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plotting for pokemon! c:
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Zaria swallowed and stared ahead, her brows furrowed and her teeth clenched. This was exactly like the Charmander battle had been, and she'd barely scraped by that one on luck alone, she was sure. But Rocky had thankfully been paralyzed, so the only thing do now was keep attacking and hoping for hits. She scanned the field, trying to discern one doppelganger from the next, then took a deep breath and crossed her fingers. Damnit!

"Alright! I can't tell one from the other but we're gonna go for it anyways 'cause I believe in you! Use Thundershock, Magnet!"
Magnet charged up a yellow green wave of electricity towards the target he hoped was the real one.

”Hang in there Rocky! Tim exclaimed once Rocky got hit by the paralyzing waves. He bit his bottom lip nervously. Rocky still got the Double Team off in time, but he had been paralyzed. Now he would be slowed down, and sometimes be unable to move. He also didn’t think Paralysis was going to be pleasant for the Rockruff. Even so, the rock dog still seemed chipper.

Zaria went in for the Thundershock, and Tim wrung his hands truing to come up with a solution. It might miss, and hit one of the duplicates, but it also might not. He could try a sand attack but, he knew sooner or later he’d have to go in for a hit... Rocky’s only move that could inflict damage was Tackle. That wouldn’t do much to a Steel type... There was one idea, but he wasn’t sure it would work...”Ok... uh use Leer to lower it’s defenses, then go in for the Tackle!” He covered his eyes with his hands. ”I can’t look.” This could end badly.

@LuckyBlackCat @Crimson Flame @Jujube

The two pokemon clashed. Rocky's eyes shot a piercing glare right through the Magnemite's soul it seemed, and a blue glow washed over the mechanical creature as their defense fell. With Magnet temporarily distracted by the debuff, Rocky was able to successfully nail a solid Tackle onto the pokemon. However, Magnet countered with a Thundershock, and a large bolt of green and yellow electric energy swathed the Rockruff directly. Neither paralysis nor evasion had won the upper hand this time, it seemed. The battle went on.

Zaria's triumphant grin stiffened as she heard the words of her peers echo around her, but she tried not to miss a beat. "That's fine, luck is a part of a lot of battles," she said shrugging and trying to feign an air of nonchalance. Marching up to Rorie, she shook her opponent's hand. "Well, uhm...I'm still in training. We've still got a long way to go. But thanks, your Charmander was pretty tough."

After their pokemon were healed, Zaria found herself standing in the semi-finals facing off against Tim. It felt unreal. Troy and Netty were here too and Zaria briefly wondered who she'd face off against next—but she was getting ahead of herself. Need to focus on what's happening now, she told herself. If she didn't, the round would be lost, if it already wasn't.

"Magnet! Thunder Wave!" The battle against Tim could be tricky; Zaria wasn't sure what moves Rockruff learned, as the battles from earlier had taken up her attention completely. Still, it seemed like a status ailment was a safe bet in most situations. "We're going for paralysis!"

Tim blinked in disbelief. Did he really just win that battle? Carpea made it official. “I-I-I actually won?” Tim quietly muttered. He couldn’t believe this was actually happening. Tim completely ignored Gerard’s words. There was clearly nothing he could say at this point. Instead, he went to the battlefield, and rubbed Pachi’s belly. “You’re a good boy! Yes you are!”

Rocky barked, slightly jealous that his trainer was giving another dog Pokémon attention.

Tim got up, picked up his own Pokémon. “You did a good job Rocky.” He patted his own dog on the head, as we walked away from the battlefield.

After Rocky was healed, Tim found out that he and the other transfer students made it to the semifinals. He was facing off against Zaria and her Magnemite. At which point, Tim lost all hope he could actually win this. Not that he had much of that to start with. How was he supposed to defeat a Magnemite? It was a Steel type. Not much could hurt it.

Still, Rocky was enthusiastic. He barked and wagged his tail.

Zaria went in for the Thunder Wave. If this connected, Rocky would be paralyzed, and that would hinder him greatly. “Um... uh... use Double Team!” That worked out well the last time.

@Crimson Flame @Jujube
Netty stood speechless. She’d expected Nicholas to keep talking tough, so the sudden apology caught her by surprise, and resonated with her. So he did know what it was like to have people make fun of him and his Pokemon. She opened her mouth to reply, to say something similar… But no, she couldn’t. Not in front of all these people. She was the winner, she had to act like it.

