Elite fourth (or the leader of the Elite four). After the Elite four are decided, trainers have one month to challenge them and beat them. When the first trainer beats the whole Elite four without healing in between, that trainer will get the title of First League Champion. When the First League Champion is defeated, the new League Champion takes the old one’s place, the old League Champion becomes the Fourth Elite, the old Fourth Elite becomes Third Elite, the old Third Elite becomes Second Elite, the old Second Elite becomes First Elite and the old First Elite is no longer a part of the Elite four. After one month, the current League Champion (if any, otherwise Fourth Elite) gets a trophy, an official Unbeaten badge and the title of Unbeaten Pokémon Master. The current Elite four members will also get trophies. Then, the pokémon league is over this year.
“So there will be an Elite four system on this year? Interesting... but with the Elite four system, it’s easier to find second, third and fourth place and so on,” said May, reading over Mark’s shoulder.
“Well, I guess we’re pretty far from the league now... one badge out of eight isn’t much. We better go and get our second one,” answered Mark and they went into the building.
As much as Mark had been hoping the walls didn’t shine so brightly on the inside, they did. The lights were very bright too, so he could barely see anything. For example, he could not see the big, bulky man wearing extremely black sunglasses who walked up to him, until the man’s shadow blocked the light.
“Hello, I’m Christopher, the Metal city Gym leader. It’s a pleasure to meet you. You will use two pokémon maximum, I will use two. So, which of you will battle first?”
Mark looked at May, or tried to, but he couldn’t see her properly. Only the outline of a girl.
“You can go first, Mark,” she said and went to the corner.
“Charmeleon, this will be easy for you! Fire blast now!”
Charmeleon fired a jet of flames forward, but missed the Steelix due to its metal shine that matched completely with the walls and made it almost impossible to see, as it seemed to be trained not to move at all.
“Steelix, use Earthquake!”
Of course. Christopher was using attacks that really can’t miss even though the pokémon using them can’t see. The Steelix raised its huge metallic tail and slammed it on the floor, causing it to shake. Charmeleon was flung down to the ground.
“Steelix, Iron tail!”
The iron snake slammed its tail at the ground trying to hit Charmeleon, but missed, as it was blinded by the light just like Charmeleon. Christopher swore loudly.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
Charmeleon got up and blew an even massiver blast of fire in the opposite direction and it actually hit the Steelix by pure coincidence. It roared in pain.
“Steelix, Iron tail again!”
“Charmeleon, use another Fire blast when it comes!”
Mark’s caculation was right. When Steelix was using Iron tail, it cast a shadow at Charmeleon, giving him some accuracy. Charmeleon hit the Steelix easily now, it roared loudly, then the massive body collapsed, and it was fainted.
“Steelix, return! Go, Scizor!”
A shiny Scizor popped out of the ball – an actual shiny one. A green one. It flew up to the air instantly, and waited there.
“Charmeleon, Fire blast!”
“Scizor, Double team!”
Seven copies of the shiny Scizor appeared in the air. Both this and being blinded made it almost impossible for Charmeleon to hit. He managed to hit the wing of a copy, though, and it dissolved into the air.
“Scizor, use another Double team, and then strike!”
Each copy of Scizor now created more copies, and the true Scizor flew down quickly and grabbed Charmeleon hard by the arm with its claws. Then it flew up and joined the copies again. Charmeleon was left on the ground, his arm bleeding.
“Charmeleon, another Fire blast!”
Charmeleon was already inhaling deeply, then he blasted some fire into the air and managed to hit three copies with it, but none of them was the real Scizor. The Scizor then flew down and grabbed Charmeleon in its claws again, and flew upwards, this time holding Charmeleon.
“Charmeleon, use Fire blast on it now!”
Charmeleon tried, but he couldn’t. Then Mark remembered Charmeleon had already used Fire blast five times, he had to rest before being able to do it again...
Scizor was now near the ceiling, and dropped Charmeleon, who fell down... and down... and then landed on the ground with a big “THUMP” and a weak “chaaaar...”.
“Charmeleon, return. What can I use now? I guess Jolteon would be good...”
But before Mark had sent out Jolteon, one of his pokéballs popped open. It was Scyther’s.
“Scyther, what are you doing!? I was not going to use you in this battle!”
