The siren sounded, signalling the start of the battle.
Tsukuyo leapt from the platform onto the battlefield, the web bouncing slightly as it took her weight. The Froakie panicked slightly, limbs stiffening as she realised there was little between her and the ground. She looked back to Eva with wide eyes, forgetting that she had been warned earlier not to look down.
Unable to comfort her properly, Eva could only encourage her to breathe and stay calm with hand movements. The Froakie looked back to her opponent as it materialised, a Pokemon Eva wasn’t entirely familiar with outside its name – Surskit. She frowned as she attempted to analyse it. Bug type, obviously… long, slender legs that would make it agile and difficult to catch… Professor Oak had mentioned it on and off in his many reports, but it was one she’d never really gotten around to studying due to its Hoenn origins.
She’d have to deal with things as they came and hope Tsukuyo could keep up.
Eva watched her Pokemon test her balance on the cords. The Froakie wobbled, still unsure of herself. It was impossible to call out an attack right now. Glancing up, Eva could see Viola give a slight smile. The gym leader had been courteous to give them a few seconds to adjust. It wouldn’t last though…
“Plushenko,” Viola called the name of her Surskit, “Water Sport!”
Droplets splashed against Eva’s face as Viola’s Pokemon sent a geyser shooting up into the air. The spray rained down covering everything with a film of water. Tsukuyo slipped on the now-drenched web, legs scrambling to keep hold. Eva frowned: the disadvantage between them and Viola had just grown.
“Quick Attack!” the gym leader ordered in a stern voice.
The Surskit kicked its legs and took off. With an elegance that any ice skater would be jealous of, it began to glide across the cords of the web. With two legs each to two cords it began to circle the net, feet delicately dancing it across the field. After the drenching they’d received Eva had suspected something like this – nobody would change a field’s environment unless it stacked the odds further in your favour.
It was too easy to get caught up watching the Surskit. With Tsukuyo enraptured by the creature’s movements, she hadn’t realised it was coming straight for her. Eva yelled at Tsukuyo to dodge, but the Froakie’s legs slipped once more. It was too late. The Surskit barged into her, the force knocking her off her feet and into the air.
“Tsukuyo, Lick!” shouted Eva desperately as the Froakie tumbled through a gap. She put a hand to Tsukuyo’s Pokeball, hoping desperately she had been heard.
Gathering her senses, Tsukuyo whipped her tongue up towards the web. It stuck and she reeled herself in until she was able to haul herself up once more. The Froakie breathed a sigh of relief. That had been too close.
Eva breathed her own sigh of relief as well. To lose so quickly would have been… well, she didn’t want to say embarrassing, but it wouldn’t have looked good either. She shifted her legs, uncomfortable from the restriction caused by the harness. If Tsukuyo was also restricted in her movements, then it meant having to take a new approach.
Her Pokemon glanced back at her, finally ready to fight.
“Quick Attack again, Plushenko!” called Viola.
The Surskit spun and changed direction. Eva was ready for it this time though. Tsukuyo gripped onto the web to prepare herself.
Breathing deep, Tsukuyo launched a jet of bubbles at the oncoming Pokemon. The Surskit ran straight into it, flailing wildly as the attack clung and popped violently against its carapace. Its exoskeleton held strong though, the bubbles only serving to slow it down. Tsukuyo held her webbed hands up as it gently slid and bumped into her grip, digits sticking onto it to prevent it scrambling away.
“Toss it off!” Eva yelled. The web bounced as the two Pokemon struggled for balance and dominance. Despite her grip on the Surskit, Tsukuyo was at a disadvantage with two legs on the ropes compared to her opponent’s four.
The best Tsukuyo was able to manage was to push the Surskit back. Eva grit her teeth – she’d have to think up another plan. She glanced up to observe Viola to try and catch on to her response. Instead she saw the younger woman already looking her way, her plans still intact.
“Plushenko! It’s your turn to use Bubble!” Viola yelled suddenly.
Slight panic arose in Tsukuyo’s eyes as the Surskit took a breath in front of her face.
“Lick! Block it off!” commanded Eva.
The Surskit’s legs started thrashing as Tsukuyo’s tongue lashed out and wrapped around its face. The little Froakie continued to hold fast until the Pokemon’s movements began to dull from lack of oxygen. Viola watched on, knowing any orders she could give were impossible to follow through on.
