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TEEN: Crossover Battles (Cynthia Carter v. Steven Stone)

The Vulture Queen
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Hello and welcome to Crossover Battles. What the hell is a Crossover Battle? Well, glad you asked.

Crossover Battles will pit one character in the site's fan fiction archives against another in a simulated battle. And before you ask, yes, we got permission to use the characters that a project contributor did not create. Unlike other possible incarnations of this project these are not an Evasive Fight Episode. There will (almost) always be a clear winner. Additionally these are not strict roleplays of one character's author competing against another with both in control. Even if the authors who created the characters are working on the project it will work more like a scripted fight scene in the style of the works being drawn from.

And to address a complaint before it is raised, the battle we write is not necessarily how we think the fight would go down. It's just a stylistic portrayal of how it might, ending with the character we believe would win winning. As for how we pick a winner, well, that's a bit messier and will involve some bias. I can't deny that. But we try to stick to the moves, teams, tactics, and relative power of characters within the story to make a decision.

In general, battles are assumed to have the following rules when making a decision:

1) The arena will be a familiar setting to both stories, to the extent possible.
2) Trainers max out at six Pokemon (their most iconic team), even if they both carry more on occasion. This is more for our sanity than anything else.
3) Match rules will roughly match those the characters would abide to. Non-violent Pokemon trainers will just go for the end of a Pokemon battle following conventional rules. Soldiers will probably be going for a kill on the opposing trainer. Characters from other series or original fiction will follow their own rules.
4) Knowledge of the opponent is, within reason, restricted to what the character would reasonably know walking into a fight or could observe otherwise.
5) Known tactics and moves will be heavily favored when considering how a match would work and writing the battle out.
6) Depending upon the combatants, any rule above could be voided.

As far as content ratings go, the thread as a whole is rated Teen. Individual battles will default to the highest rating of a represented series.

But enough of that. On to some battles.

S1:
Geoffry v. Kephi (T)
??? v. Sai (T)
Gela Esprit v. Zephyr Rhodes (M)
Evelina Joy v. Alaska Acevedo (T)
Criss v. Vanessa Backlot [ Pt. 1 | Intermission | Pt. 2 ] (M)
Boreas v. Jolteon (T)

S2
Jal'Tai v. Mewtwo (M)
Sandy Samson v. Timothy Skeevich (T)
Reggie Damon v. Fritz Westmyn (T)
Cynthia Carter v. Steven Stone (T)


Comments are welcome. Flaming is not. Due to the relatively heightened passions this sort of thing could cause in the wrong people, if the content of your post is primarily negative and/or focuses upon something other than the writing quality of the battle I ask that you send it through me or the Project Manager of the battle via PM rather than posting in the thread.
 
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The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

Geoffry v. Kephi (T)


Flaze: Good evening everybody and welcome to the first installment of this new special Bulbagarden only (at least for now, who knows) series known as Crossover Battles! I am Flaze and I'll be your host of the day along with the lovely Diamond (because her name is too complicated for this kind of scenario)!

diamondpearl876: Hey, what's that supposed to mean?! ...Anyway, today we've released a special battle for you to read! The characters we used were Kephi (a venipede from my own Love and Other Nightmares) and Geoffry (a wurmple from @GastlyGibus; A New Life)!

Flaze: Yep yep. Now I think it's time we do some explanations for this. Basically we grabbed these two stories and read them then we just decided to pit the characters against each other. But we took into account the character's own place in the story, their roles as well as skills so that we could decide who would win this battle.

Now Diamond, as you are the writer behind the lovely swearful Kephi how about you give us a bit of an update on his background and story at least of what we know so far in your story.

diamondpearl876: I suppose I could do that! I took on the role of writing Kephi because, well... he hadn't had a battle in my story yet! Anyone else would have had a hard time writing a character only I knew about.

Kephi, in a nutshell, is a vulgar, sarcastic pokemon whose goal is to battle and become as powerful as his role model from when he was younger. In the latest chapter, his past was revealed, and readers learn that Kephi suffered a near-death experience which has since restricted his physical movements as well as his poison-type attacks.

While writing this I felt that Geoffry was a perfect opponent, as the wurmple gave Kephi that confidence boost he's been searching for during the story itself. It was an interesting experience for both the writer and the character.

Geoffry isn't your character, Flaze, but I'm sure there's some things to be said about taking on someone else's character. Any comments about that?

Flaze: Well like you said Geoffry isn't really my character. At first the reason it took me a while to really decide when we should start this was the fact that I was scared that I would get it wrong me and GastlyGibus are actually good friends so I was afraid to make him mad with the way I represented Geoffry.

But anyways Geoffry himself is the protagonist of A New Life, he's kind of a coward but overall he's a really peaceful Pokemon if a big loner at the end of the day. He likes to live in peace and hates fighting because he doesn't see the point of it, usually preferring to spend his days on his tree and living a peaceful life.

This little Wurmple is a very sarcastic fellow and he really holds no punches when it comes to trying to get what he wants, even if he always grabs the route that won't get him hurt. It was a bit of a difficult situation to write this because at the end of the day Geoffry had only had one short battle in A New Life so far so instead I based myself off of what a Wurmple living in the route Geoffry inhabitats would know and I went from there. I probably made him a bit more battle capable in the sense that I ended up kind of giving him a fighting style that suited his character even though in the story he doesn't yet have one but I think it was really fun overall to portray him and I gotta give Gibus thanks for making such a fun character to portray.

diamondpearl876: Thank you for those comments, Flaze. I'd also like to thank GastlyGibus for allowing us to use his character and thus helping the two of us expand our horizons as writers.

Now that we've introduced the characters, shall we get to the battle itself, Flaze?

Flaze: Right! Now to get to the main event! The Crossover Battle of the Century between these two crazy rude, slightly annoying worm Pokemon!

Now. It's time for a CROSSOVER BATTLE!

*

A New Nightmare

*​

It started as just another night in the forest.

Kephi was busy finding dinner for the night. He picked at some leaves, leaving them half-eaten before scurrying over to the next plant, as if somehow its leaves would taste better than the previous ones. When he wasn't satisfied, he ate some flowers and berries. Occasionally he saw a metapod or kakuna lying idly on their sides, but he ignored the helpless pokémon and went about his business, as he was still hungry.

Nothing seemed particularly appetizing tonight. It got boring, traipsing through the same tall grass time after time. Only the seasons changed, and the availability of rations. So Kephi decided to take a new approach. He scuttled over to the nearest tree and looked up. It was a long way away, but surely he could reach a branch and scout for food from that angle.

He muttered something to himself about those damn flying-type pokemon that he had to watch out for constantly, then attached himself to the trunk with the suction cups on his legs. When he felt secure, he made his way toward the nearest branch, hoping to stop and survey his progress before going any higher.

What he didn't notice was the trail of slime he left behind. What he did notice, however, was a wurmple named Geoffry sitting on the tree branch, unaware of anyone else's presence while eating a small piece of leaf.

Another bug-type pokemon, awake at this hour? This wasn't going to end well, Kephi could tell. He wasn't one to kill or attack without provocation, but...

"What the fuck are you doing?" he asked. "This is my tree branch, so scram."

Geoffry turned around slowly, a surprised expression on his face. An annoyed grunt came out upon realizing that there was someone else standing on his tree. The wurmple had just been having a late dinner, enjoying the comfort of his home that was hidden well enough so that no predators would target him. It was one of his many pride and joys, being able to keep himself safe.

It was a pride and joy that was now being usurped by a very rude and imposing venipede.

"Your tree branch?" he asked, frowning and glaring at the venipede. "You're in my tree, not to mention you're leaving that disgusting trail of slime behind you!" he yelled before looking at the slime trail that Kephi had been dragging with him. "Do you realize how uncomfortable it'll be to crawl down through that?"

...Yeah, this wasn't going to end well at all, Kephi thought. Smug pokemon like the wurmple were meant to be the main prey for predators around this area, not strong, independent pokemon like himself.

Kephi mumbled a curse under his breath in response to Geoffry's accusation. He dared to look behind him, and indeed he saw a dark yellow substance sticking to the trunk. The slime hadn't been there when he was climbing, so its origins were obvious.

"Like I care about you getting down from my branch," Kephi said, disdain clear in his voice. "If you need help, though, I'd be glad to push your sorry ass off."

This reaction got Geoffry to step back slightly as he realized that he was dealing with someone he couldn't reason with. He hated the idea of battling and especially disliked pokémon that jumped at the chance of doing it. "Come on, is violence really the answer here? Are you not sentient enough to talk through your problems?"

Kephi snorted. Was the wurmple serious? He couldn't tell. His first impression had told him the bug-type was also violent, considering its confidence and sarcastic personality to boot. But now that the opportunity had presented itself, Geoffry seemed to be all bark and no bite.

"You're right," Kephi said, but not without rolling his eyes first. "Violence isn't the answer, but vengeance is. So I'll say it again. Get the fuck off my branch."

"But I was here first!" Geoffry protested. "You wouldn't feel happy if a stranger suddenly went to your home and tried to get you away. Plus there's a lot more trees around," he exclaimed with slight exasperation as he glared at Kephi. He backed further away, his mind trying to figure out what he could do if things went more sour. "How about taking your slimy... back to another tree?"

At this, Kephi laughed. Not only was Geoffry moving closer to the branch's ledge, but also he just didn't have the guts to say a swear word.

"My slimy ass, you mean? I don't think so," he said, inching forward. "Besides, I'm glad I picked this tree. I wanted to know what interesting things I could see from up here, and right now, your terrified expression has made it worth it."

"Seriously, what's wrong with you?!" Geoffry exclaimed, realizing that he was getting closer to the ledge now. "You just come in unannounced and then start acting like this? What kind of civilized Pokemon are you?" He groaned, unconsciously stepping closer to Kephi to protect himself from falling.

"Hah! So you do have guts." Kephi shook his head. "That won't get you far, though." He paused, then added, "I never claimed to be civilized, by the way."

With that, Kephi lunged at Geoffry, reveling in the the other bug-type's surprise and horror.

Kephi's body collided with Geoffry's, sending the two of them spiraling downward. The forest's tall grass acted as a cushion as they landed. Kephi's predatory instincts kicked in as he went away from Geoffry, regained his composure and waited for his opponent to forfeit or defend himself.

Geoffry, meanwhile, cried out as he tried to regain his own composure. He stared at Kephi before looking up at the tree. Well, there was no way to get away now. They were fighting in the middle of the night despite the danger of being found by a bigger predator. Normally, Geoffry would be running... or crawling away now, but the fact that it would mean both losing his home and proving the usurper right kept poking at him.

"Fine, if you're not going to reason then I'll have to fight too." He frowned before beginning to run... or crawl toward the poisonous pokémon with a tackle attack.

Kephi saw Geoffry exert as much force as it could muster, but it wasn't a lot. The bug-type skittered with its tiny little legs, and thus all Kephi had to do was move out of the way. He went toward the tree they had just fallen from, as if to protect it, but it was really only to spite Geoffry. He wanted to make the bug-type think things were hopeless, that whatever this tree was to him now wasn't going to be the same again. Kephi was, at least, interested to see if the wurmple would gain speed or change direction in an honest attempt to fight.

Geoffry stared at Kephi, realizing that his tackle had had no effect whatsoever. He looked up at the tree in fear, worried over what would happen to him if he kept trying to push his luck. As he looked at the tree and then at Kephi, he realized something that he could do, a way to fend him off without having to fight. Geoffry raised his backside into the air a bit, only for a long thread to fire out and stick to one of the higher branches of the tree.

"Bye!" he called before pulling himself up with the thread.

"Oh, for fuck's sake," Kephi mumbled, watching as the wurmple actually used a smart tactic to escape. His head leaned upward as he wondered what he should do next. Should he pursue Geoffry? Should he let Geoffry go? In all honesty, he wasn't interested in the tree, nor was he interested in eating one of his own kind for dinner.

This was about honor or something like it, he supposed.

He didn't climb back up the tree. Instead he inhaled deeply, then exhaled while releasing a large blob of poison. He wasn't adept at using poison-type attacks, so at best he hoped to strike Geoffry or his string shot directly, and at worst he hoped to strike the branch Geoffry was climbing toward. As luck would have it, he hit a piece of Geoffry's string shot and stopped Geoffry dead in his tracks.

"You have got to be kidding me here!" Geoffry yelled as the thread he had made was quickly cut off thanks to Kephi's poison attack. Once this happened the wurmple began to fall to the ground once more, bouncing against the ground with a loud thud before squirming. "You just couldn't let me be happy, could you?"