“I’m going to battle here and now, for all Scythers still around!” Scyther said and turned hatefully to the Scizor.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean that I’m going to battle this piece of garbage!” Scyther said angrily and looked at the Scizor with disgust. Then Mark remembered the pokédex. Scyther has been overhunted by trainers and evolved into the much-preferred evolution, Scizor. But Mark knew Scyther was the strongest of all not fully evolved pokémon. In fact, Scizor wasn’t stronger than Scyther at all. And Scyther wanted to battle Scizor, just for the pride of all still existing Scythers that had not been evolved. Mark also remembered reading about something like that. About a Pikachu that battled a Raichu and won, some twenty-five years ago in Kanto. And now he, Mark, was in the same position – just with a Scyther against a Scizor. And the Scyther was surely a much higher level than the Scizor. Mark smiled when he thought of that. This would be an easy victory.
“Okay, Scyther, but just this once!” he said. “Go and slash it!”
Physical attacks would probably prove to be much better in this gym, as they are not as likely to miss as special attacks. Scyther flew up, facing his evolved form.
“Scizor, don’t let it catch you!” Christopher shouted. The Scizor flew forward, but its Steel type slowed it down, and its level was much lower than Scyther’s. He caught up with it in a few seconds, reached forward with a scythe and slashed blindly. The Scizor moved desperately trying to avoid Scyther’s scythes, but Scyther reached further forward and something fell down to the ground as the Scizor roared – it was one of the Scizor’s wings. It was obivously falling, since it had only one wing left. Scyther dived down and slashed the Scizor again with hate in his eyes. When Scizor fell to the ground, Scyther wouldn’t stop slashing and roaring madly. Mark felt like Scyther was trying to do something more than just winning the fight and recalled him. Christopher picked up the wing off the ground and recalled his Scizor, then gave Mark a metallic badge.
“This is the Shining badge. Now, I’ll battle the young lady... with those of my pokémon that are still in one piece.” He gave Mark a nasty look and put one of his pokéballs, which Mark assumed must be Steelix’s, in a pocket healer as May walked towards them. Mark went to the corner to watch the battle.
“Steelix, Iron tail!”
Clever move. Swift can’t possibly miss. Skarmory fired a flurry of stars at the Steelix, but the stars just repelled off it. The Steelix then swung its tail forward and it hit Skarmory, throwing him down to the floor. It then slid a number of large rocks at him and Skarmory, all wounded and battered, was recalled into his pokéball by May. Her expression was the same as before.
“Go, Lapras! Use Surf!”
The beautiful pokémon beat Steelix easily with a big wave of water coming out of nowhere, Steelix being a Ground pokémon.
“Return, Steelix! I have a Skarmory too, girl... go!”
Christopher’s Skarmory emerged from the ball he sent forward.
“Skarmory, we’re on plan!”
Skarmory flew up and used what seemed like a Drill peck on the ceiling. The sharp Skarmory feathers it was made of rained down, and on top of all things, they shone even brighter now as the sun burst through the gap. Mark couldn’t see anything, but he heard May and Christopher shout commands at their pokémon, and once he heard a Skarmory feather land righ next to him with a lot of noise. But after that, nothing was heard, and he could see some dark outlines again by putting his hand over his eyes.
“Great battle,” Christopher said and shook May’s hand. “You are worthy of the Shining badge!”
Mark had the feeling that Christopher was a lot nicer to her than to him. He handed her a badge like Mark’s. She took it and walked over to him.
“Come. Let’s get away from this brightness.” Mark nodded and they walked out of the gym.
“Wasn’t Scyther a little violent in your battle?” May asked. “I mean, pokémon don’t usually act like that... not after they’ve already won...”
“Well, a little, I guess... but Scyther seems to really hate Scizors for some reason...” Just then, Scyther popped out of his ball. “Obivously! All real Scythers with some bit of respect for themselves prefer their scythes over a lously little Steel type any day!”
“Well, I guess I won’t have to ask you if you want to evolve...” Mark said, raising his eyebrows.
“Of course not, that one must have had no respect for himself at all, otherwise he wouldn’t have let his trainer evolve him,” Scyther growled and went back into his ball. Maybe there was something deeper than that behind it, though.
However, when back at the hotel, Mark noticed two things. Charmeleon was twice as mad at Scyther now than before, and he and Scyther were both feeling better. Scyther had defeated a Scizor, and Mark had a new badge.