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Pokémon City The Story

Well... this page really doesn't need any introduction, but this is the page with all of Robert H. Magnusson's Pokémon City stories are. So without further adieu, the Stories!



#001 - Quest for the Light Stone, part One

The cavern was soon illuminated by a small torch, held by a one Chue Raton, Pikachu adventurer. Sure, he was cute like all Pikachu, but he preferred to think of himself as a tough-as-nails fighter, plus he was somewhat larger than the non-anthropomorphic (human-like) Pokémon. There was little mistaking what he was, though, despite the dim light of the cave. Two shadows followed closely behind, his Pokémon friends.

"GEEZ, Ray, are we anywhere NEAR the end of this cave?!"

Ray, Chue's Raichu friend and father figure, consulted his map as Marrilyn, Chue's Marril girlfriend (a Marril is an undiscovered Pokémon that everyone seems to refer to as a Pikablu, but I digress). "According to our map, just a few more feet." He paused. "According to this, in a few minutes we'll be setting foot in Denryu's chambers..."

"DENRYU? What's a Denryu...?"

As usual, it was Marrilyn who first saw it. "Uh, Ch-Chue... I think THAT'S... a Denryu."

The cavern had opened into a large room, with a large lake separating them from an adjoining chamber which glowed from within. A large head had emerged from the lake, a huge, serpentine white dragon with purple eyes. It was staring at our adventurers much as they would stare at the victuals served at Ray's tavern.

"THAT THING?!! HOW are we SUPPOSED to get past THAT?!!"

Ray turned to look at Chue, who had bolts of uncontrolled electricity sparking from his cheeks. "Well, we're going to HAVE to, to get to the Light Stone..."

Chue braced himself, and then stepped forward. "Well, it's WATER, anyway - I'll use my Staff of Thunder with a +5 PlusPower ring."

Marrilyn looked on, worried. "Be CAREFUL, Chue..."

As Lyn covered her eyes, Chue fought a powerful but extremely short battle with the dragon, resulting in the creature gaining nineteen pounds.

"Is he..."

"Afraid so, Lyn, but I should be able to regenerate him afterward. He'll lose his experience points and items, though..." The creature burped.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: I have just been informed the Pokémon described here is NOT a Denryu, but a Lugia. We apologize for the confusion.)

Holding back a tear, Marrilyn reached into her satchel and pulled out a purple and white orb, one of the fabled Master Balls. "I was hoping I wouldn't have to use this yet... but if we can't beat it... IT joins US!" She threw the ball full force into the lake where the Denr-- the Lugia had just submerged, and watched with anticipation.

With a piercing cry, the monster broke through the surface of the lake, threatening Marrilyn with its massive -

"NOW WAIT A SECOND!! Since when does a Master Ball MISS?!!"

Chue's shout brought our adventurers back to reality. Ray looked up from behind the cardboard screen, writing the outcome on the paper behind it, and answered, "Sorry, Chue, but it seems to have blessed with a spell of plus evasion."

Chue looked around the table a moment. When Ray was playing one of his adventure games, it was easy to forget they were still in Club Thunder. "Well, that's just STUPID - We'll NEVER get the Light Stone NOW!"

"Maybe Ray doesn't WANT us to battle this D-Lugia - should we try to go AROUND it?..."

Chue crumpled up his character sheet, tossed it over his shoulder, and slumped to the table in resignation. "What are you asking ME for... I'm DEAD, remember."

"Chue! Ray SAID he'd regenerate you..."

"FORGET it, Marrilyn, I'll NEVER be strong enough to get past THAT. We need a LOT of help..."

Marrilyn thought for a minute. She hated to see Chue like this, resigned to his defeat. Maybe he was taking this a little TOO seriously...

"Hmm..." She sat straight up. "I know, Ray - you try to fend off the dragon, I'll make a break for the stone!"

"Huh? You SURE?"

Chue barely looked up at her. She'd gotten them out of jams before, but THIS...


#002 - Quest for the Light Stone, part Two

"I'm POSITIVE, Ray! You're at a much higher level than any of us - if you fight off this thing, I'll swim to the other side while you distract it, and get the Light Stone!"

Ray looked at Marrilyn, at the floating ghost of Chue, and at the Lugia which blocked their path. "It's a little too DANGEROUS, Marrilyn - even if the Lugia doesn't spot and attack you, my Thunder attack could zap YOU on accident, and I don't think your level or hit points could withstand it..."

Chue spoke up. "Hey, why don't you let ME just FLOAT over there and..."

"Sorry, Chue, you're still not actually a Ghost Pokémon, just a non-corporeal entity."

"Well, if someone doesn't do SOMETHING, we may as well just END this whole quest HERE. I still have training to do..." After all, tomorrow was an important match, and the city would be watching.

"Okay, okay, Chue, I think I have an idea..." Ray handed Marrilyn a slip of paper, and she nodded in understanding.

"Okay, I HOPE so. I'll just sit here being DEAD..."

Ray sighed deeply and begin to roll a 20-sided die. "Okay, Marrilyn, in one, two.... THREE!"

On THREE, Marrilyn threw her paws forward and an icy chill filled the air as the spots on her paws glowed with the magic from Ray's ring. The lake rippled with the magical winds and quickly froze. The Lugia, despite any resistance it had to Ice, froze along with it, but it would thaw soon, so our heroes had to walk (and float) across the ice quickly.

"Thanks, Ray!"

"Believe me, Lyn, that Ring of Blizzards was harder for me to get than your Master Ball..."

"No fair. I ALWAYS get killed..."

In a moment, they were in the chamber where the Light Stone, a beautiful stone of power that radiated with energy, was kept. To be sure, nobody had time to be dazzled.

"There it is - the celebrated Light Stone! We made it... well, MOST of us." Chue frowned.

"Let's take it back to the Queen!" Marrilyn started for the Light Stone.

"Ah... how do we know our frozen friend hasn't set up a TRAP?"

Lyn stopped quickly. Chue was right, but nobody knew what kind of trap, not even the game master...

"Hmm... good point, Chue. We really won't know until we TEST it and I roll to decide."

"Well, just remember, if you get killed, NONE of us can come back to life." Chue paused, then sank to the floor in thought. Suddenly the thought came. "Hey!"

The others looked at the ghost in anticipation. "I know - let the DEAD guy do it! ... Just bring me back to LIFE, let me GRAB it, and we TELEPORT the heck OUT of here!"

Ray nodded. He had one last Teleport spell left, but it would take a while to fully bring Chue back. Still, if the trap led to instant death, Chue obviously had the least to lose. He pulled out a parchment, read from it as sparks filled the air, and with a flash of pure magic energy, the ghost began to take shape...

Moments later, Chue, wearing one of Ray's old shirts as the rest of his equipment had been eaten by the Lugia, reached hesitantly for the Light Stone. Ray, equally anticipating, held his Teleport spell in one hand and Marrilyn's hand in the other. Marrilyn was reaching to grab Chue's tail when the time came. "Okay, in three, two, onnnnnne..."

"NOW!" In a heartbeat, Chue had the Light Stone and Marrilyn had Chue's tail. There was a huge spark of electricity followed by a blink as the Teleportation spell zapped them out an instant before the whole place literally collapsed...

 

"YES! We DID it! We're HEROES!" Chue was as gleeful in victory as annoyed in defeat. He and his friends were now on the path away from the Queen's castle, each with a bag of money. "...Oh, and sorry about that, Lyn, reflex action."

"Yeah, yeah..." Marrilyn was still smoldering from Chue's Thundershock. She knew it was a bad idea to grab his tail, but this time there was no choice.

"Hey, at least you SURVIVED!..." It was a good thing Chue was in such a good mood, for he let Ray's continuing rubbing in of his 23rd death go. What new adventures would they encounter?...


#003 - The Pokémon City Tournament

"...And for retrieving the Light Stone, Queen Niida gives each of us 5000 credits, Chue gets a new +9 Thunder Rod, and Marrilyn an Amulet of Acid Armor..."

