Metatyph was roused by the sound of somebody assaulting his front door.
A late-night gaming session had not left him in the mood for this.
The knocking had not ceased. If anything, it appeared to be growing more urgent. Metatyph grumbled and rolled off of his couch.
Shambling his way to the front door, he somehow managed to locate his hat on the way.
At least he looked presentable when he opened the door, to find a wide-eyed and breathless fox.
"JEEZ, 'Typh!" exclaimed Sparkleaf. "If we don't hurry, you're gonna make us late!"
"Ehh, wha?" Was Metatyph's uncomprehending response.
"Nevermind," Sparkleaf whined, "I'll remind you on the way. Now let's get moving!" The fox jumped to his feet, and began to drag Metatyph along with him.
Metatyph could barely summon the effort to stand, let alone argue, as Sparkleaf dragged him into the street.
"We're here!" The fox declared, not half a minute later, shocking Metatyph back into reality.
Metatyph squinted in the morning light. As far as he could tell, 'Here' was simply the middle of the footpath, merely metres away from Metatyph's house.
"Sparkleaf, what the pants?" Metatyph asked.
"We're finally here, Typh," Sparkleaf said, in a whisper of barely-contained excitement. Metatyph raised an eyebrow at his friend, whose only response was to use one furry paw to direct Metatyph's attention to the conspicuously large, wooden desk that had apparently appeared from out of nowhere.
At the desk, sat none other than DarkPegusus who was wearing a white lab coat and a fake beard .
Metatyph groaned his way into a facepalm. "This is something stupid. I know it is. Everything DarkPegusus is involved in, turns into a chaotic slurry of glitter and explosions. Sparks, let me go back to beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeed," he whined.
Sparkleaf laughed. "Bed? Oh don't be silly. You can't go to bed!"
Metatyph looked into the fox's eyes, pleadingly. "Why not?"
Sparkleaf's grin grew to the point where Metatyph began to wonder if the fox was abusing his director powers.
"Because," He said, in a creepily ominous voice, "today's the day we get our first pokemon."
Metatyph did a double-take.
"Oh yeah!" interrupted DarkPegusus. "Today's the day! Step right up, come one, come all. Welcome to Prof. Peggy's pokemon laboratory!"
"It is impressive," Metatyph told him, sarcastically.
Dark Pegusus looked annoyed. "Listen, buddy. I work with what I got. And I what I got, is three pokemon for you two to choose from and this neato desk that I found just lying around," he set three pokeballs on the desk as he mentioned them.
"And by lying around," he continued, "I mean I stole desks from everyone in Route 50, destroyed them, and made this awesome, new, uber-desk outta the best pieces."
He grinned, "Now choose a pokemon, before I take that snazzy hat of yours, and make a cooler one out of it, and some of Sparkleaf's fur," he demanded.
Metatyph and Sparkleaf looked at each other. "You heard the Prof." Sparkleaf shrugged, "Pick one."
"Sparkleaf," Metatyph said, flatly, "I know what you're gonna do."
"What are you talking about? All I'm gonna do is wait for you to take a pokemon, and then take one myself," Sparkleaf said, unconvincingly.
"Sparks, I know that you're just waiting for me to pick a pokemon, so that you can pick whichever one has a type advantage over the one I picked."
"What? No way, man. I would never do that! You're nuts! Just go and pick a pokemon already!" Sparkleaf said, sounding like he was totally telling the truth.
Metatyph gave up, and swiped a pokeball of off the uber-desk, not even bothering to look at which one he had grabbed.
Almost immediately, Sparkleaf snatched a pokeball for himself.
"Aw," remarked DarkPegusus, "I guess that Leopard was the Popplio of these starters," he lamented, either unaware of, or indifferent to the fact that nobody was listening to him.
"And now, I suppose you want to have an unfair battle, so that we can 'test' our pokemon's strength?" Metatyph asked Sparkleaf.
"Not so fast!" yelled Sparkleaf, "Typh, we should totally have a battle to see whose pokemon is the strongest!"
Metatyph rolled his eyes, and resigned himself to sending out whatever pokemon he had grabbed.
He and Sparkleaf threw their pokeballs simultaneously, the twin blasts of red energy exploded into view, and out of the pokeballs materialised a pair of girls.
Metatyph was so stunned at the sight of Twiggy and Maestra, that he barely registered them yelling.
"Metatyph! I never would have thought that you of all people would be involved in this!"
Twiggy admonished him.
"Lancer! What are you doing? By the power of the command seals, I demand that you release me!" demanded Maestra, who was facing Sparkleaf.
"The roles have been reversed," the kitsune grinned sheepishly.
"What in the world is going on, Sparkleaf?!" shouted Metatyph. "Why were Twiggy and Mae in pokeballs?"
Sparkleaf raised an eyebrow. "Uh, because they are our starters?" he scratched his head, "I thought that was obvious."
"Ooo-kay," Metatyph replied, "I'm just gonna go now..." He turned around, about to leave the craziness behind, but a shout recalled his attention.
"Wait just a second!" the shout came from Maestra, who looked furious, "you can't run from a trainer battle!"
Metatyph stared at her, dumbly aware that the insanity was apparently contagious.
"She's right," sighed Twiggy, "a battle's a battle. We have to fight them."
"That's the spirit!" cheered Maestra. "Now, Lancer! Use quick attack!" she commanded.
