It was dark. It was stormy.
As the rain hammered down on his dirt-brown bucket hat Josh trudged through the mud and straw. The rain beat down harder on his skin as his shoes shakily lifted out of the mud, moved half a metre ahead and then back again.
Over and over.
He raised his head and squinted through the harsh drops. His Golem had just fainted, his Pidgeotto was tired and he highly doubted his Gyarados would be much use on land. He needed to get to there soon but...
Olivine City was still over three kilometres away.
Lightning flashed and struck a small tree two metres in front of him.
It immediately burst into flames.
Josh silently thanked God and then slowly picked up the pace. His mind strayed to the rumours of the Banette Bandits. The Hoenn Pokémon was rumoured to have been seen in this area of Johto. They would catch unwary travellers (such as Josh) in the darker times of the day (such as now), knock out the trainers “gently” (with an attack such as Shadow Ball) and steal their supplies (such as Potions). Josh did not want to get caught out in rain like this.
He pressed on.
As time progressed, the further he neared the still seemingly far Olivine City, he got more and more jumpy. Every few minutes he could swear that shadows were streaking by him.
"The Banette Bandits are just a rumour, nothing more," he told himself over and over.
Harsh wind whipped his exposed arms and legs.
The shadows were appearing more frequently.
"No you didn't wake me," sarcastically yawned the Pokémon Center Nurse, her brown pony-tail an evident victim of bed hair.
"I am terribly sorry, ma'am," apologised Josh once again, "but the rain was pouring, my Pokémon were tired..."
"It's okay, this is my job after all. Give them here, they should be right by morning..." she took them into one of the medical rooms.
Josh collapsed on the long comfy chairs in the lobby. He was tired, but not above keeping himself awake to take his shoes and socks off and sit back for a few moments. He turned his attention to the piles of magazines.
To one of the newspapers.
BANETTE BANDITS BAKING TROUBLE.
Rumours of the Banette Bandits continue to expand as the Pokémon ecosystem on Route 39 is thrown off-balance.
Residents of Miltank farms around Olivine City have noticed a change in the behaviour of many native Pokémon. Where once different species could co-exist it now seems the balance is brought to a downfall.
Trainers have noted their concern to the local authorities, but to no avail.
"The Olivine Police are aware of the situation, but this should be left to the proper researchers," says Police Constable Jane Doya. "The Banette Bandits do
not exist and are not the issue here."
But Pokémon trainers beg to differ. Trainer Derek says "When I took my daily stroll to show off my awesome Pikachu, I ran across a Meowth and Snubbull fighting! That never happens! And I could
swear I saw the Banette Bandits leaving the scene." *
It would seem that opinions are also on a professional basis. Milo Quick of the Miltank ranch
Mook comments: "I left the ranch the other day and my was I surprised - A Tauros and a Miltank fighting! This will have a disasterous effect on my milk! It's all because of those damn Banette!"
* The Olivine Oracle does note that Snubbull and Meowth fight like Pokémon trainers Red and Blue.
Josh put down the paper, lay down, thought about the story for a few moments and then dozed off.
Overcome with curiosity, Josh found himself once more Route 39.
Though the rain had gone, it was still just as stormy as the day before.
That was strange, he thought. He figured the storm would have passed by now. On the plus side, he considered, it wasn't raining.
But before he had even taken another step-
- lightning struck.
One metre in front of him.
"Flippin' heck!" he shouted and then looked up. With all the trees around and the close antennae protruding from the various Miltank ranches, it just didn't make sense to be striking so close to him.
Then he saw it. Just high enough to not be noticed if one weren't to look properly.
"Magnemite!" came an angry robotic shout. Its owner was a large metal ball with two magnets either side of it. It looked like it was going to attack Josh, but swerved and hit a yellow object.
"Pika!" came an equally angry voice. Josh turned and saw a small ball flying through the direction the Magnemite had bounced it. It uncurled and stood up as a Pikachu with tiny forked bolts like a snake's tongue emitting from its cheeks. It focused them into a msasive stream of electricity aimed at Magnemite.
