A Legend's Rebirth
Alana sighed in annoyance as she watched another trainer gaze at her warily through the clear glass walls, then turn aside and go around. It wasn't fair, she thought, that just because she was a wild card she had to stay in an out of the way corner, easily avoided and usually so.
She gently stroked the three pokéballs at her waist, neatly attached to her belt, next to which hung her sword. It was a beautiful sword, long and sleek and patterned with dragons and snakes. They even had jeweled eyes. The pokéballs weren't ordinary either. They didn't have any special properties, but they were tinged a light purple, rather like Alana's eyes in certain lights. On each was a styled A, her initial, since she had no last name.
Alana came to attention as she watched a trainer groping blindly against the invisible walls. He followed their path, straight to her. He looked rather surprised to be in a large open space again and stumbled forward. He looked to be about eleven, an average age for challengers.
"Welcome," she greeted with a slight bow.
Taken aback by her polite attitude, the boy huffed, "I challenge you to a pokémon battle!"
"If you really must," Alana replied amiably. Although the other trainers in the gym were constantly switching because of their tired out pokémon, her battles were few and far between, and she rather looked forward to them.
"Dugtrio, go!" the boy cried, tossing out his first pokéball. Out of it emerged a small cluster of rounded brown heads. The tallest of the three reached only the boy's waist. The child wore a smug smile on his face, knowing that poison pokémon were weak to ground.
Shrugging nonchalantly, Alana reached for one of her own pokéballs. Pausing for a second, she considered giving the boy a better chance, then decided against it. Instead she tossed out her first ball which opened at its contact on the dirt area they were battling on. Out of it burst with a loud squawk a three-headed bird. Each head had a different expression, happy, sad, and angry. But none of them looked as friendly as Alana at the moment.
Smiling, she commented, "A three on three battle, I suppose it shall be. Since we each begin with trio pokémon."
The boy seemed surprised again by her sending of a bird pokémon. Sputtering, he protested, "But this is a poison gym! You're supposed--"
"This," Alana interrupted coldly, "Is an official pokémon gym verified by the pokémon League. If you are going to face the Elite Four, you'd better be prepared to face all sorts of pokémon, not all of them poison." She stepped back to give the Dodrio room. "You can begin."
Confused for a moment, the boy called out, "Dugtrio, dig under it!" Without hesitation, the moles disappeared into the dirt floor. He grinned as the three-headed bird looked frantically around for the Dugtrio.
"Dodrio, fly." The avian clumsily struggled aloft, managing only to hover a few feet above the ground. Both sides were forced to step backwards as the bird's frantic flapping blew gales of dust around the chamber.
One of the heads squawked emphatically. Alana listened in amusement to his complaints. "It's too crowded in here!" he complained in his shrill voice. "I can't fly or I'll break the glass or something! Now see how clumsy I'll look to that boy."
"That's all he is," she responded, careful not to give away any of the Dodrio's words to her opponent.
At that moment, the Dugtrio, who had probably been diligently digging its way underground to the other side, emerged beneath the Dodrio. It looked up in surprise, unable to reach the bird hovering so tantalizingly close above it. The Dodrio, too, completed his attack, swooping down to peck mercilessly at the Dugtrio's delicate brown heads. It quickly withdrew and appeared again next to its trainer.
Although the Dugtrio obviously sustained some serious damage from the attack, it still looked ready to continue. The scowl on its face greater than ever, it turned expectantly towards its trainer. "Dugtrio . . . slash attack!" The clump of moles appeared next to the Dodrio again, and from its tunnel exit appeared a large paw. It clawed cruelly into the Dodrio's side, and he cried out in agony. "You can stand up to that," Alana encouraged. "Drill peck." One of the Dodrio's heads had arched over to lick protectively at his wounds. The other two guided the body over to the Dugtrio and began a barrage of furious pecks, forcing the Dugtrio to close its eyes lest they be pecked out. It didn't last long. Soon enough, the moles simply fainted and slowly sank into the ground.
