Chapter 5: “I Challenge You!”
Fan fiction inspired by Pokemon
Rating: Young Adult
I decided to end this battle as quickly as possible.
“Vileplume, get ready to use mega drain on Boldore. Skarmory, take down Vanillish with steel wing. Then use aerial ace to knock out Gothita. Muk, provide a shield against any attacks from the enemies with acid armor. Emolga, distract Mienfoo as much as possible with acrobatics. When your targets are down, assist the others or attack that Watchog.”
The pokémon assumed their offensive positions for my strategy. The five trainers kept their guard up, yet not moving or saying a word.
Skarmory swooped in quickly, brushing her steel wings against Vanillish. Vanillish cringed at the piercing of each bladed segment making up Skarmory’s wings. Vileplume charged and attached herself to the Boldore with her stubby arms and legs. Emolga hovered over the Mienfoo, occasionally hitting it with his claws.
And yet, as this battle continued, the trainers remained steadfast. Even stranger was that the pokémon had also not tried to put up a fight yet.
Vileplume absorbed Boldore’s life energy completely as the pokémon fainted. Vanillish had also been knocked out and Skarmory continued on to dive directly into Gothita. Emolga continued to distract the Mienfoo. Watchog continued to stand perfectly still in this battle. I was confused by these trainers’ lack of actions, as well as their pokémon’s, but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity.
“Muk, change to offense and take down Watchog with a sludge bomb. Vileplume, work together with Emolga to finish off Mienfoo.”
Skarmory dove straight for Gothita with a critical hit. Muk fired a ball of sludge and hit Watchog in the chest. The impact made a tiny explosion, knocking out the target. Vileplume spun Mienfoo around in a teeter dance attack and flew it up in the air. Emolga delivered the final blow as Mienfoo dropped to the ground, immobilized by fatigue. I looked around at my opponents. The five trainers still had not moved, regardless that all their pokémon had been defeated. Then I noticed that Brian had been lying on the ground by himself.
Just then, Aizawa appeared from behind me. I only turned for a second when I realized she was attacking me. She carried a shakujo: a spiritual staff about six feet in length. On the top of it was a red tassel, followed by a ring formation. Four additional rings were linked separately to this staff. I blinked for less than half a second when she stopped her attack before striking me. The only thing that separated my body with her staff was Skarmory, who had swooped just in time to protect me under her wings. Only then did I hear the rings on the shakujo jingle together.
Aizawa recoiled and returned to a standing position, while still on guard.
“It seems I underestimated you, Oda-kun,” she said. “Not only did you manage to take down five passive pokémon in under a minute, your own pokémon are so advanced in their loyalty for you that they could execute your strategy flawlessly without much instruction. Furthermore, it seems that they respond of their own free will to protect their master.”
It’s true. Not only had Skarmory helped, but all the others were there, too. Vileplume stood in battle position behind Aizawa while Muk had almost grabbed the weapon from her hands. The only one that was oblivious of course was Emolga, who continued to fly in the air joyfully; but I knew even he was patrolling from up there to ensure my safety. Any sudden movements and that Emolga would have dove in for an attack.
“It seems I had forgotten about the deal we made last night,” she laughed. “I’m sorry. Here are the notes regarding that device around all of those pokémon’s necks.”
Aizawa threw an item ball in my direction. I caught it and placed it in my bag.
“Thanks, but I’ll check it out later,” I said. “But more importantly, Ai-san, what you have done is criminal to the Board of Professors! How can a person who was expelled from the university be a professor? I don’t know what you’re planning, but believe me, I will stop you.”
“Such bold words, coming from a young professor who barely graduated from the university. I was going to finish you off after you had read the notes, but I’ve had a change of heart. Trainers, revive your pokémon and get out of here. I will force this man to realize that he is in the wrong, and then I will defeat him myself.”
Aizawa waved her staff toward the direction of the Twisted Mountain summit. The five trainers revealed a special device: a remote control of some sort. As the trainers pressed a few buttons on the remote, their pokémon revived in an instant as good as new; as if we didn’t even have a battle.
“You’re lucky we didn’t get the pleasure of battling you ourselves,” said one of the trainers as the pokémon returned to their respective pokéballs. “Then again, you’re not so lucky to face our employer.”
