The Boulder Badge
Season Red Star, Chapter 5
Written by Terence Harris
Created by Terence Harris, Jeremy White
Chapter guide
The Journey Begins
Step One
Man, this shit is awesome! I can’t believe this is happening! Machine thought as a Charmander burst out of his Pokeball, looking ready to fight for his Trainer. Forrest looked just as excited, as a strong-looking Geodude unleashed from the white light to face down Charmander.

“A Geodude, no way!” Machine said, entering the numbers into his Pokedex and waiting for the voice to speak up.

Geodude, the Rock Pokemon. It uses its arms to steadily climb mountain paths. It swings its fists if angered. Machine put his Pokedex away, ready to go into battle.

“So, Machine, before we begin, I have to ask, how many Pokemon do you have with you?” Forrest asked.

“So far, it’s just Charmander. How many Pokemon do you have?” Machine asked, afraid of what his answer would be.

“It’s nothing special. I have many but on hand I have about two. Do you think Charmander could take on both of my Pokemon?” Forrest asked as Machine looked down to Charmander.

“What do you think, Charmander? Do you think you could do it?!” Machine asked as Charmander growled a bit stronger than before. Charmander knew he could he do it. He had to. “Hell yeah, Forrest! Let’s do it!”

“Alright, now,” Forrest held out his hand towards Charmander. “No more talking! Let’s begin this battle!” Geodude flew forward as fast as it could, darting at Charmander. Charmander got ready as it took out its claws, ready to strike its foe down.

Machine pointed at Geodude, shouting, “Alright, Charmander! Let’s kick some ass! Go!” Charmander nodded to him and charged forward, only to be slammed backwards by a full on tackle attack by Geodude. Charmander got back up and ducked another attack from Geodude, striking it swiftly with its claws tossing it away. Machine then pointed forward again and shouted, “Great job, Charmander! Follow it up with Ember!”

Charmander’s eyes glowed bright red as its claws ignited in flames. It charged forward, as the flame on its claws grew a bit larger, as well as the flame on its tail. Geodude charged at it again without any commands from Forrest, however, he was still looking pretty confident. Charmander smashed into Geodude, igniting its body in flames. Geodude went sailing into the air, as Charmander threw the flame upwards, and it was strong enough to knock Geodude into the ceiling, and then watched it fall back onto the ground, defeated.

“Hah, yes! Nice one, Charmander!” Machine shouted, congratulating his Pokemon making Charmander smirk, ready for more.

“Don’t be so joyous yet, Machine. You still have,” Forrest said, as he pulled out one more Pokeball after calling back Geodude. “One more opponent! Go Vulpix!”

“VUPLIX?!” Machine asked, not knowing how this would go down as Forrest tossed the Pokeball up into the air. The white flashed, revealing the fox Pokemon, Vulpix. He didn’t know how to deal with this one and as such, he needed to stay on his toes. That’s one move I didn’t expect... I thought he used Rock-type Pokemon? Ah, well, let’s see what my Pokedex has to say about it. He quickly input the numbers on the keypad of his Pokedex and the female electronic voice read off its description.

Vuplix, the fox Pokemon. If it is attacked by an enemy that is stronger than itself it feigns injury to fool the enemy and escapes. Machine put away his Pokedex once more as Forrest snapped his fingers. The stage began to change as Charmander and Vupix jumped away from one another to stand by their Trainer. Rocks and other such pieces of earth jutted from the ground, making it a much different place to fight. “What is this?” Machine asked, confused.

“You have to get used to fighting on different planes in the battlefield right?” Forrest asked. “For the second half of the match, it’ll be Charmander and Vulpix, although the environment will be different. If one is not careful your Pokemon could end up trapped under the rocks and rumble.”

“You talk shit like you know what’s going to happen! But you don’t and that’s all on the surface! I can still beat you, even with Vulpix on your side! Charmander has more than enough strength to!” Machine shouted, as Charmander jumped off of his shoulder back into battle. He hopped onto one of the small rocks, as Vuplix did the same on the opposite side. “Don’t forget what Charmander did to your precious Geodude! Vulpix will end just the same!”

“Say what you want, Machine. But just know, that Vulpix is a whole new level!” Forrest said, as he pointed towards Charmander. “Vulpix attack!” Vulpix ran forward, faster than Machine expected.

“Charmander, don’t let Vulpix out of your sight! Stay on your toes at all times!” Machine shouted, as Charmander ran forward and collided with Vulpix. They both were pushed back as Vulpix whipped Charmander away before Machine even knew what happened. Charmander rebounded off of a rock and dove back down at Vuplix. “Charmander, scratch! Knock that smug bastard off of its feet!” Charmander did what it was told and slashed at Vulpix knocking it away.

It then jumped at Vulpix again just as it hit a rock. Vulpix fell to the ground, seemingly injured from the impact as Charmander came into defeat it. “End it Charmander! Scratch attack!” But this battle was far from over.