"That's my line," said Sparkleaf. "I'm the pokemon master, not you," he reminded her, roughly half a nanosecond before he saw her go flying past him, to land in the middle of the street.
Metatyph high-fived Twiggy, who had used the element of surprise to strike Maestra with a particularly devastating tackle.
"Good work," muttered Metatyph. "Now use growl on her!"
Twiggy nodded and immediatly bared her teeth. "Rrrr-rrrr-rawr!" she said. Nobody was surprised at how unintimidating her growl was.
"Mae, get up!" whined Sparkleaf. "They're gonna win! How could they win when I picked the pokemon with the type-advantage?"
Maestra grunted and drew herself to her feet. She took a deep breath, before running at Twiggy and attempting to scratch the other girl's arm. Twiggy, however, managed to slap her hands away. "Hey! No fair!" Twiggy yelped. "Fingernails and hair-pulling are off-limits!"
Twiggy punctuated that complaint by hurling Maestra to the ground, while Metatyph whooped.
"Now!" he commanded. "Finish her off!"
Twiggy complied, and since her only offensive move was tackle, helped the panting Maestra to her feet, before using her whole body to slam Maestra right back onto the ground.
Maestra let out one last "Oof!" and did not stir.
A beam of ruby energy dematerilised Maestra, and Sparkleaf chattered about how Metatyph would regret crossing his path, before tossing some coins at him (not even enough to by a candy bar), and then seemingly disappearing into thin air.
Cheers and claps rang out from behind them, where Prof. DarkPegusus still sat at his uber-desk.
Metatyph and Twiggy both turned to face him, eyebrows raised.
"Peggy," began Metatyph, "do you have any idea what just happened?"
DarkPegusus shrugged. "It's time for you and Twiggy to go and become the best," he said. "Like no one ever was. To catch them will be your real test, to train them will be your cause."
Metatyph's face fell. "Come on Twiggy," he muttered, "I'll find a way to get us outta this mess myself," he began to walk away, Twiggy silently falling in behind.
"Wait!" yelled DarkPegusus, who had knocked his uber-desk over in his scramble to catch up with the unimpressed pair. "As you travel across the land, searching far and wide, it'll be dangerous to go alone so take these!" he held out a pokedex and five pokeballs.
"Those are references from two different franchises, you dolt," chided Metatyph. Though he accepted the gifts anyway.
DarkPegusus just winked and threw glitter in Metatyph's face, before running away like a maniac.
For at least twenty three seconds, Twiggy and Metatyph stood there, completely dumbfounded.
"So...." Twiggy said, once their minds had recovered, "are you gonna let me go now?"
"I dunno, man."
Metatyph looked directly at his unwilling partner. "Twiggy, you heard the guy. He made a reference. I don't think we can just ignore something like that."
Twiggy looked incredulous. "Metatyph-"
"A reference, Twiggy," clarified Metatyph. "A reference."
Twiggy's eyes narrowed. "Fine," she said through gritted teeth, "we'll catch 'em all. I have a feeling that I'll learn to like beating people up pretty quickly, anyway."
"That's the spirit!" said Metatyph. "With my mad skillz, and your awesome aptitude in the art of...knocking things over, we'll be invincible!"
What followed was a high-five whose participants had wildly differing levels of enthusiasm.
"How did you wind up in a pokeball, anyhow?" asked Metatyph, who suddenly remembered Twiggy's unexplained appearance.
"I dunno," she shrugged. "Last thing I remember, I got a carrier pigeon from Pope, telling me to visit his house, but when I reached his doorstep, everything went black."
"And then what?" asked Metatyph. "Boom, you're out of the pokeball and into the frying pan?"
"Well then," declared Metatyph, "next stop, Pope's house."
Metatyph and Twiggy were nearing Pope's residence, when they encountered
Sparkleaf and Maestra again.
"Look who it is," both voices cackled in unison.
"Be quiet, Mae," said Sparkleaf. "I'm the boss, I have to be the one to say the sinister lines."
"I really don't like this arrangement," complained Maestra.
"You losers, again?" asked Twiggy. "Man, I thought that you'd have had enough of a butt-kicking the first time." She automatically moved into a combat stance.
"Yes, us losers again," confirmed Sparkleaf, before his face fell as he realised what he'd just said. Metatyph and Twiggy laughed at him, while Maestra just glared with rage. "Mae, please teach them the error of their ways," he groaned.
"Certainly," Maestra said, stepping forward to confront Twiggy.
"Twiggy, hold back and wait for her to attack you," commanded Metatyph.
Twiggy nodded, and stared down her opponent. The air grew tense and for a long moment all was still, save for the swishing of Sparkleaf's tails.
Maestra silently dived towards Twiggy, her outstreched hand poised to deliver a powerful scratch attack. But Twiggy was ready for her and jumped at the critical moment, colliding with Maestra in a tackle that interrupted Maestra's own attack.
Maestra hit the ground with a 'thud' while Twiggy landed gracefully.
"Maestra, get up!" Sparkleaf shouted in desperation.
"Shut up, Lancer," came her strained reply. She staggered to her feet, panting.
Twiggy ran at her intending to try for another tackle, but Maetra sidestepped and turned to leer at her menacingly.
"AGGGHHH," Twiggy yelped. "My defense!"
