Last time, on A Pokémon Trainer Is You:
What do you say to Stacey about her love triangle situation?
– Commiserate but don’t interfere; it’s none of your gosh-damn business.
You only just met these people yesterday. It may not be the most interesting way to approach this situation, but you decide it’s best to stay out of it. You listen sympathetically to Stacey as she tells you about her crush on Abner and possible rivalry with Ellis, nodding along and making thoughtful “hmmm” noises at the right moments, and doing your best not to sway her towards any particular course of action. Before too long, the two of you are close to base camp, and Stacey changes the subject before you get into earshot of the others.
Would you like to battle in the bug catchers’ tournament?
– Battle with Aura, the Silcoon.
Once you’ve all had a snack and the other bug catchers have finished oohing and ahhing at Stacey’s new Ledyba, you all draw straws to decide matchups for a little impromptu tournament. Your first opponent is Abner, while Stacey will battle Ellis; Dane gets a bye for the first round and will face either Stacey or Ellis later. You decide you might as well use your Silcoon, Aura, to battle; not only is it fitting, given that they’re all using Bug-types as well, but you’re hoping that the vigour of battle might nudge her a little closer to evolution. All four of your opponents look excited by your choice; already fascinated by your fairly exotic Bug Pokémon, they’re eager to see her in action. You and Abner take your positions, facing each other across the centre of the clearing, and send out your Pokémon: Silcoon and Metapod.
Abner opens by having his Metapod use Harden, tensing its muscles and stiffening its shell. You too tell Aura to Harden, not wanting him to gain the upper hand. Not to be outdone, Abner commands his Metapod to use Harden again. Gritting your teeth, you focus all your energy on your bond with your Pokémon and call for another Harden. The situation is tense. You and Abner lock eyes across the battlefield, and your Silcoon stares, intense and determined, at his Metapod. You pour all of your focus into your bond with your Pokémon as you wait for his next command.
The suspense is killing me.
Suddenly, Abner grins at you.
“Had ya for a minute there, didn’t I? Metapod, Tackle!” His Metapod flexes its tail and springs off the ground, rushing towards Aura at a truly startling speed for a Pokémon with no limbs. Before you can react, the green cocoon slams into her and she flies backward, flipping over twice before coming to a stop, upside down. To her credit, Aura seems unfazed, and bounces herself back upright (how are they doing this? Seriously, you’re the science kid; what is happening here?). As Metapod bounces back around for another Tackle, you have Aura fire a Poison Sting barrage that stops it in its tracks. Match-ups like this are… well, not common in the televised tournaments you’ve always loved to watch (with good reason, frankly) and you honestly have no idea which Pokémon is favoured, so you decide to get creative. You have Aura rapidly alternate between String Shot and Poison Sting volleys, which doesn’t seem to do all that much harm to Metapod, but seriously blunts its assault, keeping Abner from landing any heavy damage on your Silcoon. Finally, you seize a perfect opening when Metapod leaps into the air again and Aura manages to hit it full in the face with a particularly vicious Poison Sting salvo. Knocked to the ground, Metapod tries to sway itself back upright, fails, and surrenders to blissful unconsciousness. With that, you are declared the winner.
You do your best to soothe Aura’s bruises and tidy up some ragged patches of silk on her normally pristine round body while you watch Stacey try out her new Ledyba against Ellis’ Metapod. Like Abner’s, this Metapod has an impressive range of movement and a pretty solid-looking Tackle attack, though Ellis seems to favour String Shot much more, using it precisely and effectively to neutralise Ledyba’s huge mobility advantage. Stacey gets some nice hits in thanks to the disorienting effects of Ledyba’s ear-splitting Supersonic attack, which she deploys surprisingly well considering they’ve never battled together before, but ultimately Ellis’ Metapod seems to be too disciplined to fall for it. Also, you’re not sure whether Metapod actually have ears. You make a mental note to consult a reference text the next time you have access to a library. Abner cheers for Metapod when Ledyba falls, and Stacey briefly looks crestfallen, but quickly recovers her poise and congratulates Ellis on a good match. She goes to sit by Abner, giving her brother a high five on the way as he stands for his own battle. This match isn’t really a close one: Dane’s Weedle is clearly young and not nearly as well-trained as Metapod, and despite a couple of embarrassing goofs on Metapod’s part, missing what should have been easy String Shots, Weedle looks like it’s had enough after just a couple of glancing Tackles, and Dane throws in the towel.
Ellis requests a brief recess for snacks and water before your battle. While you relax and see to the injuries of your respective Pokémon, he puts a proposition to you.
“I know I said I would only use Metapod for this tournament, but… you’re pretty good, right? I mean, you said you were on your way to challenge the Pewter City Gym, and I saw the way you just handed Abner’s butt to him.”
“Hey!” Ellis rolls his eyes and smiles slightly, but otherwise doesn’t acknowledge Abner’s outburst.
“What do you say about taking on my Beedrill? Ever since it evolved, we haven’t had a lot of opportunities for real challenges around here – not unless we go deeper into the forest, and, well…” he just trails off, and looks a little nervous. Evidently, even with a fully-evolved Bug Pokémon at your side, Viridian Forest’s reputation is a strong deterrent. He shakes his head. “Anyway, how about it?”
Ellis’ Metapod seems pretty wiped out after two consecutive battles, and you sense it’s not just curiosity about your strength that’s made him suggest this, but you are also intrigued to see his Beedrill in action, so you agree. The only question is how you’ll handle this. Aura is still pretty tired from fighting Abner’s Metapod, and might struggle to keep up her pace (again, no limbs, how does she even have a “pace”?) against Beedrill. Scallion, on the other hand, will suffer from type disadvantage against a powerful Bug-type. Neither of those applies to Nancy, but there’s also a decent argument for keeping her back to cheer for one of the others, in hopes of increasing their power.
[If you think one of our Pokémon should attempt an unconventional tactic, explain what you have in mind in the comment section, or by making a submission to the Pokémaniacal question box (if you use the question box, give your name as “APTIY vs. Beedrill”). You can make use of the environment, a combo of two or more moves or abilities, an unorthodox way of using a move, or anything else you can think of that isn’t outright cheating. The more creative the suggestions – as long as they’re reasonably possible – the greater the odds of success will be (but, as always, even the best-laid schemes of Minun and men can go awry with a little bad luck). Suggestions will only be accepted while the above poll is open.]