"Oh, hey, I almost forgot!" Vermil slapped his head and pointed to the gym. It was only a slight detour from his aunt's house on the way to Professor Willow's Lab. He was attempting the Pokemon League Challenge, after all, and figured it to be a suitable enough time to do so. "The gym! I'll just stop in and give it a go. If push comes to shove, I can always go back after we get back from Garre if I lose."
Saffy looked unimpressed, but waved him on nonetheless. "I'll join you. I'll just stop at Sis' and pick you up some spare healing items. You'll probably need them."
"Yeah, whatever," Vermil scoffed. "Come on, have a little faith in me."
"I'm finding it hard," Saffy said wryly, "I'll see you soon." She left Vermil to his own devices, hopping a little as she walked.
"Hellooo?" Vermil called out as he entered the Basic Gym. It was empty, even as far as pokemon gyms went. There was very little in the way of decoration, just a series of winding paths and corridors. He began slowly plodding down them, watching out for any traps. He was becoming quite used to winding corridors, meaning that the fairly linear nature of this particular gym was no daunting feat for him to accomplish.
"Normal Type pokemon are the standard. There are mysterious surrounding them, to be sure, but they possess no taint of elements or attributes. They attack with the things we all possess within us, a very noble thing." Vermil turned around to find a fairly young looking man - in his twenties, definitely older than Vermil, but still young looking.
"I guess you're the gym leader, huh?" Vermil examined the leader carefully. He wore a suit, a dark blue suit, carefully woven (it seemed) to allow the full movement of a trainer in a stylish manner.
"Plain and boring, normal types are not. Come on, let me test you out." The Leader smiled.
"What? Here?! In the hallway?!" Vermil was slightly surprised.
"Yes. I am Leader Miles... Welcome to my arena..." The trainer pulled a pokeball from his waist and threw. "Time to lay down the law... Aipom! It's up to you!"
"Magby, go! Kick it's ass!"
"Sis! I'm just stopping by to pick up some healing things before... Hello there." Saffy stopped dead in her tracks at the sight of Max.Tall, Dark, handsome, no wedding ring. Jackpot! "So, what're ya doin' 'round here?" Saffy blurted out in an accent not her own.
"I'm... uh..." Max was slightly dumbstruck by how forward the young girl was. He was a fairly tough man, but even he was shook by something so sudden.
"Oh, fine. Be that way." Saffy walked over to the corner of the room, retrieved a few items and left in a huff. Max blinked a little, still stunned.
"What just happened?" He said, turning to Polaris. Polaris just shrugged.
"Not bad, kid. Aipom, that's enough. Come on home." Leader Miles sucked the Aipom back into it's pokeball. Magby had taken something of a beating, but had plenty of fight left in it. "Munchlax, it's your turn now..."
The Munchlax almost appeared to fall out of it's pokeball. It waddled around, apparently uninterested in the battle.
"Oh come on... Magby, just hit it."
Magby shot an ember flame at the Munchlax, which it quickly dodged by jumping off a wall. Vermil had a dumbstruck expression on his face as the fat creature moved faster than anything he'd seen.
"Tsk tsk tsk, kid. You'll find my Munchlax has a few surprises up it's sleeve."
"And you'll find we do too!" A voice yelled out. Both Miles and Vermil turned to find Saffy standing at the edge of the battle. "Under section 93b of the Pokemon League Rules, I hereby call for a MatchEnd!"
"What? Why?" Vermil was slightly worried now. Why was Saffy trying to stop the match?
"93b? Oh, how interesting." Miles was laughing now. "Upon the arrival of a willing competitor, any match may be halted and restarted in the form of a 2 vs 2 Double Battle."
"Oh." Vermil wasn't quite sure what to say.
"Here, Vermil, heal your Magby with this..." She tossed him a potion.
"Alright... Venonat! Let's go!" Saffy shouted, throwing the pokeball at the ground. In the crowded room, the match was turning out quite strange, as Saffy was standing behind Miles, even though the battle was taking place in front of him. "Vermil! I'm giving you full control of Venonat! Go crazy, beat this guy!"