Unable to strain her tongue any longer, Tsukuyo let go. The Surskit staggered weakly, though it did not fall – its balance was too well-honed for that. Tsukuyo glanced back at Eva for orders.
“Quick Attack: feet first,” her trainer said sternly.
Backing up slightly, the Froakie leapt and planted her feet against the Surskit’s body. She kicked off it, able to put more power into the attack through her legs than she had been able to before simply pushing against it.
Now properly off-balance and unable to correct itself, the Surskit tumbled from the web and towards the ground. Obviously having practiced this many a time, Viola pulled out a Pokeball and recalled it. She sighed at the ball and held it to her chest before looking up at Eva.
“Five minute intermission,” she announced, turning away to rappel down from her platform. Eva took the opportunity to wipe the sweat from her brow. Intermissions weren't unheard of, but she had fully expected Viola to keep the pressure up. Perhaps it was a strategy to break the momentum gained from the first victory?
Tsukuyo climbed back up the web, her trainer lifting her up to join her on the platform. “Are you okay to go on?” Eva asked her. “We’ve still got one to go.”
The Froakie blinked at her, looking slightly indignant as she turned her head away. “I am your only Pokemon, so I suppose I must.”
“That’s the spirit,” Eva replied with a hint of sarcasm before chuckling. Tsukuyo glanced back at her and smiled. The exchange was short-lived however as Eva began to frown. “We did well to improvise during the first round, but the second round is where things will get tough. Viola has a read on us now – I don't believe she'll let us pull the same tricks twice. She won't use the same routine again either.”
“You bought one of those Potion patches earlier this morning though,” Tsukuyo reminded her. She paused to frown to herself. “I'd rather not get into an unexpected situation that requires it, however.”
Eva placed her hand in her pocket, feeling the small device inside next to her trainer card. “I'd prefer if we didn't either… these things aren't cheap.” She cringed as Tsukuyo gave her a disapproving stare, as though she had just been told her she was worth less than the patch. Eva scratched her cheek nervously. “I didn't mean it that way…”
The small frog sighed, giving up on her silent chastisement of her trainer. “If we want to avoid the unexpected, then what can we do?”
Eva looked out to the empty platform opposite them: time was almost up. She thought about Tsukuyo’s question and compared it to the likelihood of what Viola’s next strategy could be. At least she knew it'd involve another bug type – but which one? She glanced down to the web, still glistening wet with water. “Maybe we should figure out what we can control instead of what we can’t,” she told the Froakie. She crouched down close to explain.
Viola finally hauled herself back up onto her platform, one less Pokeball from before. Eva glanced up as she finished her planning with Tsukuyo, wondering if the gym leader had gone to heal her Pokemon up. If she had, it was a little odd given there was no rush when Pokeballs were involved. What was this woman up to?
“Break time's over!” Viola announced with a smile and a clap of the hands. “The second round will now commence! Will you continue, challenger?”
“Yes, leader!” Eva shouted back determinedly.
The siren counted down again to signal the start of the next battle. Tsukuyo slid back down the web as the last siren blared and Viola threw her final Pokeball. Eva’s secret worries were sealed when the materialising light formed in the air and revealed a Vivillon. Viola had once again used the field to put her at a disadvantage – this time by leaving her on it while she soared above.
And unlike last time, Viola wasn’t going to wait. “Ekaterina, Tackle!”
The Vivillon’s patterned pink wings sent it streaking through the air. Eva grumbled at the sight of another fast opponent. “Tsukuyo, duck under!”
Leaping forward, the Froakie clung onto a cord and swung herself underneath the web. The Vivillon passed over her harmlessly, belly brushing ever-so-slightly against Tsukuyo’s hands. It began to circle, unsure about the situation now that its attacks had been proven easy to dodge. Viola frowned slightly, realising Eva had worked out a way to turn her own battlefield against her.
Eva’s hands tightened into fists. Simply using the web to dodge wasn’t enough: she had to take the lead.
“Bubble, like we planned!” she yelled. Flipping right side up, Tsukuyo tightened her grip on the web and projected a stream of bubbles into the air.
“Move back!” Viola ordered quickly as the attack headed for her Pokemon.