As another one of Ray's roleplaying adventures was coming to an end, our Pokémon heroes were slowly returning to reality. "Okay, GREAT! - WAIT - I'm late for TRAINING!" announced Chue, glancing at his Watch. "I gotta get to Club THUNDER!"

"Uh, Chue, we're sort of IN Club Thunder?"

"Oh! Uh, right..."

They all got up, and looked around. Club Thunder was vacant except for them, perhaps one of the very few times it was. Still, it was several hours past closing time. Ray and Chue walked toward the Gym platform as Marrilyn looked on.

"Okay, Chue," said Ray, getting into a fighting stance, "get ready... I hate to SAY it, but I intend to give you REAL training - I will pull NO punches here..."

"Fight all you like, guys, I've got other stuff to do." Marrilyn rolled her eyes. What exactly attracted her to a fighter like Chue was hard to say; still, he was kind of cute....

Chue was in top form as usual, dodging Ray's most powerful punches and tail swipes. It was all he could do to avoid swinging back, but he knew this was strictly a test of his defenses. However, he was nearly caught off guard as Ray drew back for his most powerful Thunder attack...

"Rrrrriiiii...." With a shattering blow, Ray drove both fists into the Gym floor, filling the air with electricity. Once the glow had subsided, he blinked. Chue had disappeared. He scratched the back of his head, hoping he hadn't... no, that was ridiculous...

"Hey, will you WATCH it with the thunder - ?!"

Ray looked up. Chue was hanging to one of the overhead lights as arcs of electricity continued to surge across the floor.

"Sorry, Chue, I need to get you ready for extremely high-level attacks - this is our CHAMPIONSHIP tomorrow. You're, of course, on our LIGHTWEIGHT ticket."

Chue was a little upset as he dropped to his feet. "LIGHTWEIGHT?! Are you saying I'm not GOOD enough for the - ?!"

"NOTHING like that, Chue - you're just not HEAVY enough. See, Chue, this is our city-wide invite - several DOZEN of our fair city's best will fight tomorrow... To be the best of ANY weight class is quite a FEAT, but if anyone can do it, I'm SURE it's you."

 

Meanwhile, the best of the city were preparing as well. The Oddish climbed the turnbuckle at a nearby Gym and handed his fighter a water bottle.

"Okay, Champ, we got a LOT of work for tomorrow's battle..."

"I know, I KNOW - is my armor ready?" Champ the Hitmonchan sat on a stool, in his shirt and shorts, with taped hands. He was looking across the ring through his sunglasses at nothing in particular. Odie knew he was visualizing his opponent. He sighed. Everyone knew the outcome of Champ's division already, but perhaps his rival had a few surprises.

At Club Voltage, Club Thunder's self proclaimed rival, owner Buzz was staying late, working the weights. "Heh - wait 'till Ray gets a taste of my TRAINING!" He almost wished Ray were actually competing in the middleweight class instead of emceeing... he couldn't wait to show the Raichu some REAL electric power.

Meanwhile, at, um, a site I, uh, don't know...

"You sure this plan will woik, boss?"

"POSITIVE! This is our chance to control Pokémon City once and for all - !"

Uh-oh - wherever there are Pokémon, there is the nefarious Pokémon gang, TEAM ROCKET! Their Blastoise leader, dressed in the white-on-black suit of the Rocket Elite, rose from his chair to address the crowd of Rocket Pokémon who had gathered. "We have succeeded in creating the ULTIMATE fighting Pokédroid - a highly expensive proposition, but worth every penny - !"

Behind him, a door slid open silenty, and a silhoutte of a figure emerged. As its eyes scanned the room, it emitted a staticky cry.

"One it CRUSHES the competition at Club Thunder, we take OVER... with their main hangout under OUR control, we'll have PLENTY of recruits!" The boss smiled in spite of himself.

A young Sandshrew spoke up. "So how will we be sure this thing will SUCCEED? We need to TRAIN it..."

"Yes, Sandy, but who here would be STUPID enough to engage in battle with our droid?" No sooner had the boss spoken than Percy rushed in, gasping. He was not wearing his hat, and had replaced his white gloves and boots with black. The boss frowned - the wealthy Persian always preferred to bend the rules.

"Whew - schorry I'm LATE, bosch; did I MISCH anything?"

The boss's frown vanished. "Au contraire, Percy; you're right... on... TIME." He escorted Percy into the next room and closed the door. The members turned to see what was to happen...

"Hey - who or what are - WHA?! WHAT ARE YOU DOI- OW! THAT SCHMARTS!" A great scuffle was heard, followed by the release of a massive amount of energy, followed by Percy reentering the room through what used to be a wall, sticking upside down into the next wall. He stayed there for a second or two before falling to the floor, leaving a nice impression of his form in the wall. "Owitch."

The boss rubbed his hands together. "Any more questions, Sandy?"

"No."


#004 - Pretty Soldier Sailor Marril

It was late, and Marrilyn looked out at the moon rising above the city. It was quiet, a sensation she had known entirely too often before something...

"Marrilyn?"

Marrilyn looked up from her textbook. She was quite busy for tomorrow.

"Marrilyn! You're needed IMMEDIATELY!"

She looked back into the book. "Sorry, I've got STUDYING to do."

Her black Meowth with the crescent coin batted at the bubble on her tail. "Sure - if you even have a SCHOOL tomorrow!"

Marrilyn looked up abruptly, her long ponytails nearly caught in the book as she slammed it shut. "What are you TALKING about, Luna?..."

"Central Tech is under ATTACK! We'd better get Keri and Epona and investigate!"

 

Ha, ha... yes, leave it to Lyn to fall asleep during her second favorite anime... as the television in her room played static where her show had been hours before, Lyn's strange dream continued... "Oh, NO! It's worse than I THOUGHT!"

As Lyn and Luna looked on from the window of their room, a huge, swirling mass from the clouds had descended into their schoolhouse, presenting itself as an obviously evil force. Lyn's friends, Keri the ... well, she was one of the undiscovered Pokémon, like Marrilyn, but she was known for now as a Kereihana... and Epona, a young Ponyta who, for purposes of this dream, had long black hair instead of her real-life flaming red hair.

"What's... what's HAPPENING?"

"I don't KNOW," answered Epona, looking up, "but I'd say the NEGAVERSE is restless!"

Once Marrilyn joined the two outside the school, it was time to open their lockets and activate their incredible powers and impossibly elaborate transformations into the mighty Sailors of the Universe - Epona as Mars, Keri as Neptune, and Lyn as the famous Sailor Moon.

They rushed inside, ready for anything... except possibly for what awaited them inside. Lyn pointed out a massive swirling form in the center of the school's main hallway. "Oh, NO! LOOK!" "What IS it?!!"

 

From the parallel universe of evil forces, a lone figure stood at a console, watching what was going on. A smile nearly came across his face as he said, half to himself, "THAT, fool Poké Scouts, is your DESTRUCTION - !"

 

"MARS! See if your Fire Blast works!"

"Right away!" Mars drew on all her power and attacked the shapeless mass with her blazing fire energy.

"No EFFECT - UNGHH!!"

"NEPTUNE!!" The force had attacked Keri and entered her youthful frame, possessing her body. "NO!! That thing's taken over NEPTUNE!!"

Neptune was advancing, preparing to destroy the other Sailors. "NOW what can we do?!!"

Sailor Moon reached for her forehead. "My moon tiara - !" "NO!" Mars grabbed her arm. "You'll only hurt KERI!"

"You're right - NOW what?!!" No sooner had she spoken than she began to feel the presence of another in the room. She turned, and was immediately struck with awe and heaved a deep sigh of romance...

"WAIT! It's - it's HIM!" She could hardly contain her joy as the figure descended into the room, clad in a tuxedo and formal hat, wearing a large white mask over his eyes.

"It - CAN'T be!" The figure in the parallel universe cursed his fate - why did HE always have to show up to ruin his plans... then again, maybe this would be his last; he certainly wouldn't harm his friends...! "GET him!!"

