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On the Path to our First Gym Battle
Dahlia watched Nicholas walk around. “What are we doing next, Master?”
“I think you two got enough training yesterday to move on. I’m going to meet this Nidoran and then we’ll head towards the forest.” Nicholas held up a pokeball. “I already had the NurseJoy hit her with a taming cycle, so she should be back to normal. As long as she wasn’t more feral than I realized.”
Ashley bobbed her head in time with Dahlia, the two watching the Nidoran’s form materialize.
Nicholas gave her a quick look over as she got her bearings. The worst of the scars had been seen by the healing machine as injuries, so they were gone, but she still had cosmetic scarring across her breast and some of her limbs. Despite that, and maybe even because of it, he thought, she was quite stunning with her lithe body and defined chest. He could even see a slight horn growing above her forehead, something he was sure she could use in the same way as the hidden spikes along her limbs to inflict poison.
The girl groaned, getting one leg under her before looking around. She noticed the watching pokegirls first and staggered upright, taking a wary pose. “You, I remember you.”
“Good morning.” Dahlia said, curtsying at the cautious Nidoran. “I am Dahlia, and this is Ashley. We are Master Nicholas’ pokegirls, like you are now.”
The Nidoran blinked, turning until she saw Nicholas standing nearby. “You?”
Nicholas nodded. “Hi there. I’m Nicholas.”
The Nidoran ran a hand over her jaw, frowning when her fingers encountered smooth skin. “My scars, they…”
“I had you healed up, and the machine decided the scars on your face and under your left arm were injuries. Sorry.”
The Nidoran shook her head, feeling where he had mentioned before raising her arm and sighing in relief. “I couldn’t move this arm for ages. Thank you.”
“Most of the others are still there.” Nicholas offered. “Unless you’d prefer them gone as well.”
The girl glanced down, tracing the raised line that crossed her left breast. “No. No, I’ll keep this one.” She sighed again and looked back at him. “You must be strong. I remember you defeating many of the pack before I found you.”
Nicholas shrugged. “Not strong enough. You were just fighting on instinct and you still almost took both Dahlia and Ashley down.”
The girl nodded. “I’m proud of that.” She hesitated. “So… You’re meant to be my Master?”
Nicholas nodded. “Unless you want to do something else.”
The girl turned back to look at the waiting pokegirls. “No, I’ll stay here.” She grinned and cracked her knuckles in her palms. “Now, which of you do I need to challenge?”
Ashley grinned back at her. “I beat you down, girl. Forget already?”
The Nidoran’s expression wavered very slightly. “I was weakened.”
“So was I.”
“I don’t think there’s any need for that kind of thing.” Nicholas soothed, resting a hand on the Nidoran’s shoulder. “We’re a team, after all. If I need to promote an Alpha I will.”
The Nidoran whirled back to him. “You have no Alpha here?”
“Nope.” Nicholas replied. “And depending on how you fit in, you may not get the chance to be one either.”
The girl’s expression grew calculating. “I see.”
“Why don’t you prove to me that you’re a good Alpha?” Nicholas asked. “Without being in the position, act like you are. That’s the kind of Alpha I’d want.”
The Nidoran blinked before nodding. “Yes, Master. I understand.” She smiled back at the two. “Greetings. I am Elizabeth. Or Liz, I suppose, if you must shorten my name.”
“Glad to have you with us, Elizabeth.” Nicholas replied. “Could you step over with the others, please?”
He waited for her to join them before sitting and staring at the three pokegirls. “Hm.”
They waited patiently while he stared. “Master?” Dahlia finally asked.
“Sorry, Dahlia. I was trying to visualize what each of you will look like as you evolve, since I haven’t had a good chance to take in each of your beautiful bodies yet.” He tapped his chin, continuing as all three began to blush. “It’s interesting, so Elizabeth is the tallest, followed by Dahlia… I guess because Ashley needs a perky little body to fly around with.” Nicholas gave her an exaggerated wink.
Ashley groaned and draped a wing across her torso to hide her nudity. “You’re such a pervert, Master.”
“Well, maybe.” Nicholas conceded. “Still, can you blame me?”
Dahlia tugged at her top. She was the only one not naked, so Master was…
“Nah, I don’t.” Elizabeth breezed. “Give me a few days and I’ll get my hair back under control.” She tugged at the knots in her shoulder-length, almost white hair. “What was your name again, bird girl?”
“Ashley, stop draping your arm-wing-things over your goods and let your Master see.” Elizabeth teased. “It’s nothing he hasn’t seen or won’t see in the future. Right?”
“Well… I guess not.” Ashley mumbled, slowly lowering her wing again. “But when he stares I get self-conscious.”
“What for? He’s staring because he likes what he sees.” Elizabeth glanced at him and giggled. “See, he’s staring at us right now! It doesn’t matter if you’ve only got brown hair and eyes, he’s still totally thrilled by them.”
“Master.” Nicholas glanced away and had to do a double take. Dahlia was standing defiantly, her top and shorts in a pile next to her. “Don’t you like me, too?”
Nicholas started to say something before thinking better of it and shutting his mouth. “I think I’ve already said how you all have beautiful bodies.” He finally managed to get out.
“There’s no problem with that!” Elizabeth cried. “You look better that way, Dahlia. It’s Dahlia, right?”
The Bulbasaur nodded.
“Let yourself breathe, girl.” She looked around. “Look, nobody is even paying us much attention. And if they did, it’d be because they liked what they saw!”
“Elizabeth, if Dahlia, or Ashley, or any pokegirl that joins us in the future wants to wear clothing, that’s their choice.”
Elizabeth sighed. “Yea, it is, but there’s no point to it. Be proud of what you are, don’t hide it.” She glanced in his direction. “You, I understand why they want humans covered up. You’ve got this dangly bit that waves about if you’re not careful.”
Nicholas rubbed his temples. “Yup, we sure do, and when you get stronger you’ll have two dangly bits doing the same.”
“Eh, I’ll do something about it if I need to.” Elizabeth crowed. “Right. You’ve taken your good, looong look, so what’s next?”
