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"The School of Hard Knocks"

Pikachu walks in and waves. "Hi, this is a rewrite of the episode "The School of Hard Knocks." Kayka does not own any of the characters except Kim and Jackie. Enjoy." Pikachu walks out.

It was gray and foggy. About two days had passed since Ash and I earned our Cascade badges. Now we were looking toward earning our third badge in Vermilion City. However, Ash and Misty were busy arguing about something or other. It was driving me crazy, but I let it go figuring that Ash needed to let off some steam.

Brock obviously also had enough because he said, “If you two would spend less time arguing and paid more attention to where we’re going, we’d be in Vermilion City by now.”

Ash and Misty ignored Brock and continued to argue. I couldn’t stay quiet anymore. “Will you two knock it off?” I almost shouted.

That got their attention. They stopped arguing and stared at me, shocked at my outburst.

“I think we all need a little break,” Brock jumped in, setting his bag on the ground and opening it. “Why don’t I just throw something together?” Brock set up a table with a tablecloth, place settings, and a vase of flowers. I wondered how he could fit a table in his backpack. “There’s nothing as satisfying as a cup of 100% Cerulean coffee.” He looked at Ash and Misty. “You kids are too young for this stuff, but it’s really quite good.”

He set a can on the table. “How about some prune juice?”

“I think I’ll pass,” Ash said.

“And I’ll pass on the coffee,” I added politely.

“How about some herbal tea?” Misty suggested. That sounded good. I’ve never had herbal tea, but it sounded better than coffee and prune juice.

“You must be kidding,” Ash said.

“You’ve got some hot chocolate packets in you backpack,” I reminded him.

“Not so fast Ash,” Brock said. “I brought my official Pokémon tea set. Now the key to good coffee and tea is good water. And I happen to have a generous supply of delicious sparkling Mt. Moon pure spring water.” Brock produced a bottle of water to us. Then, he announced that for a special snack, he had some French crepes. Misty grew starry-eyed at the mention of something French. But Ash ruined Misty’s daydream. They might have gotten into another argument if Brock hadn’t spoken up.

“However, I can’t boil water and I can’t make crepes if I don’t have a fire. Someone needs to get some firewood.”

“I’ll gladly sacrifice the joyful opportunity of gathering wood to stay here and keep you company,” Misty instantly said. Ash, unhappily, said he’d go. I volunteered to go with him. And so the two of us, along with Pikachu, set off in search of wood. Well, I searched while Ash called to the wood. “No firewood here Pikachu,” he said to my pokémon.

“Look!” I pointed to a stationary yellow glow coming through the mist. We headed for it, hoping it was a campfire, with campers that had some wood to spare.

As we got closer to what we hoped was a campfire, we saw five kids surrounding a younger kid, who was sitting next to a treadmill. One kid with orange hair was scolding the younger one saying they didn’t want to study with the likes of him. The younger kid apologized.

“Hey, leave that kid alone,” Ash scolded as we ran up to the group and skidded to a stop.

“What’s going on here?” my friend asked.

“This is a private training session,” said the leader.

“Some training session,” I muttered, staring at the treadmill as well as the clothes the kids were wearing.

Ash must have thought so, too and said something along those lines, which landed him in trouble. Ash didn’t care, only focused on possibly fighting.

At that moment, Brock and Misty showed up. Misty asked Ash what he was up to. Ash told her that this was his fight. Misty said that she was surprised that he would take on all five by himself and that she’d be on the sidelines cheering him on and ready to drag his carcass away.

Ash and I looked nervously at the five kids. Ash and I aren’t very skilled fighters. Heck, we’re not fighters at all, preferring pokémon battles to fist fights.

Luckily, we didn’t have to fight. The five bullies disappeared into the mist after the leader told the kid (who’s name is Joe) that they would see him back at school.

“Come back here,” Ash demanded as they left.

“So those are the infamous Tech students,” Brock said.

“Tech?” Ash and I chorused.

“Pokémon Tech,” Misty supplied. “I know I’ve got a flier here somewhere.” She dug into her jean short’s pockets before producing a rumpled sheet.

Brock grabbed the paper, smoothing it out. “Let’s see. Pokémon Technical Institute. A boarding school for serious pokémon trainer preparation. All students guaranteed to enter the Pokémon League upon graduation. Pokémon Technical is the educational facility for exceptional students who want to become pokémon trainers in a very short time without having to travel on difficult badge collecting journeys. Oh, so that’s the story.”

Brock’s reading of the flier reminded me of Pokémon Tech. My parents had considered having me attend Pokémon Tech and enter the Pokémon League that way. But, I persuaded them to let me take the pokémon journey.

Ash interrupted my thoughts by demanding to know where the school was. Joe said, “There.” and pointed in front of us. The fog cleared and an immense school stood before us. A voice announced that tomorrow they would examine ice pokémon and their attacks. Joe sighed. “I guess they’ll make me into a snowman again.”

