A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Here Today, Gone In Sorrow

Robin and I exchanged hard glares, frozen like statues in Moscow.

June stood off to the side, watching with a worried look on her face.

A very small group I wasn’t focused on walked by, slowing down to watch us.

“Three-on-three, Gary,” Robin said sternly. He grabbed a Poke Ball from his waist and held it tight, pressing the center button, enlarging it.

“Fine,” I agreed, grabbing a Poke Ball of my own.

“Let’s go!”

We both threw our Poke Balls to the ground at the same time.

“Croconaw!!!” Bright Eyes snapped its massive jaws.

“Hoooooot!” Hoothoot flapped furiously.

Croconaw. The Big Jaw Pokemon. The evolved form of Totodile. Croconaw are found in the wild in the water but are rarely ever seen. Their jaws never let go of anything it clamps on unless its teeth are removed in the process, but they grow back fast. They always have forty-eight fangs lining their jaws.

“Ice Fang, now!”

“Dodge it!”

Bright Eyes’ enormous jaws snapped at Hoothoot, who flew high into the sky. Bright Eyes jumped as hard as it could, but it couldn’t reach Hoothoot, its jaws snapping the air underneath him.

“Water Gun!”

“Confusion!”

Bright Eyes’ Water Gun was blasted at Hoothoot.

Hoothoot flew higher into the air, his eyes glowing light blue.

The Water Gun stopped in midair in front of Hoothoot, outlined in the same shade of blue. The stream of water made a U-turn and struck Bright Eyes in the stomach.

The crocodile cried out, taken down. It stood up, shaking its head, dusting itself off.

“Scary Face!” Robin shouted.

With a roar, Bright Eyes gave a terrifying look to Hoothoot.

Hoothoot hooted out in fright and flapped his wings frantically, backing up, getting lower to the ground.

“Crunch!” Robin even took a step forward, really getting into the battle.

Bright Eyes leaped into the air and sunk its glowing fangs into Hoothoot, bringing him to the ground.

“HOOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot screamed out, frantically smacking Bright Eyes with his wings.

Bright Eyes growled and shook its head viciously like a dog.

“Hoothoot, Echoed Voice!”

Hoothoot opened his mouth and let out a loud, screeching noise, forcing Bright Eyes back. My Pokemon suddenly screeched out even louder, but he wasn’t using Echoed Voice. He was wailing in pain!

Bright Eyes hadn’t let go of Hoothoot despite being hit. In reaction to Echoed Voice, its jaws clamped down even harder!

“Ice Fang attack!”

Bright Eyes tossed Hoothoot a couple of feet into the air and leaped up, clamping down on Hoothoot again.

Hoothoot helplessly called out as he was quickly coated in a fine mist which turned into ice, freezing him solid.

Bright Eyes landed and tossed Hoothoot.

Hoothoot, frozen solid, bounced a few times before coming to a complete stop.

“End this with Superpower!” Robin urged.

Bright Eyes was outlined in a blue aura and began flexing its muscles, growling ferociously. Its muscles bulged out impressively as it stormed towards Hoothoot in a rage.

“Hoothoot, you’ve got to get out of there!” I begged.

Hoothoot couldn’t move from inside of the ice. He was completely helpless.

“Hoothoot! You’ve GOT TO FIIIIIGHT!!”

Bright Eyes reached out to grab the frozen bird.

The block of ice started to give off a blue hue of color.

“Huh?” Robin muttered, squinting hard, his eyebrows narrowing.

My eyes widened as I watched the ice start to shake slightly.

“Croc?” Bright Eyes said in confusion, stopping in place.

The block of ice containing my Pokemon suddenly rose into the air, the Pokemon inside still frozen!!

“WHAT?” Robin screamed, his face looking as if he was witnessing a descending UFO.

The ice block suddenly shot forward and slammed into Bright Eyes!

“Crooooooooc!” Bright Eyes and my Hoothoot on ice soared through the air together before finally crashing to the dirt ground.

The block of ice exploded and Hoothoot soared happily into the air. “HOOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot cheered.

“Way to use Confusion!” I celebrated my Pokemon’s release.

“Very nice, Gary,” Robin scowled. “But enough is enough! Slash attack!”

Bright Eyes’ roared and slashed at Hoothoot with glowing claws.

“Hoot! Hoooot!” Hoothoot hit the ground, not even seeing the attack coming.

“Take it out with Aqua Tail!”

Bright Eyes’ tail was surrounded by swirling water as it ran at Hoothoot with a loud cry.

