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    Riviére finished put on her clothes as she heard a knock on her door. She blinked and turned her attention to her bedroom door. “Come in.”

    The door opened and Tatsu stepped inside. “Hey, Riviére.”

    “Oh, hey Tatsu,” she said as she picked up the brush from her desk and looked into the mirror. “What’s up?”

    “Riviére…Do you trust me?” asked Tatsu as Riviére began to brush her hair.

    “Huh? Of course I do! Why do you ask?”

    “I talked to Hanako a little bit ago, and she agreed…I don’t think you and Hanako should use Mega Evolution in today’s Gym Battle. You should leave the Pokémon armor and your Key Stones here.”

    Riviére blinked and furrowed her brows. “Why should I leave my Key Stone and Mega Stone here?”

    “I’ve thought about it for a while,” said Tatsu as he rubbed the back of his head. “The next gym is a Ground-Type Gym. You and Hanako shouldn’t have much trouble with it, seeing as both of your type specialty have advantages over the Ground-Type. I think it’d be better if you two hold off on using Mega Evolution until the Tournament. Professor Oak said he’d like to see it for the first time during the Tournament. If we used Mega Evolution before then, there’s a good chance that our Pokémon’s Mega Evolution will be discovered and our secret weapons will be common knowledge by the time we get there.”

    “Hm…Well, I guess that makes sense,” said Riviére as she put down the brush and undid her choker. She set it down on her desk and looked back at Tatsu. “So, what about you? You’re not going to use it then, right?”

    Tatsu frowned. “No, I may need to use it.”

    “I think you’ll be okay,” said Riviére. “Your Charizard is part Flying-Type, you know. So long as Charizard is in the air, then he’s immune to Ground-Type attacks.”

    “That may not be enough,” said Tatsu. “There’s a very good chance that Giovanni would use a Ground/Rock-Type Pokémon in our battle. Charizard wouldn’t be able to take a strong Rock-Type attack. That leaves me to use Flareon and Arcanine, which are weak to both Rock and Ground-Type attacks as well. I shouldn’t need to use Mega Evolution, but if I have to, it’d be better if only one of us revealed it rather than the three of us.”

    “Well…I guess,” said Riviére.

    After finishing preparations, Hanako and Riviére released Blastoise and Venusaur from their Poké Balls. They removed their Pokémon’s armor and placed them inside the PokéCaps House, along with their Key Stones. Together, Tatsu, Riviére, and Hanako walked toward Viridian City for the second time in their journey. It had been nearly an entire year since they were last here. All of the destruction that the Mewtwo had created had been fully repaired. If they didn’t know any better, it looked as though it had never happened. They noticed that the citizens of Viridian City looked to be in high spirits.

    After a quick stop at the Pokémon Center, the trio traveled to the newly constructed Gym. It was a large building that took up three times the space the original Gym had taken. It took up nearly an entire block to itself and stood nearly four stories tall. The outside of the gym was viridian in color, no doubt homage to Viridian City itself. On the top of the building, the Earth Badge was engraved along with “Viridian City Gym” on the bottom.

    “Well, this is it,” said Riviére as she, Tatsu, and Hanako stood by the Gym doors. “You guys ready?”

    “Ready as I’ll ever be,” replied Hanako.

    “Always,” added Tatsu.

    Together, they pushed open the doors and walked inside. After taking a few steps in, they looked around. The arena was mostly empty, with a field floor covered with dirt and several large boulders. The arena was lit up by several overhead lights. On three of the walls were extremely large screens that displayed Pokémon and their HP levels. On the wall without a screen was a balcony with a very large comfortable office chair. As they walked in, more overhead lights turned on and the sound of a door opening rang throughout the arena. Giovanni walked over to the balcony and stood in front of his chair.

    “Riviére Bleu,” he bellowed, his voice echoing throughout the arena. “You will be the first challenger.”

    Riviére looked back at Hanako and Tatsu before she walked to the opposite side of the field to Giovanni. As she did, another door opposite of them opened and a man with short black hair and wore a referee uniform stepped out. He walked to the center left of them and raised his flags. “Riviére Bleu challenges Giovanni, the Viridian City Gym Leader to a three-on-three contest," said the referee as he held up a red and blue flag. "Wonder Launchers have been permitted for use in this battle. Switching is permitted between rounds. The battle will continue until the Pokémon's trainer gives up the match, or the Pokémon is no longer able to battle," the referee raised both arms. "Trainers, are you ready?" he bellowed as looked at both trainers. "Choose your Pokémon!"

    Riviére reached into her purse and tossed her first Poké Ball, bellowing “Gyarados, I choose you!” The ball snapped open midair and Gyarados materialized. The massive Gyarados reared his head and roared at Giovanni as he sat down.

    “Interesting,” he said as the screens turned on and Riviére’s profile picture and Gyarados appeared on the bottom half. Giovanni sat down in his office chair and looked down on the table beside him. There were nine Ultra Balls sitting on the surface. Giovanni picked up the closest Ultra Ball and tossed it. The ball popped open and a Golem materialized on the ground floor. “I’ll choose this Pokémon.”

