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Chapter 12: Saffron Tournament Part 2Edit

The Eevee moved out of the way immediately. The Golem struck with immense power right past the point where the Eevee had just been standing on, and so returned to strike again at the Eevee. Gary and the opposing trainer, Kite, both watched on, sure that they would win and not doing anything to bring that about. Eevee narrowly missed being squashed into nothingness by Golem on two occasions, but it had steadily retreated to Kite’s side of the field, with the Golem still in pursuit. Eevee then launched a sand-attack straight at the Golem’s eyes. Despite being rock-type, the pokemon’s eyes were still blinded, forcing the Golem to sense its way through vibrations in the ground…

The commentator continued, “The Eevee is getting the Golem to blindly chase after it all across the arena! Just how long can this continue before the Eevee is tired out or struck down at last from a false step?”

Eevee smiled in success at seeing the Golem’s sensitive eyes closed. It jumped up and down, drawing the Golem’s attentions to the source of its vibrations. He immediately turned and bore down on the Eevee. The Eevee swiftly dodged out of the way, then proceeded to taunt to Golem in a language that everyone could understand, greatly angering the Golem and flustering Kite. It said a string of expletives which would be simply wrong to repeat. The Golem was mad. He immediately began another roll straight at the Eevee, which had now positioned itself right in front of Kite’s podium.

“No, Golem, not this way!” shouted Kite futilely as he realized what has happening. The Golem had been tricked! Eevee dodged out of the way just in time, but the infuriated Golem, having attained an incredible speed and unable to see where it was going, continued on its way. The crowd gasped and cried out in shock as the golem slammed full-power into the platform, creating a massive dent in it and causing the girders holding it in place to buckle. Within three seconds the platform had collapsed, letting loose a plume of dust which blossomed outward, cloaking and choking the shaken trainer. A terrified Kite fell in along with the crumbling structure. The crowd was suddenly put to silence, and even the juggernaut of a pokemon had, upon striking the massive structure, knocked itself out.

The referee held up the green flag. “The red trainer is unable to continue the match. Victory goes to the green trainer, Gary!”

At the same time a nurse had run out from the sidelines onto the field with a large, bulging bag of medicinal powder in hand. She poured it all over Kite and emptied the entire bag. Judging from how much powder had been used, Ash figured that Kite must have had his body split in half several times over… Just the thought of it was bloody and not fit for the light-hearted, so he immediately put it out of his thoughts.

“Wow, how can this be possible? I can scarcely believe it!” blared the loudspeaker. “The green trainer certainly knows some impressive match-winning tactics!” The Eevee wagged its tail in delight at seeing even the enraged Golem put to rest, not to mention subduing his trainer as well.

This is a wonderful tactic, using your opponent’s strengths against him, noted Ash as he continued to scribble words in his notebook. He was taking to this tournament like taking a class in pokemon tactics.

“Well, Eevee, are you ready to take your adult form?” asked Gary in an incredibly serious tone, pulling out a container from his pocket. Inside were six different metamorphosing stones, about two inches at their longest, necessary for instigating certain mature pokemon to evolve. Like the sun stone, moon stone, leaf stone, fire stone, water stone, and thunder stone.

“Yes, I am,” said Eevee. Everyone watched with their breaths held as the Eevee held out its paw, clutching a stone. It brought the stone to its chest, and soon began to glow a brilliant white as it enlarged and changed its shape into…

“Hey, no peeking,” Gary said abruptly, and sucked the metamorphosing Eevee into its pokeball to complete the metamorphosis out of sight. The crowd went wild with its unsatisfied expectations as Gary walked down from the platform once again a winner.

“Great job Gary, you’re the best!” cheered Ash as they gave each other a high-five.

“Four matches to go,” he replied.

“In the third round, each trainer is allowed to use a maximum of four separate pokemon in total. And now, give up some applause for two-time winner and green trainer, Violet of Lavender Town!” announced the commentator. The crowd went wild as the lass took to the platform. “And let us also cheer for the red trainer, Daisy of Pewter City!” The crowd went wild again as the lass took to the platform. “Let the match begin!”

The first two pokemon turned out to be a Dodrio and a Pichu. “Go get’em!” one shouted. Immediately the mouse-like electric pokemon powered up its electric sacs and let loose with several charged bolts. But instead of hitting a Dodrio, the charged bolts hit Violet’s replacement pokemon, a female Magneton. The pokemon resembling a trio of magnets quickly absorbed all the electric power out of the Pichu, draining away even more than the Pichu had intended in its attack, then used its electromagnetic potential to suck Pichu. It was stuck on the surface, and flailing helplessly, when its trainer, Daisy, recalled it back into the pokeball.

