A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

The Dive's The Limit

“Not too cool, not overbearingly hot. It’s juuuuuust right, wouldn’t you say, Gary?” June asked, smiling as she took a bite out of her sandwich.

“It’s the perfect weather right now,” I agreed, chomping down on a handful of cereal I pulled out from the box. “Feels good to be under the sun and this clear, blue sky with such a comforting breeze.”

“And you say you like bad weather,” June teased.

I shrugged, my eyes closing, and turned away from June. “I do. I prefer it chilly, but I can appreciate a bit of warmth every once in awhile.” More cereal found its way into my gaping mouth and I chomped down.

June and I sat on top of the mountain we’d been climbing all last night, sitting on an enormous blanket she’d pulled out. We had a beautiful view of the trees and cities below and the wide sky above.

“Electivire!” Electivire shouted angrily, grabbing our attention.

Our Pokemon were eating together, their faces eagerly inside of their bowls.

Rotom and Magneton were not eating, instead hovering in the air, taking turns shocking each other with Electric attacks. Both Pokemon seemed to be enjoying the shocks, and June explained that that was how they supplied each other with energy instead of eating food.

Porygon-Z was also not eating, but instead was watching the two zap each other. Watching silently, I might gratefully add, after the constant screeching of excitement it did upon initially being sent out of its Poke Ball and meeting all of June’s Pokemon for the first time last night, and again this late morning.

June had been watching Porygon-Z cautiously from behind me while digging her fingers into my shoulders and also dragging me back several feet. It took time, but she did eventually relax enough to eat after Porygon-Z calmed down.

Electivire’s bowl was empty and he was now sparking, yelling at Charizard, who was still eating.

Charizard looked up and glared at Electivire, and then lowered his head back into his bowl.

“Tiviiiiiire!” Electivire sparked more dangerously and he raised a sparking fist, charging at Charizard.

“Hey!” I called out. “What is he doing?”

Charizard looked up as Electivire swung a Thunder Punch at him. He soared into the air, just barely dodging the move, and used Flamethrower.

Electivire leaped over it with ease and started sparking, looking ready to use an Electric attack in midair.

All of the other Pokemon, except for Ivysaur, had scattered, making room for the two angry Pokemon as they started to battle. Most of them cowered and watched with fear in their eyes as the powerful Pokemon faced off.

Only Primeape was hopping up and down, cheering Charizard on, punching at the air, screeching eagerly.

“Ivysaur!” Ivysaur shouted angrily, running at Electivire. She used Vine Whip and wrapped her vines around Electivire’s legs, slamming him down on his back.

“VIRE!” Electivire cried out in shock.

Charizard landed heavily, eyes on Electivire.

Ivysaur’s vines released Electivire and she yelled repeatedly at Electivire as he got to his feet.

“Thanks, Ivysaur!” I said happily. “You stopped the battle! You really care about the team and helped out Charizard!”

Ivysaur turned to me and snarled. “SAAAUUURR!” She used Razor Leaf on me!

“AAHHH!” I screamed and hit the ground, covering my head as the leaves soared over me. I looked up in shock. “What was that for??”

“She isn’t trying to get along with you or your Pokemon,” June said quietly, staring at Ivysaur, who had turned back to face an angry Electivire. “She wants to fight my Electivire.”

“Why?” I demanded, standing up.

“It’s not really too much of a surprise,” June said calmly. “They both kind of have an ego thing, right? Electivire is throwing his muscle around, looking for competition, and Ivysaur thinks she’s the head Pokemon here. This could get really serious, Gary.”

“Ivysaur, leave Electivire alone and just stop it!” I approached my Pokemon.

“Vysaur! Saur!” Ivysaur used Vine Whip to force me back, slamming into my shoulders.

I screamed in pain from the sting that bypassed my clothes and was forced back.

“Gary!” June burst out frantically as I continued to stumble backwards against my will.

My feet kept moving backwards, the hit I received having taken me by surprise. I took another step back, but my right foot kept going down. There was nothing beneath that step! With a gasp, I tried to catch my balance as I realized I must be backing off of the edge of the mountain! My eyes widened in shock and I reached out desperately as June ran to me, reaching out for me.

June wasn’t close enough. She’d never reach me in time.

I stared as Ivysaur turned to face me, an angry look on her face.

Electivire turned and kept his eyes on June as she tried to get to me.

All of our Pokemon, except for Electivire and Ivysaur, ran to get to where I was falling, but they all were just too far away.

