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Glory Stars Cup

Discussion in 'Pokémon Role Play' started by Brendan Savem, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. Before anything, start here


    “Don’t let up yet Gengar!” Brendan encouraged, “Let’s throw him off with another Confuse Ray!” Brendans’ Shadow Pokémon grinned as his eyes began to softly glow and the air around him grew dark, preparing to blind his opponent with a disorienting flash.

    “Not falling for that one twice!” A teenager in shorts and a cap boasted, before turning to his Pokémon; a large blue turtle on two burly legs, short arms, and two metal cannons peeking between his shoulders and shell like shoulder pads. “Cannon, throw up a Rapid Spin, and keep your head down!” The Blastoise responded quickly, throwing himself directly at Gengar, tucking his limbs into his massive shell, inertia quickly taking hold as the shell rotated rapidly on its collision course. Straight through the Gengar and out the other end, having no effect on the ghost type- “Psyche! Switch up and use Whirlpool!” Blastoise, while still spinning, opened up its shoulder cannons and began to spout water that swirled around him, forming a ring that grew into a cylinder, growing outwards until it was a seven-foot tall cyclone of water. Caught completely off guard by the move, Brendan failed to warn Gengar of the threat, and the Pokémon was caught up in the maelstrom, becoming a dark spot in the raging whirlpool. Blastoise meanwhile, burst his way out from the base of his own creation, standing back to admire his continued handiwork.

    “Oh no, Gengar’s trapped…” Brendan grimaced, already figuring out what was coming next.

    “Right where I want ya… Ready Cannon!” Blastoise opened up his shoulder cannons again, falling onto all fours, both of his armaments aimed directly at Gengar. “Aim… Hydro Pump!” Blastoise tensed, and two high-pressure streams of water burst from his cannons, flying in a straight line into the whirlpool, cutting through its current like knives. Both spouts hit Gengar hard enough to propel him out of the whirlpool and send him crashing into the ground, knocked out.

    “Gengar!” Brendan shouted, running over to check on the Pokémon.

    “Whoo hoo! We won!” the teenager shouted, punching the air in glee. “If we can beat Brendan, we can win at the league for sure! Now, do any of you fine fans want to come home and see my badges?” Within minutes, the teenager and his entourage of fans had cleared the arena, leaving Brendan behind with the few spectators that were rooting for him.

    “How’s Gengar?” a voice spoke up behind him, Brendan looked back at the young man with shoulder-length dark hair and a red headband.

    “Dazed,” Brendan answered, keeping his eyes trained on his Gengar, “… but he should be back on his feet in a few minutes.”

    “That’s good,” there was an awkward pause that lasted a full minute. The man kept his eyes fixed on Brendan, a pale young man not much younger than he was, with bleach-whited hair, a headband, and blue, almost dull eyes. “You know, you used to be one of Tom’s idols, not too long ago in fact.”

    “Yeah, last time I saw him; he only had Cannon, as a Squirtle, for a few weeks. Hard to imagine how much stronger he’s gotten since then.”

    “Tom’s grown a lot, in more ways than one… but that’s not the only reason he won.” Brendan didn’t reply, but he stopped patching up Gengar, leaving his hands on his lap.

    “You’re usually more careful out there, I’ve seen you anticipate traps like that before. You have a lot on your mind.”

    “Well Dad’s in a wheelchair, so that’s a given.”

    “I know; Romans’ condition has been worsening recently. That’s not the only thing on your mind though. You’ve been hanging around Pallet Town for nearly six months; you haven’t stayed here this long since you first left seven years ago. This isn’t you, and it’s wearing you down, like a spring that’s been wound up too tight.”

    “Well somebody has to take care of Dad, he was fine before, but he can’t do much on his own now!”

    “Yet you’re picking fights here with youngsters…” there was a long pause. “This isn’t the first time your worries held you back. But if you didn’t go out on this journey, do you think you’d have done the things you’ve already done. Is this something he’d really want you to do? Just think about it.” He then turned and walked away. Brendan remained there, unmoving and swimming in his own thoughts. His trance was eventually broken by a pat on the face from Gengar. Brendan looked up to see the Phantom Pokémon with a small grin on his face, an unspoken word that Brendan understood.

