Author: Dragon user X
The sun beat down upon me harshly as I stood at one end of the sandy arena, waiting.
The noise of the crowd, roaring in anticipation, was loud in my ears as I stood, waiting.
“Ladies and gentlemen, boys, girls and Pokémon!” boomed the announcer over the speakers. “It’s the one you’ve all been waiting for! The Grand Final of the Kanto League Championship!”
I felt my breathing intensify and my heart pounding in my chest. This was It. Capital I, It. After months and months of terrifically hard training, I had made it to the Grand Final.
I admit I was surprised to be here. I wasn’t sure my Pokémon and I could pull through, but I knew I had to have faith. In my Pokémon and in myself.
“Our first contender!” The announcer’s voice jarred me sharply out of my reverie. “From Saffron City, it’s Kenji!” I waved and smiled weakly at the crowd as my name was called. I was feeling decidedly nauseous.
“Aaaand, from Olivine City in Johto! Fresh from winning last year’s Silver Conference – ladies and gentlemen, put your hands together for Cassie!” The crowd cheered again, a lot louder than they had for me.
I squinted through the dust haze at my opponent. I couldn’t see much, but she looked about seventeen, her hair whipping around her face in the wind. She was confident. That much I could see.
With a start, I realised that the referee was calling for the match to begin. Cassie called out her Tyranitar.
“Right, then,” I said quietly, and then shouted “Let’s go, Jolteon!” My faithful Jolteon, my first ever Pokémon, burst from her PokéBall eagerly, obviously raring for a fight. I was feeling fairly good. This wasn’t really a fair fight, but at least I didn’t have a type disadvantage.
I sure hoped Jolteon could pull through.
“Tyranitar, start things off with an Earthquake!” ordered Cassie. I blanched. I had completely forgotten about that move! The shock wave smashed into Jolteon, dealing heavy damage. I winced. Jolteon couldn’t take another one of those. I tried to counter.
“Quick, Jolteon!” I cried desperately, “Use your Thunderbolt!” Jolteon charged up for a moment, glowing and sparking, and then poured 10,000 volts of electrical energy through Tyranitar. The big Rock type took a fair chunk of damage, but nothing like what Jolteon had.
“Come on, Tyranitar! One more Earthquake to finish it off!” came the order. I knew I had to think fast. If that attack made contact, Jolteon was toast! As Tyranitar prepared to launch its second Earthquake, it hit me.
“Jolteon! Get on top of Tyranitar!” It was our only chance. Jolteon understood. Using its speed and powerful hind legs, it raced towards Tyranitar, leapt into the air, and landed on the big Pokémon’s head. Tyranitar’s Earthquake couldn’t touch it! I celebrated inwardly.
Once the Earthquake was over, I cried, “Now jump down, Jolteon, and use Double Kick!” Jolteon did so with blinding speed, slamming both of its hind legs into Tyranitar’s body. Tyranitar stumbled and fell to one knee. I heard its Trainer shout something, but didn’t hear what. All of a sudden, I saw bright white light starting to gather in Tyranitar’s mouth. Uh-oh. The Hyper Beam. The all-or-nothing.
“Agility, Jolteon!” I commanded. I was starting to panic now. “Use your Agility to dodge it when it comes!”
Tyranitar fired. Jolteon leapt to the side with blinding speed. Yes! We had evaded it! I took advantage of the exhausted Tyranitar to order a Pin Missile attack. The glowing needles shot through the air, drilling into Tyranitar. The behemoth fell crashing to the ground.
We had done it! I heard the referee shouting something, but I couldn’t hear him because the blood was pounding so loudly in my ears. Jolteon was tired, but I let her stay in. She was obviously having as much fun as I was, though she had taken quite a hammering. But I was learning my lesson. I had to have faith.
My opponent’s next Pokémon was a Donphan, which I wasn’t familiar with. I called a Quick Attack, but it didn’t seem to do much.
“Donphan, Rollout!” she called. Donphan rolled into a ball, tusks whirling, and ploughed into Jolteon with the force of a bullet train. Jolteon just couldn’t take it. I recalled her regretfully.
“Well done, my friend,” I whispered. “You were amazing!” Because of Rollout being a Rock-type move, and Quick Attack not having much of an effect, I guessed this was a Rock-type Pokémon. (I only found out later that it was a Ground-type) For that reason, I chose my next Pokémon.
“Golduck! I choose you!” Golduck, the second Pokémon I ever caught. Another faithful friend. Again, it comes down to faith. I decided to take the initiative. “Golduck! Use your Confusion attack!” Golduck telekinetically lifted Donphan, and sent it flying, but not without effort.
Donphan recovered fast, and upon command, used Earthquake. Golduck took the hit well, digging its webbed feet into the ground.
“Confusion! One more time!” Again, Donphan was sent soaring, but this time, it staggered to its feet, and started firing off attacks in random directions, with no regard for its Trainer’s instructions. “It’s confused, Golduck!” I shouted excitedly. “Get in there with a Hydro Pump!”
A torrent of water shot from Golduck’s beak, engulfing Donphan. When the flood ceased, Donphan was down for the count.
“Well done, Donphan!” I exclaimed. I had faith in you, I added silently. I now had two Pokémon left, while Cassie only had one. Slowly, she removed a PokéBall from her belt, kissed it, and hurled it onto the field.
“Win this for me, Mamoswine!” I gaped. Donphan I was unfamiliar with and everyone had heard of the near-legendary Tyranitar, but this? I was at a total loss. I had never seen one before, even in a book or on TV. I had no clue how to tackle it. But then I remembered. Faith. Coming into this battle, I told myself that I would have faith in the skills of my Pokémon, and my own. I had to stick to that, or all was lost.
