Chapter Nine – Dynamo

“You’re so aptly named, Wally,” the eldest brother spoke, before being batted down by a tall woman with long, dark hair.

“I haven’t met you before, I’m Victoria Winstrate,” she spoke to the green-haired boy, “I heard my brother’s have been giving you a hard time?”

“They did at school, they always made my cry, bullying me about my asthma,” tears filled Wally’s eyes as he spoke.

The sister imitated a cough, “sorry,” she said before letting out another cough, “I keep coughing, I might have to go inside and cry about it,” she finished, followed by raucous laughter from the four brothers.

“What a bad insult, could she not think of anything better?” Erik sarcastically thought to himself, before speaking aloud, “are the Winstrate family just five people who hide behind their words and insults? Or do you care to back them up in battle.”

“Oh hello Mister. Straight-to-the-point,” the sister jibed, “you seem a lot stronger than the pathetic kid next to you,” she grabbed Erik’s arms, feeling for muscle as she did, “Oh, my mistake,” she replied as she realised Erik had none, he was never one for working out.

“Again, more words. Are you a coward? Or will you fight,” Erik demanded.

Wally put his hand on Ralts’s Pokeball, “I will fight you Vincent, you were always the biggest bully,” Wally pointed to the eldest brother as he spoke.

“Okay,” Victoria interrupted, “then muscle-man over here can challenge the rest of us in a row,” she said smiling at Erik.

“Fine,” the Kantonese trainer replied.

Ice growled at the opposing Tailow, the youngest brother was up first and looked to be around Wally’s age with typical Winstrate fair skin and dark hair.

“Get them for me and Erik, Ice!” Wally shouted to his new friend, before walking with Vincent to the back of the house for their own battle. Erik and the other four Winstrates were to fight at the front of the building, with a reservoir to the left of the house, and a well-decorated garden to the right.

Ice leapt at the Tailow, the frosty fangs super effective against his flying-typed opponent, winning the fight with ease as the bird fought in vain against the cold. Ice roared, his confidence and strut were back and he seemed to be happy with life again. The youngest brother sent out a Zigzagoon next, with Erik signaling to Roller to carry on where Ice had left off.

Erik turned around to give Ice a part on the head to see his Poochyena consumed by a blazing white light that stung to look at, shielding his eyes with his palm, Erik removed his hand to see that his Poochyena had evolved into a Mightyena, who howled in delight, Erik stroking his newly evolved Pokemon’s soft black and grey fur.

Roller smashed the Zigzagoon into the lake, but the Winstrate’s Pokemon jumped straight back out, unperturbed by the water and crashing right back into Roller. Roller tried again, slamming into the Zigzagoon, who was pushed into the lake once more, but again, the Winstrate Pokemon just used its paws to swim, Roller looked perplexed, unsure how to proceed with the fight as his initial plan was failing. The Zigzagoon was near the shore, and Roller prepared for another slam, until the water’s surface was hit by an electrical blast, frying the Pokemon inside.

Erik turned around to see Dancer’s head up and arms folded, stomping away from the battlefield after helping her friend Roller.

The second brother was no challenge for Erik’s Mightyena, Ice far stronger and quicker than he ever was before evolution, and had made short work of the third brother’s Goldeen and Shroomish too with viciously sharp fangs brimming with icy cold. The third brother sent out his last hope, a Numel. Ice strolled wearily up for another round, but Erik called him back, wanting to give his Mightyena a rest after he was looking worn out, sending Lady out instead.

Lady dived straight into the reservoir next to the house, knowing that Numel was extremely weak to water she emerged every now and then to shoot poisonous ooze at the fire and ground typed Pokemon. After a few blasts of poison and being unable to hit its opponent the Numel went into a rampage, blasting fire left, right and centre at the lake to try and hit Lady.

After a few seconds, Erik was worried, his Tentacool hadn’t surfaced although the water should have absorbed the fire attacks. After a few more moments,  Lady suddenly leapt out of the lake to administer a final poisonous blow.

“Well,” Victoria said in a surprised tone, “you are actually quite strong, but dont worry muscles. I’m stronger.”

The Winstrate sister threw a Pokeball, with a Meditite emerging from its home, Erik sent out Ninja as he knew that his Nincada’s bug type was strong against the Meditite’s psychic abilities.

Ninja moved with his usual swiftness, zooming in on the Meditite and going to swipe at it, but the sister’s Pokemon saw it coming, launching a fist into Ninja and sending him flying into the lake’s watery surface. Lady jumped into after the Nincada, seconds passed before she emerged with Ninja’s lifeless body wrapped in her embrace.

Ice walked over to his fallen friend, whimpering and rubbing his nose against him, whilst Erik stood frozen to the spot, even Dancer had run over to tried and shock the Nincada back to life, but it was too late, the electric bursts were having no effect and the bug Pokemon was no more, Ninja was lost to Erik as many of his friends had been before.