"Twiggy, use growl," commanded Metatyph.
"Rawr!" growled Twiggy.
Maestra responded by scratching her across the face. Twiggy shrugged off the pain and barged Maestra down into the ground once more. Another poorly-timed scratch attack Twiggy managed to avoid, before catching her opponent off-balance and slamming her to the ground once more.
Maestra did not rise. Sparkleaf cursed and returned her to her pokeball.
"We shall meet again!" Sparkleaf declared, before disappearing through the use of some foxy shenanigans.
Twiggy collected the handful of cash that the kitsune had left behind, before obligingly returning to Metatyph's side.
"You know," she said, "I think that I've reached some arbitrairily determined level of combat prowess, which means that I now have the ability to attack with something other than full-body tackles."
Metatyph raised an eyebrow. "Really?" he asked. "Let's see."
Twiggy smirked. "Well okay ,then," she shrugged, before firing a red beam from the palm of her hand. The beam struck a nearby tree, which caused a few of the leaves to wither. Metatyph clapped politely, and turned back to Twiggy. He noticed that the sctratch marks left on her face by Maestra had completely diappeared.
"Oh cool!" he exclaimed. "You learned absorb! That must mean you're a grass-type."
"...Which we could have learned if you had just scanned me with your pokedex, you doofus."
"...Good point." Metatyph proceeded to do just that, if only to be sure.
"Shouldn't we be finding Pope right now?"
"Oh! Uh, yeah, he lives right around this corner here..."
Pope's house was a meme-strewn monstrosity of a manse. The front yard alone was a mess. Metatyph and Twiggy could hardly move without crushing Nyan Cats or accidentally bumping something that would inanely scream 'JOHN CENAAAAAAA' at them.
Metatyph counted himself lucky that Twiggy appeared to be super effective against most forms of internet joke. Whenever some troubling meme from the dankest corners of the internet got in their way, she had no problem smashing it back into obscurity.
When they finally reached the front door, physically unscathed, but now up to date on the most obscure pieces of internet vernacular, Metatyph groaned.
"What is it, this time?" came Twiggy's exasperated response.
"The knocker on the door," he sighed. "It's Nicholas Cage." Metatyph's finger directed Twiggy's eyes to a brass door knocker, that upon close inspection, clearly depicted the famous actor.
"This entire property is an abomination," they declared in unison.
"Who's gonna knock?" Twiggy asked.
"I don't even want to touch that thing," Metatyph sighed.
"Yeah, well I punched our way through that yard. You knock," was Twiggy's unsympathetic reply.
Metatyph thought for a brief moment, before his face lit up. "Twiggy!" he yelled, "use door smash!"
"Not today, Hombre."
"Darn," he muttered. "I knew that wouldn't work."
He seized the Nicholas Cage knocker gingerly, grimacing as he did so, before rapidly hammering it against the door and screaming Pope's name.
Moments passed, but there was no answer. Metatyph looked at Twiggy, who nodded slightly. To his chagrin, Metatyph took hold of the knocker for a second time and pummeled it into the door. There was still no answer.
Twiggy rolled her eyes. "No wonder trainers always need HM's in the games. You're useless," she complained, before tackling the door off it's hinges.
The duo hesistantly stepped into the meme-strewn lair of a house, and were immediately confronted by a grinning cardboard cutout of Donald Trump. A piece of paper was stapled to it's chest, which Metatyph leaned down to examine.
"Hey it has something written on it," he told Twiggy. "It's in Pope's handwriting too!" he exclaimed, showing her what was clearly a sample of Pope's writing. The characteristic wingdings font was unmistakable. "It says, 'Yo! Champ in the making! You must be here to take on the mega-cool dude Pope, right? Well be warned, he is incredibly cool! If you wanna challenge Pope, then you have to be prepared for a barrage of awesomeness,'" Metayph finished reading the note wth slumped shoulders.
"What in the world is he thinking?" he asked his companion.
Twiggy shrugged. "We'd better find him," she sighed.
The pair resigned themselves to scouring Pope's house for any sign of it's owner, which was not an easy task, given the seemingly-infinite amount of internet junk that permeated the building.
Pepes plastered the walls, competing with images of Dat Boi for space. A troll face rug was barely visible underneath the slew of toy doges piled on top of it.
When they reached the hallway, Metatyph and Twiggy had to maneuver around nightmarish objects that would robotically blare out 'ermagerd' or 'haters gonna hate' if bumped.
At one point Twiggy opened a door, and had found it to be full of nothing but Harlem Shakes. They'd had to barricade it with some of the lesser memes strewn about the house.
They had to tread carefully. Both of them were fully aware of the dangers of being Rickrolled, or encountering a stray LolCat. Despite the danger, they eventually located the entrance to Pope's basement, where after completing a search of the ground floor, they concluded that Pope must have been lurking.
With utmost caution, Twiggy took the lead and descended the stairs.
Pope's basement was obviously a total man-cave. Pinball machines crowed the edges of the room, a pool table dominated the centre of the floor, and at the far end of the room, a leather couch sat before the enormous T.V. that was hooked up to a legion of consoles and was currently playing Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey.
Upon that couch sat none other than Pope himself.
"Hey guys," he said, without even looking away from the movie.
"Pope, what the heck?" Metatyph asked.
