Chapter 7: Shupster
“You KNOW those people?” I asked. Yeah, duh, I told myself. Though obviously the duo, now standing barely two meters away from us, didn’t look too much like friends to the other duo, namely Butch and Cassidy. The female, tall and attractive, had a long red ponytail that curled to the right. With a different hair color, height, and meaner eyes, she would’ve reminded me of Cassidy. But then again, it was all about the eyes. The male looked, if I phrased it in a nice way, effeminate, and if I spat out what I was frankly thinking, extremely gay. At first sight I couldn’t even tell he was a guy until I noticed he was flat. (Now don’t get me wrong, I only look at that area if I’m really not sure about the gender. And if I’m interested in a night with her. Whatever.) Though he looked considerably smarter than dim-witted Butch, I have to admit he’s not as good looking – the mop of blue hair on his triangular head looked like what I just compared it to – a mop.
“So,” said the mop-hair dude, dragging the syllable out. “It’s Mr Stupid and his hardheaded partner.”
The redhead laughed, a high-pitched evil laugh, and promptly pushed Mophair away with a finger. “God, James. Can’t you come up with anything better?” she laughed, patting James on the head. She turned to Cassidy. “Life has really changed since Boss fired you two,” she said with fake sympathy. “It’s just become… BETTER!” She screamed with evil laughter again.
A white cat-like pokemon crawled up from behind James. “Hey guys,” it said, looking at Redhead. “You’re forgetting something.” A talking pokemon! Dude! I couldn’t believe it. But hell, I always thought I was the only one. An interesting and depressing discovery indeed. I’ll take a shot.
“Dude!” I exclaimed. “You speak English? Man! What’s your name?”
The cat pokemon just smirked. “Yeah, I speak English, so what? I’d be in the same league as you? Nah. I learned my English to impress a hot chick. You?”
I stared – what a reply. “You picking a fight?”
“Yeah,” said Cassidy in a different, meaner voice than I last heard. “You picking a fight, Jessie?”
“Picking a fight?” said James in a high female voice. “We’re too good for that. Tell’em, Jessie, what we’re actually good enough for!”
Jessie tossed her curled ponytail and yelled:
“Prepare for trouble!”
I squinted and turned to Butch. “What the hell are they doing?”
“It’s their motto. They use it every time they see an enemy. Just sit through it. It’s quite interesting.”
James pointed at Butch with a gun-shaped hand. “And make it double!”
“To protect the world from devastation!”
“To unite all people within our nations!”
“To denounce all evils with truth and love…”
“To extend our reach to the stars above!”
Jessie jumped in front of me and struck a pose. “Jessie!”
James tossed his mop. “James!”
“Team Rocket blast off at the speed of light! Surrender now or prepare to fight!”
“Meowth! That’s freakin’ right!”
I stared. “So you ARE picking a fight with us.”
“Yeah, what’re you, retarded?” laughed Meowth. “That’s what we’re good enough for.”
I kept staring. “So that means you’ve just wasted a precious minute of my life.”
James suddenly became wide-eyed. “Waste,” he said incredulously. “Our awesome motto was a waste? HUH!?” he shouted, now pointing a long, pink fingernail at me. “You do want a fight. Go, Weezing!” He whipped out a pokeball, obviously painted pink, and threw it viciously at me. I just dodged it, and reeled in shock when I saw what came out. That WASN’T an ordinary Weezing, it just wasn’t. That glaring evil in its eyes wasn’t ordinary. It looked Team Rocket, and it smelled Team Rocket.
“Ha ha!” said James. “At least Boss still lets us keep our pokemon.”
“Dude, we lost all our pokemon,” said Butch, turning to me in panic. “You up for this?”
Cassidy flipped open the PokeDex and positioned it at Weezing. “Weezing. Currently level 34…”
Yeah, I’ve always tried to act tough, but this time my fear really came through. “Oh no,” I said, backing away. “No way. I’m level 11, how’m I supposed – ” But of course, the booming cry of “Weeeeeeezing!” broke off my sentence as a huge cloudy yellow fume exploded in front of my face. I could feel the stench of fuel gas penetrating the fabric that made me up, and then the crash to the harsh, dusty ground. Something didn’t feel right about me…
“What’s happening!?” asked Cassidy worriedly. PokeDex quickly answered the question. “Shuppet. Currently level 11. Status: Poisoned…”
“Whatever,” yelled Butch. “Shupster, attack that thing!”
What was that attack forced into me with the pills? Oh yeah. Forcing myself to stand up despite the Poison status, which was ceasing to feel strange and starting to hurt, I did a 360 degree somersault in the air and released a dark-violet blob from the power inside me, like I was trained…
“That’s Shadow Ball,” Jessie gasped. “This pokemon’s much too young to learn it.” She turned and glared at Cassidy. “You haven’t been as mean as to torture it into learning that?”
