Title: Force vs. Reason!
The arena was bright. Its atmosphere was tense. My opponent had just sent out his Pokémon trio: Mewtwo, Blaziken and Swampert. That was bad. Very bad. The organizers of the challenge had told us to “bring our best Pokémon.” I had assumed they meant “best” as in “favorite”, not as in MVP. Worse still, it was a triple battle tournament.
I dipped my hand into my Trainer’s bag and drew three balls out: a Poké Ball and two Quick Balls. I threw all the balls into the air, calling my Pokémon by name: “Rinkat! Thay! Bitts!” In flashes of blinding light, the balls released their stored Pokémon. Out of the Poké Ball leapt Thay, a Lucario. Bitts, my Gallade, was released from one of the Quick Balls. Rinkat, a Delcatty, sauntered out of the dazzle, onto the battlefield.
At the sight of the Delcatty, the spectators burst into laughter. Rinkat mewed furiously, her fur standing on end. Bad mistake. Delcatty aren’t that strong. My opponent snickered.
“This ain’t no pageant, sissy-boy!” he yelled.
“But I didn’t know it was a tournament!” I said.
More laughter. Even my opponent’s Pokémon had joined in. I couldn’t back out, yet the odds of me winning this fight were terribly slim. Comparing my Pokémon team with my opponent’s discouraged me even further. I wasn’t a bad trainer; I just happened to have picked the wrong team.
I thought about the words of Big Tob, my mentor. “Lots of trainers still don’t get how to raise Pokémon the right way. They need the right moves, strength and a lot of love. Combine these with strategy, and you’re unbeatable.” Of course! Strategy! Friendship! The right moves! I remembered how these had worked for me in the past. The referee stepped forward. “BEGIN!” he shouted. I clenched my fists. This was going to be one hard battle.
“Mewtwo!” yelled Soulie, my opponent, “Take out that lame kitty! Hyper Beam!” The Mewtwo stretched its hands forward, a ball of energy forming in between its palms.
“Thay!” I called to my Lucario, “Take it!” Thay leapt in front of Rinkat, taking the blast fired by Mewtwo. She staggered, but swiftly regained balance. Thank God, I thought. Due to Thay’s Steel type, the Normal-type Hyper Beam had barely affected her.
“Thay!” I called, “Aura Sphere! On Blaziken!”Thay held out her hands. A bright blue energy sphere formed between her hands. When it grew to about the size of a beach ball, she hurled it.
Soulie shouted, “Dodge it!” Blaziken leapt out of the path of the incoming Aura Sphere, but the sphere swiftly curved, hitting Blaziken in the back. It keeled over. Soulie’s face contorted with fury. “Swampert!” he said, “Earthquake! Blaziken, get the Gallade with Brave Bird! Mewtwo…” Mewtwo stood immobilized. Its Hyper Beam had used up an immense amount of energy, forcing it to recharge.
His other Pokémon sprung into action. Blaziken leapt into the air, a flame engulfing it. As it descended, the flame transformed into a blue aura. It landed onto Bitts, sending him crashing to the floor. Swampert punched the floor with its thick arms, sending huge seismic waves throughout the arena. The earthquake rocked the battlefield, sending me, as well as Rinkat, sprawling onto the floor. Thay stood upright. She seemed to have been barely affected by the quake.
Soulie grinned. I had begun to understand him. He had powerful Pokémon with powerful moves, but lacked the two other essentials: love and strategy. That made him weak. I doubt he had even realized my plan. I turned to my Pokémon.
“Bitts,” I ordered, “Attack Mewtwo with Psycho Cut. Rinkat, use Assist for Blaziken! Thay, Counter Swampert!”
Soulie flared up. “Arrgh! Defend yourselves! Mewtwo, Psychic! Swampert, Hammer Arm! Blaziken…” Blaziken sprinted across the field and performed another Brave Bird attack. As its red aura turned blue, Rinkat glowed with a red light. Its Assist move turned into Psycho Cut. Long blades of psychic energy extended from its front paws. Blaziken’s attack connected with Rinkat’s, and both Pokémon fell.