"It's your fault for being a wimp," Kephi said, smirking. He was especially smug since his attack had hit dead-on, which didn't always happen with a weaker species like venipede, and especially not with venipede with dexterity problems like himself. "Why won't you fight?"

"Why should we fight, though?" the wurmple argued back, glad that the venipede seemed to have finally decided that talking would give better results. "We're fighting in the middle of the night, and all because you had to insist on invading my tree, and excuse me if I just feel that us fighting for no reason is a stupid thing to do," he explained with a frown, keeping his glare fixed on Kephi. "Just go find another tree, leave me alone and none of us have to get hurt!" he exclaimed, though he mostly thought of himself when he thought of someone getting hurt.

Kephi yawned, as if he hadn't been listening to Geoffry's spiel at all. "Not excused," he said, then curled up in a ball as if he were going to sleep. In reality he was about to use his rollout attack, and he prepared to take Geoffry by surprise as he added, "If it can't be my tree, then it's nobody's."

And with that, he sprinted forward onto his head, his body coiling into a ball and aiming straight toward the other bug-type. To save himself, Geoffry would have to move out of the way, but that meant allowing damage to his tree at the same time. If his resolve was as strong as Kephi thought it was, then he would fight back this time around.

Geoffry was about to jump away just as Kephi had planned, except he noticed how the tree would be hurt because of the ordeal if he did jump away. He looked at the ground before shifting around frantically, trying to find some kind of solution. Finally, he turned to the rolling Kephi once more, his eyes determined as he turned around and fired another shot of threads, this one spreading around like a spider web to try and trap Kephi on his tracks.

Kephi's movements started to falter as he felt a sticky string wrap around his body. He wobbled back and forth, struggling to aim toward Geoffry like he had originally planned. Soon he lost control and went careening to the left and into a bush with thorns on it, which cut into his exoskeleton. He uncurled his body, only to feel pain spreading through his legs and torso.

He grunted and mumbled obscenities to himself as he stepped out of the bush and glared at the other bug-type. The rollout attack had only been used to Geoffry's advantage, and he was anything but happy.

Geoffry was completely shocked that his attack had actually caused such great results, especially since he had done it out of the blue. He was alarmed by the fact that Kephi had gotten hurt, something that would surely destroy any chances he had of trying to settle things without fighting. He wanted to ask the other pokémon if he was okay, then try to explain himself and his actions.

He knew, however, that that would bear no fruit, and while he had initially thought of using a tackle attack again, he realized that it would just bring about a repeat of before and get him too close to Kephi for comfort. Instead he decided to take his chances. He firde another web of threads at him, aiming to trap him in a net before he was able to charge again.

Kephi tried to hop away. He managed to move a couple inches before having no choice but to initiate his protect attack. He closed his eyes and used an absurd amount of energy in an attempt to calm down and build a barrier around himself. A purple aura soon surrounded his body, and though some of the web grabbed hold of his antennae, most of it fell pathetically to the forest floor. Geoffry stepped back in shock, not expecting for Kephi to have unleashed a protect attack so suddenly.

"Okay, I better go now," he muttered to himself before looking up at the tree once more and pulling the same string stunt from before, using a thread to pull himself up the tree while Kephi fended off the attack.

Kephi shook off the threads on his antennae. Thanks to Geoffry's weak and defense-oriented battle style, it turned out to be an easy feat. The poison- and bug-type smiled to himself. He was tired from gathering so much an energy at once, and he was ready to end this battle here and now.

He performed rollout once more. Overall he attacked with less vigor, but it was enough to shake the tree. Geoffry was a second too late and couldn't attach himself to the tree branch firmly. The rollout's momentum and power caused Geoffry to lose his balance and fall once more.

Kephi had given up on the damn bug-type, and so he kept rolling. He kept rolling and hit the wurmple dead-on. Geoffry groaned loudly as he was sent sprawling back on the ground. He lay still. He felt a searing pain going through him that made him let out a grunt. Finally he knew that he couldn't win, that he would lose either his home or his life. He looked at Kephi quickly before closing his eyes, deciding that maybe pretending he was out for the count would make the venipede go away.

Geoffry's plan worked, but not to the extent he had been hoping. Kephi relented and turned to leave. After a moment he stopped and peered up at the tree that had started this whole mess.

"Stupid tree. Stupid bug," he muttered, then inhaled and felt poison gather in his mouth. When he had accumulated a decent amount of the harmful substance, he spit it out toward the tree, covering the trunk so that Geoffry couldn't climb it anymore. "Slime and poison. How's that, motherfucker?" he added.

Then he left for good, the pride of his victory welling up inside as Geoffry simply went to occupy another tree in the forest.

*


Flaze: Well wow that sure was an interesting battle wasn't it?

diamondpearl876: It sure was, Flaze! ...Admittedly, I feel a little bad that Kephi won, since he's my own character and all... You think we could go over why Kephi won and not poor little Geoffry?

Flaze: Yeah you're right Diamond as always. But basically as Project Manager I ended up thinking a lot about exactly who would win the battle and then I went to you about it.

But basically as explained before Geoffry is overall not only a pacifist but he actually isn't any good at battles, he's only had one official canonical battle in his story which he pretty much just got beat up in and overall he's not the type of guy that would fight, so it's not like he's got the conditions for fighting anyways.

Compared to him Kephi has a bigger hang of his skills as a fighter, plus Geoffry's strongest attack Poison Sting is innefective against Kephi due to the Pokemon's poison typing. Couple that with Kephi's experience and drive for battle and Geoffry never really had a chance.

It's sad really but it looks like Geoffry is going to find a new home for himself, not like he'll be there for too long, you'll know why if you go and read the story ;)

diamondpearl876: Poor Geoffry! I wasn't disappointed with the fight he put up against Kephi, though. As you said, others will have to read A New Life to see what's REALLY happening to Geoffry... And I have to say, I enjoyed reading it for this battle, so I recommend it to everyone! Anything else to add, Flaze?

Flaze: Well I'd like to add that they have to check your story out too, it's certainly a good read as well. But overall I hope that this battle was enjoyed by everyone, especially the original creator of this idea @Rediamond; this is only the first installment in this new series though so you should stay tuned for the next one coming out....when is it coming out again Diamond?

diamondpearl876: The next battle is due April 4! @AetherX; and @Arkadelphiak; will be portraying [REDACTED]! Look forward to it! :~)

Flaze: Yes sadly you won't get to see us in that battle :C but You'll instead get to see us in the battle after that! but still tune in for the next installment of Crossover Battles!

diamondpearl876:Okay, until next time!

Next time...

? v. SL


Project Manager: Flaze
Assistant Writer: diamondpearl876

Geoffry v. Kephi

~Rediamond
 
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Don't Look Away
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Re: Crossover Battles

It's here woohooo! this was really fun to do actually xD so I hope that everyone enjoys it.
 
It's been a while
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Re: Crossover Battles

This is a great idea. I loved the battle, even if it was between two little bugs in the forest. I look forward to the next installments.
 
Pull in all the Magikarps!
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Re: Crossover Battles

W00T!!! It's finally out! What a nice battle, and I just hope that the characters are actually true to their original personalities and such. Great work, you guys!
 
Because I like Tophats
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Re: Crossover Battles

Lemme guess, you were inspired by Death Battle from Screw Attack, right? Anyway, definitely looks like an interesting concept and I'm keen to see more in the future.
 
Thesaurus rex
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Re: Crossover Battles

I've been meaning to leave a comment here for a while, I suppose now's as good a time as any. Sooo, how am I going to do this, I think I'll use a modified version of my usual format.

Technical Accuracy/Style
Technical Accuracy was generally good from what I recall. Stylistically it was ok, though rather a lot of unsubtle telling rather than showing to reveal motivations and thoughts.

Aptness
Yes, I know, but it wouldn't be much of a review if I didn't consider whether the premise was a good one. In so many ways you're starting off on the back foot with a Wumple as one of the combatants. And you haven't done what I hoped you wouldn't - namely, just write a curb-stomp. Frankly, if every wild Wurmple that ever faced any challenge just got immediately mashed into pulp they'd never have developed Poison Sting in the first place. Putting Geoffry up against Kephi is about as appropriate a match as I can think of. I personally would have liked to see more of Kephi's headstrong and unpolished battle style hindering him during the battle

Story/Characters
Not a bad story, given the length of the piece. It kind of meandered back and forth - in this case I'd say that's appropriate, given that neither of these pokémon have trainers. I'm torn between whether I want to consider Kephi's petty spite appropriate or contrived. In Love and Other Nightmares it's pretty well established that he likes be a jerk, but on the other hand his animosity towards Geoffry also comes across as an attempt to create a reason to battle out of nothing. Which is also kind of the point, so I suppose my main complaint is that it doesn't feel as natural as I'd like

Nevertheless, Geoffry's way of dealing with it I particularly liked. It was consistent with his behaviour in his parent story and makes sense in the context of wild pokémon. A Wurmple would be evasive rather than try to battle head-on. There is, however, the problem that there are any number of perfectly good trees in the forest. Kephi's own pettiness sort of mitigates that problem, and that Geoffry does try escape over battle, but I don't think it's entirely solved as a problem.
 
Don't Look Away
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Re: Crossover Battles

On the point of motivations for the fight seeming like it was done just so that they would fight it out..yes you're right:p but that was also the point, I mostly guided myself based around the web show this is based on and I honestly don't feel bad about it.
 
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Re: Crossover Battles

Geoffry raised his backside into the air a bit, only for a long thread to fire out and stick to one of the higher branches of the tree.

"Bye!" he called before pulling himself up with the thread.
Not going to lie, I laughed out loud in public at this part.

I'm not sure if I had the full crossover battle experience this time around since I haven't read either of these stories, but oh well. I came in here expecting to root for Kelphi because he's a venipede, but then he's such a JERK and Geoffrey is a little sweetheart who didn't deserve any of this but then again Kelphi's a venipede and incredibly entertaining... I was torn for who I wanted to win the whole time. D: That's not exactly a bad problem to give me, though.

I agree with Pavell that it felt a little bit contrived at times (which I was perfectly able to accept and ignore given the concept), but if you wanted to, you could make the tree seem more like something worth battling over if you emphasized how nice of a tree it was in the beginning. For example, having Kelphi go after it because it looked like an exceptionally comfy and safe tree to sleep in compared to all the other trees around, rather than him picking it at random.

Overall it was a really fun and entertaining battle. Given the power difference and the personalities of the two characters I'm surprised it didn't end up being a curbstomp, and pleasantly surprised at that. Great read overall, can't wait for the next installment. :D
 
The Vulture Queen
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??? v. Sai (T)

Hello and welcome to a new installment of Crossover Battles! Today’s battle is between two awesome dark fic protagonists: Sai from Survival Project by @diamondpearl876; and the unnamed protagonist from {some rise by sin} by @kintsugi;

SAI
Sai is a not so average trainer journeying across Johto. His background is almost completely a mystery, but his odd mannerisms and ability to speak to Pokémon hint at him being abnormal. In battle he prioritizes the wants and needs of his Pokémon. He prefers simple attacks and playing to the strengths of his Pokémon over more complex strategies. His Pokémon include Senori, a moody yet compassionate Sentret; Kuiora, a cocky Croconaw obsessed with getting stronger; and Atis, a shy but experienced Hitmontop.

???
She's a citizen under a Team Rocket-imposed dictatorship in Johto, which plays directly into the main conflict. Her story begins with some mysterious powers at play, which unfortunately get her headhunted by Team Rocket during a magnetic apocalypse. Aside from being a fairly normal (and wonderfully sarcastic) individual, her strengths lie in her compassion for others. Unfortunately, this also plays out as a weakness that others can take advantage of (I'm looking at you, Silver). Her Pokémon team consists of Icarus the Murkrow, Gaia the Metapod, and Atlas the Houndour. Icarus is the star of the show, being a bloodthirsty little guy with quick wit. But the real question is: how will this protagonist fare against Sai and company?

Now, It's time for a CROSSOVER BATTLE!


*

{some rise by survival}

*​


A warm, sweet wind stirred the depths of the Ilex Forest. Senori stood tall on his tail, peering through the trees. Leafy shapes shivered and little sets of eyes occasionally glittered. But in the dying orange glow of the setting sun, the forest only grew darker.

“I think we’re lost,” he said sullenly, lowering himself back to the ground.

“Lost?” someone from behind said. “Lost?

“Yes. I can’t see anything.”

“No, we’re not,” a new voice from behind him replied. “I know exactly where we are.” Kuiora strode proudly past Senori.