Keri, burning with the monster's rage, rushed toward Tuxedo Mask. He was expressionless up to the point where she was nearly upon him, wherein, with a wave of his hand, he unleashed a wave of thunder to Paralyze Keri. Unable to move its host body, the monster released itself to attack...

"NOW!!" Marrilyn threw the Moon Tiara full force into the force field that made up the creature, which upon impact, disintegrated into sparks of energy. Keri, just over her paralysis, shouted, "We DID it!!"

"Wait a minute, - " announced Lyn, "what happened to TUXEDO Mask?..."

 

Chue woke up to the television playing the Pokémon City anthem. "Oh, man, do I HATE it when I fall asleep during Lyn's show..." He himself had far different tastes in anime, although he didn't understand why the characters in his show needed a special ball just to capture a dragon...


#005 - The Lightweight Semifinals

Club Thunder was packed that fine Saturday afternoon, as fans from all over Pokémon City as well as other neighboring areas had come to watch the start of the Pro-Am Fighting Championship. Marrilyn, Epona, and Keri sat at a table, waiting for the fun to start...

"Well, here we are - the lightweight championships! Do you think Chue will win?"

Keri continued to watch the area where the fighters were registering, ready for the excitement. "Frankly, I'm surprised he made it past the quarterfinals..."

Marrilyn just smiled. "Well, Keri, if nothing else, Chue is certainly DETERMINED!"

In the Registration area, Chue was busy signing up on his electronic palette for verification, while another fighter was busy signing his with his mind. Neither heard the conversation next door...

"Hey! Who are YOU?"

A Persian in black attempted to hand Ray his registration palette. "I've got a champion for today's competition..."

"Sir, your fighter's papers may be in order... but there is NO WAY... THAT can be a lightweight!" Ray motioned toward the stranger's fighter, a large, powerful looking, angular pink and blue figure, which answered in a staticky voice.

"Huh?" The stranger just stared. " - I,I mean, of COURSCH he's a lightweight!"

"I'm sorry, sir, but the lightweight rules CLEARLY prohibit anyone over 50 pounds."

"Here, schee for yourschelf..."

"Huh?!" The fighter had stepped onto the scales, which were registering "Zero pounds, zero ounces." And no wonder - his feet were suspended in midair a few inches above the scale's base. "Well..."

"Scho we're IN?"

"Um... let me consult the rules on THAT one, wait here..."

Meanwhile, Chue and his prospective opponent, a Psyduck, were growing impatient to get started. "Okay, WHAT the HECK is the holdup?!"

"I dunno, but I have a VERY bad feeling..."

This time they heard Ray return and address the stranger. "Uh, sorry, sir, but HOVERING is clearly cheating. You'll have to come back on Friday."

"Friday?" The fighter repeated this in his unintelligible static.

"Yes, the HEAVYWEIGHT competition. I can only wish you good luck..."

As the stranger began to walk away, he turned to his fighter. "Okay, Gon, don't go anywhere; I've got a CALL to make."

 

At the boss's office, the phone rang. Without putting down the Pokéball sliding puzzle he was working on, he answered and listened to the situation. "No, Percy, I DON'T want to wait until FRIDAY. We'll just have to CRASH the PARTY."

 

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Sorry about the DELAY, folks, but now comes the SEMIFINALS and the FINALS of our first tournament at Club Thunder, at our LIGHTWEIGHT division." Ray announced to the excited crowd as Jiggs, his Jigglypuff DJ, put on appropriate music for the rising anticipation. "Our first contestants tonight..."

"In this corner, last year's champion in this class, CHUE RATON, the toughest young PIKACHU of all our city, an unparalleled force of JUSTICE..."

"And in THIS corner, CYRUS McDUCK, our city's top PSYDUCK warrior, hoping to give his opponent a major HEADACHE in this round, although he's the UNDERDUCK here..."

After Ray had finished his introductions and explaining the rules to both fighters, Jiggs came to the arena floor with a sign announcing Round 1. She held it up, inflating herself to hover a few inches off the ground, as the bell sounded...

 

Chue was first with his attack, a lightning-quick punch which stopped an inch from Cyrus's beak, blocked by his mental field. Suddenly, he felt his body going stiff as Cyrus focused all his psychic energy at him, levitating him several feet into the air, then releasing him to fall with a painful WHAM! The impact released Chue's electric energy, which struck Cyrus, stunning him for just enough time for Chue to get up and -

Before either could do anything more, the club began to shake with a loud, low rumble. "Hey, wha-wha's going ON...?!" Chue's question was answered by a large CRASH, followed by thick clouds of dust and debris. Once the dust cleared, Percy, in his Team Rocket uniform, and his fighter stood just inside a gaping hole where a wall of Club Thunder used to be. Chue and Cyrus stood, startled and shaken by this turn of events...

"Okay, I TRIED to do this within the rulesch, but now, CLUB THUNDER IS OURS !!"


#006 - Team Rocket Touches Down

"PREPARE FOR..." Ring... "Just a SCHECOND... yesch, bosch?"

"Percy, if you say what I think you're GOING to, I will personally KILL you DEAD."

"Don't be SCHILLY, bosch, I think I know what I'm doing..."

Percy hung up his personal communicator and faced our disbelieving heroes again. His angular warrior had just smashed through the wall of Club Thunder, putting a stop to Chue and Cyrus's battle in a hurry. "As I was SCHAYING, PREPARE FOR BATTLE! You'll NEVER DEFEAT GON!!"

"GON? What IS that thing?!" Cyrus, as well, just stared. "It looks like a highly advanced Porygon, but... something's wrong with its aura!"

Somewhere in the audience, Marrilyn and her friends were watching in just as much disbelief. "CHUE! Get OUT of there! Don't try to be a HERO!..."

Percy turned to Chue, indignant and sparking. "That'sch RIGHT - LISCHEN to your Pikablu friend."

"PI... KA... ?!" Lyn immediately became visibly angered, the bubble on her tail beginning to roll into a boil. She threw back her chair and would have rushed at the Persian if her friends hadn't grabbed onto her swimsuit to hold her back...

"I AM NOT A PIKABLU! I AM A MARRIL! THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS...!!!"

"Good GRIEF, Marrilyn, calm DOWN!" said Keri.

Percy could only stare at this spectacle. "GOODNESCH, what's HER prob..." Then he noticed a loud battle cry, rapidly approaching. "...lem?!" It was Chue, fully electrically charged, who rushed straight into Percy's chest, delivering, oh, enough voltage to charge a small building. Suffice it to say this counted as a knockout...

"Mommy."

Meanwhile, Gon had grabbed Chue by the tail and was preparing to hit him with his most powerful punch. "CY! DO SOMETHING!"

Cyrus was focusing all the psychic energy he had. "I'm TRYING! It doesn't seem to have a MIND to AFFECT!"

... KAPOW! In a flash, Chue was next to Marrilyn, dug partway into the ground by the force of the impact. "CHUE! Are you OKAY?!"

"Mmghffm." Yeah, he was okay.

An enraged Ray rushed up to Gon, who was busy holding off Cyrus's Scratches. "ALL RIGHT, I've had ENOUGH of you WRECKING MY CLUB!!" With that, Ray poked his tail into the ground to protect himself and attacked Gon with his most powerful Thunder attack. It had no effect.

"It - it CAN'T be! It's resisting all our ATTACKS!!"

"Well, if it's any consolation, I'M hurt..." answered Cyrus, caught up in the charge.

As Ray was still stunned, Gon charged a powerful Hyper Beam from his right hand, which barely missed as Ray ducked. The force blew one of the club's tables apart, happenening to be the one Lyn and now Chue were at. Although they got out of the way, the force of the blast caused Lyn to go airborne and fly across the club...

...until she landed, full force, into Gon's chest with a splash from her natural water abilities. As she slumped to the floor, she noticed Gon reeling, his shirt torn away from the water and several of his triangular panels fallen away to reveal his robotic understructure, sparking with electricity, showing severe damage.

"HEY! This thing's weak to WATER!"

Ray addressed the crowd again. "OKAY, you know what to DO!"

At that, fully one-fifth of the crowd stood up, all the Water types who had come to see the battle. "One, two..." Gon gave one final staticky shout...