“Hoothoot, toss it back with Uproar!”

Hoothoot hopped up and opened his mouth, but Bright Eyes was a lot faster than Hoothoot now and whacked him with its tail, sending Hoothoot into the air.

“Now, finish this with Superpower!”

Bright Eyes’ body gave off a blue aura again as it started to flex its muscles and bulk itself up further. It leaped in the air after Hoothoot, reaching up to grab him.

“Hoothoot, focus yourself, please!”

But Hoothoot continued to tumble through the air helplessly as Bright Eyes neared him, claws extended.

They both seemed to soar through the air for an oddly long time.

Suddenly, Bright Eyes started flailing in the air and cried out as it reached the limit of its leap and came crashing back down!

I stared in shock as Hoothoot picked up even more speed, no longer tumbling, but purposely soaring into the sky!

“Hoothoot!” I called out.

“HOOOOOOOOOT!” Hoothoot hooted with determination, continuing into the sky.

“What is that thing doing?” Robin questioned.

I had no idea how to answer him as Hoothoot soared higher into the sun and disappeared from sight. My eyes remained on the sky, squinting into the sunlight, waiting, wondering what was going on.

“Did your Pokemon just flee the match…?” Robin asked slowly after a minute.

I was in utter shock, continuing to watch the sky, my hand shielding my eyes from the sun.

Hoooooooooooooooooooot!!!!!

I gasped as a twinkle appeared in the sky.

Something was coming down from above!

Robin gasped as Hoothoot appeared, flying with a combination of speed and power at Bright Eyes.

“Hoothoot!” I beamed joyfully. “But what the heck are you doing?

“It’s using Fly attack!” Robin pointed.

“What?” I gasped.

“Catch the bird in your jaws and freeze it again!” Robin said frantically.

“Croc!” Bright Eyes opened its jaws wide just as Hoothoot flew into them. The Water type was shoved back by Hoothoot as he flew into its jaws. It tried to stop moving, but Hoothoot continued to shove it backwards, not stopping, as a mist surrounded Hoothoot’s body.

“HOOOOT!” Hoothoot gave a loud scream as ice started to form around his body.

BOOOOOOOM!

An explosion of ice and white smoke surrounded our Pokemon. When it cleared shortly after, both Pokemon were on the ground, knocked out.

“Wow!” a voice let out.

There were three people standing several feet from June. One woman was clapping her hands, soon joined by the other two guys she was with.

June applauded as well, smiling at me, and then at Robin.

Robin looked at the two beaten Pokemon in shock. He smiled and gave a nod of approval, and then returned Bright Eyes to its Poke Ball. “Great job! That’s the energy I like to see from you. Thanks.”

“Hoothoot, you learned Fly attack! That was amazing! Thank you. Come on back.” I returned Hoothoot to his Poke Ball.

“Well, I didn’t expect any less from you, Gary,” Robin stated, grabbing his next Poke Ball. “But now, let’s see you handle my next Pokemon!” He threw the Poke Ball. “Go! Spirit!”

“Toge!” Spirit greeted upon arrival.

Togekiss. The Jubilee Pokemon and the evolved form of Togetic. It is said that this very peaceful Pokemon never appears where there is a conflict. Sightings of Togekiss are very rare when compared to their recorded numbers in ancient times.

“I choose you, Kingdra!”

Kingdra’s Poke Ball opened in midair.

“Doooo Dooooo!” Kingdra landed, looking up innocently at her opponent.

“We’ll go first this time,” I winked. “Bubblebeam!”

“Dooo! Doooo! Dooo!” Kingdra aimed at Spirit, but Spirit was too swift in the air.

Spirit dodged each attack with grace and ease.

“Hydro Pump!”

“DOOOOOO!” Kingdra shot a powerful spray of water at Spirit, but it dodge by ascending higher, smiling the entire time.

“Done yet?” Robin asked with a smirk. “Spirit, use Sky Attack! Now!”

Spirit’s body was surrounded by a bright, white aura and it swiftly dived at Kingdra, a trail of white energy drifting behind it. It slammed into Kingdra.

Kingdra was tossed back but shook her head, glaring at Spirit.

“We’re not done, yet! Catch it with Hydro Pump, now!”

Kingdra used Hydro Pump, but Spirit spun through the air beautifully, like an airborne ballerina, ascending higher, avoiding the attack.

“Fine!” Admittedly, my patience was wearing thin. “Then we’ll catch it in a Twister! GO!”

