A New Life Through The Eyes Of Kanto: An Autobiography

Round Four: Freezing Wins

“June?” I called as I stepped out of the bathroom.

The TV, three bunk beds, desktop computer, trash can, and four dressers were the only things in our room.

Strange, I thought to myself. Brushed my teeth, took a shower, and still no June. Where could she be? My fourth match is going to begin in about an hour. Stretching, I inhaled the scent of shower gel and a light aroma of water. The shower felt great and I was ready to get started battling at my final round in the preliminaries on the Ice Field.

Perhaps just as exciting was the fact that today, I was eleven years old. My birthday had arrived, and I felt a bit excited about it. My entire body shaking and twitching. I was thrilled and worried. I can’t lose today, I told myself. It’s my birthday, and my final round in the preliminaries. Today is my lucky day. I turned on the television with the remote and sat in the chair.

On the TV, kids were playing in a city I didn’t recognize, laughing. A boy was chasing a girl, a small group of girls were skipping rope not far away, and a group of boys were in a basketball court, shooting hoop.

“What if everything you once knew...” a deep voice spoke out from the screen.

The screen faded to black, soon showing the entire city from above, the sun shining brightly, tall buildings standing proudly, the glistening sea beyond the city. The screen dramatically faded to black again and soon after, revealed a soccer field filled with cheering fans in the bleachers and two groups of young men, one group in red and white shorts and shirts, the other group in black and white. One man from the red side kicked the ball and it flew towards the goalie on the opposite team. The goalie leaped towards the ball, and it vanished before he could reach it.

The entire crowd gasped in shock as the goalie fell to the ground and looked around, confused.

“...was a lie?” the man’s voice returned.

The net behind the goalie suddenly morphed into a scary, black beast and scooped up the man as he screamed.

Flashes of people running in a panic were shown, things around them turning into scary shapes and objects.

Buildings transformed into fire that gave chase after groups of people.

Water rose into the air, forming a scary face that crashed onto a beach, flooding it and taking screaming people in their swim outfits.

A statue turned its head with an angry face to grab a strong looking man by the throat.

“This summer,” the man’s voice continued. “Don’t miss the movie critics are calling the only way to end the summer right.”

Explosions!

The black beast from earlier was chasing a family down the street as other creatures that looked similar to it, but smaller, climbed buildings effortlessly, destroyed property, or chased others in the street.

“Maria Smow,” the man of the commercial said as a scared woman ran away with tears in her face. “Bott Mist.”

“Nothing is reeeal!” the actor Bott Mist yelled out in panic.

The ground beneath his feet rocked viciously and a pair of dark, red eyes appeared from the cement of the street he was standing on.

They’re everywheeeeeeere!!” Bott wailed.

World War Z flashed across the black screen in white letters, oroark later accompanying the rest of the title so it read World War Zoroark, a pair of red eyes flashing beneath the title.

“Now playing,” the announcer ended.

I shook my head. Way too scary looking, I thought. I really wasn’t the biggest fan of scary movies. I would have liked to see the movie, but I just hated getting scared.

“And we are back,” a stern yet light voice spoke out from a pretty woman in a tight, black, sleeveless shirt, sitting behind a desk. The news was on. “We have word on an earlier story that we broke to you a couple of hours ago about the sudden attack in Low City, where a group of Farfetch’d unsuspectingly attacked the residents for apparently no reason before mysteriously dropping dead,” the woman said, a stern look on her face, her red lipsticked lips speaking scary words as her cold, black eyes pierced through me. “It has now been revealed that the Farfetch’d have all died due to the fact that their leeks were missing. Not one of the Farfetch’d had a leek with them. The extremely rare Pokemon that is forbidden from being hunted, despite being a highly sought after dish to many, are always found with their leeks and cannot live without it, for reasons still under research by Pokemon Professors for decades. Authorities suspect that the Farfetch’d may have been looking for their leeks when the attack happened, and in their desperation to find their leeks, turned violent. Several people, children included, were killed in the attacks, most people severely injured. A man whose name is not being released as of yet, was acting suspiciously in the area and has been arrested with reportedly no resistance. Officials believe this man is a part of terrorist group Team Solace and he is currently being questioned. We’ll have more as information is brought to us.”