“We’re headed into the forest.” Nicholas replied. “I want to see how you fight at first, Elizabeth, and then I’ll give Dahlia some time, and then have Ashley take us the rest of the way through. From what I’ve heard, the place is infested with bug-types.”
“Yea, and a bird will demolish ‘em.” Elizabeth agreed. “Alright, Master. Let’s go!”
“I’m getting some supplies first.” Nicholas cautioned. “Can you girls stay here for a moment? The market is just next door.”
The three nodded, watching him vanish into the building.
“So, Elizabeth.” Ashley turned to the Nidoran. “What’s the deal with you and nudity?”
Elizabeth blinked. “Er, like I said? I’m proud of my body.”
“Yea, but this way anyone gets to see us. Not just Master.”
The Nidoran looked around. “Nobody seems to be staring.”
“No, because it’s common for pokegirls to go without clothing.” Ashley agreed. “But the ones who do, aren’t you bothered that they’ll be seeing as much of you as Master does?”
Elizabeth bit her lip. “Maybe a little, I guess.”
“I think if you want to do it, go for it.” Ashley explained. “But I want to get something to at least cover my nipples, maybe some sort of chest strap. Dahlia has clothes already.”
“Maybe I won’t wear them.” Dahlia muttered. “Standing out here naked feels nice… The breeze, feeling the sun on my bulb…”
“That’s her choice.” Ashley turned back to Elizabeth. “So?”
Elizabeth grudgingly nodded. “I get the point.”
“Good.” Ashley grinned at her. “And, Liz, you have every reason to be proud. You look like a queen.”
Elizabeth smiled at Ashley’s kind compliment. “Thanks, Ashley. That’s the plan, after all.”
Nicholas stepped back out after a few minutes. “Right, we’re good! You girls ready?” He grinned at the chorus of yesses. “Cool! Dahlia, want me to put your clothes in my pack?”
The Bulbasaur hesitated before nodding. “Thank you Master.”
“Sure.” Nicholas took them and hefted his pack back onto his back. “Off we go, girls! To Viridian Forest!”
They were approaching the northern city limit when a man staggered out from behind a nearby building. “Ho, boy, you look like… zzz… A pokegirl… zzz… taaamer!”
Nicholas stared at the old man. “Excuse me? I mean, yes, but who are you?”
“You young’uns know nothing these days!” The man roared, still weaving unsteadily. “I betcha don’t even know how to catch a pokegirl!”
Nicholas stared at the man. The man stared back. Nicholas glanced at the three pokegirls standing beside him. The man stared at them. Nicholas turned back.
“I think I do.”
“NONSENSE!” The man roared. “No respect for your elders you blasted young-“
“Let’s go, Master.” Dahlia whispered, carefully pushing him along the road and leaving the raving man behind.
Nicholas breathed a sigh of relief when the man was out of sight. “What the hell was that.”
“An old coot.” Elizabeth replied bluntly.
Nicholas sighed. “Yea, I guess he was. Poor guy.”
“Let’s get going, Master.” Ashley piped up. “The forest is up ahead.”
They were walking along and making good time when Nicholas stopped. “Hey, hold on a second.” He stepped over near one of the lines of trees that formed the route. “Dahlia, remember the parallel area I was talking about?”
Dahlia nodded. “Yes?”
“Look at this.” Nicholas pointed at where some of the trees were younger than the others. “Think we can squeeze through here? These trees look pretty weak.”
“Maybe…” Dahlia muttered, stepping forward and testing the tree. “Huh. It’s not budging.”
“Let me try.” Elizabeth stepped past and grabbed the thin trunk, bracing her body and shoving as hard as she could. “This- won’t-“ She let go with a gasp. “Wroah! Budge!”
Nicholas looked up at where the tree canopies had tangled together. “Shit. I was hoping this was an old path, and it might be, but it’s completely grown over. Maybe if we cut some of these down we could get through.” He checked his backpack. “Wouldn’t you know it, Oak didn’t give me a machete.”
Elizabeth glanced at her fingers before looking at Ashley’s claws. “I don’t think I’m strong enough to do much, Master.”
“Let me try.” Dahlia’s vines snaked out and she braced. “Ready? One, two-“
She whirled, sending them slashing against the trees. Nicholas jumped when she yelped in pain, the vines immediately recoiling and the Bulbasaur dropping to the ground.
“Ow.” Dahlia managed. “That really stung.”
“I guess the answer is no, we can’t go that way.” Nicholas tried one more time to force his body through the gaps before giving up. “Well. Shit.”
“The forest, Master?”
“The forest.” Nicholas agreed. “Elizabeth, you’re in the lead. I want to get you some experience.”
The Nidoran nodded, skipping to the front. “Do you have a map, Master?” She asked as they passed through the southern forest entrance.
“Nope.” Nicholas chuckled. “But I’ve got a decent sense of direction. We’ll backtrack if we hit a dead end.”
Which, of course, they did. Immediately. Elizabeth was in full battle mode, fighting off dozens of wild bug-type pokegirls, until she finally held up a weak hand. “Please, sub me out.” She gasped. “There’s too many of them.”
“On the bright side, we’ve exhausted every possible path except the correct one.” Nicholas sighed, recalling her. “Dahlia, take the lead.”
Dahlia started down the new path, sighing in relief when she saw a human casting about in the low light. “Master, there’s someone ahead.”
The tamer popped up, his wide hat and netting protecting him from the mosquitos that were buzzing all around Nicholas’ head. “Eh? Hey, You’re a tamer!”
“Yea, nice to see a-“ Nicholas started before the kid scrambled out of the grass and struck a pose.
“You’re a tamer, I’m a tamer, I challenge you to a pokegirl battle!” The boy yelled gleefully. “10% cash prize!”
“Yea, that’s standard for this region, I hear.” Nicholas grumbled. “Well unfortunately for you, I just spent all my money on supplies. You’ll get, like, ten bucks. Tops.”