    “Alright, you got me. Let’s just get you back for now.” Brendan pulled out a pokeball and returned Gengar to it, before moving on.

    Brendan quickly walked back to his dad’s house, which was close to middle of the town. The place looked a lot smaller nowadays, then again, it was Brendan that got bigger. It wasn’t very well kept either, the grass especially, was yellowing and flattened, the latter due to Brendan’s own Pokémon. Brendan sighed; it wasn’t too small for him either, but his growing Pokémon collection as well. And it didn’t help that most of Brendan’s team became heavy bruisers like Rhyperior. Brendan crept inside, careful to avoid stepping on the especially creaky floorboards, since his dad was probably napping in the nearby room. Brendan stopped when he found a neat stack of Pokéballs on the table inside, in a simple glass case with light didn’t he leave his team upstairs? Brendan nonchalantly opened up the case, peering at the shiny balls inside. If anything, Brendan spent a lot of time polishing them lately. He picked up one and looked at it closely, a blue ball with small red extensions on the sides like little ears, he knew exactly what Pokémon was held inside. He could barely remember the last time he had a proper battle with it: some three or four years ago in Pewter City against a Zangoose. Is that too long? At that thought, the ball suddenly felt heavy for a moment, and shook briefly. It looks like he was thinking the same thing.

    “Brendan.” Brendan snapped his head around to see a man in his early fifties with grey hair with black hairs weaving around it. The man was sat down in a simple wheelchair with his immobile legs hanging free. In both hands was a large envelope. “Are you okay?”

    “I’m fine, I just, spaced out a little there.” Brendan answered quickly, holding the ball against his side. “Did you bring down my case?”

    “I tried to, Machop did it in the end.”

    “Mach,” the short grey Pokémon confirmed, walking around from behind the wheelchair. In recent days, Machop had gone from Brendan’s main travel Pokémon to his dad’s main caretaker when Brendan was on his little ‘walks’.

    “What for?”

    “To talk to you.” He paused before continuing, “I’m going to be going up to Saffron for a few months to meet up with some associates. We have deadlines to meet and I need to get hands-on with the staff.”

    “Of course, I’m sure Machop could accompany you for that.”

    “Thank you, but Machop is staying with you, for good reason. It’s only the legs that don’t work anyway: I can cope without a helper.”
    “This doesn’t concern you though, what I wanted to tell you about is this.” He handed Brendan the envelope, Brendan looked at the back and saw that it was already opened, the Silph Seal on the back in two pieces. “My high praise of you didn’t fall on deaf ears after all, and the management is scouting for trainers like you. Now, before you say anything, I already heard about your scuffle this morning, and the two you’ve had last week. I can tell that you’re not happy with being stuck here with nothing to work towards, and that’s hurting me too. If you cared about your old man’s well being, you would not let my problems keep you from what you want to do.” He stopped, looking at Brendan intently, expecting him to read the letter, even though it was already clear what was in it.

    Brendan slowly opened up the envelope, pulling out a letter and a silver card with a star symbol on it, a pokeball in the middle of the star. Brendan opened up and quickly read the invitation in the letter, already deciding on what he was going to do.

    One month later…

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls,” A voice echoed through the streets of Saffron City. On numerous television screens, the announcer could be seen at a modern coffee table in a large chair holding a microphone close to his face. “I bet you’re having a wonderful summer in our Golden City of Saffron, and not just because we have something extra special for you this year. I hope you’re all as excited as we are, because this year, we are bringing you the Glory Stars Cup! A new, once-in-a-lifetime Pokémon battle tournament set to compete with the Pokémon League itself! We’re pulling all the stops out for this season! Bringing in many talented trainers of all flavours from Kanto and beyond! There’s no telling what will happen in the coming weeks, as over a hundred trainers duke it out in a fierce competition to see who stands above all the rest, who has the strongest will and the toughest Pokémon, who can bring home, the Glory Stars Cup! Even as I speak, these eager fighters are making their way to the Silph Co. Headquarters; our local sponsors for this incredible event, to ready them for the first round. And you can watch it all right here! This time tomorrow! Where we give you a special exhibition match before we send the trainers into the ring. And we expect to see you folks there too! May the Glory of Battle take them to the Stars!”