The Vivillon backed away, but Eva and Tsukuyo weren’t done yet. The little Froakie coughed in between as she sent up wave after wave of bubbles to fill the space above the net. She didn’t need to scatter them herself; the draft from her opponent’s wings were doing it for her already. The Vivillon spun around as its pocket of safety began to fill up, though it was too late to escape. It squealed as a bubble clipped against the tip of its wing and popped violently. More followed, shredding membrane as they burst and sending the butterfly into a slow, spiralling descent.
It was finally within reach.
“Bring it down, Tsukuyo! Lick!” Eva’s ragged fingernails bit into the flesh of her palms. Would it work? The Froakie wrapped her tongue around the Vivillon’s foot and began to reel it in like a fish on a hook. The Vivillon fought to fly away, though without the full support of its wings it was futile.
Eva glanced up at Viola once more, curious as to why she hadn’t called out any orders in the last minute. She hadn’t even tried to direct her Pokemon to respond with an attack since that tackle at the start. Why wouldn’t she call out an attack? Unless… she was waiting for the right time to call it.
“Clever strategy, but I’m not going to go down that easily,” she commented grimly. “Ekaterina, Infestation!”
Something dark erupted from behind the Vivillon’s wings. It swirled like a sickening mist as it rose high into the air and split into two. The streams paused for a second in the air before diving down.
Eva felt her heart drop.
Tsukuyo released the Vivillon as her trainer yelled for her to launch another Bubble attack. It was too late though. The Froakie attempted, but the black streams simply moved out of the way. It wasn’t just any kind of attack, it had a mind of its own.
The streams split apart suddenly to attack from the sides in a pincer maneuver. Free from Tsukuyo’s grip, the Vivillon began to flap furiously to regain height and out of reach. Bubbles whipped up into a frenzy in its hurried wake, scattering them across the field even further and mistakenly towards the two humans standing on either end. Both Eva and Viola quickly hit the deck of their platforms as the chaos bore down on them.
A sudden shriek caused Eva’s head to snap up. The dark cloud had swallowed Tsukuyo whole, surging like a sickening wave as she struggled within it. Thousands of tiny insects bit into the small Froakie’s flesh. Somewhere in the back of Eva’s head she registered that she had to do something, but Tsukuyo’s cries had caused little memories to fizzle up from the depths and remind her of all her failures.
Things were getting out of control – out of her control. Blood spilled into her mouth as she accidentally bit the inside of her cheek too hard. The metal tang was a familiar taste – too familiar. It snapped Eva out of her inaction immediately. She hadn’t scraped by her entire life just to fall here.
With the rickety platform causing her legs to shake, she stood up amongst the scattering bubbles. Her Froakie was still clinging on, gripping the web with all her might, eyes tightly shut as the swarm continued to bite down. She was waiting… not knowing if Eva would deliver or not.
Holding Tsukuyo’s Pokeball in her hand, she fished a small, sticker-like device out from her pocket and fixed it atop the Pokeball’s button. She could heal a Pokemon with the patch, but she had to be able to directly touch it with the beam to do so. A bubble popped in the blind spot next to her face. She flinched and grit her teeth, not wanting anything to get in the way.
“You won’t be able to stay on unless you can get the bugs off, Tsukuyo!” she called desperately. “I need you to trust me and use a Water Pulse on yourself!”
The Froakie twitched, acknowledging that she had heard above the buzzing of the insects on her skin. Viola glanced up from her crouched position, unsure of what she’d just heard. As a sphere of water built up in Tsukuyo’s hands Eva held her own arm out and braced herself. She couldn’t miss – she couldn’t afford to, her lack of depth perception be damned.
Tsukuyo finally turned her attack on herself, crying out when the glowing sphere splashed against her tender skin. The tiny insects that had been plaguing her dripped off in thick rivulets to leave her bitten flesh bare. Eva made her move as well, pressing the Pokeball’s button between breaths and directing the beam at her mark. It hit and Tsukuyo flashed red. Beneath the light her wounds stitched themselves back together like time itself was rewinding. The Froakie’s stance changed in response, showing the injury was no longer affecting her.
Eva went to breath a sigh of relief when she heard a pop on her blind side once more. A moment of sharp pain suddenly shot through her shoulder. Her hand went to the wound, blood starting to lightly dribbling from where it had torn her shirt and scraped layers of skin off with it. Tsukuyo began to turn as she heard her trainer’s wince.
“I’m fine! Stay focussed!” Eva yelled at her with a commanding voice. She couldn’t stop here or risk Tsukuyo getting distracted. They had to go on; they had to win. “The Vivillon is losing height again, so go! Quick Attack!”