“Golduck! Use Fury Swipes!” Golduck sprinted in, webbed feet pounding the ground. Not for the first time, I wondered how a swimming Pokémon like Golduck managed to be so graceful and athletic on land.
“Mamoswine! Take Down!” Uh-oh. If a Take Down from a thing that size made contact with my Golduck...
“Golduck! Pull up!” I yelled in desperation. Golduck realised what was happening, and tried to swing off to one side of the charging Mamoswine. But the two Pokémon had been going too fast to completely avoid a collision. Mamoswine clipped Golduck with a tusk and sent it flying.
“Golduck!” I cried, “Are you OK?”
“Duuck...” it croaked feebly, but nodded. I felt a strong surge of affection for my Golduck. Even though it had taken an absolute hammering, first from the Earthquake, and then the Take Down, it still had faith that I would pull through for it. I only hoped that I could.
“Use Earthquake, Mamoswine!” Oh, no! Not again! Golduck had nowhere to go. It couldn’t jump like Jolteon, and there was no water to hide in like there was in our semi-final battle. Golduck was pulverized by the shockwave.
“Golduck, return,” I said dejectedly. In one fell swoop, this Mamoswine had taken out one of my strongest Pokémon. How could I counter it? It seemed to be a Ground-type, but that wasn’t all, I was sure of it. I had to come at this strategically. Earthquake seemed to be Cassie’s favourite move, so I had to use something that would nullify that. I had just the thing. I only hoped I was making the right choice.
“I’m counting on you, my friend,” I said softly, pressing the PokéBall to my heart. “If we work together, we can pull through.” It may have been my imagination, but I thought I felt a faint pulse of positive energy coming from the PokéBall in my hand. Faith. Yes. I had to have faith.
I threw the PokéBall into the arena, and as I did, I thought of when I first encountered this Pokémon, one fateful evening in the Safari Zone. It was my strongest Pokémon, and I had been training it especially for competitive battling like this. It was my Dragonite.
She threw back her head and roared. She was ready. Was I?
“Let’s do this!” You bet I was!
The two massive Pokémon faced off, Dragonite about seven feet high, Mamoswine a little over eight feet. Dragonite took off and hovered over Mamoswine.
“Try and Earthquake me now!” I crowed triumphantly. But Cassie wasn’t fazed in the slightest. In fact, she now looked as though she had me on the back foot. But why? If Mamoswine was a Ground-type as I thought, I essentially had the advantage.
She lifted her hand to the sky to point at Dragonite, and with the air of a poker player showing her hand to reveal a royal flush, she proclaimed,
“Mamoswine! Use Blizzard!” Oh, no! Dragonite is toast! It’s a freaking Ice-type! I should have seen this coming! The Blizzard rushed toward my Dragonite, who looked at me helplessly. I had to try and stop this, for Dragonite’s sake.
“Counter it with Hyper Beam!” I almost screamed. Once again, I was getting desperate. Dragonite’s Hyper Beam punched through the Blizzard, diverting it slightly, but it still took some heavy damage.
Dragonite was still going, but pretty heavily damaged. I needed to think. Mamoswine appeared to be an Ice/Ground type. Thunder wouldn’t do much, but – of course!
“Dragonite! Swing around and use Fire Blast!” Dragonite swooped in gracefully, an orange ball of flame coalescing in its wide open mouth. Seconds later, the fireball was launched at the Pokémon on the ground below. Mamoswine was too slow to avoid it. The fireball hit Mamoswine directly, giving off great clouds of smoke.
“Yes!” I punched my fist into my palm. That should do it! But when the smoke cleared, Mamoswine was still standing. Charred and burned, but standing. “Unbelievable!”
“Ha! We’re not giving up yet, kid! This battle’s only just begun!” Cassie taunted me from the other end of the field.
“Mamoswine, Light Screen!” Dragonite dived in again, sending another fireball towards Mamoswine, but Mamoswine put up a silvery-blue shield around itself, which absorbed most of the attack.
“You can’t win, kid!” crowed Cassie. “My Light Screen renders your Fire Blast all but useless, and Hyper Beam too. Admit it, you’re beat!”
But you don’t know what else my Dragonite knows, do you, I thought to myself.
“Dragonite! Fly high!” Dragonite shot upward like an arrow. All eyes in the stadium were on Dragonite now. The announcer had stopped talking. The crowd was silent. Cassie was looking worried, as was Mamoswine. In that moment, I felt a strange sense of absolute power. It was as if I held the entire stadium in my hands.
Dragonite reached the apex of its climb.
“Now, Dragonite!” I called, “Use Dragon Rush!” Time seemed to slow down. I saw Dragonite perform a loop-the-loop in the air, and begin to spin as it came down vertically. It span faster and faster, and a cone of swirling energy surrounded it. It came down, and down, and down, and down.
Dragonite collided with Mamoswine with a BOOM that shook the stadium to its foundations.
The dust cleared. The referee peered toward the combatants, Dragonite standing shakily, Mamoswine on the ground.
“Mamoswine is unable to battle!” he announced, and the crowd exploded with cheers and the announcer began recounting the battle over the loudspeaker, but I couldn’t hear them. I had won. I recalled my Dragonite, and held my three PokéBalls in my hands.
“Thanks, guys,” I said, “You were all wonderful! I had faith in you, and you all had faith in me, and that’s how we won!” We won-with faith.