“Do you?”

“We’re in a forest!” Kuiora said matter-of-factly, and continued confidently forward through the dense underbrush. “And it’s definitely a dark one!”

Senori rolled his eyes. Their trainer, Sai, followed Kuiora without comment. The final member of their team, Atis, was not far behind. Senori sighed and went after them. A few minutes of hushed silence went by as the group trudged through the thickening shrubbery. Eventually, the forest gave way to a small patch of open grass; delicate flowers peppered its face.

“Well, isn’t that pretty?” Atis said softly.

Sai came to a halt and sniffed the air, looking around. He squinted at the far edge of the meadow. His Pokémon, uncertain, looked on as well. He stiffened and got a look of vacant surprise.

“I think there’s—”

Atlas, stop!

“NEW FRIENDS!”

A young houndour burst from the trees at the other side of the meadow, sprinting straight at Kuiora. Mouth agape, tongue flailing, he tackled her at full strength and the two tumbled through the grass.

“Aaugh!” Kuiora screeched, flinging her stubby arms and receiving a face full of earth, the houndour in tow. Their combined momentum landed them in the adjacent bushes with a crash.

Atlas, don’t— oh no.”

A ruffled-looking girl had stumbled into the clearing, and froze at the sight of Sai and his Pokémon. The metapod in her arms looked equally shocked.

“Oh, Arceus.” She ran a hand through the fringes of hair near her braid, cringing. “Look, I am so sorry,” she held out her hand around the metapod, “he got the scent of something and ran off, then I lost him and— he’s just kind of excitable.”

A murkrow sat on her shoulder, eyeing the newcomers with glittering eyes. Sai had been staring at it as the girl spoke; he blinked a few times, then looked back to her.

“Sentret! Croconaw! Hitmontop!” the murkrow screeched.

“Yes, thank you, Icarus,” the girl growled at it. “I’m just passing through,” she continued. “Sorry to bother your croconaw.”

“No, no! I’m Kuiora!” she shouted, trying to push Atlas and his endless licking off herself. “Tell her my name is Kuiora, and I will not tolerate this! I demand to fight this thing!”

Sai smiled at Kuiora, then to the girl. “That’s Kuiora. She’s not happy with you.”

“. . . Sorry.”

Atlas regained his footing and barked, naturally, right in Kuiora’s face. “Oh boy!” Atlas’ tail slapped through the air. "I just love my new friend!”

Kuiora –who had successfully wrenched her tail from a pricker bush— threw off the houndour and scrambled back to her feet, smarting. She glared; Atlas crooked his neck. Kuiora slung an arm back and punched him square in the face. He didn’t seem to mind too much, and responded by pouncing on her once more.

The girl held a hand over her mouth, shocked. Sai was silent with amusement. They watched the scuffles and screeches for a moment.

“Anyway,” she looked back to Sai, “I should probably get going.”

There was a nervous undertone, a sincere hurry in the way she spoke. Her eyes flashed between each of Sai’s Pokémon. “Don’t want to hold you up . . . you know? Hey, Atlas,” she barked sharply, “let’s go.”

Atlas, still straddling Kuiora, interrupted his licks and whined at her.

“Let me fight him!” the miserable croconaw cried to Sai. Her restraint was quickly deteriorating. “Please! You know I want to get stronger, Sai! Please!”

Atlas.”

It was then that Sai gained a brilliant revelation.

“Battle me,” he told the girl.

“I . . . what? Why?”

“Because that’s what trainers do when they meet, right?”

“Uh . . . I guess?”

“Then let’s battle. We need the training, and so do you.”

“Well, you see, I really gotta—”

“Yes! Yes!” the murkrow broke in. “Yes! Battle! Battle!” he cawed, buffeting his trainer in the face with his wings.

The girl spluttered, brushing feathers from her face, and shoved the murkrow off with one arm, the other still clutching the metapod. She sent a glare at to murkrow, who returned a smug look.

“No,” she pointed right between his eyes, “we will not battle. We have to go.”

“Boss says yes,” Icarus said to Sai.

“Boss says no, actually.”

“Boss lies.”

Sai just marveled at them.

“Isn’t that something?” Senori remarked to Atis.

Fine,” the girl finally spat. “I suppose we have to start somewhere. Atlas, let’s see what you can do.”

“Good! Kuiora and Atlas have already started anyway,” Sai said excitedly, suddenly bursting with energy. He darted over to the edge of the clearing. The girl moved hesitantly around the blue and black creatures. Atis and Senori stood attentively behind Sai. The murkrow took back his perch on his trainer’s shoulder.

“You sure you wanna do this?” she called to Sai.

“Yes.”

She turned to look at her personal pest, muttering something to him about behaving himself. Icarus let off an earsplitting caw, and the battle began.

Kuiora grabbed ahold of Atlas’s midsection and hurled him away before crawling back to her feet. Despite being tired and roughed up, Atlas looked like he was having the time of his life. His tongue drooped from the side of his mouth as he panted happily.

“Now,” the girl began, “start with— aaugh!” she grasped in futility at the murkrow, who had taken off from her shoulder and dive-bombed Kuiora. “Icarus, don’t you dare!

Hey!” Sai shouted, holding out his hands. “What are you doing?

“Icarus, no!” the girl yelped.

Kuiora covered her face to protect it from the onslaught of beak and talons. Atlas yipped in excitement.

Icarus, you get the hell back here now!” the girl commanded, pointing at her feet.

With one last nip at Kuiora’s head spikes, the murkrow obeyed. He alighted on her shoulder, puffed up with self-righteousness.

“You can’t use two Pokémon at once,” Sai growled.

“I’ll take ‘em both on!” Kuiora assured her trainer, ignoring the blood drizzling down her head. “No problem! Nope!”

“I know. Oh, Arceus I’m so sorry. He’s never done a proper battle before,” she explained, glaring at the demon bird himself. “He’ll be waiting his turn.”

“Why, Boss?” Icarus asked his trainer.

“Because we’re supposed to go one at a time,” the girl said exasperatedly.

“Why?” Icarus replied, his head cocked to the left.

“Because that’s just the way it is.”

“Why?”

“I am not going to have a debate with you!” she said, stomping a foot. “Look,” she turned to Sai, “maybe this isn’t such a good idea. We can hardly see each other in the dark, anyway.”

“Well, I really think that—”

“There is no way you’re getting out of this that easily!” Kuiora hissed, bearing her claws. The girl looked confused at all the hissing sounds directed at her, but clutched the metapod to her chest involuntarily.

“No, it’s okay,” Sai said. “I didn’t know it was your first time. Let’s keep going.”

The girl gulped.

“Kuiora, use water gun.”

The croconaw inhaled and let out a blast of water at Atlas, who took it at full force. He yipped in discomfort and tumbled backwards.

“Atlas, you’re supposed to dodge those,” the girl sighed. “The croconaw isn’t your friend right now.”

“Okay! Not friend now! Friend soon!”

The now sopping wet houndour responded by dashing towards Kuiora and latching onto her arm. She shook him around, but his bite was too strong. Atlas held on determinedly, growling through a mouthful of croconaw arm. His stubby little tail wagged in delight.

“Use water gun again,” Sai said. Atlas’ face whitened and his jaws released, but his efforts to escape the torrent of water were in vain. The blast hit him in the snout, sending him rolling through the grass. He laid there, whining at his owner through the pants.

“He’s done,” the girl said quickly.

Begrudgingly, Atlas slowly pushed himself upright and retreated to his trainer’s side, head hung low.

“Alright Gaia, it’s your time to shine.”

The girl set her metapod down on the grassy floor gently, and stepped back. The Pokémon uprighted herself and stared down Kuiora. The whites of her eyes glimmered in a nearly predatory fashion.

“It’s . . . kinda giving me the creeps,” Kuiora said over her shoulder to Sai.

“Keep fighting,” he waved her off. “Try something like—”

“String shot! Everywhere!

A thin line of whitish goo erupted from a small spinneret below Gaia’s eyes. Kuiora, caught off guard, leaned off to the side and felt a rain of the stickiness. Gaia directed the beam en suit, splattering her foe with the goo. It hardened into a string and Gaia began to spray more.

“Snap through it, Kuiora.”

“Of course! Nothing can hold me!”

Kuiora grabbed on to the line connecting her to Gaia and gave it a solid yank. With a strange croak, Gaia was flung forward; she flew through the air and smacked into a tree trunk behind Kuiora, dragging dust down with her strings as she fell into the brush. A startled mushroom shaped wild Pokémon that had been watching the battle scampered off into the undergrowth in fright.

“Smart!” Senori clapped to Kuiora. She beamed.

“. . . Arceus,” the girl whispered, completely pale. She shuddered, her eyes going vacant for a second, and returned to reality. “Don’t let your Kuiora do that!” she snapped. “That’s dirty!”

“I didn’t tell her to do that.”

“You’re just jealous I’m winning,” Kuiora scolded Gaia’s trainer.

“Kuiora, come back.”

Her jaw dropped involuntarily.

What?” Senori gasped. “Sai, don’t be a fool, you’ll lose the advantage!”

“Don’t question me. Kuiora, get back here.”

Only understanding one side of the conversation, the girl looked awkwardly back and forth between Sai and Senori, unsure whether he was totally insane, she was totally insane, or this kid could actually talk to Pokémon.

“Atis,” Sai pointed at the battlefield. “Take her place.”

The hitmontop nodded slowly and approached where Gaia had fallen. This wouldn’t be too hard, as a metapod couldn’t move, but he felt kind of bad about it. Gaia almost looked sad as she leaned against the tree, a single silky thread connecting her to a low hanging branch.

“Sai,” he shook his head, “it’s a metapod. I don’t . . . think it’s right for someone like me to be in this fight.”

“It’s a battle. Just fight and be done with it.”

Atis sighed. “I’m really sorry about this,” he said as he prepared a kick that would finish the fight in a single blow. “Really, I am—”

SNAP!

Atis dove out of the way of the falling branch. Gaia had yanked the string connected to the branch above them. Atis hadn’t been expecting that, but barely managed to avoid it. He stared at the heavy limb, realizing how bad it would have been if it had hit him. Perhaps this was a fair fight, after all.

As if on cue, a spurt of string shot came from the other side of the leafy debris and splattered Atis in the torso. “Ugh!” he cried, feeling it pull at his skin.

But the shot had given away Gaia’s position, forfeiting the advantage of camouflage. A second shot flew towards Atis. He covered his face, wincing slightly. Another sticky explosion wrapped around his hand, dangerously close to his face, but Atis kept moving forward. Fighting through the sticky string and the obstacle of the fallen tree branch, he found her.

“Oh, now this just isn’t fair…” he muttered in pity.

Finish it!” Kuiora screamed.

Gaia’s eyes were completely round. She squeaked as more string shot bubbled at her orifice. Atis delivered a hard kick that sent Gaia flying back towards her trainer. She ran over, murmuring comforting words, and picked up Gaia with utmost care.

“Good job, Atis!” Senori and Kuiora cheered. Atlas, at the other end of the field, gave a sigh.

Atis looked over at the murkrow perched on her shoulder, knowing what was coming next. And after seeing how that murkrow had ambushed Kuiora, he wasn’t looking forward to it. Atis shifted uncomfortably from one foot to the other, absentmindedly picking at the remaining flecks of string shot. He was unsure what to do. This bird was an enigma. A fast, violent, terrifying enigma.

“Okay Icarus, now you can go,” the girl said, pointing to Atis.

The murkrow burst from its roost and dove straight towards Atis without need of a command. On instinct, Atis dove sideways just in time for Icarus’s talons to snag nothing but thin air.

Icarus swept low to the ground and banked hard, coming back around towards Atis; he hunkered down and stretched his arms forward to prepare to catch the murderous ball of feathers.

“Maim! Kill!” Icarus cackled as he neared, clearly pleased with the natural advantage.

Atis squeezed his eyes shut in fright and waited for impact, but none came. Icarus instead swung around behind him and slashed his back with a golden talon. Atis cried out in pain.

Icarus, no,” the girl said tiredly. “No maiming and definitely no killing. Just… peck him or something.”

As Icarus came in for another attack, Atis managed to get his wits together enough to jump forward and grab ahold of a wing, pulling Icarus down to earth. Icarus squawked in surprise, finding himself pinned down supinely.

“Good!” Sai said encouragingly. “Knock him out!”

