Chapter Seventeen – Revenge

Erik stormed through Petalburg Woods on the back of his bicycle, feeling slightly dirty within himself whenever he recalled the fact the vehicle was purchased for him by Giovanni; but that wasn’t important. What mattered now was finding Wally before anyone else could, making sure his green-haired friend couldn’t be manipulated by Team Rocket like he almost was.

Emerging from the forest onto the northern section of Route 104, he could spot no evidence of Wally ever being here. It had been far too long; the battle with his father and talk with Giovanni had eaten up an entire afternoon, and now his friend could be anywhere. The only remaining option Erik could call on was a visit to Wally’s uncle in Verdanturf Town, but first, there was something he had to do. Route 115 awaited.

The last time he was here, Erik had exited Meteor Falls and descended the hilly pathway southwards towards Rustboro, he was in too much of a rush back then to catch one of the inhabitants of the route. This time, he made his ascent up the mountain, a steep climb leading him closer to the Falls, sour memories entering his mind as he took a left as the a gap in the hills forked, with the cave exit at the end of the right hand trail.

A short trek through a congregation of trees forced Erik’s miniscule journey to conclude at a bright open meadow, with flocks of wild Swablu, Jigglypuff and Tailow littering the open grass field filled with yellow and white flowers that gleamed in the sun’s powerful rays.

Flickering his gaze through all the wild Pokemon, he locked eyes with one of the Swablu, the creature swatting the air smoothly with cotton wings. A rustling in the trees behind Erik caused his attention to snap backwards, seeing a bush move slightly as his vision remained fixed on the movement. He felt as if he were being followed the entire time, but could never even manage a glimpse of the perpetrator, until a sudden noise made him jump out of his skin.

An innocent chirp came from directly behind him, the Swablu that Erik had immediately bonded the moment their eyes met now hovered by his side. He turned slightly, and held out a hand to the Pokemon currently swiping from side to side through the air. The Swablu seemed to float towards it, cotton wings motionless in the air as it bashed its nose playfully against Erik’s hand.

“Welcome to the team, Cotton.”

Erik stared at the waters of Route 118 with fear as if the calm river which split the route in half beckoned him underneath once more. The last time he was here, he had attempted to surf across the waters on the back of Lady, ending up sinking and almost drowning as his old Tentacool was unable to bear his weight on her back. He had not yet caught a Pokemon along the route, as he watched the lake in judgement for the strongest swimmer.

Hordes of Magikarp swam weakly around the waters like children going for their first paddle, side by side with legions of Tentacool. The jellyfish-like creatures swam with slightly more conviction, with one in particular leading the group alongside a significantly smaller version, possibly the leader’s son or daughter.

Erik took a step back, then ran forward to gain as much momentum as possible as he launched a Pokeball into the air, the capsule moving through the route like a homing missile towards its target. The lead Tentacool spotted it coming, throwing a tentacle into the air like a whip to swat the Pokeball away, but the defensive swipe only served to knock the device onto the leader’s child, the ball opening and absorbing the young Tentacool inside, before zipping through the air back to Erik.

Erik glanced at the Pokeball as it returned to his hand, the magnetic field around it being drawn to the wrist device given to all trainers. The device’s own focused magnetism turning itself on, pointed at the direction of the ball, once the new capture had been secured inside. It was his third Tentacool, so optimistically named it ‘Lucky’, after his mother’s favourite phase, “Third time lucky”.

Something caught the corner of his eye, causing him to look upwards. The entire army of Tentacool charged towards him, two dozen or so of the wild Pokemon all angered by his actions. Erik saw only one option, he ran.

To cross these waters he would need to battle the army of Pokemon with an army of his own, and luckily, he knew exactly where to get one.

Erik stood at the lake’s edge, the calm waters stirring into life once the legion of Tentacool spotted their enemy hovering by the waterside. He was flanked to either side by Leaf and Dancer. Blaze, Cotton and Snappy waiting behind as their backup, with Rocky and Lucky together in the daycare centre. Erik had two Pokeballs clenched in either hand as the army of Tentacools spotted the trainer and began their charge through the water towards him once more.