My hand started to ache and I looked down to see that I had been gripping the remote control tightly. It was then that I noticed the anger boiling within me.

“In lighter news, the Pokemon League competition is still going strong, and is almost halfway through with the entire tournament as the preliminaries come to a close,” the newswoman said, lightening her tone a little bit. “These final matches will-”

I turned off the TV and noisily dropped the remote on the desk, sighing, my eyes closed. Team Solace, I thought angrily. I can’t believe they’re still out there. My promise to stop them has resulted in absolutely nothing. I haven’t even been able to encounter them since Lavender Town...

I heard the gunshot that rang out in the Kanto Radio Tower.

Saw Aly look up at me.

Felt the grip of her hand on my arm. “Gary.”

Saw her eyes roll up in her head, and not move again.

I wiped at my nose and stood up, sniffling, and opened my eyes in rage. Tears burned in them, but I held them back. This isn’t over, Team Solace. You all better hope the police get to you, first. Once I find you, it’s a fight to the death. Once I find you guys, Team Solace will be put to an end. Forever. That’s my vow. For Aly. For all the poor Pokemon and people you’ve put through Hell for your twisted, sick minded goals.

Deciding on some fresh air, my feet stomped across the room and carried me out. Before long, I was outside, my hands in my jacket pockets, the weather outside far too hot to be wearing a jacket, but I kept it on, my eyes to the ground as I moved, happy music playing outside from speakers, joyous kids running about, people calling out to me from the stands, trying to sell me something.

How exactly do you intend on stopping them? I asked myself.

I don’t know, I answered. I guess I can use my Pokemon. No. My bare hands. I’ll kill them all with my own two hands.

You’re going to kill a group of adults with access to dangerous weapons with your eleven year old hands? I asked.

I’ll get vengeance against them, I promised. I will! Just shut up! Leave me alone! I’ll stop them! My eyes closed tight and I walked even faster, my hands covering my face, growling on the inside. No. Screaming on the inside. I released my face and looked around, breathing hard, scowling. My angry look disappeared and I gasped, looking at Melissa!

My sister!

My entire body froze as I stared at her, my eyes struggling to make sense of this, my mouth open but unwilling to speak.

Melissa looked back at me, her eyes wide in surprise.

“Melissa!” I wanted to shout out, but my mouth refused to allow those words out. No, I realized. Not Melissa. Ashley. I looked away from her and kept on walking, now furious inside. Where is Melissa? I wondered, my glare down. My eyes filled up with tears. Why haven’t I seen her here, yet? She has to be here, somewhere. She must be competing this year. Looking up, words appeared to me that made me stop.

Ice Field

Here it is, I thought to myself, staring at the white words on the top of the building. My fourth round match takes place here. I have to focus. I must. I can’t be distracted. I have to honor Aly. I’ll destroy Team Solace, and I’ll also complete my dreams. For Aly! And Kiwi, Robin, and myself, too. I’ll fulfill our promise. I came here to win. No one’s stopping me. I walked up to the building and came to a stop at the double doors. They slid open for me and I stepped through.

“And Arnold wins his fourth and final battle of the preliminaries on the Water Field!” the announcer yelled from a TV screen hanging up by the corner of the building, a young kid hugging his Metang, happy tears streaming down his face.

“Arnold...” I muttered. “That kid again. Who is he?” I wracked my brain, staring at the familiar face on screen, but I just couldn’t remember where I’d seen him before. “June, that’s the kid I was talking about earlier!” I pointed at the screen and turned to June. “June? Oh...” I had completely forgotten that June wasn’t with me. I hadn’t seen her all day. Where is she? I wondered. I kind of miss her. Sort of... Whatever. She knows I’m battling on the Ice Field today. She’ll be here.

The clock on the wall of the building showed that I still had half an hour left before my battle was set to begin.

This is it, Gary. Today is it. Your lucky day...

*

“Ladies and gentlemen, one of the final matches of the day is about to take place as the fourth round of the preliminary battles continues!” the announcer announced to all. “The Red Trainer, Soul Deeve, from Nimbasa City in the Unova Region, will be battling the Green Trainer, Gary, from Pallet Town. Only one Trainer will make it out of this one and move on to the Indigo Stadium! I cannot wait for this battle to get underway!”