It was a short lived victory. Icarus screeched and pecked ferociously at Atis’s face. Atis shouted in surprise and covered his face with his arms, releasing his hold on Icarus’s wings. The bird immediately took off again, deliberately swatting Atis across the head with his wing as he went. It was too much. The overwhelmed hitmontop tumbled backwards; he slow to get back up.

“Ugh,” he wiped at the previous cut on his back, feeling dirt in the drying blood. Icarus came around again, talons outstretched and cackling maniacally. Atis made an attempt at dodging, but the murkrow was just too quick. Icarus became a flurry of wings and claws, buffeting and slashing Atis unrelentingly. Atis could only muster a few halfhearted punches, slowly withering under the onslaught.

“Sai,” he moaned, “you know I’m at a disadvantage here…”

“Okay! That’s enough!” Sai shouted. “Your Icarus wins— no more fighting.”

Surprisingly, Icarus let up at that. “Win! Win!” he squawked on a victory lap around the field.

“Thank you, Atis. You did your best,” Sai assured the bruised and beaten hitmontop that was limping back towards him. “Senori,” he nodded to his first teammate, “you’re up.”

The sentret edged forward nervously. Atis gave him no sign of encouragement as they passed each other. This entire task felt very disheartening to Senori. Atis was a competent, if reluctant, fighter; if he couldn’t take down this bloodthirsty thing, then Senori was not going to have a pleasant time. Regardless, Sai needed him to win, so he would have to try his best. He squared off with Icarus, who was standing idly on the ground with as much of a confident smirk as a creature without lips could manage.

“Sentret!” Icarus cawed.

“Yes. Yes I am,” Senori replied slowly.

“Scared! So scared!”

Senori shrunk back, embarrassed at being called out. It was true, though. He wasn’t too keen on taking on an opponent whose definition of a friendly battle overlapped with a fight to the death. Icarus cackled and took off, already spiraling around for his first run.

On the other hand, the girl had calmed down a bit. Her newfound confidence in Icarus —and herself— was showing. “Feint attack!” she shouted.

“Use tail whip, Senori!” Sai countered.

Senori tensed up and let his tail rise. Icarus came in low, heading straight at Senori, his talons barely brushing the top of the grass. Just before impact, Senori spun around, lashing out as hard as he could with his tail, but it didn’t hit anything. Caught off balance, he spun a full three hundred and sixty degrees, totally losing sight of Icarus. He had ducked out of the way at the last second and swung around Senori as he spun, just out of sight. Now behind the confused sentret, Icarus tapped into the innate powers of dark-types and plunged headfirst through Senori’s back. Senori gasped in shock as Icarus phased through him and burst out of his chest.

“Oh no,” he grabbed his chest, “no, no, I don’t like that at all.”

Ignoring the malignant new chill stuck in his chest, Senori gathered his wits and snagged Icarus’s tail feathers before he could make his escape. Icarus squawked and flapped about violently, dragging Senori through the grass, but the sentret held on tight. When Icarus stopped to turn around and apply his sharp beak to the task of removing his unwanted passenger, he received a monstrous slap across the face. Icarus hit the ground in a daze. Senori nearly laughed. His tail lifted straight in the air.

“Now tackle!”

While Icarus blinked himself to his senses, Senori charged onward and slammed into him. Icarus cried out, wings flapping wildly with each bounce. Senori bounced off effortlessly, confidence building, and went for another tail whip. However, Icarus was ready for this one— rather than take it across the face, he caught it in his mouth.

“Oh, no-no-no—”

Icarus grinned and took off with his enemy in tow. Though burdened with the extra weight, he flapped as hard as he could to gain altitude. Senori squirmed as he hung upside down. Each jerk of the wings sent waves of pain through Senori’s tail, and he wasn’t entirely keen on getting Icarus to drop him anyway as the ground grew farther away.

“SAI! HELP!” Senori squealed.

Icarus!” the girl cried out. “You will put him down right now!

She picked her words carefully, but Icarus was a rather literal bird in the moment. His beak opened to Senori’s dismay, and the poor creature fell at least ten feet, clunking right down on his head.

Sai, with fear in his eyes, ran forward and fell to his knees. He picked up Senori, holding his breath. He was thankfully alive, but knocked out cold. His glare smoldered at the perpetrator.

“Do you know how dangerous that was?” Sai scolded Icarus. “Do you?

“Yes! Sentret can’t fly!”

He puffed up in pride, believing he had made some incredible scientific contribution to battling. His trainer looked concerned for Senori, but a little bit pleased that Icarus had managed to take out two of Sai’s Pokémon on his own.

Sai gritted his teeth at the losses. The whisperings of his defeated Pokémon were starting to reach his ears. He nervously reached into his pocket and clenched the plain white and black die that sat inside. Two grooved circles landed under his thumb. He looked over to Kuiora, who had already been staring at him.

“Your turn,” he nodded. “And behave.”

“I will if he does!”

Kuiora darted back into the battlefield, flexing her claws. Icarus burst from the air and landed on the ground with feet braced. He eyed Kuiora, ruffling his feathers, and stayed tense. Considering the way his eyes kept darting everywhere, it was enough to make Kuiora distrust him.

“Feint attack!”

Icarus croaked and vanished into the shadows.

“Kuiora,” Sai commanded, “don’t—”

A biting, blustery wind went through Kuiora from tip to tail, and a translucent Icarus flew straight out of her chest. Kuiora, unaccustomed to such swimmy sensations, stood there shuddering.

“—oh, just hit him with water gun!”

She coughed out a spray, aiming for the aerial pest. But Icarus swung low and she missed entirely. Kuiora readjusted and missed yet again. However, when Icarus blew right past, she gained a realization, spitting out the rest of the water.

“If I get his wings wet,” she shouted to Sai, “won’t that slow him down?”

Sai blinked in surprise. “. . . Yes. Yes, it will.”

“Good!”

“Now, do that.”

Icarus, on the other hand, had far more than a mere ‘well-developed’ sense of hearing, and perched on a tree limb. He cawed, turning it into a hiss, refusing to get any nearer.

“Icarus?” his owner called. “What are you doing?

“Lesson number one,” a groggy Senori called drily from the sidelines. “Don’t talk about your plans right in front of your enemy. Or, under certain circumstances, don’t even talk.”

Kuiora hissed and flung a few stray beads of water at the unwanted commentator. Senori looked unimpressed at the wet spots in his fur.

“Come on, little bird!” Kuiora taunted. “Are you scared?”

Icarus just stared.

“Look at this,” she said mostly to Atis, holding a claw at her enemy. “He’s a dark-type, yet he’s timid? Ha!”

“Ha! Ha!”

With a screech, another cold wind burst through Kuiora’s side. Icarus materialized, swooping into a loop far above. Kuiora closed one eye, feeling the water pool up in her throat, and waited just a second.

A thinner, faster beam of water shot between her teeth. It exploded right into Icarus, showering them both. Icarus, soaked, cried out and dropped down a foot in surprise. He dove on a lower tree branch and positively glowered at Kuiora.

“Icarus,” the girl sighed, “uh . . . just attack. You’ve got this.”

“Yes! Maim!”

I did not say maim—”

Icarus —now less aerodynamic, but ultimately falling faster— spread his wings and launched himself directly at Kuiora. His blood-colored eyes peered between his talons. Kuiora bent backward at the last second, nearly missing those sharp needlepoints; one of his talons grazed the tip of her snout, and blood ran into her mouth.

Thrown back on her haunches, Kuiora hissed and drew up her clawed hands. She flattened her eyes in hate at the murkrow. She spat another stream of water at a spot about a yard in front of him. Icarus screeched and could do nothing but fly headfirst into the torrent.

“Oh no,” the girl cringed, watching Icarus plummet to the ground.

Not a second later, Icarus drew out a wing, only to see it was entirely soaked. He croaked in disgust.

“Ha, ha!” Kuiora laughed, coming forward to deliver the final blow.

This, however, was not the wisest decision. After all, in Azalea Town, Murkrow are said to consist of eighty percent evil and twenty percent sharp appendages.

“Aaugh!” Kuiora cried at the slash from one of his talons. She recoiled, clutching her palm, and became very alarmed at how quickly she was bleeding. “You sorry little bird,” she growled.

Icarus leapt up and shook off some water, cawing in her face. Kuiora swiped only for him to duck.

“Stupid bird—”

However, Kuiora managed to snare him by the foot, struggling against his constant flapping. Icarus squawked and began pecking her all over —vicious, sharp pecks that dug in.

“Boss! Help!”

“Icarus,” she sighed, “I can’t help you.”

Kuiora, straining, held up Icarus to eye-level while shielding her precious eyesight. He screeched and flailed, flapping his wings in her face, his very own storm of feather and droplets. Kuiora opened her mouth and let out a gush of water all over Icarus.

The panicked pecking ceased; Kuiora watched through a wall of water as Icarus flailed from her hand. She kept it up for just a few seconds more, and dropped him. The water came to a trickle.

Poor Icarus, stuck in a pool of expanding water, stared at Kuiora in shock. He struggled his way upward, ejecting water with horrible coughs, and finally made his way up.

“Boss!” he croaked to his master. “Boss!”

Thus, Icarus lowered himself to the ground with one more croak —a sad, tired one, in fact.

No one moved.

“Did— did we win?” Atis cried.

All of Sai’s teammates crowded up, cheering incessantly, and surrounded a grinning Kuiora. She threw back her shoulders and welcomed the compliments.

“Very good,” Sai smiled to her.

The girl had already been attending Icarus, wiping off the water and covering him in reassurances. The Metapod leaned against her thigh, and Atlas was giving Icarus slow licks.

“You did so well, so well . . .”

Sai went over to her with a hand outstretched a little too far. She looked up with an unreadable expression, not moving any further.

“Thank you,” Sai nodded to his former opponent. “That was a good battle.”

The girl, however, did not return the handshake. She paused her reassurances and froze. Her hands ran through her hair, loosening the braid without a care. “How will I— how— what am I gonna do? Team Rocket will find me—”

A couple of the Pokémon muttered to themselves at that name.

“I’m just too weak here,” she continued. “Vulnerable.”

Kuiora looked off as they spoke, still stinging from the previous fight, into the depths of the woods. Though it seemed impossible, it had actually gotten darker in the Ilex Forest.

“Sai,” she suddenly said, “we should help her.”

He looked down at her in surprise. “You sure?”

“Yes.”

Icarus, taking note of their conversation, chirped directly into the girl’s face. “Don’t speak so loud,” she waved at him. He proceeded to shimmy up even closer and let off a squawk.

“I told you, if I go deaf, it’s completely your fault.”

Icarus cackled and settled his tired head comfortably on her leg, still panting.

“Hey, er—” Sai realized he had no idea what her name was. “I can walk you to where it’s safe. Is that okay?” he added at the end, a little concerned.

She stared at him with wariness. Neither of them really understood each other, it seemed.

“Okay . . . okay. Just so we don’t get lost again.” She smiled at the Murkrow at her side and looked off into the endless dark. “But thanks. I needed that.”

“Of course.”

Sai beckoned his teammates back. “Hey, everyone, let’s get out of here.”

The girl gently placed the sopping Icarus on her shoulder and took the Metapod up in her arms. Atlas followed en suit. They stood waiting at the edge, still eyeing Sai with some mistrust. The two teams went back into the underbrush, Kuiora babbling on to Atlas about ‘proper technique,’ and Icarus giving Senori a sharp stare. Atis followed silently, guided by Senori.

Sai took one last look at the pleasant clearing behind them, then limbs and fronds closed over it forever. He turned back to the girl, flexing his fingers.

“Where are you from? And why are you scared of this . . . Team Rocket?”

“Oh, you really want to know?”

“Yes.”

“Well,” she smirked, “it’s quite a story, in my honest opinion . . .”

*

Sai and friends take the win!

This was actually a very interesting matchup, since at first it seems like it’s not even close. In {some rise by sin} the protagonist has no experience to speak of, and only a few Pokémon. Her primary response to most situations is to hightail it in the other direction. Sai on the other hand, seems to have a basic grasp of what he’s doing, and remarkably competent Pokémon. That’s what it comes down to in the end. Neither train has shown any sort of aptitude for specialized strategies, preferring to rely on the strengths of their Pokémon. The reason why this battle ends up close is because the weakness of two of the members of Sai’s team, Atis and Senori, is that they are not terribly strong hearted or motivated. They would quake in the face of the murderous hell-bird that is Icarus.

The victory comes from Kuiora. As well as being a strong and competent battler, she is incredibly headstrong. This might be a weakness in most situations, but in this case it prevents her from being at all intimidated by Icarus. Despite the fact that both of them had been tired out by two previous matches, Atis and Senori did more damage to Icarus than Atlas and Gaia did to Kuiora. Ultimately, Kuiora’s determination trumps Icarus’s bloodlust.