“Eh, I have a bank account, so since the law is pocket cash, you’ll get the same.” The boy laughed. “Come on, let’s battle!”
“Yea, yea.” Nicholas nodded at Dahlia. “Dahlia, you’re up.” He turned back to the boy. “Unlimited, right?”
“Obviously! That’s the only way to battle.”
“You’d be surprised.” Nicholas muttered.
Dahlia watched the boy release a short girl with antennae. “Caterpie. The worm pokegirl.” Nicholas’ pokedex chimed.
“Katie, use String Shot!” The boy yelled.
Dahlia let out a defeated sigh and attacked without waiting for Nicholas’ command. Katie managed to coat her in the sticky substance before Dahlia’s vines smacked the bug girl into unconsciousness.
“Holy crap, you didn’t even tell her to do that!” The boy cried.
“I’d recommend teaching your pokegirls to think for themselves as well.” Nicholas called. “Their reactions will be faster than you shouting an order.”
The boy frowned. “Huh, you’re right.” He recalled his first pokegirl. “Alright, Kate, you’re next! She’s slow, so Tackle!”
Nicholas rubbed his eyelids. “Did this boy seriously name his Caterpie Katie and Kate.”
Dahlia shot him a sympathetic look before yelping when the second Caterpie smashed into her. She quickly retaliated, dropping the bug pokegirl with a single attack.
“Ah!” The boy recalled her. “Well, my next pokegirl will do the job!” He remained posturing for a few seconds before deflating. “If I had one.”
Nicholas shook his head and walked over. “Don’t feel too bad, mate. I trained a lot before bringing my girls into the forest.”
The boy nodded, handing over the prize money. “I guess so. I can’t go much further in because the pokegirls just get stronger, and neither of mine can hold up.” He shrugged. “But I have to keep trying, right? Even if I keep losing, one day I’ll win.”
Nicholas smiled and clapped the boy’s shoulder. “You got it, man. Good luck out there, and be safe on your way back to the pokecenter.”
He watched the boy until he disappeared down the path. “I really hope he makes it back safely without even one of his Caterpie to protect him.” He muttered.
“The way out is right there.” Dahlia pointed out, peeling the sticky goop from her body. “Ick. I hate bug-types because of all the fluids they shoot everywhere.”
“You good?” Nicholas asked.
“I got most of it.” Dahlia shook herself. “Alright. Guess this is the way through.”
“Hold on.” Nicholas peered ahead. “Two more tamers in a battle up there. Let’s go around.”
“But the only way around is…” Dahlia stared at the overgrown forest around them. “Ah, dangit.”
She was covered in even more white string by the time they made it back to the path and the look she gave Nicholas said only one thing.
“Ashley, your turn.” Nicholas chuckled, recalling the Bulbasaur. “Let’s go until you need a break, and then we’ll set up camp.”
Ashley nodded, pushing ahead. With her ranged attacks she easily blew away any bug-types that tried to attack them and after a few more hours of walking she held out a wing to stop him.
“Tamer.” She explained.
Nicholas peered over her shoulder. It was another tamer with a mosquito net over his face, likely due to how much time he spent in the forest. This one, however, was much deeper in, which suggested he had more powerful pokegirls.
“He probably only has bug-types.” Nicholas muttered. “You can take him.”
“You think so, Master?” Ashley asked. “He’s a bit older than the last boy.”
“And I’m 24, which is older than him.” Nicholas chuckled. “I say you got it. Let’s go.”
The tamer turned when they approached and he grinned. “Ho ho! We got another traveler!”
Nicholas came to a stop. “Oh? What do you mean by that?”
The boy walked up. “Ran into a guy yesterday in traveling clothes. Gave me a great battle, too, with his Mankey.”
“About yea tall?” Nicholas asked, holding a hand to Michael’s height. “Did he have a Squirtle too?”
“That’s the one! You know him?” The boy asked.
“He’s my friend.”
“So, you might be able to give me a good fight as well then.” The boy grinned.
“Depends. Ashley here is my only pokegirl ready for battle.” Nicholas nodded at the Pidgey. “I assume you’ve got a bug-type.”
“Type matchups aren’t everything.” The boy replied with a smile.
Nicholas frowned. This tamer actually knew what he was doing. “No, they’re not. Ashley, you ready?”
“One pokegirl with cash salvage!” The boy called. “Let’s do it, Kathleen!”
“Oh come ON! Does everyone around here name their pokegirls after some variation of Kate?” Nicholas cried.
“You must have met Brian.” The boy chuckled. “He named his Caterpie after her. Too bad he didn’t choose some Weedle.”
The pokegirl that materialized instantly buzzed up to ten feet in the air and Nicholas had to reposition his scanner.
“Beedrill. The poison bee pokegirl.” The pokedex said.
“More fucking poison.” Nicholas grumbled.
“Kathleen! Keep in the air and attack!”
“Yes, Master.” The cool voice from the bee pokegirl shook Nicholas and he began shouting his own orders. “Ashley, if you can’t match her height, don’t try! Dodge her and attack where she’s going next!”
Ashley gritted her teeth and stared up at the smug looking bee girl. “She’s strong.”
“She’s not that much stronger than you, so don’t give up!” Nicholas roared. “DODGE!”
Ashley winged to the side when Kathleen dove to attack. By the time she had whirled to retaliate, the Beedrill was already back in position above her.
“Can’t hit me here, birdy.” Kathleen crooned, the lance-like stingers jutting from her wrists tracking Ashley’s body. “All I need is one good hit and you’ll be suffering my poison.”
Ashley planted her feet and screamed a challenge. “If you’re so confident, THEN HIT ME!”
“Ashley, NO!” Nicholas tried to yell but Kathleen was already dive bombing the defiant Pidgey.
Ashley met the Beedrill’s charge with a gust attack that bowled the bug girl head over ass until she slammed into a tree. Immediately Ashley followed up on her advantage, dashing in and landing a few blows before Kathleen could wing back into the air.
The Beedrill spat blood, her eyes glowing with rage. “Now I’m angry.” She hissed. “Dodge THIS!”
