When last we left our heroes, they were making their way for the Monkshood Town Gym; which now towers before them in all its glory.
"So, this is it, huh?" Lyra cooed.
"It would seem so." Silus replied, surveying the large tower in front of them.
"You've waited long enough, Silus." Lyra prodded. "Go inside and get your badge."
Silus glanced at her, giving her a knowing grin, "Yeah, you're right. Let's go!"
A Shocking Taste of Life! Edit
The mechanical door slid open, granting Silus and Lyra access to the sizable gym. Instantly, the most noteworthy thing about the entrance hall was its darkness. Small rays of light filtered in from a skylight several hundred feet above their heads, at the top of the tower, but, for the most part, the gym was cast in complete and total darkness.
"Is the gym closed?" Silus thought aloud, slowly shuffling through the entrance into the main hall, Lyra close behind him.
As they passed into a second room, strobe lights suddenly snapped on with a loud pop. Both trainers shielded their eyes from the intensity of the light, giving them time to focus as more and more of them came on. However, that wasn't the end of the room's surprises. Suddenly, the ground came alive beneath them. First a cage emerged, surrounding them both, then the floor slowly began to rise until they were suspended far above the ground. As the platform came to a halt, lights began to ignite on the opposite side of the gym from them, revealing a slender, blue-haired man.
"Welcome to Monkshood Gym." the man said in a monotonous voice. "I am Cable, this town's gym leader."
Silus retracted his arms, staring across the expanse to his opponent while blinking his eyes erratically as they adjusted.
"You couldn't find a less expensive way to welcome your challengers?" Lyra snapped, obviously annoyed at their predicament. "These lights are giving me a migraine."
"I'm Silus." Silus interjected, ignoring Lyra's objections. "I'll be your challenger today."
"As you wish, Silus." Cable replied, hitting a button on his control panel.
The cage behind Lyra slid open, a conveyer belt emerging from the platform and connecting to the nearby balcony. Much to her protest, the ground beneath her began to move once again, sliding her a safe distance away to the railed balcony before withdrawing again, the cage again surrounding Silus. At the same time, from the floor in which they had come from, a large arena rose up until it was smack between the two opponents.
"Our battle will be a three-on-three battle." Cable continued. "If your Pokémon should faint or refuse to obey your commands, it will lose. Should you win, I will surrender the Bolt Badge to you."
As he said this, a floating platform rose up on the side of the arena, a referee situated within it. With a press of the referee's command panel, a large display screen lit up directly behind him, showing Cable and Silus' available Pokémon slots.
"The challenger will choose his Pokémon first." the referee command, waving his flag in Silus' direction.
Silus flicked his jacket's tails aside, snatching a Pokéball from his belt and enlarging it with a press of its central button. Giving the ball a heartfelt toss, it burst into a brilliant display of white light, which then took the form of a Turtwig.
"Hmph, Turtwig, huh?" Cable mused. "Very well, my turn."
Cable tossed his own Pokéball, which burst into a very similar white light, which formed into his very own Jolteon. The Electric-type Pokémon gave out a snarl upon seeing Turtwig on the opposite side of the ring.
"The challenger has the honor of the first move." the referee declared, swiping his flags. "Let the match begin!"
Jousting with Jolteon Edit
"Go, Turtwig!" Silus roared, suddenly coming alive. "Leaf Storm!"
Turtwig threw it's tiny head backwards, letting out a terrifyingly loud yelp as it unleashed a torrent of leaves into the air, which began to glow a brilliant shade of green. In one swipe of its head-leaves, the leaves the tiny Pokémon had called forth rushed forward like a tidal wave, cascading over Jolteon.
"Pin Missile." Cable snapped to Jolteon, "Take out all of those leaves."
Jolteon began to glow a bright white-color, unleashing dozens upon dozens of needle-like hairs from its back, slicing through Turtwig's torrent of leaves.
Silus could only look on in shock, "All of those leaves at once?!" he exclaimed.
"Now, Jolteon," Cable continued. "Thunder Fang."
Jolteon's entire body lit up with electrical energy, which caused it to then explode forward, advancing on the tiny Grass-type Pokémon so quickly that it didn't even have time to dodge. Baring its fangs, Jolteon bit down on Turtwig's left leg, causing an eruption of electrical energy which burst into a large explosion, shrouding the arena in smoke.
