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[table of contents]
Chapter 12: Balance of Power
{Before heading back to Petalburg, Shay trains Mojo a bit in the desert.}

Picnicker Heidi: I'm having a picnic in the desert! You can always find a Trainer, so I can enjoy a battle here too!

{Heidi uses Sandshrew and Baltoy.}

Heidi: Ohhh! You're mean!When yu're battling in a sandstorm, watch out for your Pokemon's health! It can faint if you don't keep an eye on it!

Camper Beau: Wearing these Go-goggles makes me feel like a superhero. Right now, nobody can beat me!

{Beau uses two Baltoy and a Sandshrew. Mojo tries to learn Pin Missle, but Say decides against it.}

Beau: I can't win on spirit alone...

Shay: Superheroes. I think we need a few.

Camper Drew: Oh, hey! Those Go-Goggles suit you. But I think they look better on me. Let's decide who they look better on with a battle!

Shay: I'm all for fighting, but really, they have nothing to do with each other!

{Drew uses a sandshrew. It's a tough fight for Mojo, but Shay's team wins.}

Drew: I couldn't see what was happening at my sides because of the Go-Goggles.

Picnicker Becky: I heard there are fossils to be found in the desert. Where could they be?

{Becky uses Sandshrew and Marill.}

Becky: I came up short... If they can find fossils in the desert, it must have been an ocean before.

Ruin Maniac Dusty: For thirty years I have searched for ancient ruins! I am to be challenged?

{Dusty uses a Sandslash. Both he and Mojo are able to use the sandstorm to evade each other's attacks, but Mojo comes out the winner.}

Dusty: While I have searched for ruins, I have not searched for strong Pokemon. But, for some reason, I sure do like Pokenavs. {Registered}

Ruin Maniac Bryan: How tough are you? We shall expose that secret!

Camper Branden: I'll give you some of my sandwich if you'll lose.

{Double challenge! Bryan uses a Sandshrew and Sandslash. Branden uses Taillow and Nuzleaf.}

Bryan: Oh! Your strength! It is shrouded in mystery!

Branden: Tch! I thought a sandwich would be enough of a bribe...

Picnicker Celia: I shouldn't have come to a place like this for a picnic!

{Celia uses Marill and Lombre.}

Celia: Aww! I really shouldn't have come! In a sandstorm like this, I can't even set the places for a picnic even with y Go-Goggles on...

{Shay finds a TM Version of Sandstorm, and decides to leave. She intends to return to Petalburg by sea, so she goes through Mauville and route 110, stopping by the Trick House.}

(Hidden): You're being watched...

Shay: (A flash in the potted plant. Why is he doing that?)

Trick Master: Ha? Grrr... How did you know I concealed myself behind this tree? You're sharp! you, you've come to challenge my Trick House, haven't you?

Shay: Yes.

Trick Master: Consider your challenge accepted! Enter through the scroll there and let your challenge commence! I shall be waiting in the back!

{This time, the puzzle involves open trapdoors blocking the paths.}

School Kid Paul: Oh! You're on your second Trick House challenge!

{Paul uses Numel, Wingull, and Oddish. It's good training for Mojo.}

Paul: You're good at battling too? The Trick Master rigged all the tricks in this house all by himself.

Shay: (This switch on the floor... now that I've pressed it, I should check the other paths.)

{Shay reaches the door, but without the password, can't enter.}

Shay: Then this switch should help.

School Kid Ted: Which switch closes which hole?

Shay: Well, since I can only reach one at a time, does it matter?

{Ted uses a Ralts.}

Ted: After that battle, I'm even more confused! Can I get you to push all the buttons for me?

Shay: Ah, while you wait here for the path to the password to open up. We'll see.

School kid Georgia: I want to make my own gym one day. So, I'm studying ow to set traps.

{Georgia uses Shroomish and Beautifly.}

Georgia: I didn't study battling enough! You're strong aren't you? Maybe even enough to be a Gym Leader!

Shay: Now that I think about it, this place is a lot like a Gym. Except I don't need to Battle the Trick Master once I find him.