I stared out from my risen platform at the young man with his curly black hair. It looked like he was in need a haircut, but the style also looked well on him somehow. He smiled at me and nodded in his white T-shirt, black basketball shorts, and attention grabbing basketball sneakers of many colors.

I smiled and nodded back, but quickly glanced out to the crowd.

June was nowhere in sight.

She’s out there, somewhere, I thought. She has to be.

Between me and Soul was a field made entirely of ice.

The referee raised his two flags, the red one for Soul, and the green one at me. “GO!”

“Glaceon!” Soul called out, throwing his Poke Ball.

“Charizard! You’re up!” I threw his Poke Ball.

“Glaaaa!” Glaceon cried out, looking up at my Charizard as he roared at it.

Glaceon. The Fresh Snow Pokemon. One of the evolved forms of Eevee. This Pokemon controls the air around it, dropping it to freezing temperatures.

“An Ice type!” I exclaimed happily. “Charizard, Flamethrower!”

“Glaceon, fight back and use Ice Beam!”

Both moves collided between both Pokemon and a white fog filled the field.

“Both Pokemon start off with basic moves, the results making it hard to see what’s going on in this battle!” the announcer stated.

“In the air, Charizard!”

“Ice Beam!” Soul repeated.

I heard Charizard roar out as Glaceon cried out. Shortly after, Charizard appeared, bursting from the top of the mist.

“And Charizard has gotten out of the fog!” the announcer said. “But, wait! Its leg! It seems that Glaceon hit Charizard after all!”

Charizard’s left foot was covered in a block of ice. He shook his foot, but the ice remained. Growling, he looked at Glaceon as the mist faded away.

“Quick Attack!” Soul spoke next.

Glaceon knelt down and then ran full speed, slamming into Charizard, and he cried out, landing on the icy ground.

Charizard’s ice covered foot slipped from underneath him and he fell to the ice on his face.

“Ice Beam it!” Soul went on.

“Glaa!” Glaceon used Ice Beam, aiming at Charizard.

“Move it!” I pleaded.

Charizard slid along the ice, his eyes wide, reaching out with his claws and pushing with his feet to escape the attack. He slid pretty quickly, just barely avoiding the hit, and a huge block of ice formed where the Ice Beam hit on the field.

“Keep aiming for that thing!” Soul urged.

“Charizard, into the air!”

Glaceon aimed at Charizard again.

Charizard’s wings flapped as he ascended, but his wings were hit by the Ice Beam. He roared as his wings were slowly coated in ice, frozen on his back. He dropped hard to his feet and slipped again, landing on his face.

“Charizard!” I shouted.

“Charizard has just been made handicapped!” the announcer expressed. “Unable to fly and hardly able to stand, it looks like Soul will beat the type disadvantage and pull out the first victory!”

“Freeze the entire body!” Soul said eagerly.

“Get up! Skate away by balancing on the frozen foot!” I thought up.

Glaceon opened its mouth to attack.

Charizard let out a grunt and used his claws to push himself up, standing on the frozen foot, and used his other foot to force his body forward!

Glaceon’s Ice Beam just barely missed Charizard as he skidded away, and another huge block of ice formed on the field.

Soul gaped in shock at Charizard.

“WHOA! And would you look at that? Charizard is actually using his frozen foot to skate away from Glaceon’s attacks!” the announcer explained in excitement.

Glaceon continued to try to freeze Charizard, but the attacks missed, instead hitting the field and forming more ice blocks on it.

“Fire Spin!” I ordered.

Charizard roared as he circled Glaceon rapidly on the ice, picking up more speed. A spiral of flames shot out from his mouth and hit Glaceon.

Glaceon screamed and rolled on the ice. It was stunned and didn’t move.

“Now get on your good foot and break your other leg free with those ice blocks!” I instructed.

Charizard obeyed, skating towards one of the many ice blocks Glaceon had formed when it missed its attacks, and switched feet. He stretched out his frozen foot and let it collide with a block of ice. The ice around his foot shattered, and he roared with delight.

“Now, head for Glaceon!”

Charizard turned on his feet and slid fast for Glaceon.

“Land on your back!”

Charizard got closer, and then bent his knees, leaped into the air, flipped around, and landed on the Ice Field on his back, smashing the ice around his wings!

“YEEEES!!” I cheered.

