“Hurry up, guys! We have to get to Celadon City before to avoid this annoying rain!” Machine shouted to Kusa and Hakel as they rode into Route 7 with their newly acquired bikes. The rain was everlasting as they had been running for about an hour and it seemed to never stop. They even had to stop at Saffron City to rest at the Pokemon Center before continuing again. All in all, their journey had taken them almost a day and a half to get to Celadon City.
Luckily, Hakel's Wartortle had evolved into a Blastoise and his Pidgeotto into a Pidgeot. Kusa also had her Gastly evolve into a Haunter as well as Machop evolving into a Machoke. Kusa also managed to catch her fifth Pokemon, Cubone a day earlier nearby Lavender Town. They tried to get through to Celadon City past Lavender Town but a Snorlax was in the way. So, they decided to simply go back to Lavender when they had more time because right now, it seemed a bit irrelevant.
Back at Vermillion City, the team had wait two days after Red and company left for Celadon City because Machine's arm had to be repaired. Almost instantly after it was repaired, it began to rain and this is where they were now. They rode as fast as they could as the three of them sped into the town. The rain still pelted down on them, however, as they walked up to the Pokemon Center, there was a sign plastered there:
It read, “We are sorry but the Pokemon Center already has too many reservations in maximum overflow because of the harsh weather. The Pokemon Center will not open until the morning. Please visit the Celadon Apartments in the northwest sector of Celadon. We are sorry for inconvenience. We hope you have a happy Poke Balling Day!”
Kusa threw the note from the door and stomped it into the group shouting, “That Nurse Joy bitch be trippin' balls! If I was not so aggravated right now, I'd kick her scrawny little ass!” Kusa shouted a few more profanities into the sky as Hakel walked over to her and touched her shoulder. She stomped acting like a moron for that one second, staring back into Hakel's eyes.
“Kusa, easy, that's enough. No need to get so angry over stupid shit like this. We'll just have to go find that Celadon Apartment Building they spoke about.” Hakel said as Kusa unknowingly blushed at him just as he looked away from her, back at the route they came from. “It's a bitch but we'll have to do what the message said.”
Immediately, her temper calmed down and she said, “Alright. Thanks for calming me down, Hakel.” Hakel smiled back at her as Machine threw his Charizard up into the air. He jumped on top of it and pointed off into the distance.
“Guys, I found out where the Apartment Building was!” Machine shouted as he flew back down to Hakel and Kusa. They sat on the back end of Charizard as Machine ordered him forward. He flew as fast as his wings could take them. As they began to get closer and closer to the Apartment Building, something came at them, faster than anything Machine had seen before. “Charizard, watch out for that shit coming our way!” Charizard tried to make a rough turn to the left but his wings were clipped, as the speed of the Pokemon or person smashed him hard enough. Charizard went sailing downward as Hakel took out his Pokeball.
“Pidgeot, come out!” Hakel shouted, calling Pidgeot out from his Pokeball. Pideot swooped the three of them up, just as Machine called Charizard back to its Pokeball. Pidgeot made a swift upper gust that pushed them all upwards, realigning its flight pattern correctly. Machine, who had just pushed himself up onto Pidgeot. They all sighed, happy to see that they had made it. “Machine, what the hell was that about?”
“You're... guess is as good as mine, Hakel. I really don't know. It may have been the Reddosuta Shikaku's way of trying to take us all out at once.” Machine responded, the rain still hitting the ground pretty hard.
“You may be right, Machine.” Kusa said, as the three of them looked around, not seeing anything from any angle. “Well, I guess that shit doesn't matter now. They've completely disappeared from my sight.”
“I don't see anything either.” Hakel said, sensing someone watching them somewhere but he couldn't find their exact location. Because of this, Machine was starting to believe someone may have been trying to mess with them.
“Alright, let's just go. But keep your eyes open.” Machine said as Kusa and Hakel nodded, as Pidgeot blasted through the air, vigorously trying to see anything that was about to attack them. Fortunately for them, their attacker didn't attack once more. So, they headed into the Celadon Apartments Building to rest for the night as it was apparent, the Gym was not open at this time.
They rented one room to save on money because, even after fighting Trainers, Gym Leaders, and relentless, aggravating Team Rocket members, they didn't have that much. Between them, they could only rent a room with one bathroom, one bed, on the top floor of the building, and it was rather small. But, at least they could see most of the town with their view, despite the rest of their annoyingly low-standard accommodations. Since no one wanted to do much more in accordance with speaking about Team Rocket or the Assassins, they all fell into tired, deep sleep. All except Hakel, of course.
