How were their impressions? What was next?
The students weren’t all too impressed by Tim, but it couldn’t be denied that he had a certain presence as of now. He had been scouted out by a top student even after the morning events, after all. They buzzed and wondered, and a few whispers sounded out.
“How did he get in here, again? He looks like he’s gonna faint...”
“He’s got medical experience? That’s hard to get.”
“Who hasn’t met a gym leader? Honestly…”
“Pokemon doctors make bank.”
”Please settle down, class.”
Troy had made quite the impression on the class. True, the top battler of the school had approached him, but even if Masaru hadn’t, Troy’s words and demeanor gave an air of cool nonchalance that seemed to command respect regardless. He was confident, composed, and held the class’s attention easily.
“What’s his pokemon?”
“Who the hell is this dude?”
“All talk, pfft.”
“I don’t think he’s lying...”
”Settle down now!”
Netty’s strong impression helped her quite a bit, though she had yet to convince the students that she was all that. But she’d stood her ground and shown serious gumption in the raucous jeers of the morning. Her style was nothing shabby either, even when she was wearing a very broken shoe.
“I like her dress!”
“Combee don’t evolve forever. How can she be all that when she’s just got a bug?”
“Show us your contest stuff if you’re so good, then!”
Zaria fared unfortunate. Though she had interesting things to say, her delivery was a little off. Her words were rushed and a little too eager, as if she wasn’t much more than a tryhard. Not to mention she hadn’t conducted herself too well in the morning. There weren’t too many jeers though, mostly because people had already dismissed her.
“Calm it down a little.”
“Are you 10 years old? Sheesh.”
“Cool, so how big was the fire?”
After the students had finished their ice-breaker, classes resumed. But it being the first day meant that it was mainly a review of their syllabus, the school code, explaining how some of the academic facilities worked, and more general-know how about academy life. The first day was light, with not much academic material being covered at all, and school was let out by 2:30 P.M. There was no direction or even so much as a mention of a homeroom tournament. The students were free to do what they wanted.
But Caprea did have an optional activity planned for them, if they were fine with that… It was all just school tradition.
“I wanted to assess all of you in battle today, but it’d take much too long to battle you all individually. Not only that, but my pokemon are quite a bit stronger than many of your own. I think it’s best for peers to work together, so let’s have a class 2-A tournament, shall we?”
The students began chattering.
“Did you hear that? A tournament!”
“Just in our class…”
“It’s the first day!”
“It’s after school…”
Caprea put her hands on her hips. “I forgot to mention, there’s a prize involved. Bragging rights, and-” she whipped out a technical machine with a flourish from her pocket. The small, palm sized disc glinted in the light, positively twinkling. “A Technical Machine! This one’s different than Hidden Power though. I promise it’s an interesting move.” The prize seemed to attract quite a few of the students interest at least, and a few of the reluctant looking ones straightened up. The stakes were steeper now. Caprea grinned.
“Looks like I’ve got your attention. Now, you’re to use no items in these matches. They’re going to be randomly drawn, and they’ll be simple 1v1 battles. I will be the referee for each. You’re a class of 24 students so we’ll pair you off in groups of 12. Then we’ll have the winners battle each other from there. Your pokemon will be healed every round. Any questions? Let’s walk to the Battle Facility together.”
The battle facility was different from the rest of PMA architecture, as it had been built much later on the campus. Most of the newer facilities and buildings were constructed to match the architecture of the PMA Castle, but the battle facility was a tower fortress, all chrome and steel with glinting windows. Walking in they were greeted by a spacious, minimalistic white lobby, with cool blue lights that pulsed around the room every so often, ever so faintly. They could see that there were a few stations with tablets, a healing machine in the far right corner, a PC system, all probably contributing to the near silent, yet constant mechanical whirring. If they had brushed up on the PMA brochures, some would know that the building was reinforced with concrete, mixed with some naturally shed Steelix Carapace and diamonds. It was built to withstand pokemon attacks and absorb massive amounts of heat, while supporting a myriad of battle terrains and boasting a brilliant sheen to boot. At the font front desk was the school’s head engineer and region electric gym leader, Tessa Nichols. She had a cup of black coffee in her hand and her eyes were ringed with dark circles, so she looked just like her usual self.
“Oh! Professor Caprea, how are you?” Tessa gave a wave. “And your students too! Hello! Ah, it’s the homeroom tournament isn’t it?”
“It sure is!” Caprea replied. “We were going to go on ahead, but before we do, would you care to watch?”
