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“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s no doubt that today is a glorious day for a Pokemon battle!”  The announcer’s voice reverberated throughout Medio Stadium which caused the crowd to shriek out in anticipation for the battle.  But, this wasn’t just any battle, of course.  It was my battle.

        The crowd was full of people from both the Kanto and Johto regions, waiting for the new Champion to be announced.  Seeing how Medio Stadium was nestled between those two regions in the hill of Blackthorn, it was no surprise to see a variety of individuals hailing from those two parts.  Both the people and the Pokemon differed greatly between the two regions.

        “In the red corner, battling for the region of Johto and the chance to regain his Champion title is Lance.”  Once the announcer became silent, I heard screams and squeals cram into the atmosphere.  I looked to my left to see Lance on the small television, clad in his signature cape.  He was walking up the steps with a focused expression.  I knew Lance came prepared.

        “Hailing from the town of Blackthorn, Lance is the grandson of the Dragon elder and the cousin of Clair, the Johto League’s Dragon-type Gym Leader.  Gaining the crown of Champion five years ago, Lance took down every opponent that stepped onto the Indigo Plateau.  However, as witness today, Lance was taken down by two trainers, both hailing from the Kanto town called Pallet.  One last challenger remains.  Can Lance get another chance to take back his title, or will the next challenger crush his dream.”

        Lance smirked and shook his head in disagreement.  This fueled the crowd even more and shouts got louder.  I was certainly the underdog in this match, which bothered me a lot.  I looked down at my trusty Raichu, Lux, who smiled.  At least he was confident.

        “In the blue corner, we have the final challenger to the Champion throne.  Hailing from the…er, Second Dimension is Ashley Brandt!” 

        I walked out with Lux right beside me.  I heard shouts that seemed to be for me, but the sound never reached the magnitude for me that it did for Lance.  I walked up the stairs to the blue platform and made direct eye contact with Lance. 

        Ever so slowly, the shouts from the crowd faded as I looked right at Lance.  His eyes were a bright yellow color, which I had never seen before.  From what I could tell, he seemed to be much older than me; maybe in his early twenties.  He had red hair that stuck up a little and had a serious stance.  As he looked at me, he stroked the collar of his cape and I could tell that he was evaluating me. 

        I straightened my orange beret and put my fingers over the crimson feather that was pinned to the hat on the side.  I received the hat when I met up with Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom.  Fastening my feather to the side was a circular pin that had an orange A on it.  It stood for Ashley, much like the M on Mario’s hat stood for Mario.

        It didn’t matter how straight my beret was though.  Lance still looked ten times as badass as I did.  Hell, I most likely looked like a Lance wannabe with my own cape dangling down my back.  Lance had on a blue tunic lined with gold and a black belt at his waist.  I just had on an orange jacket with a crimson blouse underneath and a skirt that came just above my knees.  Compared to Lance, I looked like a hobo, especially with my fingerless gloves and tattered boots.

        Suddenly, I heard the announcer’s voice again.  “Ashley was born in the city of Newark, located in Ohio.”  The entire time he said this, he sounded like he was unsure of himself; like he was asking a question.  I didn’t blame him because I was born in another dimension and the locations probably sounded off.  Now that I had lived in the Ninten Dimension for two years, I was used to the confusion my birthplace caused.

        “Ashley is known best as one of the protectors of the Mushroom Kingdom, the Ace Pilot of the Star Fox Team, and a hero of Hyrule.”

        As soon as I heard the word Hyrule, I lost focus.


        It was about two years ago that I was asked by Princess Peach to help a boy named Link save the Kingdom of Hyrule.  I was twelve then and he was as well.  I remembered it being extremely overwhelming seeing as Link and I were asked to save this huge kingdom and we weren’t given any time to prepare.  We immediately had to use swords and shields to protect ourselves from various enemies.  I had to conquer several fears and overcome my anxiety while I was relapsing off my medication, seeing as Hyrule didn’t have Zoloft in stock.  I even had to adjust to becoming an adult after Link and I were put seven years in the future by the sages.

        And then there was him: the King of Evil.  He was a huge guy who dabbled in black magic and could play a sick organ.  His name was Ganondorf Dragmire and I would never forget his big, boisterous laugh…or his large, pointy nose.  But, thanks to Link and I, he wasn’t a bother to the kingdom.  Princess Zelda and the Six Sages locked him up in the Sacred Realm so he would never harm a person of Hyrule again.

