Diamond 42: Give me Emotion
Diamond 42: Give me Emotion
"Growlie?" The orange pokemon whimpered softly, "you're okay, right? Please tell Flareon you're okay." James pleaded.
"Flare!" Flareon rushed to Growlie's side, crying abundantly and licked his face gently. "Flare, flareon, flare!"
"Now she's crying?" Jessie watched in shock while Meowth went through one of the few occasions in his life in which he was speechless. No one could make heads or tails of Flareon's extreme mood swings. Wait, mood swings... "Flareon, sweetie," Jessie knelt down beside the pokemon, "you're going to lay an egg, aren't you?" Flareon nodded her head, her tears ceasing. "It's alright, we can go home now. You and Growlie should rest; there will be other chances to battle. I have a good guess who our opponent would have been," it had to be Ash, since he had not been called out to battle yet, "we can battle him any time. Let's go home, do it for the baby's sake," Jessie voiced gently.
Flareon nodded in agreement, she wanted to stay and continue battling, but Jessie convinced her to go home for her child's sake. Jessie understood Flareon had been pushing herself and endured a harsh battle despite her condition. Now she had the accumulated fatigue from the previous fight and her subsequent recovery from poisoning. The effect on her body of having to spare energy to feed the egg within her and her worries about her injured mate all piled up. Jessie didn't want Flareon to have to battle while dealing with all that.
Jessie knew the other pokemon would understand if they returned home before the tournament ended. She was looking forward to playing nurse and helping take care of the baby when it hatched. She glanced at Ritchie who seemed to understand. Then she looked at the stunned Jango and informed him, "I'm leaving the tournament to take care of our pokemon. Continue without me."
At first, Jango could do nothing except nod dumbly. Then, as Sailor Flame, Rose Mask and their pokemon left the arena, he woke from the daze he was left in after the commotion. The referee spoke into the little microphone that extended from his earpiece over his mouth, "Sailor Flame has forfeited the tournament. This means that only two participants remain: Ritchie, the winner of the Indigo League championship from last year, and the challenger, who is also a champion. He won the Indigo League tournament two years ago... Ash! Many thought they would have to wait until this year's Indigo League to see the two champions face each other. The wait is over, it will happen today, right here in the Viridian Stadium!"
Ash ran out of the lobby and into the arena when he was called. The crowd cheered wildly, looking forward to the battle of champions. Jango continued with his announcements and explanations, "it's a three on three match with no substitutions. Additionally, if a pokemon leaves the battle area, that pokemon will be disqualified and must be recalled into the pokeball immediately," it was a hastily added rule, but Jango didn't care if he got into trouble for it. He didn't want to relive his Victreebel experience. "Ready? Fight!"
"Charmander, I choose you!" Ash was the first to eagerly throw out a pokeball.
The red beam from the ball took shape as the basic Kanto starter pokemon of fire. He looked very eager to battle, "char! Char!" Far from looking menacing, he looked cute.
Ritchie studied Ash's choice in pokemon. The Charmander was clearly very young. He was still smaller than an average one, with big innocent blue eyes. "I know appearances can be deceiving and I intend to try my best!" Ritchie took note of the flame on Charmander's tail and realized it was too big for such a tiny pokemon. No doubt about it, the little Charmander had to be strong. He sent out his first pokemon, determined to seriously try to win. Vaporeon was just the pokemon to help him accomplish that. "Aqua, I choose you!"
"I'll try my best too," Ash didn't look at all worried about the type disadvantage. He knew Charmander, albeit very young, was amazingly strong.
From the balcony, Giovanni watched the battle arena below. The presence of Charmander surprised him. He expected to see nothing but fully evolved pokemon on a champion's team. For a moment he wondered if the Indigo League was just overrated, but he decided to keep an open mind. If there truly was something special about Ash, he would soon find out. It might turn into an interesting battle after all. He had Delia to thank for rediscovering his love for challenging pokemon battles. Giovanni didn't plan to watch the tournament. He originally intended to make an appearance in the beginning to give a speech, sneak off to work on his world domination plans, then return on time for the bonus round in which he would participate.
The mayor swallowed another heart pill. He didn't want to overdose, but he didn't want his heart to burst from the stress. "I'm too old for this," he complained pitifully.
"None sense, all that matters is being young at heart," Delia tried to encourage him, she felt truly sorry for Rune seeing his worried expression.
"That's the problem," Rune whimpered, "my heart isn't young."
"Stop complaining," Giovanni interrupted; Rune had always been a wimp in his opinion.
Mayor Antilles pouted indignantly, "you know, my heart only started failing me after that time you almost killed me," he reminded in a low raspy voice.
Delia gasped in angry shock, "Giovanni!" She scolded upset, though she didn't know what else to say or do, except to glare.
