As he stepped off the teleportation pad, Alvin groaned as he saw the the old woman sitting in the back of the room.
"Welcome back trainer. Still no luck, eh?" she cackled at his plight. He wasn't sure how long he'd been doing this, but it felt like he'd been repeating these rooms for days now. When he'd stepped into the Saffron Gym that day, he'd had no idea it would be like this.
"This is nuts! I know I've stepped on every single one of these things! How have I not found the gym leader yet?!" he cried out in frustration, stepping off his current pad and slumping up against the wall. He'd beaten all the trainers in the gym he'd come across so far, using Splashmaster and his new pokemon, a Rattata he'd named Chomper. So far, Chomper had been the real hero of the Gym, her Bite and Pursuit techniques knocking out a fair share of the trainers they'd come across. However, none of that was likely to matter if he couldn't find the gym leader!
"It's never taken a trainer this long to figure out…...one second….." The old crone tilted her head to the side, as if listening to some far off voice, though Alvin couldn't hear anything. "Very well, if you're certain." she nodded and looked at Alvin, "Okay, look, we're told by Sabrina to guide you to her. You can start by getting onto the pad you came here from," she told him, pointing to the one he'd just left.
"Hmph. If I end up back here again, YOU'RE gonna be Sabrina." Alvin threatened, impatience laced in his voice as he went to the pad again, stomping down on it and closing his eyes.
Teleporting felt like… being stretched out, then squished back in place elsewhere. Not too much, obviously, but enough that it was VERY noticeable. He made the mistake of having his eyes open the first time, and the rush of colored streaks he saw made him want to vomit when he reappeared.
And now he was back at the beginning… great. He crossed his arms in thought, trying to figure out a proper path, but then something just… clicked in his head. After that, he went through the first teleporter pad.
It all just came to him. Upper right. Upper left. Lower left. Lower left. When he felt his body putting itself back to normal again, he glanced around. This room was… slightly different than the others. Along with the dark, techy looking floor that had those weird, red lights going along it, the center of the room had a large pedestal, lined in bright neon blue lights that shaped a… chair?
In said chair was a lady. The gaze that she had brought a harsh shiver down Alvin's spine. Long, purple hair. Fair skin, not a single blemish to be seen in her complexion. She wore a pinkish shirt that was only held up by a couple thin straps, exposing a fair amount of her midriff. A black belt and white pants finished her outfit.
But what Alvin's eyes focused on were the two large, black bracelets she wore that had a green glow to them.
"What the heck… who… are you?" Alvin asked, shaking his head a little. Teleporting left his mind a little dizzy still.
"I am Sabrina. I guided you here." He heard her voice, but her mouth didn't move at all! "What makes you think challenging my gym first would be a good idea?"
To that, Alvin just shrugged. "Misty said wait. You were closest. But that doesn't matter! We're gonna kick your butt and get your badge! I'm headed to the top, lady, and no one is gonna stand in my way. But… you can try if you want." He said with a proud, assured smile.
"Headstrong. Impulsive. And unorganized. This shouldn't take too long, but it will be interesting." That time, Sabrina did speak. She sat up from her chair, her bracelets glowing brighter. "As Saffron City's Gym Leader, I accept your challenge."
Alvin had to take a step back as Sabrina suddenly lifted right off the ground! An invisible force just pushed him back, causing him to stumble a little. "T-That ain't gonna scare me off! No matter how many strings lift you!" He said, stomping his foot defiantly.
Sabrina, expressionless as ever, set herself down on the floor, a pokeball floating in hand. From it, Sabrina produced an Espeon. The pokemon landed evenly on all fours, that red gem gleaming nice and bright as it let out a soft coo, giving Alvin a glare that almost rivaled Sabrina's own.
Still, Alvin didn't waver. He grabbed a pokeball from his waist and, with a cocky smile, tossed it up, releasing his dear Chomper from within. "Let's go, Chomper! Ain't nothing different than the others, so let's start with a Quick Attack!"
