4 Things change - Part 2
Misty looked at her, but then felt a small tug against her leg. Looking down, she saw Pikachu looking up at her. She knelt, to pet him. "What do you think Pikachu? Should I do it?"
With a nod, the little mouse said "Pika. Pika chupi, pikachu"
Misty looked up, a determined smile on her face. "Fine. I'll try it. Tomorrow, we'll go to the Plateau, and find out how many people are battling him and how long till we can."
Later that afternoon, Gary took Misty outside to train. However, they both knew that whilst he still trained, his research meant that his Pokémon wouldn't stand a chance against hers. However, when she had pointed this out, Gary had laughed and said "Don't you think your being a bit arrogant? I was Ashy-boys rival after all!"
Facing each other across the field with a river to the side, Gary suggested a 1 on 1 battle, to test the strength of Misty's best. Misty knew what this meant. Gary would use his starter, his Blastoise. She knew its power, but also that she could beat it easily. Pulling a Pokéball off her belt, she threw it, calling "Misty calls Gyarados!"
The Atrocious Pokémon materialised in the river with a roar, dove under water and then drew itself up to its full height, glaring at Gary, who smirked.
"Misty, I believe you're going up against a powerful opponent? Well, I have nothing that could help you, aside from and old friend of yours. Whilst I doubt he is as strong as what you'll face, his typing should make things a little more challenging. Pikachu, would you do the honours?"
Misty looked askance at Gary as the little yellow mouse darted out into the field. Gary just shrugged.
"When Pikachu heard what you were planning, he wanted to help you train. He is probably the strongest electric type we have, and that is what your Pokémon will be weak against. Whilst the Champion probably won't bother with a type advantage, the strength of his Pokémon means that this should be good training for you. Now, shall we?"
"Gyarados, hydro pump!"
"Pikachu, dodge it, then use thunderbolt."
The giant serpent fired a huge torrent of water at the mouse who darted to the left, and retaliated with a bolt of electricity. The Atrocious Pokémon didn't wait for an instruction, but dived into the water letting the bolt fly over its head. Its tail then swung out and caught Pikachu, throwing him across the field. As the rodent skidded to a stop, Misty called "Flamethrower"
Pikachu tried to avoid the torrent of fire, but it followed him, gaining ground.
"Pikachu, Volt Tackle away from it, and arc round towards Gyarados"
Pikachu was surrounded by electricity, and raced away from the flamethrower. He then doubled back, and threw himself at Gyarados, with the collision causing the serpent to roar in pain.
"Gyarados, catch it now, and use hyper beam."
Before Pikachu could get away, Gyarados' tail snaked around it. The mouse looked up to see the Pokémon's head facing it, an orange beam forming in front.
"Pikachu, get away" shouted Gary, fearing for the Mouse Pokémon as it wouldn't be able to withstand the blast, but despite its writhing, Pikachu was unable to get free.
"Misty, I for..."
As the hyper beam raced out at Pikachu, he released a huge lightning bolt at it which caused a massive explosion. The mouse was thrown across the field, where it lay, before wearily climbing to its feet, and facing the cloud of smoke. Suddenly, Gyarados threw itself out at Pikachu, a look of rage on its battered face. The effects of Pikachu's counter were clear, but the serpent was still able to fight. Pikachu was sent flying by the collision, but righted himself and landed on his feet. However, before he could attack again, Gary called out "Misty, enough. If this goes on, one of these two is going to get seriously hurt."
Pikachu looked back at Gary, who nodded, gesturing him to return. Misty held out her arm with a Pokéball. "Gyarados, return."
She looked up, to see Gary approaching her, Pikachu by his side.
"Impressive. Pikachu is one of the most powerful electric types I've seen, and your Gyarados held its own despite the double-type disadvantage. He may even have won..."
"Pika, pika chu!"
"Ok Pikachu, he might not have" Gary chuckled. However, admit it, he was strong." Seeing the rodent consider his statement, Gary turned back to Misty. "I know he is your strongest so the others won't be as powerful, but Gyarados was fearsome. He would outclass most of what I have. You have come on a long way, Ash would be proud."
Misty smiled. She had matured a lot over the seven years, no longer with such a fiery temperament, although she could still anger quickly. Her friends all knew how upset she had been when Ash had vanished, and even worse as time went on. She had focused that into her training, vowing to "Make him proud" and Gary was just seeing the results. She bent down and scratched Pikachu behind his ears making him coo, before looking up at Gary. "Thanks. I still hope I'm ready. He is going to be hard to fight. Can you ask Max if he made a recording of the battle against Cynthia? I want to see how he fought her Milotic. I'm going to head out for a bit, get some training in."
"Sure" Gary replied. "And Misty? Good luck" And with a small smile, he turned back to the Ketchum residence.
Misty walked down the river, finding a spot where she could dip her feet in. She sat there, and threw her Pokéballs out, allowing her entire team to appear in front of her. She watched them as they settled down in the river, close enough to hear her speak without her having to raise her voice.
"Today, a new Pokémon Master was sworn in. He has promised to personally train the best trainers around. I feel that we should make ourselves fit into that category. Therefore, tomorrow we shall be heading to the Indigo Plateau to show to him what we are made of. However, it will be brutal. He is the most powerful trainer in the world, and we shall have to fight him. Since you are the ones who will be taking the battering, please, tell me now if you don't want this."