Pope rose from the couch. "Dank memes, man," he said. "Dank memes are love. Dank memes are life."
Then he spun around and hurled a pokeball.
Badass music began to play as IcyCastorm materialised in an explosion of crimson light.
"Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap!" Metatyph yelled, "Pope is a gym leader!!!!!1!!one!!!1!!"
"No duh," replied Twiggy, who was already falling into a defensive stance. Pope had produced a pair of cool-looking sunglasses and had placed them on his face, which Metatyph had decided was a sign that he was not to be taken lightly.
"Be careful," he warned. Then, glanced at IcyCastform, who beyond his regular cap and hoodie outfit, was wearing what appeared to be an ice cube on a string around his neck. "Oh," he added, "and be careful of Icy, it appears that he has a Nevermeltice."
"So, he's Ice-type?"
"Yeah, that means you're at a disadvantage, so be very careful not to get blasted."
Twiggy nodded. "You know, Meta," she said thoughtfully, "I think I finally get what that note on the Donald Trump cutout meant."
"Oh, you do huh?" he replied sarcastically.
Twiggy did not have time to hurl back any snark, as it was at that moment that Pope began the battle. "IcyCastform! Attack!" he yelled.
"You got it!" his partner in crime replied, before dashing forward to deliver an ice punch. It was only a glancing blow, but Twiggy felt the frosty burn as his fist made contact. She gritted her teeth, refusing to show her pain.
"Okay, Twiggy?" Metatyph got his partner's attention. "You are gonna want to keep as far away from him as possible, got it? Icy appears to be built for physical attacks, so stay back, use growl to weaken any damage he might do, and chip away at him with absorb."
"Got it," Twiggy said, thankful for any piece of advice she could get.
"Good plan," congratulated Pope. "But will it hold up against IcyCastform's hail?!" He punched the air, as IcyCastform appeared to pulsate with coldness and somehow, impossibly, chips of ice began to fall from the ceiling. Twiggy held her arm up to shield herself, but tiny strikes of pain made her gasp.
Pope began to laugh.
"I've got you now," IcyCastform shouted, before lunging at Twiggy.
"Back!" commanded Metatyph. Twiggy did just as he said, and hurled herself backwards, blindly. She stumbled, but kept her balance and remained just outside of IcyCastform's reach.
"Now use growl!"
IcyCastform winced as his attack fell, but regained his smirk when the hail battered Twiggy once more. He lunged for another Ice Punch, but Twiggy jumped back again. Only this time, she clattered into a rack that held the pool cues. They clattered to the ground, and so did she.
IcyCastform went in for another Ice Punch, but she rolled out of the way.
For the fourth time, IcyCastform summoned a freezing aura around his fist and went in for a direct strike.
For a moment, he thought that he'd ended the fight, but Twiggy was still struggling against him, having managed to block his punch with one of the fallen pool cues.
She jabbed with it, pushing him backwards, while Metatyph whooped.
The hail buffeted her again, but she only grimaced at the pain and fired an absorb at IcyCastform.
That helped her out, somewhat.
"Icy, use haze!" Pope told him. IcyCastform complied, instantly feeling his attack recover from Twiggy's earlier growl. Another absorb struck him right in the chest, though, and he moved back, so that he could regain his breath.
He was getting tired already. IcyCastform mentally shrugged. That's what a diet of nothing but doritos and an exercise schedule that was limited to the thumbs would do for your stamina.
"Okay," came Pope's next command, "wait for her to come for you."
An absorb attack blasted IcyCastform in the side of the face, which knocked him down to the ground while rejuvenating Twiggy completely.
IcyCastform did not get up. Metatyph and Twiggy high-fived, and then high-fived once more when they realised that Twiggy was leveling up.
"Metatyph," Twiggy whispered excitedly, so that Pope would not hear. "I think I know how to perform a low kick now."
Metatyph nodded. "That's awesome," he whispered back. "In that case, change of strategy: instead of holding back, dash forward and keep kicking his next guy as fast as you can. We need the advantage of a fighting-type move."
"Got it," Twiggy said, just as Pope tossed his next pokeball.
"I choose you, Thane!" he shouted.
"Dude, no need for melodrama," was the first thing Thane said, before a low kick from Twiggy swept his legs out from under him. He hit the ground with a yelp of pain, but still managed to hit Twiggy with a particularly fresh ice beam on the way.
As he rose, he noticed that it was hailing already.
Then he noticed the small girl smashing his legs away for the second time in the fight. He reached out for anything to regain his balance with, but nothing entered his grasp.
Thane slammed onto the floor.
"Darude - Sandstorm," he cried out, before closing his eyes and falling into unconciousness.
Pope recalled the defeated Thane. He wordlessly switched in his final pokemon.
Darklite entered the battle silently. Twiggy wasted no time in attempting to low kick him as well, but to her surprise, the attack passed straight through the grinning Darklite.
"Oh crapsicles! He's immune!" shouted Metatyph, from somewhere behind her. Though, she didn't really register it until after she had already been shadow punched in the gut.
"Revert to plan A?" she managed to ask.
"Plan A it is," her partner agreed. Twiggy rolled back, winced at the pain of the hail and the punch, before absorbing some health from Darklite.
Another punch knocked the wind out of her, so she growled at him to weaken his next blow, before absorbing some more of his health, so that she could withstand the powerful ice fang that she saw coming to crunch her arm.
