Nidoking of the Block – A Pokemon Story

Freddie took a deep breath and put his key into the lock on the door, turned it, and then opened the door and walked inside. It had been a long road but this was Freddie’s first day as the Gym Leader of Charm City. He had entered into one of several tournaments in the city and won. Winning the tournament had allowed him to be nominated as a candidate for the job. He had worked under the previous gym leader along with the other candidates and had done a lot of battling and training. It was a far cry from the way he had come up but he took to it well. Finally, the day to choose had come and Freddie was surprised that he had been picked. He stood in the middle of the room and smiled as he looked around.

The door opened behind him and a young girl rushed in and almost ran into Freddie. Freddie turned and caught her arm gently. Freddie was a large guy so he had always been careful to be gentle.

“Sorry I’m late!” the girl practically yelled. “I…” and then she stopped and stared at Freddie. “Who are you?”

“I’m the new gym leader here,” Freddie said. “You can call me Freddie.”

“Mama Folashade retired?” the girl asked. “When did that happen?”

“On Sunday,” Freddie said. “We had a big party which started with Mama Folashade and I battling one last time. We closed for a few days and now here I am. Where’ve you been?”

“Mama Folashade sent me to study abroad,” the girl said. “I just got back last night. Then I overslept. I’m sorry that I almost ran into you. It’s always dark in here.”

“Well, it is a dark type gym,” Freddie said. “Mama always said that it made sense to keep it dark. But I also think her eyes were getting too tired for any bright lights. I don’t plan to change that or anything, at least at first. I need to get my footing.”

“I’m sure you’ll do fine if Mama Folashade trusted you,” the girl said.

“What’s your name, by the way?” Freddie asked. He walked toward his office and gestured for the girl to follow.

“Janae,” she said. “I’ve been here for a year and I never saw you.”

“I’m relatively new,” Freddie said. “I’ve been trained, though. I’m legit. Besides, you were studying abroad. Where did you go?”

“I went to Alola,” Janae said. “Four months of sun and sand. I studied with Acerola and Nanu. It was pretty wild but it was hard work too.”

“I bet it was pretty different from being around here, huh?” Freddie asked with a smile.

Janae shrugged. “Definitely,” she said. “I mean we have the ocean here but it’s a harbor. It’s different.”

“I studied abroad too,” Freddie said. “I got sent by Ryan Douglas over at the Harbor Pokemon Center. He footed the bill. I was making money from battles on the streets when he found me. We fought in an alley between the apartment building I lived in and the one next door. Sometimes we moved up to the roof. Ryan plucked me up and set me on a bigger path.”

“Where did that path go?” Janae asked. “Where did he send you?”

“He sent me to the Galar region where I studied with Piers,” Freddie said. “There aren’t a lot of dark gym leaders out there. It was a lot like here, actually. Piers is legit from the streets too. He’s just a bit more rock and roll. Still, he’s way more chill and he taught me a lot and cooled me off a lot. He taught me that you have to find the joy in it and the chill or it will eat you up.”

“For real?” Janae asked. “That sounds pretty good. I think I changed my mind. You might be a good gym leader actually.”

Freddie laughed. “Thanks, I think,” he said. “Now that you’re back, what do you want to do?”

“I want your job,” Janae said.

Freddie laughed again. “You’re a little bit too young right now,” Freddie said. “But you could get this crown someday. If you really want it.”

“I really want it,” Janae said with a grin. “I’m gonna get it.”

“We’ll see, we’ll see,” Freddie said. “Show me what you’ve got.” He gestured toward a nearby open space.

Janae pulled out a pokeball and tossed it. “I got this guy in Alola,” she said as an Alolan Rattata sprung forth from the ball. He climbed up onto Janae’s shoulder.

“That sucker is fast,” Freddie said. “I like him.”

Janae brought out a Purrloin next which hissed at the Rattata and the Rattata hissed back. “She’s got a bit of an attitude problem,” Janae said. “She’s getting better.”

“I did too,” Freddie said.

Finally, Janae brought out a Murkrow. “Like Mama Folashade started with,” Janae said.

“Perfect,” Freddie said. “But we have to get you more friends. Three is not enough. You need at least six.”

“Well, what do you have?” Janae asked. “Show me what you got.”

“I’ll show you,” Freddie said. “Let’s head to the battleground. I’ll show you exactly what I’ve got.”

Janae laughed. “Deal,” she said.

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