Next time...

GE v. ZR


Project Manger: AetherX
Assistant Writer: Arkadelphiak

??? v. Sai

~Rediamond
 
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ready as i'll ever be
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Re: Crossover Battles

OH MY GOD
THIS IS LITERALLY THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER
YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING
THIS STORY IS AMAZING
EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYONE INVOLVED IN THIS IS AMAZING

“String shot! Everywhere!”
I FUCKING LOST IT
LIKE MY SIDES ARE ACTUALLY IN PIECES RIGHT NOW OR WHATEVER THE PHRASE IS

...OKAY MAYBE I'M A LITTLE TIPSY RIGHT NOW BUT THIS WAS ACTUALLY A WORK OF ART AND I THANK EVERYONE INVOLVED
idk maybe more constructive feedback later but heh
 
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Re: Crossover Battles

His background is almost completely a mystery, but his odd mannerisms and ability to speak to Pokémon hint at him being abnormal.
UNDERSTATEMENT

{some rise by survival}
Perfect title. I'm gonna re-name my story after it

“We’re in a forest!” Kuiora said matter-of-factly, and continued confidently forward through the dense underbrush. “And it’s definitely a dark one!”
I laughed already.

“Atlas, stop!”

“NEW FRIENDS!”
This is made all the more better by the fact I've already read {as some rise by sin}. God damnit, Atlas...

Atlas regained his footing and barked, naturally, right in Kuiora’s face. “Oh boy!” Atlas’ tail slapped through the air. "I just love my new friend!”
HOW MANY MADS, KUIORA

“I’ll take ‘em both on!” Kuiora assured her trainer, ignoring the blood drizzling down her head. “No problem! Nope!”
Well, I can definitely say you're staying in-character for her. xD And for everyone, really!

“Okay! Not friend now! Friend soon!”
ON A SCALE OF 1-10, HOW FUN WAS IT WRITING ATLAS?

Atis sighed. “I’m really sorry about this,” he said as he prepared a kick that would finish the fight in a single blow. “Really, I am—”
SUFFER, ATIS, SUFFER i'm a sadist

“Oh, now this just isn’t fair…” he muttered in pity.

“Finish it!” Kuiora screamed.
A+ character dynamics

This entire task felt very disheartening to Senori. Atis was a competent, if reluctant, fighter; if he couldn’t take down this bloodthirsty thing, then Senori was not going to have a pleasant time. Regardless, Sai needed him to win, so he would have to try his best.
And oh no - here comes the angst

“Do you know how dangerous that was?” Sai scolded Icarus. “Do you?”

“Yes! Sentret can’t fly!”
HE SCOLDED ICARUS? That's hilarious. He isn't afraid of being MAIMED or KILLED, apparently

Sai gritted his teeth at the losses. The whisperings of his defeated Pokémon were starting to reach his ears. He nervously reached into his pocket and clenched the plain white and black die that sat inside. Two grooved circles landed under his thumb. He looked over to Kuiora, who had already been staring at him.
Wow. Very nice use of the die.

“If I get his wings wet,” she shouted to Sai, “won’t that slow him down?”

Sai blinked in surprise. “. . . Yes. Yes, it will.”
Yay! Kuiora -does- make smart moves like that!

“Lesson number one,” a groggy Senori called drily from the sidelines. “Don’t talk about your plans right in front of your enemy. Or, under certain circumstances, don’t even talk.”
i died inside

After all, in Azalea Town, Murkrow are said to consist of eighty percent evil and twenty percent sharp appendages.
Wonder who wrote that statistic ;)

“Hey, er—” Sai realized he had no idea what her name was. “I can walk you to where it’s safe. Is that okay?” he added at the end, a little concerned.
SAI IS SUCH A GENTLEMAN SOMETIMES

Urghhhhh, anyway, this was also like a birthday present to me! Happy birthday to everybody! There were some great bits of description - and there wasn't too much but not too little either. The characterizations were great and no match-up, nor the intro/ending, seemed to drag on. Good job!
 
Shitposter in Residence
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Re: Crossover Battles

IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL!! And I'm glad you both loved it!

*I definitely did not make up that statistic
 
Don't Look Away
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Re: Crossover Battles

Oh my god this battle was pretty nice XD I feel bad for Ely because she was always completely against it and ended up having to do it anyways, and for Gaia because...well she's a Metapod :c actully I'm glad you guys actually tried to make that battle more close :eek: I give you kudos for that. I think boh Sai and Ely came off well off each other, even if they're so different when compared to each other as well.

Lastly I'd say that Icarus' and Kuiora's battle was the best one xD I think it featured the style of both stories and combined it very well.
 
Thesaurus rex
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Re: Crossover Battles

Technical Accuracy/Style
I'm down to nitpicks on the accuracy, and really nitty nitpicks. Metapod don't have hair, so they can't have follicles. "Spinnaret" would be been the better word.

Now that blatant pedantry is out of the way, the stylistic quirks of the original author are well-represented here. I could have believed that diamondpearl876 and kintsugi had collaborated on this

Aptness
Well thought-out, this. The match-up itself isn't a bad one - if TUPpy was a better trainer it would be a lot closer a battle. As it stands, there's enough twists and turns in it to give the battle some sense of uncertainty. I wasn't sure whether to expect a battle or a fight - on the whole I think the battle was the much better idea. TUPpy really isn't a violent person by nature and I assume Sai isn't either

Story/Characters
You know, reading this reminds me of just how rubbish a trainer TUPpy would have been even if she'd got a nice, safe pokémon. Just like in the source material, she defaults to "Er, attack it, I guess?" nearly all the time, with the odd half-hearted attempt at discipline.

There's a decent amount of cushioning around the battle itself. The build-up to the challenge itself made the difference. Oh yes, and I quite liked seeing Icarus being humbled a bit in battle. He thoroughly deserved it

As I mentioned above, so far as I know the characters are consistent with their appearances in the source material
 
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make plove not warble
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Re: Crossover Battles

Thanks for the responses, everyone! We put a lot of effort in to replicating the writing styles and characterization, so I'm glad you all like it.

I'm down to nitpicks on the accuracy, and really nitty nitpicks. Metapod don't have hair, so they can't have follicles. "Spinnaret" would be been the better word.
Nitpicking your nitpicks to defend my honor-

"Follicle: a small cavity, sac, or gland." (Doesn't imply hair) Source. Get out pedanticalized nerd

Although, I agree. "Spinneret" would have been better.
 
ready as i'll ever be
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Re: Crossover Battles

not-quite-nitpick that I didn't really have the heart to mention but probably should anyway

Ben Solo Rosebud Protag-to-be-named-later never actually captures Atlas. I thought that having him appear in the woods, despite all of the foreshadowing that dark-types were elusive and extinct, just for Richelieu to capture conveniently would've required too much suspension of disbelief for this story, and I find houndoom to be fairly overused by the edgy/badass trainer-class. He actually fades away for the next six or so arcs and regains prominence waaaaaaay far off (also failing to be captured by Mazarin), but, uh, yeah. The purpose of that arc was to introduce Brigid and Bates into the storyline (they'll be coming back later! Yay! ^^) and also to introduce the sentret. who was the real capture of that incident. heh. sorry.


You know, reading this reminds me of just how rubbish a trainer TUPpy would have been even if she'd got a nice, safe pokémon. Just like in the source material, she defaults to "Er, attack it, I guess?" nearly all the time, with the odd half-hearted attempt at discipline.
yo man whatchu trying to say
also canonically gonna say that TUPpy is a really bad name and I regret ever using it. Now open to suggestions for filler names or I could just give her actual name BUT THAT WOULD BE WHAT THEY'RE EXPECTING
 
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Pull in all the Magikarps!
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Re: Crossover Battles

Yet another great battle. I actually found this one even more enjoyable than the previous one, although that could be because I've actually read at least some of each story.
@kintsugi Name her Scarlet!
 
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The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

Gela Esprit v. Zephyr Rhodes (M)

Welcome to yet another round of Crossover Battles. This time we'll be pitting two authors and their characters against each other. This battle features @Flaze; 's Zephyr Rhodes from Pokemon Academy: Second Year Rhapsody, and @Athena; 's Gela Esprit from Backgrounds!

ZEPHYR RHODES

Zephyr is a member of The Enforcers at the Pokemon Academy, and she's well known for her strategic tactics in battle. Though she's often underestimated due to her wheelchair handicap, She can predict an opponent's move and counteract accordingly, and she can easily stay calm in the face of anything unexpected. She is very serious, calm, and relaxed and her strategies are executed almost flawlessly.

Zephyr's team consists of these pokemon, all of which are not afraid to use underhanded tactics and status conditions to their advantage: Sableye, Trevanent, Mismagius, Chandelure, Dusknoir, and Litwick.

GELA ESPRIT

As a character Gela is very sarcastic, matter-of-fact and isn't afraid to tell you how it is. She finds it hard to take life seriously, and she suffers from insomnia and constant pain that may or may not affect her ability to battle.

Gela's story in Backgrounds is comprised of several narrative techniques, such as the use of odd dream sequences, subtle foreshadowing and hinting toward the story's hidden plot, and unreliable narration. What this means is that there are several possible interpretations of what actually happens.

Gela's team consists of these pokemon: Gyarados (a gen I specialist and the strongest on the team), Lapras (master of OHKO moves), Hypno (master of hypnosis), and Clefable (projectile user).

So how will these two fare against each other, when they're alike yet so different? Well, let's find out. Here we go!

Broken

"Reggie, you know about the Esprits, right?"

Reggie, Miko, and Jack looked up as Fin slipped into the fourth seat at their lunch table.

"Yeah, I guess... I mean, she's kind of famous in Celadon."

"You know much about her daughter?"

"No, not really. We, uh..."

"Different circles?" Miko added helpfully.

"Yeah, that. I didn't even know she had a daughter."

"Well, she does. Blonde, green eyes... her arm's sort of messed up but, hey, her legs work."

"Fin." Miko glared at him. "Do you need another talk on respect for the disabled?"

"Hey, I'm still equal opportunity. Anyway, word in Blastoise Aqua is that she's fighting Zephyr tomorrow at the beach."

"Zephyr? Does she know what she's getting into?" Jack asked.

"Don't know. Apparently she's got a few badges, but—"

"I had a few badges," Jack finished. "But if Zephyr took the challenge maybe she knows something I don't. She doesn't seem to like destroying people outside of competitions. At the very least it would be a chance to learn some more from her strategies."

"So when's the match?" Miko asked.

"Tomorrow at eight in the morning."

"Come on? That early on a Saturday," Reggie groaned. "Who does that?"

"Hey, I don't know. But it does make it less plausible that new girl would let me take some time out of her night—oh, come on, Miko, we've already established that it's not wrong."

"You said so, but that doesn't mean I agree. Right, Reggie?"

"Um, yeah, I guess. That would be wrong."

"Anyway... you guys want to go see it tomorrow?" Jack asked.

"Sure," Reggie agreed. "I guess it's hometown pride or something."

"Why not?" Miko asked.

"Hey, she might like it if I can console her when she loses—OK, fine. Whatever. I'll go."

*​

Pokémon Academy, outside of time and dreams…

Gela pushed open the door to her room and ducked inside as quickly as possible. The Blastoise Aqua hall was far too crowded for someone used to living alone and as a new student out of uniform she drew too many annoyed stares. She was almost used to those by now, and she had always known it would be the cost of keeping her disfigured arm, but they still annoyed her on some level.

Some light came in through the blinds into the room, but with evening imminent it wasn’t much. It was adequate for attempting both work and sleep. She slid down into her chair—unfortunately not a particularly comfortable one—and pulled her tablet out of her backpack. She had been forced to leave her computer back in Kanto when her mother had banished her to some place safer and she hadn’t yet purchased something new, partially due to cost limitations and partially out of spite. Things that made her less happy might hurt her mother in turn.

Gela leaned back in the chair and pulled her baseball cap up to cover her eyes from the light. “Kodo, get me all the information you can on one Zephyr Rhodes. See if you can get into the Academy’s Records first. Then run standard algorithms.”

She shut her eyes, but before she could drift to sleep the tablet vibrated. Kodo had been remarkably prompt. Gela scrolled past the personal information to get to the relevant material on Zephyr’s team. Dusknoir, Chandelure, Mismagisus, Trevenant, Litwick, Sableye, Gengar… ok, she knew about Gengar but all of the other names were foreign. She loaded pictures and noted that most of them were grey, with wisps or other ghostly features surrounding them. Probably ghost-types. They were rare in Kanto but she supposed they could be common elsewhere.