She wrenched her arm free of Darklite's jaws, before diving onto the pool table in the centre of the room.
Twiggy looked around, desperately. She had to win. Had to win. Had to win. How to win? Then her mind seemed to click. She picked up a pair of stray cue balls off the table, distracted Darklite by hurling one into his face, and then turned towards his master.
"Pope," she said in what she hoped was a sinister voice, "surrender, or the flat-screen gets it." She gestured with the cue ball at the enormous television that covered the wall behind him. A bead of sweat ran down her brow as tense moments passed in silence.
"Wait!" screamed Pope, both at Twiggy, who was miming some powerful baseball pitches, and Darklite who was readying a sneaky shadow punch.
"Not my baby," he pleaded. "You win. Victory to Metatyph and Twiggy!" he conceded.
"Yeah!" cheered Metatyph, as he high-fived his partner.
"Unlike my incredible ice-types, steel beams can be melted by dank memes," Pope said sagely, as if he thought the words were in some way profound. "You have defeated me in glorious combat, so take this," he said as he presented a small badge bearing the image of a gorilla.
"That is the Harambe badge. With it in your possesion, you shall be able to command beings that are much more 1337 than you previously could. Also, all of your Routians will receive a slight boost to their ASM (that is, Awesome) stat."
"Woah," Twiggy said, still panting from the exertion, "That fight was incredible." She took the badge and pinned it onto Metatyph's shirt for him.
"Please take this, as well," Pope told them, producing what appeared to be a relic from the 90's: a floppy disk. "This T.M. contains the move Hail. Use it so that you can always keep your cool."
Metatyph took the floppy disk, looking at Twiggy uncertainly as he did so.
"Pope," he said, in a weary tone, "can you please just tell me what's going on?"
"Sure I can, Typh."
"Really?!" Metatyph and Twiggy both asked in unison.
"Absolutely. Y'see, you've just beaten your first pokemon gym and are now past the first hurdle on your way to challenging...the pokemon league!"
"Dun dun dun!" intoned Darklite, from across the room where he was sweeping up hail stones.
Metatyph and Twiggy looked at each other in a way that said it all. Both of them sighed, and left Pope and his memes behind.
The sky was a picturesque burnt orange. Birds and bird-like creatures chirped cheerfully. A stray magical girl fluttered across the horizon, lazily. Metatyph screamed in frustration. A deep, ululating, and totally...errr....manly sound of surrender.
"Calm down," Twiggy admonished, gently fanning herself with Metatyph's wide-brimmed hat.
"I give up. We've been walking through people's lawns for hours and we haven't encountered a single person!" Metatyph whined.
"Yeah," conceded Twiggy, "I suppose it was a stupid idea to try and search for Routians in the long grass. Everyone knows that none of us ever go outside."
Metatyph's eyes went wide and his cheeks went red, as realisation dawned on his face. "MOTHERF-"
"Language!" Twiggy quickly interrupted.
"Hey guys, did someone say 'Mother'?" a new voice inquired, "because theres this game, you may not have heard of it, it's called Mother 3. I think it's absolutely awesome."
"Twiggy?" Metatyph asked very slowly, "Did I just imagine that?"
"I don't think so." She replied, just as carefully.
The pair slowly, carefully, turned their heads. Before their very eyes, stood a young man wearing a purple and white hoodie and blue jeans. His brown hair was spiked in the front and he was holding a copy of the game he'd just mentioned, in an iron grip.
A single tense moment passed without any words being spoken.
In the distance, a tumbleweed tumbled.
"Twiggy, get him!" shouted Metayph, pointing a shaky finger at the newly-encountered Aura-Flare.
Twiggy tossed Metatyph's hat aside and darted towards Aura-Flare, only to stumble when an ear-piercing blast of remixed video game music hit her full-force.
"A sonic boom!" she yelled, sounding quiet to her own deafened ears.
"I recognise that music!" Metatyph exclaimed, "You remixed some of Alpha-Sapphire and Omega-Ruby's soundtrack, didn't you?"
Aura-Flare grinned proudly and nodded.
"Well the joke's on you, then," Metatyph laughed. "Because there was too much water in those games, and lucky for me, Twiggy is a grass-type!"
Aura-Flare actually attempted to comprehend that boast, at least for the moment between hearing it and being swiftly introduced to the ground by Twiggy's tackle. Quickly, re-gathering herself, Twiggy backed away from Aura-Flare and prepared to shoot him with an absorb.
But she never got the chance. A wave of greenish-purple hue emanated from Aura-Flare and sent her to the floor with pain and nausea.
She managed to roll out of the way of a second psy-wave, blasted Aura-Flare with an absorb, leapt to her feet only to be clipped by a sonic boom.
She screamed, but noted that the melody was rad even as she did so.
Aura-Flare closed in, ready to finish her off, but he never got the chance. A flash of scarlet smacked him in the back of the head and he dematerialised as the pokeball trapped him.
Metatyph and Twiggy both watched the ball intently but it gave barely a wiggle before dinging to confirm that Aura-Flare had been captured.
The duo high-fived.
Metatyph sent out his newly-captured Aura-Flare and scanned him with the pokedex, while Twiggy handed him some oran berries.
"Welcome to the clan," Metatyph told him with a wry smile.