"It was many years ago," Giovanni calmly stated with indifference.
"What happened?" Delia insisted on knowing.
Giovanni brushed off the inquiry and it was the mayor who replied, "it was indeed a long time ago, but I never fully recovered. I was having second thoughts about a business deal and was kindly expressing my concerns."
"Whining," Giovanni corrected with annoyance.
Mayor Antilles cleared his throat and continued, "as I was saying, I was expressing my concerns about a business deal. I guess it must have been a bad day for Giovanni. He seemed to be angry at the entire world on that day, except his Meowth." Rune glanced at Persian, who had been quietly purring next to Giovanni during the entire tournament, as his trainer petted him. "The point is that when I cautioned him about his business practices, Giovanni lost his temper and punched me really hard. He broke my ribs and nearly caused a piece to be stabbed internally into my heart. Fortunately, I was taken to the hospital on time and they removed the rib fragment that had come off. I was saved, but the fragment managed to scratch my heart a little. I've had a weak heart since then, albeit my worries generally decreased after that."
"You poor man," Delia frowned in pity, but there was something she didn't quite understand, "why were your worries less after that? Did the near death experience make you reevaluate your life?" She inquired with puzzlement, then caught herself in an old habit, 'no, don't do that again,' Delia mentally scolded herself. Even after so many years apart from him, Delia felt like she was falling into her old habit of twisting things around to justify Giovanni.
"Well, not exactly," Rune confessed, "I just realized that Giovanni was scary enough to deal with any troublesome people that might complain. I concluded there was nothing to worry about after all." After a short moment of reflection, the mayor added, "now that I think about it, the last time I saw you with Giovanni was before that happened."
"Rune," Giovanni growled, causing mayor Antilles to give him a worried look, "shut up," he ordered once more.
"Yes, sir," Rune once again complied and remained silent for some time.
Delia thought about what the mayor had revealed. The time he referred to might have been an event that happened right after she left. Was that the reason Giovanni was in such a bad mood that day. "Gio... When you punched the mayor back then, the reason you were angry, was it because..."
"Is there a point to this conversation?" Giovanni found it to be useless and irritating, but Delia looked insistent. He knew she wouldn't back down until he answered her question. He did, though not directly, "it seems you haven't dropped your habit of blaming yourself for everything."
Delia stared at Giovanni for a moment, then smiled, which caught him off guard. Studying his puzzled expression, she clarified, "I'm only glad you're not indifferent," angry seemed to be a little better than completely uncaring, even if it was unfortunate for mayor Antilles. "It was still wrong, what you did to the mayor," Delia added, "but you're right, it happened many years ago." Even so, Delia wanted to sit down for hours and catch up on everything. Yet she seriously doubted Giovanni would ever do that.
Rune opened his mouth to speak, lifting his index finger as if indicating he was about to make an important point. Then he wisely decided to keep his questions and comments to himself and remained silent. He shifted uncomfortably in his chair and gripped the armrests in tension. Both Giovanni and Delia turned their attention back to the battle.
Jango had implemented a new rule that stated that pokemon would be disqualified if they left the battling area. The rules before that had been rather lenient to keep the contestants as happy as possible. However, there was nothing Jango could say about the pokemon's attacks remaining within the designated area.
The Viridian Stadium clearly wasn't built for strong pokemon battles. Average battles were fine, but the field wasn't big enough for true power. Many of the people in the first, second and even third rows in the audience had to dodge stray fire balls and beams of water. When the water hit them it was at least refreshing, though still annoying and often painful. The lethal fire would be another story.
The people in the first few rows didn't know when a fireball would fly their way, how far it would go and how strong it would be. Some got on their feet, ready to move away any minute, while others tried to retreat, pushing back the people behind them. With those in the front rows standing up, the people in the rows behind them had to stand up as well. Soon the entire attendance of the stadium, save for those in the balcony, were on their feet.
Charmander was agile and avoided Vaporeon's water gun, even if the water pokemon was also fast and many members of the audience were soaked. "Flame thrower!" Ash commanded with a glow in his eyes that hinted he had a plan.
"Water gun!" Ritchie countered. The two attacks collided and it looked like Vaporeon was winning. Ritchie noticed that Charmander's tail flame was growing, "watch out Aqua, don't lower your guard. Make the water gun stronger, give it everything you have!" It was best not to give the little Charmander the chance to prepare his attack.
The water gun intensified, but so did the flame thrower. The opposing forces produced a curtain of steam that swallowed the whole stadium. "Overheat!" Ash called out and the fire coming from the small Charmander intensified further.