“Too easy, that pathetic bug didn’t stand a chance,” the Winstrate sister howled with laughter, Erik went to snap back at her but Blaze was already a step ahead of him, the Combusken enveloping himself in flames and charging at the Meditite. The psychic and fighting Pokemon was rammed into the garden, Blaze following suit still wrapped in fire.

The garden caught alight, fire spreading fast and rising high, licking the house alongside. Blaze and Meditite carried on their tussle regardless. Everytime Blaze threw a fist, the Meditite used its psychic abilities to read the punch, block it, then throw one of its own.
Blaze was being beaten.

The battle raged on and Blaze hadn’t landed a blow, moving into a defensive posture before being floored by a rapid series of attacks by the Meditite, the Winstrate’s Pokemon moved in for the kill, holding Blaze by the throat with one hand whilst lifting the other fist high up ready for a final pound. The Meditite swung down with full force before screaming in pain, the two warring Pokemon were engulfed by the flames.

Blaze emerged out of the garden victorious, his body soaking up the fire.

“NO!” The Winstrate sister screamed as the house went up in flames, the raging fire destroying all in its path before all of the group combined their efforts to put it out using water from the lake, Wally and Erik left the Winstrates as they stared at the blackened ruins of their burned-down home.

“Did you win?” Erik asked Wally with a smile.

“Y-yes but Erik,” Wally started, his entire body shaking, “you burned down their home, I thought we were there to teach them a lesson not destroy their lives!”

“I didn’t intend to, these things just happen I guess,” Erik countered.

“You don’t even care do you?” Wally was stunned at Erik’s lack of remorse, storming off back into Mauville, their training together complete.

“May I go first?” Erik asked Wally as the two sat for breakfast in the food court, getting a nod from his friend in response, it was the first time they had seen each other since the Winstrate house had burned down.

The restaurant was quiet this time of day, the morning’s sun beaming through the glass windows of the gigantic city. Wally took another bite out of his toast, lavished with thick butter, before replying to Erik with his mouth still full of food.

“You can go first, I will challenge the gym this afternoon, I want to train my Ralts some more first,” the trainer swallowed the food before continuing, “could you give me any final advice or tips?”

“I always try to use my Pokemon’s type advantages in gyms, and keep the ones that are weak out of the action. For example, I will try to avoid using Lady for this gym as electrical attacks are strong against her water type. However, Leaf’s grass type absorbs electric based attacks, so I will use her first in this gym.”

“Oh,” Wally looked to his Ralts, the only Pokemon is his party was neither strong nor weak to electric types, “I have to rely on my Ralts, don’t you ever rely on Blaze?”

“Sometimes, I know Blaze will always come through for me, but it’s important not to overuse him. If any of the trainers or leader use a Magnemite then I will switch Blaze straight in as his fire will melt its steel.”

The two went silent as they finished off their meals, Blaze and Ralts sat with their trainers both eating some tofu for their pre-gym meal.

“Erik,” Wally spoke, breaking the silence, “I’m not happy with you burning the Winstrates’ house down.”

“I told you, it was an accident,” Erik replied, slightly irritated that it was being brought up again, “Blaze was angry that Ninja had just been killed but he never meant for the garden, nor the house to catch aflame.”

“It’s just how you’re not sorry or anything, you didn’t apologise to them or even offer to help them rebuild the house,” Wally was becoming visibly upset as he continued ranting, “I looked up to you, Erik. Now I don’t know how I feel about you.”

“You’re annoying me now, Wally,” Erik snapped, he was angry with himself as much as he was with Wally, “First May, now you, I don’t choose these things to happen to me but you both treat me as if I’m some villain.”

“Please don’t be angry with me,” Wally cowered, Ralts sat up in anticipation, moving into a defensive stance, “who’s May?” the trainer continued.

“Sorry for snapping, I’ll see you later,” Erik informed Wally as he got up, him and Blaze leaving the food court to go and challenge for his third badge. He was ashamed he had gotten so angry at his friend Wally, deciding he would go and apologise to him after he had finished with the gym.

As soon as Erik stepped foot into the large, open room, he noticed that the entire gym consisted of metal, swarming with electricity. Electrical barriers blocked his passage to a doorway at the rear of the room, the floor was flat and cold to the touch, with all four walls looking sturdy enough to cause damage if a Pokemon were to crash into one.

“Ahh, a challenger,” an elderly gentleman spoke, spotting Erik coming through the doorway, he was flanked by two trainers to either side, “I am Wattson, the leader of this establishment and I welcome you.” The leader was dressed in a bright yellow suit, with matching trousers both as bright as the sun. A white undershirt split the all-yellow look, as did his bushy white beard and thin hair.

“Erik,” the Kantoese trainer replied, Leaf’s Pokeball already in hand.