"We have Undertale fanart," Twiggy whispered, causing Aura-Flare's eyes to widen.
He punched the air and yelled, "Team Metatyph!"
Metatyph himself barely noticed that, because he was engrossed by the pokedex's recording of Aura-Flare's cry. Which, for some reason, appeared to be audio from his Let's Play videos.
Metatyph and his entourage were just exiting a Pokemart that they'd had to raid after their last battle, a close fight against Rosebunny had knocked Twiggy out almost straight away, and had weakened Aura-Flare considerably. But the newly-captured Arkangel had won the fight for them all.
Three large helpings of Food? had cured their wounds.
Metatyph and the others had made it two steps out of the door when a silhouetted figure blocked their path.
"Going somewhere?" The shadow asked with a mocking tone.
"Oh I get it," Metatyph said, almost gleefully. "You're a grunt from the obligatory villainous team of this region, right?"
"Stop right there!" The figure cried, stepping forward to reveal Pokey, clad in a peaked cap and an odd uniform with a stylised design emblazoned prudly upon the chest.
"I'm a grunt from the obligatory villainous team of this region!"
"I just said that," Metatyph sighed.
"Hand over your pokemon, or suffer the wrath of Team Unpleasant!"
"Team Unpleasant? I'm shaking in my boots," Arkangel said, sarcastically.
Pokey growled angrily before sending a dark-haired, dark-clothed, bespectacled girl out of a pokeball. basscannon jumped about excitedly.
"Ooh, are we robbing someone? Team Not-Very-Nice for the win!" she exclaimed.
"'Team Not-Very-Nice'? I thought you guys were Team Unpleasant?" Twiggy asked.
Another of Pokey's pokeballs blasted red light, and the unmistakable sound of charlotte057's voice cried out, "Wait. aren't we Team Evulz?"
"No," seethed Pokey, through grated teeth. "We're Team Unpleasant, and we're mugging these rubes. So shut up and be professional."
"Uuuuh, Pokey, I hate to be a party-pooper, buuuut....What rubes?" asked charlotte057.
Pokey turned to see empty spaces where Metatyph & co. had been standing just a second ago. She facepalmed.
"Forget it...let's go get poptarts or something."
"YAY!" cried basscannon, who was running into the distance. "Team Not-Very-Nice poptart adventure!"
"And for the last time, we're Team Unpleasant!" roared Pokey as she chased basscannon down the street.
A long afternoon of hunting through the city had almost been a fruitless search, but barely a few metres away sat what was going to be Metatyph's newest pokemon. The wild thekingofpillowland was holed up in the Route 50 public library. He appeared to be engrossed in some sort of eldritch-looking tome.
"Here's the plan," Metatyph whispered to Twiggy, "You have the best speed stat, so I want you to sneak attack that sucker with the best leaf blade you can muster. Hopefully we can take him out quick."
He held up an ultra ball and nodded to Twiggy, who nodded back in reply.
She took a deep breath.
Like a bolt of lightning she bounded towards thekingofpillowland and flailed her arm at him. white-hot energy encapsulated her forearm, forming a curved blade that barely seemed to disturb the air as it lanced towards thekingofpillowland's back.
"Not so fast."
Twiggy felt her leaf blade brush against the barest threads of thekingofpillowland's purple trench coat before she was slammed aside. When she opened her eyes, Maestra was there, standing over her. Behind the witch, stood Sparkleaf and a very tired-looking A1v1n1.
"Well well well, we meet again, my rival," said Sparkleaf, to Metatyph.
"What the heck, man?!" interrupted Twiggy. "We would have had him, if you goons hadn't ruined the plan." she said, pointing at thekingofpillowland, who was 'discretely' watching the situation over the top of the pages of the book he had held up to his face.
Sparkleaf shrugged. "The way I see it, we both want to catch the guy. Why not settle this like gentlemen?"
Metatyph raised an eyebrow.
"One on one, man. Mano a mano. One of your Routemon against one of mine. What do you say?" Sparkleaf said, giving Metatyph a used-car salesman's wink.
"Hey guys, no need to fight over me, there's plenty of Pillow to go around," theking ofpillowland piped up, "ain't that right? Ayyyyyyyyyyy," he laughed as he winked and shot finger guns at everyone inthe room, in turn.
Everybody stood there dumbfounded, until Sparkleaf told A1v1n1 to grab thekingofpillowland to make sure he didn't escape. She sighed and rubbed her drooping eyelids, before placing her hands on thekingofpillowland's shoulders. Leaning on him wearliy, more than pinning him to his seat.
"I taught her all my H.M.'s so she could do all the boring jobs," Sparkleaf whispered, leaning into Metatyph's ear.
Metatyph ignored that revelation and held up his pokeball. He had chosen to battle with Arkangel.
Sparkleaf held out a luxury ball that he had seemingly pulled out of nowhere. "I choose you, Clouded-Immortal!" he yelled as the ball released her.
"Go! Arkangel!" Metatyph yelled with an authoritive tone.
"Wow! He's a shiny!" Maestra exclaimed, pointing at Arkangel, who was almost entirely wrapped in tin foil.
Sparkleaf and his entourage all felt their jaws drop.
"Yeah, I tend to get that reaction a lot," Arkangel chortled, pretending to inspect his nails. "I'm pretty awesome like that."