Glaceon got to its feet and shook its head. “GLAAAAAA!” it wailed as it saw Charizard nearing it.

“Ice Beam it!” Soul pleaded.

“Hit it with the Fire Spin!”

Charizard was much closer and his Fire Spin got to Glaceon as it opened its mouth to attack.

Glaceon screamed and tumbled on the top of the ice, finally colliding with one of its ice blocks and laid out, not moving.

Charizard leaped to his feet and skid to a stop, roaring loudly, flapping his wings.

“Glaceon is unable to battle! Charizard wins!” the referee announced, waving the green flag at me.

The crowd cheered.

“Charizard pulls off a rather unique win on the Ice Field and defeats Glaceon!” the announcer congratulated. “Let’s see what Soul has next up!”

I glanced into the crowd again, looking for anybody I may know.

June?

Prof. Oak?

My mom?

Melissa?

I couldn’t see anybody I recognized.

“Return!” Soul returned Glaceon. “Thanks for a good battle.” He smiled at his Poke Ball and reached for his second choice. “I knew bringing you along would be the way to go, Starmie!” He threw his next Poke Ball, an all blue Poke Ball.

A blue starfish with many arms appeared, a huge jewel in its center.

Starmie. The Mysterious Pokemon and Staryu’s evolved form. Known as “the gem of the sea,” its core glows in seven colors. It is suspected within certain cultures that it is an alien creature of origin, in part due to its strong presence at night and the fact that they send out electrical waves into space.

“And taking the type advantage for himself, Soul has decided to use Starmie!” the announcer noted. “Let’s see if Gary can maneuver around Starmie’s attacks!”

Hmm, I thought. What to do. What to do. Fire won’t do too much, but going in close might be risky, too. “Fire Spin! Let’s just try to hit it for now!”

Charizard attacked.

“Stay close to the field and use Thunder!” Soul countered.

“Thunder!” I gasped.

Starmie began to spin in place. Its body sparked with electricity as Charizard’s Fire Spin got closer, and it dodged to the side with ease, sliding on the ice. Coming to a stop, its body sent out a huge Electric blast, zapping Charizard.

“Charizard!” I let out as he roared from the pain of the Super Effective attack. “Fight it off and use Dragon Rage!”

Charizard shook his head as the attack ended and attacked with Dragon Rage.

“Thunder!” Soul repeated.

Starmie spun in place again, charging up its attack, and slid along the ice, dodging another attack from Charizard with ease, and finally attacked back, shocking Charizard.

Charizard fell to his knees, groaning weakly, his head drooping down to the icy floor.

“Starmie is now doing exactly what Charizard was doing earlier by using the ice to dodge attacks from the opponent!” the announcer told us all. “Charizard is lucky to still be able to fight, but I’d say another blast like that and it’s done for!”

“Charizard! Get up! You can do it! Get into the air!” I encouraged him.

Charizard groaned, but his wings spread wide and he stood up. His wings flapped slowly, finally lifting him up, and he roared at Starmie challengingly.

“What a strong display of power and spirit!” the announcer commended. “Charizard is showing its ready to keep on going, but how long will that energy last?”

His Blaze Ability still isn’t on, I noticed. He isn’t done yet, that’s for sure. But how do we win this one? We need to be faster. We have to hit that thing. My body was suddenly lit with an idea of hope. Of course! Faster! “Scary Face!” I smiled.

Charizard roared and gave Starmie a frightening look.

Starmie cried out lightly and didn’t move.

“Starmie, finish off Charizard!” Soul demanded.

Starmie refused to move.

“I’ve got it! Of course!” It was that moment that I needed to remember the perfect move Charizard knew that he could use to beat Starmie. “Shadow Claw, now!”

Charizard raised a claw into the air and flew at Starmie swiftly. His claw glowed purple as he got closer.

“Starmiiiiiie!” Soul reached out helplessly.

Charizard swiped at it, tossing it back.

Starmie smashed right through a block of ice and slid on its back on the field. Its gem was blinking red, a strange beeping noise coming from its body. The beeping stopped after a moment and the blinking faded away. Starmie let out a weakened whine.

“Starmie is unable to battle! Charizard wins!” The referee waved the green flag to me.

