Chapter 22: Fire

When the window broke high above Yumin and glass sprinkled to the ground, he knew the days of waiting had passed. The men outside had finally reached a decision about what to do: throw a single Pokeball in through the window and see what happens. Though it wasn’t a Pokeball at all. This one Yumin had never seen before and that was saying something seeing as his father made Pokeballs.1

It was black with purple swirls on it, etched into it like tattoos. Yumin was awake when it landed, along with Makua and Bambi. The younglings couldn’t sleep and Yumin was on watch so they sat high atop boxes quizzing each other about Pokémon and stats.

The thing landed with a thud and at first Yumin thought it was an explosive. A grenade. A land mine. Some new invention of the Viterals that would take all of their Pokémon. Why not?

Yumin jumped down from the boxes, a fire in his belly, and called again. Farore and Zakana needed to wake up. Makua ran to fetch them.

The ball laid still for one moment before exploding, not with dangerous matter or shrapnel but a heavenly white light in the shape of the Pokémon that lay inside. It was big, though not monstrous. Immediately a heat radiated out as the Pokémon stood up and reached its full height of 7 feet. It was larger in girth and height than a normal Pokémon and immediately Yumin knew something was off. He saw the same red glow in its eyes that he saw in the Abomasnow that attacked Zakana back at Pallet. Possessed. Though there was only one this time. What were the Viterals playing at? Where were the hoards of trainers? Where were all the Pokémon?

“Water or Psychics! Get em ready!” Farore appeared at the scene, Zakana in tow.

Fire exploded from the intruder, from the Blaziken’s wrists, and it lifted one of its legs to claim its fighting stance. It was half fire, half fighting and could supposedly leap over small buildings. The starter that evolved from the Torchic chain. Yumin never owned one but he had certainly seen them before.

Pokémon emerged from their balls. Slowpoke. Umbreon. Feebas. Heracross and Scizor and Vespiquen. Yumin used Lucario.1

Blaziken had the one up on everything there except Slowpoke and Feebas. Just great.

Even though it had the type advantage against Farore’s bug Pokémon (fire beats bug), they still gave it a hard time. Scizor went down first, seeing as it was doubly weak (half steel) and then Heracross. When Vespiquen finally went down the Blaziken seemed to merely be at half-mast. Smoke filled the air and small fires burned on everything it could touch, from the machines to the boxes to the ground itself.

“It’s taken out half my team!” Farore cried. She ducked for cover, held a Pokeball in her hand ready to help again. She’d lose her entire team if she had to, that was the kind of trainer, and the kind of Gym Leader she was.

“Lucario, show em what you’ve got!”

The match between Lucario and Blaziken, had it not been for the proteins, and whatever sick things being pumped into the fighting chicken, would have been even. But because the Viterals were disgusting cheating bastards, it was not. Lucario bounced from wall to wall in those dim lights and tried to tire down Blaziken while Slowpoke shot water guns and used confusion against it.

It slowed finally. Though its fire moves seemed to become stronger.

The Psychic Pokémon Makua had caught in the forest joined the fray. Ralts—the very elusive and usually calm Pokémon that had almost torn Makua’s Aipom to shreds would be effective against the fighting part of Blaziken.

“Go! Shuckle!” Farore used another one of her Pokémon. A fearsome but tiny turtle with through-the-roof-defenses.

The three of them—Ralts, Shuckle, and Slowpoke made the team that would take down Blaziken in the end. Yumin watched with great interest as Ralts deflected everything that came it’s way with a tiny force field of psychic energy. Shuckle, small and persistent, spun rapidly around that place, like a shuriken striking its target over and over again and then pulling itself out each time. Blaziken didn’t even seem to notice Slowpoke. This worked to its advantage and allowed it to put out the fires that sprung up from the raging fire attacks.1

It roared. It jumped. The Blaziken was pumped or programmed to cause destruction and that’s what it did. It was sent to tire them out. One Pokémon could do so much. When it fell down defeated, it collapsed as though dead. Immediately it returned to its Pokeball somehow, and then was sucked out the window from whence it came like a magic trick.2

As Yumin looked around he finally saw the Viteral’s game plan—send em in one at a time, and keep em guessing.

He didn’t know that he was right at first. It took another day and a half for him to realize what would happen and how they’d meet their doom, slowly and painfully, until smoke forced them out and their hopes and dreams went up in flames.

It took another day and a half for him to realize what would happen and how they’d meet their doom, slowly and painfully, until smoke forced them out and their hopes and dreams went up in flames+