Gela scrolled back up to personal information but got bored quickly. She was a strategist, and apparently the head of The Enforcers. Yes, The Enforcers. Like some goddam comic book team. Gela rolled her eyes at that. A crippled hacker with a superhero title and loads of information like some real-life Barbara Gordon.

Outside of that nothing seemed particularly notable. Well, other than the whole cripple thing but that wasn’t really any of her business. No badges, no real titles, and apparently she’d even been held back once. For once Gela would be going in the stronger trainer; Oracle was out of her league.

“Thank you, Kodo.”

Gela pulled one of her pokéballs from her pack and released Stelo.

Yes, madame?

“Ready a hypnosis. I’ve got a battle tomorrow and I’d like to sleep tonight.”

Whom are we battling?

“Some wannabe-superhero with one less functional limb than me. She uses ghost-types, so you and Estrea might not be doing much but I do not think she has any electric-types so Drako and Triassic should get some playtime.”

And what are we battling for?

Gela shrugged her one good arm. "I do not know. She challenged me to a match. Wanted to see what kind of trainer I was or something. Probably felt jealous of my legs and superior hax0r skills and wanted to prove her dominance in something else. You know the drill. Hard to be overshadowed by the sarcastic asshole newcomer.

*​

Years ago in Lavender Town, on one side of a dream…

Fog clung to the ground and rolled over the graves like a slow-moving, thick river of gas. But if she looked closely enough the girl could see through it and look at the names below. Most were obviously non-human; only a select few humans were buried in the tower. The balance was reflected in the living occupants as well. The girl was one of only three humans in the tower, along with a psychic meditating on the other side of the floor. But looking around Gela could see a large number of dark clumps drifting through the dismal air.

The girl finally stopped at a grave and kneeled down. She stared intently at it, mouthing something impossible to understand through the fog. It was hard to get a clear image of the girl, but Gela knew she was fifteen. That was the only time she had visited the tower alone.

One of the dark clumps moved towards the girl before being tossed back with a loud screech.

“Fair. Clef.”

“Good job, Estrea,” the girl whispered before turning back to the grave and her thoughts. Occasionally another ghost would move forward but she gave them increasingly less attention as her Clefairy knocked aside one after the other.

*​

At first the beach was quiet. The view was calming, even waveless. The wind was blowing, stirring up sand and creating a kind of mist that tangled with air that tasted like sea salt. Wingfull flew through the sky, chirping happily and searching below for anything that might cate the their eye. Beneath the waters were millions of sea-dwellers that swam in constant motion.

At first the beach was quiet - until Gela Esprit and Zephyr Rhodes came and chose the beach as their designated battlefield.

With every step Gela took, the sand shifted, creating footprints that would be replaced later by the destruction of their pokemon's attacks. Zephyr propelled her wheelchair forward, undeterred by the terrain. The waves began to roll slightly, as if sensing their presence and reacting to it.

The two looked each other over, deciding whether the other was really a worthy adversary or not. Gela smirked, hoping to throw off her opponent right off the bat. Zephyr, however, didn't notice, or just didn't care.

"You may order first, if you like."

Gela frowned and focused upon her opponent. It was an interesting verbal trap; if she declined, she was an asshole. If she accepted she was allowing her opponent to start the match with momentum. Ordinarily she would've had no problem with being seen as an asshole but she was presumably going to be putting up with these people for a little while. And this really wasn't worth getting worked up about.

"Triassic, go."

In a burst of red light her Lapras appeared in the ocean. He immediately scanned for his master and crooned happily before she waved at her opponent to inform the Lapras about the imminent battle.

Zephyr stared at Triassic carefully as it was sent out, scratching her chin in curiosity before lowering her hand down to her belt. She was intrigued by Gela, not only due to her sudden appearance but the fact that she wanted to find out what type of Trainer she really was. "Go Sableye!" she called out as the ghost type was released in front of her, staring at its opponent with a maniacal smile.

Gela flicked a strand of dirty blonde hair out of her face. Creepy, small, whatever. The thing was grounded. And that was an exploitable weakness.

"Triassic, use your seismic move."

The Lapras called out his compliance as he began to swim forward, propelled by the waves. Zephyr watched curiously from the sidelines. So it knew Earthquake. That wouldn't change much since only Sableye and Trevenant would be hit by it, and the latter wouldn't care. But it did narrow her options for dodging.

"Jump when it comes."

Zephyr saw a sadistic smile come across Gela's face. Now nervous, turned to see Lapras slam into the beach. But instead of an immediate earthquake rolling across the ground a small, rapidly vibrating patch of sand formed in front of Lapras that abruptly shot forwards towards Sableye.

"JUMP!"

Sableye jumped upon Zephyr's command, its legs lounging back before it pushed itself upwards into the air in order to avoid the attack. Zephyr simply stared at the wake of what Gela had commanded, her eyes staring at the girl intensely. "Go!" she yelled out as her Sableye proceeded to create multiple after images of itself.

The group of Sableye all put their hands together once they reached the zenith of their jump, creating a sphere of darkness in between their hands that they proceeded to fire out in a barrage at the Lapras.

Are there really multiple attacks, or are they just illusions? Gela wondered. Either way, Triassic could probably take it fine... probably. He was fine with ranged attacks, for the most part.

"Hang in there, buddy. Then use Surf."

Triassic growled in frustration as he was bombarded by shadows, although it was impossible for Gela to tell whether or not it was simple fear of the impact or actual pain. Either way, Lapras nodded after the barrage finished and swam forward, a wake forming behind him. Zephyr eyed the attack carefully in anticipation of another Fissure. And then the waves began racing up the beach. Gela could feel the water rush up her leg as it advanced, threatening to engulf the phantom and all of its clones.

Zephyr stared at Sableye carefully once she saw the wave tower above it, knowing that it wouldn't be able to avoid the attack while it was in midair. All Sableye was able to do to help lower the brunt of the blow was amount all of its clones together, getting them to gather themselves as the wave crashed and washed them all against the shore once more.

Zephyr felt the water rush back under her wheels, looking at the struggling Sableye as it stood up once more and shook the water off of its body. She closed her eyes carefully, knowing that Gela would try to go for another attack similar to her first one and that Sableye wouldn't be able to take it. "Shadow Sneak!" she called out as Sableye turned into a shadow and began speeding through the sand and water towards the Lapras.

Gela looked on with a watchful eye as Sableye grew closer and closer to her Lapras. The Sableye was known for its mischievous nature, but those tricks weren't enough to stop her. "Surf. Do not hold back," she said, a calm but encouraging edge to her voice.

Lapras obeyed and formed a large wave of water that couldn't easily be avoided. Sableye saw what was coming, but it was too late to run back to its original position. The Surf attack swallowed Sableye and its shadow without relent, stopping it dead in its tracks. Then the waves churned and swirled, and Gela smirked, waited to see if Zephyr had a way out of this one.

"Rule number one of aquatics: never get into the water with a Pokemon you do not trust."

As the waves continued to lap up with no order from Zephyr or sign of her Sableye, Gela eyed Triassic. He had taken quite a few Shadow Balls or Shadow Ball illusions or whatever, and he wouldn't have liked the physical contact at all. But for now he seemed more concerned about finding the drowned phantom.

A few waves later a dark mass washed up on the beach, unmoving.

"Nicely done," Zephyr mumbled to herself as she recalled Sableye to its pokeball. "Your Lapras is strong, being able to control a power attack such as that. Let's see how you deal with this." And with that, she threw forth another pokeball, revealing a tree-like pokemon with dark markings, menacing eyes, and wilting branches and roots.

"Trevanent," Gela said unhelpfully, more to distract her opponent than to add anything productive to the battle. "Way to kill the fun atmosphere. That thing looks like it's fit to sit outside a haunted house, not on the sand at a beach." While waiting for Zephyr's answer, she strode forward slightly, enough for Lapras to be able to hear her whisper a command. Lapras kept her gaze focused on Gela, as if still waiting for a command, but in reality her eyes were glowing a bright purple and an invisible confuse ray attack was wafting over toward the enemy.

"Pokemon have adapted over the years to be able to fit in any given environment," Zephyr said, shaking her head. "You should know this. And besides, we're not scaring anyone," she added, looking around to find a near-empty beach save for the battle's participants.

"Of course I know that. Do I seem incompetent to you?"

Zephyr smirked. "Not quite. Trevenant, do what we had planned."

Trevenant nodded and started forward, but then stopped itself. It seemed as if time had frozen as its eyes widened and its body movements became jerky and awkward. The confuse ray had taken effect.

"Now... FINISH HIM."

But Gela had gotten ahead of herself. She had assumed that Zephyr woud give in and withdraw Trevenant, but it looked as if the exact opposite we happening. Zephyr smirked as Trevenant shook its branches and regained its composure, like the confuse ray was no big deal to begin with.

"What do you know?" Gela muttered. "A persim berry."

"I did a little bit of research on your team too, you know," Zephyr said, her smirk fading and being replaced by . "Besides, there are two main ways to stop a mischievous pokemon like Trevenent. You strike relentlessly until he faints, leaving no room to breathe, or you become the mischievous one yourself."

Zephyr had a point. So the trick hadn't worked at all, and no matter how hard she had tried to come up with a trick, it wouldn't have worked regardless. No matter. She still had a few tricks up her sleeve.

This next trick was hit or miss. Literally. If it hit, the round was over. If it missed... Well, again, she still had a few tricks up her sleeve. She couldn't be beaten and outwitted so easily. She nodded to Lapras and said, "Finish him," much like she had before, this time in a calmer yet more confident voice.

Triassic slammed against the beach. A narrow crack appeared in the sand and vibrated before it rocketed off towards Trevenant, building up a larger and larger fissure that shook the entire beach. Among the chaos, Gela couldn't hear Zephyr's command, but Trevenant was able to hear and react swiftly and accurately. From its branches flew a Magical Leaf attack, which used grass-type energy combined with the power of nature to attack its foe. While Trevenant shook rapidly and turned into a blur of green and grey collapsed on the beach sand, the leaves cut into Lapras' thick skin and dealt too much damage for the worn-out water- and ice-type to bear. He, too, was defeated.

“At least she was finally able to knock out that Lapras,” Reggie pointed out as he looked down at the battle, still shock on the way that the fight had progressed. “Do you think she has any other One Hit KO moves like Fissure though?”

“It could be what her fighting style revolves around, but really we’ll just have to see,” Jack added, crossing his arms in thought while he stared at Gela. “But the first order of business is to see what other Pokemon she has at her disposal.”

“I guess you have a couple more tricks than I thought,” Gela flashed Zephyr a confident grin, trying her best to get the other girl to lose her composure. It was to no avail though as Zephyr simply nodded her head. “You know, have you ever been told that you’re a little too quiet, it makes it hard to have fun.”

“I get that a lot, but I honestly am not one for commentary unless it’s to sway my opponent.” Zephyr commented unclipping another pokeball from her belt before sending it out into the beach. Once the pokeball landed it released her Mismagius into the field.

“Well, when it comes to commentary I think your little friends are already doing enough work,” Gela replied with a slight grin before throwing her own pokeball into the beach and releasing Estrea, her Clefable. “All right Estrea, start it off.”

As soon as Estrea was sent out the Pokemon took up its battle stance, her feet sinking into the sand slightly. Once she received Gela’s command though the Pokemon’s body began to slowly shrink, to the point that it became the size of an ant. This, unfortunately for Zephyr, caused it to get lost in the sand. “Let’s see how you counter this one, Oracle.”

“I think you’re using that nickname to spite me but I actually like the comparison you’re making,” Zephyr spat back, grinning slightly before looking around at the beach. “It shouldn’t be able to move so well in the sand. Mismagisus, attack with Shadow Ball.”

Mismagius was quick to comply, creating a sphere of darkness in the center of its chest before firing it off at the sand in front of it. The sphere hit the soft and wavy surface, lifting large clouds as it crashed against it. The Pokemon didn’t let up its attack, though, and instead proceeded to fire a barrage of spheres all around the area, not giving Estrea any room to run away as more and more sand was lifted into the air.

Gela grinned at this, knowing that she had gotten Zephyr right where she had wanted her. “Trash her.”

“Trash…wait!” Zephyr muttered as realization hit her face. She looked up at the cloud of sand in front of her, unable to make out anything inside of it or even get a glimpse of her opponent on the other side. As such neither she or Mismagius were able to prepared as a powerful jet of water fired through the cloud, hitting Mismagius head-on and sending it back.