Viola scrambled to her feet, snapping out of the shock of what she’d just seen. “Infestation!” she shouted, rising to meet Eva’s challenge.
The black swarm erupted again from behind the Vivillon’s wings, spiralling as it targeted Tsukuyo once more. The Froakie pushed herself against a web cord as it approached before kicking forward, slingshotting herself to skim below the swarm’s attack and towards the quickly tiring Vivillon. Falling slowly, the butterfly had exhausted itself trying to keep itself up despite its partially shredded wings. Finally its foot touched the web. It was down.
Eva squeezed at her wounded shoulder. “Water Pulse!” she roared.
Sphere of water developing in her hand, Tsukuyo charged at the Vivillon and plunged the attack into its chest. The butterfly Pokemon crumpled with the impact and bounced backwards onto the web. It didn’t fall through, but it didn’t get up either.
A siren sounded, signalling victory.
Eva took a sip from her takeaway cup of coffee. A satisfied sigh escaped her lips – Kalosian coffee was heavenly. She had avoided it for most of her life before this, though the dreck that served for ‘coffee’ over in Kanto was nothing like this. They used real coffee beans here, not that horrid instant stuff that tasted like it’d been filtered through the back of a truck’s exhaust pipe.
The slurping noise from atop her head indicated that Tsukuyo seemed to be enjoying her babyccino as well. The both of them let out another sigh in unison.
Finally reaching the last drop, Eva sadly dumped the cup into a trash bin. The only downside to the coffee here was the price. She would have to try and restrain herself to only one a… day? Two days? No, one day, definitely one a day. Wait, no, think about your bank account!
“One every now and then,” she muttered to herself like some kind of confirmation. Considering she wouldn’t be in civilised areas every day, it wouldn’t be good to get addicted.
The burnt church loomed before her, still as desolate and ignored as it was the day before.
Or was it?
Eva slowed as she walked past and frowned at the white chalk outlines she could see on the floor inside. She wasn’t sure what the symbol was, but she wasn’t about to go in and look either. She picked up the pace and pretended to ignore it. She had better things to focus on today anyway.
The sign on the street corner directed her to her next destination – Santalune Gym. It was an odd-looking thing with two long galleries extending out from the main entry and around to enclose the large metal and glass dome within it. It was a strange encapsulation of old and new, but not altogether unlikeable. Too bad the main walls were painted a putrid flowery yellow colour though.
Walking inside, the building changed. The inside had been stripped and redone with a modern and minimalist elegance. Large photographs framed the walls, each one highlighted by its own downlight. Eva couldn’t help but notice each photograph was of a different bug type, answering her unasked question about the gym’s favoured type.
Pulling Tsukuyo off her head so she was uninhibited, she wandered by a few to admire the details. Whoever had taken these must have had some skill to capture them even in flight or battle. It was like time had stood still for the photographer.
“Do you like them?” asked an interested voice.
“They're impressive,” Eva replied. “Are you the photographer?” She gave a side-glance to the slightly shorter woman besides her - mousey brown hair done up in a complicated bun and dark green eyes that flashed mischievously back at her.
“Photographer and gym leader,” the woman smiled proudly. She pointed to the photo with perfectly painted red nails which matched her lipstick. “Most of my photos are taken locally in Santalune Forest, of course. However, this Butterfree was quite a difficult subject to shoot. I had to lure it in with berries…”
“Which berries did you use?” Eva asked curiously.
The woman hesitated ever so slightly, the confident look on her face cracking for a brief second.
Eva raised a critical eyebrow at her.
The woman chuckled nervously, suddenly dropping the act. Her bauble-like gold earrings glinting in the light as she put a hand to her chin thoughtfully. “Damn, I thought I had it this time too!” she exclaimed, her confidence flooding back.
“Maybe do your research next time you try to pretend to be an expert in something?” Eva suggested.
The woman frowned at the unhelpful reply. “If you’d asked me about cameras it would have been fine, but berries?” She crossed her arms and glared at Eva closely. “Or did you ask that on purpose?”
