Kyle Denna jumped out of bed, slammed the sleep button on his alarm clock, and sat on his bed rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. He was 15 now and was going to get his license today. No, not his drivers’ license, he was getting his Pokémon license. Today was Trainers Day in the small, but growing town of Folsom, California. Everyone 14 and up was qualified to get their first pokémon from David Holcomb, his church High School leader and the local Pokémon Master. Last year, Kyle had actually overslept and missed his chance. This year, things were going to be different.
After getting dressed and eating breakfast, Kyle walked confidently down the field to Oak Hills Church, where David worked. Even though he knew that wild pokémon lived in the field, he wasn’t worried.
When he got to the parking lot, he saw a small crowd of people lined up by the platform where David was currently speaking. On a table next to the platform, were a dozen small red and white pokéballs.
“All right everyone, oh, glad you decided to join us Mr. Denna.” said David. A couple kids snickered. “I have enough pokémon for each of you. I already selected them based on your personalities. Unfortunately, they seem to be mixed up so you will probably get someone else’s. They are like that so you learn to adapt your habits to work with your pokémon partners.”
Everyone made a mad dash for the table and grabbed a pokéball. Pokémon were released and kids watched in awe. Kyle saw some Rockcreeps, a couple Zorb, one Ala, an Mpire, a Draco, and various others.
“Here goes nothing,” he said.
He threw out his pokéball and out popped a small frog-like creature covered in green slime, a Frogger.
“What a worthless pokémon!” Kyle thought. “I must have gotten some really lame kid’s pokémon.”
“Well, well.” said a voice behind him. “Looks like you found your pokémon. It matches your personality perfectly!”
Kyle turned to see Ryan Sanders standing there with a Draco. Kyle walked over to David to see when they would start training.
“In… two minutes,” came the answer. “We will all catch our first pokémon with the ‘starters’ I handed out.
Kyle doubted a frog could catch anything but kept his thoughts to himself. Sure enough, in exactly two minutes, David gathered everyone up and tramped into the field. On the way to the middle, he explained the rules of capture and gave everyone tips on guaranteeing success. On the way, three kids caught Cuckoos but there weren’t any more chances. When they got to the center of the field, David gave everyone who didn’t have them yet, five pokéballs.
“To catch new team members.” he explained. “New recruits.”
“Now,” he began. “When you go to catch a pokémon, remember, you will have a much easier time capturing it if you weaken it first by fighting it. Don’t knock it out though because the balls are programmed for active creatures, not unconscious pokémon.”
A cry arose from the left where a girl was battling with a Serpintine. The girl’s Rockcreep was wrapped up in the long slender snake’s body. Finally, she gave up and returned her pokémon and the snake slithered away. A minute later, all the trainers were engaged in a fight with a swarm of Buzzer. The fragile bee pokémon were dive-bombing the small group of new trainers and their inexperienced pokémon. Kyle managed to put one to sleep using Frogger’s Hypnosis and after a couple Tackle attacks, caught his first pokémon. He then helped the other trainers fend off the attacking swarm and went to heal his pokémon in the portable healer that David had brought along.
“Good job Kyle.” said David. “You caught a very powerful pokémon for a first catch. He’ll make an excellent addition to your team.”
Kyle thanked David and veered off to the right to look for more pokémon. After several unsuccessful tries, he tried a combination of Frogger’s Hypnosis attack and Buzzer’s Poison Sting to bring down and capture a Sprout, a weed-like pokémon that blends into the vegetation around it, and a Fury, a fighting pokémon with a horrible temperament.
“Alright everybody! Bring it on in!” called David. “Let’s see what you all got.”
The Rockcreep girl had found and captured a weaker Serpintine, a Sprout, and a Cuckoo. Ryan had captured a Falco and a Quado. Justin Jackson, who lived down the street from Kyle, had captured a Sprout, a Cuckoo, and a Purr with his Mpire. Kyle’s brother Phillip had captured a Quado and a Buzzer with his Gizmoz. Others had captured Buzzer, Sprouts, Serpintines, Falcos, and one other person caught a Fury.
“Good job kids.” said David. “You all did very well today. Next week, we will all go out to Folsom Lake to go skiing and tubing and maybe catch some more pokémon.”
Everyone went home and played with and studied their pokémon. Kyle decided he would go outside every morning at seven for an hour to train his pokémon until they went to the lake. The next morning, he got up early and stuffed some pokémon food in his fanny pack. He grabbed his pokéballs and some granola bars and quietly left through the back door. When he got into the field, he released his pokémon and gave them a little breakfast. For the next ten minutes, all five of them jogged, hopped, crawled and flew around the field. Next Kyle had Buzzer fly as fast as he could up the field and back.
“A minute and twelve seconds.” said Kyle. “Let’s keep going Buzzer. Try for a minute.”
Sprout trained against Frogger who tried to dodge Sprout’s Vine Whip. Fury was busy digging a trench maze that all the pokémon would have to go through. When Fury was finished, Buzzer had gotten down to one minute six and Sprout was getting better aim. Frogger was learning that to evade enemy attacks better, he would have to jump much higher and much farther than the couple feet in any direction he was doing now.
“Ok guys, let’s see if you can crack this maze that Fury just built.” said Kyle.
While the other pokémon worked the maze, Fury practiced his Rock Throw. By the time the other pokémon got back, muddy and tired, he could nail a soda-can twenty yards away in one shot.
“Whoa!” Kyle said as he looked at his watch. “We gotta get back! Mom said she would take me to Wal-Mart today to buy supplies."
Kyle walked with his pokémon up the field to his house and then fed and returned his pokémon. At Wal-Mart, there were supplies galore. Kyle found some TMs that unfortunately cost a hundred bucks a piece. There was pokémon food, backpacks, hats, bed stuff, and lots of other junky gimmick stuff. In the end, Kyle bought some Pokémon Chow, a Breeder book, and a pokedex recorder. On the way out of the store, Kyle’s eyes were led to a small stand with pokémon for sale! When he saw the prices his heart sunk though and his vision was brought to the only one he could afford, an oversized Ala. Kyle groaned.
The next week, at Folsom Lake, Kyle was showing off his new Ala and his Fury was showing off his muscles.
“Hey Kyle!” said Ryan next to him. “Where did you get that loser Ala? It probably doesn’t even know any Psychic moves yet! And what’s up with that stupid Fury?”
Kyle froze as he realized what was going to happen. All of a sudden, Fury jumped at Ryan and started to punch him in the stomach.
“Hey! Get this stupid thing off of me!” he yelled.
“I can’t.” laughed Kyle. “You hurt his feelings. You’re gonna have to apologize!”
“What!” Ryan yelled. “I’m not apologizing to a stupid pokémon!”
“Your funeral.” Kyle shrugged.
“Ouch! Ok, ok! I’m sorry I said you were a stupid pokémon!” Ryan cried.
Fury slowly got off Ryan and did a little victory dance. It then went over to a pile of rocks and started chucking them out into the lake.
Just then David walked over and said, “Alright, I can take three more on the boat with Kyle. Who wants to come?”
Several people got up and headed for the boat. Kyle returned his pokémon and stuck his gear in the back of the boat. Ryan got out a small fishing pole and went down to the water. After Kyle had gone on the tube a couple times, he got his SCUBA gear on and jumped in the water. David threw out the dive buoy and Kyle dove under to anchor it to the lakebed.
“Yeah! While Ryan is up there trying to catch pokémon with a pole, I’m down here where I can see the pokémon.” Kyle thought.