“A pleasure, please say hello to my protégés, Kirk, Ben, Vivian and Shawn,” the gym leader continued, “once you have beaten them, I will turn off the electrical barriers blocking the rear door, feel free to proceed through and challenge me.”

“I will be go first,” Kirk instructed, as Wattson made his way through the doors, his bright yellow suit conducted the electricity in the barriers, allowing him to pass through without harm.

Kirk was wearing a leather jacket, with a guitar strapped around his waist. The trainer grabbed a Pokeball from his belt and lobbed it, a Magnemite emerging from within.

Erik put Leaf’s Pokeball away and instead sent Blaze into battle, remembering the plan he had told Wally, for his Combusken to melt the Magnetime’s steel shell with flame. Blaze read his trainer’s mind, engulfing his body in fire and slamming into the Magnemite, the plan working as the steel Pokemon’s shell was destroyed by the flames.

Kirk threw out a second Pokeball, this time an Electrike emerged from within, Erik retaliated with Leaf, his Oddish getting her first taste of battle.

“I know in the wild you were a frightened Pokemon, who elected to run and not fight back, but here you have to, it’s fight or die,” Erik spoke to his new grass-type Pokemon.

His words seemed to frighten Leaf, who slouched, looking afraid before being slammed into by a quick attack from the opposing Electrike.

“This is what I mean, you cannot cower, hide or run here. I know my words are harsh but they are also true. Come on Leaf, I wouldn’t send you into battle if I didn’t think you were capable of winning here,” Erik roared passionately.

The Electrike lowered its head, preparing for another charge as Leaf bounced back to her feet before releasing chemicals into the air, directing them straight towards the opponent. Upon inhaling the scent, the Electrike crouched down, unable to keep its eyes off of the Oddish.

“I’ve heard of this move,” Erik thought to himself, “it’s called ‘attract’, where one Pokemon releases pheromones into the air, which trick the opposing Pokemon to temporarily fall in love for a few minutes until the effect wears off.”

The Electrike remained still, eyes fixed on the Oddish, with Leaf taking advantage of the moment to release more powder into the air. Erik saw that it was in fact sleep dust as the Electrike slowly moved out and calmly inhaled the fumes, falling asleep moments after.

“I take it these are moves that you used in the wild to escape from fights?” Erik said quietly to his Oddish, “very clever Leaf, but here in battle you now have to take advantage, try releasing poisonous spores into the air that will suffocate the opponent once they inhale.”

Leaf followed his words, sending out a wave of poisonous fumes into the air, which the sleeping Electrike had no choice but to inhale, ending up choking on the fumes as Erik predicted, winning him the first fight.

The relentless training had worked, Erik was taking the gym by storm. Ben’s Electrike had fallen to Leaf the same way as she had defeated Kirk, although this time her foe managed to retaliate with an electrical blast, although Leaf stood her ground and absorbed the surge.

Vivian was up next, sending out a Meditite against Ice, the Mightyena grabbing the opponent in his fangs, carrying her to the electrical barriers and throwing the opponent into the electricity. His team looking incredibly capable, powerful and confident after all the training that they had done.

Shawn had gone down easily too, two Voltorbs falling against Leaf’s spores, with Erik healing his team at the Pokemon centre before returning to find the electrical barriers down and the back room accessible, Wattson now standing in front of him.

“You made it through almost without a scratch, you must be some trainer,” the old man spoke, tugging nervously on his beard as he did so, “you know, this gym powers the entire city?” he said as he turned around to point to the huge metal conductor behind him. The room had only three walls, each flooded with electricity, with the floor being made of the same metal as the previous room, although this metal floor looked almost unstable, as if it could break apart at any moment.

Erik looked to where Wattson was pointing, the conductor was an enormous metallic sphere, pylons teaming with electric waves on either side. Erik guessed that the pylons led all the way underground to the city’s power grid, if the battle goes out of control here it could shut off the electricity for the entire shopping mall.

Wattson pulled a small object from his pocket, a small circular badge. “This is the Dynamo badge, awarded to any trainers who defeat me in battle,” he smiled as he spoke, “are you ready?”

“Always,” came the reply, as Erik picked up Blaze’s Pokeball and threw it. He mistrusted the room so wanted to send his most reliable and trusted fighter into the mix, to assess the situation. Luckily, Wattson’s first Pokemon was a Magnemite, Blaze knowing immediately what to do.

The Combusken engulfed his body in flame, before charging at the Magnemite. Again, the steel Pokemon’s shell began melting as soon as the fire touched it, being slammed into the wall by Blaze’s attack. The Combusken stepped back in shock, as the Magnemite began absorbing the electricity from the wall, leaving him to become supercharged before it powered up a strong electrical attack.