He threw the Pokeballs into the water, containing four of the five Pokemon that Erik had caught along the Route 105, 106, 107 and 108 and on an abandoned ship, the fifth remaining in his pocket for now. He had spent the previous day training with those Pokemon, teaching them to swim with him on their backs, two were weak and could hardly fight, but the other two proved strong, easily able to bear his weight and fight at the same time.

The first of the quartet to emerge back out was a Wailmer, named “Dive”, who blasted a few of the charging Tentacool away with powerful foamy liquid, before submerging itself once more. The Tentacool halted at their leader’s command, as they search the waters for the rest of Erik’s Pokemon.

Two Magikarps leapt up at the same time, Ship and Splash, but were instantly taken down by the army, more whip-like tentacles wrapping around them and strangling the life out of the famously weak water Pokemon.

“Why did I have to capture two of those things,” Erik groaned, “Pip! Save them!” he shouted to the next Pokeball he threw out. A Wingull howled as it entered the watery battlefield, swiping down on the Tentacools as it deftly dodged their whips whilst launching pecks. Ship was saved, but Splash was almost defeated, breath sucked out of the Magikarp entirely by the Tentacools’ leader.

The lead Tentacool was suddenly grabbed by a set of tentacles, one of his own seemingly turning against him. Erik wasn’t fooled though, this Tentacool was his own, “Horde”, who saved Splash at the last moment.

Dive emerged once more, and together with Pip sweeped up the remaining dozen or so Tentacools, who were powerless to resist without their leader. Horde joined them after the leader had been taken care of underwater. Erik was victorious, there would be no resistance to him swimming across the lake now, and he could do so on either Dive or Horde. It was a relatively easy victory, as it usually was against wild Pokemon, who without a trainer lacked any sort of desire, drive or direction. The only negative from the whole situation for Erik was the fact he couldn’t shake the feeling that the entire time he was being watched.

He recalled his Pokemon, placing six Pokeballs onto his belt; Blaze, Snappy, Leaf, Dancer, Horde and Cotton. Once six were attached to his belt, the other Pokeballs in his hand disappeared into storage, he was able to get away with using more than six Pokemon as he didn’t battle a trainer and kept only five Pokeballs attached to his belt, with both Pip and Cotton in each pocket. Now was the time to cross the lake on the back of Horde, the Tentacool easily handling the weight of Erik on his back.

The surf to the golden sands of the route’s far side passed by far more quickly than Erik expected, only half a minute had passed as Horde glided along the water’s surface. Erik laughed as he felt a tentacle softly wrap around his lower leg, until the whip suddenly tightened, pulling him under the water as another tentacle lashed out and struck Horde.

Erik had thought it was his own Tentacool playing with him, but now he stared face to face with the leader from earlier, the creature locking into his eyes with pure rage. Erik panicked as a tight grip wrapped around his flailing right arm, thinking it was the Tentacool’s second whip, before the grip hoisted him out of the lake and back onto the beach. The lead Tentacool was dragged up by the force and sent sprawling into the warm sands, as Erik looked in shock at his saviour; iconic green hair catching his eye before anything else.

“Hello again. I remember you, Erik,” came a voice so calm and assured it seemed to soothe the raging lake behind them.

“Steven,” Erik replied, climbing to his feet and shaking himself down in an attempt to release water from his drenched clothes. “Thank you.”

“Not to worry, you must have angered those Tentacool,” Steven laughed, a sound as soft as the sand they stood on. “On your way to Fortree City I assume? I always knew you had it in you to defeat your father and obtain your badges.”

“You did?” Erik replied, shocked at how the man seemingly knew so much, although he was Mr. Stone’s grandson after all, the head of one of the three authorities of Hoenn.

“You gave off an impressive aura when we first met, a drive and passion I rarely see in trainers nowadays. Yes, I knew you would always go far.” Steven kept his steely eyes locked on Erik the whole time, making the young trainer feel slightly intimidated.