Ashley screamed when Kathleen buzzed in and unleashed a flurry of strikes with her stingers. She fell back, clutching at the bleeding holes where the Beedrill had connected, and glared up at where her opponent had returned to her position.
“You’re a fucking coward.” She spat. “Hit and run? Is that all you can do? Stand and fight!”
Kathleen’s lip curled into a sneer. “I fight to win, darling. And you. Can’t. Hit me.”
Nicholas was shouting a command but Ashley ignored him. She knew how to end this battle, she just needed to trick the Beedrill. “One good hit and you’d be down!” She screamed. “You’re scared. Scared!”
Kathleen laughed, her movements becoming faster before she locked her arms in place and aimed directly at Ashley’s chest. “It was a fun battle, little bird.”
Ashley screamed when the diving Beedrill stabbed her but didn’t fight back, letting a surprised Kathleen carry her weight for an extra few moments before the Beedrill was forced to disengage in order to get back to her favorite position.
“Why’d you do that-?” Kathleen started to mutter before the torrent of air caught her and sent her screaming into a tree with a sickening thud.
Ashley felt the impact of the ground catch her unprotected head and stars danced across her vision, but she’d done it. She’d finally aimed where Kathleen was going to be, and she’d hit the stupid bug straight on.
The tamers recalled their pokegirls, Nicholas looking over at his opponent. Both waited for a few moments before the boy sighed.
“Draw.” Nicholas agreed.
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Dahlia, Bulbasaur – Level 10
Ashley, Pidgey – Level 10
Elizabeth, Nidoran – Level 8
All three pokegirls materialized, with Ashley groaning from her sore muscles.
“Morning, girls!” Nicholas called, already halfway done taking down their tent. “All of you had a tough day yesterday, so I let you get some rest. Breakfast is on my bag there.”
Elizabeth wandered over, picking up the rations and making a face. “Really? Dried crap?”
“Dried crap lasts a while when you’re in the wilds.” Nicholas replied cheerfully. “We can eat real food when we’re in a city.”
Elizabeth grumbled but took her share before passing the rest around.
“Can one of you girls take the lead today?” Ashley moaned. “I feel like all those holes the bitch put in me are still there.”
Nicholas paused and walked over. “Are you alright? Need another potion?”
Ashley quickly shook her head. “No, I’m good, just need a break.”
“I think we can handle that.” Nicholas looked around. “…Elizabeth, how are you feeling? You did well yesterday.”
Elizabeth nodded. “I’ll handle it.”
“Excellent.” Nicholas recalled Ashley. “Let me go check on the other tamer I camped with, and we’ll head out.”
Dahlia took a bite while they waited. “So you feel good?”
Elizabeth nodded. “I need to get stronger. If you are all taking the lead, I won’t catch up.”
Dahlia chuckled and patted the Nidoran’s back. “That’s true, you won’t. But if you need rest, don’t hesitate to ask.” Her eyes danced with her suppressed laughter.
Elizabeth made a face at her and turned to Nicholas when he walked back up. “I’m ready, Master.”
“Cool. We’re about halfway through the forest now. The path dips a bit south, but it’ll turn back north after a bit.” He gestured. “That way, Elizabeth.”
Elizabeth took the lead, fighting off a few pokegirls as they walked. A few hours passed before the path began to turn and they stopped in front of a sea of green.
“This way, Master?” Elizabeth asked uncertainly. “There’s so much room for wild pokegirls to hide.”
“It’s the only way forwards.” Nicholas replied, his own voice tinged with worry. “Are you ready?”
Elizabeth steeled herself and nodded. “Let’s do it.”
They had barely taken ten steps in when a large figure rose out of the grass and Nicholas swore. “Shit! Butterfree, Elizabeth, get her before she can fly too high!”
Elizabeth snarled, leaping for the flying bug pokegirl but missing and getting a mouthful of dirt for her trouble. “Fuck!”
The Butterfree drifted overhead, clearly fully feral from the way she obliviously moved through the air. Nicholas sneezed when something got in his nose and he reached up, wiping his lip and staring at the yellow fingertip. “Oh, no.”
Elizabeth began coughing, the powder getting in her lungs before her body seized up. “Mas-ter…” She gasped.
“ASHLEY! TAKE THE BUTTERFREE DOWN!” Nicholas roared, releasing the Pidgey and gesturing frantically at the lazily flitting pokegirl. “NOW!”
Ashley winced but flapped her wings, the wind helping to clear the drifting powder before she focused her attack and battered the feral.
The Butterfree screeched, crashing to the ground and struggling to get back up.
“I’ve got-“ Dahlia started but Elizabeth shoved past her, forcing her limbs to move.
“No, I DO.” She snarled, eyes burning as she stalked the struggling pokegirl. “Think you can drug me, you bitch? Take THIS!”
Nicholas winced when she drove her foot into the Butterfree’s chest, watching the frail girl crunch into the ground a few feet away. “Yea?” Elizabeth muttered. “Take that.”
Nicholas moved towards her when she collapsed, the paralysis spreading. “Here, I’ve got medicine.” He carefully fed her the paralyze heal, waiting for her to begin moving normally before turning to his other pokegirls. “Either of you get hit by that?”
Both Ashley and Dahlia shook their heads and Nicholas recalled Ashley again. “Thank goodness we had a Pidgey to knock her out of the sky.”
Elizabeth coughed, struggling upright and looking over at the Butterfree. “Think you should catch her, Master?”
“I’ll catch her for the bounty, but I’m not keeping her.” Nicholas replied, tossing a ball and waiting for the capture tone. “She’s got a nice look to her, but I don’t like bugs. At all.”
“You don’t like a lot of things.” Dahlia observed.
Nicholas sighed. “I say that because I don’t usually judge on appearances, I judge on personalities. If I met a bug who was a nice girl, maybe I’d find room for her.”
“Mmm.” Dahlia gave him a knowing smile. “So why not get to know this one?”
