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

Thesaurus rex
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Re: Crossover Battles

Technical Accuracy/Style
Not up to your usual standards I'm afraid. I noticed a fair few errors - spelling errors, one cloned paragraph, one misnamed character. The kind of thing a thorough proof reading is needed to excise

Aptness
As far as the match-up itself is concerned it works fine. I have to disagree, not so much with the winner, but the way it played out. Gela spends most of her time programming, not battling, while Zephyr is a top trainer from an elite school. Its established fairly early on that Gela hadn't even heard of most of Zephyr's pokémon. Ok, she could have done some research, but there's only so much research you can do in one night. It doesn't make sense that Zephyr should walk so easily into so many traps, and have so few ways to get out of sticky spots.

I get the feeling that you knew this, because Gela monologues an attempt at explaining it away. You can guess then that I don't really buy it. Sure, the students at Elemental Academy are just that ... but still there's multi-region teams being common, and expert instruction to consider, in a school that's highly competitive

Story/Characters
Aside from the battle being a bit one-sided, there was plenty to like in the ways attacks interacted. The battle would have been improved by more sneaky ghosty tactics from Zephyr's team, I think. I'd forgotten quite how annoying Gela was as a character, but I think I said all I ever needed to about that in my previous reviews.
 
The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

@Beth Pavell

I fixed up some stuff. Probably not all of it, but I at least caught some of the worst ones now...

Spoilers for both stories below in a winner analysis.
The winner discussion on this one was particularly intense, but in the end it came down to an enormous power disparity between the combatants. Zephyr, for all of her reputation, has battled twice in canon and didn't exactly dominate either time (although she could've won them both). Once pit her Chandelure against Jack's Venusaur. The other pit three of her weakest Pokemon against Claudia's Vulpix and a wild Swablu. In the first case Chandelure would have been one-shotted by a resisted 150 BP STAB move had Endure not intervened. Sableye was visibly harmed by the untrained Swablu's peck.

And then you have Gela.

It's stated a few times in canon that only very powerful Pokemon could wield some of the moves that Lapras and Gyarados rely upon. For the most part she gives no reason to disprove this. Gyarados is at least capable of one-shotting weak or weakened enemies (he does it once or twice) and when it fights one of the strongest Pokemon in the entire region (Flint's Golem) it almost manages to counter its physical attacks with his special ones. Hypno takes repeated super effective attacks from a trained Pokemon at one point. Lapras is presumably between the two in power, and Clefable (if nothing else) takes the finishing moves of the aforementioned Golem twice without fainting. So it's safe to assume that her Pokemon are at least as powerful as Jack's Venusaur. Going back to that, Zephyr's Chandleure almost fainted from the equivalent of a neutral 112.5 BP move. If we assume all of her Pokemon that haven't fought are on a similar level with altered stats to reflect the species (the fairest way to do it with no canon material to go off of) Chandelure is actually one of her bulkiest Pokemon. After STAB, every single Pokemon on Gela's team except for Clefable (who is defensively obnoxious) could one-shot everything on Zephyr's team but her Dusknoir.

Now, Zephyr could work around it but it's hard to see her really winning when almost any hit that lands could end the round. Makes it very hard to execute complicated strategies. She is further hindered by Zephyr canonically having no knowledge of the opponent's movepools and Gela's team having some fairly non-standard moves at their disposal, making it entirely possible that she could walk into traps due to a failure to anticipate Gela's countermove. Being outplayed canonically throws her off her game, and any trap fallen for is game over for her to begin with.

That isn't how this battle went because we aren't obligated to keep the "how we think it would end" battle and the match we write the same. Because here that would be Zephyr occasionally pulling off something really clever that defeats one of Gela's mons in between Gela knocking everything aside with one or two strikes. Requiring Zephyr to lose an actually interesting fight meant that she had to hold the idiot ball occasionally.
 
Thesaurus rex
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Re: Crossover Battles

It's not the power disparity I have a problem with, so much as the way Zephyr reacts during the battle. She doesn't really try any of the underhanded tactics or statuses mentioned in the character bio (I don't recall how much of this she uses in the source material). And equally Gela is the one routinely pulling out more unusual tactics

Now, if Gela was surprised by moves or tactics from Zephyr (Not being familiar with those species), but won anyway due to simply having fitter pokémon, no problem. A great way to show that would have been with the Metronome - instead of a convenient Faint Attack, a relatively weak attack could have manifested instead for a lot of damage. I've got no issue with Gela being the winner. Even if her pokémon didn't have one-hit KO moves, she's still good enough to beat at least one Gym Leader, so it's not a stretch to think that she can beat any student in the Academy. I just think that Zephyr isn't really done justice in this battle.
 
The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

Evelina Joy v. Alaska Acevedo (T)

(Guys this is literally OVER NINE THOUSAND words. Feel free to take a breather at the * * * point and ctrl+f for that)

Welcome to the fourth Crossover Battle! Today's battle is between Evelina Joy, traveling trainer, and Alaska Acevedo, Chosen One of Kanto. But more importantly, they are characters from stories that always find some way to tie each other in the awards. So we in our infinite wisdom have been charged with breaking this tie in the only way that matters: a hypothetical pokémon battle. But first, let's meet our contestants.

Evelina Joy

There is an expectation among the Joy family that the girls will go into the family business, whether they like it or not. Most accept it without complaint. There are, after all, worse fates than being forced into a comfortable job with near-perfect security.

Unless you don't like having your fate dictated for you at all.

Evelina Joy hails from Cherrygrove City, Johto, where her mother was in charge of the pokémon Center. While she isn't entirely opposed to the idea of becoming a nurse one day, she wanted to at least explore other options and ultimately make her own decision on the matter. With the help of her aunt she left home and set out to do decently well in the Silver League. Along the way she met and began traveling with Joshua Cook of Mulberry Town. Together they resolved to earn all the badges, catch some pokémon, rip off politicians, and illegally enter contests by crossdressing. But most of the time they're just looking at trees. Or pokémon. Or food. Or buildings. But mostly trees.

Growing up in a Pokémon Center has made Eve a near expert on most common species in Johto, as well as a competent strategist when it comes to anticipating moves and figuring out strategies. Her knowledge is further backed by her pokédex, HANDY912i. It can give her basic information on opposing pokémon and attacks used against her in almost real time. She can be rather single-minded when she commits to something, and really passive-aggressive when she wants to be, but most of the time she's nice enough. But you'd never know from the quality of her death glare.

During battles, Eve relies primarily on prior training and a good analytical sense to win her victories. Accompanying her are her loyal team of pokémon:

Lyra the Ledian is Eve's starter and partner of almost ten years. She's arrogant in battle, but has the reflexes and punches to back it up thanks to her Iron Fist ability. This boosts the power of her devastating Mach and Comet Punches to let her trade blows, even with trained scyther. Her offensive skills are backed up by defensive tricks in the form of Protect and Reflect that let her tank blows before striking back with her own when the opponent is open. Rounding out her moveset is Air Cutter, allowing her to strike against other bugs and distant opponents with fast and accurate ranged strikes. She also has access to Supersonic to confuse foes and open them up for an onslaught of punches.

An unnamed, black, male Meowth also serves on her team. She caught it about a year before the story began and has been in the process of domesticating it ever since. She's mostly succeeded, but it still hates baths. Vulgar and vicious, Meowth primarily relies upon knocking out his opponents through death by a thousand cuts through the literal Cut attack—the most damaging move he has available—or his ruthless Fury Swipes. He is also known to employ Double Team to make battles against him absolute, painful chaos. Finally, he learned on the streets to enter all fights by preparing a Hone Claws attack, automatically boosting his accuracy and power in battle.

Gail the Pidgeotto was the first pokémon Eve caught in story. Gail is clever, easily bored, and not at all afraid of humans. For some time he was the terror of Longwater Town, stealing meals from anyone he could find. He would shrug off electric blasts easily thanks to his rare (and unexplained) Motor Drive ability. In battle he can strike from afar with Gust, Defog, or Twister without leaving the air. If he chooses to swoop lower, Gail can choose between a very powerful Tackle attack or a fast Quick Attack for dodging, striking, or pursuing his prey. Finally, he can whip up a Sand Attack to stun a foe or escape from them as needed.

Rounding out Eve's team is an unnamed Pineco. Eve caught him in Ilex Forest with extensive help from Joshua Cook. Pineco is clever and easily evaded almost all early attempts to capture him, only narrowly being captured after Eve had exhausted her options for flushing him out. During battles, Pineco prefers to finish off anything that threatens him with an extremely powerful Self-Destruct—one of the few immensely damaging attacks in The Long Walk. If that is unavailable, or if he wants to finish off a foe without blowing himself up, Pineco can also rely upon Spikes and a moderately powerful Rapid Spin. But in all reality, his skill lies with his cleverness and ability to use the environment and items around it to his advantage.

Alaska Acevedo

You're almost certainly aware of the classic, 'proper' way for a journey to start in Kanto. A peppy young teenager wakes up, eats some bacon, and runs to Professor Oak's lab to get a Bulbasaur, Squirtle, or Charmander to conquer the league with. Alaska Acevedo certainly had heard that story.

And she hated it.

When her childhood rival set out on such a quest, Alaska set out to prove to the world that a girl starting with a mere Pidgey could rise to collect all eight badges. She chose to blog about her experiences along the way.

Unfortunately, a mad scientist and a less-than-stable reality TV director quickly got in her way, forcing her to battle robots and terrorists on her path across the region. The eyes of the region's powerful are constantly upon her, but she mostly fights her battles alone. Despite these setbacks, she's done rather well, conquering five of the eight gyms in three months with only one official loss.

But she's not quite a flawless battler. Almost all of her gym wins have been very close, with her last pokémon almost fainted when the gym leader finally falls. And she never has been able to defeat any of her major enemies in a straight battle, relying upon hardware malfunctions, outside assistance, or strategic retreats to end the fight instead. She is also pretty bad at figuring out opponent's plans and has fallen into traps on more than one occasion in a battle. Her default strategy is best compared to flipping the board; she'll do more damage to the arena and the pokémon involved than her opponents will, leaving them to stop her insanely destructive strategies and her pokémon while she powers on. This has left a fairly impressive wake of collateral damage spread across Kanto behind her.

Alaska is a self-described bitch, insensitive to others, sarcastic to a fault, and generally willing to break others' property if it gets her ahead or even just proves a point. Over time, she's mellowed out into more of a depressive, death-seeking girl, but she's still quick with an insult and willing to leave her best friend behind on a whim. But for some reason, fate has chosen her to be the savior of Kanto, however little anyone (Alaska included) actually wants it.

Alaska is destined to capture the legendary Latios one day, but for now his role is limited to background assistance. While she can technically use him to communicate with her pokémon telepathically, for this battle we're going to ignore this boon since Latios is an independent ally who would only lend that particular service if Alaska's quest were to be seriously imperiled.

While waiting on Latios, Alaska has still amassed a decent team of pokémon. Leading them is her starter, Paige the pidgeotto. Alaska cares about Paige more deeply than any of her other pokémon, and at one point they even swapped bodies, giving Alaska some insight into Paige's life. In battle Paige is most often used to set up Alaska's most devastating strategies while also being able to strike quickly and dodge projectile attacks with relative ease. In the former camp Paige can use Twister and Heat Wave to break foes or the arena. In the latter she can use Aerial Ace as a powerful finishing move up-close or Quick Attack to disrupt an opponent's strategy and dodge attacks. Her ability is Tangled Feet, which boosts her ability to dodge attacks should she become confused.

Frances the parasect is her second longest-serving teammate. Caught in Mount Moon as Alaska fled the scene (which was actually not her fault for once), Frances proved to be extremely shy but enormously powerful when given a chance to strike. She has pulled off attacks that only Paige would be capable of matching and done so with ease. If the tide turns against her, however, she can panic and withdraw, soaking up hits before finally trusting Alaska enough to deal out one of her own. While she has the usual weaknesses of a parasect, it's interesting to note that Frances resists psychic-type attacks. Her most powerful move by far is Solar Beam, which has historically been able to knock out even enhanced pokémon that resist it. Up close she can rely upon Slash as a generic damaging attack and X-Scissor as an anti-psychic maneuver. Stun Spore rounds out her arsenal as a means of slowing down opponents and making it possible for Frances to aim and finish them off without too much trouble.

Alaska was gifted Nadia the nidorina by a small day care center in Kanto. Nadia was left there one day and her trainer never came back to pick her up. Feisty and loyal to Alaska, Nadia is one of Alaska's most consistently powerful pokémon alongside Paige as well as her most reliable melee combatant. Up close Nadia relies on Poison Jab as a damaging move and Crunch as an anti-psychic technique. Her only ranged attack is Ice Beam, which is truly powerful when used against pokémon it hits for super effective damage. Still it can be used to manipulate the arena. Nadia's main finishing move is Skull Bash, which requires her to charge up for a moment before racing across the field and delivering a powerful headbutt to the enemy.

Shelley the Shellder is Alaska's newest capture, gifted by a cloyster on the shores of Kanto so that she might grow up to be powerful under Alaska's tutelage. But for now she's relatively weak, if quite bulky, and fairly limited in her arsenal of tricks. Her primary attacks are Aurora Beam and Bubblebeam. Shelley can also use Icicle Spear to some effect, battering opponents with multiple weak attacks. Finally, she can use Clamp. It has little combat utility, but can be used to set up some strategies.

And last of all is Alaska's first capture and most recent team recruit, Darwin the primeape. Darwin had a rough history with Alaska, breaking her orders and using excessive force against friends and foes alike. After two particularly unpleasant incidents Alaska let Darwin go, but retained his pokéball. Later on she would reunite with Darwin after he had been captured and tortured by less than savory figures, winning back his freedom and respect in the process. Darwin is currently in bad shape due to his injuries and his moveset is basically unknown. But if we assume it is identical to the one he was released with, Darwin's style revolves around throws and occasional jabs. The throws are delivered courtesy of an exceptionally powerful Seismic Toss and the jabs by Brick Break. Darwin can take care of flying opponents with a combination of exceptionally high jumps and Thunder Punch. Finally, Darwin knows Rage. Every time he is struck under the effects of Rage, Darwin's attacks become more and more powerful. It should be noted that Darwin also resists normal-type attacks in battle.

* How to Conquer Kanto in One Long Walk

A sphere floats through white space. Inside is a pleasant scene with colorful flowers framed against a bright blue sky. Let us look deeper.

*​

When the day’s first golden beams of sunlight brought colour to the world, there were appallingly few witnesses. A handful of bug catchers were scattered across the fields and forests of Goldenrod Park. The insects were highly active in the morning and the most determined budding entomologists took every chance they could to find a venomoth or heracross before the sun and crowds scared them back into hiding. A few rangers kept a vigilant watch over the scene to deter poachers and prevent unpleasant incidents before they could escalate. A sign at the entrance proudly declared that it had been three years since anyone had been seriously injured in the park despite the presence of scyther and beedrill inside.

They got to see one of the most beautiful sights in Johto first hand as the song of butterfree rang across the clearing. The view did not last long. A few lucky photographers captured the moment, or at least a substantial shadow of it, and the humans and pokémon reveled in confirmation that their world could be a decent place to live in. Mere minutes later the sun had fully risen and the park was ordinary again.

As time wore on, more and more people flooded into the park to enjoy the day. Many were younger teenagers stopping by on their journey to meet new opponents and, if they were lucky, new friends. Two older trainers stood apart on a hill at the edge of the park looking down on the masses below.

“If you want to train, we should start soon,” a male in his early twenties said.

The pink-haired woman beside him stirred from an unintentional nap. “What, Josh?” she asked.

“Battling. We have the tournament in a few days and we came here to battle.”

“…Oh, right. Sorry, got distracted taking everything in.”

“It is a nice park, Eve, I’ll give it that.”

“You ever wonder what it would have been like to start earlier?” Eve asked. “Traveling across the world a decade ago to be the best?”

“Of course I’ve thought about it,” Josh replied.

“And?”

He sighed. “I don’t think I would have liked it much at the time. School was interesting and I wouldn’t have been emotionally ready for it then.”

“Hmm. Makes sense, I suppose.”

*​

“Do we have parks like this in Kanto?”

Alaska Acevedo stared across the fields and hills of Goldenrod Park. They were pretty, sure, but she had never understood the appeal of parks like this. She had certainly never visited one in Kanto, but for all she knew they were everywhere and she’d never gotten to see them…

“The Safari Zone in Fuschia,” Sandy answered beside her. “I’ve heard it’s at least as good as this place, but we’ll have to see when we get there.”

“You know, we almost never get to look at something like this.”

“Without it exploding, at least.”

“Yeah.” Alaska laughed, but it was forced. The explosions and violence were getting old fast.

“So remind me why we’re here?”

“Because I need to get stronger and we can’t properly train in Kanto without something blowing up in our faces. Back in Saffron Looker told me that Indigo Dreams and Gideon haven’t been seen on the other side of the Magnet Train and… I guess I just wanted the peace for a few days. We could never just look at a park like this in Kanto.”

“It’s something, isn’t it?”

The two looked out at the beauty of the park for forty-two seconds.

“OK, I’m bored. Who the fuck enjoys looking at flowers, anyway? Let’s find someone to fight.”

The two wandered up to the top of the nearest hill where they saw two somewhat older trainers sitting down beside each other on the grass. One was a guy with curly hair, glasses and practical clothes. The other was a girl—a Joy, as evidenced by her hair—wearing her gilet, which had visible pokéball clasps.

“Wonder if that guy would want to fight?” Alaska mused aloud.

“Alaska, can we please not interrupt someone’s date for a battle?”

“We’re not dating.”

Eve turned to face the two younger trainers who had walked up to them on the hill. One was a blonde in a wrinkled violet dress with minor cuts scattered about it. The other, the one who she had heard talking about a battle, had dark hair and jeans as well as a bright rose shirt. Both were about the typical journeying age, thirteen perhaps.

“Well, that’s good. So you want a battle, mister?”

Before Josh could respond, Eve replied. “Sorry, Josh, but it’s been too long since I battled someone else. I could use the practice. How much are you wagering?”

Sandy and Alaska looked between each other. “Is gambling common in Johto? And, uh, no offense but I’d rather not rip off a Joy.”

“Gambling is occasionally used and you will find that I am far from an ordinary Joy,” Eve spat back, visibly annoyed but still somewhat composed. “If you don’t want to bet, fine, we can just have an informal battle.”

“OK, uh, sounds good. You just want to fight here?”

“Why not, it’s allowed in the park.” Eve turned to Josh. “You want to referee, dear?”

“You sure you two aren’t dating?” Alaska asked.

“Yes, quite certain. Now if you wouldn’t mind, you seem to have more pokémon so you can send out first.”

*​

Alaska stood there for a moment, hand on her belt, almost as if she was trying to make sure her choice was right. She knew that going with the pokémon she had in mind could be risky. Her choice, after all, might act up and endanger someone. It was also true, however, that this pokémon was best prepared to wreck the Joy's chansey or other healers. “Ah, fuck it. Go show her who’s boss, Darwin!”

Alaska threw her pokéball out, successfully releasing the Primeape into the small, makeshift field. The fighting monkey let out a loud call, pounding its chest before it glared at Eve.

Eve grinned when she saw Alaska send out the fighting-type. “We’ll make use of this opportunity. Gail, you have the honour!” Eve called out before releasing her pidgeotto. The pokémon flew into the sky and spread her wings out upon release.

“Darwin, use Rage,” Alaska ordered quietly, deciding that it would be best to start charging up her pokémon’s power quickly. Darwin nodded his head, putting his fists together before his glare towards Eve’s pidgeotto intensified, his veins popping up and his demeanor becoming even fiercer.

“Gust!” Gail was the first to move forward, flapping her wings fervently before sending out a gust of wind towards Darwin. The fighting-type didn’t counter. He just stood there and took the attack, which seemed to have left a very noticeable amount of damage as it even pushed Darwin back. What on Earth is she doing? Eve wondered before slipping out her pokédex.

"Rage, a Normal-type attack. Classified as a Physical attack, Rage is a combination of a stat boosting technique and a damaging move. While under the effects of Rage every successful hit will increase the power of future Rage attacks."

She must be trying to use Rage in order to power up her primeape, Eve noted, scratching her chin in thought. This means that we should try and get away as far as we can. Getting close would only increase our chances of getting hit with the brunt of his attack.

“Come on! Where did all that bravado you were showing go?” Alaska taunted, her grin widening as she looked at the woman. “I would’ve thought someone that prides themselves on being so different from what’s expected of her would attack head-on. Guess your age has dulled your senses.”

“I don’t need to go into a unfavorable situation to prove that I’m different.” Eve shook her head, frowning at the girl as she clenched her fist. “But what can I expect to hear from such a young and immature girl such as yourself?” she taunted back, sighing with disappointment as she realized Alaska’s grin vanish almost instantly. “What? No comeback to that?”

“Oh, I have many, but I’m afraid your guy there’ll disqualify me if I voice them,” Alaska shot back cheekily. “But if you’re not going to attack, then we will. Darwin, charge!”

Darwin leapt off immediately, his body moving swiftly and skillfully as he lunged at the flying-type on the other side. He stretched his fists out as he got closer, only to finally throw a jab at the flying-type just as he approached.

Gail was able to get away just in time, though, spreading her wings out and flying off into the sky once her opponent had gotten close. “Twister!” Eve yelled, deciding that she’d give Alaska exactly what she wanted. As soon as Gail had created a considerable distance between herself and Darwin, she began to create a large tornadoes around the field. One collided with Darwin as soon as it was fired and sent the pokémon falling back to his trainer.

“Don’t let her shake you off, Darwin.” Alaska gritted her teeth. Darwin once more ran forward, planting his foot down and putting all of his weight down on it.

