Subject: [PW!] [WC] [R1] Divas and Magikarp Date: 8 Dec 2002 18:30:03 -0800 From: (Bandraptor) Organization: Newsgroups: Cappie the Hitmontop is standing waist deep in the water of the pool that's provided in the preparation area of the Red Rock Island Arena. A bright red Magikarp is floating in the water immediately in front of her, the base of its golden dorsal fin level with the surface of the water. "Hi-yah!" Magikarp dives underwater as Cappie's fist flies towards its face! It remains submerged until it's sure the danger has passed, then ventures up to the surface again. Cappie shakes her head in dismay. "Magikarp, you're wasting your energy. When I throw a punch at you, don't run away from me. Just move to the side and avoid it. Sidestepping is an easier maneuver, and it puts you in position to counterattack. Let's try that again." The two of them repeat the exercise. Rudy, an Orange League Gym Leader who has been observing Cappie for some time, approaches the pool. "Do you think that if you hit that Magikarp hard enough it'll evolve into a Gyarados?" He quips, recalling stories of Magikarp that evolved after being kicked. "You must be pretty desperate." Cappie turns to him and responds, "This Magikarp must learn to confront opponents that are stronger than it while it is still in its current form. Only then will it understand that there are elements to fighting aside from raw attack power." Rudy shrugs, "Well, sure. There's Defense and Special too--but Magikarp doesn't have those either. Hasn't anyone told you that Magikarp's a useless Pokemon?" Cappie replies, "No, so I have no reason to believe it. I selected this Pokemon for battle, because I think that it has a chance of winning. I have faith in it, and it will fight as it is." Rudy rolls his eyes at what he thinks is an extremely ignorant Pokemon Trainer, and walks off in search of someone else to talk to. "Your attention, please!" One of the arena's guards bellows to get the attention of everyone in the large preparation area. "Would everyone please assemble in the center of the room?" Cappie recalls her rented Magikarp into its Pokeball, hops out of the pool, and trots over to join the group of about ten trainers who have gathered around the guard, grabbing a towel from her backpack as she goes. The guard nods when he sees that he has the attention of everyone in the room. "I know that some of you have participated in the Whirl Cup before, but we have a few newcomers this year, and I want to go over the rules for their sake. First of all, this is a tournament for Water Pokemon only! No Ice Pokemon, no Porygons pretending to be Water Pokemon. Nurse Joy already went over this with all of you when you registered, but it bears reiteration. Secondly, the first match of this competition will be fought will one Pokemon only--so no switching Pokemon midbattle, and no using Baton Pass." At this last point, the guard's eyes come to rest on Rainer, a blue haired trainer who also has blue eyes and is wearing blue tights. The trainer laughs heartily, "Don't worry! Vaporeon and I will win this tournament, even without using Baton Pass!" Satisfied with Rainer's response, the guard continues: "All other techniques are legal for use, but be forewarned--if the judges decide that you're using Double Team to stall the match unnecessarily, they'll be at liberty to Haze your Pokemon. Are there any questions?" The guard scans around the crowd, and when no hands go up, he concludes his speech. "The first round of battles will be starting in twenty minutes. I'll be back to escort the combatants into the arena at that time." Guy Taylor waits until the guard's returned to his post, then turns to his friend Tempo, who's very pale in color, and is shivering violently, even though he's wearing about four layers of clothing and it's eighty degrees outside. He furrows his brow in concern, "Do you think you're going to be able to fight today? You don't look so good..." Tempo croaks weakly, "I didn't come all this way just to drop out of the tournament at the last minute--" his eyes roll back in his head, and he falls to the ground. "Tempo! Tempo!" Guy gets down on his knees, and shakes his friend by the shoulders, trying to revive him. Tempo just groans in response. "Oh, man...Tempo, I've gotta get you to a hospital." Guy struggles to lift his friend from the floor. "Hang on, let us help you." A Girafarig appears in front of Guy, and easily lifts the fainted Tempo into the air with telekinesis. Bob Raiser, a teenager whose cologne smells vaguely like bay leaves, thanks the Girafarig for his assistance, and walks Guy to the door. Everyone backs out of the way to give the boys plenty of room, and once they're gone, they continue to prepare their Pokemon for the competition, trying not to worry about the boy who just fainted. "Yeah, he's out of the tournament for good." The guard who addressed the group before is speaking quietly into his headset. "Just collapsed in the prep area. ...... No, I don't know about his friend. ....... Find