{Shay presses the last switch, reaches the scroll, and goes to the door.}

Shay: "Trick Master is smart." (Sigh. Just like before...)

Trick Master: Aak! You've made it to me? Hmmm... You're sharp! It took me all night to make the maze... You're almost my equal in greatness by one, two, three, four, five places! Fine, you have earned this reward!

Shay: A Timer Ball could be useful.

Trick Master: Scrub that smug smirk from your face! It's much too early to think you've won! I'll make new tricks to stump you, I will. You may mock me only when you're done. Come back for the next exciting installment!

{Shay continues on to the Route 109 beach, and stocks up on Soda}

Shay: Mr. Briney, We're setting sail again. We're going... to Petalburg!

Briney: Anchors Aweigh! Peeko, we're setting sail, my darling!

{It's just a short walk to the gym. Inside, Norman is not in the front room.}

Gym Guy: Hey, how's it going, Champion-bound Shay? The doors in this Gym open when you beat the awaiting Trainers.

Shay: Is that so-

Gym Guy: Whoops! The doors in this room are already open, so don't attack me! The Trainers of Petalburg Gym use all kinds of items. The door at the left leads to the Speed Room. The Door at the right leads to the Accuracy Room. The room's name will be on the door, so choose carefully. Once you've chosen the door... Well. hey, go for it!

Shay: I'm going to go through every door anyway.

{Shay tries the Accuracy room first.}

Cooltrainer Mary: Giggle... This is the Accuracy Room. It's pretty nasty when every attack lands without fail.

{Mary uses a Delcatty, with Faint Attack. Mojo takes her on, despite being at a lower level.}

Mary: You were a cut above me... There are some even stronger Trainers waiting for you. The left is the Defense room, and the right is the Recovery Room. Your Pokemon's Attack Power will be on trial either way.

{Shay retreats to the Pokemon center, then heads into the Speed room.}

Cooltrainer Randall: The ability to attack before the opponent... Just that alone puts me at a great advantage, don't you agree?

{Randall uses a Swellow. Shay switches Leiden in and let's him handle things. Leiden can withstand 3 wing attacks, but Swellow faints with two Faint Attacks.}

Randall: That was a magnificent battle! Go on to the next room where a new challenge awaits you. At the left is the Confusion Room. The right door leads to the Defense Room.

{After healing at the Pokemon center, Shay enters the Confusion Room.}

Cooltrainer Parker: This is the Confusion Room. Let me see how well bonded you are with your Pokemon!

{Parker uses a Spinda with a powerful Dizzy Punch. Mojo is outmatched, so Shay switches in Exde. Spinda takes advantage of this with the powerful Focus Punch. But Exde combos Fake Out and Secret Power to keep him from doing that again. Exde keeps on the offensive with more Secret Power attacks, and because Parker doesn't realize Shay won't let up, he keeps ordering Focus Punch attacks until Spinda faints.}

Parker: I couldn't confuse your team enough... You share a strong bond together. The next room is the Strength Room. Can you withstand brute force?

Shay: (This gym is diamond shaped, three rooms wide at the center. Dad is at the fifth level...)

{Shay heals, then goes to the Recovery Room.}

Cooltrainer George: Just when you think you're going to win, your opponent restores HP... Can you just imagine how awful that must feel? I'll show you exactly how awful it feels!

{George uses a Slackoth. Mojo sets up Leech Seed and attacks with Secret Power, soon causing paralysis. Slackoth can't keep up with the damage, especially since it refuses to move every other turn, andall the hyper potions in the world wouldn't let him win.}

George: I couldn't restore HP enough... What attack power... I should have expected no less from our Leader's kid. No, wait! A Trainer's abilities are earned only through effort. I lost because my own efforts weren't enough. Go on, the One-Hit KO Room is next.

{Shay goes to the Defense Room instead.}

Cooltrainer Alexia: The higher the Defense, the more reckless I can be in attack.