    Brendan shuffled through the busy streets, ducking and weaving his way around the many people that walked these paths. In any other place, you’d be able to tell from the activity that there was something special going on, here though, it was just another day in this city of skyscrapers. The summer weather was heavy upon the city, and the poor fashion choice by most of the corporate employees left the early evening air feel rank with the sweat of another day at the office. Brendan could see the large Silph.Co Building dominating most of the skyline, even when he was still at least twenty blocks away. Each of the other skyscrapers seemed to bow down in shame in the face of the massive building. It is here that they manufactured pokeballs, Potions, and many other tools of the trainer.

    What really stood out in the building though, were the addition of several domes at the top of the skyscraper, huddled tightly around each other like petals on the end of a flower stalk. Apparently, the tournament itself was taking place right at the top. It was already obvious how much Silph Co was flaunting their sponsorship with this tournament. Brendan knew from his dad that it was supposed to be an advertising scheme, for what though, he kept a tight lip. No doubt though, his dad was doing some work relating to the tournament, so he should be up in the arena right now.

    Today though, Brendan wasn’t going there, registration was already taken care of, so he just had to show up tomorrow. He would need a place for the night, so the Pokémon Centre to the south should do for that.
     
  2. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    Late one summer afternoon in Pallet Town there was a ring at the Nosurname’s resident’s doorbell. The person at the front door waited a few seconds but no answer came. He rang the doorbell again. Still no answer. Growing ever more frustrated he pushed the doorbell again and again hoping to annoy the residents into opening the door but still no one came.

    “You have got to be kidding me! They aren’t home yet?” Brian grumbled exasperatedly. He had returned straight from the Unova region to tell his parents all about his conquest only to end up coming home to an empty house.

    Looks like it.” Axel confirmed.

    Brian sighed. He had really hoped someone would have been around, not because he wanted to see his family, but because now he would have to search his backpack to find his house keys. He reached into the pocket of his black trench coat and pulled out a grey Item Ball. He opened the ball releasing his tattered green backpack. Duct tape lined the bottom of his pack to keep the contents from tearing through while more duct tape held the straps together so that in the rare circumstances Brian actually needed to wear it he could. He unzipped it and started shifting through dozens of other Item Balls feeling around inside for his key ring. They were small enough that wasting an Item Ball would have used too much space.

    “Got ‘em!” he cheered pulling out a ring with a golden key attached. Brian casually tossed his pack to his golden Infernape partner as he unlocked the door.

    Hey. If no one’s home, does that mean we’re on our own for dinner?” asked Axel as the two walked into the house. All the lights were off. The only illumination inside was from the setting sun penetrating the windows giving everything in the room a reddish orange hue.

    “Depends on when they plan on getting home.” Brian said matter-of-factly. He walked into the kitchen to see if he could at least grab himself and Axel a snack. He opened the fridge only to find it barely stocked. “What the heck?” he said in confusion. He wondered if maybe they weren’t home because they went to the grocery store.

    Axel walked in to join his Trainer in the search, setting the backpack on one of the empty chairs. Before Brian could start checking cabinets, the writing on the calendar caught his eye. The date three days ago was circled with the word KALOS written in big red letters with an arrow going across the next two weeks. Brian’s eye started twitching. He knew his mom’s handwriting and he knew what this meant.

    “Those bums!” he shouted. “I come home for the first time in two years and they’re off vacationing in Kalos! I can’t believe this!”

    You’re kidding right? Those bums! You mean we actually have the house all to ourselves?” Axel cried in shock.

    “Mhm.” Brian answered with a nod. He picked up a pen off the table and wrote on the day’s date ‘I was here! >:3’ just so that his parents would know that they had missed him. He and Axel didn’t have two weeks to linger in Pallet Town when there were more fantastic things to do. The whole reason they had returned to Kanto in the first place was an invitation to the Glory Stars Cup, a tournament being held in Saffron City in two weeks’ time. Brian had figured that was just enough time to stop in, say ‘hi’ to his family, and do some last minute training. At least the second part of the plan was still doable. He picked up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder.

