Maylene lay on the shore. She had become unconscious, but thankfully, her body flipped again, and she floated to safety. The rock that smashed against the water sent the waves that flipped her up and pushed her away, and the same thing happened to Riolu, although he stayed conscious and hung on to Maylene’s body.
Chuck had been busy breaking a few rocks with Brawly, and they would occasionally find items that have been buried in the sand. The fact that Maylene was missing removed all the possibilities of her not being involved. Chuck was furious, and he called Crasher Wake back to Cianwood.
It was a hunt for Maylene, who lay on the shore of the other side of the formation. Riolu was sitting by her, waiting for her to wake up, when a man approached them. He was shirtless, and wore a black belt that held his torn pants. He wore weights around his wrists and ankles, and his hair was dirty and long.
Riolu didn’t trust the stranger, but he was Maylene’s only hope, so he allowed him to approach his unconscious trainer.
‘She’s the one that caused the avalanche,’ he said, as if ordering the truth to do as he commands. ‘You’re her Pokémon.’
Riolu nodded. The man placed his palm against her chest, moved it to her left lung, and pressed slightly. His hand was focused on just one spot in her lung, and his press became harder before Maylene gasped for air, but coughed water.
She coughed for what seemed like a minute. The man turned her to her side, as to keep her from swallowing the water again. ‘You’re alive,’ he said. ‘Now explain.’
Maylene stared at the man for moments, trying to recognise him, but she neither saw her before, nor heard of someone that matches his description. ‘I’m Maylene,’ she said. ‘Who are you?’
‘It doesn’t matter,’ he said. ‘You’re the one that caused the avalanche, aren’t you?’
‘It was an accident.’
The man stood up, and Maylene copied. She knew that it was hopeless for her; what she did was dangerous. Some could have gotten hurt, and no one will be pleased about it. They will probably try to kick her out of Johto. But her thoughts stopped when she was the man walking away from her, and a surprise came over her. She had thought that he would be the end of her time in Johto, but either way, she wasn’t going to let him just walk.
‘Hey, man!’ she called out to him, but he didn’t stop. ‘Don’t walk away!’
But her kept walking. Maylene ran after him, and her presence was obviously known, as the man started talking.
‘I don’t mind what you did,’ he said. ‘It was dangerous, but I don’t care. This is my training area, but they want to use it for themselves. It was a secret. At least you slowed their progress until I find another spot.’
Maylene was confused. How could he not care about the danger he caused? How is it possible for what happened to be good? She ran in front of him and stopped, which he did as well. They looked into each other’s eyes for seconds.
‘Someone could be hurt,’ she said. ‘You have to help them like you helped me.’
‘Out of my way, kid.’
The man walked past her, and as he did, Maylene became more confused, and anger took over her. ‘Listen to me!’ she shouted before directing a fist towards the man, who responded like no one did.
His left hand grabbed her fist, stopping her in midair, and his right hand formed into a fist that he dug into Maylene’s body. He didn’t care about the fact that she had just sustained an injury, or that she was a girl, or that she was a child. He punched with all of the force he could use to cause the most pain without killing her.
Maylene coughed blood, but the man didn’t stop. He lowered his left hand, dragging Maylene along with it, and raised it behind Maylene’s back, effectively twisting her arm. Riolu tried to jump and help, but was kicked away violently. The man then smashed his left knee against her back, causing her to scream in pain, and drove her to the ground.
Her body smashed against the sand and rocks. His arm still twisted, and the man’s knee still on her back, keeping her down. He used his right hand to grab her head and raise it, before smashing it against the ground. Just enough to haze her vision but not knock her out.
‘Don’t try that again,’ he said. ‘You won’t die, but you will be hurt for a long time.’
She felt her body being released. As soon as her arm hit the ground, she winced in pain; it must be broken. Her whole body rose up a few centimeters when the man’s weight was lifted. Her vision returned to her, and she saw the ground right next to her, where Riolu landed once again; the man had kicked him off again.