On three, everybody combined their water attacks on Gon and Percy, who had just gotten to his feet, sweeping the two out of the hole they had created. As the Team Rocket member and the rapidly disintegrating Pokédroid vanished into the horizon, the crowd members let out a resounding cheer...

 

Percy finally woke up, looked over at the panels and soaked electronics that used to be Gon, then looked up to see his boss. "You're going to KILL me, aren't you, schir?"

The boss's water jets were steaming. "Oh, I have no INTENTION of letting you off THAT easy."


#007 - Fixing A Hole 

Ray inspected the damage the droid and the collective water jets had caused to the wall of his club. "This is TERRIBLE! The club's in SHAMBLES, and we haven't even BEGUN the lightweight finals!"

He came back in and slumped into a chair, next to Jiggs, his deejay. "Everyone in the CITY'S here for this tournament, and now, thanks to that stupid Rocket droid, it won't be HAPPENING, Joey..."

"Well..." Only Jiggs' best friends called her Joey, and Ray certainly qualified. Without him, she had no idea what she'd be doing, but that's an entirely different plot...

Ray suddenly was beset by a mild migraine. He turned to face Cyrus, who had directed his aura at him just to get his attention. "Hey, are we just going to sit around and TALK, or are we going to hold a TOURNAMENT?!"

"Sorry, Cyrus, but without a club or gym to host this tournament, there IS no tournament. It'll take WEEKS to repair that droid's damage to the club...!"

Marrilyn had a thought. "HEY! Maybe CHAMP will loan us HIS gym!"

"Sorry, Lyn, not in a million YEARS."

Chue suddenly rushed back in with the communicator. "Well, consider THIS the squared millennium - Champ's on the phone right NOW!"

Ray took the phone and begin to talk to the heavyweight champion of Pokémon City. "B-but CHAMP, I thought you didn't WANT to use your gym for this - !"

"Things HAPPEN, Ray." Champ was in the middle of putting on his fighting armor, light enough to remain within tournament regulations. It was just for show, really, as few were able to get a serious strike through to him in the first place. "Chue told me all about what happened to your club, and if you think I'm just going to stand aside and miss my chance to defend my heavyweight title..."

He looked at his boxing glove, his other obviously off so he could hold the phone, and grinned. "...Besides, it might even be FUN to defend on my home TURF."

Almost before Ray was off the phone, Jiggs was giving the cheering crowd the great news - "The tournament's moving to CHAMP'S GYM, starting TOMORROW!!"

 

Of course, not everyoAAAAAAAARRRRRGGHHHH!!! HOW COULD THIS HAVE POSSIBLY HAPPENED?!" As Sandy looked in on her boss, he was filled with uncontrollable rage, his water jets blasting holes in the ceiling. "My POKÉ DROID - TRASHED by a little GIRL, and one who doesn't belong in Club THUNDER in the FIRST place! How can you POSSIBLY explain this?!!"

Percy was shaking with fear almost as much as his boss was shaking with rage. "W-w-well-l, t-the tourn-rnament ISCH open-n to all t-t-types..."

"SILENCE!" Sandy just closed her eyes as a pained wail filled the air. When she opened them, Percy was on the floor with a black eye, still shaking. "Sorry, Percy, I just had to get that out of my SYSTEM. Oh, and consider yourself on JANITORIAL duties from now on."

"Oh thank you! Thank you thank you thank you..." Percy struggled to his hands and feet and bolted out. Once he had the chance, he guessed he'd have to clean the ceiling first...

The boss stood, arms behind his back, staring at the wall as Sandy finally stepped in. "SANDY, I need you to..."

"Find out all we can about the Marril girl? Right AWAY, boss."

The boss just barely looked toward her with a sneer. "Never interrupt me again, do you understand?"

"Yes, sir."

He looked back at the wall. "Now then, I need you to find out all we can about the Marril girl... right away."

"Already ON it."

 

WHUMF!

"8... 9... 10!!"

As Cyrus looked up from the mat in Champ's ring, he saw Chue's arm being hoisted into the air. "And the semifinal winner - CHUE!"

He just sighed. "Tough kid... aspirin, anyone...?"


#008 - Back to School

RING RING RING! SCHOOL DAY! WAKE UP! SCHOOL DAY! RING RING -

Chue leaned over to turn off his alarm. "As if these things couldn't be MORE annoying..."

 

"Well, class, welcome back, and congratulations are in order to Mr. Raton for reaching the city finals..." Chue's teacher, Professor Azam, addressed the gathering students, getting up and adjusting his glasses. "I must say, I find it gratifying that you actually fight OUTSIDE my class..."

"Very FUNNY, Professor." Chue sighed, remembering the many times he had gotten in trouble. He had to admit Prof. Azam was tough but fair.

"Now then. I trust everyone completed their weekend assignment... chapters three and four of the Evolutionary Guidebook..."

Chue's ears shot up. "Oh, GREAT! I forgot all ABOUT it!!"

Chue had thought rather than spoken those words, but once he did, Prof. Azam turned from the blackboard and approached his desk. "FORGOT, did you, Mr. Raton?..."

Psychics. Chue just let the professor continue. "Perhaps you'd like to SHARE with the class, the four EXCEPTIONS of the usual evolutions..."

"That's easy - GENGAR, Golem... uh, Ma... champ... and... and... uhmm..." By now Chue was visibly sweating. "Uhh... it's... it's right on the tip of my tongue..."

Prof. Azam folded his arms, holding one of his spoons. "I'm sure it IS. See me after CLASS, Raton."

 

After class, Prof. Azam just paced with his arms behind his back as Chue looked on worried. "Mr. Raton, I must say, I am EXTREMELY disappointed. Since you began training for this tournament, you have been negligent in your studies." Chue gulped. "As much as it PAINS me, if you don't PASS tomorrow's examination, I must request you be WITHDRAWN from the finals."

"Professor AZAM! You WOULDN'T!"

"I'm afraid I WOULD, Mr. Raton. It would damage our CIVILITY irreparably to allow UNEDUCATED Pokémon to fight."

 

Chue left for home that afternoon, alone as usual, but lonely... sad and lonely. And worried sick...

"Hey, pipsqueak! Long time no see!..."

"SANDY?" Chue turned around. "SANDY BURROUGHS! I thought you dropped OUT!"

"I DID... I just thought I'd come back!"

"Uh... okay..." Sandy hadn't been very kind to Chue in the past, or much of anyone else for that matter. Her bullying ways made her a very uneasy acquaintance, and for some reason, she seemed to enjoy picking on Chue the most. When you're on your way to being the best, he guessed...

"By the way, congratulations on making the finals!" Chue was brought out of his reminiscence. "So why are you so DOWN?..."

"Well, if you MUST know, Professor Azam says if I don't pass tomorrow's test, I won't be able to FIGHT!"

"Wait right HERE..." Sandy lept into the air and, feet first, drilled herself into the ground like that rabbit Chue kept seeing in cartoons. He just watched the hole for a minute, scratched his head, and walked off. Maybe this wasn't a good...

Bzzzt WHAM! "I thought I told you to WAIT!" Sandy had surfaced just under Chue's feet, knocking him down. Ah, the memories, if not good ones...

Chue picked himself up and looked at the paper in Sandy's paw. "The ANSWERS to the TEST?! I dunno, Sandy..."

"Ah, come ON, Chue - what could it possibly hurt?"

Suddenly the paper disintegrated in a quick zap courtesy of Chue. "FORGET it, Sandy, you're not getting me into trouble AGAIN..."

"Still STUBBORN, aren't you?" Sandy paused, and put her paw into her pants pocket. "Look, I'm SORRY about all that - here, take THIS as a peace offering!"

"A WATER stone?!" Chue looked at the pendant she had taken out.

"It's not a REAL water stone... just costume jewelry, but it's very nice."

"Now WHAT would I do with a costume water stone?"

"Well, don't you have... you know... that special SOMEONE?" She leaned toward Chue with her paws clasped together, blinking her beady eyes and smiling. "Or do you... NEED one?"