Ritchie couldn't see the battle behind the thick veil of steam, but he could hear Aqua's water gun becoming weaker. "Aqua, push that fire back with everything you have, then get out of the way!" The Vaporeon trusted in his trainer and followed the commands perfectly, managing to dodge the fire. Ritchie saw a bright light and jumped out of the way. The fire that Charmander had been pushing against Aqua's water gun blasted through the steam. It went past Ritchie and into the wall behind him. Sparks and rubble flew all around on impact. The spectators in that area screamed and panicked, hastily stumbling to get away, pushing the people around them.
Misty was feeling very uncomfortable in the audience. She could only compare the experience to a time when she went to an outdoor concert with Ash and Brock. The singer's name was Akira, a woman rumored to be involved with Team Rocket. Brock insisted on going and not surprisingly, he fell in love with Akira. She was admired by many, who claimed she had the elegance of a Ninetails along with its imposing presence. Brock claimed Akira was the image of perfection. From her sweet voice to her sky colored hair, emerald eyes, pearl smile and flawless snow skin. He was nearly crushed to death as he helplessly tried to reach the stage during the concert.
On top of worrying that Brock might do something crazy and end up with a few broken bones, Misty also had Pikachu to worry about. The powerful yellow pokemon had shocked the people around him, Ash and Misty included, several times when he felt suffocated. Displeased remarks and foul words followed the electric shocks. It made Ash lose his temper and yell back, even if he knew he was walking right into a fight.
While all of that had been happening, Misty was thrown around in the mush pit of fans, shoved, elbowed and kicked by the multitude. She was driven over the edge and joined Ash in releasing her pokemon to fight off the overwhelming crowd. It got worse when Akira's back up dancers revealed themselves to be Team Rocket agents. They took advantage of the mayhem to try to steal from the crowd. The theft was a failure; the situation was far too out of control for the Rockets to make their way through the chaos.
In the end, Team Rocket fled, many people where injured and abundant bones were broken. That included Brock's right arm and left leg. Somehow, the pokemon breeder was satisfied with the experience. He almost made it onto the stage before Akira herself violently sent him away with a kick to the face and a broken nose. He was delirious with a stupid smile for a while, chanting, "she touched me," even if it was with the bottom of her boot.
Misty escaped the commotion with many bruises and cuts, but her most serious injury was a sprained ankle. By some miracle, Misty and Ash survived without broken bones, albeit Ash had to get stitches for a cut he got in his right arm.
Even if Akira was revealed as a member of Team Rocket, she still had concerts, which were troublesome. It was still better than dealing with a riot of her fans if the police took direct action against her. The casualties would be far more numerous then.
xoxox xox xoxox
As the battle raged on, Charmander became cocky, despite his opponent being a powerful Vaporeon. The small fire pokemon refused to listen to Ash, instead running around the arena, wagging his flaming tail and making faces at Aqua.
The display caused the audience to go from astonishment and fright to amusement and laughter. Giovanni recognized the power of the tiny Charmander, but he could certainly use more training.
"What have you figured out so far?" Delia inquired with curiosity. She theorized that Giovanni didn't know too much yet.
"What do you mean?" Giovanni looked away from the battle for a moment. They weren't really battling like before; Charmander was just running around making fun of his opponent.
"You have that analytical look in your eyes. I can tell you're trying to gather as much information as you can from watching the battle and the trainers." Delia found that she could still read Giovanni after all. She just needed to spend a little time with him to remember how it was done. "You're looking for information, have you found anything yet?"
Giovanni gave his observations some thought and began to construct a profile. "Charmander is young and needs more training, but he's very strong. Ash is a good trainer and has powerful pokemon."
"His pokemon are strong, that is true, but they grew with Ash's guidance," Delia elaborated, "what I mean is, simply having strong pokemon isn't enough. It doesn't just happen; they have to be raised to be strong."
Giovanni didn't comment on the lecture. He was still puzzled as to what role that young man could possibly play that made Delia return to Viridian City. "I would say he's a risk taker," anyone who would send out a pokemon that was not properly trained couldn't have a problem with taking risks. "He's stubborn, I can just tell."
Delia couldn't help it but to laugh, "you're absolutely right about that, Ash is very stubborn, just like you. He really likes pokemon and sometimes his winning streaks go to his head. Even if he has a mischievous side, he's a very caring person."
Giovanni didn't catch the true meaning behind Delia's comment about stubbornness and instead pointed out, "you're pretty stubborn yourself." He didn't wish to wait any longer, "whatever it is you wanted to tell me about him, I don't think I can figure it out just by watching the battle after all. Besides, this is turning into a circus show again," Giovanni complained impatiently.
Delia sighed, "so impatient," she kept her expression neutral as she spoke, "like father, like son."
"What do you mean?" Giovanni had no suspicions about Ash, he didn't show any hints of surprise.