Chomper nodded, her little claws hooking into the floor below, her body covered in white light as she burst forward in a speedy rush, slamming right into the Espeon's side to send it spiraling.
Espeon stumbled, shaking its head and growling when it regained its bearings. Then, its gem released a rainbow colored beam right at Chomper. "Ah! Dodge it!" Alvin called out, sighing in relief as the Rattata just barely avoided a hit. Then, he glared at Sabrina. "Hey! Keep your pokemon in line, it just attacked on its own!"
Sabrina said nothing, but Espeon released another Psybeam. And this time, it struck Chomper head on, knocking the little rat backwards. It was then that Alvin realized her bracelets kept the glow.
'Wait a minute… I get it! She's psychic talking her pokemon! That's cool! Wait wait, no, focus Alvin! Just stick to the plan!' He thought. "Chomper! Just stay close!" He instructed. "Get it with a Bite!"
"Raaat…" Chomper stumbled about a little, her tail drooped as she tried to focus on the target ahead. The sight of another Psybeam approaching was enough to snap her to her senses long enough to dodge it, only this time her side was grazed by the beam. Chomper let out a growl and, although wobbly, ran right over to the Espeon, crouching between its legs and delivering a good chomp right on its foreleg. Espeon let out a howl of pain, limping down as Chomper scampered away.
"Atta girl Chomper! Now use Tail Whip!" Alvin said. As the Rattata turned around, though, the gem on Espeon's head released a bright flash of light. Alvin shielded his eyes from the light while Chomper took a few steps back.
The light soon faded away. Through the slight daze, Alvin just barely made out the pokeball floating by Sabrina. Seeing that flicked on a light bulb in Alvin's mind.
"Shake it off, Chomper, and use Pursuit quick!" He ordered.
Chomper let out a growl, shaking her head to get rid of the remaining flecks of light in her vision. Then, with a running start, she dashed up to the Espeon, her body cloaked in a dark aura as she gave a good, firm headbutt right to Espeon's chest.
The red beam from Sabrina's pokeball missed completely, and Espeon was sent tumbling aside, knocked out.
Alvin looked at Sabrina with a smug smile across his face. "Well? How's THAT for quick thinking?" He asked with his arms crossed. "This gym is gonna be a breeze~" He said, poking out his tongue. "C'mon! Gimme everything you've got!"
Again, just a cold gaze from Sabrina as she returned her Espeon. Another pokeball floated up, floating over to the battlefield. Alvin's ear twitched a little from the silence… it was weird. "Hey! You can say something, ya know!"
The pokeball opened up, and from the light came… a Mr. Mime. The sight of it alone sent a shiver down Alvin's spine, but when it moved, well… Alvin unknowingly took a step away. Not only was it forming that weird wall in front of it, but the way it smiled and was strangely silent just... wasn't right at all.
"That's… weird." He mumbled. "Chomper, think you can handle it?" Alvin asked.
Chomper looked back at him with a worried expression, but she nodded her head anyway, taking a few shaky steps forward towards the mime.
"Oookay, let's try a Tail Whip!" Alvin ordered. Chomper gave him a wary glare, but turned around anyway, her tail lifted higher as she swayed it back and forth. When she was done, it seemed like the move had no effect. The Mr. Mime continued its strange movements, staring down both Alvin and Chomper.
Then, in an instant, Chomper was shrouded in a field of purple energy that lifted her up in the air. She flailed about, squeaking out loud as she clawed at the air. As Alvin grabbed her pokeball, Chomper was sent flying to the back of the room, slamming hard against the wall with a heavy grunt.
The little mouse fell from the wall and onto the ground, out cold. Alvin glared at Sabrina, then back to his pokemon, returning her to her ball.
"Hey! You only got that one cuz you used a freaky clown and distracted me!" Alvin protested, retrieving the next pokeball and tossing it up. "C'mon Splash!" He called as the Squirtle emerged from his ball.