Kingdra let out a loud cry as her back fins moved rapidly.

A powerful wind started up, followed instantly by a huge Twister that appeared in front of Kingdra. “DOOOOOO!” Kingdra moved the Twister towards Spirit.

“Nowhere to run, now!” I couldn’t, and didn’t wish to, hide the smile as I struggled against the wind that was pulling me in.

Robin looked up at the Twister, and to my surprise, a smile crossed his face. “Go into the Twister!” were his shocking words.

I gasped as Spirit listened to Robin and immediately flew inside of the Twister attack!

“What are you doing?” June cried out in horror.

The other three people were staring at the Twister, open mouths to the floor, eyes bulging.

“Air Slash!” Robin told his Pokemon.

We all watched the Twister in shock.

Nothing happened.

I looked down at Robin, but he was still smiling, looking up at the Twister.

Robin lowered his head and stared at me. He winked and looked back up to the Twister.

I looked back up, too.

Suddenly, a bright burst of blue shined from where Spirit had entered, quickly turning the entire Twister the same color. The Twister began to spin even faster!

“Doooo. Dooooo!” Kingdra seemed to be struggling to control her own Twister, now.

The Twister suddenly began to fly at rapid speed at Kingdra!

“DOOOOOO!” Kingdra was sucked inside of her own attack!

The Twister disappeared suddenly and Kingdra was dropped, lying still.

“DO IT!” Robin proceeded.

Spirit was high in the air, spinning in place, glowing the same shade of blue as what took over the Twister attack. Light blue energy shined around Spirit and spiraled away from it in curved strips, flying at Kingdra, slashing at her as she struggled against the impact. With a long, fantastic twirl, Spirit ended her attack and looked down with a smile matching Robin’s, at Kingdra.

“How do you like that?” Robin asked, his smile and Spirit’s widening simultaneously.

“What… happened?” I asked, dumbfounded.

“Air Slash, buddy, ha ha ha ha ha!” Robin laughed excitedly. “Spirit spins in a powerful circle and can create a pretty impressive twister herself in the process. By using Air Slash inside of the Twister, Spirit could create enough momentum to snatch away the Twister from Kingdra and take complete control over it. In the process, the power from your Kingdra’s Twister helped to boost the speed and energy for Spirit to increase the damage of your Kingdra’s own Twister attack as Togekiss threw it back at Kingdra, and the boost from Twister increased Togekiss’ own Air Slash attack. We both thank you! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!

I couldn’t believe what I’d just heard. It was… impossible! “Kingdra,” I said weakly.

She lay on her side, eyes closed, seeming to be shivering.

“Kingdra, you wanna come back?” I asked. “Have you had enough?”

Kingdra’s eyes opened and she looked up at me, a deep, pleading sadness in her eyes.

I smiled. “Hey,” I told her. “You did great out there. There’s no shame in losing with how you battled. I’m proud of you. You can come back. You did great.” I held out her Poke Ball.

Kingdra looked back at me.

“Gary…” June said suddenly.

I turned to her.

She stared at me sternly and slowly shook her head “no.”

I squinted at her in confusion and looked back down to Kingdra.

Kingdra slowly forced herself back up and glared at Spirit. “Dooo!” she spoke angrily.

“Togeeeee!” Spirit shouted back, smiling determinedly.

“Kingdra…” I said in a low voice.

June was giving me a dead serious look. She nodded her head at me.

I returned her stare and nodded back. Robin seemed more than just a little surprised that Kingdra was still up, which made me smile. “We’re not done yet!”

“But you don’t have much left in you, either,” Robin informed me.

I glared at him, gritting my teeth, knowing he was right.

“Time to wrap it up! This move never misses! Aura Sphere!”

Spirit’s wings were brought together and a light blue ball of energy formed. It flew at Kingdra and did a flip in the air, tossing the ball.

My mind raced, trying to think of what I could do to stop a move that was bound to hit no matter what.

Some kind of counter.

A way to win!

“KINGDRA! Just hang in there! Take it!!

“DOOOOOOO!!!!” Kingdra tilted her head back and fired a beam at the Aura Sphere.

Everyone watched in shock as the ball started to freeze over!

“It’s Ice Beam!” I realized. “Kingdra learned Ice Beam!” I remembered the last time we had tried using Ice Beam against Leigh, the Dragon Gym Leader, but it had failed.

Kingdra had finally gotten it down?!

“Oh, no!” I realized that the Aura Sphere was still moving fast at Kingdra, now a frozen block of ice!