Sparkleaf reset his jaws, before declaring, "It's time to d-d-d-d-d-duel!"
"Let it rip!" Metatyph replied. "Arkangel, use thunder wave!"
Arkangel closed his eyes and scrunched up his face. Yellow sparks crackled across his arms and shot out at Clouded-Immortal, who immediately fell down and began to convulse.
"Hah! You wouldn't believe how hard it was to learn that move," Arkangel said, proudly.
"3 hours of him sticking cutlery into toasters under the instruction of a move tutor," Metatyph clarified, "you wouldn't believe the amount of heart scales I had to pay."
"I bet you had to fork over quite a few, huh?" thekingofpillowland smirked, earning himself a slap in the back of the head from A1v1n1.
Sparkleaf was too busy groaning at the pun to command the still-twitching Clouded-Immortal, so Metatyph had Arkangel strike her with a metal claw. She tumbled to the ground, but replied with a sapphire inferno.
Arkangel shielded his eyes from the dragon rage, but his next metal claw missed and Clouded-Immortal caught him off-guard with a particularly debilitating play rough. Arkangel yelped firstly from the pain of the damage and then again when he felt his attack stat drop. He swiped at Clouded-Immortal again, with tinfoil-clad hands, but she countered with more dragon rage.
He ignored the sensation of melting tinfoil on multiple parts of his body and charged at her. A direct hit with an iron head put her down on the ground.
Clouded-Immortal attempted to stand, but instead groaned at slumped back to the floor. Her eyes became black spirals, indicating that she had fainted.
Sparkleaf returned her to her pokeball and glared at Metatyph.
"You may have won this round," he said, "but you have not seen the last of me." The fox and his team fled the scene, leaving Metatyph, Twiggy, Arkangel, and Aura-Flare to corner thekingofpillowland and cram him into a pokeball.
When the pokeball dinged to indicate that thekingofpillowland was officially captured, Metatyph let him out to scan him with the pokedex.
"Alright then," Metatyph said while the pokedex loaded up information on thekingofpillowland, "time to see what you've got...let's see...normal-type? I find that hard to believe...your only moves are rest and protect."
thekingofpillowland grinned sheepishly.
"Is this some kind of joke?" Metatyph asked, incredulously, "Twiggy, come here and tell me that this moveset is a joke."
Twiggy peered at the pokedex screen herself. "No...he really is that useless."
"Damn right, I am."
"Why do you have so many ribbons?" asked Arkangel, who was pointing at the pokedex.
thekingofpillowland blushed and adjusted his helmet, quickly hiding what Twiggy could have sworn was a piece of glossy red material in his hair.
"That's nobody's business except mine."
"Well," said Metatyph, "at least your defensive stats are both pretty good. You'll make a decent wall if we could just get you to learn some new moves. Now come on, we have an adventure to complete."
By Twiggy's reckoning, it had been three days. Three days inside the abominable tower. The elite four were rumoured to be at the very top of the Chat Tower, but the elevators had been out of order when Metayph and co. had arrived. Nobody could say for certain, but the incredibly large number of katanas jammed through the elevator's control panel on each floor, had led to Arkangel suggesting that the lifts had been purposefully sabotaged.
At the time, they had all laughed at such a ridiculous notion. But now, as they drudged up an infinitely long staircase, everyone was beginning to doubt that judgement.
It was on the very top of the tower (the second floor), that they finally reached their destination. The door had a post-it note attached, that read 'Elite 4 inside. Prepare to have your butts-whooped, you n00bs.' in comic sans.
Metatyph returned everyone to their pokeballs, causing much grumbling when it was realised that there had been no need for anyone but Metatyph to walk up the stairs. He steeled his nerves and tentatively opened the door.
"Hi there, Typh," Frosti greeted him cheerfully. Metatyph replied with only a wave of acknowledgement, as he was out of breath from the effort of karate kicking the door off of it's hinges.
"Come to challenge the Route 50 pokemon league, huh?"
"Yeah...prepare to...get...served. Go...thekingofpillowland." Metatyph said between breaths.
"Good luck with that. I choose you, Coolio!"
Coolio materialsed onto the battlefield and instantly let forth a burst of searing fire from her gaping jaws.
"Oohh I get it, it's irony," thekingofpillowland remarked. "Hey, Typh do you get it? Because her name's Frosti and she's all ice-themed, except she ses fire-types, and-"
"Yes Pillow, I get it," Metatyph interrupted.
"I'm just saying that I think it's really clever, you know?"
Metatyph strutted towards the doors, looking confident, though exhausted. He had just crushed Frosti, Max, Navarr, and Xetaja without breaking a sweat. Though now, it was beginning to take it's toll on him.
But he had to forge on. Beyond those doors sat the Champion, Kat. He would win. He had to.
His Routemon had all been patched up after the battle with Xetaja. Except for thekingofpillowland, who had proved himself to be exceedingly useless in almost every way. Metatyph hadn't bothered wasting a revive on him.
Metatyph recovered from his karate kicking of the doors much more quickly this time around, and was greeted by Kat with little more than a serene expression. They nodded to each other in respect, and wordlessly sent out their first pokemon.
Fexible was agile, but even she could not outrun Twiggy. They both dodged, dipped, ducked, dived, and dodged, but eventually Twiggy managed to get a hit on Fexible, a painful strike with leaf blade slowed Fexible down enough that the next few minutes of battle were more or less a formality. Eventually, Twiggy wore her down.