"Squi-irrr…" Splash grimaced a little as he looked to the Mr. Mime, looking back at Alvin in confusion.
"I know buddy, I know. But we got this!" Alvin encouraged. "Hit it with a good Water Gun!"
Splash just nodded, his mouth opened wide as the blast of water jetted out. In response, the Mr. Mime thrust its arms forward, glaring as a wall of purple energy formed in front of its hands. The water gun splashed hard against it, but the wall stayed strong for the most part.
"Quick, go for a Bite before it shields again!" Alvin ordered. Splash nodded, crouching down with a growl before he rushed forward on all fours, sneaking around the barrier and, like Chomper, delivered the bite right to Mr. Mime's leg.
It cried out, stomping its foot to shake Splash off before raising a hand. Before Mr. Mime could attack, Splash released it and jumped back, firing off another Water Gun by Alvin's command. "Thatta boy Splash! Keep on the pressure!" He said. Sure enough, Splash did just that.
If Sabrina was just gonna keep giving silent orders, then there was no such thing as a turn! And with Alvin's encouragement to keep going, Splash gave attack after attack. When Mr. Mime threw up any kind of field, he tried to break through with Water Gun. After that, he'd dash in for a Bite or Tackle. Rinse and repeat.
By the time Splash had even begun to tire, Mr. Mime had already taken a hefty amount of damage. "Good job, bud! Let's finish it off with one more Water Gun!" Alvin cheered. Nodding, Splash glared at his target. The Mr. Mime couldn't even lift up its arms! With one last good shot, Squirtle managed to launch the Mr. Mime off the ground and towards the wall with his Water Gun. Before it even reached the ground, Sabrina returned it to the pokeball.
"Wooooohooo! Way to go, Splash!" Alvin said, rushing to the field to scoop up his Squirtle, spinning around with him a little before setting Splash on his head. "Alright, psychic lady, cough up that badge!"
"Not. Yet. You haven't beaten me." Sabrina spoke, her tone making Alvin tremble a bit. But he shook his head with a defiant stomp then. "Tauros crap, lady! I beat all your pokemon fair and square!" He protested.
Sabrina's bracelets grew brighter, her whole body covered in that green aura as she lowered herself to the battlefield, another pokeball clenched tightly in her hand. "I don't think I've ever had a more irritating battle, so if you want my badge you're going to prove yourself more than a nuisance." She said, tossing the pokeball up into the air.
"Wait, what first gym has more than two pokemon?!" Alvin said, watching as the pokeball opened up.
Her last pokemon, a Kadabra, floated from the ball gracefully, legs crossed and arms folded as it hovered over the ground, glaring at Alvin and Splash.
"Fine then! Splash, get ready to-"
"Squiiir…" Alvin glanced down at his pokemon. Splash was on all fours, just fighting to stand up. And Alvin had used up his potions just making it here! "Dang it. On second thought, you come back buddy. Rest for a bit." Alvin said as he returned Splash to the pokeball.
Chomper was out. Splash was exhausted. All he had left was…
Alvin bit his lip, grasping the third pokeball from his waist. He hadn't really used her for battle… not with that arm. But he didn't have a choice. Opening the ball, Alvin brought out his Sneasel.
"Sneeeaaa…" Nivis let out a wide yawn, rubbing at her eyes as she sat up.
"Hey girl… gonna need your help. Think you can handle it?" Alvin asked, crouching down to Nivis' level. The Sneasel tilted her head, then turned to eye her opponent, then back to Alvin with a confident nod. "Heh. Alright then! Let's give it our best!" Alvin said, gently patting Nivis on the shoulder. "Get ready to lose, Sabrina! Nivis, use Fake Out!"
The Sneasel nodded, rushing up to the Kadabra as fast as she could. Kadabra's eyes widened as Nivis leapt up, her claws giving off an orange glow as she clapped them together, the resulting shock wave being strong enough to knock the psychic type back a few feet.