“And Daisy’s next pokemon is Machoke!” The heavily muscled pokemon materialized right beside the Magneton and before Violet could give an order, had bashed her with its fists numerous times. The magnetic field, disturbed by the forceful impact, suddenly destabilized and the levitation vanished. The Magneton crashed onto the ground with a metallic ring, helpless, as the ground drained away all the stored electricity within it.

“Return! Go Espeon!” The pink-purple adult form of Eevee materialized. “Psychic attack!” It seemed as if nothing had happened.

“Ha, she’s not doing anything!” shouted Daisy in triumph. “Go take down that Espeon, Machoke!” Meanwhile the Espeon lashed out with a version of fury swipes, striking the Machoke over and over. Meanwhile, the fighting pokemon seemed as if it were in a dazed state, and simply allowed the Espeon to strike it nonstop. “Oh no!” exclaimed Daisy, before quickly recalling her knocked-out, vegetative pokemon. “Well, at least it’s not in a critical condition,” she muttered to herself. “Go, Nuzleaf!”

The crowd gasped at this choice of pokemon. People almost never used dark-types because they were hard to control and could easily wreak massive havoc… Though this one was so small, how much damage could it do even if it were rogue?

A dark-skinned, miniature pokemon with a single leaf on its head appeared. “All right Nuzleaf, use Torment!” By then, however, Espeon had vanished, and in her place was the already quite-beaten Magneton. The Nuzleaf glared at the Magneton, and suddenly Ash felt a terrible presence exuding from the former. It seemed to emit a dangerous, perhaps deadly vibe… He had never encountered such pokemon before, and he was terrified. That, and he wasn’t even the target of the Torment attack.

But the attack itself simply went through the Magneton and had no effect. It was, after all, hard to torment a company of magnets (even if it did have a gender). The next moment the Magneton had regenerated her levitation field. With exceptional speed she slammed straight at the Nuzleaf, knocking it flying out of the arena. “Oh no! Nuzleaf, return! Go Machoke!” At this point Violet started laughing at the idiocy of using a mentally incapacitated pokemon, but it seemed Daisy had no experience with the rather uncommon psychic-type pokemon before.

The fighting pokemon reappeared, standing, but with incredibly dazed eyes. Ash tapped into its mind and discovered that the sensation was peculiarly similar to what had happened to him earlier. Just what was it that had happened to him earlier? Ah yes, he thought, how could I have forgotten? Sabrina had subjected me to a psychic attack! That just might be what the move ‘psychic’ is… It locks down the target’s mind, rendering it unable to think. Within moments Ash was sure that this was what was going on.

But he probed still further. Why was this happening? Now that Ash himself wasn’t under its influence, perhaps he could investigate the powers of this spell and so discover how to train his Kirlia to use this ability.

He sensed something in the Machoke’s otherwise locked-down mind trying to make sense out of all the confusion, and he ‘lent a mind’ to it, giving it direction. Suddenly a lot of something seemed to have been drawn out of Ash’s mind, greatly disconcerting him and giving him an incredible redundancy feeling akin to that of nausea. He now felt exhausted from the mental effort. But at the same time the mental binds holding the Machoke’s brain in lockdown had now been tossed off, and the Machoke suddenly no longer looked quite so dazed.

“Come on Machoke, I’m counting on you! Bash that Magneton!” cried Daisy. To everyone's surprise except for Ash, the fighting pokemon miraculously recovered from being the target of a Psychic spell to deliver a knockout blow against the clutter of magnets. The impact destabilized her levitation once again, and the static field she had been charging up suddenly back lashed, throwing the magnetic dipoles completely out of alignment.

“Magneton is unable to continue!” shouted the commentator as surprise appeared on the faces of many members of the audience. Ash, however, was feeling quite sick after what unnamed mental process had just taken hold of him, even though nothing was regurgitating. Machoke immediately began to run straight at Violet’s platform.

The girl countered with Espeon once again. “Espeon, psychic once again!” It focused intently on the Machoke, which quailed before its intent snare, helpless against psychic powers.

“It looks like Violet is going to use her Espeon to cripple that Machoke with Psychic for the second time in the same match; will Daisy recall Machoke?” asked the commentator.

“No way,” shouted Daisy, oblivious to the intricacies of psychic attacks. The Machoke suddenly became retarded once again, its mind sent spiraling illogically and unable to control its body. The Machoke fell flat on its face. The Espeon then was replaced by Violet’s Dodrio, which proceeded to peck with incredible force at the unmoving target. “Come on Machoke, don’t give up; get back up and win for me!” shouted Daisy innocently.