Once he had gone halfway back to the surface, he released the Guppy that his friend Brett had loaned him. He had gotten it last year but was bored with pokémon now. The two searched around and finally came upon a rocky area where they could see dozens of fish, including pokémon fish! There were Guppies and millions of Skales, and a few Golder swam past them off to nowhere in particular. There were a couple of Minow floating closer to the surface but Kyle was more interested in what he saw at the very center of all the activity. In the middle of a group of Guppies, a sleeping Hydra lay half buried in the sand. Kyle took out a small waterproof notebook and wrote down the location and what he saw. Next he took out a pokéball and swam as fast as he could towards the sleeping giant. Kyle knew that to wake him up could be perilous if he was near the end of the two-month period where Hydras don’t eat, so he took out the net David had given him for fishing. When he was close enough, he dropped the net over the beast and swam down to hammer in the stakes on the ends. Next he ordered Guppy to use an Aurora Beam on the Hydra. That didn’t seem to bother him so Kyle ordered the fish to use an Ice Beam. The water around the beam turned to solid ice and Kyle used it just enough to cover the lower body, leaving, in the end, only one of the two heads of the Hydra unfrozen. At that point, the sleeping beast woke up in a rage. It tried to move and struggled so much that the ice started to crack. Kyle had Guppy tackle the neck of the frozen creature and then dropped his pokéball from above. The monster was sucked up and all that remained was a cracked shell of ice. The ball wiggled in side the ice prison and finally lay still. Kyle yelped with joy. Air bubbles flew up to the surface. He returned Brett’s Guppy and slowly swam down to the ice to pry out the pokéball and the fishing net.
“Uh, oh.” he said when he saw his gauge. “I have eight minutes of air left.”
He slowly made his ascent to the surface and broke the water ten yards from his dive buoy. He pulled up the rope for descent/ascent and grabbed the air horn in the buoy. A blast of sound came from the horn and five minutes later, was replaced by the sound of Kyle mounting the boat.
“Did I!” said Kyle when he caught his breath. “Watch this!”
Kyle released the Hydra from its pokéball and it broke the surface of the water and sat floating there.
“Very impressive!” said David. “There is something like four people who have one of those in the whole world. They’re very dangerous.”
When they got to the shore, Kyle returned his Hydra and unloaded his gear. For the rest of the day he played volleyball on the shore with some other kids. At the end of the day, the new pokémon trainer class held a contest giving prizes to the trainers with the most pokémon, the biggest pokémon, and the best overall pokémon. Kyle won an HM 4, which contained Strength and 10 dollars. Justin Jackson won a Leaf Stone with the most pokémon and evolved his Brusels with it. Kyle thanked David and rode his bike home. He was halfway there when Ryan stopped him.
“So, the awesome pokémon trainer with his loser pokémon wins two great prizes and the respect of not only all the new trainers, but David Holcomb too.” he sneered. “I challenge you and your weakling pokémon to a battle!”
“Get out of my way Ryan.” said Kyle. “I’ve got to get home for dinner. I don’t have time to battle you right now.”
As Kyle tried to pass, some other kids walked over to Ryan and helped to block the way, eager to see a Pokémon battle.
“It looks like you don’t have much of a choice,” said Ryan.
“Alright then, I accept.” Kyle said.
Ryan sent out, of course, his Draco. Kyle sent out his Fury and Buzzer. The rules were set at three pokémon each with no time limit. Kyle got Buzzer into the ‘ring’ and gave Fury the HM while waiting his turn.
“Now I’ll show you who the real trainer is!” Ryan yelled. “Draco, use your Dragon Rage!”
“Buzzer, dodge and use a Twin Needle on Draco! Show him your speed!” ordered Kyle.
Draco shot out a blast of fire that narrowly missed frying Buzzer but singed his legs as he flew away. Seconds later, a massive blur slammed into Draco, knocking him down. Draco got up and took to the skies. This was now a battle of speed as Draco flew close to Buzzer, trying to knock him from the skies. It finally succeeded and landed on top of Buzzer just before he returned to his pokéball.
“Ok Fury, you’re up. Let’s show ‘em your new move!” Kyle said.
Fury ran up to the confused Draco and slammed him to the ground with his huge fists. Then he picked him up as high as he could lift him and tossed him into the field next to them.
“Aagh! Draco return! Falco, go.” said Ryan. “Lets see you pull off a seismic toss with this pokémon!”
Fury tried to hit Falco but his punches just couldn’t connect. Falco finally managed to knock him out using its Drill Peck. Kyle smiled as he returned his pokémon. He grabbed a pokéball from his backpack that was covered with green slime.
“Is that your pathetic frog?” Ryan laughed.
Kyle didn’t answer and threw out the ball. Out of it came an enormous amount of blue energy, which formed Hydra. She looked at Ryan with a hungry look and let out a loud roar.
“No way! How did you get that!” everyone cried.
“Certain perks come with my interests. Caught it diving while you were fishing.” Kyle explained. “Ok Hydra let’s see what you’ve got!”
Hydra nodded and roared. Falco flew behind Ryan and shuddered. Ryan returned the bird and sent out a Skales. Upon being sent out, it was frozen solid by Hydra’s Ice Beam.
“Had enough?” Kyle asked.
“You may have won this time, but next time you will pay!” Ryan said running off.
After Kyle got home and healed his pokémon, he and his pokémon ate dinner outside. When they were almost done, a Rockcreep hopped up to them and Kyle gave him some food. He thought about catching it but decided to see if it would follow him around if he gave it food. For the next week, life went pretty much the same, an hour a day, Kyle trained his pokémon. At dinner, they all ate outside with the wild Rockcreep. Things were going fine until David called all the trainers together for a special meeting.
“The reason I’ve called you all here tonight is because the American Pokémon Society has decided to begin a League here and they are looking for some good trainers to go to League headquarters in Sacramento, California.” David explained. “Since that is about a forty-five minute drive from here, I will take as many of you as we have room for in our van and the Denna’s motor home. This is the best chance any of you have at becoming official trainers. The test at League HQ is very challenging but I know most of you can manage.”
“Our vans leave tomorrow so you have until then to study up and gather anything you want to take. Oh, yes, you must also have your parents down here tomorrow to give me permission to take you. Bring a sack lunch and any snacks you want. Pack as light as you can because we have to fit twelve people in two cars plus all their things. Now, any questions?”
“I have a question,” the Rockcreep girl said. “What exactly are the Society people looking for? And are they going to have gyms?”
“All I know is they are looking for the best of the best.” David answered. “And yes, there will be gyms.”
A rumor quickly spread that the APS was looking for Gym Leaders and gym trainers. David answered some more questions with answers like; Yes there will be Pokécenter healing units installed onto the vehicles by the League people. Yes, there would be more contests at the league with bigger and better prizes. No, no one could bring a bike. David had no clue as to the answers to most of the questions and said so. By the time Kyle got home, he was tired but hungry so he sat down on the grass in his backyard and ate. As usual, the Rockcreep appeared to get his nightly snack. By now he was getting quite attached to Kyle. He wasn’t afraid to eat out of his hand anymore but Kyle still didn’t want to catch him quite yet.
The next morning, Kyle gave Phillip, who wasn’t yet old enough to go on the trip but had gotten his pokémon anyway, a list of things to do while he was gone. Obviously he still wanted the Rockcreep fed at night so he gave him some extra food. Kyle got his allowance before he left and his dad drove him down to the parking lot in the motor home. When Kyle got there, he saw a large gathering of trainers and parents. Apparently all the parents had let their kids go so the cars would be full. Kyle caught sight of his best friend Brett Leary. He walked over to say goodbye.
