§8: Control The Storm
Maylene woke up to the sound of Riolu opening the window, a habit which he took up to wake his trainer up before Chuck kicked open the door and summoned her for training. She got up and prepared herself for a busy day of training, and it started as normal. She joined Brawly and Makuhita in destroying some of the last rocks, but the avalanche has caused the formation to become very sensitive, and everyday new small rocks would fall whenever someone walked through the construction hole, but these were taken care of by passing trainers.
‘I think that’s enough for today,’ Brawly said. ‘It’s time to train with Chuck.’
‘Sure,’ Maylene said. ‘You go first, I’ll come after a minute.’
Brawly walked away silently, which Maylene didn’t mind; she found it very difficult to act the way she did around Brawly and Chuck after she lied to them. She stared at Riolu while he smashed some more rocks before getting up.
‘Come on, Riolu,’ she called out. ‘It’s time to train.’
Riolu looked back, nodded, and walked towards Maylene. She turned around to walk towards the Gym and saw Chuck standing directly behind her.
‘There’s someone here to see you,’ he said. ‘She says she’s from Sinnoh.’
‘Who is it?’ Maylene asked, and caught a glimpse of Riolu trying to look at the far end of the island.
‘She wouldn’t tell me her name,’ Chuck said. ‘But she’s wearing a lot of green and black.’
‘Gardenia!’ she exclaimed as if Crasher Wake had taken over her body and ran past Chuck towards the beach Riolu had been staring at. She saw the figure of Gardenia growing closer, and he smile widened. Gardenia didn’t seem to notice Maylene, as she was talking to Brawly. ‘Gardenia!’ Maylene shouted to grab her friend’s attention.
Brawly and Gardenia both turned their heads towards Maylene, who was running towards with unmatched speed, the same speed that caused her to caused a scene in Veilstone a little more than a year ago. Gardenia grinned and grabbed Brawly by the shoulders before pushing him towards Maylene. The two collided, causing Maylene’s face to crash first into the sand, while Brawly fell to his side.
‘How could you leave without telling us?!’ Gardenia shouted. ‘I searched all of this stupid Johto, only to find you in the one place where fun comes to die!’
‘I came to train,’ Maylene said as she got up and dusted herself. ‘You told me to not care about what people think and train as hard as I can, remember?’
‘What do you think you’re doing?’ Chuck said as he approached the group. His face red with anger, and the sand exploded under his stomps. ‘You can’t come in here and start assaulting my apprentices!’
‘Don’t worry, I’ll leave soon,’ Gardenia said. ‘And I’m taking Maylene.’
‘I’m not going back just yet!’
‘Who are you anyway?!’
The trio’s shouting and cries mixed with each other, and became indistinguishable. Each one of them talked to the other two at the same time, and it was evident that none of them could comprehend anything of what was said.
‘No one is leaving!’ Chuck’s voice roared, causing the three to silence themselves, and most of the city’s people to shift their attention towards the scene. ‘A storm is coming, and leaving or entering Cianwood City is dangerous for now, and thus, has been forbidden. That’s an order from the Pokémon League.’
‘But we’re taking about your Pokémon League,’ Gardenia mocked him. ‘It’s probably just a few drops of rain that you all will be overreacting about like idiots!’
‘I don’t care what you think, young girl,’ Chuck said. ‘For your safety, you will go nowhere.’
Brawly started to speak, but a pain suddenly shot up his right foot, causing him to wince. The water around his foot started to freeze, and he was stuck in it. Maylene and Gardenia shared a look; they knew that it was Snorunt; Candice was probably skating her way through the ocean, and they weren’t mistaken. A few seconds later, a figure appeared on the trail of ice, and approached the island at amazing speed. As it got closer, they could see Candice, Snorunt and another person on a boat that was sliding through the ice as if it was a rollercoaster.
Makuhita managed to chop the ice in time to knock Brawly out of the boat’s way before it collided against the sand and came to a stop. ‘Sorry,’ Candice said to Chuck, who towered over the group. ‘This fisherman offered me a ride across the ocean, but we encountered a storm on the way and I had to get us out of there.’
She was drenched in rainwater, as was the fisherman. The boat was damaged and a small pool had formed in the center of it, but was frozen. ‘Who are you?’ Chuck asked, arms crossed and anger still showing.
‘That’s Candice,’ Gardenia said. ‘A liar who didn’t want to come to Johto.’
‘Maylene, the Gym, now,’ Chuck said and marched off. ‘Everyone else stay here.’