Joe gave us a whirlwind explanation of his last statement. And speaking of whirlwind, he impressed us with what he knew about Pidgey. It levels it earns new attacks at, when it evolves, it evolved form’s names and the attacks the evolved form learns. He went on to explain that two badges is a beginner, four is intermediate, and six is advanced.

But, what concerned Ash was that Joe’s treatment was going on unattended to and he wanted to speak to the top guy in Joe’s class. We got a surprise when Joe produced a picture of the leader and showed that it was a girl. A girl named Giselle.

“Giselle always practices here by herself,” Joe said as we rode an elevator to a room that reminded me of an arcade.

“Even if you beat her in a fight, it won’t matter to her,” Joe continued. “At Pokémon Tech, it’s your skill as a trainer that counts than winning in any one battle.”

“That’s what we’re hoping,” Ash said as he and I produced our badges. “because we’ve won two badges.”

“But Giselle is the top beginner trainer. That’s better than having three badges. Even though I’m at the bottom of my class, I’m still more powerful than someone with two badges.”

“Wait a second,” Misty butted in as she pushed Ash aside. “I learned how to be a Pokémon trainer at the Cerulean City Gym. Are you saying you can beat me?”

“Oh, Cerulean City Gym,” Joe said, turning on one of the machines. “Water pokémon.”

“How did you know?”

“I always beat them on the simulator. See?” Joe defeated a Starmie with a Weepinbell with no problem. This made Misty mad and she demanded a battle. Joe accepted.

“Why do you two have to battle for?” Ash demanded.

“Butt out, Ash,” Misty snapped. “I have the Cerulean City Gym’s reputation to defend. And I’m going to defend it. Misty calls…Starmie.”

“Your water pokémon can’t beat my plant. Let’s go, Weepinbell.”

“I’ll teach him about pokémon. Starmie, go!”

Starmie responded and fired it’s water gun at Weepinbell, sending it out of the arena.

“But, Weepinbell is strong against water pokémon.”

“True,” a new voice said from behind Joe. It turned out to be none other than Giselle. “but, there’s one thing you didn’t know. Your opponent’s from the Cerulean City Gym. Her pokémon have much more experience battling. You should have known that.”

“But, Giselle-,” Joe started.

I heard Brock and Ash comment that Giselle was very pretty and that she looked like a movie star. Misty and I weren’t impressed.

“I’m the top student in the beginning class at the most exclusive school in the world, Pokémon Tech. It’s sad that others aren’t blessed with my beauty, my talents, my humble attitude. Others call me a star, but I’m just Giselle.”

Oh, brother. She’s more stuck up than Team Rocket. How could one person be so conceited? Plus, she was beginning to get on my nerves. So much that she was making my teeth hurt. I watched with glaring eyes, as she picked up a Poké ball off a rack, prepared to battle Misty’s Starmie. She threw the ball and out came…a Graveler! A rock pokémon!

“Graveler? But rock pokémon are weak against water,” Brock protested. That was true. Even Ash and I knew that.

“But, my pokémon are at such an advanced level, they can beat water pokémon,” Giselle pointed out.

Graveler leaped up and tried to smash Starmie. But the purple starfish leaped up into the air. Graveler leaped up after it and tucked itself up into a ball. Starmie blasted it wit water, but Graveler kept coming and smashed against Starmie’s jewel, cracking it. Starmie crashed backwards through a window and into the pool outside.

Misty stared out the broken window. “I…can’t believe it,” she said in a daze.

“Now we’re near the water, your pokémon’s specialty. You can use another water pokémon if you want,” Giselle said once we were outside.

Misty, who was clutching her injured pokémon, glared at her opponent. “Oh and I’m sure you’ll use a pokémon that’s weak against water,” she said sarcastically.

“Pokémon are only as strong as the person who raises them. A pokémon that’s weaker but better trained can still win. It depends on the trainer. I hope you’re learning something from this Joe,” Giselle glanced behind her at Joe.

“Uh,” Joe said.

“ A pokémon’s level of training is just as important a factor as the pokémon’s type in deciding a match. A first class pokémon trainer can calculate that.”

“Wait a minute. There’s more to pokémon than calculating levels,” Ash interrupted.

“That’s right,” I agreed.

“Who are you?” Giselle asked us.

“I’m Ash Ketchum and this is Kim Foster. We’re from Pallet and we’ve already earned two badges.”

“In other words, you two are beginners. And how long have you two been trying to become pokémon trainers?”

“About two months, I guess,” Ash answered.

Giselle gasped. “Two whole months? And you let your Pikachu walk free, Kim? You haven’t been able to tame it yet? Maybe your pokémon are training you.”

“I don’t want to train Pikachu. It’s my friend and so are Pidgeotto, Ekans, and Wartortle.”

“Same here with Charmander, Butterfree, and Pidgeotto.”

“Is that all you have?” Giselle asked.

“Huh?” we chorused together.

“That’s funny. Because even new pokémon trainers have at least six pokémon and you got two badges with only three while your friend got her badges with only four. They sure were lucky, weren’t they?” Giselle asked her cohorts behind her.