"FORGET it, Sandy, I've GOT a girlfriend." Chue turned to go home. He had too much studying to do to worry about Sandy. Maybe Marrilyn WOULD like the pendant though, come to think of it...

 

"Great news, boss, the TRANSMITTER has been delivered."

"Excellent."


#009 - Don't Know Much About History... 

Marrilyn held up the pendant Chue had just given her, letting the light shine through its crystalline droplet. Odd mounting, perhaps, but it was easily the most beautiful thing he had ever given her... the only thing?...

"It's BEAUTIFUL, even if it ISN'T real, Chue! So where'd you FIND it?"

Chue continued looking through his history book. "An old... FRIEND thought you might like it... oh, MAN..."

"What's WRONG, Chue?"

"I'll NEVER memorize these history lessons by tomorrow... and if I don't, I'm out of the FINALS!"

"Chue, in this case, you don't want to MEMORIZE your lessons, you want to KNOW them! Now let's get started..." Marrilyn was unaware these words were being transmitted across Pokémon city to Team Rocket's headquarters, where Sandy was busy transcribing as the boss listened in.

"Ahh... PERFECT." Surely the little rat would pass his test with this Marril's help - there was too much at stake. At least if anything went wrong, they would know about it...

"Now then, the first known wild Pokémon, a Bulbasaur, was found off the coast of Japan in 1992, although it is now known they existed long before....."

 

Several hours later, Sandy's wrists were beginning to ache from all the typing. "...and only recently..."

"Boss, this is only just the information I dropped out to avoid! How much longer must I log this?!"

"Silence! We HAVE to keep at this until we find out something TANGIBLE about this MARRILYN!"

"Well, she HATESCH to be called a PIKABLU..."

The boss whirled around in his chair, nearly taking the surveillance equipment with him. "PERCY! What are YOU doing here?!!"

"Schorry, bosch, but it'sch time for your TRASCH to be cleaned out..."

The boss began to raise a fist, but thought a second. "Hmmm... Pikablu, huh? That could prove useful. Percy, I'm putting you BACK on Team Rocket patrol..."

"THANK you, schir!"

"In ADDITION to your janitorial duties, of course."

"Of coursch."

 

"So, you think you've got it down?"

"Almost... but I don't see anything about Marrils in the lesson plan!"

"That's because we're too NEW to make the book - we won't even be OFFICIAL Pokémon until the latest Pokémon comes out in JAPAN next year. Obviously, that isn't to say we don't EXIST... we just aren't as widely known."

Sandy nearly swallowed her gum. Not widely known? A rare Pokémon... she wondered what the black market would pay... LOTS...

"Just, remember, that's the FUTURE. You must concentrate on the PAST, or be doomed to repeat it..."

 

The cavern was soon illuminated by a small torch, held by a one Chue Raton, Pikachu adventurer. Sure, he was cute like all Pikachu, but he preferred to think of himself as a tough-as-nails fighter, plus he was somewhat larger than the non-anthropomorphic (human-like) Pokémon. There was little mistaking what he was, though, despite the dim light of the cave. Two shadows followed closely behind, his Pokémon friends.

"GEEZ, Ray, are we anywhere NEAR the end of this cave?!"

Ray, Chue's Raichu friend and father figure, consulted his map....

 

Chue's dream soon shifted to an idyllic field of grass, where a small yellow mouse nibbled at the grass, burrowing its blunt nose into the dirt to find food, when suddenly a voice Chue could not understand shouted out...

"(THERE IT IS!)" All at once, a group of figures, some nearly seven feet tall, rushed toward the startled creature, which shot off in a shower of sparks.

"(What IS it?!)" "(It seems to be similar to the others, like that snake we just found...)" "(GET it!)"

Suddenly, one of them threw a baseball-sized red and white ball at the mouse. Upon impact with the ground just behind it, the ball sprung open and encased the animal in some kind of energy field...

PIIIII! The animal continued to struggle to no avail... KAAAA!! Suddenly it vanished in the field and was absorbed into the ball, which clicked shut.

"(Incredible! The twenty-fifth such pocket monster we've caught! ... but what IS it?)"

RING RING!

 

Chue awakened with a start, to find himself curled up under his covers...

 

Marrilyn met Chue as he left school with a blank look on his face that afternoon. "Well, HOW WAS YOUR TEST?"

Silently, Chue held up a paper, with a score of 89%... a B+. A smile came across his face...

"YAAHOOOO!!"

Meanwhile, at Team Rocket headquarters, both Sandy and her boss were about to begin recovering from a massive headache and temporary deafness...


#010 - Power to Burn

In one of the many back rooms at Champ's gym, Chue was busy skipping rope to practice for the upcoming match. At length, Champ himself looked away from the speed bag and put a single glove on top of Chue's head.

"Well, kid, this is your hour! You ready?"

"Need you even ASK, Champ?" Champ just smiled. Something about the kid reminded him of himself when he was that level...

 

"LADIES... AND... GENTLEMEN! It is now TIME for the main event at Thu... Champ's Gym!" Ray and Jiggs stood in the middle of the ring as seemingly every Pokémon from the city watched in anticipation. "Tonight, the lightweight champion will be decided... once and for all! Tonight's contestants are entering the gym now!..."

"IN THIS CORNER, CHUE... RATON! Pokémon City's mightiest Pikachu, with a record of 16 wins, seven losses and one draw in the past three years!"

"AND HIS CHALLENGER! Direct from the Ochre Woods... CHARLIE... BLAZER! This Charmander's career spans seven years with an unprecedented twenty-four wins and NO LOSSES!"

 

The silence just before the first bell, when Jiggs held up the Round 1 card, was palpable, and was shattered immediately as Chue threw the first punch. It was hard to follow exactly what happened, except that within a few moments Chue was thrown hard onto his back. As Ray began to count out, reaching three, Chue quickly got up, put out a small fire on his ear, and rushed back into battle. Somewhere in the crowd, a beeper went off...

"Excuse me, I've got a CALL to make..."

 

Later in the lobby, Sandy Burroughs had just stepped into one of the private phone booths. "Ah... hello?"

"SCHANDY! You'll never guesch who THISCH is!"

Sandy looked over in disbelief at Percy, in a booth across the room, quickly looking back. "PERCY?! I thought the boss said you weren't FIT to wear Team Rocket's UNIFORM!"

"Scho he changed his mind... after I told him the girl we're after hatesch being called Pikablu!"

"PIKABLU?! What a STUPID... no WONDER! So are we ready?"

"WE? You mean you and I are teaming up?"

"NO, you idiot! I wouldn't team up with YOU if we got orders to do so direct from Celadon CITY! I meant the boss's BET."

"Yep, the Pikachu WILL win in the third round... do you think the Marril isch in the crowd, Schandy?"

"Trust me, Percy, EVERYONE'S in the crowd tonight... so don't try to get her this time..."

 

Epona was looking away. "I can't WATCH! He's really giving Chue a POUNDING!"

"Still, he's really holding in there..." Even Marrilyn had to worry...

The second round ended with the bell, and Chue, his shirt burned away, sat panting at his corner, sparks flying from his cheeks. "GASP... That's... it... Ray... I'm.... almost... out... <koff>... out... of... energy!"

"Don't give up yet - he's got to be just as tired!" The Round 3 bell sounded, and the fighters staggered into the ring. At least Chue staggered - Charlie was tired, all right, but clearly had a lot of fight left.

Just as Charlie blocked a weak punch from Chue, he turned to see someone in the audience - a Persian - pantomime a slash across his throat. Charlie gulped hard...

...and ducked Chue's desperate punch, which clearly showed how tired his opponent had become. As he continued his ducking motion, he collapsed onto the canvas, much to Chue's surprise...

1! 2! 3!...

Chue just staggered back... what was going on...?

"...8! 9! 10!! THE WINNER AND STILL LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMP! CHUUUUUUE RATONNN!!"

Even as Jiggs held up his paw, he protested, staring at his opponent. "But... I didn't... I didn't even...."