    “Alright, let’s relax here for a bit. We’ll figure out dinner later.” declared Brian. It had been a long journey back from Unova and they were both pretty tired. The duo walked upstairs to Brian’s room which looked mostly untouched since they last saw it two years ago. The only real difference was that the bed had been made. At least his parents hadn’t turned it into a storage closet. He’s heard that’s happened to people who have been away for a while.

    Brian tossed his backpack on his bed which bounced on the cushiony mattress. He then took off his coat revealing the black T-shirt, long black pants, black combat boots, and black fingerless gloves worn underneath. That was then thrown across the foot of the bed.

    The Trainer walked over to his dresser which displayed all of his and his Pokémon’s achievements over an eight year time period. His thirty-two Badges, eight each from Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh, the third place trophy he earned from the Hoenn League, the second place trophy earned from the Sinnoh League, seven Frontier Symbols from the Hoenn Battle Frontier, and his VS Recorder which held five Commemorative Prints from the Sinnoh Battle Frontier. And yet here they were covered in dust. It was shameful for a display of honor to look so shabby.

    “There really is no rest for the wicked is there.” he mumbled to himself.

    Huh? Where are you going?” inquired Axel as Brian started out the room.

    “To grab some wax and a towel. It’s not right for our blood sweat and tears to look so dull.” Brian answered with a grin.

    Heh! I didn’t see your blood on those Gym floors as I got pummeled by rocks and ice and cows!” retorted the Infernape as he made himself comfortable on his Trainer’s bed.

    While shining his Badges, Brian reminisced about all of the hard fought battles that were waged for each one, some of which required more than one attempt to earn. His Piloswine’s current form was testament to that. As a Swinub he had lost to Clair. As Piloswine though he had overcome the Dragon Mistress. Ever since then he has refuse to evolve to Mamoswine because he wanted to always remember the first time he proved himself in battle. The Frontier Symbols and trophies also carried with them hundreds of grueling battles, the Symbols representing total victory, and the trophies representing a single loss each. Brian also turned on his Vs Seeker to look at his Commemorative Prints as well. The trip down memory lane wouldn’t be complete without it.

    “Axel.” Brian beckoned turning to the bed. The Infernape smirked as he held up a fifth Badge Case and a large gold trophy.

    One step ahead of ya Monkey.” he said proudly having predicted his Trainer’s next move. Brian only laughed at how perceptive his partner was.

    The Badge Case contained all ten Unova Badges, only eight were needed for the League but Brian was an overachiever like that. As far as he was concerned the extra battles paid off for this year he actually won the Unova League! Had he not gotten an invite to the Glory Stars Cup, he’d still be training in Unova to battle that region’s Elite Four. In his combative mind the best training was another tournament. Besides, becoming a Regional Champion might be boring since he’d never be able to leave until losing the title to someone else. League Champion was good enough. Speaking of which…

    “Axel? My ring?” he asked noticing that piece of jewelry was missing.

    Don’t look at me. It wasn’t in your backpack.” the monkey said with a shrug. Brian walked over to his bed and felt around his coat pockets. In one of the front pockets he found the Championship ring. The band was thick and made of silver with fancy embroidery signifying its importance. In the center was a reddish orange gem which Brian couldn’t remember the name to. It certainly wasn’t a ruby. Garnet maybe? He walked it over to his dresser but stopped to think before putting it down. Now with his Unova Badges and trophy freshly shined and added, he had a complete exhibit of his decade long career as a Trainer yet no one but him, his Pokémon, his parents, and any guests that saw this room would know of his accomplishments.

    “The ring stays with us. It may be arrogant, but dammit I want people to see us for what we are!” he proclaimed.

    Damn right!” agreed Axel fistbumping the air.

    Brian held the ring between his thumb and pointer finger and stared at it. Actually wearing it was out of the question. There were too many fistfights with Axel on the horizon, it could get damaged. On a chain then? Yes. On the way to Saffron, they would just have to make a pit stop somewhere and buy a chain to hang it off of. Brian closed his fist and shoved the ring in his pants pocket. Right now the only place he wanted to go was to dinner.
    ----------

    Brian and Axel only spent a few days at home to rest before it was time to go on the road to Saffron City. The Trainer spent a good while deciding who his team should be for the tournament. There were a several Pokémon Brian trained that hadn’t seen battle in years, only the datascape of the PC. He didn’t know if he would be allowed to switch his Pokémon team after every round or not. If he could, he’d give as many a turn in battle as possible. If he could only use the same six throughout the entire thing then he would make sure that when the tournament ended, each and every one of them would fight to their hearts content to make up for lost time.