“Use Hypnosis!” Zephyr commanded as the dust settled, only for her to realize that there was nothing among the sand. Estrea had minimized again. Before she could give another command, though, the Pokemon suddenly appeared next to Mismagius and slammed her fist square on the jewel situated on its chest. Mismagius let out a loud whine before being sent bouncing around the sand and landing unconscious. “Faint Attack.”

“Metronome is an attack you know!” Gela commented, the grin on her face unable to hide her joy at getting Zephyr to fall for her trap. “I mean, it is reliant on luck but I do not mind that. That is part of the game.”

“I know that, do you think I’m an—“

“Yes.”

Zephyr’s face contorted into a frown, her clenching the armrests of her chair a little, a sight that in turn amused Gela. She had succeeded in at least irritating her opponent and that in turn meant that she had gotten an advantage. “That is three down, three more to go. Gee, I hoped that for a prestigious academy you would at least be able to give me something to work with here. But I guess I was wrong.”

Zephyr wanted to say something back, to try to counter Gela’s own comment. However, she knew that that would only caused her opponent to become even more conceited, something that make a smile go through her face before replacing it with a frown once more. “Shut up,” she spat, her eyes glaring at the girl.

“Oh? Did I hit a nerve?” Gela asked, shocked at Zephyr’s sudden increase in emotion. She didn’t get a reply this time though and instead the girl released her next Pokemon, a Chandelure. “Okay seriously, you gotta get yourself some Pokemon that do not look like horror house rejects.”

“Says the girl with one arm and a bunch of Kanto clichés,” Zephyr countered, her sudden quip actually being able to break through to Gela as she went to grab her left arm, eyes staring widely at Zephyr.

“Okay first of all, clichés are clichés because they work which is a lot better than using a bunch of ghost types who look like they were drawn at the last minute for some lazy elementary school kid's art project.” Gela spat bitterly before drawing in a breath. “Now, Estrea, hit it with Water Gun.”

Estrea wasted no time, jumping back and firing a barrage of water straight towards the Chandelure.

“Incinerate on the water,” Zephyr called out, having her Pokemon raise two of its candle-like arms before firing a large sphere of flames at the water. When the attacks collided they proceeded to create a cloud of steam, separating both Pokemon from each other.

“Trying to copy our trick aren’t you? Estrea, use Minimize!”

“Spin!” Zephyr yelled out through the steam and her command was followed by Chandelure spinning around in the field, firing a tornado of flames that buffeted Estrea and proceeded to surround the two Pokemon in a ring of fire. Gela simply stared at Zephyr, having realized the potential that Gela could switch out to her Gyarados.

“Clever,” Gela muttered. “But not clever enough.”

“Is it though.”

“Water Gun again, don’t let up!”

Estrea moved back and fired multiple jets of water at her opponent, with the ghost type simply dodging and maneuvering through them. It put its four arms together before surrounding itself in a coat of flames and charging straight towards the Clefable.

“Don’t let him hit you!” Estrea nodded her head before crouching and jumping over the Chandelure, landing safely behind it. “Okay, now hit it from the back with w-“

Before Gela could finish her command she realized just where her Pokemon had landed. Estrea was standing on the sand yes, but she hadn’t accounted for the Pokemon’s own Water Gun attacks that had caused the sand to become wetter and for Estrea to sin into it deeper.

“Shockwave now before the sand absorbs the water!” Zephyr cried out, a command that Gela was unable to counter as Chandelure fired a powerful shock of electricity through the wet sand, the electricity coursing through the ground and hitting Estrea straight up. The Clefable yelled out in agony as its body was hit by shock after shock, eventually seizing once she fell to the floor. “That’s two down…if I’m not mistaken,” Zephyr smirked.

“Before, you reacted like that to throw me off right?” Gela asked bitterly. “You wanted me to think I had gotten you riled up so I got more cocky.”

“I’m not that good of an actress but I’ve been told I can do at least that much,” Zephyr nodded her head. “It’s not a trick I’m too inclined to use normally though.”

"Not that good of an actress, huh? Well, I suppose that if half of the field is body language you're a bit hindered there."

"Damn," Fin whispered in the stands. "She went there."

"Hmm. Rather easy joke. I expected better of you."

"Yeah, yeah. It needed said at some point. Stelo, go."

In a burst of red light the Hypno formed on the sand. He glared at the Chandelure and readied his pendant, fully prepared for an onslaught of super effective ghost attacks. But none came. Zephyr continued to stare across the beach at Gela, monitoring the situation but reluctant to take the first move.

What now, madame?


"She'll be able to see a Hypnosis coming, so don't try it. Let's go for Poison Gas instead."

As you wish.

Stelo swirled his pendant and a cloud of thick, purple gas began to rise from the earth around him and fill the beach air. Spectators stood up and wondered if they should leave as the cloud expanded. Gela simply took a step back and watched as the gas began to roll towards Chandelure. But whenever it reached the edges of the battlefield, it would stop and conform. Gela saw the briefest of flashes from inside the fog and smirked. Even unordered Stelo liked to cover himself with a substitute.

Zephyr simply sighed.

"I was expecting more from you. Is that all you can do?"

"No, of course it's not all I can do. That's just the warmups."

"Well, it was useless. The fog can't cover you from a fire-type that can burn through it and a ghost-type that resists the poison. And we've already established that Chandelure can hit things it can't see. Falling for traps once is excusable. Twice is moronic."

"Unless she has something else planned," Jack said as he looked back and forth between the ghost and the fog. "It could be to disguise what her Hypno is doing."

"Looks like we might get three-fourths of a cat fight yet," Fin added.

Miko glared at him as Reggie laughed, causing her to glare at her boyfriend instead.

Back on the field a bolt of electricity shot out of the fog, crackling through the air. Zephyr looked up in shock as the voltage slammed into Chandelure. It wrapped around the ghost and caused its candles to flash yellow rather than blue for a brief moment. Zephyr cringed in frustration as the sparks subsided and her ghost sank closer to the ground.

"Wait, did she even command that?" Reggie asked.

"I don't think so," Miko responded. "Is she just letting her Pokemon fight for themselves?"

"It looks like that," Jack answered. "But Hypno is a psychic-type. It might be smart enough to fight on its own. Or she could be ordering it telephatically."

Zephyr shrugged and adjusted her posture before resuming her neutral smile. "Paralysis makes no difference. Flame Burst through the fog."

Chandelure began to glow and its lanterns flared up before it began to launch a barrage of flames into the fog. Bursts and globs of fire were thrown into the air and across the ground. Some of them simply torched the sand and sputtered out. Others arced through the air and exploded in it, unleashing blasts of heat and light through the toxic fog. But some did reach the center of the poisonous mists. Zephyr watched carefully as one or two briefly ignited in a large flash of blue light, signalling a direct hit.

"Alright, aim that way."

"Heh. Is that the best you can do?"

Another burst of light raced out of the fog and collided with Chandelure. It locked the ghost into place briefly. Not even its flames moved in the wind. Zephyr grimaced as her Pokemon slowly became more mobile and stretched its arms and candles again, but knew that following up the Flame Burst was impossible for a while and the Hypno could have moved inside the fog.

"Now go on the attack!" Gela ordered from across the beach. Hypno complied from somewhere in the mists as Chandelure was once again locked into place by a powerful psychic attack.

"Endure," Zephyr whispered. It could be executed while locked up by another attack and would give her a chance to strike back once Hypno had exhausted himself further and released her Pokemon. But then she saw it wander out of the fog, pendulum swaying rhythmically. Before she could change tactics, Chandelure closed its eyes.

Then, without any words from Gela, a slew of pink, hazy objects began flowing from Chandelure to Stelo as the psychic-type walked ever closer with an ever straighter posture.

"You just let your Pokemon fight for itself?" Zephyr asked. "You don't even try to make a strategy for it?"

"At the aquatics center, if you had to make your strategies mid-show you'd fail spectacularly. A good trainer trains her Pokemon so well that she has nothing to do in a real battle. That is why I don't think your strategy is quite as good as you think it is."

Zephyr frowned. "We'll see. Chandelure—"

It didn't matter what she ordered. Chandelure began to rise. It wasn't of its own will as before, but rather the psychic force that Stelo was exerting that rose it higher and higher as its arms began to be pushed together and its body crushed. At some point it woke up and began to struggle to the extent that its paralysis allowed, but then it closed its eyes once more and Stelo released it and let it drift gently down to the earth.

"Return," Zephyr called. "You did well, Chandelure."

Reggie stared at the fight from the sidelines. "That was..."

"Probably irrelevant," Jack finished. "Zephyr knows all of its moves now and can move to block it as such. She just needs to power through it with ghost-attacks before it can heal itself with Dream Eater."

"Dusknoir, I need your strength."

Red light streamed through the air and gradually formed a large, thick cloud. As red faded to black the Dusknoir appeared. It was bigger than both of the trainers and Stelo. It idly gazed at Stelo with his one, enormous eye with relative indifference. Gela smirked. It looked powerful but with Drako in reserve and only two Pokemon left on Zephyr's side the match was probably hers, unless this ghost was a lot stronger than the previous four.

Before Gela could comment or order an attack, Zephyr spoke. "Attack from the shadows."

Dusknoir lurched forwards, blurring into dark splotches and lines that raced across the ground and converged in front of the Hypno. Before either could react the phantom rematerialized and barreled over Stelo, knocking him over and sending his pendelum flying out of hand. Dusknoir's hand blurred into shadows once more before an enormous projection of its fist crashed into Stelo on the ground. Around the two the toxic mist began to fade into nothing as Stelo's focus was broken.

"Concentrate! Thunder Wave." Gela called. But a moment later Dusknoir faded back into shadows as an electrical shock flew through the place he had just been. Shadows raced backwards and reformed in front of Zephyr as Stelo slowly pushed himself to his feet and summoned his pendant telekinetically. "Are you going to be OK?"

I will be fine, madame. I was merely caught off guard without a substitute.

"Do not try putting another up. He'll just hit you before you do it," Gela muttered. "And if you try to hypnotize or paralyze, he'll just fade into the shadows..."

Perhaps not. Order a substitute.

Zephyr smiled as she looked at the panic in front of her. "Have you thought of some way to salvage this, or should you withdraw? Your Hypno is incapable of taking Dusknoir's attacks and leaving him in would be cruel."

"Not if we can block them. Substitute."

"So be it. Block it, Dusknoir."

Dusknoir faded once more into patches of darkness on the ground. It lurched forward once again and Stelo folded his arms, braced for impact. Once more the Dusknoir formed out of the shadows and solidified. Once more he punched Dusknoir across the face and once more the psychic-type fell down. But this time a flash of light came between the two and wrapped around the ghost for a fleeting moment. Zephyr grimaced as Stelo's eyes glowed and Dusknoir was pushed slightly back by a burst of psychic energy. As he struggled to float forward towards the psychic-type the Hypno got back to his feet.

"Was that your game plan? Just to prevent Dusknoir from moving quickly?"

"I think so. But I was not really the one who thought of that."

"Good. I can continue to respect your intelligence. Finish him off."

Before Gela could react Dusknoir broke free of the psychic holds around him and pummeled Stelo with one final punch cloaked in shadowy energy. Stelo was knocked back across the field towards Gela and collapsed upon the ground, banged up but awake. He telepathically groaned and began to push himself back up once more before he was interrupted.

"That's enough, Stelo. You are done. I forfeit the round." A red beam struck him and caused his body to dissolve into light before he could object. "Now, then, let us—"

"I am switching Pokemon between matches," Zephyr called before withdrawing Dusknoir.

Gela stared at Zephyr for a moment, her mind wondering. The girl hadn’t switched at all prior to this, she had even gone out of her way to prevent her from switching out from Estrea before. As she grasped for Drako’s pokeball these thoughts began to make her ask herself if Zephyr was switching to her strongest Pokemon or if she was merely releasing a weaker one in order to scout out the Gyarados’ strength.

She got her answer as soon as Zephyr sent out her next Pokemon though, this time releasing a Litwick into the field. Gela couldn’t help but smirk at this, especially when the Litwick started to cuddle up to Zephyr’s cheek, who simple petted the Pokemon while trying ot hide a slight blush. “Awwww, how cute, I almost feel bad that I have to beat it up,” Gela called out arrogantly. “Have you seriously run out of options to the point you are sending out the grade schoolers? You are more twisted than I thought.”

