Diamond 34: Give me Perseverance
Diamond 34: Give me Perseverance
There was a lovely little valley next to the tiny pokemon town, with soft green grass and a few sunflowers scattered here and there. Eevee and Meowth were running around playing in that cute little valley and Giovanni, a Charmander, was running around for a different reason. He had his arms outstretched, as he positioned himself under the moving shadow of the Mew above. "Are you sure you need me to do this?"
Delia paused her chant of "don't let me go, don't let me go," directed at her flight instructor, a Butterfree, and looked down against the teacher's earlier advice. "Yes, I'll feel a lot better if I know you'll be there to catch me when I fall." When, not if, because Delia had a sinking feeling that Butterfree would let her go the second she lowered her guard. Then she would plummet to the ground as if she were a heavy rock pokemon, unlike the soft pink psychic type she was. Soft and breakable, she couldn't help it but to think about that, she didn't feel legendary and powerful at all.
Giovanni continued following the shadow of the Mew above. Shortly after they had entered the town the Pikachu and the Charmeleon led them to a little pond, off to meet with a strange water pokemon. The town was filled with many kinds of pokemon, some familiar and others rare. What Giovanni wouldn't give to have some pokeballs, though he certainly wouldn't want to accidentally capture himself while handling them. Plus it would feel odd for a pokemon to catch another pokemon.
The pokemon living in the little pond was called Wishcash and he told Delia and Giovanni an interesting tale. The story was about a boy who became a Squirtle and prevented a terrible disaster from befalling their world. According to Wishcash, if they were summoned there for a special purpose, they would return to their world when that purpose had been fulfilled. If not, they should just relax and enjoy their visit. Neither Giovanni nor Delia could think of a reason why they should be in that mysterious world of pokemon and they didn't know where to start searching for it.
"Why don't you train?" Pikachu had suggested. Charmeleon gave the guests a weary smile, as if he had guessed what she would say. "When in doubt, have a battle and you'll feel better," Pikachu elaborated.
"A battle..." that was when Giovanni began to form a theory. Pokemon were power, they existed for the sake of battling, though Delia would differ and say they were friends. That aside, the fact remained that neither he nor Delia knew how to use any kind of pokemon powers, if they even had any. Perhaps that was their purpose, to master the power of pokemon by experiencing it.
Giovanni had thought the only way to wield such a power was by capturing strong pokemon. He unlike others in the past, had no intentions of becoming the sword when he could more effectively be the wielder. But this was different, he had already become a pokemon, not some mutant being product of bad science, he was a seemingly normal Charmander.
"Is that really such a good idea?" Delia noticed that Giovanni had the same analytical look he had when he was plotting something. She hadn't seen him that focused in a while, as if trying to find a way to stretch his limited resources to achieve the impossible. She didn't think it was such a good idea to jump into a fight, though a part of her also wanted to know what it felt like to battle from a pokemon's perspective. It was too bad their other pokemon were left behind inside their pokeballs when whatever mysterious power took them to that world.
"It's a friendly battle, what do you have to lose?" Pikachu encouraged.
"Training first," Giovanni decided, he really didn't want to make a fool of himself because he couldn't even breathe fire. He had a feeling that must be the most mortifying dilemma for a fire pokemon.
"We could go to the dojo!" Pikachu's excitement grew.
"Um... I..." Delia shyly looked at her feet, embarrassed to ask, a Mew should already know how to do this if Professor Oak's theories were correct. Her voice was quiet, but it was enough to cause everyone to look at her, waiting for her to finish, "can I learn to fly?"
Pikachu opened her mouth then closed it again, took on a thoughtful expression and finally replied, "you don't have wings." She too had dreamt of soaring and was happy when a larger pokemon gave her a ride. Charmeleon had thought of evolving into Charizard for her, but Pikachu was opposed to the idea. It would just make the two of them more different, as if they already weren't a very odd couple. In the end, Charmeleon decided he would try to stay as he was.
Wishcash was confined to his little pond and the memory of how he got there became more distant by the day. But he still remembered being helped over by other pokemon so that he could be closer to the town. It was a mission he requested of one of the local rescue teams. Even if he couldn't go around the town with the same ease as those who had paws, he always got all the information about everything that was going on. Pokemon often visited Wishcash to share the latest news and listen to what others had shared before. He floated at the edge of the crystalline pond for a moment, contemplating what words he should say. Finally, Wishcash leapt out, surprising everyone.
Even Meowth and Eevee who had been playing at the pond's edge, oblivious to the conversation, stopped to stare. Wishcash crawled forward, hopping a little, with water sprinkling the grass and dripping off his scales. He smiled, sometimes actions could say in a few seconds what a thousand words could not. If a water pokemon that was primarily a swimmer could manage to get around on land; why not a psychic in the sky?