Josh was taken aback. He had seen many places where Pikachu and Magnemite co-existed peacefully. In fact, he had seen the Pikachu and Magnemite play together like a boy with his school mates.
To think that two friends would be fighting like this saddened Josh. Then he realised the rumours must be true. The Banette Bandits! He wanted to rush off and search for them, but he didn't want to leave Magnemite and Pikachu to murder each other. He did the only thing he could do.
He threw a Poké Ball.
"Golem!" followed the white flash, as bright as the extended flash of a camera, even brighter than the lightning that was striking. The white had taken form of a large boulder with short, stumpy legs and short, stumpy arms. A small head, in proportion to its large body, poked out. Its form was much like a tortoise - some researchers argued that it was a distant relative to the Squirtle family.
Golem took three footsteps toward Magnemite and Pikachu. With each step came a small quake, with enough of a shock to make Josh stumble a bit.
"Golem!" it roared once again. This made Magnemite and Pikachu pay attention to the massive rock. They then edged toward it, determined to destroy the creature who dared interfere with their bout.
Josh felt the familiar drop of rain on his nose. He then stared at Golem. If the rain kept as hard as it did the day before, Golem wouldn't have much time and stamina to battle.
"Pika CHUUUU!" Josh was shaken from his thoughts at the sound of the electric critter shooting a bolt of electricity at Golem.
"Magnemite!" the fridge magnet also fired a large current at the sturdy boulder.
Considering for a moment the electric forces approaching, Golem leaned forward and let it terminate on the thick rock of his body.
Not a scratch.
"Earthquake, now!" Josh found himself shouting, forgetting the ramifications of the said attack.
Pikachu and Magnemite had already began charging up again, trying once more to attack the solid rock.
Golem roared, forced himself into the air with his short legs and then hit the ground. Hard.
The result: the ground shook hard. Josh lost his balance and fell over. A large fissure had split along the ground towards Pikachu, who in turn had flown five metres into the air and was flung far into the woods.
Magnemite tried to avenge its fallen ally by again shooting electricity at Golem. It failed again.
"Rock Throw!" Josh commanded determined to end this battle with as little damage as possible to any Pokémon.
Golem dug into the ground and picked up a large, heavy stone, which had what looked like a Diglett attached to it. The Pokémon hurled it at the small magnet, who dodged it. The miniature boulder was thrown deep into the woods. Magnemite didn't mess around again.
"Look out, Golem!" Josh shouted.
Magnemite was flying hard into Golem, intending to tackle him. On impact, Golem stumbled back.
"Try using Rock Blast!"
Golem dug into the ground again, this time picking up 5 smaller boulders. He hurled them at Magnemite.
The first one missed.
The second clipped the magnet on its left side.
The third missed.
The fourth hit Magnemite square in its eye.
The fifth and final sent it as far back into the forest as Pikachu landed.
Josh waited a few moments to make sure Magnemite would not return for Round 2 and then walked over to Golem.
"Great wor-" he stopped.
He noticed his fatal error for the day.
The Pokémon was in pain.
Josh had only just realised at this point what was going on. The rain had been in full fall for several minutes now. Golem had been slowly losing health.
"Oh my gosh, Golem! I'm so sorry!" he quickly retrieved Golem's Poké Ball and rescued the strong fighter. Clipping it back to his belt, he looked around carefully in all directions.
The hunt for the Banette Bandits was on.
The rain had eased up a little and the lightning had stopped, but Josh was still struggling to endure the wind and rain. As he stepped in the mud and the puddles, he could feel his socks getting wetter as the water seeped through his shoes.
"Where are they?" he muttered, being careful not to slide in the dark mud. He had been on the hunt for almost two hours, but to no avail.
"Achoo," he sneezed, stopping by a puddle. He was developing a cold. He decided to turn back but something caught his eye. A reflection from the puddle.