Kstan was not so easy, Twiggy tried to run circles around her, but the mighty Kstan smashed Twiggy into the ground, making her faint. Metatyph sent out Aura-Flare, who kept back from Kstan and pelted her with 8-bit bleeps and bloops.
When she finally fainted, there was a "ding" noise, as Aura-Flare levelled up and began to glow with a painful light.
Metatyph covered his eyes until the glow ceased. In the place of the brown-haired, hoodie-clad, teenaged Aura-Flare, stood a slightly taller brown-haired, hoodie-clad, teenaged Aura-Flare with a cool scar on his face that made him look like a total badass.
Aura-Flare flashed Metatyph a grin, and the battle resumed with renewed vigour.
Aura-Flare carved his way through Kat's team until a sucker punch from Bee finally knocked him out.
Arkangel fared little better, only just managing to defeat Bee. He was left with only sliver of his hit points to spare, when Kat sent out her final pokemon. The Truck materialised onto the battlefield with a great honk.
Then it mega-evolved. Blinding light burned spots into Metatyph's eyes, and in the place of the comparitively dinky truck, a juggernaut roared to life.
Metatyph barely had time to use a revive on the first pokeball that came to hand, before he heard the sound of Arkangel being crushed underneath eighteen wheels of pure fury.
He winced as he returned Arkangel to his ball.
He glimpsed at Kat and saw her smiling. She thought she had all but won. Metatyph flashed her a defiant look and deployed his newly restored pokemon.
When thekingofpillowland materialised onto the battlefield, Metatyph's jaw hit the ground.
"No. No. No!" he screamed, rustling desperately through his backpack for revives, only to find that he had wasted his last one on his most useless routemon.
The Mega Truck let out a guttural howl as it put the pedal to the metal and charged at thekingofpillowland. The wizardly viking barely jumped out of the way as it rumbled forth.
Tires screeched as the Mega Truck attempted to make a sharp u-turn.
Again, it barrelled towards thekingofpillowland, who seemed almost oblivious to the battle itself. The Mega Truck would be upon him in seconds and when thekingofpillowland was being crushed under it's wheels, Metatyph would lose his chance at the championship title. He had to think of something, fast.
A lightbulb began to shine in Metatyph's mind. "Pillow!" Metayph called out just as the Mega Truck was about to bear down on him, "Use protect!" thekingofpillowland glanced at him and Metatyph thought that it was too late. But a split second before the Mega Truck turned him into chunky salsa, a transperant, orange dome flickered into existence over thekingofpillowland.
The Mega Truck collided with it at full speed, but the dome held strong and the Mega Truck's own momentum sent it flying.
The crash was spectacular. The Mega Truck's trailer was torn free, wheels detached, the windscreen turned to powder, and when it finally came to a stop, the Mega Truck was left to honk weakly.
thekingofpillowland just stood there looking nonplussed.
"Finish it off!" Metatyph commanded.
"Wait," Kat cried out, "surrender the battle to me. Concede defeat, Metatyph."
"Why would I ever do that?"
"If you don't..." Kat smiled wickedly, and raised her banhammer, "I shall exile you from the lands, forever."
Metatyph stood there, stunned. Would Kat really ban him if he claimed a victory?
"Come on, Typh. Give me an order," it was thekingofpillowland. Urging him to take action.
"So be it," he sighed.
Kat smiled. "Wonderful. Now say the words, Typh. Say that you surrender."
Metatyph beamed at her, though his eyes were dark. "Pillow, would you so kindly do me a favour and kick that Truck?"
DarkPegusus was roused by the sound of somebody assaulting his front door.
A late-night of pretending to be a professor had not left him in the mood for this.
The knocking had not ceased. If anything, it appeared to be growing more urgent. DarkPegusus grumbled and rolled off of his desk.
Shambling his way to the front door, he somehow managed to get himself looking halfway decent, before he opened the door to find a wide-eyed and breathless Metatyph.
"Oh hey, DP," Metatyph said, nonchalantly.
"Metatyph? what are you doing here? It's like..." DarkPegusus paused to look at his bare forearm, "...half-past really late. What do you want?"
"Listen, man. I'm kind of in a lot of trouble. Nothing to worry about, really. Seriously, I wouldn't worry about it if I were you. I just, errr decided that since I beat the elite four, and the Routemon Champion, it was time for me to continue my adventure in a new region, you know?" Metatyph said, hurriedly.
DarkPegusus rubbed his eyes. "And this involves me, how?"
Metatyph looked over his shoulders quickly. DarkPegusus thought that he looked kind of beat up and scruffy, but decided it was his imagination. "Well," said Metatyph, "I'm dumping all my Routemon with you, except for Twiggy, my starter."
DarkPegusus began to object, but before he could say a word, Arkangel, Aura-Flare, and thekingofpillowland had appeared and stormed into his house. DarkPegusus caught a nervous-sounding "Thank you!" before his front door slammed shut.
He ignored the sounds of rumbling thunder and banhammers colliding with pavement and shrieks of terror that sounded suspiciously like Metatyph's voice. Turning around to see that his living room had been taken over by the three Routemon he had just been forced to take care of, he groaned and shuffled his way back into the house.