“Hey Brett. Thanks for letting me borrow your Guppy. It sure came in handy!” said Kyle.
“So I heard!” he said. “And you know, since I don’t need it anymore, I’d like you to have him and my Skales. I’d just release them anyway.”
“Wow, thanks. I’m gonna win that League thing for both of us.” Kyle said.
“Well, see ya. Looks like you guys are going now.” Brett said.
They said goodbye and Brett gave Kyle his other pokéball. Kyle walked up to the crowd of people, picked up his League papers, and called shotgun in the motor home before anyone else could. He glanced at the League chart and saw a crude map of the U.S. with stars where Gyms would be. Everyone loaded up and the trip was under way. Kyle continued to study his pokedex and League papers for the time they drove and found out some interesting things. The League test would determine the new Gym Leaders. The best of the best, if they found people good enough, would be the Pokémon League representatives. There would be four contests throughout the day with TM’s, evolution stones, and pokémon to be handed out as prizes. There would be a single elimination contest with the winners’ choice of a dozen pokémon. Kyle wanted the stones and TMs more than pokémon right now and said so out loud.
“Well I doubt you’ll even qualify to play in that tournament,” said Danny Dawson behind him. “Justin doesn’t even want to try it cause he knows he’d lose. That’s how hard it is.”
Kyle went over his plan for the fifth time. He would sign up, go to the Pokémart, stock up on items, maybe buy a pokémon, and then go compete. When they reached their destination, everyone was all hyper and eager to get done with the test and win some pokémon. Kyle blasted past everyone else and signed up for the closed opening, noon. He had one hour to do everything he wanted to and get back to the exam area. He passed many trainers from all over America on his way to the Pokémart. When he got there, hardly anyone was inside. He found out why when he opened the door. A large sign over a box with air holes in it said: Pokémon Sale: HALF OFF. A strong stench that almost made Kyle sick emitted from the box. When he asked the guy at the counter what was in there he was told that he had to buy it to find out. Kyle looked at the box, then at his money, then back to the price tag.
“I’ll take it,” he said, forking over the cash.
“Thank you! Thank you my boy! For your kindness, I will give you a discount on whatever else you want in the store, seventy-five percent off!” said the grateful store manager.
As Kyle looked for the things he had come here for, he wondered if he had made a good decision. The pokémon in the box was extremely smelly. He just hoped it didn’t leak through the pokéball. He ended up buying a TM for Bubble Beam, one for Pay Day and the mysterious pokémon. It took most of his money, but the Pay Day TM would get that money back in no time. The store manager once again thanked him for buying the pokémon and gave him two pokéballs.
“I thought there was only one pokémon,” said Kyle.
“No, no. There are two, and we thank you again for taking them away from this store.” said the smiling manager.
Kyle ran past all the other trainers on his way to the exam room. He got there just before the teacher and was surprised to find that the man who opened the door for him was the one who was giving the exam.
“You will have half an hour to complete this multiple choice quiz on pokémon. If you finish early, you may go back over the test and correct any undesirable answers. This will be followed by a pokémon battle with the California representative for the top ten trainers. Good luck to you all.” he said.
The tests in the room flipping over made a huge racket and there was laughing across the room.
“Silence during the test please!” said the teacher.
Kyle looked at the test and finished the first three pages quickly. The last page however, had some questions that Kyle could only guess at such as, how many different moves have been discovered in the pokémon world so far? How many pokémon can learn the move Ice Beam? and How many official gyms are there in the United States of America? The last question was one that Kyle knew well. What pokémon has the vilest temperament?
At the end of the exam, trainers’ scores were posted at the front of the room. The top ten were: Susan B. Anthony, Ryan Sanders, Daniel Dawson, Carl Bridges, Joshua McIntire, Kyle Denna, Louis Engels, Justin Jackson, and in first, Walter Dingleton. Kyle gave a quite yelp as he realized that he was the fourth place representative for California. Everyone congratulated each other and Kyle headed for the first contest booth. He caught Ryan there weaseling his way up the line to get his name in the hat first. In the end, Walter Dingleton won the Moon Stone. Kyle decided to wait for his two o’ clock meeting with the California leader by watching trainers battle each other. Kyle got in line to get drawn for a hundred dollar prize and then left for the ring. Justin Jackson was up in the ring battling his Quado against another kids Torcher. The battle was almost over when a guy in a black suit came up to Kyle.
“The California Master has decided to randomly fight trainers today and you were picked for his fifth victo… I mean battle, which is now. Come with me please.” he said.
Kyle left just as Justin’s Quado dropped, unconscious to the ground. It was going to be a tough battle.
Gym Leader Kyle
Kyle watched as another kid’s Streetlit fell to the ground as the mysterious Master’s pokémon, a Peanutbutter, knocked him out. It was Kyle’s turn up to bat. He gathered up his courage and stepped up to meet the trainer’s challenge. He had carefully selected the three pokémon that he would battle with and had consulted no one for fear of losing. He let the other trainer go first and he sent out a Firestorm. The fiery pokémon singed the fighting ring with his hot breath. To say that a Firestorm was too hot to handle was an understatement. It could incinerate all oncoming fighters with little effort. Unfortunately, today it had met its match. Kyle sent out his Hydra to the joy of the crowd. Everyone was surprised to see a new trainer with such a pokémon.
“Ok Hydra, lets blast that lizard into outer space!” yelled Kyle. “Give it your Hydro Pump!”
The green two-headed lizard fired a massive blast of freezing water at the fiery opponent that was to slow to dodge the oncoming wave of liquid. It was immediately returned and rushed to a Pokécenter before its flames could go out.
“Very impressive Kyle.” said a familiar voice. “But I wonder if you can handle this pokémon.”
Out of the shadows stepped David Holcomb, who threw out a silver pokéball that released a Hydra a shade grayer than Kyle’s.
“When I told you that you were one of the few that had a Hydra, I never told you that I was one of the others,” he said. “Hydra, Body Slam!”
“Hydra, Ice Beam!” yelled Kyle.
Kyle’s Hydra reacted too slow and was hit and knocked out before pulling off his move completely. But the whole right side of David’s Hydra was frozen solid. Both trainers returned their pokémon and sent out their next choices. A Rockcreeper for David and a… what the heck was that! A doorknob looking creature stood in front of Kyle and Kyle stared at it for a moment.
“Uh, oh! Doorknob guy, use, uh, Sludge?” said Kyle.
The command worked and the doorknob creature spat at tons of poisonous slime that covered Rockcreeper’s body.
“Aagh!” said David in disgust. “Rockcreeper, use Fly!”
“Hey you! Use something to knock him out of the air!” yelled Kyle.
Doorknob looked at Kyle then at Rockcreeper and shot out a beam of colorful psychic energy. It hit Rockcreeper and, combined with poison damage, brought the lizard down. David returned his pokémon and congratulated Kyle with a League Badge and a TM.
“It’s TM 26 which teaches Earthquake. And come with me to the Pokécenter and I’ll give your pokémon a small boost in their Hp level. That’ll keep your troops out there longer.” said David.
“Thanks David.” said Kyle.
“Oh, yeah. One more thing.” said David. “All the contests are over and you won one of em’. I think you got a hundred bucks.”
Back at League HQ, the team responsible for choosing the Gym Leaders and League representatives had the test results in. There was no one capable of become anything higher than a Gym Leader. The leader names were as follows, least difficult to most difficult for skill levels: Mondo Johnson, Rebecca St. Paul, Kyle Denna, Susan B. Anthony, Austin Hemingway, Bethany Jones, John Hazouri, and Walter Dingleton.
