In the last chapter, Keith challenged and defeated the gym leader of Laverre city. Whilst he did that, Brett and Erica approached the pokeball factory. On their way to the factory, Erica couldn't stop thinking about that girl from before. By no means did she have a crush on her friend, she was just curious.
"Brett, I'm a little curious about that girl from the pictures." Admitted Erica. He looked back at her with a face of mild surprise.
"Oh? Are you now?" She didn't want to admit it, but Erica felt like Brett was being condescending towards her right now.
"Yeah. Are you two close or something?" At this point, Erica felt like she was intruding. Who was she to intrude upon her friend's personal life like this? But then again, who couldn't resist a little gossip at this point?
"Well yeah, her name is Kate." Answered Brett without hesitation. The blond was a little surprised at how easily he opened up. She was about to ask why, but he continued to explain himself.
"We met on my last adventure, right now she is training to become stronger." Brett continued walking and looked up, probably thinking about that girl. His friend started to feel a little guilty for prying into his personal life like this.
"I'm sorry." Muttered Erica. Now it was Brett's turn to be surprised.
"For prying into your personal life like this." She tried to spurt that last sentence out pretty quickly, her head hung in shame.
After hearing that answer, Brett stopped. Erica continued walking and bumped into him. She was about to look up, but suddenly her head was pushed back down. Brett was patting her head like he usually does when teaching her a lesson. For some reason, this always comforted Erica.
"I don't mind talking about this in the least, especially to you." Brett's response surprised Erica. It was at this point that he gave her a different smile from his usual laid back grin. The blondie could only give a happy smile at her friend's kindness.
They continued their trek towards the factory. Erica began to realize that her relationship with Brett felt more like a relationship that she would have to an older brother. She might not be able to view him as her teacher anymore, but it could feel better.
As they walked up the stairs, Erica and Brett noticed Shauna and Trevor to the side. They seemed to be arguing about something. Erica face displayed concern for two reasons: Trevor was no longer upbeat, and Shauna wasn't upbeat.
"Don't worry, he will let us in this time." Exclaimed Shauna, she turned around and ran up the staircase. It didn't take long before Trevor chased after her to stop her.
"Wait Shauna, I don't think that'll work." Begged Trevor.
Brett was curious about the situation, but he was even more curious about how somebody could be so persistent. He turned to Erica to get an answer, she picked up on his suspicion.
"I haven't know her for that long, but Shauna has always just been persistent." She shrugged her shoulders. The memory of their meeting gave Erica a grateful smile.
The two trainers soon heard the sound of footsteps moving quickly. They looked up to see that Shauna and Trevor were running down the stairs, and being chased by a Team Flare grunt. Erica then grew upset that this guy was assaulting her friends. Brett was about to run up to challenge the grunt, but Erica put her hand to stop him.
The veteran turned to his friend and was met with a confident nod that he somehow understood. Right as Shauna and Trevor passed them, Erica stuck her foot out. The Team Flare grunt tripped and fell down the flight of stairs. Trevor and Shauna quickly came over to thank their friend.
"That was pretty smart of you."
Brett looked down at the defeated Flare grunt and began to think. He turned his head towards the factory and the gears began to turn in his head. "Alright you two go somewhere else, we will handle this." Commanded Brett. Shauna and Trevor caught the feeling of his serious aura and decided to follow through with his command.
Erica looked back at her friends that were now leaving. She was worried that Team Flare had the entire town hostage.
"Was that a good idea? What if they have the town hostage?" Asked Erica to her friend. The veteran trainer cupped his chin to think about that possibility. He ended up just shaking his head.
"Don't worry about it. If they have Laverre hostage, Keith will be able to teach them a lesson." That answer really did help sooth Erica's worry. She then felt really confident as they had the possibility of a well based attack.
Once they entered the factory, Erica instantly spotted a grunt form Team Flare. Erica pulled Brett with her to take cover from being noticed. The guard somehow got a glimpse of Erica's long hair as she dashed behind a box.
"Come out, I know you're there!" Demanded the guard. Erica cursed her bad luck. Brett placed his hand on her head and gave a reassuring nod.