He then jumped off, leaping as high as he possibly could with a fist drawn out. Both Eve and Josh gasped in turn, especially when they noticed the electricity that was beginning to surround Darwin’s fist. This, however, caused a grin to cross Eve’s face.

Darwin threw his fist forward, the power he had gathered from Rage building up around him as he aimed it at the flying-type.

But he didn’t know about Gail’s Motor Drive ability. Just as Darwin’s punch collided with Gail, the electricity around it instantly vanished, leaving a defenseless Darwin right in front of a now annoyed Gail, courtesy of a punch to the face.

“What the hell was that!” Alaska roared, eyes glaring deeply at the still grinning Eve, who seemed unaffected by the gaze.

“Have you ever heard of Motor Drive?”

“What? Pidgeotto can’t have that ability…can they?” Alaska looked towards Sandy before turning to Eve and Josh, who simply shrugged. “Darwin, get down quickly!”

“Not much he can do in midair. Throw him down!” Gail was quick to comply, spreading her wings out once more before firing another gust of wind and sending Darwin crashing down onto the ground. “Now Quick Attack!”

“Wait for him to get close and try and grab him!” Alaska yelled out desperately, hoping that Darwin would be able to grasp his opponent and go for a Seismic Toss. He had to be able to, otherwise he would lose.

Gail dove down, letting out a trail of wind behind her as she descended upon Darwin, who had now gotten back on his feet and stood prepared, guard up in order to grapple with the flying-type. Gail smirked at this, glad that his opponent was showing so much courage against him, something he wasn’t used to finding in Longwater Town.

Gail knew better than to collide head-on with her opponent and instead moved out of the way just as Darwin lunged for her. This effectively shocked both the pokémon and his trainer as he proceeded to take a u-turn and fired a powerful gust of wind right behind Darwin, sending the pokémon flying back and knocking him out.

“Primeape is unable to battle! The winner is pidgeotto,” Josh announced as Alaska reluctantly recalled Darwin.

The Joy’s pidgeotto gave Alaska a fiercely defiant glare before proceeding to preen her wings. That thing was fast. She had to find a way to slow it down. Determinedly, she threw Shelley’s pokball éonto the field. “Icicle Spike, now!”

The excitable little shellder reacted as quickly as it could, sending a single icicle arcing through the air towards the pidgeotto, only to embed itself in the earth with a shunk! when Eve recalled her Pokémon immediately before it hit. Alaska groaned in frustration, but such a beneficial type matchup might have been too much to hope for.

“Alright, what else have you got?” Alaska muttered.

Eve’s next pokéball revealed a yowling feline pokémon with dark fur. At first Alaska thought it was a Sneasel or something, but he lacked the signature crimson feathers. The newcomer bared his claws and looked greedily at Shelley.

[Ooh, lunch!] he exclaimed.

“No, it’s not lunch, Meowth,” Eve said with a sigh. “Start out with Double Team.”

A half dozen copies of Meowth’s crouched form flickered into existence across the field. They blinked in perfect unison.

“Stupid Double Team,” Alaska groaned. “Use Aurora Beam on the copies!”

“Double Team again,” Eve countered. “And surround her.”

More copies appeared and the army of meowths began to advance. Ever eager, Shelley began picking them off one by one with a bright rainbow beam from her mouth. Patches of ice formed on the field as she blasted the decoys, which were quickly forming a circle around her.

“Oh, come on,” Alaska said. “Why is it never the first one we try?” That meowth knew what it was doing. She scanned the copies furiously, looking for any inconsistency.

“Now Fury Swipes!” Eve commanded with a snap of her fingers.

There. The Meowth directly behind Shelley was moving a split second ahead of the others. “Behind you! Use Clamp!”

The remaining copies sprang forward, claws outstretched. Shelley’s tongue lolled out comically, the closest thing the little shellfish had to a limb. Pressing against the ground, Shelley flopped over backwards just in time to clamp down hard on the real meowth’s slashing claws. The old tom hissed in pain as the rest of the copies popped out of existence. He flailed around in vain, attempting to dislodge the determined Shellder.

Alaska smirked. “Now use Aurora Beam!” she said gleefully.

A faint rainbow glow appeared in the opening of Shelley’s mouth around Meowth’s wrist. The cat gave an almost human sounding shriek and made one last attempt at hurling Shelley away. Whatever concentration and strength was required to use the Aurora Beam distracted from the Clamp, making this throw successful. Very successful. With an odd little gurgling wail, Shelley was sent spinning up into the heavens. The Aurora Beam never stopped, resulting in a rainbow laser that danced around like some sort of bizarre disco ball as Shelley spun through the air. As the beam cut across the ground, it froze it into solid ice. Between that and the earlier attempts at clearing the Double Team clones, very few patches of ground were left unfrozen.

When Shelley finally smacked back into the ground, she was upside down and cross-eyed.

“Now finish this with Cut,” Eve ordered with another snap.

Meowth made his way carefully across the ragged ice towards where Shelley had landed, claws out to provide extra traction. With an almost playful bat, he sent the Shellder spinning across the ice towards where the referee stood off to the side.

“Shellder is unable to battle,” he announced.

Alaska grumbled as she recalled Shelley. “Nice job, you almost had it,” she whispered to the pokéball.

Alaska gazed out across the field. The ice barely seemed to bother the Meowth. Maybe later on it could trip up Joy’s chansey, but for now it was working against her. She considered her options as she reached for her pokéballs. Frances would be scared witless by the ferocious meowth that was busy sharpening his claws in front of her. Then this Joy had a pidgeotto. Even if the pidgeotto was weak, it could still be a nuisance to a grounded pokémon and she had always wanted to test Paige against another of her kind. So for now Nadia it was.

“Meowth, teach this stray what ‘feisty’ means.”

In a burst of red light the nidorina appeared in front of her, pawing the ice uncertainly before looking up to growl at the meowth on the other side of the field. For his part the Meowth looked up with an almost bored expression and analyzed his foe.

His trainer joined in. A nidorina. She had seen a nidorino fight before—that psychotic knight in the woods had used one—but they weren’t terribly common around Cherrygrove. She could tell at a glance it was physically powerful and covered in spines, which would make fighting up close a liability. If she brought it out against Meowth it might also know Double Kick or another fighting move. By all means this was Lyra’s fight. She raised up Meowth’s pokéball to return him before the old tom turned around and glared.

[Let me at her, boss. I’ve sent bigger things limping away,] he said.

Eve closed her eyes and nodded. “Then go for it.”

She heard her pokémon’s feral hiss as he flew through the air.

*​

While moving first would have signaled her move as Nadia ran across the ice, Alaska increasingly regretted her twenty second dabbling in patience. As Meowth jumped through the air, he split into a dozen different black cats leaping at Nadia from different angles. Nadia reared back for a moment in shock before grunting and charging forwards with a mighty—

“INAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

—as her horn began to glow purple. She nailed one through the heart but it only dissipated into thin air before the others landed around her and jumped forwards, claws bared. Alaska lost sight of Nadia as she was overtaken by a cloud of claws, charms, and fur. She shouted out an encouraging “Poison Jab!” from time to time and watched as a clone faded to nothing but a minute later Nadia still hadn’t hit the real one.

I just need to find the real one. But what would that even look like? Alaska scanned the thinning pack of cats to see one jump out of the chaotic mess and slink between Nadia and Alaska. He crouched down, ready to pounce back into the mess before—

“CRUNCH BEHIND YOU, NOW!”

Nadia turned around, jaw open and glowing black. The Meowth still pounced, hissing as he flew through the air and readied his claws. Nadia was ready, but Meowth was still undeniably fast. Right before he landed, Meowth raked his claws across Nadia’s head with a brutal Cut attack.

The tide turned as soon as he landed. Nadia’s jaws snatched up the old tom and shook him from side to side. For a moment the meowth was too shocked to react as the Crunch took hold. That didn’t last for long.

[Come here, you brute! Let me show you what a real cut is!] Meowth hissed as he reached up with a free claw and raked Nadia across the eye. The nidorina screeched in shock as Meowth wrestled his way free, slashed at his captor once more for good measure, and leapt away. He hit the ground with a dozen copies of himself, all of them winded and panting but still ready to fight.

Eve kept her hand on Meowth’s pokéball. He wasn’t terribly injured, but multiple Double Team attacks weren’t good and the Crunch had look like it had hurt. It looked like all of the nidorina’s attacks were physical blows, devastating but hard to aim. This really was a better fight for Lyra and withdrawing him would let him heal up to be useful later in the battle.

As Eve began to raise the pokéball a shout came from the sidelines. “Alaska, remember what Nadia did to Sabrina!”

“Miss, giving advice to contestants is probably against some rule or another.” Joshua looked at Eve for confirmation. “Right?”

“Whatever you may think, I don’t have the entire rulebook memorized, Josh,” she muttered in response. Across the field Alaska was grinning and Eve didn’t like anything about the new developments. This girl has fought Sabrina? She didn’t know much about the Kanto gyms except that Sabrina was one of the strongest leaders. If Alaska had a strategy good enough to best her… Is it worth switching to Lyra and letting her set it up?

On the other side of the field, she saw the nidorina inhale before spouting out a blast of freezing air towards the center of the field. “Attack!” Eve called. Meowth wouldn’t need anything more specific and there was no way she would switch to Lyra if the nidorina knew Ice Beam.

Meowth complied and pounced back onto the nidorina, ripping into her hide with a barrage of Fury Swipes as the poison-type ignored him and his clones to the best of her ability and shot out more ice to the center of the field. There the ice was building into a larger and larger block until neither trainer could see the other and Eve lost sight of what was happening.

“Skull Bash, now!” Alaska shouted forcefully.

A powerful white glow was visible even through the icy barrier and Eve whipped out her pokédex to analyze it. “Get out of there!” she ordered frantically, confused by whatever the point of the glowing and ice was but certain it was nothing good.

“Skull Bash, a Normal-type attack. Classified as a Physical attack, Skull Bash has two parts. In the first the user charges energy that boosts their Physical Defense. In the second the user charges forwards with a fast and powerful tackle.”

“OK, don’t get directly in front of it—“

Then Nidorina ran.

The blur shot forwards towards the ice, twisting and distorting the image in Eve’s vision until everything broke apart. Icicles showered across the park and Eve felt herself get pelted by snow and frozen crystals as larger shards flew out in front of her. Chunks of ice the size of Meowth rained down on the field and crushed all of the cat’s clones. When only the original remained she watched it get pummeled by a frozen snowball the size of his head and collapse onto the ground. He looked down and out for all the world… but his breathing was perfectly normal.

“Meowth is unable to—“

“No, he isn’t,” Eve insisted. “Your move, girl.”

Alaska rolled her eyes and motioned to Nadia to continue. “Poison Jab one last time then.”

Nadia leisurely prowled over to Meowth as he struggled to push himself back up and gave one more desperate hiss. Her horn glowed purple as she pawed the ground and readied the attack. But when she lowered her head to charge, Meowth wasn’t there. Eve looked on with satisfaction as Meowth leaped into the air and landed behind the nidorina before unleashing another savage flurry of fury swipes. The nidorina shrieked in pain before ramming her horn back onto the flailing Meowth, piercing its side and prompting Eve to withdraw him at last.

“You did very well, Meowth. Enjoy your rest,” she said into his pokéball. She watched as the other trainer encouraged her nidorina on the other side of the field. She noticed that while the Pokémon was overjoyed and ready to continue, Meowth had left some nasty scratches on her. Still, she couldn’t risk letting Lyra or Gail take an Ice Beam. So…

“Pineco, you have the honour!”

Alaska watched as Eve’s new pokémon appeared on the other side of the field. It was short, green, and appeared to consist entirely of spines like a giant pinecone. She had heard of pineco before. They were supposedly somewhat common in Johto and viewed as dangerous, but she couldn’t remember why. It certainly didn’t look dangerous.

Then he opened his eyes.

The pineco’s eyes were narrow but shockingly predatory as he glared at Nadia and sized her up with a certain hunger. He was creepy and almost terrifying, especially as his mouth shifted open for a minute and he bared his teeth before hiding it again, leaving Alaska to wonder if it had even happened. Nadia wasn’t intimidated, though, and barked fiercely at her new opponent. Then a spike hit her face. Alaska didn’t see it happen and was taken aback when Nadia suddenly cringed and a bent thorn crashed down onto the ice in front of her. She looked back across at the pineco. He hadn’t appeared to move at all.

“Just get in close and finish it off. Poison Jab!”

On the opposite side of the field Eve smiled and snapped. “Spikes.”

As Nadia advanced, the pineco suddenly began to spin. As it whirled around faster and faster a slew of spikes shot out from its body, littering Eve’s side of the field with sharp thorns. Nadia couldn’t slow down on the ice and stepped on a few, far more than Alaska would’ve hoped for, but in the end she finally reached Pineco and slammed her horn into its side.

Pineco was launched halfway across the field and landed uneasily halfway between Eve and Alaska, but far to their left.

“It’s still in bounds,” Joshua called.

Immediately the pineco spun around and resumed his predatory stare. Eve wanted to laugh. He was a very clever pineco, but he didn’t seem to grasp how the food chain worked. But it was terrifying and off-putting, and she would take that.

Alaska groaned across the field, apparently having realized that getting to Pineco now would require traversing the first layer of spikes and then probably stepping over another one. “Just hit it with Ice Beam,” she commanded.

“Rapid Spin,” Eve countered.

Nadia fired another blast of ice across the field, but Pineco was ready. He spun around once more with increasing speed until he was simply a spiraling green mass with no distinct features. The Ice Beam hit, but most of it was deflected into a neat ring of frost around Pineco by the time he slowed down and stopped.

Eve watched with some satisfaction as a dark look crossed Alaska’s face. “Skull Bash, now!” And that took all of the joy out of the situation.

She sighed and called out to Pineco. “That attack will knock you out. Do you want to be withdrawn?”

Pineco shifted to looking at her for a half second before pivoting back to glare at the nidorina. As the light grew brighter around the poison-type, sparks began to fly from Pineco.

It was his choice… it was his choice… it was his choice…

KA-BOOM.

Eve averted her eyes just before the wave of heat and sound washed over her. She heard the girl’s friend recoil on the sidelines and watched as the ice almost instantly began melting across the field. Looking around she saw people all around staring at the battlefield before some resumed what they were doing and some congregated to watch the girl with the exploding pokémon. She looked up to finally withdraw Pineco and see her opponent withdraw her defeated nidorina.

* * *
Alaska Acevedo remembered why pineco were considered dangerous.

“What the hell was that for?” she yelled angrily. “Were you trying to get my pokémon killed?”

“That would have been extremely unlikely,” Eve shot back. “Pineco’s explosions are designed to stun other pokémon and not kill. Otherwise they would be banned in battles.”

“And you really can’t talk, Alaska…” Sandy muttered on the sidelines.

“What was that?”

“Nothing.”

Alright. Down to two pokémon. Chansey and pidgeotto… which are you—LEDIAN?!


Sure enough a ladybug pokémon floated in the air in front of her opponent, taking occasional jabs at the sky and hissing at Alaska as she prepared to fight.

“Wait, you don’t have a chansey or anything?”

After fighting terrorists and reality TV stars for months, Alaska Acevedo had thought she had seen the most terrifying things she was going to see. But the death glare of Evelina Joy was quickly proving her wrong.

“No, I don’t. Send out your next pokémon. Now.”

“Uh, ok…”

“Josh.”

“Right, right.” The referee cleared his throat. “Alaska, please send out your next pokémon.”

“Fine, Frances, let’s go…”

She might not do too well against a flying-type, but Paige would want to fight the pidgeotto. Sorry, girl.

Frances appeared on the melting, spike-strewn field and was immediately greeted by the jeers of the enemy ledian. She shrunk close to the ground and hid beneath her mushroom as much as possible. But before Alaska could give her a pep talk—

“Mach Punch, no quarter.”

—Ledian shot like a blur across the field and struck what little of Frances’ face remained exposed. Before Alaska or Frances could react the one punch turned into a score as the insect’s fists became cloaked in a white aura and slammed repeatedly into Frances’ mushroom. Terrified, the grass-type extended her claws for a quick X-Scissor only for the ledian to turn around and deflect them with her carapace.

Damn it. I need to reclaim this quickly…


“Stun spore, now!”

“Protect!” Eve ordered with a snap.

Why does she always do that when ordering… and why isn’t Frances moving? Oh, come on.


A green shield rapidly formed around the ledian, but it served no purpose. Frances had immediately retreated back under her mushroom and did not seem to want to attack the demon bug for any reason at all, even if it might stop or slow the punches.

[Come on, zombie! That the best you’ve got? You kidding me? You’ve got to come faster if you want to touch me,] Lyra boasted before whirling around and nailing Frances’ mushroom with another Mach Punch.

What is she planning? Eve wondered as she stared across the field. After the ice shenanigans earlier she could only assume something creative and devastating, but highly inefficient. And she didn’t want Lyra anywhere near the parasect until she figured out what it was.

“Get out of there, Lyra,” she called.

[Uh, sure thing, boss!]

Lyra retreated to the airspace directly in front of Eve, but the parasect still hadn’t moved. What kind of vile powder could it be making?

“Come on, Frances, you can do this! You need to do this, and I know you can. Remember Sabrina’s kadabra? Gideon’s magnezone? You just need to overcome your fears and then you can unleash—“

Sorry, girl, but if your pokémon won’t listen by the time the battle starts it’s already too late.


“Air Cutter.”

Lyra beat her wings rapidly and spun, causing an invisible blade to rip through the air and slam into Frances. With a cry of desperation, pain, or motivation the parasect began to rush forwards towards her foe, taking another blow from Air Cutter along the way.

“Good job, Frances! Hit ‘em with Slash!”

Eve grinned. “Reflect.”

A sphere of blue hexagons locked into place around Lyra as Frances slowly approached and raised a claw that he slammed into the ledian’s shield. A row of individual hexagons fell off, but the attack stopped at the edge. Lyra laughed and floated a little bit higher, only for—

“Stun Spore!”

Eve frowned as a cloud of yellow spores burst into the air and engulfed Lyra through the Reflect. She could see Lyra’s muscles lock up as she crashed towards the ground and just barely caught herself at the last moment.

“Slash, keep it up.”

Frances, now confident, began to tear into the remaining hexagons with more and more slashes as Lyra convulsed on the ground in paralysis. Eventually the shield was entirely gone, and Frances crossed her claws for one finishing X-Scissor attack. As Eve prepared to withdraw she saw Lyra make another jerk, this one more purposeful, and faintly smiled as she the paralysis had weakened.

“Reflect again.”

As Frances’ claws descended they hit nothing but blue hexagons as Lyra enshrouded herself once more and slowly began to rise off the ground and back into the air, purposeful but slower than normal.

“It’s only Reflect, Frances. Finish her with Solar Beam!”

“Lyra, you know what to do.”

Lyra buzzed in assent and began to fire off wave after wave of invisible blades towards the parasect, each one earning an audible groan as a sphere of green grew ever larger on the grass-type’s back. After taking one final Air Cutter, Frances groaned as the light became phenomenally bright. It raced forwards all at once in an enormous beam of energy that immediately engulfed Lyra and kept going through the air in a meter-wide blast of plant energy. Frances kept it going for almost ten seconds—an exceptionally long time for its species, Eve noted—before it faded at last to reveal a perfectly healthy Ledian dropping her Protect.

Alaska swore loudly as Lyra rushed forwards with one final Mach Punch to Frances’ face.

"Watch your language," Joshua muttered before pronouncing Eve the winner of the round.

Alaska frowned slightly at Josh, not caring if he noticed her before she turned her attention back to Eve. Even though I have more pokémon than her, I’m still in this tough of a spot? I guess all I can do is depend on you now, girl. She looked down at Paige’s pokéball, clenching it softly before throwing it into the air and releasing her flying-type. Paige spread her wings out as soon as she came out, letting out a loud cry in approval before it glared down at Lyra. “All right, Paige, let’s show that wannabe boxer not to mess with us,” Alaska grinned.

“So this is it,” Eve muttered to herself, eyes going between Paige to Lyra. Lyra still had some of the effects from the paralysis on her, which could cause some trouble for her. She grabbed for her pokeball for a moment, only to notice the ledian turn to her, her expression showing how determined she was to keep going. “It’s times like this when I feel bad that my pokémon are as stubborn as I am.” She chuckled to herself as she let go of the pokéball. “OK, Lyra, let’s go with Protect!”

“Again with that! Paige, use Quick Attack, just make sure to hit her as fast as you can!” Alaska called out, hoping that Paige would be fast enough to hit Lyra before she set up her barrier.

Paige sped off, flapping her wings as fast as she could before leaving a trail of light behind her. Lyra, too, proceeded to comply with Eve’s command. However, Paige was able to break through the developing barrier and collided against the hexagons of Lyra’s Reflect, managing to break through the screen before she bounced back. Lyra gritted her teeth, flying back to Eve. “Looks like your friend is running out of gas there, Ms. Joy,” Alaska commented, her grin widening.

Alaska was right. Being affected by paralysis was causing Lyra’s movements to slack in comparison to Paige’s. This in turn would make it harder for her to put up proper barriers unless they were able to incapacitate the flying-type somehow. Eve looked towards Josh, eyes meeting his for a moment, as if she was wondering what he would do if he was in her situation.

“Hey! No glancing at your boyfriend during a match,” Alaska called out, feigning rage as she quickly noticed the embarrassed glare Eve had shot her.

“Again, we’re not a couple.”

“Sure, and I’m not a bitch,” Alaska shrugged, eyes glancing back to the battle at hand. “All right, Paige, Twister!” Paige began flapping her wings once more, this time creating a tornado of wind that began materializing in front of her, gathering air and threatening to pull Lyra along with it. She then sent the attack flying towards the ledian, causing both Eve and her pokémon to gasp in shock.