“Every on of our pokémon have the power of two.”

“I wonder,” Giselle looked at me. “with two months of pokémon experience, your Pikachu should at least be at level twenty-five, but it’s probably not there yet, is it? I suppose you didn’t know very much about pokémon if you picked a Pikachu as your first one. Pikachu tend to be hard to handle. It says so in any beginning pokémon manual.”

“Well, I-,”

“You really didn’t know? And you still got two badges. How funny. A Pikachu evolves into an electric pokémon called Raichu. It gets to be about two feet, seven inches tall. Pikachu can shock you, but otherwise it’s pretty cute, don’t you think? So, if you don’t let them evolve, they make pretty great pets, especially for little girls. You knew that didn’t you? Really, you didn’t? And you have two badges?” Giselle started to laugh.

I was getting furious. She had no right to talk about Pikachu or me like that. She didn’t even let me defend myself. This was the last straw! Marching up to Giselle, I drew back my right fist and slugged her in the face as hard as I could. My punch send her landing on her rump. A nasty bruise appeared on her cheek.

“Kim, knock it off,” Ash cried.

“Pikachu,” my pokémon added.

Glaring at Giselle, I said, “Don’t pick on Pikachu. I knew what I was doing when I chose Pikachu. I was cautioned, but I knew I could handle it. I’m older than you, so you should show some respect. Let’s battle!”

“For your Pikachu, this should be more than a match.” Giselle threw a pokéball. “Cubone, go!” The ball opened a ground type appeared, a skull covering it’s face. I couldn’t believe it. Electric is bad against ground and she knew it. But maybe level can win over type.

“This Pikachu is my friend and it’s different from any other Pikachu. Thundershock!”

Pikachu launched it’s attack, but Cubone blocked it by twirling it’s bone weapon around in front of it. Unbelievable.

“Leer attack.” Cubone’s attack froze Pikachu in it’s place. I had to think of something.

“Stare it down Pikachu.” Pikachu shook off Cubone’s attack and stared back at Cubone, using a funny face that Ash taught it.

“Cubone, bone club now.” Cubone hit Pikachu right on the head and it spun around.

“Hey, that’s not fair!” I cried.

“I’m not playing around. This isn’t a starting contest. This is a contest of power and skill between two pokémon. Cubone, it’s time for the bonemerang.”

Cubone threw the bone and hit Pikachu right in the forehead. Pikachu hit the ground on it’s back.

“Throwing that bone is a cheap way to win.”

“Well, that’s Cubone’s special attack. It’s authorized by the Pokémon League and it’s perfectly legal.”

“It’s still a cheap trick.”

“Pi,” a weak voice said.

“Pikachu,” I said.

Cubone threw it’s bone again and it caught the electric pokemon in the head again, sending it back and on it’s stomach.

I rushed over to it as did Ash. “Oh, Pikachu!”

"That was a cheap trick," Ash said angrily.

“Calling it a cheap trick, just simply proves your own ignorance,” Giselle replied.

“Hang in there Pikachu. If your opponent’s attack is authorized, then fighting back is too. Give it your best shot. Come on, Pikachu,” I encouraged.

“Ka.” It stood up, ready to keep battling.

“Bonemerang attack now.” Cubone threw the bone once more and Pikachu sprang into action. It avoided the attack, jumped on Cubone’s skull and turned it backwards.

“Go on Pikachu. Give it everything you’ve got.”

Pikachu bit Cubone’s tail, fury swiped it’s back and double-kicked the skull so Cubone could see the bone Pikachu threw at it. It hit Cubone’s head.

“Cubone!” Giselle cried.

Cubone began to cry big crocodile tears in streams that gushed from it’s eyes.

“We did it! Ah-ha!”


“I lost. Cubone, good try. Come back. Don’t cry.” Cubone returned. Giselle looked at Pikachu and me.

“The book didn’t say anything about a Pikachu winning by anything other than electricity.”

“That was a once in a lifetime battle,” Joe commented.

“I can’t believe I lost the match.”

“Get over it. I lost my fair share of matches, but I learned from the mistakes I made. Use this match and think of what you can do differently next time.”

Giselle nodded and said, “Thanks.” She extended a hand and I shook it. It was then that white smoke filled the area.

I glanced at Ash and we nodded. It had to be Team Rocket. Our suspicions were confirmed as our enemies appeared from the smoke.

“I’ve heard of Team Rocket. You’re the ones who got the worst grades ever on the entrance exam.” I was surprised. Team Rocket tried to get into Pokémon Tech? Giselle acted like her old self as she challenged Team Rocket to a match. Just those three against the six of them. It was a simple plan: Bombard Team Rocket with pokéballs and make them run. Of course the plan worked.

Later, we watched as Giselle and Joe talked. Joe was starting over and going on his own pokémon journey. Giselle then turned and hoped that Misty and I will battle her again someday. Both of us sure hoped we did. And we left the school of Pokémon Tech. A school where we had learned so much.

“The End”