They both walked back out to face their opponent. They didn't expect that the female grunt would be surprised that they were two teenagers.
"That idiot can't even do guard duty? Sorry folks, but we're not giving tours right now." She was obviously bad at trying to divert their attention. Our hot blooded veteran held his fist out.
"I'm not buying that crap. Lets get it on!" Yelled Brett. Erica out her hand on his shoulder to get his attention. Brett didn't like being distracted from a battle, but he gave in as it could've been important.
"Alright, I'll go ahead and try to stop the rest of team flare." Her friend wasn't fond of the idea of letting her go ahead because of last time. But before he could stop her, she ran ahead.
The guard was about to tackle her to stop her, but Brett tackled the grunt first. Erica ran fast to find the leader and into her first impediment. The walkways were blocked with fences. A conveyer belt that stretched across the factory seemed like the only way to get about at the moment.
"Well, here goes nothing." Erica jumped on the conveyer belt and allowed the momentum to take her on its course.
"Hey this is actually kind of fun."
She got a little distracted and didn't notice where she was going. Erica wound up right back up to Brett, who was being pinned down by some Team Flare grunts. She was both dumbfounded, and worried.
"Don't worry Brett, I'll help you out." Proclaimed Erica as she ran forward to aid her friend. But like some anime fighting character, Brett burst out from underneath the guards.
"No! You go ahead and take care of the rest of these guys!" Proclaimed Brett as he pointed to her. She nodded reluctantly, a little scared of his inhuman strength.
Erica ran back the way that she went the first time. During her second track she noticed a staircase. The blondie quickly ran up the stairs. Up at the top she found a control board. With curiosity in mind, she pressed the big red button. The conveyer belts started to run in the opposite direction.
"Alright, now we're talking." Erica looked around and found another staircase. Traversing down it she then jumped on conveyer belt nearby. The heroine made use of this new direction change to get closer to the leader. Along the way she was forced to fight against several flare grunts that weren't dealing with Brett.
As she was about to get off the last conveyer belt, the rim of her shirt got caught on it. Erica pulled hard and frantically to get it back.
"Come on, I paid 5,600 poke for this." She pulled even harder till the sound of fabric ripping stopped her.
The bottom half of the shirt ripped off into the conveyer belt.
Embarrassed, the blonde covered her exposed belly. She knew that she had to save the factory workers and the director, but first she had to find some cover. Her best bet was to run into the upper room. In the room their were the leaders of the raid and the factory director.
"Come on old man, hand over the pokeballs. I don't see what the trouble would be." Said one of the members who was a female admin.
"No, I refuse to cooperate with criminals." The old man had no intention to cooperate with the raiders. His vision drifted to where he could see Erica.
"Oh a trainer! Please stop these horrible people!" Begged the old man. The admin turned around to see Erica had penetrated their defenses.
"Well, well. What do we have here? A belly dancer knock-off?" Taunted the admin. Erica would've started off with more of a Brett-like comment, but her feminine side demand her to insult instead.
"At least this is more hot than that trashy outfit you're wearing." Retorted the angry thirteen year old girl. Oh no she didn't.
And now it was on.
Keith new that Brett always had his own way of going here and there without any warning, but he expected something from Erica at least. Without any word from either of his friends he decided to just wander about. It didn't take long before he came upon an out cold TF grunt. Looking up the staircase Keith could notice noticed the pokeball factory.
"Based on experience, Team Flare is up there. And more than likely, so are Brett and Erica." Said Keith to no one in particular. He also knew from experience that they could be after some kind of rare pokeball.
'Could they be after some powerful pokemon?' Keith didn't like that thought, not in the slightest.
Inside the director's office, Erica had finished of the admin. She wanted to mock the admin, but she had to brace herself for the next attack. By looks alone Erica guessed that the other two were scientists just like Aliana. But their visors looked different from each other.
"Lets make this one a two on one battle." Said the one with green hair.
"That way our chances of defeat are slim." Said the one with purple hair.
Our blond protagonist tried to put confident thoughts into her head to help. But she couldn't knock out the fact that she only beat Aliana because of lucky timing.
"Not so fast!" Erica turned around to see Brett running into the room.