"Dugtrio, return!" The boy held out a pokéball and recalled the Dugtrio before it completely disappeared underground. "Go Kadabra!" This time he was confident he had made a better choice. Psychic pokémon were also strong against poisons but they weren't weak against flying ones either.
Alana nodded to her Dodrio. "Nice job, Elvan. Return!" Her next choice wasn't hard to make. "Go, Drowzee!"
The boy blinked tiredly for a second, unaccustomed to the pokémon's sleep waves. Then he straightened and gestured to his own psychic pokémon. "Kadabra, confusion!" With a sharp uttering of its name, the pokémon gazed intently at its opponent. Alana could almost see the shifting waves of darkness that radiated out in her direction. Although she staggered slightly, the Drowzee seemed completely unaffected. He gazed at the boy and his pokémon with half lidded eyes, looking like he was so bored he was about to fall asleep.
"Drowzee, hypnosis. Put that Kadabra to sleep!" As the Drowzee began to chant his name slowly and steadily with fluid gestures of his hands, Alana found her mind cleared of the confusion from the previous attack. She still had some psychic resistance to develop if she was to train a psychic pokémon to its full potential, she reminded herself. She watched as the Kadabra's eyelids sagged so that its expression mirrored her Drowzee's. Then it was asleep.
Urgently, the boy waved his hand in front of the sleeping Kadabra's face. "Come on, wake up!" He rummaged through his backpack but failed to produce an Awakening or a Pokéflute. Shaking his pokémon had no results but to induce louder snoring from the peacefully slumbering creature. Resigned to his fate, he turned back to his opponent.
"Drowzee, pound." The unwieldy pokémon waddled forward and began pounding at the Kadabra with his heavy hands. Even under this punishment, the opponent did not wake up although its sleep seemed to grow more troubled.
The boy tried again to wake his sleeping pokémon. Shaking it as hard as he could, he finally got a groggy, "Kadabra?" in reply, telling him that his pokémon was back to the land of the waking. Sighing in relief, the boy commanded, "Kadabra, teleport!"
Shaking her head scornfully, Alana told him, "You have quite a bit to learn about training psychic pokémon as well as about official rules. Thinking to it is a much gentler and more efficient way of waking a Kadabra than shaking its wits out. As for teleportation, that is only allowed in battles with wild pokémon. There is no running from trainer battles." She turned again to her pokémon. "Drowzee, pound again." The pokémon repeated his procedure of the previous turn. The Kadabra, still not completely awake, was too slow to avoid the attack. It fainted under the continuous strikes.
A look of panic crossed the boy's face. Reaching to his waist, he tossed out his final pokémon. "Go, Parasect!" The giant mushroom lumbered forward and hissed its name.
Alana looked at the boy in surprise. A bug/grass in a poison gym? Odd, but nothing off her record, she thought. Tossing out her third pokéball, she called, "Go Ditto!" The small purple blob appeared on the ground. Its grin was rather hard to maintain on its shifty jelly-like face. She held out a small picture and showed it to him. "Transform into Ekans." Obliging, the Ditto retained its purple hue but elongated, glowing slightly, and reformed into the shape of the poisonous snake. "Ekansssssssss," it hissed.
Remembering Alana's previous tactics, the boy called out, "Parasect, spore!" A cloud of tiny orange particles emerged from the mushroom's mouth. Unable to avoid it, the Ekans inhaled the spores and quickly fell asleep.
"A nice touch," Alana smiled. "But I am better prepared." With that, she held out a long flute and played on it a gentle melody. To the boy it sounded more like a lullaby, but the Ekans promptly woke up and hissed at its opponent.
Realizing sleep wasn't going to work, the boy ordered to his pokémon, "Scratch attack, Parasect!" The pokémon slowly crawled up to the snake and with a large claw swiped across its slender body. It quickly retreated back to its master as the snake writhed furiously in pain.
"Ekans, acid attack." The snake reared back and spit out a thick black liquid that landed squarely on the Parasect's large mushroom. The boy looked in horrified shock as the black goo slowly began to eat away at the bug and dissolve the fungus.