Ash knew he shouldn’t interfere with the match, but decided that his learning about psychic powers may be far more important than who won this match – after all, in the end it was the fact that his sister's life was on the line.

Ash, knowing that this was probably one of the few times he would ever have an opportunity to interact with psychic pokemon that were not on his side, sent out a feeler to the Machoke, trying to replicate what he thought he had been able to accomplish the first time: helping Machoke out of its mental condition. He didn’t know if he had been responsible for it, but as is generally the case with psychics, his intuition turned out to be correct.

The rain had already started to fall, and splattered all over the cloud-darkened arena. A streak of lightning struck across the sky.

Within moments, as Machoke continued to take a beating by Dodrio’s sharp beaks, Ash had used his psychic abilities to bring Machoke out of its mental stupor. It suddenly snapped to attention, striking out with its hand to grab Dodrio by one of its three necks, then proceeded to twirl the helpless bird around and around. The bird was being tossed around so quickly Ash felt dizzy even watching. The centripetal force suddenly gone, Dodrio was sent smack into the roof of the arena. It was comatose upon impact, and Violet quickly recalled her bird pokemon, now desperate against the seemingly psychic-immune Machoke.

“Would you look at that! This Machoke evidently is resistant to psychic attacks!” shouted the surprised commentator. “With two pokemon down and one ineffective against Machoke, will Violet be able to make a come-back?”

“Yes I will,” muttered Violet before throwing out her fourth and final pokeball. “Go!” The flash of light from the pokeball materialized into a Milotic. Six meters long, this serpent-like water-type pokemon took several hits from Machoke without flinching before proceeding to envelop himself in a field of refreshing water.

“Milotic is using Aqua Ring! Machoke simply isn’t able to do enough damage!” shouted the commentator.

Daisy cursed silently at this sudden turn of events, then hit upon an inspiration. A second later the Machoke was gone, replaced by her fourth pokemon, a Raichu. “Charged bolts, now!” shouted Daisy, seizing the initiative.

The Raichu launched his electric attack – and before Violet was able to extract Milotic from the imbalanced situation, had electrocuted him. He crumpled onto the ground, the healing Aqua Ring unable to jump-start his suddenly stopped heart. Within a few minutes, lack of oxygen to its tissues would end its life--

“Hold on for just a while longer, I know you’re suffering, just give me one minute,” whispered Violet to the recalled Milotic. “Go Espeon! Finish it off for me with a Psychic!” The Raichu squealed in terror and fled, but was smitten anyway.

Finding this yet another opportunity to test his psychic abilities, Ash ‘lent a mind’ to the Raichu, helping it recover so swiftly from the psychic attack that it didn’t seem to be affected at all.

“A miracle! It seems all of Daisy's pokemon are immune to psychic attacks!” shouted the commentator as the audience was stunned by yet another example of psychic ineffectuality. “With the life of her Milotic on the line, will Violet continue the match against Daisy’s remaining pokemon?” Ash turned his head to the sign board and saw that Daisy still had three pokemon that were fighting fit. He then saw that Violet’s hands were shaking from anxiousness.

“Try it once more, give it a Psybeam!” she ordered.

For once, the attack was actually visible – a pinkish, purplish ray struck out – at Daisy’s Machoke, which had temporarily replaced the Raichu. She then back-swapped the two pokemon, bringing Raichu back out. Ash looked up and saw that the skies were now darkened indeed, and that a thunderstorm was in progress.

“Raichu, lighting, now!” His cheeks began to spark and a second later the arena was filled with a brilliant, bright light as the raging storm above contributed its share to the match. Espeon was literally fried by the hundreds of degrees Celsius of the directed-lightning strike. Children in the audience screamed out in fright as the energy struck right in front of their eyes, blinding them. Simultaneously a deafening roar threatened to blow out everyone’s eardrums.

Violet hurriedly recalled the crumpled, burnt remains of her Espeon back into her pokeball, gave one look at the contestant who had beaten her and effectively killed her Espeon, and fled to the poke-Center.

“Gee, I hope she gets there in time, that Espeon looked like it was in a horrible condition even considering the regenerative power of modern medicine,” noted Ash, now totally soaked by the thunderstorm. Glumly, Gary merely agreed.

“This match goes to Daisy! All right, and now for our next match,” said the announcer several minutes later. “Please applaud the green trainer, Cerulean City Gym Leader Misty, who has already defeated two opponents, all with her single Starmie, and the red trainer, Paul!” The crowd cheered, already having forgotten about the ill-fated Espeon. “Let the match begin!”