Eva held back a smile at the woman. There was something likeable about her, but she couldn’t quite pin it. Maybe it was simply because she hadn’t stared at her eyepatch once so far? It seemed a little petty to like someone just for that…
“Sometimes trainers just have a sixth sense about these sorts of things,” she tried to say as mysteriously as possible. She glanced away when she noticed Tsukuyo giving her a deadpan stare. Scratching her cheek she looked back to the other woman. “But next time, if someone asks what sort say you used tanga berries… someone told me they make bug types lethargic and easier to catch.”
“Oho, a tip!” The woman pulled a notepad out from her back pocket, writing the words ‘research tanga berries’ into it furiously. “I need to record this for the next time I pull this prank. Name’s Alexa Hagebak, by the way. Viola – the gym leader – is my little sister.”
“And I won’t be if you keep doing this to my challengers all the time when you visit!” came a flustered voice from behind her. It was almost like a shorter, blonder version of Alexa was standing behind her. She was far less prim and proper compared to her sister, and Eva gave her instant approval upon seeing her plain ragged nails and messy hair.
“No harm done,” Alexa told her with a weak smile. “I was just… sizing up your challengers for you.”
Viola put her hands on her hips, lips half twisted into a disapproving pout. “That’s meant to be my job, sis! You already have your own job, so don’t go stealing mine.”
Alexa’s weak smile from being caught out strengthened suddenly. She pointed her pen towards Eva. “How about you get on with your job then? The challenger is waiting.”
Switching her attention, Viola looked Eva up and down in a single glance, the mark of a photographer who knew they had to make a decision right there and then whether to grab their camera or let the subject go. “Hm, you’re… not particularly photogenic, are you?” she commented, tilting her head to the side slightly as if changing her point of view would help at all.
Eva narrowed her eye at the shorter woman. “Do you judge all your challengers that way?”
A small smile spread across Viola’s face. “We all have our ways of telling the weak from the strong,” she replied smugly. “Let’s move into the dome so we can get on with things, huh?”
There was no way to tell how she interpreted someone’s photogenicity into strength, but Eva felt a sense of relief that Viola was taking things more seriously than she thought. The idea of battling a frivolous gym leader seemed almost insulting.
The group passed through into a corridor separating the gallery from the dome-shaped greenhouse. Bursts of air tugged on Eva’s hair designed to keep the atmospheres between the buildings from escaping into each other. She pushed past the thick plastic ribbons that served as a doorway and was immediately met by a world different from the one outside. Sunshine glistened off the leaves of lush green vegetation, wet from the misty sprinkler system set up around the dome’s upper edges. Droplets fell into Eva’s head from above, though it did little to alleviate the humidity she felt creeping through her clothes and causing her to sweat. She shed her unbearable coat and bundled it into her backpack, glancing across as she did to see Tsukuyo give a happy croak. At least someone was happy here…
Pulling out her trainer’s card, she presented it to Viola before she had to ask for it. She studied it for a moment before smiling.
“I get a lot of tourists from Kanto to look at my work, but not so many challengers,” she commented. “Evangeline, is it? Or is Eva fine?”
“The latter – saves on syllables,” Eva replied as she readjusted her ponytail to sit off of her neck.
Viola pulled out a Pokedex from her pocket and opened it. With a quick swipe she registered the trainer card and handed it back. She raised an eyebrow at the data before, causing her sister to look over her shoulder.
“Oho… No badges?” Alexa asked curiously. She frowned slightly to herself. “I wouldn’t take you for a newbie.”
Her younger sister bumped into her with her hip, causing her to stumble slightly. “Remember, sis. My job, not yours.” She glanced over at Eva with another keen look in her eyes. “I’d say she’s only a newbie so far as the system is concerned…”
“So far as Kalos is concerned,” Eva corrected her. She slipped her trainer’s card back into her pocket. “I’m familiar with the Kanto gym system, but not Kalos.”
“I’ve heard that the Kanto league is quite the challenge, which is why we don’t get many trainers from there here. We’re seen as an ‘easier’ league… but I wouldn’t really call it that. We just like to test our trainers in a more finessed way rather than outright crush them like the Kanto gym leaders do.” Viola gave another sly smile. “Even if you’re new according to the system, I’m glad you’re not a kid or else this wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. I know not to underestimate anyone from the region that went through hell.”
Eva crossed her arms and looked down at the shorter woman, a smirk spreading across her lips. “Good, I don’t want anyone in Kalos to treat me like I’m made of cotton wool.”
“Alexa, grab a couple of harnesses, would you?” Viola nodded towards a cupboard on the wall behind them.