“I’m not that good, honestly,” came Erik’s modest reply. He felt himself itching the back of his head with one arm, and was almost certain he had gone red from embarrassment.

Steven just laughed. “But you are. Pokemon respond to their trainer’s love, they buy into their goals. Much like children, if a Pokemon both loves and respects their parent, or in this case, trainer, they’ll obey without second thought, believing their mentor to be guiding them along the right path. Pokemon channel your emotions and the stronger the bond between you, the more they’ll be able to push themselves beyond their own limits, just for their trainers.

“So you’re saying, the bond between my Pokemon and I is strong?”

“Incredibly so, I can sense your passion and determination. Yes a Pokemon gains strength and experience the more they battle, but their true power comes from their trainer. If you are set in your goals Erik, and treat them with the same love and respect they show you, nothing will be able to stop you.”

“Then why are Magma grunts so weak, they have a goal they are set to?”

“They are followers, not leaders. Pokemon cannot be led through force, or fear, or even just care and love. They need someone who can guide and lead them. A further reason is that Magma use fire and poison types only, some people can only relate to a certain type. Other’s are at their greatest strength when using another, for instance, I relate to Steel-typed Pokemon. I love their unbreakable determination and raw grit, so my bond is greater with a Pokemon of that type.”

“What about me, I seem to relate the same to everyone?”

“Some trainers are like that, usually the strongest ones. They don’t differentiate between types, or strength, they love their Pokemon the same no matter what they are.”

The advice hit Erik like a ton of bricks. All the strongest trainers he had faced were well respected in their own right, they were leaders, of Pokemon Gyms or organisations, and all cared deeply for their Pokemon. Erik had always been a determined and driven character, with an overall goal to firstly knock his Dad off his perch, and to become the Pokemon Champion. Now, he also desired to take down Team Rocket for the pain they had caused both him and his family.

“Thanks for the advice, but why help me?” he enquired.

“You seem like a good kid, Erik. Besides, I might need your help soon, I’m searching for a Pokemon named Latias, a huge flying beast with four legs, white at the front and crimson at the back. Once I find it, I will come looking for you, will you help me?”

“With what?”

“You’ll see, I can’t reveal too much until the right time, I’ll see you then.” And with that, Steven flew off on the back of a released Skarmory. Erik still had no idea what his goals were, or if he was anything more than just Mr. Stones’s grandson.

Heavy rain lashed down upon Erik’s face, his clothes feeling ten times as heavy as they normally were. It was a strange occurence of events, as soon as he had entered the route, he noticed bucket loads of rain poured down; whereas just behind him on Route 118 there was not a drop to be seen, in fact, it was rather sunny.

The pathway through to Fortree City, the location of the sixth gym, was carpeted with grass almost as tall as Erik was, the thickets continuing as far as he could see. When he walked up to it, he could barely fit his head over, nor could he see the wild Pokemon coming, which he had unknowingly stepped on. The wild Gloom tackled him to the floor.

Erik grabbed the creature and wrestled it to the floor himself, turning the tables on the Pokemon as the rain continued crashing down, drops as big as pellets. Holding the Gloom down with one hand, he reached into his bag with another, fumbling around until he found a Pokeball and capturing the wild Pokemon, naming it “Rain”. He climbed to his feet and wiped the sweat off his brow, relieved that Gloom were physically weak and this one in particular had no bad intentions other than a small revenge for stepping on its toe, otherwise the grass type would’ve released spores at him.

The new Pokeball zapped into thin air as it went into storage, with Erik releasing Blaze and Leaf from their own capsules to help guide him through the overwhelmingly tall grass with Dancer acting as his rear guard through what was almost like an open-skied jungle or forest, rain lashing down at the group with each passing moment.

Erik pushed his way through a bundle of grass, then another, slowly trudging through muddy ground which felt more like an ice rink.