a replacement? ...... No problem." The guard looks around the room, sizing up the trainers who signed up as possible replacements for trainers who either got sick or didn't show up. "You. Hitmontop." He points at Cappie, "You're going to be competing in the second round of the competition." "Okay." Cappie nods. She turns to the Magby and the Togepi who have been watching her from the corner of the room. "Gar, why don't you take Togepy, and find our seats in the stands? I'll join you there, as soon as my match is over." Gar nods, relieved that Cappie isn't asking him to go out onto the field with her, as he's afraid of water. He starts jogging towards the stands, tapping Togepy playfully on the shoulder to get his attention. Togepy responds to this affront by jumping on top of Gar, and clawing at the Magby's throat in an attempt to strangle him! Gar thinks that the egg Pokemon wants a piggyback ride, so he wraps his arms around Togepy's legs, and carries him into the bleachers. A few minutes later, Guy and Bob return to the room, having arranged for the rental of a jumbo Pidgeot, which is capable of carrying more than one person on its back. Guy speaks to the guard briefly, explaining that he'll need to drop out of the tournament, since he wants to accompany his friend to the hospital in Olivine. He's about to leave, when Bob stops him, placing a small item in his hand. "It's a Psncureberry," Bob explains, "I always carry some in case of an emergency. They're not as effective on humans as they are on Pokemon, but it should stabilize your friend, until you reach the hospital." Guy thanks Bob, and runs outside, to where Tempo and the Pidgeot are waiting. "There goes another one." The guard reports over his headset. "!" He points to Aerie, another replacement registrant, who's standing by herself, staring thoughtfully out towards the bleachers. "You'll be battling in the fifth round." Then he addresses Bob, "You're the one that Joy called to fill in for Hokori, right? You'll be battling in the eigth round." "That's fine." Bob agrees. The guard makes note of the changes in schedule, then bellows to get the attention of everyone in the room. "The time is now 10:00, and round one of the competition is set to begin! Would Yolei and Hichiro please follow me into the arena?" * * * Twenty minutes later, Yolei and Hichiro return to the preparation area, their battle completed. The guard looks over his copy of the schedule, then calls out to the group of trainers, "Will Cappie and Trixie please follow me into the arena?" Cappie, who has been quietly meditating beside the training pool, gets to her feet, and follows after the guard. Trixie, a teenage girl who's wearing a top hat and a tuxedo, does likewise. As they exit the shaded preparation area, and enter the densely packed stadium, Cappie can't help feeling a twinge of stage fright, but she makes a conscious effort to ignore her feelings, and takes her place on one of the stone platforms that's situated in the arena's large pool. Trixie has been in front of large crowds many times before, and she loves being the center of attention. When she gets to her platform at the far end of the arena, she bows to the crowd in an exaggerated fashion, and projects her voice so that even the people sitting in the nosebleed section of the stands can hear her without straining. "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I present to you the amazing Azumarill!" Trixie takes off her hat, flashing it around to demonstrate that it's empty. Then she taps it three times with her wand, reaches in with her left hand, and produces a brightly colored Pokeball! Replacing the hat atop her head, Trixie cups her right hand over her left, then opens her hands again, to show that the Pokeball has vanished. She takes off her hat again to scratch her head, and an Azumarill with a Pink Bow on her tail hops out of the hat! Azumarill brandishes the missing Pokeball in one hand, then throws it up in the air, and juggles it for several seconds with her Water Gun. When the display is over, Azumarill and Trixie both bow to the audience. Most of the people in the audience cheer, but one guy in the front row shouts, "We came here to see a Pokemon Battle, not lame magic tricks! You'd better be a better trainer than that other magician!" Azumarill narrows her eyes at the heckler, and hits him with a Water Gun. "Thank you! Thank you!" Trixie calls to the more responsive portion of the audience, "For my next trick, I'll be making my opposition disappear! I'm going to need an assistant for this trick!" Trixie gestures to Cappie, who has been politely watching the performance, and hisses, "Hurry up and send out your Pokemon, so we can battle!" Cappie gives her a sidelong look, not sure what to make of Trixie's ostentatious display, then releases her Magikarp into the pool. She kneels down in front of the fish, and gives it some last minute coaching. "Your opponent's bigger than you, so don't try to overpower it. We're going to fight this battle defensively." She