{Alexia uses Wigglytuff. Mojo sets up a Leech Seedbut is taken out in one hit by the powerful Double Edge. Shay switches to Leiden so she can safely use a Revive. Wigglytuff switches to Shadow Ball attacks while Leiden strikes with Secret power, causing paralysis. Wigglytuff starts Defense Curling, but Leiden uses Faint attacks to get around that. And all the while, Leech seed is draining Wigglytuff's health. She soon falls.}

Alexia: Our defenses weren't enough... I think you've taught me a valuable lesson here. Now, go on, the left room leads to the Strength Room. The Right Door opens to the One-Hit KO room. Both of them have trainers who are skilled at offense.

Shay: (All the trainers here have been elites. I haven't faced such challenges since I started.)

{Shay heals, then goes to the Strength Room.}

Cooltrainer Jody: Our Gym Leader told us to go all out and beat you. Even if you happen to be the Leader's kid!

{Jody uses a Zangoose. Mojo sets up Leech Seed while Zangoose uses Swords Dance. Shay switches to Leiden, leaving Zangoose's Slash attack hitting nothing. Leiden strikes with Fake out and Faint Attacks while Zangoose is helpless against him.}

Jody: But... I went all out!

Shay: Your moveset had a critical flaw, that I allowed myself to take advantage of.

Jody: The way you use your Pokemon... It's like your father's style. Go on through! The Gym Leader, your father, is waiting!

Shay: Not just yet.

{Shay goes to the One Hit Ko room.}

Cooltrainer Berke: I'm not going to take it easy just because you're our Leader's kid. I'll show you how horrid it is for a Pokemon to take a critical hit!

{Berke uses a Vigoroth. Mojo sets up Leech Seed while Vigorith uses Focus Energy. Shay switches to Exde, but he takes a critical Slash attack. Exde buys time with Fake out, then tries to strike with Secret power. But he's too slow, and falls to another Critical Slash. Shay sends in Leiden, and Vigoroth falls.}

Berke: Your power... you're the real deal.

Shay: You were the last one of dad's students. Tell me... why do you follow him?

Berke: Your father really is strong. He's a trainer worth my respect. And, I sense the same glow coming from you as your fathe. I hope that you stage a terrific battle with your father!

Shay: ...You all won't be disappointed.

{Shay heals again, then heads to the back of the gym.}

Sign: Gym Leader's room. See for yourself what Pokemon await you!

Shay: I have to remember... why I came to visit in the first place...

{Shay enters the last room.}

Shay: Leader Norman.

Dad: Hm... So, you did get four Gym Badges. Fine as I promised, we will have a Pokemon Battle. Shay... I'm so happy that I can have a real battle with my own child. But, a battle is a battle! I will do everything in my power as a Gym Leader to win. Shay, you'd better give it your best shot, too!

Shay: Norman. There's something we need to talk about after the fight. You can't turn me away anymore! Just thought I'd remind you of why I was doing this in the first place. Prepare yourself, Leader Norman!

{Gym Battle: Petalburg Leader Norman}

Shay: Mojo, Get ready. {Lv 28}

Norman: Spinda! {Lv 27}

Shay: Leech Seed.

{Turn 1: Spinda used Facade. Mojo's Leech Seed missed.}

Shay: No choice! Switch in, Leiden! {Lv 33}

{Turn 2: Spinda's facade has no effect.}

Shay: Fake out!

{Turn 3: Leiden lands Shay's first hit. Spinda flinches.}

Shay: Now, Faint attack!

{Turn 4: Spinda uses Encore, locking Leiden into Fake out. But Fake out only works once.}

{Turn 5: Spinda uses Teeter Dance.}

Shay: that won't work.

{Turn 6: Shay blows the Yellow Flute, snapping Leiden out of confusion. Spinda uses Teeter Dance again.}

Shay: I can keep this up all day!

{Turn 7: Spinda uses Encore.}

{Turn 8: Shay heals Mojo. Spinda uses Teeter Dance again.}

{Turn 9: Shay switches in Exde. {Lv 32} Spinda uses Teeter Dance again.}

{Turn 10: Shay blows the Yellow Flute. Spinda uses Teeter Dance again.}

{Turn 11: See above.}

Shay: This stalemate can only last so long.