“Charizard has done it yet again!” The announcer’s voice mixed in with the roar of the crowd. “In one swift hit, Starmie has been taken out! Charizard has managed to come out on top with both a type advantage in the first round, and a type disadvantage in the second! Is this tough Pokemon going for the entire match? Let’s see if it can be stopped!”

I still couldn’t find June. She had better be here, I thought, feeling a little bit ticked. No way she would miss my most important battle of the preliminaries.

Soul returned his Starmie. “Good effort. We got this far at the Pokemon League. We won’t be stopped so easily by one Pokemon.” He looked to me and sneered.

My eyes tightened on his, but I couldn’t hide the smirk. I was at such an advantage, and on my birthday! I just had to win this match, no matter what!

Charizard was heaving hard, awaiting the last opponent.

“Weavile! GOOOO!” Soul sent out the last Pokemon, throwing a dark Poke Ball.

The Dusk Ball!“Weavile!” Weavile smiled deviously and swiped at the air with its sharp claws.

Weavile. The Sharp Claw Pokemon. Sneasel’s evolved form. Far more mischievous than its previous form, Weavile attack in groups. Weavile are well known to attack others in their own group, showing little to no respect for each other.

“This one’s Ice, too! Fire Spin, Charizard!” I pointed.

Charizard roared and attacked.

Weavile was hit and forced back several feet.

“And Payback!” Soul smiled.

Weavile’s body gave off a dark aura as it ran forward into the still oncoming flames and swiped at Charizard.

Charizard was thrown back, pain on his face. He hit the ground and slid for a few seconds before finally stopping, gently bumping into a block of ice.

“Charizard is unable to battle!” the referee determined, waving the red flag at Weavile. “Weavile wins!”

“And Charizard has finally been taken down!” the announcer declared amongst cheers. “Charizard just wasn’t able to handle the damage and Weavile was just strong enough to handle the powerful Fire Spin and take out Charizard with a move that does double the damage if the opponent goes before the user of the move! But can Weavile defeat two more of Gary’s Pokemon after taking that Fire Spin?”

Damn it, June. My head shook impatiently as I scanned the crowd. How could you miss this? Why did you just disappear like that? Where did you go?! Relax, Gary. Focus on the battle! I breathed deeply, calming myself. My eyes were glued to Weavile, who looked back at me, smirking. “Charizard, return, now!” An Ice Field... I told myself. “Okay, go!” I flung my second Poke Ball.

“DOOOOO!” Kingdra let out.

I smiled and nodded. Kingdra. Let’s see if this will work out.

“And Gary’s second choice is Kingdra! The Dragon type might have a difficult time maneuvering on this field, but let’s see if Gary can bring this home!” the announcer allowed.

“Kingdra, Hydro Pump it!”

Kingdra attacked!

“GO!” Soul spoke sharply.

Weavile moved quickly, dodging the attack by sliding on the ice.

Typical. “Agility!”

Kingdra tried to move, but instead, she fell flat on her face, not able to hold herself up on the ice!

My palm connected with my face. “That was embarrassing...” I muttered. “But I have other plans, too.”

“As predicted, Kingdra is not able to travel on ice so well, but Weavile is doing well as it skates around Kingdra!” the announcer noted.

“Hydro Pump!”

Kingdra got up and tried to hit Weavile with her attack, but Weavile dodged again, picking up even more speed.

“Agility!” Soul smiled widely.

It only took a couple of seconds, but Weavile was now just a dark blur, hardly visible at all, surrounding Kingdra as it sped around her.

“Catch it with Twister!” I commanded strongly.

Kingdra created a huge Twister on the field which flew out at Weavile.

The attack crashed into a few blocks of ice and finally disappeared.

Weavile, hard to see, laughed clearly, loudly, still a black blur as it spun around Kingdra.

“Weavile has completely dodged the Twister attack!” the announcer told us. “It seems like this Pokemon is completely untouchable!”

“Dark Pulse!” Soul told his Pokemon.

Spirals of circles flew out from the blur that was Weavile and hit Kingdra.

Doooo!” She was knocked to the icy ground and slid along it.

“Now, Night Slash!”

A pair of glowing, purple lights led a black blur that zoomed forward, colliding with my Kingdra.

Kingdra wailed out as she flew into a block of ice. She laid twitching, her eyes closed.

“Agility some more!” Soul pressed on.

Weavile was more like a blinking black dot now, just randomly appearing on the field.

