Chapter 33: Fury
(A/N: This chapter was inspired by Iveechan. I don’t take credit for those of her ideas I nabbed for this chapter. I’m not spoiling anything, but you should recognize it when you see it...)
Mark wasn’t sure what would be waiting for him when he returned with the doctors to show them where the trainer was. He hoped that Scyther had been sensible enough to hide the body somewhere and then come back and claim that some other pokémon took him and he followed but couldn’t catch up. But what if Scyther was still having the pleasure of cutting him up? How would he explain that? He had told them, as well as May and Alan, that the boy was attacked by a wild Sneasel, like Scyther had advised. Now it was just hoping that Scyther wouldn’t get him into serious trouble...
Whatever Mark had expected, it was definitely not this. Not only had Scyther been true to his word, but he was actually fending off three Sneasels that were hoping for a good meal, so fast that it seemed like three scythes were slashing at the same time.
“Hey! Shoo!” Mark shouted and ran towards them, waving his arms. The doctors came hurriedly after him, saw the cuts, complimented Scyther for managing to fight the Sneasels off before they managed to do anything more. They got him into the ambulance and drove off. Mark just stood there and couldn’t believe his luck. At the same time, he felt guilty for being so sure Scyther would kill the trainer.
The boy and his pokémon walked together back to May and Alan. Neither of them had the need to say anything. They silently joined up with the others, May and Alan handed Mark his pokéballs, but Mark imagined Scyther wasn’t there and didn’t recall him. Why he was more comfortable that way he didn’t know, but he was. But before the kids walked on into the forest, they had a last look back east towards Green town.
They saw somebody walking towards them. The rising sun made it hard to distinguish the shape, but when the figure came nearer, they saw it was a Hitmonchan.
He was naked, showing his cream-colored chest, the delicate fingers and the different-colored gems used for elemental punches. Since by law, trainers must dress their Hitmonchans up in the standard uniform (boxing gloves and a tunic), Mark presumed he was wild. But he certainly didn’t behave like a wild pokémon. Wild pokémon hide when they see trainers, they don’t just walk there. Actually, when he thought about it, wild pokémon usually don’t walk like that at all. They don’t just walk between towns like any human.
While Mark was in those speculations, the Hitmonchan walked all the way up to them. He looked from one kid to the next, then at Scyther, then at Mark again and simply said “Hello”.
Mark just stared. So did the other kids. The Hitmonchan grinned broadly, like he really enjoyed being a mystery for a few seconds.
Scyther was the first one to knock his manners back into his head. He held forward his scythe, and then said: “Fury, right? From the Pokémon Frenzy Tournament?”
“Yup,” said the Hitmonchan and shook Scyther’s arm. “Your name is...?”
Mark was very surprised at how Fury behaved... well, like a human.
“I’m just Scyther,” the mantis pokémon said.
“Pleased to meet you,” said Fury politely and shook Scyther’s arm.
“But... where’s your trainer?” Mark stammered.
“I am my own trainer,” Fury replied.
“You mean you’re wild?”
“I mean exactly what I said,” Fury said calmly. “I’m the fully qualified trainer of myself.” When he saw how the kids stared at him, he added: “I have a license.”
“Oh...” Mark uttered, not really knowing what to say. Thankfully, May said what he meant to ask for him.
“Can pokémon get trainer licenses?”
Fury smiled. “I’m the first,” he replied. “But I hope many will follow my example and get one.”
“But why did you want a trainer license? Couldn’t you just go to the wild?” Mark asked, still not understanding anything.
“Wild?” Fury said slowly. “We’re an all male species. We’re bred in captivity. We’re too valuable to be in the wild for any loser at all to catch. Why should pokémon not be able to command themselves through the pokémon league? Now that the communication problems are out of the picture, why shouldn’t pokémon be able to become pokémon masters?”
“Can you catch pokémon, then?” Mark questioned.
“I could,” he answered. “But I’m not interested. What would I know about how to battle using another pokémon? I’ve been myself since birth. It gives me an advantage, in place of you being able to have up to six pokémon.”
“But what if you’re beaten?” Alan asked. “You’ll just be unconscious, and nobody to recall you...”
Fury smiled mysteriously. “I know myself better than that. I know what I can do and what I can not do. I would forfeit before that happens.”
“But if it happened anyway?”
“Well,” Fury said matter-of-factly, “I do tell all trainers I battle to use one of their Revives in the case of a faint, and I’d pay them back once I were back to health. Or, if they’ve run short, get one of their pokémon to pick me up to the next pokémon center. Or just “catch” me in one of their pokéballs and then release me as soon as they’ve healed me at the next pokémon center, I could sue them if they tried to keep me.”