“Well, does this prove a point about overlooked Pokemon?” she said instead, gesturing to the victorious Mellona, who squealed and twirled. Netty glanced at the crowd to drive the point home, briefly wondering if she came across as badly as Nicholas had.

It didn’t matter, she decided as she went to get Mellona healed. What mattered was the crowd might now think twice before underestimating someone.

That bout of confidence faded as Netty stepped up to face her next opponent, Troy. Hundreds of battles, if not thousands… His earlier words replayed through her head as she gripped the Pokeball containing Mellona. Assuming he actually had been telling the truth, she and Mel wouldn’t be in for an easy time.

“Let’s see if you’ve got what it takes to back up those claims of yours,” she said nonetheless, sending Mellona back into the fray.

Troy on the other hand, remains blissfully oblivious. Claims? Was she referring to the homeroom icebreaker? Could it really be that hard to believe he didn’t like talking about himself? What does that even mean, if she’s saying it here and now? Is she trying to provoke Troy or is she referring to something else? What is there to even prove in a matchup this lopsided? A Shuckle versus a Combee just feels downright unfair. Maybe things would be different if Shuckle was running a more defensive set, but considering the sheer unga bunga that Troy’s been making use of, Shuckle may as well be using one of the most aggressive strategies in the class, if only because he has the defense to get away with it.

Troy couldn’t help but to hate this. This battle, this feeling of arrogance, like his win was already assured. It was a sickening feeling of unavoidable complacency. He wasn’t sure why it felt so disgusting. Aiming to be the very best meant there should be countless easy battles along the way, so surely there’s more to it than just that. It wasn’t fear of failure; his only concern was the opportunities lost through it and that was solved in the previous matches. It wasn’t vicarious either, since Antoinetta had good matches earlier as well. She proclaims her goal is as a pokemon coordinator anyway, losing a battle shouldn’t even be an issue to her, so what exactly is the problem?

Maybe it’s the same feeling you get when you can’t help but think you know better than your parents.

Well, as Troy has told his class, he didn’t like talking about himself. Troy puts it out of his mind and tosses out Shuckle’s pokeball. Shuckle springs forth, chipper as ever, nonchalantly smiling in an infectious way that instantly put him at the focal point of Troy’s attention. It was always easy to forget all else and focus when Shuckle was involved.

”What say you we make this interesting?”

At the sight of Troy's Pokemon, Netty's facade of composure faltered. A Shuckle. An irresistibly cute one, yes, but of all the Pokemon to face, it just had to be a Rock type. Netty could practically feel all eyes on what was likely the worst match-up in the tournament.

Mellona, however, seemed up to the challenge, squeaking a cheery greeting as she took her place. Overcoming type disadvantages, Netty reminded herself, was an important part of Pokemon training.

"I see you really do appreciate the Bug type," she replied, trying to sound unfazed, even though the way Troy said 'interesting' put her on edge. "Hmm, interesting in what way? I guarantee Mel's battle style is gonna be show-stopping as it is, but let's hear."

”I was just thinking this battle might be better training for you if we treated it as a contest showdown.” Troy’s knowledge of contests is limited, but conducting the battle this way seemed like it might be somewhat less depressing for both parties. If fighting Antoinetta wasn’t going to feel good, he may as well help her train instead, right?

A contest battle. The suggestion should have made Netty feel better. She and Mel might just have the upper hand now, right? But if he was simply letting them look good, would it mean anything? Shouldn't they shine by their own merit?

"Sounds good!" Netty replied nonetheless. "For us, anyway. You may end up regretting it." For all the tough talk, her voice still shook. Ugh, she had to get a grip. This uncertainty wouldn't inspire Mellona at all. "Ok Mel, show off your dance moves with Gust!"

Mellona twirled in elaborate loops, round and round, her buzzing reaching a crescendo as she sent a mini tornado spiralling towards the Shuckle.

It only now dawns on Troy how unprepared he is for a contest showdown. His moveset and win conditions weren’t exactly flashy, at least compared to his father’s rental pokemon. It may be an unfair comparison, but it nonetheless serves as his standard of normalcy. Regardless, it’s important to be able to improvise. ”You’re no stranger to a little spinning, right Shuckle? Get ready with Defense Curl, then use the tornado to jump-start Rollout.”