As Charmander came at Vulpix, its eyes suddenly opened wide as Forrest shouted, “Good job, Vulpix! Use your speed to overwhelm Charmander! Quick Attack!” Vulpix jumped out of the way as Charmander missed his scratch, as Vulpix appeared behind it and hit Charmander five times as fast as it could throwing Charmander at the wall. Charmander hit the wall hard, and fell to the ground, only to suffer another quick attack from Vulpix. Charmander was thrown through the air, smashing its tiny body onto a rock. Vulpix then stood on the opposite side of the field, ready to finish it.

“What the hell?! Charmander, are you alright?” Machine asked, surprised at Vulpix’s awesome speed.

“See, I thought most trainers would have understood what Vulpix does before the battle even begins. They always underestimate Vulpix and for that, they pay dearly. After all, their Pokedex tells them the information about, if they’re smart enough to even do that.” Forrest said, with a cocky, condescending tone.

Damn it, that’s right! Machine thought, realizing what his Pokedex had told him. “Man, I thought that was just something to not even pay attention to. Guess I really need to take that more seriously, huh?” Machine asked, chuckling nervously to himself.

“Yeah, you do. Especially to win against me, Machine. Try to not to make that mistake again.” Forrest said as Charmander got back up, covered in bruises.

“Are you sure you’re alright, Charmander?” Machine asked, as Charmander gave a weak yet dependable growl. He was ready for action again. “Alright, Charmander, attack again! Watch out for Vulpix!”

Charmander nodded, trying to remember how Vulpix was going to move from when it got pummeled down earlier. He kept that image in his head, remembering only three of those five strikes and then four of the five strikes next when he got hit next time. He charged forward, as Vulpix did so as well.

“Alright, Vulpix! Try it again! Quick Attack!” Forrest shouted, as Vulpix hopped into the air and landed behind Charmander. Charmander turned around, faster than before, as Vulpix disappeared again. This time, Charmander saw Vulpix appear around him but it wasn’t quick enough to defend himself. Vulpix appeared before him and hit him with a powerful headbutt to its stomach. Charmander went sailing backwards but he didn’t hit it this time. He had blocked part of the damage, not receiving the full impact.

“Nice job, Charmander! Use Ember!” Machine shouted, as Charmander bolted forwards, covering his claws in flame this time. Charmander came at Vulpix but as his claws made contact with it, Vulpix smirked and stood still where it was. The flames collided into Vulpix but a large, red light covered Vulpix and it shot Charmander backwards, through a rock this time. Charmander rolled across the floor of the Gym, landing somewhere nearby Forrest. “What the hell was that now?”

“That was Vulpix’s ability, Flash Fire.” Forrest stated.

“Flash Fire? Well, what in the hell does it do?!” Machine asked as Forrest sighed.

“Flash Fire is a special ability that only a few Fire Pokemon have. It allows to absorb most of the fire from a fire-type attack and repel it back at the user. It gives my fire attacks a huge boost in strength. That’s why your Charmander was thrown a rock.” Forrest said, as Charmander stood back up, slower than normally. Things were not looking good for Machine and his newly acquired Pokemon.

“Shit...” Machine said, watching Charmander valiantly come back to the field to fight. It wanted to win this match, as much as Machine did. Charmander wasn’t going to give up, no matter what, until he won this match. Not even if Machine tried to call back to its Pokeball would he give up. Machine knew Charmander would never give up, especially against this Vulpix. “Looks like the battle’s not over yet, Forrest.”

“Looks like you don’t when to quit, Machine!” Forrest said, as Charmander finally arrived in front of Machine again. “This is pathetic, Machine! I’ll put your Charmander out its misery! Go Vulpix!” Vulpix ran forward, about to strike the final blow.

“No, we won’t give up! Right, Charmander?” Machine asked, as Charmander’s flame on the end of its tail grew much larger, heating up the area around it. Vulpix stopped, marveling at this sight. Then, just as all seemed lost, it happened.

Charmander was about to become a lot stronger.

A signature white light covered Charmander that shone so brightly that everything around them was blinded by its brightness. Charmander began to grow larger within the light, beginning to morph a bit in shape and form. The light eventually succeeded, revealing an all new team to Machine’s collection: Charmeleon, the evolution of Charmander.

“Huh?” Machine asked, seeing his friendly Charmander gone and a new Pokemon standing in its place. He eventually realized that this was Charmander’s evolution, Charmeleon when he got a vibrating noise from his pocket. It was Pokedex, apparently sending out some type of information to him. It turned out to be Charmeleon’s data in the Pokedex, updating on its own.

Charmeleon, the flame Pokemon. The electronic voice read off the description. It has a barbaric nature. In battle, it whips its fiery tail around and slashes away at its enemies with sharp claws. Machine closed his Pokedex, happier than ever that his Charmander had evolved.