Kingdra groaned and got up, shaking her head.

“Screech attack!” Soul’s face was a mix of happiness and determination, all in one.

A piercing cry rang through the field and I covered my ears, grimacing against the noise as Kingdra raised her head to the sky, begging for it to end.

Soul didn’t cover his ears, but instead watched the battle with satisfaction. “That should do it! Its Defense has to have taken a hit from that. One more Night Slash and this is over!”

No! My body tightened up as I tried to think of a way to save Kingdra. She can do this. I know she can! But that Weavile is just so fast on ice. I groaned, my teeth tightening, as Weavile, or that blur, flew at Kingdra and attacked again.

Kingdra’s plea as she was struck is what made me hate Pokemon battling. I couldn’t stand seeing the pain she was in, all for me! My eyes tightened as they watered, watching Kingdra slide uncontrollably on the ice. “Kingdra!” I called to her. I didn’t expect Weavile to be so agile. I figured Twister and Agility were foolproof plans of attack. Twister is just too difficult to avoid, and yet Weavile pulled it off with ease by using the field to slid out of the way. Agility was a failure of an idea for Kingdra since she can’t travel too good on ice. I was going to use the slippery ice with Agility to be untouchable, but instead, Weavile was the one doing that. This was a horrible mistake. I was so stupid.

“And this isn’t looking good for Kingdra!” the announcer stated. “Hopefully, Gary is thinking of what his last Pokemon will be!”

I leered up at the spot where the announcer was, unable to see him. I knew he was right, though. But, if Kingdra can’t do it, who can slow down that Weavile? I was beginning to think.

Kingdra shook.

Soul gasped.

“Kingdra!” I uttered happily.

Kingdra shook again and got up, facing Weavile, looking ready to give in.

Weavile snarled at Kingdra.

How can we slow that thing down? How? It’s an Ice Field. What can I do to Ice? How do I use the field to my advantage? Come on, Gary! Think!

I suddenly had an image of Ashley’s battle on the Water Field a couple of days ago. Her Golduck froze the water underneath Seaking in order to stop its movements and attack.

“Total luck!” Soul raged. “Weavile, enough! Night Slash and take out that Kingdra!”

“Hydro Pump!” I barked desperately. “Hit the ice right in front of it!”

Weavile disappeared as Kingdra attacked the ice where Weavile was traveling on.

“VIIIIIIL!” Weavile had a surprised look on its face as its feet started to stumble and slip on the ice! It collided with Kingdra, its claws no longer glowing purple. Weavile was sprawled out on top of Kingdra!

“Weavile’s attack is interrupted as Kingdra makes the surface a little too slick to move on and trips up Weavile!” The announcer sounded amused.

“Hydro Pump it off of you!”

“Weavile, dodge!”

Weavile was gone in a flash, and Hydro Pump instead hit one of the blocks of ice on the field.

Perfect, I said, unable to hide my smile. “Don’t you stop!” I encouraged Kingdra. “Attack one spot on the field!”

Kingdra aimed her blast at one area of the floor of ice.

“Strange,” the announcer said. “It seems that Gary isn’t aiming for Weavile anymore, but is instead hitting the field with Hydro Pump for some reason! Is he trying to flood the entire field?”

“Not exactly,” I mumbled.

“Weavile! Just remain calm and use Agility!” Soul said to Weavile. “Remain calm! You can skate through the water, too!”

Weavile cried out and skated around Kingdra continuously, picking up Speed.

At this point, I could no longer even see Weavile, but I didn’t care. “Keep going, Kingdra!”

Kingdra continued to attack the field.

“Weavile, this is over! Quick Attack it immediately!”

“DON’T STOOOOP!!” I screamed as loud as I could.

“VILE!” I heard Weavile, but couldn’t see it.

The ice where Kingdra was attacking had finally done what I’d been waiting for.

It melted!The spot widened as Kingdra’s Hydro Pump forced the hole to open wider, spread further, melt apart, and become the obstacle I was looking to create for Weavile.

A small wave of water rose up from the hole as Weavile fell into it, crying out in shock!

“Gotcha!” I raised a fist.

“VILE! WEAVILE!” Weavile splashed in the water it was now in, reaching out for the field, but the hole it fell into was too wide.

Kingdra watched as Weavile splashed about desperately.