“Fly around it!”

“Wait, what?”

Lyra moved itself back for a moment, eyes glaring at the tornado as she flew straight into it. However, before she was rocked and taken over by the corner she quickly began to maneuver through it, changing the direction of her wings and instead letting herself spin around together with the attack. She gritted her teeth upon feeling the damage from the attack slowly affect her but still pushed on.

With this she was able to fly out of the tornado, this time ending up right in front of Paige, four hands extended as she glared down at the flying type. “Supersonic now,” Eve commanded, making Alaska realize just what she had been planning as Lyra released multiple sonar waves right in front of Paige.

The flying time skidded back, shaking its head around desperately, fighting against the confusion that was threatening to take over her. “Get over it, Paige, we can’t let them get ahead!”

“Hit her while she’s weak, Lyra.” Lyra nodded her head, charging forward immediately as her four fists glowed with bright light. She then proceeded to throw a barrage of punches at the flying type, trying her best to get as many as she could in before Paige recovered.

However, just as she thought she had caught her opponent off guard Paige was able to dodge almost all of the punches, making Lyra instantly fly back in shock. “Put up a Protect, quick,” Eve ordered desperately.

Unfortunately, just as Lyra was about to set up her usual green barrier, she felt the effects of the paralysis take over once more, causing her limbs to become static. Eve noticed this, eyes opening wide as Paige took her chance and began to fly high into the sky, only to sweep low once she reached her zenith and dive down towards the bug type.

Lyra was unable to dodge this time and as thus was hit square on by Paige’s Aerial Ace, making the pokémon wail out as she was thrown back to Eve, who had closed her eyes right before the attack connected. She noticed Lyra kept pushing herself, clearly willing to keep going as much as she could. “It’s okay, Lyra,” Eve said softly, causing her pokémon to look up at her. “You’ve done well.” She nodded her head before holding the pokéball out, returning the bug type before she could object.

Staring at Eve, Josh nodded his head before announcing. “Ledian has been deemed as unable to battle, the winner is Pidgeotto!”

Alaska smiled widely, hearing Sandy cheering from behind her as she stared at her opponent, glad that she had reclaimed momentum. “Looks like you’ll finally get to have the match you’ve been waiting for, girl,” she pointed out to her starter, who simply nodded her head with pride. “Come on, Ms. Joy, let’s see which one of us has the best Pidgeotto, though I already know the answer to that one.”

Eve stood there for a moment, her mind jogging back through Gail’s previous battle and how she had already pushed herself against Darwin. “We’ll have to be careful. Start off with a Twister!”

“You too Paige! Don’t miss a beat,” Alaska ordered, receiving a nod from Paige as both she and Gail flew up higher into the sky. They both summoned their respective tornadoes and fired it at each other, causing the two forces of wind to collide and send the flying types back due to the strength of it.

“Quick Attack!”

“Same!”

Both birds complied, this time flying at each other at great speeds, though they both began to subtly alter their course in order to throw the other off. This led into the two of them merely grazing one another before they turned back and repeated the same motion, neither willing to take the final plunge.

Both trainers stared at their pokémon fighting desperately, knowing that the first one to make a wrong move would pay for it gravely, especially at such a crucial moment of the battle. However, just as they were about to cross each other once more Eve finally spoke out. “Now use Gust!”

“I knew you’d do that! Heat Wave right to the face!”

Both trainers panted in suspense as the two pokémon fired off their attacks, Gail letting out a gust of wind that collided with Paige’s current of heat. Paige’s attack won out in the end, though, as it was stronger or because of Gail’s fatigue. This in turn caused Gail to be hit head-on and for her to begin falling from the sky, making the pokémon have to spread her wings out in order to stop herself from crashing to the ground.

“Your bloody bird is damn stubborn, isn’t she!?” Alaska yelled in frustration, realizing that Paige was beginning to tire out as well.

“Sometimes it’s annoying, other times it helps.” Eve smirked, moving back a bit as Gail quickly flew back into the sky.

“Well we’re having none of that. Go for an Aerial Ace!” Paige began to dive down towards Gail once more, this time creating an arch as she lowered herself to her opponent, beak held out.

“Twister!”

“Break through it!”

“Are you nuts, Alaska?!” the girl heard Sandy call out from behind her. “She’ll be caught up in the tornado!”

“Not if she’s strong enough, and I know she is!” Alaska shouted back, seeing Gail fire out another tornado, this time heading straight towards Paige as the pokémon sped downwards. “You can do it, girl!”

Paige finally collided with the Twister, her body contorting slightly as she tried her best to keep going, moving her wings back and pushing her body forward, closing her eyes, anything to make her pull out whatever strength she had left.

And luckily for Alaska, she succeeded. Eve and Gail both stared in shock and disbelief as Paige managed to break through the tornado, her body descending down and about to collide against Gail.

The impact never came. Flashes of red surrounded both pokémon simultaneously and withdrew them from the field. Confused, Alaska reached down to send out Paige again. Nothing.

Alaska pressed the button three more times and nothing happened. She looked up to see Eve having a similar problem. “The fuck is happening here?”

Eve shook her head and put Gail’s ball back in her left jacket pocket. “No idea, honestly. I could ask my aunt…”

“Oh, no. There’s no need for that. Allow me to explain.”

For a moment the whole world turned white, which was only the eighth strangest point in Alaska’s journey so far. But for Eve it was terrifying. When the world reappeared they were somewhere entirely different. She now found herself in a smoke-filled café with faint jazz music playing in the background. Eve was seated at a small circular table with Alaska and a strange man in a dark suit with a breloom-shaped pin upon his lapel. He cleared his throat.

“My apologies for the inconvenience, but the company has yet to set up a Goldenrod office so I had to take you to Celadon. Regardless, you will only be here for a moment so there is no need for panic.” He reached forwards on the table and pushed two menus that Eve hadn’t even noticed towards the girls. “Might as well order something while you’re here. It will make—“

“OK, just who the bloody hell are you?” Eve demanded.

“Ah, yes, yes. My name. I believe that Miss Acevedo’s met me, or at least a version of me…” He took a sip from a cup of coffee Eve also hadn’t previously noticed before continuing. “I am The Director.”

“Wait, you work for the gaming company?” Alaska asked.

“In a sense. Although I would say that my actual job is a fair bit more important… I maintain the rules and improve the system as time moves on. I keep order over individual stories, if you will. I had to borrow you two for a short time but now you will be returned to your individual narratives undisturbed.”

“Oh, for Arceus’ sake—“

“Alaska, let me take this one,” Eve commented. “Sir, are you quite sure you’ve taken your medication today?”

The Director laughed before shaking his head. “Perhaps it would just be easier to show you. Have a look at these.” He waved his hand and five orbs floated above the table. Looking inside the girls saw an individual scene in each one as if they were looking into a spherical diorama. Two contained dark forests, one a beachfront, one the linoleum floor of a laboratory, and one the burned out and abandoned ruins of a city. “Most stories stay contained within themselves, particularly as of late. Some people in corporate wanted to change that so they commissioned me to draw elements out of various individual stories and bring them together for a spell to create something new. You each have your own journeys that for a moment have been interrupted for the sake of letting the public see a battle between you. I would have rather seen the match end naturally and the shared universe subside, but a fundamental law of reality was in danger of being breached so I had to intervene and manually begin the reset process myself.”

Eve glanced at Alaska to see her staring at The Director, utterly confused. She herself could just barely follow the threads of his monologue.

“So, we’re both characters in—“

“—in a fictional story, yes. Actually they are second level fictional stories, fiction about fiction, making this a third level fictional story if you want to get technical. But I think it’s best if we don’t get technical.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Alaska said wearily. “But you’re getting on my nerves so I think it’s time I leave.”

“Same,” Eve agreed.

“Oh, no. That’s quite impossible,” The Director interjected. “This is a junction between universes. If you wait for a few minutes you will be sent back to your own universes. For you this will be, at most, a faint memory of a dream.”

“What about the ‘rule of the universe’ or whatever it was?” Alaska asked impatiently. “What was that?”

“Right, that. For reasons even I don’t fully understand, it is imperative that your power be balanced. While you can choose not to compete, when you do you must be perfectly matched. You gained the upper hand in the battle and I had to intervene to maintain—“

“So you’re controlling my life and I can’t even know about you?” Alaska demanded furiously.

“Effectively, yes.”

“And this universe will stop… existing… whatever we do?”

“This particular overlap, yes.”

“Well, then. Only one way to finish this.” Eve watched as Alaska reached for her remaining pokéball and through it onto the table. “Heat Wave!”

“What are you—“

Paige formed and began to beat her wings. An orange glow appeared around them that washed over the café, igniting The Director’s suit and incinerating the orbs he had summoned. “What the hell are you doing?” Eve shouted, but she was drowned out by the crackling of spreading flames throughout the café. The Director ran to the exit as he tried to beat out the flames on his suit. At the door he stared at Alaska Acevedo one last time before he opened it and stepped out, slamming the door shut as he did so.

Behind him flames continued to wash over the junction between universes, but only for a second. After that the building disappeared entirely and left him alone in a field of white. Eve had not been defeated under the rules of the match so the universe could be preserved. When the café flickered back a second later, smoldering and silent, The Director walked back inside and sat back down at his usual table. Another mug of coffee spontaneously appeared in front of him and jazz began to play in the background. He took a sip of his drink and slipped out an old Game Boy Color as he stared across the torched room.

He supposed that, in her own way, Alaska had found a way to win.

*​

...and that's game. While we were strongly tempted to have this tie, for the sake of maybe breaking the curse we decided not to. And, deprived of her immunity from outright losing, Eve went down. She has some important things going in her favor such as much better knowledge of Alaska's team members than vice-versa, generally more maturity, and the ability to form and employ more strategic attack plans than Alaska. Her pokédex would also help her figure out what Alaska is doing with more ease.

However, that's about where her advantages end. While Alaska has historically done poorly when faced with powerful opponents with little preparation, Eve is ill-prepared to deal with Alaska's modus operandi. Outside of Lyra's Protect, none of her pokémon are capable of surviving one of Alaska's finishing strategies, and outside of Pineco's Self-Destruct, she has no singularly reliable way of destroying opponents outside of normal battle tactics. Given that Alaska's pokémon are each capable of firing off incredibly powerful attacks in the right circumstances and regularly do so, Eve isn't in a great spot. As such, her attempts to take down Alaska through normal means are quite likely to get interrupted and her pokémon overwhelmed. Furthermore, Alaska has five badges. In The Long Walk, badges are widely seen as being a reliable indicator of power. It's implied once that Josh beating a trainer with two more badges is incredibly unlikely. Eve beating one with three more would, canonically, be extremely difficult. A few other factors come in to play as well such as Alaska's generally superior team matchup (she can hit 3/4 of Eve's team for STAB Super Effective damage, Eve can only hit 2/5 of Alaska's likewise), the extra pokémon, and Eve's reluctance to see either pokémon in battle hurt contrasted with Alaska's relative ruthlessness.

The point is that while Eve has better technology and strategy, Alaska's sheer power and style are likely too much for Eve to overcome.

Next time...

C v. VB


Evelina Joy v. Alaska Acevedo

Project Manager: Athena
Assistant Writer: Flaze
Emergency Writer: AetherX

~Athena
 
The acest of trainers
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Re: Crossover Battles

Hmmmm.....HMMMMMMMMMM..... *strokes imaginary beard, ponders, reads past comments on 8ES from Athena and feels vengeful, decides to comment..*

I enjoyed this more than I expected I would. I can't speak too much for TLW since I haven't read it in full yet, but I think you did a mostly accurate job of portraying Alaska. I liked that you made her more in tone with her current place in the story (commenting on not seeing parks around tied in nicely with The Short Walk, which I guess is funny in its own way). The battles were good, and I liked your descriptions of everything beforehand, and I'm glad Sandy got to feature as well - maybe one day she and Josh will get to face off as well :p

I would have preferred to see a bigger, more ridiculous strategy from Alaska in the end: the call back to the Sabrina battle was a nice touch, but I was expecting something much more OTT in the end. And I'm sad that they didn't have a proper final moveset, which I was looking forward to. The bit about the Director was interesting and meta, and the whole "fiction about fiction" thing made me both laugh and proud that that element has come through, but I was hoping for a real Pidgeotto v Pidgeotto final death brawl. That's just me though.

Ultimately I enjoyed this, and asides from a few small things I had mentioned to you (ie Darwin doesn't know Rage - but admittedly that one is my fault as well so I can't hold you to account for that too much) this has me very interested in what else is to come
 
Thesaurus rex
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Re: Crossover Battles

I knew this battle would be coming sooner or later

Technical Accuracy/Style
A few hiccups in the editing, I notice. Gail is female, incidentally, though it's possible that I managed to miss one or two pronouns when I edited the change into the published story. I can see an attempt at flicking between the styles of The Long Walk and Eight Easy Steps. By and large, actually, the style is pretty consistent with the source material. I'm surprised at how consistent Eve's battle style is to my own perception of it, given how little she's battled on screen

Aptness
The practice battle is the way to go. And there's a decent battle had out of this, given that it's not a terribly even match-up. I'm pretty much in agreement when it comes to the relative strengths and weaknesses. Eve can think her way through a battle, while Alaska (From what I've read) tends to fall back on simply chaining attacks together. Her big weakness as I see it is that her team really isn't diverse, which results in some real problems when it comes to type rock-paper-scissors. I would have called it the same way - a win for Alaska, down to either having more pokémon (I think I would have made it three-on-three, but this approach works), or by being able to bulldoze her way to it.

Authorial Comments
I've tried to remember that you have what's published to work with, and not my own bank of character notes. I can see a real effort to try and copy my character's mode of speech and reactions. I would pick at Josh chiding Alaska's foul mouth, I suppose - I can't see him bothering to mention it. I did wonder whether his nickname for Eve would show up. No doubt Alaska would have had fun with it

Story/Characters
The narrative of the battle was a good one. I think Meowth's "play dead" routine could have been cut, with him being defeated by the Ice Beam/Skull Bash gambit. The net result would have been much the same and as it stands you could argue that Meowth does a little too well. There's some decent back and forth in the tide of the battle. I liked that Lyra was hoisted on her own petard by Tangled Feet. Alaska starting off from the wrong assumption that there would be a Chansey somewhere is something I can't quite believe that I didn't think of.

The Director thing was frankly bonkers, but what the hell, it's a better way to end the story, at least if you're familiar with Fairground in-jokes

Character-wise, I think I've said most of what I need to, but special mention for Pineco. Can't file this under Aptness since I've hardly mentioned Pineco but ... yeah, that predatory pine cone thing was unexpected
 
Don't Look Away
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Re: Crossover Battles

@AceTrainer14; In regards to the final fight between Paige and Gail...that actually is mostly my fault really, it was the last round that I wrote and I wasn't exactly in the best of battle writing moves cause it was so late but I had to write it as best as I could cause of the deadline. I myself would've wanted it to be more epic but I realized that both Paige and Gail had a lot of similar movesets which limited my versatility with them a lot at the time. So I apologize for that.
 
The acest of trainers
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Re: Crossover Battles

@AceTrainer14; In regards to the final fight between Paige and Gail...that actually is mostly my fault really, it was the last round that I wrote and I wasn't exactly in the best of battle writing moves cause it was so late but I had to write it as best as I could cause of the deadline. I myself would've wanted it to be more epic but I realized that both Paige and Gail had a lot of similar movesets which limited my versatility with them a lot at the time. So I apologize for that.
It's not really the writing or such that bothered me, I guess I was expecting a more conclusive ending, I suppose. I wouldn't even really say Alaska won since they didn't end their battle. Setting the room on fire is an Alaskaesque win, but since its not against Eve I don't think it really counts? Idk, that's mostly my issue with it.
Though admittedly, I guess the two big finishes you could have done with Heat Wave setting the grass on fire or melting the ice have already been done by me, so I can see the difficulties with trying to have an original ending.

I should say also: the title, amazing. You get a 10/10 for that.
 
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Re: Crossover Battles

Hi. This is nominated for Best Alternate. So that's a thing.

Criss v. Vanessa Backlot

Welcome to the fifth Crossover Battle. Today’s battle pits Criss, professional Rocket hunter, against Vanessa Backlot, frequent opponent of Team Galactic, in a battle of antiheroic action girls.

Criss:

Criss’ backstory is initially unclear. While a surprising amount can be discerned by reading into her words, she lays very little out directly to anyone. She was born in Sinnoh but traveled to Johto to earn badges as part of a family tradition. At some point in there she got involved in the Aqua-Magma conflict in Hoenn before ending up in Kanto. There she was tutored by Sabrina and Koga to be an absolutely brutal warrior against the nascent Team Rocket. Fueled by the hurt of losing a family member and a grim determination, Criss set out to deal as much damage to the organization as possible before being killed herself. Along the way she’s done pretty well for herself by killing or capturing dozens of Rockets, disrupting several of their schemes, and even helping to defeat Project Titan—the ultimate weapon of Team Rocket.

She is a very secretive person and can be quite rude when pressed. However, she seldom goes out of her way to antagonise others and can be relatively sympathetic in some cases. She knows her way around the regions and leagues and is willing to guide others that she trusts.

Criss usually relies upon her Pokemon cleaning up her opponents’ team while she goes straight to fighting the humans. She views her Pokemon primarily as weapons to be beaten into submission and then perfected through intense training. Criss cares little about her team being injured or even killed and regularly releases teammates when they have outlived their usefulness to her. As such, little is known about the personalities of most of her team members.

She has a Nidoking and Nidoqueen she caught near Pewter City and evolved with Moon Stones stolen from Team Rocket. Criss also wields an Aerodactyl and Omastar revived on Cinnabar Island from fossils which were also taken from Rocket. All of them have been pushed to their limits and have practiced every conceivable move and strategy so many times that they almost never make mistakes in battle. Criss’ primarily relies upon powerful, showy moves to end her opponents as quickly as possible or finish weaker ones. Hyper Beam, Giga Impact, and OHKO moves are nearly universal on her team. Entry hazards such as Spikes and Toxic Spikes are also rather common.

The one Pokemon Criss does care about is her Flareon. The Pokemon is apparently her starter and absolutely refuses to enter into her Pokeball due to a protectiveness of her trainer. Flareon gets nervous when Criss isn’t within her sight, often either sinking into depression or anxiety or just lashing out at people in her way. When anyone tries to harm Criss they can expect either a face full of fire or a flaming bite to the leg. Additionally Flareon can use Sunny Day to summon intense sunlight to the field, boosting the power of her fire attacks and weakening incoming water-type moves. Flareon’s agility is also quite impressive as she has managed to dodge barrages of attacks for minutes against otherwise competent foes. Her endurance is a bit inconsistent, though—she gets destroyed by a single powerful attack once, but later on she manages to tank a psychic explosion that no one was expected to survive with barely any damage. The inconsistency indicates a strong resistance to psychic attacks, but only passable resistance to other ones.

Criss is well-recognized as a formidable trainer. She’s earned at least nine badges, won a high profile tournament, and has idly boasted that she could easily become champion if she actually wanted to. No one in story disputes this notion and she’s never been shown to suffer a defeat in a standard match.

The reason for her skills transcends simple strategy and training, though. Criss possesses psychic abilities. These let her bond with a single one of her Pokemon at a time, usually Flareon, and command it almost instantaneously without being heard. The abilities also let her see the world through the senses of one of her Pokemon for relatively short periods of time. Criss can also sense the general moods and desires of Pokemon she is not familiar with.

In combat Criss dresses pragmatically with dark, padded clothing. She has a sash that can carry a dozen or so throwing knives. Criss is absolutely brutal with her knives and can accurately throw them into targets meters away or use them to wound or kill up close. Physically, she has enough endurance to run up dozens of flights of stairs while battling and enough strength to knock out a grown man with a single punch. She’s capable of sneaking up on almost any target without being detected and skilled enough to take on up to five elite soldiers at once in hand-to-hand combat. She even defeated her own Aerodactyl once with nothing but her physical abilities and her knives. Keep in mind that said Aerodactyl had previously terrorized a city and fought off multiple high-powered Pokemon.

Still, Criss has weaknesses. She’s not terribly concerned about the prospect of death and will rush into near-suicidal situations without a second thought and even try to drag in others with her. She’s not terribly concerned about her Pokemon’s safety and has lost team members because of it. Furthermore Criss isn’t really that great of a strategist, generally relying upon either prior training or someone else’s plans to carry her through in a fight. She often gets beaten up or injured in battle, but she almost always leaves her opponents in much worse condition. And after everything she’s been through, her survival is a testament to her sheer power and tenacity.

Vanessa Backlot:

Similarly little is known about Vanessa Backlot’s origins. She was presumably born in Sinnoh approximately fourteen years before Cyrus’ began his war on the region. In time she was deprived of a home and Vanessa ended up living with The Slayers, a rough motorcycle gang, for a handful of years. There she became competent with driving, combat, and firearms. But in time she was forced out of there as well and wandered across Sinnoh alone with just her Abra and Staraptor for company.

Then Galactic came.

Shortly after formally starting a Pokemon journey to pay the bills, Cyrus began waging a campaign of terror attacks across Sinnoh in an attempt to bring about the end of the world. Vanessa was caught up in the chaos of the first attack and banded together with other youth present on the scene to become the region’s most consistent safeguard against Cyrus and his minions. Along the way Vanessa has fought off countless swarms of grunts and Zubat, battled all of the Slayers at once, and taken on the admins of Team Galactic and Cyrus himself multiple times. Oh, and she’s also fought Giratina and the equivalent of a demoness without dying.