Shuckle does as Troy instructs, curling up into its shell and spinning with the same rotation as the tornado once it hits.


Could I please get my name changed to: wisteria ?

Would appreciate it. Thank you! Happy Holidays :D
The Thundershock hit once more! The Charmander, already strained from his paralysis, couldn't take much more than a few attacks, especially Thundershocks from an electric type. With a groan, the fire lizard slumped over, his eyes positively dizzy looking. "Chaaar..." He let out a puff of smoke before falling down completely.

"Hey! Char!" Rorie returned him before he could hit the ground. "I can't believe we lost..."

Zaria won! Magnet gained one level!

She shook her head, looking just a little dejected. But then she snapped up and glared at Zaria. "It am down to luck and you won, good job." She extended her hand for a conceding handshake, her once harsh expression now softened. "I guess that forest fire story was true. Your Magnemite seemed to know their way around the stuff. Not bad."

The students were aflutter with whispers. "She won?"

"Not bad..."

"It was more luck than anything else though, wasn't it?"

Zaria would have time to respond if she wanted to, or Rorie would walk away.

"Emmy! Defense Curl!" Nicholas shouted, his once arrogant eyes now furrowed with a little more uncertainty. As the Gust swooped the Sentret up once more, the pokemon rolled up protectively. "Seeeee!" The little rodent cried. When the gust slowed, the Sentret stood up, strained and tired looking.

Nicholas jabbed a finger towards Mell and Netty, snarling. "I've got you now! You've triggered our ultimate attack! Reversal! Emmy, use it!"

Emmy balled her tiny paws and glowed a fierce orange. A vortex of fighting type energy swirled around her before coalescing into a solid glow that then faded. Emmy shook her head drooped her ears as she let out a small, "sen..." Her strong tail gave out beneath her and she stumbled to the ground, too tired to go on, much to Nicholas' chagrin.

"Em- Emmy? No! We lost to a bug trainer?" He grabbed his face with his hands. "Arghh, no! You've got to be kidding me! And I trash talked the whole damn time! Damnit!"

Netty won! Mellona gained one level!

He ran to his pokemon, hugging the little Sentret's soft, round body before returning the creature. "I'm sorry, okay? I was an ass. To tell you the truth I got made fun of a lot last year when I caught Emmy. Everyone said Sentret couldn't be strong, so I guess it kind of got to me. That's not an excuse. But anyways, you won." He would stick around to hear what Netty had to say before walking away.

The students talked more. "She's got style."

"I guess she is a coordinator... Huh."

"I really like her dress!"

Crash! Though the sharp defense boost softened the blow, the Shuckle's attack was powerful and painful. "Gup..." It said feebly before passing out heavily.

"Gulp!" Bobby returned the pokemon, looking at his pokeball. He laughed, trying but failing miserably to hide the stream of tears running down his face.

Troy won! Shuckle gained one level!

Bobby walked over to Troy. "I just... I really wanted to win I guess. But we were no match for you. I guess we're not main characters after all..." He covered his obvious sobs by shoving his face into the crook of his elbow, his other hand stuck out in wobbly gesture for a hand shake. "But I won't give up!" He wiped the ocean of tears away from his eyes. "We won't give up! Let's shake on it!"

Troy would have the chance to respond, otherwise Bobby would simply run away bawling.

"All that with just a Shuckle!"

"The Gulpin wasn't that strong though."

"That Rollout's strong no matter what though."

@Crimson Flame
Another Sand attack landed on the Yamper with little effort from Rocky, who landed the hit squarely. "Arf! Arf!" Pachi yelped, still seeing double clones of Rocky and now he had sand in his eyes! As the Discharge came crashing down on the field, he ran around, trying to see where Rocky was-- but his attack hit nothing and nobody! Frustrated, the Yamper howled before rolling around on his back in a ferocious tantrum.

"Pachi!" Gerard tapped his foot impatiently. "Up! Come now, we've got a battle to win!"

"Arr... Woof..." The Yamper snuffled the ground and hid his tail between his legs before rolling onto his back and exposing his soft tummy. "Arrrr?" It was clear he wanted belly rubs. Students began to snicker. Gerard was furious.

"Pachi, Damnit! Up! You've got a battle to win!" Gerard rushed to the field while Caprea, who had been judging the match, cleared her throat. "It's clear that he doesn't want to battle," she said with an amused smile. "And as the trainer, you've already interceded on the pokemon's behalf, so it's over." Before Gerard could protest, Caprea waved a green flag in Tim's direction. "We have a winner for this match! Tim Wolfe!"