        Of course, only a few know about Ganondorf and the whole ‘Link and I being the Heroes of Time’ thing.  Long story short, time was pretty much reset after Ganondorf was thrown into the Sacred Realm.  Without him screwing up the past, Hyrule was destined to become a nice, wealthy kingdom.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see what life was like without Ganondorf around because I had to leave immediately.  I was told to report to Mario in the Mushroom Kingdom for it was seized by Bowser.  I did just that and, during those two years from Hyrule, I saved the Mushroom Kingdom, avenged the life of my first friend James McCloud, beat the Indigo and Johto League, and found myself battling to become the Champion of both leagues.

        Though I missed Hyrule so much, I was afraid to return there.  It wasn’t a fear of Ganondorf or death.  My utmost fear was returning back to Hyrule and seeing Link.  Link broke my heart before I left, despite the fact that he and I became tremendously close as adults.  I mean, he was my first kiss and I didn’t doubt that I was his as well. 

        However, he seemed more interested in Zelda whenever she was around, so I just gave up and couldn’t wait to get out of Hyrule…


        “What’s the matter, trainer?” the announcer’s voice said.

        My thoughts were abruptly silenced by the announcer’s voice and the screams from the throngs of people who were eager to see this battle get started.  I shook my head and looked at Lance, who had his hand on his hip.  I could tell he was growing impatient.

        I waved my hand, which was the gesture that a trainer was ready for battle.  The crowd bellowed in thrill.  I wasn’t sure how long I was zoned out, but it was time to get this thing started.  I pulled a Pokeball off my belt and pressed the middle button which caused the ball to swell.  I saw Lance do the same.

        “Red corner, please release your Gyarados!” the announcer shouted. 

        Shit, I thought.  The battle rules made it so that the two combatants could only pick three Pokemon to use and the first Pokemon would be set indefinitely.  For example, Gyarados was a Water-type and my first Pokemon, Pasta the Charizard, was a Fire-type.  Fire is inferior to water, but I would be unable to switch my Pokemon to a better type until the battle started.  It really wasn’t that big of a deal, but I wouldn’t do any damage to Gyarados until my next turn.

        Before Lance released his Pokemon, he gave me a bow.  While bowing down, he looked up at me, but I decided to be an ass and just nodded.  He scrunched his brow in anger and threw his Ultraball into the battle area, which was made of an ashy surface and small peaks.  That wouldn’t be a problem for Lance’s Gyarados.

        “Blue corner, please release…um,” the announcer said and he paused for a moment.  I wasn’t sure what was going on, but I faintly heard “Should I really say that?” and “Really?  Alright then,” on the intercom.  The voice returned to its bold pitch and continued.  “Blue corner, please release Pasta, the Charizard.”

        I kissed my Pokeball as a little good luck towards Pasta and threw the ball out to the stage.  A red laser like stream came out of the ball and made the form of a Charizard, which was a dragon-like creature with huge wings and a long tail.  On the tip of his tail was a small blaze. 

        Once Pasta was all the wall out of the Pokeball, the ball itself came flying right back at me.  I grabbed it and put it back on my belt, even though I would be returning Pasta.  It was battle rules that each trainer had to put all Pokeballs back on their belt before the battle could officially begin.  It was only fair because it gave Lance a small chance to get a move in, especially if I wasn’t quick enough.

        “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the fight you have been waiting for!” the announcer roared and was met by loud screams.  “Trainers, I wish you luck, but there can only be one winner here.”  There was a pause that lasted for a couple seconds, but felt like an hour.  I moved my fingers around a little; getting ready to grab my Pokeball and make Charizard return.  I felt like a cowboy in those old movies, where they were preparing to draw their revolvers for a duel.

        The crowd seemed breathless and quiet.  It was tense as I waited for the announcer’s voice to boom.  Finally, it happened and the announcer said, “Let the battle begin!”  I instantly grabbed my Pokeball, press the button and shouted, “Pasta, return.”

        At the same exact time I said that, Lance shouted, “Gyarados use Surf!”  Thankfully I was able to get Charizard back to the Pokeball before the huge wave of water hit me.  I was a little pissed, seeing as the battle just started and I was already soaked.  But, I had to expect that, I suppose.

        “Alright Lux,” I shouted and looked down at him.  He already knew what was up and jumped down to the stage, landing on a small hill.

        “Gyarados use Quick Attack!” I heard Lance say.

        “Watch out, Lux!” I shouted.  Lux was already a step ahead of me and dodged the massive, blue body of Gyarados.  “Now Lux, use Thunder!” I shouted to him.

        I closed my eyes and hoped that the attack would hit.  Thunder was such a powerful move that it was hard for Lux to gain control of it.  It was even the same for me, when I used my electric powers.  It was extremely powerful but so irrepressible.

