Violence: Pokémon battle, very Dragonfree-style.
Chapter 19: Good or Evil?
When Mark regained consciousness, he was still in the Pokémon Center, lying on one of the sofas. A crowd of people stood over him; murmurs of “He’s waking up…” went through the group as he opened his eyes. Most of the people left now, but a familiar blue-haired girl still waited.
“Mark? You okay?” May asked. He mumbled something.
“What happened?” she inquired. “They’re saying your Scyther attacked you; is it true?”
“Nah,” Mark muttered. “It was just the excitement…”
May very obviously saw right through him, but as usual she didn’t ask and just changed the subject instead. “Hey, you’ll be happy when you hear why I waited for you to wake up.”
“Why?” Mark questioned.
“I managed to find a guy with an Exeggcute who is willing to let it Teleport us to Green Town. How does that sound?”
“Great,” Mark replied, smiling. May could be very useful sometimes. “What time is it?” he asked.
“Quarter past two,” she replied. “Oh, yeah, did you get your badge?”
Mark blushed. “Eh, not really.”
May raised an eyebrow. “How did it go?”
“Well, Eevee and Gyarados lost to her Politoed and Vaporeon, and Sandslash and Dratini, who is now a Dragonair, beat her Feraligatr and Quagsire, but then I had just Scyther and Charmeleon left, and…”
“Did they almost kill Charmeleon or something so you had to forfeit?” May guessed.
“No,” Mark replied miserably. “I guess I never told you, but Scyther and Charmeleon hate each other.”
There was a short silence. “Oh,” May then answered, seemingly surprised. “I didn’t know.”
“Well, Charmeleon basically started taunting Scyther, and then Scyther came and was going to kill him, so I had to recall them…” Mark explained painfully.
“And did you then faint?” May questioned disbelievingly.
“Er, I took them inside and Scyther, well… it was true, he did attack me.”
May’s mouth fell open. “What? How are you still alive?”
“He stopped himself just before…”
“But what are you going to do?” May interrupted.
“What can I do?” Mark yelled out in frustration. “If he’s going to kill me, he’ll do it before I can do anything about it! He hears through Pokéballs and can break out of them! Releasing him would be suicide, trying to get him disposed of some other way would also be, and keeping him in the Pokéball makes him a ticking bomb that can explode at any time! Is there anything at all that I can do?”
Suddenly, he felt hopeless, small and scared. “Why does everything like this happen to me?” he whimpered.
“Come on, you look silly,” May hissed. “Just get it through your thick skull that you’re not the unluckiest person in the world! Why are you always feeling sorry for yourself? You don’t even know if Scyther is a secret assassin – and really, if he was, wouldn’t he have killed you already? You’re being stupid, Mark. Just stand up, get your badge and stop whining.”
Mark felt like he had just been punched in the face, but somehow it was relieving.
“You’re right,” he said blankly, standing slowly up. “I’m just being stupid. I’ll just go and battle Marge again, and we can go off to Green Town.”
“Don’t take too long,” May called after him as he started walking out of the Pokémon Center. “Or I might leave without you.”
Mark stepped into the Gym for the second time this day. Marge was still standing at the other end; she bowed slightly when he entered.
“Umm, yeah, I’m here for a rematch,” Mark said nervously. Marge nodded.
“And… since we were even after two rounds earlier, can we just take one round now?” Mark suggested.
“Using the same Pokémon?” Marge asked emotionlessly.
“Eh,” Mark got an uncomfortable sting in his stomach, “I’d prefer not; they won’t be able to work together anytime soon.”
“Then,” Marge began, pacing around her end of the arena, “you must send out your Pokémon first.”
“Sure,” said Mark, shrugging. Better than nothing.
“Go, Scyther and Dragonair!”
The mantis and the snake-like dragon came out of the Pokéballs, calling out their names.
“Interesting…” said Marge slowly before taking out two of her own Pokéballs. “Go, Lapras and Starmie.”
The sea turtle and the starfish from earlier emerged from the red light, facing Mark’s Pokémon. He took a deep breath.