Tim won! Rocky gained one level!

"Noooo!" Gerard sank to his knees while Pachi, blissfully oblivious, rolled around with his tongue hanging out, mucking up his fur. "Ugh, Pachi, you're so spoiled..." Defeated, he knelt to give the puppy some affectionate pets. "Hmph, I suppose you won... But this doesn't mean we're friends. You're a breeder, don't you know that pedigree pokemon are the best?"

Tim would have a chance to respond before Gerard walked away. The students were in titters over Gerard's Yamper, although quite a few people did find his pokemon purely endearing anyways.

"So that transfer student won! I can't decide between Rockruff or Yamper! They're so cute!"

"His parents are pokemon doctors, right? I wonder if his Rockruff's specially bred..."

"No fair! Some people get everything handed to them."

As it came down to the final rounds, the class was quite shocked to see that none other than the transfers had made it into the semi-finals! There had been some impressive contenders in the second round, but now there was just Troy, Zaria, Netty, and Tim. "Well then! Let's randomize the matches... There we are! Tim and Zaria, along with Netty and Troy!" Caprea was all smiles and beaming as usual. "Yes, it's getting heated up now! I wonder how the top students will deal with each other?"

"Ha, well you know I'm rooting for the electric type pokemon, naturally." Tessa said, grinning as she adjusted her goggles and shrugged shamelessly.

"I want to say I don't have any favorites, but that's just because there are no grass or psychic types on the field," Caprea said with a chuckle. "So then... shall the matches get started?" With that, the transfers were now opposing each other on the field. Tim stood across Zaria while Netty stood across Troy. The entire class' eyes were glued on them, along with Tessa and Caprea. The two ladies grinned at each other before exclaiming:

Thank you for the Candy Cane!
@Crimson Flame
"Pachi! Use Bite!" Gerald commanded. "We'll best you, don't you worry-!" But as the Yamper dug into the Rockruff wth his jaws, the pokemon poofed away in a cloud of smoke. It seemed that there were still a few Double Team clones about, enabling Rockruff to get in a good Tackle after Pachi's missed bite.

"Arf!" Pachi let out a yelp as he was flung back. Even with a single hit, it was clear the Yamper didn't have the best defenses. That didn't stop Gerald though. He was determined to win and prove how pedigree pokemon surpassed all else.

"Pachi, go for another Discharge!" Gerald shouted.

"Arf! Arf!" The Yamper let off another blast of electricity just like before. Tim's response?

"Heh, I'd remember your name if it was worth remembering... Wait--what?! Emmy!" Nicholas' smug smirk twisted into a look of surprise as Mellona's Struggle Bug swept across their field, sparkling and fabulous. Emmy the Sentret did get a Scratch in on Mellona, but taking a direct hit from the Struggle Bug hurt the Sentret quite a bit.

"Sen!" The pokemon was pushed back once more. Emmy wasn't looking too good, having taken a Gust and a Struggle Bug. Nicholas gritted his teeth.

"Hmph, we have one more trick up our sleeve Bug Catcher... and it's something nobody's ever been able to beat before." He smirked, crossing his arms. "Now then, Emmy, get another Quick Attack off!"

What was Netty's response?

The strategy executed well. Shuckle, with some shoddy steering, was able to swerve towards the Yawn bubble, kicking up quite a bit of rubble and debris. The bubble popped, but before the Yawn gas could envelop Shuckle, the turtle rolled away to avoid the effects.

"No! Damn it, at this rate..." Bobby wracked his brain. Gulp just wasn't good with his Poison Gas. What other moves could they use? "Gulp, use Acid Armor!"

The Gulpin's form slowly melted into a puddle before reforming once more. His cells rearranged, he could now withstand stronger physical moves. "Gup!"

"We're powered up!" Bobby pumped his fist into the air. "Let's see what you can do, RIVAL!" How would Troy react?

Magnet's aim was true, Thundershock made a direct hit on the Charmander. The pokemon howled and spewed a jet of flame from its mouth. "Chaaaa!"

"Char! Hang in there! Oof, you just got lucky!" Rorie screeched, jabbing a finger at Zaria. "This doesn't mean you're better or anything! Char, use another Smokescreen!" But as the Charmander went to belch another burst of smog, he froze in place, trying to move but his limbs seemed locked. A thin thread of electric current snaked around his body. It was a sure sign of the paralysis working.