Maylene exchanged happy glances with Candice, worried ones with Candice, and received pity ones from Brawly. Riolu started to follow her, but was stopped by Brawly, and since he knew Chuck more than them, Riolu trusted him. The two barefoot fighters walked towards the Gym. The door was fully open, but that didn’t stop Chuck from unnecessarily swinging them hard enough to detach them.
‘Are they your friends?’ Chuck said as soon as the pair stopped just a few centimeters before the waterfall.
‘Yes, they are,’ Maylene said. ‘They’re really good friends from Sinnoh.’
‘I don’t mind them visiting you, or even staying here,’ Chuck said. ‘But I won’t train them, and I certainly don’t like how they can come unannounced; they’ve disrupted everything. We were supposed to start training.’
‘I’m sorry,’ Maylene said. ‘I didn’t even know they were coming.’
‘I don’t care about what you knew or didn’t,’ he said. ‘I want you to find a solution to this. I don’t have the time to take care of more people; I’m a Gym Leader.’
‘What will you do now?’
‘They can stay for now, and training will have to be canceled for today either way, because of the storm I received news of before I came to find you. You can leave now.’
Maylene didn’t question his decisions; she knew that as long as she had the permission to go out of the Gym, she could stop the conversation, even though she had a lot of questions. She walked back towards the beach, where Candice, Gardenia and Brawly were waiting. Riolu seemed to be the only one who noticed her, as her two friends were arguing, while Brawly was taking care of the ice around his shoe with Makuhita’s help.
‘Brawly, Chuck said that training for today was canceled because of the storm,’ Maylene said. ‘Gardenia and Candice, how did you get here?’ Her tone suddenly shifted to that of excitement about meeting her old friends again.
‘I traveled normally,’ Gardenia said. ‘By foot.’
‘Boat,’ Candice said. ‘Though I did end up in Kanto, and had to walk all the way here.’
‘Well, you two are a real problem,’ Brawly said. ‘You didn’t even think about it before traveling all the way here from Sinnoh?’
‘Shut up, surfer boy,’ Gardenia said. ‘Go play in the waved or something. Make a sand castle.’
Brawly got up and placed a hand on Maylene’s shoulder. ‘I don’t think she’s a good friend,’ he said. ‘The other might be, but I’m not sticking around for long.’
Gardenia ignored his remark as he walked away from the group. ‘You shouldn’t be mean to him,’ Maylene said. ‘He’s a good friend.’
‘Unlike Candice,’ Gardenia said. ‘She didn’t even want to come visit you, at least not with me.’
‘That’s because you’re a horrible person!’ Candice shouted. ‘You keep making these insults and think it’s fun, but you’re only making me feel bad for hanging out for you!’
‘Shut up!’ Gardenia shouted and almost approached Candice as if to hit her, but Snorunt jumped in front of her trainer and kicked up some sand before freezing it. It got into Gardenia’s eyes, causing her to reach for a random Poké Ball and throw it at the ground.
A short green Pokémon covered by a large leaf appeared. She held a blue rose on one hand, and a red in the other. Three spikes emerged from her head, and her think legs stood close together as she took on a battle stance.
Roselia put her two roses together, and created numerous small darts. They gathered around the tips of the roses and began to move closer towards the center, where they seemed to be sticking to each other with some purple liquid, creating a larger dart, although it was still small.
But Snorunt proved too fast for Roselia’s attack, she used the slight wind and lowered the temperature with her breath, and it was enough to causing a ferocious attack on Roselia. The Grass Pokémon winced at the sting of the cold, the dew on her leaves froze, helping the ice spread across her body, and soon the Pokémon fell to the ground covered in a thin layer of ice.
Snorunt grinned as she gathered energy around her to form a purple orb that shot at Roselia. The ice around it shattered, causing Roselia’s leaves and roses to suffer small rips before she was thrown back towards Gardenia’s feet.
‘If that’s what you want,’ Gardenia started, almost crying. ‘Then fine, I’ll go away.’
She withdrew Roselia into her Poké Ball and ran past Candice and Maylene. The latter tried to stop her and shout after her, but Gardenia jumped into the boat too fast, and force caused it to start sliding down the path that Snorunt had created, held in the center by the edges that were created when it went across the trail the first time around.
The fisherman looked on in disbelief before going into the Pokémon Center to take shelter from the approaching storm, while Candice looked at Maylene with coldness in her eyes. ‘We better go into the Pokémon Center as well,’ she said. ‘It’s safer there.’
‘What about Gardenia? It’s not safe for her to be in the middle of the sea, is it?’
‘It’s Gardenia,’ Candice said. ‘Why should we care?’