§9: The Gathering
‘How could you say that?’ Maylene said, shocked and in disbelief at how Candice, her best friend, treated Gardenia worse than she would have treated a stranger. ‘Why were you so rude to her? I thought we were all friends!’
‘I never liked her,’ Candice said, her voice devoid of any kind of emotion. ‘I’m glad she’s gone, and you should be as well.’
Maylene was shocked. This was Candice, the outgoing friendly girl everyone loved. How she could change so dramatically was beyond her. Candice walked off, and Snorunt followed her. The sand beneath her feet was kicked up with each step, and was carried away by light winds; the storm was approaching.
Maylene walked behind Candice, and sped up her footsteps. She slowly approached her friend, and began passing her by. Riolu was already beside her, and he shared a look of confusion with Snorunt; their trainers were acting very out of character.
Chuck opened the door to him Gym, as if he knew that the group was approaching the Gym. Maylene went in first, and Candice followed her. The last ones in were Riolu and Snorunt, who looked up at the large body that is Chuck, and shared another look; he obviously had a plan in mind.
Maylene sat by Brawly and began talking to him, while Candice walked around the Gym, studying every aspect of it with a look of fascination on her face; at least she was herself again.
Maylene and Candice had a very strong friendship, and throughout the years they’ve been friends and the one year they’ve been closer than sisters, their relationship passed on to their Pokémon. But these two did not encounter the conflict their trainers did, and seeing each other once again meant that it was time to return to their old habits.
They couldn’t fully use their playful nature in the wide area, since the storm was approaching, and everyone was instructed to lock their doors, but the Gym itself had many opportunities. Snorunt started their sting of events, and approached the large Pokémon that Chuck referred to as Poliwrath. It was helping him and the other trainers reinforce the windows of the Gym with various objects. Riolu and Snorunt cannot help in anyway, but they weren’t meaning to.
Snorunt studied the Poliwrath in the same manner that Candice used to study the Gym. Her tiny legs barely allowed her to keep up with the strong Pokémon as it carried random chairs from the back of the Gym to the windows, and she would occasionally slip due to walking into the water then out of it, while Riolu found it easy to follow, especially with all the training he had done with Maylene.
She covered her mouth with her hands and giggled; why not make the Gym her own play zone?
The water was conveniently placed at the center of the gym, and part of it crept out onto the ground. As soon as no one’s foot was in it, she released the freezing breath she had held inside, and the entire water turned into ice. Snorunt’s face lit up; the Gym was suddenly hers to skate in as she wants. In her excitement, she forgot that everyone needed to go through it to get the items they need.
The first was a trainer, who slipped onto the ice, and a few others followed as they rushed to help him. That was when Snorunt knew what she has done. Candice knew right away that Snorunt was responsible, and approached her.
This was going to reflect badly on Maylene; her friends coming and causing a problem in a desperate time was not something that would reflect positively on her. He rushed up the Gym, and towards the wheel that would turn on the waterfall. He stood on one of the handles, and jumped on it to make sure that it would lower, and it did, along with the bridge.
‘No!’ Chuck suddenly shouted. ‘Don’t do that!’
But it was too late. The waterfall rushed down to meet the ice and broke it apart, but the chunks had blocked the drain, causing the water to creep onto the ground near it, and towards the door.
‘Lift up the bridge!’ Chuck shouted again, but Riolu’s thoughts were scattered. ‘The storm!’
His warning came too late; the water flooded towards the door in no time, and removed most of the furniture holding the door and windows, causing the frail walls of the Gym to give away and let the rainfall in. Everyone in the Gym was shocked to see what was flailing in the middle of Cianwood City. Dozens of tentacles smashed against the sand and would occasionally hit the Pokémon Center, which was stronger than most of the buildings in Cianwood and managed to withstand the hits.
‘It’s a Tentacruel!’ Check shouted over the wind and rain. ‘The storm must have washed it onto the beach.’
His thoughts and speech were incoherent in the middle of that storm, but everyone knew what was happening, and what they had to do. Poliwrath acted on instinct and jumped towards the Tentacruel, grabbing some of the flailing limps together to stop the assault on the Pokémon Center. Chuck ordered the trainers to help, and they all sent out several Fighting-types to help, but they seemed useless against the force of the Pokémon, whose hits threw the Pokémon away, the only who managed to hold on was Poliwrath, but his strength was slowly failing him.
‘He can’t hold on anymore!’ Brawly shouted. ‘Makuhita, let’s help!’
The short Pokémon nodded, and ran alongside his trainer. Brawly held his broken surfboard in his hand, and dug it into the ground for support. Makuhita leaned against it, and managed to catch and stop some of Tentacruel’s movements, but the situation was still helpless; Makuhita failed as quickly as all the other Pokémon before him.
‘It’s no use!’ Chuck screamed at the top of his lungs. ‘Go inside!’ He instructed, even though half of the wall was gone, but everyone still obeyed. They rushed back into the Gym, and everyone but Maylene and Candice seemed to know what was going to happen. The former’s attention stayed on Chuck, who produced a second Poké Ball.
‘Primeape!’ he shouted as he threw it towards the ground. ‘Behave yourself!’
The order sounded weird to Maylene; why wouldn’t a Pokémon behave itself around the trainer who raised it? Chuck must be a bad trainer for not being able to control his own Pokémon; how could Crasher Wake trust him with training her?
The sand would have kicked up at the force of the throw, but the Poké Ball produced no effect against the sand but a muffled sound as Primeape emerged from it. He was a round Pokémon covered in scruffy hair, with four limps emerging from it. But his most striking feature was his face; a look of violence overcame it, and he seemed to want to attack Chuck, but one of the tentacles smashed against his back, and that was it.
Primeape let out a violent war cry, almost deafening. He turned around to face the flailing Tentacruel and ran forward, while leaving wide footprints on the mud under him. His hands wrapped against a dozen of the limps, and lifted the Tentacruel up, before smashing it against the Pokémon Center, making the Pokémon shriek in pain. Poliwrath was knocked aside as well, and was unable to get up as Tentacruel hit him unwillingly.
‘This is horrible!’ Maylene shouted. ‘Crasher Wake wouldn’t allow this! Riolu, stop that thing! Force Palm!’
The blue Pokémon hesitated, but he couldn’t allow himself to endanger Maylene, who ran towards the scene. He followed his trainer, knowing exactly what was required of him. Makuhita joined the group halfway, while Brawly helped some of the people at the Pokémon Center move to a safer place; the building was shaking violently against the Tentacruel.
‘Makuhita, will you help us?’ Maylene said hopefully, and the Pokémon nodded. ‘Thank you. Now, let’s stop the Primeape!’