My mouth opened in a scream as I toppled off of the mountain. “YYAAAAAHH-huh?” I landed on my back and bounced on something soft. I was sitting on top of a Pokemon! It was some kind of bird, all blue except for a white cloud that surrounded its middle.

“You’re alright, kid,” a woman spoke from behind me.

I gasped and turned around to see very tiny lady smiling at me. She wore an all white outfit which included sneakers, tight shorts, and a long sleeved shirt. A bandana was tied around her striking, dark blue hair which reached down her back, standing out against the rest of her white attire. She also wore tiny blue glasses. “Let’s go, Altaria!”

The Pokemon cried out and floated to the mountaintop.

June and the rest of the Pokemon stopped short in surprise, running to the edge of the mountain just as Altaria, me, and the woman ascended and came into their view. They all smiled upon seeing me.

Ivysaur and Electivire were a few feet away, watching with serious, cold stares.

“PRIIIIIIME!” Primeape leaped into the air as I got off of Altaria’s back.

“Primeape!” I caught and hugged him as he squeezed the life out of me. In the next moment, all of my other Pokemon, except for Ivysaur, had surrounded me, happy I was okay.

June smiled and wiped at her eyes.

“I see you’re having a bit of trouble raising your Ivysaur,” the woman noted.

I turned to see her leap from Altaria’s back.

She only came up to my chest. This woman was small and fairly cute. Her blue eyes looked up at me and stared deeply into mine. She turned to all of our Pokemon and smiled. “You guys have a nice collection.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“Thank you. And thank you so much for saving Gary!” June thanked her. “My name is June. Who are you?”

“I’m-” the woman started.

“TIVIIIIIRE!” Electivire’s roar caused us all to turn to him.

Electivire was using Fire Punch, trying to hit Ivysaur, who was dodging the constant attacks quickly.

Ivysaur used Vine Whip to fight back, but Electivire’s Fire Punch knocked them away.

“Electivire, that’s enough!” June returned her aggressive Pokemon.

Ivysaur turned to June and growled. “Ivy! Ivysaur! Ivysaur!” She used Razor Leaf, aiming at June this time!

June screamed shrilly and turned around in fear, her back about to take the Razor Leaf attack.

With a loud cry, Porygon-Z flew forward and intercepted the attack, a blue sphere surrounded it. The Razor Leaf bounced right off.

“Ivysaur, return!” I turned to June in disbelief. “June, are-?”

June shrieked shrilly and ran away from Porygon-Z. “GET IT AWAY FROM MEEEEEEEE!!!

“JUNE!!!” I couldn’t believe how she was acting! “It just saved you!”

Porygon-Z fell to the ground and collapsed over itself. It immediately began to cry.

I jogged over to it and picked it up, cradling it and rocking it gently in my arms.

June stared in fright at it, her hands to her face.

“Don’t worry, Porygon-Z,” I said soothingly, glaring at June. “Next time, we should just let her get hit if that’s how she thanks those who save her!”

Porygon-Z began to cry even louder.

The sound was giving me a headache. “Porygon-Z, please!” I pleaded. “I wasn’t serious about that. Don’t cry! It’s okay!”

Porygon-Z didn’t stop crying.

I could only sigh helplessly.

“What an interesting Pokemon you have there!” the woman called over the loud crying.

“Yeah...”

Porygon-Z suddenly stopped crying and forced its way out of my arms and circled the short woman.

“Oh?” the woman said curiously as she twirled around in a circle repeatedly, keeping her eyes on Porygon-Z.

Porygon-Z stopped and stared her close in the face.

“Hello,” the woman greeted, staring back at Porygon-Z, smiling. “My name is Gale. It’s a pleasure to meet you.”

I gasped.

June gasped.

“You’re Gale?” I asked, approaching her.

Gale didn’t take her eyes off of Porygon-Z, but she nodded. “Yes. I’m the Flying type Gym Leader of Azure City.”

“Return!” I said impatiently, getting tired of Porygon-Z’s games. I returned my other Pokemon to their Poke Balls and faced Gale as June returned her many Pokemon back. “Gale! Finally! We found you! We’ve been traveling to Azure City for a while now and I guess we’re finally close!”

Gale looked at me with surprise. “Close? From here?”

“Well, yeah!”

Gale laughed loudly.

I stared at her in confusion.

June walked up next to me and stared at Gale, confused. “What’s so funny about that?”