Vanessa relies much more upon her weapons than her Pokemon in combat and sports a fairly impressive arsenal. Her weapon of choice is her umbrella. In addition to serving as a mighty shield capable of blocking explosions, stabbings, and almost any projectile it can be converted into offensive weapons. Vanessa prefers to use it’s sword function, transforming it into a mid-length blade. Her skill with it is somewhat erratic; at one point she is almost defeated by a novice with a carving knife and at another she fights a much more physically imposing and supernaturally fast opponent with thousands of years of experience to an effective draw. But when she wants to deal out the hurt, her umbrella can transform into an energy gun capable of blasting out a hyper beam attack with relatively little charge. It’s been used to knock holes through concrete and take out multiple vehicles at the same time before, making it a pretty safe assumption that it’s lethal to all but the most well-armored of humans. Supplementing her umbrella is an arsenal of jury-rigged glowsticks that can explode, create bolts of electricity, or hide objects inside of them.

However, outside of her umbrella Vanessa has literally nothing in the way of armor. In fact she has a habit of wearing some of the strangest, most elaborate, and least practical outfits imaginable. Just how she affords them with virtually no money is a bit unclear and never addressed. It’s stated that they encumber her surprisingly little, but heels and ridiculous dresses surely don’t boost her speed or movement capabilities.

Vanessa’s team as a whole is relatively weak; she struggles against even mid-level gym leaders. In combat she prefers to send all of her team out at once and let them do what they will. Occasionally they will block an attack for her or retrieve an item, but that’s about the extent of their connection and interaction in a fight.

Her strongest and oldest teammate is Staraptor. She is capable of winning challenges that have historically been nigh-unwinnable towards the start of the story, before the Galactic War. In battle she tends to be the most protective and loyal teammate Vanessa has. But she’s also sick, which occasionally takes her out of the fight and makes her temporarily useless. Vanessa’s other old teammate, Abra, generally doesn’t fight or even show up in battle. Vanessa can summon him from a distance. He can battle when he appears, but he’s normally used to teleport Vanessa and occasionally a hostage out of a particularly sticky situation.

Rounding out Vanessa’s team are a Dustox, Murkrow, Luxio, and Infernape. The former three have fairly limited movepools more or less restricted to low-level attacks and elemental moves. Infernape is a bit more versatile and competent, capable of taking on reasonably powerful Pokemon with a type advantage in sticky situations. He primarily relies upon fast and powerful punches combined with a Rock Slide attack that can destroy the area nearby.

That is a pretty common strategy for Vanessa. Normal combat can bore her and blowing up the area is virtually her modus operandi. While she’s technically saved Sinnoh on a few occasions, she normally succeeds in destroying the building or area she was supposed to be saving in the first place. She’s wracked up at least several million dollars in property damage by this point by herself.

Vanessa is also generally too brash, flippant, and sarcastic for her own good. She’s also been known to zone out in fights and ignore other threats advancing and traps her opponents are setting up. Vanessa is also fiercely loyal to her Pokemon and will flip out at anyone willing to let a Pokemon die, friend or foe. She’s also relatively dependent upon weaponry, proper or improvised, to do damage. It’s also been some time since she’s had to fight without any assistance at all, so many of her accomplishments were really a collective success.

Still, it’s hard to find another kid her age who’s fought gods and armies as successfully as she has


Now, with the characters introduced, let the battle begin.

*** Bloodstains ***​

Criss

Criss sat aboard an ancient creature flying through the air. Her Aerodactyl flapped its stonelike wings slowly, allowing her to gauge the enemy’s territory from a safe distance. The wind was strong and cold against her pale skin. Her long, dark hair swayed in time with the currents after she put away the blue bandana she was wearing into the backpack strapped tightly against her back. Flareon was nestled in her usual spot between Criss’s arms. Young starly and staravia, recently woken by the illumination of the sun that had just finished climbing over the horizon, flew below them. The birds took turns whistling a soft tune that contrasted with the chaotic sounds of industry resounding from the mainland below.

Criss sighed. Her body became tense as they neared their destination, an area she was, for the most part, unfamiliar with. She had been born here, and... Well, she fidgeted with the thick padding covering various parts of her body as a distraction, before any concrete images or memories came to mind. It was impossible to reminisce, anyway, when there was a job at hand. The sash she wore and the secured pokéballs at her side were physical reminders of how she had run away to other regions and collected their gym badges. Strapped below the pokéballs were sheaths that concealed steel throwing knives, which she had used to kill members of several criminal organizations, small and large. She never expected to come back to where it all started. She wished she were here for any other reason.

She forced herself to shift her gaze from the skies to what she knew to be Veilstone City, and she scanned the area as if heading toward a battleground. She supposed that that wasn’t too far from the truth.

Veilstone's skyscrapers weren't as daunting from up here. From her point of view, the surrounding townhouses and cafes that were built on high, rocky hills held their own in comparison. Near the city's entrance was a large stretch of land strictly dedicated to warehouses. Other parts of the city - the department store, the casino, and other important infrastructures - had been reduced to nothing but rubble. There were traffic jams near these parts as bulldozers took up much room on the streets. If the city was anything besides industrial, she couldn't tell.

Aerodactyl broke her concentration and roared, signaling an incoming landing. Criss shook her head and directed the pokémon to the south, toward Route 222. While Veilstone was Team Galactic's current base of operations, she was not, for the time being, interested in sabotaging the group as a whole. She aimed to learn more about a man named Charon who, she knew, had built a now-abandoned base on the outskirts of Route 222.

Using the little information she had, Criss deemed Charon more capable than most Team Rocket executives. Team Galactic, after all, had taken over Veilstone without explicitly announcing their arrival. It was unorthodox, given the experience she had with hunting Team Rocket. But that was in the past. After having spent a year traveling with two promising trainers, she was alone, miles and miles away from the familiarity of Kanto. She was only here to find the secret behind the link between Charon and Team Galactic, and she would be stealthy. She would be strong.

And with that resolution, the mission began.

She pointed toward the an open field leading out of Veilstone. She found it ironic that the only bit of nature she had seen so far wasn't technically part of the city itself. As Aerodactyl pitted itself forward and descended, careful as to not let Criss fall from a great height, she could still see Veilstone's influence on the area. Billboards advertised the casino using what she supposed should have been a catchy slogan, and a picture of a woman's priceless expression as countless coins spilled out of a slot machine. They landed on one end of the field, Aerodactyl hopping forward a couple times with its momentum. Criss slid off its back and looked around. On the other side of the clearing stood a flagpole, depicting the infamous logo belonging to the supposed shipping company that Team Galactic's leader ran. Smokestacks could be seen in the distance, even though the warehouses were far away, and the polluted air seemed to waft over to even this area, as the grass crunched beneath her feet and the tree branches hung lower than was healthy.

Criss shook her head. Apparently, the city had no shame.

Looking ahead, the paved road seemed to stretch on and on, but Route 222 wasn't exactly known for offering trainers a long, grueling journey to Sunyshore City. Criss figured that she would be able to find the abandoned base with relative ease.

First thing's first, Criss thought, returning Aerodactyl to its pokéball. Flareon yawned and stretched from where she had leaped off of Aerodactyl’s back. Her large, dark eyes peered over at Criss and, loyal as ever, she went by by her trainer’s side and let out a quiet cry of contentment. Criss knelt down to pat her on the yellow tuft of fur in between her too-long ears, unafraid of the heat radiating from the fire-type's body. She explained to the pokémon what they were looking for. Flareon nodded, a stern, determined look on her face.

Criss stood up, and the duo marched forward, searching the area. The search was thorough, given how Criss was unsure whether the abandoned base was underground or disguised as something simple, like a shack. Criss rummaged through the few remaining patches of tall grass while Flareon waited anxiously on the asphalt, pacing back and forth lest she follow Criss and unintentionally set the declining terrain on fire. Together the two of them scaled windswept hills covered with fallen trees, and they traipsed past ledges blocking their path.

When they reached the end of the slope, they simultaneously reached the heart of Route 222. Criss had raised her eyebrow with suspicion by the previous lack of water sources, but thinking it was just as well, considering Veilstone would ruin that for all pokémon and trainers, too - without a care, no less. But here there was a seemingly untainted pond, where ripples at the water's surface could be seen along with the reeds swaying with the wind at the edge.

Flareon glanced at her with a worried look. Criss messed with the bandolier around her torso and considered her options. She could remove some of her clothes and possessions that she could swim and ensure the base wasn't around here, but that would risk having her weapons stolen and possibly used as a defensive measure against Flareon - who, undoubtedly, would defend her. Swimming with all the weight, of course, wasn't an option. So she took out another pokémon and released Omastar. Upon materializing the pokémon shook its cream-colored shell in anticipation and rooted itself into the sand with its blue tentacles.

"Look around for any buildings," she told the pokémon. "We'll be over there," she added, pointing to the east. "If you find anything, let us know. Got it?"

Omastar nodded, slithered to the shore, and slipped underneath the water.

In the meantime the two headed in the direction Criss had gestured toward. Flareon ran ahead. Her tail perked up and she stopped halfway down the path when she came across a rusted bulletin board meant to help any lost trainers. Criss didn't know how anyone could get lost on such a straightforward route, but stranger things had been known to happen, such as how Team Galactic had gotten away with disguising their training headquarters as a place of retreat for the rich and famous...

She shook her head. The more she dwelled on Team Galactic, the less focused she would be on Charon. She went ahead, motioning for Flareon to follow, but immediately there was a high cry coming from behind them.

Omastar had found something, it seemed.

Criss broke out into a run, and Flareon jogged alongside her. Criss released Aerodactyl once more and hopped on its back, followed by Flareon. Aerodactyl flew as close to the ground as it could while Omastar swam toward Team Galactic's abandoned base, its shell popping out of the water.

The island they came across was barely suited for a base, and Criss's heart fell. This might not be it, after all. Still she had a feeling they were right. She and Flareon hopped off of Aerodactyl’s back before she returned it. Then it was time to get down to business.

The building's iron, dome-shaped roof wasn't quite too far above them - she figured the lack of height was to keep out of sight as well as possible - but the windows still were too high to peer into. Of course, the door leading inside was locked. Criss went around the entirety of the base, but found no doors, not even a single hidden entrance.

Coming around to the front again, Criss fingered the cold, metallic lock and asked Flareon, "Think you can melt this, girl?"

Flareon barked happily, then took a deep breath. Criss backed away. When the fire-type exhaled, out came a massive stream of flames that collided with the lock, quickly re-tempering the lock so that it turned soft and brittle. When Flareon's flamethrower attack ceased, Criss waited one long, agonizing minute to let the lock finish melting. After what felt like an eternity, Criss kicked down the door, which gave way easily with the combination of the destroyed lock and her strength.

From the inside, Team Galactic's abandoned base seemed much larger, akin to what an actual base should be in terms of size. The atmosphere reminded Criss of a prison, what with the darkness and forsaken atmosphere engulfing her. Once in a while a light flickered to her left, and she could see piles of boxes she hoped were filled with the information she was looking for. Using Flareon as a source of light, she started there. Unfortunately, she quickly saw that the boxes were of no use to her. The boxes were only full of spare machine parts that she couldn't decipher without paperwork to back up any assumptions she might make.

Flareon illuminated the other half of the main entrance. Against the other wall sat barrels with no tops, which Criss believed to have once held secret chemicals used during experiments. Turning the corner nearby revealed a corridor in which no sound of buzzing computers was present. The silence reminded her more of a chamber than a desolate warehouse, but she went on. She peered into the rooms and saw gun holders propped on the walls, along with scattered pieces of ammunition on the floor. She did note, however, the security cameras left unexposed, and with broken lenses.

One of the last doors she came across revealed a lab. Criss stared inside, motionless and her heart calm. Here it was dark, too, but file folders were stacked on top of each other, desks with drawers - some left wide open, some locked shut like the front door - and more boxes, along with computers. Criss began with the file folders, and fumbled through the papers as if her life depended on it. She was accustomed to retrieving information and annihilating enemy resources in the middle of fights, not being left alone to her own devices. She knew, at least, that as she was trying to find out information, Charon was out there - and if he was a vital part of Team Rocket, Team Galactic, or both... She had to know.

The file folders were organized with tabs, which depicted project names that she struggled to recognize. The names were obscure - only those in the know would be able to know where to find the data they were looking for, and most of the portfolios were near empty anyway.

She examined the computers next. The computers had large, dirty screens, some with cracks, and all of them with keyboards that had the letters and numbers worn away from excessive use. She pressed the power button for one of them, seeing if, by some miracle, it would turn on. No such luck. She checked the USB ports, noting halfway through the endeavor that there were an awful lot of them. She double-checked and - bingo, she saw one left in its place.

Suddenly, Flareon's ears perked up. The fire-type growled, low and fierce. Criss peered at her pokémon, using her better judgment to keep quiet lest someone was approaching and would hear her. She turned the USB over in her hand, contemplating what she should do. She couldn't access its contents from where she was. It would be best to hide, evaluate her options, and act accordingly from there.

She rushed back toward the file cabinet. There was a desk to the left, where she wedged herself underneath, where she couldn't be seen. She wasn't sure where Flareon went to, but she trusted the pokémon to scope out the area and protect herself if necessary.

Criss wondered who might be in the same location as her, and at the same time. It was more sane to wonder what was there - a wild pokémon, perhaps, or a curious trainer traveling across Sinnoh, collecting badges with a carefree attitude... like she used to. But Charon - or Team Rocket as a whole, rather - had stolen that luxury from her, long ago, along with her father, and Flareth, and the relationship she had with her siblings.

The lights flickered, and then the lab was bright. Criss connected with Flareon's mind to sense her presence. A pulse of tense energy, along with a fast heartbeat, emanated throughout the fire-type's body. Criss held her breath and kept quiet as the footsteps of someone became apparent. The footsteps grew louder, then stopped abruptly.

Flareon's body relaxed - only slightly, but well enough for Criss to feel comfortable shifting positions to peer past the desk, toward the lab door. A girl, no older than fourteen or fifteen, stood there, her shoulders slouched carelessly and her eyes not bothering to scan the area for any possible danger. What caught Criss's attention most, however, was the girl's ridiculous outfit. She wore a checkered yellow and white dress that flowed down to her knees, where the threads were frayed. Underneath the dress were green leggings with rips over her ankles, and over the girl's shoulder lay a light brown leather jacket that contrasted with the other colors her attire presented. Her feet adorned off-white flats covered in multi-colored gems that could blind anyone even if they squinted. An Infernape trudged alongside her. On its body were yellow swirls that Criss might have mistaken for battle armor, if the girl didn't seem so... Well, the girl wasn't smart, Criss thought - or, at least, the girl was downright careless. Instead of using her own fire-type to guide the way, she had simply taken the shortcut, and had ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time as a result.

Criss herself couldn't allow carelessness to get the better of her. She contemplated reasons why this girl might be here. Perhaps the girl was actually skilled and was hunting Team Galactic as well... The girl could have been a member of Team Galactic... Or perhaps, as Criss initially thought, the girl was just a trainer, passing by and seeing the sights.

The girl stepped forward, but Criss didn't feel threatened, and kept her gaze focused and alert. The moment the girl passed by the desk Criss was hiding under, Criss bolted for the door, foregoing any stealthy measures she could have used. The USB was clutched tightly in her hand. Flareon, although nowhere to be seen, would find her eventually. Criss could psychically feel her presence in another room.

The other girl turned, almost with superhuman reflexes, and sent out a quick command to her Infernape, also with such swiftness that it put Criss off-guard for just a moment. Despite this, Criss wasn't afraid to stop and face the girl head-on, if that was what she wanted. She halted and felt Flareon coming their way. The Infernape's Ember attack was hardly anything to write home about, but Flareon jumped in front of Criss and took the brunt of the heat anyway. Flareon was able to shake it off with ease. The other girl smiled curiously, but Criss wasn't amused by this unforeseen circumstance.

"Who the hell are you?" the girl asked with a smirk, her tone playful. "Some bum looking for a home, seems like."

"I don't think so," Criss said, frowning. She held a defensive stance, ready to strike at any moment if the situation called for it. Why wasn't the girl scared of her? Did she not see the sheaths, the padding? Only someone with a purpose in mind would dress so protectively.

"Uh-huh. Dressed like that, you're prepared to ward off any rabid pokémon or criminals that pass by you in Veilstone's alleys."

So the girl had noticed, and had made a joke of it...

To Criss, it wasn't funny.

The girl scratched her cheek idly, peering around the room, but Criss could see her staring in her direction from the corner of her eye. After a while the girl pointed to her. "Name's Vanessa," she said. "And I'd like that USB stick you're holding."

Criss didn't do so much as flinch.

"I can tell you're not much of a talker," Vanessa said. "A fighter, definitely. Go, Infernape! Fire Punch!"

Infernape grunted, orange and red flames spiraling out of his nostrils as he prepared his attack. Soon his fists ignited with another set of flames, but Criss could tell the pokémon wasn't serious, or at least, Vanessa wasn't. What was she doing, using a fire-type move against an enemy of the same element? Flareon stood her ground, not willing to underestimate any enemy that might hurt her trainer.

As Infernape rushed forward, Flareon did the same. When the two were close to each other, Flareon, with her superior agility, ducked underneath Infernape's fist and collided with the primate's stomach, eliciting a loud cry of pain. Infernape flew backward, the flames on his fist extinguishing, but he was nimble enough to land on his feet and shake off the counterattack.

"Do you want to destroy the place?" Criss said, keeping her body still in case Vanessa had plans for a physical fight to ensue. "If Flareon wasn't as strong as she is, your Infernape would have set the equipment on fire."

Vanessa smiled. "I know," she said. "You could say I'm used to this sort of thing."

Criss's eyebrow raised with suspicion, but she wasn't about to fall for Vanessa's provoking words. "All right," she said. "Let's see what you can do. Flamethrower, Flareon." Keep it to a minimum, she added psychically.

Flareon nodded, then let loose a steady stream of flames that only extended a certain amount of distance, barely enough to reach the Infernape's body from where he was standing. With the flames blocking Vanessa's view of her, Criss unsheathed two of her knives and held them steadily, ready for the deadly blow that she thought would come inevitably, sooner rather than later. She hesitated, however, as she didn't want to outright kill anyone who wasn't related to Team Rocket or Team Galactic. Once she tested Vanessa's strength, then she could make a concrete decision, one that wouldn't add to her neverending list of regrets. Criss tucked the USB into one of the empty knife sheathes on her bandolier, and readied herself.

She darted toward Vanessa, delivering a powerful kick to the other girl's shin, forcing her to fall in the direction of Flareon's flamethrower. Flareon, she knew, wouldn't hesitate under any circumstances. To Criss's surprise, Vanessa was able to bend backward and reach her hands to floor, to do a backflip and avoid the searing flames. Her shin would be bruised later, and her underarms were slightly scorched, but she was otherwise unharmed.

Let's go! Criss told Flareon, and the two fled to the nearest hallway, into another lab with a different layout. This one had more desks - perhaps it was more of an office than a lab, Criss thought - but there were too many rooms for Vanessa to choose, and too many hiding places to pursue the chase. Infernape, however, was able to sense Flareon's body heat from a distance and located them within a few minute's time, just as Criss thought that two of them were safe and could leave to uncover the USB's secrets.

"Found you," Vanessa said simply, her voice demeaning enough to make even Criss irritated. Criss watched as Vanessa released two other pokémon - a Dustox and an Abra. In turn, Criss released Nidoking and Nidoqueen. She did this because the pair of pokémon would take up an absurd amount of space in the lab, giving her the upper hand and forcing Vanessa to take the time to think of a countermeasure. The pair of pokémon also crushed the surrounding desks to a pulp with their weight. The cracking of splintered wood resounded around the room, and Criss hoped that whatever Vanessa was looking for - if anything at all - was in this room, and was now demolished, thus ruining her fighting spirit.

Criss heard Vanessa pull out a weapon - and from what she could hear, it seemed like a sword of sorts, though she couldn't decipher which type. She peeked around Nidoqueen's massive side, and rather than seeing a sword, Criss saw a black umbrella with a sharp tip at the end.

Vanessa was certainly an unconventional battler, and an unconventional person overall. The presence of a psychic-type warned Criss of another person with psychic connections to their pokémon, but based on her first command to Infernape, Vanessa didn't seem like the she had too much potential...

What Criss knew about Charon was only this: that years ago, Charon had planned to annihilate the entirety of Veilstone, should Team Galactic ever have had to escape or cover their tracks. All buildings affiliated with Team Galactic's nefarious plans were filled with explosives laced between pieces of wood and piping, and in other places. Charon, essentially, had the city in the palm of his hand.

If Criss hadn't learned this information prior the current situation and had faced Charon head-on as a part of Team Rocket, she might have lumped him in with the other thickheaded underlings. She couldn't do the same with Vanessa. That was how trouble started.

Criss tightened her grip on the knife in her hand. It wouldn't be the fairest of fights, per se, but it'd be enough given the difference in their skills - if Criss had gauged the gap between the two of them right, that is...

Criss ducked underneath Nidoqueen's stubby arm and lurched around her body, the blade glinting when struck with the light coming from overhead. She held the knife tip outright, aiming for Vanessa's torso. Vanessa simply pushed her umbrella top forward, allowing the knife tip to penetrate through. She promptly closed the umbrella, attempting to steal the knife from Criss' grasp, but Criss managed to retrieve the weapon just in time. She jumped back, then quickly darted forward once more, whipping her knife toward Vanessa's neck this time. The harsh, clashing sound of steel reverberated throughout the lab as Vanessa lifted her sword in a defensive maneuver.

Criss jumped back again, leveling the knife with her nose, unamused by Vanessa's games. Vanessa seemed to be the offensive type, yet she was toying with her. Criss watched as a sly smile creeped on the other girl's face, and as she stretched her arm holding the sword.