“My harem is full right now.” Nicholas replied with a chuckle. “I’m more focused on getting you three trained up than I am on adding more girls.”
“That’s good, Master.” Dahlia looked around the forest. “I don’t think there are any more of them waiting for us. Should we continue?”
“Yea, I got it.” Elizabeth grumbled, pushing back into the grass.
It took another few hours before Nicholas saw an opening in the trees. “Hey, there! That looks like the exit!”
Elizabeth dropped the unconscious Weedle she had been bludgeoning. “You think so?”
“It looks like it. Let’s go!”
They were almost to the opening when Nicholas saw a telltale hat poking out of the grass. “Oh for the love of-“
The tamer jumped up. “HA! Got you! I challenge you to a pokegirl battle, traveller!”
“I JUST WANT TO GET TO PEWTER!” Nicholas roared. “FINE! How many?”
“Unlimited battle! You’ll fall to my bug swarm!” The tamer yelled. “Go, Helen! Put that one to sleep!”
Elizabeth’s jaw tightened when a Butterfree materialized. “Fuck this. Fuck you, this is NOT. HAPPENING. AGAIN!”
The Butterfree screamed when Elizabeth leapt forwards, her short spines sticking up before she began slamming them repeatedly into the flailing bug. “JUST! GO! DOWN!” Elizabeth roared, whirling to dodge the cloud of green powder that was shaking off the Butterfree’s wings. “NO!”
Nicholas just watched in shock as the Nidoran went to town. “Uh, Elizabeth…”
The tamer recalled his fainted Butterfree. “Uh, we-we’ll finish the job, Lisa…?”
The second Butterfree that materialized took one look at the livid Nidoran and screamed, fleeing as fast as she could fly in the other direction. Unfortunately, that was towards a wall of trees, and pretty soon she had to slow down. That gave the chasing Nidoran more than enough time to catch her.
The tamer quickly recalled his floundering pokegirl before Elizabeth could make a repeat performance. “Um… Shit.”
“Elizabeth, that’s enough!” Nicholas yelled, recalling the enraged Nidoran. “Alright, who’s next?”
The tamer threw up his hands. “I’m done! You win. Here, take my money and leave me alone!”
Nicholas watched him dash away and through the forest exit. “Well.”
Dahlia was slowly blinking while she processed what had occurred in the last few seconds. “Well, Master… We did know that she was a powerful wild pokegirl. An Alpha.”
“I kind of want to throw her at the gym and see what happens.” Nicholas whispered in awe. “When she gets mad, she gets mad.”
“I think she might be more powerful than she’s letting on.” Dahlia thought out loud. “Let’s go, Master. We’re almost there.”
They only had to fend off a single, slow-moving Kakuna before bursting into the sunlight. Dahlia breathed a sigh of relief and pointed. “Look, Master, there’s the city!”
Nicholas gazed out at Pewter City. “We finally made it. Wow. That felt like weeks to get through that dumb forest.”
“Well then, I hope you’re not going anywhere else.” Nicholas turned to see a man about his age leaning against a tree. “From here, it’s either turn around, or brave Mt. Moon.”
“Mt. Moon?” Nicholas asked curiously.
“That big old mountain in the distance.” The man gestured off to the east. “There’s no pass over it. You have to go through.”
“Um… Is it safe?”
“Safe?” The man laughed. “Safe for a tamer like you or I, maybe.”
“Ah.” Nicholas stared at the towering peak. “…I think we’ll train a lot more before stepping in there.”
“You and everyone else.” The man replied. “The route leading up to it is absolutely infested with tamers, all of them too scared to move forwards.”
“I see.” Nicholas squared his shoulders. “Well, we won’t be there long.”
The man chuckled. “Good on you. That’s what they all say.”
“By the way, why aren’t you trying to battle me?” Nicholas asked curiously. “Every other tamer around here has.”
The man smiled. “I don’t pick on newbies, that’s why.” He straightened. “Well, good luck on your challenge, bud. I was up here searching for a Pikachu to round out my collection, but I’ve heard they gather around the old abandoned Power Plant as well, so I’m going to try there.” He released what looked like a punk version of Ashley and grabbed her shoulder. “Have fun with Brock! He’s a good guy!”
Nicholas covered his face when two massive wings unfolded from the pokegirl’s back and she took off, circling a few times before flying off to the east.
“I wonder who that was.” Nicholas muttered. “Decent guy, I guess.”
“Let’s get into town, Master.” Dahlia urged. “Before any more tamers show up.”
Nicholas stared up at the massive building in front of him. He’d gotten everyone healed at the pokecenter, check. He’d spent some of his prize money on more potions, check. It was time. His first gym battle.
Nicholas stepped inside, looking around the sparsely decorated building. There were no rooms, no hallways, just a series of arenas leading into the distance.
“HeyO! We got a challenger here!” Nicholas jumped when a man leapt into view. “Greetings, challenger! Welcome to the Pewter City gym, home to the rock hard man himself, Brock! As you’ve probably already guessed, this gym specializes in rock-type pokegirls. Hope you’ve brought some strong grass or water-type girls of your own!”
“Um… Yea, I-I-I have.” Nicholas stuttered. “I’m sorry, who are you?”
“Why I’m the gym challenge man! My job is to make sure you challengers know what’s going on around here and how your challenge is going to work.” He slid closer and waggled his eyebrows. “So, want to hear about Brock’s gym?”
Nicholas pushed away. “Please tell me you only work here in Pewter.”
“Of course!” Nicholas started to sigh in relief when the man continued. “All the other gyms have their own man!”
“Lovely.” Nicholas grumbled.
“Your battles today will be unlimited battles! That means any number of pokegirls may be used on either side, and they’ll be free substitution as well, which means you don’t have to wait for a break in the action before shifting your strategy!” The man continued with his bombastic attitude. “You’re free to heal your pokegirls between battles, even if you have to go back to the pokecenter! But be warned, if you make it to the Elite Four one day, there won’t be any of that. Oh no. You can only use what you’ve got.”
“Yea, I brought potions.” Nicholas replied.