Delia looked towards the battle arena, "he's a lot like his father. He's a bit more playful, but he's stubborn, strong and can get a little cocky unless someone is there to keep his feet on the ground. Most of all, he's determined, cunning and has a deep desire to be the very best." Delia paused and looked at Giovanni again, his puzzlement surfacing with a hint of curiosity. With a secretive tone she voiced, "Charmander."
Giovanni turned his attention to the battle once more, "I still say he needs more training." Giovanni observed Ash and his subconscious seemed to realize something he couldn't quite fully grasp. Ash reminded him of someone.
After a lot of running around, Charmander was finally getting tired from too much showing off. "Aqua, use hydro pump!" Ritchie called out, it was time to finish the battle.
Charmander stood his ground, despite Ash's expression becoming alarmed in realization, "no, don't do that!" It was too late, Charmander jumped backwards and sliced through the hydro pump's blast of water with iron tail. The end of his flaming tail collided harshly with the exhausted Vaporeon's head and finally knocked him out. "Charmander, why? Aqua was tired; you could have finished him off with an attack that didn't leave you so exposed to damage!"
"Charmander char!" Charmander dizzily argued as if trying to say he would do whatever he wanted. "Char..." he fainted as well.
"Vaporeon and Charmander are unable to battle! So far the match is a tie; both trainers each have two pokemon remaining!" Jango announced, he was just glad the chaos of fire and water was over. He hoped the next pokemon they sent out were not so dangerously destructive.
Ash called Charmander back into his pokeball, at the same time as Ritchie recalled his Vaporeon. Ritchie looked across the battle field at Ash, "tell me something Ash," he curiously inquired, "is that Charmander related to your Charizard from our first Indigo League competition?"
"You noticed," Ash laughed sheepishly, "you're right, Charmander is Charizard's son. I guess I still need to train him more. Speaking of Charizard, he listens to me now and he's my next pokemon, "Charizard, I choose you!"
"This will be an interesting battle," Ritchie anticipated, "I choose Zippo!" Another Charizard emerged from Ritchie's pokeball.
Ash's Charizard blew smoke rings as he smirked confidently. Zippo frowned at the arrogant attitude and waited for Ritchie's command. Both trainers called out in unison, "heat wave!" The pokemon sprang into action immediately, blasting each other with fire. More flames escaped the battling area when the two beams of fire collided and sparks flew in every direction.
"It's getting more destructive!" Mayor Antilles couldn't hold his silence any longer, not that anyone was listening to him, anyway. Giovanni, Delia and even Persian had their eyes glued to the battle field. "At least we're safe up here," the mayor thought aloud. He was soon proven wrong when the trainers instructed their pokemon to use aerial ace and fire blitz. That took the battle to the air with flames being ignited all over the place.
The abundant harsh fire attacks caused the stadium to catch aflame. The fire didn't dissolve after leaving an indentation in the walls, it was too strong and it spread and grew. People screamed in a panic and scrambled to get away from it. The security system activated and the sprinklers began to throw water all over the stadium, some spraying on the combating pokemon. They were too strong to be weakened that easily, thus the water only gave them discomfort and made them cranky. That caused their battle to turn more violent.
Giovanni glared at Rune in absolute fury, "you idiot! Whose idea was it to install this many sprinklers!" He was getting all wet along with everyone else. Persian had taken shelter under his chair to stay as dry as possible.
"I'm sorry!" Rune cried in fear and stress.
The massive battle continued, causing pandemonium in the stadium. The two trainers were focused on the fight, as if locked in a trance. "Fire blast," Ritchie called out.
At the same time Ash guided his Charizard with a different attack, "blast burn!" The flames collided with each other, with Ash's Charizard prevailing over Zippo.
Zippo was not going down without a fight and tried to blast back as much fire as he could, which Charizard returned. It resulted in a giant blast of fire, with flames raining upon the stadium. Mayhem ensued as people pushed and shoved others aside to abandon the blazing stadium.
Zippo fought to stay conscious while Ash told his Charizard to use "seismic toss!" Zippo and Charizard exchanged additional blasts of fire during the entire process. Finally, Charizard sent Zippo crashing to the ground. The impact not only caused Zippo to faint, but also shook the entire stadium. It further expanded the already severe damage the structure had sustained.
Ritchie called Zippo back to his pokeball with words of gratitude. The two trainers snapped out of their trance and noticed the destruction around them. "We messed up, didn't we?" Ritchie acknowledged.
To be Continued
Disclaimer, I don't own Pokemon. She told him, but at the same time she didn't... XD I forgot to mention it in the last chapter's notes, Ritchie's Kingler, Sebastian, is named after the crab from The Little Mermaid. I hope you all had a good Thanks Giving!