"I would have expected better from you," Vanessa said, her smile widening.

As if she really knows anything about me, Criss thought, but the jeer prompted her to shut the girl up before anything else was said. Her movements were swift and sharp, the knife's handle digging into the palm of her hands with a fierceness she was only too familiar with. Criss gained the upper hand with relative ease as the two parried. At some point Criss backed Vanessa into a corner and Vanessa didn't notice. Before Vanessa ran off in another direction, Criss slashed the knife in her direction, drawing blood from her upper arm.

Vanessa gave a pained cry before ducking behind her pokémon. They, too, had been fighting in the meantime, and now Vanessa’s Abra noticed her distress. The Abra pretended to strike Flareon with a glaring psychic attack, but from an unexpected angle attempted to remove Criss' knives from her hands. Flareon's agility allowed her to block the Knock Off with a vicious Fire Spin, successfully trapping him in a vortex of unrelenting fire.

One pokémon down already, Criss thought, knowing Flareon's Fire Spin would last for as long as Flareon could muster. The heat in the room intensified, which, Criss noticed, affected Vanessa's bug-type, Dustox, as he battled Nidoking. Nidoking rushed at the Dustox, his horns lowered in preparation for a strong Horn Attack. Dustox retaliated by firing a blue beam of energy, which confused Nidoking and sent him off in another direction entirely.

Criss connected psychically to Nidoking, setting him back on track. Nidoking roared mightily out of anger, and simultaneously Criss felt the ground-type gather a massive amount of energy for a Smack Down attack. His body hardened considerably, his power and speed rising. With breathtaking agility Nidoking was able to knock Dustox out of the air, although Dustox was able to harden its own body with Iron Defense to soften the blow as it crashed against the concrete floor with a loud thud. Had the abandoned base been more than a one-story building, the floor would have caved in with the destruction that followed.

Vanessa's Infernape, who had been struggling with Nidoqueen, decided to take advantage of the carnage according to his trainer's frantic command - "Rock Slide!" she had cried. So he gathered chunks of broken concrete and rocks from the floor, preparing to throw them at anyone who dared to challenge him.

Hyper Beam! Criss yelled psychically with a deftness that outmatched Vanessa's.

Nidoqueen obeyed, tilting her head back and opening her mouth wide. An orange ball of intense energy accumulated in her throat. Infernape sent the pieces it had pulled from the earth tumbling toward Nidoqueen, hoping to stop the ground-type's attack. He failed in this regard, as Hyper Beam is not an attack that can be stopped with any sort of effort.

"Dodge it!" Vanessa cried, biting her lip.

The Hyper Beam shot forth with a substantial amount of vigor, and the beam was so wide, so massive, that Infernape could not move out of the way to escape. It struck him in the chest, sending him sprawling backward, into tables full of computers and papers full of information, and into the wall, which crumbled with the impact. He fell to the ground, panting heavily but not yet down for the count.

Alright, Criss told Nidoking, who watched his partner with awe. Let's really tear them apart. Horn Drill.

Nidoking, now determined to break through Dustox's Iron Defense, charged toward the bug-type, who had been lying on the ground to protect itself from Flareon's inferno and Nidoqueen's rampage. The Horn Drill penetrated the shell Dustox had put around his body, effectively fainting it.

Criss glared across the lab at the crazy redhead. Unfortunately the Dustox didn’t appear to be dead, but she doubted it would matter. Judging by how crumpled and broken it looked as Vanessa returned it to its Poké Ball, it wouldn’t be returning to the fight any time soon.

Criss adjusted the knives in her hands, flexing her forearms and feeling each distinct cut. Nothing seemed serious. In a way, the pain helped her focus. In a moment, Vanessa would be distracted by replacing the ball, at which point…

Now!

A flash of silver shot across the room, but Vanessa’s reflexes were just barely fast enough. Her umbrella swung around, opening slightly to block the thrown knife. It bounced off whatever material the umbrella was made out of and fell to the floor.

Vanessa returned the glare, a fire burning behind her eyes. Her gaze flickered to her Infernape where it lay recovering from Nidoqueen’s Hyper Beam. She began to give an order, but the words had barely left her lips when Criss sent another knife her way and charged towards her. The idea was to distract Vanessa with the knife and engage her before she could recover, allowing Criss the advantage of initiative. Vanessa reacted hardly at all, distracted by ordering Infernape to do something Criss didn’t pay attention to, and the knife flew uncontested. Unfortunately, in the rush to charge forward, Criss’s aim was off. The blade of the throwing knife grazed Vanessa’s cheek, drawing blood, and cut free a few strands of ginger hair before clattering against the wall

Damn, if I had taken a second to aim that this would be all over, Criss thought grimly as she rushed forward, pulling yet another throwing knife from her bandolier. She was running low, and would need to find a moment to collect the ones she had already thrown. Those things weren’t cheap.

Vanessa’s hand flew to her cheek as she gasped in pain and surprise and she jabbed her sword at Criss in an attempt to keep her at bay. Criss brushed it aside, the survival knife in her left hand having enough of a hilt to safely parry, and she followed through with a straight jab from her other knife towards Vanessa’s throat.

Vanessa jerked backwards; avoiding the tip of the blade like it was on fire. Her foot slid backwards until her heel hit a discarded box that lay on the ground. Realizing that she had no more room to retreat, she went on the offensive, swinging her sword in aggressive yet controlled patterns meant to push her opponent back.

Criss was willing to give a bit of ground, taking a step or two backwards. She took a moment to breathe as she absentmindedly deflected the attacks with little care of gaining an advantage. This Vanessa girl knew how to use a blade, but she was far from an expert. She relied too much on instinct and reflexes, not the practiced rigor of training. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in its own right, but Criss thought she could find a way to use it to her advantage.

Criss had never fought someone with a sword before, and she couldn’t remember ever fighting someone this short before either. Kids were turning into crazy, misguided killers much too early these days. In a way, she supposed, fighting someone this short with a sword was like fighting a full grown person with an awkward yet pointy arm.

“You know,” Vanessa said over the cold rasp of another jab being brushed aside, “I don’t think I caught your name.”

Criss ignored her. She had fought cheeky, faux-friendly-conversation-in-the-midst-of-battle types before and she couldn’t stand them. It was a valid mind game, but useless against people who knew what you were trying to do. Rather than respond, she just maneuvered the duel in a different direction to set up her next move.

“Oh come on,” Vanessa pouted, “I told you mine.”

Yeah, I’ve had enough of this. Time to retrieve my knives. Criss swept her right hand knife in an exaggerated motion meant to draw the eye. With a flick of the wrist at the very apex of the sweep, she threw it down at Vanessa’s calf.

Vanessa instinctively drew her foot upward to get it out of the way of the knife before it deflected off of the floor with a ringing ping! Since standing on one foot is hardly a very steady position, Vanessa caught the full brunt of Criss’s kick to her chest hard. She almost flew backwards, stumbling and flipping over a desk that Criss had maneuvered Vanessa to be right in front of.

Criss heard Vanessa coughing and gasping in pain from the floor on the other side of the desk. Hope that shuts her up for a little while. She rushed to retrieve the last three knives she had thrown.

Meanwhile, Vanessa’s Infernape was putting up a valiant battle against both Nidoqueen and Nidoking. His Mach Punches were lightning fast, and they had to be. He jumped in and out of reach of Nidoking’s clawing arms and Nidoqueen’s mighty tail, their most formidable weapons. He was tired, and after taking that Hyper Beam, a single connection could spell disaster.

The majority of Flareon’s attention was devoted to keeping Abra entrapped in a Fire Spin. It was a task easier said than done, as Abra was teleporting from place to place, attempting to do something, anything to help his ally.

Preceded by a whoosh of air, Nidoqueen’s tail came swinging around, smashing through a computer on the floor like it wasn’t even there. Infernape saw it coming and expertly vaulted over it, nearly into the waiting arms of Nidoking. Before he could be crushed by Nidoking’s embrace, Infernape reached out and grabbed ahold of Nidoking’s horn and used it to pull himself up, clambering up and over Nidoking. Nidoking roared and thrashed about as Infernape leaped off of his back.

But the tail of a Nidoking is just as threatening as the tail of a Nidoqueen. In his thrashing, Nidoking’s tail knocked Infernape aside. It was only a glancing blow, since it wasn’t even on purpose, but it was enough to put Infernape in a bit of a daze as he struggled to regain his footing.

Criss stared across the ruined lab at Vanessa. She had recovered, and was now standing with one arm clutching her ribcage and the other pointing her umbrella-sword menacingly at Criss. Before she could make any threats, Criss spoke up.

“Are you done yet? Or am I actually going to have to kill you?”

Vanessa smirked. “Tell you what. You hand over that information you took, and sure. We can be done. I’ll even let you go without stabbing you in the back.”

Criss thought for a moment, eyeing the gaily dressed girl warily. Their Pokémon paused in their fighting, which Infernape looked thankful for, as Nidoking was right about to grab him. The fire-type began slowly edging away. Abra sat emotionlessly on top of an overturned desk, while Flareon stayed crouched, ready to pounce should the need arise.

Vanessa and their Pokémon were between Criss and the door, so there was no way to make a quick escape without some kind of fight. “Okay,” Criss said simply.

Vanessa seemed a little put off by this. She looked skeptical as she lowered her umbrella.

Criss sheathed her knives and plucked a Poké Ball from her bandolier. She aimed it at Nidoqueen and recalled her. At the same time she closed her eyes and focused on Nidoking. I need a new door.

Before she could make specific orders, the sound of fast footsteps made her open her eyes. Vanessa was charging her. She was on top of Criss before she could even pull her knife back out. Instead, all she could do was raise a padded arm and hope that Vanessa wasn’t very diligent about sharpening her sword. She tried to catch the swing as high as she could, before it could gain any real power.

The protective pads she had strapped to her forearm held up quite well. It was enough to keep the sword from going through, but it hurt a lot. Criss didn’t think that it penetrated enough to draw blood, and couldn’t be bothered to check, but there would definitely be bruising. Before Vanessa could recover from the surprise, Criss grabbed her shoulder and hurled her away.

By this point, Nidoking had reacted. Despite Infernape’s threatening glares and growls, he was injured, tired, and most importantly: slow. Nidoking lunged forward and wrapped his meaty claws around the fire-type, hugging him to his body. Without pausing, Nidoking charged directly at the wall off to Criss’s right, holding Infernape like a cushion against the oncoming collision.

Nidoking went straight through the wall, smashing concrete like it was cardboard and making the whole building shake. Criss glanced at Flareon and headed towards the hole in the wall before Vanessa could stop her. Infernape’s limp, unconscious body was hurled back into the lab to land unceremoniously on the floor. Nidoking, now battered, roared as he re-entered the room to cover Criss’s escape.

Criss covered her mouth with her arm to keep from inhaling the dust as she followed Flareon in stumbling over the rubble and out into a hallway. She didn’t bother turning around to see what Vanessa was doing.

“Okay, this way, I think,” she said to Flareon, gesturing down the dimly lit hallway to her right. If Nidoking backed out into the hallway before they turned a corner, she could still recall him. She started down the corridor and attempted to psychically connect with Nidoking again, but her concentration was shattered by a loud, angry roar from her Pokémon back in the lab.

The reason for Nidoking’s anger became immediately clear when a flash of light in front of Criss revealed Vanessa, with a smug look on her face and Abra perched on her shoulders.

I hate teleportation.

Before Criss could react, she nearly ran into Vanessa, who just reached out a hand and plucked the USB drive from where she had stashed it in one of the empty knife sheathes on her bandolier. Vanessa backed away, but Criss wasn’t about to let her teleport out of here without a fight. Neither was Flareon, apparently, who immediately pounced on Vanessa’s leg and bit onto her calf with a Fire Fang.

Criss took advantage of Vanessa’s sudden pain and disorientation by grabbing her by the shoulders and shoved her body against the wall. Abra’s head smacked against the cement, and with a flash the four of them, people and Pokémon, were teleported away.


To be continued...
 
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The acest of trainers
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Re: Crossover Battles

I will wait until the next part is posted to offer my full take, but I have no major qualms so far since any issues are largely my fault :p I was wondering why you had Infernape using Ember and just checked and it isnt specified in Reflections that he used Flamethrower so yeah :p Also the intro is going to be very useful when it comes to editing the earlier chapters, so thanks for the tips!
 
The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

Season One: Intermission​

Crossover Battles will be back within the next few days after a break due to life issues on the writer's side. Part Two has explosions, implausibly powerful weapons, and millions of dollars in collateral damage so can't wait for you to see it. Then by the end of the month we should have wrapped up season one. After that we'll take a quick break to do some reading, take stock, get some new staff, and come up with the outline for season two. But for that we need your suggestions.

Next season we plan on using some non-pokemon characters, some author's takes on canon characters, and a battle of gods or legendaries and we need your help coming up with match-ups for those. But that still leaves a few battle slots open, so feel free to suggest anything you can think of to us either through PM-ing or VM-ing me or posting here in this thread.

Furthermore, we need writers to help us get these battles out faster, with higher quality, and less burden on a few people. So if you want to work on the project, please PM me with a brief update on who you are, what you've written in terms of action sequences, and how much you've read on the site. Reading is perhaps more important than writing for this project. I can't confirm that everyone who applies will get accepted since we're still worried about having too many cooks in the kitchen, but we would like to see who is interested in helping us out.

EDIT: To clarify in advance, this would involve doing reading for two or three battles (4/6+ stories total), making reasoned arguments as to who would win, and then helping with the writing process. It's a fair amount of work on the reading, thinking, and writing side of things and it takes time.

Now to make this post count as a chapter update, here is some derivative fan fiction courtesy of Google Translate's awful Latin function, as well as hints at the last battle of the season.

A New Life - For Better or Worse

Free, when I said that I heard a rustling in the tall grass to the right. I turn to see my dropping food into the flight.

"W-who's there?!" I asked, nervously. Dried herbs and deep, concentrated focused on keeping an eye out for any signs of movement. But I could not discern the form thereof to be moved, but I have heard, with the crackling. In order that the man was infected would have been the logical with haste, could not move, paralyzed by fear. Curse of paranoia ....

In a moment I saw the grass, and a blue blur of storm popped out - a mudkip, jumping right in front of, let me see!

"Waah!" I cried out, in order to shun filled tunnel, leave at all the spoil. And whilst I pondered these things secretly with me than that to be far away, I heard a voice saying to foots.

"Goulelly! Youseatacuhlatahk!"

Before they begin to do something garbled him the savory meat had heard that, for me, laid in the mudkip, for when ramming a tackle that sent me, away from me in the mission away from the earth. I moaned in pain, rolling me. I was absolutely smitten with admiration ranged move. Knocked on the door at the same time tackle the wind out of me, and I retained no is to cross over, barely clinging to the conscience again, when he cried out in a voice of strangers.

"Poekuhbawl! Gou!"

I connived several times to clear my Uetusto vision. And the singers he could not see, but that they saw me for quite a flinch. A color is projected, came flying around me, my limp form of the ark, and blasting out Radio Red energy. In the mainsail to the Red obsessed with form, and then the vision faded to black. Whose countenance I knew not, or could have felt. I was trapped! I want to go out to take the prison, and have mercy on me, this new and choice, but in the state of a case of frenzy and was in pain it was a vain effort. I heard a faint clicking sound weak report. 1 Just before he passed out, I have heard, that strange voice again, muttering unintelligible sounds more

"Wealcuhmtuthateehm!"

Love and Other Nightmares

"This is fucking stupid," kephas gripes as soon as they were seated. "Why are you sitting in a baby's highchair?"

"For she said," I say, taking a menu of the feast. "The waiter demand."

"Oh ..." she said, trembling as Mareep. "That is not right." It has to lay down a slight pointedness' I can not.

"Bullshit," kephas produced. "Have a seat and make specialized Pokémon. Trainers only here the whole Single-"

"What do you recommend?" I pray, interrupting kephas.

"Oh," said the waiter. He wanted to prevent the complaints of the hearer venipede s He had been administered poison as a tip, the words of the filler, or that he prefers. "The Cinnabar Burger is a classic. The olivine Shrimp dinner is another favorite, or Lumiose Steak, cooked well .."

"The burger sounds nice. They sent him to the ship," -I point to Kephi- "a cup of water."

"You draw me away and made me work here, in this place, do not eat meat, and commandest me to be". He groans.

"Erm." The waiter clears his throat. 'What do you Pokémon are saying? There are not. "

"He is always smiling, especially when he's tired. Do not worry it would be." Shoo him. He said, in the tone of duty.

Kepha grunts, but nor was there any apparent to him. As far as the chalk it be hungry, I would not be the end, but I am certain ways of thinking to do to absorb the moisture. Even if you spit it must evanidusque some of the poison him.

... In the second judgment that profitable. If you do not have the means to poison in the body, then it has nothing to do support and give him life. Why can not I at least five times in the anatomy Pokémon with a nurse Joy? Yes, there would be other chances. But it is not willing to remain once again the rudiments of sedentary pursuits.

{some rise by sin}

I'm going to save you, and tell you in suspense for a long time rival overtake me, my food is made rich, the trophies of their privately-designated eight Johto gym five (ish) times, for the most part-have waned and failed precisely for once in my futile bid to save his country: my homeland, they left their Johto in ashes. Yes, I shall be called the dead, thanks in part to the works of the bird in the psychic, the caliber of the new .36 revolver, and (of course) of the same idiocy that I have. Cain, however, form a real building will be anxious to leave somewhere just cause second thoughts were not dying.

I believe that the way we can focus a little attention.

Was the thing pleased the cases of those whom, if I was in the old schools they had studied the poet Although, perhaps, was afflicted by a more fully, through fame guys taking the effect in place of the rise up to the college or career. In this way of mutiny, and Shakespeare, he wrote, the story of some guys in togas, who got in the shot at or upon the power of the ancient empire. S true a bunch of guys from the tragic a manner to stop the fight without a cloak and then the guys all wanted to be some betrayed, he gathered together all the elders of the death of the Emperor Augustus, at the same time saw that they were stabbed. He died, because they do not do that is that they tend to do the deed.

Have not chosen a major, perhaps, the letters of merit, which have adhered to me the most was playing the single quote: "The fault, dear Brutus," the old emperor said, "It is not the stars, but they are boys." First of all, when I read the story, when he kept nodding to come, and was taken up the waves of hype. Of course, all the evil that I will not find fault with the air to pass. Since I was not in a special Class he was suffering. When evil came unto me, I will not for he is accursed, but I would like to do something foolish, and brought it upon myself. In the meantime, I believe.

But I grew up eventually, or maybe that I, on account of I began blaming the from the power of God. Sometimes it is thrown on the words of the old man I have found they could overpower him he could not hold true, and sometimes we just got all the practices, having been subject to fate only it would be repaired at any time. Sometimes heroes are not able to, because the world does not want to be saved.

I do not know where all the bad conduct. I say unto you, that I am I got my starter Pokémon was a typical day or the day on which the other, it is not in the vice of the stars in the morning, in the morning sounded pidgey the sun shone, his soul hath passed through all the boring business as usual. Unfortunately, it would amount to two. One of the first to make a very uninteresting. There would be a lie.

In fact, that day was abnormal, almost hilariously so. At least grandson had a lot of time at my expense. Three markedly unusual event with you into the water in the New Town is indispensable to the lab to get my first Pokémon. None of them were to be an offense in my opinion, but let the lot of people. Sometimes the fault really is; OUR STARS.

So welcome. But she did not, so I burned for your entertainment to the land which is short and Johto.

Survival Project​

According to the manner of all the earth, I marveled that Sai of evil, without in any way to the good. 'And now Clan. Leaders evaluate him. Yet always something crazy happening between my question.

Why it's buying three phones? Well, that does not matter. But it may be as a friend to all, he has transgressed. But a noise; he did, and it was in the t-shirt, girded with a ... Pokémon Center by the whole, and the one thing stayed were very glad to hold together. Nothing matters a lot.

Sai rub off me, to say the least. When Sai angry, so did I. If I felt Mad at 1, she felt crazy. The difference with the know we what to do, we do not will. I could be getting the elements. So the motion. Fates decide for me. Battle was fought not I and the boy who saved me from Sai. I stayed with Kuiora spent the day with his new tires, while Atis. However, he hoped that he would be considering the responses Atis greater humanity.

But the day after, it does not show up Atis. He already had? I watched Sai get into more trouble, seeing a particular departure frozen sentinels. All things at random and the power of the offenders.

How can we help him pass? I was afraid ... I could not.

The next day, that he came to my door Atis, that I might turn my own name. The sound of a quiet and hesitant so far to be able to imagine that I have thought, but again, this is especially true today. I wobbled on the door; , however tired I had just fallen asleep. I asked what he wanted.

"Sai is gone! And I say, well, of course, he went down to ..." Atis started. "1, uh, went to him, and there was no place ... ... At this point be gone."

I rolled my eyes. "Perhaps the Sleep on now, he may be."

"Do not be afraid. Just believe me!"

"I think you see the chamber of her that we go," said I, O ye hardhearted prohibited the making of these arts. Atis with difficulty and both Sai and he did not.

Backgrounds

In pokeball refused to return. An his natural things of the mind, from the alliance for a long time suppressed, and his with a virgin, resurfaced in everlasting hatred. He exchange.

"Thunder."

The same portion of the head of a snake on a different and more feeble roar yellow. Then it is not purple. Surrounded by a torrent of mud and more light in the heavy fall by speaking harmful voltage. Did it hurt. Bitter still bore him. But he kept with men was spared in his army had been brought upon the guilty be, perhaps, the pain went away, and, to do a dare to stop it was. Truths which are from a grief and anger in very different ways, always exhilarating. An unimaginable joy.