"Char!" Lucky for Zaria, the Charmander couldn't attack this turn due to paralysis. How would she react then?

Nicholas' Pokemon, a Sentret, made a wild dash forward. By the look of it, not even the sudden burst of speed could match Mellona's, or at least Netty hoped. Still, she had to think quickly. "Mel, sweep it back with Gust!" Mellona braced herself, buzzing louder as she whipped up a much stronger stream of wind than the earlier ones.

The Sentret was too close to change trajectory. He couldn't dodge the gust that roared after him, and was sent back flying before he could get damage on Mellona. "Seee!" he cried, completely getting swept off his feet.

"Emmy! Defense Curl to protect yourself from the fall!" Nicholas commanded. Emmy was able to curl up into a protective ball as he plummeted from the--albeit now dissipating--howling winds. The pokemon seemed to flash red for a moment as his defenses were raised. Still, this was just for his physical defense, it wouldn't help his special defense. The Gust attack would still do full damage should Netty choose to use it again. "Hmph, that was a lucky hit, Bug Catcher. I don't see how you're any different from the other bug trainers I've seen. Tell me, why do you all bother with such a common and weak type?" Nicholas grinned. "Before you answer that--Emmy, try a Scratch!"

The Sentret let out a shriek as it headed towards Mellona with glowing claws. Nicholas was relaxed and confident, despite the initial turn. What would Netty's next move be?


"Magnet! Be careful! Avoid those fire attacks! And..." She squinted as the Charmander exhaled a thick cloud of smoke. That's... Smokescreen? So this Charmander knows Smokescreen and Ember... Maybe we can use our status moves, before it tries to mess with us. Can't let our accuracy fall when every move counts!

"Use Thunder Wave! Focus on paralyzing!"
If they inhibited the Charmander's movement, surely the sides would be evened out a little. Magnet would try to dodge the Ember, then fire off a Thunder Wave. Zaria crossed her fingers.

Unfortunately, Magnet was not able to dodge the Ember, and was hit by the super-effective move. However, Magnet succeeded in paralyzing the opposing Char after he was hit. The Charmander's movements slowed to a crawl as electricity crackled around his body, locking his muscles in place. "Char!" he growled, trying to fight against the paralysis.

"Don't ignore me!" The girl, Rorie, stamped her foot. "Char, hang on! We've been paralyzed before. Fire off a Smokescreen!"

The Charmander was slowed, but not fully paralyzed. He snorted and spewed out a thick screen of black smoke. The smog cloaked the battle area, lowering the accuracy of opponents in the vicinity.

"You're one of those rangers, aren't you?" Rorie crossed her arms. "Was that story in class about the fire true? Let's see how you handle Char, then!" She grinned. Her Charmander was paralyzed, but they also had a little bit of cover from the accuracy drop they had inflicted. One pokemon paralyzed, and one with less accuracy, who would get unlucky first? Char still had the advantage with his typing, though.

That said, there could still be a strategy here. What would it be then?

@Crimson Flame

Tim took a moment to think moment to think of his next move. Rocky was faster than Pachi, but Pachi was an electric type, and could probably inflict paralysis on Rocky. That wouldn’t be good. ”Um... Rocky... Use Double Team... Please...”

The Rockruff ran around in circles, and created multiple illusory copies of himself while barking loudly. Tim hoped the Yamper would hit one of the duplicates, and he could get an attack in safely.

Tim shuffled his feet and twiddled his thumbs nervously. ”Um... uh... W-w-whatever happens... I-I-I hope our Pokémon can play together sometime...” He smiled sheepishly. ”Rocky would appreciate a fellow dog Pokémon to play with”

As Rocky created multiple copies of himself, Gerald cursed. "Damnit! We need to try to paralyze that inferior mutt! Use Discharge!"

Pachi barked happily, letting of a massive, jagged blast of electric energy into their arena. "Yip! Yiip!" Pachi cheered as lightning came thundering down.

"As if I would ever let Pachi play with your inferior mongrel!" Gerald shouted back, insulted by Tim's suggestion. "Pachi is a purebred Yamper, the finest of his kind! Your Rockruff could never compare! We only associate with the purest of breeds after all, Pachi would get sick playing with those dirty breeds and all that dander in their fur!" As he spoke, the massive bolts of lightning struck the multiple Rockruff on the field one by one until there was one left. But was it the real one? After a moment it became clear--Rocky had successfully dodged the attack!