When Hakel was sure Machine and Kusa were asleep, he took out his Pokenav and called Professor Pine. “Hello? Yes, Professor Pine this is me.”
“Hakel, I thought I would never hear from you or Machine. How has the adventure been going?” Professor Pine asked from the other line.
“Pretty well, Professor. We've actually met a young girl, Kusa Tenpi to join us on our ventures. She's been a great addition to our team.” Hakel laughed, as Professor Pine caught attention at that team.
“Is that the same Kusa Tenpi that attended a small, Red Star Academy in Johto?” Professor Pine asked.
“Huh? I don't know, actually... I've never went to trouble of asking her anything about it... Did the girl in the Red Star Academy have green hair?” Hakel asked, as Professor Pine thought about it for a second.
“No, I actually don't think so. So, it's probably not her then.” Professor Pine responded. “So, anyway, Hakel, even though I enjoy your calls, I know you didn't just call to say hello. What is the real reason for calling me?”
“Well, you know that letter I received from you about that certain topic?” Hakel asked.
“Yes, I have something to tell you about that...”
The morning came soon, with the sun rising over the horizon, waking Machine to it first. The rain had disappeared even though the streets of Celadon City were still pretty wet. Machine headed out of the Apartment Building and over to the Celadon City Gym to get first dibs on the battle. He hoped she was there to take him on cause before he left Vermillion City, he did hours after hours of training with his new, prematurely evolved Pokemon.
Luckily, the Gym Leader, Erika was standing in front of her Gym, opening it for the first Trainers of the day. Machine ran over to her and shouted, “Erika, are you opening the Gym?”
“Yes, do you request a challenge against me?” Erika asked, as she smiled at Machine as he stopped in front of her. She had short, blue hair, that barely touched her shoulders. She also wore a traditional, yellow Japanese Kimono, with the accompanying tabi on her feet. Her eyes were glowingly beautiful to Machine, as they reminded him of how beautiful Yellow's eyes were. Machine soon shook this feeling of attraction towards Erika and watched her open the door for him. Machine allowed Erika to go in first, immediately touching the floor of the battle stage.
Machine looked amazed at the place around them, seeing that the entire battlefield was giant field made out of trees, shrubs, and other places that each Pokemon could hide. “This battlefield is elegant, Erika... It's my most favorite so far...” Machine marveled at its beauty showing he enjoyed the smell and feel that the flowers gave the stadium. It was as if they were about to battle in a forest, making the feeling much more natural.
“You're impressed by just the battlefield, young Trainer?” Erika asked, as she walked to the other side of the battlefield, ready to battle. “Before we begin, what is your name, young Trainer?”
“My name is Machine!” He shouted, introducing himself as he tossed his first Pokeball into the air. “And this is Sandslash! Together, we're going to beat you, Erika! So, get ready!”
“I feel the passion within those words, Machine. You are truly in tune with your Pokemon making me believe that you will beat me.” Erika said as she tossed her first Pokeball out as well. “But don't think that means... I'll go easy on you!” A Vileplume released itself in front of Sandslash, ready for the tough battle that was about to follow. “To make this fair, we will have a simple, one against one battle with four Pokemon. How does that sound?”
Machine nodded and said, “That sounds great. Let's start this then!”
“Very well!” Erika shouted as he held out her hand for Vileplume to charge forward. “Vileplume, Petal Dance!” Sandslash ducked under the petals and then slashed through them without Machine even uttering a command. Sandslash then darted forwards, slash out at Vileplume.
“Sandslash, use Swift! Send Vileplume to the stars!” Machine ordered as Sandslash jumped high over the Petals that came his way and rocketed himself off of a tree nearby Vileplume. When it got close enough, Sandslash released a blast of yellow stars from his body at Vileplume making it stumble backwards. Sandslash only came at Vileplume once again as Machine shouted, “Sandslash, slash attack! Finish it!”
“Vileplume, quickly! Swords Dance!” Erika ordered as Vileplume focused, covering itself in a light green aura. When Sandslash slashed at it, Vileplume's body disappeared and then reappeared behind Sandslash seconds later. “Vileplume, again! Petal Dance!” Vileplume spun violently sending pink petals out from its body, that smashed into Sandslash sending it flying through the air. Sandslash crashed onto the ground, unconscious from the beating it took from Vileplume. “Looks like Sandslash is done. Who is next?”