        I felt the sparks from the attack bounce off my skin.  Seeing how the attack was hard to control, it was sporadic and went every which way.  I opened my eyes to see Gyarados unscathed.

        “Dammit,” I whispered under my breath and looked at Lance, who had a dirty smirk on his face.

        “Gyarados hit him with Rage.”  I watched as Gyarados’ body began to move violently and fly towards Lux.  Since he had just released a powerful move, Lux was trying to recover and didn’t notice Gyarados’ next attack.  Lux was slammed into and fell to the ground.  I gripped the balcony bars and did everything I could to keep myself from shouting.  It was difficult seeing Lux in pain the way he was and not being able to do a thing about it.

        “That was a bad one,” I heard the announcer say.  “Will Lux the Raichu recover from such a strong attack?”

        There was no question about it in my mind that Lux would get back up.  Sure, he was ten times bigger than Lux, but I knew Lux better than anyone else and knew that he wouldn’t let an attack like Rage stop him.  I was just a little uneasy as Rage made certain Pokemon’s blood boil and they became more violent.

        “Hit him with Rage again, Gyarados!” Lance shouted.

        I saw Lux taking a breather, but he was aware of what was going on.  He quickly darted to the side and slid across the ashy ground.  Gyarados wasn’t quick enough to catch Lux and his body slammed to the area that Lux had moved away from. 

        “Lux, use Thunderbolt!” I shouted.  Thunderbolt wasn’t as strong as Thunder, but it was much easier to control.  I figured that it wouldn’t down Gyarados in one hit, but it would at least deal a lot of damage and possibly paralyze him.  The surge of power slammed into Gyarados and it let out a huge yell.

        “Get up, Gyarados!” Lance shouted, but the Pokemon didn’t move.

        “It looks to be paralyzed,” the announcer said.

        “Alright Lux,” I shouted amidst the hisses and boos from the crowd, “hit it with one more Thunderbolt while it’s paralyzed!”

        Lux jumped from a small hill and landed right on Gyarados’ body.  “Rai,” I heard him say as he prepared to unleash a huge attack.  “Chu!”  And, from his small body came a huge bolt of electricity, which surrounded him and Gyarados. 

        Gyarados let out another huge yell, but up to the sky this time.  The shout echoed through the stadium and all fell silent.  Gyarados’ head slammed on the ground and his body became lifeless. 

        There was complete stillness, but it was broken by a sharp whistle.  I looked to the left of me to see a battle referee on a podium.  He had two flags, which were red and blue.  He held up the blue flag, which signaled that I had won.

        “The blue corner is the victor of the first set,” the announcer proclaimed.  “Lance, please return your Gyarados for immediate medical attention.”

        Lance curled his lip in disgust.  He held out his Pokeball and had Gyarados return as the crowd booed at my victory.  I just smirked at Lance, who looked directly at me.  It must have been hard for him and the people to realize that Lux, a little shrew-like Pokemon, could beat a huge, dragon-like Pokemon, such as Gyarados.

        “Blue corner, please decide on whether to keep your current Pokemon out for the next set, or have it return,” the announcer said.

        Lux looked pretty tired, so I waved for him to come back.  He used the crags to jump back up on the balcony with me.

        “Blue trainer, please release your next Pokemon for the next set!”  Seeing how I was in the lead, it was only right that Lance could see my next Pokemon first, so he could choose his next. 

        I knew the exact Pokemon to use.  I unlatched my Loveball, which was like a Pokeball but was pink with a heart on the top.  It was used to catch Pokemon of the opposite gender of yours.  I made the ball expand and threw it.

        “Go Cotton Candy!” I shouted and my Sneasel came out of the ball.  She sparkled when she came out of the ball.  Unlike most Sneasels, Cotton Candy was pink, which signified that she was a Shiny Pokemon.  That meant she was a rare color and incredibly hard to come by.

        “It seems that Blue trainer Ash has released her shiny Sneasel, Cotton Candy,” the announcer said.  “Lance, please release your next Pokemon.”

        Lance already had a Pokeball ready and had his arm across his torso.  He smiled and looked me straight in the eyes.  He threw his arm forward and let go of the ball, flinging it like a Frisbee.  “Go Dragonite!” he shouted.

        “What the hell?” I said aloud.  Even a complete dumbass would realize that Sneasel, a        Dark and Ice-type, could kill a Dragonite, which was a Dragon and Flying-type.  Dragonite had two types that were both very weak to ice attacks.  No wonder Gary and Red beat this guy.