"Turtwig!" Silus barked, attempting to see his Pokémon through the smokescreen.
The smoke cleared, revealing Turtwig to be okay, save for a few burn marks on its green skin. Its Grass-type had negated some of the effects from the electricity, saving it from certain fainting.
"Solarbeam, Turtwig! Fight back!" Silus declared.
Turtwig's pain quickly turned into sheer determination as a light began to emit from its mouth, releasing a powerful beam of energy at point blank, slamming into Jolteon and causing another massive explosion of energy. The smoke swirled around the impact area for a few moments before clearing, revealing a fainted Jolteon.
Cable's eyes widened with shock, "What?! How did-?!"
Silus grinned, folding his arms, gesturing to the large stage lights around them with his thumb, "These lights generate a ton of light energy. I knew Turtwig would be absorbing this energy every since I called it out." he explained.
"This kid..." Cable thought, eyes still sparkling with wonder.
"Jolteon is unable to battle." the referee announced. "Turtwig wins!"
"Great teamwork, Silus! Turtwig!" Lyra called out from the balcony, while Silus beamed in victory.
For the first time since the group's arrival, Cable let a genuine smile slip onto his face, "Very well, Silus... Let's truly begin...!"
The Spider's Trap! Galvantula Attacks! Edit
Cable reach down, snatching another Pokéball from his belt and enlarging it with a swift press of its middle button. Giving it a gentle toss, the ball burst open, releasing an intense silver energy, which quickly reformed into a Pokémon. More specifically, a Bug-type Pokémon with four legs, and a very spider-like body. This spider-like feature instantly sent chills down Silus' spine.
"W-what the heck is that?!" he groaned, flipping open his Pokédex to get some answers.
"Galvantula, the EleSpider Pokémon and the evolved form of Joltik." the Dex chimed. "It creates barriers from electrified silk that stun foes. This works as a weapon as well as a defense."
"Ele... Spider Pokémon?" Silus shivered to himself. "God, I hate spiders."
"What's wrong, ya big wimp?!" Lyra shouted from the sidelines. "Scared of spiders?!"
"Shut your trap!" Silus barked back, "Okay Turtwig, let's do this!"
"WIG!" the tiny Grass-Pokémon replied, eager for more competition.
"Good to see you still have some spunk left in you!" Cable shouted. "Now, let's begin! Galvantula, start off with Electroweb!"
"Gal!" the Spider-Pokémon cried.
Opening its mandibles, the large Pokémon launched a sticky, web-like substance, which was electrified by Galvantula's power, directly for Turtwig.
"Turtwig! Withdraw!" Silus commanded forcefully.
With a grunt, the small turtle Pokémon withdrew inside its shell, allowing the electrically charged web to ensnare it tightly. The web then released a powerful jolt of electricity, illuminating the entire battlefield in the process before exploding. Silus gritted his teeth as he watched the events unfold.
"Hang in there, Turtwig!" he thought to himself. "Withdraw increases defense, and an Electric-type attack should be weak against a Grass-type like Turtwig."
The smoke cleared, revealing that the Electroweb had dissipated when it detonated. Turtwig emerged from its shell, seemingly completely unharmed, though it did appear to be quite winded.
"Alright!" Silus shouted triumphantly. "Way to hang in there, Turtwig!"
"Turt!" the small Pokémon yapped victoriously.
"Hmm, Galvantula could probably win easily if I had let it keep its Bug-type moves. Still, there are other ways." Cable thought, watching the battle unfold.
"Go, Turtwig!" Silus roared. "Solarbeam!"
Once again using the immense amount of light energy around it, Turtwig gathered a tremendous amount of energy in front of its opened mouth and launched it in the form of a large blast of white energy. The blast made contact, with seemingly no signs of resistance from Galvantula, and the explosion that followed was much larger than Galvantula's previous attack.
"Direct hit!" Silus trumpeted, throwing up a victory sign with his hands.
Regardless, the smoke cleared revealing Galvantula pushed back, but otherwise, unharmed. This drew a surprised reaction from both Silus and his Turtwig, which was now beginning to show serious signs of tiring.
