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Team Lightning Strikers: Strife!

by NonAnalogue

NonAnalogue A Rotom and a Pikachu end up hopelessly outclassed.
Cam, currently in the guise of a Machop, snaked his hand into the hollow of a tree. Ah, yes. There it was. A candy bar. King-sized, no less. It was the standard payment, he had decided, for his services. This time, his clients had been a Rotom and a Pikachu. The Rotom had seemed to run the show between the two of them, and there definitely was a relationship there, though Cam couldn't put his finger-analogue on exactly what it was.

He started into the candy bar as he walked back towards town. The job had been simple. Much like the few other Pokémon that had hired him since he started offering his services, Team Lightning Strikers, as the Rotom had called himself and the Pikachu, wanted information. There was, the Rotom said, a duo that they kept running into. He wanted as much information as he could on them.

The pair, as it turned out, had been an Electabuzz and an Electrode. They were easy enough to tail; the Electabuzz had a mouth that never quit, and so all Cam had to do was stay in the shadows in their favorite hangout and listen. Before long, Cam had their levels, their moves, their items, everything down to their favorite flavor of ice cream (caramel for the Electabuzz and vanilla for the Electrode). The Rotom, when Cam handed over the information, had looked, in order, thrilled, then terrified; apparently the Electabuzz outclassed him by some tens of levels.

Not that that mattered to Cam a whole lot. He had done his job, it had kept him busy for a bit, and he'd gotten some good candy out of the deal. Plus, he needed to get his sleuthing skills in order if he was ever going to find out what'd happened to him before he joined his trainer.

---

"Okay, Ups, here's where we stand."

"You're hovering, Epsilon."

"What?"

"How can you say where we stand when—"

"Oh. Ha ha. I get it. Anyway." The Rotom unfurled a sheet of paper on the forest floor where he and a Pikachu, Upsilon, were hiding out. They were crouched behind a bush in order to attract minimal amounts of attention. This plan was more or less doomed from the start, as one member of their duo was a Rotom and the other a naturally shiny Pikachu. "Look. This is the information Cam came up with about Daleth and Aleph."

Upsilon looked over the paper. It was helpfully organized in tables, with pictures dotting it here and there. "I woulda thought Daleth woulda liked mango sherbet more."

"That's beside the point. This is why they keep trashing us, Ups. Look at how strong they are. Look at their moves. They've been set up with some really great TMs. They're double our level, even." Epsilon sighed and looked up from the dossier. "I think our plan from here on out should be to avoid them at all costs."

It was then, in accordance with proper dramatic timing, that they heard the one voice they were desperately hoping not to hear: "OH YEAH!" A figure, bright yellow with striking black stripes, came leaping out of a tree, followed, less oddly, by a red-and-white orb rolling up behind him on the ground.

Epsilon growled. "Daleth," he said, spitting the word out.

"And Aleph!" Upsilon added. Epsilon glared at her.

Daleth, the Electabuzz, struck a pose as the wind shifted the canopy above them, casting him in a beam of sunlight. "I'm HERE!" he crowed. "And I can tell that you're just absolutely THRILLED to see me!" He laughed – well, you could call it a laugh; to Epsilon, it sounded more like he was just repeating "ha ha" over and over.

"Look, Daleth," Epsilon said. "We'll leave you alone. Any time you're around, we'll get out of the way. We won't bug you anymore. Just let us go, okay?"

Daleth whipped a finger out, wagging it in Epsilon's face. "OH NO! We can't let that happen, can we, Aleph?"

"No," the Electrode said in a considerably more understated voice.

"You've had someone spying on us!" Daleth continued. "I can certainly understand WANTING to spy on me! Ha HA! But it's unacceptable! For your crimes against me, I'm going to SHRED you!" He thrust his finger directly overhead as the sunbeam got momentarily brighter.

Epsilon's face fell. "H'oh boy."

STRIFE! Epsilon and Upsilon versus Daleth and Aleph!
Epsilon: "Take it away!"
Upsilon: "Yay! Here we go!"
Daleth: "OH YEAH!"
Aleph: "Let's get this over with."


Daleth immediately began the battle by locking eyes on Upsilon, winking, and flexing his muscles. "Hey there, baby, is that a notch in your tail or are you just happy to see me? UNF!"

"That doesn't even make sense!" Epsilon growled, but even he could see that Daleth's moves had the desired effect – Upsilon was staring at Daleth, her eyes half-lidded and a dopey smile on her face. Before he could do anything about it, though, Epsilon looked upwards – a drop of rain had splashed on his forehead. Another joined it, then a third – before long, a downpour had started, courtesy of Aleph, who had somehow performed a successful Rain Dance despite lacking several of the prerequisites for dancing in general. Okay, Epsilon thought to himself, they've opened with moves to throw us off. Something big must be coming. Better prepare myself. He faded out of plain sight, replacing himself with a reasonably-accurate stuffed facsimile. Nobody noticed the switch; Daleth and Aleph's eyes were all locked on the substitute.

"OH YEAH! Aleph! Bring on the storm!" Daleth called.

Aleph nodded. "This should be more than enough…" Without a moment's notice, he sent a tremendous lightning bolt into the sky. It arced in a parabola before crashing down right on Epsilon – or, at least, his replacement. The substitute simply ceased to exist – all that was left was a small pile of smoldering ashes. Epsilon crept back into the battle, looking slightly more worried. This turned out to be justified, as Daleth immediately hammered him with a fist that was crackling with frost crystals. One blow was all it took to send Epsilon spiraling to the ground.

This didn't seem to concern Upsilon, who just continued to fawn over Daleth. "That was such a strong attack," she crooned, tugging at her ear shyly.

Daleth grinned, striking another pose. "OH YEAH! If you like that, baby, I've got something REALLY hot for you!" He surrounded himself in a blue glow and propelled himself up in the air with a liberal blast of psychic power. With a backflip, he came crashing down on top of Upsilon, who was too busy admiring the form of the dive to even think about dodging. When he picked himself back up, Upsilon was entirely too unconscious to be admiring anything.

Daleth and Aleph win!

Daleth grinned. "OH YEAH! That'll teach them to spy on us, eh, Aleph?"

"It certainly taught them something," Aleph said unemotionally as he glanced over the two fallen Pokémon. "Whether we run into them again, I guess we'll have to wait and see."

"After that drubbing? Ha HA! There's no way they're going to show their faces again!"

"Yes, and that may be true, but fate does play games with us all."

Daleth frowned at his partner. "You think too much."

---

Some time later, after the duo had gotten a chance to regain consciousness and lick their wounds, Epsilon crumpled up the dossier and tossed it over his shoulder-analogue. "Remind me to never get anything from Cam on those two again."

"Sure thing!" Upsilon saluted.

"We should probably go find a new hideout too. And maybe find new places to explore where those two won't be."

"Maybe we could head down to the beach and see if we find any caves," Upsilon said.

Epsilon considered it. "That could work. Let's give it a shot." He began leading the way out of the forest, Upsilon trailing close behind.

"Oh yeah, Epsilon?"

"Yeah, Ups?"

"Don't get any info from Cam on those two guys again!"

"…Thanks, Ups."
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