Pikachu understood and nodded, "I have a friend who can teach you."
That was how Delia ended up getting flying lessons from a Butterfree. It was difficult, but she kept focusing on flying until her psychic powers began to respond a little. She was able to unsteadily float, while Giovanni followed her shadow in the valley below.
Delia was beginning to get the hang of flying, feeling the soft breeze and the warm sun. When she allowed her guard to lower against her better judgment, Butterfree took the opportunity to slip out of Delia's grasp and fly away. "No, don't let me go!" Delia flailed in mid air, waiving her arms, legs and tail wildly as she unwillingly turned upside-down.
"You're doing great!" Butterfree encouraged as she rubbed the soreness off her short paws, Delia had a strong grip.
"I don't want to fall!" Delia continued flailing, her fear growing and she spun around randomly. "Happy thoughts, happy thoughts!" She closed her eyes tightly as she chanted in a shaky voice, hoping she could turn herself right side up and stay in the air. However, happy thoughts alone were not enough to stop her from falling. There was no shiny Clefairy to throw magical dust at her and make her fly like in the fairy tale from when she was a little girl. Delia stopped her midair spins and plummeted to the ground below.
"No!" With a high pitched alarmed shriek, Butterfree dived to rescue her student, but she had gone too far away to give Delia room to spin and get used to her flying abilities. She was not going to reach her on time.
"I got you!" Giovanni tried to position himself to catch Delia, but the sun was in his eyes. Plus from an angle, Delia wasn't falling exactly where her shadow was casted.
Pikachu and Charmeleon, had been watching from the sidelines, while Meowth and Eevee, played. They all joined the mad dash to catch the falling Mew. In their urgent panic, they bumped into each other, tripping on each other's tails and paws, ending up in a pile. Giovanni struggled to break free, rushing out to catch Delia. She fell towards him and he reached out to her. But the second their paws touched, they were both gone.
The ground was far below, much further than it had been during the flight lessons. The pile of multicolored dots on the green valley broke apart and scattered confused. Delia had accidentally teleported Giovanni and herself to the skies above.
"Delia you have to fly!" Giovanni wasn't sure how they got up there, but they were falling fast.
"I can't!" Delia hugged him in midair, closing her eyes and wishing for a miracle.
"Yes, you can!" Giovanni tried to encourage her, "you're a Mew, you're a legend. I know you can do it; you've always surprised me before and come out on top of hard situations. You can do it now too!"
The feeling of invincibility she had experienced before returned to Delia and she was weightless surrounded by a glowing bubble with Giovanni inside it as well. The bubble slowly faded away as they got closer to the ground, landing gently. Pikachu, Charmeleon, Butterfree, Eevee and Meowth gathered around them clapping and cheering.
xoxox xox xoxox
After Delia's flying feat, she rested, while Charmeleon gave Giovanni a few pointers about battle. Giovanni was a great strategist and kept up with Charmeleon in the theory, even proving to be more resourceful than the higher evolved pokemon. "You may be a Charmander, but you're as cunning as a Charizard!" Charmeleon complimented, assuming that Giovanni had plenty of battle experience despite his level of evolution.
Charmeleon was about to ask for a spar when the group was interrupted by a pokemon that looked quite odd to Delia and Giovanni. They had seen that pokemon in town before; he looked like a cross between an angry Growlithe and a Clefairy. The pokemon's body was pink with blue spots. His face carried a constant scowl, albeit he sounded cheerful, his voice not matching his expression at all. The pokemon, Snubbull, looked feminine, but was a male, though males were rare among his kind. "Everyone!" He called out cheerfully, "we heard you were training so we organized a little tournament. You'll come, right?"
"You bet!" Pikachu cheered, jumping with excitement.
"I think this is supposed to be for our guests," Charmeleon pointed out, albeit Pikachu was too happy to hear him.
"We'll take the challenge!" Giovanni proudly announced as if it was a battle between gangs, never mind that he hasn't even been able to breathe fire yet. Despite his disadvantages, he was sure he could make up for it with skill and experience. It wouldn't be the first time he played the part of a pokemon; he had battled Graveler that way in the past.
xoxox xox xoxox
The grassy fields just outside of the little town were soon filled with pokemon of all kinds. The tournament's participants were instructed to take a leaf or petal from a little handmade basket; there were two of each kind. Snubbull called everyone's attention to the center of the valley around which the pokemon had formed a circle, "the tournament is ready to begin! Everyone who is going to participate should have a leaf or petal. I will randomly select someone from the participants and the pokemon with a matching leaf or petal will be the opponent. The one who loses the battle will be eliminated until only half of the participants are left. We'll choose opponents for the next part of the tournament the same way. The first one to battle will be... one of our guests!"