“Excellent! We’ve got a champion in the making right here.” The man cried. “Now, challenger, move forwards when ready to begin!”
Nicholas was all too happy to leave the hype man behind and quickly jogged deeper into the building.
As he got closer to an arena he could see a tamer sitting on one side, the younger boy perking up when he got close. “Hi! Are you a challenger?”
“That’s right.” Nicholas called.
“Alright!” The boy shot to his feet. “Welcome to the Pewter City gym! One, two, three, LET’S ROCK!”
Nicholas groaned at the pun but released Elizabeth, the boy releasing a sturdy looking pokegirl that immediately began lowering her stance.
“Geodude. The rock pokemon.” His pokedex said.
“Elizabeth, I’m saving Dahlia for the final battle, so you’ll need to clean up the small fry.” Nicholas called.
The Nidoran sized up her opponent. “Easy, Master.”
“Go get her! Tackle!” The boy yelled.
“Poison won’t do much.” Nicholas called when Elizabeth took the attack and returned a strike of her own. “I’ve seen you use it. Double Kick!”
Elizabeth nodded, energy forming around her legs before she pummeled the Geodude.
The rock pokegirl groaned, staggering back from the attack but staying on her feet, her defensive posture saving her from some of the damage. “Tackle! Keep hitting her until she goes down!” The boy yelled.
“Keep kicking until you win!”
The Geodude slammed into Elizabeth’s body and the Nidoran grinned at the suddenly worried girl. “Feel that?” She crooned, shoving the Geodude off of the spike she had hit. “That’s poison.”
The Geodude whimpered as the poison took hold but Elizabeth quickly knocked her out with a kick to the jaw. “One down!”
The boy recalled his Geodude and released another. “Get her! Just keep tackling until we win!”
“I feel sorry for these girls.” Nicholas muttered, watching the second Geodude fall to another flurry of kicks. “I get that this is the first gym, but this is kind of ridiculous.”
Another Geodude fell before the boy lowered his head. “That’s it. You win.”
“Somehow I don’t feel like I really did that much.” Nicholas muttered but walked forwards to high five Elizabeth. “Nicely done!”
“They were weak!” Elizabeth laughed.
“Of course they were, when you abuse their worst matchup.”
Nicholas glanced up to see a man watching them. He glanced between Nicholas and Elizabeth before gesturing. “Come. Face me.”
“That’s…” Nicholas trailed off.
“That must be the leader.” Elizabeth replied. “Come on, Master!”
They followed the man deeper into the gym, stopping when Nicholas saw the next arena spread out in front of them. This one was covered in boulders and a loose gravel floor, not even close to the plain arena the first tamer had used. Brock glanced back before walking to his podium. “Welcome, challenger, to the Pewter City gym. I am Brock. I warn you, I will not be as easy as my trainee was.”
“It’ll be over just as quick!” Elizabeth gloated. “Kick kick and down you go!”
“If you say so.” Brock replied. “Come, challenger! Show me you know how to train your pokegirls!”
Elizabeth ran forwards as soon as another Geodude materialized but Nicholas was wary. “Elizabeth, get back!”
“It’s fine, Master, see?” Elizabeth laughed, readying another Double Kick. “Just another Geodude!”
Suddenly Nicholas realized he hadn’t healed her yet. “ELIZABETH, NO!”
The Geodude swiftly threw up a block, taking the Double Kick before dropping her arms with a cheeky grin. “That all you got, honey? You gotta do better than THAT!”
Elizabeth screamed when the Geodude pummeled her, sliding back and slowly getting to her feet. “That… That hurt more than it…”
“You’re still weak from the last battle!” Nicholas called desperately. “Elizabeth, retu-“
“NO!” Elizabeth yelled. “I got this!”
Nicholas watched helplessly when she ran in again, managing to land another few kicks before the Geodude retaliated with a blow to her chest that sent the Nidoran crashing to the ground. Her head smacked against a boulder and he recalled the unconscious girl. “Fuck!”
It was hard to tell but he swore Brock smiled. “Release your next pokegirl.”
“Fucking- Ashley!” Nicholas released the Pidgey. “I’m sorry, but please finish off this Geodude!”
Brock’s smile vanished. “A bird, in my gym? You insult me. Jenny, knock her down!”
Ashley was just starting to gain momentum when the Geodude bent down, taking a scoop out of the gym floor and heaving a barrage of stones at the Pidgey. Ashley screamed when the rocks impacted, battering her directly into unconsciousness.
Nicholas stared in stunned silence at the unmoving Pidgey. One hit? It had taken only one hit?
“Release your next pokegirl, challenger!” Brock yelled.
Nicholas recalled Ashley. “Dahlia.” The Bulbasaur materialized and looked around. “I’ve made a few mistakes. You’re the last one standing.”
Dahlia looked at him. “Master?”
“If we don’t win, it’s not your fault. It’s mine.”
Dahlia frowned, turning to the grinning Geodude. “We will win, Master.”
“Take her down quickly. She’s still his first pokegirl and has taken a lot of damage.”
Dahlia nodded. “Yes Master.”
Brock frowned. “Saving your trump card. Interesting. Jenny, you’re going to drop, but take a chunk of her with you.”
“Yes Master.” The Geodude grabbed another handful of stones, preparing to pelt Dahlia with them.
Dahlia dove to the side, causing the attack to go wide, and lashed out with her vines to catch the surprised Geodude. Brock quickly recalled her. “Good try, Jenny. But, challenger, that was only a taste of what we can do.” He raised a second pokeball. “I only have two pokegirls. Here’s why.”
Nicholas swallowed when an absolutely massive form materialized in the arena. “Onix. The rock snake pokemon.” His pokedex chirped.
“How would you even TAME something like that?” He gasped.
The girl coiled up, raising her human, albeit large, body above her snake-like tail. “Carefully.” Brock chuckled.
“Dahlia, do your best!” Nicholas cried. “Use your vines, target her torso!”