        I looked over at the ref, who would blow the whistle for the next set to start.  Sure enough, after a couple of seconds, the ref blew his whistle.  Lance would get the first attack, seeing as I beat him in the last set.  Honestly, it didn’t matter; I knew that Cotton Candy could beat him.

        “Alright Dragonite,” Lance shouted, “use Fire Blast!”

        “Uh, what?” I said and put a dumbfounded expression on my face.  I knew what Lance meant, but it was a surprise that his Dragonite could use Fire Blast.  I hoped in the back of my mind that he was just bluffing, but he wasn’t.  My Cotton Candy was dead meat.

        I felt a sudden gush of heat as a big blast of fire slammed into Cotton Candy.  She tried to withstand the flames, but collapsed shortly after the fire disappeared.  “Ooh, it’s a one hit wonder!” the announcer shouted and the crowd erupted into cheers.  I just rolled my eyes and got Cotton Candy’s Pokeball.  I waited for the ref to indicate who won and then had Cotton Candy return.

        “What a shame to see such a rare Pokemon go,” the announcer said.  “With the fainting of red corner’s Pokemon, it now makes both corners tied.  It’s a fifty-fifty shot at who will win this match.  Red corner, please release your next Pokemon.”

        It was a tough call for me at that point.  I had Lux, but electric attacks weren’t super effective against Dragon-type Pokemon.  Seeing how Dragonite was more Dragon-type than he was Flying-type, Lux would have tons of trouble fighting that beast.  My best choice for the battle would have to be Pasta.  He was a Flying and Fire-type, so any Fire Blast that Lance’s Dragonite threw at him would be a lot easier to handle.

        I grabbed Pasta’s ball and threw it.  “Let’s do this, Pasta,” I said and he came right out of the Pokeball.  He stood straight in front of Lance’s Dragonite and Pasta ended up being about two feet shorter than the Dragonite.

        “Trainers, please ask your Pokemon to move back a bit,” the ref shouted.  “I can’t officially start with them so close.

        “Move back, Pasta,” I said and Pasta did as he was told.  Dragonite moved back as well, without needing Lance to tell him so.

        The ref nodded to us in approval and put his whistle in his mouth.  Two seconds later, we heard the shrill sound and the crowd cheered.  It was my turn first, so I had to make sure that I took advantage of my opportunity. 

        “Pasta, use Fly,” I shouted to him.  Pasta beat his wings and stirred the ashy turf he was standing on.  Seeing how he was heavy, it took him awhile to get his feet off the ground.  I knew that Fly wouldn’t do much damage to Dragonite, but I wanted to get a feel for what kind of battler Lance’s Dragonite was.  I had only seen a glimpse of his power when he took out Cotton Candy.

        “You’re pathetically easy to beat,” I heard Lance say.  We both had little microphones that we could use to hear each other’s commands.  We were also hooked to the ref’s microphone, so he could communicate with us as well.  Before I could respond he shouted, “Dragonite, use Thunder.”

        Thunder was able to hit a flying Pokemon, so I feared for Pasta’s life.  “Pasta, look out!” I shouted to him and he went ahead and did his Flying move by dodging the Thunder attack and slamming into Dragonite.  Rather than do any damage however, Pasta just bounced off of Dragonite’s big stomach.

        “That didn’t seem to do any damage at all,” the announcer said amazed. 

        “Dragonite, hit him this time with another bolt of Thunder,” Lance shouted.

        “Dammit, move Pasta!” I shouted back.  I knew that Lance would try and have Dragonite use the same move over and over and it looked like Dragonite could take it, unlike Lux who had to recover after using Thunder. 

        When Pasta was out of the way, I shouted, “Now use Body Slam.”  I figured that that attack would do some sort of damage to Dragonite.  Unfortunately, Pasta bounced off Dragonite’s belly again.

        Lance asked Dragonite to use Thunder again.  Pasta had done decent with dodging the attack, but he wasn’t so lucky with the last one.  The bolt of lightning that came from Dragonite’s antennas crashed into Pasta.  Pasta roared and fell to the ground with soot all over his body.

        The ref blew the whistle and threw up the red flag.  Dammit was the only word circulating through my mind.  There was no way that Lux could defeat that thing, especially if Pasta didn’t do any damage to it. 

        “Trainer please return your Pokemon to-, “and there was a pause from the announcer.  “Well, I’ll be.  It seems that this Charizard wants another go.”

        I looked down at the stage to see Pasta slowly get up.  I was completely awed by his strength and determination.  He stood up as straight as he could and waited for my order.  I was baffled at what to do, but I knew that there was one attack that could definitely take Dragonite down…but it would take Pasta down in the process.