“Okay, Dragonair, use a Dragonbreath, if you know that, or Twister or something, on Lapras. Scyther… can you use Fury Cutter? If not, just a normal Slash. Attack Starmie.”
It was first now dawning on to Mark that he didn’t know anything about his Pokémon’s attacks. He remembered Twister from the Pokédex since he checked Dratini’s stats in Rainbow Woods, but he had never battled with Scyther before and just vaguely remembered something about Fury Cutter being Scyther’s signature move. Marge had to think he was an idiot.
Either way, his Pokémon obeyed. Dragonair spun around at high speed, producing a green whirlwind of dragon flames and sending it towards the blue turtle. It let out a high-pitched wail before countering with an icy beam which blasted into Dragonair, clearly leaving him very hurt. Meanwhile, Scyther jumped up and darted towards Starmie. He slashed it loosely and his scythes started glowing faint green. Starmie, seemingly not very much hurt, countered with a beam of ice which sent Scyther flying backwards. He growled as he returned right to the starfish and slashed it again, more powerfully than before.
“Both of you, Ice Beam,” said Marge calmly. Her two Pokémon both leant backwards, charging up new beams of ice.
“Quick, Dragonair, dive!” Mark blurted out. “Scyther, keep using Fury Cutter but try to dodge the attacks!” He knew that Fury Cutter would only increase in power if used many times with not too long between them. If the Pokémon that used it lost concentration, the power would fade completely.
Scyther zoomed down at Starmie and slashed it with his now glowing blades. Dragonair dove into the pool, narrowly avoiding the Ice Beam as Lapras fired it. Starmie aimed well after being struck by Scyther and blasted him into the wall. He shook himself slightly before slashing at Starmie again. With each hit, the glow on his scythes intensified and the slashes got more powerful.
Finally, Scyther slashed Starmie sharply and the starfish collapsed. Marge returned it without words, and issued a command to her sea turtle:
“Ice Beam his pool.”
Lapras blasted a beam of ice at the pool. The water froze instantly; Dragonair, being underwater, was trapped completely in the middle of the completely frozen pool.
“Dragonair, come back,” Mark said worriedly, recalling his Pokémon through the sheet of ice. “Scyther, keep using Fury Cutter on Lapras! You can do this!”
The last words were encouraging, but not convincing. Lapras was not very hurt, but Scyther was getting weak now after having been hit by two Ice Beams from Starmie.
“Lapras, Blizzard,” Marge said in an icy voice as Scyther rushed towards the sea turtle. Mark clenched his fist while Lapras swung its neck back…
A vicious blast of snow and wind obscured the room – but it narrowly missed Scyther as he swung out of the way.
His brightly glowing scythe cut powerfully across the base of Lapras’s neck. The Pokémon let out a screech as blood gushed out; Scyther flew back and landed in the middle of the arena.
“I forfeit,” said Marge quickly, taking out another Pokéball. Out of it came the mermaid cat, Vaporeon. Without a command, it fired a soft stream of water at Lapras’s cut; for a moment, the stream obscured the wound, but when Vaporeon ended the Water Gun attack, the cut was no longer visible. Lapras winced, but appeared all right.
Marge recalled her Pokémon and walked gracefully across the arena, handing Mark a badge like the one May had.
“You battled fairly well,” she commented, “but rather brutally.” She turned to Scyther as she said the last words; he was just finishing licking his scythes clean. He turned emptily to her, looking into her eyes with an odd, blank but somehow tragic expression, and returned to his Pokéball.
“Sorry,” Mark excused awkwardly. “He’s a bit… strange…”
Marge didn’t reply; she just nodded and then swept around to walk out of the arena. Mark assumed that since he had his badge, he could leave. Hesitating, he turned around and walked out through the door.
May was waiting for him outside.
“Got your badge this time?” she questioned.
“Yeah,” Mark replied.
“You sound pretty gloomy for somebody who’s just won a badge,” May commented as she started walking, Mark following.
“Mmm,” he answered. She just sighed.
“You really need to cheer up a little bit, you know. Feel good just once.”
Mark was too polite to tell her that he found her extremely annoying, so he didn’t answer.