Kingdra began to spin in place rapidly, her body surrounded in a light blue aura.

The Aura Sphere hit Kingdra and bounced off of her as she smacked it back while spinning, sending it back at Spirit who just barely reacted in surprise before being knocked out of the sky, slamming to the ground.

Spirit was a crumpled heap.

“What move is that…?” I asked, my heart beating excitedly, pointing my Pokedex at Kingdra.

Dragon Dance. The user’s Attack and Speed increases.

“Wow! You know Dragon Dance!” I could have danced right there!

“Spirit, get up!” Robin demanded.

Spirit struggled up and started to ascend shakily into the air.

“Hydro Pump!” I was waiting for an opportunity like this, when Spirit wasn’t in the best shape.

Dooooooo!” Kingdra blasted Spirit with the powerful move.

Spirit slid along the ground, but forced itself to get back up, staring angrily at Kingdra now.

“Extreme Speed!” Robin chose.

“Smokescreen!” I countered.

Spirit slammed into Kingdra with blinding speed as Kingdra was thrown back, blowing smoke out to blind Spirit. Robin’s Pokemon ascended above the smoke quickly, avoiding it.

“Ice Beam!”

Spirit couldn’t see where Kingdra was shooting from, but it somehow managed to pull off dodging each and every beam fired!

“Don’t quit, Kingdra! Hit that damn thing!” My fists were tight at my side.

“Keep going, Spirit! Dodge and use Aura Sphere!” Robin waved an impatient arm through the air.

Spirit made a dip in the air and dodged another Ice Beam, and then used Aura Sphere and tossed it into the smoke.

“Doooooo!”

“TOGE!”

Kingdra was hit by Aura Sphere.

One of Spirit’s wings was frozen solid by an Ice Beam finally catching it. The angelic Pokemon dropped, dragged down by the frozen wing, flapping its other wing frantically, and disappeared inside of the smoke.

The smoke was clearing and I could see Kingdra glaring at Spirit, breathing hard.

Spirit was frantically slamming its frozen wing on the ground, trying to break the ice, heaving from exhaustion and choking in the smoke.

“BRINE!”

Spirit was definitely down to its last bit of energy. Brine would do more damage if the target was badly injured.

“DOOOOOOO!” Kingdra blasted Spirit with its spray.

Togekiiiiiiss!” Spirit tumbled head over heels repeatedly on the ground before stopping.

“Spirit!” Robin looked worriedly to his Pokemon.

Spirit didn’t move.

“NOOOOOOO!” Robin ran to Spirit and pet it gently. “I can’t believe this…” Robin looked up at Kingdra with fury.

“Doo! Doooo!” Kingdra seemed to respond to him, bouncing once.

“Wow, that was unbelievable!” one of the guys in the very small crowd said. “These Pokemon are great!”

“Yeah, these guys are both pretty much even in skill and strength,” the woman agreed.

Robin shot a short glance to them before turning back down to Spirit. “Thank you, Spirit. You fought beautifully. Pure perfection.” He returned Spirit and walked back to his place.

I had a feeling I knew who was next. My heart started to pound rapidly.

“You know who’s next, don’t you?” Robin held solid eyes against me.

I nodded, but I didn’t say anything.

From out the corner of my eye, I saw June cover her mouth as she awaited the final Pokemon.

Robin took a deep breath. He closed his eyes and took another one. Opening his eyes, glaring at me, he threw the Poke Ball. “Catherine, GO!”

“Squirtle!” Catherine said happily, causing my heart to beat even faster, harder. Catherine looked up at Kingdra, and then further up at me. “Squirtle!”

“No!” I cried in a low voice.

“Doooo?” Kingdra said in shock, watching as Catherine ran past her and up to me.

Catherine smiled brighter than ever, reaching up for me to pick her up, looking just as adorable as ever.

It was almost painful not to pick the sweetheart up, looking at me like a begging puppy and a newborn baby, all at once. My eyes were practically watering in the moment.

Robin stared blankly at me.

What should I do? I wondered, staring at Catherine as she jumped up and down, reaching for me.

“AWWWWW!” the lady from the crowd exclaimed. “Look! How adorable!!!

The other two guys chuckled a bit.

June covered her eyes.

Before I could decide what to do, Catherine started glowing red and was soon returned back to her Poke Ball.

Robin was walking up to me, his hand extended, holding Catherine’s Poke Ball. “Here,” he said. “She’s yours.”

“What?” I stumbled away from him in horror.

