[WWC] The Fire Leader
Trying to capture Fletchling

“I’m going to be a Pokemon master!” 

It wasn’t an original thing to say. Many had said it before, but he was different. He had conviction, he had determination, and he was destined to become the champion as well. “Before that I’ll travel throughout the regions to take on the novice gyms and become the novice champion, as well as having my own dragon gym!” Drake continued his speech, his audience not very receptive. A chandelure stared deadpan at its trainer, nodding seriously every few seconds as he spoke loudly. To Drake’s left was a bored looking dragonite, attempting to look interested in his speech while occasionally grabbing a pellet of food from his dish and eating it. Drake suddenly stood up, spittling flying as he shouted with pride. “I’m going to be a dragon master, with a powerful team!” A nidoqueen kept eating peacefully, completely ignoring the words while the Infernape kept eating faster and faster, quickly consuming his entire dish. “Although, there’s already two dragon gyms in the league. I could become a novice gym leader, but my skills will surpass that quickly. Maybe I could become an expert ground type user instead…” he pondered, sitting back down silently as Garchomp and Swampert looked at him curiously.

The rest of the meal went much more peaceful, as Drake ate quietly while contemplating what kind of Pokemon master he wanted to be, and how long it would take. Garchomp suddenly stood up at the table, turning in the direction of an incoming trainer. Walking towards the group was a burly man in hiker’s gear, perfect for traversing Mount Chimney.

“Ahoy there matey!” he shouted out towards the party, chuckling heartily after. “I see you’ve got a team and look about done with supper, wouldn’t mind a battle myself!” Drake glanced at each of his Pokemon, before standing up confidently. Ignoring his dragonite copying his move, he closed his eyes and tried to focus and remember what he had worked hard to memorize. A drop of sweat rolled down his forehead as the heat bore down on him.
“Sure. 6v6, default clauses, held items off, flip for first send?” he blurted out quickly, hoping he hadn’t messed up the most often used causal rules in the league. The man stared at him confused for a second, before letting out a heavy laugh.

“Uh, sure kid, though I’d prefer if we did more like a 2v2. It’s no fun when you’re all alone this far from town.”

Drake stood with his hand on his side, carefully running over every pokeball on his belt. With only two Pokemon, he had to make sure each choice was the right one. If he did this right, he would’ve used only two Pokemon against the full team anyways. Grabbing onto one of the pokeballs, he tossed it forward. An orange dragon appeared from a flash of light, roaring mightily and shaking the ground. The dragonite looked back at Drake, winking. Across the battlefield a golem emerged, staring with no sign of fear at its opponent.

“Give ‘em a rollout Rocky!” the hiker shouted, as the Golem stuck its head and limbs in its boulder, launching forward with sudden acceleration.

“Dragon dance!” Drake quickly responded, staring confidently ahead. The Golem rocketed forward, spinning on the ground at faster and faster speeds, a trailer of dust and debris flying behind it. Dragonite stomped each foot in a rhythm, roaring defiantly as an energy grew around him. The Golem smashed into the dragon, Dragonite’s feet digging into the ground as the boulder pushed against him, an explosion of dirt and dust covering the details of the attack. As the clouds cleared, the Golem rocketing away as it continued its acceleration, Dragonite stood twenty yards back from where he was before. He stood slumped over, looking at the ground. Slowly he straightened himself, his head lifting to reveal a smirk matching his trainer’s. The duo dusted off their shoulder simultaneously. “Give it another Dragon dance!” Drake shouted. The ground shook as the dragonite stomped his foot on the ground, the air swirling around him as his rhythm grew faster and faster. The Golem rocketed back and forth, its speed growing to amazing speed as it launched itself towards Dragonite. It smashed into Dragonite, and the creature let out a cry of pain as it was sent careening backwards, sliding on the ground as the ricocheting creature bounced off of it. Dragonite picked itself up, looking significantly more hurt but still going strong.

“This is what we’re waiting for! Now give it an earthquake!” The hiker said nothing, his humorous demeanor having grown silent as he watched the battle carefully. Dragonite soared upwards at speeds barely visible to human eyes, reaching an altitude where he could see a large part of the Mountain below him. He then turned to face the ground, suddenly flying straight down at a speed significantly faster than he had taken on the way up. He beat his wings faster and faster, strain showing on his face as he approached the ground. He flipped his body seconds before hitting the ground, his legs smashing into the ground with the force of his flight. The ground shook, ruptures growing in the earth towards the approaching golem. The pokemon rolled from side to side, speeding forward in desperate attempts to dodge the wave of earth. An explosion of earth came from beneath it, hitting it with such a force it would surely be knocked out instantly. Instead, the Golem was shot forward, smashing straight into the dragonite before falling onto the ground in front of it.