Gale continued to giggle at us. She stopped once she saw our blank faces and her face turned to shock. “Oh, my. You guys are serious?”

“Yeah!” I replied. “We left Cloud City, hearing that Azure City was close by. Then we arrived in Tough Town. Afterwards, we-”

“Tough Town?” Gale interrupted, narrowing her eyebrows. “Tough Town?! You guys took the path to Tough Town???”

“Yes!” I exclaimed.

Gale shook her head slowly. “You guys took the wrong path,” Gale told us. “From Cloud City, Azure City is only about a day or two away. Tough Town is in the opposite direction.”

My mouth hung open in shock. “But, the Town Map, and Prof. Oak said...” I stopped. My face suddenly turned to fury. My eyes lowered as I remembered.

Prof. Oak said Azure City was nearby.

The Town Map also said the same thing.

Courtney.

I gritted my teeth angrily as I remembered that it was Courtney who had specifically pointed us in the direction we took...

“The less competition I had, the easier I could win.” I remembered Courtney’s words she told me when explaining why she had led us astray when trying to register for the Starter Competition in New City. This was the exact same situation. No way this was just an accident! I turned to June. “Courtney did this!”

June gasped. “Courtney?”

“Yeah! Just like in New City.” I growled. “I don’t have time for her stupid games! I still only have six Badges!

“I can’t believe she would actually do that to us,” June whispered, shaking her head.

“If it’s another Badge you need, then why don’t we have ourselves a battle?” Gale offered eagerly.

I turned to her. “Really?” I asked in shock. “You’ll battle me?”

“I am a Gym Leader, right?” Gale winked, smiling. “I have my Badges with me.”

“That’d be great! Wow! What luck!”

Gale giggled.

“Hey, if we’re so far from Azure City, what are you doing here?” June asked.

Gale turned to June, still smiling. “You must be kidding me! Just look around you! This is just a perfect little getaway spot. I love to come here and just fly with my Pokemon. It’s one of my most favorite places in the world. Anywhere high up with the clouds, where you can touch the sky. And with such a view as this one, too?” Gale closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She turned to the edge of the mountain and exhaled, extending her arms, and gazed out at the beautiful surroundings as a warm breeze blew, blowing her long hair into her face. She brushed it back and turned to me. “I spotted you two having a nice date right before Electivire and Charizard started to fight as I was soaring through the skies with Altaria.”

“It wasn’t exactly a date...” I stated.

“Oh. Sorry,” Gale apologized. “It looked like it. But anyway, are you and June both going to be battling me?” she asked, an excited look on her face. She adjusted her glasses.

“No,” I shook my head. “This will just be between me and you.”

“Great! And, if I may...” Gale suggested. “Let’s not use the ground!”

“What do you mean?” I asked, having no idea what she meant.

“I mean, let’s take advantage of the environment and battle off the mountain! A four-on-four Pokemon battle with you and I, using only Flying types! And they can’t touch the ground unless they’re completely beaten. If they get tossed to the ground, they automatically lose. What do you say?”

I’d never heard of such strange rules before. I scratched my head. “Umm...”

“It’s fine if you don’t want to,” Gale said quickly. “I just thought it’d be a really cool idea. Something a little bit different to really raise the stakes.”

“Well, it’s a bit different, but different is good. I guess a four-on-four works okay for me. I think...”

Charizard.

Hoothoot.

Porygon-Z.

Primeape.

Ivysaur.

Dugtrio.

“Actually... I only have two who can fly.”

“Oh,” Gale said with disappointment. “A two-on-two it is, then.”

I stared at the ground, thinking for a moment. “Okay, a two-on... Wait!” I pulled out my Pokedex and opened it, pressing several buttons. My eyes returned to Gale with a smile as I put my Pokedex away. “Three-on-three!”

Gale brightened up a bit. “Works for me!” She faced her Altaria and pointed towards the sky. “Altaria, GO!”

Altaria soared gracefully through the air flapping its cloud-like wings once.

“The rules are that you can’t touch the ground, Altaria!”

Altaria nodded, understanding.

Altaria. The Humming Pokemon and Swablu’s evolved form. In nature, they are known to hum and sing beautifully and have a habit of gliding along the wind, flying higher than a number of many other Flying Pokemon.

I grabbed my Poke Ball. “I choose you, Hoothoot!”

“Hooooooot!” Hoothoot was freed, flapping his wings.

“Hoothoot, you’re not allowed to come down to the ground in this battle,” I told him. “Stay in the air and fight like true blue bird Pokemon do!”