    The referee raised his flags and swung them, bellowing “Fight!” at the top of his lungs.

    Riviére grinned as she saw the Golem. “A Golem? That’s not a threat! Gyarados, use Aqua Tail!” she yelled. Gyarados slithered forward and swung his massive tail toward the Gyarados.

    “Tch. Silly girl,” said Giovanni blandly as the Gyarados moved closer for attack. “Golem, use Explosion.”

    The Golem’s body began to glow molten red as Gyarados’ attack neared. With colossal force, the Golem exploded with all it’s might. The Atrocious Pokémon was immediately engulfed by the flames and disappeared behind the cloud of debris. Riviére, Tatsu, and Hanako were nearly blown off their feet. After the debris cleared, Gyarados lay on his side, knocked unconscious. There was no sign of his Golem anywhere.

    “Gyarados!” shouted Riviére as she fumbled for his Poké Ball.

    The referee raised both flags. “Both Golem and Gyarados are unable to battle! This round is a draw!” he declared.

    “Bastard,” said Tatsu as Riviére returned her Gyarados. Tatsu looked up at his father and growled. “He sacrificed his Golem to take care of Riviére’s Gyarados.”

    “Riviére still has the advantage though…,” said Hanako, her hand shaking slightly.

    Riviére gritted her teeth as she put Gyarados’ Poké Ball back into her purse and took out another. “Go, Vaporeon!” she shouted as she tossed the ball into the air and it popped open. Her Vaporeon landed gracefully in front of Riviére.

    “Ah, your Vaporeon,” said Giovanni as he looked over his remaining Ultra Balls and picked one. “This one should suffice,” he said before he tossed the ball. “Go, Quagsire.”

    The Quagsire materialized on the battlefield, beside the crater that Golem had stood just moments before. The referee raised his flags and bellowed, “Round 2, fight!”

    “Vaporeon, use Hydro Pump!” shouted Riviére. Vaporeon opened her mouth and fired a powerful jet of water. The Quagsire didn’t bother to move and hit it square in the chest. However, no damage was done. Quagsire’s ability Water Absorb triggered and merely absorbed the water.

    “Quag!” said the Quagsire as it jumped around joyfully.

    Riviére’s heart sank. “Damn, that Quagsire just happens to have the ability that neutralizes my specialty,” she said with a growl.

    Giovanni grinned. “Quagsire, Eerie Impulse.”

    The Quagsire opened its mouth and emitted an eerie screech. Vaporeon lowered her head as Riviére, Tatsu, and Hanako placed their hands over their ears to block out the screaming. Once the screeching ceased, Vaporeon looked up, but found it hard to concentrate on the battle.

    “Vaporeon, Ice Beam!” shouted Riviére.

    Vaporeon opened her mouth and fired an Ice Beam attack, though it was much weaker than her normal Ice Beams. The Ice Beam struck the Quagsire in the chest. Other than a bit of its chest icing over, it was largely unaffected by the weakened Ice Beam.

    “A rather pathetic move,” said Giovanni as he poured himself a glass of wine. “Quagsire, use Dig.”

    “Quag Quag!” said the Quagsire as it burrowed underground.

    Vaporeon and Riviére looked around for where the Quagsire would show itself. As Vaporeon looked, the Quagsire came up from below and stuck her in the chest. Vaporeon was tossed aside and she slowly got back up to her feet as Quagsire once again burrowed underground. Riviére gritted her teeth as she thought of a strategy.

    “Dammit,” Riviére sighed and calmed herself. “Okay…I have to calm myself…Okay…” Riviére took a deep breath and regained her composure. “Vaporeon, use Haze!”

    Vaporeon nodded and took a deep breath. When she exhaled, she filled the arena floor with a thick fog. Quagsire came up from underground and attacked where Vaporeon was. Vaporeon and Quagsire were ejected above the haze. However, Vaporeon’s form dematerialized. Before the Quagsire or Giovanni could react, a powerful Ice Beam shot out from the mist and struck the Quagsire. The Water Fish Pokémon’s body immediately iced over, freezing into a solid block of ice.

    Giovanni clapped his hands as the referee raised his flag in Riviére’s corner. “Very good!” he called out. “I had not anticipated a Substitute and an Ice Beam without having to give a command. Very impressive,” he said as he returned his frozen Quagsire. “Are you ready for the third round?”

    “Bring it on!” called out Riviére, defiantly.

    Giovanni smiled. “Very well,” he said as he picked up another Ultra Ball. “Go, Nidoking.”

    With a firm toss, the Ultra Ball snapped open in midair and the massive Nidoking materialized. The Drill Pokémon roared dominantly as he stared down the Vaporeon. Riviére and the others noticed a purple orb clenched in Nidoking’s hand. She recognized it as a rare item known as a Life Orb. Riviére bit her lip. She knew the kind of power such a rare item could bestow a Pokémon like Nidoking. The referee raised his flags and waved them, bellowing, “Fight!”