Except for one's pain.

The girl, for a pokeball. She caught tired, and that it scraped against her leg broken concrete. Although she did not notice. No matter how much he hated the words of the mother 's love and she would only put to every major action movie in the history of weeks later, when he controlled her watching conscious of the shield. His father is dead, and who was not allowed to change it. , Now let me die, since I have already been made, if the mother is like.

They are closely coherent whole feet girl got her right hand. And there it was dark and wet the outside of holding are entirely wrong. So that which is for the moment we have stuck in the present, all the while looking up to the ball. She looked at the time, had almost reached the Pokémon coolest in the world.

That they may bear, on that day, before the attack would pierce, too. A slap on the arm. But now he went down to the throat and, quaking fell to the ground since it is impossible to guard the pokeball scream rose again into the night. Red tinged drip on the ground that it was broken. Ash bones and torn flesh. Penetrated the unusual claim Gyarados cited by the frenzy and release.

At last he fell in the water and in the other the reality of a OPACA Muk, and at last when vanquished. For a few moments there was silence. Then the ref raised his flags to announce the impossible.

There was a blood of the chlorine and the odor of lavender mire and dirt. The girl, looking at the water. But as Fournier red. This announcement and the dregs. He fell to his knees blacked out.

The woman looked Saepone dark sighed. As often as they came to the place, there is nothing changed. No longer waiting for the mirrors of the shadows of the world rolled down where the sides met. Finally, the interiors of the body being moved to the gym ready to love her. Another Hazim last a long time focused on the world list.

Clean, white and numb. Up to the ceiling, she looked intently, move or even understand what was happening. A woman with dirty blond hair moved into her line and gradually drifted in ultra connived.

Pokemon Academy: Second Year Rhapsody​

"What is this that is no wonder that stuff?" Darren claimed he was undertaking the noodles with one branch.

"It's ... it's ramen is good."

"It's soaked in soup with noodles with layers of other food floating around," Darren said, to love, it is still lying on his back in the noodles. "It looks ugly."


"See, this I say, trying to get a new ... Vaivods." Burned spectacle Darren's Plate smiled deviously; come forth, as it were, with all the solution of this question. "Tell me, what to think, if it does not please you otherwise, you can not tell me what it has to do to leave ..."

Darren scratched his flesh in the thought. While that is true, if it is not be able to eat as well as from an idea of ​​what is similar to the situation. "You know I delight that they do not say what is false to be able to pull it out, right?"

"I trust you."

A bowl of noodles with chopsticks before they began to inspect example to hide a little ambiguous, seemed nevertheless proceeded to swallow the noodles as they slid into his mouth. Warm and soft, but at the same time infected with the knowing that he is not to be able to enter if you put on the façade being an obstacle to the efforts of condimentum.

Unfortunately, this served as soon as he opened his eyes and saw him staring into the fire's quick grin. "Be quiet!" Darren before folding and lifted her frustration.

"It is not the too much is it?" Burned laughed.

The Long Walk​

The air smells pleasantly earthy with sightedness. The sleeping, or than a branch with green leaves the courts with the narrow roof were hot. Josh leaned charges against youth Taxodiaceae sighed contentedly. In some places the river near by a wildwood prated upon stony places, a bed. Eve sitting alone in the woods otherwise would.

"Beware of the sea!
If you hear the sound of the sea gull on shore
The heart does not rest in the forest "Eve read to us.

"Late" Josh murmured.

There was a thoughtful use.

"I realized something," she said quietly Eve.

Josh lazily turning to look at her. "What is it, shall it bring forth?"

Eve trust him. "Seize the day."

Suddenly he kissed intentional. He found himself kissing her. Eve nape of the neck to the toes curl through his hands and took a cue to move up. I complained when I can not. The tongue of the gaze of the mouth - and was afraid of and they turned away the shoulder to depart hastily.

"The cease?" Eve questioned prefer. Josh said nothing; But somehow understood anyway. "Stop trying to go up with me at the same time. For example, to let go," he said. She gently but firmly pushed back the blanket of leaf litter with a smile, was that aggressiveness and invigorating; This time Josh loyalty relaxed confidence. Before I was under the hand of shirt has passed through it - for who does not wearing underwear. The sound of an alarm clock echoed through the forest, as Birdsong.

How to Conquer Kanto in Eight Easy Steps

"You did not not" someone suddenly shouted. Alaska half opened her eyes and for a moment he saw Sandy's bright yellow in the distance ear, but the region was roaring and fell Alaska cried, lying on the ground after landing carpet. His head spinning, but saw Buzz collapse to his knees, his red face, as it had secured a foot in the leg but it seemed to belong to any particular use of these lines to be able to see it in the side of the Alaska was really quite stuck in between.

"But come, Alaska, it is necessary, it is then" he cried out to the sandy, but Alaska not have the energy to move or say a word. Takes revolved around the middle of gentle arm, dragged him to the gate to smoke just when Alaska was trying to make sense of what the place was transferred.

"Did not lapse into a ball ..." Alaska asked.

"Well, I have desired it, and awake, they saw the fractured edges of the earth, but only the whole army was in a litter, it stings me,. And just as in the seas, a lesser acute deserved to be prefigured in a little way of the forest" correspond with Alaska Sandy looked up, and smiled at him. "They are indeed useful for the time." Alaska managed lutavi, but she still felt dizzy and barely, such as sandy towards the door, and assisted the office registered a cluttered desk. She was deposited onto a couch in the office chair and sat there for what felt like hours until Alaska clueless Sandy forced a polystyrene cup in his hands

Unpredictable

Nolan grinned. And they did evil in the acts of the uncountable these past six months, and indeed the whole life. The reason why they deserved to be, blockaded Haliartus.

The wind picked up and more, making Nolan's jacket Snap riots in protected alcove. The bed was smashed and the one who cried Skyguard the broken window. Flygon twisted her long neck to look at tires. Nolan year she continued.

A few lucky on the walls and broke in pieces the vessels of the Skyguard how were they, but they are the first things of the window, many followed his example. Pokémon met their fate similar to govern.

Now the astrologers stand by his oath, an oath, was at length to end the war by preventing, not many, in the object to grab ahold left for a Skyguard any solid or a broken and bloodied. Nolan Flygon even to the heavens: and he commanded to stop.

Suddenly, the wind, and debris into the coil so that the child was dead, falling down on the floor. Lance's Dragonite dropped its protective bubble. Lance looked around the room with his face crossed arms unreadable. Was tall and charismatic cloak you wear it. Dyed red, his hair was slicked back. Lance, however, have had a public certain kind of news for the eccentric, now stood silent about them.

'Kill them. "

Spencer turned to look at Nola and stood in the doorway. Nolan moved his flight goggles and hung them around his neck. "I saw."

Returning champion Lance speak Spencer enters the room, but held his shoulder and spun him around.

"What?" Nolan was kind of annoyed by this. Fencer of the expert was to be blamed, but ye that are, as such, the conflict.

"I will not give them a chance to surrender, and the weakness of the righteous should be as nothing: and he cast them all out of the window, 'he spat Spencer, and disgust on his countenance,.

"Because there was nothing" the Nolan twined linen. Spencer was at least a foot away from her shoulder, Nolan, Nolan, but not deterred. "How do you think I could show here, the just shall walk in their arms and they would raise Flygon surrender? No! The same thing they had done it!"

Galactic

"At the Foyer, use Psychic Delcatty to protect us." Xavier said. Matthew seemed reluctant, but after only option, so he nodded. Both trainers took their starters and rushed towards the lift, Delcatty sliding following them.

"Pip!" I ran up and cried out, and the lift is used in the Pound piplup button. Others share quoted waiting for the lift doors open.

"What the Sahara?" For Matthew, he said, that he rested a finger on the G button.

"No one ordered them to wait." Xavier said, and encouraged him. A raven, the closed doors, and the lift is she rose up hastily. The feeling of which more and more worried about Matthew: what if it is going to explode, before they could get out of the building started? But as the lift doors lioi all saw what Foyer still frozen.

"Grab onto Delcatty." Xavier said. "Lapras, the slider on the other side of thee, I desire thee to the ice."

If you insist. She protests. Matthew and piplup Sirinosque clambed onto one of the nodes in Delcatty Shel when it began to float herself along the floor. He skillfully dodged unaware that they put out first, swiped past the bullet plagued chairs and toward the front door. Xavier could not see the other side of the way, and Matthew, and he stood Electivire. It turned back, and Matthew and Xavier exchanged looks. But suddenly, he took from the perspective of a right mirroring.

"Delcatty, Blizzard!" Xavier yelled. In order that the doors of the lioi Lapras fired another the ear of the mouth of the soul, the stiff car park. Matthew let out a whoop of delight, and Turtwig and piplup little fig.

"We have it, we survived the killer wore!" Matthew yelled.

And then the building exploded.

Season One Battle Six: Story One​

Fog was fortified.

Only the light of a computer screen without Levi bearded face of [REDACTED], wished hour intently at the screen. No one is particularly remarkable facial features, except perhaps set up lights and deeper front slightly lower than the fierce sun's heat. For a man who appeared to him in another aspect of this is that the most prominent figures in the study felt the sheer surveying and computer screen.

It was DAW Program: Digital Audio Workspace. I hear the footsteps of a series of shows lined up alongside one another, and all stretched out. Sometimes proposes another window will open, allowing [REDACTED] parameters and details of each change track. If you do not much interest, [REDACTED], unless I hear that which ye have heard that all the paths of the moved away.

Per-quality professional studio headphones clasped over the ears, there was music. It was not finished music though, barely begun in-fact. To transcend your ideas and give attention to the number of a few melodic rise as much, but there is nothing more than a few a few footsteps. In addition to expanding those musical ideas, still need to find the right way to try to bring up the voice of them, seriously or slightly modulated and instrumental synthesizer.

S experiments and conduct them to the computer with one hand, the mouse, and the other, [REDACTED] had an electronic piano keyboard. Notis hands of his children he has brought forth on the keyboard in the tones, rhythms of songs of [REDACTED]'s mind in frequent, while the hand on the mouse, and the other that he would be the sound of the voice. He experimented with, or sharpening filters and reverb to another or softening the tone, she sat up waveform precepts, and in many other small details.

Without a fight, joy, [REDACTED] half an electronic music in composing a completely new genesis, the voice of the medium. A lack of co-operation of composers who is also the chief instrument of the instrumental material, just as a man is able to know what to do. Although the same terms that provide a familiar structure for the composer to work with. In the middle of the fold of the robe electronic awaits them, but, indeed, I hear, so that in no way to be able to be done for him in addition to the imagination and ingenuity of the composers. There's a reason it's called "synthesizer" of all things. And in creating a unique, original voice of the artist quite literally, associating a new raw waveforms. But Toni part of the challenge is to create, then the newly created integrated voice and other voices of the choir as a pain Music- Audio PAT grant

* Ring! Ring! *

Season One Battle Six Story Two​

Larissa bleeding, his brother, Moab, unconscious body from under the rubble, burning, grateful to find was still breathing. A huge crash and a wave of heat and hot Larisa then another just collapsed roof, showering splinters of wood. Adprehensumque Protea Macleayella just standing there, Folks admire their sister. "Chariot" she claims. "If you do not want to limit the Run mum and dad as a"

For once in his life, two Cyndaquils obeyed Larissa, who sprinted after them by the scruff of the neck and holding her unconscious Triton bewitchments full of little bleeding wounds shooter. She ignored the pain of the mind, and in pain to be ignored, and when he saw his parents die young much worse. On the contrary, it could not be of any injury unfinished; it'd be the end of all four.

Inferno raged upstairs to the back door and trapping them inside before denser. The heat made it a of the liquid of Larissa, and the eyes and the mouth of the boil. "There's no way to there, '' Rissa!" Macleayella squeaked.

"Yes," he cried out, then started up with a hole in the fall of the walls. "We can not go out of the window of the room"

If they do not survive for a long time it was terrible, from the very Quilava It was hot, and the heat of the fire, but not immune to. The murmurs of the corridor, with a sound like a giant light. Larissa forcing tough door, it aims room alight all his possessions turned to ashes. Fortune finally broke the window from the heat. She lost no time and chucked Triton straight through the middle, then trotted up and sent Macleayella also against the protests. Something exploded and filled the mind of another huge hit shockwave behind his legs and snapped it like a twig. He saw you cry out the name of the Proteus, buzzing of the ears and mind, could not hear him, by a discharge pain. And she caught him by the scruff of his neck, his eyes, and also, the all to the bottom forthwith stript him of his brother began to go almost black.

Hard, drawing blood by biting the tongue, as some do, that it move from blacking out. Three feet up in the fourth depends on the windowsill. There were shards of glass, but she found in one half molten and is no longer sharp, although it is burning hot. She half dancing, half fell out of the window, and somewhat cooler air outside was slightly wounded rival. Macleayella Proteus crowded around her in a panic.

"What do you do?!" Macleayella cried.

"I want Mummy!" Proteus snivelled.

"Keep running!" Larissa applause as one of the town's towers collapsed, shaking the ground. "If we do not stop running until we fall far behind the rest of Diamarina keep running when you realize that someone"






So there you have it. Hope that made next to no sense. Feel free to post future suggestions, comment on the utter inanity of those scenes, or speculate on what battle #6 will bring. Until then, I'll see you in a few days.

~Athena
 
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Shitposter in Residence
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Re: Crossover Battles

THIS is the content I need. Gifting the world with shitty Google Translations should become a Crossover Battles tradition.
 
All about me
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Re: Crossover Battles

THIS is the content I need. Gifting the world with shitty Google Translations should become a Crossover Battles tradition.
I agree and disagree. But google translate should be made fun of.
 
ready as i'll ever be
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Re: Crossover Battles

And then the building exploded.
The universal sentence that transcends all languages through sheer firewillpower.
 
The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles

* * * Bloodstains * * *​

Vanessa


“Fuck me sideways,” Vanessa groaned.

She had a splitting headache and couldn’t remember where she was or what was going on. She lay stretched out, face first on the ground with a cool, jagged surface against her cheek. Her entire body hurt, especially her calf. It felt like it was on fire.

Suddenly, her memories rushed back to her and she scrambled to her feet, looking around in panic for the girl she had been fighting.

She was alone.

Vanessa found herself in the middle of an empty street. Apartment buildings and office complexes with shattered facades towered into the low-hanging steely gray clouds. It was utterly silent, but it was the stillness that lent a sinister atmosphere. The dank air clung to everything without the slightest breeze.

“Spooky.”

The sudden burst of panic fading, Vanessa massaged her aching head. She had expected Abra to simply take them outside of the base or maybe even a few miles down the route, but she had no idea where this was. There were no abandoned cities like this anywhere in Sinnoh, as far as she knew.

“Abra?” Vanessa hissed into the silence.

She got no response except for an eerie echo. She began rummaging around for the remote that could call the Pokémon to her.

Vanessa had teleported many times before, but none of them had ever felt quite like this. She wasn’t sorry to see that they had left the psycho bitch behind, even though Vanessa swore the girl had grabbed ahold of her as they were teleporting.

She finally pulled out the phone-like device, hit the button, and waited. She tried to remember what had happened in those final frantic moments. The knife-bitch, as Vanessa was already starting to think of her, had slammed Abra’s head against the wall.

Maybe that had disoriented him? The possible consequences were endless.

She waited for a few moments, but no flash of light signaled Abra’s arrival. She pushed the button again, growing frustrated and a little nervous. Teleporting precisely was hard. Maybe the blow to Abra’s head had resulted in separating them across a small area. That was plausible. Vanessa had heard of stuff like that happening before. If it was true, that meant that knife-bitch and her Flareon could be anywhere, and Abra was alone and possibly injured.

Vanessa gently fondled Straptor's Poké Ball in her pocket. She briefly entertained the thought of flying away. They could leave knife-bitch behind and let Abra catch up on his own. Eventually, Vanessa shook her head. Although this knife wielding girl who thought she was a ninja didn’t seem like a Pokémon thief, Vanessa wasn’t about to leave Abra at her mercy. That meant finding Abra before stabby girl-wonder found her.

Mind made up, Vanessa pocketed the remote and tightened her grip on her umbrella. Abra couldn’t have gone far. She began limping down the street, the clicking of her shoes echoing off of the surrounding buildings. Her leg still stung where knife-bitch’s Flareon had bitten her.

A couple blocks down, she found a little parking lot with a few empty cars next to a small convenience store. The windows of the store were shattered and an entire wall was covered by a disturbingly intricate graffiti mural. Among other things, it depicted a trio of Breloom dancing around what appeared to be exactly seven pairs of burning tennis shoes.

“Shrooms are a hell of a drug,” Vanessa muttered to herself.

She peeked in the store’s windows and saw nothing but some fallen shelves. Looking around the street, she saw an office building with the front doors standing ajar. Vanessa stood on the sidewalk across from it, swinging her umbrella back and forth in deep thought. It looked like a trap. But it could also be a lead. She pulled out Abra’s remote again and tried the button once more.

Nothing happened.

Vanessa tightened her grip on her umbrella and started across the street. If it was a trap, she still had a few tricks the fifth Ninja Squirtle hadn’t seen yet.

She tiptoed across the threshold and through the open doors. The inside looked like a nice reception area that had been hit by a bomb. Furniture was scattered haphazardly across the white linoleum floor, and the ceiling was cracked and sagging.

Vanessa started towards the stairwell on the opposite side of the room, but staggered when the entire building violently shook. She froze and looked up at the ceiling. Banging sounds from the next floor up were vibrating the whole building. With each impact, the cracks on the ceiling widened.

“Nope, fuck this.”

Vanessa sprinted back towards the front door, not a moment too soon. Before she could reach the door, she heard a series of loud cracks and a massive crash behind her. Vanessa whipped around to see a portion of the cieling had caved in under the weight of a huge blue Pokémon that fell heavily to the floor, splintering the linoleum where she once stood. The Nidoqueen turned to look directly at her, its tail sweeping furniture and rubble aside like children’s toys.

Although Vanessa couldn’t see Nidoqueen’s trainer anywhere, she must have been somewhere nearby, for it immediately began charging.

Vanessa stopped in the doorway and calmly turned around to face the oncoming beast. She aimed her umbrella and fired the laser. The bright orange beam blasted Nidoqueen backward, sending it sprawling onto the floor. Once the beam faded, Vanessa lowered her umbrella to see a figure standing in the stairwell on the other side of the room.

Vanessa raised her umbrella again and pointed it at the figure. “I’m done fucking around,” she shouted at the girl. “Leave me the hell alone and I won’t kill you.”

Knife-bitch didn’t respond. She just stepped out into the light and withdrew her recovering Nidoqueen.

Vanessa met her glare. “Silent treatment, huh? Well aren’t you so God damn edgy?”

“You have something of mine.”

“Yeah, and I’m going to keep it, if you don’t mind,” Vanessa shot back. “Once I find Abra, I’m leaving this weird-ass city. All you get to decide is whether or not I stab you in the throat on my way out.”

Once again, Fighty McAction-girl didn’t respond. She just clipped Nidoqueen’s Poké Ball into place on her bandolier and stared at Vanessa, tight lipped.

Vanessa slowly lowered her umbrella. Without taking her eyes off of the girl, she took a few steps backwards, out onto the street. When the girl’s arms didn’t move from her sides, Vanessa turned around and reached for Staraptor’s Poké Ball. She listened intently. No charging footsteps, nor the whoosh of a thrown knife. As she pulled Staraptor’s Poké Ball out, she looked down to see that she was standing on a manhole cover. Maybe Abra had ended up in the sewer system?

“Your Abra’s dead.”

Knife-bitch’s cold stare found Vanessa from the doorway of the building. The words cut into Vanessa’s chest just as easily as a knife. She whipped around.

“You’re lying,” Vanessa said coolly, maintaining eye contact and slowly raising her umbrella.

“I found it after we teleported here,” knife-bitch said slowly, her blue eyes burning into Vanessa’s. Neither of them blinked. “I found it unconscious... and slit its throat.”

A flash of fiery rage exploded through Vanessa’s heart. She pointed her umbrella laser at the girl, but before she could pull the trigger, a flash of fiery rage exploded beneath her feet.

The manhole cover she was standing on flew several feet into the air on a gush of steam and flame, sending Vanessa tumbling onto the asphalt. She dropped both her umbrella and Staraptor’s Poké Ball, releasing the flying-type, but Vanessa was a little preoccupied by the creature that had emerged from the sewers.

It was that Flareon, but it was angry. A cloak of flames whipped around it. The manhole cover clanged loudly back to the asphalt, as if to accentuate the entrance.

So that’s where that went, was all Vanessa had time to think before a Flamethrower was billowing towards her. She dove for her umbrella and popped it open in time to block the brunt of the blast, but even the hyper-resilient material wasn’t enough to protect her entirely from the heat. Her legs were stung by the searing heat and the hem of her glitzy dress lit.

Vanessa gasped in pain and rolled aside, attempting to cover as much of her body as possible with the umbrella.

A screeching cry signaled Staraptor coming to the rescue, and the fire soon stopped as a fight between the two Pokémon broke out.

Vanessa folded the umbrella back up and hurriedly patted out the fire on her dress. She was livid. But it had given her a great idea for a dress themed on explosions...

Apparently Crobatwoman wasn’t much of a fan of fashion design, since she gave Vanessa little chance to recover before she came charging in. Vanessa swung her umbrella at the girl’s legs as a blunt weapon, without even the chance to unsheathe her sword. Knife-bitch elegantly jumped over the haphazard swing and kicked Vanessa in the face, sending her sprawling.

Vanessa spat blood out of her mouth and rubbed her jaw as she attempted to get back on her feet. “Okay fine, I take it back, you’re a real ninja,” she muttered angrily.