“Oh, brother,” June said, bring her hand to cover her face in embarrassment.

“Hey, it rhymed,” I shot back.

She rolled her eyes and moved away from me, stopping off to the side in between me and Gale and our Pokemon. “I am the previous Gym Leader of Gringey City, running Electric types,” June explained to Gale. “If it’s alright, I could judge this battle.”

“You were a Gym Leader??” Gale questioned.

“Yes!” June smiled, and she dropped her bag to the ground. She bent down and unzipped it. After digging through it for a moment, she came up with the Thunder Badge and held it out to Gale. “See? So, if you’re in agreeance, I’ll referee the battle under your rules!”

“That sounds just fine!” Gale nodded.

Yesss!” June’s hand closed around her Badge and she pumped her fist once. Standing up straight, she extended her arm. “This official three-on-three Gym battle will have no time limit.” She turned to me. “Gary, you may have the first move!”

“Hoothoot, let’s win this thing! Air Slash attack!”

With a loud cry, Hoothoot spun around in the air in fantastic patterns, circling the air, creating a powerful light blue twister of air around him.

A strong gust of wind blew at me and Gale as we gazed at my Pokemon.

The twister faded and Hoothoot held a ball of light blue energy in between his wings. He tossed it hard at Altaria and the ball turned into a beam, colliding with Altaria.

Altaria tumbled back through the air, but shook off the attack.

“Alright, our turn now. Use Dragon Breath!”

Altaria opened its beak and fired a thick green beam at Hoothoot.

Hoothoot tumbled down, past the edge of the mountain.

“Hoothoot!” I ran to the edge and stared as he tumbled. “GET UP!”

Hoothoot’s eyes opened and he flapped his wings quickly, flying back to Altaria. He reached Altaria’s level and suddenly closed his eyes, struggling against some kind of internal pain.

“Hoothoot?” I called out.

“Your Pokemon is Paralyzed,” Gale smiled up at Hoothoot. “That won’t be good for you. I’d say this match is over. Altaria, wrap this up with Sky Attack!”

“Nah, not that easy! Hoothoot, Psycho Shift!”

Altaria’s body was covered in flames as it flew towards Hoothoot fast.

Hoothoot’s body glowed with a gray hue as Altaria continued to fly at Hoothoot, now glowing gray as well.

With a loud cry, Altaria stopped flying towards Hoothoot and its flames died out.

Gale gasped.

“Alright!” June spoke happily.

“Psycho Shift!” I shouted eagerly. “Whatever Status the user is suffering from gets taken off of it and given to the opponent instead!”

Gale looked stunned as Altaria struggled to move.

“Now, Fly Attack!”

“Altaria, fight through it and use Sky Attack! We can beat that Hoothoot!” Gale urged.

Hoothoot soared into the skies, getting higher as Altaria struggled against Paralysis. After a moment, Hoothoot dive bombed and spiraled, slamming into Altaria.

Altaria dropped towards the top of the mountain where Gale, June, and I stood. Its wings opened at the last moment and it soared, clearing the floor of the mountain, and soared back into the air to meet Hoothoot.

“Altaria, return!” Gale returned her Pokemon to its Poke Ball. She turned to me and smiled. “Your Hoothoot’s a lot stronger than I thought! You’ve done well raising it.”

“Thank you,” I smiled back. “Your Altaria is really strong, too.”

“Thank you!” She grabbed her second Poke Ball. “I choose Drifblim!”

“Bliiiiiim!” Drifblim appeared, floating high.

“Drifblim, stay afloat and keep from hitting the ground, if you can,” Gale warned.

“Blim!” Drifblim acknowledged.

Drifblim. The Blimp Pokemon. The evolved form of Drifloon. Drifblim typically sleep in the daytime. Whenever they are spotted, being pushed along by the wind, they vanish immediately.

“Hoothoot, attack with Zen Headbutt!”

Hoothoot flew at Drifblim and tackled it with his head glowing blue.

The Flying and Ghost type Pokemon took the hit but seemed just fine afterwards.

“Fight back and use Thunder!” Gale chose.

“It knows Thunder??!”

Drifblim floated high, causing me to shield my eyes as it soared into the sky lit up by the sun.

I could just barely see Drifblim, but the sky suddenly flashed with electricity.

Drifblim started sparking with electricity, and a huge beam of lightning fell from the sky and hit Drifblim. The beam fired back down at Hoothoot and shocked him.

HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!!!!!” Hoothoot wailed in pain.

“Hoothoot!” I screamed desperately. You can do it, Hoothoot, I thought. You can take it. I know you can!

Hoothoot flapped his wings weakly, stunned by the hit.

This isn’t over yet, I believed. We can bring this back. It’s risky, but... “Hoothoot, use Roost attack, now!”

Hoothoot closed his eyes and spiraled straight down.

Gale and June gasped.

I watched, my eyebrows furrowed, as Hoothoot tumbled through the air and headed straight down the side of the mountain, tumbling miles down towards the ground!

Gale watched, a fearful look on her eyes, as Hoothoot kept falling so far below.

Hoothoot glowed white as it fell even faster.

Gale turned to me in shock.

I ignored her and focused on Hoothoot.

Hoothoot got closer to the ground, falling towards the trees below!

Come on, Hoothoot, I insisted. You can do this!

Hoothoot’s eyes opened suddenly and the white glow disappeared. “HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT!!” Hoothoot spread his wings, causing him to soar upwards immediately, as fast as a rocket!

June and Gale both breathed a sigh of relief.

“YEAH!” I cheered as Hoothoot reached up to where Drifblim was. “Roost worked!”

“Gary, that was reckless!” June scolded. “Roost removes any Flying typing the user may have while the user restores energy! Hoothoot couldn’t fly for a short period of time! That could’ve been really critical!!”

“We did it, June,” I waved her off impatiently. “ I believed in him, okay? Back off!”

“That was very scary, Gary,” Gale added. “I don’t like what you did.” She adjusted her glasses, staring at me sternly.

I swallowed hard at Gale’s words and lowered my head. “I’m sorry.” I couldn’t argue with a Gym Leader. Gale telling me I was wrong stung me hard. I felt I had done a good move, but Gale said otherwise...

Gale turned to Drifblim. “Constrict it!”

Drifblim’s mysterious limbs reached out and wrapped around Hoothoot and squeezed.

“Hoothoot, use your Confusion!”

Hoothoot’s eyes glowed blue and Drifblim’s body was outlined in the same color.

Drifblim struggled from the move and Hoothoot struggled against Constrict.

“Thunderbolt!” Gale demanded.

Drifblim’s body lit up with electricity which soared down its limbs wrapped around Hoothoot, shocking him.

Hoothoot screamed.

“Now toss it to the ground!”

Drifblim tossed the disoriented Hoothoot towards the mountaintop.

Hoothoot tumbled in the air.

“Hoothoot, focus! Please!” I begged him.

Hoothoot slammed into the ground hard.

The three of us watched as dust rose from the ground on impact, disappearing quickly.

“Hoothoot is out!” June declared. “Drifblim wins this round.”

“Hoothoot, thanks for your help,” I said, returning him. My eyes rose to Drifblim. “Let’s see how you do against this, then. Charizard, go!” I threw Charizard’s Poke Ball into the air.

Charizard roared eagerly as he gazed at his opponent.

“No matter what, do not touch the ground, Charizard! You understand me?”

Charizard let out a huge roar.

“Okay!” I nodded.

“Such a fine, powerful Pokemon you have there,” Gale commented.

“Thank you very much,” I beamed with pride. “And he’s gonna win this match! Flamethrower!”

A strong wind blew through the air.

Charizard used Flamethrower, and Driflblim moved slowly, dodging just at the last second, lifting the bottom half of its body up, the Fire attack missing.

“Thunder!” Gale went.

Drifblim rose further into the air and sparked with electricity again, causing the skies to flash intimidating sparks of lightning, a huge beam hitting Drifblim and then firing out at Charizard.

Charizard flew away, dodging multiple beams of lighting as Drifblim kept trying to hit him.

We can’t just run away, I thought. Wait... “Scary Face!”

Charizard stopped flying and hovered, turning to Drifblim. His face turned into a ferocious one full of pure menace.

Drifblim stopped sparking immediately and floated higher into the air, backing away from Charizard.

“Now! Flamethrower!”

Charizard flew sharply and fired a powerful stream of flames at Drifblim.

Drifblim was hit and whined against the fire.

“Charizard, another Flamethrower!” I continued.

Charizard attacked with Fire once more.

Drifblim was caught in the intense heat and couldn’t get away.

“Once more! Finish it!”

A strong gust of wind pushed against me.

Charizard used another Flamethrower at Drifblim, but it dodged to the side, causing Flamethrower to miss completely.

