Jack cursed quietly to himself as he let his Pokémon out onto the slippery battlefield. All the Pokémon competing looked apprehensive of the ice, except for the opponent’s Solosis, who floated a few feet above the ground. The Luxray quickly found its footing, using its claws to get a better grip.
Jack felt Ayessel flutter on his shoulder and saw Aegis and Dory look back at the bird before sharing a look between themselves. Must’ve been a ‘good luck.’ Jack thought something was a little off, but brushed it off as nerves over the difficult terrain.
His opponent, he’d learned was named Nicomedo, waved at him from across the arena. Jack waved politely back and watched intently for the match to start. Stuck in the time bubble, there was no official referees, but another of the trainers on the bus sat to one side of the field ready to signal the beginning of the match.
How am I going to do this? Dory can’t use his Dig, and he’s not the best on land as it is, much less this ice. Ugh, not to mention my opponents are psychic and electric types. What about Aegis, maybe… His strategizing was brought to an end as Ayessel whapped him with a wing and points at the dropped flag. The match had started!
The Luxray seemed to be building an electrical current through its fur, and the Solosis moved slowly forward. An idea popped into Jack’s head. He spoke his command and Ayessel dutifully repeated it.
“Aegis, use Rapid Spin on your side! Carve grooves into the ice!” The shelled Pokémon complied, retreating into his shell and spinning on the ice to move back and forth across the field. The Solosis paused for a moment, unsure of its opponent’s tactics, but resumed its push forward.
“Dory, use the grooves as footing! Press forward and go after that Luxray!” The Luxray had since discharged its built up energy into the ground by flowing the energy through its legs. Sparks danced along the ice. It leapt to meet the Poliwrath’s challenge, its speed diminished by the ice despite its claws.
Aegis took advantage of his built up speed and collided with the Solosis, knocking it back several yards. He emerged from his shell and took aim with his water cannons. A Hydro Pump rocketed out and hit the mark dead on, only to slide off with less damage than planned thanks to Solosis’s slick surface. In that space of time, however, the Cell Pokémon had reached him. It seemed to go intangible and slipped inside of Aegis using Pain Split.
The Blastoise suddenly felt his weight increase and pressure build within him. The Solosis was using Iron Defense inside him! Aegis chuckled to himself and spoke as Pokémon do, “You really think a little pressure is going to take me down? I thrive on pressure!” Aegis built the pressure higher and higher before blasting out another Hydro Pump, flinging the smaller Pokémon against a small pile of ice chunks. Aegis rolled back into his shell and moved to continue his assault.
Dory had his hands full trying to dodge the attacks of the Luxray that was his opponent. It seemed the Gleam Eyes Pokémon only had Ice Fang for a close range attack. While Dory was loath to getting hit, it seemed the best approach. When Luxray came in for its next bite, Dory stood still and took the hit on his left shoulder. In that moment he struck with a powerful Ice Punch to Luxray’s ribs. While the move certainly hurt, the Luxray’s thicker hair diminished the freezing cold. The effectiveness of Ice Fang was dampened by the poor type match up.
Both Pokémon drew back and circled each other warily. Dory stopped at one of the many grooves carved into the ice and used it to push off, launching himself at the big cat. Luxray leapt to counter attack. But Dory had gone low, not high. He slid into another groove to a halt just beneath the jumping cat and uppercut with a powerful Waterfall. The Poliwrath quickly accented this by grabbing Luxray’s tail and performed Circle Throw. Luxray was viciously hurled into a corner iceberg, eliciting a yowl of pain.
“Hey! Keep it together, Dory! You look like you’re really trying to hurt it.” Dory spared a momentary glance for his oblivious trainer. He was near Jack’s end of the court. While he had been following Jack’s orders as Ayessel repeated them, he’d made his own decisions. Circle Throw had been one of them. Jack still thought this was a simple competition; Dory wasn’t surprised when Ayessel didn’t repeat those words.
Dory had heard the words himself, but he could feel it. These other Pokémon, they were trying to kill him and Aegis. They knew the truth.
“Watch out!” shouted Ayessel and Jack in unison. Not quite fast enough, Dory was struck by the Signal Beam and crashed through several piles of ice. He skidded to a halt half way across the battlefield, moaning in pain. There was no doubt. That Signal Beam had been full power, not a pulled punch like in most competitions. Normal battles were closer to sparring matches with an audience.
He got wearily to his feet and saw the Luxray across the field bristling at him. A glance to his left showed him Aegis trying to Skull Bash a Solosis that escaped the path of the attack with a last second Substitute. Dory hated this kind of fighting, but Ayessel’s words came back to him. Before the match had started, the Music Note Pokémon had informed them both of the true nature of the tournament.
“This is a fight to the death. Show no mercy, as you will be given no quarter yourselves. Your lives depend on it.” Dory sighed and with renewed vigor, he strode back into battle. I won’t let you down Jack, as he closed the distance.