gives the Magikarp a pat on the back, "Just listen to my commands, and you'll do fine." "Can this be?!?" The tournament's announcer bellows over the PA system, as he gets a good look at the competing Pokemon, "Trixie has selected Azumarill to battle in this round--and Cappie is countering with a Magikarp! Is this some sort of a joke, or just insolence on Cappie's part?!" Most of the people in the arena begin booing at Cappie, because they came to the competition in hopes of seeing some good battles, and they think that Cappie is making a mockery of the tournament. Trixie also looks very insulted. "You think my Azumarill's such a pushover that you can beat her with a Magikarp? I'll prove to you that Azumarill's more than just a pretty face! Go, Azumarill! Water Gun that stupid fish!" "Zuuu!" Azumarill yells, before filling her cheeks with water. Cappie ignores the jabs of the audience, and calls out to her Magikarp, "You can do it, Magikarp! Dodge those Water Gun attacks!" Magikarp just floats dumbly in the water, not giving Cappie any indication that it heard or understood her order. "Ha! You think that Magikarp can dodge Azumarill's attacks?" Trixie leers, "Azumarill's a sharp shooter--she can hit Magikarp even if it's moving around!" "Zu!" Azumarill agrees, spitting a mouthful of water in Magikarp's direction. Even as the water draws nearer, Magikarp makes no move to flee. Then, just as the attack's about to hit it, Magikarp leans to the side! The water sails harmlessly past its head. "What?" Trixie blinks a couple of times at this result, then shrugs. "I guess Azumarill wasn't totally on target..." She addresses the Water Rabbit, "Try Water Gun again! This time, use rapid fire!" "Zu! Zu! Zu!" Azumarill emits three short blasts of water from its mouth, each at a slightly different angle, so she can be ensured a hit, even if Magikarp tries to move. The Magikarp remains completely still until the Water Gun attacks are an inch away, then leans left, right, and left again. The blasts of water splash against the side of the pool, and dissipate. Magikarp, thrilled that it hasn't been knocked out yet, begins to flop about in the pool, happily grunting, "Carp, carp, carp!" The people in the audience begin to boo even louder, because they think that the only thing more obnoxious than a Magikarp is a Magikarp who's still alive after the first attack. Trixie scowls, conscious that she's being jeered for her inability to end the battle, "Azumarill, your long range attacks aren't working. Go over there, and hit it with Headbutt!" Azumarill complies, hopping across the stone platforms that spot the surface of the water. She's approaching the platform that's nearest to Magikarp, when Cappie shouts, "Magikarp, Tackle!" Magikarp jumps out of the water, and collides with Azumarill, just as she's setting foot on the platform. Caught off balance, Azumarill stumbles, and falls backwards into the water! Unharmed, but furious that her Pink Bow got wet, Azumarill takes a swing at the hapless Magikarp. Cappie sees Azumarill winding up for the strike, and yells, "Magikarp, turn around! Relax your body!" Azumarill connects with her punch, but instead of hitting soft Magikarp stomach like she'd intended, she cuts her hand on the fish's blade-edged tail fin! Shocked and in pain, Azumarill starts flailing around in the water, sucking on her injured fist to alleviate the stinging. Cappie scrutinizes the wailing Azumarill, then orders her Magikarp, "Splash!" "What?!?" Trixie blurts, furious that she's having to participate in such a joke of a battle, and even more furious now that her Pokemon's been hurt because of it, "Stop messing around, and fight me!" Magikarp, however, obeys Cappie's command without a second thought, and starts splashing saltwater all over its opponent--into her eyes, her mouth, and her delicate ears. Azumarill tolerates this for about half a second, then screams in annoyance, and jumps out of the pool! She storms out of the battle area, and takes a seat in the stands, beside a Golduck, who carefully begins to treat her injured hand. "Azumarill has left the field!" The announcer shouts, "Cappie is the winner!" At his, the audience begins to boo louder than ever, because they think that Trixie threw the match. Trixie looks at her Azumarill, and sighs, depressed at the way things have turned out. To Cappie she says, "You just got lucky. If Azumarill hadn't walked out on us..." Cappie smiles knowingly, "Defeating a Pokemon in battle doesn't necessarily mean knocking it out. One look at your Azumarill's face told me that it was ready to leave the field peacefully, and I simply encouraged it to do. Had it preferred to continue the fight, we would have done likewise, but there's no reason to resort to force when the situation does not require it." Cappie bows to her opponent, and recalls her Magikarp into its Pokeball. Then she turns towards the stands, and waves at Togepy and Gar, who are among the few members of the audience that aren't booing her down. TBC? --Beth