"Pachi! Hang in there! We'll defeat that dirty cur! Be on your guard!" Gerald insisted.

It was Tim's move then! What was he thinking next?


Troy couldn't help but notice the attack's shoddy quality, sparser than one should expect and symptomatic of Gulpin's visible inexperience. Even in spite of Shuckle's defensive focus, power split is unlikely to yield much (if any) results this battle, and Shuckle should theoretically do the most damage through brute force.

As for Gulpin's attack, although poison is usually very difficult for a Shuckle to deal with before learning Rest, it's shouldn't be an issue for a 1v1 battle with healing available in between, so long as things don't get dragged out. Troy hates to take chances, but expecting a Shuckle to dodge an attack with no setup is like expecting the sun to stop shining. Still, it's not like there's no counter-measures.

"Block it with defense curl."

Shuckle withdraws into its shell and angles itself to avoid direct contact with the sludge as the poison comes to drape itself over his shell.

"Now, shake it off with rollout!"

Shuckle begins spinning rapidly, attempting to shake off the poison while it barrels toward Gulpin.

Though the Defense Curl raising physical defense didn't necessarily help defend against Gulp's special attack based Sludge, a defense boost was never a bad thing. And the move made Rollout more powerful to boot. Bobby's eyes widened with Shock as the Shuckle effortlessly shrugged off the poison type move. "B-But how?!" He sputtered, recoiling as the Shuckle barrelled into Gulp directly, which sent Gulp skidding back with a cry.

The hit had been a hard one. Still the Gulpin rose. It seemed like the opponents weren't defeated just yet... "Gup!"

Bobby searched out Troy's gaze. "Don't ignore me, damnit! I'm important!" He jabbed a finger, trembling. "You'll see! Our bond can't be defeated! Gulp, use Yawn!" The Gulpin opened his mouth wide and released a huge, dreamy pink bubble towards the Shuckle. "Ha! You'll be asleep in no time!" How would Troy respond?
How were their impressions? What was next?

@Crimson Flame
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?”

“He’s cool.”

“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!”

”Silence, class!”

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?

@Crimson Flame
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?
@Crimson Flame

“Oh... um... I-I-I guess so... My father bred him just for me as a birthday gift, and I’ve been raising him ever since he was a little baby puppy.” He started petting his Rockruff’s head. ”Isn’t that right Rocky?”

Rocky let out a happy “Ruff!” In agreement.

Evey wanted to roll her eyes, but she managed to keep it together. So was he trying to play nice? His answer wasn't one at all, nonetheless she smiled thinly in reply. "Ah, I see!" Perhaps later she'd be able to figure out whether his Rockruff was bred for power or speed. But it was time for class. She tapped the pokeball by her belt assuredly. "Looking forward to seeing how you all rank in the tournament today! Later!" With a final bright smile, and a toss of her hair, she was walking towards Class 2B.

"If you're looking for a battle, you might have to wait a while. We have class, after all"

Masaru sighed. "Tch, fine. I guess it'd be nice to see how you all do in the homeroom tournaments first." He glanced towards Evey walking away before turning back to Troy once more. "You better be ready the next time I challenge you. Later." Masaru left, and all that was left was for the transfer students to enter.

Class 2-A was a very large and colorful room for 24 students. There were skeletal diagrams of pokemon, plenty of maps, charts, and models. To their left and right were bookshelves and cabinets filled with supplies, while the other back half of the room was large and strangely filled with many toys, cushions, and soft rugs. Arranged in rows of five, the desks were wide, large enough for laptops and textbooks. Their teacher was a young graduate student by the title Professor Caprea, already sitting at her desk and rifling through papers. She was of average height, with her brown hair in a bun and wearing a labcoat over her blouse and slacks. Her green eyes were pleasantly crinkled, and her smile was broad in her square shaped face. There were a few whispers as the doors opened...

"Why did Evey wanna talk to that kid?"

"They were talking to the top students? Masaru wanted to battle that guy?"

"I wish I could talk to them..."