A brown-haired boy wearing a green T-shirt ran up to them. “It’s good I found you; I’m in a bit of a hurry, you see - can you teleport now?”
May looked at Mark. “Umm, I think I have all my stuff, at least,” he answered.
“Great,” said the boy, taking a Pokéball from his belt. He threw it to reveal what looked like six pink, creepy eggs with evil grins. They hovered just above the ground, floating slightly up and down.
“Come on, Mark,” May said, leaning down to touch the eggs. Mark did the same; he couldn’t get rid of the feeling that those eggs would bite him, though.
“Okay, Exeggcute,” said the trainer loudly, “Teleport to the Green Town Pokémon Center.”
“Exeggcute!” answered six mischievous voices as the Pokémon started flickering. Then suddenly, Mark discovered that he was in a Pokémon Center; it was one of the pink-furry-carpet ones.
May took her hand off the egg Pokémon, and Mark hesitatingly removed his. The Pokémon started flickering again, and disappeared.
Mark looked around. This Pokémon Center might have had the same architect as the ones in Cleanwater, Alumine and Aquarium City, but it was probably bigger than all three of them put together. That was no surprise, since Green Town was the biggest city in Ouen. It had increased so rapidly in size that it still had that name; in order not to seem like the name was just irony, trees had been planted all around to make it somewhat green.
But the Pokémon Center had no signs of green. Currently its white walls were covered in posters about the Pokémon Festival; it was also crowded with people who were mostly reading the posters and chatting excitedly. A big digital clock on the wall showed the time.
Mark suddenly noticed that May was already standing by a poster, reading. He walked up to her; the poster was a notice that the Gym was closed during the festival.
“I think I’m going to challenge the Gym Leader now. When are you planning to do it?” she said, turning to him.
“Not now, at least,” Mark answered. “I mean, I just came back from the last Gym.”
May shrugged. “Sure. Bye, then.”
May hurried out of the Pokémon Center. Mark wasn’t sure what to do, but then his eyes found a poster with a big, picture of Chaletwo. The left half portrayed him normally, on a white background; the right half had him colored darker, with the blinding yellow eye open, on a black background. Interested, he walked up to it and started reading.
CHALETWO: GOOD OR EVIL?
Since 870 AW, people have started doubting Chaletwo’s original claim of not intending to harm any living being. This, of course, is due to the famous Leah-Mary cases.
During his appearance in 870, Chaletwo murdered a twelve-year-old girl by the name of Leah Donaldson using his lethal Death Stare attack, without any apparent reason. After the act, Chaletwo left as he would any other year – but this time he took an innocent’s soul with him.
Leah’s family was devastated, and claimed that she could in no way have done anything that might have provoked the Legendary to do this. Most people were doubtful that Chaletwo would commit murder without a reason and the case quickly died down; however when Chaletwo killed another girl the next year, this time fifteen-year-old Mary Goldman from Johto, the voices rose up again fiercely. Two boys followed the next two years…
Mark stopped reading. He felt sick already. First Suicune, now Chaletwo! Why were all Legendaries he got the chance to see brutal murderers of some sort? Of course, Suicune had been innocent, since Gyarados was the one who killed the people, but those were apparently murdered within the eyesight of hundreds of people…
He must have looked very shocked or pale, because he felt a finger tap his shoulder.
“Can I help you?”
Mark turned around. The person who asked was a boy who looked a few years older than him; maybe fifteen or so. He had dark, messy hair and something about his face seemed distinctly familiar.
“Er… not really, I was just reading… didn’t know about this…” Mark pointed to the poster.
“Ah.” The boy looked at him with a somewhat troubled expression. “You don’t happen to have an interest in Legendaries, do you?” he asked suddenly.
“Yeah, how did you know?” asked Mark, amazed that the boy could just know that from seeing him reading a poster. The boy’s expression turned still more worried; he bit his lip, but then said slowly:
“I think we should talk.”
(A/N: In case you’re wondering what that year is calculated from, you’ll see that later.)
Claimer: I own Green Town. Umm, yeah. And Death Stare.