"With two all by myself?!" Vermil was becoming increasingly worried, and used the potion on Magby, who cooed appreciatively.
"Fine, be that way. Eevee! Assist Munchlax!" Miles called out, releasing his Eevee from it's ball. "Ready when you are..."
"Okay... Venonat! Hypnosis on Munchlax!"
"Venonat, Keep using hypnosis! Follow Munchlax! Magby, Ember on Eevee!"
"Eevee, evade! Munchlax, quick attack!" The quick attack dodged the Hypnosis attack and propelled the Munchlax straight into Venonat. Both fell to the ground, but Venonat quickly righted itself, jumping on the fallen Munchlax and using hypnosis while it could not dodge. Magby's ember forced the Eevee directly infront of Munchlax. Venonat looked up from the now-sleeping pokemon and aimed it's hypnosis at Eevee, who quickly fell asleep aswell. Miles looked panicked as Saffy began to cheer in the background.
"Now, Venonat! Use psybeam on Munchlax! Magby, Ember on Eevee!" The ember threw the Eevee across the room, painfully. The force from Venonat's Psybeam force the Munchlax into the floor, and the Venonat itself began to hover.
"Enough!" Miles called, "This battle is over! I concede defeat!" Saffy began whooping ecstatically.
"Eevee, Venonat. Return..." He held out both pokeballs, and the wounded pokemon returned.
"My badge, please." Vermil said gleefully, holding out his hands in a cup, while Venonat returned to it's master.
"I hereby award you the Natural Badge." Miles placed a small, circular, unimposing, cream-colored badge in Vermil's hands. "Treat it well. You've earned it. Oh, and take this. It's a TM. It will teach a pokemon Mega Punch... Although I am disappointed that I only got my Aipom to use it in this battle."
"Oh, but it was a good use." Vermil said, smiling and handing the TM to Magby. "Do something with that, will you?" The disc glowed a little and disappeared, leaving Vermil slightly puzzled. "I don't know what that did, but yay?" He stood upright and removed the Synthesis TM he had recieved from the Nature Gym from his bag. "Oh, Saffy. Give that to Venonat." He smiled and pushed past Miles, handing the TM over. "Okay, Mister Leader. Bye now!" Saffy, Venonat, Vermil and Magby all left the gym feeling victorious, with only Saffy feeling a little sorry that there wasn't enough room in the hall for her Cleffa.
"I hope you've got a good reason for brining me here." De-facto President John Weiss was a busy man. He was attempting to avoid any political troubles in the greater Spectrum region, the archipelago that house the southern part of the Argyle Continent, home to Kanto, Johto in the east and Cyren in the west, as well as the Orange Islands, the Island of Sinnoh and the Island of Hoenn. There were several other regions that fell under the banner of the Nation of Spectrum, but these were the ones that he was having little trouble with. It was the main regions that spoke of secession and uprising - certain troublemakers in Hoenn, particularly, were causing havoc. He had transported a key few to a penal colony in a former volcano there, but it was no use. Everything was falling apart around him, and his seat of power in Fel was crumbling. He had little time for what Stephen Schwarz was wanting to show him.
"Oh, it's a good one." Schwarz lead Weiss into the Rocket Tower. Rocket Logistics was a nationwide haulage firm that grew out of Capsule Solutions, Inc., to meet their growing demand for Pokeball and Pokeball-related products. Capsule Solutions had revolutionised the taming of pokemon with their introduction of the CapsBall just 20 years ago, and refined it into the Pokeball the nation knew and loved now... even though recent developments were more than unsettling.
"It's a building that's in progress, so what?" Weiss was growing impatient.
"I just want you to look over this railing." Schwarz lead Weiss to a small outcropping the constructions works and pointed downwards.
"Oh my... That is quite deep isn't it? Does it go-"
"All the way down, yes."
"You don't mean the centre, do you?"
"No, I mean to what we were looking for." Schwarz began to laugh a deep, rumbling laugh that filled seemed to fill the entire tower, above and below ground.
"My word... We've found it. We've really found it...The final one... Arceus help us all..."