Suddenly, a loud rustle came from his left, causing the group to stop suddenly and prepare for another fight with a wild Pokemon, but this rustle seemed too large to be another Gloom or the like. Listening intently, no further sound could be heard, like the stalker had stopped moving when Erik did. As he began pushing forward again, the rustling restarted almost in synchronization.

“Run,” he whispered to his team, the four of them bolting northwards, hoping they could be clear of the grass and their pursuers soon enough. It hurt his pride to run from conflict, but this was a foe he couldn’t see, who seemed to be watching his every move; fear had taken over. The thickets cleared abruptly, leading Erik and his Pokemon to a clearing which proceeded a lake of raging water, the only way across being a single wooden bridge that seemed even more slippery than the mud they had just ran across.  

“Blaze, flush them out with fire,” he roared to his Combusken, who responded by blasting flames at the tall grass, to no avail, the torrential rain just washing out the newly made fires. “Okay, we wait here for our stalker, where we can see it,” he decided, sweat trickling down his rain-soaked face.

The thickets rustled violently as Erik faced towards them, prepared for everything and anything that could emerge from within. Two shadowy figures could now be seen, holding something, as they moved at ease through the tall grass, stopping their movements the instant they caught sight of Erik standing and watching. He had obviously outrun them and they had lost sight of him. As the couple realised they’d been caught, they stepped out into the clearing, leaving Erik to spot two familiar faces; Gabby and Ty.

“You two..” he growled, his voice so quiet it got lost in the pattering of raindrops. “Why are you following me?!” he followed, rather more fiercely than before.

“We’ve been promoted,” Gabby answered, in a matter-of-fact tone. “Our roles are now to follow you, conducting reports on your actions, and to show our viewers what a villainous little child you are.”

“The gig’s up, though,” Ty followed, in his usual relaxed tone. “Our orders came from high up, and included a clause that if we were to be caught by you then our mission would be canceled. There’s no way you would give us enough negative footage if you knew we were watching, you’ll be on your guard and act unnaturally in any situations that arise.”

“So we’re going to make you a deal,” Gabby snapped.

“We are?” Ty continued, seemingly shocked at her words, but a quick stomp on his foot by his partner caused the cameraman to quickly change his tone. “We are!”

“Last time we made a deal, you never held up your end!” Erik growled.

“Will you two let me speak!” Gabby shouted, her voice like a thunderclap in the rain. “We cannot continue now that you’ve caught us, so we challenge you to a battle. If you win, we will have no choice but to cancel and probably end up having our careers ended. If we win, you must give us an exclusive interview, reading directly from a script that we write for you.”

Erik pondered for a moment, he didn’t have to battle them, he could just walk away now and that would be the end of the duo. But on the other hand, the two were weak trainers, and this was his chance to get revenge for their actions previously.

“Deal,” he announced, a wry smile appearing on Gabby’s face, her male counterpart setting down his camera to reveal six Pokeballs attached to his belt.

“You can’t back out now, Erik!” Gabby declared. “The authorities gave us each six Pokemon in order to protect ourselves from you when they gave us this task. If we couldn’t frame you, we’d end you another way; in battle!”

Erik considered backing out, but refused, he’d never go back on his word. He grabbed Snappy and Dancers’ Pokeballs, lobbing the capsules through the rain to face Gabby’s Loudred and Ty’s Magneton.

Loudred made the first move, launching a sound-based attack at Dancer; a piercing noise controlled directly by the creature’s vocal chords. The Pikachu moved swiftly after tentatively waiting to see what the reporters’ Pokemon would do, aiming an electrical attack at the beast’s gaping mouth, frying the Pokemon from the inside and paralysing its body, Dancer taking damage from the soundwaves in the process.

“Now let’s see how powerful these borrowed Pokemon are!” Ty declared, and he wasn’t disappointed. Magneton sent electrical currents zapping through the air, the electricity charging further and further each time it collided with a raindrop, before crashing into Snappy’s rain-soaked skin. The ground type was normally immune to electrical attacks, but the Magneton’s raw power combined with the rain vaporised the Trapinch in one hit.

