Saturday, July 6, 2013

Entering Victory Road

“You can pass here only if you have the Earth Badge. Oh! That is the Earth Badge! Okay, then. Please, go right ahead.”

As the last guard motioned for her to pass, Green realized that she had finally made it to Victory Road. She had crossed the entire region of Kanto, faced the top trainers in every town, and even taken down a criminal syndicate. And it was all thanks to the team of monsters she had raised, trained, and grown to love. Her friends were just as proud of their skills and accomplishments as she was. They were all ready to make their greatest accomplishment yet, but first there was the cave…

The entrance was small and it looked dim beyond. The smell of damp, still air flooded Green’s senses as she took her first step in. She could see movement in the shadowy distance. The wild Pokémon here were stronger than wild Pokémon she had faced anywhere else, but she wasn’t worried. Her Pokémon had faced and defeated stronger foes than these. She called out Raichu to fend off any that were brave enough to attack.

“Raichu, come on out!” she declared as she tossed the Poké Ball. “Any Pokémon would be foolish to try and take you on.”

“Chu!” Raichu said with confident smugness.

They began walking. The sounds of their steps echoed along the cave walls. Green looked around. At the same time she saw some steps, Raichu pointed to the wall just beyond them, saying, “Rai Chu Rai!”

“That wall… It doesn’t look natural. There must be a way to move it. Let’s look around for a lever or a switch.” There was nothing close to the wall, so they spread out. Green shouted, “Sandslash, give us a hand!” and with a flash, Sandslash materialized in front of Green.

The three continued looking until Sandslash called out, “Slash! Slash!” and jumped up and down pointing her long claws at a strange tile on the ground.

“Good job! Now how do we activate it?” Green walked over and stood on the pressure plate. She wasn’t heavy enough to cause a reaction. “Hmmm…”

Then she spotted it; a large, round boulder over by the stairs. “Sandslash, use your Strength. I bet that boulder is just what we need to activate the plate.”

“Sandslash!” she claimed as she flexed her arms and torso, and then dashed over to the boulder. Using her Strength, Sandslash was able to push the boulder into position on top of the plate. A loud “Click” and a low rumble told Green that the switch in the plate was triggered and the wall had been moved out of their way.

As they made their way back to the steps to move on, a passing Onix was startled. His roar echoed through the cave, sending goose bumps down Green’s spine. “Raichu, your electric attacks won’t do any good against that big guy.” Raichu gave an “humph” and crossed his arms as Green continued, “Sandslash, use your Dig attack!”

Winking in Raichu’s direction, Sandslash leapt into the air and dove at the ground, slashing her claws and burrowing into the dirt. The noise of the earth shifting and the Onix roaring in anger, mixed with the rising dust made it difficult for Green to sense what was happening between the two, but she heard a loud smash and felt the floor shake as the wild Onix attempted to slam his tail at the spot where Sandslash dove into the ground.

“Ha! You’ll have to be faster than that, Onix. Alright, Sandslash, give it to him!”

Dirt and stone exploded from the ground below Onix as Sandslash dug back to the surface to strike. Onix howled in pain as he was pelted with dirt and claws. Onix’s eyes clamped shut, and he immediately went silent and fell limply to the ground. The sounds slowly stopped echoing and the dust and dirt in the air started to thin and settle.

“Nice job, Sandslash! Now let’s get going. I’m ready to get to Indigo Plateau.”

The three of them walked past the place where the fake cave wall stood a few minutes ago and turned a corner where they came upon a person. Green motioned for her Pokémon to stop and the trainer looked back at her.

“Was that you making all that noise!? I wonder if you are good enough for me,” said a cool looking trainer with long purple hair. “I’m Naomi. Let’s battle!”

“Okay, let’s battle. I’m Green, and I am more than good enough for you,” she said with a smirk. “Go ahead, Raichu!”

“Go, Persian!” Naomi called as a long, slender cat the size of a lion materialized in front of her.

“Raichu, start off with Double Team.”

“Chu!” Raichu cried. A small amount of static flashed at his cheeks as Raichu twitched and suddenly there were two Raichu facing Persian.

“Persian, use Payday!”

“Perrrr!” Persian hunched as if to pounce, and the jewel on her head glowed. Coins began to materialize and fly from the gem toward the twin Raichu. The image Raichu faded and the real Raichu was showered in coins. Raichu flinched a few times, but swatted most of the coins with his paws and tail. The attack didn’t do much to harm him.

“Let’s show Naomi our true power! Thunderbolt!” With loud crackling and bright flashing, lightning bolts shot from Raichu’s yellow cheeks and zapped Persian before she had a chance to counter. Fur standing on end and mouth in the shape of a silent howl, the electricity was too much for Persian and she fainted.

“Wow, too much! Persian, return!” The familiar red beam issued from the Poké Ball Naomi held toward her Pokémon and enveloped Persian, reclaiming her. “Next, I’ll use Ponyta.”

“Sandslash, this one is yours. Use your Dig attack!”

Just like the battle with Onix, Sandslash jumped into the air and dove into the ground as if it was water and she a diver. Just like the battle with Onix, Sandslash emerged from an explosion of dirt and rocks right under Ponyta. Just like the battle with Onix, Ponyta fainted from the torment of dirt and claws.

“You’re making me a little desperate now. Rapidash! GO!”

“In that case, I’ll show you my star champion. Raichu, Sandslash, return! Come on out, Blastoise!”

Raichu, Sandslash and Ponyta were pulled back into their Poké Balls as Rapidash and Blastoise emerged from theirs.

Rapidash pawed at the ground and whinnied as Blastoise’s cannons popped out of the compartments of his shell. Knowing that the majority of the tunnel still lay ahead of them, Green wanted to finish this battle and keep moving. She decided to go with Blastoise’s strongest attack.

“Blastoise, use Surf!”

“Blas!” Blastoise lifted his thick arms into the air. Calling on the power of the water within the ground and walls of the cave around him, Blastoise lifted a wall of water and sent it crashing at Rapidash. With nowhere to run, Rapidash attempted to overpower the water with a Fire Blast attack, but the water overcame the fire and Rapidash took the full force of the tidal wave. Green was surprised its fiery mane and tail weren’t extinguished. Unable to get back up from the wave, Rapidash whimpered before submitting to her exhaustion. Then she was hit with a red beam and dematerialized.

“I lost out… I never wanted to lose to anybody, especially to a younger kid. Nice job.”

Green and Blastoise moved deeper into the cave, on their way to the ultimate test.

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