Gale adjusted her glasses. “Thunderbolt!”

Drifblim’s body sparked with electricity and it zapped Charizard.

Charizard roared as the move hit.

“Again!” Gale went on.

Charizard roared louder than the last time. When the attack ended, Charizard dropped down, heading towards the mountaintop.

“Charizard, please! Don’t!”

Charizard got closer to the ground. He would slam right into it within a matter of seconds.

“CHARIZAAAAARRD!!!”

Inches from slamming down, Charizard regained his focus and spread his wings, catching air and flying straight past Gale and I, a strong wind shoving us both back. He flipped in the air, close to the ground, and turned around to fly directly at Drifblim.

“Charizard, I’m telling you, another Flamethrower will do it!” I insisted.

Charizard roared and flew faster at Drifblim, opening his jaws.

“Take that thing out with Thunder!” Gale tried.

Drifblim rose into the air, sparking.

The sky flashed repeatedly with lighting as Charizard neared Drifblim.

“DO IIIIT!” I let out frantically.

Charizard roared.

Lightning from the sky fell down to Drifblim and fired from its body down to Charizard.

Charizard was hit. He let out an intense roar, his eyes closed, hurting badly from the attack.

“CHARIZARD!” We can’t lose! NO! I screamed in my head.

Charizard’s eyes forced open with a roar and he continued to fly! Although Drifblim was hitting him with an incredibly powerful Electric move, Charizard flew forward, outlined in yellow sparks! With a loud roar, Charizard raised a claw. The claw became outline in black and he flew at Drifblim, swiping it!

BLIIIIIIIIMM!!” Drifblim wailed helplessly.

“Charizard knows Shadow Claw!” June gasped.

I stared, stunned, as Drifblim flew to the ground like a rock, hitting the ground hard, bouncing one time.

Drifblim didn’t move and let out a weak moan.

Charizard roared.

I looked up happily, watching as his tail’s flame burst into more powerful energy and his body was outlined in a red aura.

“Blaze Ability!” I had mixed feelings about this. On one hand, Charizard’s Fire moves would be more powerful than ever. On the other, Charizard was low on energy...

“Drifblim is defeated! Charizard wins!” June clapped once.

“Well done, Gary!” Gale congratulated me. “I really can’t believe just how strong your Pokemon are! Golly. You’re quite the Trainer.”

I felt my face getting hot as she returned her Drifblim. “Thank you, Gale. But really, your Drifblim can take a hit!”

“I like Drifblim because it floats with the wind. When the wind pushes it, it become difficult to hit because even they can’t control their bodies against the wind’s force.” She giggled.

“Oh, I see.” I remembered how Drifblim dodged Charizard’s Flamethrower attacks twice.

Gale grabbed another Poke Ball. “Okay. Then I choose Altaria! Once more!”

With a cry, Altaria appeared.

Charizard roared at it, ready to battle.

“Charizard, since your Blaze Ability is on, let’s fight it with Flamethrower!” I told him.

Charizard roared and used Flamethrower.

Altaria was hit, screeching out loudly.

“This isn’t over yet, Altaria! That thing is finished! Use Sky Attack, now!”

Altaria’s body was instantly covered in flames.

“Charizard!” I shouted. “Use...” I tried to think of a move we could use to beat that Dragon. “DRAGON RAGE!”

Charizard’s tail burst into an even more enormous flame and his eyes glowed white. A ball of fire shot out at Altaria.

Altaria dove right into the Dragon Rage and, despite its brief groan from the hit, kept charging forward, desperate to take out Charizard.

“NOOO!” I grit my teeth.

Charizard suddenly flew at Altaria.

My eyes widened in shock. “Charizard!”

My eyes were glued to Charizard as he raised his claws. They both glowed light blue and swung at Altaria’s body as Altaria collided into Charizard’s stomach.

Both Pokemon tumbled backwards in the air.

Altaria dropped towards the mountaintop, eyes closed.

Charizard soared backwards through the air, tumbling recklessly, eyes closed.

“Charizard!”

“Altaria!”

Altaria’s closed eyes shot open and its wings spread, catching air, and it soared into the skies.

Charizard’s eyes opened and his wings spread wide. With a loud, weakened roar, a roar so pained and loud that it caused me to grab my chest, I watched as Charizard deliberately flew towards me. He soared right over my head and collapsed to the ground on the top of the mountain, groaning.

“Charizard is defeated! Altaria wins!” June declared.