Riolu tried to attack the man again, but Maylene’s eyes told him not to before she drifted off into sleep. The pain wasn’t great, and it wasn’t enough to make her lose her consciousness again, but Maylene was tired. Her body was very strained, and she couldn’t find the energy to stay awake, so she fell asleep.
‘Calm down, Chuck!’ Crasher Wake shouted. ‘We don’t know if she did this! And we still have to find her!’
‘She could have killed someone!’ Chuck responded angrily. ‘I am not training her anymore! What she did was reckless!’
The men kept arguing about Maylene and forgot the world around them. At that moment, the girl was the most important person, and so far, the only suspect. She had to be found, but Crasher Wake and Chuck were too busy speculating on whether or not she was responsible for what happened.
Crasher Wake refused to believe that she caused the avalanche, and believed that she was the one most hurt by it, which is why she was missing. He knew Maylene his whole life, and concluded that she was not the type to cause such a thing then run away and hide. To him, Maylene was a noble human who would never flee.
‘She did it!’ Chuck insisted. ‘If she didn’t, then she would be here now! I should have never trained her! When we find her, she goes back to Sinnoh!’
Brawly listened to their argument outside the Gym, with Makuhita by his side, pulling him away from the Gym to no avail. He believed that Maylene caused the avalanche, but it was no reason to kick her out of Johto. His reasoning was simple; if she could break a surfboard easily, then she is capable of causing an avalanche in the formation that was hit many times by the water, and had a construction hole in the center.
Brawly felt a tug that wasn’t Makuhita’s. He turned around and looked down to see Riolu. ‘Where is Maylene?’ he asked the Pokémon, who responded by pointing at the opposite side of the sea. He was breathing heavily, and seemed to be about to collapse.
Brawly didn’t know where to go exactly, but there was a chance to stop the two men from arguing. He ran towards the southeast of Cianwood City and dived into the water. He began circling around to go wherever Riolu was pointing when Crasher Wake passed him on Floatzel.
‘You don’t get to run off to play the hero, kid,’ he said. ‘Hang on to Floatzel.’
Holding on to Crasher Wake was Riolu, who told the man to swim out to Maylene. Brawly held on to Floatzel and tried to avoid his spinning tails. They seemed to go at an amazing speed, and Brawly struggled to hold on. The water got into his nostrils and ears, his eyes were closed, and his clothes became heavy. It was unbearable, but it soon stopped when they reached a piece of land.
‘Maylene!’ Crasher Wake shouted, and Riolu pointed in a specific direction. Crasher Wake ran forward with Riolu in his arms, while Brawly stayed back with Floatzel; he was too tired of being dragged around to follow.
The pair spotted Maylene on the ground, and Crasher Wake dropped Riolu without care for the Pokémon. He picked up Maylene and ran back towards Floatzel. He passed Riolu, who grabbed the trainer’s left leg, as he was too weak to run behind him. They reached Floatzel, and he prepared to swim off again. Brawly climbed on behind Crasher Wake, and Riolu climbed onto his arms.
Floatzel didn’t find it difficult to carry the ground back to Cianwood City, which Brawly found surprising; Crasher Wake must have spent a lot of time training the Pokémon. He occasionally glanced at Maylene, who was held very carefully in Crasher Wake’s arm, peaceful-looking and safe.
The man sat on the edge of a cave many meters above the water. He watched as Crasher Wake carried Maylene off into the distance. He recognised the large body and the Riolu that he kicked a couple of times earlier. His guard was finally over. Now that someone has carried her to safety, he can leave his watch point. The girl was brave for trying to punch him, but also stupid. She obviously didn’t know who he was, evident by her actions and questions, and he regretted abusing his ambiguity to damage her without any consequences, but at the same time, he was glad that he did so. He will meet her again, and he couldn’t wait for it; there was no doubt that she would advance quickly and become an actual figure in this world.