"Me?" Delia looked left and right automatically, though it was pretty clear Snubbull was pointing at her. She would have to battle eventually and this would be good training, but what were her chances of winning?
She looked at Giovanni, who appeared to be confident, "you can win!"
A few words of encouragement was all it took to make Delia become full of determination, "I'll do my best!"
The pokemon, spectators and competitors watched as Delia handed Snubbull the yellow petal she had taken from the basket. Her opponent would be Bulbasaur. The two combatants stood at the center of the field, with Snubbull standing in the sidelines as the referee. "Ready? Battle!"
Bulbasaur wasted no time, starting things off with a ranged attack: razor leaf. Delia tried to dodge the leaves, but they were too fast and she didn't know what to do to summon that bubble of energy around her she had formed before. Most of the leaves reached her creating shallow cuts that made her rethink everything about pokemon battles. Yet somehow, she felt herself healing, as if her new small body was far stronger than her human form could ever be.
Delia focused on flying, floating slowly several feet above the ground. She could hear some of the audience chanting "vine whip, vine whip!"She didn't know if they were trying to give Bulbasaur advice or warn her, but she knew what was coming. But she wasn't fast at flying yet; she still needed more practice and couldn't avoid the vine whip.
Bulbasaur's vines wrapped around Delia, making it impossible to move her arms. She struggled to break free, but it didn't work so she focused on flying and began to lift the surprised Bulbasaur off the ground. Her tail was free so she lifted it and brought it down in a powerful iron tail. The end of her tail collided harshly with Bulbasaur's head, making the vine whips go limp as the grass pokemon was knocked out.
The crowd cheered and clapped as Snubbull announced Delia to be the first round's winner. For a few minutes she was surrounded by a sea of pokemon congratulating. Then the beginning of the second round was announced and everyone returned to the sidelines. There was a total of sixteen participants in the tournament, so there were eight rounds in the first part.
There would be a small break between the rounds and Snubbull knew everyone was curious to see the newcomers' battle. His strategy to keep the audience interested was to have their guests' matches at the beginning and end of each part of the tournament. Delia had come out victorious in the first round, moving on to the next part of the tournament along with Charmeleon, Pikachu and Butterfree, the same she had been trying with before. They were joined in the victorious circle by Tentacruel, Golem and Blastoise.
It was the eight round and Giovanni's turn to battle against a grass pokemon which was not common in Kanto. The referee had called him Shiftry. It was lucky that he randomly picked the same leaf as a grass type; this match was as good as won. At least that was what Giovanni thought until Snubbull announced the start of the match. Shiftry blew a strong whirlwind with his leaf fans, followed by a storm of razor leaf. Battling as a Charmander was harder than it looked, Giovanni was so small and light he was almost blown away. The razor leaf attack collided with him continuously alternating with whirlwind as he sunk his small claws on the ground and approached his opponent with difficulty.
He could hear Delia telling him to use flame thrower, but nothing came out when he tried to summon the flames. "Hit him with your tail, you can do it!" Delia cheered.
If Giovanni could use the flame on his tail to attack, then his type advantage would help him win. The problem was that Shiftry's wind was so strong, his flame was almost out. Even so, there was no way he would let himself lose, especially not against a grass type. He couldn't breathe fire, but his little claws would just have to be enough. Full of unbreakable determination he moved forward against the wind. Shiftry attempted to back away, throwing a multitude of razor leaves at Giovanni, who dashed forward in spite of that and attacked. He scratched Shiftry until the grass pokemon fell unconscious.
The crowd cheered, once again invading the designated battle arena to congratulate the winner. Minutes later, the excitement calmed down and the spectators dissipated, going off to buy some berries from the Kecleon brothers. By then Shiftry had woken up, though he was still a little light headed. "I lost... You are a fire type, but I thought I had more experience, you didn't need to go easy on me."
"Easy?" Giovanni had slashed away with his little claws as hard as he could. He won the match, but if it came out as going easy he didn't feel so victorious. He wondered if all Charmander felt like that when they started battling and couldn't breathe fire.
Shiftry laughed, "relax, I'm not angry about it, just make sure you keep winning."
xoxox xox xoxox
After the break, the second part of the tournament began and Charmeleon was about to face Golem. The participants were not allowed to see what leaf or petal everyone else drew until they picked one out of the basket themselves. But after that was done, there was no need for secrecy anymore. Thus Delia knew she was set to go against Tentacruel while Giovanni's unfortunate fate was to battle Blastoise.
While Charmeleon and Golem were battling, the tournament was interrupted when the ground began to shake. It was as if a stampede was heading their way, though in truth the ones running in their direction were only four pokemon. One of them was large enough to make the earth tremble in her mad dash.