I heard gasps, but I wasn’t sure where they came from, nor cared.

“Robin!” June’s eyes were in tears. “Don’t!”

“She’s made her choice.” Robin ignored June, keeping his eyes on me. “She always has. Since the first time she helped you out at Prof. Oak’s Lab, I saw it. She doesn’t want me as much as she wants you. And all I want is for her to be happy. Isn’t that what a Pokemon Trainer does for the Pokemon he loves? He makes sure their happiness comes first, right?”

The pain in Robin’s eyes behind his strong front was unbearable for me. I shook my head. “Maybe that’s what a Pokemon Trainer does. Some inexperienced novice who’s just taking his first steps on his Pokemon journey,” I fought him. “But not a Pokemon Master. Not someone who’s truly mastered the way of Pokemon. They’d never give up on their Pokemon! You stick by them! You have work with them! You-!”

“Oh, cut the crap!” Robin interrupted. “No Pokemon Master forces his Pokemon to do what they don’t want to do! They don’t keep them in a situation they don’t want to be in!”

Robin was right. I knew that. I didn’t want to admit it, but he was absolutely right.

He grabbed my wrist and put Catherine’s Poke Ball in my hand.

I angrily grabbed his other hand and shoved the Poke Ball in it. My open palms slammed as hard as they could into his chest.

Robin fell back hard and hit the ground, baring his teeth at me, looking ready to fight.

Just like I was. “I ain’t taking your Pokemon!” I barked. “She’s not mine! She’s yours! I can’t, and I won’t!”

Robin glared at me. “If you won’t take her, I’m releasing her!” he threatened.

We glared at each other silently. The tension was thick in the air. Which one of us would attempt the first punch?

“I think we’ve overstayed our welcome,” the woman from the group whispered, pulling one of the men by the arm.

“But I wanna watch this,” the guy whispered as the woman yanked even harder for him to follow her, the third guy keeping his eyes on us as he followed his friends.

“I can’t make your decisions for you,” I said sternly. “Do what you want. You’re the one who has to live with it. But I will not take your Pokemon.”

Robin didn’t move nor speak.

“You will not release Catherine, either,” I continued. “I know you, Robin. You and Catherine will work this out together.”

Robin let out a low growl as he got back up to his feet. “You always thought you were so damn smart, Gary,” he snarled. “You always thought you knew everything; but you don’t! You don’t know a damn thing about me or what I’ll do!”

“Robin,” I started.

Robin’s eyes filled with angry tears all of a sudden. “YOU’LL NEVER UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH I LOVE HER, NOR HOW MUCH SHE HURTS ME!!! NEVER!!! DON’T TALK LIKE YOU KNOW!!! YOU DON’T KNOW A DAMN THING!!!!” Robin bellowed, turning around and running away.

I watched after him as he turned a corner behind the Pokemon Center, and disappeared from sight. It seemed like such an immeasurable amount of time of me standing there, looking after where Robin had disappeared before I noticed June standing next to me, having placed her hand on my shoulder. “He won’t do it,” I said determinedly. “I know I’ll see Catherine again, under his ownership. I know it.”

“The Gym located in Magma City exploded earlier today at around three this afternoon while the search for the possible bomb located inside was underway,” a newswoman with very short, brown hair said from the TV in the Pokemon Center. “Professionals searching for the bomb were all killed, as well as Mayla, the Gym Leader, who was just outside of the Gym building, waiting for the search to be finished.”

A picture of a smiling, older woman with straight black hair just above her shoulders was shown on screen. This was Mayla, the Fire Gym Leader who ran the Gym located in Magma City.

“The explosion was enormous and the Fire Department has stopped the fire in the nearby woods that was started by the explosion. The promised attacks from Team Solace continue to prove a threat as bombs all over the world are being diffused or are not being found in time within Pokemon Gyms, raising a huge danger for Pokemon Trainers. Gyms will continue to be closed until they are deemed safe for use. Meanwhile, people are still debating whether or not they agree with Team Solace’s philosophy on the evils of Pokemon. We have Samantha here with more.”

The tiny box that appeared in the upper lefthand corner of the screen next to the newswoman, containing another woman with a microphone to her mouth, widened and took over the screen.