Her team watched her, in silence. Almost pitying in their looks, like she didn't understand something. Misty looked at Gyarados. "Gyarados, it was a fearsome battle you fought earlier. The match against 'The Champion' will be far harder. Are you sure that you are going to be able to stand it?"
Gyarados roared, as if it was insulted that she was suggesting it couldn't fight. The other Pokémon copied, and adopted fighting stances. Misty watched, with tears in her eyes, as she realised that they would fight for her. In fact, they would do almost anything for her. It was a sobering thought, but she pushed it aside.
"Thank you. Thank you all of you. Now, to be at our best for tomorrow, we are going to have to train today. I don't want you hurting each other, but I want you to work on speed and evasion."
It was some time later that Misty returned to the Ketchum residence, somewhat tired, but buoyed up for the following day. She found that Gary had left the video she asked for by the TV, so she settled down to watch it in the time before Mrs Ketchum managed to cook dinner with the help of Brock.
She watched as 'The Champion's' Charizard destroyed Cynthia's team, and how, despite its type weakness, its attacks burned straight through to Milotic. It was at the end, where a Flamethrower went straight through a Hydro Pump and knocked Milotic out that Misty knew she was in trouble.
She didn't know what 'The Champion' would use, but if it possessed the power of his Charizard, she would not stand a chance. As the video came to an end, with Charizard slamming Garchomp into the ground with a deadly Seismic Toss, before firing a Flamethrower attack at it to knock it out, Misty heard a voice from next to her.
"Watching you reminds me of him." Mrs Ketchum had come to find Misty, and sat next to her. She had heard about the Water-Trainers plan, and knew that she would need some comfort. "With you out training, travelling to become stronger, and now preparing for a battle tomorrow, you are doing exactly what he did."
Misty didn't know what to say. She didn't want to remind Delia about her son, but she wanted to keep doing what he would have wanted her to do. But before she could try to say something, Delia carried on.
"Thank you Misty. Without you in a way fulfilling his dream, I don't think I could carry on. I know he would want to be where you are now, but I know that if he couldn't be, he would want nothing more than to have one of his friends doing it. You do him proud, and you do his memory proud. Thank you for honouring my son."
With that, Delia got up and walked slowly away. At the door she turned and said with a sad smile "Dinners ready, if you want to come and eat like him too"
Inside the Indigo Plateau, Ash was standing in his office, looking out the window. There was a knock on the door. "Enter" came the curt command. Cynthia pushed the door open, and walked in, looking slightly apprehensive. She looked around and saw the figure by the window, before noticing his hat on his desk, behind which was a very simple chair. The office was very simple, having already been redecorated by Ash himself. The changes weren't numerous because Cynthia had simple tastes, similar to Ash.
Cynthia was reflecting on this, when a voice caused her to jump. "Sit". Ash had moved to behind the desk, and sat in the chair there. Looking round, Cynthia realized he was gesturing towards a chair opposite him, across the desk. She quickly moved to the chair, and sat down. She looked across the table, and for the first time, saw the Pokémon Masters face without it being hidden by his hat.
He had a sharply defined face, but what caught her attention were his eyes. One was dark and utterly void of anything. The other was electric blue, and dancing with energy. They were quite unlike anything that Cynthia had seen before, but her staring was interrupted by a chuckling from the man to whom they belonged.
"If you are going to spend the entire time staring at my eyes, I'll put the hat back on. I just thought it might be useful for the purposes of this meeting for you to see me properly."
Blushing, Cynthia looked down and muttered "No, it's fine. Sorry, just they are so... unusual."
"Don't worry about it. I understand that they are not what you're used to. Now, I suspect you are wondering why I asked you for this meeting. Put simply, I have a proposition for you. As you heard, I will not train upcoming Pokémon trainers like you did. I shall be devoting my time to other matters, as well as training a small group of elites. I expect gym leaders to be taking charge in training youngsters, but there will also need to be somebody coordinating the effort, as well as evaluating the stronger candidates. I would like you to be that person."
Cynthia was shocked. This man had publicly stated that he would not take an active role in teaching except to a few, and then invited her to do exactly what he had just said he wouldn't do! It was a maddening bit of politics, and infuriating to be manipulated like this. Because the job would be perfect for her after her defeat, and she suspected that the man sat opposite her knew it. Such an opportunity was unlikely to come around twice, so she knew she should probably take it. And she might have been about to agree, when there was a knock on the door and a man entered.
"Sir, there is a challenger here, claiming the right to battle you."
Ash looked at him. "The first one? About time, I was beginning to think that nobody would battle me. Very well, who is it?"
"A Misty Waterflower, Sir. The match is scheduled to start in 30 minutes."
"Thank you. I'll be along momentarily. Cynthia" at this she looked up "Can I expect an answer after the battle? Please think about it, I believe that you really are the right person for this. Now, if you'd excuse me." Ash stood up, rounded the desk and strode out, leaving Cynthia to contemplate what had just happened. She then realised she could go and watch a match between a trainer that had crushed her and a Water-Trainer who she had been following for a while. It was a match she really wanted to see, and so she hurried out of the office, not seeing the door that swung shut behind her by itself.