"Galvantula is part Bug-Pokémon, your Grass-type moves won't hurt it that much." Cable explained.
"That's bad!" Lyra shouted from the sidelines. "Both Pokémon are resistant to one another's moves!"
"Usually, you're right, that would be bad. But, Turtwig is tired and Galvantula is fresh. At this rate, I'll beat it easily." Cable replied.
"Turtwig, do you want to take a rest?" Silus called out.
"Turt!" the tiny Pokémon retorted, clearly intent on continuing.
And, with that, a powerful glow overtook Turtwig. This glow swiftly overtook it and enlarged it, breaking free of the glow in a completely new form.
"Grotle!" the new Pokémon barked.
"I don't believe it!" Cable shouted.
"Neither do I!" Silus remarked, "I just caught this Turtwig not too long ago. And now..."
Silus fished out his Pokédex and flipped it open for a reading.
"Grotle, the Grove Pokémon and the evolved form of Turtwig. A Grotle that lives in the forest is said to have its own secret spring water."
"So it evolved in order to prove its worth." Cable whispered aloud. "Then I shall show it my might! Go, Galvantula! Spider Web!"
"I don't think so! Grotle, Leaf Storm!" Silus countered.
As the large spider Pokémon launched its web, Grotle fired up a storm of razor-sharp leaves, aimed to devastate its opponent. The leaves easily sheered through the web, slamming into Galvantula with great force. Despite being resistant to Grass-type attacks, Galvantula winced in pain.
"Did evolving restore its energy?!" Cable watched in bewilderment.
"Now finish with Tackle!" Silus roared.
Grotle leaped forward, charging at Galvantula with renewed vigor, slamming into its arachnid foe at full speed, and knocking it back. The large spider Pokémon slammed into the ground and was knocked unconscious by the blunt force. Upon seeing this, the referee raised his flag in Silus' direction.
"Galvantula is unable to battle! Victory goes to Silus and Grotle!" he announced.
"Way to go, Grotle!" Silus yelped victoriously.
"Grot-Grotle-Grot!" the Pokémon responded happily.
"Return Galvantula." Cable commanded, holding out a Pokéball and retracting his defeated Pokémon. "You did well."
Final Bout Before the Badge! Edit
"Aright, Silus." Cable announced. "The fun ends here."
"We'll see about that!" Silus replied confidently.
"To arms, Magnezone!" Cable cried, tossing his newly retrieved Pokéball.
The ball burst open, spilling its contents, which reformed and revealed a metal Pokémon with three heads and three eyes; a magnet for each limb. Despite not having wings, the large magnet Pokémon easily floated in air, glaring blankly at Silus and Grotle.
"Magne!" it chimed, in a very much mechanical manner.
"Magnezone?" Silus chirped, once more retrieving his Pokédex for a reading on the new Pokémon.
"Magnezone, the Magnet Area Pokémon and the evolved form of Magneton. Exposure to a special magnetic field changed Magneton's molecular structure, turning it into Magnezone." the Pokédex chimed.
"Magnezone here is both a Steel and Electric-type Pokémon." Cable further explained. "That means your Grotle is at a double disadvantage."
"Grotle, you still feel like doing this?" Silus asked, now worried for his Pokémon.
"Grot!" the Grove Pokémon replied firmly.
"Alright, we'll start things out then!" Silus shouted.
However, before he could issue his first command, Grotle opened its mouth, charging a green orb of energy and then launching the ball directly at Magnezone. The blast was nearly instantaneous. Magnezone flinched at the impact, but otherwise seemed to be in perfect condition.
"I've seen that move before!" Silus thought, surprised. "When Jason used it! That was Energy Ball!"
"Silus! That Energy Ball lowers Special Defense! Its your best chance!" Lyra shouted from the sidelines.
"You're right!" Silus replied. "Let's do it again, Grotle! Energy Ball!"
"Not so fast!" Cable retorted. "Magnezone, counter with Mirror Shot!"
Both Pokémon charged their own spheres of energy; for Grotle, his green Energy Ball; for Magnezone, its silver Mirror Shot. Both released their attacks at the same time, causing them to collide at center stage and explode — effectively canceling one another out.