Before knife-bitch could respond, likely with another kick, a raging twister swept by and knocked her over.

“Thanks for the assist, Staraptor!”

Having been able to disengage herself from Flareon, Staraptor swooped down towards Vanessa. “Let’s get the hell out of here.” Vanessa climbed on Staraptor’s back and they took off.

As Staraptor banked around a corner, Vanessa looked behind her to see that knife-bitch was following close behind on a fearsome Aerodactyl.

Vanessa sent a few laser blasts behind her, but they did more damage to the abandoned buildings than the speedy fossil Pokémon and its rider.

They flew erratically through the streets of the city. It seemed like it would never end. Staraptor refused to go higher, like the low, gray clouds were some kind of ghostly barrier. Eventually the street came to a dead end in an open plaza area.

“Take us down,” Vanessa ordered.

Staraptor swooped low, wings spread to slow them down. Once they were only a short distance above the ground, Vanessa slid off onto the pavement and aimed her umbrella.

As expected, knife-bitch and her friendly dinosaur friend were flying low as well. Vanessa took aim and fired the energy gun once more.

The blast was just a bit too high, but that was by design. The instinctive way to dodge was down, and so they went down: straight into the pavement.

Aerodactyl screeched shrilly as it skidded along the ground, dumping Flareon and knife-bitch as it went.

Vanessa pulled out another Poké Ball. “Luxio, use Thunder Fang on Flareon. Staraptor, use Close Combat on Aerodactyl.”

Vanessa was impressed with how quickly the other girl’s Pokémon reacted, despite their crash landing.

Aerodactyl barely managed to get airborne again by the time Staraptor slammed into, claws and wings flailing and beating. The two shrieked at each other as they disengaged and engaged again, biting and slashing in a furious ball of talons and teeth.

Meanwhile, Flareon met Luxio with a Flamethrower that he deftly dodged. Just like their airborne allies, they collided, their attacks sending flashes of electricity and fire dancing around the plaza.

Vanessa kept an eye on knife-bitch, who was slow to rise. She was clearly getting tired, but so was Vanessa. It only hit her then how out of breath she was and how much her burns and other wounds hurt.

She couldn’t remember the last time she’d been in a fight quite like this.

Vanessa ordered more attacks as the battle raged on. The other girl didn’t give a single command, she just stood on the far side of the plaza, her eyes flicking between her two Pokémon and gripping her arm where Vanessa had cut it back in the old Galactic base.

Luxio seemed to be having some trouble with Flareon, so Vanessa focused on him. “Keep your distance and use Swift!” she called as Luxio barely darted out of reach of another Fire Fang.

Flareon was relentless though. It kept up easily with Luxio’s sprints and dodging around the plaza.

Vanessa looked back into the sky. Aerodactyl and Staraptor had split apart. Staraptor perched on a lamppost on the side of the plaza in an attempt to catch her breath. Aerodactyl swooped around on the other side of the plaza with bloodlust in its beady eyes.

“Come on Staraptor, you can do it. In the air!” Vanessa shouted.

Aerodactyl was coming in, picking up speed. Staraptor flapped twice and was airborne again, lunging at Aerodactyl.

Vanessa grimaced at the fossil Pokémon. Although knife-bitch didn’t seem to be giving any commands, the telltale ribbons of energy gathering around it showed that it was about to use a devastating Giga-Impact.

“Dodge it Staraptor!”

Suddenly, Staraptor seized up. She froze, practically in midair.

“No… Not now, not now!” Vanessa screamed.

Aerodactyl collided with Staraptor with a crunching sound that Vanessa felt in her bones. The two Pokémon slammed into one of the buildings bordering the plaza, sending up a plume of smoke and causing bricks to cascade down to the sidewalk.

Vanessa watched Aerodactyl fly out of the dust cloud, apparently unharmed. A broken form fell from the crater in the wall to join the pile of rubble.

“Staraptor!”

Vanessa sprinted to her Pokémon. She grabbed the limp bird around the chest and dragged it out of the way of any more falling debris. Staraptor was breathing raggedly. Vanessa hugged her most loyal Pokémon to herself, but before she could let her down to see if she was okay, she heard a sickening "snick!".

The sound of a knife entering flesh and bone.

Staraptor slumped against her.

Vanessa eased the Pokémon down, running a hand behind her head to protect the bird’s neck. There she felt blood. And the handle of a throwing knife.

Vanessa stared in shock at her Pokémon.

She was dead.

Staraptor was dead.

Vanessa looked up towards where her enemy stood, a few meters away. Her entire body quivered with pain and sorrow and anger.

“Hmm, my aim’s a little off today.”

Vanessa’s eyes filled with tears of rage. She bared her teeth. “You’re going to die now.”

With one swift motion, Vanessa drew a glowstick from a concealed pocket and hurled it towards knife-bitch. The girl absentmindedly ducked it, concerned by the threat but confused by the harmlessness of the weapon. Then it opened.

A burst of electricity blasted out from the glowstick, eliciting a very satisfying cry of pain from knife-bitch. Before her enemy could recover, Vanessa raised her umbrella and began gathering energy. She pointed it directly at the ninja and pulled the trigger, sending a blast of energy soaring across the plaza. But before it landed a flash of red lit up the fight followed by a dull sound of impact as the explosive blast reached its target. When the light cleared a coiled shell stood between the two girls. A moment later the blue face and tentacles of an omastar wriggled their way out.

“Seriously?” Vanessa shouted before charging another blast of energy. Surely Omastar couldn’t take two. Just as the blast was almost fully charged, Omastar spit out a barrage of little spikes. Reflexively Vanessa opened the umbrella to a defensive position, disrupting the charge. She heard lots of little impacts on the other side and some spikes tore through the fabric. All around her more and more of the spikes fell, trapping her in place.

“I suppose I could have just done that earlier,” knife-bitch mused. “It would have been over faster.”

“Shut up,” Vanessa shot back.

“Really? No quips? No questions?”

“Not really. I’ll just get your name from your dog tags,” she spat. “Luxio, Thunderbolt Aerodactyl! Murkrow, Aerial Ace Flareon!” Vanessa called as she unleashed her last Pokemon and turned back to Omastar, umbrella glowing once more.

The water-type was spitting out a lather of water that soon coated Vanessa. For a moment it just felt vaguely irritating. Than the salt began to burn in her many wounds, for a moment distracting her from even her rage. Then the umbrella went off once more.

This time Omastar wasn’t prepared with a Protect. The light slammed into it, sending it flying across the plaza and into a nearby wall.

Vanessa fought through her pain once again and lobbed another glowstick at her opponent. But knife-bitch was prepared this time, leaping out of the way as the glowstick landed and exploded, blasting another hole into the asphalt. She ducked behind a nearby car as Vanessa prepared another energy shot. At the last moment, she saw something rolling towards her out of the corner of her eye and reflexively changed her aim.

The blast struck Omastar once again, knocking it out of a Rollout attack and sending it spinning backwards, dazed and confused. Vanessa took the moment to look at the rest of the fight. Flareon was blasting flamethrowers and fire blasts into the air that Murkrow did his best to dodge, although she had already taken a hit or two and it didn’t look like Flareon was much worse off than she initially had been. Although the continuous fighting was clearly starting to wear her out. Luxio was firing off thunderbolts into the sky. Some hit Aerodactyl, most didn’t. Seconds after Vanessa started watching the fight a Hyper Beam rained down from above and knocked out Luxio, who was promptly withdrawn. Aerodactyl pivoted and flew towards Murkrow.

“Your team’s been decimated,” the ninja said as she faced down Vanessa from halfway across the plaza. She was slumped against the wall and clutching her arm. The clothes and padding on it had been visibly burned by one explosion or another and it looked like knife-bitch was finally in pain. But as she spoke Omastar rolled back upright and Aerodactyl disengaged from Murkrow just in time for a Fire Blast to sweep up from below and knock the bird out of the skies.

“Give up or get destroyed,” she continued.

“Oh, someone’s getting destroyed,” Vanessa seethed as she charged one more blast. “And it’s not going to be me.”

“Very well,” the ninja said as her Pokemon readied their attacks. Hydro pump, fire blast, and hyper beam. Big ones. But Vanessa didn’t care.

She pointed the umbrella directly above Stabby before ducking down and covering herself with her umbrella as the attacks descended upon her. She could feel the force impact against and almost rip her umbrella to shreds, but the water and fire cancelled out. In the distance she could hear a satisfying rumbling sound as a cloud of dust swept over her. Vanessa stood up once again and blasted off another shot just to be sure.

With one last groan, the building Crobatwoman had been leaning upon began to tumble down, surely crushing anything beneath it. She heard the shrieks of knife bitch’s Pokemon as they rushed into help, surely in vain. Vanessa turned around and walked away from the billowing dust and devastation, hearing only her footsteps and the desperate cry of Flareon.

She reached into her pocket and retrieved the USB stick from a glowstick storage space and held it in her hand. For all that Ninjaface had been willing to do to get it, the thing was surely important… but first she had to find…

“Oh, shit.

Vanessa fled back into the dust plume. She scanned the ground for any sign of Staraptor’s plumage in the plaza. She had been avenged, yes, but this was still no place to leave the body.

“Oh, no. No, no, no… NO!” Vanessa screamed as she stamped her foot against the dust-coated pavement. “NO! Where is she?”

“Here.”

Vanessa whipped around at the sound. She reached for her umbrella but couldn’t raise it in time to block the silver blade coming directly for her neck. She tried stepping back but hit something small and warm and… floating?

In a disorienting flash, her perspective changed.

Some time later, she awoke staring up at the same cloudy sky. It was now considerably closer to her, which confused her. She had trouble processing what had happened. There had been knife-bitch and her Flareon, and a collapsing building, and… Staraptor.

Vanessa sat up with a jolt, scowling at the world. “She’s still out there.” A flash of light entered her vision, though, and all of her hatred dissipated for a moment.

“Oh, Abra, you’re still alive,” she cried out before lunging forward and pulling the reluctant psychic into a hug. “Thank goodness. But… Where are we?”

And with that the hatred was back, joined temporarily by curiosity.

She scanned her surroundings. They were on the rooftop of a fairly large building overlooking the city. In the distance dust still billowed up from the site of their previous battle, but now Vanessa had no easy way of getting there.

Turning back around, Vanessa saw a faded poster hanging upon a door, presumably leading to the building’s staircase. Acme Industrial, the poster proclaimed.

“Never heard of it,” Vanessa muttered. “Just where did you take us?”

The sky lit up behind her. She whipped around in shock to see an orange ball of flames leaping into the air from the battle site, burning away some of the fog that surrounded the city. Vanessa made her way to the railing to get a better look. The sunlight had certainly illuminated the city, making it look almost more depressing. The abandoned buildings stretched on for quite some ways in all directions, but there was no life to be found. Vanessa had never heard of a place like this.

Something moved out of the corner of Vanessa’s eye.

Aerodactyl.

She stepped back a bit and readied her umbrella. Finally, she could bring down Crobatwoman in a single hit. Aerodactyl apparently noticed her and began flying closer with surprising speed. Vanessa stepped back, a little surprised by the pace, before it finally got close enough for Vanessa to see one very important detail. Its trainer wasn’t aboard.

“Fuck this,” Vanessa muttered before blasting off the door leading into the building. There was no point in fighting the Aerodactyl now. She would wait until it came back with its owner. That was who Vanessa really wanted dead. Aerodactyl didn’t push the issue and swooped back up and away.

Taking no chances, Vanessa descended deeper into the musty building. She ran her hand around the wall and found a switch. She flipped it, and miraculously, light shone throughout the floor.

Vanessa had nearly reached the bottom of the staircase. Spreading out before her was a floor filled with industrial equipment. She had no idea what any of it did, but it was covered with safety warnings. The floors were metallic and the numerous machines were roped off from each other, creating a maze of metal and rope with no clear exit. Frowning, Vanessa stepped forward and began to wander through the factory floor in search of a way out or a better place to confront Ninja Girl when she arrived.

Midway through her search, the lights cut out. Vanessa turned and extended her sword.

“So you’re back,” she called.

There was no answer. She couldn’t hear any movement or even breathing. Maybe the electricity had just gone out? It wasn’t implausible in an abandoned building. Slowly, Vanessa made her way back to the staircase, occasionally bumping into a piece of machinery along the way and maybe making some wrong turns. The darkness was impenetrable. After some time she became more comfortable and careless. If she hadn’t heard knife-bitch crashing into anything or breathing yet, she almost certainly wasn’t there.

Then there was a growling sound up ahead. Vanessa whipped around to see a faintly glowing Flareon descend the staircase, casting the factory in shadows and clearly illuminating the path ahead.

“Hello, you filthy little kitty,” Vanessa growled back. “Is your trainer there, or will I just get revenge for my calf today?” She raised her umbrella, charging another explosion.

Then she felt the knife enter her wrist. Vanessa screamed in pain as she reflexively dropped her umbrella. Her head was slammed back and the wind knocked out of her by a quick kick to the chest. The USB drive went clattering to the ground and Stabby stepped out of the shadows and over Vanessa to pick it up. Over the sound of Vanessa’s screams and profanities she slowly began to walk away, kicking the umbrella to the far side of the room as she did so.

A few meters from the exit, knife-bitch finally turned around to face her defeated opponent.

“Since you won’t be seeing my dog tags… the name’s Criss.”

And with that she walked right back to the rooftop, out of harm’s way.

Or, she would have, had a flash not appeared right beside Vanessa, followed by the thud of her umbrella hitting the ground. Vanessa smiled wickedly and reached to grab it.

“You got another teleport in you?”

Abra nodded as Criss turned back around, illuminated in the light of her Flareon.

“It doesn’t matter,” she said. “You can go now. I have what I was looking for.”

“Oh, I’ll be going alright. But you won’t be.”

Before Criss could process the words, Vanessa fired a blast of energy at one machine after another, smiling ever more maniacally as fires began to rise, machines started to glow, and alarms went off. Criss raced off towards the rooftop, but she hadn’t quite cleared the end of the staircase when the first machines exploded, detonating the rest of the others. Flareon cried out and turned around to block what she could, but the blasts were no match for even her heat resistance. Criss backed farther up the stairs, assessing the situation. When one particularly large blast shook the building she turned and began to run, Flareon following a second later uncommanded. Vanessa scowled and raised her umbrella again for one last shot. The energy sailed through the smoke and flames and struck the roof of the stairwell. Chunks of concrete fell down all around Criss, blocking her path and forcing her to dodge rather than run. It only stalled her for a few seconds, but seconds later the largest machine in the room had begun to glow pure white.

Vanessa teleported away then, mere moments before the entire building was obliterated in a blast of flames.

* * *​

And that’s game. The match was hard to decide because due to both combatants being much more offensive than defensive and highly lethal to boot, it’s conceivable that either could kill the other one in a fight. If Vanessa was a fully logical fighter, which she isn’t, she could probably shut out Criss due to the absurd firepower and defensive capabilities her umbrella lends to her from a distance. But she’s not a logical fighter and prefers her sword in almost all situations. Getting closer to a highly trained knife thrower isn’t exactly a safe proposition.

We decided early on that Criss would wipe the floor with Vanessa in a simple Pokemon battle. In their respective universes Criss could probably curbstomp any single trainer in Johto or Kanto. Vanessa struggles against mid-level gym leaders. But, in brawls against Team Rocket Criss generally keeps three Pokemon out at a time at the absolute maximum. Vanessa sends her team out all at once, somewhat evening things. Furthermore neither really likes attacking human opponents with their Pokemon, so this is largely irrelevant to the fight as a whole.

What ultimately sealed the deal is the sheer difference in accomplishments and survivability. Criss is at about the peak of what a human can realistically do. She’s capable of fighting multiple highly trained soldiers at once and winning. At one point she’s even taken on an ancient monster capable of singlehandedly terrorizing a city and battling the strongest members of Criss’s team. But… that kind of pales in comparison to what Vanessa does almost daily.

Vanessa has stood her ground against the most powerful of legendary Pokemon with nothing but her umbrella, battled an ancient demon towards the top of even Galactic’s threat potential, and routinely takes on a dozen or more soldiers at once. Her survivability is also incredible since she’s taken dozens of close-proximity explosions, wounds, and even outright torture and gotten up to fight almost immediately afterwards. Criss can barely take on one Skyguard without taking a wound of some sort and she was seriously debilitated and almost killed off for good by an explosion that Vanessa would take three times in the average day.

Then there’s the sheer power difference between the stories. Someone like Vanessa, a poor and untrained child with absurd fashion sense and a few improvised weapons, would get her ass kicked in a heartbeat if she met Criss in Saffron City. But she plays by the logic of Galactic instead, where specialized and well-trained weapons users at about Criss’s power level are a routine challenge and the enemies are stronger and more numerous than almost anything Criss has dealt with. Criss may be at the pinnacle of human power, but Vanessa is simply superhuman.


Criss v. Vanessa Backlot

Head Writer: Athena
Assistant Writers: AetherX, diamondpearl876

~Athena
 
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The Vulture Queen
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Re: Crossover Battles [Criss v. Vanessa Backlot]

Boreas v. Jolteon (T)

Arkadelphiak: Greetings, loyal readers! I have some devastating news.

AetherX: I’m devastated already.

Arkadelphiak: We regret to inform you that today marks the Season One Finale of Crossover Battles. Aether, where are my tissues?

AetherX: Sorry. I used them all during the last battle.

Arkadelphiak: You poor thing. Aside from that, I'm Arkadelphiak, hosting along with our very own AetherX!

AetherX: Hi! I exist. From time to time.

Arkadelphiak: Today, you'll see a fight between Boreas of The Surprising Adventures of a Glaceon in Unova series and . . . well, nobody knows her name, but she's the Jolteon starring in A Sine of Things to Come.

AetherX: A nameless Jolteon? What even is a Boreas anyway?

Arkadelphiak: You see, Boreas is a Glaceon. From Unova.

AetherX: Wowee. Tell me more.

Arkadelphiak: He’s been through a lot in his lifetime. He’s fought in two wars, but retains a penchant for mercy on his enemies— the classic hero! He is known for his spur-of-the-moment tactics and impressive improvisation. However, in The Glaceon and the Shadow, he admits: ‘I've made the mistake of rushing in too fast and unprepared a little too often, and usually I'm smart and lucky enough to get away with it.’ This poses a problem. In addition, he’s married to a lovely Vaporeon named Aqua and his best friend is a Serperior named Octa.

AetherX: That’s a lot of stuff.

Arkadelphiak: So, my dear fellow, what can you tell us about this unusual Jolteon?

AetherX: Jolteon evolved unexpectedly and unintentionally. She was once a very young and timid Eevee that had only recently been obtained by Peter Sine, a reluctant new trainer. She is abnormally powerful, but has almost no control over her powers, resulting in a violent, chaotic, and extremely adorable Pokémon.

Arkadelphiak: Oh, that’s wonderful! Is there anything— ah!

AetherX: AAAAAHHHHHH!

Arkadelphiak: Good news: the Director just phoned in. We're all clear for battle! I repeat, all clear! Are you ready, Aether?

(In unison): It's time for a CROSSOVER BATTLE!



-



The Surprising Sines of Things to Come



+​



It was dark, mostly.

The gentle curvature of the earth was undeniable this far out at sea. Slowly, the sun began waxing into the horizon. After a few minutes, a mountainous skyline broke through the sunlight. With each gentle bob, the ship drew closer.

“Aqua, love, is that—”

“Kanto?”

Boreas smiled. “Mhmm.”

A small blue ship housed the two Pokémon. It sped onward as its occupants watched the famed Kanto region swell across the horizon. They didn't feel the need to talk; the pleasant rumble of the engine was enough.

The sun had risen considerably before they reached the port of Vermilion City. Boreas directed the ship toward the dock’s closest free space. Aqua sat at the prow with her eyes closed, enjoying the breeze.

While the Vermilion seamen had seen quite a few peculiarities in their lives, the sight of a Glaceon and a Vaporeon piloting a sailboat was a sight to remember.

Aqua flipped her tail in greeting at a few sailors as their boat glided past. One of them slowly brought up a hand, then disappeared behind a pier.

“Doesn’t seem like Kanto’s thrilled to meet us,” she called to Boreas over her shoulder.

“Well,” he admitted with a shrug, “there’s nothing quite like meeting a Unovan.”

He guided the boat up to the edge of pier, easing it in slower and slower. Aqua stretched and yawned, then leaped onto the pier. Boreas smiled at her. There was nothing quite like travelling with Aqua.

“So,” Boreas said, glancing at his paws, “how am I going to tie this boat off?”



+​



Peter Sine crumpled up the lemonade can in his palm.

“Look, sir,” he said in exasperation, “you gotta let us in. Seriously. I can’t leave my Jolteon alone.”

The shopkeeper leered, unmoved. He snapped and smoothed out his burgundy apron complacently, eyeing Peter. He leaned against the doorframe of his Poké Mart.

“Not out here,” Peter continued, holding out his hands to the waking city. “I just can’t. That would be cruel.”

“Sorry, but this thing is crackling. Crackling. Do you really think I’m gonna let it inside?”

In an attempt to make the shopkeeper see reason, Peter removed two charred halves of a sphere from his pocket and held them up. The man looked down his nose at the carbonized mess, catching a familiar red.

“I’d withdraw her, but I think you can see the problem.”

“You’re not helping. I just saw lightning literally jump off that thing. Logic dictates that it definitely doesn’t belong inside my store.”

A group of sailors, walking toward the Vermilion Shipyard, had been enjoying this exchange from a distance. Their hearty, boisterous laughter cut into Peter’s resolve. Jolteon quivered as she watched the band pass by.

“Please. She’s fine when she’s with me, she just hasn’t mastered her power yet.”

“Oh,” the shopkeeper sighed, “give me a break.”