"I'm not gonna let you attack my friend just like that! This is gonna be a fair match!" He held out his pokeball and turned to Erica.
"I'm not gonna leave you alone this time." Erica felt really glad that her friend had her back like that. With confidence, she readied herself for the battle. Erica sent out Phoenix for battle. Brett launched his pokeball to send out Athrun.
The green haired one sent out the panther with yellow spots, Liepard. And the purple haired one sent out the fierce electric hound, Manetric.
"Oh crap." Muttered Erica. For those who don't know electric beats flying and dark beats ghost. She shook her head to remind herself that she was with her teacher this time.
"Don't worry, we can beat them anyways." Reassured Brett, not scared of the current situation.
"Ok, now lets start off with taunt." The Liepard taunted Athrun by sort of laughing in his face..
"Damn, just when I was about go with Swords Dance." Brett and his pokemon reflected the same kind of face, an angry one.
"Now, use Shockwave." Manetric launched a wave of electricity towards Phoenix. The shockwave penetrated Phoenix and she fell down onto the ground. That attack hurt very much.
"Oh no." Cried Erica.
"And now crunch." The panther pokemon ran to bite down on the hilt of Athrun.
"Give em' a thunder fang." The electric hound jumped up and bit down on Phoenix's wing. The Talonflame fought hard against the pain till she fainted. Erica retrieved her and sent out Psyedge.
'I am ready to fight Erica-sama.'
"Good then use power-up-punch." Psyedge punched Manetric in the muzzle.
"Use thunder." Manetric released a massive surge of electricity. But instead of hitting the pokemon in front of it, the electric attack ran towards Athrun.
"How?" The purple hair scientist then noticed a crucial fact about the Doublade. Its a ghost-steel type.
"A lightning rod?"
"Erica now!" Yelled Brett.
"Right, power-up-punch!" Psyedge punched Liepard in the stomach and knocked it out.
"What?" The green haired scientist was somehow caught off guard.
"Yosh, now Athrun use metal claw!" The twin swords pokemon spun around rapidly till it impacted against Manetric. The attack somehow knocked out the electric hound. Both scientists were caught off guard.
"But how could you pull that off?" Brett felt more than happy to explain how.
"The electricity absorbed by the earlier attack increased Athrun's power." Explained Brett. Both scientists shared an intrigued face, they almost seemed to be toying around like this match didn't really matter that much.
Erica caught onto this fact really quickly, she also caught onto the fact that the scientist's visors were beeping and flashing. The blond heroine was about to ask them about their visors, but she didn't get the chance.
The Scientists quickly retrieved their pokemon and threw a flash bang. When her vision cleared, Erica could see that the Team Flare leaders had escaped. The director quickly scrambled over to his rescuers.
"Oh thank you so very much! Those miscreants were trying to steal the precious pokeballs." Explained the president.
"No problem sir." Brett waved it off as not too much to worry about.
"How can I ever repay you? Oh I know!" He ran over to his desk and pulled out two sacks. He handed them to both Erica and Brett.
Erica opened the bag to find a gold nugget and a purple pokeball. She turned to the director, surprised about the gold nugget that she received. Brett's face was also a little perplexed, but he was more concerned about the pokeball.
"Are you sure about this?"
"Oh yes. You have definitely deserved them." He nodded and bowed in thanks. Erica bowed in thanks, she and Brett soon left the factory.
As they were leaving, Brett handed his purple pokeball to Erica. She looked back at him, perplexed about her gift. He answered that with his own look of a laid back smile.
"I want you to hold onto that pokeball, you'll be able to find better use for it than I will." Erica gave a grateful look at his answer. Inside, Erica felt like she had lost a teacher. In return she felt like she gained an older brother.
As he ascended the staircase, Keith was reunited with his friends. He was initially worried about Team Flare, but seeing his two companions reassured him that they were safe and had won.
"So you had no difficulties against them?" Erica sighed.
"I wouldn't exactly say that it was easy either." Answered the blond heroine. All of a sudden, Erica's holocaster started to beep. She reached down to pick it out of her pocket and found that it was time for her clothes to be finished.