“MY WEAVILE!” Soul was gripping the barrier of the platform he was in, looking ready to jump for his Weavile.

“WOW!” the announcer exploded. “THIS IS PURE GENIUS!!! Gary’s Kingdra has MELTED a portion of the field! He wasn’t trying to make the field slippery, but melt it with water! Water is warmer than ice, obviously, otherwise it’d be ice! So it’s at just the right temperature to actually melt the ice! Weavile has now managed to fall into this planned trap due to its own Speed and is now stuck in a rather difficult situation!”

“Ice Beam the water around it!” were my next orders.

“DOOOOOOOOO!” The Ice Beam hit the water surrounding Weavile, sealing up the hole.

“VILE! VIIIIIIIIIIILE! VILE!” Weavile struggled. It wasn’t frozen, but the water around it was, and it was now stuck.

I looked up into Soul’s stunned face.

He didn’t look angry, just completely amazed.

“Hydro Pump!”

Kingdra blasted Weavile in the face.

Weavile had nowhere to go as it sputtered and choked from the hit. When the attack ended, Weavile’s head was laying on the icy field as it moaned weakly.

“Weavile is unable to battle! Gary and Kingdra are the winners!” the referee announced, waving the green flag at me.

“GARY HAS WON!! GARY WINS IT!!” the announcer proclaimed.

“WE DID IT!” I gripped the bars of the platform surrounding me and leaped from it, landing on the ice, and slipped, landing hard on my butt and sliding forward with an, “OW!”

“DOOOOOOOO!!!!” Kingdra tried hopping towards me, slipping and landing on the ice as well, sliding fast towards me.

I opened my arms and pulled her into a tight hug as we reached each other. “KINGDRAAAA!! WE WON!!” I laughed, hugging her tightly. “You were the best!!”

“Dooo! Dooo! Doooooo!” Kingdra replied, her eyes filled with joyous tears as she looked into my eyes.

I looked up into the crowd as the announcer described the battle.

June was still nowhere in sight.

*

“Hello!” my grandma said from the screen, smiling.

“Grandma!” I exclaimed, the phone to my ear as I smiled at her. “Hey! Did-?”

“This is Rose,” she said, interrupting me. “I’m not here right now, but please leave your message after the beep and I will return your call. Thank you.”

I hung up the phone and sighed. “Weird. You’d think she’d be home right after watching one of my battles,” I murmured. “Did she even watch?” I slumped in the chair and sighed again.

“Excuse me, but can I use the phone, please?” a voice asked me.

I turned around to see a boy with curly red hair looking down at me impatiently.

“Oh, sorry,” I said, and quickly got to my feet and walked away from him. I had been in this building for about two hours before I had tried calling my mom, Prof. Oak, my aunt, or my grandma.

No one was home.

June never showed up. People were still exiting the stadium, but surely she would have come out by now.

A deep sadness was coming over me, and I finally left the building and headed back to where June and I were staying. Where is everyone? I wondered sadly as my feet dragged along the ground, my hands in my pockets. It was a little while later before I was back at my building, right outside of my room. “So much for a happy birthday.” I opened the door. It was dark inside, and I left the lights off as I kicked off my sneakers, pulled off my socks with my hands, and laid down on my bed.

The lights suddenly cut on.

“Huh?” I shot a glance towards the switch.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I shrieked out loudly, sitting up, and my head slammed against the steel beams holding up the bed above with a CLAAANG!!! I cried out and grabbed my head with both hands, stars flashing in front of my eyes as I blinked in fright and backed up as people appeared in the room, stepping out of the bathroom, crawling from under my bed, as well as the other beds, and waved at me, smiling. Finally, I could make out proper faces. “JUNE?!?! MOM?!?!? Grandma and Auntie! Prof. Oak?! Mr. and Mrs. Butters??! ROBIN!!!”

“Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!” Robin laughed, bent over. “The look on yo FACE!

Mr. Butters held up a camera and waved it. “This is gonna go in the books! HA HA!”

I swallowed hard, still terrified. “Wha-wha-what???”

Everyone laughed even harder.

My grandma stepped over to me. “Gary, it’s your birthday! Didn’t you know?” she asked brightly.

“Wow! He forgot!” Robin laughed even harder.

My mom laughed. “How did you forget such an important day, Gary?”