The Onix moved with astonishing speed to avoid Dahlia’s first attack and the Bulbasaur screamed when the massive pokegirl slammed into her.
“Dahlia, there! She’s close!”
Dahlia grimaced, whipping her vines back. She started to celebrate when she hit but her shouts died when the Onix took them without complaint.
“What’s happening?” She whimpered, winding up and pummeling the unmoving Onix. “WHY ARE YOU JUST SITTING THERE!”
She was doing a lot of damage. She knew she was. But the Onix still just watched her. It was almost as if-
“Unleash your energy, Joy!”
Dahlia’s eyes bugged when the Onix roared, her body rippling as every bit of damage she had just sustained came rocketing back towards the petrified Bulbasaur.
The impact sent her careening through the air and Nicholas desperately recalled her before she could hit something.
“Any more pokegirls, challenger?” Brock asked.
Nicholas stared at Dahlia’s pokeball. “No.”
Nicholas felt his arm begin to shake. He had lost, and not only had he lost, he’d led his pokegirls into a battle that had hurt them more than anything they’d faced so far. Dahlia’s bones had to have been shattered from the impact. Elizabeth had trusted him and lost a battle because he hadn’t helped her. Ashley-
Someone put a hand on his arm and he started, looking up to see Brock watching him. “You made some mistakes.” Brock said quietly. “You recognized them. Now, go heal up, and when you’re ready, I’ll see you back here again.”
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Dahlia, Bulbasaur – Level 11
Ashley, Pidgey – Level 11
Elizabeth, Nidoran – Level 10
Nicholas stared at the three pokeballs in front of him.
What was he going to say? What would they say?
He slowly reached out to trigger Ashley’s release first.
The Pidgey appeared with a groan. “That… Master, I’m sorry, I couldn’t dodge in time.”
Apologies. Of course. They trusted him and he’d let them down, but all they thought was that they had failed him. Nicholas felt tears beading in his eyes. “Ashley, that wasn’t your fault. It was mine.”
The Pidgey glanced up in surprise. “No, I could have-“ She stopped when she saw the look on his face. “Master?”
Nicholas took a shaky breath. “You should have never been put in. It was stupid. A mistake.”
Ashley slid closer, peering at him. “Master?”
His head shot forward and he cried out, Ashley’s slap stinging the back of his skull. “No!” Ashley cried. “You did what you thought was best! Right, Master?” Her eyes dared him to answer differently. “WELL?”
“B-but- What I thought was wrong.”
“SO WHAT!” Ashley screamed. “FAILURE IS HOW WE LEARN!” She huffed. “If we lost, we get back up and try again!”
“Oh, you’re hopeless.” Ashley snarled, shoving away from him and beginning to fight phantom enemies. “I need to be faster. If I’m faster, I can dodge those attacks, and get a hit in.” She grunted, whirling about the room. “Fast. Fast. Fast!”
Nicholas watched her. She’d just been bludgeoned nearly to death, and mere hours later she was this prepared to fight again? “How?” He asked. “How can you be so… unconcerned? That Geodude dropped you, like… well, like the stones she threw.”
Ashley came to a halt in front of him. “Because If I don’t try to get better, I’ll never win again.” She growled. “You don’t get better by giving up, Master.”
Nicholas stared at her for a moment more before grabbing the other two pokeballs. “You’re right. Of course you are. I thought you’d be broken after that battle but you’re not. Why would you be? That’s not you.” He whirled to her after triggering the other two releases, lunging out and hugging her tightly. “Thank you, Ashley. Thank you.” He tightened his hold for a moment. “For being you.”
Ashley felt a thrill when he didn’t make any move towards the two other confused pokegirls. “I’m ready to try again. Are you?” She asked with a grin.
Dahlia and Elizabeth exchanged a glance. “Ash, you got demolished.” Dahlia said gently. “Let’s take a break first.”
“No.” Ashley replied firmly. “I haven’t seen Michael, that human Master knows, so he must have already gone ahead. We’re falling behind and I won’t let any of you sit around and waste time we could be using to get stronger!”
Elizabeth came alert, her eyes snapping to Ashley when she heard the Pidgey’s tone. “Are you telling me what to do?”
Ashley gently removed Nicholas from his position before stepping closer to the Nidoran. “I am.”
“Now, now, no need to get angry…” Dahlia cried fretfully, waving her hands to get their attention. “No need for any of that…”
Elizabeth’s lips curled into a smile as she looked down into Ashley’s defiant gaze. “I like you, girl. I like you a lot.” She playfully shoved the Pidgey and turned to Nicholas. “She’s right. We’ve learned a lot from our failed battle. I want to put it to use.”
“You… you want to go back? Now?”
Elizabeth smirked, crossing her arms and standing proud. “She caught me by surprise. We’ll get them this time.”
When Dahlia joined the other two Nicholas shook his head. “I… guess we head back.”
Brock glanced over at the door for his next challenger and frowned when he saw who walked in. “Hey, you’re back? It’s only been a few hours.”
“I’ve been told moping about does us no good.” Nicholas called back, walking past the trainee and stopping across from Brock. “I’m ready. To claim that badge.”
Brock grinned. “So be it, challenger! I hope you can show me the true power of your pokegirls this time.”
“Dahlia, start us off strong.”
Brock nodded when the Bulbasaur materialized. “Not holding back this time, I see. Alright, Jenny! Do your best!”
The Geodude took a look at the Bulbasaur and sighed. “Not again.”
“Don’t give her a chance!” Nicholas yelled. “Vine Whip, hit for the KO!”
Dahlia dashed forwards, her vines snapping out at the suddenly panicked Geodude. Jenny rolled under the first attack, managing to get her defensive stance in place before the second round of vines lifted her up and slammed her back into the ground.
“AGAIN!” Nicholas roared.
Jenny screamed when the vines lifted up, pausing a moment as Dahlia tensed before slicing back down and battering her body.
“Hm. Even in her defensive stance, she couldn’t handle more than two.” Brock muttered, recalling the Geodude. “You should have led with her all along, challenger. She’s a strong Bulbasaur.”