Chue saw a tear form in Charlie's eye, moments before the Charmander got up and rushed out of the ring and out the gym.

"Wait! Come... BACK!" Chue broke loose from Jiggs' victory hold and began to rush after Charlie...

and collapsed onto the mat.


#011 - Truth and Consequences

Chue gradually came to in the Pokémon Center Revival chamber, pure power channeling throughout his body, suspended just over the floor of the chamber. As his cheeks charged with electric power, he began to blink and stir, and barely saw Marrilyn and the doctor... how many times he'd been in here, he didn't know... Odd, but Lyn looked as if she were deeply concerned about whether he'd make it or not. As long as she knew him, certainly she knew he'd survived much, much worse. Still, even as the doctor let him out of the chamber to get his clothes, his body still ached...

"Thanks, doc, I NEEDED that - I really got HAMMERED back there!" Chue stepped out from the back room, pulling his shirt back on. "Which reminds me - did Charlie Blazer come by here?"

The doctor checked his clipboard. "Uh... no, Chue, he's not on today's records."

Chue rubbed his chin. "That's odd... this is the only Pokémon Center for MILES..."

"Why? What's wrong?..."

 

"That's what I want to know, Lyn; I get the disturbing feeling Blazer lost that one on PURPOSE..." Unbenownst to anyone at the Center, these words were still being transmitted back to Team Rocket headquarters, where Charlie stood, enraged and heavily guarded, near the boss, busy counting his credits.

"Well, you won your stupid BET - NOW will you let me go?!"

"Of course, Blazer - just remember, if you go to anybody about this..." The boss turned to face the Charmander. "...I will personally have you... shall we say... EXTINGUISHED."

Charlie's expression turned to fear and exasperation as he turned to be led out. "Why... why ME?! Why couldn't you have bet AGAINST Ratboy?!"

"Mr. Blazer, we here at Team Rocket ALWAYS bet on the long shot... it makes this work more PROFITABLE." Just then the phone rang... "Hello?"

Sandy turned down the volume on the transmitter. "It sounds at though your fighter was SUSPICIOUS of the outcome, sir."

"Very well. It's time for us to take him and his girlfriend under our WING."

 

That evening, the middleweight championship came and went. To Buzz's dismay, they were always overshadowed by the light and heavyweight championships... to his dismay because he had won this year, only about the third year so far. Had he not been helping his hapless opponent off the mat, he would have seen Marrilyn and Chue leave Champ's Gym, although it wouldn't have meant anything to him at the time...

"Quite a show, huh, Chue?"

"Yeah, but... you sure you want to walk home THIS late?"

"I don't see how I have a choice... besides, I'll be okay, with the lightweight champ at my side, Chue Raton!" She leaned against him.

Chue blushed. "Ah, you're just SAYING that - !"

Before anyone knew what had happened, Marrilyn was hit on the head by an object thrown from behind a tree, which immediately dropped to the ground, broke open and absorbed her into an energy field, then snapped shut. Her necklace tumbled to the ground below, knocked loose. "LYN!!"

Chue knelt down to see the Pokéball, which was shaking as Marrilyn struggled. "LYN! I don't know where THAT came from, but FIGHT it!..."

"FORGET it, Chue...!" Chue looked up to see Percy, in full Team Rocket uniform. "YOU!"

"All right, give me the Marril - NOW!"

"FORGET it YOURSELF! You'll have to fight ME for her!!" Chue desperately clicked at the Ultra Ball's button as bolts of electricity flew from his cheeks. Giving up, he put it down and rushed at Percy, who was rushing at HIM with his gloves off to expose his powerful claws. In the confusion, Chue forgot about Lyn's necklace, which he immediately stepped on -

- sending a massive deafening wave of static into the ears of Sandy and the boss on his separate station.

Chue staggered back as Percy slashed his face, and was expecting the worst when Percy stopped, shocked. "NO! The TRANSMITTER! -- oopsch!" Percy clapped his hands over his mouth, glad he had at least remembered to retract his claws.

Chue looked back at the broken pendant and the electronics exposed within. "TRANSMITTER?! Why did Sandy give me... how did YOU know? ...I...she..."

Suddenly it dawned on Chue. "Oh, NO... no, no, no..."


#012 - Rocket Showdown

A muffled cry came from the Ultra Ball as Percy took advantage of Chue's shock to grab it from the ground. "You can schtop schtruggling, kid... as schoon as I presch this button, you will be schent schtraight to the BOSCH!"

Chue would have sighed if he weren't so filled with rage - he didn't know whether he hated Percy's voice or the stereotype of the villian telling his plans more. "WHY do you want a Pikablu so bad?!"

"You fool - ANY of the undocumented Pokémon would be EXTREMELY valuable to -" At that point the ball shattered in his hand, sending a surge of energy straight into Chue. "- HEY!"

"I TOLD YOU, I HATE THAT STUPID, DERIVATIVE..." All at once, Marrilyn was free and punching out Chue who lay on the ground. "Easy, Lyn, you're out!"

She stopped immediately. "Oh, yeah... ah, thanks, Chue!"

"any time..."

Percy scowled. "Your freedom is only TEMPORARY, girl - you BOTH will be prisoners of Team ROCKET!"

"NEVER! You'll find that BOTH of us are unmatched fighters when we HAVE to be!" Electricity was literally arcing from Chue's cheeks to his hands to his tail by now.

"Right! You'll NEVER get away with this...!" Marrilyn had formed a bubble in her paws, preparing her most powerful water attack, which would come right about...

"NOW!" Suddenly, Marrilyn's Water Gun and Chue's electric surge hit Percy at about the same time, sending the Persian to the ground, shaking off unconsciousness and rubbing his head.

Chue ran off, with Lyn close behind. "Come on - we have to see Champ and warn him!"

"We make quite a TEAM, Chue!... Wait - WHY are we warning CHAMP?"

"If Team Rocket fixed MY match, and they're after us, they'll OBVIOUSLY try to fix..."

"Hey, Chue! What's the hurry?!" Chue came to a screeching halt, and Marrilyn crashed into his back. Chue's old antagonist, Sandy, had shown up...

"For your information, Sandy, we're running from Team Rocket!"

"Team - ?! QUICK, follow me; I think I know where to HIDE you!"

"FORGET it, Sandy, I figured out YOU'RE with THEM! But WHY?"

The question remained unanswered as Sandy knocked Chue down with a hard right followed by a strong kick. As Chue began to pick himself up from the ground, he suddenly vanished BENEATH it...

"CHUE!" The ground began to buckle as the two tunneled underneath, the occasional spark of electricity breaking above the soil during the sounds of the continuing scuffle. Marrilyn knew Chue's powers were useless when he was grounded like that... Thinking quickly, she prepared another Water Gun and, avoiding the free electric sparks, began to splash water into the opening where Sandy had pulled him underground. Within seconds, Sandy's head broke from the flooded tunnel as she gasped for air. Chue was next, clearly badly injured but pulling the weakened Sandy up from the ground.

"Nice thinkin', Lyn! Now let's - OUCH!" Chue suddenly dropped Sandy from his hold as he felt a sharp pain in his chest. Chue and Marrilyn were shocked to discover sharp quills imbedded into Chue's chest where he had held Sandy, who lay in a shivering heap at his feet.

"What's HAPPENING?!!" The scene was suddenly filled with a tremendous amount of light...


#013 - Evolution #9

"S-SANDY?!"

Sandy began to sweat profusely as the light enamated from within. As Chue watched in horror, her armor plates began to crack open, revealing brown fur and sharp spines. As she held to the ground in obvious pain, Sandy began to grow and change... soon the light dimmed to normal, and Sandy, now a mass of huge quills, continued to shake. "...sandy?!"

Sandy began to stand, uneasily. She pulled her hands from the ground, unsheating massive blades where her claws had been. Her jeans and T-shirt were torn where she had violently outgrown them. Chue had seen Sandslash before, but this one... it was clear Sandy, or whatever she was now, was most certainly a monster, if she hadn't been before.

She turned to him with her dark eyes, now framed in vicious quills that made up her hair. "You'll... pay... for... this...!!"