“Go Starmie!” shouted Misty, also fully drenched by the rain, throwing her pokeball vertically so that Starmie appeared on the metal hand-bars right beside her platform. Ash took one glance at Misty's positioning of her pokemon to conclude that the Starmie must be capable of redirecting any electric attacks to the metal hand-bars it was in contact with. Evidently Misty knows that this weather can play to her disadvantage if she’s not careful, thought Ash.

Paul, who had on a professional, smug look, threw out his pokeball. “Do whatever you want, but you won’t win, Misty.” He had summoned a Castform. The one-foot-tall, cloud-like pokemon looked puny compared to Misty’s gold-trimmed Starmie. It immediately took on a water-type form based on the rainstorm weather.

“Starmie, Lightning!” shouted Misty abruptly. Paul looked on, aghast; so did Ash. Even if he knew plenty about pokemon, Transformational Machines had made things a lot more complicated in the last decade. The jewel in the center of the starfish pokemon glowed brilliantly and the next moment a second peal of thunder resonated through the arena. Everyone had their eyes covered. By the time Ash had recovered Paul was nowhere to be seen, and neither was his Castform. Ash assumed that he had recalled his defeated pokemon and had run off with it to the pokemon center.

Ash was getting worried. He knew very well that none of his pokemon had the ability to withstand the lightning-fast - no pun intended - attacks of the electric pokemon.

Wow, that was brilliant of Misty, saving that ability for the third round when players would no longer have the time to plan a counter to it. Which reminds me… I’ve GOT to get some TM’s for my pokemon.

“Well, so much for Paul’s bragging,” stated Lily. “He must have rushed his Castform to the poke-Center.”

“That’s the second directed-lightning attack used today,” Ash noted to Gary. “I hope whatever you use can withstand lightning.”

“Hmm, maybe, maybe not.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That’s for me to know, and for you to find out,” Gary replied with a smile.

Ash passed the next two rounds wondering what Gary might use in this match. The choices weren’t so many: to resist lightning attacks one had better use a ground type or a rock-type, and a ground-type in this rain would be forfeiting before you began the match. Rock types were an obvious choice, which meant that Gary’s opponent was bound to have something good against rock-types. And that generally meant an ice-type pokemon, or one with ice-type attacks. Of course, the opponent would probably be thinking the same thing, so he/she would be sure to bring a fire-type pokemon even in this kind of weather… Dwelling on this line of thought, Ash never did pay much attention to the intervening two matches.

“And now, the moment I’m sure you’ve been waiting for after his previous stunning victories followed by metamorphoses, the green trainer Gary!”

Ash turned to face Gary with an accusatory glance. “How come you’re green trainer every time?”

“I’m not so sure,” Gary replied. “But I doubt it’s because I have the most badges.” Ash didn't have an opportunity to question Gary on how many badges he had before the now expected chorus began its chant.

“Gary, Gary, he’s our man,

“if he can’t do it no one can!”

“Ugh, just shut up, why don’t you,” was on the tip of Ash’s lips. Why do they keep using ‘man’ when Gary’s obviously thirteen!?

“…And last but not least, the red trainer Jasmine, from Fuchsia City!”

“I certainly hope neither trainer ends up using water pokemon again, seeing as how they are so vulnerable to electrocution… Let the match begin!”

“Go!” grunted both sides as they flung their pokeballs.

“What?!” cried Ash in dismay. “How can he!?” Against Jasmine’s Ninetales was Gary’s Tangela, a grass type pokemon composed almost entirely of thick, spongy blue vines. “Well, that may be a good choice based solely on the weather, and Ninetales a bad idea, but in this case…” he shook his head in dismay. “And he’s not even withdrawing his pokemon!”

“Just watch,” said Lily. “I’m sure he will come through.”

“It looks like Gary’s not going to change his choice of pokemon! Is he content to play the underdog in every individual match?” blared the loudspeaker.

“Ha!” cheered Jasmine excitedly. “I sure hope you know what you’re doing, or else this contest will be over before I’ve gotten any pleasure out of it!”

Gary retorted, “Fire types’ advantages over grass types are overrated. You’ll see. This contest will be over before you’ve gotten any pleasure out of it.”

“We’ll just see about that,” said Jasmine. “go Ninetales, fire spin!” The yellow-white cat-like pokemon swayed its nine tales out of the way, jumped up, and in midair opened its mouth to launch a fierce blast of fire downward. The intense fire spread out in every direction, a circle of expanding flame washing over the center of the court. The fire burst forth despite the thin sheet of rainwater covering the arena. The blast of fire quickly came straight at Gary’s Tangela…

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