Everyone laughed even louder.

“I didn’t forget!!” I insisted. “You guys just terrified the freaking daylights out of me is all!”

“That’s the point of a surprise party, Gary,” Robin winked, and laughed some more.

I placed my hand over my beating heart and finally managed to smile, the throbbing pain in my head fading. “So that’s why I couldn’t find you!” I spoke with relief to June.

She walked up to me and hugged me tightly. “Happy birthday, Gary.” She kissed my cheek.

Robin walked over and punched me in the arm. “Happy birthday, buddy.” He winked and leaned closer to me. “You lucky dog, you.”

I shoved him away from me, smiling.

My mom walked over and hugged me tightly, giving me a kiss, and I returned them both. “Thanks, mom.”

“Happy birthday, babe.”

“Happy birthday, Gary!” My aunt and I exchanged a hug and kiss as well. “I am so proud of you! You battled amazingly. I just wish we could have seen it live. You really are good at this. I was so impressed.”

“I’m so proud of you, my grandson.” My grandma and I also traded a hug and kiss. She sniffed and then released me. “You still look really bad, and your hair isn’t clean, but it’s your birthday, so I won’t say anything this time.”

June giggled.

I forced a smile and nodded, sooooooo embarrassed and upset.

“You did so well out there, Gary.” Mrs. Butters also insisted on pulling me into a hug and kiss. “Well done, hon.”

“Good show!” Mr. Butters laughed, grabbing my shoulder and shaking me roughly.

Prof. Oak patted my other shoulder. “Excellent work, my boy. You made it through the preliminaries. Now, you can battle at the Indigo Stadium. I know you’ll do us all proudly. You, and Robin.”

I turned to Robin with a big grin. “I knew you’d make it, too.”

Robin laughed again as we slapped hands and held a strong grip of congratulations. “Of course! Just as I knew you’d make it. I won my final battle early this morning. Tomorrow, my next battle begins at Indigo Stadium. I’ll be battling some girl named Courtney. And get this; this girl has pink hair!” Robin busted out.

I gasped.

June raised a hand to her mouth and stared at Robin with wide eyes.

“Cour-?” I started.

“Gary, could I speak to you for just a moment?” Prof. Oak interrupted kindly, placing a hand on my shoulder and squeezing it tightly.

“Oh, um, yeah,” I replied. “Of course.”

Prof. Oak wrapped his arm around my shoulders.

As he led me out of my room, I knew this wasn’t going to be a good conversation.

He closed the door and turned to me with a serious look. “Happy birthday, Gary, once more. We’re all very proud of you.”

I nodded, impatiently waiting for Prof. Oak to get to the point.

He sighed. “I wanted to let you know that Kiwi is home.”

“She is?” I gasped, breaking into a huge grin.

“Yes, yes,” Prof. Oak whispered, motioning with his hands for me to keep my voice down. “Everyone already knows that she’s back home, but let’s not bring down the mood, shall we? That’s why I brought you out here, away from everyone else, although everyone but June may assume what it is that I’m telling you. Mrs. Tot still has to stay home with Kiwi. She’s able to walk, but has to use a cane. She maneuvers very slowly and is still recovering. Kiwi remains in a lot of pain right now.”

“I feel so sorry for her,” I shook my head sadly. “But I’m so happy she’s recovering and is home again.”

Prof. Oak nodded firmly. “Yes. She sleeps a lot and she still hasn’t been told about you and Robin’s success in the Pokemon League so far. We’re much more concerned about helping her in any way we can, first.”“Of course!” I agreed.

Prof. Oak’s eyes hardened as he stared at me. “There was also something else I wanted to discuss with you,” he said coldly.

I stared back, my heart dropping, my body freezing over.

His face went from cold, to exhausted, and he let out a sigh, his old breath hitting me in the face.

My face twisted up in reaction.

“Gary, my boy, did you absolutely have to send me back that Porygon-Z?” he asked wearily.

I instantly burst out laughing, relieved.

That night, our little group would go out and have a big dinner together.

I’d even get some cool little gifts from everyone.

I’d have one of the best birthdays I’d ever had in my life.

Tomorrow, I’d be battling at the Indigo Plateau.

And about fifteen minutes after me, Robin would be, too.

And apparently, so would Courtney.

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