“Someone contact the kids and tell them that if they want the positions, they will need to take the jobs in the next two weeks when the gyms open. Tell them the benefits and that if they decline, we have reserves to fill their places.” one of the Society members said.
Three hours later at three twenty-five, David and the League Society member were in a hot debate. The subject was whether or not Kyle should become a Gym Leader now or wait a few months till he had more pokémon and more training. It ended with both men coming out of the room red-faced and angry and going over to ask Kyle if he wanted to do this.
“It would take a lot of hard work to be a Gym Leader Kyle. You have to fight at least twenty people a day and you have two weeks to train your pokémon and to catch new ones before you have to quit and go to your gym.” said David.
“But we will be paying you ten bucks a battle and you get all the benefits of working with the League! You get a couple months vacation every year to be taken any time you want, plus, you can use any pokémon that we have at League HQ! We have just about any kind you could want.” argued the Rep.
Both men argued for two more minutes then looked at Kyle.
“What do you want to do Kyle?” asked David.
“Remember, your own gym!” said the Rep.
“I’d like to stay,” said Kyle.
David lit up.
“But I’d also like to work in a gym.” he said.
David’s face fell and the Rep's face lit up.
“I, I, I guess I’d like to take the job.” Kyle finally concluded.
“Yes!” yelled the Rep.
He looked around to see people in the office staring at him. His face got even redder and he sat down. Kyle was given a small book to read and a special golden pokéball, “for something special.”
He went back to the store and bought some potions and pokéballs. On the way out of the store, some little kids came up to him asking for his autograph. When Kyle asked them why, they told him that it was because he was a Gym Leader now. Kyle looked over to see David smiling at him and shuddered. So this is what it felt like to be a Gym Leader. Kyle already didn’t like it. But he had agreed to do this and had promised Brett he would do this so he was stuck. When the cars were ready to leave, Kyle slowly mounted for fear of having everyone in the motor home swamp him like the kids. To his surprise and great pleasure, no one even noticed him.
“Ok boys and girls,” said Kyle’s dad. “David said we’re headed for Monterey Bay so hang tight for a couple hours.”
Everyone groaned at the thought of a three-hour drive but didn’t complain further.
Halfway into the trip, (while Kyle was humming 'A three hour tour, a three hour tour...') Walter Dingleton came up to Kyle and said; “Don’t think you’re special just because you’re a Gym Leader now. I’m your superior because I have a gym higher up on the League scale than yours. I have more authority than you and you have to listen to me.”
“You know what Walt? I will give you the respect you deserve.” said Kyle.
“Well that’s good.” he responded “I…”
“After, you give me my due respect and after I beat you in a match tomorrow. And you know what?” asked Kyle. “Let’s make this an official match shall we? Since we are Gym Leaders and are automatically cut from the rest, we don’t have to get badges but I think that both of us would like to prove our skill. If I win tomorrow, when you become an official Gym Leader, you will give me your badge and TM for beating you. If you win, I will award you with mine. Fair?”
“You have yourself a battle,” answered Walter coldly. “Be prepared to fork over the badge and TM in two weeks Denna, cause I’m taking’ you down.”
Walter walked to the back of the motor home to study his own League pamphlet. Kyle took out his pokedex and studied up on his pokémon.
***Frogger, the frog pokémon. It’s back is covered with a rich green slime when healthy. This slime is often used for medicines for humans and other pokémon alike. If a Frogger loses all of it’s rich slime, it will go into a period of stasis where it rejuvenates the slime. If this rejuvenation does not work, Frogger slips into a coma and dies.***
***Fury, the karate pokémon. A Fury, when angered, is completely unstoppable and will attack in its rage until knocked out or until it loses all of its energy. Most Furies have a high sugar level in their bloodstream, which allows for short powerful bursts of energy. Only the greatest of trainers can completely master an angered Fury and focus it’s attack on the enemy.***
***Buzzer, the bee pokémon. Its Twin Needle attack is as powerful as its Japanese cousin’s the Beedrill. Buzzer usually travel in swarms for protection and for quick offensive attacks when threatened. Unlike normal bees, Buzzer do not make honey and seem to run on a diet consisting entirely of nuts, and greenery.***
***Ala, the Psy pokémon. Not much is known about these small psychic pokémon except that they have an enormous mental capacity. They can solve puzzles that would take supercomputers up to five years to work out in about two and a half days.***
***Sprout, the weed pokémon…***
By the time they reached Monterey Bay, Kyle was sleeping with the pokedex resting on his lap displaying the last section for Hydra. Kyle was now an expert, or so he thought, on every pokémon that he currently owned. The next morning, Kyle woke up late, for a change, and ate breakfast as everyone else was just finishing theirs. After breakfast, Kyle saw Walter walk up to him.
“Don’t forget about our battle Gym boy. I’ve asked David if our agreement was legal and he said we could do it. Remember, noon, outside the buses. Be here!” he glared.
Kyle decided to work on his pokedex and went inside the aquarium. Inside was practically every fish and water pokémon out there. It took him awhile but he finally got all the information he thought he would need on the water types of pokémon. He looked at his watch. It read eleven thirty. He would enjoy getting a badge today. Then Kyle remembered something else. He hadn’t even picked his pokémon! What was even worse, he didn’t even know what that kid Walter had in the first place. He rushed over to the parking lot and chose three pokémon and then decided on three others just in case they did a six-pokémon battle. When he reached the motor home, there were three minutes left so he waited on the step. In three minutes, David and Walter showed up along with half the young trainers to watch the battle.
“Here are the rules,” said David. “Four pokémon limit, no freezing or putting to sleep more than once while another pokémon is still frozen or asleep, winner gets a badge and TM when available, if a pokémon is returned, it is considered knocked out. No time limit. We will battle down by the water so we don’t wreck any cars.”
When they reached the water, David said, “Begin!” and the battle was under way.
Making the Master
“Golder, go!” cried Walter.
“Ala, go!” said Kyle.
The two pokémon popped into the makeshift ring. Upon orders from their masters, they engaged in mortal combat. Ala used a Psyshock attack that knocked Golder into the warm seawater. It jumped out of the water and used a Horn Attack that came close to knocking the small psy pokémon out. Ala was then ordered to use his Pay Day technique. He slapped Golder numerous times and money fell to the ground. David claimed the money as Kyle’s because his pokémon had made it. In the end though, Ala was no match for the bigger evolved pokémon and fell. Kyle returned him and sent out Buzzer. Walter returned his Golder and sent out a deadly looking Cliffhanger. It’s long arms ended with huge sharp claws that made him perfect for… cliff… hanging. The Cliffhanger jumped up and tried to slash Buzzer but the bee was to fast. It parried with a volley of needles it shot from its stinger. Cliffhanger was tough though and “hung” in there.
“Cliffhanger, use your agility to gain speed!” said Walter.
“Buzzer, dive bomb him!” said Kyle. “Let’s show em’ what natural speed can do!”
Buzzer began his descent while Cliffhanger sped up. The dive bomb connected but Cliffhanger countered the attack before going down. Both pokémon were knocked out.
“You see Kyle. It doesn’t help if you just have speed. You need endurance as well. Something my next pokémon has plenty of!” said Walter. “Go, Mpire!”
“Huh? Uh, go Frogger!” said Kyle. “Use Water gun to soften up his armor.”
“Mpire, Take Down.” said Walter.