Erik took no chances, sending Blaze into the fray in order to melt the foe’s steel shell as the Combusken had done many times beforehand. Dancer followed the Magneton’s lead, finishing off the paralysed Loudred with electrical sparks, with Blaze rolling from side to side to avoid the Magneton, slowly closing in on his target.

The Combusken would have to get near enough to his foe so that the rain couldn’t extinguish his attacks. Blaze closed in, but that’s just what the Magneton was hoping for, the Combusken couldn’t dodge an attack from right in front of him.

Blaze realised the threat, stopping himself mid-leap, but it was too late, he had gotten too close. The Magneton prepared its attack, before suddenly being tackled into the lake behind it by Dancer, the lake’s surface conducting the electrical blast and frying the Magneton. The Pikachu managed to avoid being dragged down with it, clinging onto the ledge by one paw, before being helped up by Blaze.

“Right!” Gabby roared. “I’m done being nice. We will take you down with two one-on-one battles instead of doubling up! Ty, wear him down then I’ll finish him off when his Pokemon are weak,” she demanded, Erik noticing that she too had five Pokeballs remaining.

“Whatever you say,” Ty said, sounding exhausted of his colleague. The cameraman grabbed a Pokeball, but instead of launching it into the sky, he threw it into the lake, to Erik’s brief bewilderment.

A huge leviathan-like creature emerged from the water’s surface, roaring so fiercely the ground beneath Erik’s feet shook. He heard of Gyarados before, but had not yet encountered one of them. He was in awe of the creature but wasn’t entirely sure what it evolved from.

Dancer remained on the battlefield, launching electrical strikes into the lake, with Erik hoping the electricity combining with both the rain and the lake to prove too much for even this huge leviathan. His wishes proved true, the Gyarados was fried as electricity licked up the edges of the lake and up into the sky.

A Pelipper was Ty’s next choice, Dancer immediately combining electricity with rain to zap the water and flying dual type out of the air, leaving Ty with just three Pokemon remaining. A Breloom was to be his fourth fighter.

Erik sent Cotton out, knowing that the Swablu’s flying attacks gave him a double advantage over both Breloom’s fighting and grass types.

Cotton immediately used his aerial dominance effectively, the Breloom agilely swatting the air with closed fists in an attempt to crash a blow into the Swablu, but Cotton deftly dodged it each time, swiping at the helpless Breloom below with both beak and wings.

Cotton pecked at the Breloom, flew back up, spun back around and began his descent for yet another attack, dodging a further fist, and aiming a fifth peck at Ty’s Pokemon. Erik watched in horror as Ty’s Breloom had tricked the Swablu, feinting an attack with one fist before following in with the other, a paw crashing into and knocking the life out of Cotton, the Swablu harmlessly falling to the ground.

Erik sent out Horde next, the Tentacool using its poison-typed advantage to blast venom at the weakened foe, but the Breloom survived the attack, leaving Erik to realise that he had made the same mistake twice. He had sent out two raw and untested Pokemon against Gabby and Ty’s powerful creatures, and as the Breloom leapt off the ledge and grabbed onto the Tentacool, he envisioned losing his third Pokemon in the battle.

The Breloom landed multiple blows, causing the two to sink underwater where Ty’s creature presumably continued his assault as bubbles rapidly hit the lake’s surface. Then stopped.

Seconds passed, then a minute, and still no sign of either of the two Pokemon. After a further minute Erik had just about given up hope. Until Horde emerged; weak, but alive.

The only Pokemon Erik had left that were in any condition for battle were Leaf, Blaze and Dancer, with Ty having two remaining and Gabby five. It was going to be close, and Erik was unsure whether he could actually beat both of them, he couldn’t quit halfway through a battle though, the device around his wrist would send a signal back to whoever was in charge of trainers. He could refuse battle with the two as they weren’t official trainers, but as soon as he entered battle with anyone, the device buzzed into action, registering the fight as an official battle.