Chue swallowed hard, paralyzed with fear, and looked toward Marrilyn for help - she was nowhere to be found, nor was Percy. Before he could say or do anything, Sandy attacked violently, slashing her blade-claws at him, sending him into the air. Every cut tore at his clothing, his protective barrier of electricity useless. As he began to black out from the pain, he heard a KERASH of thunder...

The last thing Chue saw was Sandy standing over him in the... in the storm... that had... come... up.

 

....

 

"Ooogh.. what... happened?!"

"Good. Our prisoner is AWAKE."

"PRISONER?!" Chue's ears shot straight up. He was inside a large glass half-ball, still in pain, covered with bandages and wearing a pair of black shorts. "Where AM I?! Where's LYN?!"

"Now, now, Mr. Raton, this is no time for QUESTIONS." A lone figure stepped toward him, a Blastoise dressed in a black shirt with a white vest with an R on it, and white pants. Behind him, Percy, what once was Sandy, and a Tentacruel stood, in the more traditional black. "Allow me to introduce myself - I am TARTARUGA, head of Team Rocket's Pokémon City branch. I believe you've met a few of my associates... Percy, Sandy... excuse me, Sandra... and Krüehler. As for you, I've head a lot about you."

Tartaruga stepped toward Chue's prison with purposeful authority, and leaned toward the Pikachu pressed angrily against the glass. "Your performance as a lightweight champion earned me MUCH-needed money, and NOW, with the HEAVYWEIGHT crown on the line, I can make even MORE."

"You may have paid off BLAZER, but CHAMP would never...!"

"I'm afraid I already know that all too WELL, Chue. That's why I sent IVY to take care of him, when the proper round comes..."

 

Meanwhile, Ivy the Ivysaur was leaning back against a door, which announced in bold letters: CAUTION: OVERHEAD WALKWAYS. It would be a perfect vantage point to carry out the boss's plans...

 

"As for your blue friend, she will make the PERFECT test for our devolution beam..."

Chue craned his neck to see an evil-looking machine, like a microscope but much much larger. Marrilyn stood in the middle, on her knees, her wrists chained to the plate she knelt on. A large beam was indeed pointed at her head. "A non-anthropomorphic Pokémon as rare as Marrilyn would be EXTREMELY valuable to a human trainer on the black market. As for you, I fear you may not be as lucky, as much as you know, so I must ask... any last REQUESTS, squirt?"

Chue began to rip the bandages from his fur, especially the ones covering his cheeks, and began to spark with rage. Oh, HE had a request, all right...!


#014 - Pokémon Challenge, Part One

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! THE MOMENT... YOU'VE BEEN WAITING FOR!!" There was definite electricity in the air, perhaps literally as Ray stepped up to the mike for his usual announcing. "TONIGHT! The Heavyweight Championship of Pokémon City WILL BE DECIDED!"

"IN THIS CORNER, DEEEEEFENDING FOR THE FOURTEENTH STRAIGHT MATCH, AT SIXTEEN AND ONE, IT IS CHAMP THE HIT... MON... CHAN!!"

"IN THIS CORNER, THE ONLY POKÉMON TO BEAT CHAMP ONCE... ONCE! - AT 13-6, IT IS AGAIN - LEE THE HIT... MON... LEE!!"

 

"This match is brought to you by SILPHCO... Remember SILPH for your Pokémon needs!..." The television in Tartaruga's headquarters, as with every set across the city, was broadcasting the match, as Chue prepared for a match of his own, pulling on a pair of black pants the boss had provided.

"So, you're SERIOUS - you want to CHALLENGE our best fighter for your FREEDOM? If this is a TRICK, your Pika... I mean your MARRIL pal will lose her, such as it, HUMANITY."

"No TRICK, Tartaruga! If I win, you let Marrilyn and me GO - If I LOSE, we will GLADLY join Team Rocket - but DON'T hurt Lyn!..."

Tartaruga put one hand behind his back and leaned forward in a bow of respect. "So be it. Naturally, I would fight you myself, but I'd rather..."

"I'm fighting SANDRA."

"... have you fight SANDRA. WHAT?!"

"I have to PROVE to myself, and to YOU guys, and ESPECIALLY her, that I can fight her and WIN..." Chue unfolded the shirt he was given. "... and I'm NOT wearing THIS."

"Not YET."

 

"HERE... WE... GO!" The fights both happened to start at about the same time, and as Lee ducked a hard left from Champ, Chue was energizing his electricity in the small round arena the base provided. "Okay, Sandy, this is IT - the last hope. Now, don't try to make it too EASY on me... there's too much at STAKE for BOTH of us!"

"Oh, don't worry - by the way, it's SANDRA now." She had switched into her preferred fighting suit of a black tanktop with jeans, and stared at her opponent through the blades at the ends of her paws.

"Right... oh boy..." At that instant Sandra had lept into the air, claws flashing in the light, and took the first swipes. Chue drew back for his most powerful punch...

...which connected with nary a stagger from Sandra. "FORGET it - you KNOW electricity doesn't affect ground types!"

Chue stepped back, rubbing his nose. "Just buying time..."

"TIME... is exactly what you don't HAVE, Chue!" Sandra rolled into a ball and flew through the small span of air between them, imbedding the Pikachu with her quills.

 

"Well, Lee's taking a major beating here, but he can clearly take it... I wonder if he'll still be standing for Round Two?"

"That's my CUE," thought Ivy, as she stood concealed among the sandbags and girders that made up the overhead walkways. Taking a small vial from her pocket, she held it to the flower on her back long enough to eject a small seed into it, which burst into a fine powder on contact. She then leaned over the rail just long enough to drop the vial off into space. "One Sleep Powder... DELIVERED." Just as the bell rang, the vial landed in Champ's bucket with a muffled splash.

"THAT's the way, Champ, keep it up! Okay, time to freshen up..." Odie led Champ back to his stool, not easy for an Oddish at most a fifth of Champ's size, but the two had worked together long enough to know where they stood. With minor difficulty, Odie picked up the bucket and splashed the contents into Champ's face...

 

"STOP THE FIGHT!" The moment Tartaruga saw the splash, he called to Sandra and Chue, the latter of whom was gasping and plucking quills out of his fur... again. "I want you to witness my GREATEST TRIUMPH!..."


#015 - Pokémon Challenge, Part Two

Marrilyn watched from where she remained bound to the de-evolution chamber, watching as Chue took an unexpected break from his hopelessly one-sided match with Sandra. "Come ON, Chue... NOW what?!"

Tartaruga rubbed his hands as Sandra pushed Chue in front of the large monitor just outside the room they had been using for competition. "Well, this is IT, Chue - round two, where your friend CHAMP is going DOWN." He smiled an evil smile. "Heh heh heh... and I stand to make literally MILLIONS. The Society will be PLEASED."

 

Meanwhile, in the ring, Champ was staggering slightly, making no effort to conceal a yawn. "Champ? You okay?...."

"Yeah... sure... Odie... I'll...... be....... snx...... zzzzzzzz........"

"This is UNBELIEVABLE!" Ray shouted into the microphone of the announcer's booth. "Champ has just fallen asleep, and round two is just about" *DING!* "...to start!"

Confident her Sleep Powder had taken effect, Ivy stepped toward the exit to report back to Team Rocket... "WAIT-A-SECOND!" She stopped dead in her tracks and looked back. "They're starting, and... and... this... this is IMPOSSIBLE!!"

What Ivy saw was seen by every Pokémon watching the match, at the gym, at home, or at Tartaruga's base. Her heart sank...

"CHAMP... is actually continuing to FIGHT in his SLEEP!...." It was true - and fighting well. The countless hours Champ spent training meant he could practically fight in his sleep - little knowing he would actually have to DO so.

A sudden roundhouse from Lee left Champ spinning to the mat, still sound asleep. "Still, this could give Lee the momentum he needs!"

Tartaruga's smile gradually returned as Lee watched Champ, still snoring, stagger from the mat onto his feet.