“She’s waited quite a few years for this moment.” Nicholas replied. “Come on! Let’s see the ONIX!”
Brock grinned and released the towering pokegirl. “JOY! Take her down!”
“You remember the plan?” Nicholas asked.
Dahlia stared at the massive rock snake. “I do, Master.”
Dahlia sprinted forwards, sliding past a tail swipe and wrapping her vines around Joy’s midriff. The Onix roared, throwing her own body towards the ground to sandwich the Bulbasaur between a rock and a hard place. Dahlia screamed when the weight of her opponent began crushing her, but she managed to get a few good strikes in with her vines.
She grinned when the Onix went still. “MASTER, NOW!”
Brock’s gaze darted up when Nicholas recalled her. “What are you-“
“ELIZABETH! YOU’RE UP!” Nicholas roared.
The Nidoran materialized, glaring at the motionless Onix. She waited a few seconds before beginning to laugh. “It’s just like she said.”
“Um… You can’t win, if you don’t attack.” Brock called awkwardly.
“There’s other ways to win.” Elizabeth crooned, scrambling up a boulder and jumping onto the trembling Onix’s tail before sliding closer to her human torso. “We don’t really have to fight, do we?” She cooed, letting out playful growling noises between her words.
“She couldn’t attack until Dahlia did.” Nicholas called. “And Elizabeth can flatter her all day.”
“Oh, you know I can, too.” Elizabeth whispered, running her fingers along the Onix’s cheek. “You don’t really want to hit me, do you? Cute little me?”
Joy gasped, her resolve faltering. With no energy to rebound the technique did nothing and Nicholas raised a hand when he saw the Onix’s body relax.
“Joy, BIND!” Brock roared, but it was too late.
Joy yelped when the Nidoran, who had moments ago been gently – and rather adorably, she thought – teasing her, gave her a savage grin.
“I’m going to kick you now.” She remarked sweetly.
Joy felt the impacts to her lower torso and roared, desperately trying to cushion the blow, but Elizabeth wasn’t done.
“And AGAIN!” She screamed, pummeling the flailing Onix. “And AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!”
Nicholas raised a finger, his mouth popping open before he reconsidered and closed it again. “If she can hit more than twice in a row, why do they call the technique Double Kick?” He muttered to himself.
Brock shook his head when Joy finally gave in, the Onix’s body snapping back from the assault and leaving her lying stunned on top of her own coils.
“I believe that’s it for me.” He called, recalling the Onix and watching Elizabeth jump to the floor. “I see I shouldn’t have been worried. Your girls learned as much from their mistakes as you did.” He strode into the arena, nodding at Elizabeth before stopping in front of Nicholas. “Here.” He held out a small case. “The Boulder Badge is yours.”
Nicholas reverently took the case, popping it open and staring at the pin inside. “This is mine?”
“It is proof of your victory here today.” Nicholas jumped when Brock stepped back, his feet snapping together and his arms slamming across his chest. “HROAH! CHALLENGER, YOU HAVE DEFEATED THE PEWTER CITY GYM!”
Nicholas quickly closed his mouth. “I… Wow. Thank you, Brock- or, sir, or leader, or…”
Brock grinned and reached back out to grab Nicholas’ shoulder. “Leader Brock works fine, young man. Congratulations.”
Nicholas slowly grinned at him. “Thank you.”
Ah, here.” Brock patted along his pockets until he pulled out a small disc. “This is a Technical Machine, or TM for short. It can teach a pokegirl a new attack, as long as she’s able to learn.”
Nicholas took the disc. “Able to learn? What’s that mean?”
“Well, let’s say you had a water-type pokegirl. It’s unlikely she’d be able to learn to shoot fire.” Brock chuckled. “Use that wisely. There are some higher quality discs out there that you can use multiple times, but we’re only supposed to give out these cheap single-use TMs to our challengers.” Brock laughed. “After all, it would cost the pokegirl league a pretty penny to provide the reusable ones to every new tamer we saw.”
“I see.” Nicholas kept staring at the disc. “Um, do you have a sleeve for it, or…?”
“You came from Oak’s lab, didn’t you?”
Nicholas blinked. “Yea?”
“Check your bag. He should have included a TM case.”
Nicholas dug through the pockets until he found a long cylindrical item. “This?”
‘That’s the thing.” Brock reached over, popping it open and showing Nicholas how the TM fit inside. “Check around as you travel. The cheap ones are, well, cheap enough that someone might have lost one and not cared enough to look for it.”
“Huh, I’ll do that.” Nicholas took the TM case back. “Thanks.”
“You can put that badge in your pokedex as well.” Brock offered, pointing at a strange compartment Nicholas had been trying to figure out the purpose of. “Or stick it on your shirt if you want. Do whatever! It’s yours now. Congratulations.”
Nicholas would have stared at the badge for the rest of the day if Elizabeth hadn’t sidled up to him and none too gently began tugging him towards the door.
“Be well, Nicholas!” Brock called. “Good luck in Cerulean!”
“Wait, did he just call me by-“ Nicholas started.
“Come on, Master.” Elizabeth shoved him out the gym doors and pointed at the towering peak. “We’ve headed there next, aren’t we? I want to be stronger before we get close.” She pressed up right in his face, her fierce eyes emboldening him. “I need to train, to show that silly bird that I’m the better Alpha.”
Nicholas grinned down at her and swept her around, laughing as he did. “Yes, good! You’re becoming rivals. That will push you both even higher.” He stopped spinning to kiss her. “Training is a good idea, and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time for it tomorrow. Tonight, we celebrate.”
Tamer: Nicholas Topolski
Pewter City – Boulder Badge
Dahlia, Bulbasaur – Level 13
Ashley, Pidgey – Level 11
Elizabeth, Nidoran – Level 12
Tamer: Michael Thieme
Pewter City – Boulder Badge
Vanessa, Squirtle – Level 15
Petunia, Rattata – Level 13
Hannah, Mankey – Level 17
???, Sandshrew – Level 10