Mewtwo used Psychic. Its eyes glowed blue and it made a lashing motion with its hand, sending Bitts flying. Bitts retaliated, extending his elbow blades. Psychic energy covered them, and then he executed a successful Psycho Cut on Mewtwo.
Swampert’s hands glowed, and it smashed them down on Thay, who was glowing with a red light. Hard. Thay faltered, but did not fall. I grinned. Thay had barely been injured throughout the fight, despite having been hit by super-effective moves. All part of my plan. Thay’s arms glowed, replicating Hammer Arm. She struck Swampert. The Mud Fish Pokémon zoomed across the battleground, crashing into the wall. Soulie got as mad as a Primeape.
“I-Impossible,” he stuttered, “Your Pokémon, they’re freaks! You’re cheating! You hacked your Pokémon’s genes.”
“NO!” I shouted, “They’re natural, I swear!”
The referee moved to my Pokémon, Bulbadex in hand. The high-tech machine scanned my Pokémon. “These Pokémon are legitimate!”
The audience erupted. Some seemed to be happy, while catcalls and jeers came from others. Soulie looked me in the eye, his face full of hate.
“YOU’RE GOING DOWN!” he roared. “SWAMPERT! KILL THAT LUCARIO! MUDDY WATER!” Swampert leapt into the moat bordering the field, turning the water brown. A huge tsunami of Muddy Water swept the arena swamping my entire team (me included). I was drenched. I turned to Thay. “Thay…” I began, but noticed she was curled on the floor, shivering. What could have happened? I gazed at Soulie’s Swampert, and a faint glint caught my eye. A Razor Fang! It had caused Thay to flinch. I shifted my focus to Rinkat, and saw her shivering. I ran to her. “Rinkat, use Rest, please.” I whispered. She fell asleep.
Soulie smiled triumphantly. He turned to his Mewtwo. “You! Finish the kitten! HYPER BEAM!” Mewtwo formed a Hyper Beam and shot it. Rinkat leapt out of its range. Soulie’s eyes bulged.
“How-,” he spluttered.
“Two words, Einstein,” I mocked. “Lum Berry.”
Of its own accord, Blaziken ran and executed another Brave Bird attack, hitting Thay. What was with the Blaze Pokémon anyway?
Bitts was idle. “Bitts,” I called, “Focus Blast the Mewtwo.” Bitts crossed his arms, and a ball of light blue energy formed. Soulie smirked. “Idiot! It’s not effective on Psychic Pokémon!” he commented. “Oh, really,” I said, my voice thick with sarcasm.
Bitts fired the Focus Blast. Thanks to the Wide Lens Bitts wore, it did not miss. It knocked Mewtwo off its feet, and into its trainer. Soulie gasped. “It’s a Fighting move! It can’t damage Mewtwo! I’ve had enough of this! Swampert, Take Down any of them!”
Swampert seemed to hate Thay. It charged at the female Lucario at full speed. Its move connected. Thay staggered a few steps back, and so did Swampert.
“Now, Rinkat!” I yelled. “GIGA IMPACT!”
Rinkat charged at full speed, knocking Swampert down. Soulie gritted his teeth.
“Get up, you filthy waste!”
The Water and Ground Pokémon did not move a muscle. Soulie swore loudly. It was 3-on-2. I was at an advantage.
“Blaziken, Sky Uppercut!” Blaziken’s arms glowed, and then it gave Rinkat a double uppercut. The attack sent her sliding across the field. “Thay, give Mewtwo Flash Cannon!” Thay gathered light energy around her hands and blasted it at Mewtwo. The beam caught it square in the chest, toppling it.
“Bitts!” I cried, “Use Cut! Blaziken!” Bitts, the only male Pokémon on my team, once again extended his blades and slashed Blaziken. The chicken-like Pokémon fell. “Mewtwo,” Soulie called. “Focus Punch! Get Lucariooooooo!” As he said this, Mewtwo’s fist began to glow.
“Thay, attack! Use Rock Climb!” Thay’s Steadfast ability had caused her to speed up after she flinched. Thay ran into Mewtwo, hitting it with such force that it careened into a wall and smashed it. Mewtwo went limp. The spectators went wild with excitement. The attack by Thay had caused Mewtwo to lose focus, immobilizing it.