The transfer students were able to take their seats next to each other, filling the last of the empty seats in the third row. "Hello and good morning, students! Good to have everyone here and on time. I am your homeroom teacher, Professor Floris Caprea. A pleasure to meet you all. Oh, I suppose I should introduce my pokemon too." She walked to the back of the room, fishing two pokeballs out from her coat as she did so. The capsules burst open with bright light that coalesced into the materialized monsters. One was a six foot tall blue-green bell type creature with arms and a totem like face. The other was a nearly ten feet tall brown green dinosaur with a long neck, leafy wings, and fruit growing from it's chin. "Ah yes, this is Nanabo and Bronza! My Tropius and Bronzong."

Pokemon in class? Caprea flashed a thumbs up. "I know what you're thinking, no pokemon allowed indoors. But there are rooms and buildings designated for pokemon to be inside, and the Academic Wing is one of them. You are allowed to have one pokemon with you, and there is a size chart as some pokemon are too large to have in class, naturally. So be mindful of that." She indicated towards the size chart next to the classroom door. "You may let your pokemon out, but remember: no distractions. If they can play quietly, there's plenty of enrichment toys in the back of the class that they can pick from. If your pokemon can't behave, they need to go back inside their pokeball. I hope I won't have to enforce that rule, so make sure your pokemon are behaving!"

Naturally, the next few minutes were filled with the trademark sounds of pokeballs opening, as the students rose and scraped their chairs against the floor. Even a first day at PMA allowed a little breathing room for the antsy students and pokemon, it seemed. The toy selection wasn't shabby either, ranging from chew toys to stuffed animals to complex puzzles, most pokemon would find plenty to entertain themselves with for homeroom hour. When they all settled down, it was quiet once more. The class seemed to feel a little more relaxed, thankfully.

"Put your energy into listening and paying attention today. We’ll be going over your subjects and the school’s expectations, so you’ll understand how to succeed at this academy. I’m excited to teach such dedicated students. The fact that you're here means you have the opportunity to accomplish much in your career, but remember...” She walked towards the front of the desk and leaned back, facing the class. "It isn't the school or the curriculum that makes you excellent. It is your diligence and work ethic. At the end of the day, you have to pursue what you want." Her voice was firm, but agreeable. It wasn't Caprea's intention to disillusion anyone, but rather get them in the proper mindset. “That said, there’s a whole slew of things we’ve got to cover today, but I’d like us to start off with an ice breaker. You’ve had those before, right?”

A murmur rippled through; a few students nodded, and Caprea nodded in return. “Right, so you have. Well, this one’s a fun one. It’s called Two Truths, and a Lie. Anyone ever heard of it before?”

Caprea analyzed the sophomore scholars before her thoughtfully. Bellamy had briefed her on what had happened during the assembly earlier. Hm, it's going to be an interesting year.

Some students perked up, being familiar with the game while others still looked uncertain. Caprea continued, “you’re all going to write your names and three things about yourself on the piece of paper in front of you.” Caprea picked up an index card on her desk and showed it to the class. “Of those three things, two of them will be true, and one will be a lie. Now, there’s a couple of tips I want to give you. First, mix up the order of the things you are writing! That is, don’t have your lie be the last thing on your list. Second, try to make a statement about yourself. What you choose as truth and lie can tell you a lot about a person, no?" She chuckled. Though she was jovial, she was also issuing a challenge. Who would try to stand out? In the pokemon world, there was no coincidence that plenty of pokemon professionals knew how to market themselves, and PMA being the academy that it was, made it exceptionally difficult to stand out among such closely matched peers. Which of the students here knew how to be noticeable? Of course, she mused, there were also professionals who didn't need to go commercial. All the same, this was a small but powerful prompt that would help her glean some insight into their minds, regardless of whether they wanted to be flashy or not.

"When you’re done, sit quietly and wait until everyone else is finished. I’ll be having you all come up to the front here-” she gestured in front of her desk. “To introduce yourself, and read your card. Then, the rest of us will try to figure out what the lie is. So!” She clapped her hands. “Let’s get started, shall we?”

“Professor Caprea, are you gonna be doing this too? Two Truths and a Lie?” A student asked.

“Nope, that’s just for you guys,” Caprea laughed. “And I'm not budging on that! Go on now, I’ll give you all 5 minutes to write something down. Come on!”

There were the sounds of paper sheets being taken out, pens being clicked, chairs being scraped-- school was officially now in session. When the five minutes were up, Caprea called out a name.

"Tim Wolfe, would you come up and introduce yourself?"
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