{Turn 12: Spinda uses facade.}

Shay: We have our opening! Secret Power!

{Turn 13: Exde uses Secret Power, Spinda is in critical health. Spinda uses Facade. Exde is weakened.}

{Turn 14: Norman uses a Hyper Potion. Exde uses Secret Power.}

{Turn 15: Exde uses Secret Power. Spinda is in critical condition and paralyzed. Spinda uses Teeter Dance.}

{Turn 16: Shay switches in Leiden, negating Spinda's facade attack.

{Turn 17: Leiden uses Fake out. Spinda faints.}

Shay: I didn't expect to use that as a finishing move...

Norman: Vigoroth, engage! {Lv 27}

Shay: Leiden, hang in there. You're the best one for this job! Now, Faint Attack!

Norman: I don't think so. Encore!

{Turn 18: Vigoroth uses Encore.}

Shay: Not again...

{Turn 19: Shay heals Exde. Vigoroth uses Faint Attack.}

{Turn 20: Shay switches in Exde. Vigoroth uses Faint Attack.}

Shay: I've got it! Fake out!

{Turn 21: Exde uses Fake out.}

Norman: Ah, ah, ah. Encore!

Shay: Not this time.

{Turn 22: Leiden switches in. Encore fails.}

Shay: Now, Faint Attack!

Norman: My thoughts exactly.

{Turn 23: Vigoroth uses Faint Attack first, but his is less powerful than Leiden's. Vigoroth is getting weaker.}

{Turn 24: Vigoroth lands one last Faint attack before being knocked out.}

Norman: Time I brought out the Big Guy. Slaking! {Lv 31}

Shay: All right then. Luna, I choose you! {Lv 34}

{Luna's Intimidate cuts Slaking's attack.}

Shay: Sand Attack.

{Turn 25: Luna uses sand attack, Slaking's attack fails.}

{Turn 26: Luna uses Sand attack, Slaking's too lazy to move.}

{Turn 27: Luna uses Sand Attack. Slaking's Facade misses.}

{Turn 28: Luna uses Sand attack. Slaking's too lazy to move.}

{Turn 29: Luna uses Sand Attack. Slaking's counter failed}

{Turn 30: Luna uses Sand attack. Slaking's too lazy to move. Slaking's accuracy is at minimum.}

Shay: Now we go on the offensive. Bite.

{Turn 31: Luna uses Bite. Slaking used Yawn.}

Shay: Secret Power.

{Turn 32: Luna uses Secret Power. Slaking doesn't move. Luna falls asleep.}

{Turn 33: Shay uses the Blue Flute. Slaking uses Faint attack.}

Shay: Bite is our best option.

{Turn 34: Slaking does nothing.}

{Turn 35: Bite lands a critical hit. Slacking flinches, and eats his Sitris berry. He's still weakened.}

{Turn 36: Slacking does nothing.}

{Turn 37: Slacking is reduced to critical health, and flinches.}

{Turn 38: Norman uses a hyper Potion.}

{Turn 39: Slacking uses Faint Attack first.}

{Turn 40: Slacking does nothing.}

{Turn 41: Slacking uses Faint attack. Luna lands a critical hit.}

Shay: You're crippled. No accuracy, no effective attacks, lowered attack strength. And that pokemon can't be taught discipline. Was this really your best Pokemon?

Norman: Depends on your perspective. He has his faults, but I found ways around them.

{Turn 42: Luna gets a critical hit and defeats Slacking.}

Norman: It's down to Linoone! {Lv 29}

Shay: {Realizing} Hold on, your whole team has been Pokemon found in this region. I'm winning because you restarted your team when I began! This wasn't about me being ready, it was about both of us! ... Leiden! Fake out!

{Turn 43: Leiden uses Fake out.}

Shay: Faint attack.

Norman: Tch. Belly Drum.

{Turn 44: Linoone Uses Belly Drum, heavily damaging himself but maximizing attack power. Leiden finishes him off.}

Shay: (Linoone couldn't touch Leiden. The only move worth making was letting things end faster.)

Norman: ... I... I can't... I can't believe it, Shay... I lost to Shay? But, rules are rules! Here, take this.