"Coming through!" Gengar called out as he rushed past Charmeleon and Golem, interrupting their match, followed by Medicham and Ekans.
The cause for all the shaking hurried after them, the pokemon looked like an Onix but she was made of crystal instead of stone. Giovanni stared in disbelief, the surprises never ceased in that world of rare pokemon. Onix was furious, her long body shining in the sunlight like giant diamonds as she attacked random pokemon all around.
"Onix must be stopped!" Blastoise declared and shot a powerful hydro pomp at Onix, which surprisingly had no effect. Tentacruel joined in with more water attacks, but the result was the same.
Onix wildly thrashed about, several pokemon from the tournament audience had been knocked out and would get hurt if they stayed there. "Don't hurt them!" Delia wasn't sure how it happened, but the next thing she knew the world was a whirl of colors for a split second before rearranging itself into a new image. She had teleported again, she was flying and all the other pokemon were flying with her. She wasn't physically touching any f them, but she felt as if she was protecting them in a tight embrace as they floated inside her giant protective bubble.
Only Giovanni and Onix were left on the ground below. Onix was still in a rampage and Giovanni was confused over the sudden disappearance of everyone besides Onix and himself. "Delia?"
'We're up here!' Giovanni heard Delia's voice in his mind. 'I don't know what's going on, but I think I'm getting the hang of my psychic powers. I had to protect all those defenseless pokemon and when I focused on that, this is what happened.'
Giovanni narrowly avoided being crushed by the crystal Onix, 'why did you leave me down here?' He focused on the thoughts, hoping Delia's telepathy would get the message.
It worked as Delia replied, 'because you're not a defenseless pokemon. Sorry, I guess my subconscious can't classify you as helpless even if you kind of are right now. But don't worry, I'll help, I think my powers have awakened now.' Delia focused on Onix, she was heavy and angry. The fact that she wouldn't stay still made it difficult to hold her in place, but Delia managed to do it. 'I got her, try to talk some sense into her. Give her an inspirational speech or something. You're Team Rocket's leader; you're good at stuff like this.'
'This isn't as easy as aggressive negotiations,' Giovanni mused, and Delia probably heard it. It occurred to him that if she mastered her ability to read minds enough to easily summon it at will, taking over the world would be simple. Then he remembered that returning to Team Rocket should mean being human again. He had almost forgotten he was human, he felt as if he had always been a pokemon. The thought of forgetting what he really was unnerved him, While Delia's psychic powers continued holding Onix in place, Giovanni had to allow himself a moment to picture Delia and himself as humans.
He made the blurry image in his mind clear little by little, adding in details from his memories. The picture wasn't quite finished when Delia interrupted, 'what are you doing thinking of something like that at a time like this? Please stop picturing me as a human with Mew ears and a tail and focus on calming Onix! I promise I'll wear them for you when we go home, just don't get distracted.' Her pink face was blushing bright red. It made her wonder how she was going to deal with being able to read Giovanni's thoughts if she kept the ability after the rush of adrenaline wore off.
'That's not it!' Giovanni mentally replied, putting as much of a defensive tone as one could put into an unspoken thought. He focused on the problem at hand, not that there was much he could say to calm Onix when he didn't even know what her problem was. "Why are you attacking us?"
"Shut up you weak little pokemon, you would never understand!" Onix yelled angrily, but there was also pain in her voice.
"I'm not weak!" Weak, what else could a Charmander that didn't breathe fire be called? Determined to prove to everyone that he was strong, Giovanni took a deep breath and concentrated. Finally, he let out a massive explosion of fire in a powerful blast burn attack.
Onix cried in pain. The strong blast of fire, combined with the fatigue of fighting against Delia's psychic hold were enough to knock her out.
Delia landed gently and set down all the other pokemon, who cheered. Amidst the happiness and relief, it was decided that there would be a party to honor their heroes. Most of the pokemon went off to make preparations.
"What about the tournament?" Delia whispered to Giovanni, it would feel odd to communicate telepathically too much.
"It was canceled, I think," Giovanni whispered back. He should have been relived not to have to face Blastoise in battle, but he was disappointed. Regardless of the odds, he wanted to try; he didn't run away from a challenge.
Blastoise approached looking quite impressed. "Well done! It seems the tournament was canceled in favor of a celebration. I wasn't sure about battling a Charmander, but your attack was super effective where mine failed, so I know you would have been a worthy opponent. Giovanni was it? It's unusual to have a name unless it's a team name, but I see why you would be remembered. And you are called Delia, right? What you did with your psychic powers was amazing!" Perhaps the reason why everyone let the tournament go so easily in favor of a celebration was because they had a good guess of who would win, so they might as well skip to the party.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. I'm using some creative license on some of the attacks, but nothing bigger than what I've seen in the anime.