I winced. No, not her, I thought, as the poison from my status pulsed through me again, draining another eighth of my energy.
“Oh dude,” said Butch, biting his lip. “I think we’d better call Shupster back.” He quickly turned to James. “No, it’s not our technique, idiots. Your pokemon are older. We just got these.”
“Butch, shut up!” yelled Cassidy. “Stop being a wuss. We can win this. Go, Treecko!”
Treecko flashed into the scene in a flash of light as I returned back to the pokeball to watch in silence.
“Hey,” whispered James, poking Jessie. “Want some experience points?”
“Sure,” grinned Jessie. “Dude, sure feels good controlling the people who used to like, control us.” She whipped out a pokeball. “Go, Arbok!” she yelled. In another flash of red light, Weezing disappeared, and a blue, teardrop-shaped Pokemon fell out. And the second it fell out, it tripped over and fell flat on its face. And that certainly didn’t look like a cobra of any sort.
“No, ***dammit!” screamed Jessie in frustration.
“Wobbbbb!” cried the teardrop pokemon, leaping to its feet in an unbelievably pathetic look of “ready for action”.
“Okay fine, Wobbuffet, if you so want to battle.” Jessie slapped her hand to her face. “Why the hell did I get that thing in the first place?” she muttered.
“Well,” said Butch happily. “That thing sure looks weak. Treecko,” he paused and checked the PokeDex for its attacks, “Quick Attack!”
Treecko, in a streak of light, sped to Wobbuffet, who was wobbling in relaxation.
“Wobbuffet, Counter!” yelled Jessie.
Wobbuffet immediately stopped wobbling. It looked almost unreal, but the blue teardrop sprang to life in a fraction of a second, and countered the Quick Attack fiercely with its head, sending Treecko to the ground facing the dust.
“All right,” said James triumphantly. “Now finish it off with a Flamethrower!”
What the? I thought. Wobbuffet doesn’t learn Special Attack moves. But even before I finished wondering what James had done wrong, Treecko was being scorched by the raging red flames that were spurting out of Wobbuffet’s mouth. As the flames ceased, it was obvious that Treecko had fainted – fire was, of course, very effective to grass.
“Heh heh,” snickered James, fingering in his pocket and pulling out a beeping Action Replay. “I had my fingers crossed.”
I couldn’t believe it. “Oh, my, god. CHEATER!” I yelled from inside the ball.
“That’s what we’re good enough to do,” said Jessie. “Cheat.” She crossed her arms. “It’s still a win, guys. Since your other pokemon,” she gestured to Ralts’s pokeball, “is fainted, and Shupster,” she gestured to me, “is poisoned, I’ll let you off in this, because it’s obvious Shupster would faint if you let him out. So, money.”
“Money?” asked Cassidy.
“Yeah, dude. Money is always given to the winners of a battle. Don’t you know ethics of a battle?” said James, raising an eyebrow.
Cassidy fidgeted and reached into May’s bag, pulling out a small pink purse. “Let’s see. I’ve got… damn, this chick is poor… two bucks here…” she pulled out her own wallet, “and 200 bucks here. I can’t spare my money, it’s for the motels.” She turned to me. “Shupster, help me!” she whispered frantically.
“Let me out first. I’ve got an idea.”
I popped out of the ball. “Why don’t we register you on our PokeNav?”
“PokeNav?” asked James.
“Yeah,” I said. “Our PokeDex’s got this feature. If you’ve got someone registered, you can tell them you want a battle, or in your case nag about your money, through this little messenger right here.”
Jessie appeared to be in deep thought. “You know, puppet-pants, that’s not the worst idea.”
I glared at her. “You ain’t in no position to call me ‘puppet-pants’, lady.”
“Whatever. I’ll add you two to my Nav,” she said, opening her PokeDex. “And whenever you’ve got my, I mean our money, you’ll contact us.”
Not a chance, I thought. Thanks to my genius plan, when we’ve got the money we’d be far, far away from this dump.
Cassidy seemed to be thinking the same thing, but she played along. “OK! We’ll add you too.”
“Great!” grinned James. “We’ll, uh, see you around then.”
Hope not, I thought, and I can swear the other two were thinking the same as we got the hell out of that boring old place and headed on toward the next city, which on the map, was Petalburg.
Checking into the Hotel Rêve de la Fleur (classy French name fits quite well with the city’s name, don’t you think?) in Petalburg, I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye a pair of tacky black-and-yellow trousers and a red miniskirt. “Brendan and May at the same hotel,” I cackled. “Wonder what THEY might be up to in here.”