A Seviper was Ty’s penultimate Pokemon, the poison typed snake hissing aggressively towards Dancer. The Pikachu sent repeated paralysing waves of electricity through the rain, the attacks boosted by the droplets and once they hit the Seviper, it both damaged and paralysed the creature. Ty’s Pokemon stopped and remained as still as stone, both Erik and Dancer freezing as they watched in concern as to what the snake’s next move was.

The Seviper began shedding its skin, the paralysis going with it as the snake emerged with a new coat of armour. Then it leapt through the air at the shocked Pikachu. Ty’s Pokemon caused significant damage to Dancer, swiping at her with poisonous fangs as the electric-typed fighter attempted to dodge the attacks in vain.

Erik made sure to take the first opportunity he could to withdraw Dancer, sending out Blaze in her place. Seviper leapt at Blaze, the Combusken unable to get out of the way in time as the snake landed painfully on him, the two crashing to the ground with Seviper on top, Blaze grabbed the viper’s mouth with both arms, poison dripping off razor-sharp teeth.

Erik’s Pokemon was losing the wrestling match, the snake slowly but surely overpowering Blaze. Erik felt it again, the same feeling that overcame him in the long grass; fear. Fear that he would lose his oldest friend, it was the same powerful emotion that threatened to swallow him whole each time it looked as if Blaze was in perilous danger.

“Pokemon channel your emotions and the stronger the bond between you, the more they’ll be able to push themselves beyond their own limits, just for their trainers.” Steven’s words spoke through Erik’s mind, he had to be strong, that way Blaze could be strong too.

“You can do this Blaze, I believe in you!” he roared, a voice full of passion and fire.

The Combusken slowly turned the tables, overpowering the Seviper and grabbing it by the tail, nonplussed by the continuous jabs from the sharp point at the end of the snake’s body. Blaze span around, swinging Ty’s Pokemon with it until he generated enough force to hurl the Seviper through the air, sending it rocketing into the lake.

Fortunately, the Seviper couldn’t swim, but as the adrenaline in Blaze’s body dissipated, Erik realised that his Combusken had been paralysed by the blows from the snake’s tail.

Horde and Dancer seemed too weak for battle, Blaze was paralysed. The only Pokemon that Erik had remaining to him was Leaf, against Ty’s Vigoroth and Gabby’s entire team. He had to believe, in order to drive his Pokemon through the battle.

“Go get them, Leaf,” he whispered, as the Gloom marched out to meet the normal-typed Vigoroth.

Ty’s Pokemon moved rapidly, swiping continuously at the Gloom with sharpened claws. Leaf struggled to release sleeping powder into the air, but what spores she did emit, the Vigoroth just shook off, only stopping its repeated blows to catch its breath, before slashing once more at Erik’s Pokemon.

The weakened Leaf took advantage of Vigoroth’s next breath to launch draining spores into the air which sapped her foe’s health. Ty’s Pokemon moved in for the kill, Erik watching the whole thing happen in what seemed like slow motion. The creature threw forward its arm, claws like knives as they moved inches away from Leaf’s face, and stopped there. Vigoroth froze.

Realisation hit Erik like a slap in the face. It wasn’t sleeping powder that Leaf tried launching into the air, it was disguised pheromones, she had learnt a new trick. To disguise her spores as to trick the opposing Pokemon

Vigoroth was immobilised by love, and withdrew his arm. Leaf took immediate advantage, ramming into Ty’s Pokemon and sending it crashing down the ledge and into the lake below.

“You didn’t teach your Pokemon to swim?!” Gabby complained. “Well luckily, all of mine can either swim or fly, and guess what? Erik’s Pokemon are all weak. This will be easy for me.”

Ty stepped aside to let his female counterpart pick up where he left off, as she sent a Dustox into the field of battle, Erik replying with the only Pokemon he felt was still fighting fit; Blaze.

The Combusken moved quickly, rolling forwards to dodge an aerial assault then easily burning the bug to a crisp, the creature frying before the rain could put the fire out. Blaze was enraged, channeling Erik’s emotions, he had turned his fear into anger, using that emotion instead to fuel his Pokemon in battle.