“This is awesome! I know I can defeat you now, Forrest!” Machine said, as Charmeleon’s body burst up in flames. But the flames didn’t hurt it, it seemed to be giving it power, stronger abilities. “That’s Blaze... It’s special ability!” Charmeleon then blew the flame away from its body, feeling powered up to full strength again.

“Whatever, it makes no difference! Your Pokemon is much too weakened to defeat Vulpix! Time to end this, like I said before! Vulpix, quick attack!” Forrest shouted, as Vulpix disappeared once more. It jumped all around Charmeleon but it simply stood there, unphased by its attack.

As Vulpix attacked, Charmeleon grabbed onto its six tails and threw it up into the air, leaving it completely airborne. This was his chance or rather, their chance. “Charmeleon! Finish this match! Ember!” Charmeleon made a large blast of flame appear over his claws, increased in power by Blaze. He then jumped off of one of the rocks and into the air, catching Vulpix in its sights. It then made a furious upper slash to its body, blowing it away, unable to use its Flash Fire ability, for a strange reason. Vulpix and Charmeleon landed on the ground but Charmeleon was only one left standing. Vulpix was lying on the floor, unconscious. “Alright! We won! Nice work, Charmeleon!”

Charmeleon turned around to Machine and hopped into his arms, like he was still Charmander. It growled strongly at Machine, letting it know it still loved him. Their bond had gotten stronger with that match, and it was still awesome to see Charmeleon in his arms.

Forrest called Vulpix back into its Pokeball and sighed, clapping for Machine and Charmeleon. “Nice work, you two. You beat me fair and square, so, you’ve earned three things from me.” Forrest commented, pulling something out of his pocket.

“Three things?” Machine asked. “What do you mean?”

“One: You have earned my respect, Machine. You are an incredible talented trainer and I think you can make it to the top with more Pokemon, on your team, of course.” Forrest said, holding up one finger. “Two: You’ve earned your obvious prize, the Pewter City Gym Badge, the Boulder Badge.” He walked over to Forrest as he handed him a silver, oval-shaped badge. Machine went ahead and stuck it on the inside of his jacket, earning himself the first badge to enter the Indigo League with. “The third is this: a new Pokemon, courtesy of me.”

“A new Pokemon?” Machine asked. “What is it?”

“Vulpix.” Forrest said, as he handed the Pokeball with Vulpix in it to Machine. Machine took it, confused as to why he was doing this. “No jokes here, Machine. You’ve earned that Pokemon.”

“Are you sure, Forrest? Is it okay for me to have her?” Machine asked, instantly noticing its gender.

“Of course, Machine. It’s yours to keep. Vulpix is no good here, this a rock-type gym. But with you, I’m positive she’ll do much better. I only wanted to test out her strength and, I’ve seen now that she is going to get much stronger with you. To pull out a last ditch effort with your Charmeleon like that was amazing. Skill like that can only grow and progress.” Forrest said, as Machine smiled at him. He then shook Machine’s hand, truly impressed with him.

“Thanks, Forrest. It was an awesome battle. You really do this Gym proud considering you took over for your brother, Brock, right?” Machine asked, calling Charmeleon back to its Pokeball.

“Yeah, that’s right. And it was my pleasure. You were by far, my favorite challenge all day.” Forrest said, patting Machine on the back. Machine then left the Gym with two of his Pokemon in hand, off to the Pokemon Center. He met up with Hakel there and explained his situation with Gym. Hakel was confident in his chances of winning against Forrest, even though Machine didn’t relay many of the details to him.

About an hour later, Hakel emerged from the Pewter City Gym with happiness on his face. Not only had gotten his Gym Badge, the Boulder Badge but his Pidgey had evolved into a Pidgeotto and his Squirtle helped out a lot as well but Pidgey was the only one who evolved. Hakel and Machine, feeling whipped from battling a Gym Leader the entire day needed to have some rest. They headed into the Pokemon Center for the night and decided to rent a room there.

Since most of the rooms were filled, Machine and Hakel had to share a room with each other and someone else. So, without any further complaining, they each took a room key and headed up the stairs to Room #23. They knocked on the door and called in, “Hello?”

“Yes, hold on one minute. I’m unlocking the door for you.” A female voice said, however, it was not one they recognized. They shrugged and waited until the girl opened the door a few seconds later, allowing them to enter. “Hello, you must be Machine and Hakel. How are you doing? My name is Kusa. Kusa Tenpi.”

That’s when it happened. As they introduced themselves and walked into their new room, a gigantic explosion went off in the Pewter Museum, which Hakel had visited a few hours earlier. It sent an entire surge over the city, as Hakel, Machine, and Kusa heard people outside of their room screaming and running for their lives. Soon after hearing that, they turned back to see what the cause of the explosion.

Members wearing uniforms with the letter “R” inscribed in the middle came dashing out of the destroyed museum with bags of bones, it seemed like because of the way they were moving inside the bag. Kusa looked confused at who these people were but Hakel and Machine knew who these people were. They owed them a long, overdue pay back.

Team Rocket was attacking Pewter City.