“You shouldn’t underestimate my Litwick’s abilities,” Zephyr frowned a bit, giving Litwick a small push so that it would go into the battlefield. “It’s true that I made a mistake before when it came to your Hypno, and I also have to admit that you’re quite the trainer yourself Ms.Esprit.”

“Oh spare me your good sportsmanship bullshit,” Gela didn’t seem amused by Zephyr’s tone, instead she simply threw her pokeball out into the sea, releasing her Gyarados. The Pokemon came out with a large burst, falling and diving into the water before erupting once more, roaring into the sky as water rained down upon the two trainers.

“Oooooh she has a Gyarados too!” Fin yelled out in amazement, now standing up and looking up at Drako. “And it looks strong.”

“But isn’t Litwick Zephyr’s weakest Pokemon?” Miko wondered with concern. “Why would she send it out.”

“She doesn’t think Litwick will stand a chance either way, I guess she’d rather try her best to tire it the Gyarados out as much and then rely on Dusknoir than the other way around,” Jack explained, lost in thought. “At least she finally got out of her overconfidence, for as neutral as she seems she can get pretty hotheaded when her strategies work smoothly, which is what doomed her when Chandelure went against the Hypno.”

“I think she’s just facing an opponent that she just can’t stay neutral against,” Reggie glanced down at Gela, a smile crossing his face. “She’s having fun.”

“Start it off with Smog!” Litwick nodded its head, its candlestick glowing brightly before it began to let out a cloud of smoke out, the smoke in turn increasing and beginning to head towards the water with the help of the wind. Gela didn’t react to this, simply looking towards Zephyr.

“Copycat,” she commented dryly before raising her hand. “Use Surf, Drako!” she commanded as her Gyarados dove down into the water once more, slamming its tail down before summoning up a large wave of water.

The wave washed over the Smog attack and in turn began heading towards the Litwick, who stared at it with a scared expression on its face. “Protect,” Zephyr stated as Litwick raised a barrier of blue energy over itself, managing to block the attack.

It then proceeded to float towards the Gyarados, her flame glowing brightly. Drako glared at the Pokemon, teeth bared in fury. The small candle Pokemon’s eyes glowed lightly, something that alerted Gela and immediately made her turn towards Drako. “Duck.”

Drako nodded it shead before diving down into the water just as Litwick’s eyes glowed brighter, causing the ghost type to lose its focus and thus making it unable to react when the dragon appeared behind it. He roared wildly before opening its large jaw and proceeding to bite down on the ghost, causing it to whine out in pain as it suffered the brunt of the bite attack.

Zephyr gritted her teeth, clenching her arm rests once more. “Try to get awa-“

Before Zephyr could let out her command she was treated to the sight of Drako throwing Litwick aside, sending it crashing onto the sand. He then swam over, clouds beginning to gather up in the sky. When Zephyr realized this she gasped, turning to her Litwick in dread. “Thunder!” Gela called out just as Drako released a powerful blast of electricity into the sky which then proceeded to bounce down onto the Litwick.

The candle Pokemon yelled out, its voice becoming hoarse as the electricity surrounded its body completely. Eventually it subsided, though Litwick had been left unconscious in its wake. “Looks like we’re both down to one now. I kind of feel bad for the poor thing, I thought that a great strategist of your caliber would haveve known not to do that,” Gela teased, enjoying Zephyr’s look of frustration. “See, I can understand why you’d think that you aee the best in the world of something being in this school, you get to see the same people every day, make plans, scout them out and all. But that is not going to help you much out there.”

“Are you going to say that because you’ve dealt with gym leaders you’re much better? Because last time I checked gym leaders are probably the people that are easiest to prepare for,” Zephyr countered, an annoyed expression on her face.

“It is true that it’s easy to get information on what Pokemon gymleaders use. But they have trained and battled against many different types of Pokemon, developing different ways to fight them,” Gela explained, actually becoming distracted in explaining things to Zephyr. “They can adapt and counter a Pokemon much better than a bunch of students who are not only still learning but have not had the same amount of life experience that they have, so yes I would say that they are better...especially when they will not play fair.”

Zephyr thought on Gela’s words for a moment, her mind going back through the battle and the differences in the style of the two trainers. Maybe there really was something about fighting out there that stood above fighting in the academy, even if their skills with battles and other areas were being honed the fact that they were lacking in life experience, going through situations that were planned and battling against different types of people was also true. This caused her to calm down more, letting go of the arm rests and smiling. “You have a point Gela.”

“Oh? Where did your formality go?” Gela asked, secretly happy that Zephyr had stopped calling her by her last name. “You do not have to use my full name but you should at least be more formal like calling me Lord Gela, Sprite of Sarcasm and Wit. Or the Goddam Batman. That also works.”

“We’ll see,” Zephyr nodded her head, finally sending her Dusknoir back out into the field.

“Too bad he cannnot use his little trick anymore,” Gela grinned, taking notice of the fact Drako was still in the water, as thus it would make it hard for Dusknoir to dive into its shadow like it had done with Stelo.

“That is okay,” Zephyr nodded her head, simply staring at Gela.

“Not making the first move again huh?” Gela muttered, nodding her head towards Drako, who proceeded to dive into the water. This way Gela was able to ensure that Zephyr wouldn’t attack him directly with any type of punch attack. “So…what are you going to do?”

“I can see your strategy, but you are forgetting something very important,” Zephyr noted, raising her index finger.

“And that is?”

“it’s still in water,” the girl replied simply, causing the color to drain out of Gela’s chest as Dusknoir proceeded to slam a thundering right fist down onto the sea, causing electricity to course throughout the water, the sounds of Drako’s suffering and increasing rage feeling the air as it came out and charged at Dusknoir, Thrashing wildly around the sand; only to go through its opponent.

“Wait Drako, stop it!” Gela called out, unable to get the Gyarados to stop its wild Thrash attack even as it realized that it wasn’t having any effect.

“Shadow Ball,” Zephyr commanded as Dusknoir pulled its hands together, materializing multiple spheres of darkness and firing them at the dragon. The spheres collided with the dragon head on, causing it to fall back to its trainer.

“Go for Bite!”

“Not going to let you do that,” Zephyr countered as Dusknoir instantly vanished into Drako’s large shadow, avoiding the bite attack. It then reappeared, jumping out of the shadow and lunging at the dragon with another thundering fist.

“Burn it!” Drako complied immediately, releasing a blast of flames at the ghost type. Both attacks collided into each other this time, but due to the Dusknoir being at close range it was in turn smacked aside by the blast, its arm in turn being burned by the force of the flames as it floated back towards its trainer, smoke coming out of its arm.

The Gyarados panted slightly as it glared at its opponent. “Drako, you know that we cannot lose our calm this time,” Gela reminded, making the water type turn towards her. For emphasis she held her hand up to her other arm. It got Drako's attention and he turned around and glared at the Dusknoir, sobered up for the time being.

“I agree,” Zephyr nodded her head, even though she knew that Gela hadn’t been speaking to her. “I assume we can say goodbye to the sarcasm and wit for now?”

“You never say goodbye to it,” Gela grinned. “But we can put it off just this time.”

“Dusknoir go!”

“Do not let it!’

Dusknoir sped towards Drako’s shadow once more. However, the dragon was prepared this time and was as thus able to lunge forward just as its opponent did. Due to this the water type was able to cover its own shadow and was also able to chomp down on Dusknoir’s already weak arm. The ghost type groaned loudly as its arm was bitten, its left arm grabbing a hold of one of Drako’s horns.

“Thunderpunch it!”

“Let me help you out with that. THUNDER!” Gella yelled out, completely shocking Zephyr as Gyarados fired another blast of electricity into the now cloudy sky. Dusknoir itself wasn’t able to complete its command as a blast of electricity fell upon both it and the Gyarados.

Gela grit her teeth slightly, feeling more pain than usual in her arm. She hoped that Drako was able to hold out this attack, even though it had already received a lot of damage, if not then she doubted they would be able to sustain the battle.

Zephyr stared at the two interlocked Pokemon as well, sweat beginning to run down her forehead, knowing that whoever was able to last this attack the best would in turn have the upperhand in ending the battle.

Both Pokemon eventually let go of each other, not being able to withstand the pain anymore and instead moving back in an attempt to recover. “Okay, let’s go for broke here!” Gela yelled out, knowing that her next command would be the riskiest one yet. “End this.”

Drako roared, ignoring his smoking wounds as he moved back and fired a powerful beam of energy towards his opponent, his tired body beginning to slouch in an attempt to keep it up.

Gela focused upon the attack, knowing that if Dusknoir was able to block or dodge this it would be over for them. She grabbed her arm, glaring at Zephyr as the girl in turn looked at the attack.

“Protect!” Zephyr called out, causing Gela’s spirits to instantly drop. It was over, Zephyr had anticipated her attack and was ready to block it and with Drako having fired Hyper Beam it wouldn’t be able to attack once more for a bit. She had lost.

Or so they both thought.

Just as Dusknoir was lifting up its barrier it suddenly realized that its body was not obeying itself. Zephyr and Gela both gasped in turn, seeing the sparks that began to course through its body as it stayed limply in the air. “What!? NO!”

Zephyr’s scream fell upon deaf ears though as the Hyper Beam successfully crashed against Dusknoir, surrounding the Pokemon and creating a loud explosion that was heard throughout the whole island along with a large cloud of smoke that went up into the air.

Zephyr stared at the smoke, shoulder slouched and slight tears forming in her eyes. She ran her hands through her eyes for a moment, actually surprised when she realized this. She looked down at the remnant of the tear, a slight smile crossing her face. “I guess I still have much to learn,” she muttered to herself, returning her Pokemon even before the smoke had cleared up.

Gela herself stared at Drako with a proud smile on her face, petting the Pokemon’s head once it leaned over. "Perhaps,” she stated with a smile as she petted the dragon. She then looked at her opponent. “But you are not half bad for someone who only uses half her body.”

Zephyr grinned. “And you’re not half bad for someone with only one arm,” she commented slyly before beginning to roll towards Gela, extending her hand.

“Well I usually don’t do this but, I guess it wouldn’t hurt this time,” Gela shrugged her right shoulder before stretching her hand and shaking Zephyr’s.

“You two were pretty awesome,” both Gela and Zephyr turned around to see their spectators walking into the beach, with Fin running over towards Drako.

The Gyarados hissed as Fin got close, causing the teenager to jump back in fear. “Down there boy,” he pleaded.

“Down boy,” Gela simply ordered. “He would not fill you up very much,” she stated, receiving a nod from Drako who turned away from Fin.

“Still, we didn’t expect Zephyr to go through such a tough time,” Miko pointed out, walking over towards Gela. “You’re a pretty strong Trainer.”

“I do not know about that,” Gela shook her head, seeming reluctant of having to deal with so many people crowding around her.

“The fact stands that you taught me a lot though Gela…sorry, Lord Gela,” Zephyr chuckled softly, noticing the grin that crossed Gela’s face.

“Just Gela is alright, Zephyr,” Gela acknowledged.

“What happened to Oracle?”

“That would be an insult to Miss Gordon,” Gela countered, both her and Zephyr smiling at each other, leaving the others to wonder what exactly they were talking about. “I guess being around here for a while might not be too troublesome. The water seems nice and my Pokemon could get some extra training.”

“We’d also love it if you could teach us some stuff as well,” Reggie commented, causing Gela to turn to him.

“We will see. You guys are probably not ready for my training methods, though. Quite a bit of science to them.” She smirked back at them, feeling the sea breeze blow against her face. Her life had been so hectic lately that she had forgotten what it had been to just be relaxed, No politics, no controlling mothers, and no monotonous construction of death machines.

Whatever was happening in Kanto, life could definitely have gone worse for her.

*​

That's it, folks! Gela is the winner of this one. You might be asking yourself how we came to this conclusion.

Gela's canon establishes that she has the power to overthrow nearly anything in her path. An issue came about, however, when we considered some of her strongest attacks (Counter and Thrash) being useless against Zephyr's ghost-types, which mostly make use of tricks and special attacks to gain the upper hand. While Zephyr's team lacks brute force, so too does Gela when you take out some of those attacks. Gela gained an advantage, however, when we discussed how she might use strange strategies (such as yelling out a command Zephyr couldn't understand), and her knowledge of status condition-inducing strategies and counterattacks. When putting together all these facts, it became pretty clear who should have won.

Next time...

EJ v. AA


Head Writer: diamondpearl876
Assistant Writers: Flaze, Athena

Gela Esprit v. Zephyr Rhodes

~Athena
 
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