Gabby sent another Dustox into the fray, which managed to get off a psychic attack on the paralysed Blaze, before it too was burnt to a crisp. Her third Pokemon, a Beautifly, was left to the same fate. A combination of Erik realising his true potential as a trainer along with Gabby being a rather weak one herself.

Instead of feeling like a scared child, Erik now felt a man, defeating his father and taking Steven’s advice had allowed him to step out of Norman’s shadow and become his own person. His mind was clear, he had become one with his Pokemon. Suddenly battle tactics, processes and knowledge filled the gap in his mind where his insecurities once lay. He remembered that a collection of small red berries, named Cheri Berries, in his bag could cure paralysis in Pokemon.

He fed the exhausted Blaze a Cheri Berry, the paralysis instantly curing, but the Combusken had expended too much energy whilst afflicted had worn Erik’s oldest friend out, as Gabby threw her next Pokemon into play, a Masquerain. Erik switched in Dancer not only for her type advantage, but to see if he could channel his new found strength through her as well.

But the bond with Dancer wasn’t as complete as it was with Blaze, the Masquerain moving quickly to strike Erik’s Pikachu with an aerial attack, knocking the weakened Dancer to the ground.

Dancer struggled to get up as Gabby’s insect circled around for another attack, the small but colourful bug and flying dual type emitting an irritating buzzing sound as its wings collided with each other.

Erik remained calm, he had to. He focused his thoughts, remembering his journey with Dancer, the connection the two had made after her initial reluctance to join him in his journey. He cleared any thoughts out of his mind apart from those of his Pikachu, and his determination to win the fight.

The Masquerain flew back in for the kill, flying at incredible speeds to use the generated force as an assault on its foe, until it was zapped out of the air by Dancer’s retaliation, the Pikachu having climbed back to her feet and launching an electrical strike, the heavy rain conducting the power for the Masquerain to fly into like a bug swatter.

Erik had no choice but to resend Blaze into battle, against Gabby’s Ninjask. Nincada’s evolution zoomed around the battlefield as fast as a bolt of lightning, with Blaze struggling to keep up with  its speed. A slash from the Ninjask bought the Combusken to his knees, with the bug type Pokemon easily dodging each and every blast of fire.

“Blaze,” Erik shouted, an idea popping into his mind. “Surround yourself with fire, the rain will put it out but not before the Ninjask gets caught in the fire spin.”

The Combusken immediately responded to his trainer, breathing fire and spinning in circles on the spot, using the last of his energy to do so. The Ninjask was caught in the flames, and once the rain had quenched the flames, Erik could see that the bug was no more, he had beaten the duo and gotten his revenge on both Gabby and Ty.

“Victory was there on a plate for you Gabby, and you still couldn’t grasp it,” mocked Erik. “You truly are an awful Pokemon trainer. Ty on the other hand, gave me a good challenge.”

Ty smiled at the praise. His partner however, stormed off back into the tall grass, throwing insults back at Erik; labelling him evil, naive, and screaming that he had ruined her career.

“It was never anything personal, Erik,” Ty called out to him, walking over to shake his hand. “I’ve always wanted to be a top cameraman, and just carried out the jobs given to me. Don’t worry, I think you’re a good guy really, and besides, that’s Gabby out of my life!” he laughed as he picked up his camera and walked off into the grass, Erik accepting that the two were now finally out of his life.

A trip to the Pokemon Centre, followed by the withdrawal of both Pip and Dive from storage had led Erik over the bridge and to the northern section of Route 119, where he immediately heard screams located from the glass building ahead of him.

The weather institute loomed beyond, with a bridge closing the gap between two cliff edges to his right that led off to Fortree City.

The institute contained three floors, and was constructed entirely of glass, allowing Erik to see that Maxie, Mylos and Grant stood at the top floor demanding something from a gentleman and two lab assistants. Cecilia stood on the ground floor battling two Magma grunts, but as Erik tried to move in to assist, a huge roar came from overhead.

A large red and white Pokemon flew overhead; Latias, with Steven riding atop.