    “Thunder,” said Giovanni as the referee spoke.

    Before Vaporeon could react, the Nidoking’s Life Orb glowed a rich purple and Nidoking initiated a powerful Thunder attack. A vast amount of energy generated by the Nidoking shot at the Vaporeon in a massive blast of electricity. Vaporeon narrowly dodged the bulk of the blast, but was shocked by a stray lightning bolt. The Bubble Jet Pokémon fell to the ground and cried out in pain.

    “No, Vaporeon!” shouted Riviére as Vaporeon struggled to get to her feet.

    “Impressive,” said Giovanni smugly as he clapped his hands. “I give you props for your Vaporeon to be able to dodge my Nidoking’s Thunder. If my Pokémon’s attach were to strike fully, then your Vaporeon would have been knocked out in a single hit.”

    Riviére clenched her fists as her mind raced. She knew that her Vaporeon would have an extremely hard time facing off against a Nidoking after sustaining that much damage. To make matters worse, a Nidoking equipped a Life Orb and knew Thunder. She surveyed the Nidoking and her eyes widened a little bit. The Life Orb continued to glow, but no noticeable damage was done to the Drill Pokémon.

    “Shit, it must have Sheer Force,” she said under her breath. With that powerful ability, she knew that Giovanni was not making assumptions that her Vaporeon would be knocked out by a direct hit, but almost a guarantee. She knew she couldn’t win this round. Riviére closed her eyes and tried to formulate a plan. She wished she had ignored Tatsu’s advice about leaving behind her Key Stone and Mega Stone for Blastoise’s Mega Evolution. She needed a way to win!

    Then suddenly, an idea came to her. She opened her eyes and smiled. Riviére turned to the referee and said, “I concede this round.”

    This came to a surprise to everyone as the referee raised his flag in Giovanni’s favor and Riviére returned her Vaporeon back to her Poké Ball.

    “Riviére, are you crazy?” asked Hanako as Riviére put away Vaporeon’s Poké Ball and took out Blastoise’s.

    “Shush,” she said without looking at Hanako.

    Giovanni narrowed his eyes as Riviére tossed the Poké Ball and Blastoise materialized. He watched the girl and her Pokémon exchange a look of confidence as the referee raised his flags. He knew that Riviére had a plan, but what?

    “Fight!” shouted the referee.

    Giovanni threw caution aside and said, “Nidoking, use Thunder.”

    The Nidoking generated a massive amount of energy, enhanced by the Life Orb and the Sheer Force ability. With a powerful strike, Nidoking blasted the wave of electric energy right at Blastoise. The Shellfish Pokémon didn’t bother to dodge the strike; instead, it looked braced for it. The Thunder attack struck the Shellfish Pokémon. Blastoise howled in pain as he tried his best to withstand the attack. As the Thunder attack finished, Blastoise stood his ground. His legs buckled slightly as he nearly succumbed to his weight.

    Riviére grinned as tears rolled down her cheeks. “Blastoise, use Mirror Coat.”

    Giovanni’s eyes widened as she uttered the words and Blastoise’s body glowed blue. He knew there was nothing he or Nidoking could do to dodge such an effective strike. The Blastoise raised his arms and the damage he sustained manifested into an energy ball. It doubled in size before it was shot at Nidoking. Unable to dodge the massive counterattack, Nidoking was struck full force and was instantly knocked out from the violent strike.
Chapter 74: The Earth Badge

© 2016 Pokémon. © 1995–2016 Nintendo/Creatures Inc./GAME FREAK inc. Pokémon, Pokémon character names, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Wii, and Wiiware are trademarks of Nintendo. 

PokéBall Z the Series is Written by J.J. Knight

Stay tuned for the next chapter of PokéBall Z; Betrayal
Add a Comment:
The eight gym is here and Giovanni stands ready and taking on all challengers, now all the group has to do is survive the battles that await them inside. But how does this chapter hold up? Let's find out.

First off as always the bad:
Not much here, considering how straightforward the chapter is.

Now for the good:
The fights as always are good and well paced, seeing some genuine strategy out of Giovanni and showcasing his cold hearted nature. Also Riviere's responses to Giovanni are interesting in their own right.

Overall a good fight chapter, with some good strategy and teamwork at play.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
2 out of 2 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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SapphireDragon6 Featured By Owner May 30, 2016  Student Writer
Holy balls, Giovanni does not mess around. At his first line, I already got chills. And I was holding my breath for the entirety of their battle. The stakes are high, and you captured the feeling of suspense very well. This was one of the most well-written battles by far, in my opinion.
PokeBallZtheSeries Featured By Owner May 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thanks~ I tried my best to capture his personality.
akaFila Featured By Owner May 30, 2016
rip Golem #076 Golem 
PokeBallZtheSeries Featured By Owner May 30, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
It was Super Effective!
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