“Blaziken, Blaze Kick! On Gallade!” Blaziken’s foot erupted in flames and it kicked Bitts, sending him tumbling onto the floor. “Rinkat! Assist!” Rinkat’s Assist became Aura Sphere. The sphere formed in its mouth, and it spat it at Blaziken, causing it to crash. “Bitts, Trick!” The Gallade swapped its Wide Lens with Mewtwo’s Focus Band. “Thanks,” said Soulie, “you just made my Mewtwo more accurate. Future Sight!” Mewtwo opened a time portal, blasting psychic energy into it.
“Thay! Aura Sphere!” The sphere zoomed towards Mewtwo. It ran. Mewtwo was fast, almost twice as fast as Rinkat. It almost escaped the sphere. Almost. The energy hit it, totaling it. I laughed at Soulie. I had just defeated his MVP.
“NOOO!!!” he shouted, “Blaziken, FLARE BLITZ!” A pillar of flame engulfed Blaziken. It dashed at a blinding speed, hitting Thay. She hardly felt it. Blaziken staggered. It had been hurt by the recoil of its attack. My heart beat faster. This was it! “Rinkat, Assist!”
The spectators cheered. Rinkat glowed with a blue light, and Blaziken's Choice Band moved to Rinkat's wrist. Trick? The spectators all gaped, obviously disappointed. I almost screamed. Even Soulie was speechless.
“Bitts, Trick,” I said dourly. Bitts swapped its Focus Band for Thay’s Metronome. Then the unexpected happened. Bitts glowed blue and floated into the air. What’s this?, I thought. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Mewtwo, still conscious, its eyes glowing furiously. Bitts was slammed down hard and passed out. Mewtwo had evened the odds. Not for long, I thought.
“Rinkat! Dig, now!” She obliged, burrowing into the battleground. “Thay, Flash Cannon!” Thay blasted the Blaziken into unconsciousness. The ground beneath Mewtwo’s feet split. Rinkat burst out, knocking Mewtwo away. “Mewtwo, Hyper Beam!” Mewtwo obeyed and its attack hit Thay, staggering her. A time portal opened, releasing a wave of psychic energy. Rinkat was knocked out. “NOOO!” I yelled, grabbing her. “What’s with you?” Soulie asked. “It’s just a ca… Oh! Normalize! That’s why your kitty was so strong!” He glanced at Thay and gasped. “Y-Your Lucario…That’s why my moves didn’t damage it…All the attacks turned Normal and its Steel type blocked ‘em. And your Gallade’s moves…”
Wow. He had discovered my plan after I couldn’t use it anymore. Brilliant. “Psychic!” he yelled. Mewtwo used its move, hurling Thay across the arena. For the first time in the fight, Thay hit the floor. “Thay! Don’t give up! Flash Cannon!” The attack connected.” I glanced at both Pokémon, watching their chests heave. They were exhausted. “Mewtwo, now! Psychic!” Soulie yelled. So did I. “Thay, end this! Rock Climb!”
Mewtwo was easily faster. Before Thay had taken two steps, it had hit her with Psychic, throwing her into the ceiling. “YES!” Soulie roared. The crowd went wild. His Mewtwo smirked. I smirked too. “Thay, Aura Sphere!” Thay’s move hit Mewtwo in the back, and it fell to the ground with a resonating thud. Soulie gasped and looked at Thay. He saw a Focus Band on her left wrist.
“WAAAH!” he screamed. The crowd was applauding. My heart was racing. I had won. I recalled Bitts and Rinkat into their balls. Soulie was distraught. “You’re good,” he admitted. “You too,” I replied. He had been a formidable foe, who had almost been able to defeat me, a strategist, with mindless, brute force.
“Change your style,” I advised him, “it’s too offensive.”
“Could you teach me to be a good trainer?”
That was a shock. “Er…sure.” Yeah right.
I grinned, basking in the euphoria of my victory. I looked at my Lucario, and I understood that look in her eyes well. She was right. This was going to be one tough tournament.