“Amen,” Peter sneered.

“What?”

“Nevermind.”

The two of them just stared.

“Look,” Peter began, holding up his hands in defense, “could you just—”

“It’s too damn early for this, pal. If you think I’m gonna allow an electrical hazard into my Poké Mart, you’re insane. You can either tie that thing up or get out of my face.” He leaned in. “Now.”

That remark quieted Peter. His fingers twitched. The Jolteon bristled, feeling her individual hairs jitter with electricity.

Peter’s eyes wandered off as the shopkeeper began another berating session. A shiny, coiled tool near the Poké Mart’s large dumpster caught his eye.

“Fine,” he said after a delay.

“What are you—”

Peter, ignoring the man’s apparent confusion, walked over to the tube-like object. He bent down for inspection, finding a copper clamp on each end. Peter swiped it up and brought it over.

“Good news!” he announced. “I’ve got this under control.”

Peter twisted up his lemonade can into a spike and stabbed it into the soft dirt. He clamped one jumper cable’s end to the exposed aluminum and stood up.

“Now, try to stay very still,” he told his Jolteon. “This is a little unorthodox.”

She stiffened, holding her chin up and away from the clamp’s mouth. Her eyes followed Peter’s every move.

With the utmost care, he clamped it down on a particularly rigid tuft of fur. The Jolteon looked over her shoulder, then at Peter.

“You doing okay?”

She made a squeak, which Peter took as an affirmative. The Jolteon sat down with her paws in front, trying her best to be obedient. She gazed at the ground.

“You’ll be fine,” Peter said with his most reassuring tone. “Ten minutes. I promise.”

She flicked her eyes up. With her head to the ground, she dug in her claws and dragged herself toward him. Her whines, ever increasing in pitch, nearly melted Peter’s heart.

“Five minutes. Okay?”

With a sigh, she dropped her chin on her front paws. She watched Peter dart into the Poké Mart and joined him in affixing the shopkeeper with a venomous glare.



+​



Boreas was enjoying Vermilion City far more than he expected to.

The Port of Exquisite Sunsets, eh? What a lovely place.”

Aqua had scurried off in excitement, telling Boreas she would meet him back at the pier in an hour or so. Based on the twinkle in her eyes, she had something in mind. Boreas knew better than to question such a thing. Unfortunately, about ten minutes were spent tying the rope to the galvanized cleat, but that was in the past.

Oceanic winds swept through the shipyard, whipping his fur around. Boreas strode off the pier, humming to himself.

A soft whine caught his attention. An ear swiveled around, his head following. Something was happening in the shadow of the Poké Mart. A pitiful Jolteon cowered from each passerby, being bitten by some evil-looking contraption.

Now, he had hoped to take a break from heroics, but—

“Hey,” he shouted, bounding over, “are you okay? What’s going on?”

The Jolteon snapped out of a daze and yelped in surprise. Meeting a rugged foreigner was definitely not on her morning agenda. She flattened on the ground and gave a low growl. The stranger let out a string of sounds that seemed to resemble words, but it was essentially incoherent.

“Who are you? Who did this to you?” Boreas repeated for the umpteenth time, pressing down the cable with a paw. “Hello?”

She stared warily at the smooth-talking Glaceon, unable to understand through that accent.

“Can you hear me?” he said with increasing worry, getting closer. “Can you hear me?”

She skittered back with eyes like black marbles, shivering. With gentle reassurances, Boreas pawed at the jaws of the clamp on her fur. He swore when it sparked violently.

“Oh no. This is not good.”

Boreas decided to take matters into his own paws. With ears flat on his head, he bit down on the jumper cable.

“I’m going to get you out of here, okay?” he growled around the rubber.

The Jolteon barked and pulled away, causing the cable to slide through Boreas’ teeth.

“Cut it out,” he snapped, feeling his jaw spasm. Boreas channeled a burst of freezing cold through his fangs. A sharp stinging went through his mouth, but he kept biting harder. With a violent crack, he snapped through.

“There you go,” he announced with typical Unovan gusto. “You’re free!”

The Jolteon looked at Boreas, to the broken restraint, and back to Boreas again. She could only stare back, with eyes growing wider.

“Are you okay?”

No response.

“Hello?” Boreas said, getting closer. “Who are you? What’s happening to you?”

A blinding burst of discharge leapt from each of her needlelike hairs, electrifying the air. Boreas, shielding his eyes in horror, was blown flat on his back.

“Hey! What’s wrong with you?”

The Jolteon bolted across the plain, kicking up clods of dirt at a furious pace. She careened to the left, right onto the main pier of the Vermilion Shipyard.

Her yellow tail slipped below the lip of The Breloomer, a bluish dinghy. Boreas watched in horror as her electrical discharge lit up the atmosphere even further. She bounced from the dinghy, leaping onto another pier and taking a sharp left.

Boreas sprinted down her path and onto the pier without a second thought. As he darted around a confused sailor, he saw her slip through the railing of a large, docked fishing boat. She immediately disappeared onto the deck. Boreas gave a groan and leaped over the railing in pursuit.

He nearly misjudged the jump, scrambling his way over the edge. Unfortunately, the deck was a couple feet lower than Boreas had expected, making him land face first on the overwhelmingly pungent deck. Coughing from the stench of fish, Boreas saw the Jolteon cowering at the feet of an equally terrified fisherman with his back to the wheelhouse. The other two members of the ship’s crew were laughing at their friend’s cowardice.

Boreas leaned down and breathed deeply. Placing one paw forward, he breathed out a tendril of freezing cold out across the disgusting deck. Flowery ice crystals blossomed as the cold crawled towards Jolteon. In an instant, her feet flash-froze to the deck.

She yipped in fright and tried to jump straight up into the air, but nearly yanked her limbs from their sockets. The three fishermen looked around in utter confusion.

Boreas calmly approached the Jolteon, giving her his most trusting gaze. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he reassured her, “I’m not going to hurt— yaaaah!”

The Jolteon unleashed an explosion of lightning, with fingers that spread everywhere. A bolt stabbed through the deck right where Boreas had been standing. Another bolt hit one of the fishermen, igniting his jacket. To make matters worse, the explosion’s heat liquefied the ice cuffs on the Jolteon. With a yelp, she immediately made a break for it, jumping back down to the pier.

Boreas’s heart pounded rapidly. He could forget sightseeing: this Jolteon was a danger to itself and others. The safety of Vermilion City was now his priority.

He leaned off the boat and scooped a pawful of water, flinging it at the the hysterical fisherman and his smoldering jacket. He let a stream of cold air flow from his mouth, creating a cloud on the ship’s deck. Muttering to himself about surprises on his adventures, he burst from the boat and scrambled onto the pier.

“Hey!” he yelled. “Please stop running away! I’m just trying to help you!”

Boreas sprinted down the pier. Fortunately, there weren’t too many humans to get in the way, so the ground she gained was quickly lost. She was massively powerful for such a young age, but she hadn’t quite mastered her running form. Boreas found himself right on her tail.

Not quite thinking what exactly his end goal was, Boreas pounced. He tackled Jolteon to the ground, his forelegs wrapped around her midsection. She started to howl.

“Argh!”

There was a bang and a flash. Boreas discovered he had been thrown backward, his head hanging over the water. The rest of his body was numb and limp. He couldn’t move a muscle, just stare at the murky, blue-green waters below.

At least he wasn’t Aqua. It was hard to imagine how much being weak to electricity would hurt. Pangs of pain and little spasms periodically jolted his body, but he couldn’t even twitch a toe of his own accord.

As people ran this way and that, the pier began to rattle. But unfortunately for Boreas, no one seemed to be coming to his aid. Maybe the Jolteon would calm down by herself? Or one of the passerby would be able to deal with her?

After some frantic wiggling, sensations began returning to his limbs. With a grunt of effort, he lifted his head up to look down the pier.

“Palkia’s pearls!” he spat.

In a shocking development, a pair of police officers and a Growlithe were streaking down the pier, huffing and puffing. They screeched to a halt, brandishing batons and fangs at the Jolteon. She had stopped several yards away from them. She looked around in panic, quivering slightly.

“C’mere, you little mongrel,” one of them snapped.

Boreas knew this couldn’t end well. He jostled himself at a frantic pace, managing to gain the control needed to push himself to his unsteady feet. He released a shaky breath.

As the snarling Growlithe approached Jolteon, it decided to snap right in front of her snout, gushing flames. Boreas knew what would happen a second before it actually did.

Bluish lightning flashed from Jolteon’s spiky fur. The electricity arced between her body and the Growlithe, the police officers, the pier, and surrounding boats. The crack of thunder shook the morning air. The violence of the sound gave Boreas the adrenaline necessary to shake off the last bits of his paralysis and tear after the now-fleeing Jolteon.

Boreas slowed briefly as he passed the Growlithe. It was slumped over, convulsing fairly violently with its fellow officers. He felt plenty of empathy for it.

“Really sorry about all this!” he hollered to the police Pokémon, although mostly to himself. “I’ll take care of her, I swear!”



+​



Peter Sine swore he smelt something burning.

He looked over at the storekeeper, who stood complacently behind the counter, fiddling with a few items below the cash register.

Strange sounds began filtering into the building from out on the docks. There was some dull shouting, banging, and a high-pitched whine.

“Hey,” he called down the aisle to the cashier, “do you hear something?

The young man looked up from the potions and escape ropes with an eyebrow raised. He stared at Peter. With an eye roll, he returned to his visibly important business.

Peter sighed and walked over to the shelf of Poké Balls.



+​



To Boreas’ shock, the Jolteon stood her ground on the seat of a small rowboat. A foreign look appeared in her eyes, crackling with the same intensity as the arcs bouncing through her fur.

“Now,” Boreas cautioned, “please don’t—”

With a hiss, she launched a zigzagging bolt right between Boreas’ eyes. He yelped, ducking at the last second. An explosion of splinters stung the back of his legs.

Another bolt was flung his way, sizzling the air. Boreas, taking no chances, leapt off the tiny rowboat in the ungainliest of fashions. He splashed into the water right as the surface exploded. He let himself sink, shuddering, cooling down . . .

The Jolteon, on the other hand, stood frozen in complete awe of herself.

She squinted at the watery cyan outline. The Jolteon couldn’t quite place his species —absolutely not native to Kanto— but felt a sameness. He was clearly from the Eevee line. She slunk to the rim of the boat, peering down at a strange glow—

A bolt of Ice Beam shot by her snout, freezing the whiskers and the tip of her nose. She shrieked and leapt back.

The soaked Pokémon put his paws on the boat’s railing and hoisted himself up, shooting another Ice Beam at her feet. She danced around the growing ice crystals as numbness ate into each paw pad. Getting cold feet wasn’t an option any longer.

He said a few more choice words, as mystifying as ever. With a yowl, he came forward as if to grab her. The rowboat pitched forward. He tripped and fell right into the Jolteon. She tensed up and released a torrent of electricity, feeling his convulsions rock the boat faster and faster. The saltwater in his fur only served to worsen the dosage of pain.

“Stop! Sto-o-o—”

She noticed his screams turn to silence. The stranger’s eyes had gone back into his head. Pity sprung up in the Jolteon’s young heart, but she couldn’t break the arc. The electricity just wouldn’t stop.

Boreas, moaning, collapsed onto the floorboards. He couldn’t see or move or even think. His limbs thrashed about of their own accord as the electricity flowed through him, singeing his fur and leaving nasty burns.

Then he felt . . . cold.

His body’s natural response to danger had chilled his body and the area around it. It weakened the electricity and left Boreas with just enough control to focus his power. He encouraged the cold, helping it spread all the way to his toes.

The Jolteon was even more terrified when ice began forming around the Glaceon’s twitching body. Just like on the fishing boat, ice crystals appeared to rapidly crawl across the floor of the rowboat towards her. She jumped into the air to avoid it, not even realizing that the shock had somehow forced her body to cancel the flow of electricity.

When she landed back on the ice, it stung her paws, but was unable to hold her in place like before. She slipped and fell over.

Meanwhile, Boreas had slowly regained control of his body. He struggled to push himself back to his feet as he watched the Jolteon slide about comedically on the ice.

“Now look,” he began, then hissed in a sudden, blinding pain.

Boreas caught sight of a charred, oozing blister on his thigh. He stared long enough for an unpleasant churn to develop in his stomach.

Though he wasn’t going to publically admit it, Boreas was rather embarrassed.

It seemed ridiculous that such a young Jolteon could give him such a run for his money. After multiple run-ins with imminent death, this should have been a walk in the park. His enemies would have delighted in watching him get electrocuted by some souped-up Jolteon. Concentrating even more on the delicious cold surrounding his body, he focused it into a powerful and freezing wind.

The Jolteon yipped as the wind caught her and sent her tumbling backwards off of the boat. She made a tiny splash in the water. She flailed about, unable to swim, and slowly sank beneath the surface.

Boreas channeled the cold into a vortex, blowing back boats and water. Electricity began crackling about on the water’s surface.

The murky seawater began to freeze.

Boreas walked over to the bow of the rowboat where the Jolteon had fallen over. A solid platform of ice had formed around the boat. He slid over the lip of the boat and landed on the ice. It chilled his paws in the most wonderful way. He encouraged the blizzard even more, helping the water freeze deeper and deeper.

Her dark brown eyes, blurred from the increasing depth, stared back at Boreas.
Within seconds, the ice swallowed up the Jolteon. The electricity began to dissipate.

Boreas slumped onto the ice, letting it chill his burns. He lay there on his makeshift iceberg for a moment, his muscles still twitching occasionally, and watched the splinters of wood that had been blasted from the dock and boat bob in the water. He shut his eyes.

But, those eyes . . .

Boreas opened his back up. She had the eyes of a child.

He scrambled over the edge of the iceberg, tipping with it. The Jolteon was still frozen in place. Sinking.

“Oh, damn it—”

Boreas shot an Ice Beam straight into the ocean. Bits of ice deflected, shooting in every direction. The beam only penetrated a few feet. Boreas spat, then leapt in.

The water was cold, but not cold enough for Boreas to care. He frantically paddled downward until he could put his paws on the thick shell of slowly sinking ice. He was barely able to see the yellow outline of Jolteon inside.

Boreas squinted up at the darkening waters above. The morning sun was barely visible, the light dancing as it refracted through the water.

Making ice was easy. Breaking ice is another story. Boreas gritted his teeth and tried to will the ice to separate, but it was hard to control it that precisely. He grunted, sending bubbles floating up to the surface.

Slowly, the ice began to crack. Bubbles burst forth as the slab of ice split in two.

There, floating limply between the chunks of ice, was Jolteon. She was completely knocked out.

Boreas’s lungs felt like they were on fire. Darkness began to cloud the edges of his vision. He became distinctly aware of how painful the saltwater felt on his burns.

He grabbed Jolteon, wrapping himself around her as tightly as possible. Everything was burning.

Boreas sucked in a bit of water, spasming, and tugged on the dead weight. The two of them started climbing. The pressure on his ears was agonizing, trying to stab through his brain on both ends . . .

With a glorious spray of seawater, they broke the surface. Boreas gasped, throwing up as a wave crashed into them. He hoisted the Jolteon, guiding her to the surface.

There was no movement.

No, no, no!

Boreas paddled toward the shore as quickly as possible. His muscles were burning like mad. A crowd of humans and various Pokemon had clustered at the end of the piers, watching their commotion.

“It’s gonna be okay . . . don’t worry . . .”

He struggled out of the water and laid the wrung out Jolteon down on the sand. She spat out a few cups of water, then laid still. To his relief, she was breathing.

“Everything’s going to be okay,” he told her through his own gasps. “I can assure you that—”

“What the hell?”

Boreas nearly leapt out of his skin. He whipped around, only to meet the shins of a very angry human being. Boreas looked up and locked eyes with a very angry Peter Sine.

“What is wrong with you?” he thundered, sending a kick in Boreas’ direction. “What did my Jolteon ever do to you?”

Boreas had some trouble understanding through the Kantonese accent, but the point was clear.

This adventure was now over.

He bolted in the opposite direction with a horrible feeling growing in his gut. “I am so sorry!” he called over his shoulder in embarrassment. All that miserable burning was doing something to his head.

“Hey— hey! Don’t you run away from me!

Boreas sprinted back towards where they had docked their boat. The human might have been following, but he didn’t really care to turn around and check. He found Aqua sitting at the end of the dock, just beside their boat.

Aqua jolted when she saw him. “Boreas? Why are you back so—”

“Aqua!” he shouted through all his gasps, “Aqua! It’s time to go, love!”

She nosed a tiny gift behind her back, and turned around. Boreas came to a halt right in front of her, panting.

“Are . . . you okay?”

“Look,” he heaved, “there was this Jolteon, and she was trapped—”

You!

Aqua flinched at the angry voice. It clearly belonged to a human. Aqua tried her best to listen to Boreas —she really did!— but had her eyes trained on the approaching human and his woozy, blinking Jolteon.

“—and we had this horrible fight, and oh, Aqua, please! Let’s go!”

Her eyes went wide as she began piecing together the evidence.

Boreas,” she exclaimed, completely aghast. “How could you?”

“Look, love, we really must—”

Aqua promptly smacked him off the pier.



-​



As you can imagine, this battle wasn’t nearly as close as our other battles.

The Jolteon’s primary strength is her massive, uncontrollable power. While she is young and unpredictable, these are weaknesses just as much as they are strengths. She’s essentially a child. She has almost no control over her power, so it’s hard for her to make the most of it.

Then there’s Boreas. His life has been tough, and his experiences have driven him from humble beginnings to a true war hero. He’s strong, strategic, and more than a little lucky. He often stumbles and finds himself in situations requiring a hero, which can get him into trouble.

This matchup soon became very interesting. The sheer power of the Jolteon, combined with the Vermilion Shipyard, created an unusually dangerous situation. But Boreas, while he had a lot of trouble, ultimately pulled off the victory due to his seniority. He’s dealt with worse and lived to tell about it. The same cannot be said of his opponent.

Boreas v. Jolteon

Project Manager: @Arkadelphiak
Assistant Writer: @AetherX

Based on Characters Created By @apenpaap and @chaos_Leader

--//|=​

And that's a wrap for Season 1. Thank you to all of you who have been reading and especially those whose characters we were allowed to use for the project. We'll be back in a couple months with a new set of six battles.

~Athena
 
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Re: Crossover Battles [Boreas v. Jolteon]

Clearly Boreas lost that one! He caused all that trouble, made all those people angry, and not to mention the earful he'll be getting from Aqua for the next month. Jolteon got badly hurt, yes, and could well have died if Boreas didn't have his hero-complex, but at least she didn't make a fool out of herself in public. Besides, she's a child, and can't be held too accountable for what happened. Not to mention Peter was did everything he could to make the situation work, and problems only happened because of Boreas's very same meddlesome hero complex.

Great scene regardless, my hat's off to the writers who put it together. I never expected Jolteon to win this matchup in the first place, but neither did I expect the outcome that occurred. Also, you pretty much nailed the characterizations of Jolteon and Peter, and the scene played out very naturally, not feeling forced at all.

For added genius from Peter: when he found Jolteon in a hurt state, he might have gotten a car battery, AED machine, power cord, something electrical, and used it to "recharge" Jolteon, making use of the "Volt Absorb" ability common to many Jolteon. Heck, for all we know that might've happened anyway off-screen, since this was more about Boreas and Jolteon, and not Peter.

One last thing: Jolteon will soon be getting a name in her story. This was planned well in advance, as part of the development of Jolteon as a character, as well as related to other events set to occur in the next few chapters. The trick though being finding time to write. Hopefully I'll have more opportunities for that soon as things settle into a groove aboard the ship.
 
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Re: Crossover Battles [Boreas v. Jolteon]

/takes shot for every sex joke
/dies
 
Pull in all the Magikarps!
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Re: Crossover Battles [Boreas v. Jolteon]

Well, Time for some post-awards feedback for all of you guys who worked so hard on this wonderful collaborative effort!


Crossover Battles

Plot: 9/10

While this work of fan fiction is just a group of authors creating battles between characters of others’ works, each battle has its own little plot to follow, which is actually quite nice. Each plot works well given the characters and stories that they follow, and I couldn’t really ask for more. Overall the plots are well done and enjoyable to read, even though I haven’t read the majority of the stories referenced.

Setting: 10/10

With each new chapter comes a whole new setting, which can pose as quite the challenge to the writers. However, the authors have done a stellar job with painting a painting in my mind of the locations that are used. I have absolutely no complaints in this field.

Characterization: 9/10

The characters in these battles reflect their actual counterparts phenomenally well. Careful detail has definitely been followed in order to keep them faithful to those in the actual stories, and their personalities all show up quite well in the couple thousand words that each of them is allowed.

Style: 8/10

With this type of story, finding the balance between setting the scene and getting on with the fights is challenging. For the most part, this is done quite well, although the introductory scenes to Chapter 5, “Bloodstains,” felt like it dragged on for a little bit too long as I started to feel my attention wane out a little bit. Overall, though, it was done quite well.

Technical: 8.5/10

I found a couple of errors here and there, although most of it was pretty well done.

Overall: 86/100

The battles were great, but that’s about it. Not much else can be done. For what it is, Crossover Battles is a wonderful collaborative effort of many authors coming together to share with the world what they love: Pokemon battles. I have trouble giving the series much more than this score, primarily because the story occasionally takes too long in order to set the scene or bring in the almighty Director to interrupt the match. The Director twist was a little bit too much to my personal taste after I got over the initial laughter of seeing Him in. At the end of the day, Crossover Battles is a satisfying reprieve from a long adventure, allowing some fast-paced action to roll along as one scans their computer screen and imagines violent battle scenes between cartoony monsters that may just be the cutest things you ever did see.
 
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