"I've got to hand it to you, Silus. Your Grotle is a fine Pokémon. You can really tell it cares about you. But I have no intention of losing this!" Cable announced. "Magnezone, use Supersonic!"
"Magne!" the Magnet Area Pokémon sounded in response.
Pointing its large magnets at Grotle, the magnet Pokémon released a series of powerful supersonic waves which crashed into Grotle, causing it to cry out in shock. It then wobbled back and forth, clearly confused.
"Oh no, Grotle!" Silus yelped. "Snap out of it!"
"Don't give it a chance to recover, Magnezone! Use Zap Cannon!" Cable declared.
Once more, Magnezone charged its magnets, this time with a golden sphere of electricity, which it then proceeded to launch at Grotle, who was far too confused to resist. The resulting explosion was sizable, throwing Grotle back and causing it to land on its side.
"Grotle!" Silus cried.
The Grove Pokémon was gravely weakened, but was somehow managing to get to its feet. Burn marks scared its green skin and brownish shell, but its eyes told the whole story; it had no intention of giving in just yet.
"I don't believe it." Cable said for the second time, unfolding his arms. "That Pokémon should be absolutely exhausted. Yet, still it stands."
"Grotle only has about one move left in it. If I let this continue, it could be seriously hurt." Silus thought, watching Grotle wobble back onto the field. "Alright Grotle, let's give them one last effort! Use Solarbeam!"
For the third time in this battle, Grotle gathered the energy from the immense stadium lights immediately above them, causing the trees on its shell to glow bright green. As it did so, white energy gathered in front of its mouth, forming into a perfect sphere. With that, Grotle launched the energy as a tremendous blast, which fired directly at Magnezone.
"Magnezone, give me another Mirror Shot!" Cable roared.
Magnezone once more charged up its magnets, launching yet another silver ball of power directly at the oncoming Solarbeam. The two attacks collided, but, unlike before, instead of exploding on contact, the blasts struggled against each other, attempting to gain the upper hand on one another. With the last ounces of its strength, Grotle added power to its attack, causing Solarbeam to overtake Mirror Shot, which meant that Magnezone was not only struck by Solarbeam, but its own attack reflected back at it, causing yet another explosion. The smoke didn't clear immediately; instead, Magnezone fell out from the smoke, landing firmly on the ground unconscious.
"Magnezone is unable to battle!" the referee announced, waving his flag in Silus' direction. "The challenger from Eden Town is the winner!"
Letting out a victorious yelp, Silus ran onto the field, catching Grotle as it collapsed in exhaustion and giving it a large, tight hug.
"You did great!" Silus barked. "Now take a nice long nap and get all your strength back! You've earned it."
With that, Silus took out Grotle's Pokéball, recalling it back to its spherical home with a red energy laser. He then pocketed the ball and stood up to face Cable.
"I don't believe it..." Cable was saying to himself. "With one Pokémon..."
Silus trotted over to the awestruck Gym Leader, holding out his hand for a handshake, "You did really good, Cable. Your Pokémon are top of the line!" he said cheerfully.
"As are yours." Cable said with a soft smile. He then dug into his jacket pocket, retrieving a small, lightning bolt-shaped badge, and handed it to Silus. "I can't think of anyone more deserving of this Bolt Badge right now."
Silus triumphantly held up his new trophy, letting it gleam in the stadium lights, before adding it to his badge case along with his Stinger Badge.
Evening had set in as Silus and Lyra exited the Monkshood Gym, turning to face Cable, who had seen them out.
"So, what are your plans now, Silus?" he asked, seeming genuinely interested.
"We're going to stay the night at the Pokémon Center and then head out for Phlox Town in the morning. The next Pokémon Gym is in Diadem City, so we need to get going as soon as possible!" Silus replied enthusiastically.
Cable chuckled to himself, "Well, good luck to you! The Hora League is a tough challenge, but well worth the climb!"
"Thanks, Cable! I hope we meet again soon enough!" Silus grinned.
And with that, he and Lyra turned towards the road and began their walk to the Pokémon Center just as the sun began slipping down over the horizon.
Our hero has finally gained his second badge and is now on his way to Phlox Town... or is he?