He looked meaningfully at Mark, who knew what he was trying to say.
“Am I understanding you correctly?” he still asked.
“Yup,” said Fury and smiled. “One on one. I’d love to see if you’re clever enough to outwit pokémon acting on their own orders.”
Fury’s smile widened and got a bit mischievous. Mark decided he would give Sandslash a chance this time. He didn’t really trust Jolteon to have the physical defenses to be able to take a Hitmonchan’s punch.
Fury stretched happily, tried out a few punches and kicks on the air and then sat down, looked up and closed his eyes in some kind of meditation. Mark noticed that he had boxing gloves around his neck.
“I hope you don’t mind if I screw the tunic,” said Fury finally, rising up. “I’ve studied the law, and the tunic is just neccessary for official battles like in the pokémon league or any other kind of audienced fights because of certain groups who find naked pokémon with a resemblance to humans apparently... a bit disturbing. Don’t get what’s the difference between us and any other pokémon in those matters, though – I’m excatly as much of a pokémon as our mantis friend here.” He did a little nod in Scyther’s direction, then he sighed, untying the string that linked the gloves together. “The gloves are an absolute must, though. They make the force of a punch spread around a larger area, which is important since Hitmonchans were known to crack their opponents’ skulls with a single punch before they made a law about it.” Fury stretched out his fingers and then resentfully pulled on the gloves. He peered at the gloves from various angles before he was satisfied.
“So,” Fury said, grinning, “begin, shall we?”
While Fury didn’t realize it himself, the part about Hitmonchan cracking pokémon’s skulls had not been encouraging for Mark. At least he knew that Sandslash was a very hard-skinned pokémon, so he should be all right, but he shivered at the thought of what could have happened to Charmeleon. He slowly took out the pokéball and had to think a bit before he remembered that he wouldn’t have to wait for Fury to take out one. He threw the ball forward and Sandslash emerged. Fury got into a fighting stance, his keen eyes watching Sandslash closely.
“Sandslash, Earthquake!” Mark shouted. Sandslash rose up to his hind legs, but just before he smashed his claws into the ground again, Fury jumped up. Before he landed, he turned in the air and kicked a tree, sending him flying straight at Sandslash with his fist pulled back. Luckily, Sandslash’s reflexes were much faster than Mark’s, so while his trainer just stood there and stared, he curled up into a spiky ball. When Fury hit it, it flew back (Mark narrowly avoiding it), and hit a tree, while the fighting pokémon landed on his feet, completely unhurt.
Mark just stared, but Sandslash got up, not very hurt either due to his Defense curl, and walked slowly forward to face Fury again.
“Slash!” Mark roared. Sandslash didn’t move for a few seconds, Fury went very alarm and wary, then Sandslash decided to go with the element of surprise and slashed the Hitmonchan’s leg swiftly and powerfully. Blood prickled down the calf of Fury’s leg, but he didn’t hesitate and plunged his fist, shimmering a bright blue, forward right into Sandslash’s face. Small icicles started spreading around his scales, and he shivered of cold, having a hard time moving.
Fury jumped backwards, pulled his arm back and then smashed his fist at Sandslash, who was unprotected this time, not having had the time to curl up for defense. Fury hit him in the stomach, and the wind was knocked out of Sandslash, who fell unconscious. Mark recalled him, and Fury took his gloves off again, tying them together like they were and putting them around his neck.
“You’re too slow,” he suddenly said, looking at Mark.
“Too slow,” Fury repeated. “Your reflexes need to be quicker. Your pokémon battle better without you, no offense meant to you as a person.”
Mark just nodded. While he had really been thinking of the very same thing, how Charmeleon had beaten Fury without a trainer but Sandslash lost with one, hearing it from someone else hurt.
“Mark, listen,” said Fury quietly, grabbing hold of his shoulders and looking him in the eyes. “While you aren’t born with talent as a battler and will never be able to guide your pokémon as well through a battle as some lucky people who are, you have another gift. Use it to make up for that. Be one with your pokémon. They might put in their own tweaks to your commands, but they’ll battle with all their might, because they’re battling for you. This will lead you to victory. Let your pokémon feel your will and respond to it as they would like. Some trainers don’t know what to do and let their pokémon battle alone. Some trainers think for their pokémon, who respond to the trainer’s will whatever it is. But some trainers, Mark, combine their force with their pokémon’s, and they are the ones who get far. When you’re battling, don’t tell the pokémon what to do, be the pokémon. Do you know what gives me an advantage? The bond of perfection, the trainer and the pokémon being one and the same. There is no way for you to achieve that, but you can get very near it.”
Fury released him slowly, then smiled.
“Good luck,” he said, walking away into the forest.