After Erica had left Brett and Keith were left to discuss what had happened in the factory.
"Did they go after a master ball?" Asked the glasses wearing trainer.
"They tried, but we ended up stopping them." Answered the hot blooded trainer. His friend thought about the master ball for a moment. If Team Flare were intending to steal one, then they would need it to capture a powerful pokemon.
'There must be a legendary that they are after.'
After Erica had gotten her pokemon healed and her outfit dry cleaned, she had decided to go challenge the Laverre city gym. The gym was both creepy and challenging. Her navigation took some time, she wasn't as smart as Keith was.
The challenger soon found her way into the canvas room. When she teleported there, Valerie was sitting down on a stool and painting something. Erica curiously walked over to find out what it was. It was a picture wide grassy plains.
"That's beautiful." Complemented Erica.
"Why thank you. I assume that you're here to challenge me? If so, the battle will be three on three." Erica nodded and walked back to the other side of the room.
"I, Erica Tamashii, challenge you!" She threw out Dragulong as her first pokemon. Valerie's face twitched a little at the sight of a Skrelp, she released her Mr. Mime.
"Use light screen." The mime pokemon waved its hands around to create a barrier in front of itself. Erica took a little time to remember that light screen couldn't stop physical attacks.
"Use aqua tail." The rotten kelp pokemon flipped and flopped till it hit hard on Mr. Mime's head. The fairy pokemon and its trainer backed away as Dragulong returned to his trainer. Erica easily picked up on this and became curious.
"Quickly, use psybeam!" The creepy pokemon pointed its beam to hit the opponent hard. Erica anticipated that there was a difference between Dragulong's level and the other pokemon, but not one this big.
"Use poison tail!" Valerie twitched again and quickly fumbled up an attack.
"Use psybeam!" The fairy type launched the attack at Dragulong again, but this time he kept going until he impacted against Mr. Mime. Both pokemon fainted, Dragulong scored a critical hit. Erica didn't care that Dragulong didn't win, she was just proud of him for trying.
Erica reached into her bag and sent out her next pokemon, Jirai. The fairy girl sent out her Mawile to fight back against the ninja.
"Mawile use vice grip." The deceiving pokemon jumped up and bit her massive jaw onto Jirai's torso.
"Jirai, use your lick attack." Jirai's tongue scarf slowly coursed over to top of Mawile, causing her to let go.
"Mawile, use your brick break attack!" Mawile lifted up her giant jaw and slammed it onto Jirai. The attack did a lot of damage because of Jirai being a dark type. Erica knew that she had to come up with something quick if she was going to defeat the fairy type.
"Jirai use water pulse." With his hands the ninja frog created several symbols and launched rings of water towards Mawile. The damage didn't defeat it, but instead left the fairy type in a confused state. After a few dizzy steps. Mawile punched itself in the face, knocking itself out.
Valerie didn't want to admit it, but she was surprised at this trainer's luck and intuition. Her last pokemon, Sylveon, might turn this around though. The challenger knew that her pokemon was tired and retrieved him so he could take a break. In Jirai's place came Phoenix.
"Phoenix, use aerial ace." The bird of fire dove down and struck hard on its opponent.
"Counter with your draining kiss." Sylveon sneaked a quick peck on the bird's beak, draining energy to heal itself.
"Crap, singe it with flamethrower."
"Not so fast, attack with moonblast!" The fairy eeveelution launched a shining ball into the flames that penetrated straight through them, and impacted the Talonflame.
Phoenix started to fall and Erica panicked for a strategy to win. And then she suddenly got a gut feeling of what to do.
"Use acrobatics!" Phoenix rolled down onto the ground and used the momentum to jump back up and impact hard against Sylveon, knocking it out. Valerie became very surprised at that attack, but also intrigued at the same time. She returned her pokemon and walked over to hand Erica the badge.
"Thank you for the match." Erica bowed in thanks to continue her tradition.
"I can see that you have great bonds with your pokemon and others." Explained Valerie.
"Oh, well thank you."
As Erica left the gym, she couldn't help but feel as if that last move was something that Brett would've pulled off. She smiled and was glad that she could learn from somebody and also get to have such a good relationship with them.