    Before they knew it the time had come. The duo stood on the roof of one of Saffron’s many skyscrapers looking at Silph Co. It was hard to miss what with being the tallest building in the city and being in the center no less. And were those… domes on the roof? Those were definitely new since the last time Brian was in town. Knowing Silph those domes were probably made specifically for this tournament. Must be nice having that much money to throw around. The summer breeze atop the skyscraper blew through Brian’s spiky black hair and his coattails. His championship ring now dangled from a chain around his neck. All of a sudden all of the TV screens throughout the city cut to a man in a suit sitting at a desk with a microphone.

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. I bet you’re having a wonderful summer in our Golden City of Saffron, and not just because we have something extra special for you this year. I hope you’re all as excited as we are, because this year, we are bringing you the Glory Stars Cup! A new, once-in-a-lifetime Pokémon battle tournament set to compete with the Pokémon League itself! We’re pulling all the stops out for this season! Bringing in many talented trainers of all flavours from Kanto and beyond! There’s no telling what will happen in the coming weeks, as over a hundred trainers duke it out in a fierce competition to see who stands above all the rest, who has the strongest will and the toughest Pokémon, who can bring home, the Glory Stars Cup! Even as I speak, these eager fighters are making their way to the Silph Co. Headquarters; our local sponsors for this incredible event, to ready them for the first round. And you can watch it all right here! This time tomorrow! Where we give you a special exhibition match before we send the trainers into the ring. And we expect to see you folks there too! May the Glory of Battle take them to the Stars!”

    The mention of a special exhibition match before the main event caught Brian’s attention. Now who could be fighting in that? The excitement for tomorrow was building up so much he could hardly keep still. The only way to burn this energy now was to do something reckless!

    “Ready Axel?” he prompted walking to the edge.

    I know you’re going to jump no matter what I say. But I’ll always be right behind you no matter what!” said the monkey walking up to his partner. With a deep breath, they both took that leap of faith. Brian counted three seconds in his head before holding out a Pokéball.

    “Aerodactyl!” he called. Emerging from the sphere with a loud screech was a large stone grey pterosaur. The Fossil Pokémon swooped down, adjusting his speed to fall at the same rate as his Trainer. Axel grabbed Brian’s collar while the human wrapped his arms around Aerodactyl’s shoulders. With his passengers secure, the King of the Skies turned himself back into a stable position and flapped his wings for an easier landing. Within a city like Saffron flying was out of the question. Thermals were good, but gaining altitude and maneuvering around buildings was too much trouble.

    “Thanks Aero. I knew you’d catch us.” Brian said gratefully patting his Pokémon’s head. There was no way he’d have pulled a stunt like that with a Flyer he didn’t fully trust.

    Let’s not do that again. At least not for a while.” Axel advised. While he didn’t mind climbing or being in high places the monkey had a terrible time with flying and especially falling.

    “Deal.” agreed the Trainer. While that was definitely the adrenaline rush he needed, it wasn’t something he was going to repeat anytime soon. “Now, let’s find a Pokémon Center.” he said recalling Aerodactyl. If memory served, there was one in the south side of the city. By his count there should be 128 competitors in this tournament which meant rooms were going to go fast.
     
  3. Mr.RMA

    Mr.RMA Magearna before it was cool

    The crowd was in complete hysteria. This was the championship battle they had all hoped for: One Pokémon remained on each side, both the strongest of their respective parties, and both giving absolutely everything they had left in one final clash. The trainers on both sides were losing their voices trying to shout their commands over the maddeningly loud noise of cheering and screaming all throughout the stadium stands. One of the trainers was having a particularly difficult time with all of it, and as much as he was trying to shake it all off and focus, things were just getting more and more muddled up. The most important battle of his life, and yet, Farley’s mind was being plagued by something else. He had to ignore it…he had to keep fighting!