Frogger spat a stream of water at the advancing soldier and was instantly knocked out by the returning blow. Kyle returned him and sent out his last pokémon after a brief pause. The now well-known Hydra that he used in every battle stood towering over the small soldier pokémon. The brave pokémon started to pound away at Hydra’s stomach to no avail. Hydra picked up the Mpire, pulled back his arm, and launched him over everyone’s heads into a shallow area of the sea. Walter returned him and said smiling, “I’m not beat yet...”
He sent out his last pokémon and everyone gasped. It was a small Gearz, an electric pokémon that carries a tremendous amount of energy in its tiny body. The Gearz charged up while Hydra sat there confused. Usually no one would challenge her, but this pokémon was different. No matter, after the electricity storm died down, everyone saw Hydra chewing on Gearz.
“Aah! What! That’s impossible! Hydra is a water pokémon and I just thundered him, and I lost!” Walter screamed. Then he looked at Kyle. “You may have won this round loser but it makes little difference when we meet in the Pokémon League!”
He stormed off to sit in the van rather than the motor home and Kyle picked up his money. Everyone took a step back from the trainer with the unbeatable pokémon and Kyle walked back to the motor home. In two hours, he was on a plane to Hawaii where he would spend his next two weeks before leading the gym there. His backpack was sitting next to him and his SCUBA gear was stowed in the cargo area. As soon as he reached the terminal the Representative from the League HQ greeted him. He brought him through the airport to the baggage claim and they grabbed his gear.
“Packing light I see,” he said as he hefted the tank over his shoulder.
On the way to the white van outside that would take him to his hotel, kids ran up to him, asking for autographs. Kyle had a slight feeling of Deja Vu. This time, he kept following the Rep. and was in the van before too much trouble. A hundred people were watching as they drove out of the airport.
“Are all those people here to see their new Gym Leader?” asked Kyle.
“Yep. They all watched as you defeated the California Rep. and are exceedingly happy that we have chosen Hawaii for a gym home. They are also glad we chose you to represent them,” replied the driver. “You’re quite popular here you know.”
“So when do I get to see the gym?” asked Kyle.
The driver looked at the Rep. and the Rep. said, “Not until it’s finished next week.”
For the rest of the day, Kyle spent most of his time sitting in his room studying up on the native pokémon. The Hawaiian Islands had Guppies, Golder, Gulls, Seagulls, Albatoss, Spyders, and Araknoids. There were also less frequently seen pokémon such as Constrictors, Aquaticas, and the rare whale pokémon, Moby. After two days of this, Kyle was extremely bored and decided to swim most of the rest of his free time before gym training. After a few days of this however, he was startled out of his sleep one night when he finally realized that he was really going to be a Gym Leader. He then trained his pokémon every day until he was sure that he was ready to battle other more experienced trainers. Then came the day when the gym was finally opened to authorized personnel and Kyle was allowed in. It was magnificent. There was the main lobby where people signed up to battle and the waiting room. Down the hallway were several doors that led to empty offices. The very last door led to a medium sized room with “Kyle Denna: GYM Leader” painted on it. The Battle arena came next. It was the best part of all. The room was like an enormous warehouse with a pool completing the entire floor. In certain areas of the pool, small platforms were anchored to the pool floor. To successfully reach the Gym Leader to get a badge, it seemed that one had to pass by several underlings and defeat them first. Kyle’s section of the pool was considerably larger and had fewer platforms. Kyle’s gaze went to an air-compressor type machine at one end of the western-most platform.
“What’s that thing?” asked Kyle, pointing to the machine.
The Rep. looked towards where he was pointing and said, “That’s where you can refill your tank if you want to dive while you wait for challengers.”
“You mean I get to wear my gear in here?” asked Kyle.
“Yes, of course. That gear is your, uh, “costume” if you will. Every Gym Leader has a set of clothes and possibly some gear to make them look better. Since you got the water gym, you get to have your SCUBA gear on when you battle.” he answered. “I think you’ll like this next room.”
They left the battle room and entered a room with a small opening in the floor. The opening had water in it that was a foot below the brim. The Rep. turned on a light and Kyle stepped back in shock. In ceiling high tanks all around the long room were water pokémon of every kind. Kyle felt woozy to be among so many pokémon that were pretty much “his”.
“You ok?” asked the Rep. “These will be the pokémon you will battle with in four days. Unless of course you wish to use your own.”
After the tour, Kyle walked down to the local Pokémart and was told that he had a “Gym Leaders discount” and that everything was half price. Kyle bought some special food for his pokémon that was supposed to bring their special abilities and defense up. He looked at the rest of the store and wrote down everything he was going to buy when he had the money. At his hotel room, Kyle got a call from someone at the gym asking what he wanted in his room.
“You mean I get to move to the gym?” asked Kyle.
“I’m just asking’ cause I was told to ok?” said the guy.
Kyle spent most of the next couple days training or in deep thought. He wondered if he should have chosen to be a leader or if he should have trained with the other beginners like a normal kid. His Buzzer got major experience from the strong but vulnerable pokémon in the Pacific Ocean and the day before he was to start as a Gym Leader, evolved into a Bumble. Brett’s Guppy had long since become a Golder and he was now concentrating on his Frogger. The day came when he left the hotel for the last time and reported to work at the gym.
“So your gear is all ready?” asked the nervous Rep.
“Yep. Had it checked yesterday.” said Kyle, trying to calm him down.
“Good, good. Now do you think you can manage to use that stuff all day at least on the first day?” asked the Rep.
“Easy. If I stay in the water most of the time, I weigh almost nothing.” answered Kyle.
“Alright then, here goes nothing.” said the Rep.
Kyle ran into the tank room where his gear and pokéballs lay waiting. He got on his gear, had an assistant check the straps and tank nozzle, then grabbed his pokéballs and jumped into the water. When he surfaced, he heard talking and cheering coming from the front of the room behind the double doors. Kyle looked at his junior trainers and took off his mouthpiece.
“Are you guys ready?” he asked them.
They all turned and nodded as the first trainer stepped through the doors. After a quick battle with the first two trainers, a second was let in and the first advanced to the third trainer. This time he lost and an assistant led him out of the room where he could sign up for tomorrow. The second trainer was now on Kyle’s third “partner” and beat him with one pokémon left. He healed his pokémon with potions and became the privileged first trainer to fight the Gym Leader of Hawaii.
“Hi, I’m Rick.” he said.
That surprised Kyle and he said, “Hello, I’m Kyle, the leader here. If you can defeat me I’ll give you the Pineapple badge and a TM 67, which contains Torpedo. My water pokémon are the best around, are you ready?”
The kid said yes and Kyle stated the rules. Three pokémon each. No time limit. Rick threw out his pokéball and a Masher came out. Kyle thought for a minute and hopped out of the water to a sitting position on his platform. He took one of his pokéballs and sent out his new Bumble. Rick ordered Masher to use a Rock Throw and Kyle had Bumble use Twin Needle. Rocks flew everywhere and because Bumble had to dodge them, he could not execute the move. One of the smaller rocks hit Bumble and he flew into a wall. Kyle returned him before he landed in the water and congratulated Rick on first victory. He then sent out Ala for a KO with Psywave. Next, Rick sent out his Golder and had him dive to the bottom of the pool where Ala couldn’t reach him. He then came up fast and rammed the platform Ala was sitting on. Ala teleported next to Rick, just before he would have hit the water. Ala tried to use Pay Day whenever Golder was near but the large fish pokémon dove under before it could get hit.
“Ala, quit playing! Finish him off with a Psywave!” yelled Kyle at the other side of the pool.
“Ala!” said Ala. “Aaaaaaahhh.”