“Charizard!” I ran to him and knelt down, rubbing his stomach. “Charizard.” I sighed, and then smiled. “You know what? We’ve won this match. I believe that we can do this. Thanks to you, and Hoothoot, and my final Pokemon. I know that we will win this match. Come get a good rest.” I returned Charizard and faced Gale.

She stared at me expectantly.

I walked to the edge of the mountain and grabbed my last Poke Ball. I had traded Dugtrio back to Prof. Oak in order to get this last Flying Pokemon of mine. My eyes were on Altaria. I believe, I thought to myself. So... “Butterfree, it’s all up to you!” I threw her Poke Ball in the air.

“Freeeeeee!” Butterfree popped out.

“Butterfree!” June gasped.

“Butterfree, if you fall out of the sky and hit the ground, the battle is over, so stay up!”

“Freeee! Freeeeeeeeee!” Butterfree told me.

“Now, attack with Psybeam!”

“Sky Attack, now!” Gale selected.

Butterfree’s eyes glowed purple and a purple beam aimed at the blazing Altaria.

“Take it out, now!” Gale encouraged Altaria.

“Freeeeee!” Butterfree shouted with determination.

Altaria’s flames on its body suddenly burst into a much larger flame as it collided with the Psybeam.

An explosion occurred midair, tossing them both back.

Altaria slammed into Gale and threw her to the ground with a loud gasp. The Pokemon then tumbled into the air and hit the ground.

Gale rolled off of her back and got to her feet, looking at Altaria.

Altaria shook its head and looked up at Butterfree, breathing hard. Flapping its wings, it got back up into the air.

Gale chuckled. “You’re out, Altaria. You touched the ground!”

“Altaria is down! Butterfree wins this one!” June announced.

Altaria lowered its head sadly with a whine.

“Hey, don’t be down! You were amazing and you stood up to quite the opponents. Take a good rest.” Gale returned Altaria. “Well, I guess this is the final bout for us.” She raised a Poke Ball.

“Let’s make this one good,” I said, raising a fist up.

Gale nodded. “This will be.”

I noticed something white was drawn on the red half of the Poke Ball in her hand. Before I could make out what the design was, she threw it in the air.

A strange, obviously Bug type Pokemon flapped its wings upon release, staring at Butterfree.

I stared at the Bug in shock, grabbing my Pokedex.

Mothim. The Moth Pokemon and the evolved form of a male Burmy. He loves honey and steals it from Combee. They are nocturnal and do not have a specific, common location of living, instead traveling all over the world.

Great, I thought. I have to beat a disgusting Bug. Fair enough. I’ll win. Bug versus Bug.

“Mothin, do not touch at ground at any cost!” Gale instructed. She turned to me. “You ready, Gary?” She smiled, fixing her glasses on her face.

“I’m ready to win my seventh Badge!! Butterfree, Gust attack!!”

“Mothim, match it!”

Both Bugs flapped their wings rapidly, created a tornado of wind between them, and eventually, flinging both Pokemon backwards.

“Use Air Slash!” Gale told Mothim.

Mothim’s wings flapped rapidly and a blue ball of energy appeared before him. He smacked the ball at Butterfree.

Butterfree was hit and tumbled in the air, but came back at Mothim, ready for more.

“Use Psybeam!” I told my Pokemon.

Butterfree’s Psybeam missed as Mothim flew right above the attack easily.

He’s fast, I acknowledged. But we can win this. “Try Psybeam again!”

Butterfree used Psybeam, but Mothim was too quick, dodging the attack by flying to the side.

“Now use your Psybeam!” Gale smiled.

“Dodge it, just like Mothim did to you!”

Butterfree tried to dodge Mothim’s multicolored Psybeam attack, but Mothim’s move caught one of Butterfree’s wings. She tumbled through the air, headed for the ground.

“Take it down with Psychic and end this!” Gale ordered sharply.

“NOOOOOOO!” I screamed. That’s not fair, I thought furiously. We can’t go down because of that. We can’t! But how can we stop a Psychic attack?! It’s impossible to dodge! We’re just not fast enough to get away!

Mothim flew over to Butterfree, poised to attack and end the battle.

Not like this, I thought sadly. No!

Butterfree flapped her wings about in a frenzy, trying to stop herself from falling to the top of the mountain.

My eyes widened. Not fast enough, I realized. “Of course! Use Tailwind!”

Mothim’s eyes glowed light blue as Butterfree cried out and flapped her wings hard.