Drake stared, dumbfounded. The Golem had stopped its rolling barely standing in front of the unconscious dragon. Somehow the Golem had survived the attack with a sliver of health, able to take out dragonite from the previous attacks and a combination of its built up momentum. “Return Glaedr,” he said quietly, watching the dragon shrink away in a red light. He thought carefully, trying to weigh his options as his hand grabbed the ball holding Garchomp. He had obviously underestimated the rock weasel and the hiker, and this was no time to make another mistake. He instantly decided Garchomp was just as strong as Dragonite, and was fast enough to take out the Golem before it could build up speed and power. “Come on out Saphira,” he said less excited, the Garchomp appearing in a flash of light.

“Alright Saphira, just go for a dragon claw!” Drake shouted out. The hiker said nothing, and the Golem stood still. Drake frowned, watching Garchomp rush at blinding speeds towards his foe. Even if he got an attack off, there was no way he could do significant damage before he could take care of him. Saphira roared, dragging its claws on the ground to create a trail of dirt flying behind it, baring its teeth at the golem. It grew closer and closer, moments away from striking.

“Explosion.” Drake’s eyes went wide, his mouth agape as he held his hand forward to yell a command. A blinding light filled the battlefield, a deafening blast causing Drake to cover his ears in instinct. The hiker calmly returned his golem to his pokeball, Garchomp standing with its claws raised over his face in an attempt to reduce the damage of the blast. Drake gulped, trying to determine how badly his Garchomp had been hurt.

“Come on out Mamoswine.” A look of horror crossed both Saphira’s and Drake’s face as the next command quickly followed. “Ice shard.” As fast as the Mamoswine had arrived on the battlefield, a blast of ice hit Garchomp.

“Return Garchomp.” Drake’s disappointment and distraught were visible on his face, his team having been taken apart easily. The hiker stepped forward holding his hand out, and Drake shook it while going through the traditional pleasantries. He wasn’t usually this disappointed when he lost a battle, but this one hurt. He had been so confident going into the battle, and his Pokemon had done nothing wrong. He had overestimated his dragonite’s ability to take hits, and underestimated the Golem’s accelerating power and speed along with its strong defense.

Drake stared at the mountain path ahead, the steep incline and heat together making him sweat preemptively. His hands fidgeted over his belt, feeling each pokeball as he debated. Dragonite and Garchomp were both still too injured to do anything, and he didn’t want to risk hurting them any further. Swampert was tough and capable in this environment, but had been overexerted early in the day, him being the go to Pokemon in an environment of fire and ground. That left three. He fumbled over the balls, closed his eyes, and grabbed two. Tossing them into the air, a floating chandelure and a flame covered monk monkey appeared in a flash of red light. Nodding at both of them, the pair continued up the path.

From a distance, Drake’s head could be seen poking over the side of the mountain. He breathed heavily, pulling himself up the mountain route. The infernape climbed up to the trail with ease, while Slimchandy simply floated up. Drake collapsed onto the path, laying on his back and staring into the sky. The ghost stared at him concerned, making sure he wasn’t about to die, while Infernape was less concerned about his potential death and instead was sitting down, watching a bird fly overhead. Finally catching his breath, Drake rolled onto his side, shielding his eyes from the bright overhead sun. Staring confused at the sight, he squinted his eyes, his vision focusing into the shape of a building. Lazily raising his arm in the air, he waited for one of his two companions to help him. After a few seconds of his hand in the air, the monkey yanked onto his arm, unceremoniously dragging him off the ground.

Thanking the pokemon, he brushed himself off and looked at the sight he had discovered. An abandoned building laid at the top of this trail, rusting below the sun. Walking closer, he inspected the building, curiosity building inside of him. The building clearly hadn’t seen maintenance in years, but judging by the lack of structural damage, this area seemed safe from eruptions and lava flow. Approaching the entrance of the building, he looked behind him, seeing Infernape sitting on the ground twenty feet back instead of following him. Frowning, the two stared at each other.

“You’re- are you scared?” Drake questioned, genuinely confused. The Pokemon looked back, shaking his head sheepishly, before getting off the ground and slowly walking towards him. Shrugging his shoulders, he continued into the building. Walking through dark hallways, the black illuminated by the duo’s flames, Drake stared entranced at the abandoned rooms. “You know,” he whispered, his quiet voice traveling far despite the attempt, “this would make a cool gym. But it wouldn’t really fit dragon type, or even ground type,” he told the two fire type pokemon.

Coming to the end of a hallway, a closed door stood in front of him. Looking around him, glancing at both of his Pokemon, he put his hand on the handle and pushed. The door groaned opened, the bottom scraping against scorched ground. Ahead of him lay a wide open room, with a high ceiling with large gaping holes, and plenty of room to maybe even host Pokemon battles. This place invigorated him. He felt the fire of battle firing up inside him, and he knew this was what he dreamt of, a perfect place to be a gym leader. At the moment, he didn’t care that this would fit a fire gym better than dragon or even ground.