"Kadabra, shake it off. Energy Ball." Sabrina ordered. Shaking the daze away, Kadabra growled and pointed its spoon right at Nivis, a ball of greenish-blue energy forming right in front of it before firing straight at her.
Without waiting for the order, Nivis ducked under the attack, down on all fours as she glared at the Kadabra. Alvin, while admittedly staring at her rear, cheered her on. "Nice moves, Nivis! Get in close and give 'em an Ice Punch!" He said. The Sneasel nodded, raising up her left paw and clenching it into a fist, a heavy mist surrounding it as ice crept along her paw, covering it completely before she ran forward again.
"Kadabra, use Reflect!" Sabrina ordered. Kadabra just barely managed to raise up that yellowish energy field to guard itself, but Nivis' attack still connected right on its arm that held the spoon, leaving behind some ice as she leapt back. This time, when Sabrina glared at Alvin, she was met with a rather smug smile on his face. "How…?" She asked.
"Hey Sabrina. Next time, be ready for Dark types. Nivis, finish this up with a Feint Attack!" Alvin said. And with that, Nivis crouched down, her body exuding a dark aura that hid her from sight.
Kadabra started to look around, holding onto its frozen arm as it tried to locate the little Sneasel. Footsteps were approaching from all around, the sound of claws on tiles scraping all over, it couldn't pinpoint where she was coming from!
Then, at the last second, Nivis reappeared behind it, her right paw coated in darkness as she gave a good punch right to Kadabra's back, releasing a quick burst of energy and knocking it forward. The psychic type was knocked out before it even met the ground.
Sabrina watched her pokemon fall in shock. Of all the types she had to worry about, Dark may have been the least common. Alvin was busy spinning his Sneasel around, cheering as he placed her up on his shoulders. "Alright!" he said, "Gonna need that badge, Sabrina! I've got some celebrating to do!"
"I… I just... No… No, you earned it fair and square. I just didn't plan ahead as I should have." Sabrina said as she reached into her pocket to retrieve a badge, the gold colored badge floating from her hand over to Alvin's open palm. "You'll find you already have your winnings. And... Take this too. Use it well, if you can manage to." She added. From behind her chair came a small purple cube, floating to Alvin as well. Each side had a black 48 on it. "It's the TM for Skill Swap." She explained simply.
Alvin took them both with a grin, humming. "Why thank you. And hey, maybe I'll come back and-" He paused, looking down. His pokedex had beeped with a new message, and he opened it up immediately. "Oh! Scratch that thought, I gotta run! Can't be late!" He says as he returns Nivis to her ball and stuffing the items in his bag. "Thanks for the battle anyway, gotta go!" He says, running right to the warp pad.
Leaving the gym was easier than getting to Sabrina for sure. Just one pad to get to the start! If only it was active sooner… But anyway, Alvin was rushing towards Saffron's eastern terminal, waiting at it eagerly.
People came through, each one catching Alvin's attention for only a second. Then, after what felt like hours, Alvin perked up as he spotted Theodore coming through. He didn't even wait for the butterball to leave the terminal; he just ran straight in and threw his arms around his baby brother, squeezing him in the tightest hug he could manage.
"A-Alviiiin! You're gonna crush me!" Theodore squealed as Alvin lifted him up and spun him, still squeezing him as he did. When Alvin eventually let him go, Theo stumbled, shaking his head as he rubbed his chest. "Gosh, it's only been a couple days... How are you?" he asked. "Oh, I just remembered! I have something from Simon for-"
"Hold that thought, baby bro. We gotta get to the room, we can talk more there!" Alvin insisted, grabbing Theo's paw and yanking him along through the terminal.
Theodore squeaked, following after Alvin in a vain attempt to keep up with his pace. "W-Wait, what? What room? We're not in Cerulean!" He asked, only for Alvin to not answer.
"Don't worry about that! Just come on!"