"This could be it right HERE, ladies and gentlemen - !" Lee reared back for his most powerful flying kick, and time seemed to stand still as he floated toward his rival, his clawed, taped foot inches from Champ's face...

*KERRUNCH!*

"THE WINNAH!!" Before anyone could react, Champ's fist was in front of him, and Lee had been punched sky-high with the combined impact of his kick and Champ's punch, leaving a clean hole in the roof of Champ's gym...

 

 

"No." Tartaruga's face fell as he just stood for several minutes. "NOOOO!! MY BOSS WILL....!!" Percy, knowing full well what was coming next, cringed...

Seconds later, the Persian sat out cold, as Tartaruga began to regain his composure, his fist and head aching. "... All right, Spiro, activate the de-evolution beam."

"WHAT?!!" Chue shouted.

"Yes, Pikachu fool, I must make money SOMEHOW - the Marril shall pay me back TENFOLD."

Marrilyn began to worry, still trapped under the beam, which was beginning to charge rapidly, filling the room with a green glow. "C'mon, Chue, I can't DO this my..."

She looked at the bubble of her tail, reflecting the charging beam's light. "...Then again...!"


#015 - Pokémon Challenge, Part Two

Marrilyn watched from where she remained bound to the de-evolution chamber, watching as Chue took an unexpected break from his hopelessly one-sided match with Sandra. "Come ON, Chue... NOW what?!"

Tartaruga rubbed his hands as Sandra pushed Chue in front of the large monitor just outside the room they had been using for competition. "Well, this is IT, Chue - round two, where your friend CHAMP is going DOWN." He smiled an evil smile. "Heh heh heh... and I stand to make literally MILLIONS. The Society will be PLEASED."

 

Meanwhile, in the ring, Champ was staggering slightly, making no effort to conceal a yawn. "Champ? You okay?...."

"Yeah... sure... Odie... I'll...... be....... snx...... zzzzzzzz........"

"This is UNBELIEVABLE!" Ray shouted into the microphone of the announcer's booth. "Champ has just fallen asleep, and round two is just about" *DING!* "...to start!"

Confident her Sleep Powder had taken effect, Ivy stepped toward the exit to report back to Team Rocket... "WAIT-A-SECOND!" She stopped dead in her tracks and looked back. "They're starting, and... and... this... this is IMPOSSIBLE!!"

What Ivy saw was seen by every Pokémon watching the match, at the gym, at home, or at Tartaruga's base. Her heart sank...

"CHAMP... is actually continuing to FIGHT in his SLEEP!...." It was true - and fighting well. The countless hours Champ spent training meant he could practically fight in his sleep - little knowing he would actually have to DO so.

A sudden roundhouse from Lee left Champ spinning to the mat, still sound asleep. "Still, this could give Lee the momentum he needs!"

Tartaruga's smile gradually returned as Lee watched Champ, still snoring, stagger from the mat onto his feet.

"This could be it right HERE, ladies and gentlemen - !" Lee reared back for his most powerful flying kick, and time seemed to stand still as he floated toward his rival, his clawed, taped foot inches from Champ's face...

*KERRUNCH!*

"THE WINNAH!!" Before anyone could react, Champ's fist was in front of him, and Lee had been punched sky-high with the combined impact of his kick and Champ's punch, leaving a clean hole in the roof of Champ's gym...

 

 

"No." Tartaruga's face fell as he just stood for several minutes. "NOOOO!! MY BOSS WILL....!!" Percy, knowing full well what was coming next, cringed...

Seconds later, the Persian sat out cold, as Tartaruga began to regain his composure, his fist and head aching. "... All right, Spiro, activate the de-evolution beam."

"WHAT?!!" Chue shouted.

"Yes, Pikachu fool, I must make money SOMEHOW - the Marril shall pay me back TENFOLD."

Marrilyn began to worry, still trapped under the beam, which was beginning to charge rapidly, filling the room with a green glow. "C'mon, Chue, I can't DO this my..."

She looked at the bubble of her tail, reflecting the charging beam's light. "...Then again...!"


Pokémon City #017 - And In The End...

"Come on, Marrilyn - THEN what happened?!" Ray looked up from cleanup work at Club Thunder anxiously as Lyn told of what had happened at Team Rocket's base.

"Well, although Tartaruga's minions had us surrounded, most of them were still out on Rocket patrols, so it was just Kruehler, Spiro, and Percy. It was a very one-sided battle, though, thanks to Chue's powerful attacks combined with my water energy..."

 

"Well, that's THAT..." Chue had surveyed the scene as the minions lay knocked out around the floor, near the now deactivated de-evolution beam.

"Thank goodness. I was beginning to get TIRED of fighting."

"Don't be silly, Lyn, who could get tired of fighting...?"

"Let's get out of here before... eep!" Tartaruga, angered at seeing his minions go down, had thrown aside his white vest and rushed at us...

"RRRRRRR.... YOU BRATS WILL PAY FOR THIS!!"

 

"So, of course, Chue stopped him cold..."

"If he did, Ray, why would he still be at the Pokémon Center?"

"You mean...?"

 

Chue had attempted his most powerful attack against the Blastoise boss, but all he could manage was a few pitiful sparks. "HAH - Oh... no! I'm out of ENERGY again!"

That was the opening Tartaruga needed to drench Chue with his most powerful water jets, knocking him clear off his feet and hard against the wall. It was clear he wasn't going to come to anytime soon, leaving me all alone...

I waited as Tartaruga rushed toward me, preparing to use his physical attacks to finish us off. Fortunately I had a plan...

"All right, you - OOP!" I had quickly and accurately placed a puddle of water where Tartaruga was to stop, which as I had hoped but wasn't quite sure about, caused him to slip, the momentum of his attack now sending him skidding out of control...

SMASH - Before I knew what was happening, Tartaruga slammed his chin hard into the control panel of the beam, which gave off awful sparks, followed by a sudden jolt of power. I was hoping it would knock him out, but it turns out he had been out cold once he hit the panel - the jolt was actually a beam fired by the machine as its last shot...

"No - *" From the next room, Sandra was just coming to, in time to see the beam of light coming right at her... A sudden, piercing scream filled the air, followed by a hefty thump. The beam unit gave off a few more sparks and quit working altogether.

I rushed into the next room - Sandra was Sandy again, laying where her quills had detached in the devolution. Although the machine had quit before de-anthroing her...

"De-anthroing?!"

"Oh, hey, Chue! Yes, de-anthroing, whatever you want to call it. You going to be okay?"

"As usual, I never felt better!"

 

Now then, although she still was an anthropomorph, the force had rendered her as unconscious as everyone else in the base... except me. "Sorry, Sandy... good night."

And so, normalcy had returned, such as it may be in Pokémon City...

 

"This just handed to me - " Marrilyn's recounting was cut short by the news reporter on the television, interrupting the nearest Pokémon event. "Thanks to Chue Raton, the Pikachu lightweight champion, and Marrilyn, his Pikablu friend..."

"....."

"Easy, Lyn..."

"...Team Rocket's Pokémon City headquarters have now been discovered. Unfortunately, the base was found abandoned, with only the following message found scrawled in heavy ink on the wall - "YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE LAST OF US!"

 

"Well, I'll see you tomorrow, Lyn..."

"Tomorrow?! But it's only three!"

"I know, but I have a few loose ends to tie up..."

 

Charlie Blazer sat alone, sighing deeply as he looked out at Pokémon City from the cliff. He had such hopes for his career, and now it was all but over... Suddenly a shadow behind him drew his attention; it was Raton, the one who had... The two spend a long time in conversation, discussing what had happened since the fateful tournament... Soon the conversation turned into a friendly confrontation... no rules and certainly no Team Rocket...

 

"Wow - you really ARE that tough!" Chue made no effort to pick himself off the ground - he wasn't injured, just knocked off his feet after a tough battle. "YOU should be lightweight champion..."

"NONSENSE! You've already proven yourself to be a better fighter..." Charlie smiled. "Still, there's always NEXT year."

 


No, this is not the end... as one journey comes to an end, the path takes a different direction... See you next time for an all-new Pokémon City series...!

 


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