    “Feraligatr, we’re getting nowhere at this distance! Try and get closer!” He shouted over to the struggling water type, the Big Jaw Pokémon’s constant barrage of hydro pumps being countered one by one with ice beams by the opposing Weavile. Shards of ice from the blocked attacks littered the entire battlefield, and neither combatant showed signs of letting up before the other. Farley could see this quite clearly, which explained why he was hoping to turn some of the momentum in his favor by getting a melee attack in there to break this apparent stalemate. Feraligatr slowly edged closer and closer to his opponent as they continued their water-ice exchange, with the attacks colliding at an increasingly faster rate as the distance between the two shortened.

    ”I’m sorry, sir, we’ve done everything we could…”

    Farley clenched his fists as he tried to think of what to do once Feraligatr got close enough…He knew the right moves to use against dark and ice types, so why was he suddenly blanking now? He had to think of something before the other trainer got wise to his strategy and acted first.

    ”Neither of them looks like they’ll survive the night…”

    They were dangerously close now; the shards of ice were showering over the two fighters, distorting the view of the action for the two trainers. “Feraligatr…u-use-“

    “Weavile, night slash!” The other trainer interrupted, and before Farley could retaliate, the Sharp Claw Pokemon had already cut deep gashes into Feraligatr’s chest with its purple-glowing claws, causing the crocodilian creature to stagger backwards.

    ”No...You’re not doing enough! You don’t know what the hell you’re doing!”

    “Feraligatr! Stay up! Fight back!” Feraligatr fell.

    ”Ada, Corey, come on, fight it!”

    “Feraligatr! Get up!” Feraligatr didn’t move.

    ”Please, get up…”

    “Don’t quit, not now!” It was over.

    ”Don’t you two quit on me...”

    “Feraligatr is unable to battle!”

    Beep…Beep…

    The winner is W-

    BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

    The alarm clock jolted Farley awake, beads of sweat glistening as they rolled down his face. He had experienced nightmares like this one before...two haunting moments he’d never forget...but they had never plagued him on the same night, at the same time…He cupped his hands over his face as he sat on the side of his bed. They were getting worse, torturing his mind, driving him closer and closer to insanity. Why did this have to happen? Why did his great life have to pull a 180 on him right as everything was starting to look completely perfect? Hell if he knew, and if there was, by some bizarre chance, a justifiable reason, he didn’t want to hear it. It was unfair, and that was a fact. He had done nothing so sinful in his life that it warranted having his wife and kid get taken away from him…and even if he had done such a horrible thing, he should’ve paid that ultimate price…not them.

    It stung, every day stung, but he couldn’t let it eat him alive. They wouldn’t want him to mope around the house at their expense; they would want him to make a comeback, get out there, and take what was rightfully his…Just win. And so, every day, he got up, ate, trained, and slept, repeating the cycle the next morning. His home in Viridian city allowed him to take on a number of skilled trainers passing through, and the forest nearby was a good venue for their daily exercise routine. He was going to keep his crew, and himself, at peak condition for that one day when they all got back into the big time…whenever that was. He could always take the league challenge again…after all, he had the required badge count for both Kanto and Johto, so he’d be able to go straight to the league tournament for either of those regions with his credentials. Still, no matter how much he was conditioning his team, and no matter how many exhibition matches he had with traveling trainers, he wasn’t sure if he was ready to pit himself with the best of the best again. As skilled as he had become, he wasn’t the most amazing trainer out there; He only had 16 Pokémon in his arsenal, and no other accolades outside of his 16 badges, a second place finish in Kanto, and a fourth place finish at Johto. Still nothing to shrug off, but nowadays, kids less than half his age were storming all the regions like maniacs, nabbing badges with such ease, you’d think the gym leaders were amateurs. Not to mention the battle frontiers and all that sort of thing…It all made Farley’s accomplishments appear half-baked by comparison. If only there was some other way for him to see how his skills ranked among his fellow trainers without completely embarrassing himself.

    Farley’s training program continued on today just like every other day, and he left Viridian forest in a satisfied sweat, taking out a towel from his backpack and wiping away at his brow before quickly running it through his short, black hair and throwing it back in his bag. He was going to check his mail as usual, throw out what would likely just be the usual entourage of ads and other junk, and then see if anyone was up for a challenge closer downtown. Just the same old same old…until he noticed something particularly different about one envelope in his small pile of market flyers and insurance promotions. It had a seal with the Silph Co. brand on it, which immediately informed him that this wasn’t just some fancy schmancy new form of advertising. Silph wasn’t one to do that sort of thing, so this had to have been some sort of big deal. He broke the seal and opened the flap, taking out a letter, only to find a silver card fall out onto the ground as he did so. He began to read the contents of the letter as he went to pick up the card, freezing in place as the invitation’s message made itself perfectly clear to him.