"Ban!" came a strangely mocking cry from behind him. He whirled around to see a dark ball of energy hovering over the head of a floating possessed doll.
A Shadow Ball.
"Nette!" it threw the ball.
Josh ducked it, did an army roll to the side and tossed a Poké Ball. The similar bright flash went off again, but instead of taking form of Josh's rocky friend Golem, it instead turned into a bird as large as his torso.
"Pidgeotto!" it chirped, flapping through the storm, seeming to endure it a bit better than Golem. Since it had not been out of its Poké Ball for a while, it decided to circle the Banette a few times.
Banette, on the other hand, wasted no time. It rammed into the bird Pokémon hard.
"Hang in their Pidgeotto," Josh cried, "Use your Air Slash!"
Pidgeotto flexed her wings, a few feathers dropping as she did. She focused a large amount of wind power into sending a powerful gust at the Banette.
A direct hit.
Banette flinched, an effect of the attack Pidgeotto would always use to her advantage.
"Move in with a Wing Attack!"
Pidgeotto was moving as Josh was talking. She slapped the Banette hard with her wing.
The Banette was blown back by this attack. It seemed injured. It was wheezing.
Pidgeotto moved in for another attack, but Josh signalled for her to stop. He moved in.
Close to the injured Pokémon, floating barely an inch off the ground.
"Hey there, little guy," Josh said softly. "You've been causing a lot of trouble haven't you?" He reached out a hand.
Banette seemed about ready to accept it, but instead made a shrill cry. Josh covered his ears and closed his eyes. He opened them for just long enough to see two other Banette come and grab the third and disappear into the woods, towards Ecruteak City.
The screech stopped.
The heavy downpour started again.
Josh began heading back towards Ecruteak, he needed to track down the Banette Bandits before they caused any more trouble. But he was stopped in his tracks.
More stopped as he was forced to the ground.
From a hard bump to the head.
He groaned as he struggled to roll over. And then he saw it.
"Magnemite!" it shrieked.
It must have been the same Magnemite he had battled before. It carried a few scratches from the rocks hurled at it by Golem.
Before Josh had even reached for his belt, Magnemite was already charging up electricity. He dived out of the way before it made a jet black mark on where he was standing.
"Golem, go!" he threw the Poké Ball and stumbled back. He felt the back of his head. It was definitely bleeding.
He needed to finish the battle quickly.
Magnemite seemed to be thinking similarly. It tackled its large dominator hard. Golem was sent stumbling back a few feet. The rain wasn't helping either.
Golem's reflexes were slow.
Magnemite charged its dual magnets with electricity, sending the massive current at Golem. Who took it in the head.
And ultimately all of the shock.
It was seemingly paralysed.
"Golem, hang in there! Try to shake it off!" Josh urged, he didn't want to see his first Pokémon friend get hurt.
Magnemite surged more and more electricity into Golem. The rock was struggling to shake it free.
With every shock of electricity going through Golem, Josh felt the pain too. He couldn't stand to see his best friend being electrocuted like that.
Then the juice of the electricity seemed to turn on a light bulb in his brain. 'Well,
' he mused, 'with the amount of electricity that Magnemite would be producing it would actually blow up the bulb and...
Josh managed to push the irrelevance from his mind and focus on his idea.
"Golem, grab a stone, use it as a shield!" he shouted. He was beginning to feel the effects of his head wound as his vision began to blur.
Golem reached into the ground and dug up a heavy stone, one that Magnemite wouldn't be able to break through with electricity. He held it in front as he walked.
Magnemite tried for all its worth to stop the stone barrier, but failed miserably.
Golem walked forward, holding the dark brown stone, darkened from the torrential rain, over its head and with a mighty shout dropped it over Magnemite's head...
Just as the rock Pokémon collapsed from the damage received from the rain...
Just before its trainer threw the Poké Ball at the out-cold Magnemite, the blood wound badly effecting him, blacked out...
Pokemon Attempting to Capture: Magnemite
Characters Needed: 10,000 to 20,000