Hanging his head in acknowledged defeat, the boy recalled his last pokémon. Looking up with tears in his eyes, he whined, "But it's not fair, they said this was a poison gym... I could beat poison pokémon, I trained them for the job."
"I'm a wild card here in Koga's gym," Alana reassured him. "Just be careful not to wander this way next time. She walked over to the side of the dirt circle and opened a door. "You can leave through here. The pokécenter's only a few houses down and your pokémon should be fine."
After the boy left, Alana strode off in another direction after getting a replacement for her spot in the gym. She entered her room and began tending to her pokémon. She was almost done when she noticed that her door was open and letting in a slight draft. Looking up she saw Aiya, the gym leader's sister, gazing at her with disapproval in her dark eyes.
"You are too lenient with your pokémon. With you jumping at their every injury, they will never grow strong."
Alana stood up as she finished her ministrations. "They are strong, but there's no sense in letting them faint when it takes so little effort to treat them."
"A skilled healer should reserve her efforts for those truly in need, or she will be sidetracked for superficial reasons."
Alana smiled at her friend. "Is there a pressing need for my healing?"
"You could allow the replacement trainer's pokémon to heal some more before him having to return to his post."
"Oh, come on," Alana responded scornfully. "You know only one or two people find their way to my little corner. I've only been away five minutes at the most, no one will have come."
Aiya sighed. "Alana, your pokémon are unconventional. Your ways don't fit the training here. I think you should leave on your own journey. You don't belong in a poison and martial arts gym."
Stunned, Alana asked, "Am I being kicked out of the gym?"
"Not kicked out . . . You and your family have done the gym many favors here in Fuschia. We couldn't make you leave; we have a debt to pay. Besides, I enjoy your company. But I think you'll be happier elsewhere . . . there are other places you could go. Even the pokécenter down the street would be more suited to your--"
"Well, I have to get back to my spot," Alana replied abruptly. There was an implied answer in her statement. Obviously hurt by Aiya's words, she brushed by her and departed, her pokémon recalled into their balls.
* * *
That night, Alana sat in her room with her pokémon. Doppelganger, the Ditto, oozed about on the floor, a soothing lavender that matched Alana's pokéballs. Chanting to itself, her Drowzee's voice gave the chamber a sense of relaxation. Even the usually noisy and unruly Dodrio, Elvan, seemed quiet tonight. His three heads murmured quietly amongst themselves but didn't argue with one another as they normally did.
Alana turned to Drowzee. "Morpheus, do you think I should leave the gym?" she asked aloud, although the psychic pokémon could hear her thoughts.
«Others disapprove of your staying. If you have no objections to leaving, you should do so,» the Drowzee thought back to her.
The Dodrio decided to chime in. "You shouldn't let them kick you out. If they don't like you around they'll have to live with it." "If you leave you'll end up with nothing but trouble. Nowhere to stay, nothing to do, no one to turn to. Things are so turning out so terribly." "If they don't want us around, let's not be around. We're sure to find lots of new adventures and things if we set off on our own."
She'd been with her bird pokémon for so long that she could easily understand his words as if spoken in English. The distinct personalities in each of his three heads really shone through: Nenya, Vilya, and Narya, sorrow, joy, and anger.
Alana turned to Doppelganger who simply smiled and added, "Dit-to!"
The name-response made her laugh. "To which one?" she teased.
The Ditto formed a humanoid mouth. "With Morpheus, who's too wise to be awake at an hour like this."
Alana noticed the quiet snoring coming from the Drowzee. "Wise indeed," she nodded. "Off to bed with all of us, then. We can figure things out tomorrow morning after seeing Koga."
The Dodrio knelt down in a corner. Through long years of drilling, Alana had trained them to the point that their previously raucous snoring was just a whisper. Morpheus leaned contentedly against a bedpost and slept. The Ditto transformed into a tiny Snorlax, which seemed to allow it the most rest, and fell asleep. Climbing into her bed, Alana followed suit.