“Oh? That’d be fun! Thanks for having me! I could also help you judge, you know. You’ve got quite a few students to get through.”
”That’d be fantastic, thanks for the help, Tess!” Caprea agreed. So then Tessa Nichols would be watching their matches today? The pressure to perform well was higher than ever. While Caprea and Tessa chatted and laughed as they walked towards the reserved room, the students followed behind anxious, excited, and some were dreading the gym leader watching that was for sure. After all, a gym leader could scout students, or help them get their foot in the door when it came to becoming a prestigious pokemon professional. At the same time, nobody wanted to make a bad impression or embarass themselves.
The many rooms of the Battle Facility were rumored to be enormous, and they lived up to the expectations easily. Even though the room they were in was one of the smaller ones, it was large enough to contain a standard pokemon battlefield that was neutral terrain of packed ground, with ample room for seating. Though the terrain could be changed out, Caprea opted to leave it for the time being. She did make a stop by the control panel to set the facility cameras on; now she and Tessa would be able to see four matches on the larger screen, as well as in front of the bleachers directly. The rounds would consist of four matches each. “Good luck to you all! I’ll be cheering every single one of you on!” Tessa plunked herself in a front row bleacher. "Hope we've got some electric types... Oooh! I see a few!"
The huge screens towards the top center of the room began to scramble the student photos around, calculating… Ding! The matchups had been posted. The students took their positions. And eventually, the transfer students had to show their stuff, didn't they?
Student Gerald would like to battle!
Gerald had a Yamper, and was personally offended by Tim's Rockruff. He was sure he'd had the only dog pokemon in the class, but then Tim had shown up. He had the best boy, and he was going to prove it of course, by having his pokemon beat this crybaby’s mutt. “Don’t take it personally when I win,” Gerald said with a smirk. “Go Pachi, let’s do this!” From his ball, a Yamper popped out with a happy yelp. It was puppy against puppy- who would prevail?
“Pachi, Tail Whip!” The Yamper wagged his tail ferociously, letting out few glimmering motes of debuffing energy to lower Rockruff’s defense. On an insight check, Pachi seemed a bit slower than Rocky, but this didn't mean there was no room for caution. It was an electric type pokemon after all, and there was chance for paralysis, along with long range damage... So how would Tim respond?
Student Rorie would like to battle!
“I’m going to crush you,” the girl gloated with a manic look on her face. “Go! Char!” The form of a Charmander manifested, serious and proud looking. With a snort, Char let out a plume of smoke. “Char! Ember!” Rorie shouted, and the fire lizard let out a jet of hot sparks towards Magnet.
On an insight check, Zaria would realize that the plume of smoke that the Charmander had released was none other than the move smokescreen. She knew an additional one of the four moves the trainer had likely picked... Char probably had an accuracy reducing move. How would Zaria proceed?
Student Nicholas would like to battle!
“Ugh, I used to run into trainers like you all the time in Viridian. The Weedle used to poison my pokemon and me waaay too much. I’m just glad you don’t have a Weedle. ” He grinned, feeling proud of his negging. "Say, why don't you just give up and call it a day? Ugh, I can see that you'll be difficult about this. Very well then." He jabbed a finger forwards as his pokemon leapt out from behind his back.
“Emmy! Quick Attack!” The Sentret charged towards Mell. On an insight check, Netty realized that Mell was much faster than the Sentret, but Quick Attack did give the Sentret an edge in speed, even if it was only for the moment. As it charged, she noticed that it was holding the Quick Attack for longer than usual as well. Perhaps this Sentret had trained this attack specifically. It could prove tricky to handle. How would Netty react?
Student Bobby would like to battle!
“Let’s do our best! Just kidding! I'M GOING TO BE THE BEST TRAINER IN CLASS AND DEFEAT YOU!” Bobby screamed as he chucked his pokeball to the ground, and a Gulpin came out. “Gulp, use Sludge!” The Gulpin lobbed a chunk of slimy poison towards Shuckle. "Gulp and I, you see... We go a far ways back. Our bond cannot be broken!" Bobby clenched his fist. "That is why... I, no WE, must defeat you!"
On an insight check, Troy would glean that the Gulpin's poison was weaker than typical poison. It seemed thinner, and less viscous than other poison type attack executions he'd seen. He would realize this Gulp's sludge attack had a smaller chance of poisoning his pokemon this round, around 20% instead of the typical 30%. The Gulpin looked a bit young, and it moved with a jerky inexperience. Perhaps it still had to warm up to use his poison moves effectively. Well, how would Troy pick his next move?