The trainers laughed as they headed in the direction of where her shakujo was pointed and grew out of sight just a few minutes later. Only Aizawa, Brian, Emolga, my three pokémon and I remained.
“I’m sure you have a lot of questions for me, Prof. Ginkgo,” she said. “You are a professor, after all.”
“I only had one question coming here, and that was whether or not the Emolga and his trainer would be okay afterward. It seems I’ve gotten my answer, witch.”
“Oh, so you didn’t care about how that device works?” she said sarcastically. “You didn’t want to know why the trainers didn’t even put up a fight against you, even if you were attacking their pokémon? You don’t even want to know why these trainers even know who you are, despite being a recent graduate at the University of Pokémon Studies? Maybe if you read what I gave you, it would all be clear. Open the item ball now.”
I glanced over at Brian’s body. He still laid unconscious, but at least he was breathing. Despite being the main reason I met up with Prof. Sakura, I couldn’t help but wonder how he got involved in all of this. I opened the item ball.
A large, dog-eared notebook about six centimeters thick appeared. As I read the cover of the research materials, my heart skipped a beat. “Project Sakura: a comprehensive study by Shuichi Oda.” Under the title was some additional scribble that said: “and Kanon Aizawa.” Ai-san may have been my lab partner at the university also studying for her PhD, but I was two years ahead of her in the program, regardless that she was a year older than me. She was more like an assistant to me.
“Why would you keep this, Ai-san?” I said. “You saw the results yourself. It was a failure as an experiment.”
“Surprised, really?” she laughed. “I’m surprised you had forgotten your very own work of genius, Oda-kun. Project Sakura: the comprehensive study made by such an adorable young man at the university, inspired by the love of his life! It was supposed to research the use of a new technology to encourage a pokémon’s loyalty to its trainer. The sensors in the device attached to the pokémon would allow it to enhance its abilities when the device was worn. Truly, nothing could be more beautiful than a pokémon who loves its trainer, just as the PhD student who created it loved his soul mate!”
“Yes, except that Project Sakura had one major flaw,” I continued. “Project Sakura allowed a loyal pokémon to have greater powers when it wore the device, but that was only meant for training and therefore outside of a conventional battle. Once the device was removed, however, the loyal pokémon were more sluggish, costing many of the testing trainers their matches against gym leaders and Pokémon League championships! I had forgotten about it so long ago, not just because it was a failed project and had to move on, but because it was an embarrassment to me to name my first major project after being inspired by the one I love.”
“It’s okay, Oda-kun. I know how deeply your heart raced for your beautiful assistant. When you cast aside Project Sakura, I gladly picked it back up, hoping you would praise me for completing it. I spent these past years in exile doing research and experiments to perfect Project Sakura with you in mind. And now my research is complete. I wanted to show you our baby! Our Project Sakura!”
I squinted annoyingly at Ai-san.
“You know, I never really liked you that way from the beginning, right? You’re starting to sound like some kind of creep.”
“Still in denial, huh, Prof. Ginkgo? Well no matter. It wasn’t my intention to pursue you and kill you. I just wanted to rough you up a bit and take you home with me.”
Aizawa licked her lips as she grinned sadistically. A chill ran down my spine as I cringed and shook my head.
“I cannot forgive you for taking advantage of all of those trainers!” I said. “The results of this experiment of yours is an ethical violation to the Board of Professors’ policies!”
Aizawa shook her finger at me in a gesture of objecting to my claim.
“Correction, Oda-kun, these are the results of our experiment. Go ahead and tell the Board about my plan. You can give them those notes or you can even capture me and bring me to them directly. Either way, I will let them know that you had an integral part of this project; perhaps more of a stake in it than I had! When they find out, you will lose your certification as a pokémon professor; you will probably have to give up studying pokémon; but most importantly, you will get to spend the rest of your life with me in a prison cell! Doesn’t that sound wonderful?”
Her speech and her demeanor gave me the chills. I couldn’t just follow through with that plan and play into her hand. I gave her a grin of my own and made my decision.
“I have a better idea,” I said.
I returned Skarmory and Muk to their pokéballs. I signaled Emolga to stay by the side of his fallen trainer. Vileplume stepped forward in front of me in combat position.
“Professor Sakura; no, Kanon Aizawa, I challenge you to a pokémon battle!”