“Sandslash, return!” Machine said, as a red beam of light came out from his Pokeball, pulling it back into the device. “I'll show you what I really have! With my Flareon!” Flareon was released from his second Pokeball, summoning it from the white light onto the field. It growled strongly, as the flames on its body, flared violently.
“A Flareon, eh? Let's see how well your flame does against my Vileplume!” Erika said, officially beginning the second round.
“Yeah, whatever. Flareon, go!” Machine shouted as Flareon dashed forward, faster than Sandslash was. “Flareon, Fire Spin, go!” Flareon opened its mouth and sent a large, spinning wave of fire at Vileplume sending it flying into the air. Flareon kept its flame burning as it flew up at Vileplume, smashing into the ceiling. Flareon then ended its flame attack as Vileplume fell to the ground, defeated, singed by Flareon's powerful attack. “Nice job, Flareon!”
“You work very well with your Pokemon, Machine. I'm very excited to see how you will combat my next Pokemon. “Go, Victreebel!” Victreebel appeared out of its signature white light, exploding on the scene. “I may have Grass Pokemon at my disposal but they're stronger than you think!”
“Let's go then! I want to see you true strength!” Machine shouted, giving the command for Flareon to charge. “Flareon, let's make this another quick one!”
“Victreebel, Vine Whip! Get that Flareon!” Erika commanded as Machine smiled, expecting that wasn't all she had up her sleeve.
“Flareon, Flamethrower at Victreebel!” Machine shouted, as Flareon dodged two of Victreebel's vines and jumped beside it. Flareon then shot a massive wave of flame at Victreebel sending it crashing through the side wall of Erika's Gym. When the smoke disappeared from around Victreebel, it was shown to have been defeated by Flareon's powerful blast of flame. “What's next, Erika? You only have two Pokemon left!”
“That's true but still, I haven't used my strongest yet!” Erika stated, as she threw out her third Pokeball, releasing a Gloom from her Pokeball. “Gloom, go! Take that Flareon down!”
“Flareon, I have a funny feeling about this one! Stay on your toes! Attack, that Gloom!” Machine shouted, as Flareon darted forwards, smashing its body into Gloom. Gloom sustained the hit and grabbed Flareon over its head. Flareon squirmed and tried to break free of Gloom's grip. “Flareon, Fire Spin at the ceiling!”
“What?!” Erika shouted surprised as Flareon shot a large, spiral-shaped wave of flame from its mouth up at the sky. It smashed into the ceiling and drove Gloom into the ground, losing its grip on Flareon. Flareon stopped its Fire Spin as soon as it was released, and sent another wave of flame into Gloom. Gloom fell to the ground after it was defeated, once again singed by the powerful Flareon. “Excellent, Machine. You've defeated three of my Pokemon with just your Flareon there. Will you change Pokemon now?”
“No way! Can you go for more, Flareon?” Machine asked, as Flareon growled in response. “Alright, that's in then! I'm sticking with Flareon!”
“Very well, return Gloom!” Erika called back her third Pokemon. She only had one left. “Go, Angela!” She tossed her fourth Pokeball into the air, releasing her final Pokemon, a Tangela named Angela. Erika looked confidently at Machine that she would be able to even the odds, no matter what he did to her.
“Flareon, go! Quick Attack!” Machine shouted, as Flareon darted forwards, although this time, things seemed different. As Flareon got closer to Angela, Erika stayed silent. Then, just as Flareon was about to hit Angela, three vines flew out of its body and smacked Flareon with all four at once. The were so powerful that it sent Flareon tumbling backwards. When Flareon landed in front of Machine, it was defeated by one attack from Angela. “Impressive, Pokemon, you've got there. In one attack, it was able to defeat my Flareon.” Machine called back his Flareon, and took out his third Pokeball.
“You act surprised that a Gym Leader would be able to defeat two of your Pokemon in one attack. But don't worry, this won't end as all those other matches. My Angela is much stronger than all my other Pokemon. You may not have a chance anymore.” Erika said, giggling as she said this.
“Well, looks like, to end this battle my way, I'm going to have use my trump card!” Machine said, smiling as he tossed his third Pokeball up into the air. “Go, Charizard! Time to end this fight!”