    -----

    “As if this place wasn’t already too loud on a daily basis…” Farley murmured as he navigated his way through the bustling, overpopulated crowd of people within the massive confines of Saffron city. He used to travel here all the time with Corey, who was definitely more intrigued at the prospect of big city life than he was, but since then, he never found much of a reason to go back. Even considering it would usually bring the melancholic thoughts up in droves. The only reason why they weren’t getting at him now was because he had something else troubling him at that moment. He was still questioning Silph’s motives in inviting someone like him to their exclusive tournament. How in the world was he qualified? Apparently those performances of his at the Indigo and Silver leagues impressed others more than he initially realized, though he always did stress over those two losses more than pride himself over all the victories that got him that far. He wouldn’t be surprised, though, if the two respective trainers who had taken him out had been invited as well. Boy, would a match between them be a blast from the past…as well as a nightmare come true where one of them was concerned…

    His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of a voice that he could hear echoing all over the city, easily pinpointing one of the locations of the voice to a TV screen next to the shop he was passing by. He stopped and watched the man on the screen speak, as did most of the other city-goers, almost scoffing at the ridiculously showboat-y behavior of this announcer, as he spoke about the next day’s tournament, and how it was going to be a “new, once-in-a-lifetime Pokémon battle tournament” and that they were “pulling all the stops out for this season” to match the hype of the Pokémon league. Well, they were getting pretty damn close. This whole thing really did feel quite a bit like those tournaments, and Farley couldn’t help but feel a pang of nostalgia for it all. It had been a long time since he last competed in that circuit, and as campy as this announcer was being, he was doing an amazing job hyping at least one person up for the coming events, especially of course for these exhibition matches that would precede the actual tournament. That would be pretty great to see…or perchance even be a part of, if given the opportunity. Feeling far more enthusiastic, as well as finally seeing a slight break in the crowd, Farley reached in his pack for a Pokeball and casually tossed it in the air, the capsule releasing his very first Pokémon, as well as his greatest friend and companion, in a flash of red light. Feraligatr looked at his trainer with his usual toothy, reptilian grin, a quick scan of his surroundings informing him more than enough of where they were, and why. Farley had told him about the whole thing quite a bit before they even set out, and while the water type himself knew that his human would likely have some reservations, he was absolutely eclectic from the very start. He let out an enthusiastic roar as he pumped his clawed fists into the air, getting a chuckle out of his trainer.

    “You’re gonna get us in trouble with all these people if you keep doing that, bud! Save some of it for the tourney, alright?” Farley said, giving Feraligatr a friendly pat on the back, taking a glance at the scars on the creature’s chest as he did so. Those marks would always remind them both of that crushing defeat, along with the call from the hospital that came just seconds before the match began, and that visit afterwards…that last visit… Feraligatr noticed what Farley was looking at and gave him a look of concern. He had been there for him when he couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning; he had offered him a shoulder to cry on when he had felt so hopeless, he knew how much it hurt him then, and how much it still did now.

    “It’s alright, pal, I’ll be okay. This is a happy moment, right? We’re finally gonna be in a real tournament again! It’s gonna be great!” Farley said reassuringly, forcing himself to take his focus away from the scars and show his excitement once more. Feraligatr gave him a look of uncertainty at first, but gradually regained his excitement, prepared to let out another roar before remembering what his trainer had advised him about earlier, simply vying for a single fist pump in the air.

    “See, you know how to restrain yourself. You just never want to!” Farley said with a laugh as they both proceeded to walk further into the city. Their first stop was the Silph building where they’d get registered, and, seeing the size of the line, the trainer began to regret not getting here a little earlier. Eventually they made it in the building and, once his registration business was done with, Farley started towards the city’s Pokemon Center. Hopefully there were rooms still available…it was going to be a long night otherwise.
     

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