A wave of psychic energy knocked out the Golder and put a crack in the bottom of the pool.
“Oops.” said Kyle.
“Alright, Golder return!” said Rick. “Albatoss, go! Dive Bomb!”
“Ala, try a…” Kyle started before Ala was knocked out. “Ala return. Hydra, go!”
The enormous water pokémon emerged from his pokéball and splashed into the water. She really didn’t care about the (to her anyway) tiny bird, circling overhead and didn’t even glance towards it until it started pecking at her. Before Kyle could even give the command to fight, Hydra fired off a rapid water gun that knocked Albatoss into the water. Hydra then headed for the fallen bird with an opened mouth. At that time, Rick returned Albatoss and gave victory to Kyle. Kyle was almost sad at such a quick victory with a good opponent but he had others to battle.
“As the first challenger, even if you barely lost, you get a choice between these two pokémon. Choose carefully.” said Kyle.
A slot opened in Rick’s platform and two pokéballs came up on a hydraulic lift. Rick chose the right one and the one to the left slid back down. Rick released his pokémon and out popped a Constrictor. Rick thanked Kyle and went away to sign up again. Kyle looked back to his platform and another trainer was standing in his place.
“Ten bucks already,” thought Kyle. “I could get used to this.”
The Big Charge
A few weeks into the program, Kyle was sitting around in his new office/room when there was a knock at the door. Kyle jumped off his bed and opened the door. A tall man dressed in khaki with a Hawaiian shirt and black sunglasses walked in.
“Can I, help you?” asked Kyle.
“Yes.” the guy said. “Maybe.”
He looked around the room and then faced Kyle. He had a small beard and brown hair. He looked like he had been working out his whole life.
“I am told that you are the Gym Leader here in Hawaii.” he said.
“Yeah, that’s me.” said Kyle.
The man frowned, “I assume you are well fit for the job.”
Kyle was about to ask what the heck he meant when he said, “Come with me.”
Kyle followed him out to a cove near the beach. They stopped and Kyle looked out towards the sea. A flock of Albatoss flew over the rising sun.
“I bet you’d like to know why I dragged you out here.” the tall man said.
Kyle nodded and he went on, “The Society made a mistake. They should not have employed rookies. Juniors. The untrained. Kids. You are good for now but you may have noticed how the trainers here are just as good and most even better than you are.”
He was right. In one day, two people had already beaten the hotshot trainer from California. All others he had fought had come extremely close. If he didn’t start training up, he would be known as the failure Gym Leader.
“I can help you get in the act before the Society realizes that you were a mistake. The leader in Phoenix has already been recalled and a substitute brought in.,” said the guy. “I have a feeling that others, including the sub will be replaced. You better get on the bus kid, cause the bus is moving with, or without you.”
Kyle thought for a minute and then said, “You know, thanks for the advice, I’ll look you up if I need help but I got some training to do, so, see ya.”
Kyle walked off, leaving the guy behind. What a wacko, thought Kyle.
Next day, Kyle was back in the gym when the guy walked up.
“Ready to be destroyed?” he asked.
“Why not?” said Kyle.
Kyle sent out Bumble and the guy, Kyle had learned his name was Jeff Waters, sent out a Recon, which instantly turned invisible except for a faint outline.
“Recon, start out with a nice big Snowstorm!” he commanded.
“Bumble, do Agility and Twin Needle!” said Kyle.
Recon became visible and started to glow as Bumble began his Twin Needle. Just before he hit, Recon opened his eyes and unleashed an enormous blast of snow and ice. Bumble froze solid and slammed into Recon. Kyle returned Bumble and Jeff returned Recon.
“First round knock out.” smiled Jeff. “Show 'em what you’re made of Biolante!”
Kyle stood in awe. Out of the pokéball came a pokémon as big as Hydra. But this beast was green and didn’t seem to have a head. Big green tentacles hung at its sides and it looked like something from an old monster movie.
“Go Poliwrath!” said Kyle. “Use Hypnosis.”
“Ah, a Japanese pokémon.” said Jeff. “Biolante, Constrict.”
Poliwrath was faster than Biolante and put him to sleep before he could execute the move. Jeff returned his pokémon and sent out an Electabuzz.
“I too have a Japanese pokémon. Electabuzz, light him up!” yelled Jeff.
Electabuzz shot a bolt of electricity that lit up the room and knocked out Poliwrath. Kyle had to dive to the bottom of the pool to get an accurate aim to return him. When he got back up, he threw out a pokéball that unleashed the awesome power of Hydra. Hydra took one look at Biolante and shot it with an Ice Beam. The other pokémon broke out of the ice and used Take Down on Hydra.
“Your pokémon’s experience is beyond your own, it is poorly trained.,” said Jeff. “Biolante, finish it off with Solar Beam!”
“Hydra, dive under the water and tackle him!” yelled Kyle.
Hydra dove down and Biolante took in the sun from the skylights above. Biolante flinched just slightly when hit by Hydra but still shot out its deadly beam of solar energy. Another loss for the trainer from California. Kyle returned his pokémon and admitted defeat. Jeff seemed to lighten up after that and congratulated Kyle on a good match. Kyle muttered something and an assistant brought a badge and device for his TM to Jeff.
“So Kyle, I guess I’ll see you around six tomorrow?” Jeff asked as he left.
Kyle looked coldly in his direction and whispered, “Count on it.”
After another hour of battling, Kyle and his pokémon were wiped out. The heavy tank was starting to make Kyle weak and he swam less and less. His pokémon had to be switched out for a new set and Kyle was starting to worry that the newbies wouldn’t obey him. His suspicions were confirmed when his Gyarados floated on top of the pool fast asleep.
That night, Kyle wondered if he could back out of the deal for a while and train his pokémon with the beginners that were coming tomorrow.
“Oh, man,” he thought. “I told Jeff I’d meet him at the beach tomorrow at six! The boat leaves Hawaii with the trainers on board at six thirty! How am I going to work that out?”
He thought all night and through the day how he was going to do both things but forgot when he saw David pull up to the Gym with a busload of kids. David got out and shook hands with Kyle and congratulated him on his success.
“So, having any second thoughts?” he asked.
Kyle hesitated a little before saying, “I’d like to use some of my vacation time to go train with you guys and collect badges. After all, even Gym Leaders need experience.”
David’s face lit up and he said, “That’s the way Kyle! I knew you’d get it! I’ll sign out for you for about ten days and you can come train in the other gyms with us. This is perfect! Of course, the other trainers may not want to battle a substitute today…”
“Yeah I figured they wouldn’t.” said Kyle. “You guys can come in five minutes. I’ve gotta get my gear.”
In six minutes, Kyle was swimming joyfully in the pool while he awaited his first challenger. The first came quickly and showed off his first couple badges to his peer and the battle begun. Kyle started off with his favorite, a Japanese Marill. The Marill was an excellent pokémon for water matches and swam as fast as any other pokémon. His opponent chose a Streetlit that had obviously been caught as a Lit in Sacramento. The Streetlit, being faster, shocked Marill and Kyle with a Thunderbolt. The bolt knocked out Marill who was traded for Kyle’s Fragel.
“Just evolved yesterday,” said Kyle. “Fragel, use Slash!”
Streetlit tried to shock the large humanoid frog but Fragel deflected everything with his large sword-like reed. In the end, Kyle won using Fragel and the boy he beat walked away to watch another battle. The next up was Justin Jackson. He sent out his Brusselsprouts and Kyle countered with his Fury.
“Ha! You still have a Fury?” laughed Justin “Mine evolved long ago!”