A screech echoed in the room, coming from a red bird who sat upon some sort of chair, deteriorated enough that one could pretend it was a throne. The proud creature stared definitely at him, almost challenging him. This was the ruler of this domain, the Pokemon who claimed this building. Drake stepped forward, trying to maintain a cool and collected voice.

“Talonflame! I hereby claim this place, and challenge you to a battle in order to do so!” His voice rang out, the two staring at each other. Slowly the bird stretched, its wide wings showing a massive wingspan of a powerful beast. He smiled.

Chandelure floated forward, the first to take on the bird. “Give it a shadow ball!” Drake shouted, standing still while his cape meekly waved in the air. Chandelure gathered its energy, a pool of wisps and darkness gathering. The shadows turned over each other, growing into a large sphere floating dreadfully in front of Slimchandy. The projectile was launched forward, speeding to its opponent. Talonflame screeched, launching itself off of its throne and flapping its wings. It suddenly shot forward, flying at impossible speeds. Drake stood aghast, mouth comically open as the bird rolled through the air. The talonflame flew around the shadow ball, crashing into Chandelure.

Slimchandy fell backwards, floating upright once more. Ready to retaliate, it was already too late as the talonflame flew to the ceiling in an instant. Before Drake could utter another command, Talonflame swooped down, talons outstretched tearing into Slimchandy once more. Again and again, Talonflame flew through the ghost, Drake desperately trying to tell Chandelure how to counter it. Drake put his hands on his head, recognizing this wasn’t going to help. He needed to preserve his Pokemon’s health, he couldn’t risk traveling down the mountain with so few left.

“As it attacks you, use a flame burst! We need to hurt this thing, then Infernape will deal with it!” He saw Chandelure nod, it's flames growing larger. As the bird of prey swooped down for another attack, Chandelure exploded into flames. The bird recoiled, the damage minor but dramatically slowing down its ability to attack. A flash of red light covered Chandelure, before another flash of light brought out Infernape.

“Quick, fake out!” Infernape jumped in one direction, Talonflame flying immediately after it before Infenrape made a quick stop, spinning around and jumping forward with a flap at the bird. Stunned, the bird was caught in the attack and fell to the ground. Flapping its wings desperately, it tried to climb back to the sky. “Now, give it a thunder punch!” An electrical charge covered the monkey’s hand, as it lunged after the fleeing bird. With a shock of lightning, Infernape struck dead on, the bird collapsing onto the floor.

Drake carefully approached the defeated pokemon, pokeball in hand. He smiled at his pokemon, gazed at the building he was in, and threw the pokeball. He had always wanted to be a dragon leader, he had considered being a ground leader, but in his heart he had decided. He was truly a fire leader.
It is time, Shock.

I claim.
Abras are so cute!
Joined URPG 1/28/2017!
Competitive Showdown player
[Image: a12pB4a9m_480wa_v1.gif]
Hey there Shock! It's an honor to grade your first story, and I'm really proud of the effort you put in! Now, lets get that Gym mon.

Things you did well:
-Your dialogue and handling of the battles were spot on. You gave the readers a good look at the situation with good detail and forethought. One recommendation I do have is on the larger paragraphs, to split them into two to maintain flow, but they worked either way.
-The story content was interesting, and your opening really connected to your conclusion well. Additionally, I felt like you handled Drake's growth as a Trainer really well; the Hiker fight was a great lead-in to the Talonflame one.
-Length and content was as expected of a medium, no qualms here.

Things you didn't do as well:
-I would highly, highly recommend using a thesaurus. Using a lot of the same word to describe stuff is much less impactful than using a few synonyms. For example:
"The Golem rocketed back and forth, its speed growing to amazing speed as it launched itself towards Dragonite." would probably sound better as
"its momentum growing to amazing speed", or you could throw in words like velocity to really make it flavorful. Another example is "in desperate attempts to dodge the wave of earth. An explosion of earth came from beneath it". In general you really favor the word "speed" throughout the story, and using other synonyms really help to keep the momentum of your story going. ;)
-Grammar and punctuation were fine for most of the story, but a few things like capitalizing Pokemon names (and the word Pokemon/Pokeball) happened quite frequently, mostly near the beginning of the story.
-There is a really awkward break in the story between the end of the Hiker encounter and Drake randomly starting to climb a path (starts at "Drake stared at the mountain path ahead,"). I would definitely recommend adding on a paragraph that bridges this gap (perhaps Drake going off to sulk after the loss?)

You had some small mistakes, but this is a solid story. I'm very pleased to read your stuff, and hope you submit more in the future! For now, claim your Fletchling, as this definitely passes at Medium!
Abras are so cute!
Joined URPG 1/28/2017!
Competitive Showdown player
[Image: a12pB4a9m_480wa_v1.gif]

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