“Thank you, Katy,” the new lady said, brushing aside her jet black hair from her face, concern in her tight, slanted eyes. “I was just here with the Bug Gym Leader, whose name escapes me at the moment, who angrily stormed off when asked about the Solace attacks, clearly insulted. However, as we witnessed earlier, some Trainers are actually siding with Team Solace. Perhaps not as surprising, many parents also agree with their goal, if not the means they’re going about it. These parents, both of Trainers still on their journey, but especially parents of those whose children have passed away, believe in Team Solace’s ultimate goal. Though I do wish to be clear, it isn’t all of these parents who feel this way! But they are the mass majority of supporters of this terrorist group.”

I turned away from the TV and stepped outside.

June didn’t follow me. She could probably tell how angry I was and knew I needed to get away from the television before I lost it completely inside of that Pokemon Center.

Team Solace’s actions are the worst thing this world has ever had to witness, I thought furiously. How could anybody side along with them?

But are they justified in some way?

I hated to think that. I knew Team Solace was evil. I knew they had to be stopped. But was there some kind of… small… reasoning... behind it? Some kind of understanding that could be acknowledged and admitted for their crazed actions? A place to meet??

I thought back on my encounter with the Mankey back on Route 1 when I was first beginning my journey. Those crazy things could’ve killed me, for sure. I was lucky.

The Beedrill swarm in Viridian Forest was also a close call.

I recalled the group of Psychic Pokemon that completely confused June, me, and Kiwi on our way to Saffron City.

Ghost Pokemon were nothing to play around with, either. My visit to Obsidian Forest, and my encounter with Haunter in Saffron City, gave me shivers as I remembered them.

When Team Solace caused Charizard to go berserk, it was truly a deadly threat and nearly unstoppable.

If any Pokemon got disobedient, even though you loved it with all of your heart, it could become a really problematic situation. Maybe even a deadly one.

The Whiscash, Trapinch, and Houndoom… I remembered just barely escaping from their attacks.

I closed my eyes and shook my head hard, tears building up. Pokemon are our friends, I told myself, remembering the one Mankey I caught on Route 1 whose life I saved and has been by my side all this time, now as a Primeape.

Pokemon care about humans and aren’t evil, I remembered Charmander coming to my aid to battle the swarm of Beedrill after apologizing for his foolish, cowardice act.

Pokemon and humans can get along, and help one another to be happy, I remembered of Aly and her Ivysaur finally, though slowly, beginning to work together the last time we battled.

I remembered my Pokemon all stood up for me when we were being attacked by a Whiscash on the beach.

My Pokemon have all always been there for me to battle, be angry together, laugh with, and cry together.

Not just for me, but for kids and adults all around the world.

Thinking of this made me even angrier that anybody could support Team Solace in any way. I realized, regretfully, as much as I tried to deny it, that there was a feeling of understanding for those who sided with Team Solace. My eyes began to water as I thought of the poor parents who kids were away from them at such a young age. The poor parents whose children they will never see again.

Aly…

I looked up at the night sky and leaned against the wall of the Pokemon Center. The door opened and I turned to see June step out.

She stared at me silently for a moment before asking quietly, “Are you okay?”

I nodded and looked up into the sky again. “Tomorrow, after my Pokemon are all healed up and everything, we’ll beat Cleopatra. No matter what she brings.”

“Charmeleon would do great against Bisharp, if she chooses it,” June mentioned.

“I agree,” I replied. “But I want her to use Tyranitar again. And I want Charmeleon to beat it.”

“What?” June asked in surprise. “You can’t beat that thing with Charmeleon! The disadvantage is just too great! What are you trying to prove?”

I turned to June solemnly. “You can read Pokemon, right? Didn’t you see Charmeleon out there? He wanted to win. He wanted Tyranitar to fight back. He wanted to prove he was just as tough as it was. He took all those attacks and kept going before dropping. I can’t disrespect his will and determination, and his spirit, like that. I refuse to. If Cleopatra uses Tyranitar next time, Charmeleon has to be the one to defeat it.”

“Gary…” June said gently. “Willpower isn’t always enough. If the opponent is too strong, it’s just too strong! You can’t just will a victory!”

I smiled. “We have strength. Our willpower is what’s gonna be the overkill and get us that Badge next time.”

With a smile, June lowered her head and sighed, shaking her head, her eyes closed.

I looked back up at the sky, my smile fading.

No matter what she sends out, we’ll beat her, I promised. Together. As a team.

Charmeleon’s got the spirit, the heart, the will, to beat Tyranitar, I told myself.

Charmeleon is more than enough to beat Tyranitar, I convinced myself.

Charmeleon versus Tyranitar.

Gary versus Cleopatra.

And so much more beyond anything that could possibly have ever been expected.

Next time.

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