A spark of excitement lit up in Alexa’s eyes. “Looks like I picked a good day to visit. Not often I get to see that.” She opened the cupboard and riffled through it, picking out a pair of harnesses and handing them over enthusiastically.
Eva glanced over at the field in the middle of the dome. It was laid out like any normal battle area with lines and boxes painted onto the flattened earth, nothing unusual. “Am I going to be hanging from the ceiling or something?” she asked.
Viola pulled a device from her pocket that looked like a garage remote control, chuckling to herself. “I wouldn’t be a gym leader for just a patch of dirt. This field is for the kiddies, but the adults need to have their own challenge. Even my boyfriend has trouble keeping his balance on this, so you better be careful.”
She pressed the button.
Something mechanical began to grumble underneath their feet. Eva braced herself as the normal gym floor split open and wooden platforms rose up from below. Spotlights flickered to life as the greenhouse windows were rendered dark. A large web-like net sprang up amongst the platforms, lines bouncing until the contraption pulled it taught high above them.
The scene was set. Eva stared up at it, holding back her awe that best she could. She knew the Kalos system was different, but not this different. Her gaze flickered down to Tsukuyo, noticing the little frog seemed overwhelmed by the sight. She crouched down, patting her on the head reassuringly.
“Are you up for this?” she whispered.
Tsukuyo took a moment to consider before nodding. She paused again to frown slightly at Eva. “So long as you do what’s best for me.”
“You don’t have to worry about that,” Eva replied in a serious tone. “We’re not losing.”
She stood up, pulling the harness Alexa had handed her on and adjusted the straps to fit. Viola had already retreated to the far end to do her own, attaching a couple of Pokeballs onto her belt at the same time. Eva watched as she climbed the ladder to the top. It was time she got up there as well.
Offering a hand to Tsukuyo, the Froakie clambered onto her shoulder and hung on tight. Eva tested the safety rope and carabiners before climbing up onto the wooden platform above. It creaked under her weight as she stood up, swaying slightly as she shifted around. Tsukuyo precariously slid down to sit by her feet. Her body tensed as she looked towards the ground.
“Don’t look down,” Eva warned her. “If you fall I’ll recall you immediately, but remember that will probably disqualify us and we’ll have to try all over again.”
Tsukuyo nodded, determination mixed with nervousness.
“Eva! Little Froakie!” a voice yelled at them from nearby. They looked over, seeing Alexa wave at them enthusiastically from a balcony that ran around the upper level of the dome. “I’ll be cheering for you!”
Viola’s platform swayed as she put her hands on her hips. “What about me?” she demanded.
Her sister shrugged dramatically. “It’s meant to be your job, Viola! You don’t need any encouragement.”
Flustered by her own words being turned back on her, Viola’s cheeks turned red. “You’re not allowed in my gym any longer, sis!”
Alexa leaned on the balcony and smiled at Eva, giving a wink. “She says that,” she said quietly enough so it wouldn’t carry to her sister’s end, “but she doesn’t mean it.”
Eva sighed silently to herself – what a way to start a gym battle.
Recomposing herself, Viola gave a small cough to clear her throat before addressing Eva. “Let’s get on with with it and set up the terms, shall we?”
Placing her arms behind her back, Eva did her best to stand up straight on the rickety platform. “Yes, leader!” she replied back sharply.
Viola’s surprised expression melted into a grin. “Well, someone knows their gym formalities. It’s quite flattering for a change.” She shifted her own stance to look more professional as she spoke the terms. “We have the safety harnesses for the height, but you are still expected to take care of yourself while battle is in motion. Also, bear in mind that the battle will continue regardless if you fall, but it will be considered going out of bounds if your Pokemon does. No human interference is allowed – this includes by abilities – and doing so results in immediate disqualification. Finally, I will be using two Pokemon in accordance to League regulations on my end, but you may switch out to any of your team at any time. Is that agreeable, challenger?”
“Yes, leader!” Eva barked back. Formalities over, Eva pointed to the Froakie at her feet. “I will only be using one Pokemon, however.” The planks beneath her creaked as she braced herself.
Viola followed suit, bracing herself as she held a Pokeball tightly in her hand. “Only one?” she repeated curiously. “You’re either making fun of me or just being cocky!”
A series of beeps came over the loudspeakers, slowly counting down to the moment. 3… 2… 1…