“Ah, that must be your starter Pokemon. That must truly be your trump card.” Erika said, as Charizard roared, blasting the white light off of its body, as it came out. Its wingspan was amazingly strong, sending a gust of wind from its body, making Angela skid backwards. “A truly powerful Pokemon! This is the ultimate battle!”
“You've got that right, Erika! Charizard, take flight!” Machine ordered as Charizard started flapping its wings. Charizard quickly took flight as it flew above the stage, blowing wind back at Angela. Erika looked a bit disappointed as Machine smiled back at her. “Try facing my Charizard at its strongest!”
“Very well, let's see if you're able to keep that winning streak! Bring it on!” Erika said, pointing up at the Charizard, high above the stage. Angela sent a Vine Whip up at it but Charizard easily dodged it and pulled Angela up to him.
“Charizard, pull Angela all the way up to you! When it's close enough, use Mega Punch!” Machine ordered as Charizard continued to pull the angry looking Tangela. Charizard was able to get Angela up to him but when he threw his fist at it, she ducked under it and wrapped Charizard in its vines. “Charizard! Damn it!”
“Great work, Angela! Now, squeeze Charizard until he falls unconscious!” Erika ordered as Angela began squeezing harder and harder onto Charizard until something snapped. A veil of fire covered Charizard's entire body, as his special ability began to activate. Angela soon let go, burnt by the intense flames that Charizard gave off. As Angela began to fall, Charizard's flame on the tip of his tail grew so large that it spread across the entire grass field. Machine looked at the devastation that was going on around him, seeing the flames burn ferociously.
He shook the feeling easily as he shouted, “Charizard, finish this! Use Fire Blast!” Charizard's tail seemed to grow even larger than before as he exerted a gigantic, bright red flame that split itself four times and smashed Angela into the ground. The flames smashed outwards from itself, blowing away the grass underneath Angela. When the flame stopped, Charizard flew there sweating looking down on Angela who was smoking from the excess flames. “Alright!” Machine shouted as Charizard began to fall from the sky towards the ground. “Shit...” He called Charizard back to its Pokeball and sealed it back into its ball. “Good work, Charizard. That was the most intense that I've ever seen you be.”
“Excellent work, Machine. Here is your fourth Gym Badge, the Rainbow Badge.” Erika held out his prize as Machine ran over and took it from her hand, pumping his fists into the air.
“Hell yeah! I got my fourth Gym Badge!” Machine said, as he put the Rainbow Badge on the inside of his jacket and turned back to Erika. “Erika, I have a new respect for Grass Pokemon from now. I truly believe you were my most favorite Gym Leader so far.”
“Thank you, Machine. You were my favorite challenge. You're Pokemon are very powerful, you will be a great Pokemon Master one day.” Erika said as they both shook hands. “If you keep going, you can defeat any challenge that comes before you.”
“You really think so?” Machine asked, as Erika nodded.
“With your cute looks, intellect, and connection with your Pokemon, anyone would be lucky to have you, Machine. You've impressed me with your strength. The next Gym resides in Fuchsia City. Her name is Janine.” Erika said, letting Machine out of her Gym.
“Oh, before I go, I apologize for... burning the shit out of your Gym.” Machine said, bowing to her. Erika smiled back at him as Machine raised an eyebrow to her. “What's so funny?”
“Your friends did the same thing.” Erika said, closing the doors of the Gym. Machine turned around, seeing Kusa and Hakel standing behind him.
“What the hell?” Machine asked as they both showed evidence of what Erika had been saying. “Wait, you guys challenged her before me?”
“Yeah, EARLY this morning.” Kusa stated, as Machine sighed, thinking he got the Rainbow Badge first. “For some reason, I knew you were going to try and go to the Gym before anyone else so before you woke up, Hakel and I went to challenge Erika. We, and yes, we regret doing this, planned it with Erika after we won.”
“Are you saying you guys tricked me?” Machine asked, feeling surprised that they would mess with him like this.
“Yeah, but trust me, we felt really bad about doing it.” Hakel said sarcastically as Machine sighed and walked past them.
“Yeah, yeah, whatever you say, Hakel.” Machine said, swearing indiscriminate curse words under his breath. “Anyway, let's move onto to Fuchsia City. I want to get there as soon as possible.”
Then, as Machine and the others began to walk forward, two Trainers jumped in front of them, stopping them from going anywhere. “Who the hell are you two jokers?” Kusa asked, as they stood back to back.
“Name's Artie!” One of the Trainers said, pointing at himself.
“Mine's Rich! We challenge you to a Pokemon Battle!”