        “Pasta use Dragon Pulse!” I shouted.

        Pasta looked up at the sky and lifted up his tail.  Instantly, he slammed his tail down and the ground around him started to ripple like water.  One of the ripples went underneath Dragonite and caused him to fly backwards.  Since Dragon Pulse was a Dragon-type move, it was super effective against Dragonite.  But, the move was too powerful for Pasta to pull off, especially since Pasta was already tired and beaten up.  Pasta collapsed and Dragonite remained on his back.

        “It seems that both Pokemon have been taken down by the same move,” the announcer stated. 

        I looked over at the ref who swiped both flags forward.  “There is no victor of this set.  It is a tie.”

        I heard some boos and some cheers.  I heard someone shout that Charizard was out and Lance won the set.  But, the ref did nothing but blow his whistle to end the set.  “Trainers, please return your Pokemon for immediate medical attention,” the announcer said.  “This means that the Red and Blue corner are now tied.  One Pokemon will be the deciding factor of this set and will win their trainer the right to continue.”

        “Pasta return,” I said and held out his Pokeball.  The red laser shot out of the ball’s center and formed around Pasta.  Pasta was then pulled back into the Pokeball.

        “Well, I guess it’s just you now,” I said to Lux and I knelt down beside him and scratched his head.  “Do you think you can do it?” I asked and removed my hand from his head.

        “Raichu,” he said and balled his little paws together.  He had more fire in his eyes than Pasta had on his tail.

        “Then let’s win this,” I said with excitement and stood up.  “Go Lux.”  I pointed forward as Lux jumped off the balcony railing and landed on a crag.  I could see tiny sparks of electricity coming out of the pouches on his cheeks.  He was ready, even though he had no idea what Pokemon Lance would choose.

        Lance looked a little nervous as he picked the next and last Pokeball from his belt.  He threw it and shouted, “Go Aerodactyl.”

        “Ooh, an Aerodactyl,” the announcer said.  “It’s both a Rock and Flying-type.  This final set will be very interesting.

        When I heard Rock, my heart dropped.  Lux and every Electric-type in general, were very susceptible to Rock-type moves.  If Aerodactyl got one Rock move on Lux, Lux would be doomed, but the same could be said vice versa.  All Lux needed to do was get one Thunder move on Aerodactyl and it was toast.  Thunderbolt would work, but it wouldn’t hurt Aerodactyl enough, which would let him get another move in.  I was already on a tight leash since Lance got to use the first turn.

        We waited for the ref to give us the go and he did.  Lance took no time and said, “Aerodactyl use Rock Slide.”  Aerodactyl landed on his short legs and flapped his wings upwards which caused bits of rock and ash to float up to the sky.  He kicked off with his tiny legs and used his wings to redirect the rocks right towards Lux.

        “Watch out!” I shouted, but Lux didn’t move.  I turned my head sideways to look away.  I definitely didn’t want to see my best friend get smacked in the face by rocks.  I kept my head turned and my eyes closed shut, waiting to hear the referee’s whistle, but I instead heard oohs and aahs.

        “It seems that the Blue corner’s Raichu is using the stream of rocks to jump right up to Lance’s Aerodactyl,” I heard the announcer say and I jerked my head forward to see the action.  By the time I could see, Lux was on top of Aerodactyl’s head.  This was it.

        “Lux use Thunder!”

        “Raaaiiii,” I heard him say, “ccchhhuuu!”

        A huge bolt of lightning came down on both of them.  It was so bright that I swore I saw Aerodactyl’s skeleton.  I held my breath as Aerodactyl fell to the ground and watched Lux cling to its small horns.  There was a crash and waves of ash caused me to shield my eyes.

        When I removed my hand, I saw Lux standing on Aerodactyl with his paws in the air.  He did it!

        “And we have a winner!” the announcer said enthusiastically just as the ref waved my blue flag.  “Ashley Brandt of the Blue corner will now go on to the semi-finals to challenge Red Ash from Pallet Town!”

        There was a mix of boos and cheers for me, but it didn’t matter.  I was just so happy for Lux that it took every bit of strength in my body to keep me from jumping right off that balcony just so I could hold him.  I was so thrilled. 

        Lux jumped up the balcony and right into my arms.  I totally missed Lance leaving the stage.  I felt a little bad for him, seeing how he had no chance of regaining his champion title now.  I decided that I would meet back up with him as soon as I could.

        But, all that mattered at that time was Lux and his impressive victory.


        However, I knew that the challenge had just begun…


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