{Battle End}

Dad: With that badge, the Defense of all your Pokemon will increase. Pokemon that know the HM move Surf will be able to travel over the water.

Shay: You know this badge wasn't why I fought you, Dad. This was about asking the question I came to you with, back before Wally interrupted.

Dad: ...

Shay: Why did we move here? Why didn't you just kick out Whitney? And why did you leave me and Mom in Littleroot, while you're out here?

Dad: ...It was cramped in Goldenrod. You remember that. Whitney... she has her flaws, but that wasn't worth kicking her out. And Littleroot, {chuckles} after seeing so much of the world, are Littleroot and Petalburg really that far apart?

Shay: Without a Pokemon, they were. Plus, I only traveled the region because you sent me on a wild goose chase and wouldn't listen to me!

Dad: Ah, sorry about that. To be honest, the fact that you were saying something before Wally came in slipped my mind. I'd just assumed- that was really careless of me!

Shay: Oh, Dad...

{They hug.}

Dad: Shay, be honest with me. Do you really regret coming to Hoenn with me and having all those adventures?

Shay: What right do I have to regret it? If I hadn't been around, the place would have been Blown Up by now.

Dad: Blown up?

Shay: Mt. Chimney. Team Magma. And Mr. Stone already told you about my skirmishes with Team Aqua early on. I'll admit, it hasn't been boring.

Dad: I'd seen that interview of you by Gabby, but all those crises haven't gotten any press at all. There's something strange about that...

Shay: Come on, are you saying there's a conspiracy? Like a criminal running the news industry? I doubt it. People just don't know when to pay attention. {Nudges Norman}

Dad: Maybe we all need to work on that. In case you hadn't noticed, I do live in our home, you know.

Shay: Yeah, I haven't been around often enough myself...

Dad: Well, after seeing your battling skills, I'm sure you can use this gift.

Shay: [Tm42 Facade. "Double power when inflicted with a status ailment." Lucky for me that never came up.

Dad: It can sometimes turn a bad situation into an advantage.

Norman: As the gym Leader, I can't express how upset I am...

Dad: But as a father, it makes me both happy and a little sad. It's odd...

Shay: Hey, you chose not to use Kangaskahn against me.

Dad: Maybe when the league regulators relax a bit.

{Wally's father walks in.}

Wally's father: Ah, there you are, Shay! Please come with me. I have something I want you to have. norman, you don't mind, do you? Let me borrow your Shay for a minute or two.

{They go to Wally's house}

Wally's father: Shay! Please excuse us for dragging you here all this way. But our Wally's become very healthy since he went to Verdanturf Town. We owe it all to you.

Shay: I didn't do anything special with that.

Wally's father: When Wally left town, you helped him catch a Pokemon, right? I think that made Wally really happy. Actually, not just Wally. It made me, his father, happy too. Happy that he's gained such a great friend as you.

Shay: I'm glad to have met a friend like him.

Wally's father: This isn't a bribe or anything, but I'd really like you to have this.

Shay: The Surf HM?

Wally's father: If your Pokemon can surf, you'll be able to go to all sorts of places.

Shay: I wonder where I should go...

Wally's father: Wally's coming home soon. I'm looking forward to that.

Wally's mother: {Whispering} I want you to keep this a secret from my husband... But our Wally left Verdanturf Town without telling anyone. You know, Wally is frail, but he's surprisingly strong-willed. I'm sure that he'll come back safe and sound one day!

{Later, in Littleroot:}

Mom: Oh, did Dad give you that Badge? Then here's something from your Mom!

Shay: Amulet Coin, a good luck charm that brings money...

Mom: So what are you going to do now?

Shay: Well, I've settled things with Dad, but... I'm worried about the state of the world. There are a couple of criminal gangs at work, so... I'm going looking for trouble!

Mom: Don't push yourself too hard, dear. You can always come home.

Shay: Right. The world is smaller than some people realize. But for now... I have to go out into it again.

Mom: Go for it, honey!
24th Dec '10 7:28:09 PM flag for mods
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