Erik wiped the sweat from his brow as he and Blaze had another stroke of good fortune, the Magnemite’s shell melted before he was able to attack, a wave of built-up power radiating off the fallen foe, which paralysed Blaze as it crashed into him.

Erik recalled his Combusken, sending out Leaf next who was met by a Voltorb. The electric-typed Pokemon began charging, absorbing power from the nearby conductor as it prepared itself to attack, expanding in size as it did so. As the opponent grew larger and larger, it inhaled sleep dust released by Leaf. The Oddish then followed up the attack by sending out poison, the sleeping Pokemon inhaling the spores in its sleep and winning Erik the fight against Wattson’s second creature as it choked.

“Very impressive, but my Magneton isn’t affected by poison, and your Combusken is paralysed, how are you going to fight it?” the gym leader said proudly.

“With Ice,” came the blunt reply.

The Mightyena strutted out onto the field of battle, unfazed by the Magneton absorbing power from the nearby conductor, Ice charged in. Wattson’s Pokemon was thrown into the air by an icy bite, picked up on its way down and then slammed into the metal floor.

Erik almost fell as the room began shaking, the floor falling from underneath Ice’s feet as the force of the Magneton’s body slamming into it was too much for the creaky metal to handle.

Both Wattson and Erik ran up to the large hole in the floor, as the two Pokemon tumbled into an enclosed room below, the small chamber Ice and Magneton were now in swarming with electricity, sparks licking up and zapping Ice and Magneton, the steel-typed Pokemon unharmed by it, in fact, it looked to Erik as if Wattson’s creature was drawing power from it.

“A conductor your Pokemon draws power from, a hidden electrical chamber which I bet is planned, this battle is rigged entirely in your favour, Wattson,” Erik growled.

“It’s my gym, isn’t it?” the elderly man smiled as he replied, “I am allowed to set it up as I please.”

As the two bickered, Ice continued to be zapped by sparks of Electricity, knowing that he was unable to charge at the Magneton through loose waves of electrical energy snaking around the room, too far away from Erik to be called back into his Pokeball and be switched out, as the Magneton edged closer, absorbing the snaky bolts of electricity as they zapped up at Wattson’s Pokemon.

The Mightyena tried a new trick, roaring so loud the entire chamber the two were in shook vigorously, causing the bolts to fly everywhere, zapping both Ice constantly and causing the Magneton to overcharge.

“Now!” roared Wattson, with his Pokemon responding in kind, harnessing all the electrical energy in the chamber in preparation for an astronomical attack on Ice, who was slouched on the floor wincing in pain as the sparks continued draining his health. The Magneton finishing absorbing the power. Ice howled.

The Magneton shook with the room, all the electrical energy stored inside it becoming unstable and overloading the Pokemon, shaking in pain the Magneton tried floating upwards, but was unable to stop the energy inside him from exploding, shattering the Pokemon’s steel shell. Ice had survived.

“Turn the electrics off in that chamber, the fight is over!” Erik screamed at Wattson, who duly obliged, pressing a button attached to his wristwatch.

“You fought extremely well, even with the odds stacked hugely against you and your team,” the old man’s smile remaining firmly on his face as he spoke, “you didn’t even lose a single Pokemon to my tricks and attacks, this Dynamo badge if yours, you have earned it.”

Erik snatched the badge out of his hands before rushing Ice to a Pokemon centre to get him checked for lasting damage.

Ice barked with joy, the nurse had informed Erik that his Mightyena was fully healed.
He was now stood at the sliding doors to Route 111, deciding his journey lay to the north, to Lavaridge town and the fourth badge, as well as his other plan.

“Right team,” he spoke to his six Pokemon, who were all out of their Pokeballs and stood now in front of their trainer obediently, “I assume Wally has gone home to Verdanturf, and doesn’t really want to see us at the moment, so we will go ahead to our next task.”

Blaze chirped happily at his trainer, even Dancer looked please that none of her new teammates had taken any permanent damage or even been killed during the gym fight.

“Well done at the gym, Leaf, Blaze and Ice. The three of you were amazing,” he continued, smiling at the three Pokemon in question, “We go now to Mt.Chimney, to the Team Magma base, back in my home region of Kanto they banned trainers and the use of Pokemon due to a gang like them, we cannot let it happen here, even if that means taking down their base by ourselves. I do not trust this Team Aqua or the corrupt authorities, our target is to take down Maxie and destroy their base, by whatever means necessary. I believe in each and every one of you, we can do this.”

Five of his Pokemon roared in agreement, Dancer looking unsure before Erik flashed her a smile.

“We will need you up there too, Dancer,” he said as he held out a hand to her, the Pikachu grabbing it with both her paws and smiling back at Erik, “thank you, my friend,” he gave Dancer a pat on the head with his free hand as he spoke. The seven of them exited through the doors of Mauville together, the huge volcano they were headed to looming in the distance.

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