“Well let’s see whose is stronger shall we? Fury, show ‘em what a trained pokémon can do!” shouted Kyle.
“Weedy, use Vine Whip!” cried Justin.
Fury launched himself over the platforms suspended on the water and grabbed Weedy’s vines. It pulled and swung the plant pokémon around his head three times before it plunged into the water.
“Weedy, return.” called Justin. “Now I’ll show you true power! Go, Masher!’
“Fury, use your agility.”
“Masher, use strength.”
A giant rock materialized in Masher’s hand. He hefted it above his head and was about to throw it when Fury rammed his knees with all his strength. Masher toppled and the rock fell into the water.
“One thing I’ve learned is that Masher has weak knees. It’s their Achilles’ heel.” Said Kyle. “Fury happens to be the one who discovered it.”
Justin returned his pokémon and sent out his Mpire. The small soldier puffed up its chest and let out a roar. It charged Fury, who dodged and turned to attack. Before it could attack, Mpire flung his short sword at him and the flat of the blade hit him square on the head. Fury’s eyes glazed over and he fainted.
“Ha, I knew he was weak. He doesn’t have any endurance. He’s just lucky.” Said Justin.
Kyle returned Fury and sent out Bumble. The giant bee circled Mpire and poisoned him with his stinger. Mpire retrieved his sword and charged the hovering bee. Bumble let him rush up to him and lift his sword before knocking it out of his hand and dunking him in the pool. Kyle declared victory and dove down to retrieve the sinking warrior.
When the battles were over, Kyle walked swiftly to the beach. He had ten minutes to find Jeff. He wouldn’t miss the chance to stare him in the face even if he didn’t care to hear what he said. He found him fishing at five till and asked him what he had wanted.
“The APL made a fair decision bringing a mainlander to lead the gym here. Unlike the other states that have gyms, Hawaii, though they would love a native leader, knows that this could be a step towards recognition as more than a tourist attraction. The State Representative here considers it an honor that someone was brought to Hawaii instead of the APL telling him, “Just pick up some deadbeat off of his surfboard and use him.” They like having someone they can show off in front of too. Especially someone as easily impressed as you seem to have been over the past month.” Jeff said. Kyle blushed. “You may not know it but they consider you one of them so far. You have demonstrated a high interest in their culture, as I am told.”
Kyle looked at the ground and back towards the horizon. Ducks flew in a V along the orange sky.
“You are a lucky human Mr. Denna.” Jeff whispered. “You have before you one of the greatest challenges and greatest dreams of the young American mind. And now, I believe that you have another engagement that you have to leave for. I will talk to you when you get back.”
Jeff turned back to his fishing and Kyle walked away. He wondered how he knew he was leaving. At the end of the cove, Kyle saw a girl pulling shorts on over her swimsuit. She looked about his age with long auburn hair. She flicked it back and forth as she picked up her backpack and towel. Kyle seemed to notice that she wasn’t one of the girls who tried to look beautiful but ended up looking immodest. She was more like some of the conservative girls he had met at his church. She turned towards him and dropped her bag.
She immediately ran over to him and said, “Are you the Gym Leader in Hawaii?”
“Wow. I’ve never seen you here before.” She said. “My name is Amanda, I want to battle you for your badge.”
Kyle looked at his watch. Then he looked back at the pretty Amanda.
“You know, the gym’s closed right now and-“
“Oh, it’ll only take a minute.” Amanda said.
“Well, usually you have to battle three people before me-“
“Oh, I’ve already battled them. It’s just that my pokémon are so weak by the time I get to the last guy that I lose right off.” Amanda said. “But I know I could beat you if given the shot.”
“Really?” He said. “Alright, I’ve got some time. Let’s go to the gym. I can unlock it and we’ll battle there.”
They raced to the gym and Kyle unlocked the gym doors. He had a key (because he lived there) so he thought it would be all right. He told her to wait at the last platform and he jumped into his suit. The suit had been upgraded in Hawaii when he’d bought a thinner wetsuit and diving watch. He grabbed his own pokémon and dove to the bottom of his tunnel and did a few tricks before hopping up on his battle platform.
“Bravo!” Amanda clapped. “I never got far enough to see you do that.”
Kyle blushed. “Well, I really only do it once at nine and once at one.”
Kyle stated the rules of the match. Since he was in a hurry, and because Amanda only had two pokémon, Kyle declared a two-on-two battle. No time limit. He gave her the beginning move as she was the challenger and she sent out a Gearz. Kyle picked one of his two set aside pokémon and sent out Fury.
“Hey, that’s not a water pokémon!” said Amanda. “Gearz, use Thunderbolt.”
“You know, Fury, Agility! I can use whatever pokémon I deem worthy really.” Kyle said. “Fury, seismic toss. Oh, no, that’s no good. You might try grabbing him Fury.”
“Reeiiiiii!” Fury cried.
Fury rushed up to Gearz and grabbed hold of two of his gear teeth. Gearz chose that moment to charge up his attack and blast Fury skyward. Fury hit the ceiling and came crashing down into the water. Kyle returned him and sent out his titanic terror.
“Meet my Super power. This baby’s got the fire-or waterpower, required to blow most of my challengers away. You ready to get soaked?” Kyle said.
“Bring it on!” Amanda yelled. “Gearz, Jolt.”
“Hydra, use a Hydro Pump.” Said Kyle.
Gearz charged up a bolt of static electricity and Hydra reared its heads back to fire its hydro pump. They fired at the same time. Gearz attack was strong, stronger than a normal field Gearz, but Hydra was stronger. Hydra attack was charged up when it hit the electricity. It heated and went faster along the attack back towards Gearz.
“Gearz, stop attacking and get out of the way!” Amanda yelled.
Gearz cut off its attack and decided to run but… It got hit anyway. The charged up water blast surrounded Gearz for a few seconds and then dissipated. Amanda returned her pokémon and threw out another ball.
Kyle noticed, as the ball was floating through the air, that the ball was actually glowing. When the pokéball hit the platform, it opened to a bright light. Kyle shut his eyes and turned his head. When he looked back, he saw an orb in the center of the light about the size of a soccer ball. Whatever it was sure was bright. Kyle could barely see Amanda with the light cast down from the thing. Presently, he noticed a soft humming coming from the orb.
“This is my Zorb.” Said Amanda from somewhere in the light. “It seems to be pure energy but my pokedex says it has a less bright and more solid form.”
Kyle pulled out his pokedex. Indeed it said that Zorb look almost like pure energy but when inside their pokéball, they take on their normal solid form. When outside the pokéball, a Zorb’s atoms are highly unstable and that was why the light was so bright. They can’t control their energy.
“So, you’re going to attack me with a pokémon who can’t control his attacks, right?” Kyle laughed.
“I intend to.” Said Amanda. “Zorb, please show this trainer what powers you have.”
“Hydra, brace yourself.” Kyle cautioned.
“Hyyaa!” Hydra growled.
The humming grew louder and steadier; the light grew a little brighter. Electric tendrils sprang from the floating orb. Several of them touched Hydra, with little effect. Kyle was about to retort when four touched Hydra at the same time and she shrieked in pain. She was flung back into the water.
“I’m sorry Hydra!” gasped Amanda.
Kyle looked in the direction of the voice with terror on his face.
“What is that thing?” he barely managed to whisper. “I must be careful.”
Kyle ordered Hydra to dive under the water and hit Zorb with a Whirlpool. Hydra dove under and began spinning. The water around her twisted with her and formed a funnel. Hydra burst from the pool with the water shield around her and zoomed up to Zorb. Before it could do anything, Hydra had encircled it with the funnel and was slapping it with its necks. It clawed at the other pokémon with its feet. Just before Zorb charged up another attack, Hydra leapt out of the funnel and sunk to the bottom of the pool. Zorb shocked itself until the funnel disappeared.