A strong gust of wind nearly took me off of my feet and flung me over the mountain again! I knelt down to my knees and held on to the ground for dear life as Butterfree’s Tailwind attack swept her into the air at an intense, blinding speed!

June and Gale both cried out in surprise from the sudden gust of wind and struggled to keep their own balance.

Butterfree’s Speed was now intensified!

Mothim’s eyes turned back to their normal orange color as he couldn’t keep up with where Butterfree was at now.

“Butterfree, use Sleep Powder!”

Butterfree was forced forward by the wind and zoomed over Mothim, blue powder falling from her wings, swirled around rapidly by her wind.

“Mothim!” The Gym Leader’s own voice held defeat, which made my heart swell with pride.

Mothim had no place to flee as the powder immediately surrounded him, Butterfree’s Tailwind wind carrying the blue powder in all directions possible. Mothim’s eyes got heavy and finally closed. He tumbled helplessly, falling over the edge of the mountaintop!

“MOTHIIIIIIM!” Gale reached for her Poke Ball.

“Gust!” I commanded my Pokemon.

Butterfree quickly flapped her wings and created a second large gust of wind, sweeping Mothim back up into the air as he tumbled helplessly, still Sleeping.

“Butterfree, Tackle it out!”

“FRRRRREEEEEEEEE!” Butterfree vanished and reappeared in an instant, slamming into Mothim at an incredible speed.

Mothim tumbled through the air and slammed onto the top of the mountain, snoring.

“Mothim is out!! Butterfree is the winner! The winner of this match is Gary!!” June celebrated, which kind of embarrassed me for maybe a quarter of a second.

“YYYYYYEEEEEAAAAAH!!!!” I cheered, leaping into the air.

FREEEEEEE!” Butterfree joined in.

“WE DID IT!” I continued, going berserk as I bounced all over.

“Mothim, come on back,” Gale said, sighing but smiling. Her fingers blocked most of the white design on her Poke Ball. Before I could dwell on this further, she slipped the Ball into her pocket and turned to me happily.

Butterfree circled overhead.

I was secretly glad that she was in the air and not touching me.

Gale walked over to me, a small pouch in her hand. She opened it, reached inside, and pulled out a small object. “Congratulations. You have earned the Ascent Badge.”

I reached out and eagerly took the blue and white Badge from Gale that reminded me of air being forced upward, billowing at the top. I cheerily grabbed my five other Poke Balls and threw them to the ground.

Charizard roared proudly.

Porygon-Z whined lightly.

“Primeape!” Primeape looked about.

“Hoooooot?” Hoothoot cocked his head.

“Saur!” Ivysaur growled.

“Everyone! We just won our seventh Badge! The Ascent Badge!” I raised the Badge high.

Everyone but Ivysaur cheered excitedly. She turned her bandaged head, not caring.

I smiled despite Ivysaur’s bad attitude and leaped into the air once more.

As June spoke eagerly to my Butterfree and reached her arm up to her, Butterfree responding by landing on her.

As Charizard blasted the air with impressive, loud flames.

As Primeape swung his fists at the air, aiming at no one, letting out energy.

As Hoothoot soared in the air, happily hooting.

As Porygon-Z uncontrollably starting shivering in place, sparking electricity at the ground all around it.

As Ivysaur laid on the ground and closed her eyes, not caring...

I stared down at my seventh Badge, thoughts flying through my head. Not one of those thoughts was about my battle with Gale.

“Do you know where you’re headed to next?” someone asked me.

I looked down to see Gale looking up at me, smiling, again adjusting her glasses. I stared blankly at her.

“Are you okay, Gary?” she asked.

It got quiet quickly.

I turned to see Charizard, Primeape, Hoothoot, and Butterfree looking at me.

June was staring at me, too.

They all had concerned looks on their faces.

Porygon-Z was having an Electric fit by itself, unaware of the seriousness surrounding it.

Ivysaur was snoozing on the ground.

I turned to Gale.

“Gary,” Gale said, staring at me with concern. She ran her hand through her hair. “What’s wrong?”

I took a slow, deep breath, and forced a smile to my face. “Gale. Thank you for our battle. It was amazing. Can I just ask you one for more favor?”

Gale squinted at me, seeming confused. “Sure, Gary. What’s up?”

“I need directions from here to our final Gym,” I said seriously, my smile fading.

“Not a problem,” Gale responded. “Are you headed somewhere specific?”

I nodded. “Yes,” I answered. “I need directions to Pewter City.”

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