The orb’s light seemed fainter now. It grew in intensity and faded again. Kyle watched the pokémon go higher up to the skylights.
“Hydra, be careful.” He said. “It might have solar beam.”
Hydra looked undaunted even when the light got brighter. Kyle shifted, a bit too fast, to get away from the light. He fell into the pool. He couldn’t see the battle from underwater. He surfaced and crawled on top of his platform. He saw a bright light behind him and turned. Just in time to see a bolt of static electricity coming straight for his pokémon. And him. His legs were still submerged. He twisted to get up but the heavy gear and the day’s strain of wearing it prevented him from getting up. He looked at the bolt and his legs and screamed as Hydra jumped in front of him, too late, and took the brunt of the blast. Electricity wove around Hydra and hit the water. Kyle knew he was done for, knew he’d be fried. He thought of all the things he’d wanted to do. Realized he was going to be late for the boat… and blacked out.
Kyle Denna was in… somewhere. Not really. It just felt like it. He thought he was dreaming but his legs couldn’t move. He couldn’t breath. He thought he recognized Hydra swimming past him. He felt a cool blast and saw a shadow. He had the sensation of rushing upwards and great speed. He felt his good old regulator. He could breath again. He briefly saw a light but then it was dark again and he could neither see nor feel.
“…t of here.”
“Just want to…”
“…enough. Get out…”
Kyle heard voices an eternity later.
“…was he?” That sounded like Dave.
“…shocked him… pokémon.”
So that’s what had happened. He had been hit. He still couldn’t feel his- ow! Apparently he could feel his legs. They hurt! Kyle wished he could open his eyes but he felt a bump and was unconscious again.
Kyle dreamed again. It was rare that he dreamt. This dream was very strange. He was flying through the air. He didn’t know how. He landed on a mountain. He rose up to the highest peak and looked down on the desert below. Suddenly, he heard a noise above. He glanced up and saw something that looked remarkably like Zapdos. Electricity sprouted from its body and Kyle stood mesmerized. A bolt of lighting zoomed through the air towards him. Just before it hit, he sat straight up in bed and almost instantly felt a hand push him back down.
Kyle smelled the sickening smell of something not just cleaned but sterilized. He opened his eyes to see that he was in a hospital bed and therefore assumed that he must be in a hospital. There was a big hand on his chest and Kyle turned his head to see David Holcomb.
“That’s the third time you’ve jumped today.” He said. “Take it easy. You need rest.”
Kyle nodded and tried to ask what happened but was already asleep. He didn’t dream. He woke up three hours later and saw Dave talking to a doctor. The doctor finished what he needed to say and left the room. Dave sat next to Kyle and they stared at each other for a long time.
“So how am I?” Kyle asked.
“Ah, straight to the heart.” said Dave. “Overall, you’re really as good as you ever were. Of course, being shocked by electricity does have some effects you know. The muscles and nerves in your legs are very upset at your mistake. It will take time to recover fully from the shock and you will have to stay off your legs to make sure they heal correctly.”
“How long can’t I walk?” Kyle said, a bit of a whine in his voice.
Dave looked at him sternly, “You can walk. Just keep it to a minimal all right? It will take about two months for all your muscles to heal themselves. Your nervous system is going to take two weeks to return to normal. You remember how fast you were always running back at church and camp?”
“Never happen again. Your muscles will never form that much scar tissue even after they heal. You can jog, but you’ll never hit the mile in under ten minutes again.”
Well, Kyle had to admit that that stunk. Although, the feeling of actually being able to jog appealed to him. He was just about to ask who was paying for him being in a hospital when he heard a sharp tapping at the window. A Pidgey was over there with… a note, attached to its leg. Dave let the bird in and gave it a soda cracker. While the bird ate his snack, Kyle read the note.
“’Hi,’ oh, it’s that girl. ‘Hope you’re doing better… You looked pretty hurt… sorry my pokémon…’ Then she goes on about how sorry she is… ‘If it’s not too much trouble… like my badge… Fell better.’ Did she just say she wants a badge?”
Dave looked at the note. “Hmm. Yeah, looks like it. I’ll see you Kyle. I’m starved.”
Dave left and Kyle stared at the note. She wanted his badge. He was temporarily without legs and she wanted her badge. No. It wasn’t her badge. She didn’t beat him. Kyle knew that his Hydra had stayed conscious. He hadn’t lost. A trainer can’t lose the battle... Right? He sat and thought about that. Then he realized, it hurt to sit, and lay down to sleep.
When he awoke, the next day, Dave pointed him towards the window. Kyle looked out and saw everyone from the two vehicles on this trip, excluding Walter Dingleton and himself. His dad was there, odd that he never was present when Kyle was awake, with the Pidgey on his shoulder.
“Your dad has been by your side most of the time. He is usually running to the cafeteria or sleeping when you wake up.” Said Dave. “He also doesn’t want to embarrass you in front of the other trainers.”
“I wish he would have been here when I woke up.” Kyle said. “How long until I can leave the hospital?”
“If the results from your last test prove ok, you could leave tomorrow.” Dave replied. “Of course, we’ll have to see about that when the time comes.”
“Hey, Dave?” said Kyle, lying back down. “How long have I been here?”
Dave turned back towards Kyle and his smile was tired. “You’ve been here nearly a week Kyle. Get some rest.”
Dave left the room. Kyle wondered if his life would ever be normal again. He’d never had to be at a hospital before, and at age fifteen, somehow being in here really bothered him. He wasn’t claustrophobic, but the walls seemed to close in on him, just like when he was younger. He started to cry.
Kyle woke up to see his dad sitting next to him. He looked funny with a week’s growth. His dad looked over at him and said, “Hey, I finally got to see you awake.”
“You can leave now, if you want.” He said. “I took the liberty of grabbing your stuff in you laptop bag. I can carry you to the motor home and, you can sit shotgun if you want.”
Kyle nodded but asked if there was anything he could use as crutches instead. The doctor’s let him have an old worn out pair and he slid down the hallway. Kyle got in the car, filled with solemn faces. He waved and gave a forced smile but no one waved back. He sunk into the ‘co-pilot’s’ seat and took out his pokedex. He scanned through to the entry for Zorb. He used the pointer and selected notes. He typed out: DANGEROUS
The kids in Dave’s van had pulled over at a gas in the middle of the desert. The motor home behind followed and everyone piled out for souvenirs. Kyle hobbled out on his crutches and went straight for a stand that sold pokémon items. There, a middle-aged man was selling key-chains and mugs and many homemade items. However, Kyle saw several items he knew were right up his alley. In the middle of the booth was a box that declared:
ATOMIC STONES: ONE FOR FIFTY DOLLARS. It repeated in Spanish. Some of the other kids saw the box too and counted out some money. Dave tried to persuade them to save for places like New York instead of wasting their money on gas station memorabilia. Kyle bought one anyway. No way he was going to pass up a fifty-dollar deal.
When they hit the road again, Kyle looked at his shiny stone. It was a clear orange polygon with air pockets on the inside that looked like an atom. It was very smooth. Kyle looked up just as they passed a sign that said:
WELCOME TO PHOENIX, ARIZONA
HOME TO THE PHOENIX GYM
Kyle smiled and put away his stone. Time to do a little Gym research.
“Look out Heat Gym, here comes the chief of the Fire Department, ready to put you out.”